Notes: starts after the outtake story that's available on the auto archive.
Refuges for Refugees.
Wade watched Xander research forging materials. He looked over his shoulder. "That's for glass work, kid."
"I know," he said absently. "I'm going to try some cast glass stuff for beads and things."
"You don't just suddenly start that stuff, Xander. That's like making jewelry; you learn and then do it."
"Oh." He considered it. "How do you learn?"
"Take a class?" He looked it up on the other computer Xander had out to run a separate search on. "There's a glass blowing class in one of the local college's art departments." Xander beamed. "We can talk to them. Now, about the jewelry stuff? What do you really need?"
"He uses a full forge beside his pool."
Wade nodded. "We don't have a pool. Are you going to clear some of the trees out for that? Put it at the farm?"
"I was thinking about renting somewhere? Maybe?" he offered sheepishly.
"You wouldn't get there every day."
Xander considered it. "I can get there two or three times a week."
"You probably could," he agreed. "Or you could denude some of the trees in the back that need it and put up a small workshop area. Or add onto your woodworking shop." Xander nodded, considering that. "I looked on youtube for vids and they showed basically a really hot burner and a crucible cup with a holder to lift it so you could pour for casting."
"He does real forge work, like for horseshoes. I learned a lot of that."
Wade looked something up, nodding. "They have a metal working for jewelry class as well." Xander beamed. "Are you thinking like hammered things or wire jewelry? It'll depend on what sort of flame you're using."
"We can use the energy metal."
"Then it'd never go out," Wade pointed out.
"Good point. He does use a few chunks in with his coals. He learned the traditional way." Wade nodded at that. "I'm not bad at it. He even makes his own pretty hairpins."
"Wonderful. You could use some more." Xander nodded. "Let's talk to the art department people this week and then we'll see when the classes start." Xander beamed and nodded, walking off calling the number Wade had found to talk to someone. Wade slumped. This was going to be insane. But if they ever needed to burn a body, at least he'd have a nice place to do it in probably. Especially if Xander did glass work.
It still sucked that sometimes he was the voice of reason. He never got to do the fun stuff anymore.
Xander came back with his contractor from his construction company, outlining plans on what he needed added onto the garage. He nodded, pointing out that they could do that. They had a good three thousand feet to the side of the garage and another half acre to the back. They'd have to remove trees but they weren't in that great of shape back there. No one had thinned them recently. He had to call someone to talk about what the forge and glass melting hole would need.
He and Xander agreed on some things, including fireproofing the whole building and making sure the floors were pure concrete and that they had a fire system in case of something getting out of hand. Xander insisted on foam and water, which he appreciated. It wasn't that hard to install. He gave him an estimate and said he'd have to check with someone to give him a final estimate, that was just a guestimate. Xander agreed that was fine, fed him a few brownies, and let him get back to his present site.
Xander bounded off to talk to Jensen about stuff, showing him what he had been working on. Jensen had decent taste and he could tell him what to give Anya for her birthday. He decided on a wire jewelry bracelet. It looked fashionable and had pretty stones that could go with nearly anything in her closet. They got boxes to put the stuff he had done into so they wouldn't get ruined. Xander showed him the other stuff they needed and what he had on hand. Jensen could find anything online so he could find him a forge and supply place. Which wasn't that hard when Jensen did it or Sam did it, but Xander doing it meant he'd never find anything. When he heard Jolene complaining at the baby, he got up to pull her in so she could look at what he had already gotten done.
"They're real delicate," she said with a smile.
Xander nodded. "They are. I did some hammered stuff but they're kinda plain." He showed her those too.
"Aww, they're pretty, Xander." He showed her Anya's present. "That's beautiful work."
Xander beamed. "I'm going to be doing it from a home workshop in a few months, when it gets built."
"You let me know when so I can tell Pooch to come beg you for something for our anniversary." She winked and got up to tell her husband. They had been adorable but delicate. She needed something with more strength.
Jensen grinned. "Soon you can be as good as a real jewelry shop." Xander beamed and nodded. "Take Anya her present? Isn't her birthday next week?"
"Yup." He got up and headed out. He found them at home, because Wade tended to stay home most of the time these days. Apparently he was bored again. He knocked and Wade answered the door, giving him an odd look. "I picked out her birthday present."
"Sure," he said, letting him inside. "Anya, early birthday present." She squealed and came out to open it. Wade nodded. "That's pretty work, Xander."
Xander beamed. "Thank you. I softened the metal for each setting and then wrapped it around the stone." She gave him a look. "During the Xander convention I learned how to make jewelry. That's one of my first pieces."
"It's very pretty, Xander. And it'll go with everything." He beamed and nodded. "Thank you." She kissed him on the cheek. "Are you taking Wade? He's bored again."
"Nope, not right now. Jensen found the place online to get the forge and metal supplies," he told Wade with a manic grin. "We have a guestimate for adding the workshop behind the garage and I do need to weed out the sick trees from back there." Wade nodded. "So I'll get someone to do that today. Or this week."
"I've got the number of the guys you use and I'll call them." Xander beamed and nodded. "You need to sort all the other ones for the things you want to work with and what you want to get rid of. Horatio was nagging about that again."
"Good point. Thanks, Wade. Want to go to the bank with me?"
"How many do you have?" he complained. It couldn't be as bad as the warehouse, right?
"Six safety deposit boxes with free stones and the foot locker in the living room? Oh, and the regular vault box." Wade moaned, shaking his head. "We should probably tell the regular jewelry store too. That way they get first pick. I haven't visited recently." He scratched his wrist. "Should I take samples over?"
"You can to show them what you're working on, that way they know if you need something specific." Xander beamed and nodded. "We can go do that tomorrow."
"Okay." He kissed Anya on the tip of the nose. "Wear it somewhere pretty, Anya." He got up and bounced out.
Wade waited until he was sure the kid was gone. "His poor horse is going to be worn out for days." He sat down. "That's very delicate work. I've seen things like that on that fashion show you watch."
"It's very pretty, delicate work," she agreed. "Semi-precious stones."
"If he had given you diamonds I would've complained, Anya. You only give your lover diamonds, not everyone."
"Poo." She put it on her wrist, nodding. "It does go very nice with my wardrobe and it's very smooth, no burrs. He did a decent job with it." Wade nodded with a smirk. "Am I getting diamonds from you?"
"I'm not the marrying sort," he said dryly.
"I knew that," she sighed.
"No. I'm getting you a shopping trip." She beamed and kissed him, bouncing off to store her new present. Wade went limp and considered it. He texted Steve Ellison, Xander's financial whiz and manager. He got back a sigh and an 'I know'. So he told him he was making jewelry with some of it. Steve sent back he was doing the happy dance for Xander finding a new hobby. Maybe it'd take some of his bored hours and let the puppies sleep instead of play all the time. Wade snickered and said they were pulling out the stone boxes to look through. Steve told him to wear sunglasses for some reason. So it was probably a lot.
Wade walked a heavy box into the team's building, thumping it down outside Clay's door. Clay opened it to stare at him then at the box, looking very confused.
"From his last suitor. It expanded the jewelry empire by over fifty percent."
"That's a four foot high box, Wade."
Wade pulled out the inventory the bank kept to show him. "I know. The bank people nearly cried when it got delivered, even though Xander said he hadn't ordered it." He pointed. "Get one of the spooks to sell it. The demon wouldn't take it back and showered him with sapphires in the bank itself. Not in the office, or in the secured sectioned, but in the main lobby of the bank."
Clay just nodded. "Isn't that your job?"
"They won't listen to me. They think Xander's mean again for some reason." He walked off. "Or let Jolene play with it but they'll definitely think she's part of the harem. Hell, teach Junior and Jensen colors for all I give a damn." He walked out of the building so he could drive himself to the bar. He walked in and handed the bartender his keys. "Tequila. Vodka. Beer chasers." He put down three hundred bucks, letting the pretty young waitress bring it back to his table.
Clay looked at the box, opening the catch to look inside. "Damn," he said in awe.
Jensen came down from upstairs to look over his shoulder. "Is that what the newest demon suitor sent?"
"Huh. Xander complained about it a lot already. He vowed to go destroy him if he didn't take them back." He smirked when Clay stared at him. "The guy pouted at him and offered him a concubine too. Apparently the demon's half quarth, which is their demon version of a GHS sort of sex demon. He also said he was going to get the other clans of quarth to help his suit. No matter what Xander wanted since his relationship wasn't that happy."
Clay nodded. "Call Peter, see if he has any contacts. If not, call Jimmy Hellar." Jensen nodded, going to do that. "Pooch, come grab this to guard so your wife can play." Pooch opened his door, looking down the hall at him. He pointed. "New demon suitor to Xander."
"Is it snakes? She'll scream and I've got a headache."
"Not by a long shot. Wade's getting drunk."
Pooch came out to look in the box. "Damn." Jolene walked out to look and moaned. "New demon suitor, baby."
"They need to find reality," she complained.
Clay smirked. "Wade suggested you use them to tease your boy and teach the other one colors."
She snorted. "He'd swallow something." She walked off shaking her head.
Pooch looked then at Clay. "Sorry, the wife speaks," he said with a smirk, going back to playing with the baby.
Clay sighed but carried the box into his apartment to put under the table he never used. He looked up at cackling coming from Jensen's apartment and moaning from Cougar's. Then a higher pitched moan. "Clearly someone's got fun ordered in." Clay sat down to clean his guns. He'd probably have to shoot someone soon.
Jensen leaned in a few minutes later. "Peter said he's a tenth-quarth and they're all pushing for Xander to find a good owner. Even if Xander doesn't like it. I pointed out Xander wasn't a quarth, GHS didn't get owned, and Xander was in a relationship. He said he can't go past that and if we tried he'd have to act against us." Clay rolled his eyes, stroking a barrel with a cleaning cloth. "Jimmy Hellar, interestingly enough, has been following Xander around whenever he's bored to see who else shows up in Miami. He warned me that our former boss is in town."
Clay stopped his cleaning to stare at him. "Both of them," Jensen added. "The general and the higher up we worked with in the CIA the most often. Fi wanted to come play with them. Jimmy told her he'd offer her up to the one who gave them to Xander if she wanted when she interrupted to say that into his ear." He smirked. "Oh, and by the way, General Highpants McChemical Man is in town too." He closed the door and went back to his apartment to clean his own guns.
Clay dialed everyone's phone for a conference call. "General Borkin's in town along with our old handlers." He hung up and finished cleaning the guns. He was definitely going to get to shoot someone soon. Even if Horatio didn't like it. He called Xander's engineering/magic/chemist team to warn them too. It was highly likely they're why that sort of top-heavy group was in town. No answer and the chemist always answered his phone. He had two kids. He called his home and got an out-of-service message. So he called Horatio and geared up to go save the geeks. Before they got Xander or someone destroyed. Or worse, Miami. Because nowhere else gave them the sort of easy yet frustrating job with bikinis.
Roque hung up and stared at his phone then at the boy. "Xander, there's a top-heavy general's convention in town. I'm to stick with you just in case they try for you."
"Fuck 'em. They come for me and I'm going to kill."
"They'd probably have guns," Roque said, noticing he was cleaning his sword.
Xander got up to get into the gun cabinet, pulling out a good few of them. "Sure, we can do that too." He sat down to finish cleaning his sword from practice to calm himself down.
Roque loaded himself down. He didn't want to piss Xander off. Xander would make a mess out of him by hormoning him and then cutting off anything that stuck up with his sword. Buffy would miss his dick so he'd be calm and helpful for now.
Roque answered the house phone. "If that's Horatio telling me not to react, bite me," Xander called. "I'm in a bad mood and if the spooks stick up for that suitor I'm going to have to kill all them too."
"Sure," Roque said, repeating that. He heard why. "No, not the reason, Xander. Your chemist and his people are missing?"
Xander looked at him. "Have him call the farm? They fall back to that hidden house." He put his sword in the scabbard on his back and got to work checking his guns.
"He's in scary bastard mode, Horatio. He said to check the farm. Thanks, man." He hung up. "He has. He thinks they changed to your old backup spot or the one that's in another name?" Xander pulled out the ID to hold up. "Oh, that one. Okay." He found that address from Anya and told Horatio so he could check it.
Clay pulled up in front of the hidden backup spot, honking. Someone looked out and he rolled down the window. "Not you, ma'am," he said. "Your neighbors." She closed the door. Someone peeked out and he nodded. They rushed out and got into the car. He drove off. "Anyone need anything?" he asked, putting up the window.
"My girls are in school," the chemist said.
"Horatio has them and your wife, Bill." The guy relaxed and smiled. "What happened?"
"Someone set off our smoke detectors with a gas grenade," the engineer complained. "I got us moved."
"Good job." He took them to Horatio and he handed over the wife and kids. Clay took them to a hiding spot Xander had set up with Wade. It was secure and damned if anyone knew it was anything but Wade's mistress' house. Though he wasn't sure Wade had a mistress. Usually he was too worn out thanks to Anya. They got them settled in and set up a perimeter watch and guard with the team.
Xander hung up with one of the other GHS in town and threw his phone.
"Hey!" Roque shouted. "You nearly hit the dragon."
Xander petted him. "C'mon, Roque. We're going to rescue their hostage." Roque gave him an odd look. Xander stared back. "I can do it on my own."
"No you can't." He followed him out to the new sports car and Xander drove really fast. And kinda worse than Jensen did. "What did they do?"
"They kidnaped two GHS to draw the team into the open."
"Okay, that's not an unusual tactic."
"One's still sick. The other's pregnant."
"That's deadly for them." Xander switched gears as he went around a corner then sped back up. "This shit does not happen in my city. I don't give a damn who I have to destroy but it will not happen again and you do not fuck with my people." He knew Roque was giving him funny looks but yay! Xander was very overprotective of his people and friends. His chemist and engineer were friends.
They found where the generals were hiding and parked, getting out to blatantly walk in there. Xander let his hormones rip when they got closer, making all the people guarding the doors and exits swoon and a few start to masturbate. Xander walked over one, shooting him in the dick. "You don't touch my friends." He walked inside and let it rip again. The generals gave him horrified looks. "You're touching my fucking people," Xander said bluntly. "Stop it."
"But..." one started. Xander shot him in the knee. He got the others in there too. He paused at one. "Tell me you're desperate," he ordered.
"Double agent," he said with a grin. "I'm the reason you're here instead of uptown. It's a small way to prevent too much bloodshed today. They're in the back room, Xander."
"Thanks." He walked that way. "Roque, feel free to have happy moments with your knives. I don't give a fuck what Horatio wants. I want them out of Miami and if they go back in Cuban cigar boxes, so be it." He kicked in the door since there was a padlock. "You two good?" he asked as he walked in. They both gave him scared looks. "They were trying to get the retrieval team to out their position so they could confiscate the chemist I give grants to so he's not going to the highest bidder." They groaned. "So they're sorry. Very, very sorry. You don't touch my friends." He got their handcuffs undone and walked them out. "Michael, please get them home?"
"Gladly, Xander. Do you two need the ER?" They shook their heads. "You sure? I know a good private doc who'll look you both over. He owes Xander poker money too," he offered with a grin.
The pregnant one shook her head. "I'm okay. They just tried to scare us and said we'd be presents." She rubbed her stomach. "Including her."
"I'd have killed them," Michael assured her. He walked them out to his sedan, taking them to Horatio for statements and to see if he could calm down Xander. Because he hadn't seen Xander as a scary bitch before. Now.... He knew agents he considered less scary than Xander. No wonder he had Wade.
Roque finished cuffing people and looked at the boy. "Let's let Horatio clean it up."
Xander flipped one over by kicking his shoulder. "So, how'd you like getting a GHS?" he asked dryly. The general whined. "Do you really think I'd let you touch someone I protect? Really? I mean, I can open the damn hellmouth if you're going to be that bad for people because you're bored." He stared at him. "Hell, I can create another one. There's a few nice spots in Virginia or New York upstate." He smirked. "Are you still bored or wanting my friends?"
"No," he moaned.
Xander smirked. "Good!" He walked off calling someone. "It's Xander. I just ....dealt with some people who took a few other society members hostage to get back at the retrieval team. Want 'em until Horatio tracks 'em down? Hormoned badly," he said dryly, staring at one. "You wave that puny fucking stick at me again and I'll make my ferret show you what a real one looks like." He whimpered and went limp in all meanings of the word. "Thanks, Pieter." He read off the address. "Thank you. No, Roque's worried I'm possessed." He hung up and looked at the building. "We can't burn it."
"No, you can't burn it," Roque said, walking him back to the sports car. He even got in to drive. "Let's get ice cream?"
Xander looked at him. "Do I look like a blonde, selfish bitch?" he asked dryly.
"No but I figured it worked on your other bad moods," he offered.
Xander snorted. "Let me go check on my people." He nodded, taking him where the team was waiting. Xander got out and walked inside from the garage. "People, the generals are fucking sorry. Pieter has them." Clay gave him a horrified look. He smirked. "You don't touch my friends and family. I tend to get mad. I also told them if they're that bored I'll open a damn hellmouth in Virginia." Jensen moaned, shaking his head. He hugged one of the kids. "Are you guys all right?" he asked calmly. She nodded, taking him back to talk to the adults and calm them down.
Clay looked at Roque, who shrugged. "He hormoned them outside and then inside the building. He wounded them. He rescued the two GHS and handed them to Michael. He's really pissed off." Jensen went to calm Xander down. "He offered to let me turn them into bits and pieces but that's a shitload of work."
Clay nodded. "Yeah, probably." He looked toward the bedroom then at Roque. "He still working out his earlier bad mood?"
"Yup," he said, nodding quickly. "I nearly prayed." Clay shuddered. The last time Roque had said that, they had been under torture. "He's acting like Miami's his city."
Clay nodded. "In some ways, yeah." He shuddered again. "All right. Let's call Horatio...."
"Michael took them to him by the route he took driving off."
"Even better." He stared at the back rooms then at Roque again. "Ice cream?"
"He said he's not Buffy."
"No, clearly not," Pooch said dryly. "Where's Wade?"
"Damn." Pooch sighed. "Go watch Jolene and the baby? She's due soon." Roque nodded, leaving Xander with them. He went to check on Xander, finding him talking to them about what the generals would've wanted. "They could've just wanted them to work on a project that got taken from someone else." Xander nodded at that. "Roque went to watch Jolene and Junior."
"Sure," he agreed. "Did he take my car?"
"Thanks." He smiled at the kids. "You guys relax. It's probably over with but I'll be making damn sure because you don't touch my friends." He tweaked the boy's ear then smiled at the mother. Then he got up and walked out.
"Xander, with a guard," Clay ordered.
"I'm fine. Not backed up at all." He walked out and to the car, taking it to go talk to someone. He found the local NCIS guy Gibbs sometimes worked with and walked into his office on the base, staring at him. "I just shot a few people, including a few generals, who took some GHS hostage to get my chemist out of hiding."
"Okay," he said, taking out a form. "Which generals?"
"No damn clue, don't really care," Xander admitted.
"I'll call Caine."
"Someone's got them until Horatio asks him for them." He smirked. "Because he was going to *gift* them. Including the pregnant one's new daughter." That got a growl. "By the way, they're all injured and hormoned. Because I've reached my I'll be damned line again."
"I get that," he promised. "I'll let the higher ups know that some of their top people are screwing up, Mr. Harris. You don't take innocents hostage like that." Xander grinned. "Why don't you go calm down and I'll get with the Lieutenant. Then we'll make sure they leave Miami in disgrace."
"I told Roque he could make them fit into cigar boxes but he apparently decided it was too much work." That got a nod and Xander left.
The Major called Horatio. "Lieutenant, I just had Xander Harris in my office confessing that he rescued some people the hard way. Apparently they were going to *gift* their GHS hostages. Including one's daughter she's carrying. No, he's still pissed off. Static electricity in his hair and all pissed off. He said they're injured, you'd have to ask for them, and that they all got hormoned but Roque turned down the opportunity to make them fit into cigar boxes." He listened. "Exactly. No, I don't see a problem with it. Who might it have been so I can call a higher up to tell their bosses they're idiots?" He made notes on what Horatio knew. "I'll tell the director that. Thank you, Lieutenant."
He hung up and called the DC office. "This is the Agent out of the Southern Florida office. I need to speak to the director please. There's a situation with a few generals. One ours, one Army, one Marine." He got transferred up to his assistant. He told her why and she transferred it to his cellphone since he was heading to a meeting. He gave him all the facts and told him what they might know. Clearly someone needed a belt up there to beat the stupid ideas out of their heads. He agreed if they could be found he'd take them into custody for the locals and tell him exactly who it was and why. He also agreed that the director could tell the people on the Joint Chiefs so they could fire them.
Horatio met the man coming off the plane with a nod. "Gibbs."
"I can't believe they took aim at the NCIS guy down here."
"He's slightly injured and swearing. We've since locked Xander in the alternate house so he can't go destroy more people."
"Good idea. Though, not a bad rescue from what I'm told." Horatio handed him the folder as they walked off. "Who went with him?"
"Roque followed but didn't get any time to help." Gibbs gave him a funny look. "Xander was highly upset."
"Where was his assistant?"
"Drunk thanks to the newest suitor," he said dryly. "He's still complaining that he could've helped, even if he was dead drunk."
"I've seen commandos do it. The team?"
"Good. The ones they were protecting are safely in another area for a bit being protected." He smirked. "They're nicely in another house of his."
"Foreign?" Horatio nodded. "Fine," Gibbs decided. "Not like he'd pick unsafe areas so it's a good hiding vacation for them I suppose." They got outside to the hummer and he climbed in. "There's days I almost miss driving one of these."
Horatio smirked. "Everyone pouts that I get to take mine home." He drove them back to the office so they could go over the statement the local NCIS person had given before being admitted for surgery to replace the missing knee he now had. Don walked in a note, holding it up. Horatio nodded. "That's not a bad idea. Are the dogs and ferrets there as well?"
"Yup. They'll be back when it's safer and he doesn't have to see the dirty looks from the others in the poker circuit. Or when he's not pissed off at us for locking him in the alternate house instead of helping him calm down. We're to exercise his horses for him." He walked off shaking his head. "Gibbs, we have a spare room."
"Thanks, Flack." He looked at him. "Denver?" he asked quietly.
"The next life plan."
He nodded. "I pity their team."
"The ATF team out there has been most helpful once they got briefed." He smirked. "Of course, I'll send out notice of what happened so they don't hear it from rumors." Gibbs snickered and let him send that whole case file to Larabee out there. Then they got to work arresting those that needed it from the hospital. The people who had them knew they'd only have them for a while so they had talked about what benefit they could have. It had taken a whole day for Horatio to find out who had them. They weren't in pretty shape by any means.
Including the former spooks and agents that they had hired.
Xander had been especially hard on them.
Chris Larabee, out of the Denver ATF office, looking at the fax machine spitting out pages. "What now?" he complained. He gathered them to look at. "Ezra?" he bellowed. He came in and took the file. "Go ask him how accurate that is."
He sighed, handing over the transcripts of the statement he had taken. "He's still very upset about his newest suitor and all that going on. Including that the former agents are trying to encourage his suit." He walked off. "He's making a new horseshoe set by hand."
"He's got a forge?" Chris asked, looking confused.
"Yes, he's recently learned how to make jewelry that way." He smirked. "He'll calm down eventually."
"I hope." He took the file and the transcripts out to talk to the boy. Who had Wade but no one else. Even Sandburg was at home for the moment. Of course, he found out they had new dogs when they came out to growl at him. "Down, dogs," he ordered. The growling got worse. "Harris!" he bellowed.
Wade came to the doorway. "Kids." They ran inside. "Thank you." He looked in there then at him. "He's still in a rage, Larabee. Give it another few hours of pounding things." Chris shook his head. Wade took the file to read over, smirking at it. "He did good."
Xander sighed but came out petting the dogs. "What?" Chris glared. Xander glared back. "They were endangering my friends. I don't allow that." He went back to the forge after petting all three dogs. They ran out to play in the garden area and the pool. It was empty but they could play with the ball Wade had tossed down there. It was a great game of doggy soccer or something.
Larabee winced at the pounding metal noises. "He's strong."
Wade nodded. "Most of the time. I still had to open a jar of pickles for him earlier." He leaned in the doorway. "He'll be better tomorrow. Almost no one knows we're here. Let the kid calm down."
"Fine. I want a full disclosure of how he did that."
"He hormoned 'em," Wade said bluntly. "Twice." Chris shuddered. "Then he shot them. Xander wasn't nice by any means."
"This probably sets a bad precedent."
Wade shook his head. "I wouldn't want to mess with the kid. Ever. Especially not after that."
"Maybe." He stared at him. "Security force?"
"Day off. Xander's very sweaty and he didn't want to accidentally hormone them."
"I suppose that's a good thing," Larabee said dryly. "Have him appear in my office tomorrow by noon." Wade nodded. Chris left him to calm the boy down. Not like he knew how to calm a boy like Xander down. He could barely get Ezra calmed out of a rage. Xander was a mystery to any sort of guy rules he knew and lived by.
Wade went back inside. "They wanted to see you by noon," he said quietly.
Xander looked at him. "Think we could just move up here now? Leave those two down there?"
Wade shrugged. "I can ask some friends to see if they'd like to date you. Not a problem." Xander grinned. "All you have to do is let me know, Xander. It sucked that they locked you over there instead of calming you down." He patted him on the head. "What are you doing?"
"Hair sticks." He showed him. "I'm decorating them in a minute then I'll split them."
"Sure." He let him do that, going to watch over the dogs and make sure no one tried the compound to get Xander. He was really sweaty but thankfully not backed up in the least. His phone rang with a text. "Anya said we owe her better presents since we had to abandon her for her birthday."
Xander looked back at him. "Tell her to call an incubus down to torture?"
"Hell no," Wade snorted. "The only dick that touches her is mine. Or else I'll let you kill me horribly." Xander grinned. "I'm not the sort to have mushy love."
"I know. We can work on something for you to give her." He finished his hair sticks and split them, then cooled them off. They were fairly simple but patterned with a small tool in a spiral all the way up the barrel. "I need to sand those smoother." Wade nodded. Xander found what he wanted and weighed it in his hand then got a few other things and came to melt it while he made a wax impression for a cast piece. He had learned how to do this too. "What's her ring size?"
"Sure." Xander made it a bit bigger for shrinkage and then set up the mold once it was fully carved. He checked the metal, adding a bit of powdered chemicals and stirring the slowly melting metal. Once it was ready he poured it into the mold and put it aside in a spot to cool down. He got to work on the settings. Not the traditional ones but two thin platinum wires that wrapped across each end of the stones. Once he had them grouped together and nice he checked on the cast piece.
He took it out to look it over. He sawed off the small extra bit that had been the stand holding the wax up. He could cover that imperfection with the stones. He heated them both to bind them together. He delicately worked it. It didn't want to so he sighed. He prayed at Sividia Xander, who called that other GHS Xander. He got an answer back and told him.
So he worked it that way and it was better. Much nicer. He smoothed the metal over the edges to make it look like the stones were growing out of it then found his leaf patterned punch tool. He did a few leaves around them, tipping his head. It looked odd. He adjusted it on his small anvil and it was better.
Wade came over to look over his shoulder. "Add another leaf here," he said quietly with a point. Xander grinned and did that. That balanced it out better. Then Xander settled in to polish it and make sure it stuck together. He had to expand it a bit to make sure it was still a circle and the right size but that was fine. Xander stamped his initials into the inner band, under the stones, then held it up. Wade grinned. It wasn't diamonds. It was two rubies, very deep red ones, and an opal. He held it up to the light, smiling. "That's beautiful work, kid."
"Thanks." He grinned. "That way she can have the special present."
"She'll adore that." He patted him on the head. "Finish off your hair sticks so you can wear them tomorrow since you didn't bring anything." Xander had managed to get free of the mirror house and walked out after only grabbing his laptop and wallet. If Wade hadn't seen him stomping off, he wouldn't know where he was either. Xander nodded, working on them to smooth out the parts he hadn't stamped with the pattern. They were meant to catch his hair. He also sharpened them on the grinding wheel. His hairpins were a second level of defensive weapon. By the time he had them polished, he was exhausted. He turned off everything and let Wade walk him back to the house. "Dinner?" Wade asked. "What do you want me to order?" he asked when Xander pouted at him.
"Thanks. I don't care."
Wade nodded, calling the chinese place they had found out delivered out there. He went to the gate to wait on it. By the time he came back, Xander was down from the huge master suite in the attic after showering and redoing his hair. Wade handed Xander his, letting them settle in to watch something off cable and veg. When Xander fell asleep halfway through Wade took his carton to put up.
Xander could nap on the couch. They were safe here and Wade's temporary room was just off the living room anyway. He settled in to read, smiling when he heard Xander finally get up and stumble upstairs. The bedroom had a large bed in a bay window-ish area that surrounded three-quarters of the bed with windows. Xander had gotten a bed with a low headboard so he could still see a lot of the view if he laid in the bed the wrong way. Wade fell asleep after setting his alarm clock. He needed it. He was exhausted because Xander was still upset. It was like he sucked at his energy.
Xander woke up on the couch and looked outside. He seriously felt nasty. Not dirty nasty but tired and sore and emotional nasty. He sighed and got up to find a book. The dogs all stared at him but he waved them down. "Daddy's going to take a bath," he said quietly, hoping not to wake Wade up. The guy needed his sleep. He grabbed a few things from the kitchen and went through the library's hidden door behind his desk out to the special grotto he had put in.
You walked out of the library's passage and into a river rock tunnel. It was more than comfortable for someone tall to stand in. Just before the end was an overhead shower head. It emptied out into an area he had done some plant sculpting with magic. The grotto was surrounded by a large set of bushes. In the center was a large soaking tub. No jets or anything but an ancient cast iron tub. The walkway to it was cool local slate tiles. It had a table next to it on the right that could be swung in over the tub.
It had a single iron chair out there that he only used for clothes so they didn't have to sit on the tiles or on the ground. Of course, he had put in a cabinet in the hallway too but sometimes you needed a chair. He stripped down and started the tub running a wonderful soaking bath. He added some of the petals he had in the cabinet, putting his clothes in there.
He walked back to shower off the outside world. It took a while, he had to take down his hair. He scrubbed himself down, not missing anything. His hair got put into a simple ponytail and he padded down the tiles to lay down in the tub. It was blissfully hot, very deep. He could sink up past his shoulders if he wasn't careful with the water level. He had a padded footrest in there since he couldn't quite touch the other end without laying down. Though he didn't mind floating, not tonight.
He settled the back pillows under the arch of his back and one behind his head and sighed. He turned off the faucets with his toes and relaxed. The stars were twinkling overhead. The bushes smelled nice and there were flowers on the other side. One of the rose bushes that had already been here had been trained up the east side of the grotto's walls on the outside. Behind him he could hear Shells moving in the barn. He turned on some quiet music and relaxed, letting all the anger and the pain and the hurt feelings go for now. It was time to let it go.
Wade woke up to the music starting. That should not be playing at this time of night. He got up and grabbed his gun from under his pillow, taking it to find the source of the unexpected noise. With his luck it was some demon outside the windows with a boombox trying to be romantic. When it wasn't he was confused but went searching. The dogs were in the study, which wasn't usual. Usually they spread out on the chairs in the living room. He spotted the slightly open passage and snuck down it.
He found the cabinet because Xander had left it slightly open. Bath stuff. The shower head was still damp and a few droplets of water came off it to hit the rocks on the floor. He looked out and paused. Xander was taking a girl bath. He was asleep in his girl bath. Wade checked, there was no way short of teleporting to get into the area. Half the bushes on the walls had thorns.
Xander whimpered and shifted. Wade walked out and found the heater underneath the tub, flipping it on with his foot. Then he snuck back inside. The kid needed the relaxation and thinking time. Xander whimpered again and Wade winced, going back out there. He gently petted him like he had seen Dean and Jensen do and it stopped that. Then Wade went back to bed. Xander needed privacy to get over the breakup stuff.
Not like Wade understood that. He shot the ones he broke up with.
Jensen sneered, grabbing something from his closet. "Let me show them how I do breakups," he muttered, heading for his apartment door.
"No," Cougar said, stopping him in the hallway. "He wouldn't want that."
"Not like it'll hurt 'em," he complained. "And they deserve it! Did you hear how they treated him!" Cougar nodded. "Then they really do deserve it, Cougs." Cougar nodded again. "So let me go."
"No. He wouldn't want it."
"He'll giggle. I promise he will."
Pooch came out giving them a dirty look. "We're just barely back. Why are you two fighting in the hall and why do you have a rifle, Jensen?"
"Probably because I need to show someone how I do breakups the easy way," he said with a snort at the end.
"You're actually dating?" Pooch asked sarcastically.
"No, Danny and Don locked Xander in the alternate house for three damn days after he rescued those two."
Pooch blinked a few times. Cougar took the rifle. "The kid would want to do it on his own," Jolene said from their doorway. "Not have someone do it for him, Jensen. That should be his fun."
"He's in Denver."
She nodded. "I wouldn't stay around either. We can help protect the boy but you're not good enough to challenge them." Jensen gave her a dirty look. "Are you?"
"Yes. They never practice." She smiled at him and came to give him a hug. "I need to help Xander. You help friends with bad breakups. Hell, I ruined Jess's shitbag boyfriend's next six cars after he dumped her for getting pregnant."
"I'm sure you did," Clay agreed as he came down the stairs from the roof. "Still can't let you do it this time. It'd mean the other poker buddies could help. It'd get innocent officers hurt." He stared at him. "Stand down and give Xander ideas. He'll probably want some."
"Xander's been on his forge all day from what Wade said earlier."
"Good! It means he's getting that frustration out and we won't see a huge demon show up to eat them," Pooch said.
Jensen grimaced. "Over too soon."
Cougar nodded. "Yes," he agreed in Spanish. "But Xander would rather do it himself. It's his honor and pain."
Jensen stared at him. "I just can't take this going on, guys."
"We know," Jolene assured him with a smile. "I'd do the same if I wasn't sure the kid would pout me to death for it."
"He'd cuddle me," Jensen quipped.
"Then man up and go climb into bed with him," Pooch shot back, earning a confused look. "Never mind. It's late, we'll talk tomorrow." Cougar nodded, walking off with the rifle case. Pooch and Jolene went back to bed.
Clay looked at him. "Stand down for a few days. Let's see where Xander starts it. You can always help but you shooting them will make them have problems that Horatio will skin you for," he said quietly.
"Maybe but he could use a few days off too."
Clay nodded. "He said he thought they got them out sooner." Jensen shook his head. "Fine. Just calm down and let Xander call the plays. You can always give him ideas, offer to help, all that. Make sure the extended family realizes that there's problems. Then you can help however."
"Fine. I still say shooting their gas tanks is a good idea."
"Perhaps but Xander would hate it if you killed them." He stared at him. "Even temporarily killed them." Jensen sighed but nodded that was true. "Let the kid lead this dance, kid." He went back up to his apartment, which of course made his phone ring. "Clay," he answered, sounding tired. He made notes. "Any idea which motherfucker took them? He's got chemo tomorrow. Sure. Thanks." He hung up and notified the kid's doctor that he had been snatched while he paged the others and got dressed. "Our sick one's in Antigua." They sighed and left for the airport.
Some days it never stopped in Miami.
Xander walked into the ATF offices after signing him and Wade in, handing Ezra the basket with a smile. "I made potato rolls and refrigerator pie." He grinned at Chris when he came to his office door. "Morning."
"You can't spoil us."
Xander snorted. "For some reason I hear tiny violins playing sad, whiny songs." Chris glared. Xander stared at him. "I spoil everyone around me, Chris. Really. And with the way I'm pissed off at my family, I might be here permanently." He smirked. "Anything else you needed to talk about today?"
"Yes," he said. "Horatio wanted a statement from you, kid."
"I'm not that young," Xander complained.
"You look like you're twenty-two at the most," he said dryly.
"Yeah but I'm nearly thirty. Give me some props please." He followed him into the office with Wade.
Ezra looked in the basket and moaned. "Refrigerator pie is apparently like a quiche."
Wade opened the door. "It's got sun-dried tomatoes, corn, and ham." He closed the door again and sat down.
"Excellent." He cut a piece and moaned in pleasure. "This is wonderful." He let the others take their own and the rolls, plus the honey packs for them. Their overlording AD showed up with a scowl. "Harris is in the office getting scowled at." He ate a bite.
AD Travis stared at the food then shook his head. "I'm told he does it to Miami's lab all the time."
"Indeed," Ezra said with a smile. "We appreciate such repast even if Mr. Larabee doesn't." He ate another bite.
Travis shook his head, knocking before going in there. "They saved you a piece, Chris." He looked at Xander. "Did Miami have a problem?"
"Yup, a few of them," Xander said dryly. He smirked. "I'm still a bit pissed at some of them but not the others. So we'll see how it goes when I go back down later this week. Then, if my boys are really lucky, I won't be moving here permanently."
Travis nodded. "What did they do? Just so we can help. You were said to be happy with them." Xander told him how everything had went after he had gotten home. Even Chris had to wince at that. "We'll talk with Horatio for you. I'm told he's you family's mentor."
"Apparently he thought it was a good idea," Xander said dryly.
"Gibbs is down," Wade said. "He got all the generals under arrest." That got a nod from Chris. Vin Tanner brought him in a plate and Chris scowled. Wade stared back. "We all get fed, Larabee. Cooking is one of his little pleasures throughout the day that helps wear him down. He even feeds me and my girlfriend can cook."
"Because I taught her," Xander quipped.
Larabee sighed but ate a bite, nodding. "Nice texture."
Ezra came to the door. "Xander, where did you find that delightful recipe?"
"Alton Brown on food newtork. I use half and half instead of cream." He grinned. "And I conveniently forget the nutmeg if it doesn't go."
"Huh." He went to look that up. It was fairly simple and easily done. Even after a long night of work on a case. He came back with a smile. "That was delightful pie crust. Just the right sort of tough for this."
Xander beamed. "I kneaded it a bit too long because I knew it had to be a bit more solid than flaky. I also parbake it for five minutes before I fill it because otherwise the bottom crust can be a bit mushy if you're using stuff that has a high moisture content like ham."
Ezra smiled. "That's good to know. It's delightfully easy." Xander wrote out another one and he took it to read. "That sounds nice."
"If that's the lemon custard stuff, that shit's addictive," Wade said with a smirk.
"I'll have to try that." He smirked and left them alone.
Xander looked at him. "Does that mean I should plan on putting up a greenhouse so I can grow lemons?"
"You should," Wade agreed with a smirk. "We'd all appreciate it a lot if you grew some of those, the cherries, and the oranges. Plus the nut trees."
"We have half an acre of nut trees. All different sorts of nuts." Wade beamed. "And some peanuts going into the garden by them."
"Wonderful." He patted Xander on the back. "You did good plotting what you needed." Xander beamed at him.
Travis smiled. "I'll let you guys finish the formal statement. Let us know if you're here permanently so we can go over the weapons inventory as soon as it's here." Xander nodded. He left them alone.
Chris looked at them. "No routine spoiling," Chris said quietly. "If we save you, if you're bringing in critical information, those times. Not on a schedule, not every month." Xander shrugged. "We're not always here in the office."
"I know." He grinned. "It'll be fine, Larabee. Unstarch the thong. Really. If I need something that huge done, I have Wade."
"I know." He stared at him. "The weapons are...."
"There at the moment."
"I'm moving some out here later this week," Wade said. "But it's coming in a containment bag." Chris stared at him. Xander pulled his emergency kit out of his pocket, letting Chris see it. He had hated the bottomless bags but Xander's emergency kit on a necklace was damn handy. Chris moaned and nodded, handing it back. Xander put it back onto the necklace and it was good. "We're moving something out in case something in LA starts to go south. Since even Roque left.... We're not sure what'll happen."
"He fled the magic strangeness," Xander said with a smirk. "And Buffy sex."
"That's a topic I don't need to think about," Wade said blandly. "Did Rosenburg figure out what birth control was?" Xander nodded. "Good!" Xander smirked. "Don't even think about polluting my magnificence with kid thoughts."
"I like kids and some day I'll adopt."
"Uh-huh." He patted him on the head. "We'll work on those thoughts so you can adopt someone older. Maybe a teenager?" Xander gave him a pointed look. "You'd hate diapers."
"I like taking care of things."
"Uh-huh. Older toddler, Xander. Diapers suck."
"Fine. We'll talk about it sometime. After all, if I'm not in a relationship no one would let me adopt."
"Good point," Wade agreed. He silently thanked Xander's gods for that bit of common sense. Xander smirked at him. "Thanking Ares."
"Ares likes those sort of thoughts," Xander teased. Chris ate a bite and shook his head. "I'm a priest to a few of them," he told him.
"I don't need to know anything about anyone's religion."
Xander nodded. "That's cool but now and then they pop in. So if the big guy in leather and a beard shows up, don't worry about it?" Chris stared at him.
Strife appeared to grin at him. "We love Xander. He's my favorite priest. He causes such merry hell."
Xander leaned back to grin at him. "I'm going to start dating."
Strife shivered. "Oooh, baby. Wade, make sure they're safe so you don't have to rescue him from somewhere."
"Can you stop that quarth guy?" Wade asked.
"No. None'a us can do that. We'd like him to stop. Even if the idea behind it is nice." He took a kiss from Xander then left to shiver and shake at the thought of his Xander toy dating. Cupid was twitching. "Xander said he might have to date soon." Cupid moaned and slunk into the seat next to him so they could work on each other's energy problems. Because that was a power rush waiting to happen.
Wade looked at Xander. "So we'll kill him or something so he leaves you alone."
"If that's what it takes. I'd rather he just take back the presents and go the fuck away. Like that guy in the Middle East."
"No, him I'm going to kill," Wade assured him. "If Clay doesn't first since the guy wanted to kill him a few years back so he could have Jensen."
"Cougar wouldn't like that."
Wade snorted. "He's very protective of Jensen, yeah." He patted him on the back. "I'll send him a 'fuck you' present later." Xander beamed. "Did you want to show him the sticks?"
Xander pulled them out to show him. "I did those yesterday."
Chris looked them over, nodding. "They're pretty. And sharp." He handed them back.
"I keep them sharp in case I need them," Xander said with a smirk. "No matter who complains about me wearing them to bed."
"He's got some thicker and some thinner ones," Wade said. "They make pretty good handcuff picks."
"Speaking of, during the next convention, have someone show everyone in self defense how to do that," Xander said. Wade nodded, sending that note to Gibbs. "It's something most of us can probably do but just in case?"
"It's not a bad idea," Wade assured him. "I know some people I'd trust to teach to pick all sorts of locks." He sent that suggestion to Adam, who agreed it was a good idea and asked how Xander was. So he told him he was still pissed off at the family. Then he put back his phone. "Adam agreed." Xander grinned. "Were you going to bounce around and get something clean to wear since you didn't pack?"
"Yeah, probably." He looked at Larabee, who waved a hand since he was chewing. "Just let me know if you guys need stuff for birthdays and things. Speed taught me how to decorate cakes too." He grinned. "And I make a mean cobbler." He bounced out. "Later, guys. Happy lunchies."
Wade followed. "Have an easier day, guys."
Ezra swallowed his honeyed roll. "I believe he's bored."
"He's going shopping," Chris called.
Ezra called someone. "There is a young man with a lot of hair who is going shopping. He is very wealthy, has a personal assistant/bodyguard type, and spends sinful amounts of money each month shopping." He ate another bite. "Harris. Check the stores' records for the Miami branch." He nodded. "Yes, him. We're his second home." He smirked. "I thought you might like that." He texted Wade a phone number and the name of the shop. "There, I've sent it to his assistant so he knows where you are. That way no one reacts to all the hair or the fact he's in jeans today. Thank you." He hung up and leaned back, finishing the other half of his roll. "I could get used to having food like this."
"Don't," Chris said as he came out to get another roll. "He can't spoil us that often. Only for special things or if we save him." Ezra and JD both pouted at him. "Tough. We're not spoilable pets, people." He went back to his office with a honey pack and his other roll. It had been a great whatever-it-was.
Adam walked up to where Gibbs and his team were. "Why is Xander upset with the family?"
Horatio stiffened, staring at him. "Excuse me?"
"He's apparently upset with the family?"
"Yeah," Tony said dryly with a smirk for them. "Something about locking him in the alternate house for three days and not even trying to help him calm down." Adam nodded then glared at Danny and Don. "He in Denver?" Adam nodded. "That's fine."
Anya parked and got out, walking over. "Adam, do you have my other birthday present?"
"Why would I get you a present for your birthday, Anya? I only spoil the one I'm sleeping with."
"Wade said he sent it to you for safety reasons."
"Oh." He considered it then called home. Ray was home with their son. "Did we get something from Wade? He sent Anya's present to us for security reasons." He nodded. "Thank you. At the park with the others, yes. That's fine, bring Toby down with you. That way others can admire how handsome he's becoming. Horatio hasn't seen him recently and Gibbs' team is down." He hung up and smiled at her. "Ray will bring it, Anya."
"Is it something big?"
"No. A small package."
She pouted. "He got me something tiny for leaving me here?" she demanded. "He left me on my birthday, Adam. That's not good!"
He smirked at her. "Quit pouting at us, Anya. We wouldn't be that upset if it was necessary. Since Xander huffed out of Miami, he had to follow." Ray parked and got out, getting the baby out to join them. He tossed Anya the small box. "Hmm, an interesting size." He took his son to hold. "Good afternoon, Toby."
The baby beamed at him and sucked on his nose. "Dadadadada!"
Horatio smiled, taking off his sunglasses to take the baby. "Mellie said much the same thing the other day, Toby." Anya let out a loud squeal, which made the baby flinch but then squeal back.
"Oh my god, he sent me real jewelry!" she squealed, bouncing around.
Adam took it to look over. "It's very pretty." He found the maker's mark. "Huh."
"It's not from a major shop but I do love it," she said, taking it back.
He looked at her. "That's from a handcrafted shop." She pouted, slumping some. "Anya, Cartier and those shops still make jewelry by hand. That ring is worth more than everything you own probably." She lit up again. "Even if he did have someone handcraft it specially for you."
"He had Xander make it," she said, staring at him.
"Quite probably." He smirked. "He's gotten very good." Anya gaped. "Take it to have it appraised for insurance." She nodded, going to do that. He took his son back. "She'll learn the value of handcrafted versus more commercial things later, my son. The same as you shall."
"That was really pretty work Xander did," Greg agreed with a grin. "Even if she's spoiled."
"She expected Xander to always buy her things when they were dating," Ray said with a small shrug.
"Hopefully she'll learn how expensive those can be," Horatio said. "Before she teaches my daughter such ideas."
"Mellie's going to be spoiled," Ray assured him with a happy grin. "After all, no one else to take the girl jewelry." Horatio shuddered. A demon appeared, pouting. "Get away from my son."
"Why cannot you people stick up for my suit? Xander is a perfect concubine for me."
Dean shot him. "Because it's wrong to want to own one of us. It's where quarth and GHS differ, beyond the demon heritage."
"Silver, Dean," Sam ordered. "Not lead." He shot him and Toby flinched but the demon wailed and died. "Good." He smirked. "Less people who want Xander." He grinned. "Sorry, Toby." He put the gun back into the holster and took him to cuddle. "I have not seen you in weeks because Xander hasn't been able to steal you again." Toby laughed when he tickled him.
"No, I haven't allowed anyone to steal him recently," Adam said dryly. "Especially not the spoiling uncle and his slobbery mutts." He took him back. Toby pouted and pointed at Sam with a grunt. "He can watch you later so your father and I can go out to dinner, Toby." Ray beamed at him. "If you wanted?" Ray nodded with a grin.
Horatio looked at the DPP officer who showed up and sighed. "He still wanted Xander."
"Now he can't steal him," Sam quipped with a grin. "And if anyone tries to start anything because of it, I'm coming up there."
The DPP officer stared at him. "Are you ill, Winchester?"
"No. I'm in a bad mood." He beamed.
"Oh, dear," he said quietly.
"It's contagious, he got Xander's," Dean quipped.
"Oh, damn." He took the body with him to warn the others.
"Well, maybe we won't have to invade then," Dean decided. "Wade said he's sending some Middle Eastern mother fucker a 'fuck off' present? He sent the text to me and Larabee for some reason."
Sam grinned. "You got a nice letter from him too, Dean."
"Oh, him. Sick bastard."
"Swear away from my son," Ray ordered.
"Yup, sorry." He showed him the text message he had quoted.
Horatio cleared his throat. "What is a present like that?"
"Usually it goes 'boom'," Greg said. "And Xander can have it delivered by messenger demon so no going through Fed Ex or anything." He beamed. "I wonder if it's the same one that wanted you, Tony."
"I don't know." He sent a question to Wade, and got back an answer from Clay, who said it wasn't but sent him the dossier number on that guy. "Huh. Boss, he has a dossier number that starts with a CIA code." Gibbs took it to look up and moaned at what he read. Tony took it to read too, nodding. "Yay me," he said flatly. "Maybe that sort of present is a good idea." He looked up a number he got from Greg's original phone. "Fu, Tony DiNozzo. Yeah, the one that Greggy went to be with. Can you set me up with someone who can tell me about my newest suitor since he's a puss sucking ghoul? Yeah, one of them. Thanks. This is my number, yup. Um, Denver. Thanks, Fu." He hung up. "He wanted Xander to clean out his shelf again."
Horatio sighed when his phone went off with a familiar number. "Yes, Fu?" he asked, walking off. He listened then snorted. "That would be hard to do since he wasn't in town then. I would love to see proof of that game, yes. Xander has been in Denver for three days and locked in that alternate house since the day he went to rescue people." He smirked. "I would adore seeing that, yes. I can be there in an hour actually. We're having a talk in the park about such matters. Thank you for letting me know there was a problem." He hung up. "One of the relatively new people to the circuit said that Xander played him yesterday and lost large to him. Owed him something like thirty million."
"First, no poker game goes that high," Adam said.
Dean shook his head. "Even at the high stakes games they don't let you get more than half a mil on the table for any game. No bets above that." Horatio smirked at him. "We're coming with you." Horatio sighed but nodded. "Since we play too."
Sam called Xander's phone. "Someone's saying you played yesterday down here and lost large, Xander." He hung up. "He's swearing."
"Yeah, I'd swear," Dean agreed. They left with Horatio.
"Adam, I'll pop by the house after this to bring him back to Xander's? Or do you want me to sit there?"
"Sit him at our place so you don't have to cart half the toys in the house," Ray said with a smile. Sam grinned back and nodded. He took the son back to cuddle. Toby babbled at him and patted his hair. "I like yours too, Toby."
Gibbs shook his head. "You guys are insane at times."
"Only when he won't let us sleep," Adam quipped, cracking Don up. "I would fix this relatively fast, Donald. Xander's still mad and upset."
"I know. We'll talk to him later, after we talk." That got a nod and the group meeting broke up. Tony went where Fu told him to, meeting his suitor in person. He suavely got him confused and not really wanting him. And the guy still tried to snatch him so Speed got to answer a scene when Tony had to wound him. Gibbs showed up too, mostly to growl Tony should've killed him.
Horatio smirked at the poker circuit member. He held up something. "Xander has been in Denver for *days*."
"He can pop around," he sneered.
"Yes, but he didn't. Yesterday he was working some anger issues out on his forge." He showed the picture of Anya's ring and the hair sticks. "He made both of them yesterday. An ATF agent and Wade both saw him do it. Wade said he didn't leave the house outside of going to see Larabee this morning as ordered." The guy looked so confused. "Wade is his assistant."
"We've heard," he sneered.
Dean strolled in. "I want proof. All the poker areas are taped." Fu nodded, queuing it up. He stared. "That's not Xander. That's a wig."
"No, that's Persimmons," Fu agreed, staring at it. "Definitely not Harris."
"Harris?" he snorted.
"That is Xander's last name," Horatio said dryly. The man backed off. "What did you think it was?"
"Flack! He's his gay husband!"
"No, Xander keeps his own name and they're only living together. They're not married." Horatio sent a smug look at him. "I would've known and been at any commitment ceremony since I'm the one that set the trio up together." His hands went to his hips. "Fu, is what he's trying to do legal?"
"No. Not by any means." He called Don Cheva and the other poker hall managers. Sam forwarded the film to them. They all agreed it wasn't Xander, he didn't owe him the money, and Xander was probably okay in Denver as long as he was calming down finally. He looked at him. "The head of the poker circuit wishes to talk to you. Today." The former agent shuddered. "I suggest you head right over. The other is already on his way." He stomped off. "Thank you, Lieutenant, for being so calm."
Horatio put back on his sunglasses. "You get used to the wicked thought process Xander bleeds into the air even if you don't usually use that method." Fu laughed. "Who is the head of the poker circuit? I thought you were all independent."
Fu shook his head with a smirk. "No, not hardly. We're actually organized and watched over." He smirked at the boys. "Dean, you still have that debt on the books."
"I paid him half of it yesterday and I told him I'd have the rest after that auction of stuff I got sent." Fu nodded and left it there. He looked at Horatio. "So, anyway, how are we going to beat the crap out of them this time?"
Horatio sighed. "I'm not certain if we should."
"I'm certain Xander's going to date and it'll cause us hell," Sam said dryly. "We saw Strife. He was looking forward to it."
Horatio shuddered delicately. "Then we'd best do some counseling." He walked off. He knew the boy was upset with him. Wade had answered his text to Xander earlier. Perhaps a weekend trip to Denver with Speed and Mellie? He got into the hummer and got out to walk around in the small park. He called Xander. "Wade, may I speak to him?" He heard Wade ask and Xander say 'no, he was still mad'. "I'd like to apologize, Wade. I understand. Thank you."
He hung up and sighed, calling Speed. "I need to apologize to Xander." He winced at the yelling he got from his husband. "I'm aware of that now, Timmy. Thank you. I tried, he said he's still upset. Thank you." He hung up and let his husband talk to their almost-son. He went back to work. There was probably a body or a report waiting on him somewhere in Miami that he could sulk at.
Wade hung up. "Horatio wanted to apologize."
Xander looked at him. "I'm not sure I care at the moment."
"I understand." He patted him on the shoulder. "Don't trek to Tibet or anything, okay?"
"Oz said Tibet was calm and cold." He looked at the shirts, holding one up. Wade shook his head and Xander put it back, picking out something else.
Wade watched. This wasn't his Xander. His Xander could pinpoint what he wanted within minutes. "After this, we're picking up dinner."
"I started a stew in the slow cooker." He looked at him. "Do you hate my cooking?"
"I didn't think you'd be in the mood for it."
"I'm not totally out of the mood." He shrugged and got what he wanted. Wade took one back and got it in the right size. Xander grinned. "Thanks, Wade."
"Did someone herb you?" he asked quietly.
"No, this is me coming down from my temper."
"You didn't in St. Louis."
"I did, you didn't see it as much," Xander corrected. He stared at him. "I'm just being pouty, Wade." He went to try things on and then bought them and left with Wade. They had one of the pickups from the farm. Xander tensed when someone ran up on them squealing. He stared at her. "Wade?"
"Rosenburg, get off him," he sneered. "Don't make him kill you."
"But..." Willow pouted. "He can't do that."
"He can," Wade corrected. "And if he can't, I sure as hell can." He had noticed the slight flinch from Xander. So that's what was bothering him. Post battle stress. He'd talk to the kid later that night about it. Xander always talked more about personal stuff at night.
"But we're friends," she said.
"Really?" Xander asked. "When did we become friends again?" He got into the truck and put the bag on his feet. Wade got in to drive them home. Xander warded the truck to make sure no one could put any magic on it. He looked at his assistant/friend. "I apparently am drawing sucktastic things."
"I have no idea why she's in Denver," Wade said, calling Larabee to see how he wanted to handle it. Larabee said he'd talk to her and have JD out with a bug scanner to run over the house, just in case. He hung up. "He got the full file on what they did in Miami. JD's meeting us at the house to check it."
"Okay. Because if she blows up my dogs and the house I'm going to kill her. I don't care what sort of pouty mood I'll be in later, she's toasty."
"Xander, none of them died."
"I ordered them held by someone, Wade."
"I heard that the next morning. I thought it was brilliant. They pumped them for information but didn't molest them or anything." He changed roads to something less populated. It was safer if you could watch the fewer cars around you. "Before you start down the beating yourself up again path, you're not turning into some poker circuit overlord either. The actual overlord of the poker circuit thought it was brilliant to give them a way to get on Horatio's good side."
"He said it was nice that you used your poker contacts that way instead of for minor things like laptop help. He also said it was good you were realizing that you did have some power within the system so you didn't accidentally wield it again. Because that one guy you made fun of the other day? He did commit suicide." Xander winced and slumped down in his seat. "It was his own doing. You didn't make him do it, just showed him how futile it was by picking on him when you caught him gay bashing. The only problems any of us are seeing is that quarth mother fucker turning some of the agents against you."
"Do I say things I don't mean?" he asked dryly.
"I have no idea if that's a flashback to minion days with Max."
"No, if he had a crackhead plan I usually told him I didn't understand and made him explain the flaws out until he realized he had them. That way he didn't shoot me." Xander hugged his arm. "Get off! Quit hugging."
"Shut up, Wade. I like hugging. It's positive contact that I could use."
"I'm so finding you a permanent trouble buddy like you had in Sanders. And possibly better boyfriends when I sell them into the Middle East."
"No, don't do that," he sighed.
"Yay. Even I know that they're being assholes again." Xander nodded. "Wolfe's working long hours. I could have Cougar shoot him on a scene."
"They'd arrest Cougar."
"Maybe. But you'd get Wolfe full time for a bit."
"Usually when that happens we go off-realm to travel."
Wade glanced at him. "I'll take more horse riding lessons." Xander laughed. "And some sword lessons too."
"Maybe we can stay on realm and go to India? The other GHS Xander seemed to like it a lot."
"Maybe," he agreed. "Why India?"
"It's exotic but still mostly safe. It's got great art and food. They kinda went halfway around the world and sent home a lot of stuff. Cheeses and meats and wines, plus he got a lot of saris because they're pretty."
"Huh." He paused at a light and shook his head quickly. "Sorry, you in a sari."
"I'd look fantastic."
"Possibly." He drove on when the light changed. "Still a bad mental image."
"Anya has one."
"I saw and had a lot of fun unwrapping her and using it to tie her up." He smirked. Xander laughed and they drove home. JD was waiting at the gate. Wade let them in and helped Xander to a safe waiting area with the dogs. He and JD went over the house. "Xander, did the blonde or the redhead bomb your car?" he called.
"Buffy. Why? Though she was a redhead when she did it." He walked there. "Stay," he ordered. The dogs sat and watched him walk off. "Good boys." He looked at the bomb. "Green wire." Wade clipped it and then the other one. Xander cut the one he meant and looked at him. "See, green."
"Sorry, I usually call crayola green green," he said dryly. Xander smirked. "Let's get someone out here to search. Go back with the dogs and the pooka if Shells is around." Xander nodded, jogging back out there once he had some water from the fridge. Wade shook his head. "I have no idea," he said when JD continued to stare at him. "When I find out, I'll be sending them a fuck off present too."
"Fed Ex and UPS won't let you."
"He has messenger demon contacts. They can deliver things within minutes anywhere on any plane." JD shivered. "Exactly." They finished the search, finding the other one sitting on Xander's cold forge. That one he had no idea how to disarm. Xander had no idea. Roque had no idea when he sent the picture. So they might be screwed. His forge ran on gas. It'd blow up the gas line and probably send a fireball up to hurt the rest of the house. Xander got into the safety supplies, handing in a lead box. Wade took it to carefully put the bomb in and then carried it out to the pool area. The dogs whined. Wade threw the ball, letting them chase it off into the trees. Xander's dog Ramses continued to stare. "Fetch, dog."
"Ramses, he's not playing," Xander called. "He has a bad thing." The dog ran back to guard the daddy. He whistled and the two labs ran back with the ball. Xander took them all down the gardens and fields. That way they were out of blast radius. JD was calling someone and Xander looked. "Wade, a signal blocker?" he called. Wade found his jammer and put it on the box. JD backed off and hung up quickly. "JD, come down here please. That way you won't be damaged."
"I'm an agent, Xander," he complained.
"And I'm fucking immortal, JD. That's why I'm thirty and look twenty-one." JD gaped. "Get your ass down here. Now." He stomped down there. Wade smirked at him. "You too. I'm not sure if the one that brought you back is dead or not."
"Coma. That way she can't screw more things up." He came down to join them. Bomb squad showed up with Larabee's team in tow. Wade waved and pointed at JD, getting a nod from Chris.
"You're immortal?" JD demanded.
Xander took his hairpin out to scratch his arm, showing him how it healed. "Yeah, I am." He smirked. JD gaped in horror. Xander shrugged. "Long story and you can't tell people, JD. Otherwise they try to come kill me."
"If you ever die again I'm killing them hard and then praying at your altar until someone comes to remove that tumor," Wade said firmly, glaring at his boss.
Xander shrugged. "Usually it takes more than one death."
"Fine. I love you too, Wade." He grinned.
Wade looked at JD. "If he dies, he has a small brain tumor that grows in a bad part of his brain. It perpetually backs him up, makes him turn into a slinky evil thing, and gives him bad ideas."
"Next time I'll take Chris' team to Disney," Xander sighed, sitting on the ground to pet the dogs. The bomb exploded and Xander winced. "Everyone all right?" he yelled. No one answered. He texted it and got a hand-command to stay. He pointed out he was a medic trained person and so was Wade. Apparently it was some debris but nothing too bad. JD jogged back to check on his team. He looked at Wade. "Are you ever going to forgive me for that?"
"Nope." He smirked. "Not in the least." Xander shrugged. "But it'll never happen again or I'll find you some victims."
"Next time, tell me to bring a charity group of kids," Xander said dryly.
"Yup, I can do that and watch the other victims guard the kids."
Chris stomped over. "The other one?" he asked a bit loudly.
Xander did a quiet spell and touched Chris' hand, making him glow. "Better?" Chris nodded, wiggling his finger in his ear. "Kitchen. It's disarmed."
"That's fine. Thank you. Any idea?" Wade shook his head. "Let us handle it, Wade."
"If it's one I know I'll gladly send it back."
"No, that's my job in Denver." He walked off to get that other bomb and check on his team again. Vin's ears were still ringing so he sent him to Xander. Nathan glared at him for it. "He fixed mine." Vin came back smiling and happier. "Better?"
"The glowy touching thing was helpful." He helped get the other bomb out to the truck. "They going to react?"
"I told Wade to let us have 'im," Chris said. "I'm hoping he listens." He saw the dogs sniffing. "He's got them in training?" Ezra smiled and nodded. "All three?" He nodded again. "What's the other?"
"Pharaoh hound. Both sight and scent but in the US they tend to use them for scent dogs," Ezra said. "That's Ramses, Kiss, and Hershey."
"Okay," Chris said. "I can understand that. The ferrets?"
"Running around their cages in an agitated way," Buck said. "All four of 'em."
"Little rats," Nathan said with a grimace.
"Ferrets are actually part of the possum and skunk families," Ezra said firmly. "They make excellent pets. They're very loving, very active, and curious." He smirked. "You usually have to have ferrets descented. They're very social creatures and I'm surprised we haven't seen Hubert." He looked around. "Xander, is Hubert here?" he called.
"Yes. He's in the garage," Wade called with a point. He whistled. "Dragon!" It came out of the garage to look around. "How can you sleep through a bomb?"
"Growth spurt," Xander quipped. He grinned. "Introduce yourself, guys. Hubert's very smart."
Ezra smiled and squatted down to let it sniff him. "I'm Ezra, Hubert. This is Chris, Nathan, Buck, Josiah, JD, and Vin. We'll be the agents guarding the family here in Denver."
The dragon sniffed each one and rubbed himself against Vin and JD's legs, earning a pet from JD. "You're adorable," he said. "What are you?"
"Xander calls him a baby dragon," Ezra said with a smirk. "Apparently he found him off-plane."
Chris walked off shaking his head. "Horses are enough for most everyone."
Vin petted it. "How do you pet you?"
Xander was walking the dogs over. "Scratch an eye ridge or down the back by the fin," Xander said with a grin. Hubert steamed happily and let himself be put down. He looked at Ramses, who barked and ran off. Hubert chased and grabbed the ball to play with. Ramses barked and came back to play with him. Hershey and Kiss ran off to play too. He grinned. "Its good they all get along. Hubert's a champion ferret wrangler too."
Josiah looked at him. "You have horses too, right?" Xander beamed and pulled out pictures to show them off. "That's a nice herd, son." He patted him on the arm. "I look forward to seeing how the warmares are trained." He walked off with the others to handle things. They rechecked the house with bomb squad. Then they went to find out who had sent the bombs.
Xander looked at Wade. "Poker?"
"I could use a good game. Check on the stew?" Xander went to do that while Wade found out where the local circuit played tonight. He told Fu why too. Fu could pass that along.
Xander strolled up to Larabee's porch, holding up an envelope when Chris opened his door. "The idiot who sent the bombs. Apparently he thinks I might be a threat to his dominance. He's presently got his pecker stuck in a fountain downtown trying to cure that burning sensation I cursed him with. By the way, I can do a nerve zinging thing to make people beg for mercy and feel ruined. How do you feel about that?"
"A what?" he demanded. Xander touched his arm causing him to get hard and shiver. "That strength only?"
"No. I can full out do it. That's barely a touch. Horatio's rules are to use it to get myself free. Or if someone like the one guy who was dying asked me to."
"Can it get worse?"
"Yeah, at quarter strength I can make you come so hard you'll never get it that good again." He grinned. "I had one person say that in his suicide note."
Chris nodded. "To get away is good. If they're dying and want it, fine but don't be an angel of mercy." Xander shook his head quickly. "Mild zings if you want to show off but nothing that would go that far."
"Okay. I can do that." He grinned. "By the way, he's going to need a medic. I used one of Anya's spells to cause sudden clap. That's why he's in the fountain." He walked off.
"Which one?" Larabee called after him.
"No clue. Small but pretty. Two tiers. Looked like a wedding cake sort of fountain maybe?" He shrugged. "Classical fountain fountain."
"What part of town?"
"Purgatorio I think they call it? Just on the edge there."
"I know that fountain," he sighed. "Thanks, kid."
"Welcome." He smirked. "The poker buddies were most happy I was being pissed off up here instead of Miami." He got into the truck and let Wade drive them back home.
Chris closed the door. "Vin, call someone."
"Already have, big dog," he teased with a grin. "They've already arrested him and he's damn sorry. They're going to be scrubbing that fountain for days he's so nasty looking."
"Eww," Nathan said dryly.
Chris looked at the information, handing it to Ezra. "Looks like it intersects some of your contacts."
"Indeed," he agreed, reading the notes over. "He gathers quite the vault of intelligence." He put it down. "We'll handle that in the morning when we take custody of the putrid miscreant."
"If he hasn't died of it," Nathan joked. "What zing?"
"He touched my arm and it felt like touching a low powered electric fence but it made me nearly instantly hard. He said that was barely a touch."
"We heard that part," JD said, blushing a bit. "That's an interesting gift."
"Well, yes, but if the idiot that has you captured is too busy panting off his orgasm to notice you're escaping it's probably easier," Ezra said. They all nodded they liked that idea. He asked a contact about that, getting waves of reviews for it. Ezra grinned at one. "He had been asked to do one at a political marriage's reception so they could consummate it properly. Apparently it caused a son to come into being and the wife has since grown her hair longer and taken up the study of witchcraft so she can do it herself." He put his phone back.
Chris nodded. "I can see why." He went to deal with himself and calm down. Not like he had a better way to wear it out right now. That had almost been mean of the kid but a good diversion he guessed. And it was nice he had asked before doing it to someone. He came out. "Ezra, make sure he didn't do it to anyone tonight?"
"He did to the chap in the unfortunate fountain but he's going to be begging for different reasons. They had to cut part of the fountain off to release him but it's too tight to remove the ring until he gets off, which he can't with it on." Chris snickered, going back to the bathroom.
"Wonder how long it'll take to get that concrete piece off him," JD said.
"It's been over an hour and it hasn't happened yet," Ezra said dryly. "They can't really use a saw there. Anything powerful enough would cut him as well. Though, were I that diseased I might not mind it much."
"Well, I don't think anyone's going to be bothering the boy again," Buck decided, cracking Vin and Ezra up. "I sure as hell wouldn't if he made it so I could never enjoy a lady again."
"At least it wasn't daylight and there weren't any kids," Josiah said. "Hopefully they bill him for the cleaning, repair, and rescue event as well. That should teach him not to gamble."
They all cracked up laughing.
Wade opened the door that night after dinner, staring at the man and baby. "You had to bring her?"
"Yeah, she insisted." He walked around him and looked. "Upstairs?"
"Top floor," he sighed. "He has a playpen somewhere in a closet."
Speed shrugged. "She can nap with us." He walked up there, smiling at the layout of the bedroom. The sitting area faced the bed and windows. The bed's frame didn't get in the way of the view and enhanced it by being wood. The bathroom door was open and there was a nightlight on. Xander was surrounded by the dogs, but cuddling Ramses. Who was staring at him. "Easy, pups." He sat down on the bed, letting the dogs all lap Mellie. She was the peace offering to the dogs, not to Xander. He got up and closed the doors then came back. He took off his boots and laid down next to the boy, letting him cuddle. "My first son," he sighed, petting over his hair.
Xander blinked at him. "Speed?"
"Yup." He pointed. "I brought her to distract the dogs so we could cuddle and talk." Xander scowled. Speed smirked. "And to annoy Wade, yeah. I like watching him run from diapers. I'm a mean shit that way." He smirked and kissed Xander on the head. "We'll talk tomorrow. For now, sleep, Xander. We'll guard you and make sure you're all right."
"Did they send you?"
"No. I came because I wanted to come. You're like my adopted son. Hair and all." Xander nodded, relaxing slightly. "Mellie, quit getting drooled on and come cuddle." She crawled up, squealing at Xander, who cuddled her. They settled against Speed's chest, letting him watch over them and pet Xander's hair. And occasionally Kiss because she was a demanding puppy.
Wade looked up from scrambling eggs when Mellie crawled into the kitchen. "Don't you have a parent?" he complained. She squealed and patted the door. He checked, the gate on the porch was up and Shells was out there. So was Roque for some reason. He let her go sit on the porch to babble at the pooka.
Roque looked up from his coffee drinking, staring at his baby girl. "Mellie," he said quietly.
She beamed at him and pointed at the horsy thing, grunting and babbling. She crawled closer, squealing at it.
Shells leaned his head down over the fence gate to sniff her. "Good morning, child. Do you have a name? I can't be sure if you're the one I met last time. Baby's scents change so fast."
"They named her Amelia but everyone calls her Mellie." Roque sat up and put his feet down. "I let her be adopted by Horatio and Speed so one must be here."
"Hmm, that's good of you, Protector." He nuzzled her, making her happy and pat his nose. "Gently, Mellie. Very gently. I'm very soft." Blair came out of the garage and over, smiling at them. "Good morning, Blair. Did you have a good trip back?"
"I had an excellent trip back; Jim was pouty but still being an asshole." He opened the gate and picked up the baby. "Hi, Mellie." She beamed and kissed him by slobbering on his cheek then petted the horsy some more. "This is Shells. Can you talk yet?"
"Babbling," Wade called from the kitchen.
"She's very adorable," Shells said. "She'll grow into a beautiful young woman. Hopefully a content one with a good family." Speed came out. "Good morning."
"Hi." He stared at the Irish talking horse. "You must be Shells. Xander told us about you." He petted his neck in that special area horses liked scratched. "Morning, daughter." She squealed and patted him again. "That's Shells, he's a pooka." He took her from Blair. "Thanks, Sandburg."
"Not a problem, Speedle. Horatio?"
"Being pouty in Miami because he helped piss Xander off." He sat down on the stairs, letting his daughter pet the horsy that she liked so much. "Is the unicorn still at home, Wade?"
"Yup. Though Xander invited it to come spend some time up here if it wanted." He came to the door. "Xander?"
"Asleep. Really asleep." Speed smiled. "We talked around three and it's better, slightly. Though I'm going to paddle Danny and Don."
"His mates?" Shells asked.
"Yes. They decided to lock Xander in a safe area when he had to get into a fight to protect some people. They didn't help him calm down or anything. I'd be pissed too."
Shells nodded. "Indeed so would I." He smiled when an SUV pulled up. "I believe we're getting a visit from Mr. Standish. I do like that suit on you, Agent Standish."
"Thank you, Shells. It's one of my favorites." He smiled at Speed and the baby, who waved. He smiled and waved back. "Someone told Mr. Dunn about immortals?"
Wade walked out with his breakfast. "He didn't say a thing about you. Only himself. He admitted to it to get JD away from the bomb while you guys were traveling. I think he told him I am too."
"It did grandly freak out our fussy, torturing, overly reactive medic," Ezra said blandly. "He almost put poor Mr. Dunn into a white jacket with very long sleeves and shiny buckles."
"Shocks like that are good for the mind," Roque said. "Clears it out so you can think clearly. That's why I keep going back to Sunnydale."
"Not the sex?" Wade taunted with an evil smirk.
"Why was Rosenburg in town yesterday?" Wade asked.
"I have no idea. Girl shows up in the damdest places. Apologized for not being on the pill then expected more dick." Roque gave him a look. "Still not on something."
Wade snorted. "She's not that sort of genius."
"Some of us do have common sense," Blair said dryly. He petted Shells, grinning at him. He looked where Mellie was staring. "Aww, the unicorn did show up."
Shells looked then trotted over to rub noses with it. "Hello, young prince." The unicorn foal nuzzled him then trotted up to the house, bleating loudly.
"He's asleep," Wade said. "Let him. He's had a bad few days, foal." He ate a bite. Mellie was babbling and petting the unicorn all he wanted. "Do we have food here, Shells?"
"Some, but not a great amount. Though it was beautiful clover Xander sent for me."
Wade got into his phone, finding the phonebook app to find the local horse feed store. He found they had an online order form and called them instead. Just in case. He gave a few quiet orders, Xander's credit card number, then let them handle it. "Give them an hour." Shells smiled and trotted off. The foal was sucking up attention. Wade shook his head. "Kids still creep me out."
Speed snickered. "They can do that, yeah. I'm shocked by her sometimes too."
Roque got up and came over to sit next to him. "Is she happy and all that?"
Speed grinned. "She's such a spoiled princess and my second-favorite redhead. She loves her other father's hair. They bond by burning in the sun on the porch sometimes. She's a good, happy, spoiled girl, Roque." Roque grinned. "Thank you."
"Not a problem. I'm not daddy material."
Speed smiled. "I learned by adopting Xander." Roque smirked at that. Mellie was reaching for him. "Here, get a hug. She hugs everyone."
He hugged her then handed her back. "Thanks."
"No. That'd be too hard." He got up and went back to the table. He texted Buffy about Willow having been in Denver and hoping that she was still taking her pill.
Wade smirked. "It'll get better."
"Did you stick Anya with the shot?"
"Hers failed because of some antibiotics." Roque shuddered. "But she got her tubes tied after the birth. Toby's a little squeal monkey. They both love Xander's hair." He ate a bite. "He hasn't stolen them from their sitters as much since you've been hanging around."
Roque nodded. "Thanks for that. I can't handle watching her grow up."
"It's cool. The whole team knows her," Speed said with a grin. "He introduced them to her first, before going to find anyone who might want to adopt her from the poker circle." Roque snorted. "Then Anya went into labor and we showed up to support her so Mellie just sucked me in. I called for backup and Horatio got sucked in too. Toby latched onto Ray while he was still slimy. Adam is the most overprotective father ever. Even more so than Xander is."
"I'm glad he doesn't like Disney. It freaked Anya out," Wade said dryly, getting a dirty look from Wade. "It's like Anya didn't realize what Disney was before he took us." He heard a familiar engine. "Winchesters are here."
Ezra looked over at the dual quickening feelings. "Boys, good morning."
"Tell me it's not a challenge," Dean complained.
"Agent Ezra Standish," he said, holding out a hand.
Dean beamed and shook it. "Dean and this is my brother Sammy. Hi, Mellie." He took her to cuddle. The unicorn grunted in irritation. "I need my own baby petting. Give her a sec and I'll hand her back." He cuddled, let Sammy cuddle her, which made her offer Ezra one, so he got one and some slobbering on, then the unicorn got her back. He stared at Speed. "When did you get out here?"
"Eleven." The dogs ran out, barking at the unicorn and Shells but heading to water bushes. "Xander's up. Dean, go make breakfast?" He nodded, going to do that. Sam sat down beside him. "You were in the neighborhood?" Speed guessed.
"I missed Xander. We both missed Xander. And the dogs." He petted Kiss, then she ran off to play with Shells again.
Xander came out looking confused. "Sam?"
"Yup. We missed you, Xander." He got up to hug him. "No one's played with us in weeks." Xander sniffled. Sam cuddled him and it was nice. "C'mon. Dean's making breakfast for us. We can sit and watch Mellie spoil the unicorn." Xander nodded, settling in with him to watch that.
Wade smiled, taking a picture with his phone. The unicorn and Speed both looked at him. He showed it to Speed, who grinned. "Got my good side at least. My ass is fantastic." He helped Mellie pet the mane area and she was a happy baby. "No, leave the horn alone," he ordered. "That can cause booboos that will make Daddy Horatio worry. You know he fusses when he worries."
She wiggled over, letting Sam take her again. The unicorn nicely moved over to let her pet him some more. "That thing is greedy," Roque said.
"Not too many virgins in Miami," Speed quipped.
"There's a good catholic school I could recommend him to," Ezra said dryly. The unicorn looked at him. He leaned down to tell him where it was. The unicorn vanished, going there.
Xander grinned. "Thanks."
"Not a problem. It's an all girls school so he'll be squealed over for days by them. If it happens to freak some of the nuns out, well, one did put down Mr. Tanner most rudely last year during a case." He smirked. Xander smirked back. "What should I correct Mr. Dunn about?"
"I had to give him a reason to get him away from the bomb, Ezra. Sorry."
"No, it's all right and we appreciate him still being alive to annoy us with questions." They shared a look. "Take an easy day today."
"Is Rosenburg still in town?" Wade asked.
"Yes, though we have no idea why." He left, going to the office. He ran into Josiah in the elevator. "I talked with Xander."
"Did you tell him fibbing was wrong?"
Ezra smirked. "Who said he was?" He went to his desk to check his morning email.
Josiah had to ride back up because he was stunned. "You know of such people?"
"Yes. I know a few actually." He stared at him. "The people you meet traveling the lesser used pathways of life."
"Oh." He sat down. "Then it's true?" Ezra nodded with a smirk. "Are there more in the family?" Ezra nodded. "Huh. So, the assistant Wade?"
"No, his was a witch that brought him back."
"Pity." He got up and went to sit and think at his own desk. That was weird and wrong but apparently God had allowed it.
"JD, there's no such thing!" Nathan complained as he, JD, and Buck came off the elevator. "I'll prove it to you. Everyone poke their fingers."
"Haven't you seen enough of our blood?" Ezra demanded dryly. "I don't see the need to spill more on this computer's keyboard. Getting a new one is always a hassle."
"He won't leave that fantasy alone," Nathan scowled.
Chris came to the door of his office. "He's right. Harris is. That was part of the classified part of the briefing."
"Ezra knows others," Josiah said.
Chris nodded. "Doesn't surprise me any," he said dryly. "There's a huge fit about them among the officers that go to the GHS convention to guard it. Apparently there's some among them and some among the rest of us. To everyone else they're normal, average people who seem to disappear when they get too old to look so young." He stared at Nathan, who was gaping. "They die by taking their heads. Then some sort of power is given to whoever took it."
Ezra coughed. "Only if they're immortal themselves. If a normal does it, as has happened in the past I'm told, then it's not passed on and they're lost."
"Okay," Chris said. "Good to know. Do we have any others in town?"
"Two that I'm aware of but they have a truce. They also have an organization that watches over them. There's one of those in town doing one's chronicles. He also watches the only safe place to take a challenge of that sort."
"Good. So they keep histories?"
"They tend to watch but not interfere. There's a few who may but they're not highly thought of the last I heard gossip about such matters."
"How old can they get?" JD asked.
"There's rumors that one of the original ones is over five thousand but he's considered a myth by some. I know there's some from Ancient Greece. I've run into one of them personally."
"Wow," JD said, looking awed. "Think of all the history they lived through."
"Yes but it's also wearing," Ezra told him. "They don't have children, it's not something they're born able to do. They're all foundlings. They have to watch their families live and die while they don't age. It's like that book with the spring water that enables a longer than average life."
"I read that in school." He considered it. "You know the two in town?"
"I know one fairly well and know about the other. I've also met a few others over the years. They seem to congregate in Paris and New York."
"Damn glad I'm in Denver then. Scenes like that would drive me nuts since you probably can't arrest them for it," Chris decided.
"Not often. And then they tend to commit suicide, sneak out of the morgue, and change lives." He smirked. "Some have gotten all too much attention. His name is Macleod and he's in New York presently or Seacouver." Chris moaned, shaking his head. "Heard of Duncan?"
"Heard of Connor."
"His clansman but he died last year."
"Crap," Chris said. "How old was he?"
"British invasion of Scotland times I believe. Both of them."
Chris shook his head. "That's insane and has to be depressing. Just living past your spouse can ruin a man." He went back to his office, glad it wasn't him.
Vin looked at him. "They're born?"
"They are but they're all foundlings. They must first die a violent death to be brought back."
"Are there bad ones?" JD asked.
"As with any group there's some good, some bad, some cowboys, some agents, some officers, and some thieves. One of the most notable is a female jewel thief. Thankfully she got run out of town when she appeared last time."
"So why Xander?" JD asked.
"I believe he told me he was attacked by a headhunter. He was brought across by him and then the imbecile decided to let him wake up before taking his head. He did not count on Xander knowing something about swords."
"How would a boy from southern California know about swords?" Vin asked. "I saw him using an axe on that battle but I couldn't figure that out."
"Ah, you haven't heard of the delightful town called Sunnydale beyond that." He pulled up information on the town, including on a demonic site. "Where he was raised."
Vin watched a video and whimpered. "I've seen some of those things in Purgatorio."
"Yes, I believe the ones locally are not stakeable but if you ask him or either Winchester brother, who did show up this morning, they can handle them."
"I can do that," Vin said. "We've had some missing people. Ey, Cowboy, can I go talk to them about that?"
"Go," he called back.
"Thanks." He got what he needed and headed out to talk to them.
JD's phone rang a few minutes after Vin would've gotten out there, making him stare. "Is that a unicorn?"
Ezra looked and nodded. "It was there but I kindly told it where the all girls' catholic school was."
Josiah burst out laughing until he took the phone to look at the picture. Then he felt dirty for blaspheming God's name in awe.
Nathan snatched it and whimpered. "Damn."
The others looked and nodded. Chris smirked. "He said it showed up now and then. Must like the kids in the family group." He went back to the office.
"Detective Speedle and his daughter showed up as well," Ezra called after him. "She was spoiling the little horned thing with petting. The dogs played with it too."
"I don't need ta know," Chris said. He slammed his office door.
"Must not be many virgins in Miami these days," Buck quipped.
"I guess he's friends with the pooka," JD quipped back. Buck nodded but swatted him, knocking his ballcap off his head. "Hey!"
"Work," Chris called. "Talk about the beasts he has later."
"Yes, Dad," Buck snorted. But they did get back to work.
Xander walked up to Ezra's desk. "Can I have you give an honest opinion as someone outside the family that has taste later on sometime? Anya said that my jewelry isn't as special as someone like Cartier and it's cheaper looking."
"You're learning but I can see fit to give an opinion. Do you have pictures?" Xander handed them over. He looked through them. "I think that's charming actually. The wire ones are very fashionable and the back to nature sorts would probably like the hammered silver things." He kept going, staring at one ring. "That is fantastic," he said, smiling at him.
"I made it for her for Wade because we were here over her birthday."
He snorted. "She has little taste, Xander. I'd have to check the quality in person but I can't see any reason why it'd be worth less without the huge name." Xander handed it over from his pocket. He stared at it. "Very unusual method of securing the stones. Very nicely joined and very pretty." He smiled and handed it back. "Things from Harry Winston and Cartier do carry a slightly higher appraisal value because of the name issue but I'd put that up with there with any of their materials and it's much more original yet still classic."
"Thank you. Anya's being a fussy, whiny girl sort like she learned from Buffy." He took the pictures back. "Though I could've waited and let you come out for dinner."
Ezra smirked. "You saved me from the dreary drudgery of paperwork for a few minutes. I do not mind in the least." He smirked. "I'd like to see future things. I know some people who would adore having some pieces." Xander beamed and bounced, nodding and hugging him before leaving.
"He makes real jewelry?" Buck asked from his desk.
"Yes, that was a very pretty opal and ruby ring. Very classy and delicate yet strong. He's done some beautiful work, both simpler and not." He smirked. "I know a few people who would adore having him make them something if he felt the desire to part with things." He got back to work.
Buck nodded. "There's that jewelry show next month."
"I'll give him a brochure. Thank you."
"Welcome." He got back to his own paperwork of doom.
Xander looked at the gathered family. "Are we already all moving?"
"We just followed you," Sam quipped with a grin. "We missed you and if we had known you were trapped over there, we would've let Danny and Don die a few times and come back smarter." Xander sniffled but hugged him.
John Winchester faded in. "Why are you hugging my son?"
"Because he said mushy stuff," Xander said, glaring at him. "Float off, John." Winchester floated back, looking alarmed. "It's been a really bad week. Sam's trying to make me feel better. So go bother another relative."
"I thought we put up firm wards," Dean said, looking at Xander.
"I'm not used to salt wards, Dean. I'm used to Wicca wards."
"Good point I guess." He nodded. "We can ward the whole property." He glared at his father. "Leave Xander alone, Dad. It's been a shitty week." Mellie squealed and swatted him. He stared at her. "You're not a momma yet, Mellie," he said, picking her up to hug her. "You can't correct boys until you're a mother yourself." She snuggled in and waved at Xander, getting a grin and a wave back. Then she turned and sucked on Dean's throat until she fell asleep.
"Awww, you taste good," Speed said dryly once Dean handed her back.
"She's always done that to us," Sam said. He looked at Xander. "Debutante and Furry do not get along."
"Furry needs his rump smacked."
"Yup," Dean agreed. "Ryan said he tried to get aggressive and Pride snapped on his ass, sending him into the river to cool off."
"Pride loves his herd, even the flittering one," Xander said with a small shrug. "Furry can have his own pasture."
"They have," Sam said. "Are we moving?" he asked more quietly.
Xander sighed. "I don't know."
Speed hugged him. "We'll help, Xander. Even if you do have to start to date. Horatio's been blaming himself for setting you three up." Xander slumped. Speed cuddled him with the baby. "We'll figure it out. I promise we will." Xander nodded, resting against his shoulder too. "We need to explore this massive plantation. Which house was going to be ours?"
"You guys and those two get to pick from one of the five," Wade said. "We can go look them over. We probably should since it's been a few days since bomb squad did." Everyone stared at him. "Some local putz who wanted to be threatened by Xander's presence. They had to pull him out of a fountain he was screwing to get the burning sensation Xander cursed him with to go away."
"Almost better than the flying monkeys," Speed said with a grin for his adopted son. Xander beamed back. They got up and went to look at the other houses. Speed was staring at Xander, then at Wade, who shook his head he hadn't cured him. So why was Xander so lowered on his hormones?
"Who's over the garage?" Dean asked, looking up.
"Jensen and Cougar."
"Cool." Xander pointed and Dean grinned. "Sammy would love that. Sammy, look, pseudo tree house." He hurried over to climb it and look, beaming at his brother. Dean decided he liked the inside and it was one of the smaller houses. Speed picked theirs and Xander got the door signs he had carved to let them hang them. Wade already had his put up. The others they'd let Ray and Adam and anyone else decide. They went back to the enormous kitchen, twice the size of the one in Miami, and settled in to make dinner. Of course, they made way too much so Sam called Ezra to find out where they could donate it. He got a recommendation from Vin who'd meet them there. They loaded everything into the original SUV at the house and took it down there while Xander babysat Mellie and the dogs. And the ghost of John Winchester.
"Are you gay?" John asked.
Xander looked at him. "Bi with a strong leaning thanks to the girls in my former life. And before you ask, I backed up a slayer, John."
"Oh." He stared, blinking a few times. "Huh." He nodded. "So this hormone crap?"
"It's a medical condition," he said impatiently. "If I could control it I would."
"You're not backed up now."
Xander stared at him. "You so sure of that?" John shuddered. "Frankly, I'm also sick at the moment and the medicine I'm taking for that is holding some of it down." He went back to teaching the puppies fetch while Mellie learned too. John faded out. Xander shook his head. "You'll get him used to us," he told the puppies. Who all lapped him and let him roll the ball again. Mellie squealed and crawled after it. Ramses let her have it so he could lap her.
Xander laughed, capturing it on the camera. "That's very polite, Ramses. Thank you. Good boy." He petted him and rolled the ball again. Kiss was still an aggressive mooch but she even deferred to the baby because Kiss knew daddy would swat her good if she did more than lap any baby gently. Xander rolled it again and Mellie cuddled up to watch it, yawning some. "I know, it's been a long day." Ramses stole the ball from Hershey and brought it back, earning ear pets. "Very good steal, Ramses." He turned off the phone camera and let the dogs pile into his lap with the baby for a good nap.
John faded in next to his son. "Why is Xander taking medicine for something? He doesn't seem sick."
Sam considered it, looking at Speed, who nodded. "Yeah, we can figure that out."
"He has an infection that's seeming to never go away on his leg," Wade said from where he was being forced to help by Blair. "It's been two weeks."
"Huh," Speed said. "We'll have to look at what he's using. Maybe Greg didn't test it." They got back to serving the extras they had made. When dinner was done at the shelter they headed back to the farm, finding Xander curled up on the floor around Mellie and the puppies. They were all using Mellie as a pillow to protect her and it was very cute. Most of the group took pictures of it. Xander made an inquisitive grunting noise. "Just stay still, Xander. It's adorable." Xander blinked and smiled. They caught that picture too. "Dogs, can I have the baby?" Kiss growled. Speed stared at her, hands on his hips. "Don't make me turn into Horatio, Kiss." She whimpered but got petted. They let him have the baby to put down in their room and Dean helped Xander upstairs to look at his leg and the medicine he was taking.
"Fucking tentacle spike," Dean complained loudly. He brought it down on the cotton pad. He also put down the tube of ointment. "There, for Greg." He went back up to cuddle Xander and make him feel better. Sam followed, taking Xander's free side. The dogs pounced them to get their own spots and it was nice. Even if Xander was cuddling Ramses like he was a teddybear on Dean's chest.
Speed properly wrapped it and got Xander's messenger demon necklace to summon one. He wrote out a note and sent the package to Greg. Then he went to bed too. Mellie had worn him out trying to chase the unicorn and the puppies. He spotted Xander's phone and the 'new film saved' message. He got into it, grinning at the very polite dog. He uploaded it to the internet movie sharing site and went to bed. Horatio would be thrilled.
John Winchester watched over the whole houseful of really strange people. And some really tough guys. He had no idea how Xander had gathered his sons into this group of semi-family.
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