Problems In Japan
Xander got the pictures from the remodel of the house in Mexico.
It was done to his specifications and very pretty. The kids would
adore going down there. Cougar and Jensen had went to check on it
for him. Their note back had been funny. Cougar's was brief,
it just said 'fish?'. Jensen's babbled for pages about all the
fish. So it was good. Paul looked over from his lunch.
"From Jensen and Cougar. I had them checking on the house in
Wade looked over. "Jensen suggested I needed SCUBA lessons," he said dryly.
"There's places where you can swim in the aquarium." Xander pulled
his laptop over to show them. "This is the main living
room. The silver tube is actually part of the fish habitat.
It has sealing sections in case we get a leak and multiple feeding ports
for the weekly feeding pods." He flipped pictures. "This is
the ottoman. It's solid bulletproof glass. The top of the
ottoman comes off to expose one of the feeding ports."
He showed them that picture. "And see, one of my first
fish." He grinned, moving on with the show. "This is the
hallway aquarium leading to the master bedroom. Both sides are
large aquariums you can swim in if you want to, Wade. They go back
to the pantry area." He flipped pictures to the kitchen.
"The tubes run along the wall around the ovens, that way they can warm
the water as it's cycled through the tubes. There's a gentle
current but not much of one.
"Basically there's a fountain pump set on low to move water through the
tubes so it doesn't get stale. It also goes through six different
filtering stations throughout the system." He moved on.
"This is the guest bedrooms. They all have tubes with colored
lights that match the decor. The tan one's a bit golden instead
but it's still pretty with the room."
"That's a very sweet system," Paul said.
Xander beamed at him. "I tried to make it unique and nice to look
at. It's in the bathrooms too." He showed them. "The
master bathroom has more of them than the others. The master has a
view port in the shower with lights around the window and the tub has a
larger square of the tubing for them." He flipped. "The
other tubs just have a tube running on the wall side so they make a
pretty shelf and a pretty thing to stare at when you're in the
tub." He got to the last picture. "The butler's pantry has a
glass wall with a port to put in bigger fish or major things that need
help. The other's in the upstairs hall closet so you can climb
into either side of the tank. My friend Jesse and my engineering
buddy built little repair robots in case we need them." He
Wade nodded once. "The kids are going to run after the fish all
day long." Xander laughed but nodded, closing his laptop.
"But it's pretty. How many fish?"
"Right now, three hundred. We're slowly moving up to about a thousand over all. All pretty salt water fish."
"I'll expect to hear something about them then." He patted Xander
on the back. "What do the guest houses look like?"
"Regular ones with fish tanks?"
"That's good. Though I can't wait to see Anya's pet's opinion of fish."
"She'd probably think they're tasty," he sighed. "If it tries to
eat my pets again Anya's going to be grieving her pet flying monkey."
"I'm sure she knows that, kid." He smiled at the waiting security team member. "Problems?"
"They're restful. They're calming," Xander said with a grin.
"They're pretty, moving artwork. They're easy to upkeep.
The dogs won't want to play with them." He nodded at
that. "Besides, they're nice to watch."
"I'm sure they are," he agreed. "You got an invitation for later." He handed it over.
Xander looked at it. "Why is Ian over here?"
"No clue," he admitted.
"Is there a messenger waiting?"
"Not at the moment." He walked off.
Xander grinned at Paul, who nodded. He looked at Wade.
"Can't get much more protective than Edgerton," he admitted.
"Go." Xander hugged him briefly before bouncing off to shower off
the sweat from the tour so he could get pretty for dinner. Wade
shook his head. "He gathers some of the oddest people as friends."
"Yes he does," Paul agreed, staring at the scary, psychotic former
commando who would not be his first choice for the 'friends of Xander'
Wade smirked at him. "I volunteered."
"Proves to me how strange that can be," he quipped back. Wade
snickered, nodding. Yup, Xander had warped Wade until he was
nearly normal. Maybe some day he'd even quit torturing succuba
with his scary, psychotic girlfriend. "Think Anya's taking all
your fun with the monkey?"
"No. It's not as much fun for her alone."
"I guess that's nice." Paul finished his lunch and the group broke
up for the afternoon tour/shopping trips. They had this trip
pretty well set up for ease of going everywhere. Xander had done
good planning it with Clay.
Steve got the invoices for the final decorating of the other houses
Xander had, staring at one. "Fish?" he asked. "Why
fish?" He texted their main contractor Patrick, who sent back
pictures via Jensen's email. He stared at them, then called the
housekeeper down there. "Fish?" he asked her. She cackled
and said something back. "Is it at least easy to care for?"
He nodded once. "That's great, yeah. Okay, let me know if
you need to do more stocking or anything. I can probably help you
get to Miami to visit one of their fish stores." He rubbed his
forehead. "Thanks, Marta. Have a good day. Um, I think
Japan at the moment actually. Yup, thanks." He hung up so
he could rub his forehead with both hands.
"Bad day?" Jim asked as he walked into the room with a glass of ice
water and the tylenol bottle. He exchanged them for the mouse so
he could look at the pictures. "Well, it's pretty, but fussy."
"Xander called it moving artwork." He took two pills with the
water and leaned back. "The housekeeper said it's very easy, it's
self cleaning, and she only has to drop in new feeding tubes once a
week. Though she said they need more fish."
"Okay. Why is it near the tub?"
"I guess fish are supposed to be relaxing, plus pretty lights." He shrugged. "There's fish all over the house."
"Let's hope those kids in the family don't break anything then."
"She said there's sealing areas for leaks." He looked at his big
brother. "The one in Canada is decorated in woodsy themes.
The one in Italy is old world style. So Mexico's having fish is
relatively normal. Though the house in Denver is just like his
house in Miami, a large family home." He finished his water and
stood up to stretch. "Xander's in Japan. Wade said he's
doing all right. Almost no real problems they couldn't
solve. Now all we have to do is deal with his spoiled ex's and
possibly find him a long-term new boyfriend."
He walked outside to call Jensen. "Fish?" Jensen giggled and
said something. "The kids can't break it, right?
Bulletproof is really great, yeah. That was good thinking.
How does it look in person?" He listened. "Even
better. What?" He rubbed his forehead again. "We fixed
that cranky local idiot? Thanks, Jensen. Let me know if you
need to pay him a bribe." He hung up and texted Wade. Who
could probably scare the locals enough to make them leave Xander alone
permanently. He hoped.
Jim watched all this and mentally thanked God he wasn't interested in
finance. Apparently it drove you more insane than being a
Wade found the demon section of the city they were in and a few gave him
scared looks. Which he did appreciate and like. "Portal
makers?" he growled. One pointed. He went to the shop up the
street that had a portal on the sign. The demon in there stared
at him, mouth slightly open. "I have to handle someone who's
threatening Xander's house in Mexico."
"My clan owes Xander much," he admitted, looking down. "What sort of threat was it?"
"Local stupidity." The demon nodded, creating a way for him to get
down there and back. He paid for it even, which was exceedingly
nice of him and something Xander had warped him into being. Before
he just would've killed him after the work was done so he couldn't talk
about it. Wade walked out and looked around the house, going to
where the noise was. Clearly someone was stupid. He nodded
at the housekeeper, who pointed, lips pressed together. "That's
why I'm here," he assured her. He walked in, slamming the door
open. The man on the couch with the women shrieked.
"Let me be *real* clear. Xander, my new boss, bought this property
from my old boss, who is dead thanks to him." The local official
started to splutter. "Also, my new boss is not only *very*
wealthy, he has a taste for weapons." He opened the emergency
cabinet and pulled out one, checking it. It was clean, loaded, and
ready to be used. He stared at the man on the couch.
"He didn't pay the local taxes," he sneered.
"He did because there's no local taxes. We're not in the
town. That's why Max bought here." The man tried to get away
from him. "Beyond that, that would be a bribe. Which means I
have the right to kill your stupid ass."
Xander came out of a portal, leaning on Wade's arm. "Is he being a problem, Wade?"
"Yes. He wants a bribe. He's trying to claim your house for his."
Xander nodded. "Think the baby dragon would eat him?"
"Maybe," he agreed with a wicked smirk.
Xander stared at him and said something in Spanish. The women
screamed and fled. He sneered at the idiot. "I've taken out
bigger turds than you," he said bluntly. "You're in my house."
"There's local taxes," he said.
"We can go talk to the mayor and see," he offered. Xander hauled
him up and walked him off, taking him to the roadway. "Wade, make
sure the house is clear? Find out where the guards are as well
"Yup, on the way back."
Xander smirked. "I don't think there's going to be a
problem." He walked the guy off, dragging him most of the way
since he didn't want to walk. He ran into an officer and sneered,
hauling the idiot up. "I found him in my house. He tried to
demand a bribe," he said in Spanish.
The officer stared at him. "You're not a local."
"No, I'm a demon hunter." He smirked. The man's eyes went
wide. "And I'm a bit pissed the fuck off." He shook
him. The man whimpered. "Where exactly is the town's city
limits? Because as far as I know I live outside them."
"Yes, this is outside them. I was coming out here to respond to a complaint about someone breaking into the new house."
"That's *my* house," he said bluntly. "I bought it off the dead
arms dealer. I remade it, decorated it, all that." The
officer winced. "This one was in my house." He shook him
again. "I'm going to kill him, especially since he had succuba in my
"You're gay," the official sneered.
Xander looked at him. "Duh!" The officer started to
squeak. "Not only am I gay, sweetie, but I do enjoy the occasional
piece of artillery exploding too." He smirked. "My former
boyfriends are both officers in Miami, Florida." The officer
winced at that, shaking his head. "So yeah, I'm well aware of how
many laws you're broken. Even down here since I can afford to buy
your whole town and remodel it."
"We'd hate that," the officer said. "The Church would as
well." He shot Xander. Then he looked at the official.
"If he's the one we've heard rumors about, he's a very major arms
dealer who only deals with those who build apocalypse vaults and the
Xander gasped and woke up, holding his head. "Huh. I still
hate that sensation." He stood up and looked at himself then at
the officer. "You got me all dusty." The officer started to
pray. Xander smirked as he shifted his pants some. "See the
marks, bright boy?" He looked and backed away, shaking his
head. "Yeah, I'm not happy."
Wade strolled down behind him. "That tumor had better not grow," he growled.
Xander grinned at him. "We'll see." He took the shotgun from
him and checked it then shot the car. It exploded because Xander
loved thermal rounds. They were generally more useful in his life
than regular bullets. Then he looked at the two idiots.
"Wade, let's take a walk."
"Sure," he agreed. He grabbed them and walked them off behind Xander. "We might have to pay a bribe."
"If I have to pay a bribe, I'm buying the entire town."
"That's only a few months poker winnings so would anyone beyond Horatio care?"
"Probably not." They made it to town a half-hour later and there
were people staring. He led them to the jail. Wade walked
them inside first. "Hi, I'm Xander Harris. I own the house
that Max used to own. This is my assistant Wade." The
sheriff was staring at Wade, who was smirking and cracking his
knuckles. "Later, Wade." The sheriff looked at him
again. "I found this idiot in my house," he said, knocking him
down by the simple method of slamming the butt of the shotgun into the
guy's neck. "And this one came out to tell me it's wrong. He
even tried to shoot me. By the way, I'll buy a new cruiser to
replace the one I blew up for him trying to shoot me." The sheriff
swallowed. "Is my house within city limits?"
"No," he said. "Let me get our mayor?"
"That'd be fine." Xander smiled. "I've love to get this
straightened out since he tried to tell me I owed taxes and that's why
he brought succuba into my house."
"I see." He called and babbled quickly. The mayor and his other two deputies walked in. "Him, sir."
He smiled and held out a hand. "Hi, Xander Harris. Demon
hunter." The mayor flinched. "I bought Max's house from his
estate after I killed Max for trying to kidnap me. This one thinks
that I owe city taxes and it was giving him permission to invite
succuba into my house for a party? And yes, I'll pay for the
cruiser I blew up when this idiot in a hopefully fake uniform tried to
shoot me." He took his wallet from Wade and handed it to the
Sheriff with a grin. "That should cover it. It does one of
Miami's that I donated a few years back."
"Yes, that would," he admitted, looking at the large bills. He
looked at the mayor. "He said your council member decided he owed
"There is state taxes."
"My accountant should handle those. Did he not?" Xander
asked. "He's just taken over all the properties from someone else
who was doing it for him."
"I can check," he admitted, hurrying to do that. While he was in
his office he called someone in the state government. They
called someone in the Mexican federal government. The file he got
read a minute later was bad. It was very bad. It was stomach
clenching, may never crap for months bad. He told them what had
went on and heard that the young man with the hair was actually very
nice usually. Until someone screwed with what was his. He
got that point and found out the status of the taxes. He hurried
back, smiling at him. "It appears whoever bought the house set up a
trust fund for the taxes to be paid for the next hundred years,
providing they never go up."
"So probably about fifty with the standard raises," Xander
decided. "Okay, I can have him watch over that. Do I owe
"No, sir, and I'm very certain he's sorry he tried to claim your
house. He was probably under the assumption you were like
Max." He glanced at Wade.
Wade smirked. "He's much more sane than Max, and he gets to kill
bad things for a good reason. I get to take out all the arms
dealers who want to date him."
Xander grinned. "For your birthday this year, I'm giving you the
two princes and the diplomat to have fun with. And as an added
bonus, one female assassin who wants my hair."
Wade grinned. "Thanks, kid. I'll appreciate that a whole
lot." Xander beamed back. He paid the mayor. "In
case there's any further damages to them. As long as they never
go near his house again."
"I can make sure of that," he promised, tucking the money into his pocket. "Thank you for not killing them."
Xander shrugged. "Not my style unless someone really fucks with
me." He grinned. "Any idea where our guards are?"
"They start next month," the sheriff told him. "They were due to
start earlier but one of their clients had a very bad issue happen so
they had to handle that."
"I understand perfectly," Xander admitted. "A cartel-like group
decided to kidnap my pretty ass to own so I destroyed them. Got a
few pretty things from looting them though." Wade nodded he had
too. "Thank you for clearing things up." He grinned.
"You guys have a wonderful day." They walked off, going back to
the house to help the housekeeper.
On the way, Wade looked at the demon pretending to be him. "Xander's not that militant," he said bluntly.
"I know but I owe him kittens and I can't help where he was meeting the wrong person."
"Edgerton's the wrong person?"
"It was not the sniper from LA." He grinned. "Though I'm
told they had him hostage as well. It was some sort of underground
Wade snorted. "The security team?"
"Is already reacting." He sent Wade there and called in helpers
from Xander's 'house' that had been formed when he took over his High
Council seat. The housekeeper appreciated it and they did ward the
house nicely against succuba and all other sex demons. They
wanted the Scary One to calm down. His Wade should probably be
"Why are you humming the _Battle Hymn of the Republic_?" Ian Edgerton asked Xander.
"Because it's keeping my temper down. They're fucking with me and I
hate that. The first instinct of mine is to destroy
everyone. Which is probably not a good idea. So I'm humming
to keep my temper for a bit longer. Want me to switch songs?"
"No, that's okay," he decided. "If that works for you, go for it."
"Actually, destruction is the only thing that's going to make me happy
right now." He grinned. "And they don't have magic
dampened." Ian winced.
A door opened across from them and a man walked in, staring at them. "You are here for our pleasure, not yours."
Xander called some light magic to him and burned the guy. "Really? Huh, I didn't know I agreed to be amusing today."
"That stinks," Ian said. Xander created a breeze that shoved the stink the other direction. "Thanks, kid."
"Welcome." He smiled at his friend. "If I lose it, get behind me."
"I'll remember that." Something roared and they both stared at the
animal. "It just had to be something defenseless?" he complained.
"Yeah, apparently they're cheesy and have few original ideas."
Xander knocked it out. "There, sedated." Ian grinned.
"I'm not killing a defenseless animal unless it attacks me. I'm
not that sort of mean." He was looking around. "Single-side
glass," he said with a point. "So probably where the people I need
to kill are."
"Just remember, if I lose it, I won't recognize anyone but Ryan until I
come down," he said quietly. He sent a quick prayer to Ares and
got an order to stay put, there were people coming and he didn't need
the headache today. "Hmm. Paul's apparently missed at least
"Wonderful. How did they get you?"
"You invited me to dinner."
"That's simple enough." Another human walked in sneering and
Xander killed him with a hidden knife that had been in his hair.
"It might be worth growing the hair to hide weapons." Xander
grinned at him. Two guard sorts walked in and Xander unhid his weapons,
staring at them. They slowly backed out. "This isn't really
fun," Ian decided.
Xander handed him a gun. "Here, so you're not naked without one."
"Thanks, smartass." He smirked at him. Xander walked over
and got his knife, wiping it off as he came back. They heard a
fight starting and waited. "Who told you Paul had heard?"
"Oh." He shook his head quickly. "It's nice that they like you."
Xander grinned. "I have all sorts of ideas." He let his hormones
go and started the breeze to blow them toward the watching idiots.
They heard the fight noises getting strong and then a few moans.
Ian was scratching his arm. "Sorry."
"No, it'll mean less resistance and I can handle that later." He patted the boy on the back.
Cupid appeared and looked then at Xander. "Eww."
"They have us captured."
"I can see that but that's still disgusting."
"Then they shouldn't have captured us," Xander said with a shrug and a grin. "How pissed off is Wade?"
"He went to handle the idiot in Mexico." He shrugged. "Can
you maybe mute it for the retrieval team?" Xander blew the breeze
stronger so it dissipated some. "Thanks." He grinned.
"Way grody mental images up there." He disappeared.
"They're getting practice for prison," Ian decided, making Xander cackle
and nod. "Any idea who started off this bad idea?"
"Nope. The only threat I've heard about was the Council's price on my head."
"Those idiots need stopped anyway."
Xander grinned. "I sent them things that they had decided were beneath their notice."
Ian grinned. "I saw that!" He patted him again. It was
keeping Xander calm. Two people ran in with guns and he shot
them. "This is sweet," he said, looking over the gun.
Xander beamed. "I found it in Germany."
"Very nice gun." Another person ran in but he didn't shoot them. "Paul."
"Edgerton. Xander." He led them out to the waiting people. "Thank you for hormone bombing them, Xander."
Xander grinned. "It meant they didn't notice as much going on."
"Clearly." He walked them past the waiting officers. He said
something to one, getting a nod and a smile back. Xander thanked
them for their help in Japanese. "I forgot you and Jensen were
learning Japanese at the spa."
"Probably comes in handy," Ian agreed. "Can I bum a corner of a hotel room?"
"We have a suite," Xander said. "You can sleep with the dogs and Hubert."
"Sure, I can do that." They went back to the hotel.
Ian liked the suite a lot, it was nicely decorated and soothing.
The spare bed was soft. The dragon came in to snort steam at him
and cuddle up but he could handle that. After a shower to handle
Xander looked at Paul. "Who's bright idea was that anyway?"
"We're not sure yet. The inspector helping us is very
unhappy. Apparently they had another GHS there last year and had
to rescue him but not enough was done afterward. Now, they're a
bit pissed off."
"I only sedated the bear."
"I saw. We were on our way in then." Xander grinned and
cuddled him. Wade came out of a portal and it closed behind
him. "Where were you?"
"Mexico. Some local idiot was trying to take over his house."
Xander looked at him. "Do I have to go blow them up?"
"No, the demon pretending to be you got one of their cars but we paid
for it. The mayor's now scared to death of you, the demon
hunter." Xander beamed. "Why do you look so sweaty?"
Wade snorted. "Great."
"We had help from the local department. There's an Inspector some
of us have worked with who used to be Interpol locally. He's
finding it out," Paul said quietly. "Edgerton's in the spare
"That's fine. He's a protective sort too." He looked at Xander. "Need to hit a healer?"
"No. I was shoved into a room and they supposedly stripped me of weapons." He grinned.
Wade snickered, shaking his head. "I doubt that." He patted
him on the head. "Let me go clean up. He had succuba in
there and they were smarming most of the house." He went to his
own room to shower and change, plus give Paul some time to calm Xander
down. Xander was a bit jiggly so he'd need worn out and calmed
Paul looked at his current, cuddly assignment. "Cuddle in the
bedroom?" Xander pounced and it was nice. Very nice.
Even if he did end up tired.
Xander and the rest of the traveling group had just left Japan when the
earthquake and tsunami hit. They had woken up to go to their first
night's dinner when the news started to blare about it. He was
mildly freaking out about it. Things were all over bad. He
was calling in contacts for his High Council seat. "I don't care,
they need the help, go help by pretending to be human!" he snapped at
one. "Because I'm more than willing to go help myself!" The
demons that made up his guard unit for the seat nodded and went to find
illusion makers. Xander made himself calm down, looking at
Paul. "Can I go help for a week or so?"
"There's no non-emergency flights in," Paul said quietly and
calmly. "As much as I'd like to go help myself, we can't get in
"Bullshit, I can portal in since I know what places look like."
"Has to be a direct picture so nothing's different," Wade pointed
out. "We've donated supplies. Hell, we chartered a flight
for the Docs Without Borders people." Xander nodded, taking a
calming breath. "If they need volunteers who aren't skilled, then
definitely we'll find a way. Even if we do have to get a ship
Xander nodded, accepting a pat from Wade. They were in China at
the Great Wall and the whole group was worried. Xander had tried
to call the Asian president to see if they needed anything but the phone
lines were down.
"Xander, they're saying there's something wrong with the main nuclear power plant," Sheena, one of the guard team, said quietly.
He looked at her. "That won't kill me. It's not going to take my head off."
"Also, before the hormones, I did work construction for years."
"Also a good point." She patted him on the shoulder. "We'll do what we can."
Xander nodded. "I have much more than I could ever use."
"I know. We'll do what we can. Tell the family you're all right."
He nodded, texting that to Horatio and Speed. Wade was calling to
see if there was anything that he could help with. Xander finally
got the Asian head's wife, who was sobbing. "It's Xander, the
whole group is in China, but if you guys need me, I'm coming back to
help. Even if I have to rent a rowboat." He listened to her,
starting to pace. "I'll do whatever I can to help, you know
that." He nodded. "I can do that, yeah.
Definitely. Plus we've also chartered a flight for some docs I'm
He made notes, nodding at that. "I can do that. Do you need
anything, personally?" She was back to crying. "Oh, god, I'm
so sorry," he whispered. Paul hugged him. "You know what,
I'll be there tonight. Somehow. Let me help. I'll do
what I can." He hung up and called Miami. "Fu, Xander.
No, we're in China. Just left Japan this morning. I'm going
back through." He read off the names of the two relief agencies
that were already there. "I need whatever I have above the minimum
storage bags sent to them. Thank you."
He hung up and looked at Wade. "Find me a picture." He
nodded, looking that up online. He concentrated, pulling
magic. There were areas that had pre-set portals. He could
use the closest of them, which was at a temple. He looked at the
group. "Let them do what they can, I'll be back in a few
days." He looked at Wade. "It's okay, just cover for
me." He nodded and Xander disappeared into the portal area.
The present picture showed it was a pretty walking garden. The
monks there stared at him. "I need to come help," he said
quietly. They nodded and pointed so he headed for the gate.
He looked around then at the temple. "Are refugees coming here?"
he asked the monk staring at the destruction.
"No, not at the moment. They have not asked."
"Okay." He walked off, going to find a place to help. He ran
into a group of searchers. "I speak Japanese fairly well, used to
work construction, and I'm strong. Where can I help?" he asked
them in Japanese.
They got him to the shift commander, who agreed they could use searching
bodies. Plus with construction experience he knew how to
get into damaged buildings. Later that night he ran into the local
president's wife, giving her a short hug and saying something quietly
in her ear, making her nod. He helped her settle in for the night
and kept watch over her. There were a few other local members
helping and things were going well. Xander heard when the docs got
there. They tried to get them to evacuate the area. Xander
refused. They cited health risks and he gave them a dirty look and
went back to his search team. They had to give up with him and a
Xander walked up to the local GHS president's wife a few days
later. "I have to go back to the group," he told her, staring at
her. "I'll be back when I can."
She patted him on the cheek. "Did you make the donations, Xander?"
"I told someone in Miami to do it for me." He called them.
"Fu, me." He listened. "Seriously?" He rolled his
eyes. "That's good. Thank you for thinking of that,
Fu. No, the group's leaving China so I'm going to flash back so it
doesn't look wrong on my passport. That way no one says
anything. Thank you." He hung up. "Two of the groups
were told by the government not to accept donations yet." She
sighed and rolled her eyes. He smiled. "So he donated to a
few others that were over here working." She smiled and patted him
on the cheek. He kissed her on hers. "You let me know if
you need more help."
"Sir, we need to make sure you're fit to leave," one of the doctors
ordered. Xander stared at him. "There's radiation and
"Doc, there's nothing like that which would make me sick." The guy
stared oddly at him. "But if you want, I saw Paul Enteres and I
know him. I'll let him check me over." The doctor
nodded. Xander went to talk to that immie. He had checked
who he was when he accidentally found him. "Hey, they want me to
have a health check before I leave."
The immortal looked at him. "It was blatantly stupid to stay there."
"I'm from a place that has spatial radiation, Doc."
"Oh." He checked him over, nodding. "Go." Xander
looked around then flashed out from there. He blinked a few
times. "Who was he?" he muttered. He had asked around but
almost no one knew him. He decided to ask the other immies he
knew. More were coming their way to help. The answer he got,
from Oz of all people, was strange but interesting. "Huh.
I've heard about his dance style of fighting." He got back to his
patients, mostly injured search party members at the moment.
Xander appeared in the hotel's garden, walking inside. Wade
stopped him to stare at him. "I did what I could to help."
"I know." He patted him on the cheek. "We're leaving in two
hours. Go shower." Xander nodded, heading up to do that.
Wade sighed in relief. Horatio had promised to kill him multiple
ways if Xander had gotten hurt working to help others. Though
Horatio had said he was tempted to go help as well. Wade went to
tell Paul and the others. "Xander's back."
"Good," Paul said, looking at him. "They caught a few pictures of him helping."
Wade nodded. "He's like that."
"It's a good sign that he still cares about people," one of the other
guard team said. "So many people in his economic class insulate
themselves from real people."
"Xander's a former construction worker, very low class," Wade
said. "He'd never let himself do that. That's why he plays
poker." They smiled. Wade and Paul went to check on the
kid. He was calm and showering. He wasn't too upset about
the ones he couldn't save. He was clearly exhausted. Paul
knew he could sleep on the plane to Russia so that was all right.
They'd handle it.
Xander looked at the Customs person who was scanning his passport extra hard. "Is there a problem?" he asked quietly.
"Sir, when did you leave Japan?"
"The morning before the quake hit. We were here about two hours when the news started to happen."
He nodded and stamped it. "It's a shame. It destroyed a lot of pretty towns."
Xander nodded. "It killed a lot of people too. Some I
knew." The agent nodded and let them pass. He sank into his
seat, emailing Adam. Paul petted him, helping him calm down.
"Thanks," he said quietly.
"Not a problem." A Customs agent came on board and stared at them. "Problems?" he asked, holding up their passports.
"There were pictures of one who looked like him at the clean up effort," he said in English.
Xander disappeared from his seat and appeared behind them. "Yes,
there were. Because it's wrong of me to not help when I have gifts
that can." The agent stared at him and said something in
Chinese. "I don't speak Chinese, sir. I speak Japanese," he
offered in that language. "Latin, a few others." He said
something in Russian. Xander looked at Wade, who translated it
into Japanese so no one else understood. Xander nodded and told
him why they were traveling. The agent nodded and let it go from
there. He looked at Wade. "Russian problems?"
"No. We're all on alert about anything that might crop up," he
said calmly. Xander nodded and sat down with a sigh. One of
the team looked at him. "We're not going anywhere near where the
Mafia up there is known to be heavy outside the stop in Moscow.
Xander's worried though since he's him and people want him." The
members already on the plane laughed and nodded. The others were
let on and only one was being kept too long. Wade went to help her
get on the plane. They had found some traditional herb teas and
were fussing over them. She showed them receipts and told them she
was a bit ill so they decided it was fine. All commercially
available and nothing the drug dogs paused at. Then they were
finally on their way.
Xander tipped his seat back once they had leveled off. "Let me rest," he said quietly.
"Sure, Xander," Paul agreed. Xander snuggled against his side and
relaxed. He read until Xander finally fell asleep. "Wade, do
they need more help that someone like us could give him?"
"So far it's donations and the like." He looked up
something. "They're not having problems like Haiti did, with aid
not getting to the people. He did good helping." They all
One of the traveling group cleared her throat. "We thought Xander was sick."
"No, he speaks Japanese very well and with his construction experience
he went back to help there for a few days," Sheena told her. "He
just got back earlier."
"That's good of him." She relaxed. "The radiation we're hearing about didn't hurt him, right?"
"No," Paul said, looking back at her. "They had to check him to
let him leave." She smiled and finished relaxing. They
settled in for the few hour flight to a pretty city to stare at.
It was good to calm down and Xander would do what he could to help.
Speed watched the news, head tipped to the side. "Xander!" Mellie shouted, patting the tv.
"That's right, that's your uncle," Speed said, giving her a hug to get
her away from the tv. "He did good." Horatio came out of the
kitchen. "They caught him helping."
"I'm sure he did what he could and he'd go back if he could," he said,
sitting with his family on the couch. "I know I would be if I
"Xander does a lot of good for a lot of people," Ray Junior said from
his spot on the other end of the couch. "Like the group home he
set up here." They both stared at him. "It's for homeless
teens and those with family in the thug life that had to leave home
before they got drawn in. He set up an old hotel as one.
Hired social workers and a tutor. Got them in a good school."
"I did not know that," Horatio said.
"He's also got a small scholarship fund for some of the thugs that want
out," Ray Junior said. "It's helped send some to vocational school
and one to college."
"Huh," Speed said. "I didn't know that either. I know he was doing some donating places like the pound."
"Them too." He grinned. "I'm not sure if even Steve knows about the group home though."
"He does more than we thought," Speed told Horatio, who smiled and
nodded, cuddling his husband and daughter. Speed pulled Ray Junior
closer to cuddle too. Ray grinned back. Mellie leaned over
to pet Ray's hair for him.
"That's very kind of you, daughter. Ray needs petted." He
petted her hair, getting beamed back at. "I have tomorrow off so I
was going to take you and your spoiled friend to the play area at the
"I thought he had tomorrow off," Speed said.
"It's their anniversary. Ray's vacation request form listed 'a lot
of dirty, filthy, sweaty sex for my ten year anniversary' as the reason
he needed it off. I'm told the Commissioner nearly choked."
"Is he bugging you about the budget again?" Ray Junior teased with a grin.
"Now that I know he wants that sort of graphic reason I'll have to
remember that," Speed said with a grin. "I need a day off soon for
her next doc visit and our anniversary is coming up as well."
"I'll be at a hotel that night with the baby," Ray said. The rest
of the family grinned at him and Mellie petted him again. "Thanks,
baby cousin." He took her to cuddle.
"Just don't get stolen like the last time," Speed joked. "Xander's not around to get you two back."
"Jensen said he's filling in for Xander with that stuff too." They
both grinned and he got up with a groan, taking Mellie to change since
she was babbling about her diaper while petting him.
"Our daughter is amazing, bright, and mentally challenging all at once," Horatio said quietly.
Speed snickered. "She does drive you nuts but she's too cute to
stay mad at her for it. Thought it was nice that Ray wanted to
change diapers this time. With what she had for lunch it's
probably disgusting." Horatio smirked and took a kiss, going back
to check on dinner. Speed got comfortable. It was a decent
night without much insanity not caused by their baby girl.
A man walking up the street in a less than desirable portion of town
heard 'Wade' yelled and he turned. "No, I'm Hagen. Wade's
with Xander on his trip." She paused, staring at him. He
smirked. "I know, we look like twins. Fortunately I'm not
She moved closer. "So you're that detective guy?" He nodded. "Huh." She pulled a gun.
"Xander's going to hear and fuck your ass up," another female voice
shouted. "With only one traveling boy with the group, he's going
to be bouncy and have *fun* with you." The woman backed off,
putting up her gun so she could run away. The second woman walked
across the street. "Hagen, are you lost?"
"Horatio asked me to talk to someone down here about a people smuggling
pipeline he had heard rumors about, Andrea. Thank you for that
She smirked. "It's nice seeing what a non-psychotic, torturing
version of Wade is like," she teased. "If she had done it, my boy
would've sulked until he and his brother had ended her. So it was
partially self interest too." She winked and strolled off.
"Any idea where Sam's hiding? He said I had to hunt him down."
"Beach Side Motel," he offered with a grin. She laughed and got a
ride over there. He hoped Sam had made himself pretty for
her. She deserved some fun hunting down her boy.
Wade looked at the Russian customs official who was trying to get him to
shift lines. "I'm his assistant and translator," he
sneered. "He goes nowhere without me."
Xander looked at him. "Let's not make them mad, Wade," he said quietly.
"I'm not but they're not Customs. No government employee here or
any other country wears three hundred dollar shoes or that much jewelry
unless they're on the take."
"I didn't notice that," Xander admitted. He smiled at them. "Are we nearly done now?"
"Our drug sensors went off," one sneered. "It will have to be strip search."
Xander looked at him. "I doubt that." He concentrated and
shut off all the lights in the building magically. They gave him
horrified looks. He grinned. "I'm being a tourist. You
have pretty sights to see." They got out of his way. "Thank
you. Wade, was everything stamped?"
"I can't tell in the dark, kid." Xander flipped them back on. "All
but one. He stamped that one himself with a grin for them.
"How much is your bribe this time?"
"We do not take bribes," one sneered.
Xander looked at his hair, pulling out the jeweled hair clip. They
gaped and took it. Which let Xander and Wade finally go
free. Wade watched as all the plants they went past suddenly
started to grow, bloom, and get wild. He coughed and
pointed. Xander sighed but reigned it back in and it quit
happening. They were the last to board the hotel shuttle. It
appeared this part of the trip was going to be interesting.
Two days later, Xander was sighing in defeat. "Wade, why are we stuck in the hotel?"
"Too much rain to sightsee. Nothing close enough to run to. You sprained Paul's back again."
"Oh, yeah." He went back to playing with the dogs and the dragon. "I'm bored."
Wade looked at him. "Find healing spells and work on Paul's back?" he suggested, sounding patient.
"I did. He's napping off my fantastic, or as great as I could do,
massage right now." He grinned. "Want to show me the things I
"Hell no. These thugs aren't like the ones in Miami, Xander. They'll shoot you then immediately set you on fire."
"Which probably isn't fun but...."
"No," Wade interrupted.
"We could find that one lady's cousin and say hi for her. She said to say hi if I ran into them for her."
"That would mean a day trip to the north. About a seven hour car trip each way."
"Oh." Xander waited while Wade went back to his puzzles. He
smiled at the puppies and dragon then went to put on something
different. "Want a burger?"
"You can't leave the hotel until your hormones are down."
"I need more rest for that," Paul called from the bedroom. Wade snickered, shaking his head.
Xander gave him a kiss. "You rest and I'll bring you back a
burger." He grinned and skipped out. Wade was paying
attention to the dogs, who were mobbing him.
To be mean, Paul gave Xander a minute head start then whistled to call
the dogs in. "With the tight pants he was wearing, he's going to
play poker," he called. Wade swore on his way out. Paul
cackled. That was so mean of Xander. Though he had looked
good. If only his back would quit cramping he'd take advantage of
Xander had called one of his weapons contacts to get an address for
somewhere interesting to go. The man had told him what to tell the
cabdriver and how much it'd cost him, so that was nice. When he
hung up, he started to frantically call his associates in Russia to get
them to leave Xander alone. They weren't sure why he was warning
them not to deal with the goofy, long haired, gay american, but he knew
it was important. He finally got one of his upper level contacts
and warned them. They had heard of Xander. They hadn't known
he was in Russia but suddenly everything was going to be nice and calm
until the group left.
Xander walked into the bar and looked around. "This is like the
_Brava_ in Miami," he said happily. He went to the bar and grinned
at the angry looking bartender. "Do you have beer that doesn't
suck like American beer? Or smell like American beer?"
"We have some German beer," he offered. Xander beamed and paid him
in American cash. "Ten." Xander nodded and paid the
rest. "Thank you." He poured him some. "You are not
"No, I'm in on a tour of your pretty sights but it's been raining all
day and I'm bored." He grinned. He took a cautious
sip. "Much stronger and deeper flavor. And it doesn't smell
like my dad. Thank you." He smiled and looked at the man
moving closer to him. "Hi. Xander Harris," he said, holding
out a hand with a smile. "Tourist."
"We just heard you were local from a friend at the Bazaar."
Xander grinned. "He said I should come here, that it's an interesting place to see."
"How do you know him?"
"I saved him from the demon that wanted to marry him last year."
He sipped some of the beer, still little sips because he didn't really
like the taste of the alcohol underneath the other flavors.
"I had not heard that story," the man admitted. "How did you do that?"
"I was belly dancing a bit and distracted it until I used a hairpin to
kill it." He grinned. "I'm still taking lessons in that
art. I recently found out that there's other guys who take the
lessons. It's a great workout. Keeps me very
flexible." Someone screamed a slur and ran at him with a
knife. Xander moved out of his direct path and then broke his
arm. He embedded the knife in the bar then kicked the guy to the
floor and sat down again.
He stared down at him. "You're not my type; quit having gay
panic. None of us would have your dirty, smelly, uneducated,
stupid ass. You're probably pathetic in bed, have no dick to use,
and probably have a nickname like Stumpy." He stared at him.
"Beyond that, that's rude and people won't want to visit your city if
you keep being rude to the visitors." He took another sip and
smiled at the guy he had been talking to, who was giving him a funny
look. He shrugged. "I hate gay bashers. Most of them
are denying their lusts for my hair." The bartender walked off
laughing. Xander grinned. "So, what sort of business are you
in? Are you one of Cherekov's associates or a related field?"
"No, I'm in a different field. You're the one that got those hostages out."
"I am." He smiled. "It's wrong to keep slaves. It
pisses me off and then I kill things." Wade stomped in. "Hi,
Wade." He sipped his beer. "You didn't tell me German beer
didn't have the same watery taste of Miller."
"No, it's darker so stronger."
"Still has that aftertaste though."
Wade took the beer to finish on him and pulled the kid up.
"Chester," he said with a nod for the guy who had been talking to
Xander. He looked down at the suddenly silent man on the floor
then at Xander.
"Gay basher. I figured it's because his nickname probably translates to Stumpy."
"You should've maimed him more." He walked Xander out. "This
is not your sort of bar, Xander. This is my sort of bar."
"Cherekov suggested it."
"I'm going to gut that little bastard the next time we have to go to the Bazaar."
Xander shrugged and grinned. "I got to see some pretty buildings on the way past in the cab."
"Probably," he sighed.
"It's not my fault I'm bored. And hey, I'm not belly dancing for
thugs, I'm not buying weapons, I'm not destroying drug
cartels..... I'm being a pretty good boy for being bored."
Wade nodded, patting him on the head like he would the dogs. "You're trying."
"Sorry." He looked around and pointed. "What's that building?"
Wade looked then shrugged. "Looks like a church maybe?" He
had to follow Xander going to look. "What is it with you and
"I used to do construction," he reminded him with a grin. "I like buildings."
"I guess that's reasonable and safe," Wade sighed. They got to
look at the stained glass windows and all the artwork on the outside
then moved on. There was a Soviet government building up ahead but
it was a square, ugly block of a building.
"Why couldn't they make it prettier? If they were supposed to be
so glorious and Communism had ideas that I can support and understand,
like I can free love and the hippie movement, at least until people got
involved and then it sucked ass, why couldn't they promote it by showing
off that they did pretty things?"
Wade shrugged, putting his hands in his pocket. "A lot of it was
more about usefulness instead of prettiness. Prettiness was
basically a 'Western' ideology that they were trying to get past.
They had arts, they had the ballet, all that. For the basic things
it was about serving the empire and being a cog in the system.
Communism worked as long as your cog fit and you followed the rules."
"Which is when it started to suck. The everyone's equal part I liked. The rest sucked."
"It did," he agreed. "Which is probably what you got out of the
hippie lifestyle?" Xander nodded, glancing at him then at the
building again. "It did have it's ideas that were good, but then
again people got into it and things went wrong."
"So if it's a philosophy then it's good but humans shit where they eat," Xander decided.
Wade nodded. "Basically, yeah." Xander nodded at that and
they walked on, heading back toward the hotel. "Were you trying to
"No. That's why I called Cherekov. I figured he'd send me somewhere decent and safe enough."
"Not really. It's not exactly an option and if they think you're a
wealthy American they're going to kill you and rob you."
"Boy won't they be shocked then," Xander said dryly.
Wade nodded. "Maybe." They paused to look at a few other churches since the rain had mostly stopped.
"Did they allow religion?"
"Like the Chinese, it was highly regulated. The priests had to
preach to the system and being part of the system while still staying
within the religion's boundaries." Xander nodded at that and they
walked on again. "I'll see if we can find something for you to do
if the rain doesn't let up tonight." Xander beamed at him and
nodded, bouncing some. "The others are going to be jealous."
"It'll be okay. I promise it will be."
"It'd better be." They made it back and sure enough someone was
complaining. "He has a contact that's from here and the guy sent
him to a bar that's full of thugs."
"Oh," she said, looking at Xander. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine." He grinned. "I got the gay basher but otherwise I'm okay."
"Good." She scowled at Wade.
"He left without telling me," he said dryly. She walked off laughing. He swatted the boy. "No more of that."
"Good boy." Xander barked. Wade swatted him. "Go play
with Hubert." He bounded up there to do that. Wade got a
drink from the bar before going up to his own room again. A bored
Xander was a dangerous thing. Especially in Russia!
Wade woke up later that night when he heard someone trying to get into
his room, going to open the door on them. "You could've just
called. I would've put on clothes." He let the high level
person in and checked the hall before looking at him. "You
actually came to a meeting alone?" He shut the door and sat down,
looking casually comfortable in his boxer-briefs and tank top.
The man stared at him. "What is your current problem?"
"I don't have many of them. Outside being a bit jumpy because we're here."
The man stared at him then pointed up the hallway. "That one."
"He killed Max." He grinned. "Had him torn apart by hellhounds."
The man gave him an odd stare for a moment then just nodded. "I
have heard of such in the past." He looked at the door then at him
again. "Why are you in my city?"
"I'm the kid's bodyguard and assistant. He's not allowed to travel
without me. He wanted to see the sights. Now if only you
had better weather he wouldn't be bored." He smirked. "Then
he wouldn't have to go into thug bars to beat up gay bashers."
The older man nodded then shook his head quickly. "His father is high up."
"Xander plays poker in Miami with the underground, Hector."
"Oh, dear." He sat down. "We have heard rumors of a long-haired man that was not in the life but liked weapons."
"That would be Xander, yes."
"The same as the one who went to the Bazaar and took some people's fun
but killed the demon trying to take it over?" Wade nodded.
"Interesting. He wanted to come here?"
"He's on a world tour," Wade said dryly. "He wanted to see the important, pretty things."
"I suppose that is logical for one such as him at his age." Wade nodded. "How long are you in my country, Wade?"
"Five more days. One more city."
"That is reasonable." He stood up again. "There are some that got interested in him earlier."
"He'll kill them and if he can't I will."
"I understand how you can get attached to your protectee." He smiled. "I did much the same and then married mine."
Wade smirked. "He warped a former vengeance demon that I ended up
dating after they broke up. We torture succuba together."
The man burst out cackling, nodding some. "Good! It is good
to find one's real mate." He smirked. "The others in the
underground are still interested in your guardee."
"I try really hard to keep a tight leash on him but if something happens, Xander's usually the better of all of them."
"Hmm. Good." He left, going to report that to others.
He got the report from Miami that the boy was indeed not related to any
*family* of any form, liked weapons, won a lot of money at poker, and
the ones in Miami kept the people away from him when they tried to
entice him. Which was odd news but something in his mind was
tickling with that statement. He'd figure it out sometime he was
sure. He did make sure that he had an officer follow Xander the
whole time he was in Russia. If the boy was legitimate, and all
his sources agreed he was, then he wanted him to have no troubles while
in his country. There were too many that would see such a soft,
pretty young one as a toy.
Xander's danger senses were going off during the tour. He looked around casually, taking a picture and showing it to Paul.
Paul smirked at him. "Officer," he mouthed. Xander nodded
and pointed at someone else. "Sheila, let's change directions to
go to the tombs?" he called with a subtle head tilt in that
direction. She looked and told their hired driver to change
routes. Paul looked at Wade, who was scowling at the threat.
Xander showed him the other picture. "He's an officer, Xander."
"Actually, he used to be an officer," Wade said. "He retired last
year." Paul moaned. "Max wanted to hire him." He got
up and got off the bus to go handle things. He loved this part of
his job. He got to play with all sorts of interesting
people. Though, maybe his namesake in Miami would have more fun
with these two. They were trying to hide. Wade found a demon
shop nearby and went in there, asking about the flying monkeys.
They didn't have one but they had something else that was just as
mean. He bought it and took it out to hunt with it. When the
thing was happily stuffed full he rejoined the tour, petting it.
Xander stared at it then at Wade. "Those things often carry rabies
and other things. We can find it a good home, Wade," he said
"Sure, I can do that." He grinned. "In a few days, okay?"
"Make sure it can't eat my pets."
"I will." He petted it and it cooed back then tried to eat
Xander's hair. Xander smacked it on the head and it mewled but
curled up in Wade's lap for now. It was nicely stuffed full of
former agent and officer guts. It was time for a nap.
Paul looked at him. "How do you do that and not get messy?"
"It's a gift," Wade said smugly.
Xander nodded. "I can't do it either," he told Paul. "I
always get stuff on me." He smacked the creature again when it
tried for his hair. "You do that again and I'm banishing your
whole species to the Deeper Well." It settled down. He knew
what that meant. It meant the one with the nibbly hair was mean.
Wade looked at him. "Would they need a new pet?"
"Yes." He grinned. "Before they do other things that annoy
me." Wade nodded and they made plans to connect to that since
there was a powerful spot outside the town. That would mean that
Wade wouldn't have to take care of any pets for a long time. Or
see if Anya's flying monkey and his nibbling friend would get along or
kill each other.
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