Paybacks Are A Bitch

Methos snuck into the boy's room, laughing quietly as he tied them to the bed, stepping back before Oz could wake up and kill him for it.

"Let me go, Methos," Oz warned, struggling to get free. "You know how much I hate restraints."

"I know," Methos sighed, coming over to straddle the hard chest, running a finger across Oz's lips, "but I also know how much Xander enjoys them."

"He doesn't enjoy being fully tied down, it brings back bad memories for him." Oz looked up at his teacher. "Are you sure you're not into a dark quickening?" Methos nodded, frowning at him. "Good, then untie us. Xander likes his ankle tied to the bed, and his wrists in the middle of sex. And I still *don't* like restraints." He pulled on one of the soft, springy cords again to prove his point.

"I'll let you go once he's awake." Methos reached over, running a nail down Xander's side.

Xander woke up, figured out that he was tied down, and started to yell obscenities at the top of his lungs while he fought to get free.

"Release him," Oz said, his voice quiet and dangerous. "If he hurts himself, you will not like it."

Methos reached over, undoing the lines from the bed. He caught a flailing arm, kissing the sweaty palm. "Xander, it's me. I have you," he reassured.

The younger man blinked, staring at him. "You tied me up to hurt me?"

"No, precious, I could never hurt you," Methos said as he moved over, shifting so he could lie between the young men. "I will never voluntarily hurt you. Don't you know that?" Xander nodded. "Then why do you worry so?"

"Because everyone else that's tied me up hurts me." He wrapped himself around his friend's body, holding onto him even as Oz entwined their fingers. "Only bad guys tie me up when I don't want it."

"Shh, precious one, I'm not a bad guy, not this century. I wanted you to wake up in your role for the next few days."

Xander pulled back, scowling at him. "And tying me down did that?"

"Not like I had hoped," Methos admitted dryly. He tapped the end of his plaything's nose. "Would you like an ankle chain instead?" Xander nodded. "Then I'll do that. What do you think we should do for Oz?"

"Release him," Oz sighed tiredly. "Before he has to dislocate something?"

"Sorry," Methos said, reaching behind himself and unhitching one of the velcro straps from the bed. "There."

"Thanks." Oz quickly rid himself of the ropes, surrounding his teacher from behind, mimicking Xander's position. "We agreed we were yours, you didn't have to go this far. We're not going to run away unless you pull a one-eighty and hurt someone."

"I'm *not* going to hurt you, either of you. Why do you keep saying that?"

"Because this is strange for you," Xander said, leaning in to nip at the red lips. "You're not acting normal. Normal Methos would just tie my ankle to the bed and smirk at me."

"Ah." Methos slid off the end of the bed, looking down at them. "Would that be something I should plan on doing, and you won't complain?"

"Please?" Xander asked, blinking at him. "I would like that. It's always meant that I was being taken care of."

"Fine, then I'll do that. Until tomorrow, I want you two to stay in this room. No coming to Ray's aide when I fix his pouting problem." Xander muttered something. "What was that?" he asked with a smirk.

"Don't get him too badly for it," Oz said. "It's all my fault."

"And for that, you'll pay. After all, I know who had to give Xander permission to corrupt my innocent one that way." He smirked at them, then headed for the door. "No sex, boys, not until tomorrow. I'll come get you up when it's time."

"Okay," Xander said, yawning. He rolled over, snuggling down onto Oz's chest. "Night, Meth."

"Good night, precious. Oz." He nodded and left, locking the door from the outside.

"Can I have sex?" Xander asked.

"Didn't he say no?" Oz asked, chuckling when he felt the nod. "You really want punished, don't you?"

"Not real sure, but I'm willing to try it," Xander said, pulling his head up to look at his lover. "You okay with that?"

"If that's the way you want this to go, then that's fine with me." Oz wrapped a hand around the hard cock. "Were you really asleep when he tied us up?"

"Yup, and I woke up scared too." Xander put his head back down, letting one of his hands fall to Oz's cock, slowly stroking it to match his own state. "Please?"

"Sure. I can't deny you much, you know that." Oz stopped, having a thought. "Who has Rocky and Don?"

"Buffy's mom. I called her before we left the house." Xander lifted his head, grinning. "She said she's thinking about getting a pet, so she's going to use ours to figure out what to get."

"Ah." Oz rolled his eyes at the kiss to his throat. "Xander, behave."

Methos opened the door. "Xander, stop now or be by yourself tomorrow." The young man in question pouted at him. "No, you *will* follow my rules for the next three days."

"Ray said he'd take me on a tour of the station," Xander said pitifully.

"I'm sure, but if you don't behave, then you won't have earned a treat."

Xander looked down at Oz. "The sex isn't the treat?"

Oz shrugged. "I thought it was." He looked up at Methos. "That wasn't the treat?"

Methos groaned and left them alone with a hastily called, "No sex," as he closed the door.

Xander grinned. "I'm gonna feel this for days," he whispered, sharing a kiss with his lover. "Thank you for playing along just now."

"Always love to see you sore the next morning," Oz quipped, rolling over so he could cradle Xander in his arms. "Sleep, babe. You've got a big day ahead of you."

Xander nodded, falling asleep easily in the comforting arms.


Methos smirked as he watched the replay of the tape of what he had just been through, shaking his head as he pulled Ray onto his lap. "Are you sure you want to take the brat with you to work?" he asked, with a convenient ear nibble since it was so close.

"Yup. I wanna show him off. Make everyone think that he's my 'special friend' as you're being called." He saw the hurt look. "Well, you won't let me take you in and show you off."

"I'm not a trophy," Methos sniffed.

"I know," Ray told him, leaning down to give him a proper kiss. "I just want my friends to understand."

"You think they'll understand *Xander*?"

"Well, maybe not, but they're gonna try hard. They like me, most of the time." He looked down at his nails. "What're ya gonna do about them anyway? Xander's askin' for it."

"Oh, he *definitely* is," Methos purred, "and he's going to get every bit of what he deserves." He put Ray back onto his feet with a pat to the rear. "Go get yourself ready for bed, I need to wear some of my anticipation out." That got a fond smile and Ray headed for their bedroom, leaving the doors open. "Oh, yes, he's going to get it," Methos promised quietly. "Every inch of what he deserves."


Methos smiled down at his pets as he finished tying Xander's leg to the bed, giving him a gentle shove to wake him up. "Wakey, wakey," he sing-songed.

"Torturer," Oz muttered, rolling over to hide his face in Xander's chest. "Don't let him sing."

"Not funny," Methos complained.

Xander opened his eyes, looking around. "Coffee?"

"I think I have something that might wake you up better," Methos said as he tossed a bag onto the bed. "Ray rightfully reminded me that you were allergic to latex, so I pulled my *special* toys out of storage." He started to unbutton his shirt. "I think you'll like what I picked out for you."

Xander looked at the bag, then at Methos. "No coffee?" he asked pitifully. "I need coffee. Really need to pray to the caffeine gods."

"I think we'll wake you up just fine without any," Methos said, sliding out of the rest of his clothes in seconds flat so he could straddle Xander's inert form. "A kiss, my sweet?" His pet puckered up, kissing him back so hard he forgot what he wanted to do for a minute. "Better? More awake yet?" Xander shook his head. "I'll have to fix that then, won't I?" He moved back down the hard body, picking up a toy to tease him with. He turned the vibrator on low and ran it over the wiggling stomach muscles he was kissing, smiling at the giggling the younger man started before he moved up to the sensitive nipples.

Xander arched off the bed, making little whimpering noises. "Not fair," he complained. "I haven't even had coffee yet."

Methos lifted his head and frowned. "You'd rather have coffee than me?"

"No, I'd rather have coffee so I can *enjoy* you," Xander corrected. "You don't know this, but I am *not* a morning person."

Oz snorted. "You can say that again. Methos, you won't get the reaction you want unless he's had something coffee-like. He used to come in and kiss the pot even before he kissed me."

"I enjoy it more when I'm awake," Xander said, his voice edging on pout.

"Coffee flavored ice cream?" Ray suggested from the door, holding out a bowl with a grin. "Knew we were kinda alike. Think about what I'd be doin' if you'd just woke me up and didn't give me coffee, Meth."

Methos took the bowl with a slight smile. "Yes, I had forgotten what a horrid wretch you could be first thing in the morning." He held the spoon out, feeding Xander slowly and carefully, managing to only drip the ice cream once. Of course, he instantly licked it up, and the surrounding area to make sure it was clean.

Xander moaned, pushing the head down onto his chest, holding him there. "I'm awake now," he decided, smiling at Ray as he took the bowl away. "Thank you."

"Welcome. Behave and I'll bring ya to work with me this afternoon. Have fun, guys."

"Later," Oz called, lifting up a hand to wave. He shifted until he was curled up around a pillow so he could watch, humming in appreciation as the vibrator made it's return to Xander's nipples and he let out a very high-pitched scream of delight. "Gotta remember that," he muttered, smiling at Methos when he got glared at. "What? I'm taking notes."

"Roll over, Oz, or don't get any at all today."

Oz grumbled but rolled away from them, letting them have a bit of privacy. That's when he saw the camera and smirked. Oh, yeah, Xander was going to get it this time.

Methos smirked down at Xander, moving the vibrator before he could get too used to it, teasing the belly button with it. "How's that then?" he asked as he mouthed the sensitive nipples. "A bit better?"

"Want more!" Xander demanded, wiggling to get the vibrator back where he wanted it. "Now!"

Methos raised an eyebrow and the vibrator went away totally. "You don't get to give the orders for a bit, pet," he reminded gently. "This is your only warning. Next time, you're getting gagged." Xander shook his head. "Oh, yes, you will. Would you like me to prove it?"

Xander gave him a pitiful look. "You used to like me getting bossy in bed."

"That was before I had you under my complete control for a few days," Methos reminded him. "Now you're *mine*," he purred.

"Of course I am, but why are you changing the rules without telling me?"

"Because I want you to have to guess at what I'm going to do to you next, precious one," Methos told him as he sat up. "That way, we'll both have fun with what happens to you and nothing will get repetitive."

"Oh, okay then," Xander said with a nod. "Can I have some more?" He grinned, pushing his hips up.

"My, you're pushy all the time, aren't you?" Methos sighed, pulling the vibrator back up to run it across the pouty lips. "However does Oz cope with your strict demands?"

"He has fun while I do," Xander said seriously. "I make sure of it. And I make sure that I don't get too demanding with him." A hint of the former grin came back. "You, on the other hand, I know what you want, and I'm going to be pushy for you 'cause it turns you on."

"That may be correct, normally, but for right now, I want you to beg, Xander." Methos stood up. "I'll be back in a bit, you rest and contemplate."

"You're leaving?" Xander asked, turning on his pout to quarter strength.

"I need to regather myself," Methos told him, giving him a kiss. "I'll be back in a bit. Behave, Oz, or else." He walked out, closing and locking the door behind him.

Oz rolled over, giving Xander a smile before he nodded at the camera. "I'm sure he'll give you what you need soon enough," he whispered, pulling him into his arms. "Just relax and be horny."

"But I'm kinda not," Xander complained. "It's like the switch was moved again." He frowned down at his disinterested cock. "You've got to come back soon, little me. I want to do this."

"It'll happen," Oz assured him, giving him a squeeze. "What would turn you on most right now?"

"I'm not sure."


Methos watched the tape, shaking his head. "So something's turned him off?" He tapped his finger against his lips. "We'll just have to see about that." He headed for the kitchen, ready to do battle with Xander's hormones and finicky desires.


Xander looked over at the door then down at his uninterested body. "What's wrong with you?" he asked it, sure he would be okay to talk to himself since Methos had dragged Oz away for sword practice. "You'd usually jump at the chance to hop on Meth's tight bod." He sighed, putting his head back down and closing his eyes. "What's wrong with me?"

"Nothin' much," Ray said from the doorway. "Maybe a little guilt or somethin'." He shrugged and walked in, closing the door. "Whazup?"

"Nothing, and I mean that literally." Xander looked over at him. "I don't feel guilty. A little anxious, but that's mostly because of this," he waved a hand down at his lower body. "Why would I feel guilty?"

"Because your other lover doesn't know about this?"

"But Giles knows. He admitted that he knew about our other time, that he watched, before he left us." Xander looked over at the wall, shaking his head. "This isn't guilt, Ray."

"Then what's wrong? You have not one, but three willing men at your beck and call and ya can't get interested?" He sighed. "You are much tougher than I am, my friend." He stood up, grinning down at Xander. "When you're ready, I can unlock you and bring ya ta work with me."

"Do I have time for a shower?"

"Only if ya can do it in under forty-five minutes. Otherwise, no." Ray dangled the key. "Ready?"

"Please? I need to do something to take my mind off my little problem."

Ray unlocked him. "I'm sure you'll find a way ta take your mind off it." He winked and left the room, leaving the door unlocked.

Xander got up, stretching against the bed. He headed into the bathroom, determined to enjoy himself while he was with Ray. He'd even behave.


Xander looked over Ray's shoulder at the tape he was watching, his stomach starting to hurt. He tugged on Ray's arm, getting a glare from the detective beside him. "Ray," he whispered urgently. "I think I know him."

Everyone in the room stopped to look at him, even Ray's other, 'unofficial', partner. "You do?" his Captain asked finally.

"Yeah, I think so." He nodded his head toward a corner, then pulled Ray with him when he wasn't being cooperative. "He's one of the minions of one of the guys I used to *work* for."

Ray closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Why me?" he sighed.

"You know, you sounded just like my Giles."

"Don't joke about that." Ray scowled at him. "Okay, so which one and how bad of a time am I gonna have of explainin' this?"

"Um, Ostrach. Big guy, got a fin, light greenish skin. As for the human? I'm not real sure's he's all that ... fully."

"Okay," Ray's partner said loudly. "What's goin' on here? Kowalski, would *you* like to tell us about this?"

"Nope." He looked at his captain, then at the office. "May we?" he asked.

His captain gave them a bland look and a nod, leading the way, closing the door behind them. "What's going on? And why is this so secretive?"

"Sir, this is Xander Harris. He's... like me, but he's had a *very* different course of his life."

"Ah. Street kid?" he asked as he took his seat.

"Not exactly. But this guy's boss isn't what you would call human," Xander temporized.

"Bit of an animal? Psychopath?"

"Not quite," Ray said. "Sir, can we please leave this off until we find something to show you? Something that will definitely ruin your whole year?"

"It's that bad?" his captain asked gently.

"Oh, yeah," Xander said, nodding. "Very bad. Where's the..." He grabbed the phone book and looked through the yellow pages, eventually showing Ray one entry. "This one sounds promising. Wanna try there and see if I'm right?"

Ray looked at the name of the club then shrugged. "Why not. Can't hurt to go look. Sir," he said, turning his attention back to his boss, "let Vecchio and me do this one. I know there was a cop shot in that bank, but he and I do have the best solve rate and if Xander's right, then we're gonna have a *big* problem."

"Ah." The captain leaned back in his chair, waving at the door. "Go to it. I want results, or answers, in forty-eight hours or I'm reassigning the case."

Xander nodded. "Okay." He walked out, leaving Ray alone, only to be ambushed by Ray's partners. "He'll tell you, but we've got to go look at a place first. Just in case I'm right." He waited for Ray, giving him a small smile for the glare he was getting. "Want to bring them?"

"Who said you were goin'?" Ray asked as he walked past.

"I don't think you could handle that place," Xander called, jogging after him, pushing Ray into a wall. "Bullets don't work against most them of, Ray. You can't kill them without the proper gear. Let me help."

"Fine," Ray's partner sighed as he walked past them. "I'm drivin'."

Ray looked Xander's outfit over. "You got anything on ya?"

"Always," Xander said with a small smirk. "We're always prepared back at home." He nodded outside. "Coming?"

"Sure." Ray walked Xander down to the car, letting him get in the back with the mountie and his wolf.


Xander smiled at the bartender, turning on his lust just a little. "Are you *sure* Ostrach's not here?" he purred. "I'm sure he'd *want* to see me, I was his *favorite* in New York after all."

The bartender looked him over with a leer. "Fine. He's back in the back room. Need a map?"

"Nah." Xander waved and walked toward the back, Ray and his formal partner in tow, the other off playing chess with a mostly human-looking Rashteth demon. Apparently they had those in Canada too, which was surprising since everyone knew they didn't like cold. He stopped them before they crossed through the door. "Ray, is he gonna be okay?"

"Sure," Ray said, waving it off. He nudged his partner, who simply swallowed and nodded. "See?" He pointed down the hall. "We going?"

"Yup." Xander sashayed into the back room, giving all the demons there a bright smile. "Hi, guys," he purred. "Where's Ostrach?"

"In the can," one demon said in a heavy New York accent without looking up from his card game. "Why ya need him?"

"Because he'll *want* to talk to me," Xander told him, tipping the demon's face up. "Won't he?"

The demon nodded and swallowed. "He likes you, lots, kid. You're being dangerous though."

Xander shook his head. "Nope, I've got my bodyguards this time." He smiled, then looked around. "Where's Tiny? I haven't seen him in forever."

"Oh, him, he's back at the lair," another demon said, then he was pelted with things. "Sorry!"

Everyone held their breath as the toilet flushed and Ostrach walked out, his fin waving as he walked. He stopped when he saw Xander, then he looked at the other two humans. "You brought me presents?" he asked with a wave at the cops. "I've already got a few of those, Alex." He smiled and walked over to hug him, pulling a thin blade out of his sleeve as he walked. "No one tells me no," he whispered as he hugged Xander. "Not even you."

Xander blocked the blade by moving, then by pouting when it sliced his shirt. "That was mean. What will my man say?" He blinked, then smiled as he looked around the room. "Guys, I may be on break from the Slayer's side, but I think this is an individual conversation. Why don't you guys go talk to my bodyguards for a few minutes?" Ostrach nodded so they all left, Ray and his partner herding them out into the alley. "Watch out for the pale one, he combusts," Xander called, "and the green one's got explosive parts." He waited until the door was closed to shake his head and sit on the edge of a table. "Ostrach, don't you ever learn? You had one of your men shoot a cop. Do you know how stupid that was? How much attention that will bring you?"

The demon waved his hand in the air. "I didn't order him to do that, it was his own stupidity. He'll be turning himself in tonight."

Xander shook his head. "Not good enough. When a cop gets shot, the rest of them go on a tirade against anyone who knew the guy who did it and Tiny's stupid enough to give them your name too. Actually, you're already *big* on their hit list." He blinked. "Do you really want to end up as the first demon prosecuted in Chicago?"

Ostrach laughed. "My boy, do you really think they'd want to do that? I mean, think of the questions that would have to be asked."

"Yeah, well maybe the world's ready for demons to be found out." He pulled a set of handcuffs out, ones that he had Ray dip in Holy Water. He clipped one around the demon's wrist and the other around his. There was enough burn to stop Ostrach from pulling on them. "I'm sorry, man, but you stepped in the wrong place. I gotta do this, it's my Slayerette duty." He gave a dramatic sigh and hopped off the table, pulling the stunned demon after him into the alley. "Ray?" he called. Ray poked his head around the corner. "I think your boss wants to talk to him." He tugged on the arm but Ostrach wasn't moving. "A little help here?"

"Of course," a dark voice said from behind them in the shadows.

Xander turned, grinning at the vampire standing behind him. "Reggie," he said, holding out an arm to get a hug. "Oh, good to see you." He pulled back to kiss the end of the cold nose. "This isn't about work, this is about him having minions that killed a cop. Don't interfere, all right?"

"Of course not, I have no more wish of being exposed than he does." He watched Ray as he walked back down the alley. "Is your friend...available?"

"Nope, that's Adam's other student. He's been taken in by a great man." He smiled at Ray. "This is Reggie, he was one of the other people I *worked* for."

Ray nodded. "He gettin' inta this?"

"No," Reggie said with a bow. "Not at all. I merely wanted to talk to Xander." He pulled out a knife and grabbed Ostrach, slitting his throat. "I can't let him endanger us all." He sneered at Xander. "You were always too soft. We'll have to take you in hand, Alex."

Ray was pulling Xander back when the shots rang out behind him. He shoved the non-combatant behind a pile of boxes, running to save his partners. "Stay there!" he called over his shoulder.

Xander tried to get the dead weight off his arm, struggling with the cuffs, but he didn't have the keys and the people who did were in trouble of their own.

"Xander," Reggie sing-songed. "We want you back." He snickered. "Just for a few... days. I'm sure you'll have *fun* with us."

"I doubt it," Xander hissed, pulling on his arm, trying to pull his wrist out of the cuffs since he couldn't unhitch them. He struggled to get free, only stopping when some dust floated down over top of the boxes. He cautiously stood up, but didn't see the vampire that he was hiding from. Until he turned his head, then he saw him a little too closely. He tried to get away, but tripped over the dead body. He ended up picking up the demon, who was bigger than he was, and dragging him down the alley to try and get away. He stopped as he heard a scream, turning to find a woman running after him and Reggie gone. "Huh?" was all he got time for before she killed him.

When Xander woke up, it was to a familiar face, but no Ray. He sat up, holding his head with a moan. "Ray?" he asked Amanda.

"He's fine. He took the bodies back to his unit for his boss to see. And he knows where the lair is now so he's going to get the one he needs. He said to tell you that." Amanda looked down from examining her nails. "So, you feel like a pre-immie, but you just died and woke up. I would like an explanation, Xander."

Xander looked down at the cuffs on his wrists, then up at her. "Get me somewhere comfier and we'll talk. Connor can even verify it if Me...Adam won't." He saw the sad look but wasn't really able to interpret it.

She nodded at her female companion to help him up. "Charise, this is Xander. He's a friend of a friend. Xander, I found her recently. I was hoping you'd know what to do with her, or Oz would actually."

He looked her over and his chest started to hurt again. "Are you replacing Buffy or Faith?" he asked quietly. The girl gave him a confused look. "I know all this is new, but there should have been a British guy nearby who told you what was going on." He grabbed her by the arms and shook her lightly. "Was it Buffy or Faith that died? Which Slayer died?"

"Oh," Amanda said, smiling at the girl. "Okay. Got it now." She shrugged. "It must have been Faith. We saw Buffy a few days ago. She was flunking Calculus even though she's sleeping with the teacher. We came through LA and heard her talking to your pale friend when we tried to stop in and see him," she explained at his confused look. "Angel, I think."

"Yeah, that's her ex. She's sleeping with a teacher? And taking Calculus?" Amanda nodded and tossed him the handcuff key, watching as he undid himself. "Okay," he sighed as he rubbed his wrists. "I gotta call Ray and make sure he's all right. And I gotta call Adam, make sure we can bring you over. Is that okay?"

"Sure, why don't we go to a nice place and have lunch. Your treat." She patted him on the side of the face as she took her friend's arm and started down the alley. "At least you didn't get dirty."

"Yeah, that's a miracle," he sighed, following them. "Do you have my wallet?" It was tossed back at him. "Thanks, Charise."

"You're welcome," she said, her speech French-accented. "Can we have chocolate?"

"Of course you can," Amanda said, giving her a short hug. "You can have anything you want." She smiled at Xander. "Can't she?"

"Yeah, but she shouldn't gain weight. It'll make the training harder." He got into the backseat of the car Amanda pointed to, buckling in. "You don't have a cellphone, do you? Mine was confiscated by Ray when he kidnapped us."

"Ah." Amanda handed one over the back of the seat. "Here, don't run up a *huge* bill. I'm sure it's owner wouldn't be pleased."

He snorted and dialed, closing his eyes to make the headache go away. "Hey, Ray. Yeah, I'm fine. How's your boss?" He chuckled. "Amanda, where are we going?" He held up a finger. "Really? Okay, call him and tell him we're coming over. Oh, and tell him to tell Oz we have Faith's replacement with us." He hung up. "We're going to Court Street then four blocks away. Adam wants to see you."

"Oh, goody. Maybe he'll explain all this." She took back the phone, tucking it away in her jacket.


"What do you mean they linked you to Oz?" Amanda shrieked. "That isn't possible! Magic doesn't exist!" She threw up her hands and flopped down onto the couch beside her calm student. "Yeah, it does," Oz told her gently. "And so do werewolves. Have some associations there still."

Xander looked at his lover. "Your sense of smell?" Oz nodded and frowned. "I noticed you smelling Ray while we were in Vegas, it just seems like a wolfy thing to do."

Oz chuckled. "I knew if I could smell him, I could find him."

Adam/Methos cleared his throat. "Back to the business at hand. Yes, Amanda, it does exist. And not only is he linked to Giles and Oz, but to Connor and I as well." He gave her a bland little smirk. "It wasn't intended but it did happen."

"Um, then why does he feel pre-immie?" she asked softly. "And what about Connor and what happened to him last night?"

"What happened to Connor?" Oz and Xander asked together.

"He lost a fight," Amanda said. "It's all over the immie network."

Xander hopped up but Oz and Methos caught him, holding him. "No, I have to go! Giles is there! I have to make sure he's all right!"

"Shh," Methos whispered, pressing on a spot on Xander's neck to knock him back out. "Oz, take him into the bedroom and let him rest." He waited until they were alone. "Mac?" he asked.

"No, one of his former friends and present enemies," Amanda said, her face scrunching up. "He came to free Mac but our darling psycho's back in chains again. Joe's got him now."

"What about the other part of their household? Giles was going to train with Connor."

"As far as I know only Connor was fighting with Ethram. Big lightening show from what I heard. Even scared some of the natives."

Methos shook his head. "Don't tell them that, Xander's been having strange reactions recently. Since last night actually. We need to know more before he goes running off to New York."

"I'm going," Oz said as he walked out. He grabbed his jacket, slipping his sword inside it. "Xander ordered me to go. He said he'd stay with you, Adam, but he wanted to make sure Giles was all right."

"Fine. Be back by tomorrow or I'm letting the boy come after you."

Oz stepped closer with a light growl. "You will protect what's mine, Methos. No matter what. You *swore* an oath to protect him." They locked gazes, until Methos looked away first. "Good. Now then, I'm going to New York. Amanda, would you like to come with me? I'm sure we could find Charise a Watcher while we're at it."

"She's not immie, why would she need one?"

"Different branch, same name. Happened a *long* time ago," Methos sighed, leaning back in his chair. "Their only job is to train girls like Charise and Buffy. If Giles is alive, he'd know who to give her to for training." He watched as Amanda and her friend followed Oz out of the apartment, then got up to make Xander something comforting to drink. He carried the cocoa back to the bedroom, tapping lightly on the door before walking in. What he saw almost broke what little heart he had left. Xander was splayed out on his stomach, the chain firmly linked around his ankle. Actually, the chain was starting to cut off the circulation but the boy didn't seem to notice. Methos put the tray down beside the still body and adjusted the chain with a small stroke to the soft skin. "We didn't hear anything about Giles, Xander. I'm sure we would have if he had fought." The boy rolled over, clinging to him and crying. "Shh, it'll be all right. Oz will be back by tomorrow night and we'll know by then."

"Don't let it be true," Xander whispered, wrapping himself around the willing and comforting body.


Xander woke up to the feeling of warmth rubbing down his back. He turned his head to find Methos and Ray both rubbing his back and yawned, giving them a slight smile. "Sorry."

"S'okay," Ray told him. "Oh, and the boss said he wanted ta see ya first thing in the morning. I told him you don't do mornin's but he gave me a look." He shrugged and stole a kiss from Methos. "For now, we're gonna pamper you a bit, just like you did me."

Xander nodded, putting his head back down. "Okay." He felt something different on his body so considered the ache then smiled up at Methos. "I think things are starting to get back to normal."

Methos smiled at that. "Well, it would make sense. Of course, if you're linked to Ethram now we may have more problems." He winked. "I'm sure he'll want to try and claim you."

"Not a chance," Ray said harshly. Both men looked at him. "No one's takin' him from Oz."

"Good point," Methos said with a small smile. "I would like to see Ethram taken out for last night though. He never was a *decent* immortal, always too flighty to stay and learn things. Didn't much care for the whys and hows of life either."

"Maybe Giles got him," Ray said. He leaned down, kissing the warm neck. "Oz called ten minutes ago and said he was fine. They're packin' up Connor's stuff right now. I woulda woken ya but he said ta let ya sleep."

"Thanks," Xander said, giving him a hug with his head. "How is he?"

"Fine. Apparently the cops were there buggin' Giles already. They only gave him a few questions. He said ta tell ya to relax and ta help me with the paperwork on those guys. Told me to tell Meth to pamper ya horribly and that you'd be punished once they got back."

Xander sighed and put his head back down. "Okay." He closed his eyes and wiggled his butt. "Can I have more backrubs?"

"Of course you may," Methos told him gently. "Would you like your legs worked on too?"

"Please. They're kinda limp feeling." Xander yawned. "Sorry."

"S'okay. Go back to sleep if that's what ya want ta do," Ray told him. "Do what ya need ta do to make it all better." Xander nodded and went even more limp, quickly falling asleep under both pairs of talented hands. Ray looked over at his lover. "Meth, is he gonna be okay?"

"He'll be fine. Even if Oz was right." He reached over to brush a finger down the side of Ray's face. "He'll understand that Giles will want time to adjust to having taken his first head."


Xander tossed down the paper he was trying to figure out and grabbed the phone book. "I am *not* the expert in these matters. Chicago's a big city, they should have a Watcher nearby." He ran his finger down the listings, shaking his head when he didn't find what he wanted. "Ray?" he called, bringing his friend over immediately. "We need to go find an expert. Where's the nearest occult shop?"

Ray coughed. "I don't know." He shrugged and looked around the room but everyone turned away from him. "Okay, apparently no one knows." He shrugged and sat down, looking at the forms. "Why do ya need ta go there?"

"Because there's no way I can fill out some of this. My knowledge isn't that specific, it'll take someone like Giles to do that." He pointed at a line. "I'm not even sure *how* to fill that question out."

"Ooookaaay," he said slowly. "Want to give me a clue here?"

"Yup," Xander said, standing up and grabbing the jacket Ray had given him that morning. "Come on, we've got to go find a store where the people who would know can be found."

"Where are you two going?" Ray's boss called from his office.

Xander stuck his head in. "To go find an occult store and then a Watcher." He grinned. "The real experts, I'm just an expert in training." He waved and left, following Ray down to his car. "He's kinda nice."

"Yeah, he's okay," Ray said. "He think's you're weird though." He smiled at the young man. "He told me earlier that I could turn out like you, but he'd immediately switch me to Vice so my unique talents could be utilized."

Xander snorted. "That'd be mean of him." He pointed down the street. "Okay, we need an ethnic neighborhood probably, or somewhere that people like Giles would hang out."

"Ethnic we can do. Latin okay?"

"Might be the best actually."


Xander smiled at the shopkeeper, waiting until he came over to talk to him. "Hi, I'm the student of a Watcher, the British version. I need to find one here in town though since my teacher's in New York right now."

The man smiled and shook his head. "Prove it."

"I'm Xander Harris," he said, holding out a hand. "Lover to Rupert Giles, Slayerette to Buffy Summers."

The man snorted then started to chuckle. "Good enough. What do you need them for?"

"I need them to fill out some forms. A demon named Ostrach was responsible for a cop being shot and I told them what was going on, but now I have *paperwork*," he groaned. "Lots of paperwork, but I don't know how to fill out some of it."

"Ah. So you come running to the Watchers to fix your mistake. That's not very good, boy."

"I know, I expect I'm going to be lectured when we all get home." He gave him a small begging look. "Please? Just put me in touch with one? The Watcher will be able to verify everything I say."

"You GHS boys, all the same," the shopkeeper sighed, reaching for his phone. "I know the student of one. I'll let them decide." He took the phone into the back room and came out with a young woman. "Him."

Xander backed away from her slap. "Sorry! He had a cop shot! What else was I supposed to do?"

She glared at him, then at Ray. "He knows?"

"He lives with an immortal," Ray said. "He knows Giles. He doesn't know how to fill out the paperwork either."

She snickered. "Fine, I'll come help you. Who was it?"


She shook her head. "Stupid thing. He was always rushing after things that he craved." She patted the side of Xander's face. "Including you."

"Whoa," Ray said, holding up a hand. "He got attention from the robbery to get Xander to come after him?"

She nodded. "Why else? Ostrach had no impulse control and no need of the money stolen from that bank." She grabbed a bag from under the counter and walked out, waving at the door. "Shall we?"

"Sure." Xander waved her on. "I believe it's still women first, especially the lovely ones?"

She laughed. "Oh, my, GHS to the bone." She winked at Ray. "Take lessons from him, he's a good one, he'll last for a long time." She walked out, heading for their car.


Xander stopped at the last table, looking down at the empty sheet. "Who was here?" he called.

"That's the problem," Ray's boss said. "The guy you led us to seems to have gotten up and walked away."

"I told you to take off his fin," Xander pointed out. "That's the only real way to make sure he's dead. Otherwise he could regenerate as long as he has some tissue left up there." He turned to look at Ray, shrugging when he saw everyone looking at him. "What? He told me that."

"I'm sure he did," Ray's boss said, shaking his head as he walked out the door. "Fix this," he called as the door slammed.

Ray groaned. "Xander, you just earned us some more paperwork."

"I'm not *touchin'* this one," Ray's partner called as he walked out. "Have fun. I didn't see any of this." The morgue door slammed behind him.

"Catholic," Ray explained to the woman they now knew as Rosella, the female Watcher in town.

"I've been there, it's a hard transition." She peeled back the next sheet and started on the forms for that demon's body. "These are fairly simple, Xander. Why couldn't you do them?"

"Because I'm more of the action guy. I remember how to kill them but not what they are." He sighed at her incredulous look. "I wasn't always GHS, I used to be Buffy's main backup."

She just nodded and started back on the paperwork.


Methos grabbed Xander as he walked through the door, giving him a hard kiss and letting him slide down his body. "How was work?" he asked Ray, leaning over to give him a kiss too.

"Good. How was your day?"

"Very uneventful." Methos switched his grip on Xander's body so he could pull him over to the couch. "Oz will be back tomorrow night. But first, dear one, he wanted me to explain something to you." He looked down at Xander, waiting until he sat to say anything. "Your other lover needs some time to process."

"How long?"

"You're taking this very well," Ray complimented, sitting next to him.

"Hey, seeing a friend die in front of you would be traumatic."

Methos shook his head. "No, love, he took care of Ethram. He took his head right after Connor died."

Xander nodded. "Okay, I can understand that too. How long?"

"He's not sure. Mac's gifted him with permission to use his island near Canada. It's holy ground so he'll be safe. There's a cabin up there and everything," he added to ease the tension the young man was starting to show.

"How long?" Xander asked again.

"He's not sure," Methos repeated, squatting down to get on his level. "Not terribly long, not centuries. Possibly a few months though. Maybe even a year or so if he goes in-depth into who he is. For some, this first battle is something that makes them change who they are, or at least who they show to the world. If he goes that far, it will take him longer, but not all of it will be spent on the island."

Xander slumped. "So he's dumping us to go think and possibly go back to being Ripper?"

"Ripper?" Ray asked.

"It's who he was when he was younger. A lot more carefree, rough, and things." Xander squeezed their hands. "Not your fault, I know that." He took a deep breath. "I'll deal."

"As long as you do," Methos said with a faint smile. "Though I've never known you not to deal with whatever life threw at you."

"Hey, I can do this without Giles, but not without Oz."

"You'll never be without Oz," Methos told him gently. "He's claimed you. You're his prize possession and his favorite thing in the world."

"Yeah, I know," Xander said with his sappiest grin ever.

"Then we may have problems," Ray said quietly. "Ostrach's still free. He walked out of the morgue."

"I told them to take off his fin."

"Yeah, but they won't listen to ya, ya aren't a cop and ya aren't a civilian expert in an approved field." Ray shrugged at Methos' dirty look. "They didn't listen to him at all, until he brought in Rosella."

"Ah, yes, I've met her. Very acerbic."

"She thinks Xander's a cute little boy," Ray told him with a slight grin. "Kept treatin' him like he was six or somethin'."

Xander groaned and hid his face in Methos' shoulder.

"At least she believed him," Methos pointed out, scratching lightly down the firm back. "She could have thrown a fit for what you both did in exposing the otherworldly community."

"Nope, when my boss met her, the first words outta his mouth were 'I don't know you and didn't see you here. Same as those things'." He winked at his lover. "She laughed and told him that was good, then he wouldn't get in her way and she'd be home in time for dinner."

Methos shook his head, laughing. "Good. I'm glad we were able to solve that. And you have the human who actually shot the other officer?" Ray nodded, his good humor falling away. "I'm sorry, love, I didn't mean to make you unhappy." He reached over, giving his lover's face a soft stroke. "What can I do to make it better?"

"Give us dinner and a good diversion?" Ray suggested.

"Of course." Methos gently settled Xander back on the couch. "It's almost ready. Why don't you and he go take a bath together and relax? I'll finish the preparations for tonight."

Ray stood up, pulling Xander with him. "Come on, we're gonna go soak in bubbles."

"He taught you about bubbles?" Methos asked once they were gone. "My, he was trying to corrupt my innocent one, wasn't he." He walked into the kitchen to finish the supper preparations.


Xander lifted his head lethargically, grinning at his host. "This is a killer tub, Meth," he complimented. "Really great. Can I stay here?"

"Only if you want to look like a prune." He set the tray down beside the tub, giving each of the men a light kiss. "Ray, would you like to eat in there too?"

"Nah, I drop things in the water." He smiled over at Xander. "He seems to not want to move though. Hasn't moved an inch since he settled in. Must be over that jet that you like." He got to his knees, bracing on the tub behind Xander's head so he could slowly lean down and give his friend a deep kiss. "Ya gotta move. We can't eat in here."

"If you say so," Xander said, lifting his arms up so he could stretch. "Um, I feel good." He gave Ray another kiss, pulling him down onto his lap to do so. "Stay for a few more minutes?" he asked, his fingers trailing down the bubble-covered back, teasing at the crack. "Please?"

"None of that now," Methos chastised. "He's mine. You're *our* pet for the weekend."

"Yeah, but it feels good," Ray complained. "Can't he stay for a few more minutes."

Methos smiled and got comfortable so he could watch and referee. Xander wasn't going to get more than *he* wanted. No matter how well he begged.

Xander went back to his exploration of his friend's mouth, ignoring their audience. If Methos wanted to watch him kiss Ray, well he was kinda used to having an audience with two lovers so it was all good for him. He came up for air, grinning at Ray's 'struck silly' look. "More?" he asked, his voice in that almost-purr of his.

"Yeah, I'd like that," Ray said, leaning forward, putting the hand back where it belonged, teasing him.

"None of that either," Methos told them.

Ray turned his head, resting it on Xander's shoulder. "I can't be teased?"

"He'll like it too much."

"He already did," Ray pointed out. "He's very good with those toys of his."

"Yeah," Xander said with a big grin, "I kinda am, aren't I?" He winked at Ray. "You gave us the perfect things to get him off with when we were in Vegas. Thank you, Methos."

"Oh, you're welcome," Methos said, leaning in for a kiss of his own, "but for right now, I want you to suffer for not telling me where you three were. You may kiss and fondle, but not tease my innocent one."

"Am not," Ray protested.

Methos kissed his cheek, dragging his lips over to the willing, swollen mouth. "Yes, love, you are. Much more innocent than I am, very innocent in fact. Something which I'd like you to stay."

Ray sighed and shook his head. "I'm not that innocent, Meth."

"Yeah, you are," Xander said, turning his head so he was being looked at. "Compared to us, you're very innocent, something that should be cherished for as long as possible." He looked over at his older friend. "Are you mad at me for taking some of it?"

"Just a little, but you didn't take so much as show him what he likes," Methos told him, giving him a kiss. "Come on, out of the bath. I'll bring the food into the bedroom and we'll eat at the table beside the bed. All right?"

"Good for me," Ray told him, grinning again. "Love you."

"I love you too, imp," Methos said, stealing one last kiss as he got up, carrying the tray into the bedroom, where the rest of dinner was waiting anyway. He had planned on having dinner in here, had actually made a few minor adjustments to the room to make dinner more of a sensual feast. He put the tray of hors d'oeuvres down next to the rest of the food and took a sip of his tea, which was infused with special herbs to make everyone want Xander more than they already did, if that was possible. He seated himself, picking up a dumpling to nibble on while he waited for Xander to dry Ray off, smiling as the giggling from the bathroom started. "Boys," he called after five minutes, "it's time for supper."

"In a minute!" Ray called, his voice going up on the last word.

"He's not allowed to do that either," Methos called back. "He can do that later, when *I'm* ready for him to."

Xander led Ray out of the bathroom, giving his host a soft begging look. "Why can't I lick him now?"

"Because I want you to do that later," Methos said gently, patting the pillow on his left. "Ray, on my right, as usual, please." He watched as the young men sat down, picking up one of the appetizers to tease the pouting lips with. "Let's all feed each other, shall we?"

"Sure," Xander said, nibbling on the offered treat. "Umm," he hummed. "You can cook."

"Yup, he can cook," Ray said, taking one of the flat cracker-like things to feed his lover. "Here, Methos."

Methos smiled and ate it, licking the fingers clean. He picked up another piece, feeding it to Ray. "You could feed him too. I wouldn't mind sharing this duty with you."

Ray looked at the rest of the food. "I think you're gonna be feeding both of us. I can't use chopsticks." He grinned and stole a kiss. "It's perfect otherwise."

"Hmm, I can be a body slave during dinner, but afterwards, that will be your job, Ray."

"Good for me," he quipped, groaning when the phone rang. "I'm not on call," he repeated over and over as he got up to answer it. "I'm not on call," he said as he picked up the receiver. "Get over it." He listened, turning to look at Xander and shaking his head. "Nope, he's here. Yes, I'm quite sure he's here. He's naked and being fed. Vecchio, do you think I *care* about your sensitive ears?" He hung up. "Someone that looks kinda like you broke into Rosella's store. They wanted to make sure you weren't there." He came over, sitting behind Xander on the pillows and pulling him into his arms. "Here, this'll be easier on poor Methos. This way he only has to stretch in one direction." He stroked down the firm chest, watching as his lover shifted to his old pillow and picked up another treat to feed them. "Remind me I wanna do this for you some day."

"Gladly," Methos purred. "Anytime you're ready."

Ray just smiled and picked up a treat off the plate being held up by Xander, reaching across the firm body in front of him to feed his lover.

Dinner went on like that, Ray sneaking in little pets of Xander as he was fed, Methos sneaking in little strokes of both of them as he fed them. By the time dinner was finished they were all hard and more than ready to go along with whatever the immortal had planned for them all. Even if Ray's partner had decided to interrupt dinner, only to run away barely not screaming when Xander came to the door naked and ready to jump on someone.

Methos helped Xander up and led him over to the bed, waving at the new leather straps hanging there waiting on him. "Would you like these now or later?" he purred.

"Now?" Xander asked with an impish grin. He crawled up onto the bed, giving a good showing of his backside, and lay down in the exact middle with his arms and legs outstretched. "Please?"

"Of course." He was duly hitched in, and the bonds tested by Xander. "Is that better?" Methos asked him.

"Yeah, it's good," Xander admitted. He smiled at Ray. "Are these yours?"

"Nope, I can't stand being tied down. Been taken hostage too many times."

"I only like it like this," Xander told him. "Vamps did it to me a few times. I got really scared the first time but Giles made it all okay while Oz tied me down. Maybe we can do that for you before I have to leave."

"Maybe," Ray said, smiling at Methos. "Can I try that?"

"Not yet, love. That's part of the innocence that I want to protect." He looked down at his willing captive. "Now then, I do believe someone was going to be punished for spoiling some of that innocence? And for not coming straight here for his punishment." He tapped his chin with his finger. "Oh, yes, and for making me beg. And for giving Ray those horrid thongs."

"But they're comfy," Xander protested.

"Yeah, they are," Ray commented. "And you *like* it when I wear them all day. Especially if I have to chase someone down while I'm wearin' 'em." He smirked at his lover. "Why are ya punishin' him for that?"

"Because he tried to make me wear one also," Methos said. "It doesn't matter, he's got more than enough to be punished for without that particular charge."

Ray nodded. "Point. Ya can get him on that charge some other time."

Methos smiled. "Of course I can." He looked down at Xander, his smile getting a little more predatory. "Can't I?"

Xander swallowed at the intense look he was getting, almost like he was his friend's prey. "If Oz says you can," he said softly.

"Good." Methos leaned down, grabbing a long, deep kiss, waving at Ray behind his back to start doing what he had planned. The detective grabbed the plug lying beside the bed, lubing it quickly and reaching around the bodies to slide it into the waiting cavity. He smiled at the groan, leaning down to lick across the still-damp bellybutton. Xander pushed up into his mouth so he continued to tease him with his tongue, fucking the navel like he wanted to do to his friend later.

Xander tried to grab him, moaning when his arms wouldn't move far enough. "No fair, I can't touch him."

"That's the whole idea, precious, you're at our mercy," Methos reminded him. He tapped the end of the plug, earning another moan. "Oh, does that feel good?"

"Yes, more!" Xander demanded, and immediately all the fingers on him were removed. "Oh, come on!" he protested.

"No ordering," Methos reminded him. "Last warning. Do it again and you'll have to wait for our attention." They locked eyes and Xander nodded, looking away first. "Good boy."

Ray grinned at him. "Thank you for not sayin' that to me."

"You're welcome, my love," Methos said, taking a kiss, maneuvering them so they were directly above Xander's still body. He smiled as he felt a soft touch to his chest. "Yes, did you want something?"


"Hmm, we'll have to give you something then, won't we?" Ray said, leaning down to give him a kiss.

Xander reached one of his bound hands out, encountering another hand that grabbed his, grounding him as he got involved in the kiss. Methos smiled as he watched his lover and his pet, knowing that these two would be perfect together if something happened to him. It was always a good idea to make plans for any possible future. He tugged on the hand he held when they had been kissing too long, bringing them back to the real world. He smiled, leaning down to kiss both panting men, each grinning up at him. "Is that all you want to do tonight?"

"Nope," Ray said, wiggling against the bound body. "I want to make him beg for it." He got up, earning a small pout. "Don't worry, you'll be gettin' it soon enough."

Someone knocked on the door and Methos groaned, heading for it. "Get him ready for us, Ray, let me take care of your partner this time."

"Don't scare him too bad," Ray called, looking down at the body spread out for his enjoyment. "What to do with you now?"

Methos opened the door, glaring at the two men on the other side. "Yes? And for the record, Ray's busy."

Ray's partner cleared his throat. "Yeah, we know, but we gotta talk to the kid."

"He's a little...tied up at the moment." He smiled at the two men's discomfort. "What did you need him for?"

"We got told that everything that happened was to get his attention," Ray's boss said. "We need to know if we need to protect him."

"I assure you, Captain, he's *very* well protected with Ray and I."

"So you're Ray's....'friend'?" Ray's boss asked. "I thought that was who the kid was." He scratched his eyebrow. "Who's he then?"

"He's a friend of ours from a little town outside of LA, and our counselor. We whine to him about each other," Ray said, sticking his head out of the bedroom. "M...Adam's my 'friend' as you so grandly put it." He waved and pulled his head back in. "He knows," he called.

Methos nodded. "We told him that might be the case. His own lover's coming back from New York tonight so he'll have even more guards. Would that please you?"

"Maybe," Ray's partner said quietly. "Of course, with the trouble Ray get's inta, you never know what he'll drag the guy inta."

"Oh, I think he's going to behave. Oz is *very* possessive and protective of Xander. I'm sure nothing will happen to him. And if it does, then they'll have to answer to me and to the person who helps those two out."

Ray's boss stepped inside the apartment and shut his detective out. "What's going on?"

"Hmm?" Methos gave a small, predatory smile. "Xander's agreed to put himself in my custody for this weekend."

"Our," Ray called from the bedroom.

"Our," Methos corrected. "He actually has two men of his own, but he's an awful tease and his lovers agreed with us that we could show him how ... discomforting that can be sometimes." The smile got a little brighter. "Everyone's agreed about what's going to happen. Unfortunately, Oz had to leave for New York on an emergency with their other lover. He'll be back tonight and until then, Xander is ours."

Ray's boss nodded slowly. "As long as he's guarded. You guys got security besides the doorman?"

"Yes, Captain, I would never fail to protect my innocent little Ray."


"Sorry, dear." His smile turned softer and fonder. "If you really must know, the three of us share a membership in an exclusive organization and Xander was once my student, as was Ray. I take their safety *very* much to heart. No one could get in here, except our friend Amanda, but she's a thief of great renown."

"You know some interesting people," Ray's boss said with a smile. "Make sure he comes in with Ray in the morning. We'll watch him all day." He glanced at the living room and the artwork there. "This yours?"

"Yes, I have a bit of a trust fund. Fortunately Ray loves me despite that."

Ray's boss laughed and opened the door. "That's good of him. Tell the kid he has to come in tomorrow. And his lover if Ray wants to deal with that. We need to talk to them about those things that he brought in and what to do about any of them in the future."

"Ignore them if you can, they tend to keep to themselves. They also tend to police their own numbers and live in a closed environment. They don't tend to bother humans much, unless it's in Xander's hometown."

"Oh. Okay." He waved. "You can come in tomorrow too. I want to talk to you about his care." He walked out, closing the door behind him.

Methos sighed and headed back to the bedroom, smiling at Xander's aching and stiff cock being encased in a cock ring. "Ah, proper precautions. We're all to go in to work with you tomorrow, Ray. Your boss wished us to have fun for tonight." He leaned down, taking a swift lick over the leaking head, smirking at the yell of his name. "Patience, precious. You'll get it soon enough." He sat on the side of the bed, pulling Ray into his lap for some kissing. "I need some of this," he murmured as their lips connected.

Xander watched as they kissed, his need softening but never giving up and going away. It was so tender and caring, what he imagined someone watching him and Oz would see. He smiled at Ray as he looked over at him. "Go on. I like watching you two." He reached out, running his fingertips down the firm arm, as far as he could go. "Kiss him," he suggested.

Methos smiled. "Of course he will, dear, after you get some too." He leaned down with Ray, taking turns bringing him into the kisses. When he got tired of it, Methos shifted Ray up so he could stand and moved down, licking down the soft chest while he watched those two kiss. He stroked over the wiggling stomach, smiling as it was pressed up into his fingers. "Ah, my little hedonists," he sighed. "Such little hedonists."

"Yeah, we kinda are," Ray said with a grin. "Ya gonna help us with this, oh master of hedonists?"

"Of course." Methos leaned down, licking up the top of Xander's bound cock, taking his time as he moved across the head. He smirked as Xander wiggled under him. "Patience, pet."

"Don't wanna have patience," Xander ground out, pushing his hips up. "Please?"

"Hmm, a little begging," Ray noted. "Not quite enough, but it's a start."

"Begging, I can do begging," Xander said quickly. "Would you like to hear me beg?"

Methos and Ray shared a smile then went back to their respective body parts to continue the torture. Ray moved down to the damp chest, slurping up the spit that his lover had left in his hurry to get where he now was. Methos massaged the firm thighs as he nibbled and licked the head of Xander's cock, holding in his smirk at the pleading noises their pet was making only because he needed his lips to tease with. He and his lover looked at each other and smiled again, and Ray reached down to undo the cock ring suddenly, smirking at Methos as he got sprayed with come.

"How's that?" Ray asked. "Better?"

"No," Xander groaned. "I want more!" He wiggled his hips. "Please? I really could use some more."

"I know you could," Methos purred. "What would you like?" He took another lick, cleaning off his lips. "Would you like me to tease you some more?" Xander nodded and shook his head. "Which is it, imp?"

"Both?" he asked softly. "Please? I'm good for another few times."

"Ah, I had forgotten about that particular skill," Methos sighed. "I guess we'll have to do our best to keep up with you." He rehitched the cock ring, bending down to clean the young man up so they could go on.

"Hmm, Xander-flavored," Ray hummed, pulling Methos' head up to kiss him and get a taste. "I like that taste. It's kinda addicting."

"Yes, but you can't keep him, precious," Methos reminded his lover. "He has to go home to Oz." He flinched and looked up as he felt the buzz of another immortal. "The neighbor's home," he whispered, stealing one last kiss before going back to his teasing. He added a new torture, playing with the plug Xander wore.

Xander groaned, trying to lift his hips up to make him do more. "Methos!" he whined. "Don't tease that way. Please?"

"I believe he's ready for more," Methos purred, letting Ray get the lube for him. He removed the plug, handing it off as he accepted the tube. He spread a little of it out, spreading it between the wiggling cheeks. He looked up as he sunk a finger into Xander's body, smiling when he saw the relief. "Feeling better yet?"

"More?" he begged.

"Of course you'll get more, just as soon as we're ready for you to have more," Methos reminded him. "Now, how does that feel?"

"Good. Need a little more though."

"You'll get there," Ray reminded him, giving him a long, deep kiss. He picked up something off the bedside table where all the toys were, looking at the small multi-strand whip curiously. He finally nodded and said, "Uh-huh," and dragged it across Xander's painfully erect nipples. The young man moaned, silently begging with his eyes.

"Oh, my," Methos said, looking up to watch him. "I've never seen him silent before. Do it some more, Ray." He switched to two fingers, watching as Xander writhed under his and Ray's hands.

Ray flicked the soft leather thongs across Xander's chest, adding a little upswing this time, making his friend grab for him. "Yes?" he asked, leaning down for another kiss, swishing the strands down the tight, wiggling stomach.

"Tickles," Xander gasped, bound hands grabbing at Ray, trying to get some relief as he started to shudder. "Please?" he begged softly, almost whispering.

Methos leaned down, licking over the stiff cock as he felt the waves of suppressed orgasm building, smiling as they sent Xander crashing over. He pulled his fingers out, leaning up to hug his young student as he came down. "Shh, we'll let you go soon," he promised.

"Please?" Xander begged, clutching at them. "Please? Ray?"

"Shh, little one, we're workin' on it," Ray told him, brushing the leather strands lower, teasing the hard cock with it.

"Yes!" Xander screamed, pushing up into it. "Please, yes, more!" he babbled.

"I think it's time to move on," Methos said with a grin as he pushed himself back up and checked the hard body over. "Would you like first or last?" he asked, slicking his cock up with lube.

"Second," Ray said, watching as his lover slid into the waiting body. "I want to tease him while you're doin' him." He brought the whip down a little harder across the width of Xander's cock, making the young man scream and come, his come spilling over even though the ring was binding him.

Xander went limp, giving them both beautiful smiles. "Wow," he whispered, his voice a little hoarse sounding. "More Methos?"

"Haven't had enough?" Methos said with a smug smile as he started to move.

"No, just offering. Everyone should feel like I do right now." He thrust his hips up at the man in him. "Come on, I've seen you do better before."

"Yes, you have," Methos sighed, pulling out and waving at Ray. "But you've never seen my little sexual demon before."

Ray scooted around until he could slide in, immediately starting a hard, rocking, pounding rhythm. Xander gave him the most pitiful look so he speeded up, making him smile. "Better yet?" he asked, adding a sideways twist.

"Yeah, getting there again," Xander said with a long wiggle, ending up scooting himself up onto the pillow. "Come on," he pleaded, spreading his legs as far as he could, asking for his lover to give him more.

"Just hold on," Ray panted, using one hand to wipe the sweat off his forehead and the other to grab Xander's cock to help him get off. He matched his rhythms, sliding sloppily in and out, trying to give his best effort.

Until Xander pulled his favorite trick and tightened up on him, forcing him to stop in mid-stroke.

Methos' mouth fell open, reaching down a finger to tease the opening. "Oh, my Gods," he whispered, looking in Ray's eyes. "You can't move?"

"Not an inch," Ray complained. He looked down at Xander. "Not having enough fun?"

"I am too," Xander patted. "Just showing off." He relaxed, letting Ray slip out of him, making him pout. "No more?"

"No, you're gettin' more," Ray promised. "I'm gonna make sure ya can't do that again ta me." He picked up the whip and smacked Xander's butt sideways, between his legs. "Just takin' a break."

Methos shook his head, switching places with him. "Of course you are." He slid in, groaning as he felt the tightness. "Try that again, imp," he dared, starting his rhythm, going as hard and deep as he could. Until Xander did it again. Even Methos had to stop and give the young man admiring looks. "All right, that's enough," he complained, reaching up to twist a nipple, trying to make him let his control go again. Xander just flexed his muscles a little harder. "Imp," he warned, glaring down at him. "I could remove myself."

Xander wrapped his legs around Methos' waist. "Try it," he offered. Then he grinned at the pained expression. "See?"

"Yes, I do." Methos leaned down and bit Xander, right over top of a particularly ticklish spot.

"Hey! No fair!"

Methos smiled as the hole around him relaxed. "All's fair in love and war," he reminded, shoving all the way in. "How did you learn that?"

"Book Oz gave me."

"Oh, he didn't," Methos sighed, making Xander grin and nod. "That one for concubines?" Xander nodded again and his smile got brighter. "What else have you learned from it?"

"All sorts of things," Xander said, winking at Ray. "Untie me and let me show you?"

Ray and Methos looked at each other and Ray shrugged, undoing one of the wrist restraints, letting Methos get the other. Then Ray watched as Xander hopped up and pushed his lover to the bed, climbing on top to shimmy his way down Methos' cock. "Don't even expect me ta do that," Ray muttered, leaning down to give Methos a kiss. "Better yet?"

"Getting there, definitely getting there," Methos agreed. "Tease him, Ray, he still deserves it."

"Oh, yeah. He *needs* ta be teased." Ray picked up the whip, looking down at it. "We're keepin' this one, old guy. I kinda like it."

"Ray, you do not need a penis whip."

"Is that what this is?" He nodded, giving his lover a smile. "I'm keepin' it, or you're buyin' me a new one."

"Fine," Methos sighed, his voice going up as Xander bent backwards while riding him, grabbing his own ankles. "You did read that book, didn't you?" he sighed, tickling the young man to make him get back up. "You were too tight before, that was simply cruel," he said with a pout. "Too tight and forcing me to bend in funny ways. I should spank you for that."

Xander leaned down for a kiss. "Admit it, you liked it," he whispered before sitting back up and going back to his posting. He winked at Ray and clenched his muscles, continuing to ride Methos, making him scream as the friction and pressure continued to build, making him come with a swear. Or at least the younger men guessed it was since it was in a language they didn't understand.

"Get off," Methos panted, grabbing Xander by the waist and helping him off. "So cruel," he said, curling up and giving him a kiss. "Where did you learn that?"

"I drive Oz nuts with it when we have sex in the car." Xander grinned over Methos' shoulder at Ray. "Your turn," he offered, waving him closer. Ray just stood there and smiled at him. "Waiting gives me a chance to recover," he warned.

Ray groaned. "No, ya ain't recoverin' tonight. I'll be damned." He climbed onto the bed, looking the younger man over. "Whaddya want?"

"You in me," Xander said, giving him a sweet, innocent smile.

"Save it, after I saw you do that, you're not that innocent," Ray told him, sliding in, jackhammering the younger man to the best of his abilities. "All that fancy stuff's great for you two but I gotta have the simple stuff."

"Do it to him," Methos suggested.

"I need to be on top," Xander complained, but Ray wouldn't let him move.

"Nope, my show now." He suddenly slowed down, giving Xander a nasty grin. "So, ya wanted more, huh?" he asked, leaning down on the hard chest to listen to the heartbeat. "Ya don't sound too bad in there."

"It was the spell," Xander reminded him.

"Yeah, sure it was," Ray scoffed, pulling out. He teased the open hole with a fingernail, lightly dragging it across the opening and around the stretched tissue. "Unless you admit that you have a weakness, ya ain't gettin' no more."

"But I'm fine," Xander said, giving him a pout. He reached over to the bedside table but Methos intercepted his hands, kissing them. "I'm really fine. Even the doctors say so."

"Yes, but you still have a weakness," Methos reminded him.

"Yeah, I'm mortal," Xander sighed. "I can't do this forever. Just for as long as I stayed linked to Oz and Giles." He looked down at his body, watching Ray continue to tease him. "I really am not weak, not in my heart."

"Yes, you are," Methos said, leaning over to steal a kiss, still holding his hand. "You have much too big of a heart, my precious student. That's a weakness of it's own."

"Yeah, but I need to," Xander protested. "If I didn't, I wouldn't be me."

"Very good point," Methos purred. "But it will get you in trouble."

"Ah, but that's why I have Oz."

"Also a good point," Ray pointed out to his lover.

"Yes, it was. As long as he knows that Oz is the one who can keep him from harm," Methos said, stealing another kiss, "then the secondary lesson has been learned by our little student."

"You mean there was more'n one?" Ray asked, looking confused as he slid a finger into Xander's body. "As opposed to the one that we're supposed to be teaching him, to not tease ya again?"

"Yes, dear one," Methos said, pulling Ray up for a deep kiss. "The other lesson was to make sure that Xander could never leave Oz. A miserable Oz is not a sight I want to behold again and I doubt Xander would be much better under those circumstances." He stroked down the soft cheek he held dearer than most everything in his life. "Ray, Oz and Xander can never be parted. Not if they want to continue to be healthy and happy people. Not even for a week." He gave his lover a soft smile. "If they do, we'll have to interfere again, and I'm sure you wouldn't want to have to teach him this lesson again."

"Oh, I don't know, he's kinda fun to teach," Ray said, looking down at the still body.

Xander lunged up, knocking Ray onto his back and sliding down him. He pulled Methos' head over for a hard kiss. "There's *nothing* that will separate Oz and I again, Methos. *Nothing*. Not even another immortal. Do you understand that?" He stared into the bottomless green eyes, making sure he understood. Methos nodded and pulled back, letting Xander have his fun with Ray. "Good." He braced his hands on the bed, leaning down to tease Ray's lips with the tip of his tongue. "Now then, I believe I was going to show how good I can be?"

"Yeah, sure, go ahead," Ray offered. "Ya can play and then I can get back to what I was doin'."

"I'm sure you will," Xander purred, starting off by using one of his lesser tricks, his finesse of controlling his rectal muscles. Ray smiled up at him and pushed his whole hips up, unseating him. Xander countered by going limp and riding out the wave, ending up twisted across Ray's hips sideways. Ray spluttered and tried to move him back but Xander had other ideas. He stretched his legs out wider, letting Ray get back in deeper and then bent forward, putting his forehead on the mattress.

"Oh, yoga," Methos said admiration. "I'll have to give that a try again. It's been ages since I tried that move."

Ray glared at him. "Do you know what this feels like?"

"Yes," Methos purred. "Quite well. I taught Oz that move."

"Don't share that," Ray groaned. "I don't wanna know that stuff."

"Oh, but it's a good thing," Xander said, relaxing and spinning himself around so that he was facing Ray, stealing a kiss before he went backwards this time, making Ray groan his name. "Yes?" he asked, grabbing Ray's ankles.

"Sit up," Ray ordered, grabbing Xander around the waist and tickling him.

Xander sat up with a squeal, glaring at him. "That was mean. I was being good." Ray continued to tickle him, making him wiggle and writhe, and in doing so, Ray sealed his own orgasm.

"Oh, God, make him stop!" Ray screamed, a very high pitched scream, as he got off.

Methos wiggled a finger in his ear. "Well, I'd say you had fun at least," he smirked. He looked at Xander and shook his head. "Oh, no," he said, backing away from the hungry look he saw on the smiling face. "Play with yourself," he suggested, backing away from his student.

"But that's no fun," Xander pouted, turning it on the person that ran into the room. "Gee, more people? Methos, I agreed to let you get me for teasing, I didn't agree that I wanted to do cops."

"Hey!" Ray protested weakly. He barely lifted his head off the mattress. "Guys, privacy isn't an art form. Get out." The other detective nodded and backed out of the room, closing the door after himself, and they heard him running down the hall. "Gee, guess we have some protection tonight, huh?" Ray said sarcastically.

"Looks that way," Xander agreed, frowning down at himself. "Gee, I was just happy. What happened to you?"

"It couldn't keep up?" Methos suggested dryly, then he jumped up to get away from Xander, who chased him out of the room and into the kitchen, where he was knocked onto the floor and kissed. "Xander," he complained. "This floor is cold."

"Yay," Xander muttered, wiggling against the hard body. "I still need more and you promised to give me a lesson."

Someone cleared their throat and they looked at him. "Bedroom?" Ray's partner asked, trying hard not to look at them.

"Sort of like trespassing, huh?" Xander quipped. "One of those good things in life?" He stood up, walking over to stand in front of the detective, running a finger down his nose. "Ray Vecchio, patron saint of not wanting to know? Gee, and here you are *looking*," he purred. "Did you want to watch?"

Ray's partner shook his head and went pale, jogging out of the apartment to get away from them. "I really hate nosy people," Xander complained. "Come on, old guy, you're supposed to be teaching me, not the other way around." He stood up and helped Methos up, wrapping an arm around his waist. "Now then, what shall you do with me? I've been really naughty."

"Oh, you have been that," Methos agreed with a smirk. "I think I can come up with something to make you beg for mercy."


Oz walked into the bedroom he and Xander were sharing, smiling at the man lying limply across the bed. He stripped silently and climbed on between Xander's spread thighs. "You okay?" he asked when he didn't get a response. Then he saw the grin. "Do you have any left?"

"Just enough for you," Xander said, lifting his hips and wiggling them. "Just as long as I don't have to do more than lay here and moan."

"Nope, not more than that," Oz agreed, sliding into the very wet and open hole. "I see they taught you well." He saw the grin get bigger. "Have fun?"

"Oh, yeah, and so did they. But Ray's gonna yell at his boss. We got interrupted."

"Ouch." Oz started a gentle rhythm, lying down on top of his lover's body so he could hug him, keeping it slow and gentle. "Just let me soothe you into sleep," he whispered, nipping the pink ear. "So, did you show off?"

"Yup, and then I got extra punishment for being so naughty." Xander laid his head back down on his crossed arms and closed his eyes. "That feels great, Oz, just what I needed."

"That's what I'm here for," Oz reminded him, "to give you what you need." He kissed the slack cheek, getting off just as his lover started to snore. "Night," he whispered, pulling out, and he got a sleepy mumble in return, making him smile. He covered them both up, making sure Xander was going to be comfortable. At least until he woke up with the consequences of last night.


Ray stormed into his boss' office. "How dare you send people into my apartment ta watch what I'm doing!" he yelled, slamming the door. "Do you know how humiliating that was?"

"I'm sorry," he said, staying calm. "We were trying to protect the kid."

Xander walked in and sat down, staring blandly at the man across the desk from him. "We need to get a few things clear. The first being that I'm not a kid. The second being that I can take care of myself. The third should probably be that I already had two people around me that would have protected me with their life, including one of your best officers. As for them *barging* in there, not only was I embarrassed, but I was seriously pissed enough to show exactly how well I can take care of *myself*," he hissed, getting pissed now. "There was no reason to shine light on Ray's offduty romance that way, or on my life. I'll expect it to not happen again. I'd hate to hurt one of your officers." He stood up and walked out, glaring at the men staring at him. "Don't do it again," he warned. "I'm not the nice person I was last night." He sat down beside Ray's desk, looking over his 'unofficial' partner. "Why weren't you there?"

"I told them it was unnecessary, but they thought that you were in much more danger than you were."

"The only danger I was in was from my own teasing," Xander said stiffly, glaring at Ray's real partner until he turned away. "Thank you for showing some respect for my private life." He looked up as he saw Oz walk in, giving him a smile and a wave. "Ray's in with his boss," he said, grabbing Oz around the waist and giving him a hug. "Oh, Benny, this is Oz, he's mine."

"Hello, Constable Benton Fraser," he said, holding out a hand. "I had thought that you and Ray...." Xander shook his head. "If I may ask, is that who the other man is then?"

"Ask me yourself," Ray said as he walked over to them. "Vecchio, you and Branson break inta my apartment like that again, I have permission ta shoot ya or ta make ya even more uncomfortable in your skins." He stared at Xander until he got up, sitting down in his desk chair. "So, Benny, how was your night off?"

"Very soothing. The opera was magnificent and the costumes were fairly accurate."

"Which one?" Methos asked as he walked over to them. "I keep trying to get Ray to go with me, but he refuses. It's been ages since I've went to a nighttime performance."

"Ya can go alone," Ray reminded him with a smile. "I don't want to see a bunch'a folks singing in some foreign language about things I can't understand. Get over it already."

Methos smiled at his lover. "I'll drag you to one yet."

"Make it the consequences of a bet," Oz suggested. "That's how Giles got me to one."

Methos rolled his eyes. "That wouldn't be sneaky enough." He pulled over a free chair, sitting down. "What are we doing today, Ray?"

"We are doing normal paperwork, and Xander and Rosella are dealing with the last of their paperwork. And then, we're goin' home." He smiled as his partner walked over and dropped a folder on his desk. "So, ya get an eyeful?"

"More than I wanted to know, kid." He walked back to his desk, glaring at the other officers.

"Gee, someone put glass in his wheatabix," Xander muttered.

"Yeah, I wonder what happened," Ray joined in, sharing a smile.

Methos shook his head. "Our little one made him confused. Give him a break, Ray."

"Vecchio, Kowalksi, all of you in my office, including your visitors."

"Yes, sir," they called and walked in there. Everyone except Vecchio let Xander sit down first, letting him pick the softest seat in the office.

The Lieutenant gave him a look but Xander simply smiled at him. "We all set?" Everyone nodded. "Good. Vecchio, the door," he prompted, waiting until it was closed to begin. "All right. Your friend that came in had someone come in for the bodies, so they're gone now. We found out that most likely, all this was to get Xander's attention and to get him out into the open." The Lieutenant looked up. "And I did some checking last night. No one told me Mr. Harris was one of the wealthier people in town right now."

"It's not that much," Xander complained, frowning. "I'd really like to not be judged on that. It was an inheritance from a relatively insane almost-aunt." He picked up Oz's hand and held it. "He doesn't hold it against me, why should you."

"Not thinkin' that way, kid," Vecchio sighed. "That means that we have to be more careful of you. That's why we were all there last night." Xander glared at him, making him back up. "Sorry, we thought somethin' was wrong, what with Ray screaming and all."

"Hey, it felt good. Xander was nice enough to let me help teach him not to tease." Ray shrugged. "What else was I supposed ta do? He knows yoga and stuff."

"I don't want to know," the Lieutenant said, holding up a hand. "As far as I'm concerned, we're protecting your...friend because this person could go after your roommate. And since you and Mr. Harris are such good friends, then we have ta protect all of you. Got it?"

"You know, you weren't nearly as formal before," Xander noted. "It's not like I'm going to start pulling out cash and waving it around. I'm very good at being not seen."

"Too good," Oz noted, looking down. "That was one of your major skills when we were younger."

"Be that as it may," Ray's boss said, overriding them, "we have to do this. You're all stuck here today. I hope you brought something to do." He cleared his throat. "Just don't use the broom closet, all right?"

"Broom closet?" Xander asked.

"Long story," Ray told him, smirking at his partner. "Can we go sit in the lounge? I can do paperwork in there and they can watch tv."

"Yeah, sure, just don't make a scene and don't let anyone know. Got it?"

"Sure," Ray said, standing up. "Come on, Xander. We'll go sit ya in front of a tv and make ya watch Oprah. She's our biggest export."

Everyone groaned and left the office.


Xander was looking in the jewelry store window, admiring the things inside, when he saw the blur go past him. He turned around in time to see it push Oz into the alleyway, following it as fast as he could. He got there in time to witness Oz being shot and to take the long knife from the demon's hand, growling at him. "Mine!" he screamed, chasing the demon back out onto the street, right past Ray, who grabbed him and pulled him in close. "He shot Oz," he complained, pointing with the knife.

Methos ran for the alleyway, but not before a camera crew that had been taping down the street made it in there. He pushed the cameraman back, glaring at him. "Have some respect for people!" he yelled. He shoved the reporter back, making her fall on her ass. "Get out of here!"

Ray's partner came down the alley at a run, Xander right behind him. He couldn't keep Xander from grabbing the cameraman and spinning him into the wall, or from beating on him and jumping up and down on the camera.

Methos put his jacket over Oz's face and turned, grabbing Xander, holding him as tightly as he could as he cried. "Shh," he whispered. "It will all be all right, Xander, I promise. You know that." Xander looked up at him. "It's all right, I promise." He pulled him back down towards the car, getting in with him. "We'll figure out what to do. All right?"

Xander wiped his eyes. "Oh, God, Methos, it scared me. He was going to cut off his head too." He clung to his friend's body. "I can't do this without Oz. I almost lost him."

"Oz will come back from this," he said quietly. "Remember what he is."

"I almost lost him," Xander said tonelessly, his voice almost a whisper. "I almost lost him and I didn't get to tell him I loved him today because we were in such a rush. I didn't get to give him a kiss or anything." He clawed at the door, trying to get out. "I have to be there."

He grabbed the young man, making him sit still, holding onto him as tightly as he could. "He'll have to go to the morgue," Methos said, pointing at the cops heading down the alleyway with big tackle boxes. "People saw. We'll get him tonight."

"Oh, god, autopsies," Xander said, renewing his struggle to get free.

"You can demand that they not do one," Ray Vecchio said as he slid into the front seat. "What's up?"

"True love," Methos said. "And then the real world breaking in on his grief. We need to go home."

"He has to come fill out paperwork. The cameraman's going to press assault charges."

"He can't do that," Methos said in shock. Ray's partner nodded. "He can?"

"Yup, he can. Even though he's a slime. Ray's already called the boss, who's calling in a few favors over there to make sure the guy knows he better not continue to press charges, but for now, he's under arrest for assault." He glanced around. "What was that thing?"

"That was a hireling," Xander said coldly. "Someone I'm going to have a talk with tonight." He got out and ran over to stop the gurney, opening the bag to give the lifeless Oz a kiss. "Be safe until we come for you," he whispered. He looked up at the people staring at him. "No autopsy." One woman opened her mouth but he pointed a finger at her. "You can't. It's against his religion. If you do, he can't be buried. No autopsies."

"Fine," she said with a shrug. "We know what killed him. We'll just take out the bullet."

"That would be fine," he said stiffly, letting Ray lead him back to the car. "They won't right?" he asked, looking at his friend.

"No, they won't," Ray assured him, getting in back with Methos, settling Xander between them. "Come on, back ta the office, before I go bust up the guy."

"Sure. You just keep him together for now."

"Hey, that's what I do best," Ray said, pulling Xander in closer, sharing a look with Methos that clearly said that he would feel the same way.


Xander signed the last form, handing it back to Ray. He looked up as someone walked through the doors.

"You got me fired!" the cameraman screamed, pointing at him. "I'll make sure you rot in jail and that I get *paid*! Everyone will get that tape!"

Xander growled and jumped up faster than Ray could catch him. The cameraman blanched but he wasn't fast enough. Xander landed on him from a flying tackle, knocking his head into the floor, pulling back to hit him repeatedly, cursing his very existence. "Defiler," he hissed, hitting him again, "rotten human being and a defiler." He stopped when he saw the blue tinges in the blood, starting to smirk. "I know what you are," he told him. "And I will make sure that you can't be around people again." He stood up, shoving the half-demon with him and into a filing cabinet. "You won't get near another human for as long as I live!" He shoved him hard, making the demon wince. "Do you work for him too? For the slimy shit Ostrack?" The cameraman shook his head. "Oh, you don't?" Xander shoved him again when he tried to get away. "Why don't I believe you?"

Ray tried to get through the cops that were standing around and watching but they wouldn't let him get to Xander to stop him before something happened.

"I can *slay* you," Xander hissed, getting into his face, pushing on an already bruised chest. "I worked with Buffy and I can slay you and all of your clan."

Ray finally broke through and pulled Xander off him, walking him out into the hall. "Ya can't do that!" he yelled.

"He works for him!" Xander yelled back, gesturing at the squad room.

"You don't know that," Methos said as he walked out. "He could have simply been doing his job incorrectly." He pulled Xander into his arms, giving him a hug. "Shh, precious. Your Oz is safe now. No one can hurt him again." He looked around, then at Ray, who nodded toward a broom closet. "No, I think we'd best stay somewhere more public."

"Break room," Ray suggested, pointing. "I'll bring anything else down there." He walked back in, squatting down beside the still form on the floor. "Man, ya messed up. You did the wrong person." He stood up as the paramedics walked in, letting them get to the half-demon. "He's probably got a few nice bruises but nothin' that won't heal. Right?" The cameraman whimpered but nodded.

Ray's boss waited until everything had settled down to point Ray into his office, slamming the door behind him. "What was that?"

"That was Xander in extreme grief, sir. Oz was his life."

"Oh." He sat down behind the desk. "Where is he now?"

"With my friend in the break room. He knows he did wrong. He couldn't help it. I mean, if that'd been me and that guy came in screamin' like that, I'd have clocked him too."

"Yeah, me too, which is all that's saving him from going to a cell right now. Is our friend out there connected with all this?"

"Nope. Not that he said. Or shook actually. I think Xander broke his jaw." Ray shrugged.

He glanced out his window. "You should warn him that the tape still exists. We can't hold it for long, his station's already down here screaming for it."

"I'm sure it'll be cleared up soon enough." Ray sighed. "We'll deal with the tape if they get it."

Xander tapped on the door. "Where is he? I'd like to apologize for what I did," he said quietly, looking at Ray.

"Hospital. Ya got him good."

"I shouldn't have. M....Adam pointed out that I shouldn't have hit him at all, even when he said ... that."

"I don't think he's gonna press charges after all," Ray said, standing up to hug him. "I think ya scared him too much."

"He just had poor taste, it wasn't his fault. He didn't kill my Oz." He leaned into the comforting touch. "Can I go see him?"

"Sure." Ray got a nod from his boss so he led the younger man down to the morgue, giving the people working a small half-smile. "He's here to identify the shooting earlier."

"Okay," the woman said, motioning them over. She looked at Xander and saw the pain. "We noticed something," she said quietly. "And I've seen it before. It's all okay here." She showed him the empty drawer. "Go home. You look like you could use an ice pack and a hug." She patted Ray on the shoulder. "Take him home, Detective. Now."

"Sure thing," Ray said, walking Xander out. "See?" he whispered. "All okay. Just like he promised."

"But Oz died," Xander protested. "It's not going to be okay. They got it on film."

"Point," Ray agreed grimly, not willing to hurt him any farther by telling him about the police having to release the tape eventually. "We'll figure it out." He led Xander down to his car, only stopping for Methos.


Xander lunged as Oz walked into the apartment, holding onto him as if his life depended on it. "You're okay again," he sighed, burying his face in his lover's neck.

"Yup. Just a little sore." Oz drug Xander over to the couch, sitting down and getting a lap full instantly. "Babe, you okay?"

"He clocked the cameraman again," Ray said, holding up a cup from the kitchen. "Want some?"

"Brandy?" Oz asked.

"Of course," Methos said smoothly. "You'll be interested to know that the tape of your dead body made it onto the local news. It seems there's a protest over Xander beating the cameraman." He poured Oz a drink and handed it over, sitting beside them. "What are you going to do now?"

"We're going to have to bury Oz," Xander said, peeking out from his safe place. "We'll have to find some way to claim the body and make it seem like we did the burial thing before we go home."

"You need to go somewhere and wait some of the storm out," Methos added. "Somewhere safe and private."

"You're thinking of that club, right?" Oz asked. "Jace's?"

Methos nodded. "It's absolutely safe. No one can get to him. They'll protect him. And it's not like they haven't done this before. Jace has had more controversy in the last few years than the rest of us combined."

"What about at home?"

"We'll figure that out," Oz assured him. He gave his lover a squeeze. "The ME's seen a few of us before. She had me sign papers saying that a local place claimed my body and is sending it with Xander. All we have to do is to switch my identity and to get on with this."

Ray answered the door, leading his boss back inside. "He heard," he said to avoid the glares. "He asked me."

"Some of us can do things like that," Methos said simply, squeezing Oz's arm.

Ray's boss sat down hard, looking at Oz. "Okay, from the top," he ordered.

Ray sat down in front of him and started to explain, letting Oz take Xander into their bedroom to comfort him.

"So, you're sayin' that these immortals can just up and live again?" Ray's boss sighed, rubbing his numb face.

"Yeah, pretty muchly. It's a handy thing to have around, especially when you're Xander and people want ta snatch ya."

"Yeah, good point," Ray's boss said, standing up. "Now what?"

"Now Xander leaves in a few days to take Oz for burial at a friend's resort in Vegas," Methos said, looking up from his book. "Oz refinds himself and they go find a new life too."

"Or not," Ray reminded. "As long as it don't make national news, they might be safe."

"It's better to be safe than sorry," Methos countered warmly.

"Whatever," Ray's boss said to stop the brewing argument. "What do I have to do?"

"It's all taken care of," Oz said, walking out. "Xander needed a drink." He hugged Ray. "Thanks. You did good." He headed into the kitchen, coming back with a big glass of ice water. "The ME understood, that's all taken care of." He headed for the bedroom again. "Methos, Xander wanted to know what was for supper."

"We're ordering out. None of us feel like cooking."

"Hey!" Ray protested. "I put a chicken in the oven."

"Okay, chicken," Oz said, shutting the door.

Ray smiled at his lover. "It's okay, I've got the mundane stuff. You deal with them." He walked his boss out, coming back to sit in Methos' lap. "I know how he felt," he said as he stole a kiss. "I'd do the same thing."

Methos sighed. "I know, little one, but I don't want to have you worry."

"Yeah, but that's part of life around here." They shared another kiss. "If you think about sparing me that sort of pain by running away, I'm hunting you down and shaving you bald in the middle of an airport," he warned, getting up to finish fixing supper.

"Oh?" Methos smiled at his lover's back. "I guess I shouldn't leave you then." He went back to his book, sure if anyone needed him, they'd come pull him from his research again.


Methos looked over at Oz, who was staring out a window. "He'll be fine for the next few days," he promised, patting him on the back. "You made sure he would."

"Yeah, I know," Oz sighed. "I hate to leave him alone right now though. I can only imagine what's going through his mind."

"He'll be fine." Methos smiled. "Oz, if you wanted, we could continue to take care of him through your readjustment." He stopped when he found the knife at his throat, his smile falling away.

"Mine," Oz growled.

"Yours," Methos agreed, backing away from him slowly. "I'm never going to try and take anything away from you again, especially not Xander. I'd never dream of it, Oz. Don't worry about him, we're not like that to each other. He loves you and only you."

Oz looked down at the knife and threw it away, turning to glare out the window. "Sorry," he said finally. "You know what dying does to me."

"Yes, dear Theodonius , I know," Methos said, wrapping him in his arms. "We know all about you reverting to your true identity. Even your love will understand, as soon as you explain it to him."

"I already did," Oz said, looking at the head on his shoulder. "Ray asked while we were in Vegas and Xander overheard. I've got to be careful, Methos, you know how territorial I get."

"Shh, little one, I'll protect you. You're staying until you can control that nasty inner warrior again. I'd never let you harm Xander, not even by fighting in front of him." He let Oz go, giving him a faint smile. "Go meditate, put the beserker away again, my friend."

"Thanks, Meth." He walked into his room, closing the door gently.

"And all will be right in the world again," Methos told himself, going to the bar. He needed a drink now.


Xander looked around the entryway of the resort Oz had ordered him to stay at as he walked toward the check-in desk. "Hi, Xander Harris?" he asked, leaning on the counter.

"Yes, sir," the man behind the counter said, punching it in. "Ah, I see." He pushed a button on the phone. "Mademoiselle, your guest has arrived." He hung up and smiled at Xander. "The owner will be with you shortly, sir. If you'd fill out this form?" He handed over a form and a gold pen. "We'll get you settled in immediately."

"Thanks. I'm kinda tired."

"It's not everyday that you see your lover die in front of you," a smooth female voice said from behind them. "Jace," she said, holding out a hand. "Longtime friend of your Oz."

He shook it, giving her a faint smile. "Is everything all right?"

"As far as I know. I've not heard anything from our mutual friend." She smiled at the clerk as Xander handed back the form. "Which room, Robbie?"

"Four-twenty," he said, handing over a key. "His bags were already routed up there."

She took Xander's arm, leading him to the elevators. "Relax," she whispered. "I've known Oz a *long* time, young one. He's as special to me as he is to you." She patted him on the back as she switched sides so she could push the elevator buttons, stopping them between floors. "I have to give you some news," she said, her voice getting a little deeper, until she coughed. "His death did make national news. As did your splendid beating of the cameraman for taping it. He knows this so we're fine. He'll be coming here in disguise in a few days and you'll have a few more days to get used to him that way until you get home. But, my dear Oz also said that I was to keep you busy and try to keep you relatively calm and happy. So I'm sending a list of possible activities up to your room tonight. They'll be things for someone like you to enjoy yourself with, and that will allow you to relax a little more." She leaned over and kissed his cheek. "Relax, young man. Everything will be fine. He's still living."

"Yeah, he's still living," Xander said with a smile. "So, you knew him way back when? Or since his second coming?"

"Oh, hon, he found me," she said, holding out her hands. "He found me after that nasty witch cut off my willy. After my brothers laughed at poor little me. As if," he snorted. "Aphrodite and her Godly men came to my rescue and turned me into a woman, taught me *everything* I needed to know about it. I've been floating between my dearly not-lamented brother's names since, just to piss them off." She smiled at him. "Oz was even there when I died at a friend's hand the second time. He's the one that trained me for the Game." She started the elevator again. "Trust me, hon, I owe Oz more than you think. If it weren't for him, I would be a confused little person that probably would have died within a few hours of my awakening." She led him off the elevator. "Now then, this is a sanctuary. Built on Holy Ground. There are other immies here but none of them will bother you. Most of the ones here have heard of Oz or know him so they'll leave you alone. They don't want to mess with the little guy after all." She let him into his room with a wink. "You rest, love. I'll see you at supper."

"Thanks, Jace. I'll tell him you said hi."

"Cool." She wiggled her fingers and left him alone, going back to her desk. "At least Oz found his perfect person," she sighed, sitting down and putting up her feet. "I still don't understand how my brother Jace wore high heels all the time. I can't wear them after four hundred years of trying." She wiggled her toes. "Oh, well. Maybe I'll get lucky tonight and another immie will come in."

Xander sat on his bed, pulling out a picture of Oz to put beside it so he could stare at his lover's image while he tried to sleep without his warmth. "I love you," he whispered, touching Oz's face. "Come here soon."