Understanding Urges.

Xander was let into the house by Danny and walked to the living room, where they looked around.  "Gee," Xander said, looking at the bare wall.  "Someone's brave."  He went to look in the office.  "Safe's still closed.  Check the other stuff."  They did that and Xander checked the old spare house but it wasn't over there.  Nothing over there was touched.  He came back to check the closets.  Nothing touched.  The movies were all gone.  The screen was shifted but still attached.  Don shifted it back with a frown.  "Bedroom?"

"Your jewelry box and the tv are gone," Don admitted.  "They were thorough."

Xander nodded, letting all the animals out of the bag before walking out to the guard shack.  He found it empty.  So he casually leaned in and hit the emergency button, making someone call.  He waited three rings but no one came so he answered.  "This is Harris."  He listened to the spluttering demand to know what had happened.  "We have no guards and my house was broken into.  I did hit the button.  Cleaned out everything but the safe.  Exactly," he said dryly.  He looked around.  "I can ask.  Mrs. Kremps!" he yelled.  She looked over from her weeding.  "Where's the guard?  My house got broken into."

"He hasn't been there for three days, Mr. Harris.  No one has.  It's been most distressing."

"I've got their boss on the phone."  She came out to talk to him.  "Any idea who got my house?"  She shook her head.  "Pity."  He frowned, going to find his corvette and the dogs.  They were watering the lawn.  "Be right back," he yelled.  "No guards for the last three days!"  He slid into the car, letting his dogs climb in with him.  They knew daddy needed help getting into trouble and being mean.  He backed down the driveway, heading to the fence he knew would've gotten his jewelry.  He was the only one who'd have done some of his hair bands.  He walked in and looked at the stupid human, who started to sweat.  "I want it back," he noted calmly.  The dogs pushed open the door and came in.  "You two are very smart but who let you out of the car?"  He went to look, finding Ryan there.  "Hi."  He walked back inside the pawn shop.  "I mean it.  Or else I get to prove why I'm the biggest bitch in Miami and probably on the East Coast to deal with when you fuck me over."

The man swallowed.  "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Uh-huh.  Because the hairbands you're leaning over trying to cover aren't mine?"  He moved closer.  "Boys, guard."  They growled and stared at the guy.  "Ryan, be a dear please?  He's got stolen things of mine."  He walked in.  "I can have them back if I turn him in, right?"

"Yeah, eventually."  He looked at the tray, then pointed.  "I gave him that one.  We know it's stolen."

"Someone pawned it, said it was a present to him from someone who slept with him!" he defended.

"Sweetie, unless it was my boys, I doubt that," Xander said dryly, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Could've been," he sneered.

"Hmm.  You should meet my boys, Detective Flack and CSI Messer."  The man went pale and wobbled.  One of the dogs shifted closer and his growl got higher pitched.  The man let out a hysterical chuckle.  "Your choice, dear.  Prison, giving it back and we leave peacefully, including my tvs, movies, and all my jewelry, or well...  Ryan can call off my dogs to arrest you I'm sure."

"I don't have the tv's," he whimpered.  "Sold them already."

"You're going to be telling me who," Ryan said.  "Time's up."  He pulled out his cuffs and called for backup.   A detective from Robbery walked in with a few officers.  "Morning."

He checked his watch.  "I think you need a new battery.  You are?  And those dogs belong to?"

"They're mine," Xander said. "So's a lot of the jewelry in here."

"Sir, if they're dangerous...."

One of the patrol guys coughed.  "Boys, sit," he ordered.  They sat and looked at him.  "They're K-9 trained, Detective.  Those are Detective Flack's dalmatians."  Xander smiled and nodded.  "They broke into your house?"

"Yeah and we've suspiciously not had a guard for the last few days," he said dryly, giving him a look.  "Jewelry box, all the movies, the tvs, the new stereo.  A few of the nicknacks around the house.  I know he's leaning on my jewelry.  Those are my hairbands."

"All but two," Ryan admitted, holding them up.  Xander looked then shook his head.  "Where do you get yours?"

"The same place that does the evaluations for the insurance company.  They're the only place I know that sells them."

"Good to know," Ryan said, writing down that name and handing it to the detective.  "They keep good records and they're very legal.  They should know who they came from."  That got a nod.  "We gave him the choice to hand it back or be arrested.  Pity."

"You are?" he asked.  "And I want to know more...."

"Officer Wolfe, CSI Felony lab," he said with a grin.  "I'm one of Horatio's guys."

"Oh!"  He nodded. "Okay.  The one who does the sword thing with Flack's boyfriend?" he said, looking at Xander, who nodded.  "Did you file a report?"

"We just got home.  I came here because I know he's the only one who could handle the jewelry and stuff they looted.  Too high end for most of the other fences."

"Your boyfriend taught you who the local fences were?" the other patrol officer asked, looking confused.

"No, he played poker with the underground," the first patrol officer told his new partner. "Bankrupted a number of dealers for us.  It was a great help.  Especially when the stupid ones tried to pay him in drugs.  We closed a whole pipeline thanks to one of them paying him in drugs.  He got a bit upset."

Ryan smirked.  "The last poker debt that was owed was paid in sixty-two platinum bricks.  Twenty-five pound bricks."  That got a moan from all of them.  "Fortunately legal ones.  The bank bought them."  Xander nodded.  "I can get a report from Detective Flack, guys.  Not an issue.  He called to say Xander took off after finding the community's guard was missing for the last three days."  The robbery detective nodded.  "Xander, can you point out what's yours?"  Xander came over to take all his stuff out of the cases and put them in one spot.  Ryan pointed at something.  "Is that yours?"

"It's in the safe.  I checked.  Vesvold gave that one to me."  He moved over another one and looked then held up something.  "Did I sell this set of hair sticks?"

"Yeah, you did," Ryan admitted.  Xander put them back.  "Thanks.  Now, stand back in the corner with the dogs, please?"  Xander pouted but did that.  He looked at the detectives.  "One's bomb and one's drug sniffing," he said with a grin.  "They're very well trained and we borrow them now and then to keep their training going."

"Interesting.  Whose idea?"

"Xander gets bored.  He took them to school."

"Oh."   He nodded, looking at the pile.  "What else are they missing?"  Ryan texted that to Don, getting a faxed list from the fax machine in the corner.  "Gave him the fax number?"

"No.  Don knows alllll about Xander's former helpful poker habit."

"I was playing because I was bored," Xander defended.

The second patrol officer looked at him.  "Job?" he suggested.

Xander shrugged.  "GHS."

"Never mind," he said, shaking his head.  "You are the one that Flack protects."  Xander grinned and nodded.  "That's all the jewelry you had?"

"Pretty much.  A few things in the safe that weren't touched.  I go for subtle bling to highlight my brilliant nature.  And the hair."

Ryan smothered a laugh with a cough, looking at the officer.  "The rest is in safety deposit boxes in various banks throughout the city.  Mostly in loose gems."

"Oooooooooooh," the robbery guy said, wincing at that.  "They're not here, right?"

"Bank," Xander assured him.  "Hard asset retirement fund."

"Even better.  Those things are hard to track."  He called his boss.  "We're busting the fence on Halston."  He hung up and came over to bag that evidence, making a note on the bag.  "Get the rest.  We'll search it."  Ryan and the officers did that while he looked over the report.  "The tvs?"

"He said he sold them.  That's when Ryan called," Xander told him.  "I was perfectly reasonable until he said he sold my stuff on me.  I would've accepted it back and only kicked his ass for it."  He looked at the guy.  "The person who stole it?"  He shook his head quickly.  "I'll go kick his ass and hand him over if you tell me.  If not, I'll have to hunt."  He stared him down.  The man swallowed.  "I'll enjoy it too."  He nodded at a file box.  Ryan searched and found the name, letting Xander see.  "I know him."  He walked out.  "Boys."  They followed and got into the car for him.  He walked around to get in and drive, heading over to the lair they used.  He got out and looked at the enforcer, grinning slightly.  "I'm back from LA and what do I find but one of your boys broke into my house."  The man laughed.  Xander looked at the lair's windows then at him.  "Your choice.  Give me Alejandro or I'm going to go get him."

"You can't do anything, Harris.  Not now."

Xander smirked.  "Did you think Don was letting me do other things to get out my evil instincts?  I could take over Miami but why bother all the fake tits with delusions of being pretty?"   He walked that way, whistling so the dogs joined him.  He kicked in the door then walked inside, waving at the guys he played poker with.  "Alejandro's sorry he's cutting his playtime short but he broke into my house according to my sources."  He grabbed the guy he wanted by the hair and tipped his head back, staring into his eyes.  "Did you?"  He shook his head.  "Tell me now or become a bitch I beat to death," he said with a sweet, gentle smile.   He shook his head again. "Then point me at who did."

"I only sold for him, man.  He's injured."

"Who," Xander said calmly.

"That Roman guy.  The one who has the cousin at the guard shack."

"Would that explain why we don't have community guards?"  He nodded quickly.  "Were they involved?"  He shook his head.  "Then where are they?"

"Hostage," he squeaked.  "They wanted to get the ransom money too."

Xander let his head go.  "Where are they?  Let me know and I'll let you turn yourself in to the nice robbery guy who's taking down the fence, or Ryan if you wanted, he could use more cases to get a promotion."  He stared at him.  Someone shifted and he glared.  The man turned around again.  He glared at the seller.  "Now.  Please."

"Yeah, sure.  Just don't destroy us."

"That's all up to you about how fast you go turn your ass in.  Hitting me and mine makes me unhappy and an unhappy me is a creative me.  Remember that.  A creative me with weapons."  They all whimpered and he got the address.  "Thanks.  Come on, Spots."  They walked out with him, one stopping to pee on a light post.  "Good boy."  They got into the car.  "I'll be back later if he hasn't turned himself in."  He slid in behind the wheel and drove them off, heading to deal with the stupid people.   He walked up to the house, then looked around.  He walked over to the surveillance van, tapping gently.  He smiled at the guy who glared out the window.  "Are you here about the guards they have hostage or how they stole from my house?  If so, don't bother.  They'll confess."  He walked off, heading in there with the dogs.  Thirty seconds later people came out running and screaming to the van for protection.  Two crawled.  One was crying and begging.  Then the hostages were walked out by the dogs.  Xander helped the last one down then got his dogs.  "I meant it," he called before he slid behind the wheel.  "Piss me off again, people.  Watch me be *creative*!"  He slammed his baby's door and the dogs had to be let in the other side.  They climbed in and gave him a look.  "Let's get some ice cream on the way home, boys."  He drove them that way, sure things would be fixed for him now.

One of the cops looked at the begging and crying people.  "What did you do?"

"We stole from him!" he wailed.  "We were so stupid!  We're going to be eaten and then go to hell!  He's going to have us killed!"

"He's a gang leader?  With that hair?" another one asked.

One of the hostages looked at him.  "That's Detectives Flack and Messer's guy, Harris."  They all moaned.  "It was nice of him not to bring the weapons, huh, guys?"  They all nodded at that, going back to begging.

"That was the guy who brought down the drug pipeline?" one of the cops asked.  The guards all nodded.  "Where did you guys come from?"

"We're the guards on the community where Harris lives.  They wanted ransom as well as the rest of the things they were going to steal.  Pity Harris came home from the convention in a bad mood."  The other guards shuddered.  "Xander's a great guy," he assured the wary looking cops.  "He's sweet.  He's nice.  He lets us steal from his trees for lunch all the time without doing more than smiling at us.  He's a great guy.  His dogs are K-9 trained.  They give us great presents at the holidays.  Now and then he even feeds us when he cooked too much food.  But if you piss him off....  Well, Harris has a combat history and he's a badass.  He has been now for years.  He helped bring down the Mala Noche threat too."  They all shuddered at that.  "Caine considers him a strange, dark, long-haired son who inspires others to enough lust that they want to take him.  We're more than happy when he's in a good mood."

That got a mass nod and the bad guys were all arrested.  Since they were out there they could go look at the stuff they had stolen and make sure it got back to the rightful owners, plus look for the drugs they had suspected them of dealing.


Ryan walked in the next morning, finding someone waiting on him.  "Chief, is there a problem?  I can call Horatio if you need me to," he offered.

"No, Officer Wolfe, I'm here to talk to you, son."

"Okay."  He walked off with him after signing in.  "What can I do for you, sir?"

"Calm Harris down."

Ryan snickered.  "Is this about the guys he went after for stealing from his house?"  The Chief moaned.  "They were that stupid.  Xander went to make sure they remembered not to mess with him."

"Robbery busted a major fence we've been watching for a while to get an idea on a theft ring."

"Oops.  I found him at the fence's shop."

"No, it helped.  The theft ring was the same one.  They came out of their building begging for mercy."

"Sounds like Xander went evil."

"He got their address from another gang member.  Is he playing poker again?"

Ryan shook his head.  "No.  He's been playing some online poker now and then with a group of shut-ins he found online.  Not for money but for fun."  That got a single nod.  "He's been good about staying out of the city's underbelly.  Were his weapons touched?  I know he was going to be looking at that warehouse today."

"I'll make sure there's a patrol that way," he moaned.  "Isn't Horatio...."

"If he's not here and Xander found something he'd call Horatio and hand him to them," Ryan assured him.  "After he got his babies back."

The Chief sighed. "Isn't there something we can do to make him calm down?"

"Make sure they leave him alone?  His rep should do that."

"We hope," he sighed.  "Maybe this incidence will reinforce that information?"

"We can only hope so, sir.  How many people were arrested?"

"Nineteen and he freed eight hostages we didn't know they had."

"That's what happened to the guards," he said thoughtfully.  "They okay?"

"They're fine.  Their exams said they were fine.  It was included in their statements.  Can you and the others get him calmed down?"

"Sir, the convention should've but we had that small invasion issue he had to help handle," he said quietly.  "Then there was a prince or someone from the Middle East who wanted to own him who tried to have him taken.  During the convention there was the guy he went to high school with who came up with a giant robot to blackmail the convention into paying him so they wouldn't be stomped.  We've been trying now for over a week."

"Take today...."

"I'm out of leave, sir."

"You're being paid for today, Wolfe.  Take him, make him calm down once he's handled the weapons issues."  Ryan nodded at that.  "Take Flack and Messer to help you.  Take Caine if you need him or Speedle if you need him.  Just make him go back into fluffy husband mode."  He walked off to finish having his headache in his office.  He did call Horatio.  "Are you looking at some missing weapons?"  He listened to him confess he was looking at the person who had broken in to try to take them but was presently dead.  "Harris was or was not....   Dead for eight days?  Weren't you in LA then?"  He nodded.  "Understood.  Your temporary lab is up and working.  I don't care who you need, but turn Harris back into a fluffy, cuddly husband sort, Caine.  Wolfe told me that.  I don't care how you do it.  Just do it.  With pay."  He hung up and took some tylenol.  It was nice their underground was going to be quiet for a while.  Fewer problems for the rush of tourists coming in starting this month.


Horatio hung up and looked at Xander.  "I am under orders to make you calm down and go back to your GHS side, Xander."  Xander pouted at him.  "Close but not your usual strength."  Xander shrugged, going back to cleaning his weapons.  He put down the gun and let the ME take the body with her.  The information they needed was collected by Calleigh.  "Lock it when you're done.  Report to me later," he ordered, walking Xander back to the Hummer.  He took him home, going to talk to him and calm him back down.   There had to be an underlying reason why Xander had went back into warrior mode.   He wanted their Xander back, not the Xena-wannabe he became when things went wrong.


Don sighed, leaning back in his desk chair.  He looked at Frank.  "How many arrests were made?"

"Nineteen and eight hostages freed," Frank said dryly.  "He told the robbery detective to split it with Wolfe so he could get a promotion too."

"That's thoughtful of him," Don said.  He grinned a bit.  "We tried.  Did you hear about the robot?"

"Don't tell me more," he said, holding up a hand.  "I don't need to know.  How soon before our building is fixed?"

"Next month," Ray called from his temporary desk.  "Where is Horatio hiding?"

"He's calming Xander down under orders," Don said, giving him a look.  "Did they end up sending Warren somewhere good?"

"Probably.  You'd have to ask Epps.  Ian was very amused by Sunday night from what I heard."  Don snickered and nodded.  "Epps said they'd both be getting some vacation time this week."

"Probably for shrinks," Frank said dryly.  "How bad was it?"

"Xander went Xena all vacation long," Don said dryly.  Mac moaned since he was walking past their desks.  "Didn't he?"

"We tried."

"Horatio's trying now," Don told him.  "You're not helping Calleigh pick up the body that tried to break into the weapons?"

Mac backtracked to look at him.  "Someone tried to break into the weapons?"

"Yeah.  Calleigh and Horatio went with the ME when Xander called.  Calleigh said it was at least a week old.  Fried."

"I knew that security system would work."  He shrugged a bit.  "Any other good news?"

"Nineteen arrests thanks to someone breaking into the house," Don offered.

Mac smirked.  "Brothel?" he suggested.

"He's not backed up.  He's back in Xena mode."

"We'd all rather your boy went back to being Joxer," Mac told him.

"He's still insisting he's a good Queen of the Amazons and he'd kick Gabby's ass in that area," Ray warned him.

"I've heard," Mac assured him.  Frank rubbed his eyes with his fists.  "Sorry, Frank."  He looked at Don.  "Any idea how to solve it?"

"No.  I'm about to pray for an idea."

"Not a bad idea with your family," Ray admitted.  "Or you could make him calm down.  Horatio's probably making him calm down and talk about whatever's been pissing him off.  You could calm him down other ways."

"I've been trying, guys.  It's not working.  Since the thing in LA the first time he's been wary and upset."

"Being sold could be like that," Mac admitted.  Strife appeared, shaking his head.  "Lord Strife," he said quietly.

He held up a hand.  "They'll think I'm the actor guy."  He looked at Don.  "The beating he gave upset him.  He had to pull a lot of magic from his soul.  Red's gotten him calmed down a bit.  Now he needs physical reassurance."

"We've tried."

"I know.  You remember the spoiling thing he gave you the certificate for?"  Don nodded slowly.  "Do that for him."  Don beamed.  "He needs a *lot* of help to come back down.  Even Cupe's frowning at him.  Just get him calmed down."  He disappeared.

Don looked at Ray.  "Where in Miami could I go to get the stuff I need?  He does that shopping instead of the rest of us."

"Adam orders from this little shop in England.  Ask Speed," he suggested.  "He buys that stuff for Horatio."

"Not a bad idea."  He went to find Speed in the temporary lab.  "Hey."  Speed glanced over then went back to his microscope.  "Where do I go to get spoiling stuff for Xander?  I was just told that spoiling him like I got at Hershey might help him calm back down."

Speed looked at him, frowning some.  "That spa shop by the place you get the nut brittle.  It's got some great scents and stuff for soaking.  Using the hot tub could help or your regular tub if you want it to be one-on-one instead of both of you and him.  Get him something to nibble.  Get him something good to drink if you wanted.  Be careful of the heat if you're drinking."  Don nodded at that wisdom.  "I usually make something to nibble on for dinner then add in treats like the macadamia nut brittle."

"Can I get the stuff like the Hershey soaks?"

"I think they can.  How bad?"

"He went to get the people who broke into our house and took the tv," he told him.

Speed shuddered.  "He okay?"

"He's fine.  Nineteen arrests, eight hostages freed, whole groups of people who're very sorry they pissed Xander off.  Then they found an older body at the weapons warehouse.  Your boy took mine home to talk to him."

Speed nodded slowly.  "Any idea what started it?"

"The slave auction when he had to keep losing it.  Strife said so."

Speed considered it, sitting on his stool.  "He said he had to dig down pretty deeply to pull up the anger.  Strife called it pulling a Rosenburg."  Don nodded, leaning against the doorframe.  "I think he'll be fine, Don.  He needs to talk and probably needs to be shown that you guys are still handling things for him.  That's a good start but make sure he knows that he's not going to be handling things on his own for a while.  Did everything get found?"

"All but a few of the movies that had been sold.  We were going to shop to replace them tonight."  That got a smile and a nod.  "So, making sure Steve has the money stuff again, making sure the house is secure....  Any other way?"

"Only if someone challenges you guys."

"I hope not."  Speed nodded at that.  "Thanks, Speed."

"Welcome.  Bring money.  The movie place doesn't take cards and neither does the bath shop."  That got a nod and Don went back to his desk.  Speed called Horatio.  "He's going for treats tonight.  You might want to offer Don some suggestions about things you like when you need to calm down."  He smiled. "Of course he is.  Don's here.  Danny's somewhere.  Thanks, man."  He hung up, texting that to Don.  Danny was doing the movies.  Don headed out to do the bath shop.  Horatio was hugging Xander so it was all good.


Don met Danny in the driveway, smiling at him.  "We good on movies?"

"Got all the ones we lost plus another seven Greg suggested."  He hauled the bags inside, glancing in at Xander and Horatio.  "Hey, Xander, I got the movies that they couldn't get back."  Xander nodded from the cuddle he was getting.  "Thanks, Horatio."  He nodded, letting Danny sit on Xander's other side to steal him.  "Hey, mine."  Xander looked at him.  "It's not really cuddling in bed so I guess I can let you snuggle.  Not the same," he offered with a small grin.  Xander snuggled into his side, getting comfortable.  "Don's doing something with the hot tub."  Horatio smiled and stood up.  "We good, boss?"

"We're fine, Danny.  He needed to heal over that incident plus all the other stresses.  He didn't want to burden you two."  He stroked over Xander's hair.  "Behave and call later if you need to talk."  Xander nodded.  "Good boy."  He smiled and walked out, heading back to the office.

Don came in, squatting down in front of Xander.  "Come soak with us?"

"Soak in the tub?"

"Hot tub," he said with a grin.  "Got a suggestion from Speed and I wanted to try it out."  He pulled Xander up and walked him out there, helping him strip and get into the tub.  Xander sniffed then moaned.  It was his favorite fruity oil plus bubbles.  He sat behind him, doing his shoulders.  Danny came out and stripped, climbing in with him.  "We'll take turns."  Xander cuddled in again, letting Don shift to get his shoulders better.  It was nice.  Xander was finally calming down.  "How's the horses?"

"Good.  I checked them before I went to check on the weapons.  They were fine and out grazing.  The barns held up to the last storm really well.  The foal is huge."  He grinned at him.  "Hubert kept staring up at him like he was surprised he was so huge."  Don nodded, stroking over his hair.  "I got him into his saddle again this morning and he still hates it but he didn't buck this time, only rubbed and tried to shake it off.  We're making a lot of progress."

"Good," Don praised.  "You're doing a great job with them, Xander."  Xander smiled at that.  "I called Steve and he is making sure that the guys get lunch today since they're all so miserable."

"Kinda jealous too," Danny admitted.  "Mac's team goes on vacation next week."

"The detectives that didn't go at the same time we did too,"  Don agreed.   He went back to his back massage, smiling when Xander yawned.  "If you need to nap, go ahead."  Xander nodded, snuggling in better to nap on Danny.  They smiled.  That should be enough to spoil Xander back into his GHS side.  His talk with Horatio had helped.  "Remember, you can talk to us too, Xander," he said gently.

"Will," he mumbled.  "Challenge?"

"Is there one?" Danny asked.  Xander nodded, frowning against his shoulder.  "We'll handle it."

"Ryan might be," Don admitted.  He called him.  "Wolfe, taking Xander's challenges is our job, not just yours.   Where am I going today and when?"

Danny took the phone.  "It's my turn.  You took the last two."

Ryan was complaining that it was his job.  Somewhere in the background they could hear Eric complaining about something but they were going to fight about who got to take the next one.  They kept it up even after Xander fell asleep.  It was comforting to him and them.


Danny looked at the guy across from him.  "So you wanted my boyfriend?"

"Yes.  Where is he?"

"Napping.  It's better if we don't make him fight again this week.  Handling that thing in LA a few weeks back was bad for him.  His berserker tendencies are too close to the surface."  The man gave him an odd look.  "They are."

"The one with the hair is a berserker?"

Danny nodded.  "Yeah, Xander is."

"That's the one who does that odd style?"  Danny smirked and nodded.  "Did you learn?"

"Only guys like Xander can do it."

"Oh."  He just nodded at that.  "This is unorthodox."

"The family doesn't take any without another of us being there.  Especially him.  We save Xander for the massive threats instead of the little things."  Don walked in still fighting with Ryan about who was going to take this fight.  "We settled this earlier, boys.  He's mine!"  He looked at the challenger.  "You warmed up yet?"

"Um...  I really only want that one's head."

"Tough. You get Xander through us," Ryan said dryly.   "Feel really lucky we have honor or you'd already be gone.  Ares would be very pissed with me if I attacked without warning.  Fair warning," he said, pulling his sword.

"Hey, mine!" Don complained.  Xander walked in and gave them a confused look.  "Aren't you supposed to be napping?"

"He challenged me," he complained.

"See, I knew I challenged him," the guy said.  "Come on, little boy."  Xander flipped him off and looked at his family.  "Hey!  That's rude!"

Xander glared at him then shot him.  "Shut up."  He looked at his boys again.  "I can take my own challenges."

Don kissed him hard and fast.  "We pretty well all agreed we're tired of being protected and it's time we protected you, not the other way around."  He kissed him again, getting a gentle smile for it.  "Sit down, Xander."  He sat down on a crate, looking at him.  He walked over to look at the guy then at Danny.  "Mine."

"Shut up," he said, smirking at him.  "It's my turn.  Wolfe got the last two.  You got the two before then.  It's my turn!"

"I can," Xander reminded them.

"No, you can't," Danny and Don said together.  "Ours."  He looked at Don again.  "It's my turn."

Don pouted.  "But I need the practice."

"We'll practice later.  We have a great practice space thanks to Xander."

"We do," he agreed, making Xander smile.  "We need to call another family sparring match anyway.  Adam isn't practicing.  Ray hasn't had time.  I haven't had time.  You and Wolfe haven't."

"Good point," Danny agreed.  The guy on the floor gasped and got up, holding his newly healed chest.  "Go sit down with Xander," he ordered, taking a kiss.  Don pouted.  "Tough.  You got the two before Wolfe.  Wolfe got the last two.  It's my turn!  Go wait with Xander."  He nodded, going to do that.  He looked at the guy. "Wolfe, get the doors."

"Of course," he complained, going to do that.

"You know, I wanted to see his unique style," the guy complained, rubbing his chest.

"Then you'd try ta jump what's ours," Don called.  "Then we'd turn your body into paste before taking your head."


"It is very erotic," Ryan agreed from his watching spot.  The gunshot might've brought someone.  He walked out at the cruiser, waving him off.  "Accidental fire.  I've already checked.  I'm chewing the guy a new one."  That got a nod and he reported that then went off again.  Ryan walked back inside and closed the door, still keeping an ear out for anyone else coming up to investigate.  "Are we on or not?"

"You won't win against me," the guy sneered.  "I'm incredibly ancient.  I'm Methos."

"Really?  Meth's at home making a pot roast today, he called to see if we had any sage," Danny said dryly.  "We know him and his lover.  Nice try though."  He attacked and he knew he was rough.  Especially seeing the wince on Don and Ryan's face.  "I haven't had much time to practice," he defended.  "This is good practice."  He took a wild swing and used it to get out from the guy's lunge then got him from behind, stabbing him in the back.  He took his head, then stepped away from the body, sighing a bit as the quickening hit him.

"What the hell?" a female voice said from the other entrance to the building.

Ryan looked over then waved.  "He attacked CSI Messer."

"And the lightening storm?" she demanded, stomping inside, her uniform pressed and shiny.

"Ask Taylor," Don said dryly.  "He handles this issue."

She sneered.  "Who're you?"  He pulled his badge.  So did Danny and Ryan.  She groaned.  "I'm going to be seeing Internal Affairs, aren't I?  Ten weeks on the force and I'm already going to have to deal with IAB."

"No," Danny said, looking at her.  "Not over us."  She sneered and stomped off to call. "We should stop her."

"Stetler knows," Xander pointed out.  "He's a halfie."  He shrugged.  "He asked me point blank if I was an immie or not one day."  He called him.  "Stetler, it's Harris.  We had a rookie brat find one of us taking a head.  She's calling the tip line now.  Can you come instead?  Sure, tell Mac please?"  He smiled and hung up.  "That way Mac can handle it since he's your watcher, Danny."

"Gee, thanks."

Stetler stomped in a few minutes later with the rookie.  "You're all...."

"Watch me salt you and then find the gas can," Ryan warned.  Stetler sneered.  "We ran into some other hunters too.  They told me how they do things when we talked at the convention."

Stetler moaned, looking at Xander.  "Who took it?"  He pointed at Danny.  He looked at him.  "You are?"  He nodded.  "How long?"



"No.  He claimed he's someone else too.  Tried to scare me with it.  Fortunately we know the guy he claimed to be, he's making a pot roast tonight.  He wanted to see what Xander could do."

Stetler looked at him.  "Too delicate to take your own?" he sneered.

"Berserker," Xander said simply.  Stetler went pale.  "I try.  I do take my own but apparently my family has a conspiracy to make sure I don't have to fight."

Don gave him a hug.  "Of course we do.   We want you to be okay and too much fighting can make you go wrong in the head."  He kissed him on the head. Then he looked at Stetler.  "Taylor?"

"The one I know about.  He's waiting."

"We know about Taylor," Don told him.

"I know one in Robbery."  He called him.  "Come in.  This is a strange group."  The same detective walked in.  "Messer did it."

"Mac does mine," he told him, getting a groan.  "He was going insane in New York with me, Don, and Xander."

"I can see why."  He looked at Wolfe.  "You are?"  He smirked and nodded.  "Since....."

"The first time I got taken with Xander.  I trained with some priests of Ares thanks to another time we got taken together."

That just got a nod.  "I'll have to look at all your chronicles.  Who's the rookie?"

"She walked in because Xander shot the guy while we were arguing over who would take the challenge," Don admitted.  He looked at Xander.  "Silencer?"

"I can't find them.  Calleigh hid them on me again."

The robbery detective held up a hand.  "You're *all*...."

Xander nodded, grinning some.  "Yup.  Stella does mine.  They're training her with me."

"I'll keep that in mind.  How old is everyone?  Stetler, knock her out."  Xander tossed over something.  "That's....."

"Demonic."  Stetler released it and the rookie passed out.  He looked at him.  "I'm a berserker and the guys have a conspiracy to keep me from having to fight."

"Does the whole lab know?"

"Now and then paper cuts happen," Danny said dryly.  "But no.  Caine, Speedle, Tripp."

That just got a nod.  "Anyone else in the family, like Delko, Kowalski, those ones?"

"Ask them yourself," Stetler told him.  "Deal with this."

"What about her?"

"Up to you.  She came in complaining that she'd have to see him," Don told him.  He shrugged.  "Xander, is there something that can take her memory?"

"I'd have to ask for a favor."  He looked at Stetler.  "Can you?"

"Not my people's thing."  He called one of the DPP people down to ask him if they had something to do that with.  They erased the last few hours from her then they left while the body got taken away by the clean-up team.  He looked at them once the Watcher had gone to talk to Mac and Stella.  "I know about them.  A lot of us do."  They all nodded.  "I'm sure you're aware of that thanks to those who want Harris.  Who else is?"

"Kowalski.  Eric," Ryan admitted.  "This isn't going to be put around, right?"  He got sneered at.  "You can go work for the DPP."

"I doubt it."

Xander grinned. "I can ask for that favor."

"No.  Thanks anyway," he said, glaring at him.  "How many do we take?"

"I've had three since we got here," Xander said, looking at Don.


"Four," Danny admitted.

"Seven not counting the times with Xander," Ryan admitted.  Stetler moaned.  "They come for Xander and he shouldn't fight.  If he loses it we're all in deep shit.  Plus we'd be without Xander," he said, making Xander grin at him.  "I'd miss you if you turned into some animal."  He looked at him again.  "They hear that Xander's got skills and he's cute, plus he's got money.  So they show up to try him since they heard he's open to teaching others.  None of them want trained.  They blatantly challenge."

Stetler just nodded.  "How many more are in the city?"

"Three," Don said.  "We're all peaceful as long as you don't challenge us.  I've talked a few out of it."

"I had one of those," Xander agreed.  Stetler moaned.  "Not like we go looking, Stetler.  They come to us.  I've had one try to challenge me in front of Ray Junior in a grocery store parking lot."

"The yelping one," Danny remembered.  Xander nodded.

Stetler sighed, shaking his head.  "Go away."  They nodded, heading for the other exit.  "Be more circumspect."

"Yes, sir," they all called.

"Movie?" Don suggested.

"Movie might be nice," Ryan agreed.  Danny shrugged at that.  "Chinese or pizza while we watch?"

"I could stand that," Xander agreed.  "The new ones?"

Don smiled.  "Sure.  You can pick.  It's your turn."  Xander beamed and bounced to hug him.  It was good he was coming back to himself.

Stetler stomped off to have a drink.  That whole group would be making him an alcoholic sometime soon.  Fortunately they'd be leaving in a decade or so when they aged out of their current identities.


Mac looked up at the knock to his office door.  "Come."  The robbery detective walked in.  "What's wrong?"

"Messer took a head," he said quietly, closing the office door behind himself.  "I had the clean up crew deal with it."

Mac smiled.  "Thank you for that.  How did you know about me?"

"Stetler called me about them being found by a rookie cop."

Mac moaned.  "Why?"

"They were arguing over who got the challenge and Harris apparently shot him briefly so they'd have time to argue."  Mac moaned, rubbing his head.  "Messer won and she saw him taking the quickening.  She called IAB, someone called Stetler since he knew.  He came over to deal with it.  Saw Wolfe, Flack, Harris, and Messer there."  Mac nodded, leaning back to look at him.  "Stetler was asking who else was."

"Xander will skin him if he ever shares another secret about the family," he assured him.  "He's a berserker, he can do that."

"So he admitted.  They take his challenges?"

"Xander was the reason the slave auction in LA became so messy.  Took him three tries but that mess was him losing it."  The other watcher shuddered.  "Anything else?"

"If your girl's still in training, I've got reports backlogged she can file for me."

Mac smiled.   "So do I.  She's only doing Xander's.  I'll ask her.  We get next week off."  That got a nod.  "Any others?"

"No, this was another case of trying the new teacher syndrome. They said the guy claimed to be someone they knew who is at home making a pot roast.   How many others are in town?"

"A few.  It's the ones who come in that cause problems.  Oh, Xander's offered to train another one in the GHS network as well.  He and his brother will be showing up soon and he's new.  Under a year."

"Interesting.  You got him or would you like me to?"

"Stella can while he's local.  What we know so far is that they travel a lot being roving demon hunters."  The guy whimpered at that.  "Then again, Stetler's a halfie."

"Wonderful!"  He rubbed his forehead.  "Do they make you have headaches?  I saw him last night at the fence's shop."

"Yup.  Him, his dogs, his ferrets....  They're a nightmare for the network but I value and like Xander as a friend."

"Good.  He has ferrets too?"  Mac smiled and nodded.  "Interesting.  I met the dogs."  Mac smiled at that.  "Anyway, this is the guy that Messer took."  He tossed over the information sheet.  "Who's the new guy?"  Mac dug out that sheet and handed it over.  He looked it over then him.  "I looked up Harris.  Sounds familiar."

"Same business.  That's why Xander volunteered."

"Fine."  He handed it back.  "Let me know if she can help me.  If not, I'm going to retire and hand it all to Joe."  He walked off shaking his head.

Mac took the briefing sheet and made a note in his personal files then sent an announcement to Joe about the fight and the fight over who got to take the fight.  He'd let Stella do the official entry later.

He and the other Watchers in town needed to have a talk anyway.  Things were getting too tangled with him doing Danny, Don, and Sheldon.  Plus he was hearing Methos rumors again.


Adam walked into Xander's house later that night, frowning.  "The idiot today said he was me?"  Danny nodded.  "How adorable of him," he said sarcastically.

Danny shrugged.  "He thought it'd make us scared."

Methos snorted, shaking his head.  "Charming."  He sat down and put his feet up, looking at Xander.  "Tired?"  Danny smiled and nodded.  "Has he calmed down?"

"Today.  How was the pot roast?"

"Very good.  I outdid myself.   What did Steve send for lunch?"

"He sent in three huge gift certificates to a pizza place, a chinese place, and a sandwich place with orders to feed the poor displaced people at the temporary mixed station.  They ended up paying about twenty but that was donated by someone else."  That got a smile.  "We're doing good."  He stroked his fingers through Xander's hair.  "He was still having issues with what happened in LA the last time."

"I heard."  He looked at him.  "Having been there, that level of anger is not fun.  Your soul aches when it remembers."  Danny nodded at that wisdom.  "He only has to go there when he's in serious danger, and so is the family.  He has other means normally."

"We made sure he realized it."  He smiled down at his boy then at Methos again.  "Any idea when the boys are getting here?"

"Not for a bit.  They're driving.  Dean said he had a few things to do.  He still doesn't believe he's a pre-immortal."

"He'll learn like the others have," Danny said wisely.  "How's Oz?"

"He's decent enough.  I do know that Sam stopped up there to talk to him about how he had changed.  Plus to help Buffy with something major.  I warned him ahead of them thankfully."  Danny nodded at that.  "How is he doing beyond that confusion?"

"He's fine.  We spent the morning in bubbles in the hot tub.  Don gives great neck massages.  The horses are fine."

"Good."  He put his feet down and stood up.  "Let me know if we have any problems?"

"How many watchers in town and is Mac mad I outed him and Stella?"

"He could've found out from Joseph.  The dinner was quite enlightening.  I'm not the only immortal in the Watchers.  We had a nice dinner, we talked about the problems this family creates, and Mac pointed out that we're happy and it's rather necessary, plus we enjoy it being cooperative.  They complained, Stella is now over him and Sam when he shows up.  Dean if he changes over while they're in Miami.  Another one now takes Eric and my Raymond.  And me if they knew about me or if I took challenges."  He smiled.  "I heard someone was claiming to be Theodonius."

"I'm sure Oz was pissed," Danny said dryly.  Methos gave him a look.  "Yeah, figured it out, old fart."  He grinned.  "Not that hard."

"Good point.  He has started a new life however.  So I'll leave you with that good news."

"Is Mac doing me, Don, Sheldon, and Ryan?"

"Sheldon is rarely found fighting.  Don and Ryan aren't that hard and Stella's working on yours with him."  He walked out happier.  He'd have taken the idiot's head for claiming to be him.

Danny went back to petting his boy.  The dogs were on the ottomans and comfy.  The tv was back on the wall and the comedy channel was showing something decent.  Don was asleep in the theater for now but it'd be okay.   He checked the ferrets.  They were fine too.  It had been a long day.  He yawned, then smiled and shifted to cuddle around Xander.  They could just barely fit and Xander shifted to be warm against him so it was perfect.  He turned down the tv and fell asleep cuddling his boy.  It was good for them.

The End.

to part 61:

back to index: