Imagine: The List
Fic posted by members of Vo's Imaginings YahooGroup

It was a quiet few weeks. Even Tony had calmed down about Xander. He was protectively weird and Tony hadn't seen that 'contact' who was actually a minor warlord from a group that the US would consider a bad idea. He had seen another one show up and walked the other way muttering about not being an agent any longer while seeing if the guy had an active warrant out for his arrest. Which he didn't. Unfortunately. Though Xander seemed happier that next morning when he saw him. He stared at him oddly for a minute. "Pierson?" he demanded quietly. "Why?"

"He's really pretty nice to me sometimes and he was giving me an update on some of my former slayers."

"Oh." He nodded once. "So not dating?"

"At one time I gave him a few blowjobs for weapons. Since I don't need the same level of artillery anymore...." He smirked. "He got one for old time's sake and it refilled my bullet stores."

"I don't want to hear that," he noted dryly, staring at the younger man.

Xander shrugged then grinned. "You asked."

"Point. I need to quit asking." He walked off with a sigh. Xander was chuckling behind him but that was at least a nice sound this time. He went to the station and settled in to not think about that guy and his dangerous dating habits. He didn't need to know or want to know so he would not know he decided. It was saner that way.


Xander was stopped at work before he left and that person hissed in his ear. "Seriously? By who?" The guard on his construction site said something else quietly. "Well, fuck," he muttered.

"Greatly," the guard agreed. "Be safe?"

"Of course. And protect the few other normals in the building." He sighed, heading home. He went up to check on Tony, who was whining in pain. "Hey, you need something beyond bound down?"

Tony glared at him. "Don't make me change and bite you, Xander. This is not a good time."

"Yeah, I got told some eco terrorist group out there drugged you guys. Is it just you or do I have to make sure the other few normal people don't get near the pack?"

Tony tipped his head back. "I don't know. Yet. Eco terrorist?"

"That's what the guy who told me said."


"Basically. You going to wolf out or whatever? Or are you hit with like sex pollen?"

"I have no clue. I'm dizzy, really angry, and about to bite."

"Okay. Well, have a rare steak; I'll get the others as they come in." He went to set up by the main staircase up. It was the only way that wasn't a fire escape so most of them would use it. He stared at the first pack member. "Tony got dosed by some eco terrorist sort according to a source of mine. He's growly, mad, and probably itchy."

The lesser pack member winced. "I have no idea if it was just him, I got told some of the pack did but Tony definitely got hit. So I have no idea who's the top dog right now with Tony affected. But me, personally, I'm going to keep things safe tonight for everyone?"

"Yeah, I can see that." He called the pack's second-in-command, getting growled at. "Were you dosed like Tony was? Xander told me as I came in." He went to talk to the other members of the pack. Xander could protect the normals. "Exactly. He said some eco terrorist sort. Tony's apparently growly and angry, maybe itchy. Yeah, he's waiting on us to come in. Please. I have no idea and he said he didn't know who was in charge with Tony under it either. Yeah, as we come in, Carl." He hung up and got the pack members as they got home from their mundane jobs to talk to them.

Carl got there nearly last and stomped in, nodding at Xander as he walked past him. "Make sure none of you normal ones get hurt," Carl ordered.

"Of course," Xander agreed. "That's why I'm here instead of making dinner." He spotted the first normal tenant, nodding at them. "Hey, huge thing tonight. Tony got gassed or something by a case," he said quietly. "He's real growly and bitchy. So we may need you guys to stay inside? I can sit down here until everyone shows up to make sure they get home okay," he offered.

The guy nodded, calling his wife and daughter to let them know. They texted Xander that they'd let him know when they got there so he could make sure they didn't get bitten by something odd. Xander grinned at the other one that came in. "Tony's under biological agent," he said dryly. That one was an officer as well, just not part of the pack. "I got told about eco terrorist sorts. So I'm guarding people."

"Let me order dinner now instead of later then," she said, doing that. "Is he okay?"

"Growly, angry, maybe a bit bitchy. The pack knows so they can take care of him and any others it may've hit."

"That's good, Harris." She finished her order. "Okay, it says twenty minutes."

"His wife and kid need to come home anyway," Xander said.

"Cool. Let me hit my place and I'll be back." She went to do that, coming down with the envelope with money for the order, putting it on the windowsill. It was next to the door so she and it could escape if she had to. The other one went upstairs to handle the early evening things for his wife. She got there with the kid and Xander escorted them up. Then the other lady when her food got there.

Xander settled in to wait to make sure none of the pack decided to get naughty and try to break into an apartment or to go bite some random person on the street. It meant he had a fight about one in the morning but that was fine. It was normal. He still won. The guy got smug because he spit on a cut but Xander shrugged. "Dude, I carry demon taint already. Do you think your tiny little virus is that strong?"


"Yeah. You fight demons, you get splashed with their blood sometimes." He shrugged but grinned. "It won't matter. I've been fully bitten before and it didn't matter then either. So go back upstairs and be a good boy. Before I tie you to something."

"You can't do that!" Xander sighed and hit him with a tranq dart then tied him over the back of a couch down there. He could not move from that position. He could not free himself. He was well and truly stuck until someone sane came to deal with him. Then Xander wiped off his sweat and sat down again. The guy woke up, realized where he was and tried to struggle. It meant the couch rocked underneath him and threatened to flip backwards on top of him, and still leave him trapped. He went still and glared at Xander. Who grinned and waved a hand at him. "Harris, let me go!"

"Nope. There's no going out to randomly bite people tonight, dude."

One of the senior pack came down and spotted the problem then Xander. "I thought he was going to a bar."

"I thought he was going to go randomly assault someone thanks to that gas," Xander said, looking at Carl, who shook his head with a sigh. "So I tied him up until he's sane."

"It's very pretty, Harris."

Xander grinned. "Easiest place unless I tied him to the fake fireplace we have down here or the windows." He pointed at them. "But I didn't want him to be that exposed, Carl."

"That's nice of you. You good?"

"He tried to spit in a wound but it won't change me." Carl winced. "Dude, I've been fully bitten before," he said with a grin. "But when you fight demons, you get splashed with demon blood."

"I didn't even think about that. Can you be turned?"

"Don't know but I doubt that pitiful one's spit will manage it."

"Good. Let us know?"

"Hell no!" He snorted, looking amused. "I'd have to start acting like Tony and that would suck. You guys are way too uptight. I'll do like Oz did, chain myself up and hit that temple in Tibet."

Carl shook his head. "Seriously?"

"Yeah. Willow's ex Oz? Last I heard he was a pack second at the temple."

"Huh. We've heard rumors." He went to check his person, who was pouting but still affected. "You're staying," Carl told him. "Don't give Harris any shit." He went back up to warn the others on watch. He came back down. "How exposed did you get?"

"That depends on when," Xander said, grinning up at him. "I've been hit during battles while fighting, I've been hit outside battles. I got exposed to mermaid taint...." He shrugged. "It happens."

"Can I..." Xander let him have a few drops of blood to taste and Carl winced. "That is weird. What is that aftertaste?"

"Probably the caffeine I have in me." He grinned. "I can live on that and chocolate some days."

Carl just nodded, going back upstairs to tell the others. They'd sniff Xander really well someday soon to see if they could tell how human he actually was. That couldn't be good for a person's body. Especially if they gave in to the urge to bite him and it passed to one of them. It might mess up their fur or something.

Xander went back to reading, looking up when someone pounded on the door. "He got rophied," he called to the officer. "I tied him down for his own good. His roommate knows but went back to bed because he didn't want to deal with it. He's safe. I'm not touching his mangy ass." He went back to reading on the stairs, humming as he got back into the story. The officer called that in, and got told to leave it alone. That was a pack building and apparently they were making sure their person was safe tonight. So the officer walked off shaking his head.


Tony got back to work two days later, after they made sure he was safe to go out on his own. His boss stared at him. "I know you live in a pack building," he said. Tony nodded, that was well known. "There was a report that someone else in that building was tied down over a couch like he was a sacrifice?"

"That was John. He was drugged too." His boss winced. "One of the other people in the building, a normal, managed to keep him from getting free by tying him over the couch until someone more sane came to deal with him. That way he couldn't get into trouble. It was sweet of that normal guy."

"I guess. Bit weird."

"It was that or the windows, and that might let him break glass and hurt himself or others."

"Point I guess. Still a bit weird though, DiNozzo."

"Well, yeah." He grinned. "But then again..."

"Point. He good? Still tied down?"

"After breakfast he was down enough for that resident to let him go back up to his apartment to finish sleeping it off. No one took any advantage of him."

"That's fine then. Some worried someone might."

"Nah. Not in our pack." His boss nodded. "Any other good gossip going around?"

"Your last boss is showing up on a case?"

"Why? There's an office upstate."

His boss shrugged. "They didn't say. Just warned to get Gibbs normal, strong coffee and keep him hydrated with it."

"Yeah, he's a bit of a grump without it. But it is nice that the FBI wouldn't come near him without coffee." He went to his desk to log in and clean up anything on it. Including the flower sitting on it. He read the card, sighed, then put it aside. "I had no idea wolf changers got groupies," he complained quietly. "I have no idea why people think wet fur is pretty."

His partner looked over. "If vampires get some...."

"Yeah but we don't bite that way. It's not sensual to do that." He stared at him then handed over the card. "Wet dogs look and smell like wet dogs. Who finds that sexy?"

"Point." He handed it back and took the flower. "My wife will appreciate that."

"Have it. I don't have a wife," he joked with a grin. Blair strolled in looking amused. "New gossip?" he guessed.

"A lot. Why is your boss growling at Simon?"

"I have no idea." He smirked. "Does he think I work over there maybe?"

"Probably. Are you sure you didn't change him?"

"No, he's just growly. Maybe the one who wanted to pet through my wet fur would like him. He could use a fifth ex-wife." Blair snickered. "Let me go save Simon and the others." He got up, going with Blair. He looked in there. "Gibbs, I actually work two floors down and to the left," he said dryly. "Why are you bothering these nice major crimes people about me? They never see me." He looked at Jim. "Any idea on the ones who sent that gas at us?"

"Not really. Internal affairs has it I think."

"So it was an officer? Xander heard an eco terrorist sort."

"Charming." Jim smirked. "But go ahead and take your former boss, DiNozzo." He sniffed. "You don't smell like wet dog."

"Yeah, that's really freaky. I don't know anyone who wants a wet dog to play with." He looked at Gibbs, who looked confused. "Mash note on my desk when I got in."

"Why?" Gibbs asked.

"Apparently they think wet dogs are sexy, boss." He stared at him. "I don't but some people like strange things. Like balloon animals."

"Don't remind me of that case," Gibbs ordered, sipping his coffee. "Why aren't you in major crimes?"

"Because no one asked me to be and I'm happy with my present desk." He stared at him. "I don't need to be up here. I get plenty of that in my actual caseload down in Robbery."

Gibbs huffed. "Are you fine out here by yourself?"

"I was until you possibly led someone here," he said dryly. "But yeah, me and the pack are good."


"Yes, Gibbs, I have a full pack around me." He smirked. "They're good. Mostly officers, though two are IRS."

Gibbs winced but sighed. "When did you gather them?"

"DC?" He shrugged. "I've had most of the pack together since about a year before I left DC."

"I did not know that."

"You did not ask."

"Point." He stared at him. "Abby's miserable."

"Abby told them who I was."

"Oh." He took another drink. "Show me your actual desk so I can go over this case you left us with."

"Which one?"

"Robbery on the bases. It now leads back to an overseas smuggling operation."

"Which means it leads back to the case out of South Carolina," Tony said with a nod. "And probably the one in San Diego since those two were looking related when I looked it over. I noted it to those two about ours to compare and they had people in common."

Gibbs blinked. "Why?"

"Because they had a lot more of the footwork done and it was their case originally. We'd only get it if it was centered around DC. It was centered off the base in the Carolinas. One had transferred to San Diego to get away from them and start his own branch. We got that guy's brother when he moved to the Pentagon as an assistant to someone so we were peripherally related."

"Oh. All right." He let Tony have the file to look over. Tony got into the system at Jim's desk to pull up the other things with Gibbs' own password. The guy never changed anything but the number and it had to change each month so it was predictable. He let Gibbs see it and got out of the way. Jim looked amused. "Sorry to take your desk over, Ellison."

"It's fine. I don't use the computer either." He looked at Blair, who smirked at him. "We have to go talk to gang members anyway since they want a peace summit."

"We can do that," Blair agreed with a nod. "We can mediate with the best of them."

Tony looked at him then at Jim. "Want Xander?"

"No. He might make them all behave in weird ways to make sure he was calm." He and Blair walked off together to go talk to the gangs who wanted the peace summit.

Tony looked at Gibbs. "I really respect Blair. He knows people."

"Like had a lot of contacts?"

"That too," Tony agreed dryly. "He's an anthropologist."

"That would drive me nuts," Gibbs muttered. He stood up from going over the file. "Why didn't McGee find this?"

"You and the new director probably made him look in the wrong area by telling him he wasn't allowed in that system? That's happened to six other cases."

"True." He sighed but nodded. "All right. Are you happy out here?"

"Yeah, mostly. There's not much beach culture but I can go on vacation during spring break to find some if I want to." He smirked. "It works well."

"Fine." He stared at his former senior agent. "You look tired."

"I spent the last few days gassed by some eco terrorist sort."

"Oh. You good?"

"Yeah. Pretty good. Made me really angry."

"So nothing that would bring back flashbacks to the plague?"

"Not yet."

"Fine." He left, going back to DC to complain at McGee about that dual database problem. He'd know how to fix it.

Tony looked up, shaking his head. Then he sighed as he looked at Simon. "I opened an envelope that came to the office."


"Yeah. Y. Pestis."

"When you get sick, you really get sick."

"Yes I can." He grinned. "Please don't spread that around. I've had one blood hunter I had to get last year."

"If we can," another detective agreed. He stared at him. "You put up with that guy?"

"For seven years." He walked off nodding. "DC's office is a bit ...different. Though I do miss Ducky. Our ME." He went back to his own desk. Gibbs would probably growl something later when he called to complain about McGee again. Or Abby, he did complain about her being pouty very often these days. "Maybe I'll let Xander answer my phone so Gibbs has to growl at him," he decided as he got off the elevator. "I think he'd like that."

"Quit talking to yourself before you answer and you're deemed insane by our heavily self-medicating shrinks," his partner joked. "They'd love to dox you that way."

"True. Is that really a bad thing though?" he asked with a grin.

"Well....." He considered it. "Maybe not around here." They all stared to the south when they heard a distant explosion. "Was that Ellison?"

"He's off with Sandburg talking to gang kids who wanted a summit," Tony said, going to look. "That was the park by the mall. I can see lights converging." The captain came over to look over his shoulder then nodded, calling that in. Tony got back to work, shaking his head. Others had that well in hand. With his luck, it was Gibbs' doing. Or Xander's. Or a witch closing a portal the wrong way as it happened so Xander was hiding at his job site.

He had gone nearly invisible and not even his coworkers could tell where he was. They knew he was working, things were getting done in his section, but no one had any real idea where he was when the witch showed up looking for him.

Though one guy did hear someone muttering about artillery up some witch's ass....he'd never tell on the poor guy.


Ellison got a tip from someone and sighed. He considered it. "Simon," he called. Simon came to his doorway. "Some female, trying to sound sweet and innocent but sounded like one of our local slayers, called to tell us she was supposed to report that someone out here had illegal artillery and was probably a danger to the city."

"That kid?" he guessed.


"Does he?"

"If so, he said we can't find it." He smirked a bit. "Want me to go try?"

"No." He shook his head. "Let me call around. Tell DiNozzo?"

"Gladly." He went down there to stare at him. Tony looked amused as he was booking some guy who had tried to rob someone of their show dog. "Some female trying to sound sweet and innocent, who sounds a lot like one of our local slayers, was told to call in to tell us about someone who has illegal weapons."

"If you're talking the one in my building, you won't be able to find them probably. I can't." He stared at him. "Can we beat the ones who told her to call?"

"Gladly." He grinned at the guy. "See what fun you'll get to miss in jail?"

"I don't want those girl warriors to have weapons either," he complained. "They act like airheads. They might go after the mall for not having sales."

Tony smiled. "Yes, a few might. I'll talk to Xander tonight. Want to stop over?"

"Please. Since it got reported I have to make an inspection."

"Sure." Ellison nodded, walking off making mental plans and telling Blair about them afterward. Blair said he was not going because he didn't want to interfere with any magic going on in that guy's apartment. That made Jim happier.


Xander came home and found two guys in his hallway. "I heard," he complained as he came up the stairs. "She warned me that Buffy threatened to cut off her college funds if she didn't call. I told her to tell Giles about that blackmail and to paddle the head bitches again." He opened his door and got out of the way. "Go ahead. I know you need to and want to anyway."

Jim walked in, looking around. "This place looks more normal than I thought it would be. No crystals, no swords."

Xander pointed. "My axe." Jim looked then nodded, going to snoop around.

Tony stared around then looked at Xander. "Isn't there usually a guest bathroom?" he asked with a point.

"This is a one bedroom. Those are in two beds, Tony. Mine's the mirror image of Mara's."

"Oh." He nodded, going to snoop too. He did run into a rather large gun, holding it up. "Really?"

Xander grinned. "It's a good pet."

"Is it registered?" Jim asked.

"Not since the last time you saw it." He gave one frame on a wall a pointed look then stared at the two detectives, who walked over to look. Tony moaned at that permission to own weapons for whatever reason he needed them. From the President of the US. "I have no idea if he's rescinded it or not. I haven't wanted to call and check. Or push it to see." He took his gun back to cuddle. He grinned at Jim. "The closets aren't that big here. I couldn't store much if I wanted to."

"Storage area?" he guessed.

"Not much need for them anymore."

Jim nodded at that. "I guess that makes sense." He looked at Tony, who nodded. "That slayer?"

"In deep shit for that calling in and for being blackmailed over her college funds. Not like Buffy was going to blackmail her for her bad habits, just the good ones. So Buffy's in real trouble." He grinned. "Samantha, locally, is in trouble for having a weed habit," he said dryly. "And having six boyfriends. At once. And they don't realize it." Tony winced. "Yeah!" He nodded. "Only one's gotten turned though."

He shrugged, glaring toward the doorway. "Go remove the person I have the restraining order against please?" He handed over his copy of it that he carried. "Before I have to lose my shit and start yelling?" Jim and Tony went to block Willow and send her off citing the restraining order. She complained she was there to gather up his weapons to hide them for him. That the girls could use them.

"You can tell her that if they need them that much, they should probably go give blowjobs. I found it easy enough. Some of them even supported the girls down there more than the locals did." He heard choking and grinned at Jim. "I can give Samantha ideas of which ones to go looking for if she needs it. She's good enough at that act that having another shouldn't bother her too much and they might pay for the college that the head cunt in charge tried to cut off.

"Or he might just set her up with business classes so she can start an escort service. She's nearly there anyway." Out in the hallway Willow huffed and tried something but the others in the pack were staring at her. She slunk off before they attacked her. Xander took back his copy and put it back into his wallet. "So, how was your days?" he quipped.

"Less exciting than yours," Tony said dryly. "Do you have anything?"

"I'm going to no comment on that," Xander said dryly with a grin. "I'll only share those with a lover I really love. More than I loved Anya sort of love. So...." He shrugged but smirked. "You're taken by your pack. Ellison has Sandburg so you're both safe from my energy and stamina."

He winked. "Have a better night, guys." They sighed but left to make that report. The local ATF office had heard too and wondered but Ellison told them about that letter of permission and about Rosenburg showing up. They decided they did not need to know and not like Harris was going to blow up places for fun anyway. Xander settled in to pet his weapons that he had in his apartment.

Rosenburg...well, there was a curse used for him that would cause them material harm each and every time they tried to get near him to harm him or otherwise upset him or force him to come back. Pity.


Tony came home a few weeks later to the landlord's person nagging Xander about having two apartments. "Why can't you combine them?" the landlord's person demanded.

"Because I'll end up with flashbacks and sleeping on that stuff, which isn't really healthy for anyone around here. Wouldn't we all like to finish calming down from former battle times?"

The landlord's person huffed. "Really?"


"What battles? Were you military?"

Xander leaned against the wall. "Worse." He grinned. "Council. I'm the guy that trained the girls who stayed at home and helped rebuild it from the shithead times. Then the top girls got to me and I walked off before I killed them. Hey, Tony. Nothing to worry about."

Tony stared at him. "You have two apartments?"

"No. Comment."

"Uh-huh. We'll talk about it in a few minutes."

Xander grinned. "I checked, that letter's still in effect."

"There's a new president being sworn in soon, Xander. Will it be then?"

"Yeah. He expects me to step in if I have to." He looked at the landlord's person again. "While it'd be a bit cheaper, there's no two beds open in the building. Also, I'd end up sleeping on top of the weapons."

The landlord's guy blinked a few times. "Weapons?"

Xander pulled up a video to show him. "That was me two years ago. I rather needed them," he said dryly.

He watched but shuddered. "Do you have a problem with the pack here?"

"No. I have no problems with anything peaceful. Unless they're attacking someone against their will, I don't care what anyone is." He shrugged. "I don't care which plane you came from, which town you came from, nothing like that, as long as you're not making me defend someone else. Unless they're vampires. Then they can all die if they're feeding with victims."

The landlord's guy nodded at that, looking at Tony. "That's the PD's feeling too," he agreed. "We like how he handles that. We don't have any idea about him really. None of us realized who he was until a few months ago."

Xander looked at him. "I really want for everyone to ignore me before it brings more attention to me."

"Then next time don't step into a battle up the street," Tony shot back. "Or cast a wish."

"I do that I'm going to set myself up as Batman."

"Which version?" Tony asked. "I can't see you as Clooney's version or the new dark ones, but maybe Keaton."

"Yeah, I like his version too." He grinned at him. Then at the landlord's person. "We don't have a bigger apartment and I might move again when this construction project's done in a few months. That way I'm somewhere less known again."

Tony clapped him on the arm. "I want to see and so will Ellison."

"He can't bum from my stash. Blair maybe but I don't trust Ellison to not use it against a minor problem. Even if a missile is the most fun solution sometimes it's not the right one."

"It should never be a solution for civilians, Xander."

Xander smirked. "That's so sweet! By the way, the eco terrorist group? They've been trying to summon a forest spirit to help their goals."

"Can you stop it?"

"I passed it to someone who'd tell the girls. Ask them, that's their job. I'm retired."

"If you were really retired, you wouldn't need your stash."

Xander sighed but nodded. "And yet they hear about me and come for me. I worried about that with your pack."

"I stopped two." He looked at the landlord's person. "We have noted his written permission for weapons."

"Damn." He sighed, looking at Xander. "Not staying for good?"

"Too many people hear about me. I'm not sure. I like Cascade."

The landlord's person nodded, going to talk to his other people about that one.

"Let's go look," Tony said dryly, clapping him on the back.

"No. You don't need to know."

"I'm going to have Sandburg talk you into it. He can nag like a slayer I'm told."

"He can," he sighed. "It's nothing too huge, Tony."

"Bullshit. Let's go look, Xander." Xander sighed but took him to look at the apartment. The windows were covered so no one could look in and see the few cases. Tony tested a few things, found one invisible thing by scent, and Xander shrugged but grinned. "Uh-huh." He looked in the nearest cases and sighed when they looked wrong. "Take off the illusions."

"Nope. You saw my letter of permission."

"Yeah. But that's the case for something that's sub-nuclear. And a warhead."

"And I used it. That's a reused case." He let him see what was in that one. "See."

Tony nodded, closing that case. He stared at him. "You scare the hell out of me and guys like Ellison. We have no idea how to deal with you, Xander."

"Sorry!" He shrugged but smiled. "You shouldn't have to. I'm trying not to keep attention on myself. The more attention the more likely they are to show up."

"Why would you end up sleeping on top of them?"

"I used to in the truck whenever I had to camp in it."

"I guess that makes sense. You could probably use the same calming down things that returning vets use."

Xander nodded. "But I'm not a vet and no one would treat me like one, Tony. So I'm doing it myself."

"What do the other Council people do when they retire or the girls?"

Xander stared at him for a minute. "No idea since most don't." Tony winced at that. "The girls that retire after college mostly have boyfriends or whatever who knew what they used to do. The Council does pay for shrinks for the girls. Most of the adults who aren't slayers don't retire. I'm the first watcher to retire and I didn't so much retire as stomp off after wishing them all a great death. So I doubt that's open to me. I know Giles is very distressed I did that. He's disappointed I couldn't make peace with it going on again."


"Through high school, all the years afterward." He sat on top of a pile of cases with a sigh. "I would've come home after my first tour of Africa helping the girls down there set up but then they started again so instead of taking on a single girl or a region of girls, I went back. And stayed. Even though it confused the ones down there until they met Buffy and Willow a few years later, then they agreed I needed to stay away from all that shit.

"A few of them gave me a sympathy pat for dealing with those girls. The girls down there all stared at Buffy like she was stupid but she didn't pick up on that. She never does. I was there for over a decade, Tony. I just couldn't again without venting so I let a tiny bit out, then hiked.

"I took two weeks to figure out where I was moving, getting all my stuff, telling the girls down there, and then disappeared off the map to go to a closed realm to vent in a way that wouldn't get anyone dead." He shrugged again. "I can't do that anymore. Frankly they've made me hate all women, most of the time, but they think it's okay because they're the head slayer and the head witch of addiction and therefore always right.

"When someone tried to show them that I had handled battles they heaved a huge hissy fit that got Cleveland shut down for a few hours. I'm talking they went to 'the hellmouth is opening' protocols and locked everything down. Then they asked why and the mayor yelled at her so she yelled back and stomped off. Giles had to make her apologize for that public bit of fit and being so unreasonable about things.

"He watched that video, told me I had done a good job, and then told me to never do it again. I kindly told him there had been one the day before but I'd remember that and let the normals do it for me instead. Then I hung up, turned off my phone, and changed my number. But I did give it to the ones who needed it." He grimaced. "It's been like that. I went to grieve, tell the girls what had happened, and ended up training. Which I wasn't really fully qualified for."

"I get that." He patted him on the shoulder. "You did more than I could've." Xander shrugged at that. "You did. I'd have no idea what to do when faced with an invasion except shit myself and start calling for backup."

Xander grinned. "I wasn't recalled for the one in LA. Willow and Buffy decided I was happily dancing around fires and telling the girls about them."

"Bullshit. That same day you handled two different things in different countries."

"They had to get me from the first to fly me to the second, which was worse." He grimaced again. "They're probably listening."

"I know Carl is but he won't say a damn thing or I'll bite him." Xander grinned at that. "Really. You don't deserve to be yelled at for doing what you had to do."

"It happens. I mean, Willow tried to wish I hadn't had to do any of that or be there. Thankfully the wish demon told her off for trying to destroy a continent."

"Shit." He hugged the kid. "I'm kinda glad guys like you exist because normal guys like me can't do that." He let him go. "If you were a changer I'd be happy to have you in the pack. Most of the time, when you're not bouncy." He patted him on the cheek. "I'll tell Ellison and have him not make Blair nag." He winked, going to talk to Ellison at his apartment. Carl got a firm look when Tony walked past him.

"I knew he had weapons," he admitted. "The guy probably needs them."

"Probably," Xander said as he came out and locked the door again then put back on the security system. "Or hopefully not but probably." He went back to his apartment.

Carl shook his head, getting a beer to not think about that kid their pack was keeping track of. He hoped Harris didn't snap and go evil but you never knew about normal guys.

Tony knocked on Jim and Blair's door, getting Blair opening the door and walking off talking to someone who was apparently nagging. "He has a second apartment," he said, looking at Jim as he walked in and closed the door behind him.

"That figures," Jim said. "How bad?"

"Pretty but hidden. I still probably didn't see all of it but enough. He knows what he's doing but we've got a slight problem. Has anyone realized Harris has battle burnout?"

Jim blinked then shook his head slowly. "No."

"Yeah, he was doing that for over a decade before he finally vented and left." He leaned on the back of the couch to look at Blair then at Jim again. "I have the feeling if we could get him into a returning vet program it might help but he's right, they won't talk to him because he didn't serve in a branch."

Jim nodded. "I didn't think about that problem."

"They nagged so much he went back to Africa instead of taking over a region or a single girl."

Jim winced but nodded. "Is he a danger to himself and others?"

"No. He'd only handle something huge that needed him or a vampire. Same as before."

"Which makes sense," Blair said, hanging up and coming over. "I did a better background check on him. The demon community said that he started because the vampires took out his best friend. A few places noted they were lifelong friends until then. Then Xander saw him staked."

"Shit," Jim muttered but nodded. "I can understand that urge. That sucks greatly." He considered it, looking at Blair. Blair understood people better than Jim did. "So how can we help?"

"He wants less attention on him."

"That'd be nice. A few officers are wondering if he's our local watcher."

"No, he quit. He probably should've done it a few years earlier."

"We can ease off any attention on him. We can also make sure people know that we have two slayers in residence to be bothered about demon things so they don't come near him." Tony grinned and nodded. "How bad is his stash?"

"Wellll....." He grinned. "I saw a few things that a few years back might've been classified. He did check and his letter of permission is still active, even with the next one. That one was sure he'd still step in if he had to."

"Probably," Jim said with a nod. "We would and we wouldn't have a clue how to help if guns didn't work."

"Probably," Tony agreed with a nod. He looked at Blair.

"I'm a pacifist but I'd hop in if I could. At least to move civilians and help evacuate the injured fighters." He stirred the pot in front of him. "So he wants to be ignored for the most part?"

"He thought he could stay mostly invisible to normal eyes," Tony said.

"I can understand that," Jim agreed. "There's plenty of days I'd like to go back to that myself."

Blair nodded. "Both of us."

Tony nodded. "I know that feeling myself. So can we talk to people?"

"Gladly," Jim said. "Pay attention to what he's gathering?"

"Yeah, I can do that without being too paranoid and on top of him."

"Good. Have fun with the pack tonight."

"Everyone thinks packs fall down for group yiffing or something and we don't," Tony joked with a grin, heading home to tell the others about watching out for Xander but not over him really. The kid would be fine.

Jim and Blair shared a look then nodded. They could handle this new weird thing. They handled the slayers when they had to, they could handle a former watcher with weapons skills.


Xander got to move. He had to move, his construction job was done and there wasn't another coming so the company disbanded and returned to smaller companies, and they didn't have room for him. So he found a small town, something he was more comfortable in than a real city had been, and a nice looking little cottage to buy. Because he liked this town.

It felt nice. He felt like it could stay home for a long while. And his new job was on a permanent crew so really handy. He had moved everything in and was hanging pictures when someone knocked. He looked out there then waved at the officer standing there. He recognized the kid but wasn't sure if the kid knew who he was or why he'd remember him. "What's up? I haven't even cut it up in a local bar, Officer."

The young officer looked at him. Then he sighed. "Mr. Harris," he started then smiled. "I was an FBI trainee and had to take the class about the slayers and the Council."

Xander nodded, grimacing. "I retired. I was about to kill the addicted cunt of a witch and her blonde bestie, the head slayer." He shot him a look. "I wished them a nice death, walked off, then returned to normal life. And I doubt that class was right considering how often they never saw anything I did."

"I'm more worried that we have a pack nearby."

Xander turned to stare at him. "I have never went after something peaceful or innocent in my damn life."

"I remember that." He stared at him. "Will they have a problem with you even if you don't have one with them?"

"Have them talk to DiNozzo's pack in Cascade if they do. Make sure they hear I'm not a threat unless they're off attacking people, kids, or pets. Frankly, yay for them being furry. None of that has anything to do with me unless they'd like me to pet them some night. Oz liked it sometimes when I was on wolf watch."

The guy blinked. "They're worried you're Council of Hunters."

Xander smirked. "I'm insulted you even mentioned them in my presence since I blew them the fuck up, kid."

"I'm probably your age."

"Probably a few years younger. I'm nearly thirty."

"Then yeah, there's a *few* years there." He stared at him. "Can you talk to one of the pack to make sure they don't think they have a problem?"

"If they want. I wasn't going to hunt someone down, stare at them until they looked over, then scare the crap out of them by proving I had been a hunter. Oh, and the pelt hunter last night? Is he in casts yet or can I have more fun with his ass?"

"He's in the regional county jail. In three casts."

"Aww, I tried for five. They all deserve it." He grinned and went back to straightening that picture. "You can tell them to quit worrying. I only take out vampires, and anything harming another living being against their will. If I catch someone attacking someone, I'll protect them. If I catch another pelt hunter, they'd better pray for mercy I haven't had since I was a kid. If I catch a vampire, they're gone." He gave him a pointed look. "Did you know we have weak little vampire wannabes?"

"Some goth kids?"

"No, not them. Though they're kinda...weird and not really goth. Or even modern goth. They're Hot Topic goth." He sighed. "No, the ones on the edge of town," he said with a point. "I ran into them in the grocery store. Nearly had a flashback to Angel and his woosiness of being over two hundred yet wooing a teenage girl who was a slayer."

"I heard about that story. Gross!" Xander grinned and nodded. "Yeah, if they're turned, run 'em out please. Or tell us so we can run them out. We don't need vampires. It'll cause more problems in town and we'd like to hide all that stuff."

"At least there's no hellmouth here to do that for you."

"True. We're really glad we're more normal than that." Xander grinned. "But if we have a pack problem, can they hide with you from someone like the hunting family we have nearby?"

"If they're Council of Hunters, they'd better hide from me," Xander warned. "Forever. I won't put up with those bloodthirsty, idiot hunter wannabes who're basically serial killers." He gave him a pointed look. "That's why I blew up their little meeting a few years back." He grinned. "But yeah, the pack in town has nothing to worry about unless I catch them attacking someone." He shrugged. "Otherwise, if they want petted they can come to me. I can find them the info for that temple in Tibet to help them learn how to control the change completely if they want. I know a were there."

"They have their ways with that, but I'll mention that. And they hate that hunting family too."

Xander grinned. "Introduce me to one. Watch how they react? It's a great bit of fun to watch."

"I kinda can see how that is." He walked off happier to report that to the pack members he knew.


Xander was sitting on a park bench, asked to be there by that same young officer. He had on sunglasses and looked amused at the fighting going on. Minor pack squabbling. A few fussy young adults being bitches. Then Xander saw the bad thing. He got up and strolled over there, letting the woman spot him. "You're CoH, aren't you?" he asked smugly.

"Who're you?" she demanded. "I don't recognize you."

"Then you're well out of the loop, princess. I'm Watchers Council. Retired." The woman snorted. "I'm Harris." The woman nearly shit herself, you could tell and smell it. He grinned. "I just moved into this quaint little town. I think I like it here. I think I'm going to take over some of the protection of the town so fewer people have to worry."

"My uncle owns the construction crew."

He shrugged. "I can live for almost a decade on my savings, little girl." He smiled again. "I can find a job anywhere I want after that. Not like I'd mind fast food, it's a job." He shrugged. "Gives me time to sharpen swords and build explosives." He gave her a pointed look over the top of his sunglasses. "If you and yours are here to harm this charming little pack or this quaint little town that reminds me of Sunnydale, I'd flee. I don't need that sort of stress but I can make you fun." He smiled again. "Got it?"

"Are you human?"

"I've been in *battles*, Princess. With demons and against demons. Yeah, I got splashed with some of their blood. It means I solved a few invasion problems." The girl backed up nodding. "It's my town now to help protect with this charming little pack of young guys. Got it?" She nodded and ran off. "Have a better day," he called with a smile and a wave at her back. He went back to his seat on the bench, grinning at the young looking officer. "I loathe her sort. They give guys like me a bad rep, they're psychotic messes, and like hell I'd let them exist around me."

The officer nodded. "That's sweet of you. Though I knew her in high school."

"Yeah, I met Buffy in high school too. Her first day there." He nodded at that. "There's not a day I don't regret that."

The officer nodded. "I get that. Please don't have their family home invaded by imps or something dangerous?"

"Imps aren't dangerous. They're scared of everything and they like to screw with things." He grinned. "The ones on the Bugs Bunny cartoons weren't imps. Or gremlins. But I do know what they are they are fun." He smiled. "But not enough of a problem solver. I'd call Thora. His son's bored the last I heard."

"Do we know that one?"

Xander grinned, looking at a staring pack member. "Hey, guys." He waved.

One of them sniffed. "You're not fully human."

"No, I got splashed with demon blood helping protect this plane from demons."

"Who are you?" one asked.

Xander waved. "Xander."

"Like that former watcher guy?"

"Yes, I am." He grinned. "I'm retired. The only things I care about are vampires being a problem. Otherwise, I'd only handle someone attacking others against their wills. But I will pet if someone wants it. Oz used to really like it some bad nights."

The head of that little group stared at him oddly. "Really?"

"Yeah. On wolf watch overnight his three nights? Yeah, a few good petting nights." He smiled again. "I've never cared about anything peaceful, happy, or healthy for a group. Not furry, not scaled, not feathered, or any other form of outer covering. I've seen packs who had a fun pack hunt for a new wife."

One blushed, shaking his head quickly. "It's all good for me and since I'm here I'll help you guys protect the town if something happens. Because I won't stand a Council of Hunters family around. Though I did not pick this town for that. It was just nice feeling and reminded me a lot of Sunnydale. Only less death."

"This town has been protected by the pack."

"I'm not going to interrupt that," Xander assured him. "I'll only step in if I'm needed to, or I see it in front of me." He shrugged. "I'm retired." They smiled at that. "But I won't put up with pelt hunters or other CoH hunters in my new town."

The pack shared a look then at him. "What?"

"You guys don't know about the Council of Hunters?"

"No, we know about a bigger family in them," the officer said from his seat.

Xander nodded. "They annoyed the hell out of me. Pity." The wolves all winced. He smiled. "Venice wasn't enthused but happy enough when they found out why." One of the pack members moaned. He grinned at him. "Or were you talking about my vendetta against pelt hunters?"

"They exist?" one of the younger guys asked.

"Yeah. One had been here," the officer quipped. "He's in the jail in three casts."

Xander smiled at him. "I was trying to give him five."

"Oh, they're broken but they won't put him into traction in jail." He looked at the pack members. "I set up this introduction so you guys didn't have to worry about him being here. He's not here about you guys."

"No. A were I know suggested here when I moved on from Cascade." He leaned forward. "I'm not here to upset the pack or hurt the pack. I've lived and worked around and with packs before. I only care if I see someone being attacked, or there's an attack on someone innocent. Otherwise, I don't care about anything you guys do. The only vendetta I have is with vampires. Actual vampires, not the weird kids." They nodded at that. "Otherwise, I'm happy this town is so cute and nice. You've done a great job so far." He grinned. "I'm happy I found a sweet little place here."

"But if we get attacked?"

"Dude, I've got a saferoom set up. One of the first things I did. I've seen too many bad things to not have a safe little space set up. It can fit up to about five people if they're cuddly." He grinned. "Or if I remove the weapons a few more." The officer stared at him. He smirked at him. "I've got permission."

"Great! I don't need or want to know."

"Gladly." He looked at the pack members again. "I'm just here to be the retired, peaceful, happier guy I'm becoming now that I don't have the intense urge to smite a few slayers and an addicted witch. Daily. If not more often."

"Yeah, that's fine," one of the pack said with a look at the others, who all nodded.

"That's why I introduced him," the officer said dryly, turning the page on his book. "So no one could get the wrong idea and stress out."

Xander smiled. "That's sweet of you, Pack Protector." The guy grinned at him. Xander spotted that girl stomping over. "Awww, she comes back." He got up and walked over to her, staring her down.

"This is my town," she ordered.

"Bite me. It's my town now." She took a swing and he destroyed her. She was on the ground sobbing within a few minutes. "And you're a hunter? Dear, I've seen tougher baby slayers. Get up. Go away. Never let me see a CoH person. Or we'll replay Venice." She got up and ran off sobbing. "Bye now! Have a better day!" he called with a grin and a wave after her. He walked back there, shaking his head the whole way. "I've seen the three fold rule happen. I'd never wish someone ill," he quipped.

The officer grinned behind his book. "Thanks, Harris."

"Welcome." He blew a kiss and looked at the pack members. "I'm making a stew I learned from a small tribal village one of my girls lived in. Want some? It makes a ton."

"Maybe next time," one said with a nod. "They're powerful."

Xander winked. "Sure they are. CoH people are all psychotic messes. They're all a blight on any hunters or former hunters. They're serial killers who found a semi-respectable way to do that. I will not stand for that. Though, if that's the family I'm thinking of, they really should stop the magic going on in their house. Before they summon something that'll kill them." He shrugged but grinned at the other officer stomping over. "Officer."

"Kid, who are you?" he demanded.

Xander pulled out his ID to hold up. "Just this guy now."

The officer looked at his younger one. "He's retired from the Council," he said with a smile at him. "He was the off-site training guy in Africa."

Xander nodded. "Then the head witch and the head bitch made me want to finish smiting them in a way that meant I walked or I committed mass homicide. I walked." He shrugged and put his ID back then held up something else. The officer snatched it and moaned, handing it back. "Council of Hunters people are all psychotic messes. That's the official designation in the FBI's files."

"It is?" the older officer demanded.

"Yup," the younger one said. "And the one who put that into the books said that was as nice as he could be." He smirked. "I set up a meet and greet so they'd know who Xander was and Xander could assure them he was retired and peaceful."

"Fine." He looked at Xander. "Assault is still assault."

"She walked up to me and shit herself. Then came back a second time to get her ass kicked. That's on her. Her decision." He shrugged. "I'm just trying to be the nice, happy, retired former Watcher I am. Do some construction, fix up the cottage...." He shrugged. "The town reminds me of Sunnydale only with less death. It feels great here. The only thing I'm going to handle is an attack or vampires."

"Do we have vampires?"

"Three the last I knew. They're from the next town over and came over here to pout and sulk at girls to attract them apparently. It reminds me so much of gagging over Angel and Buffy's dating." He shuddered.

The older officer looked at him oddly. "What?"

"You didn't hear about the senior slayer's love life of trauma? Angel was over two hundred, had eaten a gypsy clan's favorite daughter so got a soul placed back into him, showed up to flirt with Buffy by being mysterious and broody, lost his soul when he banged her for her seventeenth birthday, she had to send him to hell to stop his plot to end humanity, then he came back and they couldn't bang again so he had to move to LA to brood and be the savior there. Before he died in the invasion I wasn't called back for. Then she dated another vampire, that one's childe, later on."

The older officer grimaced. "Gross!"

"Yeah," Xander agreed with a nod. "Very. And I have a vendetta against vampires anyway so yeah, we won't have a replay here. They can do it out of my view please."

"The pack?" he asked.

"I have no problem with anything peaceful, be they human, furry, scaled, feathered, whatever outer covering configuration they have. If they're not here to cause problems, I don't care. They're fine with me."

"What about immigrants?" the older officer asked with a smirk.

"Dude, I grew up in lower Cali. I've met more than a few and don't care about where they came from either. Half the demon communities are immigrants." He shrugged but smirked. "Why would I care? I won't nark on them though."

"Point. Fine. What if that family retaliates?"

Xander smiled and pulled out something else. "The full size version is in my dining room."

He took it to read and winced. "Oooh."

Xander smiled. "Yeah. If necessary." He took it back. "The FBI wants that cult of messiness stopped. They're on the cult list, and the end at all costs list. So yeah, I'd get a reward and be able to spend even more time without having to find a job if I get fired from the construction crew. Though I'd find something. It'd drive me nuts to do nothing all day."

The older officer nodded once. "Okay." He stared at him. "Why here?"

"A changer I know recommended it for being so quaint and peaceful and safe. Plus no earthquakes, no invasions, no slayers!" He beamed and nodded a bit. "Best thing yet. And if you see the top two or the addicted witch, you don't see me please."

"Gladly. She's addicted?"

"Yeah. Has been since high school." He smirked. "But she knows best because she's kinda powerful and thinks she's a Goddess."

"Great. No, she can stay in Cleveland."

"Please. Let me hide if you hear."

"Gladly, kid." Xander grinned. "Fine. You're peaceful and protective."

"And I'll help the pack do that. If they need my help they can ask. I have nothing against anyone who's not peaceful."

"Good. I'll talk to them."

Xander grinned. "I'm kinda the reason they had to nominate a whole upper level again. They know me by name and on sight." He smirked. "And they all know I won't put up with their dangerous messiness." He snapped. "If they have that really big house? They're trying to summon something and I'm guessing that thing won't be happy when it shows up."

The officer nodded. "If they manage it, we'll call."

"I'll lend you a sword."

"Thanks, kid. Do you have more than one?"

"Dude, I trained the baby slayers in Africa. Do you really think I only have one of anything?"

"I didn't think about that." He sighed as he walked off. "No more fighting in public."

"Yup." He waved. "Thanks. Have fun." He smirked at the pack guys. "I'm going to get some ice cream and go watch trashy B level movies." He strolled off.

The younger officer smirked at his buddies. "This is why I introduced him."

They nodded. "Good idea," one agreed. They went to share that news with the others in the pack. They could worry a bit but Harris wasn't here for them. Their non-member, but occasional friend, he'd get warned by the young officer guy. Just in case he wanted to look like a threat to the pack or anyone else.


Xander was set up on his car's hood a few days later when that older officer pulled up beside him. He grinned and waved. "Why are you staring at their house?"

"I'm waiting to see if Ovarta is going to stomp out and destroy the building or if she'll just go home today. But I can tell you it won't take a sword."

"You can banish her?"

"No, she'd take artillery if she's not wanting to go home. You have to blow her into pieces and then keep her from merging like a Terminator." He sighed. "Did it once but too much rejoined so the rest healed. She did send word that she's not mad at me for stopping her snack run while she was pregnant." He waved a hand before sipping his gatorade. "If she comes, I'll let you guys know."

He looked at the house then at the kid. "There's thankfully no one nearby."

Xander nodded. "True. Which is why I didn't overreact. That and I won't save them from their own bad decisions."

The officer got out to walk over to him. "What if she does get out and is belligerent?"

"Well, then I have something." He smiled. "The last shot on that particular weapon actually. I had to use it to stop an attempted invasion."

"You're a hot mess, kid."

Xander blew a kiss. "Thank you for that compliment. At least you're not badass enough to want to date me."

"I've heard. I got to see the file on you. It's really...stupid."

"Yeah, they didn't pay too much attention because I'm the normal guy." He shrugged but grinned. "Cascade may have a better one now because I was hiding up there as a normal guy for almost a year."

"I saw theirs too. I got incredibly sick." Xander snickered, shaking his head. "You're not doing that here, right?"

"Don't do things that'll make me step in." He stared at him. "Why would I have to unless I'm required to? I'm retired."

"Point." He sighed as the house blew up, looking back at the large demon. "Did you have to do that?" he called.

"Yes! They're annoying humans!" She stared. "Xander," she purred with a smile.

He waved with a grin. "You know damn well I can't let you stay, dear. Thank you for saving me the work of blowing them up myself though." She pouted. He stared back, lowering his sunglasses to stare at her. "I'll tell your brother you said hi. I was going to check on Merry tomorrow since she's been sick."

She moaned. "I'll tell him myself and her that you said hi." She disappeared.

Xander sighed in pleasure. "Great. No work I need to do." He slid off the hood, taking his drink with him. "Have fun with the report."

"I should go look for living victims."

"No, I took their three torture victims from them last night." He beamed. "They're fine now." He got into his car and drove off.

The officer huffed but went to check and call the fire department just in case. They got there and stared at the mess. "A large demon." The fire chief just nodded at that. They got to work cleaning up the mess. They found the summoning area and the bodies there. They stared. The officer looked at it when motioned over. "Yeah, they summoned her. She got mad." He walked off again. "Let me know if you find anyone living."

"Only one so far," he admitted. He got someone there to clean up the mess and made sure the rest wouldn't burn, then they went to talk about it at the office. They probably didn't want to know.

The officer went to ask about the torture victims. He wanted to know if they needed more help or could press charges against anyone else.


Xander looked at the growling guy stomping towards him in the woods. "Hey." He waved and went back to searching for the lost dog. He finally found it and picked it up to stare at it. "Okay, pooch. Let's get you back to your human so she can take you to the vet. It looks like you needed an orange vest today." He wrapped his shirt around the dog's pierced chest and the arrow still mostly in it, then looked at the growling guy again.

"My neighbor on the east side lost him earlier." He walked off talking to the dog, who wasn't fighting. Usually the thing tried to look fierce. It wasn't a good sign by any means. "Rachel!" he bellowed in his best field voice. "Found him and he needs the vet!" She came running down. "Whoa! Arrow in him!" She paused then burst out crying.

He carefully handed the dog over. "Around there. Give me the shirt when you get back," he said more gently. "C'mon, let's get you to the car so Nick can take you to the vet." She shook her head. "He's not here?" She shook her head, still sniffling.

"Jacob's home. He's always home. Jacob!" He came to his back porch. "Help!" He came down to help once he had on shoes. "Roger got pierced by an arrow," he said gently. "She's in no condition to drive. I don't want her to crash. That's my overshirt."

"I got it, Xander." He glanced back and took her with him to her car.

Xander looked at his hands, wiping them off on his thighs then shrugged at the staring guy. "What?"

"You're a hunter."

"No, I was a watcher, not a CoH hunter. I hate those guys."

"So you were a knight?" he snorted.

"That was one of my names in the Underground. Unless you're asking about the Knights of Anton guys? They had some who were spawn of former watchers but nah. Those guys hate to fall into battles. They'll handle something locally but not in ways I usually like since they're real brutal to anything that isn't part of it. They also tend to take out normals who realize. I'm not one of them." He smirked a bit. "I'm Xander."

The guy blinked. "The guy from Africa?" he demanded.

"Yeah." He smiled and nodded. "This is my retirement." He grinned. "I already assured the local pack I'd help them protect the town. I only go after things who're attacking innocents or vampires."

The guy blinked. "What if the pack gets attacked?"

"If they need my help they'll ask." He stared at him. "I did offer petting time. Oz really used to like ear scratches some nights when he was changed in the library. I guess the hellmouth gave him nightmares."

The guy shook his head quickly. "So damn weird," he muttered.

Xander winked at him. "Only to really normal people so good news for you there about your mental state!" He grinned and gave two thumbs up.

The guy sighed, rubbing his forehead. "Great. But you won't harm the pack?"

"No. They're peaceful, not attacking people against their wills, nothing like that. Why would I?"

"So many would."

"Yeah, they're CoH and I loathe them. I'm looking forward to getting a reward for ending a few for being genocidal fuckheads."

The guy blinked then nodded. "Good." He walked off. "The arrow was probably shot by one of them."

"Most of them are dead. They summoned a demon and it ate them." The guy flinched and nearly didn't make his next step. "Yeah, but not my doing. And she disappeared so I didn't have to handle it." He shrugged but grinned. "Bad guys go boom as one of my baby slayers said once." He strolled off home. "Hey, Amber," he told Jacob's daughter. "We found Rachel's dog but Roger was kinda injured and Rachel was unable to not sob on him so I had your dad take her to the vets."

"That's fine, Xander. I'll let Mom know. Is someone in your house?"

"I sure hope not." He went to go look, knocking that person out. "Huh. Hey." He grinned and waved when that guy woke up. "What are you doing in my house? By law in this state I can blow you away for being a trespasser, dude."

The buy blinked at him. "Harris?"

"Yeah. Ya think?"

The guy sat up. "We were gathering some of the wrong people in town to talk to."

Xander stared at him. "Tell me more," he said sweetly with a grin. The guy tried to move back. "You try that." The guy got up and tried to hit him so Xander destroyed his ribs. "Now then," he said once the guy was down and moaning and Xander was a bit sweaty. "Thanks, haven't sparred in days, kiddo. Who do you have and where?"

"Two people," he moaned. He whined. "Oh, damn." He looked up. "We only needed one more to talk to. He was going to be one of us."

Xander leaned down. "No. Do I have to translate that?" The guy tried to take a swing at him so Xander stabbed him in the throat. "Yeah, let me unretire for a minute." He looked outside, spotting a guy out for a walk. "Yo, young dude," he called, waving at him. "Can you call the older officer to come pick up this former agent who is no longer one but is kidnaping people?"

The teenage boy he didn't know nodded and called that in immediately. "Thanks! I'm going to be here beating his ass again." He closed the door and laid a kick on the guy. "Where the fuck are they? You tell me I'll let the officer cart your happy ass off."

"I changed agencies," he moaned. "Have a mandate."

"Like fuck that'll go. You know I won't let that happen."

The guy blinked up at him. "You're supposed to be in Cascade."

"That job ended. I moved here permanently." He grinned. The officer stomped in after a quick knock. "This guy, who was Homeland, decided to break in thinking he wanted someone else who was here. They've been kidnaping people. He's got two victims and was looking for a third. Said they'd want to be one of them."

He called his son. "Are you at home?" he asked. He blinked. "Okay." He hung up. "I think he's one of the victims since someone else answered his phone."

Xander smirked. "Let me find out where?"

"I can call agents."

Xander snapped. "So can I." He looked at the guy then patted him down, finding his phone. "Hey, it's Xander Harris. Where should I come drop this guy's body?" He listened. "Yes, that Xander. Hmm. Sure, I'll be right there." He hung up. "They wanted him brought to the next town's K-Mart building." He walked off. "Let me go hunt."

He strolled off, going to do that. He did weapon up a bit. Just enough. The officer saw it too but oh well. He slammed his armory door and locked it then hummed as he headed for the door. He figured out where they were easily enough. He followed their guy back from the official drop off spot. There was most of a unit there.

Two victims that were bloody messes. One he didn't want to save. But he did have ethics....most of the time. So he took the bad agents down. Very, very injured. He had to stab a few, he had underestimated for bullets. He walked into the room they were holding the victims in. "Thankfully I have ethics," he told the young guy when he got glared at.

"They wanted you."

"And they got me in the way they did not want." He grinned. Then he turned and threw the dagger at one of the guys in the doorway. He shot the other two with the held back gun, making a mess. "Pity. I was going to let the officials have you again." He got them untied after retrieving his knife. "Can you walk?" he asked the guy, getting a grimace but a nod. "Not like when you saw me when you were younger?"

"Nah, not like that," he said quietly. "I can limp and we can both lift her."

"I have ethics, which means I'll help get her out of here." He hauled him up, making him wince and wobble. "Your dad's really not amused."

"Yeah, a lot. Often." He helped the girl up. "C'mon."

"I can stay," she growled, glaring at Xander.

"If you insist," he offered. "Not like I want to save you." He walked the guy off, and he hauled her. "Are we going to an ER, kids?"

"Please," she moaned.

"Okay. Padawan?"

"No thanks, Xander." He winced as he moved. "I forgot how much broken ribs hurt."

Xander laughed. "Yeah, I do that same thing." They shared a smirk and he got them out. Officers out there came running over. "Whoa, guys, I'm the rescue committee. She wants an ER." He handed her over. He handed over the other one, getting a dirty look for it. "Your dad's right there."

"I'm fine, Dad."

"Shut up, son," he ordered, coming over. He stared at Xander. "How in the hell?" he demanded.

Xander looked then at him. "I took down a few militia camps too, dude." He grinned. "These supposedly covert guys?" He snorted. "They got put in there because they like to kill things but aren't that good. If they die no one's going to miss them." He handed over the younger guy, who moaned at that movement. "He's got a broken rib."

"Which sucks. I forgot how much that sucks," he complained.

A paramedic took him. "Come on, we'll get you treated," he soothed.

The guy blinked at him. "The last time I saw you, you tried to torture me too! No! I'm fine!" Xander took him back. "Thank you!"

"You're becoming my mini me."

The older officer glared. "Don't even joke about that, Harris."

Xander grinned. "I met him a few years back and he seemed like my padawan and successor then too."

"Hell no!" He took his own son to the ambulance so he could go with him.

Xander strolled off until an officer stopped him. He grinned at him. "What?"

"Who were they?"

"The newest attempt by the government to make a group of sanctioned hunters so they could take over for the slayers." The guy winced. "They all fucking suck at it too." He shrugged. "They wanted me." He smiled. The officer shuddered and let him go. "Let me shower off all the messiness, Officer. I'm retired but I can help with some things if you ask. I'm really good at hunting through the woods sometimes." He went to his car and drove home.

Behind him, the officers were calling in officials from a few agencies to talk about those people and what had happened. And who that guy thought he was. What they learned made them sorry they had asked. The guy was allowed to take out threats to the US. If he used weapons no one was surprised. If he made a mess, of course he did because he was just a normal guy with weird training. If he rescued people, woohoo he still had ethics. Hopefully no one had fed him candy this time or Mountain Dew. There were rumors of Mountain Dew at an event recently.

So no one was happy with that information. Or the clean up.


Stiles looked at his father, shrugging then wincing and holding his ribs. "I hate broken things."

"Then quit getting hurt."


"Not your fault. Who is that guy?"

"Remember that guy I ran into at summer camp in Oxnard?"


"Not *that* guy, the one who saved me."

"Yeah, him." He nodded. "You refused to tell him where you should be so he couldn't return you. You said he was a neat guy." He stared at his son. "Are you turning into him?"

"I think I did that in high school." He sighed. "I really do."

"Yeah, I don't want to hear. Yet." He stared at him. "Should we worry about you two hanging out?"

"No." He shook his head. "He's a good guy, Dad."

"I can tell. His FBI file says not to give him candy and caffeine." Stiles laughed, holding his ribs. "Seriously?" he demanded.

Stiles found his father's phone and pulled up a file to show him why. "I kept track." He let his father see that. His father wasn't pleased and he didn't relax, but at least it made Xander seem more goofy and nice than warrior. "Now he's retired from all that."

His father put his phone up, looking at his son again. "I'm going to yell when you get home."

"Can you yell while I have ice cream?"

"Yes." He sighed, heading off to the nurses's desk to ask when his son could come home. His son was going to drive him nuts. Or more nuts maybe. Stiles relaxed and watched some tv. Unlike his mentor he had no reason to escape the hospital so no one caught him easily.

Chapter End Notes:
if i ever find an end to this, i'd be shocked but happy reading!
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