Xander danced slowly in front of Jace, tempting her to break her word and get up to dance with him. She whimpered and clutched Oz's arm for strength, but he was focused on his lover too. Xander shifted away from her and she almost reached out to bring him back to her, but a warning growl, just barely audible, stopped her. She settled herself back in her seat, watching his face now, trying to figure out what spot in his mind he was in. Xander's face was blank, totally unemotional. She wondered what would send him back to that spot, but she knew she'd never make it there. Not even to be able to dance like that. She felt a tickle of power on the back of her ear and smiled slightly. One of her friends was watching too.
Xander finished up the abbreviated version of the dance story and bowed to her. "That's the short version, without all the side stories." He grinned at Oz. "How was it?"
"Much better this time," Oz told him. "No riots, no orgies, no having to keep you from being kidnapped." He stood up and handed Xander a bottle of water. "Drink and I'll take you to dinner?"
"Sure. Here or outside?"
"Here. I don't want to deal with the press that's still hanging around." Oz put a towel around Xander's shoulders and led him from the room, going back to their suite.
Jace looked over her shoulder and smiled. "I want to do that," she whispered.
Cupid appeared and smiled down at her. "I don't think anyone could do that. I've had some talented priestesses," he stroked down her nose, "but none of them moved like that guy." He held out a hand, smiling as she took it and gave him a hard, searching, passionate kiss. "Oh, you need *that*, huh," he said with a grin, fading out. "Come find me, Joxer. We'll fix that little problem of yours."
She ran from the room, willing to search the whole six hundred bedroom resort to find her God.
Xander was leaned against the shower wall as his mouth was taken. "Hi," he said in surprise. "I thought that one had worn off for you."
Oz grunted, falling to his knees to kiss and lick across Xander's cock. "You showed it off," he mumbled against the flesh. "It's a weakness I like."
Xander grinned as he was swallowed, his eyes rolling back in his head. Oz had never blown him like that before. He kinda liked it.
Oz answered the door with a grunt, letting Ray in. "Forgot your keys?"
"Meth has them," he said, giving him a kiss. A happy kiss. "He helped me pick out something for our house with my winnings."
"Cool," Xander said from the couch, waving him over. "Have you thought about our offer?"
Ray sat down on the other couch, looking at Xander. "You really think Sunnydale would hire me?"
"We don't have a detective right now," Oz noted, "he was eaten last year sometime." He sat down under Xander's head, running his fingers through the damp hair. "I wouldn't mind if you guys moved to Sunnydale."
"It's warm," Xander offered. "A little rainy sometimes so you wouldn't get too homesick."
"LA's only a few hours away when you need to go wander through a city," Oz added. "We'd even help you find a house."
Methos walked in and looked at the scene in front of him. "What's going on?"
"They're trying to talk me into applying to Sunnydale's PD." Ray patted the seat beside him. "What do you think?"
"I think it'd be an excellent idea, if that's what you wanted," Methos said calmly. "Or you could apply to LA's if you'd prefer."
"Or even one of the town's around and in between," Xander told him. "We wouldn't want you to move to Sunnydale if you didn't want to."
Ray smiled at them. "I'm not sure what to do about Chicago and my problems there. I have a hearing in two days, but otherwise I'm not sure." He looked at his lover. "Are you coming back with me?"
"Yes. I wouldn't dream of leaving you alone for that." Methos looked at the other couple. "Are you two going home?"
"Yup," Xander said with a frown, "with a stop on the way to fix a little...problem."
Methos looked clueless so Oz explained. "During the mediation meeting, Xander found out Devi is selling a tape of him."
"Ah. I thought he had died," Methos said, thinking about the latest gossip he had heard from the demon community. "The last I heard, he had double-crossed someone and they had killed him." He looked at Xander. "I'm sure it's a specialty item."
"It's on the 'net and the opposing lawyers found it," Oz told him. "Not that specialty."
"Would you like to wait and have my help?" Methos asked.
"No, I've got it," Xander said with a cruel smile. "Don't worry about it. I've got *just* the plan to fix this." He looked up at Oz. "You going to wait on me or are you going home?"
"I'm going to wait on you and pretend to be your bodyguard," Oz told him. "I don't want you going around demons without backup. Not like this."
"Cool." Xander relaxed, going back to his happy self. "I drove Jace into a frenzy."
Ray nodded. "We saw. She was racing around the front desk area looking for something."
Oz smirked. "I'm more immune to it now."
"Then I guess I'll have to find something else to titillate you," Xander teased, running a fingernail across Oz's arm. Oz groaned. "Was that a no?" he asked, pouting up at his mate.
"No, please, find it," Oz groaned, leaning down for a kiss, having to lift Xander's head to get it. "Find whatever it is and show me first," Oz told him.
Methos cleared his throat. "I guess we should leave them alone."
Oz pulled back. "I'm in control," he told them, clearing his throat and shifting so his pants weren't as binding.
Ray smirked. "I'll call you once I know how it goes, okay?"
Oz nodded. "Please. We'll be home by then." He looked down at Xander. "Have you packed?"
"Yup. Can I go play Baccarat one last time?"
"Sure," Oz sighed, letting Xander get up and go get dressed. "He enjoys beating it too much," he complained.
"At least it's daytime so those problem people won't be able to get him," Ray reminded him.
Oz hopped up and went to help Xander, getting dressed himself.
Xander waved to Ray and Methos as they walked onto the ramp up to the plane, taking Oz's hand as they walked up to the plane. He handed over their tickets, smiling at the woman standing there. "Hi. First class?"
"The first seats in the plane," she said, handing them back. She smiled at the ticket noting that they had animals. "Did you bring any on?"
"That wouldn't have been fair to the sixteen others," Oz told her, leading Xander to his seat. He cuddled up next to him so no one walking onto the plane would bump into him. "Remind me next time that Spike hits really hard?" He rubbed the sore spot on his chin. It had healed, all but the bruise.
"I will," Xander promised, giving the spot a kiss. "Why don't you sleep and I'll figure something out. Okay?" Oz nodded, putting his head on Xander's shoulder and closing his eyes. Oz was really tired; first there had been the fight with Spike in the casino, then there had been the whole questioning thing, and then they'd had a quick round of 'you're okay' sex in the shower before they had left for the airport. It was an hour flight and Xander expected Oz to sleep most of it, so he had to figure out a new dance while Oz was out of it. There was no way he could do it at home, not with being watched so hard by his overprotective lover.
He pulled a piece of paper and a pen out of backpack, drafting out a story to tell with a new dance.
Xander strode into the brothel, glaring at the man who tried to get into his way. "I'd move," he warned, pulling out a large, silver knife. "I'm not here for you. Not this time." He walked back to the office, trailed by the guard, and kicked the door in. "Hi," he said coldly. "I do believe you've been selling something with me in it without my permission."
"According to the contract you signed," the demon behind the desk started, smiling at him. He stopped and his smile fell away when the knife was planted a mere hair's breadth from his balls.
"I will tell you this *once*," Xander said. "I didn't agree to letting Devi tape and I know he didn't because I checked." He leaned over the desk, planting his hands on the papers. "If I don't see every copy of that tape, and whatever others there are in existence, I will do something that you won't like." He stood back up, tapping his foot. "Well?" he asked after a second's silence.
"You signed a contract saying we could tape," the pimp said, gulping air.
"No, I didn't," Xander said, pulling out his contract. "See, I had him modify that when I found out about that clause." He waved it in front of the demon. "This is a copy of the contract I signed the second week. It has precedence over yours. You've got two minutes or I walk out and you'll be sorry."
The pimp cleared his throat. "I can't do that."
"Fine," Xander said, leaning over to pull out his knife, cutting the pimp in the process. He pocketed it and walked out, looking at the boys, none of whom were ones he had worked with. "Guys, I used to do this job for Devi, but this guy's screwing with me. What's he going to do to you, if he let's you go when your contracts are up?" He walked out, heading to get some help from an old friend.
Xander walked into Angel's new office like he belonged there. Cordelia looked up at him in shock. "Go get your boss and I'll tell you the newest gossip, if you haven't heard it," he offered.
"Paying job?" a voice said from behind him.
Xander turned and smiled at Wesley. "Yes, a paying job. I want to stop my old boss' heir from selling a tape of me." He pulled out his wallet and showed off the money inside it. "I've got the cash, but I'm angry enough to do something stupid, like call in a favor with a more powerful demon. I thought I'd come try reasonable first."
Cordelia hopped up and hugged him. "You're okay?" she squealed. "You're really still you?"
Xander nodded. "I always have been me. What did you hear?"
"Buffy stopped by and told us Spike was going to turn you, that you'd make him a lot of money."
Xander shook his head. "Willow took care of Spike for us. She walked out of the hotel while he and I were fighting and she got him from behind." He looked down. "She's not happy with what she is," he said quietly.
"We know," Angel said from the doorway to his office. "What's happened now? And how is Spike?"
"Spike is now cowed under Willow's spell." He let go of Cordelia. "I need your help before I do something stupid."
Angel waved him into the office and shut the door. "This would be about Devi's old brothel?"
"Yup," Xander said as he sat down. "I want them shut down."
"There's a lot of demons who want that place open," Angel reminded him. "This new owner's got a very soft touch with them, everyone says he's easy."
"Yes, but he's also selling a tape of me," Xander said in mock sweetness. "I want him shut down. If I have to, I'll talk with some of the higher demons, make them understand it."
Angel shifted uncomfortably. "There's another way," he said quietly. "They're being run by a law firm in town. If you could go through them, then it'd be a lot easier for everyone, especially you." Xander nodded. "I can get you an appointment if you want."
Xander shrugged. "I'll let you handle the details." He leaned closer. "How's Buffy? She didn't look too stable when I saw her in Vegas."
"Seeing you made her realize what she's become," Angel said grimly. "She's in town, trying to atone for all those she's eaten. She's even tried to get in to see her mother a few times but Joyce wouldn't let her in the house."
Xander nodded, he understood that issue, and stood up. "Tell me?"
"Home or in town?"
"Home. I miss my house."
Angel smiled. "Fine. I have your number. If you need anything else, call us."
Xander leaned over and gave him a hug. "You're a great man most of the time, Angel. If I can ever help by using my unique problem, tell me."
Angel took a deep sniff and got a dreamy look on his face. "You're the one with the pheromone problem," he sighed, patting Xander on the back. "I wasn't sure before."
Xander pulled back and smiled. "Yup, that's why so many demons try to kidnap me." He winked and walked out. "Cordy, bill me. I'll send you guys a check."
"Where are you going?" she called as he walked out the door.
"Home!" he called back. Xander slid into the car beside Oz, giving him a kiss. "Home," he said finally.
"Home," Oz agreed, starting the engine to the sound of howls of the feline variety.
"Hey!" Xander yelled. "Quit. We'll be home in two hours and you guys can terrorize the house then." He turned to look at them. "See? You can be good," he said at the silence. He petted a nose that was resting against the bars. "We know it's crowded but just one more hour, please, guys?"
Oz pulled away from the curb. "I called the moving company. Our stuff's back at home already. They even set up the furniture." He sped up as he merged with traffic, going with the flow as always. "It'll be nice to be at home again."
"Yeah, traveling was nice, but I missed home." Xander laid a hand on Oz's thigh. "Hurry up, Oz. I miss the house and I want to see it again."
Oz sped up some more, pulling into the fast lane.
Xander walked into LA's branch of the demon bank. His last day of research had led him here and he knew just what he was going to do about the brothel problem. He even knew how to solve a few of Angel's problems. He walked up to the receptionist and gave her a brilliant smile, then covered his mouth. "Oops, need to brush my teeth." She smiled up at him, amused. "I need to talk to someone about getting part of my account transferred from the New York branch of your bank? And I need to discuss a financial matter with them also. I want to buy something that you have a lien on."
She pushed a button on her phone then looked up at him. "Sir, if I may say so, you smell extremely good. Which cologne is that?"
"It's not," he admitted with a grin, "it's just how I am." He held his arms out, letting her sniff him.
A male demon in a three piece suit walked out and cleared his throat. "Thank you, Sala." He waved a hand at the doors behind him. "Shall we?" He followed Xander, and knew what she had been going on about. He walked into the office first and sat down behind his desk. "Do you mind if I burn some incense? Your particular... problem can be quite intense for some of us."
Xander sat and smiled. "I understand fully. Burn away." He watched as the demon walked over to a small brazier in the corner and lit it, taking a deep smell of the scent. "Oh, hey! I remember that stuff. It's one of my favorites that I smelled at the bazar in Bombay."
The demon smiled. "I have it imported. There's a small shop in town," he said, watching as Xander leaned forward. "You visited India recently?"
"Yes, just a few months ago," Xander said, leaning a little more forward to smell it. "Where do you get it? I've been looking for sari's recently." The demon looked startled. "I sew," he explained. "Sari's are some of the most beautiful pieces of cloth. I appreciate that."
"Ah. Go here," he said, pulling out a card from his rolodex and writing the address out. He pulled out another one and copied it down too. "Or go to this one. The first one's a bit more commercial and they have people here in town who make sari's for them. The second one is a more family-owned place and they import. They're both excellent."
Xander stuffed the papers into his pocket. "I'll go there after we get done here." He leaned back and got comfortable, crossing his feet. "I need to transfer some money from the New York branch and I want to know if there's any way I can buy a loan that you have outstanding."
The demon smiled. "The first is easily done, the second may take a bit more work. Which loan?"
"Wolfram and Hart's."
The demon choked. "Excuse me? You want to buy the law firm?" Xander nodded. "May I ask why?"
"Because they're pissing me off," he said with a grin. "And I'm tired of dealing with them."
"Are you going to disband them?"
Xander shook his head. "I'm going to give them to somebody. They'll have a lot more on their minds than the demon brothel they run and the tapes of me that they're sending out."
The demon coughed. "I see. Um, Mr. ..."
"Harris. Xander Harris."
The demon's mouth fell open. "Oh, my GOD!" he shrieked. "You live in LA? You're one of the most talked about people in certain circles."
Xander shrugged. "I didn't know that, but I live in Sunnydale." He looked around. "I almost expected you guys to have a branch there, but I couldn't find it."
"We have one, but it's very well hidden," the demon said quickly. "We can give you a chip that will let you find it. We had to spell it because of certain humans in the area." He swallowed. "Are you still hunting?"
"Only the bad ones," Xander told him, giving him another smile to relax him. "I've never hunted anyone that wasn't trying to cause trouble for the humans in that town. Or any other town."
The demon sighed. "I respect that. It's a lot harder to stay anonymous when some men are running around robbing banks."
Xander snorted. "I ran into that group. Twice!" He started to laugh. "They came to LA to get away from me in New York and they robbed the bank with my financial advisor in it the day I was supposed to meet with him for the first time."
The demon burst out laughing. "Oh, that's too good, Mr. Harris. You do have the touch."
Xander waved his hand. "Call me Xander. I'm not a bad guy, really."
"I know," he said, calming down. He pulled a few forms out of his desk. "Let's get the easy part out of the way, shall we?"
Within a few minutes, and after three calls, Xander's bank account in New York was halved and on it's way to LA. The Wolfram and Hart buyout took a few more minutes. There were calls to a higher authority in the demon bank. There were papers that needed to be filled out. Xander wondered why he banked at human banks, the demon he was working with was much nicer and he was getting better interest here. He got up and shook the demon's hand, walking out of the office.
The demon called his boss again. "It's done," he said. He snorted as he leaned back in the chair, putting his feet up on the desk. "Yes, it was very wise of us to demand ownership of the firm as collateral for that building improvement loan." He smiled. "I have no idea but I'd like to be there when it happens."
Xander walked back in and grabbed his briefcase. "Sorry, forgot this."
"My boss would like to know what you're going to do with Wolfram and Hart, if you don't mind."
Xander grinned. "It's a secret, but," he leaned closer, "I'm giving it to Angel."
The demon laughed so hard he fell out of his chair.
Xander waved. "Thanks for the help and for telling me where those stores were." He jogged out, heading out to his car so he could treat himself by shopping.
The demon pulled himself up and pulled down the phone. "Did you hear that?" he gasped, still laughing. "No, he's giving it to *Angel*!" He snickered and hung up, needing to calm himself down before he got another client.
Angel tapped on Xander's door, smiling as it was opened almost instantly. "Hey, you busy?" he asked.
Xander shook his head, leading the way into the living room. "We were just brushing the kittens. They needed it." He sat down and the long haired one jumped into his lap. "Hey, Ribbon. How are we? Did you need some attention too?"
Angel sat down and he had a cat in his lap before he could blink. He looked down at the yellow puffball curiously. "Why did you do that?" he asked it.
"Because he likes you," Xander told him. "Pet him, he won't bite."
Angel hesitantly reached a finger out and touched the ball of yellow fur, jumping when it purred at him. "It likes me? Is it insane?"
"Hey, my kittens know who they like," Xander said, pointing with his brush. "Pet him before he decides to bite. He's very demanding, he got Oz's toes this morning while he was making me coffee."
Angel snorted. "Anyway, the reason I came.... Ow!" He glared at the cat. "Don't bite!"
Xander snickered. "That's strange advice coming from you, but I told you so," he told the vampire.
Angel looked startled but laughed after a second. "I guess it is." He petted the blond fur again. "He reminds me of Spike," he said after watching the cat.
Xander snorted. "I wouldn't let him hear you say that." He shared a smile with Angel.
"Sire's prerogative. I get to make fun of him sometimes." He glanced down at the kitten then back at his client. "I talked to someone at Wolfram and Hart and they refuse to close the brothel or to stop the tapes."
Xander smiled. "I figured as much when I didn't hear from you in three days. Don't worry, I have a backup plan already started, I figured out what to do the next day because I figured it wasn't going to be that simple. You'll see it tonight." He pulled the brush away from the cat, cleaning it off. "There you go, Ribbon. Go find Oz and tell him to brush you." She jumped down and scampered off, chasing some of her hair floating in the air conditioning. Xander looked at Angel again. "How's Cordy doing? She didn't look too good."
"She's been tired recently," Angel admitted. "She's got some stress in her life that she won't tell me about." He shifted uncomfortably. "I can't help if she won't tell me and she won't tell me because she thinks I'll make it worse."
Xander nodded. "I'll call her tonight and ask. How was the Hellmouth while we were gone?"
"Quiet," Angel sighed. "That's a good thing, but we're hoping it doesn't speed up again now that you're back." He looked Xander over. "You're the last guardian of it, Xander. You've got to be careful."
"What about the new Slayer?"
"She's highly into the Anne Rice stuff so she's in New Orleans." He looked out the window. "If something happens, we're two hours away, Xander. It's worrying all of us."
Xander gave him a gentle smile. "I wouldn't worry about us," he said quietly. "We've got it under control." He patted his lap as his first puppy walked past, but she didn't jump up. "Okay, be that way," he said, watching as she went to nose at the sliding glass door. "Oh, you need out." He stood up. "Excuse me for a few, we don't let her out without a leash." He grabbed the leash from beside the door and clipped it on, leading his puppy outside to do her business.
Angel looked down the hallway as he heard footsteps, nodding at Oz as he walked down the stairs. "How's your end of the spectrum?"
"Quiet. Giles called yesterday. The Hellmouth won't open again for another year. Most of the bads have been pulled because there's a new Hellmouth forming, and of course the Watchers don't believe him. What do you know about dragons?"
"They don't exist?" Angel guessed.
Oz shook his head. "I know they do. One's sitting above the fireplace in my house." He sat down on the couch and watched the vampire pet the kitten. "He likes you. Take him with you."
Angel shook his head. "I doubt he'd be very happy with me."
Xander walked back in carrying Rocky. "She wanted to sniff the thistle again," he said, putting her down and taking off her leash. He closed the door before she could get back out. "We need a fenced in area so she can go run outside, Oz."
"I'll see what I can think up," Oz told him, patting the couch. Rocky jumped up into his lap.
"Oh, be *that* way now," Xander said, sitting down next to his lover. "Angel said Cordy's got major stress but she won't tell him."
"You gonna do the whole dinner and shopping thing with her?" Oz asked.
Xander nodded. "I think I might. Would you mind if I did? We might be able to find that little Indian store that we were told about in Bombay."
"Okay. If you do, no sari's. You're not female."
"But I looked good in it," Xander reminded him.
"Yes, but you're still not female." Oz patted him on the leg. "Any word from Ray?"
"Not a one," Xander admitted. "I'm going to call them tonight if I haven't heard anything."
"Good. Tell me when you do so I can listen in." Oz looked over at the vampire, who had his eyes closed and a look of total enjoyment on his face. "I think Stake found a home," he whispered.
"Huh?" Angel asked. He stood up and put the kitten down. "I can't take him with me," he said, adjusting his trench coat.
Xander smiled up at him, noticing the blond lump crawling into the deep pocket. "I'm sure it's for the best," he said, getting up to let him out. "Tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow what?" Angel asked.
"Tomorrow can I come steal Cordy?"
"Oh. Sure. Lunch or dinner?"
"Lunch." Xander waved as the vampire walked out, turning to snicker as Oz walked up behind him. "He said Stake reminded him of Spike," he gasped.
"Yeah, I can see the resemblance now," Oz agreed, pulling Xander back inside so he could go catch the dog that ran out. "Rocky! You're allergic to that!"
Xander sat down on the couch and picked up the next animal to brush, going back to his plans for the night.
Angel opened his jacket and tossed it onto the chair as he walked toward his kitchen, toeing off his shoes as he walked past the couch. He missed seeing the pissed off lump of blond fur wiggle it's way free and start stalking him. "What the...!" he screamed as he felt the tiny teeth sink into his ankle, making him jump. He looked down and could swear that the cat was smiling at him. "Oh, no, you are not going to stay," he threatened.
"Oh, a kitten," Wesley said as he entered the kitchen. "How cute." He picked it up, rubbing noses with it. "My, you're a friendly one, aren't you?" He cradled it gently in the crook of his arm, petting it behind the ears. "When did you get Stake?"
"That's what it's collar tag said," Wesley told him, holding up the cat so he could see it.
"Xander," Angel sighed. "Why do you do this to me?"
Wesley handed Stake over. "I'm sure you two will get along well. He reminds me a lot of you when you're in a bad mood." He winked and walked away. "I'd get him some necessary things tonight, Angel, before he does something horrible to Cordelia's plants." He came back with the envelope he had been bringing to his boss, handing it over. "This came while you were away."
"Thanks." Angel put down the cup he had been holding this whole time, trying to ignore the warm fuzzy feeling that was twining around his feet. Finally, he bent down and picked the kitten up to hold so he could read in peace. "He didn't," he said once he got the envelope open. He looked at Wesley and handed over the letter. "Xander fixed a lot of our problems!" He hugged the kitten to his face, cooing at it.
Wesley looked at him and smiled, wishing that vampires could be caught on film, just that once.
Xander walked into Cordy's office space and held out a hand. "Your chariot awaits, my lady. For today, we dine and shoppest so that I may look cuter." He grinned when she looked up. "Come on. I already cleared it with your boss."
"I can't," she said dully.
Xander walked around and lifted her up, leading her out of the office. "Of course you can. Even a jealous boyfriend..." He stopped. "You didn't want to tell Angel about him?" he asked, looking at her makeup for something he hoped wasn't there. He finally found the trace he was looking for and ran his index finger lightly across the bruise. "You always were the best at covering those for me." He pushed her back a step. "Tell me who," he ordered.
She smiled weakly. "I can't, Xander. I really can't. He needs me and the world needs him."
"Not that much we don't," he said coolly. "At least explain it to me," he suggested. "Maybe there's another way, one without the bruises and sunken eyes."
She took his arm and let him lead her to the car. "His name is William, and it's not Spike before you ask. Oh, that kitten you gave Angel is *adorable*."
Xander listened as her wall fell down between them. He could work with it, he'd known her too long not to be able to breach her protections when she needed him to.
Xander tapped on William's door, pushing him inside once it opened. "I think we should have a discussion," he purred, looking the demon over. "I don't know how you convinced Cordelia that the world needed you, but I'm not seeing a reason for your existence." He sneered as the demon produced a sword of bone from the back of his hand. "What do you do?" he asked, pulling his sword out of his specially designed jacket's pocket. He faced off with him, kicking the door shut so no one would have to know what was going on. "Unless you're vital for the survival of the race, I'd give up and leave," he warned.
"Who are you?" the demon screamed, backing away from him.
"I'm Xander Harris, maybe Cordelia's talked about me." The demon backed away faster. "I'm also a Slayerettte." He advanced, cutting through the bone spike easily. "What hold do you have over her?"
"I need to be on this realm for two more days," he begged, tripping over a footstool and landing on the floor. "I'm not trying to hurt her, but I need her to stay."
"Why do you need to stay?" Xander asked coldly.
"I'm the key to the realms staying closed!" he cried, hiding his face from the sword. "There's a keystone around this town and I have to find and destroy it."
Xander held up his pendant. "It goes to a house with a realmal gate. There's no need to destroy it. We know how to manage it. We even removed all the keys from the other side."
The demon sighed. "It's not your key, it's another key."
"Xander!" Cordelia shrieked as she walked in. "What are you doing with a sword?" She walked over to stand between him. "I told you, we need him."
"No, actually you don't," Wesley said, following her in. "I checked on him for Xander, he's not needed. The gateway he's trying to keep closed is the Hellmouth and it's staying closed for the next year, whether or not he's here." She opened her mouth. "I checked with the Powers," he told her, removing her from Xander's path. "They came to Angel and I this time, very worried about you." He pointed at the demon. "He's not here to keep it closed, he's here to open it."
"I'm not!" the demon shrieked. "I'm here to find the key and destroy it."
"What's the key look like?" Xander growled. "Now!" he ordered when it wasn't forthcoming. "I guard this one, I'll guard that one too."
The demon's eyes grew round. "You're offering to guard the keystone?"
Xander nodded. "Like I said, I'm a Slayerette, I already guard the Hellmouth."
The demon pulled something out of his chest and handed it over. "At full strength, this will reopen the Hellmouth as a gateway," he whispered, looking at Cordelia. "She wasn't being drained, I was draining the stone into her to destroy it." He popped out in a breath of steam.
Cordelia cried, leaning against Wesley's shoulder.
Xander put up his sword. "Tell her to call me when she wants to talk to me again," he said quietly, heading for the door.
"Xander!" she called, getting free of Wesley to hug him. "Thank you. I feel better." She smiled up at him. "But you're still an ass."
He patted her on the back. "I know. When you're ready to forgive me, you know where I am." He nodded at Wesley. "Giles is coming home tomorrow, I'll give him the key. He'll guard it." He left them alone, heading home.
Angel walked into the lobby of Wolfram and Hart, smiling at the receptionist. He had this all planned out and he had everything ready for this meeting. "I'm expected in the Senior meeting room?"
She pointed at the elevators. "Up to the fifth floor please, Angelus."
He shook his head. "Angel." He smiled and started to whistle an old tune Doyle had reminded him of as he got onto the elevator, starting the spells that would protect him no matter what went on during this meeting. He got off the elevator and walked down the short hall to the massive meeting room, smiling at everyone there. "Hello, all," he said as he pulled out the deed he had been sent last night. "I believe a roomful of lawyers should be able to tell me what this is."
One of the senior partners snatched it and went pale, looking up at Angel. "How did you buy this? You're not that wealthy."
"Ah, but I have *friends*," Angel crowed, smiling. "Welcome to the new Wolfram and Hart, *ethical* attorneys at law!"
A few of the lawyers passed out and one got up and went to the window, testing it to see if it opened.
"Come on, it's not *that* bad," Angel said happily. "I'm sure we can figure out how to make sure that each and every thing that this firm does is not only ethical, but legal, moral, and *nice*!"
The lawyer next to the window pulled out a gun and blew it out, stepping out into thin air.
"I'm not that mean," Angel called after him. "Not anymore!"
Xander rolled as Oz hung up and told him what Angel had done. "See, that's a very good investment," he howled.
Oz patted him on the foot. "Yeah, it was." He sat down on the couch, pulling Xander up to rub his shoulders. "Are you okay with Giles coming back tomorrow?"
"Yup." Xander touched the warm hands, stopping them. "We talked last night over the computer. Jace made him see what I was feeling and now he understands why I was so upset." He kissed the left hand, pulling it down to wrap around his neck. "Is Ray coming out with Meth or not?"
"He is. It didn't go well. They were too drunk that night to call and tell us what went on, but Ray's so pissed he couldn't talk. They're driving out."
"Cool. They can have our guest room until they can find their own place." Xander leaned back against the hard body. "Is the key safe?"
"Very safe. That was another good thing you did. Did you see her flowers?" Xander nodded. "She doesn't sound that pissed."
"She's not." He turned his head to rest his cheek on Oz's thigh. "I'm content," he confessed. "In a way I wasn't before."
"Me too," Oz said, going back to his shoulder and neck rub, now one sided. "The traveling was nice but I guess I missed home."
"Me too," Xander said, yawning. "And I'm still tired."
"That's the key probably," Oz suggested. "Giles will take care of it."
"As long as the dragon doesn't come through if it becomes a gateway," Xander yawned, closing his eyes. "Can I nap?"
"Sure, you nap, babe. You deserve your naps." He continued to rub, feeling very content, something he hadn't felt before. All they still needed to do was to meddle a little bit for Ray and Methos's benefit. Then they could happily retire for a while and hide again.
Giles walked into the house, ignoring everyone as he followed the trace of power he had been drawn by since the outskirts of town. He walked into the guest bedroom, snatching the silk wrapped stone off the bed to look at it. "A heartstone?" he asked himself as he looked it over.
"It's a keystone for the Hellmouth," Xander called from his sewing room.
Giles walked back there, bending down to get through the doorway, his leathers creaking. "It's a what?"
"A keystone to the gateway that's the Hellmouth," Xander told him. "Once it's fully charged, someone will be able to use the Hellmouth as a normal gateway, like we could Oz's house." He smiled. "I'm guessing it likes you?"
"Yes, I've felt it calling to me." Giles looked at the stone again. "We must drain this a bit to make it safe."
"Hey, as long as it quits feeding off me, we're all happy," Xander told him, standing up to give him a hug. "How was your trip?"
"Jace's motorcycle fetish renewed my own," he said with a smile. He waved a hand at his outfit. "No longer the stuffy librarian?"
"Nope, now you're very unstuffy and yummy," Xander said, giving him a smile. "Anyway, the demon was draining it into Cordy and it was about to kill her so I took care of the demon."
"Did he give it to you?"
"Yup. I told him I'm a guardian of the Hellmouth and he gave it to me, that's when I found out he'd been draining it instead of draining Cordy to feed it."
Oz walked into the room, carefully carrying the big mass of flowers. "This came from Angel." He nodded at the stone. "Can you make it quit sucking off Xander?"
"I believe it's not sucking, it's draining off into him," Giles said, considering the stone. "I believe I can fix this tonight. Why is Angel sending us flowers?"
"Because Xander bought him a law firm," Oz said with a grin. "The one's that's been trying to kill him for years."
"It's also behind most of the bad things happening on this coast," Xander added. He looked at the card, taking off the CD attached to it. "Here, it says to run this. It's a copy of the speech he gave them."
Oz put the CD into the player, letting Xander deal with the flowers however he wanted. Angel's voice came out of the speakers, making Xander snicker at the steady words. He cheered at the end, clapping. "Good job," Oz agreed, getting a hug from Giles. "You ready to come back this time?"
Giles smiled down at them both. "Yes, I believe I am." He walked out, going out into the backyard. "Xander, I need to build something, may I?"
"Sure, want to do a fence while you're at it?"
Giles' laughter floated through the house.
"He's back," Oz said, wrapping an arm around Xander's waist. "Are you okay with this?"
"Yup," he said. "I can show off the dances to him now."
Oz nodded. "I'll go find the restraints. You go get ready to do it tonight." He walked out, letting Xander go back to sewing his new outfit.
Giles said the words binding the keystone into the fieldstone pillar he had dug into the ground, smiling as he felt the rapid draining of the stone. He turned as he heard Xander's whoop, barely having enough time to catch him as he came running out.
Oz walked out to the door. "Hey, Giles, want to see something great? Ask him to dance for you. I've got the room all set up."
Giles looked down at Xander. "You dance?" he asked, sounding surprised.
"Yup, I do. I even made up a new one," Xander said, pulling Giles back into the house. "Come on, I want to show you what I learned." He set Giles on the bed, letting Oz tie him down while he went to get changed.
"Is all this necessary?" Giles asked Oz.
"Yup," Oz said, leaving the room. "I want to see the new one too," he called, closing the bedroom door behind him.
Xander stepped out of the bathroom, leaning against the doorframe so his lover could see his outfit. "I got this across the portal too," he said as he walked out, taking up a place in the middle of the bedroom floor. He started to move. "You have to stay silent," he ordered, "and I'll do the whole series for you, including the new one."
Giles nodded, blinking at the hypnotic movements of the lithe hips. He couldn't help it, his eyes followed the glowing body's every movement, and he suffered as only a man tied to the bed and unable to reach his cock trapped inside leather pants could.
Oz smirked as he heard Giles screaming in pleasure. "Wow. Xander must have finished the first story already." He looked at the clock, seeing that it had only been about six minutes since he had come up from the bedroom. "Another hour and I should be able to go watch the new one with him. I'll need the destresser before Methos and Ray get here to do their spell. I fully intend to make this reciprocal with him." He checked the clock again at the muted gasping. "Ah, he's doing the *whole* thing. My, what a treat Giles is in for. He'll never leave Xander again." He smirked.
TO BE CONTINUED...