Don looked up, feeling another immortal nearby. He tensed and got up, going to go searching. It could be that it was someone in trouble. This was still a police station after all. He found a tired looking redhead at the desk. "What's up?"
The redhead looked at him. "I'm looking for an old friend, Danny Messer?"
"He's in CSI but they're out on a call," he offered, holding out a hand. "Don Flack."
"Richie Ryan." He shook it. "He called me to help Russell train someone?" Don stiffened at that. "It's all good," he said quietly. "I'm at a higher skill level." That got a small smile. "So, how long do you think? I was going to pop in on the locals I know and then come back if it was going to be longer than standard waiting time."
"Let me text him," he offered, pulling out his phone to do that. He got back 'he's a good guy, send him to Connor for now'. Don smiled and showed him the message.
"Sure, I'll do that. Later tonight?"
"It's my late night. I don't get off until nine. You'll definitely see him and probably my protectee tonight."
"Sure. See you eventually then, Detective." He grinned and headed out to his bike.
The desk sergeant looked at him. "I haven't seen your protectee for a few days. He okay?"
"Tired, nothing new," Don offered. "He's planning a shopping trip with Aiden this weekend." That got a chuckle. "It'll be okay. I'll have him bring me lunch later." He went back to his desk.
Connor looked up when he felt another immortal, coming to his office door. "Richie?"
"I handed the insane bastard to Amanda," he admitted, dropping his bag in the corner. "I came to see you about another problem and see if Danny needed help with training. You do really good with the beginning stuff but not the intermediate levels from what Mac said."
"How is my clansman?"
"Insane, the same as he was before," he said with a small shrug. "As long as Amanda actually holds him this time we should be okay for a few more months. So, I met Flack." Connor smiled at that. "He said it's his late night?"
"He takes one late shift a week," he admitted. "His protectee, Xander, is much more stable and he'll be here within a few hours. Why are you here?"
"Danny said to come bug you in his text back to Flack. Called me a good guy." That got a laugh and a back clap, plus being led into the office. "Is there anything I should be aware of?"
"You know Methos, correct?"
"Xander is one of his GHS members. One of the highest of the high. He's occasionally stolen."
"Goodie. By us?"
"Demons, us, anyone with a pulse some days," he admitted. "The boy gets so frustrated with it now and then." He sat down. "He's also charismatic and stubborn. He'd have done the clan proud if he was one of us. I saw him socially for a bit."
"Interesting. So he's bi?"
"Fairly gay but he's had women in the past. They've traumatized him however."
"I won't share conquest stories then." They both felt an immie coming in and stood up, Richie's hand going for his sword. Xander ran in and pounced Connor, holding onto him, his face hiding in his shirt. "I take it this is Xander?"
"It is. Xander?" He pried himself loose and made the boy look at him. "What happened?"
"Some dark-haired guy growled at me and said I'd be sucking him when he took my head, that I was as evil as Oz was and that he was going to clean the taint from us," he babbled. "He showed up at the house, Connor! I have no idea who this person is or why he thinks Oz is evil but I escaped."
"Good boy. Sit down and relax. Looks like Amanda didn't even manage a day."
"I'm going to quit giving him to her," Richie agreed. "Hi, Xander. I'm Richie." Xander waved, pushing Connor down so he could curl up in his lap. That made him smile. He pulled out a picture to show him. "Was this him?" Xander looked then nodded. "Okay, call Danny and warn him Macleod's loose and in the city." Xander got up and pulled out his phone. The door's chime jingled but it wasn't an immortal. Though he did follow Xander up to the office. "Officer," he said respectfully.
"I guard the kid now and then. Xander?" Xander looked at him, then relaxed. "What happened?"
"Someone who thinks my friend Oz is evil decided he was going to use me as bait. He told me he was going to cut my head off while he was making me suck him."
The officer nodded. "Okay. I'll take you to Don. Come on." Xander finished his message and nodded, hugging Connor before going with him. "Thank you."
"It's not a problem. I saw Xander socially for a few weeks," Connor offered blandly. The officer nodded at that and took Xander down to his squad car and back to the twelfth. "That is a problem waiting to happen," Connor said blandly.
"At least the kid has a protector."
"Yes, but he's a normal."
"There's a Watcher somewhere in the city. Maybe they'll catch him at it and bring him in." Richie shrugged. "Joe probably would if we mentioned it to him."
"I'll do that." He called Joe to inform him of the problem with Macleod. That way the Watchers would be involved and on the look-out as well. "Go rest upstairs, Richie. Danny won't be in until nearly six probably."
"Sure. Thanks, man." He got up and went to grab his pack, then head for the apartment upstairs.
Mac looked down as his phone beeped with a message, listening to it. Then he looked around. He paged Danny, bringing him at a trot. "Macleod's out," he said simply.
Danny blinked. "Did Richie bring him? He was here earlier looking for me. Met Don."
"Not that I'm aware of. Richie's with Connor. Xander's on his way in. The Watcher on Connor saw him go running inside like he was being chased again. Connor told Joe."
"Interesting. Okay then." He nodded. "I'll be really safe but I'll call them to see what's going on and warn Don." He went to warn Don first. "Hey, Flack," he called as he walked in. Don looked over at him. "Got two?"
"Xander's on his way in. Someone saw him running for Russell's like someone was chasing him. They're sending him here. Seems Connor's cousin is on the loose and in town."
"So we think he came after Xander?"
"With it being Xander? Yeah. He's got a thing about thinking Oz is evil." He shrugged. "It happens, he's insane."
"Okay. I'll get the full story from Xander and let you know."
"Thanks. Just be really careful if he did come after the kid."
Xander hugged him from behind. "Do we know the insane person who said Oz was evil and he was going to chop me into bits while he made me service him?" he asked quietly.
"Yup. Let go." Xander let him go and Danny pulled him around. "Was it Macleod?" Xander nodded. "You sure?"
"Richie showed me a picture and he said that's who it was."
"Okay. Where were you?"
"Home. He kicked in the door, Danny."
"He's insane, Xander. You're staying here." He nodded at the officer. "We've got him. Thank you."
"This isn't the normal person who wants him."
"No, this one is insane and blaming Xander's friend Oz for his life going to hell for some reason. Kid wasn't anywhere near him when he went off the deep end, but he thinks Oz is his ancient enemy and anyone who knows him is just as bad. He's been in protective custody and got free."
"Okay then. Should I tell their doorman?"
"I'll do it," Don promised, grinning at him. "Thank you."
"Welcome, Detective. He's a great kid. I hope we capture this guy."
"I hope so too. Have a good shift and if your boss gives you hell, have him call me."
"Will do." He walked off, thinking about it. Flack would put out an APB on this person hopefully. That would give him a legitimate reason to go after the guy for trying to hurt the kid. The kid was like a son to him.
Don got up and pulled them both into the breakroom. "What does this guy look like?" Danny pulled out a photo and showed him. "Okay. Anything we can do?"
"Knock him out or kill him. Don't take it from him," Danny warned quietly. "It might transfer. No one's sure."
"Okay." He looked at Xander. "Are you okay?"
"I ran. He might still be there."
"I'll call our doorman, make sure he's not and get the door fixed." Xander nodded, sitting down. "Good. You're staying here until I leave tonight. You got anything on you?"
"What was in these pants before." He emptied his pockets. His wallet wasn't in there but his house keys were. A few crumpled bills from a changed larger one. He let Don take them. "I put them back on after I got up."
"That's fine," Don promised. "If we have to, we can hit a hotel tonight." He patted Xander on the head. "Let me get some change from the desk so you can have a soda. I've got a book in my desk you can borrow." Xander nodded, moving to a corner seat and settling in for now. Danny got the book for him, Don went to get change so the kid could nibble and drink. Then they went back to their desks and to explain why Xander was there to their bosses.
Mac was not a happy Watcher with that at all.
Xander looked up when he felt a quickening buzz. Don was just across the room. It wasn't his. He stood up when a familiar man walked in, glaring at him. "What are you doing here! This is a police station! Don!" Don came running. "Isn't this him?"
"This is him. Assume the position, Macleod. Now."
That got a sneer and Mac tried to attack him. He got him knocked out too. Then he moved on the other young one. "You're nothing, you're friends with an evil being," he sneered. "He's tainted you. I will remove this taint before you taint others. Like that one."
"I doubt you're touching me," Xander told him. The man made a grab and Xander moved, kicking him in the back. "Like I said, I'm not that easy." Macleod had centuries of fighting on him but it wasn't exactly a helpless point on his part. He did end up captured and he went limp in the crushing grip. He hated hair pullers. "What do you want?"
"You're in public. Besides, Oz was dating my best friend. Why am I tainted?" He ran a hand up his face. "I only know Oz peripherally. We're not that tight since she's one of the ones who drove me away from my home." Mac relaxed at that. "As a matter of fact, she tried to have me accused of raping the other friend even though I was here and they're near LA." Mac smirked more at that, relaxing even more. "I'm sure I'm not tainted. But you could check for me. I'm not going to fight you, Duncan." Duncan let him go and Xander got him in the balls, bringing him down. Then he grabbed Don's handcuffs and got him cuffed. Right before he kicked him in the head. "Maybe that'll help the insanity clear up," he sneered. "Before I have to take your head and give it to science." He went to check on Don. There was almost no one else on this floor. Don was awake but groggy. "Don? Are you okay?" he asked as he helped him sit up.
"Let me go!"
"No! Shut up, bitch!" Xander shouted back. "If anyone's tainted, it's you and your holier than thou attitude and the shit you force others to suck on to be like you! You're no hero, you're a fucking villain and I'm sure not even your cousin wants you anymore!" Duncan struggled so Xander kicked him in the head again. "Don't move! Before I have to kill you." He helped Don into a chair and checked him over. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. Call Mac or Danny?" Xander nodded, taking Don's phone to do that.
"Danny, I've got Duncan and he's in cuffs. Here! In the breakroom!" he said, sounding high and squeaky to himself. "No, I got free and kneed him in the nuts. How do you think I got free? I need a full body wash in bleach." Don looked at him. "Only teasing, Don, but it's still nasty and he makes me feel slimy for liking the same species he does." Danny hung up and he tossed the phone back. "He'll call Richie and Connor." He pulled out some change and got a cold soda, letting Don use it as a temporary ice pack while they waited. A few officers came in and paused to look at the body. "He's insane but not under arrest. I would press charges but he'd only end up in a straight jacket and no good for anyone."
"It's okay, guys. His keepers are coming for him," Don promised, holding the cold soda against his aching head. "Expect the redheaded guy and Nash or Danny and Mac really soon." That got a nod and one went to tell the desk while the other started a new pot of coffee. "Xander, drag him out of the way before he hurts an innocent cop." Xander drug him out of the way and then slammed his head into the floor again. "Hey, no brutality in the station," he warned, smirking at him. "No matter how much he threatened you earlier and today." He pulled him closer. "You okay? I fuzzily remember hearing you go after him."
"Yeah, I'm fine, Don." Sheldon walked in. "Hi. Who called you?"
"The desk sergeant to check on you and Don. Are you two okay?" Don nodded. "Let me see." He came over to check Don's head first. "You've got one hell of a concussion, Don. You're really lucky you didn't die. What did he slam you into?"
"Doorframe. Check the kid. All I've got is a headache."
"Sure." He moved to check Xander over, finding a few bruises coming up and another one on his ribs. "Do you want to go to the hospital?"
"No thanks. If we need to go, we'll let Danny drive us when he gets here," he said, giving him a hug. "Thank you, Sheldon."
"That's fine, Xander, but make Don get checked out. His head's too bad to let him come to work tomorrow."
"Sure. If I can." Sheldon smiled and nodded, going to make his report, including to Don's boss since he was so stubborn. Xander looked up when he felt another immortal, waving at Danny then pointed at the hissing and spitting body. "He slammed Don's head into the doorframe. The desk guy sent Sheldon up."
"I'll make sure it's covered," Mac promised, coming over to help heft Duncan up. "Welcome back to New York, Duncan Macleod."
"Who're you?" he demanded.
"A Watcher. Joe sends greetings." He hauled him out of the room. "I'll give Don back his cuffs," he called as he walked him off.
"Can't we stick him in the system, Mac?" Danny asked as he followed, Don and Xander behind him. "Just for a little bit so his holders can have a vacation?"
Mac looked back at him. "I doubt it'd do anyone any good."
"Yeah but Bellevue would *love* him and his delusions," Danny said happily. "I'm sure I could get Connor to agree."
"Connor's not evil like you," Duncan growled. He spit at Xander and got backhanded for it by Don. "Oooh, is he yours?"
"No, I'm his protector," Don assured him. "A guy like Xander needs someone to keep the others off his back."
"That won't work in the game," he sneered.
"I fight better than him in that way," Xander noted dryly. "It's just the mundane things that Don handles for me so I don't have to get too stressed. Really." He smirked back. "Where's my phone, Don?"
"My desk." Danny turned around and went to get it and Don's jacket. Don looked at him. "Speaking of, there's a bill on the table that needs to be paid."
"Sure, show it to me when we make it home. If we make it home tonight."
Don nodded. "Sure." They watched as Richie and Connor pulled up together. "Danny wanted to send him to Bellevue and the wacky ward. You two got a problem with that or with his keepers having a vacation?"
"I doubt the drugs would be any good for him," Richie noted dryly.
"Plenty of people there have the same delusions of being immortal," Xander offered plainly, but quietly. "Or of being an avenging angel or whatever form of God he thinks he is."
"Yes, but if he gets injured they'll turn him into a lab rat," Connor said patiently. "That's not nice."
"Yes, but we've got a way around that," Mac assured him. "Joe didn't want to go there yet. Get him into the car while I call him?" Richie nodded, hauling Mac to the car and shoving him in the back then locking him inside. Mac pulled out his phone and walked around to the side of the building to talk to his boss.
Danny came back and handed over everything. "We've got to check your apartment, make sure it wasn't too trashed or stolen from." Xander looked at him. "Did you remember to close the door?"
"He slammed it behind himself when he kicked it in. It was jammed. I snuck out off the balcony and around to Marcy's room and got let in over there so I could escape."
"Good job," Don praised, giving him a pat on the back. Then he winced and held his head. "I hate concussions."
"It'll only be a few more hours, Don," Connor reminded him gently, checking his head. "Did you die?"
"Possibly. I know I blacked out at the very least."
"Sheldon said he was shocked you didn't," Xander reminded him. "Danny, I told him I'd get you to drive us to the ER if I could unstubborn Don." Danny nodded, accepting that part of the story. "He didn't want Don to work tomorrow."
"That's fine," he agreed. "We've got a guy among us." That got a grin. "Are you all right?"
"Pissed. I had to tease and taunt to get free when he finally beat me. I feel like I should bathe in bleach. I've seen some slimy customers but really."
Connor snickered at that. "He wasn't always like that. He used to be one of the better and more considerate lovers in the group. Then he lost one of the loves of his life and it turned him bitter. Then, well, there was an apocalypse demon," he said quietly. "That drove him insane."
"I realize that it happens, but he still makes me feel slimy for liking the same species as he does at the moment. Maybe when he's better it'll be different, but not right now."
"I understand." He patted him on the back. "Let's check out your apartment since I know Duncan knows where it is." Mac came back. "Anything constructive?"
"Very. He's moving to Sanctuary." Connor looked horrified. "He'll be safe there, Connor. We can protect him and he won't need or want for anything."
"He'll also be kept..." He looked at Richie. "Would he want to be locked away and kept away from everyone?"
"Yes," he said. "He wouldn't want everyone to see him this way, Connor. That's why he ran when he thought he had killed me."
"Point. Are you sure they'll keep him safe, Mac."
"We are. Joe nominated him. He's done us some good work but it's time to take him out for a while. He had a dark one a few years back. Arhiman and all that too? It's time."
"He did Arhiman?" Xander asked dryly, looking at Mac. "That was a woosy demon." Everyone glared at him. "It's a mind fucker and there's worse out there. We heard about that one, Giles thought it might be coming for us. Actually, we think he's responsible for some of the chaos that was in Sunnydale before now, the snow and all, but we couldn't prove it. He's not that powerful, guys. That's a mid-level, mentally screwing one. There's worse out there. I should know, the Initiative built one." Mac nodded at that, getting the stares. "So no, I'm sorry, Buffy fought harder than that one. If it broke him, he had mental issues before then and obviously needs the rest."
"I agree," Danny offered. "Sorry, Richie, I know it had you."
Xander looked at him. "One of those swirly, gray and purple areas?" He nodded, then shuddered. "At least you were okay. He could've thrown you into hell."
"Point. Can we drop this?" Everyone nodded. "He'll be safe, Mr. Taylor?"
"He will be. As long as we have him he'll be very safe."
"Then have him. It's probably for the best that he rests up."
"Thank you. Xander, not very tactful."
"Sorry," he said sheepishly, looking down. "But there are."
"There may be but it's still not tactful."
Xander looked at him. "I had one of the Higher Court princes ask me out to dinner last night, Connor."
Danny looked at him. "You were hopefully more polite than usual when you turned him down?"
"Yeah, told him I wasn't allowed to really go on dates unless my protector and the rest of my protection committee agreed. That's why I wasn't seeing anyone."
"Sure," Don agreed. "Put it on me."
"What's the worst he can do?" Richie joked. Everyone stared at him and those who knew groaned and shook their heads. "You guys sound like Oz."
"Oz was dating Willow, my former best friend," Xander said bitterly. "I'm from Sunnydale."
"Never mind, I yield to your experience with demonic matters," he said, bowing and backing away. "You'd probably know what's worse than Ahriman by name."
"And in one case by touch, but yeah." He shrugged. "He tipped well too. Very gentle. Gave me a backrub and suggested I should wish for a tail." Danny snickered at that. "He did!" He shrugged. "Need help with him, Mac? That way I can kick him again?"
"No. I'll take him now," he offered. "Danny, I won't be in tomorrow. Let Stella know." He headed to take Mac to his car and head off with him.
"Sure." He called her. "Stella, babe, it's Danny. Mac's gotta make an emergency trip outta town thanks to the latest attacker of Xander. He's handing him to someone. He said he won't be in tomorrow so tag, you're it. Don won't be in either probably. Sheldon said he nearly died from the crack to his head this time. No, in the break room. Yeah, we're heading to their house right now to check since the guy who did it kicked in the door earlier. Sure, meet us there with Aiden. We can go over that trunk if it's still there." He hung up. "Let's go back to their place, guys," he ordered. "Stella's in major fuss mode, Don." Don moaned but nodded, taking Xander to his car. Danny smirked at Richie. "Remember Oz talking about a Xan?" Richie nodded once. "That's *that* Xander."
"Oh, hell," he moaned. "That means he's the GHS..." Danny nodded. "So Don's his keeper?"
"Protection detail," Connor said dryly. "We're still working on training them both. They both came over the same day in different attacks. We'll follow. I'd like to see this trunk as well. Oh, Devi's active again. We think he'll try something."
"He already did. Oz found a tape of Xander havin' sex on the 'net. He called down the wrath of Anya, Xander's ex, on him. She's in vengeance you know." He grinned and headed for his own ride, the back of Connor's car.
Connor and Richie followed, shaking their heads. This must be an insane group Richie decided.
Don looked around the living room. "Looks pretty normal." He found the cable bill on the coffee table and hit Xander on the arm with it. "Pay that." They headed back to Don's room. It wasn't tossed, much. Some clothes on the floor. Xander's room was trashed. Xander opened a small door on his top, right bedpost and pulled out a small bag. Then he found the other hiding spots under the bed. Don just watched when he lifted a corner of the mattress and found the sliding drawer. The loose cash in there got pulled out too. "Why didn't you grab any of that?"
"I didn't think I'd need it. I was heading for Connor and figured he'd call you to come solve it or go solve it since it was an immie problem." He shrugged and let the mattress drop, going to the other side. That one got opened and it was emptied too. Everything got dropped on the bed and Xander walked Don into the storage room. The trunk didn't look touched but when they opened it, it was empty. "That wasn't me." He went to look out his window and snorted. "He threw it out the window, Don."
Don moaned. "Why?"
"I don't know." Xander sat down with his ripped magic book, finding the spell he wanted. He read it then went to work on it in the bathroom. A few minutes later Don yelped. He came out. "Changing one event wouldn't have changed anything else in this case. It made him leave before he got to that." He went to check on his bed, finding a few sword cuts. He magiced them closed and smiled at his good work. "I'm glad I learned that one." He checked it over then gathered everything he had put onto the bed and let Don have it when he held out a hand and wiggled his fingers. "Can't find my checkbook or anything."
"I'll let Mac know," he assured him, going to do that while he counted it. "Xander, did you never use the change when you broke the bigger bills?"
"Not usually." He came out with his phone and sat down to call the banks. The first one noted it for him and went over his accounts with him and then the other was the demon bank. A small imp appeared with a piece of paper. Xander looked it over and signed it then handed it back. The imp disappeared. He kicked back for a few minutes until someone knocked. "Who is it?"
"It's us," Stella called.
"Open. It might be stuck though." They forced the door open. Richie and Connor came up after them, Danny jogging in last to close the door again. "So, I've got the bank called since I can't find my checkbook or my cards. I fixed the bed but it could possibly use some more help. Russ, can you check it for me?"
"Of course, Xander. Your bed is a beautiful antique." He pulled him in there to deal with it. "What did you do?"
"Went back and changed a single event. Did it change the current?"
"No, not in the least that I can tell," he assured him. "What did you change?"
"Made him leave before he got to the storage room. He threw the trunk's contents out the window." Connor moaned at that. "Yeah. Exactly." He shrugged and they got to work on the two weak spots he had found. "I healed the sword cuts but I think he split this one."
"I think he did as well. I'm sure you've met a wiccan who can help seal the wood?"
"I do know one who can and I've seen the spell but I don't want to warp it."
"It could be another hidden area," Danny offered. "Don said he had one."
"Six or seven really but I've never seen the entry." He looked up and down the pole, ending up against the frame. He found the corner. "Here it is. We need to unbolt it. Come hold up the edge for a minute, Danny." Danny groaned but came over to do that while he and Connor undid that corner support and opened the small door. The string inside was pulled down and the wire it was attached to came down with the small bag. "This isn't mine. I wonder what it is." He pulled the bag out and checked the wire. There was a paper too. He took it out then they sealed the hiding spot and put the bed back together. Danny groaned when he got to let it go, wiggling his fingers. They all sat down to look at the paper. "Is that German?"
"Russian," Connor said, taking it to look over. He looked inside the bag and smirked. "One of the daughters married out of the family and it went with her for a few years. She sent it back with her young daughter when Russia started to go to hell back at the turn of the century. This was her hiding spot." He pulled out the bag's contents, finding birth certificates and a ring. "Her wedding ring. Her husband was a bastard and she had children with his brother." Xander took them carefully to look them over. "You handle most antiques very well, Xander."
"Thanks. Giles would've killed me if I threw another one ever again." That got a small laugh from Danny. "Honestly. He said to toss him the book. I did." He shrugged and got back to reading them. "That's my grandmother," he said, holding one up. "Apparently she's one of the ones who got sent off." Connor hugged him. "Interesting." He carefully put them in the magic book and them both away. "I'll need to have them fixed or get new copies," he admitted, shifting to look at them. "Duncan said that Don jumping in front of me was wrong. Is it?"
"Technically the game is individual, honorable combat," Connor agreed. "This wasn't going to be either of those so I don't see a problem in this case, but if you're challenged he can't interfere."
"What if he trips the guy or something."
"That would be less than honorable," Danny admitted. "I'll talk with him about it soon enough." Xander nodded, letting himself be hugged. "You okay now?"
"Less slimy but it was scary."
"He is," Danny agreed gently. "Come on, before they wonder what we're doing in here together. Unless you want to put up your clothes."
"Some of it clearly needs washed," Connor said, pointing at one wet pile. "My cousin was showing his disdain for your wardrobe."
"It's all going to the dry cleaner tomorrow," Xander promised, getting up to grab a garbage bag to put it in there. When he was done he had a shirt for tomorrow. "I need to shop."
Danny gave him a look. "You can rewear your pants for a few hours."
"I wore these yesterday."
"Pull something non-stinky out of the wash," Stella said from the doorway. "What happened?"
"That depends, how's that burn on your wrist, Stella?" Danny asked dryly. She gaped at him. He nodded. "Duncan is one. He's also slightly insane and against Xander's friend Oz, who is."
"He came after me to clean the taint of Oz out of me by killing me," Xander told her quietly.
"Okay. I'm still learning, guys. Sorry." She looked at Connor. "I met with your guy."
"I see him every now and then," he admitted dryly, smiling with a touch of humor. "It'll be fine, Stella. It's handled. Mac handled it."
"That's fine. So it was an Attack of Macleod?"
"Basically," he agreed. "He is one stubborn Scotsman when he wants to be."
"So I was told. Anything else I should report?"
"I found some old birth certificates in my bed," Xander said, pulling them out to let her see them.
"Oh, wow. You're related to Aiden?"
"I am?" she called from the living room. She came to look. "That was my grandma's family." She flipped through them and then suddenly laughed. "Knew there was a reason I liked you." Xander blew a kiss. "Don't promise, kiddo, I will expect you to come through for me." He blushed and shrugged. She pulled him out to cuddle him. "Come on, I wanna get more in-depth into this trunk."
"Me too," Stella agreed, putting down the fragile documents carefully and following them.
"Count the money in it," Don called. "That way Xander knows how much he's taking to the bank in the morning."
"Yes, Don," he sighed. "Can't I just leave it here? Just in case?" Don shook his head. "Oh, come on! If something happens to me, you'll need it to pay the cable bill and Helga for a few months until I come back."
Don looked at him. "I do make a paycheck that I'm not using for much at the moment."
"Yeah, but you need to start a longer-term savings account too," he pointed out. "I've got the stuff at the demon bank and they're used to people going for a while." He gave him a hug. "How much is there?"
"About six grand." He pulled him over the back of the couch and spanked him once he was in his lap. "Bad Xander."
"Sorry!" He pouted at him. "I never really thought about the change when I went shopping. It went into my pocket. Donny, my guard guy, keeps the main wallet and never prompts me to hand it back."
"Fine." He let him go. "We've still gotta do something about this, Xander."
"Order dinner?" he suggested impishly, then he ran before Don could grab him again. "Everyone tell Don what we're eating tonight. I'll buy since I found cash."
Stella squeaked and pointed at the trunk, looking at him.
"Yeah, Devi was hiding it from me," he said bitterly, flopping down between the ladies. He scooped out some of the gems and then pulled out the box of cash, looking inside. He had only used two of the bundles. He plopped that in her lap and she squeaked higher. He looked in one and handed it to Aiden, then the other to Stella. "You two can keep the jewelry boxes." They looked over when Stella passed out.
Aiden looked at hers, then at him. "Nice choice." She took the other box, leaving that one open on Stella's lap. She opened it and passed out too.
Danny leaned in and looked in the box, then at the kid. "How much was there originally?"
"Ten grand I think. I used two of the bundles." He took it and handed it over. "Here, let's see if Don passes out too."
Danny brought it out, handing it to Don, who just blinked at the bills. "He wanted to know if you were gonna pass out like the girls did."
Don looked at him and shook his head. "Not hardly. Did you guys find his wallet?"
"Yeah, under his dresser." It was handed over. Danny sat down, watching as Don counted out the wallet and put them into the stacks, then added the stuff in the box. He blinked. "That's a good sized stack."
"We need a safe," he muttered. He went to get the drawer with the metal lockbox and the keys from Xander's dresser, bringing it out. He put the keys on his keyring too. He looked inside, then groaned. "How much did he keep from the first trip to the jewelers?"
"Aiden, how many stones did you guys bring to the jewelers the first trip?" Danny called. "Don wanted to know."
"Put these in the trunk," Don ordered, handing it off. Danny went to do that, but he took back the one that started to hum and vibrate. It went back into the metal box with the cash. Then Don locked it and put it up so Xander couldn't get into it. Three hundred was left on the table. "That's for dinner. Someone order. I've still got a splitting headache." Danny nodded, going to put the drawer back. Don laid down on the couch, one arm over his eyes. He felt a large body hit his and looked at the person snuggling into his chest. "What's wrong, Aiden?"
"Nowhere else to sit." She grinned and put her head down. "Besides, you're very cuddly. Can I take Xander to the porn store since none of his sex toys are in there or his condoms?"
"Where are they?"
"Probably out the window like a few of his clothes." Don moaned. "I promise I'll make him be good." He handed her the key to the lockbox and she squealed, taking it to get a good handful of money, dragging Xander with her, Stella following. "We're going to get him condoms and stuff, guys. Anyone need anything from that way?"
"No," Richie said, looking embarrassed. They all disappeared, Xander bouncing with them.
Danny looked at Connor. "We should bring Doc over," he said quietly.
"Sheldon?" Danny nodded. "Are you sure he is?"
"I am," Don called. "Can I die now?"
"Sure, go ahead if it'll make you feel better," Danny called. "We could use another doc."
"It's too dangerous. You might misjudge it again, Danny. Even though the last one was demonic I don't want to see you feel that guilty again."
"Fine. Can we let him know without letting him know he's pre-immie? I've got to have someone do my exams and my regular doctor thinks something's wrong with me."
"If it becomes necessary," Connor agreed. "We could use another doctor, you're correct about that." He patted him on the shoulder. "Should we separate these out into types?"
"If we do, the girls might lynch us. Not my favorite way to die," Danny joked, making Connor and Richie both nod at that.
Don drug Xander through the jewelry shop's door, nodding at the guy the guard had introduced him to. "We have more and it's not a good thing to keep that much stuff around the house. Got about ten hours?"
"Not really but I could see you both for an hour," he offered, smiling at Xander. "Your hard asset retirement fund?" Xander nodded. "To my office, gentlemen. I do not wish to be disturbed," he noted to the nearest salesman. He walked them back there and closed them in. "Would either of you like some tea?"
"No thanks, we just got up," Don offered with a grin, poking Xander. Xander handed over the briefcase. "Having nine times that at home is making me nervous. There's a footlocker half-full still."
The jeweler opened it and stared, pulling out the stones. "Oh, my," he said, looking them over. A few went into a separate pile. Those were put back inside. "Those are not the normal gemstones and should be examined." He moved the others around. "I see you told him I asked about the diamonds?" he asked, smiling at him. Xander nodded. "Is this all of them?"
"Not really. I let Stella and Aiden, two CSI Don works with now and then, decide what I was bringing." He moved the briefcase. "Don's nervous about having them around the house since someone broke in and went snooping. They almost threw them out a window."
"Ooooh," he said, shuddering. "That would be a great tragedy. Well." He looked at them and separated out the ones he knew he could afford. "If I can get a few other jewel merchants in, we can handle all these. If not, I can only take a few."
"Whatever," Don agreed. "I've never had to deal with this stuff before."
"Sorry, Don," Xander said quietly.
"It's not a problem, Xander, but the rest is being evaluated."
"We can do appraisals on the rest of it," the jeweler agreed. "That would also let them beg for certain pieces if these aren't what they need." Xander shrugged and Don nodded. "How long would it take you to get it here?"
"It's in the trunk in the car," Xander told him. "Don wanted me to stuff it in the bank."
"Ah. That might be wise but I'm not sure I trust all banks. Let's go get that and I'll call some of the people I trust. Then we'll work on the insurance appraisal." Xander and Don nodded, going to get the footlocker. He looked at it when he hung up with one of them. "You weren't kidding!"
"Nope," Don agreed. "His tips." He shook his head.
"I heard it was worthy of it." He called another few people, bringing them. Then he went to get the forms for the insurance estimates. His fellow jewelers came in, including a few he hadn't called. Rumors would have gotten started. "Did no one call Saul?" he asked.
"He's in traffic," one of the younger ones offered. "Who is the owner?"
"A former lover left them to him." That got nods and they came in to see what was being offered and what was in the trunk. Because they would gladly appraise everything in there if the boys were willing to be reasonable about them buying some. The native jeweler smiled as an older man walked in. "Saul. Xander Harris is here."
He raised an eyebrow and smiled. "I had heard he had quite a collection going."
"He's letting us appraise the rest of it."
"Interesting." He went to help, picking out what he wanted. The trunk was a lot less full when the boys left. They had some very nice stones that could be cut into multiple ones and Xander had a few very nice checks that Don was holding for him. The boys carried the trunk out and left. "Think that was all of them?"
"Probably not. They're smart, they held some pieces back," one of the younger guys offered. "They're a cute couple."
The one who owned the store looked at him. "Mr. Harris had his protector with him. He's a member of GHS." They all 'ahhh'd at that. They had all worked with GHS members, they were prone to being given odd gifts. They took their spoils back to their cutters and stores, going to see what could be done with them. It was a good haul.
Don walked into the bank and up to the sign-in secretary. "Mr. Harris needs to rent a rather large security box for some valuables."
"We've got a third of a footlocker of gems," he said quietly. She blinked. "Yeah. Can we also get a guard to come help us heft?"
"Sure." She summoned a guard to help Don and then went to find the person over the security section. Those would be too valuable for regular safety deposit boxes.
Xander walked in and looked up as someone came rushing over. "Mr. Harris, sir, thank you for staying in partnership with us through that trying episode. It's a good thing that a man of your worth believes in us. What can we do for you today? Some more investments for your portfolio?"
"No, hard assets that needed to be stored," he admitted quietly. He nodded back at Don and the guard. "They've got them. Don said it was too risky for me to carry them."
"Ah. I had heard someone was getting the person over our secure section. This way please. Also, if I could have a moment to go over your other accounts?"
"Of course," Don agreed. "As his protector, it's a good thing if I make him keep track of it."
"Agreed as long as he doesn't mind."
"If something happens to me, it goes to Don," he said quietly. That got a nod and they went to gather everyone together in a room. Xander sat down after shaking the woman's hand. "Hi, I'm Xander Harris."
"I'm Mrs. Giddeon. How can we help you today, Mr. Harris? I know your personal banker went to get your other account information for a quick look over. What's in the trunk?"
"I'm a member of GHS," Xander told her. She blinked at that and gaped slightly. "They're tips and presents." Don opened the trunk and the guard moaned. Xander looked at him and nodded. "Someone broke in yesterday and almost threw them out a window to get back at me for being a friend of someone else."
"They're not going to stay at the house anymore," Don assured them. "That's why we're here."
"I can see that. Of course we have a box that can fit that. Let me get one to make sure." She went to get the largest box and brought it back. "Did you want them padded so nothing can get scratched?"
"I don't care," Xander told her. "However they fit best. Two of our friends are CSI and they spent the last few days playing with them." She smiled and nodded, loading the stones into the box. "We also just had them appraised. We can let you copy that for your insurance so I don't have to worry about that?"
"Of course." She finished loading them in and found two last ones. "Hmm, won't fit."
"They can go home with us," Don admitted, taking them to hold. They were pretty sapphires. Together they fit nicely into the palm of his hand. "How much is box rental?"
"It's one thousand a year," she said quietly. "But Mr. Harris has more than enough. If you'll move the trunk, I believe his personal banker is coming back this way." They moved it and the guard left. She locked the box and gave Xander one of the keys, then went to copy the appraisal forms for their records. She did note that they hadn't been able to put two of them in there on the computerized records, taking the sapphires to note them on the forms.
Xander took the forms. "This is more than I expected."
"We ended up putting the three hidden accounts you brought over into one separate one." Xander looked at him. "They did suggest that you leave those others there."
"Xander," Don whined.
"Don, it's related to their area," Xander said dryly. "They can stay there." He flipped through them, letting Don have each form when he was done. "Okay. We've got an autodraw for my yearly condo fees and my housekeeper?" That got a nod. "Are there any problems you can see?" He handed another one to Don. "Ah, my investment portfolio. Am I doing okay?"
"You're doing fine, sir. Two of them had a momentary loss but it wasn't more than three hundred thousand." Don whimpered. He looked at him. "He has two million in his investment portfolio, outside of whatever you brought in today and his condo." He pointed at another one. "This one I'm still not very sure of. It's a good idea but I'm not sure that the fund itself is sound. That's why I didn't add too much to that one." Xander nodded, turning the page. "Again with this one. It's socially conscious but it's got some iffy investments within the fund. That's why I didn't add too much to that one either. If they settle on bigger and better returning investments for those two funds, then I'll gladly add more, up to your pre-stated tolerance levels." Xander nodded, handing that to Don. "Also, we got the message today that the person who broke in may have taken your checkbook?"
"Everything but what was in my wallet," Xander said, showing him what was in it.
"Oh, you poor man," he said, patting him on the arm. "We've negated that whole series of checks and we're sending you a new box. So if you do find any of them, just cut them up. Or shred them if you've got a shredder. Then we'll move onto your cards today. Do you have your ATM card?" Xander searched but Don handed it over. "No, that's his old one. Ours is gold." Don looked and nodded, handing over one. "Ah. You're his protector or his keeper?"
"Protector. We're not dating."
"That's fine," he agreed, holding up a hand. "I'd never judge. We have a few members of the Society here and it's a great thing when they take the time to find an excellent keeper, someone who loves more than their natures and their money." He smiled and handed that to Xander. "I'll need to mark off my list." Xander handed over his wallet. He settled in to do that while Xander did the box's paperwork. It was definitely being done in a rush. "So.... officer?"
"Detective Flack. I bank here too. I drug him here since I bank here. Have since I was about sixteen."
"We love our loyal customers," he agreed happily. He finished marking it off. "All right. I'll move your checks up by another five thousand, just in case, Xander. Did you want to put it into a desk set this time?"
"I like the duplicate system," he admitted. "Not that I keep track of it very well. I suck at balancing my checkbook. Don laughed the last time I did it because I pouted when I threw it across the room."
"Desk sets come in a binder," Mrs. Gideon offered. "They're usually used in office environments."
"That would mean you'd have to take your debit card with you," Don told him. "Which would be fine. It'd be easier to take care of. Duplicates are a good idea though." Xander nodded at that. "So, carryable or a bigger one?"
"Bigger one that way I can't lose it. I lost it last week for two days and found it in the fridge for some reason."
"No, that was me," Don assured him. "After this, we're going to pay the cable bill." Xander nodded. "Oh, and he wants to deposit some money that was in the trunk too." He opened the briefcase and handed over the manilla envelope. "Into wherever it would normally go."
"We can handle that." She took it to have it counted by machine and made out a deposit slip, letting his banker fill in the account number. She took it back to have it handled then brought back the deposit slip, handing it to Don. "There you go. Any other business today?"
"No, just lunch," he said with a smile. "Thank you for putting up with us."
"It's not an issue. We love clients like Mr. Harris. He mostly leaves his money alone so we can make money off him." Xander blushed at that. "That is the way the banking system works, Mr. Harris."
"I know. You guys take mine, loan it out, make a profit off that loan, then I make interest." He looked at his personal banker. "Any forms for you?"
"Do you have a police report?" Don handed a copy over. "Then we can get to work on the checks and the cards tonight, gentlemen." He shook their hands. "Thank you. Go with her to put your box into place." Xander got up and carried it that way with Don following to watch over them. Then he and Xander shook her hand as well and carried the trunk out. "He is the *nicest* young man."
"He is," she agreed happily. "He's so confused though."
"He's new to all this." They went to their offices to file the paperwork with their supervisors and then decided an early lunch was a good thing. This would get them both praise and commissions.
Don walked through the door backward, carrying one side of the trunk. Xander had the other side and Aiden was directing and opening doors for them. "Why did I let you two go shopping?"
"Because you love us," she reminded him. "Especially since you took mine and Stella's toys away from us." She flopped down once the trunk was in Xander's room and he was putting clothes up. Don flopped down beside her and she smiled. "Hi."
"Hi." He nudged her with his shoulder. "They fell all over themselves at the bank today," he said quietly. "I said his name and they snapped to it."
"Yeah, he's got funds though," she reminded him. Don nodded at that. "Good funds?"
"Two mil in investments. Five bank accounts. All over that amount." He looked back toward the bedroom. "Xander, how much was in the demon bank?"
"Another four hidden accounts, an investment account off one of them, and two security boxes with ugly stuff I didn't want to see." He came out hanging up a sweater. "Why?" Someone tapped on the door. "Who is it?"
"It's me," his guard called. Xander bounced over to let him in, grinning at him. "So, are we on for today or not?"
"Not," Don sighed, stretching out. "Aiden just made us take her shopping for Xander." He shuddered at that. "Yeah, a footlocker worth of clothes."
"We can go to the movies," Xander offered. "Aiden?"
"Sure. I can work up enough energy to sit and stare. Is the cable still on?"
"They said it'd be back on today," Don promised. "So probably tonight or I'll have to go watch the game at the bar." She nodded, going to help Xander change clothes into more comfortable things and then they went to the garage. Don waved listlessly, watching them go. "He's gotta go to the bank to pay you," he called after them.
Xander came back and patted him don to find his wallet, walking off with it.
"Cute," Don noted, smiling as he moved to lay on the couch. His phone rang and it was too far so he had to groan and move to catch it. "Flack," he said tiredly. "Hey, Dad. No, he's out at the movies with Aiden and the off-duty guy he pays to go out with him so he's protected. No, I got hit in the head last night. Yeah, was meaning to talk to you soon. So, I was adopted or was I just found?" His father was silent then sighed and told him his mother had found him but they had officially adopted him through the system. "That's cool. No, no suddenly appearing other family. I found out another way. No, I'm not mad. You guys were good parents to me. That does mean that the brat isn't naturally mine though and I won't have to worry if I ever have kids." Even though Danny had assured him he was infertile. His father would nag if he heard that.
"Yeah, I'm cool with it. No, tired. I let Aiden talk me into taking Xander shopping. We spent the last three hours buying the kid clothes. No, he paid for it. Dad, it's his condo. I don't pay for a damn thing," he noted dryly. "No, nothing. Not food, nothing but my own dry cleaning. Yeah, so I'm doing okay financially. My retirement fund is very nice at the moment. Sure." He smiled. "Cable's supposed to be back on tonight. No, I forgot to make him pay it. He forgets the mundane stuff. I don't know why GHS members are like that, Dad, but most of them are. Yeah. No, they're at the movies or something. Even Aiden's exhausted. The only one who isn't is Xander and he's a perpetual motion machine. We could put him on a treadmill and power the city some days. Sure. Sure, we can do dinner. Come on over. See you then." He hung up and called down to the doorman. "My parents are coming. Warn Xander and Aiden when they show back up. Thanks." He hung up and decided he'd need a nap anyway. Aiden could *shop*!
Xander woke up and knew something wasn't right. There was no way Don had handcuffed him with thick metal cuffs. Or had put him into a pair of girly shorts like he could feel he was wearing. All he was wearing actually. He looked around the room. It was definitely a cell. Oh, someone was in *so* much trouble.
To Part 7: