Hide and Seek

Danny frowned, going over to see who was knocking.  He found someone he vaguely recognized on the other side.  "You are?"

"Canadian Ministry, Wizard Messer, may I?"  Danny let him in, closing the door behind him.  "The town's overlord sent me to you about this, sir."  Danny shrugged. "You're the top pureblood in the city."

"No, there's a Cimrus member around here somewhere."

"She's on vacation with the other two."  Danny grimaced.  "We've had someone illegally shipping dragons into this unprotected and undeclared territory."  He whimpered.  "Exactly.  I figure it's some rogue potions person."

"No, Greg Sanders said they're mostly in Vegas."

"I'll talk with their overlord soon then."  He smiled at him.  "Have you heard anything about dragons?"

"No but almost no one says stuff like that to me.  Our overlord's a piece'a work but he's also a moron.  He's got really close ties to the military and their purge is good to him."  He shuddered.  "Exactly.  He even stuck up for the school missing kids."  That got a heated look. "Ask the goblins.  They've been working on that issue.  I'm helping train two who were missed."  He considered it.  "I heard Miami had some illegal shipments of dragons.  I can call down there."


Danny nodded.  "Give me a few.  We've got a marking."

"Like the Banes?"

"Yeah, they're helping us train the others."  He grinned.  "Speedle's down there."  He sat down again and called Speed, telling him what was going on.  He felt Don's 'eep' and then his sudden non-presence.  That was interesting.  Speed said to give him a few.  "He's got to ask his boss who was doing it.  Give him five."

"Of course."  He sat down, getting comfortable.  "Have you seen the one at Hogwarts?"

"Keelian? Yeah.  Alex Dumass is the one helping us train since one'a the missed ones is a natural curse breaker.  He's the beater I play with inter-borough.  Keelian loves him and Stella's shirt."  That got a smile.  "Dragon breast-dives all the time."

"That young they often do if they're hand raised.  Is he nesting?"

"Alex just recently had ta let him steal some stuff from his stores so he'd quit trying to claim a cavern of stuff."  He smiled at that.  "Don freed a whole chest of stuff for him."

"Wonderful. It sounds like Keelian's in very good hands."

Danny blinked, calling Don.  He got a 'not home' mental message.  He poked the message and Don yelped, and he could tell it was out loud.  So he repeated it.  Tony groaned when Don admitted he had been sent an egg through the mail.  Danny moaned and looked at him.  "We do have one certain sighting.  The natural curse breaker got mailed one."  A letter and package appeared in front of him, the package having been the portkey.  He looked at it and snickered, handing it over.  "In childish printing no less."

"He's definitely a curse breaker," he moaned shaking his head. "Surely he can't imagine he could keep the baby dragon in the middle of the city?"

"I have no idea what Don's thinking at the moment.  He's locked me out again."

"Any word yet from Speedle?"

"Not yet.  He's still talking to his boss and moaning at Don's stupidity."


Speed went walking calmly up the hall, pushing Horatio into the evidence locker.  "The Canadian Ministry just came up to Danny to talk about some smuggled dragons," he said quietly.   Horatio moaned, shaking his head.  "Apparently he's the highest pureblood in town with some others on vacation and after the problems with their overlord the other day they decided to go that route.  Now, with that said...."  He trailed off, hearing Danny prodding Don.  He heard Don's confession and moaned, turning to smack his head into a wall.  "Someone mailed Don a dragon's egg."

"Keeping a dragon is illegal."

"This is a curse breaker thing, Horatio.  Like Keelian adopting Ron was."  Horatio gave him a look.  "Seriously.  Only a curse breaker could get adopted by a dragon or have one mailed to him.  Don's sent the letter to Danny at least.  But they need to know anything you've found about that smuggling operation."

"I can gather what notes I've got at home and send them to Danny tonight."  He walked out shaking his head.  "I thought Alex was bad," he muttered as he walked.


Tony heard Don's eep and then Danny's prodding and groaned.  His boss looked at him.  "Boss, can I have ten to nark on someone?"

"One of us?"

"No, someone just mailed Don a pet dragon," he muttered as he walked past him.  He pulled out his cellphone and called Alex's cellphone.  "Dumass, DiNozzo.  Someone just mailed your new apprentice a dragon's egg."   He listened to the spluttering.  "Were you taking a drink?  You should've known better."  He heard the complaint about hoping the tea didn't soak into the priceless scroll.  "You can clean it, Alex. You have in the past.  There's a rep from the Canadians with Danny about some smuggling things.  Yeah, you might wanna do that.  I'm sure Don can use the same wisdom you gave Ron."  He heard the 'I laughed my ass off' and sighed. "Alex, remember where Don lives. It's not like the others in his building will put up with the little smoking and flaming beast.  Bring Keelian then.  I don't care!"  He hung up and walked back, walking right up to Gibbs.  "Smack me please to make sure I don't go pet the new pet of the group?"

Gibbs smacked him.  "They're probably illegal."

"No governing body over that in the US, boss."  Gibbs groaned at that.  "Someone literally *mailed* him an egg with a heating charm," he muttered, heading back to work.  Tim McGee looked at him.  "Don just proved he's one of the best curse breakers ever."

"He tripped into a hole and found buried Nazi treasure?"  That was the historical precedent set by the best curse breaker in the history books.

"No, someone mailed him a big gold egg."  McGee's mouth fell open.  "A big, warm, gold egg, Probie."  McGee whimpered at that.  "And he's thinking about keeping it in the middle of New York City!" he finished, his teeth clamped together.

McGee burst out laughing.  "You almost had me going there, Tony.  Good one!"

"Not joking," Tony said dryly, shaking his head.  "Wish I was.  That's why I sicced Alex on his six."

Tim laughed.  "Oh, damn, that's still funny.  How would he take care of one of those in the city?  They're dangerous!"

"He's a curse breaker, McGee.  This just proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt."

Gibbs smacked McGee.  "Back to work.  You can gossip later."

"Yes, boss," they agreed.

Gibbs shook his head. He had liked Keelian.  He had good taste in women and had been a very nice lap cuddler while he read.


Alex hung up and looked back at Ron.  "Don just broke your record," he told him and Charley.  They both glared at him.  "Don got one *mailed* to him.  Complete with 'please take care of me' letter.  It's a small ridgeback from what Danny thinks."  Charley moaned, shaking his head.  "Exactly!  So he's now broken Ron's old record of being adopted.  Plus he's thinking about keeping it!  Long live the USA and their lack of enforcement!"

"We should check on the poor little thing," Charley said, getting up.

"Bring Keelian.  He'd know immediately if it was sick."

"Point."  He scooped the dragon off his sister's lap and hauled Ron up. "Let's go."  They headed for Danny's via the camp moving spell, Ron being delicate enough not to take the carpet as well.  They landed behind the couch and Danny waved, handing over the note, which had been tuned to Don's place.  "Thanks."  They disappeared again and he landed, looking at the shivering thing.  "It's cold, Don."

Don cast another heating charm.  "I don't know why.  I've got six of them layered on and around him."

"Her."  He came over and Keelian sniffed, then sneezed and nuzzled the dragon, getting into the nest with her.  She snuggled against him.  Charley settled in front of them to look her over. "Warm the meat first."  Don nodded, going to warm it in the microwave.  He brought out the steaming bowl and Charley held up a piece, getting a vicious beak nearly taking off his fingers for it.  "You're hungry."

"She just hatched.  She's already had about a pound."

"I can see the bulge."  He fed her a few more pieces, then watched as Keelian cooed over her.  "She's not steaming?"  He pried open her mouth, getting a weak bit of steam. "Ah, you're a weak one.  It's probably better you're not alone yet."  He fed her another piece.  "Eat more, get warmer."  Keelian steamed around her, making her snuggle against him again and drift off to sleep.  He looked at Don, shaking his head.  "You can't keep her, Don."

"Why not! You said yourself she's weak.  She'd never live in the wild.  She'd be eaten immediately even if there was a spot for newly hatched ones."  He pouted at him.  "She's adorable. I wanted to name her after my Ma, who's a fierce dragon in her own right."

Charley smiled at that.  "Who's down from the Canadians?"

"Not a clue. They're with Danny."  He looked at Ron.  "Hi."  He gave him a slight grin.  "She got mailed to me."

"I heard.  You broke my record for ridiculous shit happening to us, Don.  Proves you're meant to be a great one."  He clapped him on the back when his brother gave him a dirty look.  "It is!  Hell, I'm surprised Armwrench hasn't shown up to mark him yet."  Charley shook his head and went back to his exam.  He called Danny's house. "It's us, it's safe.  She's napping.  Charley said she's a pretty weak steamer."  He hung up and they both appeared.  "Keelian likes her."

"She's his sort of dragon," Charley agreed.  "He might think it's his sibling.  Which means he'll try to eat her tail later."  Keelian hissed at him.  "You guys do that!"  Keelian hissed again so he withdrew.  "Fine.  You can fuss for a few more."  He stood up and looked at the Ministry person.  "Charley Weasley, Romanian Preserve," he said, shaking his hand.

"Florette, Canadian Ministry, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals."  Horatio landed and handed over the information he had.  "Thank you.  Which city is this from?"

"Miami."  He looked at the baby dragon, then at Don.  "That would be illegal."

"Charley said she's weak," he defended.

"It still won't be good for her to be raised in the city, Don.  She needs room to roam and explore.  Things she can pounce and eat besides you and the neighbor's cat."  He looked down, having the feeling of being stared at, finding Keelian glaring at him.  "You live in a safe spot."

"I don't see why Hagrid would turn this one away," Charley offered.  "I can call Philip."

"Already done, he's asking Hagrid right now," Ron admitted.  "Alex wants to see her too, Don."  He looked at Florette.  "Any idea where the egg came from?"

He nodded.  "The preserve in Canada is overflowing and a few have nested outside the boundaries.  We don't much care.  It's surrounded by native tribes who respect the animals.  I'm hoping one of the eggs was found by whoever mailed it.  The real question is why it was mailed to him."

"Maybe they're a wizard associated with Gringotts?" Danny offered. "His name was just put into the newest edition of their Contact Book."

"Perhaps.  I noticed the address was to him personally.  Do you know any Canadians?"

"No.  Was it near the school?"  He looked then nodded.  "I know someone who's got a sponsored kid up there but I doubt Lindsey would do that."

"The penmanship was too childish for a school age child," Florette noted, looking over as someone new appeared, along with a very large man.  "Hagrid."  He smiled.  "This is Keelian's new friend apparently."

"Awww, she's a darlin' bit'a fluff," he cooed, picking her up to cuddle her.  She steamed at him, blinking hard.  "It's all right there, baby.  I'm a nice one. I take care'a Keelian, the one who's climbing up ta cuddle ya again." Keelian climbed up and laid on top of her.  "That's nice'a ya, Keelian.  Thank ya."  He stroked her stomach, making her belch.  "Sounds like you've got a backed up belly there, little missy."  He sat down to work on that with Charley, who got her steaming and warming within minutes.  "There, that's nicer, in'it?"

"Very much so, thank you," Don agreed.  "The note said to call her Beufort.  I'm thinking that's a boy's name though."

"Ya think?" Danny asked sarcastically.  Don glared at him.  "You can't keep a dragon in the city, Don.  She could burn down the building while you were at work."

Alex leaned over, looking at the baby dragon, then at Keelian, who huffed at him. "I won't hurt her, Keelian.  We're trying to see where she should go."  Keelian steamed at the Ministry officer.  "Go pout at him, maybe he'll let Hagrid keep her."  Keelian wiggled over and up that one, staring in his face once he was perched on his shoulder, just staring into his eyes.

"If your headmaster and Ministry agree," he said finally.  "Is she your mate, Keelian?"  The baby dragon steamed lightly.  "All right then.  Let's contact your Ministry?"

Ron touched his arm, telling that to Philip, who brought Alex's second portkey with him and the Ministry person.  "I love this job," he said happily, grinning at Alex.  "Keelian's found a true love to share his nest with.  Someone got worse luck with them than I did by being adopted in the middle of the muggle marketplace."  Keelian climbed up his leg, making him wince and grab him to hold.  "Don't claw me or else I won't feed you any more pudding."  The British Ministry person gave him a dirty look.  "It was blood pudding!"  He looked down at him.  "I love you, but it was odd that you adopted me, Keelian.  Most dragons wouldn't have.  They would have run screaming from my hair that morning."  Keelian snorted.  "No, I still love you. I can't imagine what my life would be like without you diving down my girl's shirt now and then."  Keelian's tail swished and Ron petted him gently.  "I love you. You're very wanted now that we know you.  I hope the eggs you have far in the future are watched over by some of our family then." Keelian seemed happier about that.  "Just no collecting a harem, huh?  I'd never hear the end of it, baby boy."  He stroked over his stomach, getting loud purrs.  "Good boy dragon."  The new one mewled so he plucked her up by the neck and put her next to him, petting her too.  "Hello to you too, Beufort."  He looked at Hagrid.  "We've got to rename her."

Hagrid nodded.  "Beaua?"

"That works," the British Ministry person agreed, sighing at the sight of Keelian wrapping himself around the smaller dragon.  "He's adopted her, hasn't he?"

"I think he thinks she's going to be his nestmate instead of sibling," Charley admitted quietly. "He got mailed her, Terry."

"Curse breakers," she muttered.  "Why must you upset the natural order?"

"Hey, not me," Alex said fondly.  "I haven't had a troll try to take me as a mate in *years*."  Horatio gave him an odd look.  "I had to raid a nest where it was being used as a trap. It fixated since I freed it.  The big, huge mountain troll loved me."

"I will never let a curse breaker work underneath me," he muttered.

Danny looked at him. "Speed's got the instincts for one," he offered happily.  His head rocked with the swat that Tony gave as he and Gibbs appeared.  "Hi, meet Beaua."

Gibbs walked over, looking at the dragon.  It gave him a curious stare right back.  "You're very small."  He dipped into the bowl of meat, giving her a piece.  Keelian hummed and opened his mouth too. "Spoiled," he teased, feeding him some too.  He fed a few more and relinquished his spot to Horatio, who shook his head but kept feeding her.  "They're cute."

"They are, that's why people try to keep them."

"Just like alligators," Horatio agreed.  The dragon huffed at him.  "You're a lizard too. They're non-steaming cousins."  He fed her another piece and Keelian wrapped his tail around his wrist.  "Let go, I need that hand."  He fed him a piece, getting his hand free.  "Thank you."  He relinquished his spot back to Gibbs, who was having a lot of fun playing with the babies.

"Aww, boss, you look so good," Tony teased.  Horatio swatted him.  "Hey, only he gets to do that!"

"He's busy."

Gibbs smirked at him.  "After a while it becomes addictive.  Go ahead and do it to Speed now and then.  It's very stress relieving when they do stupid stuff."

"You know, I could quit and go play pro," Tony reminded him.  Gibbs glared so the dragons glared.  "Hey!"  They growled too, just like the boss was.  "No fair.  They're mimicking you!"  He went to pout with Don, who gave him a pitiful look.  "You can visit her all the time.  After all, I'm sure Keelian will drag her home to find her own nest some day soon."

"Maybe but she's so sweet."

"Ow!" Gibbs yelped.  "Damn it, she burned me."

"Yeah, very sweet," Tony agreed dryly.  Don glared at him.  "For a dragon."  Gibbs came in to get some ice.  "He was just saying how sweet she was."

"She is, for a dragon. That's probably normal."  He stuck the piece of ice on his hand and Tony pulled his wand, fixing it. "Thank you."  He tossed the ice into the sink.  "You all right, Flack?"

"I'm fine.  Just pouting."

"I understand.  Keelian's one of those creatures that makes you want to spoil the little monster."  He tensed as he felt claws climbing up his thigh, glaring at the baby dragon.  "Should you be in here?"

"Beaua," Don said, plucking her off to hold her.  She steamed and snuggled into his arms, purring.  "Yeah, I love ya too, you little snot."  She seemed to smirk at him.  "You wanna go live with Keelian?"  Her tail swished and he scratched her stomach, making her a happy dragon. "How did Keelian get so friendly?"

"Dawn started out raising him," Alex said as he walked in, looking at the dragon.  "She'll adore you.  She's been pouting about not having more girls around her."  Beaua steamed at him but settled down when he petted her.  "You're a good girl.  You'll be fine at the school.  You'll have a unicorn to cuddle with and a flying horse.  You'll like Apple, she'll let you fly with her and Ginny most likely.  You'll be fine. You can even help Keelian and Don make a nest for you two."  She huffed and shifted, letting them scratch her easier. "Good girl."  Philip and the Ministry people came in.  "We set?"

"We're set," the British ministry person offered.  She looked at the dragon.  "You'll love the school.  Keelian?"  She squealed as something hit her back, then slid over her shoulder and down her shirt, but he popped his head back up, looking disgusted.  "Sorry, little fella, but not all of us can wear push up bras and have big hooters.  Deal with it, move on. You can go snuggle in Summer's bust soon enough."

"He likes stomachs that grumble," Don told her.

She gave them all a look.  "Don't shit me, Curse Breaker Flack.  He likes hooters.  Most of 'em do."  She plucked the dragon out and held him up.  "You gonna come home with her?  Let Dawn have her for a bit?"  He leapt over and snuggled down on his friend's body, smoking into her nose.  "Good."  She took them both, snuggling them into her.  "Good boy."  She looked at the headmaster.  "By your leave?"

"Should we pop in on Greg since he's got some there?"

"No, we need to get together to set up a new one," she pointed out.  Florette nodded.  "We're so overcrowded it's ridiculous."  She stroked the stomachs.  "Come on, let's head home."  She took the portkey from Philip's hand, heading off.

Philip nodded politely.  "Thanks for the small spot of excitement. Always a fun bit."  He smirked at Don.  "Try to behave.  Don't do it again."  He disappeared.

Alex looked at him.  "He says that because four out of seven of those that came after me adopted me for being so cute and hot."  He smirked.  "You on this weekend?"  Don nodded, grimacing a bit.  "Game?"  Don nodded again.  "You'll figure it out."

"My boss hates my sport thing, as I call it.  Not like I can tell her I'm playing quidditch."  Alex beamed at that.  "Danny's on too."

"Crap. Well, someone will figure that out."

"Yeah, the same as we'll figure out who to put in the overlord's place since he likes the purge and thought it was a good idea to miss us all."  Alex growled.  "Yeah, basically."

"Curse Breaker Dumass, can you fill us in on that situation?" Florette asked.

"Oh, fully.  I reported it to my boss and they've been doing the research.  Come with me, I'll introduce you."

"Tell Gruinth I said hi and to watch out for that stupid biting vase."

Alex grunted and nodded.  "Yeah, got Harry earlier and Draco laughed his ass off."  He disappeared with her.

Gibbs walked out shaking his head.  "At least the dragon was nice, Don.  It didn't try to eat you."  He looked at Tony.  "Shall we?  Since we've got paperwork to do?"  Tony blushed and nodded, hanging his head.  "Thank you."  He took hold of his arm and they disappeared, landing in the elevator, with Ducky and the Director.  "Shit."

Tony pulled his wand, pointing it at her. "Obliviate."  She went limp, then passed out.  "Hmm, might've made it a bit too strong."  Ducky smacked him this time, but on the arm.  "Ow!  Sorry!"  He hit the button for their floor.  "Do we have a cause of death?"

"Natural causes. I found an enormous embolism in his brain.  Stroke."

"Cool.  Better that than a hard blow to the head."  Ducky gave him a look.  "I'd rather die of a stroke than a blow to the head."

"Had too many of those, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked as the elevator doors opened. "Let's drag her into the hallway, Ducky."  He helped by getting her feet while Tony walked off.  "She had better remember her name."

"I don't think I got that in-depth, boss.  Sorry."  He sat down to go over his report, weathering the look from McGee.  "We landed in the elevator with Ducky and the Director," he mouthed.  McGee moaned and shook his head, sighing a bit.  "They're trying to bring her back around."  He went to help.  Tony typed up his report.  McGee came back and plucked something off his shirt, holding it up.  "Flack got mailed a dragon egg," he said with a grin, glancing around.  "We also got to see Keelian again."

"Kate would've loved that dragon," he said with a small smirk.

"She would've laughed her butt off," he agreed happily.  Gibbs gave them a look.  "Kate would've laughed about Keelian and his antics until he tried it on her."

He paused and thought about it, then nodded. "She would've.  Probably would've given Dawn and Ginny funny looks for letting him do it too."  They both nodded.  "She's fine.  She remembers what days it is."

"Didn't mean to get her that hard, boss."

"Do not do it again, DiNozzo."  Tony nodded, going back to his typing.  He sat down to do his own, looking at McGee.  "What are you doing?"

"Waiting to hear what they named the new one."

"Beaua.  Whoever sent it to Don sent a note naming the egg Beufort, but it was a girl."  McGee smiled at that.  "Keelian adopted her and they went home together to be pampered and spoiled by Dawnie."  He smiled at that and went back to work, plucking a scale off Gibbs' shirt as well.  "Store those."


"No moisture.  They can mildew."

"Sure.  Who're we giving them to?"


"How do we know him?" he asked.  Tony smirked at him.  "How?"

"Remember that blond guy with Emilia?"  He nodded slowly, their kids had climbed all over him to make him read to them.  "That's Sanders. He works out west."  McGee shook his head and came over to pluck more off them and put them into a bag.  "No moisture," he repeated.

"I'll seal them when I get home since I've got one of those vacuum machines."

"Thanks."  He checked over his report then emailed it to his boss.  "Anything else, boss?"

Gibbs read it over, then glared at him.  "Let's try to ignore the phone call?"  Tony frowned and went back over it, then took that part out and resent it.  "Thank you, DiNozzo.  Head home.  McGee?"

"Already done, boss, just have to send it."  He sent it over, looking at him, getting a nod.  "Am I excused?"  That got a second nod.  "Night, boss.  Sleep well."  He hurried off with the scales.

The director came over holding her head. "Jethro, do you have anything in your desk?  Ducky's disappeared from his office."  He bent over to get into his bottom drawer, exposing a scale in his hair.  She frowned and plucked it out, making him look at her as he tossed over the bottle of aspirin.  "Gray hair that was sticking up."  She walked off, going to take something for her headache.  Then she'd get someone in another agency to see what that thing was.  It looked like some sort of scale.  Something was going on with her people that she didn't know about and she did not like it.  She would know and soon, or else.


Speed landed beside Danny's bed, earning a grunt.  Tony landed on the other side, earning a flipped finger.  They laid down on either side of him.  "Danny," Speed said softly.  Danny glared at him.  "We wanna talk."


"Your trust issues."  Tony snuggled against his front.  Danny wiggled closer to lay on him, then Speed laid against his back.  Danny stiffened.  "Danny, you trust us," he reminded him quietly, letting Speed stroke his back.  "You've trusted us since our third month of school when we helped you in that duel."  Danny nodded, making himself relax again. "Why are you so uptight about that?"

"I don't like people behind me."

"You never used to mind us curling up like this," Speed said quietly, wrapping an arm around his waist. "We spent a lot of nights in Tony's bed in this same position. You never minded us."

"Times change."

"Yeah, but this isn't times change. This is something happened and you never let us know."

Speed shook his head. "This happened back in school, Tony."  Danny stiffened again.  He cuddled up again.  "The only thing I'm wondering is if it was Sonny or post Sonny."  Danny shook his head.  "No?"

"No."  He lifted his head, turning to look at the head over his shoulder, then at Tony.  "I'm fine."

"You're not fine.  You're hurting others, including us," Tony said quietly.  He gave him a squeeze.  "Was this something you should've gotten counseling about?"  Danny shook his head, putting it back down.  "Are you sure?"

"Did Don complain?"

"No, Stella said you were so panicked this morning that you ran and swore at yourself for moving to cuddle in the middle of the night.  Then you yelled at me," Speed reminded him gently.  "You worried us."  Danny shook his head. "You did, Danny.  Even Tony's alpha stance has eased a bit. You're still stiff, even when it's just us.  Even with the guys you trust enough to let into your deepest thoughts."  He nuzzled his neck.  "You're not the only one with issues here, but if you ruin the best thing that ever came into your life, you'll kick yourself forever."  Danny sighed and nodded.  "Now, can you relax?"  Danny went limp under him.  "Good boy.  Think it can keep going if we touch you?"  Danny nodded.  "What if we brought Don?"

"I don't know."  The bed dipped and he looked back.  "How long have you been there?"

"Few seconds.  When you agreed you could relax."  He took Tony's other side.  "They're tryin' ta help, Danny, but I'm not gonna be pushy."  Danny kissed him, shutting him up.  "You sure?"

"Only seems fair.  They were there the other time."  Don grinned and moved closer, pulling him over to his side of Tony to treat him to his best attempt at a backrub.  Which was pretty good if he did say so himself.

"I want one of those some day," Tony complained.  Speed flipped him over and got to work on his back. "Thank you.  I got a Gibbs-glare because I ended up having to obliviate the Director."   Speed snorted.  "We landed in the elevator with her."

Don smirked at him.  "You're just a hedonist anyway, Tony," he taunted.

"True, so very true.  Unfortunately I have to work for a living."

"You'd be bored," Danny noted dryly.  He rolled his neck and Don moved up to do that. "You're spoiling me rotten."

"Next time, I'll take you in the closet in the lab," he whispered.  Danny tensed up.  "Make you howl in pleasure like you did me the last time?"  Danny shook his head. "No?"

"No.  I work way too hard to keep my credibility to blow it on a quickie at work.  If it happens, it'll be in the car somewhere no one will care."

"Sure," Don agreed happily, moving the oil down to tease his lower back.

"Don, I'm okay with this."

"Shut up."

"Second time ever, Don."

"Bet me," Tony snorted. Danny looked at him.  "Seriously?"  Danny nodded.   "Who!"

"Quidditch coach."

"Why?" Don demanded.

"Blackmail," Speed admitted.  "He blackmailed him and Tony, claimed they had used illegal charms during practice on their brooms.  I thought we both topped him."

"We didn't charm the brooms but I had wondered," Danny admitted quietly.  "I'm just not the sort of guy to let most anyone behind me.  I'm too cautious."

Don leaned down to kiss the back of his neck.  "I know that, Danny.  You've always been like that.  I told my sister I was thinking about taking you to dinner some night and she warned me I'd end up on my back and begging since you'd never do anything else."  He moved back to tease him.  "You sure?"

"Don, in me," he said patiently.  "Now."

Don smirked.  "I don't think I like that hint of command," he teased, moving down to tease his balls with his oily fingers.  Danny moaned and shifted some, his face tightening up.  "Can I be in charge for a bit?"  Danny nodded.  "You sure?"

"You wanna be smacked?"

"No."  He poured out a bit more oil, teasing the small pucker.  He handed it over to Speed, who handed over an opened condom.  "Thanks.  Forgot about that."  He got to work playing with him, teasing and touching him.  Danny moaned as he switched to two fingers.  "You're still tighter than I am back here."

"You eat more cheese than I do," Danny growled.

"Funny.  I can stop."

"I'll pounce you," Danny warned.  Don slid the condom down himself and oiled himself up, then laid down beside him. "You seriously want me to pounce you?"  Don nodded.  "Fine, your choice, Flack."  He pounced, making him regret it because he was going to drive him insane.  His teeth, his tongue, his fingers.  By the time he was finally ready to let Don have what he had wanted, Don was incoherent enough to not be able to speak his name.  He did moan Danny's name when he slid down him, but other than that he just held on and let him do whatever he wanted.  "Thought you wanted to be in control."

"I'm good," he panted, flipping them over and then making Danny turn over, diving back into him to take him on his hands and knees, making him grab the headboard with a swear as he slammed into him.  "You good?" he teased, whispering in his ear.  "Or you gonna give up and plead now, Messer?"  Danny moaned and Don went harder and faster, hands on Danny's hips pulling him back to meet each thrust.  He heard a moan and looked at Speed, who was now on his back.  "What?"  He slammed in again, harder this time.  Danny howled.  "He's fine.  You need help, Tony?  He doesn't look brainless yet."

"I like him able to beg," Tony assured him, reaching over to pinch Danny's butt.

"Hey!  Mine!"  He swatted that spot and Danny came, making him smirk.  "Won't save you."  He kept going until he was done, making Danny pant and collapse under him.  Don slid out slowly, taking off the condom and tossing it into the trash, then holding Danny.

"Don't cuddle," Danny panted.

"Yeah, well, I do, and you're a body pillow.  The same as I was once."  He got comfortable on him, watching Speed and Tony finish up.  "They're hot."

"Very," Danny agreed, reaching over to twist Tony's nipple, which made him swear and get off.  Speed laughed but Tony fisted his cock for him, making him finally come as well.  "Very hot, boys.  Thank you."

"Always happy to make you happy," Speed said tiredly, kissing him.  "Now sleep. We've all got to work in the morning."

"Yeah, with my luck, I'll be crawling in that stupid sewer pipe again," Danny said bitterly.

"Nope.  You won't have ta," Don promised. "I know all and I see all.  It was natural causes."

"Hammerback finally got him unglowy enough ta tell?"

"Yup.  Had a heart attack.  The glowing radiation was another problem and we reported it to the EPA, who joked and said it came from Jersey.  They're looking into it for us, so they get to crawl around the outflow pipe."

"Shit, I just thought of something," Tony moaned a second later.  Everyone stared at him. "Our old hideout."  Danny moaned.  "Danny?"

"Not since graduation.  It hurt too much and I couldn't climb with my wrist."

"I was at Columbia and I didn't think about it either.  It hurt too much that we had drifted apart," Speed agreed.

"Where is this place?" Don asked.

"An abandoned pipe system down under the subway," Speed told him, looking over.  "It's sealed magically so no one can get down there."

"Part of it was excavated in a tunnel renovation," Danny said thoughtfully.  "That could've exposed it ta the homeless."

"I doubt it.  We resealed the door when we left for graduation," Tony pointed out.  He looked at him.  "We've got to go down there, Danny.  We left tons of shit down there."  Danny groaned.  "We should go tonight so no one sees us."

"Can we apparate?"

"No," Danny said, shaking his head.  "Something could've changed.  We could end up in Mongolia."

"No, that was Ron," Speed assured him dryly, making Don pinch him.  "He did!"

"Hey, I ended up in Africa," Tony said dryly.  "Somehow.  When I came to my senses, I was dancing around a fire in body paint and a grass skirt, having been possessed by the spirits as I came over to heal the ill men of the tribe.  Plus two or three women."  He rubbed a hand over his face.  "We need to go."

"We do, but it's nearly two in the morning," Don complained.  "How would we get down there?"

"Secret tunnels under the school and the gardens for one of them," Speed told him.  Danny groaned as he climbed out of bed, heading for the bathroom and then his closet.  "You're still very well built, Danny."

"I'd better not be the only one getting dressed," he said firmly.

Don stood up, stretching upward.  "I left some jeans here, can I borrow a t-shirt?"  Danny tossed him one.  "Thanks."  He went to find his jeans, finding them in the bottom of the closet.  "If we're serious, can I have a drawer?"  Danny gave him a look. "For those sudden attacks of sex that mean I can't make it home?"

"I'll let you hang a few suits and borrow half a drawer," Danny agreed quietly.  Don gave him his most brilliant, happy smile.  "Welcome."  He sat down with a hiss to pull on his sneakers.  Then he got up to take something for that ache.  He came back to find Speed and Tony bumming clothes and then transfiguring them so they'd fit.  After all, Tony was pretty tall and Speed was heavier than Danny was.  "All right, we apparate into the gardens, then sneak down into the barrier."

"There's a guard now," Tony reminded him.

"And?  We're checking out rumors of a secret wizard's hiding spot.  Don's a curse breaker, it'll make sense."  They apparated there, making the guard tense and pull his wand.  "Hold up."  The guard relaxed when he pulled his badge.  "There's a secret entrance around here?"

"Yeah, we've known about that area," he admitted, opening one.  "That one?  The witches are using it for love spells."

"No, not that one," Speed said, opening theirs.  "Ours."  He smiled.  "We left stuff down there.  We're going to pick it up."

"Should I call someone if you get eaten?"

"I can take out any traps, Patrick," Don said cockily. "Besides, they built 'em."  He shrugged and followed the guys down, closing the entrance behind him. "Luminos."  His wand lit and they headed down the marble stairs.  "Who created this?"

"The same person who created the shopping area," Tony said quietly. "They were originally going to put it underground."  They paused in front of the marble gateway, then had to pull Don off.  "Not now."

"Yes, now!  There's open magic in there!"

"Not now," Speed repeated.  "It's warded."

"No it's not."

"Yeah, it traditionally is," Danny told him.

"No, it's not.  There's a passive ward, an alarm, but nothing else and there's open magic back in there.  Summoning magic."

"We'll get it on the way out," Speed assured him.  Don nodded, agreeing to that.  "Thank you."

"Welcome."  They headed further down, past another gateway.  "Wow.  That feels like Knockturn."

"That was our version and there's another path down there behind the quidditch and book stores," Tony offered quietly.  They went further down, ending up at a dead end.  The three original crew spread out and pulled their wands.

"Severus," they cast at the wall to the left of the stairs.  It opened and they slid inside, Danny pulling Don behind him.  Once in there, the door closed.

"Ignius," Speed cast, lighting the small line of gas that led to a few lamps along the walls.  "This way.  Main cavern or the reading room, Tony?"

"We need to clean all of it, then our private stash," he admitted, heading back that way.  "Don, ward the entrance?  I can feel someone searching."

Don turned around and warded the entrance, then jogged to catch up, looking at the underground rooms.  "Wow. You guys did good work."

"It was Horatio's year.  It got passed down but the year after us refused to listen and so did the years after them," Danny said sadly.  "They said it was wrong and they'd get into trouble."

"This was an inter-house refuge," Speed agreed quietly, looking around.  He cast the cleaning charm, cleaning all the dust off it.  "We'll have to find a member of our house and initiate them into the wards.  It's too necessary now."  They went to clean up what they needed to, taking old notes, some books, leaving the majority of the library there.  Danny ran his hand over one book.  "Go ahead, Danny."

"The future years might need it," he offered quietly. "It's got the log."  He looked at them.

"It's your yearbook," Tony pointed out.  "It's yours.  The log can be copied."  He gave him a quick kiss.  "Go open the private cavern so we can go down."  Danny nodded, going to do that, the book in his arms.  He looked at Don.  "It'll be fine.  That's probably the last evidence of Daphne that exists."

"He found a bunch'a her stuff in his old closet," Don said quietly.  "Clothes, an emergency fund, pictures."

"Good, I'm glad I slipped those boxes in," Speed agreed. "I hated that his father did that."  He walked Don on, taking him down to their private area.  "We carved this room out ourselves," he offered, opening the bronze door.  "We found that thing somewhere."

"I stole it outta Sonny's house," Danny offered with a wicked smirk.  Tony smirked back and Speed just moaned and shook his head.  "Not like he could track it."  He opened the second door and they walked into their study room, going to clean it out.  By the time they were done, they had backpacks full of books and other stuff.  Tony picked up a sword and handed it to Danny, who grinned and put it onto his back with a sticking charm.  They headed down further, going into one last room.  There they knelt at the altar and sent up a silent prayer to the Goddess and got an answer of who to tell.  "Not like I like them," he complained.

"Yeah, but it'll take strength," Speed reminded him.

"Especially since it'll be kids like them who'll have to push the purge back," Tony agreed.

"Besides, we were all punks, we grew up okay," Don reminded him.

"Point."  They got up and put everything back, cleaning it off and ready for use.  "Blessed be and all that."  He walked out, leading the way.  At the doorway he let Don undo it, finding two goblins standing there with one of their targets.  "Interesting."

"This place is?" one goblin demanded.

"An inter-house refuge," Speed said firmly, blocking his path. "A place to study and get to know your fellow wizards as they are."  He looked at the kid with him. "It's went empty for years because no one wanted to listen.  Will you?"  He nodded, and Speed let him in.

Don looked at the goblins.  "Sorry."  He closed the door and sealed it again.

Speed sat down with the kid, talking to him, explaining the rules and rituals that were to be done in here.  The kid sneered at a few.

"The longer it's held in peace, the stronger it becomes as a refuge," Tony assured him quietly.

"Your years need it more than we did," Danny agreed.  "We had curses and disco and shit to escape from. You guys have the military."  The kid stared at him.  "We're working on it but it's slow.  This is for all houses.  This place is kept in peace, in harmony, and in blood if you must to protect it.  The same as we do.  Do you understand?"

"I do."  He stood up, looking at him. "You were here?"

"With others.  In our year, there were death eaters," he said quietly.  "The first coming of Voldemort touched even over here, kid.  Some of my own family turned on each other over their kids and spouses."  He shivered at that.  "Apparently I lost my fiance over it.  My father wiped my memory clean of her."  The kid nodded, looking down.  "Now, you and your buddies were shown to us.  There's a library with helpful books.  It was started in Caine's third year by the juniors.  They built this one as a refuge from the house wars they had going on.  Can you use it and keep it as it needs to be kept?"

"I can and will.  Those in my gang will help me.  We're inter-house."

"We were shown you," Speed agreed, standing up.  "Use it well.  Call us if you need us."  They each handed over a card.  "Don't be afraid to call on the prior years, kid.  None of us like the purge and we have friends who defended the academy in Chicago."  That got an awed look. "Don's training with Dumass."

"Also known as Xander Harris," Don agreed.  "That's where he regrew."

"Then I'll keep it safe.  We'll bring in the juniors later this year."  He nodded at them. "The goblins are pissed.  They felt someone down here."

"Yeah, well, the first gateway held power.  Someone was summoning something," Don admitted.

"Crap.  No wonder," he sighed.  "All right."  He led the way out, letting Speed whisper in his ear how to find the doorway if it shifted and what opened it, what you thought when you cast the severing charm that opened it. He nodded and they opened the door, finding a curse breaker and a few more goblins.  "This is the Academy's refuge for inter-house affairs.  Sorry."  He walked out and the others followed.

Don cast the charm over the door, getting the kid's attention.  He got a smirk and a wink, then the kid skipped off.  Don looked at the curse breaker.  "What's going on upstairs with the summoning charms?"

"They're strengthening a wall around the vault tunnels."

"With demons?"  The curse breaker looked stunned.  "C'mere."  He led him back to the proper doorway, letting him feel that energy.  "That's what nearly made me stop.  Not the earth moving I can barely sense. Earth skills aren't my thing."

"Which one are you?"

"Flack.  I was missed but Dumass is working with me."

"Crap, you're the fourth apprentice," he sighed.  Don nodded.  "Super shit.  Okay."  He pushed open the gates and walked in.  "Behind me, Don.  Do not attack."

"Of course.  Should we try ta call Luna Lovegood or anything?"  The curse breaker gave him an odd look.  "She's dating a former Watcher and a higher demon."

"Watchers exist?"

"Yeah, Buffy's a blonde twit now and then too.  Angel sulks a lot.  Dumass was Harris when he regrew."

"Super sucking shit," he muttered, shaking his head. "Only Dumass."

"Hey, he got mailed a dragon's egg," Tony offered from the doorway.  He pointed.  "The second building, Don."  They nodded, heading that way, finding someone half-eaten and his casting ended.

"Huh.  Looks like something I don't have ta deal with.  Hey, Danny, do you guys have ta deal with half-eaten guys?"

"No," he called back.  "There's still demons, I can see imps."  They came out and went to deal with them and the demonic menace.


Alex straightened up when his cell rang, bending over to grab it off his desk.  "Dumass," he said patiently, listening to Mac worry. "I have no idea.  Have Stella do the marking thing.  That's what we Banes do when we can't find or reach someone.  Underground in New York?"  He thought hard. "The old shopping area probably.  The one they decided was too risky.  It's been a haven for idiots summoning demons for years. It's as close as you guys get to a hellmouth and it's probably too far down to get a signal."  He smirked.  "That's why you use the bond.  Are they conscious?"  He nodded once.  "Then they're fine.  Sure."  He hung up and used the charm he had to reach Don, no matter what was going on.  He did it on all his apprentices just in case they got into trouble.  He still had Bill's and the one he did for Arens.  He sent him a heated bitch slap and got back a whine and that it was done with but they were eating at the moment.  Alex told him who was worrying and heard him tell Danny that, so they all sent at Mac and Stella to calm them down.  Alex sent back a 'be more careful' then hung up and went back to his book.  "I remember being that young," he complained, shaking his head.  "Drove everyone nuts for years."  He turned the page and got back to reading.


Danny looked at the others.  "Since we're being suspended for the day, think we should head to the other area?"  They both smirked.  "Don?"

"Mac's being mean," he pouted.

"It means we can make the game."

"Then I'm all for a suspension," he agreed, standing up and putting away his dinner.  "Where's this one?"

"My home area."  They all got up and put back on their packs, heading over to the subway.  There was a hidden entrance to the nearest tunnel, which quickly got them onto a platform.  They got on and headed off, going out to Staten Island.  It wasn't a long trip but it was nice enough.  Tony napped on Speed's shoulder since the rush hour crowd was gone.  Danny held his head as Stella started to bellow.  He pointed out he was fine. "Yo, Speed, Tony?  Call your bosses?"

"Shit," Speed complained, dialing his boss.  "Sorry, boss, cleaning out the refuge and showing some of the new kids where it was, then helping handle a small demonic insurgence in the old shopping area."  He hung up as Horatio was taking a breath to yell.  He dialed Gibbs, repeating that and hung up when he started to yell.  He didn't need to take a breath first.

"Smooth, I like that," Don taunted, smirking at him.  "Been a while since I was on Staten Island and outside that one house."  Danny smirked at him.  "What can I say?  I'm from Yonkers.  Not like we mixed much, Danny."

"Point."  He smirked back.  "But it was fun teasing you uptight little white boys."

"Yeah," he snorted. "In your dreams, Messer."

"Up yours, Flack," he taunted back.

"Boys, trying to sleep, don't make me channel Gibbs or Ziva," Tony demanded.

"If you do, can I get a grope in?" Speed asked.  "She's cute, but too uptight for me."

"Sure.  If I grow breasts, you can grope."  He looked at the smirking faces.  "Remember, we can't do that on me ever again or I'll get stuck."  They put away their wands and got off at the next stop.  "Good boys."  He followed Danny up and out of the turnstiles.  Danny put in a card for most of them and Don paid his own way with his card.  "I miss real subways.  DC's is nice but cozy.  It meshes well with the bus line, but there's not a lot of range at times."

Speed looked at him. "At least you have one!  We've got busses."  He followed Danny outside and grimaced. "Bad air.  Bad."

"It's not quite thick enough ta sit up and beg," Danny offered.  "Yet."  They headed off for their destination, which looked a hell of a lot like a sanitation department check point for the sewers.  They walked in, letting Don have his grimace.  Then they walked in the door they had hidden, and down the spiral stairs.

"Guys, how much longer?" Don called five minutes later.  "I'm starting to get sick."

"Go slower," Tony ordered. He pulled out his phone, knowing it'd have static.  "I'm fine, boss," he said loudly.  "Huh?  Staticky!"  He hung up like he had lost the signal.  "Ooops."  He put it back into his pocket and continued down.  "One year we ended up having a water leak in here during a really bad winter and we sledded down.  At least until Speed ran into the wall one too many times and broke his ribs and arm."

"Not my fault the water ended in a wall instead of the bottom of the stairs."

"I'm still dizzy and nauseous," Don complained a few minutes later.

"Only a third of the way down, Don," Speed said patiently.

"If I volunteer to make ice, can we slide?"

"You'll get more sick," Tony assured him.

"Are we going down to the mythical screw that holds up Manhattan?" Don demanded.

"No," Danny said patiently.  "Halfway.  That's where I slammed Tony's head into the wall for being so drunk he tried ta grope me and kiss my ass," he offered, pointing at a dent.

"I thought that was further down," Speed complained.

"Yeah, we've only been going for five minutes," Tony agreed. He grinned back at Don.  "Lower down there's also a few missing steps we have to climb over.  That'll cure the dizziness really quickly."

"Like I said, I'll create ice," Don offered dryly. Speed just gave him a look. "Fine.  How long is this trek normally?"

"Half an hour," Danny offered. "Twenty if we run once we finish the stairs."  He came to the first broken spot and lifted his wand.  "Wingardium leviosa."  He floated Tony, Speed, and Don over it, then looked at Tony, who floated him. Then Tony got everyone at the next one and Speed got him. Don got the last set, which he prayed that it was, and Danny got him.  "Okay, head west," Danny ordered, pointing.  "Walk two-thirds of the way back to Manhattan."  Don groaned.  "Joke, sorry."

"Not far off," Tony agreed, helping Don walk that way.  "At least you're not dizzy anymore."

"No, I'm not.  I need food after this."

"We left stuff there," Tony assured him.  "Even twinkies."

"You know they change those things out every two weeks, right?  So said the food channel."

"Yeah, but they rotate stores with them," Speed assured him with a shit-eating grin.  His phone rang.  "Damn, that's magic enhancing that signal."  Tony gave him a look so he handed it over.  "I called your boss, you can answer it."

"Hello?" Tony asked hesitantly.  "No, I haven't killed your trace tech and taken his phone, Horatio."  His head rocked. "How did you do that?" he whined.  Horatio growled at him.  "Here," he said, handing it to Speed.  "Both our bosses.  I heard Gibbs growling in the background."

Speed checked the number. "They're at your work, no wonder."  He put the phone up to his ear.  "We're cleaning out the other spot, Horatio.  Um, somewhere under Staten Island?"

Danny looked at him then up. "That's probably the train line overtop of us since it's rattling rhythmically."

"Danny said we're under the train line.  Didn't they have a cave in?" Speed asked.  Danny shook his head.  "Are you sure? I'm sensing a blockage."  His head rocked.  "Okay, how did you do that, Horatio?"  He heard the growl. "I can't.  It's got anti-apparation wards.  Yeah, well, when we're done there's a shorter, one way path out."  He listened to the complaint.  "We were, and then we stopped the demons trying to take over the city, saving a curse breaker's life when he nearly got eaten....   Yeah, we have Don with us.  Why?"  Don snickered, shaking his head. "He said it's not his fault.   Oh, Alex told Mac that's been like a hellmouth?  Well, it's closed.  No, we're cleaning out our clubhouse and moving it somewhere more accessible.  Like Danny's place.  Mostly because I don't think Don's got a storage cavern set up yet."

"I've got one at the castle for things I find but I doubt Draco wouldn't complain and that's an awfully long way to hike for meetings on a weeknight," Don offered just loudly enough to be heard. Danny shushed him.  "Sorry!"

"Thin marble," he admitted, moving them further down.  There was a small rock fall but it was easily cleared up and transfigured into a pretty statue.  They went on, finding the ending door open.  "Crap."  He walked in and looked around.  "Someone gave us porn, guys!"

"Just in the outer room," Tony reminded him. "This was only the foyer."

"Only you could call this hole we hid in a foyer," Danny said dryly, smirking at him.

"Boys, it was an entryway," Speed said patiently.  Danny's head rocked, then Tony 's again.  "Gibbs said if you're not back there within an hour, he's firing you.  Oh, and Horatio said neither of you can work in Miami, Vegas, and Mac won't hire you either, Tony."

"If Gibbs fires me for making sure our stuff is safe, I'm going to give all his exes the combination to the safe in the office," he said loudly.  "The one with his medical and financial records in it."

"That's mean," Speed said dryly, staring at him.  "Even Horatio said that was cruel."

"Hey, it's necessary!  Do you remember what we left down here?"  Speed nodded. "Like our game brooms?"  Speed winced.  "Besides, I left all my wizarding cards down here."  They walked up to the entry to their room and he turned, finding a muggle worker standing there.  "Hi.  Your porn?"  He nodded looking amused. "Pity.  Obliviate."   He banished him off, heading up the stairs.  He landed on the other side of the door and then opened their hidden door.

Speed turned around and flicked his wand, casting the packing charm.  Everything was put into the boxes the guy had brought down over however long he had access to it.  "Don, shrink those.  We've got a trunk in here if I remember right."  Don nodded, going to do that while they all got to work on their main area.  Speed ended up hanging up on Horatio when it started to static up inside the room's wards.  "Why is that?  I heard Greg say Canada doesn't have that problem."

"Too much magical life energy.  Hogwarts has it because of all the paintings that cover everywhere," Don offered as he came back. One box was floating behind him.  "Shrunk 'em then put them in here and shrunk it."

"Works for me," Tony admitted, pointing at the trunk.  "In there."  He went into the back room, finding their old bachelor pad.  "Goddess, I have memories of that bed," he said fondly.

"Yeah, me too," Danny sighed, leaning on his arm.  "I've got a spare room."

"Not the same."

"We can change the rooms around.  Layer this one overtop of that one."  Tony smiled and nodded, finding the book that would have that charm in it in the trunk. The whole room around them shifted, then they found the doorway out.  "Shall we?" Danny asked with a grin.  They headed up and out, going up a mere twelve steps to walk out the same building.  Don gaped.  "We always needed a quicker exit when someone was looking for us."  He led the way around the corner, glancing around before they apparated back to Danny's apartment.  Everything got settled within a few minutes and Tony sighed happily as he laid down on their former spot to get it on with each other and their girlfriends.

Don looked at Speed. "What's so special about that bed?"

"That's where we used to bring dates and each other when we needed comforting fooling around. Danny, the extra porn?"

"Library.  With the other stuff inside the blue cabinet.  Mark the boxes." Speed nodded, going to do that. He looked back at Don.  "We were as tight as brothers, and nearly as lecherous as some identical twins can be together."

"Hey, I heard what you guy's thought about back then.  That was where you took what's- her-name in the blue dress, right, Speed?"  Speed grinned and nodded. "What happened to her?"

"She's married to your quidditch coach.  I heard she did a renewing virginity charm on herself for it.  Didn't want to disappoint him or something.  Not that I minded. I was serious and she wasn't as serious."  He turned around to go back to marking boxes and unpacking.

Tony came in to give him a hug.  "That was the first pain, then the next one sent you running to Miami," he agreed quietly.  "If you had told us, we'd have been there."

Speed nodded.  "I know.  You had your own problems and Danny was still struggling to get free of his family. I didn't want to impose."

Danny smacked him, hard.   "Between us, it's not an imposition, even during a case.  Capice?"  He nodded, hugging him.  "Good boy!"  He looked behind him as Horatio popped in.  "We're getting there. Let us finish putting stuff up.  Tony, brooms?"  Tony nodded and went to unpack the trunk, pulling out their special brooms for when they wanted to be really evil.  Which were charmed of course. Just anti-wear and polishing but that was more than enough.

"Is that... a Red Comet?" Horatio asked, running his hand over the handle.  Tony beamed and nodded.  "Tell me you rode that."

"Through my fifth year. Then Dad got me a Vega. Danny somehow got Blackie.  Speed rode his for another year then came in with a Vega of his own." Horatio moaned, touching the others. "Blackie's still at the school."

Danny pulled out his first broom, stroking over it. "This was my first broom, Don."  He came over to run a hand over.  "It corners like nothing seen."  He smiled at him. "I'll show you during practice."  Don grinned at that.  "Sorry, Horatio.  Some muggle was using the entry of our former clubhouse.  But hey, we got plenty of Jug's magazines out of it."

"A few Hustlers.  A few Hustler Comics," Speed agreed, finishing his marking.  "A few sad and disturbing things that I incinerated."  He looked at his boss and grinned.  "Toss me mine."  Tony tossed him his, letting him look it over.  "Yes, precious, I have you again," he soothed, stroking over it.  Don moaned and came over to help him.  "These brooms are so classic, they're myths.  The only six known in existence are our three, Dumass has one in his collection, and two more in collector's hands."

Tony looked at Danny.  "Should I ask how you made that money for the emergency, liquor, and broom fund?"

"Nothing illegal.  I updated a charm and won a prize.  Remember Princeton's wizarding college usta put out that charm competition?"  Tony nodded at that.  "One year it was a potion and defense one.  I had the best working update.  Most of the rest were theoretical, which was fine, but mine was actually proven and working.  I proved it in front of them.  It netted me funds.  I could've went there but then my father would've tried to interrupt my education again."

"So you're in the books?" Don asked.  "Where?"  Danny pulled down one, flipping through it until he came to his section, then he handed it over with a smirk. "Whoa, I saw Alex use this."

"He does, and he uses one of the other theoretical ones.  He told me Methos is still teaching it as the gold standard even though there's a new theory and way."  He smirked at Horatio.  "Alex has more though."

"Alex made spells?" Speed asked.

"The Suddenly Sober charm was his," Horatio told him.

"So were about a hundred things in the Big Book of Dark Pranks.  The twins read that to Tipsy when she was in labor," Don said proudly.   "Plus he's got some really boring books on curse breaking from his first life and long ago.  He said he was so pompous it makes him nap now."

"Wow," Tony said.  "I thought that book was a myth!"

"Nope," Don said, walking over to pull their copy down. "He gave us a copy."  Tony snatched it and sat down to read it, bursting out in giggles every few pages.

"Any of those end up in the group, we're lynching you," Danny said firmly. "I mean it."

"Yes, dear, but can I drive McGee mad?"  Horatio swatted him.  "Hey! You don't look like Gibbs! Only he gets to give me love taps!"

"I so dare you to call them that to his face," Don taunted.  "In front of witnesses."

Tony smirked.  "Close enough?"

"Good enough for me, but share."  He and Tony shook hands.

Tony snapped the book closed and disappeared with a salute, landing in the corner of Abby's lab, making her squeak and jump.  "Sorry, we had to clean some stuff out."

"Gibbs is SO pissed at you," she warned.

He smirked.  "Yay."  He headed up there, book under his arm.

"You're late," Gibbs growled, glaring at him.

"Sorry, boss, unavoidable.  The demons in the marble-halled shopping center stopped us."  Gibbs quirked up an eyebrow, pausing what he was doing to look at him.  "Seriously.  Ask Stella, she felt us fighting."  He shrugged and put his book down, walking over.  "Then we had to clean out our other storage cavern before someone walked into it, like they did the entryway.  But I got plenty of new porn from it since he had stuff stashed down there."   Gibbs stood up, staring him down.  "Sorry, some of the stuff we had hidden is now mythical.  Including some sports equipment that only has six remaining copies of."   His hand twitched, he could see it.  He grinned his best shit-eating grin.  "I promise we'll do the last one on our day off, boss."  Smack!  "Aww, you do love me!"  He hugged him. "I love you too, boss."

"Were you exposed to something harmful and deadly?" McGee asked, staring at him in awe.

"No, just in a good mood. My black Vega gear was down there."  McGee moaned.  "I used it all the time in games."  He winked and looked at his boss again.  "As well as some books, some clothes, my former wand that got broken," he muttered.  "My former black book which could cause a lot of hurt feelings.  Some sanitation or tunnel guy who was living in our space. We'll clean out the other one on our next day off if Don and Danny don't since Horatio went to pick up Speed."  He got smacked again.  "You know, I know it's true love now, but did you give Horatio permission to take your place behind me, boss?"  He got another smack. "Keep it up, watch me get another concussion, boss."  Then he smiled sweetly.

Gibbs hit him again.  "I'm trying to make your brain work right again, DiNozzo.  What did you do?"  Tony just smiled.  "Now!"

"Boss?"  He looked around the office, then at him.  "Elevator?"

"Now," he growled, following him. He saw McGee sneaking over to the desk and went back to get the book Tony had dropped, then glared at him.  "What is this?"

"Alex let Danny copy it, he's got at least a hundred entries in there."  He smiled. "You can put it back down, boss."  It was carried with him and they got onto the elevator, where he got smacked again.  "I love you too, boss. After how many smacks do I get a ring?"

"Are you high?" he demanded.

"No, just playful."

"You were doing what?"

"Well, first we had sex and showed Danny he liked to be under Don, and then we went to clean out the former refuge some older kids in the school set up for those who believe in inter-house cooperation.  We initiated a new member of the current year as well.  Then we went to help a curse breaker take down the New York equivalent of a summoning circle and hellmouth.  We had to leave the half-eaten person in there for the goblins.  After we got done with that fight, we had a snack, decided our other storage area probably wasn't safe so we went to Staten Island and went down the really long marble staircase until we were under the subway, then down the long marble hall, where we found an idiot taking our foyer to our clubhouse.  We cleaned out all the porn he had stashed then we cleaned out our clubhouse, transferring it up to Danny's pad.  Do you love me so little that you'd willingly share me with Horatio, boss?  Only you get to smack me, you know that, right?  Anyone else does it ever again and I get to hit them back."  He grinned again.  "You never answered.  How many smacks does it take to get a ring?"

"Did you take something?"  Tony shook his head, still smiling. "Feeling a headache?"

"I didn't until you told Horatio that you were sharing me."  He got smacked again. "That's it, next time either spank me or find a better way to get me to work better."

"Go home.  Sleep whatever this is off.  Do not bring this book back," he ordered, handing it to him.  "Disappear now since I don't trust you to drive.  When you come back in the morning, have Ducky look you over to make sure you're straight and figure out what did this to you, DiNozzo."

"Well, Don did taunt me to say you loved me.  Other than that, I've just had a really happy morning, boss."

"DiNozzo.  Home.  Now," he ordered.

"Yes, boss."  He disappeared and the elevator started moving again.  Gibbs got off and headed back to his desk. "Tony was apparently exposed to something, he's not sure what yet.  He's going home to sleep it off."

"Boss, was that the Big Book of Dark Pranks he had on his desk?" McGee asked.  Gibbs glared at him.  "Because I'm going to be the target and I'd like to register a complaint the first time things start disappearing on me.  Or my food turns to worms as I'm eating it. Or anything else that's in there.  Please?"

"I told him to keep it out of the office, McGee."

"So!  It doesn't mean he won't use it on us."

"I'll tell him he can't use it on team or key personnel.  Better?" he asked facetiously.

"If I gave you a hug, would you not slug me?"  Gibbs glared at him. "Sorry, Gibbs."  He ducked his head and got back to work.

"Perhaps whatever's wrong with Tony is spreading," Ziva offered cheerfully.  "Where did he say he was?"

"New York's hellmouth and then Staten Island."

She frowned a bit.  "How would he have gotten to New York since midnight?"

Tim looked at her.  "That's why they're called hallucinations, Ziva."

"Good point.  Any idea what hit him?"

"Not a clue.  I'm hoping it's not lethal since I sent him home."

"Boss, his car's still in the garage, I just got an IM from him asking me to please make sure his windows were up since his dry cleaning was in there."

"I'm not stupid enough to let him drive, McGee," he said harshly.

"Didn't think you were, boss, just noting the obvious."  He got back to work and sent him a report.  "There you go, boss. The last one I owed you off the last case.  Let me know if I need to make corrections."  He ducked his head down and wrote an email to Tony, getting back the same story he had told Gibbs, plus information on where things were.  Gibbs came over, looming over him.  "Problems on my report boss?"

"Spyware, McGee," he said quietly.  The email was printed off, deleted, and then his trashbox was deleted as well.  He looked it over, raising an eyebrow.  "Really?"  McGee nodded.  "Is that somewhere real?"

"It is, boss.  I remember in my history class they wanted to put an underground shopping area there. With the advent of the subway it was considered a bad idea and now a lot of people have taken residence there to use it for their own purposes. It's been used for that purpose more than a few times.  He wasn't joking.  Well, except maybe the loving you part."

"You think he was joking?"

"We...well, no, boss.  We all know Tony loves you but I'm not sure he loves you in that special way that Tony was joking about.  If so, I heartily support you if you return his feelings and end up doing Alex and Draco stuff.  Just as long as he doesn't use that book on me," he complained quietly.

"What book?" the director asked from behind him.  "Where is Agent DiNozzo?"

"He's been exposed to something that made him hallucinate.  He came in talking about hellmouths and Staten Island when he got here. We can't be sure what it was so I sent him home," Gibbs told her.

"He also said Gibbs obviously loved him with the way he hit him, joked about getting a ring after so many hits, and complained that he was sharing him with someone else who had hit him on Gibbs' orders," Ziva offered.

"We should do a drug screen, just in case," the director ordered.

"Most likely, ma'am, he was out at a club last night and got exposed by someone who wanted to kidnap him again," McGee offered.  She gave him an arch look.  "It, um, wouldn't be the first time someone wanted to take Tony away from Gibbs, ma'am.  They seem to like to do that to him.  I think this would be number six and counting since I've been here."  Gibbs gave him a look and he shut up.

"DiNozzo has been slipped drugs in his drink at a club before," Gibbs agreed, going with the lie.  He was sure it had probably happened sometime in Tony's wild past.  "He's usually pretty good about sleeping it off and letting us know when it happens.  I'd say whoever had him, they gave him too much and he just now woke up.  That was his way of letting us know he had been drugged.  Why else would he have been talking about hellmouths and Staten Island, Jen?"

"I see.  How many times has this happened since he started?"

"Seven times, no, eight, that he's been the target to get me.  Maybe four of those he got drugged during.  A few kidnaping attempts, one that wanted to kill him to make my team weaker."

"We always took it that it proved we were being effective, ma'am.  Even Kate, when she was alive, joked about the random attempts on Tony's life."

Gibbs nodded.  "She did joke about it a lot," he agreed dryly, looking at him again.  "That report was in gobbledy gook.  Fix it."  McGee got up, going to check his computer to see what was wrong, then came back to his computer to fix it.  McGee looked at him.  "What's the problem?"

"The spyware is in conflict with the email program again. It's changing the text encoding to encrypted and it's not showing how to unencrypt it.  To fix it, I'd have to remove the spyware."

"It's on there for a reason, Agent McGee. Like that email he sent you."

"Tony's been exposed to worse," he said dryly, smiling at her.  "At least he's not in isolation and nearly dead this time."  She backed off at that.  "Sorry, ma'am, but if this conflict continues, we'll have to print things out again and make him waste paper."

"You may not remove it."

"Can I turn it off so I can send him that report?"  She shook her head.  "That's fine, Director.  Boss, I'll work on how to unencrypt it."  He got to work, opening the file in another window.  He printed off his rough draft and handed it over.  "There you go, boss."

"McGee!  Spell checker!" he ordered, handing it back.

"I forgot.  Won't happen again, boss."  He got to work spell checking and then grammar checked it.  Then he printed it again, wincing at the extra page.  "I deleted that," he complained. He checked the printer's settings.  "Great, we're on the 'waste a sheet' setting again.  Ziva, did you fiddle with your printer setting or the printer again?"

"No, Tim, I did not."  He came over to look, making her glare.  "I didn't."

"You did.  That button there, if you check it, it prints out an extra page because it thinks you've got a title sheet."  He unclicked it and went back to his computer, getting back to work.  The director stomped off.  He waited until she was long gone.  "Boss, permission?"

"Shut the crap down," he agreed quietly.  Tim smiled and did that.  Then he sent his report again. "Better, thank you."  He signed off on it and sent it upstairs, shaking his head at that dramatic display.  "That's why email at work is bad, McGee."

"I know, boss, that's why I bring my laptop to work with me for my lunch hour," he agreed.  "Has anyone told Abby that it's on here?"  He got back to work.  They'd need the encryption key some day anyway.  He broke it and smiled.  "Got it, boss."  He downloaded it and went to install it on all the machines on their team, then went back to turn his back on.  "Sending a test message, Ziva."  He sent one off and she smiled.

"Perfectly readable, even in a nice font."

"Thanks."  He looked at his boss.  "You should have a little button once you restart your computer.  If you check it, it uses the key, boss," he offered quietly.

"Agent McGee," she called from the walkway.  "I could've sworn I told you not to do that."

"I had to reload it, ma'am, to make sure it took the encryption key.  If I hadn't, we'd all be stuck with something that's a cross between ASCII symbols and Cyrillic alphabet type.  I turned it off long enough to reload it, then fix a bug my key had, then restarted it. It's back on now, ma'am.  I've sent a test email and if my teammates would restart their systems, it would integrate fully and keep us from being non-productive with reports to your office and other necessary parties."  He looked at her.  "It was rather necessary, ma'am."  He looked at Gibbs.  "You can send her a copy of my report if you want, just to show how useful it is, boss.  I don't mind."

He nodded and did that. "Go check your email, Madam Director."  She huffed off.  He checked his email.  "On is using it it says?"  McGee nodded.  "Thank you, McGee."

"Just trying to help, boss. 'Cause I hate that stuff."  He smiled at him. "It's not like it blocks porn or anything.  As a matter of fact it accepts porn, even kiddie and disgusting porn, but it blocks things like health sites that talk about breast cancer."  He growled at that.  "It also blocks sites for research purposes, like some encyclopedias."  He called Abby's lab.  "I've got an encryption key for the spyware vs email prize fight."  He hung up and looked at him again.  "Boss, we really should take this off.  There's better out there."

The director came back down, glaring at McGee.  "Why have you not spread this cure?"

"It's not my job to do so, ma'am.  It's your job to tell Tech Support that there's an issue and that I've got a solution for this particular problem.  Then they're supposed to call me and ask; I give them the encryption key and make note that the spyware installed happens to not block porn but blocks health research sites and encyclopedias."  Her face turned puce.  "I can show you if you want, ma'am." He typed in an address.  "That's a pretty mild, standard one that I've seen on several computers around here."  He let it load and showed her.  Then he changed addresses to a breast cancer research site, and the 'blocked' message came up.  "That's a research site on breast cancer.  We have two agents who have it and had their research time after hours blocked until someone from Tech Support took pity on them and got them access so they could do some research on their possibility for a cure."  He looked at her.  "There's much better out there and I've sent that recommendation, along with several others about some of the not-perfect software and probable fixes, to Tech Support over the last year."

"Have they answered?"

"I get a lot of 'I know, but someone higher up ordered it to be that way' letters, ma'am.  Apparently someone gave us the software free as a trial version so we use it."  Her face turned redder. "I'd be more than happy to add my hacking skills to Tech Support's list, Director.  That way we can figure out what would work most efficiently and with the least amount of cost to our budget.  Because it will come in handy to have things that work every time."

"My word processor keeps dying," Ziva agreed. "I keep getting the blue screen of coma."

"Death, Ziva, death."

"It's more a coma.  It's alive but not functioning."

"It is, but it's stuck.  Using that analogy it's more like the Rainman of blue screens."  She nodded, getting that reference.  He looked at the director again.  "I know that Agent Gibbs' problem with his PDA is often the synching software that Tech Support makes him use.  The same as I know our phones are supposedly linked and won't thanks to that same trial software; since the trial ran out so we're unable to synch at all now."  She moaned and stomped off again.  "If you tell them, I'll gladly help, Director."  He relaxed, shaking his head.  "Not that they don't know what's needed," he muttered.  "She's blocking them from buying the stuff we need thanks to the budget."  Gibbs nodded at that.  "Is it that tight?"

"Not really.  I've seen worse years," Gibbs noted. He shook his head. "Take the spyware off my computer, McGee.  Not like I look at porn."  He came over to do that, letting Gibbs have his seat.  "Thank you."

"Welcome, boss."  He went back to his seat, knowing she was monitoring him.  He got an email from tech support not five minutes later and smiled.  "They sent a sigh, boss."  He sent back the explanation of what had happened and then the encryption key, explaining how it worked.  They sent back an 'I knew it'd do that when she decided to snoop on someone's computer'.  He grinned.  "She was logged into my system.  That's what caused that."

"Wonderful."  He looked at his watch.  "Lunch, crew.  Now."  They got up and followed him out, McGee calling Abby, who called Ducky, and they went to the usual place when they wanted to talk and eat.


Danny, Speed, and Tony all sat down to have dinner together later that night, smiling at what they had gotten up to during the day.  An owl flew in the open fire escape window and landed next to Tony, hooting softly.  "Hello, Perch.  Thank you."  He took the small envelope, letting her have some of his meat.  She swallowed some then went to perch outside for a bit.  He opened it and smiled.  "Hey, my Evil Bastard Membership card finally arrived!  It's about time!"

"Draco would be the Director of that society," Speed agreed dryly. "What's the note say?"

Tony cleared his throat. "Your bosses have been complaining to Alex about your behavior the last few days, citing him as a bad and amoral influence on your personalities.  Please quit frustrating Alex.  He tends to take it out on my tender, hot bottom.  Then again, never mind.  Go ahead and frustrate them some more please.  I rather like it when he's frustrated and needs a break.  Just be careful, remember the bosses are ganging up on you as well."  He smirked.  "Awww."

"You know, with Mac, Horatio, and Gibbs working together against us, that's some pretty fierce stubborn people," Danny noted patiently, thinking about it.  "Horatio was tops in his last three years in Charms, and second highest the two years before that."  They both looked at him.  "I looked him up in the school records.  They're online now."  He ate a bite of dinner.  "Mac's back to doing basically what he did in the service, obliviates and rescue things, plus whatever he's been refreshing with, which seems to be transfiguration. Add in Gibbs, who's stubborn enough to make wandless stuff work without realizing it?"

"Hmm," Speed agreed, swallowing quickly. "I'm sensing the subtle tread of 'obliviations coming'.  Tony?"

"They can't.  Obliviating us from each other won't work with bond.  Besides, if they did, Danny would go back to the thug bastard he was at eleven, almost twelve.  Speed, you'd go back to the pouty, sulky boy who'd already hit puberty when you started school at twelve, and I'd be the spoiled, rich, pubescent brat with a breast infatuation again."  They stared at each other and a wicked smirk started with Speed.

"Oh, that's mean," Danny offered.  "Don and Stella would know."

"It would conceivably put up a wall between us," Tony pointed out.

"Hmm," Speed hummed, considering it.  "Don's more tied in.  We might end up cluing him in."  He looked at Danny, who shrugged.  Then at Tony, who shrugged as well.  "Tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow," they agreed.  And that was all that needed said.


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