Xander paced up and down the hallway outside the office. It was one of those weeks where everyone was annoyed at everyone else and things weren't exactly the most rosy and cheerful around the main hideout in France. Jigen had torn his neck falling off a catwalk during the last job and he was grousing about the neck brace he had to wear. Lupin was stressing over this new job and wouldn't let anyone help him. Xander was bored out of his skull and not even the mini Lupin upstairs was helping him anymore. Not even going to see the Goemons would help him any. He finally stopped and took a deep breath before knocking on the office door.
"Go away, Xander."
Xander opened the door. "Fine, I will. I'll have my phone on me if you want me," he said with a touch of bitterness. "I'll be somewhere in the US." He closed the door and went to do a quick pack. He knew what he wanted to take. His closets were neatly organized for quick packs, everything for a suit on the same hanger, each outfit arranged by colors. He packed a suit bag within three grabs from his closet and his other, 'Xander', clothes in another one within a few grabs as well. He even remembered underwear this time, something he forgot to grab on occasion. He zipped up the two bags, then sat down to camouflage his weapons so he could bring them with him. He spied the badge sitting on his dresser, an artifact from the time Dawn had worked with them, and grabbed it. He could carry it openly that way and it would fit in with his present plans. He grabbed his laptop case as well, putting it into his carryon. He found his trench coat and put it on as his door opened and Lupin walked in. "Yes?" he asked patiently.
"What are you doing?" he snarled.
"I'm going to find a diversion before I start to snap back," he said dryly, glaring at him. "Or until you find some damn Midol." He grabbed his bags and stood up, stepping into his shoes. "I'll be in the US." He walked past him.
"Xander, if you leave this house, don't expect to come back!" Lupin called after him.
"Then send my stuff to Geneva," he called back with a touch of humor. "Either that or get laid soon, Lupin. You're grumpier than Gramps when Dawn was told she couldn't have sex last month until she popped." He walked outside, going to attach his bags to his bike, another heirloom from Dawn's thieving days. He straddled it and kicked it to life as Lupin came outside. He put on his sunglasses. "I promise, I'll be good. I won't get into any trouble and you'll be able to find me. I've got my laptop so you can email me and I'll meet you in Switzerland once you're over your funk and you've finally planned that job. Until then, I can't take the temper, Arsene. And you don't want mine to come into play either." He took off down the driveway, heading for Paris and the airport. Halfway there, he put on his camouflaging necklace, newly fixed and recharged. It would get him through Customs easier than being himself since his warrants were all in effect again.
Lupin growled and headed inside again, slamming the door behind him. "Jigen!" he yelled.
Jigen came to the top of the stairs. "What!"
"Fine. And? He'll be back when you're calm and I'm not ignoring him. Next time, take up the slack of sleeping with his horny ass." He went back to his room to hide from Lupin's growing temper. He knew the signs of it and it was going to explode soon. The nanny gave him a look as he walked past her. "Keep the kids upstairs," he said quietly. "He's frustrated." She nodded, going to tell the children that they were going to play 'sneaking and hiding' games to get into the gardens for their afternoon romp. They liked those best and there were ever so many delightful hidden passages around the house. Jigen carefully laid down again, going back to his book. It was interesting enough, for now. It wasn't like he could do much of anything else without making his neck shoot pains down his back.
Xander sat down in the bar, smiling at the bartender. "Can I have a Bud? In a bottle?" he asked, putting down a five. The bartender got one for him, even opening it. "Thanks. When does Tack get here?"
"Probably not for an hour yet. You know him?"
"Wanting to know him," Xander admitted. It was true, he did. He wanted to challenge himself against him. "It'll be fine." The bartender gave him a look so he gave him his most goofy grin. "I'm Interpol."
"Oh. Wow," he said flatly. "You're dressed much nicer than their usual, like the other guy."
"Some grumpy asshole who came in last week," a tired voice said from behind him. "And you are?"
Xander looked back at the brunette man, grinning and holding out his hand. "Alexander." They shook hands. "I came to talk to Tackleberry."
"Give it a half-hour. He had to run home for something." He sat down with a tired sigh. "Beer me," he pleaded.
"I'll get his too," Xander said, putting down a twenty. "Bad week?"
"Crime's on the rise again. We don't know what's going on but it's horrible out there. I guess you've forgotten what being on the street was like."
"I was never really there, but I know it's hard," Xander commiserated. "I'm a specialist. Sharpshooter."
Mahoney looked at him. "You're recruiting?" he asked. Xander shook his head. "Then why did you want to talk to Tackleberry?"
Xander sipped his beer. "I want to test myself against him," he said honestly. "A nice, old fashioned shooting contest, dude."
"Ah." He nodded and grinned. "I wish you all the luck in the world. Hey, would you know what's wrong with the other guy?"
"Classic obsession. Lavelle blew his mind by saving him once." He finished his beer and waved for another one. "His boss has one with Lavelle's boss and with Lavelle somewhat but that guy, if it's who I'm thinking of, is seriously in love-hate with Lavelle." Mahoney looked at him. He shrugged and grinned. "So they say."
Mahoney leaned closer. "Why do you have this little wavy line around you?" he asked quietly.
"Probably because one percent of all people can see through illusions," another voice said from behind him.
Xander looked back and grinned, undoing his illusion. "Very good, Ray. The other idiot?"
"Locked in a closet. I got tired of him." He put his hands on his hips. "Why're you here?"
"I want to do a shooting contest with Tackleberry. I'm bored and Lupin's pissed with himself."
Mahoney blinked a few times. "You look familiar."
Xander grinned at him. "Lavelle."
"Oh, shit," he said, standing up to get away from him.
"Not dangerous to those who don't piss me off. I only hit criminals. Or else I would have gotten Ray a few years back at a fancon." He put down a fifty on the bar. "Get them both one. Ray looks miserable. Who?"
Xander snorted. "He escaped already?" Ray nodded. "He's recruiting?"
"He's taken over two gangs and forcing them to work for him."
Xander stood up. "Cool. You want help?" Ray gave him an incredulous look. "It beats Lupin's unreasonable anger at plans that won't work. I'm bored, he's an annoyance I don't want to have to deal with in three years, and I'm going to be in town until I can bug that one guy into a shooting contest. Please?"
"Who?" another guy asked as he walked in with a few people behind him.
"Holy shit, you're Lavelle," one tall African-American officer in uniform said.
Xander looked at him, then at his target. "You, Tackleberry. I want to have a shooting contest. In return for the simple firing off happily at paper targets at a range of your choice, I can help with Simmons. He's a woose with strong weaknesses if you know what they are. I'm surprised no one's sent in a woman yet." They all gaped at him. "Or did you?" he asked carefully.
"She's missing," Tackleberry said. "You can find her?"
"I can, most likely," he agreed. "Simmons is a stupid fuck and not worth the angst Interpol gave him. My boss and his main shooter are the reason he was caught the last time. He was in our way." Ray nodded, tossing up his hands and walking away. "And all I want in return is to test myself against one of the best on a range. It's validation."
"What's your personal weapon?" he asked. Xander whipped it out to show him and he grinned. "Nice. Very pretty. Range?"
"Six hundred yards. This is my usual carry. If I need for distance I've got a Russian Kalishnakov for it." He grinned and shrugged. "This is really nice, it's interchangeable from stock." He let him see it. "I heard you're like my boss, old school."
Tackleberry took out his forty-five and let him see it. "Be careful, it was a present from my mom." He broke down the handgun to check it out fully. It was a nice gun. Xander did the same then they replaced everything and handed them back. "Done. The academy. Ray can referee."
"Tack!" Mahoney said, looking incredulous. "He's an internationally wanted felon!"
"Actually, I'm a big nerd with a really good aim," Xander told him with a grin. "Just ask Ray." He put his gun back in his armpit holster. "Where is his lair? He'll be keeping any hostages within three blocks."
Ray coughed as he came back from reporting to his boss. "I'll show you. Asshole." He gave Lavelle a shove. "Did you bring that damn badge with you?"
"Yuppers," Xander said smugly, walking him outside. "Did you drive? I rented a bike."
"You did what!" Ray said, glaring at him. "Do you know how to ride one of those!"
"Who do you think taught Dawnie?"
Ray gaped at him, then shook his head. "Fine. Find it and we'll go. I want you away from this town as soon as humanly possible, Xander."
"Okay." He shrugged and found his bike among the three there, then started it. "Come on, Ray. We'll be fine."
"I'll never hear the end of this," Ray complained as he walked over and climbed on. "Where's the seatbelt?"
"Hold onto me. I promise I won't make a pass at you." He backed out and then took off, making Ray swear and grab him tightly. "Jigen does that same thing," he said smugly, speeding up some. "Tell me where to turn?"
"Downtown," he yelled through the wind. "By the harbor."
"Should have figured that. He likes boats." He turned that way, cutting off a station wagon. It blared its horn at him but he only flipped the driver off. Once they got to where Ray wanted them, he looked around. "He's going low rent?"
"He's back with what's-his-name, Kromson. It's his place."
"Kromson? Al?" He shuddered. "Nasty, slimy fucker." He looked around, then pointed at a lit window. "That their lair?" Ray nodded, looking at him. "Then the hideout would be within line-of-sight."
"We've checked all of them," Ray complained.
"No," he admitted. "None have been stable in the harbor."
Xander grinned at him. "That's the beauty of a boat, Ray." He headed that way at a walk, checking the window. He found where it must cross, then found a captain of another boat. He tapped him on the shoulder, then grinned and adopted a southern accent. "Hey. The assholes in the warehouse have absconded with my sister, y'hear. They're on a boat from what I've been told. They're travelin' but they come by here at least once every day. You know which one that may be?"
The captain looked at him, then took a step back. "There's been two ships. One's a freighter. One's a pleasure boat. Both'a 'em go by each night." He glanced at his watch, then back at the loon with the silver hair. He was famous, badly famous. "Shouldn't be too long."
"Thank ya," he said, nodding politely and grinning. "Forget you saw me and take the night off."
Xander handed over six hundred dollars. "Take the crew for a few beers," he said in his usual accent. The man nodded and went to find his wife, taking her to get cleaned up and to dinner. Xander sat down to wait, watching the harbor. "Hey, Ray, are they cops?"
"Yeah. Mostly harder ones." He sat beside him. "You got the guy out of your way?"
"I don't want him in the way. Kromson is an idiot who shoots anything that moves." He pointed at a freighter, the only one in the harbor. "Is that one normal?"
"No," he said bitterly. "Not in the least. This isn't a shipping harbor, it's more for pleasure boating."
"Good," he purred, standing up. "Okay. And there's our pleasure boat probably," he said, noticing one following behind. "Let's see. Bosses on the boat, with one or two hostages. Freighter has the cargo and the drugs." He pulled open a pocket in his trench coat and pulled out a calculator, punching in some numbers. "Hey, Ray, can I get a rocket launcher?"
"No! We want them alive!"
"Okay, don't have a hissy. I was gonna do a shot over the bow." He rolled his eyes and put up his calculator, heading down to the marina. Where he broke into the rental place for water boats and took the nicest and fastest-looking one to give chase. He headed out before Ray could jump in but found someone behind him anyway. "Hey." He nodded and went back to driving. "Name?"
"Cool. Xander. Don't spread that around, okay?" He made a sharp turn around the starboard of the pleasure boat and pulled his gun, hitting the guard and waving and grinning at the one who came running. "Morning!" he called. "I want your boss, he has what I want. Tell him to meet me with the hostages or I fuck up his son!" He sped off, going to the freighter to board it. It was fairly easy, most of the crew was bailing quickly. The hostages were in a cargo container, freed easily. Xander even found the bomb and tossed it overboard, watching as it created a new fountain. Then he looked at his escort. "Yours?"
"Then she's on the boat. Okay then." He went back, going to deal with that. He'd let them have the freighter now that it wouldn't explode. The other was gone but he knew where they would be taking the hostage. He landed a little bit away and walked back the few blocks. On the way, a scummy looking gang stopped him. He scratched the back of his head. "Hey, guys. Working for Simmons?" They glared at him. "Good, I like that in lower level criminals. It shows ingenuity and common sense." He pushed past them, heading up the street with them tailing him. "Guys, I'm going to commit homicide. Do you *really* want to be considered accomplices?" He glanced back to find they had disappeared. "Thank you," he called. He found the warehouse again and strolled inside, startling the guard. "Hey, howyadoin'?" he asked, mimicking Ray's accent. He pulled a small dagger before the guy could pull his gun and got him across the windpipe. Then he squatted down to look at him. "Real criminals are like me," he patiently instructed. "We draw first and then remember fondly. This is why you want to go straight, have kids, and raise a few future cops. Yes?" The guy nodded frantically. "Good. You'll live with that injury, I didn't completely puncture your airway. If you get good medical attention soon, you'll even only have a small scar. I'd leave now. There are cops up the street. You can tell them that I'm cleaning up the small-time problems for them."
"Who are you?" he whispered.
Xander grinned. "Lavelle, baby. Fully me." He stood up and headed up in the elevator. There was only one socket in the panel that had a button in it so he pushed it. That took him to a penthouse. He stepped off and saw the women tied to chairs. He gave them a cordial nod and a smile. "Hey. Friends of Tack's?" They nodded. "Cool. Tell him to email me, Ray's got my addy." He coughed. "Yo!" he called. "I'm here!" A door opened and a startled man came out with a woman in tow. "Good morning!" he said at his most cheerful. Then he drew and hit him right above the heart. Another nearly-fatal wound. He looked at the woman, who whimpered and ran off. "Thank you." He looked around. "Kromson?" One of the women, the smaller, dark skinned, one nodded at a closed door. "Cool, thanks." He walked over and tapped on it, opening it and leaning inside. "Hi," he said cheerfully. "You do realize that I don't like you, correct? That I find you worthy....I mean unworthy. Sorry, not enough caffeine," he said with a shit-eating grin. "I really do find you unworthy. I did the last time we met and prison hasn't made you any more worthy. If you live, you might want to think about changing careers. Maybe you can operate a sweatshop or something." He noticed the girl cowering on the floor. "Yours?" he asked. Kromson, bane and nightmare to two streetgangs, nodded, so scared he was sweating copiously onto his prostitute. "You're cute," he said with a wicked grin. "I haven't seen one like you in *years*." She laughed nervously. "I'll give you a thousand for a few hours, then you can move anywhere you want and start over. Get away from this soon-to-be dead man."
She stood up, looking him over. "Who're you?" she asked calmly. He wasn't going to hurt her, she could feel it.
He grinned again, adding a touch of leer. "Lavelle," he purred. He stepped inside. "A cool grand for two hours."
She swallowed. "I've heard of you," she admitted. "You wear girls out." He nodded, still looking smug. She moved closer, touching the lapels of his jacket. "For three, you can have me all night."
He beamed. "What a deal. We'll have to stop at a few ATMs, I only brought eight hundred in cash and six went for information. That cool?"
She beamed. "I can run your card."
"Hmm." He pulled one out and handed it over. "Let's do that. Do you mind if I make you pass out in pleasure, babe?" He followed her out, shooting Kromson in the nuts when he tried to make a run for it. "You don't deserve sweet little honeys like this one," he said, glaring at the man, but he smiled at the girl again.
"Who are you?" the smaller, dark skinned, cop asked in a quiet, high voice.
He walked over, pulling out his ring of keys. "Lavelle." He checked the cuffs. "Standard American ones," he said, finding his universal key. He undid her cuff, then patted her on the head. "I like women with sweet voices. They're usually very nice women who should be protected from scum like Kromson and Simmons. Have your man spoil you when you get done with the paperwork." He unhitched the blonde amazon-looking woman, smirking at her. "You too. Men like that have no taste. Handcuffs are so blatantly stupid on a woman like you. Women like you should be allowed to do whatever they want to you."
"I'm still a cop," she said firmly.
He grinned. "I know. I'm not." He beamed and went back to his playmate's side. "So, how's it going? Add your tip yet?"
"Thirty percent?" she suggested slyly.
"Ah-ah!" he chided, grinning at her. "Being greedy like that means that I'll have to make you pass out multiple times for my pleasure." Her mouth fell open and she gave him a look. He beamed. "I've done it before."
"I've heard," she squeaked, handing him back his card. "I took ten percent as a tip."
"That's cool. Let's see if you can earn that other twenty," he said, gently steering her out of the penthouse. "Got any toys?"
"You're like that?" the amazon squeaked.
He grinned lasciviously at her. "No, usually I go through four girls and a guy." He beamed down at his companion. "Fill in for all five and I'll pay you five." She swallowed and nodded.
The smaller female officer butted in. "There's a nice bar in town for people like that. I'm sure you can find someone more male down there."
He grinned at her. "If she can't keep up, I might. Thanks." He looked at her again. "We'll try it," he said with a wink, leading her down to his bike. He found it had been sabotaged and shrugged, going to take one of the cop cars that was sitting around with its lights on. He winked at her. "Ever done it in the back of a cop car? The closest I ever got was making out in the back of Zenigata's personal car. He got so pissed!" he said wickedly. She giggled and helped him shift with her own gear shift as they zipped off.
The blonde picked up the phone, dialing her precinct. "This is Callahan," she said firmly. "We're free. There was a guy here. We need an ambulance and a sketch artist." She listened. "I don't know. Said his name was Lavelle." She frowned. "Yes, he did have silver hair," she said, looking at the men with the gunshot wounds. "Interesting. Thank you." She hung up and looked at her partner. "He was an internationally wanted felon, a gunman."
Laverne Hooks swallowed. "He's that Lavelle?" she squeaked. Callahan nodded. "Wow. He seemed so...nice!"
"He did," she said grimly. "And he said he knew Tackleberry." Hooks scowled. "We'll have to watch this very carefully, Laverne. He could get hurt." The other woman nodded, looking concerned herself now. Their rescuers sped off the elevator and came to help them. "We're fine. Those two are in serious hurt and he took a woman out of here promising to make her pass out." She noticed an unfamiliar face and glared at him. "Who are you?"
"Easy," Mahoney said, giving her a smile and a hug. "This is Ray, he's one of two Interpol agents after Simmons, Kromson, and Lavelle. The other's an asshole, you'll want to hurt him."
"Why not, we do," Ray said with a grin and a nod. "Hey, howyadoin'?" he asked. "Should we work on gettin' you two ta the hospital too?"
Callahan shook her head. "We're fine."
"Thank God," Mahoney said, glancing up. "Thanks." He gave her another hug then went to hug Laverne. "What happened!" he asked, looking at the guy with the chest wound that was able to talk. "Where was he hit?"
"An inch above his heart. Either that guy's really good or he was really lucky," the paramedic told him.
"No, Lavelle's that good," Ray told him. "Natural from day one, when Jigen taught him." He got out of the way. "You said he left with a girl. Hooker?" Laverne nodded. "Then he'll be down for at least two hours."
"He said he was going to make her pass out a few times," Callahan told him.
Ray beamed and nodded. "It wouldn't be the first time, believe me. I've heard shit from that boy's sex life like you wouldn't *believe*!" Everyone looked at him. "The last person who broke in on him while he was tryin' ta have sex nearly got his head blown off. I'm not that brave," he shared. "I can wait until he's done, it's humane and safer. Body armor don't cover heads." He walked behind the women, shaking his head. "I almost feel sorry for the young lady."
"He offered her thousands," Laverne told him.
Ray nodded. "He'd have to. He's got a reputation for makin' 'em pass out in pleasure. Each time he does, the price goes up. How much she get him for?"
"Three grand," Callahan told him. "He offered her five if she'd take him." Ray nodded, making her stop and give him an incredulous look. "He is?"
"Bi," Ray told her. "Formerly indiscriminate but taken by his bosses from what I hear. Lupin musta bummed up badly this time." He grinned. "My boss'll love this one," he shared with a wink. "He says all the sex rots their brains and makes 'em easier to catch with each time they go at it. It never hurts his aim though. Can't break locks for shit, but his aim's perfect. When they get in there, they'll probably find the margin's more like half an inch insteada the full inch." They continued to stare at him. "Let's go," he suggested. "Cranky, whiny guy is waitin' and he's got a hard on for Lavelle."
"He said something about an obsession," Mahoney said thoughtfully.
Ray snorted. "Yeah, tha's puttin' it mildly," he said jovially. "Say Lavelle's name in front of him, see what he does and how much steam comes from his ears." He walked past them, taking the ladies to his car. "In you get," he offered, letting them decide who got the back seat. "Back to the precinct, then the Academy," he promised. Someone tapped on his window so he let someone else get in there with them, giving the brown-noser a look. "You could be so much more," he told him. "Dump the putz and become a man soon, 'kay?" He took off, his siren roaring through the night. "How'd he get away? I took the cap off his bike."
"He took my squad car," Proctor complained. "Who was that?"
"Lavelle," the women told him in unison. Proctor shivered.
Ray glanced back. "Welcome to my nightmare capture. I was brought in ta get him." Proctor whimpered. "If you get sick, I'm gonna make you clean it up with a toothbrush," he warned.
"I won't," he promised. "Are you that good of a shot, Constable?"
"Inspector, and yeah, I am," he said smugly. "Not with the fancy shit like Lavelle did tonight, but straight on I am. Myron too. If he's not too busy, you may be seeing him soon and the putz'll go home again." He shrugged, turning into the driveway. "I know it's not your home precinct, but I like this one much better and the putz'll be at the other one," he told them. "You don't need the exposure to him, he'll make ya sicker." He got out, letting them out and walking them inside. The commanding officer looked at him so he waved. "Yeah, what of it?" he demanded, grinning at him. "Lavelle was here. He's in town."
"He wants to challenge Tackleberry to a shooting match," Callahan said grimly.
"I'm sure it's all fun for him. Lavelle's really a big geek. We have to chase him through all sorts of fandom things each year. He's got some damn good costumes." He let them into the office, following behind them. Someone came running so he slammed the door in their face. He didn't care, he wasn't about to be bothered. "Sir, they were found and rescued from the clutches of the big international gunman."
The Captain looked at him. "Inspector, I wasn't aware there was one in town."
Ray scratched his eyebrow. "Yeah, well, we found out earlier Lavelle's in town and bored. Don't tell the putz," he begged. "He'll go ballistic."
"Oh, I'm sure he will. He was ranting earlier about him coming into the US." He looked at the women. "Are you two all right?" They nodded. "Are you sure?" They nodded again. "Good. I want concise reports of everything, including how you got free," he said calmly. "This Lavelle is bad for us."
"He shot them," Laverne told him.
The Captain and Ray both sighed. "Lavelle's known for being a former good guy," Ray told them. "His friends turned on him and sacrificed him for their own gain. Hence the silver hair. They turned him off ever bein' a good guy again, but he always goes after other criminals. It's his boss's way and Lavelle finds something in that to make himself happy. He won't hit an innocent and he'll try to wound any cops, as he's gotten me in the past," he admitted. "He's not a hero. He's not a nice guy. He's not a good guy any more. Back in the day he was one of the best good guys around, but not any longer."
"A cop?" Callahan asked.
Ray shook his head. "Another sort. He could've been I guess. He's only got one good eye though." He grinned. "He's damn impressive, but he's a damaged soul because of them. He's loyal to his friends; wholly, one hundred percent, give 'em a part of his body loyal. He finds neat guys from time to time too, considers them friends. Myron and I both get that from him. Zenigata and he have got some strange game goin' on where he tolerates the old man but loves ta tease him because of Dawn. The putz was saved by him once, back as a rookie. That's why he's so fucked in the head. He will force a showdown with Lavelle and Lavelle will win again. He's clouded by his anger."
"And Tackleberry's the sort he likes to find who're neat and cool in his book," the Captain finished. "He's been warned. Lavelle won't hurt him, ever. Even if you could get Tackleberry to turn on him and capture him, he still won't hurt him."
"Yeah, he's said often enough that Myron and I are free to arrest him at any time," Ray admitted with a self-conscious grin. "Hell, we even call truces when we accidentally meet at fan conventions. He's never there to work and we're there to have fun too. And as soon as the last event is over, he's out the door and we're chasing him. Plus our boss pays for 'em now," he admitted sheepishly. "Of the whole gang, he's the most dangerous, but the best one. The others have less morals. Lavelle's still got some good deed of the day thing going. His last solo heist went to rebuild an orphanage so the kids wouldn't suffer."
"So he's like a bad version of Tackleberry," the Captain told them. "They'll probably understand each other very well."
Ray nodded. "Definitely. I wish I coulda gotten the mountie to meet him. Benny'd be one of those guys he'd respect too." He shrugged. "He's odd that way. He can put you at ease one minute then calmly draw a gun, shoot someone tryin' ta piss him off, then go back ta puttin' ya at ease again." He shrugged, then chuckled. "It drives my boss nuts and his boss doesn't understand it either."
"Let Mahoney handle him," Laverne suggested. "He and Tackleberry get along best, he can handle Lavelle with Ray."
"Good idea," the Captain agreed. "Go do those statements. I know you both want to go home and shower and change. You've now got the rest of the week off for psych evaluations. They're mandatory, I can't waive 'em, ladies. Sorry." They sighed and nodded, heading to do that. "You too, Inspector."
"Sure thing," Ray agreed dryly. "I'm used ta it. I've done so much paperwork on him that I'm surprised none of it leaks back to his boss." He went to steal a computer and fill out the necessary forms.
Xander looked up as his new friend joined him on the range. "You sure you want to do this here?" he asked.
"It's my home range," Tackleberry told him. "Besides, you'll be good training for the recruits."
Xander grinned. "Sure, I'm all for the best doing the job. Shall we?"
Tackleberry looked at the gathered recruits. "Today, you'll see an exhibition match," he announced. "This is Lavelle, a famous gunman. Since he saved two officers the other night, we're allowing this. This is not the normal way we do things. Don't get used to him." He looked at Lavelle, then pulled out his gun. "Pick a class of range?"
Lavelle shrugged. "I don't care. I do all sorts of range work, including the walk-through, live version every now and then."
Tackleberry grinned at him. "That's very dangerous."
Lavelle looked over the edge of his sunglasses. "Me, dangerous?" he asked innocently, then he grinned. "Short, long, practical, which?"
"Let's start with short." He walked him over to the short range, the one with the paper targets a mere hundred feet away. "You cadets have done this one a lot. Watch and learn." He put on his ear guards, then his special sunglasses. "Are those polarized?"
"Yuppers." Xander pushed his up his nose again. "I take the right half?"
"Single target for now. Did you bring more ammo?"
"I brought six spare clips and a box in my pocket," he admitted, giving him another grin. "Why?"
Tackleberry gave him a look. "As long as you play nicely."
"I always play nicely. Ask my companion the other night," he said smugly. "Ready?"
"Go!" someone shouted. Both of them fired, taking out the center of their targets exactly. They were reeled in and checked.
"Wow," Tackleberry told him, giving him an amazed look. "That Kraut gun does that?"
"This Kraut gun does this," he agreed, moving to the longer targets. These were the ones with the human-looking targets out on a hill. "Hmm. Six hundred?"
"Shortest," Tack told him smugly. Lavelle put up that gun and pulled the other one. "You carry two?"
"I carry two, plus other weapons," Xander corrected with a grin. "I also carry a mini crossbow, a wooden stake, a few throwing knives, and a bolo. You?"
"Depending on what I'm doing. On my bike I've got a bolo, a take-apart rifle, and a few other tricks."
"I leave that one at home unless I know I'm going to need it." He looked back at the cadets. "Someone call it." He put down his gun and shook out his hands.
"Ready, go!" a female voice called. They both fired at their targets, getting them all. Lavelle missed one on his off side, only hitting it on the throat.
Tackleberry looked at him. "Ray said you were blind on one side," he noted. Xander nodded and shrugged. "You're still damn good. That would be a killing blow." He led them off to the walk-through range, letting Lavelle make his own way there. He was there when they pulled up on the bus. "You want first or second?" he asked.
"First. I haven't had to do this in a while." He took the shotgun, then snorted. "Impractical."
"It's standard police issue," Tackleberry told him. Then he shrugged at the incredulous look. "I know, substandard, but it's what they can afford."
"Shit, dude, let me know where to send the check. You're risking their lives with these things. Not only do they recoil hard, but they jam all the damn time." He handed it over and pulled out his main weapon. "I'll use mine," he told the examiner. "It's safer."
"I've been doing this with paintballs."
Xander beamed. "I was doing target practice out a hotel window with some last month," he admitted. "My boss got so pissed at me when I sent one behind him to get Myron and Ray." He nodded and stepped up.
"Sunglasses?" the examiner offered.
"Already polarized." He tapped his own. "Trick of the trade." The examiner nodded and walked him through it, wincing as the man got all the targets, killing blows. "Can I go through again and wound them?" Xander asked, bouncing up and down slightly. "Please!"
"No," he said, shaking his head. "Tackleberry is next. You can shoot paintballs at him later."
"Only if I say so," Tackleberry said dryly, starting his own course. He got all but one, winging that one on the side of the head. "Damn it!"
"It's performance anxiety. Even I get it sometimes," Xander said, giving him a pat on the back. "Last year, I meant to wound someone on the hip and got them in the stomach. I was so pissed at myself for weeks." Tackleberry gave him a look. "He was holding sixteen kids hostage, it was an alright catch."
"Were the kids okay?" the examiner asked.
"As soon as the ones they had touched got medical treatment," Xander told him, turning serious. "And they paid a lot for that too. I got word back to their cellmates." The examiner whimpered and stepped away from him. "Child rapists serve the hardest time of anyone."
Tackleberry nodded. "Good. They deserve it."
"Exactly!" Xander agreed. "They do deserve it. People who do that to kids deserve to be treated just like their victims." He grinned at Ray and Myron as they walked up to the course. "Go ahead, guys. We don't mind in the least."
Tackleberry looked at the recruits. "Both of those two are Interpol, formerly US cops. Ray's from Chicago and Myron where were you from?"
"New York," Xander told him. "Brooklyn."
Myron gave him a look. "Yes, I know I was," he said dryly. "Can we? We need good officers and showing off means we get people who apply."
"Go ahead," Tackleberry told them. He looked at the recruits again. "Both of them have over ten years on their own forces, cadets. These two were the cream of their departments. Watch and learn." Ray went first, getting all the targets. Myron headed afterwards, a little less smoothly than Ray's confident stroll. Myron had a more street and cautious style, whereas Ray had an over-confident 'I'm better than you've ever dreamed of being' style on the course. The cadets clapped. "Now you know why we allowed this. The other, Ray?"
"Fuming," Ray told him, looking at Lavelle. "Your boss is in town," he said dryly.
Xander shrugged. "As soon as he apologizes for his shitty mood swings recently, I'll go back with him." He looked at Tackleberry. "Wanna go look at the artillery with me? That way you can make sure I don't screw up and hurt people?"
Tack's face lit up, then it fell. "You're still a wanted person."
"I can have that stuff erased again," Xander offered. Tackleberry looked at him, a disappointed look. "What? It drives their boss nuts," he said with a grin. "It's all part of the game. Zenigata keeps a very careful record of where we've been. He's even testified when I had a paternity action against me for no reason."
"You guys get groupies?" one cadet asked as she walked over. "Why?"
Xander lowered his sunglasses to look at her. "Because some women and men like dangerous people. It's the whole 'bad boy' thing. Yes, I do have groupies. I've got ones who will hide me, protect me, and even give me things. I've also got the ones who want to reform me and take care of me. Then I've got the ones who are a little more indecent and just want to bear my children," he admitted with a grin. "Myron's got a few of those." Myron groaned and shook his head. "Sorry, Myron. Anything else you wanted us to show you?"
"What brand of gun is that?" she asked.
Xander let her see it. "It's interchangeable. I can replace parts from other stock manufacturers. This one's not good over six hundred yards, I've got to do some funny aiming to hit the target. My other," he said, pulling it out. "Is Russian. I like the Eastern Bloc weapons. They were made better and more professionally than some of the American ones because they expected their people to want to use them as more than a showpiece and a self-defense item that'd sit in a locked box on the closet shelf. Tackleberry's was originally meant to be a cop's gun, that's why it's got the extra range. Mine was meant for military or covert ops uses and it shows." She gave him a nod and an interested look. "At home, I've got a small collection started of strange and unusual guns. There are specialty gunmakers who make certain stylized pieces for show and use. There's an assassin's gun that's a forty-eight caliber. It's a pain to make bullets for too," he shared, making Tackleberry snort. "I've seen one but I don't own more than a picture. My boss has one, it was gifted to him. He uses a Walther." She drooled. "My mentor and other boss uses a thirty-eight. Of course, I also use a sword and knives too," he shared. Ray and Myron both sighed and shook their heads with a groan. "What!"
"You're a bad man, Lavelle," Myron told him.
"Thank you," he said smugly. He dropped a smoke bomb. "Thanks for the playtime, Tackleberry. If you want to play some more, have Ray write me." He disappeared in the smoke, heading back to his second rental bike. Before he left, he dropped a picture into Ray's car, cackling madly.
Ray found the picture later, looking at it. "Lotus," he said with a snort, handing it over.
Tackleberry gave it a look. "Who's her father?"
"Goemon. She's the younger Goemon child," Myron told him, giving him a faint smile. "Lotus Goemon is fairly strong." He handed it over. "I'm wondering if Lavelle staged that."
Ray gave him a look. "You never know, she might actually have been taught ta frown at Zenigata's picture." They shared a smile. She was so like her father! Ray's phone beeped so he pulled it out to listen to the voice mail. Then he cackled and replayed it, handing it to Myron. "We were ordered to use you guys to test Lavelle's other skills."
Tackleberry looked at him. "What else can he do?"
"He's trained with a sword, some martial arts, and some longer distance weapons. The boss wants him to be tested against a martial artist. We're not sure how good he is." He looked at Ray. "Was Zenigata's voice off to you?"
"He's had a cold," Ray reminded him. "Either that or it was Lupin again." Myron sighed and nodded, then rolled his eyes.
"Lupin does things like that?"
"Yeah, Lavelle's got low self-esteem about his skills," Myron sighed. The others gathered around to listen. "The boy's so afraid of disappointing his bosses that he doesn't tell them what he can *really* do, even when they order him to."
Ray snorted. "The kid's taken stuff off anime and learned it," he reminded him. "I've seen a lot of Inuyasha's moves with him and his sword. Not to mention the other shit he's learned. The kid's gonna become the Road Runner some day."
"Why not, Lupin's like Wiley E. Coyote sometimes," Myron said dryly. Ray snickered, punching him on the arm as he shook his head. "Then again, so is the boss sometimes. Anyway, do you guys have someone who can do that?"
Jones grinned and nodded. "I think we can."
Ray beamed at him. "Cool. I saw a sword exhibition with him as Inuyasha at the last con we went to. He was damn good."
Jones laughed. "Don't worry. We can handle it." Mahoney snorted and grinned at him. "Guys?"
"Sure," Tackleberry agreed. "He's good."
"He is, and thankfully he works in Europe most of the time so we don't have to deal with him," Mahoney reminded him. He heard an irritated voice and looked over his shoulder. "Asshole alert."
Captain Harris pushed his way through. "What is going on here! I've heard we had a criminal at the academy all morning! Since when do we harbor fugitives!"
Ray coughed. "Since we were there and testing him to try and figure out a new way of capturing him," he noted.
"And who are you?" he demanded snidely.
Ray pulled out his badge. "Inspector Ray Kowalski. Interpol." Harris backed away from him. "Formerly detective in Chicago. Lavelle is very good, and very harmless to the general public."
"He's also nearly uncatchable," Myron added for good measure.
"Can't you ambush him!" Harris demanded.
"And risk *everyone's* life?" Ray asked. "He's the one who got your officers out of trouble. Did you hear how he got that one guy in the chest *on purpose*?" Harris blanched. "Yeah, he's *that* good. Most of the time we only get to trail him. This time, we got to see him in action when it wasn't against us. The last time we saw him he got us with paintballs from four blocks away."
"Really," Myron agreed.
"Where are you from?" Harris demanded.
"Brooklyn," he said smugly. "Narcotics." Harris took another step back so he grinned. "Don't worry, I've come down off my lone wolf stepladder. The stuffy guy is a bad example of modern Interpol and our boss wanted us to come here and recruit."
"From these dirtbags!" Harris demanded.
"Oh, yeah," Ray assured him. "This whole group of officers is more than capable of handling the duties and the life," he said, waving a hand around at Harris' bane. "Someone like Mahoney is very flexible and able to deal with the stranger assignments. Hell, last month I had ta go undercover ta stop someone using common smoke pranks ta spread cyanide gas."
"Did you get him?" Hightower asked.
Ray shook his head. "Not even. He set one off in my face. Since we're stretched so thin, I didn't have any backup. I had ta take care of myself. Lupin got him. Lavelle got really pissed and Lupin spared him a much more horrible death by killing him before Lavelle could pound him ta a greasy spot on the pavement." He shrugged.
"He's like Robin Hood, only he keeps all but twenty percent," Myron told them.
"Is that all?" Tackleberry asked.
"Twenty percent of his cut of last year's raids would be about twenty million," Ray told him. "They busted a bad guy with a diamond mine. Him personally actually. He got away with a five-pound bag of expertly cut flawless diamonds of all colors and qualities." They gasped. "And killed the person who was using juvie labor to mine them. Even if they discounted for the black market, that would have brought about fifty million Euros, split up to five ways." They gaped at him. "And that was one night's work. He heard about it, went after it, and got it."
"He only split that one with Lupin and Jigen," Myron told him.
"Huh. Really?" Myron nodded. "Why?"
"Because he's theirs and Fujiko said she didn't mind. Remember, we heard that discussion on the train."
"Oh, yeah." Ray nodded. "I'd forgotten about that." He grinned at the cops. "Lavelle's the personal love slave of his bosses too. They're having a spat, that's why he's here."
"A lover's quarrel?" Mahoney asked. Both Inspectors nodded. "Why?"
"How?" Tackleberry asked. "They're men."
"Yeah, and so's Xander," Ray sighed. "Most of the time. Trust us, Interpol gives us many strange things to deal with."
One of the cadets walked up to them. "Didn't he leave the silver bullet?" she joked.
"No, that was last month," Myron told her.
"I still think that was a statement of what he thought that guy was," Ray told him.
Myron shrugged. "If you say so. I think the guy was a real demon. Lavelle does deal in the strange and wacky as he puts it."
The cadet gaped at him. "He uses silver bullets?"
"Only sometimes," they said in unison.
"Sometimes he switches off, like with his guns," Ray told her. "Lavelle's one of the most slippery because he's a geeky little kid in a man's body. He does things like send our boss flowers after giving him a minor graze. He's definitely loosened up his bosses but they're apparently having a fight." He looked at Myron. "He said Lupin's pissed at himself."
"Must not be getting the plans right. Last time he took out Cairo's syndicate for fun." Myron shrugged. "Let him do the town's crooks. I'm sure it'll be nice to have less crime. After all, Paris's got scared and mostly retired when they heard he was going to be passing through for a long time off the last time." Ray grinned and nodded.
"This guy makes other criminals retire?" Harris asked, looking confused. "Why?"
"Because it's said he thins the herd of the stupid, the casual, and the know-nothings," Ray told him.
"He only goes after criminals?" Harris asked. They nodded, making him look even more confused. "And he's that dangerous that you've got a whole squad to catch him?"
"And his bosses. They're thieves," Ray told him. "Slick, good, fast, and talented. One of ours used to be one of theirs and even with her help we can't catch 'em."
"Each time we get close, their warrants disappear again," Myron finished. "It's damn annoying."
"Let's get back to the subject of another test," Jones offered. "Martial arts. What class is he?"
"Individually trained," Ray told him. "By a samurai." Jones grunted. "No formal belts or anything. Just a daily workout and sword practice."
"He uses a sword?" the cadet asked.
"Very well. Almost as good as Marcus Wyndam-Pryce," Myron told her. "He's as close to a master as he'll ever get, but Goemon knows he's holding back when they practice."
"I'll see what we can do," Jones told him. "I do most of the martial arts training these days." He looked at the other guys, who shrugged. "Besides, it'll be nice to have someone else doing the worse problems."
"Amen," Hightower agreed. "Will he take out our syndicates?"
Ray shrugged. "I'll suggest it ta him. He might. I know he won't help 'em any." He looked at his phone, then hit the speeddial for the office. "Hey, yeah, it's me. Lavelle's still in town. Lupin's supposed ta be in town."
"Ask him if he wanted us to test him or if that was Lupin," Myron suggested.
Ray listened. "No, it was him. Dawn said it was necessary. He's updating their profiles. Oh, hey, bad news. No wonder he's walked away for a vacation." He shuddered as he hung up. "Jigen tore most of the muscles in his neck during their last job."
"So, Lupin's ignoring him, Jigen's too sore to tie him down again. No wonder!" He smacked himself on the forehead. "Wonderful. So he's playful too." He walked away shaking his head. "You guys'll be fine. He's looking for a playmate or three."
Mahoney grinned at his crew. "I think we can arrange that."
Tackleberry grinned. "Does that mean I can play in my backyard with him?"
"Sure," Mahoney agreed. "It'll give us a better idea of how to catch him."
Ray gave them a nasty, wicked grin. "I wish you all the fun in the world if ya try. Of course, you'd even get the bounties on his head. There's about six million Euros at the moment." He got into his car. "I'm gonna head back to the Academy, see if I can't stop the stuffy asshole from getting too upset." He started his car and backed out, heading that way with Myron behind him.
"Guys, this kid isn't our usual target," Hightower pointed out. "He's better than Tack possibly and very smart if he's eluding Interpol."
"Yeah, but Ray gave us a big hint. He's a kid at heart. He probably reads comic books, he goes to fandom conventions in costumes. He's a geek about his weapons. To him, this is probably some big game."
"Think what he could have been if he had become a cop," Tackleberry sighed.
Harris sneered at him. " People like that are bad from day one."
"No, he was a good guy, Ray said his friends turned him from being one by hurting him too badly," Hightower told him. He looked at Mahoney. "Should we try when he comes up for that other one?"
"No, I want to see him in action first," Jones offered. "I don't want to face him down without knowing how good he can be. He's not our average stupid crook."
"Fine," Mahoney agreed, smiling at him. "Someone get Ray to write him later. I'm sure he fights in a different style than the rest of us."
"He's an ambusher," Tack said quietly, looking at his gun. "Ray said he's got a weakness on one side." Everyone looked at him. "That target he got in the throat, it's his blind side."
"He hit a guy a quarter-inch above his heart *on purpose* and he's partially blind?" Hightower asked. Tackleberry nodded, giving him a look. "Then I wish Ray and Myron all the luck in catching him."
"Let's suggest that he go for the other crooks in town," Jones offered. "It'll keep him busy. That and his sex addiction." He strolled off, planning his strategy for his match against the boy.
Harris cleared his throat. "This is very unorthodox. It is against regulations."
"I doubt we could catch him, even if we set a trap for the match," Tackleberry told him, then he grinned. "Someone said he's a lot like me, only more well-rounded." He walked off, heading for his bike. He wanted to see how good the guy was at ambushing. It wasn't often he found someone to play with, even if he was a felon.
Mahoney sighed once Tack was out of hearing. "Okay. That's the major problem I'm seeing."
Everyone else nodded and Harris gave him a look. "He'll get over it," he sneered.
Mahoney looked at him. "I sincerely doubt it, Harris." He walked off and everyone else followed him.
Harris looked around. "Proctor!" he snapped. He didn't appear but he knew the little butt-kisser had been around just a minute ago. "PROCTOR!"
"Sir, he's not been here for the last twenty minutes," a timid cadet told him. "He answered his phone and disappeared." Harris scowled at him so he backed up. "Sorry, Captain Harris, but he left."
"Fine!" He stomped off, going to find a ride back to the city. The Commissioner needed to know about this. He would stop this perversity.
Xander looked up from his backrub as his second toy came in, grinning at him. "Hey. Up finally?" The young man nodded and knelt beside him, giving him a gentle kiss. "Mmm." He gave him a deeper kiss, making the woman doing his back giggle. He grinned back at her. "You like watching?" She nodded, working on another knot, making him moan. "You are so good."
"Only some days," she quipped, moving to work on his lower back now that his upper back was like overcooked pasta. Her male counterpart, a friend from the street, came up to work on his legs. "Lavelle, would you teach me more?"
"Sure, babe. What did you want to know?" He glanced back at her. "I can teach you a lot."
"I want to learn how to shoot."
"Cool by me. Phil?" The younger man grinned and nodded. "Good kids. We'll work on that tonight." His phone beeped with an auto update from his email account. He picked it up and smiled at the message line. "I've got another contest. Physical this time," he said happily. He opened his laptop and read the message, making himself very happy. So happy he shared it with his toys again. And again. And again. By the time he got up in the morning, they were both too tired to move but it had been energizing for him. He had enough energy to even kick Goemon's ass now. He carefully chose his outfit from the 'Xander' clothes bag and grabbed his necklace. He blew kisses as he found his sunglasses. "I'll be back later. I'm going to be at the academy. When I get back, we'll do a few rounds of paintball off the window." They gave him weak waves and he blew kisses. "You rest, I'll be back soon."
"That man is a maniac," Phil said tiredly. "How is he still conscious?"
"I don't know, but I want to bottle it and sell it," Kylie told him, giving him a pat on the arm. "We need to rest. He'll come back hornier than ever later." He groaned and rolled against her side, holding her tightly. "Think of all the money we're making," she soothed, patting him on the back. "And all we're doing is making all of us feel really good." He let out a small laugh. "What are you gonna do with your share?"
"Leave the city," he said, looking up at her. "You?"
"I was thinking about the academy. He makes it sound really neat." She shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe if he gets caught I'll ask one of the cops." She rolled to hold him, thankful for the cuddling now. "I want to find the woman who gave him that level of stamina and see if she's been committed."
He snickered. "If she caused him to have that sort of staying power, she's probably unresponsive and asexual. It had to have come from her not getting any higher than medium warm." He closed his eyes again. "Gods, Ky, I ache and I only topped."
She kissed him on the forehead. "I know you do. So do I," she vowed.
Xander walked into the academy's gym in his disguise, noticing the extra cops standing around. He snorted and shook his head, looking at Ray and winking. "You rang?"
Ray frowned at him. "Asshole," he muttered, pointing at the mat. "Out there."
"Going," he agreed happily. "I've had the best night," he told Mahoney as he walked past him. Mahoney choked. "Sorry. Practicing the art of disguise." Jones looked at him and he bowed, careful to keep him in sight the full time. "Morning."
"You don't bow properly?" he taunted.
"I'm always on the lookout for an ambush," Xander reminded him. He did so again and Jones bowed back. He took up his usual first stance. "I also don't attack first usually," he noted when nothing happened.
Jones gave him a look. "Why not?"
"Because I'm like that. Now I'm a Dark Knight." He grinned. "Come on." Jones shrugged and started with a simple series of kicks and hits, which he blocked and returned as soon as he was done, driving the other man back across the mat. "How good are you? In relation, to say, a master?"
"Third degree blackbelt."
"Cool. Then I won't have to hold back very much." He hopped up and did a spinning kick, making Jones duck and attack him harder. They moved back and forth, Jones nearly pinning him against some of the recruits but he flipped out of the way. He grinned and waved him on again. "Come on." Jones came at him so he switched to his more usual style, attacking from the sides. Jones got him once or twice on his blind side, but he was compensating well he thought. He suddenly did a backflip and got out of the way of the guy jumping down onto the mat. "Your doing?" he asked. Jones shook his head. He looked at this new guy. "Cop?" He sneered and nodded. "Fine, I won't hurt you too much then. No death strikes." He shrugged and attacked him, going at him harder. Jones had to move out of the way before he got hurt accidentally. The other cop was getting pummeled and he winced. "Sorry 'bout this," Xander said, kicking him down and then leaning down to do a perfect Vulcan Neck Pinch. He looked at Jones again. "I believe we were going at it?"
"I believe we were," he agreed, smirking at him. "You're good."
Xander winked. "Thanks. I like hearing people say that. What little ego I have is stroked very well by the compliments." He did a front flip, landing in front of Jones, attacking immediately this time. The other man huffed and ducked under his wild swing, but got back into it. "So, should I bother to clean up a little more of the crime in the city?" he asked quietly. "I know it's been bandied about. It usually is." Jones gave him a surprised look. "Really. Zenigata hates us for being alive but we save him so much work," he said dryly, ducking a good blow. "Nice one." He swept the other guy's feet, then moved out of his balance correction. Jones frowned and went at him again, making Xander grin. "What's wrong?"
"You're not even breathing hard," he complained.
"Well, no. I do a full morning of working out with Goemon whenever he's around at least once a week, and another afternoon with Marcus to keep him in shape. Plus," he said, ducking another swing, "I do this professionally. Chuckie Norris I'm not, but still." He grinned and got him down, sitting on his waist, and he was sweating and breathing harder than usual. "You okay?"
"I'm good, but get off me," he said. Xander laughed and pulled him up, bowing to him again. "He's damn good," he told Ray.
Ray nodded. "I know." He put down his video camera. "For the boss. Behind you."
Xander turned, finding his nemesis behind him. "Hey!" He grinned and waved, taking off the illusion necklace and putting it away. "What's up? You wanted to try me too?"
Zenigata's first rookie, the man most obsessed with Xander, pulled a gun. "No. I want to kill you."
"Hmm. Hard to do," Xander noted, stepping away from Jones and the kids. "Recruits are squishy targets. If you want to do this, you do it away from them," he noted coolly. "We can take this onto the lawn so no one else gets hurt."
The inspector snorted. "I doubt it! I'm not letting you get away this time." He sneered and pulled out a pair of ancient shackles. "You are mine!" He moved forward and Xander grabbed him, flipping him over and getting him down onto his stomach. "Let me go!"
"Stop moving before you shoot yourself, you dumb fuck!" He grabbed the gun and tossed it out of the way. Then he got off him and flipped his hair back, looking down at him. "You need professional help, man. I may be a crook and a gunman, but your obsession is way worse than Zenigata's ever was. You're discrediting your badge and you need help." He turned and started to walk away, watching Ray. He shrugged. "I was nice, you saw me being nice," he reminded him as he walked past him.
"I did. Thanks for not killing him."
Xander stopped to look back at him. "Ray, I don't hurt cops unless there's no other alternative. Crooks are one thing, cops are more important to the world. Even when you guys chase me, I don't hurt you guys that badly. He's bordering on that line though and he needs help. I doubt even your boss will understand this one." He continued to walk out, heading back to his bike. He needed to sit and stare at some water. It'd make him feel better. He heard running feet and ducked out of the way of the blow, getting the guy rushing him in the chest. "I told you to calm down, but I guess this is as good a place as any." The cop growled and tried to attack him again, this time with a knife in one hand and the gun in his other. He kicked at the gun, dislodging it, and the knife was taken from him. The cop pulled another gun and gave him a smug look, and Xander was too far away to disarm this time. "Fine, I'm here. Got cuffs?"
"Why? You don't handcuff dead bodies," he sneered. "Not even yours or Lupin's." He cocked the gun. Xander stood there, arms crossed over his chest. "That won't stop the bullet."
"No, it won't," Xander agreed. "But I doubt you'll be hitting me." He had noticed Ray's camera and Ray filming from the gym. "Your boss will be told. What do you think he'll say?"
"He has no right to say anything! His own obsession is as bad! Only he never realized the ultimate end to all this! One of us has to die!"
"Go ahead and shoot yourself then," Xander encouraged. The hand shook and the cop's eyes lit with unholy glee. Xander sighed and shifted his weight. He might get one good strike if he could move to the side and have the bullet hit his arm instead. "You do realize you're about to shoot an unarmed man?" he suggested, buying a little more time. He could see Myron out of his good eye moving closer.
"Like I care whether or not you have a gun," he sneered. "You're never fully unarmed." He steadied his shaking hand. "I just watched you take out two cops. That's more than enough reason for me to do this." He tightened his grip and started to squeeze the trigger but Xander lunged and caught him around the waist, pinning his hand to the ground. "Get off me, you buggering little monster!"
"Gee, how sweet," Xander said snidely. "You do realize that you just stepped across the border to bad guy? You're now a legal target?"
"I'm an Inspector with Interpol! Not some filthy crook!"
"If you say so," Xander said dryly. "But you're still an attempted murderer and others saw you." He broke his wrist, making him howl in pain. "Next time, don't try it." He stood up and backed off. The gun was tossed off to the side. "I mean it, kid. You're not that good and you need mental help quickly." He turned and jogged off, heading to his rental bike.
Myron pulled the cop up, shaking him. "What the hell was that! That is not the Interpol or the cop way!"
"Let me go, you heathen! You can never understand!"
"Sure we can," Ray said dryly. "And I'm sure the boss'll understand too when he comes to pick you up and give you your exit interview." He looked at Myron. "He's already on his way here. He picked up Lupin's trail in Paris and just landed a half-hour ago."
"Then let's put him into a cell and let him rot," Myron suggested. Their coworker got away from him and ran off, laughing maniacally. "Shit!" They ran after him, hoping to catch him before he did something even more stupid. Or before he found Lavelle and forced Lavelle to do something to hurt him.
"And that, cadets, is why you never let yourself get personally involved in any criminals," Mahoney instructed. "Because your mind can make you do funny things and then make you go insane with an obsession." He looked back at his Commandant. "Do we have a cell here, sir?"
"We do," he said grimly. "Why didn't the criminal shoot him? Most of them would."
"Because he's not like that, sir. Lavelle only wants to hurt other criminals." He shrugged. "Ray said he was once one of the good guys and got turned bad by his friends." He looked at the cadets. "Dismissed back to your dorms. Stay there for the rest of the day. We'll come get you to walk you to dinner." They filed out, Hightower accompanying them. "Should we help chase, sir?"
"No, let them," the Commandant said firmly. "He is their responsibility." He shook his head. "It always hurts to see good officers go so very, very wrong." He walked off, going to commune with his fish. His fish always made him happier.
Mahoney looked at the remaining teachers, then shook his head. "Do you feel like you're in an episode of the Twilight Zone?" They all nodded. "Good. It's not just me. I'm all for a night out tonight." They all nodded, heading to do a building check, just in case.
Xander was sitting in the park drinking a soda when someone sat next to him. He glanced at the guy, then snorted. "What? You can't see through illusions."
"No, but I knew you'd be here." He held up a tracker. "Ray." Zenigata put it away. "You broke his wrist?"
"You'd rather have me shoot him?"
"No. Thank you for that." He pulled out a pair of handcuffs. "I should really arrest you."
"Try," Xander offered with a grin. He took another sip of his soda.
"I figured that you'd try to get me humiliated so I won't do it here. Your fellow crooks went to Chicago."
"I know, Jigen emailed me." He finished off his soda and recapped it, tossing it at a nearby trashcan and barely making it inside. "Two points." He stood up, then hauled the cop up beside him so he wouldn't have to make pathetic pain noises when he stood up on his own. "If they wanted my help, they'd ask for it. Until then, I'm going to make Tack's life a little easier. Then I'm going to go back to my new *friends* and wear them out some more. If your rookie doesn't get help, he'll end up dead soon. Either from the frustration or from someone having to stop him. I nearly killed him earlier and I held myself back. If he corners me next time, who knows." He shrugged and walked off. "See ya, Gramps. Pat the preggy Dawn belly for me. I'll expect baby pictures."
"I'm sure you will," he said sourly. "I want you out of this town, Lavelle!"
"Yay! In a few days," Xander called back with a wave of his hand. "Laters." He found his bike and got on, heading back to his lair. On the way, he dropped off the bug into a convenient volvo wagon and chuckled at the kids who were staring at him while their mother was inside the store. "Hey. Nothing major, just some cops," he said with a wink. He zipped off, heading for some soothing comfort. He'd rather have his guys but they were apparently still pissed at him and the world in general.
Xander walked out of his hotel later that night, shaking the fuzziness from his head. He needed more of a nap but he wanted to do something more meaningful tonight too. He straightened his tie as he walked out the back entrance, looking around. Up the alley, he heard a battle yell and a lot of screaming and grunted, taking off running in the direction of the gunshots. He counted as he ran, figuring he had at least six bodies down by the time he got there. He saw what was going on and where the guy was aiming, so he got between them, drawing his own weapon and taking the opportunity. That's when he realized who it was. "Shit!" He walked over, checking him. He was still living; he had unconsciously went for a stomach wound. He pulled out his cellphone, pulling the antenna with his teeth so he could call the cops. "Look after the wounded!" he yelled. "Now!" The remaining civilians went to help. He dialed 911. "Listen carefully," he said calmly. "There was an officer-started incident outside the Tropical Hotel. He opened fire on a crowd. He's been shot by a bystander and there's about ten other injuries around too. He was going to shoot at some kids next. You need to give that message to Mahoney as soon as you dispatch ambulances and other cops." He hung up and put pressure on the wound until he heard the sirens. He looked down at his nemesis. "I feel really sorry for you, kid. Not even you deserve the hell you're about to go through." He stood up and walked off, heading into the shadows of the night.
One of the cops pulled up and jumped out, going over to a standing and crying older woman. "What happened!"
"That man!" she said, pointing at the downed inspector. "He opened fire on all of us and this one guy stepped out and shot him!" She clung to him, sobbing pitifully. "He saved us!"
"Who was it?" he demanded. "Who saved you!"
"He had silver hair," she said, looking up at him. "I don't know him, that's all I saw, it shined!" She saw her friend and ran over to check on her, crying on her now that she knew she was all right. "You're okay!"
"I'm fine," she soothed, patting her on the back. "The guy with the silver hair saved us," she told the officers arriving. "What's his damage?"
"He got fired earlier," the cop said grimly. "He was Interpol."
"No wonder." She walked her friend over to an ambulance, letting them check on her. She was too hysterical to calm down without something pill-like.
Mahoney jumped out of his squad car as soon as it stopped, looking around. "What the hell happened!"
The first cop on the scene looked at him. "Witnesses say a silver haired man jumped out to keep that one," he said, pointing at the former cop, "from killing everyone."
"He was aiming for some kids when he got here," someone else called. "The guy stepped into the line of fire and capped him good!"
Mahoney swallowed. "Okay. Good. Get the injured to the hospital. Cordon off the area. We've got slugs to test against Lavelle's guns." The officers nodded, doing as he said. He had trained some of them and the rest followed along because he looked like he was in charge. He pulled out his radio. "Dispatch, this is Mahoney, I need a location on the other Interpol inspectors. It was their guy who went rogue. Lavelle fixed it." He let the button go, listening to her gasp. "Just get them here," he ordered once she was done stuttering.
"Yes, Sergeant," she agreed. "I'm routing them your way now. Crime Scene too."
"Thank you." He tossed the radio aside and went to help check bodies. There were ten dead already and a lot more injured. Who knows how many had fled with more minor injuries from this.
Xander found the bar he was looking for and stepped inside. Everyone stared at him. "Hey," he said weakly, giving them a weak smile. He walked up to the biggest guy there. "Please tell me you're a top?" he pleaded.
The guy grinned but shook his head. "Not me. That's my guy," he said, pointing at another big guy.
Xander gave him a hug. "Thanks." He walked over to that one, giving him a sad look. "I only want to be held. My life sucks ass and I need comforting, stronger than my own, arms. Can I buy you a few beers? I can even dance," he offered pitifully.
"Sure," he said, pulling him closer. "You a cop?"
"Bodyguard. I just had to shoot a cop," he admitted quietly. "He was aiming at a group of kids." The guy squeezed him. "Thanks. My guy's in Chicago."
"He won't mind?"
"No. We're pretty open and he'll understand this one." He let the guy dance him around, clinging to him. It was nice to be held that way, for no other reason than the other person wanted to.
Lupin looked up as a news flash interrupted the regularly scheduled commercials, leaning forward when he saw where it was. "Turn it up," he demanded. Jigen hit the remote, and they both listened to the announcer.
"Tonight there was an incident involving a rogue Interpol Agent and a crowd. Many people were injured until a civilian stepped in and shot him. The gunman known as Lavelle is wanted for questioning in the matter. More at eleven."
Lupin leaned back, closing his eyes. "He had to shoot him," he said firmly.
"He did," Jigen agreed. "You know how he is." He looked over as Goemon and Fujiko walked in with the kids. "Hey. Xander had to shoot the rookie."
"Why?" Goemon asked. He set his daughter down, watching as she walked over and crawled into her Uncle Jigen's lap.
"Where is your little toy anyway?" Fujiko asked.
Jigen flipped to the all news station, it was running a live feed from the scene as predicted. It was a slow news night. "There." He looked down at Lotus. "Hey."
"Babababababababa," she babbled happily.
"Think you're a sheep or do you want a sheep?" he teased with a grin, tickling her.
"She wants a sheep, she found a stuffed one she liked," Fujiko said, giving her daughter a disgusted look.
"Then we'll have to steal you a very nice sheep," Jigen promised. "Maybe even a live one."
"No animals at the house!" Fujiko said sternly.
"Puppy?" her son pleaded, giving her the same begging look she had used on Lupin for years to steal from him. She whimpered and looked at her husband.
"Karma," he said smugly, patting his son on the head. "When you are older, we shall see." He sat down next to Jigen, taking his daughter. "I have already procured her a stuffed sheep. It's in the trunk of the car." His daughter beamed at him and kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you." He held her gently, letting her stare at her uncles. "Is the boy all right?"
"Fine, apparently," Lupin noted. "We should go pick him up."
"We should," Jigen agreed. "If we could find him." The news people came up with more information, making them all frown. "The rookie killed twelve people and injured another thirty. Wonderful! I'm sure Pops is really pleased with his fricken' ass."
"Hopefully Xan left him some to yell at," Fujiko pointed out. Goemon nodded. "How are you so sure?"
"Because the news just showed them loading him into an ambulance surrounded by guards." He looked at Lupin. "You should retrieve him. He'll be feeling miserable."
"He probably does," Lupin agreed dryly. "We don't know where he is though."
"That's easy enough to find out," Fujiko snorted. "Ask the local Don, see who he's sleeping with now." Jigen glared at her. "Please! Do you really think that you two are taking good care of him right now? Of course he's got a few pros stashed away for his stress levels." She sat down, taking Ishi to hold. He got free and walked over, sitting next to his father. "Fine, be that way, son. See if I make you dinner the next time we're home." Goemon glared at her. "Then I'd teach him manners. He does that to me all the time."
"Son," Goemon said gently. "She is your mother."
"Hug 'oo," he said, hugging him as hard as he could. "Hug him." He hugged Jigen's arm too. "Xan-Xan?"
"He's not here right now," Jigen told him, giving him a pat on the head. "He's off having to be naughty."
"Oooo," Ishi said, wincing. "Poor him. Grounded?"
Jigen laughed. "Not quite, kid." He gave him a hair ruffle. "Lupin?"
"Tomorrow. If he wants us sooner, he'll call. He knows he can call if he wants us."
"If he thinks we're mad at him," Jigen started. Lupin glared at him. "Fine. Tomorrow. After the job."
"Why are we kidnaping this CEO anyway?" Fujiko asked.
"He's the guy who insulted Murami."
"And she'll do what? Pat you on the head and get you better interest?" Fujiko asked. He glared at her. "Fine," she sighed, rolling her eyes. "You're Lupin the Third and your word is law on all jobs." She looked at her husband and children. "Why are they hogging you again?"
"Momma," Lotus said sweetly, grinning at her. "Hi!" She waved.
"Hi, dear," she said patiently. "It's her new game."
"It's a very good game," Jigen told her, giving her a smile. She hugged him again. "Thanks, Lotus."
"She'll make someone an excellent wife someday," Goemon told him.
"She will," Jigen agreed dryly. "If she doesn't go bad like the rest of us."
He looked at his friend. "It will not happen."
"Okay. If you're sure."
Lotus concentrated and brought the candy dish to her, clapping happily when it landed in her lap. Her brother pouted so she gave him a piece. "Or oo," she said sweetly.
Jigen laughed while Goemon groaned. "You'll be an excellent thief, Lotus Blossom. We'll find you some really good partners."
"My sissy!" Ishi demanded. No one was taking her anywhere, she was his to torment and protect!
"Fine, you can go with them," Goemon told him, giving him a pat on the head. "Daughter, when did you start doing that?"
"Last week sometime," Fujiko said absently, watching the news feed. "Why can't the cops find him?"
"Because they're a little tied up at the moment," Lupin said dryly. "I'm sure someone will turn in the silver haired loon."
Jigen tossed a piece of candy at his head. "If they do, then you can't get any and neither can I."
Lupin gave him a look. "We can always break him out."
"Sure we can," Jigen agreed dryly. "Because Pops and his *whole* team aren't there?"
Lupin groaned, watching as Zenigata walked across the camera's view to join Ray and Myron bending down to take a statement from someone. "Shit!"
"Bad word," Ishi said happily, nibbling on his candy.
"You may not say that one either, son," Goemon said firmly.
"Shit!" Lotus said happily, grinning at her father.
"You either, daughter," Fujiko said firmly. "If your brother can't say it, neither can you." Lotus grinned at her and gummed another piece of candy. "Don't let her have more than two more, Jigen. She'll never sleep."
He put the candy dish next to his seat. She pulled it back into her lap. He gave the mother a smug look. "I'm sure you can enforce it," he said sarcastically.
"Lotus, no more candy or no sheep," Goemon told her. She handed him the piece she was gumming. "Thank you." He put it and the dish aside, taking Ishi's too. "Much nicer."
"Ry! Ry!" Lotus chanted, bouncing in her uncle's lap.
"Okay, I don't know that one," Fujiko noted.
"Story," Ishi told her, giving her a look. His mother glared at him. "Xan-Xan story."
"He's not here," Goemon reminded him.
Ishi scowled at him. "Get him!"
Jigen chuckled and Lupin looked at him. "Tomorrow!" he answered in the same tone of voice. Ishi adopted his 'emperor' look again and glared at him. "Tough. Deal with it. The rest of us could tell you stories if you'd like."
"Xan-Xan," he demanded, crossing his arms to add to his scowling power.
"Son," Goemon sighed, rolling his eyes. "You are not royalty. You may not demand things."
"Xan-Xan!" he repeated. Lotus started to sniffle and he patted her. "Shh!" He glared at Lupin again. "Xan-Xan story!"
"Now you know why I have problems with him," Fujiko said smugly.
Jigen tipped the little boy's face up. "We can't find him yet, Ishi. Can I tell you one?" Ishi shook his head. "Then we'll have to find Xander and we can't until tomorrow."
Lotus scowled at him. "Ry!" she demanded, the same look on her face.
Goemon groaned. "Children! Desist!"
They both started to cry and bawl like the kids they were, making the adults feel really sorry for them.
Proctor answered his cellphone and grunted. "Thanks." He hung up and looked at Mahoney, his superior since Harris wasn't there. "He's at the Blue Oyster."
"Why?" Tackleberry asked. "I don't understand that at all."
"It's the area's gay club," Hightower told him.
"Okay. Another thing I don't understand."
Mahoney looked at him, choosing his words carefully so he wouldn't upset the sometimes naive young officer. "Remember how you didn't understand what you and your wife do now and then?"
"Yeah, and then I asked you and you told me," Tackleberry reminded him. "So now I'm asking again. How would they even do anything? It's not like there's an opening."
"Um, yes, there is," Proctor told him. "Everyone has one, they're like opinions." He looked at Mahoney again. "He walked in and asked to be held."
"Wouldn't that hurt?" Tack asked.
Mahoney squeezed his eyes shut for a moment. "Not after the first few times, Eugene. Later, okay? I'll explain it all to you later." Tackleberry nodded, happy with that answer for now. "We should go get him."
"I'm not sure I want to walk in there in my uniform," Hightower told them all.
"They won't hurt you," Proctor promised dryly. "Let me." He walked away, heading to his car. The guy had shown himself not to hurt cops and all the straight people would only cause trouble by walking in. He wouldn't have that problem. He got away before anyone could stop him, heading to his favorite rest spot. As soon as he walked in, everyone smiled and waved. "Hey, guys." He walked over to where Xander was lounging in a booth with the top he had chosen to hold him, sitting across from him. "We need a statement from you."
Xander looked at him, then finished his present beer. "Why do you stick with the asshole?"
"He takes care of me."
"That's not taking care of you. That's abuse. There are laws against it, you should know that," Xander pointed out dryly, giving him a dry and bitter look. "Been there, done that too, but maybe you should find someone more like you and heal. Then you'd be a good cop, like you could be."
"I'm a fuckup," Proctor told him.
"No, Harris is a fuckup. You're mildly quirky and being repressed by his innate shit- carrying nature. Find a better lover. End of statement," he said with a small smirk.
Proctor shook his head. "Not a statement on my love life, Lavelle. On what happened earlier." He gave the other guy a long look. "How did you know?"
"Harris has all the earmarks of being like my father, an abusive fuck who chains his lover to his side for his own perversity and validation. I think they're cousins or something." He shrugged. "It happens." Proctor smirked at him. "Yes, I'm an Alexander if that helps."
"I know you are. I recognized your eyes from a picture of his nephew." He stood up. "Come on."
"Nope. Tomorrow. I want to be held and comforted tonight." He snuggled back into the tight arms. "Sorry."
"Not a problem. He was shooting at civilians to apparently draw your attention. He aimed at little kids." The door opened and Mahoney and Hightower walked in, getting a warm and friendly reception. "Oh, really?" he called.
"Well, yeah," Mahoney agreed, grinning at him. "How else did you think I knew where this bar was?" He took Proctor's former seat. "Sorry, big guy, but we need you downtown. Zenigata said he wants a statement from you before he tries to arrest you again."
"I've been being good," Xander defended.
"True, and while being very good, you are a notorious gunman."
"You are?" the top asked, looking down at him. Xander looked up and nodded. "Which one?"
"Oh, wow. That's pretty cool. Who's that chick who travels with you guys?"
"Sy? She's cool. She's Jigen's girl. I'm more Lupin's bed bunny," he admitted with a grin. The guy gave him another squeeze. "Can't we just forget it?"
"Nope, sorry," Hightower told him. "Come on, Lavelle."
"Fine," he sighed, standing up. "You guys are really nice. If I was still a good guy, I'd want to be like you guys." He took one last shot before stumbling out the door, putting down four hundred dollar bills on the bar. "For whoever needs it," he said with a wink. They got him into the back of the squad car without handcuffs and drove him off, letting him pass out in peace back there.
Proctor sighed and relaxed, grinning at one of his favorite dance partners. "You okay?"
"Just fine, Proccy. He's right you know. You do need to dump the jerk and move on."
"Yeah, but right now I've got job protection. If I do that, I lose it." He grinned more. "He's very afraid of anyone finding out." The top laughed. "So we've got an understanding."
The top nodded. "I understand. Job security is important in today's economy." He waved for another round. The bartender brought them their favorites and he grinned at him. "Thanks. How much?"
"The kid just overpaid his tab by nearly three hundred dollars. Don't fret," he said with a wink.
Xander woke up in a cell, wincing at the bright light. "I hate fucking morning afters," he muttered as he stood up. He found himself fully dressed but he had obviously been patted down. His pockets were inside out. He shoved them back where they belong and took off his left shoe, taking out the small pick he had put inside the tongue for such emergencies. Then he undid the lock on the cell door and walked off. He used a small spell to bring his things to him as he made it outside through a fire exit, heading off with his illusion choker on to facilitate his escape. By the time anyone came to check on him, he was already at his meeting from last night. He walked boldly into the local Don's dining room, smirking at him. "Sorry, had a small problem last night. The guy was firing on innocents and kids." He sat down across from him, putting his hands on the table. "So, we were gonna talk." He considered what he wanted to say. "I've got a good friend in the police force. You're driving him insane."
"You're telling me this now?"
"I was going to show up last night but that whole fight with the cop got in the way," he said, removing his choker. The man gasped and backed away from him. "Yeah, so," he agreed, glancing at himself to make sure he was himself. "Hey!" He fixed the small magical leak and returned to his normal look. "Sorry 'bout that. It happens sometimes."
"Ho...how did you do that?" the Don ordered.
Xander grinned. "Magic." The man gave him a bug-eyed look so Xander grinned at him. "I don't get much chance to use it, but it's damn handy for escaping and things. Now, like I was saying, we've got a small matter to discuss about my friends. You're bothering them and making their lives a living hell. I like them, and if I was still good I'd probably have been one of them. Seeing the problem yet?"
The Don nodded, eyes still *very* open. "Yeah, sure, anything you want, Lavelle. What did you want me to do?"
"Retire," he said simply. "Move to Florida or something. Take your guards, take your puny dealer network, and go." He stood up. "If you'd be willing to do this for me, I can even have a word with Don Isnia about letting you stay in his resort for a while until you can find a new house."
"Thanks. I've got an open invitation," he admitted. "Just me?"
Xander beamed. "Well, now that you mention it...no. All of you guys are bothering my buddy Tackleberry. Let the new blood come in." The man nodded as quickly as he could. "Good man. Thank you for your cooperation. In return, I'm leaving after a short jaunt to see my buddy and play in his backyard." He strolled out, heading that way. He stopped to get his things from his hotel room, finding his two toys playing with each other. "Maybe I'll play with him later," he decided, grinning at them. "Can I help?" They nodded, letting him get behind her and help Phil tease her.
Eugene Tackleberry looked up as his perimeter alarm went off, smirking to himself. He knew who that was. He had been expecting it. He grabbed his night stick and walked outside, going to jump the guy. "Ha!" he said, capturing him.
Xander grinned at him. "Hey. Can I play too?"
"Why do you like me?"
Xander got free and grinned at him. "It's from a lack of decent playmates when I was younger. I only got to play with girls." He shrugged. "It sucked, but there it is."
"Okay. I can handle that," Tackleberry agreed. "Should I hide first?"
"Sure!" Xander agreed happily, turning around while he went to hide.
In the observation van, Ray and Myron both sighed. This was going to take a while. Four hours later, Ray perked up when he heard them talking. "I don't believe this!" He looked at Myron. "He's explaining the gay thing ta Tackleberry."
"He'd know," Myron pointed out dryly. "He say anything interesting?"
"Yeah, he likes his tops stronger," Ray said, rolling his eyes. "Something about lack of good paternal role models."
Myron chuckled, shaking his head. "The boy's studying psychology now. Interesting."
"Oops! He's just said he's heading to Tucson."
"Why? Lupin's in Chicago. Even the kids are there."
"Yeah, well, apparently he's still upset with them, or thinks they are at him." He burst out in giggles. "He thinks they're mad at him."
"Hey, all the better for us. Lavelle being with them makes them three times as hard to catch. Him alone is usually easier. Plus, maybe we can find a top to capture him again."
"Yeah, but this time we strip the sucker and put him in the cell naked," Ray said firmly. Zenigata was still mad at himself for not fully body cavity searching the boy and finding his hidden lock picks. "Where do you think it was?"
"His shoes. Probably a Get Smart move and it's in the soles."
"Great idea, thanks guys," Xander called as he walked past the van, locking the back door on them. He ran over to his bike, getting on and starting it so he could head off into the sunset.
A week after Lavelle had left, Proctor walked up to where Harris was sitting at the bar and waved the bartender. "He'll need another," he said. "I need a coke." The bartender nodded and got it for them.
"What do you want, Proctor?" Harris asked, sipping his new beer. "I was perfectly fine with one."
"Sir. Captain Harris. You have a cousin named Tony, correct?" Harris gave him a dirty look and nodded. "Isn't his son's name Alexander? The one in the picture on your desk?"
"It is. Why? Is this something important? If so, get on with it, Proctor."
"Sir, what was your cousin's middle name, Alexander's?"
"It was Lavelle. He was named after his grandfather if you must know. Why?"
Proctor put a folder in front of him. "He was the one who was just here. Lavelle, the gunman."
"He had silver hair."
"It's from radiation. I got that from Ray. The Chicago Interpol Inspector."
Captain Harris flipped it open then sighed and drank the rest of that beer. "It's him?"
"Ray say so, yes, sir. He says he's from Sunnydale. That's where you said your cousin was before that quake. Apparently the silver hair dates to three years after that." He put a hand next to his. "He wanted me to tell you privately when he found the connection. I thought I recognized the boy's eyes from the picture but he found the full connection."
Captain Harris shuddered and closed the file, pushing it away. "Whatever." He waved for another beer. "My career is over now."
"Not necessarily, sir. You probably can't advance any farther if others find out, but there's no saying that they will. Ray didn't say he'd tell anyone."
"He was here as a child, Proctor. I had him the summer after Tackleberry and their group graduated." He put his head down with a moan. "I'll have to tell Internal Affairs about this. My career is over."
"Sir, we'll stick up for you."
"No, don't worry about it," Harris told him. "You're already implicated because you found him at the Blue Oyster."
"That was a tip, sir."
"If you say so." He gave him a long look. "You shouldn't have told me."
"I could have went to the Commissioner, like I'm supposed to as a cop, Captain Harris. We both know it." He took the folder and put it back under his glass. "I'll leave you with that for proof." He put down a twenty and nodded at the bartender. "Make sure he gets home. That's for the cab." He left him there. He met Tackleberry outside. "He's destroyed."
"How do you think I feel? I remember the kid and helping him learn to aim." He shrugged. "It happens. I've already went and admitted to it. They were stunned but understanding."
Proctor stepped closer. "Tackleberry, you're a good cop. Of course they were easier on you." He walked around him and headed off into the night to make some hard decisions of his own. It was amazing how one man could make so much of a difference in just a week.
A few months later, Eugene looked at two of the newest recruits, watching as they fired at the targets, smirking when he realized where he had seen that style before. "Interesting," he told them. They beamed and blushed. "Not like we'd hold it against you two." He patted them on the back. "Good job."
Xander walked around the fandom convention, smiling and waving at his new buddies in anime. It had been a great weekend. It was nearly done but he was still in costume. His last few months had been very profitable for him and for some others. Those nuns had been really nice to feed him so he had helped them with a small donation. He had also sent a donation to Tackleberry's department with the instructions that Tackleberry was to choose the rifles the rookies would carry from now on. He had made it so they couldn't return it and didn't know the source. He turned the corner and ran into a familiar slouching figure, giving him a smile. "Hi, Jigen."
"Xander." He looked the boy over. "Coming?"
"Sure. Let me grab my clothes." He led the way up to his room, grabbing his bags. "Did you guys have fun working alone?"
"No," he snorted. "We missed you, you loony little creature." He patted him on the back. "Wear that, I wanna see Goemon's face."
Xander held up his special choker. "I've got one better," he said happily, going to change and change clothes. He came out of the bathroom in a proper kimono as a proper Japanese geisha without the makeup. Jigen chuckled and shook his head. "Too much?"
"No, not bad," he admitted. "Grab your gear and let's head. Fujiko's downstairs. Lotus is still pouting at her because you've not been there to tell her stories." He took the two bags and walked Xander down the stairs, letting him keep his sword. He opened the back of the sedan, letting Xander in first. Fujiko quit breathing and he smirked at her. "Neat, huh?" he asked as he slid in to hold his woman.
"Lupin is going to shit," she said firmly, starting the car. "Do we need to make any stops?"
"One," Xander told her. "I've got an order at the local comic shop who sponsored the event." She sighed and nodded, heading that way. He ran inside and came out with a large box and a set of keys. When he climbed in again, he was all smiles. "I'm done. Where are we heading?"
"Cool! There's another comic convention next week!" he said happily. "I can lounge and browse while Lupin plans."
"I don't think he's gonna let you out of his sight," Jigen pointed out dryly. He took out his handcuffs and locked her to him. "Me either."
"Does that mean you're going to help me use the bathroom?" she asked with a grin.
"If I must. You're not escaping again, Xander. Drive, Fujiko."
"Yes, Master," she said sarcastically. She got them moving again. "Everyone's missed you, Xan. You should see how the kids have pouted. And Lupin had to masturbate last night."
"I told him to call me when he wanted me back," Xander defended.
Jigen snorted. "I knew it. Instead we've been chasing after you."
"You have?" Xander asked, her whole face lighting up. "Really?"
"Really. We made it to Sacramento the morning after you left. Maybe a half-hour after you had checked out of your room in Vegas. Which was dumb, but it's still driving them nuts." Xander leaned against his side, making him very warm. "We've chased you since you left Tackleberry's house. Though, I really did like that guy."
"He's okay, right?"
"Yeah, he's fine. He's neat, a lot like you." He stroked her hairdo, making her purr. "I've even missed that and your drooling while you sleep on my shoulder," he said quietly. She smiled up at him. "We've chased you for months. I've never seen Lupin so frustrated at losing you. You remind him about telling him to call you, kid."
She leaned up and kissed him. "Take off the handcuffs and I'll do you right here," she whispered.
"Not while I'm driving!" Fujiko complained. "I don't need to see that!"
"Tough." He unlocked the cuffs and got Xander into his lap, teasing her bare thighs. He reached up farther and smirked. "Naughty. Even geishas wear underwear." Fujiko groaned. He undid his pants and moved the voluminous folds of cloth out of his way, taking what was his by right of having gotten to her first. She moaned and settled herself onto him, kissing him hard.
"Guys!" Fujiko complained. "Goemon's withholding sex from me, don't make me watch."
"Oh, Gods," Xander hissed, tossing her head back. "More, Jigen, please." He smirked as he nipped her on the neck, letting her have whatever she wanted. It annoyed Fujiko to no end and he had missed her too.
Lupin looked up as their hotel room door opened, taking one look at the woman being walked in by Jigen before picking her up and carrying her off. "You naughty little pain in my ass," he growled, kicking the door shut so no one could save her from his lust. "Why didn't you come back!"
"You never called," she reminded him, giving him a smile. "Jigen said to remind you of that." He growled and pounced her, opening her kimonos to get to the bare flesh. "Jigen was very attentive in the car," she purred, letting him have whatever he wanted.
"I'm sure he was," he said, licking up her stomach until he got to her breast. "But you're mine now and he's going to have to kill me to take you away from me." He kissed her gently. "I like this look. Is this how you got the things in Vegas this time?" She nodded. "Wow."
"Reversible," she said, showing him the double layer kimono. "I switched it out and changed my look just enough to be confusing." She stretched, letting him grab her breasts again. "You really chased me?"
"Hell yes!" He pulled back to look at her. "We chased you all over, Xander. I'm not letting you out of my sight again. You're too damn precious to lose." She gave him the sweetest smile and he felt an unfamiliar warm-fuzzy feeling. "Damn it. I'm getting mushy and I hate that." He went back to his molesting her mouth and feeling up her tits. It was more his style anyway. "You're not getting out of our sight again. Ever again."
"Jigen's got handcuffs," she teased.
"I've got emerald encrusted ones," he taunted, pulling them out to show her. "Goemon saw them in a magazine. They belonged to a Pasha so he could keep his favorite harem girl near him." She moaned and arched up against him. "If you're a good girl, I'll put them on you before we leave the bedroom so you can read to the kids."
"I don't read to 'em, I tell them stories," she corrected. She arched up again. "I'm getting chilly, Arsene, please?" He growled and went down on her, making her so mindless she was willing to do anything for him, including not leaving again.
Outside the door, both Goemon children were scowling at the doorknob, trying to will it to turn. Xander was theirs! No one else got him but them!
To part 13
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