Another Miami GHS Day.

Xander looked at Horatio over lunch.  "I called this meeting without the others because we've got an issue and I don't think the others want to deal with it."

"Okay," Horatio agreed.  "What issue?"

"The Watcher's Council."

Horatio stared at him.  "I thought it was going to be something more minor than that."

"Nope, sorry."  He sipped his water then dug into his salad.  "So far they've gotten me and Don.  They made an attempt at Ryan but got shooed off.  I'm finding new levels of anger at stupid people."

"They're probably panicking."

"No they're not.  There's been plenty of things written by their sister organization, Horatio."  He looked startled. "That's what Mac and Stella do," he said quietly.  "They're there to chronicle everything we do."  That got a slow nod.  "But that leaves us with one major problem because I do not want to wait for the next event.  Ryan managed to save himself by accident.  They knew what they were doing when they rigged that bar to take Don's head off.  I won't have it."

"They serve a purpose."

"So?  They're still screwing up that badly, Horatio.  What'll happen if they go from us to the members of the other group, the one we share?"

He swallowed.  "What did Vesvold say?"

"I haven't talked to him yet," he admitted.

"I see.  Why not?"

"He's been busy.  There was an attempted coup somewhere and he's been mediating."  That got a nod. "I know I can't do away with them but they're getting out of hand and they've never listened to reason.  I'm worried we'll lose someone to them.  There've been a few odd accidents across that group," he said quietly.  "I can't prove it's not them."

"We should look into those," he offered.

"Mac can't."

"I could."

"You're a target too, Horatio."  He nodded at that wisdom. "I don't want to have to be paranoid.  I am but I don't want to be.  Then again, I heard a gunshot the other day when I was out riding.  I'm not sure someone wasn't trying for someone else at the farm."

"He said they were putting down a dog."

"That's mean!  Go to the vet's."

"That costs more money, Xander," he said quietly.  He nodded at that.  "It'll be okay.  We'll work on this."

Xander looked at him.  "We need to work on this.  Danny and Don are smart but they're not sneaky.  You and I are sneaky.  Ryan's great at sneaking up on someone but making plans to be sneaky he sucks at.  Actually, making any plans he sucks at," he admitted, sipping his water.  "I don't think Eric's sneakiness goes further than dating two women at the same time and keeping himself from being stabbed."   Horatio smiled at that.  "It does."

"It does," he agreed. "We'll look into it and make plans.  Do not get ahead of me this time."

"Yes, Horatio."

"Good boy."  He smiled. "How is obedience class going?"

"Very well.  They're both doing very well in their classes.  The teachers are very pleased with their training and abilities.  Especially since you guys have had one of them sniffing drugs now and then already."  That got a smile.  "I'm just stuck, Horatio.  I don't want to have to do something mean."

"I know, Xander.  Do you have any contacts out there?"

"Wes but they won't listen to him.  Travers only listens to himself blow hot air."

"We'll see what we can do," Horatio promised.  "Talk to Wesley, see if he knows anything about this or can find out anything about this."  He nodded.  "Then we'll work on it together."  He patted him on the cheek.  "Okay?"  Xander nodded.  "Good, now eat.  You have to eat.  You quit eating when you worry."  Xander nodded and dug into his dinner while he silently prayed to Ares, Cupid, and Strife to help them out of this one.  Before it got even worse.


Xander walked into the yarn shop.  "Someone told me to come play with some yarn," he said with a small yawn.  Don and Danny were at a police convention in St. Louis, had been since yesterday.  He was seriously bored and not even the animals were making him unbored.  It had been Ray Junior who had teased him via email and told him to go play with some yarn, called him a concubine kitty too.  "What can I do with yarn?"

The woman behind the counter looked at him.  "Are you usually into arts and crafts?"  He beamed and nodded.  "Okay.  Would you like to try crocheting, knitting, or other yarn crafts?" she asked, leading him back to those sections.  He frowned when he looked at the tools.  "Let's start with the easiest.  Crocheting is easy and time consuming."  She got him a package of multiple hooks and let him pick out the yarns he wanted.  Then she got him the how-to video, making him smile.  "Let's start with that."  He nodded, picking up some more yarn and heading for the register.  She rolled her eyes.  It was good that men crafted but this one seemed a bit clueless.  She checked him out and he took the bags, heading for the house.  She sighed and made a note of the name.  Just in case he came back for the classes they offered.


Don and Danny came in late Sunday night, finding a mass of afghan looking thing on the couch.  They heard a snore from under it and both stared, then Don peeked, waking Xander and his dragon up. "Hi," he said, grinning at him.  "What's that?"

"I'm learning how to crochet," he said sleepily.  "It's not hard but I get side wobbles."  He stretched and Hubert got up, trotting off to find a way outside.  Danny let him out and came back to help get Xander out from under the thirty feet of crocheted material.  "It's going okay."

"It is," Don assured him.  "This could make one great afghan if we could take off the first foot or so."  Xander blushed at that.  "It's good, Xan.  Really nice."

"It's got flaws."

"That means it was made by someone who was learning and we don't mind."  He helped him up and let him tie off the end of his current row.  Then they carried it and him to bed so they could cuddle him.  Even if the afghan did hang off all the sides of the bed.

"Need to start 'nother one tomorrow," Xander said sleepily, kissing Danny and groping him until Danny helped his hand find his cock, earning a sleepy smile and grope.

"We can do that," Don promised, curling up behind Xander's back to grope him.  Xander hummed and blew kisses, getting Danny off then cleaning him up with his tongue.  Then Don got pounced and Xander fell asleep sucking on him.  Don carefully removed himself and Danny helped him finish off.  Xander whimpered but it was fine.  "We need to figure out how to trim the first part off.  This is probably three afghans," he said quietly.

Danny looked at him.  "Don't ask me.  I don't do that stuff.  Ask Adam.  I'm sure he has on some of those boring old nights."

Don grinned.  "I'll call tomorrow.  We'll let him start on a new one."  That got a nod and they snuggled in to cuddle the Xander.  It was good, they had missed his hair all weekend.


Horatio looked at the picture Don showed him, then at him.  "How long is it?"

"It flows off the foot of the bed and onto the floor when you put it like you normally would when making the bed.  It hangs two feet on either side too."

"He was busy this weekend."

"He said Ray Junior told him to go play with some yarn, called him a concubine kitty again."

Horatio smiled.  "I don't know anyone who does crochet.  Knit, but not crochet.  You might ask Mac, maybe one of his people do, Don."

"I asked Adam and he gave me a horrified look before slamming the door and walking off muttering in another language."

"Sounds like Ray's going to need vacation time soon."  He smiled and walked off.  "Let me know how it goes."

"Sure."  He went to call Mac.  "Do you know anyone who crochets?"  He grinned at the stunned silence.  "Xander took it up as his newest hobby.  A ten foot long afghan.  Yup.  Basically."  He beamed.  "That's what we wanted him to do but none of us know how."  He nodded.  "Sure, that works.  Thanks, Mac."  He called Xander.  "I talked to Horatio and Mac both trying to find someone who crochets.  Mac suggested that you take it to the shop where you pick up yarn and ask them."  He beamed at the happy babble.  "That'll work.  We didn't get anything on it, right?  Then it'll be fine."  He hung up and went back to his desk, going to look for paperwork.  "Why is my computer missing?" he called.

Frank leaned out from his desk.  "Because someone's an idiot and tried what they did on Ray's on yours."  He got back to work.

"Oh, wonderful."  He called Computer Services.  "This is Flack, in Homicide.  If I'm waiting over two days I'm coming down there to give myself more paperwork.  Now, how long before my machine's back?"  He smirked.  "Good answer!  I can keep myself occupied that long.  Thank you."  He hung up.  "They said tomorrow, guys."

"See, that's what I needed to do, I needed ta threaten," Ray muttered.

"Hey, Ray, made your guy wander off mumbling in a foreign language again."

"Why?" Ray moaned, pouting at him.

Don grinned and showed him the picture.  "We wanted to know if he knew how to separate them into smaller afghans.  Someone told our concubine kitty to go play with yarn, so he did."

Ray looked at him then shook his head.  "No comment.  Really, no comment.  Wish you the best'a luck, Flack."

"Thanks.  We came home to a lump of afghan and him hiding with Hubert."  Their boss looked out at him.  He pointed at his desk.  "Computer Services, boss."

His boss went to call them.  "How long before Flack quits bothering others?" he demanded.  He looked out his office door.  "Don't threaten them again, Flack, they slow down."

"I'm going to make Xander dance for them to enslave them for us, boss.  You mind?"

"Probably," Frank agreed from his desk.  "But if he does, have them come fix my perpetual blue screen of death today please?" he said loud enough for the boss to hear.

"Also, Tripp's machine keeps going to the blue screen of death.  Yeah, that might be good. Thank you."  He came out.  "Good news, Tripp, they're on their way.  Flack, we'll find something for you to do."  He went back to his desk to take an antacid.

Frank looked at Don.  "Think he would?"

"Know he would."

"Don't tempt him, he'll get another stalker," Ray said in a sing-song voice.  "He doesn't need another hacker on his case.  Remember the IRS and them?"

"Unfortunately," Don admitted.  The guys from computer services came up to look at Frank's machine, giving it clueless looks.  He sighed and called Oz.  "Can I pay your airfare to get you to Miami to fix our computers?  I'll beg.  I'm about to have Xander come pounce."  He heard Oz snickering and grinned.  "Hey, he could dance."   Oz laughed louder.  "Please, Oz?"  He nodded.  He hung up, then he called Xander.  "Oz might be coming out for a visit.   No, I'm bored.  No computer.  Same reason Ray's machine disappeared for weeks."  He grinned.  "I suggested that.  Sure!"  He hung up.  "Wish granted," he mouthed at Frank, who shivered.  About a half hour later Xander bounced in with the dogs and hugged them all, giving over bags of food.  "Aww, thanks, dear."

Xander kissed him and winked, then went to look over the guys' shoulders, upping his hormones.  "How long will it take?  I know a hacker if that'll help," he offered with a sweet smile.  A few of the guys moaned.  "Please make my Don unbored?  Otherwise he'll pounce me really hard and he might spank me for going to the yarn shop again."  They whimpered and got back to work faster.  Xander let them spike just a bit more before hugging Frank.  "I'm sorry you'll be bored like Don.  I hope you don't turn like he did."  He beamed and bounced out, running into Horatio, who gave him a look.  "They're being mean!"

"They are, but that was cruel, Xander.  Two of them are married."

Xander kissed him on the cheek.  "Yay.  Not like I want someone else."  He headed for the car with the dogs following him.  "Going to the yarn shop, Horatio.  If I make another one, did you want any particular color?"

Horatio smiled.  "Anything's fine, Xander.  Thank you."

"Welcome."  He slid in and the dogs climbed over him to get in the other seat then he headed to the yarn store.  He parked and got out, looking at the dogs.  "For half an hour.  Daddy will be right back."  He popped the trunk before getting out, leaving the dogs in the car, but the mass of afghan got brought in.  He found the same woman in there giving him an amused look.  "I forgot to stop and Don wanted to know if we could split it into two afghans.  Maybe even take off the bad parts where I started?  Also, how do I fix the side wobbles?"

She led him back to a work table and let him lay it out for her.  Then she looked at him. "I'm not sure you can split them.  You'd lose at least two rows on each side to give it a stable edge."

"Can we wind a ribbon into it to create a firmer edge?"

"That might keep it from unraveling."  She found a good spot to start and got to work with him.  By the time she got that row cut off, Xander had to check on the dogs and come back.  He got the ribbon he liked with that color and got to work with a needle he also bought, wrapping it around.  She smiled at that, nodding that it was a good job.  They split another section, letting one row unravel on each side to remove the cut loops, then Xander did the ribbon thing again.  "That works."  She let him bag the afghans and the small bottom part back up and then let him pick out more yarns.  By the time they were done, the till was a few hundred dollars richer and the trunk of his corvette was full.  His dogs weren't happy but they'd get to go play in the park or something probably.  She waved and smiled.  "He's such a goofball but cute.  Especially with the hair."  She made a note about what they had done to the afghan to pass onto her crocheting and knitting lists online.  Maybe they could improve on it and it was a cute story.  Because he must've been going all weekend to get it that long.


A few weeks later, Xander knocked on Horatio's door and smiled, handing him a large package.  "I've been bored."  He walked off, heading for the corvette and then home.

Horatio walked the present inside, setting it on the dining room table.  Speed craned his neck, trying to see.  "He said he's been bored."  Speed let out a small whimper but he got up to see what the new present was.  Inside was a very nice afghan.  A king-size one so they could snuggle under together in bed.  It was dark blue and black together and very soft yarn.  It also had a tag about how you should wash it.  Horatio put it aside and looked at the other mass of yarn.  He pulled it out, letting Speed take one side of it.  They looked, it was fitted.  It had a raised section.  It had a long section.  "Is that what I think it is?"

"He made a hummer cozy," Speed agreed, shaking his head.  "Put it on the hummer so we can take pictures?"  Horatio gave him a look.  "It's adorable. It's the same color as your eyes.  Just for now?"  Horatio moaned and went to do that for him.  He looked at it, it did fit.  It was the same color as his eyes.  His elderly neighbor gave him an odd look.  Speed came out with a grin.  "Xander, the one with the hair," he explained.  "He's been bored and just learned how to crochet."

"It's a darling hummer cozy.  You should keep it on there in the garage, boys, that way it doesn't get wet."  She ducked back in, calling the others on their street so they could come see too.

"Take the picture, Speed," Horatio ordered quietly.  Speed snickered and backed up to get a good picture, which Horatio tried to get out of but one of the very helpful neighbors pushed him back into view.  Speed grinned and took a few pictures, winking at the neighbor.  "Xander," Horatio explained.  "He's learning how to crochet."

"The one with the corvette and the hair?" that helpful neighbor asked.  He nodded.  "Well, it's a darling project, Horatio."  She smiled and patted him on the cheek, taking her own pictures.  Then she went to tell the ones the other neighbor hadn't reached.

"It's supposed to rain tonight," Speed announced.  "That means it's got to go into the garage so it doesn't get ruined."  He helped Horatio take it off and fold it carefully, then put it into their garage.  "Think he used his skills to keep it going?"

Horatio nodded at that.  "Quite possibly."  He went inside to call Don.  "Is he using his magic to crochet as well?"  He listened to the story about Xander doing it in his sleep, manually.  No magic that he had seen.  "Don, he made us a hummer cover."  Speed slid past him.  "Don't you dare email that to Frank."

"I'm not."  He went into the office to download the pictures, sending them to Mac.  Mac would easily pass them around to Frank and the others.  "I wonder if he made one for his SUV too," he mused, calling over there.  "Xander, we *loved* the hummer cover.  Yeah, all the neighbors thought it was adorable too.  You're doing it manually, right?"  He smiled at the assurance that the one time he had slipped he had put it down and went to do something else.  "You're right, you do need something else to do all day.  No, seriously, all the neighbors thought it was darling.  I've got pictures.  It fit nearly perfectly.  How did you measure it?"  He smirked at the story of bribing Ryan to help him by promising to stay out of trouble for two full weeks.  "That works.  Sure, we do love it.  It's in the garage right now because it's supposed to rain tonight and we don't want to ruin it, but we'll be using my personal hummer cover on Horatio tonight," he promised with a grin.  "You too.  Behave.  No, I think purple would go very well on your SUV or Don's bike," he assured him with a grin. "Thanks, dear."  He hung up and found Horatio staring at him.  "It will."

"Don's going to have fits if his precious bike was covered.  Think about what you would do if he made you one for your bike."

"I'd be very thankful that it'd stay warm on those nights when it gets a bit cold."  He stole a kiss with a grin.  "Speaking of, I'm feeling a bit chilly myself.  We should cower under our own personal hummer cozy."  He got up to play with Horatio's buttons, earning a look for his pointed hints. "We should."

"We can."  He grabbed their afghan and followed Speed up to the bedroom.  It was sinfully soft and it was a wonderful feeling against his back while he pounded into Speed's body until his mate gave up and came for him.


Mac opened his email, downloading the pictures.  Then he stared.   "Uh-huh," he said quietly.  He went back to the short note attached.  It was what he thought it was.  He sent it to Stella and Danny with a grin.  Hopefully Danny already knew, but now and then he still didn't pay enough attention to Xander.  As evidenced by him crocheting hummer covers.  Stella knocked and came in, looking over his shoulder.  "Xander's most recent project."

"Is that what I think it is?"

"He crocheted a hummer cover," he agreed, smiling some.  It was a really strange idea.  "It was a present to Horatio."

"He does baby his hummer," she said dryly, shaking her head.  Then she gave Mac a hug.  "I'm bored."

"Those are dangerous words," he teased with a smile.  She gave him a look.  "Movie?"

"Club?" she countered.

"Movie?" he tried again, smiling a bit.

"In a real theater?"

"I can go for that," he decided.  "But you buy your own popcorn since you get the humongous size."

She rolled her eyes.  "Fine.  But I get to pick the movie."

"There's a nice foreign film festival."  She handed over two tickets then walked away.  He looked then at her sashaying behind.  "Fine, we can go see the newest action film and laugh at it," he agreed, grabbing his wallet and things to follow her. Though he did send that picture to Sheldon and others later.


Sheldon walked up to Don the next morning, handing him a book.  "Here, projects for Xander to do."  Don moaned, walking off shaking his head.  "Think he could do more for when we have to garage them?" he called after him.  Ray Kowalski gave him an odd look.  "You didn't get a picture of Xander's newest project?"  He slowly shook his head.  Sheldon came over to get into his own email and show him.  Ray whimpered.  "He said he was bored.  I got him a book of projects."

Ray moaned as he dialed his house. "It's me.  Xander's crocheting hummer covers, baby.  He's bored.  Might be a good idea, yes," he agreed.  Then he hung up and put his head down.  "Thank you, Sheldon.  We'll fix the bored one."

Sheldon patted him on the back and left, smiling at Frank when they passed at the elevator. "Saw the new pictures?"

"New pictures?"

"See if you've got an email from Mac."  He got onto the elevator and grinned as the doors shut.  It was a cute project.  He'd never have thought of doing that.

Frank went to his desk to log into his email, then stared at the picture Mac had sent him.  "Is that what I think it is, Flack?" he called.

"Yes," he moaned, head still down on his very clean and empty desk.  "Xander said he was going to be good for two weeks and he did."

Frank shuddered and closed the picture before anyone else could see.  Someone would be picking on Horatio for that.  Then again, maybe Horatio could use the lightening up.  He saw Horatio slink past and grinned.  "What's wrong, Horatio?  A bit too warm?" he joked.

Horatio glared at him. "Who sent you that picture?"


Horatio walked off muttering under his breath about his friend.  Then he sent a silent prayer at Strife to find Xander something to do before they all went insane with him.  He walked into his office and closed the door, locking it again so he could have some peace from the teasing.  Even Speed had teased.  It wasn't fair.  He was nearly ready to pout.  He had a few pieces of chocolate and the pout eased but it still wasn't nice of his lover to pick on him and recruit others to help him.


Xander looked up as his not-very-secret admirer Vesvold popped into the house.  "Hi."

"What are you doing?"

"Crocheting.  Why?" he asked, looking confused.  "It gives me something to do and the ferrets love to help."

"I'm sure they do."  He sat down beside him, watching him work.  "There's a new one who would defy me by trying for you," he said quietly.

"Are we talking kidnaping me or otherwise?"

"Probably both."  He stroked over his cheek.  "I don't want you hurt."

Xander gave him a look.  "Not like I'm not hard to kill, Vesvold."  He snuck a kiss and a smile.  "Thank you for the warning."

"I could take you with me."

"Then you'd have to tell the others."

"I can do that as well."  He waved a hand and they all appeared in his sitting room, animals and all.  "There, now you're safer and I'll tell the others."  He stroked his cheek again before smiling and walking off.  He created a phone that would go to the detective's phone, letting it connect.  "Don Flack?"  He smiled at the assurance.  "Vesvold.  I have Xander.  There's another suitor coming after him and I needed to protect him from this one.  He's a bit violent and would harm your boy if he resisted.  So he's with me for a while.  I also have the animals since they were helping him play with the yarn."  He smiled and hung up.  "There, that's done.  Mother, Xander's up for his own protection," he called.  She came to talk to the young immortal while Vesvold watched.


Don Flack Senior hung up his phone and groaned, calling his son.  "I know it's short notice but I got a call from someone named Vesvold who's guarding your boy for you against someone coming after him.  He said a suitor, son.  He said he's a bit violent and would probably hurt your boy if he resisted.  I don't know why he called me but he did say all the animals were with him at the moment.  They were helping him play with yarn?"  He heard the story of Xander making afghans, including one larger than that obscenely large bed he had.  "Uh-huh.  Okay.  If that floats his boat.  Probably goes with his hair.  That's fine, son.  Thought you should know since he called me instead of you."  He smirked.  "Have a better day then."  He hung up and went back to relaxing.  His son was going to straighten that mess out so it wouldn't make him have mental pictures he didn't want anymore.


Don Junior hung up his phone then looked up.  "Hey, Vessie, I'm a *junior* not the only one," he called quietly.  "Thanks for the guarding though."  He walked off shaking his head. Speed looked over from photographing tire treads.  "Ves's got him. Someone new is coming and violent.  He even took the yarn and the animals."

"Charming."  He took another picture then looked at him again.  "Xander okay?"

"Yeah, just apparently up there with him."  He shrugged. "What do I know.  I hope he took all the yarn with him."

"If not, maybe he can find something like it up there for Xander."  He got back to work.  He'd tell the others later.

Don went back to questioning the people who were standing around.  It was odd but that meant Xander would be safer and he'd get to sleep at a decent hour tonight, instead of after screwing Xander into the bed again.  It was his night but he'd pout at him later for robbing him of that pleasure.


Xander walked into the Demonic Council's chambers and slid into Vesvold's lap, his dragon sitting beside them.  "I'm sorry I made a mess in your sitting room," he offered quietly.  "The bad guy came and he was stupid."  He looked up at him, still teasing his chest with a fingertip.  "So I made a mess and I broke that vase that had the thing trapped in it but I retrapped it for you.  Oh, and your mother found me some demon hair to crochet with, it's very soft."  He kissed him on the cheek then got up, his dragon following him.

Vesvold shook his head to clear it then looked at the others.  "Excuse me for a moment.  I need to find out who was stupid enough to try to invade my home."  He got up and walked out, finding Xander making something to help clean up the mess.  "What's that?"

"Something Ryan found and it works really good on carpets."  He handed it over to the cleaning demon.  "There, try that."  He grinned at him then at his host.  "I'm sorry I made the mess."

"It's all right.  What attacked you?"  Xander pointed at the fireplace and the slowly roasting demon.  "Hmm.  I don't know her."

"Not like I do but apparently she knew about the slavery and battle ring."  He gave him a look. "Oooh!"  He showed him the project he was working on.  "See?"

"It's very pretty, Xander, and that demon's hair would be very soft."  He smiled and stroked his cheek then went to look at the demon closer.  He knew that clan.  He walked out, going to find one of them and ask them what their female had been doing.  Xander could handle the clean up and his mother was still in residence.  Mother did dote on his love.


Don walked into the house and found a few lumps of fabric on the table with a large box.  He looked at the tag, it was for Danny so he left it there and looked at the lumps of fabric.  "Aww, he made someone a scarf."  He sniffed the yarn.  "What sort of yarn is that?"  Ryan walked in and put the bags of groceries on the counter.  "Ryan, what sort of yarn is this?"

Ryan looked then sniffed.  "Molinar demon."  He handed it back.  "Arctic demons."  He went back to help put up the groceries.

Don carefully put it down and went to help him.  He didn't want to know how Xander had gotten demon hair to crochet with or how it got so long.  Ever.  That was going on his list of questions he was not going to ask.  Though he did look up.  "Vesvold, are we getting him back for dinner?" he called quietly.  "If not, need to know that before we start cooking."  The phone rang.  "Flack."  He listened.  "That's fine.  We're having a family picnic tonight.  Whenever's good," he assured him.   He grinned.  "Of course he did.  He's troublesome that way.  All GHS are," he teased.  "Thanks for letting us know."  He hung up.  "Xander's been snatched across temporal realms.  They have no idea where he is or when in that stream he might've landed, but he's fine.  Also, he defeated some demon bimbo who came after him to kill him.  Roasted her in the fireplace."  He got to work on the planned dinner.  Horatio and Speed walked in.  "Any idea what's going on with that mini-convention thingy that's coming up?  It's not sponsored by the group."

"Not a clue," Horatio admitted, giving him a fond pat on the back.  "The animals?"

"With Xander and Vesvold.  They're probably still at Ves's house since Xander's somewhere and when."  He went back to chopping.  "Before anyone asks, it was a jealous demon who shoved him.  They know he's fine, they said he'd be back very shortly."

"Sure," Speed agreed.  "Probably another of his fanclub."  He said a silent prayer to his and his mate's patron saint and got to work helping with dinner.

Horatio looked in the dining room.  "What's that?" he asked.

"Demon wool."

"Molinar demons are arctic demons," Ryan told him.  "Very warm."

"It's still Miami," Speed pointed out dryly.

"Doesn't mean we're always going to stay in Miami," Ryan reminded him, giving him a look.  "You and H as well as us."

"Point," he decided, giving in.  "Did H thank you yet for helping Xander make the hummer cosy?"

"I only let him measure one," Ryan defended.  "I wasn't sure why.  He said something about comparing it to his SUV."

"His is a mini-limo," Don said dryly.  "No comparison to crime lab hummers."  He had a thought and went out to look at their cars, coming back pouting.  "He made one for my bike."

"It's keeping it clean, dust free, and warm," Speed assured him, patting him on the back. "It's a thoughtful gesture, Don."

"Still odd to see the purple yarn cover over my bike."  Speed snickered at that.  "It is!"  He looked at Horatio.  "Yours was what color?"

"Blue.  The color of my eyes," he admitted, coming over to help with dinner.  He heard a bark but it was the annoying poodle from next door getting free again.  They had a downed tree and she liked to climb over it to get over the walls so she could pester Xander's dalmatians.   "Go home," he called.  The dog ran off, scared of men.  "Good."  He got back to work on the hamburgers.  "Who else is coming?"

"Frank.  Calleigh.  Danny if he ever gets home," Don said, shrugging a bit.  "Eric if he ever quits working with Danny."  Speed snickered at that.  "They do work well together."

"They do.  Eric finally gets to the be the smooth, charming one of his team," Speed teased.

"Danny can be damn charming when he wants," Don pouted.  "It's just been a while."

"Then the mini-convention will be good for all of us," Speed reminded him.  He looked out when he saw a car.  "Mac's here.  Alone."  He finished his veggies and put them into the pan to saute.  "Hamburgers and what?"

"Whatever we want," Don reminded him.  "Hey, Mac."

"Where's Xander?  I just had a person say he'd confess if he could look at Xander's bare stomach.  I wanted to see where he ran into him."

"Gone at the moment.  Vesvold took him for his own protection and then lost him for a few," Don offered, grimacing.  "What did your guy do?"


Don gave him a look.  "Wanna use me instead?"

"No, he specified the cute one with the hair."

"Ah."  He nodded at that.  "Okay.  He should be back sometime soon. Promise he'll get him tomorrow or so."

"I tried that.  His lawyer said unless Xander can show up tonight we're going to have to let him go.  We don't have quite enough to charge him."

Don looked up.  "Hey, Vessie, we need Xander back in a hurry," he called.  "Can you maybe speed up the finding process?"  He got back to work.  "We'll know soon.  Dinner?"

"I can."  He came in to use the phone.  "Stella, tell them he's out shopping, it'll be three hours, yes they have to wait.  Thanks.  Vesvold has him."   He hung up and washed his hands, coming over to help.  "Burgers?"  Don nodded.  "Veggie fries too?"  Speed grinned and pointed at what Don was doing.  "I can batter those and fry them."  Don handed over his completed stack so he could get down the batter mix and get to work.

Horatio smiled down at him.  "Is that the one who took the redheaded college girl?"

Mac made an assenting noise.  "And another one.  Fortunately we found her first.  She didn't see her attacker."

"Pity," Speed agreed.  Danny and Eric walked in.  "Set the outer table.  Presents on the inner one from Xander.  He'll be back soon we think," he offered, getting back to work.

"Where is he now?" Danny asked.

"Vesvold," Don told him.  "He lost 'im too.  He's somewhere and when."

"Charming!"  He went to look at the presents, bursting out giggling. "Don, he made a dick holder!" he laughed, bringing it out.  "A lot of them.  Apparently he thinks the toys are cold too."

"He complained the metal one was," he pointed out, grinning at him.  "We've got to get him a second hobby."  Danny snickered, going to slide them into their room, then clean up in there.

Eric walked off shaking his head.  "I don't want to know.  Has anyone seen Aiden?"

"Not today," Mac called after him.

Ryan shrugged. "I haven't seen her in weeks."

"Me either," Horatio admitted.  "Speed?"

"Four days."

"That's when I saw her too," Mac agreed.  "We were going over the holiday presents for this year."  Ryan moaned. "I know your OCD must throw fits."

"I spent ten hours last year wrapping *one* present because the corners never came out right," he admitted.  "I need to get better at that stuff."

"You do have time for therapy," Don said firmly, giving him a look.  "You're still better than you were, right?"

"Yeah, about some situations.  I no longer fuss about every speck of dirt I get hit with in the field.  I can camp if I have to."  Strife appeared.  "Vessie has him."

"He hates that name," he said dryly.  "We know where he is, not when.  It'll be an hour or so and he might come back fussy."  He looked at Speed, then at Horatio.  "The upcoming thing'll be good for you two.  Go."  Then he disappeared.

"I was planning on it," Speed said, looking at his husband.  "You?"

"I was as well," he agreed, shrugging a bit.  "Now we know we need to go."

"You needed to go anyway," Don said quietly, looking at him.  "You've given too much to others and didn't spend any on yourself or Speed."  Horatio nodded at that wisdom.  "So go, have fun.  We'll keep our end of the party down for you and all that good stuff."

"Thank you."

"Welcome."  He handed over the last of the veggies to Mac and got to work frying the burgers.  "Isn't someone supposed to be setting the table."

"Danny, go set the table!" Mac called.

"Yes, mother!" he snapped back, going to do that.  "I was looking at the amended afghan on the bed.  He trimmed it down, Don."

"That's fine.  Maybe he'll make one giant one again. It was kinda cozy."  That got a smile. "With real yarn, not demon yarn like the scarves, but real yarn would be nice."  Danny grabbed the dishes and walked out to set the table outside.


Xander appeared, finally, and huffed, stomping a foot.  "My pets?" he called.  The animals all appeared and so did two human looking beings.  "Guys," he said impatiently.  The vampires left their things then headed off again.  "Thank you."

"What are you wearing?" Don asked, looking at the thin, nearly see-through harem pants and dangling coin waist chain, plus the matching nipple rings and necklace, along with three bangle bracelets and the tiara in his braided hair.  He was also barefoot.  "C'mere."  Xander carefully stepped closer and settled in his lap.  "You okay?"

"I'm fine.  I was treated like the princess I am," he said dryly.  He grimaced. "It was an ancient vampire overlord who wanted me to be his queen."

"Did he touch you?" Horatio asked quietly.

"Not after I staked him," Xander said with a sweet smile.  "Then I got to be the head princess."  That got a snicker from Speed.  "I am!"

"You can be," he agreed.  "Nipple rings fun?"

"They're okay.  Not that great.  They're also welded in.  They were done before I woke up.  As was the one in my balls."  He wiggled back to his feet and bent down.  "Can you please take the tiara off?"  Don removed it and his necklace for him, letting Xander get the bracelets.  They all went onto the bags then Xander trekked into the house with the animals following. Hubert picked up the ferrets and carried them in after him.  "Thanks, baby."  He put them back into their cage, fed them and the dogs, then got Hubert a steak.  He found the wire cutters and came back out to find Horatio buried under a pile of something.  "Hey!" he called. "That's not nice!  Get it off him!"  The pile relocated ten feet to the side. "Thank you!" he snapped. "Now, go away!"  The portal closed and he huffed.  "Horatio, are you all right?" he asked, giving him a hug.

"I'm fine, Xander.  Thank you for getting me free."

"Not a problem.  Hi, Mac.  Didn't see you."

"That's all right.  I came to see if you'd flash my newest suspect.  He said he'd confess if he got a peek at your abs."

"Sure.  What do I care?  Can I go in this?"

"I don't care," he admitted, looking at Danny and Don.

"I'd rather he be wearing real pants," Danny complained.

"Yeah, those are a bit thin," Don agreed, looking him over.  "Is that a plug?  It looks purple."

"I had to do something so I was amused while the vampires danced and sang for my pleasure," he snorted.  "Let me find shoes, Mac."  That got a nod and he went to do that, leaving the wire cutters with Ryan for now.  He came out with his hair partially unbraided but clipped it off so the top was still done, just the bottom part was trailing down his back in waves.  "Braided it wet.  Always liked that effect."  He followed him to his car, letting him drive them to his station.  He walked in past Sheldon, waving a bit.  "Back again," he quipped.  "Vampire princes this time."  He signed himself in, clipping the visitor's pass to his belt.  Then he headed up to the interrogation rooms.  The officers around him gave him odd looks. "Just got back from another kidnaping.  Mac wanted me to talk to Stella about my new tiara.  Came right over."  He got into the elevator and got out on the right floor, going to find Stella staring at the fussy and whining bastard in the glassed in room.  He kissed her on the cheek in full view of the guy.  "Mac said you can have my new tiara but it'll mean you're the new princess of a vampire realm, as the person who took me told me."

She looked at him.  "Excuse me?"

He nodded. "Yup."  He shrugged. "Not a clue.  I woke up there and pierced."  He looked at the man inside, making him drool.  He even opened the door.  "Sorry, I need Stella for a minute then you can have her back.  The people who just snatched me liked her and Horatio both.  They couldn't decide."  He closed the door and looked at her, facing her and letting his very tanned butt face the glass windows into the room.  "So, do you want to be a vampire princess?"

"Not especially," she admitted, looking a bit confused.  "When did you get taken?"

"Earlier.  Vesvold came to save me from someone trying for me."  He felt someone moving behind him but ignored it until something thumped on the glass.  "Anyway," he sighed, rolling his eyes.  "Do you want the new pretty shiny thing or not?"

"Not particularly.  Not with that sort of string.  Were they nice?"

"Very after I staked their leader."

She just nodded at that.  "Shift to the right," she said with a small smile.  Xander did that and the man with his face pressed against the glass did the same.  "Thanks.  He's licking the glass."

"Well, clearly he thinks he can have a taste," he quipped, grinning at Mac.  "This one?"

"That one," he admitted, walking into the room.  "You done yet?  I should get Xander home."

"Can I have him instead of the girls I took?" he asked, turning to look at Mac.  "I'll be very good to him.  He won't be hurt at all as long as he follows my rules."

"His present keepers wouldn't like that."

"I can buy them off," he offered.

Mac looked at him.  "Xander got given over ten million in jewelry in the last three years.  I doubt that."  The man pouted.  "Xander?"  He walked in, looking attentive.  "Make sure he knows you're taken?"

Xander looked at him and laughed.  "I'm sorry, baby, but I've got two boys who're presently keeping me chained to the house and their two best friends too on occasion when I get naughty."  He blinked his big, brown eyes at him and the man melted, coming over to hug him.  "You might be nicer, but with how I heard you treated your last ones?  I'm not sure of that.  If you tell Mac, I'll consider it for a few minutes."

"I can do that!"  He came over to tell Mac how he'd keep him in splendor, letting him ask specific questions about his last detainees.  He nudged his lawyer, who moaned. "He's worthy of me!"

"This is still stupid," he said, sneering at Xander.  "This is illegal somehow!"

"No it's not.  He asked to see me.  I'm here."  He shrugged a bit, then grinned.  "Even Vice likes me sometimes."  The man looked stunned.  "I'm a really good poker player.  I helped them bust a gambling operation once."  The lawyer moaned.  "So no, I'm being a good boy today."  He blinked his eyes at him.  "Aren't I?" he asked, starting to pout.

The lawyer swallowed.  "I can see that you are, young man.  We'll use this to our advantage."

"I'm sure you will."  He walked out when Stella came in to get him.  "I've got to go home and remove these rings.  Someone welded them in."  He skipped back to the elevator and down to catch a cab home.  Of course, Sheldon was still there so he drove him home.  "Hi."

"Hi."   He grinned at him.  "Thank you."

"He might use a mental plea."

"That can happen but we can prove he wasn't when he did it."  He pulled onto the street and took Xander back to his house, letting him get out and go pounce Ryan since he still had the wire cutters.  "Thanks, guys.  Stella said she didn't want the tiara."  He backed out and headed for his house.  It had been a strange Xander-ish day.  He wanted a beer.

Ryan made Xander quit wiggling on his lap. "Want those out?"

"Please!  They're either in the wrong spot or they're too deep.  They hurt!"

"Okay."  He lifted one of the rings, snipping it gently then sliding it out.  Xander sighed in pleasure and got hard.  "Don't you dare get off on my lap.  I've got to go home tonight," he teased.  He did the same to the other one and Xander shivered then got up and leaned on the table, undoing his pants.  Ryan got the small ring in his ball sack and Xander nearly fell to his knees in pleasure as it was slid out.  "There you go.  Jump your boys."  Xander pounced Danny right there, driving him onto the ground to get what he wanted and needed.  It had been a while!  Ryan put the rings onto a napkin and sat down to eat some more.  He looked at Speed and Horatio.  "They were a bit too deep."

"Boys, go inside, my husband doesn't need to see you two do that," Speed complained.  Don got them up and pointed toward the house, letting Danny drag him inside and have him in the kitchen instead.  "Thanks," he called after them. "Ah, another exciting day in Xander's version of Miami."  Horatio pinched him.  "It is!"

"It is, but it's not nice to say."

"Fine, the GHS Miami then," he teased.  "Maybe you should have the tiara?"

"Do you want to sleep on the couch tonight?"

Speed kissed him and whispered in his ear, earning a shiver.  "I don't think so."  He grinned, a little smirk, at his mate.  "We should go."

"Let me finish eating."

"Sure.  You eat some more."  He stroked Horatio's thigh under the table.  "So, guys," he said with a grin.

Ryan and Eric both snickered.  "Not going to look at your presents, Horatio?" Eric teased.

"I don't need presents, Eric."

"We can figure out what to do with them in a few days, when Xander's up to looking at his," Ryan agreed.  "Since apparently Xander appointed me over the closets again."  Don snickered.  "Did you get that email?"

"I did but I'm over his bank accounts at the moment.  Danny's doing the bills.  Xander said so," he offered at Speed's curious look.  "He said he's tired of dealing with it so we can for the next two months.  I'm also over his weapons at the moment.  All but his sword because only he takes care of that."

Horatio rolled his eyes but leaned back.  "That boy is going to drive you insane again.  He's clearly on another upswing."

"We've dealt in the past," Eric reminded him.  "We can again."  He looked at Ryan.  "Are you coming over tonight?"

"No, I'm going to go home, my home," he said firmly, giving him a look. "I haven't cleaned there recently and I'm tired of cleaning your shower.  It's never going to get any better and it's driving me nuts."

"Sure.  I get that.  Want me to come over?"

Ryan shrugged.  "Up to you."

"Sure."  He grinned.  "Aiden too?"

"Up to her but I'm not sleeping with both of you."

"Point.  It'll be just us tonight then."  Ryan grinned and got up to haul the stuff inside to the practice area.  It was the usual spot.  He did look at the tiara.  It was gaudy but tiny.  Not Xander's usual style at all.