Xander trudged into his home and smiled. The crossover case was done and he was now free of Mac’s questions and hunting. He was just about to make himself something to eat when Hecate’s gift activated and he felt an Immortal nearby. He was good, and didn’t care for The Game, so Xander went back to making his meal. He hoped that he could get used to that feeling of being shocked whenever one was close, he’d hate to end up jerking the wheel in the car and hurting someone.
Frowning when the “buzz” didn’t go away, after a good twenty minutes, Xander went and opened his door and looked outside. He didn’t see anything unusual until he felt a dark and evil Immortal enter the area. Groaning, Xander put on some shoes and took his coat, side arm, badge, wallet and keys. Making his way to where the buzz was coming from, he waited for the pair to finish fighting and so that one person could finish chopping of the other’s head.
“There can only be one.” Was uttered and Xander practically sighed when the evil Immortal was killed. He really didn’t want to kill anyone today, and he could only hope that the guy took the sword and cleaned up the area to make it look like a body dump.
The light show was pretty cool, and Xander stepped forward with his hands in the open when it stopped.
“You ok there?”
“Are you a Watcher?” The tone was dark and Xander shuddered at the thought of being a stuffy old man that became a peeping tom.
“Ick, no. I’m here to help you out right now. We have to make this look like a body dump, so his clothes and everything he has on him has to go. If not, they can eventually track you down and since this is Florida, and Florida has the death penalty, well, we’ll just say you’ll be lucky to live and then not become a lab experiment.”
“What do you want for this help?” The tone was wary, as if it was too good to be true.
“World peace, but I’ll settle for the sword of the dead man.”
“Deal,” With that the pair began to clean up the scene and Xander lead the man back to his place.
“Here, put the clothes into these garbage bags. There’s an incinerator in the industrial park, the clothes can be burned there.”
“Why are you helping me?” The question stopped Xander and he looked over at the jaded eyes watching him.
“It’s rare to have someone help for nothing at all, so that’s why I want the sword. Also, Hecate told me to help the Immortals who crossed my path and that were not evil. I’d rather not find out what she’d do to me if I ignored her words.”
Xander waited for the man to finish watching him and Xander pulled out a knife, watching as the grip on the sword changed. Cutting his hand, Xander showed that he was just a normal human and wrapped the bleeding wound.
“I’m Xander Harris, who are you?”
“I have four guest rooms if you need one. Killing me would be a bad thing, since the cops would hunt you down, but you are welcome to stay as a guest.”
“Thank you.” With that the pair lapsed into silence and Xander watched as the man moved about as if he had been skulking in the shadows for centuries, not simply a few years.
How many lives had this man lived to be this jaded, Xander wondered. He knew history was bloody, and had a feeling that this man could tell him true tales of those times. The fact that Xander didn’t call the man on the bluff of his name, but let the acceptance show in his eyes, was probably a point in his favor.
“What do you do for a living?” The question came out of the blue and Xander blinked for a moment before smiling.
“I’m a ballistics tech, though I love weapons of all kinds. I have a ninth century double headed battle axe at home in Denver. I couldn’t bring it, because it was too heavy, and I was worried it’d get stolen.” The man before him simply stared at him in shock before smiling with a hint of a smirk peeking through.
The pair talked through the meal that Xander was making and Xander learned that Adam was a grad student. He was working on psychological degree and already had a passing knowledge of weapons as well. They talked about The Game and what it entailed. Also, Xander asked about the average lifespan of an Immortal and was sad to hear that it was like Slayers, you could live for one day or thousands. When he mentioned the rumor of someone being five thousand years old, Xander simply smiled and patted Adam’s leg.
“I wish the man the best for living that long, but it must be lonely seeing so many people dying while you stay the same, frozen in time.” Adam nodded and gave a wry smile before heading off to bed.
Xander was glad that the bathrooms were fully stocked and left a note on Adam’s dresser mentioning what times he worked at and how to reach him if he needed the assistance. With that done, Xander went to bed, wondering how this turn of events would screw with his life, and if he could remain away from this Watchers organization.
Two months passed and soon Xander was picking up Team Seven to give the lecture on how to properly do a disposal of evidence for the newly hired ATF agents in Miami. Adam, who was soon known as Methos, had popped around for a few days, the week before, and was headed to Seacouver, Washington to visit an old friend. Xander had waved him off and told him that he wasn’t his keeper, but to give him the number just in case something came up.
Several Immortals had bounced around Miami over the past two months since he met Adam, but that was no issue, hopefully Chris wouldn’t try to interrogate the man who had needed a place to crash after “being mugged”, but he wasn’t counting on it. It was Adam’s idea of a cover story, and Xander simply shrugged and went with the flow.
“Xander, it’s good to see you!” Buck slapped the younger man on the back, and Xander’s smiled turned into a worried frown upon seeing how thin Ezra was.
“Ezra, what happened?”
“His last undercover was hard, since it involved kids as sex slaves as well.” Chris spoke quietly and Xander had to wait until they were at his house before pulling his lover into a hug, one that he probably desperately needed.
“Come on; let’s get you to the house. You could all use a good meal, and I’m sure you all need sleep too.” Leading them to the two vehicles by the front entrance, Xander let the seven split so that they piled nicely into the two hummers and drove as quickly as possible to Xander’s home.
He called dispatch to have the two hummers picked up, and ushered the seven inside and, once the door was closed, molded himself to Ezra and feeling the tremors in the thin frame. Catching Josiah’s eyes, the man went into the kitchen and pulled out the ready to cook meal in the fridge and heated it up.
Xander stepped away long enough to give the men that arrived the keys to the Hummers and went back inside to curl around Ezra and Vin, soothing them as they finally let themselves go after bottling the emotions.
Chris smiled softly upon seeing the three curled together like puppies and leaned into Buck. He hated that the FBI and CIA had wanted to use Ezra for this operation, and he let AD Travis know that they would never get their help again after showing the man the physical damage that the man had suffered. The physical wounds would heal, but now that he was with Xander and Vin, he could heal mentally too.
“Chris, could you bring dinner up to my room? I want to get Ezra showered and into bed. As thin as he is, he’s more likely to catch a cold or cause greater injury since he lost so much mass.” Xander’s voice was quiet, and Chris nodded. He could see that the Southern man was close to falling asleep, and he would feel better if he washed before bed, and ate something.
Letting Xander and Vin deal with the stubborn man, Chris and the others began to look over the house and frowned at the name Adam with a phone number under it. He’d have to ask Xander who he was tomorrow, since Ezra came first tonight. Before he could finish that thought, the phone rang and before anyone could pick up it went right to the answering machine.
“Xander, its Adam; just so you know I’ll be in Seacouver for a good three months, so don’t worry if I don’t stop by. Give your boys a hug and enjoy their visit.” With that he hung up and Xander came down the stairs five minutes later.
“Who was it?”
“Adam?” Came JD’s curious voice.
“Yeah, he got mugged a few months back and I helped him out. Poor guy, lost everything, but his ID was lost like mine, luckily it had just been stolen. He’s pretty cool, I’m seeing if I can get him to help me prank Eric one day. Why? He ok?”
“Yeah, his message said he’d spend a few months in Seacouver.” Nathan’s voice filled the room.
“Okay then, he didn’t have to tell me, but that’s cool; now, the important question, food?”
Josiah laughed and loaded up a large plate and gave Xander a fork and knife for the meal. He also told JD to follow with the juice and glasses. Xander led the way and opened the door, letting JD see that Ezra was bundled up in bed and Vin was trying to keep the man awake.
“Food’s in, come on Ez, you need to eat before sleeping or no fun stuff later on.” JD blushed at bit and shook his head before leaving the room.
“Leave the dishes just outside your door; we’ll pick them up for you.”
With that Xander managed to get Ezra to drink half a glass of fruit punch and about a fifth of the food on the plate. Xander and Vin finished off the rest and left the dishes and the juice outside the door before curling up with their too thin lover. Xander began to hum, and soon the three were sleeping peacefully, waking only to soothe Ezra back to sleep when he had a nightmare. They had been apart too long, and the case had only made it worse.