Don woke up to a poke in the side, looking at the man next to him.  "What?" he asked quietly, shifting so Xander could sit down.  He always wanted to cuddle and Don didn't mind cuddling when he was half-asleep.

"Aiden just called, she said they'd be over in about thirty minutes.  That way you had time to put on a suit that made you look tough and dangerous."   He snuggled in since it was being offered, sighing in pleasure. "You cuddle nice."

"Thanks, kid."  He gave him a squeeze, giving him a few minutes before getting up to take a shower.  He came out. "Go put on better clothes.  These people won't respect you and they'll cheat you if they think you don't have a clue."

"Danny told them I was the guy's concubine."  He got up and went to find clothes, pulling out his lone suit to put on.  He even remembered to put on underwear, he was proud of himself.  Even if he was going plugged.  He was sitting on the bed to tie his shoes when Don walked in wearing his mauve suit.  "She said tough and dangerous, Don."

"I do look tough.  It takes a real man to wear this color and look good."  He looked him over, then shook his head.  "Armani?"

"Work clothes," he said plainly.  "Devi made me go to get clothes for out-sourced dates."  He stood up and smoothed down his shirt. "I'm still not wearing a tie."

"That's fine. You look more than good enough."  He walked them out to the living room.  "Get the bag ready with the stuff so we don't make the girls wait too long."

"Girls make us wait," he complained, going to pick up the briefcase Stella and Aiden had decided on after getting an independent appraisal somewhere they didn't intend on going to sell most of them.  He came out and put it on the table, looking Don over. "You've got wrinkles."

"Ehh, I was in a pursuit after I picked them up from the cleaner.  The perp sat on the bag," he admitted as he fixed his coffee.  He looked Xander over again, then at his face.  "You going to be okay with this?"

"I'll be fine with this," Xander said with a small shrug.  "I might even flirt to get a bit higher of a price."  Don glared at him.  "What?" he complained.  "He won't try to take me. I won't say anything about the other stones."

"Good.  I like that idea.  How did things go at the bank?"

"They moved my accounts over, all but the one investment one."  Don moaned at that.  "Sorry, it's pretty locked at the moment.  They even moved my hidden accounts that I had put in for emergencies."  Don gave him an odd look.  "Mostly tips and things I didn't want to think about."

Don came out to give him a one-armed hug.  "No one said you had to think about those things ever again, Xander."  He went to answer the door, letting in the ladies.  "Whoa, look at you two," he teased.

Aiden looked him over and took his cup.  "I said dangerous and tough, Don.  Go change into your blue one."  He sighed and went to do that, stealing his coffee back before walking away.  "Xander."

"I told him, he said it takes a real man to wear that color.  I know I can't."

"You probably shouldn't, it'd look bad on you," Stella offered, kissing him on the cheek.  "Ready for this?  After today you'll be a wealthy little boy."

Xander looked at her, then went into the bedroom and came back with his paperwork from the new bank, letting her look and blink.  "I was more worried about security stuff and those things.  Plus, keeping stones like this is a pain in the ass.  I want that drawer back so I can go shopping.  One of you want to go shopping with me today?"

Aiden looked him over.  "You look good in that."

"The salesman picked it out with Lyle, the driver and bodyguard I had for the day," Xander admitted with a sheepish grin.  "I wear hawaiian shirts when I decide what I'm wearing."

Aiden nodded once.  "Sure, we'll go shopping, Xander."  She kissed him on the cheek.  "That the bag?"  He nodded.  Don came out in a baby blue suit, making her shake her head. "Don!"

"I haven't worn it in years.  Quit."  He took the bag, hefting it.  "We sure it's in here?"  Xander looked then nodded, letting him see.  He moaned at the pretty things down in there.  "Okay, cab or my car?"

"Your car," Aiden said, taking his arm to walk him out.  Stella got to guard Xander once he took the papers from her stiff, stunned hands.  "Stella?" she called.

"Yeah."  She followed after Xander, letting him lock the doors.  "How?" she asked him.  "I know you went for a higher price but...."

"Tips," he said dryly.  "A few payoffs for me not to kill the person who took me that time."

She shook her head.  "If you ever figure out how to stop that stuff, I want the chemical formula of whatever it is that draws them to you."

"It's a pheromone problem of some sort.  You're more than welcome to take samples as long as you don't drain me of blood."  He grinned.  "You don't look like a vampire but you never know."

She smirked at him. "I'm not quite that goth, Xander."  She got into the car after him, glancing around.  "Don, you know where we're going, right?"

"Yup. We all in, the bag's here?  All that good stuff?"

"We're all good," Aiden agreed, checking the bag again.  She pulled out one sapphire to look at it.  "I still love these."

"Well, I've got someone who sent me a sapphire tennis bracelet," Xander offered dryly.  "I inspired him at the convention and he's painting again.  My writing gave him great inspiration with the guy he keeps for."

Don looked back at the mirror at him.  "When did you get this one?"

"Last night.  While you were at Sullivan's."

"Courier?  Or did he drop it off?"

"Courier demon. He's out in LA.  He found out who I was through Angel."

"Another person I wanna meet and greet the old fashioned way," Don complained as he pulled out of the parking garage.  "Are we expecting more from him?"

"No but can you make the one guy who bankrupted his family to send me a ring stop?  I'd rather it went to his wife and kids."  He handed it over at a redlight.  "He's out of the thirty-first."  Then he leaned back again.

Stella and Don both moaned.  "I will, Xander," Stella promised.  Don tossed the ring at her.  "This is pretty.  Which officer?"  Xander whispered it in her ear.  "I've seen him around.  I'll talk with him later today.  How did you know he had a family?"

"I did a 'net search on him.  Came up with newspaper articles like birth announcements.  Tell him I'm flattered and all but I don't go for married or taken people.  That's wrong and I've got a fairly strong ethical code in that area."

"Sure."  She reached over to smooth down some hair, smiling when he leaned over so she could pet him.

"Awww, did you need to cuddle?" Aiden teased.  Xander nodded.  "That's so cute!"

"All GHS are cuddlesome.  The higher we are, the more we need cuddles and pleasure to live," Xander told her seriously.  "Otherwise we can die without it.  There've bene documented cases," he defended at Don's snort of amusement.

"Really?" Stella asked.  Xander nodded.  "What was the cause of death?"

"In two cases it wasn't mentioned more than natural causes.  One's keeper died and he ate and all that but he slowly faded when he didn't let anyone else touch him.  There's case files on the website.  I can show you later."  Don groaned as lights came on behind them.  "They actually stop their fellow officers?"

"We're not in a marked car," Don reminded him, pulling over.  The officer walked up, hand on his gun.  "What did I do wrong?" he asked.

"Hands where I can see them," the officer ordered coldly.  Aiden pulled out her badge and he flinched but didn't do anything else.  "I mean it."

"Sure," she agreed.  "What did he do wrong?  Forget to signal again?"  She bopped Don on the arm. "You do that now and then."

"Out of the car please.  We're going to search it," the officer ordered.

"Um, no," Stella said.  "You have no probable cause."

"You look like you're in the mafia, of course I do."

Xander glared at him and then gave him an innocent look.  "Officer, why are you wearing your vest backwards?"  The man flinched again and backed off.  "I thought so.  You're not getting what's in the bag. I can promise you it's not drugs, not illegal, and not even immoral.  We're going to deal with some of my trust fund.  That's why the nice officer is escorting me."

"I don't care.  We're still searching the car and we can and will impound anything we damn well please.  Out of the car or I'm having you all arrested."

Don got out and slammed his door. "Then I'd get your commander down here, little boy."

"I've had enough of you," he sneered back, pulling out his cuffs.  "Turn and assume the position."

Don opened his jacket to show his badge.  "Commander, now.  I outrank you by eons.  Or else I'm callin' mine and IAB."  The man went pale.  Don looked at Stella.  "Detective Bonasera, would you mind?"

"Already on his way," she agreed happily. "Mac's coming to deal with this with Hillborne."  Don smirked back.  "Xander, back in the car."

"I shouldn't."

"In the car," Don ordered.  Xander slid back in and buckled up, letting Aiden watch him.  "Thank you.  Now, why are you really here?" Don asked, glaring at the officer.  One of the official SUV's of the crime lab pulled up and parked.  "Hey, Mac.  They decided to pull us over for no reason and said they're going to search the car and confiscate the bag."

"What bag?"

"We're going to the store, Mac."

"Oh, that bag."  He nodded as another car pulled up.  "Tell him, Don.  Xander all right?"

"He's fine so far.  Fuming probably."  He got out of the way so Mac could check on them.  He nodded at the thorn in his side, Captain Hillborne of the Internal Affairs Bureau.  "Hey.  Pretty morning, huh?"

"Very.  What contraband are you carrying?"

"Bag?" he requested.  Mac let the other officer look inside, making him gasp, which made Don smirk.  "They're my boy's.  I'm protecting Xander from those who want to hurt him."

"Then you're together?"

"No," Don clarified.  "I'm his bodyguard, he's not my bitch in that manner."  Hillborne just nodded at that.  "He's got a boyfriend, he's out of the country at the moment."

"I see.  Where might he be?"

"Taking care of an insane cousin who drug someone to Leningrad to torture them," Xander said as he got out, smiling at the other man.  "Captain Hillborne, these men gave us no reason when asked why they pulled us over," he said calmly.  "They stated they could confiscate whatever they wanted, even if it was legal."

"How did a guy your age get that sort of bag?" he demanded.

"I worked my ass off for it," he said dryly, staring him down.  "Since I retired, people want to bring me back for private command performances so they keep trying to take me.  That's why I'm giving Don free rent and run of my condo and my life."

The captain looked from Don to Mac.  "Is that the truth?"

"Yes," Mac said patiently.  "We all know how he got the money, Hillborne.  He had a rich ex.  Anything else before you take this officer in to talk with him?"  The bag was handed back and Hillborne walked the officer off, going to make his life miserable.  Mac looked at Xander.  "Cute."


"Probably," he agreed, handing Don the bag.  "Have fun, kids.  Stella, call me later.  We got the results on our mystery woman.  We may have an ID."

"Sure, Mac.  After lunch.  Xander's buying," she said with a grin for him.

"Sure," he agreed, getting back into the car.

Don looked in the bag, then at Aiden, who had the greater majority of the stones in her lap.  "Cute."  He handed the bag back and he and Stella got back in, going back to their appointed task.


Xander looked up as Don flopped down next to him, handing over the extra soda he had pulled out at the grimace.  Don gave him a look.  "What?"

"You *flirted*."

"I know I did.  He was a nice guy.  It's not like he was going to steal me."

"You don't know that."

"Don, I'm a flirt, it's who I am."

"No, it's what you are and it's drawing more attention to you."

"He's married."

"I realize that, I saw the pictures in his office."  He looked the kid over again, then grimaced.  "You know, guys hate it when girls do those sort of things."

Xander sipped his soda.  "Not really.  I liked it when I got flirted with by some girls."

Don rolled his eyes.  "It makes you seem manipulative, Xander."

"It doesn't."  He leaned back, Danny was in the office.  "Danny, Don said I'm manipulative."

"Only a little bit but it saves your life most of the time," he called back.  He came out, looking at him.  "Now and then it's a good thing.  Girls who live on their looks and flirting guys don't like but flirting now and then is nice.  There's a fine line there.  You don't cross it most of the time unless it's a survival thing or it's to do with something serious, like today, that we've seen."  Xander slumped some.  "I know, it's an instinct with what you are  probably."  Xander stiffened at that.  "You said yourself, you're a natural born concubine.  That's what being so high in the GHS stuff means, right?"  Xander nodded slowly.

Danny laid out his reasons more easily now.  Not that he had personal experience with the subject but he had listened to the older immortals for a while.  "Most harems, from what I understand, were political hellholes pushing for position and favoritism, but also somewhat of a sense of shared status.  If you were in one, you'd be flirting and manipulating yourself into a comfortable position and that's probably the way you'd fight if attacked by someone who stole you from your rightful owner, go all helpless and find someone to stick up for you and make sure you weren't raped and shared.  Like being in prison."  Don gaped at that.  "Think about it, Don.  You get ten pushy women, women who have to live off their looks and what their bodies can push out in the way of babies, especially in the hunt for sons.  There's got to be a hierarchy."

"I never thought about it that way," Don admitted.  "Okay, I can accept that," he decided finally.  "But it doesn't mean you've got to flirt with everyone."

"No, nor do I.  Half the city is very safe from me.  I'm not flirting with a woman unless it's really necessary for my survival."

"Point."  He shrugged, he could live with that.  As long as the kid didn't do it to him.  He saw the hint of a pout and popped him on the back of the head. "Not on me, kid."

"Sorry, Don."

"Better."  He stood up.  "Now, I'm gonna go back to my research and you're gonna do what tonight?  Or do you have more big secrets you wanna share?"  Xander looked at him oddly.  "Seriously."

"No," he said quietly.

"No more major investments hanging around?"  Xander pointed at a wall.  "Besides this condo and what Aiden and Danny sorted out for you?" he asked patiently.

"I've got an IRA and a few other things."  He shrugged.  "I've got someone who's trying to court me.  I got a nice card today from someone asking if they could court me and asking if I'd meet them at a certain place in Central Park."

"I thought you were dating Nash," Danny said dryly.

"No, at the museum, we discussed that stuff.  I'm not really his sort but I'm fun and a good diversion from his late wife."

Danny nodded.  "You are that and he did need one.  Before he turned into the moping bastard his cousin was before he went off the deep end.  I know he had one like you way back before his first wife."

Don looked at him.  "My bullshit meter just broke with a snap and a twang from that statement.  We should talk now instead of when you want."

Danny looked at him.  "Not until one of three things happen, Don.  I'm not allowed."  Don put an arm around his shoulders and Danny sighed, looking at him. "I'm still not allowed."  His neck got squeezed.  "No matter how much you torture me I'm not allowed.  All I can tell you is that it's a group membership and you're being looked at for inclusion."

"And another twang, this time more subtle," Don noted dryly, walking Danny back to the office.

Xander giggled.  "That's so cute!"

Don came back out, glaring at his young charge. "Mind outta the gutter.  I'm not into Danny like that."

"No, if you were, he'd probably never twitch and bounce all day," Xander said with a shit- eating grin. Danny laughed at that.  "See, he agrees with me."

"It takes a man who's a lot stronger than Don to make me quit bouncin', kiddo," Danny noted with a smirk, grabbing his jacket.  "I'm heading home if we've got it."  He slid out the door before Don could grab him, jogging down to the elevator.  He'd have to thank the kid for giving him a quick exit. It was a strategic withdrawal that'd only buy him a few days of Don simmering and thinking but maybe it'd be enough.

"Not cute, kid," Don complained.  He went into the kitchen.  "You need anything?"

"No, I'm a happy Xander.  Well, if my pseudo-boyfriend were in town I'd be a happier Xander but he's still probably in Russia taking his cousin's head off."  He sipped his soda and went back to flipping channels.  "Why do we have over two hundred stations and there's nothing on?"

"It's a rerun night right before sweeps.  Put a movie in," Don suggested.

Xander got up to look at the movies, then at him.  "I've seen all these.  Wanna go see a movie?"

"Nothing decent's playing this week," Don complained.  "It's all kiddy stuff and dramas."  Xander grimaced, not his movies of choice.  "I mean, unless you wanted ta go to a chick flick?"

"I may be gay but I'm not that gay, thanks anyway," Xander said dryly.  "I guess I could write some more porn.  Oooh, and I need to go buy more condoms too."

"No shopping online," Don said firmly. "You'd get into real trouble with that pretty fast."

"Does that mean you're going to drive me down to the porn store and watch me browse?"

Don raised an eyebrow.  "I probably should.  That way no one takes you into a backroom and makes you their bitch."  He sipped his coffee as he headed back to the office.  "With Nash gone for a few days, you can wait."

"If I do that it's harder to clean the toys off," he complained.

Don shuddered. "Didn't need to know that either, Xander."

"It's the truth."

"Yay.  Not a thought I needed.  I'll figure out how to let you go safely."

"I went by myself twice."

Don came out of the office, staring at him.  "You did what?"

"You knew about one time."

"I thought you took a cab down, had it wait while you ran inside, then came back."

"No, not really.  I took a cab down and back.  I didn't have it wait.  I'd never been inside one before."  He grinned.  "They've got some really weird stuff in there."

Don nodded.  "All depends on your kink. How did you get all your other toys?"

"Some I ordered online, some I stole off the brothel.  I thought about stealing one of the little portal demons but I decided I might not be able to feed it enough."

"Portal demons?" Don asked, not sure he wanted to know.

"They're these little portals we all wore while we were working.  They ate sperm so they were like a diaphragm inside us. I had the *worst* time with mine flipping around and sideways.  It was a bitch to get those things out. But they protected us from diseases.  Not that everyone wasn't tested compulsively but it was extra security.  The only thing they didn't test for was a fungus thingy that I got on my back that cleared up."  Don shuddered. "The demon was kinda like that," he said with a small shrug.  "Some foot cream and it was all better after a week.  It was like having athlete's foot only on my lower back."

Don went back into the office.  He was going to ignore that whole conversation.  He really was.

"Can I go if I talk Aiden into it?" Xander called.  "Please?"

"Call and ask her, Xander," he said patiently. "Before you ask, you may not borrow the car."

"Yes, Don."  He grabbed the phone and dialed Aiden.  "Hi, it's me.  Would you go to the porn store with me?  Don doesn't want to go and doesn't want to let me out alone tonight.  No, I need condoms."  He listened to her suggestion of the local corner store.  "I need the non-latex ones, Aiden.  I'm allergic."  He frowned.  "They do? Are they the good kind that don't break in the middle of good toy sex?  Because when they do it's just nasty to clean up."  He listened to her choke.  "Sorry, didn't realize you were eating.  Tonight or tomorrow night if you're out on a date?" he offered.  He groaned.  "Sorry, I'm more used to having girls around.  I haven't had a male friend I could do things with since tenth grade.  The girls were all I had.  Since you're better than Buffy and Willow together...."  He beamed.  "Yes, that was a compliment.  You don't put me down or ignore me."  He grinned.

"Oh, come on, it'll be fun.  I might even get ideas.  Plus, my place has strange stuff."  He grinned. "Don said we couldn't take his car but I'll pay for the cab.  Please?"  He beamed.  "Sure.  As long as I can get my condoms there and some more lube, because I need that and to replace one I kinda broke.  No, it was a gel one and the outer skin wore out so it went sploosh."  He giggled.  "Fortunately in the shower.  Please?"  He wiggled.  "Sure. I don't mean to take you away from your date. I can wait until tomorrow night if you need me to.  Oh.  Okay.  Sure."  He hung up.  "Her date said I'm wrong and should be spanked so we're going out tonight," he called, heading for his bedroom.

"Hand over the credit cards," Don ordered, holding out a hand without looking.  "That way you don't spend yourself poor."

Xander sighed and put all but one in his hand, even though he had cash it might be nice to have the card with him.  "Yes, daddy."  He skipped out, going to get a cab and head to pick up Aiden downtown.  "I'm going to pick up my shopping buddy at Westwood's and then we're going wherever she wants."  The driver nodded, heading that way.  Xander hummed along with the radio.  It was a pretty night with all the lights out.  They paused and Xander rolled down a window. "Pretty lady, give you a lift?" he called.  Two of them glared at him but Aiden laughed and got in.  "Hi, Aiden."

"Hi, Xander."  She leaned forward once she was in, giving the cabbie an address, getting a shocked look.  "I'm his shopping buddy.  Otherwise someone would have to carry home the whole store."  The cabbie just nodded once and headed out while she got comfortable.  "What else did Don do?"

"I helped Danny escape the questions of doom about how he knew Russ.  I was kinda bored as well.  I would've went to write more smut but I needed the condoms.  Just in case I got too messy tonight."  She patted him on the arm.  "So, was he really uptight or did he have a spanking thing?"

"Really uptight.  Couldn't have gotten sex outta him at all."  Xander grinned at that.  "Where's Oz?"

"He had to see Adam suddenly yesterday but he'll be back in a week."

"That's cool I guess."  They pulled up in front of the store and Xander paid, then got them out and inside. A few of the guys gave her very appreciative looks but Xander just grinned at them and went to find what he needed, basket over his arm.  "Are you that bored?" she asked, watching him pick up the *big* box of condoms.  Like brothel sized box.

"I use them with my toys too, that way I don't have as much mess to clean up.  Plus I wear one when I masturbate, that way less nasty sheets and Don doesn't have to complain so much."

She looked at him.  "Let me guess, he refuses to touch your sheets or your trash now?"

"He always has," he agreed, grinning at her. "He said I shouldn't have flirted earlier."

"Don needs laid, Xander.  We've gotta find him someone to do that."  The boy blushed and she patted him on the back.  "I know, but he won't.  He's honorable that way."  She led him to the lubes, watching as he picked up a few bottles, making her smirk and hand him one.  "Here, try this.  I liked it when it was used on me."  He read it over, then put it into the basket, moving onto the toys.  She went to look at the tapes.  She could use a good fantasy tonight.  Xander came back with a pretty full basket, making her blink in shock.  "Did you need that many?"

"Yeah."  He pointed at one.  "I've got that one if you wanted to borrow it."  She bopped him on the arm and shook her head, moving to the straight people section of the tapes instead.  Xander bounced up to the counter, putting his basket down, then went to look at the other side of the store, coming back with a few magazines, a new t-shirt, and a pair of joke handcuffs, plus he picked up one of the small wind-up penises off the novelty rack, pushing the basket over.  "These please," he said with a smile.

The clerk looked at the basket, then at him.  "Bored?"

"My boyfriend's out of the country."  That got a nod and he rang him up, making Aiden gasp in awe.  Xander looked in his wallet and sighed.  "I grabbed the wrong one."  He handed over four larger bills.

"I can't change those, sir," the clerk said, sounding apologetic.

Xander looked.  "I don't have anything smaller. Sorry, I went to the bank today.  Aiden, is this my good card?" he called, bringing her over to check.

"No, that's the one Don made you quit using and had you cancel."  She looked at him.  "Where's the nearest ATM?"

"I can run a debit card," he offered.  Xander smiled and handed it over, getting the cash back.  He ran it, letting the kid punch in his pin number.  It came up approved so apparently the twelve hundred dollars meant not a lot to him.  He bagged everything up, taking Aiden's two tapes and rung her up too, giving her her bag once she had paid.  He watched them go, then grinned.  "Gotta love the sluts."

Aiden took Xander's wallet to look in, then looked at him.  "You shouldn't carry it around like that either, Xander."

"Thinner is better according to the guy at the self-defense class."  He flagged down a cab and got her in first, then followed.  "Wanna drop these off and go do something fun?  Don can't complain if I'm with you and maybe there's hope of you finding a cute guy tonight."

"Sure.  We can do that."  They headed for her place to drop the bags off there for now, letting her change.  Then they went out again, going for a bit of browsing while they figured out what sort of club they wanted to go to.


Aiden used the desk sergeant's phone to dial Don's cell.  "It's me.  Come pick us up and take us to my place then the kid home?" she asked quietly.  "Please."  She looked at where Xander was trying to nap on a bench and was being petted by some guy she didn't know.  "Hey, hands off my little brother."

"He needed petted," the guy defended. "Not like I'm gonna mug him too, lady."

Aiden listened.  "The fourteenth.  Please?"  She smiled.  "No, he's half asleep.  No, no troubles at all.  He found me a nice guy to go out with tomorrow night and everything, Don.  Thanks.  We'll be here."  She hung up and grinned at the guy.  "Thanks."

"Welcome, Detective. Who's the kid?"

"That is the guy Flack's protecting.  He gets into major trouble."  She went to watch for Don knowing that the desk sergeant would watch Xander for her.  Besides, the mugging candidate didn't seem like he'd hurt the kid since he was petting him like a cat.  She smiled as Flack pulled up. "Thanks. We couldn't find a cab for anything and people were starting to notice Xander a lot," she said quietly. "I wanted him out of there since he's so tired he's napping on a mugger."

Don headed inside, going to take the kid from his petter.  "Thanks."

"Not a problem.  He seems like a really nice guy, plus he smells good.  Like cookies."  He beamed.  "And hey, he purrs nicely too.  Maybe he should be petted more often."

"Yeah, sure, kid, thanks for that advice."  He hefted Xander up with the desk sergeant's help.  "Drug testing him?" he offered once they were headed toward the car.

"Oh, yeah."  He nodded, letting Aiden help guide the boy into the backseat.  "Have fun, detectives."

"You too and thanks for watching out for the kid," Don offered, getting in to drive, Aiden trapped in the back by Xander's head in her lap.  "Your place?"

"Yeah, we dropped the bags back there."  He nodded, taking them to her place.  He reached back and poked Xander, making him shift and flip over, which made Aiden blush and move his head out of her lap.  "Sorry. Just meant for him to move."

"That's okay," she said, stopping her blush.  "Come on, he's got like eight bags."


"Yeah, he apparently needed stuff, including a new t-shirt."  Don moaned but followed, leaving Xander in the locked car.  He'd be safe, right?  He found the kid's bags and brought them down, watching the two guys trying to get into the back.  "What are you doing?" he called loudly.  He pulled out his badge and they ran.  "Thank you."  He put the bags into the trunk and unlocked the door, getting in to drive. "Xander?" he called.  It was only ten blocks and he wasn't going to carry the kid to bed. "Xander?" he called more loudly. "Come on, you gotta wake up enough to carry your shit upstairs."  Xander mumbled and he smirked, parking in their garage.  "Come on, Xander."  Xander grumbled but got out.  Don steered him to the back, letting him take all the bags with him.  He relocked the car and steered the young man to the elevator so they could put him to bed.  "Have fun?"  Xander nodded and yawned, resting against his shoulder. "I know, come on.  We'll let you nap in your own bed."  Xander shook his head.  "No?  Want the couch?"

"Cuddle?" he mumbled.

"No, no cuddles tonight. Sleep tonight and I'll let you cuddle in the morning."  Xander nodded, following him off the elevator.  Don heard a thump and went back to get the bag he had dropped, going to let Xander into the apartment. He was resting against the door so he had to hold him up but it was okay.  He had walked a drunk Danny home many a night and Xander was more pliable, plus he smelled better.  Xander dropped the bags in the living room and stumbled into his room, pulling off his shirt on the way.  Don followed, getting him down to his thong, which made him blush.  The kid needed real underwear. That was his next goal with the kid, real underwear.  He walked out after closing the door, going to confiscate the wallet again. He looked inside.  It was thin, only having larger bills.  He groaned, putting it into the freezer.  The boy would find it eventually but he'd have a few days of not wearing out his funds.  He looked at the bags from the store and decided he didn't want to know, going to bed himself.


Don woke up to a clicking sound, looking down at the side of his bed.  There was a small walking penis with swinging balls 'walking' his way, making him smirk.  "Did you change yourself into that?"

"Not funny," Xander complained from the doorway.  "I thought it was cute."

"It is cute."  Xander came in and laid beside him but on top of the covers.  Don checked the clock, he still had ten minutes so the kid could get in a cuddle. "Did you and Aiden have fun last night?"

"Yup, lots of fun.  Plus I found her two guys who wanted to go to their knees in the club to lick her right there so she's got dates too."

Don gave him a squeeze.  "Only you, Xander."


"What?" he asked patiently when he didn't go on.

"Um, I...."  He looked at him.  "You know I offered, right?"

"I know what you offered me but it's not necessary."

"No but it'd make me happier and help wear me out," he said finally, blushing really hard.  "I wouldn't be pushy or anything but it would help wear me out.  I realized I was emanating last night.  Kinda."

"A lot," Don agreed dryly.  "Aiden had to save you by taking you to a nearby station and calling me to come pick you guys up.  You were being petted by a suspect when I got there."  He patted him on the back.  "I'm not really into guys, Xander."

"Oh.  Even just giving you a blow job?  I mean, it'd help me a lot because I could wear that stuff out a bit more.  Adam suggested that I come to you about this before I got too heavily undersexed and had to go do stupid stuff in the bathrooms."

Don considered it.  "How would giving someone else a blowjob help you?"

"I don't know," Xander admitted.  "Science is not my thing."

"Okay, well, it's Danny's thing," he offered.  "We'll let Danny and this Adam guy talk.  See why it works, see if he can figure out if it'd really work.  Because if not, I don't want you outta the house this morning.  All right?"  Xander nodded.  "Good boy."  He gave him another squeeze and hit the snooze button on his alarm, letting the boy cuddle in again.  He'd have to consider that one for a while before he let it happen.  Because that was just odd. Receiving one he could see.  But giving one?  His alarm went off again and Xander got up, heading back to his room.  Don smiled at him.  "Go have some chocolate for breakfast.  Start the coffeemaker while I shower."

"Yes, Don."  Xander bounced in to do that while Don got ready for the day, coming out in a nice suit. "I couldn't wear a suit every day."

"You learn to get on with them," Don offered, pouring a cup of his morning god.  "Plenty of places have dress codes."  He looked the boy over.  He wasn't as happy as he had been when he had gotten back.  "Don't you have spa time today?"  Xander grinned and nodded, finishing with his chocolate sauce over his eggs dish.  Don had normal eggs.  It was better for him.  Xander curled up in his chair, one knee drawn up and his free arm around it.  "What else were you going to do today?"

"Order movies since I need new stuff.  Want anything in particular?"

Don shook his head.  "Not really.  Action stuff is good for me."

"Cool.  I like action and comedies."  Don smiled at that and nodded.  "Do you do horror movies?"

"Now and then.  We can do that together."

Xander looked at him.  "By the time you get home tonight you're going to be tired and cranky.  Just like you are on most mondays because you've had a day off."  Don smirked at that and shrugged. "I won't impose your post-work grumpiness on a poor, underpaid clerk so send me a list to my email before you come back and I'll have them shipped."

"I don't like you shopping online, it's dangerous.  People can steal your identity."

"Then I get to chop off their heads."

"What's with the head chopping?" he demanded.  "You, Danny, Nash, this Adam guy?  Something you wanna share?"

"I picked it up off Adam."

"Do you know about their little group?"

"Just that Russell helped train Danny in something and Oz knew him somehow."

"That's what I know but it's not making sense. How does a guy your age, like Oz is, learn stuff from Danny from across the US?"

"Oz is a hacker."

"Yeah, but Danny's not," Don pointed out, using his fork for emphasis.

"How would you know?  You were complaining that Danny never told you anything about his past the other day," Xander reminded him. Don looked stunned.  "Danny could have any number of skills he's not using at work that he's never told anyone about.  I can't see Russell being a hacker, unless he was one of the earlier ones and doesn't anymore.  He doesn't even like to use his computer at work. He was swearing at it when I called about our date."  He ate another bite, looking at him.  "Maybe Mac knows?"

"No, if it's anyone, it'd be Aiden or Stella.  Danny confides in Aiden and Stella's a sharp cookie.  Mac's not watching Danny like she would."  He finished up and got up, giving Xander a pat on the head.  "That's a good point, Xander.  Very observant.  You sure you don't wanna think about joining the PD?"

Xander shuddered.  "Scratchy uniforms, eww.  Plus running and working out and other nastiness."  He shuddered again.

Don smirked at him.  "You already work out.  The uniforms aren't *that* bad, and in patrol it's not always running.  Usually it's driving."

"No thanks."  He stopped Don from moving.  "Can we talk about me and the car thing?  I spend tons on cabs.  It might even be safer if I drove."

"I'll consider it.  Having a car in the city is a pain in the ass, Xander.  Use the bus."

"You said I couldn't use the bus or the subway, too many people packed together in one small, semi-airtight container."

"Oooooh," he said, considering it.  "Yeah, that could be bad if your pheromones spike.  Speaking of, I want Danny to see if yours can be diluted or whatever.  You mind?"  Xander shook his head.  "Good.  I'm gonna jump on him about that later."  He gave him another fond pat.  "I'll think about it."  He headed out once he had his gun, going to work to think, do paperwork, and eventually threaten a few people into confessing. Then he got to talk to Danny at lunch.  He walked down to where he was lounging on the station's stairs, plopping down behind him and stealing a chip.  "Why would it help Xander to *give* blowjobs?" he asked quietly.  Danny gave him an odd look.  "That's what he said Adam said.  That it'd help keep him under control."

"I don't know."  He ate one of his chips and thought.  "Not a clue. I can call and ask."

"Good, and can you look at his pheromone problem?  See if we can maybe dilute it?  Aiden let him be petted by a perp last night while waiting on me."  Danny snickered at that.  "Seriously.  They were at the fourteenth.  Some guys were starting to take interest in Xander at the club so she brought them there to call me.  He was on a bench being petted by the guy handcuffed next to him.  Just like a big cat."

Danny smirked at him.  "Did it help?"

"The guy said he smelled like cookies.  They're drug testing him," he said dryly.  "This is sciencey stuff and you'd be better at it. Mac might even let the lab do the analysis for you."

"Doubt it, but maybe," Danny agreed. "I'll talk with him after lunch."  He ate another bite.  "How did it go?  Aiden bragged that he found her two body slaves to try out."

Don nodded. "He said he found her two guys who wanted to go to their knees and do her right there in the club."  Danny choked at that, getting patted on the back.  "I guess he really does like her."

"Yeah, she said he compared her to both his best friends."  He cleared his throat and sipped his water.  "Okay," he said, shifting to look at him.  "You sure you don't want her to do 'em?"

"No, you two are close too.  Stella's busy mothering him at the moment. She's sending him carrot cake."

"Hers are really nice," Danny agreed, grinning at him.  "He gonna share?"

"Not a clue," he admitted, shrugging a bit.  "I'll probably get some," he said with a smirk.

"I'm coming for dinner that night," Danny told him, getting up and heading inside.  "Let me call him, Don."

"Sure."  Don watched him go, then groaned and got up, heading to go back to work.  He got a sandwich out of the vending machine but that was all right. He could eat at his desk while he typed in new reports for the people he had made beg and confess.


Danny walked up to where Xander was lounging in the sun the next day, flopping down beside him.  "Aren't you supposed to not be out alone?"

"Stella dropped me off and I'm calling Don every hour to tell him where I am," he said, looking at him.  "Why?"

"Because you've got three guys staring at you and it's dangerous."  He patted his shoulder.  "I talked to Adam about the hormone thing.  He said I should look at yours, see why it's set so high.  He also explained the whole giving thing to me so I could explain it to Don."  Xander grinned at that.  "You like him?"

"I think he's a great guy but I'd probably never date him.  He's real uptight."

"He can be," Danny agreed dryly.  "Then again, he's got a stressful job."

"Which means I'd be helping him," Xander pointed out, looking at him.  "Plus getting what I need.  Why does it work?"

"He said the GHS scientists, the guys who work on the group's research, think one of the chemicals in jizz helps cut some of the pheromone production.  They think it happens in everyone but more so in you guys."

"Oh.  Is that why most of the female members are straight and most of the male members are bi?"

"They think so."

Xander shrugged.  "Okay. I guess.  I have not a clue about the sciencey stuff."  Danny smirked at that.  "I don't.  I barely passed biology.  That was with tutoring from Willow."  He flipped onto his stomach, his feet up in the air, waving slowly.  "I was thinking about joining a cooking class that's coming open for beginners," he said, tracing designs on the grass.  "That would get me out of the house and make sure I didn't make Don eat more chocolate for breakfast.  He complained when I splashed some on his bagel this morning."

"I think that's a good idea and something everyone could use," Danny agreed, patting him on the shoulder.  Xander leaned into the touch.  "No massage today?"

"I did.  I'm relaxed and happy but in a 'pet me' mood."  He grinned slightly at him.  "You think it'll be okay?  I mean with the hormones and everything?"

"Should be.  You'll be sweating some.  Try it and see, Xander.  If you have to drop out after the first class, they should refund most of the price."  Xander nodded.  "Anything else on your mind?"

"The sensei said I was a smartass.  Again."  He looked at him.  "He said he hates to teach me. My trained reflexes and responses aren't good for his methods."

"So switch styles."

"He said none of them would take advantages of what my body does naturally.  He said I'm too stretchy and limber for anything but yoga and that's not a fighting style.  Plus I've got the languid movement problem, his words, unless my life's in danger.  He asked me the first day if I had ever fought and I told him I had helped protect some people back in high school but I was more a weapon's person.  He had two of his top students jump me in a street method instead of formal martial arts and I got free of one then the other one I kinda snapped and went all Sunnydale on him.  The sensei had seen it before at least, he knew what staking was, but he said that none of the formal styles would help me any. That I needed to totally retrain my body and to forget being a happy, slutty person."

Danny nodded slowly.  "That sounds like a question to ask Mac."

"Mac doesn't like me.  I scared him with what he found out about Sunnydale."

"Not really.  He even understood why you didn't tell him about the Initiative.  He said it's reasonable to not want to upset him by having to defend yourself from military groups.  He did say that you should probably stay in during Fleet Week, just in case."  Xander shrugged at that.  "That way you wouldn't have to worry about reprisals this year."

"Might be a good idea, yeah," Xander admitted quietly.  "Does he think it's probable?"

"You'd have to ask him.  He doesn't tell me that stuff."  He smirked some and spanked Xander, making him yelp.  "Come on, Mac's in his office and he's between cases so maybe he'll be able to talk about that stuff."  Xander nodded and got up, but he balked at the subway.  Danny looked at him.  "It's not dangerous."

"Don said it could be with my hormones."

Danny looked at him.  "It'll be fine this time and if it's not we'll get off at the next stop and take a cab."  Xander nodded, going down with him.  "You've got to get a pass."  Xander went to the machine to do that.  Danny hit the right code for him and Xander fed in a larger bill, making him sigh.  "Desperate?"

"Hadn't broken it yet," Xander said sheepishly, taking the really expensive card.  They walked through the turnstile and down to the waiting area.  He noticed some people glancing at them and moved closer to Danny, who gave him a look.  "Sorry."

"Just relax," he ordered quietly.  "It'll be okay. You might get groped or mugged but nothing else."  Xander stuck his wallet down his pants, tucking it around his thong's side strap.  Danny rolled his eyes.  "More than I needed to see."

"I know.  Sorry.  Harder for them to take."

"It is," he decided.  The train pulled up and he got Xander onto it, letting him sit down while he stood next to him.  He glanced around, his badge openly worn this time.  Most everyone backed off but two punks were staring at his gun.  "Don't," he said quietly.  One sneered.

Xander coughed and glared, tapping his fingers on his thighs.  "He's my bodyguard.  Do you mind?" he mouthed.  The kids backed off.  "Thank you."  He grinned at Danny.  "This is nearly as fun as a roller coaster."

"I've got to get him to take you to Coney Island," Danny said fondly, grinning at him.  Xander wiggled and beamed back.  "Never been to an amusement park?"

"County fairs every once in a while when Willow could get her parents to bring me too.  Seventh grade class trip to a water park."

Danny just nodded.  "Can I go beat your parents?"

"You might ask Oz.  He said he had a talk with them. Since he doesn't talk all that much, I'm not sure it wasn't a physical discussion with the drunk."

"Ah."  He put a hand on his gun to keep the hand trying to move it from succeeding.  "I will shoot you," he warned.  He glared at the punk kid.  He sat back down quickly when Xander stood up.  "Behave."

"I am."  He stared that one down now.  "Do we have problems with my bodyguard, little boys?"  They nodded.  "Then go get fucked and get over it.  After all, I'm gay and I'm tougher than you.  Maybe you should try it."  Danny got them off when the doors opened. "Hey!  I haven't gotten to verbally bitchslap anyone in days," he complained.  "I deserve them.  I've been a good boy all day."

Danny stopped pulling and looked at him.  "No you haven't.  You don't behave unless Don makes you."  Xander grimaced at that.  "That was a challenge, Xander.  They would've jumped you.  You may get away with it in LA but not here."

"My ex Cordy could've had them crying in minutes.  All while doing her nails."

"Yeah, but you're not a girl."  He continued to drag him up and out of the subway.  Xander put his pass into his pocket.  "Thanks.  It'll save me money for the next month."  He walked him up the street, taking him to the station.  Aiden stopped to look at him.  "He shot back at the kids who tried to lift my piece," he admitted.  "Told 'em to start taking it up the butt so they could be tougher."  She snickered and hugged Xander.  "I figured the four block walk was better than the fight."

"Probably," she agreed, walking with them.  "Why are we in?"

"He needs to talk ta Mac about his martial arts."

"Ah.  He's in his office on the phone.  He's got that resigned, there's a formal event coming look."  Danny smirked at that and tapped on the door, walking Xander inside and putting him into a chair.

"Of course, Chief.  I'll be there.  I've got to go. A problem just popped up in a test result."  He hung up.  "Please let this not be serious.  We're getting him down here touring in a few minutes."

"No, I needed to talk to someone about what the sensai said," Xander admitted.

Mac leaned back.  "What did he say?"

"That I was a smartass who needed to retrain everything about myself, including giving up being happy and slutty."

Mac blinked at that.  "Well...."  He coughed.  "What else did he say, Xander?"

"That I had this slow and languid movements unless I was in mortal jeopardy.  He had me tested by two of the higher students and I nearly staked one.  The other I got past okay.  He said there's no form that could help with the way I'm stretchy and bendy.  Except yoga and that's not a fighting style."

"No, I'm impressed by some of those positions when people can hold them," Aiden agreed, "not scared of them."  Xander grinned at her and gave her a hug.

"There's one style and it's a fighting style not a kata style," Mac offered.  "It's more swords and weapons though."

"I like weapons," Xander pointed out.  "I have my own sword but I need a different one, mine's too heavy."

"You can have that katana I let you borrow if you get serious about it," Danny offered.  Mac blinked at him and he grinned. "I like swords.  They're pretty."

"They are," he agreed, looking at Xander again.  That had been an interesting note.  "I'll see if I can get you to them.  You still have some lesser gaps in your fighting abilities from what the guy told me.  That's why I suggested you start with something lesser."

"Let him box, Mac," Aiden suggested.  "Or learn how to street brawl.  That'd do him better anyway."

"It would," Mac agreed, nodding at that.  "How about that, Xander?"

"Okay.  Would I come home with a split lip again?"

"Hopefully you'd learn how to duck and block," Danny said, patting through his hair.  "Don wanted me to look at his hormones too, Mac.  They're a bit high."  Xander groaned and leaned forward.  "Yeah, I realized that's why people wanted to pet you."  He shrugged at the amused looks.  "He's good to pet.  Anyway, he wants me to look at the stuff the science people in GHS are doing and see if I can find a way to dilute Xander's natural power of protection."  Xander looked at him.  "It does protect you.  Anyone who wants to pet you won't want to kill you."

"Oh."  He hadn't considered that.  "I guess that's better but then they take me to pet me."

"Yup, Don would like to cut that down," Danny agreed. "That'll mean sweat analysis and stuff, Mac."

"Use it as private research.  Don't interfere with cases."

"Of course not."  Danny smirked at Xander.  "We should let Hawkes take them for us."

"What sort of samples?" Xander asked hesitantly.  "Like skin and muscle samples?  Like blood?"

"Maybe a small skin scraping, sweat, and probably a bit of blood," Danny offered. "Nothing too bad."

"Oh.  As long as it won't hurt."

"Shouldn't," Aiden assured him, taking over the petting duties.  "Anything else good going on?"

"There's a cooking class coming open for beginners but I'm not sure if it's safe with the way I'm broadcasting," Xander said, looking at her. "I need to condition my hair."

"I don't mind."  He grinned at her again.  "Mac, can I help him?"

"Sure," he agreed dryly.  They smirked at him.  "Don't let it interfere with cases. Let Sheldon help if you want.  He likes research.  I'll talk to my friend, Xander."  The boy smiled and nodded.  "Anything else?"

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you directly about the Initiative, Mac.  I didn't want to put you into a position to have bad orders sent by your former bosses," Xander said quietly.

"I understand, Xander, it's a concern when you had to protect yourself from torturing bastards in uniforms.  The real military is nothing like that."

"If you say so."

Mac nodded.  "I do."  The boy nodded at that, Aiden's hand not moving.  "Then we're good.  I would caution Don to keep you inside during Fleet Week this year.  Just in case someone does try that.  It's a valid worry.  There's people higher up who want to cover that particular operation up now that it was brought down by four teenagers and a librarian from Britain."  Xander grinned at that.  "They had no business doing that.  Most of the regular troops would've balked serving beside the demons and the torturing they were doing to find information and do experiments using wasn't right or proper.  That's not how we all are."

"I trust you."

"Good."  He smirked.  "I heard rumors about a group out there and looked it up.  When someone asked me why I wanted to know I said I had met you but that you had moved on to live somewhere safer than the city.  You kids did good work, but you don't have to do it here.  There's plenty of people around here who do the work."  Xander nodded at that.  "Good.  Now, go home."  Xander got up.  "Danny, I thought you were done for the day."

"I am.  I escorted him in.  He told the two kids on the subway who were trying to lift my gun to start taking it like he did to get tougher."  He walked Xander out and got them into a cab.  It was safer.

"Can you talk to Don about me getting my own car?" Xander begged.  "Please?"

"I'll try but cars in the city are expensive."

"I've got parking with the building," Xander reminded him.  "Insurance is atrocious for me anyway because of my age.  I'd get a calmer car, not something flashy that would make me want to speed through traffic."  The cabbie laughed at that.  "I would.  You can't make out comfortably in a sports car."   He looked at Danny again. "I'd even let him or you or someone go with me to look at cars."

"We'll see, Xander.  I'll talk to him."  He looked around.  "Last time I knew, the address he gave you was in the other direction," Danny noted, holding up his badge.  "And you'd better reset the meter too."  The cabbie grumbled but did that.  "Thank you."  He looked at him. "I'm definitely seeing the benefit now."

"I had another one who tired to take me the other night," Xander admitted sheepishly. "He wanted me to blow him."

"Uh-huh.  That's still against the law.  That's kidnaping with intent to rape, Xander."  Xander shivered and curled up against his side.  "We'll talk to Don.  It's probably safer for you.  Go car looking online to see what models you want to look at."  Xander nodded, giving him a faint smile.  "Then you can show me what Don was talking about, the mini you."

"Okay."  He paid the fare and got them up into the condo, grabbing the little wind-up penis and starting it off on the table, making Danny laugh.  "He asked if I had turned myself into one."  He went into the kitchen to get a soda then went back to the computer to look at cars.  "Sedan or coupe?" he called.

"What did you want?" Danny countered, going back to help him.  "This your first one?"

"Nope, third.  I had one that I was forced to buy off my Uncle Rory, it was a boat.  A convertible boat but still a boat.  It blew up on my first road trip.  I ended up working at the Fabulous Ladies Nite Club in Oxnard for about two months so I could afford to get home. Then I had another jumker that I have in storage at the moment.  It doesn't run either.  I was going to sell it for scrap since it doesn't run."  He looked up.  "I wouldn't wish that car on anyone but it held stuff."

"Get something that talks to you, Xander.  Two or four doors."  Xander nodded, going to look at the classifieds first.  Then through the GHS classifieds.  He squealed at something, making Danny look.  "Velvet interior SUV, lavender.  Runs good," he read, then shook his head.  "Well, that's definitely something.  I'm not sure what. Where is it?"

"Rhode Island."  He looked at him.  "Is that too far to go look?"  Danny nodded.  "Even with a weekend trip?"

"That you could do," he admitted. "There's one in Boston, look at that one."  Xander clicked on that ad, looking it over.  Soft leather seats, runs great, good engine, also an SUV.  "Do you guys usually need something that big?"

"Part protection and part rolling sex shop," Xander said with a shrug.  "It's the same make and model as the other one."

"I know a guy in Boston. I could have him go look at it for you," Danny offered.  Xander beamed.  "Once you get Don's permission.  Does it have a radio?"

"I can have one put in."

"Sure."  Don walked in and slammed the door.  "Bad day?"

"No, fairly good day."  He came back, looking at the ad, the shook his head quickly.  "Impractical."

"It's safer," Xander reminded him.  "It's harder to get into a Range Rover."

"It may be but it's still a gas hog and it's impractical in this city."  Xander pouted at him and clicked on the other end.  "Okay, how did they recover the seats with black velvet?" he demanded.  "It doesn't seem like it'd hold up."

"Bet they drove naked," Xander teased.  Both older men blushed at that.  "Well, we are like that."

"Find something more practical," Don ordered, heading for the kitchen.

"He's got one in storage but he said it doesn't run," Danny offered. "If we could...."

"I'm going to drive it into a bad neighborhood, park it, leave the keys in it, and then walk away," Xander said dryly, clicking on one.  "Don, they're all sports cars."

"That would get you carjacked," Don called, coming back to look.  "That's a Mustang."

"Yeah but it's their baby.  I know them, I met them at the convention.  She carries around pictures of her mustangs in her wallet like they're her children or pets."

Don shrugged.  "Then why is she selling one?"

"Her keeper hates the color on that one."  He pouted at him.  "Danny said he's got a friend in Boston who can check that one out for me."

"You'd spend more in gas than you do in cab fare right now," Don pointed out patiently.  "It's not practical, Xander.  Even if it's an armored tank."

"No, the hummer's in Miami," he said, clicking on that link.

"Butter soft leather seats, much love in the car in the past, runs good, can get away from shooting kidnapers, F-1 engine booster installed for when necessary," he read.  "Interesting."  He took another drink and sighed.  "The one in Boston is more practical than that.  What sort is it?"

"Range Rover," Danny offered.  "Look up their stats on the car site, Xander."  Xander went back to get the make and model, then typed it in to find the ratings and the MGP and all that stuff.   "Not too terrible," he offered.  "Nearly twenty-five MPG."

"Oooh," Xander said, looking at something.  "This person is doing a chemical engine.  No gas."  He pulled that one up, looking at it.  "Runs on chemical obsidian mix?" he read, looking at Danny.  "Huh?  I know what obsidian is."

"Interesting but I'd want to see it in action," Danny told him.  Xander nodded.  "Are they in the city?"  Xander nodded.  "Then maybe we'll see on my next day off."  He patted him on the hand.  "Don, that Range Rover isn't that bad."

"It's still a big gas hog.  He should have something more modest.  Something that doesn't scream 'I'm loaded' and 'carjack me'."  He took another sip and sat down to get onto another site.  "What did Adam say about driving stuff when you asked him?"  Xander gave him an odd look.  "I figured you talked to him first.  You seem to."

"He suggested I hire a driver and buy a modest Beamer or something in that class.  Understated old money but safe since it'd be a true bodyguard.  He suggested Mac find me the driver among his buddies."

"That's not a bad idea," Don admitted. "But you're not quite rich enough to need that treatment.  Plus you'd have to find him another place. I don't think I could live with another person."

"Sure."  He got back to looking.  "They're trendy cars," he said, grimacing.  "I'm not really the trendy sort," he said at the odd looks.  "Cordy was trendy.  Not me.  I was anti- trendy really."  He settled in to keep looking.  "Eww."  He flipped off that picture quickly.

"Look at the classic muscle cars," Danny suggested.

Xander looked at him for a minute. "I'm not compensating, I'm not a high school football star, and I'm not going bald."

Danny snickered at that.  "Other guys like them too," he offered.

"Yeah, because that's what the cool kids in their generation drove.  Which were usually jocks," Xander said dryly, going back to it. He backed out of that site, going to something more modest and less sporty and trendy.  He looked at Don and pouted.  "Please?"

"Fine, let his friend look at the Range Rover," he sighed, getting up and heading to change. "At least you'll be safe in it."

"It said it's got bulletproof panels," Xander called after him. Don just moaned at that.  "Sorry."

"No, that's probably a good thing," Don decided, ignoring the mental flash of Xander explaining to the first cop that pulled him over how this was a better car for him because it was kidnaping proof, showing all the various features.  He came out. "I've got to do range time tonight, kid. You coming?"  Xander looked at him and blinked.  "Yes, you. You need it.  Before you start carrying your gun, I want to make sure you do know how to use it properly."

"Yes, Don."  He looked at Danny.  "Want to come with us?"

"No, I'm good without going," Danny offered.

"Grab your gear and let's go," Don ordered.  "You too, Danny.  You could use the practice."  Xander grinned and went to change clothes, handing Danny a t-shirt then going back into his room.

Danny looked at the shirt, then shook his head.  "Not my thing, sorry, Xander."  He handed back the 'I'm bigger and better, wanna try me and find out' shirt.  Xander just grinned and handed over a plain one.  "Thanks."  He changed shirts, ignoring Don's teasing smirk.  "I know it's true, I don't have ta state it on a shirt," he defended. "After all, I've had girls who refused ta do me because I'm so good."

Xander came out.  "I put two guys in traction, let's not start comparing."  He found his gun from where Don had hidden it, making sure it was loaded and ready.  It went into the carrying case and was clipped onto his waist.  "Okay, I'm ready."

"Unload it.  You can't bring it loaded onto the range," Don ordered.

Xander unloaded it and put the clip into his pocket.  "Okay, now I'm ready."

"Let's go," Don said, taking them down to the car.

"You know, that SUV is lavender," Danny teased. "It'll go with some of your suits."

"Unless you want to be a target, lay off my suits," Don said firmly.

"Sure, twinkle toes," Danny teased.

"You dance, Don?"

"Not often."  He pulled out of the parking spot and headed to the range.  Before Xander started to help Danny.  "So, the thing Adam said?"

"It's true.  The GHS scientists working on stuff said that there's some chemical in jizz that helps hold down the pheromone production."  Don gaped at him.  "Yeah."  He grinned.  "So it could keep him safer to blow you and you'd have a happier day most days."

"With the way his hormones run, it might take a hockey team for that," Don complained.

Xander blushed.  "Not really.  I know not wearing it out daily is a bad thing.  Even if I do have to do myself."

Danny patted him on the back.  "If I wasn't dating, I'd let you do me too, Xander."  Xander blushed brighter.  "Just between friends."  Xander slunk down.

Don glared at him. "Don't embarrass the kid for having urges."

"You two sound married sometimes," Xander complained.

"If we were, you'd be the maid we'd be sharing," Don countered with a smirk for him.

"Can we change subjects?" Xander squeaked.

"Sure, Xander.  So, Danny, why were you two at the station?"

"Xander needed ta talk about his training with Mac.  The sensei guy said he wasn't going to be able to keep going.  He's too stretchy."

"Too stretchy?"

"I'm too languid and smooth in the wrong ways.  He said I'd have to retrain everything about myself and quit being a GHS member," Xander said bitterly.  "I'm not willing to give up who and what I am so he said he can't teach me anything."  He shrugged a bit.  "It sucks but it happens."

"Mac said he knew someone who taught a weapons style that might work better for him," Danny offered.  "He'll get in touch with him for Xander."

"That'd help," Don agreed.  "It'd also be good exercise."  He parked and looked at Xander.  "If they ask, you're my little brother."  Xander nodded at that.  "Good."  He got out and the others followed, heading after him.  Don and Danny flashed their badges at the door guard, getting a nod.  "My little brother.  I'm making sure he can use the one he just bought."

"Sure.  Though I heard he was your bitch."  The guard looked at Xander, then at Flack.  "Good taste."

"Thanks," he said dryly.  "Who told you that?"

"Aiden, Stella, and Danny have all called me that," Xander noted quietly.  Don rolled his eyes and punched Danny on the arm.

"Ow!  It's the truth. You're his protector."

"Yeah, but he's still not my bitch."  The guard snickered but he let them in.  "Thanks."

"Not a problem, Flack."  He nodded at Xander. "Can you use it?"  He nodded. "You sure?"

Xander nodded again.  "Scored in the eightieth percentile when the guy at the shop tested me."  He followed Don, taking the ear protectors and glasses he got handed.  "Thank you."

"Welcome."  He looked at him.  "Where did you buy that?"

"The same place most of the PD goes.  I went to the most legal place I could find."  He followed them onto the range itself, which was mostly deserted.  There were a few officers at the other end.  Don set them up at this end, letting Danny get his own cubicle.  Xander still flinched at the first shot.

"Good instincts," Don praised.  "Put on the ear protectors."  Xander did that and Don waved a hand.  Xander sighed and took the front position, pulling his gun out to check it again and reload it.  He calmly flicked the safety off and took aim, squinting some.  Then he shook his head and changed glasses with Don.  Don chuckled but that pair didn't have scratches.  Xander took aim again and had to squint again but that was all right.  He shot, and then tilted his head to the side and banged the gun on the counter, adjusting the sight again.  He did it again and this time he was much closer to the center.  The rest of the clip went into the same spot.  Xander got out of the way and took off his ear protectors.

"Did you just bang the gun to adjust the sight?" Danny asked him.  Xander nodded, looking sheepish.  "Those things have screws."

"I can't get it to tighten.  Even the guy at the shop couldn't get it to tighten."  He shrugged.  "He tried really hard and threatened to superglue it on me too. I said I'd rather dent the gun."

Don took it to look over, then pulled his pocket knife and opened it, using it to tighten the screw.  He checked it then adjusted it slightly with a tap before finishing it and handing it back.  "There.  That is part of proper gun maintenance, Xander."

"I know but I couldn't find that one on this one.  I trained on a Glock, this one's different."

"Then why didn't you get what you trained on?" Danny asked patiently.

"He said I'm too limp wristed for something that powerful."

Don shook his head.  "We'll see."  He walked down to the other end, taking something out of the cabinet and bringing it back, loading bullets in.  "Here, prove it."  Xander checked it, then loaded the clip and cocked it, putting back on his hearing protectors and glasses.  This time the target was much better.  Don nodded, bringing it in to look.  "Okay, so heavier is better in guns."  Xander nodded, handing it back along with the glasses. "We'll fix that one later."  He took the glasses and did his own round, getting pretty much spot on the center of the target.

Danny pointed for Xander's benefit.  "They wanted us all ta do that but I'm not that great."  He pointed at his own target, earning a smile.  It looked a lot like Xander's first one.  "I'm a geek, not a gun guy.  I keep in practice in case I have to, but I don't like it."

"I like weapons."  Xander shrugged and looked at Don's target.  "I'm probably not going to get that good."

"You were also squinting," Don reminded him. "Therefore you will talk to someone about glasses today as well."  He went to put the other gun back, marking it as dirty so the people on punishment could clean it later.  Then he came back.  "Okay.  Danny, you suck."

"Yeah, well, some of us are geeks," he noted dryly.

Don looked at him.  "Your bad shooting could endanger my life."

"I make qualifications."

Xander handed over everything and walked off, going back to the car so those two could fight in peace.  He held up his target for the front guard.  "That's not bad, right?"

"No, that's pretty good.  That's qualification inside the second ring."  Xander grinned at that.  "Did you remember to bring a reload?"

"Nope, but I have the feeling I'm going to be cleaning it and reloading it at home while those two argue some more."  He walked off at the laugh, going to break into the car so he could sit in there.

Danny came out, giving the guard a questioning look.  "He said he's giving you two the chance to fight in peace."

"Yeah," he snorted, heading to get the boy out of the car.  "How did you get in there?"

"I picked the lock.  It comes in handy.  My old piece of junk had one I had to pick because a key broke in it once."

Danny drug him inside again, shaking his head the whole way.  "He picked the lock on your car, Flack."

Don looked at him.  "Good, then I won't worry about him forgetting his keys some night."  He handed him his own gun.  "Again.  I want to make sure you're proficient with everything in the house."

"Does that mean you want to lunge at me with a sword like Danny did?"  He took the glasses and ear protectors back, taking his spot and checking the gun.  "Where's the safety on this one?"

"Other side," Danny said patiently.  Xander looked then made sure it was off.  He took aim and squinted, then got down to do this target too.   "It's fairly consistent."

"Mine's weighted differently," Don pointed out.  "His barretta is way too light.  It's a purse gun."  Xander got finished and handed it back, waving his bracing wrist.  "Too heavy?"

"Too much recoil," he complained.

"You still did okay," Don admitted, pulling in that target to look at it closer.  "Good enough."  He clapped him on the back.  "Okay, let's go.  Is the car locked again?"  Xander nodded.  "Good, show me how you did it."  Xander sighed and they put everything up, letting Don get a reload from the stores.  Then they went out to watch Xander pick open the car door again.  They got in, Don and Xander in the front, Danny leaning on the back of the front seat.  "Not too bad, Xander."  He glanced at him.  "Where's your piece of crap?"

"Devi's garage."  That got a nod and they headed that way first.  Xander got out to let them see it, not really having to point it out.  It was the only POS in the garage.

Danny looked at it, then shook his head.  "I don't think anyone would even steal it, Xander."

Xander shrugged. "It only cost me three hundred."  He checked it for stuff, finding his CD and a few other things in the back and trunk.  Including a sex toy he didn't realize he had.  He got underneath, finding the hidden bag he had put inside a hole in the frame.  He came out, tossing it at Don.  "Pictures."  He checked under the hood, then the trunk again, finding the hidden spot for cash back there.  "My last girlfriend was a money hoover," he explained with a sheepish grin.  "It kept her from eating it all."  He put that into his pocket and moved closer.  "That's Willow.  That's Buffy."  He flipped.  "That's Cordy and Anya.  They understand each other all too well for my peace of mind."  He flipped.  "That's us right after graduation.  The night before I left for my first road trip, the one that got me stranded in Oxnard."  He flipped again.  "That's Buffy's mom.  Love the woman most of the time."  He flipped again.  "That's all us and Giles.  There's Oz against Willow's side."

Danny smirked at that one.  "Well, Oz had good taste."

Don looked at him.  "Think you can finish setting up the computer so he's got his bookmarks and I've got mine?"

"Why can't you?  Not like I'm some computer guy," he complained, frowning at him.

"I think he thinks that you know Oz, who is a hacker," Xander explained, "so therefore you might know something about them."

Danny just nodded once, then smirked and shook his head. "It's more of an exclusive club. Sorry, Don."  He clapped him on the back and took the next picture to look at.  "Huh.  Bathing suits."

Xander groaned and took that one.  "Anya found the stash."  He pulled out the other to count it.  "She stole six hundred from here too."  He rolled his eyes but put it up.  They looked at him. "I worked construction my last nine months in Sunnydale."  He flipped to the last one.  "That's Jesse," he said quietly, tapping the picture.  Don gave him a hug.  "Thanks.  So, can we drive this somewhere and let it be stolen?"

"Sure," Danny agreed.  "I'll do that.  Meet you guys where in an hour?"

"Which way you heading?" Don asked.

"Staten.  Gotta support the old neighborhood."

Don nodded.  "The mall out that way.  They had one of those one hour eyeglass places."  Danny nodded, taking the keys from Xander.  They watched as it took six times and Xander pushing on something in the engine for it to start.  It drove off once the hood was down.  Don shook his head.  "Really crappy car."  He got Xander back into his, handing him back the pictures.  "Come on, let's go fix the squint."

"I only squint when I'm doing targets."

"Which means you'll do it when you drive," Don said patiently, heading off for that mall.  "It'll be about an hour if you wanted to nap."

"No, I'm okay," he said, but he did yawn.  "How do you do that?"

Don gave him his favorite shit-eating, I'm getting into trouble now smirk.  "I'm adorable, yet forceful, and people want to follow my commands so they'll please me and make me give them special looks and shoulder squeezes.  Nap."  Xander sighed but settled in to nap while he drove.  Don smiled at the cute picture, shaking his head.  Xander grew on people.  A year ago he'd never have imagined having someone like Xander living in the same building as him, much less in the same place and being under his protection.  Now, he needed to talk to the boy about not spoiling him anymore.  He had seen the new suit in his closet and it was nice, but he didn't need boyfriend presents.  They finally got in and parked, him letting Xander sleep for a few more.  After all, he didn't see Danny yet.


Danny parked in the worst neighborhood he could, getting out.  He blatantly left the keys in the ignition, the window down, and looked at the guys watching from a stoop a few doors down.  "The owner's getting a better one."  He held up his badge. "It runs crappy, he had to push on something in the engine to get it started, but it's fixable and runs once you get it started.  Let someone who needs it have it."

The guys came over to look at the car.  "POS, man," one complained.

Danny smirked from the bus stop.  "That's why he's getting a new one.  He's a former construction worker who hit the lottery recently.  It goes well once it's started."  The bus came and he got on, leaving it with them.  If they didn't know someone who could use it, they'd find someone and sell it for scrap.  He had to change busses to get to the mall, but he found Don's car in the parking lot.  He also saw a more familiar car and mentally groaned.  This was not making him happy.  He headed inside, glancing at the map.  There were two eyeglass places.  He went for the closest one, finding them waiting in there.  "We good?"

"Ten more minutes and they've got an opening," Don offered, handing him a magazine.  "I'm wondering if we'll have to strap him down.  This is his first ever.  After this, we're going to do a complete physical this week too."

"I don't need one," Xander whined.

"Shut up, Xander."

"But, Don!  Danny, make him see sense," he begged at the head shake.

"When was your last one?" Danny asked.

"Aww, what do we have here?" a male voice taunted.  "Two cops and a geek?"

Xander glared at him.  "Do you fucking well mind, you piss drinking moron?"  The man looked startled. "Having a whining and begging session here, and no, the two cops were right but I'm nowhere near a geek.  Thanks anyway though.  At least you admire me for something."  He grinned sweetly.  The man ran off.  "Piss off," he said when Danny opened his mouth.  "Already not in a good mood."

Don handed Danny a buck.  "Go get him a candy bar and stay away from the gang kids.  Before I have to let the whining one go after them this time."  Danny went to do that.  "Xander," he started patiently.  "Your mouth is going to get you in trouble.  Around here, that's a reason to kick your ass.  You can't fight that well."

Xander looked at him.  "I can if I'm in danger."

"He'd be bringing his friends.  Let me speak, you be cute and cuddly, okay?"  Xander sighed and nodded.  "Good."  He patted him on the back. "We'll get you glasses that make you look cute and cuddly too.   That way you don't go blind."  The nurse coughed and Xander followed her.  Don took the candy bar when Danny came back. "You go to the store?" he demanded.

"No, I apologized to the poor confused Crypt who was nearly vibrating in agitation," he said dryly, flopping back down.  "I tried to warn him on the subway when he tried the two who were going after my gun."

Don nodded.  "He'll learn.  Though, that wasn't too bad.  I'll have to remember that."  Danny swatted him and shook his head.  "You need yours changed too?"

"Nah, I'm good.  I could use mine adjusted but I can do that while they fit him."  He settled in to wait, only smirking when Xander's voice floated out, still complaining.  "When was his last physical?"

"When got checked for pheromones.  Before that, when he was in the ER for a broken arm."  Danny groaned.  "His parents weren't big on that.  So, did Oz have a talk or a *talk* with his parents?"

"I think he had a *talk* with them.  Something about his father's gambling debts being the least of his problems if he came near Xander again."  He shrugged and looked over as the door opened and a nice looking woman walked in.  "So, we're taking your little brother where after this?" he asked dryly.

"Getting him glasses.  Dinner.  He needs to eat tonight and the best way is to make him eat somewhere other than home.  Though, Aiden got him to eat bagels with her."  He went back to his magazine.   Xander whined again.  He got up and walked back there, glaring at him. "Quit."  Xander quit.  "Thank you! It's not killing you."

"The drops can burn," the tech offered gently.  "We hear plenty of it.  You could stay and hold his hand."

"He's not mine, lady, I protect him.  I don't coddle him that much."  Xander nodded at that.  "See?"  She smiled and nodded, going back to the tests.  "Don't make me handcuff you, Xander."

"Yes, Don," he complained mildly.  He did what was told of him and behaved.  He didn't like making Don upset.  It meant he got less cuddles at home.  Even if he did have to have dorky glasses to drive.


Don came home two days later to find two large boxes in the middle of the living room and the bookshelves full of books and tapes.  "Uh-huh.  Didn't I say no online shopping?" he called.  No answer.  "Xander?" he tried again.  He walked around the boxes, heading to check the office and the boy's bedroom, finding him curled up and asleep.  "Aww," he said quietly, coming in to cover him.  Xander kicked it off immediately.  "Fine, be that way."  He went to look at the titles, smiling at some of them but baffled by some.  A few were even in some odd Japanese characters.  He looked at the front.  "Anime?" he guessed.  He put it down and went to change clothes.  He came out and Xander was still asleep. He went to start dinner, not hearing anything from the bedroom.  It was almost unnatural.  Xander snored quietly but he did make noise.  He went back in there, checking for a pulse.  The boy was cold but alive, he had a pulse.  He was also flushed.  He was sweating.  Don tried to wake him, no go.  He tried a bit harder, remembering that Mac woke hard sometimes too when he crashed in his office after a really hard case.  He tried a third time, then called an ambulance.  He went to let them in, nodding back toward the bedroom.  "First door on the right.  He won't wake up.  He's not snoring."

The paramedics checked him over, one getting a weak swat.  "Does he take any medicine, sir?"

"Detective and no.  No drugs, no meds, nothing like it.  His version of drugs is chocolate and sex."

"It looks like he may be chemically suppressed," the other one noted quietly.

Don stiffened when he heard the door open.  He glanced in the hallway and snuck across to his room, grabbing his gun.  He came out and found someone in the hallway.  "Freeze.  Who are you?"

"I own the building," he said placidly, hands up.  "You are?"

"I met the owner of the building, buddy.  Try again.  ID, now."

"All right, if you tell me who you are and why there's paramedics here."

"My roommate, Xander, if you must know.  And I'm Detective Flack."  The man swallowed.  "No, I'm not going to ask you again.  ID, now!"  He pulled out his wallet and tossed it over.  Don caught it one handed, glancing inside.  "Sherman.  Well, Sherman, the owner of the building's name is Blair.  He's a really pale guy and you're not."  The man tried to back up.  "Ah!  Don't move."  He reached in blindly, dropping the wallet to find his cuffs.  He pounced the guy when he tried to move, slamming him against the wall to cuff him.  "I said don't move. You should know better.  Now, answer in a simple, short sentence.  Who are you, why are you in my apartment, and what did you do to Xander?"

"De..Devi sent me to gather Xander.  He heard someone was after him, a cop this time.  I only sedated him."

"With what?" one of the paramedics demanded.

"Don!" Aiden yelled.

"Get in here, go with Xander," he ordered.  She nodded, coming to help.  "With what?"

"Pain killers.  Percocet!"

"Damn it, the kid has no tolerance," Aiden shouted.  He flinched again.  "You kill his ass, Don.  I'll make sure it's ruled a good shoot.  These guys won't mind, will you, guys?"

"No, detective," they agreed, loading Xander.  Xander swatted at one and kicked at the other.

"Xander, baby, it's Aiden," she said, stroking his cheek.  "We're taking you to the ER.  Someone gave you drugs, baby.  Just relax and let us go with you.  I'm going to be right beside you and damn if some nurse will move my ass."  He settled down with a mumble.  "I know, Don'll be right with us once he's got the guy booked and in a cell with a few guys who'll want to rape him."  She followed, going with him.

"That's not a bad idea," Don agreed.  He drug him to the living room, calling his boss.  "Send me someone at home to pick up the burglar who sedated Xander.  Now please.  Yeah, he's in cuffs.  No, not yet.   Because he broke into my house, boss.  Please.  No, Aiden went with him.  Thanks."  He hung up and looked at him.  "How bad does Devi not understand the word 'no'?" he demanded.  "Xander told him no repeatedly.  He's not coming back.  If there's another cop after him, we'll handle that one too."  The man went really pale.  "So yeah, you're in deep shit and Devi and I are gonna have a talk."  Someone tapped on the door.  "What!"  Oz walked in.  "They just took Xander to the ER."

"I saw that."  He looked at the demon, then smirked.  "You know what I am."  The man started to cry.  "Xander is my pack.  Do we understand each other?"  The man nodded frantically. "Good, pass that back to Devi when you call him to bail you out.  Because the boy will not be hurt, not without me and the others who love him coming for him.  He's out of the business.  For good."  The man nodded.  Oz moved out of the way of the people coming up the hall, opening the door.  "Ah, officers."

"Him, Flack?" one asked, nodding at Oz.

"No, he's one of the kid's friends from home.  This one," he said, pointing at the guy in cuffs.  They looked.  He slapped him and he became visible again. "Don't do that again."  The man started to cry for real.

"His back," Oz told him, coming over to hit in the right spot.  "There, once a day," he said, instructing one of the cops. "That freezes that skill for a day."  That got a nod and they walked him off.  He looked at Don again.  "You're a good protector for Xander.  We could've used you in Sunnydale."

"Thanks, I think.  I probably would've died though."

"No, our cops never came out of the station unless it was shoplifting or a domestic."  He looked him over.  "Go, I can wait until Xander's back."

"No offense...."

"I'll call Danny over."

"Fine."  He grabbed his keys and phone, leaving.  Danny trusted him and he was Xander's friend.  He wouldn't be touching anything.

Oz looked at the boxes.  "A bored Xander is a dangerous thing on the world.  He'll learn soon enough," he said, calling Danny.  "I'm here at Xander's and he's at the ER.  Sedated from what they were saying.  No, the guy got arrested.  Devi wanted him back again.  Want to go destroy and maim with me?"  He smirked.  "Good idea, Danny.  Meet you there.  You know the addy?  It's around the corner from there.  Yeah, that club, then upstairs.  See you there."  He hung up and walked out, locking the door behind him. He had made an impression of Xander's key - just in case the kid needed him.

Some pimps never learned.

Well, now they would.

On the way he was even nice enough to call Methos and let him know.  That way he could pop around for a visit soon too.  After all, Meth loved the kid almost as much as he loved Ray.


Xander woke up and stared at the very bland ceiling.  "Hospital.  Yuck," he mumbled.  He looked around the room then at himself.  He wiggled the one cuff on his IV arm.  The other was still free so he took the other cuff off and sat up.  He looked at the IV.  Then around.  He ripped a piece of sheet off with his teeth and free hand, then bound his arm before taking out the IV.  It got tossed on top of a monitor that was off.  He tied off the bandage and slid out of the bed, listening at the curtain.  He glanced down at himself, grimacing.  "Hospital gowns are evil.  I should know."  He glanced through a crack in the curtain.  He was in the 'waiting' side of the ER.  The nurses were all busy.  He opened the curtain a bit wider.  One looked at his way but he had ducked.  He looked down, his feet were sticking out.  He shrugged and walked out nonchalantly, heading for the nearby bathroom.  On the way he took an extra gown off the back of a cart.  He didn't care if it was infected with smallpox, he was not staying in the hospital a moment longer than he absolutely had to.

He ducked into the bathroom, finding a guy in there.  He looked easy enough.  The guy was a bit taller and heavier.  He nodded politely then suddenly knocked him out.  He wiggled his pants off him, emptying the pockets back into the guy's stomach and using the spare robe to cover him.  He put on the pants and turned the gown around, letting it hang open in the front.  He tucked the ties in so they didn't show.  He checked himself.  He looked strange, but he didn't really care.  There was another door so he went out that way, slipping unnoticed into the hustle of the busier side of the ER, the trauma side.  He snuck down a wall and outside, breathing a sigh of relief.   He knew he didn't have any cash but he knew where his bank was.  "What time is it?" he asked the orderly out there smoking.

"Six-fifty."  He looked at him. "Should you be out here?"

"Nope.  Needed fresh air before I hurled from the antiseptic."  That got a knowing nod and the guy went back inside.  Xander snuck off, looking at the signs.  This one was way far away from the house and he wasn't wearing shoes.  The bank was closed.  He pouted and thought, then sighed and smiled at a nearby officer.  "Can I get a lift home?  I live with Detective Flack.  Please?  I got mugged."  The guy nodded, letting him in to take him back to his place.  "Thanks."

"Welcome.  How does Flack afford this neighborhood?"

"I used to be a rich guy's boyfriend, but he traded down."  The cop gave him an odd look.  "I got too old at nineteen.  I paid for it with the palimony."  That got an evil smirk.  "Don's protecting me from the guys who want to kidnap me."

"I can understand that. We heard he had a kid he was watching out for."  He dropped him off.  "Need help upstairs?"

"No, I'm good, thank you."  He gave him a kiss on the cheek.  "You're incredibly nice."  He got out and headed inside, looking at the doorman.  "Let me into my place?"

"Sure, Mr. Harris.  Are you okay?  You got drug out of here by the paramedics."  He waved the cop off, getting a nod and he left, going back toward the hospital.  "So, are you okay?"

"I feel fine.  What happened?"

"We know someone broke in, that's all I know.  I just got here."

"I'm sure Don will tell me later.  Thanks."  He walked in and looked around, getting back to his shelving project.  Then he looked at himself and went to change clothes.  He used one of the boxes to mail the clothes to the hospital with a courier the doorman summoned.  It was only fair after all.  He didn't want to keep them and the guy probably needed them.  Then he got back to work on his shelving project.


Don looked up as someone coughed, taking the box.  "What's this?"

"From your doorman, sir.  I have no idea.  Sign please?"  Don sighed and the guy left.

Don looked, finding a quick note from the doorman.  "I'll be damned!" he said, getting up and going to see one of the nurses.  "Can you check on Harris and give the guy he mugged in the bathroom his pants back?" he asked, handing her the box.  She moaned and went to find the guy in there.  He checked Xander's room.  The IV was unplugged and stopped.  The sheet was ripped.  There was no boy.  He rolled his eyes and went to find Aiden.  "He's at home.  He mugged someone for their pants and left."  Mac snickered at that.  "It's not funny."

"Yes it is," Aiden assured him, patting him on the arm.  "Come on, let's go see your bitch, Don."  She walked off with him, taking him home.

"How did you get home!" Don shouted as he walked in.  Xander 'eeped' and went to hide.  "Xander!"  He came out, looking sheepish.  "How did you get here from the hospital?"

"A very nice patrol officer who wanted to know how you afforded this building. I told him you were protecting me from my rich ex-boyfriend's assholes."  He gave him a sheepish grin.  "I hate hospitals."

"You needed a hospital, you wouldn't wake up," Aiden said patiently, checking him over.  "Let's see your arm."  He let her see it.  "Cute.  Field bandaging?"  Xander nodded, hanging his head.  "Sit."  He sat down and curled up on the end of a couch.  "Thank you."  She got to work on the last few books, looking at the shelves.  "Where do these go?"

"Last shelf.  I don't have them in any order."  She put them there then went to get a drink, dragging Mac with her.

Don walked over and stared at the boy.  "You mugged someone to get his pants?  You snuck out of the hospital?  One of the patrol guys gave you a ride home?"  Xander nodded, still giving him a sheepish look.  "Why do I put up with you?"

"You'd be bored?" Xander offered.  Don glared and he shrank in on himself.  "I sent his pants back to him and I know he wasn't going to be really injured.  Just a sore jaw.  I promise he's fine.  And I sent them back."

Don groaned and stomped off to his room, slamming the door.  Then he let out a nice, long scream.

The neighbor knocked and leaned in.  "Is Don okay?" she asked patiently.  "He's a bit loud for sex."

Xander nodded.  "I snuck out of the ER.  He's frustrated and doesn't know why he puts up with me."

"Ah.  That makes more sense."  She smiled and came over to give him a hug.  "Are you all right?  I saw the paramedics."

"What did happen to me?" he called.

"Some guy broke in to bring you back to Devi.  He said that there was a cop after you," Aiden offered, bringing him some juice. "He's fine, the guy sedated him with pain killers.  They were letting him sleep it off."  The neighbor smiled and nodded, going to tell the others.  Aiden nudged him with the glass, making him take it.  "You're eating tonight.  Real food.  Don, pizza or chinese?"

"I don't care," he called back.  He came out of his room and found Xander being babied.  "Nope, if he's not sick, he doesn't get babied."

"I'm not," Aiden protested. "I got him juice.  His arm's still seeping."

"I need to tie it tighter," Xander admitted, using his teeth to do that.  "The really fun ones are up by your armpit because you can't get it with your teeth," he said at Mac's odd look.  "I'm fine.  A bit dizzy but I'm good.  You were there?"  Mac smirked and nodded.  "Oops."

"Yup," Don said, smacking him hard on the head.  "Bad, Xander!"

"Yes, Don."  He sighed and slumped down more. "I'm sorry.  Next time I'll be more open and scream to be let out."

"That'd get you put in under psych admission," Aiden assured him, sitting next to him. "What did you want for dinner tonight?"

"That tuna and filo dough that we had the other night?  My treat if you'll go pick it up?"

She shrugged.  "Mac, want real food?"

"Sure.  Call it in.  Don?"  Don stomped off again.  "Xander, try to calm it down.  They're not going to hurt you.  Even if Sunnydale's hospital is a horrible place here is nicer."

"Sorry."  He looked in his glass and finished it, getting up to put it in the dishwasher, then he went to talk to Don.  He tapped gently before walking in at the grunt, cuddling up next to him since he was stretched out on his bed.  "I'm sorry.  I don't like hospitals and I snuck out all the time before.  It's a bad habit I'll fight next time."  Don snorted but didn't look at him.  "I really am sorry."  Don looked at him.  "It was wrong of me to mug the guy for his pants, even though I sent them back."

"Are you just saying that or do you mean it?" he asked quietly.

"I knew it was wrong when I did it but I can't stand hospitals.  Hospitals are where people go to die."

Don sighed and hugged him.  "Never again, Xander.  I mean it."  Xander nodded, curling up on his shoulder.  "I'm not cuddling you.  You don't deserve the treat."  Xander backed off, nodding.  "Thank you.  Next time, at least have the nurse come get me.  You could've went home as soon as they checked you over again."  Xander lifted his shirt, showing the phone number on his side.  "Okay, that was just tacky.  Which patrol officer?"  Xander shrugged.  "Car number?"


"Thanks."  He got up and went to make a note of that so he could find the guy tomorrow and chew him a new one. It would get back through the PD network to call him if they found Xander in trouble.  Xander slunk out and back to his corner of the couch but Mac let him cuddle.  "No, he doesn't deserve the treat," he ordered.

"Don, he nearly got taken again," Aiden reminded him.  "Just because he escaped from the hospital before the nurses could do more than write their numbers on him doesn't mean he wasn't knocked out and almost taken again."

"They did?" Mac asked.  Xander showed him.  "Huh.  Well, the blonde one was cute."  Xander groaned and shuddered.  "That's fine.  Relax, Xander.  Danny said he went to have a talk with Devi with Oz."

"Oz is apparently good at those talks," Don said dryly.  "What's for food?"

"I called in an order and I'm going to pick it up in a few," Aiden offered, getting up. "Keys?"  Don gave her a look.  "Now.  If you wanna eat."  He handed them over.  "Xander, wallet?"  He pointed and she went to dig into the drawer that had the roll of cash in it.  He always kept the emergency and ordering stash in his sock drawer inside his black argyle socks. She came out with enough for that and to put gas in Don's car, then headed out to pick up dinner.

Don called his mother.  "It's me, Ma.  I got the message you called me earlier but my phone was staticky.  What's going on?"  He listened, leaning on the counter.  Then he grabbed a soda.  He didn't want a beer tonight.  Drinking tonight would be bad.  "No, we're home after Xander escaped from the hospital.  Yup, escaped," he said, taking a drink.  "No, he's fine. Someone broke in here to take him.  They sedated him. He's fine.  He pulled his own IV so his arm's got to quit bleeding but otherwise he's fine."  He took another drink and listened, smiling.  "No, we ordered from a real restaurant tonight.  Sure, you can have half of mine.  Come on over, Ma."  He hung up.  "Xander, put on a shirt."  Xander went to do that, locking himself in his bedroom.  Don pulled out a canceled card of Xander's and went to get him out.  "I said put on a shirt.  My mother won't beat you for being that stupid."  Xander gave him a look.  "Out.  Now."  Xander trudged back out there.  Don grabbed him a shirt and stopped to look in the open drawer.  He saw one single sock that was a ball and glanced inside, then shook his head.  "I don't need to know."  He walked out, tossing the shirt over Xander's head.  "Put it on.  Put that money in the bank."

"It's for when we order out," Xander defended.

Don looked at him.  "Even if that was all in ones it's well over five hundred dollars.  Put it in the bank tomorrow. You don't need more than two hundred here."

"Yes I do.  In case someone breaks in and I have to run."

Don stared at him then shook his head.  "I doubt you would.  Put most of it in the bank."  Aiden came back and handed over the keys.  "What did you get us?"

"Depends on if you want ravioli stuffed with cheese or vegetarian rice pilaf?"  He took the ravioli, like she had thought he would.  She handed Xander his tuna, Mac his rice pilaf, then sat down with her dinner. "Thanks, Xander.  Don, can you bring us some drinks?"

"Sure.  Sodas, juice, water, milk?"

"Juice and Xander could use some more too," Mac offered quietly.  He glanced at Xander.  "How did you get out?"

"I went to the bathroom.  I knocked him out, took off his pants, put everything in the pockets back under his shirt, then snuck out the other door to the smoking area.  Out there I asked an orderly or someone the time, found out it was after the banks were closed, then saw an officer doing paperwork on his hood.  I asked him for a ride.  I told him Don was my protector and he brought me back before going back there I guess."  He ate a bite of his dinner and ducked his head when Don glared at him. "Sorry, Don."

"At least he can sneak," Aiden offered.  "That's always a good thing."  Danny walked in after a quick knock.  "Eww, you stink, go bathe or something!" she complained, swatting him.

"Sorry, demon goo.  Xander, Devi is very sorry. He's never doing it again.  Can I borrow some clothes and shower here?  You guys have better water pressure."  Xander nodded.  "Thanks."  He headed back that way, going to clean up with the special soap Xander had for demon ickiness.  Xander's own words when he had showed it off.

"I should yell that you stunk up my place," Don called after him.  He ate another bite.  "So, no one stopped you?"

"The other door led into Trauma and I snuck down the walls, carefully out of the way.  They're all too busy to notice me.  Plus, I had the gown on like a shirt, open in front.  The only thing they would've noticed is the pattern and the lack of shoes.  That's why I didn't walk.  Don't get the poor officer in trouble, Don," he pleaded.  "He was a really nice guy to me.  Please?  I'll try to do the laundry tomorrow."

"No thanks.  Last time you put in a tie."  He ate another bite and picked up the phone when it rang.  "Flack," he said through the food.  He listened, then smirked and swallowed.  "Yeah, he's here.  Thanks for letting me know.  Next time, call me when you're bringing him back or on the way in, okay?  Yeah, well, he was sedated by someone who broke in here and tried to take him again.  Sure.  That's why I'm here, man. Thank you."  He hung up and looked at Mac.  "The sergeant at that unit decided it'd be a good idea to let me know since Xander told the officer I was his protector."  He ate another bite, noticing Xander was now hidden from view he had slid so far down.  "Sit up and eat," he ordered once he swallowed.  Xander did that, eating quickly. "Good. Thank you."  Someone knocked on the door.  "Who is it?"


"He's fine," Don called. "I got him back and I'm upping the security system."

"That's fine."  He let himself in, then smiled at the others.  "Greetings. I own the building."

"Yeah, the Sherman guy said he did," Don said dryly, eating another bite.  He pointed at Xander, getting a smile.  "We're fine, Blair, but thank you."

"You're welcome.  I'm glad I wasn't there tonight."  He looked at Danny when he came out.  "You were quite insistent."

"Of course.  Had ta happen to get the point across.  After all, Devi didn't take 'no' for an answer," he noted dryly.

"No, he often doesn't.  Xander, are you all right?"

"I'm fine, Blair.  Thank you for coming to check on me," he said quietly, looking at him.  "I'm okay now.  The asshole gave me pain killers."  He finished his dinner and curled up in  a smaller ball again.  "I snuck out of the hospital even."

"Well, at least it wasn't serious.  Riasu and I are going to send you a new security system.  I'll expect it to be on even when you're home, Xander.  That way we don't have to worry about you again."  Xander nodded at that.  "Good boy.  Don, they heard screaming?"

"Me in frustration," he agreed dryly.  He finished his dinner.  "Nice choice, Xander and Aiden. I like this place."

Blair looked at the cover, then at him.  "They're fairly higher class but very good food. I thought about taking Xander there once but it's too open and too many wanted him at that time."  He smiled at the young man in question.  "I'll make sure the manager and the doorman both know to limit anyone they don't know coming up."

"We expect officers now and then and my parents," Don offered.  "Have him call first."  That got a nod from the vampire.  "Anything else?"  Blair walked over and whispered in his ear.  He blinked.  "Excuse me?  Is that like a reward?"

"More like the others didn't want it, their pets refused it, and Xander wasn't there to protest," he offered quietly.  "We'll need someone to deal with it.  Plus I do believe Devi was hiding some things of his.  They'll be sent over later tonight.  The first needs a storage area."

"We've got one here."

"More like a warehouse.  It was a villa's worth, Donald."

Don considered it then sighed.  "Okay.  Xander, do you have a storage area?"  Xander slowly shook his head.  He glanced at Aiden then back at the kid.  "When you rescued those people, the daddy, as you put it, said that the stuff there could go to whoever wanted it.  You weren't there to say no.  No one else wanted it."  Xander groaned and slumped over, hiding his face on Mac's arm.  "Got anywhere you want it to go?"

"Salvation Army?"

"I doubt they want the gold oil lamps but the couches they might like," Blair offered, smiling at him. "Should I make it go to a storage area?"

"Can you make it disappear?"  Blair shook his head, giving him a look.  "Please?" Xander begged. "I'll be a good boy."

Blair came over to hug him.  "I'm sorry, Xander. I know this vexes you.  The same as Devi was hiding some of your tips from you.  They'll be over later tonight."  He stroked over the dark hair.  "I do wish you would grow that out.  Maybe waist length."  He whispered something and the boy's hair grew down his back to just below his shoulder blades, making everyone else stare.  "A bit of magic is good for a being."  He kissed Xander gently.  "You will always be my favorite.  I'll let Riasu do some soundproofing as well when he brings up the new security system."

"I'm sorry I make Don be so loud."

"I'm sure it's not all your fault," he soothed, stroking over his hair.  Danny coughed.  "Sorry.  Old habits and all that."  He smiled at Xander, getting a knowing look back. "I'll be a good vampire if you be a good boy."  He smirked.  "I'll have those things sent to a storage area.  I'm sure you can make it up to me by paying me back."

"Take some of the gaudy crap," Don offered dryly, staring at the vampire's back.

"Of course I can," he agreed, smiling at him. "I would never touch Xander without his permission again," he said calmly.

"Yay. He's still outta the business," Danny reminded him.

"I know, such a shame as well.  He nearly bankrupted a few Masters in town.  Gave me great ability to come in and take over so I could expand and make my childe go somewhere else."  He smiled and walked out, letting in the woman who was coming up the hall and looked like Flack.  "Ma'am."

"Thank you, dear.  A friend of Xander's?"

"The building's owner.  We were talking about a new security system for this apartment."  He smiled and walked off, going to give orders to the doormen and the manager. Or possibly eat him since he had to let the demon in.

Don's mother walked in and closed the door.  "He seems like he's very concerned about his tenants.  It's a nice change," she said happily.  "Donny."  She walked over to hug him. "How are you?"

"Fine, Ma, just a bit frustrated with Xander.  He mugged someone for their pants so he could escape the ER."

"I sent them back at least," Xander offered sheepishly, sinking down again.

Danny snorted.  "You're a man now, Xander, take it like a man."  He patted him on the head.  "Aiden, anything left?"  Mac handed over the rest of his rice. "Thanks, Mac, you sure?"

"I'm sure. I had the vegetables that came with it and half the rice."  He smiled at Don's mother.  "Mrs. Flack," he said, getting up to shake her hand. "I'm Mac Taylor, this is Aiden Burns, one of my CSI, and Danny Messer, another of my CSI.  They help Don watch out for Xander."

"Now all we need is Stella," Danny said with a smirk.

"She'd start swearing in Greek again," Don noted dryly.  "Loudly.  For hours on end.  I'm sparing her blood pressure.  We can call her later."  They all nodded at that. "Ma, want something to drink?"

"No, dear, I'm fine."  She looked at Xander.  Then she moved closer.  He squeaked and ran.  "Does the boy have a mother?"

"Not anymore," Danny said dryly.  "She and the dirtbag ran to Mexico to get away from his dad's gambling debts and his friends.  After Oz got done, Willow took a turn," he told Don.  "She is worse than anyone.  Ever."  Don shuddered at that.  "Her crap slipped and the house went 'whoosh'."  He waved his fork and smirked. "Fortunately they were already gone.  Oz told them Xander got taken by a powerful man who was going to be taking care of him.  Made it seem like the Godfather had him.  They don't want to mess with his boyfriend," he finished with a smirk.

"Yeah, because if someone like that found out, they'd be dead," Aiden agreed dryly.  "Where in Mexico?"  Someone knocked and she got up to answer it, nodding at the guys carrying the chest.  "In front of the couch, guys.  That the stuff that the asshole was keeping from him or the other stuff?"

"This is the stuff Devi sent over," one said respectfully.  "There is another box, ma'am.  If you'll sign?"  She picked up the pen.

"No," Danny said, glaring at him.  "I know that trick."  The delivery guy looked nervous.  "No, she don't need to sign.  Xander?"  He came out and the guys all gaped.  "Now, box and go."  They handed it over then left at a dead run.  "Get the door," he ordered.  Aiden kicked it shut and sat down to look at the box.

Mac glanced back at him.  "We should talk sometime soon."

Danny gave him a goofy grin.  "What?  Devi's a bad guy. I wouldn't put it past him to put a soul clause or even an 'I own you' clause in that."  He ate another bite.  "Xander, this is the stuff Devi was hiding on you."

"What's in the box?"  Aiden shrugged and tossed it over.  Xander looked it over before sitting down to open it.

"Maybe we should x-ray it," Don noted. Xander gave him an odd look but he disappeared when the box was opened.  "Or not.  Anyone got a clue?"  Xander reappeared and his hair was a bit longer, plus he looked really pissed. "You good?"

"Nope, but I'm going to kill someone."  He looked at Danny then down in the box, handing the dolls inside to him.  "Those are from Willow.  She said hi."  He looked at Don.  "They decided I needed to come home the hard way."

"You okay?" Don asked again, sounding patient.

"Going down to the weight room," Xander offered, standing up and heading down there.

Don looked at his mother. "Don't worry, it doesn't happen often. Those two will pay as well."

Danny typed in a text message to someone and put the box down, then walked over to whisper in Don's ear, getting a nod.  "Handled.  Buffy went off the deep end because her life is unraveling.  Oh, and expect a visit from what Oz said."  He punched him on the arm and went to get a soda.  "Don's Ma, you need anything?"

"No, I'm fine," she said calmly, looking at the larger footlocker.  "What's that?"

"We'll let Xander open it later," Aiden assured her.  "Come sit, tell us embarrassing stories about Flackie."  She giggled and came over to hug her. "Thanks.  I like Don, he's neat to pick on."

"I'm sure he is.  You two would look so adorable together."

"Dating someone unfortunately," Aiden lied seamlessly.  "I'll keep him in mind though."

"We'd drive each other insane in that bad way," Don said dryly, smirking at her. "Would that be one of the boys Xander found you?  The body slaves?"

"Well, yeah," she admitted with a shit-eating grin.  "He's very nice too."  Mac blushed at that.  "He is.  He brushed my hair and helped me put it up this morning."

"I'll keep that in mind if he brings you food sometime soon at work," Mac offered.  "Let's put this in the storage room."  He and Danny hefted it with Aiden directing.

"Never a dull moment," Don told his mother.  "So, what's going on and dad did what?"

"Complained that you took up with this young man," she said honestly.

"Ma, I'm protecting him and taking him back when he gets stolen.  I'm not *with* him.  Xander's the gay one.  He offered, he was advised to become someone's prison bitch, but otherwise he's fine."

Aiden came out.  "The boy would turn the whole prison into his protectors," she said dryly.  "He'd cheer them on."  She sat down.  "Xander's got an unfortunate hormone condition that makes him a bit needy in that area and draws people to him.  We had a mugger saying he smelled like cookies the other night."  Don's mother blushed at that.  "So we're all good with Xander.  We just gotta be careful who gets near him."

"I'll go check on him," Mac promised, heading down to do that.

"He's extra cuddly," Danny offered.  "Give him some time to get used to the idea of a mother. I'm sure he'll be better next time."  She nodded, leaving it there.  "So, need us to leave so you can tell your son stuff?  We like Xander's tv."

"The other reason I moved here," Don said dryly.  "Free rent, free cable, decent enough food once I finish teaching the kid to cook.  He's like having a little brother."

She rolled her eyes and swatted him gently. "Isn't a sister enough?"

"No, I don't want her anywhere near Xander," he said honestly.  "She'll go gooey over him."  He finished his soda.  "So, Ma, what else is going on at home?"

She sighed and sat down to talk with him while the other two went to check that trunk.

"Holy shit!" Aiden called.  "Don, we've got to go back."

"Call first, he said to," Don reminded her.  He shook his head.  "Someone gave him jewelry," he explained.  "Last time he got sent girl's stuff and let Aiden buy it off him."  Aiden walked out and put money in front of him.  "I'll make sure he knows it's for that."  She smiled and went back to go back to playing.  Stella tapped and walked in a few minutes later, going right back there.  Swearing came out but in English.  She was impressed too.


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