Xander hung up and the phone and grabbed his wallet, showing Don the picture in there.  "If they show up, expect me to hide."

"Sure, who are they?"  He looked up.  "That's them?" he asked blandly.  That look on his face, part confusion, part anger, could only lead back to one source.

"Horatio said Cordy called Calleigh to warn her *they*'re coming.  So yeah. Probably.  He said I could even hide behind Frank and Frank could snark back at Buffy."

"Sure."  He took the picture to study then nodded. "I'll make sure the others know what they look like."  He gave Xander a cuddle, calming him down.  Then he took a kiss.  "Go nap.  Nap with the animals if you want.  Turn on the security system too."

"Yes, Don.  I can run though, right?"

"Go right ahead.  Run to us and we'll protect you."

"Thank you."  He took another kiss and slid off his lap.  "Go be brilliant and make people beg and cry."  Don smirked and straightened himself out from the blowjob for lunch he had gotten, then headed back to work.  "Oh, I'm going car looking," he called after him.

"Then you're taking Horatio or someone," he ordered.

"Sure."  He went to print out his list and then grabbed one of the rolls of money from the freezer, where Don usually put them.  He put the baggie into his jacket, it was like air conditioning.  Then he called Horatio.  "Don ordered me to take you car looking.  He can come.  Can I drive the hummer?" he teased.  "Well, someone in the group is selling a lavender one."  He laughed at the spluttering. "I'll show you when I get there.  Okay?  Sure.  Turning on the security and everything."  He hung up and grabbed his wallet and turned on the system before walking out.  The house was locked up and he went to close the gate.  No one without the code could get in.  They'd be shocked.  He twitched the small wards he had and set them as well for magic not his own.  Then he called a cab.  There was usually one waiting up by the station so he didn't have to wait long.  He gave them Horatio's address and they were off.  He got out and knocked, smiling at the guy who opened the door. "Hi, Ray."

"Thank you, Xander."  He gave him a hug.  "Mom sends one too but she took back her letter to fix."  He let him into the house.  "Uncle H is still groaning over the thought of a purple hummer."  Xander winked and went in, logging onto the site with his ID.  He pulled up the Classifieds section and clicked on the picture, making Horatio whimper.  "They would never take me from my car."

"You'd have to repaint it before it defiled any of the crime lab ones," he assured him.   Xander just grinned.  He looked over the ad and moaned.  It was a nice car.  "No," he said firmly. "It's lilac."  He clicked off it.  "How about something faster and sportier this time?"

"Sure.  I made this list off the Yahoo Autos 'pick my car for me' listing."

Horatio looked the list over, then at him.  "Most of these would get you carjacked within minutes of leaving the dealership," he noted, handing it back.  He got onto that site and clicked on the link to help you find what you were looking for.  He looked over the categories.  "I take it we're looking for something flashy?"

Xander sat beside him, still able to see.  "I am.  Something like me, Horatio.  The SUV was nice and it was safe, it was even a bit flashy, but I'm still only twenty-one."

"True."  He got onto the size selector.  "Would a two door coupe suit you?"

"Depends on the car."

"Good point."  He got things where he should be.  "What's your top price range?"  Xander snorted.  "We don't want a lam, Xander.  You'll get carjacked and possibly killed."

"So set it under a hundred grand."

"Fine."  He set that.  "Style over price and safety over price, right?"  Xander nodded, leaning against his leg.  He reached down to pet the unbound hair.  "Do you want a convertible or not?"

"I can see him going down the road with his hair flowing over the trunk," Ray said from his seat in the corner.  Both of them smiled at him.  "It's kinda funny.  Like a wedding train."

"Convertibles are nice but I might get sunburned on really long trips.  I'm trying to stay out of the sun most of the time since I'm more used to nights."

"Good point."  He pushed that model lower than the others, then moved it to the neutral position.  He hit 'find me a car' and looked at the options.  "There's a good few."  Xander got to his knees to look, looking over the pictures.  Some of the higher end models and the 'rich, old money' cars were taken off the list.  He saw the one Xander was looking at.  "Can you drive a stick?"

"I did in driver's ed but I haven't since then."

"We'll have to make sure of it."  He stroked over his hair.  "Look at the blue one."  He did that and smiled at him.  "I think you'd look great in that.  It's a car for a guy your age.  It's power and a statement of that, but not of a lot of money.  Unless you tricked it out," he offered quietly.

"It'd have to have a kicking sound system," he pointed out.  "I like my music."

"Okay, now I'm seeing the car thumping the others on the road while his hair flows back and over the trunk," Ray joked.  Xander grinned at him.  He came over to look. "I know a car place that's got one out front.  It's on the way to school."  Xander beamed at him.

"There's a few good dealerships that way as well," Horatio agreed, smiling at him for that. "How much did you have on you?"

"One of the rolls from the freezer.  It's not as cold now."  He handed it and his wallet to Horatio then got back to looking.  He found a few.  "Would I look right in a corvette?"

Horatio looked at him.  "Yes, Xander."  Xander grinned and kept that, printing out the amended list.  It was much more realistic and nothing on there should get him carjacked.  Hopefully.  He stood up with a small moan, Ray helping him.  "Thank you.  Xander, you're not driving the hummer."

"The doctor said you can't drive," Ray reminded him.


Xander hugged him.  "We can cab.  That way we can get home in it."  Horatio smiled and nodded because Xander understood his possessive nature over his babies: Speed, his hummer, Speed's bike, and his lab.  Xander called them a cab and made sure Horatio had his own license and things.  Then they went out to meet it.  The driver looked at them.  "His back's hurt.  Where, Ray?"

"You know that audio place next to the seven-eleven on Grant?  There," Ray told him.  "He wants to look at the road thumper."  The cabbie smiled and drove them that way.  Xander went to look, having him wait then came back. "Was it nice?"

"Fairly so.  Bit too much chrome.  Maybe something like that but less cramped inside."

Horatio patted his hand. "You'll find something and we'll find out who blew up your SUV, Xander."  They pulled into his choice of a car lot and Xander paid then got out, helping him out with Ray behind him.  The salesman gave him a look.  "I'm a voice of reason."

"I can see that.  Are you all right, sir?"

"Back surgery.  He's looking for something powerful, flashy, he's twenty-one.  He's hyper.  He's very powerful and charismatic."

The man smiled.  "Well, we do have a Shelby."  Xander gave him a look.  "That would be a bit girlish."  He walked them over to the more classic, muscle cars, letting them look at them.

Ray pointed at one.  "What's that?"

"That is one of the salesmen's cars."  He let them look.  "We can try to find you one if you like it."

Xander slid into the seat and wiggled.  "It's a bit tight."

"The seat moves, Xander," Horatio pointed out.  Xander put it back then back up, shrugging.  "Let's continue looking."  Xander let him rest against him and they went back to looking, letting Horatio rest on the trailer's stairs.  He looked at the other salesman when he came out.  "Sorry, back surgery."

"That's fine.  What is he looking for?  I saw him try my car."

"He's twenty-one, charismatic, powerful, and flashy."

"Ah.  I know just the car."  He went in to call someone, bringing them with theirs.  He came out.  "Try his, sir."  Xander came over, getting a nod from the owner.  Xander slid into the corvette.  "Now, this is the older version."

"I like this."  He stroked the dash. "I want one of these."

"Sure.  Let's see what we can find in the database," the salesman offered, smiling and taking everyone inside into the air conditioning.  Horatio got the seat, Xander knelt beside the desk.  "Let's see.  I've got...  Hmm.  Someone imported their british revamped one over here.  I hadn't seen that before.  What color?"

"Black or blue.  It's less likely to get you tickets.  Or green, some sedate color, Xander.  The car itself speaks so you don't have to."

Xander looked at him. "He'd know.  His lover drives a yellow racing bike."  That got a smile and that was clicked on.  "What's that one?"

"Cherry red," he said, pulling it up.  "Hmm, we have one noted as scarlet."  He pulled that one up.  "That's a very dark red it looks like. It's local, a few hours away.  It's got a rebuilt engine.  Looks barely street legal," he admitted.

"I'm good with speed."

"Sure.  It's not listed as having a sound system."

"I can fix that."

"Let me call, see if we can get you there for a test drive."  He called the number and the man agreed to bring it down.   He hung up.  "He's about an hour up the coast if you wanted to go have lunch and come back?"

"We could do that," Ray agreed.  "There's a nice place across the street."  Horatio smiled at him.  "Too far to walk?"

"No, I'll be fine since I sat down."  That got a smile from Xander.  "That way we can watch as it pulls in to see it in action."  He stood up with a small groan.  "Speed will give me a massage later," he pointed out the two worrywarts with him.  "We'll be across the street."  That got a nod and they walked over there.  He smiled at the waitress.  "We're waiting for them to get his car in.  Can I have some ice cream?"

"Of course, sir.  Water, coffee?"

"Coffee please.  Xander?"

"Can I have some fries with ranch dressing?"  She smiled and nodded.  "Coke no ice?  Ray, I'll get it.  Eat, you're a growing boy."

"Can I have a burger and fries, ketchup and pickles?" he asked.  She smiled and nodded.  "And a milk so my mom can't complain."  She laughed and walked off.  He looked at Xander.  "He's trying to make sure I can't turn into Delko."

"He's doing a good job so far.  Turn out like your uncle, Ray.  You'll be a good man with a great reputation and a loving and caring family hopefully."  Ray smiled and nodded.  She brought back their food and he pulled his wallet out of Horatio's pocket, shrugging at her look.  "It keeps falling out of mine."  He pulled out a fifty.  She opened her mouth.  "Keep it," he offered. "Buy someone who needs it lunch or you."  She nodded, going to do that.  He poured the dressing over his fries and sipped his coke, adding salt before nibbling.  He watched the street.

"It's an hour drive, Xander."  Horatio dug into this treat.  "I'll have to remember this place, they use the good ice cream."

"I like here too," Ray agreed. "This is where I come to skip school."  His uncle looked at him. "I know I shouldn't."

"You shouldn't, you'll end up like me," Xander said dryly.  "Violent instincts and hunted by people who want to keep you as a sex toy."

Ray blushed and shook his head. "I'd better not.  My mother would scream if I became a member of GHS like you two."  Horatio spluttered.  "Yes, I know.  I have known, I found your card years ago when I went wallet diving for a soda."  He ate another bite of his burger.  "It's cool with me but I'm sure that's why Xander's got two boyfriends."  Xander nodded, eating another bite.  "Is there a way you guys rate yourselves?"

"Ray, your mother would scream if she heard this topic," Horatio warned.

He snorted and looked at his uncle. "Uncle H, not like I'm going to tell her."

"We're rated by hormone levels and how much we affect others," Xander said honestly.

"Which is why people try to take you and not Uncle H," he said plainly.  Xander and Horatio both nodded.  "Which would also be why you've got two boyfriends and they're clearly not wearing you out but he's okay with just Uncle Speed?"

"Yup," Xander agreed.  "That's very wise, Ray."

"Yeah, well, I've got a kid in my class who'll either end up a member or a slut."

"Some days, there's not much difference," Horatio noted patiently.  "Older or younger?"

"Older.  Slightly.  Can't concentrate either."

"Have them go to the spa to get it worn out.  Female?"  Ray nodded.  "Go to the spa, get pampered and spoiled.  It should help.  If not, has she been checked for ADHD?"

"Yeah and the meds aren't helping her."  Xander sighed and nodded, taking a sip of his drink.  "You think that'll help?"

"Yup, and have her learn meditation techniques as well.  That helped with my ADHD," Xander offered.  "The first'll help with it if she is a future member.  The second will help with both."

"Sure, I'll talk to her.  She's my lab partner.  Which explains why my science grade is not what it should be.  She's scatterbrained and I'm clueless about half the time."

"Ray, you know you can come to Speed and I for help in science," he pointed out.

"Oh, expect to see a lot of me," he offered dryly.  "Were you good in school, Xander?"

Xander cackled and shook his head.  "No, honey, I was so horrible in school it wasn't funny.  I held *the* record for detentions in middle and high school.  I also had the record for most skipped days in my tenth grade year.  Mostly due to what I was doing after school.  There was no subject I was good in, including PE and lunch."  Ray smiled at that.  "Seriously.  That and I was so outcast I was the bottom of the outcast pool.  Not even they would talk me."

"Wow.  Did you have Columbine feelings?"

"Now and then but then again...."  He looked at Horatio, who shook his head.

"I can know."

"Not yet, Ray. There's some hard truths coming and we don't want to get you there yet," Xander said plainly. "Let's just say I had a better way to wear them out.  Let's also leave it at when you turn sixteen, if I'm still around, I'll gladly explain that to you and show you how to defend yourself."

"Sure," he agreed.  "Actually, can I learn the second now?  I've got a bully on my ass."

"Make fun of them, Ray.  They hate that."

"That's why he's on my ass," he noted quietly, pointing across the diner.  "His older brother."

"Do not get into fights, Ray," Horatio warned.

"I'm trying hard not to, but they've cornered me once before, Uncle H.  Especially since I was protecting one of the gay kids from them."

"I'll see if Don can help you learn some self-defense if your mom allows," Xander told him.  Horatio looked at him.  "If the kid jumps him, he's got to be able to protect himself, Horatio.  How old is this kid, and big?"

"Sixth grader but he's nearly your height and he's about twice as heavy," Ray admitted tiredly.  "Look at his brother and add a foot."

Horatio looked then sighed.  "Self-defense is one thing, Ray.  Starting the fight is something clearly different."

"I agree.  I'm not going to win a brawl.  I'm not that sort of muscle."  He shrugged.  "I've got to learn though."  He pointed.  "There is it.  He must've sped."

Xander looked and squealed, then put down another bill and hurried over there.

Uncle and nephew shared an amused look. "Finish," Horatio ordered.

"Can I get a bag?" Ray called.  She smiled and nodded, coming over with it. "His car," he said, pointing.

"I heard the squeal."  Once they were gone she gathered up things and found the edge of a bill in the ranch dressing.  She pulled it out and wiped it off, gaping at it.  Then she looked up.  "Thank you.  I'll make that kid eats if he comes back in," she promised, going to start a tab for the kid she knew was homeless that came in now and then to get a small treat.  She put it with the cook, who nodded and signed off on it, then the manager.  She added some of her tip out of it.  After all, not too many people got two five hundred dollar bills stuck together as a tip.  Especially not from a family like that one.  She liked Ray.  He'd get great service from now on.


Xander bounced up to the salesman, giving him a greedy look.  "That's him," he said with a smile, pointing at Xander.  "You have a license?"  Xander pulled out his wallet to show him.  "Okay, go for a spin with him."  Xander took the keys and whooped, getting in, letting the former owner get into the passenger's seat.  They roared out and he shook his head.  "He's twenty-one," he reminded himself.  He saw the other two come back and smiled.  "They're off for a test drive."

"I heard.  Is that engine legal?" Horatio asked.

"I'm not really sure. Are you going to arrest him?" he teased.

"I probably should but I won't."  He smirked back.  "I'll teach you how to drive in the hummer, Ray.  That way you can drive anything."  That got a grin and a nod.  "Let's sit and wait on Xander."  They came back a few minutes after they had sat down and Xander got out and hugged the former owner.  "Is it yours?"

"It is mine.  Hand him however much out of the air conditioning pack, Horatio."

Horatio laughed and pulled the baggie out, making the salesman gape in horror. "He got lucky in Vegas," he said blandly.

"Can I go with him next time?"  He got the forms and the asking price from the computer, coming down to fill out the forms with Horatio.  "His boyfriend?" he asked finally.

"No, his boyfriend is an officer in my lab," he admitted.  The man gaped at him.  Horatio pulled out his badge.  "Like I said, I probably should arrest him if it's not legal."

"But you won't because you know I'm not going to drag race," Xander teased.  He looked at the form.  "Sure, that's a good price."  He peeled off the money and handed it over.  The salesman took his cut and handed the rest to the owner, who Xander paid the rest to, getting a wink and the keys.  "Need anything from it?"

"Just my tape, son."  He popped it out. "Be good to my baby."

"Oh, it's going to be my baby now," Xander assured him.  That got a smile and the old owner went to call his wife, who worked here in town, to tell her.  That way he didn't have to walk home.  They all heard the squeal through his phone.

"Where am I sitting on the way home?" Ray asked.

"There's a tiny space behind the seats.  You can squeeze in there this once," Xander told him.  "Otherwise, the trunk."  Ray laughed and hugged him.  "Horatio?"

"That's fine, Xander.  Just this once."  He watched Xander finish signing things.  "You'll have to file for your title in the morning."

"Sure."  He took all the forms he'd need and helped Horatio up and to the car.  "But first, we're getting a CD player put in."  Horatio gave him an indulgent smile. "I can."

"You can.  It's your car now."  Xander beamed and helped him in after Ray had wiggled back into the free space for the seats to move back.  Then Xander got in and drove them off. Horatio turned on the radio.  "It's not too bad."

"Still needs a CD player," Xander reminded him.  He pulled into the audio place and went inside.  "How much and how long to replace my tape deck with a CD changer?"

The guy looked outside then at him.  "What do you have now?"

"Radio and tape deck.  The type where it goes in on it's side."  He let him come out and look.  "Ray's blocking some of the speakers with his butt but it's okay on speakers.  I want a five disk and maybe a better radio."

"I can change it today, dude.  Come look at this system."  He led him back inside to look at something.  "This has satellite and regular radio, plus a changer that goes in the trunk.  It's got a remote if you wanted it."

"No, I love the steering wheel. He's got a wooden one on there."  He grinned.  "Is that the best?"

"No, the best is that one," he said, pointing at one. "I've installed one in the past.  It was in a beamer though."

Xander looked at him.  "I don't want to thump Horatio's hummer off the road.  I'm looking for quality, not quantity of volume."

The guy smiled and nodded.  "That's still the best.  It's got a ten disc and it can get loud but it's also got a more particular dial.  More numbers mean you can get a better bit of sound and more room to go from loud to softer."

"Sure," he agreed.  "How long?  Horatio's recently had back surgery."

"Twenty minutes to remove the old one.  It looked like it popped out easily. I can slide this one in, hook up the changer fast, then you can go music shopping."  Xander smiled.  "It's about two grand though, dude."  Xander walked out and came back with the baggie of money.  "Whoa.  Drugs?"

"Vegas," he said with a shy grin. "I got told I was evil at the baccarat table."  That got a knowing smirk.  "Who did your eyebrow piercing?  I've been thinking about a nipple ring."  He handed over the money.

"Guy down by the biker strip.  I'll get you his card.  Let me open the garage.  It's got a couch in there for your boys."  He went to do that and pull that one off the shelf, taking his own CDs out of it.  He walked out and smiled at the two guys on the couch waiting on him.  "By the way, it was playing on two inside.  At two and a half it's a bit louder. It's got a good sound and volume range."  He gave Horatio a look.  "You won't disgrace it with opera, right?"

"No, I'm more a bit goth, some country now and then, and some rock."

"That works.  I love how Kid Rock sounds on this thing.  That and some dance music."  He slid into the passenger's side, getting under the dash to pop it out. "Dude, did you know you had cash stuffed down here already?"

"No," Xander admitted.  Horatio came over to look.  "Tell him if there's drugs too."

"No, just cash, and some sort of hole in the soundproofing."  He felt it and then moved the foam, closing it.  "There, that fixed it."  He handed the cash to Horatio and got to work.  The old unit was popped out and the new one put in.  The cable was run underneath and attached to the frame.  The changer was hitched in and hooked into the power supply lines back there.  "Got tunes?"

Xander shrugged. "I will soon."  That got a smile.  "How do I load them?"  He walked back and looked.  "That's pretty normal. I can get that."  The guy nodded and shook his hand.  "Thank you."

"Hey, not a big.  I like those systems."  That got a smile and he put one of his own in, showing them the controls and how it sounded.  Horatio winced at the 'eight' setting but that was all good.  He turned it back down and taught him how to use the satellite radio system.  "There you go.  Now, if you need it, you might wanna think about On-Star, ya know?"

"I do," he sighed. "I'm thinking hard about that."

The guy nodded and shook his hand, wiping them off once he had his CD back and they were gone.  "Man.  I love guys who know what they want."  He went back to make notes for his boss and put the cash away.  The marker test proved they were good bills.  "Gotta love the rich boys."  He called his boss.  "I sold the one we use in the office. I'm going to turn on the Specter."  He hung up and put his stuff in there to listen to.  It was nearly as good but a bit more bass heavy.


Don pulled into the driveway.  He looked at the dark red corvette, then parked and walked inside.  "Who's visiting?" he called.

"She's mine," Xander called.  "I need more music."

"You have umpteen billion CD's, Xander.  Pick some."  He walked into the study, watching him sort through stuff he didn't know they had.  "When did we get Pink Floyd?"

"Danny's.  I'm going to copy it."  He moved another one into the 'copy' stack and then another few into his 'going in the car' stack.  It was getting a bit too high. "I need one of those CD holders."

"You need to make copies of all those for your car," he noted dryly.  "That way you don't worry about having to find the originals because it took me three years to find that one disc." Xander grinned sheepishly and put the piles together.  "Let's go look.  We'll go for a ride to get you one."

Xander wrote out a 'it's a system, don't touch yet' note and left with him, letting him have the keys.  "It's used but it's so pretty and I had a new stereo put in today."

"It's very pretty."  He smiled when Danny pulled in and parked.  "Xander's."

"I can see that."  He came over to look, nodding in appreciation.  "Good car.  Very good car.  Let's hope no one targets this one.  What're you two doing?"

"I need a holder for the CDs I need to copy for the car."  Danny grinned.  "And some CDs to copy onto.  This one plays copied ones."

"Sure.  So there's a mess in the study?"  Xander blushed and nodded.  "That's fine.  Pick up some dinner, you two."  They nodded and Don got in with gleeful grin.  Danny watched them pull out, wondering what was under that hood with the way it growled. "That was not the regular corvette engine," he said dryly.  He went inside to look, adding a few more he knew Xander liked to the stack.  He watched the two come back after feeding their pets, noticing the box and the bag.  Plus the food.  He let them in, taking the food.  "What's in the box?"

"CD copier.  It's faster than using the computer," Xander admitted.   He settled in to copy it next to the ferret cage, going to get his stack.  He looked at the top ones and grinned, then got another few he had snuck into the collection, carrying the stack out and around Aiden.  "Hi, dear."  He blew a kiss.

"Is that your penis statement out in the yard?"

"Yup. But it's a statement of fact, not of compensation."  He grinned and settled in to copy things.  It went a lot faster.  He walked the first few out there to test them, they worked.  He had to turn down the volume on a few of them but they worked. He came back and loaded those into the binder's holding pockets. Eighty CDs later, he was done and hungry.  He went to rob the kitchen, finding Danny had put his in the fridge with a fork.  He kissed him then dug in to eat.  "Did you want to test it, Danny?"

"This weekend.  When we can go for a longer ride."  Xander beamed.  "I've got it off and Don's got it on."

"That's fine, if you want."

"We can go picnic down by some uninhabited bit of water."  Xander beamed and nodded, kissing him again.  "Eat.  You're too skinny.  Your ferrets eat more."  Xander grinned and went back to his CD stack to make sure they were all together and labeled. Danny shook his head at that.  His boy was so goofy sometimes.

"You didn't go alone, right?" Aiden asked.

"Nope," Xander said. "I took Horatio and his nephew out for some air."

"Good.  That's sensible."  She stroked over his hair.  "Whatever that guy did, it's nice feeling, still."

Xander blushed. "Everyone wants to pet me today.  Even Ray petted me."

"It's wonder that a guy has hair like this," she assured him.  "Eat."  He finished eating and carried the CDs back into the study to reshelve their library.  Then he pulled out his babies to play with them. They needed the free roam time.  She looked at Don, grinning and winking.  "Think we'll see more clothes?"

"He's got plenty," Danny assured her.  Xander giggled, giving him a look then he went back to teasing his babies with his hair.  The puppy barked and came over to play too, getting to play with his actual master as well.  They all settled in to talk about Xander's new car and the insurance bill, which might not change that much.  SUV and sports cars were about equally expensive for boys Xander's age.  Then Don made Xander sit down to pay the bills before something got turned off.


Frank looked over as a new engine came in, blinking at the corvette that pulled in.  "Wow."

Ryan looked over.  "That's Xander's new gaymobile.  He woke me up at one to take me on a ride last night.  He had worn them both out and was still bouncy."  Frank gave him a look.  "Just a ride, Frank.  It's a nice ride too."  He walked over, looking inside.  "Hmm, Air Supply, Xander?"

"I mislabeled that one."  He grinned and handed over the bag.  "For Speed and everyone.  Including you and Eric."  He blew a kiss and backed out, going for another drive.

Ryan smiled as he left, then he looked inside the bag.  He swallowed.  "Frank?" he called, waving a hand.  "This is a bomb."  Frank called Horatio, who was in his office again.  He had been bomb squad.  "Horatio, it's not blinking or anything.  Xander said it was for Speed and everyone, even me and Eric."

"I doubt he made it to blow us up," he said patiently, taking the bag to open it carefully.  "No, it looks like he pulled it off something."  He looked at the paint flecks on the duct tape.  "That's a blue car.  Which one of them...  Danny."  He looked around.  "Someone call Danny!"  Calleigh stepped off to do that.  Horatio finished looking over the bomb.  "It's got a radio trigger."

"Bomb squad's a few minutes out," Eric reported, frowning at Ryan.  "He handed you the bag?"  Ryan nodded.  "Did he look upset?"

"No.  Not particularly. He was grinning about how he mislabeled a CD, blew a kiss before he left.  Normal Xander."

"It's been disarmed," Horatio offered.  "He knew it was safe."

"How does he know explosives?" Frank demanded.

"Probably where he worked construction for a few months," Don called from the back.  "Can I see, people?"  They let him through and he looked.  "It's not hard to do."

"No, it's not hard to do," Horatio agreed.  "Or to make."  Bomb squad pulled up.  "It's been disarmed," he called.  They came over to look anyway.  "One of the people we watch over drove it over and handed Mr. Wolfe the bag."  He stepped back and went to call Xander.  "What were you thinking?" he demanded. "That's still..."  He paused.  "How did you know about explosives, Xander?"  He blinked at that name, taking Speed's PDA to type that into, finding the mention.  It got a moan.  "When?  Better yet, why?"  Xander explained it to him.  "That's reasonable at least.  Radio trigger..."  He smiled.  "Do you now?"  He nodded.  "Thank you for that.  Did you email us the footage?"  He nodded at Calleigh, making her run off.  "Into Danny's, it's the only one he knew," he called after her.  She nodded. "That's fine, Xander.  Next time, give us some warning.  No, you may not go after them.  I don't care.  Come back to the station now, Xander."  He hung up and walked out.  "Don, he has security footage off your system showing who put it on.  He went to stalk her."

"Cheery.  Who?"

"Calleigh's pulling it up now, he sent it to Danny's inbox," Horatio offered.  He pulled him away.  "Did you hear anything about his graduation?"  Don gave him a look then swore.  "That's how he knew."

"Charming.  Any idea?"  Calleigh came back with pictures.  "Who's that?"  He studied the picture.  "We need better cameras on the system."

Ryan looked.  "That's....isn't that Buffy?"

"She's a brunette in this.  She's a blonde in his pictures.  Could be."  He pulled the other one out to look at it.  "Could very well be.  Where is she?"

"He went to stalk her. I made him come back here and tell us so we could do it," Horatio offered.  Xander parked and leaned against his driver's door, foot tapping.  "Xander."  He walked over.  "You can't kill her."

"Yes I can.  She did this to me.  Fuck her," he said bitterly.  "Not that I would.  I still have some standards."  Ryan punched him on the arm.  "I do."

"You do.  Very high ones."  He looked over as Danny pulled in and parked the hummer, hopping out as soon as the engine was off.  "We need to check your car," Ryan called.


"Because I disarmed the bomb that Buffy so kindly stuck on your car," Xander said.  Danny gaped at him.  "Cordy was right, they're coming.  They're apparently here."

"The gaymobile?  Or was that someone else?" Frank asked.

"We can compare any hair or DNA we find to the hair we found in that debris," Speed offered.  "Horatio, take Xander to your office to debrief him."  His boss nodded.  He looked at the others.  "Guys, go with Messer to get his car."  The bomb squad guys looked amused.  "Caine's just off back surgery for a blown disc.  Go.  Now."  They headed off with Danny.  "Eric, Calleigh, do the bomb.  Ryan, I want everything you know on this girl.  I'm sure he's told you stuff.  Don, go sit with Xander and protect him.  Frank, whatever."  He walked off with Ryan.

Frank looked at Don.  "I'll take lead since you're involved."

"Sure, I like you.  You know your shit and all that," Don said dryly.  He showed him the picture.  "That's Xander, Willow's the redhead, and Buffy as of graduation."

"She's bruised."

"She got into a fight the night before.  That was before the carnage that was their graduation ceremony, complete with the school being blown up during an assault on it."  Frank moaned.  "It's probably how he knew how to do that."

"Sure.  Let's put out an APB on them then go check on what Horatio's got for us."  They did that and he put both pictures of Buffy on there, just in case.  Then they went to check on the boy, finding him pacing.  "APB is out, Horatio."

"Did the footage catch her car?"

"She cabbed in with a bag.  It's likely she cabbed back out," Xander offered, staring outside.  "I haven't felt Willow.  I should have if she was involved."  He looked at Don.  "I came home from doing the grocery shopping and found the system blinking a warning from the gate.  I went in to check the tape and fixed the bomb."

"You said she's more powerful than you.  Can't she hide from you?" Don asked.

Xander looked at him.  "Yeah, it's possible but my wards still would've broken."

"Maybe.  Maybe she's found a way around them."

"Huh?" Frank asked.

"I'm a witch and so is Willow, Frank," Xander admitted.

"That's not real," he said slowly and cautiously.  Xander looked at the plants near him and they grew.  "Holy God."

"Goddess, Frank.  Green mother," Xander offered dryly. "That's my level of skills basically.  Willow's a lot more powerful than I am.  She handles things and makes things happen."  He sat down and looked at Don.  "If that's true, she could've been in and out and we'd never know."

"I'll have the place searched for cameras and things," Don promised, calling Danny to have him do that.  He hung up and looked at him.  "We haven't seen a messenger demon in a while."

"I think I made them all stop," Xander admitted.

"I hope so. Being your harem is fun but really."  Frank gave him an odd look.  "According to some of the things that want him, those who gather around him like his family and those who help him, like his friends, are his harem."

"The gold flakes Wolfe kept finding?"

"Yup. Them too," Xander said bitterly.  "They've mostly stopped so apparently they've gotten the point.  Though I have seen a messenger.  The guy who supposedly adopted me from my original parents' care wanted to know if he should send me people to replace Stella since she couldn't follow us and I'm missing two members of my harem."

"Two?" Horatio asked.

"They thought Mac was one, the guardian and protector of my harem," he said dryly, making Horatio laugh and grab his back.  Xander hopped up.  "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you hurt.  Let me look, Horatio, maybe I can ease the pain some."  He probed the area around his back.  "Shh, let me try to ease some of it."  He did some gentle rubbing out of the cramps, making Horatio moan.  "Let me do this, it'll make it feel better."

Speed leaned in. "He okay?"

"Xander made him laugh," Frank offered.  "He cramped."

"Not too hard, Xander, and make sure the stitches don't pull."

"I am.  I'm sorry, Horatio."

"It was the image of Mac Taylor in harem gear," he assured him, reaching back to pat his hand.  "Thank you, I needed that Xander."  Xander grinned and went back to it. He moaned again, going limp under his talented hands.  "You need to take more lessons in this. I'll take this as my holiday present over Armani."  Xander beamed proudly and got to work on his shoulders.  "Oh, very nice."

"What is going on?" Yelina demanded.

"I made Horatio laugh and he cramped," Xander admitted.  "Did you ask her what we talked about?"

"Not yet."

Xander looked at Yelina. "Your son's got a bully on his butt since he protected one of the gay kids," he told her.  She groaned and shook her head, looking down.  "He's asked us to help him with his self-defense.  Not to attack or anything but in case something happens.  Don taught me and I can help work with him, even with Don if he'd agree."

"Sure, I like Ray.  He's a neat kid and it'll take my mind off your former friends trying to bomb Danny's car," Don agreed.  "I think he's asleep, Xan."  Xander slowly eased off, leaving Horatio there to nap.  Speed came in to put him on his couch, then he went to check on things.  "It's a reasonable thing at his age.  He should be able to defend himself if something happens, or if something happens due to a case."  She gave him a horrified look.  "Xander got stalked due to one of mine and Stella's cases back home."

"Self defense only, Donald."

"Of course.  Attacking first is for bullies."  She smiled at that.  "Now, Xander.  We need to know what you know."  Xander flopped down behind the desk and finished the notes Horatio was making, handing them over.  "Thank you.  You wanna talk?"

"I wanna go beat the bitch."

"We'll cuddle later then," he promised, leaving them alone.  "Guard him."  Xander nodded and settled in to do that.  He walked outside, finding the guards posted.  "Let us know if anything happens."  He showed him the pictures, getting a nod.  "Thanks."  He went back inside to help Frank.  Because Xander wasn't the only one with violent urges at the moment. He'd like to kill the girl himself.  Danny came back and paused.  "Horatio's asleep.  Xander's watching over him.  They've got everything being processed.  Anything else?"  Two cameras and a small black box were held up.  "Where?"

"Cameras in his bedroom and the living room.  Both with sound capabilities.  Both on a remote signal.  The box was on the computer for someone to hack easier."

"Good deal.  We know Willow can."  He shared the notes.  Danny read it over and nodded, going down to AV to see if they could do anything with what he had. Don looked at Frank.  Someone was going to die.  Danny was not a happy camper by any means. Don had a thought and called him.  "The bags.  Have they been moved?"  He nodded at that.  "Sure.  What about Ryan's horse?  Yeah, okay, he already sent it to Vegas.  Thanks."  He hung up.

"Horse?" Frank asked.

"When Ryan, Horatio, and Xander got taken the last time, Ryan got given a horse," he said with a shrug.  "That Tumie guy got given the other horse and the two elephants that had been on the lawn until last night."

"Do you guys *ever* get a normal night?" he complained.

Don looked at him.  "Of course we do.  Xander cuddles while he's watching tv or a cooking show.  Danny reads or watches with us.  Sometimes we do the game and Xander goes into the study to play since he doesn't like it when we've been drinking. It's normal most of the time, Frank.  It's the odd things you hear about.  Come over more often."

"Only if you promise he'll be wearing clothes this time."

"The last time you got him out of the shower and the time before that was moving day and the pink thong.  Usually he's at least got pants on," he promised. "If not, we make him when people other than Aiden come over.  She quit looking after that one time her mind got stuck."

"I don't wanna know."

"Probably true," Don agreed with a small grin.  "Yelina, when's a good time?"

"This weekend?"

"Sure.  Our house good?  We've got a great lawn."

"If you want.  I'll bring him over."  She smiled at him.  "It can't be that normal."

"It is.  Even though we're still cataloging all the various stuff Xander got given recently."

"Not my fault," Ryan admitted as he came in.  "I tried to keep an index but I got lost."  He handed over a report. "Buffy.  No signs of Willow on the bomb so far.  DNA is positive.  They rushed it."

"It's a good thing she's got hair that likes to stick to tape."  Ryan nodded at that.  "Xander's in the office."

"I heard the snoring."  He smiled.  "We're doing it, Don.  Give us a few hours at the most."  Don nodded so he went back to work.

Don sat down in his desk chair, looking at Yelina when she came over.  "Hey, anything new coming yet?"

"A few of the patrol guys are incensed that Xander left it like that."

"I've learned a few things about Xander.  If he's perfectly calm and smiling, it's a bad thing."

"Run for the hills?" Frank teased.

Don considered it.  "It means he's ready to destroy someone and he knows how he's going to do it, he can clearly do it in his head.  So, yeah, running for the hills is a good idea.  Getting between him and his target means you become a target so really good idea."  He looked at Yelina again. "If he's bouncy and smiling, he's happy.  If he's perfectly still and paying attention he's in hunting mode.  Something has that incredible focus at the moment.  Usually that's right before he smiles and is still perfectly still.  If he's bouncy, it's a normal day."

"Is this like a girl's mood swings?" Frank teased.

"Yup," Don agreed, grinning back.  "Then again, he was raised by Willow and Jesse, then Jesse died right after he got Buffy in his life.  Jesse was his only male friend."  He licked his lips.  "If he's sitting or something so you can't see bounciness or not look in his eyes.  It'll always tell you what sort of mood he's in.  Right now, I'm betting he's staring out the window in contemplation.  That means he's planning.  Never mistake the lack of bookishness for not being smart.  The kid survived in a near war-zone for five years, Yelina.  The only thing I was surprised at was that he could disarm one."

"But...he's goofy and bouncy."

"Yeah, and he's also the guy who hunted with the slayer for five years," he said quietly, glancing around.  "You don't do that when you can't focus.  Not and live."

She sat down, looking at him.  "Then why can't he protect himself?  Or work?"

"Because there's two Xander's, Yelina," Frank said dryly.  "He's got goofy, GHS Xander.  The cuddly, bouncy one that feeds us.  Then there's Xander like today.  That Xander's probably a bit dangerous.  He's focused on his survival."

"And if he stays there, it'll be a danger to others when he loses his temper at some bookish thing he never wanted to know," Don agreed.  "He's GHS because of that other side.  I'd rather have him living in that one than living in the other one and dying.  Because he would within the year."  She sighed and nodded. "That's just a fact of life.  The first time he relaxed he'd be back to goofy guy Xander.  The cuddly little lap crawler who plays with his ferrets and my dog."

"I thought it was his dog," Frank said, looking confused.

"No, I bought him Beauty to play with George.  I bought Spots to play with me," Don said dryly.  "It's just that he's home all day and he can play fetch all my dog wants. Then I get a cuddly, calm puppy all night to sit and pet with a cuddly, calm boy who likes me to play with his hair.  Speaking of."  He looked around then at the patrol guys.  "Hey, Jessup?"  He looked over.  "Go glance in on Xander, see if he's playing with his hair?  He twirls it when he's thinking up ways of escaping to do what he wants to do."  That got a nod and he went to do that.  He came back a few minutes later blushing.  "He asleep?"

"The Lieutenant is back behind his desk.  Your boy is presently on his couch being made to take a nap.  He's handcuffed to the couch and pouting, saying he's mean."

Don snorted.  "No, that means Xander started to sneak out to kill her," he said dryly.  He stood up.  "Let me go deal with the lap bait."  Jessup blushed harder at that.  "He is very cuddly, Jessup.  He loves to cuddle.  His parents never did."  He walked up there, going to look at his boy.  "Tried to escape?" he asked him.  Horatio made an agreeing noise. "Did you wake him up?"

"I was mostly awake," Horatio admitted.  "I've got him, Don."

"I can put him beside me at my desk."

"No, you have work to do. I've only got paperwork and I can withstand the pout."   He looked at his detective.  "I've seen worse.  Go back to work, Don."

"I was hoping he could come make my next suspect confess."

Horatio shook his head. "That would be an invalid form of questioning a suspect.  If I have to, I can have Speed get our camping kit."

"What are you going to do with a tent and sleeping bags?" Xander asked.

"It's not for literal camping, Xander," he said calmly.  He called Speed.  "Where's the camping kit?"  He smiled.  "Please.  He's still agitated."  Speed hung up and came up a few minutes later with a small zippered bag.  Horatio got up slowly and came over to open it, putting the blindfold over Xander's eyes, then the muffling headphones over his ears.  He unlocked the uncomfortable handcuffs and used it on the boy's hands as it should be but in front of him.  Xander made grumbling noises so he turned on the CD, then looked at Don.  "It's nature sounds with quiet instrumental music overtop of it.  It helps."  Don nodded, watching as Xander yawned and calmed down.  "Go," he ordered quietly.  Don nodded and left.  Horatio mostly closed his office door, keeping an eye on Xander.  The tape was only an hour long.  By then he had dropped into a nap.


Danny walked up to the hotel room, nodding at the guys with him.  Eric nodded.  Calleigh nodded.  The patrol guys all nodded so Calleigh knocked.  "Miami-Dade PD, open up," she ordered.  No one answered.  They gave it to a count of five then one of the patrol guys came forward with the key.  The door was opened and he got out of the way, letting the patrol guys lead the way inside.  They found one grumpy redhead sacked out on the couch. Calleigh looked at her.  "Not her usual shade?" she guessed.

Danny shook his head.  "Bottle blonde."  He reached down to smack her, just once.  Less hard than he wanted to.  "Rise and shine, Summers.  Miami-Dade PD.  You're under arrest."

"For what?" she whined.

"For planting two explosives devices.  It's bordering on terrorist activities, little girl," Eric assured her.

"No I didn't."

"Yeah, you did.  We've got you on tape doing it to my car," Danny assured her.  He got a whiff of her breath and moaned.  "Been drinking?"

"Um, yeah."  She pinkened. "I did what?"

"Get her and let's go," Calleigh ordered.  "I don't believe in blackouts like that."  The patrol officers cuffed her and drug her off.  The CSI searched the room, finding the rest of her stash and a laptop that had footage from the cameras when Danny turned it back on.  "That's enough for me."

"Enough for me too," Eric agreed.

"Ditto," Danny agreed, closing down the laptop and bagging it.  "Now, is the other one here?"

"The manager couldn't be certain.  He said she signed in by herself but she's had a few deliveries," Eric offered.

"With her breath, that could've been the liquor store," Danny assured him.  "Any other proof?"

"We'll call Cordelia back, see if she knows," Calleigh offered.  That got a nod and Eric went into the hallway to do that.  She looked at Danny.  "Are you okay?"

"Nope, wanna kill me a little girl."

"Oh, I understand that perfectly.  How can you not appreciate Xander?"

"They don't care," he reminded her.  "They also think he's helpless and useless."

"Huh, yeah," she snorted. "Right.  Because he didn't protect Horatio and Ryan wherever they went the last time."

He grinned.  "Technically, Xander only got them free. Ryan protected them."

"Uh-huh.  Sure," she agreed dryly.  They gathered everything they needed and walked out, letting Eric seal the room in case they needed to come back.


Horatio looked at the young woman through the one-way mirror.  Then at the one up the hall.  Both of them were here.  Willow had been found at the mall buying a new outfit.  He walked into this first one, looking her over.  "Miss Rosenburg.  What brings you to Miami this time of year?  Shouldn't you be in school?"

"I came to see Xander.  I had a long weekend," she said quietly.  "Is he okay?"

"He's perfectly fine.  He's napping in my office as a matter of fact."  She sighed and nodded.  "We have evidence of someone hacking into his computers and I do know that you are a suspect in a bank hacking a few months back.  The FBI are still trying to prove it was you."  She opened her mouth.  "Don't," he ordered. "Why are you in Miami?"

"I'm here to see Xander and make amends."

"By putting cameras in his house and a link into his system so you could hack him again?"

"It's clear he made some sort of evil deal to get this stuff," she said firmly, glaring at him. "There's no way he didn't."

"Actually, he didn't," he said, looking expressionless.  "You'd be surprised at what Xander can do on his own."

"Yeah, fall over his feet.  Trip me.  Like that Joxer guy on the show."

"He was the most loyal of them all and he did manage to save their lives."

"Oh, don't even!  We saved each other.  Just because he was there didn't mean he was doing special things."

"Like the bomb in the basement?" Xander asked from the doorway.  She gasped and he walked in, shutting the door.  "Test me, Willow.  Find demonic taint that wasn't there."  She did and moaned, pointing at his arm. "Yeah, but that's been there.  You saw that before.  You're the one who pointed out how to cover it."  He moved closer.  "Do it again," he said coldly.  She did it again and then stared at him.  He leaned down.  "Do you want to know how I got everything I had?  Well, let's talk about basic biology, Willow.  What's the reason for pheromones?"

"To attract others to you.  So?"

"What happens if a human has excessive levels of pheromone production?"

"It smells like they're in heat to the other humans."

"Not always human," Xander corrected.  "There's been plenty that draw other things instead.  Or else the dog wouldn't hump your aunt every single time."  She blushed at that. "You know what a Quarth demon is?"  She blushed bright red and nodded.  "What happens to those who are basically human ones?"

"There's no such thing."  He put a card in front of her and she gasped, looking at him.  "But..but... it's not the same," she said finally.

"It is the same and with where I was born, my pheromones are naturally tilted that way.  I attract them both," he said bitterly.  She gulped air, starting to shake her head.  "Yeah, Willow.  You can ask the DPP people.  They have me on file.  They had to test me to make sure I wasn't partially a quarth by birth."  She shook her head again.  He put something down on the table.  "Call them."  She touched the call stone and a vampire appeared.  "Thank you for sending a human-looking one," Xander offered. "Horatio, please get the windows?"

"Of course."  He closed the blinds over them, letting the other officer in further.  "You are?"

"My name is Raphael Mystick."  She stammered at that name.  "I am in the books?"  She nodded at that, swallowing hard. He put down his ID badge in front of her. "I am a member of the Demonic Police squad. A detective.  I've seen your friend many times and he did alert us we may have to produce our file on him."  He put it down in front of her.  "Look and learn, young lady."

"I'm not..."

"I'm over six hundred years old.  You're a mere child and acting like one," he sneered.  "Read!" he snapped and she did.  He looked at Xander.  "Any recent ones?"

"Some sort of planeular portal that took me somewhere redheads were incredibly scarce with Horatio and my buddy Ryan.  Some barbarians took us to sell us."

"I know of that one.  Did you meet your overseeing God?"  Xander moved his pants to show off a piece of his tattoo.  "Good.  That should help you stay here instead of every other plane in existence.  Though there is one that you might want to visit.  They have some very unique dance and self defense styles that could aid your body with its natural grace."  Xander smiled.  "If you want, come see me and I'll gladly send you there, Mr. Harris."  He took the file back when she closed it.  "Now then," he said firmly. "You were spouting off?"

"May I?" Horatio asked.  It was handed over with a smile. "Thank you."

"Not an issue.  I'm sure he tried to call us to there but couldn't.  We don't have access to many planes, mostly realms."  He looked at Willow again. "Did you have more comments?"

"Why him?  Why not me or any other that was born there?" she demanded.

"Because he has the hormone switch to become GHS.  The others with this problem probably got eaten sooner."  She blushed and slumped.  "The vampires are very attracted to his sort as well as other demons.  Unfortunately I'm fixed so it doesn't matter."

Xander looked at him.  "Someone tried to do that to me.  It hurt like hell, man.  I'm so sorry."  He hugged him and the vampire gave him a back pat.  "It'll be all right."  He pulled back.  "Before you were turned?"

"Unfortunately sealed with holy water.  It won't heal with that contagion."

"Then trim off the infected parts," Horatio offered.  He brightened and smiled.  "You can't have Xander either."

"I'm a realistic being.  I'd die.  Any vampire near him would. Any demon will.  He's went after a monsoon demon, one made of wind, with a sword for trying him."

"He tried to make me a girl and castrated me. Hell yes I went after him with a sword," Xander agreed. "Thankfully I grew back."  The vampire smiled at that.  "Thank you."

"You're welcome.  That's a copy of the pertinent reports for the confidential files down here.  I know your overseer wanted them in the GHS files, young man.  Do be well and hopefully you can stay home.  But do come to me if you want to travel there.  I'll send you with an escort."

"Yes, sir."  He grinned.  "Dancing?"

"Dancing," he agreed, rolling his eyes.  "Very erotic dancing.  You don't realize that the knife's killed you until after you get off sort."  Xander blushed at that.  "I'm a blunt being," he noted dryly.  "Be well.  I wish you luck, Lieutenant."  He disappeared.

Xander put the call stone back around his neck.  "Now, you were saying, Willow?"  She burst out swearing and lunged for him.  He punched her and sent her flying.  "Don't do that.  Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I can't kick your ass, still.  I taught you how to fight, Willow."  He walked out and walked down the hall with the file he took from Horatio's hand.  He handed it to Eric.  "From the DPP officer.  I just hit Willow so I'm going to find some ice."

"Give it ten minutes, you'll be fine."  He walked into that room with Calleigh, handing her the report.  "Miss Summers.  Hangover better?" he asked.

"Somewhat.  Thank you for the tylenol."  She looked at the tv as it was turned on and the tape started, frowning.  "That's me?  But... no, that's not me.  No, I'm a blonde."  Calleigh grabbed some of her hair to pull it around, making her look really confused.  "When did I do that?"

"I don't know and I don't care," Calleigh offered. "This is the second bomb since you've dyed your hair red, Miss Summers."  She put down the DNA report.  "This is from Mr. Harris' first car after it got blown up.   We found it attached to a piece of the bomb, under some tape.  That video proves you were there today when a bomb was planted on Detective Messer's car."

"I don't know bombs," she said, looking really confused.  "Am I possessed?"

"Probably by the alcohol," Eric said grimly.  "What was the last thing you remember?"

"Um, a frat party to celebrate the first week of school."

"It's early November, Buffy," Calleigh said dryly.  "Welcome back to reality."  She gave her a horrified look.  She looked at the other file.  "Ah.  The reason Willow panicked."  She put it in front of her.  "You think he's so worthless, yet he's taken by people who want to coddle and protect him."

"Demons," she sneered.

"Not all," Eric assured her.  "There have been others."  She shook her head. "Yes, there have been, Buffy."  He pulled something out of the file and handed it to her.  "Including your mentor who tried to have him taken by a demon."  She stood up, her chair slamming to the ground.  "Sit," he ordered coldly.  "That's his statement."  Buffy shook her head, starting to open her mouth again. "I said, sit down," he ordered.  She righted the chair and sat.  "Thank you.  Unfortunately, the demonic police do exist and they did apprehend him for this crime, and that of taking one of our officers with Mr. Harris to incarcerate, sexually torture, and mutilate him."  She went pale.  "So he's presently incarcerated on the plane Mr. Harris ended up shutting down to save his own life and that of our officer."  Someone walked in.   "Stetler."

"What are you doing?"

"She planted a bomb."

"You're talking about demons."

"Demons are real," Buffy assured him.  "I've killed many of you."  She stood up again.  "I'm the slayer.  Who are you?"  He backed away from her, giving her a horrified look.  "Xander is *mine*.  He's my backup.  He never should've left to go on that second road trip.  It was wrong of us to let him go.  And then it was wrong of us to tell him to stay away.  Because he wasn't there I got attacked.

"No, that's because you were really drunk," Calleigh assured her.  "I got that police report.  By the way, how would Xander have stopped them?"

"He would've been there," she said coldly, rounding on her.  Stetler escaped and slammed the door.  "He would have been there."

"Xander doesn't drink.  He hides from us when we go over to drink and watch the game on his tv," Eric told her.  "He disappears at the first sign of a beer.  He wouldn't have been at a frat party.  He wasn't in college.  They wouldn't have let him in."  She opened her mouth.  "I was a frat brother, Buffy.  We don't let townies into those things.  Not even hot chicks."  She glared at him.  "So, even if he had managed to sneak in, he wouldn't have because of the drinking issues he's got thanks to his parents.  So he wouldn't have been there.  Yes, rape is horrible, but you were seriously drunk, and as this has proven, prone to doing stupid things while drunk.  I'm not sure it was rape."  She took a swing at him and he ducked, then put her back into the seat.  "That was incredibly stupid of you.  That's assaulting an officer.  Unlike Sunnydale, we charge you for shit here in Miami."  She went pale again and he saw the gag.  "Nice try."  He got out of range and took the file back.  "Then again, you sent Xander off.  He would've come back if you hadn't told him he was worthless and unwanted.  You nearly destroyed him when he heard that from you two.  He still has issues with what you guys told him."

"We do have to watch out for him," she said hotly.

"Yet, he managed to undo the bomb today without help," Calleigh said dryly. "He's managed to save that officer twice now, the second time with another one that was taken and injured, to get them free.  So what was your part of this, Miss Summers?  It seems apparent to us that Xander can easily handle himself.  He does here in Miami all the time.  He did in New York.  It's only when his hormones are spiking that he needs the protection."


"Hormones.  The reason you kept picking on him about being a demon magnet," she said coolly.  "Not like he can help those coming out of him.  It's from where he was born and part of what he is."

"Is he a halfie?" she sneered.

"No.  But he's been compared to a human version of the Quarth," Eric said, putting that report in front of her.  She looked then gagged again and ran to the trash can.  "Thank you for abasing yourself that way.  When you're done, sit down," he ordered.  He put that file back together again.  "I think it's time she talked to someone who's going to talk to her about charges."

"No, they don't need to. I'm going to charge her with making two explosive devices with intent to use.  Use of an explosive or dangerous device in a manner that endangered lives.  Stalking.  Hacking.  And then I'm going to finish it up with use of terroristic threats.  That's a federal level, right?"

"Last I heard, yeah."  He nodded.  Buffy moaned and whimpered.  "Sit down, Miss Summers."  She came back and sat down, clutching her stomach.  "Good.  Now that you're done, did you hear the charges laid against you?  Two counts of making explosives, two counts of planting explosives.  One count of endangering lives with a deadly weapon.  Two counts of stalking.  Hacking.  Making terroristic threats.  If you have anything to defend yourself with, I'd give it now."

"Xander's mine," she told him. "He's mine to abuse, he's mine to send out to die.  He's my backup.  Not yours."

Speed walked in and shut the door.  "No he's not.  He's Danny's.  That guy you put the bomb on his car today?  That's his boyfriend."  She burst out laughing.  "He's still a police officer.  That would add a count of attempted felony murder since he's an officer."

"So that's a potential death penalty charge there," Calleigh agreed. "I had forgotten about that."  She looked at him and smiled.  "How is Xander?"

"Icing his knuckles."  Eric rolled his eyes.  "That other one attacked him and he had to hit her."  He shrugged.  "Pity."

"I've saved the world," Buffy screeched, standing up again.  "Xander is mine to help me do that!"

"Funny thing is, he could probably take any bad guy you'd get and make them beg to serve him," Calleigh said dryly.  "Pity you didn't use him properly, huh?"  She gathered up everything and waved.  "Boys."  They came in to get her.  "Book her.  I'll have the charge sheet in a minute.  Let me amend one part to add one and then sign it."  They nodded and led the struggling young woman off.  She looked at Speed.  "How can you be friends with someone who sees you like their dog?"

"Xander treats his dog better than that," Eric assured her, going to find Xander.  He found him in a corner of the break room.  "Your hand okay?"

"It's emotional pain but the ice is keeping me focused and not crying," he admitted, looking at him.  "What the fuck did I do to deserve this?  It wasn't bad enough she blamed me for not coming home after she told me not to and blamed me for being attacked.  Her mother helped in that.  Now this?"

"Some people are incredibly selfish and users."  He shrugged. "I can't explain it.  I probably won't ever be able to.  I don't think it was how she was raised.  You said her mother was a nice lady and sweet, kind and nice you called her."  Xander nodded.  "She got angry with what happened to her daughter and you were easy to blame since you hadn't been there."  He moved in.  "That's all that was, Xander.  A scapegoat."  Xander looked up at him again.  "These two are selfish.  They'll learn their lessons over their time in prison."

"If they stay.  The Watchers Council might not let Buffy stay.  Faith's still in jail in LA.  They won't have a slayer handy.  All Willow needs is to concentrate really hard and she can escape," he said quietly.  "They might kill Buffy instead of letting her go but I wouldn't count on it."

"We'll watch for it," Eric assured him.  "If so, we'll handle it."  Xander nodded, slumping down again.  "Why don't you go home?"


"Why not?"

"It's a crime scene.  Danny said I couldn't until Bomb Squad released it.  He did say he put down fresh water and food for the animals and got my wallet for me."  He looked up again.  "Eric, what happens if they look in that other stuff?"

"They shouldn't have to.  Besides, what'll they see?  Bags of stuff you were given by people who wanted you to do things for them."  He shrugged.  "It happens.  I'll check on that for you."  Xander nodded.  "Want a soda?"

"No, I want to be cuddled and told it's a nightmare, that they didn't turn on me for their own selfish reasons."

"Mostly alcohol," Eric offered.  "The last thing Buffy remembers is the first week of school."  Xander snorted.  "Exactly.  Willow's might be different."

"Maybe.  I knew it was evil."

"It is.  A drink now and then is one thing.  Doing it like that is bad."  He patted him on the head.  "It'll be okay.  You'll get through this."

"People think I'm scary.  A few of the patrol officers gave me looks when they came in to get a drink."

"Of course they do.  You disarmed a bomb and handed it over like it was lunch."  He swatted him.  "Next time, some warning, okay?"  Xander nodded.  "Good.  Now, sit and don't think about it.  Think about making Horatio take you shopping to use his present or the next convention."

"I don't feel like masturbating," he said dully.

"I know.  I wasn't suggesting you do that.  I was more suggesting you look forward to showing them what you saw on your week's vacation."  Xander nodded at that, perking up some.  "Maybe you can teach Speed how to beat baccarat or something so he can buy real clothes."  He walked off when Xander snorted, going to finish his reports.  Because if he had friends like that he would have hurt himself for it.  He ran into Danny and Don.  "He's fine.  He's in the break room thinking."

"He'll be fine," Don assured him. "They'll release the house in an hour, when they find the ferret that came to help."  Eric cracked a smile at that.  "He's loose somewhere in Xander's car."

Xander peeked out. "Check under my seats.  George hid there before."

Danny talked to the person on his phone, getting a nod. "Beauty's there and she seems to like the black interior your car.  She's laid out on her side and napping."

"She's being visually pleasing," Xander teased.

Don gave him a look.  "You have us.  We're ten thousand times better," he reminded him.  Xander nodded. "They'll dry out and see what they've lost.  Won't mean much since they'll be in prison, but they'll see their issues and apologize."  Xander nodded and came to get hugs, then went back, putting his ice pack back in the freezer.

"He hopes no one gets them out," Eric said quietly.

"They do, they're toast too," Danny assured him. "No problems there."  Eric smiled and nodded.  "One did look at the stuff in the garage.  Tumie left it when he went back to France.  They found one of his boy toys in one too.  He's on his way to the hospital.  They decided he had been hiding there to get some of Xander too."

"Maybe.  You never know," Don agreed, shaking his head. "How did he survive?"

"It's a bit of agelessness in there," Ryan said as he came over.  "I stuck Xander in one for a day to keep him out of trouble while I had to be out of town and Horatio was having his back worked on again.  It mutes his hormones beautifully as well."

"How do you know that it's agelessness?" Don asked.

"Big, dark, and deadly said so."


"Explain it later, Don."  He smiled then went back to get Xander.  "They've released the house but they called Horatio about the bags.  He called Tumie to point out he had left them.  Tumie said to give them to you.  Bomb Squad said we should go through them to make sure there's no other illegal aliens hiding in there."  Xander groaned and leaned his forehead on his knees.  "So, looks like we're going to be unpacking."

"We need bookcases and another room," Xander moaned.  "I wouldn't mind the garage back for my car."

"For now, we'll go through and make an index of those bags we'll need packed and then what's being sold off.  Because I remember some people with really bad taste gave you both stuff."  Xander looked up and nodded.  "It's even sedate enough for Horatio and you can tell the other stories about what happened since they've all heard by now."

"Sure."  He got up and followed Ryan out, getting another hug.  "Order and bring it home.  I'm too tired to cook."

"Sure," Danny agreed. "We'll be home soon."  Xander nodded and trudged off with Ryan, giving him a ride in his new car too.  He looked at Don.  "Are we sure we wanna know with how deep those bags are?"

"Not really but I could use the stories."

"True."  They went to talk to Horatio and the others since they were having a meeting.  "Bomb Squad suggested Xander go looking for more illegal aliens hiding in the bottomless bags.  They've promised stories if someone brings dinner."

"I'll order something soothing," Speed promised.  "Then I'll show you the camping gear that we used today."

"Please.  It looks like it helps."  He grinned.  "We still here?"

"Wrap up this case, Danny.  I sent Ryan with him."  They nodded and went to do that.  Horatio shook his head. "Those two have more energy than I do now."

"It's the end of a long day and we're all tired emotionally," Eric agreed.

"I kept thinking if I had friends like that, I would've hit myself and woken myself to reality," Calleigh agreed quietly.

"That was all he knew," Speed told them.  "Literally.  He was raised by Willow and Jesse.  He lost Jesse, his only male influence, and then gained Buffy.  They're all he knew."

"Shit," Eric sighed. "I still might've hurt myself."

"He might have tried," Horatio pointed out.  "We don't know everything that went on back there."  They all nodded at that.  "Now, is it a solid case?"

"Tape showing her," Calleigh offered.  "Plus DNA and strand matches on her hair."

"AV said that her computer shows they were trying to hack his accounts again," Speed offered.  "Plus hours and hours of Xander porn with a lot of different angles.  One was in his bedroom."  Eric blushed.  "Not like we care, Eric.  We may have to explain *why* to the judge."  He shrugged.  "Or there's the Federal charges of hacking the bank."

"Xander thinks they might not be staying," Eric offered.  "That the Watchers, the people over girls like Buffy, might try to release or kill her.  He said for Willow it's a mater of concentration for her to pop out."

"She'll have a cellmate after tonight," Calleigh offered.  "Lack of concentration right there."

"We'll make sure she'll be in a noisy part of the prison," Horatio agreed. "I'll note it to the warden as well."  That got nods.  "Anything that could go wrong?"

"The DPP officer?" Eric suggested.

Speed snorted.  "No, he's not in the official files.  Stetler?"

"He ran off after she called him a halfie," Calleigh told him.  "He may still be hiding somewhere."  They all smiled at that.  "It's as solid as we can make it.  Can we get someone other than West?"

"We can and we have," Horatio agreed.  "I noted to her boss that she'd have a conflict since she hated the victim because his ferret got loose down her shirt.  He laughed for a good ten minutes."  He smiled.  Speed giggled.  "It was rather flustering."

"I almost thought the first one was her," Speed agreed.

"Me as well," Horatio sighed.  "Unfortunately not."  Someone came to the door.  "Yes, Miss West."

"Where are my new clients?"

"You weren't sent on the Summers and Rosenburg case, correct?" he asked.

She smirked.  "No, I was sent as their defense attorney.  I quit as of today."

"They're already in booking. You can get them before their arraignment," Calleigh said, looking at her.  "It's pretty airtight."


"Video showing her planting the second bomb.  DNA, hair strand match," Speed said sarcastically.  "Federal charges against Miss Rosenburg for hacking a bank.  Have fun with that."

"Oh, I will be."  She stomped off, heading down to booking.

"That's trouble waiting to happen," Speed said quietly.

"Won't happen," Ryan said as he walked in, whispering in Horatio's ear, getting a nod.  "By the way, Giles is back.  That's trouble waiting to happen.  The bomb squad guys had to separate him and Xander when Xander went for his throat."  He looked at Eric.  "Without a sword."  Eric moaned.  "He was going to twist it until it popped off," he said happily.  "Not like I blame him.  So we need our statements from that kidnaping since he sold Xander to them."

"Agreed," Horatio said quietly.  "Is he coming here as well?"

"No, they put Xander in his bedroom with the dog to rant, scream, and howl with."  He looked at his boss again.  "So I'm not going to be allowed near that case."

"Understood, Mr. Wolfe.  There's plenty of crime in Miami for you to help with."  Ryan smiled.  "Go back to him."

"Yes, boss.  I left one of the guys there in case something else happens."  He walked off, jogging out to his car and heading back to Xander's house.  He nodded at the other guy, feeling two quickenings.  "Who else showed up?"

"Some guy named Ray that your friend clung to like he was his boyfriend.  I didn't see any harm in it."

"They're buddies.  Very tight. We've got it, he's a Chicago cop.  Thank you."

"They get the guy who bombed his SUV?"

"Yeah, same girl," he said happily.  "ADA West quit to take their cases because the brown and black ferret got down her shirt at the station."  He giggled at that.  "Seriously."  He walked off smiling.  "Ray?" he called, heading for the bedroom.  He popped out without a shirt.  "He calmer?"

"He'll be fine.  I've let him cry and rant on me and the dog.  Spots is very good for him."  He grinned.  "Sorry to barge in."

"Not an issue.  With the day we've had?  You're more than welcome to help us sort crap he got given when he was taken across planes."  He gave him a hug.  "How is Adam?"

"Bitchy.  That's why I'm here.  That and I had ta quit.  I had some guy who challenged me in the station and pulled a sword.  I kinda got stabbed in the chest so it wasn't that fun."  That just got a nod and another hug.  "Let me finish calming him down."

"Sure."  He went to play with the ferrets and let them help with the bags.  Though he did make sure the bags were sealed once everything was dumped out.  He didn't want to lose a ferret in a neverending bag.  He started to make lists of what he found and which bag it was in.  He even marked the handles with bag numbers to keep track of things.


To Next Part:

To Index: