Stripping, he has found he has a skill for magic. Spike comes across him (may be in New Orleans? or that might be a red herring) and Xander takes him home.
They slowly get together when Wesley turns up and then eventually Oz. Some thing happens (dream/message?) and they all end up having to go back to Sunnydale. But Xander glamors them all so they won't be recognised as each as some sort of story / history that means they'd prefer not to be recognised. (many tales of hurt and woe)
Ring any bells?
it is the - Not the only one series by Gypsy Grey - and big thank you for the quick response.