Xander stepped off the small plane, looking around the lush, brilliant greenery surrounding the small landing pad. "Wow. This is beautiful." The pilot smiled at him. "Are you staying with me?"
"No, sir, I live on the mainland. When you're ready one of the staffmembers can call for me." He gave him his two bags and sword, then got back onto the private plane, heading back down the dirt runway.
Xander watched it take off and turned around to find a silent woman standing behind him. "Hi."
"Hi, Xander. I'm Melanie." She shook his hand and he noticed it was a firm grip. "I'm here to take you up to the house."
"Are you a full-time staffmember?"
"We're all full-time, Xander." She took his bags, letting him keep the sword. She had been programmed that he was a bit paranoid about his safety. She could understand that. "There's really nothing on the island that could hurt you. We've made it very safe over the last few years." He nodded at that, getting into the jeep with her. She took off once his bags were in the back and she was sure he was secure. "The whole island is yours. The two ponies are grazing out in the gardens today. We heard you liked horses so we had them brought up."
"Thanks. Do they usually free roam?"
"Most of the time. They're brought in at night of course, and during storms." She turned a corner of the small dirt road and listened to him gasp. "That's the guest villa," she said proudly. "We were more than happy to help build it for the last owner." He gave her a sideways look. "We built all this with him, Xander."
"Then why didn't he leave you any of it?"
She laughed. "Silly. Some of us are meant to serve, not rule." She patted him on the arm and kept going past the guest house. He stood up when they came into view of the main house. It was a one-story building with windows but it seemed to grow right out of the woods surrounding the wings off to each side. "Sit down." He sat down ad let her drive up to the door. Once she parked she got the bags out, handing them to the woman waiting at the doorway. "Here you go, one Xander."
"Thank you, Melanie. Xander, I'm Patricia. I'm the housekeeper here." He nodded, following her inside with a smile and a wave for Melanie. "We've been taught that you like caffeine?"
"Soda mostly but I can drink coffee if that's what you have, or iced tea."
"We do have all three." She smiled. "Just let us know what you need, Xander." She walked him around the entry way. "This is the foyer. The small stairs to the left and right lead to the various wings. Straight back and you run into the entertainment room." She led him that way, letting him gasp at the soft leather sofas and chairs that were spread around the movie screen sized tv system and stereo. She pointed. "That door leads to the kitchen and other menial areas." She pointed to his right. "That path leads back to the library." She led him that way and he moaned, running a hand over the dark wood of the bookcases. "Those all came from local trees."
"It's wonderful work," he said with a smile. She beamed and led him back to the entryway then pointed. "Which is which?"
"The master had a suite put in on each side. The one on the left is done in blues. The one on the right is done in creams. The guest rooms are in the other villa for privacy reasons." He nodded, pointing to the left. "Very good choice, Xander." She walked him that way, opening the doors for him to take his first look of the bedroom. There was an enormous bedroom in front of him. The bed was *huge*. Clearly about three king size beds put together. "The former master liked his room," she said with a smile. "The other one's the same size." She put his bags down and efficiently unpacked for him, not mentioning how much stuff the bags could hold for being so small. She watched him walk around to look at things. He had found the mini-fridge in the sitting area, plus the hidden microwave. The other side of the room was the open soaking area. "Behind the darker blue door is the lavatory for privacy." She opened it for him then opened the glass wall behind the bed. She smiled. "It's a splendid view. The headboard is minimal for that reason." She smiled at him. "Is there anything I can get you, Xander?"
"Um, the ponies?"
"They're in the gardens." She walked him through a sliding glass door in the glass wall to the left, around the back of the house. "The fenced in area you can barely see are the table gardens." He nodded at that. "If you wanted us to plant anything in particular let us know. We can grow most anything down here." She clicked her tongue and an older pony lifted his head to stare at her. "There's one. Myra!" she called. Another one came trotting out of the woods. "There's the other." Xander smiled as he let them sniff his hand, then petted them gently. "You're good with them."
Xander grinned. "I have a few at home." He stepped back after a good scratch, letting them go back to grazing. "I think I'll rest for a bit if you don't mind."
"Of course not. You're the new master now, Xander." She smiled and pointed. "If you go that way do be careful. That cliff isn't very steady and we don't want anyone to get hurt." He nodded so she went back into the house, letting him make his own way back inside. He gave the nearest pony a small pet then headed inside to try out that huge bed. It felt pretty empty without his lovers but he'd make due. He could bring them all down for vacations soon.
Xander panned the video camera around. "And that's my library," he told it, narrating as he walked. He smiled. "That's Patricia, the housekeeper. Even if she doesn't look happy it'll be okay, Greggy." He hit pause and looked at her. "I'm sending video mail back to Greggy."
"Is he your lover?"
"Former playmate. He's got his own lover now."
"Ah. I see. What did you want for breakfast? You didn't eat yet."
"I'm not a big breakfast person and I only just got up."
She scowled. "You must eat to stay healthy and content. It's my duty to make sure you stay healthy and content while you're here."
"Can I have some scrambled eggs and a few slices of fried ham? Some toast and juice?" She nodded, going to make it for him. He put the camera on the desk and sat in his desk chair, grinning once it was back on. "It's all right. She came to ask me what I wanted for breakfast. This is a *great* place and the next time you two get vacation time together you can come down to use it for a bit of private time in the sun. I know you'll both like that." He beamed at the computer. "I'll send you more later, that's all that I've seen so far. Bye for now. I'll send the other family some after this." He stopped the tape and hooked it into the computer, finding it already connected to the 'net with a single click of an icon. He launched the email program, getting into his to send it to everyone he knew. They'd love this place! He smiled at Patricia when she came back. She turned off the monitor. "I'm sending off the first batch to the family. I'll eat. I promise." He turned it back on and nibbled on a piece of toast while he wrote the personal messages. Then he sent it off to them. He beamed. "See, all done. This is great, thank you, Patricia. What else is there to see around here? Don's going to love coming down here with me."
"One of my lovers, Don." He ate a bite, looking at her. "He didn't tell you I'd started a real relationship?"
"He had. He also left explicit instructions on how we were to be here for your benefit, no matter what you needed." He smiled at that. "There's the small lab area, but I'm not sure if you wanted to see that or not." He shrugged. "Then I'll show you down there later."
"I can wander if you have something to do. It's one of the best things about traveling, finding all the little spots yourself." She smiled and nodded, leaving him to eat and drink his juice. She came back just as he took his last bite, handing him a small bottle. "What's this?"
"Soda for your trek around the guest house. If you need more there's some in the refrigerator over there."
"Oh, cool. Thanks." He beamed and sent another email to Danny, then turned off the computer and left, taking his soda and his video camera over to film the guest house and the insides of that. It was *huge*! It had twenty guest suites and was three stories high. It had a small kitchen on each floor, about what an apartment would have, and then the main kitchen in the basement that could be used to serve a military unit if he needed to. He did refill his soda and grabbed another two cans, heading off to explore the rest of the island. He filmed the gardens and the two women picking things. They smiled at him and he waved, not wanting to interrupt them. He hoped they didn't get sunburned since they were picking things naked, but he was sure they had sunscreen on, like he did.
He found a small shed and filmed it then opened the door, finding stairs down. "This must be the emergency shelter or that lab she mentioned." He walked down them, filming once he got the lights on. He blinked. "Wow. This is even better stuff than the Miami lab, guys," he said into the camera, grinning at them. He moved to film everything, even the strange tanks and the exo-skeleton looking thing. "Huh. He must've been working on robots." He walked off to explore a side path, finding it lead back to the cliff that he had been warned about. He got up there and filmed the view, which was magnificent. Then he went to turn off the lights and head back to the house. It was nearly the middle of the afternoon and he was hungry again. He walked in and found Patricia pacing. "I'm okay. I found the lab."
She beamed. "Good job, Xander. Hungry?"
"Yes please. What's for dinner?"
"What did you want?"
"What're you making everyone else?"
She scowled. "That's not for you."
"You can just make me extra so you don't have to cook special things." Her scowl turned into a glare so he wilted. "Sorry. Okay, whatever you feel like fixing? Including some fruit stuff, like chutney or something?"
She smiled. "I can do that. Go email that to your friends so they don't worry." He nodded, going to do that. She shook her head. "Humans," she muttered.
Xander sat down to plug in the camera again and send them the video mail. He found he had two new messages. One from Danny and Don being mushy and saying they missed him. He answered that one with a sappy grin. The other was from Gibbs telling him to send smaller attachments next time. So he sent it to Greg's other email account. That way he wouldn't get into trouble. He sent it to Don's other email account too, just in case, then sent them notices that he had sent them there so they would know to go check. Then he wrote one to Horatio waxing poetic about the views and how he'd love to let him and Speed come down for a honeymoon week.
She walked in with his dinner. "Inviting your family?"
"I think Horatio and Speed could use a long honeymoon and they'd love the master's suite."
"That's really just for you and your lovers."
He gave her a look. "If I'm not here, they can use it." She nodded once at that. "Even if I am here, they can use the other one. They're used to hiding in one of our guest rooms at the house in Miami." He finished his email message then turned to his dinner. "This is great, Patricia, thank you." She smiled and left. He dug in, turning around to watch the sunset through the window. He taped it as well, then sent it to Speed. He liked sunsets. She came back to get his plate then shooed him to the tv room. He went to see what sort of dish they had - cable wouldn't be run out here under the ocean floor - and found it fully set up and able to play nearly any channel from around the globe. He found something he wanted to watch, settling in on one of the overstuffed leather chairs to relax and enjoy the night. She came to shoo him to bed around eleven, making him head back to his room. He did stare outside then went to make his daily prayers outside under the pretty new moon. He knelt and closed his eyes, sending his prayers off.
Strife appeared, looking at him. "Morning."
He smiled at him. "I didn't forget you, right?"
"Nah. Wondering where you were." He sat down next to him, looking around the lands. "This is pretty."
"One of the guys who used to take me out to dinner while I was working in New York left it to me."
Strife nodded. "That's cool. It's a beautiful island, Xander." He beamed at him. "Now what?"
"I came down to look it over, see what was around, plan on getting most of the family down here for a vacation sometime soon." He gave him a hug. "Of course you and the big guy can come take a rest too."
"Thanks." He gave him a pat on the arm, smiling at the woman who was doing guard rounds. "We have predators?" he asked her.
"We thought we heard strange voices. Who is this, Xander?"
"This is Strife, God of Mischief." She blinked a few times then nodded and walked off. He frowned at her back, then at Strife, who shrugged. He shrugged too. "Did you see the lab when I was down there?"
"I didn't but I can go watch over Red's shoulder. He's had a bitch of a day with a kidnaping."
"Nah, a regular one, not GHS related." He patted Xander on the back. "Go play in the tub, Xander. We'll talk tomorrow." He nodded, going to do that. Strife grinned and went to bother Horatio in his office. "Isn't it late for you to be here?" he asked dryly.
"Lord Strife." He looked at him. "If I don't finish this tonight, it'll never get done and no one will get raises."
Strife looked at it then at him. "Xander sent a new diary of the island, including a lab he found."
Horatio got into his email, finding Speed had read them. He sighed in relief. "Speed found them first."
He patted Horatio on the back. "Speed's pacing."
Horatio called. "Lord Strife just showed up to tell me to watch Xander's newest sending. Was there a problem?" He listened to him talk about the lab, frowning some. "Really?" He got into that file, watching it at half speed so he could identify the machines. "Is that a robotic frame?"
Strife nodded. "Yeah, because all the servants down there are." He grinned. "The guy was a brilliant man. They're damn good." He disappeared. He'd make sure Greg saw it too. They might need Gibbs. He appeared in their row, making Greg moan. "Hey, none'a that," he said dryly, crossing his arms over his chest. "They can't see me anyway. Get into his last one. Not the sunset one if you got that one."
Greg looked, finding the notice email. Then he went to find the other one, going through once on fast forward. "Was that a lab?" he muttered, getting a nod. He scanned back and went through it slower. "Oh, damn," he said in awe. "That's a DNA ...." He dialed Horatio. "Did you get Xander's email about the lab? That one machine with the microscope is for combining and mixing DNA, Horatio." Gibbs glared at him. He waved him over. "Xander's island lab he just inherited, Gibbs." He listened to Horatio. "Because Lord Strife said they were all robots?" he suggested after Horatio said it. "Um... okay. That's strange. So he was making cyborgs?" Gibbs moaned. He held up a hand and listened to him. "Sure, if you need us, let us know, Horatio. Please?" He hung up shaking his head quickly, replaying the full message. "This is the second email from Xander's new island paradise. Horatio said Lord Strife told him all the other people except for Xander are robots. Or possibly cyborgs since they've been tampering with DNA too." Tony gave him an odd look but came over with McGee to look. They had seen the earlier one as a small rest break from the current case.
Gibbs moaned. "Think he'll need rescued?"
"Horatio wasn't sure. He said he didn't think Xander realized they were robots or else he would've mentioned it." They shared a look and Gibbs walked off shaking his head. "It was one of his former *clients*, Gibbs. He had this planned all along."
"Wonderful," he muttered. "If you or DiNozzo ever end up with something like that I want warned first."
"I turned in the present that showed up in my mail, boss," Tony complained.
"Thank you for that. Who sent it?"
"A senator's wife and I sent it back once I found that out." He shrugged a bit. "Not a clue why. I've never met her in person." He looked at Greg. "What else can the lab do?"
"I'm not sure," he said. "I can't identify two or three of the machines." He saw an email from Horatio pop up. "Horatio and Speed can't identify them either." He called Abby up, letting her geekiness prove itself. "Hey. Look at these few machines. This is the list we already have," he said, letting her read it over. Then he replayed the clip at quarter speed.
She pointed. "That one's a new spectrometer but it's in a custom case." She frowned at the others. "I have no clue."
"Damn." He frowned then sent the clip to an old friend in Las Vegas who was *the* uber lab geek. "Hodges will." He got back an email a few minutes later with a full list. Including everything but one machine and a question. He sent back an answer and got a groan back plus a link from one of the other techs. He beamed. "I love my geek buddies." He sent back a thank you and hit that link, groaning. "Aw, shit."
"Rescue team?" Gibbs asked.
"Yes!" He called Horatio. "Check your mail. I'm sending what Hodges found and the link he sent me." He hung up and sent it down to him. Horatio sent back a blank email, Speed's version of a long, muted swear really, and then a suggestion for a rescue party. They conferred on that via chat and decided to let Methos do it. He was good at that stuff. He finally looked over. "The guy who gave Xander the island was not only a mechanical genius who was creating good cyborgs. Hodges and Archie found an online work journal. They're going to keep Xander so he's safe, loved, and protected forever and ever, and then his kids will join him. That's why they had the DNA equipment and the tank."
"Can't happen," Tony said quietly.
"I know that. He doesn't. Or didn't since he's dead." He sent an email back to Hodges, getting a long snicker back. "Hodges is amused too." He looked at Gibbs then groaned. "The stupid ass robber, Gibbs." Gibbs stiffened. "I'm going to lay money on it being one of his."
"Super strong, left no fingerprints," Tony mused. "Could be. Abby?"
"The hairs you found weren't hairs, they were fur. How would they get up here?"
Greg grinned. "Remember hearing about Xander finding himself?" She nodded, that was well-known by their friends. "Xander met him while he was *working* in New York."
"Oh, no. So he's been in and out of the US.... His security people?"
"I'm not calling the brothel to see," Greg told her. "The owner tried to get Xander back a few times."
"Do we know anything about him?" Gibbs asked.
"He's got a family. I can get the info that they have in Miami." He wrote that to Horatio, and why he needed it, getting a full file back from Danny. "Danny's worried too now." He put it up onto the main screen so they could look it over.
"If any of them are cyborgs or robots, do they know?" McGee asked.
"Not a clue," Greg admitted. "Xander doesn't. They're sending Adam after him."
"Good choice," Tony agreed. "He can take on nearly anything." He shuddered. "Maybe Ryan too?"
"Perhaps," Greg said, grinning at him, sending a silent prayer for that idea. He got back a 'he's out of leave time' response, shaking his head. Tony moaned. The next one that hit his head was a 'Danny and Don are going'. He beamed. "His lovers are going."
"Good. That'll look less suspicious," Abby said cheerfully. "Maybe they can send Mac too?"
Gibbs smiled at her. "That's not a bad idea." He called him personally. "Taylor, Gibbs. Harris is in trouble. Caine knows. He's planning the rescue party." He hung up. "How do we find the current problem to see if he was one of them?"
McGee split the screen with the robber's picture from the video camera. "He looks just like one of the sons, boss. We start there."
Gibbs nodded. "Get me a current address on them, McGee. Thank whoever for me, Sanders."
"Already did, boss." He and Tony shared a look. This was the sort of trouble only a GHS slut could get into.
Mac walked into Horatio's office an hour later, already dressed with a bag on his shoulder. "Where's Xander now?"
"On the island full of robots," he said, letting him see. Mac snickered but he watched, frowning at the lab. He got into the other screen with the work journal, moaning a bit. "You wanted to go with Adam?"
"Gibbs called." They shared a look. "Who else is going?"
"Danny and Don."
"I'm there then. They'll need it." He called them. "I'm going with you. I'm in Horatio's office." He hung up. They'd come get him.
Adam strolled in a few minutes later. "What do we know for sure this time?" Mac let him read the work journal. "Interesting. I remember hearing something about that." He got into another site and found what he wanted, looking it over. "Yes, he did want to make little Xanders for his friends to baby for eternity." He looked at Horatio. "It may take a few days."
"Have fun. Be safe. Bring everyone home."
"Of course." He looked at Mac, who walked out with him. "Do have fun with the paperwork, Horatio. Hire a secretary or something. Ask Xander to fund her if you must." He followed Mac out to his car, going to the airport. Don had already arranged for a flight. On the way down he talked to a contact via the private plane's onboard computer system. That way they knew how to combat the robots. Because Xander was going to get pissed and destroy them if he couldn't. He smiled at the others stretched out in their chairs. It was very nice of Don to spring for the extra expense. He loathed commercial airlines.
Xander bounced into the guys getting off the plane. "Hi!" He beamed. "Hi, Adam, hi, Mac!" He gave his lovers a deep kiss and a cuddle. "Did you get leave time?"
"A few days," Mac told him. "Horatio wanted a better look at the lab."
"Sure. I know how to get down there." He smiled at Melanie when she drove up. "Hi, Melanie. Meet my lovers, Danny and Don, and Mac and Adam, two very close friends. They can have the guest suite at the main house," he ordered when she opened her mouth. She nodded once and they got into the jeep to head to the house. He pointed. "The ponies live over that way."
"Are they healthy and happy ponies?" Don asked. Xander beamed and nodded. "Got to go for a ride?" he teased.
"They're not that big of ponies. They did let me pet them." They pulled up in front of the house and he walked them inside. "Thanks, Melanie. What else do you do around here?"
"This is most of my job unless we're attacked. Then I help run the security defenses."
"We'd like to see those," Mac said. "I helped Xander set up the current ones at his house in Miami." She looked at Xander, who nodded.
"If Xander wants it then it can be so," she agreed, driving off again.
Xander frowned. "Something's not right with her," he muttered.
"Maybe because she's metal?" Danny asked in his ear. Xander scowled and shook his head. Danny nodded.
"No, I'd have realized that."
"Nope," he said, grinning a bit. "So, the lab?"
"Let me show you our room first." He walked them inside. "Patricia, my lovers, my mentor, and my personal security guru are here. The other two are staying in the guest suite up here." He walked them to their suite, which had two bedrooms. Then he led them back to his room, showing it off. Adam nodded, looking very appreciative of the amenities. "The shower has this neat waterfall head that spills out a lot of water." He led them out through the glass doors to the side garden, letting Danny inhale with a pleased smile. "I know, no smog. I nearly choked my first day from lack of smog." He took their hands, walking them down to the lab.
"What are you doing?" the guard from the night before asked, getting in their way.
"These are my lovers and my mentor, plus Mac's my security guru. He wanted a better look at the lab to see if we needed to get any of the equipment back in Miami since I'm babying the crime lab there." He grinned. "Then we're going to go watch the water from a safe distance by that cliff." She shook her head. "We'll be safe. Really."
"You and only you are allowed in the lab and that cliff is not safe, Xander. We found a weak tunnel underneath, undercut from some water problems."
"We'll be a few good feet back from the edge," Don promised with a goofy, harmless guy grin. "We promise Xander won't get inta trouble."
"Still, only he is allowed in the lab and that cliff is dangerous. Xander should not be near there."
Xander stared at her. "I managed to survive fighting for my life for many years, dear. I can safely sit on a bit of grass to watch the sunset. Besides, if I want Mac to see the lab and to tell me what I need to get for Miami's so they have new equipment, then that's my choice."
"Only you are allowed....."
Xander sighed then frowned. "Fine, you leave me no choice. Patricia!" She came to the glass doors. "Tell her to back off before I fire her."
They shared a look. "The lab is only for your use, Xander."
He looked at her. "What would I do with a lab? I have no idea what to do with a lab. I'm not a science geek. That's Mac and Greggy and those sorts. That's why Mac's going to tell me if it's stuff Horatio should have in Miami's lab." He walked them off. The other woman tried to get in their way but Xander muttered something and she reset. He blinked. "Interesting."
Danny gave him a look. "Sunset?" he asked, taking his arm to walk him off. Xander nodded. "I saw what you sent Speed, it was pretty."
Xander grinned. "It was and the lack of smog means you get different colors." He led the way down into the lab, letting Mac and Danny wander around to look. A few more of the robot protection force came in. He glared at them until they stood at the entryway silently. "So, anything Horatio could use?"
Mac tapped a machine. "DNA might like this but I'm not sure they need it." He patted the top of the mass spectrometer and nodded. "They could use a new one of those though. Ours is ancient."
Xander beamed. "Would those gift cards help?"
"No, they're really expensive machines, Xander."
"Could this one go up there?"
"You'll need it here," one of the guards said.
Xander gave her a confused look. "I know *nothing* about lab stuff."
"We do, Xander. We're here to help you with that and teach you some things about it."
"The only one who gets to go into protective overdrive over our lover is us," Don said firmly, glaring at her. "Back off." She backed up. "Thank you." He looked at something then pointed. "Mac, what's this for?"
Mac looked. "It looks like it's an incubator for cell generation purposes."
Danny looked then shrugged. "Could be used that way or as a regular incubator for things like eggs," he offered. Mac nodded that was possible. He smiled at Xander, walking out with him since the guards were so tense. "So, sunset?"
"Sunset," Xander agreed, walking them that way, sitting down far enough away from the edge of the cliff that no one should worry. Of course the guards did anyway. They were still following them. Once the sun was mostly down and it was turning dark, Xander led them back to the house.
"Xander, the other suite is really for when you have children," Patricia said as they walked in.
"I'm sterile, there's no children coming, Patricia." She glared at that. "There's not. Sorry. Only Mac's fertile of all of us."
"That can't be. Most human males aren't sterile."
"Shared birth defect, it's part of why we're together," Danny told her. "Plus it's something that happens to GHS members like Xander more often." She shook her head. He nodded.
"It does," Adam agreed. "A good tenth of us were sterile when we came in. I should know, I'm the National Head," he said when she shook her head again. She blinked a few times. "Should we make dinner, Xander? I found this new recipe I think you'll enjoy trying out for your boys."
"I cook," Patricia said firmly.
Xander frowned. "I cook at home all the time. Don taught me how." She blinked again and he grinned. "The lab is like a family so I get to cook for them all the time. We have impromptu get-togethers and all that stuff at least once a week." She still got in their way. "Fine, you can cook. We won't for now. Guys, want to relax in the hot tub in my room?" They nodded and followed him to his room, letting themselves settle into the deluxe tub with padded seats. Xander leaned closer to Adam. "Are you feeling freaked out?" he whispered.
Adam nodded. "Yes, that's why we're here."
"Oh. Okay. I'd still like to bring everyone down for a vacation sometime."
"We'll see if that can happen, Xander." He stroked over his hair. "Comfortable?"
"No, Danny's alllll the way over there and Don's not being cuddly." Don smiled, pulling him closer to cuddle him. He sighed in pleasure, stroking his stomach. "We need a bigger one of these at home."
"Ours seats six, Xander. Most of the time we don't need that many of us in it at once. Not like we're holding conventions in them." Xander grinned at him but shrugged and snuggled in better. Danny shifted over to get his other side, letting Mac and Adam plan how to get Xander away from here. Patricia brought in dinner and they dug in, not realizing she had drugged them so she could fix the erroneous ideas Xander had.
Xander woke up alone, frowning at that sensation. "Don, Danny?" he called. "Why am I cold?" He got up, going to check the bathroom area, then outside to see if they were watching the sunrise or something. Nope. He padded over to the other suite, no one there either. He went to find Patricia, scowling at her. "Where are my family?"
"At the guest house, like they should be. Also, we're working on cell regeneration for you."
"I don't need cell regeneration. I already have a healing talent."
"No you don't."
He picked up a knife and cut his finger, making her scream, but it healed in front of her, making her shriek more. "Yes. I do." He stared at her. "I'm still infertile. I'm still with Don and Danny, and I said the others could stay here. It's insulting to send my family to the guest house." He walked off. "We're leaving today."
"You can't! You're in danger."
Xander glared at her. "Don't make me prove I wear the marks I do for a reason, woman. You don't want that." She glared. He glared back. "I'm not the one you want to fuck with. Though I'm glad they didn't send down Ryan or the other snuggly Eric." She growled and launched herself at him. Fortunately, he was still very skilled and she crashed into a wall. He looked. "Huh, you are more robot than human. Couldn't decide if you were a cyborg or a robot last night." He found a sword, tipping her face up. "We are leaving today. I do not care if you do not like it."
"The plane only brings people here. He doesn't take people off the island. He's not programed for it." She pulled herself back together. "You are staying. The Master said so."
Xander snickered. "The only master over my life is me and Strife, woman." He went to grab his things then hiked over to the guest house. "GUYS!" he shouted as he walked in. "I thought we were done with psychos. I was wrong!"
Mac came down the stairs, looking at him. "We can't get the pilot."
"She said he's programmed to only bring people here." Two of the robots came rushing in with guns so he tossed Mac his bag and moved to protect him, taking them out. One let out a metallic sounding groan but didn't move. He looked at him again, smirking some. "Who's waiting in reserve?"
"Gibbs, Greg, or Tony. Speed."
"Did Gibbs feel pre-immie to you?"
"No!" Don called. "He wasn't. I asked Danny, he said it was where he had married one for a while. They shared quickening after an auto accident." He came down the stairs with his bag. "I called Horatio. He'll send down someone else to come get us."
Xander nodded. "You know, that portal spell...."
Don gave him a look. "No way in hell, Xander. I don't want to hit a realmal road trip."
"Fine." He looked around. "Breakfast?" They nodded and the others came down to eat with them. He looked at Mac. "She said she was working on cell regeneration issue."
"Even so I doubt she could make anything but a clone. Technically that's not reproducing since it would mean taking one of your cells and putting it into an egg so it started to divide and grow into an embryo."
Xander looked at him. "Lab?"
"Lab," he agreed. "Eat first." Xander finished making them breakfast then they went to hunt down the lab together. Xander showed them the back entrance he had found, getting a small smirk. He looked at the machine that was running then shook his head. "I don't see any cell division. I guess cloning doesn't work on you guys either."
"Welcome," Ares voice called.
"Thank you!" everyone yelled back. They left through the main doorway.
Xander went to repack his bag since he could see Patricia undoing it on him. He zapped her with a small bolt of magic then packed it again, this time taking a few of the things he had liked in there. Including the video camera. He went back to the guest house, finding them doing the same thing. "Anything?"
"Horatio said he can't get down here until tonight," Don told him.
"That's fine." He settled in to fix lunch, letting them see what he had brought with him. The two bags were small but his bottomless bags. He found his sword and switched it out for the inferior one. The other one was nice, but his was better and blessed. Mac took that one. "Zapping does work with them."
"We don't have a taser," Danny pointed out.
"If we have to, we can improvise," Mac assured him. They heard a plane overhead and went to check. It wasn't theirs. The small walk did them good because they found the garage and another lab. This one was sealed and they had to let Adam break into it. What they saw down there made them very happy. Lots and lots of things that needed to go home to Miami with them. Fortunately most of it fit into the bottomless bags. Then they went back to the guest house to wait. Horatio texted when he got nearly ready to land so they were waiting. The door of the plane opened and they climbed on, overpowering the pilot. He gave them a confused look. "We're heading home."
"People are to come, not leave," he said. "I'm not allowed to leave with people on the plane."
"I haven't flown a plane since World War II," Adam said quietly. "Xander, can you hit reset and cast a masking illusion?"
"I can definitely do the first. The second...." He shrugged. "I can try." He prayed really hard and did what he could. An ignoring spell was easier it turned out. The pilot was reset again and didn't see them so he closed the hatch and they proceeded up. Xander watched where they were going, pointing at the mainland. Mac shook his head. Xander gave him a look and Mac shook his head again. Turns out they were going to the mainland. The pilot was preparing to land at a regional airport. They left once the pilot was gone, heading inside. "Hi," Xander said with a grin. "We nearly got trapped on that island. Don't tell the pilot. He was trying to kidnap me." The controller nodded at that. "Where can we get a flight to the US?"
"Private planes only," he said quietly.
Xander grinned, reaching into his bag to pull out one of the bars of gold. "Found this on the island." The man blinked then shook his head quickly. "No?"
"No, not smugglers," Danny said, pulling out his ID and badge. "Cops." The man shook his head again. "Okay, now what?"
Xander looked at them. "Magical roadtripping or we find an official to help us."
"There's got to be an embassy," Horatio pointed out. "Where is the US embassy?"
"Main city, sir."
Xander frowned, considering it. "How far away?"
"Can we get a flight there?" he asked with a winning grin. The man shook his head. "Even if we pay in cash?" He shook his head again. The pilot that had brought them back saw them and shouted. He glared at him. "I do not appreciate being kidnaped!" The pilot rushed him and he pulled his sword to deal with him, making him end up in parts. Xander wiped off his blade. "Very unworthy." He put it back into the bag with a grin for the scared controller. "I hate being kidnaped. It makes my hair frizzy." The guy let out a squeak of a laugh. He grinned, leaning closer. "I'm GHS," he said quietly. "Can you at least point us at someone we can talk to?"
The man swallowed, nodding quickly. "I know of one." He called him, speaking in rapid Spanish. Soon another man stomped inside and he pointed. "American cops. They were on the island and nearly died there."
Xander tossed over the brick of gold. "Or I have about two grand in cash on me but it's American."
"Where are you headed?"
"Miami," Horatio told him. "The Keys are fine if that's as far as we can go," he said at his uneasy look. The man still gave him a horrified look. "I can get you permission to land." He pulled out his ID, showing it to him. The man nodded at that, leading them to his plane. "Thank you."
"It is not a problem. It is wrong to kidnap men to be used as slaves." He got them inside and started his pre-flight check. An official came over to see what he was doing so Xander bribed him and he walked off much happier. The pilot smirked. "You are used to us?"
Xander beamed at him. "I played high stakes poker with some very bad men," he said with a wink. "They all hated me when I won."
He stared at him. "You're the kinky one with the hair?" Xander pulled around his braid, waving it a bit. He swallowed. "We have heard of you."
Xander grinned. "I try very hard to be good but, well, I get bored now and then sitting around the house playing with my ferrets." The man laughed as he closed up the plane and got them moving. Within minutes they were in the air, heading for home. He looked at Horatio. "It'll be fine?"
"It'll be fine." He smiled, going up to the cockpit so he could radio ahead. "Can you put me onto the tower at Miami?"
"Two hours or so."
"That's fine. Let me know when we get that close." He nodded and Horatio went back to the seats. "Two hours." That got a nod and they settled in to nap. Two and a quarter hours later Horatio was nodded to come back up there. He took the radio's headset. "Miami Tower, this is Lieutenant Horatio Caine, Miami-Dade crime lab. We're returning a kidnaping victim to his home and had to evacuate. We request permission and instructions on landing in Miami." He let it go, listening to the person get authorization then give them clearance. "I'm turning you back over to the pilot. Thank you for your cooperation." He handed it over and went back to his seat, getting comfortable. It wasn't that long of a flight but he had liked the jet down a lot better than this one. This one was rather...rickety for his tastes. They landed and were met at the private terminal by FBI agents. He waved at one he knew, then helped Xander off the plane. "He was given a certain island," he said in greeting. "On it were people who wanted to keep him and make him breed."
"Who is he?" one asked.
"Xander Harris. Level ten GHS."
"Oh!" the others said, nodding at that. Nearly in unison so Mac cracked a smile at their mutant skills of being the same being in multiple bodies.
Xander smiled. "I really do need to have that issue cleaned up. They even had cyborgs as guards. It was freaky. She drugged me and took my lovers." He sniffed. "I'm quite peeved."
"I'm sure the proper people can deal with it, imp," Adam said as he got off, handing Xander his second bag. "You forgot your sword." Danny handed it over, getting a hug for it. "Let's head home, people. It's been a tiring few days." They nodded, heading off with the FBI escorting Xander to his house for a complete report. Including a copy of the will and what had happened. It was too strange for them but maybe someone would deal with it for him. Adam smiled at Ray as he walked in. "We're back. Cyborgs wanted to keep him this time. They even wanted him to breed."
"Only Xander," he muttered, taking a kiss and leading his lover to the tub and dinner so they could cuddle. Every GHS needed spoiled and they both were.
Later that night, Xander pouted at Strife. "Why can't we zap all the robots to prove who is and who isn't?"
"There's some in delicate areas. It'd cause a panic," he said. "Ares said no."
"Fine," he complained. "Can we show them quietly? The agents wanted to know."
"I had Gibbs call 'em. They'll find out. I did give Gibbs a list." He gave him a cuddle. "Why're you out here?"
"Stressed and I didn't want to wake them up." He looked at his God. "They need sleep. They work really hard."
"They do," Strife agreed, smiling at him. He gave him a squeeze. "Go bake or something for breakfast." Xander beamed and went to do that, going to gather fresh nuts and fruits from the trees out front while he went to find Gibbs to talk about the robot situation. He appeared and Gibbs dropped his pen. "Get the list?"
"I did. Thank you for that."
"Unc said we couldn't just zap 'em to prove it. Too many in high risk areas."
Gibbs gave him a look. "What about the ones down there?"
"Pouting. Proves there's no such thing as a guy without a plan when they want a Xander of their own." He disappeared again. "We're leaving it up to you about exposing them."
"Thanks. Really," he said sarcastically. He went back to looking over the list. How in the hell had two robots gotten into the US Nuclear Research lab? Or as a White House gopher? Or even as Pentagon gopher? He decided he'd start with that one, going to talk to a general he knew. He wasn't going to be happy to see him but no one was when he showed up on their doorstep at two in the morning. "Sir."
"Gibbs. It had better be *damn* important."
"Someone's replaced one of your people's aides with a robotic version. I know it's strange but we can prove it and there's some in more sensitive areas. We found out when they wanted to kidnap a GHS member and DiNozzo heard." It was well known around DC that Tony was one since the last time he had been taken. The arrest of three congressional aides who had decided to share him had made international news and *everyone* with any source of information in DC and the surrounding areas had heard *why* they wanted DiNozzo.
He stared at him. "Is there a special category on God's list that starts with the title of 'GHS problems'?"
"Probably," he admitted, handing over the list. "The note on the back of the list gives the specific frequency we need to knock that one out for proof."
He looked at the list, then groaned. "Find out how to do that?"
"Abby can. She said a frequency generator would."
"Fine. Bring her to me at ten in the morning." He nodded, leaving it with him. He went back to bed. GHS members were going to drive the US Government nuts. They had found a few in the service too and quietly made sure they had enlisted of their own free will. Three of the eight hadn't. They had been given to higher ranking generals overseas for good work by a administration a few presidents back. Who would've thought Regan could've been that kinky?
Abby set off the frequency generator, making a few people cover their ears and hiss in pain. One screamed and had a seizure. One froze and then clattered to the ground. "Hmm." They ran to help the one seizing. She turned it off for now. "Brain disease?"
"No, he had something to do with another project, Miss Sciuto. Don't worry about it," the general said, calling someone. "It's Henry. Your boy just collapsed at a loud noise. Had a seizure. That's us. Come get him please?" He hung up, looking at Gibbs. "There's a few things you don't know or need to know."
Tony grinned. "Sandburg's one of us, sir," he said in his ear. The man stiffened and glared at him. Tony smirked and nodded. "He is. A protege and student of our National Head a few years back. I came in about the same time he did." He handed over something. "Butterscotch?" He let the guy suck on it for now to get himself back under control until his people could come get him. He helped the general up so they could look at the robot, him giving it a test kick on the side. It shifted. "Gibbs, is there an access panel?"
"Not that I'm aware of." He came over to look once the other guy was gone.
Abby came to help, finding one on the back of his neck. "Here. Screwed in." Gibbs handed her his pocket knife so she opened it gently, then pulled the switch inside. The robot powered down. She beamed. "So, how many more are there?"
"Many," the general complained. "Gibbs, I'll have them quietly removed today and tomorrow. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. How is Mr. Harris?"
"He managed to get rescued from the island where they were made and going to keep him forever until he had children so they could raise baby Xanders," Tony quipped. "I'm sure I can get a map if we wanted to go invade their labs?"
"Some of our geniuses might want to," he admitted.
Greg strolled over. "Horatio had to get permission for them to land in Miami. A few of the FBI geeks down there have a report, sir. Including a copy of the will."
"Even better. I'll get it through official channels. How did you get the list, Gibbs?"
"A priest of Strife's, sir."
"Strife?" he asked calmly.
"Xander's a high priest to the God of Mischief," Greg said happily. "We all thought it fit him *very* well."
The general moaned, rubbing his head. "I'm sure it does. You boys and Abby go back to work. Let me handle this." They nodded, leaving him to clean up the mess. "Strife?" he muttered. "Who prays to the Greek gods today?"
One woman walked out, looking at him. "There is a large subgroup of Pagan soldiers, sir. Can I help with him?"
"No, thank you anyway, Airman." He looked at her. "May I see the back of your neck?" She gave him an odd look. "Just to check something." She turned and let him see. No seam. "Thank you, Airman. He's a problem and we found wiring in his neck." She just nodded and left him alone while he called someone to come pick him up for investigation and testing. He now hated Gibbs nearly as much as he hated the very concept of GHS. They'd have to find a way to make sure no GHS member ever served in the armed forces again. He followed the robot's body off, going to talk with the quiet team about this. He showed them the list, what frequency was used, and checked all their necks. They stripped the sergeant down and found other ports for him to plug in and recharge, download things, and other ports they had to identify. In all, it was a good working copy. The others were quietly retrieved and knocked out. One had a different port and it lead to another issue. How to find other ones not in the service? He sent an email to Gibbs that night, getting one back from Tony about what they knew. They could raid the guy's files. That was a good thing. He probably had files on each one he had made. The storage media they found was downloaded, decrypted, and searched through. They were picking future targets to replace and had a lot of information they could use against other people that they wanted to get rid of. So maybe the robots did have a use after all.
Horatio walked up to where Xander was finishing his morning katas, smiling at him. "They found over two hundred fake people," he said quietly.
Xander stopped to look at him. "That many?"
"Not including the ones on the island. Those they broadcast at then rushed in to disable and search for records. That's how they found the others."
"I had no idea this was going to happen, Horatio!"
"I know, Xander. We don't blame you. Though it is a story that the whole convention will love. You're probably the only GHS ever abducted by cyborgs."
Xander grinned. "Thanks for telling me that." He gave him a hug. "How has your day been?"
"Uneventful. My boss heard why I had to fly down and why Mac took the time off. The person who told him even gave him specs so he could see how bad they were. He asked me if Mr. Wolfe was one." Xander snickered. "I had to assure him he wasn't, it was the OCD." He patted him on the arm. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. It's creepy but then again with what I've seen who knows what'll happen."
"Good point." He smiled. "A point was raised, Xander. Are you saving for later lives?"
Xander nodded. "Of course I am. That's why I have Steve." Horatio smiled. "Are they worried about that?"
"We've all seen some of your plans, like the farm, but you do hide many things from us, Xander. What would we know about any plans you're making?"
"They're in the office," he said, starting to pout. "I'm not trying to hide them."
Horatio nodded. "I understand." He gave him another gentle pat. "Perhaps you should start the conversation this time instead of letting them think you're avoiding the topic?" Xander sighed but nodded. "Good boy. Is Ray here?"
"No. Was he supposed to be?" Horatio nodded. "Huh. I know he's not off with a girl."
"No, but he said he had to skip school today. He was on a surge."
Xander shrugged. "Vesvold?" he called. "Have you seen Ray Junior?"
The demon who loved him appeared, nodding at Horatio. "I have. He's downtown."
"Right now he's complaining and whining about the people who have him hostage because they wanted to break him in then sell him. They think some Asian businessman who's had a few different GHS members would pay highly for him."
"Might you have an address?"
Vesvold wrote it down and handed it to him. "He's on the third floor as far as I know. There's about ten of them."
"SWAT is going to be helping me. Thank you, Vesvold." He walked off, calling it in. "This is Horatio Caine. It was reported to me that my nephew has been kidnaped and is being held downtown. I need SWAT to meet me on Hacienda." He hung up as he got into the hummer, waving before heading off. He was going to beat his nephew for putting himself in jeopardy that way. SWAT got there right after he did. He let them have the address and what he knew. "I was told there were as many as ten hostage takers in there. He's supposed to be on the third floor. They're planning on selling him to some businessman with a taste for young boys."
The head of SWAT gave him a look. "He GHS?" he asked quietly.
"Level four. Very low and still not radiating that way, gentlemen." That got a nod. "He does know self defense as well. I have no idea how they got him. He was on his way to see Mr. Harris." That got another nod and they moved in. Horatio took the rear position and it went by the book. They found Ray on the third floor. They found twelve people, including one with a briefcase of money. He got his nephew free once everyone was on the floor, looking him over. "You okay?"
"I'm fine but they gassed me from my car."
"You have a car?" he asked dryly.
"Xander got me a car," he said sheepishly. "He said every boy needs a car, Uncle Horatio." Horatio raised an eyebrow up behind his sunglasses. "It's a modest little economy car, not something flashy."
"I see. He didn't tell me that."
"He didn't tell anyone that. Danny might know if he checked the purchase history." He shrugged. "They thought they were going to get back at you by doing this. Apparently he tried to have you and didn't make it?"
Horatio looked at them, going to look inside the briefcase, nodding. "It is someone who tried to steal me once," he admitted. The new guy on the team moaned at that. He glared. "It was many years ago, I was a rookie myself." He handed it over. "Ray, where were you taken from?"
"Then we'll go see this new car, nephew. Right after the ER checks you over." He pouted but nodded, going with him. "Thank you, gentlemen. Please don't make me deal with them myself? The Chief does seem to hate it when I have to add extra cleaners to the lab." They shuddered but took them off so they could be arrested. Ray was checked over then the car got a long stare once they made it home. He called Speed. "Did you know that Xander bought the nephew a Ford Escort?" He snickered at the swearing. "He said every young man should have a car. No, he's fine. We've made sure of it. Someone who tried me in my rookie year and lost. Thank you, Speed." He found the keys, using the remote to turn on the alarm. Then he handed them over. "We'll be yelling at Xander and you should have told us."
"I only got it last night. I was going to show it off today at lunch, that way you'd have time to calm down."
"A wise plan, nephew. You did get my brains." He patted him on the back. "Come on. You can come to the lab with me today." He nodded, following him. By the time they had gotten there, Speed had complained to Danny and Don, who had complained to Xander. So when they got home that night the Escort had been joined by a low-slung sports car. "Not funny," Horatio muttered.
Speed moaned, patting it. "Poor baby. Fast but poor baby. No, nephew, you can't drive it."
"Not even once?" he begged.
"No. You can ride in it while I drive it." He smirked. "They go *very* fast."
"Which is why you're not driving it either," Horatio assured him, taking the keys that had been taped under the back spoiler. He went to call Xander and complain to him. The guy tried to play innocent but he didn't lie very well.
Horatio got up the next morning and nearly shrieked in outrage. His beautiful, sand colored hummer was baby blue! This was *not* allowed!
Speed came out to look, frowning. "When did we get an H-1?" Horatio spun to look at him. He pointed at the blue one. "That's an H-1 and you drive an H-2, which you put into the garage last night," he reminded him. Horatio went to check. Sure enough, there was his baby. Speed went to look inside the hummer, finding a card. "I thought I was the only smartass in the family."
Horatio came to read the card over his shoulder. "That's not Xander's handwriting." They both moaned and went to call the trio. "Boys," Horatio said. "We think Ray may have his first stalker."
"Told you I didn't buy him the sports car!" Xander yelled over the speaker. He was apparently across the room or something. "I'd never do that to Ray. He's not ready for fast stuff yet. I tested him in my baby and he nearly crashed."
"I'm sorry I doubted you, Xander," Horatio said. "Might you know who the person is?"
"Yeah, it's the female type person who keeps hitting on him probably." Then he hung up with a, "duh, need coffee much."
Horatio went to get coffee so his thoughts would calm down. "Ray, who is stalking you?" he asked since he found him in there.
"Xander said it might be the woman hitting on you?"
"Huh. The woman or the other one?"
"He said the female type person," Speed said. "By the way, you have a hummer too."
"Yay me. I don't have the ability to control a hummer," he said dryly. "That's why Xander said he wouldn't buy me one." He went back to his homework. "It could be the tree demon who keeps hitting on me when I go in for coffee before school or it could be my math teacher. Or it could be that woman who drives by our school to pick up boys. I turned her in though." He considered it. He called Xander. "Who's been hitting on me?" Xander described her. "Oh, her. Yeah, could be. Thanks." He hung up and looked at them. "My math teacher." He went back to his homework.
"Your teacher is hitting on you?" Speed asked.
Ray smirked. "Just a bit."
"No, Ray," Horatio ordered. "You may not take part in a scandal that would end up on the national news." He saw a flash and went to stop whoever it was. "You would be?" he demanded.
"Messenger," it squeaked, bowing low. "The young one is our prince. The queen wants him to be feted so he comes home soon."
Ray came to the door. "As much as I love my mother, she's not a queen. I'm not a prince either. I belch way too often for that."
The small demon stared at him. "Our queen said you were."
"I'd like to talk to her in person but no more presents," Ray said. "You're upsetting my uncles." It held up the newest one so he could examine it. He whistled. "That's beautiful work. Silver or platinum?"
"Pure silver." He let Ray hold it. "It pleased the queen to have it made for you."
"We will be talking to her," Horatio said firmly. "Raymond is underage." The demon gave him an odd look then shook his head. "Yes, he is. He is not yet sixteen."
The demon shrugged again. "To us mature is mature, no age limit." He disappeared.
Horatio looked at it. "I don't think it's a good idea for you to wear it until we have this cleared up, Ray," he said quietly.
"I'm not, I'm admiring." He grinned, taking it to put it inside the new hummer. He looked. "Kicking sound system. I can thump the rich gangster boys off the road, Uncle H."
"Please don't, Ray." Vesvold appeared. "Vesvold, would you happen to know about this?"
"She nominated him." He smiled at the young man. "It is an honor but you would be used horribly to get new heirs to the kingdom since she cannot any longer. She thought you were sweet and that's why she chose you."
"I should send it back then?" Ray asked.
"You should make your intentions clear," Vesvold agreed. "Come, we'll talk to her. I'll protect him as I would Xander, Horatio."
"We trust you," Speed assured him. That got a nod and they disappeared. Ray came back twenty minutes later and as shaking his head. "Didn't take no for an answer?"
"Thought men could bear babies and I had to prove her wrong." The hummer and the pretty new thing from today vanished. "She said I could keep the sports car because I saved her while we were over there." He gave his uncle a hug. "You handle these things so much better."
"No one's ever wanted me to be their prince," he teased.
"Princess...." Speed drawled, giving him a smug look.
"You said you'd forget that."
"Uh-huh. I have, ninety-five percent of the time," he assured him smugly. He went back inside. "Come on, Ray. Food." He hurried in to eat with them. Horatio walked inside shaking his head. Speed knew he'd get pounced later but that was all good with him. After all, pouncing was a fun game.
Xander walked into Horatio's office with a large basket. "Why did the queen that likes Ray decide to try for me to breed with her?"
"I'm not sure. He had to prove to her that men don't bear children." He looked at him, smiling a bit. "Taking them on a picnic lunch?"
"No, it's my crocheting." He smirked. "I brought something for you." He pulled it out and handed it over. "For the new sports car and I made one for the Ducatti too." He handed over that folded bit of yarn too. Then he bounced out happily.
"We have got to find him a more manly hobby," Horatio decided, paging Speed. He walked in and got handed the masses of yarn. "Xander made one for the sports car and one for your bike." Then he stood up and walked out, closing the door behind him. He could hear Speed muttering. He wanted to be far away when he called to thank Xander and got pouted at for it. Let him laugh over the hummer cozy again.
Danny walked out to where Don's desk was a few minutes later. "Our boy is picking on H again."
"Why?" Frank asked, grinning at him.
"He made a Ducatti cozy in a bright yellow with racing stripes of black yarn. He made one for Ray Junior's new sports car that some thing gave him too."
Don's head thumped on the desk. "We have *got* to find him a more manly hobby."
"Find one and suggest it, Don." He patted him on the back, walking off to Frank giggling and Don groaning.
Ray K looked over at them then shook his head. "I emailed Adam to see if he had a suggestion. I couldn't even find a translator for the one I got back. I don't know why he has this thing against knitting and crocheting but I'll be thumped tonight with the nightmares." He went back to work. "What about leather working so he can make new saddles and bags and stuff?"
Don looked up at him. "One of his first projects will be a leather thong. Do you think you wanna wear one?"
"Depends on if they're comfy or not," he said without pausing his typing. "He could end up making his own really tight leather pants too."
"Then he'll get taken again," Don complained.
"It a bit obvious but what about sword repair?" Frank asked. "Then he could get more delicate and do jewelry or something. Horseshoes too."
"I'll suggest it," Don offered. "Thanks, Frank."
"Welcome. Then he can make his own hair pins too."
"He needs to quit sharpening the ones he has so much. They're pointy in the middle of the night."
"He wears his hair up at night?" Frank asked.
Don looked at him. "Have you ever had a hair blanket that covers your head and then goes down?"
"Yup. Me and Danny. We suggested a braid but he didn't like it. Said it felt lumpy."
Frank shook his head. "The things you put up with to have a hot lover who'd do anything for you."
"Yeah, hair pins sticking me on the chest and neck are worth having him." He went back to work. Though he did text Xander that suggestion.
Ares appeared, leaning down to look at him. "No," he said slowly and clearly. "Clothes, leather, that stuff. Not metal. Hephie doesn't like GHS members that much at the moment. They keep praying to him to make pretty things for the kidnapings and it's pissing Aphrodite off. Which pisses him off. Suggest the leather idea. It's comfy and you'd look good in leather." He disappeared again.
Frank snickered. "Guess he told you."
Don pouted but made that suggestion, getting back a happy face. "He liked it."
Xander stopped in at a fabric place, walking inside. "Where would I go to learn how to make leather stuff?"
The saleswoman frowned. "We don't carry much leather here. Are we talking like handbags?"
"And saddle bags, that stuff."
"Hmm. I know there's a place in town that sells raw leather but I'm not sure where. You might check one of the sex shops, see if they know. Or an S&M club maybe?" He beamed and nodded, heading to do that. It was the first time she had been asked that question.
Xander drove to the one S&M club he knew, and had been invited to. He walked inside after showing his ID and being found on the 'acceptable visitors' list. He walked up to the bar and leaned on it. "My lovers just suggested I learn how to work with leather for things like bags and cuffs and thongs and things. Any idea where I'd go to learn that?"
The man considered it. "I don't right off the top of my head but I know someone who might. There's a guy who makes his own gear who comes here. He should be in later this week. Leave your card so he can get in touch with you?" Xander nodded, writing it down for him and handing it over. "I'll let him have it for you, sir. Are you applying for membership?"
"My lovers would get picky about that." That got a smile. "But I might if they'd let me."
"You know, you don't have to put up with bullying doms," he said quietly. "There's lots of nice doms around here."
Xander smirked. "I'm a GHS member. They're my keepers." He moaned at that. Xander nodded. "They had a problem with me crocheting."
He snickered. "Well, leather can bring all sorts of fun ideas to the family. I'll definitely let him have it."
He looked at him. "Is there somewhere I can wear out the hormone surges that's safe and discreet? My keeper's a cop. A very tired cop now and then."
"Julio's down toward the Keys. There's a few good ones in town. Let me get you an Index." He went to get one from the boss and brought it out. "Here, try these places," he said, opening it to show him. Xander beamed and he felt himself drawn toward him. He got a kiss for it and nearly moaned in pleasure. Then the boy bounced out with the Index. He wrote down the question and who it should go to, putting it behind the bar in the guy's message box. That way the brain numbing kiss wouldn't make him forget about it.
Xander bounced into Ray Junior, giving him a hug. "I got a new idea."
"Dude, you're acting *way* gay in public," he teased.
Xander pouted. "I'm allowed. I am gay. I have two wonderful keepers."
"Good point. So what's the idea?"
"Well, Don suggested I look into leather work as a new hobby since they're still being a bit creeped out by the crocheting stuff." Ray snickered. "By the way I made your sports car a cozy too."
"Thanks, I'm sure it'll keep it neat and clean until Uncle Speed lets me drive it." He walked him off, waving at a few friends who were giving them odd looks. "He's a friend of the family," he explained.
Xander smirked. "I'm the one who drives that hot ass corvette, boys. I'm training Ray in how to pick up a decent lover when he's old enough." That got a moan. He winked at one flamingly gay boy. "He's still trying to convince me he's straight."
"Me too," he teased. "You're that Harris guy, right? The GHS member?" He nodded. "Wow. My uncle knows about you."
"He's an officer?"
"Half of them do since a few saves now," he admitted, getting a grin from Ray and a nod. "Last time from cyborgs. Because damn, I'm good enough for people to make new sciences on my behalf." The other kid snickered and walked off laughing. "I still think it was funny that someone was protesting that the robotic gopher was better than the original." He walked Ray out to his car. "I am going to an auction tomorrow. Want to come? It's after school. It's jewelry and pretty things. Some minor stuff."
"Aren't we worried about retirement funds and stuff?"
"Yeah but jewels never go down in value, Ray. They make a good retirement fund. That's why I have a few mil in them." He smirked at him. "Plus I'm thinking about maybe trading with a few of the gem dealers who're going to be there. I needed the introduction."
"Sure, I can do that," he agreed. "Real clothes?"
"Sure. I can introduce you as my protege and evil helper too," he teased.
Ray snorted. "Minion material I am not. Second-in-command I can do."
"Okay. Wear the blue armani I bought you?"
"I can do that. What're you wearing?"
Xander winked. "I'm going as the fabulous GHS I am, Ray. They've heard of me before." He winked and slid into his car. "Lunch?"
"Later. Head off, I've got to check in with the uncles and grab something first for a school project."
"Nope. Have fun puttering."
"Sure." He headed off to do that and to ride his horses for a while.
Ray shook his head. Sometimes Xander was a big goofball. A cute one but still a big goofball.
to part 47: