Dramas of Being in DC.
Xander walked into the White House his first day back and nearly got to punch someone.
"Mr. Cocksucker, sir," one of the guards sneered.
"Ignore him, Harris," Larabee ordered, glaring at him. The soldier didn't back down. The soldier that grabbed him did however. "Thank you. Keeps Harris from punching him."
"We don't allow that sort of disrespect here," he assured him. "The President is waiting on you three in his office with a report about how you got stolen, sir."
"Thank you, Colonel Lorne, and congrats on the promotion."
"Thank you, sir." He walked the disgrace in uniform off. He didn't want his sort in uniform anyway.
Xander walked into the oval office, smiling as he looked around. "You changed the light bulbs?"
"I had to, half of them were burned out and I couldn't read things in the dark." He looked up. "Fornell found their reasons."
"Did I leave anyone?"
"Two on the base who hid instead of going after you. They thought you might turn into an O'Neill." Xander smirked at that. "Anyway, they wanted to test any strange DNA you may have and your ATA gene."
"What's an ATA gene?" Chris asked.
"The gene sequence that allows him and Ezra to operate Ancient tech. We won't give them any to test on because we're not evil."
"Ah. So why not take Ezra?"
"They're not fully sure it was him in that other chair." He leaned his arms on the desk, clasping his hands together. "Want to read the report?"
"Not really as long as they're all going far, far away."
"Considering taking you hostage is treason?" He handed over the report. "Though treason doesn't always get you a death sentence as we found out. Fornell found out they let out Kinsey. Unfortunately he missed all the assassinations by being in jail at the time."
Xander read over that report too. "Huh. Okay. How do we stop this?"
"I'm pretty sure they won't ever do it again," John told him with a smile. Xander smirked back, letting Chris and Ezra have the report. "Now, I heard happier news. Willow and Rodney snuck off to marry without telling anyone." Xander nodded at that. "Dawn's pregnant again. They did not hurt the baby. Dean went on a 'why me, God' rant about that topic because Sam was confined to bed again thanks to his back. And..." He smirked. "I heard some change of status rumors about you two as well?"
"We're... talking," Xander said, looking at Ezra, who smiled back. "It would cause problems with my guard detail."
"True but you could have him as a hidden guard basically. It's not like he'd let you be taken when you were out on a date, Xander."
"Very true," Ezra agreed dryly. "Though it would probably be a problem politically."
Xander shook his head. "I don't want his job, Ezra. I don't care what anyone in this town thinks about anything most of the time. If they're not happy with who I'm in a relationship with why would I care?"
"Good point. Though you may have to consider that because you'll need some cooperation over anything upcoming that's an important bill."
John shook his head. "Not really. There's not many of them and the senators all know that Xander doesn't play those games. Either you agree or you don't, but the whole 'back scratching for allies' things escapes him most of the time."
"Why do we have more military guys here?" Chris asked.
"Because we're going over city staffing."
Xander nodded. "Which I probably need to know something about just in case we don't have enough people for the chairs?"
"Probably," John said with a smirk. "Though you're both a last resort, kids." They smirked back at him. "Nice timing though, Xander."
"I'm glad she could put things in a language I could translate into Star Trek and B5."
Ezra shook his head. "I understood the mathematics of it but it was not my best showing probably."
"Most people who do really well in the chair have aerial combat experience. I'm wondering why you two got called to those specific ones."
"Well, from where she was supposed to be, I've been there about three times," Xander admitted. "I always knew there was something strange about that area but I thought it was sleeping Old One or something."
"That's a good place to start. Ezra?"
"I was probably the closest."
"Any of the ones in the Mountain would've been closer," John said.
"In the open?"
"Possibly. We'll ask why she liked you." The new colonel walked in. "Evan Lorne, these are Xander Harris and ATF Agent Ezra Standish."
"Pleasure. I'm told I should've run faster so this would've been your headache, Colonel," Xander said with a smirk.
Evan shook his hand. "Not a chance in hell, sir. I would've fled and abandoned my post." He smirked at John. "The Generals are here along with the huffy people, sir."
"Yay," John said flatly. "Let's go to the conference room, guys. Chuck, bring us coffee and something for these two to nibble on."
"No food needed, thank you," Ezra said.
"I nibble during meetings so I have to actually swallow before I spew on someone," Xander said. "The PM knows this. He asked me why I ate during meetings once, got really pissed, but decided he liked that answer. Said he had some that would've been better if he had done the same." They walked out. Chuck handed over the bowl of nuts. "Thanks, Chuck."
"Welcome, Xander." He smiled at Ezra. "Coffee's already in there, sir, and it's the good stuff because Dr. McKay's here already."
"Cool," John said. He walked in first. "Good morning, people." He sat down. Xander took his seat, Ezra took the empty seat next to him. Done by design. Evan got the free seat at the other end of the table. Both O'Neills were already in theirs. The British PM was in his and so were three generals. "So let's get down to it." Xander nibbled on a nut, getting a dirty look from the generals.
"This way I have to swallow before I say something dumb that'll make someone cry," Xander said dryly, eating another one.
"Sir, how did you find your city?" one of them asked him.
"It found me. Beamed me out to man it. It was underwater too. Scared the crap out of me for a few minutes."
"Mine summoned me as well," Ezra said. "I had been in Denver helping handle the panicking going on."
"I figured announcing it early would ease some of the panic," Xander admitted. "That way there wouldn't be a rush on grocery stores or anything."
"That's something I did agree with," one of the generals said.
Xander shrugged. "It made sense. That way the people wouldn't speculate and then suddenly freak about 'oh, shit, there's something up there' when Atlantis disappeared." He looked at John.
"I did like that," he assured him. "I figured you would. Plus it got people ready to face the unlikely situation of a dart making it down here." He smiled. "The cities beamed you both?" They both nodded. "What was going on before then?"
"A lot of itching," Xander said. "It felt like my skin wanted to travel without me." Ezra nodded he agreed.
"They probably got word of the wraith from Atlantis or some sensors picked them up," Evan said. "It was probably a safety protocol to protect the planet."
"Possibly," John agreed. "Though, I'm shocked it pulled Xander."
"Harris luck," he said dryly. "And I had been near its area before while helping slayers."
"So you were probably easiest logged into because of that," Evan decided. Xander shrugged and ate another nut. "Dr. McKay, how are they looking so far?"
"We're going over Brigadoon first, because the UK wants her back. So far she's shown some problem systems, again from being underwater so long. We've found two structural anomalies."
"She was tethered when I sat down," Xander told him. "I think I unlocked it instead of rocking her free."
"You did. That's not what I was talking about." He looked at his PC then at him. "How did you learn how to fly her?"
"She gave me the information and I integrated with the Star Trek and B5 knowledge I studied for *years*."
Rodney shook his head quickly. "Never mind." One of the generals snickered. "That's about how Mr. Wells knew how to run her systems as well."
"That's why I called Andrew," Xander said. "I don't know too many bigger geeks."
"Neither do I," Rodney assured him, making Xander snicker. "The two anomalies relate to the docking mechanism. It appears they have a redundant lock, which is broken, and a asymmetrical landing tower."
"So the outpost is probably on a hill?" Jack O'Neill guessed.
"I got a picture of her outpost. It was done to highlight the tower she rests on," Jon said.
Rodney nodded, making note of that. "All right. We can fix that broken lock once she's back. We can't do it underwater." He looked at the PM. "About who will have access to her?"
"We have Colonel Balder."
"I remember him from the SG teams," Jack said. "But he wasn't an ATA carrier and it'll take one to man her."
"We've been looking but we haven't had much luck finding many strong ones," the PM said. "The reports from my group's head said that they've only found two, neither very strong or suitable."
Xander got a flash and held his forehead. "Ow." He took a few deep breaths and looked at him. "That wasn't a vision." They all relaxed. The PM looked curious. "It came with the loss of my eye." He looked at him. "I got the flash of a redheaded RAF guy."
"Um... Hmm. Can you be more specific about rank?" the PM asked. "Because that would cover a few."
"He's a pilot definitely. He's about five years younger than me or so. He's Irish if that helps." The PM gaped. "He has no idea but he's from very near it. I recognized him because I saw him grocery shopping. He was on leave or something so he's at home near there." He grinned. "If he doesn't know about the ATA gene and hasn't been on an SG team, could we bring a team over to train him in the SG methodology?" he asked Jack and John.
"That's not a bad idea. That way he'd get some time working with other tech and could take over the flying duties in case of emergency," John said, looking at Jack, who nodded. "Any idea what his name was?"
"No. I remember staring at his ass when I ran into him shopping while I was near the city helping that slayer."
"Geez," Jon complained.
"He's clearly not dangerous if he didn't stare back," Ezra teased with a smirk.
"Clearly." He smirked at the astonished PM. "Even some straight evil shits have wanted me, Prime Minister. I had a few who kidnaped me who swore up and down they weren't gay so they didn't know why they wanted me." The older man moaned and shook his head. "Anyway, I think she likes him. Has a pilot crush."
"I'll find him as soon as I can and have him sent with the newest team," the PM promised. He made notes on what he knew. "Where is the outpost city?" Jon shoved over his report on that. "Oh, I see. That's always been a strange area. The Council pretty well watched over it for us."
"I did when I was up there setting up Melody's house for her," Xander agreed.
"Are any of the slayers ATA carriers?" Jon asked Jack. Who nodded. "Many?"
"Most," Xander said. "John had him search last year and one of them freaked out so called me."
"All the alpha slayers and all the delta slayers are," Jack said. "Almost none of the beta slayers."
"What's the difference?" one of the generals asked.
"Alpha slayers are stronger, they have the better skills. They're meant to take on the heavy action," Xander said. "Like Buffy. Kamria, who was here in town. Rona is as well. They handle things very well."
"Faith's really a delta slayer. Which is, almost always, an alpha who works best alone. Buffy works well with a team approach once they got the slayer hierarchy straightened out. Faith's a lone wolf. Most delta slayers are. Beta slayers are soldiers but most of them, for whatever reason, won't call a new slayer if they die and they don't do well leading. We think if the former one girl at a time order had been kept they were down the line and weren't going to be called or if they did it was going to be during a quieter time. We needed the strength in Buffy during her alone times. Faith's too. If we had made it all the way down to Serena for example, who's in the SG program, she wouldn't have been able to handle something like the ascension or anything too huge."
"Oh, all right. So the lines are shrinking again?"
"By about half," Jack told him. "We think it means that the massive threats are done with for a while."
Xander nodded. "But the first class of potentials that was born since the calling actually holds two more slayers than were called during the Calling. We're not sure if the beta slayers there are going to be activated. Dawn's really not certain."
"Huh," Jack said. "So an interesting factoid to file away for now," he decided. "What about the other city?"
"She's mine," Jon said. "She said she liked me when I landed her outside Sunnydale."
"Did we raise shields against the energy? It's still got a small leak," Xander said.
"Yes, she felt it," he said dryly. "She has a nice shield for that."
"Thank God. I wouldn't want a city demoned."
"You act like they're sentient," the PM said.
"They are," John said. "Atlantis has a very sentient AI that loves all of us on the city."
"She can also be a bit of a busybody," Rodney said dryly.
"Just because she locked you and Willow in a room for a month," Xander said dryly.
"She did?" Jack asked. "I thought it was for a night."
Xander shook his head. "She let them out a few times for work reasons but otherwise no."
"Rodney," John said with a smirk.
"Don't you start either." He glared at Xander, who only ate another nut and smirked. "Anyway, yes, there is a sentient AI on each of the cities. We're also scanning for others that may be down here but unpowered." He looked at his computer then at the PM again. "Doctor Jackson has been looking at rumors of other vanishing cities and cultures."
"The one in Peru might be a city but it was totally powered down and dead," Xander said suddenly. He shifted to pull his foot up under his other one. "I was down there and the slayer I was training in the jungles wanted to look at the ruins. I felt something strange, same as I did in Scotland with Brigadoon's city, but I couldn't identify it."
"Any other areas, kid?" Jack asked.
"Yeah, I reported that and another area in central Africa. Near headhunter country." Jack nodded at that, making his own notes. "There was one I didn't and it's in India. I was only there briefly to help with a battle."
"That's a start," Rodney said. "Would Mr. Giles have those reports?"
"Supposedly? If not, I've got my journals. I'm sure I made notes about it. I did about anywhere that tweaked any of my senses in case it was an Old One's resting place or a possible mini-hellmouth since I can find those really easy. By the way, the second most active hellmouth right now is in Saudi Arabia. We *so* need to talk to them because it's pulsing. That means it's going to open," he told Jack.
"I'll talk with them tonight, Xander. Your friends?"
"No. And one has two slayer daughters."
"Crap. They didn't want slayers."
"No. It broke the rules of how women were supposed to act and be protected."
"Okay, I'll talk to them. They have a unit set up instead?"
"Yeah and they're the ones who send some at Faith every few months."
"Good to know. Where is it?"
"You know that odd spot of weather they've been talking about?" he asked dryly. "Just off center thanks to a natural cliff face and the wind patterns."
"Shit," John complained. "We can use the phones here, General." He looked at Xander. "Any others in the US?"
"Four mini but it'll take centuries for the rips to get too strong. About seven all over the globe that're mature and another ten babies."
"Can you mark them on a map?" Rodney demanded.
"Yup, I have one. It's in Cleveland in my former office." Rodney made note of that. Willow would get it for them. "Anyway." He looked at the PM. "How are you going on setting up an Atlantis-like team?"
"Not overly well right now. We have a few scientists we can lean on for that. All of them post SG service."
"I have four we can let you borrow," Rodney said. "Archaic is going to be hard to get enough for."
"Technically, if they're in good shape, you only need mechanics," Xander pointed out. "You don't need people like you, Rodney, who is making ground-breaking discoveries. You need people who can fix it when she breaks down, makes sure all the systems were running, and then support in case of a battle. You need Scotty, not you."
"That is true," he admitted. "Though we'll need more than a simple mechanic."
"No, but that's a lot of what we did on Atlantis," John reminded him. "You compared yourself to one plenty of times."
"I remember," Rodney said. "Vividly." He considered it. "We can train people how to fix her systems. Lesser engineers. Lesser physicists. I am still worried about who would get access to her ZPM's."
"We can limit that access," John said. "I could from the chair on Atlantis."
"Then we'll work on that to make sure we're all safe," the PM agreed.
"What is so bad about this ZPM power source?" one of the lesser generals asked.
"Nothing if you like destroying the planet in a flash of light," Rodney said dryly. "I thoroughly screwed up trying to build a new one and destroyed most a solar system by accident."
"Oh," he said, then nodded. "Can we remove them?" Rodney and all the SG people shook their heads. "Then yes, let's definitely take precautions on that."
"We will be," Jack assured him. "We always do."
"I have been building some scientists up to the point of understanding them better but none are anywhere near ready to make one," Rodney told him. "We're barely able to recharge some of them."
"That's good to know. Is it safely done?"
"We have the recharging station in another solar system," Jack told him.
"Oh, thank God." He smiled. "Would you suggest the former SG teams that the UK has rotated through to man the city?"
"That would be safest," John agreed. "They're used to the way we do things, the ethical concerns of having a gate. Have all probably been in combat."
"What about other countries that had teams?" Xander asked. "I heard there was a Russian team?"
"They had their own gate and it turned really bad," Jack told him. "There's some people left from their program though. I'm not sure how that would play out."
"I've already had a call saying they'd like to look over the outpost if they could, and if not, maybe get a good look at the city," the PM said.
"I'm not sure what they're thinking," Jack told him.
"I told them it was going to be a while due to the condition and the possibility of instabilities."
"Honestly, we need each and every country to build their own version of a preparedness group," Xander said. Everyone stared at him. "I'm not saying the cities won't be enough some day but we definitely need it in case it might happen. Because having a few here and there on the planet means taking time to get them to wherever the problem is." He ate another nut, looking at John. He swallowed. "Can we train those groups that are taking over slayer duties?"
"Yes. We train the regular SG troops about the wraith, Ori, and gou'ald," he admitted. "That's not a bad idea, Xander."
"It makes no sense not to have someone close enough in case one might sneak down here. They're used to the strange so they won't really freak at the thought of bad aliens."
"That's a good point and I have given all the slayers training on the problems," Jack admitted, staring at him. "That's very good, leader thinking Xander."
Xander smirked. "I am their favorite battle master."
"You are," he agreed. "The girls pouted that you weren't teaching them more than once." He smiled. "I think that's a good idea. Train Special Forces here?" he asked the generals.
"That would make the most sense," one agreed. "They'd be sent to deal with it. Train the regular soldiers how to handle it if they should land. Train Special Forces in how to fight them in combat."
"We have hours of footage from fights at the SGC," John assured him. "Both from Atlantis and not."
"Even better. We can make something like that easy enough for the general population, General O'Neill?"
"We can. We already have. We give the hopefuls that training and take whoever doesn't freak out."
Jon snickered. "I got it at the Air Force academy. They weren't sure why but they were ordered."
"Who are you?" the PM asked. "Just for future reference?"
Jon smirked. "Jack's nephew Jon."
Xander looked at him. Then at the PM. "He took over as John's smartass replacement," Evan told him dryly.
"I'll take over Archaic's chair," Jon told them. They all nodded. "So that leaves that RAF guy that Xander spotted and crushed on for Brigadoon. What about the others?"
"If they're operable," Rodney said. "That might depend on which country it's in."
"Which will cause wars," Ezra said.
"In India you might get the Brahman groups fighting that it should be their job," Xander said. "Not many others."
"We can work with India and they're allies," Jack said. "The one in Africa we'd have to look it over. I'm hoping it's not in one of the regimes we hate."
"I don't remember the country. Down there there's a lot of places that don't have a border crossing."
"I remember," Jack assured him with a grin. Willow appeared since Rodney had texted her to get him the map. Rodney took it to lay out. He looked at Africa. "It's not in a horrible spot," he announced. "Peaceful at the moment."
"I can talk to them," Xander offered.
"No, let's scan it from space first," Jack ordered. "See what sort of condition it's in. If it's not operable we'll send an archeological team at first." The others nodded. "We'll tell them then that it's not working tech." He looked at the rest of the map. "What's this one in Tibet and when did you get there?"
"Oz sent that to me," he admitted. "He's in a temple there controlling the werewolf." He grinned. "He sent it to my email that he felt something growing there, he wasn't sure if it was a baby hellmouth or not." He pointed. "This is baby hellmouth. That's a weird feeling spot. This is a known hellmouth or hellgate. The dots are changed to black if they're taken down." He looked at Willow. "Can you figure out if we can repair some of the baby ones before they have problems?"
"I've been working on it but I'm not sure how."
"I've been helping with the subspace differences," Rodney admitted. "I'm not sure if we can, Xander."
"I'm worried about what'll happen if one of the other realms has a war that goes nuclear."
"Oh," he said, considering that. "That would leak through and possibly tear open the thin spots."
"That's something that came to me one day while I was shutting down a radiating hell gate," Xander told him.
"That would be bad," Rodney decided. "We'll factor that into her private research later." She smiled and sat down in a free chair. "General O'Neill, I would say we split SGA-5 and 7, plus SG-4 and 7 to Archaic. We'd offer Brigadoon support from the science corps and possibly training to help them get used to living on a sentient city and outpost."
"That would be fine," he agreed, considering it. "Though SG-7 just lost someone against a prior the other day," he admitted. "One of the few we've found."
"Need Gorm's phone number?" Xander asked.
"No, we got it. That was a freakish plan that worked somehow."
"His tend to be that way sometimes," Willow told him.
Xander looked at her. "Not like I got formal training, dear." She nodded at that.
"How did yo learn how to plan battles?" John asked. "I've wondered for years, Xander."
Xander smirked. "Possession back in high school thanks to a chaos sorcerer. He turned us into our costumes. Mine happened to belong to a Special Forces guy." They all groaned. "Plus a lot of campaigning around strange, unrealistic worlds." He smirked at Willow. "By the way, you owe me a hundred bucks. Ravenloft and two other D&D universes are real worlds or realms."
She gaped. "There's no way."
"Damn it." She paid him with a huff. "That's freakier than usual."
"Some people see into other realms," he said dryly. He put the money into his pocket with a grin for the staring people. He ate a nut.
The PM shook his head. "Well, that's interesting training."
"Better than Regan had," Jack snorted.
"All too true," the generals agreed. One shook his head. "Who was the Special Forces person, Mr. Harris?"
He smirked. "Classified."
"Was he SG?" Jack asked.
"Not that I'm aware of. At least not when his uniform got put into the bin at the thrift shop."
"So was he alive?" John asked. "When you got possessed?"
"Yes, still is actually. He's being an old goat and refusing to die from liver cancer." Jack glared at him. He laughed but nodded. "Yeah. I think you know him pretty well."
"That .... Well shit. He has luck like you, kid."
"Dangerous things liked Xander before he got that possession," Willow said dryly. "Maybe that made it stronger though. Did he know?"
Xander nodded. "I send him a card on his birthday every year." John moaned, shaking his head. Xander ate another nut, sliding the bowl over so Ezra could nibble too with a grin.
"Who?" one of the generals asked.
"Hyt," Jack said dryly. Xander smirked and nodded. "Strange how that works."
"And if the people panic and make me the president, your nephew's my VP."
"Thank you, God!" Evan said, looking up.
"You're still my backup choice since John said you were so good, Colonel Lorne." Xander smirked at him.
"Please don't," he begged.
"Or maybe Chris?" he asked Ezra, who shuddered and shook his head.
"Eat more nuts, Xander," Ezra said calmly. "Before you give us many more bad ideas."
"I'd never accept it," Jon complained.
"Neither did I," Jack and John said.
"Me either," Xander agreed.
"Shit," Jon complained. He slumped down in his chair. "Please don't, Xander?"
"Fine." He looked at Jack, smirking at him. "I could've said Faith."
"No, I think that would be a problem," he assured him. "Mostly because she'd kill you."
"Possibly, yeah." He got comfortable and ate another nut. He let the PM have the bowl, getting a smile as he took some to nibble on as well. "Maybe you guys should spread that around?"
John burst out cackling. "They may run from that ticket," he said. "It might save you."
"Hopefully," Xander agreed. He looked at Ezra. "If not, and we're still dating, do you want to go to the inauguration ball with me?"
"I would be delighted," he said dryly. Xander smiled back. "Though that one club?"
"If I'm wearing out my stress I don't have to go let it bleed out there."
"You get to club more than that once?" John asked. "We're not twenty, Xander."
"He found a discreet club," Ezra told him. "With security."
"Oh. I need that address." Xander wrote it out and who to talk to. "Thanks, kid."
"Welcome." He looked at Ezra. "I won't go if you don't want to go with me."
"We'll talk about that later." Xander nodded, nibbling on another nut. He looked down the table. "Are there other concerns?"
"Actually, your involvement is a bit of a concern," one of the generals said.
"He's an ATF agent. I'm pretty sure he knows when he can't talk about stuff," Xander said dryly.
"Oh. I didn't know that. All right. Then I won't worry so much about him going on national tv to talk about it."
"Not even if someone asked very sweetly to cover the government's rear end," Ezra said dryly.
"Thank you for that worry being eased," Jack told him. "How is Denver?"
"So far I haven't heard anything bad. Have you?"
"No, not yet." He looked at John, who smiled and nodded. "Okay, let's let the McKays get back to Brigadoon. Which feels weird to say, and then Jon can go bond with his city. Then we'll work on a backup chair person after we find that one RAF guy." They all nodded and the meeting broke up. He looked at Xander and Ezra as they walked out. "He'd make a better one than I did," he said quietly.
"It took him a bit but he got used to all this stuff," John agreed. "Have you seen the new ads?"
"Remember the 'what's the next best thing to a general; a colonel' ads?" Jack nodded. That's the underground campaign that had gotten John elected after him. "They've added to it so it's 'what's the next best thing to a colonel; a knight'." Jack snickered. "He's not losing many points by dating Ezra."
"That's good to know." They went back to their appointed tasks. Jack had to finish calming down the slayers and call Saudi Arabia.
Xander looked up from his paperwork when Chris dropped his mail on his desk and swatted him hard on the head. "Ow!"
"Don't even think about naming me." He walked off.
"But it would definitely protect people," he called after him. "Buck and JD liked the idea."
"I'll shoot 'em later," he called back.
Xander snickered. His assistant stared at him. "I suggested if people did end up O'Neilling me into office then I'd pick Chris as a running mate." He grinned.
"Sir, perhaps you should take the time for a nap before you go to the Senate in an hour?"
"Nah, I'm good." He looked through the mail, finding a letter from Ral. He opened it and laughed. "Aww." He took it to show John. "Sel and Ral are both having a run of sons." He let him see the letter.
John laughed, handing it back. "Yes, Your Highness, your nephews. Yes, Xander does know them. That's why we're calling. It's the hellmouth there breaking open that's causing that weather problem. We're working to see if we can shut them somehow. I have Dr. McKay and his new wife working on it. No, he married Miss Rosenburg of the Council. They worked together for years on the differences between magic and science. Yes, I believe that should be a good plan. I can but you have to agree to not punish the slayers for any reason. I can ask Buffy O'Neill if she'd come. Yes, the former First Lady and her husband." He smirked. "That would be fine. Thank you, sir." He hung up. "He said his nephews are quite prosperous with sons and it was a good thing for the family."
"I'll write a letter for her to bring to them. Saves on postage." He went to do that while John talked Buffy into going on a trip.
Ezra walked into the unit office in Denver, looking at the waiting teammates. "Good afternoon."
"Hi, Ez. How was DC?" JD asked with a grin.
"Very good." He checked his desk. It was clear for a change. Chris walked in with Travis. "AD Travis."
"Ezra." He shook his hand with a smile. "Nice to have you back."
"It's nice to be out of the limelight." He sat down. "Do we have a present case?"
"Yes but I wanted to talk to you both." Travis looked at the others. "You can have them in a minute." He walked them into Chris' office. "Ezra, you know you can't go undercover again."
"I'm aware of the peculiar attention being paid to how well I dress," he said dryly.
"We were wondering if Chris would add a new member who could go undercover?" Chris grimaced. "You really do need one."
"I have a younger agent, came highly recommended. Was military."
"Okay," Chris said cautiously. "Any background in this?"
"Apparently she dated someone who ran guns, which was what got her relieved of her post when she turned them in because they were another officer."
"She?" Chris asked.
"Did they try to cover it up?" Ezra asked.
"Yes," Travis said. He looked at Chris again. "Yes, a female. She's twenty-six. She sued the hell out of her commander in the public and then the Pentagon for it. She won. She doesn't have to work but like your guardee, she has an unnatural draw to that sort. The same as Ezra always has."
"I think it's nice he's considered dangerous enough for the kid," Chris said with a smirk for Ezra, who shot back a dirty look.
"Only the truly stupid have doubted he could be dangerous when necessary," Travis said dryly. "What do you think? Can you help her, Ezra?"
"I can do so easily enough. Are you thinking she'll be taking my place?"
"I don't know," Travis admitted. "That depends on if you become the First Husband, doesn't it?"
"True," he admitted.
"Though we'd be called back to guard them again," Chris said dryly.
"You've been requested right now."
"I heard," Chris grumped.
"I leave that up to the team. You know I can travel to him whenever I want to."
"True." He looked at Travis again. "I want to talk to her."
"Since you might be going back, she's in DC right now. She'll come from the head office if you're staying here."
"Meeting!" Chris bellowed. The others piled in. "Two things. Travis wants us to train a new undercover operative. She's not a newbie by any stretch, former military."
"She?" JD asked. "It'll be kinda weird working with a girl, Chris."
"JD, she can kick Chris's rear," Travis told him. "She passed the Special Forces exams." Chris smirked at that. He had been a SEAL with Buck.
"Girls have a lot more problems undercover," Buck said.
"She will and can handle it," Travis said. "The head office is worried about her if she doesn't have a good team behind her. She's routinely hated because she turned in her boyfriend and fellow officer for running guns when she was military. Then sued."
Buck nodded. "I heard about that. She was a pretty girl at least."
"Which could put her in more danger," Vin said quietly. "Cowboy?"
"I'm leaving this a team decision. We'd have to get used to her. As a second point, we were asked to go back to DC for another year or five."
Vin looked at Ezra. "How is it?"
"He's a very nice date," he said with a smile. "Do not make this decision based on that. I can travel, as can he."
"He bought the farm up the road from Chris anyway," Vin said dryly. "Do we think it'll be more than a year again?" Chris nodded. Ezra shrugged. "So probably?"
"He's trying very hard not to get elected to the higher office," Ezra assured them. "He has had to beat two different guards at the White House for remarking on our relationship. Both in sparring. They were not happy and then John Sheppard got them the next day to make them truly miserable. Apparently he's on par with the senior slayers."
"Definitely," Chris agreed. "Harris keeps up with them, which amazes me sometimes."
Vin shrugged. "I wouldn't mind working with her if we think she can handle it."
Buck shrugged. "I can help toughen her up if she needs it and if not, it'll be nice to have a pretty face to stare at sometimes."
"Her current assignment is in a supply closet because one of her former team tried to get fresh and she sent him to the ICU for a week," Travis told him. "Apparently he drunkenly pinned her against a wall against her will and she dealt with it."
Ezra snickered. "Then she will probably be tough enough to handle the dark world of the undercover circuit." He looked at the others. "Nathan, I know you'll miss your nagging time."
"Oh, hush," he ordered. He looked at the others. "Rain would be upset with me if we went to DC but she might understand and the boy could pout at her again."
JD shrugged. "I got to take some classes on the new technology coming out and things the last time. Plus I got to hang out at the Smithsonian all I wanted."
"There are many fine locations of higher learning in the city," Ezra agreed. He leaned against the wall.
Vin smirked at him. "Sore?"
"No. Nothing has progressed beyond dating, no matter how much John Daniel tried his damndest to make it so."
JD grinned. "It'd make you both happy."
"We're making sure of that before either of us moves onto a more intimate stage." Xander appeared in a flash of light with the dogs. "Problems?" he asked casually.
"Yeah," he said with a grin. He handed Travis the ID's he had confiscated. "I just had to shoot a few of your people from this office." He groaned, looking at them. "And another FBI agent." He handed that one to Ezra.
Ezra looked and nodded. "From the Atlanta office. They disagreed with your choice of paramour?"
"They disagreed with my choice of breathing. I was out running with the dogs and they shot both my guards in the leg then tried me." He looked at Travis. "I don't know why."
"I do," he assured him. "I'll be in DC in a few hours, Mr. Harris."
"Thank you." He smiled at Chris. "Dawn said hi. She wanted to know how you cured JD from pouting so she can stop her daughter doing it again."
"I'll write Dawn later. Did you beam in?"
"No. I Dawn'd in." He smirked and headed back to the mess. The local PD and FBI agents all straightened up. "I went to tell their supervisor they're stupid fucks. They're out of the Denver office and apparently hated like hell that Chris Larabee was a good man and runs a great team." He looked at his guards, who were pouting.
"I knew you two could handle it for a few minutes." He looked around. "Did we leave Mamma dog?" His other one barked. He texted Ezra, getting back that Travis would bring his mutt to him. He texted a thank you and put his phone back. He looked at the local FBI person. "The one that was from the Atlanta office got handed over as well. AD Travis, who is above Special Agent Larabee, will be out in a few hours."
"That's fine, sir. We should move you before someone tries to take advantage of this."
Xander stared at him for a minute. "How do we still have gou'ald down here?" The man gave him a horrified look, backing away. "I dated Amonet for a while," he said with a grin. The man's eyes glowed and he tried to attack but Xander kicked his ass. "He's got a gou'ald larva, guys." He called. "Colonel Lorne, why are you answering John's phone? That's fine then. No, I just got attacked by a gou'ald. Guys, arrest him. They can save his stupid ass." He smiled. "Yes, in the park. Thank you." He hung up. "Someone from the SGC will come pick the idiot up." He stared at him. "Were they hiding or did you break something?"
"I broke something," he moaned. "This human is pathetic," it said once the eyes glowed and the voice changed. "You will be a proper Queen's property. Amonet was clearly too weak."
"Well, my boyfriend might disagree with that," Xander said dryly. "And I can't get you pregnant so you can have baby snakes either."
"Still you are what we need. We will figure out a way," he sneered.
Xander shook his head. "No you won't." He petted his dog, picking up a stick to play fetch with him. The dog got happier and he was occupied until Evan Lorne got there. "Colonel. He said many queens want my ass to own."
"I don't think Colonel Sheppard would like that, sir." He smirked at him, looking at the mess. "All this was them?"
"No, the others were an attempted gay bashing or something equally fucking stupid." He stared at him. Then he threw the stick. His dog ran off and brought it back. "Good boy."
"Where's the other?" Evan asked. Xander was the sort to baby his pets and if one was injured he would be at the vet's pacing and swearing.
"Denver. Coming back later with AD Travis."
"They were his people, all but one." He smirked. "I thought he should know." He pointed. "He's the idiot who broke something in a museum."
"I saw that in the news." He hauled him up. The eyes glowed and the man started to swear at him. "Fat chance." He walked him off to send him back to the base to get freed. They'd find out how many others were in the city. He looked at Xander. "Sir, Colonel Sheppard just called and said I am to guard you back to the White House."
"That's fine, Colonel. Gentlemen, did you need my gun?" he asked.
"Yes, sir, just for the sake of the investigation," one of the agents said. Xander handed it over. The agent bagged it and handed it off. "You do know that there's other agents who might not like your lifestyle, sir?"
Xander stared at him then around then back at him. "If I have to clean out the agency this way I'll be really pissed that they can't grow up and learn to ignore whoever I'm dating unless they're evil. It's not my fault their parents did a crappy job." He walked around him. "C'mon, Pappa dog." The dog jogged over to walk with him and Evan. "You'd think agents had better things to do and a higher job than wondering who I'm dating."
"You'd think," Evan agreed. "Though apparently they had too much time to think instead of work."
"I can send one of my former dates to Denver if they need more bad guys."
"I doubt Agent Larabee would like that, sir," Evan said dryly. "He seemed like he'd hate it actually."
"Probably," he admitted. They got into the car and headed back to the White House. "Can we stop and get a milk shake?"
"Sure," he decided. "Make it a quick one and you're buying." Xander grinned at him for that. He parked and they went in. Xander ordered, flirting with the girl behind the counter. It made her happy and her eyes glow. Evan shook his head, calling that in so they could get some backup. He excused her as coming with him as she had an idea for him. They walked out the back door, well within plain sight of her bosses. Where Evan got her down and arrested. Her boss and two of her coworkers rushed out. Xander got them down and cuffed too. One wasn't snaked, just influenced. Evan got them beamed back too. They picked up their milkshakes with a smile and a 'they'll be back later this week' before they left. "Any more stops?" Evan asked once they were in the car.
"I have the urge for fries but the White House chef makes excellent fries."
"Thank you, sir." He drove them off again, sipping his milk shake. He definitely deserved one today. They arrived and found John waiting. "All safe and sound, sir."
"Thank you, Colonel. A gou'ald in DC, Xander?"
"Five, sir," Evan corrected. "Four taking over the world from a shake place." John winced, rubbing his forehead. "I remember Dr. McKay giving you that headache," he teased.
John took Xander's milkshake, walking off shaking his head. He had it tested by the Secret Service guards but it was only a milkshake so he got a treat too. He also got the report on the rest of the problem Xander had and called the director to talk to him too. Another treat in his full day. Then he called Ezra to tell him to come back to DC to calm his boyfriend down and hopefully marry him in a hugely open ceremony so people would leave him alone. He hung up and finished his milkshake. The kitchen sent up some fries too. It was a good treat.
Ezra showed up in the Senate, waving at Xander. He excused himself, coming out to get his dog. "Thank you."
"You're quite welcome." He smiled. "We're coming back to guard you considering what happened this morning. A queen gou'ald?"
"They think they want me." He shrugged. "Amonet apparently bragged way back when."
Ezra shook his head. "Your past is your past." He took a quick kiss. "Go do your duty. We'll have dinner later?"
"Please." He grinned and walked inside with the dog. A few sneezed. "Sorry. Had to have her picked up." He sat down. "Sit, Mamma." He laid down beside his feet. "Good girl."
The majority leader looked at him. "You named your dog Mamma?"
"When I first got them, the female had just given birth. So they're Mamma and Pappa dogs." The dog barked. He smiled and petted her.
The Majority leader shook his head with a sigh. "You have quite a unique mind."
"Aren't you glad?"
"Dearly so." He got back to his oration of reasons why his idea was a good one. Even though it wasn't. He noticed the guard that changed out and hurried up to sit down. Clearly something had happened again.
Xander looked at his new guard, who shrugged. He shook his head. "Do we have any movement on the Senator's suggestions?" he called.
"I say he send that to the committee that would handle it," one senator called from her seat.
"I agree," another said. "He's trying to bypass the committee."
Xander nodded. "Let's vote on that?" Everyone voted to send it to committee. "Motioned to send his plan to committee is passed. Do we have any other motions before us today?" No one said anything. "Last call before I close this session of the Senate. Do we have any other motions before us today?" No one said anything. "Then I declare this session closed. I'll see all of you in the morning." He banged his gavel and they moved to talk to each other. Xander looked at his guard. "Was there a problem?" he asked quietly as he stood up. His dog followed him down and out to the hallway.
"No, sir, a few of the agents wanted to talk to you about earlier," he said. He led him to a room with five other agents waiting.
Xander got that bad feeling. "We needed a statement about this morning?"
"No, sir, we think that you doing disgusting things in Congress is a problem," one said, taking a swing.
The dog barked. "Down," Xander ordered, ducking the swing and attacking back. The dog ran out to get her master some help but Xander was going to wipe the floor with them.
One of the senators saw the dog running his way. "He lost her?" he guessed. His guard stiffened. When the dog barked he followed her back. "Oh, shit, not here," the senator muttered, following and pushing his panic button. Harris could be brutal if someone had attacked him.
"What is going on here!" the new guard bellowed.
"He started it," one of them shouted back.
"As if," Xander sneered. "They threw the first swing because I gave Ezra a kiss." He let the one he had in a headlock go. Another one tried to kick him and he knocked him out. "I don't throw the first punch."
The guard looked around. "There's a camera and a hidden camera in here, sir. Come out in the hall and please calm down your dog. Do you need medical attention?"
"No, I'm sure Nathan will fuss the hell out of me." He wiped at a spot on his cheek that had broken open. "I'll be fine. Please go confiscate those tapes."
"Yes, sir." He called that order in to his command center and went to personally view them. He came back with the bagged tapes. "You'd think that after all that training you would have better form for hitting, sir."
Xander shrugged. "That was mostly for sword work."
He got the other guards in there. "Arrest them. That one," he said with a point, "threw the first punch." They waded in. He looked at his penultimate boss. "We do have hidden cameras in all open areas in case of assaults or other problems, sir."
"I know that. I helped design where they went." He smiled. "They did start it."
"I know, sir. They also had a helper in the camera room. He was not pleased." He helped him up. "Senator Miller?"
"Go with him."
"I'm sure by now someone's already stomping this way," Xander said. "He's your guard, Senator Miller. With the threat against your wife, you need him more right now." That senator smiled and left with his guard once he had turned over the tapes to the Director. "Director," Xander greeted.
"Ezra showed up with my dog earlier since I accidentally left him in Denver this morning."
"You made it to Denver and back since last night?" he asked.
"I used my emergency transport option after the attack this morning."
"I had both dogs with me and accidentally left her." He petted his dog's head, making her groan and lean against him. "Good girl to get the daddy help." He smiled. "Ezra dropped her off with me so I wouldn't have to worry." He pointed. "That one showed up in the Senate like a usual guard would and said that a few agents wanted to talk about earlier. The others were waiting. That one," he said with a point, "threw the first punch. My dog went to get help, bringing Senator Miller and his guard, who got help to stop them and arrest them."
"Why would they attack you?" the director asked.
"He's dirtying and disgracing Congress' hall by kissing his immoral lover here," one shouted. He kicked at the agent holding him.
"I barely kissed him in thanks," Xander said.
"That's something that will have to be straightened out."
"I thought they all had too much to do to worry about who I'm dating," Xander said dryly. "Apparently I've been wrong twice today." He stood up. "I hope there isn't a third one that would have to turn out like this morning." He walked around him. "Come on, Mamma dog." The dog followed, going outside. She got taken across the street to pee then they got in the car. Then out of the car so Xander could check it over before he started it. He got back in and they drove back to the White House. He parked and walked the dog inside. "I swear if someone else tries to gay bash me today I'm going to kill every fucking one of them," he told Evan when he ran into him.
"Please do since they're a disgrace to the country, sir. I'll escort you to the infirmary."
"I only need an ice pack."
"Tough. President's orders. That way they can check for prior injuries from this morning." He walked him and the dog down there.
"The dog does not belong in here," the paramedic in there said.
Xander stared at him. "I like the dog more than you. Give me some bandages please?" The man gaped. He stared. "Now." He got sat down and the paramedic pulled on some gloves. "I'm fine."
"I'm sure, sir, but a few of those need butterflies." He pulled out the alcohol pads. "What happened, sir? Were you attacked?"
"Yup. Gay bashed actually. And that goes no further, Evan."
"I'm not going to tell anyone, sir. It's not my job. Even though plenty will probably hear from gossip." He watched as he was bandaged, his chest and arms were checked. Nothing broken or badly bruised. The few cuts. "Did one have on a ring?" Xander nodded.
"Please hold still, sir," the paramedic said. He finished up. "There you go." He took off his gloves and put up the extra supplies. "I hope it doesn't happen again."
"Me too." He stood up and walked off. "Thank you. Mamma, let's go play outside." The dog ran for the entrance they used for that. He barked until Xander caught up. Pappa came running and they went to play some fetch.
Chris Larabee walked over to the door, standing beside Evan. "Again? He wasn't that injured this morning."
"Ezra is going to get pissed."
"He said next time he was going to shoot them first."
"Good." He walked out there. "Xander, you okay?"
"I'm fine. I'm working off my bad mood."
"Okay. Want me to tell Ez?"
"Fine." He went inside. "Colonel, go tell Agent Standish."
"He told me not to tell anyone, sir." He smiled. "He didn't give you that sort of order."
"Ezra will kill the messenger if they can't duck fast enough." He went to do the bad telling. He found John and Ezra talking. "Can I have my agent for a moment?"
"Is this about the five gou'alds he found today?" John asked dryly.
"No. It's about the attempted gay bashing at congress today."
Ezra stared at him, his eyes cold. "Excuse me?"
"He's not badly hurt. A few cuts, a fat lip, a few bruises. A black eye. I'm sure they look worse."
"Where is my errant boyfriend?"
"Outside working off his bad mood with fetch."
"Thank you," he said calmly, walking out there. He watched the boy from the door for a minute. "How many were there, Colonel?"
"Six from the rumors, sir."
"Hmm." He walked out there, closing the door firmly behind him. Xander glanced over but tossed the stick again. He stared at him. "They decided you were wrong for what reason?" Ezra asked after a few more throws. He walked closer.
"Apparently I disgraced the halls of Congress by kissing you and I don't rightly give a damn but if it happens again today I'm going to kill all the bitches."
"Good." He made Xander look at him. "Hmm. Nathan?"
"Infirmary. Lorne made sure of it."
"I doubt that will get you out of Nathan's tender mercies." He took a kiss, earning a smile. "Eventually we will run out of agents like that."
"I hope so within the hour."
"As do I. This morning was not about that however." Xander stared at him. The dogs nudged them so Xander threw the sticks. Ezra tossed it the next time. "This morning's was more about the rumors someone in Atlanta spread. Thinking that you were now corrupt as well."
"Hmm. Pity. Why didn't they try to stop me when I was dating arms dealers?"
"You weren't the vice president then but I would love to hear about any that haven't been captured."
Xander smiled at him and kissed him on the cheek. "We'll see." He looked at the waiting dogs. "I need lunchies." They barked and their tails wagged, they ran around them until they walked inside. Then they headed for the kitchen at a run. "Wait for us," Xander called. They paused for them to catch up then jogged ahead again.
"They are very amusing and patient children," Ezra said.
"Yes, they are." He leaned into the kitchen, watching the new cook chastize them. "They're allowed in that corner. That's where their emergency bowls are. Good dogs." They sat down and stared at the empty bowls then at the cook, who huffed but found the dog food for them. "Can you add some gravy from the jar in the fridge? They really like that and they were both very good dogs today," Xander said. He sat down at the counter in there. "And can I have something calming for lunch with Ezra?"
The cook stared at him. "Someone was stupid enough to attack you?" he asked in a French accent. Xander nodded, holding up two fingers. "Of course! Crepes?"
"I don't care. Comfort food sort of food. Ezra knows high cuisine, I just know good food." The cook nodded, going to fix that for him. The dogs were happy munching their lunch too. They got fed and ate down there. Everyone could find them. The chef walked in and stared at him. "How's the gossip train going?"
"Fast and out of control," he assured him. He tipped the boy's face up to the light. "Could have been worse."
"I could've had to shoot those too," Xander said dryly. "Like the ones earlier." He ate another bite. Their chef huffed and went to make something to add to their plates, plus some meat scraps for the dogs that he got off the griddle. They both loved him for spoiling them.
Ezra ate the very good food. "We don't get food like this in the cafeteria."
"It's a privilege of the First Family and he takes shameless advantage of us," the chef said with a smirk. "He is usually a good boy, like his dogs." He got back to work on dinner. "Is the President going to be working late?"
"I don't know, I'll ask Chuck when I walk past him on the way back to my office," Xander said. He put his empty dishes in the dishwasher, taking Ezra's to do the same. "Thanks, guys. C'mon, puppies." They finished their food and followed.
The chef smiled at his second. "He is a very nice boy and the dogs are very good dogs. They stay in their corner so they don't shed everywhere." He got back to work. Chuck called a few minutes later to tell him about the diplomatic dinner that night. The chef smiled. "We're good. He's got a diplomatic dinner so we'll only have to leave a sandwich in his rooms." That got a nod and they went back to the cafeteria's food. The other staffers would need a good lunch to handle this problem.
John stomped into the press room that afternoon, looking around. "I've been told that my vice president had a problem today. Whoever else wants to continue this problem will be met with hostility. They will be fought back against and if he can't for whatever reason, you will face me," he told the cameras. "There will be no more attacks on him for daring to be happy. We like Xander being happy. He deserves it after so many years of risking his life and soul for this planet and the ungrateful people who attacked him today.
"Should I hear of another incident I will authorize a special prosecutor to try these cases to the fullest extent fo the law." He looked around the room again. "This petty streak of gay bashing ends or I will end it personally in the most violent manner I can since apparently that's all that those sort understand." He looked around again. "Any questions?"
"There was more than one attack?" one reporter asked.
"Yes, apparently some guards in Congress decided to disgrace themselves and the people they used to serve honorably by attacking him for daring to have a boyfriend. I will not have this, even if he wasn't my vice president. Gay bashing is the most cowardly, stupid, most idiotic reason to attack anyone. As a result, I'm adding gay bashing to the list of Federal offenses. That means it is now an A class felony to gay bash *anyone*. No matter who does it."
"Sir, were they agents?"
"A few. The rest were Capitol guards. I wish them good luck getting a job after prison." He glared. "Any other questions?"
"Is Mr. Harris all right?" one asked.
"A bit bruised, a few minor cuts from one's ring. There were six of them. They needed the whole gang to feel manly enough to attack him," he said dryly. "Which is why I'm fairly certain they're going to be rotting in hell before they get a job in this government again. After they get out of the prison infirmary."
"Sir, is he now dating his former guard?"
"Yes, all of you who pushed that theory made them talk and they found out that they are well suited. Even if Ezra does make him shop." He walked off. He signed the presidential resolution and sent it with the press secretary. It was not going to happen again or he would show them what he learned in Pegasus.
Chuck walked in and looked at his boss and friend. "Colonel, calm down," he said quietly. "Please? Before you break out the bantos rods and take on the whole Secret Service to kick their asses."
John smiled. "I don't think I can beat all of them on the same day, Chuck."
"Xander thinks he can, he said it takes artillery."
John laughed. "True, it probably would." He stared at him. "How is he?"
"Moping that he had to beat them. Still upset over this morning." John nodded. "He said you can't fight for him either. That's his job. Ezra said it was his job but Xander patted him on the arm and reminded him he fought better." John nodded at that. "Other than that, you're going back into the Colonel of Doom mindset that you got whenever the city was attacked, sir. Please?"
"Thank you, Colonel. Want some ice cream from the kitchen?"
"I'll go down to get some. I could use the walk." He walked down to get an ice cream sandwich and then took the dogs out to play. "Maybe I need a dog." One of the leaving reporters stopped and took pictures. "It's stress relieving."
"I'm sure it is, sir, and you look good with the dogs." He left with a smile. The scary colonel played fetch and gave the dogs dropped pieces of ice cream. They were so spoiled.
John smiled, tossing the stick again. They ran off to fetch it. It was very blood pressure relieving. Maybe he'd have to think about a dog. Maybe some sort of spaniel. Something that would be at home on Atlantis and not get into too much trouble. He played a few more rounds of fetch then petted the dogs and took them back inside. They ran out to pee then came back inside. "Good, dogs." He led them back to Xander's office. "They peed."
"Good dogs," Ezra said, petting them both. He nodded at where Xander was asleep in his chair, getting a smile from John.
John walked into the pound with the two dogs. "Hi."
"Sir! Are you dropping them off?"
"No!" He smirked. "They have to get along with whichever I pick out. I need something mid-sized that I can ignore on the bad days but wants to play now and then. I was thinking a spaniel sized thing."
"Of course, sir. Bring them this way so they can make friends." He followed her. The dogs were well behaved. "Are those the Vice President's dogs?"
"Yup. This is Mamma and Pappa."
She smiled. "I heard how good they were and why he adopted them. We were all very proud." She found a few. "This three are on their last days. This one is a new one but we haven't had a chance to test him yet."
John looked at the last day dogs, cooing at the one that was giving him the sad puppy eyes. "Xander gives me that same look when I steal his ice cream." She giggled, letting that one out. The St. Bernards wouldn't go near it. He tried to get them to sniff but they wouldn't. "Is it sick?"
"I don't think so." She read the cage tags. "Oh, yes, he is. He's got a small tumor. It could be easily removed. We've had some interest but not once they hear the medical needs."
John nodded. "How much would get it removed?"
"Probably about twelve hundred."
John nodded. That one went back and her face fell. He picked out one that came out to sniff the other two dogs and then him, barking playfully at him. "You're sweet. Are you a boy or a girl?"
"The cage says boy, sir."
John smiled. "Friendly usually?"
"Very friendly and he's a bit of a follower. Tried to follow someone home a few times. That's why they called us to get him."
"Hmm." He petted him and checked the other dog. That one was shying away from him. "I understand, sweetheart. Calm down." He closed the cage and the dog quit cowering. "Let me take this one?"
She nodded. "I'm sure he'll be an excellent addition to the White House pets, sir." She took him to fill out the paperwork. She had hopes that he would donate as well. Her prayers for that one dog were answered. He donated a large sum. "Oh, thank you, sir."
"Run an adoption fair or something," he said with a smile. "Everyone needs to have a happy pet like Xander does." He walked his dog out with the other two. His guards gave the dog an odd look. "They get along very well."
"Very good, sir." He smirked on his way around the back of the car. He slid in to drive. "Should we stop at the pet warehouse?"
"Please." They drove off and he petted all three of the dogs. The stop at the pet warehouse meant a lot of buying. Toys, beds, leash and bowls. New collar. Toys for Xander's dogs since they were his step-mutts. Treats. They finally managed to get out of there after spending nearly three hundred bucks. He thoughtfully separated the bags for which dog they went to. They dropped Xander's dogs at his house with their bags of treats and toys. Then they went back to the White House. "What should we name you?" he asked him. He barked and wagged his tail. "Can we let him water a bush?" The car pulled over and John got the dog out to let him water as many bushes as he wanted. Then they got back into the car and finished the drive.
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