Demon Criminal Investigative Services: Old Habits.

Faith was running PT with the youngest slayers when she heard an engine coming their way.  She stared as the motorcycle parked and the obviously female body took off her helmet to shake out her hair.  It was cropped short but dark.  She had two earrings in the side she could see.  She was wearing opaque black tights and a pair of mid-calf shiny leather boots with real heels on them.  The black leather jacket went well with it.  The skirt was satin of some sort, that's all she could tell at that distance.  "Girls, looks like we have another of you," she decided, making the girl smirk at her.  "Hey."  She walked over.  "Faith, second senior slayer."

"Shea."  She shook her hand.  "Gunter found me but we decided I'd do better at home.  He thought I might be a bit distracting to the girls."

Faith snorted.  "Not really.  You in for good, just for a visit, needing help?"

"Checking it out to see."

"That'll do.  Ladies, let's get me Xander and Wes please?" she called.  The three young ones took off and one did go find Wesley for her.  "Did Gunter tell you anything?"

"Not a lot."  She climbed off.  "Can I park her here?"

"Be safer if you put her next to the dorm.  There's a few parking spots.  Park her between the Impala and the truck but if you even think about scratching it they'll kill you."

"I'd do the same to my baby."  She restarted the engine and moved her bike where ordered, then climbed off and unzipped her jacket, showing a velvet bustier with very thin straps.  "No, I'm not cold," she said dryly.

Faith shrugged, pointing at her own leather pants.  "Xander and Wes agreed long ago that we're all individuals who deserve a real life, no matter what some of the old timers thought."

"Even better."

"You had better not have scratched my car," a male voice yelled.

"I'd never damage my baby that way," she called back.  "But if you ask really nicely I might pose on the hood for you."  She turned, then gaped.  "Dean?"

"Shea?"  He smirked and came over to give her a hug.  "Problem hunt?"

"No.  Gunter found me ages ago but the 'rents wanted me home to train."

"Huh.  Well, you're here now.  How's your mom?"

"Boring as piss.  The same as usual.  You guys?"

"We're all here.  We're the training committee for the slayers."

"Damn, that kinda sucks to be you guys."

"Nah, it's like Dad gave us tons of sisters."  Faith pinched him.  "And a few naughty ones.  Wait until you meet Brenda.  She's the closest thing to a natural Winchester female in generations."

"Wow."  She smirked.  "Yes, my parents are hunters."

Faith shrugged.  "That means you won't need that much training."

"We hope," Sam said as he came over.  "Shea."


"Sam," he corrected.

She snickered.  "You poor thing," she cooed, pinching him on the cheek.  "Is Dean being a big meany and picking on you again?"

"Still," he said dryly, giving her a short hug.  "Xander's coming after he gets off the phone.  Let's go inside where it's warmer?  This is the girls' dorm so you'll have a room in here."  He walked her inside.  "School?"

"GED last year.  Been out for a while now.  Couldn't stand the lecture classes."  She smirked at him.  "You?"

"I was in my last semester Pre-Law at Stanford when the demon who did our mom killed my girlfriend," he said quietly.

"We always knew you were the smart one."  She gave his wrist a squeeze.  "You need help with that project?"

"Nah, we got it recently.  Dad!"  He smirked at her.  "He's gone now."  John and Annabelle came out of the office.  "Why are you out of school?" he demanded, staring at her.

"The teacher told me to go away because I gave her another migraine asking questions."  She shrugged and looked at the new girl.  "Hey."

"Hi."  She smiled as she held out a hand.  "Shea."

"Annabelle."  She shook it.  "Don't try to flip me or anything.  I'm coming off a broken leg."

"That's cool.  I only do that to Deanny."

She smirked.  "It's good to know that my spot as the most evil slayer won't be challenged by you but you can join me in cackling pleasingly while we make Dean blush."

Shea burst out laughing, nodding.  "Could happen, yeah.  He ever tell you about the time John dropped them off and Dean was *so* annoying my mom handcuffed him and made him play dolls with me?"

"No wonder you hate girl things," Faith quipped.

Dean nodded.  "She's the reason."  Xander walked in.  "Xander, this is one of the slayers.  Shea."

He stared at her then held out a hand.  "I got the report from Gunter."  She shook it.  "You still have to pass testing but we can set you up.  You have any immediate needs, like no clothes for tomorrow?"

"I've got my hunting kit on my bike."

"That's cool.  John, is there an open room?"

"Just the one but it's filthy."

"We can clean," Annabelle sighed.  Xander stared at her.  "I was asking the science teacher about why chemicals reacted.  What made them mix, react, and all that.  She got frustrated and got another migraine."

"The school is very amused," John told him.  "They said she's probably too smart for her grade but she's being kept there due to her geography grade."

"Yay me.  We can't all be good at everything," she pouted.  "Next year's science sucks anyway."

Xander sighed, looking at her then at John.  "The school wanted to skip her?"

"No, the school wants to change the science teacher desperately.  The same person teaches all the years.  The next year is doing plants.  Since she's been helping Abby and the other forensic people, she's been absorbing advanced and chemical sciences."

"Huh.  Will they skip her?"

"No.  Too late in the year," John admitted.

"Is there a better school that might become an option?"

"Not in town.  Out of town is a small, private, religious school.  Not sure how good their education is or if they take non-church members."


"I'm not going to live with the icky, nasty ones," Annabelle said firmly.

"You're too young to go to Cleveland anyway," Xander shot back.  She beamed at that.  "Can you go clean Shea's room?"

"Yes, Xander."  She went to do that.

"We'll talk about school stuff later, Anna."  He looked at her.  "She's bored so she skips."

"I was never a school sort but to each their own."

Xander smiled.  "That's good to know.  Go get your bag."  She went to do that.  "Which room was that nasty?"

"The one Rona slept in the last time.  We removed the sheets but the bed got slimed too.  It's crusty and needs to be peeled off.   Unless we take one of the girls in Cleveland's room away?"

Xander considered it then called out there.  "Hey, Rona, got a new girl in.  She's either got to take that tiny room on the end or one of you have to give yours up and split it if you're back on base with another girl."  She said that and one girl gave hers up.  "Thank you.  Tell her I love her and why isn't she in school?"  Rona quipped something then hung up.  "Amber is out there.  She said she got kicked out today?"  John nodded.  "For?"

"One of the basketball team tried to grope, told her if she had a real man she'd give up the girlfriend," Dean said grimly.  "He needs a cast on that arm and hand.  She's got two days out of school suspension and asked Dawn to send her."

"Ah."  He nodded.  "Okay, good to know.  Terri said she'd give up hers.  So did Rona."

"That'll work."  John went to tell Anna, picking the better room nearer to the parking lot for the new girl.  "Shea," he called out a window.  "Come drop stuff."  He helped Anna clean it up.  She came in and looked then smiled.  "One of the girls in Cleveland permanently gave up her room so you wouldn't have the tiny one."

"The washer and drier are up the hall in the room that looks like it should be a bathroom but isn't," Anna told her.  "The bathroom's at the end of the hall and it's a mad rush most mornings.  Since you're not in school maybe you can wait a bit?"

"That'll work for me," she promised with a smile.  Anna grinned back.  "Any other advice?"

"John confiscates stuff if you steal panties or other things from the agents or if you have naughty things like Dawn."  Shea laughed.

"I do.  The girls are all treated like they're mine," he said bluntly, staring her down.

She smirked.  "You're one of the toughest parents I know, John."

"It's not getting any better either.  We were positively heathens next to how strict he is with the girls," Sam said as he walked in.  "Sheets."  She took them with a smile.  "When you're ready, we can go test your skills.  You have to meet up to skills to be put on a hunting patrol."

"I have hunted on my own," she defended.

He smirked.  "Standards are higher here.  Not only our ways but also self-defense, brawling, weapons work...."

"Shit," she said.  Anna laughed.  "You're joking, right?"

Anna shook her head.  "Nope.  We all learn crossbows and shotguns and swords and machetes and all sorts of weapons.  Xander even taught us how to use a blowgun if we have to."  Shea stared at her.  She smirked and nodded.  "Then Dean does our self-defense and fight training.  Sam does demonology lectures.  John's the dad.  Xander teaches and watches over us.  Wes is over patrols and who goes on hunting things.  Giles is rebuilding the Council and we ignore him because he's a bastard."  John swatted her.  "He is!"

"Language.  Good girls don't swear."

"Yes, sir."  She looked at the new girl again.  "We're like sisters.  Sometimes we fight, sometimes it's okay.  Sometimes I prank someone for breaking into my room."  Sam got her this time.  "Hey!"

"You sent her to the infirmary with a panic attack, Anna."

"She put bugs in my bed."

Shea nodded.  "Yeah, we're like sisters here.  Anything good I should know?" she asked them.

"You'll age out at twenty-three," John said quietly.  She beamed at that.  "We feed you all you can eat here."

"That sounds good."  She walked them back downstairs, finding a more uptight young man standing there.  She whistled.  "Better than Gunter was."

Wesley looked over then smirked.  "Shea."

"You must be Wesley.  He described you well."

"Gunter did paint on the weekends."  He shook her hand.  "Why come now if it's not too nosy?"

"My mother's a bitch."

"Ah.  We do hear of that now and then.  A few that we found who stayed home have shown up for shorter training times so it's not that unusual.  Are you settled in?"

"I can unpack later."

"Excellent.  Should you perhaps change so we can gauge where your training is?"

She grimaced. "I hunt in this, Wesley."

Xander nodded.  "Then we can test you in that.  You can do it in sneakers during practice.  The drill is me, Dean, then Faith.  If you can match Faith you're fully passed on that skill.  You'll only have to spar to stay in practice.  If you pass Dean you're onto the more advanced hunter training.  More techniques, other methods of kicking butt, that stuff.  If you pass me, you move onto Dean's training.  If you don't we move you more heavily so you can protect yourself if something bad happens."

"Sounds fair.  I can shoot a gun."

"Good.  What about a crossbow?" Xander asked.  "Short or long sword?  Battle axe?"  She shook her head slowly.  "Machete?"

"That I can do."

"Good.  Staffs?"

"Barely.  I learned a few times."

"Good.  Throwing knives?"

"I'm good with knife fighting but I can't throw."

"Good to know," Faith agreed.  "Stakes?"

She grimaced.  "Doesn't that not work?"

"Works wonders on all but three species of vamps out of eleven," Sam told her.


"Like a knife only thicker and a smaller target," Xander told her.   "We'll work on it.  I'm over all the training, plus support, daily life, those things.  Wesley is over patrol schedules, some of the other admin tasks.  Giles is in Cleveland and he handles most admin tasks.  Now, college?  Since I heard you had a GED?"

"I do but school sucks."

"There's a good vocational school in town," John offered.

She nodded.  "I might think about that.  It'll keep me from training all day."

Dean nodded.  "That'll work.  Let's hit the gym since the wind picked up again."  They went to test her.  Xander started and she held her own against him, kinda.  "Go all out with him," Dean ordered.  "He's worked with slayers for a very long time, Shea.  He knows you're extra strong and speedy."  She dropped into slayer mode and went at him.  Xander put her down twice in a row then flipped her over into a cuffing position.  She moaned.  "Okay, so you have some stuff to learn."  She got up and tried again.  She got him against a wall but he ducked to the side, got behind her and pinned her, holding her there.  Dean smirked at him.   "Not bad, Xander."  Xander smirked back before letting her go.

"So I guess I'm yours, huh?" she asked Dean.

"Dad first then me," he corrected.  "Then we'll move you on.  You have a lot of the basics but we like sneaky and more moves that take advantage of your gifts.  You'll be in my class within a month."

She nodded.  "I can accept that."   She looked at Faith.  "You're that good?"

"I'm not B but I'm damn good," she agreed with a smile.  "You will be too some day soon."  Brenda walked in.  "Are you cutting class?" she asked.  "That's my job, not yours."

Brenda snorted, shaking her head.  "No, the school got shut down due to a death threat to a teacher."

"By?" John asked.

"Her boyfriend.  He showed up with a gun and Kim nearly took his head off.  So I'm done for the day and I can study some more for the math test I know I'm going to fail."

Xander looked at her.  "If I could pass math with a D minus, you can pass math with at least a C since you're smarter and better in school than I am," he said firmly.

"Yes, Xander."  She looked at the new girl.  "Newly found?"

"I was training at home since my parents are demon hunters.  Shea."

"Brenda."  They shook hands.  "I like the skirt.  The satin and the little ruffle makes it look cute."  She smiled.  "Did John nag you about the shoes?"

"He only nags you about heels," Faith said dryly.  "I'm guessing that comes from being a Winchester by adoption, Little B."

Brenda stuck her tongue out at her.  "Just for that, you have to help me shop."

"For?" John asked.

She smirked evilly at him.  "Those of us in the higher years have prom this year."  John whimpered.  "You have a bunch of fashion plates."  She grinned at Xander, who whimpered.  "And I got asked so I can go."  She beamed at Dean then at Faith.  "What do you do at the prom?"

"Dance," Sam said.  "I don't know.  Xander?  You went to yours."

"With Anya.  Dance, they hand out the yearbook awards like the most likely to succeed and those things," Xander told her.  "Buffy got a special award at hers. There's some chips and punch.  You have pictures taken.  It's like a trial run for the wedding reception and finding a dress."

"Ah.  Well, not worrying about wedding dresses."

"You're not getting a hotel room either," Xander assured her.  She looked confused.

"That's so girls and guys can spend the night drinking, partying, and having sex," Dean said.  "Did that part of it."  John swatted him. "Four times," he said with a smirk.

Sam shook his head.  "Don't listen to him."

"There is no drinking underage among the slayers or I spank," Xander said firmly, staring Dean down.

"Never encouraged it, dude."

"Good.  Stick up for me in this decision please?"

"Sure, I can do that."  He looked at Brenda.  "Who's the future corpse?"

"The captain of the football team."

Sam gaped.  "The one with the actual GPA that he earned?"  She smirked but nodded.  "Well, he sounds nice from what I've heard and he kept someone from bullying the younger girls."

"He's okay.  We're studying together."

John looked at her.  "We'll be meeting him soon," he ordered.

"Yes, John."  She gave him a hug then smiled.  "What do I wear to the prom?"

"A big, puffy dress," Dean said.

"They make more slim ones," Xander assured him.  "We'll start to gather catalogs.  Wes or one of the ladies can take you guys so you get something tasteful."

"Bloody hell I will not!" Wesley yelled from somewhere.  "Do not make me take those girls shopping!"

"For the prom, Wes," Faith called.  "Formal stuff and girl stuff shopping that none of the guys could do."

"Ask Abigail, Faith!"  He stomped off to have another headache.

"We should get the docs to check his head for growths since he keeps getting headaches," Xander said thoughtfully.

"I'll tell him you suggest it," Brenda said dryly, giving him a look.

He smirked. "Aren't you going to look so cute in heels?"

"Chastity belt.  Definitely need to invest in a chastity belt," Sam muttered.  Brenda swatted him.  "What?  You'd freak Dad out if you got pregnant.  Even worse than Dean coming home pregnant would."

"No, I think I'd probably freak out more at him being pregnant than her, Sammy," John said, swatting him.  "Behave or help her shop."

"Like I attended mine?" he snorted.

"You can chaperone," she said happily.  "They wanted at least one of us to just in case someone starts a fight or gets too drunk."

"Ask Tony.  He's got that suave, mannered thing down pat," Xander quipped with a grin.

"Think Stella, Calleigh, or Abby could help the most?"

"Catalogs for now, look online to pick out things you want to look at," Xander ordered.  "Then we'll take all of you together to narrow it down.  We need to know by the first of December who's going."  She nodded, going to talk to the ladies of the agency.  He moaned, resting his head on Faith's shoulder.  "Damn it."

"It'll be fine, X.  We'll help them be cute and tasteful instead of slutty.  Because some of the new ones that come in two pieces look like stripper gear with sparkles."

"That's why Wes should go, so they can get tasteful stuff," Xander said, looking at John, who nodded quickly.  "You'll help me make him go?"

"Sure," John agreed.

"Better him than us," Dean agreed quickly.

Sam shrugged.  "I don't have the taste for that.  They won't ask my opinion."  He grinned.  "We get out of that with the ugly t-shirt thing, Xander."

"I'll have to pull them out of the closet," he said, walking off shaking his head.  "Welcome to DCIS, Shea.  I'm going back to my desk if you need anything before dinner."

"Sure."  She waved then looked at Faith.  "Bit of a drama queen."

"Only when the girls traumatize him," Faith said with an evil smirk.  "Weapons tests?"  John nodded, taking her to test her with the weapons they had readily available. Faith came to test her with some of the other things.  She wasn't that great but she'd learn.  Like the rest of them would.

Xander walked into the squad room and Stella glared at him.  "What?" he asked.  He was a bit defensive.


"They can go as long as there's no apocalypse then but I'll be damned if I'm shopping for formal gowns and shoes.  Bad enough I had to help Anya."

She rolled her eyes.  "It's a rite of passage, Xander."

"I said they could go.  They can't get a hotel room.  They can't get drunk.  They can't use drugs and I'd rather they not go have an orgy.  I'm still not shopping for formal gowns."

"Fine.  We women will pull together to help the girls."

"Good!"  He beamed at her.  "They have to let us know by the first of December if they're going.  That way you guys have time to shop.  Because I know it'll take nearly forever.  I suggested they start with catalogs and online looking."

"It's a good place to start."

"Nothing too slutty if you can?" he asked.

"If possible," she said, rolling her eyes.  He grinned.  "What?"

"New girl came today."

"Is she nice?" Horatio asked.

"So far.  Her name is Shea.  She's about seventeen if I remember right but she's got her GED so she'll be around base or possibly in Vo-Tech.  She has a motorcycle."

"We'll make sure we watch for her to zip around," Don Flack said happily.  Faith walked the girl in to give her the tour and introduce her to them.  "Taking a break in testing?"

"She snapped the string on the crossbow.  They're fixing it," Faith said.  "After you cute ones I'm going to take her out to the temple of cuteness."  Shea gave her an odd look.  "The pets."  She waved a hand around. "Their squad room.  That's Don, Danny Messer, Ryan, Speed or Timmy, depending on person, Eric the slutty toy, Horatio, Calleigh is the blonde lady, Stella's the other lady, you know Xander.  Taylor's in the corner with someone doing a report."  She looked around then pointed.  "That's Tony's desk.  He's the second guy in charge.  X is the third.  The head guy's a Danny too.  He's in the office moaning at a form."  She walked her that way.  "Hey, boss?"  He looked up.  "This is Shea, the new girl."

"Hi, Shea."  He stood up and came to shake her hand.  "Welcome to the base."

"Thank you.  You guys are really well set up."

"The president that commissioned us used his full term to get us set up."  He smiled.  "Show her the library too, Faith."

"Of course; all the necessary areas."  She smiled as they walked out.  "He's super cool and he's a languages guy.  Speaks something like thirteen or so.  Knows twenty-six enough to read."  Shea moaned at that.  "Yeah, super, huge brain."  She pointed.  "Library."  That got a nod.  "Second floor is the lab.  Abby runs the lab and she's like a big sister to most of the girls.  She answered a lot of girl questions."  That got a nod.  "Let's take you down to the infirmary.  Are you on any meds?"

"Not really."

"I ask because we're all on the BC somehow to stop the slayer blood drawing nasties issue."

"Ah.  That one.  I'm on the shot for that but I can find the health department."

"Why?  Our docs do it for us," she said with a grin. "We're switching docs at the end of the month.  The new guys are in but we'll have to see."  She walked her down there.  "Yo, guys?"  They all looked at her.  "This is Shea, the new girl that just showed up.  She had been training at home."

House looked her over.  "Pains, aches, anything we need to be aware of already?"

"Not at the moment.  Thank you for asking," she said politely.

"Birth control?" House asked.


"Good.  When are you due?"

"Six weeks."

He nodded.  "Give us the name of the place with your records so we can get them for the staff here.  We do all that for the girls."


"Slayer blood draws nasty things," Faith told her.  "A few of the girls have had to fight their way out of the mall after scrapes.  Having the monthly demon drawing problem isn't healthy for us."

She nodded once.  "Okay."  She came in to write down her doctor's name and the name of the health department.  "That's mine."

"Good," Chase said, earning a double-take.  He smirked.  "Yes, I'm Australian.  No, I don't own any sheep.  Xander asked."

She smirked.  "Good to know."  She looked at House again.  "Any other nosy questions?"

"Had all your shots, including the HPV?" House asked.

"Haven't had that.  That's the one on tv all the time, right?"  He nodded. "It's offered?"

"Some of the girls are a bit nasty and this state is trying to make it mandatory for entering school so we gave it to all the girls," Chase told her.  "If you want we can give it to you."

"I'll probably take you up on that offer."  They all smiled.  "Faith promised me cuteness."  She waved.  "Thank you."

"Not a problem," House said.  He watched her go.  "Awww, I managed to freak one out," he said once she was gone.

Chase looked at him.  "I don't see why you're so proud with how often you do it to everyone else."

House smirked at him.  "For that, call and get her records, wombat."

"Yes, House."  He went to the office to do that.


Shea looked at the little creatures watching them walk over.  "Are those what I think they are?"

"Unicorns," Faith agreed.  "They're two of the three pets.  The gray one is Binky, you can pet her if she likes you even if you're not a virg.  Digger's the other and only virgs get to pet him."

"Um.  Sure," she agreed, backing away slowly.  "What's the other pet?"

"We have a growing shrub demon.  He's harmless unless you try to hurt someone.  Then he's got some poisoned spines.  Hole in the ground," she warned.  Shea stepped over it and then turned and fled.  "She must not be used to cuteness, guys."  She petted Binky and smiled at Digger.  "If I had it, I'd pet you too."  He snuffled her arm then headed off to play in the snow.  Faith went to get a ball from the gym, coming out to toss it down for them.  "Thought you were bored."  She kicked it and then Digger kicked it.  Binky came over to play too.  Abby came out to watch when a guard called her and she had her video camera.  That was so cute!  Unicorn soccer.


Buffy heard her phone beep, opening it to look at the message.  "New email from Abby.  Unicorn soccer?" she said.  The girls all came over to watch the video on her laptop.  They all giggled at the cuteness.  "We need to find them more toys.  They're still pretty little."

"We can go look," Rona offered.  "Wonder if the new girl saw."  Buffy gave her a look.  "One of the ones the first guy going to look for girls found.  Her parents were demon hunters if I remember right so she stayed at home to train there.  I ended up giving up my room on base to her since we're out of room."

Buffy nodded.  "She sounds nice enough.  Guess we'll find out soon enough.  Let's see how she does on rotation."  She called out there.  "Hey, John, it's Buffy.  Do we need to rotate the new girl out here for some experience?"  She listened.  "That makes sense.  Some hunters have less skills in some areas so a few months of training time should do her good.  Sure, we're here.  Tell Abby the film is widely cooed over here and she should send it to Cordette too.  Thanks."  She hung up.  "She doesn't have all the weapons skills she needs and she needs some one-on-one training time with Dean and Faith before she can come out.  Apparently her parents don't do as much running as we do.  Though he said she rides a motorcycle."

"She sounds cool," Amber said.  "I'll send you guys piccies later tonight."  She gave them a hug.  "Thanks, Kennedy."

"Not a problem, Am.  It's all good to us."  She smiled and Dawn opened the portal so she could go home.  They all waved and Kennedy reached over Buffy's arm to replay the footage.  It was adorable!

Willow walked off, shaking her head.  Too cute for her tastes.  Though, she remembered liking cute things like that.  She would've squealed and bounced at one point in time.  Maybe she had changed too much.  She wasn't the same Willow she was before she had met Buffy, or even after she had met Buffy.  She wasn't even the same Willow as she had been when Tara had been her snuggly one.  Tara's ghost had been right about that.  She needed to take a long look at herself and change herself back.


John stopped Thomas later that night.  "Question about the Halloween thing."  He nodded, looking attentive.  "Why didn't my wife show up?  Sam's did.  The others did."

"Three good possibilities there.  She's moved onto a higher plane than he could call back.  She may be bound somewhere or might have been needed to give messages to someone else.  Or it's possible she's been reborn.  A few souls are reborn."

"She had been tied to our old house but we know she's moved on from there."

"How recently?"

"Within the last two years."

"Then it's entirely possible that she's either moved past this more shallow plane of existence and couldn't get back or she's been reborn."

John smiled.  "She might like that."

"She may," he agreed.  "We'll have to wait and see.  If so, the soul may find some kinship with you.  I have no idea who decides which ones come back or if it's voluntary."  He nodded at that.  "Is Samuel all right?"

"He's fine, Thomas.  They talked.  She gave him permission to move on.  So we'll see."  The other man smiled.  "Thank you."

"You're most welcome.  When will the new one be shown around in my area?"

"Tomorrow."  He smirked.  "She can research.  I know because I taught her."

"Good."  He patted him on the arm as he walked around him.  "Have a good night, John."

"You too."  He went to look something up.  He knew the right section.  He'd been browsing it recently for the answer to that question.  He found a spell that would tell him if she had moved on or not.  Dawn might be wiling to do it for him.


Shea walked into dinner that night, nodding at the younger girls.  "Ladies."

"Girls, this is Shea," Faith said.  "We knew about her but he parents were like less evil Johns so we left her there."  They all waved.  "She's in Rona's old room.  So let's not try to prank the new girl.  Got me here?"  They nodded.  "Good.  Little B, send down a plate or two?"  She passed them down from the stack and they sat down to eat.  "X?"

"Case," Dawn said grimly.  "Not a happy looking case either.  Looks like someone's stealing magical supplies in LA.  Crissy got it reported to her but they hit both targets."

"So team case?" Dean asked.  She nodded.  "Dangerous?"

"Depends on what they want them for," Dawn admitted.  "We're still trying to figure out why they stole what they did.  They stole some stuff that isn't supposed to go together."  That got a sigh and a nod.

"If you had to guess off the top of your head, what're they doing?" John asked.

She considered it.  "Some of them are for a revival, like what Willow did to Buffy.  None of them are healing herbs but two are used in fire spells.  The last one I can't even find a mention of so I'm guessing whatever spell hinges on that."

John nodded.  "Could it be a resurrection spell?"

"If so, why?  And who?  We're not sure how yet."

"They'll figure it out.  They always do," Faith pointed out.  She handed food off to Shea.  "There, eat.  We all eat like beasts."

"Good to know."  She dug in, watching the other girls watch her.  Soon enough someone would be brave enough to talk to her.

"She's not going to be more evil than me," Annabelle said a few minutes later.  They all relaxed and stared to ask her questions.  Faith told them how she ran from the unicorns but that was all right.  Not everyone dealt in squishy, happy emotions.

"They like to cuddle," Sam warned with a grin.  "Binky climbed up in Xander's bed in the infirmary."

"Didn't that hurt his injuries?"

"Nah, his were all internal.  She got comfy and snuggled in for a lot of sleepy petting."

"I'll get used to them," she said.

"We all did," one of the girls down the table agreed.  "They're so cute!" she squealed.

"Speaking of, ladies," Sam said, getting attention.  "Brenda brought to our attention the prom is this spring."  A few smirked.  "Those who want to go, let us know by the first of December so we can plan shopping trips.  Do some looking first so you have an idea of what you want to wear and in what color so you don't have to try on every dress in the store.  Ask any of the girls for their opinions but remember what we three and Xander will dress you in."

"Including locking chastity belts with a combination and a keypad lock," Dean quipped before eating a bite of hamburger.  They all glared at him.  He smirked back.  "No hotel rooms.  No drinking, no drugs, no orgies were the rules set down."

"That seems pretty fair," Dawn decided.  "Where would they go to shop?"

"The next town over has a bridal shop," Don called.

"So we can look there," Brenda decided.  Don gave her an odd look.  "I got invited."

"Cool."  He grinned and she grinned back.  "Remember to plan things like all going to the hairdresser and all that stuff."  They groaned but nodded and made a detailed plan of how to attack this problem.  It wasn't much different than a battle plan, simply spread out in months instead.


Xander came back from his case a few days later exhausted.  He walked out of the garage and ran into Faith.  "Can I take a nap before you hit me with the problem?" he asked, seeing the disgusted look on her face.  "I know I stink and I need to shave," he said when she didn't say anything.

"Not that, X.  The new docs are bad."

"Touching the girls bad?"

"Not quite that bad.  We talked to Jackson and he's trying to find a replacement but the guy thinks we're all some sort of holy virgins.  He refused to fill a few girls' pills.  He insisted that all of us are pure warrior women, like Valkyries."

"None of you can ride horses that I know of," he said, frowning some.

"That too.  Some of us ain't pure either, boytoy."

"Oh, I remember very well," he offered with a grin, giving her a hug.  "Did they get them?"

"Yeah, we called New Jersey and Chase called the local health department, who wrote the 'scripts for us."  Xander grinned at that.  "But he hates you."

"He's only seen me for the one nosebleed that wouldn't stop fast enough."

"He thinks you're promoting us to be less than pure and holy warrior women."

Xander snorted.  "No.  Sorry.  I'm all for putting all of you into locking chastity belts."

"He said we didn't even need our yearly exams because we didn't have a hole."

Xander sighed, going to talk to Daniel himself.  "What can I do to help solve this?"

"The girls are disgusted, Xander."

"With the docs, right?" he asked hopefully.

"Yes, not with anyone else.  Stella even went off on them.  They're causing problems.  I'm looking for a new one."

Xander nodded.  "Are you sending me to recruit?"

"No, we need you here.  He reported to social services that you had all the girls put on the pill."

"Yeah, and we had a good reason."

"They agreed but they wanted to talk to you."

He sat down with a sigh of defeat.  "What now?"

"Nothing wrong, just a general check on things."  Xander relaxed at that.  "They looked into the skipping school matter.  Found out why.  Suggested a few ways to help with that.  It's going okay."  Xander beamed.  "This is a fair warning."

"Faith said he thinks I'm corrupting them."

"Yeah, somehow he's got them being holy women warriors knighted by God to do his bidding."

"So they're the holy version of Xena when she found The Way?" he said dryly.

"Basically," he agreed with a grin.  "I'm working on it.  Don't stress.  What happened in LA?"

"Sacramento.  They were stealing in LA to cover their tracks.  It was a lot of investigative work and I think Calleigh's upset that I'm not as good as she is at it.  I did my best.  We stopped the ritual to bring someone back and have Justice demons go after them for whatever crime they committed.  A human on human crime this time and the local prosecutor told her they'd handle it.  So we gave them what we have and left it there."

"Good.  I doubt she's mad at you but I'll talk to her."

Xander nodded. "Thanks, Danny."  He stood up.  "Can I nap or should I worry about dinner?"

"Go nap.  Appear for dinner if you can."  Xander nodded, heading to do that.  Daniel went to find Calleigh, finding her finishing her report.  "Hey.  How'd it go?"  He pulled a chair over to sit next to her desk.

"It..."  She looked at him.  "He jumps to a lot of conclusions before getting evidence."

"He's used to having a fairly small pool that could be the cause of bad things going on.  He's also got intuitive thinking instead of deductive most of the time."

Horatio looked over, then rolled his chair over.  "During the Miami case, Paul said he often played wall for Xander to beat his head against until he came up with an idea."

"He muttered a few times then suddenly came up with something.  Once was a strange direction to go in but it led to a contact that knew the problem instead of being the problem.  The evidence we had was  pretty skimpy and he just seemed to...mutter himself into it.  The detective in charge looked terrified of him.  Encouraged me to watch him more closely too.  The slayers in town were nice.  I met all three of them.  Cordette's a lovely little girl."

"She is," Daniel agreed with a smile.  "Can you work with him?"

"Will he trust me to play wall with me?  I felt like some newbie detective following him around."

Gibbs walked in.  "How was your case with the White Knight?"

She stared at him.  "Huh?"

"That's his official nickname in the demon underground.   The White Knight of Sunnydale.  Now of DCIS."

"Well, hell, no wonder we jumped in and solved two of Epps' cases for him."  Gibbs smirked at her as he came over.  "Is he always jumpy and does he always make strange, ballet-like thought leaps?"

"I watched how he and Tony worked together.  DiNozzo can work with someone like you guys are, who follow every lead down to the shortest cell.  He works great with people who have this very flowing mind though.  Instinct, gut and not, hunches based on small facts  you can't spout off immediately but your mind knows and drops them into place for you, a contact list ten miles wide.  He will drive a by-the-book, procedural person nuts."

"Now and then instincts can be wrong," she said.

"Yes but his will lead you back onto the path even if you do take some strange turns to get there.  Like House's mind did."  She nodded once at that.  "As you two get closer in training, it'll work better.  DiNozzo agreed with me on something, Xander pulls out his uptight, more linear thinking self, when he works with most of the guys on the floor.  Messer and he can flow well together but they rub each other wrong in the field.  Flack too.  Personally I think that's being a New Yorker instead of the California young guy he is."

"He and Mac don't get along that great," Horatio said.  "They're still pretty uptight around each other.  Mac's very by-the-book most of the time."

"Xander's service is sensed by his former instincts," Gibbs agreed.  "Mine too.  Drives us nuts because half the time our instincts are telling us he's a threat but not to us.  We're both working on that.  We get the same thing from all the Winchesters too.  Especially John."

"Interesting," Horatio said, looking at Calleigh.  "Have you gotten any training time in?"

"Very little.  I'm still taking sword and machete lessons with Dean."

"Have Xander go over that with you," Gibbs told her.  "Not that it's his best art, but he'll get you there.  You may end up looking like a modern day Xena with guns, but he'll get you there and it'll help you relax around him because you'll see how he's trained to react to threats.  His usual is to pull a plan out of somewhere south of his beltline."

"Usually with artillery," Horatio said.

"It didn't go badly, it was more like I was following along behind like a rookie," she told them.

"That'll end as he finishes up your training," Gibbs assured her.

"The knowledge we use here is somewhat different than in other jobs," Daniel agreed.  "Definitely the way your mind processes it into how things happened even if some of the root causes of cases are the same."

"Part of that is cultural bias," Horatio agreed.  "I found myself having that problem on my first few."

She nodded.  "That I can see.  Half of the following around part of the case was him telling me how to deal with the various demons."

"Someone nearly ended up with a wife for talking directly to a woman," Daniel told her.

"In this case, we could only talk to the clan leader.  He would interpret.  Xander could speak their language, but the lesser member was not allowed to speak to us.  I have no idea how he got anything out of that talk.  He was making notes as they talked for me."

Gibbs shuddered.  "Language lessons."

"Some are fairly complicated but some are also easy, Jethro," Daniel chided with a frown.

"At my age, learning things from the young pups is supposed to drive me nuts," he shot back.

Calleigh looked at Daniel.  "We can learn them?"

"It's highly encouraged.  Sam and I go over them with the girls while Wesley teaches Latin to those that need it.  We've got good lessons for eight of them out of over fifty.  Xander had us taping all the earlier lessons so they can be used later on and we only had to run one class during the early case days."

"I get some of those, some Latin and one language from Sam, and one from Thomas now and then," Gibbs told her.  "Watchers even use a special form of Latin."

Daniel nodded.  "The girls who were raised by the old council knew how to speak it.  It got them past the language barrier for the first little while.  Most of the others spoke English but three or four didn't that I remember.  Teaching ASL was fun.  Kept me from being bored most of the time."

"You're a stronger man than I am," Horatio told him, getting a smile back.  "The early days around here sound like they were insane."

"Now and then," Daniel agreed, smiling just a bit.  "Tony and Xander kept us from going under, making too many big decisions at once, and kept us sane when the stranger things started to happen.  We didn't get John until after the invasion.  The boys we only had for a few months before then."  They all stared.  "Xander was doing all that but we had the Major and Benny Ray in to help with the lessons for that end.  That's why the girls sneak so well.  They took commando sneaking lessons."

Calleigh giggled.  "You can tell with some of them.  How's the new girl doing?"

"Good," Daniel agreed.  "John gives her funny looks most mornings at breakfast.  She has a very...risque wardrobe at times.  He made her put on a shirt a few times."

"Some women need to flaunt it," she told him.

"Yes, but learning self defense is not the place to wear spike heels and a leather bustier," Daniel shot back with a grin.

"No, it's not."

Horatio smiled.  "She seems very nice.  I do know John was complaining to the girl's father that he hadn't trained her to do a lot of things he should have.  She gave him a dirty look when she heard and went to complain to him.  So he showed her exactly what his boys had been trained to do.  She pouted with some ice cream and got back to self-defense work with Faith, Brenda, and him."

"Brenda's going to be the one training hunters and slayers later on," Daniel agreed.  "She does good with that.  Faith does okay but Brenda is more strict in their training.  Brenda also seems to fit very snugly inside that family.  Which is good for her."

Calleigh nodded.  "Are they still moaning over prom fashions?"

"They're letting the girls tease each other out of too slutty of a dress," Gibbs said.  "Some of the two piece ones a few of the girls like are bras with skirts."

She nodded.  "They have looked that way.  Is Wes having more headaches?"

"No.  We slipped him sedatives, put Wesley on a plane, told the stewardess he was a nervous flier so she'd help, and sent him on a vacation," Gibbs said bluntly.  "He hasn't had one.  His vacation was to come back from Cleveland to here.  He's heading down to slightly oversee the last of the packing up of the Carribean office."  They all smiled at that.  "Xander paid for it and put Caridad in charge of patrol schedules for the next three weeks."

"Good," Daniel agreed.  "I know Wesley needed it."

Gibbs nodded.  "I have no idea how those two ran everything."

"Xander dealt with the major things and had to let some of the important, but more minor details slip most of the time," Daniel told him.  "Like finding the other girls.  He went to talk to the Major about it when they did the location spell for them.  They got a good recommendation of who to send, picked out a few girls to go with them, talked to them, hired them, made them accept the girls going with them, and sent them off.  They're getting the last two at the end of this month.  I have no idea if those girls are coming back here or not.  They might go sub in for Crissy since she's pregnant."

"They found the last two, one wants to stay, one doesn't.  They spent the time to hook the girls there up with locals who could support her, help her train, and got her all the information they could on how to identify, hunt, all that.   All but seven so far have shown up here," Gibbs told him.  "And yes, they're going to stop in Cleveland then hit LA.  Xander and Wesley were thinking about letting the two of them handle Europe and spread a few of the girls that way."

"That's a good thing to worry about," Daniel agreed.  "Can they do that?  Set it up like Cleveland originally was?"
"Xander's already got that worked out.  They're working on finding them a good place to live.  They're going to set up one girl in Rome, and she's native to Italy but had to run from her family who thought she was possessed.  She's apparently setting up things there with Buffy's input.  Buffy's going to travel over to see her and help her for a few weeks later next month.  The ones that were on retrieval duty are going to Vienna.  One of the ones who stayed home is in upper Germany, near the Russian border.  The strike team report said the Russians do know about her, are friendly with her, and will gladly come to her if they need help as well.  She was apparently council trained so she's skilled and she's nineteen.  We can send her a new girl in a few years that's been fully trained to take over for her.  The two on retrieval are both late seventeen.  They were also council trained so they knew what they were doing.  The guys apparently worked on their skills to fill in some gaps.  Probably as good as Dean could do."

"How much did that cost the Council?" Calleigh asked.

"Shitloads out the ass," Xander said as he came in.  "Think Cho would go back home and work?  Wesley had a voicemail asking us to please put a slayer back in Asia."

"It's possible," Gibbs said.  "Why her?"

"She's from the area.  She speaks the language.  She does pretty good at leading.  I called them back and said we could definitely set that up but it'd be about a year before we had anyone trained to be with her.  If they had a current problem we could send a team of girls but most of the girls are a bit too young to go on their own and we wanted someone to watch their backs.  I also said she was not going to be allowed to take part in politics, be used by any government, or be a figurehead doll of any government.  Slayers were outside all that and had to work in all countries, not just theirs.  They agreed but said that might be harder.  We're figuring out where we'll put them.  I'd say somewhere like Japan but I can't be sure that's close enough to the lower Asia problem areas or the ones in Tibet.  Which we probably can't get to.  I did ask them that question and they said the Chinese handle that and we wouldn't be worrying about it."

"Sounds like the usual from that way," Gibbs admitted.  "I can call one of the NCIS offices over there to get someone to suggest where a slayer house should go."

Xander gave him a hug.  "Thank you, Gibbs."

"You're welcome.  Get off."  Xander got off with a back slap and went to his desk.  "The retrieval girls?"

"All four will be back later this week.  They're going to stop in Cleveland, yell at Giles, then hit LA to fill in for Crissy until the usual spring apocalypse.  Their teammates are back in that area so it'll be an easier transition and it'll scare Deadboy to death.  Again.  Connor could use the help anyway at the moment according to him.  By the way, the spring apocalypse is not in LA this year but it is on the east coast.  Which is driving Angel even more nuts than Dru.  They're doing some prep work in LA but no one knows for what.  They've been weeding it down already.  Yes, the artillery build up was part of that.  No, we don't think the demons were going to start a war.  We think they were scared and decided to stock up, just in case."

Daniel shuddered at that phrase.  "Where on the east coast?"

"We'll know by February at the latest usually," Xander told him.  "So far all we know is it comes from the east's morning light."  He gave him a look.  "So far that's all anyone's said to anyone about it.  I made special effort to ask."

"Could be us, could be Europe," Gibbs said, considering it.

"Could be Godzilla for all we know," Xander shot back.  "No clue right now.  By Christmas we'll probably have a name so by February we'll have a place and a possible date.  By March, a plan."

Gibbs nodded.  "Let me help plan?"

"You're a watcher, Gibbs.  You'll be in the field being a commander.  Like the invasion in LA, someone will do the girls, someone will do the agents, and they'll have to work together most likely.  Though I do know this has nothing to do with Buffy dying for a few seconds in Cold Oak.  That we did find out.  They were nervous the First was going to come back but the seal's still sealed and buried in Sunnydale.  I sent a geology team out to check on it through Charlie Epps.  They do it about every six months."

"Good."  He smirked.  "Not bad, kid."

"Thanks.  Sometimes it comes to me," he said smugly.  He looked at Daniel.  "The docs?"

"Haven't heard back from my second choice yet," Daniel admitted. "I'm waiting.  We're working on it, Xander."

"Anna has another x-ray tomorrow," Xander told him.

"I'm going with her and I will smack one of them on the head," Gibbs assured him.  "Who told you?"


"Ah."  He nodded as he walked off.  "She does good work."  He went to check on the girls, finding one of the docs telling them to not eat so much.  "Leave them alone.  They burn it off.  Six of them are still underweight by the charts."  The doctor sneered so he punched him.  "Step off."  The man ran back to the infirmary.  He went to tell Jackson on himself.  It worked better that way around there.  He leaned into the squad room.  "I just punched the lesser idiot doc for telling the girls they ate too much."

"Had enough now," Xander warned, looking at him.  "I get the next blow."

"Works for me," Gibbs agreed, heading off to undo that damage.  They were still girls.  They were fragile sometimes.  Anna was pouting and that was unforgivable in his book.


Xander slid through the window and into the nice apartment, letting the window fall shut.

"You can't use a door?" a grumpy voice complained from the bed.

"Hell no.  Your neighbor tried to call a cop."

"She tried on me too."  House turned on the lights.  "What happened?"  He noticed the black eye.  "You came all the way here to get an ice pack?"

"The two docs and I got into a brawl."  He sat on the foot of his bed.  "Wanna come back?  Please?  Danny said whatever bonus you wanted was yours."

"Still not into your type, kid."

Xander snorted.  "They decided the slayers were holy virgin warriors without a hole who had super healing capabilities.  They didn't need to do Anna's x-rays, he didn't need to stitch Faith when she fell on the ice again.  Even though you could see the bone this time.  John stitched it and threw a fit.  They tried to deny treatment to a few agents who had been on a field case and got banged up because that was the girls' duty because they were called by God."

"I didn't think they were that freaky when I chose them," he admitted, sounding tired.

Xander leaned closer.  "House, they're beyond freaky and now they're in jail."

House moaned.  "Damn it."

"Not for the fight, or for the not treating, but for mistreating.  On purpose."  House stared at him.  "Crissy came back for a checkup and thank god Gibbs was still down there with Anna with the way they went off on her.  Gibbs got the local sheriff and CPS into it to arrest the assholes.  Crissy's just barely under eighteen and they said she was fine and happy where she was.  We got called on by them as well.  So the social worker knew and Daniel had told them she was knocked up.  He was drawing medicine out to make her miscarry.  Anna caught him.  Please?  Anything you want, House?  Just another six months and find us someone decent?"

"I can try, kid.  You couldn't call?"

"I'm more charming in person," he said with a grin.   "It's keeping me from beating the shit out of John for the new girl."

"New girl?"

"Another hunter's daughter and John's been running her ragged because her parents did things a different way.  I stepped in to take over her training since he was less than objective.  He's known her since she was little.  Her bodysuit mentality is not high on his happy list."

"She okay?"

"They had a few spectacular shouting matches about hunting demons and how she was good enough to hunt on her own.  Dean and Faith are doing good with her while John goes back to being a daddy again.  Brenda got him calmed down last time by pointing out it was the same as having been half Council trained like most of them were.  We're on the downside of that."  He heard the person in the hallway.  "Visitors this late?"

"Usually not."  He slid out of bed and grabbed his cane, going to open his door before they could knock and his neighbors complain.  "Yes, Officer?"

"Sir, we had reports you were being broken into?"

"That's a former coworker who's begging me to come back.  He won't do it again and he did it because my neighbor's too nosy for her own good."


Xander came out and pulled his ID.  "The docs he found for us fragged.  I didn't want to get into it with his very demonic neighbor since she's possessed and I'd have to do something that would bring even more cops and disturb the whole street's sleep," Xander told him.

The cop in the lead winced at the name on the ID then at House.  "You were there?"

"The last six months in the infirmary," he agreed.  "Thank you for your concern.  Xander, which neighbor?"  He pointed across the hall.

"We'll check on her, sir.  She's the one who called."

"I came in through the back window," Xander told him.  "How did she see me?"

They stared then went to check on that before going to talk to her.  They came to get Xander an hour later so he could banish the spirits in her then he went back to talking to House.  Begging was clearly going on.


House walked into his office the next morning and found his ducklings.  "They arrested the docs we chose," he told Chase.  "They went creepy and psycho on the girls."

"I heard."

Xander walked in reading something.  "One of them was going to make Crissy miscarry by shooting her up with something."  He looked over at him.  "Please come back?"

Chase smiled.  "I'll consider it."

House nodded.  "We have a meeting with Cuddy later.  After I have more coffee since Xander snuck in last night and then had to help unpossess my neighbor."  He went to the coffee maker and poured some.  "Xander?"

"I'm good.  I had a soda while chanting."  He handed the case over to Chase with a grin.  "The CPS file."

He read it over.  "They called them on you guys?"

"Yup.  Said the girls were holy warrior virgins without needs or want of sex.  That they did not have sexual organs, they were incapable of bearing without a holy decree from God, and that you two had been wrong that they had VD."

"Bet me," House muttered into his coffee.

"Crissy really blew that by being pregnant.  She's showing very well right now."

"Is it healthy?" Chase asked.

"They're doing the needle testing thing soon she said.  She's bringing Connor to break his hand during it because she hates needles."

"Don't much blame her," Foreman said.  "Any good news?"

"I'm not sure Binky's not in heat."  House spluttered.  "We're hoping not because we don't need a whole herd of unicorns.  If so, Digger isn't looking too happy about it so maybe he's gay.  We're not really sure."

House shook his head.  "That's bad."  Wilson walked in with a smile.  "Look who snuck around my possessed neighbor last night."

"Charming."  He smirked at Xander.  "That bad?"

"Oh, so bad, and they're in jail."  He grinned at House.  "If you're here, the apocalypse this spring is somewhere in the east."  House choked at that.  "We're not sure where, yet, but we'll let you know if you're still here."

"Please," Chase agreed.  He handed House the folder, getting it waved off.  So Xander took it back and put it into his waistband.  "How long?"

"Six months, forever and ever?  We'll even let you hit on the older girls, or let them pounce you so you don't feel like you're taking advantage of them.  Gloria offered herself up."

Chase smiled, blushing some as he shook his head.  "I could never be with someone that much younger than I am."

"I didn't get that offer?" House asked.

"Six of the older girls said they would if you'd come back.  Two meant it.  One vowed to try harder to get you this time."

"Anna?" he joked.

"Mary did vow to prank you but no.  Mercada did."

House moaned, shaking his head.  "She's a sweet, quiet girl, very graceful, but still underage."

"Not anymore.  She turned sixteen last week."

"Still too young," Wilson said.  "Most states say eighteen for marriage."

Xander looked at him.  "She doesn't want a ring."

Wilson snickered.  "He told me."  Cuddy walked in.  "You heard?"

"Barely.  What happened?"  Xander handed over the report.  She read it and moaned.  "Oh, no."

"Yeah.  I'm here to be tempting enough to steal at least one of them back.  Hopefully both, maybe more."  He looked at House.  "Your second choice just got busted for heroin use.  Your third is pretty nice but he wants to stay in LA and he's learning a lot from the healers out there.  We like him and his wife, but they both want to stay."

"Which is why I didn't hire him," House said, finishing his coffee.

"If you want to, you can quit and move out there," Cuddy said, handing the folder back.  "Is the pregnant one all right?"

"Gibbs was there and stopped him.  Thankfully."  He looked at House then at her.  "The next apocalypse is somewhere on this coast we think," he told her.  "We won't be stealing him forever unless we have to.  Because if he wants, the girls will handcuff him, but we'll need him able to work on this coast if something happens."

"Here?" she demanded.

He shrugged.  "We're still trying to figure that part out."  He looked at House.   "The artillery case was all just in case weapons.  They're gearing up to fight something with us."

"Aliens?" he asked hopefully.

"No, that's not our job.  That's someone else's job," Xander said dryly.

"I've seen a few MIB types," Wilson quipped.

"Jack," House told him.  Wilson gaped.  "Something like that.  Long range telemetry or something like that in Cheyenne Mountain.  Somewhere under NORAD from my digging."

Xander nodded.  "I can't comment, it's classified."  He looked at Wilson with a grin.  "Let's just say if it is aliens, it's handled and we won't have to worry too much.  The girls might have to go help but if they're too human they might not be able to."

"Good to know."  He sat down.  "So, how long do you think it'll take?"

"Don't know," Xander admitted, looking at House.

"I had it narrowed down to five.  I erased two for being assholes," House sighed.  "The ones in LA are going to be perfect."

"They're taking in residents to teach as they learn," Xander told him, getting a smile from all them.  That would give them later specialists to lean on.  "Please?  I'll get on my knees here and now, House."
"You're still not my type, you don't charge," House shot back.

Xander smirked.  "At least we figured out why those bad girls thought I was."

"Good!  That was driving everyone nuts," Chase complained.

Xander smirked.  "Brenda will some day get hit by it too."

"John's going to cry," House said.  He looked at Cuddy.  "You haven't found me a case in a week."

"Cases come as they come.  I can't help that everything's been colds and flus for the last week."

Chase and House stared at each other the House nodded.  "You sure?" Chase asked.

"You can do the job.  If you need something bigger call.  I already agreed to stay on consult for the infirmary and I'll be looking over your shoulder while I try to find you someone better.  As a post, it's not a bad one for a resident."

"No it's not," he admitted.

"You can switch off if you need to," Cuddy decided.  She looked at Xander.  "They'll be paid by your agency?"

"I made a good dent in my student loans thanks to it," Chase assured her.  Xander smiled at that.  "Have to be paid off somehow. The faster I do, the faster I can buy a house someday."

"True.  You're sure, House?"

"If I get too bored I'll call Dawn," he said dryly.  "Why are you armed?"  He had noticed that.

Xander looked down then at him.  "Sam reminded me to bring it."

"Is that like you reminding agents to bring a first aid kit, just in case?" House asked calmly.

Xander shrugged.  "Not as far as I know.  I haven't had any just in case feelings recently."

"Good.  Take care of my duckling.  He's fragile and a bit stupid."

"The girls will baby him if he's being fragile and they think he's brilliant."  House smirked at him.  "They do."

"Uh-huh."  He looked at Chase, who nodded and left with Xander.  "Let me call LA to take his place," he said, going into the office.  Those two had fallen into the job offer a bit too readily.  The others had to be talked into it.  He should've known.

Cuddy went to do some paperwork to release Chase to DCIS again.  She could send it to him out there.


Xander got that special 'oh, shit' feeling and called someone from the plane's phone.  "This is DCIS Agent Xander Harris.  Is Jack O'Neill there please?  Yeah, it's important.  Tell him I'm having another of those issues he hated and it's coming his way.  He'll understand."  He was put on hold and Jack came on.  "I have n idea, Jack.  All I know is it's heading your way.  It's like Ammit.   It's not coming in the normal way but I'm not sure how they're doing it.  Usually within the day, usually within hours.  Hey, if I'm wrong for the first time, call it a drill," he said dryly.  "I know that they're coming because I'm getting the strong urge to come see you.  Please.  Thank you.  On my way back to base with Doctor Chase.  The ones they found turned into idiots that we had to have arrested."  He smiled.  "Thanks, Jack.  Sure.  Have fun with it.  Make pithy quips and all that."  He hung up and relaxed.  "Sorry, that feeling hit again."

"It happens and it's a good thing when it does," Chase reminded him.  Xander nodded.  Chase smiled, watching him slowly drift off to sleep while he went back to his book.  It was a good read and he had been missing the girls.


Willow finished her preparation.  She knew what she needed to do.  Some things had to be better in her life so she could move on and the world would be safe and calm again.  The Powers had pointed out where the lynchpin was.   She had to do this to protect the younger slayers and herself, plus Buffy.  It was the best way to get back to herself.

She cast the spell.


to part 21 (which can be skipped, major angst part that explains what's happening)

to part 22