Odd Helpers Helping To Fix The Problems.

"I know where Devi is," Xander said, smirking.

"He's dead, Xan," Oz pointed out.

"Nope. He's not. Jon told Angel about it and Angel told me. And I know that there's some people he knows that do not want that story to get out."

Oz lifted his head. "Does this mean I have to hear details about what you did while you were at work?"

"Maybe," Xander said softly, touching Oz's cheek, "but I'm still not going back to it."

"Good. If you have to," Oz told him. "I really don't want to go that far. I'd rather trust Strife."

Strife appeared beside them, smirking at them. "Good to know, Theo. Oh, and Xander, he already knows. One of the demons at the publishing house got an anonymous tip and all that. They've been told it wasn't your doing, and they're calling it a bible for a fictional novel." He winked. "Maybe you should try that."

Xander shrugged. "I can try but I'm not sure how good I'd be." Xander gave him a pitiful look. "We're gonna be okay, right?"

"Very okay," Strife agreed. "Did you know that there was a demon guarding the White House?" Oz shook his head. "Yup, there is, and he's fully behind you. He's even asked the Pres, who's a major Christian, to back you guys. Explained everything to him and all that good stuff." He giggled. "Mr. Right-wing-fundamentalist almost had to be hospitalized for it, but hey. Oh, and if that doesn't work, it still won't happen. We've made a few...deals to make sure of it." He winked at Xander and left.

"Deals?" Oz asked Xander tiredly. "What sort of deals?"

"That I have no clue about," Xander said softly, holding onto Oz.

"Not those sort," Strife sighed as he reappeared, rolling his eyes. "Like with some of the other Gods and higher Demons. Who all are waiting on Xander's second book now." He sat on the side of the bed, curling up behind Oz to hug them both. "See, what got all this started was actually a certain demon's wish. He really wanted Xander to be unhappy so he could take care of him." He paused while they groaned. "But, and this is the kicker, he put an out into the wish. And we've started working on that out. All Xander has to do is say that he loves Oz more than life itself and prove it."

"I gave up my life for him," Xander pointed out. "And I do love him more than my human life."

"We are human," Oz contested warmly. It bothered Oz that Xander sometimes equated immortality with not being human. He was very human, thank you.

"Not the point," Strife told him. "But he did give up his life during the spell. He literally died and came back with your energies as part of his soul. Which is why," he pulled Xander's arm up and squeezed it hard, making Xander whimper and a shining blade appear," he has a soul sword."

"Those are impossible," Oz noted, sitting up to look at it.

"Not if you have more than one soul in your body," Strife told him. He sat up, letting go of Xander's arm. "See, when the spell bound you, he took in part of each of your souls, the immortal ones, which are stronger, and the mortal ones which were around."

"But only immies were in the house," Xander pointed out.

"But yours was still there," Strife told him. "And you're all so mixed together right now that Xander's got enough soul energy to manifest a soul sword, which are impossible to be seen without more souls than one." He grinned at Xander. "Which somehow Wolfram and Hart found out, which is why they wanted to destroy you pretty badly before you came after them."

"Which would explain how this is tied back to them," Oz finished. Strife nodded. "Okay, now what?"

"Now, well, I'd stay inside. Henri's comin' with groceries for ya, and kitty food. She took one of your platinum cards last time because someone sounding like Xander called and told her to, just in case because he had a bad feeling. So, this mornin', in her email is a note tellin' her what to bring and what to go buy for you guys." He grinned. "My Cupie's brilliant with those things, I just mess 'em up really bad." He shook himself. "Anyway, this will all be settled but you've got to stay out of the limelight. Oh, and the cop that bothered ya, he's havin' a *real* bad day about now." He smiled over at Xander. "Just be scared enough to use it when the demon shows up." He disappeared again, leaving them alone.

"Whoa," Oz said, holding his head. "Strangeness rush."

"Truly," Xander agreed, looking at his undamaged wrist. "Way strange stuff, Oz." He flipped onto Oz and held onto him. "I'm not moving."

"Fine by me," Oz agreed, holding onto Xander, his lifeline to sanity... usually.


"Yes, Giles, I said soul sword," Xander sighed, rolling his eyes as Oz walked in to get in on their conference over the computer. He held up his arm and it came back out. "Strife showed it to me this morning."

"Ah. Well. Those aren't supposed to exist," Giles said suddenly. He glared at Xander. "Why did you bring him into this?"

"Because they can fix it without us having to move," Oz said, sitting on the arm of the desk chair. Xander pushed him off. "It's my chair."

"You won't let me do that," Xander reminded him. "You told me it'd break the arms."

Oz shook his head but he went to get another chair to sit in. "Okay, I'm back," he said once he was sitting in front of the computer, watching Willow's computer to see if anyone was trying to get into this system. "What is it?"

"It's supposed to be a physical manifestation of his soul, a substance harder than any metal as long as he's holding hope and strength."

"Which is why most people can't do it?" Oz asked.

Giles took a sip from his mug and nodded. "So it's thought. It's thought that most people might be able to manifest one but most don't know how or want it bad enough. It also has a downside. As soon as Xander gives up, his sword will disappear, possibly forever."

"Gee, good to know," Xander noted, looking at his arm. "It didn't hurt."

"It wouldn't," Giles told him, giving him an irritated look. "You really had to bring *them* into this?"

"Yeah, he did," Oz told him. "They're the only ones who can fix it."

"Then I guess it is better that way. Are you safe?"

"For right now," Oz told him. "We've got groceries and animal stuff. Everything's taken care of that we know of."

"The only thing that might remotely go wrong is if one of the animals gets sick or someone tries to storm the house again," Xander added.

"Then I suggest you get some rest, Xander. This will wreck havoc if your first book is put out." Xander nodded and left them. "Oz, you can't allow him to use it except in the most dire of circumstances. That sword of his will easily kill him when it leaves."

"Hey, I'm not looking forward to getting into a fight," Oz pointed out. "I want us to hide for a week or so and come out of seclusion to have this all fixed. Fighting is not on the agenda."

"As long as you realize that you've got to stay hidden. There's no way for you to sneak out of this one, Oz. You'll have to stay there and I here."

"Hey, as long as we can talk to you," Oz said, waving and turning off the camera, then the call. He walked out into the living room, catching Xander hugging one of the puppies. "You going to give that one to the cop?"

"I want to talk to him a bit longer," Xander admitted. "There's something I don't like about him. I'll explain it as I'm fussy about where my babies go." He smiled up at him. "I just got a beautiful note saying that it's all done with and that we can continue to hide if we want."

"Uh-huh. And what if it didn't come from *them*?" he asked, not wanting to call Strife back to their house.

"Oh, it wasn't. It was a nice little 'I'm calling you out' note." He handed it over. "We'll see what happens when he shows up tomorrow."

Oz read it and shuddered. "All right, want me there with you?"

Xander leaned over and gave him a kiss. "Always, babe." He put down the puppy and stood up, looking around the room. "Want a snack?"

"A Xander snack," Oz told him, grabbing him to pull his husband down into his lap and kiss him.

"Hey, I'm up for that," Xander smirked, rubbing his cock against Oz's hand.

"As usual," Oz teased.

"Yup, that's me. Always ready to please my Oz." He scooted backward until he landed on the floor and then leaned back, opening himself to his husband's attentions. "Do what you want to with me, I'm still yours." Oz growled and pounced on him.


Xander looked up from his reading as a wind started around his chair, reaching over to take Oz's hand to hold while the Monsoon demon formed in front of them. "So, I hear you've been having a bad time," he said jovially, crossing his feet on the lounger. "Oz, maybe you should go inside," he told his husband, who shook his head. "You're sure?"

"Very," Oz said, letting Xander go, watching as he lithely got up and went after the demon, his soul sword coming out. "Say the words," he reminded his mate.

"I love Oz more than my life is worth," he told the demon, stabbing him with the soul blade. "And not even you will take me away from him. There's not a power on any plane that can do that," he hissed coldly, stabbing him again, almost stumbling as the demon returned to it's air state and swirled away. "I'll figure out a way to capture you and make sure you never touch us again!" he shouted. "Oz is *mine*!"

The demon remanifested a few feet away, looking at the both of them. He pointed at Xander's blade. "Those aren't possible for humans," he hissed, his voice breathy like the air he was.

"He died and was soul-bound with us so we could be together forever," Oz told him, swinging his feet around so he could sit up. "He's mine."

"I *died* for Oz and I came back because I love him. No one, not even you, is good enough to take his place."

The demon bowed his head and nodded. "I understand now." He sent one last look at Xander. "You will not relent?"

"I'll die first," Xander told him. "It wouldn't be the first time.

"And it probably won't be the last." The demon bowed to Oz. "You have captured something much more valuable than anything in my realm." He looked at the person standing behind Xander. "As per our agreement, I will leave him alone and take my geis and curse off them." He faded out, leaving them alone.

Xander looked at Oz. "Are you feeling possessed?"

"Nope," Oz said, holding out his arms. "Not at all this time." Xander rushed over and jumped onto him, forcing Oz backwards into the chair. "Hey," he complained.

"What?" Xander asked, smirking. "I love you."

"Me too," Oz said, kissing Xander on the chin. "But this is not a comfy position, Xander."

"Huh," Xander said, grinning at his husband. "But I'm comfy."

Oz wiggled under his mate's weight until he was in a more comfortable position, but Xander wasn't. "There, now I am too."

"No fair." Xander got up and pulled Oz into the house and his writing room, the nearest source of really comfy furniture. "There, now we can both be comfy," he said, lying down and patting his stomach. Oz laid down on top of him and he wrapped him in his arms. "Much more comfy now," he whispered, taking a kiss.

"Yup, I could nap like this."

Xander snorted but he pulled the throw down to cover them.

Outside, the Monsoon demon reappeared, looking at Strife. "You were correct," he sighed, "my plans would have made them miserable, but stronger together." He looked at the window where the two were napping. "I relent, you may have complete control over them." He bowed. "Tell them I am sorry, I only wanted what they had." He disappeared, this time for good.

Strife punched a fist into the air and disappeared, going to find Cupid and tell him the good news.


Xander and Oz woke up from their nap to find Ray, and Strife, standing there watching them. "Hey," Xander said, limply waving a hand. "How was your trip, Ray?"

"Good," Ray said, winking at Oz, who was glaring at him. "It's really me this time, guys, I promise." He looked around. "Where's Meth?"

"At your place," Oz told him. "He's decorating."

"Na-uh, he's bossing the moving guys around," Xander countered, nipping Oz on the Adam's Apple. "Hey, Ray," he asked, staring into Oz's eyes. "Where were you?"

Ray snorted. "Like I know. All I heard was this, 'Hey, Ray, I got somethin' I wanna show ya' and then boom, there I am in this leather and chains hall with no doors out."

Oz looked over at him. "Are you okay?"

"Sure. There was food and everything. Oh, and this *incredible* tub, guys. The sort you can swim in, or fit a football team inta."

"Cool," Xander breathed. "Was it heated?"

"Yeah, and it had places that had bubbles, like a fountain, but the rest was just plain water. You could even drink it."

"Way cool," Oz agreed, looking over at Strife. "I never imagined you for the soaking type."

Strife groaned. "It's not *my* place, it's Unk's and he let me bor'ow it." He winked at Xander then disappeared with a 'Later'.

"Wow," Ray breathed, sitting down on the floor next to the couch the couple was lying on. "Someone really important thinks I'm special enough to lend his place to."

Xander leaned down and kissed him. "I do too," he noted, bringing Ray back from his contemplations of life. "So, what did you do besides soak?"

"There were all these porn movies," Ray said, his nose wrinkling. "Much heavier than I've ever been into." His face lit up. "Oh, and there was a copy of your book there, so I reread it. I just wish Methos had been there to share it with me."

"We can call him if you'd like," Oz offered.

"Nah," Ray said, standing up. "I want to surprise him." He grinned and waved, leaving them alone so he could go surprise his lover.

Xander snuggled back down onto Oz's chest. "Think it's over with?"

"I guess that would depend on how many people read that excerpt from the second book," Oz told him, stroking down the long back. "Want to go back to sleep?"

"Yeah," Xander admitted, closing his eyes. "Wake me when it's time for me to get up and jump you."

"Anytime, you know that," Oz agreed, starting to drift off himself.


Giles walked into the manor house and stopped, looking around for his warm welcome home. He grunted in annoyance, but he decided to search for his lovers. The Gods knew that they could get lost in various projects. All his anger dissipated when he found them curled up together, taking a nap on a couch. He actually smiled as he walked over to cover them up, then went to grab his bags and carry them upstairs.

There would be time for his warm welcome home later.