Alex landed on the front inside doorstep of the condo they were borrowing, smiling at the neat and tidy room in front of him. He looked at Draco. "Rented home sweet home, baby." He stole a kiss and sent their bags into the bedroom. "Only Horatio and Speed around to bother us with work." He stole a second kiss and Draco moaned, leading him to the bedroom so he could have his infusion of sanity again. "I like how you think. Think you'll want to be on the beach later or did you want to see Willow with me?"
"I'll go with you so you don't get attacked." He stripped his mate magically, then dropped his wand and slowly stripped down to nothing, making his mate purr. "You know, moon dark is while we're here," he teased.
"We won't be able to revel outside, but I don't see a problem with us doing it in here," he offered, then he pounced, driving Draco back onto the bed, tasting his sweetness and sweat. Someone knocked on the door. "That had better be a house elf." He got up and headed that way, finding Speed on his doorstep. "Already?"
He handed over a sheet of paper. "From Ethan on Willow and what she's able to do now, her current address and the internet based business she runs, and the better restaurants and beaches. There's no magically safe areas in the city. No reveling outside. They'll pop you for that and put you in different cells." He saluted him then walked back to his bike.
"That's a classic," Alex said, smiling at the old Harley.
"I traded up to a faster racing style bike during college. I had a Ducati down here. My mother sold it on me. So now I'm back to my original one." He started and took off, heading to work. He got there and headed inside, right to Horatio's office. "Alex and Draco are in. I told them about not reveling, gave them the good beaches and restaurants list, plus the information he'd need to check on his buddy. They were already halfway to sex."
"Thank you, Speed." He smiled at him. "What are you driving? I saw the bike."
"That was my original one. Back when I was still in school. I changed to a racing bike in college. It was in our third storehouse. Danny's former car. Tony's former car and my bike. Plus our special running away packs." He strolled off, heading to get back to work.
"Interesting." Horatio sent the paper to his friend's locker. It was where his beloved bike had ended up. The new owner had wrecked recently, through no fault of anyone he knew, and might consider selling it back to him. He heard Speed squeal and smiled. "I missed that noise." Speed ran in and hugged him. "He's recently wrecked, I'd tell him you were a relative."
"Thank you, Horatio." He walked off to call him immediately. "Hi, you don't know me but you bought my cousin's bike after he died. I was wondering if you'd think about selling it and how much. Yellow Ducati?" He smiled. "Really? That's really low but I can manage that tonight. Thank you, man. Yeah, Tim taught me how to ride. Sure, tonight after work so I can check it out? Payday's this Thursday. Thank you." He hung up and went to dance around the locker room so no one would see him. Ryan came in and he stopped, but he still got a smirk. "Horatio found my bike."
"Congrats. I never imagined you knowing how to Snoopy dance." He grinned and got into his locker. "Go back to it, happiness is too short." Speed went back to it and Ryan got what he needed for this day. "Any other good news?"
"Alex and Draco are in." Ryan closed his locker door and looked at him. "Xander and his very blond little husband, Draco Malfoy-Dumass. Oh, don't call him Malfoy. He hits really hard when you do."
"Thanks for the warning. What is he?"
"A curse breaker."
"Ah!" He walked out nodding, understanding that. He had found a book on that stuff in the wizarding shopping area. He didn't really associate any with the Wiccans and the other chaos people in town shopped in normal people areas for the most part. He did most of his at the mall, but he had needed a new working robe and there had been a very good sale there, plus he'd picked up a new blessed dagger. Between that and a trip to the bookstore, he had been a happy boy for days. He ran into Eric, grinning at him. "Horatio found Speed's old bike."
"He's gotta be dancing around." He grinned at him. "You okay? You seem tired recently."
"I'm fine. I've helped a few of my friends find something." He walked on, heading to his current case.
"Yeah, college aged, ran away," he shot back. "Not an issue, just stupid." He shrugged and continued walking. He ran into Horatio in there. "What's up?"
"Who was stupid?"
"A friend's kid. He's college age and ran away because his mother smokes pot to touch the Great Spirit. He's basically being really dumb and doing it on purpose to force a choice out of her. He wants her to convert to his church." He grimaced. "I've been helping find him and slapping him upside the head until he's normal again."
"I thought you said you didn't have any contacts in that community," Horatio said, closing the door.
"I don't. We don't hang together. My people are all down on Raeford. When I want or need to herb shop, I go to the grocery store." Horatio smiled at that. "Seriously. I do. I shop in the malls. If I need candles, I've found some great sites online. I've never shopped locally. At least until Calleigh led me to the wizard's shopping area by accident during a case. Then I got a new atheme and a new robe, plus some new books."
"Congratulations. May I have a list of those sites for my nephew?"
"Sure, I'll pull 'em off tonight, Horatio. I don't often deal with the other paths and things. That's how I didn't know the Druid markings on that one case. I'm a bit insulated with that stuff."
"I understand. I didn't recognize them either. We each have our gifts."
"Mine seems to be to find stuff I can tease Speed with."
Horatio smiled at that. "This sabbat, some of the local Wiccans are working on a healing spell for Eric's sister. He wanted to know if you'd like to join."
"I wouldn't mind if it wouldn't bother them. Some of them don't like to work with us."
"I understand and I'll pass that along to Marisol. Thank you, Mr. Wolfe."
"Not an issue. We've gotten a pretty hard rep over the years, but chaos is a natural power source. It's part of the balance. People don't like to think we can do anything but bad things with it." He shrugged. "Did you give her that number?" He nodded. "I know she's probably got some books that have spells that take both sides. You can give her my number too. I don't mind. I'm done working on Eric's shield. Calleigh's is nearly done. Sabbat is Sunday, moon dark, right?" He nodded. "Then I can do that. Not an issue. At the very least, I'll play guard if they can't use me. I know some of the cops don't like to leave circles alone."
"Thank you. As was I." He smiled and walked off, finding Calleigh working in the lab. He looked her over, noticing she looked tired. "Calleigh?"
"I'm fine," she said without having to hear anything else. "Just some nightmares."
"About John?" She turned to look at him, nodding. "If you need a few days off, I can do that for you," he promised. She shook her head. "Are you sure?"
"I'm fine. I'm taking the Ben and Jerry's cure at the moment." He gave her a gentle smile for that. "Thank you, Horatio."
"It's never a problem. Remember, you can talk to me if you need it." She nodded and he left, going to look over Eric's shield from his office so no one would say anything about his sunglasses indoors. It was fairly solid. It joined in the middle of his back. The joining area was a bit thinner but it was covered by the thickest part of his vest. It didn't obscure him. It did show that he had skills. He tapped on the window and nodded Eric up, getting a nod and him jogging up there. "Have you been having nightmares?"
"Now and then. Why? I'm not really tired or anything."
Eric closed the door. "The shield thingy Wolfe was working on?" He nodded. "He's doing Calleigh's?" He nodded again. "Then we'll do what we can. Should I ask?"
"No. It shouldn't be too much longer. Just watch out for her. The anniversary is soon as well."
"I hadn't realized that. I'll take her any day, you know that." He nodded. "We next up?"
Eric smiled and left again, going to tell Calleigh that. She smiled at him and nodded. He went into the lab Ryan was working in, leaning next to his ear. "That shield thing is giving her nightmares?"
"A very few, they shouldn't be very specific, just foggy, shadowy things. That's the anniversary and her doubts," he said quietly. "She tried to date." The door slammed and he looked at her. "I'm weaving a shield around you. The shadowy, foggy things with shapes, that's me. The others are all you."
"You've got what Speed does?"
"Other side of the coin," he admitted dryly, smiling at her. "As I found out since he's real, I'm like a more natural version of Ethan Rayne from that show, only I use it like a Wiccan would."
"Oh. You can do that?" He nodded. "Can you teach?" He shrugged. "Is it hard?"
"Probably for you. We tend to be darker sorts. We feel the darker, discordant energies, Calleigh. You'd probably touch the same pureness and light that Marisol does. It tends to be split that way, and personality often tells. Though, there's a few cheerleaders-on-crack sorts that I know who do the same thing I do." He looked at Eric. "Have her ask that healer I sent her to about dual power spells. I'll gladly help with whatever she needs me to."
"Thanks. She's not sure that it could help. The healer wasn't either."
"It's mostly power raising to slow it at this point, Eric. Even if I can only guard, I will. Especially this Sunday." Eric smiled at that. "That's an obligation of the power. You help the others who have it. Even if you think they're happy little pod people who should be on drugs to become normal and a bit more depressed now and then." Eric walked out chuckling. He looked at Calleigh. "I'll be done in a few days."
"You think it was the dating?"
He patted her on the hand. "I know it was the dating. It started after that. I felt it when I started working on it and your mind said it was the dating. You're ready but your subconscious is going to send you guilt for a while. Remember, he's the idiot who was obsessed and wanted you to join him in the darkness. You may've been his light, but that didn't make you his reason. It was his reason." She nodded. "That said, I'm still a natural person most of the time. There's darker of us out there." She nodded, going back to her lab. "I'll be done in a few days."
"Thank you." She went to get a soda and go outside for a few minutes to think. She was learning a lot about her people these days. First Speed and Alexx, now Ryan and Eric's sister. What next, Horatio being one? She took a drink and laughed that off. As if someone like Horatio could be a wizard or a witch or whatever someone like Ryan called themselves. She'd have to ask later. She felt something move behind her and reached for her gun as she turned, finding a very redheaded guy standing there. "You are?"
"A messenger of doom. Harry needs to speak to Horatio. Where might he be?" he said in a very cute British accent.
"Probably his office."
"Thank you, miss." He walked inside, going to check in like he did at the Ministry. "Hi, Ron Weasley to see Horatio Caine please?"
She just blinked at him. "Excuse me?"
He sighed and pulled out his ID. "The funny thing is, I know a bloke named Harry Potter." She just blinked some more and he gave her his most disarming smile. "Please? It's kinda important."
"Sure." She paged Horatio, getting him almost immediately. "Lieutenant, there's a redhead here named Ron Weasley to see you? Thank you, sir." She hung up. "He'll be right down. You can wait by the windows if you want."
"Thanks, not used to the sun being quite so strong. Not like that at home." He strolled over there, looking outside until he felt Horatio coming over. He handed over the note. "Harry's trapped in something. I don't know what. All I know is that he was panicking, kept babbling your name over and over, and said to give you that. If it's about Abby, I'll help you kick his arse."
Horatio smiled slightly as he opened the letter. "No, this is something different." He frowned, rereading the curse on it. Then he pulled out a pen and wrote a note, giving him a place to look. "Look there, Ron, and don't let him near any of the artifacts. He could set something nasty off."
"Sure. He's tied himself to the bed." He looked at the note then groaned. "Not again. That happened once before from Draco." He slapped himself on the forehead. "Hermy cured it last time," he complained. "Thank you."
"Not a problem." He wrote his phone number on the back. "Since I know cellphones work and getting here is tiring."
"Thanks, mate. Greg said he couldn't help and no one else was up yet." He shrugged and walked out, smiling at Calleigh again. He stopped to smooth a piece of hair off her cheek, and the strand of magic back into her hair. "There, such perfection shouldn't be ruined by a stray hair. My girlfriend would pout if it was hers." He smiled and headed into the shadows so he could head home. He was still going to beat Harry if this made them work against Alex's orders for them to take a break. He landed and walked inside. "Harry, you sodding pillock, it's what Draco did to you our last year," he called, slamming the door. "Stay away from everything!" He headed to find the book in the library. Then to have Philip send it to him since it was apparently the one book they didn't have. Which of course made sense since he needed it. It came out of the floo with a bookmark already in place. He sent back his thanks and settled in to read what they'd need to do. This time. Then he'd kick Harry's ass for having such a large target on it.
Danny walked in the next morning in the silver shirt and Mac just stared. It did bring out his eyes very well, plus he was wearing his silver glasses this time. "I like that," he admitted quietly. Danny just smiled. "How many more?"
"One day, I bought a new shirt and I promised I'd wear it." He grinned at Stella as she came over, accepting the hug. "What was that for?"
"Hillborne's looking for you."
"Thanks for the warning. Why?"
"I'm not sure." She looked him over then grinned. "I like that one."
"Hey, I found *tons* of shit in my former school stuff that still fits. I'm impressed with myself." The IAB chief came out scowling. "Like it? I found it in my old school stuff."
"Interesting. Where did you get it?"
"Tony DiNozzo, currently NCIS, formerly bestest school buddy. Some little place downtown he drug me into. Had some hippies and things. I'll ask him if he remembers if you want."
"No, not necessary. It's a bit too *upscale* for most officers."
"Yeah, well, I'm too tired ta do laundry recently," he shot back. Hillborne sneered. "I am." He shrugged and grinned at Sheldon again. "He thinks I've got the energy ta do laundry."
"I don't know how you do since you pulled a twelve hour shift yesterday. I only pulled ten and collapsed on my couch thinking about dinner as an abstract idea." He looked him over. "They're going to be very happy with you." Danny just beamed, a sweet smile. "Flack?"
"New shirt. Tony made him buy a new one." He looked at the Chief of IAB again. "What's up?"
"Some questions were asked about how you're living so high on the hog."
"Well, first of all, in my former stuff was my former running away stash. Back when I had a fiance I was saving up for a ring and that stuff. Secondly, since my family was banished they ended up leaving everything here. I sold their house on 'em with the judge's permission. That also left me the family money. Thirdly, I turned all that shit over to you guys already. You should talk to the person who was over that. She went over every piece of information."
"Your ...school things?"
"Were in the closet at the house. Not like I would've went back there ta get it," he sneered. "After all, we all know I left the family because of their business."
"So I've heard." He looked him over, then into his eyes. "You and Don Flack....."
"Are very good friends. We're handling his cult together at the moment. I'm keeping him calmer when it starts ta freak him out." Their local cult member came over. "He does panic about you guys."
"We know. We appreciate that he's still getting used to us." He touched the sleeve. "This is very nice, but I liked you in the purple one you were showing off last night." He grinned shyly. "Some of us wanted opinions on the suggestion that we should dress more like the Father. Can you have him give us a few minutes?"
"Sure. Not an issue. You know he doesn't really mind the nicer of you guys." That got another shy smile and he looked the kid over. "He'd usually wear the purple tie with that, but I always thought that was more about his eyes. On you that looks better this way." He patted Sheldon down, finding his pen and notepad. "Sorry, mine's in my locker." He wrote out two names and phone numbers. "That's Tony's toss-away cellphone that he's got for you guys. It's got voicemail. The other is the very nice girl Don dated a few years back who got him that really hot black suit." The man whimpered and nodded, taking that back. "She's as gay as they come the last I heard."
"Thank you." He bowed. "Have a nice day, Protector." He slipped off.
Danny handed Sheldon back his pen. "There ya go. Call me later, Don's working swing today," he called.
Danny looked at Hillborne. "They're not bad sort, just a few were thinkin' bad things." He looked at Mac. "Case?"
"Probably soon. Do you have a jacket to go over that?"
"Of course. If not, my CSI jacket's in my locker, like usual." He walked off, going to get his stuff out of his locker. "Thanks, Sheldon."
"Not a problem." He looked at Mac. "He's very understanding about some stuff."
"He grew up with it," he pointed out dryly.
"I'm not sure if I like him more in this one or the black one," Stella murmured. Her phone beeped and she looked at the pictures she had been sent, smiling and showing Sheldon. "His seafoam one and the purple one he mentioned." He laughed and walked off shaking his head. "What?"
"Help him do laundry tonight, Stella, that way people quit giving him funny looks."
"If I must." She looked at Mac, showing him. "They like me."
"They do," he agreed happily. "You're good with this stuff. I still don't understand but you're good with it." He walked off shaking his head, holding in his drool. That purple one was very hot looking on him, as was the picture of him in just a tank top undershirt.
Hillborne stomped off. He'd do a financial check of Messer's recently purchases, see if he could tell where the money was coming from. That way he could nail him.
Don walked up to their mole later that day, handing him a sheet of paper. "The formula I dress by, adjust it so it looks good on you," he ordered, getting a bright, happy smile. He looked at it. "I like that one. I'd have worn my purple tie but that's because it makes my eyes pop out. That way looks good on you." He walked off smiling. "Thanks for making Danny dress up too."
"You're welcome, sir." He looked around then squealed like a little girl and texted his High Priest about what he had said, and about how he had earned a smile. He saw Danny storming out and warned him of that as well. "Is all not well?" he asked when he came back.
"No, not at all good. Where's Don?"
"He went back toward the elevators."
"Thanks." Danny jogged that way. "Don!" He turned and stopped. "We've got an issue." Don nodded, following him out to the SUV. "Look up, Don." Don looked up and groaned. There was a dragon flying overhead. "This so very muchly sucks. Let's get you, since they seem to like you, to a more neutral and magic friendly place." He started the engine and took off, taking him to the park. The dragon followed. "I wanna know what it is about you that draws dragons."
"Ron said he had the same thing and Arens said it happened to some of us. Something about being a curse breaker and the skills we've got naturally that makes us smell nice to 'em. He said Alex is always getting adopted by one or two whenever they run into 'em. Anytime they've had to save Alex it was either a natural disaster or a dragon. He spent the time uncursing their artifacts." Danny cut across traffic, sliding into the gateway to the park, then back past the wards. They got out and headed for the practice area, seeing some kids. "Guys, clear out. There's a dragon flying around." They looked up and screamed, then fled. "Thanks!" He looked up, watching the dragon watch him. "What? I can't fly without a broom. You'll have ta come down." It landed, sniffing him. Then Danny, then him. He looked at it. "Ron's book said you're a Rhodesian Ridgeback."
"It is, but it's still a steamer."
"Then I'll be pressed better," Don assured him. "He won't hurt me." He moved closer and the dragon grabbed him, pulling him against his chest so he could sniff him more. "I'm okay. You're a good boy dragon." He patted him gently. "You can let me go." It hummed and settled in to hold him and nap. "I'm not a teddybear."
"Hey, you're the one who cuddles," Danny teased, smirking at him. Another car came over and someone came running. He looked. "Hey, Aiden. It's the other curse breaker issue."
"You mean he's got a cult?"
"Of gay guys who think he's their Father."
"Ohhhhkay," she said, shaking her head. "Um, teach, he's laying down for a nap," she called. The current defense teacher at her school came over. "I portkeyed us. The local school is for shit. Their defense teacher sucks."
"Ours was flaky," Danny reminded her. He grinned. "Danny Messer."
"Remus Lupin," he said quietly, shaking his hand. "That one?"
"Don Flack Jr. Curse breaker in training under Alex Dumass."
"Ah." He walked over, tapping the dragon on the paw. It looked at him. "You cannot nest here," he ordered in his quiet accent. "The city is bad for you. There's no food available. You won't be able to find a mate."
"Maybe it came in for some shopping," Aiden teased. "Hi, Don."
"Hey, Aiden. You should meet my cult."
She giggled. "I'd love to." She came over and the dragon steamed. "Hey, I love the guy like my brother. Get over it." She patted the dragon on the nose. "Can I search for loose scales?" He shrugged but held Don tighter. "I won't pull any, I promise." She walked around it, using a hard sided brush to help him shed his current skin and take off any loose scales. "He's obviously from a preserve," she noted.
"Yeah, he deals well with humans." Danny moved closer. "Are you really a people in disguise?" The dragon looked at him, looking pitiful. "Crap." He pulled out his wand, running a check over him. "Yeah, you've been like this for a while now."
"Found a tag," Aiden called. "Canada's academy."
Don wiggled, tossing Danny his wallet. "The guy from the Ministry's card is in there. Florette."
Danny dug it out and called. "Hey, it's Messer in New York. We've got a young male dragon who just hunted Don Flack down ta snuggle him. Yeah, blue. Responds visually to intelligent conversation around him. Aiden Burns found you guy's academy's marking on him. No, he looks like he was changed. Thanks." He hung up and put Don's wallet into his front pocket. "He'll be right down. If he's changed, he knows what was going on. We might be able ta help him." He came back over to pet him. "It's all right. We'll do what we can ta help you." The dragon nodded, resting his chin on Don's lap again, one arm firmly around Don's waist.
"I'm still not a teddybear."
"You're definitely cuddly," Aiden teased.
"Yes, he is," Danny agreed. She gave him an open-mouthed staring look. "What!" She ducked her head with a blush, going back to work. He worked his other side to see if he could find the knot holding the transformation. "Hey, Aiden, come look." She came over so he pointed at a few discolored scales. "Is that scale rot?"
"No, that's signs that he was potioned." She ran a hand over it, earning a shiver. "It's all right. We're trying ta help, baby." He settled down again, letting her do whatever she wanted. "Yeah, he's a changed one. From human maybe, or unicorn. He was pure when he was changed." She gave him a fond pat on the side. "Hopefully we can undo it." She got back to her gathering. It wouldn't matter much for her purposes.
Danny kept going, finding the linking spot. "There," he said, looking it over. "Potion, spell. DNA changer." Aiden smiled at him. "We've done it in the past. The trio of us are pretty good at transformation spells." He looked over as the Ministry person showed up. "It's the DNA changing one." He frowned and came back. Danny summoned his book, handing it over. "I want that back."
"Of course." He flipped until he found it, then gaped in horror and awe. "How!"
"We're good at that stuff," Danny said with a lopsided shrug. He looked at him, then at Aiden. "Hurry up. He's only got a short time to change back." She nodded, stepping back since her bag was full anyway. "Big guy, you gotta let Donny there go. 'Kay?" He sighed and let Remus hold Don for him. "Thanks." He concentrated, pulling the magic around him, then he released it with a quiet chant. The dragon shimmered then slowly shrank, his body changing back into the small patch of human skin he still had. Then he popped into unicorn shape. Danny groaned and tried again, this time getting a shivering boy on the grass. Danny was soaked with sweat and Aiden had to help him sit down. "Thanks. Check on him."
"Can I send this book back later?" Florette asked.
"As long as I get it back."
That got a nod and he walked over to see the young man. "I'm Minister Florette. I'm over Magical Creatures in the Canadian Ministry," he said gently. The boy sobbed, clutching him. "Shh, it's all right now. We've figured out how it was done and reversed it. Let's have you checked over and then we'll contact your family, young man."
Don walked over, making the kid look at him. "Your family do this to you?"
"My older brother wanted my girlfriend. He did it." He hugged him. "They said you'd know and help me. One of the girls at the school said you were good."
"I am, we'll do what we can ta help you," Don promised, looking at Florette.
"With his brother doing it, his family will either disavow the brother or they're going to have a judgement against them." He tipped the boy's face up. "You saw the notice of the marriage?" The boy nodded. "Let's go back to the Ministry. If your father should show up, I'll tell him what happened. If he has any reaction other than a horrified one, you'll go home with me tonight if the healers let you go." The boy nodded, letting them help him stand up. "He did a unicorn first?"
"She changed me to try to save me," he said quietly. He bowed to Danny. "I thank you."
"Not an issue, kid. What he did sucks, badly. Kick his ass for me, 'kay?" The boy nodded and let the Ministry official take him home.
Aiden got to work gathering any remaining shed scales with a gathering charm. "Aiden," Remus chided. "You haven't seen them in a while."
"I know." She smiled at Don. "You look nice. Danny looks good sweaty and sticky too."
"I need a shower and food," Danny agreed, flopping backwards. "Pronto."
Don walked over, coming to help him stand up. "I know you do. We'll feed you as soon as we dress you after your shower. Locker room?"
"Should since I'm still on." He handed Don his wallet and then his own phone. "Here, you call." He wobbled over to hug Aiden. "Come to my place tonight?"
"If we're not missed. Remus was looking for something recently." She smiled at him. "You mind?"
"Not in the least," he promised, smiling at them. "Fortunately I now know how to drive." She squealed and hugged him. "Thank you, dear. I'll report to the Headmaster." He went to do that while she finished gathering things.
She patted Don on the cheek. "You fuss worse'n any boyfriend. Keys?" Danny handed over his keys. "Addy?" It was written out. "Thanks, guys." They grinned and she got back to work while Don walked Danny back to the SUV and then back to the station. This was the fun part of her life.
Don walked Danny in, seeing the worried look. "Situation was fixed, Danny's worn out," he offered to Sheldon. "I'm taking him to shower and change. Can you get him a candybar or something?"
"Sure." He went to do that, glancing back at him. It was clearly magical exhaustion. He got him a snickers bar and went back, pulling out the book he had bought recently on magical maladies to check the treatment. "Same as regular. Sleep, eat, rest." He closed it and put it back into his locker, getting an amused look from Don. "There's not always a healer around," he pointed out. Mac stormed in with Stella behind him. "He's fine. He wore himself out."
"Doing what?" Stella asked.
"Changing some poor kid back to human since he said his big brother changed him to a dragon to get his girl," Don complained. Mac groaned and went to check on Danny. "He's fine."
"He needs to eat." He came out with a shivering Danny wrapped in towels. Sheldon handed over the candy bar. "Thank you."
"Not a problem. He was dripping with sweat when he came in."
"DNA changing charm," Danny said patiently, eating the candy bar. "I'll be fine, guys. Really. Thanks." Don and Stella both snorted at that. "Aiden's in." That got a few smiles but Stella got into his locker. "Not those. I can't bend in those," he ordered. Well, semi- whined but mostly ordered. She gave him a long stare. "Not like I don't need new boxers too."
She smirked. "Not really. Only if you're *shy*." She tossed the tight jeans over then got out his purple shirt, which was hanging in there.
"He'll look like he's on a date," Don pointed out.
"There's only a few hours of work left and he can have a lab," Mac offered quietly. "Go ahead and finish up, Danny, then change. You can have the trace lab if you want." That got a nod and he finished up, then slid the pants on under the towels before standing up. He looked in his locker.
"You don't need an undershirt, Messer," Don complained.
"I do so. I don't need nipple hardness at work." Stella gave him a gentle smack on the head so he sighed and put it on. He did have an extra pair of socks in his gym bag, and his sneakers in there were good enough for the next few hours. "We sure this is okay until I can head home?" he asked, looking at himself. "I look like a clubber."
"You're fine, Danny," Mac assured him. "I'd never say anything after a day like today." He clapped him on the back. "Write out a report for me on what happened so I can keep track of it. All right?" Danny nodded. "Good, then get a sandwich out of the machine, take five minutes, then go hang in the lab and try to get stuff done." He walked out, keeping himself from thinking about how well the old jeans molded to his rear. Or how the shirt skimmed over his muscles.
Sheldon smiled. "They put in new ham sandwiches. I can go defend you one from the others."
"Thanks, doc. Be right there." He nodded and walked out. Danny looked at them. "Let me change these pants so they're not quite as tight."
"Leave 'em," Stella ordered, taking his wand and walking off. "I'm enjoying the hell out of it, Danny." She winked at him before walking out the door.
"Can't say as I mind the view either, but I'm a bit jealous," Don complained, pinching him on the ass. "Try to behave."
"Hey, he came for you," Danny defended, closing his locker and stretching. "Thanks, Don."
"Welcome. It's the sorta guy my daddy raised me to be." He walked him out and to the break room. "I should get back before my boss complains that I disappeared." He headed back to work.
Danny sat down with the sandwich Sheldon handed him, left alone in the break room. He took a bite, then nodded, it was fairly fresh by machine standards. He ate another bite and nearly choked when Hillborne walked in. "What?" he asked once he had swallowed.
"You went where with PD property?"
"The park ta handle something." He ate another bite. "Ask Mac." He took a bigger bite and chewed, just staring at him. Hillborne looked him over and he sneered once his mouth was clear. "It was clean and in my locker. I came back soaking with sweat. At least I didn't have to go home." He finished up and cleaned up, then headed up to his lab to get to work. Fortunately his lab coat obstructed the view of his ass.
Mac walked in and shut the door most of the way. "Stella got sent the newest picture for the website," he said quietly. "They got you walking away from Hillborne." Danny moaned. "It's not a bad picture."
"I know, just endure. What happened?" Danny turned to look at him. "Seriously."
"Big society wedding coming up in Canada's society people, right?"
"I've seen the local smug notices."
Danny nodded. "The older brother turned the younger one into a dragon to get his girl."
"I see. And he came here why?"
"Someone was saying how good and upright Don was," he said quietly. "He came ta get help. Oh, Aiden's heading for my place."
"Good. Can I pop around?" Danny nodded. "Thank you. You changed him back?" Danny nodded. "Good." He walked off, noticing Hillborne was up the hall. He pulled his wand, going to obliviate him. It was the favorite sport of the union reps and he had been asked to help. He erased the message on his blackberry that he had been sending to his boss, then erased everything about Danny from his mind. Then he walked off, much happier with his day all of a sudden.
Alex looked up and smiled as his mate rejoined him on their blanket. "Get enough dark time?"
"I have." He laid down next to him, head on his shoulder, one hand on his stomach. "Thank you for spoiling me, Alex."
"Not a problem, I like spoiling you," he promised, kissing him on the forehead.
"Awwww," a female voice said from behind him. "He's so much cuter than Cordy and you were."
Alex looked back and grinned at Willow. "Thanks. Pull up some sand?" She walked over to sit in front of him. "How've you been?"
"Not bad. They've helped me see I was wrong." He nodded. She looked at Draco. "Hi, Draco."
"Willow." He stared at her. "They let you use it again?"
"I've still got some power. It's not like they can plug it totally."
"You're not going to do more evil things?" Draco asked.
"I try very hard not to."
"Then I don't have to worry about you and I can take a nap." He closed his eyes and got comfortable, letting the warm sun lure him into a nap.
Alex smiled at the first soft snore. "It's been a long few months," he offered. "He got sick because we accidentally broke his family curse helping Ron's sister Ginny. Then Ron and I got hit by a rockfall after he got injured on the job and sent home. I thought I'd combine checking on you and spoiling him rotten."
"You spoil him very well," she noted, pointing at the ring. "Family's?" He nodded. "How've you been?"
"Good. I moved back to the other house. The family has a hidden house that's always been more mine than the manor ever was. It's got my library."
"You...have a library? You hated to read."
"No, I hated to be ordered to read, and I especially hated reading the shit we read in school, Willow. I like to read. I've got billions of books and scrolls." She gaped at that and he nodded. "Ask Nick if you're still in touch. Remind him that the books return if he tries to keep them over a week without special permission as well." She smiled at that and nodded. Someone came over and flopped down next to him, making him look at him. "Mr. Wolfe I believe."
"Hi. I was tracking her." He looked at Willow. "Your company's alarms are going off. Someone tried to magic open the locks." She blinked at that. "Some of us do use chaos like the Wiccan's do. It's the flip side of the coin."
"He's right. Not everyone's like Ethan. Most of them are like him." He nodded at Ryan, then looked at him. "Need more help?"
"Not yet." He stood up and helped her up. "Let's make sure they didn't break anything. I can feel the shields protecting the magical nullifying equipment again." She nodded and gave him a look. "Horatio said he'll be in town for a few days."
"Not another working vacation," Draco moaned.
"Nope. Tonight, Wills?"
"Sure. Where are you staying?"
"Petrov's old condo."
"Okay. I know where that is." She smiled. "The local Wiccans are doing a power raising this Sunday."
"We usually revel on the moon dark but I can guard," he promised. She nodded. "If we do revel, we'll try to channel it their way."
"Thank you." She kissed him on the cheek and patted Draco on the head. "Don't make him have a pale spot, Draco. I'll see you two tonight." She walked off with Ryan. "How did you track me?"
"Easy, you're glowing and polluting the magical roadmap again," he said, glancing at her. "You need shields."
"Ethan's supposedly siphoning off me."
"Yes, but the hellmouth is hyping you," he noted as he let her into his hummer. He walked around to get in and drive, taking her back to her shop. "You glow. I'm surprised Draco didn't say anything about needing sunglasses since he's kinda obviously a veela."
"Consort," she agreed, glancing at him. "You can use Chaos like the Wiccans use earth energy?"
"It's just as natural. There's always gotta be a balance," he reminded her patiently. "You could do that as well."
"I hadn't even thought about it, Detective."
"Ryan then." She smiled at him. "Got any reference works?"
He glanced at her and grinned. "Like we write stuff down," he snorted. She giggled. He pulled into her parking lot a few minutes later and she hopped out, running for the door. He turned off the engine and followed, holding up his badge. "It's her place." The officer on the door let her in. "Horatio?" He looked up and he pointed at Willow, who was heading toward her office to turn stuff off. In one case, the shields around a machine strengthened. Then she came back.
Willow looked at the body from a safe distance, Ryan's hand on her arm to keep her from moving closer. "That's my secretary." She looked at Horatio. "Any idea who did this?"
"Not yet," he admitted. "Where were you?"
"I went to find Xander." He nodded. "I can pull the security footage for you. I'm having it copied onto my laptop so I can burn it down. Also her personnel record. She was a nice girl." She looked around, heading around where they were working by walking behind a few machines. She tapped in a code and sighed. "They were after the patents. They're gone. All the plans." She looked back at him as he and Ryan came over. "She didn't have the combination to the safe. No one else did. It was randomly chosen by computer. It changed by mathematic algorithm every week. Every Sunday night I spend doing math problems to figure out what this week's code is."
"What was in there?"
"A new process for shielding processors from heat damage. A few other things." She glanced at Ryan, who nodded and looked around to make sure they were clear. "I'm working with Gringotts at the moment to update how computers and magic work together," she said quietly. He nodded, understanding that. "You're not one of us. I mean like me."
"I'm like Xander," he admitted. "He's broken some shields for me in the past which were shielding drug dealers."
"Wow. Xander's a busy little asshole. I really should kick his tush tonight for being such an asshole." She walked off shaking her head. "I'm heading back to the office. Her boyfriend will be huffing and demanding he get his ring back soon. I was trying to talk her into leaving him for being a bastard to her."
"Thank you for the warning," Ryan called. He looked at Horatio. "Well, that explains some things I wondered about during the last case."
"Indeed." They went back to process the body, meeting Alexx there. "Alexx?"
"Single gunshot wound to the stomach, Horatio. Poor baby bled out." She stroked back her hair. "Small, older bruise on her forehead as well."
"Miss Rosenburg said that her boyfriend wasn't the nicest of sorts, that she was trying to get him to leave him," Ryan offered. She smiled at him. "She warned us he'd be looking for her ring soon."
"He'll have to wait, just like everyone else." She looked at her hands. "No defensive wounds. He probably didn't get close enough. Where was the owner?"
"On the beach with Xander when I found her," Ryan admitted. She gave him an odd look. "Yeah, from my last case here. She's in her office."
"I'll get that information, Mr. Wolfe. You start processing." He nodded, getting out what he'd need to do that.
"Lenscap," Alexx warned. He nodded and took it off, then got to work taking pictures of the body. "What is going on?" she asked quietly, glancing around.
He stared at her. "Ask Horatio." He took another picture and moved on.
"Fine, I will." She stared at him, then got back to work. She was still wary about him. She saw him giving her a sideways look. "What?" she asked patiently.
"Well, bra strap hanging out and your hair's coming down." She reached up to fix them both. Ryan looked up toward the office and muttered something, and suddenly the magic stopped. Then he got back to work since it wouldn't warp his pictures any longer. His phone rang and he groaned, looking at the number. "Go fast, I'm working." He listened, then groaned. "Why?" He moaned. "Fine. Thank you." He hung up and his phone got put away, and he got back to work yet again.
"Problems?" she asked.
"No, someone just gave me a pet." She gave him an odd look. "Really." Horatio and Willow came back down. "Let me get this bruise on her ankle, then I'm done with her," he offered.
"That's from her boyfriend," Willow told him. "She came in limping today and I had to help her ice it earlier. Bastard's going to get my foot up his hiney." He gave her a look and she shivered. She knew that look. "Um...."
"Dinner? To go over her background and what they may have gotten out of your safe in a more secure location?"
"I can have an early dinner. You can snack with them. I doubt Xander eats real food unless Draco makes him."
"True. He used to live on twinkies and coke."
"Don't remind me, please," Horatio complained. "Are we done?"
"Yup," Ryan agreed, taking a picture of that. "Can we arrest the boyfriend for abuse?"
"I'll see if we can," Horatio offered. Alexx waved in her body haulers and Horatio helped her off the floor. "I'll be there for post," he promised.
"Thank you, Horatio." She patted him on the cheek, then looked at Ryan before looking at him. "Come to dinner tonight?"
"I'm having dinner with my nephew, but you could come over later," he countered, smiling at her. "After the kids are down."
"I'll pop around then," she promised with a smile. She walked out with the body, taking most of the extra officers with her. That left one on the doorway since that was the only entrance to the building.
Ryan looked at her. "The city's HP just handed you to me," he said quietly. "They think you need training in what I do and how I do it. They also think that you need someone to guard and watch over you in case someone else attacks you or this place. They think that if something major happened, they don't want Xander to come in and blow up the city. Therefore, consider me a really close friend."
She snorted. "I heard the pet comment."
He grinned sweetly. "Not like I'm going to explain it to her. I like keeping a low profile. That's why I told her to talk to Horatio."
"Thank you for that, Mr. Wolfe. That was appropriate. Who made that order? I didn't realize we had an overlord."
Willow gaped at him. "With a city like Miami of course we have someone who watches over us all. Your kind don't?"
"We're mostly older. Not every city has overlords, just the more high profile and more powerful ones."
"Oh. Well." She shrugged. "We've got a pretty high concentration of people practicing so we've got a council. I agree, I could use someone around to hang with and talk to now and then. Nick and Alex in Frisco were really nice and helpful in getting me back to myself." She glanced down then at him. "I accept but I want to learn stuff."
"Agreed. First, let's work on shields. Please. You give me just as much of a headache as the other sort do when they're leaking."
"Sure." She concentrated and her aura muted.
"Thank you." He got back to work. "Any idea who'd want the plans?"
"A few people. Then again, if she was killed by her boyfriend, the bank might've evacuated them just in case. I can't get hold of anyone."
Ryan grimaced then called Speed. "Can you get someone at that bank of yours to see if they took Willow Rosenburg's plans and patents or someone here stole them when her assistant was shot? Yeah, here, but we've got an abusive boyfriend as well." He smiled. "Thanks. No, Horatio is with me, as is she. Thank you." He hung up. "He'll call and talk to someone."
"Thank you." She smiled impishly. "I'm building a new viral game. I'll be in my office." She headed off.
Ryan shook his head. "Sorry, boss, I got given a pet," he said quietly.
"I heard you tell her that. It's not nice."
"As long as he gives belly scratches, I'm fine with it," she called. "My girlfriend might not be, but I am."
Ryan smirked at that, shaking his head. "Horatio, there's a footprint there," he said, handing him the camera. "Can you get that one while I dig out a sheet?" He nodded, taking the pictures for him, then taking the capture sheet to get it, going back to working the scene.
Draco rolled over later that night, pinning his mate to the bed. "We will have a *normal*, non-working vacation some day soon, husband. One way or another."
He grinned. "Find a way to get everyone vacation time together, dear. We'll go wherever you want." Draco smirked evilly. "Seriously. All of us."
"Five curse breakers together is a horrible blight on the world, husband."
"Not really. I'll mute out everyone but Ron and Don - they equal me together. Harry and Dawnie will keep Ron in check, and Danny, Stella, and Mac will keep Don in check. You'll have my tail in check," he said, giving Draco's butt a squeeze. "Just pick a place and arrange it. All of us and the group. Even Greg if you want."
"Hmm. Hodges? I like how he thinks, he reminds me of Severus. For a muggle he's not bad and he's really more of a magical creature anymore."
"True. He is counted as one." He stole a quick kiss. "Anywhere you want, Draco. Talk to the others." He stole a longer kiss and rolled Draco underneath him, pinning him to the bed with a wicked leer. "You're so mine. I hope you're ready."
"I lubed in the shower, just in case," he smarted off. "I know you like me slippery." Alex moaned and slid into his mate's body, making him shiver and tense up. "Oh, nice, Alex. More?"
"Slowly tonight, Draco. Very, very slowly." He took five full minutes to pull out, then another five to push back in, driving his poor veela insane.
Danny looked up as the owl hooted from his window ledge. He got up to open the window, taking the letter. "Thanks. Need food?" It hooted and flew off again. He sat down to read it, then smirked. "I can't do that," he called. "I don't have the leave time." He put on his dark jacket and checked himself over, remembering to call Mac's phone to remind him. "Funeral today. Be in at noon or thereabout. Watch out for Alex's mail." Then he grabbed his wand and disappeared. He found Tony there and stood next to him, getting a silent nod. They were respectful, even if they were leaning against each other. At the end, Danny walked over to shake the new Vinese's hand. "Thank you." She smiled and patted his cheek. "Do you need to talk to me about my family?"
"They are staying, I agree with her ruling," she offered. She glanced at her great-nephew, then back at him. "You two are together?"
"Tony's one of my best friends," he offered quietly. "Has been since school. That's all there is between us."
"Pity." She smiled at him. "Thank you, Daniel." He nodded and walked back to wait for Tony, and she smiled at her great-nephew. "Anthony." She pulled him closer to whisper in his ear, getting a head shake. "Why not?"
"Because you know what I'm looking for. He sent her off. It's his own fault. He doesn't like the man I am but I'm proud of myself. I'm sorry if the rest of the family isn't but anymore, I'm about to change my name," he said quietly.
"There is no need for that."
"Tell my father that."
She looked at him. "Your trusts...."
"Are in his command at the moment."
"That is not right. I will talk with him."
"Then I hope he doesn't lie this time." He walked off, taking Danny with him. "I hate my family," he complained as they landed in his place. "I really, really hate my family."
"You and me both. Thankfully mine wasn't there." He patted him on the arm. "Gotta head ta work. Mac's expecting me about noon." He grinned. "Have fun with Gibbs today."
"He knew I was at the funeral. You have fun with Mac."
"Oh, I will, and Alex wants us all ta take a vacation together." He winked, then disappeared, landing in the closed bathroom upstairs. He cast the 'ignore me' charm with a ten minute duration then walked out, going down to pop into the office. "I'm back."
"How was it?"
"Boring. It was a funeral, Mac." He noticed Hillborne in there and gave him an odd look. "One of the judges who helped me with my family just died. It was a moment of respect." He looked at Mac again. "I'm on for field?" He nodded. "Thanks." He went to sign in and get his things from his locker, sliding his gun on then his badge.
"Funny," Hillborne said, "I couldn't find any recent court cases with his name on them."
"The judge pressured them to leave the country," Mac admitted. "Danny had enough information on them to have them taken to a grand jury. He'd spent the last few months gathering it. The judge told them they had a choice, leave or prison. They left." He shrugged. "Why?" His obliviate must not be as strong it used to be, they were always leaking these days. Or maybe he worked with a lot of resistant people.
"How would a judge do that?"
"They had been blackmailed as well. Before you ask, they were outside the city." He picked up a pen. "Anything else?"
"No. Well, yes, but I'm still gathering proof." Mac glared at him so he got up with a smirk. "We'll see what happens." He walked out, sneering at Danny. "We'll see who stands up for your story, Messer."
"Up yours," he said, making him turn to sneer. "Keep it up, man. Watch me sue the fucking department over you." He stomped off in a huff and Danny pulled his wand but Sheldon took it from him. "Hey!"
"No. Not here, not now, not when you're this pissed," he ordered quietly. "Later, when you've had time to plan and work it out. Remember, he's got some benefit. A tiny bit." They shared a look and Sheldon gave back the wand. "You're with me today."
"Sure." They walked off together since Sheldon had a call. "So, how was working with Monroe?"
"Interesting. She's still got all her skills."
"Good." He climbed in to drive. "Where we headed?"
"Your block. One of your neighbors."
"Damn." He headed that way, he knew just where he was going this time.
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