Notes: Starts during the convention in parts 58-59 and is an outtake from after the robot, the next day, to later on in the timeline.
The GHS Boys of Prophetic Doom.
Melissa looked at the two guys walking into the hotel, smiling at them. "Hi, guys. New members? I didn't see you at the convention in New York last year."
"Just found out," the taller one said with a smile.
"That's kinda cool. Let me introduce you to some people." She led them off, finding the one she wanted. He was a *great* mentor and had helped her a lot. Beyond that, if they were dangerous, since they felt funny to her, he could handle it. "Xander!" He turned to look at her, grinning a bit at the two guys. "These two just found out. This is their first convention and you're a *great* mentor. You helped me tons." She kissed them on the cheek. "I thought they could use your help too. That way you didn't have to beat up on that geeky bastard if he comes back."
He grinned. "Ask Buffy to tell you about Warren and his evil geek trio sometime," he said with a wink and a grin. "But I can mentor these two too. Thanks, Melissa. Cuddle pile's up and nearly packed." She squealed, heading that way. "C'mon, guys." He walked them outside. He knew them. He had seen them on the incubus' realm. He had seen them at the invasion. He found a crate in the alley to hop up and sit on, looking at them. "What did you think this was?" he asked with a fond air and a tolerant smile.
"Succubus convention?" the shorter one said.
"Nope." The other one grabbed his head. "Hey, Ryan, can I please have a test kit? These guys are new and we need to find out a relative level since I think one's broadcasting."
"Sure, Xander." He went back inside to get Adam's and bring it back. He nodded at them. "Newbies, huh? Xander's a good mentor and he gives the lectures very well." He smiled at Xander. "Behave."
"I am! Go hover and fuss over Ray Junior." He nodded, going to do that. Xander hopped down to close the door again then hopped back up onto the crate, looking at them. "Okay, we've got to have two talks, not one. We have to have two talks because you guys are broadcasting." They gave him odd looks. "GHS, this convention and the people in the group, have a pheromone and hormone condition, boys. We broadcast lust."
"That's why I get all those chicks," Dean said with a grin.
"We're hoping they're wearing you out because otherwise we get taken. A lot."
Dean stared at him. That could explain a few things.... "Test Sammy."
"I'm testing both of you, dumbass." He pulled out the things he needed, looking at Sam. "Need about three drops of blood, guys. Each." Dean opened his mouth so he stared. "Now." He pulled out a knife and pricked both their fingers, letting Xander drop the things onto the pads of cotton. He looked then sighed. "Level fives. Not bad. Not critical. Still able to deal with it as long as you're wearing it out." He looked at Sam. "Which you're not. You're hazy around you." He held up a hand at the start of the protest from him. "When we're backlogged, like you obviously are, we start to feel confused, scatterbrained, sometimes get the munchies, I've heard some get tired a lot more often. We get headaches. Anything like visions, because there's two others that have them in GHS, come more frequently." Sam slumped at that. "You *have* to wear it out. Otherwise you'll wake up somewhere else wondering how you got there after someone snatches you."
"I watch him," Dean protested.
"That's wonderful. If they find out about both of you, you're both going to end up there." Dean groaned. "Listen, all right? This is the short, dirty version of this talk, then we'll have the other one because it'll clear up some other issues you've probably been wondering about." He looked at Dean. "Our hormones draw others. We're so far beyond the little mistress and boytoys that it's not funny. I'm in my own category of that. Some of us naturally draw demons, some of us draw humans. I draw both." They groaned. "You draw both, both of you. The thing you do for a living draws them, this makes them want to keep you instead of kill you. Until they use you up and that'll be after they castrate you. Got it?" They nodded. "The only way to wear this out is sex or other pleasurable things. The only way. It's all hormone related. There's a few dangerous things that can weed it out temporarily but they'll kill you. I lost twenty pounds in two weeks because of them and nearly died."
Dean swallowed. "So you're the human version of the siren myth?"
"Probably. You'd have to ask someone like Adam that. He's a history person. He might know." He curled one foot up, holding onto his knee, looking at them. "Having heard of you two and your hunt, I understand. I know the hunting very well and how that's probably weeding out some of it for you. Dean, I know your rep says that you get all the women. That's helping too. Sam needs to start wearing his down too. Before a hunt gets too extreme and he dies a final death."
"You heard?" he asked quietly, looking around.
He grinned, holding out a hand. "Xander Harris, formerly of Sunnydale, now in Miami." They stared, mouths open. "Fucked over by Buffy once so I left helping her."
Dean swatted at his hand. "Damn it."
"Yeah." He grinned. "There's a lot I do know and do understand. I'm a level ten. That's as high as you go and the only reason I'm not in a fluffy, cuddly, bouncy mood right now is Ryan's still tainted slightly and I've been in crisis mode since we got here."
Sam swallowed. "What can I do to keep this down?"
"Level five isn't so bad. Plenty of level fives work normal jobs, all that. You simply have to wear out the hormones, Sam. If you backlog you're nine hundred times more likely to get taken. Also, we don't talk about other members. It's a security risk. You talk about them, they disappear too."
Dean nodded. "I can see that. How many times have you been taken?"
"This year? Ten, twelve. Something like that." He shrugged. "I'm seen as a tough one to get. They know I can defend myself. My boyfriends are cops. I baby the crime lab in Miami because they're family. I have many weapons and I'm very skilled with them. So they don't often try me. They gift me. They annoy me. There's one who I'm coming to see as a guy I could easily love and stay with if I didn't have my boys. He kinda helps protect me. You don't have to do that."
Sam nodded. "How bad is he?"
"He's on the High Demonic Council. There's a lot of species that don't hunt, Sam." Sam gaped. Dean whimpered. He grinned. "Come to Miami after this. You guys can get into my books and classification manuals." He slid off the crate. "That'll help you guys a lot and I might let you poach some of my old hunting gear." They nodded. He sighed, looking around. "Now for the second talk. When did you die, Sam?"
He gaped. Dean glared at him. "How did you...."
Xander held up a hand. "You notice he has a sudden headache when some people come near him?"
"Yeah," he said, looking confused. "Why?"
"That's a sign another immortal is nearby, Dean." He pulled a hairpin out, using it to scratch his arm, then Sam's arm. He let him see how both of them were healing the same way. He looked at Sam. "It's a precious gift. You won't die a final death until your head comes off your body," he said quietly. "It's not demonic. It does mean that you've got some hard thoughts coming."
"Why?" Dean demanded, leaning against the crate, arms crossed over his chest.
"Because we're all orphans and foundlings," Xander said, looking at him. Dean gave him a horrified look. "Ninety percent of who you are depends on who raised you, Dean." He pulled something off his neck, holding it up. "Hellmouth energy." He handed it to Sam, watching as he moaned and shivered. "He was there at least once. A very long time ago but he was."
"I remember our mom being pregnant with him," Dean complained, taking the necklace. It felt warm to him. Not moan inducing but nice. "This is hellmouth energy?"
Xander nodded. "There's a few of them. That's from mine. Me being raised there is why I attract demons and humans." He looked at Sam. "Which I'm guessing you do too?" He nodded quickly. He looked at Dean, taking the necklace back. "Even if she was pregnant, it doesn't mean that she didn't miscarry. It doesn't mean she didn't have the baby switched on her or switch it herself. I don't know how it happened. The only ones who would are your parents."
"They're both dead," Sam said quietly.
Xander shrugged. "I'm sorry. I *know* we're all foundlings, Sam. Every last one of us. Me, the others inside, all of us." He looked at Dean. "And you're a pre-immie. Dying a violent death is going to bring you to our side." Dean went rigid, staring at him coldly. He shrugged. "I can't often tell but you're strong. I can feel a bit of quickening buzz off you."
"Would selling his soul to raise me cause that?" Sam asked, starting to frown.
Xander smirked at Dean. "Good news, the deal's invalid. He was going to come back anyway. Just takes a while the first few times." Dean was still staring at him. "There's immies who're over five thousand, Dean. A few actually. Quite a few over a millennium. Yeah, I'm younger, but I'm also one of the better fighters in the game." He moved closer. "I want you to guys to come to Miami. There's things you have to know about the game. There's immies who're hunting for yours and your brother's head."
"How did you die?" he asked.
"A hunter gassed me and a friend named Oz, who's still in Sunnydale and one of us, in my parking garage in New York. When we got back to his place, he shot me. When I woke up he came in with a sword and was going to take my head right then." Dean gagged at that. "Fortunately I had a clue what I was doing and killed him back. I was asking for information and the sword went through his throat," he finished quietly. "It was a brutal introduction to the game. They don't care how old you are. They don't care if you're new, still training with a sword, whatever. They want the power you hold. They're going to take it if they can remove your head from your shoulders. Your only options are to fight, run, or hide on holy ground," he finished, staring at him. "For you, when you die a violent enough death, you'll be coming over too."
"We can fight with swords," Dean told him, standing up on his own again, moving around him. "We have for years."
Xander smirked at him. "Really?" He pulled his two shrunken ones out of his hair, looking at them. The spell kinked and he groaned. "Willow's still here." He put them onto the crate and texted Ryan, getting a confused Adam coming out with swords. "Adam, they came here thinking we were succuba but they're level fives," he said, nodding at the tests. "And immies."
"One's not yet," he said blandly.
Xander looked at him. "They're demon hunters, Adam."
He shuddered. "You poor things." He stepped back. "What happened to yours?" Xander pointed. "The spell?"
"Willow's nearby." He handed one to Dean. "Try me."
"Try. Me," he ordered, staring at him. "If not, I can help teach you. You need into my books anyway, guys. Might as well start training with me since I know how you were trained and the ways you have to hunt now." Dean shrugged and lunged. Xander moved and had him disarmed within minutes without breaking a sweat. He looked down at him. "Adam can't beat me most of the time. Ryan can't and he's a priest to Ares, God of War. Trained in one of his temples off-plane." He helped pull him up, looking at him. "I can make it so you and your brother survive for a very long time, Dean. Unless you both want to become monks. Because with your life it's probably months away from your death and he needs it already."
"I can fight," Sam complained. He took Dean's sword. "That's heavy." Xander changed out and he shrugged, lunging at him. "Dad taught us."
Xander moved behind him and elbowed him in the spine then pushed him down while he took a swing where his neck should be. "Ryan taught me that one." He rested on his sword, seeing the horrified looks. "I'm still about your age. I died very young and pretty, at twenty. I have skills you could use and a lot of information you could use while hunting. Plus how to help you with the hormone stuff. I'm in Miami." He handed off the sword and took Sam's from his limp hand. "All the ones inside are peaceful," he told him. "You need to be here anyway. We can help you with a lot of stuff. My family has a few of us and we all learned different styles."
"How did you do that move?" Dean asked. "I've never seen it used before."
Xander grinned. "While we were on a planeular road trip, I learned this really neat dance, self-defense, erotic dance style. It comes with sword work built into the storylines. I teach it to any GHS who asks."
"That's how you moved that way," Sam said. Xander nodded. "Do the hunters among you...us know that?"
Xander shrugged. "Some can try but they won't get it perfect," Adam told them. He smiled. "It's not a death sentence, boys. You'll have a very long life as long as your head stays on. Being GHS as well makes it a bit more fun." He smirked at Xander. "It's always interesting getting him back from the demons who love him." Xander blew a kiss.
"That means I'm a foundling too," Dean said. He kept getting stuck on that thought. He'd have to push it back until he could prove they were wrong. He knew who he was.
Adam looked at him. "Ninety percent of who you are can be attributed to who raised you and how you were raised," he said. "You're still your parents' sons, even if you aren't genetically."
"Any idea if we spontaneously appear?" Sam asked. "Demons, anything like that?"
Xander shrugged, looking at Adam. "I never wanted to know. You?"
"No one's sure," he admitted. "We don't seem to appear when there's another nearby." He smiled slightly at Sam. "I do know we're not demonic. Many of us hide on holy ground at least once in our lives while we're exhausted with life."
Xander looked at him. "I lock the gates and sic Hubert on people," Xander quipped. He grinned at Dean. "The same trip I learned to dance during I found a baby dragon in a marketplace. He's inside."
"Baby dragon?" he asked, looking amused.
"Yeah. Along with my ferrets, my two dogs, my boyfriends." He shrugged. "It's a convention. We're all here."
Dean slowly shook his head. "This is insane."
"Yeah, well. Welcome to GHS. The hormones do it to us," Xander quipped with a bright, happy grin. "You should've seen the evil overlord wannabe yesterday with his robot." He handed back the test kit. "They tested out as fives."
"Not too high or too many problems usually," Adam said. "Come along, boys. We can have a more comprehensive talk inside. Before someone jumps us."
Sam grabbed his head. "Can they not stop that?" he whined.
"No," Xander said. "It's an early warning system. After the first few dozen it gets better. Some can shield theirs down so you barely feel them. Like Adam does." He looked at the guy stomping up the alley. "What?"
"Who are you?" he demanded. "You're in my city!"
"I'm here for the convention," Xander said dryly, pointing back at the hotel. "Then I'll go back to Miami."
He snarled, pulling a sword out of his jacket. "I don't think so."
Xander sighed and took the better sword back, moving Dean out of the way. "Don't stop him. It's ethical, single combat." He gave him a look. "You learn that sometimes that's breakable but not always." He waved him on. "Come on. What do you want on your headstone?"
"Xander, such cockiness," Adam complained.
Xander looked at him. "Yay me." The guy lunged and Xander ducked, spinning to get him back. This one was good. Fairly decent. Probably at Connor's level. It took him more than a few moves to beat him. "Quickening," he warned, then he took his head. He sighed and moved back, letting it flow up and hit him, making him close his eyes and ground himself by long practice. He panted through it until he was better, then looked at them. "That's what happens when you take a head. Hurts like hell and you end up horny." He handed back the sword, looking at his. Then he grinned. "Can you get Willow to unfuck her spell so I can jump someone?" Adam sighed but nodded. "Thanks. See you guys in a few hours. Gotta scratch this itch." He headed inside, finding Ryan pacing. He pounced him against a wall. "Pray for an elevator or a portal to one of our rooms," he murmured against his lips between kisses.
"Took a head?" he asked quietly, leading him off. He got Xander to his room and let him pounce him. He could help him wear it out easiest right now.
Adam finished calling someone to clean up the body then looked at the boys. "You don't have to challenge someone. You don't have to accept a challenge but they'll often attack anyway. Xander has *always* been protective of people." He pointed. "Shall we? That way we can get formal bloodwork readings?"
"Violent death?" Dean asked quietly, staring at the body.
Adam made him look at him. "Yes, violent death. It will bring you across," he said, staring him down. "A hunt would qualify. We had one of us who hunted demons back during the middle ages. Don was brought across by a friend shooting him. We've seen some from horrific car accidents but not lesser ones. Anything that would cause a trauma."
Dean nodded. "I was in a coma from a car crash."
Adam smirked. "Apparently it wasn't enough." He pointed. "There's food and things inside, boys. Let's get out of here." They nodded, heading in with him. The Watchers were coming up the alley to deal with him. He led them to the room the Council was in, taking some blood to test it. He looked at the machine. "Xander added too much of the one chemical. You're coming up a four-point-three," he said, looking at the taller one. "Though you're broadcasting."
"Sam. Sam Winchester. This is my brother Dean."
"All right." He typed that in and took Dean's blood to test his. "Four-point-seven." He looked at him. "Slightly higher but still not bad. Xander probably brought you down a bit. We can test again tomorrow to make sure of it."
Dean nodded slowly. "What's the difference?"
Adam led them out to the shrine. "We have approximately three thousand members," he said quietly. "These ones disappeared this year and haven't been recovered yet." He looked at them. "Mostly because they were backlogged." They both shuddered. "Now, think about your job and that issue."
Dean nodded. "So me picking up chicks is a good thing. What about Sammy?"
"Any pleasure can do it. He could be helping himself. It could be other pleasures, like massages. The closer you get to getting off, the better off you are and the easier it wears it out."
"We were on the succuba's realm," Sam sighed.
"That can do it," he agreed. "It could've also activated it on you. Or at least been a reason they targeted you."
Dean looked at his little brother. "I'm buying you a hooker later, dude."
"I can find my own!" He gave him a dirty look.
Adam laughed. "There are those who play around here. There's a very good room that could help with you both." He led them that way. "The cuddle pile does wonders when you're in a minor backlog."
Dean snickered. "Not my thing, sorry." He gave Sam a shove inside, letting him be pounced and cuddled. Sam wiggled a bit but sighed after a minute. He looked at Adam. "This other room?"
"You're not in backlog," he said dryly, giving him a look.
"Point, but fun?"
"If you need it." He walked him off. "There's a monitor in there. You're safe here."
"That was really Buffy's helper?" he asked quietly. "He was said to be bouncy but a hardass."
Adam smiled and nodded. "He's still in crisis mode but yes. When he's at home and safe he's much more bouncy, fun loving, spoiling, and petting. Hubert, quit trying to bring Melissa into your harem," he ordered. The dragon pouted at him. "Tough." Melissa giggled, giving him a pet before bouncing off to the self-defense lecture. He pointed. "We're teaching self-defense right now."
"I'm pretty good at it. Our father was a Marine."
Adam patted him on the back. "It's often a hard thought adjustment but he loved you anyway, Dean. He's still the reason you are the man you are today."
"I still swear I remember Mom being pregnant with Sammy."
Adam shrugged. "Many things can happen. The hospital could've switched them. She could've been pretending so no one would question when they found a new infant. Who knows."
Dean nodded at that. "I guess." He looked back at the room then at him. "Okay, I need details. Xander went over it pretty fast."
"Of course. I assumed he was the more research oriented one."
Dean smirked. "I think he's having a personal moment." He walked him off to the bar to get a beer and talk with him. He clearly had a lot of clues they needed. Especially about that Xander guy's offer.
Xander smiled when he heard the car pulling in, going to open the front door. It had taken them over a month to get to Miami but they were finally here. "I have A/C and cold drinks," he called, leaving it open. The dogs ran out to sniff them but then back inside. It was the humid, sticky part of the afternoon. Too hot for them. Both boys walked in. "Want lemonade, soda, water? There may be some juice, not real sure." He went to look. "Kitchen, guys."
"This is a nice place," Dean called, walking after him. "Lemonade's good for me. Sammy?"
"Water?" Xander nodded, handing over glasses and sitting down at the island with his glass of soda. "You have books?"
Xander led them into the office and the pile of books, trunks, and bags. "Those all hold demon books. The bags are bottomless. Some of the trunks are too." Sam whimpered at that. He handed him an inventory list. "That's what I have."
Sam looked it over. "I've only heard myths about some of these."
Xander shrugged, heading back to the kitchen to give his boys a treat. The dogs headed back to lounge on the ottomans. "A watcher helped my mother kidnap and torture me for a bit. He was paying a demon for the books by letting him suck off the extra hormones I was putting out." He took another drink of his soda, looking at Dean. "If I see him, I'm taking his head. His name is Rupert Giles and he's Buffy's watcher."
Dean shuddered. "The underground has stories about what fell out in Sunnydale."
"Buffy started to drink while in college. They told me not to come home. I didn't. Then she got drunk one night at a frat house and dogpiled." Dean groaned at that. "Her mother and she blamed me for not being there." He shrugged. "She apologized after the invasion, has her head on straight again, but I could only forgive her. There's no way I'm going to go back there. I hunt down here when I have to. There's not too many harmful demons and most of them want to have sex with me. So I find them pretty easily," he finished with a small smirk for Sam. "Heard you ran into one I sent off pouting."
"That monsoon demon," he moaned. "What makes him stop?"
"I was ready to kill him. He castrated me, put me in a dress, then piled silver jewelry on me. When I woke up I was not a happy camper. He may be made of wind but I went after him with a sword." Dean snickered at that. "He finally got the point later on." He yawned. "It's siesta time in Miami, sorry." He looked at them. "You're still pre. Good job."
"It was a close thing," he complained.
Xander nodded. "I didn't expect mine at all." He finished his glass of soda. "I have cookies, brownies, real food, and cheese sticks in the freezer if you guys are hungry. Danny and Don won't be home for a while yet." He looked at them. "Oh, if you're doing bad things to fund the cause, don't tell my family? Most of them are cops or CSI. They'll throw fits." He looked in the fridge, putting a brownie down in front of each of them, then pulling out the pork chops from dinner. "Leftovers?"
"Sure," Dean agreed. "This is a really strange conversation."
Xander grinned. "They seem to happen here." He snickered. "You should've heard the one I came home from Vegas with once. I came home saying I should be Queen of the Amazons." Ares appeared, giving him an amused look. "I should be. I'd be a good one. Much better than Gabrielle was on the show."
"Anyone would've been better than her, Xander."
He moved closer, smiling at him. "I can plan battles, I can help plan the crop yield. I could help go on raids for new men for them. Breeding doesn't bother me and I can do some wound care. I'm a good hunter for the tribe and they'd have fun with me. We'd have some great celebrations at harvest and after finding some new men for them to steal. And hey, I'd even look better in her outfit than she did. Any of them but the blue dress in the first season."
Ares groaned. "You're warped. Get Wolfe to ride you harder tonight."
Xander smirked at him. "If you can help take the succubus taint out of him."
"Still!" he demanded.
"It helps! Look how much I've gotten done around the house!" Xander said, waving a hand around. "Even without Tabby and her boys today. Plus all the building I've done." He snuggled against his chest, giving him a hug. "Horatio agreed with me. I'd make a good Amazon queen."
"You're already a queen of a vampire realm after you staked the one running it." He pushed him back. "No cuddling unless you're sick." Xander pouted. "Don't even," he warned.
"My boys had an overnight stakeout," he pouted.
Ares groaned. "No!" he disappeared.
Xander waved a hand. "Ryan's patron saint, Ares, God of War. Before you ask, one of his other people run a resort on holy ground in Las Vegas. She did the show." He smirked. "He helped train me before I found the dance style and did train Ryan."
"Wow," Sam said, blinking hard. "They're real?"
Strife appeared, looking at both of them. "Partially mine. Not bad." He smirked. "Morning, boys."
"Strife," Xander cooed, giving him a hug.
"Get off!" he said, having to disappear from the octopus. "Damn it, I hate it when they're gone for days on end!"
Xander cackled, grinning at Dean. "One of my gods. Level tens belong to Cupid and Strife."
"I can see why," Dean admitted, nibbling his brownie. "Plates?" Xander bounced over to get some, handing them over, taking some for himself. "Lunchtime?" he teased.
"Well, yeah. I didn't really eat a lot when I went to spoil my boys at the lab with lunch. I cuddled instead. It was good. Nearly as satisfying." He grinned at Sam. "Yes, you get used to it. Even Danny and my former poker playing thug buddies did."
"Poker playing thug buddies?" he asked quietly.
"I used to play poker with the underground here in Miami. I was bored. We surge when we're bored. Since I didn't want kidnaped to another realm, again, I went to cure the boredom and help my boys by lightening their pockets so they couldn't use the money to buy new drugs or make bad plans for Miami."
"I hustle now and then to make us motel money," Dean complained.
Xander beamed. "I made over six million in one weekend in Vegas, Dean." Dean gaped. He nodded. "Yeah. That's why the house is so nice. We just got done renovating about eight months ago. By the way, I have a dedicated practice area upstairs and guest rooms if you need them."
"We'll stay at a motel so we don't bother the family," Dean said. "You know how the hunting goes. Not much cash."
"Yeah, I remember working fast food to make the rent. That sucked," Xander agreed. "Carpentry was good for me but then again Anya was tiring me out nearly nightly."
"Girlfriend?" Sam asked.
Xander nodded, eating a bite and chewing. "Anyanka, formerly over women scorned." Dean choked. He grinned. "She was my prom date and came back after the ascension for the sex." He smirked. "I managed to keep up somehow. Don't know how but I did. Working, my nympho with her bunny phobia, and slaying."
Sam moaned. "Sunnydale was insane!"
"Yup!" he said cheerfully. "It was an overrun, foothold situation. Every night." He heard a car and looked outside. "That's Ray Junior, Horatio's nephew."
"The young guy with you guys at the convention," Dean said.
"Yup." Ray stomped in. "Bad day at school?"
"My girlfriend's a bitch." He got a soda and looked at him. "Sorry, didn't mean to vent in front of non-family."
"Nah, they're new students," Xander told him. "They hunt too."
"Wow. Did you come for the dead things books as Don calls them?" He opened the can and took a sip. "Because he'd love it if they disappeared suddenly." He looked at Xander. "Why is it that women decide to change their mind in the middle of a conversation? We were talking about going to the movies tonight and one minute it's all good, she has one she wants to see, then she's all cranky, snarly, and bitchy about it, telling me I'm not getting any tonight and I'm a bastard because I only nodded at her suggestion. Not like I give a damn what we see tonight." He took another drink. "Then she puts around that I'm gay. Bad in bed and gay. And sleeping with my uncles. I have *no* idea what's wrong with her."
"Possession?" Dean suggested. "Did her eyes glow or anything like that?"
"No. She's done this before. It's like she has multiple personalities. One of them hates me, one's a nympho who only wants sex, and the other two are okay enough."
"They make medicine for that," Xander told him.
"I know. She wants to go to school to study that." He took another drink. "Need me to clear out?"
"I was going to let them into the books today, then work on the sword stuff tomorrow," Xander said. "Did you ever get the bag out of the closet?"
"No." He went to do that. He came back. "Any idea on where my mother is now?"
"I think Warren tried to get her back but he gave up when she went back to Brazil. She did send Horatio an email threatening to move back up here."
"Charming," Ray Junior said dryly. Both brothers stared at him. "My mother and I are at odds right now. She thinks I should be celibate, kidnaped, then die from it. That I'm also too young to drive, date, have an allowance, that stuff. Younger than I was before my father sent me back up here to live with my uncles." He finished his soda and tossed into the recycling bin. "So, books? We can do that. Or I can watch over Hubert. He's getting cranky again, Xander."
"I know. I think he's about to go into a major growth spurt and it may be time to find him a better dragon teacher than I am." He sighed, looking at him. "It's going to suck."
"It is but we'll be here for you," he promised, giving him a hug. "It'll be okay. You'll still have the dogs and the ferrets."
Xander nodded. "I know." He rested his head against his shoulder. "Sorry about the morbid topic, guys. Happens now and then. Did you guys want the classification stuff or other stuff?"
"Classification," Dean told him. They nodded, Ray coming in to help heft books to the z- shaped desk. He ran a hand over it. "This is sweet."
"Thanks," Xander said with a grin. "I built it." He got out the other books they might need to look at. "Not specifically classification manuals but they do tell histories of various higher clans." He put one last one down in front of Sam. "The more scholarly of us tend to recommend that book. Connor tried to get me to read it too." He shrugged. "I learned strategy the hard way: possession." He walked out at their horrified looks. "I'm doing stuff in the living room if you guys need help."
Ray opened a filing cabinet drawer. "Paper if you need it and pens are in the top drawer of his desk if there's not any in the cup on top." He went to see what Xander was doing. "You're crocheting again?"
"Yeah. I'm bored and shopped out."
"I remember the last time you said that," he said, giving him a look. "Why are you worried this time?" He sat down next to him, facing him. The dogs looked over from their ottoman-holding-down. "It's all right. You're good boys, go back to sleep." They put their heads back down at that assurance. "Xander?"
"I haven't heard from Vesvold in a few weeks," he admitted. He put it aside. "I haven't heard from him since before the invasion." Ray nodded slowly. "I tried to email him but it came back as no such account. I'm wondering if I pissed him off or if something happened."
"Can you get up there?"
"If he's pissed I don't want to make him more pissed."
"I know but if something happened...."
"I'd hope someone would've told me." He looked at him. "We were really close friends. Which is what's bugging me. If I pissed him off, I'd expect him to tell me what I had done not just walk away. It wasn't the invasion, he agreed I should help with it. That was about three days before we left for LA and...." He trailed off with a shrug. "I don't know."
"Xander, this says that there's a different human history," Sam called.
"Yeah, that's what the Watchers found out when they tortured some demons," he called back. "That's what they keep trying to bring back by opening a hellmouth." He looked at Ray again. "I don't want to seem pushy and call his mom or something."
"Good point." He considered it. "Has anyone given you any hints?"
"No. Not a one. Not even when I went to visit my babies at the demonic warehouse." He grimaced. "I have no clue. I'm thinking about hitting a demon club tonight when my boys are in bed. Since they'll be exhausted and will sleep for the next day and a half."
"Who are they busting now?"
"The mayor's wife is taking bribes from a few major cartel lords. No one I know personally but she's been doing it for her husband and a few of the council members. Who're being assholes to Horatio. Did you hear he caught one with his panties down?"
"Yup. He's been trying to make his life a living hell."
Xander gave him a look. "We'll see about that too."
Ray gave him a hug. "No going into evil mode. Uncle H said so."
"I can protect Horatio and the lab from the stupid bastard without going evil. He's not worthy of real evil thoughts." He grimaced. "Really he's not." He looked outside then at him. "Someone bought noise lady's house. Not sure who. Seen a decorator going in there."
"Interesting. Maybe they'll be nice."
"Maybe. Hopefully. If not, well, I could expand," he muttered, cracking Ray up. "Want to go pick stuff?"
"Sure." He stood up and pulled Xander up. "Guys, we're going to pick some stuff from the trees around the house," he called. "Answer the phone if it rings." He walked out once they had baskets, going to see what was still ripe. They found a lot of nuts, some lemons, and some of the apples. "You know, you have that really nice lemon and nut not- quite-a-pudding thing with the crust? You could make it for dinner."
"I could." He gathered some more lemons and looked around, heading for his herb garden. He looked back. "Ray?" He came out of the trees. "Don't disappear."
"I'm trying hard not to." He came over to help. "Mint?"
"Yup, that patch over there," he said with a point. He moved to get some water. "I have to water the magic herbs better," he complained, doing that. He heard the gates open and looked back at the car pulling in. "Any idea?" he asked.
Xander finished his project, letting Ray take the baskets inside. He walked over. "Yes? Are you lost?"
"Are you Alexander Harris?" Xander nodded. "I'm here to make an offer for your house so your neighbor can expand."
Xander snickered. "Hell. No. Get out." He pointed, staring him down. "This is a family home. Our family lives here and I work from home most of the time. Get out before you make me retaliate."
"You're not one of us, young man. I do know *all* about you. It would be better for you if you left Miami."
Xander pulled a gun, pointing it at him. "If you knew anything about me you'd know I'm paranoid about my safety and you just violated it. Guys, call a cop!" he shouted. The gate guards came running. Dean came to the door. "Dean, don't worry about it." He went back inside. He continued to stare at him. A cruiser pulled in behind his car. "Guys, this very supposedly upstanding man just threatened me to leave Miami so someone could buy my house." They laughed.
"We know all about your drug habit."
"He doesn't touch the stuff," one of the officers said.
The man stared at him. "How would you know?" he sneered.
"His lover's a cop and the other's a CSI. The guy who's like his father is a CSI. He's protected by cops." The man gaped. "The closest thing you're going to get on him is his former poker habit to weed down the illegal money sources in Miami and he's got two lovers."
"And I found myself in a brothel for six weeks," Xander admitted. Both officers gaped at him. He shrugged. "I was on a road trip to find myself, guys. That's where I found out what I am and what I like. It was great fun. Made some good money. Retired from it and went to Don."
"So, you gave it up for Flack?" one of them asked.
Xander beamed and nodded. "Yeah."
"Wow. Flack must be good." Xander gave him a look then stuck out his tongue. "Interesting."
"Very. By the way," he told the idiot, "it was a higher class brothel. I had people who paid over a hundred grand for an hour, sweetheart." He gasped at that. "So, no, you're not my sort of people and I would suggest that whoever wanted to buy my house leave. Today. I'm not putting up with shit and if you try to interrupt my safety, I react. This is your *only* warning." He put his gun up, looking at the officers. "Is the threat enough?"
"It's more than enough to bring him in," one of them decided. "Even the mayor's wife knows not to mess with you, Mr. Harris."
Xander grinned. "I never played poker with her." They both laughed. He shrugged. "I didn't." He looked at the community guards then pointed at the black Impala. "New students." They nodded. "Until you hear otherwise."
"Yes, Mr. Harris. You really did?"
He nodded. "I really did. Then I left it after my six week contract was up. Made a hell of a lot of money. Moved in with Don." He grinned a sappy grin. "He's kept me pretty well since then."
"He did say if he made more money he'd buy you bling," Ray called from the doorway.
"Your lover?" the guy sneered.
"No, friend's nephew. He helps me with things in the office and stuff." He shrugged. "Gives him something to do after school to make gas and insurance money for his car." The man sneered and got into his car, backing around the cruiser to head off. He looked at the amused looking officers. "I can shoot him next time, right?"
"Let us arrest him, sir. The new head District Attorney is the one who protested when the guy who was trying to hold you hostage killed himself."
"Pity. Isn't he dirty?" They nodded. "How in the hell?"
"The mayor picked him," one said with a small shrug.
Xander rolled his eyes. "I do not like that situation." He shook his head. "Thank you, guys."
"You're welcome, Mr. Harris. We're glad he wasn't trying to kidnap you," one said with a grin.
"Me too. He's slimy and nasty. I'd never fuck that even while I was sedated." They laughed as they got back into the car. He looked at the gate guard. "He works for...." They pointed at the noise complaining woman's house. "Who is? I've seen a decorator."
"You're getting a new money person in. She's an up and coming person."
"Very. Report it to us if you have problems, Mr. Harris. I know she'll have an open house soon."
Xander nodded. "Pity about her. How many places has she been kicked out of?"
"About half of Miami. She should be on Star Island with the other snobs, but...." He shrugged. "We'll see."
"Yup. Thanks. Watch out for him?"
"Of course. I'll get your gate on the way out, sir."
"Thank you." He headed back inside, going to wash his hands. "That guy made me want to take a shower. Not even demonic and he was slime covered." He saw Ray giggling into the phone. "The new person next door is an up and coming person who is supposed to be a very bad neighbor. You can tell whoever that. Tell my boys to cab home since they're so tired too."
Ray repeated that then grinned at him. "Don said they might dent his bike."
"Hard to do since it's in the garage."
Ray laughed. "Don, he said your bike is in the garage," he told him. He nodded. "Yeah, cab, dear." He hung up. "So, if she's a starlette or something what're we going to do?"
"Hope like hell she goes to party elsewhere. I will not put up with constant parties. At all." That got a nod. "The other neighbors are nice."
"What about the place downtown?" he asked, leaning on the island, watching him rinse off the lemons.
"It's nice. I was going to let Ryan have it. It's a just-in-case spot, Ray."
"I know." He reached over to pat him on the back. "Need help?"
"Sure." Ray came over to help him check the lemons for bad spots. At least until the explosion rocked the house. They ran outside to find the house next door in a smoking pile and part of their fence down. He called Horatio. "Someone blew up the neighbor's house and part of our fence." He hung up and walked over there, hand on his gun. "Excuse me!" he yelled when he saw people. "I did not need my fence torn down by your explosion! Fix it, people! I'm not amused!"
"Who're you?" the man sneered.
"I'm the one who owns this house, fucktard, and I'm the boyfriend of two cops." They sneered. "By the way, I already see the marijuana growing. We know drug dogs. Keep it away from my house, my pets, my fence. Am I clear?"
The woman stomped over there. "Who're you...." She stared at him, then backed off. "I know you."
He stared at her. "Oh, yeah, you did Sonny's clothes and shit. Yay you. Fix. My. Fence. Keep your shit on your yard. Do not bother my family. Do not send the idiot you sent earlier. He nearly got arrested for threatening me. I'm having an amused day," he sneered back. "Am I clear?" She nodded, backing off. "Good. Then fix my fence. Today!" He watched her back up further. "Thank you." Patrol cars rolled in. "Guys," he said with a wave at the ones who had just been at his place. "Not mine. Really. I would've been more subtle." He walked off again. "No, Spots, inside!" he ordered. The dogs ran back inside.
"Did you know he's a weapons dealer!" she shouted at the cops, pointing.
One stared at her. "Yeah, he collects. The crime lab oversees his stash. It's so less people kidnap him. Including his former poker buddies." She went pale at that. "I see drugs, ma'am?" She went paler and backed away. "Also, it is against state and local law to blow up a house without a permit." Horatio pulled in and parked, getting out of his hummer and strolling over. "Lieutenant. Your nephew is next door, sir."
"I know. He called to tell me he got there." He looked at the rubble then at her. "It's not a very good destruction job." She shrieked and went for him with her nails. The officers got her down and cuffed her. "Is that a marijuana plant?"
"Six, sir," the other officer reported. "I can see a few more against the fence. Newly planted with the fertilizer still around them." He got out of the way. "We can get K-9 here to search if you want, sir."
"Spots!" he yelled. Xander came to the door. "We need a drug hunt, Xander. Can we borrow that one?"
"Sure. He's bored with his nap. He wanted to come bite the bitch. Who, by the way, sent someone to try to buy *my* house and threatened I had better leave Miami because they know *all* about me. Fortunately he left before your boys could arrest him." That got a nod. "Spots, go hunt!" he called. "Help the Horatio!" They ran over, staring at Horatio. Horatio got their leashes and led them around to hunt for things. "I'm making that lemon thingy tonight, Horatio. Officers, do you need coffee or anything?"
"Some water would be nice, Mr. Harris," one said. Xander grinned and went to get him some. His partner too. He looked at the bottle. "Um, sir, did you know this has needle marks?" he asked.
"No, I just picked up a new box today." He looked. "Huh, that is. Well that fucking sucks." The officers gaped at him in horror. He shrugged. "No one said I grew up privileged, guys. I've got a good filter again. Let me get you some ice water." He went to do that. Horatio could have the bottles if he wanted. "Guys, use the filter pitcher for water instead of the bottles," he called as he walked in. "One of the officers just found a needle mark on one." He got them a pitcher of ice water and a few plastic cups, taking them over there. "There you go," he said with a smile. "Because it's too hot out here today. We don't want anyone sick. Then you get pouted at by your bosses." He walked off. "Bring them back when you're done, Horatio."
"I will." They kept going, finding all sorts of things. He found one on Xander's side in the trees. "Xander?" He came to the back door. "You have pot growing?"
He came over to look then sniff. "No, it's a magical herb." He let him sniff it. "Same family, no THC. Perfectly legal. You can test it if you want. I use it in banishing potions."
"I can do that." He took a clipping. "If you're wrong...."
"Then I'll yank it and burn it myself. You know I don't put up with drugs." He went back inside to finish his meal for dinner.
Horatio smiled at the officers, who shrugged. "We heard about the one he shut down," one admitted, sipping his water. "Sir, are we arresting all of them?"
"Yes." They went to do that, getting a troop carrier in. One of the community guards came over. "Did they have permits?"
"Not through us. They have to ask our permission before they ask the city's. It's an automatic rejection if they come in with city permits." That got a nod. He pointed at a car. "That's the guy who threatened Xander earlier, Lieutenant. I assumed he was working for her."
"Thank you for that warning." He smiled.
"You might also want to check Ray Junior's muffler. It's a bit loud."
"We can do that as well." He let the dogs finish up in the front yard, finding other things. "Hmm." He went down on one knee to look then smirked. "Boys, I need a trowel or something to dig this up." They went to get one, bringing it and a bag back. He pulled it out, holding up the necklace. Plus the bone it was fused to. "We'll need to set up a crime scene," he told the local guard. The dogs pawed at another spot, letting him move over there. "Hmm. Chopped up." One of the officers looked sick. "Take them back to the station please. I'll call for a crime scene team." They nodded, doing that. He called Mac. "It is me." He smiled. "I know you cover Xander's neighborhood. No, the explosion was his neighbor who was moving into the noise complainer's house. She demolished it. They routed me because of the explosion, Mac. Well, we found multiple drug plants. We've also found some remains in the front yard. The dogs are." He petted them. "Good boys. They're still keeping in training, yes. Could, yes, Mac. Please. I found a single vertebrae. One of the dogs was trying to pull up a finger." He smiled. "Excellent. I can wait." He hung up and took the dogs back, handing them to his nephew. "Problems?"
"Girlfriend went psycho during lunch in the middle of a conversation. She's also spreading around that I'm gay, crap in bed, and doing both of you."
"Hmm. We'll handle that, Ray."
"Oh, I already did. I heard that and giggled my ass off. Pointed out I've only had girlfriends. Xander's a friend and nothing more or else I'd be spoiled rotten by now, and I clearly wasn't. And that if I was that sick, the rest of the lab and cops would've put us out of our misery. She was a the daughter of a cop so she agreed with me. She's helping."
"Good. Don't let it become violent."
"Sure. Have a good dig."
"Hmm. We'll try. Xander, we'll have a crime scene over there."
"If you need more water let me know."
"I do need to confiscate the rest of that batch." Xander pointed behind him at the ones on the counter in the box. He smiled. "Has anyone drank any?"
"I had one but we all know it's not going to affect me that much."
"Good." He counted and walked off. The others were accounted for with the officers' ones earlier. He walked over to put it into the back of his hummer, finding Ryan there. "Here, tampered with."
"I heard." He took it to join the bag in his hummer. "Heading back to the lab or did you need me?"
"I think Mac and Sheldon can do this one since they cover this neighborhood, Mr. Wolfe."
"Sure." He smiled and headed off to do that.
Horatio watched Sheldon pull in first. "Sheldon."
"Horatio." He shook his hand. "What did we find?" He walked him over there to show him. "Interesting." He got down to look at the finger, then at the vertebrae and necklace that had been dug up. He looked at the pile of remains then at him. "The blew the house?"
"Not very well either. We got reports from over three blocks away. They used a bit too much." Sheldon laughed. "I figure that's what brought up the remains."
"Could be. Or all the rains recently."
"Xander did say if you needed it to come over for ice water."
"Sure. Thanks." He watched him leave, smiling at the guard. "Go ahead and tape the entry." He nodded. "We'll park in the driveway for now. Unless we have to dig it up too."
"Thank you, sir." He left to do that. The remaining officer was taping the gateway for him. "Cars?"
"I'll be guarding it so I can let them in," he promised with a smile.
"That's fine. Mr. Harris lives over there," he said with a point. "He said he'd give out ice water if you needed it."
"It's nice when citizens support us."
The gate guard smiled. "He's got two lovers in the homicide and crime lab building."
"Oh!" he said, nodding.
"Detective Flack is very generous with us. Gave us great tips for the holidays." He went back to the booth to sign in the people coming in and make notes. His bosses would want to know. Especially about Mr. Harris having a hissy fit on them for it.
The officer grimaced. "Flack's gay?" he muttered. He let in another hummer. "Sir."
Mac got out to look at him. "Problems? I saw the grimace."
"We have gay detectives?"
"And higher," he agreed. "They're generally very good cops." He walked inside, mentally shaking his head. The guy would learn to be more tolerant or move to another city.
Xander smiled at Horatio as he came in with the bagged plant sample. "Was I wrong?"
"No, you're not wrong. It is on the legal to own and grow list," he promised, handing it back. "Has DEA come through there yet?"
"Twice now." He smirked. "One said something but I showed him in the plant index. He took a sample too." That got a nod. "One of them did mutter about me and weapons but Mac got him calmed down. He'll be fine. If they try shit, I'm going to go after him." He smiled sweetly. "I made that lemon pudding-y thing."
"I do like that." He gave him a hug. "Calm down and let us handle it, Xander."
"Yes, Horatio. Have you heard anything from Vesvold?"
"No, I haven't."
"Neither have I since before the invasion."
Horatio nodded slowly at that. "I don't know."
"I was going to sneak out for a while tonight and go ask."
"No, no sneaking. Take someone with you, Xander."
"Fine." He hugged him back. "Where are my boys?"
"Asleep in the break room. Ryan identified who was tampering with the water. It's all fine." He looked at the two new boys. "Gentlemen. Horatio Caine. Ray's uncle." He shook their hands.
"Sam and Dean Winchester," Dean introduced. "So, you're not one of his boyfriends?"
"No, he's like my dad," Xander said with a sappy grin. "He gives me lectures, he nags, he helps me a lot, then he makes me calm down and quit spoiling people." That got a laugh from Sam. "Really, he does try." He looked at Horatio again. "Are you staying for dinner?"
"I was going to take Ray home while someone looks his car over."
"Yeah, it's a bit loud."
"I think we can have that fixed." He gave him a squeeze. "Stay over here tonight. We'll go ask tomorrow." Xander nodded, letting him go. "Though, Speed does want that recipe."
Xander handed it over. "I wrote it out while I made it." That got a smile and he left. He looked at them. "I made lemony pudding-y stuff with nuts for dinner."
"Sure," Dean agreed. "Sounds good."
"It does," Sam agreed. Xander dished them up some, then himself some, heading out to the living room. "So, how much magic do you do?"
"Small stuff. Usually I need to store energy for a really good fireball spell. Now and then I have to pull up a portal spell but I usually try to save up for at least a good month unless it's an emergency. Backlash hurts like shit." He ate a bite and hummed. "I did good." He turned on the news. "Sit, guys. The dogs only bite bad guys who threaten me."
Dean sat down. "This is really nice."
Xander grinned. "Poker winnings." Sam snickered at that. "It was." He flipped to a different station. "Hate that one. She's a nosy bitch and tried to say I'm doing stuff before." He went back to eating and watching. "Danny and Don will be home late. They're napping in the break room." He frowned at something. "What the hell?" He watched as the live feed of agents coming into his neighborhood started. "Huh." He called the gate. "Tell me they're not coming for that single, non-drug plant of mine?" He rolled his eyes. "Guys, go upstairs if they're going to bother you," he said as he hung up, getting up to open the door. "What is your damage?" he demanded. "I don't do drugs. Never have. I helped bust a pipeline when someone gave me some."
"Sir, you have a drug plant," one of them said.
"No, I have a plant in the same family as weed but it's not. The local lab tested it." He waved. "We can go look if you want to." He blocked the agent coming in. "Not unless you have a warrant, sparky." One was held up and Xander looked at it. "Fine. Get the press off my lawn." He looked at him. "The only weapons here are swords and personal handguns." He handed it back. "All registered. Which do you want to see first?"
Xander led him into the office, going to get them all for him. Plus the paperwork. He put them down. "That good enough?"
"Sir, that bed of yours is going to have to be taken apart so we can check for hidden areas," one agent said. "You can comply...."
Horatio stomped in. "You get out," he ordered. The agent sneered. "That is not a legal way to search. Even for agents."
"You're protecting a suspected drug and arms dealer?" he sneered.
"I don't do drugs, guys. I loathe drugs. When someone tried to give me drugs I turned them in and ruined their whole organization. Also, I don't *deal* arms. Yes, I do *collect* guns." They stared. "For my own personal safety. Hello, sometimes people want to take my ass. Boys, down," he ordered. Both dogs sat down on the couch instead of growling. "Get the reporter bitch off my lawn," he said calmly. "Before I ruin you and her career."
The agent laughed. "You might be cute, sir...."
Xander started to dial the phone but the agent hunt up. Xander glared at him then did it again. He tried it again. "I do have the right to call people on my own phone. You try to stop me and you'd better come with more than cuffs." He did it again. The agent grabbed his wrist. He glared then let his skin heat. The agent screamed as he let go. "I told you not to do that." He dialed. "Steve. I know we have a lawyer somewhere. Can you please get them to the house so I can start ruining people's lives? Yes, that's us. Also, come get the bitch reporter off the lawn before I get her for being a stalker." He hung up and looked at the other one. "By the way, you can easily find all the hidden areas on the bed without taking it apart. Because if you touch that antique and it's hurt, you're rebuilding it." He led them that way. "The hidden areas are all pretty easy to find." He watched that agent check.
"Blood," he announced.
"Yes. Ferret blood. Someone stabbed one when they took me hostage. They also broke my dog's front legs. George was hiding in there." He glared back at him. "Try it," he offered. "There are ways to test to see if it's animal or human blood." Danny stormed in. "Can you get them the blood testy pad?"
"Sure." He pulled one out of his kit. "Though I do know it's ferret blood. I can even 4pull up that casefile for you if you want."
"The whole lab protects him?" he asked coldly.
Danny laughed. "Little boy, Xander can do that so much better." He looked at him. "What happened?"
"They found the leafy plant off to the side of the house when the new neighbor blew hers up. They somehow think that makes me a drug and arms dealer."
"You don't sell your guns. You collect them, clean them, pet them. You've never sold them. Now and then you give a spare one to the labs." He shook his head.
"Xander, the spare car?" Don called as he walked in.
"Ours," Sam yelled from upstairs.
Don went up to look at them. "Oh, yeah, from the convention. Hey, guys. Don Flack." He shook their hands. "What the hell?" he asked with a point.
Dean shrugged. "We saw it on the news. Apparently they think he's selling guns and drugs."
"Not Xander. He helped destroy a major drug pipeline when his poker buddy paid him in drugs." He went to look at the agent in charge. "He's the guy that gave us the Millison bust because they paid him in drugs. He doesn't sell or do drugs."
"We have one positive plant identification," he said cooly.
Don led him out to the plant, pointing. "Same family, not illegal to own. Xander does new agey stuff and he uses it in one of the rites. We made damn sure it's not on the illegal list."
He looked at it, then at the sample. "You're right. This isn't the same sample."
"Yeah," he said, pointing. "I think it came from over there."
Horatio came out. "I tested a sample of that plant myself," he said, handing over the report. "The other sample came from the neighbor's house. She had at least twelve newly planted ones." The head agent groaned. "Also, Mr. Harris' weapons are directly under my control. It is for Xander's own self defense. Now, I would suggest you get that reporter off the lawn. Xander is not tolerant of his safety being exposed. He will be expecting an apology."
"Every time someone gives him drugs from a poker debt he handed it in and went after them," Don promised. "Unless being gay's suddenly against the law you're not going to find jack shit in the house."
"We still have the warrant, detective."
"Really? Because ya know, the house isn't in that name." He held it up with a point. "That's that house," he said with a point at the tree neighbor's house. "Not this one." He snatched it back. "This is number 10, not number 6. They're also in jail for attempted murder, shooting at cops, and trying to burn us out."
He sighed. "We're still searching."
"No, that would be an illegal search," Horatio said, snatching the warrant. He looked it over. "It is." He walked out. "Boys, get the reporter off the lawn," he yelled at the cruiser pulling in. "They do not have a warrant. The one they have is not for this address. The agents are highly mistaken. There is a restraining order against her coming anywhere near Mr. Harris." They nodded, hauling her off. "Danny, remove the agents." The officers went in to help him with that. "Xander, their warrant is for the house next door."
"The one that went boom?"
"No, tree lady's," Don said dryly. The agents all glared at him. "Wrong addy, boys. That's illegal as hell."
"You're keeping illegal exotic pets, your dogs are dangerous, and we can still search since we found that," one told him with a cold, cruel sneer.
Xander pulled out a file, holding up the certificate. "Both dogs are K-9 and guard trained, officially trained and on call for the department's needs. They were hunting drugs and body parts next door earlier." He put the certificate back. Then he held up another letter. "From the ASPCA. Someone asked them about my pet dragon. They said he's not on the illegal list. That is a *certified* letter stating he is not on the exotic's list. I asked for one just in case someone got a bright idea." He put it back. "You're in the wrong house. Get out of mine. Before I sue your agency."
"We'll be back," one promised.
Xander moved closer. "Really? You sure of that?" He stared him down. "My privacy is very valuable to me. If I have to bankrupt the family, I will do it to make sure your badge is melted down while you watch. Now, get out of my house and quit upsetting my friends and family. Take the reporter bitch with you. Before I have to get ...creative." They huffed off. He stared at Horatio. "Don't you even think about yelling at me." He put the folder down. "I've had enough already today and I'm dealing with it!" He walked off, going to the back yard to let off a scream of rage, then to do something he should not do.
"No," Dean ordered as he came out. "Good guys don't do that."
"Good guys don't have to put up with them." He looked at him. "Not like I'm calling my former poker buddies for favors." He looked up again. "Strife! I need good ideas?" he called quietly.
Strife appeared. "That's still a bad guy thing," he said patiently. Xander gave him an evil thought and he shivered. "They did what?"
Xander nodded. "Yeah. Which means the house isn't safe and I'm going to have to move. Which will not please anyone. Especially me. And especially you when you have to listen to me complain for the next ten years." Strife snickered at that. "All I want is an idea. I can pull it off myself," he offered with a grin. "Please?"
"Let the cops handle it, Xander," he soothed. "Ares said so."
"No!" He backed away. "Hell no! Not after they did this. No way in hell! This is my life they're trying to fuck up and I've had enough! I know damn well there's a few demons over the DEA locally." Strife gaped. "The same as I know one of them was just here." He walked off, going to think evil thoughts in his study. Then he got an idea and grabbed something, heading off. "Be back soon!" he shouted. He pulled out his calling necklace and blipped off to the DPP plane. He walked around the one curious looking one. "Sorry, have to get somewhere," he excused. "Can't get anywhere else right now. Miami's occluded." He looked at one of them. "By the way, your clan member is an idiot. You can tell him I said that. Tell him to watch out for swords." He disappeared again, heading to the High Council. He walked in and looked at one, staring at him. "Your *idiots* just tried to raid my fucking house! They brought a damn reporter to do it on live tv! One I have a restraining order against! Then they tried to break things! I will *not* have that around myself! We all know damn well I don't do drugs and I've already had enough! You warn your bitches they come back and I'm reacting. I may not be Rosenburg but I'll call hell down on them if they try it again to me."
The councilor swallowed. "They did what?" he asked calmly. Xander stared at him. "They were going for your neighbor, Xander. The one who blew up her house."
"Their warrant was for tree lady's house and they came to mine. Tried to menace me. Tried to keep me from calling my attorney or Steve. I've had *ENOUGH*! I don't care if they're just stupid or not. If they come back I'm letting every fucking thing I can go. I will *not* have myself endangered that way!"
"If they made a mistake they should apologize," he agreed calmly.
"They did it on live tv!" he shouted. "She got film of my house!"
"Calm down," he ordered, holding up a hand. "I will look into it. If you had asked I would've already been down there." Xander glared at him. "I know you're upset."
"I also burned one's wrist," he said dryly, canting his weight differently. "I do not need this right now."
"You're right. There's a problem in Miami."
"Duh. And I'm one of the few hunters down there. Though, the new students might be of some help." He got a quick nod at that. "I tell you what. You handle this and I won't tell anyone in the family about how ninety percent of the DEA agents around the world are demonic." That got a shudder. "Or anyone the family knows."
"I will," he promised, standing up. "I will handle it. We will ignore you. We know you don't do drugs, Xander."
Xander relaxed at that. "They still violated my life. If I get blamed for this...."
"You can take appropriate action," he promised. "They are going to be making a public apology if they're wrong. Though you do have weapons."
"Not that I sell."
"Good point." He swallowed, the boy was still in a rage. "I will look into it."
Xander backed off. "Let me know?"
"Of course." He sat down. "Now, you did interrupt a mourning session for your beloved."
"He died!" he demanded. They all gaped. "Why in the hell wasn't I told!" he shouted.
"We thought you knew," one said calmly.
"How would I know?"
"Bound to him?" that one suggested.
"Um, no! If he had taken me in that way he would've been assassinated. Even Ares said so." That got a shudder. "Who?"
"He was assassinated," the DEA demon said calmly.
Xander stared at him. "Who?"
"You cannot hope to get them."
Xander snorted. "Really?"
"They're one of the old ones."
Xander smirked a bit evilly. "Where am I from?" he asked calmly. The whole Council shuddered. "Where are they?"
"Your home." He pointed at a mirror. "There."
Xander looked then sneered. "I'll be right back." He walked in there and looked at the demon. "You stupid bastard." He attacked, throwing a fire spell at the same point his sword was going in, then he grabbed the hellmouth and yanked, hard. He didn't care if he did just make Willow pass out while grabbing her head. Or the vampires to all look up then take off running. He cut that demon, watching it regrow and laugh. Xander pulled harder, watching the walls shake. "You have no idea what you've unleashed," he sneered. He let it all go, letting the magic and power flow through him. The demon burnt up in the force of the power. Xander panted, calming himself down. "Next time, don't touch what's mine or my family." He looked at the staring demons. "Anyone else?" They shook their heads and one started to cry. "Was there anyone else involved with Vesvold's death?" They pointed at one. Xander lifted a hand and fried him too. One of his clan. Pity. He lowered his hand. "Leave me and mine alone, people. You're making me *very* unhappy." He walked back through the mirror and turned, watching it darken. "Only them?"
"Only them," the DEA demon said, swallowing hard. "How...."
"I was raised on the hellmouth. It loves me," he quipped. "Do we have a direct link back to Miami?" That got a nod and a mirror opened to his backyard. "Let me know when the last funeral is? That way I can come up?" They all nodded. "Thank you." He walked through and knelt, letting his grief and the excess magic flow into the ground.
"Hey," Don called from the back door. "Xander?" Xander looked at him. "What happened?" He came over, pulling him up. "Why do you smell like heavy incense? Did you go see Vesvold to complain?"
"No, I went to see the demon over a certain agent I burned to complain. That's when I found out something had assassinated Vesvold," he said quietly. Don stared. "They're gone now."
"They were in Sunnydale. The hellmouth still loves me. I'm dumping excess energy and grief, Don." He helped him sit back down, sitting across from him, taking his hand to hold. "Why take him out?"
"He was well respected and honest. He was probably in someone's way," Don said gently. Xander nodded, hanging his head, letting it all go again. Don shifted closer, taking his other hand. "Shhh. We're here, Xander. It'll be okay. You can miss friends." Xander nodded, leaning forward to rest against his shoulder so he could cry on him. "Shh. I've got you." He looked back at the house, nodding Horatio outside since he was watching. "Someone assassinated Vesvold," he said quietly. "They're gone."
"No." He went back to soothing Xander. "You did what you had to do to avenge him, babe. We're not mad. They were bad guys and you went hunting bad guys. They wouldn't have been arrested, right?" Xander shook his head. "You're sure?"
Detective Mystick, the vampire detective in the DPP, landed and looked at him. "No. They were some of the Ancients, they can't be arrested. They can't be held." Xander looked at him. "What did you do?" he demanded.
Xander shrugged. "They were in Sunnydale. I used the hellmouth and yanked. I have a fucking headache." He went back to dumping the energy, making himself feel better. He finally sighed and looked at Don. "I'm told there'll be an investigation into them screwing up so badly since they were supposed to go to the former house instead of tree lady's house or ours."
"Good! Before I have ta sue." He gave him another cuddle, letting Xander curl into his lap. "Shh. It wasn't bad, Xander. I promise we're not mad."
"Been there, done that," Danny agreed as he walked out. He saw Horatio's look. "Who else is going to avenge immie, Horatio? The law doesn't."
"Good point," he agreed, stepping back. He could see why Xander had done it. He was clearly guilty now. "I'm not going to say anything but I wouldn't tell the others," he decided. They nodded and Xander blinked teary eyes at him. "Sometimes the system needs bounty hunters, even if they do annoy the regular people," he said quietly. Xander nodded, putting his head back down. He looked at the vampire detective. "Anything else we need to know?"
"There's a problem in Miami. It's going to create a lot of violence soon."
Horatio nodded. "That happens." He stroked over Xander's hair. "Like five years ago?" The detective nodded. "We handled it then." That got a nod and he disappeared. He helped Don and Xander stand up. "We're not mad, Xander." Xander nodded, giving him a tentative hug. "Shh. Go inside and clean up. Relax. Let us handle some of the problems." Xander nodded, letting Danny lead him inside. He looked at the two new students. "Unique situation," he admitted.
"We're hunters too," Sam told him. "We've been hunting one that killed our mother and my girlfriend for years."
Horatio nodded. "Then you understand. They took out a very good friend of Xander's." They nodded. "Rest, boys. It's going to be a long day tomorrow." He walked over to his hummer and went to handle the issues they were going to have. He ran into his boss in his office. "They were supposed to go to the demolished house?"
"From what I heard, yes. What did they find?"
"Xander practices Wicca."
"Oh. So he had some herbs...." Horatio nodded. "Anything illegal?"
"Some wormwood. That one was in the marijuana family but is legal to own and grow. I checked when I found out. Who screwed up the samples?"
"I don't know yet. How is the boy? I heard he had a problem beyond that?"
Horatio nodded slightly. "A friend on the High Council died. He was assassinated."
The guy shuddered. "I've heard about that recently. My new mistress." Horatio nodded. "And?"
"Xander went to ...handle things after he complained to a demon who was overseeing one of the agents earlier."
"Ah. Well, that can happen I guess." He looked outside then at him. "Stetler?"
"Knows the boy doesn't do drugs. He helped us bust the three officers who were part of that pipeline, sir."
"Even better. The reporter?"
"There's still a restraining order as far as I know."
"She's going to protest."
"She was trying to stalk him before." He gave him a look. "Even into the building."
"I heard." He sighed. "All right. The mayor wants this to go away, Horatio."
"I would love for the bad and stupid agents to disappear, sir. Unfortunately my calling prevents me from weeding out the patch in a timely manner. That's what Rick is for."
"Good point," he said with a smile. "No pictures of your nephew at least."
"Good. He was at home but good." He smirked. "We had left just before then." That got a nod. Rick walked in. "Evening."
"Upset. Very upset. He also found out a friend was assassinated recently."
"One of you?"
"Oh, that guy." He shook his head. "The DEA agents?"
"Xander's promised them an interesting end if they try anything. They also claimed that since they basically broke in and found Hubert, who is still not on the exotic's list, that they could come back."
"No, they can't," Stetler said. "I do know that they humiliated the agency on national tv." Horatio moaned. "And the little statement you gave made sure *everyone* knew he wasn't in trouble."
"I had hopes of that," Horatio admitted. "The head from DC?"
"On his way down from rumors," his boss said grimly. "Not happy."
"If they were mine they'd be fired," Horatio assured him. "The same as they would be if they were regular MDPD officials, sir."
"I know. Try to keep calm. It should be fixed soon."
"Xander wanted a public apology, sir," Horatio warned. "He is not beyond the methods of the courts to get it."
"That would expose his less than savory background," Stetler pointed out.
Horatio smirked. "We'll have to see, won't we?"
"Oooh, you know something," Rick accused, stepping in and closing the door. "What?"
"Xander went to complain to the demon over one of the agents. The one he had to burn I do believe."
Rick whimpered then groaned. "I'd heard rumors that there were demons in the DEA and ATF. Damn it!"
Horatio's phone rang. "Horatio," he answered, listening to the advice. "I do not believe that's a wise idea, sir." He hung up. "The mayor wants us to quit watching his wife take bribes, Chief. Did you?"
"No. I want the dirty people out."
Horatio smirked. "Would you like today's surveillance copy since you're here, sir?" He handed it over. "She was meeting with the person who took over the General's pipeline."
He smirked. "You're enjoying being evil a bit too much, Horatio."
"Xander infected me."
"Ah." He walked out to watch it in his office, smirking at the clear payoff he could see. He called in the new DA, letting him watch it. "The mayor called to threaten Horatio as well."
"Interesting. That boy earlier?"
"Wrong house. On national tv. From what I understand the head people are on their way down to beat people."
"Oooh," he said with a shudder. "That's gonna be a good rush to the ER." He rewound it. "Do we have any other copies?"
"We have daily copies of what they're finding." He looked at him. "The originals are being stored somewhere *very* safe. Horatio and three officers know. I only know that he knows. No one knows who the other two are. I do know that at least two aren't in the lab." That got a groan. "We're taking *no* chances."
"Even better." He ejected the tape. "Get me a list so I can start the charge sheet. Don't want to let her slip away too long." He went back to his office, wondering who else was going to end up implicated. He might even get to move up to city council after this.
Xander looked at the man knocking, glaring at him when the door opened. "You are?" he demanded.
"I'm the Director of the DEA, Mr. Harris."
"Unless you're here to offer a *public* apology, I don't care." He looked at him. "Are you?"
"Then pity. I'll get to put my very creative mind to ruining those agents for trying to humiliate me like that."
"May I come in?"
"No, I think your agency has dirtied my house enough."
The man stared at him. "I'm trying to make amends, sir."
"Leaving the people around me thinking that I do those things means there's no amends. You can apologize in private. Doing it in public means it can't happen again." Hubert came over. "What?" He nosed at the agent. "No. He's a politician. Not a thug." He looked at the older man again. "Well?"
"They will be losing their badges."
"That still leaves me with the humiliation of having them come here on *live* tv. That I've since heard got picked up by Headline News."
"Sir, I doubt you want your neighbors to hear what you used to do," he said calmly.
"I don't have neighbors. They're both in jail right now." The man swallowed. "The only one who'll hear you scream is the gate guards." He nodded at that. "I am not going to be humiliated that way. I refuse. I pay my taxes."
"We've heard about your poker habit, sir."
"I haven't played in quite a while."
"We know about your warehouse."
"For my own protection against things like your puppet master," he agreed. The man gaped. He stepped closer. "I'm the same Harris that used to help the slayer in Sunnydale," he said quietly, staring at him. "Think I don't need them? They're under PD oversight."
He started to sweat. "You...you are?" Xander nodded. "Her helper?" Xander nodded again. "We had no idea."
"Your puppet master did."
"Um, I wish he had told me. I will make a statement to the press that they had the wrong house." Xander relaxed at that. "I'm very sorry."
"Thank you for that. Anything else?"
"That certified letter?"
"Is from the older one who just retired, not the younger one. I've already answered that question when one of my boys asked."
"My boyfriends are both with the department."
"Oh," he said, starting to sweat worse. "Um, that situation in LA....."
"I was there," he agreed. "It was some of my stash that brought down the building."
"Good. Thank you for your help saving the world, Mr. Harris."
"I plan on keeping with that task but I'll be damned if I want to deal with idiots."
"Agreed. You've been lying to the IRS?"
"They said to estimate my poker winnings. Not like I counted. Dude, I hid ten bags in the closet and forgot them for nearly a year. Someone else handles that stuff."
"I see. Are you perhaps GHS? I've heard that rumor." Xander nodded. He flushed. "I see."
Xander smirked. "Another very good reason for the weapons, huh?"
"Very, sir. Thank you for your past help and I hope we can count on your future help?"
"Sure. The next person who pays me in drugs I'll hand over too and let Horatio help me destroy their pipeline this time." He smirked. "That was me too."
"That was good work," he admitted. "Thank you, sir. Also for the handling of what happened to your friend."
"He was a close friend and made-family," Xander said quietly. "He didn't deserve that. Any idea why?"
"He was in the way of a new plan to bring back the ancient ones."
"Anyone tell Buffy yet?"
"We've told Angel."
"That'll work too. If they need me, they'll yell. I handle most of Miami's issues." That got a nod and he stepped back. "Prosperous hunts," he said in the most common demon tongue.
"You as well, sir," he replied in the same language. "I'll go make that statement. Thank you for only singeing that one."
"He tried to keep me from calling my friend to get the lawyer here. Another one tried to tell me I had to take apart my antique bed so he could look for hiding spots." He groaned. "Exactly! You need to hire better people."
"We're working on it, sir." He left, heading back to his car to get into the back. His driver drove him off, letting him make notes. His people were screwed if they touched the kid again. They had no idea that he was *that* Harris. The one who had just taken out two Ancients.
Xander closed the door with a sigh, looking at his dragon. "I'm exhausted." The dragon nodded at the couch. "That's a good idea." He went to lay down and cuddle with him.
Sam came to the door of the living room. "You okay?"
"Tired. Politicians suck the energy from me."
"I can understand that. Thanks for letting us use the garage."
"Not an issue. Need some help?"
"No, we're doing pretty good. I had no idea there were so many classes of demons." He went back to his browsing. Even Dean was helping study. Usually he'd be making complaining noises by now. "Anything on that one?"
Xander walked in. "Describe it?" Sam handed over his notes. He looked then frowned, calling Wesley. "It's me. They're going to apologize today, Wes. Wrong house. The one who just blew hers up had pot all around it. Um, Retritvor clan? Do you have anything? No, I've got someone here looking for research and it sounds like that. Fire used as a method of destruction. Trapped victims. Yeah, that. Can you fax it? Yeah, that's me. Thanks." He hung up and handed it back. "The fax is in the cabinet with the purple glass doors. Need anything to nibble? I'm too tired to go shop or anything."
"Nah, we're good, thanks," Dean said. He looked at him. "Do you do anything but shop, eat, and cook?"
"Practice when people aren't working hours that'll kill them. I could work on that dance style with you guys. It'll help you both." He grinned. "We can use the backyard so no nosy reporter types can see over the fence."
"Sure," Dean agreed, going over to get the fax once it started to spit out. "Close." He pointed at a line. "Older than that and mind fucking."
Xander beamed and got into a trunk, pulling out a book. "Them?" He nodded at that. "Same clan, only it's an elder. Same method of destruction just takes more."
He sat down to read it. "This is the one we've been hunting."
Xander gave him a hug around the head. "We all have ones we want to kill," he promised, heading out back to stretch and warm up. The boys came out forty minutes later. "Okay, there's technically over sixty hours of the dances. I can teach you the basic moves and the sword moves, then let you guys learn the rest if you wanted to."
"I heard it was erotic," Sam said. "How so?"
"I've started spontaneous orgies at a convention a few years back in Las Vegas," Xander said proudly. They both gaped. He giggled. "During the greeting ceremony. So far only we can do the dance. I don't know why. Those of us who're in both groups try. Don's managed to mix some of the moves into a more normal style of fighting. Danny can't because he's a normal guy. Ryan can't and he used to swear at me when I made him come in his pants during sparring." Dean nodded at that. "Which one's better?" Dean raised his hand. "Okay." He tossed him a practice blade. "Come at me." He lunged slowly. Xander showed him the counter he had. Then he moved to teach it to him. Sam came over to take the practice sword and get into it too. It was kinda fun teaching these guys this. He kept going, even letting Dean learn a little bit of the first dance. He grimaced at it but Xander made him. "It'll keep you limber for sex," he teased.
"I bet." He shrugged and got into it with Sam following along. Sam's leaner, longer body made it look more flowing but Xander moved into a part that spoke of battle and his body liked that a lot. He panted, stopping, bending down to catch his breath. He looked at him. "How did you learn this?"
"Trip with Ryan. The same place I found Hubert." He smirked. "It moves through a whole life's story. The first one I made you do was his young life. An unmarried guy, before he had to start his warrior's training. Then you do the training dance. There's two battle dances then he gets captured. They turn him into a sex slave, then he fights his way out once he's basically made his captor love him. He leads his freed self and the people he works on freeing into battle against their captors and wins, then head home. Then there's a courtship section, a brief marriage one that's only about ten minutes. He goes back to battle for another three battle ones, one of which we just did, then he's injured. He moves to teach instead and that finishes it out."
"Wow," Sam said, finally able to catch his breath. "I'd love to see you go all out, Xander. The one we saw in LA was great."
"I was watching him for a few before we jumped into the invasion," Dean said, standing up. His stomach was cramping. "I'm sore."
Xander grinned. "You'll be fine. I promise."
"I know. I haven't worked out that hard in *years*."
Xander smirked. "I put them all on training DVD." Dean smirked at him. "There's a copy in the study if you wanted to borrow the first few. As you get into it you find some moves come very naturally. The counter to a straightforward lunge comes from the first dance, when he's untrained." He showed him and Dean nodded at that. "It's just another style. Plenty of us learn more than one style."
"Sammy looked good doing one. Maybe we'll use that to get motel money," he teased.
"As long as you're responsible if the orgy breaks out," Xander warned. "I've had it happen a few times. Including when I was helping trap a gang thug down here with it." That got a nod. "I was doing battle scenes and it happened. So you have to be a bit cautious."
"I can get that," Dean agreed. "How many other trips have you went on?"
"A few. They usually try to make Ryan go with me so I don't get into trouble." He walked them back inside. "Drinks, guys?"
"Please," Sam agreed, following him. "We can borrow the DVD's?"
"Sure. I teach any GHS that asks." Sam grinned at that. Xander grimaced. "I danced for someone who had taken me hostage and got free while he hurt himself trying to relieve the ache. Sometimes a distraction at the right moment is the best thing in the world."
"It can be," Dean agreed. He sat on the barstool next to him. "This game."
"Everyone thinks we're fighting for some prize. Giles has research saying it won't happen. It was a demon's prize and he's dead. Apparently he thought it wasn't going to last past the Roman empire." He sipped his juice. "It is supposed to be individual, honorable combat. That doesn't mean everyone plays by the rules. Plenty of hunters don't. Adam doesn't if he's trapped and he thinks they're going to be discovered." They nodded at that. "If you're double teamed, I'm all for evening the odds. I keep it honorable if my opponent does. I also warn because I'm a berserker," he said quietly. Sam shuddered at that. "Exactly. That's one of the reasons Ryan goes with me." He looked outside at the darkening sky. "Interesting." He walked outside, then around the driveway to the front of the house, finding a mirror opening. "You do know that the nosy reporter people could see that?" he called.
Willow walked out. "I put up a shield. It's not that hard."
"I can't do that."
"I've got an easier way than the technical one. You can link it to your fence." Xander waved a hand at the hole. "It won't matter for the front one, Xander. What did you do? You knocked me out, Mister."
"Two of the ones bothering you took out a very close friend. Someone who was like family to me," he said quietly. She slumped at that. "I literally felt the hellmouth welcome me and yanked. Sorry about that."
"No, it was okay. The vampires all ran. Buffy thought we were having a sudden apocalypse."
"No, I only took out the two who did it," he assured her quietly.
She stared at him. "Even I'd have trouble with that. What did you do?"
"I channeled it like a wand would." She groaned. "The same as I channel other energy now and then."
"That makes more sense. You okay?"
"Tired. Minimal backlash. Not bad." He looked inside. "Can you tell where two people were born?"
"Yeah, easily enough."
"Guys?" he called. They came out of the house. "These are Sam and Dean. They're hunters too. Guys, this is Willow Rosenburg. Can you tell if Sam's a hellmouth baby?"
She walked closer, staring at him then nodded. "Yeah, you are. You've got Sunnydale taint." She looked at the other one. "You have Cleveland's hellmouth's taint. Huh." She smiled. "Welcome to the field, guys."
"Being doing it since Sammy was six months old," Dean told her.
"Wow. Magic stuff?" He shook his head. "That's cool. We use a lot of it in Sunnydale." She walked back around to Xander. "I'm sorry."
He looked at her. "Doesn't make it hurt less."
"I know. I still want to die with a clear soul." He nodded at that. "We're having an apocalypse soon. Want to help?" she asked hesitantly.
"No, we've got something around here that's going to start upping violent tendencies. Happens every five years or so."
"Eww. I hate that demon. I'll send you what I know." She looked up. "Let me get back home. I am sorry." He nodded, accepting that. "Thanks." She disappeared.
Xander licked his lips as he turned around. "That was Willow. That does explain why you both draw demons." He walked them back to the kitchen. "Sorry, we keep the front door mostly locked."
"It's probably a good idea," Dean said. He was considering hard. "Can we clean it out?"
Xander shrugged. "I can refer you to the witches I go to when I need help." Dean nodded that'd be fine so he wrote down their address. "As long as some psycho arsonist hasn't gotten them they congregate there every afternoon after work for tea and calming down time. A few work in really hellish offices. One's a secretary at the FBI."
"Wow. So a diverse community?"
"Mostly peaceful. New York had so many it was amazing. Down here we have a mostly peaceful community. One demon brothel. A few witches. Nothing too hard to handle. If a new bad guy comes in I usually get a call within his first aggressive act."
Sam smiled. "New York was that bad?"
"Hmm. They were plenty of demon brothels up there. A lot of immies. A *lot* of immies. You couldn't go two blocks without hitting one. I'm told Paris is the same way." Dean gave him a horrified look. "We're not just here in the US, Dean."
"I didn't even think about that." He sat down again. "What happens when we have to switch?"
"That depends on how you go. If you age out of it, start looking too old and stuff, you can usually change to someone similar but not directly related. Like you two could open a shop for hunters. Have a reference room, sell what they needed because you'd *know* about it. Hell, half the hunters will realize there's something odd anyway. Too many of us have demon taint from killing something and some can feel us." He sipped his juice. "If you die spectacularly, or there's press involved, you'll have to change totally."
"Maybe you'll go to college this time," Sam teased.
"The frat house thing did look fun," Dean admitted.
Xander shrugged. "I sucked in school. My next one I have a horse farm." They smiled at that. He found his wallet and showed them pictures. "That's Ryan's two warmares, Princess. Their foals, Duchess and Countess." He flipped the picture. "That's my stallion, Pride. I fell a few times when I got him," he admitted dryly. They laughed at the joke. "That's the foal, Furry. He's becoming a big horse too. Ray wants him when he's older. I got out nearly every morning." He put his wallet back down. "So that's where we'll be. It's right outside town. Danny's going to think about opening a bookstore or something. Don might do college. We're not sure yet."
"How do the guys who don't have funds do it?" Dean asked.
"New identity. Moving cities. Some hit holy ground for a while or go work for Jace at her resort to stay on holy ground but make a paycheck." They nodded at that. "Then again you two have to watch out for demons to steal you and keep you the same way I do. Did the monsoon guy send you presents already?" Dean held up something. "Ah. I know someone who can handle those if they're real. He deals with mine now and then." Sam gaped. Xander led them back to the safe in the office, opening the box of presents. "Vesvold gave me that for my last birthday," he said, stroking over it. It was a platinum necklace dusted with diamond dust. Very subtle but he looked good in it. He put it back. "The monsoon guy did a shower of rubies once. It did not amuse Horatio since we had just moved down here and were having a 'welcome to Miami' dinner with most of the lab."
"Wow," Dean said, staring hard. "What do you do with them?"
"Save," he said dryly. "You'll need it. Danny said to save your old movies and stuff. They'll become precious some year soon too."
"No, I like my music too much to sell it," Dean told him.
"That's why you save it down in a format that can't be ruined," Xander said, holding up his ipod. Dean snickered at that. "I've even fought with the thing. Kept my mind out of the gutter when I was backed up." He put it back down, walking them back to the kitchen. "What am I making for dinner?"
"What do you feel like making?" Sam asked.
"I don't know. Anything you guys want for leftovers tomorrow?"
Dean snickered. "We've been eating at roadside diners so long we're just happy there's no smelly cook we have to worry about the hygiene of, Xander." He sat down again after getting himself some more juice. "Do all level tens live like this?"
"No. Most of them believe in the fortress version of safety. They have security wandering around. They have their keepers. Some of the guards sub in when their keepers are too tired or during a surge. They have things they can do all day but I'm missing out on some of that. I do some leather work for pants and stuff. I crochet. I read now and then. I spend a lot of time bored, even when I'm working on wood stuff." He got himself some more juice, topping up Sam's glass too since it was the last of the pitcher. He put it into the sink and looked out the window at the shiny thing. "Down!" They ducked right when the back window was shot out. Xander called it in. "Horatio, someone shot through the kitchen window." He hung up and glanced then sighed. "I don't know who that is but they're now on my shit list." The guy had a sword and he was coming their way. He felt the quickening buzz. He looked at Sam. "I told you it got a bit better."
"Annoying but not painful." He grabbed his sword, handed Dean his, and Xander took his outside. "Xander, be careful."
"Of course!" he said cheerfully. "You needed to shoot out my kitchen window?"
"I saw you on the news," he sneered.
Xander shrugged. "They had the wrong house. They wanted the people next door who actually had drugs." He pointed at the ruined house. "She blew it hours before they got there. I don't do drugs. I helped end a drug pipeline with my boyfriends, who're cops."
The guy gave him an odd look. "You're not...You're not evil?"
"No. I'm a nice guy. I'm only evil when you fuck with me." He pointed at his window. "Like that."
"I was going to make it easier on myself to take out the evil one."
Xander shrugged. "No evil here but I'd run before the boyfriends get home." He nodded, running off. He walked back inside shaking his head. "That's just strange." Ryan stomped in after parking. "The immie who shot the window wanted to shoot me to make it easier to take my head because he thought I was a bad guy."
Ryan gave him a confused look. "What?" he demanded.
Xander nodded. "Yeah. We talked and he headed off before someone got here to arrest his tiny butt. Really skinny guy. Even skinnier than Adam's Ray."
Ryan shook his head quickly. "What happened?
"What he said," Dean agreed.
Sam nodded. "The guy shot through the window. He came out of the back woods with a rifle and his sword. Xander went out to meet him. Xander told him the guys from the DEA had the wrong house. The guy said he was here to take out the evil thing. They talked and he left."
Ryan called Horatio. "The guy who shot out the window wanted to take his head thanks to the DEA broadcast, H. No, he's fine. He walked away when he found out the DEA had been at the wrong house. Yeah, that's what it was. Take him out then take his head while he was down. Xander said a tiny guy. Got a name?" Xander shook his head. "Nope. He said he was skinnier than Ray Kowalski." He shrugged. "Not a clue but apparently not a real issue. Thanks, H." He hung up. "Good idea to call him instead of dispatch." He gave him a hug. "Be a good boy. Make seafood tonight so I can come snatch some for lunch tomorrow?" Xander beamed and nodded. "Thanks for helping him, guys." He left, going back to the lab still wondering about the new immie in town. Some people just weren't right.
Xander looked in the freezer. "Want to go to the grocery store? I'm out of ice cream and we have *no* seafood."
"Sure," Sam decided. "We can follow you in the 'vette."
Xander beamed. "We can take the SUV. They'll worry less and it's bulletproof." That got a nod from Dean, but also a slight smirk. "It's good. It saves my ass now and then. Even if it does guzzle gas." He grabbed the keys and his wallet, heading in to get cash from the safe. Then they headed out to ungarage the SUV. They played rock/paper/scissors for the front seat. "The other one can ride in the back on the way home."
Dean got into the back. "I've never...." he said, staring around. "You can live in here if you had a shower!"
Xander put down the privacy barrier. "The back seat pulls out for a bed. The tv has a DVD player and a playstation hooked up."
"This is sweet! And soft! Very soft," he said, running a hand over the seat. "I imagine the president has things like this."
"No, he has a normal limo without a tv. That way people can brief him on the way to things without him being distracted." He backed out of the garage once his cameras were on, heading out through the gate. He paused by the community gates. "Heading to the grocery store." The guard frowned at him. "It still wasn't me they were after."
"I know. What happened with Wolfe?"
"Someone accidentally shot through my kitchen window. I'll get a new one while I'm out." He grinned. "Why are you guys mad at me?"
"The FBI called our boss to nose around about you," the other guard told him, shrugging a bit. "He laughed at them. Told them you were slutty, happy, and you cooked a lot. They walked off grumbling."
"They still had the wrong house. He's making an announcement of that fact."
"Saw it. It was nice of him," the other guard agreed. "Are you going to move again? I know you moved from your last place when it got violated."
"We have a safe place to stay in case it becomes critical but I like the house. It's my nest." They nodded. "Think I can get the other lot cheaply since she tore down the house?" He grinned.
"DEA seized it. It's possible," the first guard said dryly. "Grocery store and Home Depot, Mr. Harris?"
"Probably. Maybe some ice cream from the good place too. They can call. I've got the car phone." That got a nod. "I've got Sam and Dean with me so don't worry so much."
"Yes, sir. As long as you don't get us invaded again."
Xander gave him a look. "They come back and I'm blowing them up," he said dryly, earning a cackle from one guard and a horrified look from the other one. "I did learn stuff from the poker buddies." That got a cackle from him. "See, happier. I'm a good boy. Later, guys." He headed out, going to the good grocery store. "I hate it when they pout at me. Makes me miserable," he told them.
Dean was lounging on the back seat, very comfortable. "You're a nice guy, Xander. That's why it makes you miserable."
"I know. Comfy?"
"Very. If I didn't love my Impala and think of it as a member of the family I'd jack you for this tank and take it on the road instead. Can you store weapons in here?"
"There's a few spare guns in the trunk in an emergency compartment," he admitted. "All registered, just in case."
Sam laughed. "You do that a lot."
"Don would freak," he admitted. He signaled and turned onto another street, wincing at the lights coming on. "What now?" he muttered. He reached past Sam to get into the glove box, then sat up, pulling down his visor to block out the sun. He rolled down his window. "Yes, Officer?"
"Mr. Harris," he said dryly. "Why are you driving your assault vehicle?"
He frowned. "It's a Range Rover, not a Hummer. They're assault vehicles. Range Rovers you take on foreign expeditions to find neat things around the world."
"Uh-huh. Why are you out today, sir?"
"Groceries. Ryan wanted me to make seafood. Plus I have to replace a window."
"You do know that we're watching you, young man?" he asked.
"They had the wrong house! They even apologized on the news."
"Uh-huh. Your passengers?"
"Friends. I am allowed to have friends outside the PD," he said patiently. "Why did you pull me over? I know I signaled. I wasn't speeding. What did I do wrong?"
"Your tag and sticker are expired."
"Can't be. I just put on new tags." He got out to look. "No, that's next year." He walked around to look at the inspection sticker. "That one I'll give you. I've had it in the garage for the last month so I didn't realize. I'll have it done today if you want." The officer nodded, writing him out the ticket. "The tags aren't expired." He pointed. "See, that's next year's."
"Wrong color, sir."
"No, this is still a personal vehicle. It doesn't work. Horatio borrows it now and then for the PD to escort someone around but it doesn't work."
"It's not a commercial vehicle?"
"No. It's a private one." He got the registration for him. "See? The box is checked and I told them now and then a friend borrows it for that stuff. They said as long as I didn't make money it was still a private vehicle."
He took the ticket to amend it, handing it back after initialing it. "Fine. Get it inspected today, Mr. Harris."
"Yes, Officer." He waved as he walked off. "Cranky," he muttered under his breath, going back to get in and drive. "So we have another stop to make." He dialed the family's garage. "Julio, it's Xander Harris. Apparently my sticker's expired. Do you guys do inspections?" He smiled. "That'll work. Thanks. Heading your way first." He drove that way, making sure he was doing it by the book since he was being watched so much. He pulled into the garage, letting the mechanic take the fee and look things over.
"This modification to the gas tanks?" he asked.
"So no one can shoot them like they do in the movies. That's why there's an extra bulletproof panel around it too."
He nodded, finishing his inspection with the lights. "We have one starting to blink."
"We can help him fix that if we know what size it is," Sam offered.
"It's got plating all around it," Xander told him. "Can I wait to fix it until after tonight?" That got a nod. "Can I have my new sticker?" Julio laughed, signing the form and giving it to him. "Thanks, Julio. Next week?"
"Is fine, Xander. Good job on getting them to recant."
"They shouldn't have brought the press anyway." He grinned. "Thanks, man." He got in and headed down to the payment station, leaning down to hand over the ticket and payment, plus proof of the new sticker. "I forgot. I'm evil that way."
She gave him a look. "Many people do, sir." She handed him the receipt. "Thank you for the prompt payment, Mr. Harris."
"You're welcome. I try so hard to be good," he offered with an impish grin. She laughed and he pulled off, heading for the grocery store. "I'd let you guys help but to even get into the engine compartment you need special tools to open the plating. I can't even add oil without them." Sam groaned. "I needed that since someone once connected my ignition switch to the battery on me while I was getting some macadamia nut brittle." He parked at the grocery store, weathering the unhappy looks at his SUV. "I need it," he told one who was scowling. "I have fuel conservation technology on it. I get nearly thirty miles a gallon. It's fantastic and better than some sedans and minivans." She huffed off. He walked inside shaking his head, letting Dean hand him back his wallet. "Thanks. It keeps trying to live on its own."
"They do that now and then," Dean agreed dryly, following him around to pick up a few things. "Potatoes?"
"I make a great cheesy potato dish and nearly everyone likes it in the family." He grinned. "It's fattening and cheesy and good." Sam smiled at that. "You probably won't have any leftover, even if the boys don't come home tonight." He headed back to seafood once he had the cheese and sour cream, looking at what they had. "Hi, Mark."
"Mr. Harris. You all right? I saw they said they were dumb."
Xander nodded. "It was nice they apologized." He grinned. "Maybe they heard the rumors about what happened when people made me pout." The guy laughed. "Ryan wanted seafood."
"We have some beautiful scallops."
"I have no idea what to do with them. I know how to do tuna and other fishies on the grill plate."
He smiled, pointing at a card. "That's the recipe of the week. It's good for shrimp or scallops, anything delicate that way." Xander got it to look at then at him. "Or you could make seafood gumbo."
"It's probably going to be a late night for the boys. Give me the stuff for both. Whatever I don't make tonight I'll make tomorrow." He nodded, walking off to get some stuff from his freezer. "What do you put in gumbo?"
"Gumbo's for, basically, the last little bits of food. It's a this and that dish," Sam told him. "You could probably put nearly anything in there."
Mark came back. "We have some squid too, Mr. Harris. Want that? It's on sale." Dean shuddered. "Cooked right it's wonderful, young man."
"Just the thought of the tentacles," he said with another shudder. That got a smile.
"Danny said they had people in New York who ate them raw," Xander said with a look at him. "They had batter covered bugs, all sorts of things."
"Eww," Dean said, walking off shuddering. "Going to stare at the ice cream."
"Sure." He looked at him. "I usually feed him leftovers for lunch."
"I'll leave out the squid then," he promised with a smile, going back to gathering the stuff together. He stuck the fee sticker on it and brought it out. "This one is for the gumbo." He handed over a second one. "That is three pounds of scallops. Should feed most of the family."
"Thank you," he said cheerfully. "Milk?"
"Tomatoes. Think chili with stuff." That got a nod and Xander went to get his usual stuff for chili, plus pick up Dean from the ice cream.
Sam pointed at something. "I know that can go in there." He picked up the brown sugar as well. Dean came back with six half-gallons. "Got the nibbles?"
"No!" He swatted him. "Ice cream is good."
"I need more stuff to make brownies too," Xander said, heading to do that and pick up eggs since he knew he was out. He had been at breakfast. Some bagels from the bakery, some milk, and they left, heading to Home Depot for the window. He walked in and found his usual guy. "Broken kitchen window and I have ice cream in the car."
He laughed, leading him back there to find what he needed. "Delivery?"
"I have the SUV. I can put it behind the groceries." That got a nod and he checked out with it, taking it out to the SUV so they could go home. The drive home wasn't too bad and Dean was playing with the radio's remote to find a decent station. They pulled in and parked, them helping carry in stuff. Xander looked at the window. "I'll do you in the morning." He looked at the recipe then shrugged. "Gumbo?" They nodded. Xander went to find the recipe in his favorite online cookbook, printing it to bring it back. They even helped some. Sam knew how to do things to the seafood.
Xander walked the pot into the station, looking at the receptionist. "Their desks ate them again, didn't they?" She nodded, signing him in. "Gumbo?"
"No thanks. I had dinner, Xander."
"Sure." He walked it up to the detective's squad, getting a few fond looks. "Seafood gumbo?" Frank and Ray both got bowls. Frank also put one down beside Don because he was absorbed in something. Xander kissed him on the head, getting a hum of pleasure. "Eat." Don took a bite then looked at it before staring at him. "New recipe. Like it?"
"What is it?"
"Not bad," he decided. "Wondering why it was fishy."
"Ryan wanted seafood." He carried it to the lab's breakroom, paging Speed since he knew he was there. He leaned in. "Gumbo?"
"Yeah. Seafood gumbo. Ryan wanted seafood. It's a new recipe."
"Okay." He came in to get himself some and Horatio some. Then he paged the others once he had taken a bite. "Spicy but good." He walked out, handing Horatio his in the hallway. "Eat."
"What is it?"
Calleigh squealed and ran to get some. "You made my people's food?" Xander let her have a taste. "Not bad for a first try, Xander. A bit less cayenne than my mother used but good job." She got a huge bowl and walked off to eat in private.
Ryan grinned. "Good choice for seafood." He got his and got one for Eric. "Thanks, Xander." Xander nodded. "Feeding the others?"
"Dean can have the rest tomorrow." He grinned and Xander walked out, letting one of the favored patrol guys stop him to get some. "Seafood."
"No. They didn't have any."
"Good." He dug out a bowlful for himself and walked off eating. "Good job, Xander."
"Thank you!" He headed back to the corvette, putting the pot in front of the seat before getting in and heading back home. The boys were still there researching. "Their desks ate them again. Everyone liked it. Even Calleigh and she's from bayou country." They came in to get their own bowls and eat with Xander while watching the news. It was a good research break.
Dean pointed with his spoon. "This is good, Xander." He got up to get seconds, sitting down beside Sam again. "Maybe you should open a restaurant."
"Too much headache from all the stress," he admitted. "There's bread in the fridge," he told Sam when he scraped his bowl. He went to get some, bringing some back for Dean too. "Bad? That's the whole grain stuff."
"The white bread was blue," Sam told him.
"Hmm. Okay. Should've seen that earlier."
"The wrapper's covering it." He sat down to clean up the second helping, watching Dean go for thirds. "Thanks for feeding us."
Xander grinned. "I'm good at fussing. I had to learn from Aiden, Stella, Danny, and Speed, plus a bit from Alexx, but I'm good at it. It makes others happier and happier is always nicer in the world."
"Good point." He patted him on the arm. "You're a very special guy." Xander beamed and went back to his dinner. "Eat more than that or else you can't wear your boys out."
"I doubt they'll do more than walk in and collapse tonight." He watched the bust go down earlier in the day. "Huh, they finally got the mayor's wife and all the people she was taking bribes for. There's going to be some political sharks soon."
Danny strolled in, giving him a kiss. "We love your cooking fingers." Xander beamed. "Bring lunch tomorrow?"
"If you want. What did you want?"
"Don't care. Something." Xander nodded. "Evening, guys. How's the research and training going?"
"Good. We learned new moves," Dean promised.
"The research is going excellently, Danny. We've found the right clan so now all we need to do is to find the sucker." Danny grinned at that. "Are you all right?"
"Fine. Long day." He sat down next to Xander, pulling him over to cuddle.
Xander looked at him then sniffed him. "Who're you and what did you do with my Danny? He doesn't cuddle that much." The demon faded out. He sniffed. "Incubus," he sighed, sitting up again. "Maybe I'll have the house blessed to take out the unholy taint the DEA agent left."
"Could be the broken window," Dean offered. "Or Rosenburg's thing from earlier."
"True, could be." He got up and went to find his hammer so he could pry up the nails for the old window. It needed to be fixed.
Dean and Sam shared a look, going to help him. It was the least they could do. Xander spoiled them rotten.
Dean looked up from his sword practice a few days later, watching Sam look around. "What's up?"
"Another one," he said, frowning slightly. A car pulled into the driveway and they stared, watching Xander come out with a sword. "Xander?"
"I doubt it's much trouble," he said grimly. The man got out and he stared. "Hey, Richie. What's up? Guys, he's usually a friend."
"I'm a messenger this time. I can't find Methos."
"He's .... Hmm." He walked inside, calling him. "It's me. Richie's here looking for you. He said he's a messenger." He looked at him. "Of doom or good news?"
"Doom." He took the phone. "Hey, Old Man. Yes, of doom. Sanctuary was breeched." He listened to the calm, quiet voice as it gave orders. "Connor was delivered Mac. He's seemingly sane but he wanted to apologize to you. DC. Up to you. I only said I'd pass on the message while I got out of dodge." He smiled at Xander. "I can do that too. Two young guys."
"The ones from the convention," Sam told him.
"The guys from the convention one said," Richie told him. "Sure." He hung up. "Stay with Xander, guys. If Macleod gets free and he's not fully sane he'll come after Xander again."
"I don't want his quickening, I might go insane too," Xander said grimly.
"I know." He grinned. "We heard about that one guy you walked away from for being insane and what happened."
"He swung into his sword, Richie. It was creepy! He tarzan'd himself to death."
Richie smiled. "Made some Watchers creeped out too, Xander. Danny and them?"
"Work. Like usual."
"Okay. Let them know." He gave him a short hug. "Cute hair. It's longer than the last time I saw it." He walked off, heading to find a motel for the night. He could use some nice club and girl action. Learning from Connor was driving him insane.
Xander shook his head. "Insane ones and ones who're too evil can both taint you," he told them. "You really want to stay away from both of them unless absolutely necessary." They nodded at that. "Let's go back to sword work, guys." They got drinks and went back to it. They were coming along pretty well now. Each one had a different part of the dance that spoke to him. They worked well together, or back-to-back, and apart. Dean's more aggressive style suited his mouth. Sam's more flowing style was good for him. He smiled when Dean nearly beat him on their second sparring match. "Good job," he praised, stepping back. Dean grinned. "You've come a long way, Dean."
"I have," he agreed. "Swords never felt really comfortable to me before."
Xander smiled. "I know. They don't to me either. Well, the katana does but not most swords. The grips feel wrong and the balance is off." He looked at Sam. "You do good with longer swords."
"I guess we each have a weapon we prefer," Sam agreed.
"Yes, but the next step is to let you work with other types of weapons," Xander reminded him. They nodded. He walked inside, going to the weapons cabinet on the third floor. He stared, then brought out his spare katana for Sam and his battle axe for Dean. He ran a hand over it. "You've missed working out, baby. I know," he whispered. He walked them downstairs with another longer sword for Sam. He handed Sam the two swords, getting a nod as he took practice swings with them. He looked at his battle axe then at Dean. "She served me well in Sunnydale. She's a pain in the ass to keep an edge on. She's chopped a lot of vamps into bits and demons." He handed her over.
Dean took it to look over. "Silver plated?"
"Over iron," he agreed. "Made specially for a Watcher way back when. It came down Giles' lines and he didn't want it. It became my weapon in Sunnydale when I had a choice." He stared at him. Dean nodded, moving off a bit to take a few practice swings. Xander followed to take it back and show him a kata. Dean took it back and got into it. Xander picked up his katana and lunged, letting Dean block him with the handle. It was on between them and Dean was smirking evilly when he felt it click perfectly. Xander backed off and bowed. "She's missed slaying and patrols."
"I can see why. I'll treat her like the old lady she is," he promised.
Xander smiled. "Good. It'll be a long time before I go hunting demons again." He looked at Sam, who was weighing the longer sword. He lunged at him and Sam tried to move back. "Use the sword, Sam." He tried but it was a struggle. "Too heavy?"
"Too long." He jogged inside and up the stairs, coming out with a sword he had been playing around with a few times. He came back down and Xander gave him an odd look. "Someone's?"
"One I kept refusing because it came with a destiny. It should go to a slayer."
"Really? What sort?"
"To lead demons to their death." Sam gaped at him. He shrugged. "It does."
"They consider him the Anti-Christ," Dean told him.
"Then maybe it'll work," Xander said dryly. He shrugged. "Okay." He lunged again and Sam fought him off this time, making him nod when they came out near a tie. "Good job. It's yours." Sam beamed. "Try the katana too. It's a fairly common weapon."
Sam picked it up. "I know there's special ways of cutting with them." Xander moved to parallel him to show him how to use the katana. Sam moved slowly, following along. Dean came over to take it from him and learn it too. Xander let him have his for now - he only had the two in the house.
Don parked and got out, walking over. "Looking good, guys." He watched them move. "Are they ready to go against Danny and Ryan?"
"Eric and Danny. We'll leave Ryan as a final exam," Xander told him. "We're working on diversifying weapons now that we've found what they like." Don nodded, giving him a kiss. "Mac's out of Sanctuary," he said quietly.
"Our Mac called about that. He said to calm down. He's with Connor."
"Who I don't trust."
"I know." He smiled, stroking his boy's cheek gently. "It'll be okay, Xander." He nodded. He picked up the longer sword, weighing it. "I could use the diversifying lectures too. I keep having to skip practice for work." He lunged at Sam, who was pretty good. He beat him. Dean stepped in and beat him too. He nodded, stepping back. "I really do have to practice more."
Xander looked at him and nodded. "Ya think?" He took a quick kiss. "Think what'll happen if someone takes your head." He took his katana back. "Guys, go bond with your weapons. I've got snuggly time since he's home early." They laughed, taking the unneeded ones back to the practice area then theirs home. Don pointed at Dean, looking at Xander. "She missed going on patrols. She's good with him. It clicked like it did for me," he said quietly, snuggling against his chest. "She needs to be with a hunter." They waved as the boys backed down the driveway. He looked at Dona again. "Can we search the house for bugs? I swear I felt one in the study."
"Sure, we'll do that then cuddle," he agreed, going inside to find the bug searching tool. It would beep when they found one.
Don walked in the next morning looking smug, well rested, and content. He handed Frank a small handful of metal. "Pity but they shouldn't be in our house." He went to his desk and sat down to get involved in his last case again.
Frank looked at them then at him. "Any idea if they were PD issue?" he asked since they had been stomped on. Taking the 'bug' name a bit too far in his mind.
"You can still see the serial numbers." He looked at him. "Not like I can find out who put bugs in my own house, Frank."
"Good point." He got up and took them to Horatio in the lab. He handed them over. "From Flack."
He looked at one. "Someone stomped the bugs," he said with a small smirk. "Where were they found?"
"In the boys' house."
"I see." He took them off, letting Ryan have them. "Find out who had these."
Ryan looked then at him. "I stomped them when I came over for dinner last night, H."
"Then I'll let Calleigh do it."
Ryan smirked. "She has on her evil outfit."
"I saw that." He took them to her, handing them over once he had pulled her hand out flat. "Flack and Wolfe found them in Xander's house."
"Hmm." She took them to the magnifying lamp so she could find the serial numbers. "Who stomped on them?"
"Ryan." He smiled at her. "He suggested you would be more than happy to find whoever did this for us."
"Oh, I can go evil and I'm sure he called my skirt evil again," she said dryly, getting back to her hunting and searching. They all came up to one agency. "ATF," she said dryly, taking the printouts and the bag of bugs with her. She knew just the agent to talk to. The evil skirt was a good choice this morning. She walked into their part of the federal building, smiling at the receptionist when she signed in. "Is he here?"
"He is, CSI Duquesne. Should I warn him?"
"Oh, no, it's not a necessary thing," she said with a sweet smile. She walked back that way, then paused in front of the door and kicked it in before walking in. "Good morning." The head of the local ATF branch gave her a horrified look. She put down the bag, then the printed memos. "Tell me you leant those little insects?"
He looked then shook his head, calling them up. "Those two boys...."
She held up a hand. "They're just like Xander," she said quietly. He went pale. "Only about half the strength. They're learning from him." He pulled up the file to let her see. She closed the door with a kick backward and leaned over the desk. "You do know what Xander *used* to do? Back in Sunnydale?"
He let out a small whimper. "Unfortunately I've heard and seen. Why?"
"They do the same thing only they travel to do it. Not like it's a well paying job," she said quietly. "Though I will warn Xander about that. I'm sure he realized it by now."
He shivered. "I can see that happening, Calleigh. What about his weapons?"
"They're under Horatio's control; you know that." He shuddered but nodded. "Now, I do expect not to have to talk to any of your agents about Mr. Harris again, unless he has to pull out something to save the rest of us like they did in LA before the convention." She stared into his eyes. "He only does it when it's necessary that way. The boys are more gun freaks than anything else." He nodded quickly, crossing his legs. "Aww, am I scaring you?"
"Poor baby," she cooed, patting him on the cheek. "Anything else that needs cleared up?"
"No, Calleigh. Can we get a list and serial numbers on what Harris has?"
"You can ask Horatio if you want." He nodded quickly, one hand drifting down to cover the part she was clearly wanting to kick in. "Good boy. Any other questions?"
She smiled. "Such a polite agent. More should be polite like you. They're lacking all too often. Then they come in and piss Horatio off too." She turned around and opened the door, smiling at the agents standing there. "Morning, boys." They backed away, making a nice corridor. "Aww, even Alexx would praise the manners. Good boys." She walked off, heading back to the crime lab hummer.
"Boys," the head agent called. They walked into his office. "Leave Harris and the Winchester boys alone. The two brothers do what Harris used to do in Sunnydale and what they just recently did in LA. They're learning from Harris. Even the bad things like the credit card scams. Let the lab handle it. They're Harris' proteges."
"I guess that's why one of them has his favorite axe from Sunnydale?" one asked. The boss shuddered at that. "Okay. The bugs?" He held up the bag. "Hmm. We heard the crunch and the feedback. Wolfe cracked them."
"I'll talk to Horatio about that. For now, leave them alone." They nodded, heading back to their desks. He calmed himself then went to find Caine. He found him on a scene after asking Dispatch. He walked up to him. "I think Duquesne needs a vacation. She scared my boys."
Horatio gave him a look over the top of his sunglasses. "Your agents were scared of a five- foot-six blonde in high heels and a skirt?"
"After she kicked in my door, yes. With her weapons skills, yes."
He smiled. "I'll let her know. It'll make her day." He turned to look at him. "What's wrong?"
"We'll leave Harris and the Winchesters alone. I understand that the Winchester boys are in the same business?"
"Their father trained them from a very young age," he agreed. "They're taking extended training with Xander."
"Fine. I don't care. Warn them about the credit card scams for motel money. See if Harris will give them a loan. Whatever. We'll leave them alone as long as they're not actively doing anything in Miami. In return I want a list of what he has and any serial numbers so we can use them to track back to former owners."
Horatio stepped closer. "You heard what happened at the bazaar?" he asked quietly. The man moaned but nodded. "That was also Xander. Most of what he has now are presents. If we catch them selling to anyone else we do arrest them."
"Good! I like that. Can we still get an index?"
"Of course. I'll let the boys do it. Credit card scams?"
"Motel money probably. They've hit about forty-seven states in the last ten years we could track them."
Horatio nodded. "I'll talk with Xander and them about that." That got a nod. "I'll ask Xander if he'd feel comfortable. I know, basically, what's in there but he's been weeding it down again."
"That's fine," he agreed, stepping back. "Anything you need destroyed, tell us."
"Thank you for your cooperation. Tell Wolfe to simply hand them over. Not to stomp on the bugs next time. They're expensive."
"It was invasive and I doubt you had a warrant," Horatio reminded him patiently.
"The boys said they had one. Not real sure. I'll check on that." Horatio nodded. "Thank you, Caine. Oh, tell the boys good work in LA. I was in San Diego and saw." He left again, going back to talk to those agents.
Horatio went to find his 'son' and his students, finding them in the a/c at the house. He walked in and smiled at Xander. "The ATF lead agent locally said he'll leave you alone. Calleigh was very persuasive." Xander grinned at that. "They'll look into having a valid warrant or not. They did want a favor in return." Xander nodded, sipping his tea. "They wanted an index list. As would I really."
"I've been working on it, just not this last two weeks, Horatio. I'll get back to it this afternoon."
"Thank you, Xander. Let the boys help you." That got a nod. "Let me talk to them for a minute?"
"They're in the study."
"Thank you. Comfy?"
"No, but I screwed my back again. Slipped and fell in the bathtub when they came in."
"You'll be okay?"
"I'll be fine." Horatio nodded, heading into the study. He grinned. "I'm always fine. Of course I'll be fine." He went back to his cooking show. He needed something new to make for dinner.
Horatio closed the study door, looking at them. "I have just gotten done talking to an ATF agent."
Dean looked at him. "About?"
"Your traveling." He walked over, sitting down at the clear arm of the 'z' shaped table. They were in the elbows. "I know how hunting the way you boys do is a very...low paying job." Dean nodded. "I have heard how you make money for your hunt. The ATF was not pleased but they will ignore it in Miami as long as you are here studying with Xander and not doing it at the moment."
"I've been hustling pool for motel money. I know that Xander's entire family is cops," Dean promised.
"Good. It was suggested a more legal and profitable method should be found sometime soon. After all, you can't live on that forever and the companies are tightening security more every year. Plus you'll both have a very long time to live off what you can make." Dean nodded at that. "I have no suggestions as to how, but it is something to think about, boys." He stood up again. "Thank you for keeping it out of my city."
"We didn't want to upset Xander," Sam told him.
Horatio smiled. "Most people don't once they get to know him. That's why the ATF comes to me when they want things about him from now on. They would like him to finish his inventory of weapons. I know you two are skilled with them and he does have to weed out some of the guns he bought so he'd have *something* even though they are less than stellar. Plus all his artillery. You might see if you could help with that as well."
"We can do that," Dean agreed. "Is it here?"
"No, it's in a warehouse. You might have to bring a few fans since it's a metal building."
Sam nodded. "We can do that, Horatio. Thank you for not busting us."
"I understand how you can be drawn to a life," he told him, staring down at him. "As I was to my calling, so are you two to yours." They nodded. "Don't involve Xander and ask Adam if he has any ideas. He's been around longer than this country has. He might have a few of them." Dean gaped. "How old did you think he was?"
"Two, three hundred?"
"At least a millennium," Horatio corrected quietly. "He does try to hide it but now and then he breaks out swearing in some very ancient languages." Sam gaped. He nodded. "He has this nasty habit of swearing about Xander's crocheting in Egyptian or Ancient Greek." They both gave him amazed but pleased looks. "Which means you both have to plan for a *very* long life since Xander can beat him and I've heard you two were getting nearly as good." He put back on his sunglasses. "Have a good day with the weapons, boys, and get me an index list. Watch out for the demonic storehouse. We've heard rumors of unrest on some of the demon planes since Xander took out two very ancient demons to avenge Vesvold's assassination." He walked out, heading back to work.
Dean walked out to the living room, watching Xander watch cooking shows. "Got a fan since Horatio said we'll probably want one while we're working on the weapons?"
Xander smirked at him. "Go up to the second floor, steal Ryan's air conditioner from his window. We've got a small one there and it'll barely fit." He nodded, going to do that. Xander stood up and stretching, wincing some. "I'll be fine," he reminded himself, grabbing a few folding chairs too. "We're taking the SUV."
"Sure," Dean agreed. "Your tank is pretty comfy for being a tank and limo's baby."
Xander smirked. "I got one for Greggy. That was his happy 'going to Tony' present. It's got a normal backseat."
"I like yours better," Sam decided. He brought out a small card table too. "Notebooks?"
"The drawer is empty?" Sam nodded. "That's fine. Do we want computer or paper?"
"Computer," Sam decided. "Easier to edit and easier to read."
"Sure," Dean decided. "Xander, laptop?"
"Somewhere." He shrugged. "We'll stop at the store," he muttered. He got the things they needed into the back of the limo with Dean, who stretched out again. He looked at Sam. "You don't get the comfy, cozy seats?"
He grinned. "I went clubbing last night while he cleaned the weapons and pouted."
"Hmm. Maybe he should go tonight."
"I did," Dean promised. "Went out really early this morning. We thought New York never closed." Xander snickered, backing out of the garage and heading to the nearest Circuit City. He ran inside and Dean leaned up to talk to his brother. "How much do you think he's worth? Even really rich people don't usually just go *buy* a new laptop because they can't find theirs."
"He was complaining his had problems," Sam told him. "Other than that, all I've heard is rumors about his poker buddies and how he wiped out a drug cartel for cheating him." Xander got back in and gave him a box. "Do we have outlets there?"
"Yup. It's got electric. We'll be fine." He backed out and headed to the warehouse, signing them in. "Horatio wanted me to finish weeding out things."
The guard nodded. "Duquesne changed the codes on you again, Xander." He handed them over. "She was nice enough to leave them for you this time."
He rolled his eyes. "She get in there?" He nodded. "How much did she walk off with to test in the lab?"
"Three small boxes. She said she needed a brand comparison because one had a switched barrel."
"Ah." He nodded, driving on and parking in front of the weapons warehouse. He got them through the three layers of security then inside. He and Dean installed the air conditioner and sighed in pleasure when it worked. Sam set up the laptop and got it working on top of the card table. They looked around. Xander frowned. "I had more than this." He looked up. "I had more than this!" he yelled. "Stealing from me pisses me off!" The rest of his weapons reappeared. "Thank you for storing them for me! Let me know next time!"
A small lizard looking demon showed up and bowed to him a few times. "Your warehouse shelf is taking up too much room," he said, sounding apologetic.
"Let me clear some of this up and I'll take some if it back," Xander promised. "Stop accepting presents for me." It gave him a horrified look. "Really. I'm not up to being courted. I'm still mourning over Vesvold." It nodded and disappeared. A few more cases appeared and one disappeared. "Okay." He looked around. "We had this sorted originally. All handguns up front. All rifles in the back and the artillery was stacked against the walls."
Dean stared, then looked at him. "You could take over a demon plane with all this," he said finally.
Xander grinned. "I'm already the queen of one realm because the vampire who ran it kidnaped me and I staked him."
"Sweet," Dean decided, closing the door so they could get to work in peace. "Horatio said you had some weaker pieces?"
"We found out when Horatio confiscated my *first* batch that me not having any weapons means that I had to destroy the slave auction that had most of the family." Sam shuddered at that. "Exactly. So now I'm allowed to have weapons but Horatio has direct oversight. While I was gathering and looking I bought some just to have *something* here. Even if it was crappy. I know I have things in here that should be melted down because they're so sucky. Some of the rifles especially. Those I give to Mac and Calleigh for their exemplars." That got a nod from Sam. "So we have to weed them out. Some of them I haven't even gotten to shoot yet. My range got shut down by the ATF because the owner was the one I was getting weapons through and he wasn't careful about who he sold to."
"How much money did you make playing poker?" Sam asked.
Xander shrugged. "Don't know. I know my very last debt paid me in sixty-two platinum bricks." He grinned. "I played high stakes and they said I can't play anymore. Though I am evil at baccarat too. I'll show you guys that when I take you out to meet Jace. She runs a resort that's on holy ground out in Vegas. She's a great lady. Another anchor of the old gods. Very skilled. Most of us go through there at least every few years."
"Wow," Dean said, looking around. "Okay, where do we start?"
"Let's start with the handguns," Xander said. "You guys are more familiar with those." He picked up the first chest with Dean's help, carrying it over. They sat down to note the make, model, caliber, and serial number, plus Sam had included boxes to 'X' if it was an automatic and how many the clip held.
Dean looked at it. "That's so geeky, Sammy."
"It's going to come in useful someday," he defended.
"Willow would've had it in Power Point with pictures in the charts," Xander told him. "Plus percentage charts for how much of one size we have out of the collection."
"She's the Goddess of Geeks?" Sam asked.
"Willow? Possibly." He got back to work, making sure they were clean at the same time. He called Ray Junior. "We're playing with the weapons if you wanted to come help." He grinned. "Sure. Can you stop at that Circuit City by the mall with the pretty flowers and pick up the rest of the stuff? Thanks, Ray. Sure, drinks are good too. Thanks, dear." He hung up. "He'll come help too." He got back to work on the next one, noting it down then breaking it down to clean it. Dean saved his then handed it to Sammy for his next one.
"You got more than one laptop?" Dean asked while he cleaned.
"The boys need new ones and the house needs a new wireless router. Ours sucks. I need a techno geek to set one up around the house so I can lounge in the living room with the dogs while I look for whatever I'm making for dinner. Speaking of, what am I making for dinner?"
"I liked that pork thing you pulled out of the freezer the other day," Dean told him. Xander beamed at that. It was so easy to please him. "Maybe that and some pasta? Are the guys expected home somewhere near a reasonable hour tonight?"
"Hopefully. It'd be nice if they cuddled tonight." That got a nod from Sam. "So, Horatio get onto you about how you fund the cause?"
"Yup. Thanked us for not doing in Miami."
Xander nodded. "I remember working construction and using it to fund ours, then Anya's present habit. The Watchers gave us crap for anything after they fired Giles and Buffy walked away from them." Dean shuddered. "Longer than average story." He put that gun back down into the 'going to Calleigh' pile. "She'll have a happy day tomorrow."
"It's good to see her squeal and bounce," Sam said with a grin.
"She's single," Xander offered.
"She'd hate the hunting," Sam said. He looked at him. "Horatio said the two you killed were ancients?" he asked quietly. Xander shrugged. "How?"
"I channeled the hellmouth. It was there, they were there. I said 'hi' and yanked. It ran through me and basically burned them to a crisp." He shrugged again and got back to work, noting his newest one. That one was clean so it went into the 'going' pile. "I think this trunk was all going."
"I've had one good one," Dean admitted, holding it up.
Xander looked at it. "The grip's sticky."
"I fixed that, Xander." He let him have it and got a nod of thanks for it. That went into the empty case he had waiting. "Looked like grape jelly."
"Eww," Xander said, shaking his head. "I hope that wasn't me." They laughed and got back into it when Ray Junior joined them. He looked at him. "Need to be worn out?" Ray nodded, handing Sam the PDAs and the second laptop. "You can sort for us."
"I'll help once I have this up," Sam promised. He got them charging and set up, then went to help him move the cases around so they were almost sorted. Sam found something strange. "Hey, Xander. You have a blueish egg back here and a small mirror?"
Xander dug into another box, handing Dean the bullets he had found. "Silver?"
"No, but I'm a priest to Strife. I wonder if I can do that?" He sent a prayer up and got to work on them. They glowed for a minute so it was good. Especially when the egg was moved it turned into a curled up demon who glared and took them all with the weapons.
Dean drove the SUV up to the station and got out, texting Don to come outside. A few of the officers gave him odd looks. "Xander had to handle something that wanted to steal us." That just got a nod. Don came out looking confused. "What do you want him to do with the used launcher?" He got it out and handed it over. "Some little blueish demon that was curled up like an egg got really pissed at us when Sammy woke it up."
Don looked at it then at him. "We needed it?"
"It was bulletproof. Xander said it was made from demonic kevlar." Don shuddered. "Only stronger." He pointed at the rest of the stuff. "Since it had us for over six weeks, we got the rest of the inventory done for the weapons. Xander said the squealy one we all like to watch bounce and Mac get these woosey guns?"
"Um, sure." He leaned against the side of the SUV, texting them. Horatio came out with a pull cart. "Not sure how they're stacked."
"We used a few of the empty boxes we found," Dean told him. He looked at Horatio. "Did you see the little blue egg?"
"Is Ray Junior all right?" he countered.
"He's fine. He's actually pretty good at self defense. Took us a bit to get back." He opened the back door and handed Don the keys. "The trunk's full too."
"Gee, thanks," Don said dryly. "They had to blow up the little blue demon, Horatio."
"It does happen," he sighed. "Is it complete?" Dean handed him a CD in a jewel case. "On what?"
"D-base. That's what Sammy put it in. He went halfway to Rosenburg geeky." Don snickered at that. "Xander said she would've taken pictures, made charts about percentages of calibers, and put it in PowerPoint."
"Probably," he agreed. "Danny's like that now and then too." Calleigh and Mac pulled up with Stella behind them. "Xander's done with his weapons inventory."
"Yeah, about that. A few things we weren't sure what the hell they were. Xander described them. We took pictures with the PDA to include in case someone else does."
"What PDA?" Don asked, looking confused. "We have a PDA?"
"Three now, dude," Dean told him. Don groaned. "Ray was complaining about his allowance too," he told Horatio. "So Xander took him shopping in his car." That got another groan. He smiled at Calleigh. "We're done with the weapons inventory. These are yours and the tough guy's there." She squealed and bounced to hug him. He grinned. Being a good guy had some perks. Stella swatted him for the small smirk he had. "Want one?" he teased.
"Mac would growl." Calleigh dug into the back of the SUV, letting Mac, Horatio, and Don help her heft things out. Stella looked. "You weeded it out too?"
"The last demon didn't send us back when he died. Took six weeks for Xander to have the energy to open a portal."
"Ah." She nodded, understanding that. "He come home with more pretty stuff?"
"No. Apparently we don't get the kidnapings with jewelry like he said he did. Or Ray said he did." He looked at Don. "Sixty-two platinum bricks?"
"Twenty-five pound bricks," Don said dryly. "His very last poker debt."
"I don't think I can count that high," Dean complained, making Horatio snicker. "Really! I can't even imagine what that looks like in stacks around me."
"About waist height in a circle around you if you use hundreds," Don said with a grin. The ladies laughed and Mac gave him a pat. "I know. It's sucky but we've had that much from a few of the bags." They got back to work, letting Calleigh haul those inside and bring out a new cart while they rested.
Ryan leaned out the door. "Need help?"
"Yes," Don called. "I'm tired."
"Ray Junior and Sammy were helping sort," Dean said. "They both went to take showers at the house. Your new shower is great, Don."
Don grinned. "I know. My boy is a horrible spoiler."
"Who still has almost no idea what you're getting for dinner since he was out of the pork dish I mentioned and there's no meat in the house."
Don called him. "Hey, babe, can we have pizza tonight?" He grinned. "Thanks, Xander. Doing it now. Waiting on a new cart from Calleigh. Mac is here. Dean got a hug from Calleigh. It's in Horatio's hand," he agreed, nodding. "You okay?" He rolled his eyes. "No, you can't belong to anyone but us ever again. I said so and so did Danny and Ryan. If they argue, shoot 'em or something and then take their wallets. It'll be a good lesson." He hung up. "Some of the presents were from tactless people who decided to proposition Xander to own us all already."
"They took them back when Xander protested," Don promised. He saw a twinkling and looked down, bending down to pick up the necklace. "I didn't see that earlier."
"That's because it just showed up," Horatio told him. "It's very pretty."
"Yeah but it's girl jewelry and not exactly Sammy's type," he said dryly. "If they do this can we sell it?"
"They might think you need the money more," Don admitted.
"Could. Traveling is damn expensive. Sammy did the math. We're spending about thirty-one grand a year on the road." They all groaned at that. "That adds up."
"For the next sixty years that's one-point-eight-six million," Ryan said. Dean shuddered at that number. He shifted closer. "You're working on the next life stuff, right?" he asked quietly.
"Xander suggested we open up somewhere for hunters to shop. Then again I've already died once thanks to the identity theft demon by Stanford."
Horatio shook his head. "We don't need to know."
"Okay. That works for me." He grinned as Calleigh came back out with the cart and they got back to work hefting and toting under her careful watch. Dean finally pulled out something and put it on top with a grin for her. "Xander's orders. He said you were wearing mean people clothes." He took the keys back and walked around to get in and drive. "How do I turn on the cameras?" Don reached in to flip on the switches. "Thanks. Later, all." He made sure everything was closed then backed up slowly, heading back to Xander's place. This thing really was a tank to drive. A comfy, soft, plush tank but still a tank.
Stella looked at the box. "Bakery. Muffins?"
She looked inside then beamed. "Cream puffs with chocolate g'nosh on top." She carried in the box while Mac pulled the cart and Don got the other one. She even let her faithful helpers have one of her cream puffs, but the other twenty were hers and hers alone! At least those evil women around Xander had taught him what a girl needs when she needs chocolate.
Dean held up the necklace to Xander, who waved a hand and shook his head. "Any idea what sent it?"
"No. I didn't know you did drag, Dean."
Dean gave him a look. "Sammy's the girl of us."
Sam looked at him. "I'm going to beat your ass later."
"Haven't recently," he quipped. "Think it'd be okay to sell it?"
"Depends on the thing that sent it," Xander admitted. "Some of them get really upset. Some of them see it as a need for more money so they send more things. Then again if it was the monsoon demon I'm surprised you guys haven't had showers of jewels or something. He showered me with jewels and gold flakes."
"That's an interesting party favor," Sam decided, taking the necklace to look at. "It's real."
Xander leaned over to look. "All but two of them." He sat up again. "By the way, Dean, covered the motel for you."
"Thanks, man. Pool hustling was getting thin." He took the necklace back. "So? Selling, not selling?"
"Sell the sucker," Xander said. "You could use more money. It's not a practical gift since you're not girls." Horatio called, his caller ID said so. "Yeah, Horatio?" He smiled. "Really? And they didn't figure out they had lost it a few hours ago?" He just nodded. "Uh-huh. Sure, I'll tell him." He hung up. "They need pictures. Someone claims they lost their diamond necklace in the parking lot."
"That's fine," Dean agreed. Twenty minutes later Danny came in and took pictures then took it with him. "Let us know."
"I can do that."
Xander looked at Dean. "He really hasn't given you anything?"
"I think they're slightly scared of Sammy."
Sam shrugged. "I'm not the Anti-Christ. Sorry." A small thing appeared in his lap. "What are you?" he asked.
Xander and Dean both looked. "Demon dog." He took it to pet, getting a growl. He stared at it until it whimpered. "Such a good puppy." He cooed and petted it, letting Dean get some too. "They're nice at this age." Hubert growled. "Fine. Let me go do that. Dean, money for the pizza is in the safe. Let me get it out." He walked that way, handing him two fifties when he walked past him. He walked into the back yard, going to the DPP realm. "Hi, this one appeared on Sam's lap," he said, handing over the puppy. "I didn't want my pets to hurt it since it's so small."
Detective Mystic looked at the demon pup then at him. "Thank you, Xander."
"Welcome." He grinned. "Oh, about the blue thing. Am I in trouble?"
"No. It came for you," he said patiently. "It was stupid to hide in your weapons."
"Is the monsoon demon playing with my students? I won't have them toyed with. They deserve better than that."
"They do," he agreed, smiling some. "They're scared to death that Samuel will disavow them and make them disappear."
Xander snorted. "He said he's not the Anti-Christ and he should know." He kissed the vampire detective on the forehead. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." He watched him head back to his house, looking at the puppy. "He's not?" It shook his head. "Huh." He went to find the pup's mom and hand it back. "Here, he got misplaced with a GHS member," he said, patting her on the head. She stared at her pup, who only grinned cutely and snuggled in. "It went to be petted by hunters, especially Samuel." She licked it then his hand. She'd deal with her stupid young one so it didn't bother him again. "He didn't mind. Xander Harris brought him back. He's teamed up with Dean Winchester to keep Samuel on their side." He smiled. "We'll have to see who's stronger." She shivered but nodded. "He said that the warrior isn't ready yet." She nodded, putting her head back down to bathe her errant bratling. He went back to his desk to make notes. That was very interesting. He checked on them. Dean had Xander's axe. He blinked at that. That relic was.... in very capable hands he decided. Winchester knew what he was doing and Samuel was clearly not ready yet. Then again, he was immortal now. He had time to be ready.
Xander landed and smiled at Dean. "I also passed on a message that the monsoon demon wasn't allowed to stalk you if he wasn't serious about wanting you. That I didn't want demons playing with your attention. That'll keep the less than serious away."
Dean smirked. "Is that why Sammy just got showered with chocolate?"
"Possibly." He walked inside, taking a piece of pizza to nibble on his way to the living room, sliding into Don's lap to cuddle him. He gave him a kiss. "Missed you."
"Missed you too, Xander." He gave him another kiss. "Thank you for the weapons. Calleigh was so happy she nearly came there in the parking lot. Mac too." He stroked his back, making his boy cuddly. "You two did good, guys. Thanks for the help."
"Not a problem," Dean promised with a smirk. "I got a good reward when she bounced into me for a hug."
Don laughed. "Yeah, that's a good reward from Calleigh." He looked outside at the sudden darkness then at the tv. "They managed to keep the cable connection. I'm impressed," he decided.
"They know Xander likes the news station and cooking shows," Sam told him, nibbling on a piece of pizza. "Might as well come out so we know who you are."
Another of the small, blue lizards appeared and uncurled. "Greetings."
Xander looked at him. "I found one of you trespassing with my weapons."
"He was stupid and ill. We are sorry for them."
Xander shrugged. "That's fine. What did you want?"
"We have a menace we would like the great hunters to take on," he said respectfully. He handed over something. "One of them are back to bother us."
Xander looked then at him. "Why can't the diplomatic corps of the DPP handle it?"
"They will not touch the Ancient blood."
Xander grimaced, looking at the marker again then at him. He handed it back. "Get the slayer to. They're in her class to solve and half the Ancients are locked into the Hellmouth right now for some reason. We're on the wrong coast. She will if you give her a good reason. If they're endangering your clan she will step in as long as the Watcher agrees."
It nodded. "Thank you for that fairness. The Slayer Faith?"
"Buffy's back on the plane," Don told him.
He nodded. "Then I will seek her counsel." The demon faded and they found themselves back at the house with Danny and Ryan staring at them in confusion.
"Demon wanted to ask us to take out something that was bothering his clan," Dean told him. "Something on the west coast."
"Oh," Danny said, nodding. "Better than the one that took the whole house to the dimensional nexus and then let it fall on the housekeeper when it got back." He sat down with the pizza.
Xander pulled out something and poked Danny on the arm. "You're bleeding green and purple. Danny's like me." The demons faded and they found themselves back in the house. He went to get another piece of pizza, bringing one for Sam too. "Wonder where they are."
"Danny and Ryan are both sucked into the lab," Don said with a grimace. "It'll be *hours* yet. You think she would?"
"She's never been a 'kill them all' sort," Xander told him. "If they ask her and Giles politely and give reasons, she might."
"Are you going to forgive Giles if he shows up?" Don asked.
"Nope. He sold my ass to a demon. Then he sold my ass to the one on the battle realm. When he and Connor showed up they only wanted to save Ryan. No. I'm not forgiving either of them."
"Okay," Don agreed, pulling him down to cuddle him. "What if it comes down to a fight?" he asked gently.
"I'll do my best to walk away," he said, sounding tired. "If not I'll make sure his channels very well into the ground." Don nodded, stroking his back. "Happier talk, people. Can we pay Cooper to set up the new wireless system?"
"No but Mac's tech might," Don said with a grin. He kissed him on the head. "Cooper's been having some mouth issues."
"I heard." He nibbled on his new piece of pizza. "Just us?"
"Just us," Don promised.
Xander kissed him. "Love you." Don smiled. "But we're still not home. The pizza's cold."
Don groaned. "Where are we?"
"Not a clue yet." He snuggled in and looked around. "It's not a battle ring. It's not the vampire realm that I'm technically the queen of. Not really sure."
Sam got up to go look out the front door. "Xander, where's the pets?"
"They hardly ever take us with the pets, Sam. They can't take Hubert."
"Huh," Dean said, getting up to look outside. "It's dark, pretty, and warm." He opened the door to sniff. "Smells like gardenias trying to cover up a sulphur pit though."
Xander walked outside onto the grass, barely a foot away from the door. He concentrated and felt the energy around him. "Huh." He walked back into the house, finding everyone back on the couch. He looked up. "Don't even start." It put him back with them. "We're on a higher level of demon's realm. I don't know what sort," he said. "But they clearly like to play mind games." He tapped Sam and he disappeared. Don too. He looked at Dean, trying the same thing. He stayed. They sighed and went to check the pizza. Then eat some more while they waited.
Sam and Don looked at each other then went to check the house. The animals were all there. The pizzas weren't so Don ordered a few more. Which seemed to disappear once he put it on the same spot on the kitchen island. Sam looked then at him. "Probably stole them for those two," Don said, going to call in for five more. Three more got put on the spot and two disappeared. The other two went into the living room with them. He called Danny. "It's me and Sam. Xander and Dean disappeared." He smirked. "Probably. The pizzas in the kitchen keep disappearing. Sure, we're here whenever you two get done." He hung up. "He's distracted. It's going to be hours before they get home." He ate a bite of his present slice, tossing some sausage to the dogs when they came over to sniff.
"Do we think it's a harmful kidnaping?"
"Don't know. Probably not since they took the pizzas too. This happens ta Xander every few months," he told him, eating another bite. One of their boxes disappeared so he looked up. "We need them too." It reappeared and the one in the kitchen disappeared. He went back to eating. "Let's hope it's not covered in stuff." Strife appeared and fixed it then grinned at him. "You taking them for the boys?"
"No, the demons who want to keep them away from Sam are. This way he doesn't have anyone ta temper his temper." He disappeared.
"Yeah, like I won't hunt down the thing that has my big brother and kill it in the most messy way possible," Sam snorted. He looked up. "I get him by the end of the hour or else, whichever one you are," he shouted. He went back to eating.
"Alive and healthy," Don added. He looked at Sam. "They like you?"
"A few are under the assumption I'm the Anti-Christ and going to work with them. They're wrong but they think that."
"They think Xander's a furry pet to cuddle so I guess that happens."
Sam grinned at him. "Thanks."
"Not a problem. They think Ryan's the bastard son of Ares some days."
"Not really," Ares' voice called. "Go open the closet door, boys."
Don got up and went to do that. "Does that mean we've got another exit?"
"Yeah but you have to go through the hellmouth," Xander admitted, giving him a kiss. He tapped him on the head. Nothing. So he kissed him again. "You got vidalia onions on the pizza?"
"Yup. I like sweet onions better." He nodded at Dean. "He's in the living room nibbling."
"Good. What's the black fruit stuff, Xander?"
"It's a kinda sweetish thing that's the same texture as an apple. Makes a great wine," Xander told him. Dean went to pick one to try it and came back nibbling. Xander dragged both bags with them and handed them both to Dean before forcing Don to sit down so he could cuddle him. "Let's try this again."
"Who was it?" Sam asked. "So we can kill it later."
"Too late," Dean quipped, stealing a piece to nibble on. "Though it was nice that we had a few hundred years there. We got a lot of practice in."
"Yeah," Xander said dryly. He got up and walked outside, taking off the charm he had made up to help himself. He sent himself up to the Ancient's area again. That portal was still slightly open. He let everything go then sighed in pleasure. "And leave my students alone too!" he shouted before disappearing back to the house and going to cuddle with Don again. He made sure the portal was as closed as he could make it.
Don kissed him. "As long as you're safe," he said in his ear. "That's all I care about, Xander." Xander snuggled in, taking some of his pepperoni to nibble on. "You can have some."
"I don't like the stinky onions."
"Pick then off," Sam pointed out.
"They soak into the cheese." He picked off another piece of pepperoni. "Dean, you good?"
"I'm fine. We're good." He ate another bite. "You go dump that?"
"Yup on the people who had taken our cute asses." Dean snickered. "Told them to leave my fucking students alone too. Had enough of them."
Sam grinned, leaning over to give him a hug. "We love you too, Xander. If only because you spoil Dean's stomach so he'll give diner food an odd look." He sat up again.
"What do I do with this crap?" Dean asked.
"Sell it," Xander said. "Some of it's parts, some of it's other stuff we looted. It's all sellable. Angel can help with that." That got a nod. He called the phone over, dialing his number. "Wes, Xander. Got taken again and brought back some demon crap. My student needs to dump it. Some stuff, some parts, don't know. I can do that." He hung up and stood up with a groan, walking Dean outside with the bags. He opened the small portal, helping him through it. Then he pushed the bags through. "Call." He went back inside, stopping to get a soda. He had missed caffeine. Dean had missed caffeine. The demons who had run into them during their withdrawal had been very sorry for their confinement.
Dean settled back into his bed a few days later, yawning as he stretched. "It was a good day. I'm really getting the hang of that other movement style."
"You are," Sam agreed. "You look good with the axe too, Dean."
Dean smirked. "Of course I do." He yawned, sitting bolt upright when the door was kicked in. He didn't get to open his mouth before the demon shot him.
Sam threw his new throwing knife at it, making it die. He checked on Dean, totally out. He was lost. He called Don's phone. "It's Sam. Someone just broke the door in and shot Dean!" He calmed down. "I know that!" He listened, pacing. "Sirens. Motel. Thank you!" He hung up and walked out there, nodding at the officer. "I got the one who shot my brother," he said with a point at the demon. The cop gave him an odd look so Sam kicked him and he became visible, making him flinch. "Him." He kicked the knife in deeper, making the body dissipate. He grabbed his knife, sighing in displeasure. He looked at him. "Can we please gather him or whatever? Before more of them come back?"
"Um. Yeah. You wait here, sir." He walked inside, finding the other one dead on his bed. He called in a call for the ME and a CSI. Delko peeled in and parked, hopping out. "That was fast."
"I was nearby and heard the call." He looked at Sam. "What happened?" He held up his knife, showing the green ooze on it. "Demonic?" he muttered. Sam nodded. "How?"
"Kicked in the door and shot him. Apparently it couldn't cross the salt wards but it did it long distance."
"Okay," Eric sighed. "Wait here."
"What about Dean?"
"We have people who can help with that," he assured him. That got a nod and Sam slumped, glaring at the rest of the city. Eric walked inside, looking around. "Cancel the call for CSI. Get ME Woods personally. She knows him." He walked off to make that call. Eric looked around. Nothing that showed Sam hadn't told him the truth. He could feel the quickening building. It wouldn't be a long time before he woke up. Though he was still pretty faint. He walked out when Alexx's ME van pulled up. He stopped her, rubbing her wrist with the tattoo using his thumb. "One of Xander's students," he said in her ear. She nodded, going with him. "Sam got the one who shot him."
"Do I have two or one?"
"It dissipated," Sam told her, pointing at the puddle. She looked then nodded. "I'm sorry, ma'am."
"Not a problem, Sam. This isn't the first time." She went in to check, pronouncing him dead and getting on with the bagging since it was open and shut and the one who did it was dead. A bit irregular but it happened sometimes. Eric helped her get Dean's body into the back of the van. "Sam, sugar, can you drive?"
He nodded. "I can. Where?"
"The lab, around the back is the ME's dock. Park near there and come in," she told him. He nodded, heading for his car. She looked at the officer. "Sam, go pack first," she called. He went in there with the officer. She looked at Eric. "Thank you."
"Welcome. I think he's going to have a small problem."
"They often do," she admitted. She got in to drive her van back, taking him back to the morgue. They had a sealed room for any immies she knew were going to raise. She put him in there, taking out the bullet once she had cut his t-shirt off him. The bullet got put aside and she found a damp cloth to start the clean up. Not much blood had been lost externally. It'd be fine in a few minutes. Xander and Sam both walked in. "You boys know he'll be fine."
"Still disorienting," Xander said, kissing her on the cheek. "Thanks, Alexx." She nodded, letting him have the cloth and leaving them alone. He locked the door, handing it to Sam. "He's yours."
Sam came over to finish cleaning his brother up. "I can't believe they kicked in the door and shot him," he said quietly.
Xander nodded. "They can be that way now and then. I'm wondering if they knew about this or not." Sam looked at him. "Some do. Some don't. Most of them know when they find one by accident. Me helping two hunters train and research isn't going to be looked at oddly. Especially not with you two being GHS. Oh, he's going to be backed up when he comes back." That got a nod. "He'll be fine, Sam. Even if he has been avoiding thinking about the whole orphan problem."
"So have I," he admitted. He went back to his scrubbing. "I should've known."
"I didn't even know, Sam."
"I know. It's irrational."
Xander reached over to pat him on the back. "It's a human thing."
"Yeah." He nodded. "Fully. We don't register any differently to magic either." They both felt a quickening and looked at each other. "That side," he ordered, pulling him behind the door. The doorknob rattled and then a key was put into the lock. Xander pulled out his hidden sword, shifting his weight. The door opened and the man came in. Xander waited until it was being pushed closed behind him to pounce. "Hi. What're you doing?"
"I..." He swallowed, looking at them. "You're not Morgue staff!" he said firmly. "You shouldn't be in here."
"I'm his teacher, bright boy. Why are you wandering around the morgue with a machete?" He shifted his sword a bit, making sure he knew he was ready to use it. "Waiting isn't my strong suit," he said when he didn't say anything.
"I heard it was one of the bad ones," he defended.
Xander snorted. "I hate you hunters." He let the guy up. "Leave and quit, leave Miami, little boy, or it's on between us."
"I don't have to do what you say."
Xander stepped closer. "I'm sleeping with a detective." The man whimpered. "I know Alexx *very* well. I will have you fired for hunting this way. Not exactly ethical combat."
"Plenty of us hunt this way," he sneered.
"I know. I was brought across by one who shot me. Then he'd try to do the same thing you are. Won't work now either." The man sneered. Xander shifted his stance. "Your choice." The man lunged, his machete up. Xander took his head about three seconds after he ducked under his swing. "Pity. I hate hunters." He let it go, letting him go. Xander looked at Sam. "It's done."
"It's never that peaceful."
"Oh, I channeled it into the ground like I would any spike." He went to call Alexx from the office. He waved at the ME in there. "Sitting vigil."
"That's fine, Xander. Some of us *do* know."
Xander looked at him. "We do?"
"She's not the only one in Miami. Too many of you come down here and die, young man." He held up his tattoo. "What happened?"
"The idiot was hunting newbies."
"Ah." He went to gather him and put his body into a cooler. "How long?"
"Shouldn't be too much longer. He's been building quickening. Not much but some." That watcher nodded and left them alone. "Thanks."
"You're welcome. Be discreet. Remember the cameras, boys." He went back to his current autopsy.
They waited, watching until Dean gasped and sat up choking. Sam came over to help him, patting him on the back. "Get off," Dean complained.
"Nice to know this hasn't made you happy," Xander said dryly. Dean glared at him. "Morning."
"What the hell!"
"That's what it's like when you come back. It'll be faster later on." He came closer. "You know, you don't have a very strong quickening. You'll have to watch out for werewolves."
"Why?" Sam asked, looking confused.
"My friend Oz, the one still in Sunnydale? He ended up changing for two years because he has a weak quickening and got bitten by his two-year-old nephew who was one."
Sam moaned. "Okay." He let Xander toss Dean a shirt. "That's bright blue, Xander."
He grinned. "It's a very Miami color." He helped Dean off the table. "It's clear. Alexx brought you here. The one out there knows." He nodded, pulling on the shirt. "Let's head home, guys. You can hide on the second floor for now." Dean looked at him. "At least until we figure out why the demon shot you. Most of them don't know about us." He led them out, getting a nod from the ME. "Thanks." He led the way out of the building. Sam got into his SUV. The guys got into the Impala. They headed home with Dean slumped down in the passenger's seat.
"They probably think he came to visit one of his boys," Sam decided when no one gave the SUV a funny look. He looked at Dean. "You good?"
"No," he said honestly. "I made myself decide he was wrong about me."
Sam reached over to pat him on the arm. "We'll handle it, Dean. You know we will." Dean nodded, getting comfortable. "Just think, years and years to pick up any woman you want and you can't get anything from them anymore."
"Unless they're werewolves," he said dryly.
"We've got to talk to Oz, see if anything else happened," Sam agreed.
Dean looked at him. "I freaked out when you died."
"I freaked out earlier after stabbing the demon." He shot a look at him before paying attention to the traffic around them. "Thank God Eric showed up."
Dean nodded at that. "I'll thank him and Alexx later." He sighed when they passed the boundaries of the neighborhood gates and then parked in the garage, getting out and heading inside. Xander gave him a hug. "I'm fine."
"You're not. I wasn't. You've got heavier thoughts than I did, Dean. If you want to talk, we can. If not, go sulk up in Ryan's room." He nodded, taking the bowl of ice cream Eric was making that way. He gave Sam a hug too. "Give him a few then ask." He nodded, going up to shower. He took his own bowl from Eric. "Thanks."
"Welcome." They went to watch tv. Dean would have a temper later and be stuck in thought. They'd handle it like they did every other newbie. "Did Ryan have that problem?"
"No," Xander admitted. "He woke up very pissed. He had that 'I'm going to fuck you up because you did this to me' anger for the next few weeks."
Sam flopped down next to them. "Dean locked me out." He looked at them. "I was really confused."
"So was I. I had no idea why I had that tingly headache and why there was a guy there with a sword to take my head. I thought he was a demon." He licked a bite of his ice cream off his spoon. "He'll be fine, Sam. We all faced down these thoughts."
"Know anyone who can do a seance?"
"The witches at that store might. Why?"
"I think it might help if he hears it from Dad."
Xander shrugged. "Ask him first. That can backfire and make him really pissed with only you as a target."
"I know. Fortunately I know how to beat him now." He grinned. Xander waved a hand. "Wes gave him a decent price for what you guys scavenged."
"That's good. The parts liquified?"
"Yeah. He said they did that when they were too old." He licked his own spoon, digging in again. "I don't know. We'll figure it out. Somehow."
"Maybe when Xander takes you to meet Jace he'll go win a few hands of baccarat for you guys," Eric joked.
"If he does, Dean might blow him," Sam offered.
Xander looked over at him. "We just spent over a hundred years together on that stupid demon plane, Sam." Sam shivered. "Exactly." He looked up. "Guys, incoming!" he yelled. He handed Eric his ice cream and headed for his sword. Dean came jogging down the stairs with his battle axe. Sam had his sword. The demon appeared in the living room. "Huh. Nice of you to announce yourself. You would be? So we can mark it down somewhere."
"He might be peaceful," Eric reminded him.
"He broke the sanctity and security of my home. I don't care," Xander said. "I hate it when anything breaks into my security." He looked at the demon, who was staring at him. "You would be?" he demanded.
"You are not nice or pleasant, human."
"Yay me. You still broke into my home. If you were human I'd have shot you."
"Bullets don't work against my kind. Nor does silver or blessed objects." He looked at Sam, bowing some. "Warrior." Sam snorted. "I came to ask the rude one's permission to court one of you."
"No. Thanks anyway. You wanna try us, you ask me, not the teacher," Dean said firmly. "You ask Xander about his family. Sammy's mine."
"Hmm. Yet with what you are....." Dean growled, moving closer. "Ah, you do know."
"Not all family is blood or else the one you marry wouldn't be family," Xander said, stepping closer. "They said no. Leave."
"I can encourage him to change his mind. Including giving him much in the way to make his life easier."
"You're going to destroy all the demons in the world that attack the harmless or helpless?" Sam asked. "We'd like that."
The demon stared at him. "You are not quite what I expected in our warrior." Sam's eyes narrowed and his grip on his sword changed. "It will not hurt me, Warrior."
"No but this will," Xander said, grabbing something off a side table and tossing it at Dean. "Into his chest cavity." Dean slammed the leaded statuette into his chest cavity, making him scream when it broke the skin. The demon disappeared. "By the way, that was a hell no if you needed a translation!" Xander called.
Dean smirked at him. "I love it when you get mouthy."
"So does Danny." He grinned. He gave him a hug. "Remember, blood and family are two things that are intertwined but not always. If you want him to be your brother, he's your brother." He let him go, getting a nod. "The same as your dad can still be your dad, Dean. Even if all he did was raise you it shows in the man you became."
"I know. Still getting stuck there. Why did Dad lie?"
"Who said he did? They could've switched Sam at the hospital. Or you."
"Good point I guess." He looked at him. Then back at Xander. "Are there other brothers in the game?"
"Ask Adam, how would I know?" he said with a small shrug. Dean laughed. "I only know a few of them, man. Not my thing. History is not for me." He went back to his ice cream. "Don't you think my former baby looks good with him, Eric?"
"I do. I think he handles that axe very well," Eric said, handing Sam back his ice cream. "You can think down here if you want, Dean."
Dean nodded, going to get his ice cream and bring it back down. "Where are we staying if everyone comes over?"
"The extra secure house downtown." Eric gave him a look. "What? Ryan's when he has to change over."
Eric shook his head. "I'm seeing why you drive people insane."
"Because they spend too many hours working and not enough time being my butt bitches," he said with an evil smirk. "Leaves me all sorts of bored time to think up whole new evil plans and plots, plus add my hormones to it." He ate more ice cream.
Eric shook his head quickly. "We'll talk to H and Frank about a day off for your boys. It's our busy season." He finished his ice cream and went to call Horatio from the study. "H, Xander said he's so bored he's thinking up evil plots and plans with his hormones again." He nodded. "Well, there was a demon here who wanted Sam."
"I don't care, you're going to get laid even if I have to do it myself!" Dean said angrily.
"Dean just threatened to wear someone out. Boys, Don and Danny would take both your heads on each of your bodies if you tried that!" he yelled back.
"I was talking about Sammy!"
"You know, if you're not really brothers," Xander started, getting a growl from both of them that made him laugh. "See, told you there was still the bond there." He grinned brightly and went back to his ice cream and his crime drama. "I remember working full time," he sighed. "It kinda sucked. Then again, my girlfriend was good at sucking too." He dug in, then went to get some more and came back out to find those two staring at each other. "Don't make me pounce, guys." They went to get some more ice cream, Sam with a short detour to the bathroom upstairs. Xander snickered. "I can take him to the spa with me tomorrow if you want, Dean."
"We're both going. You going out alone when you're like this will lead to Ryan going on a road trip. He said so."
"Now and then," he admitted. "We'd have to see, huh?" He gave him a look.
"Oh, no! No, no, no!"
Eric came out of the study, handing Dean the bowl of ice cream before pulling Xander up and into the bedroom. "Danny said I had to sub in, Xander. You're too backed up."
"I let it go a little bit ago."
"And I'm Santa."
"You're a demon who eats kids? Eww! I don't want that to touch me!"
Eric shook his head, getting Xander down onto the bed even though he was wiggling. He was good at it. Not as good as Ryan was but they played now and then. He'd never be able to fully wear him out but Danny had promised he was on his way home within the hour.
Dean finished his new bowl and started on Xander's too. Ice cream was nice. He could do ice cream while he thought.
Ryan faced off with both boys, letting them attack him together. They were good. They moved well together. He was clearly out of practice again but the boys were good. Xander had done an excellent job teaching them how to fight together and alone. Danny and Xander joined in with Eric playing backup in case they were outnumbered. They were still holding on. Dean pulled out an unloaded gun and pointed it at two of them, taking out the two more dangerous ones, earning a smirk. "Only if you're outnumbered or about to be found out," Ryan reminded him.
"I know." He tripped Danny and made head chopping motions, not getting near his neck, getting a nod that he was out. He got out of the way and the boys went back to it. They were good. Ryan managed to get in a lucky blow on Sam, making him fall down and pant. He was out until he could deal with him. It was a bad angle for a permanent kill. He did 'stab' him in the chest to kill him until he could deal with him. Dean fought harder, getting the others except him down. "Don't expect me to play nice if this happens."
"Good," Ryan agreed. Dean shifted funny and winced, making Ryan follow up but it was a sacrifice play and Dean rested his sword against Ryan's back, sliding it up. "Good job." Dean smirked and moved away. "Sam?"
"We'll be practicing more, Ryan. I promise. We've got a lot of evil bastards between now and then."
"Good point." He helped him up, then wiped his face off. "That was a good practice." He looked at Xander. "You okay?"
"I'm watching and being a lump on the ground to trip over," he quipped. Danny helped him up. He looked at Adam, who nodded. "Good?"
"Very good." He came over with his sword, facing off with Sam. "Now me." Sam caught his breath and came after him, attacking first. Adam fought him back, it was more like his normal style. He threw in a move from a formal martial arts style but Sam could block that one. He tried one from another one and it wasn't as well blocked but he did manage it. He switched to that style and Sam found his capability after a few blows. He changed back suddenly and Sam still flowed with him, fighting him back even though he was being pushed back. Sam suddenly ducked and spun, coming up behind Adam to give him a gentle shove with his foot and a grin. Adam came back and Sam got in a lucky stomach blow then knocked him down and stared at him, sword head ready to take his head. "Good," Adam agreed. Sam beamed and helped him up. Dean came when he waved his hand. A leap, a spin, and then an underhand blow under his guard to take his stomach out, then spin around him and get his neck from behind. "You did learn very well," he praised, smiling at him. Dean beamed back. "Are you ready to go back to hunting?"
"I don't know. There's still demons who're stalking us."
Xander looked at him. "Two aren't too bad. One wants Sam for his supposed prophecy property. The other is pretty wishy-washy on why he wants Sam. Back and forth between the two because getting him will give his family status." Dean grimaced. "Then again you have your own from one of the demon hunting clans." Dean gave him an odd look. "Honestly." He looked up. "You might wanna tell him."
The female hunting demon appeared, staring at him. "You would be an asset to our clan on our hunts," she hissed at him. "We hunt those that bother others as you do. You would have the whole clan behind you both if you agreed to join with us."
Dean considered it. "We have to handle the prophecy thing and the one who took out our mother and his girlfriend."
She bowed. "I do understand. Duty must come before even honor." Dean nodded. "When that is done I will come again to ask you again." She bowed and disappeared.
"I am not wishy-washy!" the other demon shouted as he appeared. "I know exactly why I want Samuel. He's a Great One and he is mine!" He lunged at Dean but Dean shot him in the chest. He gasped and fell down dying. "No, it was meant to be! He is my Juliette!"
"Knew you were a girl," Dean told his little brother.
"No, I top, I can't be the girl." He looked down at the demon. "Sorry. I only top, dude." The demon started to cry, keeping it up all the way until he died. He shrugged. "Any other stalkers, know that too!" He suddenly felt lighter. "Are they going to leave me alone?"
"Except for the prophecy wanting one," Xander agreed.
"How can you tell?" Eric demanded.
"I have the wards up." He grinned. "So, Oh Great and All Knowing Yoda, are they ready to go be jedi in the real world of men who know not what we are?"
Adam gave him a scathing look. "One of these days I'll answer you in Yoda speak, upstart brat." Xander just smirked. "As long as they're careful to wear out their hormones and come to conventions so we can check on them it should be fine."
"I've got the site bookmarked," Sam vowed. "If we can afford it, guys, we'll be there."
"I still say Xander should take them to Vegas to win a few hands of baccarat for them," Eric joked.
"Since they're prone to being taken by demons maybe we should give them some of the safety deposit box," Don offered, looking serious. "Gemstones are always able to be cashed out and they're acceptable places where american money might not be. That's why Xander always travels with some."
"We run in the lesser bar circuit, not the gem and jewelry circuit," Dean reminded him. "Wouldn't mind a few though if you guys are offering," he said with a grin.
"Sorry, my present to you two the witches, Richard, and I worked on together, boys." Xander walked over to look at Dean. "Whenever one of you is taken off realm by anything, the car and your brother will follow," he said quietly, staring into his eyes.
Dean smirked back. "Sweet, Xander. Thank you."
"And I upped your bullet and gun stash by a few more."
Dean gave him a hug. "I appreciate you. If you wanted, you can have Sammy."
"Mine," Danny noted dryly. "If you two join us you're all ours." Sam shivered at that.
Don gave him an evil little smirk. "I know, we're fantastic, it's a wet dream in the making but you'd be really tired all the time."
"Sorry, guys, but Dean needs me to plan for him. I can't be that tired all the time."
Dean nodded. "True. Who else would I annoy if he was knocked out from all the sex?"
"You can call and annoy me anytime," Xander reminded him. "Not like I'm not perpetually bored or cooking."
"No mush. You promised."
"It comes with the hair," he joked.
"Fine. No more mush." He looked at them. "So, now what?"
"Now, there's a ghost up the road by a few hours," Xander offered with a sneaky grin.
"I thought we handled that last week," Sam said, looking at Dean.
"At the racetrack?" Xander countered.
"No, not that one," Dean said. "You bet on the horses, Xander?"
"Only when Hermes or someone makes me have a really strong feeling about one."
"Pity," Dean muttered.
Xander patted him on the back. "It won't be a problem."
"How do you know?"
"My own version of precog." He looked up. "Someone's got to fight the stupid ass demon that won't quit hyping violence in Miami." The three of them and Ryan disappeared.
"Lemonade?" Don asked, getting up to get them some.
"After you get a drink it's time to practice," Methos ordered.
"Yes, Mom." He went to get them the pitcher of lemonade and glasses, plus the first aid kit just in case. Then he grabbed his sword and stepped out to spar with him and Eric. He had been ignoring it for work reasons.
Horatio and Speed parked on Speed's bike, getting off and walking over. "We miss the boys leaving?" Speed asked.
"No, the demons took them to beat whatever is making people violent locally," Adam said as he worked with Don. "They should be back soon."
"Lemonade?" Don offered with a hand wave at the table.
"Sure," Speed agreed, making Horatio shake his head. "Where is Ray Junior?"
"Home?" Danny suggested.
"Not since last night."
"We'll ask Xander when he gets back," Danny sighed. "He seems ta know those things." The DPP officer that looked like a pile of rocks appeared and handed Ray Junior and Ray Kowalski both over. "They have fun?"
"No. The one who had them is very sorry. This one needs more work in his self-defense," he said, patting Ray K on the head before disappearing.
"Thank you," Ray Junior called. He flopped down beside his uncle, resting his head against his knee. "I'm tired."
"I know." He stroked over his hair. "You need a trim as well."
"Ray, you all right?" Danny asked, pulling him over to look him over. "First one?" he guessed. Ray nodded slowly. "What was it?"
"The stupid Monsoon prince wanted a matched set of Rays to please him," Ray Junior said dryly. "Pity about him." Ray Kowalski gave him an odd look. "What? I learned from Xander! I only like humans!"
"Good," Adam called, tripping Don, but Don rolled and came up behind him, using a foot to shove him and get back into the fight after catching his breath. "Better," he admitted. They kept going. "You need to practice more often."
"Make the Chief of Police hire more cops," he complained. "I've pulled more overtime recently than I have in the last three years!" He took a wild swing but he had planned it so he caught Adam's lunge on the way back and twisted his body to take Adam's sword with him. "Ha!" Adam pulled a gun. Don kneed him in the groin and they both went down by Don was on top and Adam's gun hand was trapped by his sword. Don pinned him down and moved his sword, getting a nod. "Like that?"
"Like that," he agreed, smirking a bit.
"Good. Get Ry and Danny then your boy. He doesn't do much practice either from what the officer said." He got up and helped the teacher up, handing him back his sword. Adam took a swing and Don ducked then maced him with the spray canister he kept on his belt at work. Adam yelped and backed off. Ray handcuffed him. "He get hit by the violence thing?"
"Twice now," Ray Kowalski agreed, sitting down to pet him. The Impala appeared in the driveway behind the bike, thankfully not on top of it, and then the brothers appeared. Sam was weighed down with stuff. Dean was looking dazed. "Took your first head?" he asked. Dean nodded at that. "Go get jumped."
"Will in a bit." He looked around, frowning. "Xander! Quit playing with that thing and come back here!"
Xander appeared, looking at them. "What?" He shrugged. "It wasn't wanting to play. It wanted to be beaten. So I spanked it," he said with a wicked, impish grin.
"I don't wanna hear about kinky sex," Danny called. "I'll get pissed."
"No sex about it. I only spanked him," Xander said. "Oh, the demon whose doing the violence is still around but severely injured. He's hiding. I've got to find him again." He looked at Sam. "There ya go, roadtrip funds."
Dean looked. "That's sweet and all but what do we do with it?"
"First we make sure it's not stolen then we teach you how to take it to a jewelry store," Xander quipped. "Because now and then I do get stolen stuff given to me."
"That's really nice of them," Sam said dryly, dropping all the stuff on one of the spare patio chairs. Then he flopped down beside it to look at it. "How would you know?"
Danny grabbed everything, taking him into the office to show him how to log onto the jewel registry.
Xander straddled Don's lap, giving him a kiss. "You look hot."
He grinned. "I sparred with Adam."
"Not that way," he said with a wink, turning around and walking off, his braid swaying a bit.
"That was a hint," Dean said when Don didn't move.
"Let me finish my lemonade for strength." He finished up and followed Xander into the bedroom to pounce him.
Dean shook his head, picking up an earring to bring in there then coming back out to sit down again. "That's insane."
"Yup," Ryan agreed once he appeared. "By the way, Ares said welcome to the game. He's impressed."
"Thanks. I think."
"No, be happy," Speed told him.
"Okay. Never been the favorite of anything higher than Dad." He nodded at that, looking in the house at the keening noise. "Problems?" he called.
Danny came out a few minutes later. "That was Hubert. He's having joint pain from his newest growth spurt. We put him into a warm bath." He flopped down, taking Don's glass to refill and drink. "Sam's seriously backed up, Dean."
"We're so going to a whorehouse," he muttered. Danny wrote down an address and slid it over. "You know a good one?"
"Yeah. Tell them you're there because Xander sent ya." Dean snickered. "Even we aren't enough sometimes." Dean squeaked as he disappeared. The car and Sam disappeared. They came back a minute later. Speed got up to move his bike into the garage, just in case the Impala got any closer to it. "You okay?" Danny called.
"Yeah, fine," Dean said, shaking his head. "Dude, you're so getting laid later." Sam sulked. "Tough! You hormoned all the demons! It's creepy!" He went back to his seat, tucking the address into his jeans pocket. "Before it gets lost." Sam slunk into the house, going to finish the jewelry. Danny shook his head, going to help him. Dean looked at Speed. "Is it the hormones or something else that makes him pouty?"
"Both probably. Horatio insists he never pouts." He patted his mate on the back.
Horatio looked at him. "You're coming dangerously close to sleeping on the couch, Speed."
Speed kissed him. "I got the raspberry sorbet you like."
Horatio shook his head. "Probably not enough to save you." Speed got up and pulled Horatio into the house to make out in the movie theater. "Speed! Anyone can see!" he complained.
"Yay. It's family!" He mugged him again, making Horatio one happy boy lost in memories of being a teenage Horatio on a date for a bit. It was good for him.
Dean shook his head. "Are we all insane, Adam?"
"It's the hormones that make you ask that, young one. Go wear them out."
Dean stood up. "Let me drag Sammy that way and we'll be back in a while." He went to get Sam and pull him out to the car by his collar if he had to. They headed for the brothel and it was good. The bouncer got that message and called Xander, who vouched for them and paid their dues. They were let in and someone there pounced Sam nearly immediately. Dean had his choice of some very nice looking women. He found two he liked and went to wear them out. Sam was in the middle of a pile of women. It was good for his baby brother to be wanted for the right reasons for a change.
Xander stared at his poker hand then grimaced. The luck was not with him today. He sighed and folded then went to get a drink. He came back from there and the ATM, going to a different table. He did send a prayer to Strife and Hermes, pointing out he wasn't playing for himself. He was playing for his students. Then he prayed to Lady Luck, who was usually nice to him. He lost a few more hands then hit three in a row. His fourth one he had the tingle but the cards were wrong. He folded and walked away, handing Dean the money once he had cashed it out. Dean gaped. He shrugged. "The luck is with me now and then. Say thanks for it."
Dean looked up. "Thank you, Lady Luck and all you others who helped. We needed this," he said quietly. He felt a warm fuzziness and looked around, going to stare at one slot machine. He shrugged and sat down to play, blinking when he hit it a few minutes later.
Xander smiled, walking out and heading for Jace's and the ice cream bar she had put in recently. Dean would be okay. He ran into one of Greg's coworkers, punching him on the arm. "Hey."
Nick Stokes turned to look at him. "Why are you out without guards?" he demanded loudly.
"I'm here with a few students. I'm heading back to Jace's. Really. Plus I'm not totally disarmed. I never am." Nick glared. "Go play, Nick." He smiled and walked off, heading back for the nice walk. It was a pretty day today. Not too horribly hot or humid. It was a pretty day. He got back to the resort and frowned at the crying people. "What happened!" he called, heading to the desk. "What happened?"
"Jace went to take a challenge," she sniffled. "We can't find her."
"Where?" Xander asked, reaching over to grab the keys to one of the resort's cars. She wrote down the numbers Jace had taken from the phone call. "Who?"
"I don't know," she begged.
"If she's alive I'll bring her back," he promised, earning a hug. He headed out, going to check on her. It wasn't that far of a drive. He found her car and got out, scanning around. The fight had clearly taken place already. There was a bit of damage to the ground. There was a headless body. He walked closer carefully. It wasn't her. "Jace!" he called. He heard a growl and turned to look. "Jace?" She came out of a small, hollowed out old tree. "Jace?" She growled again. Xander stared. "Are you possessed?" She lunged and he knocked her down and out. He checked the other body. He had heard rumors of him. "Why is a Shaman challenging an anchor?" He got Jace into the car and drove her back to the resort, parking and letting the bellhop help him carry her inside. "She's possessed or something," he told the receptionist. "Let me into her room." She hurried ahead to get the doors for him. He settled in beside her once he had her tied down, praying hard over her. He spent enough time to text Dean in case he knew more about possessions than he did, then went back to praying.
Cupid appeared, putting a hand on her head. "I have no idea. It's like he possessed her with his spirit animal."
"Why did a shaman challenge her?"
"He took a dark quickening," Cupid sighed, looking at him. Xander slumped. "He wasn't in his right mind, Xander."
He nodded. "She still won."
"Good! Now all we need...." Dean burst in with what he needed. "It's his spirit animal."
"There was a shaman who was one of us," Xander said, looking at him. "He took a dark quickening. He challenged her. Cupid said it's his spirit animal that's possessing her." He looked at Cupid. "Do we know what one?"
Dean nodded, calling Sam. "Possession by spirit guide? Jace took a challenge from a shaman who had taken a dark quickening. Yeah, exactly. Growling and tied down. Thanks." He hung up and started on the general one. "Do we know anyone who knows more about Native rites?"
"Connor," Xander said, grimacing. "He lived with them."
"Mac did," Cupid corrected. "Let me see what I can do, guys." He disappeared, heading to where Connor and Mac were talking. He appeared, wings out. "Boys." They both stared at him, Mac's mouth slightly open. "Michael took a dark quickening." Connor shuddered. "Challenged Jace. She won and now his spirit animal is in her. We need help from someone who'd know the Shaman ways."
Connor looked at Mac. "Do you keep in touch with the tribe?"
"Yes." He moved to call one of the ones he knew. "Where is she?"
"Las Vegas. In her bedroom with Xander and Dean helping. They're trying the standard exorcism. It might push it back some Xander thinks."
Connor nodded, making reservations for a flight. "Who am I making from them?"
"They don't want to. Even if he took this way out of life they said it's a gift." He considered it. "I do not know, Connor."
Cupid considered it. "Would Methos?" They shook their heads. Ares appeared behind him. "Pops?"
"Sam found what he needed he thinks. He needs someone who was Native or blessed into it outside of his one contact. They can do it over the speaker phone but they need somewhere there who can do the ritual."
"I can," Mac said. "I married into a clan."
Ares stared at him then nodded. "Fine."
"It'll take us a few hours," Connor told him. Ares nodded and they disappeared to tell the boys.
Xander paced, looking up when the dual buzz hit him. "She's in the back," he said.
"No word of greeting?"
"I'm going to take your head someday, Connor. She's in the back in her suite."
"I'm sorry, Xander."
Xander backed away. "No you're not." He turned and walked off. "Dean, they're here."
"Dialing Sammy's friend now," he agreed, doing that. "Hey, it's Dean and he's just now here. What first?"
"We were on a private plane, I've already bathed and changed," Duncan said, taking off his overcoat to show the hunting outfit he used to wear when he had been married to his Indian wife. He knelt beside the bed and said a prayer for her, then took up what Dean handed him. The voice over the phone went on in his ear. He did as ordered, watching as it slowly faded from her.
Xander stared. "She'll be like I am," he said quietly. He looked at Dean, pulling him up, whispering in his ear, getting a nod. He went to make another call. Xander knelt on the other side of the bed, touching one of her anchor's marks to pray over her as well. It could only help her. He felt the power move through him and bind into her, working with the magic Duncan was working. It bound the spirit into her. Dean came back and put something on her forehead, drawing a symbol with it. Duncan moved around him to go back to what he needed to do. She went limp with a sigh and they watched as it was fully bound into her soul. Xander finished his prayer and let her go. He stared at her. "She'll be like I am with the hyena. He's bound to her soul. A small voice and urge in the back of her head." He looked at Dean, then at Duncan. "Thank you." He patted her cheek, waking her up. "Hey. Are you yourself?"
She swallowed, staring at him. "What happened?"
"You got possessed by his spirit guide, Jace." She made a whining noise. He smiled. "Just like my hyena, love." He smoothed over her hair. "Rest for a bit. Let's make sure you're all right." He adjusted the bonds and let her curl up to sleep again. He looked at Dean. "Nice teamwork."
"You could start hunting."
"I'd draw everything to me," he reminded him. "Besides, Danny and Don wouldn't travel that way."
"Good point." He smiled. "Thanks for the slot machine thingy."
Dean gaped. "Wow." He sent a prayer at Lady Luck and whoever had helped him thanking them. "They patted me down twice."
"They did it to me too," Xander admitted. "They yell about me?"
"No. Asked if I had the same gift you had." Xander shook his head. "I told them I was your GHS student and you can brought me here to win me a dowry." Xander grinned. "They said to not do it again."
"They're mean if you try," he told him. "You'll want to talk to Steve."
"I'm going to." He looked at the cousins then at him. "We should head."
Xander nodded. "If she reverts while she naps or afterward, let us know." He walked around the bed, nodding at Duncan. "Good work. Not a skill I've ever had even with what I can do magically." He left, closing the door behind himself. Dean and he packed then checked out. "She'll be fine," he told the desk girl. She beamed and nodded, taking their keys back. "If not, call." She nodded and they left, heading out to the rental car. To the airport. Then back onto the private plane because Xander could not take the chance of flying commercial. He'd never make it back to Miami. The boys were there to meet him once they landed and he got hugs. "Did they call? Is she okay?"
"She's fine," Danny promised. "Connor's pissed."
"Connor still has his head. He has no right to be pissed," Xander assured him.
"I know." He led them out to the SUV, watching Xander and Dean lounge in the back to play with the radio and then turn on a video game. Danny smiled. "Dinner?"
"Sure. Chinese or pizza or what?"
Xander beamed. "Whatever. How was Sam?"
"Sam's good," he promised. "He studied the whole trip." They pulled out of the parking garage and headed back to the house. "Want us to call Steve, Dean? You have that 'I won thanks to Xander' glow."
"Please, man." That got a nod and he called him to come to dinner too. They drove back, listening to the boys be boys again. Dean's character was thumping Xander's to make him laugh. Don made two stops, one really long one but the boys weren't paying attention. Danny looked at the bag then smiled, nodding at Don. Dean saved their game when they pulled into the driveway. "Can we finish it inside?"
"As long as we can hook up the new console," Don agreed, handing him the bag. Xander squealed and gave him a hug, heading in with him. Don and Danny got dinner. Steve showed up to talk to Sam and Dean while they finished hooking in the game system. By the time he had things set up for them the game was on pause and Dean dove back in, sitting on the ottomans to play with Xander. Don laughed. "I got you a DDR system too, Xander. I know Ray Junior said you rocked the arcade a few times." Xander glomped him for a hug then went back to his game against Dean, finally being beaten by him.
"You'll have to practice for the next one," Dean taunted.
Xander smirked. "We'll see. DDR?"
"DDR?" Dean asked.
"Dance Dance Revolution," Sam translated. He helped Don set up the system and they all got sucked in, except Steve, who sat and giggled at Dean nearly tripping himself up.
Dean decided he was at least going to be Sammy. He had to beat Sammy, his pride would be wounded and he'd pout otherwise. "This is great for stamina building."
"Some daycares are doing it too so the kids play," Xander panted. He won that round and bent down, catching his breath. "Usually I start it at a higher level." He straightened up when the next level started. Sam got knocked out but he was giggling. Don too when he got knocked out. Danny and he were almost tied and Dean was doing good to keep up. Dean finally tripped himself again and flopped down on his ass laughing. Xander grinned. "Good training, huh? Try fencing after that." Danny barely squeaked by that round since he hit a special move. Xander pouted and paused the game long enough to get a kiss and a drink then they went back to it. Head to head. Boyfriend to boyfriend. "Winner tops?" he teased.
"Yeah," Danny agreed. "That'll work for me." That gave him incentive or else Xander would wear him out too much to work. Speed and Eric came in with Horatio and Ryan trailing them. They finished up and Xander let Danny win, getting a smirk back. "I'll really challenge you next time."
"I don't mind bottoming," he teased, taking a kiss. "Anyone else?"
"I'm challenging," Speed said. "Eric, Ryan, you're both club sluts too." He set the game up and put it on challenge mode. They got into it and Xander was kicking everyone's ass but Speed.
Sam looked at Ryan then clamped something on his wrist, hitching it down. "To block the rest of that taint," he said with a grin. "It's no fair. You sucking at Xander's hormones is making him clumsy."
"Oops. I thought I stopped that."
"Nope," Xander panted. "It's nice how I got rhythm with the hormones though." He finished up tied with Speed. "Pause?" Speed panted, pausing the game. They both caught their breath then stretched and got back to it. They played a tie breaker round and it was good. Horatio was growling in a possessive mood. Don was snarling in the same sort of mood.
"Ray Junior taught me," Speed panted with a grin at Xander. "He said someone had to beat you."
"I'm sure there are," Xander panted back. They ended up tied again. "Mutual backrubs?" he panted, holding out a hand.
"Works as a prize for me," Speed said, shaking back. Horatio pulled Speed into his lap to kiss him. Don pounced and rolled Xander under him there on the floor.
"Boys," Dean complained. "I like girls. Please?" They got up and went to their rooms. "Thanks. Sammy's tender eyes and all that."
Sam snorted. "No, I've seen a lot of that, Dean."
Dean looked at him. "Dad would've freaked if he heard you say that."
"Why do you think we moved from Missouri when I was sixteen?" he shot back with an evil smirk.
"You were doing what?" Dean demanded, shifting to look at him.
"One of the track team," he said modestly. Dean gaped. "Dad was not pleased when he walked in on it."
"Where was I?"
"Hitting on some clueless bimbo from the local college I think."
"Oh, yeah. I remember her. She kept playing puppet theater with her breasts. Talking nipples creeped me out." Ryan laughed at that. "She was!"
"I've seen others who did," Eric assured him with a pat to the arm. He looked at Danny. "Not going to save your boys?"
"Nope. Don deserves a good pounce now and then." He heard the lightening and looked out front, getting up to open the front door. "Willow," he said, staring at her. "What?"
"I wanted to talk to Xander."
He opened the door louder so the 'oh, more, you bastard more' shouts from the bedroom could float out. "He's busy," he said once she had blushed. "It'll probably be a while. Wanna leave a message?"
"No, just wanted to talk," she said sheepishly. "I'll call ahead next time." She disappeared and the weather cleared up.
Danny closed the door, shaking his head. "She'll call ahead next time," he told Ryan, who nodded at that. Xander let out a high pitched scream then went silent.
"Damn it," Don complained. "We need ta scan him again," he called.
"Isn't it usually you two complaining about dying during sex?" Sam joked.
Danny nodded. "Yeah. Often."
"He hurt his back the other day," Dean offered.
Danny smirked. "That means we get ta fuss." He went in there to help Don fuss over their boy. He clearly needed it. "What did you do to him?"
"I was teasing his cock," he protested.
"Dean said he hurt his back the other day."
"Hey, fussing time," Don said happily. Danny nodded, going to get the stuff so they could baby their boy for a while. Apollo appeared and took the tumor, disappearing with a shake of his head. "Even more reason ta fuss," Don decided.
Dean grinned at Eric and Ryan. "You two can go play."
"We're not that hyper," Eric told him.
Ryan looked at him. "I wouldn't mind if you were. Aiden wear you out earlier?" Eric nodded. "Poor boy. Alll that het sex with the big, pouty lips."
"They're good lips too," he taunted with a smirk.
"They often are," Dean agreed, nibbling on a piece of cracker. He looked at his lap. "When did I get crackers?"
"A minute ago when they appeared," Sam said. He held up his own plate. "Someone's trying to take care of us."
"I guess that's nice enough," Dean decided, going back to nibbling. Steve gave him an odd look. "I'm a hungry, growing boy," he defended.
"Are you going to turn into the Jolly Green Giant?" Eric teased.
"No, that's Sammy." He nodded at his little brother and ate another bite.
Sam looked at him. "I'm going to spank sometime soon."
"Yeah yeah. As long as you get someone to hold me down," he taunted back.
"Oh, Gods, Horatio!" Speed shouted from upstairs. Ryan and Dean both clapped.
"Guys," Eric complained. "Leave them alone. They're married, they can make those noises. Unlike the trio who aren't married." Someone in there was starting to squeal again then went suddenly quiet. "Again?" he called.
"Yup. I'm magnificent!" Don called back.
"I need to take that lesson," Ryan sighed, shaking his head.
Sam snickered. "If you do, let us know how you do it."
"Sure," he agreed, grinning at him. Steve went to snicker in the study.
Horatio nearly wobbled as he walked into his office the next morning, sitting down very gently. Speed walked in with a pillow for him, kissing him on the head. "You could've called off."
"I have to do the paperwork," he said hoarsely. Speed smiled, giving him a proper kiss once he was sitting on the pillow then leaving again. Frank came in a few minutes later. "Morning," he croaked.
"Only from a twisted mind," he said dryly. Frank gaped, staring at him in horrified awe. He waved a hand. "I'm fine, Frank. I should have called off but I couldn't."
"How?" he squeaked.
"I don't know. Maybe whatever let Don do to Xander what Xander usually does to Don," Ryan quipped happily as he came up the stairs. He handed Horatio something. "Tim got paged to the morgue by Alexx. He said to deliver that." He walked out grinning. Horatio and Speed had made more noise than the trio. That was amazing. No wonder Horatio looked like he needed a nap in a hot bath.
Frank swallowed. "He okay?"
"He can walk somehow," Horatio said grimly. "I have no idea how." Frank walked off shaking his head. Horatio pulled over his first folder, moaning at what was in it. He kept repeating over and over that the lab and the citizens of Miami needed him, even if he couldn't move today. Stetler walked in with a sneer. "Not today, Rick. I feel miserable."
"What's wrong? Too much to drink?" he taunted.
"No, I think Speed threw my back again if you want me to be honest," he said dryly, giving him a look. "That would have been after midnight though. I'm sore for other reasons beyond that." Stetler gave him a horrified look before stomping off. He waved a hand. He didn't care what he thought. When his boss came in he tried to move and winced, sitting down slowly again. "Sir."
"Horatio. Your back again?"
"I don't know. I'm sore for a few different reasons. My doctor can't see me until two, sir."
"Hmm. Relation issues? A tear perhaps?"
Horatio shook his head. "Speed would beat himself if he hurt me that way. I know I threw my back around two. I remember screaming loud enough that officers came to complain." His boss went pink. "We were at Xander's house, sir."
"Go home, Horatio."
"Until you're fit for duty, having you do paperwork won't help anyone."
"It does need to be done."
"I know, the one in front of you was due last month," he said dryly. "You're getting a secretary."
"I'd rather have two new CSI, sir. It'd solve all the other issues so I'd have the time to do the paperwork."
"We'll see." He walked off shaking his head. "Go home, Horatio." He went to find Tim, finding him happy and nearly bouncing. "Did you imbibe whatever makes Harris bounce?" he demanded, watching him try to hold himself down.
"No, sir, just the wrong coffee at breakfast. Xander drinks a super caffeinated blend. I had two cups. That's like six or seven grande's from the evil empire of Starbucks."
"Uh-huh. Take your husband home. He's in pain. He's miserable. People are suggesting you were bad to him last night."
Speed snorted. "I was not!"
"Then take him home, Speedle." He walked off shaking his head. He went to homicide, finding Frank staring at Don's desk in consternation. "He call off sick?"
"Babying his boy. Apparently the cops last night thought Xander had died a few times."
"Oh. Well, that might explain why Horatio's so sore too. Can you handle it without him?"
"Sir, he hasn't made it home in time to play with his boy in nearly a month. I figure they were all backed up. We need more people."
"Exams are next month," he complained, heading off to call over there. "Detective Flack." He listened to him protest Xander was nearly wiped out. He could hear panting in the background. "That him?" He nodded at the 'yes, sir'. "Fine. Today, tomorrow, then you're back, Flack. I mean it. We'll cut down on your overtime." He hung up, rubbing his forehead. He called up the time cards for the lab and the homicide division. What he saw nearly made him pass out. His budget was blown. He looked at their last pay period and winced, calling someone in HR. "Tell me we didn't pay out over seventeen thousand in overtime last pay period between three departments?" he demanded. The head of HR apologized but said it had happened. She had double checked with the security cameras. She had docked one while he was asleep but that had happened. "Expect some paperwork on new openings and new testing for detectives." He hung up and went to figure out how much they could spare to move over. He looked up as his secretary knocked then let a wobbly looking Mr. Harris in. "Shouldn't you be being babied?"
"Don needed stuff from his desk. I needed fresh air." He leaned over to kiss him on the forehead. "You have a headache," he said tiredly, grinning at him. He put something down in front of him. "Will that help?"
He looked then nodded. "That'll help. Poker money?"
Xander beamed. "The bad guys can start paying for their own arrests." He wobbled out, going to help get Horatio down to the SUV then home with them. Don and Sam helped get him out of the back of the SUV while Dean walked Horatio in to the living room so he could nap on the couch with him. Don covered them both up and fussed grandly over them. Danny would come back after court. It'd be good to be spoiled rotten for a few days.
Eric walked in with dinner that night. Don had ordered special things and asked him to pick it up for him. "Here you go. How's H?"
"Still asleep. The doctor yelled at Speed for three hours," Don said, looking impressed. He grinned as he dished up dinner, handing Speed their big, shared plate. Then he took their shared plate into the bedroom to baby his boys. Danny was tired now too.
Eric shook his head, looking at the two brothers. "Still researching?"
"Trying to find the best and easiest way to kill certain things," Dean admitted. "Plus guarding them for a few days since this isn't normal."
"Maybe it's a good thing anyway." He walked off. They had it and he obviously needed to tie Ryan down and have him again sometime soon since he was complaining about lack of sex again.
Strife leaned into Aphrodite's lounge, giving her a look. "You feel better now that you knocked my boy so far out?"
"He needed to wear out what that last demon had done to him." She smiled. "Besides, it makes Don happy to spoil him."
"Xander thinks it should be his job."
"He's wrong. Don's fussy, Danny's fussy, they can fuss over each other and pookie." She beamed. "Because he's got to rest his back too." Strife walked off shaking his head. She sighed and went back to her viewing. Her boys were so *cute*!
Cupid popped in. "My boys, Mom," he reminded her. "I'm over lust." He removed her spells and let them heal normally. Yes, they could use fussed over but Xander was pouting and making him pout because he couldn't fuss over anyone. They could all fuss over Horatio and Speed this time. It'd be good for them. He saw the two brothers disappear but they were back before the spell drew their car to the same realm. With a lot of stuff. "Did you upgrade the boys?"
"Not really," she said with a smile. "They're not wearing it out very well, Cupie."
He looked at her then locked her off from the love lines for a few seconds, sobering her up. "You need to quit going so deep, Mom. You keep getting tipsy on the energy. Remember, the last time some poor guy got knocked up. This time it's probably going to be an immie and they'll be hunted forever." He disappeared, finding Ryan walking with Ray Junior around a new loft apartment. "This is nice," he said, making them jump. He pulled Ryan up when he fell to his knees. "Xander's newest crash and security pad?" Ray smiled and nodded. "Good practice area, furniture as a distraction and so you have to learn to go around obstacles. Nicely done."
"He said it's Ryan's next life," Ray told him. "He'll do investments for a while."
"Good. I like that plan," Cupid said happily, disappearing again. He had especially liked the altar setup to him in the bedroom. It was sweet of his boy. He checked on his boys. Horatio and Xander were playing a video game while Don fussed over the bedrooms. Danny was in the kitchen making treats. Horatio was deciding maybe video games had a good point after all. It was good they were all being boys.