AN: short chapter – sorry.
AN2: Okay, a little lighter stuff and some Xander (non-bloody) whumping / torture in this chapter – you have been warned.
It had been a full two days since he had come to the Misaki residence in order to help protect Sasami at the behest of Tsunami, and already Xander dreaded waking up – he had entered the house and had enough time to lock down the dimensional door that linked his world and Washu’s lab, before he had been attacked by a rather surprising source; Tenchi had leveled him in hopes of using him as a human shield to keep him from being caught by Ryoko and Ayeka, both of whom had been hit by one of Washu’s older experiments and were looking to jump Tenchi’s bones. Thankfully, though, the effects of the old experiment wore off in a few hours, so Xander was able to get rid of ‘his cowardly shadow’, but he was then assaulted by both Dawn and Sasami, both of whom spent the rest of the evening clamoring for his attention.
He opened his eyes and almost sighed at the now-typical scene in his room – he lay on his futon, dressed in a pair of shorts and socks, and on his left was Dawn, who had wrapped both her arms and legs around his left appendages, while Sasami had done the same, save to his right side, and neither of them were going anywhere until they woke up. Compounding all of this was the giggling he was now hearing in the back of his head from Tsunami, who was often amused to no end by the antics of the two teenaged girls, but those giggles were not alone – standing in his doorway at the obscenely early hour of 6 am, were both Kiyone and Mihoshi, both of them dressed in workout clothes.
“Liking all of the attention, Xander?” Kiyone Makebe, who stood at nearly five seven inches tall, with teal hair and sapphire blue eyes, creamy skin and still with her hideous orange headband, was quite a creature to behold even when dressed down for training, but she also had one seriously demented sense of humor from years of dealing with both Mihoshi and the duo of Ayeka and Ryoko, so he shot her a glare as Mihoshi giggled, “Don’t look at me like that, Xander – we’re ready for training, and you promised to help us out.”
“Yes, I did,” he rasped out quietly, starting to torque his left arm free from Dawn before freeing it and working on Sasami. He’d learned from Ayeka that Sasami had this spot behind her ear that, when stroked, made her release her prey that she had glomped on to n the evening, so he stroked said area and, as if by magic, Sasami let him go, turning over and continuing to snore softly. Xander stood, stretched, pulled on a shirt and grabbed both his shoes and a pair of sweats before walking after the two GP officers to the living room.
“So, Xander,” Mihoshi started out as he pulled on his sweats, “what do you think of this loony bin we call a house?”
“It takes a little getting used to, Mihoshi, but it’s not so bad that I can’t find a reason to like it here.” Sometimes it really hurt to be in the same room with the woman he couldn’t have for another two centuries plus, but while both of them had resolved to not fall in love with each other again, nobody said they couldn’t be friends, “Are you two sure I’m not going to be a burden on your workout schedule?”
“Nah,” Kiyone drawled as he laced up his sneakers, “I need a new sparring partner now that Tenchi refuses to spar with me. Besides, we need to get you up to snuff on some of the things that you’re going to be encountering on the job, and while we’re not doing this officially, you’re safer with us than you are with Washu.”
Xander nodded a this as they crept out of the house, lightly shutting the door behind them before starting their stretches before starting off on a ‘light’ run; he’d woken up after his first night in the home to find himself strapped to the medical bed of Washu, who was dressed once again in her nurse’s uniform, and she was looking for ‘that elusive sample’, but had eventually let him out of the situation to go back to bed, “So, ladies, how has work been?”
“Quiet,” both officers answered in tandem, though Mihoshi with a yawn. Kiyone went on, “Most of the saner criminals avoid the Sol sector like the plague, so we only get the occasional illegal dumper or bandit out here – nothing too bad.”
The first two miles went in silence as they ran through the forests, around the lake, down the road leading up to the Misaki ‘estate’ and then back again, but finally it was Mihoshi who broke the silence with only a slightly puff in her voice, “So, Xander, why not join the Jurian military? Wouldn’t that be easier to help you do what you need to do?”
He just shook his head, “Nope, make it harder. The way I get it, I have to be a citizen to join, and then I answer to my CO – more chances to get taken out of the way; if I work directly for Sasami or Queen Misaki, then its all good.” He was more than a little depressed to hear that, despite the general populace being near the pinnacle of social equality, the ruling parties of the Jurian empire were, quite possibly, the biggest bunch of racist and xenophobic bastards known to anyone, with several notable exceptions – they all respected their emperor, they mostly all liked Queen Misaki, but barely tolerated his Earth-born wife, Funhao, perhaps the most powerful of the bunch with her network of spies and with her heading of most of the major intelligence communities within the Empire.
Kiyone nodded at this, “That’s good to hear – of course, I have to pitch the idea to you to join the GP, right? There’s this other guy from Earth, Sinea Yamada, I think, who just joined and he seems to be doing … well – he has the worst luck of anyone we’ve ever seen, but he’s at least trying, so you could be just as good.”
“You just want to see me in uniform, don’t you, Kiyone?” Xander, for his part, loved teasing Kiyone because of some of the comments she had made about him that had gotten back to his ears (mostly through Sasami, but also from Joyce and Willow), and he took the chance whenever he could just to see if she would turn that rather interesting shade of red she always turned.
Kiyone blushed as Mihoshi giggled next to her, “I’ve seen you in uniform before, Xander, and while it was … inspiring, that’s not the reason why.” She then lashed out an elbow at Mihoshi, who blocked it, “Quiet, you.”
“Come on, Kiyone,” Mihoshi teased, “we all know you sneak looks at his butt more than Dawn and Sasami do.” Xander joined Kiyone in her blush, though more to the thought of Sasami looking at his butt, “I mean, it’s nice to look at, and even nicer to squeeze, but there is no reason to be ashamed of it.”
The next two miles went about as long, but the labor of it was starting to catch up to them as, by the time they reached the house again, Xander had Mihoshi on one shoulder and For several minutes, they sat on the front stoop, catching their breaths, and Kiyone removed her sweatshirt to reveal a t-shirt, Mihoshi doing the same, only revealing a tank top, and Xander … well, he still had on his regular shirt, and while being bare-chested wasn’t a modesty thing around the two GP officers, he wasn’t going to invite trouble … or cat calls.
The silence was broken a few moments later, “So, Xander, ready for a crash course in GP hand-to-hand?” He looked over at Kiyone, who was grinning lightly as she stood up and stretched out, “I promise you I won’t hurt you … much.”
He snorted even as he and Mihoshi got to their feet, “Bring it on, Kiyone – I’m not scared of a girl with no color coordination.”
Mihoshi giggled even as Kiyone mock glared at him, “That’s no WOMAN with no color coordination, Xander, and you’re going to pay for that remark.”
He simply smiled at her and gave her the ‘just bring it’ gesture, “Hop to, toots.”
(3 hours later)
Tenchi watched the door slide open and repressed a grin as Xander limped into the house, dirt covering his back, face and chest, bruises showing, and rapidly fading, on his arms and chest, and as he walked towards the ossen, Tenchi felt obliged, as a member of the male half of the species, to ask, “Are you okay, Xander?”
“Just going to the ossen, Tenchi; if Kiyone ever asks me to help her practice her grappling and immobilization techniques again, and I am sober as I say yes, do me a favor and shoot me to death, please?”
“Aw, did she hurt you, Xander?” Tenchi smirked as Ryoko faded in behind Xander and patted him lightly on the shoulder before walking over and sitting next to him and Ayeka on the couch.
Xander just whimpered in response as he went into the ossen, shutting the door as he did; once he was gone, though, Tenchi cracked a smile as Ayeka chuckled and spoke, “So, how long do you think it will be before Xander realizes that Kiyone has feelings for him as well?”
“Better question is if he’ll survive – I swear she’s part Amazon, Tenchi,” Ryoko shuddered, remembering her last encounter with the teal-tressed GP detective. “So that’s Dawn, Sasami, Kiyone and Mihoshi who want to jump his bones – remind you of anyone we all know, beloved?”
Tenchi winced, “I’m just glad I only have you two – I’m not sure I’d survive all of them.”
The room went quiet and, instantly Tenchi knew he was in trouble as Ayeka arched a purple eyebrow, “Oh, ‘only’ us two, dear? Were you considering others?”
“Of course not, Ayeka,” Tenchi blurted out quickly, forever banishing the idea of any more than two wives from his mind forever, “it’s just that … until I made my decision the other day, I wasn’t sure if _I_ would survive more than you two.”
Ryoko looked over at Ayeka as he tried to think of ways to keep out of trouble, “What do you think, Ayeka? Seven?”
Ayeka shook her head, “Six, maybe a six and a half – not enough terror in his voice.”
Sasami smirked as she chopped vegetables and listened to Tenchi dig himself a deeper hole in the ground to be buried in, eventually; in the back of her mind, she made a mental note to thank Xander for finding that comedy channel on the interdimensional radio he’d given her, and also praised Bill Engvall for the same joke, which passed her lips, “You women are smart – you make us think you’re helping us out of these holes and you’re just handing us bigger shovels.”
“You know, sis, it’s a bad sign when you’re talking to yourself.” Ah, yes, the bane of her existence – Dawn stood in the doorway of the kitchen, covered in dirt from her chores in the carrot patch, and smirking as she slipped off her boots and slipped out of her overalls, “Hearing voices in our head, are we?”
Sasami was half-tempted to tell her about Tsunami taking up more and more frequent residency in her head, but only gave her a cool look instead, pointing her vegetable knife at her, “Don’t even start, sister – I’m just listening to Tenchi dig himself a deeper hole.”
Dawn smiled at this, “Ah, yes, one of the few things that we can both agree on and take pleasure in – how is the spineless wonder?”
Sasami shrugged as she went back to chopping the bok choy she’d picked up the day before at the market, “Alive, if his current predicament counts as alive, and barely afloat.”
Sasami’s grip on her knife tensed even as her sister’s voice spoke Xander’s name with a touch too much honey and _FAR_ too much interest – idly, she wondered if this was how Ayeka had felt when Ryoko had spoke and acted on Tenchi as she once had, “He’s been training with Kiyone and Mihoshi all morning – he’s recuperating, to say the least.”
Dawn winced at this thought, “Poor guy – not even Ryoko and Ayeka train with those two. Well, I’ll see you for lunch – I need a bath.” With that, Dawn went through the kitchen and towards the ossen.
Sasami just smiled and went back to chopping her bok choy for all of ten seconds before part of Xander’s earlier conversation came back to her mind ‘Just going to the ossen, Tenchi…’, “Crap!”
Naturally, it was at this time that there was a scream from within the ossen, several splashes and the sound of someone fainting and hitting the hard wood deck – this wasn’t going to be fun, Sasami decided as she ran into the ossen, which was thick with steam.
Xander, for the fifth time in as many minutes, made sure that his shirt and pants were indeed tucked, buttoned and zipped up as they should have been even as he went to the kitchen for an ice pack for his throbbing forehead, which he had gotten from Dawn’s foot when she had walked in on him in the ossen – she had an amazing reach with her legs and one hell of a kick, too, as he had found out first hand before falling back into the water as she proceeded to faint. He had just wanted a simple hot bath to relax his muscles even as they repaired themselves from the beating he had received from Kiyone earlier, and a dip in the ossen was always the trick to do it, but apparently Dawn had wanted a trip to the baths, too, hence their unintentionally nude meeting.
Sasami was waiting on him, ice pack in hand and a sad smile on her face as she shook her head, “Can’t even take a bath without being molested by her, can you?”
He took the pack with a slight grin towards his ‘savior’, a title had called her from the way she had, fully-clothed, dove into the water to ‘save’ him from drowning, “Thank you, my savior, and I highly doubt that her intentions were to molest me, Sasami – she was … startled, to say the least, by something.”
Sasami turned, but he noticed that her cheeks were red, as were her ears, “Oh, I’m sure about that, Xander – we both were.” He silently cursed himself for not locking the door before stripping down to his birthday suit, but that was the past, he couldn’t change it … and lunch sure smelled good as Sasami went back to the stove, “So, feeling better?”
“Much – you?”
She shrugged and tended her soup some more, “I’ll be okay – I mean, it’s not every day you dive in after your naked bodyguard from downing, after all.”
He chuckled even as the back door was opened to reveal both Kiyone and Mihoshi, both of whom were just returning from their patrol schedule, “How’s Dawn?”
“Recovering – Washu says she’ll wake up in a few hours. Hi Kiyone, Mihoshi.”
“Hiya, squirt,” Kiyone chimed in, walking over and playing with both of Sasami’s pigtails, gaining a mock growl out of the younger girl before she walked over towards him. “Feeling better, Xander?”
“Much. How was work?”
Mihoshi chimed in with a whine, “We got pulled into a security detail! All those crooks saw us coming and turned tail and ran.” Xander walked over and gave her a hug as she pouted, a hug that she leaned into with a sigh.
Kiyone spoke up dryly, “Mihoshi, you refer to the Ruling Council of Elders from Kravisthal as ‘Lords and Ladies’, not ‘crooks’.”
Mihoshi sniffed, “Same difference.” She then sniffed him again, “You’re wearing that cologne I gave you last year?”
Xander nodded, “Yup, it’s nice.” They pulled away from each other and Xander stretched out before putting his ice pack into place again, “So, what’s up?”
“Time for more school, Xander, and Professor Makebe is teaching you some of the finer points of galactic protocol today,” Kiyone smiled at him as she walked forwards, grabbing him by the arm and dragging him out of the kitchen.
As they made their way to the transport pad, he was able to howl out a plea for help, a plea that was cheerfully ignored by both Mihoshi and Sasami, the latter of whom even waved goodbye as Ryo-ohki took her perch upon the princess’ head.
Xander fell into her side as they began to laugh, wrapped around each other as their mirth swelled – they’d been playing each other in front of the others for the past few days and, quite frankly, it was starting to get to her; she liked him, she really did, and if it weren’t for the fact that she was GP and he was working for Sasami, then there might be a chance for some fun there, but that wasn’t going to happen for a while now. In all actuality, Kiyone had known that there was this … thing … between her and Xander about two hours after they met – they just clicked on some level, but not the same one that he and Mihoshi clicked on; by no means was she ‘in love’ with him, but there was that one part of her mind … “Hey, Xander?”
He stopped laughing for a few seconds, “Yeah?”
“Can I ask you a personal question?”
Kiyone sat up a little and looked down at her hands, “Do you think that a guy can love more than one woman, but love all of those women the same?”
“Absolutely, and I’m proof of it, sorta.” He sat up and next to her, collecting his thoughts for a second, and then speaking, “It’s possible for a guy to do that, and visa versa, but they have to be honest with themselves – I mean, I loved Faith, Willow, Buffy, Jenny, Joyce, even Linda, on some level all the same, just like I love all you girls … err … women, here.”
She flushed lightly at that, “And how can you tell if you love them like that or some other way?”
Xander just shrugged, “Not sure – I loved Faith more than I’ll probably ever know, but I didn’t love any of the others any less. Why?”
She just shrugged, “No reason, just thinking.”
He gave her an odd look, “I thought we agreed that you’d lay off the ID reruns of Dr. Phil? Last time you got hooked on that, we spent seven hours confessing sins of the past to each other about crap we’ve never even done!”
She gave him a level look, “I can handle my watching Dr. Phil – I’m not addicted, I only have a … unhealthy interest in watching it, that’s all.” _THAT_ had been something that she’d really wished he’d never walked in on, nearly two months before, and since then he had made sure to lock out her access to the Dr. Phil shows from the years 2003 to 2009, which irked her greatly, “But that fact aside, I was just thinking about it, you know?”
He nodded and leaned back into her side, which caused her to throw an arm around his shoulders, “It’s cool, really, you just have to remember where to draw the line sometimes … and when to say ‘fuck the line’ and obliterate it.” From his tone, she could tell that he had some experience with fucking the line, so to speak, but she kept quiet about it as they sat on the cold floor of the orbiting space craft.
Finally, though, her ass got cold, “Xander?”
“We need to get to your lessons.” She got to her feet and he wasn’t far behind her, “Ready?”
“Only if you wear those cute little glasses of yours while you teach, and those stockings of yours,” he leered playfully down at her tights-clad legs, growling as he did.
She gave him a smirk, “You know, you’d better be glad we’re both leg people, or I’d be vaguely insulted by that.” With that, they went off to the bridge of the ship and into session – they had only a few more days to cover a lot of ground, and not nearly enough time to cover it all.
AN: Alright, people, that’s it. What do you think? Kinda fluffy, I know, and somewhat cheesy in areas, but it was all in the name of good, clean Xander torture. R&R, if you would, AR.