Pushy Pussheads Trying to Get Their Way.
John appeared back in the gate room on Atlantis in a flash of light with boxes. "Guys, incoming shipment from the main base," he called. They cleared the area and got things to haul boxes to their necessary spots. He got out of the way too. He knew how much stuff had been transported over. "We'll have ten minutes to clear each load," he told the guy in charge of that. "Their gate room was full." That got a nod and he got more people to help. John went up to Woolsey's office, saluting him casually with a smirk. "I'm better."
"Headaches? Bleed through? Anything to worry about?"
"Now and then I'll catch some frustration or something major. Xander hasn't had any visions since then but a reliable otherworldly source said he'd only have the daytime ones in emergencies from now on."
"There's a reliable otherworldly source?"
"Cordelia, the ascended Xander used to date. The one who took both O'Neills and Jackson to help them unscrew what the higher ups had screwed up totally. Before they decided to have us turn to the dark side to take out the overwhelming force of the light," he finished blandly. Woolsey shuddered. "My feelings too." He looked down there. "If that's the third shipment, you've got three more. Plus the personal stuff that got asked for." The guys smiled and got to work again. "Shipment from the main base."
"I heard." He looked him over. "You don't look tanned."
"It's been raining for the last week. We did hit the beach for a bit. Xander wanted to body surf. That was the day my team showed up for a cookout though." He shrugged. "We got a bunch of stuff done. We're good again. Any new traumas I need to know about?"
"Major Lorne wasn't that bad. The scientists tried to ignore him a few times when he called mandatory PT. One tried to have him eaten by a plant sample."
John snickered. "I find a carrot and stick approach work best with the ones who probably complained." He got onto the comm system. "All base personnel who missed mandatory PT will not be allowed any dinner until they do their mandated time. Since we just got new food shipments I'd do it quickly." He hung up. He heard the mass groan and even some of the Marines had to go do PT. He smirked. "I told them the last time that I'd have the cooks withhold sweets." He walked off. "Evan," he called when he spotted him.
"So that's how you do it," he said dryly.
"I told the cooks no sweets if they got stubborn." He smirked.
His second-in-command looked him over. "No tan but he clearly fed you."
"Xander's not a bad cook. Tony's an excellent cook. I'm not bad. You could've come up for the cookout."
"No offense, Sheppard, but I didn't want to see you being cute and cuddly."
"I'm not. Xander is. Xander's dog really is." He smirked. "Muffin's even won over Rodney."
"Damn. Is it a saint in disguise or some sort of mind screwing demon?"
"No, she's a black lab. Bouncy, hyper, a lot like Xander." Evan walked off snickering. "Make sure they're getting their full time in."
"I am. You only have one thing to do today."
"That's cool. Thank you." He looked over when someone whistled, catching a bag that got thrown at him. "Thank you. Didn't realize I had forgotten it."
"Sir, I think you forgot something else," someone said, pointing at the puppy sniffing them all.
"Muffin," he groaned. The dog's head popped up and she looked around until she spotted him, running over for attention. "How did you come with me?" He bent over to pet her.
"The note attached to her collar said that she got beamed up too," one of the equipment handlers said. "'Scuse me, Colonel." John got them out of the way.
Rodney walked in and stopped when he saw the dog. "Did something happen and you're adopting?" he guessed.
"No. She accidentally came with me."
"That's fine. I'm sure we can find her a way back home soon enough." She ran over to sniff him, barking and wagging her tail until he sighed and petted her too. "Fussy dog," he teased.
Woolsey came out of his office. "Did I hear a dog?"
"Somehow Muffin managed to get caught in the beam," John called. He pointed. "The next one off base can take her back to Xander."
"I suppose that's fine but make sure she's outside trained?"
"She is. She's very good at it. Even realized how to move a window to get out one day." He walked over. "Find Teyla, have her pet you." The dog took off running, tongue hanging out of her mouth, tail going full speed. He grinned. "PT?" he asked Rodney.
"I've done mine for the week," he complained. Someone shouted. "I think she's near the labs." He took off running, going to stop the dog from ensnaring any scientist that might want to keep her. Teyla and Radek were petting her. "Thank you for keeping her out of the lab," he said dryly.
Radek smirked. "How did we get a dog?"
"She's Sheppard's step-mutt." He got nudged so he petted her too. "Be good and take Teyla with you so she can feed you." The dog perked up and barked happily until she walked her off.
"Xander's dog?" Radek guessed. Rodney grimaced but nodded. Radek grinned. "She seems nice."
"She's very cuddly. A bit bouncy and she doesn't beg all that often." He went back to work. "Whoever goes out next time can bring her home."
"That's fine." He got back to his own project.
John walked into the mess, seeing the angry cooks. "Not my fault she accidentally got caught up. Feed her potted meat, that's basically dog food in a people can." They snorted but got her some on a paper plate. The dog bounced around until Teyla put it down for her. "Thank you." He looked at Teyla. "Whoever goes out next can take her home."
"She is very lively and very nice to pet." She watched the dog lick up all the food at a speed that not even McKay or Ronon could use, blinking a few times. "I think she was hungry."
"I think she was too." Muffin got done and sniffed, following Teyla instead of him since she was leaving the room. "Bring her back when you're done," he called after her. She smiled and nodded back at him before turning a corner. He shook his head, tossing out the paper plate. "I have no idea," he said at the looks he was getting. "I was beamed up." He walked off, thinking hard at the shields. Xander was already complaining that they fed her potted meat but oh well.
Sam Carter knocked on Xander's door, walking in one of the open wall panels. "Xander?" she called.
"Bathroom," he called back.
"That's fine." She sat down, letting the dog she had brought with her come in to hop onto the cushion next to her. "You're so spoiled," she told her. Muffin barked and snuggled in.
Xander came out. "They called you from Colorado to return my dog?"
"Yup." She smiled. "Muffin was very good. The base's shrink let a few Marines pet and brush her all they wanted since they were missing their pets. She got a lot of walks, wandered around until we found out she was going where she shouldn't, and then spent the rest of the time on Ronon's bed begging for belly scratches."
"She does treat him like a littermate," Xander admitted, bending down to hug his dog. "Thank you for coming back, Muffin." He smiled at Sam. "I can't believe they made you bring her back."
"Of course they did. They threatened to send McKay up but they thought you might warp him too, Xander." Xander gave her a dirty look. She just grinned. "John has been telling dirty jokes for the last two days."
"He was always like that."
"I know but it freaked out some of the new people." She gave the dog one last pet then looked at him. "How are you coming with the metal making stuff?"
"Not too bad, my handwriting's getting better for inscribing too. I made them a few knives, they're easiest."
"I saw John's. It's a good size for a fight."
"Bigger is easier at first up to the point of huge."
She nodded. "I can see why. Are you folding the metal?"
"Yup. That's how the guy taught me. I'm not doing it too many times yet but about four times." He led her out there to let her see the forge. He had watched some native metal workers in Africa and had enjoyed his lessons with the local blacksmith. Colt's journal was safely stored in a fireproof box for when he was ready for it.
She admired the set up, nodding some. "It looks good." She smiled at him. "Kneeling?"
"Sitting on my butt. I can't stand that long. I can get just as much force though."
"Even better." She patted him on the back. "If you get really good and start to sell things, let me know." She smiled. "Let me get back to the base. The higher ups in Area 51 are getting fussy over wondering how your friend Willow does things."
Xander gave her an odd look. "Magic isn't science. Some of it is belief."
"Which is why they'll never get it working, which suits me just fine," she assured him with a huge grin. "Because otherwise they'd be really annoying and I'd have to shoot them."
"If any do get it to work, make them progress up slowly. If you go too fast, you can end up like Willow and addicted to it," Xander warned calmly.
She nodded. "I can make that point. Like any power you need to have some balance and work your way up the learning ladder. Same as any other art you learn." She pinched him on the arm. "Behave. Spoil her rotten for making Ronon laugh in public." She left.
Xander smiled at his dog. "You were so good," he cooed, petting her. She was happy to be back, she lapped him until he sat down laughing to cuddle her.
Tony walked back to his desk, finding something on it. "Boss, is this pile of papers mine or did someone take my desk?" he asked Gibbs since he was at his.
"No, it's yours. The director wanted you to update your personnel records since you have new college credits." He took a sip of his coffee and put the cup down.
Tony looked at him. "I did that last year." He put it off to the side. "Anyway, I'm back."
"Is it stopped?"
"We think the sudden headache problem is stopped unless there's an absolute emergency." Gibbs stared him down. He stared back. "So said his ex, Cordelia."
"The one who came to tell Rosenburg no magic around him?" Tony gave him a smug look and a nod. "Fine. I don't need to know."
"We defeated the plan to make us turn evil so we'd take out the heaviness on the one side, and then we worked on the shields. They work now."
"Even better. Anything else I should hear?"
"John was complaining that Xander's dog somehow snuck off to work with him. She greatly amused his base."
Gibbs shook his head but he was smiling. "I'm sure his CO was amused."
"Not quite but everyone else loved her for the day it took to get someone to take her back home." He looked at the forms. They had post-its next to the places that needed updating. Long live the secretary in HR, she was amazing. "Boss, none of the stuff they marked has to do with education. It has to do with income."
Gibbs came over to look, then shrugged. "No clue, DiNozzo."
"Let me call them," he said, dialing down there. "It's DiNozzo. I came back from medical leave to find a whole lot of things that needed updating in the family and income sections?" He listened. "I was disavowed at a young age. Even then, it doesn't really matter what my family has since we don't talk." He hung up. "Apparently my parents had a car crash, boss." He took a deep breath.
"Going to the funerals?"
"Nope. They didn't want me to be their son. Why would I?"
Gibbs nodded. "Think someone will complain?"
"Nope. They told all their friends they didn't want a son when I was twelve. Screw 'em."
"Fine. Do whatever you have to do and hand those back."
Tony carried them upstairs, because the secretary had said the director had told them to have him update it. He walked in and put it on her desk. "I was kicked out at twelve, Director. Not like they liked me and no one would've left me anything. Beyond that, it's none of their business." He walked off. "There, gone, boss." He sat down, looking at McGee, who was walking in. "How was your weekend, Probie?"
McGee paused to stare at him. "No sleep?" he guessed dryly.
"Plenty of sleep. I got back Friday night." He smirked. "Why? Do I look tired?"
"Just a bit. Abby wants to make sure you won't be mad at her for mentioning your parents died and accidentally telling the director since she was eavesdropping."
"It's fine. Not like they like me and I see no reason to go into that situation." McGee nodded, going to his desk. "Boss, case?"
"We had the weekend off," he admitted. "There's two open in the team but neither are short term. One's a theft ring, one's a call-girl operation."
Tony nodded, walking over to get the files so he could look them over. "Hey, I know her," Tony said at the theft one's photo. "She got my car open once when I locked my keys in the trunk by accident."
Gibbs' head popped up. "Which one?"
Tony held up the picture. "Her, boss."
"She reported the thefts."
"Hmm." He sat down to go over it.
The director walked down there. "It is mandatory that we know your family's history, DiNozzo."
He looked at her. "Since my family history reads 'disowned at twelve', Director, what did you need to know? Not like I have access to anything of theirs and even if they came begging I wouldn't want it." She flinched back. "Other than that, the records were complete. You have my family's history on there. I don't have to update that just because they died. If there's a question about their date of deaths, tell me." He went back to the file. "Boss, I think either had a falling out or she was getting annoyed at lesser people who couldn't do the same job she did."
"Why do you figure that?" Gibbs asked, ignoring the director.
"Because her father's a well known thief and she's publically disavowed him." He looked over. "I think in this case blood was telling and they annoyed her or they just annoyed her."
Gibbs nodded. "We can talk to her." He grabbed his jacket. Tony grabbed his things and walked out around the director. "McGee, pull up the base's personnel lists so we can double check any names she gives us." He sat back down and did that for him. He looked at Tony. "She's looking for an access hatch," he said once they were on the elevator.
"Xander said if she tried to get me to go sex bait people for a job he's having her eaten," he said dryly.
Gibbs smirked. "It figures he's overprotective."
"Oh, he's *so* overprotective, boss. I've seen less protective rottweilers."
"Figures he'd be protective once he got something to hold onto." He got into the car.
Tony got into the passenger's seat, looking at him. "He's always been overprotective. Xander has this need to help his friends and loved ones with anything that's going on. Unfortunately I got that one message from the director the other day." Gibbs gave him a dirty look. "I forwarded it to you."
"I haven't been in my email in days, DiNozzo. What did she send?" he started the car, put it in reverse, then started to back out.
"She wanted me to go to the local office and help them chat up a suspect who liked rent boys." Gibbs braked hard. Tony put on his seatbelt. It was looking like a bad driving day for Gibbs. His boss was giving him a harsh look. He found it in his phone, letting him read it. "He wasn't happy. John wasn't happy and told his general so others could be warned she wasn't above using people."
Gibbs handed back the phone, put the car in forward and sped off. "I don't like that."
"Neither do I. Which is why I forwarded it to Ducky as well so he could have a calm chat with her before I got back."
"Hopefully she's relented then. How is the marriage thing?"
"Not bad. They appreciate my cooking. John takes too long in the shower but Xander's place has three bathrooms. The dog adores me. We got to watch Xander do a lot of work on his forge and made him go sightseeing with us a few times to get him out of the house. He was almost scared that going out would bring some attention to him. We proved him both right and wrong. No demons but two very gay twinks for rent tried to hit on him, making him blush and stammer. John subtly put a claiming hand on his back so they pouted at him for it. Said he was taking more than his fair share."
Gibbs snorted, shaking his head slightly. "Then we went to the Presidio to look around. Xander liked it but didn't want to stay that long. Apparently the spirit that possessed him that halloween had worked there a few times. He knew some of the current people and places." Gibbs moaned. "So we took him to dinner and he was bouncy like a kid in a candy store. We visited the chocolate factory but kept him from buying half the store."
"That's probably a good idea from what I've heard."
"He does get more bouncy than his dog on candy," Tony agreed with a smirk. "John bought a lot and Xander snuck some of them. Candy bars are an underground trading item on his base."
"That's good. Did you go there?"
"He pointed out where it was to us, being subtle, but nothing else. A few of his coworkers came up for a cookout one weekend. Muffin treats one of John's teammates like a littermate. Another is her favorite petter because she has nice nails and the patience to sit and pet her for *hours*." Gibbs let out a quiet snicker. "Then we saw a few other of his teammates when we had to take Xander to the doctor. He had burned his hand, again, and this time it was more than a scald."
"He doesn't use gloves?"
"He does. His tools are supposedly insulated as well. He was moving one and burned his arm by accident. The last time the handle of one got him. He thought it was cooler than it was. He's getting better though."
"That's good. Any other important discoveries?"
"Xander's ticklish." Gibbs shot him a dirty look. He smirked. "He is. John is too."
"I don't need to know that unless I have to take them down some day, DiNozzo."
"Fine." He shifted in his seat, looking around the car. He plucked the bug, holding it up. It was a tracking beacon. Gibbs took it and threw it out the window. "I'll have Abby or someone check it when we get back," Tony said quietly. "Right after I talk with whoever's coming because I filed a complaint when she violated don't ask, don't tell."
Gibbs smirked. "I never took you as the vindictive type, DiNozzo."
"Yes, boss, I am. I'm the most highly vindictive bitch there is." He gave him an evil smirk. One that would get Dean to try an exorcism on him. "They have a copy of the email as well."
"Good. Any other news I should hear?"
"The SecNav called Friday before I boarded. He wants me to switch to Homeland to help Finn's group. I told him in great detail why I would not, including about their past. I also gave him the name of the remaining files and where they were. He left me a voicemail while I was flying saying that he agreed, but we could make a new unit. I gently declined once I heard that. I warned Fornell too. He agreed, and turned it down because they wanted him to be over it." Gibbs groaned, shaking his head again. "Exactly. Then I pointed out I'm already in federal service and my coffee addiction was being fed at NCIS better. Plus I wouldn't want to be one of those agents who turns into a credit-stealing asshole. He snorted but said I probably wouldn't. You had trained me right. I told him if he had me switched, I'd quit."
"Did he give up?"
"I don't know. John got the same sort of call from one of the higher ups in the Pentagon. He called Landry in on a conference call when he heard who was calling. Because he's on a secret project. The other higher up wasn't happy. I'm expecting O'Neill to show up any day now to beat the snot out of that one."
"He showed up again last night sometime. For some reason Abby got told."
"Hmm. He had been on special assignment helping Cordelia unscrew things like the plan to make us take out the heaviness on the light's side."
"How?" Gibbs asked quietly.
"The visions and other things were going to start getting worse. Xander was going to end up snapping and going after them. We'd either help or try to stop him, getting us all taken out at the same time. They had no idea that Xander knows explosives and battle tactics. They didn't want to know that he knew explosives and battle tactics. Or that the bonding thing started by the aunts was the higher ups being pushy to start their plans. Because they wanted an absolute balance and it's not possible."
"I doubt it ever was."
"Before there were people," Tony offered. "After there's people it'll come again. But now Cordelia's apparently slightly in charge. Or part of the team in charge. O'Neill was helping straighten things out by what she told Xander earlier."
"So you can still hear him?"
"When I want to or he wants me to. We're fully shielded against each other. It'll fall if he's in danger but John and I made sure ours would stand up so he could feel it but not interrupt again. We've got it covered and the visions were stopped, boss."
"Good." His phone rang. He looked at it then answered it, still driving one handed. "What?" He listened. "No, I can't, sir. I'm going to question a suspect." He hung up. "The SecNav wants to talk to both of us about the new unit the government is starting."
"I don't want to...." Tony took his phone and called him back on *69. "Sir, Tony DiNozzo. I don't really feel like I want to go kill demons and vampires every day for the rest of my short career before I turn into an alcoholic. I'm sorry you want me to become a mass murderer of the other side, but that's not who I am. Yes, sir, you don't trap them like in the movies. You don't banish most of them unless they're ghosts. You kill them. They end up bodies or piles of ash or goo.
"I don't feel like being a long-term hunter that way and I'll be damned if I want to take the risk and slip to hunting humans the same way when I get overloaded. That's why I'm not hunting now," he finished firmly. He listened to the complaints. "Sir, if I had wanted to go that way, I would've had the full support of my extended family. Materials, research help, all that. I don't feel like being what amounts to an assassin. That's why I'm a backup for apocalypses only. I'm sorry if you think I do." He listened then he snorted, shaking his head.
"Sir, politely, fuck yourself. If I wanted to go be a hitman, I'd be taking out evil bastards who hurt others and get paid a lot more than NCIS does. Since I haven't yet.... Well, let's just say that there's no way you'll get me there. I went against orders and ran into Homeland when I had to stop Finn's group. I nearly went to jail over it then. I will do the same now, sir, and I have five years of federal service so they can't make me switch anywhere. I don't care what plan you cooked up with some senators.
"For that matter, you might check with Director Sheppard since she's disrespecting my forced marriage to one of my cousins thanks to the aunts, and wants me to go sex up terrorists for her. Another thing I'm not going to do. Now, is there any other plan or plot that I should be aware of that includes any part of my body?" The other man said something coolly.
"That's fine, sir. I can give you my two weeks at the same time I talk to a lawyer since we were *forced* together to start it off. Even if the director did try to take advantage of that. No, I'm fairly content right now even though my forced spouse is on the other coast. You know what? You want a report on that, go to General Landry, sir. My aunts got one of his people too by drugging us and locking us in a room then doing spells on us.
"Now, is there anything else I need to counter before I call my lawyer? I've already got two breaches of federal regulations and trying to make my life a living hell. Oh, sir, I'm the original vindictive bitch. Every single day. Don't believe me, ask Abby about the last one." He hung up. "So, I might be moving out by San Francisco, boss. You can come visit with the team."
"Calm down. They can't do it against your will, DiNozzo."
"Ours, boss. He said you were going to be leading this new unit. That way I wouldn't lose your leadership." He called a number he had. "Daniel, Tony DiNozzo. No, huge problem here in DC. The SecNav has decided to set up a hunting unit against our wills and is threatening to transfer us without our consent there. Including John. I know he got a call from someone recently and had to conference in Landry because they were trying to go around him. Yeah, and I'm not doubting that they're going to be mining your project for helpers. So you might want to warn someone. Thanks, man. No, I'm going to sue," he said bluntly. "If I had wanted to be a hitman against demons I'd already be doing it." He hung up and relaxed. "There, he'll pass that around."
Gibbs gave him a few worried looks. "That won't stop him."
"It will stop him. Landry's project is presidential oversight only." He emailed something from his phone to Daniel's email account. He was probably online at the moment. "That file will make sure of it."
Daniel hung up and took a deep, calming breath before he screamed and ranted. He didn't want to hunt demons! He heard his computer chime and moved to get the new email, printing it out without reading it. He didn't need or want to know. He walked it up to the general's office, walking in after knocking lightly. "Here, Tony DiNozzo said to give this to the president to make him stop the SecNav's idea about a new hunting unit that he's trying to force others into. Including some of us probably. He's livid and about to go off."
General Landry read the email and shuddered. "That's probably going to be counted as blackmail."
"His name's not on it. I'm pretty sure he won't like it when he finds out how many of his friends and cronies are listed, especially since most of the pushy ones are on it. Probably to get out of whatever deals they made for power." He smiled. "If they come for me, I'm siccing Jack on them, General. I'm not going to hunt demons."
"Sheppard said the same thing when they tried to talk him into it." He picked up the red phone then faxed the list over. "Sir, General Landry. Some information just hit my desk in regards to those people who are trying to steal some of my best people for the new demon hunting squad the Secretary of the Navy and others are trying to start. Yes, that fax is from me." He listened while he read it over, hearing the muttered swears.
"It's mostly felt by those mentioned as joining the unit that they don't want to or they'd already be doing it. It's the instinct of some of my people that the pushy ones on that list are doing so to get out of their deals. I can have someone ask to see if there is a way out of it for them but I need my people, sir." He smirked. "Someone's already tried to get around me to get Colonel Sheppard, sir. He conferenced me in because they tried to do an end-run around me. The others in that...situation are about as livid."
"Tony said he's the original vindictive bitch and he's suing for that and breaches of other federal laws," Daniel said with a smile.
"Yes, sir, that was Jackson. He got it from DiNozzo. Email actually. I'm holding the only paper copy in my hands, sir."
"And I'm not erasing it," Daniel told him. "Let them try to move me and I'm going to 20/20. I'm sure a good reporter would love that story." He walked off.
"That was Jackson, yes, sir. He's not pleased either and I'm sure he's going to tell the others on his team, present and past, so they can be just as unpleased. That's fine, sir. I'm hoping you can stop them before someone ends up doing something rash like outing them perhaps or even making it so that *other* project was known about since they're in Homeland Security. Wouldn't want them to look bad, sir."
He smirked. "Exactly. Sir, we have a unit to take care of those issues. They're in Cleveland," he said bluntly. "They've been specially blessed to be able to do that job. I hope their base's shrink is very good since I'm told it's like the eternal hell of being in Vietnam to hunt all the time. No, sir, I doubt DiNozzo or Sheppard would like to be paranoid, have to kill things every day at the very least, have to roam to do so effectively, and get no pay for it. If they were that sort, they would've become assassins." He smirked.
"Exactly, sir. Which is why I'm bringing it to you before you have a blow up out there and I have one here from some of my people. Because my people deal with enough strange crap daily without demons." He hung up when the president started to shout at his secretary to get him someone. Landry looked over the list. "That explains so much." He shredded it. Daniel would keep a copy he was sure. It would make oversight hearings go faster.
Gibbs and Tony were let into the conference room they had been ordered to go to, nodding at the various people in there before they sat down.
The president looked up from his note reading. "DiNozzo, do you think the slayers would station one here in DC?"
"No clue, sir. I don't work with them."
"He fell back to backup support when the killing got to him. He's making weapons." He put his knife on the table. "Blessed, very handy, and he's getting better. It was one of his first ones."
"It's very heavy," Gibbs said. "But handy. Keeps a good edge. Keeps Rosenburg from getting him again."
"Who can we talk to about getting some of that protection for the White House and Congress?" one of the secret service agents asked.
"There's a coven in Devon who're the higher sorts," Tony told him. "They're the ones Willow got sent to when she went off the deep end in her grief and backsliding addiction."
"Devon...." the agent asked.
"England. They worked with the old Council." He nodded, making a note on his PDA. They'd find one somehow. "Since you'll have to talk to Rupert Giles about posting a slayer here, you might ask him that too," Tony said. The agent made another note then looked at him. "He's the head of the council."
"Good to know," the president said. He tossed down a folder. "That look like your complaint form, son?"
Tony looked through it then nodded, sliding it back. "Yes it does."
"It's been solved. She knows that you were forced. Drugged and forced if I read right?" Tony nodded. "Is that an ongoing problem?" Tony stared at him. "I'm worried about Sheppard mostly. He's in a sensitive area with access to higher powered weapons."
"It came down to a point of Xander having visions and being unable to shield them from him and John thanks to that incident," Gibbs told him. "We had to send them to resolve the situation by finishing it so they could shield. Since Sheppard was starting to show some brain changes from the visions it was thought to be the only way."
"That's fine. I don't care if he's as gay as all of San Francisco, Gibbs. You know that about me." He looked at Tony. "She has been stopped."
"Are we sure, sir?" He tossed down his phone after getting into a new email. "That was a few hours ago. I sent back a polite disagreement since I was on a case in the field at the time she wanted me at that hotel."
He read it and nodded. "I chewed her a new one since then. About that and your family. She has no right to poke into either situation." He slid it back down to him. "If she tries again, I'll be firing her. Then you can sue her and not us," he finished smugly.
"It'd make me happy to let Xander make her cry like he did some NID agents," Tony said dryly, getting comfortable. "May I?"
"I'd rather he stay on that coast. From what Finn and his people's files said he seems to draw them to him?"
"For the longest time Xander drew every evil girl to him, sir, but he didn't when we made him leave the house while we were out there working things out."
"That's good to know."
"He was in to hand over those NID agents and he didn't then," Gibbs told him.
"Even better. Like I said, I don't care. It was explained to me that it was arranged by someone other than you three. That you got accidentally included and that the aunts were horrified that his visions were going to destroy all three of you. You had no choice in the matter, DiNozzo, and we don't hold that against you. The hunting things, you're on for apocalypses?"
"The bad ones that the slayers need to call in support for. Personal ones that Xander or John might be facing."
"Even better. I've read you file and seen you on a few cases. I know you're not like them. The hunters that were talked to were harder, more practical sorts who were 'the job is a duty' and all that. You're not that way. I realize some of them got into it because they were hurt by demons." Tony nodded. "That makes sense to me. Plenty of officers and agents ended up that way for the same sort of reason. I don't blame you for not being that way."
"That unit?" Gibbs asked.
"Fully shut down the idea, Gibbs. The ones who were getting pushy were warned that we knew about their deals as well. A few are going to be retiring next year." He gave him a smug look. "I don't want anyone sucking down demon sperm in my government." He looked at his agents, taking something from one of them. He tossed it down to Tony. "From your family's lawyer. The judge did say that they couldn't do that. You're family and had to be left something. There's a hearing next week. That's their proposal. If you want to argue, call them."
"I could care less about them," Tony admitted.
"But money is always helpful to have," the president noted.
"Sir, Xander just inherited from his fiancee who died in the battle at Sunnydale. She was a vengeance demon for over a thousand years." The president shuddered. "She lost her power center and got rehumaned as he put it. He stood her up at the altar, she got her powers back, then lost them again because he had made her have a conscience for the first time since she had changed over. She had been the beneficiary of a few other higher demons who died."
"So, your cousin has a good bit of cash laying around him?" the president guessed.
"Mostly it's invested. Anya was a whiz with them. She loved nearly nothing as much as she loved money. The others had their own. Plus some antiques he has no idea what to do with and a few other things. If I'm that needy, I can ask him to lend me some. My parents made themselves plain."
He nodded. "That does suck but the judge said so, DiNozzo. Can't argue with him fully." He smirked. "Beyond that, there's some people who want into your father's files." He stood up. "As of right now, you are still NCIS. Those complaints were taken care of, and if you need to file another one make sure one of my agents is told so they can inform me. That way I can find a new one. Anything for the cause is one thing but you don't destroy your assets to get it." He walked out with his agents guarding him.
Tony looked in the envelope then handed it to Gibbs. "Don't need it. John has plenty, I make good money, Xander has money." He stood up. "But I can spring for a burger, boss. Want one on the way back to celebrate?"
"I could eat," he agreed. Tony walked out. He looked in the envelope, shaking his head. He joined him at the car. "You should tell them in case it becomes news." He tossed the envelope back to him. "That way they're warned."
"Xander might go protest that my parents were mean. I don't want to make it seem like I'm pouting. Because I'm not." He slid in. Gibbs got in to drive. They headed for the nearest burger place that was on the way back to the office. They still had paperwork to do.
"Family drama station, which dysfunction is your preferred sin?" Xander quipped into the phone. "Yes I do answer my phone that way, General, because I have caller ID." The general snickered. He listened to what the general wanted. "I'm not that good yet, sir. I'm barely into my seventh month of working on things. I have a small amulet I'm working on but I'm not that good. Yeah, my handwriting has gotten better since then. I guess I can. Who needs it? Ooh." He considered it.
"I can do that. It'll take me a few days to finish it for him. In return can I ship Daniel Jackson some photos and have him explain to me what I'm supposed to do with my former girlfriend's stuff? I have no idea what to do with the antique stuff from when she was alive the first time. No, she kept some of her hut's things for remembrance." He smiled. "No, she was Norse. Thanks. I figured he might have a clue if they were worth anything to anybody but me.
"Because I have no idea. They're in a closet and the lawyers are getting uneasy with it being up there for some reason. Thank you, sir. I'll get to work on it in the morning. I need to get a small bit of silver for it." He hung up and went to find his shoes. Muffin raised her head. "Going to the jewelry store." She put her head back down because she couldn't go there. He walked out to his car, driving into the city to find the store he needed. He finally got there and parked, walking inside. "I need stuff to make a runic amulet," he said with a smile.
The worker behind the counter wasn't one he dealt with usually. "Are you a designer, sir?"
"I am. I do some metal work as well. I need enough for a decent sized pendant and some light silver wire to do the design in."
"About how big?"
He considered it then took a sheet of blank paper to draw it out on. He had to redraw it because one of the marks wouldn't fit. "That big."
She took it into the back to find what he needed. "Silver for the pendant or something else?"
"Something pretty that the silver runes won't show up too much on or that's a total contrast so it looks pretty. It's for someone who's going through a pagan ritual."
She nodded, keeping her opinion to herself. She found a few pendant blanks that might look nice against silver and a few others that could be helpful. She brought that and the tiniest silver wire she could find out to him.
He looked at the wire. "I can thin that later." He looked at the pendant blanks. Then he shook his head. "How about a chunk of this metal," Xander said with a point. "And the chain to go on it with the little connecting ring?"
She gave him an odd look. "You fully make your own?"
He nodded. "I've been working on smaller pieces. I started out with learning how to make knives. I love my sharp and pointy collection. They make good presents too since so many of the family are hunters."
"I guess that would be helpful in the woods," she decided. She went into the back to find the metal samples. She found a few, bringing them out. He took the biggest one. They looked at chains and he pointed at one. "Male or female?"
"Male." She got the bigger version of the chain for him. He paid and took it with him.
"How very strange," she decided. "We didn't have those sort of strange things in LA."
Xander looked up as the doorbell rang. "I'm out back," he yelled. Daniel came around the house. "I need about three more minutes to attach the last rune."
Daniel sat down to watch him. It was exacting work with a very tiny soldering iron and a magnifying lens. Finally it was done and sprayed down from a bottle that said saline solution then rinsed and wiped off. Xander handed it back. He smiled at it. It wasn't delicate. None of the runes could come up. They were firmly anchored. The pendant had that handmade look of pounded metal. The chain was nice as well. He smiled. "That's a beautiful job. What are the runes?" Xander handed over his research notes so he read them over, nodding. "Very useful as well. Thank you, Xander."
"You're welcome," he said with a grin. "Want the pictures?"
"What sort of artifacts did she leave?"
"She had a whole storage area full. She moved it with her. Right now it's been linked into the closet in the old working area by the demonic law firm she used for her will." He got up and walked him that way, the dog following.
"Are there any special requirements to make sure the necklace works? I know John was complaining that every time he got blood on his knife it worked better."
"It should work without anything like that but be delicate if you're cleaning it for a while to make sure none of it comes off."
"I can do that. I can also put a cover over it?" Xander nodded. "That'll work best then probably."
Xander smiled. "I can attach a metal cover, Daniel. Not an issue. It'll make it look more like a locket."
"No, I have a medicine bag that someone gave me back during a dig while I was wokring on my Masters. I'll put it with that around it too."
"That might not work," Xander warned. " Medicine bags are for specific purposes."
"Good point. I'll figure one out without making it look too girlish."
Xander smirked. "A filagree or a cutout cover might look pretty."
"But too girlish." Xander grinned at him. "I know. Half the universe thinks that I'm Jack's girlfriend anyway."
"Cordelia said so too." He opened the door, letting him see the piles of stuff.
"Is this endless?"
"I don't think so. If it is, I know where her shoes went whenever she was looking for them."
Daniel shook his head, getting into the stored things. Some were artifacts. Some were relics. Some were simple things that were probably from her first home with her husband. He knew some colleges would gut each other for them in a display. Some other things were simply...odd. And a few sex toys. He put those aside carefully. The rest of the things got pulled over to look at. Some boxes were full of cobwebs and clothes. Some had other things. He found a few books. One he was interested in even. Then he got into the third to last box. Yeah, that's why he was here. The other two got lesser look throughs. Mostly household stuff. This one though. "Xander?" he asked. He came in from the kitchen with a glass of water for him. "Thanks."
"I saw the cobwebs." He sat down in the center of the piles. "So?"
"There's some colleges that would kill for some of this stuff. This box, can I have a deeper look?"
"Sure." He grinned. "I can make dinner. Muffin seems to like you." He pointed at where the dog was staring at the box.
Daniel looked then in the box. "She's trained to fight demons?"
"Help track, harass."
"That's good to know." He went back to looking through the box. That's what she was staring at. He put the small metal and cloth box down in front of her, watching the dog inch closer to sniff it then growl. "What's in there?"
Xander looked. "That's some of her special jewelry. I know the ring I gave her was in there." He took it to carefully open, looking inside. There were three rings, one set of earrings, and a necklace. He held that one up. The dog's growls got louder. He looked at her. "It's all right. It won't attack us. You can help me if it does." He held it by the chain, letting it swing in the breeze through the house. He could feel something off it. "I don't totally know why. It almost feels like there's something embedded."
Muffin came closer to growl at it. "I don't think she likes that," Daniel said.
"I'm not sure what it is." He put it back, looking a the rings. "Must've been her first husband's and whoever she wooed in the Middle Ages who was just as mean as she was." He grinned at Daniel. "She said that he went into vengeance too but he didn't last too long. He was mean and nasty but got tired of his area pretty quickly when it wasn't as fun as doing it by hand."
"I know some psychopaths probably feel the same way."
"Yeah, he seemed a bit serial killery to me too." He closed the box. Muffin laid down to stare at it again. "What else is in that one?"
Daniel pulled out the rest of the contents. One thing got a heavy growl from Muffin so he handed that over. He didn't want to deal with demons or demon things.
Xander looked the box over. There was an obvious latch with a needle underneath it. He used a pencil to open it and look inside was something that was making Muffin's hair stand up while she snarled. He looked at her. "Easy." He used the pencil to hold up the bracelet. "It's a power center," he realized. "I don't know for who." He put it back and shut the box again. The needle retracted. "Giles should probably get that one." He looked up as the large, horned demon appeared. "Hey, D'Hoffryn. Whose was that?" The dog was guarding them very well. She was trying to get between them and the big, red demon.
"Halfrek's from her first job." He stared at him. "Don't play with those. I won't put up with you being one of mine, Harris."
"I'm going through Anya's stored stuff she left me," he said dryly.
He looked then shrugged. "She has more on the demon plane." He snapped a finger, linking it to the same closet. "Don't let Rosenburg get that either. She'd be good but very hard to control." He disappeared.
Xander grinned at the snarling dog and the confused anthropologist. "Anya's former boss."
"I guess that makes sense." He got into the new stuff. Xander's two metal boxes got put off to the side, with the dog guarding them. Daniel went through the boxes more carefully now. He found a few things had money tucked inside pockets and other pieces of minor jewelry. It looked like Anya had put complete outfits together and had boxed them up that way.
Xander though, his newest box had the more modern things. "Damn," Xander said when he came to something. "Shiny."
Daniel looked at the silver box that was highly polished yet looked like it had been held many times. "Cigarette case?"
Xander opened it. "Nope, her credit card stash."
"That would get you in trouble if you tried to use it."
"Half of them are in my name," Xander said dryly, holding up a few. "I wondered why I got a list of passwords."
Daniel gave him a funny look. "Did you let her do that?"
"No." He smirked. "That would've gotten between her and her shoe and bra shopping."
"No offense, but I hope I never date a girl like Anya was."
"I doubt there's many more of them," he sighed. "Otherwise the aunts wouldn't have had a chance."
"Maybe," he said diplomatically. Personally he thought Anya sounded like a money grubbing shrew at times. He went back to looking. "More clothes. How many outfits did she need?"
"For over a thousand years?"
"Good point." He smiled. "There's a clothing museum in New York City."
Daniel nodded. "You might ask them. I don't know if they might take it or not." Xander made a note of that. Daniel watched as the dog batted at the pencil when it started to write on its own. "Helpful," he said when he realized what it was writing. Account numbers, passwords, and credit balances on the cards.
Xander looked. "One's linked to her investment account. She must never use that one." He put the card case behind him and went back to looking. "Hmm, demon weed." Daniel stiffened. He held out the baggie. "Safe for people."
Daniel sniffed it then sneezed off to the side. "Are you sure about that?"
"Yup. She tried to get me to smoke some once."
"Xander, you're not exactly the average guy," he pointed out gently. "Especially not with what you've been exposed to," he added at the hurt look. Xander shrugged but Daniel would be taking that back with him. Maybe it had other properties.
Xander opened a box and closed it just as quickly. "Shit." He put it beside him. Daniel looked at him. "Her working library as a witch." He got a nod for that. He kept going, finding a few other things that should be guarded by the dog. Who was happy to help her human.
Xander walked into the Council building in Cleveland, looking around. He had left just before Giles had bought this place. "Paint, needs paint," he muttered as he walked. The hallways were paint chipped and flaking off. "And lead paint tested," he reminded himself. He found the receptionist, staring at her for a moment. "Vi, where's Giles?"
She jumped. "What are you doing here?" she asked, looking guilty.
"I was going through Anya's stuff and found some stuff he needs to lock up away from everyone and Willow."
"Oh!" She nodded. "He's in his office."
"Third floor. Elevator's behind me."
He smiled. "Relax, Vi. I'm the same Xander I was before, only now I'm happier."
"And gay and married," she said dryly.
"Yes and they're fantastic, not evil, and only mean when they tease," he shot back, making her look horrified before she giggled, trying to hide it. He smirked. "My dog's bouncy too." He walked to the elevator, finding Faith coming off. "Escort me, beauteous one?"
She jumped, staring at him. "X?"
He held up the box. "From Anya's stuff. It needs to be deep sixed into a special anti-magic vault."
She looked inside the box. "That bad?"
"Yup." They got onto the elevator together. "Vi looked totally guilty about something."
"She's goofing off to meet a boy." They got off and she led him to the office, waving at a few people who started to come out. "Tweedy, visitor," she called before opening the door.
Xander winked. "You can come see." She shrugged and came in, closing the door behind them. Giles stared at him, mouth slightly open. "Paint, Giles. And check for lead paint too."
He cleared his throat. "I hired a contractor but they were unsatisfyingly bad." He took off his glasses. "Why are you here? Is there an emergency?"
"Anya's former stuff."
"Oh!" He came over to look inside the box. "How much did she have stored?"
"She had *tons* of stuff. Nearly literally once we got the stuff from D'Hoffryn that he hadn't handed over. He did say to keep a few things from Willow. Like this one." He held it up, opening the box. Faith started to scratch. He grinned. "It was Halfrek's from her first vengeance job. He said Willow would be hard to control."
Giles closed the box gently. "I dare say she would be," he agreed. He looked through other things. "What's this one?" he asked, pointing at the obvious jewelry box.
"I don't know what she put into the necklace but it feels possessed. I'm not sure if it's memories or what. The box on the bottom is a pair of cursed daggers. They had an auction tag. They belonged to her second husband." Giles gave him a strange look. "She had one during the Dark Ages that was basically a bit psycho."
"I've met people like that," Faith admitted, coming over to look at them. "Pretty and shiny," she said, staring at the daggers.
"Yeah but cursed to kill the owner somehow." She wasn't touching them. "Plus we found some old clothes, some of the stuff she had in her house when she was originally mortal." Someone came in. "Hey, Buffy. Stuff from Anya."
"Wow." She came over to look. "Shiny."
"Cursed," Faith said quickly.
"Okay." She didn't touch them. "What's that?" she asked, pointing at the metal box.
"Halfrek's first power center from her first job."
Buffy opened it to look at it. "It's nice."
"D'Hoffryn said to keep it away from Willow. She'd be hard to control as one of his."
She looked at him. "Yeah, I'm sure he'd kill her quickly for babbling." She shut it. "So just a vault drop?"
"Yup." He smiled. "Then I'm off to take the clothing pictures to the museum in New York. Daniel took the household stuff to a museum person he knows so they could display it. That way others could enjoy looking at her things. And even pay to look at them."
"She'd be pleased," Buffy admitted with a small smile. "How are you doing?"
"I'm okay. It's not real bad right now. It's raining so I can't do anything on the forge but otherwise it's cool." He grinned. "I'm okay. I'm liking the forge working stuff. It's calming. Like meditation but you're working on something that's useful at the same time."
"I can get that kinda. I have meditative katas I do." She looked at the other stuff. "Very pretty."
"No, pretty was I found her credit card box." She moaned. "And half of them were in my name."
She giggled. "It figures." She gave him a hug. "Can you stay for dinner?"
"I don't have to hit New York until tomorrow and my plane doesn't leave for a few hours," he offered. "Then I've got a wonderful room up there that has spa stuff." She moaned. He grinned. "C'mon, I can tell you how much my poochie growled at all that stuff. She spotted it faster than Daniel did."
"The same Daniel that was helping Cordelia? I heard from her," Faith said.
"Yup, same guy. He kinda works with John."
"That's cool," Faith decided. "Is he good?"
Xander smiled. "I never had Daniel but John's fantastic and ticklish." She laughed, batting him on the arm. He smiled at Buffy, who was giving him a strange look again. "And he's good in other things."
"Tony's a great cook."
"Even better. Can you cook at all?"
"I'm not wonderful but I can feed myself and follow basic recipes." He smiled at Giles. "Want to hit dinner with us?"
"Let me store these safely away. Willow's away right now."
"I heard." Giles nodded once. "Tony told me she stopped in to apologize to him for spreading that news for him."
"That was good of her," Giles said. He put the box into his personal safe and grabbed what he'd need for a night out at dinner.
"Want hellmouth adjacent or non-adjacent?" Buffy asked, taking his arm. Xander grabbed Faith too, making Buffy happy.
"Non adjacent if possible. Just so Tony quits worrying."
"I thought the aunts gave up for a bit," Giles said, staring the younger man down.
"It had to be completed so my Cordelia-like visions wouldn't rip their brains apart too," Xander said dryly. "Whole long story there that I'm not allowed to tell on orders of Cordy."
"Is she speaking for the Powers?" Buffy teased.
"No, she now is apparently one of the Powers." Buffy and Faith both gave him horrified looks. "Let's just say that the bonding was one of their brilliant plans." Both slayers shuddered. So did Giles. "But it's fixed now."
"Cordy being in charge is fixed?" Buffy asked.
"Hey!" a disembodied voice called. "I'm very good in charge, thank you!"
Faith looked up. "If you say so," she said dryly. She looked at Xander. "Hanging around with her again?"
"Xander, do *not* go near the hellmouth," Cordelia's voice called. "I don't want to watch it try to cuddle you like you do your dog. There's a reason Tony's worried after doing research." The voice and feeling of heaviness went away.
"So I'm thinking way non-adjacent," Faith decided. Buffy nodded quickly. "The pub?"
"Way too close. It's only ten blocks."
"There's a charming shop I like to eat at by the college," Giles said. "I'll drive you all there." He walked them down, taking Xander's rental keys from him. "So you don't get lost accidentally." He got in and was attacked by a tongue. "Oh, dear lord," he said, jumping back out. The dog followed, letting him see her.
"Muffin," Xander sighed, petting her. "Did you get lonely in the ten minutes?" She barked and sniffed the women, nuzzling Faith's leg.
"Hey, poochie," she said, petting her. "Buffy, this is Muffin the wonder-mutt."
"She's a lab," Xander reminded her with a grin. "Trained to hunt demons."
"That could help you, yeah," Buffy decided.
"She guarded some of the stuff in that box very well," Xander assured her. He climbed into the back with Faith. Buffy and Giles took the front. The dog licked Giles again, getting a small smile back. "She's very friendly," Xander told him. "As long as you're nice. Buffy, if you squat down around her, she might knock you over. She's still doing it to one of John's coworkers."
"That's cool. As long as she doesn't hump my leg."
"She hasn't done mine yet," he said blandly, cracking Faith up. His phone rang. "What's up?" he answered then smiled. "Cleveland dropping off some stuff Anya left me. Sure. We're going to dinner. Um...."
"Medici's," Giles said.
"Medici's. Then I'm flying to New York later so I can spoil myself rotten and hit the clothing museum tomorrow. Then home, yup. Why? Well, I could stop in on Tony." He smirked. "If you want. I'll meet you there tomorrow afternoon then. Laters." He hung up. "John," he explained at the curious looks the girls were giving him.
"That's a hell of a flight," Faith said.
"Not his way." He grinned. She pinched him on the arm. The dog barked at her. "I know, but she's not usually mean to me. You can convince her to be a good puppy too." Muffin shifted over to lick Faith until she gave in and petted her.
Faith tried to get away. "No more tongue abuse!" she said, petting the dog's ears. That settled her down. "I'll be a good bitch." Buffy was snickering. "You should get her later," Faith told the dog.
"I popped in for all of two minutes to pick up something from his library. She bowled me over and sat on my stomach, staring at my hair," Buffy told her. "I had no idea what her name was. Xander only pulled her off me." She let the dog sniff her hair, ignoring the licking she was doing of it. "I smell good," she told her finally. The dog huffed.
"I guess she thinks you need a puppy bath, B," Faith teased. "Must not smell like a bitch tonight."
"That's because I had a date last night," Buffy said smugly.
Xander snorted. "She doesn't do it to me when I have one. Maybe it's your shampoo that smells like another dog?"
"Could be. I'm using something herbal one of the witches found." She shrugged. "It helps with the goo problem." She reached back to pet the dog, getting licked again then the dog settled down in her daddy's lap. "Will the hotel let you in with the dog?"
"Yup. It's pet friendly and they have a doggy spa too."
"Wow. I need a slayer spa then. Giles...."
"Come on, it'd help after bad fights."
"That was the argument you gave me when I put in a hot tub in the training area. Put bubbles or something in it. I'm sure the younger girls would like that."
"Some of the minis would hijack it on her," Faith said. "Especially if she put in her strawberry bubble bath."
"I wondered why my bottle kept disappearing," Buffy said dryly.
"The ones the sperm suckers want."
"Are they gay?" Xander asked.
"No, they're demons who want to suck the male DNA half of our cells out," Buffy told him. "Well, some of them's. Not mine or Faith's but a few of the minis have that problem."
"They can come to Cali and find a whole lot from the source," he offered.
"Virgins are harder to come by," Faith teased. "They wanted virginal ones."
"Well, there's always high schools. I guess."
"No siccing sperm sucking demons on high schools," Buffy ordered.
"Most high school guys would love it," Faith told her. "Especially the geek patrol that can't get laid."
Buffy nodded. "True but they might hurt them. We'd have to stop them."
"Good point." She looked at Xander. "I might point them at a gay club, that way they can do all the sucking they want from the source."
"Faith!" Giles complained.
"What?" she shot back with an evil grin.
"The last time I gave that sort of grin, Dean tried to do an exorcism," Xander said innocently.
Faith cackled, nodding. "He was reaching for holy water to do one on one of the minis the last time he was here too." She gave him an arm nudge. Muffin took that as a hint that she wanted more puppy kisses. Faith fought off the tongue of doom by petting her again. It made his puppy happy. "They been there recently?"
"The weekend we had to finish the bond. They wanted in the library."
"That's good. They're happier now I think."
"I think it's less vengeance and more 'someone's gotta do it'," Xander admitted. "But yeah, they do seem happier."
She smirked at him. "How is being married?"
"Wonderful but they don't live with me. Though I'm not sure I could handle having them there all the time. I got kinda frustrated when they were always there and doing things and thinking loudly and stuff. The cuddling was nice though." Her smirk got more evil. "The sex too," he agreed, smirking back.
"Good to hear. A marriage without sex has gotta suck, boytoy."
Xander nodded. "It probably does. But I only get them when they're around."
"Pity. You looked relaxed." She looked him over. "G, are we near the hellmouth?"
"No, Faith. We're heading parallel to the hellmouth but about eight blocks away. Why?"
"Because X is glowing." Giles pulled over suddenly.
Tony looked up as the ranting in his mind started up again. He winced. John wasn't happy at Rodney for something. Again. "Those two need to walk away," he muttered, sending that text to John's phone. He got back a mental shove so he shoved back. John's mind shut up. It was nice, he could think now.
"Which one was it this time?" McGee teased.
"John's yelling at McKay again. Something about lightbulbs and thermal energy and zapping him." He looked over with a wry look. "They get into some of the strangest crap."
"I think that's their unit's definition."
"Could be," Tony agreed. Gibbs looked over from his desk. "It might be, boss."
"It could be. Where's Harris?"
"Cleveland handing over some of Anya's former stuff to be put into a vault."
"Good. His dog?"
"With him." Gibbs shook his head. John sent back something. He sent back a mental shrug and the fact that he was on what was probably an overnight case but he could show up if he wanted. He got back to work, blatantly not thinking about the hot sex that would be waiting when he finally got home. He managed to get three of the backgrounds done before someone gasped. He looked at Ziva. She had been on a lunch run. "What?" he demanded.
"You're glowing like you've been in a reactor."
He looked at himself. "I am?"
Gibbs nodded. "You are."
"Hmm." He checked. John was complaining about glowing and no, one of the scientists hadn't done it by the ranting he was getting back. He checked on Xander, who was tired for some reason. "It's Xander's fault." They all relaxed. "I don't know why. He's kinda tired too. I'm hoping the dog will protect him if the slayers can't."
McGee shuddered. "Why is he glowing?"
"They were about ten, twelve blocks from the hellmouth, heading away from it....." He checked. Xander was still tired but now he was feeling drawn. "Aww, it wants a cuddle." He reinforced Xander's shields for him. That helped. Whoever was driving got them away from there. "Ah, better." He felt more normal now. Apparently he wasn't glowing anymore because the horrified stares he was getting eased up some. He grinned at his teammates. "Xander was born and bred on the old hellmouth, guys. The new one wanted a human teddy that knew what it was. The only other hellmouth baby is kept in the slayer building since it's warded, he's a bit shy, and needs the work to keep himself sane at the moment."
"There's no other people in Cleveland that might've been born there?" McGee asked.
"If the hellmouth is like radiation, they probably sucked up more of it," Ziva said, looking at Tony. "That means he's got some stored probably as well." Tony nodded. "That could hurt him."
"No, he uses it when he has to pull emergencies up." He wouldn't mention nearly destroying the astral plane. It was probably not a good thing to tell his teammates. "Beyond that, those who carry more of the taint are usually attacked first. Vampires, which was the major problem out there, could feel the extra power. Special blood tastes better than regular blood." Gibbs shuddered. "With Xander's gift for possessions sticking, the family, and things, we were all shocked he lived that long."
"Huh?" Ziva asked.
"There's a hitlist among the community for those that take them out, Ziva. They're not going to lay down and die. The same as the underworld of crime has one of really effective officers and agents." She slumped. "Yeah, if they know us, they can come for us. That's why the slayers were supposed to be a huge secret through the ages, so no one knew their names."
"How high on this list are you?" she asked.
"Fairly bottom of it. I'm backup for apocalypses. If I was out hunting like some of the family I'd be moving up depending on how good I was, what I had taken out, and what sort of other skills I had. Then again, Xander's near the top. He's a seer and the underworld hates seers. They can get information to the people who can stop their issues faster. No waiting to figure it out. No sudden apocalypses. Seers see it first and warn."
"So, taking out the early warning system means that they'd have a better chance of success," Ziva said. Tony nodded. "You're insane to tie yourself to him."
"He didn't have that choice," Gibbs said firmly. "Someone decided that for him." She slumped at that. "He'll do what he has to do to keep himself safe. Technically, being here keeps him safer. There's some who've taken deals in town but not a lot of true demons."
Tony nodded. "They're disgusted by those who took deals," Tony told her. "Plus a lot of new security protocols are going up to keep them out. We did have to have a talk with the agents working with the Devon Coven about the harmless demons who just exist. They made intent clauses that might hopefully keep out humans with ill intent too."
"That would be handy," Gibbs agreed. "How certain are they?" Tony shrugged. "We'll have to wait to see then. If so, I might see about getting one to put some around the building." He looked at Tony. "Is he all right?"
"Yeah, he's having dinner with Buffy, Faith, and Giles. Plus the dog's with them. They figured out what it was and got him further away from there. Oh, and he said John might be coming out for a visit."
"That's fine. Try to keep the problems down."
Tony smirked. "We didn't have a single one when Xander was out here last time, boss."
"True, we didn't. He wasn't as bouncy or hyper then."
"Good point." He went back to work, soothing Xander. Buffy had said something about the hellmouth liking him too much. Sometimes friends were overrated when they hurt you.
Tony finally got home and found John in the kitchen. "Thank god, I'd hate to eat you," he moaned, walking in and getting a plate full of food.
"I'd hate to be bitten too," he teased back. "Why did you go that late?"
"If Gibbs is there, we're expected to be there."
"That's insane. It's not like it's an emergency situation. You can't take four hours to sleep?"
"At our desks," Tony said dryly. He inhaled his food with a moan. "Thank you for warming it up." He ate another large bite. Tony got sat at the table and some milk handed to him. "Blessed," he said between bites, taking a gulp of milk with it.
John shook his head, adding more to his plate. "Xander will be here soon."
"Where is he?"
"Flying. He's about at the airport. He was trying to nap through the landing greeting when the stewardess woke him up." Tony snorted. "So soon." He sat down with his own food. "I left a little bit for him since he ate hot dogs all afternoon."
"Did the museum like it?"
"Yup, a lot of it. They were amazed some had held up so well but Xander said the whole family had packed it away in a secure bunker-like area so it was pretty airproof. They liked that and agreed to take most of it to show."
"Wonderful." He inhaled another bite. "Any other good news?"
"He found a few cameos and things with the outfits. Some money in pockets. Some ancient money that got taken to a few museums. He doesn't have anywhere to show them at home so he's not worried about it."
"Even better. Probably less on insurance too."
"I don't think he's got insurance on it." He shrugged. "Nothing was really priceless. Just reminders of her past life."
"I guess." He finished his plate and stole John's to eat. "Sorry, no breakfast."
"It's nearly eight at night," John noted.
Tony looked at him. "I know." He went back to inhaling food with his milk.
John got up to hand him the rest of it and cook something else. When Xander finally got there he was tired, so was the dog. They let him in and collapsed on the couch with him. Xander sniffed both of them before stretching across their laps for a cuddle. "Tired?"
"Yup. Noisy flight."
Muffin looked at the taken laps then decided to hop up on the daddy. It was nearly as comfortable on his hip and both the other daddies could pet her. They all smiled at her, petting her until she fell asleep.
Tony petted Xander's hair listening to him snore. "I think we all had a long day."
"Yeah, we did," John agreed with a smile. "Bed?"
"Bed," Tony said, nodding quickly. Muffin groaned but hopped down. Tony shifted Xander off him. John carried him in to strip him. Tony got his own after checking all the doors and windows. Muffin decided to join them and curled up against John's back since Xander was cuddling him. "Sure, you do that, Muffin." He laid down behind Xander's back. He was glad he had a king sized bed. It was comfortable with the three of them in there. He fell asleep very comfortable. A bit warm since John had on a blanket, but that was fine.
Tony walked in the next morning. "This is, still, my row. There's Gibbs, Abby, McGeek, and Ziva. I don't think you met her last time you were in."
Xander waved. "Nice to meet you." He smiled at Abby, handing her something. "It was your idea so you get the first really pretty thing." He smiled at Tony. "So you're okay out here? They're not bothering you?"
"No, someone higher up stepped in to stop that. There was some mutterings about not wanting O'Neill to show up on their doorstep to thump them again too." He smirked at his younger husband. He was such a smartass at times. Abby squeaked, looking at her new pendant. He looked at it. "Very nice work, Xander. Much better than your first one."
"Thank you." He grinned. "There's three intertwined runes. Two to protect you from magic that has ill intent and one to let you feel an awareness if something magical or mystical comes near you." He looked at her. "That way you can protect yourself if something happens."
She gave him a hug. "I love it, Xander. Thank you." She kissed him on the cheek and bounced off to her lab to put it on her necklace.
Xander grinned at Gibbs. "I didn't even bring NID weenies this time."
"I'm proud. Did they finally give up?"
"The one that apologized muttered something about not wanting to mess with Sam Carter again after she had destroyed someone's son and she was going to do it again if they came near any of us."
"That's a good reason. A smart, science enhanced, capable warrior like she is should be scary if you're doing stupid things," Tony agreed. "I'll have to send her a thank you card." He sat down at his desk. "Boss, Xander's flying back tonight. Do I have anything ultimately important beyond paperwork? If not, can I go make breakfast for him and John? He's got to leave about noon."
"Go." They fled, making him smile. "Goofballs," he muttered.
"That young one seems very...lively," Ziva said.
"You wouldn't know he's been fighting since he was sixteen," McGee agreed. She gasped. He nodded. "He's not formally trained but he's the 'get it done' sort."
Gibbs nodded, sipping his coffee. "He is." He saw the director pause at the end of his row. "I gave him today off. He's got company in and we didn't make it home for 36." She walked off. He looked at Ziva. Who shrugged. McGee shook his head. Neither of them knew what was going on in her head this time.
Xander heard the doorbell and went out to answer it. He was down to his briefs, or man panties as John teased, but he didn't really care. Not like he was used to company manners anymore. If they liked Tony they'd come back. "Yes?" he asked the woman on the other side of the door. She gave him a horrified look. He smirked mentally. "I'm Tony's housekeeper and general maintenance person. Is there something I can help you with, ma'am?" A deliberate slight to her age. She winced at it too. "Well?" he asked when she didn't say anything.
"Is Agent DiNozzo here?"
"No, Tony's being fabulous and getting dinner supplies so I can cook for him before I go home. That's what good housekeepers do you know."
"Mine doesn't answer the door in her underwear."
He shrugged. "It's fun while he's gone. Yes?" He looked at the dog, who came to sniff her. "That's Muffin. She's my wonderful assistant. Almost better than a vacuum."
"I'm...I'm sure she is," she said, giving him the funniest look. He almost wished he had a camera. "When will Agent DiNozzo be back?"
"Any time now. I'm waiting for my swatting for not getting the laundry folded correctly." She shuddered. "His husbands would be very upset."
"I'm sure they would if they could see you."
"John saw me and was much amused." Tony came off the elevator, giving him the same strange look. "I told this nice lady you're a very understanding boss to this poor, pitiful housekeeper that hates his clothes."
"I am. I'm also very glad I don't have security cameras outside my door. Director, did you need something?" he asked, handing Xander the bag. Muffin sniffed it and growled. He looked at her. "Nothing's demonic." Xander looked and held up something. "That is?"
"Yup. It's a harmless plant demon species from what I understand." He walked off wiggling his butt. The director was staring anyway.
"I'm sorry. He's being playful today."
"He said he's waiting on his spanking."
"I'm sure he is," he agreed dryly. "He does it to fluster people, Director. Was there anything else?"
"Your spouses were in? I wanted to talk to them."
"No, they've went home."
"Oh. I see. When are you coming back?"
"Tomorrow. My loveable housekeeper will no doubt make me a wonderful dinner and then I'll actually get to sleep tonight so I'll be in first thing as usual. Why, is there a problem?"
"No." She walked off rubbing her forehead. She paused at the elevator. "Do they know about him?"
"Yup. Xander approves very highly because he makes me lighten up when he's not around. Plus, they know he's taken so he's safe."
"That's good to know." She got onto the elevator and went down to her car. She had the driver stop at a pharmacy on the way back to her office. She clearly wasn't going to catch DiNozzo in the act so she got around don't ask, don't tell.
Tony walked in and shut the door. "Was that intentional?"
"I forgot what I was wearing."
Tony spanked him once. "Lying," he said with a smirk.
"Okay, I saw her and decided I didn't care." He took a kiss with a grin. "You actually eat the evil demon 'shroom tofu?"
"It's from beans, not a mushroom."
"Yay. It's for something for Abby."
"I'm sorry she eats it. Can you convince her not to?"
"No clue." He walked Xander in there to cook with him. He was doing good refining Xander's cooking skills. He was up to complicated casseroles. Afterward, Xander got in a good, long pounce and it was nice. He left, fully dressed again thankfully, and headed home. Tony stretched out on his couch with a plate, getting comfortable. Yeah, it had been a good visit. Even if he was too sore to sit again. And he hadn't bottomed this time. They had to get Xander to be less energetic sometimes.
He ate a bite and hummed, enjoying the dinner. John was at the airport at home finally and he commiserated. Xander had made him sore before he had left. Pity about the all day flight across the US on that sore butt. Tony ate another bite and moaned softly. Yeah, the good cheese. He took a sip of his wine. Then he heard someone moving around outside his apartment. He got up, opening the door to shock Ziva. "I'm eating dinner. What do you want?"
"Are you all right?"
"You're interrupting me being a glutton." He took another bite and let out a soft moan.
"So the husband are gone?" she asked dryly.
He nodded. "Have been for a while. Why?"
"The director wanted to meet them."
"No, she wanted to catch me in the middle of the act so she could get around the injunction the president put down. You can tell her we don't even tape things and she's out of luck." He closed the door, going back to his dinner.
Ziva went back to the office, reporting to the director. "His husbands are both gone. Apparently his dinner is very good, he's moaning about it."
"Are you sure he wasn't with them?" she asked.
"He was fully clothed, ate some in front of me and moaned, and he clearly was tired with how sweaty his hair was looking." She stared at her. "He knew why you showed up as well." She walked off to report to Gibbs. She didn't like this game. She didn't care where Tony stuck it. Most of the time. Unless something from it came back to hurt her or her assignment. Though, she now knew why Tony was so jolly some mornings. Two husbands should do that to a person. Gibbs looked up at her when she approached his desk. "She didn't manage to catch Tony in the middle of something she could be upset about."
Gibbs snorted. "Tony told me about the 'housekeeper' she saw since that was Xander in his underwear while cooking, Ziva. Why is she trying?"
"Because it furthers her goals," she reminded him then left for the night.
Gibbs thought about that. He had no idea what she was doing now. That was a bit worrisome.
Abby bounced up to Tony's desk the next day, giving him a hug. "I love your globetrotting husbands." She bounced off.
Tony grinned. "I'll let them know that." He smirked at Ziva. "What?"
"You look well rested."
"Well, yeah, they're both back on the west coast." She looked confused. "Xander lives by San Francisco. John lives in San Francisco, kind of."
"You're married and live on separate coasts?" He nodded. "Why?"
"Because the director hasn't pissed me off enough yet," he said bluntly. She looked away. "If so, I might end up working in San Francisco myself. They have some nice federal offices there and some wonderful restaurants."
"And clubs and concerts and art galleries," McGee quipped. "And gay pride parades."
"Not my style, Probie, but Xander went this year. He hadn't been before." He smiled at him. "Two of the queens kissed him during it. It even got caught in the paper. John said his teammates were highly amused and showed it to him."
"Work, don't gossip," Gibbs ordered.
"Why don't you transfer closer?" Ziva asked him.
"Because we're all where we want to be," he said simply, staring at her. "For now, I want to be here. If I don't want to be here forever, I'll be looking closer to them."
"That means you hardly ever see them."
"Yes it does but I do talk to them all the time."
"That can't make for a happy marriage," she told him. "There has to be contact as well as communication."
"Ziva, married guys in the military go overseas and leave their spouses and families behind all the time," Tony said. "They barely get to talk to them. I stay in a lot of contact with John and Xander. We talk every day. The guys overseas in war zones are lucky if they get one hour a week to talk to their families." She shuddered. "I can do without the holding, the cuddling, and them being constantly underfoot for the time being because we're where we want to be. For that matter, I could offer to go to John's workplace as the NCIS liaison. That would leave Xander up the coast by about an hour." She gaped. He smirked. "He's a pilot."
"Fine. I agree you probably shouldn't share those details unless they're necessary."
"We do have their numbers in case you end up wounded again?" Gibbs asked him.
"I have them. They're in my phone and my personal phone book. They'll probably know before you do, boss."
"I forgot about that," he admitted. "You don't like having the bouncy one around?"
"I don't mind it. We've been working on our friendship. Those two were better friends before." He shrugged. "Sometimes having someone *there* all the time gets annoying after you've lived alone for so long. I'm sure you went through that with the marriages."
"It's a hard adjustment," he agreed. "Getting used to their rituals and little ways of doing things and organizing areas."
"Xander's kata and stretching habit in the break between the living and dining room. The constant hammering from him working on his forge. John fussing around because neither of us really imported things for us to do yet."
"No movies?" Ziva asked.
"He has some but we have different tastes. Xander likes sci-fi and stuff. I like mysteries, noir, some horror sometimes." He smirked. "I'll slowly move things out there. John will move his home gym out there in the spare room. He'll put in more fun reading books than the research books. Though I still have no idea how Xander managed to find a high fantasy with elves story in a demon language. Made us all giggle because they decided elves' ears were like tentacles. It was cute," he said at Gibbs' dirty look.
"Your younger one needs a firmer hand."
"He's not playing kitten poker, boss. We're all happy about that. John managed to win a hand when he found a game and had to turn over the kitten before he brought it back to base."
"That doesn't really surprise me about him." He heard the elevator discharge someone and looked over as someone stomped over to Tony. "He not make it back?"
"He made it back but there's a new plan," Jack O'Neill said, staring at Tony. "It's not going to make you happy."
"I can shoot," he said dryly. "Very well."
"I'll loan you something so I don't have to go yell at people who would cry on me." He handed over a diskette. "Someone told Daniel that and he verified some things, went to Landry, who went to have a migraine and warn Sheppard but he was busy with an alligator in the infirmary."
"Eww." He ran the disk, staring at the information. "Oh, damn."
"I'll quit and move with Xander," he said bluntly. "You can tell them I said that and that Xander will protect us by blowing them all up. Remind them he spent nearly a year in Africa dealing with issues that were hurting the tribes he was working with."
"Did you get a notice about his birthday present?"
"He didn't mention a birthday present," he said dryly, leaning back. "What was it?" He realized Xander hadn't said a word about his birthday being close; he'd have to do something to make sure he knew to nag them for presents.
"Apparently Anya ordered it for him." He held out the folded over and stapled invoice. "He asked Daniel if it was truly a bad idea. He didn't want you to have to scowl at him." He smirked. "Maybe the kid is a later prototype off my original." He left, shaking his head. "Be very careful. There's stupid people trying to think higher thoughts, DiNozzo."
"That's why I have a Xander," he called, waving at him. He opened the invoice and burst out laughing. "Oh, no wonder he didn't want to tell me!"
Gibbs looked at him. "What was it?" he asked calmly. That level of mirth, it was bad. "DiNozzo?" he asked when he kept giggling. He got up and came over to get the information disk and the invoice. He read it and dropped the disk. "No. He can't keep that."
"I'll talk to him, boss." He took it back. "Anya ordered it for him."
"I'm sure he was appreciative." He walked back shaking his head with a small moan. "How did she find those things?"
"She used to be a vengeance demon. Maybe she ran into them in a work capacity, boss." He smirked. "I'll talk him into letting John keep it. That way it's safely on a base but nearby in case of an apocalypse."
"That'll work. Make sure it goes today."
"Fine." He walked off, heading to the bathroom to connect with Xander. He told him he had heard about the birthday present from O'Neill. Xander groaned back. He leered and Xander swatted him. He said it was a nice present, and a useful one, that Anya clearly had good taste in weapons for him but since it was so well known he'd have to send it to John to protect before someone military showed up wanting to own it for him. Xander groaned but agreed. John woke up enough to ask what they were talking about. Tony told him to meet Xander in town with a way to get something heavy back to his base by the time he got there. Then he disconnected and walked off, still smiling. "John's agreed to take custody of it."
"Even better. Hopefully he won't need it either." He held up the disk. "If you have to run, give me as much warning as you can." He gave a pointed look upstairs. Tony shrugged. "Ziva, is this her current issue?" he asked, letting her have the disk.
She read it over, shaking her head slowly. "No. It's not. She would stomp them like roaches." She handed it back to Tony. "Perhaps someone should realize that?"
"I'm sending it to Cleveland," he decided, sitting down to find an old email from Willow. He found one and sent it to her. It bounced. He smirked and found her facebook account, emailing it to that account and leaving a message saying she needed to check that for information. She replied a minute later with a scream of rage according to what she typed. She said she'd handle it and they would NOT be coming near him again. Then she signed out. He logged off too. "Sent it to Rosenburg, boss."
"Why?" he asked a bit too calmly.
"Because I'm not sure anyone in Cleveland uses a computer. I know Rupert Giles' hates them. Buffy let Willow do most of her computer stuff before. So I went with a source who could proclaim it far and wide and get it stopped that way. She was ranting and babbling at the same time." Gibbs shuddered.
"She's got that redhead temper," McGee said. Abby came up. "Abby, there's a new plot to get Tony."
"Really?" she asked. She moved him out of the way so she could run the disk, reading the two files on it. She grimaced and nodded, sending it to someone. "Let's see what they do to stop the underground. I'll be darned." She stood up and kissed Tony on the temple. "You don't look happy."
"Xander got a heavy weapon for his birthday. Anya ordered it before she died."
"Ooooh. Is he in trouble?"
"He's handing it to John."
She smirked. "Hopefully he won't need it." She looked at Gibbs. "I'm officially out of work again. Can't you guys go find me a case with interesting samples?"
"Sorry. I can't make up cases, Abby."
"Shoot." Tony gave her a pat on the arm. She smirked at him. "Going out there?"
"If I have to, I'll go join his project as the NCIS liaison." She gave him a mean smirk. He smirked back.
"You have some very wicked and evil plans, Tony DiNozzo. You also have a letter at the desk that they said you've been avoiding."
"From the lawyers. I don't care. I made that plain. They're annoying me."
"Now the guards are annoying me." She pulled it out of her waistband, handing it over. "Suck it up like a man, Tony. Before I have to tell Xander you need cuddles."
"I'm keeping him out of this one. He'll complain about what they did."
"So do I." She smiled and walked off again.
Tony groaned but opened the letter. "That's not a good thing. Hey, boss, the judge invalidated most of the will as being illegal."
"I thought they did that before."
"The settlements too. It seems my mother left money to two non-existent charities that have been closed for years. Oh, damn," he muttered. They had included the new proposed settlement. The judge had liked this one according to the cover letter. "Crap." He signed it and found an envelope and stamp to send it back. Then decided to fax it. He hated this stuff. Gibbs gave him a pointed look. "The new settlement is worse than the last one. There's no way I'm going to be happy." He finished sending it then shredded the originals. He sat down again to sulk to his report writing. He felt the virtual hug Xander gave him and one from John with a wave of sleepiness. He smiled and hugged Xander back, getting back to work. He did cheer you up.
John walked out of the cargo door, staring at his younger husband as he came around the partition to protect the puddle jumper from being seen by normals. "What's up?"
"Anya preordered me a wonderful birthday present."
"Why is this worrying?"
"It's from one of the assholes I had to scare in Africa."
"I thought they were weapons people and a few drug dealers."
"Is it drugs?"
"No. But you'll need the weight limits." John stared at him. He grinned and took a kiss. "You get custody of it until we need it."
"Uh-huh." He walked behind the screen to the waiting area. Where he stopped and stared at the box. "Aren't those usually on jets?"
"No, this is the baby version that can be mounted on a jeep or braced by two strong guys." He smirked. "It can destroy a jet."
"Obviously," he decided. He gave Xander a hug. "It's a good present."
"I know, I love it. I spent last night petting the poor baby. Will you take care of her for me?"
"Yeah, I can do that." He realized his comm was on and turned it off. "Help me load it?"
"Sure." He picked up one end, John got the other, and they carried it into the jumper. He took another kiss. "Be safe. Don't wrestle the alligators. I'll have to get mean and fuss if you're injured." He left, strolling back to his car.
John closed the bay door, shaking his head all the way to the pilot's seat. When he got back to Atlantis, Woolsey was waiting on him. "What?"
"He's giving you his dog?"
"No, he's giving me the birthday present his dead fiancee ordered before she died. That way he doesn't get into trouble with agents like Tony." He whistled, bringing two of the marines. "Take the case to my room. It's Xander's birthday present and he can't have it on the mainland." They walked in and he got out of the way. Woolsey's mouth flopped open when he saw the case. John nodded. "He petted it all night. He loves his weapons. He said it even came from one he met in Africa." He followed the case, going to find a spot for it in his quarters.
Woolsey knocked and got let in a few minutes later. "How did his former fiancee find that?"
"She was a vengeance demon so it's possible he screwed up in her area. Or maybe she went looking online. She was over eleven hundred when she died. She thought it'd be a kick-ass birthday present and she was right. He loved it but someone narked to Tony."
"That's probably a good thing. It can go to the armory. I'm sure our arms master might like it."
"Xander said I had custody until we needed to use the new family pet. He might not like other people petting it."
"He's very strange, isn't he?"
"No, but he is a weapons nut. That possession by a PFC gave him a lot of weapons knowledge and he's always liked them."
"Do you let him play with yours? I mean your SGC ones," he said, realizing what he had said.
"He hasn't asked. If he does, I'll ask for permission."
"Fine. Is he any good with weapons?"
"I don't need to know," he decided, walking off rubbing his forehead. That trio made his head hurt too often.
John smirked, covering the case with a spare sheet so it looked like a seat or a table. Ronon came in and gave him a pointed look. "What?"
"You went to the mainland?"
"Xander's birthday present got delivered and he couldn't keep it."
"Another dog?" John pointed so he uncovered it, staring at the case. He opened it and nearly drooled. "That is not a dog."
"No but it's his newest baby."
"I can see why." He shut the case and recovered it, standing up again. "He can't own that?"
"It's illegal for civilians to own those. Someone told Tony. Tony made him let me keep it for him."
"That's probably a good idea." He walked off shaking his head. Xander was a bit strange but fairly fun most of the time.
John tossed a few extra throw pillows he had picked up during his...honeymoon onto the case for extra seating. The case wouldn't break. It was meant to be abused and keep up. He had another thought, laying down and talking to Xander. //Xander?// he sent.
//Yes, oh great flying one?//
//How many other weapons do you have?//
They both heard Tony choking. //We didn't have anything too huge in Sunnydale. No room to store it. The time we needed the grenade launcher we...borrowed one. Why?//
//I'm wondering if there's other family pets lying around.//
//Maybe in Cleveland?// Xander sent back with a grin and a hug. //It's fine.//
//It's not fine,// Tony sent. //Neither of us want to visit you in prison.//
//I know some demons had some bigger weapons but really I don't have anything larger than a few automatic weapons and one slightly bigger thing but still mostly legal.//
//One of us will be seeing those,// Tony ordered. //As soon as humanly possible.//
Xander sighed. //Do I need to go scavenge in Sunnydale too, guys?//
//YES!// both Tony and John sent.
//Let me warn the crew in Cleveland. I'll go next weekend. It's about time I faced that anyway.// His mental touch disappeared.
John and Tony held a virtual staring moment. //I'll do it,// Tony said. //The boss said you could have them but I'll go sort since I'm more aware of current gun laws than you are.//
//Thanks, Tony. Sometimes he worries me. I don't want him in trouble.//
//Neither do I but that's clearly a Warped By Sunnydale thing.// Tony's mental touch disappeared.
John relaxed himself then went to do what he needed to do in the office. At least Xander picked useable family pets. Not like it was fish or something.
Tony looked over at Gibbs, who was staring at him. "Family pets."
"The dog?" he guessed.
"Like his present."
Gibbs moaned. "You're going."
"Yes I am. And next weekend he's going to see if he can find the stashes that may still be around in Sunnydale." Gibbs shuddered. "So he'll hand those to John too."
"That'll work," he agreed. "How many does he have?"
"He said they're all at least semi-legal."
"Uh-huh," Gibbs said dryly. "Fix that shit."
"We're off this weekend, right?"
"Yes we are."
"I'll be there."
"Take part of Friday too so you don't have to sleep all day Saturday, DiNozzo."
"Sure, boss." He grinned. "John loves the new present. It's in his quarters as a new seating area."
"I'm not surprised someone could sit on one of those." He shook his head to clear it. "Work, DiNozzo."
"Yes, boss. Have I mentioned that they all seem to have similar claims from the same garage for auto repairs?" He shook his head, taking that lead to run down while Tony looked for other similarities.
"If you have to leave, which agency are you hitting?" Gibbs asked quietly since Ziva and McGee were only in the break room and could be coming back at any time.
"I'm thinking maybe ATF but I'm not sure."
Gibbs nodded. "Their office out there deals with a lot of smuggling cases. You'd do good." Tony grinned at him for that. "If it happens, let me know so I can start a recommendation."
"Sure, boss. Thanks." He got back to work, sending him all the other similarities. Something had to link these three people together.
Tony walked into Xander's house late Friday night, staring at the pouty boy. "Semi-legal?"
"I haven't seen anything saying they're totally illegal."
"Uh-huh." Xander got hauled up and kissed, making him slightly happier. "Let me look. You might be able to keep them." Xander nodded, taking his hand to lead him to the weapons closet. It held his axe, a few swords, a few guns, some jugs of holy water, a lot of bullets, and two things he knew weren't allowed to be owned by civilians. "Nope, they're on the banned list," he said with a point.
Xander nodded. "John can borrow them."
"Good." He smiled. "Did you talk to them about going back to look for heavier weapons?"
"We'll call." He led him out, putting the call on the speaker.
"International Watchers Council."
"Hey, Rona," Xander said. "It's Xander."
"Xander!" She sounded like she was smiling. "Are you guys still having a problem out that way?"
"No, I took care of the one in town last week. You can tell them that. If they hear of any more let me know before they send someone. I might be able to handle it."
"I can make that note. Almost everyone's at a party right now for one of the girls."
"It's Tony with him," Tony told her. "Due to my job, someone told a higher up that there might still be hidden weapons in Sunnydale so we're imposing on him to go look. He wanted to warn the others."
"I can definitely do that," she promised. "That way no one freaks. Xander, there were two vampire deaths listed out there."
"No, those were goth kids," Xander told her. "They weren't fang marks. They found metal shavings in the holes. I intentionally met someone in the coroner's office in case one was coming up and they needed help."
"That's cool. I'll tell them. Thanks, Xander." She hung up.
Xander snuggled into Tony's side. Muffin came out to stare at them. "Can you puppy sit? I'm not sure the hellmouth won't hurt her. Or if there's more demons I don't want her attacked since I'll probably be hunting in the tunnels a lot."
"I have no idea how we'd get her out there," Tony admitted. "Let John puppy sit."
"I guess he can but his base might be mad."
"We can ask for formal permission. His project leader is a crank but it'll be fine." He let Xander and his dog snuggle in. This was nice. Maybe he would have to move to the west coast soon.
To Story 8
Back to the Cousins of Power Index.