Making Soothing Plans.

"Xander needs a safe haven place like he has in Colorado," Sam decided.  It had been a crappy day.  Andrea had made fun of his shirt.  He had been pouty all day long.  His father's ghost had come back from that other GHS realm and had been so horrified he could only give him horrified, shocked looks like he was now an incubus.  Yeah, his life sucked today.

"What safe haven place?" Dean asked around his current lick of ice cream cone.

"You didn't see the hidden entryway in the library?" Sam asked him.  "You've got drips on this side," he said dryly.  Dean turned it and licked that side clean, shaking his head.  "The bookcase behind the desk swings open.  It leads to this river stone passageway.  It has a showerhead at the end, then opens into a little walled off grotto with a cast iron soaking tub.  So you can clean off the day and then go have a long, calming soak."

"Huh," Dean said, considering it.  "Where would he put it?"

"Either by that statue or back behind the hot tub. Or there's an area by the back fence that might do with less work.  Personally I'd put it back behind the hot tub toward the back fence."

Dean considered it.  "There's about fifty zillion trees back there, Sam."

"I know.  They had to remove ten of them for the new workshop area.  If he'd put it against the side wall, it'll be easier.  Or there's the area by the statue, which is still freaky."

Dean snorted.  "What statue?"

"The statue is somehow linked to Xander.  So if you stroke it, it'll get off and wear his hormones out a bit.  We hid it in the woods."  He pointed behind him.  "That way and about ten feet into the woods."

Dean got up and went to look, coming back shaking his head.  "Someone did a good job sculpting him."  He sat down, eating the last bite of cone.  "I'm so glad I'm not that high up."

Sam grinned.  "Well, you say you get all the chicks," he taunted.

"Shut up, Sammy.  Tell Xander your idea."

Sam nodded, writing Xander an email.  He knew he was on some sort of ruins tour with Wade and Paul.


Xander looked at the note then around the grotto Wade had brought him to when he got a bit nauseous.  "This home," he said quietly.

Wade looked at him.  "It's a good place to kill people.  I killed one over there once for hitting on me."  He pointed at a group of rocks.  "He was ugly and had no dick."

Xander looked at him.  "Sam suggested we put in a grotto like in Colorado."


"He suggested by the statue or behind the hot tub."

Wade considered it then nodded.  "That's possible.  It's not going to need a huge lot of area.  You could move that touchy statue there too."  Xander grinned at him.  "I know it's in the shade in case you get a sunburn from it."  Xander nodded, looking at the waterfall and lake grotto.  "How would you get the water out there?"

"If we put it behind the hot tub, there's a water line already to that.  It can be diverted.  I can figure out how to make a waterfall area."

Wade shrugged.  "It's your house."  He smirked.  "Fake rocks?"

"We can use real rocks.  The water will mostly be warm year round."  He shrugged.  "I'll think about it."  He took a picture and sent it to Sam.  Including that Wade had happy memories of killing someone here.  Sam sent back a smiley face.  "Sam likes it too."  They walked off together.  "What is that smell?"

"Decomp," Wade said, grimacing.

"No, not decomp.  I've smelled that.  Including on Danny after a few very bad scenes."  He looked around, going hunting.  "Eww."

Wade walked up behind him.  "That's gross," he decided, calling their tour guide.  They had taken this tour while the others went to the more well-known ancient temples.  Xander was a bit elevated today and he needed him worn out since Paul had thrown out his back yesterday fighting off someone for one of the others in the group.  Wade pointed.

The tour guide looked then grimaced.  "No wonder he got a headache."  He called his boss, who sent out the local police.  He led them to it.  Xander and Wade were back at the temple talking quietly.  "They think it was some  arm's dealer's second-in-command named Wade," he told them.  "They say he's local but nothing to worry about."

Wade looked at the officer.  "No, I didn't do this.  And now I'm his second-in-command and he doesn't deal weapons.  Thanks though."  He smirked at the horrified and panicked look the officer had.

Xander swatted him.  "Quit panicking the locals.  I don't want to spend the rest of today convincing them that I don't sell arms."

The officers walked over.  He said something in the local language.  Xander answered in something else, frowning.  They stared at him then said something in that one, smiling at him.  Xander explained that comment and they nodded and backed off.  Wade looked at him. "What did he say?  He gets languages a lot easier than I do."

"He mentioned the group," their tour guide said.  "And that's why he needs someone as ...powerful as you."  He nodded at Wade.  Who smirked.

"I told them I needed someone like you to steal my cute ass back," Xander quipped, looking at him.  "By the way, thank you for the stealing back last night before I came around."

"I'd never hear the end of it from Anya if I let someone keep you," he shot back with an evil smirk.  "Even if I would get all your weapons."

"Actually, my will leaves them to Jensen.  But I left you the house and the dogs."

"I don't like pets."

Xander patted him with a grin.  "Unless that special way happens you can ship them later."

"Good point.  Of course, if you die for real, I'll knock Jensen senseless, steal your collections, and enjoy the hell out of them."

"He'll get you back."

"Maybe.  He's still a geek."

"Ah!  But he's a warrior geek now," Xander taunted with a smirk.

"True.  Or he'd have Cougar snipe me."

"Also possible.  Or Pooch."

"Could, yeah."

"Are you ever going to tell me what went down between you and Pooch?"

"No."  He smirked.  "We're ignoring our past run-ins."

"That'll work."

"You know Pooch?  Losers Pooch?" their tour guide asked.

"The Losers are the Miami retrieval team," Xander said with a grin.  "Jensen and I are buddies."

"Oh," he said weakly, looking at the officers.

"We're in with a tour group," Xander said calmly.  "Calm down.  I'm not evil.  I'm not mean unless I have to steal myself back.  Just calm down."

He nodded, saying that to the officers.  They agreed that was fine.  "Do you know who might have done that?" the tour guide translated.

"I have almost no contacts here," Wade admitted.  "It's been years since I was in Thailand."

They nodded when the tour guide told them that.  They took their hotel information then left.  They did promise not to say anything about one of the group being in the country.  There were people who should not hear that information.

Wade looked at Xander.  "Did you have to tell them?"

"Do you have any other reason that I'd need an assistant like you that wouldn't make me look evil?"

Wade considered that.  "Major businessman?"

"That sounds shady."

"It does," he agreed.  "It's the hair.  If you had shorter hair you could say something about being in finance, being an heir....  That's not a bad idea."

"That's not," he agreed.  "I can stick to that story from now on."  Wade smirked and nodded.  "Sorry."

"It's not a worry.  The locals are decent about not wanting more problems.  If we were in Bangkok we'd have problems."

"That's why I didn't want to go to Bangkok.  I heard about all the problems."

"Yeah, it would be."  He punched him on the arm.  "Are you really thinking about a full waterfall and lounging pool?"

"I don't know," he admitted.  "It'd be nice to have a place I could unstress when I need to.  Apparently Sam found the one in Denver.  Dean didn't though."

"I know that you need that sort of space, especially after bad days. Like the day you decided to break up with them."  Xander nodded.  "Do you really want to dig up all those trees?"

"There's a place back there that doesn't have any.  I can do a natural stone wall around the outer edge.  Build the waterfall and pool."

"You have that huge front yard that has a small fountain," Wade reminded him.

"I asked the realtor I work with when I flip homes.  She said if I added much more out there it'd devalue part of the house.  She also thinks I have too many trees around the gate."

"The lot on your right, not the pagan ladies but the other one, is for sale."

Xander shook his head.  "I asked.  The community's by-laws say you can only own one and a half lots.  They were scared of some of us creating huge, tasteless estates.  The guy in charge asked if I needed more trees.  I said I wanted to prevent another disastrous neighbor problem."

"I thought someone bought that."

"They did then they died of an OD with no will and no heirs.  Since she had just barely bought it they refunded the money to her estate for the taxes.  With the housing market it's a good chance it'll be empty for a while."

"Do you pay community association fees?" Wade asked.

"No.  Well, we have a yearly thousand dollar maintenance fee to upkeep the guards and shack at the gate.  The by-laws say they can take a community-wide vote for an extra one in case of hurricane damage."

"That makes sense.  Did they ask for one when the old neighbor blew up the house?"

"No.  Though they did sue her to get it back since she had only owned it for a month and had violated the community by-laws.  I'm wondering if the guys read the by-laws when they bought the house."

"I'd hope so," Wade said.

"Me too but I have no idea."  He shrugged and shifted.  "I'm not sure what I'd do if I had to move."

Wade looked at him.  "Why would you have to?"

"Another cult?"


"You didn't hear why we moved from the house near the station and lab," he said dryly.  Wade slowly shook his head.  "Between the *person* who gassed the house so he could break in and steal things, who later came back to kill the dogs, and the sacrificial cult that kidnaped me back to Sunnydale to kill my pretty ass, we had to move.  Danny and Don bought the current house when I was getting back from Sunnydale that time.  We had a few extra days due to a horrible storm and my lack of ID."

Wade shook his head.  "If you have to move, you're going to a society-style house with gates and all that.  Or we'll move to Denver permanently and you can work on the farm and the trees out there."  Xander nodded he could agree with that.  "Did you have an area in mind?"  Xander looked up something and showed him the old real estate listing he had on his phone.  Wade looked over the amenities.  "Pool would be nice, yeah.  I can see your mutts going wild with a pool." 

Xander nodded.  "I thought about doing that instead of the hot tub.  Maybe adding a small hot tub to the side, but I'd never get around to cleaning it."

"Possibly.  You could get the Wonder Twin Winchesters to do it."

"Possibly.  I'd have to fence it because of the kids."

"True, that's the law."  He considered it.  "A motion alarm on the easy-swing gateway?"

"Expand the deck."  He got into Wade's phone.  He had a sketching app for when he needed to work out something.  "Move some of the outdoor kitchen area's stones this way.  Put in an in-ground with a shade overtop of it.  Nothing cheesy like a greenhouse looking one but maybe like a canopy from the trees?  Use the stones to create a 'deck' area around it.  The fence can be wrought iron so it's sturdy enough and doesn't need yearly repair.  That would take up all that area and we'd have to move the sitting area by about three feet but we could put in a huge pool if I turned it sideways instead of matching the bedroom."  He undid it and resketched it.  "Then back in that corner put the new grotto.  Which would only be a problem if I ended up putting up a salle."

Wade considered it.  "That cramps your entertaining and training area.  You won't have as much area to spar.  Though I like the length-wise one more.  Just move those seven trees and push it back into the trees and put a deck on the house side."

Xander sketched that and nodded.  "That'd be nice, yeah.  And before we move the theater goes up to the current practice area and that gets turned into a formal dining room.  That way it's saleable."

"That's what I thought it was at first from the outside.  It's a bit small for real practice."

"It's good for teaching and when I have to do something from the trunks."

"Yeah, it would be," he agreed.  "I like the actual salle in Denver instead though."

"Me too.  I thought about putting one out back by the back fence but I decided to keep training outside.  Which means I really need to redesign the back yard.  Though, if I do put in a pool, we can gather there on the deck area and they can keep the kids out of it.  Or I'd put in a tiny pool for them."

"You'd still need the fence."

"Yeah, but I can put up a nice retracting fence or something."  Wade nodded that was true.  Xander grinned and nudged him with an elbow.  "I can even put in a garage remote feature."  Wade snickered but nodded.  "And if I move the seating over there that gives us a lot more party and training area."  He sketched his thought and Wade nodded he liked it.  "So a lot of open playing area and training area with more seating and a value added feature for the house if and when I end up selling it."

"Put in two-person seating groups for all the couples and some single seats."  Xander nodded.  "Tables between them for the food.  Or seating groups in some places so you can still have the group dinners where you can look at everyone."

"I'm going to use the current furniture.  It's not broken yet but I'd add some seating around the pool area.  That can be dragged around."  Wade nodded at that.  "Replace the two picnic tables or donate them to a park, add in a nice, long stone table maybe?"

"That'd be nice.  Matching the ground stones?"  Xander nodded.  "That'd work."

"And I could do it all myself, maybe with Dean and Sam's help.  Outside the pool."

"That's not that hard, just a lot of digging."

"There's walls and stuff that have to be done specially."

"I didn't realize it was more than a concrete filled hole with tile."

"It kinda is but you have to have the drain lines and special liners."

"Huh."  Wade nodded.  "What about the four trees you'd have to move?"

"I have three weak ones but they're not together.  So I'd end up taking out about seven total I think."

"Patrick's going to kill you," Wade said with a smirk.

"He's so busy I'd let Eric's father do it maybe.  Or just hire a pool company.  I can take out the trees if I have to.  Those aren't fruit trees either.  They're all evergreens I think.  And one maple maybe."

"I know that area.  You'd need to remove enough for the pool's shade."  Xander nodded that was true.  "You'll figure it out by the time we get back."

"And then I'll probably have Dean and Sam oversee it for me," he quipped with a grin.  "So I can go swimming once I get back."

"They'd probably like some time doing something beyond digging up supernatural things."

"Sam hates to dig."

"I don't blame him.  I used to hate routine digging jobs too."

Xander grinned.  "Aren't you glad I don't make you do that?"

"Definitely.  Thank you."  Xander smirked.  "Can they do the tax inventory?"

"I'm calling imps.  Lavelle taught me."

"Excellent.  Are the bobsy twins checking the present warehouse?"

Xander texted that to Sam to make sure he remembered.  He got back one saying he hadn't this week but he would in the morning.  "He forgot."

"I'm sure he'll have fun."  He yawned and stretched a bit.  Their guide dropped them at the hotel and he gave him a pointed look then a tip.  "For the privacy."

"Of course," he agreed quickly, heading back to the office.

Wade followed Xander back inside, taking their messages.  "Everyone else back?"

"They've been back and are now shopping."

"We're going tomorrow," Xander said with a grin.  "Is there a spa attached to this hotel?"

"There's a call in service for some things," the desk girl said.  "Did you need a manicure?"

"I could use a massage.  My leg's a bit crampy and my shoulders are tight."

She smiled.  "I will call one, Mr. Harris."

"Thank you."  He grinned and headed up to his room.  Wade made sure he got in then went to his own and Hubert the cuddly, nicer-than-his-girlfriend dragon.  He'd definitely have to make her give up the flying monkey when he got home.  Though she shouldn't mind if he found his own baby dragon.  It'd be just as deadly as the monkey, though less colorful.  Hopefully it'd bite less too.


The next day, Sam walked into the lab with a box, signing in with a sigh.  "Presents Speed needs to see."

"For him or Xander?"

Sam grinned.  "For him."

"Oh, dear."  She paged Speed, getting him and Eric.

"Presents?" Eric joked.  "Even though Xander's in Thailand?"

"They're not for Xander.  They're for Speed."  He let him see inside.  Speed moaned, touching the very soft, gauzy outfits for the baby.  "Card," Sam said, handing it over.

Speed read it, slumping down.  "Did you tell Horatio?"  Eric took the card.

"No, I came to give it to you."  He handed it over.  "I did talk to the DPP.  That's a human."

"Crap," Speed muttered.

"And he's the son of the guy that wanted Mellie as his wife."

Speed stared at him.  "Really?"

"Yup."  He grinned.  "I figured you wanted to talk to him."

"Yes, I'd love to talk to him," he said sarcastically.  "At the end of some of Xander's artillery."

"If H lets you borrow," Sam quipped.  "Other than that, I didn't get to tell Horatio because he was moving the two white tiger cubs to the zoo and then got called somewhere else."

"Why tiger cubs?" Eric asked.

"Apparently he had cooed at some in some zoo in India.  I'm just really happy there's no new elephants."

"Yeah, me too," Speed said dryly.  "Or that H doesn't have princess hair anymore."  Eric walked off snickering.  "He did!"

"I saw."

Sam grinned and pulled out something else.  "From Xander. He was plotting."

Speed looked over the diagram.  "That'd add more seating to the outdoor area and the fence is a nice touch.  Legal probably too.  What's this area?"

Sam looked then grinned.  "A safe haven grotto for destressing.  Like the one in Denver."

"I saw that one.  It looked like something I'd love to have after the bad cases."

"He'd let you borrow it."

"I know.  How did he want that laid out?"

"Apparently he found a nice, comforting spot in a waterfall."

"That'll be nice.  A privacy wall, a lot of bushes so you feel like you're walking into an actual grotto in a forest since he has his own.  Would that take up that whole bare area back there?"  Sam nodded.  "Huh.  That'd be nice.  We could weave the wall between the trees."

"Out there he trained some roses up the outer wall."

"I saw.  It's pretty and we'd adore that.  Let me know if you need help with the planning for him."

"I can do that.  Have fun destroying that guy.  By the way, I talked to Greg.  He knows about him because he offered to give Tony a surrogate so he could have a backup wife candidate.  In front of Gibbs.  Greg called to see if I knew that stupid human."

"Shit," Speed said, smirking at him.  "I'll call Greg."  He walked off calling him.  "So, Greggy, was it the father that wanted my baby girl who wanted your future step-child or was it his son who sent my baby girl a bunch of very pretty, gauzy things?"  He cackled.  "Oooooh...." he said with a hiss and a pleasured moan at the end.  "I'm so helping if Gibbs hasn't gotten them yet."

Calleigh leaned out of ballistics.  "Did that moron come back?" she demanded.

"Sent Mellie pretty things.  Offered to get Tony a surrogate so he could have his future daughter."  He smirked.  "I'm going to have *fun* now."  He went back to get the box from the reception desk and walked off again.  He handed them to Calleigh.  "Tell me if they'll fit her."

"Sure," she said, pulling back in to look them over while calling Horatio.  "Speed's in evil bitch mode, Horatio.  Someone sent Mellie pretty things."  She hung up and looked them over.  They were pretty clothes.  Very girlish, very light for Miami's extreme heat.  The right size for her too.  She wondered how he had known.  She'd have to check on that since the fathers themselves couldn't.


Xander looked at his phone while they were taxiing to take off from Thailand.  "Calleigh said the moron who wanted Mellie has two other possible wife candidates already and his son wanted one from Tony."  He sent a quick one then turned off his phone.  "She didn't leave very much for anyone."

"Pity," Wade admitted.  "He sounds like he'd be fun to torture."  Paul, Xander's escort, looked at him.  "The guy walked up to Speed, Xander, and Adam while they were shopping with the two kids and demanded that Speed hand over Mellie as his future wife."

"Mellie's a year old," he said.

"Just under," Xander agreed with a grin.  "I'm flying home for a day for her birthday party.  He kept claiming we'd warp her.  He owns a weapons design company."  He looked at Wade.  "Was he behind the explosives?"

"Both sets," he agreed. "He did have someone hack your engineer but they only got the spiders.  They erased them and your engineer sued his company, which suspiciously went bankrupt recently."

"Aww, how sweet," Xander said dryly.  "I'll have to thank Jensen for that."

"I'm told he was teaching his niece white lighter hacking," Wade told him.  Xander snickered, shaking his head.  "Clay turned him in to other contacts again too.  All his people were already snapped up and retrained to work for a better class of dirtbag."

Xander grinned.  "That's why I saved my engineer, so he wouldn't have to go to people like that," he told Paul.

"That's a great thing."  He smiled.  "I'm sure he does a lot of really neat things."

"He does.  He works with the other people I give grants to so they can do things like remake the bags and stuff."

"That's very handy."  He checked, they had all the pets.  Hershey hadn't wanted to go into the bag this morning.  Hubert woke up and climbed out, climbing into his parent's lap to snuggle.  Xander petted him.  The stewardess gave him a funny look but during the last flight all the dogs had gotten to come out.  Hubert went to sniff the other members of the tour group then came back to cuddle the daddy.  When his human got cuddly and sleepy he moved to Wade so his human could get a nice, quiet hand job.  It made his human feel better and more sleepy.  Plus he could deal with his human's pet.  He was training him very nicely to be a good pet stepparent.


Calleigh came back from her trip to DC to destroy that whole family happy and with treats.  She had gotten a full day of shopping while doing the reports.  Greg had even given her Xander-style tips of where to go.  So it had been a good working vacation.  She smiled at Horatio since he was there to meet her, handing over the report.  "There you go.  One disgusting human is now in jail begging for mercy," she said cheerfully.   "His son is trying to cut a deal for lesser sentences."

He smirked.  "Thank you, Calleigh."

"You're welcome."  She walked off with him.  One of the transit cops stopped them.  "Yes, Officer?" she asked, pulling out her badge.  Horatio pulled his.

"Ma'am, as a formality, the system flagged you for going up with one bag and coming back with three."

She smiled.  "I took the day I was doing reports to do some sale shopping.  You're welcome to check them if you want."

"Please.  It's a formality but if I don't I can lose my job."

She waved a hand with a smile.  "I fully understand that."  She handed him the slip and let him get her bags for her.  He came back.  "With the baggage fees I should've shipped them but there wouldn't be anyone there to get them for days probably with the hours we work in the lab."

He grinned.  "Case get you up to DC?"

"Yes.  We had a businessman who wanted a few children as his future wives."  He shivered.  She grinned.  "I had a *lot* of fun destroying him.  It made the shopping all the sweeter."

"I'm sure it did, ma'am."  He closed up the bags and stood up, holding up a bottle.  "It's not your name."

She looked.  "Greg must've dropped it.  That's his blood pressure medicine."  Horatio looked at her.  "He's dealing with politicians."  She looked.  "Empty."

He nodded.  "That's not a banned drug by any means.  You have a nice day, ma'am, sir."  They nodded and took her bags with her.  She did call Greg to tell him she had that bottle.   He took the information and told her to toss it so she did after taking off the label to shred back at the lab.  The transit officer made his notes and unflagged her in the system.


Calleigh got out of her car at Xander's house, seeing the mess going on.  "Boys?" she called.  "Was the back yard robbed by some grass bandit?"

Dean leaned out with a grin.  "Xander's having us put in a pool."

"Okay."  She smiled.  "That makes more sense."  She walked into the kitchen.  "Just a pool?"

"He's redesigned the sitting area too," Sam said, showing the design to her.

"That's nice.  It'll seat more people.  A nice large table that someone will say is an altar."  Dean snickered, nodding a bit.  "We can handle that.  Fence for the pool?  It's the law."

"Yup," Sam said, showing her the sample Xander had chosen.  "With a remote control feature."

"That's smart thinking."  She handed it back.  "Are you boys doing okay out here by yourself?"  Dean pointed at the ghost.  "Oh, that must be your dad.  Hi, I'm Calleigh.  I work with Horatio and Speed at the lab."

He nodded.  "Pleasure to meet you, ma'am.  I met Speed."

She smiled.  "We all adore him and Mellie."

"She was adorable," John agreed.  "Some day my sons can raise something just as cute but as tough as you are."

She smirked.  "Flatterer."  She looked at Sam.  "Are you sure you're all right?  No one's cooking.  No one's taken you shopping.  You're standing in for Xander on the poker circuit."

"Nah, we're good," Dean assured her.  "Sammy took cooking lessons from Xander.  Ryan sometimes cooks or he does.  Hell, I even do some cooking sometimes."  She beamed.  "The pool area will be done within two weeks."

"That long?"

"There's some water line stuff that needs to be done," Sam said.

"Ah!"  She nodded.  "Well, I'll buy a new swimsuit so we can christen it with a family-wide pool party then."  They both nodded.  "That'll be after Mellie and Toby's birthday.  That's a shame.  They'd enjoy that."

"Xander put in a shallow pool thing outside the fence for the dogs and the kids," Sam said with a point at the design drawing.  She giggled and swatted him then left.  Sam looked at Dean.  "It is your turn to cook."

"Yeah, I know it is.  Especially after I lost two hundred earlier at poker."

"Dean," John warned.  "That's a bad habit."

"Dad, he won six grand this week," Sam said dryly.

"I don't like you boys gambling all the time."  Sam and Dean stared at him.  "I know pool sharking is bad but still.  Plus you're playing with thugs, son."

"I know, Dad.  Most of them are really nice guys as long as you don't cross them in the business sense."

"Most are also really scared of Xander," Sam quipped.  "Because Xander has a 'I'll do worse back to you' policy."  He grinned.  "He does it very well."

"If not, we'll just borrow Wade the flying monkey," Dean agreed.  "They all hate the monkey."

"I don't much like Wade the monkey," Sam admitted.  "But he's fun to watch when she sends him to nibble on people who annoy her."

"Yeah but we still had to save the shoe shop girl," Dean said.

"I know.  Wade said to paddle her and I did.  She pouted but agreed it had been selfish of her.  Thankfully the lady took the payout and Anya went home to sulk to her vibrators.  I think the lack of sex is warping her very badly."

"Could be, yeah."

John looked at them.  "Are you both suffering from some sort of possession?  A form of unknown mental illness?"

"You learn to appreciate Anya, Dad.  I thought she was a bit...loud at first and then I started to talk to her.  She's a really decent young woman who was a vengeance demon for a thousand or so years."

"She helped me a lot with demon classifications and with getting Xander to smaller, less trendy stores when he wanted to boredom shop," Sam agreed.

"Wade said he's already got a half bag of stuff for the kitchen and the shelves in the living room," Dean told him.  "He warned me to move some of the pictures around to make space and to find a new spice rack."

Sam looked at the two they had then at him.  "Sure, I remember where we got those."  Dean grinned.  "Or we can find a bigger one."  He looked in the pantry.  "It's full."

"We can ask Jolene what can be tossed or stored somewhere else," Dean said.  He looked.  "Isn't honey supposed to be in the fridge?"

"No.  It's the only permanently shelf stable food ingredient that'll never go bad.  It might crystalize but all you have to do is warm it up a bit and it'll smooth back out.  They found honey in Egyptian tombs that was still able to be smoothed out.  And you can use it on cuts like you would neosporin."

"Huh," Dean said.  "Food network?"

"Yup."  He grinned.  Dean smirked back.  "I'll ask Jolene's opinion tomorrow."  Ryan stomped in.  "Bad day?"

"Calleigh's a bit too happy."

"She showed up here," Dean told him.

"Wonderful," he said dryly.  "Dean, it's your night to cook."

"Fu's?" Dean offered.

"Sure," Ryan and Sam agreed, going to the living room.

"It's really quiet without the dogs," Sam said.

"It is.  Don wanted Danny to get him one too."

"They're never home," Dean called.

"That's why Danny hasn't gotten him a new dog," Ryan called back.  "What's with the backyard mess?"

"Pool," Sam said.

"Huh."  He looked up then at Sam.  "If he has to move will he have to do more work?"

"The theater's being moved upstairs to the practice room, the present theater's being turned back into a dining room."

"Good to know."

"We should move that statue to Denver," Dean said.

"Not a bad idea," Sam admitted, texting that to Xander's phone.  When he didn't get an answer he looked at the time.  "They must be on the plane."  Ryan nodded.  "I checked the present warehouse.  Nothing new beyond a few old books."

"Magic or ancient?" Ryan asked.

"Magic. I put them in the trunks since they were a flesh-covered copy of the _Necrinomicon_ and another dead things book.  I sent a nice note to the demon that he wasn't accepting the present but I was hiding them before someone broke in and took them to do harm.  And that Xander was out of the country right now.  He said he'd write to him about them and see if he'd accept them."

"He'll hate that," Dean warned.

"Just him.  The others won't send things.  They might miss him and it'd be stranded at the hotel."

"I hope that doesn't set a bad trend that will piss Xander off.  Wade still doesn't think Xander's more dangerous than he is," Ryan said.

Dean and Sam giggled.  They knew how dangerous Xander could be.  Wade was a pussy cat compared to Xander's temper when he really let it go.  Dean went out to pay for the meal and talk to his debt book keeper.  The guy thought he had found an old one that wasn't balanced out anywhere by a payment but he was new.  The old debt book keeper had retired.  Dean called in Xander's to make sure he was right, and he wasn't.   But hey, Xander's debt book keeper was bored at the moment so Wyatt could help this new guy learn better.  Because the ATF agent was pitiful with accounting tasks.


Paul opened up the suite's door, finding a demon there with a large box.  "He's not accepting presents."

"My master said that only he could send me home," he said stiffly.  He noticed the three growling dogs.  "No dragon?"  Paul pointed behind him.  "Good morning, Hubert."  Hubert snorted smoke.  "I must, it's my assignment and if I don't he'll kill me."

"Xander's asleep.  He'll kill you," Paul said dryly.  "Xander?"

Xander stumbled out naked, looking at the staring demon.  "Hell.  No.  And if someone is trying to give me something I'm coming up there to destroy somewhere else."

"He said you'd have to send me home," the demon said sheepishly.  "I'd rather not be here but it's a life debt, Harris."  Xander handed him his DPP calling stone, letting him go there.  They had public terminals to many other realms.  The necklace dropped.  Paul handed it back and Xander went to shower and do his hair.

"You have two hours," Paul called.

"It'll take me that long to unknot my hair."

"I know it will."  He petted the dogs and the dragons.  "You guys are very well trained."  They barked and ran in to take over Xander's bed.  It was the next best thing to his lap.  Even if Ramses would rather be in the shower with him.  Hubert too.  They both snuck in and got happy with the daddy-scented water and him giving pets to them as he cleaned himself up.

Xander came out a half-hour later with his hair wrapped in a towel.  "They have a pitiful hot water tank here.  Only lasted thirty minutes."  He went to get dressed and braid the hair.  That'd do for the day.  Paul came in to do a more manly thing than a braid for him.  "Thank you."  He took a kiss and returned it with a grin.  "Breakfast?"

"Order's coming up.  There's no way I want you in the dining room.  There's no fans, a/c, or air circulation in there.  It's broken."

"Maybe that's what happened to the hot water."  Paul smirked but took him out to get the tray from room service.  "Did you order caviar?" Xander asked when he opened the cover.

Paul looked at the bill.  "No."  He looked at the food.  "Huh.  That's an interesting transformation.  I guess since it was eggs before they could be transformed into smaller eggs."  Xander snickered, shaking his head.  Their original breakfast's reappeared, kind of.  They clearly weren't chicken eggs.  "What're those?"

"Those are very good, a bit salty, and the yolk has a touch of a bitter aftertaste.  It's grown off-world from a pigeon relative that's as big as a wild turkey."

"Okay."  He dug in and it was good.  The caviar cut the yolk's aftertaste very well.  The dogs got the scraps and were happy.  Then they went to tour the local area.  The hotel had dog walkers and Wade was at the hotel.  Though Paul did send him a message about the attempted present giver.  He got one back and grimaced.  "Wade had to deal with someone who tried to give you a very girly ruby necklace."

"Yay," Xander said flatly.  "I'm not for rent or sale.  Not even for really pretty things.  And if it was something like earlier, I'll get to go destroy someone else."  He beamed at his escort.  "I have so much fun doing that to over forty realms so far."

"Sure," he agreed.  He had no idea how Xander would do that.  He knew he was a capable fighter but to destroy a whole lot of demons?  Or a whole realm?


Dean looked at Patrick, the guy who ran the construction company that Xander used when he was flipping houses, as he got out of his truck.  "Hey, Patrick."

"Dean.  What's going in now?"

"Pool and a few other things."


"Xander wanted a pool."  He shrugged.  "He knew you guys were busy or he'd have asked you guys."

"We are," he agreed.  "I had to hire on six more guys."  He looked at the temporary mess.  "What's with the trench into the woods?"  Dean got up to show him.  They had the pipes on this end done and only had to connect them back to the main water line.  He and Sam had done the waterfall's wall and the pool guys had put in the 'pond' area.  They had laid the rocks around it too.  Sam was working on the walls.  "Huh," Patrick said.  "This is really nice."

Sam grinned at him.  "Thanks.  Xander found a waterfall area that just spoke to him like the grotto in Denver did."

"That's cool.  And a very nice treat.  Just these two things?"

"Rearranging the seating area, adding a stone patio area and the fence," Dean said.

Patrick smiled and nodded.  "That'll work.  This'll be great when he's done with the plants out here."  They walked back up to the house together.  "My darling twin got asked about the house he owns by the station?"

"I thought he sold that years ago," Sam said.  Dean looked at him.  "Where they originally lived."

"Oh.  I thought they sold it too."  Patrick shrugged.  He called Xander.  "Patrick's here.  Patricia got asked about the house by the station?"  He listened then handed the phone over.

"Hi, Xander," Patrick said, walking over to sit down on the table for the grill area.  "She got a seriously interested person who wanted to know about renovating it and what you wanted to sell it for.  I have no idea.  I've never even seen the house.  Sure, I can have Don do that.  Any idea what it's worth?  I can tell her to fair market value it.  Was it originally listed?" 

He listened to how that had happened.  "I understand that fully.  Sure, who has the keys?"  He took the phone to get them from the desk.  "I'll take her to look at it in a bit.  Thanks, Xander.  Sure, I'll call."  He hung up and handed Dean back his phone.  "When it didn't sell he had it repainted, cleansed from the suicide cult's ideas of fun, and then rented it.  As far as he knows it should be free, that the renters left last year."  He went to his sister's office to tell her that. 

She called that realtor when he told her who had it.  She agreed they didn't have it or the rental contract anymore.  Steve agreed that they shouldn't have it rented right now either and offered to drop off the keys.  He had the emergency sets.  They said they had them and drove over there.  Of course, there were squatters.  They called Don, who came out to talk to them.

It turned out to be one of those days in Miami and they had to move within a week.  Thankfully they hadn't done any damage to the house.  Patricia got Steve and her client in there.  Steve to handle any negotiations on Xander's behalf.  Patrick gave them ideas about upgrading and what it'd cost.  They decided they liked the house.  They could handle the small cliff down to the water.  They made an offer and Steve called Xander to see, but accepted it.  They signed it and Patricia started the paperwork to sign over the deeds.  She noticed one was in Don's name and asked Xander how to split that.  He told her to give him half.  Or give each of them a third.  However that worked for her.


Xander hung up and signed, leaning on Paul's shoulder.  "We finally sold the house by the station.  I didn't realize Don's name was still on the deed.  I thought I had it removed when I listed it."  He sat up at the gentle nudge.  They were not in a gay friendly area right now.  "Steve said their name's on my house too."

"You can buy them out."

"They're stubborn.  They won't take it."

"They will," he said.

"Danny thinks this is all some mid-life, learning about myself thing.  That I'll go back some day."

Paul looked at him.  "The other?"

"He's seeing the same problems he saw before, then backslid once he wasn't paying attention to that anymore.  It was like he'd fix things for six, seven weeks, then slowly drift back down to the point where I got played with like I was a new dog."

"Why is their name on your house if you bought it?" Wade asked as he sat down.

"Because I was still stuck in Sunnydale and they bought it to get me out of the old house since the cult had nearly destroyed it.  I didn't want to go back there.  They had broken Spot's front legs.  They had hurt one of the ferrets too.  So they quickly bought that one.  They had to take out a small mortgage to get it quick enough but Steve paid that off within a week of me getting back.  He had to rearrange some of the bank accounts because of what had happened and how I was left without any access to anything because they hadn't taken my ID with me since they planned on killing me."

"You can buy them out," Wade said.  "They'll be stubborn but they will give in, especially with Horatio helping apply pressure."

"He paid for it," Paul said.

"By law he'd have to pay them something to get them to relinquish their rights," Wade said.  "Probably the equal value of the property percentage they own."

"That sucks since he already paid for it."

"Money's not really any sort of object," Xander pointed out quietly.  "I made six mil the week we left, Paul."  Paul gaped.  "Auction not poker."

"The other's coming up next week," Wade said.  "Think you'll be getting some of it back?"

"I have every other time."

"Huh."  He ate a bite.

"One thing keeps being bought and sent back to me," Xander said with a grin.  "It's a little ruby knight statue.  Very nicely carved but it never has a name on the card.  Plus it's got some sort of thing on it."

"Thing?" Paul asked.  Xander flicked his hand in the air.  "Oh."  He nodded once.  "Okay.  We can't find out who sent it?"

"A quarter of the stuff that gets sent doesn't come with a name.  Mostly they're 'I'll see you soon' sort of cards," Wade said.  "We can find usually all but ten percent of those."

"Then a lot of those send a second thing so we track that one because they're trying to lead us to them," Xander added.  "I almost hired a PI to do that but the poker buddies are wonderfully informative anytime someone huge is in town to see me."

"That's because they don't want the drama of you having to save yourself from them," Wade quipped with an evil smirk.  "They keep running a few people who want introduced out of town."

"Good!"  He nibbled on his lunch, getting a dirty look from Wade.  "It's a bit warm."

"Uh-huh.  Eat like a normal person, Xander."

"Yes, Wade," he sighed.  "So how is your furry, flying counterpart doing?"

"Horatio gave her Mellie's kevlar vest.  I'm told the thing does good in it and doesn't get hurt anymore, which pissed her off.  Apparently someone scored a lucky shot but it didn't kill him because it was normal ammo.  Since then she's bought a lot of monkey clothes for the thing.  She even bought one of those stomach carriers for it.  People worried she had spawned again and were thinking about telling Horatio to take the kid from her."

"Did she prove it's just your furry namesake?" Xander teased.

"Yup.  When one of the officers who play poker asked her she introduced him and apparently he went to have nightmares because the flying thing was eating a finger."

"Disgusting," Paul complained.

"Yay," he shot back with another smirk for him.  "We've probably talked about worse."

"Probably," Xander agreed.  "I know I did when I was still around the girls all the time."  Wade shuddered.  "At least Roque and Buffy are slightly happy.  He's very happily screwing the evil tendencies out of her.  She hasn't tried to blow me up in weeks."

"If she does next time I'll send him a nice condolence card after the fact," Wade assured him.  Xander beamed at him.  "Any other news from out there?"

"He's got a happy hobby of Angel tormenting.  Which I like a lot myself.  Gunn thinks Roque's a big scary mo-fo, with a lot of knives, and the gang decided they respected Roque for his service and his badassness.  They even taught him how to stake properly and use their stake throwers."  Wade grinned.  "Wesley's told him about the various people in the Council in case they show up for him again in hopes that Roque'll feel like removing their taint from the earth."  Paul shook his head. 

"A few of them came after a kid in Miami.  Just about Toby's age.  He had the slayer mole," he said quietly, glancing around then back at his escort.  "They killed his mom, was going to kill him for daring to be born that marked, and all because of a stupid prophecy that was self-fulfilling in their case.  We got to protect the baby when a gang kid told me someone had found him beside the road.  Their weird things meter was off the charts that day."

"Then the bobsy twins found a hunter who'd take him in and train him," Wade finished.  "I don't doubt that the duty's important for the girls but even I see things wrong with the way they're treated."  Xander nodded he did too.  "They come to Miami and I'll get to have some fun before they come near the family.  Mellie doesn't, right?"

"No, if she had the slayer mole, they would've turned her over."

"Damn," Paul said.  Xander nodded.  "I can get behind not liking them very much."  Xander grinned.  "Are they a threat to you?"

"They've had a low level contract on my life for years but I doubt it'll ever be taken up," Xander said with a tiny shrug.  "I kinda created that whole two slayer situation and jumped into a fight that they hated.  It was only supposed to be a girl and her watcher, not her friends and family."

Paul nodded.  "I'll see what I can do when I'm on London's team.  We don't need that sort of stress."

Xander grinned.  "No, you probably won't."  He caught someone staring at them and stared back.  "Yes, I realized you were a bit ago.  You dress like Wes did when he first got to Sunnydale."

"Mr. Harris, I was going to ask for you to intervene in a serious threat we have upcountry," he said quietly, coming over to join them.  "There's a demon trying to take villages to worship him and as slaves.  My potential is only eight."

Xander and Wade shared a look.  Then Xander nodded because Wade nodded they could do that. "I'm only in town for five more days."

"I only heard you were in town earlier."

"I need details.  I'll try."  He nodded, handing over an envelope.  "Thank you.  I hope your girl turns out like Buffy did only less judgmental and evil sometimes."

He smiled. "'I'm hoping she lives as long as she did too."

"The last I knew she's still alive.  Or did something happen in LA?" Xander asked.

"She is?  She's not in Sunnydale."

"She's in LA working on their problems with her boyfriend.  She's up there about once a week.  She's dating a former commando."

"Huh."  He considered that.  "Interesting."  He went to call that information in.  It would save his and his potential's life if Harris could end them.

Xander looked at the information.  "That's a Sam and Dean sort of demon, not a Xander one.  It's a possessing one.  So Wade, let's make sure you know the exorcism ritual?"  Wade nodded he did.  "Thanks."  He grinned.  "I don't need more of them."  He ate while they looked it over.  Xander paid their bill and they went to gear up in the hotel room.  There was a tour group and they planned on slipping away anyway toward the end.  That'd be the perfect cover.  Paul got into the car with them and they stared at him.  "You don't have to."

"I'd better learn with as many could come for my future charges."

"Okay."  Xander let Wade drive.  He'd never been to the area and had no idea where they were going.  Xander did text someone that they were going to visit someone upcountry that had just said they were semi-local so they'd be missing the dinner.  That way the security team wouldn't worry.


A day and a half later, Xander felt miserable.  Inside and outside miserable.  He was bruised and still healing, after almost a day of fighting.  Mentally, he was wincing each time he had a thought.

Wade waited until they got back to the hotel to stare at him.  "It was the demon that killed them, not you.  You did everything you could to make them let them go.  They were already dead when we got there."  Xander looked at him, shaking his head.  "Even if you had went psychic for a bit you couldn't have made it let them go.  They were zombies, Xander."

"There were little kids," he said quietly.

"Most of them are still all right.  All but a few that the demon could get because their parents didn't protect them."  He stared at him.  "It sucks but there was nothing you could do about that."

Paul cleared his throat.  "He's right, Xander.  Though, every single soldier would be feeling the same way right now.  Probably even Wade at one point in time."

Wade glared at him.  "I never liked it when kids died."  Paul backed down at that point.  He made Xander look at him.  "Beyond that, you did not cast the spell that killed that demon.  That Council moron did.  You were trying to make him give up the souls.  You nearly had him giving them up when the idiot used his distraction to kill him.  He's responsible for the deaths and you made sure he heard that.  Hell, I made sure he felt it."  Xander nodded, looking down again.  "It's something we've all went through, kid.  Cuddle in with Paul if he'll let you."  He looked at Paul, who nodded.

"Physical contact has always helped settle me so cuddling is good for both of us."  He led Xander to the bed and the dogs followed, Hubert settling on Wade's lap staring at him.  He smiled.  "I think he's worried about you."

"He's a great friend.  Less fussy than Anya would be right now.  Doesn't shop.  Doesn't demand sex every two hours, even if I'm exhausted."  He petted the dragon, letting that calm him down.  Right now, he could almost see letting Anya have her way with him for an hour or so.  It'd be good, positive, grounding contact for him too.  Paul did text someone about what had happened.  That way they could pick up the Council Prick and have a talk with him about his 'mundanes always die' attitude.  There was no way he wanted that anywhere near any of his charges.  Or himself.  Hell, he didn't want the guy existing near Wade so maybe his new bosses would like to talk to him.


A few hours later in England there was a meeting of a secret council.  "So you killed the demon but it killed 314 villagers," the head of the panel said.  The watcher nodded.  "Were there any problems you wanted to report?"

"Harris was there."  A few hissed.  "He was trying to reason with it," he sneered.  "Apparently he was going to sacrifice something else for the villagers."

"Some people do care about the average lives lost," one reminded him.  The others glared at him.  "If he could have gotten them free, he could have killed it afterward.  Harris is that resourceful and demons do listen to him.  We've seen it in the past."

"Harris is another complication we must deal with," the head of the panel noted.  "He's becoming powerful.  Demons are listening to him."

"One died and left him his seat on the High Council," another said.  "That Vesvold one."

Another shook his head.  "No, I know who holds Vesvold's seat.  Harris has his seat because he's owed it for other services to other realms.  Apparently he's stopped some battles and things.  Stopped a few tyrants."  Everyone stared at her.  "It's said that he's brought order to many realms.  Including one vampire realm that wanted him to be their queen but he killed the leader, made them democratic, and then left them to it.  There's mentions of him helping fix problems on over forty realms."  The head of the council looked confused.  "Also, as a side thought, the boy has done some other off-realm traveling.  Including being taken to one where a true temple of Ares sits.  He now wears marks to them.  I'm told by a watcher in Las Vegas that they're imbued marks.  He and that Jace woman are both anchors."

The head of the panel looked at her.  "Why?"

"He suits more than three temple's ideals.  If they're imbued, he had them done officially there.  He saw ones to Ares, ones to Artemis, and ones to Cupid.  He saw a few more he couldn't get a clear line of sight on.  He wears a girdle of marks."

"So he took training at least at the temple of Ares," another said, thinking about it.  She nodded.  "Do we think he learned the craft of war?"

"Yes."  She smirked.  "When Miss Summers begged for help for that minor battle apocalypse, one of our contacts out there noted he had trained there extensively and he had some sort of miniony military group with him."

"They're the ones in Miami who help rescue kidnaped people," another said, shifting in his seat.  "They work with the crime lab a lot and Harris was dating members of it."

"So they were friends.  There was still a miniony assistant sort?"

"Hmm.  I know nothing on that one.  We can ask."

"No need," another said.  He usually stayed quiet.  "Harris now has a problem that draws demons more than usual and he hired an assistant that used to work with an arms dealer.  The guy is slightly psychotic, likes to kill, and likes Xander's cooking from what I'm told."  They all stared at him.  "Wade is not one to be trifled with but he is helping the boy when the demon problem comes out.  Which Miss Summers mistakenly decided was a dark deal since he has money now, but we all know that he got it from whatever he did on the demon planes to solve problems.  It could have been gifts, it could have been payment for helping end tyrants, I'm not sure, but he does have a very nice house in Miami.  And one in Denver.  He bought a large plantation-like farm there with houses for his friends when they wanted to retire from Miami."

"So...." the head of the panel said, considering it.  "He does have sway with demons?"  That one nodded.  "He was probably trying to use his seat to get the demon to give up so he could kill it, or have his *assistant* kill it?"

"Harris is no lightweight," he warned.  "He took out a clan of warrior demons out by LA when someone was trying to play games with his destiny.  No one's sure why they were bothering him but he did take out a whole clan according to the rumors."

"Seven," the female member with friends in Miami said.  "Though he's right.  There's many people who respect Harris for his fighting ways.  Whole street gangs respect Harris."  The head of the Council gaped at her.  "He has made some vast, strange contacts and they do respect him.  Hell, they let him make an apocalypse warehouse in Miami for its needs."

"So he's got real weapons," the head of the panel said.  They all nodded.  "Dismissed, Prestons.  We'll talk about your duties later."  He nodded and left.

"I do agree.  314 villagers is too many bodies," she said calmly.  "If he had sense he would've let Harris get them free then killed the demon."

The head of the panel snorted.  "They're villagers.  Since when have they mattered."

"They left orphans that have to be taken care of in an area that is prone to problems."

"That's their fault for letting the demon in."

"That sort doesn't have to be let in.  It can appear and start pulling souls."  They stared at her.  She found the entry and showed them.  "That's what he killed.  They did not have to agree, which makes that a tragedy.  Which means we'll have to make nice with their country again."

The head of the panel pushed it away.  "Whatever as the young things say."  He considered it.  "Harris could cause us problems.  He has driven all the watchers out of Miami."

"We pulled him back when his girl ran away," another corrected him.  "We never sent another one outside that disastrous attempt to kill the male slayer born."

"I have checked on him.  The hunter they have him with is teaching him very well about hunting things.  Not to respect us but about hunting demons.  We've removed him from the possible line of succession?"  They nodded.  "Then there is no problem and we overreacted.  Harris is known to warp prophecies very often.  He turned that gift to that one."

"I'd still rather that child was made safe," the head of the panel said dryly.  "He's not suitable anyway."

"Actually he's going to be a very strong hunter."  She smiled.  "His adopted mother and sister are both very strong hunters.  She's slightly older but adores him as any sister should.  He's already complaining about Latin lessons."  They smiled.  It was good to hear.

He looked at her.  "You can't promise he won't turn against us."

"I can promise you that if you go against him and don't kill him, he will.  And his new 'uncle' Harris will help him."

"Point.  Which brings us back to the point that he must not be allowed to interrupt our work again."

"We've had a low level contract on him for years and no one wanted it," the quiet one said.  "Which I disagreed with because if it was taken, we'd all be in a demon realm right now."  A few shuddered.  "He steps into apocalypse situations.  We could easily guide him to the ones we wanted him to help with.  Thereby saving some of our people in battles."

"Yes, but if he warps prophecies," the head of the panel started.

"Usually so they're easier to win," another told him.  "I agree.  We need to guide that boy into where we could use the extra hand and let him keep settling down demon realms so they stay there.  That way they don't have to migrate here.  Beyond that, Slayer Summers is getting very ancient."

"Her boyfriend has stopped an assassination and grab attempt both," the quiet one said.  "He is a former commando.  He is very psychotic at times.  Even the LAPD begged for him to quit dealing with our bag and tag team from what I saw of the report."

The head of the panel shuddered.  "If we could long-distance handle them it'd be better.  That way the younger slayers would fall back into line."

"The line doesn't go through her.  It goes through Lehane, who we can't get to.  She's also guarded by the Powers' champion," the quiet one said.  "We cannot go against the Powers.  They clearly have something in mind for that one before she passes it on."

Everyone nodded.  They knew they couldn't go against a higher power.  The higher power could end them.

"I say we up the bounty on Harris.  Even if he could be in battles for us, he's too dangerous to let loose.  I'm sure the Powers wouldn't like his anchor status."

"He has visions," one said.  "And he trains hunters.  He's got two who were doing fairly well before and now they're much better hunters taking out the harder problems that our girls can't get to.  As far as I'm concerned, Harris is one of them now.  To be used to handle things we cannot get to immediately and to keep the tiny things quiet."

"Beyond that, him dying would cause a problem on the High Council," the one on the end sighed.  "He holds the proxy of at least forty realms."  The head of the panel shuddered.  "That means that he has more of a vote than most of the others.  Only Rhu can overrule his vote.  Thankfully he has some sort of political proxy who knows what to do in his place," she said dryly.  "That way he doesn't have to warp all of them so we'd see more migration."

"How do you know of that?" one asked her.  "Not doubting that figure but cite your source."

She smirked.  "There's a retired watcher in Miami."

"Heins," he said.  She smirked and nodded.  "So he heard?"

"Quite.  Also that he has enthralled or has contacts among many gang members.  Apparently he uses them like he used to use the kitten poker circuit in Sunnydale.  Which may explain how he has that house of his.  Heins was laughing over something a few years back because someone paid the boy in drugs.  Apparently the lab was quite pleased with how he destroyed that whole pipeline."  They all smirked.  "So he is beneficial.  I'm also told that he's used some of that to help young people like he grew up go to school and find a career that doesn't involve weapons and an early prison sentence.  Some sort of scholarship or something."  She tapped together her notes.  "His benefits do outweigh his risks and he would not go against the Council itself.  That would be suicide."

"He does tell others about us.  During that raid in Miami, someone called Wesley."

"That was the head of the crime lab, who Xander knew.  Xander was guarding the baby because someone in a gang found him hidden safely but abandoned when the mother tried to escape."  They all sneered.  "She got killed within a few blocks of where she hid him.  They got him to Xander and he protected the baby.  By the way, his assistant was the one who outed that we had went to Max for genetics work."  The head of the panel stared at her.  She smiled.  "He hired Wade, yes.  He's currently on some tour of the world according to Heins."

"Who's watching his house?"

"The hunters, his new boyfriend in the lab, and the commandos helping by gathering the kidnaped from Miami.  Who, by the way, Miss Summers' boyfriend used to be part of."  She smiled.  "But he apparently turned his back on the team to save his own behind so they do not talk.  That is also where Miss Rosenburg's daughter is."  The head of the panel shuddered.  "She's with the head of the crime lab.  Anya's son, with Harris' assistant, was taken in by that man that we watch occasionally, Adam Pierson?  His boyfriend is a detective and adopted her child."

"So he's woven himself a new group," the head of the panel said.  She nodded.  "That's even more dangerous."

"They'd handle anything down there.  Heins said that a lot of people were worried that there'd be some major incident in Miami while Harris was gone.  Apparently he's helped keep some peace.  I've even heard that he sponsored a peace talk between gang members at some pancake restaurant because they were making his boyfriend work overtime."  She smiled.  "It seems more beneficial to maneuver him toward our goals than to take him out and watch the chaos that would come.  Which we might have to fix."

The head of the panel grimaced.  "I'll up it to a million.  That's still very low and if he has that sort of influence no one will want to take it.  If not, it'll stay until he's truly a problem, which means we can up it instantly."  They all nodded that was reasonable.  "Until then, find any problems in his path and send them to him," he sneered.

"He's taking a vacation and I doubt he'll do anything if we send it to him," the quiet one said.  "That one he only got because the local potential was eight."

"Hmm.  Do we have his itinerary?"  Everyone shook their heads.  "Pity.  See if we can get it.  Heins might have a contact."  She nodded and they broke up.


Xander looked up from breakfast when a well-dressed man sat across from him, Paul, and Wade.  "Yes, Officer?  Or are you an Agent?"

"Agent, Mr. Harris."  He stared at him.  "What happened?"

Xander winced.  "I was asked to handle the demon."  He put down his fork and sipped his juice then put it down.  "The local potential slayer is eight-years-old."

"I heard.  I deal with the problems they cause."

"The Council or the demons?" Wade asked.

"Both."  He smirked.  "Why are you in his employ?"

"Because Wade makes sure less people try to kidnap me," Xander said firmly.  That got a nod.  "Beyond that, I was taking the demon into releasing them.  Some Council idiot decided to use the spell to kill him before I got the villagers free," he said quietly.

"Which led to the scene they found," the agent said.  Xander swallowed but nodded.  "Was there a chance to get them free?"

"He had talked them into giving up most of them and only keeping ten percent, none of them children," Paul said quietly.

"I could've gotten them free I think," Xander said.  "Once he was less powerful, I could've used more authority or even another spell to get the others free then killed him.  Or Wade would've killed him."  He swallowed again.  "I so yelled at that idiot.  Wade yelled at the idiot."

"I punched him," Paul said.

"Good!"  The agent looked at them.  "This is only a formality."

"The kids that were left behind?" Xander asked quietly.

"There's an orphanage."

"They should have to support them," Wade said.

"Getting the Council to do anything is like pulling cactus spines out of your butt," Xander said.  He looked at him.  "I spent all night feeling guilty and was going to check today to see if there was something I could do to help the orphans.  I know it wasn't my fault that he did the spell.  I didn't even know he was there, but I know that they'd let those kids go to hell because most of them don't care.  I'm sure the Watcher that did it got a 'good job' pet on the back for the 317 deaths."

"He probably did," the agent agreed.  "We're not asking you or expecting that."

"I fought for years against their kind," he said quietly, staring at him.  "I backed up a full slayer.  Three in fact."  The agent shuddered.  "I know it wasn't my fault.  I know no one's asking, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let them get so far down that they're destroyed.  They've got a hard enough life as is.  If me throwing some money in can help them get the counseling they need so they're not scarred for life, to help them become good people who later have loving families and good jobs, then I want to.  Because I know the people responsible won't be."

The agent nodded.  "They could like that.  Though most would probably want to go back to farming."

"Can something be set up in their village?" Paul asked.  "That way they have their houses and any remaining relatives?"

The agent considered it.  "That could happen."  Xander opened his bag and pulled out a block of cash, handing it over.  The agent stared at him.  Xander added a second.  "That is quite a lot of money."

"I'm going shopping later.  This serves a better purpose."

"It does."  He put it into his jacket pocket.  "Thank you for caring about those left behind."

"I hope I always care about that.  Otherwise I'm no better than the Council is."

"True."  He smiled.  "I'll see that it gets to them, not someone who would take some of it as bribes."  Wade nodded.  He looked at him.  "You settled down?"

"Not hardly.  There's half of everyone who wants him as their purr kitten."

He shuddered.  "How long are you in this country?"

"Another two days," Paul said quietly.  "We're on a tour.  We were on vacation when asked to handle that."

That got a nod.  "I understand.  Have a good vacation and try some of the native-style cooked bird.  It's very tasty."  He left, going to report to his bosses, who would want some of it as bribes but he knew that the boy wasn't responsible.  The Council needed their asses bitten again.  They got someone from a group up that way to come down so they could make plans.  The children would have a good trust fund to help them set up their future farms or for the girls' weddings.


Adam looked up from his playing with Toby, nodding at the man walking toward them.  For some reason he was worried about him.  "Do we know you?" he asked when the man headed for him.

"I know of you, Mr. Pierson.  Someone wanted to know where Mr. Harris is going so they can make sure nothing else happens near him."

Adam stared.  "I don't know what you're talking about."  He stood up and grabbed his son, who fussed.  "Quit."  Toby quit.  Adam stared at the man.  "Even if I did know what you were talking about I would not tell you.  I'm sure anyone would be concerned about their privacy and security these days."

Cupid appeared, wings hidden so only those two could see him.  "Hey, baby," he said, taking him to cuddle.  Toby squealed and hugged him.  He smirked at the guy.  "Do you know who I am?"  He swallowed but nodded.  "Are you certain?"  He smirked more brightly.

"Yes, Lord Cupid," he said quietly.

"You and yours leave my buddy Xander alone.  Permanently.  Before I lose my mind and start molting feathers, and have to tell my Dad, who trained him *personally*."  The older man nodded quickly and took a step back, bowing some.  "Good watcher.  Now, go tell your lapdogs that Strife and Dad protect Xander.  That Xander is sacred to us, and if they don't take that price off his head immediately I'm *so* going to pretend to be those Powers and destroy their asses."  He beamed.  "Strife is very bouncy today."  He nodded and left, hurrying off.  He looked at Adam.  "It went up to a mil."

"Shite," he muttered.  Toby snickered.  "Thank you for the timely save."

"Strife loves Toby."  He kissed him on the head.  "Also, Rosenburg's not in spirit form of any kind so the marks aren't working."

"Excuse me?" Adam demanded.

"She's used sleep spells to make sure you didn't hear her sneaking in to talk to either child."  He handed him back with a grin.  "Strife wanted her but...."  He waved a hand.  "He's a bit tied up.  Gotta go back to that."  He changed to his kilt instead of leather pants and flashed out.

Adam took Toby and his things to the car, taking them to the lab.  Speed was in today but Horatio was at court.  He signed them in.  "I need Speedle now," he said quietly.

"Is something wrong with Mellie?"

"Not exactly."  She paged him with a 911 message.  He came out quickly.  "Him, sir."

"Hey, Adam, Toby."

"The reason we haven't been able to stop the Rosenburgian infection process going on is because she's been using her *skills* to knock us down so we don't hear her.  She's not in spirit form."

"Huh," he said.  "Yeah, I'm going to fix that shit."  He gave Toby a hug then handed him back.  "Calleigh decided we should christen Xander's new pool when it's done."

Adam smiled.  "The children would love that."  Speed grinned back.  "Do let me know."

"Of course.  Go find out where she is?  They'll tell Toby."

"I can do so."  He walked off.  He went to Fu's.  A few of the people greeted the baby, who happily waved at them and called them names.  "I said quit swearing, son," he told Toby, scowling at him.  Toby just cackled and waved some more.  He rolled his eyes.

Fu shrugged.  "I don't know how to cure that."

"Not why we're here," Adam said with a smirk.  "Rosenburg is in town."

"Excuse me?" Sam demanded, coming out of the back room.

"Shithead!" Toby squealed.

Sam scowled at him.  "Bad word, Toby."  Toby pouted.  "Now, say something nice?"


"Hi."  He smiled and cuddled him.  "That's much nicer.  Thank you.  We don't need you to sound like a thug."  A few of them laughed.  "She's what?"

"Apparently she's in town and has been keeping us asleep when she visits the babies."

"Oh hell no," he said dryly.  He petted Toby since he was being petted.  "Why don't you take him and Mellie to the play area at the farm?"

"I can do that.  Speedle wanted to know where she was."

"So do I," Sam agreed.  "So will Jensen."  He smiled.

"True.  Perhaps I'll gather Jolene and the babies as well."  He took his son back.  "Let's go to the farm, Toby."

"Ooooh.  Horsies!" he squealed even louder.

"If you're lucky."  He gave Sam a visual order, getting a grin back.  "Do have fun, young one."

"Oh, I will."   Adam snickered as he walked the baby out.  He looked around.  "The redheaded menace that warped Xander is where?"

"Uptown.  One of the spring break places," one of them said.  "Though she might know who you are, Sam."

"That's fine."  He grinned at Fu.  "Let me go cash out."  He went to do that and pay off his debt then walked out to find that out.  He knew which gang was up that way.  They weren't *friends* or anything but they wouldn't want Rosenburg.  They hated magic and demons.  The guard outside their meeting bar sneered at him.  "Shut it, dude.  Rosenburg's in town."  He shuddered.  "Going toward H and Adam's kids."  He walked inside.  "Where's Rosenburg staying?  She's been breaking in to see Toby and Mellie."

"The redheaded menace that hacked Xander?" one asked casually.  Sam smirked and nodded.  "Eastern.  Though I think she checked out last night."

"She moved to The Bayou up by the college," another said.  "She said she was thinking about enrolling."

"I'm wondering how she got out of Federal prison," Sam said dryly.  "For hacking Xander again."  A few shuddered.  "And for doing magic on the babies the last few nights."

"She's a Winchester thing then," one decided.  "If we see her, we'll gladly hand her to you for salting and burning."

"Xander would appreciate that."  He grinned.  "Thanks, guys."  He left to go to the FBI office.  They had a poker contact there.  "Is Rosenburg on bail?" he asked.

"She's out?"  He turned to look that up.  "No.  She's listed as in jail."

"She's by the college."

"Sure, let's go, Sam."  He got his things and followed him out to drive over there.  They watched and sure enough, she came out for a soda.  "Huh.  I wonder how she's still in jail."  He looked at him.  "You can have a few blows."

"She's been sneaking into H and Adam's houses by magic to visit the babies.  We found that out when Toby started to squeal poopie head."  He looked back there and she was staring at them.  Thankfully he had protection marks against magic.  He touched his contact's arm, waking him from the spell.  "Now she's trying on you."

"Hell no.  Think we can get Wade the monkey?"

"Yup."  He called her.  "Rosenburg's in town.  Bayou motel.  Thanks."  He hung up.  "She's out getting her a cute outfit."

"The monkey's female?"

Sam grinned.  "She didn't realize it when she got it."  Anya showed up and stomped up there with her cuddly cannibal monkey.  She started to yell at Willow.  The monkey lunged over to bite her.  Willow tried to spell the monkey but Anya defeated it and beat her until she was unconscious.  Then let the monkey bite her until Sam and the agent got over there.  "Thank you, Anya."

"I don't want that in town.  She might spell more of us."  She sneered at the unconscious witch.  "How did she get bail?  I doubt she went the short skirt route."

"No, she's still listed as being in there," Sam said with a grin.

Anya looked at her then nodded.  "Tattoo the damn magic draining marks, Sam."  She cooed and Wade flew back to her.  "Good monkey.  Such a good girl, Wade."  She fed it a granola bar from her purse, which the thing liked.  She thought they were foul so that's probably why the monkey loved it.  "Let us know if we can help some more," she chirped.  "We're going to finish getting pretty for her helping SWAT later."  She strolled off petting her friend.

Sam grinned at the agent.  "Can we stop off that long?"

"I don't know anyone who'd do it."

"I do.  Speed probably does too."  He grinned.  "There's the gang tattoo artist."

"Good point."  He hefted her up with Sam's help and to the car.  Then he went back to pack her things.  Her computer showed she was trying to hack Xander's account again.  He called Jensen to meet them at the tattoo shop.  Jensen took the computer from him when they got there.  They walked Willow in, still unconscious.  "She's supposedly in a federal jail cell in Colorado but somehow she's here.  We know she can use magic," he said bluntly.

Sam finished the marks, then added two more.  "These need to go somewhere on her chest or back.  This one on one of her wrists and that one on an ankle.  It'll keep her from drawing magic."

"I hate that shit," he said bluntly.  "And can this cancel my poker debt, Sam?"

"Sure."  He grinned.  "You didn't owe me that much."  He sat down beside Jensen, who was happily ripping down what she had done.  "Is it going to hurt Xander's shopping in wherever he is?"

"No."  He grinned at him.  "They're going to the luxury show in Singapore as a side trip tomorrow."

"Awww.  A whole lot of things that people will want to give him."  The tattoo artist snickered at that.  He made the transfers for her.  He even had something in his personal stash that would keep her out for a bit.  That was nice of him and Sam grinned at that practicality.  He sat down to work on the marks.  It wasn't like they were hard figures to ink.

"Can I keep a copy of these for anti-magic stuff?"

"Sure," Sam agreed.  "Who needed it?"

"There's a young mother whose kid has it.  She's freaked majorly that the baby was floating bottles.  She's had a few full right-wing fits about magic being evil."

"There's an easier way on a baby.  Dean can do that.  Send her to Dean."  He nodded.  They watched while Rosenburg was done.  She quit glowing in the light.  Her hair seemed to lose its luster.  She looked a bit less healthy too. 

When she was done, Jensen handed back the laptop.  "It's all undone, all that she was hacking.  All the information you need on that is in the file on the desktop.  I laid a virus so as soon as it's copied off, the harddrive will destroy itself.  I also wrote Steve and Xander an email from it."  He grinned.  "Have fun with her."

"I plan on it."  He let Sam put the laptop in the car for him while he slung her into the back.  "You get off here, Sam."

Sam grinned.  "Thanks, man."

"No, thank you."  He shook his hand and they left.

Sam got a ride from Jensen back to the poker hall.  They both could use a game today.  "Done," Sam announced.  They cheered.  "She's still listed as being there."  A few winced.  "Yeah.  We fixed that shit.  Oh, and any babies with magic that the parents are panicking about, send them to Dean.  There's things we can do with henna to limit their skills until they're older so they can make their own choices."  That got a nod and a few texted some people.  "Thanks, guys."  He went back to his game.  Jensen joined him.


The poker contact walked the semi-conscious, but still high body into the US Marshall's office.  "This one is supposedly in a jail cell in Colorado."

"I can check."  He typed that in and looked at the mug shot then at her.  "What attacked her?"

"Anya's monkey."

He shook his head.  "I heard.  I don't need to know but I heard."  He called out there.  Then he hung up with a huff.  "They swear up and down that she's out there doing chores.  How?"

"Magic.  Which is why she has new tattoos."

"We can baby those while we straighten that out."  He called his boss, explaining things to him.  He had heard about her since he had been in the LA office.  He had a contact in LA go out there to break that spell.  At which time they'd hand her back.  They made sure the block doctors they had for their cells knew about the new tattoos and that they had to heal correctly.  Otherwise she'd just do it again probably.  They did not need that sort of scandal.  They got an FBI computer expert down to get that file for them as well. Once he heard how Jensen had rigged it he made sure he made a full copy of her files. That way they got everything.


Xander got the email and grimace.  "Wade, I got an email from Willow."

He took the phone to get into it, nodding and sighing.  "No, you got one from Jensen.  She was in Miami."  He handed it back.  Xander's face hardened.  "Apparently they fixed it."


"Jensen said he's working on stopping the 'poopy head' thing that Toby has going too."

"Why did she sneak in to see Toby?"  Wade looked at him.  "That was her thing as a child.  She could not swear."

"I don't know.  Could it be why the mutt showed up?"

"I don't know," Xander admitted.  "Did she sneak in to see Mellie too?"  Wade texted that question to Jensen, who sent back a 'yup and we've had a wicca you like test Toby'
answer.  He showed it to him.  Xander relaxed and nodded.  "How did she make bail?  I doubt her parents would have paid for it."  Wade snorted, shaking his head at the next message.  Xander took his phone back to text in another message.  Jensen sent back that Sam had handled it.  Xander grinned and quipped something back then texted Sam.  Who said he had covered all magical bases, just in case, and they had checked Toby, he was fine.  So he could relax and go back to his partying, though they were going to christen the pool without him.  Xander rolled his eyes but said that was fine and to have a cookout.  He put his phone up.  "They're going to christen the new pool without us."

"That's fine.  I'll get plenty of time to stare at Calleigh in her bikini."  He smirked.

"You know, John Hagen probably said the same thing.  Are you two still freaking out about looking so much alike?"

"Yup."  Paul shook his head with a moan.  "Something brought Hagen back after he had ..."

"He decided to take the easy way out right behind Calleigh in ballistics one day," Xander said quietly.  "They used to date."


"A few people freaked out when they first saw me.  I kept getting 'Hagen' and had to look him up," Wade said.  "Then he comes back and now he gets asked if he's me."  He sipped his water.  "We done?"  They paid and left, going back to the open-air market.  "Remember, we're going to Singapore tonight, Xander."  He nodded with a smile.

One of the other tour members looked over.  "We're not leaving for two days, Wade."

"He's got tickets to the luxury show," he said.  "That way he knows what someone's going to give him."

"Ah."  She smiled at Xander.  "Spoiled?"

"Maybe.  I'm not sure yet."  He grinned.  "So we'll join the tour at the next place."

"That's cool.  Have fun at it."

"Last year they debuted a razor that was platinum with laser sharpened sapphire blades that's almost eternally sharp," Paul said, grinning at her.  "Plus new decorating items and luxury bathroom suites, all that."


"I might just have to splurge and build another house," Xander teased with a grin.

"I'd want to see Dean's reaction to a solid gold bathroom suite," Wade joked.  "He'd be so disgusted that they were wasting it that way.  Especially in the toilet."

"If it's solid gold, you can yank it out and melt it down," Xander pointed out.  "Therefore it's cleaned and you can use it for ready money in case of emergencies.  Though a solid gold tub doesn't sound that comfy and it might discolor your skin."  They moved on.  "Some oils and bath salts might corrode it too."  He looked at the other member.  "I looked up last year's when Paul told me about it.  They had crystal, like real crystal, bath salt containers, extravagant oils, yachts.  New weapons."  He grinned.  "This way I know what's possible so I can estimate for the IRS."

She cackled.  "That's so bad, Xander."

"His last auction came in at just under seventy mil," Paul said, making her moan.

"And it was furniture, books, a few pieces of smaller jewelry.  Nothing huge," Xander said with a small shrug.  "I keep a warehouse for that stuff.  If they don't take it back it goes on auction at the end of the year.  There's a nice sign saying I don't care what you bring me, I don't accept and if you don't take it back I'm selling it.  They leave it anyway."

"Sam said that he found two white tiger cubs," Wade said.  The other member moaned, shaking her head.  "Yeah, not the first one.  Last time's audit there were miniature buffaloes.  Speaking of, they gave them back to us since the zoo didn't know what to do with them.  The owner of them conveniently died recently and left them to you anyway, so they're at the farm."

"I guess," Xander sighed.  "Can they go to Denver?"

"That would drive Larabee nuts and you'd have to hire some farm hands sooner," he said dryly.  "And why did you put up the bigger barn?"

"Cows.  That way we can have milk and stuff?"

Wade looked at him.  "I guess that would save on going to the grocery store."  Xander grinned.  "Or some day you can sell some?"

"Maybe cheese.  A few are going to be beef cows.   We'll have to make a special enclosure for the goats."

"And a separate barn space," Wade agreed dryly.  He looked at that member.  "Some off-realm types," he said dryly at her confused look.  "The goats will eat *anything*.  They ate a drunk person who came out to pet them."


"They're tougher than a lot of us," Wade assured her.  "They'll eat anything that comes near them.  So we can't keep them with the regular animals."

"Or near the kids," Xander agreed.  "Do they get to go play with the miniature buffaloes?"

"I'm not sure they're tame enough to pet," Wade admitted.

"We'll have to see."  He held a hand about his waist.  "Only this tall.  He sent me a box of them."

Wade nodded.  "Six in the box."

She giggled and patted Xander's hand.  "Remember, the insanity is cured by a good spouse, dear."  She walked around them still giggling.

"I need a new one of those," Xander agreed.  Paul snickered but nodded.  Wade nodded faster.  "Or two maybe."

"My sister has a daughter that is of marriageable age," the seller at the stall they were at offered with a smile.  "Very pretty.  She cooks very well."

Xander smirked.  "I'm a very good cook myself but I'm in the US and she'd have to get all that paperwork."  He sighed but nodded.  "And I can't have kids so she'd be stuck with just me and the pets."

"That is a pity."  He smiled.  "If you wish to meet her anyway, just come tell me."

"I will.  Thank you."  He shook his hand, paid for his fruit purchases, and they walked off.

"Women from this region are often quiet, efficient sorts who are a bit subservient," Wade offered.  "I thought about getting one of my own.  Then I decided Anya was cheaper."  Xander snickered, shaking his head.  "Though she does understand my past and likes it.  So I guess I made a good choice.  Even if I do need to find her a chastity belt to zap her for her sex needs."

Xander patted him on the back.  "Remember, I used to give her more, Wade."

"Don't remind me."  Paul gave him an odd look.  "Back when he and Anya were dating in Sunnydale, she wanted six, seven a day.  He was working construction and had patrols."

"She used to complain in public that she didn't get enough orgasms," Xander agreed.

Paul shivered.  "No wonder you have such good stamina now."

Wade nodded.  "I had to limit her to three times a day before I had a heart attack and I'm in fantastic shape.  Then this one takes belly dancing and pole dancing lessons with her."  Paul shivered but nodded.  "Speaking of, there's a few male belly dancers around here, kid."

"Really?  The one I trained with didn't say that there were."

"Yup.  We're booked to see the show tonight so you get more wicked ideas."

"Thanks," Paul said with a grin.

Wade smirked back.  "I'll benefit when he shows Anya."

"The first time I knew they were dating, Jensen and I had been taken together.  They dropped us off at Wade's since we had been at my house and the CSI had to clear it," Xander told him.  "I had no idea other than he was dating someone.  He lets us in and we run into Anya outside.  It got a bit tense and strange, then Jensen and I had to go watch cartoons because she jumped him."

"He sent me a chiropractic gift card."

Paul burst out cackling, shaking his head.  "That's just bad."

"I needed it," Wade assured him.  "And a new patio set because we broke part of it."

Xander nodded.  "She still doesn't like my bed.  Said it's too big.  Cordy used to say the same thing."

"There's too much wiggle room for Anya to chase me across it in the middle of the night," Wade said.  Xander grinned.

"He does too," Paul assured him.

"I heard."  He shook his head.  "She complained that I don't chase her back."

"Anya didn't realize that was cuddling until I told her," Xander said.  "Have you worked on her bunny phobia?"

"Oh, yes.  We've almost cured it but she still hates them and thinks they're evil."

"Bunnies?" Paul asked them.

"It has to do with her first husband, way back when," Xander said dryly.  "Before she got her job."


"What are you getting my spoiled thing for her birthday this year?" Wade asked.

"A book on sex tips."

"She'll love that more than the jewelry.  She did finally get that straightened out in her mind too."

Xander rolled his eyes.  "I don't care if she doesn't appreciate it."

"I know."  They went to the jewelry section so Xander could look at new ideas.  He found something nice for Calleigh and bought it.  Then they went back to the hotel to rest.  It was really hot out again today.

Hopefully it'd be cooler on the next part of their trip.


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