One of *Those* Days.
Oz looked down at the ad he was writing for their housekeeper, then up at Xander. "How's this? Housekeeper needed for gay couple living in large house, with pets. Must be open-minded and ready to help us with the housework."
Xander clapped. "Cool. Think we'll get an answer?"
"Yup." Oz turned to type it into his computer, he had pulled up the form to add a classified ad before he had started to write it. "Okay, done," he said, sending it in. He leaned back in his chair. "I sent it to the LA Times and to Sunnydale's pitiful paper."
"Also cool," Xander said, not moving from his chair, just swinging the leg with the chain on it. "Oz, have I been good?"
"Yup." Oz got up and walked over, coming to kiss his husband. "Why do you ask?"
"Because I wanted to go to that spa again," Xander said, looking up at him, giving him one of his better begging looks. "I really want to go. I miss being myself."
"Sure, babe," Oz said, unhitching the ankle cuff from his husband's leg and pulling him up. "Go get dressed while I grab the phones and we'll take you to LA to go be pampered." Xander jogged from the room and Oz picked up everything he thought they'd need during their trip. "Xander," he called as he headed for the front door. "You ready yet?" He pushed in the sequence to start the alarm system, waiting to activate it. Xander jogged past him and he activated it, following him out of the house.
As soon as the door closed, a furry little body peeked around the corner and headed for the laundry room. The best clothes were in there, they smelled like the daddies.
Oz answered his phone from his position in the corner, watching Xander have his back massaged. "Hello?" he asked, curious. "Yes, we put an ad in the paper for a housekeeper, but I thought it wasn't going to go out until tomorrow." He shrugged when Xander turned his head to look at him. "Sure, we're in LA today. Are you here or in Sunnydale?" He shrugged. "Okay. Xander, where did you want to eat dinner?"
"Um, that nice pub-like place."
"The Rose and Dagger," Oz said into the phone. "Do you know where that is?" He nodded at Xander, holding up a finger. "Okay. How about five?"
"Six," Xander called. "I won't be done until five."
"Xander just amended and said six. Is that still okay?" He smiled and nodded. "Okay, we'll meet you there. Yeah, two men, I'm a redhead and Xander's a brunette." He smiled. "That's fine. Six o'clock. Bye." He hung up and put the phone into his pocket. "She has a nephew who delivers papers and someone let it slip to him."
"Mmmmm," Xander purred, putting his head back down. "We'll have to do a lot of explaining."
"We'll try to get a seat in the back," Oz assured him, crossing his feet so he could watch Xander turn into a puddle. "But you'll have to warn her about your nakedness problem."
"Okaayyyyyyyyuuuummmmmmmmmmm," Xander said, smiling at his masseuse. "Want a job?" he asked, giving her a sleepy smile.
"No, thank you, Mr. Harris. I like working with different people, I get to study them."
Oz snickered. He loved this side of Xander. "And when we get home, what are you going to do, oh, great GHS?"
"Long bath," Xander sighed. "With bubbles and you."
"Okay," Oz agreed. "I'll even scrub your feet for you."
The masseuse laughed but she worked harder on Xander's lower back, making him purr louder.
Xander smiled as a relatively young middle-aged woman walked up to their table. "Hi, I'm Xander," he said, pushing a chair out with his foot. "What would you like to eat?"
She laughed. "My, you're eager," she said happily, smiling at Oz as he walked over. "Oh, that looks good," she said, staring at the stew.
"It is," Oz agreed. "I'll go get you a bowl." He kissed Xander on the head, surreptitiously watching the woman for her reaction.
Xander smiled at her again. "My Oz is so good to me," he sighed. He picked up a piece of his bread and stuck it into the broth part of the stew. "So, have you done housekeeping before?"
She laughed. "Oh, yes. I was married for twelve years and I've got three children." She nodded at Oz as he set a bowl down in front of her. "Thank you, sir."
"It's Oz," he said as he sat down. "So, I heard the married with children part."
"And I've worked for a family in your area already. Maybe you heard of them. The Chases? It was such a shame Mr. Chase lost all his money."
"Ms. Chase was our friend," Oz said quietly.
"She died recently," Xander said, stabbing his bread in the broth. Oz put a hand over his and he calmed down. "She died in a bombing here in town a few weeks ago," he said, looking up. "But I do remember her talking about you."
"Yes, little Ms. Cordelia must have complained about me a lot. I never did take an order from a child."
"Well, we don't have any of those," Oz said. "But we do have animals." He glanced at Xander. "Lots and lots of animals."
"And a puppy who's about to have puppies," Xander said happily, regaining his earlier mood, even if it was just for show. "We also have another partner, who's off studying right now."
"I see." She pushed her bowl out of the way. "What would you need me to be doing?"
"I would need you to do the housework," Oz said.
"And maybe some laundry?" Xander asked.
"And do the dusting, Giles can't stand cat fur on his books." Oz shrugged at her snort. "He used to be a librarian."
"Ah, yes, Ms. Cordelia used to complain about him a lot."
Xander snickered. "I bet. He used to make her do work." He looked at Oz, then back at her. "Well, there's a few other things that you should know."
"Giles practices magic so there's some stuff that you probably shouldn't touch in the house," Oz told her.
"I sew and I'm fiercely protective of my stuff in that room."
"Our animals have their own playroom but they wander all over the house."
"It's a three story house," Oz noted. "A large, transplanted manor house."
"And sometimes I run around naked," Xander finished.
She thought about then nodded. "You wouldn't be hitting on me?" she asked.
"Nope, not even going in that direction. Maybe in two centuries or so."
Oz looked at Xander. "Two centuries?"
"Yeah, I figure I might ask to try sleeping with a woman again in about two centuries to see if it still doesn't do much for me."
Oz nodded. "Okay. In two centuries, I'll find you a woman to sleep with so you can remember that part of you." He kissed Xander on the cheek. "You forgot to tell her that we have a pool that you swim in naked."
"Oh, yeah, and I have a pool that I swim in naked," Xander added, grinning. "And I also have a small ankle chain that occasionally ends up around my ankle when I need to feel like I'm being kept."
She laughed. "You aren't asking for much, are you?"
"We realize that we are, but we're willing to pay according the worth of the person," Oz told her. "Also, I should tell you, both Giles and I have a lot of weapons lying about. Mostly of the sword- like variety."
"Not really," Oz sighed. "It brings back too many bad memories."
"Oh, and we have a couple of friends, who are a couple, who might pop in at odd times. They're staying with us right now until they can find a house."
"Oh." She blinked a few times. "Are they gay too?"
"Yup," Oz said. "And I know this can bother people, but we don't usually have sex in the hallways."
"Or the living room anymore," Xander pouted at Oz. "I miss our couch cuddling."
"We'll do that in front of the TV, okay, Xan?" Oz asked, glancing at the prospective employee.
She giggled. "I'm sure you will," she said, picking up her spoon to take a bite of the stew. "I have no problem with gay couples, or trios," she told them between bites. "I'm more concerned about the level of work that you want."
"If you want to try it out and decide that you need a part-time helper, we'll allow that," Oz told her calmly. "We won't make you pick up after the pets, besides sweeping and dusting."
"We also have all the cleaning supplies," Xander told him. "I used to use a maid service in Sunnydale but they went out of business because there weren't enough clients, so I'm used to getting lists of specific cleaning supplies."
She nodded. "All right." She reached into her purse and pulled out a paper. "These are my prior references. I expected you'd be wanting them," she said at the shocked look.
Xander shrugged. "Okay, but I think you've pretty well gotten the job unless you have something like theft in your background," he told her.
"That brings up another point," Oz said quietly, leaning closer. "We do have a lot of money, and jewelry, including some loose jewels, in the safe in the house. We also have a security system. Are you used to that sort of arrangement?"
She shook her head. "But that's all right, I probably won't be dealing with them."
Oz relaxed. "Good. That was the right answer." He looked at Xander, taking the sheet of references. "We'll check these out tomorrow and get back with you within three days?"
She smiled. "That would be good, but I'm not working right now so you don't have to hurry."
"Yeah, we do," Oz argued. "Xander tried to vacuum last time."
"Hey!" Xander said, smacking him on the arm. "Not fair. I did my best."
"Like I said, you tried," Oz agreed, giving him a smile. "Okay?"
"Very okay," Xander said, grinning at him. He looked at the woman, who was picking stuff up. "You can eat with us if you want," he offered. "Oh, and can you cook stuff that's not cheese and ham?"
"Of course," she said with a smile. "Will that be part of my duties?"
"Not all the time, but maybe sometimes," Oz told her. "I'm a computer programmer and Xander sews compulsively."
She laughed. "I understand. I was going to go eat out where the music was though, letting you two have some privacy."
Xander grinned at her. "But I can't do anything here. I learned that lesson in Rome."
Oz groaned and put his head down on the table. "Xander!"
She laughed and walked off. Xander leaned over and kissed the back of Oz's neck. "Does this mean you don't want your stew?" he asked innocently.
"I still like Henrietta," Oz said after three days of struggling with the housekeeper question. Xander gave him a 'huh?' look. "Nice lady, late thirties, you tried to embarrass her?" Xander nodded. "I still like her for the job."
"Much better than the woman who promised to pray for us every day she came to work. I didn't even get to the scaring her part." He caught the ball of paper Oz threw at him and tossed it for the cats who were in there with them, watching Fluffy chase it. "So, how did her references look?"
"Great," Oz admitted. "Everyone said they were really sorry to see her go, but that she always quit due to family problems." He looked over the edge of the desk at Fluffy, who had meowed at him. "What? Ask the Xander to toss it for you."
"You'd better not be teaching Meth's cat how to play fetch," Ray warned from the doorway. "He'll spank you for that."
Oz snorted. "I'd like to see him try that. I'm faster."
Xander tipped his head back to look at Ray. "I'll catch him if Meth really wants to spank him." He wasn't able to catch the paper ball this time, but he threw it down for the cats anyway. "So, Henrietta?"
"Yup, Henrietta." Oz searched for her references page, finally going to pick up the paper balls and check them. He found it was the one Fluffy had been gnawing on. "Thanks," he said as he took it and carried it back to the desk, dialing the number listed on the paper. "Hi, this is Daniel Osbourne, is Henrietta there please?" He sighed and put it on speaker phone. "Si, Henrietta?" he repeated. "Ella espera que nosotros llamemos (She's expecting us to call). Nosotros le ofrecemos el trabajo (We are offering her the job)."
"Un momento, por favor," the male voice on the other side of the line said, and there was a thump as the phone was put down.
"Si?" a familiar female voice asked.
"Henrietta?" Oz asked, smiling at the chuckle. "I'm glad I remembered some Spanish, I don't think he was going to get you just based on your name. Do you want the job?"
"Of course," she said happily. "When do you need me to start?"
"When do you want to start?" Xander countered.
She laughed again. "I still need directions, boys."
"You know the little gate off the road to the beach?" Xander asked. She grunted. "Well, that's our gateway. There's a release button right in front of it."
"Which one?" she asked. "Obténgame una pluma (Get me a pen)," was muffled. Then she came back. "All right. Which gate was it?"
"The second one," Oz said.
"The one nearer the ocean," Xander added. "It's surrounded by trees and the road after it looks like a bike path."
"All right, I think I know which one that is. When do you want me there?"
"We don't like mornings much," Oz told her.
"All right, I'll be there by noon," she said, sounding like she was smiling. "Do I need to bring anything?"
"Not unless you really like some cleaner that we probably wouldn't have," Xander told her, swinging his feet around so he was laying sideways in the chair. "And you won't have a uniform so wear something comfortable."
"I'll agree with that," Oz said. "Also, if you wanted to swim on your breaks, we can do that too."
"All right," she said. "Anything else I should know?"
"Yeah, we do have a puppy that's ready to pop any day now," Oz told her calmly. "So if we're not here and only the animals are here, then we're at the vets. But the alarm system should be off, I doubt we'll have the intelligence to turn it on as we rush for the vet's."
"Okay. There's no gate code?"
"No, there's an automated recognition system which I'll be turning off tomorrow. We'll program your car into it tomorrow," he told her. "Any other questions?"
"No. I'll be there tomorrow," she said happily, then she hung up.
Oz pushed the button for the speaker phone, looking at Xander. "You still feel okay?"
"Very," Xander said with a grin. "She's a mom type person. We'll do okay with her here."
"As long as you think so," Oz said, leaning back in his chair. "We'll give her the job and I'll put you in charge of instructing her tomorrow."
"Why? You're the one with the cleaning pickiness."
"Because if I do that, I'll scare her off," Oz pointed out. "I'll check over her work and correct any problems."
"Sure," Xander sighed. "Make me a list, Oz." He closed his eyes. "Oz, I'm *bored*," he sighed after a few minutes.
Oz looked up in panic. "Bored? Well, why don't you go sew? You still owe me a shirt."
"I did that this morning, it's sitting on the bed. That's the advantage of having set patterns for you guys."
"Oh." Oz thought about everything else in the house. "You could go watch TV."
"Nothing on, I checked."
"Um, want me to teach you how to email and stuff?" Xander frowned at him. "You could start a list for GHS members."
"There's already one of those, I'm on it," Xander pointed out, "and I know how to check my mail."
"Well, what do you think will cure your boredom?" Oz asked, dreading the answer. A bored Xander was a dangerous Xander, that was his motto.
"I don't know."
Oh, crap. "You're having one of *those* days, huh?" Xander nodded, giving him a pitiful look. "Please, don't do that," he said, turning away from his lover. "Have you looked at the stuff from the jewelry store? I know Branchson's was waiting on an answer."
"I already told them yes," Xander sighed, getting up to walk over and kneel in front of Oz, putting his head on Oz's thigh. "I'm bored," he whispered, staring up at his lover, who was trying hard not to look down at him.
"Shopping?" Oz suggested. "Online? We could get tapes and stuff."
"Nah, I did that yesterday." Xander grinned when Oz looked down at him. "What? It was our monthly shipment. It was time."
"Well, why don't you go swim," Oz suggested, trying to find a new idea to make his mate go play somewhere else. "Or, you've been wanting to go buy a new car. We could go do that."
"We made an appointment to go do that tomorrow," Xander pointed out. "And it's the hot part of the day, I don't want to get burnt."
"Hmm, have you cleaned out the furries' room?" Xander nodded, turning up the level of pitifulness. "Oh, God. Up, come on, we'll go find something for you to do." He pushed Xander up and walked him out of the room, heading for the main living room. He found Ray stretched out on the couch reading and handed Xander over to him. "Here, be bored with Ray. I still have to finish that program."
"But he's not bored," Xander pointed out, adding neglect to his pitiful look. He saw Ray pull his book up higher, but ignored him for his real target.
"You still have to clean out your house, Oz," Ray pointed out.
"Yeah, that will take a few days at least," Oz said, grinning down at Xander. "We could go do that."
Xander grimaced, looking like he had just eaten monkey brains, again. "Not. I don't want *work*, I need something to do." He inched up the level of his pitifulness, hoping to get a good answer this time. "Please, Oz?"
"Xander, honey, I can't think of anything for you to do if you've already went shopping, done sewing, and you won't lay out."
"But I don't wanna burn," Xander complained. "I'm miserable when I get sunburnt."
Oz had to admit, that was true, and a sunburnt Xander made him miserable too. "Well, where's Meth? You might be able to get him to tell you a story about his travels or something."
"He's shopping," Ray said, turning a page. "Our anniversary is coming up. Xander, why don't you find a book?"
"Because I don't wanna read," Xander said sullenly, turning up his pout a little more. "Oz, please?"
"Xander, if I don't get this program done during the day, I'll have to stay up at night to finish it," Oz reminded him. "And you'd really hate that."
"But I'm bored!" Xander sighed.
Ray reached down and patted Xander on the head. "I know. It happens to the best of us. Why don'tcha go masturbate or somethin'?"
"Because that won't do anything for me, I'm not that sort of bored," Xander told him.
"It'd kill time," Oz offered. Xander frowned at him and he sighed, pulling out the credit cards he had confiscated last month after the last 'I'm bored' shopping trip. "Why don't you go shopping?" he said finally.
"Because it's no fun when I go by myself," Xander said pitifully.
"Then take Ray," Oz said, getting frustrated. He handed over the three platinum cards and the bank card he had on him. "Don't get into trouble."
"You don't ever let me out alone," Xander said in awe, taking them from the outstretched hand. "I get into trouble."
"And you probably will this time, but it's coming out of your bank account." Oz looked down at Ray, who was trying very hard to look like he was reading. "Where did Meth go shopping?"
"The little shopping center that has the Office place you bought your cellphones at," Ray mumbled.
Xander gave Oz one last pitiful look before going out to his car. Once he had started it and pulled down the drive, it changed to an evil grin. "Oh, you are *so* going to regret not coming with me today, Oz," he whispered, shifting up as he pulled out onto the main road.
Xander hopped up onto Methos' back when he found him, giving him a hug. "Hi, I'm *bored*," he said happily. "And Oz sent me out by myself."
Methos removed the boy from his back and turned to scowl at him. "Good, then you can help me find something for Ray for our anniversary."
"Get him a new gun," Xander suggested innocently. He smiled at the computer salesman that Methos had been talking to. "Are you finished with him? Because I wanna get my lover something nice and computerish. He's a programmer," he said innocently in just that perfect 'little boy with a first boyfriend and they need a present' voice.
Methos groaned, the very tone of Xander's voice told him this was going to be one of *those* days.
Xander loaded the boxes of computer components into his trunk and turned to find Methos standing behind him. "Hi, can I help you pick out Ray's new gun?"
Methos nodded, rolling his eyes as soon as Xander had turned around. "Are we taking your car?"
"Maybe," Xander agreed, sliding in. "Or I can follow you."
Methos squinted, he really didn't like that innocent tone of voice when Xander used it, it usually meant there was trouble to be had. "No, I think I'll ride with you," he said, getting in and buckling up as Xander pulled his sports car out of the parking spot with a squeal of tires. "Easy," he yelled, grabbing the dashboard.
"What?" Xander asked innocently. He grinned at Methos. "So, where should we go find Ray a new gun?"
"How about a gun store," Methos suggested lightly.
"Okay, tell me where to go." He grinned at the muttered noises. "I heard that," he sing-songed. "Where's the nearest gun store?"
"Ten blocks toward town," Methos said, pointing. He relaxed when Xander pulled out of the parking lot at a normal speed, and stayed relaxed even though he sped up once he was on the highway.
Xander looked at all the guns, pointing at one. "That one's pretty," Xander sighed, bringing Methos over.
"Yes, but it's not very practical, Xander. Ray's a police officer, he needs a practical gun."
The salesman snorted. "We've got one that's both. My brother paints a few Sig's every year. I've got a blue one and a red one left."
"Nah," Xander said, grinning. "We need something flashy and big. Ray is switching out here from Chicago."
"Ah." The salesman walked back into the back and came out with a large box, putting it down on the counter. "This is large, beautiful, and very well made."
Methos picked the gun up out of the box and sighted down the barrel. "Hmm, it is pretty," he said, looking at it's side. "How much?"
Methos handed it back. "Done."
"And I want to get him that one," Xander said, pointing at the pretty one. "Just so he can have a pretty one."
Methos shook his head. "Whatever." He pulled out his license. "What other pieces of identification did you need?" he asked.
"Just that," the salesman said happily, handing them both forms. "Fill those out and I'll start the Brady process."
Xander grabbed a pen and started to fill his out. "Do I fill this out like it's for me?"
"Yes," Methos said dryly. "You have to. You aren't allowed to try and buy a gun in anyone else's name. Ray can switch the licenses into his name when we get passed through." He completed his form and handed it over. "Here." The man took his license and noted some information on it. "We're waiting until we find a house to switch our licenses," he said at the glance up at him.
"They're living with us right now," Xander told him, pushing over the form and pulling out his own license. He watched as his own form was noted on. "Anything else?"
"Well, you do have to pay for the guns," the salesman said with a smile. "We'll refund it if your application doesn't go through."
"Okay," Xander said, shrugging as he pulled out his platinum card.
Methos groaned and shook his head. "Oz gave you those back?" He remembered very well helping carry in the furniture and bags from the last shopping spree
"Yup. Because I was bored."
The salesman snickered. "I've had those days." He walked over to the fax machine and sent both applications. "It'll take about three days."
Xander took his card back, grinning. "Okay." He waved. "Three days. Coming?" he asked his friend.
Methos gave the salesman a helpless look but he followed Xander out of the store. He knew that as soon as the door closed behind them the salesman was rolling on the floor in laughter.
Methos followed Xander out to the car, looking over the top of it at his friend. "Now where?"
"Well, we could go car looking, or we could go to the pet store. Or we could go shopping. I'll let you decide."
Methos sighed as he walked around the car, pushing Xander out of the way. "Get in," he said quietly, sliding in to drive.
Xander hugged the side of a lavender SUV. "I keep seeing these, but this is the first one I've seen with *leather* seats," he said happily.
"Oz will kill you," Methos reminded him.
"No he won't. We're going car shopping tomorrow."
"Xander, that's really for people who fly rainbow flags off their porch."
Xander frowned at him. "I'm just as gay as the people who march in the parades," he said with a foot stomp.
"Of course you are," Methos said gently, "but Oz wouldn't want to drive around in a purple SUV."
"Why not?" Xander asked.
"Because I know he won't," Methos sighed, rolling his eyes. "Go look at something more practical, Xander."
The salesman walked over to them, giving them a brilliant smile. "So, do you like this one?"
"Yes, but he doesn't think my lover will," Xander pouted.
"Oz will make you sell it as soon as you drive up the driveway and he sees it."
The salesman waved a hand around the lot. "We have many more neutral cars if you'd like to look at them."
Xander grinned and walked away, running around to go look at them.
Methos almost whimpered. It had been centuries since he had been forced to make that noise but this one bored young man had almost wrung two of them from him. He was going to have to talk to Oz when he got home, a very *long* talk. He jogged over when he saw Xander getting into a sports car, stopping him. "No, you get a new one tomorrow."
"So? I'm trying them out," Xander pouted. "Can't I try them out?"
"Wouldn't you rather have Oz with you?" Methos suggested slyly. "That way you could see how well you can cuddle in it."
Xander pretended to think about it then nodded. "Okay, but I *like* this one," he purred.
"Then make note of what it is and we'll tell Oz," Methos said, pulling Xander back over to their car. "Come, let's go to the pet store."
"Oh, or we could go to the bookstore. Oz needs more books."
"All right," Methos agreed. How much trouble could a bookstore be?
Methos cringed when he saw what store Xander had pulled up in front of. "I thought you said a *book* store, Xander," Methos complained as he followed the young man into the store, as advertised the largest porn store on the West coast, which he was sure Xander was going to be making very rich. "Freeze," he called, catching Xander before he could disappear into the confusing maze of shelves. "You will not get more than a foot away from me, Xander," he warned, staring down at the younger man.
Xander shrugged. "Okay. But I need to go look at the books. Oh, and I need a new toy, something to make Oz beg." He grinned, turning and running for the back shelves, under the sign that said 'books'.
Methos almost whimpered for the third time that day, but he followed Xander back there, not sure he wanted to know that much about his pleasure reading.
Methos pulled Xander away from the cart he was filling, glaring at him. "I think you have enough to last you for the next decade," he said quietly. "Get some lube and let's go."
"Lube!" Xander cried, hitting himself on the forehead. "I knew I forgot something." He grabbed another toy off the rack in front of them and jogged over to where the lubes were stored, letting Methos bring the cart to him. As soon as it was close enough, he loaded the industrial-sized case of lubricant onto the bottom. "There, that should last us for a month." A few nearby people looked from the cart to him and back. "I'm loved," he told them, grinning sappily. "By *two* men." He trotted off to the counter. "Come on, Adam!" he called.
Methos groaned and pushed the cart after him, not sure he wanted to be at the house when Xander came home. Maybe he should warn Oz.... No, he deserved this for giving Xander back the cards and not finding him something to do. He bumped Xander with the cart. "Unload it," he ordered. "You're buying it and I'm not *touching* this." He flinched at the pout, but steeled himself. "And if you give me that look again, you're carrying everything inside yourself." He walked out, heading for the car, the whole way considering the idea of taking the cards from Xander.
Xander gave the man behind the counter a slightly insane grin. "He's just jealous," he stage- whispered, starting to unload the cart. "I'm loved."
"I can see that," the man said, looking impressed at the case of lube. "I've never sold one of those before."
"But we *need* it," Xander said quietly, winking. "My lover's coming home soon and the other one's got to learn not to ignore me." He giggled, then clamped a hand over his mouth. "Sorry, I'm giddy with the power of my platinum cards."
The salesclerk just nodded as he scanned the first cock ring.
Xander squealed as he walked into his favorite store, running over to the racks of clothes. "Oh, I found it," he called out to Methos, who was looking up at the sign. "What?"
"This looks like someplace Angel would shop," Methos said grimly.
"It is, he brought me here the first time." Xander grinned at him, then looked around his body at the familiar couple shopping a few rows over, bouncing over to them. "Hey, bro!" he said, hugging him.
Seth hugged his younger brother hard, smiling at Spike. "When did you get here?" he asked, letting Xander go.
"A few minutes ago."
"No, that was *hours* ago," Xander said with a wave of his hand. "I was *bored*." Spike and Seth both groaned, a nice harmony with Methos' groan. "What are you guys doing?"
"Sire wants Spike to accompany us to dinner and the club tomorrow," Seth said happily.
"He wants to make me bleed from the ears," Spike mumbled, looking at the suits again.
Xander looked Spike over, then shook his head, grabbing Spike's arm to drag him over to another rack. "Here, try one of these," he said calmly, pointing at a blue one. "Try that one actually. And it's silk so it's not going to be that hot or binding. You'll even be able to kick ass in it if you have to."
Seth watched with a look of tolerant affection as his brother railroaded Spike into buying his first suit in almost two centuries.
Methos shoved the last bag into the tiny space left in the back seat, then glanced around the nearly empty parking lot. "Are you done being bored now?" he asked dryly.
"No, but I figure I'll be not so much bored when I get home," Xander said with his most naughty grin. "Want a ride back to your car?"
"Xander, I won't fit in your car. Air molecules won't fit in your car."
Xander slid into his seat and slammed the door, after moving a bag. "Bye," he called as he sped away.
Methos pulled out his cellphone and auto-dialed for a cab. He wasn't sure he wanted to be at the house when Xander got home, but it might be humorous in the least.
Oz glanced out the window as he heard the car pull up but quickly went back to his program. He had just hit his spot, where everything was coming right out at high speed, and he couldn't stop right now. He could go confiscate the credit cards in a few minutes, after he got this part done. He was so engrossed he didn't even hear Ray running to hide from Xander.
The first thing Oz saw to make him really realize Xander was home was a flying dick. Which landed on his desk in front of him and bobbed.
Bobbing up and down at him, making his gaze follow it, making him nod in time with it as he watched it bob.
Oz stood up, making sure he had saved his program, and followed the sound of running footsteps out to the sports car. He stared in shock at the packed car. "How did he do that?" he wondered out loud. Xander was amazing, but really! No one should be able to pack a car that way. He walked around to look in the opened trunk, taking a step back in fear as he saw all the dicks lining the trunk. "Xander!" he called again, trying to bring his lover out. "Did you at least remember to go to the pet store?"
The passenger's door popped open with a beep from the remote control and a bag fell out, a jingling sound coming from inside it.
"Uh-huh. You're carrying it," Oz said as he walked back inside. He found a few more dicks in his office, some of them on the shelves, one hanging on his monitor by a suction cup. Even one walking around his desk on it's little wind-up feet. He sat down in his chair and squeaked as he jumped back up, looking at the one he had just sat on. "Xander," he called, softer this time as he started to stalk his husband. "No more credit cards, Xander. You are never leaving this house again with a credit card." He continued to stalk his mate, heading out to where his scent was stronger, out beside the car. He searched around it, but the number of bags and dicks seemed to be less this time so apparently his lover was unloading the car himself this time. He stalked back inside, sniffing to find his errant, and naughty, lover, stopping to check his office for more sprouts. He shook his head when he saw the penis on his screen fall off onto his keyboard, going up the stairs to see if Xander was up there. He hurried back down when he heard running footsteps. "Gotcha," he called, catching Xander beside the now empty car. "How did you do that?" he asked quietly.
Xander giggled and got free, running down the lawn. "Catch me if you can," he called, tearing off his shirt as he ran.
Oz took off after him, if only so Xander wasn't lost in the dark. He'd worry about who unloaded the car in a few hours or so.
Ray 'eep'ed as he saw all the bags that had been in the car pop into his room. "Hey, wrong spot," he called. They disappeared, all but the case of lube. Intrigued, he got up to check it out, stealing a few tubes for himself and Methos. Xander wouldn't mind, he still had plenty left. That too disappeared and Ray grinned as he laid back down on his bed. He knew what he wanted to give his lover for their anniversary.
Oz carried Xander into the house and kicked the door shut behind him, letting him down but not letting him run away this time. "How did you get the stuff into the house?" he asked.
Xander grinned sweetly. "A boy's got to have some secrets," he said finally, trying to make the frown go away. "I got necessary stuff. I promise."
"All the dicks in my office were necessary?"
"Yup," Xander said, wiggling free and running up the stairs, his stride just a little slower this time.
"I know where you're going and you can't escape," Oz warned, walking after him. He slammed their bedroom door and stood in front of it, looking at the open closet doors. "Where did it all go?" he asked quietly. Xander shrugged. "Tell me or no sex," Oz warned.
"It just went, Oz," Xander swore, looking innocent as he stripped out of his dirty clothes. "I didn't do anything wrong, Oz."
Oz held out his hands and the credit cards were put into them. "You're not getting them back again," he threatened, putting them into his locking dresser drawer. He turned back to find Xander spread out on his stomach on the bed and again, one eyebrow went up. "And you wanted what?" he asked.
"Well, I did buy a case of lube," Xander said with a grin. "And I was hoping that we could do something with at least a tube of it."
Oz shook his head. "I think you need punished."
Xander's grin got bigger. "Okay," he said, wiggling his butt in the air.
"And you won't like it," Oz said, walking out the door, closing it behind him. He nodded at Methos as they passed on the stairs. "I'm punishing him."
"Oh, have you seen all the interesting things he bought?" Methos asked.
Oz stopped and turned to look at him. "Only a few toys." He shuddered when he heard the amused laugh. "Oh, man," he sighed, trudging back up the stairs to go search their closets. He stopped when he saw the room next to their's door was open, pushing it open slowly to look inside. He blanched when he saw the pile of dildos and the opened case of lube. Then he saw the pile of boxes that had computer pictures on them.
"Nope," Xander said, catching him before he could go in. "Prezzies are only for good boys who thank their lovers. Or punish them, either one."
Oz pulled Xander in for a hug, squeezing him tightly. "You just have bad timing, babe, I was rolling on my program." He glanced at the room. "How did it get up here?"
"Um, have you noticed anything odd about this house?" he asked gently.
"Yup, many things." Oz gave him another hug. "Can I look at least? Make sure I can use them?" Xander nodded, grinning and walking him over to the pile. "Wow," Oz breathed, falling down to look through the fifteen boxes of computer accessories. He glanced up. "You bought me stuff while you were bored?"
"First thing," Xander said, smiling at him. "Can you use it all?"
"Most of it," Oz said, nodding. "And the one thing I can't, you actually can." He held up the box. "You keep this one, it's more for your type of system anyway." He stood up, clutching his boxes to his chest. "Can I go toss these down stairs?"
"Sure, but if none of them work, I need to know. The toys went on top of them."
"They should be fine," Oz said, giving him a quick kiss on the way past him. "Pick *six* things that you want me to see and meet me in the bedroom," Oz called as he walked out of the room.
Xander looked at the spirit next to the piles of stuff and grinned. "Thanks, Dad." He pulled out his six things, exchanging the last one a few times, then ran to their room to get ready for his Oz.
Henrietta, the new housekeeper, walked into the house she would be taking care of, looking around in awe. "Well, they have good taste," she said as she walked into the kitchen to put her things away. She walked around the downstairs, nodding at the cats and dogs she saw. She stopped when she came to the office, one hand going to her chest when she saw what was littering the desk. She snorted and walked on, going to find the animals' room. She stopped when she saw the gym setup, smiling at the pink cat lording on the top of it. "Hello, pretty one," she said, waving at her. "Do you need anything?"
"No," Xander groaned, trudging down the stairs.
She turned and watched him, her mouth falling open. "I thought he was trying to scare me off," she whispered, following him to the kitchen, where she put on some coffee for him so he would quit glaring at the empty pot. "Shh, Xander, there will be coffee very soon. Go play with your animals." She turned him around and gave him a little push. "Go check on your pregnant one."
Xander nodded, yawning as he walked toward the play room. "Oz!" he shrieked when he got there, bending down to touch Rocky's stomach. "Oh, poor baby. You should have come got us." He picked up the basket she was lying in and carried it to the front door. "Rocky's in labor," he yelled.
Oz and Methos both ran down the stairs, taking the basket from him.
"Xander, maybe you should be dressed," Henrietta suggested as she handed him a cup of coffee. Xander looked down at himself, then jogged up the stairs, after handing back the cup. She looked down at the men who were staring at her. "What? I said I would be here before noon."
Oz shrugged. "Okay. Meth, this is Henrietta. She's the housekeeper. We're going to the vets, Henrietta."
"Call me Henri," she said as she handed Xander back his cup of coffee, trying not to look at his short cutoffs. "Go, and does the vet know that you're going to be coming in?"
"We've taken her three times in the last few weeks for checkups," Oz said as he lifted up the basket, carrying her out to the car. He got into the back with her, letting Xander slide in next to him, and waited while Ray went back into the house to find the keys to this car. By the time they were on their way, Rocky was breathing harder and whimpering. "Shh, I know it hurts, but it's okay," he told her quietly, reaching in to touch the top of her head. "I promise, Rocky, it's okay." He looked up and saw the fear on Xander's face, remembering the last time they had witnessed a birth and the tragedy of that one. "It'll be okay," he soothed. "I promise, Xander, she won't hurt like our kittens' mommy." Xander gave him a trusting smile, reaching over to squeeze his hand. "We're almost there and the nice doggie doctor will fix her. Even if she has to go through a c- section."
Ray pulled up in front of the doctor's office and got out, opening the door for Xander, who carried his favorite puppy inside. He followed Oz, who was doing all the talking while Xander cooed at Rocky, trying to keep her calm.
"She's in labor," Oz told the receptionist. "And she's not that old."
The receptionist led them to a room and let them inside, going to find a doctor after a glance at the dog. Pretty soon, a man in green scrubs walked in and looked down at Rocky, poking her in the stomach. "Well, it feels like it's time," he said, looking at Oz and Xander. "Boys, this happens all the time in nature."
"But ..." Xander started, but Oz squeezed his hand. "The last time we had a birth, the mommy ended up dying," Xander finished quietly. "Rocky was my first puppy and I don't want her to die."
"And she won't. She's not a puppy anymore, Mr. Harris. I've known her since she was one." He saw the really worried look and relented. "Okay," he said, picking up the basket. "Let's go take her to the back. I'll let you stay with her to make sure she's okay and I'll check on her every little once in a while." He looked over Xander's outfit. "Just threw whatever was at hand?" he suggested lightly.
"Yeah, it was his turn to play pool boy," Oz joked, going first to hold open the door for them. He sat down beside the spot where Rocky's basket was set down, stroking over her head.
"Let her do it," the doctor advised. "Dogs won't whelp when they're being stared at and petted. It's against the natural instinct."
"Can't you make it not hurt her?" Xander asked, biting on his bottom lip as his baby cried up at him.
"The only thing we could do would be to do a c-section, and then I'd probably end up fixing her."
Oz looked at Xander, who stared at him. "I don't want her to hurt like this," Xander said softly.
"Me either. Do you want her fixed though?" Xander looked down at his puppy then nodded. Oz looked up at the doctor and nodded. "Please. We've had some bad experiences with whelping and we'd really rather this was over for her."
"All right. Do you want me to fix her too?"
Xander looked up and nodded. "Yeah, I don't want her to go through this again." He leaned down and kissed Rocky on the head, narrowly missing being nipped. "Shh, it's okay. The nice doctor's going to make it all better, Rocky, and we'll never do this again, okay?" She growled.
"No, it's okay," Oz told her, handing the basket off. "Can you keep her in that?"
"No, but we can put her back into it as soon as she and the puppies are out." He smiled down at them. "It'll take me a little while. Do you want to wait in here?"
Xander scooted over and hugged Oz. "Whatever you want, just make her not hurt."
"I will, Mr. Harris." He walked off with their dog, passing Ray in the hallway. "We're going to be fixed after this," he told him.
"Okay," Ray said, shrugging. "I'm just the driver."
The doctor looked at him. "Did Xander really mean to put on those shorts today?"
"It was entirely possible that, if the housekeeper hadn't said something, that he'd be here naked right now," Ray told him with a grin.
"Ah." The doctor continued on his way to his surgical room, taking the young dog to have her puppies.
Methos answered his phone, sitting up right as soon as he heard the voice on the other end. "How is she?" He smiled and waved at the housekeeper through the window. "Three? That was all?" He snorted and hung up. "She's fine. They took them out surgically, and she had three puppies, they all lived." He stood up and stretched as she opened the window wider. "Apparently their father was a big dog in the old neighborhood. The doctor said it was a good idea for them to have taken it surgically after all."
"And she's fixed now?"
"Yes, he did that also. One fell swoop and there's no more of those problems in this house." He looked toward the room for the cats, frowning. "I still need to get my pink one fixed," he sighed, going to check on her. He was almost certain the other animals were fixed, but it never hurt to make sure of it. He noticed the strange black and white cat sitting in the bushes and looked it over, shaking his head. "You are not getting to my pink one," he told him, closing the door firmly behind him. He missed the sight of George sneaking around the bushes to jump on the other cat.
Oz opened the door so Xander could carry his puppy in, smiling at Methos, who was cradling his own cat. "What's up?"
"We were being naughty," he said, holding up George. "There was a strange cat and we went out to play tag with him near the pool."
"Ah." Oz nodded at the basket. "Three puppies, all very big, and one fixed mommy dog."
"She's a baby," Xander reminded him. He sat down on the couch and put the basket at the other end, watching as Rocky finished giving one of her puppies a bath. "And she's a good mommy too."
"Yeah, she is," Oz said, coming over to give him a hug. "But she needs some privacy to take care of the puppies or she'll take them and hide them from us and the other animals."
"I'm not going to try and grab them again," Xander pouted. "But I want to watch her. And them."
"Then do it from across the room," Methos told him. "Watching her means that she will take them and hide them away, Xander. That's the way animals are. Bring her basket into your sewing room and go sew. She'll be fine with very little monitoring." He walked into the kitchen and opened a can of wet food, ignoring all the animals that came running.
Oz walked in to help him, getting the rest of the animals a treat. It was going to be another one of those days.