Money Matters.

Xander checked his bag with a sigh and headed out to the car. He really didn't want to do this, but it was quickly becoming necessary. He couldn't find the number for the guy running his investments in the Caribbean. He couldn't find Steve, who was the only person beside Oz who had the number; he was working on some other planet for the next week. Not even Ray could make sense of Oz's filing system. So now he had to do something that he wasn't thrilled about, he was going to have to dip into his secret funds to give them money to live on. It wasn't fair when he had millions of dollars to continue to make Ray pay for things. He climbed into the car and started the engine, backing out into street and heading for the airport.


Xander walked into the demon bank in New York, giving the man sitting behind the reception table a faint smile. "I need to talk to Mr. Grunth please," he said quietly.

"I'm sorry, sir, but he retired a few months back. Can anyone else help you?"

He shrugged. "Mr. Grunth set up a few hidden accounts for me and I need to access them."

"We have a new person over the hidden accounts, I'll get him for you," the young man said, picking up his phone and hitting a button. "Sir, I have a...."

"Xander Harris," he said quietly, glancing around. Someone heard and started to look him over, making him growl.

"I have a Mr. Xander Harris here about some of his secret accounts?" He smiled and put down the phone. "Yes, sir, right up the stairs, to the right, and it's the last office on the left."

Xander followed the directions, and managed to find the office on the third try. To say he was a little nervous was an understatement. He had put this money away because he didn't want to have to think about it, and, in one account's case, how he had gotten it. He shook hands with the green skinned demon on the other side of the desk and sat down. "I've had a small glitch in the other accounts I have set up, namely a human bank has screwed up everything and I don't have access to my other funds, so I'd like to get into one of my secret accounts."

The green skinned demon pushed the monitor over. "Sir, what name were they put under?"

Xander pulled out an envelope he'd been carrying around since that one day he'd set up these things, and pushed it across the smooth pine desk. "That's what Mr. Grunth gave me when he did them for me. And I don't want to touch that one," he said quickly. "The one with the star next to it. Personally, I'd like to forget I have that one."

The green skinned demon looked over the forms and nodded, typing something else in. "He did hide these for you," he said in appreciation. He looked over the young- seeming human. "Do you have someone to manage your money for you?" Xander nodded. "What do they say about these funds?"

"My mate doesn't know," Xander said quietly. "He knows that I have *one*, but not how they came to be and not how many or how much I have in them. These are the ones I wanted to hide from myself, or keep in case of an emergency." He shifted some. "I really only need access to one of the larger ones, he'll be home soon and will hopefully castrate the human bank that screwed everything up."

"I see." The demon typed in another account number, making notes on that one. He went through all of them except the one with the star, then hit that one last. Then he whistled. "If I may ask..."

"You don't want to know," Xander said, starting to feel uncomfortable again. "Trust me, you don't want to know."

The demon nodded. "All right." He pushed over his notes. "This is how much you have in each of them."

Xander reached over and scratched out the one with the star. "Not that one. I want to forget about that one."

"Of course." The demon scratched out that one too. "Here's what you have in the other ones."

Xander looked over the amounts. "I thought I had more in them."

"You do, but this is as much as I can get you today. If you can wait two days, I can get you the rest, which is the amount that's in the third column; that's a liability of these sort of accounts."

Xander nodded. "Can I have that second one then? And I'll take that maximum amount tonight."

"Sure." The demon turned back to his computer and typed in that account, starting the paperwork to close it. "Did you want to close just that one?" He smiled. "You sounded like you're used to having a lot more money on hand."

"I am," Xander sighed. "But I can live with that for a month. Hopefully, by then, Oz will be back and he'll be castrating the other bank." He jumped as a printer started behind him, looking over his shoulder at it. "Oh, my check," he said, shaking himself.

"Yes, sir." He looked at the computer. "You do have money in your usual account with us."

"Yeah, but I'd like to let that grow," Xander said with a faint smile. "Besides, every time I touch that, my brother Micah shows up." The demon turned slightly blue. "You know my brother?" The demon shook his head. "Just figured out who I am?"

The demon nodded. "Yes, Mr. Harris, and now I understand about having those hidden. I've heard your mate is a werewolf."

"He is," Xander agreed. "And then some." He grinned, pulling out his wallet to show it off. "That's my Oz."

The demon gurgled, pointing at the picture next to it. "Methos!" he said finally.

"Yeah, he's a sweetie, such a good little bed-buddy." Xander put away his wallet.

The demon stared at him in shock. "You tamed Methos?"

"Well, he was already tame. He actually taught me a lot of what I know today," Xander said with a brighter smile. "I'm missing him too, he's off with my Oz."

"Is your Oz an immortal too?" the demon asked. Xander nodded. "Then those rumors are true?"

"What ones? I'm out of the loop for rumors usually."

"That you're one too."

Xander shook his head. "Not at all. I'm *mated* to Oz and Methos, and Methos' lover, Ray. And my second husband," he added with a shrug. "I read as a pre-immie but I'm not."

"Oh, all right then. We're not supposed to be dealing with them," he confided.

"Yup, but I'm also a prince in a Metharn line." The demon swallowed. "Yeah, my adoptive father asked when I met him because he felt it too. Apparently it didn't cause him too much trouble because I'm mated to them. Also, my second husband is a sorcerer, who's presently digging himself into a deeper hole by continuing to cheat on me."

The demon typed in more information, then got up and tore off the check. "Sir, I'm glad it's your life and not mine." He handed over the check after signing it and smiled. "Where will you be staying? We'll send the rest of the money to you there."

"I'm heading home this afternoon. I'm in Miami now, I know the address is on my normal account if you need it."

"That would be fine, sir," the demon said, holding out a hand for shaking. "Thank you for coming to us with this need. I hope you get the other bank's problem solved soon."

"Thanks." Xander shook his hand and left.

The demon picked up his phone and called his boss. "Sir, I just met with Xander Harris." A long pause. "So it's known? No, he decided to empty one of his hidden accounts due to a human bank's screw up. From what he said, it was something major that made them freeze part of his account with them. No, sir, he never said if it was cascaded or not, but it would make the most sense for a man in his position." He smiled and leaned back. "No, not that one. He didn't want to even consider that particular account. How did he...." A longer pause and the demon sat upright suddenly. "Really? No wonder." He shuddered. "Much better that it was him instead of me." He looked at the computer. "Yes, sir, he's already headed for Miami and his home there. He instructed me to send the rest of the money for that account there." He changed screens. "Yes, sir. Is the board going to take up the issue of him having accounts with us?" He laughed. "That's good to know. The interest he makes us is a great boon. Yes, sir, I'll do that." He hung up and changed screens, going to the smallest account. He dialed the number on the account. "Mr. Harris?" he asked. "No, sir, this is the person you just spoke to at your bank. No, I filed my report to have that one closed and my superior officer pointed out that one account was at the barest minimum to not have fees, and he reminded me that the minimum was going to be going up within the next six months. Yes, sir, I can do that and send it to you also." He smiled. "Of course, sir, we pride ourselves on our service." He hung up and started the process of closing that account too.


Xander walked up to the ticket agent and handed over his ticket to get a boarding pass. "Sir, if I may ask, why were you in New York today?" she asked politely.

"Problems with my bank," he said tiredly. He hated these security protocols.

"I see." She looked down at his bag. "May we check that for you?"

"You may search it for me," he corrected. "I need the laptop inside to work on during the flight." He put it on her counter, getting out of the guard's way. He saw the drug sniffing dog and groaned. "He doesn't mind ferrets, cats, or other dogs, right?" he asked.

"Sir, he's trained to ignore them."

"Good, but you might want to take out the dog biscuits in the front pocket," Xander said, pointing. The first security guard took them out then put the bag down for the dog, who snuffled it and attacked his handles. "They open," Xander told him when he saw the knife. "It's velcroed down." They opened his handles and the dog attacked a small piece of cloth on the inside, a wet piece.

The dog handler picked it up and delicately sniffed it, then grimaced and pushed it away from him. "Sir, one of your dogs may be in heat."

Xander just nodded. "It's been known to happen with four of them around. One of the people who lives with me still hasn't gotten his female fixed. Am I clear now?"

"Yes, sir, but why were you in town for so few hours?" the first security guard asked.

"I had to have a talk with my bank. One of my accounts seems to have hiccuped and stopped my automatic payments to people like the phone company, my housekeepers, and my shopping account." He pulled out the check and showed it off. "I had to go dig into one of my less accessible accounts, and I had to do it in person."

"I've never heard of that bank," the first guard said, handing back the bag.

"It's a small, exclusive bank," Xander explained as he rehitched the handles. "Am I clear now?"

The guards nodded and the ticket agent gave him his boarding pass. "We're sorry, sir, but we had to make sure you know," she said with a smile.

"Yeah, I know," Xander sighed as he went to get onto the plane. "A private plane," he told himself. "All the other rich people have one. Maybe I should think about that. It seems like such a nice idea." He smiled at the stewardess as she walked past him. "Are we going to be really late or just a little?"

"Probably a little, there's not a lot of wait to take off," she told him, nodding at his bag. "Stow it for now please, sir." She watched as he shoved it under his seat. "Thank you." She walked on, checking on the rest of the passengers who were trying to get settled in for take off.

The seat next to Xander was filled with a woman, who was holding her puppy against her chest. He held out his hands. "Let me hold her while you put up the bag," he suggested. She glared at him. "I have four dogs at home, just trying to help." He buckled in and leaned back, closing his eyes. This would be another thing that a private plane would solve. He felt something wet against his cheek and grunted.

"Get away from him," the woman scolded. "You don't know where he's been."

Xander pulled out his wallet and showed off the picture of his animals. "That's where I've been, and I've recently been told that one of the dogs in my house is in heat." He looked over at her. "It's my roommate's dog. Even the drug sniffing dog reacted." She got up and moved to an empty seat and he shrugged.

The stewardess leaned down. "Sir, do you really have a problem with the dog?" He showed her the picture. "Then what happened?"

"I told her that her dog was probably reacting to my roommate's dog, who is apparently in heat because even the drug sniffing dog reacted to it's smell on my case." He shrugged. "I like little dogs; I had one until last year when it decided to go home with a friend. It's all in her head." He pulled down the shade and smiled at her. "Do I look that bad?" he asked.

"No, sir, just tired." She got out of the way of a passenger, who was holding a book and a pen.

"Mr. Harris, would you please sign my book?" she asked.

"Sure," he said with a weak smile. He took the book and signed it. "What's your name?" he asked.


He put a 'to' section on and a short personal message, then handed it back with the pen. "There you go." He gave her a brighter smile, then looked at the stewardess. "It's been a long day dealing with a bank which screwed up."

She nodded sympathetically and walked away, going to check in with the gate agent so she could close the door. One last man ran onto the plane and was seated next to Xander. He smiled and shook Xander's hand, then shuffled around for a few minutes while they taxied out to take off.

"I love flying, don't you?" the man asked cheerfully. "Such a marvel of modern science and a true work of God's favorable will toward man so we can attempt to touch his state."

Xander continued to count. If they didn't crash by the time he got to two hundred, they probably wouldn't.


Xander walked in and flopped down onto his couch, looking over at Henri, who was looking a little worried. "I want a private plane," he told her.

She laughed and patted him on the head. "I'm sure, but it wouldn't be that practical, Xander. You don't fly that much." She headed into the kitchen. "Want a brownie?"

"Please," he groaned, forcing himself to sit up. "I got it straightened out with my secondary bank. We'll be getting a large check in the next few days." He handed over the check. "Here, put this somewhere safe until I have the strength to go cash it. How're the boys?"

"They're better," Henri told him. "Twin cases of appendicitis was unexpected."

"The fact that our health insurance wasn't going to cover that much of it surprised me," he said dryly, taking the brownie she brought him. "Did the credit card work?" She nodded. "Good. I'd hate to have to go throttle the health insurance agent. Not that I won't, but I'd hate to have to go do it right now. He should have told us that it wouldn't cover stuff like that when we put you on as employees." He bit into the treat and gave her a smile. "Did the grocery store go okay?"

"It went fine," she soothed, patting him on the head again. "Don't worry, it will all be straightened out soon enough." She went back to the kitchen, hoping she was right. Xander didn't handle this sort of stress very well.

Xander relaxed on the couch, waiting on the next emergency to come from the banking crisis. He looked out the window when he heard the car door slam, and almost got up, but Richard was standing out there, blocking his view. It couldn't have been Giles, could it? He relaxed again. Richard knew how to open the door if he wanted to come in. And he would probably even be willing to explain what had gone on without being prompted, the other immortal was like that.