by Mytryk

Xander heard the problem and the begging, running to get something off someone he hated.  But hey, easily killed.  Even if he was a human he was a shithead.  He grabbed it to put into a bag and hurried out.  He got there in time.  "Get down, Doyle!"  He opened the bag.  "Angel, grab him.  Now.  Get him to hazmat or something."

"What?  Harris?"

"Now!"  Angel grabbed him when he saw the weapons tube.  Xander used the mini rocket system to blow up the bomb.  Which spewed less material.  Then he pulled out another one to handle the demons.  "I was having a nice day.  Why did you have to do this today?" he demanded as he shot them.

"Knight!" one shouted.  He tried to fire back so Xander had to give Cordelia a shove since she was stunned.

"No, really?"  He killed him and moved on.  Within minutes LAPD was there.  Xander held up his gun, and a hand.  Shooting one of the demons running toward him shooting.  "I was told earlier these guys had a bomb," he said with a point.  "Who were going to kill my ex girlfriend.  Get a radiation sensor?"  He put down the guns.  "Please."

"Why are you here, sir?" one demanded.

Xander pointed at the debris.  "Only I get to endanger my ex's life," he said dryly.

"What the hell are they wearing?" one demanded.

Xander looked at him.  "It's not a costume.  Can we please get a radiation sensor since I had to blow up the bomb?"  They called for SWAT to bring one.  For that reason they kept him there.  Xander looked around.  "If you see a really pale guy, a fashionable brunette, or a guy who's probably sick because he was trying to disarm it, they were hostages.  Which is why someone told me."

"Sir, the LAPD can handle these matters," one said firmly.

Xander pointed at the dead bodies.  "Really?  Because I had to use blessed silver."  They stared at him oddly.  He nodded.  "I'm from Sunnydale."

"I've heard of that town," one called.  "They get strange .... damn it!"  He looked at the kid.

"Hey, I'm glad there was an arms dealer who was trying to kidnap my ass earlier this week so I could get these off him."

"Is he alive?" one officer asked.

"No comment?" he said with a wince and a head shake.  "But there's a bounty on his head."

"We don't much like vigilantes," that one said dryly.

"I don't much like having to be one."  He shrugged.  "It happens.  Sometimes you gotta do the job that no one else will."

"True.  Barely."  SWAT came in and their meter was already off the chart.  "Bad?"

"Fairly so but dissipating."  He looked at the debris.  "What did that look like?"

"Like an old time water mine with the spines," Xander said.  "One of the real team in town was trying to disarm it but it would've killed him.  This close to the water it'd dissipate within hours to a safe level."

"It would," the SWAT guy said.  "How would you know?"

Xander grinned slightly.  "The person who told me that they were hostages and trying to fix it."

"I see."  He looked at the demons then at him.  "Aren't you a stripper?"

"Usually.  I'm also from Sunnydale."

"Their vigilante team?" he guessed.  Xander nodded.  "They hated you guys."

"Feeling was mutual with the way they kept trying to pawn off their dirty laundry on us."

"Huh.  The blonde?"

"Cambodia I think."

"Huh."  He looked then at the guys.  "Cut him loose."  They stared, mouths slightly open.  "That was nuclear, guys.  Those aren't humans and our bosses forbid us from dealing with them at a hostage situation last week."

"Those guys were like neo-nazis," Xander said.  "Anything not pure and oldline."

The SWAT guy nodded.  "We heard.  The hostages?"

"Doyle was trying to disarm it.  I told Angel to get him help."

"I can make sure of that."  He stared at him.  "Shoo."

"Do I need to find a good ER?"

He tested him.  "No.  You didn't suck any up.  How did you get the weapons?"

"Remember the guy on Monday that you guys had to save me from?"  He nodded.  "Him.  I played bounty hunter and disarmed his safe, but I did leave a shitload in there and the cameras on after I left."

"He was a huge arms dealer, kid."

"Yeah, I seem to draw guys like that for some reason."  He shrugged slightly.  "I can really go?"

"Stay a stripper.  I don't want to see you ever again."

"Only if they kidnap me for wanting my pretty ass.  Thanks, guys."  He got his car keys out of the bag and jogged off.

The SWAT guy held up a hand.  "The mayor said if anything like this happened this spring, whoever dealt with it got a pass."  He called the Chief's office.  "It happened.  The spring thing.  It happened.   Nuclear device got blown up.  Demons killed.  Yes, sir."  He hung up.  "They'll be here soon to burn them all.  Scatter, guys.  Thank you for your help."

"That arms dealer?"

"On Henry.  In that pretty gray and white building."  They nodded, going to check on that.  He waited until the higher ups got there.  "That Angel guy got his ass saved by a stripper from Sunnydale."

"Nighthawk?" the Mayor asked.  "He's a very engaging stripper."

The head of the SWAT team nodded.  "Yup.  He blew up the nuclear bomb."

"Will it matter?"

"No.  It's already reading down toward safe levels.  No contamination."  They smiled.  He pointed.  "He made a mess though."

"He has a free pass for this incident," the Chief of Police said.  "Did you warn him?"  He nodded.  "What did he say?"

"He'd see us the next time someone tried to kidnap his pretty ass," he said dryly.  "And he killed the arms dealer to get what he needed."

"The one from the club standoff?" the Commissioner asked.  He nodded.  "Good.  There was an international bounty on him."  He walked off.  "Never again."

"We'd all like that, sir."  He got the right people in to clean things up.  He knew demons who'd love the fresh bodies.  His mother's clan had a lot of them.


Angel stomped into the club, watching Xander dance.  He stared, growling at him.  When he came off, he stalked him.  The bouncers stopped him.  "I need to talk to Xander."

"You can wait until he gets dressed, sir.  No one in the back but employees."

Xander came out a minute later dressed.  "It's cool, guys.  I knew him from high school."  He stared at him.  "What?  Not like I'm traveling with her.  I probably should.  The last I heard she was having real problems in Cambodia."

Angel stared.  "You have no idea...."

"Shut up, Angel.  I have a better idea than you did.  If there had been more time, I could've disarmed that."  Angel gaped.  Xander stared.  "Is Doyle all right?"

"He'll be fine," he said dryly.  "How long have you been in town?"

"I haven't left yet and I've been holding patrols on this side of town the whole time."  He walked off.  "I'm going out for some air, Peter."

"Sure, kid."  He watched the huffy, really pale guy follow.  He knew the kid wasn't going to screw him.  The kid had been talking down to him like he did the idiots who wanted him.

Xander made it to the alley and leaned against some crates.  "Cordy fine too?"


Xander stared at him.  "Did you think that those new ones rising mystically got dusted?  I mean, seriously.  The whole circuit knew I was here.  If they didn't tell you there was probably a good reason."

"You're normal."

"Everyone's normal.  Some just get some training.  Like on the job training, memories downloaded into their heads...."  He stared.  "Beyond that, I've been letting you do your little thing atoning.  Cordy's happy enough so I haven't gotten in touch with her.  Doyle seems like a nice guy and he knew I was here.  We played a hand of poker the other day."

Angel growled.  "You can't...."  He vamped out.  "You smell different."

"No, I don't.  I don't have the taint of Sunnydale's hellmouth smarming me to keep down my natural scent."  He stood up, walking closer.  "I'm a lot better than you ever gave me credit for.  Or Buffy.  Or Willow."  He stared.  "Secondly, I got asked to save your bony, undead ass by seers.  Who knew Doyle would die."  Angel backed down.  "You might thank them.  Apparently they think you'll be a bigger prick without him.  Now, anything else?  Because I'm not really in a good mood now like I was earlier."

"Stripping?" he sneered.  "How much do you charge, Xander?"

"I don't.  Never have."  He shrugged.  "I'm not that sort of boy."

"You're not pure."

"No, I've had a few real lovers, none of them related to the club at all.  All commandos."  Angel gaped.  "None of the weaklings that were in Sunnydale but yeah."  He shrugged.  "What did you expect to happen?  Me to cry on you.  Me to sob that of course you're the big hero?  Please!  I've stopped international drug dealers and arms dealers.  You do your little thing and if something huge ass happens, then you can have someone ask me to help if you need it.  Otherwise, get over yourself."  Angel attacked him and Xander threw him into the crates.  He stared at the shards poking him.  "You knew better.  I told you before.  Some day you'll die and I'll be there."  He stared at him.  "That hasn't changed, even with a peace treaty."  He walked off.  "I hope Doyle gets better.  He seems like a nice guy."  He went back inside.

Angel groaned as he pulled himself out of the broken shards of crates.  He plucked most of the wood out of his body, silently thanking the Powers that none had hit his chest area.  He was still growling and scowling.  He stomped off, going back to his place.  Doyle had been released and was on the couch.  Cordelia was fussing over him.  "You knew he was in town," he told Doyle.

Doyle nodded.  "He handled half the stuff you haven't," he said bluntly.  "Or couldn't."

"Of course he did.  Xander's like that," Cordelia said dryly.  "Is he still stripping?"  Angel glared at her.  "I'll take that as a yes and you're nasty enough to see his appeal," she said dryly. She looked at Doyle.  "You sure you're fine?"

"They said so."

She walked off.  "Fine.  Let me check on things."  He smiled at her.  She stared back.  "I'm still mad that you did the Xanderish thing."   She left them to growl at each other.  Doyle wasn't in a pleasant mood.

Doyle stared at Angel.  "It's not just your duty, it never has been.  Besides, the city's too large for just us."

Angel glared harder.  "He's a normal human."

"So is she."

Angel gaped.  "What?"

"So is Cordelia."  He shifted on the couch.  "Are you going to say she can't help?  I actually got a vision of his past from the Powers after I met him and started to wonder.   They always wanted his help for things and then put him down because he's normal.  Which is why he never told anyone and he's done more dangerous things than you have," he said with a glare of his own.  "Without support like you get."  Angel backed off.  "The Powers don't seem to mind him."  He firmly closed his eyes.  "I'm to rest."

"Are you gambling?"

"The kitten poker circuit has a firm 'no IOU' system in place."

"Whatever."  He stomped off again.

Doyle shook his head.  "He acts like a teenage girl half the time."

"I do not," Angel called.

"Yes you do.  You're the princess Cordelia always wanted to be."  Angel let out a bitter snort and went to brood on the roof.  "Idiot vampire," Doyle muttered.  "Can't even admit that same draw was what caught him and Dru."  He made himself sleep.  He was exhausted and sick, which he hated being.  He was going to be a prick for days on end.


Xander looked up from stretching and stared at the person back there.  "Um, you're not supposed to be back here, sir."  He hit the panic button because he did not know that guy and something about him scared him.  "What are you doing in a restricted area?"

"I don't think they're going to mind too much."  He pointed his gun at him.  "Let's go, sir."

Xander stared at him.  Weighing his options.  Smartass vs handling it.  The gun was clearly loaded.  The bouncers should've been here by now.  Xander grabbed his bag and hit the button Jensen had given him.  It had a tracker built in, he knew that, and a microphone.  "Why?"  He needed to stall.

"Because I want you and no one is going to tell me no."

"If you hurt anyone else...."  The man laughed.  Xander stared.  "I'll fucking kill you myself."

"LAPD!" someone shouted.  The most nice sound at the moment.

"Back here and he has a gun!" Xander called.  The man walked back.  "I don't know him."

"Sir, have you been out front?"

"No, and if he hurt my coworkers I'm going to kill him."

"Sir, sit."  Xander sat on the table.  Well in range of a few weapons.  Not that either of them knew that.

"I did take your gun."  The man smirked at him.  "I planned this very well, boy."

Xander pulled out his from his bag.  "Really?"  The man stared.  "I'm not the light little boy most people think.  Not like I haven't fought for years.  Officer, what sort of mess was there?"

"Gassed, sir, and I've already called an ambulance.  Please don't."

"I'm not unless he does."  The officer called in backup.  "I'm not the nicest hostage.  Sorry."

"No, it's usually good when the hostages fight back," the officer assured him.  Xander nodded.  The idiot was still smirking.  Xander was not in a good mood.  More got there and went toward Xander.  "Not him.  The guy was trying to take him."

"He has the bigger gun."

Xander looked at them.  "I always have a big gun.  I draw psychos, like him."  The officers got the guy cuffed.

"You won't win."

"You'd be surprised."

"You'll be mine."

"No, not even if you kidnap me and rape me.  Then I'll just kill you harder."  The guy smirked and kicked one of the officers back into the group.  Xander threw a knife at him and scored a direct hit to his neck, making him gurgle for a minute until he could pull it out.  The officers took the opportunity to get him down and cuffed better.  Xander waved.  "Have fun.  I hear they like guys like you in prison."

"I'm charging him with assault."

The officer holding him stared at him.  "You must be psychotic.  Boy only defended himself."  He looked at him.  "Sir, stay back here?"

"Is it worse than the gas explosion at my graduation?"  They nodded.  "Then he'll pay."  They walked him off.  Xander unhit the button in his bag, taking a deep breath.  He looked at the officer waiting with him.  "What's his name so I can do a background check on him?"

"Guys like him...."

"He's not the first insane idiot who wanted me."

"His ID was clearly fake since it gave William Wade and the last name was French something with marks."

Xander nodded.  "American?"


"Huh.  My first from there."  He sat and scowled, then decided to finish stretching out for patrol.  Now he needed to kill something.  Maybe some demon club bouncing tonight.  He had an open invite there.


In Iran, Jensen shut down the feed from the emergency button, looking at Roque.  "Know him?"

"Yeah, real well.  We did a joint op mission with the asshole."  He went to tell the others.  And get a friend to go drive Wade off.  Xander couldn't kill him.  Hell, Roque himself might not be able to kill him.  "Clay, we have issues at home."


"Wade showed up wanting Xander."

Clay stared at him.  "You can warn him."

"He apparently took out some of the club."

"Huh."  He nodded.  "Call and tell him about him?"

"I was going to do that anyway."

"I'll tell Pooch to tell Jolene to watch out for him."  He went to do that.  Wade hated Pooch for some reason.  They weren't sure why and neither side was saying.  Roque walked off to talk to Xander about him.


Xander walked into the police station.  "You guys arrested the guy that gassed my dance club to get me."  The desk guy nodded.  "This was left in my apartment, probably by him."  He put the package down.  "In my weapons cabinet."


Xander stared at him.  "I'm seeing an army commando."

"Never mind.  Don't need to know."  He looked at it.  Then at him.  "Thank you for the gloving, sir."

"Hey, if his fingerprints are on it...."  He waved a hand.  "I figured you guys would want to know.  He also put some almond milk in my fridge for some reason but I've already tossed that yuppie trash out."

"That's fine."  He got one of the guys who had arrested him to come get that present to open it.  "Do we think it's explosive?"

Xander looked at it.  "Looks like a rifle case."  The desk guy stared at him.  Xander smiled.  "Yeah, I do know a bit about them myself."  The officer came out, giving him an odd look.  "He left it in my weapons cabinet at home."

"Huh."  He came over to get some of his own gloves and help him open it.  "That's pretty."

"I have better."  He shrugged.  "Want me to taunt him?  By the way, he's Canadian Special Forces."

"They have an army?" the officer asked.

"Yeah and they're some pretty bad guys from what my boy tells me," Xander said dryly.  He rolled his eyes.  "He said if I called him a boyfriend again he was going to shave me bald and then put a for rent sign on me."

"Sir, you know relationships like that aren't healthy."

Xander looked at him.  "My last three girlfriends all tried to kill me."

"Oh, never mind."

Xander smirked.  "He's army."  He shrugged.  "Beyond that, I'd kill his ass if he ever tried.  I nearly did for a hickey."  He looked at the officer.  "But thanks for the worry."

"With the ones you said you draw...."

"He's more than dangerous enough, yeah."  He looked at the gun then at him.  "Since I have better, you can tell him I'd only use it end his life then it'd end up in the harbor."  He smiled and walked off.  "Oh!"  He snapped his fingers and came back.  "There's a convention of weapons dealers in town."

"How do you know?"  Xander held up the pretty thing that had been in his pocket.  "Wow."

"Yeah.  So fair warning."  He walked off.  "Want me to tell my friend in the FBI about him too?"


"Can do."  Xander walked out.

"That is the toughest gay boy toy I have ever seen," the officer said.

The desk guy shook his head.  "He's not."  He looked at him.  "Remember the thing at the harbor this spring that got stopped and we aren't supposed to remember?"  He nodded.  "Same guy.  I was one of the responders."  The officer stared at him.  "He's a whole different sort of commando."

"Good!  It might save him."  He went to log the rifle into evidence and taunt the commando in lock up.


Xander walked up to Don Epps' desk, staring at him.  "Not now," Don moaned.  "There's a lot of problems and Colby's in trouble."

"Yeah, I looked stuff up first."  He held something up.  "What would the NSA paying him to pay that guy mean?"

"What?"  He took that information.  "David!"  He came over to look with Charlie and their boss.  "Boss, this is Xander Harris...."

"I heard."  He looked at him.  "You know former Agent Granger?"  Xander nodded and pointed at the paper.  He looked and went pale.  "Damn it!"

"Yeah, they tried to invade my town too," Xander said dryly.  "Only they were torturing people."  He grinned.  "I don't trust anyone NSA to not be fucked up."

"I worked with some that aren't," Charlie chided gently.

Xander looked at him.  "Really?  Are they analysts or field guys?"

"Analysts," he admitted.

"Other geeks so they probably got sucked or blackmailed in."  He looked at Don.  "Also, if you look at that guy he was supposedly getting paid by....  The money's never hit his account."

"He's on assignment," Don said.  Xander nodded.  "You're sure?"

"Yeah, my contacts all said he was."  He grinned.  "Also, to add to your daily stress and his because that could complicate his."  He held up the necklace.

"That arms dealer is back?" he demanded.

"I got news earlier that they're all back.  Oh, and I got a new one, who is psychotic beyond what normally occurs, and is former Canadian Special Forces.  LAPD has him."

One of the other agents stomped over.  "Wade's in LA?"

"Yeah, he gassed my whole club and left me a shiny rifle as a present.  Swore up and down I'd be his."  Xander shrugged.  "I got him in the throat with a knife to help the officers.  Who're you, sparky?"

The man swallowed.  "Who are you, sir?"

"Xander Harris.  Formerly of Sunnydale."  He smirked.  The guy looked him up and his eyes went wide then he gave Xander a doe eyed look.  "Hell no I'm not baiting that one for you."

"I wasn't going to ask.  The Secret Service said you're helpful."

"I was that time.  Right now I'm being helpful by telling you that they're in town."  He looked at Don.  Who shrugged.  "I've clearly got to move again."

"I thought you bought that place," Don complained.

"I did.  So if you know someone who wants a nice condo...."

"Maybe."  He shrugged.  "Find somewhere with security?"

"That's going to cost me millions of dollars.  Which I'd probably only get quickly on my back, which I'm not going to do.  I have had my eye on a place but it was outside call-in for the club.  Though that may not be a problem.  I may be banned."

"Possibly since he did gas your whole club to get you," Don agreed.  He stared at him.  "Any of those sort of things you've kept?"  Xander nodded.  "Sell them."

"If I do that, they'll probably come back."

"Tell the guys who send them that the scary commando is making you have to move and see if they'll buy you a place.  Use them like a girl would," David said dryly.  "Someone might give you one they already have.  Though if you find weapons, we want to know, kid."

Xander nodded.  "Fine."  He looked at Don Epps.  "Which means I'm going to a hotel to sulk."

"Wear a wire since we can't split focus like that?"

"I'll do it," the other agent said.

Xander stared at him.  "I don't trust you to save my ass."  The agent gaped.  "These guys, I know would stop someone if I said 'no I'm not screwing you'.  You might let them.  One of the Secret Service guys did."  He looked at Don again.  "Want me to go later since you're probably going to find him today?"  Don looked at the back of the paper and nodded, heading out with his team.  "Okay."

The regional supervisor looked at him.  "I know a few very good agents who could sit the surveillance and not let you get taken."

Xander stared at him.  "You also have two in your office from the program that got shut down and ended up sinking Sunnydale."

"We do?"  Xander nodded, pointing at them.  "How do you know?"

"They were both arrested for trying to kidnap me."

"Oh."  He glared that way.  "I can sit someone else."

Xander shrugged.  "Fine.  If they find it, it's from my boyfriend.  Who might complain at that word again but...."

"This Wade guy?" he asked.

"Bad.  Very bad," that other agent said.  "It's a very bad sign."

Xander nodded.  "I'm about to kill his ass if he comes near me again."  The agent smirked at him.  "Yes, I can.  I'm not the best, but I'm not that damn bad."  He waved a hand.  "I've kept in practice from Sunnydale things."  He walked off.  "Give me an hour to get prettier."

"Sure."  He waited until he was on the elevator to look at that other agent.  "I want his full dossier and on this Wade guy."

"I've got them both coming.  How does someone straight like Epps know him?"

"He met Granger when he got sent to investigate the gas explosion at their graduation.  I'm told that the agency overruled Granger's assessment about what caused it and that's why the last regional director died."

"Huh."  He nodded.  "Sunnydale has that rep.  Let's check the system to see if they've been emailed."  He nodded, going back to the office.


Xander walked up to someone, dropping the necklace on them.  "I do not need this stress right now.  I have an insane motherfucker of a commando from Canada who took down my whole club to kidnap my pretty ass."  The arms dealer gaped.  "I really do not need this stress.  I have to move.  I don't need to be wooed since the one I'd lean on to watch my back is out of town.  Just...  Not right now."  He walked off.

"Xander."  Xander looked at him.  "Which commando?"

"Wade?  Light brunette.  Insane.  Left me a sniper rifle," he said dryly.

"Hmm.  I know you like bigger things.  Why are all your weapons under FBI review?"

"Because I know Agent Granger and he said so."

"The one that got found to be dirty?" he asked.

Xander shrugged.  "I stay out of all that mess.  I went to talk to him about Wade earlier and he wasn't there.  So I'm finding a new place to live."

"Hmm.  You look stressed.  You have a pimple."

Xander felt it and popped it then took a napkin to wipe that off his fingers.  "Thank you for letting me know but I can't dance right now.  The club's closed."

"Most pretty ones like you would have sold that."

"Do I look like a girl to you?" he demanded.  "If you want me to I can."

"No, I'd rather you didn't."  He saw the looks his way.  "Sit and talk to us.  Have you seen the new rocket launcher system?  It's nicely concealed."

"Yeah, it shoots rockets that look like tiny baby pensises."  The arms dealer snickered.  "And are about as effective."  He sat down.  "I really do have to find a new place today."

"Where are you now?"

"Down by the little technical college."

"I've seen that area.  It's not bad."

"No and I have a few views that aren't other buildings and homeless guys.  The other apartments are going to apparently look really nice when they finish and worth about six times what mine was.  I bought mine before they upgraded them.  But now I have to move thanks to the insane guy."

"Yes, you probably should.  Wade is not one you screw with," he soothed, rubbing his arm.  "Don't pickpocket me this time?" he asked dryly.

"How else am I going to afford a new place?"

"Good point."  He smirked.  "Calm down.  Perhaps someone has one they can trade out for yours."  Xander pouted but nodded.  "You'll be safe here."

"I'll be safer if I use his present to snipe him."

"Well, yes, but can you really do that?"  Xander looked at him and nodded.  "You can?"

"Yeah, I've been taking range time.  That way I don't fall out of practice."

"How did you train yourself?"

He grinned.  "We had a self-defense patrol in high school."  The man moaned and nodded.  "So I learned from there."  Others came over and he stared at one.  "If Wade is still with you, I'm going to kill him if he comes near me."

"No, I fired him for taking out two of my guards for hating his shirt."

"Wade has set his sights on him," the first arms dealer said.  They all winced.  "He's not wanting to sell anything he's been given."

"Or the babies.  I'd miss my pet weapons since I can't have pets."

They all smiled and settled in to cheer him up.  A pouty lap candy boy was a sad thing to see.  And hey, the new ones didn't know to guard their wallets.  So Xander made some money too.  One even had a nice place he could switch with Xander.  A lot nicer, a little bit farther out, water views.  Big, uncovered windows only on the water side.  That would keep any surveillance off him for a while and somewhere like that one he could toss away.  Or burn.

Xander considered that and said he'd need to look at it to see if it needed a lot of work.  He'd only watched DIY shows and read the books.  They went to see it and Xander switched his for it and went home to pack.  The guys sent some minions to help.  Who reported back on the weapons he had hidden around the place that no one ever found for some reason.  Including a few bigger things.


Xander handed over the wallets to the head FBI guy.  "Here you go.  The ones I could get."

"That's fine, Xander.  Why do none have money?"

"The Secret Service said I could keep any money."  He grinned.

"That's not FBI rules."

"It's already went to a new couch," he told him.  "Because Epps would too."

"I would," Don agreed.  "Not like he's employed right now and we don't need to know what sort of wallet they were carrying.  Anything like buying would be done by wire transfer."

"They did wonder about where I had mine."

"I heard."  He smirked.  "Those others....  For some reason the wire went out?"

"Yeah."  Xander nodded.  "Because you guys could decide not to let me borrow for this upcoming spring thing.  Never put all your eggs in one basket."

"Good point.  What do you have at home?"

"No comment while your boss is standing here."  He looked at him.  "You won't be able to find it anyway."

"Are you selling them?"

"Hell no!  They're the only pets I have!"  He scowled.  The head guy gave him an odd look.  Don walked him off talking to him about spring things and weapons nuts.   He also promised to weed things down to humanly allowed things.  Xander shook his head and walked off.


Xander looked up from his fixing a t-shirt rip to see someone twinkling into the room.  "How in the hell?" he muttered.

"I think it's a problem."

"I know it's a problem, Cordy.  Though, you're not Cordelia."  He called Angel.  "It's Xander," he said in greeting.  "This floating Cordelia isn't Cordelia.  Well, gee, I've known her for years, Doyle.  We started kindergarten together and I dated her for a while."  She snickered.  "That's not Cordelia.  And it's a bad thing if it's taking over her."  He hung up and went to find one of the reference books he had, coming back.  She was in a trap.  She was complaining about that.  "Cordelia would complain about things other than her hair."  He chanted, reading it from the book.

"Latin, really?" she complained.

"Yes, Latin, really.  You'd know that if you were actually Cordy."  He went back to it.  She shrieked and faded.  Xander took the book with him to go to the hotel Angel had taken over.  He found them fussing over her.  "Is it actually her this time?"  Angel glared at him.  "Before it wasn't."

"How would you know?" Wesley asked.

Xander stared at him.  "I heard you were here.  I've known Cordelia since I was five and she used to be friends with us, Wes.  I can tell Cordelia's moods from across the room.  That wasn't Cordelia that floated in to see me."  Wesley gaped.  "There's some people I do know that well.  Willow's not one of them."  He helped her up, staring into her eyes.

"She said her name is Jasmine," Cordelia said.

Xander stared at her.  "Your voice is wrong.  You're inflecting on the wrong syllables.   Your cadence is off too."  She gaped.  "So, Jasmine, let's talk."

"Puny hellmouth knight," she sneered.  Xander did the exorcism again and she shrieked.  Angel got out of the way.  "You won't win.  This is my body now."

He stared at her.  "No it's not.  And if I have to destroy it to get you out of it, she'll thank me."  He found another one and did it instead.  This one he mostly knew by heart.

"Wrong word!" Wesley said quickly.

Xander looked and showed it to him.  "No it's not.  The next one was."  He went back to it and she laughed, then started to smoke.  She looked at herself, wailing and screaming as the smoke traveled up her.  She finally screamed and went up.  Then a brighter light hit and came down.  Xander stared at her.

"Dork.  Latin?  Really?"

"Yeah, Latin, really," he said with a smirk.  "Have a happy being me for a bit?"

"No.  She had bad ideas."  She stared at Angel.  "That sort of exorcism probably wouldn't hurt your soul."  She stared at Xander again.  "You're in such trouble."

"From the idiot who wants me or otherwise?"

"You have weapons and they know."

"They have known.  Epps knew damn well I didn't hand over everything."

"Uh-huh.  They're at your place."

"I'm not."  Xander called.  "If you're at my place, I'm not."  He hung up.  He stared at her.  She stared back.  "And?  Any other words of wisdom?"

"Yeah.  Things are going to go to hell sometime next year for your boy.  He'll go to the psycho one to get free."

"I'd kill his ass."

"Kill the psycho first?"

"Gladly."  He walked off.  "Have fun."

"Thanks, really."  She waved.  She looked at Wes.  "We had to resort to that one to get one of his out."

"Still didn't work," Xander said before leaving.


"That's the guy the poker circle was talking about?" Gunn asked Doyle.

"Yes.  That's Xander.  He's mostly a nice boy."  He smiled at her.  "Good to have at your back."

"Not your fault they treated you like Xander and didn't listen."  She glared at Angel.  Who walked off scowling.  "I know, you hate it when Xander has to show up," she quipped.  "He's got to rob you of your manliness points since he's so tough."

"No he's not," Angel called.

"Bet me," Doyle said.  They pulled Cordelia to the kitchen to test her with holy water and fuss at her.  They were guys, they did that.


Xander walked up behind the agent at his door.  "Hi."  He smirked and held up the warrant.  "Did you actually find anything?"  He grinned.  The agent growled.  Xander walked inside.

"I could've sworn we said you had to turn it all over," Epps said dryly.

Xander looked at him.  "Outside of my closet of stuff I was putting up earlier, what do you think you'll find?  I did mark one as being the guy's stuff."

"We saw and it was very nice he gave it to you."  He smirked.  "The rest?"

Xander shrugged.  "What rest?"


Xander stared at him.  "You broke the deal."  Don growled.  "Because when I needed something I couldn't get it."

"I heard about this spring."

"Hmm.  And it was locked against me."

"That was the higher ups."

"I don't care."

"Fine.  Whatever.  You still can't have artillery."

"Did you find any of mine?"

"Nothing beyond guns."

"Which are all registered."

"All but one."

"Yeah, I found that on the couch earlier."  He shrugged.  "I have the form e-filed."

Don walked off shaking his head.  "You're dangerous."

"Only if you fuck with me."  He grinned.  Epps glared.  Xander stared back.  "Hey, you guys deal with it.  I could use a vacation this spring."

"Is there going to be another one?" he demanded.

"There's always another one.  Especially with Wolfram and Hart still around."  Don glared.  "They're the bad things' lawyers and why does a law firm need a bio lab?"  Don gave him an odd look.  Xander nodded.  "It's on the second sub-basement floor."  He found that file on his computer and handed it over with a grin.  "That's also the names from their payroll, including two agents in here."  He grinned.

Don got to that part and had them arrested.  Then he looked at the other stuff.  "That is a biohazard lab."

Xander nodded.  "Yeah, it is."  He smirked.  "Now, get out of my house."

"You still can't have artillery."

"And you still broke the deal we had.  The lives of the people in LA and the world are more important than some piddling little laws made by people who paid part of themselves for power.  I don't care what any demon cocksucker said about anything, Epps.  At all.  By the way, you guys will have an 'ignore me' spell going for me soon."  He grinned.  "All but your team."  It went off and the agents wandered out.  "Have fun."  Don copied the files.  "I have it on DVD."

"Anything extra?"

"Don't know."  He shrugged and handed it over.  They left.  Don went to complain to his teammates but they agreed, sometimes the law had to ignore someone doing the same job that they couldn't.  Because the FBI could not deal with demons.  Though Wolfram and Hart clearly had issues that they needed to look in.  The higher ups hated that and shut it down on them within hours.   Don checked that list of names and sent things to the head of the FBI and a complaint that it had been shut down.

The next morning they came in to the head of the FBI, who was scarily pissed that it had been shut down and what they had on them was bothersome.  Though Xander was given permission to hoard anything he felt was reasonable as long as it was kept from normal people.  That wasn't given an explanation just a letter to give to him.

*** (sent to mytryk to here)

Xander took aim and sighed, calling.  It was nearly spring and it wasn't even the usual spring problems.  That was in a few weeks.  "I'm going to solve a problem for LA.  Because the seers said this guy is going to detonate a sonic nuclear device in about six months and we can't allow that.  Airport.  So incoming screaming TSA people."  He hung up and shot the plane's fuel tank with an explosive round.  It went up and the guy still inside died.  Wade was looking around, trying to spot him so he shot him too.

"I told you to leave me alone, fucker."  He cleaned up and headed off, calling Jensen.  "There are three seers here in LA that say whatever op you're on in Bolivia is a trap that will get you declared dead," he said in greeting.  "This is Xander.  Then put Clay on, Jensen."  He did that.  "It's a trap.  Three seers, one of them Angel's."  He listened.  "The guy that ordered it just died when his plane went up."  The fussing going on was loud.

"No, it's a trap.  It's meant to kill you.  Because if you do get KIA this time, and you won't be literally, Roque's going to turn on you.  Oh, and tell him I shot Wade but it wasn't fatal.  Unfortunately."  He hung up and faded into the shadows to get away from the sirens.  This was not a good day yet it was a pretty decent one.  He dropped a tape on someone's hood, giving him a pointed look.  That agent was a half-demon and knew him.  He got a nod back.  "Even Doyle saw it," he said quietly.  He left with only him having seen him.


Clay hung up and looked at them.  "It's a trap.  Someone's setting us up to die."

Jensen was looking at the source of the intel.  "Who is Max?"  He got into a file that was sealed.  "Huh.  Yeah, it's a trap."  He let them see it.  They all growled.  "So do we do him anyway and then fade back home?"

"Yes.  He's still a drug dealer," Clay said.  "We'll change the op though.  No flight support."  They nodded and set up a smoke screen to give them the cover they needed.  A small fire.  It was easy enough for them.  The pilot wouldn't know any different when they called in the no go orders.  Clay pulled Roque aside.  "Xander also said that you'd be betraying us."

Roque stared at him.  "I don't know why."

"You'd better not."  He stared at him.  Roque shook his head.  "Good."  They went to do their job.

Roque thought about that, and later that night sent a message to Xander, who apparently sent it to Doyle.  Because it was Doyle who answered.  He stared at the details and nodded.  "Damn it."

Clay looked over and snatched the phone to read that.  He looked at Roque again.  "It would've been temporary and using her."

"So?"  He took it back.  "I...."

"We'll work that out," Clay said firmly.  "When we go on leave in LA."

"Reports out of LA say that a sniper took out a private plane carrying a big name weapons dealer," Jensen said from behind his screen.  "And injured Wade.  It was a chest shot but a few inches too high, hit his lung."  Cougar grimaced.  "Xander said he didn't account for enough wind resistance."

"Excuse me?" Roque demanded.  "Xander?  Our Xander?"  Jensen nodded, letting him see that report.  "Find out why."

"According to a tape one FBI agent logged in," he said, getting into that system to find it again.  "And this is higher up eyes-only.  The guy on the plane, who was Max, was going to set off a nuclear device in LA in a few months."  Clay stared at him.  "And frame us."  He let them hear that report.

"That's Doyle's voice," Roque said.

When it was done, Jensen got into another file.  "He apparently had enough weapons in the plane that when the tank went up, it all went up and it dented the tarmac but it was away from anything but an empty garage.  They think explosives rounds were used on both of them.  But Wade was wearing body armor."

"Should've done a head shot," Cougar said bluntly.

"Probably," Roque agreed.  He took it to look over, grimacing.  "When did he learn how to do that?"

"I'm guessing here, but since his range qualifications listed with his firing range list him as a short range sniper that makes qualification level shots...." Jensen said dryly, taking his laptop back.

"It does?" Pooch asked.  Jensen nodded, letting them see that file.  "Damn, he is.  Short range, not long range.  He's one tough damn stripper."

"He's been bouncing recently because the of the way Wade gassed the club," Jensen said.  "He was complaining about that the other day.  Of course part of that was that he's making less money now and has to deal with higher level idiots who use the underground bar."  Clay moaned.  "Yup."  They unsetup camp and left.  It was a long drive back to the US.  They had already told their check-in person that they were compromised and had handled the mission another way, plus that they knew someone was trying to trap them.  The higher up had hung up on Clay so Clay had called in someone who they had worked for in the past, who agreed and said it was safe, all the plots were being exposed.

So they were on their way home.


Xander looked up from his stretching for a jog when he heard, "For a stripper, you're one tough guy."  Xander grinned at the voice's user.  Clay moved closer.  "That was stupid and way too open."

"The other dealers rewarded me nicely."  He grinned.  "I'm out for my daily run."

"You need to lift weights.  You don't have the muscle mass that most bouncers do."

"I don't take steroids either."  He stretched his other side.  "Joining me?"

"Keeping Roque from growling at you."

"That happens."  He finished his stretching.  "I'm doing three miles."

"Only three?" Clay snorted.

"Extra resistance running on sand."

"Good point."  He ran with him to make sure he wasn't bothered.  And so he could chew on the kid some more for being so open about things.

When they got back, Xander showed him the new place, which was a lot nicer.  Roque and the others found them once Clay told them where it was.  "Why did you move?" Jensen asked.

"Because Wade broke in and left me a rifle."  He smirked.  "I traded with one of the arms dealers.  He used it to take out six rivals and burned the building."

"This is a lot nicer and safer," Pooch said, looking around.  "The only good vantage points would be from the water.  Bigger kitchen."  He opened the pantry.  "Nicer gun cabinet too."  He closed it.

Xander tossed him a bug finder.  "Please?"

"We have better," Jensen said, getting theirs out.  "Why are we paranoid?"

"The FBI went back on that deal you guys set up."

"Shit," Clay muttered.

"Right before I had to find something to blow up the nuclear bomb."  He smirked.  "So, no, not trusting them.  And the last time they were here it was because of Wolfram and Hart.  Speaking of, Cougar, light that candle beside you please?"  He did and someone somewhere shrieked.  "Anti-scrying."  He grinned and walked into the kitchen.  "Am I mangling dinner since Roque said I can't cook?"

"If you want," Clay agreed.  Jensen came back with two.  Clay looked at them.  "Both private issue.  You can find them at spy shops."

"There's a spot of magnetic interference," he said quietly.  Clay went to look with him.  They found it and made sure it wasn't harmful.  Roque was too tense to deal with it if it was a bomb.  It was a jammer of some sort.  "Xander?"

"That was original to the house."

"Okay."  They searched the other areas, finding the artillery pantry too.  That... was a bit scary but Jensen just nodded and walked off.  "Hey, they're not under the couch anymore."

"What?" Clay complained, following him.

"They used to be under the couch."

Xander took the bug jammer to look in the bedrooms.  He found another few and two in his.  He handed them over and the finder back too.  "Three are FBI issue," Clay said, stamping on them.  They froze the others.  They could retune them and use them for their own jobs.

Roque looked around and came back.  "Nice view."  Xander grinned.  "Did you ask?"

"I pouted.  They offered to switch with me.  Even they didn't like Wade."  Roque nodded he agreed, moving closer, running a hand around Xander's side.  "Ow!"  He flinched away.  "Sorry, new stitches."

"I thought you'd be working a safer job," Roque said dryly.

"I would have if we hadn't had gang kids in last night trying to prove they were badass."  He got away from the groping hands.  "Let me finish dinner?"

"Hell no.  Pooch, come cook."  He walked him to the bathroom, Clay following.  Xander's side was stitched.  A lot.  "Tell me it was some over-eager young resident," he demanded.

Xander looked then at him.  "I would've used less.  Or staples."

"I probably would've used more per inch," he said, staring at them.  "Any idea how Wade heard about you?"

"Yes, but if I kill his stupid brooding ass, the Powers will punish me," Xander quipped.  Roque stared at him.  "He also told them I like weapons."

"Hmm.  What do you think would happen if I killed his stupid ass?"

"They might make you the new protector of LA?"  He shrugged and winced.  "It's time for aleeve."

"I didn't notice that at all when you stretched or when we ran," Clay said.  He looked at them.  "Last night?"

"Night before.  I was off last night."

"Huh.  They're clean and in good shape."

"I know how to take care of stitches, guys.  Really."  They both scowled and he sighed.  "You're treating me like lap candy again."

"You are," Roque assured him with a smirk and a kiss.  "C'mon, learn how to cook better from Pooch and Jensen."  Xander huffed but went to the kitchen.  "He's mine," Roque told Clay.

"Sure, I can back you up, but we're still going to talk."  Roque walked past him, going to look at the large walk-in closet.  Plenty of room for weapons and a nice non-locking case for his knives.  That was sweet of his boy.  He even had some clothes in his size in the closet.  "You went shopping for me?" he called.

"No.  It got sent from Jolene.  She said you left it there and she wasn't your wife."  Pooch cackled.

Roque walked out.  "They still have the tags on them."  Xander shrugged, looking clueless.  "Seriously?"

"It might be the clothing fairy.  She's shown up once or twice with shirts for me."  He shrugged again and got back to chopping things for Pooch.

"Was it your ex the clothing fairy or some other one?" Jensen joked.

"No, I think it was some other one.  Cordy would wake me up if she walked into my bedroom and put stuff in my closet.  Since I woke up and they were in there nicely hung up I'm guessing it might be a literal present fairy."

"Is there an ammo fairy?" Clay asked.

Xander looked at him.  "Want me to summon one to ask?"

"No thanks."  He got something to nibble on and went to check out the cable.  "You don't pay for cable?"

"No, I don't.  Not on that tv.  I do on the big one downstairs."  Clay went to look and sent up a 'football game jesus' prayer.  Xander grinned.  "He left it because it's four years old."

Roque went to look, staring at the large screen projection tv.  "Damn."

Clay nodded.  "With nice, comfy seats."

"If we're in the states for the Super Bowl, we're coming here."  He checked out the rest of the downstairs and then went back up there.  "Who gave you the motorcycle?"

"Won it in a raffle on the beach."  He pointed.  "Some tattoo shop was holding a raffle."

Roque stared at him.  "They gave away a soft tail?"

"Yeah.  Papers on it are in the drawer beside your nuts."  Roque found them and read it over.  "Now, the car was from the present fairy but I think I know which one put it down there.  I'm pretty sure it was a thank you present too."

Roque looked at him.  "Why do you think that?"

"The email I got said it was one."

Roque walked off shaking his head.

"Did they pay insurance?  That's got to be really high," Jensen asked.

"Actually, not that much.  It's still a sedan, just a really nice one.  And new.  The insurance for the motorcycle, if I ever drove it, would be outrageous."

"It's your age," Pooch told him.

"I know."  He handed over the onions.  "All yours."  He washed his hands and the knife.  He called his boss.  "What's my schedule like for the next week?  Because I have some friends who're just in on leave.  Army.  No, not grunts.  Because I can't tell you that."

Jensen took the phone.  "We're Special Forces."  He handed it back.  "That solves that."  He grinned and got back to helping cook.

Pooch shook his head.  "I would've figured you for a showier job than bouncer, Xander."

"Yeah but I can't be a model.  I'm not vain.  And I can't be a boy toy because I'd have to comment."  His boss cackled at that.  "I would.  Anyway... I know I have tonight off?"  He winced.  "Yes I do.  I usually have tonight off.  No, I didn't get any such call.  I was off on my evening run and the answering machines isn't blinking.  Maybe you called Michael because you get us mixed up."  He rolled his eyes.  "No, this is Xander.  The other young one.  Yeah, the one that got stitches...."  He huffed.  "Really?  Cool.  Thanks, boss."  He hung up.  "The ER said I couldn't work for a week."  He grinned.

"How did you get stabbed?" Pooch demanded impatiently.

"Some young gang kids wanted to prove they were badass and tried to rob the bartender.  I was the only guy not on break and the LAPD said I did a very nice job making them fucking sorry."  He walked off.

"According to the news there were five gang members with knives, one with a gun, and he took them out with their knives and a barstool," Jensen told him.

Pooch looked over at Xander, who could only grin.  "Uh-huh.  Are you infected with some of Roque's people skills?"

"I don't think that can be passed on that way."  He made sure the phone was off and strolled back to change the sheets.  Those were...fragile.  They might rip easily.  Of course, that meant he had to do laundry.  Which he really needed to do anyway.

Pooch and Cougar shared a look and Cougar shook his head, stalking the kid for now to keep him out of trouble since Clay and Roque had wandered off on a beer run or something.


Roque pushed Angel against a wall, holding him up.  "I heard what you said about my bitch."  Angel vamped out and struggled.  "I know, supposedly tougher and all that.  Yay."  He slammed him against the wall again.  "I will fuck you up if you ever come near Xander again.  No tempting others to take him.  No tempting people to arrest him.  Nothing.  Am I clear?" he growled.  He slammed him against the wall again.

"Boys," Doyle called.  "Play nicely before I get another vision headache."  He walked out to look at Angel.  "You even act like a teenage girl sometimes.  Are you that jealous of him?"

"He's nothing," Angel snorted.

"Really?  Because I'm pretty sure my boy can beat your ass.  If not, I sure as hell can and then all your brooding goes to waste."  Angel gaped.

"Personally I think he's channeling Buffy," Cordelia said as she joined them.  "Want a stake?"

"Why?  It's over much too soon," Roque said with a smirk for her.  "Did you buy him new clothes?"

"I've wanted to but I'd never spend money on Xander.  Even when we were dating I'd never have spent money on him.  That's not how it works."  She smiled at Angel.  "Even I got the vision that you're going down the wrong path."  Doyle gave her a pat on the back.  "Yes, I'm still mad at you for passing them on."  She looked at Angel.  "Maybe you're not Angel.  You're Buffy in Angel's body."  She shrugged.  "I don't care.  Straighten up or the Powers are going to find another champion."  She walked off rubbing her head.  Clay nudged her and handed her something.  "What's that?"

"Commando strength advil."

She smiled, taking two and handing it back.  "I'm sure his ugly shirts will be doing it to you too."  She went back inside.

Doyle looked at him.  "If it works, we might both kiss your feet," he said in his gentle brogue.   He looked at Angel and walked off.  "I've had enough.  I'm going to the bar to drink myself into a coma."  Gunn went with him.

Wesley leaned out.  "If you're going to stake him, remember that anything on him will go to dust as well and we might need something on him."  Roque let Clay pat him down for things and toss them to him.  "Thank you, boys."  He smiled.  "Xander called and said that was his fun and dinner's nearly ready."  He pulled back inside.

"I can go hungry tonight," Roque decided, pulling out a knife.


Xander blinked awake, staring at Clay.  "I'm not sleeping with you."

"Roque's back."

"Tell him blood is for the job, not for bed.  I can stand it on the job but not that personally."  He covered his head again.  "Have fun?"

"A lot."  He went to tell Roque that.  "He said blood is for the job, not for bed."

"I can agree with that."  He finished the jug of milk and walked that way.  "Later."

"Have a good night."  Clay found an open spot to sleep and laid down.

Roque climbed into bed and yelped when he got bitten.  "What was that for?"

"I told you that was my fun."

"I left him alive so you can torture him."  He settled in and Xander lounged himself across his body.  "Am I a pillow?"


Roque smirked.  "You might pay for that tomorrow."


"Why not?"

"Because I'm fucking sore."

"What did you do to get sore there?"  Xander stared at him.  "Did you tear some of the stitches?"

"Yes, when I ran to get away from the hot peppers Pooch fed us."

"So you shit fire all night?" he teased.

"Yes, damn it."  He snuggled in.  "Comfort me."

"If I must."

"Yeah, if you ever want laid this trip, you will."  Roque snorted but let him cuddle.  Xander clearly felt terrible with the way he was cuddling.  Once Xander was asleep Roque heard a fart and winced.  "What did he feed you?  Damn!"  He removed the blanket and sheet, plus pulled over the air freshener can.  "I'm going to get Pooch back for both of us."  There was another one and he stared.  "No wonder you felt like you shit fire all night."  He got Xander up and pointed.  "You need to take something for that."  Xander sulked at him.  "I know it's not your fault but damn!"

Xander huffed and went into the bathroom.  "I'm going to sleep in the damn tub."

"Go sleep on Pooch to pay him back for those peppers."  He sprayed the air freshener.  Once Xander was done he took him to the room Pooch was taking up, kicking Pooch out to go sleep in their room in punishment.  He also got Xander something for his gas problem and the upset stomach.  Gas-x and pepto, it was the field cure when you couldn't just let out a fart because people might find you and kill you.

Pooch complained and sprayed more air freshener.  "Boy needs to toughen his insides up," he complained.  He opened all the windows too.  "He's worse than Clay."


Cougar kept Pooch from the kitchen the next morning, shaking his head.  "It wasn't that bad.  Jolene likes it," Pooch complained.  Cougar shook his head again.

"No way in hell your woman eats that fire you fed them," Roque said dryly.  "I called and told her and she said there's no way you ever fed that to her.  Or else she would've skinned your balls."

"My wife loves me more than yours does."

"I don't see a ring," Xander said as he stumbled out.  "Nor am I hoping for one.  If I want one that badly I'll buy my ass one and flash it all over town to get away from people who want me."  He walked around Cougar.  "There had better be soda," he growled at Jensen, who handed him his.  Xander hummed, walking off drinking it.  "I'm going to shower."

"Sure," Roque agreed.  He shook his head.  "He's a grump this morning.  Clearly it's because he shit fire all night."

Pooch glared at him.  "The Poochman did not make it that hot."

"Bullshit," Jensen said dryly.  "Even I shit fire and I can eat nearly anything.  The Pooch made mustard gas in beefy form."  He got into the fridge.  "What happened to the milk?"

"Suck it up," Roque told him.

Cougar rolled his eyes, finding the keys and taking Jensen to pick up soda and milk.  "Xander, what type of soda do you want?" Jensen called.

"Diet Pepsi."


"Get some regular coke too," Clay complained as he came out.  "Some of us don't drink diet."

Jensen nodded, leaving before he said something.  Not that Xander needed to watch his figure but he guessed he was building muscle or something.

Clay looked at Pooch.  "What did you cook?  It stinks."


"Uh-huh.  No wonder," Roque said, opening up more windows and finding the air spray can.  Even after nearly ten hours the house stunk.

"It's not that bad," Pooch complained, calling his wife.  She'd sympathize with him.

Clay leaned next to the phone.  "He made his super hot burritos and it kept Roque from getting laid, Jolene."

They all heard the cackle and her chewing on her husband's ego.  Cougar and Jensen came back with the requested soda and other staples that Xander hadn't had.  Then Jensen got to work on breakfast.  It was always safer to let him cook.

Clay carried in a plate and a fresh soda for the kid, getting a grin instead of a pouty look.  "You feel that bad?"

"I feel like crap."

"Just the peppers?"  Xander shrugged.  "Cougar," he called.  He came in.  "Check his stitches."  Cougar nodded, coming over to check the stitches and his forehead.  The boy got glared at.  "Some snap?"

"Last night when I ran to the bathroom.  They're not bleeding or really the deep ones."

"You need your antibiotic," Cougar said.

"They didn't give me any."  Cougar gave him a dirty look.  "In my med kit, which is in the other bathroom because it's easier to clean up in there, I've got an older one."  Cougar went to get it and came back shaking his head.  "Too old?"  Cougar nodded.  "Damn it."

"Got a doc you like?" Clay asked.

"You can ask Gunn if their doc can get me some."  Clay nodded, going to do that.  "Thank you for breakfast."

"Welcome, kid."  He and Cougar walked out.  Gunn was barely up but he said their doctor hated Xander's blood for some reason.   "What's wrong with your blood?" Clay called.

"Mermaid taint," floated out.

"What?" Roque demanded.

"Swim coach."

"Does that mean someone exposed you to mermaid blood and stuff?" Jensen called.

"Yup.  They detoxed most of it."

"We can go to a quick care place," Clay decided.  Xander moaned.  "Eat.  We'll go in an hour or so."

"Yes, mom."

Clay rolled his eyes, looking at Roque.  "I hate going to the doc's just as much," he quipped.  "Or don't you remember having to hold me down?"

"Yup, I do."  He walked off shaking his head.  "You two are a lot alike."

Cougar nodded, getting out of the way so Jensen could put bowls on the table.


"What sort of work gets you stabbed, young man?" the doctor asked as he looked at the stitches that remained.

"I'm a bouncer at a bar."

"Like that movie _Roadhouse_?"

Xander smiled.  "Little bit less classy.  There were some gang kids trying to rob the bar."

"Hmm.  Which hospital ER did these?"


"They're crap at it but that's a teaching hospital so I guess it's reasonable."  He gently touched.  "No antibiotic?"


"You clearly need one."  He smiled at him.  "A few could be replaced."

Xander waved a hand.  "If I need to I can redo them.  I have other scars."

"I can see them."  He looked at him.  "Fight club?"

"No, not really.  I got into a few.  I was bully bait and things."  He shrugged.  "I stripped for a while too but the LAPD hated rescuing me from the arms dealers I drew."  The doctor gave him a strange look and he grinned.  "It happens."

"Sometimes.  Anything of note I should hear?"

"No, why?"

"I've heard of someone like you that has some...shall we say DNA abnormalities."

"There was a swim coach in high school that infected us with strange DNA to make us swim faster.  He basically put it in the sauna so we'd soak in the blood.  They detoxed all mine.  I'm still human."

"Are you sure?  It could matter to drug interactions."

Xander nodded.  "It's less than three chromosomes, Doc.  I may be a mutant but I'm not a demon."

"Why would he worry?"

"Because some people are judgmental asses?" Xander guessed.  "He hates me anyway because I hang with Gunn's people and do the same job but from a different viewpoint."

"Huh.  So you are that Xander."  Xander nodded.  "Bouncing?"

"Yeah.  After the last psycho gassed the club I was stripping in I can't go back."  He shrugged and winced.  "Not my fault.  As for that doc, he hates me because I'm not part of the gang basically.  He considers me spoiled for having two alchie parents.  Apparently having my best friend and soul's light taken by a vamp and then later people I knew isn't a good enough reason to fight."

"I think it is," he admitted.  He wrote out the prescription.  "Anything you react to?"

"No.  Not yet."  He grinned and took it.  "Thank you."

"Welcome.  Try to find a better job?"

"Unless I start hand-making weapons, there's not a whole lot I'm really qualified to do."

"Good point."  He smirked at him.  "Try to take it easy."

"One of the visitors made burritos with peppers.  I ripped them running for the bathroom."

The doctor laughed.  "That's bad."

"So was the stink."  The doctor nodded and let him go.  Xander walked out, paying for the visit.  He had insurance but it wasn't great.  It was cheap and it covered major injuries, which is what he needed.  Clay walked him out to the car and drove them to the pharmacy.  Fortunately it was a cheap antibiotic.   They went back to the place, finding Epps waiting on them.  "You get that all straightened out?" Xander asked.

"Yup.  He said thank you for the help."  He stared at the kid through his sunglasses.  "If you *ever* do what you did at the airport, I know people who would love to recruit you and will be."

"You think they'd let me hunt bad things there?" Xander asked dryly.

"I don't think you could make it through Special Forces training," Clay admitted.  "It's meant to break you down and you'd fight it."

"Did his team teach you how to do that?" Don asked.

"No.  My uncle took me deer hunting when I was seven.  I got mine, he didn't but he claimed mine."  Don stared at him over the edge of his sunglasses, giving him a dirty look.  Xander shrugged.  "And I've kept in practice at the gun range."

"I saw your qualifications they keep.  Which is why I know someone in Fugitive Recovery who'd love to recruit you for a few years in the service and then to follow him."  He stood up instead of leaning against his car.  "You could've warned me further ahead."

"No I couldn't.  You guys would've stopped me and that would've gotten this team dead on purpose.  He was playing games to get the US back into a few wars.  Your current boss let him go a few years ago for supposed lack of evidence."

"You sure it was supposed?"

"Your boss knows a lot of contacts in that world who would love to get Max out of their way.  That's why they paid me rewards."

"I saw your bike."

"I won that in that Venice Beach drawing."

"They ran two," Don said dryly.

"I know.  They ran a second because a non-biker won it and someone donated another one.  The sedan was though."

"Whatever.  Don't do it again."

"Sure, next time I'll find some other way to kill the psychotic mother fucker arms dealer and the psycho minion who wanted me."

"He's not dead."

"No, but he's still in the hospital," Xander quipped back.  "And I'll be warned when he gets out."

"It should be next week," Don said dryly.

"He comes after me to woo me in his special way and I'll send him back," Xander promised.

"On a joint mission, Wade's team killed a whole village and we were ordered not to stop him," Clay told him.  "We did, and got our asses busted for it."

Jensen leaned out.  "If we're talking about Wade, he tried to call and Roque told him how happy Xander was being his.  So we'd all kill him really hard for him."  He grinned at Xander.

"I can kill him," Xander promised.  "I can go ask a few poker contacts for some blood and turn him into goo."

Jensen looked back inside then at him.  "Roque's got that pleased growl going.  I think you're going to be pounced."

"I'm still sore from the peppers."  He looked at Don.  "At least I warned you.  I could've let you guys wonder and investigate with the way you guys broke that deal."

"That was not my call," Don said firmly.

Xander looked at him.  "You're a cog in the machine that did it, Don.  Why should I trust any of you?  Not like you guys did anything when Angel told you I had more weapons dealers after me.  Or when Angel tried to sell my ass to a higher demon who was running drugs.  I can only guess he was sure I could take him out."

Don scowled.  "When did this happen?"

"Few weeks ago.  Some of you guys heard about it and didn't even tell me.  I found that out later.  Apparently they go on the 'even one drop' principle since I got infected with some demon blood in high school."

Don relaxed some.  "I won't lie and say that some of them aren't idiots.  Or lazy.  If I hear about that, they'd be having a long talk with one of my team."  He stared at him.  "If I hear, I'll tell you."

"You're one team.  And not all of your team would."


"Not just her."

"Damn it."  He nodded.  "We'll be having a talk about that later, kid."  He stared at him.  "When's the upcoming big problem?"

"Few days."

"Who is going to be there?  Can we help?"

"No.  It'll take artillery.  I can handle it."

"Will Angel let you handle it?" Clay asked.

"Do I care?"

"No, probably not.  Though Angel's in bad shape."

"He can sip a few people's worth and heal nearly anything," Xander told him.  He looked at Don again.  "I trust most of the underground more than I do you guys because I know that they'll give me information when it's critical and they won't try to stop a battle without a reason."

"If we see a battle going on and we think there's a reason we wouldn't."  Xander stared at him.  "Some might fire on both sides."

"Most of them.  And most of the ATF."

"Yeah, they mostly would too.  So tell *me*."

"I did tell you."

"Thank you but give me more warning?"

"Sure, if I can."

"Thank you."  He got into his car and drove off, going back to talk to his teammates.

Clay looked at him.  "You good?"

"I'm pissed off but it happens."  He shrugged and walked inside.  Pooch handed him a glass of milk.  "Thank you."  He drank it and two of his antibiotics, heading downstairs.   "I'm going to watch the news."

Roque watched him go.  "I don't like him being pissed at the government."

"He has every right to be pissed with the government," Clay assured him.  "They broke that deal.  They knew he was going to be taken and did nothing by what he just said."  Jensen waved a hand, letting him see that file.  "Sent that to Epps?"


"Thank you."  He looked at Roque.  "Maybe he needs more than a strong shoulder to claw up during sex.  Even I know that and I'm rotten at relationship stuff."

"I didn't think we were in that sort of one," he muttered as he walked.  He found Cougar down there with him and the kid not being happy but not really unhappy either.  He sat down and Xander leaned over to put his head on his shoulder.  "You still feel miserable?"  Xander nodded.  "Why?"

"I'm sore and I suck."

"You don't suck.  You bite."  Xander hit him.  "Ow," he joked, smirking at him.  "I should spank."

"I'd probably break and bleed if you did."  He resettled himself on Roque's shoulder.  Roque relaxed and let him but didn't cuddle.  Xander looked up at him.  "You're a failure at comforting, you know that right?"  He put the arm around him and Roque huffed but let him.  "Even I need cuddles sometimes."

"Fine."  Xander got up and went up to the tub.  "What?" he complained.

Cougar stared at him.  "When one's amor needs cuddles, the thing to do is give it to them."

"Not like I'm used to women who want more than a long ride."  He went to talk to his boyfriend but found Jensen in chatting with him about something geek related.  Roque went to make lunch.  His boy needed to eat.  He had lost weight.

Clay looked at him.  "He's a lot like Jensen's darker side," he said quietly, walking into the kitchen.  "You've seen Jensen calming down more than once I'm sure."  Roque nodded, still chopping lettuce for a sandwich.  "Same thing."

"Cougar doesn't cuddle him."

"Cougar doesn't need to cuddle him.  Your boy grew up surrounded by girls.  Jensen didn't."

"Whatever," he muttered.  He finished up and brought in the lunch, getting a smile.  "Still sore?"

"Yup.  I don't even want to think about eating stuff that'll make me crap."  He nibbled on a chip.  "Thankfully this'll take days."  He gave him a slight smile.  "Thank you for lunch."

"Welcome."  He left him alone to soak.  He looked so *young* in there.  It was almost making him feel dirty for debauching him.  He went down to watch the news.  Jensen was good at that soothing shit, he could help Xander.

Jensen peeked in.  "I bought ice cream earlier."

"I'd kiss you but it might get you stabbed," Xander joked but he was grinning.

"I'll take my chances.  I can outrun him."  He handed over a bowl and a spoon.  "You still crapping fire?"

"It feels like it."  He dug in, ignoring his lunch for now.  Ice cream always came before food in his book.  Jensen came in to chat and cheer Xander up.  It was nice.


Xander looked at the current huge problem.  "Clearly I needed the bigger one this time," he muttered.  He spotted Angel and Buffy fighting it and sighed.  He plucked something different out of the rental car's trunk and slammed it, making sure it locked before heading down to help.  Doyle was giving him an odd look so he undid the case and pulled out something.

"Yo, duck," he called.  Buffy dove out of the way.  Angel took the time to glare at him.  Pity.  He blew the small rocket into the demon's stomach, making it scream and flail, which knocked Angel out when it slapped him.  Buffy jumped up to kill it.  Xander dropped the tube.  "That's a beheader, Buffy."  She nodded and did that.  He looked at Doyle.  "Next time warn me it's huge and I'll bring something to splat the sucker all over the city if I have to."

Doyle smirked but Wesley snickered.  "I'm sure you could."

"It's under the couch."  He walked down there, staring at her.  "You need a shower."

"Yeah, I do.  Were you late?"

"Angel never told me."  He shrugged.  "Apparently he's still on his kick where he tried to sell me to a demon recently."  She gave him an odd look.  "Drug lord demon actually."  She shuddered.  "Apparently he thought I needed to kill the fucker hard."  He pointed.  "Rental car?  So I don't care about the goo?"

She looked.  "Cops."

"Yay."  He shrugged and walked up there.  "Hi, guys."  He grinned.

"It's you," one said flatly.  He looked down at the mess then at him.  "Is that this spring's thing we have to ignore?"


"Can you kinda go home now and go back to being a stripper?"

"I can't.  After the one psycho gassed my whole club, they won't let me.  I'm too dangerous."  He grinned.  "But I'm bouncing now."

"Yeah, I remember your last night of work there," one said with a wince.

Xander looked down at his leg then up at the officer.  "I'm fine.  My boyfriend growled like hell though."  He smirked.  "Anyway, we're going to fade.  Can I have the rental car?"

"We got told there's weapons in the trunk," the second officer said happily.

"Well, yeah, but it's a rental car.  Who knows who cleans these suckers out."

"Is there a dead arms dealer like last time?" that officer asked.

"No, this time I heard ahead and got some from a contact."  He grinned.  "He was very happy to pay me the poker winnings he owed me that way."  The three officers stared at him.  "Really."  Buffy walked up there.  "I can give you guys the weapons but can we fade?"

"Sure," that officer that knew Xander decided.  "That'd work.  The higher ups don't want to know about any of this."

"Cool."  Xander popped the trunk.  "The two assault rifles are legal.  So's the grenade gun."  They nodded, taking them anyway.  "Hey," he complained.

"Find a safer job, kid.  One that doesn't draw psychos."

"Then he can't date," Buffy said dryly.

"My boyfriend would hate that," Xander agreed.  "Especially since he kinda runs into them on military oriented assignments."  The officers all moaned but let them go.  Xander looked at Buffy.  "Want my shower or the Hyperion's?"

"I was staying there but sure you can make dinner."

"Okay.  Wes, I'll bring her back later."  Wesley smiled and waved at that.  He got in and drove off.

Wesley looked at Gunn.  "I never realized that how poorly we treated the boy caused him to lose his mind."

Gunn snickered.  "Yeah, I think he has."  They looked at the mess.  "I say we leave it."

"We should probably at least attempt to burn it."

"It's dry and we're under a burn advisory, English."

"Good point.  I don't know of many things that could eat a corpse that size."  He looked at Angel, who Doyle and Cordelia were fussing over then back at Fred.  "Do you know anything that would eat the body quickly?"  Buffy showing up suddenly had sent them out of the field of battle to rest so they could jump in when Angel or she were tired.

"Not right off the top of my head, unless we got an industrial sized vat of hydrochloric acid from somewhere and used it that way."  She shrugged.  "That would ruin the field though."  She pushed her glasses back up.  "I don't know.  Maybe we should just call in the body and let the officials do it?"  She pointed at the watching person.

"Brilliant idea, Winifred," Wesley decided.  "Let's all go home," he called.  They nodded and got Angel into the car.  "We'll have to find a way to get him some blood to make sure he doesn't linger with the head injury in case there's repercussions."

Cordelia looked at him.  "There won't be many.  And if so, I'll point them at Buffy."  She smiled.  "Maybe his year of living dangerously is done with."

"We can all hope Xander's boy doesn't come back," Gunn said.  "Because that guy, he's scary to me.  I've seen some badasses but that guy....."

"He's Special Forces in the Army," Wesley said.  "I asked and Xander bragged on him."

"With a lot of knives," Cordelia agreed.  They all nodded at that.  "How does he do that and not clink when he walks?"

"Special holders.  The same way Xander does I would imagine," Wesley said.  Angel moaned.  "No, stay down.  You probably have a concussion again."  He looked at her.  "Xander's known to carry at least four to six weapons on him at all times.  Even when he was stripping.  I got told a charming story about how he did one with knives in the open one night at that heavier club he started out in.  Apparently it was well liked."

"Yeah, they were very blood play," she agreed.  She shuddered.  "Ewww.  Xander needs someone nicer."

"If he suits Xander, then so be it.  We cannot judge that Xander has found someone who not only will protect him but also adore him."

"Xander asked why men don't cuddle," Fred said, smiling at them.  "Apparently he was feeling miserable after some extreme peppers someone put into their dinner one night and his boyfriend wouldn't cuddle."

Cordelia snorted.  "See, there's a good indication.  He needs someone a touch nicer than that one.  Black, green, or purple, just nicer!"

"I think we'd all like it if Xander dated someone more nice and decent," Doyle said.  "Though his tastes don't tend to run that way."  Cordelia pinched him.  "Hey!  Not while I'm driving, wench."  She pinched him again, getting swatted by Fred.  "Thank you, Fred."

"Welcome, Doyle."  She smiled.  "Don't make him wreck.  They'll throw Angel in the morgue and you know he'll be cranky when he makes it out of there."

"Yeah, I know," she said dryly.  They finally got home at the hotel and found Agent Epps waiting on them.  "What do you want?" Cordelia demanded.  Her hands went to her hips and one foot started to tap.  Universal woman language for 'answer me now, mister, or die'.

"What happened, what did he use, and I heard they confiscated something?" Epps asked.

"We were fighting it and Xander showed up with a weapon," Cordelia said.

"The demon was killed but we couldn't figure out how ta make the corpse disappear," Doyle said.

"Can't burn right now," Gunn agreed.  "As for confiscated, the cops that showed up said they were ignoring it and took the spares Xander brought.  I heard him whine about one of his assault rifles."

"Isn't his boyfriend in town?" Epps asked.

Fred smiled and nodded.  "He's probably back there.  Xander never tells them anything beyond he's going on patrol.  Xander doesn't ask about what they do on assignment and they don't ask what Xander hunts in town."

Don nodded slowly.  "I'm going to have a talk with his boyfriend, see if they can calm Xander down."

"If you wreck it for Xander, he'll kick your ass," Cordelia said smugly.  "Just look at what keeps happening to Angel."

Epps nodded.  "I'd never do that.  Where is it?"  Fred showed him on the map.  "I'll have someone go burn it if they haven't.  Any others for the next month?"

"Smaller things," Doyle said.  "One larger demon but he's in to try to buy slaves."

"And I *so* saw Xander ending him and his boyfriend pouting that he didn't get to rescue him," Cordelia said, rubbing her forehead.  "Last night."  Epps nodded, leaving them alone.  "Did I tell him?"

"If not, make sure you do today," Doyle told her.  She nodded, going to make that call while they put Angel onto a couch with an ice pack.


Xander opened the door and let her inside.  "Guys, this is Buffy if you don't remember her.  She's going to clean up.  Anyone in the guest bathroom?"

"Cougar is," Jensen said.

"That's fine.  You can use mine then."  He led her that way and let her use it.  He came out.  "I realize that the last owner probably wanted to get rid of this one for lack of bathrooms."  He went to get a snack.

"How bad was the battle?" Jensen asked.

"Bad before I got there.  I fired something that wasn't big enough and it gave Buffy and Angel an opening."  He got himself some milk and went to pull stuff out of his closet, tossing it in at the vanity for her.  He came back out.  "That way she can put something on."  He flopped down.  "I lost the new assault rifle.  The cops took it even though it was legal."  He sipped his milk.  "And I dumped the rental car back on them.  We cabbed back from there."

"Good," Clay said.  "More subtle, thank you."  He stared at him.  "You didn't get messy?"

"Maybe some blow back."  He looked at himself and shrugged, going to change.  He could run his and Buffy's clothes as a load of laundry.  He grabbed her things since she was in the shower.  The washer was started and he put in the super goo removing cleaner they had.  Then he went back to the living room.  "Anyway," he said as he sat down.  "Did they decide to burn it, Jensen?"

"Yup.  LAPD has a fire crew there to do a controlled burn of something that looks like a rabid large animal, or so they claim, and they're watching it hard but not letting any camera crews near there."  He smiled.  "How's Angel?"

"The thing batted him on the head.  That's why Buffy's goo covered."

"You could've asked for help," Clay said.

"Why?  I didn't need help.  Next time I'll ask for help."  He grinned.  "Or in three years when they're saying we're going to have an invasion."

"Oh hell no!" Roque complained.  "Invasion?  Like Mexico's coming harder?"

"From what the underground's said, there's some bad idiots who want to rule the world and return it to higher demon authority, and they're going to do that by inviting another realm here to take out the humans."  He finished his milk.  "So three years, huge invasion."  He grinned.  "For that I'll call."  The house phone rang and he looked at it.  The answering machine caught it and they heard Cordelia reminding him that the slave taking demon was going to be coming soon if she had already told him about it, and if not to call her.  Then she hung up.  He shrugged.  "Just another one to me."  He got comfy, looking at Roque.  Buffy padded out in his sweat shorts and a long t-shirt.  "They're in the wash."

"I heard you steal them."  She sat down in a chair, curling a leg up to her chest.  "So, how's everyone?"

"As far as I know they're okay," Xander told her.  "Cordy just called about a vision she had last night."

"Yeah, I heard about the slave trader."  She shrugged.

"Have you heard that in three years, the demon circuit is anticipating an invasion of LA?"

"No, I hadn't," she admitted.  "That's a lot of warning."

"They're working on it now.  They're saying it's going to pour another demon realm onto this one through a portal."

Buffy stared at him.  "That's sucky.  So.... we'll need that three years to build up a stash?"

He nodded.  "Probably."

She nodded.  "I'll tell Angel and them about that later.  Are you still mad at him?"

"Yup.  He tried to sell me about a month ago."

"Huh.  I didn't hear about that."  Xander got the note he had been sent and gave it to her.  She read it, grimacing.  "Why is Angel acting like a girl with PMS?  I know you two had some jealousy issues before."

Xander shook his head.  "I grew out of mine.  But I was right, he was bad for you."

She glared.  "Quit."

"Fine."  He shifted.  "It seems like he's being a toddler because he thinks it'll make him take longer to atone."

"Oh, that stuff."  She grimaced again.  "I'll beat him upside the head later."

"He was flirting with Cordy from what I heard," Xander said.  "Which pissed off Doyle, who took a cricket bat to his head."  Jensen snickered.  "Not too hard, didn't want to really hurt him before a battle, but Wesley apparently stood up for Doyle."

"I like Doyle.  He has sense.  I need a boyfriend more like Doyle than Angel."

Clay smiled.  "It's hard to date a soldier.  It's why only Pooch is married."  She pointed at Xander and Roque.  "No, they're casually screwing."

Xander nodded.  "He won't cuddle."  Roque growled but pulled Xander closer, letting him cuddle.  "This is nice.  Thank you," he said quietly.  Buffy grinned.  "Don't let Pooch cook unless you're sure he can't add hot peppers."

"I had enough of those in Cambodia for two months of hell."

Jensen grinned.  "We haven't been there in years."

"I had to keep assuring men that I wasn't for sale as a wife."  She shuddered.  "Some didn't have any teeth and some stunk and most of them were older guys."

"Older guys are more able to provide for a family," Clay said.  "But younger women can give them a larger family.  In that part of the world it's often a older man/younger woman thing."

"I like older guys, I don't like guys that're older than my dead Grandfather."  Clay laughed.  "I mean, you're not near there yet or nearly at the stage of tragically old, but you'd be like their grandson's age."

"You know, you should spar with him," Xander said with a grin.  "Clay's pretty good."  Buffy grinned and then at Clay, who shrugged.  "Use the yard.  It might wear some of the tension out."

"Have you heard from my mother?" she demanded of Xander.

"Yup, yesterday."

"Huh.  Is she at the apartment?  She didn't answer the phone."

"She's been looking over the remains of Sunnydale to see if she wants to go back."

"I think they're going to post me there, no matter what."  She went to spar with Clay in the garage.  The bike didn't take up all that much room and he moved it for them.  He was pretty decent.  She was a bit hyped.  And it was good.  The car was even unlocked for when she pounced him.  Xander hinted too broadly but he was good at it.  He made her squeal in ways she hadn't before.

Xander smiled at Roque.  "Just dangerous this time."  Roque laughed, patting him on the arm.  Cougar came out.  "Buffy and Clay are sparring."  Cougar just nodded and shut a window to block out any giggling.

Xander looked at Roque.  "If and when we go back, we might need some backup for our coming back day.  There's been vamps breeding up there the whole time thanks to the sewer system's being huge and open.  Plus having the apartments down there."

Roque looked at him.  "There's an apartment complex underground in your town's sewer system?"

"Yeah and it's on the other side from the collapse so it's still there.  We're going to have to clean it out someday soon.  So if you guys want to back us up...."  He grinned at his boyfriend.  "It'll be staking instead of stabbing."

"Not that much different.  Just less sharp and you have to be more precise."  He considered it.  "If we're around.  We're supposedly getting things cleared up and might get called back at any given time."

Xander smirked at Jensen.  "You can help.  It's more than big enough for you not to have to bend over.  The old mayor built them as an underground highway for the demons."  Jensen shuddered.  "Most are peaceful but even the peaceful ones are complaining about the vampires."  He heard a bang.  "If that was my bike, you're a dead woman, Summers," he yelled.

"It was a goat crashing into the garage door," she called back.  "I'm avoiding the thoughts about making it food."

"It's the neighbor's lawn goat probably," he called.  He rolled his eyes.  "Green freak," he explained at Pooch's odd look.  "Half the stuff in his house is off the grid and on pedal power."

"That's one way to get exercise in," Pooch decided.  He shook his head quickly.

"You can rent goats for lawn care?" Jensen asked.

"Yeah, there's a whole company that just started," Xander told him.  "It takes a while and they don't get things even but you can.  There's another startup that's using sheep too."

"It's being in California," Jensen decided, shaking his head quickly.  "My sister said she wants to meet you sometime."

"I leave that up to you guys."  Xander waved a hand.  "Jolene and I have talked a few times because she called."  Pooch quit giving him odd looks.  "Mostly about how to handle you guys when you're in on leave.  The drunk tank talk was amusing."  Roque shook his head.  Xander smiled and cuddled in better.  Someone knocked.  He looked back.  "What?" he demanded.

"Delivery for Mr. Harris," they called.

Xander got up and went to look outside, looking at Roque and pointing.  Roque got up and grabbed his biggest knife.  The door got opened.  "Didn't I tell you he's not on the market?"

"I'm being perfectly polite."

Xander looked at him.  "I had to give up stripping thanks to you.  I make crap wages as a bouncer."  He stared at him.  "You do realize next time it'll be a head shot?"

"You paid to have someone shoot me?" Wade asked with a smile.  Xander shook his head.  "But....."

Buffy and Clay came up, Clay growling.  "What does he want?" he snarled.

"That's what we're figuring out.  Buffy, this is Wade, who was the guy that gassed the strip club."

"Hi, I heard you're a psycho so I'm going to keep my prettiness over here."  She leaned on the couch.  She noticed the rest of the team moving into a better position.  "Why do you guys like Xander?"

"He seems like the perfect lap candy.  He can understand the job, won't stress if we come home injured.  He's a really good boytoy for a commando.  As Roque knows."  Roque punched him.  "Awww, come on.  He should trade to someone better in bed."

Xander coughed and grabbed something, unhiding it and pointing it at him.  "He's bigger than you'll ever be.  And I'm finally training him to cuddle."  Wade stared at him.  "Shoo.  Now.  I told you if you showed up I'd be sending you back to the hospital."

"Your neighbors....."

"I bought this off a weapons dealer."  Wade purred at that.  "Go.  Now."

"But...."  The Losers attacked as a group, each taking a side.

Buffy stared.  "Wow, we need to get Willow into self-defense classes if that's what geeks with training can do," she said, watching Jensen help kick his ass.

"That kinda goes against the whole Willow thing," Xander reminded her.  "Is this like a Musketeer thing?  Why send one when five can go?"

"All for one and all for one," Jensen quipped back, punching Wade again.  It distracted him for Roque to slice into him.  "Hey, no fair using knives already."

"Shut up, Jensen.  Xander, put that up and go sit down," Roque ordered.  Xander huffed but did that.  "See, mine," he smirked.  Then he broke Wade's nose.

Wade was fighting back and trying hard to keep all five of them off him.  "But I have more money and I can protect him.  I can even get the FBI to quit keeping tabs on him and his guns."

"Uh-huh.  So can we," Clay pointed out smugly.

"Remove me from the IRS, please," Xander quipped from inside.

That was the scene Don Epps drove into.  He watched and called in that the psycho stalker was back.  Granger and the rest of them just moaned and said they'd be there soon.  Epps got out, walking around the melee.  He looked at the two young ones.  "What did he do?"

"He showed up," Xander said with a shrug.  "They won't let me help."

"Let them.  That's a soldier's job," Epps told him.  He stared at him.  "Thank you for letting them confiscate something.  It made them feel better."

"It usually does but I really liked my assault rifles."

"They're working to ban them," Epps said smugly.

Xander shrugged.  "Sometimes you have to be able to spray a whole street.  Like the planned invasion in three years."

Don stared at him.  "By what?  If they're warning this far in advance, they've got to need weapons building time."

"Yup, basically."

"I only got it from him," Buffy said with a small shrug.  Xander found his notes on it and handed them to her.  She read and handed them to Epps.  "Well, shit," she muttered.  "That's a bad habit I picked up, sorry."

"Also, the peaceful guys are saying the vamps are driving them nuts," Xander said quietly.

She looked at him.  "They do me too."

"I meant in Sunnydale."


"Like now."

"Yeah, we can," she sighed.  "Give me a day to rest and find my jeans."  He nodded.  "Think we can get Faith a weekend off for it?"

"Maybe," Xander said with a small shrug.  "Don't know.  Ask the Fed man there."  She smiled at him.

"Where is she?" Don sighed.  "And how bad is it?"

"If the peaceful demon community is whining about the vampires in Sunnydale bothering them, there's probably thousands," Buffy assured him.  "Because no one's been up there to thin the herd."

"I go up every Sunday to do some," Xander admitted.  "I got about eighty this month."  She stared at him.  "Just sniper picking them off sort."

"Damn."  She covered her mouth.  "Sorry, another bad habit thingy."

Clay walked in.  "Xander, come refute his claim?"

Xander walked out, looking down at Wade.  "Did you enjoy my boyfriend?"  He grinned.  "You come back next time and I won't use an explosive round to the chest."  Wade moaned, staring at him.  "I'll make sure you need a closed casket too.  Because you'll be in itty, bitty pieces."  He walked in and got something then came out, holding up the capped needle.  "Three types of demon blood mixed together.  It'll make *quite* a mess."  He stared at him.  "Which I don't want to hose off the front yard today.  So I'm going to be generous.  Leave.  Now.  Don't come back, don't stalk me, don't send me shit, nothing."  He stared at him.  "Am I clear?"

"You're not that sort of man," Wade said through his bleeding mouth.

"Yes he is," Buffy called.  "He does what's necessary.  That's why he's a white knight."  She leaned out.  "Huh, nice job, guys."  She looked at him.  "Xander likes knives just as much as his big, badass boyfriend does, and he likes explosives too."  Xander grinned at her.  "Him branching into taking people out with demon blood?  Not that big a stretch."

"I tried it on a vamp.  He went from pustules, to bulging in various areas, to exploded," Xander said proudly.  "His arms and legs both exploded and then his cheeks."  He grinned at Wade.  "It was so cool looking."  Wade moaned, sounding pleased.  "It's going to be used on you next.  Now, get up and go.  Shoo.  I don't want your tiny dick."  He kissed Roque on the cheek.  "If I leave this one, I'd probably have over fifteen suitors within a day.  You just can't compare on the dick size at the very least.  And no, a fat wallet doesn't make up for a skinny dick."  He walked back inside.  Buffy was cackling.  "Seriously!  Roque's really well built.  I'd let you see but I'd have to smack you when you drooled," he told her.

"Clay's not badly built," she said.  "Much better than Angel.  Maybe it's commando drugs they get during training."

"Maybe guys in the old days were just smaller," Xander offered with a shrug.  "They say they're shorter too."

Buffy nodded.  "Yeah, could be."

"Oh my god, there's a Clay sort of woman who's sane!" Jensen told Cougar, who laughed but swatted him.  "Keep her, Clay," he said with a grin.

"Please keep her," Pooch agreed.  "Jolene could like her."

"My sister too," Jensen agreed, kicking Wade again.  Wade tried to grab him but he fought back.  He was a fully trained soldier, not just a geek.  Epps came out to pull him off him and get him back to the ER before Jensen did more than dent him some more.

"We'll let him disappear until I can find something to arrest him on."

"I have a full file started," Jensen offered with a smile.  "Really good stuff too.  All true and all that."

"Hand it over and I'll arrest him if it's that good."  Jensen bounced inside to get the laptop and bring it back out.  Epps read it over then nodded.  When his team got there, he let them arrest him and take him to the ER as a prisoner.

Buffy smiled at Clay when he came in.  "Need me to find the first aid kit for scratches and bites, guys?"

"No, we're good," Clay assured her with a smile.  She smirked back and followed to help him clean up.  She had learned a lot about how men thought and what real men needed and did.  So she'd have a happy today.  A lot of happy and he could have some too.

Xander grinned at Pooch.  "Unconventional but nice."

"Very.  She's sane.  Much better than the usual one," Roque agreed.

"Don't pout about the on-duty wife getting loud," Xander teased.  Roque stared at him then picked him up and carried him off.  He needed to 'clean up' too.  Plus claim his boy.  Now he could bite him and only get swatted for it.  He didn't have to worry about no marks showing.

"No biting, no hickey's," Xander ordered as he was carried off.  "I'm not a fucking princess you can ride up and claim."

"Uh-huh.  Shut up, Xander."  Roque kicked their bedroom door shut.

Pooch looked at Jensen and Cougar, who shrugged.  "We don't need to know," Jensen assured him happily.

"Me either.  Jolene would be upset."  He walked Epps off to tell him more about Wade.  It could only help.  Jensen and Cougar went down to watch tv.  Though Jensen did send the goat back home.  It trying to get in to play was annoying.


Xander laid out the old maps they had saved, looking over things.  He then laid out the new ones from the demon community center he had copied.  "Three months old," he said.  They all nodded.  Buffy pointed at one are that was a well known living area that was blocked off on both ends with a frown.  "No, they did dig them out fairly quickly."  She smiled at him.  "That's this tunnel here."  He looked at it.  "Last complaints I heard were six roving hunting groups here," he said with a point.  "Another large nest here and here.  And we had enough going around through the sewers that it was bad."  He looked up.  "They're saying there's over a thousand vampires now."

Buffy moaned.  "Really?"

"Yup.  They found some injured and dying up at the college.  They found some trapped."  Buffy slumped but nodded.  "That's not our fault.  That's the guys doing the saving didn't get there fast enough.  It's always a factor in Sunnydale."  She nodded.  "Also, the ones with the undamaged houses tried to stay."

"Da...dirt," she said.  "Mom?"

"She's back at the apartment tonight.  I told her you were looking for her so you're going over for dinner and we'll tackle this tomorrow night.  After a lot of stake carving."  She smiled and nodded.  The guys all nodded at that.

"Where's the bigger and easier entrances?"  Buffy and Xander pointed them out.  "What's this?" Clay asked.

"That's a National Guard base that's closed," Xander said.


"No, they locked theirs down."

Clay nodded once, looking things over.  "It'd make the most sense if we went in this way and then went up this main pipeline.  Are there any other species of demons that're human looking, Buffy?"

"There's a few but they're not all bad.  And most you can't stake."  She called Giles to ask him that.  Xander called the demon community center.  They came back to the table.  "Giles said there's six species that are and some that're half breeds."

"Who are all going to be quietly warned to stay inside that night," Xander told her.  She smiled.  "They're not going to tell the vamps.  They nearly went to ask Angel to handle it."

"They hate Angel."

"Yeah, they do, and they were going to personally ask him to go up and handle it if we didn't."

She nodded.  "Okay.  So even if a few vamps hear, we couldn't get them all anyway.  As long as we don't have to kick in doors."

"We won't," Xander said.  She nodded and they got back to things.  Xander added to the plan Clay and Roque made because he knew Sunnydale better.  They agreed with most everything but didn't want him to bring holy water grenades.  Too much risk of sinking a tunnel on them.  Buffy went to hang out with her mom.  Xander sat down in the garage to make stakes.  Cougar and Jensen came down to help.  "You want a good, sharp point or it's like trying to push the stake through cinder block," he told them.  They nodded and it was good.  A few were lopsided but it didn't really matter.  As long as it had a point.


Clay got the call they had been waiting on while driving up there.  "Clay."  He listened.  "General, no can do tonight. We're promised to help a hunt situation.  By dawn and then clean up time maybe.  I can tell the others, yes.  That's fine.  Thank you, sir."  He hung up.  "We're to report at eleven-hundred to talk about things."  They all nodded.  Xander too.  "On this coast.  They know we're in LA, Xander."

"That's cool.  Pooch, did you call Jolene?"  He nodded, tapping his bluetooth since he was driving and California was huffy about those things.  Xander relaxed and let his mind flow.  He hated mass hunting in nests.  There were always more than you expected.  They got out and found a few up and roaming.  Xander shot them.  Cougar took the rifle from him and made more shots from a longer distance, which Xander didn't excel at.

Xander looked over as another car joined them.  Don Epps and Faith got out with a prison guard.  "Hey," Buffy said with a smile.  She hugged Faith.  "We have a major growth spurt."

"I heard."  She grimaced.  "Are you sure this is a good idea?"

"Yup," Xander agreed.  He released her cuffs and tossed them to the staring prison guard.  He opened the box of stakes, letting her pick her favorites and a few spares.  "We're going tunnel hunting."

She grimaced.  "It's always been overrun down there.  Even the Mayor hated going down there," Faith said quietly.

"There's over a thousand now," Buffy said.  "Xander's only been doing that since it fell in."

Faith watched then nodded.  "Get the one in the park."  Cougar looked and got them since they were in feeding face.  She stretched and limbered up.  "Who's the muscle patrol?"

"This is Clay," Buffy introduced.  She grinned.  "He's a colonel and really decent.  This is their team.  That's Jensen, who's one really tough geek."

"We are all Special Forces," Jensen said dryly.  "We all got the same training."  He smiled at Faith.  "Nice to meet you, Faith.  We found out all this when we saved Xander from the program that sank the town."

Xander nodded.  "A few times."  He grinned at Pooch.  "You nearly done?"  He nodded.  Roque had the scary game face on.  Xander kissed him.  "Guard your neck and anything else that's open.  I don't want to see you eaten.  I can't pull a Buffy and sleep with a vamp."

Roque smirked.  "I'm too tough for them to bite too."

Xander looked at Clay, who nodded.  Cougar put up the rifle.

"Let me," Don said.  "I have someone else showing up who can do sniper jobs."  They nodded.  Xander handed him the spare box of bullets too.  "Thank you.  All of you be safe.  We'll see you at dawn."  They nodded and headed down into the underground highway.  Within an hour his buddy Ian Edgerton showed up.  Don waved him over.  "See the guys down there attacking others?"

Ian stared, taking the scope to look through.  "What's with their faces?"

"Shoot one.  They're not human."

Ian took the gun.  "Are we talking vampires?"

"Yup.  Town's overrun and people want to start moving back soon."  Ian took up the nice sniper spot Xander had created for them.  There were plenty.  They went to dust, which was much nicer than a body.  "We have a team underground right now taking down a lot more."

"I'd rather be up here, thanks," Ian said dryly.  "This isn't a bad gun."

"Belongs to Harris."  He handed him the ammo box, getting a smirk.  "I'm guarding your back and making sure one of them makes it back to the jail in the morning."

"That's fine."   He went back to work.  "Granger with them?"

"Nope.  He asked not to have to go.  Fell down some stairs to get a concussion to make sure of it."

"Nice of him."  He watched.  "We have people running from underground looking scared."

"Only hit the vampires," Don ordered.  "That's all we're allowed to do."

"Got it."  A few of them came up after the fleeing ones and he got them.  The formerly screaming demons all stared and then cheered.  He smiled.  "They're happy."

"They probably think you're Harris.  He's underground."  Ian nodded, shaking his head quickly.  They watched, waited, and let Ian hit the ones who needed it.

At dawn, the team came back up dusty, bloody, and limping for the most part.  Cougar was holding his side.  Roque looked like he needed blood.  Xander was nagging him while holding onto something on his side.  Don called an ambulance for them.  Clay gave him a grateful look.  They found out Xander was barely holding something together when the paramedics tried to get him to move.  They got Roque to the ER with Xander still holding onto his insides.  The others got field treated there by Pooch, who was injured but Buffy helped him and Cougar did his stitches.

Jensen leaned against the side of the car, sliding down it.  He looked at the ladies.  "I'm in awe," he said quietly.  "I've been in some bad shit with these guys.  I've been in insurgent camps, hell I was in Iraq with the team a few months ago.  It was not this bad.  Hat's off, ladies, even Cougar's hat is off to you guys.  Because *damn*."  Faith grinned.  Buffy smiled.  "Is that usual?"

"No, that was apocalypse level of vampy vamps," Buffy admitted.  "Usually I got ten, twelve a night and Xander got a few, Willow floated a stake at a few."

Faith nodded.  "About the same when I was active in town."

Clay patted them both on the shoulders.  "Good work, ladies."  They smiled.  "Let's get you cleaned up too."

Faith looked at him.  "I'm not really into touchy feely shit."

"So?  You still need stitches."  They got them on the car's hood and handled it for them.  The girls relaxed and Buffy was clearly twitchy.  Clay smiled at her.  He was too so they could cure that.  Faith was too but her guard might mind that.

"How bad?" Don asked.

"Seven hundred of over three thousand," Buffy said.  "The local demons only found a thousand of them annoying so they only reported that many.  And one really huge ass demon, which was what got Roque from behind when he was trying to check one of Xander's new injuries."

Ian Edgerton looked over at them, nodding at Cougar, getting a nod back.  "I've gotten about thirty tonight."  They smiled at him.  He got up and put the rifle and ammo can back into the car.  "Hopefully they'll flee?"

Buffy snorted.  "They'd never do that.  I'm not that lucky."  She looked at Faith, then at Clay, then back at Faith, then at the prison guard, who was glaring at them.  "Can she have an hour of calming down time?"

"Maybe," he complained.  "I'm getting paid by the hour."

Faith looked at her.  "B, has your mind gone?  I can calm down all by myself.  They don't really like me to mix and mingle too much because I tend to stop fights by breaking arms."

Buffy hugged her.  "You need better calming down than that."  She gave Clay a look, getting a smirk back.  "Good."  She hopped off the hood and pulled Faith and Clay with her.  "We'll be back."

Pooch and Cougar shook their heads.  "I'd do the same if Jolene was close," Pooch admitted.  He called her.  "I survived."  He walked off talking to her.  She was happy and pouty he wasn't there.

Cougar and Jensen shared a look.  "Go talk sniper stuff with the scary guy," Jensen teased.  "I'm going to start my new rituals of morning prayers that the sun came up."  Cougar smirked but walked over to talk to Ian and Don.  Jensen got a text from Xander.  "Roque's in surgery but the docs said it was a clean slice and pretty easily fixed."  Cougar nodded.  So did Pooch, who passed that on.  "Tell her we need cookies."

"She's got some ready to hand over," Pooch said with a smile.  He stiffened.  "Really?  Hell.  Guys, get in the car.  Jolene's in LA."  They heard Clay bellow and Buffy laugh but Faith squeal.  That was happy sounds.  "I'm driving us back in twenty minutes!" he shouted.  "My wife's in town."

"Coming," Buffy called.  They came out fifteen minutes later redressed and calmer looking.  Buffy smiled at Faith.  "I'll come visit in a few days."  Faith smirked and nodded, getting into the car.  The guard put the cuffs back on and drove her back to the prison.  Buffy looked at the car.  "Do we have the keys?"

"There has not been a car yet that the Pooch cannot hotwire," Pooch said dryly.  "Plus I drove up."  They got in and drove off.

"Roque's easily closed according to Xander," Jensen told Clay.

"Good.  That means less time in the hospital for him."  They drove back and Clay took over the driving duties once they had dropped Pooch off on his wife's doorstep.  Clay dropped everyone else back at Xander's and went to the meeting.  He walked in and saluted the waiting general.  "Sir."

"Your team?" he asked dryly.  "I did expect them."

"Seven hundred vampires."

"How many injuries?"

"Roque.  We've all got minor things.  Pooch's wife flew out to cuddle him so he's with her.  The rest are finishing the clean up."

"I need to talk to them about their options."

Clay called and put his phone on the table on speaker.  "There you go, sir."

"Fine.  What sort of condition is Captain Roque in?"

"Surgery," Xander's voice said.  "About to come out.  The doctor said it was easily closed, it was a clean slice, and didn't do any organ damage."

"That's fine.  Which one are you?"

"Xander.  This is Jensen's phone but he's in the shower and Cougar's in mine.  Give them a few minutes, General Hardiet."

"How do you know me?" he asked dryly.

"You gave me your wife's wedding ring by accident once," Xander said dryly.

"Oh.  You're him."

"Yup.  This team heroically saved me from the douche patrol that was the Initiative recruiting team in Oxnard."

"I heard about that.  Thank you, Mr. Harris."

"Welcome, sir.  Guys, General Hardiet is on the phone," he called.  "Though he's Air Force so I don't know why."

"Sir," Jensen's breathless voice said.  "Cougar's nearly out.  Let me put on clothes.  Clay hates it when I do things in my boxers."

"Jensen, enough," Clay ordered.  He looked at the general.  "I know you're the assistant to the Joint Chief Chairman, sir.  That's why I didn't question."

"Thank you for that knowledge.  A lot of people don't keep track of the higher ups."

"We get passed around so often we need to know who has the authority and who's just trying to bum us for an unauthorized romp," Clay said dryly.  "You'd be surprised how often that happens."  He sat down.

"Okay, Cougar's here too," Jensen said.  "Pooch isn't answering his phone.  Jolene growled."

"That's fine, Corporal."  He went over the options they had at this moment.


Clay walked into Roque's hospital room with a candy bar and a smirk.  "We have two days to make a decision on things."

"So we really have about an hour?" Roque guessed.

"Yup.   Xander's going to be up in an hour."

"He'll fuss."

"You bet."  He handed him the candy bar, getting a nod in thanks.  "Do we want to stay Army?"

"It's the only thing I've ever been good at," Roque said before taking a bite.

"We can move to paid commandos."

"Crappy benefits."

"If we stay Army, we're going to have the crap jobs for a while because we proved there was a problem among some of the higher ups.  So more CIA jobs."

Roque grimaced.  "They never go right."  He took another bite and thought.  "What's the consensus?"

"None yet."


"Jensen hacked Max's stuff and found his off-shore accounts.  So we're all millionaires.  Cougar wants something quiet for a few days but we don't have time for that.  Jensen wants to visit his sister and is pouty that he won't get the chance this trip.  Jolene nearly took the general's head off for pointing out that truth that we'd get the shit jobs."

"He kiss her and go 'that's my baby' again?" Roque joked.  Clay smirked and nodded.  "The general impressed?"

"That she nearly managed it.  I warned him that we were protecting Xander from Wade and the general shuddered.  He remembered hearing about him.  That explained why we're at his house instead of the family homes.  Oh, he called Xander insanely useful."  Roque scowled.  "He suggested we might be able to bring him on ops when we need that drawing power."

"He'd get killed."

"Jensen thought he'd be kidnaped."

"Jensen just hopes he's not the next one so he can win that bet against Pooch," Roque snorted.  He finished his treat and tossed the wrapper onto the bedside table.

"He offered a bunch of non-military ideas.  Like the security companies that work in the Middle East."

"Are you feeling old?" Roque taunted with an evil smirk.

He smirked back.  "No.  I still have a few good battles in me."

"I will once I get out of here."  The nurse came in and scowled at the candy wrapper.  "It's a hero's treat when he's in here."

"Hero?" she snorted.

"Yes, him," Clay said dryly.  "As in highly decorated Army Captain, *Nurse*."  She glared at Clay.  "Why don't you switch for someone who doesn't need a nap?"  She attacked him.  "Huh."

"Clearly not a nurse," Roque said, moving to trip her.  The IV came out because it let him move more freely and he trapped her with Clay against a wall.  Roque and Clay shared a look.  "Did you date?" he demanded.


"You killed my father!" she said, struggling.

"If I did, your father deserved it."

"Clay, let the officials handle her," Xander said from the doorway.  "That's the one I was to warn you about."

Clay looked at her then shrugged.  "I've seen prettier and more volatile."  Xander tossed over cuffs.  "You saw her?"

"Yeah, she knocked out two officers outside while I was playing games on Jensen's phone."  He smirked.  "That's theirs and I told their radios they were taken out by a psychotic bitch in nurse's scrubs."  Officers stormed in.  "That's the one I saw knock them out, guys."

They got her from Clay and Roque.  "Any idea why?" they asked, looking at Roque.  "Sir, did she put you in here?"

"Her father's a drug dealer," Clay said.  That's what the information Xander had given them said.  "We're army."  The officers nodded and walked her off struggling and kicking.  "She was slightly pretty at least."  Roque hauled off and hit him.  "Ow!  Bitch!"

Roque got back into bed.  He stared at Xander, who handed him a bag from a burger place.  "Thank you."

"Welcome.  You need meat to replace the blood."  He took a quick kiss after glancing outside.  "Did you rip anything?"

"No.  I'm good."  Xander turned off the IV and put the needle back on the pole.  Clay went to tell a nurse.  Xander handed him a card.  "Who?"

"Jensen's niece faxed it to him."  He grinned.  "She said it's mean of the bad guys to put you in the hospital and she's sure the others on the team can hurt them really a whole lot for you."  He grinned.  "Especially her Uncle Cougar, who could just shoot 'em."

"She's a little firecracker," he admitted, putting it beside him.  "Thanks."

"Welcome."  He grinned back.  "So, I'm told I'm to keep you sedate and on your back for the next three weeks?"  Roque groaned.  "The doctor said you were to be relaxed, not exerting yourself, and you were to be very careful.  So basically he told me I could tie your ass down."  He beamed.

Roque snorted, shaking his head.  "No way in hell."

Xander looked at his side.  "NURSE!" he shouted, bringing one running.  He pointed.  "That's blood from his incision, which had been a vein that got sliced.  That's more than should be and he was just attacked by that crazy chick."

She paged the doctor as she checked, nodding some.  "Let's get you downstairs, Captain."  She put the bag on the sidetable.  "You can have that later.  Just the candy bar and the jell-o earlier?" she asked as she and Xander got the bed moving.  "What happened to your IV?"

"I pulled it because she was attacking," Roque said, glaring at Xander.

"You die, I'm having someone bring you back so I can yell."

"Fine, whatever.  Thank you."  Xander smiled and waved.  The doctor came running to check.  He was heading back to surgery and the doctor was cutting some of his stitches on the way to make sure the vein hadn't burst open again.  Because if it had he wouldn't make it to surgery.  He'd bleed to death in the elevator.  He weakly waved at Clay as they passed him by.

Clay walked into the room, taking the bag.  "We'll get him a fresh one in a few hours."  Xander nodded.  They went to wait in the surgical waiting area.  It wasn't a long one this time either.  Just a popped stitch on the interior muscles that had torn a bit of tissue thankfully.  Xander updated Jensen and went to get him a fresh burger once he was out of recovery.  That was a full day for them.  Xander and Clay went home to collapse on the couch and nap right there.


Clay looked at the new general the next day.  It had been turned over to one of the higher Army ones.  "Roque popped an internal stitch when that guy in Bolivia's daughter attacked."

"I heard.  Is he going to be all right?"

"Yup.  Xander threatened to have him turned into a vampire if he nearly died again.  He's real motivated not to do that in LA now."

The general snorted.  "Vampires?"

"Yes, sir, as we found out that's why there was such a high death rate in Sunnydale.  That's where we all got injured."  The general stared at him.  Clay moved his shirt sleeve to show a bite mark.  "We were helping weed out the ones that grew up since it sank so people could move back in."

"How many were there?"

"More than four times the amount we killed."

"Which was...."

"We, the whole group, got seven hundred and thirty-two counting the sniped ones an FBI sniper got watching our backs."

The general stared at him.  "Seriously?"

"Yup."  Clay took off his t-shirt to show off all the new bites, scratches, and claw marks.  The general moaned, shaking his head.  "That's one reason why the army had a totally illegal program there, which was what ended up sinking the town.  Since I heard they were into torture for fun and science, not a huge loss."  He put back on his shirt.

The general stared at him.  "That's insane."

"Yes, sir.  Which is why we got asked for help."  The general snorted.  "The team hasn't reached a full consensus.  We'd like some calm time instead of paranoid, looking over our shoulders time like we've had in LA since that happened, waiting for CIA people or someone to show up."

"They did."

"They did and we handled it without letting anyone know."  Which sucked because Xander had only told them that this morning when Jensen was wondering why they hadn't shown up.  "Captain Roque's going to require at least another few days in the hospital and he's off for three weeks after that to make sure the vein heals fully."  The general nodded.  "We don't mind being army and we realize we'll be getting shit jobs for years."

"That arms dealer?  Who shot his plane?"

"Someone local.  That's all the FBI told me."  Which wasn't a lie.

"Interesting."  He stared at him.  "We can arrange for you guys to be on medical stand-down.  Not like we can give you a quick replacement for your second-in-command."  Clay smiled.  "That would hopefully keep your transportation expert's wife from being pissed off."

"Sir, she just had a baby recently."

"Congratulate him for me, Colonel.  Go home, relax, report back to Bragg in four weeks.  By then I'm sure we'd have something in the crapper for you."

Clay smirked.  "We never expect anything better, sir.  They don't like us enough to give us sweet jobs."

"No, they never have."  He left, going to tell his bosses that.  They were at least realistic.  Plus look up that closed project.  Maybe it needed restarted?

Too bad his helicopter to the local base for his flight back got shot down by Wade.


Xander walked into the San Diego base commander's office, smiling at him.  "I know who shot down the general's helicopter.  A few of my less than savory contacts told me it was someone who hated that team."

"Who are you, sir?"

"Xander Harris."  The guy looked him up.  Then stared at him oddly.  Xander looked at the monitor and snorted.  "That was a long time ago.  I'm out of practice.  They've been at my house helping me stay away from a Canadian former commando named Wade, who was in the employ of the arms dealer who got blown up at the airport.  Which was who fired on the helicopter.  He hates that team a lot."

"Where is he?  Do you have any idea?"

"He's about to be in the morgue because I'm going to kill his ass.  He's stalking me," he said dryly.  "The whole team beat his ass recently to make him leave me alone and he did it anyway to piss off the team."

"I see.  Can you corroborate that?"

Xander handed over the folded papers from his back pocket.  "Emails to his minion to bring him something large."

He read it and nodded.  "Where is he now?"

"In Mercy.  In psych no less.  He had himself checked in that day and was up for some air supposedly."

"Ah.  That would throw off suspicion or keep him out of jail."  Xander smiled and nodded.  "Why does he want you?"  Xander pointed at the monitor.  "Oh, I see.  Are you...."

"I believe you're not supposed to ask those questions and I'm not military," he said dryly.  "Even if I have a whole harem, it wouldn't really matter.  I don't want anything to do with that one.  If you guys don't arrest him, I'll gladly deal with him, but according to the news you guys really wanted him badly.  So I thought I'd be nice and charitable by giving him to you as a present."  He smiled.  "If you don't want it, regift and I'll have him handled."  He left.

The base's commander called his higher ups.  "We got handed who it was."  He read the email.  They said they'd investigate.  "The person who handed it over said he'd handle it if we didn't because the guy is stalking him."  He hung up and looked up that name.  He sent that to the man he had called.  Who sent back a shudder.


Three days later, Xander was watching the hospital's psych unit.  Nothing was done.  Justice was being cranked.  The military had failed.  He checked his scope.  Wade was up and pacing, muttering about needing a drink by what his lips said.  Xander got him when he turned.  The red splotch that bloomed across his crotch was very nice.  They might even get to save his life since Mercy was a full hospital.  Xander dumped that gun through some gang members he had met after making sure it was clean and didn't have a single fingerprint or spot of DNA on it.  Then he went to get some ice cream and home.


Jensen walked into ICU with a cactus and a smile.  "I'm just checking on someone for family."  They were tired and overworked so they let him.  He put the cactus down.  "Xander said if you ever come near him again, use this as a sex toy."  He smiled.  "So, Stumpy, how's it hanging?"  He left.

Wade growled.  "I'll get that sniper yet.  There's other ones that will get him for me."  He looked at the cactus.  He liked to use them during torture.  The quills ripped nice holes when they were removed.  He carefully plucked the card off it and looked at it.  "It wasn't Cougar," he read.  "Huh."  He considered things.  Xander wasn't that exact.  Or supposedly wasn't.

Maybe Xander was dangerous enough to be his wife instead of his lap candy boy.  Interesting.  He liked the ones that fought back.  Thankfully it had only damaged his penis but they had been able to fix most of the damage.  He had a scar, a large dent that they said they could later fill in with a fat injection, and a really pissed off happy mood.  Even when the MP's showed up to arrest him with the agents, he was still in a happy mood.

Xander was definitely wife material.

Maybe for fun he'd take that hacker too since he had gotten a few of Max's accounts.   He looked like he'd be fun to play with.


Pooch stared at Xander a few days later.  "Who made that shot for you?" he asked quietly.

Xander looked at him.  "No comment," he said.  He went back to his puzzle.  "I have to hit work right after I bring Roque back here.  Aren't you supposed to be with the wife and son, Pooch?"

"She's napping on my bed and he's learning to cuddle like a pro."

Xander grinned.  "Babies and kids scare the shit out of me, but hey, you're going to be a good dad.  You've already got the scowl down."  Clay walked in and he went back to the puzzle.  "Let me finish this then I'll put on clothes so we can pick up Roque."

"I already did.  He's limping in."

"Okay."  He smiled at Roque.  "Hi.  I can baby you until I have to go to work."

"Who shot Wade?"

"Why does it matter?"

"Rumors state you're becoming an underworld power," Jensen quipped.

"If I am, I wouldn't be bouncing at a club."  Xander got up and helped Roque onto his warm spot, getting him a blanket, a pillow, and a beer.  That made his boy happier and Xander went to get dressed for work.

Clay stared at Xander's back then at Jensen, who pointed.  "He might want you more for that."

"If he does then he's sicker than you said," Xander called back.

"It was a nice shot," Cougar admitted from his seat.

"Didn't take it fully off but it created a hell of a lot of damage," Jensen agreed.  "His medical records say that they think he might now be deflated for good."  He looked up.  "He has a five inch scar that may need some filling in with fat from his thighs or ass to make it look more normal and healthy.  The bullet lodged in his pubic mound.  If he had used a higher caliber it'd be gone.  So would Wade probably."

"Anything else to note?" Clay asked dryly.

"Yeah, when they arrested him, he was musing how nice a wife Xander would make.  He's moved from boytoy and arm jewelry to wife material."

"We'll kill him next time," Roque said dryly, sipping his beer.  Xander came out and gave him a deep kiss.  "He wants you more now."

"He can't have me and he doesn't work anyway so I'd just laugh."  He took another kiss.  "Rest, watch tv, listen to Buffy jump Clay when she shows up later."  He left, going to work.

Roque shook his head.  "Sometimes I worry he's more crazy than I am."  He finished his beer and smiled.  "That was needed."

"Your pain killers are already filled, "Clay told him.  He helped him up and into bed.  Xander could tie him down later.  He had promised to if Roque didn't rest.  That was something they wanted to see.  Roque took a nap, which his injury prompted as well as the sedative in the beer, and they all got to relax for a bit.


Roque woke up to someone sitting next to him on the bed.  He stared at the baby.  "Hi, baby Pooch."  Jolene smiled.  "He's hefty."

"They're like that."  She smirked at him.  "So, Xander seems nice enough but a bit insane."

"He's a nice kid," he assured her quietly.

"I know.  We've talked a few times.  He's a very nice boy.  You had better not hurt him."

Roque smirked.  "Is he a relative now?"

"No but apparently no one he knows will give you this talk."  She stared at him.  "Remember, I tamed Pooch.  I can beat your ass even if I do have to ambush you.  The baby will cheer me on since he's his daddy's boy."  She smirked.  "Now, how about some dinner?"

"I could use something.  They fed me mush."  She handed over the macaroni and cheese, homemade and baked style, and fish.  "Better than the mush," he decided.  He dug in, smiling at her.  "Just don't whip out a tit to feed him."

She swatted him.  "I'd never do that in front of any of you but Cougar.  You'd all want a taste."  She got up and took the baby to the living room.  She found a black man she didn't know.  "Relative of one of the boys?" she asked dryly.

"Gunn.  I work with Angel and sometimes Xander.  He said to meet him here later?  Any idea why?"

"He's at work for the next thirty," Clay said.  Gunn nodded, heading for the kitchen.  They stared.

"Yeah, I respect the kid.  And I brought Buffy since she shouldn't drive.  She drives like a teenage girl."  Buffy bounced in.  "Your mom good?"

"I was talking with Willow but Mom's just fine."  She smiled.  "Willow's starting at UCLA or UC Hellmouth this December.  She said Oxford's boring."

"Probably since they created stuffy people like English and Giles."  He sipped his milk.  "Xander's not back yet."

"I called, he's on his way.  Traffic's messed up near Alameda again."

"As usual," he quipped back.  He shook his head.  Xander walked in and slammed the door.  "Bad night, princess?"

"Slightly since I got to break up the three demons who came in, got drunk, started a fight, and ate two people."  He looked at Buffy, who was snickering.  "Not why I called, no.  I found out more about the invasion."

"Invasion?" Gunn demanded dryly.  "When is this?"

"Three years," Buffy said.

"Next year.  They moved it up."  Xander stared at her.  "Part of the favorite law firm and a few other higher ups."

She shuddered.  "Ooh."

"Including a general."

"Bad," she said.

"A leading judge."

"Kinda bad."

"And a Vice President of another country."  She groaned, shaking her head.  "They need a human sacrifice soon.  They're looking at the group for it.  From what I heard, they were thinking Fred, which was why I called Gunn, or one of us from the Sunnydale group.  Oz is safe, mostly."

"Willow's coming back in December.  When do they need one?"

"She's already in town.  On a magic high, which is why I'm pissed off.  She showed up at the bar to tell me I was normal and I shouldn't be doing that."

"I talked to her earlier."

"She was at the bar an hour ago unless her vamp twin returned and quit wearing leather."

"Shoot," she muttered.  "How?"

"No clue."

"Damn it!"  She stamped a foot.  "So... is she still on our side?" she asked quietly.  He lit the candle so no one could scry.  "That's handy."

"Anti-scrying herbs in the wax."  He looked at her.  "I don't know.  I think she's a bit scary with it."

"So...."  He nodded.  "Well, I heard rumors that there was a big time witch going junkie," she admitted.  Xander nodded.  "Think we should chat?"

"No, I think she's here."  He pointed at the lit up sign above the door.  "Security system says a powerful witch."  The door was knocked on.  He grinned.  "She's tracking you."

"We're best friends," she agreed, giving Clay a look.  He nodded.  Jolene took the baby back to where Roque was.  They'd be protected.

Buffy opened the door.  "I thought you were in England, woman!"

"I was."  She hugged her.  "Then I decided I felt homesick so I popped around to check on people, finding Xander doing bad things."

"I'm a bouncer.  I'm supposed to break up fights," he said dryly.  She snorted, glaring at him.  "You can get out of my house if you keep it up.  I have zero patience after earlier."

"Yours?" she said dryly.

"Yeah, mine."  He smirked.  "All mine.  I own it."  She glared at him.  He stared back.

"Have you seen Giles yet?  He might like to talk to someone else who was in England," Buffy asked to divert her attention before she did something stupid.

"No, not yet.  He wasn't home."  She walked in and looked around then gave Xander another dirty look.  "This is really nice."

"It was really cheap.  I traded up with someone who wanted to use my last one for something."  He shrugged and went into the kitchen, which was handily by the panty, which had a door that opened toward the living room.  He and Gunn shared a quick look and Xander glanced at the pantry.

"I can tell Wes you're in too.  He might like a taste of home that wasn't Giles," Gunn said, calling him.  For some reason his phone shorted out.  "Huh, I know I charged that."

Xander handed over his with a grin.  "Jensen got me an unlimited plan for cheap."  He shifted so his knives were closer to where Gunn was.  That phone shorted out.  "I know it was charged.  I always have it charged for work in case I need to call an ambulance."  He looked at it, turning it off and back on.  Yup, it had a charge.  He pushed the button, which was always on silent.  He saw the call connect.  "So, Willow, why the early trip back?  Don't you have tests and classes for the next few days since it's spring?"

"We're on spring break."  She smiled.  "Did Buffy tell you I'm transferring back in December?"

"She just did when I came in," Xander told her.  "Clay, did you guys eat dinner?"

"Jolene cooked.  Your plate's in the fridge."

"Jolene?" Willow asked.  "Girlfriend, Xander?"

"No, Pooch's wife," he said with a point.  "My boyfriend's resting in the bedroom after surgery."  He smiled.  "They're getting downtime so she showed up for some husband time."

Willow stared at him.  "Boyfriend?" she asked dryly.

"Yeah."  He grinned.  "I even taught him how to cuddle better."  He looked in the fridge.  "Real food?  Wow.  No hot peppers, right, Pooch?"

"She would not let him touch the dinner," Clay said .  "She knows not to let him do that to us."

"I learned."  He shut the door.  "I'll eat later.  I need to stretch out before I cramp up after the fight earlier."

"It wasn't much of a fight," Willow said.  "Clearly something you could handle."

He stared at her then at Jensen, who had his back most of the time.  Jensen coughed.  "Willow, a few weeks back he took down part of a street gang trying to rob the bar," he said dryly.  "Xander still needs some fight training but he's not that bad.  Even on our standards."  She snorted, shaking her head.

"He's actually very decent," Clay agreed.  "If he wanted to go military I could easily get him into Ranger training."  Buffy stared at him.  He nodded.  "We had to go Ranger and then go further," he admitted with a smile.  "I don't think he can do that but I can see him doing Ranger."

Xander grinned.  "Thanks but I suck at following stupid orders.  I'd end up fighting back at the wrong time when an order made no sense."

"Yeah, we have too," Clay said dryly.  "Or I'd have a higher rank."  Cougar laughed and nodded.  "We all would.  But it got the job done."

Xander nodded.   "I've had that feeling."  He got a soda and took a drink.

"Why are you drinking diet?" Buffy asked.

"Because this is LA."  He took another drink.  "I got infected by it at the club."  She smirked at him.  "I made good money until the one psycho put them to sleep for a few hours to get me."

"Figures you dated another bad girl," Willow snorted.

"No.  He's Canadian Special Forces," Xander told her.  She gaped.  "He's in the hospital right now."  He took another drink, getting Gunn a can.  "One of the few regular ones."  Gunn smirked at him.  "Clay insisted."

Buffy nodded.  "I would too.  I work off way too many calories most of the time to worry about my diet.  It's amazing, you go overseas and the women don't always shave, and they don't worry about their weight because a bit of pudge means that the winters are easier and healthier.  They have whole other standards of beauty.  It's amazing.  I felt really out of place in Cambodia being blonde."

Clay nodded.  "It's been a few years since I was in that part of the world.  I always felt too tall."

She smiled.  "Thankfully I'm compact but powerful."  He smirked back.  She grinned at Willow.  "Clay's a really good fighter.  We sparred a few times."

"Uh-huh.  Why are you hanging out with a bunch of military guys, Xander?" Willow asked.

"My boyfriend's friends with them."

"Oh.  So that nasty law....."

"Doesn't apply," he said dryly, staring at her.  "And if you should try to make it apply, I'd kill you."  He smiled sweetly.  She snorted again.  He calmly put a knife on the counter.  She glared.  He smiled again.  "You're being bitchy in my house, Willow.  I don't do it in yours."  She glared.  He stared back.  Roque walked out.  "You should be in bed."

"I know.  I needed some water."  He walked around her and got a bottle out of the fridge to drink, looking at the redhead.  "Rosenburg."   He opened it, taking a drink.  "Bad night at work?"

Xander nodded.  "Yup.  Three demons came in to get drunk and ate a few people.  But the doctor said you're supposed to be staying calm while you heal."  He smiled.

Roque shrugged.  "I can be calm.  Sometimes."

"We'll see later."  Roque nodded and went back to bed.  Now that he knew the threat, he could find someone to help them deal with it.  Xander grinned at the horrified looking Willow.  "Boyfriend yes.  He's very good to me.  I even let him talk me into special sex for my birthday."  Clay coughed, shaking his head.

Buffy waved a hand.  "You would not believe what I saw when I had to hunt a master vampire in Thailand."

"Yes I would," Clay admitted.

She smiled.  "You've been there?"  He nodded.  "Wow.  Did you get sucked in?"

"No, we were on duty," Jensen told her dryly.  "No sucking or fun on duty."  She laughed.  "They try to take you?"

"Once.  And someone tried to talk me into taking a package back to the US for him.  So I said I would and went to the police station.  They were more than happy to hear that and I got his picture in my phone as his ringtone."  She smirked.  "Not a bit of a problem at all.  They nicely got him at the airport and all that."

"Even better," Clay agreed.  "Nice thinking."  She grinned.  "Upper or lower?"

"Somewhere the trees were bigger than the houses and I had no idea what part of the country I was in.  The local Watcher guy brought me out there.  Then I told his girl about free will and thinking for herself and how friends had helped me so much.  He hated the hell out of that.  I even answered dating questions because she was thirteen and wondering."

"That makes you a good big sister slayer," Xander said with a grin.  "I'm sure the girl, if she's called, will have a much easier time."

"Hopefully."  She smiled at Willow.  "All the traveling was really good for me.  There's actually watchers who fought worse than Xander did in our first year."

"Actually, Rupert's one of them," Clay said.  "He can barely street brawl."

"It takes a lot to provoke the Ripper response," Buffy agreed.  "Usually chaos mages."

"Saw him recently," Xander told her.  She stared at him.  He nodded.  "I kindly escorted him to the airport and suggested he leave because everyone was going to have a bad mood on him.  And I called Giles while I gave him the 'go away and don't come back' speech."

"Wow.  He didn't say that."

"He didn't have to bitch at Ethan at all."  He grinned.  "He scowled at me for that part.  I gave him the name of a fight club if he wanted it."  Buffy laughed.  "It's nice.  I've earned some extra money there now and then."  He shrugged.  He stretched.  "Ow.  Waited too long."  Gunn helped him.  "Thanks, Gunn."

"Welcome, white boy."  He looked at him.  "Your boy scared half of the street gang the other day when he was scowling at his gun."

"Someone splashed him with mud and it got mud on it?" Xander guessed.  Gunn nodded.   "He takes very good care of his guns but his knives are his babies."

"It's good you two weapons nuts understand each other," Buffy quipped.

"Yup, sure do," Xander agreed happily.

"So that makes one girlfriend, a bunch of bad girls who wanted you, and one boyfriend," Buffy said.  "Right?"

"Yup.  Just him."

"It's nice to see someone's settling down within the group."

"Cordy and Doyle are back at the 'not staring at you' stage," Xander told her.

"I saw.   It's nice he handles her snark so well."  She grinned at him.  He smiled back.  "And nice to see Gunn and Fred happy too."

Xander nodded.  "Definitely.  Fred deserves it after all that stuff.  J, if you ever get taken to a demon realm that has no music and they call you a cow, it's because they took you as a slave.  Not a crack on your weight."

"I'll keep that in mind," he quipped.

"Things like that only happen to you," Clay said.  "I've talked to Fred about that.  Well, I walked in while she was talking about it and let her babble at me about it because she clearly needed to get it out and we might have to rescue him from there some day."

Willow shook her head.  "You guys are all acting like this is nothing to you."

"It's not," Clay said with a shrug.  "So there's demons.  So what?  I'm not going to freak out about more peaceful people.  Even if some of them do eat cats.  I can do without the vampires....."

"Amen," Buffy muttered.  "But hey, we got over seven hundred with the sniper guy helping."

Clay nodded.  "I was really happy with our count and that we did save that creche."  She smiled at him.  "Pooch's son is still cuter."

"No!  The baby with the little purple tentacles that kept waving them at you was *so* adorable," Buffy cooed.  "All tiny and cooing and waving.  Thankfully I can't have kids."  Gunn stared at her.  "I can't do that with the calling, Gunn.  I had the little sticks put in my arm and I make doubly sure by taking the every three month shot because it takes care of my cycle too.   I hated drawing vamps those months."  She shrugged, looking at Willow.  "It's really handy.  I haven't had a cycle in a year."

"We talk about that in front of guys?" Willow asked.

"Yes, because I'm still a guy and you both told me all together too much about those sort of things," Xander said.

"Is that why you have a boyfriend?"

"No, it's because he's a nice guy underneath the growl and scars," Buffy said firmly.  "Leave Xander alone about his boyfriend, Willow.  I like that he's finally got someone supportive who can back him up if he needs it.  He even helped when the super psycho guy tried to court Xander.  He beat the crap out of the guy for him but Xander just handed him a beer, gave him a kiss, and went to work."

"And then later *someone* shot him in the dick for trying more things," Jensen quipped.  "Pity they used a small caliber rifle."

"I'm guessing that's what was in the closet?" Buffy said, looking at Clay.

"Not me.  I would've used a larger caliber and made sure he died from all the blood loss."  Cougar nodded he'd do the same.  "Though yeah, it's what was in the closet."

Buffy nodded.  "Sometimes you gotta use what you have."  She looked at Willow, who was giving her a horrified look.  "I ran into demons that not even artillery would puncture."

"Water demons?" Xander guessed.  She nodded.  "Salt."

"I got told that by that Watcher.  It's his speciality."

"Something is clearly not right here," Willow said.  "You two aren't like this."

Xander looked at her.  "You haven't written in over a year, Willow.   Yes, we grew up.  Buffy learned to appreciate people and about a lot of different ways when she was off hunting overseas.  I learned a lot more about people."  He shrugged.  "Didn't you change at Oxford?"

"But...but... you're not gay," she said.  "Buffy's not being happy."

"I'm fully happy," Buffy assured her.  "I could use some sex, but otherwise I'm fully happy.  Mom's good.  Giles is good.  No one got seriously hurt the other night when we went to clean out some of the vamps in Sunnydale.  I'm all together good.  Faith and I even talked a lot and got some stuff straightened out and we're good again.  Speaking of, Xander, are you going up to visit?"

"I try to each time but I missed last time.  I can drive you."  Buffy smiled.  "Did you like naturally driving on the wrong side of the road?"

"Yup, I pretended I was home and there weren't any demons on the sidewalks," she quipped.  "I so needed a driver on the trip."

"It was probably part of a Watchers' job description," Gunn said dryly.

"Probably," she agreed happily with a smile for him.  "You need to bum Xander's sedan.  It's a very smooth ride."

"It was a reward for taking down an arms dealer," Xander quipped with a grin.

"It's a very sweet ride," Clay agreed.  Buffy smiled at him and winked.  He smirked back.

"This is so wrong!" Willow shouted and started to pull power.  Gunn threw the unopened can of soda at her, making her shriek and flail.  "What was that?"

"No magic in my house," Xander said.  "He knows that rule."  He stared at her.  "Stop it."

"You're not... you're being brainwashed."

"Getting really good blowjobs and my ass plowed now and then does not lead to brainwashing, Willow.  I waited a long time before deciding to let any guy try stuff and found a growly one that suited me.  Why are you so down with that?"

"He's not your type," she sneered.

"He's plenty dangerous when he needs to be," Clay said dryly.  "He's just more sane than most of his past ones."

"You know, he and Anya had a talk," Xander told Buffy, who cackled.  "Yeah.  He said he realized now why I missed oral sex on women."  He shook his head.  Willow tried to blast him with something.  So he shot her in the leg.  She screamed and fell down crying.  Xander looked at Gunn.

He put the phone next to his ear.  "Angel, we need someone who can undo Willow.  She's seriously broken."  He hung up.  Xander tossed Jensen his phone.  Jensen smirked at him.  "You had a missed call when he handed it to me," Gunn told him.

"Thanks."  He looked.  "My sister."  He called her, walking off to get away from the wailing.  LAPD showed up before they could call anyone.

"She tried to hurt Xander for having a boyfriend.  Apparently she thought they hadn't changed any after her year in Oxford," Clay told him.  "He was keeping her from trying to hurt him."

The officer nodded.  "That's fine, sir.  Miss, are you going to press charges?"

"They're both so wrong and the military guys are leading them to evil.  The Goddess would be upset if I didn't fix them," she sobbed.

Xander looked at Buffy, who shrugged.  "We can treat that.  It's only a graze," he said.  "Maybe we can get her back to normal since she claimed she was in England earlier."  The officer gave him a strange look.  Xander shrugged.  "We can.  I'm a bouncer.  I've had worse than that."

"Maybe she should have a quiet weekend in UCLA?" the officer offered.

Xander and Buffy shared a look then Buffy nodded.  "Yeah, that could help but warn them her parents were lecturing shrinks?"

"You can tell the ambulance guys."  He called that in.  They got there a few minutes later and loaded her.  Buffy pulled one aside to talk to them about her and what had happened.  The officer gave his report.   They made notes for the later shrinks to deal with and took her away to bandage her leg.  The officer finished his report and left too.

Xander cleaned up the small mess then looked at her.  "Are we visiting?"

"Let her calm down.  We'll visit in 2 days."  Xander nodded.  "My phone beeps when I dial."

"You can turn off the key noise on most of them," he assured her.

Jensen took her phone and did that for her, making he grin at his back when he walked off chatting.  "Wow.  Major helpful geek."  She looked at Clay.  "If he was a bit older, I might have to tempt myself."  He smirked at her.  "But he's much too young for me.  Older men always know better about a woman's body."

"You'd think," Xander said dryly.  "Some still suck at fifty and sixty."

"No, that's tragically old."  Clay took her to his bedroom to calm her down.  Like she had hinted.

Xander popped his neck, looking at Gunn.  "Do we think we can work on the problem for the invasion or should we just plan for the invasion?"

"I'd like to think we could stop them.  Let us talk about it."  Xander nodded.  Gunn left, heading back to the Hyperion to talk to the others.

Xander finished stretching.  "Let me go destress too.  I'll try to keep him quiet when I tie him down since the doctor said he was to lay on his back and be quiet and restful."  He headed for the bedroom.  He paused, staring at the baby and Jolene resting against Roque's side.  "Aww," he said with a grin.  Roque scowled at him.  Xander went to get Pooch, who took a picture but took the baby to change and then came back for his wife.  He wanted some wifely attention too.  Xander leaned down to kiss him.  "The doctor said you weren't to be active.  So it's your choice: you can only get a blow job or I can tie you down."

Roque stared at him.  "I don't like being tied down."

"Neither do I.  So just a blowjob tonight?"

Roque snorted.  "I'll be fine."

"I do not want to tempt that to break open again.  I didn't like the last time we had to do the ride to the hospital with me pinching it shut thing."  He stared at him.  "That's your only choice for tonight.  Next week you can have more participation."

"Fine.  Tie me down," he smirked.  "Do your worst."

"Not probably that bad."  He got things and tied Roque down then stripped off and climbed up to kiss him.  He was very careful of his side.  Roque was happy with what he was doing to wear out his own stress.

"Xander, cops are back!" Buffy called.  "The lights interrupted."

"Thanks for the warning."  He took another kiss and walked out there.  "Yes, Officer?"

"We have two demons trying to get into City Hall and that Angel guy is out somewhere he can't be found.  Can you...."

"Definitely.  Describe them."  The officer did.  "Someone load me some silver tipped."  He went to put back on his clothes.  "Keep it warm, dear.  I'll be right back.  Two demons trying to eat the mayor."  He took the gun Cougar handed him and let the cops take him to City Hall.  The demons were screwing and biting at the building.  "Guys, not a snack.  The people of the city will get pissed if they have to replace the building for biting it to death."   He got them broken up and found the name of a stone quarry with one of the officer's help.
They were happier because no one would interrupt or watch them out there.  Of course, vampires attacked.  Including one of the officers.  Xander staked them and looked at the officer once he had knocked him down.  He looked a this partner, who was giving him a horrified look.  Xander got off him.  "I don't want to deal with that issue," he told him.  "He's your partner, you handle it however.  Angel knows how to be one and not hunt if you ask him."  That officer nodded slowly.  "Can I get a ride home?"

"Sir, you attacked peaceful citizens."

Xander stared at him.  "Is this really the best plan you can think up?" he said dryly.  The vampire officer popped up and opened his cuffs.  Xander stared at him.  "It won't work."  He pointed.  The mayor coughed.  The officers stared.  "Sir, the two that were nibbling for a beddy-by snack are at a quarry."

"That's fine.  It's much nicer than watching them procreate on the stairs, Mr. Harris."  Xander stared at him.  "Of course I know.  I know the names of the whole little group.  Not that I mind.  It keeps things quiet around here.  We don't need demon problems on top of gang problems."  He stared at the intense young man.  "Go home."

"They gave me a ride."  He got a cab and headed off.

The mayor stared at them.  "Whose bright idea was this?"  The vampire officer raised his hand.  "You idiot.  The slayer would bring his boyfriend to destroy everyone.  Not to mention the one that wants him instead of his boyfriend."  He stared at him.  "Quit and flee the city."  He stomped off.  His partner followed.  The mayor told the head of the department their names so he could make sure of it and why

Xander got home and shut the door, putting the gun back.  "It was a plot by one of the officers who was a vamp."  He went to wear himself out on Roque's body.  Roque would appreciate that nap inducing sex and he needed to clear his head.

Jensen and Cougar shared a look.  That figured in a lot of ways they silently decided.


Buffy walked into the bar and looked around.  "What was it and who was behind it?" she asked.

"The vamps were going to turn him and use him to bait you," one of the demons called without looking.  "You're too big of a pain in the ass of Wolfram and Hart."

"After all the plots I stopped I'm not?" Xander joked as he walked in.

"Yup but they think you have more potential by being turned and coming to their side."

Xander shook his head.  "I'd kill them all."  The demons laughed.  "Cordy had a wishverse and I was a badass vamp there," he quipped with a grin.  They all moaned.  "That's where that extra Willow came from that time.  I had turned her so we could both treat Angel like a fun toy."  That got a happier sounding moan.  He smirked at one.  "They moved the invasion up?"  That one sighed and told Buffy and Xander all that he knew about that.  They took good notes to pass on before going to see Willow.

Willow's mother sneered at Xander.  "You shot her in the leg?"

"She was attacking me because I dared to be happy by having a boyfriend."

"You should be corrected for that," she sneered.

"Fuck you, bitch.  You were never home and you left Willow to raise herself into that insecure, bitchy girl in there.  You and your husband were gone so often Willow couldn't even pinpoint your country.  The last time you saw your daughter in person you tried to burn her at a stake.  Such great role models for those books you write about how to raise kids."  The nurse pulled them apart.

"I don't want him visiting my daughter," she demanded.

Willow came out of her room.  "I don't want to see my parents," she said.  "I don't care about anything else but I'm not talking to my parents."  The shrink came out to back her up.  "Please make them leave," she told the shrink.

"Mr. and Mrs. Rosenburg, your daughter is competent to make that decision.  She just needed some calming down and reflecting time really.  Not a full committal."  They stomped off glaring at Xander.  The shrink looked at him.  "Not everyone will...."

"Shut up," Xander told him.  "I don't want to hear your shit either.  I'm only here as a courtesy to let her know that someone wants to kill her.  We heard it earlier."

Buffy nodded, letting Willow have the notes.  Willow grimaced.  "Maybe coming back was a bad idea."

"Maybe the 'I'm always right thinking' was the bad idea," Buffy told her gently.  "You turned into your mother."  Willow shuddered.  Xander nodded to back her up.  "If Xander's happy, then I'm all for it since his last few girlfriends tried to kill him," she told the shrink.  "Just because you're a judgmental ass doesn't mean anything."

"She really could use supportive friends," the shrink said firmly.

"We are.  Just as soon as she agrees she can't control our lives," Xander said.  "That her own biases got in the way of her vision and that's why she attacked."

Willow looked at him.  "He's black."


"He's scarred.  Has that huge one."

"Beauty is more than skin deep," Buffy said.

"Xander doesn't need someone like that," she complained.

Xander stared at her.  "Why wouldn't I need someone who understood what I've been doing for years, how hard the job is, and that I'm actually not all that bad in my own right?"  Willow gaped.  "Yeah, you added back in that touch of 'you're normal' again."  He stared at her.  "We're waiting on this side of grown up for you, Willow.  It's time to see people for who they are and what they can really do, not your bias about how the world should be."

"Enough," the shrink said.  Xander glared at him and he backed down.  "I'll have you banned from up here."

"Please do," he said dryly.  "That way I don't have to deal with people like you."  He looked at her.  "Up to you totally."

She considered that.  "You two have changed a lot," she said.

They nodded.  "Yeah, I've traveled to some of the backwoodiest places on this planet," Buffy said.  "That does change the way you view things.  I don't even want to shop right now.  After seeing people starving, worrying about a new shirt became really weak of me."

Xander nodded.  "I've seen some of the worst humanity can do to itself, Willow.  It makes you grow up."

She nodded.  "It's still not right.  You're not like that, Xander, and he's brainwashing you to like military things and think that you're better than you are."

Buffy stared at her.  "Willow, looking back, every time we did that, Xander saved our butts.  We asked him to some of those times and then put him down for being a guy."  Willow gaped.  "He's just as normal as Giles is, only with different training."

Xander nodded.  "Yup.  Thank you," he told her.

She punched him on the arm.  "You're still inferior for being a male."

"Of course I am," he said dryly, smirking at her.  He smiled at Willow.  "It's up to you to let that petty shit go.  We still like you as a friend and all that but I'll be damned if I'm going to let you attack me or my boyfriend.  I went through years of hell and needed someone like him at my back.  Now that I have him, I'm pretty secure in the knowledge that I have him and that I deserve him for putting up with you two as teenage girls."

Buffy snickered.  "I was a pretty shallow thing, even after all that."  She looked at Willow.  "We'd love to have our Willow friend back.  I kinda missed having you with me all the time.  It would've been a lot easier.  You could've driven when I messed up.  We could've talked to native women who had a lot of things happier than we have but had a lot less than we do.  You could've seen the one giving birth and they had shunned her for who the baby daddy was.  I helped.  It was gross.  I really could've used you or Xander there to help me then because I had no idea what to do."

"Catch, make sure it's breathing, block and then cut the cord," Xander said bluntly.  "We had a female stripper at one of the clubs I worked at deliver on stage.  She hadn't called off because she needed the paycheck and thought it was false contractions until her water broke and EMS couldn't get there for an hour."

Buffy smiled.  "I'll keep that in mind for the next time."

"I have that textbook at home to study in case I needed it.  I got it after that."  He looked at Willow again, who was staring at him oddly.  "When you're an adult you have to pay the bills somehow, Willow.  That's not the most pleasant way but she wasn't one of the ones that did the back room.  She just needed to provide for herself and her baby.  Buffy could've easily ended up on one when she ran away."

Buffy nodded.  "One of the girls at the shelter suggested it for easy cash.  I freaked out majorly."

Xander nodded.  "My first time too.  Filling in that night was really weird and I froze."  He stared at Willow.  "You're not the Goddess."

"No, you're right, I'm not," she admitted.  She sighed and let the magic go.  That unfroze the shrink and nurses so they could move again.  "I..."

"We'll be here in December too," Xander pointed out.  "And I'm sure they have less judgmental shrinks in England."

"How did you get here?" Buffy asked.  Willow waved a hand.  "Is that healthy?"

"I...  I, um...."

"You saw your power like you saw knowledge when you were younger," Xander said quietly, staring at her.  "You treated it the same way."

She nodded.  "I think I did."  She looked at the shrink.  "Can I have one that's not such an ass?  Or can I go home to think?  I can find one by the college."

"I think you need some more time to reflect on things.  Clearly you're still not clearly thinking if you think God is a female."

"Of course she is.  Women give birth to things," Willow said bluntly.  "Men can't.  That means the Higher Being has to be female.  There might be a piddling, whining male in there somewhere who only wants the sex."

"I always thought he might be more of a poet and hey, hunter Gods," Xander pointed out.

"Good point.  Nature in the natural state is poetry when left alone."  Willow nodded.  "Protective, nagging, a bit confining...  Yeah, sounds like most guys."  She shrugged.  "Thankfully Oz wasn't like that."  She disappeared.

Xander looked at Buffy.  "I call fudge."

"Fudge?" she asked, eyes wide.  "I like fudge."  They walked off.

"How did she do that!" the shrink shouted.

"She's just like that," Xander quipped.  "Though her mother would probably say you had delusions based on your feelings of inadequacy due to how less worthy than ethnic males you are in the bedroom.  But then again she likes Freud so it's all about your dick."  Buffy laughed.  "She did.  She actually tried to Oedipal me once.  Then she met my mother.  She decided I had no desire for her to be anything but normal and switched theories."  They left, going to the tiny, upscale, organic source fudge shop Xander knew and then back to the Hyperion.  He handed Fred and Cordy some, getting dual smiles.  "Willow's back in England.  She's calmed down.  She heard that she's not the Goddess."

Buffy nodded, nibbling on a corner with a moan.  "Oh, damn, Xander.  You know the good spoiling spots."

"Yes I do," he said happily.  "I got extra for Jensen's birthday."  He grinned.  They went over what they knew on the invasion, which helped a lot.  Angel had an idea on how to infiltrate them.  Xander left them alone, going home.  No one was there.  He called Jensen's phone.  "I got you a birthday present.  Should I ship it?"  He smiled.  "That's cool.  It'll be in the fridge in a bag.  Happy birthday!"  He hung up and went to find the tied down Roque Clay had left him.  Roque was scowling so Xander kissed him.

"Fudge?  You were eating fudge?"

"Yup.  I have two whole squares of really excellent, decadent chocolate mint fudge," he said smugly.  He stripped and smirked at his boy.

"Don't hit my side," Roque said.

"I'd never do that, baby."

"And don't channel Pooch either," he grumped.  Xander let him have one of his pain killers so they could go for a while and got happy.  And naughty.  He loved being naughty.


Jensen walked in from his birthday dinner with the team and found his bag in the fridge.  "Fudge," he cooed, petting the nice box.  "Oh, so sweet fudge."  Clay was giving him a funny look.  Jensen pulled out the box, showing it was the *large* box.  Cougar let him open it, get three pieces, then he firmly put it back into the refrigerator.  Jensen got to walk off cackling in glee as he moaned at the taste.  "I love you, Xander.  If you give up the scary one, I'm adopting you as mine."

"You'd better not even *think* about it," Roque panted.  "Clay, I need saved!" he called.

Clay leaned in the doorway, seeing Xander smirking at his boyfriend as he rode him.  "Too tired from the injury?" he taunted with an evil smirk.

"No!  It's been three fucking hours and I can't get out of these damn cuffs!" he complained, rattling them.  "Help a teammate out!"  Clay tossed him a lockpick kit Cougar handed him.   Xander even nicely handed it over.   Clay watched Roque try but it wasn't working.  He came in to pick one open for him.  "Be nicer to him, Xander."  He patted him on the head.  "Remember, he's injured."

"I've been very nice.  Nothing too hard, too fast, too strong....."

"Which is probably what drove him nuts," Clay decided, heading out.  Maybe Buffy needed a break.

Roque got the other cuff undone and growled at his boy.  "You're going to pay for that girly, slow, gentle ride shit."  He flipped them over and pounded into his boy's ass until Xander begged him to take off the cockrings he had put them both in earlier.  Roque did his and let Xander come.  But he had some energy left so he was going to use it.  Xander was extra sensitive but he had plans to make his boy give in to him more often.

Roque was finally done and undid his own cockring, coming and nearly falling over.  Xander helped him lay back down on his back.  He was panting and nearly blind from the white-out lights in his eyes.  Xander handed him a can of diet soda and a pain killer.  "I'll do you harder tomorrow."

"Need to keep up your stamina," Xander teased.  He kissed him and finished off the can.  "Now, aren't I fantastic since the doctor said no sex?"

Roque nodded, swallowing.  "A lot of fantastic, even if it was girly and soft."  Xander pinched him on the neck.  "I'll pay you back when I can move."  Xander snuggled in, getting all the cuddling time in he wanted.  Roque couldn't move to get free of his human limpet.  He'd have to pay him back for that in the morning as well.


Jolene knocked before opening the door, staring at the two tangled on the bed.  "I never knew you'd cuddle, Roque."  She smiled as she brought in the bed tray Pooch had found for her.

"I don't.  He has me pinned and I'm too tired to move him."  He looked at the food.  "That's all mine, right?"

"That's half yours and if you eat it all, you can have more."  She smiled.  "He's nicely built."  She kissed him on the head and gave Xander the same treatment, making him gasp awake.  "Easy, Xander.  Just me."  He blinked at her.  "Breakfast?"

"I could eat.  I got all sorts of sweaty last night," he said with a grin.

"I know you did, baby boy.  He looks good sweaty.  That's why I make him do the yard work for Pooch."  She handed the trays over.  "If he wants more, I've got more for him.  They all eat like horses."  She left them alone, going to make one for Jensen and Cougar.  Cougar had tied Jensen down after a few hours of bouncing from the sugar.  She'd be feeding Jensen and Xander fudge later to see how they bounced together.  Sure, it was mean but fun to watch and the boys probably wouldn't mind getting too bouncy together.  Even if Roque might growl.  Xander seemed to like him like that though so not a huge problem.

Xander wandered out in boxers, smiling shyly at her.  "He nearly ate me too."

"Did he steal yours?"

"Yes.  Said I was too big and needed to lose weight, that's why I drink diet soda.  I reminded him I got infected by the need for abs from my last job."  She laughed and refilled both plates for him, letting him wander back that way.  Cougar came out shaking his head with the empty plates.  "You should probably let him up, Cougar."

"No.  Not yet."  He went back in there.  Jake had somehow gotten free while he was taking that short trip and was now in the shower.  He could hear him singing badly in it.  He could hear Xander nagging Roque he had to eat too, to leave his breakfast alone.  Cougar walked in there and hauled Roque up, pointing.  "Check your stitches."  Roque huffed but finished his breakfast in the bathroom so Xander could eat.

"Xander, can you teach me to strip?" Jensen called as he got out of the shower.  "That way one of us knows in case we need it on a mission?"

"Sure.  Let me shower and put on something clean.  Meet me in the garage."

"Okay."  Xander got up after finishing, taking the plates out, kissing Jolene on the cheek.  "Thank you for cooking real food, unlike your husband Pepper Man."  He went to shower and put on something clean yet loose.  He found Jensen waiting and showed him how to put up the temporary pole.  "For male strippers this is usually just a placemarker."  Jensen nodded and Xander taught him a few of his routines.  Jensen was having fun.  Jolene even let them have some of the fudge.

Roque leaned in, watching Xander teach Jensen the right way to pelvic thrust.  "Must we really do this?"  He was not going to be jealous of Jensen.  He wasn't.  The geek had nothing on him.

"Some day we might need it on a mission and then you'd have to if I didn't learn.  Or Cougar."

"Cougar already knows how."  Jensen paused to stare at him, mouth slightly open.  "We had to use him once way back when we were a new team."  He disappeared.  "No touching, Jensen, or I'm cutting all your fingers off and you'll have to hack with your toes."

"Not like I poach."

"You'd better not.  No touching."

Xander bounced over to kiss him.  "You're still cute even when you're insecure and growly."  He grinned.  "If I had wanted to pounce Jensen, I'd have already dumped you and pounced him.  Not like I didn't have plenty of opportunity when I could've.  Quit treating me like a trifling ho, dear."  He went back to helping Jensen learn.  Roque walked off shaking his head.

Jensen grinned.  "It would be one bouncy, fun bed."

"Yes it would," he agreed with a grin.  "Which is why my growling thing with the sharp and pointy addiction had to beg for help last night."  He beamed.

Jensen cackled, leaning on Xander shaking his head.  "You're so bad."

"Yes I was."  They got back to it.

Clay came to the doorway, staring at them move and turn.  "Why are we doing this?"

"In case it comes up on a mission," Jensen quipped with a grin.  "Plus, hey, great workout."

Clay stared, shaking his head.  "You two are going to turn into evil things, aren't you?"

Xander beamed.  "I was thinking about taking Jensen out clubbing later.  That way Roque can get some rest without having to beg for less sex.  Plus if I bring Jensen and maybe Cougar, you three old guys can complain about your lap candy and I'll be safe from whoever might try to get me from my boy's sharp and pointy addiction."

Clay walked off shaking his head.  "Cougar, the boys are talking about clubbing later."  Roque moaned.  "Without us so you can sleep, Grandpa, and Pooch and I can complain that our women wore us out."

Buffy cackled.  "I'm not that mean."

Clay smirked at her.  "You can try if you want.  Xander made Roque beg for mercy last night."

"I do not need to visit that mental neighborhood.  I saw plenty of gay sex in Thailand that looked like something I didn't want to try."  She smiled at Roque.  "Sorry."

"He's teaching Jensen how to do stripper moves, Cougar.  Make sure they don't get broken in on?"  Cougar gave him a dirty look.  "I'm not saying go watch, just listen to make sure the neighbor's lawn goat doesn't try to steal them this time."  Buffy cackled and let Clay walk her off.

Roque looked at Cougar.  "I told Jensen no touching."

Cougar got up and went to watch tv.  That was next to the garage and what he could see through the doorway made him mentally swear at his cock to calm back down.  He wasn't a teenage boy and he hadn't come in his pants in over a decade and a half.  Pooch came down too with Jolene.

Jolene watched with the baby.  "You need to spin more slowly, Jensen.  Be more flashy and let the girls see what they need to drool for.  Good strippers make their crowd wet and happy without having to do more than tease."  Xander changed routines, which helped Jensen some.  Jolene *definitely* got that happy feeling.  Pooch was growling like Roque.  "Flex more, Jensen," she ordered.  He did that with a grin.  "Shy boy grin, not happy boy grin.  Make them think you're a pure little stud looking for a lover."  Xander smirked at her.  "Or really naughty like that one."

"I didn't start sleeping with Roque until their second leave in LA," he told her.  "I'd only had two and a half women before then."

"She was trannie?" Jolene guessed.

"Blow jobs only."

"Ah, that sort of girl.  They're good that way.  Xander, why are you arching your back...."  She trailed off when she saw why.  "Damn, you're nearly as well built as my man."  She had to shift her position.

Pooch took the baby, kissed him on the head, and handed him to his uncle so he could walk his wife off and finish that happy mood off for her.  "Thanks, boys.  Didn't need help with the prep work though."  She swatted him.  He kissed her.  They made it as far as the stairs and she was still loud.  Which the Pooch enjoyed a lot.

Cougar looked at the baby, who was giving him a confused look.  He shrugged.  He didn't know why he had been handed the baby.  The baby was snuggly and warm, which was nice.  Cougar could still see them teasing each other and heard how Jensen was starting to pant.  Clearly Xander teased him too much as well.  Cougar got up and handed the baby to Roque then took Jensen out for some air... or something if he could finally talk him into it.

Jensen smiled at Cougar.  "About damn time."  Cougar stared at him so Jensen kissed him.  "Seriously, about damn time, Cougs."  They went to the more wooded areas and had some sex outside.  It was more private than anywhere in the house.  And less loud.

Xander shrugged and finished his workout then went out the garage and up to the front door.  Where he found someone waiting.  "They're all busy," he told Wade.  "Pity I'll get to stab you this time."

Wade stared at him.  "You're so hot when you're pissy."

Xander shrugged.  "A lot of people think that.  That's how I afforded my own house as a stripper."  He stared at him.  "Go.  Away."

"I could be good to you.  Give you things Roque can't."

Xander shrugged.  "I got a three million dollar bonus for killing your boss," he said bluntly.  "Why do I need anything?"

"If I had known that I might've killed Max myself."  He stared at him.  "You'd make an excellent wife."

"No I wouldn't.  I hate housework."

"I have a housekeeper at my hideaway."  He smiled.  "No housework, just a lot of really good sex."

"No.  Sorry but no.  I should introduce you to my ex though.  Anya was all about the orgasms."

Wade grimaced.  "No thanks.  Women break way too easily."

"Sometimes, yeah.   But no, I'm sorry but no.  I don't dump those I'm with for someone else.  Even if the offer is a bit charming no.  Sorry.  Ask when I'm single."

"I can...."  Xander pulled out a gun.  "Where were you hiding that?"

"Stripper trick."  He smirked.  "Go away, Wade.  I'm not going to be yours."

"But...."  He pouted.  "I'd be nicer than I was to my last girlfriend and Max isn't here to kill you."

"No.  I'm not breaking up my good thing for someone else.  That's not the man I am."

Wade sulked.  "He calls you his good thing?"

"Sometimes, why?"

"Because that's like soldier code for an off-duty spouse, kid.  If you're just a fuck, they call you that.  If you're a good thing you're more than lap candy and just below an officially noted girlfriend."

Xander nodded.  "I call him my boyfriend most of the time when he can't hear me.  Thank you for telling me that though."  He smiled.  "It's nice to hear.  Try again when I'm single."  Wade sulked as he walked off.  "There's someone out there for you."

"Maybe he'll die soon."

"Don't make me shoot you again.  Third time will be the charm."

Wade smirked.  "That might be fun to test, see how good you really are.  I'll be semi-patient for a while."  He got into his car and drove off.

Xander opened the door, walking inside, then shut it and banged his head against the nice, solid surface.

"Xander, you're interrupting my sex life, stop it!" Buffy shouted.  "Or if it's the goat, go home!"

Xander walked back to his bedroom, laying down beside Roque, who was staring at the baby.  "If you really want one of those, I can find you a good surrogate."

"Hell no."  He looked at him.  "Why were you banging your head on the door?"

"Wade said he'd wait semi-patiently for me to be single."

"He's here?"

"He drove off," Xander said before he could move.  "I noted you called me your good thing and talked him out of curing my dating problem since I don't dump people to go with someone else."

"That's nice of him.  Why?"

"I don't know."  They shared a look.  "Maybe a tiny little bit of honor?"

"Maybe he's got spy cameras and is taping?" Roque guessed.

"That's more likely since I found another FBI bug the other day."  Roque moaned, getting up to check places while Xander stared at the kid.  "You scare the shit out of me, kid.  You really do."

Roque snickered.  "Me too."  He found the camera and bugs, holding them up.  "He had it in stereo sound."

"He said it was nice, Max wouldn't be there to kill his next lover."

Roque nodded, walking off.  He dropped the camera on Clay's bed next to him and then went back to calm Xander down.  The guy was a bit freaked out but Roque agreed that was a good reaction.

Clay looked at the gear and got up to check their room.  He turned off that one.  "Jensen!" he called.

"Out," Xander called back.  The baby fussed.  "No!  Don't do that!  I have no idea what to do if you do that!  Please don't do that!"  The baby quit.  "Hey, thumbs.  I like mine too."

Clay slammed the door and went back to teasing Buffy.  "The last psycho who wanted him."  She nodded, letting him do whatever he wanted because he made sure she got off nicely.  And then he did.  Clearly the difference between a Victorian era vampire and a commando was stamina and depth.  Because it was too good to pass up and she might lose *her* soul if it kept being that good.


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