Notes:  Starts after Dean comes over in the SPN outtake.  Angst Alert, animal deaths occur!


All three tied up boys woke up and looked at the women holding them hostage.  The guys were tied to chairs.  There were tvs in front of them.  The girls looked a bit insane.  "What do you want this time?" Xander sighed, sounding tired of this.

"We're going to turn you into proper men so you have to do things for your women," one said cheerfully.

"I'm gay," Xander told her.

They snickered.  "Not after we get done with you," the talkative one told him happily.

"I sincerely doubt my boyfriend would like that," Xander said dryly.  "Whatever torture you're going to try won't work so you might as well let us go, ladies.  We're already bored with this."

"Tough," one of the others said.  "We'll make sure you're good, sensitive men who listen to your women once we claim you."

"Wouldn't you rather have money or something?" Sam asked.  "Jewelry?  Xander has some pretty jewelry."

They considered it, moving off to talk to each other.

Xander looked at Sam, who shrugged.  "You do."

Xander grinned.  "Thanks, Sam.  Got an idea," he promised.  "Dean, you good?"

"So far I'm just really confused," he admitted.  "I turned down the redhead in the club the other night because she wasn't that good on the floor."

"I'm *so* bringing this back out the next time you complain about one of them coming for me," Sam assured him.

The ladies came back.  "You have really pretty jewelry?"  Xander nodded.  "Diamonds?"

"I've got some loose.  I tend for subtle in my personal jewelry, ladies."  They moaned at that.  "If you'll let Sam go to my boyfriend, he'll pay whatever ransom you want.  Sam's a widow and he's not ready for a new woman yet."

They stared at each other then nodded, untying Sam and walking him off to the their car to drop him off with instructions.  The one with Dean and Xander turned on the tv and the DVD player.  "While we wait, it'll be instructional and I'm sure your future women will like you to be more sensitive."  She skipped off.

Xander looked at the title then at Dean.  "Dress movie, fair warning."

Dean shuddered.  "I can't get free," he complained, trying again.

"Me either.  They actually got my pocket knife this time."  Dean tried for his but it was in his front pocket at the moment.  "We can endure. It won't take that long."  Dean nodded at that.  "Just blank your mind, man.  It'll help.  Willow made me watch these things a few times."  Dean went back into his head, the same place he went to when he was avoiding other demons trying to torture him.


Sam looked at her.  "There's no payphone here.  Miami's short on payphones because everyone has a cellphone."

"I'm sure there's one somewhere in this park," she said cooly.  She finally found one and dropped him off, handing him four quarters.  "Three hours.  Here."  She drove off again.

Sam checked the payphone. It was dead.  Fortunately he saw a nearby cop and jogged over to him.  "Officer!" he stopped his horse to look at him.  "I'm helping Detective Flack protect his protectee and we've been kidnaped.  I've got the ransom demands.  The phone's broken.  Do you have one?"

He nodded, handing over his cellphone.  "Flack in Homicide?"  Sam nodded as he dialed.  "Have him come here."

"He'll need to stop at the bank.  Don, Sam.  Some psycho girls that Dean turned down in the club have Xander and Dean tied to chairs and are threatening to make them sensitive men.  Three mil in diamonds, loose is fine.  Which park is this?"


"I'm in Canal park and they said to be back here in three hours.  Yeah, this is an officer's phone."  He handed it back.  "Detective Flack."

"Sir," he said, listening to the instructions.  "The one with the hair?"  He just nodded.  "Yes, sir.  I can do that.  Sure.  We're on the other side, we can meet you there in thirty."  He hung up.  "Can you ride?"

"Xander's been teaching us."  He climbed up behind him and they trotted over to the other side of the park.  "Thank you for your help, Officer."

"Women like that belong in a home.  What was their plan for making them more sensitive?"

"I'm not sure but there was a tv and a dvd player in front of them.  It's possible it's dress movies or something light like that.  My brother's going to throw a fit for turning the stupid posse down in the club."

"I don't wanna ask or anything but is your brother like the one with the hair?  You hear rumors and the like."

Sam grinned.  "We both are.  Xander's our mentor."

"Oh!  Makes more sense then.  After all, we heard Flack's boy is one of the people who keeps weeding down the underground and he takes it real personal when they try to get him back.  Heard a lot about some arrests after they broke in and stole his tv."  He stopped his mare and let Sam slid down.  "That's Detective Flack pulling in with the crime lab hummer I'd guess."  Flack jumped out.  "Yup, only detective in Miami who wears a mauve suit.  Safe and sound, sir.  They dropped him by the non-working payphone."

"Thanks, Officer," Don said with a grin.  "Sam, what happened?"

"We were eating breakfast and going over Xander's list of what he wanted to bounce around and do today."  Don moaned at that.  "Dean said he turned one of them down at a club the other night.  They wanted us to be more sensitive men.  Xander pointed out I was a widow, kinda, and they let me bring the ransom demand since I wasn't ready for a girl yet according to Xander."

"My boy can plan," Don said, walking him off.  "Three mil in diamonds?"

"They were trying to get out of the 'you'll be our boyfriends' mindset by offering them jewelry."

"That'll work," Don promised.  He took him to the bank and got what they needed then came back out while Eric took a full statement from Sam on what had happened so far today.  They'd need it for the arrest reports later.  They came back and went to watch the park for the drop off time.  Sam was on a bench rubbing his forehead.  Though someone did come up to talk to him.  Sam told him to bugger off and he huffed off.  "Must be another of the ones who wanted him," Don muttered.

"Probably," Eric agreed.  They saw a Pontiac sedan pull in and a girl get out, looking around before darting over to talk to Sam.  He stiffened and grabbed the briefcase like he had been told to.  They swarmed out and grabbed the girl, and the other one in the car.

"You shouldn't do this to us.  The other two will have more time to become sensitive.  We'll get them anyway!" she shouted as she was drug off.

"Warehouse by sixth?" Eric asked.

"Yeah."  He led them back the way she had driven them to the park, finding the warehouse.  Sure enough, they could all hear Helena Bohnam Carter sobbing very loudly over a voice over.  They broke in and rescued the two boys, both of who had retreated back into their minds.  The girls were arrested and they made sure they got all of them.  The officer driving the van that came to get them snickered the whole way back to the station about the girls' idea of torture but that was to be expected.

Don gave Xander a hug.  "You okay?"

"I'm fine.  Thank you."  He gave him a squeeze.  "Love you."

"Love you too, Xander."  He looked at Dean.  "You good?"

"I didn't watch enough to hug you but I'll punch you on the arm in thanks," he offered, doing that and walking off shaking his head at Eric's look.  "Don't ask, man.  Really."

"I know.  I've dated girls like her."

"I didn't do more than have half a dance with her.  She had no rhythm and sucked on the floor."  He rubbed his head.  "Those are horrible."

"I know.  C'mon.  Don, are you taking him to the usual spot?"  Don nodded.  "That's fine, bring him back for statements in a few.  Bring sandwiches or something too, guys."  He walked Dean off to join Sam in the back of the hummer so he could take him back and get his statement too.

Dean looked at Sam.  "Two movies.  You couldn't go faster?"

"No, sorry."  He shrugged.  "I tried!"

"At least you saved us.  The sobbing was getting to me."  He rubbed his forehead.  "I have a headache."

Eric snickered.  "You'll live, Dean."

"Unfortunately with the image of corsets and huge skirts that no man could get under."

"That was half the point," Eric assured him. He drove them back to the department and let them follow him inside to take Dean's statement.   Don came in an hour later with lunch and a quiet Xander.  "The usual guy not want them?"

"Nah, he did.  He was overjoyed.  One of the new guys in the back nearly did cartwheels.  We got Xander calmed down again."  That got a knowing look and a nod.  "Food!" he yelled.  "There's more coming for patrol later!"  The regular officers went back to work while the detectives and the lab got their food and went back to work.  The patrol guys got pizza a few minutes later and it was all good.  They got Xander's statement and even Speed had to come in and hug Xander for that torture.  "Dean, you good?"

"I'm fine.  Headache but I'm fine.  How many of us are there in the building?" he muttered.

"Danny's up the hall," Xander said, leaning on Don's arm.  "A few others in town."  He yawned.  "What'm I doing today?"

"Going over more weapons work with the boys," Don reminded him.

"Oh, yeah."

Sam chuckled. "He can take a nap.  We'll do research or something this afternoon."  Dean nodded that was fine with him.  "We can spar against each other without Xander refereeing."  They all nodded at that and finished lunch then let the boys take the sleepy Xander home to nap on the couch while they got the practice room.

Don finally got to burst out laughing.  Eric too.  "Oh, man.  Psych evals?"

"Already sent," Eric promised, taking Horatio lunch.  "H, got the boys back from the psycho posse who wanted them to be sensitive men."

"I've heard."  He took the sandwich.  "Are they all right?"

"Headaches.  They were being forced to watch girly movies."  He walked off grinning.

Horatio shook his head.  Some women had strange tastes.  He dug into his sandwich, smiling because Don had remembered to get him one without mustard.  That had been nice of him.


Xander gave the boys a relaxed look, smirking some because Sam was twitching.  "What's wrong?"

"Why are you so mellow?" he complained.

"Don's good."

"Beyond that?" Dean asked.

"Don gave me a slight dose of the herbs that wear out stuff to keep me out of backlog."  They looked confused.  "I haven't gone over the herbs with you yet?"  They shook their heads so he got up with a moan and went to get his copy from the library, bringing it back to the living room.  "The things on that list are GHS allergies.  For the most part they'll wear out the hormones.  They can also kill you if you take them more than once in a great while.  I was on them for two weeks straight thanks to a herbalist who hated us and I lost twenty pounds.  I was so lethargic I wasn't getting up."

Dean looked at him.  "This is pretty extensive."

"Greggy did a blood allergy study on a lot of different herbs to make sure there weren't any others.  See, what they do is they leech out the backlog but they also mute your sense of how much you're storing and putting out.  So you start out feeling really great and then you start to backlog and don't realize it, but your body's having an allergic reaction at the same time so you're lethargic along with confused.  All I got told was that it'd make me feel better so I had about six things on the list in my system.  Plus I passed it to Horatio and Don."

Dean nodded slowly.  "So, for the really bad rescues.  Or we're horribly backlogging and can't get rid of it?"

"A small dosage, as ordered by Speed in this family, can handle that but then you can't do it again for weeks, if not months.  On the back are things that will *raise* your levels."  They looked and moaned.  "I know, a few spellish herbs.  Don't inhale the smoke and wear gloves when you work with them.  Don tested the gas that has the chemical compound after it.  He went from a two to an eight with one puff.  The guy said his happy gas gave you a content feeling.  He turned into a kitty cat in heat."

"That's a jump," Dean said.

"His body had been pushing things down since he was naturally a five.  It blew all that open then raised him."

"We're never touching that," Sam said, getting up and grabbing his journal out of the car to bring back and make note of it.  "Thankfully we don't have to do much work with herbs."

"Thankfully," Dean agreed, taking the list to look over more carefully once Sam had it copied down.  He frowned, thinking of something, looking at their mentor.  "The guys who take us.  They can use the second list, right?"

Xander nodded.  "And have.  Paul and Soshar won't take you back if you say you want to stay.  If you tell them yes, please take it, then they have you even if you do deny it later.  So raising your level means that you have a better than average chance of staying there.  It's not *common* but it's not uncommon.  Most of the ones who want a GHS member of their own think about them like pets.  They try to intimidate you or make you want to stay by force and showing you how miserable you'll be without them.  Then again, for guys castration's a usual outcome.  Fortunately we grow back.  I speak from experience when I say it hurts like hell."  Dean gripped his with a moan.  Sam whimpered. "The monsoon demon tried with me when he got me right after I came over.  It hurts like hell, guys.  Try to avoid it because growing back doesn't feel much better."

They nodded, they'd remember that.

Xander yawned and curled up again.  "Go play upstairs or online."  They went to practice, many years of drills coming back easily as they added to their skills.  Xander flipped it to the food network and went to sleep on the couch with the dogs next to him.  They hadn't moved the whole talk but they were probably tired anyway since it was hot outside today.

Dean looked at Sam, shaking his head.  "How would a level ten manage to hunt like he was?"

"Anya was wearing it out from what he said.  Plus danger can hold it down a bit.  So the constant problems out there plus a nympho girlfriend...."  He parried a thrust and ducked under and around to get him on the back.  They could go all out now and not worry about really hurting each other as long as the swords stayed away from their necks.  They had taken the dance steps they had learned and added them to what they already knew, changing it a bit here and there to fit their body types and muscles.  Sam was still a lot more graceful than Dean was, more flowing and twisting, while Dean was a straightforward fighter.  More sneaky too since he had gotten him on the thigh with a dagger he had hidden on his waistline.  "I hate when you do that."

"So will they and I could've hit your eye."  He dodged to pick it up again before jumping back in against Sam.  "You've still got to learn to wear it out better, Sammy."

"I'm trying.  I can't go out and pick up in the clubs like you do."

"Yeah, well, hand meet flesh, little brother.  Sometimes even I've gotta do it that way."

"Modest today, aren't you?" he taunted back.  He struck him in the shoulder, making Dean yelp but not fall down.  "Most normal people would fall down."

"We're not normal."

"You and me?  Well, no."

"Other immies either," he pointed out dryly.  "Faster healing in them too."

"Good point."  Dean had to duck a swing at his head, but that was fine.  "I won."  Sam smirked.  "That means I get to decide on dinner tonight."

"Sure.  As long as it's not too spicy.  My ass still burns from the last one, Sammy."

Sam snickered.  "Poor baby.  I'm sure Xander knows some nice guys who'll cure that for you."

"Still like girls better or else you'd be bent over," he shot back with an evil smirk.  Sam snickered, walking off to get them a drink.  Dean opened the windows, enjoying the fresh air.   It was nice here at the house.  Very little of the city's smog managed to make it out here and the grounds were pretty.  Even if there was a demon in the yard staring up at him.  "What do you want?" he asked calmly.

"You."  The world flashed and they disappeared together.

Sam came back with a drink for Dean, looking around.  "Dean?" he called.  He could've gone down to the bathroom.  "Dean!" he called more loudly.  "Are you coming back to practice some more?"  Still no answer.  He went to look.  He wasn't in the house.  The car was still there.  Yeah, this was not good.  He went to wake Xander up.  "Something stole Dean."

Xander yawned and nodded, getting up to find him something in the books in the study.  "Tracking charm?"

"That'll help," Sam agreed with a grin, watching the worn out one go back to his couch to nap.  Sam looked up the tracking charm.  It wasn't that hard.  He went to gather the stuff and found something wrong with the dogs.  They weren't responding.  They weren't moving.  They didn't sniff at him when he walked past them.  He went back to check, finding them both stiff.  And it wasn't magic.  "Aw, shit," he muttered, and that woke Xander up fully.  "Xander, don't freak, but the dogs aren't okay."

Xander scowled, moving to check his dogs.  They weren't all right.  They were dead.  He growled, "What happened?"

"I don't know, Xander.  We were upstairs."  Xander's glare got turned on him and he backed up.  "You know I'd never hurt them."

Xander calmed himself, swallowing hard.  "Can you call Don?"

"You sure you don't want to tell him?"

"I'm going to take them to the vets to see what happened," he decided.  Sam nodded, giving him a hug.  "Thanks, Sam.  I'll help with the Dean thing later."  He picked up his poor babies and took them out to the SUV.  They should have a nice final ride.

Sam called Don, checking on the other animals.  "Don, it's Sam.  No, bad news.  Sure, hand the phone to Horatio and I'll tell him."  He waited and then sighed.  "Horatio, Sam.  We just found both the dogs dead in the house.  On their usual spot on the ottomans.  In rigor," he admitted.  "I don't remember them hopping up to help us eat lunch either.  Xander's taken them to the vets so they can figure out what happened."  He nodded.  "I'm watching three of the four ferrets drink and wiggle.  Hubert's napping in the sun.  Sure, I can do that."  He hung up and grabbed the pet carriers.  "Hubert, hit the black car," he ordered.  The dragon groaned but walked that way.  He got the ferrets, putting in a water bottle as well.  He hoped whatever had happened wasn't someone poisoning their animals.  Xander would destroy someone if this was an enemy.  He knew where the pets went to the vets, it was on the fridge.  He took that with him, heading that way with them.  He got there as Xander was walking out.  "Horatio said to bring the others to make sure they weren't poisoned too," he said quietly.

Xander nodded, opening the door to walk the ferrets inside, Hubert following at his usual waddle.  "Horatio suggested I have the others checked to make sure they weren't poisoned or whatever too."

The receptionist looked at him.  "Do we think it's possible?"

Xander nodded.  Sam answered.  "Three of the four ferrets were drinking at the same time like they hadn't seen water in days."

She nodded, paging the doctor to come look at them.  "We'll see, boys.  Go park the cars," she told Sam, getting a nod and him doing that.  She let Sam into the room when he finished and Danny when he showed up with his kit.  "Do we think?"

"We tested their food."  He walked in and looked t the doctor, handing over a test pad.  "In the ferret's food."

"Hubert eats people food."

"His joint pain is probably growing pain," the vet told him, looking at the test pad.  He had Xander hold one while he drew blood, going to do a definitive test.  It came back a half hour later and he brought in what they needed to treat them.  "We'll have to keep them for a few days, Xander," he said calmly.  Xander started to crack but Danny hugged him, letting him cry against his shoulder.  "It's very recent.  It's not very strong in that one's blood so I'm going to say it'll be treatable without any lasting damage," he promised.  Xander nodded, looking at him.  "It'll be okay and we'll keep Hubert for a few days too, just in case."

"We'll find out who did it," Sam vowed.  "That's just low."

The vet nodded.  "Not the first time it's happened but we usually see them in divorce cases," he admitted.  "Hubert, come on.  We'll do a heat treatment on your knees."

"We do a warm bath for him most of the time," Danny offered.

"We can do that," the vet promised.  "You can come visit them, Xander.  It won't take more than a few days to treat them and to make sure Hubert's really fine."  He nodded, wiping off his cheeks.  "I'll check the dogs for that too."  He left them alone.

Sam patted Xander on the back.  "We'll figure it out," he reminded him. "Then we'll get the bastard until they beg for death."

Xander looked at him, nodding, stiffening again.  "Yeah, I will be."  He looked at Danny.  "Criminal, poker buddy?"

"No clue yet.  We're running fingerprints."  He walked them out, looking at the cars.  "Xander, let Sam drive you home.  I'll get the SUV there with someone else."  Xander nodded, letting Sam lead him over to his car.  Danny called a friend.  "Adam, Danny.  Someone poisoned Xander's dogs and ferrets.  The dogs are dead."  He listened to him gasp then ask the usual question - who in the hell did that.  "We're looking.  His SUV is down at the vet's.  Can you drive it back?  Sam has Xander.  I didn't want to make him drive."  He nodded.  "Thanks."  He hung up and leaned back into the clinic.  "A friend's getting the SUV for us.  I didn't want Xander to drive."  The receptionist nodded so he went back to work at the house.  Someone was going to get the whole family in their face. If it was a criminal....  Oh well.  If it was an immie....even better.


Xander woke up panting and Don gave him a hug.  "Shh.  You're okay."


"He's fine.  We told the guys out there and they've checked everything.  They're all fine, Xander."  Xander slumped but nodded.  "Where's Dean?"

"Something took him while I was napping.  He and Sam were taking a sparring break and Dean disappeared while he went to get a drink.  He found the dogs were gone while he looked for him."  He looked at Don.  "You promise?"

"I promise he's fine."  Xander nodded, resting against his chest.  "Shh.  We'll be fine.  We'll get this person and make them beg for mercy, which we won't give.  It'll be okay."  Xander nodded against his chest, letting it out again.  "Shh.  I know they were like your babies.  We'll be okay."  He looked over as Danny woke up behind him.  "You good?"

"Fine.  Nightmare?"


"The horses are fine."  He gave him a hug and as much of Xander as he could get.  "Shh.  It'll be fine, guys.  Let yourselves grieve and then we'll get revenge."  They nodded, cuddling him now.  Sam was in one of the guest rooms.   They had been since the demon had shot Dean and brought him across.  They'd manage both emergencies.  Sam had talked to Ryan earlier about the best way to do rescues from a demon realm.  Xander had been miserable all night.  Don had nearly collapsed when he had heard.  Horatio had to catch him before he hit the pavement.  They both had tomorrow off to deal with this issue.  They were hoping whoever did it either was in the system or would show themselves fairly soon to gloat.  Which most criminals did.


Dean looked around his silken prison.  It wasn't fun.  He was having a lot of not-fun.  The place was like some cheezy harem porno.  All silk pillows, silk on the walls to hide them and make it look like a tent. He was dressed in harem pants.  Thin harem pants.  And there was a breeze so he was discontent and wondering when someone was going to get there.  Nothing had come near him yet.  At least not since he had woken up.  He had checked himself first thing, keeping in mind Xander's earlier warning about castration.  He was all there but no one was showing themselves.  So he had no idea what was going on.  A plate appeared next to him but he snorted and turned away from it.  He didn't want to eat anything the creature gave him.  That would appear grateful and he wasn't.  At all.  He was really kind of pissed.  Unfortunately pillows made bad weapons.  There wasn't even a hard object in the room.  The breeze started again and he shifted his position.  His balls were getting cold.  This was so not cool with him!

"You will be mine," a breathy voice said.

Dean looked around.  "I don't talk to incorporeal beings," he noted dryly.  He went back to unraveling a pillow's cording.  At least then he'd have a rope, maybe.  He hoped.

The demon appeared.  "I can be reasonable."

Dean looked at him.  "Do I care?  You have me hostage.  I don't care what you can be."

"You'll learn your place."

Dean snickered.  "Yeah.  Right," he said coldly, glaring at him.  "My place is back in Miami with my brother."

"There's no relation but I can bring him if you talk me into it."

Dean snorted.  "Dude, Sammy and I would destroy you.  Hell, I can destroy your pitiful nature.  I'm debating ways to find the most interesting one so I won't be bored while I do it."

The demon stared at him.  "You are not that stubborn."

Dean snickered.  "You have no idea who I am or what I am.  You're going to be missing in action soon.  I'd enjoy your last few days of life."

The demon laughed and disappeared.  "You should eat.  Getting weak will not help whatever pitiful plan you have."

Dean looked up.  "You do remember I'm trained by Xander personally, right?"  He went back to unraveling the pillow.  He already knew that there wasn't a doorway in the room.  No air vents, no floor vents, no way for him to get out.  Though now he knew what was keeping him here.  A wind demon was not a happy thing.  He looked up.  "Yo, a bit of a weapon here?" he prayed.  "Please?"  Nothing appeared.  "Sorry, I know that you probably ignore us, but could use the help," he said again.  Still nothing.  "Fine."  He went back to thinking.  Cupid was over GHS members.  He sent a prayer to him for a weapon to get out of this really cheesy room he was stuck in and back into his comfortable jeans.  Because that breeze was cold!  He looked up.  "Giving me hypothermia won't help you any!" he noted.  "I'll die of it first."  The breeze stopped. "Thank you."  He went back to his project of the moment.  Silk rope was strong....


Xander looked up when he felt a quickening coming, frowning and grabbing his katana.  "Hmm."  He walked out back, staring at the man who had come over his back fence.  "Didn't I send you to jail for breaking into my house?" he asked bluntly.

"That was a mistake.  That's not how the game is played," he sneered back.

"True, but you were annoying the fuck out of me and I didn't care."

"Do you now?  I heard you're ... missing some things."

Xander pulled a gun and shot him, making him scream as he fell down on his now missing knee.  "Yeah, about that."  He walked closer, staring at him.  "You're so very dead for touching my pets.  Beyond being pathetic, that's a clear cry for help.  I think God can give that to you."

He stood up, wincing as it healed.  "You can't beat me.  Not with all the fancy moves in the world.  You don't keep up with your training, boy."

"You'd be surprised."  He waved him on.  "You want it, you take me, not my pets.  Pathetic," he sneered.  "Absolutely pathetic to go after animals."  The man lunged with his sword and he was good.  He couldn't have beaten him before the trip to the realm with the Gods and his training with the dances.  He could now.  "Now, what's your name again?  Holdup, something like that?  That way the Watchers get it right on your tombstone."

"Holden," he sneered back.  "Your death."

"Yeah, right."  He dodged a cut then shrugged and let him have it for real, sort of.  He was lulling him into a false sense of security.  The guy was really good.   He misjudged a swing and the guy's sword came at his neck.  He gave him a look and heard Sam shout in that nanosecond before it happened then he froze him, moving out of the way as the blade stopped.  He stared at him, then at Sam.  "Hi.  Go back inside, Sam.  I'm being an asshole."  Sam came out.  "Sam."

"I can help."

"If you're that close, we can share the quickening and no one's sure what'll happen."

Sam grimaced.  "Those aren't fun."  He patted him on the back, looking at the frozen guy.  He was still able to think, his eyes were moving and he was trying to move his mouth.  "You sure you want his head?"

"No.  I want to torture his ass."  He grinned at Sam.  "Then we'll go rescue Dean?"

"Sure."  He went back inside, grabbing something and bringing it out.  "Ice?"

"I could use a drink."  He took a glass to drink, then looked at him.  "What to do to you?" he mused.

"This isn't how the game goes," Ares said as he appeared.

Xander looked at him then shrugged.  "Yay.  He poisoned my dogs and my ferrets.  He deserves it."  The god stared at him.  "You want me to really take him?  I'll do that after I make him fucking sorry for touching what's mine."

"Hormone him," Ares said dryly.  "Just quit warping a challenge."

Xander shrugged. "No one told me magic wasn't allowed.  I never got a handbook.  I'm a live and let live sort until you touch what's mine, Ares.  You know that."

Ares nodded.  "I do.  Torture still isn't like you, Xander."

Xander smirked.  "What did I do to Angelus?"

"Tortured him," he admitted.

"And that demon that tried to make us all pokemons in Sunnydale?"

"Tortured him."

"Then why can't I do this one?"

"That's grief talking," Ares pointed out.  "That's not the right way to take him."

Xander shrugged. "He's not a challenge anyway, Ares.  I was only teasing and testing him earlier."

"I know that.  I've seen you go all out.  The same as I have Ryan.  And Sam.  You're good.  They'll go learn a lot of styles to keep themselves safe and whole for a long time."  Xander nodded at that wisdom, Sam did too.  "You still can't do it this time.  Remember, you have a few neighbors and one has security on the grounds."

Xander frowned at the security guard who showed up.  "Hi.  He poisoned my dogs."  They just nodded.  "The family's coming."  They nodded and left them alone.  He looked at Ares again.  "So if I call the others and we argue about who takes his head?"

"That's not honorable single combat," he said dryly.

"He can challenge anyone he wants.  Get someone easier, like Ray.  He might win against Ray but I doubt it."

Ares stared at him.  "Fine, you're pissed.  You're angry.  You're grieving."

"They're as close as I'm getting to kids."

"I understand that.  Still a bad idea to get a rep like this."

"Who'll know?   Sam, are you going to tell others?"

"If anyone asks I'll point out that you're vicious when someone touches you or your family.  That you're a berserker and that you can do things that will make men beg to lose both heads."  He sipped his drink.  "Do we have any idea who has Dean?"

"That monsoon demon," Ares told him.

"Thought so, wanted to make sure."

"I know."  He looked at Holden, unfreezing him.  He screamed and lunged at Xander.  "Do it right," he ordered, staring his boy down before he disappeared.

Xander shrugged. "Fine.  I can do that."  He lunged in to meet him and beat his ass.  The guy was screaming and begging for mercy by the time he was done chopping off pieces of him.  Fingers, ears, part of his nose in a strange backhand swing.  Chunks of flesh.  One hand eventually.  The formerly injured knee got it again when he tripped and it got in range.  Xander kept his sword as sharp as possible so a good chop into a joint was enough to cut very deeply into it.  The man was screaming and Xander finished him off with a negligent swing and a sneer, taking the quickening.  He sighed, looking at the mess.  "I should burn it."

"Why?" Mac asked as he walked out of the house.  "You better?"

"Pissed.  He poisoned my dogs and ferrets!"

"I know," he agreed mildly.  "I don't care what you did to him, Xander.  For being that childish he deserved to be beaten."  He looked at the mess.  "This was a bit much."

"They're like his kids," Sam pointed out.  "You can have kids, we can either adopt or have pets."

"Point," Mac agreed.  He gave Xander a hug, getting one back and let the boy finish grieving on him.  "Shh, it's all right, Xander.  We'll pick up the pieces and bury him."  Xander nodded against his shoulder.  "Shh.  You're fine."  Xander pulled back to wipe off his face.  "You better?"

"We have to go rescue Dean."

"You two do that while I pick up the pieces."  Xander nodded, cleaning off his sword and finishing his ice water before taking Sam with him off realm to the DPP realm then transferring over.  Mac looked at the mess then sighed and went to pull a body bag out of his car and call a clean up team.  "Holden came after Harris.  He's the one who poisoned his, Messer, and Flack's dogs.  Xander lost it on him for daring to touch his pets."  He hung up and the clean up crew came to help him.  They were camouflaged as a set of body haulers, but they weren't heading anywhere near an ME's office.

One of them looked at the mess.  "Why did he lose it?  This is nastier than usual."

"Holden poisoned their pets," Mac told him.  "Both dogs, all the ferrets.  Xander considers them like his children."  They just nodded. "Then he came back to taunt him about it.  Probably about Xander having him thrown in jail for breaking into his house to poison them so he could have an easy set of heads."

"That's cheap," the body hauler agreed.  "Hunters like that suck."

"Xander only hunts when his family's attacked," Mac assured them.  They nodded and finished finding all the pieces, putting them into the bag.  The funeral home they used would put him back into the right order.  He filled out a field report and handed it over.  It did mention a brutal amount of violence in this challenge, plus Sam having been here, but he also noted that Xander only went after people like this when they hurt his family.  He'd have Stella file it with her report later.  He looked up once the body haulers were gone.  "Thanks for the head's up, Ares," he said quietly.  "I'll let his boys know that they're clear now."  He went to do that.  Stella was back in the lab so he handed her the report, getting a grimace.  "Someone will say something.  Make sure it states that."

"Of course.  He's not violent, usually."  She went to file it from her temporary desk.

Mac went to find Horatio and Don, who were arguing over something.  He cleared his throat.  "Holden?"  Horatio grimaced but nodded.  "Not an issue."  They both stared at him.  "He showed up to challenge Xander.  It took the clean up crew over thirty minutes to find all the parts," he said very quietly.  Don shuddered.  "Sam was watching.  They went to save Dean from the monsoon guy who has him."

Don just nodded.  "Charming."  He walked off shaking his head.  He'd call Xander in a while to check on him.  Frank gave him a worried look.  "The guy who did it showed up to challenge Xander," he said in his ear.  That got a nod.  "Pity," he said in a normal voice.

"Probably.  Xander?"

"Went with Sam to rescue Dean."

Frank rolled his eyes.  "You guys live an insane life."

"Well, yeah," he admitted with a grin.  He went to his desk, checking it over before sitting down.  "Did you know it was the same guy who we had arrested for breaking into the old house?"  Frank shook his head slowly.  "It slipped out then that he was going to poison us."

"Easier pickings?"


"So him getting the dogs...."

"Showed he was pathetic," Don agreed.  Ray Kowalski looked at him.   "Non issue."

"Good.  I'll let Adam know so he can calm down too."  He texted him that and let it go.  Xander would protect his family the same way he and Adam did each other.


Sam looked around the monsoon palace as they walked through it.  "It's open and gaudy," he decided.

Xander snickered.  "It was worse when he kept trying to take me.  It was all gold leaf and carvings of penises then."  He looked at the new ceiling then shrugged.  "We can destroy it on the way out if Dean wants."  He found the area he wanted to be in, finding the first door that was sealed shut.  A good kick and it was open, letting them see Dean, who was looking a bit pissed.  "Sorry, had to handle a challenge."

"I saw that."

Sam leaned in, looking at the mirror, then at him.  "Probably not the whole truth."  He hauled his brother out, looking him over.  "This isn't Dean.  Some of his scars are missing."

Xander frowned, then traced the quickening he could barely feel.  "Hmm.  Stupid of the demon, really."  He found the right area of the palace and a wall in his way.  So he destroyed the wall, the ceiling, and the walls it was attached to.  He loved the smell of explosives.  He found the right room and leaned in once he had kicked the door open.  "Morning.  There was a fake you Sam's beating."

"Decent of him."  He got up and looked at himself.  "I'm never going to live this outfit down."

"I came home wearing girl clothes, Dean."   Dean snickered.  "That was the first time I met Horatio and Speed.  They had come up for the weekend to help us and they got there just about as I got back.  Connor laughed his ass off with Giles about it but they helped me unjewelry and undress then shower."  He led him out, pricking his finger with a knife to make sure it was him.  Yup, little blue lightening showed up so it was him.  "Last check."

"I know."  They walked out there together and Sam took a picture.  "Sam!"

"That's not him either," Sam complained, staring at his brother.  He stabbed him and green blood ran out.  "See?"

"He had a quickening and red blood when I did the finger prick test.  Okay, so we'll destroy the whole building."  He pulled another charge out of his backpack and moved to set it on a structural beam.

Sam followed, it was safer to be wherever Xander was going to be than staring in a hallway at the two not-Deans.  That also meant he got to take the guards out when they came rushing to stop them.  "Did you really go after the monsoon demon with a sword?"

"Hell yes!   He stole me after I got sent back, again!"  He laid another charge and set off the first one, then moved Sam on, casually destroying all the pretty artwork around the house.  They finally collapsed the rest of it and watched it fade out.  Leaving a demon and Dean.  "Hey, Dean?  At least it's not a skirt."

"I heard," he called back.  "Sword?"

"Doesn't really work against their kind," Sam admitted, but he did start a banishing chant.

Xander poked him on the arm.  "We're on his realm.  Where are you going to banish him to, Sam?"

Sam stopped to think then shrugged.  "I didn't think about that."  Dean snickered, shaking his head.  "Sorry, had a challenge earlier."

"He let me see," Dean assured him.  "He did what?"

"Poisoned the dogs and killed them.  Poisoned the ferrets but they're being treated," Sam told him.

Dean just nodded once.  "Didn't get enough chunks, Xander."

"I know.  But he was begging and I was getting tired."  That got a nod of understanding.  "If I had left it too much longer, I would've had to rest and take another round once it had all grown back."

"Good point."  He turned and punched the presently solid wind demon, knocking him over.  Sam came over with the supplies and they got to work dealing with the stupid demon, making him *very* sorry for daring to take Dean.  Once they were done they strolled over.  "So, how do we get home?"

"Hmm.  There's the usual way," Xander said.  "Of course there was no direct connection to the DPP realm and they didn't want to deal with it today since he's a higher elemental.  So we could road trip.  Give you guys a good lesson in identification.  It'll be the same stuff I learned working in the brothel."  He walked them off, taking them to a bar realm that he knew about.  They could get nearly anywhere from there.  Dean grimaced when they landed.  "Clothes first," Xander promised, handing over his backpack.  Dean looked then grinned and pulled out clothes to put on.  He cut the harem pants' legs to make them boxer shorts so he could pull jeans on overtop of them then pulled on a t-shirt and overshirt.  The demon hadn't been able to remove his protection amulet so all he needed were shoes.  He found sneakers and that was good enough for now.  He sighed in pleasure.

"Welcome," Sam said with a grin.

"There had better not be pictures," Dean said firmly, glaring at his brother.  "I mean it, Sammy."  He just grinned, walking inside.  Dean looked at Xander, who shrugged.  "Letting us handle it?"

"You guys learn best by hands-on stuff."

"True.  Sword?"  Xander handed over the spare he carried.  "What did Sammy carry?"

"Money.  This demon realm actually takes visa."  He walked Dean inside, seeing the horrified looks.  "Had to take my student back.  Sorry."  He grinned at the bartender.  "Butterbeer?"  Sam and Dean both gave him odd looks.   "They liked the books too."  He took their drinks and headed to a table.  The succubus at the next table leered but Xander shook his head.  "I'm grieving over my pets, wench."  She pouted and went back to her present target.  He sipped and looked at Dean.  "Okay, what's harmful in here?"

Dean looked around, then pointed at something.  "Him?"

Sam nodded, pointing at another one.  "That one's harmful in certain circumstances."

"That's two out of fifteen," Xander agreed.  They kept pointing them out and Xander had to point out the last one.  They nodded, memorizing him when Xander told them what their species could do.  They hadn't thought about the demonic mafia demons being that dangerous to them.  That was another sort of problem in their usual lives.


Dean came out the portal, then turned to help Sam and Xander out, taking the two new bags and the other handle of the trunk Sam was pulling.  They all flopped down and looked at each other, shaking their heads.  "We're back," Dean yelled.

"Only been three days," Don called back, coming out of the house to look at them.  "You guys okay?"

"We rescued him but there was no direct link back," Sam told him, standing up.  "Before you ask, we had to come back via Sunnydale.  Giles gave us these."

Don just nodded and Xander got up to give him a hug.  Don stroked his back.  "The babies are back," he said gently.  Xander ran inside to cuddle his babies, cooing over them.  He helped the boys carry the stuff into the office.  "Books?"  They both nodded. "More dead things books?"

"Classification, prophecy, and mystical weapons," Sam told him with a grin.

"Not as bad as dead thing magic then," Don decided, looking them both over.  "Shower's still free, guys."  They ran for the showers upstairs.  Dean took Xander's shower since Sammy beat him but that was fine with them.  He came out to find Xander cuddling all his wiggling little furry bodies to his chest.   He sat behind him to cuddle him, getting Xander resting against his chest.  "We'll move on," he said quietly.

Xander nodded against his shoulder.  "I got him back."

"Mac told us."  Xander looked at him.  "You're not usually that violent, Xander.  It was reasonable with the grief."  Xander nodded, relaxing again.  He wouldn't mention that Ares told him that he had intervened to keep Xander from magicing him.  They knew he wasn't usually like that.  "Why did Giles send books?"

"The last place we were the demons knocked us all out and sent us there.  They told them we were being creepy by giving them higher identification lessons.  They sent us to Buffy.  Who had Willow send us back but Giles sent them the books when she called to warn him to stay home.  We saw Oz while Willow got out of class and came to do the spell.  He said hi."

"I liked Oz the last time I talked to him."  He stroked over his hair, calling Danny.  "They're back.  No direct link.  The boys are in the shower.  Through Sunnydale and Willow sent them home."  He looked at him.  "Swords?"

"In the trunk," he assured him, getting a smile and a nod.  Don gave him a squeeze.  "Are they all okay?"

"They're just fine and so's Hubert."  He stroked over his braid.  "The vet did say if he's having this sort of growth spurt and aggression problems it might be time to send him back home."

"I've been thinking about that.  I'm going to try to get his favorite people back together for a weekend."  That got a nod.  He looked at him.  "Since most of them are in DC, want to go see Greggy and Tony?"

"We can do that in a few weeks, once you've got it arranged."  Xander nodded, not letting his babies go.  One squeaked at him.  "Let's put them back in the play area."  He gently put them back and let Xander cuddle in front of him, looking over as Hubert came out from his nap.  "Hey.  Look who's back."  Hubert crawled into Xander's lap, getting the same sort of love and affection from him.  Don smiled when Dean came out of the shower and headed for the fridge.  "Leftovers are on the usual shelf, Dean."  He nodded, making a plate to go upstairs with him to change clothes.  Sam came down to get his own then ran back upstairs to eat.  "You guys can hang out with us, we don't mind," he reminded Sam's towel-covered backside.  He petted the dragon too, getting warm puffs of air for it.   "Spoiled," he teased.  Xander nodded.  "He'll be fine.  You can find him a dragon stepmommy and it'll be fine."  Xander nodded, going back to his cuddles.  Danny came in and sat beside him, cuddling him too.  "We done for the day?"

"Yup.  We're done and the old precinct is being painted."  He patted the dragon on the head.  "You better?"  He shrugged and snuggled in again. "What're we gonna do, Xander?" he asked quietly.

"Let him see his harem before he goes back?" Xander suggested, looking at him.

Danny grinned.  "We could like that.  Field trip to see Greg and Tony?"  Xander beamed and nodded.  "Sure.  You plan it and let us know."  He looked at Hubert.  "That good with you?"  He nodded, huffing at him too.  He shifted, letting Xander get the comfy petting spot on his chest too.  The daddy knew the best petting spots.

Upstairs, Sam and Dean were making plans about how to handle future kidnaping attempts by other demons.  Their dad hadn't taught them anything about these sort of demons and what they really wanted.  They had missed a lot of them in their training.  They had even met holy demons on their trip.  The cloister of nun demons had been kinda nice and had baked great muffins.  Their dad would've freaked out at them.


to part 64

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