Note: a few different ideas came into this one. The ideas of Charlie Epps having to save his brother and having a dark side (Storm's), Xander and Sam getting together (MM), Xander being sent brides by the evil side because he keeps attracting all the pretty, evil ones that they can't have after he gets done with them (Xocoatldreams and MM), and Speed/Xander/Horatio in a bear bar (MM). Another massive crossover yes, and this will be my 1138th finished story. I counted earlier. <G> Added during proofreading: since so many people asked for the stories of them while they were traveling, that'll be a separate story full of out-takes. Sorry, couldn't fit it in before this page update. Vo.
A Harem For Xander.
The portal closed. They all stared at the newly empty spot then looked at each other. It was a 'pretty man' heavy group but they all looked worn out and tougher than they probably should by their clothes and scruffiness. "Now what?" Draco asked quietly.
"Now, we ...go home," Charlie said, looking away from the blank spot. "I have no idea how we'll deal with it."
"I'm hoping it doesn't come back," Sam said. He straightened out his shirt and looked at the boys around him. "Anyone heading toward Stanford?"
"LA," Charlie offered. Xander nodded at that. "Though, I don't think my car's here." He looked around. "Any idea where here is?"
Draco pulled his wand and cast something on the ground in front of his feet. "We're six miles outside Sunnydale." He glared at Xander.
"Not my fault!" he complained. "But I guess we could find you guys a bed tonight." He looked at his bag, finding his cellphone. "Now if only I had a charge?" he suggested to Draco, who sighed but magically charged his phone for him. "Thanks, Drac." He called. "Giles, it's Xander. I'm back." He listened. "No, not quite the roadtrip I expected since I spent the last six months with a nice group of guys fighting to save a realm that thought I was a princess to be sacrificed." He wiped his ear from the spluttering. "We have 7 guys who need to defrag, shower, and food. A few miles outside town. Because this is where the last portal dropped us, Giles. Can we? Um...." He looked around. "Dead Man's Bluff. Thanks." He hung up. "Give him a few minutes to borrow Buffy's mom's car." He stuffed it back into his bag. "If he gets nosy, just give him a look and he'll back off."
Charlie gave him a hug. "It'll be fine." Xander grinned. "How long has it been since we got sucked there?"
"We'll find out fairly soon," Ryan said. "Is this guy going to be asking a bunch of strange questions?"
"Remember when you asked me what I do all night?" Xander asked dryly. Everyone nodded. "I hunt vampires. Giles is Buffy's Watcher."
They groaned. Sam gave him an odd look. "How long have you been doing that?"
"Three years. You?"
"That's a choice we all have to make and if you're happy with yours I'll give you a hug later."
Sam grinned. "Thanks, Xander."
"Welcome." He looked around at the sound of an engine. "That's not Joyce's SUV." A black SUV pulled up and parked, letting three people out. "Who the hell are you?" he asked them. "Buffy."
"Xander. How was the road trip?"
"Freaky in many ways. Your buddies are....?"
"A long story."
"They just spent six months with me somewhere they thought I was a sacrificial princess. I think we can handle it, Buffy." She stared then slowly shook her head. "Yeah, I think we can. Who. Are. They?" he snarled.
"They're new friends. Why are you so paranoid?"
He pulled her closer. "There is no working by the US military within the borders of the country or it is considered treason," he said slowly and clearly. "Which gets you put in front of a firing squad." She shuddered. "Who. Are. They?"
"They're doing the same thing we are, Xander. Chill. Now!"
"Draco, please?" he asked. Draco nodded, swishing his wand with a muttered word. They were knocked out. He looked at her then he grabbed her by the arms and shook her. "Do you really want to be caught up in treason!" he demanded. She whimpered, getting free. "They can hike back to town. Let's go, guys. Buffy can ride in the back." They nodded, heading for the car. Charlie took Xander's cellphone to make a call, pausing to do that outside the SUV. Then he got in and put the phone back in the bag. Xander looked at him. "Good call?"
"My brother's in the FBI."
Ryan moaned. "That's a bad thing."
"Not for us," Charlie said. "Though he's having a fit." Xander laughed, starting the SUV and driving off. Buffy made a protesting noise as he sped up and she got bounced around a bit. The rest of them were squished together too tightly to bounce too much. He grinned back at her. "It's probably not far."
"A few miles," she agreed. "So what happened?" She'd yell once these new 'friends' of his left because they looked a bit scruffy and scary.
"Long ass story," Xander told her. "I'll spill it later once we've had a shower, food, and a nap. That way we only have to tell it once." She groaned. He glanced back then pulled onto the main road. "How's your mom?"
"Good. She's not home today. That's why Giles called me."
"I was wondering why you brought the new butt boys of Leavenworth with you." He used the turn signal and changed lanes then sped up and went around a corner. The jeep following them kept going. "They're where in the woods?"
"I can't tell."
"Buffy, they're in deep," Xander said in a sing-song manner.
Sam looked back at her. "Buffy, stop. My father and brother hunt too," he said quietly. "The military is not allowed to work inside the boundaries of the US. It is considered a treasonous offense and they can be killed for that. On top of whatever they're doing. You don't want your mom to have to deal with that, do you?"
"No. You hunt demons?"
"They do a lot of spirit manifestations. I'm going back to college."
"Because I want to go to law school."
"Wow. Way big Willowy brains."
"Bigger than hers," Xander told her. He parked. "Magic Box or your mom's house?"
"If they raid, Mom would kill you, Xander. You know that."
"Good point." He got out and the others followed him inside. "Did you know Buffy was doing military guys who shouldn't be working inside the US?" he asked the older man behind the counter.
"Yeah," Ryan agreed. "They are. They're unconscious on the ground out there."
"All right," he agreed. "Who are you?"
"Ryan Wolfe, Miami-Dade PD."
"Is Xander under arrest?"
"No, we were taken with the princess," Charlie said with a smile. "Hi, Charlie Epps."
"Rupert Giles." He shook his hand. "There's a shower in the back, boys. Xander, I would like an explanation."
Xander put his wallet on the table. "Get food. Let us shower and calm down. That way I don't have to repeat it for her, you, and Willow."
"That's fine." He watched the boy lead the way back to the back. "How do you know your way around?"
"Longer than average story," Xander called back.
Giles sighed, calling the local pizza place to get them some food while Buffy pouted. Charlie came out first and sat down after a look around. "Mr. Epps, was Xander injured? He seems out of sorts."
"He's a bit tired. We only just defeated the priests who wanted to sacrifice him tonight."
"Sacrifice by priests?"
Charlie smiled. "It's a long story and Speed tells it best."
"I can wait. The food should be here in a few minutes." Ryan walked out, followed by Draco. "Can't shower?"
Draco gave him a look. "Your muggle showers leave much to be desired. Instead I used my pocket portal tent to take one there and do proper haircare," he said with a near sneer in a high class British accent.
"Ah, a countryman. Wizard, boy?"
"I am. You are?"
"Rupert Giles. Part of the former London Coven." Draco shuddered. "Do have a few manners, boy."
"I do try now and then," he offered with an evil smirk. Xander padded out in his boxers, glaring at him. "You're not a princess now. You can't have me spanked."
"I can still spank you myself."
"You wouldn't dare!" he sneered.
Xander pulled him closer to stare into his eyes, then smirked. "Try me."
Ryan coughed. "Xander, could've sworn you weren't seeing *him*."
Xander let him go. "It's going to take me a while to get used to not having a harem," he grumbled, heading back to take his turn in the bathroom.
Buffy squeaked and pointed. "Naked Xander! That's just *wrong*, Giles!"
He looked at her. "You saw him in that tiny bathing suit for his stint on the swim team and you're worried about him wearing boxer shorts?" She went brighter red. "Buffy, please make sure we have plates and cups?"
"Sure." She went to do that and call Willow down from the college. Plus to call her boyfriend to tell him that their SUV was there. He was going to complain for weeks about that and he'd try to get her to dump Xander. Xander came out wearing a pair of jeans and no shirt. "Shirt?" she begged. "My boyfriend will be here soon. I don't want him to be jealous, Xander."
He looked at her. "Why would he be jealous of me?"
"Because he's like that."
"Uh-huh. Why are you with the future jealous spousal abuser?" Ryan asked. She glared at him. "As an officer, I see plenty of guys who started out jealous and then moved up to having one of my people there when he killed their partners."
"He won't. He's not like that."
"If you say so," he said. He looked at Xander. "That scar is still swollen."
"I cleaned it." He gave him a pat on the head on his way to grab a shirt from his bag. He pulled it on as the pizza boy came in. Giles paid him and gave him a small tip before taking the boxes from him. Buffy put them onto the table. Xander sniffed and moaned. "I missed you."
Sam shook his head as he walked over. "Food's here, guys, and Xander's about to drool." The others came out to get their own. Speed took his back to the bathroom for his shower.
"Why all the nakedness," Buffy complained.
Xander looked at her. "We were on one plane or whatever where we all wore loincloths, Buffy. I've seen them wear a lot less."
"I haven't!" she said hotly. Willow jogged in then squealed and pounced Xander. Sam moved to stop her but Buffy stopped him. Buffy ended up on her butt and Sam managed to pull Willow off.
"Let me go!" she shouted.
"Sam, she's okay," he promised. Sam let her go and got his own pizza. He sat down and they waited on Speed. He grinned at her. "Hi."
"Are you done with your roadtrip? And who're they?" she babbled, checking him over. "Why is your hair so shaggy. Don't make me cut it on you, Mister."
Xander put a hand over her mouth. "Breathe." She glared over his hand. He grinned. "No, I was on my roadtrip when the priests showed up and decided I was a princess they were going to sacrifice. They gave me a harem of protectors to fulfill every wish I could want." He pointed back at them. "We just got back." She gaped, stepping back shaking her head. "Oh, yeah." He sat down, looking over as Speed came out nibbling and got a second piece. "You tell it best and everyone's here but Buffy's mom but Buffy will tell her later."
Speed ate another bite, finding a spot to sit down. "Well, prior to our taking, Xander had to tell me what happened...."
How It Began:
Xander looked up from his burger when someone new came into the diner he was nibbling at. Something was seriously wrong with that guy so he paid his tab with a nod at the waitress and took his burger with him to the car. He watched him. He wasn't a demon. It was daylight so he wasn't a vamp. So he was a human bad guy and he wasn't equipped to deal with that. He started the car, heading off into the east. He found a cozy motel that night and it was decent enough, he guessed. It had Cinemax. Which meant he got the 'not rated' movies all night that had naked women and barely clothed men having nearly graphic sex. Which was nice. He was young and he appreciated those sort of things. He settled in on the bed to watch the movie that was currently on. He could shower and change later. He needed to stretch out on his back for a while first. He had driven a very long time. His back ached. He hated his crappy car he had picked up when his has broken down in Oxnard. He was kicked back, shoes off, thinking about dinner when the door of the motel room blew in. Xander instantly rolled off the bed and grabbed his bag, and the knife handle sticking out of it, coming up with the knife in hand. "What the hell are you doing?" he asked the human in the doorway.
"No, I'm not."
"Yes, you are, princess."
"I'm a guy," he sneered. "Not a princess. Princesses, by definition, are female," he said snidely. "Get out of my motel room! Now!" The man advanced. "Don't make me kill you. It'll ruin my trip." The man kept coming, looking more careful now. Xander let him get close enough then moved in to fight with him. The guy tried to grab his arm. Xander got him in the stomach. Someone came rushing over. "Help!" The motel's owner gaped. "He broke in. Could use some help." The guy made another grab. Xander stabbed him again. No blood. He glared. "I thought you were human. My bad." He fought harder, getting the guy down and out. Cops came rushing in and he sat down on the bed. "He kicked in the door and told me I was his princess."
"Can I have the knife, sir?" the lead officer asked. Xander handed it over hilt first. "Why are you here? I don't recognize you."
Xander looked up at him with a tired grin. "Post graduation road trip." The cop moaned. "I have no idea who that guy is but I want to kick his ass again. I'm not a girl!" he shouted at him.
"We can tell that, sir," the second officer said. He cuffed the guy. "Nice body armor."
"That explains why he wasn't bleeding enough. I know I got him a few times."
"Yes you did," the second officer said. "Let me get him into the car and we'll take a statement, sir." Xander nodded, relaxing again. The motel owner checked the door. Xander looked over. "I didn't do it. I'm not paying for the damage the lunatic caused."
"No damage. He carded the lock before kicking it in, kid. The silver and blue car is his." The officer in there nodded. His partner came back. "You okay, Mr. Harris?"
"I'm okay. I could use a donut but I'm good." He grinned. "Thanks, man."
"Welcome. This is usually a nice place. I don't know what he's on." He left, going back to the office to make notes on what had happened in case there were other damages in the morning.
Xander looked at the officers, pulling his legs up to cross them. "I have no clue. I saw a guy earlier, around lunch, with the same sort of shirt on at a diner about three hundred miles back when I broke for food. I left because he felt odd but he wasn't making any threatening moves."
"Okay, that's a good place to start," the lead officer said. "What diner?"
Xander dug into his pocket, coming up with the matchbook he had gotten. "So I can mark it on my webpage/travel journal later."
The officer took it to make note. "Just one?"
"Just one that I saw. He creeped me out when he walked in so I paid and left really fast."
"Probably a good idea." He handed it back and Xander put it into his bag again. "Where are you from?" Xander pulled out his license to hand over. "That's helpful, Mr. Harris." He took notes on it. "Do you have a cellphone with you?"
"Prepaid." He wrote down the number. "I don't have a lot of minutes on it but I do have voicemail."
"That's good." He made note of that too. "Okay. What happened in here?"
"I was laying down, stretching out after all that driving earlier. I was watching the skin flick on cimemax." He waved a hand at the tv. They glanced and made a note then looked at him again. "Then the door flew inward and I rolled off the bed to grab my knife that I have in my bag for protection on the road." That got a nod. "I came up with it. He advanced after telling me I was his and a princess. I corrected him on that assumption since I'm a guy, and can't be a princess because they're girls." The cop smiled at that. "He kept coming. I fought back. Then you guys got here."
"You did a good job, kid," the second officer said. "You get into a lot of knife fights?"
"My town's a bit dangerous. The mayor keeps talking about gangs of kids on PCP and things." That got an odd look. "I didn't say I believed him. They seemed pretty sober to me but they'll attack anything with a pulse if they think it's weak enough." Which was a good explanation of vampires and their hunting. "I've had to protect myself a few times because my parent's house isn't exactly a good place to hang out."
"Drugs?" the lead officer asked.
"Not as often as whiskey."
"It happens everywhere." He looked at the boy. "You did good. How long were you staying around her?"
"I was thinking about a day because I heard you guys have some cave paintings or something nearby. But I think I'm going to escape the psycho by a few more miles."
"Probably wise," the officer agreed, letting him sign the report. "Be safe on the road, sir." They checked on the knife. It was legal. It had a few drops of blood but that was fine. He handed it back to the kid. Then they left to take the psycho back to the office. Their boss would be amused by this one.
Xander went to clean off his knife and put it back in the bag. He shut the door, propping a chair under the knob. He checked. Nothing was getting in now unless it was vampire strong. He laid back down, making himself relax back into the movie again. Sex good, psychos bad. It seemed to keep happening in his life for some reason. He really hated things like that.
Ryan Wolfe answered the current call-in, frowning at the scene in front of him. He looked at the responding officer. "Body?"
"Blood, no body yet," he said. "The higher up said to call in CSI."
"Okay. Blood?" The officer pointed. "Thanks." He walked that way carefully, checking around. No body he could see. Nice pool of blood. He checked the rest of the room then put down his case so he could open it and start the tedious logging in and finding evidence process. He checked the blood from the puddle on the testing pad. "Officer?" He came in. "It's coming up not-human. Have you seen anything that might point at an injured animal?"
Ryan grimaced. "The owners?"
"The neighbor said they left yesterday." He went to talk to his partner, who was taking a statement. "The CSI said it's animal blood, ma'am. Did they have any animals?"
"No. They're allergic, very allergic. They sneeze at the sight of a cat picture I have."
"Huh." He went to tell Wolfe that. "Sir, they're allergic. There's no animals in the residence. The neighbor said that they're so allergic they sneeze at her cat picture."
Ryan nodded, frowning. "Why are they gone?"
"It's a second house. She heard movement earlier. Came over to check. Found the pool of blood and called."
"Okay." He called his boss. "Horatio, Ryan Wolfe. My scene has a huge puddle of animal blood and no animals in the house. No residents currently in residence. It's a second home. I've taken samples. Yeah, that's what it looks like. Could be a prank. The neighbor said they're very allergic. Sneezing at pictures allergic." He nodded. "I can wait on you." He hung up. "Lieutenant Caine is coming. This could be some kids pranking."
"It's better than a dead body though, right?" the officer asked with a small grin.
Ryan smiled back. "Definitely. Especially since the other two went on a dumpster call." The officer smiled and left him to guard the door. Ryan took a few more samples, just in case there was more than one type of animal blood. He sealed them in their boxes and made notes on it, taking a few extra pictures for size purposes. Then he checked the rest of the house in case he found the animals. This really wasn't a case for the felony crime lab but it was definitely weird. He heard a noise and turned around, expecting to see his boss. Instead he saw the rag that knocked him out.
When Horatio got there he found the door guarding officer out. No other officer. No CSI. He moved carefully into the house, hand on his gun. He found the metal case his CSI used. He found the envelope of swabs taken from the blood pool that was no longer there. He found the camera there and it had pictures on it. "This is not right." He went back to check on the officer. Knocked out. He called it in, bringing the officer's partner back with lights and sirens before they even got the ambulance. He glared at the officer. "You left him and CSI Wolfe here alone?"
"We got a call up the street of a woman beating her dog and son with a bat, Lieutenant. I was close and my partner had his safety."
"He's knocked out." The ambulance pulled in. "He's knocked out. CSI Wolfe is missing, gentlemen. Can you tell me if it was drugs or a physical blow?" The paramedics came over to check him. Horatio went to look at the spot where the blood pool had been. Someone had wiped it up but hadn't bothered to clean it with more than a towel swiping it. He came back out, already calling for his better CSI to come back in. "I know you're on injury leave, Speed. Can you handle something? Mr. Wolfe is missing." He nodded. "Please." He hung up. "Well?"
"Looks to be gassed, Lieutenant. His pupils are blown wide and there's no physical egg." That got a nod. "We'll make sure the nurses do a tox text on him. Can we?"
"Please do. Standard evidence procedures please. I'll be there to collect him in a bit." That got a nod and they took him off, his partner following when Horatio nodded him to go. Two detectives pulled in and hopped out. Speed pulled up on his bike and got off, looking at the house. "Gentlemen, Ryan Wolfe was here with a single guarding officer. He called in to say that the blood that was called in looked to be a prank, that it was animal blood. The officer was knocked out. Mr. Wolfe is missing. His case is inside with the samples, Speed." That got a nod. "My case is in the hummer."
"I knew it would be, H." He checked the door. "Wide open." He walked in with his flashlight out, looking at things. "Not a good clean up job." He checked the case. "Dropped. Envelope looks dropped and there's a faint edge of a shoe print on it," he said after looking at it. "H, check the rest of the house?" He came in to do that while Speed got the spare case out of Horatio's hummer. He came back to start with new swabs of the former bloody area then checking the case and envelope for any other trace, then getting to work on the floor. Whoever did it may have left a handprint if they weren't wearing gloves. A full boot print made him happier too. "Treadless soles, H."
"I can't find any other entrance that's been touched," he said as he came back. He walked outside. "See if anyone saw them leaving?" One detective did that while the other updated dispatch. Horatio looked over as his boss showed up. "There's very little evidence, sir. Soleless treads on a bootprint. A former blood pool that was animal blood."
"Still is," Speed said as he came out. "Towel was in the trash." He held up the bag. "Whoever did it was either very good or professional."
"I'm betting on professional but why take him?" Detective Hagen said, hanging up with Dispatch. "Wolfe's annoying and he's new in the lab. He didn't do anything that got him any notice in patrol except for having OCD. Was it to get any tech or him specifically?"
"I do not know yet," Horatio admitted. "But when I do, they will be paying." He looked at his CSI. "Lab."
"Take the evidence for me. I'll ride my bike in."
"I can," Hagen offered. Speed gave him a disgusted look. "Fine. Why did you bring it?"
"I was at home. I'm still on injury leave," he said dryly. "It'd take me nearly forty-five minutes to get to the station to get an official ride and get here. I'm not going to waste that time." He walked off. "I'll have someone follow me in."
"Do so," Horatio ordered. "Frank? Anything?"
"No," he said. "They didn't see anything. One said she thought she saw a flash of light but it could've been Wolfe using his flashlight near a window."
"Wonderful. Follow Speed back please?" He nodded, taking the car to do that. "Sir?"
"Horatio, once you hear, I want to know immediately."
"Yes, sir. I'll have the tape to you as soon as I get anything." He looked at John, then at the officer waiting. "Seal it, keep it sealed." That got a nod. Horatio went to check one last time for evidence. He found something that hadn't been there, looking up at the ceiling. "Where did you come from?" He squatted down to look at it. "John, get me my camera." John brought it in. "This was not here a minute ago." He took a picture of the ID case, flipped open to show the badge. He handed off the camera and bagged the case. They blinked as a soft flash of light went off next to them, finding there was now a service piece there. "What just happened?"
"A little bit of light and it appeared," the Chief said from behind John. "Interesting."
"That's probably how his badge got here too. We'll figure it out, H," John reminded him. "There has to be a reasonable explanation." He picked it up with his pen, letting it down gently into the bag Horatio held open for him. "Safety's on."
"Good." He looked around. "Officer, check the house in an hour. Call me if anything else should appear." He walked out, taking it to the hummer. John got in while he locked the evidence into the case. Then he got in to drive them back to the lab. Someone was going to pay a very steep price for trying his people.
When he got back, he looked around. "Where's Speed?" he demanded. Everyone gave him an odd look. "I just had him at my scene. Where is he?" he said more warmly.
"Where's Tripp?" Hagen asked. "He was following him." No answer so he called dispatch to find him. An officer found him and the yellow ducatti resting against Frank's car. Frank was unconscious and there was no sign of Speed. They went to that scene to see if anything new had appeared. Speed's badge and gun were waiting on them on the hood of the car. "How did they get here?" Hagen asked the responding officer.
"It was there when I got here, Detective. I did not touch it. I know better. Ambulance is rolling for Detective Tripp. They said it'll be about ten minutes." He backed off and let them work, staring at the traffic going by. It was a miracle no one had stopped to steal the gun or badge. More officers showed up and the ambulance got there a few minutes later. Someone was going to get a lot of PD feet up their asses for this stunt. There was no saving them. Especially not if ME Woods heard.
Draco Malfoy, snobby Slytherin and all around spoiled brat, sneered at his dueling opponent. "Do you really think you can beat me in a wizard's duel?" he demanded snidely. "You're barely learning third year spells. I'm already a sixth year. I've even learned ahead."
"You debauched my woman," she said hotly, pulling up her wand. "You'll duel me for her honor."
He laughed. "What makes you think she wasn't thinking about her honor when she came to me?" She shrieked and cast a spell at him. He deflected it negligently. "This is absolutely boring," he said dryly, his accent making it sound even more haughty. She cast something else. From out of the shadows, a higher level curse got thrown and Draco attacked that one. "Show yourself." The girl was knocked out. He cast a shield around himself immediately, looking around the dark corridor. It was always dark in the school. Anywhere that wasn't a main corridor was an accident waiting to happen. Or an assault. He ducked a curse and hurled one at the area, hitting a wall. He cast a light spell but couldn't see who was attacking. He slowly backed up, his back to a wall. That was safer. "Stupid twit, challenging me here and didn't even bring a second or a spectator," he muttered. He yelped when the wall moved behind him but he didn't feel the fall at all. The newest curse hit him as he fell.
The convention was going well, Charlie Epps decided. It was a career seminar where a few different government agencies and colleges came to recruit some very bright students. That gave them the chance to interview for graduate school, higher careers, and possibly find a job that they might like. Charlie smiled at his last interview when she left. She had been nice but she'd want to be across the hall with the federal agencies that were here to interview. He packed his bag and made sure his materials stayed out for late night wandering students to grab, then he went to get himself some tea. He smiled at the people at the tables, finding one he had talked to the day before that was nice and a good conversationalist. "Did you find anyone promising?" he asked as he sat down.
"Two or three but they all wanted bigger agencies. I told them why they didn't want to be lost in the system at the FBI or CIA. So maybe," Tony DiNozzo said, brushing some of his hair back. "You?"
"Three very good candidates for graduate school and about five I passed on to your side of the room."
"Thanks. Just math geeks or computer ones?"
"Mostly computers and interested that way. One statistician who was already out of graduate school thinking about going back to teach."
"We could all use some better people in intelligence," he said, saluting him with his cup. He saw one younger guy getting his cup of coffee from the bar and smiled when the kid looked around. "He's wary. Think he was mugged?"
"I don't know. I didn't talk with him. I thought I saw him down at the law school area."
"That's cool. Hopefully he won't be one of the scum sucking defense lawyers." That got a smile. "You seem really comfortable with federal agents."
"My brother Don is in the FBI and I did a lot of consulting work in a few agencies over the years."
"Wow. Way more brains than I'll ever even think about having." Charlie laughed at that. "Think we'll get a lot of them coming back?"
"Maybe. I did try to make graduate studies sound exciting, especially at my school."
"West coast. Cal Sci."
"Good school. I went to Ohio State."
"That's not a bad school."
"I played ball."
"A lot of people did so they could afford to get a decent education."
"I wanted to play pro but I got hurt."
"It happens. My brother played baseball. Minor leagues only then he went to fugitive recovery. He still misses his groupies." Tony laughed, nodding a bit at that. "But you do what you can with what you have. I'm still waiting on math groupies but maybe some day."
"Some day," Tony agreed. "Though I hope they're more sane than cop and agent groupies who go for the badge and big guns." Charlie nodded at that, laughing. "Seriously. I've had two stalk me for a week or so." He took another drink, watching the others relax again. "One more day of doing the glamorous job of pimping our departments and then we go back to the dull, dreary world of work. Pity. Maybe I'll run away to Vegas and deal cards instead. A lot less stress than being shot at."
Charlie smiled. "Yeah, but you'd have to put up with more annoying people who you couldn't arrest."
"There is that," he sighed, shaking his head. "It's not as much fun when you can't scare the crap out of them by announcing you're a federal agent and you're going to send them to Cuba." Charlie cackled. "It got rid of those stalking groupies. My boss just growls at them."
Charlie smiled, shaking his head. "Maybe I'll wait on the math groupies then."
"No, they can be fun, but hell on the clothes since they steal them." He finished his coffee. "Going to the dinner tonight?"
"No, I have a pet project I'm going to work on."
"I'm going to the strip club with a few of the other agents. See you tomorrow, Charlie. Be safe."
"You too." Tony left and Charlie finished his tea, getting a refill to go up to his room with. He didn't see the guy with the drugged rag sneak up on him and take him out of the elevator.
Tony walked outside and stretched then headed for the parking lot. He didn't quite make it further than out of camera sight. The kid getting coffee, well, he hadn't made it anywhere either.
Xander woke up, which was strange. "I thought I was driving. Must've had a sugar crash," he mumbled, opening his eyes then squeezing them shut very quickly. "Fuck that's bright. Maybe I crashed. Nurse?" he called. No answer. He made himself open his eyes and squint up at the lights. Then he sat up and checked himself over. No bandages, stitches, or anything else. "This is strange even on the hellmouth scale," he said, looking around the very bright room he had been put in. Then down at his clothes. Clearly not his. "Not cute!" he yelled. "I don't know why the fuck you did this but you're not getting back at the slayer by doing it! Let me go and I don't have to destroy you!" He would, but he might show some mercy and not destroy the animals they kept as pets. Maybe. Maybe not.
He got up and walked around the room. The door was open. The bathroom was pretty but pale pink and cream. It made him shudder but he decided he should use it. He didn't want to pee in a corner and possibly piss off a potential helper of him getting free. He tried the door out, it wasn't blocked. He peeked down the hall. No one. He looked the other way. Still no one. "Maybe this is hell?" he muttered, heading out to find someone and beat them for the answers he wanted. Because someone would be telling him something once he found them. Even if he did have to cross the line and kill a human. He'd join Faith in her coma. Not a problem there. He walked on, finding a great big sitting room. He found the dining room that had a large tray of fruit on it. He thought about it but it was easier to drug fruit than it was to drug the water coming out of a faucet to wash your hands in.
He turned around and ran into one of the freakishly dressed people. "Good, you're up," he said with a smile. Xander lunged at him but the man had some sort of protection around him. "Now, now, that is not how a princess acts."
"I'm not a princess. I'm a male."
"Princesses are female, dumbass," he said hotly, trying to get him again.
"Not here." He grabbed the boy in an way that made him nearly scream in pain. But he didn't. He smirked. "See, a true princess can withstand much. That's one of the reasons the Great One chose you to join his eternal harem after your year of service to him."
"I'm not serving anyone," he snarled, getting free. He took a swing and connected that time so he pressed his advantage. The shield came back too quickly before the guy was knocked out. Pity about that. "I'm not serving you or anyone and especially not some Great One, whatever that may be."
"He said you will."
"I said I'm not."
"We have a reason you will." He gave him a smug look and opened a door. "They are to be your harem. After all, being innocent isn't necessary or expected at the final ceremony."
"I'm not a virgin," Xander said hotly.
"Yes you are."
"I've had a woman."
"Bah, breeders," he said with a sneer and a hand wave. "They do not count. They are worthless and not there for the pleasures of the flesh."
"Among my kind they are. Even then, I'm not gay. I don't want a man, never will touch a man, and I'll be damned if you're going to kill me for being straight!" he shouted. They didn't wake up. "What did you do to them?"
"It's just a drug. It's not hurting them. They'll wake up after the announcement." He smirked. "We should get to that."
"I'm not going anywhere. Release us. All."
"You will or I'll kill them."
Xander shrugged. "And? I don't know them."
He sighed and walked that way. "Very well then." He pulled out a large knife but Xander bowled into him and knocked him down, stabbing him with it. He yelled but no one else dared come into the temple. "You will not win. You are the princess. You will be cheerful and look pleased that you were chosen as such during the announcement, or I will have them killed by the next dose of medicine."
"No you won't. Apparently your sick little fantasies include them," he sneered, getting up to kick him in the side. He had the knife now. "You seem to need them."
"I can have others fetched. There are others who have similar qualities and just as much beauty. It is no problem to get new ones." He got up, wiping off his mouth. "I knew you defeated a lower priest but I will not underestimate you again. There is much to be gained from your year of servitude. It will be a joy to you. All the food, wine, pleasures you could want. Any book you wish to read. Anything you desire."
"I desire us all to be at home."
"That is not an available option."
"Yay you. I'm going home."
"I can so."
"There is no escape from this temple for you or them."
"I can make one even if I have to destroy this building."
"Even then, the Great One will not allow those he has chosen to leave. It would taint them. We can give you anything you want."
"I want out."
"No. That is not allowed." He straightened out his robe. "Are you done with your fit yet?"
Xander sneered. "Not really. Where's my things?"
"There. You do not need them."
"I want my car and all the things in it."
"Your car is disgusting and will not fit in the building."
"Then I want all of my stuff out of the car. Down to the spare tire and jack."
"I can have it brought for you."
He sighed and looked outside, saying something. Someone went running. He looked at him. "There, done. That is one of the lesser priests. Twice a day they will bring in food and clean clothes. Now we really must do the announcement and you must be presentable and appear cheerful and happy to do this for your people."
"They aren't my people."
"They will be once your year is done and you join the Great One in his eternal harem." He smiled. "It is something all priests know."
"I don't care about your Great One."
The priest sighed. "Apparently he cares about you and how you do not know the pleasures of the flesh."
"Faith gave me plenty of pleasure and so did Anya."
"Breeders," he sneered. "Always trying so hard." Xander got him into a wall and knocked him cold.
"Yeah, way better than being gay is," he sneered. He went to check on them. They had pulses. They wouldn't wake up. They had heartbeats and seemed okay. He sat down to wait. The lesser priest brought in clean clothes and his bags. "That's not all of it. I said down to the spare tire."
"That is in your room, Princess."
"I'm not a princess." The priest gave him an odd look then left. He got up and went back to his room, finding the other things in there. He found a weapon and it was good. Very good. The knife got tucked into his back and the gun into his front. He walked out and shot the priest coming too, making him scream. "I'm not a princess. I'll never be a princess. If you're going to kill me, do it now."
"The Great One would punish us forever," he said, holding the bleeding spot. He stared at him. "I would not allow such to happen again." Xander shot him again, this time on the ankle. "How dare you! I am the High Priest."
"Then that means taking you out simplifies my life."
"If the Great One wishes," he panted, staring at him. "You will still be announced. Even if we have to drug you again."
"Fat chance." Someone snuck up behind him so he shot them in the leg too. Then he looked at the priest. "I've had enough if you hadn't guessed."
"You'll run out of whatever that fires."
"Yes but I can use other things." He smiled. "Like your nifty little knife." The man got up again and Xander stared at him. "Still want me?"
"The Great One orders and we do." He opened the balcony doors and shoved him out. "Be cheerful or be drugged," he sneered, following. Six of the guards grabbed him and held him. "Now, smile and wave," he muttered. He smiled and waved. "Our new princess!" Xander looked back. Two of the guards had knives on the sleeping people. Xander sighed and growled then waved a bit, grimacing. "Happier," he said when the crowd didn't cheer.
"I'm not a happy person," he said. "Do I look like a happy person to you?"
"Now!" The guards moved closer to the other victims. Xander turned and waved better, letting the grimace fade some. The crowd cheered and he was let back inside. "He is very happy to serve but is still a bit sleepy since he had to travel so far to get here to serve our Great One. The feasts begin at sundown!" They cheered and went to make merry while he went to escape the insane princess their Great One had chosen. He was sure he had a reason for it. When he was reborn as a princess he could ask why. For right now, he had some wounds to treat. That one was very mean. He had only been doing his sacred duty.
Xander looked at the groaning men. "Morning." The rest were starting to wake up. "Before you can ask, there's a bathroom off to the right. We're sealed in here for all that it looks like an open door. I've tried a few different places but we can't get out. We do have some limited weapons, food and clothing, and they seem to think we should all be gay." The one who was waking up looked at him. "No clue. I woke up here a while ago and was told I was a sacrificial princess."
Tony sat up, holding his head. "Go slower and is there any aspirin?"
Xander got into his bag, tossing over the industrial bottle of advil. "Nearly as good if you can take it."
Tony looked then nodded. "That's fine. They leave this?"
"I wanted the guns from my car. I got them to give me my stuff and shot the high priest a few times but if I didn't go out there and smile and wave, you guys wouldn't have woken up."
Tony looked at him. "That's a good point to start with. Who has us and where are we?"
"Hell if I know."
"What do you know?"
"I know that I ran into this funky guy in a diner. He creeped me out so I left as soon as he walked in. Later that night, one of them broke into my motel room and I kicked his butt." That got a slow nod. "Then today I woke up here just about four hours ago. There was a high priest who told me I'm to be a sacrificial princess because I'm not fucking gay and their Great One said so."
"That's what he called him."
"Wonderful." He looked around. "How long before they come up?"
"No idea. I'd figure about the same time you did. Apparently I'm wrong."
Tony looked then nudged a few. "They're slowly waking up." He shifted closer. "What did you get them to bring you?" Xander let him have the bags of things. "How many shots left?"
"Four I think. I can't remember if I loaded it full or not. I've had some ammo issues in the last month."
"Using it for?" a tired voice said as Speed woke up.
"Not to rob anyone or anything like that. It's for protection. I was on a road trip. I still say this sucks that I'm a princess because I'm not gay."
"Calm down. We'll figure that part out later," Tony ordered. He looked through the stuff. "What's in this tiny case?"
"Artillery if you open it."
Tony glared at him. "How did you get artillery, and who are you?"
He grinned. "Xander Harris. I'm from Sunnydale. I found it laying around town." He shifted how he was sitting, pointing at something. "Nothing too huge. Still won't get us through whatever funky shield is over the doorways."
Another moan and Charlie woke up, holding his head as he sat up. "This is not a good sign. Why am I in silky pants?"
"Probably for the same reason they decided you were my harem even though I'm straight," Xander said dryly. "How in the hell should I know?"
Tony scowled. "We have to work together, Xander."
"I'm a bit tired. Sorry." He got up. "There's food in the dining room. I tried a piece of fruit and it wasn't drugged or anything that I could tell. It's also got chairs and the bathroom is still off to the right. Please put my stuff back when you're done groping it?" He walked off to find the library. They had said there was one. Maybe they had some information in there. He found it and looked around, finding the diaries of the past princesses. And the sacred and holy book in a glass case. He looked then decided to start with the diaries. That would give him a lot of what he needed to know without pissing off anyone plus give him something he could do since apparently Tony was going to take over. He walked back to the dining room. "Food's this way," he yelled. He sat down to read the one on top, getting into the pitiful account. They hadn't wanted to be a princess either but they didn't mind the gay part apparently.
Tony walked in and looked around. "Nice spread. How long will it last?"
"The high priest guy said twice a day before I got him in the shoulder and knee." He looked up. "Diaries from the former princesses who went to join the eternal harem."
"That's a good place to start," Charlie said. "Can you go from the top?"
"Are we all up?" Xander asked. Charlie shook his head. "Okay, then from the top. Creepy guy spots me in a diner and apparently decided somehow I'm a princess because I'm straight and they consider women to be only for breeding purposes. That makes me some sort of virgin." That got a slow nod from the ones who're up. "Like you, I woke up here. I just did it earlier and I woke up to a high priest being here. He told me the Great One, probably capitalized, decided I'm a princess that will join his Eternal Harem after a year of servitude being locked up in here. I'm told I can have as much fun as I want because that's what I need to do even if I do get sacrificed in a year's time. He told me either I accept or he'd kill you all while you were drugged. Had me drug out there by six priests while another two were with you guys. I had to smile, wave, and act happy that this has happened to us. He said I could have whatever I wanted and I said I wanted my stuff from my car, hence the guns and me shooting the high priest in a few non-critical spots to get more information. We have a library, twice daily food shipments, and some sort of funny shield so we can't get out."
Charlie nodded. "So what are we doing right now?"
"You guys are recovering. I'm reading the last few people's diaries. You're more than welcome to help me or to use the weapons in my stuff if you think it's needed but I don't know how to get us out of here past that shield."
"That's a good place to start," Charlie agreed. "Why pick us?"
Xander gave him a look. "I'm figuring at least one of you was chosen for being pretty. I'm still not gay. That's why they're doing this to me and dragged you into my f-ed up life." He went back to reading. "By the way, the High Priest said I was throwing a hissy and he's not far off. Next time I'll make sure to kill him and then ask questions."
"We can ask him ourselves," Ryan said as he walked in. "Why is the blonde guy in buttless pants?"
"Apparently they picked him for being pretty," Xander said dryly. "I'm Xander. I'm the unwilling princess in this crackhead fairytale." He waved a hand and went back to reading. "If there's purple jelly looking goop, don't eat it. It's an aphrodisiac like rophies is."
Tony looked. "None on the table. Did we test anything?"
"The plum looking thing."
Tony picked another thing up to eat, nodding. "Not bad. Juicy and fresh."
The others wandered in and got their own food, settling in to eat and finish waking up. "Any caffeine?" Sam asked.
"No," Xander said. "Not that I've found yet. I'd advise them to bring some since I live on sugar and caffeine." He shrugged, giving him a look. "We'll see what happens and if we can get out when they bring in the next batch of food." He went back to reading.
"Anything good so far?"
"They pampered this one stupid. He decided to go along with the plans after the purple goop made him consummate with his chosen harem. He went to the Great One's side, was sacrificed, and is now an eternal virgin in his harem." He tossed it down and went to the next one. "Their sacred book is under glass in the library if anyone wanted to see that."
Draco finally wandered in rubbing his eyes. "What's going on?"
"You were kidnaped to be part of a harem to me so they can sacrifice me in a year to their gay god," Xander told him. He frowned. "By any chance you're not a Watcher, are you?"
Draco glared at him. "Bloody hell no!" he sneered. "Stupid wankers deserve to be put under Voldemort's jail!"
"Yeah, that's about my opinion of the Council too. I'm Xander, I work with their girl in Sunnydale."
"In training?" he sneered.
"No, I jumped in." He grinned. "I'm *that* Xander if you know that world."
"Not a bit."
"I'm Rosenburg's best friend."
"That I've heard a bit more about. Still a weak little wannabe."
"Who can close the hole and stuck a soul back in Angelus," he said in Latin. Draco stared at him. Sam did too but he was in the other direction so he didn't see his look. He nodded. "If my cellphone had a signal, I'd call home, but it doesn't. Are you like Willow?" Draco sneered but crossed his arms over his chest. "In another manner perhaps?" The boy nodded. "Then can you check the shields later? I can't figure out what's powering them."
"I can try. After hours. Don't want to be caught. With my luck, the Ministry is watching." He sat down, looking at the fruit. "Just fruit?"
"So far but it helps the headache," Charlie said. "Where are you from, Xander?"
"Sunnydale. In California."
"I'm in LA. I think I've heard of your town."
Xander looked at him. "Heard about the gas explosion?" Charlie nodded at that. "That was my graduation. This is my post grad roadtrip." He went back to reading. "How are we breaking up duties and patrols, Tony? Since you've decided to do the admin stuff."
"We should set one until we know for certain no one's going to hurt us," he agreed. "I know Charlie's a mathematician. I know the one there is a college student."
"Stanford, pre-law. I'm Sam." He waved a bit before eating a bite of fruit. "My dad was a Marine. I do have a bit of self defense training."
"Speed and I are CSI," Ryan offered. "But he's getting off an injury."
Xander moved over to look at Speed's injury. "Are you still on antibiotics?"
"No. Not for a week."
"Looks like the stitches could come out soon." He looked up. "I've pulled a few over the last few years but it looks okay. One of us might know something about herbal antibiotics or painkillers. I'm not sure."
"I've pulled a few of my own too," Tony admitted. "What happened?"
"My gun jammed when we were ambushed a few weeks back," Speed said quietly. He looked at Ryan. "I heard your OCD fits center around your gun?"
"Some. I can help with that area." That got a nod from Tony. He looked at Draco. "Are you good in any practical areas?"
"Not that'll help here. One week left of school and I would've been free to get into a fight with my father and be tortured, but no, I had to be here."
Xander looked at him. "Maybe you should be the princess?" he suggested dryly. Draco sneered. Xander smirked back. "Buffy does that so much better."
Draco huffed but settled in to eat a plum looking thing.
Charlie raised a hand. "I can shoot but I'm crap at it. Don made sure I knew the mechanics if I needed to."
"We need a research team anyway," Xander pointed out. "Sam, pre-law?" He nodded with a small smile. "Want that?"
"I can do that. I'm pretty good at research." He finished off his current piece of fruit and got comfortable, taking half the diaries to look through. "You weren't kidding, they're very down on women."
"Yup. The High Priest called them breeders."
"I know many women who wouldn't like that idea," Tony said. "How do we want to set rotation tonight?"
"I'll take some. I'm used to long nights," Xander and Sam offered together. They gave each other speculative looks then grinned.
"That'll work. I'll look around for more useful things," Tony said. "Charlie can help me with that. Xander, wake someone up when you or Sam get tired." That got a nod. They took off to different parts of the temple to look around and try all the entries. That shield was strange. You couldn't feel it or sense it until you ran into it. It felt like a real wall when you ran into it too as Tony discovered. There were some decorative weapons. He brought them back as well. Xander hugged a sword so he guessed he knew what he was doing with those. Draco took a rapier so he was clearly taking fencing lessons. Then again, he seemed like one of he high born snobs he had been disowned from being around. It was a pretty city. They were clearly having a festival. Charlie came to join him a while later. "Looks like we're celebrating something."
"This. Xander said the High Priest told them the feasts were on."
"Damn. What do you make of him? I can't get a good read with his attitude."
"I'm no good at people, Tony. I deal with numbers more than I do real people." He smiled. "Ask one of the other CSI, like Speed."
"I can do that." He went to gather his fellow officers around. "Guys, what do you take of the other group? I can't get a good feeling for Xander."
"He seems like he got hit with some gay panic," Ryan offered.
Tony nodded but Speed shook his head. "That's anger. He's not a homophobe but it's not his way and he's pissed that they're trying to force him to be."
Xander leaned in. "They said even if I did have some fun that way I'm still eligible and they're expecting me to take a spouse from one of you to bring with me to the eternal harem. The rest I think get to live but they all seem to stay up here by the diaries. Probably told them it's a long and torturous journey back to the real world. Ask for why I'm mad, wouldn't you be?" He walked off again, going to patrol the area and find places Tony probably hadn't looked with Draco. "Can you see if the shield is magic responsive?" he asked quietly.
"I can but if they catch me I'm in for it with the Ministry."
"Draco, I doubt there's a Ministry here. And before you say they'll mind, they got you from school. Right?" Draco nodded. "Then they already knew you had magic. They're expecting us to get out however we can."
"What do you do out there?"
Xander grinned. "Depends on who you ask. I do a lot of the real plans we have though." That got a nod. "And they think I'm having gay panic." Draco gave him an odd look. "Never even wondered, Draco."
"Oh. Well, perhaps you could try it and it'll go away?"
"They said I could have fun all I wanted. They're expecting me to pick one of you to die with me. The rest of you can live once I get sacrificed but not whoever I bring with me." He grimaced. "Sacrificed because I don't like men isn't the way I wanted to die. Demon invasion. Horrible apocalypse maybe. Not because I'm straight." Draco smiled a bit but went to check the shield over a window. "Anything?"
"Not that I can tell. I can bend it with a wind gust but I don't know how to bring it down. I'll look in the library to see if there's anything on it. I'm not bad. Nowhere near a squib." Xander looked confused. "A magical person born without magic. As opposed to a muggle like you."
"Gotcha. Let's look for real clothes too?" That got a nod and Draco pulled his shirt farther down to cover his naked ass. Xander grinned. "They apparently picked you because you're cute."
"Gee, thanks ever so much," he said dryly. "Why couldn't they take Potter? It'd solve a hell of a lot of problems."
Xander patted him on the arm. "It'd cause more."
"He's the bloody hero, not me," Draco complained. "Always interfering and getting into trouble by saving mudbloods and the like." He waved a hand. "It's horribly annoying."
Xander looked at him. "Harry sounds a lot like Buffy. Is he fashionable too?"
Draco snorted. "Hell no. Wears ungodly baggy things and ugly glasses."
"Sounds like his parents are like mine then." Draco gave him an odd look. "Mean?"
"Who's raising him?"
"His aunt and uncle."
"Probably not happy people then. He shy?"
"Pretends to be."
Xander stopped him. "Draco, kids who act like that? They don't get spoiled at home and they don't have a happy childhood or life in front of them. People like us die all too often before we're twenty-five. With what you've said about him it sounds like his aunt and uncle would throw a party if he did die." Draco's mouth flopped open. "I don't doubt the kid doesn't want it. None of us do. We complain a whole hell of a lot about it usually."
"He does for show. He likes the attention."
"Is he out doing interviews?"
"Is he out taunting the press into taking his picture when he's outside of school?"
"No," he said more carefully. "We had a teacher like that."
"How does Harry relate to what he did?"
"Lockhart had a picture taken with him."
"Whose idea was it?"
"Lockhart's," he said, realizing it. Xander gave him a look. "You think his parents are blighters?"
"Without meeting him? I'm guessing he's wearing baggy clothes because someone shops at the thrift store for him or he's got hand-me-downs and they're probably worn out, ratty, and he's embarrassed but can't do anything about them." Draco slumped a bit. "Been making his life a living hell?"
Draco smirked. "It's the most fun I've had for years."
"Well, now you don't have to go back to the war, Draco."
"How did you know?"
Xander grinned. "We do have a few wizards who bother us now and then. Giles gets news too. The kid's aunt and uncle keep locking him in a small closet." Draco shuddered. "That's where he used to live. Giles offered to let him finish his education on the hellmouth. He had a better chance of finding a good life even if he was turned into a vampire. Learn how to read people from the guys panicking about me. It'll help you manipulate people better."
"You seem to do so very well."
"I learned because it kept me out of ducking range when the bad things my parents invited in to party with them got there." He walked off again. "Library's back through the pink archway and to the right."
"Thank you," he said, staring at his back. "I'm definitely going to have to research him and his town once I get free. That's just...wrong on so many levels."
Xander turned to look at him. "No, wrong was Buffy dating Angel, who was a vampire." He grinned before walking on. Draco shuddered, going to the library to see if it had anything on that shield or any other magic books. Two magic books but nothing he could spot right off or that his finding spell could. He pulled down the magic books to look through. Maybe there was some way he could be of help to the muggles. He heard a loud noise and looked around, wondering what that was.
The CSI heard the gunshot and ran to where it happened.
Xander was standing over someone with his gun in hand. "Now, tell me where we are, why we are here, who this Great One is, and how we get them home. It's not right to take others when you want to kill me. Even our bad things don't do that back in Sunnydale." The man started to babble and scream. Xander kicked him on the side. "Let's try in a language I at least read, okay?" He stared down at him. "What's the town and realm's name?" The man babbled something. Xander stared. "In English perhaps?" He swallowed and nodded, saying something. "Good. That's a realm and not a dimension?" He nodded. "Okay. Why pick them?"
"They're worthy of you and might understand you. You'll need a harem that understands you and helps you prepare for your glorious ascent."
"What if he doesn't want to ascend?" Ryan demanded. "This isn't his religion."
"The Great One picked him. Why wouldn't he want this honor?"
"Because I'd rather be dying in an apocalypse or from one of the evil women I date," Xander said dryly. The man gaped at him. "I don't consider this an honor. I consider this a reason to lose my temper and destroy this city and realm. Now, who is this Great One? Does he have another name?"
"Good. I can look him up in the library or your book of faith you left?" The man nodded, swallowing again. "Even better. The diaries I found said you'd be sending them back to their lives. How and can it be done sooner? I don't need a harem and I'm sure as hell not bringing anyone to die with me."
"After the sacrifice, any that are left are given a choice. It's a hard trip and one that may kill them. All have decided to stay here and wait on the descent of the Great One so they could get their pleasure giver back."
"Are they still alive?" Ryan asked. "Can we talk with them?"
"You can have the High Priest send for them." He shifted. Xander stared. "I'm a lowly priest, I do not have all the answers you want. I've been in the order for three years."
Xander leaned down. "How do you get through the shield?"
"The Great One establishes it and powers it. We pray to gain entrance. You are under his main temple, princess."
"Quit calling me that," Xander snarled. The priest nodded quickly. "It goes down when you come in?"
"No! Just for us! Others have wanted to walk around outside and could not. The Great One wants them here to get ready for him and his harem."
"I'm not going to his harem," Xander said dryly. "What happens if I die before then? Or one of the harem is sick? Speed's got an injury."
"If he is that injured we have a healer who can come in if we beg or the High Priest may ask the Great One to send him back."
"Is it a hard trip to get us here?" Tony asked calmly.
"Then why is it a hard trip back?"
"The Highest Ones say so!" he said frantically. He moved back away from Xander. "I know nothing else! Please!"
"We want real, normal clothes," Xander ordered. "And real people food. We can't live on fruit and juice. It'll screw with our stomachs. Also, no more silky pants and shirts. I'm not a pleasure slave and I'll be damned if I'm going to be one." The priest nodded. "No more assless pants either. I'm not into men. I'm not going to be sleeping with them. Ever. And you can tell your high priest I'll be killing myself before I go to this Great One." The priest let out a wail of noise. More guards and priests came in. Xander stared at them. "Hi. Can we go home now since none of us want this Great One or his harem of cock sucking doom?"
"It is not allowed," the highest there said. "Give him back."
Xander looked at her. "I could kill him."
"You can't," he sneered, moving closer. "You're gentle."
"I'm on Buffy's team in Sunnydale. I doubt that." The man gaped, backing off. "I'm not the gentlest or the nicest. Tell your Great One I don't accept. I'll die first." They all gave him horrified looks. "I'll be *damned* if I'm going to be dying at the pleasure of anyone else."
"We will tell him you said so," one of the guards said. The priest wiggled and they grabbed him, dragging him out of the temple and sealing it up for the night.
Xander sighed, dropping the gun and walking off to sulk in the library.
The cops all relaxed again. "Okay," Tony said, looking around. "That I did not expect."
"I think Xander's more than the average teenage boy," Ryan admitted.
Speed nodded. "Clearly. Get his gun, Wolfe. I doubt he's homicidal but we can torture the next one so he won't have to." Ryan grabbed the gun to make it safe then they went back to talking in the dining room. There was something seriously wrong with that boy. They had no idea what but it was something clearly wrong. They didn't need to deal with two problems at the same time.
Sam found Xander doing situps the next morning. "What are you doing?"
"Getting ready to protect myself when they try to come for me for that spring festival in a few months," he panted, doing another one. "I don't expect anyone to fight for me."
Sam sat down next to his feet on the table that was holding them still. "I will, Xander. I'm not the best but I'll help protect all of us."
Xander stopped to look at him. "I'm sorry I scared them but I'm not going to sit around and wait for my death, Sam. I'll do what I can to get them home and out of danger before it comes due. I'm sure you have a bright future being slightly evil as a lawyer." Sam glared. He grinned back. "Aren't they all?"
"Not all of us." He looked around then back at him. "They could drug us again."
"They can. I can guarantee they'll have to if they want me to go of my own free will to that spring festival."
Sam nodded. "I'll let them know. Did we figure out anything good?"
"The temple on top of us has some way of letting down the shield. I don't know if there's someone up there with a switch. If it'll go down based on their blood or DNA. I think we should figure that out. We have to get the shield down to leave this place. I know Draco tried to go out with the priests this morning and it still stopped him."
Sam nodded. "I was wondering why he hadn't come in to eat yet. By the way, we have real clothes. Thank you."
"You can't escape in silk pajama pants. You'll be spotted." He grinned and got back to it. "Save me something, I'll be in later."
"Sure." He got up and went to talk to the others. "Xander's working out. There's a festival they'll come to try to pull him out for in a few months." He sat down in an empty chair. "Draco, did it tingle and stop you or did it just do it like normal?" The boy had apparently come in while he was gone.
"Like normal. I couldn't feel a difference."
"Xander said we have to find out about the shield and it's method of being put up. He's not sure what it acts on and how the temple is tied in. If there's a control panel or if it's DNA coded."
"We can look," Speed agreed. Ryan nodded. "How is the library?"
"Fairly good. A lot of strange subjects."
"I found two magic books," Draco said. "I flipped through them. Nothing on the shield or how to get away."
That got a nod. They'd debate magic being real but they had seen Draco taking out the priest that had brought the clothes in with his wand. "I'll take their book of faith today," Sam offered. "You guys start with the rest?" They nodded at that, going to do it. They saw Xander doing pushups now and smiled. "He said he's going to get us out of here so we're not in danger."
Tony looked at him. "That would leave him here."
"They said we could go home once it was done," Speed said. "If he's gone, it's done." That got a nod. "I don't like the plan but it seems to be the most practical, end game plan we have. I'd like to have something a bit less sacrificial than that though."
"So would he," Sam agreed. "He said there's a spring festival coming up. The diaries say that they'll be expecting him to bless the fields with his...um, seed." They all stared at him so he got one down to let them see that entry. "Since he started off reading them, I'm sure he realizes what'll happen."
Xander walked in. "They can starve for all I give a damn." He grabbed a book and walked off again.
"I need that," Draco called.
"I'm finding a summoning charm." Draco came out to do one for him. It got back the weapons and his bags. "Thanks." He handed back the book and rearmed himself then went back to what he had been doing. He had to find a way to get up to the temple. Somehow. He wasn't going to let them be killed for being with him. It wasn't right and he wasn't taking anyone down with him. He found a few ceiling entrances but no way to get up to them. One was clearly a trapdoor sort of entry. Nothing long enough to grab the edge though. Xander tried to stand on the couch but it wasn't high enough. He went in search of something taller to stand on. Nothing in the whole temple. This really did suck. He grabbed Sam and walked out with him. "How much do you weigh?"
"There's an overhead trap door."
Sam beamed and went to look at it with him. They tested and he could hold Sam up better so he let Sam climb up onto his shoulders to check. Sam couldn't get the edge open but he found the place with the lock. He got down and went to contrive something. "Xander found an overhead trap door, guys." They smiled at that. He made what he'd need and went back to do it again. Xander was wobbling but it worked. There was a ceiling above the trapdoor. "Thin wood," he said after knocking lightly on it. Xander let him down. They stared up at it. "It sounds like it goes into an open area."
"If I had a rocket," Xander sighed. Sam gave him an odd look. "That'd.... Hold on." He went to check the bags, finding what he needed. He walked back with the small ball. "My earthquake kit in case we get trapped underground during one." He let Sam see.
"Whoa!" Speed ordered, coming in to take it. "What are you doing?"
Xander pointed. "Thin wood leading to an open area. It might lead up to the temple."
"Why do you have plastic explosives?"
"In case we get trapped underground during an earthquake or in one of the caves. Or under a house. Buffy's mom has a basement on her house and we have earthquakes."
Speed gaped then shook his head. "No!"
"Yeah. She does."
"No," Speed said. "We'll talk over that plan then make a decision, Xander. You can help us with that." He went to confiscate the rest of the bag with Tony, who looked at the little boxes and took them too. "What're those?"
"He said artillery."
"Xander, what do you do?" Speed asked.
He grinned. "I'm on the hometown protection patrol. We have a very high death rate. I found them around town."
Draco looked at him. "I knew your town was horrible, but guns?"
"Yeah. Not everyone can hurl a curse, Draco." He grinned sweetly. "Artillery makes the problems go away faster and in bigger clumps."
Tony held up something. "This has been modified. What's in it?"
"Um.... garlic grenade."
Sam moaned, shaking his head. "Like mustard gas?"
"No. Like grenade. I couldn't find a better canister for it." He shrugged. "It works around town."
"Sit," Charlie ordered. "Are you going to kill anyone?"
"I'm not like that, guys. I'm trying to get us out of here. If we can get into the upper temple we can get out of here probably. I'm not sure how but once we can get up in there we can find out."
"You could help us research," Ryan offered.
"I do some of that at home but it's not my best skill. We found a few ceiling trapdoors that I'm going to try to get through."
Speed nodded. "That could help but how would we get home from there?"
Draco looked at him. "I can't apparate with people. I'm not sure if I could apparate from here that it'd work to get even me home."
"If we can find the portal that got us up here, can you retune it or flip it backwards so it gets us home?" Xander asked.
"Perhaps. If I knew how it was made. I'm not sure. I'd have to see."
"I think if it's anywhere it's got to be either in the center of the city or the temple. There's a huge statue that way that people seem to pray to. The temple's above us. If we can get into the temple we have a better chance of getting out of here to go check the portal."
"Accio portal information," Draco cast, bringing down a few books. "You find a way while I read up on it. Hopefully it'll have some information."
"If we have to, we'll capture a priest and let them retune it," Ryan offered. Tony nodded at that. "I still don't like you having plastic explosives."
"We have earthquakes."
"I'm in LA but we don't carry kits with small balls of explosives in case we get trapped," Charlie told him.
Xander looked at him. "I don't do what you do, Charlie. Now and then we have to be underground for a good bit and there's caves outside of town. It's a practical thing in my life." He took it back. "Let me go blow that hole open."
"It might lead onto the main temple floor. Let's wait until later tonight," Tony said. "When we're less likely to be seen." Xander sighed but nodded, going to check the other openings to see if any had ladders. "I'm really worried about him," he said more quietly.
"It seems like he's seeing a practical but strange way of doing things," Speed said. Tony and Ryan both nodded.
"Why would you need to be underground so often?" Charlie asked. "Don doesn't."
"No idea," Sam admitted. "Do you know anything about his town? You said it's near you."
"Not a thing. Then again I don't listen to many people gossiping or anything." He shrugged. "I can't remember having a student that said they were from there either. I don't know. I know there's a branch of the University of California up there. If I remember right, it's close to the desert."
"We'll make sure he doesn't go into practical, yet stupid overdrive," Speed decided. The others nodded. "I still want to know how he *found* artillery just laying around his town."
"Maybe the explosion at his graduation wasn't a gas line going," Sam offered. They stared at him. "I remember he said that his graduation had that gas explosion." They considered back then most of them shrugged about it. "It killed about forty people. It happened during the ceremony. Got the principal if I remember right and the town's mayor but very few of the spectators or graduating class."
"Hold on," Ryan said, holding up a hand. "It didn't hit the graduating class?" Sam and Charlie both nodded. "Gas explosions don't happen in one point. Right?" he asked his coworker.
"No," Speed said. "If a gas line exploded it'd be most of the pipe going."
"Why would they need gas lines near the desert?" Sam asked. They stared at him. "Would you need it for heat?"
"There might be some minor ones. Going to the school for the boiler or something," Speed said, considering it. "If we had an article on it."
"Accio Xander's graduation," Draco muttered, flicking his wand. Xander's bag floated in and they found a book. Xander followed and took it back. "They wanted to know about your graduation."
Xander looked at them. "It happened. The principal died and we cheered. The mayor died and it was good for the town." He shrugged. "What did you want to know, guys?"
"Gas main explosion?" Speed asked.
"No. The mayor had something attack the graduation ceremony to kill everyone. That was part of the defensive action. I'm really amused the FBI was in on the coverup thanks to the city."
"The FBI wouldn't do that," Charlie said warmly.
Xander looked at him. "Maybe not your brother but Agent Eathes was the one who showed up and listened to the very dirty cops in Sunnydale. He talked to them for about ten minutes and said 'yeah, it's a gas leak, the mayor's mike set it off' then left. I was helping the defensive action because we had some advanced warning and needed to get the spectators and students out of harm's way."
Tony stared at him. "Helping? Or led?"
"Led," he admitted. "It was my battle plan." He walked off again with the book. "I've got another one open. It's got a floor too."
"We'll look them over later," Speed called after him. He waited ten minutes then looked at Draco, who sighed and summoned the book back again. They looked it over. Speed pointed at something in a corner. "Why are they moving something that looks like a model of a fleshy tube?"
They got a magnifying glass to look. "It looks like part of a snake," Tony said. Ryan nodded.
Charlie frowned. "Snakes don't come that large."
Xander sighed as he leaned in. "It was about ninety feet long and that's what the mayor had attack us when he turned into it. That's why we had to blow it up. No way to chop it into pieces before it ate people." He left again. "Found another one in the main bedroom."
"Sure," Speed called, frowning after him. Then at the picture. "That makes no sense!"
"There are such things as demons," Draco said calmly, staring at them. "As proven by us being on a realm full of them. Or did you believe the orange markings on them were makeup?"
"I did," Ryan said. "You're sure?" Sam nodded. "Did you know Xander before this?"
"No, not a bit," Sam admitted. He frowned. It sounded like something they should have run into when he was with his family but he hadn't. "Then again I'm from the Midwest. We traveled a lot for Dad's work. I don't think we've ever been to lower California. Upper definitely. Big Sur a few times."
Charlie shook his head. "It's only a few hours from where I am and I never heard of anything like this."
"There's rumors about things like this in New York," Speed said. "I heard some when I was up there."
"I've never heard of anything like this in Miami," Ryan told him.
Draco shook his head. "It's too hot and sunny for most things. They wouldn't want attention. That would get those who hunt them down to kill them." He went back to reading. "Here we go. The portal is ... I have no idea what that means."
Sam took the book to look at. "It's genetic based. DNA. So we'd have to cover ourselves in blood it looks like." He handed it to the CSI and mathematician. "Not my idea of fun."
"Mine either." Tony grimaced, reading over it. "Can we drop it another way?"
"If we can find the crystal," Draco said, taking it back. "It's got to have a focus, something holding it steady for the energy and magic to whip through." He grimaced. "My father would be shitting himself if he were here. No one he could menace to take over. No power plays available. Stuck with muggles."
Ryan smirked. "Your father sounds like he needs a cop to come visit."
"They're scared of his lord and master too. Potter will probably kill him for me so I can inherit everything." He went back to reading.
"Huh?" Tony asked.
Draco smirked. "My kind are at war. The purebloods against those that aren't any better than mudbloods and halfbloods. Their *hero* and I are in the same class at school. I'm sure he'll take my father out of the way for me. That way I don't have to plan an assassination. Not like I want to waste my youth and beauty serving a disfigured old man with power but less sanity than my divination teacher. Even if the leader of the other side is just as barmy. It's in my best interests to sit back and watch it happen then pick the winning side near the end."
"Why does no one hear about those things?" Charlie asked.
"Why would we tell the muggles? My father only wants to kill and torture the lot of you. Otherwise you're not involved. It's our world."
"Plenty of guys like I am would help you fight against them," Tony told him.
Draco snorted. "What can you do against magic?"
"Shoot you," Sam said. Draco stared. "From a lot farther away than a hex can get us." Draco's mouth fell open. "The gun Xander used last night on the guard has a good hundred foot range if I remember right. It fires with the pressure of a finger. Before you could get off a hex it'd be hitting you. Probably while you were casting."
"Huh. I hadn't heard about those. New muggle inventions?"
"Since the mid eighteen hundreds for the type he's using," Charlie told him.
"Very interesting. I'll have to find one for my paternal unit the next time he disgraces the family by being sent to Azkabahn." He went back to reading. "The portal goes through the black crystal at the left side. I'll have to retune it there."
"Why is it you three younger ones are so violent?" Ryan asked.
"Upbringing in mine and Xander's case," Sam offered. "It sounds like Draco's father is a sociopath so he's channeling some of the traits he's learned and seen over the years." Draco gave him a scowl. "Sociopaths don't care who they hurt, just that it's fun to do."
He nodded. "That is my father and Voldemort to a T," he decided. "He did teach me most of what he knows. He didn't want to teach me everything; I might use it on him when he disgraces the family name. We've been pure for over twenty generations." He went back to reading. "Do we think there's a way to the square?" They shrugged and got back to reading with him. "It looks like the main portal's there. The temple has the shield too."
Speed sighed. "Then we move to plan B."
Tony looked at him. "Your injury?"
Speed smirked. "That could help. Who am I bringing back?"
"My boss," Tony said, writing down a note. Speed took it. "He's a Marine."
"Horatio knows another CSI who's a retired Marine too. H is pretty good at bad situations." He and Ryan shared a look. Xander came walking past them. "Xander?" He came in. "We're going to go with plan B since the temple seems to have the shield too."
"Okay. For?" He pointed at his shoulder. Xander grinned. "If you think you can get back up here?"
"I do. Let's see what I can do."
Xander found something and gave it to him. "Stick him with it once you're through." Speed nodded. "It should immobilize him or at least make him hurt a lot." He walked him off to the boundary the priests came through. "You brought me one who's deathly ill!" he shouted. A priest showed up. "Speed is deathly ill from the infection in his arm. I don't have enough medic training to deal with it and we don't have the drugs that would. He needs to be excused since he's so injured."
The priest walked off, going to get the highest ones. They came back. "What is the nature of this injury?"
"I nearly died from the gunshot wound I got." Speed took off his shirt to show him. "I lost eight pints of blood total. They were giving me plasma when the ambulance picked me up. I'm still supposed to be in the hospital. I only got out because you guys took Ryan Wolfe."
"Plus it's getting infected," Xander told them. "That can cause fevers, seizures, and death. I don't want him to die. If you need him, you can go get him in a few more weeks, when he's healthy."
The highest priests talked then nodded. "We will send him home. Step back, princess." Xander growled. "Now. Or we can't get him." Xander stepped back, letting them take Speed. That proved to them it wasn't a ploy. The boy hadn't tried to grab them. "We will get him back to his home." They walked him off, taking him to the portal. "Think of where you need to land to get help." Speed stumbled so a priest was holding him up. "Go cloaked," he ordered. The priest nodded and Speed thought really hard about the lab.
They walked through, Speed sticking him when they landed. "Help!" he shouted. Horatio came running out. "Get him!"
"Who?" Speed punched him and he became visible. "Oh, him." He grabbed and cuffed him then handed him off. "Speed?" Horatio asked, looking him over. "Are you all right? Where's Mr. Wolfe?"
"Long ass story, H, and he's able to get us back there. It's not just me and Wolfe. We need him to be with us so he can't escape." The priest moaned. "Please?"
"Of course. Anyone else we need?"
"We could use an army." He walked up to the office, letting Eric pounce him to hug. "Easy!" He walked in and sat down, looking at Horatio and the others, staring at them. "With me and Ryan is a young guy named Xander Harris. They decided they wanted him to be a sacrificial princess and they stole him a harem who could handle his violent urges. Me, Wolfe, Tony DiNozzo, Charlie Epps, a boy named Draco Malfoy from England, and a young guy from Stanford named Sam Winchester." Horatio took down the names. Speed handed over the note from Tony. "For his boss at NCIS."
"Oooh, that's going to be messy," Eric groaned. "Feds."
"Very. They got Xander because he's straight and they consider women to be breeders and he's still a virgin because he hasn't slept with a guy. Xander's horribly pissed. He shot one of the priests to interrogate him. He has some limited plastic explosive and a few pieces of artillery that're somehow shrunken but still work." Horatio gave him an odd look then checked his forehead. "I know how it sounds. That orange stuff on him isn't makeup, H."
Alexx came rushing in. "Baby!" She gave him a hug and checked him over. "Your shoulder's okay?"
"It's better than my temper, Alexx. They decided I'd be part of a harem for a sacrificial princess, Xander, who is straight. They expected him to pick one of us to bring with him when they send him to their Great One to join his eternal harem." Horatio shuddered. "We need a rescue mission. Badly. We can't wait that long either. They'll be expecting their priest back soon I'm sure."
Horatio hung up. "Frank's on his way up. Let me look up this person."
"He's in the DC branch if that helps. We talked last night to get to know each other. The first thing we knew, we were waking up to a very pissed Xander telling us what was going on. They threatened to kill us if he didn't agree to be the princess and look happy about it, H."
"He sounds like he's able to handle it for a day or so."
"We hope," Speed said. "Because it's only getting stranger." He pointed at him for Alexx's benefit. "Do we know anything about demons?"
"Very little. Now and then one ends up on my table." Speed nodded at that. "Are you all right? Did they hurt you?"
"No. Xander checked my stitches when he heard I had them. The kid's like a scary version of H when the shit hits the fan, Alexx. He's already said if it comes down to a moment of him dying to free us he will be. We kept him from blowing a hole up into the temple earlier to try to get us free." The priest moaned. "Knock him out please?" Eric did that. He looked at Horatio. "How do you want to do this?"
"Seven with me."
"What happens if he does it just once?" Eric asked.
"The Great One said to go ahead. He's not changing his mind and that's how Xander would bring one of the harem with him to the eternal harem he'll be joining in just under a year. How long have I been gone?"
"Three days," Horatio admitted.
"So time's running about the same. Draco was mumbling about that while he read up on the portal."
Horatio finally got taken off hold. "Jethro Gibbs? Lieutenant Horatio Caine, Miami-Dade CSI. I have one of my people that got taken with your agent Tony DiNozzo. He sent back a short message for you." He opened it. "It's going into Abbyland but it's the truth and it's strange. They could use a rescue team." He folded it back up. "Miami, my office with one of the people who took him and a few others. Seven in total with my present CSI that we got back. How did you get back?"
Speed grinned. "My stitches needed to be helped. They couldn't handle it if I'm sick."
Horatio smirked. "Good thinking."
"Xander's good thinking."
"Okay, the boy's good thinking." He listened to him. "We'll be here. That's what we're planning. I can do that. I know another CSI who was a Marine in his younger life. Mac Taylor in New York. He owes me. Thank you. Tonight is good." He hung up and called him. "Mac, Horatio. I need to call in that favor. Yes, because of my stolen CSI. We got Speed back; he said it's strange and we have demons who kidnaped them. I have no idea, Mac. We have a Federal Agent coming as well. Jethro Gibbs, NCIS. One of his people was taken as well. My office with Speed. Thank you." He hung up. "He'll be down by tonight as well." He patted Speed on the shoulder. "We'll get them back."
"Is Ryan all right?" Eric asked.
"So far he's cleaned all of Xander's guns. He asked the priests to get them for him. They didn't understand until Xander shot one in the leg." Eric smirked at that. "He's very not happy. He's a to-each-their-own-but-I-know-it's-not-my-way sort. Threw an absolute fit from what he said when he found out they were doing this to him because he's not gay."
Horatio smiled a bit. "I'd be upset too."
"Speaking of which, I want to know where the hell that kid comes from. He found artillery laying around his town. As part of his earthquake kit he had a small ball of plastique. His graduation was attacked and the school blew up because of it." Horatio gave him an odd look. "We can't figure the kid out, H. Can I?"
"Go ahead." He watched what Speed typed into the search engine. "I remember hearing about the explosion during graduation. It got the mayor and principal."
"The mayor was dirty and he had it attacked. Xander led the defensive action." They shared a look. "He went into practical but badass mode. He's scaring Charlie and Tony." He went back to reading. "Crank sites. That's what I need." He found the one he wanted and read up on the boy, printing the dossier. Horatio took it from him but he took it back to go over it. He found another two versions and printed them out to compare them. He tossed one that said he was a whiny little kid who tagged along. That didn't fit with Xander at all. The other two weren't that great and all-knowing, and they claimed it, but they had some information.
Horatio took them back once he put them down. "Fine." He got onto another site, finding Charlie's brother's address to write him an email saying Charlie was fine at the moment but they were presently going to rescue him and the others they had hostage at the same time, plus what Xander had said about that one agent and what had happened during the graduation thing. Someone should look into that. Alexx gave him an odd look. "Xander said the agent who came up to look at the gas explosion didn't investigate. Just agreed with the locals after ten minutes and walked off."
Horatio looked over the edge of the papers at him. "How do we know this is the truth?"
Speed looked at him. "I talked with Xander. Only a little bit but I'm quite sure he was telling the truth, H." He went looking for Draco or that odd name he had mentioned, finding a link to his world through someone's livejournal. "Hmm. Draco did get taken from school and they're worried it was someone on the bad guy's side." He wrote her a message saying that Draco had been taken by an outside source that had nothing to do with the battles coming up. That he was so far fine but someone was going in to get him out of there with his fellow captives soon. Then he shut it down and went to the bathroom. Eric followed, which he tolerated. "Eric, I have to piss," he said bluntly.
"I don't care! You're not getting out of sight for days!"
"Fine. When we get back, you can order dinner." He walked into the bathroom to use it, sighing in pleasure. He came out and found Alexx waiting too. "I'm fine, Alexx. Xander protected us."
"I do not care! I'll be hugging the boy when we get him back for doing it but you're not getting out of my sight again, Timothy Speedle! I do not know how you get yourself into these sort of situations but I will be finding out and stopping it."
"I'll ask Xander and Draco when we get back to them," he said dryly. "Maybe they'd know."
"You're not going on the rescue," Eric snorted.
Speed looked at him. "What makes you think they'll take you to the temple, Eric?" He walked back up to the office. "How long do we think?"
"Catch a nap, Speed."
"I'd rather have a real meal. They brought us fruit again this morning. Which I'm not against but that's all I had yesterday and today." Horatio smiled, and Alexx went to get them food.
Horatio looked up as someone stomped into his office. "You must be Gibbs." He handed over the message. "Taylor come with you?"
"He and his detective are coming this way." He looked at the man sleeping on the couch and the one chained in the corner. "What is that?"
"The people who have your agent and my other CSI." Mac walked in and Horatio relaxed. "Mac, Don."
"Horatio," Don said, shaking his hand. "How bad is it?"
"Speed told us that they kidnaped this young man," he said, handing over the dossiers. "To their way of thinking he's straight so therefore a virgin. Their Great One, whatever that is, chose the young man to be his newest princess and to be sacrificed in about a year. He gave him a harem. My two CSI, Gibbs' agent. A mathematician. A late teen English boy. They got Speed back to us because he's injured and they played up the injury to get him free so we could try a rescue attempt. Speed seems to think that guy is demonic of some kind since the orange markings on his face aren't tattoos, makeup, or anything that we can find." Gibbs went to look at him. "He's a lower priest." He looked at Mac. "That young man has been trying to get them free. I have no idea how he's doing that or what the younger English boy is. Speed said something about magic and Xander being strange. I'm guessing that was covered under your man's message to you, Gibbs?"
"It was. Abby's a bit goth and loves strange things." He looked at the name then nodded. "There was something with the gas explosion story that she found. I don't know what."
"We do. Xander led the defensive action and there's a video on Youtube," Horatio said dryly, letting him see it. "I went searching while we waited and Speed ate himself into a nap."
"Are they feeding them?" Gibbs asked.
"Fruit. Speed said they got regular clothes today because the supposed princess shot someone to interrogate them and demanded real clothes and food. Speed said yesterday he was in silky harem pants and a few of them were in buttless pants. They expect Xander to pick one of the harem to bring with him when he's sacrificed. Then they'd let the others go but they'd guilt trip them into staying there."
Gibbs just nodded at that. "Wonderful. Okay, how do we get there?"
"He has some way of getting back," Horatio offered. "I do not know how. We've only kept him chained up and kept Eric from kicking him repeatedly. Our ME as well since she's adopted Speed as her son."
"We heard Alexx could be a bit fussy," Mac agreed. He read over the dossier. "The kid sounds...not real stable."
"He's angry and pissed as hell. He's willing to kill himself so the rest of us get free," Speed said from the couch. "The main problem is the shield around the temple they stashed us in. Then getting us out." He sat up. "They're working on how to bring down the shield. We know it's DNA based but none of us want to cover ourselves with their blood to get free." The priest moaned at that. Speed looked at him. "Xander told you he wasn't a princess. He's not even a prince or a duke. Draco maybe, but not Xander."
"The Great One said so," he said insistently. "It is a great honor."
"Then why don't you volunteer, kid? Xander doesn't want it and doesn't want a guy." The priest moaned. "Some of us do like women."
"You aren't pure," he accused.
"No but I was dabbling and now I'm not." He smirked. "I'd suggest you never go near Xander again once we get free."
"The Great One will take him no matter where he is. He wants him. He is not to be denied."
"Why take the others?" Don asked.
"We'd supposedly understand Xander and support him through this difficult transition and then he'd pick one of us to go with him," Speed told him.
"Yeah, right," Eric snorted.
"Eric, you're staying," Horatio ordered. "We'll need Speed to get us there."
"If you can go, I can go."
"Eric, you're as good as I am in assault situations," Speed said. Horatio smacked him on the head. "Ow! What was that for?"
"I've been holding back about your gun."
Speed sighed. "I tried."
"Not hard enough," Horatio said firmly. Speed slumped. He looked at his person. "You're not trained for this. I wouldn't be bringing Speed either if we didn't need him."
"You can bring Calleigh," he suggested.
"They consider women foul and only good for breeding," Speed told him. "All the times we spotted people in the city, none were women." He stood up. "Unfortunately she doesn't have a body that can be camouflaged." Horatio nodded at that. "Just us five?"
"It'll look better. If you have to, you can say you're giving them to Xander's harem because they'd understand him better," Alexx said from behind Eric's back.
Horatio nodded. "That may work. Is it a bright place?"
"Not greatly so. I'm assuming it's nearly night there too." That got a nod and they stocked up out of the MDPD lockers before heading. Horatio checked his gun then handed it over with the bulletproof vest and extra clips. "Thank you."
"We'll be talking when you get back, Speed."
"Of course. I did try." Horatio swatted him again. "Ow!"
"Don't lie," he said with a look over the edge of his sunglasses.
"Not very hard." He grabbed his vest from his hummer and they left with the priest taking them. Gibbs had a hand on his leash and collar. No one was around so they snuck toward the temple Speed pointed at. They got there and the priest started to pray loudly for help from his Great One. Gibbs nearly choked him for it.
Tony came out. "Hey, guys." He put a hand on the barrier. "We think we can bend it some." Draco stepped forward and cast on the shield, creating an open spot in the center. They crawled through, Xander with his two bags. Tony gave him an odd look. "They'll notice."
"We might need the weapons."
"I still have the shrunken artillery," Tony assured him. He handed it to Gibbs. "Hi." They followed them back to the gateway. The priest refused to reset it so Draco had to step up and do it.
"The princess may never step through the gateway again," the priest sneered. "The Great One won't allow them to leave this world."
Xander looked at him. "You do realize I screw up magic horribly all the time at home?" Draco gave him an odd look. "I do. I screw up Willow all the time."
"You go through last," Draco decided. Xander nodded, turning to guard their exit since he heard footsteps coming their way. He walked through and tapped Xander before he crossed completely. Xander backed in and the portal belched. That way the only way to describe that sound. "Well, bugger!" Draco said, looking around the desert they were in.
"You can say that again," Speed sighed, shaking his head. "Any idea how we can get word back to them? Or get home since I doubt our home has a green night sky?"
Tony looked up. "It is green. Huh." He took Xander's notebook and wrote out a note, letting Draco send it however he wanted. It got sent through the portal and they settled in to wait. "This isn't the same desert as from Beetlejuice, right?"
"No," Xander said with a grin for him. "No dunes that high and no mega worms." They looked in the bags then went to take them to an overhanging stone that was just a bit away. Xander had a sleeping bag. That would do to make them a small bit of shelter using the overhang. They settled in to nap with a guard always up and armed. Just in case they were wrong and there were giant demon worms there.
Horatio caught the note that was floating down, looking at it. "They're not there. They're on a desert world now. They said not to come after them." He handed it to Gibbs, who was scowling. "Maybe Xander does screw up things like that." He looked around. "And of course we lost Speed again." He sighed, putting his hands on his hips. "I'm not happy."
Gibbs looked at him. "Think we can arrange to get it open again?"
Don held up the thing the priest had used. "Well, I have this but I have no idea how to use it."
Mac snatched it to look at. "There's no obvious buttons or switches."
"The priest guy rubbed it," Don told him. He took it back to look over.
Gibbs took it to look at. "If I had someone who could do those sort of things I'd ask them."
Horatio smirked. "There are some in Miami but I'm not sure if they could do the exact same thing. I do know someone that had the same sort of stick that young Mr. Malfoy did though." He took them to his hummer and to a small government office downtown. It was dark but he knew someone was up there. They always were. He walked in and someone jumped in the back office. "We need some help." A young woman came out of the back. "The priest that's stolen two of my CSI, his senior agent, and a few others, including one that has a stick like I caught you using last year on a crime scene, have had our people taken away from them. The portal was activated by this thing," he said, putting it down in front of her. "Then somehow we got back here and Xander got there with Mr. Malfoy and a few others." He handed over the note.
She blinked. "That's just...wrong."
"Wrong was taking them to be a young guy's harem so he could be sacrificed with one of them," Gibbs said dryly. "I want my senior agent back."
"I'll need more information than that to get them back, gentlemen." Horatio wrote down what Speed had told him and what had happened on the way back. "Harris. Where do I know that name from?"
"Sunnydale?" Gibbs suggested. "His person found dossiers on him and his recent graduation."
"He must work with one of those wandless twits out there then," she snorted.
"He led the defensive action at his graduation against the giant snake looking thing that the video showed attacking," Horatio told her. "Along with a blonde girl, a redheaded witch casting something, and an older British gentleman."
She stared at him. "No way! We would've heard about something that huge."
He sighed and pulled out his PDA/phone to find the video for her, letting her see. "That is Xander Harris."
"Oh, bloody hell, that's a slayer!" she said in disgust. "And her witch. Shite and bollocks." She went into the back and came out with something. "Desert world they said?" She tested the keystone then looked in the book. "What did the originals look like?"
"A bit toward caramel colored with orange triangles decorating like some cats do."
She frowned. "Heard of them. This is not good." She kept looking, finding the realms their portals were supposed to go to. "Who reset it?"
She looked at him. "Lucius?" she asked hopefully.
"Oh, even better. No wonder the people over there are in a snit."
"He was taken from school."
"More and more charming," she said dryly. "Quit giving me the bad details or I'll erase your memories now instead of later." She looked it over. "It's one of six places," she said finally, looking at them. "We can try. I have to get the boss up to approve it."
"There's a federal agent and two CSI there. One mathematician with a very high security clearance, and one of your own," Gibbs said. "Do you really need authorization? I can get the head of the Navy to do it if you want."
She gave him an odd look. "Who're you?"
"Gibbs. NCIS. Out of the DC branch."
"Heard you were a bastard." She went back to looking, calling the boss with one hand. "Sir, slight issue. Found the Malfoy brat. Along with two missing CSI, a Federal agent, and someone from Sunnydale. Plus some math guy. Office. Portal. They got taken by the priests of Glarificaan. Looks like Malfoy reset the portal and the chaos power that floats around at least one other made it burp. Office. Thank you, sir. Three cops and a federal agent out of DC are waiting since their people are gone." She gave them a look. "It's happened before."
"Speed said the others who were taken as the harem were often left living up there. They were told it was a hard journey back and they might not survive."
"Figures," she agreed. She went back to reading. "I wonder if we can use Malfoy's wand to pick which one it is." Her boss stomped in. She held up the portal stone. "They got them out but the portal out let them through then burped."
"How?" he asked.
Horatio handed over the notes. He read them then looked at him. "We just want our people back on this world or plane or whatever," Horatio said calmly. "I'm not pleased."
She looked up. "Not our fault."
"No, but I'm going to either yell at my CSI soon or someone else." She smirked at him and went back to work.
Gibbs phone beeped with a message. He looked then snorted. "Somehow they got to another world. This one has a marketplace. They're trying to get back from the naked all male market."
"Are they all gay?" Don asked.
She sighed and changed pages. "Naked?"
"Loincloths and some naked men," Gibbs said, letting her see the message. He looked back at Don Flack. "No, apparently not, but they think Tony is for some reason."
"He's the best dressed hostage I've seen in a while," Don teased. Gibbs scowled. Don just grinned brighter. "None of the others looked so well put together."
"He has to maintain an image or all the billions of women he dates yearly get upset," he shot back with a smirk.
She looked up at him. "Tony DiNozzo? He dated my sister. He's all hands and not enough dick," she said, going back to the book. "We can't get them from there. If they can get the public portal to get them to a few worlds it could help. Can whoever got you that message get one back to him?"
"I'd hope so since it came from him."
She typed in a few things. "There, let's see if Malfoy can help some."
Horatio sighed, getting a chair and sitting down to wait.
"It could take days, sir."
She stared at him. "You're going to be pushy, aren't you?"
"Criminals run to New York to get away from him," Don said with a grin. Mac shook his head, giving him an elbow nudge to the ribs. "They do!"
"Only six so far this year, Don."
Horatio looked over. "Did you need our help, Mac?"
"No, we got them just fine. You guys never seem to get ours. Want Stella to come help?"
"Calleigh would appreciate having another female in the lab." They shared a smirk. "We caught the last four that came down. The one before then only paused on his way to Bermuda to find a hooker and some gin." Gibbs moaned, shaking his head. "The two cities do cooperate very well, Gibbs."
"I'm sure you do." He got his own chair and sat down. The boss gave them an odd look but helped get those people home so the forceful, annoying ones could leave his office and he could go back to bed with his mistress.
Tony looked around the marketplace they were in. "Would it be considered rude if I kept my clothes on?" he asked Charlie.
"I'm not a social scientist. I don't know. Xander, do you know anything about these people? Or you, Draco?"
"Not a bit," Draco said, grimacing at one naked being. "None of my people are this well built."
"Inbreeding," Xander said with a sweet smile. "Only the best genes get overloaded and tossed aside. Or didn't you look at the history of the nobility? All those jaws that wouldn't close, the ears, the lack of breeding?" Draco was still glaring at him. He just grinned back. "Could be worse. You could be marrying your cousin and having little retarded babies."
"No thank you. I think my father's chosen another pureblood from outside our country for my hand in marriage. That way my children don't have to be too inbred. We do carefully monitor that you know."
"You'd probably have to. A small population inbreeding that way could cause chaos and mental instability," Charlie agreed. "Just like with any breeding stock."
"We're not...cows!" Draco said hotly, having to pause to find an animal he knew was bred but that they would know. "We do get some say in the matter."
"What a charming relationship that must be," Tony said dryly. "Quit fighting for now. Xander, do you know these ones?"
"Not a bit but I can tell you that's a bar," he said with a point. "The second language down I can read." Tony's phone beeped. "Good news?"
"People like Draco are working on it in Miami. We have to see if we can get to another realm that they can easily access." Draco sighed. Xander pulled him into the bar with him. "Okay, we'll go in there. Bars are a good place to get information."
Xander strolled in with an arm around Draco's neck, staring at the shocked looking bartender. "Do you know Willie in Sunnydale?"
He nodded slowly. "He's my cousin."
"I'm Xander." The demon started to shake and whimper. "Chill. Some priests decided I was a virgin princess because I don't do men."
"How did you get here from the priests of Glarificaan?" Xander pointed at Draco. "Who's he?"
"Draco Malfoy," he said with a small, superior looking sneer. "Do you know this one, Xander?"
"He knows one of the people in my town who we have to go talk to for information sometimes."
"I've heard how you talk," he sneered back.
"If Willie snitched to the slayer the way he did to Angel, we wouldn't have to threaten him." He sat down. "Anyway, we're moving quickly. I need to know a few technical details. Is there someone here who can help or can you find us a good source?"
"They'd want paid. If you're a virgin...."
"I had Faith first. They consider her a breeder."
"No, that child would be hell on all of us," the demon decided, shaking his head quickly. "When did that happen?"
"Right before I stopped Jack in the basement with his bomb. While the slayer and them were playing with the kraken."
"Oh, the night they sent you away," he said grimly.
"Yeah, that night," Xander said, glaring a bit. The demon backed up a step. "What would be the price? There's a few of us who need to hear it."
"Easy enough to teach the young one there...." He trailed off when Sam walked in. "Do I know you?"
He smiled. "Sam Winchester."
"Ummmm...." He trailed off. "Any relation to John Winchester?"
"My father said if I went to college I can't talk to him or Dean anymore," he said grimly, sitting on Xander's other side. "That's why they don't know that I got stolen as part of Xander's harem. Personally I don't want to hear Dean pick on me because of this."
"Ahhhhh," he said, then licked his lips. "You know what? I might know someone who might know something. Let me see if he's in town."
"Sure, can we have something that's not fruit to drink?" Xander asked. "Though, I don't want a beer."
"Water? I have some nice bottled stock."
"Please," Xander agreed, taking one. Draco got a beer. So did the others. Xander pulled out his wallet but the demon shook his head. "You sure?"
"American money is no good here." Xander held up something. "That's.... oooooh. That's a picture of Rosenburg in a bathing suit? How old was she?"
"Ten." He grinned. "That's Jesse. He was our third back in those days."
"The one you..." He waved a hand. Xander nodded, putting it down. "I know many who would gladly pay a lot for that even though it's too old to use for spell work." He took it and walked off, going to call his friend to come over. The other demon hurried over. "They're at the table by the stairs."
Xander looked up as the new demon came over to them. "Tell me you didn't summon one of the insane priests?" Xander demanded.
"No. My people are descended from them but split over theology. We appreciated our women."
"So do I," Xander said dryly. "They wanted me as a princess. Unfortunately when they stole us, they stole a federal agent, two officers, a mathematician with government contacts, Sam, and Mr. Malfoy."
He looked at the group then at him. "What do you need to know?"
Tony got into the text message. "The people in Miami want us to go here to get rescued."
"You can't get there directly from here, but I can teach Mr. Malfoy how to reset and use the portal system. And how to compensate for the chaos energy that floats around Xander." Xander nodded his thanks, taking another drink. "There are a few ways you can go and a few worlds that would be safer to stop on until you get rescued. They will come," he told Xander. "No matter where you are."
Xander nodded. "They'll be safer away from me at home anyway and I can beat an ass when I'm at home. There I'll have plenty of stuff to do it with. Including the slayer."
"Good point." He considered it then pulled a chair over to teach Draco how to do those sort of things. He was a smart boy, he knew it'd save his life in many ways before he used it to banish someone in the war who was annoying him. They knew of the war and didn't like it. Voldemort was mean to demons.
Back to Current Time:
Speed finished up the tale of traveling here and there until the magic police got them to get them home. "We really do have to call the bosses, Wolfe."
"Go right ahead. Eric will find some way to blame this on me."
Xander kissed him. "I'll spank Eric if I have to." Ryan grinned at that. "Giles, can we hang here tonight and call their bosses and/or big brothers?"
"Of course." Riley Finn stomped in. He sighed. That pissed off look meant Xander had done something to him. "Riley."
He glared at Xander. "How dare you....."
"Federal Agent," Tony said slowly and clearly, holding up his badge. "With NCIS. If you're doing work inside the boundaries of this country, you are guilty of treason, soldier." He stood up to get into his face. "I will make sure the SecNav and all the directors who need to know will know. Am I clear?" He backed off, looking a bit scared. He called Gibbs from Xander's phone. "We're in Sunnydale. There's an Army unit working in town for some reason. Yes, like *working*, Gibbs. We're here. Hanging with some of Xander's friends and threatening the nice soldiers who are apparently doing the wrong thing. Yes, that's where we are, boss. Which one are you?"
"Riley Finn," Giles said.
Tony repeated that then snorted and smirked at the boy. "Thanks, Gibbs. Yeah, we're here." He hung up. "They'll be out tomorrow with Army CID." Riley went pale. "Then you can answer to your people. Ryan, you and Speed are to get head smacks from Gibbs for not being able to make it through the last portal they got for us."
"Not my fault I got tripped," Speed complained. Xander gave him a hug. "Get off," he said but he was smirking at him. "Pain in my ass."
Xander grinned. "Aww, you say some of the sweetest things."
"You're not dating him either," Ryan complained. Xander gave him a kiss, making him smile. "Sorry, I'm a bit jealous."
"You can be all the jealous you want since you're not an evil girl. That means Buffy can't pick on me for dating evil things."
She snorted. "Bet me. You're gay now?"
Xander grinned at her. "Ryan sacrificed my virginity to men so none of us would get sacrificed when another group decided we were virgins."
"Demons are gay?" she asked Giles.
"I'd assume an equal proportion of their societies are relative to ours," Charlie told her. "Or are you thinking there's something wrong with that?"
"No, but I never expected Xander to be gay. He dates some really evil girls. Who want to kill him and we have to save him from."
Xander snorted. "You didn't save me from Anya, Cordy, or the mummy, Buffy. I saved you from her." He sat down again. "So," he said. "Anyone else that needs called?" Someone's brakes screeched outside and they all winced. "Sounds like someone's worried."
Charlie smiled and hopped up to hug his brother. "Don!"
"Charlie, are you all right?"
"I'm fine. They protected me. Xander got me back from the group that wanted to worship me for my brains and hair." The others looked at Xander, who shrugged.
"Where were we?" Speed asked.
"Um.... I think getting away from the evil female demons who decided you were a toy. Or maybe you were saving Ryan from them. Not real sure." He grinned at his big brother. "This is Speed, Ryan, Tony, Xander, Sam, and Draco. They got taken with me the first time. We've had a hell of a time getting back but we're here."
"I can tell you need help." He looked into his eyes. "Recent concussion?"
"No," he snorted, pulling back. "I'm fine, Don. Really. They protected me when I couldn't handle the gun stuff. Xander's very good at protecting me." Don scowled at Xander. Charlie swatted him. "If it wasn't for him I'd be married to a whole clan of demons who wanted to have little curly haired genius babies." Xander snickered, nodding. "Who thought I'd give birth to them." Don shuddered. "Have you met anyone else here and did you get that one message?"
"I did. We looked into his files. He disappeared when we started to look into what happened a few months back."
"Gas explosion," Giles said.
Don snorted, giving him a look. "I'm not the dirty agent that came up to investigate, sir."
"H said it was Youtube," Speed offered.
"We've talked and I saw that." He glared at him. "C'mon. Dad was frantic and pacing for the last three hours I'm sure."
"Call if you need us," Tony told him.
Xander nodded. "Especially if you need my sort of help."
"I doubt he needs a battle axe," Don Epps said sarcastically. Xander pointed at the one humping his SUV. "What is that?"
Buffy opened the shop's door. "Get off his SUV! Stupid thing, that belongs to an agent!" It got off and wandered off. She sighed, going to get him some water. "Here, so you can rinse it off. Because that's gross."
"Very," he said, going to do that. Buffy went with him to guard him. He saw her stake a vampire and turned to look at her. "Is it always like that?"
"Wonderful." He finished rinsing off the purple, sparkly jizz and handed back the pitcher. "Thank you and for watching my brother."
"Not a problem. Xander probably warped him greatly. It'll be good for him to get home and get back to normal things again."
Charlie leaned out to look at her. "Xander doesn't warp people, Buffy. I learned to appreciate Xander since he got us out of danger more than a few times while we were trying to get back. It's also not Xander's fault the first group decided he was a good virgin sacrifice and we'd make a good harem for him." She shuddered, nearly crying. "So lay off Xander." He came out to hug his brother again. "I could use a shower. The last place had bad ones."
"Fine. Get in the truck, Charlie. Quit hugging too."
"Hugging is good for you."
"He was hit with a spell about an hour before we got back," Ryan called. He yelped. "No biting, Xander!"
Buffy leaned in. "Were you turned?" she demanded.
"No, he tastes good." She went bright red and squeaked, backing outside again. Xander grinned because the others were laughing. "Ah, it's good to be home. Tony, can I have my artillery back now?"
"Hell no." He looked at him. "I can't give you artillery, Xander. It's not allowed for anyone not in the military to own."
Xander pouted. "Shoot. Guess I'll have to find some more."
"Can he get a reward for turning it in?" Draco asked.
Xander grinned at him. "I like how you think, Draco. That's why I'm going to come over and help your hero for you then go to Miami to spend some Ryan snuggling time." Ryan blushed at that. "Shouldn't take us that long to blow up the bad guy's headquarters. Oh, Giles, their hero isn't being trained." Giles moaned, shaking his head. "Maybe we should send Buffy to help him?" he asked with a grin. "Then she can kick Travers' ass in person?"
"We'll discuss that after your friends have made it home, Xander."
Xander mumbled but looked at Draco, writing something out and handing it over. "Like we discussed." Draco smirked and nodded, tucking it into his shirt pocket. "Then you can go be all the evil princess you want to be."
"Prince, please. I'd never bottom for anyone." He checked his nails. "I need a manicure when I get home." He looked over. "Do we have a floo?"
"Not here. I have one set up at home, Mr. Malfoy." That got an evil smirk. "We'll make sure you can talk to your sort later." Don walked Charlie in, talking to his auto club. "Did another one get it?"
"He didn't clean it off well enough so another little demon came up to bite the metal for him," Charlie said with a grin. Xander snickered. "Xander, do you have anything else that might get them?"
"If I show you, Tony will confiscate it on me."
Sam looked down at him. "I can suggest my family stop through this way. Dean likes weapons."
Xander beamed. "That could work. I'd like to meet your big brother." And beat him senseless but that could wait. Sam gave him a smug look, getting one back. "What? I'm being good."
"Uh-huh," Sam said dryly. "No beating Dean. It was Dad's fault, Xander."
"I can beat him too. If they threw away a great son like you, then fuck 'em. They don't deserve the loyalty."
"I could try to call but I was ordered not to."
"That wasn't your call. It was his. They could do the same thing." He settled in with a grin to Ryan. "Can we adopt Sam?"
"Sure. We can adopt Sam as a little brother." Sam laughed, shaking his head. "It might help you get into law school. After all, we're cops and agents, Sam."
"Not a problem writing a recommendation," Tony agreed. Riley started to move so Tony handcuffed him to the counter. He sat down with a sigh of pleasure, getting another slice of pizza. "Xander, how many more toys do you have?"
"Xander," he said, glaring at him.
The boy grinned back. "You can't have my toys. I might need them."
"I'll work it out with Gibbs so you can call and get it," he offered.
Xander considered it. "Nah, too much work and a long wait time. Besides, I'd only hand you some that wasn't mine. The mayor had a stash." Don Epps moaned. "What?"
"I don't want to know. I'd have to turn it in." Tony held up his badge. "Weapons trafficking is an FBI or an ATF matter."
"Most of it's stolen military issue," Tony told him. He took one of the boxes out and opened it, which canceled the shrinking spell. "See?" Don looked and let out a deep moan.
"Xander toys," Speed said smugly.
Don Epps looked at him. "You don't want to take down the government, right?"
"No. Now and then I'd like them to work right instead of being asshole licking bastards who like demon cock."
Don winced at that. "But you won't do anything against us?"
"Not unless they attack." He grinned sweetly at Riley, who went pale. "We heard a lot about your group." Riley tried to back off. "Huh, Tony?"
"Yes we did," he said dryly. More brakes squealed. "The boss was in LA?"
"Yes. Bothering the crap out of us," Don muttered. Gibbs stomped in, followed by Horatio. "Evening. I've got my brother back. You can have yours."
"Boss, that's Riley Finn. Team leader in the Initiative mess that's going on under the town."
"I heard. CID is on its way." He pulled Tony up, looking him over. "You managed to do laundry?"
"One of the women in the last marketplace did it for Xander because she wanted to bear him little smartasses." He smirked. "I was good, I even kept the artillery, boss."
"This is not good, DiNozzo."
"He can stay and help us hunt," Xander offered with a sweet grin.
"No way in hell, Harris." He smacked Tony on the head, then got Speed and Ryan. "Because your boss is too nice to beat you two."
"It's not their fault the first group decided they'd make a great harem for me," Xander said patiently. "Or mine that they decided I needed that much gay sex."
Horatio gave him a look once he took off his sunglasses. "How bad was it, Mr. Harris?"
"How do you know who I am?" Xander asked.
"Your online dossier from the hunting community." Sam gaped. "And you, Mr. Winchester."
"I quit to go to college. My father made himself clear," Sam said coolly.
"Down boy," Speed ordered. "Did you call his family, H?"
"I did. His father went off on quite a loud, long swearing rant. Fortunately he hung up and called back once he was done, five hours later."
Ryan looked down at Sam. "That means Xander and I can kick his butt for you when he shows up," he said with a grin.
"Thanks, guys. No one but Dean ever wanted to beat someone up for me before." He grinned at them.
"As far as I'm concerned, you're my family now, Sam," Xander told him. Ryan nodded. He kissed Ryan. "You should calm your boss down."
"Horatio, he'll be visiting a lot."
Horatio stared at him. "I see."
Speed cackled. "The look on your face, H." He got up to pat him on the arm. "You'll learn to like and appreciate Xander. We did when he saved us with Tony the first time."
"As long as he leaves all the toys here," he said blandly.
"I'm confiscating them," Gibbs told him.
"Tony has them," Xander said with a grin.
Epps shook his head. "He's got others and there's other stashes around town, guys."
"We might need them," Xander pointed out. "We have in the past."
"Tough," Gibbs and Epps said.
"You can call and I'll get you something," Tony reminded him.
"Last time we needed it within an hour," he countered. "None of you can magic gram."
"Good point," Tony said, considering it. "How about if we weed it down to lesser things?"
"No," Gibbs said firmly. "No weapons." Buffy ran in and grabbed a sword then ran back out. They stared. "What is that?"
"The thing I've been watching for the last ten minutes," Sam said. "I have no idea how you kill that thing. Mr. Giles?"
He looked then sighed and took off his glasses to clean while leaning outside. "Buffy, the lower set of arms, on the right, in the pectoral muscles. There's a weak spot that will allow you to get it down and then we can kill it." A shotgun went off behind the demon, bringing it down. "Or you can do that."
Xander looked. "Sam, I think it's your old family."
"Wonderful," he muttered. Ryan and Xander shared a look then shrugged, pulling him over to put between them and suddenly become the most cuddly boyfriends ever. Sam laughed. "Guys, not needed."
"Shut up," Ryan said fondly, kissing his ear when his big brother walked in.
"Sammy, who's that?" Dean demanded calmly.
"This is Xander and this is Ryan." He grinned. "They decided to adopt me."
"Dad said you've got a family."
"Who didn't want him apparently. We do," Xander said, stroking Sam's knee and inner thigh.
Dean blinked. "That's just wrong on so many levels, dude. Dad kept me from calling."
"And you're with him twenty-four seven?" Xander asked.
"Then you woosed out, Dean. He's our family now."
"Guys," Sam sighed. "Dean, why are you here?"
"Because you made Dad nearly have a heart attack. Congrats, good job, Sammy."
Sam smirked. "Not my fault they decided Xander was a virgin sacrifice because he hadn't had men yet. Or that I'd make a good harem for him."
"I can see that. You can at least talk to Dad."
"Is he here?" Xander asked sweetly.
"He'll be here in a few. Why?" Xander smiled at him. "I'm staying out of that fight but it's not really any of your business, dude."
"Fuck off, Dean, before I bend your brother over and have him here while your dad walks in," Xander said with a sweet grin. Ryan snickered. Sam gave him a hug. Dean was now pale and shaking his head. "Yeah."
"I'm getting *far* away from this argument. Sammy, you wanna join me?"
"Bitch, you should."
"Yay." John stomped in. "Dad, this is Ryan, Xander, that's Tony and Charlie there. Speed's staring at the demons outside." He grinned. Xander gave him a kiss, making him moan. "No showing off, Xander. I'm not a toy."
"I know you're not," he promised with a wicked smirk.
"Unhand my son," John said firmly. Xander got up and knocked him down. "Who the hell are you?"
"Xander." He grinned down at him. "We're adopting Sam since you threw away a fantastic son. Ryan agreed with me." He smiled at Dean. "I can make sure you know how to call if you want."
"Nah, I'm good."
"Down, Xander," Speed ordered. Xander scowled at him. "Threaten Sam's father later. Once things are calmer. It looks like some of them followed us home."
Xander leaned out the door. "Shut up and go home!" he shouted. "Or else I'm never touching another guy ever again!" They pouted and stomped off. "You can even tell the slayer how much better this makes me." He shut the door again then grinned at Gibbs. "By one realm's laws, they're my harem. I have to protect them. That means I'll be checking on Tony." He walked over John, kicking him when he tried to grab him. "It's not nice to touch your son's lover." He sat down again, looking at Ryan. He took another kiss then kissed Sam again. "Giles, is the motel full?"
"No. Not that I'm aware of. Buffy even cleaned it out recently, boys." Xander grinned and grabbed them, walking them off.
"Do not follow," Horatio warned Ryan.
"Mine," Xander called. "You can have him back tomorrow."
"I can have him back now, Mr. Harris," Horatio assured him. "Having you could complicate his life in the department."
Xander stared at him. "That threat was *so* beneath you since you clearly had some recently, Lieutenant. Especially with the way you're standing." Speed gaped. "Do not threaten me again. Last time, I was mean enough to make Tony beg me to calm down and promise me chocolate. Which was sacred on that realm." Horatio backed off. "That is Ryan's decision. Not yours unless you're his daddy?"
"No, I'm his supervisor. I only want what's best for Mr. Wolfe."
"Then you'd use his first name. Huh." He walked them off. Ryan could come back later. He grinned at Ryan. "You can go back in a little while. I won't even pounce first."
"He didn't mean it as a threat, Xander."
"He did so."
"He didn't. He doesn't want the department to get down on me. They can do that now and then to officers who walk that side of the street."
Xander grimaced. "I'll understand," he sighed. Ryan kissed him then went back to talk to his boss and calm him down with Speed's help. Xander looked at Sam. "They can come talk to you in private?"
"Probably better anyway. Especially with Feds in there." That got a happier look. "We're not abandoning you, Xander. We're still very closer. Even if I'm in Palo Alto."
"I'm certain." Xander smiled and nodded. "Now, let's go to the motel. I could use a real shower too." That got a smile and a nod. "What about Draco?"
"Giles is going to get him in touch with his people and I gave him an evil plan so he can take out the bad guys and become however evil he wants."
"That's cool I guess." He walked them off, watching Xander stake a few vampires on the way. "Do you do this often?"
"About every night." He shrugged. "It's just how Sunnydale is. Sometimes it's cemetery patrol. Sometimes it's Bronze hunting. Depends on how many new ones are coming up." He got them to the motel and checked in then went up to his room. Sam crashed on the bed once he got a shower and they settled in to watch some tv. A little while later the door was knocked on. Xander got up to answer it. "Hi, Tony. No his family?"
"They're coming up to talk to him while you take me to gather some more of your stash," he said with a grin.
"You can't have them."
"We can shut down the town to find them."
Xander giggled. "Sure you can. What makes you think I don't need to go steal them back from the vamps?"
"Because I know you, Xander. You're always prepared for that stuff. We agreed you could have some smaller things. Not a whole stash. Nothing that's going to launch a rocket. Nothing too explosive."
"Uh-huh. You can even take Sam with you if you want."
"Dean's the gun nut among my family," Sam said. "We can go if you want, Xander." Xander shrugged and got his shoes. Sam put on his shoes and they headed out. Sam waved at his family. "We're going to help Xander weed out his stash. You can come help. He'll probably need it and Dean can pet the guns." He grinned as he got into Tony and Gibbs' rental car. "How did you explain it to your bosses?"
"He was kidnaped. It's not like they're going to take his vacation time." He backed out. "Which way?" Xander sighed and pointed. "To the main one first, kid." Xander nodded. "Which way?"
"Left," he sighed. Gibbs got out and got into the back so the kid could drive. The two Winchesters followed. They walked into the warehouse and Gibbs moaned. Xander grinned. "We need it sometimes." Dean and John walked in then Dean fell to his knees with a deep moan. "So that's where you learned that noise," Xander teased Sam.
"Every time a natural blonde with big breasts tries to suffocate him," he said sarcastically. He pinched Xander. "Behave. Is this yours?"
"No, the former mayor's." He grinned. "Mine isn't this big."
"Good!" Tony and Gibbs said together.
"Who owns this now?" Gibbs asked.
Xander shrugged. "The new mayor would probably claim it. Or try to."
"Bet me," Gibbs said dryly. He called someone. "It's Gibbs. Does the former mayor of Sunnydale have a license to own artillery?" He laughed. "I'm in a large warehouse full. Harris, in Sunnydale, gave it to us." He looked at him. "We're still going to look at your collection, kid."
"Fine," he muttered. He walked off, going to look at the pretty cases. He had lifted some of it before. A guard came in but Tony got out his badge. Gibbs got his out. The guard called and Don Epps got to arrest someone. It worked well for them. Interagency cooperation was the watchword they all lived by these days. Xander and Sam snuck off, going to take his stash to somewhere safer. Tony found them later and called Gibbs with a GPS. Dean walked in and moaned but it was a good sound. Xander grinned. "Hi, Dean."
"Xander, if you don't want Sammy, I'll be your butt boy if I can play with them for a bit."
Xander snickered and kissed Sam. "We'll see." He led him to look at the stuff. Dean followed. Sam glared at Dean, making him back off. "Sam, I won't have another Winchester. You're one of my harem." Sam grinned at him for that. "I don't know why they didn't steal him."
"They didn't know what I had done," Sam pointed out. "Or you."
Buffy walked in and looked around. "Xander!" she complained. He leaned around a box. "We don't need all this."
"Shut up." She glared. He glared back. "Mine. It kept you from dying in the mall that night." She huffed off. "I don't care if you don't like it. Not like I'd let you play anyway! You're mean and you date evil boys!"
Sam patted him on the back. "You have better taste in men," he soothed. Xander smiled and nodded. "Even if your dating history does read like an evil girls manifesto signer's list." Dean gaped. "Really. He took a former vengeance demon to the prom."
Dean looked at Xander. "Maybe you're an adopted Winchester?"
"My first time was another slayer. Who went dark." Dean gaped. "Before then was a cheerleader and a reanimated mummy. She wasn't going to kill *me*." He grinned. "The praying mantis shapechanger demon who wanted me to fertilize her eggs and then die."
"We need to do a blood test to make sure you're not an actual Winchester," Dean said, shaking his head. "Can I pet them?"
"As long as you apologize to Sam."
"He could've called."
"Dad told me not to. You made yourself clear, Dean. So did he."
Dean grimaced then sighed. "Dad told me I couldn't, Sammy."
"You two get right with each other then you can pet the weapons." Dean nodded, taking Sam off to the side to talk to him. Xander looked at Tony. "See, nothing too huge. If I need something that huge, I steal from that other stash."
"Good!" He went back to looking, texting in what he was seeing. He took another case out of the pile. By the time he got done, Dean and Sam were back to normal and Xander was letting Dean pet Tony's discard pile. Sam and Xander were looking over the rest.
John came in and scowled at Dean. Dean could only smile and hold up his current one. "Are you drugged?" he asked.
"No. Just happy."
"Sammy, let's talk."
"There's a good place to sit back there," Xander said with a point.
"I think I can talk to my son without witnesses, Mr. Harris."
Xander pulled something out, bouncing it in his hand. John's eyes went wide. "I know that." He smiled sweetly. Sam took the grenade from him with a sigh and walked his father off to talk to him. John pointed at the grenade. Sam looked then put it down. Tony came over to steal it. Dean came over to mediate. Xander sat down to bid his toys goodbye. He'd get others back in their place but he'd miss them. Tony let Gibbs check his pile when he came in to gather them with an ATF team.
"Xander doesn't need things this big either."
"Two years ago we had to take a rocket to a thing in a mall," Xander told him. Gibbs gave him a horrified look. "It said it couldn't be destroyed by any weapon made by mankind before it had been put together the last time in the sixties." The ATF agent whimpered. Xander grinned. "Saw that?"
"Yes, sir. We did. It was a good use when you gave it to the blonde girl."
"Thanks." He grinned. John gave him an odd look. "It needed it. It was going to kill everyone."
"So we heard, sir." He came to look over everything. A few more things joined the going pile. Xander petted those and whispered to them but that was fine. Gun nuts were like him. The agents were creeped out but they saw gun nuts like him now and then.
"Xander, there's a whole area of study where you can learn to play with guns all day long," Tony told him. The agents gave him a look like he was insane. "He'd make a good ballistics tech. He knows weapons, is very careful with them, and takes good care of them."
"It's a science degree but it's not a bad field," Sam agreed. "There's a good program at Stanford." Xander grinned at him.
"Are you going to go back?" John asked.
"I'm happy there and I don't have to blow anything away, get concussed, get broken ribs, and if I find something that I want to die for, I'll do it."
John stared. "That's not the Winchester way."
"It's my way," Sam told him. "If I have to, I'll hunt. If it's threatening me. If it's threatening any future friends. If I need to, I'll handle it. If not, then I'll work for hunters when I'm out of law school when they need me to."
"Not everyone's meant to hunt," Xander pointed out from the case he was sitting on. "It's a hard, soul destroying field. It's a good way to die young but in a way that'll make people wince when they peek under the closed casket lid. Being torn apart at the sinews is not a good way to die." John looked at him. "If it didn't destroy souls, we would be the same guys we were before we started to hunt, Winchester. Are you? Because I know I'm not."
John shook his head. "That is a point." He looked at his younger son. "You're serious about that one?"
"I don't know. We're friends. Xander's more protective than even Dean is."
"That's possible?" John asked.
"Xander destroyed a whole clan of demonic females who wanted me to breed with them."
Dean nodded slowly. "I'd do that."
"You'd shoot them. Xander walked in with a sword," Tony said from where he was hauling weapons. "We didn't do more than look when we found them. It was kinda messy."
Dean gaped at Xander. "Damn."
Xander grinned. "Just think, I used to be the goofy, fun loving, skateboarding, playing pranks guy that was mostly ignored by everyone. Now I'm ignored by everyone until I have to show up with a weapon." He gave him a look.
"Hey, you can protect Sammy," Dean agreed. "As long as he's safe, happy, and no demons get him."
John considered his younger son. "We'll let you finish this upcoming year then talk about it, Sam."
"I'm going to law school," he said slowly and clearly. John gaped. "I've got excellent grades. Tony and the other cops said they'd write me recommendations. So have most of my teachers. My practice tests for the LSATs have had phenomenal scores. And there's almost no demons or spirits in Palo Alto."
John sighed, staring at him. "We'll talk next summer?"
"You can talk to me before then if you don't nag. I have a girl I kinda like that I've got to figure things out with now." He looked at Xander, who only shrugged and grinned. "We'll figure out about Jess later."
"That's cool with me," Xander promised. "I'm not that sort of possessive, Sam. If you like her more, go to her." Sam smiled at that. "Then I'll go bug Ryan for a bit."
Tony gave him a hug. "You can come bug me but don't keep me from picking up the pretty girls, Xander. Maybe we'll find you one that's not evil."
Xander grinned. "I might come try that."
Tony grinned, letting Gibbs walk him off. "We'll see you in a few months. After you're done helping Draco or going to bug Ryan."
"Sure. Thanks, guys. What about Finn's people?"
Gibbs looked at him. "CID showed up with a desist order. The base is disgusting and they sent pictures back. Everyone on base was automatically arrested and the higher ups are facing treason charges. They heard your friend Buffy was involved and they're discussing it with her. They don't think she was involved in the torture part of the project by her reactions." Xander nodded at that. "So she may get by with a slap on the wrist."
"She'll pout for weeks about losing her boyfriend."
"Girls can do that."
"She tries really hard to be a normal girl now and then, Gibbs."
"I understand why. It's a hard calling to have from what little I've heard about it since they took DiNozzo. Caine and I agreed that we'd support you guys to get back to as close to normal as you can get. You as well if you want to quit."
"Then no one's here to help her."
"That's a point," Gibbs agreed. "Though I think you're right about soul destruction you're going through. Maybe more time to hang out with the normal folk?"
Xander shrugged. "I do what I have to do because no one else does."
"Now others know," Tony pointed out. "It might help."
John looked at him. "Why do others know?"
"Buffy's boyfriend was part of the Initiative mess they just busted outside of town," Tony told him. "They were torturing demons to find out what they did and how they do it." John groaned, shaking his head. "They were just arrested on charges up to treason since they're military."
John sighed, shaking his head. "Okay. Do we think there'll be more hunters?"
"If they get out of jail," Xander told him. "Or if they don't end up in it."
Gibbs nodded. "There's others higher up who know now too. That could get agents and others out to deal with the issue out here since it seems to be a bit extreme."
"Not all demons are harmful," Xander told him. "You should talk to Giles."
"We are. I told the CID people to do that," Gibbs told him. Xander nodded. "No more collecting like this."
"If I don't need it and find it, I'll send it to one of the guys as a present."
"Don't send it through the mail. That's federal charges," Gibbs told him. Xander nodded at that. "And can you keep down the scary redhead?"
"She floated him and the CID person," Tony said with a grin.
"Ah. Yeah. That might be a good thing."
"Witches who overuse their powers get hunted," Dean called.
"We need her, she can close the hellmouth," Xander called back.
"Fucking hell," Dean said in horror. "She's that strong?" Xander nodded with a grin. "You're sure?"
"She's done it a few times and stuck a soul back in the vampire who lost it."
John full body shuddered. "Oh, damn. I'll find someone to watch over her." He looked at Sam, who shrugged and rolled his eyes. "We can talk later?"
"I'll be here until I can get up there."
"Thank you, son." He patted him on the shoulder, looking at Dean. "Let's hit the hotel?" They nodded and walked out. They let the agents close up the storage area for Xander and let Xander ride back with them. They piled into the boys' room to get to know Xander. He probably wasn't as insane as John thought. Or as gun happy as Dean thought. He couldn't be.
Xander looked at the guys gathered around for breakfast at Denny's the next morning. "So, going home?" Xander asked finally.
Ryan nodded. "You're visiting, right?"
"Of course." He smiled. "Anytime you want me."
"Good. You can come down to scare Calleigh."
"She does what we think you should do so you can ask her all the questions you want," Tony said with a grin.
"That's almost a scary thought," Speed said. Ryan giggled, giving Xander a hug. Xander cuddled. "Aww." Horatio and Jethro came in. "We're eating." He dug in.
"Alexx will be happy that you're eating," Horatio told him. "Before she smacks you on the head for losing weight again." He pulled a chair over. Gibbs did the same for the other side of the table. "We are leaving at three, boys." They nodded at that. Xander sat up to eat.
"We're leaving at four," Gibbs told Tony. That got a nod. "Direct military flight."
"Carrier straps again?" Tony guessed.
"Troop carrier with the ones going to jail. We'll be providing escort."
"Good." He dug into his eggs. "How's my apartment?"
"Good. The rent was paid automatically. Abby and I talked to your bank since she had a power of attorney letter." Tony nodded.
"Speed, I didn't have one of those so we moved all your stuff out and into storage at my house," Horatio told him. "Mr. Wolfe, yours is in Calleigh's building." That got a nod. "Eric didn't have room but he did most of the packing and moving for you. We'll help you find a new place when you get back, boys."
"I have to do that too," Sam agreed. "I was in the dorms but I had my stuff in storage for the summer." Xander nodded. Speed smirked at him. "It's paid automatically out of my account so it's still probably there. There's a new trimester starting in a few weeks so I'll join then. It'll be okay." Xander gave him a hug. "You can come visit."
"Thanks." He grinned. "You can come down too. We'll warn you if it's going to be an apocalypse so you stay safe and out of it."
"Thanks. I can do that."
"Apocalypse?" Horatio asked.
"About every spring," Xander agreed. "Graduation was our last one."
Horatio and Gibbs shared a look. "Sam, how would you like to move to a school on the east coast and bring Xander?"
"Then no one would be here to help Buffy," Xander said. "Plus Sam's full ride."
"Crap," Speed muttered. "Anytime those things happen, we want to know and how you're handling it," he ordered. "And that you came out okay."
"Good." He took his own hug. "You eat." Xander nodded, digging in again. He and Ryan shared a look then looked at Horatio, who smiled a bit and nodded slightly to show he agreed.
"We think he'd do good as a ballistics CSI," Gibbs offered.
"He could. He does seem to appreciate the weapons." Xander grinned at that. "It's not a hard field. Not the hardest in the lab certainly."
"We have one forensic tech in our office. She does some ballistics and some of the other fields," Tony told him. The other CSI stared at him. "Abby does it all."
"Damn," Speed said in awe. Ryan nodded. "How overworked is she?"
"Small caseload," Gibbs told him. "Limited jurisdiction."
"Can I transfer up there?" Ryan joked.
Horatio looked at him. "Only if you want people to follow you and beat you night and day for making them leave their families."
"Alexx would follow Speed, not me."
"I wasn't just talking about her," he said dryly. The waitress came over and he got some coffee. "Thank you." She smiled and got some for Jethro then left them with the check.
Tony checked then smiled and paid. Gibbs gave him a look. "It's my turn. Xander bought the last breakfast in the last marketplace."
Gibbs checked then put it on the agency card. "You're running short sometime soon."
"Didn't they pay me out of my vacation hours?"
"You only had a month. It's been six, DiNozzo."
"Oh. Good point." He finished up. "How's everyone doing?"
"Well enough. I called Abby this morning and she warned me about coming home alive." Xander grinned. John and Dean walked in and got their own breakfast and chairs to join them. "Are you guys taking Sam up to Palo Alto or is he staying for a few days?"
"Up to him," Xander said. Ryan gave him a stroke over the hair. Xander winked at him. "Let me help Draco then I'll have a few weeks teasing you."
Horatio coughed. "Give us a few weeks to calm people down so you don't have to deal with people who think you're going to take him again." He sipped his coffee.
"Want me to drop you off, Sammy?" Dean asked. "I can do that."
"I wouldn't mind," he said, glancing at Xander, who only grinned and waved him off. "You sure?"
"If you're ready to go. I'm not going to stop you from going to school and becoming a great force of history and destiny."
Sam smiled. "I'm not looking for that sort of fame and fortune."
"If you're sure. I think you could be."
Sam shook his head. "Too much attention." He sipped his coffee. "Sleep okay, guys?"
"Fine," Dean agreed. "Even when I got woken up a few times by the things trying to get in." Xander nodded at that. "What're you doing now, Xander?"
"I need to help Draco, then I was going to visit Ryan for a few day. Then I was going to come back, find a job, and deal with life here again." He ate his last bite of eggs. "There's usually some sort of job open around here."
"What about the girls?"
"It'll get me out of the way of the pouting," he said dryly. Dean smiled at that. "But the next time we have an apocalypse, I'm calling you."
"Sure," Dean agreed. "We can do that." John nodded since his mouth was full. "She gonna be okay?"
"She's going to be fine soon enough. It'll take her a while but it'll be fine."
They all nodded and got ready to go. They gave each other hugs and left to go to the airport. Xander watched, sighing a bit from the doorway. Buffy came up to stand next to him. "We're going to help Drac or am I doing it on my own?"
"He said the plan was good enough so he could do it on his own with a few smart minions."
Xander smiled. "I was going to help him then go see Ryan for a few days."
"Miami," he said. He looked at her. "They wanted to make sure you'd be okay."
"I'll be fine."
"I'll be fine. There's a lot of stress right now. They don't want to arrest me, which is good. I told my mom. Her yelling didn't need the phone."
"That's why I got you away from them." He gave her a one-armed hug. "We'll manage it. Let me go tease Ryan and then I'll be back to help you weed down the vamps."
"How much stuff did you hold back from Gibbs?"
"I didn't. How much did he pay you to ask and tape it?"
"Three hundred." She smirked and they walked back inside. This more gay, relaxed Xander was a lot of strangeness but they'd handle it. He was still Xander. Even if he was a strange, unusual Xander he was still Xander. He'd back her up and they'd save the world again. Then Xander would probably go do gay things with his harem and totally blow it out of proportion to get cuddles from them but the girls could like that mental image.