Xander and Tara sat down at the fast food place's table and he put a book in front of her. "Preschool."
"She's not quite three," she complained.
"She'll be starting school at six," he admitted. "But some of them even have a waiting list."
She grimaced and shook her head. "So far the daycare is doing it very well."
"She only goes two days a week." He looked at her. She
grimaced back. "We can start by sending her each morning."
"Add in another day a week for right now," she decided. He
nodded. "Then we'll move up and she can do preschool the year
before she goes in." She looked at that section of the book.
"Most of these are snotty places, Xander."
She huffed. "I'll talk to the coven, see if they have one they
like. They do like the school she'll be going to." He
grinned because that had been his choice. "What if they come
back?" she asked quietly.
"I've already told the school what went on and why we had shared custody. They agreed it was unusual but reasonable."
She sighed but nodded. "What about other things?"
"What other things? Though I have to sell at least four new books to afford her shopping she wants to do."
She swatted him. "Other things like what she's learning now."
"We all agree she's fantastically ahead in everything but potty
training. Including the daycare. They think she's not
totally ready for potty training yet because she doesn't seem to care if
she pees on herself unless it messes up her dresses."
"Good point. And I do need to help her shop." He gave her a pointed look. "Thrift shops."
"I know I make a good paycheck per year," he said dryly. "But
somehow we managed to turn her into Buffy. She wailed when I tried
to get her into a kid's store and wanted Sak's for some reason."
Tara winced. "Our little girly-girl niece needs to find some less
"Yup." She nodded. "That's for special things?" He
nodded that was fine. Alexis plopped down next to them, getting a
hug from Tara. "Hi."
"Hi." She smiled. "Dad was looking for you, Xander."
"I'll text him in a few." He looked at her. "If you help Tara take Olivia shopping, go less expensive places."
"I think that was my grandmother's thing," she admitted. "When she went with us, Tara."
"That's entirely possible but she's becoming fashionable and
expensive." Alexis smiled at them. "Xander might have to
date another bad girl who leaves him stuff again."
"Xander is dating, that would be a bad thing," he said dryly, pulling
out his phone to call Rick. "What's up? Your daughter said
you needed my slightly less than working brain." He
listened. "That's gray and black stripes?" He nodded
once. "They're not poisonous or anything but they're generally
cranky. That means that they're females and if she's pawing at one
of you she's in heat. Go take a shower before going back to
work." He nodded. "That's cool. If whoever isn't with
the Matriarch, then she might be able to help. It's her job to
keep track of everyone. That's cool. Let us know.
Lunch talking about future daycare plans and how to get Olivia to quit
wanting the expensive clothes." He grinned. "That's not a
bad idea. Thanks, Rick." He hung up. "We're going to
show her what donating is again."
"She's got a lot of stuff with stains," Tara warned. "I've tried and John's tried both."
"A few of those were dry clean only too," he told her. She winced
and shook her head. "Since winter's coming, we need to rearrange
her sense of style anyway. Because she'll freeze in her
dresses. So I say we clean out her closet, show her what donation
is, and then get some from the same place."
"Could work," she admitted. "But she hates it when it's not a one-piece outfit, Xander."
"Then we'll have Dean and Sam help."
"I can help with Grandma," Alexis offered. They grinned at
her. "Just make sure she knows how pretty she is in the new
outfit?" They nodded. "We can do that." She called her
grandmother to get her opinion on that. That got them a few store
names that were quirky but inexpensive as well. Tara beamed at
those, she loved to shop at one. She hung up. "Grandmother
said to dress you and her alike a few times, Tara."
"That might work too." Xander grinned. "I'm not sure if we can get baby broomstick skirts though."
"It'd be warmer," he reminded her.
"True. I can maybe find a book on that too." Xander waved a hand. "You have?"
"To get her ready for winter and how sundresses are pretty but make you
cold all winter long so you have to wear thicker clothes. It was
self defense and John suggested it when he tried to tell her a story
about needing more clothes. She hated that story."
"Figures." She sighed. "We'll do what we can. Is she in daycare?"
"With grandpa John."
She smiled. "It's good he loves her too." Xander nodded that
was true. Alexis was giggling again. "Let's do that."
They broke up, Xander bringing the book, and went to gather the baby
for things. Olivia was always happy to help her auntie shop.
Tara got the laptop to read to her. Olivia gave her such strange
looks but oh well. Then they went up to gather things.
Olivia helped, but they had to stop her from putting them in the laundry
basket - a clear sign Xander was teaching her to be an independent,
fashionable, smartass girl instead of simply fashionable. They
told her about how they were going to take the stuff that was too little
and bring it to other kids who needed to look just as pretty as she
was. Olivia was confused but they had done the donation thing
before. She was used to that part. Thankfully it didn't make
her cry even though her favorite sundress went. It wasn't going
to be big enough in the spring when it was warm enough to wear it again.
Martha, Rick's mother, stared at the pouty baby. "You look just
like your aunt, Olivia." She smiled at her. "Very
pretty." Olivia looked at herself then at her aunt. "That's
right, you look like Aunt Tara." She got a cuddle from the
baby. "You're probably warmer as well. I know it's chilly
"That's why we both changed," Tara admitted. "I was wearing
something thinner from work." She sat down. Their matching
outfits were a long broomstick skirt and a nice top. They were in
the same colors but not exactly the same. Tara's had a scoop
neckline and three-quarter sleeves. Olivia had a long sleeve top
on. "See, it's a good thing and you still look very pretty.
Plus you can get down and play in that skirt without it flipping up."
"I'm so glad Alexis was happy in any pair of jeans she could fit into," Martha said, smiling at her granddaughter.
"Me too." She took Olivia to cuddle and read to, letting her point at her words she knew.
"That's very advanced," Martha praised, getting a grin back from Tara. "How's potty training going?"
"Poorly. She hasn't quite caught on yet that peeing on yourself
makes you less pretty and diapers do too. We're still working on
"It'll come. It always does." She let the baby cuddle
again. "The skirt's a good length so she won't trip in it."
"I pinned it up. We can take it up later," Tara admitted.
"It was nearly six inches too long." Martha smiled. "There's
not many baby broomstick skirts and the like out there. Leggings
she apparently got used to. So that's a good daycare outfit for
Rick walked in and turned to lock the door, shuddering. "Tara, Olivia, you look adorable."
"Pretty?" Olivia asked.
"Yes, very pretty." The baby gave him a shy smile and ducked her
head. "Tara, do you know anything about the child pageants?"
"Beyond wanting to shake a lot of the parents so they suddenly have
sense loosened in their brains? No. Only what I caught a few
times on tv."
"We have a case there?" Alexis asked.
Rick nodded, sitting down with a sigh. Olivia got off the couch
and came over to climb up him and hug him. He cuddled her.
"You do that nearly as well as Alexis did at your age, Olivia.
You're a very good girl." Olivia beamed and waved at Tara and
Alexis then snuggled in. He patted her on the back. "We're
fairly certain it's a parent-on-parent thing. Or a
spouse-on-stagemom sort." He shuddered. "Even Beckett had to
consciously make herself not say something to some of the parents."
"I'd never let Olivia go into those. When she's older, if she
feels she must, I'd let her do the teenage ones but not the baby ones."
"This one had her two-year-old daughter in," Rick said. "Spray
tan, too much makeup, mall hair and all." Alexis shuddered.
His mother grimaced. "The mothers are pushy sorts who are worse
than stage moms. Maybe they mellow out and turn into them later
on." Olivia cooed at him, earning a smile. "You're very good
at helping me calm down, Olivia. Thank you."
"Pretty?" Olivia asked.
He grinned. "You're very pretty." She pouted. "Oh,
them? No, they weren't as pretty as you are." She beamed and
snuggled in again.
"We're working on things," Tara assured him when he looked at her.
He grinned. "We donated today and got some winter things."
"Good. She could use them." He patted her on the back and
handed her over to Tara, who snuggled her. "She could probably use
Tara looked at her. "Did you have to go potty and not tell
me?" Olivia beamed at her. "You know that messy diapers make
you less pretty, Olivia." Olivia huffed but let her aunt take her
to the potty and then change her.
"I'm so glad that Alexis wanted out of diapers as much as we wanted her
trained," Martha, Rick's mother, sighed. Rick smiled and nodded at
his daughter, who was fantastic.
"They get in the way of things." She grinned and took Olivia to
cuddle and read to. Tara had books on potty training in the bag to
reinforce the idea that potty training was great.
"Where's Xander?" he asked.
Tara rolled her eyes. "He and Peter are playing golf before he has
to go back to DC tomorrow." Rick grinned at her. "It's nice
this one's not evil and staying around. Xander hasn't written
anything in nearly a week."
"Wow," Rick said. "As long as Paula doesn't care." Olivia
wiggled down and came over to read with him. She pointed at her
words, letting him go over the rest for her. It worked well and
she learned another new one by the time they were ready to bring her
Xander walked into the main Homeland Security building in DC, clutching a
very important book to his chest. His eyes were watering because
he was getting a headache from the book. "I need to see Agent
Philips really fast," he said with a slight smile for the
receptionist. She looked nonplussed. He stared back.
"Someone just gave me information on the next demon invasion,
lady. How about *now*?" She snorted but called the agent on
call. Xander looked at him. "Well, you're not Agent
"I know that, sir. You look familiar." Xander stared at
him. "You're the one from the demon invasion." Xander
nodded. "What did you hear now?"
"This book contains the diary of someone who was dealing with the next one."
"Oh, dear. That's important, yes." He led him up to a
meeting room, taking the book to look at. "Is ... what language is
"With the exception of about three words, the D&D Dwarf language
works," Xander said, rubbing his forehead. "Though it's not read
the way we'd normally read it."
The agent nodded, finding someone to find him a translator site.
The kid clearly was having other issues. When he came back he
looked pissed off. "That's not what it says."
Xander took the book and pointed. "Words start this way, go here,"
he said, dragging his finger along it. His other hand was rubbing
Phillips walked in and paused. "Kid, let the vision come," he
ordered. Xander blinked at him. "I don't care why you're
holding it back. Let it go." He came in and put a hand on
the back of his neck, hitting the pressure points that would make the
boy forcefully relax his whole body. The vision came. He
pointed. "It's read right to left, then zig-zag back and forth by
line from there. Start the next chapter the same way," he said
quietly. That got a nod and that agent went to look at it that
way. That was very helpful. When the kid woke up he stared
at him. "What was it?"
Xander swallowed, taking the bottle of water Phillips had ready.
"Willow and them are going to almost get back during that one.
It's going to weaken a lot of realm boundaries, including the
hellmouths. They're going to all open for a bit if we can't stop
them." He sipped some water then got up to puke in a trash
can. Phillips waited, getting some paper and a pen to take
notes. Xander calmed himself down and came back, making his notes
for him, like he would at home. "I need a copy of that to send to
Sam. Though he might have them."
The other agent came in. "What was that?"
Xander blinked at him. "Vision. I've had them since the
explosion of the hellgoddess in New York. Unfortunately I see
apocalypse battles usually, with one exception. So does Sam
Winchester now. Cordelia did before they sent her with the rest of
the LA team." Philips made notes. "When the demon plan to
start the apocalypse by outing demon kind got bad I basically told them
to screw themselves. There's nothing saying I had to tell anyone
any vision I had." The other agent looked pissed off.
"What they were doing and forcing me into nearly got me killed, Agent
whoever. That was their plan. It was to take me out after
they had caused such a schism within the US and the world by outing
demons that way, that it would've basically destroyed a lot of the
fundamental nature of society. The science, the religion, all that
which was built upon would've been ended because they made me do
something by arranging that little fake documentary.
"Which is when I told the Powers to suck me and I wasn't going to pass
on anything. That let Cordelia and Sam have the apocalypse visions
while I fought the apocalypse pretty well single handedly because no
one wanted to help me." He stared at him. "It was the only
way I could save my own ass and all of yours."
"I get that," Phillips said. "How well do you read this language, Xander?"
"Probably about eighty percent." He got handed the book and went over the first page.
"What's that?" the other agent asked when he heard a strange word. "A holiday? Special occasion?"
"Holiday. I don't know when. I know it's an important
one." He found his phone and called a number he had hidden.
"It's Harris, I just had a vision and I need a date verified," he
said. "It's an apocalypse." He tapped his fingers when he
got transferred to the library. "When is Sovarent?" He
"You're sure? No, I don't have Giles' and Wes's stuff. You
guys confiscated all the research books before we could get them.
Which we'd really like because there's things we need in some of
them. Like the fact that the huge one under London is presently
acting up thanks to the other vision I've had." He made another
note. "That won't work." He snorted.
"When you have a vision of an apocalypse because someone's going to
weaken all the realm's boundaries, which means all the hellmouths are
going to open at once....." He smirked and made another
note. "Not them. Nope, not them either. Looked like
the Sisters of Jhe actually but a bit more blue/green than green.
Well, gee, that's what I'm trying to find out since I've seen two
now." He made another note. "I thought that was a rotating
holiday like Ramadan. Thank you." He hung up. "The
Council's head librarian."
"We'll find a way to make sure that holiday is then," Phillips said, patting him on the arm. "Sisters of Jhe?"
"Were going to force the hellmouth open so they could free someone if I
remember right. I barely saw anything on them but Faith stopped
one and I rammed my car into another back in high school. That was
the night they all wanted me fray adjacent though so...." He left
it there and shrugged. "I just stopped the zombie with the bomb
in the boiler room."
"Is there anyone who can read this language better than you?" the other
agent asked. "Not that I don't trust you but is there an agent?"
"I have no clue," Xander admitted. "I really don't." He looked at Phillips.
"Some of O'Neill's people are linguists."
He snapped his fingers. "The Daniel Jackson in DCIS's world had a book in it on his shelves."
"We can see if Doctor Jackson is available to help us." The other agent looked at him. "Why did you ask for him?"
"He arrested all my former dates. I know I can trust him."
"That's a good reason," he decided. "Most of us are trustworthy."
"Yeah but a few of you were also formerly Initiative. So... I've got trust issues anyway."
"Understood." He handed over his card. "For now, if you hear
more on this, call me?" Xander nodded. "Good boy.
Need help to get a cab?"
"I'll take him somewhere safe," Phillips assured him. "I'll grab
the general on the way back." That got a nod and he got Xander
down to his car, taking him to a bar. He walked him inside and sat
him down at the bar. "He had a vision," he said quietly.
"And got given stuff on another apocalypse battle beyond that."
"That needs to go to Sam," Xander reminded him, rubbing his forehead again.
"I'll make sure of it, Xander. You rest." He left, going to grab the general from lunch.
Xander looked at the bartender. "I have a hotel room. I
don't know why he sent me here." He started to get up and
wobbled. "Give me ten please."
"Sit, kid," Lorne ordered. He came over to look at him. "What happened?"
"Vision. It's like a migraine at the moment."
"I meant before. Something happened and Shank got pissed off?"
Xander blinked at him a few times. "I was feeling like Peggy Sue's
husband's girlfriend there for a bit and I realized that was probably
why he'd dump me some day. So I kinda backed off a bit. I'm
sorry but... Have you ever dated someone you were in awe of what
they'd seen?" he asked quietly.
Lorne sat beside him. "No."
"Well, he kinda was there when things, big things, happened. Like
when the Wall fell. I got to read about it in the papers and he
was probably there."
"We actually both were. We were fighting over some scientist we
were trying to get out of Berlin," Lorne admitted. He got the kid
some water. He looked sick. Xander gave him a grateful smile
and sipped some. "So you were thinking what? That you're
not good enough?"
"That our frames of reference for big things and history being important
that you lived through was different. Which probably made no
sense," he sighed. He took another sip. "It'd be like a
minor league bat boy dating a major league player."
Lorne nodded he got that analogy. "I can see that problem."
"Which meant I realized I needed to enjoy it while it lasted, before he
got disgusted or something about me not knowing these things.
Beyond the crappy school system."
Lorne patted him and the kid winced. "Visions do that?"
"Yeah, and a bit of poisoning by the demon that handed me the book on
the apocalypse. I'm fine and all but it's making me more sore than
I am from the vision." He finished his water. "Phillips
should've brought me to my hotel room."
"He knew you'd be safer here." Lorne looked at him then knocked
him out. Peter helped him get the boy into a booth to nap off the
"Peggy Sue?" Shank asked.
"It's a movie," the bartender called. "Late eighties if I remember
right." They went to look that up. "Though, he's been there
through some pretty big, world changing things."
"He discounts them," Peter complained.
"Shank, he's like that," Lorne reminded him. "He's got some low
self esteem thanks to his upbringing. It's all over his official
Shank grimaced but nodded. "Sometimes I can be myself around him and sometimes my former self."
"What set this off?" Lorne was willing to play helper this time. They made a decent, strange couple.
"He asked why I learned to play golf. That it wasn't really a Russian game."
"So you told him about how the KGB and CIA used to hold a quarterly golf
game so they could covertly talk," Lorne realized. Peter
nodded. "Which meant he started to see all the things you've seen
that he's only read about."
"Which I do not mind. Though his life is insane with the demon
threats. I would wish him more retired but I cannot do that to
"I can understand that." They found the movie on Netflix and
settled in to watch it. The bar was dead tonight. It was a
Wednesday and nothing was expected to go on for a few days.
At the end of the movie, Shank looked over at his boy. "I can see that point but I do not see him that way."
"If you start pointing out all the important things he's been part of,
it'll seem like you like him for his weapons and battle skills," the
bartender said quietly, looking at him. He nodded at the kid.
Lorne smiled at that hint the kid was awake. "I think he's going
to be slightly in awe of things like you are of his battles, but I think
it doesn't matter so much between you two. I don't know anyone
among all of us that know you who don't like you with him. Even if
you did make Abbot seem like a human being instead of a goat-screwing
asshole in your book."
"He'll change later," Peter assured him. "It does not matter to
me. I try very hard to be retired, the same as he does until
something comes up."
"You both have that name thing going too," the bartender pointed
out. "There's a clear difference between Peter and Shank, the same
way as there is between Alexian and Xander."
Peter nodded. "There is. Usually it helps calm things
down. Though his past dating pool is one I would like to deal
Lorne snickered. "Micah heard and wondered if we could use that to
arrest a lot of them. Apparently Philips told him that was his
Peter nodded. "He left a few." He frowned at the bench his
boyfriend was resting on. "I do not mind him not being fully
retired. We all are like National Guard when things happen.
If we knew something about demons we would have been at those as well
Lorne nodded. "There's a few who've been bugging John Winchester to teach them so they can handle DC."
"The Council has a program out of Oxford," Xander moaned as he sat up,
holding his head. "Mostly it's fight training with swords and
stuff, some light spell work, languages, and watchery history with a few
classes of demonology." He blinked a few times. "One of the
other me's at the multi-Xander convention was a demonology rated
CSI. His world had a program."
"See if you can get us a copy?" Lorne asked quietly. Xander nodded. "Thanks, kid. Want some tylenol?"
"It won't help," he said, blinking at him. "You knocked me out."
"You clearly needed the rest."
Xander nodded. "Yeah, I did. Thank you."
"Welcome. Peter, take him back to his hotel room?"
"We can go somewhere safe," he agreed, helping Xander up. "I will
drive slow. Need vitamins to feel better?" he asked as they walked
"Mostly I need the little guys inside my head with hammers and pickaxes to stop."
"Like hangover?" he asked.
"Don't know, never had one. Even the few times I got drunk I never had a hangover."
"We will try that cure, see if it helps." He took him to his
place, letting them inside. Xander gave him a confused look.
"Is my apartment."
Xander looked around then smiled. "It's nicely decorated. I didn't decorate anything. Tara did."
Peter smiled. "She did nicely masculine job." He put the boy
on the couch and made his sure-fire hangover cure, handing him the
cup. Xander looked at it. "Don't ask, just drink."
Xander did and took the two advil he held out. "There, now we will
sit and relax." He sat down. Xander hesitantly leaned
closer and Peter let him cuddle. It was nice and he was certain
Xander could hurt him but wouldn't. He wasn't evil that way so
Xander would only cuddle.
Xander fell asleep against his arm. Peter smiled and picked up a
book to read. A few hours later Xander woke up again but Peter petted
him and read out loud. That put him back to sleep. He did
shift enough to stretch out on the couch, letting Xander have his side
instead. That helped them both get comfortable. Xander was
so deeply asleep nothing should bother him, though Peter was sure he
wouldn't do what Olivia did and pee on himself. If so, they'd
handle it and Xander would probably be embarrassed enough to replace his
thrift store couch.
That's when he realized he had a very bad case of lust for the boy.
Agent Philips sat down across from them the next day at brunch.
"The Council's librarian lied to you on purpose," he said. Xander
shook his head, putting down his cup of coffee. "She's since been
arrested for endangering lives." He looked at Peter then back at
Xander. "Thank you."
"We can stop them?"
"O'Neill is stopping one and we've arrested the ones in the other
one. The diary contained enough information to put them away on
treason and endangering humanity charges. O'Neill said he was more
than happy to stop the other one."
"That'd be good. If he's stopping the realms popping, that could
be very bad. Especially since there's a kraken on top of
"I heard. So did he and he found out how to solve it. McKay
sent his thanks for the headache you gave him but it let him work on a
project he had to keep putting off." Xander grinned weakly.
"Also, your doctor has medicine that can help with the migraine
"Cordy tried everything and nothing helped hers. I don't get them that often."
"Uh-huh. Have Peter ask his people. They have some drugs
that aren't approved over here, including something that one with known
visions relies on." He stared at him. "Even if you do have
to go to Germany to get it." Xander nodded at that. Peter
looked confused. He slipped over the guy's card. Peter
smirked and put it into his pocket. "He sees little things,
problems that go with his job. By the way, Winchester saw both of
those as a vision. The one in the book he saw them hunting you
down and killing you for having it."
"That's why I had a demonic mafia guy's bodyguard take me to your
building. No one's going to touch him and the guy's boss
recognized the book."
"That's interesting." He grinned. "Can they be stopped if they're doing evil things?"
"They're mostly making money."
"That's good to know."
"They don't often deal with humans."
"Even better." He smiled at them. "For today and the next
three days, hide. Just in case Winchester was right." Xander
nodded. "I've already told Tara and the elder Winchester.
They agreed it was fine. Olivia was good with Tara and no one's
going to touch her. Or your house. They're kind of scared of
"Me too sometimes," Xander admitted. "I found a transport ring."
"Where is the end outside the warehouse?" Peter asked.
"Presently? Michigan." He grinned. Peter smirked back. "Thank you, Agent Phillips."
"I'm just glad I don't have to arrest this one." He stared at him
for a moment. Then he smirked. "By the way, your buddy's
boss still wants to arrest most of them and can't. The president
said no." He got up and walked off.
"Huh," Peter said, nodding a bit. "Wonder if they like him as
well." He got Xander more coffee and they finished eating then
went back to his place. No one knew where it was, it'd be safest
there. Then they could go home to rest. Xander would quit
worrying about minor things again. Because half of the agents were
in awe of the battles like the boy was of what he had done.
Peter got a summons he hated. He went to the Russian
Embassy. He couldn't refuse, they hijacked his car. "I have
appointment in an hour," he noted as he was let into an office.
The man in there stared at him. "With your new friend?"
Peter nodded. "We are going to pick out Tara's present for
Solstice." He stared at him. "Why did you want to meet?"
"I wanted to make sure that nothing you were *writing* would come back
to a real case that was still classified. Even if you do try to
change some things, some of that is very close to the truth."
"Is old history. Most is unclassified now as far as I know and most is not about that."
The man stared at him. "There's those that don't like your
boyfriend's duties. There's a few who wanted to order me to order
you to shoot him."
"I would refuse."
"Which is why I am not, but simply pointing out there are many that are wary of him."
Xander walked in and kicked the door shut, then stared at him, saying
something in another language. The guy started to smoke.
"Kidnaping me is very bad. It puts me into a bad mood. It
makes me react like the old me, not the new me." He stared at
him. "And then I reach for artillery." He pulled something
out of his pocket and let it expand. "I know arms dealers who move
tons of things this way every month."
Peter took it to look at. "Is very nice. How?"
"That one? He ships it on a few goats." He grinned.
"He owed me about ten thousand kittens though." He looked at the
man. "I'm very sure that Peter's not telling anyone anything he
shouldn't. I'm also very certain that the one of you who came up
to threaten Olivia and Tara earlier is still probably squeaking at his
new sunlamp since Olivia reacted and turned him into an
iguana." Peter burst out laughing. "They were in the
zoo. She thought they were pretty." He stared at him
again. "This bit of dramatics is unworthy of the modern man.
And by the way, I know your clan. They owe me kittens too."
He walked out shaking his head. "I'll be in the car."
"Thank you," Peter called, waving after him. He looked at the
piece of artillery then at him. He smirked. "He is very much
tough enough to be mine." He walked off.
The higher up/demon moaned and sent a quick note to his superior.
Who was also demonic. If Harris knew, there was going to be
bloodshed. Though it was nice they had to track down three agents
in New York to cure their scaley conditions. Their overseer told
them to cure the agents and then to leave the new couple alone.
Unless Shank spilled confidential secrets, no one was going to care
now. Beyond that, they wanted Harris in a good mood since it
looked like a future battle was going to be in Siberia.
Two days later, Shank walked up to a relative on a nondescript street in
New York City. It was his sister's son. He worked with some
do gooder in New York who helped people, which he liked and
accepted. Even if the kid was a retired agent for the US and a
"Uncle," he said, staring at him. "Why are you in New York?" he asked, glancing around.
He smirked. "I am seeing someone. We are going golfing
later." He walked him and the hotdogs they bought off. "I
want two things."
"First, I want your friend Robert to leave my boyfriend alone. Xander sees enough problems."
"You're dating *Harris*?" he asked, looking around again then at his
uncle. Who smirked and nodded. "We don't want messed up in
any of that and the one thing that crossed into it, he went to talk to
Faith, who helped us."
"That is acceptable. Xander is the sort to jump in, as you are," Peter said.
"I saw that." He ate a bite of hotdog. "The second?"
"Please let us know if you hear of someone coming for him? There
were those that wanted me to not write past cases and the like."
Mickey choked. "You're writing?"
Peter nodded with a smirk. "Is very exciting and lets me do naughty things plus I met Xander that way."
"Sure," he decided, nodding quickly. "I can do that. I'd probably do that anyway. Do they know...."
"Yes. One was planning to try to order me to kill him. Xander showed up with artillery."
"How did he get artillery?"
"Cash would like to know as well," he said smugly.
"No, he can keep his insanity in DC," Mickey ordered, eating another
bite to calm his stomach down. "I'll tell Robert that you're in
and out of town but fully retired unless it's a massive attack."
"Then you'd probably see both of us," he admitted. "Though Xander does not want to have to hurt any humans."
"I can see that. He seems like a nice, goofy kid in his interviews. Until someone screws with him."
Peter nodded. "He has many bad dates too. His black book is like some dream list."
Mickey shook his head. "You're probably better than all of them then. What about his niece?"
"She is adorable." He grinned. "Calls me puppy."
"Awww." He walked off shaking his head. "Show up for dinner sometime, Uncle."
"I shall." He went to the store to get a new set of golfing gloves
then went to join Xander at the golf course. It was a pretty fall
day to golf. The course was nearly empty because it was a bit
chilly but they could enjoy that.
Mickey went back to his boss to make a report. "I just saw my uncle," he said as he walked in.
"How is Peter?" he asked casually.
"Dating Xander Harris." His boss and friend put down his paper and
coffee cup to stare at him. "He wanted to make sure we never got
him into anything we had to deal with and told them whenever agents were
looking their way."
Robert looked at him then nodded. "I think that's totally reasonable, yes. The boy is slightly insane."
"Uncle Shank said that his past dating pool looked like some dream team list."
"And then some from what I've heard." He sipped his coffee. "Is he in town for a while?"
"Apparently they're going to golf today."
"Uncle Shank also said that he's writing." That got a splutter and a choke on the coffee.
"I'll be on the look out for more agents to show up in town then."
He cleaned up the mess and folded his paper. "You know, they
would suit each other very well. I almost suggested you take him
"Uncle Peter's meaner than I ever could be," he said dryly.
"Apparently they work together. Cash is looking at how the boy
gets artillery but otherwise it's going well."
"Hmm. Well, if they do end up together, I'm sure they'll protect each other and that niece I've seen him with."
"Probably, yes. Though, rumors state that she turned some agents
that came up to scare them into iguanas the other day. Tara had to
chastize her but refused to turn them back."
"Hmm." He nodded and got something for his stomach. That was
very interesting news and something he would keep in mind during future
Xander looked over as Peter was lining up his shot. "So you don't
mind that I've never seen anything huge or made a really huge change in
"I would say you have done both," Peter assured him. He took his
shot and came over to accept his kiss for getting it on the green this
time. He stared at him. "You do many things that warp minds
yet benefit humanity. You have also been at events that have
changed the world. Or else churches wouldn't want to kill you."
Xander grimaced. "That's not really the same thing."
"It is. Even John would say the same thing since I know you look
up to him." He stared at him. "You are every bit the warrior
I was when I was your age. If anything, I sometimes feel like
dirty old man because of how young you are."
Xander leered. "Not really. I seem to do a lot of the pouncing."
Peter smirked. "Wait until later." They looked back at
someone screaming and he sighed. "That is not a demon or a nun."
Xander stared at her then threw his knife at her. She screamed as
she went down, sobbing while trying to pull out the knife. "I
think that's the one Lorne leant me to get free of the ropes."
"Looks like it." They walked off after calling her in to the course's security team. They could handle her.
An hour later, Beckett found the two boys having a burger and milkshakes. She held up the knife. "Whose?"
"His friend Cash's. He leant it to me to get out of the ropes
someone put me in so they could talk to Peter about how bad I was for
Peter shook his head. "I was not listening. I was planning on how to kill him."
Xander grinned. "He's got a weak right knee."
"That is a good place to start, yes."
Beckett sighed, staring at them. "Be *authors*, guys.
Please? Just for a few weeks?" They nodded. She walked
off, sending the knife to the address that had mysteriously been in her
computer's address book that morning. The box also had a note
about whose knife it was in case it wasn't to the same people.
Xander looked at Peter. "I've got to write something that makes
Rick choke." He grinned. "He was twitting me that I don't
write things that make people hot and are publishable."
"Hmm. Would be interesting to proofread." Xander winked and
they finished up, going back to the house to write until it was time to
pick up Olivia.
Paula met with them a few weeks later for a lunch meeting. Which
she'd get to expense account for taxes, plus have some wine to calm her
nerves. "Xander, your psycho mother wrote me."
"My actual one or the one that was whining because she didn't watch her daughter lie about her age?"
"Your actual one." She handed over a copy of the email. "She's not on probation anymore."
"Aww." He read it and snorted, handing it to Peter. "Just in case they come back out here."
Peter read it then looked at him. "I know someone with alligator farm."
Xander grinned. "The guy the one in the movie was based off of?" he teased. Peter nodded with a grin back.
"I don't want to know," she ordered. They smiled at her. She
handed Peter a thick envelope. "They adore your book."
Peter grinned and looked inside, gasping in awe. She handed one to
Xander. It was thicker. "Three offers for one of them and
the new DCIS movie's official notice. Same terms, same team."
Xander read that one and signed it then handed it back. He looked
at the other one then at her. She smirked. "That part that
"Agents," Peter muttered.
"Whoever," she said firmly. She looked at Xander. Who just
grinned and handed over the keydrive. "Thank you. I'd like
to see why they're foaming at the mouth."
Peter pointed at something. "Is that mine?" She looked then
nodded. "That is quite a lot." He went back to reading.
"The same author that worked on Xander's DCIS movie, the second one that
did the script changes, is doing yours. Someone tried to call you
a Clancy knock-off but Rick called him and he laughed and said it was
nice you were joining the ranks." She smiled. "Apparently
they have poker games too."
"Fantasy authors only seem to have tea," Xander said. "That's why I go to Rick's."
She swatted him. "I got the email of the other one too, Xander."
"Do I need to tone that down?"
She stared at him. "Where did that come from?"
"Rick was taunting me that I can't do what he does and make people hot while keeping within publishing guidelines."
She gave him an odd look. Then looked at Peter. "Did you co-write it with him?"
Peter shook his head. "I proofread." He smiled. "He had many happy days of writing."
She whimpered. "Fine." She accepted the signed contracts and
let them keep their checks. She handed Peter another one.
"For that contract. The agreed upon pre-payment." The waiter
came over and took their orders then left them alone. She went
over what they'd need to know and the schedules they'd have to have for
the press hyping. Which meant Peter had to find a disguise.
She didn't mind as long as he looked normal. Xander could help, or
Rick, or whoever he knew in the scary, retired spy community.
Peter walked up to Lorne at his bar. "I need advice."
"I don't know what sort of presents to get a guy like Xander outside
weapons." He smiled. "Or candy, he does have that well-known
"I gave him native honey treats. He about worshiped me for it." He smirked. "I have interviews."
"I heard it was being made into a movie." He stared at him. "Hair color? Mustache?"
"Xander hates mustaches."
"We'll see what we can do about that." They walked off together
talking about the art of disguise, which neither one was spectacular at,
but he knew someone who was. It would ease some worry about
agents hunting Peter down to kill him for daring to give interviews.
Xander looked up as Peter came off the elevator, head tipped to the
side. His hair was nearly black and his eyes looked darker.
That single change made him look very different. "You look strange
as a goth guy," he said but grinned. Olivia was glaring at him
and tapping a foot. "That's Peter, Olivia."
She walked over and stared at him. "Not Puppy!"
"I am so," he told her. She pouted and stared at him. "Is disguise so no bad people want to find me."
"You do look different," Xander assured him. "Does it wash out?"
"Yes. In two washes." He smirked. "Is food coloring based actually."
Xander beamed. "Cool." Olivia pouted at him. "How did the interview go?"
"Very well. Marigold was most kind and giggled when I said you
told her hello." He sat down, taking a kiss from Xander.
Olivia let out an outraged squeal and grabbed her foam 'staff' to beat
him. "Olivia," he warned. She glared. "Let me go
shower out the color." He went up to do that so she'd calm down.
Xander hugged her. "That's still Peter, Olivia. He's playing
dress up. Like you do at daycare." She scowled. He
kissed her on the head. She ran up to check on that stranger who
had kissed her uncle. He was washing his hair and the color was
coming out. It looked more like Puppy to her. Then he did it
again and now he really looked like him. She snuck back out and
went to call Grandpa. He'd know what to do!
Xander's phone rang and he saw it was Dean so he answered it.
"Problems?" he asked. He listened. "It's his disguise,
Dean. Tell her to calm down. It's like playing dress up.
Yes. Thanks." He hung up. "Olivia, get off the phone!"
he bellowed. "You're not even a teenager yet!"
Peter came down toweling his hair. "She's talking to John?"
"Yes! Dean just called to make sure everything was all
right." He sighed and went to find her. He hung up his room
phone and put her in her room for that. Then he went back
downstairs. "Apparently I have to write her a story about
"Should write one for children of agents," Peter joked.
Xander stared at him and whimpered. "Damn it, don't tempt the
muses." Peter chuckled but Xander had a really good idea.
Damn the muses that would rob him of snuggly boyfriend time!
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