Demon Criminal Investigative Service: Damned If You Do.
Daniel looked up as Mac Taylor walked into his office and shut the door. "Big problems, little problems? Personal problems?" he guessed. "That marriage goof?"
"Xander. He's giggling hysterically. Some girl sent him flowers saying she wouldn't mind being his bad girl."
"Was it Faith? That's her style."
"No, it came from off base. Don got them at the gate since Xander was on the phone with someone in Honduras for some reason." Danny looked confused at that. "No idea."
"He say a name?"
"I'll ask. I think I know who that was." He shook his head. "Okay, so he got flowers thanks to the extreme circumstances on Saturday. How long has he been giggling?"
"Twenty minutes and it's well past the point of hysterical laughs. We're getting to the point we want to sedate him."
"I'll come see." He got up and walked around his desk, following him out. "Xander, was that Benny Ray and the Major's Nick?"
"Yeah, Nick called to say thank you for teaching him how to use a blowdart gun since he had to on a demon." He looked up, wiping off his cheeks. "Need a good laugh?"
"Jack's been busy today so why not." He showed him the card, earning a smile. "That is cute." Xander showed him what had been inside the card, making him stare then at him. "How in the hell?" That was screwed up even on the Jack O'Neill Scale of Unusual Crap That Happens To Trouble Magnets.
"We think the lucky streak came back, boss. Sorry?"
"No, it's all right. You can stay on base for a few days, Xander. Can we track her down?"
"She's in the local college sorority and she's an heiress," Tony told him. "I already did and called the bank. The manager said it is good but she has someone who oversees her accounts so he'll talk to them to see if she meant it as a joke or not. That way he doesn't get charged if she decides to stop payment on it." They shared a look. "No idea what's going on, Danny."
"Is this the only one so far?" Danny asked.
Tony shrugged. "No idea."
"Call the gate, tell them to make sure anything that's coming to Xander hits my desk first," Daniel said. "This is just too strange, even for us, guys."
"Maybe the lucky streak really did come from the pro who wished me luck and future cute women," Xander mumbled, shaking his head. "Can I take a nap?"
"Go take a nap in the infirmary, Xander. Bring the card to House." Xander nodded, doing that with the whole plant. Daniel looked around. "Anyone else get one?"
"Mail hasn't come yet today," Messer reminded him with a grin. "What happened?"
Tony shrugged. "We were running behind because of Old Man Tyler nearly dying. Horatio knows what I know." They all looked at Horatio, who moaned, shaking his head. "How long did the lucky streak last?"
"Ten days," Sam said as he walked in with the plant. "No natural light in the infirmary." He walked off again. Then he came back. "It's not the pro's lucky wish. Dean's had it before. Something about killing certain demons leaves a stink on your skin. It comes out now and then. Dean's had it happen twice and he's only killed one. It's some sort of body flashback. He's down telling House about it." He walked off again.
"Good to know," Daniel decided, going back to his office. When the mail came in three envelopes got dropped on his desk. Only one was his. He looked at the other two. One was from Buffy. He put that one aside. It was hopefully harmless. The other was from a lawyer's office. He opened it and scanned the letter, patting his phone. "House, send Xander up. Sorry, Chase. My office." He hung up. Xander walked in a minute later. "I took the liberty of gathering your mail, just in case."
"Makes sense to me. What's up?" He took the letter from Buffy, looking it over. "She's probably going to nag. What's that one?" Daniel handed it over. He read then grimaced. "I had to take her out. She had the snake thingy."
"I know that. We can help you with that," he promised. Xander nodded at that. "It was a good job getting her out of plain sight before you had to do it." Xander smiled a bit. "Are you okay with that?"
"She was going to die if I had gotten the snake itself."
"From the autopsy Alexx did, that is why she died, not your blow to the symbiot." Xander relaxed and nodded. "So we'll handle it."
"Thanks, Danny. I'm sorry if this screws up my work hours."
"It won't." He smiled. "Go back to work." Xander nodded, going to find more bad things coming up they'd have to watch for. Daniel called the lawyer's office. "May I speak with Mr. Hiro please? Doctor Daniel Jackson, director of DCIS." He was put on hold and transferred over. "Sir, my agent got your letter today." He listened to him. "We did have one done and it was not the blow that killed the thing in her. It was that dying that killed her," he corrected.
"It is policy to kill that one because it can transfer people and without immediate life support the host body will die." He leaned back, frowning when Jack came in. He found the report and tossed it over. "Yes, I'm quite sure of it. The local town has an excellent ME who used to work with the felony crime lab in Miami. She transferred to be with friends out here. She did the autopsy for us and her findings are open to you if you need them. I'm sorry it was necessary but that symbiot has been known to take over masses of people to control them. It's too dangerous to leave in the open."
The lawyer said something. "Most of the time this one is classified and Xander did get her out of plain sight to deal with it. It was in a mall, Mr. Hiro. Considering that symbiot could enslave every man in that building and make them attack people for her, Xander's actions have been ruled reasonable. I can get that autopsy report for you and we did remove the symbiot for her burial. That way it can't taint her anymore and no one has to deal with it." He nodded once, making talking motions with his hand. Jack smirked. "I'm quite sure. I can fax it for you if you want." He sat up to write down a fax number. "I'll get that to you this afternoon. Thank you for being reasonable." He hung up. "Sorry. They're trying to sue Xander for taking out Ammit."
"Not a problem." He sat down to read the report. "You'll have to take out some of the facts." Daniel sighed but called Xander in. "Hey, kid. Take out all the classified mentions of gou'ald?"
"Sure. Am I in trouble?"
"No," Daniel told him. "Go ahead and take that out of your report. Alexx's doesn't mention it, just a snake-like thing that was attached to her brain stem." Xander nodded, going to make a more politically correct version of that report for them. He brought it back in and Daniel went over it, circling a few word choices.
"You didn't circle that last time," Xander pouted. Daniel gave him a look. "Fine. Thank you, Danny." He went to correct it and brought it back, getting a nod. Daniel read it over then faxed it and the autopsy report over. Xander looked at Jack. "Alexx was keeping it in the freezer. We're pretty sure I got it."
"She said you did. We've already picked it up. She vacuum sealed it for us." Xander grinned at that. "You okay?"
Xander nodded. "She came up to me in the mall."
"She wasn't one of the seven?" Danny asked.
"Um, nope." He fled back to his desk.
Daniel shook his head. "He had someone send him an offer to be his bad girl today and a lot of money."
Jack laughed. "That's bad."
"Apparently if you kill one type of demon it does that to you. Sam said Dean had that problem a few times."
Jack shook his head, still grinning. "Better them than me. I couldn't handle worship like that."
"Well, he does have his temple," Daniel said dryly. Jack cracked up at that. "He went to visit it last night and ran into SGA 1. He brought back a letter for Abby and they were more than happy to trade with them since Xander said they were friends."
"Excellent news. Why does their gate go there?"
"Even better." He stood up. "The new guy takes over on New Years Day."
"Not really. They still want me to retire."
"Go to training, Jack. No one else can prepare the kids for their new jobs."
Jack smirked. "I can do that." He clapped Danny on the back. "She left a bit of it attached to the kid's head. Couldn't remove it without taking a major chunk of brain tissue. So it's truly dead. We sure this was Ammit?"
"She said so or so Xander said."
"Even better. Any idea where she came from?"
"That I may. I've been tracking down her jar. It was part of a traveling exhibit of ancient pottery that someone broke into. They think whoever did it was covering up that they had stolen one and replaced it with a copy. They only stole that and the jar." He found the report on his untidy desk and handed it over. "I'm pretty sure she came from there. Running into Xander is what I'm not sure of. If that was planned or not. If she was that close, why not come here since she said she wanted me?"
Jack nodded. "Good point. Thanks, Danny. I'll come visit before I take up training." He walked off. "Harris, good work."
"Thanks, Jack. Is Sheppard okay?"
"Tell him if he found my last backpack of stuff, I want it back. I forgot it because of the celebration."
"I can do that." He headed out to his copter, going back to his own base. Daniel would call if he needed help with the classified part of the report. Not that he blamed the family, he'd try to sue too. It'd make them feel better to get more information. It just wasn't a situation you could win.
Xander looked up from lunch as a guard walked in and handed Daniel something, getting an odd look in his direction for staring. The guard nodded it related to him before leaving.
"Love note?" John called.
Daniel opened it then nodded. "Yup. Dean, you and Xander are wanted to be her loving bunnies." Dean choked. "She included naked pictures." They came over to see and Xander groaned, walking off shaking his head. "Do we know her?"
"One of Anna's teachers," Dean said, shaking his head. "I hate whatever demon gives us this gift."
Daniel smiled, putting the card down. "No money this time."
"Thankfully." He went back to his seat. "Xander, come eat," he called. Xander came back in to finish lunch then slink off to hide in the armory for a bit. Dean shook his head. "He's hiding."
"I'd hide too," John admitted. "Thankfully I never ran into one of those."
"The first time it happened you thought I was off pimping Sammy," Dean said dryly. "It did drive you insane."
John gave him a dirty look. "I couldn't figure out how you came up with nineteen hundred dollars in two hours, Dean. I figured one of you probably needed a long bath."
"No, I was at the club," he said dryly. "No sex that night. Could've used it really." He sipped his water. Faith gave him an odd look. "What?"
"Which demon is this?"
"No idea," Dean admitted. "That week I took out three. Xander took the same type out sometime we think since it's a similar problem."
"Wonderful," Faith sighed, shaking her head. "We'll keep him on base if possible."
"Doesn't seem to help," John pointed out.
"Dean get taken?"
"No, thankfully not," John said, watching Dean shake his head.
"Dean usually draw bad girls?"
"Crap, I forgot about that curse," John muttered. "Sure, keeping him on base would be for the best."
Faith nodded. "Hey, great one? Can we keep X on base for the next few weeks?"
"It should only last for ten days," Dean said at the odd look the agents gave him. "Mine does."
"So, like a herpes outbreak, it's easily dealt with?" House asked.
Dean looked at him. "Don't know, never had any, Doc. You?"
"No. Thankfully I pick clean girls, Dean."
Dean smirked. "At least I treated myself the last time I ran into someone less than tidy."
"True, made my job easier. Thank you for that. Next time get Xander cranberry juice on the way in too."
"I can do that," Sam agreed dryly. "But no, not that easily dealt with from what a friend of Jess's went through every now and then. Avoiding it is often better than trying to deal with it."
John shook his head. "How can you guys talk about such disgusting topics?" he asked.
"It's a good comparison," House said with a smirk.
Chase looked at him. "You need more sleep." House scowled at him for that so he smiled. "Really. It's more rare than an outbreak and Xander has that anti-disease charm on him."
"I need that done to me," Dean sighed.
Faith looked at him. "Could help, yeah."
He smirked back at her. "I usually try for clean girls but you know how it goes in the clubs."
"Not in quite a while. We have to fix that soon before I turn into an uptight princess like B." She ate a bite of lunch while John choked. "Sammy, go clubbing with me this weekend?"
"No, Faith. You might damage my fragile mind by doing something naughty," he teased. "Take Dean. He's more your type."
"True." She smirked at Dean. "You up, D?"
He smirked. "We'll see if I'm up that night." She giggled when John swatted him. "What?"
"No more innuendos, son."
"Thank you!" He shook his head, finishing up so he could take over Xander's hiding spot in the armory. Xander looked up from sharpening a sword. "Dean and Faith are going to drive me nuts."
Xander smiled. "She'll be an interesting daughter-in-law."
"Bite your tongue. Dean's not ready for settling down yet. If so I wouldn't mind her. She's a good girl most of the time, but he's not ready yet."
Xander nodded. "Good point. Right, Faith?"
"Yup." She leaned in. "Does that mean I can tap him now and then?"
John looked confused. "Try it without the teenager speak?" he suggested.
"She wants to boink him regularly," Xander translated with a grin for Faith.
"What I said," she agreed.
"If he doesn't mind, I don't care. You're clean, I like you, I know you, you're not some bar pickup, and I think you'd make a good Winchester some year."
"High praise," she teased.
"Have you seen what Dean dated before?"
"He had a serious girl. She couldn't handle the demon hunting," Xander said quietly.
"I heard. She sounded nice. Still not one I'd choose for him." He looked at her. "If he goofs up too much I'll sell him into slavery to you."
"Oooh, leather Dean," she said with a shiver. "You had to give me that image before we go spar?"
John smiled. "Make him happy. Or else."
"Yes, Papa Smurf." She left to his laughter.
Xander looked up at him. "Most of the time you look more like Papa Scruffy than Papa Smurf."
"Thanks, kid." He patted him on the head. "Can I help?"
"You need to teach Gibbs how to sharpen one."
"Good point." He went to get Gibbs while Xander went back to work. He found a card on his desk and sighed, sitting down to open it. Then he got up to yell at the witch at the local high school. He was not proper fantasy material for a young witch! John watched him go, shaking his head. "That's going to drive him nuts."
"It'd do the same to me if DiNozzo was infected." They went to the armory to look over the usual weapons the slayers used. Jethro didn't know more than the basic thought behind a crossbow. He could sharpen a knife and clean guns so he was good there. Learning how to sharpen swords would be easy enough for him. They'd teach him the others starting now so he had more than a language lesson and nagging from the other Watchers John was going to banish to Cleveland as soon as Giles got more room set up.
Jack looked up as a bag landed in the chair across from his desk then at the colonel who had put that there. "That's for...?"
"Harris at DCIS. For *some* reason Sheppard passed that on."
"Ah." He nodded, putting down his pen. "Harris won this demonic-based D&D style game in Las Vegas. It was made up to help a place get rid of a supposed god who was a bit cranky with the populace. They named him a god of lust instead since he had wenched his way through it a bit," he said dryly. "It's somewhere in the Pegasus galaxy. That's probably stuff he left up there."
"Why are we delivering it?"
"He probably forgot it again after he went back to visit his temple for some stress relief," Jack said honestly. "He's one of Danny Jackson's guys." That got a shudder. "Saw the guy on tv with the dragons?" That got a slow nod. "That's Harris."
"He's pretty nice. He's a lot like a younger me without the military background. He killed a Gou'ald in a mall last weekend." Caldwell walked off shaking his head. That was too strange for him. That was saying a lot considering where he worked. Jack got up to look at the bag, smiling at the contents. The kid had packed weapons. One was shrunken so he took it out, watching the battleaxe expand in his hand. "Nice," he decided, testing an edge. Sharp, heavy, pretty. Probably useful in his line of work. He called Caldwell back. "Drop some stuff off at DCIS?" he suggested, putting the battle axe against the chair.
"Because I have samples for their lab."
"We can't do it?"
"We keep running into demon samples."
"I have some of those from McKay for the lab too."
"To Abby?" He nodded. "She's their head of R&D and their forensic lab. They're friends."
"McKay makes friends?" he asked, looking confused.
"She considers him like a strange brother."
"Is she normal?"
"A bit goth but very nice. Babbles and bouncy, happy with caffeine." Caldwell walked off with the axe and the backpack, going to put it with the stuff that had to go to DCIS. Jack smiled. You learned to appreciate Abby after five minutes with her. McKay had too. Even if he was still scared of the unicorns.
Daniel walked outside like the call had asked him to, looking up as rings came down and left a backpack, a battle axe, and a large rolling case. "Thank you!" he called. The rings disappeared and the ship moved off. He could feel the change in the atmosphere. One of the guards gave him an odd look. "Jack."
"Obviously. Need help?"
"No, that's why I have Xander." He called his desk. "Xander, delivery from SGC for you. Bring Abby too. She has one." He hung up. Within seconds he could hear Abby squealing. He wisely got out of her way. She nearly tripped over the axe but he steadied her. "Easy, that's Xander's."
"I love him!" She gave him a hug, then Xander a hug when he came out. "Thank you!"
"You're welcome." He picked up his stuff, finding a letter on the sidewalk. "Looks like that's to us." She picked it up to open it, giggling at the message for Xander to stay in his own galaxy. "What?" he asked at her tolerant look. "I show up in some of the damndest places. Like Waldo."
Daniel looked at him. "I'll remember that. Go put those up. Unless you have a current case?"
"Taylor stole it."
"He needed work to do too, Xander. This gives you more time to work with the girls."
"Fine, let me go put up my baby and my other weapons." He went to do that.
Abby moaned at the axe. "So pretty."
Xander smirked back at her. "She's my baby the way Dean's car is his. I'll teach you if you want. We have a few smaller ones in the armory."
She shrugged. "Maybe Sunday." She got help moving the cart into the building, taking it up to her lab. She had been a bit bored too. In the case was a letter for her so she settled in to read it first. She had missed her buddies!
Calleigh walked out of the armory, finding John getting coffee. "We have a battle axe?"
He looked at her. "That's Xander's baby. It's been with him through a lot on the hellmouth. He finally got it back from his temple." He went back to stirring in sugar.
"Oh. Are you guys going to be making more bullets soon? I can help."
"Sure, if you want. With all the reloads we should make more hollow tips." She nodded at that. "We'll call." She smiled and walked out. He went back to the armory to look at the battle axe. He saw Gibbs looking at it, one hand tracing the figures carved on the heads. "Xander's baby."
Gibbs pulled back. "It's a strong weapon."
"It is," he agreed. "He used it for many years on patrol. Still trips with it sometimes too." He grinned. "He said it's fussy to sharpen."
"I can see why. It's a softer metal than most of the swords."
"It's a silver mix." He took a sip of his coffee. "Ready to go back to crossbow practice?"
"Sure. Which one is Xander's gun locker, in case I need the strange weapons?" John looked then pointed at one of the larger ones. "Just guns?"
John popped the lock, letting him see the two mini-crossobws done in a high impact resin so it wouldn't set off metal detectors. Three handguns. One case underneath it all. "I'm not sure if that's a take apart rifle or not."
Xander leaned in. "What?"
"No, that's a take apart sword." He came in to show it off. "Took me forever to find one." He grinned. "Won it in a kitten poker game." He put it back and put things back on top of it. "How's your crossbow, Gibbs?"
"We can fix that." He took one of the older ones. "Heavier has less recoil than the lighter ones. That'll help your aim." They took him down to the range so Xander could help him. Since he didn't have anything to do. John brought down his mini crossbow, earning a smirk. "Wanted to try it out?"
"Strap goes around your wrist for stability." He helped John put it on then watched him take aim and let one fly. "Not bad. It aims a bit low." He looked back at Gibbs, who looked amused. "I aim that way usually." He showed him the shoulder stance, the less stiff chest height shot, and then the pulling it up suddenly shot. That one worked better for him but that was fine with them. Gibbs worked on it. "Just think, reusable ammo," he teased.
"How long did it take you to master it?"
Xander shrugged. "Not that long. I learned in a life or death sort of environment though. You learn really fast how to duck claws and blades, not to get staked on your own stake, and figure out what you can and can't do while patrolling. It's real easy to get dead and that violates the first and second rule of Slaying."
Gibbs nodded. "They got told to me. Most of them make sense but I can't agree everyone looks hot with artillery."
Xander grinned. "You'd be surprised. Even John does." John swatted him, earning a grin at him. "You do too."
"Faith does too."
"Faith needs to buy her own artillery."
"Fine." They went back to target practice. "I usually use a more modern interpretation of a crossbow," he told Jethro.
"Giles likes these because he likes older weapons. Hates guns," Xander reminded him.
"I've noticed that. Rona apparently suggested they blast a poltergeist and she said he gave her a horrified look when she did it after he complained it wasn't the slayer way."
Xander snorted. "No, it's not. Stakes are practical weapons, easy to make too, but not the best one for the job at all times. That's how I came to have the battle axe."
John nodded. "I figured it was. Too big for Buffy?"
"Basically. Bottom of the box so I got it anyway. I learned a lot on how to use it." He shrugged. "It's a good weapon to have even if she is fussy to sharpen." He watched Gibbs fire another set of arrows. "You know, they make self loading ones with clips."
John moaned. "Those are expensive and they don't always load right, kiddo."
"Yeah, I tried a few at a store. They're not great weapons. Good enough for the duffer but no."
"How do you speed load?" Gibbs asked.
Xander took his mini crossbow and put it on Gibbs' arm then got his usual band of arrows. "Like this." He took one and loaded it then cocked and fired. Gibbs nodded, working on that weapon for a while. The recoil was worse in the smaller frame but he could load faster. "It can also help you block blows but anything too heavy can snap it."
"Do we get body armor?" Gibbs asked.
"I've been working on the idea of body armor but I can't find a substance thin and strong enough to do it. Benny Ray and I both looked and can't find it."
"Some of the new spider silk applications aren't bad," John admitted. "They won't block a blow with a sword or a bullet but they'll keep scrapes from claws down to a minimum."
"I know. We looked into that on the new thin armor since most demons won't use guns and they're rated high enough for our tastes." Gibbs looked at him. "We spend a lot of time running and even the demons who use guns don't use heavy caliber weapons. They go for concealable and nothing usually over a forty-five or a nine. Street weapons. The armor is rated for those." That got a nod. "Other than that, we're not sure. We're still looking at some of the offshoot dealers and inventors. Can you ask Dean to consider it?"
John gaped. "I forgot Dean likes to tinker."
Xander nodded. "He does. He built me my own EMF meter." He grinned. "The guys at the museum with me wanted to know if it was a PKE."
"I hated that movie," John muttered, shaking his head.
Gibbs snickered. "Too close to the truth?"
"If I had traps like that, I'd make money."
"If you had the portable nuclear accelerator, we'd all make money," Xander said dryly. "Unfortunately the last geek I knew who could make one died in the hellmouth." John gaped. "What? The geek trio in Sunnydale were evil but Andrew could do it if he wanted." Mac came down. "How are you with a crossbow?"
"Barely acceptable." Xander handed him one and went out to gather bolts for them. They went back to target practice. "Xander, they said the battle axe up there is yours?"
"It's my baby. I trained myself in how to use it on patrol."
Mac looked at him. "Did no one train you formally?"
Xander shook his head. "Giles wasn't allowed. There's not supposed to be anyone who hops into the slayers' battles. Pity because I did and dragged Willow. That's why Buffy's still alive."
Gibbs blinked. "No one trained you?"
"No, I learned in an environment that meant I'd be killed if I didn't learn fast. I may not be perfectly correct but I get enough of it from practical experience that I can save my life and the lives of others. I practiced my ass off with the weapons we had when I could get them from the book cage in the library. Giles wasn't thrilled to have us learning much."
"Rupert needs a foot up his ass," John agreed. "They kept telling him he was too normal too."
"He's considered normal?" Gibbs asked.
"According to Buffy." Xander grinned at him. "I'm not a witch or a slayer. Or a Watcher."
"Then what are we considered?"
"Normal, like I am," Xander said. "Even without the possessions or any other ability I may have." He glared at John.
"You're the one who has the visions."
"I was getting them off Sam!" he defended.
"Yeah, right," John said dryly. "No. You're not." Xander frowned at him. "It doesn't work that way, Xander. They're your visions." Xander slowly shook his head. "Yeah. Even the crazy knights and part of the prophecy of the First Evil said so. You have more than those 'just in case' feelings you get now and then to save all our lives. Sorry, kiddo, but it's one of the many reasons hell wants you so badly."
Xander grimaced. "Eww."
"The demon in the urn said four major movers in hell want you," he offered. "You're too much of a wildcard. The best thing is that it'll take something massive to turn you dark."
Xander nodded. "I'd probably come back afterward too. Handle something then turn myself in."
John patted him on the shoulder. "Good boy." Xander grinned. "Though, you need more work with a machete. You're used to longer blades and they're very hard to conceal."
"I know. It's what Giles had."
"Giles has some flaws in his taste in weapons," John said with a smirk.
"True. It's nice the soldier's memories gave me all the weapons stuff."
"It is. Oh, Calleigh wanted to help us make more hollow tipped ones."
"Sure, I don't mind. She probably knows how." His phone went off. "Yup?" he asked, listening to Don Epps tell him about a new problem. "Really?" He listened, frowning as he rested against a dividing wall. He scrunched his face up. "Sure, I can be back tonight, Don. Fax it to me?" He smiled. "Thanks, man. See you tonight." He hung up. "Don Epps just popped up a dealer clan with artillery and guns. Gotta go, guys. John, put mine back." He went to gather what he needed then packed a bag before coming back. "Paul, pick a CSI. We've got a dealer clan with artillery and guns."
"I'm on," Danny Messer said.
Xander looked at him. "No. The type of dealer clans will rip you apart for being in a trio according to the rumor mill. They're uptight that way. Sorry. Next one?" Danny nodded at that.
"That means I'm up," Speed said, grabbing things. "Let me pack; warm up a car, Xander." He nodded, going to do that. "Can we pack a car into the plane?"
"Yes," Daniel called. "That's how the BAU does it. I checked, ours can hold one. It's modified to do that." He came out with forms. "Don sent these?"
"Yup." He smiled and gave him a hug. "I packed nice shirts and jeans. I promise I won't look like a slob. Hug the girls and assure them I'll be okay." They headed out together, picking up Speed on the way.
"I need to get a few more cars," Daniel decided. Tony nodded at that. He gave him a punch on the shoulder. "You good?"
"I'm fine. Let's hope this is riding to the rescue like SWAT does."
"We can only hope." He went to monitor the news feeds from LA while working on his desk full of reports that had to be sent on. Fortunately most people included the name of the case on the top in the header. He really needed to organize this better. Ryan brought in a desk supply catalog, getting a smirk. "Reading minds?"
"Noticed you had spread out again and you were coming out for coffee more often due to the clutter."
"My old office had books everywhere. I had a system."
"We have a library here for that." He walked off, going to work on his own research case. He had marked a set that would look nice in the office.
Danny looked where they had a post-it note and smiled, getting online to order that from his salary. It was a good set and it'd give him another filing cabinet too. He decided he was going to move team cases to their own cabinet since they were thicker files. They'd even deliver it in two days. He added an extra bookcase too, just in case he wanted to bring some of his artifacts here. Then he went back to watching the LA news feed. If Epps had called, it was bad.
Xander walked up to the SWAT van, tapping someone on the shoulder. He had been giving orders, he was in charge. "DCIS."
The man turned to look at him. "Why are you here?" he demanded.
"Because the blue skinned ones are our job. They're a dealer clan of demons. We got intel this morning that they've been dealing weapons." That got a groan. "Up to and including artillery." That got a deeper moan. "I'm also someone they're going to respect. If they don't, they're going to be sorry."
He nodded once. "How trained are you?"
"I trained with the slayers and I worked beside there for over seven years. I'm over my two-year mark at DCIS."
He looked at him. "Weapons?"
"I'm our gun god on base," he said honestly. That got a smirk. "I am. Our last armory master quit if you know someone who could do the job." He grinned. "We're recruiting for that spot."
"We'll see." He looked him over. "No armor?"
"They won't shoot at me." He handed off his backpack. "Hold that." He took the tactical sound equipment and put it on like a pro. "Which one is your target? The one with the rifle or the one with the concealed grenades?" They all stared. "He's not naturally that lumpy, guys."
"Any and all. We want them out of there. They supposedly have a hostage."
"Good enough," Xander said. "Anyone on site?"
"No. Nearby, not in yet," the head guy said.
Xander nodded. "Thanks, big guy." He walked around the van, pausing to put his hands on his hips and glare. "What the fuck are you doing!" he shouted. The demons jumped and tried to hide. "Oh, no! They called me out of cleaning the armory to come see you guys." He walked that way, kicking in the door. "Put it down, Junior, before I make you fuck it," he told the human in there. He dropped his weapon. He glared at the one with grenades. "Are you pregnant? If not and those grenades go off, we'll be having a discussion that'll amuse the Powers forever and ever." That one took off his vest of grenades. Xander looked at the head of the clan. "Did you think I was bored?"
"Yes," he said. He smirked. "Why call you here for our transaction?"
"I heard my name whispered in fear if I found out you were dealing weapons," he shot back.
"Pity you did. The girls will not be pleased to bury you."
"Oh, right," he snorted. "Faith couldn't kill me. Anya couldn't kill me and she was stronger than you. What makes you think you can do what they couldn't?"
"We have one you protect," he sneered, standing up.
Xander stared at him. "Hope the Goddess helps you if you hurt Crissy." The demon sneered. Xander lunged and snapped his neck on him then he dusted off his hands. "Anyone else?" They all backed off. "I want the weapons, I want the hostages, and I want them now!" he finished in a shout "Before I lose what little is left of my temper and let the hyena out, boys and girls." They screamed and fled into the arms of SWAT. Xander waved them inside to check the building with him. "Crissy," he sighed.
"I'm okay. They didn't touch me, Xander. They only pounced and dragged me in here. I'm dizzy from the baby."
"Good! It means I don't have to go on a rampage." He gave her a hug. "Go with the nice paramedics and I'll buy ice cream before I go back to base." She nodded, letting the officer help her out. He looked around and found the hidden doorway to the storeroom. He sighed when he ran into multiple portals, not liking this. He checked each one. They were full. He came out and found a confused looking head of SWAT. "Portals."
To him they looked like drying laundry. "Uh-huh." Xander pointed so he stepped through one then came out looking a bit shaky. "They were going to do what with this?"
"I'm going to find out," he promised. "For right now, we pack them this way," he ordered calmly, showing him how to do it. "Do not rip them. Each crystal goes with each sheet." That got a nod and he pulled people to do that while Xander went to glare at the demons. "Why did we have eight portals full of guns?" They sneered at him. "Paul, go help find the other hidden areas with Speed please? I don't think I found them all." They went in to help. He stared at them. "You had to raise my temper this way?" he demanded to the one who looked like he was in charge. "Who's the buyer, boys and girls?"
"We don't have to speak," one said.
Xander nodded. "That's true but if you don't I get to hunt them down like I used to," he said with a cold, cruel smirk. "Human or not." They shuddered and looked away. "If you value their business it'll go on without them I'm sure. It usually does." He stepped closer to one of the females. "You're with egg. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life away from it?" he asked in a cold voice. She shook her head, staring at the ground. "Then who was going to buy all that and where do I find the records?"
"Our home," she whimpered, backing away with a flinch.
"Which is where?" Xander asked calmly. "I won't hit you."
"We will," one sneered. "Traitor."
Xander slapped that one, making him scream. "Shut up, rat bait." They shrank back. "That's right, we were with the girls in Cleveland and one of the clan cells is full of rat demons." They all moaned. "Now, where is the clan home?" One whimpered something. "Do I have to ask Angel?" he demanded. "He doesn't want to see me coming either."
Connor coughed from the other side of the demons. "They live out toward the valley, Xander." That got a smirk. "Crissy?"
"ER, just in case. She said they didn't hurt her."
"Good! I'd hate to go badass on them." He stared at them. "DCIS or us, girls." One of the males sneered. "If you got caught, you're nothing but a breeder," he assured him, sneering back. "We can make sure of it. Rosenburg can do that." That demon shrank back. "I can do it with my knives." He stepped closer. "Where is the exact address of the rest of the weapons and the money?"
"And the files," Xander added. He crossed his arms over his chest. "I'm not this patient." The demons started to babble. Mostly the same address. Xander wrote them all down and nodded at the officers. "They're going back to the DCIS prison," he said. "They're demons and you don't want them."
"No, we don't. How are you getting them there?"
Paul came out. "Let Speed take them. We found three more, Xander."
"Sheet portals." He looked at the address. "Two of those are on the suspected drug ring warehouse list."
"Cool beans," he said with a smirk. "Connor, are you able to watch them for us until Dawn gets out of school?"
"Not an issue. We can take them back to the hotel?"
Xander nodded. "Works for me."
"Then we can watch them for you guys. Because you scare me, Xander."
Xander grinned. "You say the sweetest things," he cooed, pinching his cheek, getting swatted at for it with a scowl. "It has nothing on the seven bad girls who tried to take us hostage in a mall. Two with bombs."
"Together?" he asked hopefully.
"Damn," Connor said, shaking his head quickly. "You do draw the bad things, Xander. Can I have help getting them moved?"
"Oh, hell yes," the head of SWAT ordered as he came over. "Our jail?"
"Ours," Xander said. "They're strong enough to break the lighter bars they just started to install. You can hold them if you want."
He looked at the demons. "Wasn't there one more?" Xander pulled him up by his top fin. "Hiding?"
"He's going to turn me into a girl!" he shouted. Xander gave him an odd look, making him whimper. "Please, I'll be good. You and the Destroyer will not have to hurt me."
"Good. We like that," Xander agreed. He looked at the head of SWAT. "Up to you. Connor's people can watch them for us if you want. I know some people can't handle demons."
He considered it. "We'll help. We're used to strange stuff."
"No, we'll need backup," Xander said, handing over the list. "This is where the records and the rest of their crap is. The clan home probably has kiddies. The others I have no idea."
He looked it over. "We can help with that." He smirked at him. "You're not bad, kid."
Xander smirked. "I had to learn somewhere being bad meant death." He shrugged. "That's why I scare them." He watched Connor and a few officers take the demons off to be confined for a while. He called his boss. "Danny, need a warrant for three locations. The dealer clan was in a stand-off when we got here. We have eleven portals here and three more locations to look for evidence." He listened, then read off the addresses to their judge. "Please. I'm with LA SWAT commander Hondo." He nodded. "That'll work, thank you, Judge. In custody waiting on Dawn to get out of school. Connor has them with some local officers. Thanks. So far about twenty. One's scared to death because Connor told him he was going to castrate him and turn him into a breeder." He smiled. "No, the information didn't come from him. I agreed Rosenburg could do that spell and they all shouted where things were while he cowered behind a woman. Thank you, with egg." He hung up. "There we go. It'll be faxed over within minutes."
Hondo smirked. "Not bad."
"Our own judge. It helps." He shrugged, handing back the sound equipment. "Thanks for the lending. Paul, Speed, we done?"
"Nearly," Speed called back. He came out carrying a few bags. "Each one with the crystal. You're going to be counting forever," he complained.
"Yup." They waited on Paul, who was talking with a coworker SWAT had called in. They finally came out. "We good, Paul?"
"Top to bottom, Xander. No more hidden areas; the pendant Dawn made me to detect magic didn't go off."
"Good. We have three spots and warrants coming in." They nodded. He looked at the spare ATF agent. "Up to them. It's their city. We'll share the haul or not."
"Depends on what they have," he said calmly.
Xander nodded. "It'll take me a while to count with Duquesne and Taylor. Benny Ray retired this year."
He nodded. "We can lend you one, Harris."
"That's fine. We don't mind help." They got into the truck and went to pick up the warrants and pull up plans for those buildings if they could. They could for two on the watch list. One of the demons was brought back to point out where things were. One good glare from everyone and he caved easily enough.
Paul got off the plane that night then turned to help Speed down. "You still good?"
"It's only a bruise, Paul. I've had them before." He looked at Xander, who was getting the SUV out of the plane, then at him. "He had to."
"He didn't. We had backup."
"Who was over a block away, Paul, with some of them getting away to do it again. We had to. You good with that?"
"No." He walked Speed to the SUV then did a last check of the plane before waving at their pilot that they were clear. He got into the back of the SUV, watching Xander check his grazes. "You didn't have to rush, Xander."
Xander looked back at him. "We'll put this before the assault trained people on base, Paul. You can ask Taylor and Horatio." That got a nod. Though Xander knew he was right. The SWAT guys said he was right when Paul first complained. Even though one of them got grazed. It had been the only way to break that stand-off situation. He drove them back to base, thinking the whole way. He had done his report on the plane. The other guys would be in tomorrow. They parked and carried the evidence bags into the armory, nodding at John. "Evidence, don't touch. We're doing the count and all that over the next week with Feds and LA SWAT."
"That's fine, guys." He pointed at the evidence locker. "I made one of the girls on punishment clean it and kill the mouse." They put it in there and locked it with Xander's lab and vault code. Then they left to let Paul have his say in front of Taylor and Horatio. They both agreed with Xander. Though Horatio did pull Speed over to check him for injuries once he heard it had been a problem bust. The bruise got a moan from Eric.
"I'm fine," Speed told him. "Really." He got free and sat down, pulling back on his t- shirt. "Xander got us vests from them. Yell at him for going into the first stand-off without one on."
Xander shrugged. "I knew they weren't going to hurt me. They're scared to death of me. Speaking of, we did get them sent back, right?" Everyone nodded. They had spent the afternoon logging in new prisoners with the guards. "The one that's pregnant has her own cell?"
"And the sniffling one," Don said with a smirk. "What did you say?"
"Connor promised to turn him into a breeder one way or another when he sneered at the pregnant one."
"Ah. Castration fears. Good work."
"He only cowered but he quit trying to force her to shut up." He looked at Paul. "Tell them the rest." Daniel walked in. "Have the report on Speed's laptop, boss. Want it before or after the count?"
"After." He sat down to listen to Paul complain about what else had happened. He glared at Xander for the no vest during the first incident issue but otherwise he agreed. "It sounds more like you're used to a controlled, mass team effort whereas most of Xander's training is from a small strike force or team standpoint, Paul. When you only have five people or so, you do things differently than having the whole agency at your back." Paul slumped at that, nodding a bit. "The fact is that SWAT uses the same methods so he adapted his strategy to what they could do and were trained to do."
Paul nodded. "Maybe I should switch teams for a bit."
"I'll miss you at my back," Xander said quietly, looking at him. "You're good backup and you help me a lot, Paul." That got a smile and they shook hands. "Am I keeping Speed?"
"No," Horatio said. "I want him on ours. He's not a great weapons person and you seem to deal with them a lot," he said at Xander's amused look. "You can have Calleigh."
"Sure, I'll take Calleigh but I will warn you that I do deal in the worst of the worst cases. If it's a slavery ring it goes to Tony. If it's worse than that I get it."
"I can handle that."
"Cool. We'll work on training you to put up with my insanity tomorrow. Ask Ryan, I'm mean." He looked at Daniel. "We have one of the ATF guys and one of the SWAT guys coming to help us with the count. We have ninety-two portals with guns and two with money, plus three with files." Daniel moaned. "They're probably going to want the files."
"I'll have the copier moved to wherever we're doing the count," he decided. Xander grinned. "Remember how much room our storage area has, Xander."
"I know but damn it, I covet them."
Daniel smirked. "I know. We'll see if we can keep some so you can play with the artillery," he teased. Xander grinned back. "Calleigh can help you guys count since she's used to the job."
"I asked the SWAT guy to suggest an arms master for us. I figured he'd know someone."
"I didn't think about that," Mac admitted. "I can ask ours if he doesn't." That got a nod and Xander looked around. "Go rest, kid. You look tired." Xander nodded, heading to get a snack and do that. Mac shook his head. "You okay, Paul?"
"Not a scratch on me thanks to Xander. He's got two or three small grazes and a few vest bruises. Speed followed him to get his." He shrugged. "Maybe I'm too sane to be here."
Danny smiled. "If so, you can go back to the ATF or another agency without penalty, Paul. It's in the contract." That got a nod and he gave him a wrist squeeze. "Go rest and shower. You look tired too." He nodded, going to do that. He looked at Speed. "Need to see the docs?"
"It's a bruise. I've had others. Not even bruised ribs. The vests they have are thicker than ours in Miami."
"Good. We should look into body armor."
"Xander is for demon matters," John said from his corner. "He's still trying to find a good one for the girls and watchers."
"He'll tell me then. Have someone make sure he doesn't need stitches. You know how Xander is."
"I texted Sammy." He smirked. "If he can't out stubborn him, the girls will." That got a laugh from the guys who had seen the girls in fussing over something mode. They watched as Sam dragged Xander to the main building and the infirmary. "See?" They all smiled and went back to their movie. It was a good bonding night.
The ATF guy walked into the armory first, whistling. "This is nice," he decided.
"It's a bit cramped," Xander said, shrugging a bit one-sidedly. "We manage. We've got them locked in the evidence locker. If they've been moved I get to kill someone."
"I heard you could," the SWAT commander said as he and one of his guys came in. Xander moved to open the vault and frowned. "Problems?"
"I think we're missing one." He called Calleigh down. "Was anyone in here?"
"I have one out to start the count in the evidence room next door," she told him, getting a nod. "I figured I'd have to help since it looks like most of it's artillery."
"Sure," the SWAT commander said. "Who're you?"
"Calleigh Duquesne, formerly of Miami's felony crime lab in ballistics." She held out a hand.
"Smart, talented, and pretty." He shook her hand. "Hondo, this is Street. That's an ATF agent I don't know because he's not that friendly."
The agent looked at him. "I'm Paul Mercer's former partner, ma'am." He shook her hand. "Your reputation proceeds you. Of course you can help us with the count."
She smiled. "Good. Paul just switched teams with me since Xander has so many gun crimes." She let them carry over a few more of the bags to go through. "I already put down log sheets and pens, boys. Xander, why won't it work for me? I've been trying to figure it out for the last half hour."
He looked then turned the crystal over until it fired. "It's specifically set for each portal." She walked in and moaned so he stuck his head in. "Back out here. Let's retune it." He did that and it fired up to the correct one this time, making her let out a happier moan. "Are we teaming up to do the count?" he asked. "We can get Paul down to help," he offered the ATF agent.
"Sure, works for me." Xander nodded and called him down. "Fortunately I do know guns. That was never Paul's strong suit." Paul strolled in. "Morning."
"Yes it is." He adjusted the portal and checked then again, getting the real one. "That's cute of them."
"Like the trunks in Harry Potter," Xander said happily. "We had a portal maker who reads. That's not that usual. Usually they study their navels until someone pays them." He looked at the SWAT guys, putting up theirs for them. "They're really handy. We take ours on field calls." He looked at them. "Want to split the teams or not?"
"Go ahead and I'll work with her," Hondo decided, going to work with Calleigh.
Xander and the other guy walked into theirs. The guy whistled, listening to it echo. Xander grinned. "Exactly. Pity most of it'll be destroyed." They got to work on the shelf nearest the door and worked their way out to the sides. Xander finally got hungry. "You nearly done?" he called.
"Nope. Lunch or a snack?"
"That'll work," he agreed. They marked their spots with their clipboards and walked out to get a snack and come back. They found the shelves had rearranged themselves but they had marked shelving units so that was all right with them they guessed. As long as the count matched the number of weapons and they were sure. They finished up and came out in time for dinner, finding the others waiting. "If you go in wanting to get back to work, your work comes to you," Street told them.
"I noticed that," Calleigh said.
Xander shrugged. "I didn't. The only times I use them I'm grabbing whatever works and is closest." They all smiled at that. "Really." They refolded theirs and rebagged it, putting it aside. Street wrote the bag number on the forms then hole punched them and put them into the notebook they were using to collate. "Okay." He checked his watch. "It's two and the snack we had at ten is leaving me starving. The caf should still have something since the girls are in school. Food?" They nodded and went to eat then come back to work. Fortunately a few of the new apartments were done so they could put them up for however long this was going to take. Hondo faxed back the list they had so far. His boss spluttered on his message back - it had spit marks. Told him to stay and figure out how they had done it. Xander shrugged. "Take one."
"We don't need a hundred of them." He grinned. "By the way, the girls will hit on you, be nice back or they'll pout or beat your ass." They all nodded and Paul walked his partner off whispering about the girls. Xander shook his head and led the others back to the caf. "Got six done, boss," he called as he walked in.
"Out of nearly ninety?" he asked.
"Closer to a hundred counting the non-weapon ones."
Daniel moaned. "That's a bad average."
"I can help," Mac offered. "Gibbs and I can."
"They're nearly never ending," Calleigh warned. "It took us four hours as a pair to do one of them."
Horatio moaned. "Who were they selling to?"
"All the files and all their money is in some of the portals," Xander said. "Also, check to make sure they weren't using the new spaces they had set up." That got a moan from Gibbs. "Sorry, guys, like the HP trunks in some cases."
"I can help find the files. I marked them a certain way," Speed said. That got a brighter smile from the ATF.
"The copier's been moved down to that room," Daniel agreed. "If we need to, I might be able to borrow some of Jack's armory guys."
"If we have to, I can call our brethren and they will know about weapons," the ATF agent assured him.
"Sure, that'll work," Daniel decided. "We have two spare apartments with all you guys here so tell them they'll have to bunk together." They nodded at that. Hondo called, the ATF agent called. Calleigh called Bobby up from Las Vegas. That was the closer destruction site and he was good, met up to her standards and beyond. She'd even let him have her couch while he helped. They agreed it was fine and ate dinner before tackling another set of them with Speed sorting out the files and money ones so other people could help.
"Holy God, not even Las Vegas brings in this much money a year," Ryan complained in one of the money ones, earning a few laughs. "It's not banded either!"
"Counting machine is in the armory vault," Xander called into the portal. Ryan went to get it and some gloves since it looked like it might have some drug residue. Xander went to his own and moaned in pleasure, stroking the nearest handgun. "Poor baby."
Street smiled. "You can probably keep some of them."
"Maybe. We're running short on agent guns." He got his clipboard from the table and came back to start work. Serial numbers, make, model, and caliber if he could name it. If not, he had to ask Street but he only had a few of those. He heard someone clear their throat from the opening. He leaned around a case. "You are?"
"Bobby Dawson, LVPD crime lab, ballistics," he said with a soft accent and a smile. "Calleigh called."
"Jump in, dude," Xander assured him. "That's a high enough recommendation for us."
He came in. "Calleigh said to help you guys since she didn't hear moans of complaint."
"Mostly handguns. We'll be done with this one pretty soon," Street said. "I only have two more cabinets. Help Xander." Xander nodded at that and let Bobby help him. When they were done, they tested to find another area, finding a full one. They went in there to sort that one out, making Bobby moan and nearly fall to his knees in pleasure. "I know," Street said smugly. "This is our third set today." They marked the forms to start the new portal section and got to work. Bobby got his own clipboard and started on the far wall on Xander's side. Xander and he shared a look. "It'd be mean to not let him pet the weapons," he agreed.
"I know. I do the same thing." He got back to work. Most of these he knew. Some had it written on them. A few he didn't and had to ask Bobby but that was fine. Bobby was more than happy to tell him the difference between a few of the models. "Want a job?" Xander asked. "We're looking for an armory master."
"Tony offered me once but I still love my lab, Xander. Sorry."
"That's okay." They got back to work. Xander was starting to pout about all the toys they wouldn't get to keep. Street too. Someone stuck their head in. "We're still in here," Xander called when he heard the whistle.
"It's midnight, guys. Want to pack it in?"
"No," they called in unison.
"Okay then," Tony decided, going to tell the others they were still working on it. Calleigh sighed and went to complain but Bobby had her petting a few things within minutes. It was good for her to remember why she did ballistics.
Xander walked into breakfast the next morning. "Hey, boss."
"Xander, did you get any sleep?"
"Four hours on the table." He grinned. "I'm good to go again with some coffee." He got himself some and got handed a card. "What's this?"
"Another of the psycho posse," Dean said dryly. "Came to us via Dad. They threw it over the fence and ran."
"Why?" He sat down to sip his coffee and look at the letter. He ignored the check, reading her words of desire, want, and please come sex me up. He shook his head, handing it to Dean. "I don't want that."
Dean looked at the check and choked. "Xander," he wheezed. John pounded on his back. "Dude," he said, waving it.
John took it to look at and paled. "I've never seen a paycheck that big."
Xander looked at him. "If I take it that means I'm going to have to go sex her up and I don't know her."
"The sheriff does," John said smugly. "She decided you could only like bad girls so she went to break into the pawn shop last night." Xander put his head down with a groan. "Five more days, Xander."
"Damn me," he muttered.
"I might be able to do that for you," Sam quipped, earning a dirty look from his father. "If he wants."
Xander looked at him. "I figure I'm already halfway there. Why make them have happies already? Let them anticipate it a bit longer," he shot back.
Sam laughed, taking the check, which made him choke. "Damn. I could start a scholarship with this."
"Go sleep with her," Xander said.
"Not my type probably." He carefully went to hand it to Daniel, who moaned at that. "Xander said he didn't want it because he'd have to sex her up."
Daniel looked at him. "Not really. She killed herself in her cell when the deputies taunted her about not having him behind bars." Xander looked over at him. "She did."
"Then that should go back to her estate," Xander told him.
"We'll see what we can do," Daniel promised, shaking his head as he put the check into his pocket. At least he had never been hit with this curse. He was so proud of not being hit with this curse. Jack either because it would've driven Hammond nuts. More nuts than usual anyway.
Daniel walked into Xander's current portal. "Bad news, Xander." He flinched. "She left a suicide note saying she wanted you to have the money no matter what. She has no other family. I talked to the sheriff and she was slightly deranged."
"Duh," Street said dryly.
Daniel shot him a look then looked at Xander again. "So it's yours."
"I don't want it," he whined.
"Then use it to hype the girls' college fund, Xander."
"Yes, Daniel. Did you put it into the bank account you had started for me?"
"Yes. Because you mess up the bookkeeping around here if I don't." He pinched him on the arm. "House thinks he found a replacement."
"Do I have to beat him?"
"We're not sure yet." He smirked. "Where's the other one?"
"I sent it back."
"Fine. That's a good idea. Dean did too. Speaking of, need more hands to finish this one? It's been eight hours."
Xander looked around then nodded. "Yeah, we could use it."
"I'll let them know." He walked out and looked at Calleigh. "They're on trunk level four of this current portal and look like they've barely started. It's been eight hours, Calleigh."
"Let me get dinner and I'll help." He nodded at that, leaving her alone. She looked in. "Eight hours?"
"This is the fourth stuffed portal," Street said. "There's at least another two settings on the crystal from this morning's test. We're going to be here all night."
"Let me have dinner. I'll be back."
"Bring us food?" Xander pleaded. "Before the girls decide I'm going to die of starvation and pounce? They'll drag us in there in chains and we don't need that tonight."
"I can do that," she agreed, going to tell the cook that and get her own dinner. "Guys, Xander and Street are in their same portal. They're on the fourth setting of the crystal and have two more."
"Fuck," Hondo muttered. "All artillery?"
"This one looks like it." She sat across from him. "No idea. They're just getting started on this one."
"We'll bring them dinner and dive in to help." He shook his head, getting back to eating. He'd need it to keep going. Bobby came over to sit and talk with her about what they'd found so far. "You found a SCUD system?" he asked, nearly choking.
"Three hours ago," Calleigh agreed.
"What were they planning? World War three *and* four?"
"With demons, it's possible this was part of the spring apocalypse," she admitted. "We have no idea what this spring's is going to be but we think it'll be bad."
He whimpered. "Damn."
"Yeah, but Xander handles those."
He gave her a look. "Aren't you on his team now?" She went a bit pale then nodded. "Wear body armor."
"I plan on it." She dug in, getting seconds and handing Bobby more. "We need to bring them dinner too." They nodded and finished up so they could bring the poor guys dinner. They dug in while the others spelled them on the weapons count. By midnight they were done with that portal system. It had slowed the work but that was fine. It had to be done.
Xander came out of the last one, getting a back pat from John. "Did I miss something important?"
"Parent teacher conference. I told her you were involved on a case. She frowned but said she'd talk to you when you were done."
"No, not bad. Annabelle's still bored."
"Did we point out she likes science?"
"I did and we're going to rearrange her schedule again." That got a grin. "You done?"
"Two more things," he said, going to put his forms with the other ones in the notebook, then close down that portal once they were sure it was empty of their stuff. Then he flopped down. "How in the hell are we destroying all this?" he asked.
"Calleigh, the ATF guys, and Bobby have been going over that while Hondo makes plans for transport."
"Can Dawn help?"
"She can and volunteered. He's not sure how she can help. Are we unloading them or simply dumping the portals in?"
"I'm not sure if you do it that way that someone can't find a new way in."
"How likely is it?" Street asked.
Xander shrugged. "No idea." That got a nod. "Ask Dawn to ask her teachers or to ask Angel if he can ask someone. That might get a faster answer." He went to do that while Xander put his feet up. "Anything else I missed?"
"Anna's birthday?" he said patiently.
"I snuck in and left her present on her bed," he admitted.
"She got it. She had to rescue it from Faith the next morning." That got a grin. Faith and Anna teased each other mercilessly. "She adored it and she'll hug you later."
"That works for me." He checked his watch. "Two days until Halloween. Any idea if we're having problems?"
"We think so but we're not sure what," he admitted. "Something pretty minor we heard from Angel."
"Okay. Do we need something?"
"Patience. He said something about the traditional meaning. I haven't tried to decode it all yet. Morgan gave it in California College Girl speak."
"The veil's the thinnest and the dead come back to check on their loved ones," Xander said quietly. "So we'll see ghosts."
"I'll tell the boys you think it'll be that." Xander nodded, standing up. "You okay?"
"I slept in that one last night." That got a nod. "I need coffee badly." John laughed, letting him get some caffeine before he went to the office. "We're done," he said proudly. "And I got an update from John." He sipped his coffee, taking the open seat so he could put his feet up on Danny's plant stand. That got an odd look. "I slept in there. I deserve it."
"Don't kill my plants, Xander." Xander nodded. "Can Dawn move them?"
"She did the one we handed over to LA ATF last year." He took another drink, looking at the ATF guys. "Where are we dumping them?"
"Do we have to unload them?"
"I'm not certain that someone can't make a backdoor even if you destroy the sheet," Xander admitted. "Did we call Angel?"
"I asked Wesley and Thomas. Wesley said he would. Thomas said there's two books. He'll look and we'll know by tonight." Xander nodded with a yawn. "You okay?" he teased.
"Fine. I'll nap tonight in my own bed. It'll be more comfortable than a shelf." Street snickered. "I know I could've pulled the case out to nap on but it was lumpy and harder." He looked over at Gibbs as he came in. "Did the paperwork give anything?"
"Another six points that the ATF took over since they were human and one demon DiNozzo's team went to take down. They taunted him that he was pretending to be you. Tony smarted back to tell them weren't worthy of you; they pouted all the way to the prison. Jackson, big whig pulling up to the gate a minute ago. Government plates."
"What now?" he complained, calling down there. "Who was it?" He smiled. "That's fine. I am there with everyone else." He hung up. "Your boss," he told the ATF agent. He called Thomas. "Any idea yet on the backdoor?" He nodded. "Thanks." He hung up. "He read a section to Angel who asked one of them and said they could make a back door to any portal but that would be considered poaching a client. He asked if it would matter if they were destroyed by the government and the demon said no but it was more likely they'd do it since it would be considered a new client."
"So we have to unload them," Hondo said. Xander nodded. "Do you guys do this a lot?"
"One big dealing case a year it seems," Xander admitted, finishing his coffee. An older man stomped in. "Hey. How are we sorting them out? We're about out of spare agent weapons," he told Daniel.
"None of the ones we ran the serial number on are used or stolen. That means we can confiscate some for that purpose and our apocalypse vault."
"We've only taken out four things and we can fit a total of ten more cases in there. We definitely don't need the SCUD system."
"You found one of those?" the head of the ATF demanded.
Xander looked at him and nodded. "Yeah and the CSI who looked it over thinks it'll work too." The man moaned, sliding into the seat his agent vacated. "We need to input the log pages so it can be copied into the file."
"Already done. I had Abby scan them in," Gibbs told him. Xander grinned at him. "It'll print fine and the originals can come back after we've sorted and destroyed." That got a group of nods. "Do you need help with that part? Taylor and Caine know how dump runs go."
"Could," Daniel admitted. "Usually we portal to an ATF office and hand it over." The head of the ATF gave him an odd look.
"I did the last time, to the LA office," Xander agreed, putting his cup down beside him. He carefully removed his feet from the plant stand and turned his chair around, leaning over with a groan to pull out Daniel's middle desk drawer to put his feet up on. "My back was to them," he said at Daniel's amused look. "Besides, they're swollen."
"Need another vacation?" Daniel teased, though he knew the non DCIS people would think it was a threat.
"Yeah, but Sheppard said I can't go back to my temple for a while because they decided I showed up in the wrong spot."
"You're Jewish?" Paul's partner asked. "I didn't know that."
"No, I'm pagan but during my last real vacation I found a few people who decided I'm a god." He grinned. "Part of that D&D game in Las Vegas if you've heard of it."
"Interesting." He shook his head quickly when his boss glared at him. "It sounds like it is, sir."
"I'm sure it was."
"Hmm. Swords, sorcery, drinking games, tavern wenches," Xander said with a grin. "I had tons of fun." The head of the ATF rolled his eyes.
"We got a peace treaty thanks to that," Gibbs said. The head of the ATF shuddered. "Want me to get Caine?"
"His disposal runs seem to turn into problem events," the head of the ATF said dryly.
"Not his fault Miami's full of thugs who want guns and drugs," Gibbs shot back. He got a dirty look so he smirked. "Yes, I work here for the ISC now."
"You're a watcher?" he demanded.
"Yup. He's got one girl who's nearly aged out, one of the mid-range teenagers, and one of our youngest. He's doing an amazing job ignoring people who think I'm Kryptonian."
Gibbs smirked. "I did ask that question earlier. Wesley gave me a horrified look." He leaned out of the office. "Taylor?" He came walking in. "Disposal runs?"
"I've handled a few. How many do we have?"
"I forgot the notebook," Xander moaned. He stood up with a groan but the delivery fairy brought it in. "Thank you, Herman. I needed that." It smiled and left again. He tossed over the notebook.
"Blank sheets?" Mac asked hopefully.
"Few," Xander agreed. He sat down and put his feet up again, getting swatted by Danny for it. Then Daniel looked at his feet. "I'm fine."
"Did you trip?"
"Yeah, but I'm fine."
"Go see House."
"I'm fine," Xander said more firmly, staring him down. "It's only a sprain, boss. Really." Gibbs pulled him up and down to the infirmary. "I'm still fine!"
"You're setting a bad example for the girls."
"They know they can't."
"I don't care." He shoved him in, watching him limp.
"That little peeing problem again?" House asked without looking up from what he was working on.
"No, I tripped over an artillery case and turned my ankle. I was elevating it but Gibbs got pushy."
"If you don't take care of those things, Anna won't either." He walked off, going to help with this current issue. He saw Mac's amused look. "Good news?"
"Xander marked a wish list. That might help us breaking it up. Which disposal site are we using?"
"LVPD let us borrow a lab tech," Street said.
"And you guys are LA," Mac added. "That should be safe enough do it that way. Any way we can destroy the realms without endangering future portals?"
"Angel asked. They can make a backdoor and they wouldn't consider it a bad thing since the portals would be destroyed," Daniel told him. "That sounds like we'll have to unload it first."
"We need to make sure nothing's from a military storehouse," Mac offered. "I know Abby, Calleigh, and Horatio have been."
"So far Abby said only three things have come up as stolen," Gibbs told him.
"Good to know. How far in is she?"
"She's taking about five sheets per day. Calleigh and Horatio the same. She put a purple dot in the bottom corner if she's searched that page."
Mac looked then nodded. "Okay. So we'll finish the search, let the people plan the dispo run, then we'll have to unload them."
"That's going to be some backbreaking work."
"Can one of the demons that makes the portal empty it without sending the weapons somewhere?" Gibbs asked. Daniel shrugged, making a note. "If so that could help."
"Saves us muscle strain," Xander agreed as he snuck back in. "Unless we can talk Jack into giving us his SL people for a few days." He sat and put his feet back up, getting a look from Daniel. "I'm fine and I knew I was fine. You fuss like the girls."
Gibbs smirked. "That's mean, kid."
"Yay. And?" he shot back. The head of the ATF gave him a dirty look. "What? You want to move over three thousand pieces of artillery?"
"No," he said, looking away from him. "Gibbs, what do you suggest?"
"I like the kid's suggestion. No way am I moving that many heavy artillery cases."
Xander nodded. "I'd need a good rest before then."
"We could bucket line it," Hondo suggested.
Xander shook his head. "Most of the cases need two people to lift or carry."
"The girls?" Daniel suggested quietly.
"Would kill us all," Gibbs assured him. "Especially if they didn't get to pet any." All the ATF agents gaped in horror at him. "The slayers become weapon nuts for the most part once they reach fifteen. They help their teachers and the rest of us clean weapons."
"They're to learn weapons," Xander told him.
"Are they going into military service once they're of age?" the head of the ATF sneered.
Xander stared him down. "They lose their powers at twenty-three and if any want to go into the military, they have ample opportunity to find Daniel and ask him. Or ask Gibbs or John, who was also a Marine. A few of them have been recruited for Daniel's old project already and they volunteered to go. The rest will have whatever sort of normal life they want," he said cooly, continuing to stare him down. Paul broke between them. "I'm not going to hurt him, Paul."
"You're still a scary bitch over the girls, Xander."
Xander nodded. "Conscription sucks," he said bluntly. "If they try, we're moving the girls. Dawn shouldn't have any problem."
"Agreed," he assured him. "It's a bad thing. We'd help. Just... please?" he begged. Xander shrugged a bit so Paul moved. "Sir, baiting Xander is a bad idea when he's already in a foul mood. He was trained to assist and hunt with the slayers. He's an eight- year combat veteran before he got to DCIS. There's a reason he gets the worst cases." That got a nod from his boss. He gave Gibbs a pleading look.
"Should we split this up now and then plan the dispo run?" Gibbs asked. "Your wishlist isn't too bad, kid, but there's better handguns listed."
"I could only go on what I saw, but I'll gladly pick new ones for agent guns." He looked at Daniel. "If that's all right?"
"That's fine with me, Xander. You know that. Don't overload our closet in case something breaks in."
Xander snorted. "If they do, I'm so blowing them back to a hell of their choice."
Daniel smiled. "Good to know." He looked at Gibbs. "How do you think it's best done?"
"Take the heavier artillery that no one should need, short of world war three or four, and destroy it now. Including the scud system if it was bought legitimately." They all nodded. "LVPD should let us dump through them since we got their help with the count."
"Bobby said he'd run a special dispo run," Mac agreed. "I texted him."
"So let's do that first, then worry about the others. We can check the bigger things easier. If someone had stolen something that big, every agency would've heard about it by now."
"Especially the ATF," Paul agreed. "We can check the list pretty easily." Calleigh leaned in. "Need the notebook?"
"Please. Xander, did you bag up your last one?"
"Yeah, I did. Why?"
"The cage is open."
Xander frowned, getting up to deal with that. He counted bags. "We have two missing." They went to look, finding one next to George, who had stunned the intruder. The other... Well, Dawn and Annabelle were casually beating the floating, screaming woman begging to be let down. "Ladies, cuffs?"
"Don't have any," Dawn called, letting her thump down. Annabelle knocked her out, making Gibbs come take the stick from her. "She wanted a pinata for her birthday," she said when Gibbs gave her a dirty look.
"We can get her one with candy in it. She doesn't need to express the violent urges."
"Yes, Gibbs," she said, giving him a hug. "I'll try really hard." She smiled. "But I did good. There's another bag missing and it went with the guy in the blue sedan."
"I told the guards, they're chasing him down," Dawn told him. "George got the other one when it tripped over him."
Xander leaned down to take the mask off the guy. "Anyone know him?"
Gibbs looked then shrugged. "Maybe."
Tony came strolling out. "It's one of our stupid arms dealers. Pity." He kicked him awake. "Good morning! How does it feel to have been beaten by a shrub demon who can't even talk?" George rattled his leaves. "I know you're very smart, George, but he doesn't believe anything's as smart as he is."
"Can we let Binky horn him up the backside?" Annabelle asked.
Gibbs stared at her. "Where did you get that idea?"
"She keeps trying to get under Abby's skirt. Maybe she'd like a boy to compare to."
Gibbs shook his head, walking off moaning a bit. Xander looked at her. "Not cute."
She beamed. "Yes I am."
"Not this time you weren't. Go apologize to your Watcher." She ran off to hug him and make him feel better. He hauled the guy up to stare at him. "How stupid are you?" he asked, looking amused. "To come here and break into our base? Gods, man, you should be a Darwin nominee." Tony snickered at that. "Really." He handed him over. "Fortunately we do have the prison for people just like you." Dawn floated the other one over and Xander went to talk to the guards. "Did we get him?"
"State police pulled him over a minute ago, Xander," the head guard reported, coming out of the guard shack. "They'll bring him and his car back here."
"Thank you. The bag?"
"Even better. Let us know. The other two we're going to let the demons have as sex toys." He walked off whistling. "Hey, boss, can we put them in the demon wing so they can discover demonic butt sex?" he asked, making Daniel choke and Mac moan. "They apparently seem to think they're so hot. Let them prove it."
"Not a good idea," Daniel told him. Xander pouted. "No, Xander. We don't encourage prisoner fraternization."
"Pity. Faith might like that." Dawn swatted him. "Ow! Heathen!"
"Shut up. Go take a nap." She knocked him out and let someone take him back to the infirmary. "Don't make us fuss over him and you guys. You won't like it when we tie you down." She walked off to help Gibbs and Annabelle.
Jim Street coughed. "The girls are kind of scary, sirs."
Hondo nodded. "It was nice one was sneaking in to make us cocoa last night too."
Daniel moaned. "They're teenage girls. If you're missing personal items let us know. They've panty raided half the base," he said quietly, making the guys laugh.
Paul looked over. "Seriously. They prove they have very good stealth training." That got a dual smirk and a nod. "Missing some?"
"We had cocoa when we caught them," Street promised. "They seemed decent."
"Must've been on their best behavior," Daniel said grimly. "Did you hand them back?"
"Someone came looking," Hondo said dryly with a smirk.
"That happens too," Paul agreed. "John, Xander, one of the boys. Gibbs now and then." He walked off shaking his head. The girls were still strange to him. Maybe he was too sane for DCIS. ATF had been a lot simpler. None of his job there had caused nightmares. His boss gave him a pointed look. "My contract's coming due in three weeks," he said quietly.
"We could use a liaison so we don't have to see Harris ever again," he agreed quietly. Paul grinned at that, nodding he agreed to take the spot. "Give me a firm date, Mercer."
"Good. I hate to see our people ruined here. They're very strange. Very lax too."
"But we get the job done, sir. That's what counts to most everyone here. That and the agency's like a family."
"Still too lax."
"The former director at NCIS said the same thing," Daniel called over, giving him a look. The head of the ATF shuddered. "She came here to try to kill us. Pity."
"Is there going to be a penalty if I want my person back to be our liaison officer?"
"No. It's written into the contract that you can go back without penalty after two years and he doesn't have to explain anything."
That got a nod. "That's sensible. This job must drive you nuts."
"Now and then," Daniel agreed. "But I've been worse places." He smiled. "Paul's been a great help to us."
"Agreed." They shook hands. "I'll want his folder."
"Of course. You can have it today and work out his ending date with him." That got a nod and they went back to the office to handle that.
"We get a lot of that too," Hondo sighed. "Not everyone's cut out to be SWAT."
"Or here," Dean said as he walked over. "It takes a flexible mind."
Street nodded. "It'd creep me out too." Hondo nodded he agreed. The other guys on their team would *not* believe this. Ever! Especially not the walking shrub that came to nuzzle Hondo's leg before going to find a sunnier spot to rest in.
Xander watched as the things were shifted and split up into trucks. ATF was handling the actual disposal. Xander had all the guns he wanted, a few new pieces of artillery, and a lot of new portals. He handed one to Street on his way past him then went to clean his babies. Calleigh was so he sat down with her to go over them for defects. They could junk anything that was bad.
She looked at him. "You do amazing things," she said finally.
"Amazing is in the eye of the beholder," he said calmly.
"You also have superhero syndrome."
Xander looked at her. "I had to fight the perception that I was too normal to do anything, Calleigh. I was doing that while doing Buffy's job for her sometimes."
"Oh." She nodded, going back to her cleaning. That explained some things.
"I know I'm too tough for my own good but this is who I am and how I turned out. It's not going to change. The same as I have a rep in the demon world from my time hunting." She nodded, looking at him. "It's that I'll get you back if you touch those girls or one of the agents. Especially the girls, my team, or someone that needs protecting. That's how I get away with a lot of the stuff I do."
"I can understand that. Horatio does the same thing now and then." She put back together the gun she had cleaned and noted its properties and condition then put it into the box it'd be taken out of later on if and when it got assigned. "Do I have to live up to that?"
He shrugged. "Most of the time, Paul saw it as he was my wall to beat my head against and to give myself ideas from. He did a lot of the manual sorting of things for me. I tend to handle action better than I do computers and I'm completely science stupid." He looked at her. "That's your job."
She nodded. "I can handle that. What about the third member of the team? Most of them see to have three."
"We do, she's on vacation. She's due back next week actually." He went back to swabbing the barrel of the one he had. "We have burrs." He pulled the light over to look at them. "We can probably wire brush those down."
She took it to look at. "You can but it'll change the rifling. We can use a barrel from one that has other broken parts. Make it a spare parts gun."
"That'll work." He tagged it with that and the problem in the barrel then put it aside once it was fully back together. He looked at her. "Yes, now and then you will have to follow my insanity. We don't get many cases where your CSI skills will help until the aftermath, like this last one or the one in Miami. Most of the CSI stuff is maybe a clue or two. Sometimes the after effects. I'm called out because I'm a hunter. If it's going to take those skills, and it does sometimes, then they call me for my rep and my knowledge. I get plenty of help most of the time because they don't want to have to deal with a slayer. You might say I'm the step below calling out a slayer."
"I can understand that," she agreed. "I know most of the agents do arrest."
"I do as often as I can," Xander assured her. "But about half the time I get there in time to stop it and have to stop it cold or else things go bad. Like with an ascension. Yes, they can send the other teams out. Horatio might get sent out on those with Mac to spare me when we have others coming. No one else on the floor had artillery knowledge." He gave her a sheepish, shy grin. "Whenever they see me doing more than they think I shouldn't have to someone hires someone."
She giggled. "I heard that. Is this the next one?"
"We need someone in here full time. Someone who can do the ammo, the guns, the check- ins, the range times, all that. They've got to be able to deal with a wide range of weapons. The same as you will. Everyone else gets a brief sword work tutorial and then they can come back if they want, and I do suggest it. You don't have that choice. The same as Tony didn't."
"I understand. It's to save my own life because if something's going to come after your team it's going to be something less than paltry."
Xander nodded. "If that word means what I think it does, yeah." She gave him a look. "School is not a Xander friend. Never was, never will be. I do practical education so much better."
"Some people do. I struggled through a lot of college classes. What do we do if she doesn't come back? Ryan said she pushed her coming back date back by another week."
Xander shrugged. "Then we borrow or we hire. Sometimes a pair is good enough. Sometimes it takes a team or more. Sometimes it takes nearly everyone." He smiled. "You'll do fine. I'll train you so you can back me up if something happens in a way that's not in your original training. After all, plenty of things are staked or beheaded."
"I'll learn. I can't promise I'll be good at it."
Xander smirked. "Who do you think trains the girls in sword work, Calleigh?"
She gaped. "Oh, no. You're over their training too?"
He smirked and nodded. "I hired Dean and Sam to give me a break. I was doing all their training and lessons and cases. Plus some assorted maintenance work. Everyone else stepped in to teach a class for me too."
She swallowed. "I'll do my best to learn."
He smiled. "Good. How close to marksman are you?"
"Pretty closer. Ninetieth percentile. You?"
"No idea," he admitted. "I qualify and I leave before anyone gives me ideas of getting a swelled ego." She snorted, shaking her head. "Dean's also a weapons guy, taught by John but he's expanded on it a lot." He checked his watch. "Think it's safe to go back to our desks?"
"No, not yet. Alexx is up there fussing at Tim for losing more weight."
"Tim is getting kinda anorexic looking. Nightmares?"
"He won't tell us."
"He will tell me," he sighed. "By the way, if you need them, we do have a base shrink." She smiled at that. "And a new doc team from what I heard." He finished up and put his current gun into the box. Dean and John walked in. "Target practice?"
"Jackson said to come spell you. He had more pointless paperwork for you to fill out," John said dryly.
"Anything with burrs or that's not immediately useful, tag it with the issue and put it there. The others, put into the box." They got up and went to see what the boss wanted. As it turned out, ATF and SWAT wanted a better report. They complained but got to it. This was the part of the job they hated.
Dean found a demon that might have some answers to the annoyance in their lives. "Hey," he said, making her jump. "Just questions, we're harmless today," he said, raising his hands. "Please?"
She sniffed at him then at Xander. "You smell like Buhova."
"What do they look like?" Xander asked.
"They are blue with five tentacles. With the purple smaller tentacle hairs. You killed one?"
Xander nodded. "We found one attacking my junior year in high school. Buffy was still off doing her thing for the summer."
Dean thought back. "Yeah, that sounds like something I did that one week," he admitted, looking at her. "Is that why we're drawing people to us now and then?"
She smirked. "You have no ideas?"
"No, no one told us a thing," Xander admitted. "Even the Watchers."
"Bah! Stupid men with stupid morals that make no sense. Denying yourself so that you remain pure is wrong and it taints what little purity you can find." She sniffed them again. "This taint, it draws things to you?" They nodded. "It should only come out when you need to mate. When you go into heat."
"So, getting him laid will stop this present outburst?" Dean asked.
"I went to the temple and it didn't help," Xander reminded him.
"To cure being in heat one must have *good* relations. Ones that fires not only the body but the mind. Ones that you would think on later. Ones that would lead to spawning or nesting, however you humans do it, if you so desired."
"Uah, we bear live young, not eggs," Xander said, getting an amused look. "The only nesting women do is cleaning the house repeatedly while pregnant with our spawn." He rubbed his left eyebrow. "So this is going on because I need to have better than mediocre sex?" She nodded. "Is there any other reason that might have brought it on?"
"Any stress that is too powerful to bear. That may but it would be more intense, bringing you relief from it."
Xander bowed. "Thank you for the answers we sought."
"You are most welcome. May I go? My own spawn await me."
"Thank you," Dean agreed, walking Xander off. She fled for her car and went home to tell everyone she knew she had been talked to by the two hunters at DCIS and survived! Dean looked at him. "So you need laid."
"Why didn't the temple do it for you?"
"Maybe because I was teaching and had to control some of the urges. I don't know." He got into the passenger's seat of the Impala, Dean getting in to drive. "Who knows with my screwed up life. Giles should've known that, right?"
"Yeah. Dad too maybe." They drove back to the base, cornering John in Wesley's office by the simple expedient of Dean shoving him in there and following while Xander got the door and locked it so he could call Giles as well.
"Slayer's residence," Giles said calmly.
"Giles, what's a Buhova?" Xander asked.
"Is it not in the books?"
"Haven't looked yet," he said dryly, leaning on the table. "Blue skin, purple tentacle hair, five tentacles? Sounding slightly familiar?"
"Yeah," John admitted. "There's all sorts of stories about those who take them out being cursed. Why?"
Dean swatted him on the shoulder. "Because we both smell like them! Why didn't you share that part too! We heard all sorts of stories about the bad things demons could do to us but not that one!"
"Oh, dear. I do know of that curse," Giles admitted.
"Which is now getting me chased down and hunted by every bad girl in this state," Xander said coolly. "Some who even think I'm a prostitute and give me money for it, Giles."
"Oh, lord, no," he sighed. "When did that happen?"
"Hmm, about the same time I got the problems the first time maybe?" he shot back. "Like the summer after our junior year?"
"Bloody hell, I didn't even realize," he admitted, sounding tired. "Is there a cure?"
"No, we're going to forever be wanton sluts who have this curse come out when we're in heat," Dean told him, glaring at his father. "You couldn't pass on those rumors with the rest?"
"They were unsubstantiated. No one had seen one of them in person for years, Dean."
"Well, gee, Dad, I found one snacking on a co-ed," he said dryly.
"I'll tell Bobby they are real and I'm sorry, son."
Dean glared. "Anytime we're in heat, or need the stress relief that badly, or we're in such stress that it's changing our scent, it's going to come out. The demon we talked to earlier could smell it on both of us and I'm not in heat."
"Shit," John muttered, shaking his head.
"Giles, find me a picture of this thing. Tonight," Xander ordered. "That way I can make sure the girls don't have the same curse and get paid money by people who want to sleep with them." He hung up by slamming the receiver back down. Then he looked at John, who slunk off. "Got any clue?"
"I'd offer but I have Faith."
"Faith won't. She knows she'll slip again, or so she says." The fax machine came to life and spit out a picture. Xander looked at it. "Yup, remember her. She was using her tentacles to please the guy she was trying to kill." He walked it out to the slayer's sitting room, putting it down on the table. "If you *ever* kill one of these, you will end up with the same sort of curse I've been under for the last week and a bit. That means people will treat you like a pro and decide you're only there for the sex. Do not take on these things. Knock them out, bind them up, whatever. Killing leads to a curse." He stomped off.
"He's not happy someone decided he needed money," Faith said dryly. "Xander, are you okay?"
"No! Fuck no!" He slammed the outer door.
Dean took the picture, holding it up. "Anyone already recognize it?" Brenda slowly raised her hand. He looked at her. "Did you kill it?"
"It was trying to kill me," she said, looking horrified. "I'm not a bad girl like that."
"We know that, Brenda," John soothed as he walked in. "If you go into this sort of issue, we'll figure out how best to help you." He gave her a hug. "Dean, go calm Xander down."
He snorted. "Yeah, because going to the temple recently helped so much." John went pale. "Has to be better than mediocre. The source we found said it had to be good enough that we might spawn from it and it'd have to be one of the ones we think back on fondly."
"Hell, he's screwed," Kim muttered.
"It might just take that," Dean agreed. He took the picture with him to the squad room, posting it on the board. "These things are what leads to curses like Xander's. If you kill them, you too can have his problem when you go into heat or stress relief hasn't happened recently enough."
Tony cleared his throat. "Didn't he just cure that?"
"Has to be better than mediocre," Dean snorted, giving him a look. Tony shook his head subtly that he couldn't fill in this time.
"Should we take up a collection to get him to a Vegas whorehouse?" Eric asked. Horatio and Stella both glared at him. "It could help!"
"Still has to be better than mediocre," Dean reminded him. "I don't know what sent him into heat but someone come up with a solution?" He left, going to find his buddy. He was curled up on top of the bullet boxes, so Dean hopped up to sit in front of him. "You'll be fine. I'm guessing it could be worse. It's slowed down at least."
"No, sucks is that Brenda ran into one too."
Xander looked at him. "Your dad's got to be groaning in misery."
"She'll figure it out like we did." He stroked over Xander's hair because it was sticking up. "You'll fix it and it'll be fine."
"I should go find that one heiress."
"That'd make you a pro."
"I sent the money back."
"So? She'd probably pay you again. And who said she'd be good enough?"
"Point." He shifted closer to Dean's warmth. "Maybe I should hit on Faith."
"If she'll let you," Dean agreed. Xander grimaced. "She might. Extreme circumstances."
"She's convinced herself that if we do she'll go back."
"No, she won't. I'm more badass than you are and there's no way she'd turn back." Faith leaned in. "He was suggesting he hit on you to cure this."
"That'd be a fun bed but sorry, X. You know we'd never get that hot together. Memories would cloud things." Xander nodded at that. "Want to go find a club?"
"No. I still suck at that," Xander admitted. He looked at her. "Know anyone?"
"Not right off the top of my head," she admitted. "Go back to the temple, go wear yourself out without teaching."
"I can't. I set it up that I'd teach."
She grimaced. "Damn. Pop a final exam?"
Xander gave her an odd look. "Still probably can't. Half the ones I see are about to be married."
"Eww. Bad thing then." She came in to lean next to Dean. "Hmm. If this were Boston or LA I'd know someone. Even Cleveland." She stood up straighter. "I could call her. See if Little D'll send us."
"It's ten at night," Dean said quietly.
"Crap." She checked her watch. "Which means it's nearly midnight out there. Like vamps?" she teased with a smirk.
"Hell no. Do I look like I wanted to do Angel too?"
She giggled. "No. That was very clear." She stroked over his hair then shrugged. "No idea then. One of the girls would."
"I'd end up teaching, Faith. I need the good stuff."
"The kind that leaves you scratched in the morning," Dean agreed.
"Nah, it's better when the bed breaks," Xander said dryly. They stared at him. "Yes I have, thank you." He sat up. "That's an idea." He slid off the crate and went to talk to Dawn. She followed him to his place to shower and change. He knew a place where he could meet someone who would let him let it go for a bit. She sent him once he was ready and walked out of the alley, heading over to a club. The bouncer gave him a horrified look. "Stress relief," he muttered, flashing his membership card. The bouncer let him inside, watching him make a direct path to one woman sitting in a corner. The bouncer shuddered but let him walk to his own death. Not his business. Xander looked at her. "Hey," he said quietly.
"You have balls."
Xander stared at her. "It's my duty and my job to take the bad ones out. You know that. You knew that then. You told me you knew that then."
"True." She stared at him. "What happened?"
"An older curse reenacted when I apparently needed stress relief too much." She cackled. He smirked and nodded as he sat down. "People have been sending me money and presents to get with them."
"Very." He looked at her. "You know damn well I wanted you out of there that night."
"He was my boyfriend, Xander."
"That's why I suggested you go shop," he shot back, earning a swat. "What? All the women I know shop."
"You work with shallow creatures."
"No, I work with slayers," he said bluntly. She dropped her glass, staring at him. He pulled out his ID for the Council, holding it up. "Like I said, it was my duty."
She slumped. "Then you had no choice."
"Not with him hunting, no. I'm sorry I had to."
She nodded, cleaning up her mess a bit. "Then I understand and forgive you."
He smiled. "Thank you."
"But I'm still not helping you with stress relief."
"Not needed. I wanted you to pick someone for me. If I do it I'll end up having to fight for my life because I'm drawing bad girls. Seven of them in one afternoon in a mall. Two with bombs. One decided to make me shop with her so I'd be pretty for her funeral." She gaped in horror at him. He nodded. "Pick me someone who I can have at least better than average sex with? Please?"
"I can do that." She patted his hand with a smile. "Are you going to come back more often?"
"If I don't get eaten." He turned and smacked the person behind him on the head. "Eyes off my neck or I'm bringing my girls with me." The vampire turned back around quickly. He looked at her, noticing she had vamped out. "So?" He shrugged. "Are you going to try to eat me too?"
"No. You taste strange."
"Mermaid taint from my junior year." He grimaced. "We had to find out why the swim team was turning into creatures."
"God, you really did grow up in Sunnydale."
Xander smirked and nodded. "Yeah, all my life until about two weeks before it fell in. I was sent with the young and helpless to evacuate them."
"She yell?" she asked dryly.
"And tried again later when I showed up for injured ones. Then again when she woke up too. We have it straightened out. She's in Cleveland with Giles and his consuming passion to rebuild the Council."
"At least someone's dealing with the girls."
"Wes and me."
She stared. "He's...."
"Rebuilding the Council."
"Oh, hell, Xander."
"Yup." He smirked. "Willow just got busted by the FBI for hacking our utility companies for the base and having them shut off on us." She whimpered. "Yeah. Why I need stress relief."
She moaned. "Damn."
"Very. So it's either sex according to the curse or I need a lot of stress relief."
"It'd be easier if all you wanted was a fight," she offered.
"Let me have sex first. It's been a long month."
"I heard." She smirked and pointed at one girl, who came rushing over. "This one is under a Buhova's curse."
She snickered. "What did you do?" she asked dryly.
"Found it attacking someone. White Knight tendencies, yee haw," he said sarcastically, shooting her a look. She moaned and shifted closer. "Not in front of everyone. It might give me performance anxiety and my rep would never be great again." He walked her off to the back rooms. He even let her pounce. It was definitely going to be better than good. When he was limp, sated, and tired, she left, letting him catch ten minutes of sleep. When he got up, he redressed, pulled his axe out of his pocket to hold in his hand in case he needed it, and walked out into the ambush. It was pitiful how the vampires had taken over one of his favorite clubs. The axe expanded and a few people shuddered. One even ran. Pity. The rest hissed and attacked. So he finally got the stress relief he needed.
The bouncer looked at Xander as he walked out, blinking at him dusting himself off. "Are you all right, sir?"
"Kinda tired," he admitted, looking at him. "But in a good way. Let's hope no more bad girls come for me." He looked at one coming up the street, whispering the shrinking incantation again. It went into his pocket and the woman smirked at him before staring over his body. "Evening, ladies." She smirked harder. He shrugged. "What can I say? It's still early. Not enough in there to hold my interest." Her friend moved to his other side and he took his wallet back. "Not nice to pickpocket Feds." They moaned and attacked his mouth. He let them. It wasn't too bad. The alley was close by and they were good enough. He made sure he had everything before leaving, having to come back for his axe. "Naughty yous." He smirked as he walked back through the portal. "Morning, girls!" he shouted. He checked his watch. "Isn't it time for runs!"
"Must've been good enough," Faith said dryly as she came down the stairs. "It's five, Xander."
"Morning runs," he said simply.
"Fuck. In the snow?"
"Yeah! Do you think all battles are fought in nicely heated areas?" She moaned, going to get the girls up to go for their runs before breakfast and school. Xander went to his place, finding Dean in the halls. "I'm better now."
"Good! Why are you dusty?"
"Vamps took over one of my favorite clubs. I got decent enough sex first and then the pickpocket twins after." He went into his apartment. "I got the girls up," he said before closing his door.
Dean blinked. "That's bad, Xander," he called.
"Yes I am!" he called, then he cackled.
"Ah, he's back," Dean sighed, walking off to help get the girls up for their morning runs. That might be a good sign but it might not. He'd have to see how grumpy Xander was this morning.
to part 19