Notes:  The professor and the PETA member were suggested by the Imaginings list.

Strange Goodbyes.

Abby, up in DC, opened the letter from Xander, frowning at the formal, stiff card until she flipped it over to read the writing on it.  She pouted all the way up to Greg's desk to show him.  "Are we on-call that weekend?"

He looked at their calendar then shook his head.  "Nope."  He gave her a hug.  "It'll be okay, Abby, I promise.  Xander said his growth spurts have been making him aggressive and too big to cuddle.  He said he thought he'd have years more before he had to send him back but he was wrong."  She nodded, pouting at Gibbs and handing him the card too.  "Have you talked to the others yet?"

"I just got it in the mail," she admitted, going back to the lab to call Garcia.  "It's Abby," she said sullenly.  "No, everyone's okay but you need to check the mail for Xander cards."  Garcia went to do that and came back pouting.  "I know, it sucks.  At least we'll have one last weekend."  She brightened up at the suggestion that maybe Xander could adopt another one to foster.  "Maybe.  I'll ask when he gets up here.  Yeah, I let the others here know.  We have off that weekend.  Thanks, Garcia."  She hung up and went back to pouting, staring at her scaly friend's picture.  She'd miss the baby dragon.


Don Epps looked at the note that the mail person left on his desk when he came back from the meeting, frowning at it.  He opened it and shook his head.

"Problem?" Colby asked as he sat down, dropping his notebook and pen.

"Harris is having to send his dragon Hubert back to his own realm because he's getting too aggressive.  He wanted to know if we wanted to go to his sending home party in three weekends in DC."

"Charlie might.  He loved the little breast freak," Megan pointed out dryly.

"Hubert loved his hair too," David agreed, dropping his own note taking supplies on his desk.  "When is it?" Don handed it over so they could decide if they wanted to go too.  Megan faxed it to Charlie's office and handed it back with a grin.  She probably wasn't going to go but Don and Charlie had both liked the little lizard with the cookie habit.

"You know, this means we'll be seeing Gibbs' people and the profilers he liked too," Colby pointed out.  "He had a major love for Garcia's fingers."

Don smirked and nodded.  "Definitely."  He sat down to get into his email and check for an answer.  Charlie had sent back an 'Amita and I are going, Larry is debating' message.  He snickered.  His brother just wanted to get out of town to avoid his father's complaints about not having grandchildren.


Don handed Horatio the paperwork for him and Danny.  "We're sending Hubert home from DC that weekend.  That way he can see his harem one last time."

Horatio nodded, looking at his own calendar.  He filled out ones for him and Speed, signing them and handing one over for Ryan as well.  "There, go hand them up the chain, Don."

Don grinned.  "Thanks, Horatio."  He walked off, going down to the Chief's office to hand them to him.  The chief of detectives gave him an odd look.  "Hubert's being sent home."

"The baby dragon?"

"Yeah.  Xander found him on a road trip but he's been getting more and more aggressive and pushy even with him.  He thinks it's time for a real dragon to foster him instead.  This way all his harem can pet him one last time before we send him home."

He shook his head.  "That's just strange.  Asia?  Is your boy going with him?  That would mean I'd have to do leave of absence paperwork for you or Wolfe this week."

"He came from the same place Xander learned those dances," he admitted.  The Chief gave him a long stare.  He grinned.  "They do that now and then.  Look at what else he handles, sir."

"Whatever," he mumbled, signing off on them.  "I see Wolfe, Speedle, and Caine are going too.  Not the others?"

"They can say theirs here.  That's what we planned for Horatio, Speed, and Ryan, but Horatio said we're going to guard them in DC."

"We do hope there isn't going to be another incident?" he asked archly.

Don shrugged.  "How would I know?  I don't see the future.  I do know that Gibbs knows and has him put on a GPS bracelet as soon as he gets within their jurisdiction."  That got a quiet snicker and their copies were handed back.  "Thank you, sir."  He walked off, going to hand out the copies to the right people.  Ryan gave him an odd look but he shrugged.  "Horatio said you could go."

"Sure.  I'm sure it'll be a good weekend in DC."

"You might even get to hit on Abby again," Danny teased.

Ryan smirked.  "She is cute and sweet."  They all smiled and went back to work for the day.  Miami never closed, especially if they were all going out of town for a weekend.


McGee's computer beeped a message at him.  "Gibbs, a GPS monitor you have on constant watch just got turned on?"

"Xander," Tony reminded him.

"Oh, yeah.  He's coming up this weekend.  Wonder if they're in the SUV."  He keyed into it.  "They are driving."

"Probably safer," Gibbs pointed out.  "We don't need his hormones on a closed air system like a plane, McGee. There's no telling who would come out affected."  He looked at Greg, who blushed a bit.  He had gotten a military flight while surging the last time.  He was still getting flowers from the co-pilot, who was thankfully female.  "Is Speedle coming up?"

"Yup," Greg said.  "I got the dosing instructions for you too, boss.  They're locked in your gun box."  Gibbs got into it to read them, nodding a bit.  "Just in case we need them."

"Thank you," Tony said quietly.  "Was that plant on the list?"

"New hybrid and one of the plants he crossed is," Greg told him.  "I sent out a note about the hybrid to everyone."

"Good," Tony said with a grin.  "Any other revelations?"

"Wondering if the students are coming too."

"Nope," Abby said as she came up.  "They're guarding the house in Miami this weekend and playing with the ferrets."  She gave Tony a hug.  "Xander called."

"His GPS bracelet came on," Tony told her.

"Good.  That way we know if they have to detour to save someone."  She glared at Greg.

"The last time wasn't me."

"No, it wasn't," she agreed.  "Tony left hormone traces on me and it was me."  Gibbs growled at that reminder. "Does anyone else need to be warned?"

"Fornell has the same GPS keyed since he's the local contact for that problem," Tony told her.  That got a nod and she went back to the lab.  "Where's Kate, boss?"

"Hiding from you this weekend," he reminded him.  "She doesn't want to deal with Xander."

"That's right, she's scared of his hair," McGee said happily.

"She's scared she'll want to grow hers out," Tony said dryly.  "Not that hers will look as good as his does."

"Enough, work," Gibbs ordered, tracking the GPS now.  It was on the right highway to be coming up from Miami.  He found an email from Don giving him an itinerary and timeline of travel.   Someone had some real sense down there.  It also listed who was coming up.  "They're bringing Wolfe."

"Good," Tony said happily.  "If something happens he can save Xander."  Greg snickered and nodded.  "It's part of his job anyway.  That's why he gets the good spoiling."

Don Epps came off the elevator with his brother.  "Morning all."

"Morning," Greg said cheerfully.  "Xander's within a few hours of the city."

"Two," Gibbs said, shaking their hands.  "Came to see the little lizard off too?"

"He even paid airfare," Don said with a grin.  "That way Charlie can go wander around the Smithsonian when we're done."

"Everyone needs a vacation," Tony said dryly, smirking at them.  "The two new students are staying in Miami."  Gibbs printed off the list of who was coming for Don, getting a nod of thanks.  "We all good?"

"Caine, Speedle, Wolfe, Messer, Flack, and Xander," Charlie said happily.

Tony mentally counted the number of GHS in that group.  "That's more than some smaller, regional conventions," he said calmly.

"Some of the city-wide meetings in New York too," Greg said.

"That's the same amount that we have in LA," Don reminded them, making them calm down.  "Even if it is Xander, nothing too horrible will happen.  He left all his cranks in Miami."

"We hope," Tony told him.

"Statistically speaking, it's a slim probability of any of them being taken this weekend since this event wasn't widely announced.  If so it's someone that's been stalking one of them or who got turned onto them by one of the crooks that they keep thwarting."

"We had one of those," McGee said dryly, glaring at Tony.

"Not my fault they wanted me out of the way because I figured out what they were doing, Probie."

"No but the international incident it caused when we had to get you back from them was a lot of evil paperwork."

Don laughed.  "I'm so glad I don't work with any of you guys in my office."  He grinned at Tony and Greg.  "It's enough hearing how Gibbs handles it."

"The guy in Philly with the level three wife who works in the ATF is coming to LA," Greg said happily.

Don moaned.  "ATF?"

"Yeah.  She's good with explosives."

Charlie snickered at the look on his brother's face.  "It'll be fine.  I'm sure someone knows."

Gibbs nodded.  "Yes they do."  He checked the monitor.  They were off the highway and not on the proposed route.  "McGee, find out if there's anything going on that would've made them get off the interstate."

McGee looked.  "Accident but no, boss."  He logged into the traffic cam system on the highway they were on.  "Officers are leading them."  He called the department that was on the cars.  "Hi, this is Agent McGee, NCIS.  We're expecting some consultants up from Miami and went looking for them because they're a bit late.  One of your cruisers led them off the interstate and they're heading toward the lake resort by you guys?  Silver stretch range rover and a blood red corvette.  By the traffic cameras, car 812."  He waited while they called to see what was going on, coming back saying they weren't aware of having that car.  "I'm looking at it on the traffic cams, Captain.  Exactly.  Some officers out of Miami- Dade PD actually.  The range rover belongs to the husband of one of the officers."  He nodded when they said they'd stop them.  "Please.  Need my number?"  He saw Tony calling someone's phone.  "That'll work.  Thank you."  He hung up.  "That is not their car so they'll be stopping it."  He changed cameras to get them in that area.  They got to watch the local cops stop the others and arrest the fake cops.  Tony hung up.  "They good?"

"Danny said the supposed cops told them that there was a memo saying they had to be led into town the back way due to someone wanting them.  Any ID's yet?"

McGee zoomed as much as he could.  "I can't get a good resolution."

Don leaned over to look.  "That's one of our local arms dealers in LA."

"So he knew Xander?" Greg suggested.  Charlie gave him an odd look.  "Xander likes weapons."

"He does," Gibbs said grimly.  "I still want an inventory list of what Harris has in storage."

"Horatio takes care of that, boss," Tony quipped.

"I'll get it from him then."  He came over to watch.  Everyone else was all right and Hubert was peeing on one of the fake officers' legs.  "He did grow."

"A lot," Charlie agreed with a smile.  "Poor little guy.  I wonder if Garcia's logged in too."

"Probably," Tony said dryly.  He sent her an email and she sent back an 'I know, I saw, the meanies' back.  "Yup.  She saw.  Called them meanies."

Gibbs made sure everyone got back into the SUV and corvette, then got back on their way.  He looked at Charlie.  "The boy does beat probability every time, Epps.  He does the impossible for breakfast."

"Getting the tangles out of his hair?" Greg quipped.

Don smirked at him.  "That's mean."

"It's not.  When he gets knots, it takes hours.  You should see it when he hasn't braided it before a ride."

"He has a motorcycle?" Charlie asked.

"Horses," Greg and Tony said together.

Greg found the picture Xander had sent him, waving him over to see.  "That's Pride, his horse.  The brown ones are Ryan's two Princesses and the two foals, Duchess and Countess.  The furry looking one is going to be Horatio's nephew Ray's horse, Furry.  They're his herd."

Charlie smiled.  "They look like they're pretty horses."

"He even got those two students up on them," Tony said with an evil smirk for Don.  "Xander said they were very sore but they'd live with the sore butt and he made them go with him a few other times too."

"If they had to, they could use it to get away," Don said, coming over to look.  "That's a big horse."

"It is," Greg agreed.  "He's loving though.  Pride will nuzzle you off your feet if you bring him treats.  Furry too.  The little mares won't let you pet them if they don't know you and you don't bring them treats.  Xander said they're spoiled like real royalty."

Charlie snickered.  "I've met some.  They can be."  He grinned at his brother.  "Maybe you can learn how to ride."

"I did learn how to ride.  One of the guys on the baseball team showed me.  His parents owned a ranch."  He walked back to Gibbs' desk shaking his head.  "Want us to wait at the hotel?"

"If you want.  We're only doing paperwork," Gibbs admitted.  "Abby's pouting in the lab IM-ing Garcia probably."

"Yup," McGee said.  He typed something to her then shut down that messenger.  "I told her they're up here and Xander's on his way in."

"That's fine."  Abby came up to get hugs and ruffle Charlie's hair.  She led them back to her lab to show off.  "She'll be pouting for weeks," he muttered.

Greg cleared his throat.  "So's Xander.  One of the people who wanted him in that special, sword fighting way poisoned his dogs and nearly killed the ferrets too," he said quietly.  Tony glared at him.  "He got the sucker when he showed up to challenge him."

"Both dogs?" Tony demanded.  Greg nodded a bit.  "The ferrets?"

"They weren't as bad and the vet managed to save them.  Sam found the dogs dead on the ottomans after practice while Xander napped on the couch."

"Is he officially gone?"

"Don mentioned chunks," Greg said tactfully.  "Xander apparently lost his temper when he showed up to challenge him and tell him he had done it because Xander had him arrested the first time he broke into the house to poison the humans."

Gibbs just nodded once.  "Sounds reasonable to me.  The kid okay?"

"Sulking.  Badly.  He hasn't even wanted to go to the pet store to get treats for the ferrets or Hubert.  Danny said he had to get ferret chow."

"Poor kid," McGee sighed, shaking his head.  "At least the guy paid."

"Heavily," Tony assured him.  He knew Xander's temper.  The same as Greg did.  He was sure the chunks were small chunks.  Probably tiny chunks.


Xander walked into the hotel and up to the check in desk, smiling at the man behind it.  "I have a reservation for a suite and a room.  Harris."

The man looked then frowned.  "I see four rooms and an executive suite, sir, and that you're traveling with pets?"

"I am.  Didn't we put Don's room under his name?" he asked his Don.  Who nodded.  "Four rooms?"

"Me," Ryan reminded him dryly.

"Good point."  He nodded.  "Have the Epps brothers checked in?"

"Yes, sir, I do see that they did get the other room in the lesser rooms."  He checked, it was pre-paid and they had extra on the tab.  "Mini-bars aren't available in the smaller rooms."

"Sometimes you have to have room service," Xander said with a small smile.  "Are we set?"

"Yes, sir.  What sort of animal do you have?"  He held up his now shrunken pet lizard.  The hotel didn't like bigger animals but things in the iguana size were okay with them.  "Ah, I see."  He nodded. "Litter trained?"

"Toilet trained and litter trained," Danny assured him.  That got a smile and a nod, plus a note made.  Their keys were handed over and they were escorted up to their rooms by the bellhop.  Xander waited until they were gone to unshrink Hubert, getting a huff of irritation.  "Not our fault you're so big," he teased, petting him.  Hubert nipped him and went to look out the window.  He sucked on his finger.  "His teeth are sharper too," he told Xander.

"He got my ankle this morning."  He flopped down, letting the others congregate as soon as they got there.  He did text Garcia, as she had demanded.  Then Charlie, as he had asked for.  Then Greg because his former snuggly one should know.  "Don, did you put the cars in valet?"

"No other option," he admitted, sitting down next to Xander to cuddle him.  "Relax, it'll be okay, Xander."  He nodded, leaning against him, letting Danny have his other side.  They snuggled while they waited.  The rest of them would get to see Hubert tonight for dinner in their room before he did the spell to send him home overnight in one of the local parks.  That way no one would wonder when the small portal opened.  Someone knocked and Hubert went to hide in the bedroom while Danny got it, letting in Garcia.  "Hey," Don said, waving a bit.

"Hi, snookums."  She gave them all hugs, spotting her lap buddy peeking out of doorway so she went to pet him.  "Aww, my poor baby," she cooed, settling in to pet him.  He soaked up the attention, giving her good love back.  "Reid will be over later," she assured him.  "He had to do a nasty report for the bigot who's trying to ruin us, precious.  Then he'll be here."  The dragon blew a bit of steam, content for the moment.

Xander looked back.  "I figured on sending him home late tonight."

"Tomorrow night?" she asked hopefully.

"Tonight's easier to do it," he admitted.  She sighed but cuddled him better.  "It'll be okay."

"Are you going to adopt another one?" she asked.

"We're not sure we're ready for another one after having the dogs and ferrets poisoned," Danny said quietly.  She glared at him.  "Someone who hated Xander for having him arrested when he broke into the first house in Miami.  The ferrets are fine but the dogs are in a nice dog cemetery."  She nodded, getting up to hug Xander and Don since they were their dogs, giving Danny one on her way back to Hubert.  He heard someone coming and went to check the door.  Garcia moved out of view.  "Problem?" he asked the bellhop.

"No, sir.  I have menus for room service and our forms for breakfast," he said, handing them over.  "I also have a message from the desk."  He handed sealed paper over.  "Are you expecting a lot of business acquaintances?"

"It's a going away party for my pet," Xander told him. "The ones who love him."  That got a nod.  "Most of them are federal agents."

"That's fine, sir.  Thank you for that warning."  He left, going to tell the curious manager.  No one knew who that strange looking guy was but he was apparently decent enough if he was letting the pet's favorite people pet him one last time before he was put down.


Charlie walked into the suite, looking at the cuddly dragon on Abby's lap.  "Awww."  He took a picture and Hubert came over to cuddle him too.  "Are you excited about going home?"  He settled in to pet him with Abby, smiling when the dragon reached up a paw to play with his hair.  "I know, it's fascinating.  Many girls find it fascinating too."  Hubert huffed at that comparison, nosing Abby's shoulder before batting at her pigtails.

"Maybe he's trying to set you up," Reid teased from his seat.  He was using his ice pack again because Hubert had seen him and pounced him, knocking him down and nearly out to get cuddles from him.

"Could be," Charlie said with a smile for Abby.  "She is very smart and pretty."

"She has good hair," his brother teased, grinning at Abby.  "You'll have to watch out for our father.  He nags a bit now and then."

"So do mine.  They nag me all the time by IM about eating, not getting too much sun, when are they going to get grandchildren.  All sorts of nagging by IM."

"You don't call your parents?" Don asked.

"They're deaf," she said.

"Oh, I didn't know.  I guess IM-ing makes more sense then."

She nodded.  "A lot more sense.  It means I don't have to worry about forks while I sign during the nagging over dinner.  Or sending food shooting across the room while I sign with the fork in my hand."

Charlie smiled.  "I learned some to work with a professor.  I always had to put mine down.  I ended up drinking all those protein shakes so I wouldn't have to worry about poking someone accidentally.  He laughed."

"It took me nearly six years to sign without sending food shooting at my dad or the stove.  It made Mom huff but my dad laughed all the time.  Even the time I gave him a purple eye with a beet to the face."  Don snickered at that.  "They're pretty cool but they're still complaining about the Katrina related damage not being fixed fast enough."

"It takes a long time to build any city," Don Flack reminded her gently.  She nodded.  "Beyond the fact that FEMA does kinda move really slowly.  Even when they're rebuilding part of Miami they move slowly and annoy a lot of us."  Horatio nodded at that.  His house had been nearly destroyed a few hurricanes ago and he had to deal with all manner of people over the details to fix it.  Speed curled up tighter against him.  "Next time you two come to live at our house with us."

Speed smiled.  "Our ferrets would love Ferretopia too."  Horatio pinched him on the knee.  "They would."

"Probably," Horatio agreed.  "We hope it won't happen again.  If so we'll gladly come take up our room at the house, Don."

"Does that mean I can get those recipes off Speed finally?" Xander asked.  Hubert yawned.  "Going to nap on Abby, Hubert?"  He shook his head and wandered over to Reid to snuggle him in apology for knocking him down.

"He definitely likes his smart people," Ryan teased.

"Yes he does," Danny agreed.  Xander opened his mouth but he gave him a look and he didn't ask why Hubert liked him since he wasn't that smart.  Don Epps grinned at him for that.  "How's LA been?"

"Quiet.  No giant robots.  No orgy in a mall fountain in six weeks."  Abby snickered at that.  "Not GHS members.  High school kids.  One decided to play and tease her boyfriend with the wet t-shirt she was wearing without a bra.  He lacked self control and pounced her in the fountain.  Guards came running but by then more teenagers had joined in and it was a full-blown orgy.  Ten different couples and a trio.  Vice got called and decided it was a GHS thing so they called me.  So I had them turn the water into ice water and made them all shriek when I added purple dye packs as well."  He smirked meanly at the laughing cops.  "They were not amused.  The news crew that was covering it was amused.  Their parents weren't very amused but a few told them they deserved the humiliation of being purple for a few weeks for that stunt.  The girl who started it was sent off to school somewhere far away from her boyfriend.  They got community service for it."  That got a few giggles from Reid.  "Exactly.  Then I got to ask the Vice guys why they called me when they clearly weren't on our caseload.  After I finished yelling at them, I explained how you spotted one of them.  He was a new guy and had only heard rumors.  He thought all sex was bad and evil so therefore it must've been the evil GHS members doing something like that in public."  Horatio snickered at that.  "His boss helped me set him straight and he's much happier now in Pet Robbery."

Speed burst out cackling.  "That's so mean, Don."

He nodded.  "I know.  Better for him anyway.  Not like he wouldn't blush at the first prostitute he had to talk to."  He shifted in his seat.  "What're we doing for dinner?"

"Ordering," Tony and Xander said together.  Xander stuck his tongue out at him.

"Xander does cook very well but there's no kitchen here," Ryan offered.  He looked at the napping dragon.  "Hold his rear leg up more, Reid.  It's had the knee pain most often."  He shifted the dragon with a moan for the weight but Hubert kept napping.  "Has anyone come up to bother him recently, Xander?"

"One professor keeps trying to sneak onto the grounds to get a better look at him.  The guards stop him and his TA a lot."  Horatio gave him a long look.  "Six times.  He's a biologist or whatever up at U of Miami.  Came in demanding that I show him what Hubert really was since dragons were mythical.  Hubert came out to stare at him that time, snorted then walked off waving his tail.  The community guards got him for me."

"Any others?" Don asked.

"One rabid PETA person who said I was mean to make him eat meat when we were shopping one day.  I let Sam dazzle her and correct her assumptions about animals not eating others in the wild.  Kept me from having to outdo the snark twins," he said with a nod for Speed and Ryan where they were sitting.  Don snickered at that.  "She walked off huffing in irritation.  Said she'd get us all for that.  I told her to grow up."

"So did I when they showed up at the station," Danny admitted.  Horatio gave him an odd look.  "She came to complain that we're breeding unnatural beings, because she couldn't find him in any classification manual, and we were tainting what they were.  I told her to go watch National Geographic.  They did too eat meat.  That's the day we did the taste test.  He passed over her rice and whatever pet food for ham.  The only grain he wanted was pizza."  Greg snickered at that.  "So we made her huff off with that show and tell.  I think Frank got onto the others when they tried to show up to protest.  I think growing up was part of his complaint too."

"Why did no one tell me about these incidents?" Horatio asked.

"You didn't need the stress unless they started a campaign," Don Flack said with a grin for him.  "You have enough already, Horatio."

"Thank you, boys."  He smirked at Xander.  "What are you going to do about the professor?"

"Possibly send him there for a day if he gets too pushy.  Just to make him go away.  Last time I saw him he was in the nut tree with a camera."

"Was he there during the dog incident?" Charlie asked quietly.

"Nope," Xander assured him.  "Started just after that.  A few days later.  Sam likes to go out and run him off too.  Dean just shakes his head and mutters about college smarts not being very good brains."

"Dean's got practical knowledge and intelligence.  It's a different form," Reid defended.

"Then again, speaking as a professor, some of us have *no* sense," Charlie argued with a smile.  "The biologists I work with would have tried kidnaping to get him because announcing a discovery like that would make their names.  Even if it would've meant going to jail."

"The TAs tried that," Xander admitted.  "Dean broke his first one's arm so he brought out the smarter one.  Then they told me since I was cooking."

"They do guard you very well," Don admitted.  "Any idea what they're doing?"

"Ray Junior came over to play video games.  Sam got taken for about three hours but it's better now and the one who had him is *very* sorry and begging Dean not to finish cutting him to pieces.  Sam used all the hot water in the house then went back to video games with Ray.  Adam promised he'd pop over to check on them tomorrow for us."

"That's safe enough," Speed decided.  "How's their training going?"

"Good," Xander said with a happy smile.  "They added onto what they already had and Dean's very good at some of the more militant dances already.  Sam's good at the lighter, more emotionally tinted ones.  Dean's done what Don has, meshed it with his normal style.  Sam's more into learning styles for their own values than Dean is.  They'll do fine and last a very long time."  Reid looked over.  "They do what I used to do."

Reid just nodded.  "Hotch tried to do a background check on you when Hubert showed up that time."  He went back to petting the cuddly one.

Speed stared at him.  "How far did he get?"

"All the way back to the classified project they helped take down right before he left.  He ran into that, heard hints that Xander did things like that all the time  before then, then went to take something for his headache."

Garcia snickered.  "Which turned out to be a bottle of whiskey but I guess sometimes you got to do it."

Danny nodded.  "That's how we felt too."

"Tequila," Don corrected.  "It went better with Sunnydale."

"Aww," Abby said, pinching his cheek.  "It can't be that bad."  Don nodded it was.  "I'm sure it'll be okay."

Xander snickered.  "Not really.  But then again, I retired."  His whole family nodded at that.

"Oh, I got an email from someone saying they'd love a real visit instead of housing you when you got knocked out and sent back?" Garcia asked him, looking clueless.

Xander snorted.  "No, if I end up out in Sunnydale for a *visit* there's going to be some dead people," he said honestly.  "You can tell my former best friend I said that."

"Sure," she said weakly.  "What happened?"

"Long, bad story," Don assured her.  "This is meant to be a bit happier than that."  They nodded and decided what they were ordering for dinner and went back to spoiling their baby dragon with attention before he had to go home.


Xander put his baby dragon in front of the mommy dragon he had found, looking up at her.  "I don't know if you can understand me or not, but I found Hubert in his egg in a marketplace.  I raised him very well.  He's a bit spoiled but I made sure he can track and hunt.  It's just that he's getting too big for the human town I live in and he's too aggressive for the others around us.  We all spoiled him greatly before bringing him here."  He petted Hubert, putting a bag down beside him.  "That's his favorite blanket to sleep on and some things his harem scented for him if you don't mind, ma'am?"  She leaned down to sniff him then the baby dragon.  It bleeted at her, nuzzling some.  She huffed but nosed him closer to her cub.  "Thank you.  Take care of Hubert for me please?  He's a good boy dragon and we love him."  He left, closing the portal behind himself.  The others had left already so he looked at his Don.  "Hi."

"It's all right," he promised, pulling him closer for a hug.  "He'll be loved and spoiled over there too."  Xander shook his head.  "I promise, he will be. Even if it's not a warm leather seat in the window, he'll still love it."  He walked Xander back to the car.  They'd get Xander through the traumas and they'd deal with the pet issue when they got home.  Then they could move on.  The others had left them the SUV, which was nice of them, though Don Epps had gone over all the features to see if he could talk his boss into buying their office one.   He'd be going over Tony and Greg's more workable model the next day for better begging power.  Don got him into the front seat and walked around to drive, heading back to the hotel.  The others were back there sulking to ice cream but that was to be expected.  Hubert was a very loved little beast.  Very spoiled and very loved.  They walked in and blinked at the flash going off.  "Huh," Don said, looking around the trees.

Xander looked around then tried something.  "I'm blocked," he announced.  Horatio and Speed both groaned but Ryan pulled out the bag he had brought with him, handing Xander his sword and then pulling out his own.  "Thanks, Ry."

"Welcome.  Figured it would happen sometime."  They looked around the area.  "Reid's missing," he figured out.

Garcia looked up, then around.  "Well, that might be helpful.  How do we end this nice version of the woods?"

Xander shrugged.  "Don't know yet.  We'll figure that out."  He found his cellphone and he had a signal.  "Huh.  Garcia, call Reid, tell him to add a few extra days onto the motel room please?  Have him tell the people that we're taking a day trip but we're coming back?"  She nodded, doing that for him.  He looked at Horatio, who took the phone next to call the rest of the family in Miami.  "Ask Sam if he knows," Xander called over to him.  That got a nod and Horatio mentioned that as well.

Don stiffened.  "Um, Xander, cackling?"

"Can't hear it," he admitted, frowning as he looked around.  Two demons came out of the woods and he and Ryan attacked, letting Don and Danny guard the others while they fought.  Ryan tossed back the bag to Don, who found his and Danny's sword inside.

"Um, not to be curious at a bad time, but what's with the swords?" Abby asked.

Danny grinned.  "Xander fights with one, we all practice as a family to keep in shape.  He's less bored.  He's even teaching others."

"Oh.  Okay."  She just nodded, looking at her buddies.  Who all shrugged.  But Greg looked like he had a clue.  "Greg, did you learn too?"

"Including that GHS dancing version," he agreed.  "Got a spare?"  Danny looked then tossed over a lighter one.  "Thanks.  Still not great and I'm out of practice."

Tony stared at him.  "I can do the dances, but you learned the sword work that went with them?"

"Yeah, I even went on one of those road trips with Ryan and Xander," he said dryly.  Tony shuddered, he'd heard about those.  "Exactly."  One of the demons knocked Xander down, making him hiss. "Ow."  Xander flipped up and went after him again, this time it was clear he was not a happy person.  The demon had tried to cut his hair on him.  "Oooooh," he said with a wince.  "The poor demon tried to get his hair.  Pity the poor thing's end."

Don shuddered.  "Me too.  I saw the last one."  Both demons fell and those two came back for the family to check them over.  "Hair okay?" he asked Xander.

"Yup, I'm fine."  He took a kiss, then one from Danny.  "I'll be okay.  Ryan?"

"A few scratches.  They're doing the normal thing," he offered quietly, looking around.  "Any ideas?"

"I haven't even had one that came to court me.  Sam's had some that came to court him," Xander offered, "but I haven't had any recently."

Don Epps looked over.  "Somehow I find that hard to believe.  Boys?"

"Ran off two recently," Danny admitted.  "Adam helped."  He frowned at Xander.  "He said one came to the house."

"Must've been who Dean ran off," he said with a small shrug.  He heard the cackling this time and growled, spinning around.  "Guys, gentle people in the center.  Now."  They did that and the ones with swords watched around them.  Xander kept trying to get his magic unblocked.  "Abby, undo my hair for me please?  I think the thing blocking me is in it."  She undid it and he felt the magic come for him.  "Ah, better."  A centaur came out of the woods and Xander frowned at him.  "I didn't know we were in Ancient Greece."

"You're not, puny one," he sneered.  "Concubines with swords?"

Xander lit his tail on fire.  "Yes, I do," he said dryly, staring him down.  He took off his shirt and let his pants slide down some.  The centaur saw and backed off, looking scared.  "Where are we and why?" he asked in Greek.

"You are in Panathena.   You trespass."

"Someone brought us here," Ryan assured him.  "We had no intention of being here.  We'd like to go back to our hotel room really.  Got any ideas how we do that?"

The centaur shrugged.  "I'll ask the one who guards us.  Stay here."

Xander nodded.  "We can do that.  Will it take long?"

"I hope not.  Your kind are disturbing to us," he said with a new sneer before trotting off.

Xander looked back at them.  "Okay, let's set up camp, people.  He's going to see his people about getting us home. They don't like us.  They don't want us here.  So let's do the comfort things.  Ryan, did you bring the emergency kit too?"

"Yeah.  Enough for the family.  We can take turns."  He got into the bag, pulling out the traveling backpacks so he and Don Epps could put up the tents.  Xander started the fire for the girls who were shivering.  Danny and Don got some more wood.  Ryan had even packed some bottles of water.  Abby gave him an odd look.  "It's what I take when I have to rescue Xander."

"Oh.  Okay."  She took the bag to look at.  "What else is in here and where's the bottom?"

"Doesn't have one," Greg said, sitting next to her.  "They're nice.  You can fit anything you can shove into them in there.  Including Xander a few times on the roadtrip we went on.  It was safer."

"That's how I got the pets back from the convention," Xander agreed happily.   He heard hooves and looked around.  "We're not going to harm you unless you attack," he called, making Don and Danny rush back with their wood.

The female centaur came out of the woods to stare at him.  "That's good to know.  Why are you here...."  She spotted his marks.  "Priest of Strife?"

"And Cupid; follower of Ares as well," Xander assured her.  "We got snatched from our hotel room.  I told the male who was here.  He said he'd go ask to see how we got home."

"Good of him."  She moved closer, staring at the marks.  "Those are...."  He let her touch one and her fingers tingled.  "Blessed."

He grinned.  "I'm one of Cupid's Burdens," he said quietly.  "And a follower of Ares."

"Oh!  That makes more sense to my kind."  Ryan showed her his mark as well.  "And a chosen warrior as well.  Interesting who they called."  She stepped back.  "As far as I know, we in the village had nothing to do with this.  There have been a few things out here that have been troublesome so we've set up a patrol."

Ryan pointed at the demon's bodies.  "Them?"

She looked then nodded. "Them and their kind.  Just the two?"

"They came out to attack us," Xander told her, sitting down to look up at her.  "We mean the village no harm."

"Good to know," she decided.  "Stay here.  It should be safe enough with you here."  He nodded.  "Unless you wanted to go to Artemis' temple?  It's about a half day away."

"If so, I'll go first," Xander promised.  She nodded and walked off.  "Thank you for the information, m'lady."

She smirked back at him.  "You have enough on your mind.  The scents are very telling."  She kept going, going to see her village's elder.  She ran into the other one arguing with him.  "Did you see their blessed marks as well?" she asked.  They stopped fighting and she smirked at them.   "One wears blessed marks to Ares, Cupid, Strife, and a few minor ones to Hecate, Artemis, Hera, and Aphrodite.  The other wears the mark of a Chosen of Ares."

The village elder hung his head, shaking it.  "An anchor then."

"One of Cupid's Burdens according to him," she agreed.  "How were they stolen?"

"The ones who want to wipe us out want them as their toys," the male centaur sneered.

"I doubt that would work.  The scents on him are very telling.  His two owners are with him."

The village elder sighed.  "I have no idea how to get them home."

"I suggested they visit the temple of Artemis.  She might know or know who to ask.  Since he is blessed she might answer him."

"Good thinking," the elder agreed.  "Can they hold their own safety?"

She considered it.  "Probably for a while.  They do have those who do not fight apparently."

"Then we'll watch out that way.  A Chosen of Ares would not hurt us.  Ares favored us, that's why he let us gather and live here in peace when we decided not to fight in the last great war."

Ryan walked into the village, handing over a scroll.  "From Lord Strife.  As he commanded.  He's very confused and going to Ares himself."

"Thank you, Chosen."

He bowed.  "I honor those who live in peace, as you do."  That got a smile and a nod and Ryan jogged off, heading back to the camp.  Xander throwing a princess fit in the woods had brought a very confused Strife.  He was still looking very confused and now so was Athena.  Xander was trying to figure out how to get them home with his magic being a bit weak after the portal earlier.  Ryan gave him a hug to make him quit pacing.  "If we have to, we'll fight the demons since they probably want at least one of us as toys.  Remember, they want you for a few different reasons."

Xander nodded, staring at the bodies.  "I don't remember ever seeing them in Sunnydale."

"Me either," Athena admitted.  "They're not sexual beings either."

"Could they be grunts?" Ryan suggested.

She groaned, checking around, then nodded.  "Yes.  One of the Ancient ones is here."

"And they're trapped in Sunnydale," Xander pointed out dryly.  She nodded at that.  He looked at her then Strife.  "I don't want to do anything too harsh."

"Good!" he agreed, nodding.  "Let me talk to Unc.  He created this place."  He and Athena both disappeared to complain to Hecate and then Ares.  She had taken over some of Bacchus' jobs when he had died.  Ares was going to be getting drunk later on.  Because this was a very bad sign.

Xander sat down, looking at them.  "It's possible that pulling up too big of something magic can destroy this realm.  Which I don't want to do.  Ancient demons are very powerful though.  The last ones I dealt with I was grieving and I pulled up the hellmouth, letting it channel through me to fry them for killing Vesvold."  Greg gasped, staring at him.  Xander nodded.  "He was pushing for something good and they didn't want it.  The DPP can't hold the Ancient bloodlines accountable."

"Damn," Greg muttered. "You okay?"

"He had the mother of burnout for a while," Danny said, stroking Xander's back.  "We dealt with it.  Wolfe, I'm gonna ask a stupid question.  Did you bring food too?"

Ryan took the bag back to dig inside, getting in up to his armpits.  He came out with a case and a pot, then dug into his backpack for a small set of baggies.  "I brought ramen noodles.   I even remembered the pot this time.  I didn't the first time," he said with a grin for his buddy.

Don kissed him on the forehead.  "Love you for being a bit paranoid, Wolfe.  I'll let you have Xander sometime next week."

"Sure, we can play next week," Ryan agreed.

Garcia raised a hand.  "Isn't Xander dating those two?"

Xander looked at her.  "I'm GHS, Garcia."  She nodded slowly.  "I'm a level ten GHS."  She shuddered and nodded quicker, understanding now.  "Ryan's my backup and big protector when we get stolen together.  That's how he learned how to sword fight."

"Okay then."  She just smiled.  "Hotch is never going to believe this."

"The family in Miami is going to complain for weeks," Danny assured her.

"You hope," Abby said.  "I think someone expected something to happen."

"Not me.  This went against all probabilities that I looked at," Charlie Epps admitted with a small grin.  "Xander, why are you wearing Greek marks on your body?  Or you, Ryan."

"One of the times we were taken, Horatio, Xander, and I were taken together," Ryan told him.  That got a slow nod.  "We went somewhere about like this.  I trained in the temple of Ares.  That's why I wear his mark.  Xander serves a few different gods so he wears those he serves and powers.  Horatio got to learn some new things and counseled a lot of couples who wanted to be married.  We were there for two years their time and two hours ours."

"Interesting," Charlie said, considering it.  "Do we have books on this phenomenon?"

His brother gave him an odd look.  "Is this really the time for math, Charlie?" he asked dryly.

"Yes!  It might help us figure out how to get home!"

Xander nodded. "I have the books at home in Miami, Charlie.  When we get back there, I'll send them to you."

He smiled.  "Thanks.  How did you do the portal earlier?"

Xander shifted over to go over it in detail with him and Abby since she wanted to learn.  Charlie was already using a stick to figure things out for himself.  Maybe it could help them this time.  Charlie seemed to be able to do some amazing things with math.  Maybe he could fight the ancient demon and get them home without unraveling the realm around them.

Don Epps looked at Horatio, who could only smile.  "Does this happen often?"

"Only the once to me so far.  Xander and Ryan have been taken about four times, Mr. Wolfe?"

"Four plus the planned road trips," he agreed, going back to his cooking of the ramen noodles.   He found chopsticks and they all dug into the large pot of food.  They had to eat something.


Reid looked at the panicking agent who met him at the hotel.  "I don't know.  They disappeared out of the room.  I was in the room and blinked and they were gone."

"Are you drugged?" he asked quietly.  He could call in reinforcements but Reid had told him to come alone this time.  They didn't want to cause a panic about five federal agents and some cops going missing.  He had agreed with the cover story for the hotel as well.  He met Gibbs up there.  "You called him too?"

"It's his agent."

"Someone in Miami called and told me," Gibbs said dryly.  "They knew that DiNozzo and Sanders would be involved.  Both Epps too apparently."

Reid shrugged.  "I swear, I was sitting by the ham and I blinked and they all vanished by the time I was back to normal vision."

"Bright light?  Anything like that?" Gibbs asked.  "I've seen that before."

Reid considered it then nodded. "Could've had some light."

Gibbs just nodded.  "Phone?"  It was handed over and Gibbs called Xander's cellphone.  "Where are you?"  He put it on speaker.  "Repeat that please?"

"We're fine," Horatio told him.  "Surrounded by trees.  There's some centaurs in a nearby village.  That's all we're certain of but we think we know why we were taken.  Xander and Charlie are figuring out how to get us home at the moment.  Ryan had the forethought to bring the rescue kit with him so we have tents and things.  Plus ramen noodles.  So we'll be fine but it might take us a day, Gibbs.  Hold our things for us."

"Sure, Horatio.  Only a day?"

"I do hope it won't take longer," he said dryly, more than loud enough for the wonder hair twins, as Speed had dubbed the boys babbling at each other, to hear.

"Yeah, if I can take out the major demon then we should be able to use his stuff to at least get us to a demon realm I can get us home from," Xander's voice floated over but it was faint.

"Demons?" Hotch asked.  One appeared, frowning at him then sniffing.  "What are you?"

"Demon," Gibbs said, looking at him.  "Got a hint for Xander and my guys?"

He scowled.  "I can't go against an Elder and Ancient one even though he did take ones I consider mine.  I will see if we can rescue them at the very least."

"Thank you.  We have to work on Monday," Gibbs reminded him.  "So does the Miami crew."

That got a nod.  "I know."  He disappeared.

Gibbs looked at the stunned agents.  "He likes DiNozzo and Sanders together."  He heard Speed laughing.  "So you guys are okay so far?"

"We're fine for the moment, Gibbs.  We'll let you know if we won't be."  He hung up and Gibbs handed back the phone once he had done the same.

"Okay, so we do what?" Hotch asked.  "This is far outside anything I've ever dealt with."

"They'll be back," Gibbs assured him.  "Might take them a few days.  The longest they've ever been gone was four months but Xander had been taken by himself.  The longest with Wolfe was two weeks.  So let's keep things here and steady then we'll see."  They nodded and went to make reports while Gibbs got to hold down the fort in the hotel room.  He had been here earlier then left for dinner.  The hotel's people would be letting him stay for a while so he could make sure they got back all right.  It would give those people who wanted a convention to come to DC a good bit of rumors about how wild some things were around the GHS people.  So maybe he wouldn't have to deal with that threat in his city.

Ambassadors from all over the world.

GHS members from all over the United States.

Paranoid people who wanted GHS members to be normal people.

Probably not a good combination for national security.  Or his sanity.


Tony nudged Ryan awake when he heard someone tromping through the woods.  "Hey.  Visitors."

Ryan sat up and looked around then nodded.  "Lots of visitors."  He got up and got Xander up, letting Tony get the others.  "Stay in the tents," he warned the rest of them.  They nodded and hid.  Ryan and Xander were the only ones in the open when the marching people came into view.  Ryan sighed, looking over at Xander.  "Did you break a mirror?"

"Not in a very long time," he admitted, staring at the demon troop and the leader on the back of an obviously charmed centaur.  "Morning," he called in a common demon language.  "Bored and out for a hike with your minions?"

The demon sneered at him.  "You are to be my master's.  She has said so."

"Pity I'm gay," he said blandly.   "Anything else of important notice?  If not, I was having good dreams with my lovers."

"Gather them all.  The Great One will sort out who they truly belong to," he ordered with a wave of his hand.

Xander looked at him then at the troop, waving his own.  They went up in flames.  The centaur was uncursed and she reared, sending him flying.  "You good?" he asked her.  "Need medical attention?"

She shook, backing away from them.  "Why are you here?"

Xander shrugged.  "We were in a hotel room.  No clue how we got here."

She frowned.  "Then why are you here?"

"We don't want to upset your people," Xander said honestly.  "The town's that way?"  Ryan pointed slightly off the path he had pointed at.  "Sorry, he went to be a messenger.  Yo, town's guardians, we found one of you and freed her!" he shouted.  The male centaur from earlier ran up and stared at her.  "I uncharmed her.  You might want to check for other spells or potions but she could probably use a hug from her own kind."

He looked at the dying flames then at him.  "You are strong."

"No, I know a few handy things that helped me fight demons in the past," he admitted with a small grin.  "It comes in handy when you're kidnaped."

The male centaur just nodded and walked the female off, hand near his crossbow.  "We do not know why they are here.  They simply appeared and settled in to wait it out.  Apparently this happens many times to them."

She looked at him.  "The higher one wants them because the one with the hair fights their kind.  It would be a coup to get and keep him."

He nodded.  "I'll keep that in mind and let them know."

"We heard," Ryan called.  "They can die too.  We're good at that."

"Thank you," he called back, leading her off again.  The town's elder would want to see her and so would the healers.  He nodded at the healer standing in front of the gate.  "The one with the hair freed her."

Ares appeared.  "Xander's good at that," he admitted, waving a hand.  "The rest of the curse."  He looked at them.  "I need to see how I constructed this place to make sure it won't unravel."

"The keystone is in the same place," the healer informed him.  "We only guard it, Lord Ares."

"Thank you."  He went to check on it, nodding at what he saw.  Then he went to check on his boys.  "Boys, weapons.  Nothing higher than a fire spell, Xander."  That got a nod.  "The demon should have a way home because I did not let him here."

Xander shrugged.  "Okay.  Should we go there and end him or should we wait?"

"Go there, end him, be careful not to get captured.  He wants revenge for what you did in retaliation for Vesvold."  Xander nodded at that, looking a bit grim.  "Your reputation proceeds you.  Just not the nicer one."

"I did what I had to do, Ares.  If they weren't being a blight, I could've cared less."

"They're probably all very anti-hunter," Ryan told him.

"Sam and Dean?" he asked.

"They're fine.  They fed the ferrets.  Sam's pulled out some of the more ancient books Giles gave him."  He frowned at his protege then at his anchor.  "Good job leaving him alone."

"Oooh, I wanted to," Xander assured him.  "I so wanted to."  That got a nod.  "That's why Willow warned him to stay away."

"Which was a good idea," he agreed.  "The time will come for him and Connor."

Xander nodded.  "I know.  When it does, I'll be there."

"Good."  He leaned down, getting into his face.  "He has no idea what you are, even though you announced it.  He considers the village pets for his amusement," he said quietly.

Xander smirked.  "So some of the other stuff....."

"Might be a plan.  Scout to make sure first.  I'm not sure what he'd do to you but his kind do believe in beheading."  Xander nodded.  "Good."  He straightened up again.  "Good preparation, Wolfe.  Remember to restock it and repack it when you get home."  He disappeared.

Xander nudged Ryan with his shoulder.  "Bring chocolate next time?"

"I can do that," he agreed with a small smile.  "Scouting later?"

"Scouting later," he agreed.  They settled in to nap.  "Crisis over," Xander announced.  "Sleep, people.  We have to scout later on."  He curled up again, going back to his dirty, nasty dreams about Danny begging for mercy while being covered in chocolate pudding and tied to some heavy anchors on the side of the pudding pool.  Being kidnaped gave him some very strange dreams.


Ray Junior paused the video game he and Sam were playing when the sparkling started in front of them.  "Lady Aphrodite.  Are you all right?  You're twitching."

"The anchor's off-realm," she sighed, staring at him.

He smiled.  "Want me to check on Uncle H for you?"

"He's there too."

"Ah.  What can we do to help?" Ray asked.

Sam slowly raised a hand.  "They've been taken?"  She nodded.   "Can I and my brother help?  We're hunters too."

She patted him on the head.  "You're adorable."  He smiled at that.   "They have Xander, Ryan, and some other agents.  They should be fine as long as they can get past the ancient one.   I came down to get into a book Xander found recently in some demonic marketplace or something.  He prayed to Cupid about it being cute."

Ray frowned.  "The blue one with the porn or the red one with the porn that also has a plot?  Or the scroll he found that was basically some guy's fantasy for making you beg him for more?"

She gave him a look.  "Exsqueeze me?"

He got up and led her into the study, handing over the scroll.   "He found that at the same time he found these," he offered, putting those books onto a table.

Sam leaned in.  "Those came from Giles.  The demonic market's books are in the blue fronted case, Ray."  He opened it and pulled those out for her.  "Want something to drink, Lady Aphrodite?"

She smiled.  "You're cute and you have manners.  You'll go far in my son's service.  I'm fine, boys."  She took them all with her, going home to read them.  She was bored at the moment.  When she got finished with the scroll, she called Discord, handing it to her.  "Whoever that guy is, he wanted you and Athena to have a visually pleasing orgy in front of him while he made me beg.  Want help finding him?"

"This is better than the ancient demon who wants Xander because he killed a few of them?"

"He has you bottoming and begging Athena to use her bow's tip to do  you since her tongue only made you scream and beg like a bacchi for their Lord's touch.  Xander found it in some market or another.  At the end you're so tired you call Strife to help you munch her carpet for her since she's so demanding and dominant."

"You gotta love it when they beg you to destroy them," she decided, taking it with her to the war meeting to read.  At the very least it'd be good stress relief to cackle.  Ares scowled at her.  "Someone begging for their destruction."  She snickered through most of it.  Then she burst out cackling when she got to where she interrupted Strife, Ares, and Hades.  "I didn't know you were letting Hades bugger you once a week for the next two centuries for bringing Strife back."

He snatched it to read, then glared at her.  "Where was this found?" he asked calmly.

"Xander found it in some marketplace.  He got it outta there before anyone else could find it and tell 'Dite first," Strife said with a smirk.  "He warned Cupie he found disgusting Olympian porn according to him.  Especially if 'Thena found out first."  Athena popped in so Strife snatched the scroll and handed it over.  "The anchor found that and bought it before anyone else could get to it.  That way no one would think it was real history."

"Some mortals do beg for their own destruction," she decided finally.  She handed it to Discord.  "Let me know where so I can add onto yours.  You are definitely not my type."  She looked at Ares again.  "How are we solving this one?"

"The boys are going to scout then figure that out," Ares told her.  "We know why they want them - Xander's past demon hunting experience.  Now we have to figure out how to beat them."

Strife looked up.  "Xander and Horatio are talking weapons.  They're gonna blow the hell outta the people for daring to take Tony.  Epps, the agent one, not the one with the hair, is demanding Greg hand over his gun since he's not really a great shot and Epps was on fugitive recovery for a while.  I didn't know Greg packs blessed silver all the time."

Ares nodded, crossing his arms over his chest.  "He doesn't want to take a chance if he runs into a demon.  He has a priest bless Tony's gun at the same time."

Strife winced.  "Xan can't levitate away from him but they can catapult the sucker. Well, there went the roof.   DiNozzo's fine.  Epps and Wolfe were getting him out at the same time."  He watched it happen.  "Two choices, Unc.  Portal to Sunnydale that could lead them past the rest of  those in the Deeper Well or the distance method?"

"Distance," he ordered, sending that to Ryan and Xander.


Garcia was the last to come out of the mirror in the hotel's lobby, shrugging at the incredulous looks they were getting.  "Don't ask me, I do computers."  She straightened out her hair and followed the others to the elevator then back to Xander's suite.  She got to flop down last, cuddling Reid since he had clearly woken up when they came in.  The others had flopped down and Xander was being lap bait, playing with the new egg they had been given.  Well, Greg and Charlie Epps had been given since the people there decided they looked like their gods.

Don Epps looked around the room.  "You know, kid, you don't do too bad as a field commander."

"Hormones," he said slowly and clearly then grinned at him.  "Danger can keep it down but I wouldn't be in danger every day.  Without the bad things sucking at me they still overrun me.  Otherwise I'd have a real job and I'd be poor, normal, and still hunting demons probably."  He stroked Don's chest since he was on his lap.  "Then I wouldn't have my snuggly ones or my ferrets or the psycho stalker who decided I was too pure for him."

"That one I'd like to talk with even though he's dead," Danny noted patiently, giving Xander a look.

"Wasn't my fault," he defended.  "He liked Charlie first!"

"Kids," Ryan complained.  "Let's rest and recuperate.  I'm sure the other Feds would like to know what happened and that'll take the rest of the day."

"By the way, it's late Saturday," Reid told them.  Everyone nodded.  "Hotch and Fornell want a call, Greg or Tony.  Gibbs will be back in a few hours to take his shift of watching for you guys to come back."  They pulled out their phones to text the boss an 'it wasn't my fault, it was Xander's' and then texted that same message to Fornell.

Xander leaned over to kiss Tony on the temple.  "It wasn't all my fault.  Only the initial one was.  You're the one who got captured and then married to the guy who owned the Kingdom of Mines, and therefore inherited it when we killed the pussbag."

"I'm glad I finally realized what he was saying.  I thought he was talking about mimes," Don Epps taunted.

"No, I think we have plenty of those in the world already," Tony assured him, giving him a dirty look.  Don just smirked back.  "Are you going to have fun helping your brother raise his sacred egg?"

"We decided Xander could let it hatch so we could see what it was then send it back," Charlie told him.  "That way no one gets attached."

"But the monkeys were so cute," Abby cooed.  "All helpful and nice.  They even braided my hair for me."

"They were carnivorous monkeys that wanted to eat the men," Garcia reminded her patiently.  Sometimes Abby was a bit strange.

"Gibbs would train them better," she assured her.  "Right after he let them eat the person who wants to fire half your unit for being good."

"That's a woman," Reid told her.

"There were those snails," Charlie reminded everyone.

Danny looked back at him.  "They thought I was a girl too, Epps.  They needed glasses."

"Snails probably don't need good vision," Tony pointed out.  "What're they going to see that far ahead?"

Greg nudged him.  "We should've brought the sci-fi chicks in the pleather back for McGee."

Tony snickered, leaning on his boyfriend's shoulder.  "That's so bad."

"I know but he'd appreciate them."

"I doubt Gibbs would have," Garcia said dryly.  "Especially since they could kick everyone but Ryan's butt."

Ryan grinned.  "I've met some very nice female warriors,"  he assured her.  "It was good of them to settle in Tony's mine kingdom instead of Xander's watchery kingdom."

"It's not my fault the stiff, older guys who needed viagra looked at me like I was the last snickers' bar in the world," Xander defended.  "So what if the sight of my hair caused the greatest breeding increase in seventeen centuries!"

"Let's not even mention the symbiotic water ferret kingdom they lived with," Danny ordered.

"I was a good boy.  I did not bring home any funky, talking ferrets with a german accent.  Especially not the guard ferrets who were wearing kilts."  Xander suddenly grinned.  "Did I get to tell you Dean found the ferret's party outfits?"  Everyone who knew what those were moaned.  "He wanted to know if the demons had shrunk me to be one of them or not.  So I had to teach him how to dress up George.  I even let Sam dress up Beauty for me."

"Don, it's a boyfriend's duty to keep your boyfriend from giving us bad mental images," Speed complained.

"At least they'd be easier to see when they sneak into the lab to steal someone's crackers," Xander shot back with a smirk.

"You let the pets come visit the lab?" Abby asked.  "That's really nice and I bet a lot of people got some stress relief from the petting.  I'll have to see if Gibbs will let us do that.  Tony, talk him into it?  There's times I could use a furry lovie so I feel better."

Horatio gave her a look.  "You know federal regulations say only helper animals, Abby."  She pouted at that.

"Besides, they snuck rides to the station in scene kits," Ryan told her.  "Then they hid around the lab until we found them from the cracker crumbs."

"My babies are brilliant," Xander agreed happily.  "It took them two days once."

"Maybe we can get Ducky to put a cage in the corner of the morgue so you can visit," Greg told her.  "That might be more doable, Abby."  Tony smacked him on the head.  "Last time I knew, you weren't Gibbs."  Tony held up his phone with the message from Gibbs saying to smack Greg.  "It wasn't my fault!"

Someone pounded on the door so Reid got up to get it.  He was the least tired.  He frowned at the hotel's manager.  "Is there a problem?  They're finally back."

"What is going on?  And what is that egg?" he demanded.

Xander looked at him.  "Someone decided Charlie and Greg were their Gods so they gave them the sacred egg that we're waiting on to hatch.  That happened right after Tony got kidnaped and married against his will, but we saved him of course, and then he inherited the mines in the kingdom.  After that we hit two demon bars and then got taken to another place that was even worse so we finally got rescued by the DPP people, the demonic police, and they sent us back to the mirror in the lobby.  Is it back to normal?  If not I can remind them for you."  The manager passed out.  "Huh.  Must have a weak mind."

"Don, Danny, your boyfriend is abusing the mind of others," Horatio said firmly.  They both distracted Xander by kissing him and dragging him into the bedroom, letting Speed hold the egg for now.

Speed looked at the egg then handed it to Greg.  "We have plenty of pets with the ferrets."

"Not mine or Charlie's fault they thought we were Valkyries," he said with a pout.

"It was nice that the culture had focused in on their powers as their deity of choice instead of the usual male dominated one," Speed admitted.

Horatio kissed him.  "Let's go back to our room, Speed."  He stood up with a small moan and led his boy off to help him with the problem of giving others bad mental images.

"At least they didn't ask us about the horses after Xander told them he was watching them for us.  Then again, with Xander's herd it wouldn't be much more strange than the unicorn that showed up that one time."  Garcia and Abby both gave him odd looks.  Tony just moaned so Greg tossed over his wallet since he had a picture and Tony was dragging him off to find a flat surface to correct his mental thoughts too.

"We'll be back soon," Tony promised, shutting the other bedroom's door.

"Wolfe, we need a pinch hitter," Danny called.  "Xander's too bouncy."  Ryan got up with a sigh and headed in there to lend his cock and mouth to calming Xander down again.

Reid looked at the ladies then at Don.  "The convention wasn't much more insane than this."

"True.  I should tell Edgerton, see how long he groans for this time."

"That's mean, Don.  He's still groaning over the triplets from Sweden who tried to take him home because he was exotic," Charlie complained.

"It's a good thing the hotel's manager heard and warned us so we could stop them at the airport," Reid said, looking at the ladies.  "If you wanted to nap, go ahead.  It'll be about an hour before they all reappear based on what happened at the last convention."

"Seems like fun to me," Garcia said with a grin.  Abby nodded her agreement.  "Think we can be put on the 'handler' list?"

"You just want to watch the guys go at it," Don Epps teased with a grin.

"Well,  yeah," Abby agreed, bouncing some.  "Think Xander would mind if we snuck in to watch?"

"Yes we would," Danny called from their room.

"Shoot," Abby pouted.

Garcia patted her on the hand.  "We'll go watch the pretty boys play at a club sometime soon, Abby."  Someone knocked then used a card key to walk in, walking over the manager.  "Is he still laying there?  That's not very good service."

"He just passed back out while I was walking up the hall," Gibbs complained, shutting the door.  "What did you do to him?"

"He asked what was going on.  Xander told him how we got the sacred egg," Don Epps told him, then shrugged at his dirty look.  "Not my fault.  They're clearing up their boy's mind," he said with a point at the loud bedroom.

"I've heard whorehouses that've had less noise coming out of them," Reid told Charlie, who nodded he had too.  Don and Gibbs both stared at him so he blushed and ducked his head a bit.  "I'm from Las Vegas, guys," he admitted, pushing his glasses back up his nose.

"Greg was a CSI there.  I've heard stories," Gibbs said, shaking his head quickly.

"I should see if some of my favorite places were still there."

"Go out on vacation.  Take your boss with you since he looked like he could use one too," Gibbs shot back.

"We have politics floating around trying to get us all fired since we don't play that way," Garcia told him.  "We did need to talk about the petting stress relief idea we had earlier thanks to Horatio," she told Abby, who nodded and bounced some.

"That's right, Gibbs.  They get to pet the dogs and the ferrets now and then in the lab and Don's unit to relieve some of the stress and get good ideas.  Though Don brushes Xander's hair for the same reason but they use pets down there.  Can we have a small pet in a cage?  Maybe in the corner of Ducky's morgue?  We'd take very good care of it.  I'd bring it treats and food all the time."

Tony came strolling out of the spare bedroom doing up his shirt.  "Xander did say that the dogs' funeral was one of the best attended he had ever been to," he said, looking up at Gibbs.  "A lot of the officers who had worked with the dogs had come to pay their respects."

"Plus look at their solve rates, Gibbs," Abby added with a smile.   "It must help since they put away someone last week who had ordered eighty-three deaths in the last three months as part of a takeover bid of Miami's underground.  His whole network went down within three days."

"I was wondering why Xander was a bit bouncy when he got in," Don said, looking at Tony.  "Missed one."  He looked then hitched it then his belt.   "Honestly, Gibbs, it wasn't our fault.  The demon who took us took us all because Xander used to hunt demons and eliminated some of the upper demons for daring to touch a friend of his.  Then Xander and Ryan got tattoo messages so we had to take the longer way home.  That's where the new sacred pet came from and all that."

Gibbs held up a hand.  "I don't need the headache.  Tell a shrink if you have to get it out because I don't even want to see a report, Epps.  I only need to know anything that might affect my agents' work."

"Well, funny you should mention that, boss," Tony said with a grin.  He also backed up a step when he saw his hand twitch.  This time the head smack was going to hurt a whole lot.  "On the way home we ran into this one demon or alien, or whatever, who decided I was his perfect wife and he married me against my will but I resisted and Xander killed him for me.  So I inherited a kingdom of mines."

"Mimes?  Like the guys on the street corner?" he asked, sounding a bit hopeful.

"No, like holes in the ground that you pull stuff out of.  I have no idea what....  Hold on.  Wolfe, where's the bag?  They sent a sample of what they dig out in there."  He went to look through Ryan's pockets since it had been shrunk back down once they had broken camp.  He came out looking in the bag.  "There it is."  He handed over the wrapped bundle.  "That's mine and what they mine there."  Gibbs stared at him.  "There were others who thought Greg and Charlie were valkyries, boss.  That's how we got the sacred egg."

Gibbs sat down to open it, blinking at the bundle of stones in front of him.  "DiNozzo," he said calmly.  "What are these?"

Tony looked then shrugged.  "I can only guess, boss.  I've only seen cut gems on rings and necklaces.  You might ask Speed.  He's a trace tech and he might know.  Horatio said once he had a good hand at gem identification and they've had to do a lot of that for Xander over the years."  Abby was being helpful and calling their room for him.

Speed strolled in a minute later, looking at the bundle.  "Those are rubies."  He held one up.  "Looks like it has an occlusion of platinum.  I'd have to scope it to make sure."  He handed it back and grabbed the champagne in the bucket before walking back out so he could go back to spoiling his husband.

Gibbs carefully folded it back up and handed it back.  "I don't want to know, DiNozzo.  Oh-seven-hundred Monday morning or else."  He walked out.   He took a cab to his favorite bar.  Then he got plastered.

Don looked at the pretty stones.  "Those are nice.  They'll look nice on Greg."

Tony grinned.  "I know."  He walked off, handing Greg the bundle.  "Speed said they're rubies with little flecks of platinum he thinks."

Greg petted and cooed at the babies like Xander did the egg.  They clearly needed love too.


Charlie came off the plane, smiling at his brother.  "All I'm saying is that it wasn't that bad of a vacation.  It could've been a lot worse, Don.  We could've all been captured together for most of it."

"Chuck, shut up," he ordered, shaking his head as he walked off.  "It was a long, violent vacation and we can do better the next time.  Without the problems caused by Xander's past."

"But I got to learn about a lot of new stuff that I've never heard of before.  There's even theories involved," he  reminded him.  "If I can make them so they're applicable to everyday life, I could do a lot of good for everyone.  Think about it solving the housing crisis.  If I could get it to work and be stable, all the rich people would move their enormous estates somewhere else so the people who needed houses could have their lands.  There's a few estates in Beverly Hills that have more land than all of the projects in LA.  The people with money could be as grand as they wanted to be, do whatever they wanted to with their own land, but they'd have to pay someone for it and that money could very well be used to put up new, decent housing areas for families."
Don turned to stare at his brother.  "Even if you could get it to work, it'd never happen in our lifetime, Charlie," he said calmly.  "Because there's too much power and money behind showing off your wealth.  They'd have to redistrict and the state wouldn't approve because it'd mean the cash cow that drops donations on the politicians might dry up."

"You should be able to keep your original district of residence," he said dryly.  "Besides, everyone in the science and math fields have to think about the legacy they leave behind.  Beyond having kids who may never understand our work or help us with it.  If I did this, I could be taught in every single math and science class across the country some century in the future."

"You're already being taught about in upper level math classes," he pointed out, staying calm.   He didn't want to start a fight in an airport or to burst his brother's bubble too heavily but someone had to have some sense.  "Think about what the people in that field will think if you make it commonplace."

"Most of them, if they're good and realistic about their skills, probably won't mind. It's the charlatans and those sort that'll throw a fit.  It'd cut down on a lot of con artists.  Imagine what I could do if I could get that thing Xander did with his hand to Speed's leg to work for everyone," he said more quietly, glancing around.

Don took a deep breath then nodded.  "That's a worthwhile thing, Charlie, but this isn't the time and place to go over it."

Charlie nodded. "I agree and Dad's probably checking his watch to see where we are."

Don nodded, leading the way to get their bags.  His dad would help him bring Charlie back to this dimension.  They needed him focused here.


Tony and Greg walked in Monday morning wearing all new clothes.  He took off his very new, very expensive sunglasses with a smile for McGee.  "Morning.  How was your weekend?"

"I heard yours turned into a panic," he said dryly, looking them over.  "Hit the lottery or kidnaping reparations?"

"Reparations," Greg admitted.  "For someone having the desire to own Tony as a wife."

"Hey, he wanted me over Xander," Tony defended.

Greg smiled.  "Isn't that a scary thought?"

"Well, yeah," he admitted. "I've got to test my level again.  That's the second one."  McGee moaned.  "Suck it up, Probie.  It was solved.  The guy got dead thanks to Xander."


"No, Xander was being sneaky since he married me against my will and then tried to bed me."

"Um, to be delicate since Kate's up the hall, do we need medical attention for missing organs?" McGee asked.

Tony smirked but shook his head.  "He knew *nothing* about GHS.  He simply thought I was handsome and his type but he couldn't date.  So I own a mine or two now."  He smirked at Greg.  "It was nice to take the Miami group shopping like Xander did to us a few times."

"It was," he agreed.  "Horatio was very happy to get the new suits.  Speed threatened to rip one off him but that was cute too."  He sat down behind his desk and turned on his computer, looking over when a small plate materialized next to him with chocolates.  "Thanks," he called quietly.  He nibbled one with a moan.  "Ooh, the good stuff from the shop in Vegas."  He let McGee have one and Kate too since she had come to see why he was moaning.  Gibbs took one when he held up the plate and even he had to let out a very quiet, subtle moan over the flavor.  "Xander found the shop in Vegas after that one road trip where they found Hubert.  I love these guys.  He gave Speed a ten thousand-dollar gift certificate to them."

Tony smirked.  "Is that a hint for your birthday, Greg?"

He smirked back.  "You know what I want for my birthday, Tony."

"We'll see what we can do."  He looked at Kate.  "How was *your* weekend, Kate?"

"I heard yours turned into a problem."

"Not really.  We got back okay.  There's a new pet in the circle of friends.  We're waiting to see what hatches from the sacred egg Greg and Charlie Epps got given."

"Which I still don't want to hear about," Gibbs ordered.

"Yes, boss," they said in unison.

"Hey, boss, you didn't show up for the shopping trip," Tony complained, giving him a look.

"I don't need a cut of your dowry, DiNozzo.  Nor do I need more clothes.  I heard from Fornell and Hotchner about watching you boys shop.  That was more than enough for me."  Abby came bouncing up in a new dress so he glared at Tony.  "No more spoiling, DiNozzo."

"You hush.  He made me and Garcia both very pretty," Abby said, smirking at him.  She kissed him on the head.  "Other than that, why do I have a computer case with your name on it waiting on me?"

"I have no idea," he admitted.  "Who sent it?"

"The director."

"Ours?" Tony asked.

"The former director," she corrected.  "The one that should be in prison."

Tony and Greg both groaned.  They were so dead if she was out.  She'd want to sell them again.

"Is it to find her?" Gibbs asked.

"I have no clue.  I haven't touched it yet.  I thought I'd come up and see what it is you wanted me to find from the video attached.  Plus show off my new dress.  Like it?"

"It flatters you," Kate said.  "I don't get presents?"

"Only if you go shopping with us," Tony taunted with an evil smirk.

She considered it for a minute.  "No thanks.  You'd go all hyper bunny and I'd hate to watch you bounce and use trying on clothes to flirt with Greg."  She shuddered at that thought.

"But it was cute!" Abby cooed.  "Especially when Xander drug Charlie Epps into a leather shop because he had been wondering why people did that.  He doesn't always understand people very well.  His brother groans very prettily though," she finished with a smile.

"No more warping Abby, boys," Gibbs ordered, trying to sound calm.

"Yes, boss," they said in unison, then grinned at him.

"Behave or do PT today," he ordered.

"As long as the old director isn't out and trying to sell us again," Greg said dryly.

"She'd better not," Abby warned.  "Who else would I get cuddles from?"  She bounced off.  "Let me see what she sent, Gibbs.  Then we'll see where she is."

Tony finished typing into his computer.  "Listed as being in a solitary cell, boss, but no visual contact is possible.  I've written to the prison's matron to see if they know how she emailed Abby a case file."

"Thank you.  No more spoiling her.  At all.  Before she decides to take you two home with her."

"She's cute and cuddly," Greg said.  "Plus she'd be happy to snuggle at night.  Tony?"

Tony considered it then shrugged.  "Maybe as a special treat but not for every night.  She's not ready to settle down yet.  If she was, we might talk about it."

"I would hate to have to kill you," McGee told him, looking totally serious.  "Warping Abby is *bad*.  We like Abby the way she is.  She's fun, sweet, and nice."

Tony looked at him.  "Why did you two break up?"

"She's more wild than I am."

"Oh.  That reason.  Want the name of the leather shop Xander recommends?"

"I think I can do without it.  Thanks," he finished dryly.  "Did Charlie get some?"

"Yeah, two pairs of pants and a silk shirt that went very well with either pair.  That way he could go on the date Xander outlined for him and his girlfriend.  Charlie asked for a romantic idea.  They've been working together and she complains that's all they do."

"I think she'll like the idea Xander outlined," Greg agreed happily.  "Though I did add a touch to it since Xander was doing what he'd do for Don instead of what he'd do for a girl."

Tony smiled.  "I heard.  She should love it."

"Do I need to know this?" Gibbs asked.

"I want to know," Kate complained.  "There's no way either of them gave him good romantic advice."

Greg smirked and pulled up a security camera for her, letting her see.  "Watch around lunch, Kate."

She frowned, staying logged into it until later on that afternoon.  The west coast time difference was going to drive her nuts in anticipation.  She almost smiled when she saw the small carriage pulled by a pony pull up in front of the building and Charlie get out.  He walked inside, clearly trying not to pull the wedgie out by the way he was walking, wearing what had to be the new leather pants and silk shirt, carrying a basket.  She watched as some of the female students pointed and giggled, then he led her out, helping her into the carriage and handing her the basket before climbing in beside her.  The driver took them off and she changed cameras around the campus.  They went into a small grotto and the carriage trotted off while they went to nibble on the grass in the shade.  She could barely see him pouring wine.  She was smiling and giggling at something he was saying, then stroking over his shirt.  "Wow," she said finally, turning it off.  "Nice job, Xander.  And you too, Greg."

"I told him to use the carriage since she can't ride and neither can he, plus it's more of a girlish thing," he said with a grin for her.  "It go okay?"

"They're eating in some deep shadows on the edge of campus.  He's in the stuff Xander let him buy.  She's giggling.  He even had wine."

"The man scores," Tony said happily.

"If not, he should," McGee said.  "I should ask Xander for date ideas."

"You know, that might be a good business for him in the future," Greg told Tony.

"I'll suggest it to Danny," he shot back with a grin.

"Work," Gibbs ordered.  "NCIS isn't about romance, boys."

"Yes, boss."

"Hey, boss, when did Ducky get a hedgehog?" McGee asked.

Gibbs moaned and went to yell at Abby about her pet plan.  It was not allowed!

Kate gave them an odd look.  "Hedgehog?"

"The family's ferrets keep getting loose and hiding in scene kits so they can invade the lab," Greg told her while he finished a report.  "Abby decided they were stress relief and the reason Miami had such a high clearance rate.  But Federal regs say she can't have a pet in the lab...."

"So she put it in the corner of Ducky's office," Tony finished. Abby came running and hid underneath his desk.  He looked down at her and the hedgehog she was protecting in her bodice.  "Sure."  He shifted back to look like he was working and got back to it.  Gibbs came storming back.  "She might have a point, boss.  Look how often the dogs helped in Miami."

"Go away, DiNozzo.  Wear out all the bad thoughts now," Gibbs growled.  "Sanders!"

"Going, boss," he said cheerfully, dragging Tony off to Abby's lab for some fun in her office since there weren't any cameras in there.  Gibbs would calm down...eventually.


Xander strolled back in, smiling at his students.  "We're back!"

"I can see that," Dean said, looking him over. "You've lost five pounds and you don't look upset."

Xander hugged him around the neck.  "We got taken so we had a long vacation in some very nice realms.  I wasn't even taken for more than the first one."  They both smiled at him for that.  "Speed got to rescue Horatio.  We got to rescue Tony.  Greg and Charlie were thought to be Valkyries."  He put the egg on the counter. "They got given a sacred egg."  They both nodded slowly at that, staring at the egg.  "It's too small to be a dragon so I don't know what it is."

Don strolled in, turning Xander around to kiss him.  "I love you."

Xander smiled. "Love you too.  Why do you love me?"

"The pound has a matched set of chocolate labs.  They match your eyes.  They're very young so we can train them right."  He took a kiss.  "They're going to go tomorrow if we don't adopt them."  Xander cooed, melting on the spot.  "Please, Xander?  I need furry cuddles."

"I miss furry cuddles too, Don."

"Good.  So we're cool?"

"We'll have to get them new toys.  They won't want Spots'."

"We can do that.  Would you mind?"  Xander shook his head.  "Think you can take them to the same classes?  Make them both dogs that I can bring to the office with me?"

Xander beamed.  "I can do that."

"That's my boy."  He kissed him again.  "They're in the car."  Xander bounced out to coo at the puppies.  "They're very young puppies.  Barely weaned," he told them.

"We know someone who raises dogs to help with demon hunting," Dean said, eating a bite of sandwich.

Don looked at their plates.  "Xander's gone for three days and you guys go back to sandwiches?"

"His oven's scary," Dean complained.  "Way too many knobs."

Sam grinned.  "We're saving room for later on when he pulls something out of the freezer and cooks."

"Of course if we ever settle down, we're coming back to get cooking lessons from him," Dean finished.  He finished his sandwich too.

Don nodded.  "We can do that."  He went to help Xander coo at the puppies.  "Aren't they great?"

"They're adorable!" he cooed.  "Precious little balls of fluff."  He took a kiss. "Let's get them toys and food.  Spots was eating an adult, non-active dog formula.  They need puppy food and puppy toys and teething toys."

"We can do that," Don agreed, helping him into the back of his car so he could drive them to the pet place they liked.  They each carried one in and the clerk cooed and petted them.   Xander got a cart and let the puppy ride in the basket so she could stare around.  These were both girls and they were exactly the color of Xander's eyes.  Their own were black and nearly made you melt when you looked at them but they were already ferocious.  They had been playing with toys at the pound and had wanted the same toy so they had batted at each other for control of it while pulling on it.


Don walked out to the picnic area with his new pride and joy.  "Guys, meet the new furry children in the family.  This is Hershey and Kiss."  They all smiled at the two sleeping puppies.  "They're seven weeks old yesterday."

"Aww," Alexx cooed, taking one to hold.  "You're so cute, sweetie.  Just a tiny ball of drool."  She wiped her hand off since it had drool on it.  "Full lab?"  Don nodded.  "They're sweet."

"They eat socks," Danny told her, taking the other one but Xander stole her.  "Fine, you hold Kiss."  He looked at Horatio.  "I'll try not to let Don bring them to work until they're older."

Sam coughed.  "I emailed our friend who trains his dogs to help with the demon issue.  He sent how he did it so you guys can train them."  That got a mass smile and a few nods from the family.  "Xander, why did you get flowers from a girl in LA?"

"Charlie wanted romantic advice."  He grinned.  "So I gave him a date his girlfriend would coo over for years."

"And leather pants," Speed added with an evil smirk. "Did he wear them on the date?"

"Yup, and the new silk shirt too.  She said she had a lot of fun playing with it."  They all smiled at that.  Looks like Charlie was snagged and off the market!   Hershey woke up with a yawn and barked at him, wagging her tail.  "I know, the adults were giggling and it woke you, Hershey."  He let her have a piece of his chicken.  "Here you go, fried chicken is good for a baby doggy."  She ate it and Kiss barked at Alexx until she fed her one too.

"They'll be spoiled," Dean told them.

"So are the ferrets," Alexx said dryly.

"Yeah, we found their party outfits," Dean said.  They all giggled.  "I wanted to know if someone had shrunk Xander down to fit into them."  Speed cackled at that.  "Speaking of, Xander, are they dressed?" he asked, pointing at a pink lump in the grass.

Xander looked.  "No, that's the neighbor's fairies.  They come to steal some of the herbs from the garden now and then."  He looked over.  "I haven't been here and I'm not sure anything's still in bloom."  The fairy shrugged and ran that way.  "When was the lawn person here last, Don?"

"Two weeks ago," Sam said.  "I was going to offer to mow."

"They'll be back Wednesday," Danny told them all.  "I made sure of it."  They all nodded and let it go, ignoring the little pink fairy that was sneaking back to her master's house with one of the flowers Xander had gotten earlier from Amita.  No one wanted to know about those sort of fairies.  The only fairies in Miami were in South Beach, in a drag show, or Xander in high squeal mode as far as most of them were concerned.

Alexx fed Kiss another bite of chicken, getting a lot of laps for it.  "Oooh, you've got a big tongue, sugar.  Leave it in your mouth."

Don took his puppy back to cuddle and spoil.  Xander had one, he had one.  That was fair.  Danny only gave them fond looks.

"The furry lumps do not sleep on the bed with us until they're big enough to defeat the hairpins on their own," Danny ordered.  Eric snickered at that.  "What?  I had to, I'm not waking up to defeat the evil hairpins for them."

"Are they possessed like that one hair band?" Dean asked.

"I have one that's still possessed?" Xander asked.  Dean went to get it for him.  "Oh, that one.  Yeah, it was a gift.  It'll act like a portkey too.  That's why I don't wear it."  They just nodded at that and ate some more food, ignoring the begging monsters in the laps.  They'd get used to the new family members and the strangeness that Dean and Sam brought up now and then soon enough.

The End.

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