Is Good For A Boy.
Xander looked up when someone tapped him. "Just a minute," he ordered, looking at his cards. He bet on the house and won that hand. He frowned. "I've had the worst luck this week." He tipped her and turned around, smiling at the security person. "Did he get out?"
"He did, but he's very happy with the steak you paid for and fed him." He handed the dragon back.
"Sorry, I tried. I even put a note on the door. He's a sneaky guy now and then. He'll get along really well with my ferrets."
"He probably will." He smiled. "Not going your way this week?"
"No." He pouted. Then he looked at where the dragon was patting. "What?" It patted again. "That? What's that?" He looked then at him. "That's a good idea." He smiled at the security guard. "I'll put him back. Thank you."
"Welcome, Mr. Harris. Come play later." He smiled as he walked off. "It's a very smart whateveritis," he told the dealer, who was looking a bit confused. "He calls it a baby dragon. Looks like someone bred two types of lizard together to me." He shrugged. "How did he do?"
"Crappier than he did yesterday. It was like someone turned off his luck switch. Then again, he won about ten grand the other day on one hand in the high stakes room when I was dealing." She grinned. "He gave me a nice tip as well." He smiled at that and walked off. She liked watching him play. Xander came back an hour later smelling freshly scrubbed, like candles, and without his pet. He had even changed clothes and put his hair up with new hair sticks. He sat down and put down two chips, one on each side. The cards were dealt and he bet on himself, then tapped for another one. She dealt and he smiled, flipping them over. She paid him and kept paying him for the next four hours. She did get rotated out when he kept winning but the floor supervisor saw he was mostly betting on the house. That's how you won at baccarat. It was loaded toward the house.
Xander looked up from his poker hand when arms went around his neck, smiling at the man back there. "Hi, Tumie. Last hand for me," he sighed, flipping over his cards. The dealer flipped hers. They tied but she was under the 'must take a card' limit, making her go over. He accepted his chips and flipped her two nicer ones, then gathered up his cups and headed back to the elevator. "Come on, Tumie." He followed, smiling and waving at some of the others already in. Xander looked at him. "The IRS hates me because of your stuff."
"I told you it was yours."
"They didn't like that any better." He walked into his room and smiled at Danny and Don, handing them the chip tubs. "Hold those. Did you bring the blue book?" Danny dug it out and handed it over. Xander turned and handed it to him. "That's from your stuff that I could sell. The others are in a bag in the garage again." He sighed. "Tough. Use it to spoil your keeper or give it to charity before the IRS decides I'm kibble. Please?" He nodded. Xander hugged him. "How are you liking being home?"
"I miss being thought of as a demigod," he admitted. "I miss the worship. I missed my keeper while I was gone so it's good. He still loves and accepts me." He kissed Xander on the cheeks. "I'll do this if you use that to spoil your boys."
"Oh, I plan on it," he agreed happily. Tumie laughed and left. "Horatio's around here somewhere," he called. Tumie grinned before shutting the door. Xander turned and pounced his boys into the ground, cuddling them. "I love you two and I missed you. I have shit to show you that'll rock your worlds," he promised. A warm nose came over and he grinned. "These are Danny, in the glasses, and Don, the one without the glasses." The dragon sniffed them then nodded and snorted some steam before walking back to his window seat. He grinned at them. "He's smart too." He stole kisses. "Let me change and I'll dance for you two."
"Sure," Don agreed. "Help us up?" Xander helped them up then went to shower and change. He looked at Danny, then at the chip tubs. They went and found the others, putting those two with them in the safe. They'd talk to him about cashing those out later. Danny pulled one out to do an estimation, then groaned and put it back. Xander came out in some really tight leather pants with a sword. They sat down in the chairs in front of the area he had cleared for them. Then he began to move... It was nothing they had ever seen before. Don didn't even realize he had undone his pants until he hissed when his hand hit his cock. "Jesus, Xander." Xander shot him a grin and turned, then bent backwards to dance that way for a few seconds before straightening up and doing more with his hips. Don's hand sped up, he could feel the burn in his arms, but his cock was in agony.
Danny came and went limp, staring at him. "How many hours is that stuff? Ryan said it was a storyline."
"There's about eighty hours of stories," he admitted, shifting into a different one, more sensual and summoning. He pulled Don up to teach him, making him moan more as his body shifted. "Keep going. It'll feel natural soon." Don swallowed air but kept up with him, doing what he could of what he saw. He finally got to come without even touching himself, just from the dancing.
Ryan came out of his room in his boxers. "I see you did some of it for them. The main one or the secondary one?"
"The main one. About halfway though the third. The first part I learned." Ryan just nodded and went to get some ice, coming back and handing the pot to Danny, then he went to take a cold shower.
Don flopped down, staring at him. "You'll have to show us from the beginning, Xan." Xander smiled. "We should show Speed and Horatio."
"I met a nice level four here and I showed him. I even taught him a few of them," he said proudly. "I can teach Horatio. He did good with the belly dancing." He went jogging down the hall, tapping on their door, grinning at Speed. "Come see what I learned."
"I was going to give him a backrub."
"I made Ryan get Danny an ice bucket for his cock without touching him."
Speed considered that statement. "Okay, I want to see this." Horatio moaned. "You too. If it's not that great, I'll use his bed and get it oily." They walked back there with Xander, who had to knock to be let in. Xander sat them down in a chair he turned around then sat Don back in his chair, starting from the beginning. Speed stared and stroked his mate's claim marking. Slowly, gently, just teasing it. Then the dancing got more erotic. The stroking went lower and he ran into another hand, moving it out of his way. He shifted Horatio around so he could rub against his rear while he rubbed him. Then he got into his pants and rubbed him from inside, making him moan. Xander did something with his hips and it was too much for Horatio's mind, he came. Speed came from that sight and went limp, watching as Danny's cock rose even with ice surrounding it. Don's face looked painful but he was enjoying it.
Ryan came back out and sighed then took the ice and drenched Xander, making him shriek. "Sometimes he gets lost there too." He walked off to get more ice and tell the other two to come up and watch.
Speed gulped air. "Can you teach Horatio that?" he asked. Xander beamed and nodded, pulling Horatio up to teach him how to do that, once he had one back up his pants. Because no one got to see him hanging out but him. He watched as they went over the dance Xander had ended on. Don came over to help too once his pants were rehitched by Danny. Speed waved Methos and Ray inside, pointing. "Watch." Xander showed them the basic moves then started to move for their pleasure again. Methos sat and missed the chair, Ray finding it and letting him rest against his legs. They all stared in awe as Xander moved and taught the other two how to do what he was doing. He heard Horatio start to pant and got up to retrieve his boy, taking him into the bedroom and slamming the door.
"Don't make me sleep in a wet spot tonight," Ryan called. "Please!" He looked down as the dragon came over, smiling and picking him up. They had made peace together. He went back to watching Xander. "Do the other arc, the more sexual one," he ordered.
"There's one that's *more* sexual?" Danny demanded. Ryan grinned and nodded. "How in the hell!"
"This leads to their self defense," Ryan admitted. "With the sword, Xander." He started to work with the sword while he danced, making Don go back and sit in Speed's former seat. He grinned. Ray gave him a helpless look. "I gained some immunity watching him practice. Turn around it's about to get better." They all watched as Xander mimicked being taken away and then fighting back. Methos moaned at how he was moving. Then Xander moved more sexually again, making them all get off when he mimicked sex, him being on the bottom by the look on his face. They all looked at him. "I gained some immunity, not total," he defended. He got up to get them some water, leaving one in beside the other bed before hurrying out. Then he sat down again, handing the dragon over to Danny.
Danny looked at him. "Not what I want to hold at the moment, but hi again." It huffed him then got down and went to nudge the daddy, making him coo and bend down to pet him. Danny snapped and grabbed Xander, bringing him into his lap to kiss. "Out of the pants, Xander. Before I rip them." Don came over to help and they got him between them. Don got his ass but Danny got his mouth and it was great! Ray and Methos were on the couch and going at each other as well.
Ryan grinned at the dragon. "Come on, let's take some of daddy's chips and go play slots." He grabbed some of Xander's clothes and walked off with the dragon on his leash. He ran into Greg and kissed him on the cheek. "He was showing them some. It ended up in an orgy."
"Yeah, I can see why." He grinned and petted the dragon. "Hi, Hubert." He looked around. "Where's everyone at?"
"Checking in with jet lag. Things start in an hour. He and I are going to play slots if you wanna come help." Greg shrugged and followed him going to have fun. Of the security guys gave him a look. "They're showing off the dancing stuff," he offered. The guard moaned. Xander had shown Tony some last night when he had gotten in using the meeting area. He sat down and changed the chip for coins, putting his room key into the machine then going for it. Greg looked at his. "Do two down, Greg." Greg sat down to gamble there. "I'm loving this comps thing. Free dinners are great." Greg grinned at him and nodded. "Not chatty?"
"I saw my former keeper and he's still a bitch."
"Come to Miami, maybe you can find a nice guy down there."
Greg smiled. "You think you guys have an opening?"
"They're talking about splitting off a new felony lab." He winked. "We got some of the people from New York down. Stella would love you."
"Sure." He pulled a handle and won, making him squeal and bounce around. "I never won before!"
Ryan just grinned and continued to play his losing game. The floor manager walked over. "No, I can't get his gift by letting him cuddle," he offered. "The dragon's lucky and he pointed it out." He looked at him and shrugged. "He's Xander's pet and if I was going to do that, I'd have taken that one."
"Fine." He walked off to make notes on that. He came back. "Can you please get your protectee to cash out sometime soon?"
"Sure," Ryan agreed, calling up there. He got a grumbling from Don. "Make him cash out sometime tonight and remember the one in your bedroom and mine." He hung up and went back to playing. Greg came back with his money and an ice cream cone. "It time?"
"It is. Play a few more hands. Maybe you'll get lucky too. The dragon seems lucky to me." Ryan grinned and played a few more hands, then hit one, a minor one. He sighed and fed it two more times until the announcement was made. Then he hit a first pull. Nothing. Second pull. Nothing. Third and last pull.... well, he wasn't sure with the alarms going off and things. "See, told you the dragon was a symbol of luck and strength."
"Wow. On my own too," Ryan said in awe. They gathered things up and led him to cash out, the security manager giving him a dirty look. "I was killing time. I did three last pulls before I got up at the announcement. I was going to do two more. What did my buddy's dragon win me?" They sighed and handed over the cash, making him smile. "Wow. Wait until I brag to the lab at home." He tucked it into his pocket and looked at the dragon. "Let's go make sure daddy knows the convention's started then we'll come down." He walked off with Greg licking his cone beside him. He saw a frantic look and coughed. "Xander will be right down." She smiled at that and held up the list. "Them too. Adam's in our room." She relaxed at that. He went up there then knocked before walking in. "Adam, you're supposed to give a speech in ten minutes," he yelled.
"Bloody hell, not like I can think," he complained from where he was laying on the floor. He pushed himself up and went to change, dragging Ray with him.
Ryan walked into the trio's room, grinning at the pile of arms and legs. "Guys, convention's started." Xander hopped up. "Xander, they wanted you to cash out the dressers at least. Sometime soon?"
"Sure. Let me empty something to carry it down in." That got a nod and Ryan went to knock on his door and get the other couple up. Don looked up at him. "What?" he defended. "I even lost for almost a week straight." He emptied his backpack and started to load chips into it from the bedside table. Danny moaned at the sight of the semi-full drawer. "It was getting too heavy to move." He finished in there and then got Ryan's pack undone and emptied, taking it to undo his sock drawer as well. Not as many in there. He handed it to Speed. "Can you pour the bedside table drawer in there?"
"I saw that." He kissed him on the forehead. "Behave."
"I do try," he offered with a grin. He slid back into his leather pants and put on a shirt, taking both backpacks and the dragon from Ryan. "Come on. You can even walk with the daddy and show off. Oooh, collar. Why did he put that collar on you?" He took off the plain leather one and put on the sapphire studded one and the blue leather leash. It took good advantage of the undertones in his scales. He hefted both backpacks down once he had on shoes, he had gotten yelled at for that once, and let his dragon lead the way down. "Adam, speech," he called next to his door. Then they headed down. They got met at the elevator by two of the security guys. "I've even got on shoes."
"Congratulations," one agreed. "How many is that?"
"One bedside table, my sock drawer and part of Ryan's?" He shrugged. "I don't know. I'll cash out more later." They nodded and walked him over there, letting him cash out and then they walked him back up there with bags to get the rest when the floor manager stared them down. Xander put the money in the safe once they had taken the tubs of chips. Then he had to go wake up Horatio again to get the rest of those from Ryan's room. He escorted them back down, letting them cash them out and hand him the money. "So, later?" he asked with a bright grin.
"Sure," one agreed "Give us a chance to win some back." Xander beamed and handed Danny the money when he came down, making him give him a dirty look. "Just baccarat for two weeks straight, sir, and he did lose for most of one." Danny headed into the meeting area, getting his nametag. Xander got his from the pile with a wink, making her smile. She had met him last night. Don got his. They went to listen to the end of Adam's speech about the importance they had in society. He clapped at the end.
"Yes, you may teach others what you have recently learned, Xander," he said, smiling at him. "We'll add you to the schedule." They all started to look interested. "Perhaps you'll give a show first?"
Xander beamed and nodded. "Sure, Adam. Happy to. Tony, wanna help?" Tony moaned but nodded. "Cool. Don?"
"No, I'd embarrass myself. Have fun." Xander beamed and Adam gave them the stage so he and Tony could dance. Xander took off his shirt and Tony sighed, taking off his, showing the new bandage. Xander kissed the boo-boo, making many people smile, then they started off. The smiles turned to lust. Then to groping. Then to a few couples doing more than groping. Then to whole rows doing more than groping.
Except for this one guy in the back. "Fascinating. Somewhere between belly dancing and tribal dancing," he told himself. "It also looks like he's learned some self-defense from it. I wonder if Greg can do that." He looked around then at Greg. "Go help him, Greg. Let's see if you can." Greg blushed and gave him an odd look but went to do that with the duo. More people caved and went to beyond groping. That proved his hypothesis right. Greg plus Xander equaled bad trouble. He came to steal Greg before anyone else could, but had to let him go when something bit him on the ankle. Someone when he looked down. Greg was quickly drawn into the pile with the others and besides a small yelp of pain he was apparently having fun. He knew everyone had to test clean every year or else they were banned from attending the conventions. No one wanted an accidental exposure to a venereal disease. He walked out and shut the doors, looking at the officers. "Things got a bit heated. They're having a fully consensual orgy for the next half an hour. Then they're onto the snacks and meet and greet new friends event." He walked off, going to take notes on what he had seen and draft a letter to Xander asking that he tape them for him so he could study the movements.
The officers all looked at each other. One from behind them coughed. "Guys, that was Grissom. He still runs night shift in the crime lab." He opened the door, letting them see the dancing. "I can see why there's an orgy." They all moaned and only one wanted to go stop it. He got growled at by the dragon and backed off, running away. Nick looked down. "Hi, Hubert. Is daddy having fun?" He petted him then closed the doors. "Set a guard," he ordered. "It's the only thing we can do. I doubt a fire hose would work." He walked off, going to get a beer from the bar. He could use a cold drink now. One of the Vice officers came in begging for one. "How long did you watch?"
"Watch my ass! I was in there, Stokes!" He gulped his beer. "I've got to call my boss. This isn't anything worse than the swinger's convention." Nick bought him a second round, getting a grin and a nod in thanks, then he went to call his boss from a corner, hissing as he sat down. He watched as some wobbled out to their rooms to clean up and come back for snacks and gossiping. At least everyone was going to be wrung out by the end of the convention. He knew at least one department had people watching.
Xander bounced down off his gambling high and took his chips up to cash them out since the table had to ask for another tray. He beamed at Tony and Greg when he found them. "I should make you my high priests and first teachers," he teased, hugging them. "I've even got them on tape." Greg gave him a hard hug. "Come on. I had someone copy them for you guys."
"Are you sure, Xander? I don't have much time to practice."
"Yeah, but what if someone wants to learn and I'm not there?" Xander offered, grinning at him. "Plus you saw how the self-defense moves were added into it."
"I did. It's an ingenious way to do that."
"Better than Tai-Bo," Greg agreed. Tony grinned and gave him a head shove. "It is. All I got from that was a groin pull." They followed Xander upstairs and got their DVD's, making them happy boys. "Thanks. Should I share them? I saw Grissom in there."
"If he wants. I'm not sure why he wants to. I'll refer him to you if he asks."
"Thanks." He stole a kiss and headed down to his room to watch the whole set. He'd have a late dinner tonight.
Tony took his and kissed him too. "I should move to Miami if Baltimore doesn't work out." The dragon looked at him and steamed. "You think the next one will be better?" It steamed again. "Okay." He hurried off to put up the precious tapes then get happy in the cuddle room.
Don lifted his head. "I saw those kisses." Xander came over to share them with him, getting a smile back. "Were you more evil at baccarat while we napped?" Xander nodded and put that in the safe with the other envelope. Danny's envelope wasn't in there. Xander looked around. "It's still in his pants pocket." Xander went to search for it, putting it into the safe. Then he came back and hauled him up. "Sure, we'll go cuddle in the cuddle pile." He let himself be led downstairs and into the cuddle room, piling in. It was very soothing and he nearly fell asleep in there again but the monitor woke him and gave him a fond look. "I know." He got out and headed to get something to eat. He desperately needed food. He ran into Ray nibbling. "Will we have to make a special category for Xander? Maybe a level eleven?"
Ray grinned. "Nope. The top limit is boundless according to Adam when someone else asked him that. Xander proudly caused the first spontaneous orgy in four conventions and the earliest in the convention schedule." He saluted him with his bottle of water. "It's a record to be proud of."
"I'm damn proud I've survived this long. Could doing this raise my level?"
"We were going to retest you and Horatio anyway," he promised. He licked his fingers and looked around. "Adam?" he called, waving him over when he looked. He came back and hugged Don. "He thinks we should make a new 'Xander' category and retest those who learn."
"I can definitely do that second one. We already knew there was a special category for Xander's. I do hope he made tapes."
"He gave Greg Sanders and Tony DiNozzo a set. Called them his high priests too I think. Either that or he's worn me out so much I'm now telepathic." Adam got him lunch and he gratefully ate it. "Where's Danny?"
"Jace's," Ray said with a grin. "Escaping the madness was what he said when he left. Ryan?"
"Napping it off again. How did he manage Xander alone?" They shrugged and nibbled their way through lunch.
Danny poured tea for his teacher. "I don't know how Ryan did it, Jace. Xander's so needy right now, I'm about to take him to be worn out at a whorehouse. There's no way I can. He's nearly driven all the other members insane. He started a spontaneous orgy for God's sake," he sighed.
"Aphrodite and Cupid were *quite* pleased," she said dryly, saluting him with her cup of tea. "He'll calm down once he's home, Danny. Remember, he's still got to do some shopping. Have him do that this afternoon."
"Only if we can wake up everyone." He finished his first cup and poured more, calling Don. "Shopping? Yes, that was a suggestion to wear him out. Go wake up Speed and H then. They're probably in the spa. Come get me at Jace's when you're going." He hung up and looked at her. "Don must've eaten. He sounds human again. Speaking of, where did they get the dragon?"
"He didn't tell me. Strife?" He appeared, looking quizzical, yet amused. "Where did your evil twin get the dragon?"
"I couldn't pull off the hair, Jace." He smirked. "The same place he learned how ta dance. It's great self-defense work."
"It is," she agreed. "Even I could follow that much. I'm guessing teaching horny teenage males how to do that helps in all areas of their life."
"Then maybe we'll let him teach Horatio's nephew." His phone rang and he grinned at it. "Speed does know when we talk about them. "Yeah, Speed?" He grinned. "No, but you went telepathic there. No. They teach the dancing as self defense. To horny teenage guys...." He laughed at the loud demand that their nephew never see that stuff. "Sure, but it's good at teaching self defense and it's athletic." He giggled at the on-going protests coming from Horatio. "How about if we show Yelina? Get her off your case? No, it was suggested we do the shopping things today if you two could get up and clean up." He snickered. "I'm at Jace's. Come get me, guys." He hung up and shook his head. "Sorry, they're both very adamant. Even if Yelina agrees Ray Junior can't learn it."
"That's okay. Others are going to want Greg for them," Strife said with a wink. "Make him go to my shop, please?" He faded out, leaving his grin there.
"There's a scary thought. Xander dressed like one of them," Jace said, looking amused. "I can't really see him in the leather catsuit look." Danny moaned at that. Her phone rang and she reached back to grab it. "Yes, darling?" She smiled at the assertion Xander could pull it off, even with heels like Prince did. "Anything else. That's fine, I'll release him for now. He can come back for dinner or breakfast. Of course, Cupid. Can you downgrade his hormones?" She smiled. "Of course they will once they get home. Thank you, dear." She hung up. "He agreed with me, it'll be better when he gets home and they're here for you."
"Been great, Jace, thanks for listening to me whine. See you later tonight," he offered with a grin, heading out to join them. Xander was nearly vibrating. "Strife said you had ta go to his shop."
"Sure," he purred, taking a kiss. Their driver ignored them and went on. He took them to his favorite shops and let them use their gift certificates from his last trip this way, plus any holiday present ones like Horatio's extra one to Armani. It was a great shopping trip and Xander wasn't bouncing by the time he got back. Even if Don didn't know why he got a lilac leather body suit.
Frank looked up as the group came back from the convention. "All night seminars?" he teased.
Horatio looked at him, not even bothering to take off his sunglasses. "Xander found a whole new way to express himself and learn his self-defense, Frank. He showed it off and showed me. I'm going to take a quick nap in the office so Speed has to leave me alone," he offered with a smile. He walked in there and shut the door, finding Mac at his desk. "Good, you do paperwork." He laid down on his couch and put his sunglasses behind him. "Do not let Speed come in here."
"Been randy all weekend?"
"I don't know if he changed his name or not, but I have tapes of what Xander can do and it drove him insane," he said quietly.
"Grissom said there was an orgy during the greeting ceremony. Something about dancing?" Horatio moaned and flipped to face the sofa's back. "That good?"
"Tape's in the bag in the back of the hummer. We all stayed with Xander last night because we were too tired to drive, Mac. Do not let anyone see it."
Mac got up to go find it, bringing it back inside past the babbling Ryan. He walked back to him and plucked off a scale. "The new pet?"
"Hubert," he agreed, taking it back with a grin. "He's a baby dragon."
"Sure," he agreed, nodding at that. He knew what Komodo dragons were. He had seen a few during his active duty times. He went to kick Cooper out of AV and watch the film, staring in shock after the first few minutes. Someone knocked and he turned it off, finding Cooper staring. "You weren't supposed to see that."
"Damn," he said in awe. "Was that Xander or his boneless evil twin?"
"Xander is his own evil twin," Ryan said from the doorway. "There's approximately eighty hours of those. It's to teach self defense and it's a story telling dance. Don't ask me to try, I can't. Any GHS member above a level two apparently can." He took it back and went to put it under Horatio's glasses. That way no one else could see. Then he snuck out and closed the door again, finding Speed standing there. "He's sleeping, let him."
"Fine," he mumbled, walking off.
"Horatio handed Mac one of the tapes."
Speed gave him an evil smirk and went to find Stella. "Hey," he said, making her smile. "Mac was just watching something on Xander's new dancing and self-defense style. It's pretty good and it's great exercise if you're limber."
"I should try that." She went to ask Mac, finding him replaying the security tape of him watching it. She blinked. "Replay that?" she squeaked, eyes wide. He moaned. "Please? Speed told me I should see."
"From what Horatio said, Speed need paddled." He replayed it, making her sway and move closer. She even hugged him. "Thanks, Stella."
"How did you not touch yourself while you watched that?"
"Self control." He turned it off and turned to look at her, erasing those few minutes. "You have self control too."
She looked at him and shook her head. "No I don't." She pulled him up and outside, taking him to the little picnic area to find some privacy and nuzzle him to death. She heard a soft, feminine voice sigh in pleasure and looked up. "Let it happen," she muttered, then went back to molesting her boss. He was pretty stiff but she made him moan and give him after a few minutes work. She was good after all.
Xander, a normally happy bouncy Xander, brought in lunch for everyone. "Hi, guys," he said happily. "Can you guys sign in me and Hubert?"
"No pets in the lab. They're still throwing fits about the ferret." Xander turned to show his dragon, who blinked back at him. "Never mind, I want to see the look on their faces," he assured him, signing him in with his lunch. He even got the elevator for him. Xander grinned and winked, handing him a pack of cookies. He grinned and went to watch on the internal security systems while he made his rounds.
Xander came off on the detective's floor, walking that way. "Lunch. Protein for strong muscles and calcium to help bones stay strong for those nasty chase scenes." He handed a box to Frank. One to Yelina. He handed one and cookies to Don, kissing him on the temple. "Because you deserve it."
"Freeze," Frank ordered. "What is that on your back?"
"Hubert. The baby dragon." He grinned and headed over to the lab. He found them having a meeting and started by handing Horatio his box of food and cookies, getting a smile.
"Thank you, Xander, but Hubert should be in the car," he said firmly.
"He wanted to meet the others. It's not like he's going to escape. Nothing here smells like a steak." He handed Danny his and his cookies. Then Ryan his and his cookies. Then Mac and Stella theirs. Then Sheldon's with a kiss on his forehead since he had a bruise. Then Eric and Calleigh since they were in the back, putting a general plate of cookies on the table. He felt the dragon slip down and come to sniff these new people.
"That's not a Komodo dragon," Mac said, staring at it. "What are you?"
"He's a regular dragon," Danny offered. "Smart too. He picked up each ferret very carefully and brought it over so we could tell them who they were, then he put them down and licked them. Then he and Spot played chase, Spot got him a few times and he just grinned and ran off again. Spot's got a new buddy now, he was using him as a pillow too." He opened his dinner and smiled at it. "Thank you, Xander. I needed the protein."
"Of course you did." He kissed him on the forehead. "Horatio, Speed's is in there."
"He's napping. Finally."
Eric looked at him. "I want to see this dancing stuff."
"No," Horatio moaned.
Ryan shook his head. "I can't. Only a GHS of two or better can. Ask Don." Danny shook his head. "Or Xander."
"Xander's not allowed to perform ever again," Danny said firmly. "Otherwise he'll never sleep." Xander kissed him again then walked off with the dragon. He moaned and dug into his lunch. "Horatio, maybe you should eat and finish this in a few."
Horatio sat down to eat, finding a good, body sustaining meal in there. "I should eat." He dug in, knowing Speed was going to be pouncing him later when they both got home. Maybe he'd spare himself some soreness and do some extra paperwork? No, then it'd get worse and he'd have one seriously horny spouse on his hands. Speed stumbled in. "Xander brought you lunch. It's in the box."
Speed grinned and went to get it, then sat down next to Eric so he wasn't tempted to grab his mate and make them both need a nap. "You should see the dancing."
"Xander's not allowed to perform in public," Danny said firmly.
"Since when has family been public?" Calleigh asked. "After all, Eric's your backup protector too, right?" They all moaned at that and ate more. "What?"
"He is," Ryan agreed. "Me and him both, and Aiden if he needs it that badly. Of course Eric and Aiden were here last night when we could've used them." Danny moaned and nodded, eating another bite. "Hey, boss, I know Greg was going to see if there was an open level one or trainee spot in the lab," Ryan offered.
"He'd have to go with Mac," Horatio offered. "Unless Danny goes with them then we'd have one." He ate another bite then nibbled on a cookie. He smiled at the paw print. "Aww. They decided to make cutouts of the ferret paws." He didn't want to consider the alternative.
Don came in and searched the box, coming up with more food. He flopped down and dug in. "Sorry, starved."
"You and me both," Speed agreed, finishing his and going to get more.
Eric looked them. "So I take it the convention was fun?" They all nodded, then sighed in unison. "H, any new suits?"
"He did spoil me by taking me to use my gift certificate," he agreed happily. "Plus one I hadn't known about. We made him get more clothes too."
Mac looked at him. "What else happens at these conventions?"
"Like the slogan goes, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," Danny said firmly. He burped and took an antacid then got some more for himself. He found Horatio's second box, letting him have it. He flopped back down to dig in, smiling at the cheesy potatoes he had. He moaned as he dug in. Don stole some but let him have some of his salad.
Frank and Yelina came in with Ray. "He said Xander left him some."
"Has his name on it, both boxes," Danny promised. He pointed with his fork. "Nothing for anyone else today.
"I still can't believe he lost that half a million on that one hand," Don sighed.
Danny looked at him. "He won something like fifteen, Don!" He slapped him on the arm. "Don't say that, he might want to go back!"
"I think he's banned from Vegas for the next year and only if he's got more than one person to control him," Ryan said flatly. "Because I failed at that task, big time."
Eric patted him on the back. "How bad could it have been?"
"If I was telepathic," he sighed. He looked up. "Think you can show him?" he prayed. Ares came down and put a hand on Eric's head, letting him see it all. "Thanks, second boss." Ares raised an eyebrow. "Horatio said science over faith at work. You're my off- work boss."
"I suppose I can accept that." He moved his hand from Eric's head, listening to him moan. "He'll be fine. Give him some tylenol." He looked in the box, then stole a cookie with a smirk. "Next year's is in Boston." He winked out again, looking quite smug.
"It'll still be cool this time of year in Boston, right?" Don asked Mac, who nodded. "Good, then maybe sweaters that year." Horatio gave him a look. "He'll be good and no gambling."
"True, no gambling. By the way, Xander is not allowed to play in any PD poker tournaments, charity or not. Nor any baccarat events that may happen. They had to call for him to cash out *twice*," he told Mac. The boss came in. "Going over some things then eating lunch before we finish since it got delivered early, boss."
"I heard something about the convention getting out of hand?" he asked dryly.
Horatio shrugged. "Ask Xander why, let him show you, sir." Danny glared at him. He smirked back. He looked at his boss again. "I told you they were worth the salary."
"They have been and their lab will be finished in another six weeks. Can you work together peacefully until then?"
"It's great, I don't have to train another rookie," Calleigh assured him happily. "I didn't mind Ryan but there's no way I can do another one, Chief."
"We have had some noted interest in the next level one or trainee position if there's going to be one with the way we'll be switching around," Horatio reminded her. "You'd like Greg."
"Greg's a goofy little geek," Ryan agreed. "Think me only started out in DNA."
"With Speed's former taste in clothes," Horatio agreed, looking at his spouse, who simply licked his fork and shut his box. "Did everyone get enough to eat?" Ray grumbled from his seat. "Finish up, Ray. We don't mind." He nibbled on another cookie. "Where were we?"
"The major homicide routes so we can figure out how to split them up," Mac offered.
"Straight down the center of the area, boys," the Chief complained.
"That splits a college and leaves the team doing the northern side almost no work," Horatio offered.
"We can take a slightly bigger area to spare you guys some work," Stella agreed. She looked at the map of the area printed. "How about we split it at the blue and yellow border?"
Eric looked. "That'll give you one major drug dealing area, plus an immigrant area. Plus one of the colleges. That would reduce ours so we could do without Danny, which would give you three."
"Speedle could go," the Chief suggested.
"I can poison you too, probably not a good idea either," Speed assured him pleasantly.
"All right. That still leaves three techs and then four plus Horatio here."
"Like I said, we've got a trainee who said he might like to come in," Horatio offered. "He's just started field work under Grissom in Vegas. He's a bit flighty and loud but he's a good kid with some solid science background."
"Plus, I'm going with them the first level one opening we get," Sheldon reminded him. "Then they'll need a new ME." The Chief nodded at that. That's how the budget had worked right now. "That would give them four."
"If I had an ME candidate and next year's budget I wouldn't care, son. They could use you plus the trainee probably. There's been a string of murders up that way recently." That got a nod from Don. "Your cases?" Don nodded again. "Any leads?"
"Two very weak ones that we can't prove yet." He finished off the cookie he was nibbling. "That split would work and it would also mean Mac would have squads all to himself. Are we giving them pet detectives?"
"I wouldn't care, but don't you live too far out for call in?"
"We have night detectives and only by about ten minutes," Don promised. "About the same as I do here. We eased this one." He held up the cookies. "Xander made them with the special ferret paw press."
"They're adorable." He nibbled on one and nodded, then looked at it. "Are you sure the ferrets didn't walk over them?"
"He's had the press since just after he got the ferrets. The gravely things are grapenuts," Danny told him. That got a nod and he finished it off. "We have to remind him to soak those better." He shrugged and ate one of his. "If we do, Ray, you wanna go?" Ray shrugged, still eating. "Okay. Don?"
"Sure. We're a family, we'll see each other almost daily anyway."
"I think for now we'll continue to spread our detectives out and plan that as a second step," the Chief offered. "Give us some time to fix any problems and things, Flack. Horatio, Taylor?"
"Works for us. We can share and abuse the homicide squad," Mac agreed, making Don smile and 'awww'. "Do we have an off-duty guard for Xander?"
"We do, he starts this week," Danny promised. "It's a nice extra bit in his paycheck." That got a smile from him. "We downgraded it to eight hundred an outing instead of a clear grand but we told him why and he agreed. Why the worry?"
"Because he's going to want to go out this week and he seems like he's on a teasing high."
"We couldn't get him to sleep for four days," Don told him seriously. "That was him being normal. We're talking to Adam about setting a level just for Xander." He looked at Horatio. "They're still talking about redoing some people's bloodwork."
"I heard. I can see the point. Especially since you managed to mostly keep up with him." Don blushed at that. "Mine as well." Danny nodded. "We'll test the department's quietly if they ask." Speed nodded he'd help. "I think it might be a good idea."
"You know, if we keep going, we'll have a full department worth of you guys," Frank joked.
"We already do, Frank," Horatio assured him, making him stare in horror. "Through the whole department I know there's at least nineteen of us. Plus I know of another detective who might transfer in from Baltimore." Frank whimpered and shook his head. "He's supposed to be very good."
"Let's hire from within for our next one," Yelina suggested. "There's been some complaints about both departments not hiring from within, Horatio."
"I put up a trainee lab position and no one answered it," Horatio pointed out. "I had one up for six weeks and I didn't have a single letter of interest."
"A few guys asked what the lab was like. The answer of 'hard' apparently turned them off," Eric offered. "Sorry, H."
"No, that was an appropriate answer," he agreed. "It is hard. It's a very hard job that can wear on the soul." Mac nodded at that. "Especially when you start to do the paperwork." Everyone nodded at that. "Mac, does that suit you?"
"For now. If there's any problems, we'll work them out and mold our groups into whatever we need."
"Less molding, more loosening up, Mac," Danny assured him. "The push forward style you got used to in New York will get every single door slammed in your face."
"Yeah, you've got to use a bit of a grin and some sappiness to get the best results," Don agreed. "A bit of a smile while you're questioning. A bit of a head tilt like you're listening to the fruitcake. Everything's more laid back down here but the drug dealers. Ours had style and ghetto cred. The guys down here are all about the fast."
"Cars, money, women," Eric agreed. "Plus you'll get more snotty rich folk than you probably did before. Then again, a bit of structure could help."
"I found a smile did work better on the suspect I had to question over the weekend," Stella agreed, looking at Mac. "Yours?"
"Former military. He knew and understood. Answered me like I was his drill sergeant."
Horatio smiled. "We love the base. It's a great group of people. They make us incredibly happy. Just now and then we get someone from the town around it." They all nodded. "We'll go over problem routes tomorrow. Today, there's people needing us." They broke the meeting and devoured the rest of the cookies on their way back to work. He decided he liked these lunch time meetings with the staff. They were a good use of time and he even got to eat, not just talk. Speed gave him a look and he smirked back. "Later."
"Of course." He walked down to Trace, Danny following. He looked at Danny. "How is he?"
"Bouncing around like they thought he was a God," Danny admitted. "We should watch out for mass spoiling soon." That got a knowing nod. "You think Greg would come down? Grissom seemed to like him."
"Grissom wanted to study him. He didn't like him that way. Greg had people for stress relief and everyone up there said that Greg was bouncing around the lab with his iPod. Greg is like the blonde Xander clone only less of a GHS."
"If dancing like that raised you guys," he said quietly.
"Yeah, I know. Horatio's definitely less stressed and ready to surge again. I've got to do something special tonight for him. Especially since we're both sore."
Danny nudged him. "The bath stuff. Hot tub?"
Speed moaned. "That's a great idea. Thanks, Danny." He grinned. "That means I'm going home on time tonight." He got down to work, making mental plans. He ran into Horatio on his way home. "Give me an hour to set things up?" he asked quietly, getting a nod. "Thank you. Nothing to make you more sore," he promised with a grin, heading off.
"I'm not sure if I should believe that look or not," he admitted, going to finish something up for tomorrow to give him the time he wanted. When he finally got home an hour and a quarter later, swearing at traffic, he found most of the lights out. Only the soft directional lights were on downstairs. He heard the hot tub going and smiled, taking off his suit as he headed out there. Speed patted the spot next to him. "Traffic was a mess."
"It always is. Slide in." Horatio slid off his boxers and slid in, moaning the whole way down. He relaxed into his seat and sniffed, relaxing totally. "Some of the new spa stuff. I figured it might work just as well in here. Plus, because you deserve it for getting us most of Mac's lab," he said, pouring him a glass of champagne. "For you." Horatio took it with a smile for him. "Whenever you're ready, the toaster oven is plugged in over there and it's got cheese and stuff, light stuff to nibble and relax with."
"Have I told you today that I love you?"
"Not since I made you sore this morning. Rest and relax, Horatio. You need and deserve it." He slid up and over, letting Horatio rest against his legs so he could work on his shoulders, making him moan while he sipped his very good champagne. "This is what keepers are for. To spoil and love you." He kissed him on the head, earning a sleepy smile. "Just relax, I've got you." Horatio nodded, putting down his glass and turning onto his side to let him get the tension knot he had better, hugging his leg.
Xander pointed outside. "There?"
"No, not there. How about under the trees?" Don suggested. "Since you put the outdoor patio out there."
"I don't want to bunch them together." He pouted at him. "I like the view from the front, Don."
"Yeah but more people can see us out there, Xander." He stared at him. "How about in that small area by the wall? There in the break in the trees? That way there's still shade, a pretty view of the sky. The lounges are all nearby. It's shielded. Even during the day you won't get burned." Xander considered it. "We can drag chairs out there tonight to watch."
"We'd have to trim the oak tree. It'll block the sky. That's the other reason I wanted the front. Because we don't use any of it."
"Then plant some trees, Xander." Xander gave him a look. "I know. It'll obstruct the view, which was the best thing about this place. What about the side yard?"
"With the driveway there?"
"Point." He considered the front yard. "How about we plant some trees out there and make a grotto area? Three sides with the hot tub being the other side? A small porch area to hold towels and things, maybe a mini fridge for drinks?" Xander wobbled. "I know you want it to look natural, but..." Xander looked at him again. "I don't know, Xander. I'd rather have it in the back yard. Even with the lesser view. It's more comfortable for me because the neighbors on both sides can see us there. I don't want anything to come back on the station."
"I know." He gave him a hug. "How about this corner of the house? Off the bedroom?" Don shook his head. "No?"
"No, because it might flood during a good rain and then we'll have to fix the bed." Xander frowned at him. "It could happen. Besides I don't like the sliding doors in the bedroom." He shrugged. "It's too easy to break into them. I'd rather leave them locked and barred." He walked him out there. "Here. It's a nice spot. We plant some trees on either side. Make a small sort of porch area, sink the tub into it. It can be wood or look like stone, as long as it's not slick like wet stone is, and we can sink a small fridge out here that we plug in whenever we run the tub?" Xander looked hesitant. "Let me show you my idea." He led him back to the small grotto area between the house's fence and the trees they had in the back. "Here. Put it here." He looked up. "We'd have to trim whatever that one is or move it but it'd be nice here. Quiet, calm. Relaxing. Which we both need." Xander shook his head. "This is the better spot, Xander."
"I still don't want to overcrowd the backyard and we don't do anything with the front yard, but I hate that spot. The neighbors on the right look directly down into it and I don't want to watch their guest room."
"True," he sighed. "We're never going to make this decision, are we?"
"No." They looked at each other.
"Cupid?" they called. He appeared, looking impatient.
"We need help."
"You want me to put in a hot tub?"
"No, we need help deciding where to put it," Xander told him. "I'd never expect you to do home renovations for me. That's why there's people like I used to be. We make good money doing it. Don wants it here. I think the back yard's going to be overcrowded with everything and the front's just a lawn. I want to put it up there but the nosy neighbors are already trying to help me sunbathe in the back yard. I want to put it up there."
"Plant a fountain up there, Xander." He sighed and looked around then at him. "First, not here. Too far to hide from the kitchen. You'll want something to drink and the dog won't fetch sodas that I know of. Neither will the dragon." Xander nodded at that. "Okay. So let's put it there," he offered, creating a picture there like Don thought. "We'll move the lounge set and the picnic tables out front and plant some trees. The world could use more trees. Plant useful trees even, like lemon trees or nut trees. Too far down for apples but nut trees grow well around here. Put in a small fountain up there. Put the trees around the edges to shade it from the neighbors and put the seating area either out there or here," he said, pointing where they were standing. "This is a space that could be used." Don beamed at that. "Either that, or next life move to an orchard." He flipped him on the head. "Did you crack one of the toys in the pool?"
"I got a bit overheated earlier and rode it too hard," he admitted with a blush.
"Dude, you're out of control again," Cupid said, looking at him. "I don't normally like to meddle but you're like a level fifteen now."
"I'm trying to bring it back down."
"I know," he agreed. "I even know how you're trying." He flipped him on the forehead again and Xander went limp. "The newest thing trying to have him is magnifying him. He thinks he'll go to him if he gets too desperate. I removed it all from him so he'll have a few calm days."
"Bless you, Cupid. We could all use the sleep."
He grinned. "I saw and it was hot, but man! How do you crack a marble dildo with your ass muscles?" He shivered.
"He can stop me cold," Don told him. "I literally cannot move when he does that thing where he clenches."
"I've done that and Strife spanked the hell out of me for it. I nearly made him pop his head off." He shivered. "Too many kegals." He grinned again. "That solve the debate?"
"Much, thank you. Any type of nut you like?"
Cupid smiled. "I'm partial to all nuts, dude, I am over lust," he said with a wink before he left.
Don laughed and carried Xander inside, getting a worried look. "Whatever wants him now is magnifying him so he has to go to him to solve it. Cupid took it all away."
"Hallelujah. I need a nap. You two get it figured out?" Don nodded, tucking Xander in so he could take a shower. Danny took his in the morning so he slid in and let Xander cuddle him. It was nice. Very nice. Even if the dragon did release the ferrets and they all curled up with them and the dog was on the foot of the bed by the time Don came out. "Night."
"Night." He slid into his boxers and into bed. He had learned not to go naked near the ferrets. They still tried to curl up to his balls like they were another ferret to nap with.
Xander woke up in the morning happy and only slightly bouncy. He said a long, thankful prayer to Cupid. He was sore! For the first time ever, he was really sore! He got out of the bed and went to find the dragon nibbling on a steak bone. The dog had food and water. The ferrets were sleeping in their cage and fed. Their litterboxes were even cleaned. He frowned, looking around. The house was spotless. He looked up. "Did I get taken again by the Brady Bunch fairy?" he called. No answer. He thought about using his touchstone but this looked like home. He walked outside and found a portal on the lawn. That really looked like home. It had happened yesterday too. He did use his touchstone, summoning the detective he knew. "What's that?"
"That's dangerous," he offered, pulling him back inside. He closed the door and called someone, speaking quietly. The portal was soon taken away by a few other officers. "Are you all right?"
Xander looked at him. "Am I at home? Everything's perfectly clean, all the animals are napping or nibbling. Someone even cleaned the litterboxes. It's not right."
He nodded. "You are home. You have a housekeeper, remember?"
"She's not supposed to start until next week."
"It is next week, Xander." He patted him on the head. "You're fine. I promise. It's just the housekeeper. One of your mates probably cleaned the litterboxes. Or else you've got a new admirer who wants to show what he can do for you and he cleaned everything." The dragon looked at him and then got up, coming over to sniff him. "That's an interesting pet."
"I bought an egg," he said with a small shrug. "It seemed so lonely all by himself. Like I was since Ryan was off being a knight in shiny armor again."
"That can happen. For right now, this is home."
"No, not right now. This is home?"
He nodded. "As far as I can tell, this is your home realm, Xander." Xander relaxed and the dragon snorted again. "What? I know you're a magical being." He brought over the bone, showing him. "You're right, that's not from the same as the house." He tested outside and sighed. "You're right."
"Don may clean litterboxes but he'd never cook Hubert a steak and Danny's still trying to get him to eat dog food." The dragon looked at him and shook his head. "He gave up?" The dragon nodded. "Cool. Are these our animals?" The dragon nodded again. "Can I kill the demon to get home?" The dragon shook his head. "Why not?"
"Um, because I think it might be his mother," the vampire detective offered, pointing at the front lawn. "Or some sort of relative."
Xander looked then swore, opening the door. "Did you want to talk to Hubert?" The dragon looked at him and shook his head. "Are you sure?"
"Very," it said in a British accent. "I wanted to see you dance."
"If I do, can you send me home?"
"I can talk with the reason why you're here. That's not a large problem. He might not relent."
"I've got to be home. Someone's got to spoil my boys."
"Dance for me and we'll see." Xander sighed and came out to dance for him, making him a happy dragon. When he was tired after a few hours the dragon smiled. "Rest for now. Let me see what I can do. Then maybe you'd dance for me again?"
"If I'm not tired." The dragon nodded and leapt up, flying off. "Wow. Hubert, you can't do that, right?" He got drug back inside the house by a blanket-wrapped arm. "Sorry."
"No, I found it quite arousing." He checked the animals then closed the door. He heard a squeak so he opened it, letting in the ferrets. "I thought I saw you."
"That's the stuffed animal Don got them. They sneak out through a spot in the cage." He put them in his pockets and sat with his dog and dragon around him. The detective sat in a non-sunny spot. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean for you to go whoosh in the sun."
"I understand. There's something odd about this one. Can I have the touchstone to compare?" Xander handed it over and he faded out with a 'blast!"
Xander sighed and looked up, sending a thought to any of his deities. He felt dizzy and then the house landed with a shudder that felt like an earthquake. "Blessed be," he whispered. "Thanks too." He let the animals go where they should and looked outside. "Huh. There's space out there." He created a barrier and kept the ferrets and animals in the room with him. Then he had to summon George back. The dragon gave him a look and he shrugged. "I don't know. George, you know? I'm sure your former father did some realm traveling." The ferret just stared at him. "Never mind. I doubt you know anything about the quantum whatits anyway." He sat down to think, going back to everything Willow had ever told him about science and physics. "Why aren't I book smart?" he complained. "Damn it!" His head started to hurt and he realized what he didn't know before. That he was well and truly trapped. That even a deity might not be able to break that shield. But he knew one that could. He knelt and started a chant he had learned from someone somewhere on his first roadtrip.
Cronus and Chaos.
Time and fundamental energy.
Light and dark in this case.
Long dead but still had some power to screw up his life. He wondered which one he had pissed off this time.
"Probably Ethan again," he complained. "It's not my fault Giles tried to sell me to demons." He went back to his chant and prayer, adding in one for Strife since he was a chaos god by nature.
Strife looked up. "What?" he asked, sounding cranky. He tried to touch his anchor and groaned. "Okay, who stole the Xander this time!" he bellowed, letting it echo all around Olympus.
Ares flashed in. "I heard a quiet one from him but I couldn't get it. Where is he this time?"
"The switching nexus. The whole house, animals and all."
"Damn," Cupid sighed when he appeared. "What's he doing?"
"Cronus and Chaos?"
"Two powerful forces in his life," Ares agreed. He felt Strife be added in again, then his and Cupid's name. The kid was starting to panic. "Gaia!" he called. "Nox!" Both elder Goddesses came at his bellow. "Did you know what happened to the secondary anchor?"
"I can feel him," Nox agreed quietly. "I can't move him from there."
"I can," a new voice said as he walked in. "He blames mine anyway. Ethan is not that strong."
"No, but which demon is?" Strife asked.
"The highest of the high court. Those dealing with his former friends. He decided to punish him for making him deal with them, even though they wronged the boy horribly and he had nothing to do with them being sent there." He linked with Strife's energy, soaking up some of the extra. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you were one of Cupid's mirrors yourself, Strife." He pulled Nox over and took her hand, then Gaia's, taking the energy. The elder Gods all appeared to help at his call. He was outside them yet part of them. He moved the house where it belonged and got the person it had fallen on out of the way. Then he went limp and tied the house and the boy to that plane. "No more traveling that way," he ordered, glaring at Ares.
"Don't give me that look. I didn't untie him. The demon who had his ass did. You want someone, go get Devi and his folk."
"Agreed. If you do something about the one magnifying him?"
"Gladly," Ares agreed, pulling his sword. "I could use some carnage." They disappeared and Cupid whistled.
"That's going to be one messy fight. Pop against a monsoon demon."
"Well, there's going to be a storm soon," Strife said, looking tired. Gaia gave him an energy boost and he grinned. "You're safe from me for the next few years." She smiled and winked out. "Thank you, Nox, and the rest of you. Hera's coming." They all disappeared and he went limp in Ares' throne. His mother appeared so he rolled his head to look at her. "No more traveling that way for the anchor, Ma."
"Because he got stolen to the Nexus," Cupid told her. She moaned at that. "He could've ended up anywhere but the house was too big and got stuck."
"Sure. He stays there if at all humanly possible," she agreed, going to write that rule down on her walls in case she forgot. Because they could be destroyed without a solid anchor in their home reality.
Xander felt the house land again and looked outside at the body on the lawn. "Was she a wicked witch?" He called the neighborhood patrol guys. "I've got a pretty flat woman on my lawn? Please. Thank you." He looked up and said a prayer of thanks to whoever had helped. He felt the house shift a bit and winced but it settled and it felt right and correct to him again. "And you as well, Hephaestus. Love yours and your wife's work." He sat down to wait, staring at the body. Eric came first and he looked at him, pointing. "The house fell on her."
"Are you high?"
"No, but the house fell on her."
Cupid appeared. "The asshole who keeps magnifying him this last week took him house and all. The house fell on her when we sent him back. Speaking of, Xander. Janus said Ethan's not that powerful. The first was the monsoon demon and the second was the demon over the dimension the others were sent to as punishment. He didn't like you for making him deal with Buffy either." Xander let out a small hysterical laugh. "Shit. Okay, beddy by time." He knocked him out and unsealed the house. "However you want to explain it, Eric." He disappeared before the ME could get there.
Alexx parked and walked over, looking at the squashed body. "What happened?"
"You want the truth that'll make your head hurt?"
"It depends, will I have to make up the lie to cover it?"
He nodded. "I can't. The demon who keeps magnifying Xander..." He stopped when Ryan pulled in. "You might wanna hear this too."
"Sure. The demon who keeps magnifying Xander stole him house and all, and when they put the house back it fell on her. Strife said his first question was if she was a wicked witch."
Alexx held her head. "Okay. So the house... fell on her," she said, looking at the house. "Is it slightly off where it was?"
"Yeah but it's on the foundation as it should be," Ryan offered. "Xander had to beg some really old powers to save him this time and Ares said I can't help take on that monsoon demon."
"Sure," Eric agreed, looking at Ryan. "Go away before you give me a migraine instead of the simple headache I have? Please?" Ryan nodded, going to check on the animals. The dragon had corralled the ferrets on the couch and was keeping them up there. "You're very helpful," he promised, putting them back into their cage and locking the other door so the dragon couldn't let them out again. "Let Xander sleep. Spot?" He hopped up and laid down on the daddy's chest. "Good boy." He patted him and put the dragon above Xander's head. "You guard him from the demons too." He walked out and heard Mac going over the story. He nodded at him.
"How?" he asked finally.
Ares appeared with his hair blown every direction and his clothes messed up. "Monsoon demons are powerful. This one has the backing of his family, who are now sorry as fuck too," he growled. "Anything else?"
"They were taking suggestions on what type of nut or fruit trees to plant so you guys could snatch some," Ryan offered. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine." He snapped and he was straightened out again. "I hate monsoon demons."
"I'm starting to hate all demons. Mind if I go on a vendetta?" Ryan asked.
"Probably but I'll have to ask," Ares offered. "Bacchus might really mind." He looked at Mac. "Hi again," he said with a smirk.
"I remember you. You...protect Xander?"
"He's an anchor for them," Ryan agreed.
"What he said. Ryan's mine."
"Sure," he agreed. "And I thought things were strange when he was in New York." Ryan giggled and nodded at that. "So, now what? We have one unexplainable body."
Ares snapped and a tree fell on top of the body. "There, an explanation." He looked at Ryan. "Fruit and nut trees both. Turn down by the gate into an orchard?"
"Don likes that view but this wall definitely," Ryan offered. That got a smirk. "I'll try. Dates, any type of nuts?"
"I like all nuts. They're good to start wars with," he offered, disappearing again.
"Cupid said he liked all nuts because he was over lust," Xander offered from the doorway. He looked up. "Sure, I like that idea. I'll make Don agree to it." He looked at them. "Where did the tree come from?"
"I don't know but it's better than the house fell on her," Alexx decided. "Boys, can we get her free?" Mac nodded, heading to the garage for the chains he knew where in there.
Ryan turned Xander around and gave him a nudge. "Couch, Xander. Nap."
"Yes, Ryan." He wandered that way and flopped down, cuddling the dog like his personal teddy bear. Fortunately his dog was used to it and his dragon liked his hair.
Mac walked into the office, finding Horatio doing paperwork with a smile. "I had my first flattened body down here."
"Xander's house fell on her." Horatio dropped his pen and put his hands over his face while he groaned and rubbed it. "He and his house are back now and it was a tree."
"Trees we can do," he agreed, looking at him. "I like trees."
"That was my feeling on the subject. I hope Don does. The big guy in black who got us out of Beirut said to plant an orchard down by the gate."
"Along the left wall definitely. Over to where it blocks the doorway, no further," Danny said from behind him. He handed over a letter. "Explanation, boss. I'm not reading it." He walked off, going back to work. "Speed, you got any tylenol? The boss could use some."
"In my locker." He went to get it and hand over the bottle. "Issue?"
"Someone stole Xander and his house. It fell on the new housekeeper," Mac told him. "Then a tree appeared."
"So a tree fell on her?" he offered.
"That's what I'm writing." He took two of the tylenol and handed the bottle to Horatio before going to find a computer and doing that report.
"It could be worse. Xander could be twins or triplets," Speed offered quietly. "All of them level tens."
Horatio looked at him. "Go rinse your mind out with soap before someone finds that funny."
Strife appeared already shaking his head. "Not even *I* have that much energy or can focus that much mischief." He disappeared again and left a pint of whiskey on the desk.
"Oh, gee, he left dinner," Speed joked, going back to work.
Horatio carefully put it away and shook his head. Some days he wondered if he had angered someone to get Xander in his city.
"We love you and we know you're strong enough to handle it," Aphrodite's voice assured him. "That's why we sent him to you, pookie." Her voice faded off.
He took two of the tylenol and got back to work, clearing his mind. The Gods had faith in him and he had faith in his own and Aphrodite. He could handle this. But if the monsoon demon was dead, would no one else come?
Xander was woken up by a cool hand on his face. "Hi, Detective Mystick. I'm home."
"I can see that. You look very good at home, Xander." He smiled at him. "We had some questions. Would you come with me?" Xander nodded until Cupid appeared and shook his head. "We do."
"I don't care if you do or not, Mystick. You're not taking Xander off this plane and realm."
"Fine. I can ask my questions down here. What happened? Or you, Lord Cupid?" Xander pointed at the letter on the table, making him smile. "You've always been very helpful, Xander. Though I do have one last question. Do you know how much other ones still want you?" Xander whimpered and closed his eyes again. "I assure you, we won't be going away, my dear boy." He faded out.
Cupid came over and moved Xander's head, sitting under it. The head and the dragon filled his lap and he looked down into the deep brown eyes. "There's going to be more, we all know this."
"Can the next one not be as pushy? Or can you downgrade me permanently so I quit being such a burden on Danny and Don?"
"You're not, Xander. They were tired last night."
"They're tired most days."
"I know." He stroked trough the top of his hair. "We'll figure it out." He sighed and relaxed. It was calming to pet him. He could see why Ryan liked to pet Xander when he was thinking, especially about strategy.
To Next Part: