Demon Criminal Investigative Services: Merging.
Daniel looked up as the president's call came up on his teleconferencer. "Yes, sir?" he asked.
"Daniel, bad news. They are going to demand you and Jack merge. They've included it in the last budget bill."
Daniel nodded. "We thought they might. Are the new guys going to be pushy?"
"I can't turn this one down, Jackson."
"I figured as much, sir. Jack and I do have a plan. What about the other two agencies?"
"I said if it happened, they had to put the other two with you too. They asked why so I gave them the Initiative file. They agreed, they should all be together so someone with sense can stop that."
"Which we can do," Daniel agreed. "Jack agreed that since the SGC is still covert, they'd be under our umbrella. For them, not much will change except the paperwork issue. Unless you're going to take the military guys from them?"
"No. They're staying. They're needed so they're staying." That got a nod. "You two had one of your chats?"
"The one taking over for Jack kicked him out of his office for the weekend last month."
"Good. So you're set?"
"I need to hire a few IT people first. Their system won't talk with ours and we have to make sure their classified materials are staying classified. Some of my people don't have the rating to see that."
"I noticed one has a fairly low rating."
"Taylor. I don't know why, sir. I'm looking into it after talking to him. He said before he was more than happy to have a low rating. It kept him out of the politics."
"It'd work for me. There's days I hate it too." He smirked. "Less paperwork?"
"He'll have to do the military paperwork on his people but we all know I don't need that much more paperwork. When it happens, Jack'll be my AD over that area and he'll get to go shut down parts of NID for me. Then we'll see where we can trim and cut."
"That'll work. Is he going to take your spot if you retire?"
"I'm not retiring, sir."
"I know that."
"If he wants. If not he'll tell you himself."
"Good point. Jack's not one to like paperwork." Daniel shook his head quickly. "How is your budget?"
"We will have a small surplus that will be funneled into the lab."
"Good. What about their budgets?"
"I can promise to trim a lot out of NID's but some of it may be shifted to Atlantis, sir."
"They could probably use a bit more. Take it that first year and see if you can trim about ten percent."
"Good." He smirked. "Any other traumas I should hear?"
"No, sir, why would there be?"
"The Cleveland FBI office has been watching the slayer's council for a while now."
Daniel nodded. "They caught one of their people hacking our utilities to have them shut off. That way we'd move the girls there."
"She's in jail?"
"She's on probation and if she *ever* does another thing she's in jail."
"Good. Anything else I should hear?" Daniel gave him an odd look. "I heard your wonder agent was injured."
"Rosenburg was playing what if with the universe, created a quantum mirror situation, and he got hurt during it, sir. He's fine. His arm's a bit broken but he's healing and is working, just at his desk."
"No. Who said he had one?"
"Someone else who saw."
"Once he got the injury fixed, that issue wasn't necessary. Not an issue, it was needed at that time."
"The first injury carried over..."
"And he's fine now, sir. He's using the herbal one we use on base. It's non-addictive and works very well. We even sent it with McKay."
"Good!" He smiled. "That's much better. We had heard he was using major drugs."
"No. Not even then, sir. A mild painkiller at the time but no."
"Even better. I'll let that be known." They shared a look. "Whoever this power player is that's trying to use you guys like chess pieces isn't having fun this week."
"We'd like to have a talk with him anyway, sir. None of us like being a pawn. Xander insists he's a knight, not a pawn."
"Good! I like that attitude. If I hear, you will." He smirked. "Egypt is not happy."
"Not my fault."
"I know. They need to consult with someone."
"We have a few people. I can send Wesley over since he's over patrols. He's also a former research watcher so once he knows which demons would be bringing their armies up, he can get the proper research done and help them. Plus see which girls need to go handle it."
"Even better. Their plans for international houses are well liked."
Daniel smiled. "We know it happens other places. We simply had to get the trained staff to deal with it. They're also recruiting a few of the agents to go to some of the houses if they wanted to retire from here."
"Excellent news." He shifted in his chair. "Other than that, are you doing all right out there?"
"We're doing pretty good. House and Chase are both back until they can find us competent help that won't go off the deep end this time. The last ones decided the girls were holy warrior women ordained by God who had no physical needs."
"The pregnant one from LA made one snap and he tried to hurt her so they're in jail."
"Even better. Any luck?"
"He has a set in mind but they're training to do the same job for LA. There's a good need there and they're taking in residents now to train while they learn. They're looking and they have a few others on their list."
"Even better. Any idea if we'll have a problem this spring?"
"As far as we can tell, some others here might take advantage of that problem to raise up the hierarchy of power. We've alerted all the cities that have their own office. LA is setting up theirs so we've leant them someone to set the ground rules. Horatio is doing very well with that."
"You always give me happy news, even when it's bad." He smiled. "I'll let you get back to your lack of paperwork."
"Yes, sir. When do they have their timeline of us changing over?"
"As soon as inhumanly possible is how it's written."
"By next Christmas all the kinks should be out."
"Excellent!" He smiled. "It'll get me some political points as well." He hung up.
Daniel called Jack, getting his assistant. "Jack in?"
"Meeting with SG-1, Doctor Jackson. Is it important?"
"Yes. Tell him to call me while he has Sheppard in on the conference. By tonight." That got a nod so Daniel hung up. He went back to his crossword puzzle. They didn't need his help in the library today and he was waiting on reports. It kept his mind sharp too. Jack called back an hour later and he waved, putting down the puzzle. "The current congress put it into a budget bill the president cannot veto," he said.
"Shit," Jack muttered.
John Sheppard raised a hand. "What are we talking about?"
"They've decided all of you guys, NID, and Area 51 are now mine," Daniel said with an evil smirk.
"Okay," he said, shuddering a bit. "Any other cheery news that should make me shoot myself?"
"We're shutting down the bad projects in NID. That means you guys might get a boost in your budget," Daniel offered.
"That's better news."
"This will cut down on some of the oversight paperwork."
"Even better," John agreed.
"This year's apocalypse is in Egypt so we'll have to work together anyway," Jack told him.
"Need some of us back?"
"We will need the ship so you'll have to plan supply runs to go without it for a while," Jack ordered.
"I can do that." Sam leaned into view. "We're getting switched under DCIS's banner."
"As far as we're concerned, DCIS is absorbing the other, quote, strange agencies. Since so much is classified that'll protect those other projects. That means we need computer specs from your systems, Sheppard. They'll have to talk to ours."
"Agreed. I'll tell Rodney that so he can tell Abby."
"She's on the board to make sure that works. We're hiring another IT person too. By next christmas, Jack. Fully integrated."
"We should be able to make sure it works."
"You may still have some military oversight since you're keeping all the military staff, but I'm guessing they'll be like outsourcing. I don't know how they're going to work that. As long as it works on our end they can tangle theirs until we're bothered." They all smiled at that. "So, starting say, March, Sam and John?"
"We're fully integrated with the SGC, Daniel," Sam offered.
"Good. Area 51 isn't."
"No," she agreed. "About a third is."
"So we'll start there and make sure the SGC works with ours. Then move to the remaining people at the other two places."
"Which they mostly do," Jack agreed. "There's very few conflicts and mostly Abby's fixed those." He leaned back in his chair and put his hands behind his head. "That means I'm taking over as your assistant director over us?"
"Yes. You're over the covert areas of DCIS. That means you get to go talk to the NID people and shut down what should not be going on."
"I hate scientists, Danny."
"I know that, Jack, but some are going really wrong. Whatever you think isn't ethical or necessary, you tell me and it'll be shut. Anything you find that's doing things like the Initiative, you shut immediately and arrest. I'll lend you a team of my people for that. Taylor, Caine, and DiNozzo?"
"That'll work," he agreed. "Those three understand geeks better than I do. DiNozzo has been your heir for so long they all know and respect him. The other two are split so they'll know what's wrong in a lab." That got a nod. "What about Area 51 and Kinsey?"
"Kinsey lost his seat," Daniel said happily. "We do have one power player trying to nudge the agency in the direction he wants. Like this move. We're working on stopping him." They all nodded. "Good. That means I'll need a complete list of what you guys are screwing around with and any projects you need or want to start, Sam."
"We can do that easily. Are your guys going to be bothered by our military people?"
"Some of my people are former military. I'm going to mostly keep them apart due to the nature of you guys' jobs. DCIS is one agency and still an umbrella. Like Homeland turned into for the smaller agencies. Jack's over the SGC and all that stuff."
"Good," she decided. "Thank you for warning us, Daniel."
"We sat down and figured out how it'd work out best, Sam. It shouldn't be too hard to deal with. Probably not a whole lot of problems outside any computer issues."
"Even better. We're good, sir, and we'll send you an outline for how to do the shipments. When is it?"
"Late April," Jack said. "It's the first week of December down here, Captain."
"Yes, sir." She hung up and they called a base-wide meeting. She went to look at them. "Some news from earth, people." They all stared.
"Two issues," John said. "First, their next apocalypse is going to include gou'ald so the ship isn't going to be running on time. They think this will happen around late April so we need to make plans now how to bridge any gap we may have." That got some nods. "The second is that the budget committee has decided we're too cute to be under the Pentagon anymore." They all stared.
"We're not being shut down. They decided anything, quote strange, unquote, is going to be moved under the DCIS umbrella," Sam said. "Us, SGC, NID, and Area 51." McKay spluttered. "They're working it out. We're going to be in the same sort of hidden pocket we are in the Pentagon, guys. For us nothing should change and Daniel Jackson is working hard with Jack O'Neill to make sure of it." They smiled at that. "McKay, Jackson needs computer specs to make sure our systems talk but can still hold the classified materials classified as well as a list of all ongoing projects and what we plan on starting in the lab. Daniel said he's shutting down part of the NID for unethical behavior. That's O'Neill's first job. That and our former coworkers at Area 51. Abby is on the consolidation committee."
"I've worked with all but the NID systems. I can make some suggestions."
"Good. I know it's a burden for you but if we have to have someone overseeing any updates, you're it since you know. Or we'll get Abby up for a few weeks to do that."
"Agreed," he said. "Food shipments and the like?"
"We can plan around that gap," Sheppard said, looking at the people in charge of that. "Start stockpiling now because room on the ship is tight. We might have to move some equipment back, I'm not sure yet. Give us outlines by the end of the week, people. Jackson has assured us he wants this to go smoothly. That's why he and O'Neill have already started on the plans thanks to the rumors."
"For us nothing should change," Sam assured them. "If it does, Daniel's going to eat someone." They smiled at that. "Get that to us, make sure the others who didn't make the meeting know. Let us know what we need to as soon as you know." They nodded, going to do that. "McKay." He hung up. "Abby has been working on the power issue. You might ask her if she has anything?"
"I can do that." He went to write her, see what they were thinking about the computer systems. It was in two steps, which were practical, and she was outlining where everything would have conflicts. He put in their conflicts and she said she'd add it to the list for them. He also added in the conflicts he remembered from Area 51 and the SGC. She told him they had just upgraded to a system that was more compatible so that made him happy. Someone had been hearing rumors for a while now. Well, they'd just have to deal with it it seemed. She sent up a bit of a personal message as well, making him shudder. "Some of the girls are getting ready for their proms."
"Prom?" Radek Zalenka asked.
"A formal dance in your senior year. Dreadfully boring but girls tend to put a lot of weight into it. They see it as a leadup to designing their wedding or some such." He waved a hand. "Abby's dealing with that as well as this. It appears we won't have many computer conflicts." He pointed at one. "It's useful but we might have to get an upgraded one that will talk better to our computers." They didn't like that machine anyway, it refused to integrate into the computer systems.
"We'll all do dances of joy," Radek said dryly. Rodney smirked at him. "We will be."
"We will. Get on the list for what we'll need for a possible four month gap. Just in case the ship blows up." That got a nod and he went to do that. Rodney went back to figuring out what they'd need to merge. That was a project fit to give everyone a headache. Not like someone like Dawn could cast a spell.... No, that was a horrible idea!
Daniel had made sure the girls told every agent they had to be at dinner. "Guys, before food, there's an announcement." He looked around. "Tony, House, and John?"
"John's meeting the girls coming in off the retrieval team," Xander told him.
"House was on a phone call," one of the nurses said.
"Tony's out of town on a case," Abby said, sipping her caf-pow. "What's up, boss?"
"As part of a budget bill that the president cannot veto there was an amendment stuck on to consolidate the agencies that deal with strange things." They all stared. "Us, Jack's project, Area 51, NID." He looked around. "They will be coming in under us, not the other way around." That got some smirks. That would mean not a lot of changing for them. House walked in. "House..."
"I heard from the hall." He sat down. "What does this mean for us?"
"This means we'll have a larger pool of resources to work with. You may be able to mine Jack's infirmary for suitable docs; I'll have to check on that." That got a nod and a smirk. "They are used to dealing with strange things and normal people who complain." He looked at Abby. "That means you'll have researchers who will be answering to you beyond your current staff. You're head over R&D and the labs. That would include them." She grimaced. "You can pick someone to give you summaries of projects but I can tell you there's going to be a few open spots over there and if you need some people I may be able to transfer some over to you."
"That might help now and then but there's still days they'd be bored, Danny."
"They can work on any good project, the same as you guys can, Abby." She smiled at that. He looked at the agents. "For you guys, not much will change. Jack's people will be like a hidden pocket inside the agency. Jack's going to be over all his people so we'll only have to worry about them when things happen." That got some nods. "For you guys, you're still DCIS and you're still here to solve cases. I will make the hierarchy clear in case you trip over Area 51 again during a case." That got a nod. He looked at the girls. "For you ladies, nothing much should change. It might mean some more agents on base."
Xander coughed. "I'm sure they're going to act mostly like responsible young woman," he said, looking at his girls, who all nodded. "This does mean we'll need the new housing set up almost immediately."
"We're going to be merged fully by next Christmas. Jack will need an apartment before then. I figure I can stick him in one of the ones in the new building since it's due to be finished in February. Before then, Jack, Horatio, Mac, and Tony will be going out to the NID and Area 51 projects to check for ethical guidelines, faulty lab practices, and to arrest anyone that's doing something totally wrong or Initiative like."
"I'd be happy to," Horatio assured him. "Is our power structure going to change?"
"For military things and the SGC things, the chain of command is me, Jack, his replacement or Major Sheppard - depending on which project it is, Tony, Xander. For cases or lab issues it is me, Tony, Xander unless I get an AD for that part of the job." They all nodded. "Xander, do listen to the military guys if it's something they need to handle?"
"Can I beat the new guy if he's an idiot? I trust Jack to know what's going on. John Sheppard too."
"The new guy is decent. He will know about gifts."
"He'll respect them if I have another just in case feeling?"
"He will. Jack's already told him and shown how it works for them with the last one you called in." Xander nodded at that. "So you can let him handle it. If it's something he's missing or something that you feel you *have* to handle, you argue with him about it and don't do more than handcuff him in a closet."
"I'd never take out a base's primary line of defense unless we were taking the base down," Xander assured him.
"Good. That's what I wanted to hear. Tony will be getting the same speech." He got a grin for that. "Since we're going to be building, are the girls going to need anything?"
"With so many leaving for foreign postings within a year we're a bit cramped but we can deal with it. For the new ones coming in today we're going to fix up one or two of the classrooms not in use for shared rooms."
"Why don't we move all the classrooms into the main building?" Daniel suggested. "That'll give you eight areas and that storage area. Build walls."
"They can be used for temporary housing later," Gibbs agreed. "Like another count situation."
Xander nodded. "We can do that. It's not that hard." They all nodded. "We already cleared two. Where did you want to hold demonology and ASL lessons? They're the last in the building."
"There's a good size room off the library," Thomas told him. "Use that. That way all the resources are at hand."
Xander smiled. "We can do that. It's bigger than the present room. Sam? That good for you?"
"It's fine with me, Xander. We've been running the other language lessons in there anyway." Daniel nodded at that. "We can finish clearing those out tonight with some help." That got a few nods from the girls. "Six classrooms so nine new bedrooms? A few are tiny rooms."
"That'll work for me," Xander agreed. "We'll talk with John when he's done with the new ones. Ladies, that reminds me, the new girls coming in tonight have been with a commando team for the last little while finding the missing girls. They have been in war zones, other countries, and in some situations that may make them have strong reflex actions." The girl from Iraq nodded at that. "They'll react like she does," Xander agreed. "As the one that's going back to LA found out."
"We won't pounce," Anna assured him.
"Thank you. Because they've been out so long they get first pick of the new foreign postings going out. Then the girls who're patrol qualified get to pick, Morgan, Crissy, and those in Cleveland first." They all nodded. "So if you think you want to, talk to Wes when he gets back."
"From time to time we may be adding an agent over to the houses to help them with a case or to liaison with the locals there," Daniel agreed. "If you're interested in that, let me know when it comes up." The agents all nodded. "I do know that the new quarters are
probably going to need to be added onto. We're looking at plans for another one to be put up after this one is done. Hopefully to be done by next Christmas."
"We might need a bigger lab," Abby warned.
"I can't stand some of the people at Area 51, Abby. Most of them are staying on their own base." She smiled at that, nodding a bit. "The new building has thirty new single apartments. Those'll be half filled by those in the married quarters presently."
"Am I moving?" Xander asked.
"No. Your floor is staying. I reserve the right to use your spare bedroom but you're staying. Sam and Dean need the room. Tony's movie collection takes up half his apartment." That got a smile. "Good. The next building would have more than two bedroom apartments. That way we can get people with families in. We have another six buildings we can fix up. We'll start with them." He looked around the agents. "So if one of you marries someone with kids, you can choose to live on base or you can live in town. Does that seem fair?" They all nodded at that. "Good. I do know our computer systems may need to be upgraded."
Abby shook her head. "I chose what we have based on the theory that we'll be growing. As long as we have enough space physically all we'll need is new servers for extra storage space."
"Excellent, Abby. Payroll too?"
"I got asked my opinion as a hacker on that. I picked that one because we can add up to a half million more names, it's easy to update but only for people cleared to, and it's harder than heck to hack. We'll be fine."
He smiled. "Better and better."
"Did I get a raise?"
"Yes, because I'm overworking you by putting you on the consolidation project to make sure our systems talk to their systems."
"Most of the lab computer will. There's only a few companies that make them and it makes more financial sense to have computers to talk to the others. Otherwise you end up in a Microsoft situation and smaller companies get pushed out. There's only a few things that won't talk to each other or varied computer systems." She took another drink of her caf-pow. "I've already gotten some from McKay and theirs will mostly work with us. They could use a software update."
"Good. Let me know by say the last day in January what you need to make the systems work well together. As few conflicts as possible."
"Thank you. Mac, Horatio, I need to know what you need to go out with Jack to look at the labs and projects by the holidays." They nodded at that. "I'm also looking at your clearance level again, Mac. It's ridiculously low. We're going to up you so you don't have to listen to 'you don't have the clearance to know that, young man' from some of the NID guys trying to stall you."
"That'll work for me," Mac agreed.
Daniel smiled. "All right, on the consolidation committee are Abby, Tony, myself, Jack, and Sam?" Sam shrugged but nodded. "I'd ask you, Xander, but you already do a lot." All the girls stared at him.
"Has it escaped your notice that I still do all the admin stuff outside of Cleveland's?" he asked dryly. They mostly nodded. "That's why I have an office in my second bedroom." They groaned. "Is that my only part to play, helping with the fixing up of the other buildings?"
Daniel nodded. "Yes. Your ideas have been pretty workable so far." He grinned. Xander grinned back. "Arm doing better? The president wanted to know."
"It's fine. I'm only taking the painkillers at night in case I roll over on it."
"Even better." He looked at House. "I'll ask someone tomorrow to see if we can poach from the SGC infirmary."
"Thank you. Are we going to hold a conference with them to go over what we know medically?"
"If you want. With the new guys in LA that could help them too. If you want to arrange and host a conference, go for it, House."
He grimaced. "That doesn't sound like fun. Maybe I'll make Sheppard arrange it for me as part of her vocational rehabilitation since she's back on the good drugs."
Gibbs spluttered. "She is?"
"She is. She's accepted demons and that she was doing wrong but she requested them."
"That's fine then." He looked at Daniel. "Sharing resources can run into snags."
"As far as I'm concerned, the Pentagon can hand over that section to us and let us handle it. Jack can handle the paperwork back to them and the budget will be used fairly." That got a nod. "Jack can hire whoever he wants to help him on that end." That got a nod. "Horatio, Mac, the president has asked if we could trim about ten percent off the NID budget if possible. It'll look better and keep us out of trouble next year with the paper pushers over the budget. It'll let them think they did a good thing for the US."
"It probably won't be that hard," Mac agreed. "If there's any that have to be fired or arrested that should cover it."
"That's what I was thinking," Danny agreed. "Maybe merging them with Area 51 as well. I know there's some very nasty sorts in there. The sort to stake you in the middle of the night so they have a body to work on. We've run into them before. Do be careful."
"We will be," Horatio agreed.
"Good." He looked around. "Any other concerns?" No one said anything. "Then let's eat, people." They settled in to eat and talk about the new things coming in. It could lead to a lot of work for Abby but it would also get her a lot of helpers to choose from. She could use a few new ones in the labs. Plus McKay could pick a few that weren't stupid beings he'd have to rant at as often as he does his present ones.
John smiled at the three girls driving up to the gate. "Ladies." They stopped and looked at him. "John Winchester. Dorm parent for the Slayers." He smiled. "Also over some of the earlier training." They smiled at that. "Everyone else is at dinner and we're rearranging a few rooms for you girls. We have a few bigger rooms you can split tonight and possibly tomorrow until we can make them regular rooms."
"That's fine with us," the one in the front passenger's seat of the jeep said. "Anything we should know tonight?"
"I'm here to guide you there, to dinner, introduce you to the girls and the others we have around." They smiled at that. "Sign in with the gate, go to the small two-story building and don't hit the bike, Impala, or the truck."
The one driving smirked. "We heard stories of slayers driving in Cleveland. They're a bit cramped."
"Some of them are going on foreign assignment within the next year. That'll be solved. Plus Giles is supposed to be finding a new permanent home for the Council." They all snorted at that. "We know, trust me. Go ahead and sign in." He headed for the building. They signed in and drove over. "Welcome to DCIS. I know you three won't be panty raiding like the younger girls sometimes do. I do issue KP, PT, and reasonable punishments for getting out of line."
"Agreed," the one said. They grabbed their bags and followed John inside. "Former classrooms?" she guessed.
John nodded. "They are. We'll be renovating and getting you beds and dressers soon." They all smiled at that. "It'll take about two days for it to be delivered." He waved. "There's three empty rooms. Pick one or two. Or three if you want. Showers and washer are upstairs." They dropped their bags in one room and followed him up. "Most of the girls get their own room. Only one set share and they're twins." He opened the shower. "First thing in the morning it's a madhouse thanks to pre-class rushing. Most of the girls here are in school." That got some nods. He showed them the washer then the linen closet. "Okay?" They nodded. "Good." He walked them down the stairs, smiling at Binky, who was waiting impatiently to be introduced. "This is Binky, she's one of two on base. We also have Digger. He's a traditional one."
"Aww, aren't you adorable," one of the girls cooed, petting her. She preened and followed them to the dining hall. "She eats with us?"
"Now and then she sneaks in," Dean said from his seat. "Binky!" The cook rushed out to give her a plate of spinach leaves. "Fine. Ladies, I'm Dean and this is Sam Winchester. That's Xander. Wesley's on his way back from vacation."
Xander waved since his mouth was full. "Good work, ladies. We'll work on the rooms tomorrow." They nodded at that. "Need anything immediate, like medical, clothes, that stuff?"
"No, sir," one said. She hugged Xander. "It was an amazing experience, thank you for picking me."
"You're welcome. Sit down and eat, ladies. We all pig out because our cook is great and wondrous in the kitchen." They smiled and sat down to eat. He looked at John. "We're switching the other classrooms to the room by the library so we can change all those over."
"We'll order more beds tomorrow. They can be used for temporary housing for things like visiting agents." Xander nodded at that. "We'll go over that tonight."
"Sure. Also, big news, they did move Jack's people under us. They'll be a pocket of us."
"That's going to cause hell on the military mind."
"Possibly," Xander said with a wicked smirk. John smirked back. "We'll handle it. I'm only on the construction committee."
"Good. You do too much." He looked down the table. "You can ask them questions, girls. They're slayers like you are."
"Any foreign hotties?" one of the younger teenagers asked. The older girls all choked.
"Girls," Sam complained.
"I'm at the age to ask those questions," she defended. "I might want to go to a foreign house."
"Not if you can't control that lust," Dean told her.
Faith looked at him. "Half of us bring out our slayer needs in the bedroom, Dean. The other half do a lot more hunting and training."
Xander nodded. "Buffy hardly ever trains when she's dating. She claims she's too tired." He checked his watch then looked at her. "Did you send a card?"
"Me too," Dawn agreed.
"I'll send mine tonight." He ate a bite of dinner. "You can answer her or not, your choice," he told them. "Not like she didn't turn purple when she tried to panty raid House." He looked over at the boss. "Hey, boss, can I find someone for the armory?"
"SWAT out of LA county suggested two names. Both of them shuddered in horror at the thought of demons knowing how to use a gun. I contacted the heads of Miami's, New York's, and the FBI's rapid response teams. They checked their contact list for us and came up empty too for the same reason, Xander."
Xander grimaced. "Then I've got someone but you'll hate it."
"Is he or she going to eat people?" Daniel asked.
"No but you're going to think he's strange. He's a gun petting, loving, shoot at what moves when it pops up sort. He coos at the artillery like it's his baby."
"How did you meet him?" Sam asked.
"He was tracking one of my sources." Mac choked. "Ah, I see you remember him."
"Oh, God, no," Mac moaned.
Xander looked at him. "He could do it, he's retired now. Fifteen years on his force before his knees gave out. His sons are going to the academy he went to."
"He'll drive us nuts, Xander."
Xander shrugged. "We need someone in the armory and he needs something to do."
"I want to interview him, Xander," Daniel ordered.
"You can come help me recruit, boss." He beamed. "Do you good to get off base again."
"We can do that this weekend." Xander nodded, going back to eating. He shook his head quickly. If Xander said he was strange.... That's not a good mental picture he decided. "Ladies, where did your team travel to?"
"We hit Zimbabwe first. She was in some danger and we got her out of it. Unfortunately her village needed a protector so our team agreed to give her what training we could in the slayer skills. We left her our contact information in case she had bigger problems or we needed to know something. We told the local shaman how to make notes about what happens to her. We also showed her the information on when she'll age out and how to tell a new slayer. She'll be fine and we made sure the village had some protections. The next one was Sudan, then Iraq." She smiled at that girl. "Are you settling in all right?"
"I'm doing okay. My ankle still aches now and then. The school is strange. Some of them have never met a Muslim woman. I had to fix some misconceptions fairly fast. The one who called me a terrorist got me suspended for a day but he got worse." Xander nodded at that. "Including Xander in his face." The other girls laughed at that. "It's been good for me. I'm learning a lot and figured out what I want to go to college for." They all smiled at that. "Will I have to take a year off?" she asked Xander.
He shrugged. "Ask Wes. Patrols are his area. I only nag about some things."
"I can do that." She reloaded his plate, earning a sigh but he ate. "You need food to heal, Xander." She smiled. "Where did you go after me?"
"The one in Germany. She was having some...social issues. Pity about her big brother but we explained to the cops why he managed to fly nearly a block when she hit him," the former driver said dryly. John snickered at that. "Indeed. The cops were most ecstatic they had a slayer there. They had done some research after the invasion. It seems they have a problem near there."
"The nearby Russians have also come to her to see if she'll help them with major issues," Daniel said. "The president talked to someone who told him. He said he liked the upcoming plans."
They all beamed at that. It had been their team's suggestions of where to put the new houses. "The girl in Rome could use a backup."
"I so want that one," Kennedy moaned. They looked at her. "I mean if you don't. I know it's the holy city. It's got some great history though. I'd love to be in Rome."
"We've pretty well picked our areas and the girl there is quite the little homemaker," Mercy told her. "She's very uptight. She's got a cardinal looking over her shoulder. The church wants to run that house very badly and we've told them we don't care who does what, but we're not playing politics and slayers are our own organization. We're multi- religious and we do deal in magic now and then. He stomped off. Aren't you with Willow?"
"That may not go well there, Kennedy," John agreed. "Italy is very uptight in some ways. Especially about gay rights."
"The Vienna house will not be," Mercy told her. She pushed back her black hair. "Two of us are going there, one of us is going to England." Xander gave her an odd look. "She'll be aging out in ten months, Xander."
"I want to start Oxford," she said calmly.
He nodded. "I'll see what we can work out," he decided. "I know they still have a good collection of the books over there. Wesley's getting the collection back for the summer and part of the fall so we can put it onto the system too." Daniel beamed at that. The girl did too. "So that may be workable. Did you want to be a watcher later on?"
She considered it. "I might want to be a research watcher but I'm a history buff."
"Then we'll see," he agreed with a smile. She got up to give him a hug. "Go back to eating. The other two of you want Vienna?"
"I'd love the Asian house but Cho and I don't get along," Mercy told him. That got a nod of understanding. "She's younger than me so we'll have to see." She looked at the girls. "That leaves five spots open in Vienna, Rome, and the Asian house, wherever it ends up. Cleveland gets first pick, then LA's girls, then you guys. So think about it."
"I'd rather they have a year of hunting experience before they go over anyway," John told her. "That way we know they can handle it if a situation starts and they can do it with and without backup." The other adults nodded at that. Sam cleared his throat. "Are you sick again?"
"Yes. The sniffles came back." He looked down the table. "We're working to get you girls a full inventory of books for each new house. As many as we can then we'll send out new copies." They all nodded at that. "Are Morgan and Crissy going to want to stay in LA, Xander?"
"Probably. Morgan seems pretty serious about Connor. Crissy likes LA and the family out there. Her I can see going either FBI or as a future watcher. Especially with little Eggbertina in there. By the way, if you did not hear, she's having a girl." The other girls squealed at that. He looked at Sam, Dean, and John. "Connor came over when I was in my room and said he knew what I used to feel like being surrounded by girls all the time. He was even wearing his version of an ugly shirt." They all laughed at that. "Ladies, eat." They went back to eating. "Then we'll work on clearing the old classrooms and tomorrow we can work on walls." They groaned but nodded. "Much easier than the barn." Binky neighed at him. "Yes, your barn." She nuzzled him then went back to eating. George came wobbling in. "Hey, George. Problems?" He went to Abby, nuzzling her. "Ah, hungry shrub."
The three new girls looked over then at each other. "And we thought the tree demon was strange," one said. Mary came closer to ask questions about that. The others loosened up and gabbed with them. Dinner was long over with before the girls got to go back to their rooms. They took night showers then bunked down in their sleeping bags for the night.
Xander leaned in. "We'll have beds in two days, girls. Sorry."
"It happens and we've had worse than an old classroom. Fire ants come to mind," Mercy said dryly, glaring at the girl in the back.
Xander laughed. "I remember those nights. John lives upstairs on the end of the hall if you need anything. Anna and Faith like to prank so fair warning. Dean, Sam, and I live in the right tower on the third floor." They nodded. "See you guys at breakfast." He closed the door and left them to sleep. It was early but they had been traveling and answering questions.
John stopped doing his morning pushups when he heard a footstep, looking back at the girls. "Morning PT?" he asked with a smile.
"Every day, like the guys said," Mercy agreed, getting down to do them with him. The others joined in. "Is there a jogging trail?"
John grunted then paused at the top of his next one. "Take the road, the interior of the fence, or the back paths. Any of those are good and the two roads are in good shape." They nodded. "The snow is pretty deep in places around the fence so take a cellphone in case. Did we give you our numbers?"
"We can get them after this," Gwen said.
Mercy nodded. "I have Xander and Wes's."
"Xander will get up in about an hour." He finished his pushups and went to his morning situps. The girls finished theirs and went for a run. "Be warm," he called after them. They smiled and waved. He finishing his routine and stood up to stretch. The girls had introduced him to some isometric stretches that helped his old bones quit aching so much. He popped and crackled but that was normal. He sighed in pleasure when the last pop happened. "Better." He got a text from the gate so he went that way. "What's up, Bobby?"
"John, this agent said he was called by Doctor Jackson but he's not on our list."
"For what?" he asked.
"Are you an agent?" he asked.
"Slayer's Council. I'm up, that's why he called me. What field of expertise?"
"Oh, yeah!" He smirked and nodded. "He did say he asked to borrow someone to teach all the girls. How young do you think you can teach down to?"
"How many have their licenses?"
"None," John said honestly. "No, wait, Mercy and Shea have theirs. There's fifty-six slayers who could use it. One's much too young and her big brother's FBI. The other's not ever going to be able to. She's scatterbrained. I tried. I needed liquor."
The agent nodded. "I can understand why. I subbed in for a high school instructor once."
John nodded. "Basically. Come on, I'll show you the course we have set up. Bob, we have the three returned girls out for a jog." He nodded at that. John climbed into the car and he showed him where the course they had set up was. "It's not much but slayers either pay more attention to the sidewalk so they can hit the demons or they're aggressive and like to hit the other cars they think might be carrying demons. Daniel said we can use the agency's old clunker sedans. There's two good ones, one has a ping that drives me nuts but fixing it will take more than the car's worth to junk so he decided to leave it alone. We can arrange for any and all of the girls to show back up whenever you're ready for them."
The other agent looked at him. "How old is the youngest?"
"She's in LA and she's eight and a half. The youngest here just turned ten. My boys knew enough to get the car out of danger by then."
"That's not a bad idea in that field. Anything else we do have?"
"We have a bunch of girls going to Europe in the next year. Some to Asia as well. I have one girl that rides a motorcycle. We have three just back from the retrieval team last night and one of them has a jeep."
"I can work with that," he decided. "Is Jackson up yet?"
John checked his watch. "It's six-thirty, no." He checked the building. "There's lights on but that probably means he fell asleep on a book." He looked at him. "He's a linguist."
"Academics can be like that. Where can I bunk down?"
"We have a spare apartment," he offered. "Head back toward the towers." He did that and parked in a free space, John taking him inside to get up the housing manager. She got him the apartment and linens then let him have at it. "The blue one pings," he warned as he walked off. "Breakfast starts at seven. The younger girls have school today but tomorrow is a free day for them. The teachers are taking mandatory 'training' time to give themselves a three day weekend while they update on local policies." That got a smirk and a nod. "Let me know and I can get the older girls back from Cleveland."
"Let's start with them and the older ones you have here." John nodded, going to make that call and wake Dawn up too. She could get them there faster and it was nearly time for her to get up anyway. He went to check his apartment over, smiling at the amenities. If it wasn't DCIS he might transfer in. He came down to join them at breakfast, finding Jackson mumbling into his coffee. "Director Jackson, you asked to borrow me?"
Daniel looked at him. "Teach the girls and the agents up to and including defensive driving?"
"You'll need a better course."
"However you want. Thank you for not waking me up."
"No academic gets up at dawn, Doctor Jackson. Not unless they've been up all night." That got a smirk and a nod. "I'll start work with the older girls today, do the agents tonight."
"You're a stronger man than I am," Tony said as he came over to sit in his usual spot. "The liquor store is past the mall and off to the right."
"I'll keep that in mind." He sat down. "Do you have defensive driving?"
"I passed the class two years before I transferred to DCIS. Gibbs said so. Just the basic, every agent should have it one."
"That's good enough usually. The more advanced is for bodyguards and those sort of details." That got a smirk and a nod from Tony. "I need a list of who I'm teaching."
"Of course. Guys?" he called. "Whoever has not at least passed basic defensive driving, this is the teacher here to teach the girls and you up to that level." The girls squealed. "The girls first since they'll take longer. That way he can calm himself down with people who already know what a turn signal is." They smiled and nodded. "Arrange your schedule for it." They went back to eating. He grinned. "We're informal. If we have to write a memo, Xander's having to do something and he's in charge."
"Hey!" Xander complained. "I don't write memos. I yell in person."
"He does," Ryan agreed. Speed nodded since his mouth was full.
They got done and went to help set up the courses for the girls. The ones from Cleveland showed up and they were taught too. By that night the instructor was really tired, shaky, and needed a drink. Some of those girls were bad but some of the agents were nearly as bad. Messer had some bad New Yorker habits. So did Caine. He sat down on his couch to get a bit drunk. He'd have to teach the younger, squealier ones tomorrow. Joy.
Dawn sat down next to Xander, cuddling him. "If we pass our licenses, can we get a slayer mobile?"
He looked at her then at John, who shrugged. He considered it. "We might buy the old sedans off DCIS," he decided. "If some of you pass." She squealed and hugged him then went to tell the girls who had sent her. "How much work do they need?"
"One's all but trash, Xander. The others are okay." Xander smirked. "I can use it to teach Brenda." Xander nodded. "Will he let you?"
"Maybe. If not, maybe we can find another slightly used car in town or somewhere."
Abby came rushing in. "Xander, I found a real parent."
"No!" She swatted him. "Amber's mom. One finally hit and they contacted me to see why she was in the system so I told her she was a slayer who had been taken by her former watcher. They said her mom's in the hospital on bad charges but we'll see."
"Does it match?" Xander asked. She beamed and nodded. "AMBER!" he yelled. She came running down the stairs. "Abby found you a relative."
"Excuse me?" she asked Abby.
"Remember when we did the blood tests?" She nodded. "Well, your mom just popped up a positive match after they arrested her for assaulting her boyfriend because he was being a dick. The officer I talked to said he was being a dick and she took a frying pan to his head. So you have a mom."
"Did you ask them to talk to her?"
"No, that's your choice," she said, giving her a hug. She beamed. "She's in Pennsylvania."
"Wow. I...." She blinked a few times. "I have no idea what I want to do, Abby."
Xander looked at her. "Think about it tonight, Amber. Talk to Kim about it." She nodded, going to do that. He smiled at Abby. "Great work." She beamed back and bounced out to make notes. Amber came back pouting. "What did she say?"
"That I should at least find out."
Xander sighed. "Meeting with her would be like meeting with a stranger, Amber. If you like her, it's great and you can start a relationship. If not, you never have to see her again. It'll be emotional and might hurt some but it's better to know than to not know."
"I know." She snuggled against his arm. "I'm scared."
"It's a good reason to be scared," John assured her. She smiled slightly at that. "Did Kim kick you out?"
"She's cleaning. Again. Are we sure she's not OCD?"
"No, she's not," Xander told her. "Some people are neat freaks without being OCD. Go distract her and yourself." Amber gave him a lecherous grin and went to do that. They all heard Kim yelp but the other girls knew not to go save her.
Gwen came out of her room. "Is she okay?"
"Kim and Amber are together. Amber went to make Kim quit cleaning things," John said.
"If we need to, we can drop her off on our way to see the guy I want to recruit," Xander said. He went back to reading. "What're you guys going to do about the jeep?"
"It's Mercy's. She said it's going even if she does have to bribe Dawn." John snickered. "She'd have to."
"Probably," he agreed. He smirked. "Bed okay?"
"The bed's great, John. Thank you for the soft bed." She punched him on the arm. "Xander, do the girls not do PT?"
"Every day after school," he told her. She beamed at that. "Before dinner. Saturday is self-defense for those who have passed out of Dean and most of the agents. Sunday is sword work."
"Killer, thanks, Xander." They had put up some simple walls for their privacy. Now they each had their own room that had furniture. She loved her bed. It was soft, smelled good, and wasn't lumpy. No butt or sex smells. No thin and impossibly creepy sheets. She heard a giggle and went to talk to Venezuela. She was the third that had went with them. "What's up?"
"I just got an email from Rona. She said a few of the girls didn't learn last time. I asked her what she meant. Apparently some of the girls in Cleveland were dating the same guy and ended up with the same case of crabs and a few cases of the clap."
Gwen shuddered. "That's disgusting."
Xander leaned in. "Six of them were sharing a set of twins and a college junior. They shared around the four diseases very well. Who has what?"
"Two of the girls are scratching."
"Dawn, can I hitch a ride," he called. "Gotta get the itchy ones." John gave him a dirty look. "Again."
"I'm going to tan their hides."
"Keep them out of Europe?" Faith asked. "They clearly have no sense, Papa Smurf."
"Don't call me that," he complained. She just smirked. Dawn opened the portal. Xander looked at Giles, who simply pointed. He dragged three scratching girls back with him.
"Eww!" Buffy shouted. "They're cleaning the whole house by themselves! I am NOT catching things off you girls!"
Xander walked them to the infirmary to find Doctor House packing. "Leaving already?"
"Sending some stuff back so I can get some more sweaters."
"Bring more out," he offered. "We love you enough to kidnap you and let you have the ones who didn't learn the last time they had to see you for scratchy issues."
House looked at them then at him. "Tell me you're joking?"
"Nope," he said with a bright, happy grin. "Should I gather the others, just in case?"
"Are you getting that feeling?"
"No but I get to scream and rant this time," he assured him. The girls snorted. He walked them into the exam room to go off on them. By the time he was done House was sipping his third cup of coffee and was taking notes on the lecture. They were crying and begging they'd be celibate if he'd leave them living. Xander walked out. "All yours, House."
"Thanks, just what I needed. Crabs." He put on sterile surgical gear so he wouldn't get anything on him and went to check them over. "You didn't learn when John yelled? How dumb are you three?" One sniffled a name so he wrote that down. "Isn't she one of the girls?" They nodded. "Is she in your little clique of stupidity?" Another one nodded. "Fine. Xander, we need Rona's little sister as well."
"Sure." He went to find her and grabbed her, walking her off screaming at her all the way to the infirmary. She went to hide behind House. Xander went back to his lecture/rant/screaming fit. They begged to let House treat them and they'd wear chastity belts for him if he'd leave them living. He stomped off in a huff to calm down.
House looked at them. "Next time, learn when John yells at you." He finished treating them, giving them the boxes of RID he had stocked up on after the last time. They slunk off, getting caught by Dean, who yelled. Then John yelled again. He escorted them back so he could yell with Giles there. They were some very miserable slayers when Buffy joined in with the reminder that even she had never caught something so disgusting and look what she had dated. They went to treat themselves then take care of their sheets and beds. They would not be doing it again. They'd learn this time. They'd never touch another man again so they'd ever get another disease off one.
Xander looked at the girls the next morning. "If I EVER have to take one of you down to House because you caught something disgusting off a date, it had better have been because you weren't paying attention or he hurt you. Am I clear, ladies?" They all whined. "I don't give a damn if you date, but the bad taste shown by the girls in Cleveland will not be tolerated here. It's not that hard to tell if the guy has something nasty!"
They all nodded at that. "If it does happen, I expect you to race down there, report yourself, get treated, report him to the proper authorities, snub him at school, and possibly humiliate him in public for giving it to you. No one in this building will EVER need to go on a talk show!" They all nodded at that. "Good! For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry, you'll get that lecture in a few years. The rest of you, report to John for it now." They went to do that. Xander would spank. John would instruct them in how to not find a gross boyfriend. If he couldn't, he'd ask Dean to demonstrate. Xander sighed, smiling as Mary hugged him. "Thanks, Mary. Let's hope you find a good boy or girlfriend to date."
"I hope so too. Those things are disgusting." She went to talk to House. She didn't need that talk yet. Not for a few more years.
"Why am I giving it now?" John called up the stairs.
"So you don't have to give it in two years."
"It might work better." He went to talk to them, helping Dean and Sam do it. Because he sucked at giving these talks. Chewing a new one after something happened yes. Doing it beforehand.... Well, that was more a mother's gift and he wasn't a mother. He had managed with Dean, and Dean had managed with Sammy. He gave Dean a look.
"I gave Sammy his."
"You did a good job too," Sam said helpfully.
"Shut up, jackass." Sam just smirked and waved. "You should since I gave you yours and they're like little sisters."
"I'd go into romance, lust and love, flowers and hearts, dating...."
"We need to know that stuff too," Dawn pointed out. "Not one of us knows what to do on dates but Kennedy and I'm sure Willow had some screwed up ideas there too."
"She was more a long walks in the park during patrol sort," Kennedy admitted.
Dean whimpered, shaking his head. "Fine, we'll talk, ladies. You can get it from both of us so none of you are permanently killed by whatever you catch." He pulled Sam up in front of them. It was just another class, right? John sat down to listen but Dean made him leave the room. Then they went into details no one had told the girls about, including how to spot the scuzzy guys in the clubs. Sam went over dating and what you did and didn't do on a date. Dean went over what you did when it was a one-night-stand. It was a lot more thorough than the one Xander and Abby had given them. Sam even grabbed his laptop and found pictures of the diseases so they knew them on sight. Sam taught them how to roll a condom down a banana. The girls giggled but he pointed out half the time the guys didn't want to use one and girls had to insist or they were going to end up on the disease patrol in Cleveland. The girls quit giggling and went back to staring at them in awe. Dawn asked a question about what sex actually felt like and they went over their personal experiences, and so did a few of the older girls. She had to know sometime too.
Daniel looked at the girls wandering in. "Did we have a bad day, ladies?"
"We got a very realistic talk on attitudes, sex, and relationships," Dawn told him. He stared, mouth slightly open. "After three of the girls in Cleveland didn't learn the first time." He shuddered. "Exactly. So we had a long talk with Sam and Dean. Who are both getting drunk tonight. They even countered each other. Dean couldn't believe Sammy brought girls candy. Sam couldn't believe Dean was easy enough to get some on the dance floor itself instead of a dark corner." They all shivered at that image. "So we're good." She gave him a hug. "If we're really good would you let Xander buy those old sedans for us girls?" she asked quietly.
He patted her on the wrist. "I wouldn't mind. I'd have to find out how to do that but it sounds like a good idea to me." She smiled and they sat down to eat while Danny finished his late lunch. John walked in. "Those old sedans, how much work do they need?"
"Some. A tune up on one. New fluids on another, plus it has a bald tire. The last one with the ping needs a lot more work. You can sell it for scrap and get six hundred. It'll take about eight or nine hundred to fix." Daniel nodded at that. "Xander wasn't against the idea if we're talking about the ISC buying them. I'm amazed, the instructor even got Buffy able to drive." He sat down. "Did the younger ones already eat?"
"They ate with the others," Danny assured him. That got a nod. "I'll find out how I do that." He went to talk to Xander about what a fair offer would be. Xander was talking to Wes. "Dawn asked about you guys buying the sedan."
"We could use them. Are the girls really trained to drive?" Wesley asked.
"They are. The instructor was one of the FBI academy's driving instructors."
"Wes, he even got Buffy able to drive and not hit the sidewalk," Xander said happily. "Down to Mary and Anna can now drive."
"That's excellent. Would two be enough?"
"We should put one at the beck and call of Cleveland and one in LA," Xander pointed out. "One at each of the new houses so they can travel to cases. We'd have to get with John about how to outfit them to hide the weapons though."
"I can see that happening. If he thinks they're acceptable then I'm fine with it, Xander. I know he used to be a mechanic and Dean babies his car quite a lot. Find their worth and offer the base that. We'll work on finding one in LA and Cleveland then one for each of the other houses." He yawned. "Is everything going all right?"
"Three of the girls in Cleveland didn't learn from the last problem they had," Xander said bluntly. "Sam, Dean, and John gave them a new lecture this morning after I scared those three to celibacy."
"Excellent," Wesley agreed. "That is not done by proper young ladies! Most disgusting."
"Very," Xander agreed. He grinned at the phone. "The girls are back from retrieval."
"Even better news. Anything I should hear from them?"
"The Church wants to take over the slayer in Rome but so far we've held it off. I'm sending one of Thomas's guys to help her."
"That's good to hear. Will he be good to her? If I remember right, her parents thought her possessed."
"He will be. I laid down the law," Xander promised. "I made sure he knew exactly why he was going and if there was a problem he'd be seeing me in the middle of the night."
"I could like that," Wesley said, sounding happy with the idea. "Anything else I should hear?"
"The people in Egypt who're looking at the next apocalypse might need some help, Wesley. If so, I was going to send you," Daniel said.
"Send Rupert. He worked at the British Museum and they'll respect that more than they would me. I'm a mere college boy, he's got the experience."
"That's not a bad idea," Xander agreed. He conferenced him in. "Giles, us. Wes, Danny, and I just talked. Someone's got to hit Egypt as an advisor and be the one to pull up information on what the demons coming can and will be doing. Wes thinks they'd listen more to you because of your museum background."
"I have worked with a few of the people in the cultural office down there," he agreed, sounding happy. "Are you sure, Wesley?"
"Quite. They'd see me as a mere college graduate in the field. You have some experience and can point out what they need to hear. Are we sure this is the real apocalypse?"
"Yes," Daniel said. "The time code matches. We have rumors of them coming this way."
"We know demons made it into space," Xander agreed.
"Really, Xander, that's just a fantasy," Giles complained.
"Then why did the girls get beaten up by an alien a demon hired, Giles?" Wesley asked.
"They did," Daniel agreed. "I wouldn't be surprised if the Gou'ald took some demons when they took humans."
"They did?" Giles demanded.
"I sent you that report. It was when Abby updated the bracelets the girls wear, Giles," Xander said.
"Caridad, did you see a report about aliens?"
"I gave it to you and you snorted, said it was science fiction crap," she said off the microphone's closest range. She handed him something apparently. "Here you go, Giles."
"Caridad, if he goes to Egypt to handle things, can you handle the house?" Xander asked.
"No. The girls don't want to listen to me."
"We can send one of the others out to help," Wesley assured her.
"Thank you. Are we getting those three back?"
"I think they're there," Xander told her. "I didn't spank but I did scream."
"We heard," she assured him. "I thought they came back to talk to John."
"They might have," he admitted. "I haven't seen them."
Xander nodded. "Me either. Okay, so that's the tentative plan. Then we'll make full details around New Years." Everyone made assenting noises. "The second point. Giles, all the girls down to Mary can now drive." He spluttered. "We're finding a used car the girls can use for cases. Each house will get one. Two here on base. Do you need help finding something trustworthy that won't blow up when they're rushing off to solve something?"
"They can?" he demanded.
"The instructor I found taught all the girls up to the point of defensive driving, even Buffy," Daniel assured him. "Most of the ones here have gotten their license in the last few days if they were old enough."
"It'd mean the girls could take off shopping without tying up someone to drive them," Xander told him. "If you want, we can look for you, Giles."
"No, I can find something suitable yet inexpensive."
"Runs well over price, Giles. We have money to set things up."
"I never see that," he complained.
"You had the checkbook, Giles. There's the slayer's trust account for their personal, physical, and emotional needs. That's the shopping account and the account to hire more docs or shrinks. There's the building fund that was moved into a separate trust. That one has ten million making baby money in a bank in Cleveland. There's the long term investment accounts that are tax free so we don't run out of money this millennium." He grimaced. "When we got all the insurance stuff I split it equally so they could do what was needed. The guy in LA oversees it for us. We're in safe, tax deferred investment accounts that are insured and won't be invested in the stock market to gain interest. We earn small interest but over the years and with as much money as we have, even the one that only earns three and a half percent gets a lot of interest. The girls live on that most of the time."
"How much did the insurance cover?"
"Thirty on the building itself. The fixtures had about another three or four. The book collection was considered priceless but only part of it was damaged so they gave us what they thought was appropriate for obscure, ancient books." He rubbed his forehead, rifling through Wes's desk.
"Second drawer on the left," Wesley instructed.
Xander found the aspirin and smiled. "Thanks, Wes." He took two then found the folder. "Here we go. The startup funds..." He faxed it over. "It's in your machine, Giles."
"Giles, budget fax," Buffy yelled a minute later, bringing it over. "Does this mean the girls going prom shopping can get something really nice?"
"Of course," Xander agreed. "They're taking the ladies here with them. We have six who think they're going including the ones who got asked by older boys."
"That's cool," Buffy said happily.
Giles cleared his throat. "There's four accounts listed."
"That last one is for the necessary materials, Giles. Weapons, helpers, those things. That's where ISC paychecks come from and where our weapons budget sits. That's the one you usually see. The long term one will go to fill that in. Anything you don't spend on the new building will be going back into the long term account. Did you look at the building I found online?"
"I did but it's much too small of a lot. There's no way for the Council to get privacy."
"Rupert, I sent Caridad and Buffy both an email with a link to one I found," Wesley offered. "It's a bit outside the city limits, which could be safer in the event of a major apocalypse. We can set up a house closer for the girls. One that's large enough."
"How much is it?" Xander asked.
"Three and a half," Wesley said proudly. "It's on a defunct boy's academy. It has most of the structures and shouldn't need too much updating. The lots around it are mostly empty and there's a good privacy hedge. It should fit well within the budget."
"If it goes a bit over we can transfer some around," Xander assured him. "I figured ten should be enough as a rough estimate looking at the size of a place you were talking about."
"Found it," Buffy said. She let Giles see it. "It's pretty there."
"I'd want to see it in person and see how much updating it would need."
"Of course," Xander agreed. "You wouldn't buy anything without seeing it, Giles." He leaned back, shaking his head. John smiled from the doorway and Daniel patted him on the back. "I sent Caridad the name of an inspection company. They only do building inspections and aren't affiliated with any particular construction company. They do them for banks when they repo houses."
"That's not a bad idea," he agreed. "When did you send it to her?"
"Six, seven months ago," Xander told him. Giles sighed. "You've been looking and you needed it. They'll be able to tell you what you'll need to update, the conditions of the building, and if you tell him part of it is for the library, practice spaces, and the tech center, he'll be able to figure that into an estimate of how much it'll cost."
"A tech center?" he asked, sounding horrified.
"Yes, Giles, because the rest of the world runs on computers and we have to so we can keep up with them. Mail is great, but it takes days. Emails takes a day if a server's down somewhere and minutes otherwise. Not to mention tracking things, doing the budget so it balances itself. All that can be done by computers and save all of us stress."
"I would have to hire someone."
"Which you'll have to do anyway," Wesley assured him. "None of us went to business school, Rupert."
"Good point." He tapped his fingers a few times near the phone. "Very well then. I'll look at that one and talk to the inspectors, Xander. Where did the rest of the money you got from the estates go?"
"It's in a separate account within the long term one. With the insurance limits we had to make a fund sort of place and use separate accounts. The person doing it does Angel's money too. He's a very nice half demon in LA who knows we do not want any sort of risk. Just gently making baby money. He works for a mixed firm and the humans there do know about the demonic so they didn't blink at us being ISC. After the guy you found tried to rob the long term one to invest in something pretty risky on the stock market, it was better we went through them. They got it sorted out within a week and we get to say we do work with peaceful demons. Even the old timers couldn't bitch too much about that since they've given us a five percent return without using any risky tactics that would endanger the money from a stock market crash."
"Very well then. I would like to talk to them to hear these details," he pointed out.
"Then go to LA and ask, Giles. If you had asked, we'd have told you this," Xander pointed out.
"I have talked to him numerous times and he's a very nice chap," Wesley told him. "He's investing some of mine in a retirement fund. I'm getting fantastic interest since I can be a bit less cautious with my funds."
"Speaking of, got an email from the judge, Wes. Your father's estate is the last up. He waited to do anyone directly related to us last. Your dad's, Travers for some reason. I think Giles or you was specifically mentioned in it. Giles' father's estate. That's coming up this time and I do not need to show up. If he needs me as ISC personnel he can call. It's on the eighth if you wanted to show up in person."
"I'll be back there anyway," Wesley promised. He sounded happy. "Thank you for informing me, Xander."
"Not an issue, Wes. I'll let you and Giles figure those things out together." He stood up to stretch, wincing when his arm twinged. "Until then, I'm exhausted and my head hurts so I'm going to go to bed early. Night, guys." He hung up on them. They could call each other if they wanted to chat or Giles wanted to complain he was usurping again.
John patted him on the back. "I think you've done an amazing job since Giles sits on his ass in Cleveland and mopes."
"Thanks, John. It's nice to hear." He smiled. "Faith hits the big year the end of next year," he said quietly.
"If so, we'll help her. Buffy too." That got a nod and Xander left. He looked at Daniel. "I'll look up the blue book value. You find out how to do that." Daniel nodded, going to do that. John also went to look up the nearest parts store. He'd need it for that one.
Daniel watched the girls go out on their first approved solo shopping trip with a heavy heart. He wasn't sure why since they didn't have his credit cards. He checked his wallet to make sure, so did Xander he noticed. He waved and smiled. They were going prom shopping but this was still a scary thing. Then again, they were big girls and they were going in groups.
"We're not idiot savants with weapons," Shea called from where she was polishing her bike. "We can handle it if we're attacked."
Xander looked at her. "So? Still their first solo shopping trip outside of town. Who knows what'll come up to them wherever they head. We may train you girls but those ones are still seventeen."
She stared at him. "I was hunting on my own at sixteen." He shrugged. "Would you worry so much if they were guys?"
"Yes, and more because they panty raided so much," Sam said as he walked past her. "We all have our credit cards, right?" They checked again then nodded. "Good!" A flash went off and Sam looked around. "Huh. This is not the set." He looked at the people around them. "Um, aren't you the guy who played on Buffy?" he asked.
Xander moaned and grabbed his phone. "No, I'm not. But I have heard that before in another realm." He called Cleveland. "Whatever she just did, make her stop it! She took Dean and Sam and replaced them with actors who apparently play them in another reality!" he shouted. "I do mean now!" He hung up and smiled. "Sorry. We're having a rogue witch problem."
"Are you still friends?" Daniel asked bluntly.
Xander looked at him. "Can I go shoot her?"
"Let me," John said. "You work on getting my boys back, Xander."
"Dawn!" Xander shouted. "Or Paige, someone!"
"Dude, you yell a lot," the not-Sam said. The other guy was looking around confused. "What is this place anyway and do you have any candy?"
"Sweets we can do," Xander said, leading them to the caf. They had been hiding ice cream from the girls and brownies. He pulled them out. "Welcome to Demon Criminal Investigative Services, guys. If I'm right, you two are actors?"
The not-Dean nodded. "We are. So this is an AU off our realm?"
"Yup. Apparently." He nibbled on a brownie then handed over the plate. "Chocolate? The HP books got a few things rights. Chocolate does help with shock."
Daniel leaned in. "It's going to be messy, Xander. She's swearing up and down she didn't do it."
"Do we have a not-Willow, or was it maybe Ethan?"
"No. He was my second thought. He's still in the hospital, still in no shape to cast anything, and he said it was her. He checked."
"Her white lighter is where?"
"I have no idea and neither does John. He's presently spanking the hell out of her."
"Good! Saves my hand for later."
"Dean and Sammy first," Daniel ordered.
"Sam," the not-Sam said. The not Dean giggled. "Sorry, had that line earlier in a scene we had to do about five takes on. It stuck in my head."
Xander grinned. "We hear plenty choruses of that and 'jackass, brat', or 'bitch, jerk', or even 'drag queen wanna be, gay cocksucker'. Depending on the day."
"Dean's gay?" the not-Dean asked.
"No. Just now and then he needs stress relief, like the rest of us." That got a nod. "It happens. It's that or hit on the slayers. Want another brownie or to go play with our unicorns?"
"Xander," Daniel complained. "The unicorns already?"
"What? They're cute. They kill time. They won't hurt them. The girls will pounce and hurt them."
"Good point. Sure, go play with the unicorns." He went to make note of this. Jack was going to howl at this one.
"Unicorns are real?" the not-Dean asked. "Are you sure?"
"Yeah. Let's head outside. They've got a comfy barn to play in so it'll keep you away from the terror squad of slayers. The horniness patrol is bored today. You'd be easy targets." He walked out eating his ice cream because otherwise he was going to throw a fit on someone. These two didn't deserve it. The not-Dean was trying every number in his celllphone. "Not sure if it'll work, but if you do get one of them, warn your not-selves?"
"I can do that." He finally got one that worked and it went to... the guy who played John in their world. "Thank God, man. We're not on set. No, we're in a whole new world. No, not a prank, don't hang up."
Xander leaned closer. "Sir, unfortunately one of our witches went rogue. Willow's very sorry and our Dean and Sam are presently probably terrorizing their friends to try to get home. If possible do you think you might warn them? Tell them their dad is working on Willow quite hard right now." He opened the barn door and let them inside.
"Oh, my God," the not-Sam breathed. "Unicorns are real." He got down to let them sniff him. The pure white one backed off but the other one nuzzled him and let him pet her all he wanted. "You are so adorable!"
The not-Dean took a picture with his phone. "No one at home is going to believe this."
Buffy leaned in. "Xander, where's Dawn?"
"Prom shopping with Mercy, Brenda, and Kia."
"Shoot. I wanted some sister time." She smiled. "Hi, guys."
"They're not our Dean and Sam, Buffy. In their world they play Dean and Sam. Tv, guys?" They nodded.
"I wondered why John came storming to the house."
"Figures. She sent Morgana off."
"She's about to get my foot up her ass," Xander assured her. "In a way she will never forget. I've had enough and I'm going to start screaming soon. Full on, like I did after the last battle screaming."
"I get that. I learned my lesson. The girls you screamed at for being slutty little brats did too," she said quickly, nodding a bit. This stressed out, angry Xander was a scary guy. "Can you send Dawnie to me when she's done? I want to spend some time with her before it all goes to hell for me."
"Buffy, you're aging out, not dying," he told her. "Really. This means you can be the normal girl you've wanted to be." She shrugged a bit. "Really. That means you can date guys and be pretty and not have to worry about slime. Just be a wiser, older sister to the rest of the horde."
"I guess. Still sucks."
He shrugged. "I didn't make the rule. I know most of the girls are looking forward to aging out and you've built yourself around it but maybe there's a way it'll let you pick to keep it. I don't know. Go ask Thomas." She nodded, going to do that. "Sorry, we found out slayers age out at twenty-three," he said quietly.
"So, on the show, Willow activated all the slayers," the not-Dean said.
Xander nodded. "Here too. I was on the old base guarding the younger girls who couldn't fight yet. Then afterwards I went to get the injured ones to give them a place to recover from the battle while Buffy and Giles made plans. They went back into their whole 'normal people can't do the job' speech until I pointed out they didn't have an option. Then the watchers decided to cut it back down to one or two slayers instead of fifty-eight." He ate another bite of ice cream. "They blew themselves up and we survived and moved on while some of them were in a magical coma. Fortunately the president had been assassinated by a demon after the Initiative mess for creating that sterling concept of an agency," he said dryly. "So the next guy formed DCIS and slowly moved us up until we took over after the fall of Sunnydale. We got well known after the LA invasion." He ate another bite. "I have no idea if it's the same in your world."
"I don't think we have demons."
"We might. They're probably hiding," the not-Dean told him.
"That's good then." He took one of the brownies Xander had carried out and went back to petting her. "What's your name, precious?"
"Binky. Annabelle named them. The other is Digger. If you see the walking shrub, his name is George." He sat down to pet Binky with him. The not-Dean took a brownie to nibble on then he settled in to pet her too. It could be worse he guessed. He could be running for his life.
Dean looked around the spot they found themselves in. This was clearly not home. No Xander. No dad. Trailers instead of buildings. He slowly inched a hand toward his gun, moving so his back was against Sam's while they stared around.
"You two are supposed to be in wardrobe in ten minutes!" a young woman complained, walking up to them. "Are you trying to ambush with super soakers again?"
"No, ma'am," Dean said.
She stared at him. "You're not our Jared and Jensen, are you?"
"No, ma'am," Sam said. "Who?"
"Um, the actors who star on the show Supernatural?" she offered hesitantly. "They play Dean and Sam Winchester."
Dean took out his ID and held it up. She whimpered. "I can play myself," he offered with a grin.
"Now I know you're not him. Shoot. This is a big issue!" She looked around. "Okay, for now, let's get you guys under cover and out of sight before someone tries something. The boys won't mind you guys using their trailer." She led them that way. "I'm their assistant. Let me tell the boss to shut down the site for today. Any idea what happened?"
"Da..." Sam started then quit. He stared at the actor who looked strangely familiar.
The guy looked at him. "I wondered why I got a phone call for you two. I thought it was a prank and fortunately I'm nearby to do another flashback scene." He stared at them, then shook his head. "You're definitely not our boys unless they suddenly got Marine lessons."
Dean shook his head. "That means they're probably on base?"
"The guy named Xander said Willow did it and your father is beating her butt good."
"Good!" Dean agreed happily. "That means she can fix it!" He looked at Sam. "I agree, let's get out of sight. This is majorly creepy, dude."
"Ya think?" Sam shot back. The assistant led them to a trailer and let them inside. Then she ran off. Sam looked at the other actor. "I'm sorry Willow did this. I know she's going to be sorry when Dad's done with her. It shouldn't take too long to fix and as long as there's no attack on the DCIS base they should be fine. They're probably playing with the unicorns."
"Or being hit on by the slayers," Dean agreed.
"Slayers?" another guy asked as he came in. He looked at them. "Jared's not wiggling. What's wrong? Tell me someone drugged the crew?" he begged.
"No, Willow apparently exchanged us for your actors," Sam told him. "She's been playing what if with the universe recently. But hey, it's not an apocalypse so we've got a better deal than Xander did." Dean elbowed him. "We do!"
He frowned at his brother. "Won't telling them stuff change their timeline?"
"Not if we're a tv show here." He looked at them. "Was Xander a tv show too?"
The assistant smiled. "Harris?" They nodded. "He was one of the two main male characters on the show Buffy."
"We know Buffy. She's nicer now that she has her head out of her ass," Dean sighed, looking at his brother. "Go ahead. You've been picking up Xander babble again."
"I have not!"
"Have so. You're even a bigger drama queen than he is."
"He's not a drama queen, the girls drive him to it, and I still say you're the bigger drama queen with the spank magazines and tempting Brenda to get into trouble with Dad."
"One of the slayers," Dean said. "Dad decided she's like a little sister." He nudged Sam again so he told them all about the slayers, DCIS, and all of that. The producer moaned. Dean nodded. "Try living through it. We have to do another room inspection later to confiscate our underwear again." Sam moaned, covering his face. "And to take down the shrine one of the girls built to him." He smirked. "So, is acting fun?"
"Most of the time, but it's a bit of work now and then," the other actor said.
The producer shook his head. "How long do you think it'll take?"
"Dad's beating her ass right now," Dean said simply. "If he doesn't work, Xander's going to go after her. Xander's probably about to lose his temper." He pulled out his phone and tried numbers until he got one that worked. "Dad, hey. Never guess where we are," he said dryly.
"Dad, they're creeped out by us," Sam said next to the phone. "How long before you can make Willow fix it?"
"Probably six hours. She has to get some supplies," Dean told them.
"Then you two stay in here. Don't eat all of Jared's candy stash, he'll pout. Read a book, watch tv, all that stuff. We'll call off taping for today." He went to do that before he had a migraine. This was wrong on so many levels!
The assistant smiled. "Is there anything you guys won't eat?"
"Tofu," they said together.
"The girls tried very hard and Dean had to spank," Sam told her.
"I can deal with that. Got a coffee preference? I can raid the tables for you two so no one else has to know."
"Sugar," Dean said. "I like sugar. A lot."
"Don't eat all Jared's candy," she said, going to get them food. The other actor followed shaking his head. "Do you think the girl who played Willow knows about this?"
"I have no idea," he admitted. "But I have a headache."
"Me too but they seem interesting and pretty decent." She loaded up two takeout boxes for each one and carried them back with a thermos for coffee. Then she went to get another thermos and some cups. She smiled and left them alone to talk or whatever. She knew what some of the fangirls the guys had thought they did after hours. There was no telling what these two did.
"Sammy, one of your psychic gifts can't get us home, right?" Dean asked.
"No." The producer came back with something. "Something we can help with?"
"Where did your timeline divert from ours?"
"Probably from the start if we're a tv show here."
"Can you look at our show's timeline and see where we majorly diverted? There might be an episode in this."
Dean looked then pointed. "We were on our way to Chicago when Xander showed up to tell us the FBI was going to arrest us and DCIS or the ISC could shelter us." The guy gaped. Dean shrugged. "Some of the demons that got killed were still looking human when they croaked."
"The credit cards," he said.
"Was a big part of it," Sam agreed. He looked then wrote down theirs as they happened. They led boring lives anymore. "Dean, we never go hunt anymore."
"I go hunt, you don't."
Sam looked at him. "We need to take a vacation and go hunt. No Xander, no Dad, no slayers."
"Because by this standard we're boring."
Dean looked. "You forgot the spell against the Powers." Sam put that in. "We can do that, Sammy."
"Thanks." He finished it up and handed it back. "As of this morning. Dad's enjoying having the girls to train. A lot most of the time. Even if they do frustrate him to no end."
"He's going to teach Brenda about cars by fixing up the clunker," Dean offered.
"He should teach Shea how to take better care of her bike. You can teach Faith."
"Faith's helped me tinker with the Impala a few times. She's thinking about vocational school for when she ages out late next year."
"We know she can lead people and do the physical labor part. Mechanics or something else?"
"She was thinking about truck driving but then she decided it wasn't what she wanted. She's been down there a few times to talk to them. When she figures it out, she'll tell us. Xander will arrange it for her, and she'll be a happy big sister to the younger crew."
"Complete with boyfriend?" Sam teased.
Dean shrugged. "She doesn't want to be that serious and neither do I, Sammy. I'm leaving it there until one of us changes. She's fun, a good friend, and I like her a lot but we'll have to see where this leads us for now. Still a lot of evil bastards in the world." He picked up some ropy, sugary thing and took a nibble. "Those aren't bad." He checked the package name so he could find them at home, going back to his nibbling.
"This is what I remember of the last season of Buffy," the producer said, writing it down.
Sam looked. "Around that point, the guys who were doing DCIS before it was officially DCIS came to Sunnydale to let them know they were going to help. That they had rescued a few of the girls. They wanted to do a switch over of the older ones so Xander got sent to guard the young ones. They sent Giles' books, their personal stuff, and some of the artifacts they found around town with him. They moved to a base in Illinois. The battle went that way as far as I know. Xander went back that night to get the ones injured or in shock from the battle. They had another fight about him being a normal guy but he pointed out they didn't have a choice in the matter. He took a bunch of them back and saved them and the ones on the base from the Watchers Council because they pulled a power move and went to blow them all up so they'd only have one or two maybe. The DCIS base was barely ready then and the president had them moved and started the agency running a few months early. Xander was basically running the girls and the agency until they hired Tony DiNozzo from NCIS and he came in as the senior agent. They hired Daniel Jackson to run the agency since he had been retired from field work at his old post."
"We see a lot of Jack now and then," Dean told him. "They're moving his project, NID, and Area 51 under DCIS within the year."
"Wesley's handling the patrol issues. Xander's doing most everything else. I'm teaching demonology, Dad's being the dad and doing the early training stuff. Plus some of the more esoteric stuff that Xander doesn't have the time to get to. Dean's over the rest of the training and he's Xander's assistant if he's off on a case."
"Here, Stargate and NCIS are both shows, guys. On different networks."
Dean shrugged. "Then maybe your realm is the point where other realities branch off from."
"It's called a nexus reality. The more realms you have branching off the stronger your realm is. We've had a few wish universes but nothing more than that I think. Well, and our shield might be counted as one."
"It's a different looking world according to Messer, Flack, and Taylor," Dean agreed.
"Though the unicorns are nice," Sam added.
Dean nodded. "Binky's pretty cool and Digger tries really hard. He's a bit too uptight British for me."
Sam smirked. "I won't tell Wes you compared him to a unicorn."
"He'll laugh. You know he will." They shared a look then looked at him. "Did they cover the demon invasion?"
"In Angel's series. He got his own spinoff after graduation."
"I wonder if his Connor would be upset that he's dating a slayer," Dean mused.
"Yeah, we have two on permanent assignment in LA - Morgan and Crissy. Morgan and Connor are dating. Crissy's pregnant, expected to pop around Easter."
Sam grinned at him. "Connor came to see Xander and said he understood how he felt back in Sunnydale because he was now surrounded by cranky girls."
Dean snickered. "I can see him doing that. His sense of humor is getting better."
"So, instead of Cleveland he went to the base?"
"Wesley took over Cleveland. He was the only awake watcher. He took Faith and then Xander started testing girls. Morgan and Crissy went to LA immediately since Angel was in the magical coma too. The others switched out with Faith and them to cover the biggest troubled areas while he got the others trained as best he could until he got us. Then Giles and Buffy woke up, things went to hell for a few weeks, Giles is more concerned about rebuilding the Council than anything else. He's taken over Cleveland now but Buffy's with him until she ages out. Then she'll work with the new ISC."
"Slayer's Council," Dean said. "Xander changed the name so assholes like Travers didn't screw around with the girls."
"You know, the Powers could be getting back at him for going after them that way," Sam said.
Dean looked at him. "That's not that unreasonable. Dawn started it but the Key protects her a bit. They don't like Xander and they don't watch him. So him openly defying them could mean... Yeah. That demon inspired lust thing that we both have now and then. The luck in Vegas could've come from that. If he hadn't handled it, it could've caused a lot of problems and pain when some casino guard beat him for it. And us."
"Luck, curses?" the producer asked.
Dean groaned so Sam answered. "When he was younger he killed this one type of demon. It's blue with purple tentacle hair and five regular tentacles." That got a slow nod. "When it dies it'll taint you so whenever you're too uptight and need stress relief or go into heat, according to the demon we talked to, you end up having the stink come back. It basically draws people to you. Dean gets a lot of offers for sex and some money." The producer giggled. "Xander got seven bad girls in a mall while we were making him shop."
"Two with bombs," Dean added. "And one gou'ald that wanted him to be her army."
The producer howled with laughter. "That's so cool! Oh, man, I want to try to use that one." He wiped his face off. "Is that the curse?"
"The luck curse was different. See, there's a demon run D&D style game in Las Vegas," Sam said, getting a beaming look. "They do it to help a realm that needs it. Xander won the last one they had up by not doing it the normal way and being a geek. Things like sleeping with all the tavern wenches so they ended up protecting him. Out-drinking a dwarf to get his respect. Petting the dragon and eggs instead of trying to kill her." The guy gaped. "So when he won, he got box that spewed money. The next day, being lonely, he hired a working girl."
"Who wasn't that bad looking," Dean admitted.
"I didn't see her, I'll take your word for it." He looked at him again. "Anyway, either the box or the girl gave us some extreme luck. Like we walked past a slot machine and it went off, dude."
The guy moaned. "That's bad."
"Nearly got us beaten by security but they had gotten us for winning with some of the crappiest hands in existence on our chosen games," Dean told him. "They could tell it wasn't an EMF flux or anything. They couldn't find any machines, nothing. Xander explained what the two causes could be and they agreed it was strange but we're DCIS and ISC so we're used to the strangeness in life."
"They let us leave town after some present shopping. Instead we took Xander, since it was his mandatory vacation, to Disney and a few other theme parks he'd never been to but wanted to go to. Plus back to Sunnydale so he could tell us and heal a bit more."
"Anya still fell during the last battle?" They both nodded. "Is he seeing someone now?"
"No but the girls try *really* hard," Sam said with a grin. Dean ate another of the sugary rope things. Sam stared at him. "I'd be upset."
"I'm sure they've let him into my candy stash."
Sam shook his head, looking at the producer. "See what I put up with?"
"Yeah. If I give you our current plotline can you tell me where I got something wrong? I've already had one group tell me soul contracts don't work that way."
"Sure," Sam agreed. He handed over the earlier script and he sighed. "That is so something Dean would've done."
Dean looked then at him. "That was Xander's vision during that shared dream."
"I forgot about that," he said quietly, looking at him. He went over it. "You didn't show the contract?" He handed over the scroll he had gotten from the prop tent. He read it then pointed. "You built in six good loopholes. Including the option of having something else steal his soul and keep it from her for a few days but Dean can get it back somehow. Some will do that. Some wish demons will. Some of the higher demons." He handed it back then smiled, pulling out his phone/PDA to look something up. "This one. He likes to take them to play mind games with them. Since she wrote she'd be coming in one year and left no leeway you might be able to get around it that way."
"That would be freakish Xander luck," Dean said. He looked it over. "Me personally I'd go for this clause. I know it's standard." He looked at him.
"One of the assistant directors knew. It's how he got his shot. Three percent."
"It only takes a bit to tip you fully over." He pointed it out. "It doesn't seem like an out but it has a built-in contradiction." He read it over. "And it's void if there's no purity left in the soul. There's always some but you can't take the impure parts unless it's specified in that clause. Even if it says whole soul in other places. Then again, you could also body switch, have us trap a lost soul like a ghost, which would be evil of us. Have Sam dazzle her with bullshit so she takes whatever soul he hands over. If she feels cheated she'll undo the deal and take us both. Though, there is a way out in that last clause too. She had to sign her real name. Doing that means Sammy can research her, call her, trap her somewhere during the critical times and possibly kill her."
The producer grinned. "So we have Dean doing all the last minute things. Twins, triplets, lottery tickets, all that."
Dean nodded. "Sounds like me."
Sam punched him on the arm. "Don't say that. It could happen to us too. Though you already do most of those."
"With our luck it'd be demonically induced cancer," Dean shot back. Sam moaned, shaking his head. "Then House could talk Wilson out to let him tap him easier." He looked at the producer, who was gaping. "What?"
"House? Doctor House? That's another tv show that's not affiliated with either station the shows you've mentioned are on."
Dean nodded. "We needed a good doc. Tony found him and Danny went to recruit then Xander finished up during a problem. We got Chase and House. Then we got the docs with the mental problems so they came back since they're in jail."
"It got House out of something to do with his painkillers," Sam said. "We heard there was a vindictive cop and he tried to get House arrested or something."
"Yeah, that's about how it went on the show. He's not British in your world, right?"
"No, why?" Sam asked.
"He's played by a British actor."
"No. He will snark with Anna, Faith, Dean, and Xander."
"At the girls who deserve it," Dean said.
Sam nodded quickly at that. "I'm sure they got some of it last night when the three who didn't learn the first time came to get another exam."
"The ones in Cleveland have the nasty habit of picking up guys with crabs and other things before sharing them with the others. At one point six had shared the same three guys to get a combination of four diseases spread across the group." The producer dropped the papers with a whimper. "Three didn't learn and had to get it again yesterday."
"Xander went off in a way that made Dad proud."
"Dude, you have no idea what he yelled at those girls," Dean agreed.
"I'm hoping the talk we had meant that they'd stop panty raiding the agents and us," Sam said.
Dean shrugged. "Probably not. Mary joined in last time to annoy us to death." The producer shoved over some M&M's when the sugar ropes ran out. "Thanks, dude."
"Welcome." He looked at Sam. "Thank you for your help. Can you guys stay in here for a bit?"
"Sure," they agreed.
"We don't want to make anyone else confused."
"Or want us so you get crying girls when we leave," Dean said smugly.
"Some might. I'll pop back around in a few hours to see if you're still here." He stood up. "The tv's behind you. Try to relax. We shouldn't have any creatures on set that aren't in makeup." He left them alone, resisting the urge to lock them in. That wouldn't be nice. He was sure the base was treating his boys very well.
Even if the slayers were hitting on them and flirting. They were used to it from the fangirls.
Willow did the spell to fix it but felt it didn't work. She moaned. Dawn came in and took over the spell with Phoebe's help. This time it worked. "Why?" she asked.
"The goddess cut you off," Phoebe said bluntly. She looked at Dawn. "Let's strip her room." They got up to do that, with Morgana's help. "She trap you?" she asked the older, former witch.
"Sent me off by banishing me."
"That's going to change," Dawn said. "How did she get them back?"
"I don't know. She's still in the six months without magic part of her punishment."
Phoebe held up something that looked like green skin. "What is this?"
Dawn saw then glared at her. "You killed a demon for her power?" she sneered. She took it down to Giles and Buffy in the kitchen. It was carefully laid over a cutting board. "Found it in her room."
Giles stared then at her. "She took someone's power?" Dawn nodded. "We'll bury that later as is proper. Any other parts you three find as well."
"Thank you." She went back up there. When they found more, Giles wrapped it in the skin and had Buffy dig the hole so he could inter it properly to appease the demons. The girls took all the spell components and everything down to candles back to Phoebe's house. Dawn smiled. "Found demon parts too."
"She ran out trying to cast the reversal," Phoebe said. "Think they got to talk to each other?"
"Time did stretch there for a few seconds in the middle of the spell while we caught our breath," Dawn admitted. "So they probably did." They put things in the closet then went to hug the kids. Piper smiled, shaking her head. "We learned how to drive."
"It's a good life skill," Piper called after them.
"We have two cars for the girls on base. And Shea has her bike."
Piper snickered. "I'm sure they're going to have fun with that."
Dawn came down the stairs. "Prom shopping."
Piper looked at her. "Get something tasteful that will make the boys drool."
"I plan on it." She pulled out a picture. "What do you think?"
She looked then at her. "Not your color. The fit is a bit tight and will Xander let you wear a two-piece dress? That's basically a bra, a skirt, and a few connecting straps."
She grimaced. "Maybe not." She straightened up. "She's done for. Giles buried the parts we found so it won't attack us or her. Our guys should be back so I'm going to check on them. Thanks for the help, Phoebe."
"Not a problem, Dawn. Morgana's probably spanking her now."
"She already got her butt blistered by John."
"Good!" Piper said. "Maybe she'll learn. Finally." Dawn nodded and disappeared, going back to the base. She went back to her book. "The kids still napping?"
"They were playing with crayons on paper." Piper raced up to save the walls from the kids. Phoebe went to see Paige brewing something. "Vanquishing potion?"
"Smelly potion for someone local who can't brew but needed one with a healing she's helping with tonight." She looked at her. "What did she do?"
"Changed Dean and Sam out for the actors who play them in another realm."
She let out a hysterical laugh. "Why haven't the Elder stopped her yet?"
"Dawn isn't fully trained. They need one really strong witch to help with apocalypses and hellmouths."
Leo appeared. "Basically. Dawn will be fully trained within a year they think. Then Willow will get a sink or swim test. We already know she won't be coming back at full power."
"Did you see her stunt today?"
"Yup. Why did she do it?"
"Because Dean and Sam were warping the girls away from Buffy."
"Ah." He nodded once. "They'll get her next."
"She can't sit now," Phoebe told him. "John got her earlier. Xander was going to."
"Well, at least it was fixed and the unicorns didn't go with them, right?"
"No, they're on base. Dawn said so."
Jared looked around. "We're back," he said quietly.
"That's cool. The other place was nice but it was worse than a convention with the fangirls." Jared laughed, nodding. "Let's eat something? It was the middle of dinner."
"Sure." They headed for the craft tables that always had something to eat, even after hours, and found a unicorn trying to graze. "Binky, get out of the salad!" he complained. He came over to move her but found himself staring into green eyes. "You're not Binky." He snorted, staring at them. He let him have some of the lettuce, getting a few happy sounds while he grazed. He looked at their producer. "He followed us home."
"I can tell. Slayers?"
"Horny, crazy fangirls," Jensen said simply. "Who hug, a lot."
"Especially Xander," Jared agreed. "They fed us ice cream while they thought and let us pet their unicorns on base. The girls coming to do their chores with the little ones found us." He handed over more lettuce, getting nuzzled for it. "Thanks. Got a name you like?" It shook its head. "Okay, we'll think up one if you stay." It grabbed a cinnamon roll and trotted off to nibble on it. All three of the humans watching shook their heads. "So, go room for a unicorn at home?"
"We'll see what we can do." He gave them both hugs. "Dean and Sam are a lot tougher than I thought."
"They have to withstand the girls," Jared teased. "Though, Faith was kinda cute when she cuddled up next to you, Jensen."
"Shut up, Jared. She's not my girlfriend. She's Dean's." He looked at him. "They're insane."
"So we heard. They did give me some great ideas for a story and how to get out of that deal." They both grinned at that. "I called the shoot for the day due to them being here. Go rest." They fled with their snacks. He checked the trailer and it was clean so he was happy. The unicorn followed the boys back to their motel room. It was bleeting to be let in. He knocked and she slid in when Jensen opened the door. "You have a yard, right?"
"Yeah," he said, watching the unicorn play with Jared. "Fine. Whatever." He closed the door and went to play too. He was a pretty nice thing and very soft.
to part 24