Demon Criminal Investigative Services:  A Play Day on Base.

"That damn crackhead gopher!" Xander shouted.

Dean looked over from his spot on the couch.  Sam looked over from his comfy spot at the table with his laptop.  Then they looked at each other.  And shrugged.  Who knew with Xander sometimes?

"Xander, are you playing a game based on Caddyshack?" Sam called.

"No!  This damn crackhead gopher won't leave me alone!  Dean, I'm being haunted!"

"Gophers don't have souls," Dean called back.  "They can't haunt you, Xander."

"It's clearly not real since I tried to kill it and it disappeared!" he shouted.  "Come get this thing, Dean!  Now!"

Dean got up and went over there.  "Why can't you kill it?"

"I tried, but it disappeared."  He huffed.

"You're sounding like one of the girls," Dean taunted.  "Even with the calling the better hunter over to kill something for you, dude.  Calm down.  It's not going to eat you."

"It ate all my twinkies!  Then the fucking thing laughs.  It's clearly a curse for me to turn into Bill Murray."

Dean looked at the creature on the kitchen counter.   "It's not a gopher, it's a squirrel."

"How would I know?  Not like Sunnydale was *rural* or anything."  He looked at the thing.  "Are you sure it's not a gopher?  It seems like a demented gopher."

"Yeah.  I've hunted and eaten some of them, Xander."


Dean patted him on the back. "They're not bad."

"Still disgusting, Dean."

"You're whining, Xander."

"Then kill the damn thing for me!  I can't since it keeps disappearing."

Tony leaned in, already grinning.  "Why are we having a Caddyshack moment?"

Dean pointed at the squirrel.  "He thought it was a gopher and it ate all his twinkies."

"It moved in last night and it keeps tearing into my stuff like the one on the movie.  It's possessed or it's haunting me because I can't kill the thing."  He threw his dagger at it and it did seem to disappear.  "See!  It's haunting me.  It's evil!"

"Now you sound like Anya," Sam said as he joined them.  "Didn't she have a thing about bunnies?"  Xander grimaced but nodded.  "Aww, it's a squirrel."

"I don't care what it is.  Get it out of my twinkies and out of my clothes and out of my apartment!"

"Sure, calm down, Xander," Sam ordered.  "Tony, can you please get the gun for us?  It's on Dean's bed."

"That's kinkier than I thought you were," Tony joked but he went to get it for them.

"I was cleaning it and fell asleep on top of it," Dean called after him.  "I've never been desperate enough to use that as a convenient hole."  He moved closer, spotting it.  "Call the guards to tell them it's not a problem."  Tony handed the gun to Sam then guarded the door.  Sam tossed it over, letting Dean catch it, checking for a shell.  He cocked it and aimed, shooting at the thing.  And it wasn't there.  "Huh.  Maybe we're wrong and squirrels do have souls so they can haunt you."

"See!" Xander said.

"C'mon, Xander.  We'll let Dean shoot up your apartment so you can calm down."  Guards came stomping off the elevator.  "A squirrel is haunting Xander and eating his twinkies."  The guards stared then one giggled.

"It's not funny!" Xander complained.

"It is," Sam said with a grin.  He took Xander's dagger when the squirrel popped up out of hiding.  Dean had to get more ammo and switched to one of Xander's guns since they were there and he had bullets for them.  He took another shot.  The squirrel ran for the door.  Sam tried to get it.  No luck.  The guards all shrieked when it tried to run up them to hide.  A few of the girls, including Faith came off the elevator.  "It's a squirrel.  Shut our doors, Tony."  He went to do that.  Having it in the hallway was easier.  "No one call the elevator."  They stared at the little creature.

Dean looked at it.  "Dude, move so it runs down to the floor," Dean ordered.  The guard did that and the squirrel tried to climb in his shirt.  The guard swatted at it until it jumped off him and onto Faith, who shrieked and batted at it.  "It's just a squirrel," he shouted.  "Put it onto the floor!"  She got free of the evil thing and Dean shot it.  He realized he only had rock salt shells but that was fine.  He picked it up to check over.  "It'll live.  It's a bit banged up but it'll be fine.  The salt didn't pierce the fur."

"Get it out of the building!" Xander ordered.  "Before it decides to eat more than my boxers and my twinkies."

Faith gave him an odd look.  "It's demonic?"

"No, it's a squirrel," Sam told her.  He took the thing outside, carrying it out to the fence and putting it on top of it.  It'd be safe up there until it was able to scamper off.  The guard doing patrols with the K-9 demon dog gave him an odd look.  "It snuck into Xander's apartment.  He had a fit.  It ran over the guards who came up to see what Dean was shooting at, making them have a fit.  Then it ran up Faith, who screamed and batted at it.  Dean got it with rock salt."

"That's almost cruel," he pointed out.

"No it's not.  It didn't do more than bruise it.  It'll be fine."  He went back inside.  Faith was complaining about the thing trying to hide in her shirt.  The guards had slunk off.  Daniel came off the elevator, looking pissed.  "It was a squirrel," Sam told him.  Daniel relaxed.

"I still say it's possessed or something.  It tried to eat my boxers earlier," Xander complained.

"Maybe you city people need to move into the country for a few lessons," Dean said.

"I can track, use the appropriate tree for TP, not stumble into poison ivy, oak, or sumac, I can catch a demon pretending to be a tree.  I don't need to know about squirrels and other evil little things that sneak in to be owned by me so I'll let them have all my twinkies."

Daniel burst out laughing.  "Xander, it'll be fine."

"No it won't!"  He went back into his apartment, slamming the door so he could sulk in peace.

"Xander needs a warning tattooed on his chin about breaking all rules of sense and logic," Amber complained.

"Why on his chin?" Daniel asked.

"Because no girls look high enough to see the pretty brown eyes of puppy doom.  They all get stuck on his package," Faith said.  "We should get him a belt buckle that says that."

"Way too country for him," Amber pointed out.  "He doesn't wear big belt buckles, Faith."

"True.  Maybe a t-shirt so they can stare at his chest?"

Dean growled.  "Why were we staring there on Xander?" he asked calmly.

"Way back when he could've been mine I never got higher than his package unless he was pouting. Then you saw these big, brown eyes of puppy doom.  They're enough to make even me do stuff for him.  I'm sure that's how he talks all those girls into the bathroom or wherever."

"He didn't pout at any of the ones I've seen him pick up," Sam told her.  "Stare a few times, drawing them in that way."

She shivered.  "That's not much better.  Animal magnetism eyes clearly aren't any better."  She kissed Dean since he was still growling.  "You've got the same thing, Dean.  Chill."  She checked herself.  "At least the little furry demon didn't try to eat me."

"Squirrels aren't demonic and they don't taste too bad," Daniel told her.


"That's what Xander said," Sam said with a grin.  "You two can go calm down if you want, Faith.  I'm sure Amber and the others are going to do the same?"  They all fled to do whatever they wanted with Sam's permission.  "Sorry, we didn't mean to worry anyone, Daniel."

"It's all right, Sam."  He left, going back to his own apartment.  He ran into John outside.  "A squirrel decided to adopt Xander."

"He's never seen a squirrel?" he asked.  "I'm sure even Sunnydale had squirrels in the parks or something."

"They probably got eaten by something."

"Good point."  He walked back to his room shaking his head.  Someone really had to teach Xander some more practical life skills sometime soon.  He looked up at the faint voice of Faith that was complaining 'what do you mean we're out of lube again, it was your turn to go to the pharmacy'.  That got a groan and he went to hide before someone asked him if he had any again.

Sam walked into his apartment, handing over something.  "From Tony so he doesn't have to hear a complaining woman unless Anya shows up for cuddles."  He went to his own room with his laptop.  That way Dean and Faith could do whatever they wanted and he didn't have to watch.

Faith looked at the bottle then at him.  "Whole new one," she said happily.

"It was still your turn."

"You pout and I've got toys to use this with," she offered.  He growled and pulled her into his bedroom to make her squeal and scream and keep Xander up.

Of course that meant Xander could call in his own booty call....  Which meant that they didn't get any sleep anyway, even when they were done.


Faith walked in the next morning, staring at Xander.  "I don't know who she was, but damn!" she said finally.  He paused in eating to give her an odd look.  "You.  Sqeuaky, squealy, loud people having more sex than we did and loud enough to keep Hot Pants up."  Xander shrugged and finished eating the bite on his fork.  "Who was it?"  He just grinned.  "Oh, come on.  It had to be someone, X."

"It was.  I wasn't alone making all that much noise."

"You were *never* that noisy before."

"Bet me," Dean snorted as he came in.  "He and Anya got really loud more than once.  That's why I went to sleep on Dad's floor and Tony went to nap in the armory on top of the bullet cases."  He looked at Xander, who was still chewing.  "So, Anya come in for a cuddle?"

"Nope."  He ate another bite.

"There's no way that anything that noisy was him alone," Tony complained from his seat.  "You three kept me up and I'm on the other side of Sam's room."

"The three of them?" Dawn asked, her head popping up.  She looked at Faith.   "Special birthday present?"  She got a glare for that.  "Well, it is coming up," she defended.  "I'm sure he has no idea what to get you either."

"Shut up, D.  I don't get shared that way."

"Okay.  Though it sounds like it'd be fun."  Faith glared harder so she ducked her head and went back to eating.

"Xander, do we have to teach you how to use a gag?" Tony asked, looking over.  "If I can hear you overtop of those two screaming through sex and over Sam's snoring, we've got to do something."

Xander shrugged.  "It was one of Abby's friends."  Abby's head popped up and she gave him an odd look.  "She left at about six to head home so she could change and hit work."

"You and.... ooooh.  Yeah, she's loud.  Sorry, Tony.  That was mostly her probably."

"No, I heard Xander.  I heard Sam complaining about Faith and Xander being loud.  I heard Dean complaining that Xander was even louder than him.  I heard Sam complain that Dean was louder than an orgy at a football game he had once been to."  He stared at them.  "All three of you need gags and Sam needs nasal strips so he quits snoring."

"Or we *really* need to insulate between the apartments," Abby told him.

"There is," Tony said dryly.  "Usually I can't hear a thing so unless last night was a mystical mistake?" he suggested, looking at Dawn.

"Not that I know of and it would've echoed to us, not you."

"Some of us aren't pervs that way and don't need to hear Faith getting happy," Kim said impatiently, glaring at her.  "Even if my girlfriend wouldn't mind."

"It still wasn't me.  It was them being loud.  They like being loud.  Xander's always been loud according to Anya."

Xander nodded.  "Yeah, now and then I do get loud," he admitted, considering it.  "Not *always* though."

"Bet me!" Dean complained.

"We'll look at putting some more insulation between the apartments," Daniel said to break up the arguments.  "Eat, people.  It's another day of work coming up quickly."

John Sheppard walked in and looked at Xander.  "Close your windows next time?  I didn't need to be woken up by you chanting Bolivia's name.  It's nearly as bad as someone chanting 'oh you intergalactic physics stud' at three am."  Abby squeaked.  "One of the Marines wanted to know if you were so loud to advertize you'd share her.  I had to let Ronon and Tiff defend yours and her honor."

"No, I'm just kinda loud now and then," Xander admitted.  "Sorry, John."

"Thankfully I can take a nap later."  He grabbed coffee and walked off shaking his head.

Xander grinned.  "I'm sorry if I kept anyone else up too."  They all shook their heads.

Chase looked over.  "My window's across from yours.  I didn't hear you."

"Then maybe it was a magical mistake," Tony said.

"Still not mine," Dawn complained.  "Maybe one of the witches in town wanted to hear Xander have sex.  Who knows.  Or one of the demons who thinks he'd be good at it."

"I would've heard if he was bad at it," Abby said.  "Bolivia must've taken a nap before work or I'd have heard about this long before breakfast."

Rodney stomped in.  "What is wrong with that goofy haired bastard?"

"We woke him up and so did Xander," she said, making him blush.  "Yeah, basically."

"He needs his own cot somewhere else," Rodney complained.  "It's not my fault I enjoy it when you nudge me awake by accident."

Anya appeared, looking at Xander.  "Can I store some more stuff in your closet?  I've got to weed out my current boxes of stuff so I can buy more interesting things."

"Sure, Ahn.  Is it something I should keep the girls out of?"

"Depends on them."  She gave him a kiss.  "Was she good?"

"Very.  We kept up someone in Abby's apartment," he said smugly.

"Shoot.  I never made you get that loud."  Everyone who had been woken up groaned.  "It's good when he's loud like that."  She kissed him again.  "I'll drop it later."

"Sure.  I'll be on base probably.  I don't have an open case."  He took a deeper kiss.  "Thank you for not destroying them," he said quietly.

"I will be but I'll wait until others can have fun watching them slowly go insane and be destroyed at the same time."  She disappeared.

Xander looked over at Chase.  "If House wants to see what new neat stuff she's found he can come over later."

"I'll tell him that when he gets up," he said dryly.  "I'm not sure I want to know."  He finished up and headed for the infirmary.  They had headache medicine down there.

Daniel coughed.  "Dawn, can you please take a few minutes to make sure that the spell or whatever on Xander and Dean's apartments are canceled?"

"Sure, Daniel.  Be happy to since I didn't get to hear the good stuff this time."  Sam swatted her.  "What?" she defended.


"I am.  I'm an eighteen-year-old girl, Sam.  Of course I'm all about the smut at my age."  She got up and took Xander's keys from his pocket, heading over to check out his apartment.

Abby took a kiss then went to call her buddy to see how good it had been.  She'd have to wake her up but that was fine she guessed.  Tony and the others who needed a nap went to get another hour before reporting to their desks.  It was going to be a long day otherwise.  Xander finished breakfast and went to find something to do.  He had no problems with last night.  It had been really kinda good.


Anya appeared.  "I've got some of Hallie's old stuff too, Xander.  She left it to me and I have *no* room in the closets anymore."  She took a quick kiss.  "Thank you."

"Welcome.  How much stuff are we talking about?  I only have the three closets."  She gave him a look.  "A hall closet."

"Not that much."  She pointed and a small stack of boxes appeared.  "See?"  She smiled hopefully.

"Sure.  Is that all Hallie's?"  She nodded.  "Where's yours?"  She made two new trunks appear.  He looked then at her.  "Clothes?" he asked hopefully.

"No.  Toys that didn't really soothe me all that much."  She winked and disappeared.

Xander shook his head but moved Hallie's stuff to the closet once he had it marked that it was hers.  Then he sat down to look in the two footlockers.  "I don't know how she does it," he said.  The one on top was huge, spiral shaped, and neon pink.  He checked the other trunk.  Vibrators.  "Oh, she separated them out for me.  How sweet."  He got up to answer the door, letting House in.  "Two trunks this time."

"She must miss whatever made you so loud last night," he quipped.  He looked at them then at him.  "You looked yet?"

"The brown trunk has vibrators.  The other's just toys."

House gave him a horrified look.  "Full?"

"I didn't dig but it looked like it."

House sat down to pull one closer so he could look inside.  "I'll be damned it is full."  Sam walked in and shut the door.  "Came to see the new toy chest?"

He looked.  "That's all toys?"

House held one up.  "All sex toys it looks like."

Sam squeezed his eyes shut.  "That's so wrong.  I'm sure sex shops don't have that many toys in stock."

"You'd be surprised," Xander told him.

Sam looked at him.  "Not really."

Xander grinned.  "I did like to browse the one by Pasadena.  It's a cool one."

"Jess ordered online from there once but there were a few near the college so we used those."

"You need to hit some of the specialty shops, Sam.  There's things in there that I had to have explained to me."

"Boys," House said.  "There's things in some of them that *I* need to have explained to me.  Since I've had more sex than both of you....."  They just grinned at him.  He held up one.  "Is that demonic or just from her twisted mind?"

"I don't know," Xander admitted, looking at the lurid dark blue jelly textured toy that was about eight inches wide and three long but had a blunt head.  "I haven't slept with that many demons, House, and most of them do wear some sort of clothes over their genitals.  I can take it to a demon strip club and ask."

"No, that's all right," he said, tossing it back inside.  He opened the other one but nearly whimpered.  Full of vibrators in all shapes, colors, sizes, and some that were adjustable.  "She needs help."

"She had an eleven-hundred year dry spell," Xander reminded him.  "She remembered how much she liked it once she started getting it again."

"That's more sex addict," House complained.  "Even nymphos don't have a collection like that.  That's an addiction to toys."

"Hey, talk to her.  She's paying for her own now," Xander said dryly.  "I paid for a lot of her old ones."

"That's bad on so many levels," House complained.  He stood up.  "We should spend some time digging into those.  See how many more odd models she got this time."

"Go ahead," Xander quipped.  "I'll try to keep the girls out of them."

"Yeah, that might help," House said dryly.  "Before they think men are built that way."  He walked off shaking his head.  He ran into Daniel, who looked confused.  "Anya left two trunks full of sex toys this time.  Only one was full of strange ones.  The other had vibrators."  Daniel shook his head as he walked off.  House went to have a beer and his piano before his head exploded.  He was *so* glad he hadn't dated a girl like her.   Even if Xander was as close as he'd probably ever come to having a son, that gift didn't come backward to him.

Sam looked at the trunks then at him.  "Why are you storing it for her?  Can't she yard sale or something?"

"No clue," Xander admitted.  "I got given some of Hallie's stuff to put into storage too."


"Halfrek.  Her best friend.  She had the job over lost childhoods before Anya got given it.  She was killed by D'Hoffryn for Anya taking back a wish."


"Because he's an evil and mean shit."

"Oh.  Okay then.  Want help moving them?"

"Please."  They carried them in to put in the closet.  Sam thoughtfully pulled out the first trunk to put on top of the new ones.  The vibrator one went on top of the strange toys in case the girls got into them again.  Then they went to play some video games and reminisce about California.  They both missed living there sometimes.


Dean walked up to Xander the next day.  "Faith wanted to see."

"They're in my bedroom closet.  The old one's on top. Sam put the vibrators on top of the new two trunks and the strange ones are underneath."  He grinned.  "Try to keep them all there this time?"

"If I can.  Not like we need more dicks in our fun time."  He went to tell Faith that.  She and the girls went to have some fun hunting through the trunks of strange stuff.  Dean looked at John Sheppard when he came out stretching.  "Feel better?"

"I got some sleep last night.  It's amazing how much better you feel after a good, solid eight hours straight."

"She close you in the coffin?" Dean taunted with a smirk.

"Nope.  I went to sleep on Daniel's couch."  He walked off to go for a run.  He did feel better now.  Abby and Rodney really were too happy to not make you nauseous if you weren't in love yourself.

Dean shook his head.  He loved Abby like a sister so he'd get to tease her about it later on.  Xander came out of the armory with something.  "What's that?  New weapon?"

"Something I was working on before we went to the amusement park. I was going to tinker at my desk since everyone took my cases again."  He walked off fiddling with the small cube.  "Ah, there you are," he said, sitting down blindly while he used a pen from his pocket to lift up the wire he had replaced last time.  He looked down and found a folder on his desk.  "Aww, someone finally gave me work.  Thanks, guys."  He read it over and sighed.  "Never mind.  Testifying."  He got what he needed from it and went to do that.  Their judge wasn't backed up by any means so he could tinker down there while he waited to testify then come back up and do some more while he finished out the file with the sentence the judge had applied.

Tony looked over.  "What's that?  New weapon?"

"Nope.  New illusion cube some demon threw down in frustration.  He had gotten it wet.  We haven't gotten one of these to play with so I'm making it work again.  The demons who make them sneered at me for being human when I asked to see them."  He shrugged and went back to it.

"What does it do?" Tony asked.

"Give me an hour to replace these last few wires and I'll show you," he offered with a grin.  "Though we'll need a better jack.  They have a natural plug and we don't."

"Do I want to know how they plug in?" Tony mumbled.

"Huh?" Xander asked, not looking over.

"How do they plug in?"

"In their ears."

"Ears?" he asked.

"Yeah, their ears.  It's an illusion device, Tony."  He went to get what he needed to solder wires into place then came back to do it at his desk.  Then he figured out a better plug for people-shaped ears.  He had a bluetooth headset some agent had said was now standard issue so he had given him one.  One homemade adapter later and it was better.  Xander leaned back and grinned.  "There."  He put on the earpiece and plugged it in, then hit the power button.  He concentrated on an image and it formed around him, blocking out his view of the room.  "That's so cool," he breathed.  He took out the earpiece and handed it to Tony.  "Try it.  It's demonic VR."

"Demonic VR?" he asked.  He stuck the earpiece in his ear and watched as the scene from a movie showed up.  He could interact with the characters but it was like he was simulated to them.  Not part of the original story.  He took out the earpiece, looking over.  Xander looked really tired.  He also had a few gray hairs.  He blinked and Xander looked normal again.  "I think it's got some side effects, Xander.  I just saw you about age thirty-eight or so.  Just starting a few gray hairs."

Xander gave him an odd look.  "Really?"  Tony nodded.  "Huh.  Well, I know a few seers who use them.  Maybe you have a latent gift, Tony."

"No.  I don't think so.  Otherwise it should've popped out to warn me about some things."

"We'll let House test it on Chase."  He took it down there.  "Hey, House?"  He came out of the office sucking on a lollipop.  "Ooh, candy?"  House handed him one, getting a grin back.  "I fixed the demonic VR machine so people can use it but Tony thinks he got a split second vision."  He unwrapped his treat and handed it over.  "The green button is the power button.  It recharges on any light spectrum.  You get a really real feeling and looking simulation around you."

House looked it over.  "Stick it in your ear after it's on?"

"I turned it on afterward.  Tony had it on when he tried it."


"I figured you could torment Chase for a bit."

"I'd rather torment some of Carson's docs.  They're uptight and no fun at all."  He went to find one and test it using her.  It wouldn't hurt her.  Probably.

Xander took his treat back up to his desk, going to write out what he knew of the design.  He could email a few seers later to see if they knew anything about latent sight being brought out with the cube.  Plus the demons that made it in case they didn't know.  And hey, since he had made it available to humans, that'd open up a new market and give them a new toy to learn how to video game in.


Jack O'Neill came off the elevator on the infirmary level.  His office was technically in the old gym now.  He heard John Sheppard yelping swears so he walked that way.  John was face down on a bed with his pants down around his ankles and his boxers too.  "Did you stand in George's sun too long?" he asked dryly.

"George walked up behind him and poked him," Chase said, pulling another thorn out.

"The botanists are mad that I made them do something more useful for humanity," John growled.  "Then I made Abby blush and swat me.  This is the second time today, General."

"I'll have Abby talk to him," he said, trying hard not to smirk at his colonel's predicament.  "Need help, Chase?  I can get Carson."

"Not really.  If he wiggles too much I'll strap him down and let Tiff come help."  John groaned, putting his head down on his arms.  "But could you please have her talk to the poor thing?"

"Before I set it on fire?" John asked.

"Sure."  He went up to the lab, finding Abby looking over George.  "Are you nagging him for sneaking up on Sheppard to stab him twice today?"

"George!" she complained.  The demon shrub's branches wilted.  "We like John.  He's a nice guy.  You leave John alone.  Even if he does take your spoiling slaves away it's because they need to do more than groom you.  I promise they still love you."  She gave him a careful hug.  "That was mean to John.  No more being mean to John.  He thinks of me like a sister."  George rattled a few of his branches.  "Thank you.  I'll expect you to apologize tonight."

"He won't be sitting tonight," Jack told her.  "He got him good this second time."

"Poor John.  Having  House pull thorns from his butt."

"Chase is doing it."

"That's even worse.  Chase would go too slowly and make it ouch more."  She went to call Tiff, letting her go baby John with Teyla.  That'd make him feel better.  Jack left before he heard her plea so that was fine.


Teyla and Tiff walked into the infirmary once the yelping stopped.  "Can we help, doctor?" Teyla asked.  John groaned.  "You hush.  We'll help you back to a comfortable spot to lie down."

Tiff nodded, giving him a hug.  "I'm sorry the little shrub was so mean to you, John.  If we have to, I can carry you."

"I can walk.  I'll just be slow and limp," he said, flipping over with a moan.  "Thanks, Chase."

"Welcome.  Try to avoid him again and soak that later on.  The anti-venom is still working."  He watched the women walk him out, smirking at how they fussed at him.  That was always good for a man's soul.

Ronon caught them outside.  "You were injured by sitting on something?" he guessed.

"The little shrub decided I was mean to the botanists and Abby," he complained.  "He got me twice.  I'm fine, ladies, really."

"Hush," Tiff ordered.  "Or I'm telling all the girls you need babied."

He glared at her.  "I will have you doing PT for hours," he warned.  "For weeks on end, Tiff."

"Yay.  Dean makes us do it anyway.  Want my room?  It's private and no one there can bug you."

"I'll be fine on a couch."

"Uh-huh.  I'm next to the bathroom."  She walked him that way with Ronon and Teyla coming after them.  John gave her an odd look when she walked him inside.  "George got him for sending the horny botanists who wanted to screw him back to work and making Abby blush.  I'm lending him my bed."  She tried to help him up the stairs but he swatted so she picked him up and carried him instead.  She even tucked him in because she was so good.  "There.  All better.  Need an ice pack?"

"Just rest.  Chase put on some numbing cream.  Thank you, ladies."  They both smiled.  "Get me up for dinner?"  They nodded and left him alone.  Ronon gave him a pointed look.  "I don't know," he complained.  "He snuck up behind me twice to stab me with his little poisoned thorns."

"Abby was having a talk with him," Tiff said as she walked off.

Ronon shook his head.  "You'll survive this one and make the botanists do PT."

"Yes I am.  Drag them outside to let Dean torture them for me."

"Fine."  He closed the door, heading out to do that.

John Winchester leaned in.  "The door locks if you need it, Sheppard."

"I might.  I'm embarrassed enough without more fussing."

John pushed in the button on the back of the knob.  "Bathroom's to the right.  Her stereo remote's beside your head.  She's got books under the bed on this side."  He left, making sure the door had locked for the poor guy.  He'd be embarrassed if the girl had carried him in too.  He ran into Tiff downstairs.  "I locked it so he could rest without helpful girls, Tiff."

"I can open it," she assured him.  She went up to jimmy open the door and handed him the drink and then left again.

John got up to lock it again then laid back down to sip and check out her books.  The stereo was turned on to a quiet enough rock station and he had a good nap ahead of him.  Even if the girls would be trying to get in to fuss.  Xander had taught them to fuss all too well.


Xander looked at George later that night.  "You have apologized?" he demanded.  The shrub wilted and went to rub up against John's leg since he was down for dinner.  He followed to make sure it wasn't going to hurt him again.  "It's apologizing," he told him when John flinched.

"I know he's confused," he said, petting him gently.  "I accept your apology, George.  I know you were being protective."  Even though he knew that was like a toddler fit for shrub demons for taking away the ones who spoiled him.  "You go be a good shrub demon."  It waddled off to find some warm spot for the night.  He looked at Xander.  "Thanks."

"Welcome.  We had to have this talk when Binky horned one of the guards on purpose for smoking weed last month."  He sat down to get something to eat.  "Hey, House, have you figured out if the cube is harmful or not?" he called.

"It's not.  The spot vision isn't anything important.  Just a few years in the future from wherever you're looking."


"One of them appeared to chew me a new one for you making it useable by us.  I told him off for it so he showed me how to use it better.  It's a neat thing."

"Maybe we can hand that to the bored botanists?" John snarked.

House smirked.  "That's one of the many uses they market it for."

"Have some bored test subjects then," he offered.  "Just don't damage their minds.  We might need them able to work someday."

"I can do that tomorrow."  He plotted while he ate.  It was very nice of Sheppard to give him a whole lot of annoying dweebs to practice his skills on.  They had even annoyed Chase the other day by saying he was only a doctor.  They hadn't liked their physicals in the least after that comment.

Xander looked at John.  "Want my pullout?  I'm not using it tonight as far as I know."

"That's cool.  Daniel made sure I've now got my own room in the temporary quarters building."  Xander grinned at that.  "But thanks."

"Welcome.  I figured the girls had fussed over you all afternoon."

"Her door locks."

"All the doors lock but most of the girls know how to use their school ID's to get in."

"Apparently they were polite or very sneaky," John told him.

"Good."  Dawn walked in.  "How many more days do we have with you?"

"Six," she said smugly.  "And we still have to finish my apartment shopping."

"Oops.  Okay, we can hit the mall tonight."  She pouted.  "Don't give me that look or  you're taking Sam."

"Sam?" she begged him.  "Please?"

"Fine," he agreed with a smile.  "We'll take a slayer mobile to the mall."

"Can't we go to that new place that opened in town?"

"If it's open," he sighed.  She beamed and gave him a hug before sitting down to eat. "What's left on your list?"

"That depends.  Does anyone remember if I have carpet and appliances?"

"No and yes," Xander told her.  "Linoleum.  Ugly, yellow, faded squares."

"Then I need a few throw rugs," she decided.  "Microwave?"  He shook his head.  "Fridge and stove?"

"Those you have."

"Good.  Then I only need a microwave."  Sam nodded at that.

"How did you get all your old stuff?" John asked his son.  "I know you didn't leave with that much cash."

"I work studied and worked during my off times.  Plus the extra from my stipend.  After tuition, books, and rent I cleared about two grand a trimester to pay for food, utilities, and those other needs."

"Loans?" Dean asked.

"Scholarship.  Full ride, Dean," he reminded him.  "Housing costs were included."  He went back to eating.

Dawn gave him a gentle nudge.  "You could take some classes now that you're local for a bit."

"I am."  He smirked at her.  "I only need one more to get to a higher degree."  He kissed her on the cheek.  "But it's nice that you're thinking of me."

"Yup, sure am.  Then you can tell me how to get along on a college campus."

"It's like high school only more spread out and you have a lot more people.  Most of which you'll never meet or see."

"Good to know."  She dug in.  "What colors were the place in besides yellow?"

"No clue.  Probably white walls.  That's pretty standard for any apartment."

"The kitchen was speckled green countertops.  Your bathroom was water baby blue.  Your bedroom had that same dingy linoleum," Xander told her.  "White walls.  White cabinets.  One mirror in the bathroom and one hanging on the back of the bedroom door.  Get curtains, there's very close neighbors who'll be staring in at your bedroom and bathroom, Dawnster."

"I can do that," she agreed.  She got seconds and so did Sam then they went to grab one of the cars that the ISC had bought for their use to go shopping.  Brenda snuck into the back but that was fine.  She needed more clothes that fit since the baby was getting so huge.


Dawn looked around her apartment.  It wasn't huge but it wasn't too tiny.  She had ten steps between the living room and bedroom.  Two to the kitchen from the living room.  She had a small, three step long balcony that you could stand on but nothing else.  She sighed as she put down the first box of stuff.  Xander came up behind her with two boxes, giving her a hug once he had dropped them.  "I'm really here."

"You're really here," he agreed.  He smirked.  "Your mom would be so proud as long as you don't do what Buffy did and become caveslayer with some beer."

She pinched him hard.  "I'm not going to."  She gave him a squeeze.  "Thanks, Xander."

"You're a good, smart, intelligent, and sensible girl.  If there's any frat parties I will be beating you but otherwise you'll do just fine.  If Willow could you can."

"I guess I can."  He walked her back down to get back to the moving things.   Her couch was a futon that pulled out into a bed.  One of the newer ones without all the bars and slats on the back.  Her bed needed both of them to carry up the stairs but that was fine.  Her clothes needed a few trips too but that was just her being a fashionable girl sort.  Then Xander took her to get groceries, pots and pans, and sheets, since she had forgotten and so had Sam.  He got her settled in her apartment, watching her unpack most everything.  He also left her a prepaid Visa card for emergencies, like studying pizza sessions and new pens when she ran out.  Then she got a hug and watched him go, trying hard not to sniffle.

She was alone now and it was scary.  But she was a Summers and she could do this.  If her sister could attempt college and actually pass stuff while slaying, she could do better since she wasn't hunting the demonic.


Xander walked into John's office since he was up.  "Okay, this is Dawn's address," he said, writing it out.  He drew a figure too.  "This is how it's laid out and how we had arranged the furniture when we left.  Six of her neighbors are juniors or above and two party too hard.  They were buying the kegs for their moving teams when we were getting her decent food to eat.  She might need a game system for when she's bored, not sure yet.  Also, this is the college's map," he said, pulling one out of his back pocket.  "I've already warned her off the bars and said I'd be spanking if she got turned into a caveslayer too."

"It's hard when your kids leave the nest," John said quietly.  Xander stopped to stare at him.  "It is.  She's like your sister, Xander.  I understand it's just as hard on you as it is on her.  But Dawn's sensible and I doubt she'll be throwing wild parties or getting it on with the drunk guys up the hall."

Xander slumped.  "That obvious?"

"A bit to another parent.  It'll be fine.  I'll file this so we have it when we need to go rescue her from her first boyfriend."

Xander growled.  "I'll castrate him if he treats her badly."

"That's the spirit," Dean said as he walked in.  He looked at the address.  "Not too bad.  Sammy and I spun past there our last time in the city.  Nowhere near the hood but fairly close to the college.  Only four blocks.  Apartments looked decent sized.  Has a small wannabe porch off the kitchen that's big enough for a plant or a mini-grill but nothing else.  Some drunk wanna be frat boys up the street from her that she'll diss because they're disgusting."  Xander grimaced.  "You know she's not going to be the party queen, Xander."

"I know but it still sucks."

John smiled.  "Did you do this much checking when Sammy went to Stanford?"

"Yup," Dean agreed.  "Just to make sure my bitchy little brother wasn't going to get sucked into a pothead's embrace and ruin his giant brain with it."  John smirked at him.  "It's true!  And yes, he did inhale."  He bopped Xander on the shoulder.  "Come watch movies with Samzilla.  He said so."

"I can do that."  He gave him a short hug.  "Thanks, John."

"Remember you can call randomly after her first day of classes."  Xander grinned, setting that reminder on his watch as he walked over to Sam and Dean's apartment.  "Sammy went wild his first semester?"

"There's pictures of Sammy doing tequila shots off some titless, redhead, naked girl somewhere on his computer."  John's mouth fell open.  "Sammy and wild were well acquainted and he was still pulling down the major grades back then.  Now he's just doing online stuff and keeping himself from being bored."

"He is?"

"One more class and he graduates from Stanford with the pretty paper and all," Dean said.  "Criminal Justice degree that's centered on pre-law."

"Huh.  I didn't know that."

Dean nodded.  "Yup.  Anyway, Sam's trying hard not to remember his first trimester or whatever they call them out there.  He'll keep Xander from going into big brother overdrive and taking some time off to go stalk her to make sure she's safe."  He walked off, going to watch movies with Sam and Xander.  He walked in and watched them stare at the movie together.  "Dad didn't know you're taking online classes?"

"He never asked," Sam said absently.

"He knows now.  And about that picture I found of you and that redhead without any tits."

"She was post-op by a few weeks and needed implants, Dean.  We were celebrating her surgery being done."  Dean gaped in horror.  He smirked.  "I liked him.  We shared a room."  He shrugged.  "He was a nice guy who simply wanted to be ridden hard so he could squeal like a queen as he put it."

"I knew a few of those.  Really nice people usually," Xander said.  He was hugging a pillow.

Dean got their camera to take a picture of those too, going to download it onto the laptop while he searched for more incriminating photos.  "Sammy, did you drag and drop?  You know most of those discs come up with UDF reader now and then, right?"

"No, I forgot."  He came to get the hidden discs to reburn them.  Then they got hidden again.  Dean gave him a pointed look.  "My twenty-first birthday party."

"How bad was it?"

"If I had put it on film....." he sighed, going back to the movie.  Xander leaned against his side.  "I know.  Jess had fun too.  That was like our third date together."

"I'm sure she's happy you're not as wild anymore."

"I got that touch of freedom finally and it was good to me," he sighed.  "Dawn's more sensible than I was.  I warned her about that too."  Xander grinned.  "Even if I wanted to I couldn't do what I did back then."

"Do I even want to think and wonder?" Dean asked from his seat.


Xander grinned.  "Did you ever hit one of those Christmas Tree parties?"

"Oh....." he moaned and shifted some.  "I remember going twice.  Kinda."  Dean's head popped up.  "It was sponsored by one of the local nudist organizations, Dean.  You don't want to know."

"I did one my first year legal," Xander admitted.  "Didn't partake of the liquor but I had fun with the rest.  The one I went to was sponsored by some of the clubs around where we lived."

Sam smirked.  "Strip, S&M, or regular?"

"A few strip clubs and an S&M club got together to put it out."

"Why are different organizations doing them?" Dean asked.

"They're a charity fundraiser," Sam said, looking back at him.  "The money goes to fulfill needs of kids who make wishes to Santa on those little cards they put on trees in the stores."

"Ah.  So you come, you party, any fees or anything is given to the Angel Tree people....  And liquor was involved how?"

"It depended on who threw the party," Xander told him with a bright grin.  "Some churches sponsor their things.  Some clubs sponsor theirs.  Sam's area apparently had a pretty cohesive nudist group that did one.  Sunnydale had some vamps that did it one year.  We left them alone."

"That was nice of them," Sam said.

"Apparently the guy who organized it had been one of those kids.  We should plan that this year if we're not doing anything."

Sam grinned.  "I can't see the harm in it.  I'll see if I can find the group that oversaw them out there."  He gave him a shoulder nudge.  "S&M?"

"Yup.  And a lot of swingers," Xander sighed, shaking his head.  "I was the youngest in the room by about ten years.  But I had a lot of fun and a lot of them wanted to cuddle me.  I ended up with deer antler headgear and a painted on nose so a few could pet me like a tame reindeer."

"Have a tail?" Sam teased.

"*Way* more than I needed to hear," Dean complained loudly.

"Then get off my laptop and go find Faith," Sam teased.  Dean groaned but went to do that.  He and Xander shared a smirk.  It was fun to embarrass Dean.  Plus it meant no nagging, talking, munching big brother to interrupt their movie night.

Dean walked into the slayer building, running into his father.  "They're sharing old party memories," he complained as he walked past him.  "Christmas Tree parties."

"Huh?" John asked.  Dean gave him a look so he shuddered.  "I don't want to know, do I?"

"No.  Probably not.  It's a good charity idea but no.  Not with what they said about those parties."  He stomped up the stairs, making Faith lean out of her room.  "The perverts are watching movies," he complained, stealing a kiss.

"How bad?" she asked, giving him a teasing look.

"They were talking about Christmas Tree parties.  Sammy went to one that was sponsored by nudists.  Xander went to a club one and ended up in reindeer getup."

She pulled him into her room to soothe.  "They probably didn't want to listen to you talk about the leading lady's breasts again, Dean.  Boytoy was never that wild."

He looked at her.  "Maybe he was when you were in that coma."

"Nah.  He was way too straight."  They shared a look and went down to do some background checking on Xander.  There was no way he wasn't putting them on with all that stuff.  Faith found an old mention of him stripping and a video someone had made.  They stared at it and yeah, it was .... damn.  "Okay, so that was his roadtrip," she said.  "When he was broken down and stuff.  Right?"

"I hope so."  He checked the date.  "She uploaded it six months after the Initiative fell though."

"Could just be lag time.  B would've mentioned and screamed about it otherwise."

"We can call and ask," he offered.

Faith dialed.  "Hey, B.  No, creeped out by X talking about past memories of fun and games.  In the clubs and out."  She listened, going a bit pink.  She didn't normally blush but....  Huh?  "Huh?" she asked out loud.  "Boytoy?" she demanded.  She wiped her other ear off.  "And no one complained or anything?"  She just nodded.  "Yeah.  Okay.  Sure, you can tell Dean if you want."  She handed over the phone and went to find something to take that image out of her head.  Xander under stress did more than growl.  It was an enlightening complaint by the senior slayer but .....damn.

Dean hung up, realizing he was blushing too.  He didn't usually blush but....  Xander?  No way!  He went to find Faith to take it out of his mind.  He didn't need to think about Xander's stress relief habit.  As long as the big boss didn't mind he'd keep it from his father.  Because John Winchester would freak if he found out about Xander stripping with a horse-tail plug inserted.

John came out to see what had bothered the duo, watching the video.  He shook his head, going back to his own search of the boy's wilder time.  Just in case Xander was drawing Sam to the dark side for stress relief.  He liked Xander but he was clearly still too close to snapping.  The boy needed a good way to get it outside of himself before he worried himself to death over those visions of a base assault.

The End.

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