Karma and Mistakes
Xander finished watering his plants and then headed for the pool, going to test it and dive in. At least until someone rang the bell. He padded back that way, smiling and letting his guard in. "Come on in, Donny, you're early. I was about to swim."
"I should hope you wouldn't wear a thong like that outside," he noted dryly, closing the door behind him. He followed him back to the pool, looking around. "This is really nice."
"Thank you. The only thing I did was add a few plants and paint my bedroom." He dove in and rolled to do a backstroke. "Give me a few. I need to work out today."
"That's fine. I use the PD gym every few days." He settled in on one of the lounges, watching him swim. "So, are we on for today?"
"Sure." He did another lap and rolled onto his front to do a few more faster, then climbed out. "Let me go shower off and change. Just the movies?"
"Wherever, Xander. You're the boss."
"Did you have any other plans?"
"A dog for lunch."
Xander shrugged. "I can do that. Let me shower." He went upstairs, leaving him in the living room area on the couch with the tv on. He showered quickly and got out, stretching up to pop his shoulders. Then he came out to find some jeans and a t-shirt. He looked at his sneakers and groaned. "We've got to go shoe shopping," he complained as he came down with them. "Mine are torn all to hell." He sat down on the couch and looked at him. "So Footlocker or somewhere?"
"Sure. We can do that too. Did Flack make you take everything to the bank?"
"Oh, he so did. Before I was taken too. We took the whole footlocker of stones in to be appraised and sell off a few more that I didn't really like. Went to the guy you suggested. He called in a few friends who helped and bought some of the others. We left with about half of what we went in with. Then we carried the footlocker into the bank and put it in a box. Don got to look over all my accounts at that point because the guy over them came down to show me a few things since we had a few of the stones and my checkbook taken that day." He shrugged and stood up. "Come on. Let's hope the bank's working."
"Half of downtown is out of power," he admitted, smirking at him.
"We can hit the financial district. It's got a branch down there." That got a nod and Xander went up to find his wallet and keys, coming down to go with him. "Thanks for this."
"Not an issue. They had a massive power outage earlier. Someone ran into one of the main transformers - suicide by electrocution." Xander shuddered. "We're still in a brown out."
"I wondered why you were here so early," he teased.
"You're just so damn fascinating," he shot back, making Xander giggle and bop him on the arm. "Okay, bank and then lunch, then movies and shoes?"
"Okay." He headed them that way, going into the branch of his bank. "I usually go uptown. Can we get into the accounts?"
"Some of them," the teller offered. Xander pulled out a check from each account, letting her get into them. "Huh. I can only get into this one, sir," she said, waving one. "How much would you need?" He wrote something out and she blinked. "That's more than I have in my drawer. Let me get my manager?" He nodded. "Thank you." She hurried off. Xander finished signing it and looked at Donny, who shrugged and smirked. The teller came back and let the manager look at her screen.
"Mr. Harris." He nodded and looked at her. "There's a hold listed on this one for some reason?"
Xander looked and snorted, calling his personal banker. "Hi, this is Xander. Yup, me. No, I'm in the financial district. My buddy said you guys were blacked out. There's a hold on my hidden...." He nodded and handed over the phone. "My personal banker." She walked off with it and talked to him then came back and handed back the phone, taking the check to rip up. "What?"
"He said you can't use that account without Detective Flack's permission?"
"I didn't set that up." He called Don. "Did you get into my accounts while someone had me?" He listened to him. "Yeah, the others are down right now." He rolled his eyes. "Thanks, Don. Please." He hung up. "I was kidnaped a few weeks ago," he admitted. They nodded. "Check the others again? I only brought the one."
"Sure." The teller got into them. "That one's coming up but it's not coming up with a balance listed. It says it's got one but it's not saying how much."
"I hate it the days the banks go down," the manager agreed. "The usual one you go to is in brownout but they might have that down there." Xander rolled his eyes and pulled his statements out of his back pocket, handing them over. He had thought he might need it. "Oh." She looked at them, then nodded. "We can do it with that assurance. In these matters, it's always better to go to the bank that you usually deal with."
"Hmm," Xander agreed, taking his envelope of money once she had counted it. "Thank you." He gathered everything and headed out, handing Donny his money. "Sorry."
"No issue. I know you've got the money."
Xander looked at him and nodded. "Yeah, that's putting it mildly." He got in to drive, then handed him the keys and got out, letting him shift over and laugh as he walked around. "Sorry. Got to call someone again." He called up there. "Okay, what the fuck," he said dryly once he had his banker back on the line. He listened to him. "I know her. Yeah, and we locked it because of that? Ten grand. Yeah. That's fine. Was it just mine? Because she used to be my former friend. Go ahead, I'll give you her current address up at the college and where she'd be hanging out. Because otherwise I'm going to kill her." He smiled sweetly. "Thank you. Of course. Look in my paperwork box. It's got a file marked Willow Rosenburg. It's her. Thank you. No, this should hold me for a few days, but I did make out utility checks the other day. The normal account. Thanks." He hung up and rested his head for a moment. "My best friend hacked the bank to take my accounts," he said grimly. He called Don when he felt the SUV pull over. "Don, look at Danny and tell him Willow hacked the bank to steal my money? Yeah, that Willow. Thanks." He hung up on the screaming in the background, pinching the bridge of his nose. "This action movie any good?"
"Probably not." Xander looked at him. "Do we need to visit the FBI?"
"I should go visit my favorite wiccan and get stuff to get her back," he said bitterly. He suddenly smiled. "Then again, I've got worse I can do." He looked up a number through information. "Los Angeles, California," he said quietly. "Angel Investigations. Main number's fine. They all go to the same desk." He smiled. "Please. Thank you." He wrote it down while the computer read it off and then he was connected. "Hi, is Cordelia Chase in today please? No, Wesley, this is Xander. Please put my ex on. That's fine. Is Buffy there? Good, bitch slap her and if Willow's there, stake her skanky ass." He smiled sweetly. "Cordy, I love you but would you do me a huge ass favor?" Donny laughed. "No, that's my buddy. We're on our way to a movie. Willow hacked my bank and took my accounts, Cordy. Yeah, those. No, I'm still in New York. Oz seems to be able to find me. Ask him." He smirked when she yelled at Angel. He grumbled but agreed. "Now ask him if Devi's dead yet. Please?" She yelled that and Angel came on the line.
"Yes, Deadboy?" He smirked. "Of course I am. What, you're the only demon who didn't hear? Yeah, that was me. Please. No, Willow decided to hack my bank accounts. Actually, I wanted Cordy to go make her fucking miserable, Angel. Think I could pay her to do it?" He smiled sweetly. "Cordy, honey, if you can get her to straighten it out, I'll buy you five grand of Gucci, sweetie. Anything you want." She drooled, he could tell. "Please? Before I have to go back there and create the next apocalypse?" He chuckled. "Any way you want to, Cordy. I know you. You're creative, mean, and beautiful when you combine them. No, I'm still in New York. I live in Greenwich actually. Yeah, there. Of course. Ask Oz, he can give you the new addy. No, we just moved. No, not girlfriend, dear. Protector. Because I'm one of the top GHS in pheromone and dangerous stuff. Get Angel to explain it, he should blush a lot. It'll give you something to tease him about." He grinned.
"Or Spike. I saw him while I was here. Sure. Thank you, love. Sure, whenever you come out. As long as she fixes it. Love you too. If I must," he sighed. "You've gotta be pretty while saving the world. It was always your thing. Of course. Love you. No, her mother blamed me because I wasn't there to drink with her. Which I wouldn't. Yeah, I pointed that out. No, never, Cordy. Thank you. Love you. Bye." He hung up. Then he made sure the connection had been cut before looking at Donny. "Cordelia Chase is the snarkiest, meanest cheerleader ever to come from Sunnydale High. And we had a closet sex thing going in our senior year." He smiled sweetly. "Willow's going to be very sorry soon."
Donny smiled at that. "It's great when you can go to your exes to make others miserable."
Xander nodded. "Yeah, she's best friends with another one who's basically in vengeance as a career." That got a laugh. "You think I'm kidding? I dated Anyanka once." Donny gaped. He nodded. "I took her to the prom too."
"You live a wilder life than I ever could," he admitted, starting the car again and heading off. "Can you maybe talk her into uncursing me?"
"Hey, Ahn, honey, can you uncurse Donny? He's learned whatever lesson and he's a great guy. He protects me like Don does. Please?" A glow started around him and Donny shuddered, stopping to let it take hold. "You okay?"
"Better," he moaned, smiling at him. "Thank you."
"Welcome. It was great sex." That got a punch on the arm but Donny did take him to the movies and shoe shopping. On the way home, Xander got a call from the bank saying that it had been fixed and that the FBI had been alerted. "Thank you," he said happily. "So I'm in the clear, it's all back?" He listened to the differences. "That's fine. Do whatever you have to get it back. No, my former best friend. Sure, want a drink later? I'll need one. Yeah, she was part of that. Thanks." He hung up and looked at his bodyguard. "It's all there but about half a mil. They're working on that. I'll have full access again in the morning."
"Congrats. Want dropped off at the station?"
"Sure. Oooh, let me go pick up some dinner. Don's working late tonight. He's had a case that's kicking his ass."
"Sure, Xander." He pulled in somewhere he knew the boy liked to eat at, they often did, and let him run inside to get his protector dinner. He came out with a large bag, getting a smirk. "He hungry?"
"I figure Danny will come steal some of it." That got a laugh and they went back to the station, Xander walking in with the bag of food and one of the other ones. He got a nod toward the squad room, giving a smile and a candy bar for it. He hopped up the last few stairs and watched as Don plodded through paperwork. He walked over and put the bag between him and the laptop, getting a smile before Don looked at him. "Food. Even enough to share so someone in the labs doesn't eat you. Also, I got this and I thought of your birthday next week. It's not your present but I thought you could put it in your locker here." He handed over the bag and winked, strolling out again.
Don pulled out the t-shirt. "Super Stud with a Badge," he read, laughing. "I like it." He tucked it in again, putting it in his drawer. Then he dug into his dinner, eating while he typed up stupid reports. He hated reports. Danny and Stella came over to snoop. "Save me some," he ordered.
"Sure," Danny agreed, taking a small carton and handing it over, then taking his own. It had his name on it after all. He looked at the case. "Is that how you spell his last name? I thought it was 'cgh'." He took a plastic fork and walked off, leaving Don to find and replace it.
"It's a good thing he brought me dinner and breakfast," he said dryly, going back this typing. Eating bites every few words kept up his strength for later tonight. Because they were finally all alone and he might even get cuddles again tonight.
Xander smiled as Don trudged in. "Did the laptop eat you," he teased. Don nodded, flopping down on the couch. "Off with the shirt, Don. I'll work on your shoulders." Don scrambled out of his shirt and laid down on the couch, smiling when Xander came over to work on his back for him. "How bad was it?"
"The guy who hit the transformer was rammed," he said into the couch. "He was cheating on his wife and both mistresses with a little boy. So they put him out of the kid's misery."
"Yeah. One of his mistresses admitted he had gotten her at fifteen." He shrugged and Xander worked on that area. "S'nice. How was the movies?"
"Good. It was okay, the going out was nice." He got back to work. "I let Cordy go bitch on Willow for hacking the bank."
"She did what?" he asked, suddenly not sleepy anymore. "We turned her in?"
"Yeah, I let the bank have the file I kept on her."
"Good. Why sic Cordelia on her?"
"Because she deserved it." Don smirked at that and put his head back down. "You rest. Let me handle your back and the chicken I'm doing." He ran to check it, he could see smoke. "It's a bit done, but should be okay." He let it rest and came back to go back to work. "Did Danny complain that I got him hot stuff?"
"Nope. He was all smiles and happiness. At least until the new girl got there." Xander growled. "I know but we gotta try to play nice."
"No I don't. You have to work with her. I don't."
"Point. Okay, try now and then to be polite at least."
"That I can do." He slapped Don on the ass. "Need more or are you still hungry?"
"I could eat some burned chicken." Xander spanked him again but went to get some for him. And a beer. "Thanks, Xander."
"Welcome." He curled up beside him. "I had the microwave lasagna earlier." Don grunted, he was chewing. "Too much garlic?"
"No, pretty good. Garlic salt?" Xander nodded. "You do need cooking classes." Someone rang the doorbell and Xander sighed, but got up to get it, letting Don rescue his tipping beer. It went between his thighs just in case. He nodded when Sheldon walked up. "Hey, what's up," he said, eating another bite.
"I..." He looked at Xander, then at Don. "Something really strange happened earlier. I figured I might look through Xander's collection?"
"Sure," Xander agreed. "What can I help you find out about, Sheldon?"
"Why I got stabbed earlier and I'm not bleeding or scarred."
Xander blinked at him. "Come into my room." He walked him in there, taking his bootknife to scratch his arm. Small bolts of lightening came up to clean up the scratch. Xander looked at him. "It's all okay, Sheldon."
"No it's not! That's not normal!" Xander did his own arm, letting him see it. "Is it demonic? Was I tainted?"
"No, it's a mutation from birth," Don said from the doorway. "Is he?"
"Yeah, even though I can't feel him."
"Danny's on his way over with Connor." He left them alone. "It's all right, Sheldon, just calm down for a few more."
Sheldon grabbed his head. "There's that feeling again," he complained.
Xander nodded. "You'll learn to ignore it sometimes." He walked him back out.
"I didn't feel him," Connor noted calmly.
"He doubled over in pain from you," Xander told him. "He heals too."
"Interesting." He pulled him back into Xander's room to talk to him and see why. He came out ten minutes later. "Xander, he's passed out on your bed. He is one. One of the supplements he's taking blocks him from showing."
"Does it make us weaker?" Danny asked. Connor nodded. "Shoot."
"That's cheating," Connor assured him.
"Only if you're out hunting," Xander pointed out. "Otherwise it's protection." He looked at Danny. "I sicced Cordy on Willow for hacking my bank accounts."
"That was cruel. Are you feeling all right? Taken a recent head?"
"No, I was pissed." He shrugged. "I made a chicken. It's a bit overcooked but you guys can nibble too." He went back to cuddling into Don. "Sheldon's on my bed. Can I cuddle with you tonight if he's not up in time?"
"Sure. You know you're always welcome to come cuddle unless I bring a girl home." Xander looked at him. "No, you're not crimping my dating, Xander. I haven't found anyone worthy recently." He pulled him in tighter. "It's all right. I've got time to date." Xander nodded and snuggled in better, wrapping his arms around him. "You think maybe...." he asked quietly. Xander nodded, smirking, he could tell. "Thanks, it'd be appreciated."
"Welcome." Danny flopped down on his other side and snuggled into his side. "Hi."
"Hi. How was the movie?"
"Pretty good. Lots of guns. It was more Tomb Raider style than Terminator." That got a smile. "But no scantily clad woman wearing impossible clothes in the wrong temperature." They both laughed at that. "So, movie tonight too?"
"No, we'll be here for Sheldon when he wakes up," Connor promised, smiling at them. "Xander, have you been practicing?" He nodded. "Good. This weekend, I want you both at my house on whichever day you two have off."
"Sure," Don agreed. "I'm off all weekend."
"Even better," Connor agreed. "Now, I have a challenge later tonight."
Xander looked at him. "Tell me you're not going alone," he demanded.
"That is the honorable way."
"Then who gets to avenge you?"
"That's how gang wars start," Danny noted dryly. "I offered, he smacked me." Connor hit him on the arm again. "See?"
Xander wiggled free and stood up, staring Connor down. "You're taking one of us," he said slowly and clearly. Connor laughed. "Or else we'll knock you out and send him a message saying you're indisposed and tied up in the closet." He smiled sweetly. "Bet me I wouldn't. Danny's a good trainer but I doubt he's going to put up with us for much longer. Mac is still pissing him off every single day."
"Yeah, new girl's worse," Danny agreed dryly. "Hey, Don, can I bring Xander in with me tomorrow?"
"Sure," he said with an evil smirk. "I like that idea. Xander, bring us lunch tomorrow?"
"Sure," he said, beaming at them. "Can I wear the suede?"
"Sure," Danny agreed. "Be the GHS that you are, baby. Because they don't have like you in Montana either." Xander giggled at that then turned and knocked Connor out, dragging him into a closet. "Don't forget the note," he called. "I should probably go take that. He's a bad guy."
"Make Xander watch, it might help him calm down."
"Doubt it." He looked back at Xander as he came out with his sword. "You sure?" He nodded. "Go change. You can't fight in those."
"Yes I can." He looked down at himself then at Danny. "I worked out in 'em today."
"Still." Xander sighed and went to change, heading down the back way since he heard the door shut. He climbed into the back of the car just as Danny revved the engine. "Fine. I was tryin' ta spare you."
"I fight better than you think."
"True." He looked back at him. "Don't you even think about it. Losing you the last time nearly drove Flack insane."
"Depends on how much of a woose he is."
"Even wooses get in lucky shots, Xander."
"Fine. We'll see." He pulled out, going to the appointed spot. He parked and pulled Xander with him, walking out onto the deserted pier. "Hey."
"Where is Macleod?"
"The insane one or the one I've got stuffed in my closet?" Xander asked. The man glared at him. "Sorry, I've got the prior claim on Connor's attention."
"Who are you, his boyfriend?"
"No, we decided I was too hyper for him," he said dryly, making the immortal stare in horror. "Your choice, Sparky. You get Connor after both of us."
The man gauged them. "I'll take you first then. You're not a fighter."
"Actually I'm a lover and a fighter," he offered, blowing a kiss. He took off his jacket and tossed it to Danny, moving closer. He wiped his hands off.
"Don't you dare lose it this time," Danny called.
"I'll try not to slip." He let his mind blank and lunged, taking him off his guard. The guy looked horrified at his mismatch of styles. "No one said I wasn't being trained," he noted dryly. "The smart ones never quit training." He took an undercut and saw the blood, it was a pretty sight. He felt himself slip but kept hold of it, keeping his mind still in the stable range. The man grunted and backed off, looking scared. "Any more or do you yield? I don't need a quickening buzz tonight." The man sneered and lunged again. Xander sidestepped and got him from behind, a hard, casual looking stroke to his neck. The head parted and he sighed, sitting down before it knocked him down. He had only taken two others. It hit him and he closed his eyes, letting it flow through him and back into the ground if it wanted. He was only a channel, like he was for the spirits around him. He calmed himself and sighed in relief, then hopped up and took his jacket back. "I hate that. The first one knocked me out, the second one was suicidal."
Danny stopped him. "There was one of us there?" Xander nodded. "They knew?"
"Yeah, even before they took me they knew. He admitted it. He taunted me on how he could make me bleed and then I'd heal, slowly since I wasn't on this plane, but I'd heal so he could do it all over again."
"Want a beer?"
"I hate drinking."
"Point." He gave him a hug. "It's all right, Xander. I promise you're better now."
"I know," he sighed, snuggling in. "Come on, Don needed cuddles and Connor's got to be in high-accent mode." Danny laughed and walked him back to the car. "Do you really want to know?"
"Yeah. Just in case it comes back to haunt one of us during a training session." He nodded at Mac and Stella when they ran into them at the cars. "They called you specially?"
"You didn't answer your phone. The officer who spotted the lightening called me when he couldn't get you."
"I figured if it was one of us the winner would probably need help shoving the body into the river," he said with a shrug. "Have him. He wanted Connor." He put a hand on Xander's back and led him back to the car. "Warn her, Mac. Xander's bringing us lunch tomorrow."
Stella moaned. "Oh, no. Aiden's like his big sister," she said, looking at Mac. "Will it be a cat fight or some other sort?"
He walked onto the pier to look at the body. "With those two, Xander might make it a cat fight and she'd try to fight like one of the guys." Stella smiled at that. "She's a really good CSI, Stella. Give her a chance. Danny had ego issues too."
"He still does because you treat him like a bastard son by the pig farmer." Mac shook his head at that, trying to banish the thought of Danny being his son. "It's true and you know it, Mac."
"He needs the firmer hand."
"No, he needs a supportive boss," she countered. "Something you're not to him anymore. Do you really wanna see Danny leave for one of the other labs?"
"No." He looked at her. "I doubt he would."
"He would and he'd take Flack and Xander with him. They're his students." She got to work on the head. "Which one took it?"
"Xander," he said grimly. "Which means he's in the game officially now."
She looked at him. "Mac, do you have the feeling that they didn't just try to rape him repeatedly?" she asked dryly. He moaned and nodded. "You think maybe it's a holdover from that?"
"Probably." He found the ID on the body. "At least this one brought his wallet. I thought he was after Connor."
Stella snorted. "They probably had Connor tied to the bed or something. Ask Danny tomorrow."
"I will." Right after he prayed Lindsey Monroe was a bit more tolerant than she seemed. Because she and Xander were not going to get along well.
Xander walked into the station wearing suede pants that were nearly skin-tight. He was also wearing a loose silk shirt and his leather jacket since it was a bit cold today. "Hi. Where's everyone? I got invited to bring lunch."
The desk sergeant, a new guy, gave him an odd look. "Which everyone?" he asked, not sounding like he cared.
"Oh, sorry. Most of the guys here know me. Flack protects me, I'm Xander." He held out a hand.
"*Detective* Flack is very straight." He looked him over and ignored the hand.
Xander rolled his eyes and paged Don, bringing Stella running. "Don said I could bring him lunch and you guys too."
"Thank you, Xander." She smiled at the desk sergeant. "Flack does protect Xander. People like to kidnap Xander."
"I can see why," he said flatly.
She smiled sweetly and grabbed him by the ear, twisting it. "Xander is a very nice young man with a hormone problem that makes the average person want to go on their back for him," she growled in his face. "We leave Xander alone and if he's in trouble we get one of us in CSI or Don Flack immediately. Are we clear?" He nodded quickly. "Good." She let him go and smiled at Xander. "Come on. We're eating together since Mac wanted to go over a recent case."
"I don't want to interrupt."
"Oh, you're not. The rest of us only brought sandwiches." She took the bag to look in it and smiled. "Awwww, you brought us Hungarian?"
"And Greek kabobs from the new place that just opened." He smiled and hugged Don. "Hi. I brought lunch and Stella growled at the desk guy who thought you had to be gay to protect me." He sat between him and Danny, smiling at the new person. "Hi, I'm Xander. Don protects me."
"Because people like to kidnap Xander," Danny told her, taking the plate with his name. "Spicy?"
"Some. Beans mostly." Danny popped open the top and grinned at him. "I asked. I'm being nice." He looked at Don. "The half-mil got returned this morning and they've went over all my accounts so they're back in order."
"Xander, is your SUV in the handicap spot?" one of the patrol officers called from the doorway.
"It didn't have a sign. I parked it in visitor parking, right next to lawyer parking." He got up to look. "No, mine's still a Range Rover and that's a Hummer. Oooh, that means there's another GHS here probably," he said, bouncing to the desk. "Hi, which of us drove the Hummer?" The sergeant glared at him. He looked at one of the other detectives. "Did one of my fellow members drive the Hummer?"
"They did, they're here to pick up their keeper for lunch." He smirked at him. "He's a lawyer."
"That's cool. Which one?" They pointed and Xander bounced that way, smiling. "Maddy!"
"Xander!" She hugged him. "Oh, you precious man! You're still in the city?" He nodded. "Well! Any luck on a keeper?"
"No, just my protector but Don's *great* to me. He reminds me to pay the bills." That got a laugh. "He's been very supportive since I managed to get free of the last one." He smiled at the guy on her arm. "Hi, Xander Harris, GHS."
"I figured." He shook his hand. "I'm Maddy's keeper, Todd."
"Hi." He beamed. "I'm eating lunch with Don and the CSI guys. So I'll see you at the next city-wide meeting, next week?"
"You'll be at my house," she assured him. He beamed. "Did you move somewhere with better security? We heard you got taken from home."
"Oh, I so did," Xander assured her. "We moved somewhere very tight and secure this time and Don's still being very careful of me."
"Good." She kissed him on the cheek. "Bring some of that chocolate sauce you found last time, dear. I'll see you then." He nodded and bounced back that way. "That's our newest level ten," she told her husband, smiling at him. "He's also the one who wrote that piece you liked." He smirked at that. "Not even dating at the moment but he's very firm that he's not going to break into anything." She walked him off, taking him out to their hummer to take him home for a warm...lunch.
Xander hopped back into his seat and grinned. "It was Maddy. She's hosting the next city- wide. Her husband's a lawyer."
"Which one?" Don asked, eating a piece of meat.
"Todd. She drives the lavender hummer."
"Oh, her. Yeah, I've run into Todd in the past. He's a prosecutor." He patted Xander on the back. "Didn't you get yourself something?"
"It looks like someone had springs for breakfast," Lindsey said lightly.
Everyone shook their heads. "Xander's like that," Mac told her. "Xander's also a member of a very elite and specialist group called GHS." Xander nodded. "Which is why people want to kidnap him. So if you see Xander in trouble, you need to call Don or Danny. Don's his main protector and Danny's teaching him some self-defense now and then."
"Okay. What sort of trouble?"
"We just got him back after three months of not being able to find the person who kidnaped him from his house," Stella told her. Lindsey gaped. "People like to take Xander." She smiled at Xander. "Can you introduce me to your other guard?"
"I can. He's looking for a decent woman to date. I'm not sure how he is with them though."
"That's fine. I can find that out. He seems like a nice guy."
"Sure. We're going out again tomorrow. What's your schedule like?"
"Hellish. I can meet you guys for lunch maybe." He shrugged and she smiled. "Thanks, Xander. I'll call if I can make it." He nodded and stole a carrot stick off Danny's plate to nibble.
Danny punched him on the arm. "Next time get yourself some."
"I just needed a nibble. Something to keep my mouth occupied." Sheldon choked. "Oh, come on, Sheldon. Not like I'm going to go to my knees and beg someone in here. There's *way* too much glass in this lab for that," he teased.
"That's why there's an alley," Stella assured him. "Besides, I doubt you'd do anyone in the lab, Xander. Most of them are committed or women."
"Yeah, true." He looked at Don. "When's your next free night so we can go out and club?"
Don considered it. "We could go tonight but we can't be out that late. I've got to be in at nine." Xander nodded. "My next day off is next week. Well, no, I think I still have this weekend off. The lieutenant decided to play schedule roulette."
"Should I ask her?"
"Go ahead." He bounced off again. He smirked at Danny. "Maybe I do still have this weekend off. Is he still screaming about Xander?"
"Yup, and his accent is very thick. He even changed languages when he complained to Oz about him." He smirked and saluted him with his coffee. "Not even Mac, his cousin Mac, got a reaction like that."
Don beamed. "That's my Xander."
"Are you two...together?" Lindsey asked. "I don't have anything against working with gay officers. I haven't done it very often but it's all good to me."
"No, he's like my little brother. I protect him," Don said simply. "GHS members all come with some standard issues. One of them being how they get lost in their pleasures. A keeper, which is a super-protective boyfriend sort, would be the one to help them. I'm a protector, a bodyguard with frills since I'm living rent free in his place. I get to nag the kid all I want, I get backrubs, and I get spoiled, but it's my job to keep the people who want to take Xander away."
"Which is really hard sometimes," Stella offered. "I'm surprised... it's been how long?"
"He's charming my boss while she calls her husband to tell him he's smoothing charm over her. He gets a kick out of it." Don shrugged. "No, I didn't tell him he could drive today but apparently nothing bad happened." He heard the shots. "Or maybe I was wrong."
Xander stomped back in. "I hate hair pullers. The desk sergeant is blaming me for coming down the stairs and having the guy grab my braid, Don. He said I lured the guy in here by being a slut."
"He'll get his in a few minutes," he promised. "Sit." Xander sat and took a piece of meat to nibble off his plate. "Thanks. You good?"
"He grabbed my hair and I turned around to take his head off with my hands." He nibbled another bite. "One of the patrol guys got him in the foot by accident. He was drawing and his gun went off as he drew." They all groaned. Xander blinked at him. "Can I have a new gun this weekend? We never did replace the jammed one and not even you could figure out why it jammed."
"I couldn't figure it out when he gave it to me," Mac admitted. "What did you train on, Xander?"
"A Glock," Don told him. "He goes for low recoil and weighted backs. That's why the guy at the gun shop said he was too limp-wristed for one. The lighter model should do him well and we'll go out tonight?" Xander beamed and nodded. "Am I off this weekend?"
"Yup, and she said I'm to make you quit pouting at the computer tech guy at your desk."
"If he doesn't save those, I've got to retype about fifty reports from memory," Don complained. Xander gave him a hug. "Thanks, kiddo." He patted him. "Get off, you're wrinkling me."
"Okay. Oh, she said to get you a manly man suit, something not pastel."
Don snorted. "I like my suits."
"Is that why you won't wear the one I got you?"
"Yup. I told you I don't need boyfriend presents."
Xander smiled sweetly and popped him on the back of the head. "Behave, Don. If I can't spoil you, I'll have to take it out on Aiden and Stella, or Mac, and imagine his look if I started giving him presents. Especially boyfriend sort of presents." Mac shook his head frantically, his mouth was full.
"I've never seen him choke and blush at the same time," Danny said, looking at Stella. "You?"
"No. I've never seen anyone able to do that. Mac, should Sheldon get ready to do CPR?" He nodded, swallowing and drinking some of his water.
"He's not choking, it's best to let him clear his own airway," Sheldon noted, smiling at Xander. "You're so bad."
"I know," he agreed happily. "So, Lindsey, right?" She nodded. "I heard you're from the Midwest?"
"Sunnydale." She moaned at that. He beamed. "I helped Buffy for years." She whimpered. "At least you know."
"Thank you," she said quietly, digging back into her lunch. "This is a really great place. Where was it?"
"There's a new Greek and Middle Eastern spot up the street about three blocks," Stella told her. "It just opened. We've got a menu in the bag." That got a nod and Lindsey ate faster.
"I've got to get back to my fingerprints. I'll see you later, Xander." She smiled and left.
"Not nice," Mac chided.
"Yes, I was." He looked at Don. "She's a halfie. As long as she's peaceful we might only have to worry about her kidnaping me."
"Decent," he agreed. "Where is the next city-wide?"
"Maddy's house. It's on Thursday if I remember right. I'll check the site tonight." He shrugged and leaned on the table. "So, Mac, if he won't let me spoil him anymore, do you like chocolates and berries?" Mac choked again and got up to head back to his office. "Oh, come on!" he called after him. "I've got to spoil someone!"
"Buy books to donate to the library system," Sheldon offered.
"I did that last week."
Stella blinked at him. "Was that when you were with me?" He nodded. "What did you buy?"
"A five hundred dollar gift certificate so they could get whatever they needed."
"That's a nice thing," Danny agreed. "You still need to be careful with your funds, Xander, and find something to do all day."
Xander looked at him. "I know that. I'm not worried about it at the minute. Though I have thought about the cooking class again." He shrugged. "I'll probably need it. Don won't always cook for me or eat burned stuff."
"Very true," Don agreed. "When's the next beginner's class?"
"Two months. Are we sure I should with the disaster that happened last time? I mean, the chef wanted to take me home and nearly stabbed you." Danny's pager went off. "Go ahead, guys. I'm heading to the spa and then home today." That got a nod and they went back to their jobs for a while. Xander cleaned up and headed out, finding two of the cops against his car. "Hey, guys." He grinned. "Just bringing in lunch to meet the new girl."
"So, what is Flack to you again?"
"He's my protector."
"You're his bitch?"
"Without the leash," Stella said as she joined them. "Or the sex." That got a nod from one of them. "Remember, people like to take Xander. Don's there to prevent it." That got a nod from the other one. "For that honor, Don gets free rent at Xander's place and free cable. Plus free food most of the time." They moaned. "Another officer Don cleared gets to escort Xander around now and then when he needs a break." She smiled at Xander. "Which spa? My new call's at one and I was hoping to hitch a ride since all our cars are out."
He grinned. "Sure. I'm heading to my usual one in Tribeca."
"That's where I'm going." She slid in to drive, letting Xander hand her the keys. "Thanks, dear."
"Welcome. Make sure you don't scratch it and I get it back tonight." She nodded, starting the engine and checking behind them so she could back out.
Mac looked up as Xander walked into his office later that afternoon. "What?"
"Stella has my car. I called my spa, she left over an hour ago. I haven't gotten it back yet. Did she have another case?"
"No. She left an hour ago?" Xander nodded. "Interesting." He called her, getting an out of service message. "I'll put out an APB for your car, Xander. Do you know the license number?" He handed it over. "Thanks."
"Welcome. I don't want one of the people after me to hurt her." He sat down in the corner. "I can wait."
"Thank you." He called Don first. "Have you gotten a report on Xander's car? Because Stella borrowed it and she left her last site an hour ago but she's not back yet, Don. You do?" He listened as he typed in and his boss yelled, and Don yelled back that Stella was driving Xander's car and missing. He wrote down the address. "Thank you." He hung up. "Don's got a GPS locator on the car, Xander. Stay in here." That got a nod and Mac paged Danny before heading out with Don.
Xander got up to straighten up the desk some then sat down again with a Guns & Ammo magazine. He looked up when someone coughed. "Stella was in my car and she never made it back. They're tracking my car to see if she's in trouble," he told Lindsey. "Mac told me to stay here."
"Okay." She frowned at him. "You know, huh?" He nodded. "How?"
"You mean besides my past work in Sunnydale and the six weeks I did with Devi here in town?" She blanched at that. He shrugged. "That's how we found out I'm GHS and that I have a hormone problem." He hopped up when he saw Stella staggering in. "Go get Sheldon, now!" He pulled Stella into the office, looking in her eyes. He called Mac from his phone. "Stella just staggered in, Mac. We're in your office." He hung up and came back to help. "Stella, baby, are you all right?" She looked at him and blinked, frowning. "Stella, who was it?"
"Military," she said, then blinked hard. Sheldon came running in. "Hey," she said, letting out a small chuckle. "They're not happy."
"Lindsey, dial Mac again and warn him it's the military," Xander ordered. She did that from her cell. "It's all right, Stella. I had no idea they were still going." She swallowed the water Sheldon was urging on her, nodding. "We'll talk when you're more stable."
She grabbed his hand. "They want you to do something for them," she said, staring into his eyes. "Someone."
Xander shook his head. "Not a chance. I'll protect myself and Don." She nodded, letting Sheldon do whatever he wanted. Danny came back in and looked at her. "Ambulance?"
"On it's way. Mac sent me out of the way and Don's with him. What is going on?"
"She told him the military wanted him to do something for them," Lindsey told him. "Is she going to be okay?"
"Probably," Sheldon agreed. "Danny, make sure the ambulance has a collar for her." She moaned. "I'm not taking chances on that pretty head of yours, Stella." She nodded and rested against his shoulder. Danny went to talk to the paramedics when they came in and make sure they got to the right place. "Xander?"
"Not a clue."
"Sure." The paramedics came in and he got out of the way. "She's having fuzzy mental moments. I've got water and an aspirin down her," he said, pulling Xander out of the way. "I'll be going to take pictures when she goes with you. Danny, get me a camera?" That got a nod and he went to get him a collection kit. "Thank you. Come on, we can set the IV in the bus." They nodded and took them both.
Danny stopped Xander from moving. "You're sitting in here until Mac comes back," he said plainly. "You're not moving off that couch."
"What if they try Don to get me?"
"They won't. They're military, they're not the mob." He pushed Xander down, making him look at him. "Stay." Xander nodded, curling up. "Good. I'm putting an officer here." He went to get one. "Guys, Stella got the hell beaten outta her by someone looking for Xander because she was in his SUV." They shuddered. "Xander's in Mac's office. I need someone down there." That got a nod and one of the patrol guys from earlier went down to watch over him. "She'll be fine. Bruised but nothing else." That got a few smiles. "Stella's one tough lady." He went back to check on Xander, finding the officer glaring at him. "It wasn't his fault."
"Why would anyone want him?"
Xander looked at Danny, who shrugged. "No big surges." Xander let his hormones spike up a bit and the guy blinked, then moaned. "That's why." He ran off to get sick. "Okay, so I'll stay," he said dryly, going to get some stuff he could do at Mac's desk.
The phone rang and Xander reached over to get it. "Taylor's office. He's out of the office at the moment, may I take a message? No, sir, not a secretary. No, sir, he told me to wait here. Can I take a message?" He noted it down and nodded once, smirking. "I'll tell him when he gets back, sir. Thank you." He hung up and handed it to Danny when he came back. "For Mac. From the Military. His former CO wants him to hand me to them."
"Hmm, fat chance." He texted that message to Don's phone. Don's response was either a finger stutter or a growl. He'd have to ask him later.
Xander looked. "That's a growl. I get it when I told him I eating ice cream for lunch."
Danny grinned. "I'll have to remember that." Xander curled up again. "They can't have you, Xander."
"Good boy." He went back to his case review, shaking his head at his typing mistakes. It looked like he'd be having a late night. At least until the fire alarm went off. He looked at Xander. "Right with me. We're going through our squad room." Xander nodded, following him. Danny unhooked and grabbed his laptop, and a few things out of his desk, shoving them into Xander's bag, then taking it and heading out with him. "Okay, let's lose someone."
"Yes, Danny. Subway?"
"Good idea." He got them down the nearest tunnel and hopped on the first train. They'd change trains later. A few times really.
Don answered his phone. "Where are you?" he sighed. He smiled. "That's a good idea. Yeah, they got stopped. Some hardass in the Army came up and bitchslapped him. Where should I pick you two up?" He smiled and headed that way. "Sure. It'll take me a few minutes. Even better. Meet you there." He hung up and sped up. The boys would be fine until he could get to them. He called Mac one handed. "Danny got them into the subway. Yeah, they're fine. I'm going to pick them up now. Why?" He smiled. "Not a clue, Mac. Probably when it went off. They're not the sort to pull one." He hung up and sped up more. It was going to be a long night answering questions for everyone. He found a parking spot and walked down there, getting a single use token to get through the turnstile. When the train pulled in, he was there. Xander came off and gave him a hug. "You okay?"
"I'm fine. Someone pulled the alarm."
"We were wondering about that." Danny came off and handed him the backpack. "You okay?"
"I'm fine. We've had a great afternoon. There's sodas and bathrooms on this side of the gates at a few stations and we rode around. I went over some geography for him too." He patted Xander on the back. "The subway was his idea and it was a good one. We done?"
"We're good. They were stopped. Someone Major or someone came up and smacked the hell out of the guy in charge of this. Even Mac was shocked at the smack-down." He walked them off, going back to the car. They found a familiar officer on the hood. "You have me on watch too?"
"Of course. If you're heading off at high speed and it's not a chase, it's probably the kid." He looked at Xander. "Did the military guys scare you?" he taunted.
"They wanted him to sex someone up for information," Don told him. Donny shuddered at that. "Exactly. They may also be the ones who pulled the fire alarm." He opened the doors. "You wanna come with? We're heading home."
"No, I'm good. Just making sure. Am I taking him again tomorrow? If not, my sister wants me to prove to her that I'm not really gay."
"Sure," Don said with a grin. "Not an issue. My sister thinks Xander's my puppy dog." That got a knowing smirk. "Have fun tomorrow." He slid in and their guard got off the hood, letting them go. "We have no idea how they know who Xander is."
"Xander's about to change his identity," Xander said grimly. "'Cause I've had more than enough of this and Devi's probably responsible for slipping it that way too."
"Probably something demonic but maybe not," Danny pointed out. "It could've been someone else who knows. Someone in GHS themselves." He called Adam. "It's Danny. Did the military come looking for someone recently? Because they came looking for Xander." He nodded. "That's what he was thinking." He smiled at Xander and stroked through his hair, getting a grin back. "Thanks, old fart." He hung up. "As far as he knew, no one military is in GHS and none of them had accessed the site, but he was thinking it might be a good idea to change personas totally." Xander groaned at that. "I know." His phone rang and he checked the name, then frowned as he answered it. "Yeah, Oz? Well, that explains a lot ta me," he said dryly. "No, we were just talking about that. Thanks." He hung up. "It was the girls."
"Wonderful," Don said bitterly. "Can I go visit this time?"
"Nope, but I might go out with Adam this time." He grinned sweetly when Don glanced back at him. "It's a teacher's right." He went back to petting Xander. "Oz is removing you from everywhere he can, Xander. If we have to change you over, we'll let you be an Alex or something similar. Adam said you could come stay with him for a few months until you got used to it so Don would mope enough to be in mourning."
"Don, can you please take us to the shop where I get my candles?" He nodded, heading that way. Xander got out and walked inside, walking right up to the witch he worked with now and then. "I need a way for people, specifically military and governmental sorts, to ignore me," he said quietly. "The military wanted to use me today. I'm not a Mata Hari type."
"That's chaos magic, Xander," she said gently.
He shrugged. "And while that's good and all.... It's my life, Mary."
"Point. I'll see what I can do." Xander nodded, giving her a hug. "Are you safe?"
"For now but not for much longer. We're talking about me disappearing from view for good." She nodded, going to call someone. He went back to the car, slamming the door once he was inside. "She's talking to someone to see if I can get an 'ignore me' charm."
"Would that work?" Danny asked. Xander nodded. "On us?"
"Not on anyone who was looking for me specifically and knew who I was or I could let certain people in temporarily. It's really high chaos magic since it'd even work on Feds."
"Speaking of, we've got to start getting everything together for the IRS," Don reminded him. Xander groaned and slumped down. "We done?" Xander nodded. "Need anything before we hit home?"
"Depends, is anyone cooking?"
"We've got food or I can order," Don assured him. "They said they're leaving us alone." He turned the car around, heading back to the house.
Mac was waiting on them when they got there. "Are you going to change him over?"
"Not quite yet," Danny told him. "That comes with a lot of problems." That got a nod. "Including wills being probated and judges who decide to interfere."
"I can see it now. The judge'll be mean and decide it's invalid because I didn't mention the shitbag parents I had," Xander said as he got out. "I'd have to hurt one of them." He unlocked the door and walked inside, finding Stella and Sheldon in there. He laid down on couch, pulling her against him, letting her snuggle in on his stomach. She smiled and squeezed him. "I'm sorry they got you because they wanted me."
"So am I but they're sorry now." She smiled at Mac and Don as they came in, then at Danny. "He insisted."
"I can see that." Danny came over and lifted her up, making her squeak until he put her more comfortably on top of Xander. "We're trying to see what we're doing about this."
"First, I'm going to kill Devi," Xander said dryly. "Then I'm going to make it clear I've got a keeper. Don, you want that job too?"
"I still wouldn't have you the way you'd need," he complained, heading into the kitchen. "Danny? I'm sure you've swung before."
"I have and it was okay," he admitted. "Then again, everyone will think we're together and sharing him." Xander blushed at that. "Never got shared?" Xander shook his head. "Pity. It can be kinda fun." He grinned at Don again, seeing his blush. "Up to you, sparky."
"Quit," he warned.
"Fine. You suggested it."
"You're the one who went dirty minded with it."
"Sue me, I had a good day riding back and forth on the subway." He went in there to talk to him about it. "We could let Aiden play keeper," he offered quietly. "It'd get him over his woman phobia."
"I'm not a book to be borrowed," Xander complained. "Besides, Aiden doesn't like it when I spoil her. It's gotta be someone I can spoil."
Stella raised her head to look at him. "I still want to see you spoiling Mac," she offered with a small grin.
"He'd freak. He'd order me not to," he said with a pout. "He panicked earlier from the thought of a little bit of spoiling."
Stella smiled and patted him on the cheek. "It'll be fine."
Mac came out of the office, where he had been making phone calls. "No spoiling me. I'm not the spoilable type and people will start to think the whole lab is dating Xander." He came down to look over Stella. "How are you feeling?"
"Nasty. You?" She put her head back down and got a backrub. "Thank you, Xander."
"You deserve it." He looked at Mac. "We might have to start the rumors of me having a keeper finally. It'd have to be someone I knew and they'd have to be someone I trusted."
"Not me," Sheldon said firmly. "I still like women, I'll probably only like women. Women are nice and they fit me just right. Sorry, Xander."
"Not your problem you're straight," he said dryly, making him laugh. "Pity, we'd be cute together."
"Nope. I don't do cute either. You've got good choices in Danny, Don, and Aiden."
"That's one mental orgy that looks really fun," Stella said happily.
"I think someone needs a nap," Sheldon teased, coming over to grab her. "Come on, you can even nap in Xander's bed. The night I passed out there it was more comfortable than I expected." He walked her up to the escalator and then to Xander's room to put her down for a nap.
"Well, at least she knew who'd look hot with me," Danny offered dryly. He sat down in Sheldon's seat, smirking at Mac. "Are you sure he can't spoil you just a little bit, Mac?"
"Very. I don't need spoiled. It won't make me forget that you've screwed up a few times recently." Danny raised his eyebrow. "You have."
"No I haven't. I haven't messed anything up in months. If I have this isn't the time or the place to cover that topic."
"You're right, it's not, but it is time for your evaluation."
"Yay me," he said dryly, making Mac smirk. "Say whatever you want, Mac, not like I'm gonna be staying here more than another five years." Mac frowned at him. "Can't cover the age gap." He stared him down. "Up to you, big man."
"You did, Danny."
"Again, this isn't work or the area to cover that," Xander said firmly. Mac nodded, dropping it. "Are you sure you two aren't together? You sound like a bitchy ex, Mac," Xander said, staring him down. "You have for the last few weeks."
"Then quit tryin' ta crawl up there," Don agreed. "You do sound just like a bitchy ex now that it's over with. It's not like Danny's a God of forensics or something. He's still human. And hey, most of us think half his fuck-ups are your fault, Mac, since you didn't support your guy." Mac went a bit more pale at that. "So, do some soul searching tonight. 'Cause either you're confused and you want him, or you're bitchy and need some. Take your pick."
"I'll let someone else do his evaluation," he said.
"Good. Only problem is, only Stella could and she can't either. So, you can sit down and talk in the office in a constructive and less cranky way or you can get over whatever crawled up your ass and died this time, Mac. Takin' it out on Danny doesn't do anyone any good, especially not Danny." That got a nod. "Good, now let's go back to happier moments. Unless the two of you want to use the office?"
"We probably should," Danny agreed, getting up and dragging Mac in there, slamming the door behind him.
"That's so UST," Xander said. Don gave him an odd look. "Unresolved sexual tension. I found the term online."
Don shook his head. "No more smut, Xander. Go get the laundry so you can do a load."
"Since when did I become the house elf?"
"Since you made those two have the talk about their relationship. Now. Sheldon, we don't allow eating up there so unless you're her teddy bear, get down here and come eat within ten minutes." Xander pouted but went to get the clothes for the washer. "Get the towels too."
"I could be a whole lot meaner," Don pointed out dryly.
"Nope, because you wouldn't ever take me and leave me hanging," he shot back, making Don moan and shake his head. "Therefore you can't be more mean. I was a good boy."
"You might've been but still. Laundry. It's your turn."
"I did the last three." Don stared at him so he huffed and gathered the sheets and towels too. Don was not going to be happy with him later that night when all he got was cuddles.
To Part 9: