Mac walked into the ER, holding up his ID. "I heard you have a homicide detective and a young woman who was helping him?" The head nurse sighed and nodded. "Are there a set of twins, males, with them?"
"No, Detective. Should there be?"
"They were out together. The detective was watching them for a kidnaping risk." He got shown back to their area. Faith and Don weren't really damaged. They were snoring. They were dressed. Mac grimaced. "Drugged?" he asked the nurse in there.
"Yes, Detective." She handed over that report. "I have no idea where they were."
"I do. His car's still there." He called the garage to make sure it had been towed back. It had. He hung up and came over to wake up Faith. He patted her on the cheek, making her moan. "Faith, you're cute and all, but not my type. You're way too wild," he said lightly.
She blinked at him. "Shit."
He smirked. "You lost them?"
"Maybe. What time is it?"
He checked his watch. "Eight-thirty."
"Double shit, I'm late for work." She sat up with a moan and checked herself for wires before swinging her legs around and heading off. She found a cab outside. "Westin building," she ordered as she slid in, making sure she had her wallet down her bra still. "I'm late for work."
"Sure," the cabbie said, turning on the meter as he drove off. This one was a secretary or something? He pulled up about ten minutes later and she paid him, getting out and hurrying inside.
"Shit, Sora, sorry," she called as she walked past her office. "I woke up in the ER, had been drugged." She went into her office to see if she had anything better to wear.
Her design teammate came in to look at her. "Excuse me?"
"I got drugged. I was helping watch the twins since they had gotten threats of being dated by another psycho."
"Aw, hell. We're due in that presentation in an hour," she said, glancing around.
Faith pulled out something. "Let me hose down in the bathroom and change clothes. If anyone asks, I can get something from Taylor at Manhattan Felony about the drugging." She hurried to change and came back to refresh herself on the current idea file. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad, even though her mind was a bit a sluggish.
Mac was let into the lab's building with his ID badge. "Are the twins here?" he asked when Graham came out to see what he needed.
"I don't know. I just got in myself. What happened this time?"
"They've been getting what they call love letters so I had Don and Faith go out with them last night. Don and Faith got drugged at the last club we knew they were at. One of them got stabbed earlier but swore it was minor so they kept going."
"Ah, macho in Sunnydale syndrome," Graham said, sounding fond. "Yeah, they can do that sometimes." He led the way to their office, holding up a hand before peeking in. He grimaced and let Mac peek. They closed the door and backed off. "I didn't want to see them that way."
"They were wearing clothes last night," Mac assured him. "Do we think there's something to those rumors?"
"No. Maybe. I don't know and I really don't care, Mac. Twins are odd. Those two are more odd than most others." He looked at him. "If they are, for them it's probably about the same as their own hand. I know usually they put someone or two someone's between them." Mac nodded at that. "Though they do have a good habit of cuddling up to each other so they have less nightmares. It could be innocent. It could've been how whoever put them down. Len?" he called, spotting one. "Find out when they got here and who brought them?"
"Mister Pillbeam did," he called. "He put them down on their couch together."
"Could've warned us," Graham called.
"Sorry." He smirked. "They'd probably consider it payback for the condom wrappers in the back of the corporate car. Which you need to pick up from the garage today."
"I know. I'll do it after lunch. And that wasn't me. I have more taste than that and a very nice apartment in town."
"Maybe it's the current stalker then," Mac offered. 2 came to the door, glaring at them through his single eye. Then he slammed the door and locked it. "We need to check you both for trace since someone brought you back," Mac called.
Graham heard the mumbling. "In that language, that translates as something like eat yourself and have fun," he said with a smirk. "Let me get out of your way since you're their boss and I'm only an employee."
Mac smirked at him. "Nice evasion, Miller."
"I learned a lot watching them date," he quipped as he walked off to find the latest condom wrappers that had been put in that car.
Mac knocked then walked in. 2 had thrown the lock but the door hadn't fully shut so it hadn't stuck. "Boys."
1 lifted his head slightly, blinking at him. "Come to give backrubs?" he asked in a tiny, cute voice. Then he passed back out.
"No, I'm not. Spankings maybe." He came closer. "2, don't move. There's a huge lizard beside you." 2 kicked at it and it went flying at the window. "Okay. Any others?" He threw another few off the bed too. "Are they yours?" 2 shook his head, putting it back down on 1's naked shoulder. "Did you guys get naked or did he make you naked?"
"Fuck if we care," 2 mumbled into the damp skin. "Doesn't matter. Too sweaty."
"Did you have planned, consensual sex with him?" Mac asked.
"Do you see a body?" 2 asked.
Mac looked around to make sure. "Two more lizard carcasses. One snake one. No humans." He checked in the adjoining office - Tony's. No bodies that he could see. He came back and shut the door. "I don't see one." 2 pointed at a closet so he checked. "No, none in there either."
"Then it was consensual or didn't happen," he mumbled. He licked the damp skin and moaned, shifting closer to be held, going back to sleep. "Good twin."
"Not," 1 mumbled. "Your role."
2 giggled. "Sure."
Mac smiled. "We need to process you two for evidence of who did what to you. Do you want me to get Danny or Sheldon up here? That way we can look at that stab wound, Xander?"
"Fuck off," he mumbled. "Bad lizard."
"Don't turn me into a lizard, please." Mac sighed and called Sheldon. He had a delicate touch and could pull blood to make sure they weren't still drugged. Or else this was them when they were exhausted and had crashed.
"Day off," 2 complained.
"I know it is," Mac promised. "But whoever this was drugged Faith and Don." 1 growled and shifted, curling protectively around his twin. "They're fine. It was just a sedative." 1 calmed down but stayed curled around him. "I promise they're both fine. Faith got up and rushed to work. Danny put Don on his couch for the day." 1 relaxed at that. He gathered up the lizards into a container he found in there and added a small paper cup of water for the living ones. It was humane and if they were still living he'd send them to the Humane Society. The boys were both snoring now. At the same time, in the same off-key note, and in each other's ears. He sat down to watch over them until Graham let Sheldon in.
Sheldon paused then grinned and took a picture.
"Bad stalker git," 2 mumbled. "Stab you soon." 1 nibbled on his chin so he sighed in pleasure. "Still stab you." He went back to sleep.
Sheldon smiled. "Are they all right?"
"No idea. Don and Faith were sedated. 1 has a stab wound on his side."
"Yes, one of those got you," Mac agreed dryly. Sheldon tried not to laugh. "Someone brought them back here after that and somehow lizards came into it." He pointed at the case.
Sheldon nodded, moving to look at them. "Hey, Xander? Can I look at your boo-boo?"
"Mo," he muttered into his twin's ear. 2 kicked and he sighed in pleasure. "Nice you."
"Yup, am," he mumbled back and wiggled some.
Sheldon sighed, smiling at them. "You two are adorable. Can I have 1's right side for a minute?" He poked Xander on the left side, making him roll that way to protect it. The wound was small, round, and gross looking. "That needs cleaned. Which would probably wake them up."
"Does it look like they had...fun, Sheldon?" Mac asked quietly.
He looked. "Not real recently but sometime in the last day on 2's part that I can see. Maybe on 1's part." He shrugged. "They're not still stretched so it wasn't last night."
"Good." He sighed. "Can you pull blood?"
"Sure, if you keep them from killing me." He pulled on some gloves and pulled out a pad, some alcohol, and braced himself. "I'm going to clean this wound, Xander. It's Sheldon and it's been seeping. I need to clean it so don't kick or bite me, okay?" He got growled at. "Please?" He carefully touched it and had to duck 2's punch at his head. "Can we wake them up?"
"I haven't been able to get more than you've seen," Mac admitted. "That's why I wanted blood pulled." He came over, leaning down to get next to 2's ear. "We're going to take care of 1's stab wound," he said quietly, getting a slight grin. "How awake are you?"
"Threats suck." He blinked at them. "Go away."
"No, sorry," Sheldon said. "Not with that stab wound."
2 looked then rolled them both over, resting on top of his twin. "There. Make it fast, he's lumpy tonight."
"It's nearly ten," Mac told him. Sheldon did clean up the wound and bandage it. "Blood?"
Sheldon looked at him. "Can I?"
"Can't you take it from that?"
"No. Not really." He smiled and pulled out a needle and two bottles. "I'll make it very fast." He popped him on the wrist to let the blood flow into the tubes, switching them out quickly. "There." He put on a bandage. "Did anything happen last night that you're worried about?"
"No. Why would I be?"
"They may have drugged you and did drug your minders."
"A Mr. Pillbeam brought you home?" Mac added.
"Hmm. Reggie. Local former watcher. Putz." He got comfortable again. 1 nuzzled him and he yawned. "I doubt he could drug us. He's scared of blood." He yawned again. "Night, Mac. It's our day off. Let us know if we have to kick an as."
"That's fine. You two rest. Though I'd suggest a sheet before someone else sees you two naked that way," he said, standing up. "Let me take the lizards."
"Check with Graham, make sure they aren't someone's." He snuggled in again, letting Sheldon cover them with a sheet. "Night, Sheldy."
"Night, boys." He gathered his things together and walked out with Mac. They closed the door and looked at each other. "Club person and whoever this Pillbeam is saved them?"
"Maybe. We'll find out after we figure out who stabbed him."
"Don may know that one. The report he gave Danny said it happened at the first club. They got druggged at a third one."
"We'll definitely find out." They walked out together, him pausing to ask Graham about the lizards. He didn't know so they went back to the lab. Why would someone leave the boys lizards from the rain forest in their bed?
"So were they, you know, *together* together?" Stella hissed at Sheldon across the lab table.
"Whoever put them down had undressed them. They were cutely cuddling, and very protective of each other, but no, I couldn't see signs of intercourse," he said dryly, giving her a dirty look. "Mac wanted to make sure in case we had to do an exam."
"Oh." She considered it while she prepped her next sample. "So, nothing cutesy?"
"Stab wound, cuddling, 1 growled a few times, 2 almost slugged me, nothing beyond cuddling cuteness. 2 did hold down his twin so I could clean the wound."
"Aww." She smiled. "They cuddled?"
"Aww." She beamed at him. "That sounds cute."
"It was fairly cute. I'm sure they're hell to watch on the dance floor."
"I called Don earlier, he said they even made him sweat."
"I figured they did. How is his head?"
"He's fine now. Awake. Went home."
"Good." He got back to work on the blood samples. "For some reasons Mac found lizards in their office."
"Huh." She considered that. "Present from the newest person?"
"All I heard was a Mr. Pillbeam brought them home."
"I wonder what they've found about him."
"You'd have to ask Mac."
"Good point." She stuck her sample into the machine and went to talk to Mac. "Are the twins all right?"
"Graham called, said they're half asleep and making the mini-tank get them coffee and soda in their special lab." He looked up. "No, they didn't have sex that I saw."
"Damn, that might've been hot."
"Maybe but I'm not of the smutty mind committee. It's not my job to promote those thoughts."
She smirked. "Especially not in that suit, Mac." He scowled but she just smiled. "So they're all right?"
"Nothing poisonous. Thankfully. Even the snake in there wasn't poisonous. The still-living ones went to the pound. They'll hold them for two weeks for us before they go out for adoption."
"Wonderful. So why lizards and who is this Mr. Pillbeam?"
"Mr. Pillbeam is actually probably the general's son that is liaisoning with them from another company over some computer chips," he admitted. "The lizards, I have no idea. I'll ask 1 when he gets up later."
"You think they'll use this incident?"
"No, I think the generals expect the boys to have things like that happen after dating," he said dryly. "Most of them have known them for years, Stella."
"Okay. Let me know if I can help."
"I will." She smiled and walked off. He went back to work until his computer chimed a reminder notice. "Crap." He called out there. "Graham, did you remind them of the Mayor's thing tonight? Yes, at nine. They need to be in tuxes. Thank you." He hung up and got back to work. That meant he had to leave early too. He hated getting dressed up for these things.
Graham walked into the back lab. "Boys, Mayor's thing is tonight." They both grunted. He shut off the power on them, earning dual glares and a ball shot at him by the mini tank. "Your Mayor has that dinner or whatever tonight. You need to be in tuxes?" They groaned. "We did get some, right?"
"They're at home," 2 agreed. "Make sure we leave about six?"
"I can do that at five, when I go home." He came over. "Pillbeam brought you two back according to Len."
"His father wondered why we're not more fun and playboy," 1 said dryly. "And asked us many times if we were together that way." Graham smirked at him. "I told him my twin was fun from what I'd heard but I doubt he'd blow me." He smirked. "The general gaped then walked off cackling before putting in a nice order."
2 smirked. "The last time he asked me I told him I'd have to dress you in a pair of falsies. Described the dress and heels. He blushed and walked off shaking his head but did put in a nice order. Pippen, flip the breaker please." It did that for him with a hit of the ball. "Thank you." They got back to work. "Bring us out when you go home."
"Of course I will." He left, shaking his head. He even sent a very polite note to Pillbeam thanking him for his help in getting the two home since their minders had been drugged at a club. Though he did ask about the lizards. He had no idea who had given them lizards this time.
Not with the last one still hanging on a wall somewhere in the office.
The twins walked into the room the event was being held in, grabbing a soda from the bar and walking off together. It was better to have protection at these events. Especially from shallow, airheaded socialites. They ran into Mac, nodding at him.
"You probably should have shaved," Mac noted, straightening out 2's bowtie.
"Yay," 2 muttered. "It's our day off." He sipped his soda, looking around. "If someone sucks our IQ out, we're really sorry."
"Usually I go home and do something like an art movie."
"We'll do anime," 1 said with an evil smirk. Someone ran their hand across his ass so he looked at her. "I'm dangerous, armed, and only date evil women who want to rule the world. You're two decades beneath my skills, young lady, hand off my ass." She smirked and walked off to tell the others.
"You're armed?" Mac said quietly.
"Hell yes! Until you figure out who gave us the lizards." He sipped his soda. "I see Pillbeam is here."
"I talked to him earlier. He said they were already there," Mac admitted.
"Huh." They walked off, going to talk to the nice buying general's son. "Thanks for getting us home last night," 2 said quietly. "Our minders got drugged and Mac called earlier to say we had a good amount in our bodies too."
"It's not a problem. Though you two did look very nice wrapped around each other on the dance floor."
"It's safer that way," 1 said dryly. "Have you seen what we date?" He turned and removed the hand from his ass. "Lady, I don't care who you are, what you own, or who you're fucking. I'm not your toy. I'm worth more than you, and I'm armed. Quit playing with my ass. It's not yours and you can't beg me enough for the oral sex to try to audition." She blushed and stomped off. He sighed, taking a sip of his soda. "Tonight is not going to look good."
"Probably not," Pillbeam said dryly. "I didn't think this was your thing."
"The Mayor told our boss he'd fire him," 2 said bluntly.
"No thanks," they said in unison then took a drink. They shifted to put their backs to the priests talking in the corner. At least they probably wouldn't be pinched from them.
"Is that...." 2 asked quietly with a subtle nod.
1 looked. "Shit." He turned away. 2 shifted too. "Someone we wouldn't sell to because his company sells to unstable governments in Africa," he told Pillbeam.
He looked then nodded. "My father has taken offers from him and his group." He sipped his drink. "He'll recognize you two."
"Yeah, from when he took him hostage once," 1 said with a nod at his twin. "Apparently the hot, sweaty, hadn't bathed in a week look worked for him that day."
"You left him alone for a bit?" Pillbeam asked dryly.
"No, he had been taken hostage by the second group of pirates," 2 sighed. "My rescue attempt got a bit screwed up thanks to my own hostage takers."
"Ah. He's coming this way."
"Yay," they said dryly.
"Boys," the other man said. He was tall, but too skinny looking. Very darkly skinned Mediterranean complexion.
2 looked at him. "I still remember you from Ghana," he said bluntly, smirking at him. The man laughed. "Get away from my twin."
"What are you two doing here? I didn't know the Mayor was so interested in weapons."
"We're also prize CSI," 1 quipped. "With the Manhattan lab."
"Oh... So you know Taylor."
"Yes, they do," Mac said from behind him. "Boys, the Mayor would like introduced." The boys grinned and walked off with Mac. "Thank you again, Mr. Pillbeam, for getting them home after they were nearly taken again." He walked them to the Mayor, smiling at a few people on the way. "You're welcome," he said quietly.
"We'll worship later," 2 quipped. "Especially since we won't sell to him."
"That's probably a good idea." He ran into the smiling Mayor. "Sir."
"Ah! Your new CSI, as I requested. You two...." He looked them over. "Aren't used to social situations? I heard you both have money."
"Yes, sir, but we'd rather be blowing things up in the lab than doing this sort of thing," 2 said dryly, smirking at him. "Half the people in this room want to suck our very nice IQ's out of our brains with their dumbness and drug habits."
The mayor stared at him. "That's not very polite or very good politics."
1 snorted. "We don't do politics, sir. Never have, and hopefully never will. Even when we trained in DC. Politics is for people who like the taste of ass." The mayor looked horrified. 1 stared back. "I might like oral sex, but not that sort."
The mayor fought not to laugh but he lost. "I take it I can't count on you two for PD events either?"
"Sure, drug us up, put us up in PD stripper gear, and we'll do the halftime show," 2 quipped. "But otherwise, no. Sorry, sir. We're humble CSI. We love being humble CSI. Things like this aren't us."
"I'll keep that in mind. Are you two familiar with Mrs. Halling?"
"Yes," 1 said with an evil smirk. "She tried to feel me up a bit ago. Apparently she mistook the badge for being a rent-boy ID card."
"Oh, dear," the Mayor's wife sighed. "You two should be polite. It can help your careers."
"We're humble CSI, we're not moving up on our backs, and we have an artillery company," 2 quipped with a smile for her. "We only date evil things who want to take over the world or kill people, it's a well proven fact. So what's wrong with her?"
"She has a fine appreciation for the male form."
"We'd need a hell of a paycheck to strip," 1 said dryly. "It's been a while too. Since our post-high school graduation road trip so we won't be that smooth."
"It can still help you someday take over a lab."
"No way in hell," the twins said in unison. Mac snickered at that. "We're very happy in the ballistics lab, ma'am, and we're more than happy to stay there," they finished.
1 smirked at someone. "Oh, Doug, I see you made it out of the hospital finally."
2 looked. "Shit, man, did they drug you too hard?" he demanded dryly.
"Yes, and it was quite mean for them to decide I was wrong for liking to see people returned to the state of natural art."
Mac stared at him. "You hit on my CSI, and I'll put you back there," he vowed. He had no idea how a serial killer, especially the one that cut multiple people into fetish statues, had gotten out already.
2 smirked and gave a little wave. "We're his now," he said with a nod at Mac.
"I'm sure he must cherish you both." He moved closer. "You two are still very pretty in your own ways. It would be nice to see you again."
"A one-night thing doesn't mean we're dating," 1 quipped dryly. "And last time you gave me poisonous snakes, dude."
"Yeah, I hated having to kill them."
"Hmm," he said, moving closer, next to his ear. "And how did you do that?"
"I grabbed them by the throat and smashed in their skulls." The man moaned and moved back. "Good idea. Now, be a good boy." He walked off, spotting the DA. His twin followed. "Isn't he supposed to be in jail?" he asked quietly.
"The ADA over the case gave him a deal for mental help. He's been fired as soon as I found out." He took a drink. "How did you two know him?"
"Met him in Africa," 1 said dryly. "Turned him in up here twice."
"Ah! That was you two." They smirked. "Oh, shit, you two are...."
"Have the unnatural drawing power of a dog in heat for serial killers? Yup," 2 agreed dryly. "Or are you talking about being bi?"
"I don't care about that, though some attorneys may ask."
"Yay them," 1 said dryly. "Half of them aren't evil enough for us either." He grabbed the hand on his ass, turning to find the older woman. "How many people have you killed?" he asked. "Unless it's been over four, you're beneath my standards." She tittered and pinched his cheek before walking off. 1 patted himself down. "Mac, she took my ID," he called, embarrassing her totally. Mac went to get it for him. She blushed but had to flee. "Thank God," he muttered, taking it back from his boss. "Thank you."
"Welcome. Hopefully she won't go kill more people."
"She seemed to think she was worthy so who knows how many there's been," 2 said dryly, taking a sip of his soda.
"Liquor?" the DA asked.
"Soda," they said dryly. "We're not really drinkers."
"Good to know." He smiled at Mac. "Nice work."
"Yay," 2 said dryly. "What's she going to do? Come to the lab and fuss? Oooh, put us in the paper for being mean to her?" he said snidely. Pillbeam walked over smirking. "Know her?"
"She's an art person. Only two hit and runs so far." He smiled at the DA. "I know them in their other job."
"That's wonderful. I hear they're very good designers."
"We've gotten Pippen a lot more advanced with the new engineer's help," 2 told them. "He's able to flip switches sometimes, knows how to pour coffee, all sorts of helpful things. So they can be trained to do more than simple skills in the field."
"My father loves his little one," Pillbeam said with a grin. "He sicced it on one of his stupid people the other day to drive them out of his office." He sipped his glass of champagne. "His secretary and second wife love his little field robot as well. They've taught him to take audio messages to my father when he's ignoring them."
"That's not a bad use," Mac said with a smile. "I know theirs is very protective of their new engineer as well as them."
"We have one we're building for the lab for busy days," 1 said with a grin for Mac. "So he can deliver."
"We'll see," Mac ordered.
"Sure." They grinned at Pillbeam. "They're turning out very handy for multiple uses, in the field and out."
"They are. We've had a lot of success training ours to do a lot of different tasks. Including some dangerous things and some small space repairs."
"Then one might come in handy for delivery around the lab but I'm not sure it won't be distracting," Mac told the twins.
"Good point, which is why Danny can only bring her in on lunch."
"One of your people has a new pet?" Pillbeam asked.
"Daughter actually. She's about a month old."
"She's a great temper soother," 1 agreed.
"I'm sure she would be," the DA agreed. "Messer's, right?" Mac smiled and nodded. 2 pulled out a picture. "She's cute."
"She likes her Uncle Don to coo back at her too," 1 said with a smile.
"That's wonderful." 2 put the picture back after letting their business acquaintance see it. He just nodded.
The Mayor came over. "Boys, are you hogging the DA?"
"Just seeing if we have more brain dead attorneys asking us stupid questions this upcoming week," 2 said dryly. "I swear, some of them have zombie hamsters in their heads running their wheels."
The DA burst out laughing. "I know exactly who you mean."
"Yeah, the last one asked if I had plans to date her client since he was staring at me and I was ignoring him," 1 said dryly.
The Mayor looked at him. "Honestly?"
The DA nodded, still smiling. "I heard about that. And his answer of 'no, I'd like one that wasn't in jail for the next five to ten years for doing stupid things'." He smirked at the twins. "I think that was very polite really."
"We were going over something for the DA on the case, weren't even looking at him," 1 told him.
"Oh, dear. That was fairly stupid."
"One of Haden's people," the DA said with a smug look.
"Yes, they can be rather brain dead," he sighed. "Are they good on the stand?"
"Most of the time. Now and then their patience with stupid people runs out and they get a bit sarcastic. Thankfully the DA's they've been working with recently have been briefed about that. They can handle taking the long path to the point, they can handle sudden or odd questions, but half the time they won't handle too many stupid things very well."
"Our tolerance for stupid went down in Africa," 2 assured them. "We lost a lot of concerns down there."
"I'm sure you did," the Mayor agreed. "You went on a missionary trip or something?"
"We went on a trip to find some people and help train them for the ICW," 2 said with a smirk. "And ended up helping them protect their villages, getting kidnaped a few times, twice by pirates, and then a few other strange things. Dream quests and the like since the Shaman generally liked us."
The Mayor gaped. "You're ICW?" They both smirked and nodded. "You know Mr. Giles?"
"Yeah, talked to him while we got dressed earlier," 1 said. "He complained that one of the girls we trained was acting up a bit now that she was over here and had access to malls and things. I told him it was culture shock and put her on with one of our roommates, who we met training her in Somalia."
"Oh, I see." He stared at them. "Mac, did you know this?"
"Yes I did." He smiled at the boys. "They're wonderful additions to our labs, and yet very humble most of the time."
The boys grinned at him for that. "Outside of our cars," 2 agreed.
"Well, yes, but I'd expect you two to drive something a bit fast and dangerous." They beamed at him for it. "When is the older Aston-Martin coming out of the shop?"
"Two days," 1 said. "Really bad potholes," he told the Mayor. "Nearly fully broke an axle."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
"Thankfully I was only going sixty and I managed to get stopped without hurting anyone else," 2 told him. "And then that charming person ran into us to stop me from testifying on a case that we weren't involved in." He sighed and finished his soda. "We do need to quit getting hit on the head."
"Please, yes, sometime soon," 1 agreed. The DA smirked at them. "We could've been meaner when we had to testify with that new concussion."
"I think you two were plenty mean that day," he assured them smugly.
"If that lawyer hadn't been so stupid, it would've been nice. Don't you guys have to pass a lot of hard tests to get into law school?"
"Some people have their ways bought by their families," the DA said smugly. "Some of us worked for it."
"Which is why we like you," 2 quipped with a smirk. "It's clear *you* got there on merit." He saw someone. "Go get a new soda for both of us?" he suggested to his twin, glancing that way.
"Sure." He went to do that, and Faith met him at the bar. "Please tell me it's an emergency?" he hissed.
"Can't do that." She handed something over. "That came to the house. Nothing dangerous in it that I know of." She fled again.
He carried it back under his arm, handing his twin his new soda and taking a sip of his own. Mac looked at the package. "Faith said it just got delivered and had no idea who it was from."
"We can have it scanned for letter bombs," the DA suggested.
"She said there's none." He shifted to put his back to a wall, putting his soda down behind Jack on the table. He checked it over then opened the end, looking inside. "The girls talk about those blue boxes." He slid it out into his hand, checking. "No note." He opened it. "Ah, note." He read it and sighed. "Damn it." He handed it to his twin, who got it snatched from him by Mac. He showed his twin the nice decoration.
"He sent you two twin jeweled collars?" the Mayor asked.
"Which means it's another psycho with a plan," 2 said, putting it down. "Collars aren't our thing."
1 took it to look over. "Rubies on both. Opals on the close is odd." He looked over the case. Then at the note Mac still had. "I think it's female." He handed it back to his twin, who put it down again. "We'll figure it out, like usual."
"Sure," 2 agreed. "That way you can put your profiling skills to use again. Maybe if she's not too evil, we'll let Calleigh have it. It should look pretty on her."
"Maybe," he agreed. "Stella's too dark for that shade of ruby."
Mac looked at them. "Those girls you used to hang out with warped you two badly." He smiled.
"Yes they did," 1 said, taking a drink of his soda. He grimaced, handing it off. "Jack."
"Eww." He sipped his. "Normal." He let his twin have it and put the dosed one down. "So, anyway, we're due in at the normal time tomorrow, Mac?"
"Yes, you are. Both of you." He waved at someone, who looked like he had just eaten dog crap as he came over. "The twins just got sent this," he said, handing over the case, wrapping, and note. "That way no one says anything."
The head of Internal Affairs looked at it then at them. "Can't you two date?"
"No," 2 said. "Mac told us not to date our usual sort."
"I don't think we need to have too many more serial killers drawn to you two. It's not safe," Mac reminded them.
"Better drawn to us than to a new victim," 1 quipped. He looked at the guy. "Not our call. Our roomie brought it."
"Your girlfriend?" he question.
"No, they're friends. We're not sleeping with them unless we all fall asleep on the couch watching tv."
"Faith had a boss that liked us too much," 1 said, staring him down. "Flack got very happy arresting her."
"The other we trained while in Africa."
"I see." He grimaced but walked off, calling someone to get him a bag so it could be noted.
The twins looked at each other, then at Mac. "Stella needs to be cheered up."
"If the next one's prettier, we'll give it to her."
"She'd probably like that, boys." He walked off, going to talk to someone good for his career. He had seen the serial killer coming toward them and wanted out of the way before he arrested him again on general principles.
1 sighed and glanced. 2 rolled his eye. Jack grimaced. "I see we're all gathering the smart, pretty things together," he said smoothly.
"No, we're staying away from idiots," 2 assured him. "Before another one decides my twin is a cat to pet." The Mayor spluttered and walked off shaking his head. "What did you want?"
"I wanted to ask you both out to dinner later."
"We have early shift tomorrow," 1 told him. "And no, we're not really interested. Sorry."
"Are you certain?"
"Yes. You made us kill innocent animals," 2 said firmly. "We're not into that."
"Yeah, only the bad ones get hunted by us," 1 said with an evil smirk. The man nearly purred. "You're not that hard to hunt." He walked off smirking. He looked at his twin, who punched him on the arm. "Ow!"
"We have him under surveillance," the DA assured them. "That way if he's goaded into getting a new victim, we can stop him before they're dead, boys." They both relaxed and smiled at that. "This time he'll be going to prison." He finished his drink and took the doctored one from the boys. "Thanks."
"Not a problem. Can we escape now?" 1 asked, glancing around.
"Go for it if Mac won't fuss."
"The Mayor threatened him and the lab if he didn't bring us," 2 said quietly. "Or else, we'd be in our lab."
"Good. Go play, safely. No getting hurt this time."
"Sure." They snuck out, heading to a more upscale club. Maybe they'd pick up someone who could explain art things to them this time. They should probably learn something about art sometime.
Mac looked up as the twins walked in the next morning, led by an officer. "Where did you find them?"
"At a crime scene," he said dryly, handing them over. "Knocked out, Detective. We found them in a closet, not tied up, but knocked out. They woke up when we touched one's shoulder. He reached for a weapon but calmed down when we identified ourselves. Bonaserra said to hand them back?"
"They're my ballistics techs, who are about an hour late." He looked at them. "Did we date?" he asked sarcastically.
"No, we went to have a drink with real people who thought," 2 said, yawning some and stretching up. "She took us home, we were going to look at her modern art stuff. We were learning a lot from her about art." 1 nodded, still half asleep. "I remember looking at her Grecian tour pictures of the temples and things and that's about it."
"I'll call Stella to see if she can figure out what happened. Have Sheldon or Sid pull blood for testing, get changed, get to work. You both have a few waiting on you from the morgue." They nodded, walking off. "Thank you, Officer.
"They were cutely curled together like puppies, Detective. Are they...." He wiggled a hand in the air.
"No. They're very tight twins but no. Cuddling on the couch to watch tv, not like that."
"That's fine then. A few have wondered." He handed over something after snapping his fingers. "They found that on them and grimaced while handing it over, sir." He walked off.
Mac looked at the ornate chains, then groaned and put them into a bag before calling Stella. "Tell me what you know?" He listened, sighing. "No, they were learning art things from her they said. Looking at tours from Grecian temples?" He nodded, listening to her go over the layout. "Tell me when you know something. You didn't bag the necklaces?" She said something. "No, it's not theirs. Why would you think it was.... Oh. No, they said they're not theirs so they're bagged on my desk, Stella. Thank you." He hung up and went to check on the boys. Sid was drawing blood from them. "Are they fit for duty?"
"They appear to be," he said with a smile for them. "Go get something to wake up, then hit your labs." They ran off. He handed over the vials, marked 1 and 2. "Where were they?"
"On a crime scene in a closet. Asleep."
"Ah. No wonder you wanted blood drawn." He smiled. "They'll be fine, Mac." He nodded, walking off to have those two tests run. Sid got back to work on his current body. He had no idea how the twins had gotten into that sort of mess again.
Two hours later, Mac walked into the lab, looking at the boys. "I need hairs from both of you."
"For?" 2 asked, tipping his head down.
"The drug test came up with heroin."
"Um, no," 1 said, shaking his head. "Never even tried it. Coke once on our stripping roadtrip. One of the dancers had us try it. We bounced for *hours*."
"I'm sure you did." He pulled hairs from both of them. "Now go wash your hair and let me take new samples." They went to do that in the changing area. He compared the hairs then the drug test from the cleaned ones. That one came out with stuff in it. He went to the apartment to search it. Faith was there, just back from work, and consented so it was fine. He found what he needed and sighed, bringing it back to the lab. He walked into their lab and put the bottle down.
2 looked then at him. "Its a tar shampoo to handle the flaking."
"It's main ingredient is a poppy knock off." They groaned. "It's all through your hair, boys."
"Ooops," 1 said, coming over to read the label. "Which one?"
He pointed. "That's a by-product."
"It's not like we use," 2 pointed out.
"I know that but I don't know what to do about this, boys."
"You do the official stuff or you get in trouble," 2 pointed out. Mac nodded, calling that in. He had the reports to back them up. The head of IAB came down. "We had no idea," 2 told him when he walked in. "We do not use drugs."
He took the reports and the bottle of shampoo. "Where do you two find this?"
"A small ethnic market in the Moroccan section," 1 told him, crossing his arms over his chest. "It's got a good anti-dandruff result. We've been plagued since we got back from our trip over there. We honestly had no idea."
"I had to point out which one was that ingredient," Mac told him. "It showed up when we had to pull blood because they got drugged by someone last night."
He stared at the boys. "How do you two do that?" They shrugged. "What were you doing before then?"
"We snuck out of the thing last night to go to Medici's. We had drinks at the bar, met an actually nice lady who was talking about art stuff. Which we have no idea about so we asked her questions. She invited us back to look at her trip pictures from Greece. No intention of sex," 2 told him. "We were doing that and then blacked out."
"Do we think it was her?" he asked.
"No, Stella said someone else got her. We know there's two strong possibilities. The fetish statue killer is out of his psych confinement. And whoever sent the jewelry. I'm going to put him higher because of the jewelry last night and they were found with new necklaces on them that they didn't own. Stella said it's not like her jewelry so it wasn't her." He pointed at the results. "The first set is their bloodwork. It's barely showing up so I came to see if there was any hint of things like poppyseed muffins."
"Sometimes poppyseed dressing," 2 admitted. "I like it. He doesn't."
"I'm more a French dressing guy." He shrugged a bit.
"So I pulled hair strands, had them take a shower here, and pulled a second sample in case it was something dusted over them," Mac finished. "Then I went, with Faith's consent, to search their house for the source. Because I know they can't be using with what they do here and at their own lab."
"True, they'd be more space case than they are." They glared at him. "You two can be."
"It's being surrounded by girls for most of our lives," 2 quipped sarcastically.
"Whatever." He looked at the shampoo again. "Anything else with that ingredient?"
"Not unless someone put it in our humus for lunch," 1 offered.
"Which store?" 1 pulled out his phone to find their number and name. He wrote it down. "Thank you." He looked them over. "Its a very minor trace. Do you think they're compromised, Taylor?"
"No. I know they're not. This isn't the first incident of this sort of problem either. We've had a few others who used botanical blends that had that ingredient for dandruff."
"I realize that. Go to Selsun like most people." He walked off with the reports and shampoo. The Borough Chief would make that call.
"He'll probably call a quality control pull," Mac said quietly. "We've had sixteen officers who've had this sort of problem. Pick something else and wear a hat if you have to for a few days." They nodded. "We'll test again in about a week, boys." They nodded at that. He left them alone to go meet with the Borough Chief himself. They were already fighting when he walked in. "This makes seventeen and eighteen of that particular ingredient," he pointed out.
Hillbourne, the guy from Internal Affairs, nodded. "It does and none of them have been junkies. None of them turned into users after stopping it. We have no problem with it and we'll note that it was an organic shampoo that screwed with a test. Like we did the others."
Mac smiled. "Thank you. Are you going to order a quality control pull?"
"No, because ATF did last month," he said with a smug look.
"I heard they wanted to know about them. Any idea why?"
"I think an offer. It goes back to why no one wanted you to hire them and wanted them on the west coast or safely in Denver."
"That was part of the conspiracy against their last real job," Mac told him. "The same people that took Monroe and brainwashed her." He looked at the Borough Chief. "What's your problem with this situation since you were arguing so hard?"
"They were found at a crime scene earlier!" he said firmly.
"Yes, knocked out. That's why I had the initial drug test done." Hillbourne snorted. "Anything off that jewelry they got sent yesterday?"
"Bought in cash. Gave no information beyond the delivery address and the shop wrapped it in the plain brown paper. They thought it was a surprise birthday present from what they said. The new stuff?"
"Stella's processing it for fingerprints, DNA residue, anything we can use. The socialite they found to teach them about art?"
"She's not in good shape but she's not dead. They knocked her out with a lot stronger dose than the twins. She's still comatose at the hospital," Hillbourne told him. "We checked to make sure it wasn't related to that jewelry."
"What jewelry?" the Borough Chief demanded. Hillbourne opened the file to hold up the picture. "That's.... probably a bad thing?"
Mac nodded. "Probably, yes. Also, the fetish statue killer is out. We saw him last night and he was heavily hitting on the twins. Who kept turning down his generous offers of another roll in the hay."
"Another?" Hillbourne asked.
"They met him in Africa, one of them slept with him, he followed them back, taking up residence in the city, and sent them information on what he was doing. He did turn it into us earlier but whoever got it ignored it and decided it wasn't related after all. Flack got given the case a few months before they turned it in the second time. He listened, brought it to me, we found the link and caught him. Then the stupid ADA set him up with a mental health program."
"Jack swore that they're fired."
"Good!" He looked at their boss. "So?"
"We're sure they're not doing something to draw them?"
"No," Hillbourne said. "I talked to their internship officer in Miami. They drew some down there by being twins. I talked to the ones in DC. Including the BAU since one did a profiling internship there. They said the twins put out vibes like they'd be the best prey ever, if you could win them. So they're like the hunter's trophy of the universe. Then the twins beat them, prove they're more alpha, so more of them respect them for that and want their attention. It's a vicious cycle sometimes according to that one."
"So they seem vulnerable why?" the Borough Chief asked.
"One's missing an eye. They're young, seem goofy, had a bad childhood and could have turned that way," Mac admitted. "That's why one of them became a profiler. So they'd find it easier to track their suitors as they put it."
"Oh." He slumped back in his seat. "Can't you stop that?"
"Sure, arrest them all," Mac said sarcastically, getting a glare back. "This one last night, they were at a nice restaurant, having a beer at the bar, met up with her, talked about art. I have no idea where the jewelry came from. Though, it was nice they busted someone's wife for being a bit homicidal when she kept trying to get into Xander's pants."
"Embarrassed her if I remember right," Hillbourne said dryly.
"As they put it, they have a low tolerance for stupidity."
"So do I," Hillbourne admitted. "But I'm more politically knowledgeable."
"They pointed out politics wasn't their field and they don't want to play it," Mac told him. "Many times. Hopefully the Mayor listened." He looked at his boss again, who was smirking at him. "They have money and they could care less, sir. Plus they like to build artillery. We could lose them to their own company."
"How much do they bring in?" Hillbourne asked. "The estimates vary by year."
"It depends on what sort of plans they come up with, how many they sell, all that. Their last selling time they sold, I think, sixty plans. They came out with a high nine figure check." Hillbourne whistled. "Half of it went back into the company. The team that designs things gets a third of anything from the plans, then the company gets the rest from what they told me. Some of the things had been from before they started the company so they got that on their own."
"So they have a lot of money," the Borough Chief said. Mac nodded. "Why are they working in your lab?"
"They like the work."
"Oh." He grimaced. "I wouldn't."
"They like weapons, sir, and they like the helping out. For them, this is like volunteer work since they never open their PD checks. It gets directly deposited into an account in Cleveland."
"They do drive nice cars," Hillbourne admitted.
"That was their third car switch in a year thanks to explosives," Mac told him. "They wanted something so expensive someone wouldn't want to blow it up on them."
"I can see why. I wouldn't want to blow up an Aston-Martin. New or old." The Borough Chief gave him a dirty look. "Bond cars."
"Definitely." He smirked. "They're very good and very helpful. I love having them. Miami loved having them once that conspiracy crap got settled for good. Especially when someone came at the lab from that one company. They found links that the FBI couldn't, acted on them faster than the FBI would have, and got them down and out faster than anything else, then the FBI took over."
Hillbourne snickered. "Sounds like fun."
"They had a failsafe that would've taken out a three block radius," Mac told him.
"Oh, yes." They looked at their boss again. "So?"
"I think they're dangerous to have in the city. If they're drawing that sort here anyone else could be hurt."
"No one's being drawn here, sir, and we're finding them sooner because they're coming after them. They've been instrumental in finding all of the ones that come after them faster than we would have. They have a good feel for finding them quickly."
"I'm sure they do," Hillbourne said. "Do they have any idea about the jewelry?"
"Stella asked and they said they had no clue. Hadn't twigged to anyone stalking them or their roommates, nothing."
"Damn." He sighed. "We might need another good few before we find anything."
"Could they not be related to what happened?"
"Maybe. I don't know. Seems coincidental."
"Could be dual hunters in the same shallow pool," 1 said from the doorway. "Mac, your phone's off. Someone tried to shoot at Don and Danny in the field. Danny's got a graze, Don flipped out and is still ranting at someone. He won't give over the perp. My beloved less evil half went to calm him down and get the guy. The guy said he wanted Danny to prove that we could be his. It's fetish guy."
"He admitted it as Don was flipping out on him. I mean full out screaming fit from what the patrol guy said to us and Stella. She was in our lab. She said to come tell you down here."
"I can go. Where are they?"
"Now? Hopefully heading for Don's precinct. If not.... No clue."
Mac checked his phone. "There's a jammer in here," he reminded himself. He walked out into the hall to call her. "Don had a fit?" He listened, wincing and then grimacing. "Where? And who?" He heard that report. "Is he okay?" He nodded. "Good." He hung up. "It's the same one who drugged you the other night too." He walked him in there. "The drugging at the club was solved. It was the same person." Hillbourne smirked. "But he's not sending them jewelry."
"No, he wants to make us pretty, just not with jewels," 1 agreed. "Don okay?"
"He's fine. With Evie, Don's gotten a bit paranoid. Usually you find it in new parents but Don's taken his uncle role seriously so he had it instead. Stella got him calmed down. He's under arrest again. He shot Messer with a tranq dart." The Borough Chief moaned. "He's fine as well. It's a small graze. That was his MO as well. Drug, kidnap, kill, carve, present." 1 nodded at that. "She said the guy admitted he only wanted to prove that you were weaker so he could alpha dog you sometime soon."
"If he had hurt Danny, we'd be having this talk over his mutilated corpse," 1 assured him. "After he committed suicide and begged us to let him do it." Hillbourne stared at him. He stared back. "You don't touch our pack. At all. We've had one that went after our friend Buffy back in high school that begged very prettily to let us kill himself. We let him and walked off to let her know."
"Why would he think you're scary?" the Borough Chief asked. Xander stared at him until he shivered and looked away. "I see."
"We've had a long history of protecting people, sir," he said quietly. "There's even some who call us a white knight for it. That plus Africa and all the problems we saw down there? We can be scary if we need to be. Mostly we don't need to be. Mac does it for us." He smiled sweetly, cracking up Hillbourne. He smirked at him. "Jewelry guy?"
"Female. A woman bought it."
"Interesting and strange for us. Which one is she after?"
"Figures. I draw evil, he draws psychotic these days. Better than apocalypse cults. Wendy helped us stop one of those in Morocco." He walked off shaking his head then came back. "Are we suspended?"
"No," Hillbourne said. "Quality control was done by the ATF last month."
"Probably the same people that want you in Denver for some reason," Mac told him. "We'll retest in a week. Blood and hair."
"Huh. We really have to figure out why Denver." He walked off shaking his head.
Mac smirked at Hillbourne. "Thank you for being reasonable."
"It's clear they're not druggies, Taylor. They're scary for other reasons."
"You should see them hyped up on too much sugar," he said dryly. "Horatio said he let them at suspects like that and they cried and begged too." He took the file and left.
Hillbourne smirked. "They are a credit to the department. I'm sure the profilers are watching out for Harris as well."
"It's still odd that they're working."
"Maybe," he said. "But to them it's their way of protecting people. Some people do volunteer work. Some people help others in more meaningful ways. That's why half of us became officers." He left.
1 walked into the apartment that night, going to check all their shampoos and everything else. He had a list from Mac. Then they had a house meeting. "Guys, this stuff is bad for us," he announced. He put the list down. "These things will show up on drug tests. Usually in the opium class." Faith hissed. "We nearly got suspended for our dandruff shampoo. Fortunately we're not the first."
"I'm glad I heard you," Faith admitted. "Mac wasn't mean or anything."
"No, he wasn't, and he was sure we weren't using," 2 assured them. "But all this stuff has to be replaced with stuff that's missing that list." They nodded and went to the botanical/Wicca store to get stuff instead. 2 presented the list. "These things show up on drug tests," he said with a smile. He held up his ID. "As we found out earlier."
"Oh, dear." She read it over. "That's a common dandruff ingredient."
"Yes and we have some heavy problems with that thanks to being in the desert," 1 told her.
"Hmm." She took them to look at things, finding things with other ingredients. Rainforest instead of from that area, some Chinese and lower Asian herbs as well. They paid and went home. They also took samples and took them to the lab to make sure nothing came up as poppy or anything else that might get them busted. Mac smirked at them for it. They found an herbal one that showed up as being drug family related and Mac got to moan over it. But it was Wendy's soap so she knew not to mix it up with theirs. That may work then.
2 was on leave for a week. With Mac's blessing since the people in the ATF had a problem with them being in New York again. He was supposedly looking into moving the lab out here. Like they all wanted. He went to the local ATF office. They had wanted him to liaison with them for some reason. Let's find out why. He checked in and got let up onto their floor. "May I speak to Agent Larabee?" he asked politely. He held up his ID card.
"What's NYPD CSI want with us?" a longer haired, laid back looking guy drawled.
He smirked. "That's what I'm trying to figure out." They all stared. "My twin and I also own a ballistics design company and everyone keeps pushing us at you guys for some reason. We'd like to know why. Because we're really tired of them since they're part of a conspiracy." Someone came out of the office, staring him down. He stared back. A clear alpha. He finally nodded. "Any idea?"
"Yeah. Got some independent Federal CSI taken, a profiler, and a few other CSI as well. We're pretty sure it's the same people but can't prove it. They're showing up again and pushing us at *your* team for some reason. I think we need to figure out why you guys."
"That would be good to know. We don't want you out here. You're too wild, too dangerous, and I've heard what you date, kid."
Xander shrugged. "When you only draw them and good girls or boys won't even look your way twice, what else did you want us to do? At least it's helping us in our chosen careers."
"True," he said with an evil look. Xander just smiled sweetly back. "Fine. What do you know?"
"Want to go over it with your team or without?"
"With. What I know they usually do."
"Okay." He pulled out the folder and walked it over to him. "This is what we know of them. The personnel lists we have, and what we knew about their motives. I don't know why they're involving you in an ICW matter though."
One of the men stiffened, staring at him. "ICW?" he asked calmly.
Xander looked at him and nodded. "Yes. We were. We're adjunct personnel." He stared at him. "You know about us?"
"I've ...seen some of your work in the past."
"The old Council or the new?"
"There's a difference?" he snorted.
"Yeah, the old Council got blown up and our team had to reform it around the Sunnydale team." The man sighed at that. "Which did you run into?"
"Apparently the old."
"They were assholes. Most of us cheered when they went boom. At least the higher ups. The rest we didn't know if they were the same using bastards as Travers and his cronies. Giles has it now."
"Rupert?" Xander nodded. "England?"
"Cleveland. Small office in England."
"Interesting. So why come after you guys?"
"They think the group is evil and taking out the group would mean no more problems. Too much power on one side plus some ego shit. The head of it is someone who was killed by the problems in Sunnydale and got brought back to life to enact revenge or something."
"Interesting." He took the folder to look over. "The CSI they took?"
"One turned out to be theirs." He sat down in the extra chair beside his desk. "She was pregnant and didn't realize they'd keep her there when they blew them up on an important date to their methodology. They managed to rescue them a few days before she gave birth. The Federal sorta-CSI team a week or so before."
"Hmm." He read it over. "This doesn't connect back to us at all."
"No, it doesn't, and we have no clue why everyone on their bandwagon wanted us to move here after our internship. Kept pushing it at you guys." He looked at Larabee. "I heard you threw a fit."
"I did. You two are dangerous."
"We're not. We have hardly any problems outside of them and a few stalkers. The company doesn't have any." Larabee snorted. "Really. You can ask Taylor. He's our boss in the lab."
"Mac Taylor?" the guy with the mustache asked.
"Yeah. Mac runs the Manhattan Felony lab. We're his ballistics people." He smiled. "It's keeping us helping others and we can still design guns on our off-hours." He looked at the guy with the folder. "We couldn't find any link back to here and why here."
"Perhaps they think it's better guarded and would give you both someone to hold some fatherly leashes?" he suggested dryly.
"Then they would've wanted us to stay in Miami. Because Calleigh had a firm hand on our leashes sometimes. Especially after that Black Thorne stuff."
The long haired guy looked over, swinging his chair around. "Is it just the area or us?"
"The area and they all want us to liaison with your team. Mentioned Larabee in particular. Even my twin, who's a profiler, can't figure out why you or why here."
Larabee grimaced. "I don't know either but it stunk so I've been fighting it."
"Us too but the New York ATF office is trying to get pushy too. They even tried to do a test run at our vault. Which is why Mac got to scowl at seventeen injured agents in the ER that night. And two who had been driving the van." He handed over that CD from his bag. "The assault from our company cameras in case you know any of them or it might help. It's also got all the downloaded, admittedly hacked, files from them concerning us." A young guy took that to run on his computer. "Okay." He looked at the guy next to him then at the boss again.
"We don't want to be involved in this whatever-it-is thing. We have no idea why you guys. We know you're as apt to do whatever has to happen as we are when things go on. We know that you guys are a bit uptight and firmly good. We know you guys are called cowboys in many languages." The long haired guy laughed at that. "But we don't know why they're pushing us at your team, Agent Larabee. Frankly we wouldn't have cared if they hadn't pushed so hard. Though we'd probably end up in your labs instead of the local PD labs. We're top level techs and their labs aren't as highly rated as the NYPD or Miami labs."
He shifted. "If it was a matter of wanting us away from Cleveland, we'd have been pushed at Seattle or Portland. Maybe Vancouver. Or even the LAPD since we're from near there. Denver's safer and in the middle of almost nowhere in the country in some ways." They all scowled at that. "We're from near LA. There's no beaches, no threats like the gang activity in LA. Yours is a lot softer. If they had wanted us somewhere slightly isolated and with a lot of activity to keep us busy, it would've been Detroit. They could use all the help they could get. Especially with the recent economic issues with the car makers that're their biggest plants in the area." He shifted again to cross his feet. "So why Denver and why your team specifically?"
"I don't know," he said. "We'll be finding out."
"Please do and let us know. Because this conspiracy is going to go down. We can't let them hurt the girls in their way. We won't let them hurt anyone in their way if we can help it. All we know is this one is pretty widely felt. We've had defense attorneys ask us things about this. Maybe they heard rumors, I'll give you that idea," he said before Chris could do more than open his mouth. "But agents are getting pushy. Some people in Homeland got downright paranoid if we moved to New York because of this and the Finns we're fairly certain. At least on that part." He shrugged. "We're stumped."
"Let us look into it. How long are you out here for?"
He beamed. "I'm supposed to be scouting corporate headquarter locations for the next week. Which is another freaky thing. Most design companies are on the east coast. Which would impact our business but not enough to ruin us. We have a good stack of clients, ethical clients. We'd gladly fly them out for the bidding weekends. It'd probably give us more time to work in SI than in the labs out here. NYPD pulls overtime a lot more often than your lab probably does."
"Probably," the man next to him said. "That is odd. It wouldn't be enough to ruin you, just slightly impact things. You'd only be a few extra hours from your former cohorts. Though this area is very stable and safe. Could that be the reason?"
"Only if they're going to do something to Cleveland and that makes no sense since they want the problem there to be closed permanently. It's part of their big push to kill all the girls."
"Which again, makes no sense with their stated objectives," he agreed. "What do you know of these people?"
"Everything I know, and my twin profiled, is in the back of that file." He stood up. "If you have questions, you're more than welcome to bird dog me while I'm here or come ask us questions. They'd probably see it as a good thing and a good sign that their plan was working."
Chris nodded. "We might be able to do that. Let us work on it, kid."
He stared at him. "Usually I mind people thinking I'm a child," he said dryly. "You, I'll put up with it for now." He gave him a dirty look. "But we're not kids. We haven't been kids since we helped protect the town at sixteen," he said quietly. Chris nodded once at that. "Thank you. But like I said, for now I'll let you keep insulting my age and obvious skills," he said more normally with an evil smirk. "Then you'll learn. We do tend to grow on people." He looked in his bag and handed over something else. "An NYPD gift to you guys. My boss said to give that to you as a peace offering." He left.
Chris looked in the bag. "Donuts," he said dryly, handing them off. "Smartass. Nearly as bad as you in a mood, Ezra."
"Yes he is," the one with the folder said dryly. "Let me talk to some contacts." He gathered a few things and walked out, taking the folder with him. Not that he didn't trust the profiles but he wanted one on those twins. They didn't seem normal in the least.
Chris walked over to look at the footage. "Who're the guys in blue?"
"Security. They announced themselves." He reran it from the start.
"They're sloppy," Buck said.
"The agents or the guards?" Chris asked.
"The guards appear to be but they're careful," Vin said.
JD looked at him. "Huh?"
"They're hiding how good they are," Vin told him. "See, careful, planned shots, not wildly shooting at anything that moves. The moves are letting them have a supposed entrance toward the doorway but it's a trap."
Buck nodded. "It is. Fairly classic. Whoever trained them studied pincher maneuvers at the least."
Chris nodded at that, watching the tape. "That was really stupid of them."
"It was," JD agreed, shifting to the other files that had been on the DVD. "This is what else he gave us. Their files are incomplete and shoddy."
"They are that," Buck agreed. He read it from the side. "It has nothing on their home lives, nothing on where they live? Who they live with? Nothing on company assets?"
"No, only something on them," Chris said, taking control of the mouse to go back up the page. "A listing of problems they've helped with, and it looks like outcomes. Some strengths but they stated one of them as being undervalued so not watched?" He kept going. That was odd and they reminded him a bit of a kid between Ezra and Vin from what the file said. "Do a proper background. Including their company and their CSI service." They nodded, getting down to that. He went to his office to look up some things on his own. He knew he was right to protest this stupidity for some reason. It almost had him in a panic that they wanted those two in his town. He heard the loud, braying laugh. "What?" he called
Vin came in with a paper, handing it over. "There is an FBI, BAU section, list of the serial killers those two have dated, turned in, or had arrested for screwing with them. Since they're clearly as alpha as you are...."
Chris snorted. "They're too young."
"You'd be surprised." He left.
Chris read it over, looking confused. He counted them up. "That's over sixty," he complained. "How did they do that?"
2 looked up from his breakfast as his target slid into a chair across from him. "It's too damn early for this," he noted. "Though I'm usually up by now at the lab." He sipped his soda.
"How can you drink that disgusting chemical mix?" Ezra asked.
"I like it better than I do watered down ground bean juice?" he guessed, taking another drink and putting it down. "It's better for me." He smiled. "So, how do you know Ty?"
"I ran into him one night when his car was broken down and let him call the auto club. You?"
"He tried to eat me once," he admitted. "Then he realized he'd piss off some people." He shrugged. "It happened back in high school." He pointed. "Dig in. You can have a few of my croissants."
"Thank you." He buttered one and nibbled lightly. "Not bad. I would've thought they would be heavier from here." He looked around then at him. "I believe they're trying to take you away from those girls of yours."
"I figured that part out but Denver's not that much farther away. Especially not with the coven for emergencies," he said quietly.
"True. They are moving against some of the foreign ones."
"I've heard and vowed they'd be destroyed for it," he agreed patiently. "That doesn't let me figure out why you guys and why Denver. It's not a good strategic move."
"Are those who're planning able to think strategically?" he countered.
"The Finns? Yup. They're both former military. Johno? Yeah, he learned the same place I learned basic strategy, D&D. He was better at it when we were younger. Plus he can play chess."
"Hmm." He ate another bite. "I don't know. I know that most beings I talked to last night think that you'd fit in scarily well with our team. A few are betting on how long it takes Mr. Larabee to cow you."
"He won't. We'd have to set up a hierarchy. We're both too alpha and so is he." He leaned his elbows on the table, glancing around then at him. "Any idea why the FBI is here?"
"No." He looked over. "It's not one I'm familiar with." Xander pointed. "Him I am."
"So am I. He was part of Black Thorne." The other one he had spotted choked. "Morning, DD Fornell."
He came over, staring at him. "Are you giving in?" he asked quietly. "We thought you were stronger."
"I'm trying to figure out why them and why here. Everyone was so certain they wanted us here, to liaise with this team. This has been bothering us for months." He smiled. "Though you can tell them we'd have to build, there's no suitable buildings we could change into the labs."
He smirked. "Smartass," he said sarcastically.
"You should see the mini tank," he said dryly.
"I heard about it from Caine. One of their people went to bother him."
"Sam Finn. I heard. As soon as we identified who was part of this one, we sent him info. They had been pretty bold about being pushy while we were in our internship, plus I don't like that there may be some leftover Wolfram and Hart or Black Thorne minions around down there."
"Good." He stared at Ezra, then smirked. "I know damn well they're stupid as shit."
"Yeah, the other one in here was Black Thorne," Xander told him. "We arrested him in the failsafe room." He pointed. Fornell went to talk to him about that. He looked at Ezra. "We did our in-school internship at NCIS and the other former conspiracy blew up our car there. We got to meet him then," he quipped.
Ezra snorted. "You do have some very strange contacts."
"Yup. And a street gang that I promised to turn gay if they had my brother hidden one night." Fornell gave him the strangest look so he smiled. "Wolfram and Hart."
"With a biolab, don't forget," he said dryly. He looked at Ezra again. "Could it be a more personal connection? Someone is trying to help you guys and this is just incidentally getting me out of the way until they feel they can take us on?"
Ezra considered it. "I don't know. Or possibly that we have a problem that might need your help," he admitted. "I'll toss that suggestion out later." Chris stomped in. "Good morning."
"You're up early," he said dryly. He sat down, staring at Harris. "Who in the hell are you, kid?" he asked quietly. Fornell laughed. He glared at him. Fornell smirked back.
"That is Deputy Director Tobias Fornell," Xander introduced. "Out of the DC branch."
"I heard you did your internship out there," Chris admitted.
"He helped when someone blew up our car in a bid to take over our company as part of their hoarding technology and becoming the anti-Gates." He took another sip of his soda and put it down. "What did you want to know, Agent Larabee?"
"High school graduation," he said bluntly.
"Did your hacker find that film? I had Willow put it back up."
"He did. That's clearly...."
"What happened," Fornell assured him. "The LA office had film of it as part of its investigation, which got stopped when the agents came down with a sudden sickness that no one could find the cause for. It happened a lot whenever someone looked at Sunnydale."
"The Mayor did have cronies, but he was germphobic," Xander told him. "I'm not sure if he had someone on staff who could do that or not."
Fornell sighed. "Good to know now."
"It won't reopen as far as we can tell, Fornell."
"Good!" He walked the other guy out in cuffs.
Xander stared at him. "What did you want to know about it? Keeping in mind I'm not going to give you anything that could get my ass in hot water."
"That was real?" he demanded.
Xander said something toward the kitchen, leaning back. The owner came out to give him a few muffins as well. He patted him on the belly and cooed then let him go. He handed him a muffin. "Blueberry? He's a very good cook."
"He is," Ezra agreed. "Quite delicate and the proper texture. Very well made." He ate another bite.
Chris was staring then finally took the muffin, staring at the kid, who was smirking slightly. "Is that related?"
"No. He's just a nice guy, good baker, and is about to have an egg." He grinned. "I played poker with one of his cousins way back when." Chris stared in horror, mouth slightly open. "Some are bad but not as many as some people think, Agent Larabee. It used to be my job to back up the hunter that took out the bad ones. The ones who were trying to kill people, trying to end the world, all that. Then I had to go off to grieve and ended up figuring out I couldn't do that full time anymore. Especially since the girls were seeing us too normal again. So Giles made us go to college. We started SI during that." He ate another bite of his breakfast. "Trust me, eat those while they're warm. He is an *excellent* baker. His cousin was too." He ate another bite.
Chris pulled over the warmed butter to put some on and ate a bite, but had to hum in pleasure. "He is good." Xander smiled. "Still odd."
"I've never seen anything but odd," he pointed out gently. "Odd is how we roll. Guns and odd now." He ate another bite and smiled back into the kitchen. "Was that a labor pain?" he called. The demon shouted something. "Want us to help? I've seen eggs delivered," he offered.
"No, you sit, stay, talk. Figure out why they want to release you on this town." He walked off, letting his helper clean up the fluid that had just came out of him. He went to have his egg in private with his spouse. Then his spouse could take over the kitchen for a few days.
Xander looked at Chris, smiling at him. "He's a very nice guy."
"I don't hurt those that aren't bad."
"Some people you never know," he pointed out. "Especially some cops and agents."
"I've met them." He finished his first muffin. "Anything good come, Ezra?"
"He was thinking there might be some sort of familial connection to one of us. Something that they think the twins can handle and protect us from until they were ready to take them out."
"Because wanting something to just keep us busy would mean sending us to the Caymans," Xander agreed. Chris shuddered. "This is why we keep getting stuck on why here and why your team. I think if we could find those two whys it might give us a better handle on stopping them."
"Maybe they'd think we'd arrest you for your apocalypse vault," Ezra said with a smirk of his own.
Xander grinned back. "Of course we keep tester models. That way if we want to be derivative we have them on hand and if we want to upgrade them we can do that too. Our safe is beyond Treasury standards for safety."
"That is good to know," Chris said. "Everything we saw said that you're clean outside those incidences in your past and whatever you have to handle now."
"Our boss knows. He demanded that."
"Good!" He ate another bite, thinking about it. "A family connection?"
"If we're out here, you and us two would work out how the alpha fits would go," 2 pointed out. "We wouldn't bow to you but we'd know to let you lead in some things and you wouldn't be getting alpha status over us at work." Larabee nodded that might be true. But he looked happy about that. "So they couldn't be counting on us fighting. We'd be backing you up probably from the lab, and giving you whatever you needed for busts as long as it was handled good enough. We'd find a way to get along. We usually do unless you're a total bigot and we haven't heard that about your team. Really, we heard a few times from these same sources that we're a lot alike."
"Somewhat," Ezra sighed. "So it would give us backup, and it would give you two backup as well." Xander nodded. Chris did too after a second to think. "So that does leave something they know will happen that someone has to handle or some sort of protection for someone."
"Johno and I used to be kinda friends but we weren't all that terribly close. I mean, we talked, we gamed together sometimes, but he had his group of geeks and I had Jesse and Willow. Usually more Jesse than Willow on those things. I always treated him well. He was a nice kid until all this stuff and Warren went psycho and decided he wanted to be Lex Luthor."
"So there's a chance that the warping by this Warren person could've caused him to look at things differently," Ezra said, thinking about it.
"I think whatever saved him did it," Xander admitted, leaning on the table again. "He wasn't the forceful one. That was Warren. Warren was a bioengineering genius. He could build a very realistic, lifelike robot. So lifelike you couldn't tell." They both shuddered. "Johno helped and so did Andrew a few times. Warren was the head geek of that trio on those things. So I'm thinking whatever saved him after the First had him killed is influencing him. I don't know how to prove it or fix it. And I can't let Andrew kill him again. He was tricked into doing it the last time," he said quietly.
"This First?" Chris asked.
"Why the town of Sunnydale is no more," Xander sighed, looking at him. "Facing her down and winning led to that destruction, Agent Larabee. We barely made it out of there and some of our group didn't. Including my former fiancée. That and the 'you're too normal' talks are why we went to Africa."
"I can understand that," he decided. "So not an issue at all?"
"No. We defeated that problem. Though, the girls are what's keeping her in there, but Johno's problem is that he wants all the holes of hell to stay closed. Which the girls make sure of. He thinks they give too much power to one side and that may be true but I think there's a reason it was allowed to go on. I'm not sure I want to hear the reason," he admitted. "But there probably is one."
"So would taking out the girls bring her back?" Ezra asked.
"No. That's a full ritual. There's no way. And we would've seen evidence of her by now. Bringers are what went after the old Council and killed so many of them. Plus a lot of the pre-called girls."
Ezra thought about it. "So the two actions together make no sense?"
"No. That sounds more like a vendetta against the girls or a balancing move by the Powers. Which it isn't as far as we've heard. They're over the girls," he said at Chris's confused look. "The ones who choose which ones gets picked." He ate another bite and took another drink of his soda. "I don't know. It's not meshing together well but nothing else is either."
"MPD?" Chris suggested. "With this Warren guy maybe?"
"No, Amy Madison saved him after Willow flayed him alive for killing her girlfriend by accident. I'm not sure if he has skin again or not," he admitted dryly. "But I know he's alive. Amy was captured when we got the CSI back that had been being held in Scotland. Another thing, that ritual to blow them up? Wouldn't have impacted the girls at all. Or the Council. Or the holes.
"It would've caused an avalanche near one of their centers but probably not really bad. It might not have even reached the center at all. The ritual was to raise power. We never did find if they had a third mark. There's a lot of undone things. Things left with a raveling end. My twin thinks it's related back to why here and why you guys but I have no idea. He's the profiler and this picture is too fuzzy for me to see shit on."
Ezra nodded. "That does not make sense. I can have our profiler go over it."
"Will he understand all that stuff?" Xander asked. "There's too many that would freak out and I'm not going to be responsible for someone who didn't know freaking out and possibly getting hurt by it. Or anyone else because someday he might overreact to someone who's not quite human being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We had a rash of that in New York when a few hunters came up to deal with something," he said when Chris opened his mouth. "Even though they knew, and *knew* very well, it still happened that some collateral people got hit as well."
"Because some people can't differentiate," he said. "My team isn't like that."
"That's good to know. Can he handle the knowledge? I've seen it bring many man to the altars of agave and Jack."
"He's more a beer sort than tequila or Jack Daniels," Ezra said. "I'm not sure if he'd already know or not however. We can see."
"However you guys want to see. I just want to find out why so we can end this problem. Before anyone else gets dead. We're already missing sixty girls out of nearly three hundred." Chris hissed, shaking his head. "We've done everything we can to protect them but they've bombed a few houses they were living in and things. Real efficient too. That's how we know Riley's still with them."
"We can't get into his file. What do you know about him?" Chris asked.
"Have your hacker guy search for a sealed, sanitized project called the Initiative. He was part of that. Then he went to the UN Alpha Response teams in South and Central America. Special branch."
Chris shuddered. "I heard about those."
"They were handling bad demons doing bad things down there," Xander said quietly. "Riley broke from the Initiative thanks to dating Buffy. Turned on them to help shut them down thanks to some things they had done. After the UN stuff they went to Homeland."
"Okay." He considered it. "They're the ones making people paranoid?"
"Yes and I can't find out what they're saying. If we could hear the rumor we could counter it. All we got was the 'wild and sometimes irresponsible' one. We disproved that one pretty early on."
"I've been checking on those," Ezra admitted. "I can't get a good read on what the rumors are either. Everyone says your company is totally ethical, and not a threat or even hinting toward selling to threats. Some are thinking you're too squeaky. That was the New York ATF's problem recently. It was fixed and then they learned better but now they're afraid of you for whole other reasons. It seems someone shared some of what happened in Africa with them."
"Some agent wanted to know about the pirates that took my twin hostage. We had Graham Miller go tell them off. That's an idea. Graham was on Riley's team. He's our DOD planted spy." He smirked at Chris. "That would get you a lot of what you wanted to know." Ezra texted that to someone. "That still wouldn't explain the paranoia about having us anywhere on the east coast. They would've let us stay in DC. Maybe. That was a later paranoid yelp from them."
"Which makes no sense. That's fairly close to one of their targets but also in a seat of influence," Ezra said. "Do you have much pull there?"
2 smiled. "Maybe a bit with a few people. Why?"
"It could help."
"They've all heard the complaints. I'm about to ask one of our fanclub to talk to them for us."
Chris grimaced. "That's not real ethical."
"No, but it's real practical," he shot back with a grin. "And hey, one followed me here." He waved and the guy stomped in, pausing to stare at him for a minute before putting in an order to go. "Dryan, do you know anything about this crap against the girls or whoever is making people paranoid that we're in New York? Or whoever this jewelry sending person is? They need better taste. I'd look horrible in a collar."
He smirked at the boy. "Of course I do. What will you give me for it?"
"I won't tell this nice ATF agent beside me," he said, pointing at Chris, "all about your sister." He gave him a pointed look. "I told you I'm not into freaky shit."
"The one who put you down seemed to think you were."
"Pillbeam Junior stripped us and put us on the couch, dude. He decided we were cute cuddling and had asked to watch us sometime in the past."
"Hmm. You two would be pretty together." He paid and took his bag of food, looking at them. "Larabee, I can't believe they want you to mentor the kid. Your cousin is really needing mental help." He looked at the boy. "As for your jewelry sending posse? I'll have a talk with them if you want."
"Can you have a talk with the people making others paranoid about us instead?"
"No. I can understand their worry. If something happens, you'll go, excuse the pun, ballistic." He blew a kiss and a wink. "You're just like that, baby." He left.
Xander grimaced. "Well, that's a little bit of something."
"His sister?" Chris asked.
"I noticed her name on a file yesterday." He smiled. "Since he only gave partial information." He looked in the kitchen. "Brynn, when do I get to tell the girls there'll be another generation of great bakers?" he called.
"Two weeks, Xander."
"Okay." He looked at them, smiling some. "His whole family is really nice."
"I can tell." Chris and Ezra shared a look but the kid only grinned at them for it. "Did we find anything else out, Ezra?"
"Not at this very moment. I have some contacts putting out feelers along their own networks."
"The spiderweb of the underground," Xander sighed. "Some days I almost miss most of my contacts and all that stuff." He finished his breakfast. "So, I guess I'm going to finally go to bed." Chris groaned but Xander snickered. "Sorry, dude." He looked at Ezra. "Know anyone down on eighth? There was something going on there last night."
"Eighth and ...." he prompted. Xander got into his phone, finding the pictures he had taken from his car to let him see. He looked over them. "Let us download those." He smiled. "I'll bring your phone to you at the Hilton."
"I thought I was at the new Hampton Inn place," he said, frowning some. "Aren't I?" He patted himself down, finding the key. "I am." He held it up with a smile.
"You're listed at the Hilton."
"Not unless someone moved me. I was perfectly happy and it has a mini kitchen and 'net for me so I can do some work with the great evil twin of mine."
"We'll drive you home, kid," Chris said.
"I have a rental car."
"Ezra can drive it back." He got up and Ezra finished his last bite of breakfast, following them out. He got the boy into his truck. He buckled up and settled in. He drove them off. He did not want this goofball in his city. Things were getting very muddy about this one's past and skills. Ezra texted him that someone had moved him. "Bad news, your psycho group of contacts had you moved."
"Any idea why?"
"No." He drove him to the Hilton and let him out, watching him walk inside. Ezra handed the rental to the valet, the only option for parking there. Xander came out a minute later to hand over a note then went back inside. He read it over once Ezra was in the truck. "I didn't see your car?" he asked as he drove off.
"No, it's in the deplorably shabby hands of my mechanic. Who truly does need a haircut worse than that young one does." He took the note to read, snickering at it. "Interesting."
"Very. Spoiling him to get his attention?"
"We can check with the last hotel. It was probably a nicer place." They rolled past there and saw cop cars. Ezra had the hotel's keycard so he went in to hand it over. "Mr. Harris had this on him," he said quietly.
The manager smiled. "Then he's all right?"
"Yes, it appears someone who is stalking him took him to another hotel without informing him. Is all this because of that?"
"No. We had three other residents go missing last night," he said once Ezra had produced his badge. "We have no idea where they went. Their rooms were broken into and their things were tossed around a bit but they can't be found."
The crime scene captain came over. "Standish."
"Good morning, Captain. I can alleviate some of your search. Mr. Harris had a stalker that moved him to the Hilton without informing him."
"His was the only room that was packed," he admitted, grimacing some. "The boy all right?"
"You know of him?" he asked politely.
The captain smirked. "His boss at the NYPD called to let us know his ballistics tech was in town, often got into trouble thanks to people like his stalker, and if he was clubbing to please watch out for him. He had this unknown ability to draw serial killers?"
"Indeed. Many of them with his twin."
"Ah. All right. Think the others were that person?"
"I have no clue. I'll call him once he gets up to ask."
"He's a CSI, he's going to wake up," he said dryly. "Where is he?"
"The Hilton, sixth floor."
"I'll check on this psycho to make sure it wasn't him. Thanks, Standish."
"It's no problem. We're trying to figure out why half of Homeland Security wants him to move out here. They're even a bit paranoid about him being on the east coast."
"Really? A ballistics tech? Do they think he's unstable?"
"No, they don't. We're still trying to figure things out. He's a very nice young man but a bit ... playful. He called Agent Larabee dude and got away with it."
"Wow. My guys would be without their heads," he said, looking impressed. "Thanks." Ezra nodded and walked off. He went to call the Hilton. They put him through and the kid woke up on the third ring. "Mr. Harris, Captain Fillings, Denver PD's crime lab. Who had you moved?" He listened to what the kid knew. He even made notes. "Do you think they would have bothered three other occupants here? We have three that may have been kidnaped."
The kid recounted a funny scene that made him smirk. "Really? Thank you. I can check on that. Have a good rest and Detective Taylor did tell us to watch out for you if you needed it. Just let us know if you're having problems while you're here, CSI Harris. Have a good rest." He hung up and walked off calling someone back at his office who could call the airlines to see if they had indeed went with their drunken plan from the hallway about running off to Vegas for the long weekend they had off. He got confirmation of two of them but not the third. So they had to find them. It did cut down the worry though.
Xander walked into a dirty warehouse right behind Chris's team. They had an inner door to get through. "Let me," he said, sliding up with his lock picks. It was opened and he got out of the way with a grin.
"Smartass. Mind on the job," Chris growled.
"Of course. Shall we?" Chris walked in and Xander followed one of the guys he hadn't met last time. He nodded at him. "Hi, Harris." He smiled.
"Freeze!" Chris shouted.
He looked. "Announcing ourselves?"
"ATF and CSI!" he shouted. "Drop it before I fucking drop you!" The guy next to him gave him a dirty look. "I'm NYPD." He walked around them, smirking. "Morning, Gertrude!"
"I'm not Gertrude!" one guy shouted, coming at him. Xander got him in the chest with a strike from the heel of his hand and the guy went down gasping.
Xander leaned down. "Are you sure you're not Gertrude?" he asked with a mean look.
"Fuck, Harris!" he moaned, holding his chest. "Why are you in my turf?" he whined.
"People want us both to move here, set up shop, all that." He smirked at the others. He saw the unamused looks so he walked over to one who was trying to get out the back door, pulling his ear around to hiss in it. The man gave him a horrified look and he nodded, smirking evilly at him. "Yeah, me. They want me and my eviler twin to move here. Bring the artillery company here. Join the ATF lab to backup this team. You know, the fun things in life." The man started to wail and fell to his knees. "I guess you're happy about it too, huh?" He let the other guys be cuffed and looked at one walking in. "Damn, Logan, long time no see."
"I'm not Logan," he sneered.
"Well, since I know you died by a gunshot to the head, you're obviously Wolverine-like or you're a Highlander refugee. Which is it?" he asked dryly.
"You can't prove I died."
"I can call Wendy and have her send pictures. You know, that fifteen-year-old-girl you tried to rape's sister? Her? She did survive Somalia, got out, went to Morocco and now hangs out on our couch."
"Not anymore. We made sure of that."
Xander stared, then kicked his ass until the man was begging for mercy. He knelt on his chest, knees on the guy's arms, calling the house. "Hey, it's me. You guys okay?" He put it on speaker.
"We are just fine," 1 told him. "Faith found the bomb when she came home. Wendy was still crashed after last night's hunt. I disarmed it while I called Mac. Bomb squad tried to yell but I held up my corporate ID and they gave up. But we're all fine. How are you?"
"Wilkes is alive."
"Really? Is he a Highlander or a Wolverine?"
"I'm not really sure but I'm thinking cutting off his head will work either way. Right?"
"From what I remember, Wolverine healed a gunshot wound to the head pretty fast. Highlanders only took a few hours for it unless it was the first death. Ask him who helped him back from the dead yet?"
"I'll never tell you! I'll kill myself first!" he shouted, then started to move his jaw.
"Oh, no you're not. There's no playing with the suicide teeth." He got his jaw apart and put his hand in there. "Bite me, I dare you."
"There's no telling what you picked up," he sneered around the hand.
"I can make sure you can't activate it." The man bit him so he jerked his hand down suddenly. Everyone else in the warehouse winced at the popping noise. "There," he said with a smile. "Now you can't activate that suicide tooth before we talk to you." He stood up. "I'd beg for fucking mercy from Larabee. I really would."
His twin laughed. "Did he draw blood?"
2 checked his hand. "Nah. Not yet." He looked at him. "We'll give you a nice pen and some paper so you can confess. Then we'll let you in a cell so you can use that tooth if you want." The man was crying. "What? You pick on little kids, then kill them, but can't take it?"
"I looked him up. He's listed as MIA - deserted. Went to the CIA for a bit, deserted them," Mac said over the open line. "Wanted in three countries for homicide and various counts of rape. What did you do to him, Alex?"
"He was trying to use a suicide tooth so I dislocated his jaw. That way he wasn't chewing on my hand anymore."
"That's not good," Mac said impatiently.
"No, it's practical. And it's in the manual. I checked." He hung up and looked at Larabee. He smiled. "He's killed sixty people that I personally know of. He decided genocide in a village was appropriate after despoiling their virgins. Because he only wanted virgins." Chris was growling. "You heard him say he had a suicide tooth."
"That's still not acceptable by ATF standards."
"I'm NYPD and a CSI. I'll get yelled at for having to deal with him at all. But it is in the NYPD manual under miscellaneous. Specifically what to do if you caught an intelligence agent for some reason and you had reason to believe that they were going to use a suicide tooth."
Chris stared. "That's probably outdated."
"The whole manual's outdated but they haven't taken that part out to show the updated ways of suicide patches and switches instead." He shrugged. "Now he can't kill himself before we find out since he's clearly part of that group in Homeland. Since I know very well he was dead. I shot him to get him off Wendy's older sister. It was a clean head shot from about sixty yards. We know he was dead for over a day. It took that long to bury everyone else and then they dragged him into the brush to let the animals have him."
"I don't much blame them," Buck said. "So how is he alive now?"
"I don't know," Xander said. "I want to find that out. Especially since that little plot to get us closer has a lot of suddenly realived people." He hauled up one. "You know, the people in Homeland really do want us out here and in the ATF labs. Or even in the local PD labs," he said as he walked him out. "They want us working with that team and all of it."
"I knew you when you were hunting things for your friends," he complained.
"Yeah and now I log them in when others get caught using them. Fortunately, we had the most corrupt town on the face of this plane." He smirked. "So, how's LA's underground doing?"
"Bad. That Angel guy is an ass."
"He used to date my blonde friend back in high school. Went stalker git for a while," he said dryly. "Killed the redhead's fish to prove himself scary and then a human or three dozen." The guy gaped. "Angel can be scary when he wants to be. Though, I'd be more worried about Connor. That whole 'raised by the enemy of his father' thing could've screwed him up majorly. Especially since he thought of Cordelia like a mother figure. Some day, Connor may turn into me."
The guy gave him a look then back at Larabee. "You know he used to handle emergencies that required artillery?"
"This dude's damn scary!" he complained. "He walked into a gang bar and made two of them beg him."
"That was my twin," he said in a sing-song thing. "I was being made to help the girls shop."
The guy gave him a horrified look. "That's worse than artillery."
"Some days, yeah. I have flashbacks to those things. But, hey, it got better when we took a long trek across the motherland."
"Russia?" one guy asked.
"England?" another suggested.
"Africa," Xander corrected dryly. "Humanity started in the Indus River valley and between those two rivers in Syria. Africa has had the longest human settlements."
"You don't look that dark," one guy sneered.
"Not like Middle Eastern natives are that light," he shot back. "We migrated upward and became lighter as we went. The same as your momma was clearly Turkish?" The man gaped. Xander smirked back. "We spent ten months helping villages in Africa." They all slumped.
"I heard something about you two and pirates," the guy who had suggested England said.
"That was my twin too. They thought he was an aid worker." They all laughed at that. "I was kidnaped for one of them by someone who wanted my ass. He wasn't my type though. Way too macho and wouldn't take it in return. The other time I had to stay behind to help defend against the guys the pirates had left." They all moaned. "So yeah, and now I'm in New York."
"I heard something about you making a street gang beg you not to turn them gay," the guy in his grip sneered.
"Someone they were affiliated with had my twin. They're damn lucky I didn't make them gay." He smiled sweetly. "I'm sure you're going to have a lot of fun with that yourself. Need tips?"
"Hell no!" he snorted. "I'm tougher than most men."
Xander quirked an eyebrow up. "Really?" The man flinched back. "Uh-huh. Just remember, there's guys in prison who'd love us just as much as others do out here," he quipped.
He looked at the nearest agent. "I'll beg if I get solitary, man. Everything I know. All my contacts, please?"
Buck nodded. "We can push for that for you if you're good." He smiled and took the guy. The others were very meek. The weapons were found by the kid. The money stash by Ezra. Then the kid popped the guy's jaw back in once they had something to keep him from killing himself.
"Not like I had a bit," Xander said when Chris glared at him. "I didn't want him sucking on me and he was going to use it. Even if it is cheesy." He escaped.
Larabee glared and growled out a soft growl. "That kid is trouble."
"Indeed," Ezra said. "He is correct that it is in the NYPD handbook."
"So by his rules he did right?" Buck asked sarcastically. Ezra nodded. "They need to update that." He went with the prisoners. Nate had the poor idiot's jaw well in hand. By the time they got back to the office he might be able to talk and tell them more about what they needed to know so the kid could go home.
Danny looked up and stared in horror. "Lindsay. You're out of the hospital or whatever?" He pushed his glasses back up his nose.
"I am. I came to see Lucy."
"She's fine. With her nanny." He smiled, showing her a picture. "We decided to let Lucy be her middle name."
"I liked Lucy," she said firmly.
"It didn't go well with Messer so it's her middle name," he said firmly. "She's Evie Lucy Messer." He put the picture back up. "So, why visit?"
"I want to see Lucy."
"No way in hell," he said quietly. "No." He walked off.
"She's my daughter," she said, following him.
"Yeah, well, with that shit, she don't need you in her life. Mac," he said into his phone. "Need you in your office NOW." He hung up. "We'll make sure Mac agrees."
"She's still my daughter. It's not like you could pick up some floosy to be her mother."
1 walked up to Danny, smiling and giving him an eye cue, getting a subtle relaxing. "Why would he need to, Lindsay? Plenty of us wanted to be very comforting to him." He put an arm around Danny's shoulders, smiling at her. "She's got a great nanny for whenever we're at work but both of us and Don have really rallied around him and Evie."
"Lucy," she said firmly.
"I guess if you want to call her by her middle name, go for it," Xander quipped. "How did you get out of custody anyway? Last time we heard they had you in mental evaluations."
"They gave me bail. Not that it's needed. I'm not part of them. I was brainwashed."
"Hmm. Sure, if that's what you wanna say about it." He smiled at Danny, who grinned back, then looked at her. "You know, Wendy's loving the babysitting time she gets now and then for dinners out. Faith too."
"You... no!" she shouted. "It's not right! She's my daughter!"
"Biologically she'll always be yours," Xander said more calmly. "But with all this hanging over your head, you don't really need all the work that a baby creates. All the sleepless nights, the 2am feedings, the diapers, all that. Around here, we're all favorite aunts and uncles. Don steals her for calming down time cuddles. We're very tight around Danny."
Danny nodded. "Sometimes it's a struggle to get some alone time with her. Everyone thinks she's adorable."
"Some of the detectives want her to model," Don said as he walked up behind them. Xander gave him a look and he grinned because he knew. That was fine with him. Half of everyone thought he and Danny were more than friends so it was cool that Xander was playing boyfriend right now. "Monroe, you're out." Mac came up behind her. "Mac, did you know that she's out?"
"I didn't," he admitted. "Let's take this to the office." He pointed and they walked in there. He gave Xander a pointed look and got one back. Mac nodded subtly that the ruse was fine right now. It'd help. Mac walked in last and shut the door, turning on his in-office tape recorder. That way he could hand over a copy of this in case someone needed it for her trial.
Don looked comfortable on Danny's other side. "Evie with Greddie or with Wendy?"
"With Greddie. She's a good nanny," he told Lindsay. "It helps with all the overtime we have to pull sometimes. Greddie's nearly a godsend."
"She's highly overprotective as well," Mac added. "She's a former Navy sergeant. Discharged for medical reasons."
Danny nodded. "We like that about her. Just in case anything from here comes toward her. Greddie can kick some serious butt," he told Lindsay. "Not even the twins' usual psychos are going near her."
"I'm still her mother."
"We know that," Don assured her. "Though she does look a lot like Danny."
"A few of the detectives wanted to know if they could bum her for pity cuddles after their cases got tossed for the same ADA screwing up," Xander said.
"I heard. She's great at pity cuddles. The new boss wasn't too fond of that idea," Don admitted.
"I want her back," Lindsay said. "My parents should be able to see her."
Danny shrugged. "I've talked to your parents. We sent pictures last week. We IM each Sunday so they can get instant pictures and all that. By the way, they packed up your stuff for you. It's back in Montana waiting on you." She glared. "Mac, I see Adam so he must have something."
"Adam," he yelled.
He came that way, pausing when he spotted the three of them on the couch, Xander teasing the back of Danny's neck, and who was in front of them glaring. He leaned in. "Fingerprints match DNA, but Jane found a second sample. That's the one that matches the fingerprints. The first DNA was in the database for something else, I think she said something about a medical experiment or something. I wasn't real clear since she used the name and I barely remember hearing about it. Xander, those three guns?"
"Hours ago. On the table waiting for report hunters." He smiled back at him. "Close my lab since I'm in here?"
"Sheldon just pulled a priority sample but he's running it. He has *that* look, ya know?"
"Oh, I do," Danny assured him. "Tell him to let us know if he needs help. This'll probably be a multi-hour talk."
"I can do that." He closed the door and walked off, paging Stella to meet him in ballistics. "We have bigger problems," he said, walking in there. Stella walked in and looked around. "Xander's keeping Danny calm by playing with his neck in Mac's office as they talk to Lindsay."
"She's out?" Sheldon asked flatly.
"Yeah." He looked at Stella. "By the way she was pissed and huffy, you remember that look where she wanted to stamp her foot and thought it was too girlish? That mood. Danny's surrounded by Xander and Don. Mac's got his icy, you fucking bitch, look again at her back so I'm guessing they're talking about Evie."
"Shit," she muttered, walking off. She called the agents over that whole mess. "It's Bonaserra in New York. Monroe's out?" She listened. "No, she's here trying to get custody of her daughter we think. Facing down the father. Yeah, that one. It's the only one she has that we know of. Please. Mac is. So is Harris if you want him. Thank you." She leaned in. "Mac, 181 called back." Mac smirked at that. "He'll call in a bit once he does a bit of form hunting. Lindsay, good to see you again. You look good." She looked at the three guys. "I'm stealing Evie tonight for some girl time."
"Her name is Lucy," Lindsay said firmly.
"Yes, that's her middle name," Stella assured her with a smile. "Eve does go much better with Messer." She left before she could join in on the argument. Though, Xander and Danny did look good together.
Lindsay glared at them. "You can't keep her from me."
"You can try to sue for custody or visitation," Danny told her. "But they'll take into account the fact that you're on bail. That you'll have a trial soon. That you're saying you were brainwashed. Even if we get the biggest asshole judge, like Kremps, who doesn't give a damn about the kids, I doubt you'd get full custody, Lindsay. You participated in the attempted blowing up of federal agents and other CSI. Were you going to leave her there?"
"It wasn't going to be like that!" she shouted. "Those people are evil and delusional!"
"Really?" Xander asked dryly. "Could've sworn that nearly ended my life a few times, Lindsay." She gave him a dirty look. "I can show you the scars if you want. Every last one of them. Bite marks, claw marks, all of it. Including my twin's eye that got popped by one of the problems." He stood up. Don pulled him back down. "No. Let me go."
"Fat chance," Danny said. "If anyone gets to slug her, it's me."
"You wouldn't hit me," she sneered.
"Be me," Don assured her. "If he's too nice ta do it, Xander and I aren't." She backed up. "Seriously, you're not getting near Evie. There's no way in any sort of hell that we'd let you near her. She's innocent, sweet, and all sorts of cute."
"Everything you pretended to be," Xander said dryly. "I'm pretty sure your parents would agree with me as well."
"I have offered them some visitation once she's old enough to make it out to them," Danny agreed. "That way she has a set of grandparents."
Don grinned. "They did sound a bit huffy but nice enough."
"They did," Xander agreed.
"They're nice folk. Pretty practical and down to earth. They wanted to make sure that her nanny wouldn't have her in those ultra-learning daycares and stuff." He looked at his former kinda girlfriend/kinda one-night thing. "Even if they get visitation, you won't be. I will not have my little girl tainted by you. At all. So jump off the roof or something." He stood up. "Mac, gonna calm down."
"Please do. Don?" He nodded, taking Danny somewhere safer. "Lindsay, I doubt that your release would allow you custody visits anyway. Most people have to follow some strict rules."
"Beyond that, if he doesn't want to let you babysit her, you'd have to take him to court," Xander added. He stared at her. She glared back. He smirked. "You're not quite evil enough for my tastes, Montana." She huffed off. He waved after flicking something at her back. "Tracking microdot you put on me a few days ago?"
Mac smiled, pulling that up on his computer. "Thank you, Xander."
"Eeh, evil bitches are evil bitches and Evie's probably the only kid I'll ever be around unless Faith has one or something." He walked off, going back to his lab. "I..." He saw her in DNA. "Stella?" he called, pointing. She hurried that way. He looked at Sheldon. "Need help?" he asked gently.
"No, I'm good, Xander." He let him see the sample and the result. "That's what I found."
Xander did an expanded search through databases that they didn't usually hit, but the twins had gotten them access to. It came up to a few more results. "That?"
"That," he sighed, printing it. "When did we get access to the New Jersey files?"
"When my beloved other half asked nicely?"
"The makers index is the same?" he asked with a grin.
"Yup, sure is."
"Thank you." He left, going to find Mac to let him know it still came back to an officer's gun and that Stella was still trying to get Lindsay out of a work lab.
Xander walked that way, giving Stella a look. "Need help?"
"Please. She's not supposed to be in here. She can compromise evidence."
Xander picked the little whining one up and walked her out, dropping her in front of the elevator then walked off. "You're not evil enough, Monroe. Go home."
She huffed. "I'll make you pay for that, Harris."
"I'm sure you and your friends will," he said smugly, turning to look at her. "But then again, I can say the same thing. Remember, those girls are my pack." He stared her down. She had to look away with a shudder and got onto the elevator when it came. "Laters." He waved and glared once the doors closed. He squeezed his eyes shut, holding his forehead.
Adam came out to help him to a chair. "Sudden onset migraine?" he joked lightly.
"She's going after Evie and Danny's here with Don. Shit!" He found his phone by touch, calling her. "Faith, me. Go pick up Evie and go with the evacuation plan. Now. Lindsay's back." He hung up and put the phone down. "Call down and tell him to listen for another detective he knows to tell him that they have Evie safe."
"I can do that. Let me get Doc to get you some advil too." He jogged off to do that. They all knew that Xander had some visiony thing that gave him a few heads up. He called Wendy once he had given both those messages out.
Detective Vicaro looked up as a pretty brunette in casual business clothes walked into his precinct's squad room with a familiar baby. "You're not the nanny."
"No, I'm Faith. One of Xander's roomies." She sat down, casually sprawled, the baby on her lap. "Her egg donor's out."
"Shit," he said, calling over there. "She get near her?"
"Greddie saw her and handed her to me as soon as she saw me. Monroe's apparently on a warpath to get her little girl back." Wendy strolled in. "Morning," she said dryly.
"Shove it, I work nights," she complained, pulling over an empty chair. The baby cooed. "Hey, baby girl."
Vicaro looked at the two pretty, young women. "This is a treat," he said smugly.
Faith smirked back. "We demand high performance but easy maintenance men."
He laughed. "I might be one of those. Not too sure on the maintenance part, sweetheart." He got an answer from Flack. "I have two beautiful women surrounding me who have your goddaughter, Flack." He smirked. "He said it's good. They're at the lab."
"Xander thinks she'll go back there," Faith said with a small shrug. "He said to take her to someone safe and gave me a list. You were on it."
"Wow. The paranoid ones think I'm safe?"
"For the baby at least," Wendy said with an evil smirk. He smirked back at her, looking casually alluring.
Flack said something in his ear. "Yeah, here, at my desk." He hung up. "He'll be down soon with the proud daddy. How did you two get here?"
"Cab. Not like we drive in this insane city," Faith told him.
"So, where you two from?"
"Boston," Faith said.
"Somalia," Wendy said.
He looked at her. "They met you on their trip?" She smiled and nodded. "That's good. I heard they did a lot of good work." He looked at Faith. "You look a bit younger than them."
"When they were in high school. I went to get help from some of their friends from a mutual problem."
"Ah." He smiled at the wide-awake baby. "You're still adorable, even in a messy shirt and jeans, princess."
His boss came out, staring at them. "Did one of them commit a homicide?"
"Nah, this is Flack's granddaughter, Cap," he called.
"Monroe's out of jail and was trying to snatch her," Faith said, smiling back at him. The captain moaned. "Harris said to bring her to him for safety reasons."
"As long as it's not a frequent thing. She can charm some people who aren't in too much trouble."
"I doubt anyone would even get near her," Wendy assured him with a mean, evil look. "We'd make sure of it, sir."
He smirked. "Good to know she's got some tough aunts outside of Bonaserra." He went back into his office.
Vicaro smirked at her. "You that tough?"
"Yup. I have been since the boys trained me to help protect people."
"Ah." He looked at Faith, who only smirked back. "Slightly dangerous and pretty. This is my lucky day."
"Yes it is," Faith teased back. "Because I'm one hell of a lot more than a pretty, hot ass and some skills." He laughed, still smiling. She could like this one. Danny walked in with Mac. "She come back?"
"Yes, with an officer, and tried to say I was illegally keeping her from her mother. So I kindly told the lady why I was keeping her away from her Ma. She was not a happy mother and neither was Lindsay when she turned on her." He took his little girl. "Hey, Evie." She cooed at him, grabbing his hair. "That's my good girl. Thanks, ladies."
"Not a problem," Faith assured him. "Should we set you up in a safe room tonight?"
"I've got that," Mac said. "You guys be careful about your place?"
"Sure," Faith agreed. "After the bomb, X moved everything out to the corporate lab and office. So they've only got clothes and the furniture there right now." He smiled at that. "Just in case."
"That happens and we'll be pounding her into a greasy spot," Danny assured her. He looked at his girl. Then at them. "Diaper bag?"
"On my bike," Wendy promised. He grinned and went to get it so he could change her. "Don't change her on my seat this time. Last time it smelled like diaper wipe for days." Mac and Vicaro laughed. "Leather does absorb scent."
"That's why mine smells like I need to club more often," Faith agreed dryly. She shifted. "So, Mac, now what?"
"Now, we get a bit overprotective until she does something that violates her bail. The judge did not put in a restraining order but the prosecutor is trying to get one. We'll hear later." They all nodded. "Thank you, Vicaro."
"Eeh, two beautiful girls is more than enough payment." They both kissed him before leaving. "They are hellishly pretty, Taylor."
"They are. Wendy's a bit tough but Faith's very nice. She's done a good job since she straightened herself out a few years ago."
"She was in a fight and accidentally got someone not involved," he said quietly.
"Those I can see." He nodded. "So she's good?"
"She's wonderful now. Before you ask, Xander and Alex aren't doing more than giving her free room and board."
"That's good to know. The other one?"
"Eighteen in three weeks," Mac said dryly.
"Hmm. Pretty but jailbait then. Definitely brightened my day though." Danny walked back in. "So the paranoid ones decided I'm safe?"
"For the baby," Danny shot back with a smirk.
"Yeah, I can be safe for her. She's sweet."
"Sometimes. Some nights though....."
Vicaro laughed. "Yeah, I've heard about those. Hopefully she'll grow up better'n her mother."
"There's no chance I'll let her turn into Montana." Danny shifted her to the other shoulder, getting a pout in response. "That side's numb," he told her. She still pouted. He handed her over. "Get one last hug in thanks, princess."
He smirked. "You're adorable." She cooed and got handed back. "Have fun with that."
"I'm sure we will," Mac told him. "Hopefully she'll screw up soon." He walked them out, taking them back to the lab. The guards at the lab knew not to let Lindsay in unless he called first.
2 was at dinner when his phone rang. "Shit," he muttered, answering it. "It's me. What happened?" He listened, slumping, his face going hard. "We all good?" He nodded. "Which cause?" He smirked. "Good to know. Hell, I'm in Denver if it'll be safest." He listened. "Thanks for letting me know, Mac." He hung up and put it back into his pocket. The waiter gave him a dirty look. "Someone just tried to fire bomb my house. Stow it, dude." He finished up and paid the bill and put down a tip, heading for the ATF office. They were still working. He signed in and went up there. "Vin," he said when he ran into him. "Someone of that group just firebombed our apartment in New York." Vin stiffened, staring at him. "They have a suspect in who planted it, Lindsay Monroe, but she doesn't know explosives. Since it was a bomb, and a low yield bomb, it was someone with field training. Not higher level, not military disposal team level. It was internet finding level bombs but the preliminary said it was semtex."
"Your twin and everyone all right?"
"Yeah. Mac had to knock him out because he was growling at the people. Thankfully we moved most everything to the lab a few days back when they tried it. And the baby was safely with her daddy at the hotel." He took a deep breath. "That can't be Monroe. She doesn't have the skills or the contact to get semtex. She might've planted it but there's others."
"Good to know. I'll warn Chris."
"Thanks." He walked off, considering it. He went down to a bad section of town, finding one of his sort of contacts. The demon bar gave him a horrified look when he walked in. "My twin's fine, people." They all relaxed. "Faith and Wendy too. They were helping Messer with his little girl at the hotel." He looked around. "Anyone got any contacts that can help tell us who planted it? Taylor knocked him out for growling."
"The bitch of feeding knows how to make them," one offered. "So does his wife."
"That's true, I was hoping it wasn't directly them but someone else." He sat down. "We sure?" He nodded. "Directly, not handed to Monroe?"
"They're in your city."
Xander called Mac's phone. "It's me. The Finns are in New York. Of the known players, they're able to create semtex bombs, Mac. Some contacts." He hung up. "He'll get them even if he has to add the FBI to it." He smiled at that guy. "Thank you."
"Why are you in Denver?" the demon asked.
"Because everyone in that conspiracy wants us to move here."
"You're giving in?" he snorted. "Usually you're more stubborn."
"No, I want to find out why Denver and why that team. It makes very little sense."
"One of them smells like the kitchen geek," a vampire said smugly.
Xander looked at him. "Which one?"
"The young one with the hair. Not the one with the hat."
"Ah. That's something to see then. Thank you." He smirked. "I won't stake you for that." The vampire laughed and got another drink since it wouldn't be his last. He called Andrew. "It's me. 2. Which of your relatives is a guy named Vin?" He listened to the story. "Ah! Okay. That makes more sense why they're sending us to Denver then." He grinned. "Thanks, man. No, they blew up our apartment. Everyone's fine but we heard the Finns are in New York." He smirked. "That might help Mac, yeah. Let me know if we have to get back to help, Andrew." He hung up and thought, one hand tapping the table until someone put their kitten poker winning under his hand. "Hey, sweetheart." He petted her instead. The demons liked that better than the tapping. Purring was making them happy.
Mac walked into the hotel. There were officers behind him. The management almost appeared before they could get onto the elevator. He wasn't going to argue with the look on their faces. They went to the room. It was empty for a minute but Sam was coming back from the machines up the hall as they opened the door. The officers got her down and cuffed. She struggled but oh well. Riley wasn't there at the moment. Mac put out a find him at all costs, and bring him in alive if possible, order. They went back to the lab to interrogate her and find out what was next.
Xander walked into the unit the next morning, looking at Vin. "Your cousin Andrew and his buddies you protected and played with one summer said hi."
"I forgot all about Andrew," he said, blinking at him. "He's involved?"
"Jonathan is the big bad guy behind the mask. He sent me here to protect you for protecting him that summer. Andrew's is the main Council's housemother. He wanted a call by the way." He handed over the number. "He said it never occurred to him that you were out here."
"Damn it!" he said, slumping in his chair. "Thanks, kid."
"Not a problem. Larabee, Sam Finn was arrested. Riley's on a plane headed this way. The FBI is pretending not to notice since it's ICW related and they can't stand the duty."
"He's headed here to Denver?"
"Sam can build pipe bombs by her jacket," he said, handing over the printed email. "From my boss to you." He smirked evilly. "He'll be here in about an hour. He managed to evade the thing at the airport. They got his picture and found his fake name from it."
"Thanks, kid. Stay here before you go even more wild."
"I can go wait. I'm good on waiting. I have to help my eviler half make plans anyway." He shrugged. "We've got to find a new apartment. The corporate office is too long to commute from every day."
"Good." Xander smiled as he left. "Gear up." They grabbed their tactical gear and headed out. "Vin, you good?" he asked quietly.
"Yeah, I'm fine. You know, I kinda remember the kid when he was little. I was out there with my aunt for about six months, mostly over a summer. I protected Andrew and them from a good few bullies. Made sure they were escorted places because I was a few years older. The kid and his friend Jesse hung out sometimes. They were in another tight group but they merged sometimes. The kid was goofy, sweet, and told really bad jokes. Always wore mismatched socks if he wore any. Sloppy, oversized shirts. Jesse was better but still had that look of 'my parents aren't paying attention to the right cues'. Those two ran wild all over town. I kept Andrew from joining them a few times." He settled in his seat in the van. "Andrew was a sweet kid. Jonathan too. Both shy geeks. Warren was more aggressive. Wanted to be the comic bad guy with all the cool gadgets and talked them into playing that game a few times."
"Interesting. So because of that, they sent you a protector in case anything happened?" Josiah asked.
Vin looked back at him, nodding. "I guess. Does that make sense?" he asked Josiah.
"The profile of this whole situation is near impossible. There's contradictions, there's odd moves that make no sense psychologically. Brother Vin, there's no telling what they have planned. It's possible they'd let you have the kid to calm down and then take him out to protect you from their taint."
"Maybe." He considered it further. "Xander was an adorable little guy that summer. Jesse always helped bandage any scrapes they had. Xander did Jesse's. They were tighter than blood. I wonder what happened to him. I remember Jesse better than I do the kid."
"We'll ask him later," Chris decided. The drive to the airport wasn't that long. They got there before Finn's plane landed. Airport security was helping them and had notified the pilot that they were taking the guy off the plane. Even if he had a disguise on, he was in trouble.
2 walked into the room they had Riley in. "So, you wanted me in Denver?" he asked dryly. "How is that working out for you?"
"You can't win. It needs to happen."
"Has it occurred to you that the girls are keeping those down? I mean, really. Taking them out would be counterproductive."
He stared at him. "Not really. If they're not there, then there's no reason for them to open."
"You mean besides other guys like Ethan and Willow?" he asked dryly. "Or things like we defeated? Or Glory's cousins?" Riley looked amused. "They didn't come because the girls existed. They were here because they were here. Guys like Ethan will still be around even if you took them all out. So will the higher problems. Most of them fled from the girls when they were made."
Riley sneered. "You have no idea what you're talking about." Xander put down a book. "What's that?"
"The head library's account of the war that drove most of them off. After Sineya was called to duty."
Riley stared. "They were gone!"
"Yes, they were, but they had some hidden areas. It'd be stupid to keep the only copy in a known building that anything could target, Riley. Hell, even the IRA targeted them once or twice." He leaned down on the table, staring at him. "You've already fucked up one too many times. There's no hope of it getting better. Or of you seeing your wife again. She's already in a Supermax. You're headed to another one." Riley growled. "All because you believed some stupidity hyped from someone who the First had taken out." He stood up again. "Where is Jonathan?"
"He is. We know very well he is." He stared him down. "Where is he?"
"I don't have to tell you anything. All those helpful memories are in your twin," he said smugly.
"No, see the thing that split those? It put all the *special* ones in one twin and the *mundane* ones in the other. Which means I have *her*." Riley gaped in horror, scooting back. "Though, if you want, my twin and our boss is on the way out. You can talk to him if you want." He gave him a look that all demons knew to run from. Riley was trying to scoot back. "So, which did you want to talk to? You can talk to Andrew's cousin and his boss. Larabee is like my earlier prototype without all the stress from Sunnydale stuff. He did his in another way. Or you can talk to me. Or you can whine and beg until my twin gets out here. Then you can face him down. Because Wendy's way pissed. You destroyed her favorite clothes. Thankfully all her favorite stuff is now in storage somewhere excellent so she didn't lose the only copy of her parents' photo."
"I don't have to say anything, Harris."
"No, you don't. But I can guarantee you it'll go better if you do. Remember, you've been pissing off Willow. All Scoobies know not to piss off Willow. Especially after the cliff." Riley shuddered. "Or the last battle when she had to do that little thing she did." He gave him a smug look. "I can call her if you want."
"She's still not going to win this one. He'll be in her face soon about all this and he'll prove he's right."
"Hmm. We'll see." He walked out. "All yours." He called her. "Willow, pick me up. Because you're not going against Jonathan without me, dumbass." He hung up and got taken. His twin appeared as well. "Thank you." They grabbed gear and went to join Buffy. She was staring at a map so 1 took it over and 2 went to get the troops ready. Buffy gave them odd looks.
"You don't get to go into battles without us, Buffster," Xander said dryly, staring at her. "Get over it already."
"Fully trained for this stuff? Yes, I am," he said bluntly. "Especially since they're using modern weapons and magic." He smirked. "So get over it."
"I'd rather have you guarding Dawn."
"Wendy has Dawn," Faith reminded her. "Along with a few hottie detectives and stuff. She's doing a college tour today." She looked at them.
Xander looked at her. "You look good in my shirt," he quipped. "Andrew? Where is he?"
He shivered. "He was in Tibet earlier." He cast the locating charm again, finding them. "They're in Sunnydale. They're going to fight there."
"We can do that," Xander agreed. He rolled up the map, looking at her. "You ready?"
"No. Am I ever?"
"You make it look like it most of the time." He smirked, sending that to his twin. "Willow, we're heading to Sunnydale."
Xander stared at her. "You're going against real weapons, Willow. Shut up. We've been in more battles than you have. All on our own. Plus we have the training from the PD to fall back on. So we're going."
"Fine," she huffed. "You'll get injured."
"Yay," he pointed out. 2 came back. "We good?"
"We're good. Ladies, we're forming up outside." They followed them, getting into position. 2 was touching Willow lightly so she could draw from him. She and the coven sent the senior girls there. All the youngest were hidden. They appeared in a bleak, rippled area, one that didn't even have bugs. He motioned Faith to break her group apart a little bit, getting a nod. The other side 2 was leading so that was fine. They spread out and turned to look at the idiots.
Buffy walked through her ranks, Xander behind her on her right. Faith walked through hers. 2 walked through his. Willow and the coven were blacking out anyone who tried to view the fight. "You're not usually this evil, Jonathan."
"Having all them are a blight."
"Think you want to take on the higher demons yourself?" Faith snorted. "They'll be here after we're all dead and gone as a species."
"Then it won't matter if the hellmouth opens," 2 agreed. He looked at his troops. "By the way, calling zombies here, a bad idea." Jonathan glared at him. "It's the only real way you could've called back Warren since he was dead when I ran past him to stop Willow."
1 threw something on the ground. He said a prayer over it and it fizzed, sinking into the ground. "That should prevent a good portion of them," he told Buffy quietly.
"Thank you. Jonathan, give it up. You're not this evil and you're not this stupid."
"You're still a blight! We have to stop all of you to keep the hellmouths closed!"
"Then who'll close it the next time someone opens it? Or fight the things that come out?" Willow asked. "You didn't think that through all that well."
"I think this is the Powers," Buffy said. "But I can't be sure. So be it. Give it up or die, Jonathan. You're not human. You got killed to help the First's plans."
He called things to him. Xander watched coolly, staring at what was coming up. "Me, hit the secondary target," he said when a blonde woman appeared. "Faith, take the main group. Buffy, handle the zombies?"
"We can do that for now." She looked around. "I should...."
"He has twenty girls with him. He can handle Glory until we can get Jonathan and that breaks the spell. Plus no Key."
"True." She pulled her hair back. "Give it up."
"Attack!" he shouted.
"Puny mortal!" Glory sneered. "Who are you to order me?"
"He wants to take out the slayers," 2 called. She smirked at that and attacked the nearest group. Faith's. She and 2 switched groups and they took on the zombies. Buffy attacked the main group. The gun holders were handled by Xander. Some by the coven, who was helping 2's group with Glory. Buffy was kicking everyone's ass. Until someone hit her too hard on the head. Then Willow removed her for a bit to let her gather herself back together again.
1 made it to Jonathan. "You fucking moron!" He punched him, knocking him back.
"You can't do that to me!" He called up more zombies. Xander hesitated then snapped his neck. The spell to call the new ones mostly stopped. Some of the older ones ended. The rest they'd have to kill. He looked around, taking on the few zombies nearest them. Buffy came back to handle Warren and the others.
2 got knocked down but rolled and came back up again, pulling out something heavy. One of the coven had linked them into the armory at the Council. It was his design but someone had tampered. So he threw it at her and got something else. That one didn't fire either. He glared at someone, then he called Graham. "Send me shit. I have Glory in my face." He hung up. Something appeared beside him and he kicked it open, taking out the artifact. It was an ancient thing they had built way back when. It was powerful enough to have taken out a good few blocks. "Girls!" They dove out of the way. He hit Glory center mass, sending her flying. She was still in girl form. "Willow! Now!" She rained destruction on the goddess. Still no changing back. "He took out the damn clause!" he shouted.
"Then we'll have to contain her," one member of the coven said, pouring blood from a cut to her wrist onto something. She chanted and the thing glowed. Glory glowed. As the last of her blood flowed into the container, Glory shrieked but was fighting behind pulled in. Xander and the girls dove back in to kill her or take her attention from that fight. Another witch took it up and they finally got her trapped when that one died.
2 panted, looking around. He found a familiar figure and walked over there. "Hey, Ahn."
"Xander." She stared at him then she smiled. "You're okay?"
"We're great. We're doing a job we love. The company is doing good too. We're driving Aston-Martins."
She beamed. "A new girlfriend?"
"Our drawing ability came back," he said dryly. "We're looking though."
"Good." She stroked his cheek and walked over to the fight Buffy and her other boyfriend was having. She went to demon face and pulled magic at the same time. Buffy dove out of her way. 1 didn't see her in time. So the blowing up, it sent him off too.
"Huh," 2 said, going to help his twin. "He could use a medic," he called. One of the coven moved him to a more safe place. 2 took on the higher demon they had called. Buffy came over to help him and it was sweet. There was not going to be another problem.
Buffy had the scythe on her and the demon went down. "Weren't they supposed to die when Jonathan did?"
"He snapped his neck," he admitted. "Silver?" She handed over a dagger. He stabbed him in the chest. All hell broke loose as the magic returned to where he had stolen it from. He looked up, smiling at Anya. "We miss you," he said as she faded, earning a smile. The slayers wrapped up the rest of the problems. Any real humans were bound and knocked out. The others.... Parts. Mostly. Some were smaller. 2 got up and walked over to where his twin was, staring at him. "It was your turn for the concussion," he said blandly. His twin only flinched. He checked him over, letting the witch take the spells off him. Anya had tried to protect him and it was keeping him unconscious. Once that was ended, he woke up and glared at everyone. "Morning."
"It was your turn for the concussion anyway."
"Good point. Fuck off anyway."
"Maybe later," he offered with a smile. "After I yell at people." He looked around, spotting someone. "Giles, did it not occur to you to reactivate the weapons *before* the apocalypse battle?" he demanded. Giles flinched. "You know, before they needed them?"
"I didn't think they were safe with the girls going in to fondle them," he defended.
"And you couldn't fix that *last night*?"
"Oh. I didn't even think we'd need them."
"Yeah, for Glory."
"I saw. That was good work."
2 stared at him then went to help the slayers. A few were dead. A lot were injured. Hell, they were all injured. "Put the bitten ones in for special handling," he told the person coming to help. "Did Graham send you?"
"Yup," Tony told him. "What the hell?"
"Jonathan," he said with a point. He looked. "Buffy, did he dissolve or sparkle?"
"Dusted." She came over. "Hi. Um, you're a normal, what are you doing here?"
"I'm their company's executive officer. Graham sent me to help."
"Oh, good!" She beamed at him. "We're.... We need to go home."
"LA's crew is coming to help with the cleanup," Tony told her. "They can shelter you for the night. Let you guys grieve and all that." She nodded, liking that idea. "Special handling?" he asked Xander.
"They were bitten by zombies." Buffy shuddered as she walked off. "Let's clean up, people." Willow burned the parts of demons, and the ground around them. "Willow, slayers got bitten."
"We know how to make sure they don't rise," she promised. "You should go home. Faith said you guys had a god daughter."
"Yeah, her mom was one of the group in Scotland." He helped Tony up. "Can we mark the shrouds without killing ourselves?" he asked one of the coven.
"Yes. That's easy enough to do. They won't be risen." She sighed as she looked around. "Dawn was doing that last night before we sent her to Wendy."
1 stumbled over. "Wendy said she's fine. Dawn sent the ones she had done." He pointed. "She was hoping for less bodies but made extra in case." They covered each of the bodies and got them wrapped in the shrouds that were marked so no power or witch could make them raise. They had a few extra, which cheered them up. They looked around at the area, then at each other. 1 gave Faith a hug. "Pizza?"
"I'll be in Cleveland tonight, X. Watch over Wendy. She's got to be fussy." He nodded at that. "Then we'll have pizza. You two go calm down."
"We can help move them, Faith. It's not the first time."
"I know." She patted him again. "Was that Anya?"
"Yeah." 2 came over to where they were. "We should go to Denver, destress and let Mac know it's hopefully over with?"
"We probably should. We can fly from LA after showering and changing at the hotel." They nodded at that. LA's crew showed up in a few vans. "Guys." Xanders and Buffy both stared at Wesley, who had been dead. Apparently someone wanted LA to be stronger again. They could accept that as long as he wasn't evil.
Gunn got out, staring at the row of bodies, then at the obviously scorched ground. "Damn. We would've come!"
"You guys had your own battle last night," Buffy said tiredly. "I didn't even think about it."
Xander 1 shrugged but 2 shook his head. "We didn't either. We expected you guys to hear and come or Andrew to have called as we were massing."
"He did," Gunn admitted. He walked closer. "Damn."
"Jonathan called zombies," 1 said quietly, staring at the bodies. Then around. Two of their other girls were still standing but injured. "We need to get medical done. Clean up, hose down, calm down."
"We can do that at the Hyperion," Wesley assured them, coming over to help. "We can have them buried, ladies and Xander. And you are?" he asked the man behind the boys.
"Tony DiNozzo. I'm their company's XO."
"That's wonderful. I'm sorry to meet you this way."
"Less polite, more time to go calm down," Buffy said, sounding tired.
"Of course. Let us...." They all grabbed the bodies to load into the vans after the twins grabbed one. They got stacked into one. They barely fit but they all did. The rest of the girls got in the other two and were driven back to LA.
Mac looked up as both boys walked into the hotel. "Satellite," he said bluntly.
"Willow supposedly stopped those," Tony said. "I'm returning them to you, Detective Taylor. They're a bit injured." He patted 1 on the back. "It was his turn for the concussion." Mac smiled a little bit of one. "They'll be fine."
"If someone comes up with a third conspiracy against us, I'm going to blow up everyone everywhere," 1 assured him.
"I'm sure they won't," Tony said calmly. He patted them both again. "They're calming down."
"Agreed. We can handle that." He looked over the boys. "Any major injuries?"
"Concussion on 1's part. A few cuts, a bite that needs to be watched since it was made by a zombie. It's minor, been treated, but it might get infected. It won't turn them." Mac nodded once at that. Chris Larabee came over, already scowling. "Give them a few days and they'll be back to normal Xander mode."
"Without needing a long trek to grieve," 2 said quietly. "We'll be fine, Mac. Just need some calming down time."
"What happened?" Larabee demanded quietly.
"So I take it a lot of people saw it?" 1 asked dryly.
"A lot of people," Mac agreed. "It was on the news in LA. It was cloudy but we got enough to know it was a battle." He looked them over. "Anything else I need to know, DiNozzo?"
"They'll be fine. The girls got a lot of sniffling on them. And all the rest of us too. The stuff that got brought got cleaned up already. Mr. Giles and I talked about how to secure the vault against girls wanting gun petting time so he didn't have to disable things. Which he forgot to undo before it. The ones who fell were cremated by mutual decision and it's all right. The older ones will be back in a few days. Faith too."
"I called Faith off her job," Mac admitted. "Her boss apparently had a small clue."
"He caught her out hunting one night with Wendy," 2 sighed. "We could use a nap, Mac. Are we good?"
He looked at them. "Of course. It's not like it wasn't necessary. Though, that jaw dislocating? It may be in the manual. I will beat you two to death and then arrest you if you do it again." They both nodded. "Next time, just hold onto it until someone gets a belt or something." They nodded, walking around him and Larabee.
Tony smiled and looked back. "I brought back someone else who wanted to see someone on your team, Agent Larabee." He pointed.
Chris looked. "Vin's at the office. I can bring him there." Tony smiled and nodded, shaking hands before walking off to get a room.
Mac looked at Chris. "I value those two more than anything, and it was in the book."
"They're too tough for their own good."
"They can be but they earned it. They started doing that stuff at sixteen."
Chris shuddered. "I can see how that changes someone. I'd never let them on my team because it'd change them wrong."
"They aren't usually like that. Only when it's an emergency. Then they tend to take charge, handle it, and then fade to calm down. I appreciate the hell out of those two boys."
Chris nodded. "I can see why but they're too tough for my tastes."
Mac smiled. "Then it's a good thing they like the NYPD isn't it?"
"Yes it is." He shook his hand. "Finn and his wife?"
"Both going to prison for treason. Someone told DiNozzo's boss, who I'm told got hold of the feed as well. And so did some higher ups. With all the problems, they have nothing to hide now. The Secret Service looked into it from what I'm told and they got a bit horrified. Including having words with the agents who didn't want to handle it." Chris smirked at that, crossing his arms over his chest. "So we're good and the people who still want them here will give up soon enough."
"I've sent back that they're too wild for Denver. I'd have to ride them harder. A few had thoughts they shouldn't have but the rest realize that sort of strength is better served in the bigger, tougher eastern cities. How do they do on terrorists?"
"They scare them. They heard about their trip in Africa and a few have fled the city." Chris smirked at that. "They also let me see all the new stuff if I want to." He handed over a remote. "For your office." It beeped at him. Chris looked around, finding the small thing playing with the kid. "What is that?"
"It's an ELF. The boys developed it for subtle surveillance duties or for home defense." He pointed at the remote. "I had them label it better than most. They're very trainable for a lot of uses. The boys use them around the lab to get coffee when they're too involved. It can flip switches. Their head engineer loves theirs as a pet. They snuck one into the lab and we love that it delivers and likes to hide in the morgue on us sometimes. Someone programmed a city map and the NYPD personnel database into it. It's delivered things across the city for us without them telling me. SWAT's tested it and they think it's very helpful too. It can't do bombs until you train it into it."
"Then it sounds handy."
"It's well liked around the office. I've found a few of my techs playing fetch with it on their breaks to destress."
"I'll keep that in mind in case JD does that." He walked off, looking at the thing. "Truck," he ordered as he walked past the boy and robot tank. They hurried after him. The boy put the tank in the truck then climbed in and buckled up without having to be told. "Vin told me about his summer with you." He started the truck and the tank's small pincher came out to turn on the windshield wipers. "What are you doing?" It beeped and pointed at the dots of rain on the windshield. He glared at it. "Fine. Don't do it again." The tank beeped and retracted the pincher. He drove off. The tank swivelled his top 'eye' camera around as he drove. "We'll have JD upload a city map later," he said, sounding tired.
Andrew smiled. "I can handle that for you." He pulled out his iPad to do the search for him. He hooked it into the port that the tank popped up. "There you. A Denver map and sure, you can borrow my music list," he offered when the question popped up for consent.
Chris stared at him at a red light. "Really?"
"It should have music for down times."
"It's a robot."
"It's a very smart robot." He petted it, putting his iPad back in his pocket. They pulled into a parking garage and he got out, putting the tank down too. It was a high step. The tank followed Chris and he followed the tank once the door was shut. They got on the elevator and got off on the right floor. He saw Vin and grinned shyly. "Hi."
"Hi." He pulled him closer to look over. "You grew up." Andrew grinned at him. "Good job, 'Drew."
Andrew gave him a hug. "Thank you." He pulled back. "The twins gave you guys an ELF."
"An Elf? Does it have pointy ears?" He pointed at the tank looking around. "It's a remote surveillance thing?"
"That too." Andrew beamed and bounced a bit, babbling at him about the thing.
Vin looked at him. "Calm down." Andrew slumped. "You're still healing, I get that." Andrew gave him a hopeful look. "We're cousins. Be yourself, kid. We'll all realize."
"You sure?" he asked quietly.
"Yup." He walked him to his desk. The tank had went to make some coffee for them. Vin stared, pointing while looking confused.
"Xander taught it to do that for them when they're in the lab."
"It turned on the windshield wipers for me," Chris said dryly, watching it make coffee. Ezra came in and paused, staring at it. The ELF stared back then got something and handed it to him.
Ezra took the napkin, wiping at the rain drops from his expensive suit. "Thank you. Do you have a name?"
"The one at the twin's lap is named Pippen. It's an ELF. I don't know why they named their ELF after a hobbit but Xander can be that way sometimes."
"I've heard of the one in New York." It ran next to him but not on his foot. It navigated quickly through things, gathering coffee cups. When it found one half full it came back for it and dumped it out. It even washed them then rinsed and refilled them once the built-in fan had dried them. Chris took his from the three it was carrying. It handed Ezra one. "The black one is mine." He handed that cup off. The tank beeped and got him his cup then grabbed the others to carry off.
Chris shook his head. "It's very handy. We'll have to train it to help in assaults." He sipped his coffee, looking at the cup. "That's not bad coffee."
Ezra tasted his, nodding. "It's very good. I had no idea we had good coffee hidden around here."
"JD had some hidden to spoil you rotten the next time you came in after a bad day," Buck called, watching the little tank. It was using the fan to dust something. "It's all right, little guy. We don't mind dust all that much." He pointed. "That's our medic." It went to beep at him and followed him back to check his cubicle. Then he made a list that got posted onto his computer.
"I do need to refill some things. The tank found expiration dates." He patted it on the turret. "Thank you. Watch out for the young one. He's into computers." It rolled off to hang out with Ezra. It took his jacket when he took it off, hanging it up for him and beeping before using the fan to blow some papers around so the pincher could grab them. It sorted them and put them in piles in front of him.
Chris was watching all this. "We'll be spoiled rotten," he said, grinning some. "I'd better not trip over it in the barn." He took a drink of his very good coffee. Buck wanted sugar for his so it rolled over to take it from him and beeped reproachfully. Ezra and Chris both laughed.
Vin looked at Buck. "That thing nags like JD. Maybe we should name it after him?"
"Maybe," he said, scowling at it. "I can have some sugar." It blew a kissing sound at him and rolled off, making Andrew giggle. Buck groaned, shaking his head. "The kid's going to go nuts over that thing."
Andrew grinned. "The twins have one that helps around the lab."
"I can see why." He drank his coffee without the sugar. The others could grin but a lot of things were going to have to be straightened out with that little toy. Before JD warped it further.
The twins came back and Don handed over the baby to them. "Awww," they cooed, getting cooed back at. The baby loved to drool on them and she was good to them.
Mac shook his head. "You babysitting, Don?"
"Nope. Thought they might need some cooing time. Secret Service is waiting in your office on them." He followed, taking the baby at the end. Faith and Wendy were in there too. He smirked and walked off, taking her back to the break area. Sheldon wanted to coo at her too. He had a bad case.
The twins sat on either side of the girls, looking at them.
"I'm good," Wendy said. "Dawn is one shopping girl and she got me all sorts of new clothes, plus Faith."
Faith nodded. "Definitely. Also good, boys." They stared at her. "The cut's healing good."
"Good," they said in unison. They looked at the agent waiting on them.
"The baby's cute," the agent said bluntly.
"She's Messer's," Wendy said with a grin. "I get some babysitting in."
"Good. Who is your legal guardian?"
"Me in two more weeks."
"Figures. That has to be straightened out." He looked at the boys and Faith then at the twins. "You two do things that give your government headaches."
"We can move to Canada if you want," 2 quipped sarcastically.
"No, you can't." He looked at all of them. "Thank you." They all shrugged. "I know it's a duty. We looked back into things. We saw things we missed on purpose. We saw a lot of corruption that's now being fixed, and the ones who honestly freaked out at the very thought so couldn't handle it. They're being left alone with a lot of counseling."
"A lot of people have that feeling," 2 pointed out.
"We know. Which is why they're still employed and stable. We're setting a few agents on the ICW to help them with things that may need it. Including the orphan issue your trainee had. I know there's a few others, plus some international travel."
"Have someone who can take over the armory," 1 said bluntly. "Giles hates weapons."
"We have sent him a delightful one to help with that, yes. Plus a computer person since there seems to not be any beyond personal systems." They all nodded at that. "And Miss Rosenburg." He smiled. "Mr. Giles was talked to last night and swore very Britishly for a good bit about that being seen. We laid out a good set of propositions of where we can and will be helping. Even if he moves back to England. They apparently knew more and integrated some of their people more subtly. We're Americans, we're more blunt. So we'll figure out how to do things. Now, this group is New York's entire group?"
"A few roaming hunters," 1 said quietly.
"That's fine. We understand about those things. Mr. Miller has fallen back to emergency support the way you two have?" The twins nodded. "Excellent. I have to say the rest of us who looked into Finn's former units, we weren't happy. We made ourselves clear about how unhappy we were with them as a concept and a group. So the paranoia about you two being on the east coast is going to ease. Especially since Denver has stated a few times that you're too intense for them. Though I have heard that Agent Larabee has cackled over the little ELF unit you gave them." He stared at them. "Most people are scared of him."
"He's like we could've become in another life, without being raised in Sunnydale," 2 said simply.
"That's a good point. We have heard that it took sushi from Agent Standish and a candy bar from someone else and exchanged them for lunch. That's what caused the cackling event." He stared at them. "We have no problem with you being here, your company, or the duties that call to all of you. You've done a good job protecting this city and the surrounding areas. If you need more help, Detective Taylor can call on some people who are going through training this week from the British agents that had worked with the old council. We're not sure how they stood it but they did enough training to let us know what may be needed." They all grinned at that. "We like you four being backup and handling this city's events. We enjoy the hell out of Miller being your accepted Department of Defense contact. That's all good with us."
"Then this talk is just to make sure we're informed, won't go after any agents bothering the girls, and all that?" 2 asked.
He smiled. "Definitely. Though I'm sure we'd all like you two to settle down with someone less than evil."
"Who is the jewelry sending guy?"
"The one you contacted in Denver talked to her. She knows now that you two are worth more than pretty jewelry, collars aren't your style, and she has to win you over in other ways. All we know is that she's a bit wealthy." He shrugged. "I'm sure you'll figure it out." He smiled. "For now, finish your post-battle calming down however. By the way, we will be ignoring all the jealous rumors of you two being incestuous."
"We get asked that a lot," 1 quipped. "They always want to watch."
"I wouldn't mind that show either," Faith admitted dryly, smirking at him.
2 pinched her, he was closer. "We've cuddled on the couch around you before, Faith."
"We ignore all those as being from people who're jealous or want you two to fail," Mac assured them.
"So everyone but defense attorneys," 2 quipped. "Cool," he told his twin. "More bait."
"Hmm. Baiting is fun."
The agent laughed. "Good. I'll leave you in Detective Taylor's capable hands. Though, if you have to handle something that huge in New York, let us know beforehand if you can?"
"They're under orders to call me on their way to handle it," Mac told him. The agent smiled and handed over his card. "I'll call on my way to back them up."
"Thank you. That's all we could hope for. Homeland is still a bit paranoid but they got the tape as well and are worried that demons are worse than terrorists."
"Over three-quarters are perfectly peaceful," Xander warned. "We will not put up with another government hunting squad."
"We have told them that. They wanted to discuss the ones that weren't. Plus any illegal immigration issues some of them may be causing and other issues." He smirked. "They know it's a minority and know not to start hunting. Even the unit the Finns were working in told them that."
"Are they enjoying their stay in prison?" 2 asked.
"No. We do have them in the same facility since they're married. We're debating if they're going to be in there for life or not." That got a nod. "So for right now, have a good day at work. Have fun in your adopted city. I hope you four can handle the gang and other issues."
"One of them knows if they piss me off I'm turning them all gay," 2 told him, looking totally serious.
"If you can do it, I'm sure they'll be less uptight. Drag queens can be scary and evil, and very tough, but not as bad as the gangs." He left.
Mac looked at them. "If you turn them gay, make them your personal bodyguards when you go clubbing, kids." They all smirked at him. "All right, get back to work tomorrow. Today, find somewhere to live?"
"Sure," 1 agreed. "It'll take a bit to fix it up again. Was everything destroyed?"
"The bomb was in the front of the building," Mac said.
"Totally trashed mine and Faith's room plus the kitchen. Water damage from the sprinklers got the living room area," Wendy told them. "Dawn helped us pack the movies up to see if they were still good. The building's condemned. Fortunately the other two apartments on our side were empty. The one in the back that was full was moving anyway. They were going to renovate the rest of the building to be more stylish and hip."
"Ah." He nodded. "Okay, any ideas?"
"We called the old realtor again, Dawn helped me look. There's a few but we'd have to live in celebrity ville for that."
Faith shuddered. "No thanks."
2 looked at her. "We'll figure it out later tonight." They all nodded. "You sure tomorrow, Mac? You told us today."
"I'm certain. Lindsay was hovering around trying to get Evie again. Danny wanted you two on guard detail." They all nodded. "Since she's certain that you'll be moving Danny in."
They all smirked. "That might be a fun house," Faith said.
Wendy looked at her. "That means we'd be doing more babysitting and diaper changing."
"No thanks," Faith said quickly. "I have no idea how your village did it without wet wipes and pampers." Wendy snickered. "Really."
"Or formula," 1 agreed. "They had cloth diapers."
"And low water," Faith pointed out. They both nodded at that. "Eww."
"It wasn't that bad. Breast fed babies poop less," Wendy told her.
"Still gross." She got up and they walked out, going to find the baby and daddy. "Yo, we taking her all by ourselves to teach her about pizza?"
"Sure, you can teach her about pizza," Danny said with a grin. "I'll come get her after work?"
"Not a problem," 1 assured him, taking the baby to cuddle. "C'mon, drool factory. Let's go get pizza and talk to the realtor." He walked her off. 2 grabbed the carseat from them and followed. The two girls got the diaper bag. They knew not to leave without one. They had done that once. Which is why Faith was certain that babies were evil. She had crapped all over her arm in the park and had called a few pigeons to help with that too. Wendy had to help her replace that whole outfit, including the leather pants.
Xander sat down, looking at the others and baby. "We have three bad choices."
1 grimaced. "All bad?"
"We can...buy a house a bit further out."
"How far out?" Don Flack asked.
"That's too far out for call in," Danny told him.
"You'd have to take the ferry or the train in every day," Don agreed.
"There's some closer but none that she thought would fit us. Mostly smaller family places. No four or five bedrooms open right now. We're in a housing crunch." They all sighed. "There is... a fairly bad choice of a building we can convert. The whole thing is up for sale. About as large as our last one. No individual apartments in it. Someone had tried to break it into apartments and failed, then went bankrupt. So it's going to need a bit of work to finish it off. But it would give us more bedrooms since they wanted to make six apartments per floor so we'd have the extra bathroom we really needed at the last place." They all grimaced. "Or we can live downtown."
"I don't wanna live like a rockstar," 1 complained.
"Me either but it is a safer building. It has a doorman like we had in DC. The apartment is from an heiress who went broke. It's two." 1 grimaced at that. "Yeah, but it's four bedrooms, already has an office area, an updated kitchen that we'd have to suffer through so much stainless steel and granite. Hardly any wood at all. Even the cabinets are frosted glass."
"So a kitchen reno," 1 decided. That got a nod. "Bathrooms?"
"Three. Media room too." They all shook their heads. "Or we can keep looking and stay here for another week."
"We can stay here for another week," Faith offered. "I'll kick in for the rent."
"We're good on that," 1 promised. "I talked to our insurance agent. He said the rent is covered while we're looking because of how the apartment was blown up. The whole cost is covered and we're getting a check soon. It's not like they can say we did it on our own since it was a federal level conspiracy. They talked to Hotch and he told the insurance agent a lot he probably didn't want to hear."
Wendy snickered. "Probably."
"So we'll be okay if we can find somewhere that's decent," Faith said. They all nodded. "Good. Any chance of somewhere like DC's?"
"If we buy you two an apartment of your own," Xander 2 offered. "Then we can move into Trump."
"Eww. I might get infected by the ugly wig he wears," Wendy quipped, cracking the guys up.
"Might happen," 2 agreed. He leaned back, stealing the baby for lap cuddles. "So, princess, what do you think?" She let out a baby snore. "I don't think she wants a vote."
"Probably not," Danny said, stealing her back. She got put into her carrier and it was good for her. "So, these houses?" Xander pulled out the bundled together papers, handing them over.
"If we buy that building, can we put up a doorman from the company's security guards?" Faith asked.
"Probably," 1 said.
"We could hire someone to rent out the larger apartments upstairs, right?" Wendy asked. "That would pay for the renovations to be completed in a few years?"
"Yup," 1 agreed. 2 nodded at that. "Can we take over a floor and let the other one be rented? Or turned into two apartments and let them be rented? Make the bottom floor a work out area or something and the entry?"
2 considered it. "It's a bit bigger than that. We could put a lot more into it than just a gym."
"Len might like that and it'd give them an apartment there," 1 said.
"Maybe. I can talk to the realtor about that tomorrow. It's still going to take at least a month. Or we have to do ours and then the rest of the building."
"Which is a lot of work," 1 agreed. "You're right, all bad choices." 2 nodded. "Nothing easier?"
"No, not really. Some of the houses could be added onto." They all shook their heads. "She's looking further tonight and we'll talk again tomorrow." They all nodded at that. "So, what's on for tonight?"
"I was thinking about the lab," 1 admitted.
"Sure, leave us here," Don said dryly.
"Pippen?" Wendy called. The ELF tank rolled out, pausing beside her. "We need to guard the baby. Her mother is evil." The tank rolled to the carrier. It was one of those that hooked onto the base for the carseat, had a handle, and rocked. Pippen rocked the carrier, making them all smile. "Good job, Pippen." She leaned down to pet it. It set up in front of the door. "Good boy." They all settled in to watch tv and let the tank guard them. The twins pulled out their laptops and got to work designing new things.
"I still wanna make a staff weapon," 1 complained.
"So do it," 2 assured him. "We could probably use one around the office. I saw what's-his-name again."
"Ponytail guy?" Faith asked. They both nodded. "Why?"
"No clue," 2 said. "Pippen shot a few balls at him so he ran off."
"Good!" They went back to watching cartoons. Don and Danny were giving them fond looks but the anime sucked them in too. When Mac and Stella showed up, Pippen opened the door at the knock, tipped his camera up and got out of their way.
"You become more and more good every time I see you, Pippen," Stella said, reaching down to pat him on the turret. Others did so she would. "Good job." The tank shot a ball at someone in the hallway. Stella looked back then at Mac. "It is her." She shut the door. "Pippen, guard the baby." It rolled back to rock the seat some more.
"Gently," Danny warned. Pippen slowed down and the baby was happy too. She was cooing at the tank. "Who did his paint job?"
"The engineer that adopted him," 2 said with a grin for him. "She wanted to do racing stripes but she'll do it in a few weekends because she ran out of paint." Pippen pinched him and went back to rocking the baby. "More gently, Pippen. Like when you played with the nitro." The cradle barely rocked now and it was better.
"I'm not sure I want to know," Mac decided. He sat down, staring at the tv. "Anime?"
"It's pretty interesting," Don admitted. Someone pounded on the door. "Pippen, get the door?" The mini-tank rolled over to answer the door. He held up his badge when the officers walked in. "She stays outside," he said firmly.
"Detective, she said that child is hers?" one asked.
Mac looked over. "Technically, she's the mother but she's also out on bail for being part of a group that kidnaped and nearly killed some federal agents and some CSI, including her as we thought."
"As far as we know, there is no legal order. He has custody since she was in jail," Stella added.
"She said she's with the lab?" the other officer asked.
2 looked up. "No, *we're* with the lab outside of Flack. She's probably fired?" he asked Mac.
"As soon as they found out she was part of it, she was fired," he agreed. "We've had to remove her from the lab before."
"They're doing immoral things around my daughter!" Lindsay said firmly, pointing at them.
"I'm over to get some pity cuddles," Stella said. "Mac is here to check in since the twins' apartment with the two younger ladies got blown up by the same group she's part of. Danny, the father of the baby, and Don Flack came over to keep them company for a bit."
"I see," the officers said. "Are they... having a relationship?"
2 looked at him and held up his ID, corporate and lab. "No comment. It's not really important and even if we were, we wouldn't have her watching us."
"No, I'm sure you wouldn't, sir. Detective Taylor has a fierce reputation for not putting up with bad officers."
1 grinned. "You mean there's no fierce reputation about us yet? Damn, we'll have to work harder. You'll have to actually turn that gang gay, my beloved twin."
2 smirked at him. "Sure. Are you going to handle the gun runner we heard is in town?"
"Oh, so mine," he agreed.
"With me," Mac ordered. "And backup."
"Yes, mommy," he sighed. "Stella, he's taking all my fun."
"We don't want you hurt, Xander."
"It's his turn for the next concussion. I got the last one."
She patted him on the arm. "It'll be okay."
The patrol officers stared at them. "Are they sane?" he asked Flack. They had heard about him.
"Yeah, just playful. We like them being playful instead of when they have to become scary." He shifted some to cross his feet. "We told her no because we think she's still pretty unstable, as proven by this being the second attempt to get her daughter back. When we thought she was taken, she was pregnant, and they were going to blow her and the baby up with the agent and CSI they had captive as well."
"I knew they were going to let me out," she sneered.
"The timer on the bomb was set for the day after you delivered," 2 told her with a sigh at the end. "They weren't going to save you or Evie."
"Her name is Lucy!" she shouted.
"No, her name is Eve Lucy Messer," Danny said firmly. "I told you to find a damn judge who'll listen to your fake sob stories. Otherwise you're not getting near her because you're a danger to her."
"I'm going to take the baby to the bedroom," Wendy said, standing up. "That way she doesn't have to fuss back at the fighting. Is that fine?" she asked the officers.
"Sure," the first one agreed, watching her walk that way. "No fire escape in that room?" he asked Mac, who shrugged and went to look. He came back shaking his head. "Then that's reasonable and kind of her." He looked at the father. "She claims she has a turn over letter," he said, handing it over.
Danny looked at it then shook his head. "There's no judge by that name on the bench." He handed it to Mac.
Mac read it over. "It's also not in the proper format. That's probably her lawyer's order." He handed it back. "We all agreed, for the good of the baby and the father, plus the lab, that she would have to go through a custody hearing. With what she was arrested for, we decided it wasn't a good idea for the safety of the child. So far she has not filed papers or anything else. There has been no formal order, and I'm doubting even the biggest problem judge would be handing her over since she's going to trial in a month on charges that include kidnaping federal agents, a few bombs, and other issues."
"A few of her cohorts have been charged with treason," 2 agreed quietly. He looked up. "I'm sorry, but even if the father was inclined due to being stupidly in love, we'd all step in to help him see reality."
"I can fully understand that," the second officer said. "That's also protective and within his rights," he told Lindsay. "Unless you get a judge's order, he doesn't have to turn over custody since he was given custody when you were in jail."
"They won't be charging me," she sneered. "I want my daughter. Lucy is *mine*. I gave birth to her."
"Can't I just knock her head off?" 1 asked Mac.
"Not unless she threatens you," he ordered. "No matter how much I want to shoot her, I can't until that's true as well." The officers smiled. "We've told her what she'd need to do. She's not dealing with it. I don't care what she wants; that child is being protected. Even if I have to set that mini tank on her for the rest of her life."
The first officer looked down. "It's cute. What can it do?" Pippen shot a ball at Lindsay's head, knocking her out.
2 smirked. "It's a remote surveillance device and also useful in home defense and around the office. He makes a great cup of coffee when we're working."
"The lab's has went all over town to deliver paperwork when we couldn't," 1 agreed. "Transit got really pissed the day he was on the train unescorted but the lab's has a nice nametag on it so they called."
Mac looked down at him. "I'm still hearing about that one."
"It helped an saved us time. That way we didn't have to go allll the way to Harlem," 2 said.
"I wouldn't have let it if I had known."
"Sheldon gave the order, not them," Stella said. "We all thought it was brilliant that he paid a fare to get onto the trains." The boys smiled and nodded.
Mac sighed, shaking his head. "They're inventors as well."
"This is our good deed for life," 1 said with a grin.
"Are you sane?" the second officer asked.
"Often," Don said dryly. "They're just playful."
"They like to snap back at stupid defense attorneys too," Danny added.
"I've heard about that," the second officer admitted. He looked at Lindsay since she was getting back up with a moan. "In light of the new information, yes, you'll have to get an official order from a judge, ma'am. Since you've been incarcerated in one manner or another, he has legal custody and doesn't have to hand the baby over until a judge says so." She huffed off. He looked at the father. "We're sorry about the misunderstanding."
"Not a problem. You're the second one." They both smiled at him. "Just be careful. She's a bit vindictive as well."
"That is something you should be doing."
"No, we'll handle her if she threatens him, the lab, or the baby," 2 assured him with a wicked smirk. "I'll have *fun*."
"Good to know, sir. I don't envy you holding their leashes, Detective." They left.
Wendy came out with the baby. "Here, she pooped."
Danny snickered all the way to change her. "At least we're not bored anymore," Faith decided.
"True," Mac agreed. His phone went off. "Let me go see what he wants. Stella?"
"I'm going to get pity cuddles."
"Fine." He got up and left. The head of the department wanted to see him. "Sir?" he asked as he walked into his office.
"Taylor, what is going on in your lab?"
"Officers trying to revert custody? Two of yours in a battle that was hushed up? Allegations of misconduct by your techs?"
"Remember when CSI Monroe was taken, sir?"
"I do, yes."
"She gave birth while there and was found to be one of them. The baby was given to the father. She's out on bail and is trying to take her back."
"That solves that issue I suppose."
"We've told her that she'll have to go through a custody hearing to do so, sir."
"Flack, myself, and one of my ballistics techs was helping the father when she first showed up. And again earlier, just about an hour ago."
"All right," he said, considering it. "The ballistics techs. I saw film of that. Someone wanted me to know what was possible." Mac nodded at that. "Nothing to say?"
"Those girls have been their friends for years. They've been handling emergencies like that since before they graduated high school."
"Good to know. What about anything like that happening here?"
"There's not that many evil ones left in the city, sir. They'll leave anything that's peaceful alone but anything dangerous was handled quietly. In one case I ended up backing them up since they had to pull out of their company's stores."
"They design weapons."
"Huh. I guess that's what the agent was talking about. How many of the peaceful ones are there in town?"
"Possibly as many as a fifth of our total population. Some won't be counted or they're transient."
"Interesting. So if they're harmless...."
"None of us care, sir."
"The people who wanted them to be anywhere but here?"
"The same group that stole Monroe and others. Also they blew up the twins' apartment the other day. Almost all of them are either dead during that incident they caused or in jail."
"Good." He relaxed. "There's been talk of misconduct by your techs?"
"Which techs and I'll look into it."
"They said the twins don't have the right degrees?"
"No, they went through the proper programs. They did get some credit due to their time in Africa and their shared business. That let them skip a few classes."
"Okay. There's ..." He handed over the papers he had been sent. "That got mailed to me. The source is one I have trusted in the past."
Mac looked at the name then at him. "Sir, she was arrested as part of Wolfram and Hart. They had a biological weapons lab in this city." The Chief gave him a horrified look. "Not to mention a few were taking part in human sacrifices and things. They came after the twins so the twins told the people who look over the shoulders of government contractors. They turned in the lab as well. Almost all of them got arrested. A few that weren't got arrested later for taking one of the twins hostage. This goes back to the prior topic as well since they're the lawyers of the bad things that cause those sort of emergencies."
"Huh. I did not know that. I'm having someone independent look at those allegations."
"As long as they're unbiased, sir, I have no problem with that."
"Good." He smiled. "I'm having someone in the federal labs' board come do it."
"I can work with them. I have worked with many of them in the past."
"Excellent. I know their kind get an internship?"
"Miami. They did theirs under Caine."
"That's a good lab so I doubt they got away with much down there."
"No, sir. They were very helpful as well."
"Wonderful." He sighed. "There's still people pushing to have them in Denver."
"We talked to that team out there. They think the twins are bit too ...forceful for their local problems. Though the team they wanted them to help does appreciate them now that they've met."
"Did you get the notes on the manual's updating needs?"
"I believe I did. Something about the suicide tooth issue?"
"Yes, sir, the twin out there used it."
"Oh! That's why they think they're so forceful?:"
"It was most of it, yes."
"Good. I can understand that. It's not something I'd like to see happen here unless necessary."
"That one did have a poisoned tooth and would have used it. He started out using his hand but didn't want bitten."
"I wouldn't either." He stared at him. "They'll be in tomorrow."
"We know we're open to lab audits at any time, sir."
"Good. Let me know if you're going to have problems with them."
"I doubt I will. They can quote chapter and verse on us, sir. The only thing they might say is that they use their own laptops for running searches and save it on the lab's system because that one is extremely old and slow."
"You don't have money to upgrade that."
"They know, that's why they use their laptops hooked into that computer as a hard drive."
"I suppose that's viable as a solution. Let me know how it goes with that custody thing."
"I doubt most any judge would hand it to her. Kremps maybe but not the others."
"Is she looking at a lot of prison time?"
"Some of them went away for treason, sir."
"Eww. I'm sorry they went that way."
"I think all three of the conspiracies that have happened around them are related somehow. I haven't found out how. Yet."
"During their schooling, some military contractors wanted to hold all higher technology and keep it from everyone. They tried to get the twins' company for that. It led to a few problems but some generals stopped it."
"I remember that."
"The Black Thorne Inc. issue in Miami was one that was related back, slightly, to Wolfram and Hart's. They found they had a failsafe device after Black Thorne tried to invade the lab down there with commandos."
"Oh, damn," he muttered.
"Then Wolfram and Hart got pushy on their behalf. Then this last one."
"Could it be related?"
"We don't think so. Not the first definitely. That appeared to be their draw to serial killers working overtime. The other ones? I'm not sure yet."
"Let me know if you find out."
"I can do that." He left with the notes, heading to talk to most of his lab, which was with the twins and the baby. "We are having a lab audit tomorrow," he said once the mini-tank let him in.
Xander looked at him. "It's off schedule." Mac handed over the notes. "We didn't even work that case that I remember."
His twin looked over his arm. "No, I don't remember them." They turned the pages to read the rest. Then they handed them on.
"I didn't handle those cases," Danny agreed.
"I'll check to see who's listed on the samples," Mac said, heading to the lab to look at that. The preliminary report wasn't going to make anyone happy. By the time the auditor got in, he was tired and edging toward cranky. He looked at her. "Good morning."
"Detective, are those the samples that the Chief was written about?"
"They are. When I went to ask them questions about those cases, it came out that the ones listed hadn't been handled by the ones in the letter." He handed that note over but she had her own copy. He let her see the samples by case. "Only one case was actually attributed to the right tech, and that one was one of Alex Harris' field cases but the sample tehy're talking about wasn't one he collected."
"May I?" She let him move around her and sit down. "I'm not here to be mean."
"I know. If there's something going on I want to know as well."
She did a full audit of all the cases mentioned and then they went to look over each of the labs. Lindsay was trying to get into one but Adam was holding the door shut. "This is..."
"She was fired after being arrested." He pulled her away. "I can't make it clearer, Lindsay. You were fired for breach of ethical guidelines. You do not work here, you are not allowed in any of the labs, even to visit, and you're not welcome in this building." Officers came off the elevator. "Here, take her and escort her out. She's a former employee."
"Yes, sir. Is she the one we were called about?"
"Stella?" he called. She came out of a lab. "Did you call about someone other than her?"
"Just her. Before I ripped her head off. Take her out of my building, guys. Now please." They nodded and dragged her off. "Thank you." She looked at the lab auditor. "Start with mine. Give him time to calm down." She nodded, following Stella into her lab. Then the other labs, saving ballistics for last.
1 looked up. "Gwenny."
"Boys." She smiled. "This is cute. Is that protocol?"
"The machine's a piece of crap," 2 said with a small shrug. "Plus we can search all the databases, including ones that Mac's crew can't. We leave generic set up ones here for the night shift people."
"How slow is it?"
"It's running ME."
"Oh. That's old." She looked at Mac.
"Budget. They've worked around it or we were going to upgrade it this year. The Mayor doesn't want to spend that money."
"If we're going to be here for over ten years, we might upgrade our own labs," 2 told him. "Since apparently we're going to have to renovate some other things to have a home again." He got out of her way. "It's searching."
"Mine's beside me," 1 told her. "That way they can't get screwed up. Always to our left."
She came over to look things over. "You need to clean your exemplar."
"That's later tonight," they assured her. "While we pout about the apartment stuff."
She came out of the firing pen. "It's dirty."
"Maintenance is scary around here and we're just now back," 2 told her.
"I heard. Injuries?"
"Few," they admitted.
"Good. And good work too. I saw a copy of that." She smiled at them then at Mac. "Let's do the morgue and then I can report that whoever sent that information was an idiot." He nodded, leading her out. "Good job with them. They calmed down since we were in classes together."
"I graduated their first year. I TA'd a class they were in."
"Interesting. Did they know that?"
"Yup." She smirked. "Some of the ones on the board are scared of pissing them off."
"They're nice boys. They'd never hurt anyone without cause."
"Some of the people on the board? That is cause." They came off the elevator to shrieking. "I think she's here."
"I think I want a tranquilizer dart." He texted the boys, getting one from 2 a minute later. "Fast acting?"
"Yes. Rhino strength." He went back up to his lab.
Mac walked in and shot her in the back, making her shriek then fall down mid complaint. "How did she get back in?"
"The ME's entrance," Sheldon said. He looked. "The twins have a tranq handgun in their exemplar?"
"Probably in their personal kit." He made sure it was safe then put it into his back waistband. "Call someone to arrest her for trespassing, Sheldon."
"Of course." He grabbed the nearest phone to do that. "Sid?"
"I'm fine. She didn't do more than vent." He smiled at the young woman with Mac. "Is she a new employee? We must apologize for the former employee."
"No, I'm a lab auditor." She smiled. "We met her upstairs trying to get into a lab. So far I've seen no problem with them stopping her. Even by tranquilizer gun." He smiled back at that. "Let me look around and be nosy for your portion of the audit and I'll be out of your hair." She looked around.
1 came in carrying someone. "Mac, she showed up in the hallway outside your office, fell down after starting to cry, and wouldn't wake up."
"I don't usually work on living beings," Sid said.
"I think she's just overcome," Xander told him, putting her down on the table with Sid and Sheldon's help. "I would've called the ambulance people but they're backed up for about an hour right now."
"We can hopefully wake her then," Sid promised, smiling at him. "You couldn't?"
"I'm out of stinky shit. Unless I go dig out one of Evie's diapers from last night." He walked over to Mac, taking his gun back. Mac tried to grab it since he didn't see him. "Easy, big guy. Not like I'm groping." He checked his gun and put it into his own waistband. "No clue who she is. No purse on her, no ID case, nothing that we could find. She started to cry then hit the tiles." He left.
Mac shook his head. "It's never dull."
Sheldon got the snap stick that would help her wake up, getting a moan back.
"You could call an ambulance," the auditor noted.
"They're over an hour behind calls," Sheldon told her. "The ME's van went to help with a few of them." She shuddered. "Even the transport companies are helping today. We'd have her woken up and talking long before then."
"Hopefully," Mac admitted. He looked at the auditor. "It's not routine but sometimes these things happen."
"I'd assume so for most everyone," she agreed with a smile. "Let me get out of your hair. Thank you for your help, Detective." She left, going to report that whoever had sent in those allegations had been wrong and screwed up about who handled which case. Though since so many of them were about the twins, something was clearly going on with them again. Probably another date or wannabe date.
2 walked up to the table his quarry was sitting at, joking with someone. Boy was she going to be pissed. He sat down, looking casually scary. She opened her mouth but his twin sat on her other side, staring at her.
"Boys," she said carefully.
2 pushed over the box from his pocket. "Our boss says we're not allowed to have presents until we're marrying them. Especially not ones that get audits pulled on the lab."
1 snickered a bit. "Though I suppose, with the symbolism of the gifts you sent, you'd more want to be the man in the relationship. Sorry, I only bend over for someone hot." He stared at her. 2 was staring at her.
"How did you know?" she said weakly.
"We are CSI," 2 said, blowing a kiss. "Thank you, but not interested."
"While you're mean, we're going in a badder direction than you could ever be, baby." He kissed the back of her hand. "Don't be mean to Mac again please. Or else *he* gets to come find you with *us* hunting."
She shivered. "I've heard you're very good hunting."
"Our prey is usually caught," he agreed. He smirked at her daughter then back at her. "Then again, you're not really our sort of *usual* prey." He stood up. His twin did the same. "Emily, nice to see you again."
"Have a happy day, Ems," 1 agreed with an evil smirk. "Gotta love it when she can give you the Tiffany's she sent us." They walked out together, earning a few moans from the people at the country club event.
"Mother?" Emily Prentis asked. "You tried to hook my former intern as my new stepfather? They're almost young enough to be my children, Mother."
"They're very good at what they do. I've heard wonderful things about them in bed." She sipped her wine. "Apparently I'm too old. You should try for that."
"Mother, they date serial killers. I've never been that bad." Her mother pouted. "Sorry, but no." She finished her wine and got some more, going to talk to Hotch, who had been forced to be there by politics crawling up his thong, as Reed put it. "My mother was their last gifter."
"Really? I had eliminated her because she wasn't really their type." He sipped his beer. "Are they all right?"
"They came in, oozed sex over her, handed back the presents, pointed out she wasn't evil enough, then slinked off like they were rent boys. Can't Reed straighten them out?"
"Sure, if Spenser wants to marry those two, we'd accept that for him."
She grimaced. "Eww. I thought his mind was turning bad again."
"It is." He finished his beer. "Think we can escape?"
"Not until the speeches. Unless there's an emergency." He pulled out his phone to text someone. They sent a coded signal to their phones. Derek was with a forced date across the room. They all got to flee. Right into Garcia's birthday party trap.
"The sweethearts brought me an ice cream cake," she said, beaming at them. "I didn't know they knew when my birthday was!"
"Aww," Derek said, giving her a hug. "We were going to celebrate tomorrow."
"A girl cannot have too much cake," she assured him. "We can all celebrate tomorrow."
"We can have cake today to celebrate getting out of that event," Hotch offered.
"That's a good reason for cake too," she said, handing out pieces. "Tomorrow's won't have candles, right?"
"You can pluck them off before I light them if you can find them," Derek teased.
"Aww, a fantasy hunt," she teased.
"I'll have to hide them later for you, my goddess." She beamed at him and gave him extra cake.
Spenser walked in and got his own piece. "Zach is doing a lot better. The twins growled at Gretchen, gave her horrible dreams of being their wife, and so she's been less pushy with him recently. He's much happier with it now." He smirked. "Did they drop you by a cake to celebrate stopping Emily's mother?"
"You knew?' she demanded.
"Yup." He grinned. "They asked I not tell you when I figured it out for them. That way they could discourage her from going more naughty as they put it."
"Gee, thanks. Could've warned me. I wouldn't have done more than glare at her."
JJ smiled. "Your mother was the one sending them the stuff from Tiffany?"
"Yes," she sighed. She ate a large bite of cake.
"They gave it back during the event," Hotch said with a smirk. "It'll hopefully keep her discouraged."
"Hopefully," Emily agreed, eating another bite. Garcia gave her more cake with an understanding smile. "I could never be bad girl enough for those two. No matter how much my mother suggested it."
Garcia sighed. "Me either. I'm nearly a saint next to their last girlfriend and we all know I'm not."
Derek smiled at her. "We like you just the way you are, baby girl."
"Thank you, studly." She gave him another piece.
"Hey," Spenser complained, taking a second one. "Your present is in my car."
"Aww. We were going to do this tomorrow."
"Mine's kind of... living?" She hurried out to save whatever he had gotten her. She came back cooing at the simple bowl of fish. A very pretty, colorful fish. "I saw her and I thought of you. She reminded me a lot of your personality. How colorful and yet sweet she is. She's not dangerous at all."
"Aww." She kissed him on the cheek and put her fish on her table in the corner. "There, we'll have a good fish life together, dear." She got her boy Kevin down. He was as close to the twins as she'd get and he was much nicer. Less tough too. Plus less drawn to bad girls. So it worked out well for her to date their cousin.
Kevin leaned in. "I saw my clones. They're more muscled than I am."
"They like artillery," Hotch said.
"I heard." He came in to smile at his girl. "Ooh, pretty."
"Spenser found her and thought her colorful nature was like my sunny personality."
"Aww." He smiled at Spenser then at her. "We'll have to get her a bigger tank later and some special fish food."
"Yes we will." She took a quick kiss and gave him ice cream cake. The others just smiled. When their boss came in, she got to huff off because Hotch told her they didn't want to pollute Emily with her mother going off the deep end and stalking two CSI out of New York. She didn't get cake.
Mac looked up as the twins wobbled in one morning a few months later. They were clearly not fit for work. "Why don't you two go home?"
"Slayer PMS," 2 said bluntly. He flopped down. "Can we nap for an hour and then go to work, boss?"
"Go nap in the break room." They nodded, going to do that. He made a note and went to check when Stella sent a text saying to come check on the twins. He walked in and they were curled up together in a ball of twinness in a corner. "I told them to nap it off. They just got out of the club or something."
"Want me to get Sheldon to pull blood?"
"No, they're fine. Not drunk, just wobbly." She nodded and they left them alone once she had tossed a blanket over them.
Adam walked in and stared, then sighed. "No groping. I probably lost the bet."
1 lifted his head to look at him. "You think too loud."
"Drugged from a new admirer?"
"Nope. Just out of having him arrested." He put his head down. "We don't do more than twin pile at work, Adam."
"If you're sure." He left, going to check the day's arrests. He found it and printed it, bringing it to Stella on his way past her to go somewhere and cackle.
She read it over and huffed. "Mac, they were dating again!" she complained loudly. "They're not out of the club, they're out of arresting them!"
Don walked up the hall grinning. "Vicaro was amused. A lot." He handed her something. "From Messer, who slipped and fell last night because his floor was slick and he had on socks." He went to talk to Mac. Vicaro had moved into one of the two upper apartments in the boys' building. It had worked well. The girls got their own area to hang out in if they wanted and their own rooms. Far enough away that if Faith wanted to get a bit loud she could without them all knowing. Plus two bathrooms for the girls. The boys got a suite between them and it was nicer.
The upstairs had been turned into two nice apartments open to other PD people or fire department people. They had a hired doorman that came out of the minimal fees they paid. The rent was skimpy. The redo of the space had went good. Now Vicaro could look out his window down at Faith's room to leer at her. Or she could leer at him. That worked out well since she was proving she was the best back breaker ever with him recently. Wendy was just pouty because she needed her own man.
Mac walked over to them. "They had them arrested before sex this time?" He took the sheet to read, nodding. "Good of them. Where is Danny? He's late."
She looked in the bag Flack had handed her, handing him the doctor's excuse and keeping the chocolate for herself. "He said he put Evie down, turned around, and slipped in his socks. Thankfully his head didn't hit the radiator that hard. He didn't break anything. He just can't move without shooting pains down his back."
Mac read the excuse, shaking his head. "Better him than the twins I guess. We'll get them up for the second case called." Stella nodded, going to check on them and maybe take pictures of the cuteness. "He couldn't call?" he asked Don.
"Nope. Between the screaming baby and the drugged up, incoherent babbling he's doing, you'd never understand him."
"Wonderful. I'll call him later then. Thank you, Flack."
"Not a problem. Next time I'll have the tank deliver it so it won't be so late. Traffic on the bridge was up again today." He walked off, going back to his desk. It was another drive but that was fine. He'd probably be called to a scene on the way since his boss knew he was delivering things to CSI on his way in.
Mac went to file the excuse and then went to shoo Stella away from the twins. "You're not evil enough for them," he reminded her.
"They're cute," she said with an evil look.
"Yes but then you'll turn evil and you'd hate prison, Stella." He shooed her out. "Boys, go nap in your firing pen instead?" They groaned but got up, taking the blanket with them. Mac followed, helping by laying the blanket on the floor that clearly maintenance had ignored yet again. He got their desk's emergency blanket out to cover them and they were quickly snoring again. He checked, the lab was nearly clear - just a few bullets. They could make up these hour later in the week.
He loved having the twins with him but sometimes they were a bit too naughty. As proven by their too-tight jeans and the sleep cuddling that was making even his mind go 'aww' and want to take them in. Clearly, he needed a vacation once Danny came back.
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