Happy New Friends
Xander looked at the demon in front of him. "I'm not a girl!" he shouted, lunging at him. This time the straps didn't hold him and he managed to stab him with the pretty dagger he had hidden under his dress. He spit on him then kicked the body. "I'm still not a girl! I want to go home! I'm not yours! You're not castrating me again! I'm going home!" He stomped a foot and felt the displacement. When he landed, he looked at the man standing there. "You again?"
"Me again," his adopted brother said dryly. "Thank you for fighting back against the Monsoon demon by the way. He's a bit insistent. If he comes back, I'd suggest holy water instead of a knife."
"The knife felt better. How do I get out of this thing?"
He shrugged. "How would I know? It looks like a sheet." He waved a hand and the other things that the demon had been trying to add onto him and his trousseau appeared around his feet. "Ask the people coming in. Are you all right?"
"No! Have you ever been castrated!"
"No, thankfully not." He disappeared in a small green flash.
Someone knocked on his bedroom door, making him shriek. "What!"
"It's me," Connor called. "May I come in?"
"Only if you help me out of the shit that monsoon demon stuck me in. He thought I was a girl, Connor." He opened the door and frowned at him. "How do I get out of this shit and how long should it continue to hurt after your balls grow back?"
Connor looked at him. "Excuse me?"
"A monsoon demon got me last night while I was trying to cook."
"Don said you disappeared again but he was told you'd be back today."
"And I am, but I'm stuck in this and it's a dress and did you know how much being castrated hurts?"
Connor snickered at that and shook his head. "No, thankfully I don't." He looked at him. "It's been many years since I undressed a woman in a sari."
"I'm not female!" he shouted, then he slammed the door on the laughter. "Go the hell away!"
"I came to let you see my other student, Xander."
"I saw and heard him. Why the hell do I want to deal with either of you today?"
"Fine. Come here, we'll do what we can to help." He nodded at Giles to get the door since someone was knocking. "Come on, Xander."
"No! He's going to spend eternity picking on my ass, like he did back there! I don't want to see Giles and I'm not sparring with him. I'd rather take his head. He didn't believe I was worth anything either. So take him and go."
"Us?" an unfamiliar voice asked.
Xander opened the door. "No, the other two," he said with a pout. "Hi. You're Horatio and Speed, right?" They both nodded. "Sorry, some asshole decided I was supposed to be female and they, my supposed friends, laughed."
"They left," the dark haired guy offered. "Let's see if we can help you out of that. I've had to undress Horatio a few times," he offered at the hesitant look. "Even un-jewelry him. A few of those look sealed too."
"Wire snippers?" Horatio asked.
"Under the sink. The up/down switch is the black one on the escalator. I'm sorry you guys had to see that."
"That's all right." Speed came in and looked at him. "Looks like you start with the pin to the shirt and then unwind." Xander nodded, getting that then unwinding himself. "So, who had you?"
"A monsoon demon," he said grimly. Then he groaned and shook his head.
"Demons too. Huh." He looked at Horatio when he came back. "You've met a few demons?"
"One or two. Mostly nice people."
"A monsoon demon had me, he wanted me to be a girl. He tried to castrate me and everything," Xander said with a pout. Horatio gave him a hug and he stiffened. "I don't want to get between you two or anything."
"You're not, Xander," Horatio assured him gently. "But I do notice you're a bit like Eric."
"The blue lightening stuff?" Speed asked, coming over to help him unwind himself. "Man, he dropped you off with crap?"
"The person who stole me back dropped me off with it." He blushed. "I'm really sorry you guys had to see this."
"It's not a problem. We've been there a few times and I'm betting you get there all too often," Horatio said calmly, working on a few of the earrings that had been welded in. "I have no idea how we'll get the nose ring."
Speed finished getting Xander out of the sari and put it onto the bed. "Those look..like you were branded and they healed into the flesh, kiddo." Xander groaned and felt his asscheek. Sure enough, there was a healing brand there and the cloth was stuck to it. "Into the shower. Where's your protector?"
"Work." He shrugged. "We did tell everyone at the labs they couldn't come over this weekend."
"That's fine," Horatio agreed with a small smile. "Come on. Into the shower so you can hose down and see if you can remove those. Why he put you in silk panties I'm not sure."
"Because he had me castrated last night. He wanted me to be his harem princess," he said bitterly, leading the way to the bathroom. He hopped up onto the sink with a hiss and started to take the rings off his toes first. Those were dropped into a pile beside the toilet. "That really does hurt."
"It's not that uncommon," Horatio offered gently, working on the earrings again with Speed taking the nose ring for now. "They don't want us able to service anyone but them so they make sure of it." He snipped one final one and dropped it into the pile as well. "There. Speed, clippers?"
"This one's not welded shut." He got it undone and dropped it. "Sorry about picking your nose." Xander grinned a goofy grin at that and he could see his allure now. "Into the shower, then put on something comfy. We'll wait downstairs while you clean up."
"Thank you. Can you call Don and tell him I'm back? He's speed dial two on the phones."
"Sure, kid." They headed down there, smiling at each other. "He's so much worse than you," Speed offered quietly.
Horatio nodded. "He's a higher level than me as well. I'd expect that." They settled in and he called the number programmed in. "Don, Horatio Caine," he said smoothly. "Yes, we are. Also, Xander said he's back and said something about a monsoon demon who took him but someone took him back already." He smiled. "He thought you would've been told that. Of course. No, he's in the shower, Don. I'll have him call you in about an hour. Are you in pursuit?" He smiled. "Don't crash, it would destroy him. Good boy. Have fun with him." He hung up and looked at his keeper. "He's in pursuit of someone, but in a car pursuit."
"That's better than trying to talk on the phone and run." He snuggled his boy closer, smiling when Xander came down in lounging jammies and went right to the kitchen to check it over. "It looked pretty clean when we came in."
"Thanks." He came out and flopped down across from them. "So, you guys know, huh?" They nodded. "How?"
"One of our coworkers has the problem with the blue lightening now and then," Speed offered. "Delko. Eric Delko this life."
Xander shrugged. "I'm not that old. I'm only nineteen." They both nodded at that. "So, since we talked...." Someone pounded on the door and he sighed, going down there. "What?" He opened it and found his bodyguard, smiling at him. "Hi, Donny."
"Hi, Xander. I take it we're not going out today?"
"No, I have a few older GHS who've been this way for a good few years and they're in to help me with this stuff. I thought I told you."
"You did, I was just checking since everyone said Flack came in with a really bad mood today."
"Well, yeah. But I'm back again." That got a smirk. "Stupid monsoon person who thought I was a girl," he muttered. "Put me in a dress too." That got a loud laugh. "Gee, just laugh!" He frowned at him. "Next week or are you busy?"
"I'm busy next week. I'm supposed to be proving to my father that I'm not gay."
"Ah. Well, tell him you haven't hit on me and every bi and gay man in the city has. Since I don't affect you you've got to be *really* straight." That got a laugh. "Thank you." He hugged him. "Have a good day off and go play."
"I will. You behave and be more careful." He walked off once Xander had shut the door, shaking his head. That was one ball of energy. Who had smelled really good.
Speed watched the kid. "You're on a hormone high?"
Xander considered it then shook his head. "About medium."
"That's still too high for your own safety, kiddo. You've got to bring it down."
"How?" He flopped down again, looking at them. "I'm trying to find a boyfriend and it's not working very well. I'm visiting a, um, well a brothel every week to work it out some and it's still not working greatly."
Horatio nodded at that. "Your protector won't?"
"He's kinda straight. I'm good enough that I get cuddles and I get to blow him."
They both nodded at that. "Come cuddle between us," Speed offered. Xander opened his mouth. "I promise, it's not going to break us up, Xander. Horatio's my boy and staying my boy." Xander nodded and came over to cuddle between them, relaxing again. "Good boy. Now, spa time?"
"I went yesterday before I started to cook."
"Good. That's an excellent start, but most young ones in your situation have multiple lovers," Horatio said gently, stroking over his hair. "This is very soft."
"One of them made me grow it."
"Ah." He tangled his fingers in it, giving him a scalp massage, getting a moan of pleasure. "Is there anyone we should instruct besides your protector?"
"Danny. He's my teacher."
"Of course. Is he with the lab?" Xander nodded. "Hmm. Messer wasn't it?" Xander nodded again, looking up at him. "I'm sure he can keep a secret." He got back to work, making Xander one happy boy. He noticed it was going down. "Hmm, using it offensively."
"I'm pretty good at imagining them higher," Xander admitted tiredly, yawning a bit. "I don't know why I'm tired. I spent most of yesterday knocked out." Someone pounded on the door and he groaned, going to answer it. "What?"
"Mr. Alexander Harris?"
"Unfortunately." The guy pulled a gun. "You'd better have a really good reason for that."
"My employer would like to talk to you."
Xander snorted and grabbed that hand, forcing it down while he backhanded him with the other one. Then he slammed his face into the building. "No. Thank you anyway." He walked off and called the station. "It's Xander and I left someone outside the house bleeding and holding a gun. Can you maybe come arrest him?" He smiled. "Thank you. He pulled it and said his employer wanted to talk to me. As long as you remove him I don't care if you drop him in the river or arrest him. Thanks." He hung up and went back up to the lounge, going to clean up in the kitchen. "Sorry, some people are just rude and don't ask."
"We've gotten that before," Speed promised, grinning at him. "You know some self- defense?" He nodded. "Good. That's always a good thing. Come here." Xander came back and cuddled between them, letting them go back to calming him down. Someone knocked. "He's busy," he called. They knocked again and he shared a look with Horatio but then someone else yelled at them and they left. The door opened and Don came up the escalator. "Ah,, the guy we were waiting on," Speed said happily. "I'm Speed, this is Horatio."
"Hey." He tipped his head to look at the very sleepy Xander. "Who had him this time? I got told not to worry but still."
"He said a monsoon demon," Horatio told him. Don moaned at that. "We already knew. I do the same thing Mac does," he offered quietly.
"Plus, I noticed the little blue lightening trick. We work with one of you," Speed offered quietly. "It's even more important he get some control since he's going to have years like this."
"Is the guy you work with nice?" Don asked as he took Xander's former seat. "We only know a few of the ones locally."
"He is, but he's a tit hound," Speed offered dryly, earning a smile.
"Maybe we'll meet him in a non-threatening way some day soon." He looked at Xander again. "I'm doing the best I can, guys."
"We understand that," Horatio promised, getting a small smile. "It still has to be worn out a lot more." Xander mumbled something and he smiled at him. "You rest, Xander. It's always hard work being rescued." The boy nodded and curled against his side with Speed getting his feet for now. "Any luck on finding him a boyfriend?"
"Nope. I've asked everyone I know to look at his profile. He's gotten a few answers but it's from guys who only want to chat online. I've helped him adjust his blurb a few times as well." He looked at his charge then at the clearly bonded couple again. "If he needs to, I'm more than willing to let him go back to the brothel more often."
"Feelings help wear it out more," Speed offered. Don blushed at that. "He told us. We've been chatting for a few days now." Don relaxed and nodded. "So we know a lot about his life. Including the fact that he thinks he may have hurt someone a few days ago."
"It wouldn't be the first time," Don said quietly. "He told you about Devi and all that stuff?"
"It's not uncommon," Horatio assured him. "At least half of us end up there at one point or another." He stroked over Xander's hair. "Are you off this weekend?"
"Yeah, once I brought back in the guy who tried ta shoot my car I got told to go home since he called about the guy outside. What happened to him?" Speed pointed at Xander. "Really?" That got stereo nods. "How do you two make it work and make Horatio go to work? I'm doing good to make Xander get up some mornings."
"That's the hormones," Horatio assured him.
"Also, Horatio's only half as bad as the kid is," Speed offered. "But a bit of structure does help now and then. Not a lot of structure, but a little bit. Oh, watch out for the jewelry in the bathroom. We helped him get it off since some was welded on." Xander moaned and shifted. "Plus he said they castrated him and that the guys who let us in laughed."
"Who let you in?"
"Nash and someone," Horatio offered. "I've seen him with a few members before."
"He was ranting something about him not thinking he was any good before," Speed added.
"Giles," he said grimly. He called Connor. "You did what to Xander?" he asked coolly. "Yeah, and I doubt he needs Giles anywhere near him, Connor. Yeah, and he's one of the ones who discounted him having any skills and put him down repeatedly by not supporting him any. Really? Then ask him how Xander lived before. Let's see what he says." Connor mumbled something. "Uh-huh. And you brought him here hoping for what? Him to lose his head? Yeah, they're still here and they work with one of us. Delko. Eric?" Speed nodded. "Here." He tossed it over. "You describe him." He looked at Horatio. "Some days I hate our teachers," he said dryly. "The other guy was one who decided Xander was just a normal person without skills. Even though he saved his protectee's life."
"Where is he from?" Horatio asked.
"Sunnydale." They both stiffened at that. "That's *that* Xander. You think he's a tagalong like they did?"
"Not hardly," Speed offered, listening to him. "Yeah, that's Eric. No, he's a nice guy." He rolled his eyes. "I'm sure he's not, Nash. Yes, Horatio's seen you around some of the other GHS members. Of course I'm sure. He's very nice to us and to all the ladies he's dated. Flustered by a few even." He smirked. "I'm sure it'll be just fine." He hung up and put the phone down. "He's panicking now. Apparently Eric was a bit worse when he was younger."
"It happens. Xander's already had to take a few and he's only been this way for six months," Don told him. "Personally, I'd rather move us all down with you guys. I like the New York crew and all but it's getting out of hand up here. Way too many demons."
"Not too many come to Miami," Horatio noted with a gentle smile. "Too much sun. No winter." Don nodded at that. "You would both be welcome. There's not too many of us in town."
"And hey, the new kid could probably use him to date," Speed offered. "Eric could help with his training. Because he walks funny right now." Don looked at him. "He's halfway between gliding and strolling."
"Yeah, noticed that." He looked at Xander. "It's working itself out. He used ta stomp." Someone rang the bell. "Not this weekend!" He felt them. "Crap." He got up and went down there, finding Danny. "Not this weekend."
"They've got one of us down there."
"Really?" He smirked. "Who?"
"He's a decent sort." He walked in and up to look at Xander. "He okay?" They nodded. "Who had him, just as a general note?"
"A monsoon demon."
Danny shuddered. "Eww." He woke Xander up. "I need ta check you over if you're still in pain. I'm not sayin' a word about whatever I find but you do heal kinda slowly still."
"He branded me and he castrated me. It still hurts."
"I know, come on. Let's go look, Xander." He got a pout but Xander got up and went with him. "I never saw you two. Don't worry about me."
"That's fine," Speed agreed. He smiled at Horatio then at Don. "That's what a good keeper should be like. Part worried husband, part cajoling spouse, part tolerant lover, and every now and then keeper of the keys to the single chain around their ankles on the days they needed reminded they're loved."
Danny came to the top of the escalator. "I wouldn't mind but I'm still training him. It'd get in the way." He went back to Xander's room to help him clean up the mess as well. "What is this? He dressed you in girl's clothes?" Xander pouted and nodded. He sighed. "I'm sorry. Did Connor laugh?"
"Plus he had Giles here and he laughed too."
"Bastard. He knew Giles was going to set you off."
Xander hugged him. "Danny, can we move to Miami next?"
"Sure, munchkin." Xander grinned at that and kissed him. He hummed into his mouth. "They just suggested me as a keeper."
"You're my teacher, that'd get in the way. I'd pout you out of practice."
"I know. Then again, you're already almost as good as I am. You need a better teacher and Connor's not doing it for you either." He stroked his cheek. "Maybe Miami would be good for us." Xander nodded at that, making him smile. "If we could make Don move."
"Don nearly wrecked today."
"Hmm. We'll see." He gave him a cuddle. "Now, let's finish cleaning up the mess. Who rescued you?"
"That same guy who said his father the demon adopted me."
"Ah." They got the saris folded and then went to get the stuff from the bathroom, making him smirk at that. "Some of it was welded on?" Xander shuddered and nodded. Danny gave him a gentle grope, getting a groan. "Still some pain?" Xander nodded. "Any idea why?"
"I have one that needs to drop." Danny gave another gentle squeeze and felt it go down. Xander relaxed. "Thank you."
"Welcome, baby boy." He kissed him again. "If I'm gonna do that for you, it's gonna be you and me and you can have Flack whenever and however you and he want, got me here?" Xander nodded, snuggling into his arms. "But it does mean we've got to get you a new trainer. I can't do more than spar with you if I'm seeing you. It skews my perceptions."
"Know anyone good?" Don asked as he came up. "Is he okay now?" Danny nodded, handing over the handful of jewelry. "What's this?"
"He made him dress like a girl."
"I don't think he'd make a good drag queen," Don noted, going to put it into the 'it goes' box under Xander's bed. Xander came in and put the rest in there too. "Good. Now we've got guests."
"Don, if I do, I can't teach him. He's right, he'll pout me out of making him practice. The same way he does you. You could both use a tougher teacher since Connor's falling off."
"Plus he's got Giles and I'm going to refuse to spar with him," Xander said quietly. "I'd attack. I'd be vicious."
"I know. Come on, princess." Xander glared at him. "You are, you're one of the gay princesses." He gave him a nudge and they headed down there, finding them in the kitchen. "Sorry about the manners and all. Need help?"
Speed grinned. "I like to cook." He smiled at Xander, who came in to look over his shoulder. "I noticed the beginner's stuff. Just learning?"
"Yeah. My mother didn't cook at all."
"Ever?" Xander shook his head quickly. "How are you coming along?" Xander got them the plate of brownies from the fridge, letting him have one then going to give them to Horatio, making him smile. "A bit too much chocolate but good enough for a first try." He gave him a hug. The boy sank into him like it was the best thing in the world. "Yeah, you need a keeper." He looked at Danny. "We've got room for you guys. The boss wanted him to hire another tech."
"Don's a homicide detective," Xander said, looking at him. Speed smiled. "Don also suggested I buy into a spa."
"You should." He gave him a pat. "Let me get out some milk."
"Milk's probably bad, it was this morning," Don offered. "Sorry. Beers, sodas, waters, but the milk needs replaced."
"I used powdered for the recipe."
"That works, but no one likes to drink it, it tastes like formula," Speed teased, getting a nod. "Go sit." Xander bounced out there to sit next to Danny, then ended up in his lap with a tolerant look from the new keeper.
"I'll say this now, Don. Your cuddles are staying." Don grinned at that. "Whatever goes on between you two is between you two. I'm not that stringent in these things. Xander will wear my tired ass out too."
"We work days and have fairly firm shifts," Horatio offered, picking off another piece to nibble. "Plus a better pay rate and a lot more sun."
"I could use some sun," Danny offered. He looked at Xander, then at Don, then back at Xander. "If we find you a new trainer, you'd go?"
"Yup. As long as he doesn't do to me what Connor keeps doing. He keeps pushing me back there," he said quietly.
"He's hoping ta break it, Xander," Don said patiently.
"It won't break, Don. I did it while I was hunting back in Sunnydale. It was like a comfy mental spot." He looked at Speed when he came out. "How many of us are there?"
"There's ten GHS members in Miami and the surrounding areas, and another twelve in Orlando and Tampa. We don't do many city-wide meetings like you do up here but we do have small family groups. We pretty much keep to ourselves since outing it would be bad."
"Would that be a problem for Danny if he took me in?"
"No," Speed assured him. "We don't have many problems with gay cops. Every now and then you'll find one or two who do," he offered. "Now, plenty of them know about GHS, but they don't know about Horatio being one. We had a few conventions there in the last few years. Some of the Vice guys tried to raid one." He shrugged. Then he looked at Don. "I wouldn't be too surprised if you're borderline."
"Adam said I was probably a level two. That's why I liked to cuddle so much," Don offered, shrugging a bit. "I guess it happens. I'm not interested in training it at the moment unless I break out in problems."
"That's reasonable," Horatio agreed. "We can have you transferred down within the month, Danny. It would be much easier with you down there." Danny considered it. "I know you've got friends and family up here."
"Yeah but they're annoying the hell outta me at the moment."
Xander poked him. "Aiden."
"True. We've got to get Aiden a new job anyway. You guys have medical research groups, right?" They nodded. "That would get her. We'll talk about it this week, Horatio, let you know."
"Please do. It might be good for Xander to get away from the demonic."
"I might send him down for a bit anyway," he agreed. "Just to see if Eric would train him. How many more like him are there?"
"Three that make him growl because he runs into them. He's got a family that basically protects him."
"My original one does me," Danny agreed. "We had a falling out. They turned into bad guys and I didn't." Xander stroked his chest, calming him down. "You're good."
"No I'm not," he said with an impish grin.
Speed laughed at that. "Horatio does that now and then and he usually ends up tied to the bed and screaming his head off in pleasure."
Danny nodded. "I can see why. Xander will be shortly."
"I moan, I don't scream," he said shyly, playing with a shirt button.
Danny looked down at him. "You could scream, you didn't let it go enough at the place." He kissed him then put him back onto the couch. "Behave for now."
"No, this is normal GHS behavior," Horatio told him. "The limp, cuddly, touching and stroking with the teasing is us, Danny. That's how he's supposed to be. That's how you know he's happy."
"Watch out for him being bored," Speed offered. He shuddered.
"I haven't been that bored in a while," Horatio complained, frowning at him.
"You were last week and you nearly got us shot by a drug dealer, Horatio." He stole a quick kiss. "Behave."
"Yes, dear." He snuggled into his mate's side, he could do that here and no one would say anything about it. They were safe.
Danny walked into work Monday morning with a very prominent hickey, making Stella smile. "I'm now his keeper. It's working best for him," he said dryly. Then he grinned. "He's a little biter too." He walked on, going to talk to Mac. Who was on a call. "Got five?" he mouthed.
"Hold on, Joe." He put him on hold. "What happened? You weren't on-call but you never answered your phone."
"Xander had some GHS friends up and we decided it was for the best if I moved to be his keeper for now." Mac gaped. He walked in and closed the door. "Which means I can't train him and with Connor doing Giles, it's not gonna be comfy for Xander to train with him anymore either."
"Oh." He frowned. "So you're switching to where?"
"We were thinking Miami. It's a nice city, low on population of immies and demons. Since Xander got taken by a monsoon demon it was kinda not fun Friday watching him finish healing. Oh, if that's *Joe* your boss Joe, tell him Xander heals kinda slowly." He shrugged. "I talked to Caine already, he said he's got a spot open. You gonna tank me with them like you do up here?"
"You do, Mac. You're not objective. It's like your my father and I can't do anything right up here. We would be trying to bring Aiden. We'd let her live in our place until she found a new job but we sent in letters of interest for her down there to some medical groups." He shrugged. "There's also one down there I've met in the past and he seemed okay and like he could teach. If not, I'm sure we could arrange for someone to pop down for a few months."
"That's fine. Do you need my help for the transfer?"
"Hmm, yup. You tanked two evals in a row, Mac. One was the shooting, I get that. I leveled fully with Caine. He's got this stare, ya know?"
"You went down there and talked to him?"
"He was in town visiting family and Xander ran into him."
"Oh." He frowned. "I'll look them over again, Danny."
"Thanks. We'll be taking Flack with us and if you know someone who wants that place, Xander's willing to sell reasonably."
"Sure." He gave him a weak smile. "Are you sure?"
"I am, which means you'll have to watch Sheldon."
"Of course." That got a nod and Danny walked out. He took Joe off hold. "Do you think I ride Danny unfairly?" He listened to his boss's opinion. "No, they decided Danny was the best to play temporary boyfriend for Xander to keep it under control. That means they'll have to get him another teacher and Connor's got that Giles guy that Oz sent him. Apparently he was about like I am with Danny to Xander." He nodded slowly, listening to what he knew. "How do we know? Oh, Oz." That got a nod. "No, they're talking about Miami. It'd have to be the three of them. Xander needs Flack too much at the moment to not drag him too." He considered it. "It's a low combat area. New York is second only to Paris for the number of us locally. Sure, Joe. Thanks." He hung up and leaned back, considering things. He did look at Danny's evaluations, going over them as objectively as he could. Then he looked at his peer review ones, done by Stella usually. Aiden's were tougher on him but still higher than his own marks. Maybe he did ride Danny unfairly.
Xander bounced up to where Aiden was pouting with her ice cream, giving her a hug. "Hurry up and let's go."
She looked at him. "Why?"
"Because we're going for a walk to talk in private."
"Sure." She paid and got her ice cream to go, following him out to his SUV and then to the nearest park so they could walk around. "What's going on?"
"Well, first, we had a GHS couple, bonded pair of keeper and GHS, up this weekend to help me." She smiled at that. "They were really nice and sweet and helpful. They only jumped on my case for eating chocolate on my eggs. We went over the keeper things and we decided that Danny could do it easiest and best for right now." She stopped to stare at him. He grinned and nodded. "And he's really good too." He gave her a goofy grin and hugged her. "Plus, they said I could find a better teacher down there and then I'd be closer to them when I needed more help. There's less demons down there too."
She pouted. "So you're moving?"
"You can come with us." He put an arm through hers and walked off. "They've got some great medical research groups down there and you're more than qualified, right?" She nodded at that. "Then you can go down there with us. Danny sent out general letters of interest so you should expect offers. You can even live in our place until you can find someone to buy it so you don't have to worry about rent. I'll even keep paying the water and that stuff." He gave her a squeeze. "It's Miami so it's pretty."
"Whoa, I know Caine. He'd never take Danny into the lab."
"Yes he will."
She blinked. "He will?" He nodded. "He talked to him?" Xander nodded. "What about Flack?"
"Yup. We ran into them in town for family stuff and they talked about it. It's a lower stress area for me and Danny was thinking about moving anyway."
"Oh." She pouted some. "You'd be willing to put up with me?" He nodded. "But I love New York."
"I know you do but we wouldn't get back up here that often. Who would I shop with? Who would shop with you and spoil you rotten every single trip?"
She laughed at that, giving him a hug and letting him steal some of her ice cream. "We'll see, Xander. I'll think about it." He nodded and bounced around some more. "Calm down. You're like a ball from one of those machines." He grinned at that. "Was it good? I always figured Danny was more into quick, hard, and good than long-time things."
"Oh, we did both," he admitted with a sappy grin. "He took me against the fridge once because I was happy and starting to spike." He gave her another cuddle and sat them down on a bench. "You missed it. Someone had me overnight Thursday. A monsoon demon. He decided I was a girl."
"Well, you are kinda girlish now and then, Xander. With the hair and the way you walk, you can be now and then," she amended at his pout. "Especially watching you walk away from someone? Yeah. You're a bit of a princess too." Xander pouted worse. "I know, I'm sorry. You're very manly when you want to be. But it's part of the gay thing mostly. You're very femme now and then."
"I'd make a horrible girl."
"Probably true," she agreed, letting him have the rest of her ice cream. He ate a few bites and handed it back. "Wow, he worked wonders. How many times did it take to wear you out?" Xander blushed. "Xander, give," she chided, poking him on the chest. He whispered in her ear, making her blink. "How can you sit?"
"Practice." He grinned and shifted to look at her. "Will you come with us, Aiden? I'll miss you if you don't."
"Sure, baby. I'll try to come with you." She patted him on the cheek. "When are you thinking about going?"
"Within the month," Don said as he joined her. He sat behind her and gave her a hug. "Danny's bouncing around today too. It exchanges energy between 'em. Plus he's got a huge hickey in plain view. Lindsey was staring at it in consternation, like she wanted ta say somethin'. It was kinda cute. He just gave her happy, smug smiles." He gave her a cuddle, making her relax. "You can have our place until you can sell it," he assured her. "Xander's gonna buy into a spa down there. It'll be good for all of us. Just think, no more blizzards." She shivered at that. "Exactly. No more brr's for six moths." He grinned at Xander. "He'll get to wear all the skimpy bathing suits Danny can stand. We'll probably end up doing something about his hair." She shrugged. "We'll see though. Plus Caine likes him, called him a cute guy." Xander blushed at that. "So we're in with them if you wanted to join us."
She nodded. "I'll consider it, Don. What about Stella and Mac?"
"I love Stella and whenever she's ready, she'll join us. Probably when Mac dies or if he snaps too hard."
"Sure." She let herself be cuddled between them. "You two are really good at that."
"Of course we are," Don said proudly. Xander pinched him. "Okay and Adam thought I might be a level two or so," he admitted quietly. She gaped at him. He nodded slightly, blushing just a bit. "He thinks so but he's not willing to put me through the test since it's mostly sex and I'm not really bi."
She turned and hugged him. "It's all right, it's not contagious and Xander can't make it worse."
"I hope not. Did he tell you about the monsoon demon who wanted him to dress like a girl?"
"Not more than it was one." She looked at Xander. "That and I told him from behind he can be mistaken for one with how he walks and that hair."
Don looked at him. "Walk for us, Xander. We'll film it." Xander huffed but did that and Don used his phone to take a short video. "That should do it." Xander came back and watched himself, moaning some. "See, you're halfway between your old stride and gliding now. You look really graceful most of the time, especially with your hair down or in one long braid. Then it sways with you and people stare at your ass." Aiden nodded at that. "So that's what she was thinkin'."
"Damn it, I should cut that mess off."
"No, don't. Danny likes it," Don pointed out. "Hell, I like it." He grinned at her. "I still get cuddles. Danny sends him my way whenever he's worn out." She giggled at that. "He does." He went back to cuddling her, letting Xander watch the video over and over. "It'll ease out. Caine moves the same way only he's got that economy of motion thing going instead of the graceful thing you've got. It's the difference between a dancer and a fighter sometimes." Xander shrugged and handed it back. "That's why you look so deadly in your blue leathers. They accent that sway." Xander snorted again, not looking happy. "Sorry, kiddo."
"Not your fault I look like a girl." Then he suddenly grinned. "But I look better than Buffy I bet."
"Probably," Aiden agreed. "We'll have to send it to Oz and see." Xander hugged her again. "I'll miss you guys while you're gone."
"Us too, Aide." He squeezed her, making her squeak his name. "I know, I'm just so cute you gotta yell out my name," Don teased.
She pinched him. "Not hardly. Xander's that cute." Xander preened. "So what sort of stuff did you get this time?"
"He welded some of it in so it had to be cut out. He pierced me a lot and put on rings. I got a few sari's. They're still mostly in a pile in my room and the 'going somewhere else' box." She grinned at him. "I looked really funny in them. Connor laughed. Oh, and he's got *Giles* here."
"Ooh," she said, giving him another hug. "It'll be okay. You don't have to associate if you don't wanna." She let him go. "So, any luck on the house down there yet?"
"Not yet," Don admitted. "Haven't started looking yet."
"But there is a spa who's looking for investors," Xander offered. Don smiled at that. "I'd hope that my fellow members would come visit, that would give us a major base of income. I'm going to talk to her when I go down next week if we all agree."
"Sure," Don agreed. "I'm sure they'll make sure you're not in trouble. After all, they helped us the last time you nearly did. Don't forget to tell Donny too."
"I will." He snuggled into Aiden's side. "You've gotta come down, Aiden. You're the only girl I still like."
"I know, baby. I'm your new big sister." She stroked over his hair. "This is cute. Who did the tiny braids off the ponytail?"
"Danny," Don said dryly. "That was his project last night after they left. Took him *hours*. His fingers were totally stiff by the time he was done." Xander just grinned. "He was being so spoiled. Danny's good for him."
"Good." She pushed Xander off and stood up. "Come on, let's go talk about where you sent letters of interest for me so I don't double up." They nodded and followed her back, going to have lunch with her. After all, they had reminded Xander a few times ice cream was only a snack. A real lunch came with something more substantial that didn't melt in your mouth.
Xander pouted at Don. "I talked to the old owner and then my wiccan contact. She's got someone who wants it but can't pay much more than we did."
"We got it for a steal, Xander. Let it go. You can lose a bit this time." Xander sighed and nodded, typing in that they'd accept it. "We have more than enough to set up in Miami and hopefully we'll both start making money when we're down there. Though I will have to roll my retirement fund down there too. Plus all your bank accounts."
Xander sighed. "And the safety deposit boxes, plus the stuff at the demon bank."
"Hmm. We need ta do that for you or go with you again." Xander nodded at that. "One of us?"
"They don't like dealing with immies. They said if I wasn't who I was, they'd never have let me open an account."
"Pity but it's their problem. We'll work it out. Just remember you can't spend it all on a new wardrobe."
"I've got plenty of summer stuff."
"Good." He stroked over his hair. "Now, let's head to bed. Danny said he'll be home again tomorrow night." Xander nodded and turned off the computer, following him upstairs. They each took their turns in the bathroom then Xander snuggled into Don's side to tease him until he got off, then get his nightly cuddles in. It was still a good deal for both of them since Danny wasn't the jealous sort about this. Then again, Xander had worn him out a few times over the weekend. Don mentally shrugged, it was all good with him. Xander loved him enough. He liked the kid more than enough. He yawned and fell asleep with one hand in Xander's hair and the other around his chest and arm. Xander was already snoring into his breast so it was all good to him.
Don walked in the next morning and his good mood evaporated within seconds. There was someone at his desk going through it. "And you are?" he demanded loudly, making them jump. "Besides toast."
Don hauled him up and looked at him. "Who are you?" he repeated more slowly, clearly talking down to him. "And what are you doing in my shit?"
"Captain Hillborne sent me to talk to you about some irregularities we've noticed."
"Uh-huh. Talking to me doesn't include going through my desk. We can do this in front of the boss." He turned him and gave him a shove. "In there." The other guys stared at him. "I was havin' a good day until this. Xander makes really good omelettes." He opened the door and his boss hung up. "This person claims to be IAB and he was going through my desk. He can ask his questions in front of you."
"Sure. Sit, Don." Don sprawled. "How is Xander?"
"He makes a really good omelette. He's learning how to cook very well."
"Good." She smiled at him then at the Internal Affair's person. "You wanted what?"
"Chief Hillborne had a few reports about irregularities concerning Detective Flack's finances."
"This is because I'm not paying rent?"
"Partially but you spend a lot more than you seem to have."
"Okay, first, do you know what a GHS member is?" The guy sneered. "Wipe it, now," Don ordered coldly. The sneer disappeared. "I'm protecting one. I'm his bodyguard. I live rent free at his place and all that good stuff. The only thing I pay for is my own car, my own dry cleaning, and the occasional lunch since he spoils me rotten."
"That certainly explains that. So, you're in a homosexual relationship with him?"
"No. I'm not. I'm not fucking him. The closest he comes is needing to cuddle now and then. Xander was tactilely deprived as a child. He needs it more now that he knows what it is. He cuddles." A picture was put down on the desk. "Again, that's cuddling. He was having nightmares about his most recent kidnaping. By the way, that's invasion of privacy and stalking. I'll have the picture taker up on charges by this afternoon." He looked at his boss. "You pet Xander when he comes in."
"I do. He's got very soft hair. My husband likes it when he teases me too. It gets him jumped that night." The IAB officer blinked at that. "He also spoils some of the CSI people. I know he got Taylor bubble bath and flowers one day." The man went pale at that. "Any other questions you have?"
"One. The purple SUV...."
"Is Xander's. It's bulletproof. It's what saved Bonasera's life when someone tried her last time. Anything else? I've got shit I gotta do, like sue the department for peeping in my windows." The man squeaked. "Good, then scram." He ran off, leaving the picture there. Don tucked it into his pocket. "There's a suggestion within the group that we move to where Xander will be safer and Danny will be more supported in the lab," he said quietly. "If so, I'm going to Miami with them."
"We'll miss you. Give me two weeks if you can." Don nodded and got up, heading out to rearrange his desk. "Anything missing?"
"Did I use the rib gift card yesterday?" A few of the detectives nodded. "Thanks. Wasn't sure." He looked at them. "Who called them about me living rent free?" They all pointed at one of the patrol officers who had a problem with Xander being gay. "Ah." He smiled and his boss came out to stop him before they could have a ...talk. "Oh, come on."
"No, Flack. Your computer's finally working. Go print those reports off for me before it quits again." He nodded and went to do that for her. She glared at the officer. "My office." He jumped and gave her a cold look. "Now, rookie." He stomped that way. "Someone get the notice around that they're jealous," she said sweetly, going in to flay that person until they cried.
Don smirked. "I like it when she's in that mood." He called Danny. "Watch out. IAB has decided I'm bad for being his bodyguard. Asked me if we were having sex too. Not you and I, stupid. Pawing through my desk. Sure." He hung up and got back to spell checking and printing. That way they couldn't be lost again. There were going to be a few happy ADA's soon. He got up to go monitor the printer, stapling where necessary. Thankfully it came out as it was supposed to. He found one report that wasn't his and stapled it anyway, putting it aside. The owner came over with a laugh. "Hey, I had fifty that needed printed. What's one more," he said dryly. When the last one came out he counted then went back to print the two he had missed, then had to go get more paper. Once it was set, he got those two then he went, tapped on his boss's door, and dropped them in front of it so she wouldn't be disturbed. Then he went back to his desk to do more work for her. It was now a *fun* morning and someone was going to be the target of it for many days to come. The patrol officer opened the door and started to stomp off but tripped over the stack of papers. A few others had added theirs. "If you messed those up, you're cleaning them up and collating. We're busy," he added blandly. The man got up and finished huffing off. "Boss, tell him if he destroyed any of them."
"I will." She came out to get the stack, looking at them. "A few shoe prints, nothing unusual. Thank you, Flack."
"Hey, since it's working and all," he noted dryly. She smirked and went to drop it into her inbox so she could read, sign off, and send off. Yeah, it was gonna be a *fun* morning for a few people. He was sure Danny had clued Stella in already too.
Danny strolled in like he owned the place, smiling at Stella. "So, which turd was trying to go through Don's desk?" he asked Sheldon when he ran into him. Sheldon whimpered. "They're tryin' ta get him for helping Xander," he said quietly.
"No wonder Mac's looking for you."
"Ah. Well, let me put up my jacket first." He headed for the locker room then to Mac's office. "They're gonna try me too?"
"Yes. What's going on?"
"They had questions about how Flack's not paying rent. Asked him if he was sleeping with Xander too."
"Okay." He smirked at him. "I've talked to Horatio."
"He said he does have room for you," he said quietly. "I told him you're a good tech but we don't mesh personality wise all the time. Sometimes you need a leash." Danny glared at him. "Sometimes you do."
"Yeah, and sometimes you need the broomstick shoved the other way, Mac. It happens to humans."
"Point. Yes, Chief Hillborne is coming down personally to talk to you about your involvement in Don's illegal activities."
"Living rent free and being spoiled is illegal now? When did the uptight bastard Mayor pass that?"
"He's trying." He sat up and smirked at him. "So, how is it going?"
"Good. I was at home last night to pack some stuff to bring over. Xander responds well when I encourage him to do stuff. I heard he was making Don breakfast. He called to see if he could substitute shortening in the pan instead of oil for the omelettes he was making."
"Why would someone call you for cooking advice?" Chief Hillborne asked from behind him.
"Because it's Flack's protectee and I was helping him with a few cooking lessons this weekend," he said dryly, turning to look at him. "What? You thought he was gonna panic and sob?"
"He is gay."
"That's a dangerous stereotype," Mac warned him. "I will not have that in my office." The Chief backed off at that. "Xander may be gay and a bit flighty now and then, but that means he's happy."
"And the fact that your officer and Flack are both with him? Plus I heard rumors you were being courted as well as Burns?" Hillborne demanded.
Danny laughed, having to sit down he was laughing so hard. "Oh, damn, you're stupid. If you had asked *anyone* around here, they would've told you Flack don't get more than cuddles. Xander's tactile starved. His parents were worse than you'll be as one if you ever breed. He's a member of GHS, they need that stuff."
"Yes, I heard about that and about how he affected a few Vice officers who you talked out of busting him at a brothel."
"The kid was broadcasting his hormones so badly they got it from the halls. Hell yes, I took him to one to wear it out. It helped! That's the only thing that solved it." Hillborne gave him a disgusted look. "GHS members are like that. They put out hormones and pheromones that hit others very strongly. That's why the kid needs someone like Flack to protect him. The only proven way of wearing out pheromones is sex. As for those officers that got hit, we told them how to bring it back down and cure them. We put them in touch with the national head of the organization. We're sorry as hell but he was bad enough off that he nearly sent a whole coffee shop into an orgy just by sitting there."
"I've heard he's done it to a bar before when he was threatened," Mac offered quietly.
"That was to protect himself. It's instinctive. Like a squid releasing ink. It blankets the area so you can't tell him from someone else." He looked at the IAB chief again. "For the price of protecting him, Flack gets free rent at his place, free utilities, and spoiled rotten. The same way Burns and I do now and then, and Stella does and a few times Mac has or Sheldon has." He shrugged. "GHS are all cuddly little concubines in the making, Hillborne. That's how they're built and hardwired."
"So, how many of you have him sexually?"
"I certainly don't," Mac said dryly. "I'm still in mourning for my wife, as everyone here knows. I don't even date." Danny nodded at that. "Xander sent me things to relax because he thought I was too uptight recently. That was the flowers, dinner, massage oils, and healthy snacks I got."
"And bubble bath," Danny said with a shit-eating grin.
"That's still in my bathroom. I'm not really the bubble bath sort."
"Pity, I can see you sitting in one and reading a good book. Might do you some good too. Make you quit growling so often at lab results." Mac growled at him, earning a smile. "See? That means you definitely need ta relax." He looked at Hillborne again, seeing the disgust. "What? Everyone's got a side that needs relaxation now and then. Even the great Mac Taylor. Probably even you. Any other questions you got, you ask Flack."
"Oh, I will be. Are you having him?"
"None of your business where I stick my dick unless it's illegal."
"He's nineteen. I doubt that." A birth certificate was put down. Danny looked and shook his head. "That's not Xander. He's not local." The man looked stunned. "He's from Cali, near LA. He's nineteen. Nice try though, last time I knew theirs were a different color." The Chief's face turned purple. "Sorry, not that color either. Anything else? I can have Xander come in today if you wanted to make sure we're not forcing ourselves onto him. He'll bring us lunch and spoil us all again."
"I'll get you," he vowed.
"Sure, right after I sue you for harassment probably. Anything else? I'm a busy guy. I've got shit I gotta solve because unlike you I work *real* cases." The chief stomped out. "That felt good," he said happily, smirking at Mac. "We are going."
"That's fine, Danny. We'll miss you but it will probably be better for you down there." Danny nodded. "Try to leave with a clear desk if you can."
"I'll try." He headed out, going to do that.
Mac called Xander to warn him. Just in case.
Xander walked into the building that housed IAB, giving the receptionist a smile. "Hi, I'd like to talk to the asshole sucking, puss drinking mother-fucker who accused me of being a prostitute to two officers if I may?"
"Which one would that be, sir? That description could be a lot of them."
He gave her a gentle smile. "I believe they said it was Hillborne, Hill something or other." He flicked a hand. "Please. I promise not to get violent."
"I'll see if he's in." She called up there. "Sir, there's someone here who wants to talk to you about an open case?" She smiled. "Right away, sir." She hung up. "Last office in the second hallway, sir."
"Xander, please," he said with a genuine smile and headed that way. He found the nameplate and tapped then walked in and slammed the door. "How dare you, you puss drinking mother-fucker! I am not some fucking prostitute! Nor am I a whore for Flack and Messer! And by the way, nor am I underaged!" He slapped his driver's license down. "Do you see the birthday on it? That means I'm more than legal to take up with whoever I fucking well please and if you don't like it, you homophobic bastard, then you can fucking well bend over and take it too since I know *damn* you asked one of the guys there how much I charged the last time you saw me at the station while I was bringing my *protector* lunch." The man looked horrified. "Now then, you have any accusations about what perks I give Don for protecting me, you fucking well ask *me*, asshole licker. You don't go and accuse damn good cops of doing shit just because it's the only way you can get off."
"How dare you come in here...."
Xander let his hormones spike, watching him sweat, his tirade dry up, and him fall back into his chair. "I said shut up." He leaned forward, bracing on the desk. "Don is my *protector*. The same as another officer guards me on Don's day off. I pay them both for it. The other one gets a grand an afternoon to take me shopping and watch my back, or to the movies or the park," he said coldly. "Don gets free rent and all that stuff because he keeps me safe most of the time at home. Half of the people like me live in a fucking fortress away from people so we don't get taken the next time. I don't, yet. But people like you are going to drive me there. Now, if you have a *real* question about *my* relationships with Messer, Flack, Burns, or any CSI or officer, you come to *me*. I'm more than open to intelligent questions when necessary. If not, butt the hell out. It's not illegal to moonlight as a bodyguard. It's even on your approved list." He stood up and sneered at him. "Men like you are the reason why I don't date. I keep running into the self-important little mantwats who think they can top me." Hillborne lunged and Xander slammed him into his door. "Do not touch me. I didn't give you permission to touch me." He moved him and walked out. "Do not do it again, Hillborne. I don't put up with shit like that going on around me without acting." He smiled at the officers staring out, looking at one. "You." He swallowed. "If you had an officer being a bodyguard after hours, is that illegal?"
"Even if he's getting free room and board, plus perks like lunches now and then?"
"No, sir. Unless the person is doing something illegal it's no business of ours, even if the person is very gay."
Xander smirked. "Thank you, I knew I am but I'm bi." That got a smirk back. "So, Flack protecting me from the people who want to kidnap me isn't a bad thing, right?"
"No, sir. From what we've heard around, it's exceptionally good for the both of you. Did you really give Taylor bubble bath?"
"I did. He needed to relax and that's a great way," he said happily. Hillborne rushed him so he tripped him. "You did see that, correct?"
"I did, sir. We'll get him calmed back down and I'll take over the investigation into Flack and Messer."
"Which one is your keeper? Since it's fairly obvious what you did to him."
"Interesting. Not that I care but it'll be noted so they can call him or Flack if there's a problem." Xander smiled at that. "Go away, sir. Please." Xander nodded and walked off. He got up and walked Hillborne back to his office, opening all the windows to get him some fresh air. "You don't screw with people like that, boss," he said quietly. "He's like Regina was a few years back. He *needs* Flack and Messer to protect him. He's been kidnaped at least four times since he got Flack. Who knows how many times Flack's saved him. Flack deserves free room and board for it."
"I'll take it over for you, boss. I'm a bit more immune than you." He took the file and walked off, going to look for something illegal. Because keeping that boy under control was a public service as far as he was concerned. Especially since he had accidentally affected a few officers while out to wear those urges out. "Crap, he's twice as bad as Regina used to be." He looked at her picture. He had kept and protected her until someone had stolen her from him four years ago. She had only been a level three. He typed into the network to find out information on Xander, finding the dreaded level ten rating. "Oh, hell." He shrugged and made note of it in the file. No one was going to do anything to them if they escorted the boy to a whorehouse. He'd probably wear out the house and his keeper.
Xander strolled in with lunch, nodding politely at some of the guys. "Hi. Are they in?"
"Flack's at his desk. Messer's at his," the desk sergeant said, glaring at him. "Why are you here?"
"Luch. It's an important meal of the day and both of them miss it now and then. I'm preventing that." He walked up the stairs and dropped a basket on Don's desk, making him smile. "I wrote a letter through them to the one guy," he said quietly. "I got back an email saying he was willing to meet me neutrally and talk about training."
"Three days. I'll go down for an overnight and look at places too." Don nodded. "Plus that spa. I'm having odd feelings about it."
"I know, it'll be okay." He patted him on the back. "Danny's at his desk. Know where that is?"
"Yup. Oh, and I had a talk with Hillborne. The case got handed over and I don't think there's going to be a further problem. I made myself very clear that I'm not underaged, I can do whatever I want as long as it's legal, and if he didn't like you being my bodyguard he could lick more assholes and suck more puss." He walked off whistling happily and went that way, signing in with their receptionist and nodding. He got a nod and headed that way, pausing to hand Stella a sandwich and Sheldon one, then Lindsey a small bowl of really hot soup. Then he found Danny muttering at a file at his desk. He put the bag down beside him and got to work on his shoulders. "It's all right."
"No it's not. You did what to Hillborne?"
"Should I consider spanking?"
"Only if you want both arms broken and then to be tied down."
"Okay," Danny said, stopping the hands working on his neck and pulling him around to look at him. "Still not cool to go face him down."
"He was saying shit about me, it's my right to face him down, Danny. He decided I was a whore. Don told me he was spreading it around and the first time he saw me he asked one of the guys how much I charged. So yes, I went off on him and I proved my points, including the one that he should be sucking puss because he's not a real or a good cop. He can leave real and good cops alone and me too. It doesn't matter who I'm sleeping with. It's not like it affects your work."
"Point," he said, smiling slightly. "Still, you spiked on him on purpose."
"Yeah, and he tried to attack me twice. That means he's in denial."
"True. I did get a very nice FYI call saying that someone else had taken over this complaint and they had been a keeper before," he said calmly. "He said you were doing what was natural but to make sure you had calmed down." Xander nodded. "You sure?"
"Do you see anyone on their knees and crawling after me?" They looked but Lindsey was under her desk looking for something, not crawling after him. "Oh, I'm going to Miami to meet with him, look over the real estate, and that spa."
"That's fine. When?"
"Three days. I'll be gone overnight. They already know I'll be in town in case anything happens."
"Good. I like that." He smiled. "Did you get Stella something? She's grumpy."
"I got her and Sheldon sandwiches and I got Monroe some Turkish soup like you like." Danny smirked at that because that meant it was next to fire for heat and spices. "So I'm being a good boy for the rest of the day and going to the spa. Are you coming over for dinner tonight?" Danny nodded. "Should we find you a place down there?"
"Find me a room," he admitted. Xander beamed. "Good boy." Xander bounced some. "Go play then go to the spa. Behave for them." Xander nodded and bounced out, heading to his range rover. He opened the bag and smiled, pulling out his lunch. And the two worms. He laughed and tossed them toward one of the plants, and one landed in Monroe's hair. "Sorry, aiming for Stella's plant. She told him she needed a worm to help with it."
She plucked it out then carefully dropped it into the plant, putting the other one in there too. "That works better with a slingshot." She found her earring backing and stood up, going to clean it off before putting it back in. She ran into Stella. "Danny put the two worms in the bag into your plant."
"That's fine. I found another one too." She held it up. "It's a nice worm and my plant could use them." She went to put that one in there too. "Worms?" she mouthed. Danny shrugged. "Xander still here?"
"Nope, left to play." He called Don. "Did yours have worms?" He listened, then laughed. "Ah! No wonder!" He hung up. "He got Don some tequilla kits so he could bottle for presents. It came from in there."
Stella shuddered. "Nastiness." She walked off going to shake her head in peace. That was just gross. She'd have to remind Don she didn't do tequila.
Danny grinned and back to his lunch. Don had said he only had three kits so there shouldn't be any more worms anywhere. Hopefully.
To Part 11: