Cures for Moodiness

Don looked up as he heard the owl hooting, grimacing and looking around since he was at work.  The other detective he worked with who had a clue what he did in his spare time gave him a horrified look so he shrugged.  He got up and headed for the door.

"Flack!" the boss yelled.

"Going for a ten minute break, boss.  Give me a break."  He headed outside, lighting up as soon as he got out there, heading for the nearest alley.  The owl swooped down once he was alone, letting him take the note.  "No more coming to work," he ordered it.  It hooted and flew off.  He knew Draco's owl very well.  He unrolled the small note, grimacing at it.  Then he pulled out his phone since the message was 'call me, Alex'.  "Very descriptive," he complained when he got Draco.  "What?  No, it showed up at work," he complained.  "You know, where I work around normal people who don't use carrier owls?"  He listened to the complaint.  "Why would that matter to us?"  He groaned and banged his head against the wall.  "Send it to my place, not at work.  It's going to be a few hours before I get there but I'll call the others over tonight.  Sure, thanks.  No, like awfully a lot, Draco, really."  He hung up and finished smoking then went inside.  He stopped at Sal's desk, leaning down to whisper in his ear.  "Alex said hi and we've got a rogue curse breaker in town," he whispered.  That got a moan, then a slump of the older man's shoulders.  "He's asking us to handle it.  I need to know if you hear anything."

"Gotcha.  Not an issue."   He glanced around before waving a hand.  "Go. You've probably got a voicemail since your phone was going off."

"Thanks.  More work for those of us who don't get enough sleep."  He sat down and dialed into his voicemail, hearing Mac's 'what's going on now, I didn't get that'.  He erased it and sent it more clearly to the others, getting a mass moan from Danny and Stella, who were out on a case together.  Mac gave him a thoughtful hum but that was it.  So he noted he'd need to see them tonight and for someone to pick up dinner since he was going to be the latest of all of them.  Then he asked Mac's opinion about doing a bit of time warping so they'd have time to get all the stupid backed-up paperwork out of the way since the Chief had ordered them to get it done or lose their yearly budget and have the precinct closed.  Mac pointed out it'd be a very bad idea and if he did it, he'd have to explain why to their union rep.  Danny pointed out it might be the only way.  Stella said she couldn't help; she wasn't that far ahead in the books.  Don sent Tony an email, getting one back on where to look.  Then Speed sent one with the exact incantation and what he'd need.  He printed it off and grabbed it before anyone could see, looking at Sal.  Who groaned as he stood up.

"Last I knew, you had more paperwork than anyone," their boss said coldly.

"Hey, yell at the feds," he complained.  "They're the ones who took over that one case.  I'm going to call them from the john to make sure they're still sending it as ordered.  Pity about that, but yeah, not my fault.  As for the others."  He waved a hand at his finished stack.  "There ya go.  I was going to present it in another few files."  He and Sal walked off together.  He let him have the paper, then he jogged back to erase both those messages, shoving his boss blatantly out of the way.

"What's that?"

"Code.  Remember, I'm buddies with a fed."  He walked off again, going to the closed bathroom on the third floor.  Sal gave him an odd look.  "We wanna get it done on time?  Let's add another thirty minutes to each hour."

"We'll get in so much trouble for this, Don."

"You'd rather retire this year?" he offered.

"Well, no."  He pulled his wand and locked the door, putting up an anti-eavesdropping spell. Then he called what he needed from Danny's stash in the basement, setting everything up.  It'd usually take three casters but Don was stronger than he was.  Someone knocked on the door then apparated in, Mac.  "Good!"  He let him have the spell and got a nod, then they settled in to add the extra time until midnight.  That's all they could set it for.  Since everything had to be in by dawn, they'd be fine, hopefully.  When they were done, Mac cleaned up everything since he was less tired.  Sal splashed his face with water and headed back to his desk.  Don stopped to get a soda from the better CSI machines, but he too went back to it with a nod for Mac's help.

Mac shook his head.  "I'm not explaining this," he walked off muttering.  "No way in hell am I explaining this."  He went to make a note in his personal journal - the encrypted, written in Arabic, and put onto a secure online military-based server that Gibbs had shown him how to set up.  Then he saved it, reclosed it, and got back to work.  He had some paperwork he could use the extra time to do as well.


Don walked out of the precinct later that night, at nearly nine.  He had gotten his desk completely cleared off, he had even spray waxed it since it was dusty underneath some of his files.  Now he was going to go home and someone had better have ordered or cooked.  Danny was leaning against his car, earning a gentle smile.  "You're driving?"

"Your wrists are sore enough to need ice.  Of course I am."  He let him into the passenger side.  "Stella just ordered out.  We talked her out of sushi."

"Thank you."  Don slumped down, getting comfortable.  "Even with the extra time, I still barely got done."

"I know.  Mac's only just gotten finished too.  He's headed home to change and then he'll be over."  He started the car and took off, heading back to Don's place.  "Stella was working on her painting skills.  Your bedroom's now lavender."

"I'll get her later," Don promised, yawning a bit.  "Anything on that file?"

"Yeah, and you've met him.  He's just recently snapped and started doing bad shit like taking down shielded areas.  We're working on it but no one knows where he might be.  We might even have ta trap him and then bring him in."  He turned the corner onto Don's street, parking in front of his building in his specially magiced free spot that no one else ever seemed to see.  It was like car had a homing sense for that parking spot.  "How did you do that?"

"Alex said he used ta do it to his jeep too.  It returns it to its garage or safe resting spot."  He got out with a moan, heading to his apartment.  Of course, his phone was ringing. "If that's my boss, tell her to sign shit and ignore the typos on the last two."

"She said you missed one.  That Federal case."  He sent a thought at Tony and McGee yelped in the background, bringing it to her.  Stella listened, then nodded.  "That's what we thought, lieutenant.  Have a nicer night.  No, I know paperwork makes it seem like everything's stretching out.  It's dread."  She hung up.  Then she looked Don over.  "Go shower and change.  By then, food will be here."

"Love you," he murmured as he walked past her, heading for his shower.  He needed a hot shower.  It hadn't been a bad day but he was still tired from the spell and his arms ached from all the typing he had done.  He stood under the hot water until it ran out, then put an instant heating charm on the showerhead and got another thirty minutes of hot water.

"Food, Don.  No more shriveling or  be never unwrinkled," Danny ordered from the doorway.  "Once the spell snaps, you'll feel better."

"I hope so.  It wasn't a bad idea, but man I ache."  He got out and dried off, taking the sweats Danny had brought him.  He wandered back into the living room, flopping down and taking his plate.  "What's this?"

"Polynesian," she said with a grin.  "Fish and rice, Don.  Good for you."

"Thanks, Mom.  Alex said he always craves it when he's in town."  He took a bite then sipped his beer.  "Are we anywhere on this thing?"

"No, but the goblins and the school have reinforced the shields.  He took down one of the ones on the park.  The overlord sent his defense council to rehype it.  They think it might come down fully some day and of course it's over that bricked-off spot where they go to work city-wide spells.  We'll have to see how it goes."  She dug in and Danny changed plates with her.  "Hey!"

"You took my fish rolls."  He ate a bite and looked at Don, then at the clock.  "Mac must've fallen asleep."

Stella thought at him, getting a groan.  "No, the Chief is chewing him a new one."  She dug into the plate she had tried to exchange since Danny's dinner looked so much better than hers.  Danny smirked at her, letting her have a bite.  She wrinkled her nose.  "What is that?"

"Hot sauce."

She shook her head. "I'll stick with plain and tea-flavored sauces."

Don burped and patted his bare chest.  "'Scuse me."

"Not an issue," Danny assured him.  "At least some of those guys'll get ta go home sometime tonight."  He ate another bite.  "He's hard to find and no one's able to trap him.  Fortunately he's only as strong as Dawn is as a curse breaker so anyone with any sort of ability can get him.  The problem is getting near him."

"Then how do we do that?" Don asked, eating another bite.  He put his plate down and curled up a bit, his head was still hurting.

"That's why I told you it was a bad idea," Mac reminded him as he popped in.  Don glared at him.  "It was thoughtful."  He looked at the clock.  "It's only ten, Don. Do you want to go to bed and take this up tomorrow?"

"I shouldn't fall asleep until it's done with," Don said, yawning a bit.  "Then I'll sleep like the dead.  Are we going to trap him, and did we do the anti-eavesdropping charms again?"  Stella nodded. "Good. How?"

"I was thinking a bar job," Danny offered quietly, looking at him. "He's taken out two more minor apprentice curse breakers around the same area.  He'll definitely feel you if you go there.  We can bait a trap."

"Might work but I need to be less tired," Don said with another yawn.  "She better hope I can make it in tomorrow."

"We have the game tomorrow night," Stella reminded him.  Don moaned at that, a weak, tired sound.

"If you have to, you can play your alternate," Mac reminded him quietly.  Don shook his head.  "If you can't make it to shift, you can't play."

Danny looked at him.  "That's very highschool of you," he teased.  "I'll tell the coach you said that."  He looked at Don again, reaching over to take his hand, linking their magics together.  Don smiled at him.  "Better?"

"Much.  Thank you.  Now you'll be tired too though."

"Yeah, well, I'm actually off tomorrow.  All I've got to do is meet Tony to talk to a few of your high priests."  Don groaned and gave him a dirty look.  "They wanted to make sure some of their recent decisions aren't going to get you mad at 'em.  Nothing else."

"Do some shopping.  You could use some new pants since you found all those shirts," Stella teased.

He blushed.  "None of the pants fit."  He looked at Don.  "He's right though, we do have an alternate if you can't play and stay awake."

"So! We'll use her if I get called in or if I get hurt on the job.  Nothing else."  He made himself sit up.  "Now, how're we gonna get the guy into a trap?  You really think he'll come to try me if he knows me?"

"Who says he'll know it's you?" Danny pointed out.

"We can break illusion charms really easily.

"Don, we managed to fool things like Horatio's sunglasses for years on end," Danny assured him.  "Sonny still thought I had dark hair when he died."  They shared a look.  "We won't make you a girl."

"You're all heart," he taunted back.

"You could be a house elf," Stella teased.

He looked at her.   "Most of them are stronger than all the wizards alive today," he pointed out.  "Alex made us all learn some of it."

Danny looked at him.  "You and Alex shared some memories."

"I got into his pensieve with his permission.  I wanted to know what it was like when we were all riding horses and shit.  He let me see a lot of stuff and I watched him do a number of tombs and other jobs.  Did you realize one of his great aunts was the first curse breaker?"  They all shook their heads.  "She was.  She was all about saving some of the history from people like Napoleon.  That's where he gets his library fetish from."  All of them froze at the sudden swearing over the bond from Speed.  "Shit, I hope he doesn't need my help," Don moaned.

"Alex and Draco are down there," Danny reminded him.

"That's probably the cause of the swearing."  Stella listened then nodded. "Yup.  Someone wanted Draco and Willow went off on 'em.  Good for her!"

The three guys looked at her.  "In case you hadn't realized it, Willow's a bit dangerous," Mac pointed out patiently.  "She's had her magic stripped a number of times, Stella."

"I know.  So!  She's reforming now."  She smiled.  "He went to whine to Horatio. That's always a good idea.  Letting the boss handle the fallout."

"With an Argentinian drug lord?" Don asked her.  "Are you insane, woman?  Horatio will talk down to him and make another family organization pissed at him.  He's already got three mad at him and hunting the lab's people."

Danny looked at Mac.  "You ever do that to us, we're going to kick your ass, even if it takes all of us and Sheldon sedating you first."

"I try very hard to not piss them off before I put them away," he said drolly.

"Try harder," Danny ordered.

"Pot, kettle," Stella reminded him.  Danny glared.  "Seriously. You piss 'em off by existing."

"Hey!" Don said, breaking into the fight.  "Unless we're sleeping with Mac too, no fighting this way.  Even then, no fighting this way.  Handcuffs have many uses and can be charmed so you can't get out of 'em even with a wand.  Got me here?"  They all nodded, settling back into their respective seats.  "Thank you."  He glared at Danny, getting a look back.  "His second, he coming for you?"  Danny shook his head.  "You sure?"

"He wasn't there when they had me."

"You sure?" Don pressed.

"I haven't had a hint of it."

"Good.  Thank you.  Mac, any old enemies of yours coming?"  He shook his head.  "You sure?  No one that was a target back in the bad old days, nothing like that?"

"No," he admitted quietly.  "I wasn't on that sort of mission most of the time."

"Again, we sure?" Don pressed.  He nodded. "Good.  Stella, anything you want to admit to the group?"

"No.  I don't have anything like that.  Only those two."

"Okay, then we're good again?" Don ordered.  They all nodded. "Good."  He yawned again.  "How much longer?"

"An hour and a bit," Danny said calmly. "You could probably nap, I'll just link more firmly into you again."

Don looked at him.  "That'd be like we're married and sharing a mind.  Love you but I'm not ready for that yet."  He yawned again.  "Someone turn on some noise."  Stella turned on the tv.  "Good.  Thank you."  He sat there and watched it going on, slowly letting his mind drift.  He felt Danny reach over to take his hand and let his magic flow into him again. He could use another shot of awakeness.  Instead Danny let him drift off and took over control of the spell for him.  It was the sign of a true friend in his book - covering when you had to do stupid stuff for a good reason.

The other three shared a look and Mac got Danny closer since he was starting to drift off too.  It was going to be a short night as each of them linked in during the final hour of the spell.


Mac woke up, blinking at the weight on his lower half.  He frowned, blinking down at the blond head laying across his hip.  His first thought was 'he's going to kill himself for this' and the next was 'it's kinda nice' but he tried to censor that one.

Stella started to moan so he quit thinking so loud.  She gave him a bleary leer, then smirked.  "He's cuddly but only when he doesn't realize it."  She stretched then stood up.  "Coffee, then bath."  She stumbled toward the kitchen, going to find the coffee maker yet again.

Don let out a quiet hum, giving him a long stare.  "Interesting.  You comfy?"

"Can you help me move him?  Before he wakes up and freaks out?"

"Nope."  He stood up and nudged Danny, getting an instantly alert guy.  "That's why."  He headed into the kitchen, reaching around Stella's arm to grab the coffee and the filters.  "You need glasses."  He kissed her on the back of the neck.  "I'm showering."

"Sure."  She got to work on the sludge of the day, then wandered toward the sound of the heavenly spray to help him.  He was a good back scrubber.

Danny looked at Mac, who handed him his glasses.  "Sorry about that."

"I'm not.  I missed having someone sleep on me."  He shrugged and stood up.  "I should head home."

"Yeah, me too.  I gotta work today."  He stood up and yawned.

"No you don't," Mac complained.  "It's your day off."

"No it's not."

"Yes, it is."

"Nah, I traded."

"You said it was last night."

Danny frowned at him.  "Don't start that shit."  He looked around, then headed for home.

Mac frowned.  "Didn't Danny say today was his day off?" he called.

"Yes," Stella and Don called back.  She came out in only a towel, but more awake now.  "Why?"

"He swears he's on today."

"He went home to sleep in his own bed," Don offered as he came out.  He stretched, then winced.  "Fuck it, I've gotta play tonight."  He headed in to get coffee, then to get dressed.  "Which one should I wear today?"

"The black one.  Makes you look less tired on the bad days."

"Okay."  He pulled that one out and the shirt he usually wore with it but she came in and switched it out on him, patting him on the cheek. "Thanks, Stella."  He watched as she found an outfit of hers, frowning.  "When did you bring clothes over? I thought we only brought some to Danny's."

"I left an outfit each place, just in case. A girl's gotta be prepared, even if I could turn this towel into a dress."

"I'd like to see that," he teased.

"I bet you would."  She took it off and changed it into a bra and underwear instead.  "Better?"  She slid into them then the clothes, getting comfortable for a few more minutes.  "Ah, off to slave for the city."

"Bad day all around," Don agreed.  He buttoned his shirt, then tucked it in, sliding into his belt and gun, then his tie.  Finally his jacket, then his socks and shoes.  His wand went inside his jacket, his coffee cup was refilled in the kitchen.  They headed out together, her letting him drive this time.

Mac shook his head before heading home.  He had some thinking to do because that had felt way too comfortable this morning.


Greg called Don later that night.  "Help."

"What's wrong, Greg?"  He leaned back, frowning a bit.  "Greg?" he asked after a second.  "What's going on?" he asked.

"I can't concentrate.  I'm hearing things."  The sound of a swallow. "I'm talking to dead people."

Don hesitated for a moment.  "Okay. Just the ones there, the ones in the morgue, or just the associated ones hanging around?"

"Just the ones in the morgue.  I'd ask Alex but I can't get hold of him."

"Last I knew he was in Miami under arrest."

"For?" Greg drawled.

"From what I heard of the ranting, apparently two guys who were kinda obviously in a gang were picking on Draco for being blond and pretty.  Then one of their buddies comes up on them for liking Draco for being blond and pretty.  Alex defended his mate during the brawl.  One of them pressed charges, they're waiting for the ADA at the moment.  It's probably going to be first thing in the morning."

"Okay, can you help?"

"Depends on what sorta help you need.  If it's something I can do I'm there.  Well, technically I'm at work and Danny's got that 'you're gonna hate me' slouch going on as he walks this way, but I'm yours if I can help you, Greg."  Danny paused, looking at him.  He sent it to him.

Danny took the phone.  "Greg, what's your other area?"

"Divin.... oh, crap.  It hasn't happened before."

"It's been known to happen.  Take the night off, recenter, remove the stress, calm it down, then see if you can force it.  You know that.  If we can, we'll be done in a few hours.  That'll give you time for that."

"Grissom will never agree."

"Greg, tell him what you're going through.  Not like he can't claim you're having a really bad day."

"Okay.  Thank you.  Both of you?"

"If at all possible.  Probably with Stella since it runs in her family and she's gotta know about this stuff too since it'll probably pass on some decade.  'Kay?"

"Okay.  Thank you, guys."  He hung up.

Danny hung up the phone. "You're right, it's related to that.  You're also right that you're gonna hate me."  He handed over the file. "We've gotta get Gibbs up here."

"Crap."  He looked it over.  "You tell Mac yet?"

"Nope."  He concentrated, sending it to Stella, who was with him on a case.  He heard the swearing start and smirked.  "He knows now."  He concentrated on Tony, making him swear.  "Ha!  Made his day too."  He walked off smirking and happier now that he had made multiple people unhappy with today.

"I don't like it when you're in this mood," Don called after him.

"Yeah, yeah."  He smirked at him and practically skipped back to the lab.


Tony growled as he hung his head, then looked at his boss. "Incoming case from New York," he said quietly.  "Three brothers, one Army, one Marine, one SEAL.  All dead.  Not sure why yet.  Danny just messaged me."

Gibbs glared at him.  "Now?"

"Not like we get to pick the time, boss.  You want me to tell him it'll be at least tomorrow?"  Gibbs nodded so Tony sent that to the group at large, getting an agreement from Mac and Danny both since theirs was a kidnaping at the moment.  "Done, Danny's going to email us a soon as he uncovers his computer."

"Good. Anything else of note going on?"

"Yeah, this guy's shielded or in a shielded building," he said quietly.  "The tracking didn't work. That was always more Speed's thing than mine though.  He's got multiple ones, I've got one."

"Can you call him?" Gibbs asked impatiently.

"I did and I sent him a sample.  He's trying it between samples in the lab with Ryan."

"Fine.  Let me know the minute he gets something."

"Yes, boss.  I wish I could do more."  He got back to work, prompting Speed, who said the building was shielded.  Tony looked at him, then stood up.  "Boss, slight piece of information but not the one we need."  He looked at him so Tony nodded at the window, making Gibbs follow.  "If we can't find him another way, how do we explain it to people like lawyers?" he asked quietly.  "I'm all for finding her as quickly as we can but I can't risk the chance that my world will be exposed.  It's the cardinal rule we live with."

"That's dangerous," he agreed quietly, glancing around. "When we have it, we'll leave McGee here to track it backwards."  He walked over to talk to him, McGee looking up when he paused.  "We may have information coming from an informant we can't admit to in open court."

"I can track it back if you find her, boss.  Somehow."

"Thank you."  He went back to his seat, looking at Tony.  He knew they had to hide this stuff but sometimes it was too important to not do something the easiest way possible.  Someone came off the elevator and put a piece of paper in front of him, basically a map.  "This is?"

"He's on this block," Speed said quietly, looking at him. "It's shielded.  The whole block.  That's as close as I can get you.  I've tried everything and so has Ryan.  I do know she's in bad shape but still alive."

"Thank you."  He picked up the map, noticing the block's general coordinates were on it.  "Thank you a lot, Speed."

"Not an issue, but next vacation Alex takes, you guys take him."  He looked at McGee, who wasn't moving.  "You going?"

"No, I'm tracking back the source of your information to a method that can be admitted to if someone asks.  Since it's coming from a non-reputable, non-legal, non-admittable informant."

"Good man."  The rest of the team hurried out with Ducky in tow.  "Can't you guys please take Alex?"

"How many more days on his vacation?"

"Six, and we had a sudden parade today."  He walked off, leaving from the stairwell once he had frozen the cameras.

McGee smiled at that.  "Probably not the worst he's done," he muttered as he worked.  The director came down, looking confused.  "Ma'am, Gibbs got information through a friend who has a non-reputable source we can't admit to knowing.  They're going after the victim right now," he offered as he typed.  Tony had messaged him the block.  "I'm tracking it back to a source we can admit to."

"Thank you, Agent McGee.  Was someone else just here?"

"The friend of Tony's with the source's information."

"I see.  Can we cite him?"  He shook his head.  "Why not?"

He looked at her.  "Because his friend said he got it from a crystal ball."  She walked off shaking her head.  "It's legitimate information, but we can't admit to it.  He's deep in hiding and refuses to be exposed."

"As long as it's legitimate information I don't care what sort of crackpots you use.  Just save the victim."  She kept going, going to take something for her new headache.  She saw the security guards in the stairwell. "Problems?"

"The cameras quit broadcasting for about two minutes.  We're checking them now, ma'am."

"Good.  Let me know what's going on please."  That got a nod and she continued to the coffee pot and box of individual doses of tylenol. She was even nice enough to start a new pot for everyone because she was sure Gibbs would need one when he got back.


Gibbs walked into Danny's lab, looking at him.  "It's been a long day.  What do you have for us?"  Danny kicked out a stool so he sat with a half-held in sigh.  It was nearly eight at night.  He had been up since five.  It was going to be a long night.

"One SEAL, one Cadet at the Naval Academy, and his twin brother from West Point, all apparently on vacation here in the city, and all now dead at the same time."  He laid out the files and pictures.  "All shot, all within three feet of each other.  All shot with the same gun according to ballistics.  Hey, McGee, Ziva.  We weren't sure how to break it to the family, Mac said there's a protocol for that.  He said you'd tell the people where to go."  Gibbs nodded.  "Everything we've got is there, all the samples are being processed, their blood is all in tox screening just in case, and they were all down in hookerville."

Tony walked in, handing his boss a new cup of coffee.  "I stopped in to see Mac.  He's called the Academies so they can tell the parents, and the one's CO. He told them we were already on the way, we were waylaid by a kidnaping.  They're expecting one of us to call and update them within forty-eight hours, hopefully with it solved.  If not at least with new information."

"Agreed, good work so far.  Let's go over the forensics with him, DiNozzo.  McGee, Ziva, go get autopsy reports if they have them.  Do not badger the techs at this moment, they're all overworked here."  They nodded and left.  He looked at Danny.  "Crime scene photos?"

"We taped it for you since one was in uniform. That's how we knew he was a SEAL.  He had on the patch.  Monroe taped and I gathered evidence and took individual stills."  That got a nod and they broke up, Tony to look at the tape, Gibbs to look at the pictures and evidence they already had.

"Wallets and ID?" Tony asked.

"Not a one.  We got hits on fingerprints alone.  It might be a mugging, it's entirely possible in that section of town.  When they cleaned up Times Square, a lot of them went out here or further into the 'burbs."

"Were they at a strip joint?" Gibbs asked.

"Yup.  Bouncer from last night remembered 'em, got the stamp of a few on their hands.  I figure at least one was drunk by the time they were shot.  Again, that's hookerville."

"Okay.  We'll take it from here, Danny.  Thank you for your meticulous nature."

"Sure thing, Gibbs.  Scene'll be taped off for another day if you need ta go look.  That's all the owner could promise since it was right next to his door and you know drunks who're disappointed if the girls don't give out."

"I do," Tony agreed dryly.  "Very well."  Gibbs gave him a look.  "I was young once too, boss."

"Not like you're mentally adult now, DiNozzo."

"Boss, I'm fully an adult when I'm working.  Thank you anyway."  He saw Danny's smirk.  "What?" he demanded, going back to the tape.

"Alex got arrested for protecting Draco and Horatio got to threaten an Argentinian drug lord about Draco.  Apparently that stuff does rub off."  Tony snickered at that.  "Any word on Beaua or Keelian?"

"Not recently.  Isn't Don checking?"

"Now and then.  Oh, Greg called so we've got to hit his place tonight.  Sounds like he's got a sixth sense blocking up."  Tony shuddered.  "So I'm stealing Stella and going, probably with Don.  Wanna come with us?"

"No thanks.  Vegas is pretty but I'd get into trouble."

"You think, DiNozzo?" Gibbs noted dryly.  "Why would that be?"

"Gee, boss, I don't know, my uncanny streak of good luck at the two casinos run by people like us?  That wasn't a blessed event?" he suggested.

"You?  Cheating?"

"No, me playing slots and baccarat and me smarter than the average drunk gambler.  Me always bet on house."  He got back to work, shaking his head.

"He did, but he did it underaged so they kicked him out," Danny agreed happily, smiling at him.  "Think we should try it again?"

"No I don't.  I don't want to face down knee breakers again this year.  Thanks anyway though."

"Less playing, more work," Don complained as he walked in.  "I got given ten of my folders back and told to check for typos in the names."

"Why does she hate you this week?"

"Not a clue. Maybe it's the game or something.  Speaking of, you ready yet?  We've got to head in a half-hour.  You haven't even eaten lunch yet."

"Crap.  Go get Stella.  She might be on a scene."

"I called, she is, but they were nearly done.  Even then, they've got backups.  Go eat."

"I'll eat while I'm getting dressed.  It doesn't matter to me."  He got back to work.  "Come get me when it's time to leave."

"Fine."  He looked at the case files.  "New guy was working it, trainee detective.  Eight years on the streets so he's not totally clueless."

"Good to know.  Where is he?" Tony asked as he watched.  "That's not right," he said, pausing the tape.  "Danny?"  He looked so Tony pointed at the chalk on the sidewalk.  "What's that?"

"Came from them, not from us.  It was on the West Point cadet's hands too."  He found the information and handed it over. "That's what I got off the analyzer."  He looked at Don, who walked off again.  "Sorry about that but his boss was ordered to do all the back paperwork or else they were going to close the precinct," Danny said quietly.  "Don didn't have the most but he got it done by nine that night.  Some guys were still typing at dawn, even with help."

"We took turns for those days," Tony agreed fondly, smiling at him.  "I heard about the help he did."  He looked out the doorway.  "His boss?"

Danny looked and shook his head.  "Monroe."  He waved her in.  "This is Gibbs, and DiNozzo, NCIS.  They're here for our soldiers this morning."

"Anything I can do to help, let me know," she offered with a smile for them.

"Any leads on where they were before they were killed?" Gibbs asked blandly.

"Some.  They had been inside the strip club but the SEAL brother was trying to feel up a dancer who wasn't being obliging that night."  Danny gave her a look.  "She told me she does turn tricks sometimes.  That night she didn't feel like it."

"Good.  Glad to see you're not biasing it already," Tony noted patiently.  "Anywhere else?  Pool hall maybe? Some guys do use chalk on their hands when they play."

"I tracked them to three other strip clubs, the others they left voluntarily, apparently they wanted women with abnormal breast sizes and couldn't find them.  Before that, I haven't been able to track.  We're waiting on records from the credit card companies.  Since we don't have the cards we had to call to make general inquiries.  The financial background is still in the process of running at my desk.  I'm going to check on it before I go but Danny can show you where that is before he leaves it in your hands."

"I've got a game tonight," Danny said, bending back over the evidence they had.  "That's not pool chalk, Tony.  That's more gymnastics chalk."  They shared a look.  "I've never seen that in pool halls."

"Me either," he admitted.  "Where else would you use it?  Oh, Lindsey, second or third desk on the right?"


"Thank you.  Leave it running and I'll have McGee finish it for you," Gibbs assured her.  "Anything else?"

"We're hoping the financial background tells us where they're staying.  None of the major chains are admitting they're staying there."

"I'm wondering why they all came together here," Tony admitted.

"Celebration, get together, something like that probably," Danny offered.  "Both are second year cadets so maybe they're celebrating them passing something hard or getting a rank promotion."

"Maybe," Gibbs agreed.  He made notes.  "One's West Point, the other's where?"

"Naval Academy.  They've got a sister between them who's Coast Guard, Mac called her earlier," Lindsey offered.  "He said he gave the academies and commander his office number so they could give it to the parents directly.  That you guys could be reached here until we knew.  Sister's on her way down, parents were just calling back when I checked in on him, they're probably heading in tonight or early tomorrow."

"As usual, you two can use my place," Danny offered.  "That'll leave you needing rooms for McGee and Ziva since I've only got the one room."

"We'll get a suite, that way we can work out of it," Gibbs promised, smirking at him.  "Nearly time for you to go."

"Yup, thanks."  He hung up his jacket and gathered everything together, handing it over. "Later."  He walked out, grabbing a sandwich from the break room on the way to his locker.  He nibbled while he put his gun and badge away, then everything else.  He changed into off-duty clothes and sneakers, then headed out, running into Don walking his way.  "Let's go."  Don smirked and walked out with him, taking him back to the arena.  Stella was already there, pacing badly.  They both grinned at her. "You okay?"

"I'm feeling antsy.  I just started and the cramps aren't helping my mood any," she complained.

Danny looked around, then obscured a dark corner, pushing her back into it.  He leaned against her, two fingers reaching down to find the magic spot while he whispered in her ear.  "We win this game by a whole lot tonight and I'll teach you how to turn it off for a week," he whispered.  "Then I'll do this," he promised, rubbing harder a few times, "while Don licks you until you beg.  Then Don'll get you ready and ride your ass until you plead and beg for more than my fingers to be in your front.  You, me, him, and anything you ever wanted, all bareback since we can do the anti-disease charm.  After you're limp, I'll take Don's pretty little ass and make him beg for your pleasure while I make him lick you clean again."  She moaned and tensed, then clutched his shoulders.  "All you gotta do is make us win, baby girl.  You think you can?"  She came, biting her lip.  He kissed her and smirked.  "Best cure for PMS ever invented," he promised.  "Go clean up, wait on us, and it's all yours."  She wobbled that way and Danny went to clean himself up, he could fly while hard.  He got into his clothes, his wrists were okay today so he was good on that end, and he went to grab his broom.  The coach whimpered when he saw it.  "Yeah, we raided our old clubhouse and the hidden spot.  I got both of mine.  All but Blackie."  He smirked and winked.  "Check it for me?"

The coach checked the spells, then handed it back.  "Remember, they're fellow officers, no being too evil on them," he ordered quietly.

"Unless they pick on me, not a problem," he assured him smugly.  "We should play the trainee's team again someone soon."

"If we had another backup beater, I'd offer us," he promised.  "Maybe the All City team.   You and Don can always refuse if you get nominated."  He waved a hand.  "Go float and get used to it again."

Danny mounted and hovered a bit, turning sharply, then doing a few rolls.  "We're good."  He saw Don's awed look.  "The Black Vega was a specialty run, it had a different flying spell, and no one's been able to copy it.  Our brooms are literally able to spin in midair.  Unlike the others.  That's why we all got Black Vegas and I got Blackie as well.  See, the only problem with the Vega line was the staff part is too thin.  I always feel like I'm gonna break the handle during a game."  He let Don mount and try it out.  "It's a great broom, but very delicate at times.  Not for seekers because of some of the moves they've got to pull."  Don landed and handed it back.  "I was hoping someone'd see me today and beg ta look at the spells."  He smirked at the coach and flew up to their launching platform.  Stella was up there, already scowling.  "What?"

"You're flying your Vega?" she shouted.

"Well, yeah.  I missed it and I wanted someone to ask ta see the spells on it."

"Fine."  She patted him on the face.  "Just don't hurt it.  It's a little thin on the handle."

"I know, that's the only thing I ever complained about on the Black Vega.  The White Vega and the Blue Vega are even tinier.  There's only one Blue Vega ever made, it was a specially tinted White one.  The White ones were seriously overpowered for game play.  We nicknamed 'em Hermes all the time.  They were great for couriers."

"Wow," Don said as he came up.  "Why was Horatio moaning over the old Red Comet that Tony had?"

"It's a great classic broom," he offered, grinning at him.  "It's very sturdy and banks well, but it's not a turner's broom.  Speed used ta switch with Tony all the time.  Keepers don't need to be able to spin, they need to make sudden rolls and altitude changes.  Speed got a broom for a chaser since that's what he originally played.  Tony's Red Comet is THE broom for keepers.  It's what the standard is set at.  Not too many today get above the standard."

"Pity.  Are brooms getting worse?"

"No, like cars, they're more mass produced these days.  My Vega was built by hand.  All the classic brooms we pulled out of storage were."  The coach came up, giving him a look.  "We stored our original brooms in our hidey hole."  That got a moan.  "Horatio made that same noise when he saw Tony's Red Comet."

"I know someone who would pay you to see the Vega, test the spells, and probably let you test the new one."

"Sure.  I'd like that," he agreed happily.  "Count me there."  He looked at the others as they came up, taking his spot and his bat from Don.  "Thanks."

"It was still in there.  Wrist guards?"


"What were you flying the game you fell?"

"Blackie.  Vega's have thin handles and I didn't want to play it all the time.  I always felt like I was gonna snap it."  He shrugged and hitched his wrist guards down, then unhitched them and adjusted them, hitching them again.  "Padding bunches in these.  I may have ta go to Diagon to get new ones.  They've got some great ones."  He fussed with his knee and shin guards, then straightened up when the other team flew out.  Their curtains were opened so he mounted up and flew out, Don right behind him.  He let himself space, feeling the lightness of the air around him.  He was back in the good old days in his mind and the game wasn't much different.  He picked a bludger and followed it, switching off with Don whenever he needed to use him as a bumper to aim the bludger like a pinball going for a certain target.  He managed to get the other seeker down and then the keeper, but it was all good to him.  He was back in the comfortable mental place.

That's why he took off his wrist guards when they started to bother him again.  He'd put up with a sore wrist later. He even hit one wrong-handed, backhanding it basically.  It made him wince but it was okay.  He was still getting back into shape.  Their seeker caught the snitch, a foregone conclusion, and they all landed, Danny hitting the bludger coming for him into a capturing net, the other team's beater doing the same with the one coming for her, unfortunately the net behind him.  He rolled and came up smirking then used his broom to smack it back into the proper direction when he didn't quite hit the capturing field and came after him again.  This time it landed and he floated down, landing and smirking at her.  "Thanks for that.  Needed the head rush."

The ref looked at him and moaned.  "I remember those brooms."  She walked off shaking her head.

Danny walked Don back to the dressing room, smiling at the young woman who came bouncing up to them.  "Hi."

"Can I look at your broom?"

"That's her, Messer," the coach called.

"Sure, but I wanna test it if you make a new one."  She beamed and nodded quickly, walking him out of the way so she could see the spells.  "It's layered," he pointed out.  "See, this one's like one'a those spider things and then it wraps around the two other flying charms and the balance charm.  The strengthening and other stuff is up near the tip."  He pointed at those for her benefit.  "I just want one that's thicker.  I always feel like I'm gonna crack the handle again.  Which it looks like I did," he noted, casting the reparing charm on the few splinters.  She moaned and pulled out a camera with an odd attachment.  "Telling charms?"

"Yeah."  She smiled and got to work, looking at the photos.  "There's a charm underneath the balancing charm."

He looked then at the broom, nodding.  "You can just barely see it here," he noted, pointing at the spot where it was showing as a limited lime green glow.  She looked, casting a telling on it.  Then she squealed and hugged him.  "Thanks.  Remember, I wanna test."

"Of course!"  She ran off with her camera and her mental notes, going to charm a broom so he could test it.

Danny decided to head right home, broom and all.  He winked at the coach.  "There's probably another one besides that.  No idea what though."  He waved and headed off.  He landed and Stella gave him a long stare, then moaned, getting up to kiss him.  "We won, you did great, and you deserve a reward."

"Teach me those spells and let me practice them?"

"Of course.  We'll start with the one to hold off cycles and then move to the anti-disease and anti-conception, that way we don't have ta use a condom on you, and then go on from there," he promised, grinning at her.  "Come shower with me?"  She nodded, laying his broom carefully on the couch and dragging him that way.  "Now, can't be used all the time," he pointed out.  "A witch's fertility is bound with her magic."   She shrugged.  "That's why the pill isn't always that effective on us and it can make us feel really sick.  That's why the potion works better and one does take out all but two a year."  He stole another kiss.  "Which is always at solistices."  He got them stripped and into the shower, showing her the first one so it'd have time to work before the others were cast.

"Are you still going to use one on Don?" she asked, letting him scrub her back.

"They don't guard against UTI's, so probably unless he decides he likes enemas, yeah."  He shut off the water and grabbed towels, working her body over, then his, then got them both back into the bedroom.  "Now, practice," he offered with a smug smirk for her.

She cast them all, making sure nothing was going to interrupt this time.  "Don?" she asked.

"Be home soon.  He decided to stop and pick up some dinner and clothes."  He bent down to kiss her gently.

"Guys, we've still got to help Greg," Don called from the kitchen as he appeared.


"One more hour be okay?" she called.

"No, he's talking to dead people."

She groaned and pushed herself up.  "Later, right?"

"Of course," he promised, smiling at her.  "Go clean up, make sure it's totally stopped."  She nodded, going to do that while he got dressed.  He came out in jeans and a t-shirt since their kids would be all over them for hours on end. He kissed Don gently.  "You, me, Stella, some begging when we get back.  You in?" he asked with a cocky smirk.

He considered it for all of two seconds, then nodded.  "Sure, I'm good for that. It's a good reward for winning the game."  Stella came out and he grinned.  "Let me guess, there's a Midol spell?"

"Charm ta stop it.  Potions later and I can get someone to teach me it. I'm sure Emilia knows it."  She grabbed onto them.  "Food in the fridge."  Don finished putting the food in the fridge then she cast the moving spell, taking them to Greg's house.

Cassandra and her two brothers 'oooh'ed as they appeared.  "Stories!" the boys yelled in unison, rushing for them.
"Let them help your father first!" Emilia called from upstairs.  "Then you can pounce for stories."

"Aww, it's my favorite heathens," Danny teased, tweaking each nose.  "Where's your daddy?"  They all pointed at the pool.  "We'll read after he's okay."

"He tick?" Cassandra asked. "I call Uncle David to make a potion?"

"No, he's got a headache and we've got the cure on us," Danny promised, patting her on the head with a grin. "David can make him a potion later."  She beamed and the boys cooed at that thought.  "Good kids.  You stay here, we'll be right back."  He shot Emilia a smirk and walked the students outside to teach them the delicate and unsubtle art of divinations going haywire.  Because Greg had to be suppressing a vision due to not wanting to see it.  Once they got him unblocked again and taken notes on it for him, they could go back to their happy nighttime plans.


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