Demon Criminal Investigative Services: Watching Over You.
Dawn hurried over to where Xander was sitting. "We need at least three chaperones from up here for the prom."
"Why so many?"
"Because we have two teachers getting married the next day and they can't attend. Neither can a few others in the wedding parties. So we need at least three but not more than five."
He looked around then whistled. "Faith, you never went to the prom, right?" She grimaced but shook her head. "The kids need at least three chaperones. This means you can live vicariously while making sure no one does anything that you'd want to do to Dean." She blushed at that. He grinned. "Besides, it'll give you the chance to show up and be pretty for a night. You can even take Dean." He looked at the other girls. "Shea, you're up too. You or Gwen. You guys can have fun with the high school boys who drool."
"Why?" Faith demanded. "I didn't wanna go to the one in Sunnydale, much less now."
"Because the girls will respect you and it's not like they can figure out how to hide weapons in a dress." He looked at her. "I went and I don't want to have Anya flashbacks."
John groaned. "He's right, Faith. Take Dean, make it a date or something. He never went to one of his."
"What would I have to wear?" Dean complained.
"Tux or good suit. She'll have to have a good dress," Dawn said, smiling at her. "We can make you look *so* hot." She looked at Xander. "We need final dress approval also."
"You have to be able to hide at least one weapon in it," John told her.
She gave him an odd look then went to get a catalog, showing him a picture. "That's what mine looks like only it's in dark blue." He stared at it then at her. She smiled. "I do know self defense. It's comfortable so I can move in it. Really." She looked at Xander. "Can you at least do that part?"
"With the ugly shirts he wears?" Dean teased.
"But he knows what girls look pretty in and he won't lie to us like you would so we'll wear something baggy and homely." She smiled at Xander. "Please?"
"Fine." He put down his book and went with her back to the dress shop. He found the girls waiting impatiently and stared. "Let's see 'em." The sales clerk smiled. "I'm the big brother shopping approval committee." Brenda put on hers first and he stared. Then he slowly shook his head. "No. Wear something you look hot in, Brenda. You want your date to drool."
"But.... I'm not sure John would like that."
He sighed. "John is a father. He knows that sometimes all his kids grow up." He patted her on the cheek. "You have a fantastic body thanks to all the work you put into it. Show it off a little bit. Flash some leg."
"I have one of those," Dawn said.
Xander looked at hers. It was two thinish straps for breast coverage, a skirt, and three horizontal straps. "No." He sighed, leaning against the counter. "Ladies, we want you to look hot, not trashy." He got an idea. "Find something that would make Sammy gape in awe or whoever your crush on base is gape in awe and sweat." They moaned at that image, going to look for other dresses. He found one for Brenda. It was a maroon strapless mermaid dress.
"I can't fight in that."
"You shouldn't have to," he assured her. "That's why there's chaperones. Faith and Dean are going as chaperones. Shea too."
"He still won't let me wear it if I can't defeat the bad advances in it."
He sighed, handing it off to one of the other girls. She'd look good in it probably. He found her one that had thin straps, a more structured corset-like top and a huge tulle skirt. "Not puffy because the ones that have the puffs this year look like some ugly curtains." This one was in blood red and had a few sparkles on the bodice but the skirt was plain. "You can do a bodice dagger or a thigh holster." She beamed and went to try it on. The one he handed the maroon one too he grimaced at. "Too much upper belly, dear. Sorry." She went to change into one that cupped her smaller breasts and then flowed down from there gently. "Better but you look kinda pregnant." She grimaced, going to find one that suited her better. A more dual layer mermaid gown was found. This one was light pink with white lace over it and the whale boning inside would keep that small bit of belly fat from showing.
"They're all such lovely girls," the clerk told him. "With very good bodies."
"That's because we have to do PT at least every Saturday for self defense, sword work on Sunday with him, and then we have daily PT after classes," Dawn said. "Even me."
Xander grinned. "It means you'll be able to keep up with your future girl."
"Hopefully." The clerk stared. "I'm a watcher in training."
"You have to do that much work?"
Xander nodded. "Plus have excellent research skills, good memory recall of various types of demons, be able to back your slayer up, help her train and to bandage her up after a fight. Dawn's got a good start on it."
Dawn went in to try on her next one. It was a black dress that had a halter neckline and was tight, but not corset looking, all the way down to the straight skirt. The only break in it was the belt around her waist. She looked at herself. "Maybe if the belt was different."
Xander came over to look. "That does give you more of a waist since you've got tiny hips. He took it off her and looked at the dress. It was slit up to mid-thigh. It had a small train in the back.
"The belt helps my figure," Dawn agreed.
The salesclerk came over. "We have a few other styles that are about like that. Including one that doesn't have the belt but does have the decorated bodice area and one that has bands just above the slit and just below the breasts." She handed those to Dawn. Who went to try them on. Xander considered then shook his head slowly. "We have one that's fairly plain," she offered, handing over the midnight blue silk. It didn't have any decoration, was strapless, and was also generously cut up the thigh. The girl did have impressive legs.
"Maybe a chain belt for that one?" Xander suggested, coming over to look. "Off-side maybe?" The clerk found him a separate one, letting him put it on her to hang it from one top of the hipbone to blow the hip on the other side, letting the belt hang down from there. "With a jeweled clip?"
She looked then shook her head. "No." She went to take it off.
"We do have two others. One's got a bit more daring of a top, and one's a corset looking top," she offered, going to get them. They had the same style of skirt and would emphasis the girl's natural figure as well. The man vetoed the ruffled skirt on a third choice so she put it back.
"Nothing a show girl should wear on stage."
One of the girls giggled. "Can I try this one on, Xander?"
He looked. It was pale cream, was a bra, two thick crossing straps, then a skirt with a piece of fabric falling from the waistline. "You can but I don't think you'll get to wear it."
"You said to make them drool and I will."
He considered it. "Try it on." She went to do that. She was right, she was drool worthy in that. He considered it. "Fine." She beamed and put hers on the counter with the other two. He pointed at one so that girl went to try hers on. He nodded so she smiled and put it back. Dawn came out in one. It was a black corset looking top with lace and a few sparkles to make a pattern but the front didn't close fully. It left a small gap of flesh to tease with. The skirt was the same straight skirt with the leg cut out. He stared, then he tipped his head. He took a picture with his phone and sent it to Buffy, who sent back an unhappy face. He called her. "You don't like it or think it's too adult?" He listened then he nodded. "I know what you wore, but she wants to show off her legs. I didn't think short was good for the prom, that was homecoming." He nodded. "Exactly." She went to try on the other one and he took a picture of that one because he was going to drool. She made a moaning sound. "So, good?" He smiled. "That one, Dawn. You made Buffy think about lesbians."
"That's my sister, Xander."
"Yeah but she said you'd be hot and she'd let you date one so you wouldn't make her an aunt, ever." She giggled, going to take that one off and put it in the pile. "Why are you still shopping?"
"You can bring Faith and find her something to make her hot enough so Dean drools." Another girl sighed and tried on something. He groaned, shaking his head. He got her the black corset one and she went to try it on. She ended up in a strapless, corset top, tulle bottom dress in disney princess blue. It had a slight belt to help where she had no waist naturally and it covered up the bad form of her bulky hips. "Shoes. Today," he ordered. "That way you can practice with the heels." They went to do that. "Dawn, you need hemmed," he called.
"I'm going for coffee. Come get me when you're done shoe shopping." They all waved and he went to get coffee, calling John. "I found Brenda something tasteful. She did not go for the slutty looks. She was trying to find something she could hide weapons in and she can, as long as they're tiny." He smiled. "She does look beautiful, it's in a dark, tasteful color. Nothing horrifying was bought. Send Faith and Shea down please?" He grinned. "Thanks." He hung up and got his coffee then went back there. It was only thirty minutes from the base. They were on Shea's bike. "Hi, ladies." He brought them inside. "These two are chaperones and never went to theirs. Faith has a date."
"Faith still needs to be able to hide weapons," Faith reminded him.
He got her two. One was a tight fitting, lightly sequined number with a bit of a cut out between the breasts and a low riding collar holding the top up. The other was one of Dawn's almost choices. She moaned but went to try it on. Shea picked out one she liked. It was two thin straps and a puffy skirt. He stared. "That had better have more material that's skin colored." She waved a hand through the area. "No. You're going to be a chaperone. That means you have to be a bit responsible. Also, the slutty patrol is Cleveland, not here." He got her something in a dark green that would fit her and make her look good. She pouted. "Just try it on." She went to do that. She ended up with something more daring than not but she didn't look absolutely slutty. In dark green so it went with her eyes.
"I'm not wearing this," Faith called.
"Let me see," Xander said, going in to help her. She squeaked. He gave her a look. "Not like I haven't seen it and I'm not going to offer." He adjusted a strap, looking at her. "You look hot."
She looked at herself. "I look like some high class lady."
"That's the whole purpose of the prom." He grinned at her in the mirror. "Imagine Dean and Wes's face when they see you in this one?"
She moaned. "But..."
He went to get something and brought it back. "Try that instead. Still form fitting, but you'll be able to move better in it."
She tried it on and he came in to look, nodding. "This one makes me look smokin'," she admitted.
"Exactly. Take Dean out to dinner that night. Remember, we pay you too." She smiled. "Make it a special date, just don't have sex on the dance floor and don't have it in the bathroom of the prom."
"Sure, X. You sure? This is hellishly expensive for a one-time only deal."
Xander shrugged. "Dawn's was more expensive." She smiled at that. "C'mon." She shooed him out so she could change back and he put it on the slayer account as well. Then they went to pick up shoes. Well, Faith had to pick up shoes, Shea had a pair of heels she could wear. The girls got back into the car and headed back to the base. He got out with a sigh of pleasure. "Done," he told Tony.
"Should I worry about higher class manners questions?"
"Probably not. Maybe though." He grinned. "No one looks like a slut. I'm so proud." Tony walked off laughing, going to polish his baby for a bit.
"C'mon, Faith, we're going to play with your hair for a few minutes," Dawn ordered. Faith grumbled but let her. She had no idea how to do her hair so it'd look sexy. They found Wesley just back and pounced him for a hug. "We're making Faith go as a chaperone," she said happily.
"I'm sure she'll have a lot of fun."
"You should see my dress, Wes. I'm the goddess in it."
He smiled. "I'd love to." She took him up to her room to put it on for him. He came in and blinked. "Oh, my." Dawn came in to fuss with her hair for her and he smiled. "You are quite beautiful in that, Faith. Dean will surely drool buckets." She blushed but smiled at that compliment. "I do believe I have something to add to it." He went back to his apartment and came back with a small box. "It was my mother's." He put it around her throat, making her touch it then hug him. "She'd appreciate a young woman wearing it for her." He patted her on the back. "If I can I'll find some of her hair pins for the girls. Now, change back before you get it wrinkled." She nodded, putting the necklace back into the box. He went to smile at Xander. "You did very good."
"Thanks, Wes." He grinned. "Only one got a slightly slutty looking dress and it's hot on her. We'll figure out how to hide a stake or something."
"I look forward to seeing them." He left, going back to his apartment to see if he could find his mother's hairpins. The girls could use them.
John looked at the girls who were giddy and happy. "I get some approval that night, ladies."
They pouted then went to drag him off for a fashion show. Brenda got a long stare, but he nodded and smiled. The others got nods as well. The one slightly slutty dress got a moan but he'd deal with it later. He went to find Xander. "You let her buy that white one?"
"It fit, it made her look hot, and she liked it." He gave him a look. "She's old enough to flash some stomach and cleavage and there was worse there." He saluted him with his coffee then finished the rest. "We had to tone down Shea's."
"That's fine." He clapped him on the back. "Brenda looked stunning."
"She did. That's why I picked out that one. I picked out something a bit tighter but she wanted to be able to kick butt in it." He smirked as he walked off. "If you're going to do the tune up today's a pretty day for it."
"I can do that. Brenda, go change and I'll teach you how to tune up a car." She squealed and did that, coming down with her hair pulled back, in jeans and an old sweatshirt, and her sneakers. He smiled at the practical nature of his girl, going to help her with that.
Sam found Xander where he was crashed for a while. "Will he need a tux or a suit?"
"Tux. She looks fantastic." He grinned. "I told the girls to make their crushes drool."
"I'm sure we will." He went to tell Dean that, listening to him complain but Sam got him worked around for it. He had to wear one once in his life. It was now or his wedding some year. He decided it'd be better now and went to find one that made him look good. Suits hid the good muscles. Sam went to get a beer. He needed a beer. This prom stuff was going to drive him nuts.
Xander and Daniel knocked on a door a few days later. They were there to recruit. Hopefully. He smiled at the man who answered it. "Eugene Tackleberry?"
"DCIS Agent Harris and this is our director Daniel Jackson. We're hoping you can help us with something."
"A local case?"
"Nope. Recruiting," Xander said with a grin. He let them in and went back to his recliner, sitting down with a small moan. "Our armory is masterless."
Eugene groaned. "You need an arms master?"
"We do," Daniel agreed. "They'd be responsible for the maintenance, sorting, cleaning, and logging in of guns after cases."
"Plus helping the agents with any gun counts of confiscated weapons, handling the more unusual slayer weapons, including helping us sharpen swords before bad things. You'd have to help us deal with the apocalypse vault of artillery and have a say in what went into it in he future."
"What's the downside?"
"The base is in North Dakota." Xander leaned forward. "After working with you a last year on the gun case in New York, I realized you do have what it takes to do the job. I also know that you're possibly not going to want to move. We want you or someone like you to come be our arms master. We've went through SWAT commanders who had some good ideas but they didn't want to deal with what the agency does. To be honest, the base is kinda small. We're renovating right now to get more apartments. You could live on or off base. We also make our own bullets for the most part. You'd be required to handle the certification for range times because we do have a small one under the armory, and for teaching the slayers and agents how to use anything they may need training on. We do have a ballistics CSI on staff but she didn't want to work specifically in there and not handle cases so you'd have help if you needed it. Right now I'm doing half of it and some of the ISC personnel are doing the rest of it."
"The downside is that it's in North Dakota and we'd have to move?" he asked. Xander nodded. "What's the pay like?" Xander pulled out an envelope to hand to him. He read it over then looked at him. "That's a good salary."
Xander grinned. "Federal standards are higher."
"Good point." His father-in-law came in. "Hey, Dad." He came over and slugged him. "Dad, not now. These guys are federal agents."
"Howdy. What's wrong?"
"We're offering him a job," Daniel said. "Or someone he might recommend that would pass the same sort of standards he has."
"So no nutjobs in Montana who love their guns a bit too much," Xander said dryly. "But the same sort of expertise with them and the same love of them."
Eugene looked at him. "We'd have to move to North Dakota."
"They have worse winters there. Your knees already kill you in ours."
He let him see the salary. "I'd be responsible for the whole armory, Dad. Picking, cleaning, making bullets, training, all of it. Artillery, swords, crossbows, guns."
He looked at them. "How soon does he have to let you know? This is a big decision."
"Say, three days?" Xander suggested. "That way if he wants to live on base we can plan to renovate his apartment first."
"No houses?" Eugene asked.
"When the president had the base renovated for us he had the older houses taken down because half of them were a health hazard. We have the room to put more up but we haven't yet. We've mostly focused on apartments. There's married ones, single ones. We're renovating a few of the extra buildings into more apartments since we're in the middle of a growth spurt."
"The housing market in town is still good," Xander told him. "Pretty low cost of living. The schools are good. The slayers go to the public high school. On the back of the offer is the town's name so you can look up real estate if you wanted to." They smiled and nodded at that. "The base is about two miles from town. The nearest city's a few hours away." He stood up. "We'll be in New York at the conference so let us know? My cell number is on the back as well if you had questions." They shook his hand and left.
"That's a good offer," his father-in-law assured him. "But you'd have to move away from all your friends, the rest of the family, all that."
"I know, Dad." He went to look it over with his wife. She used to be a cop too.
Xander checked them into the convention hotel. "Hi, Harris and Jackson, DCIS."
She found them and got them signed in, handing over keys. "Here you are, gentlemen. The conference sign in is on the second floor," she said with a point. "And there's usually someone at the desk."
"Thank you," Daniel said. He walked off with Xander in tow. They had their single bags so that was fine. They found the desk with very little problem. They simply followed all the uptight suits. "DCIS, Jackson and Harris." Everyone in hearing stopped to stare at them. "Yes, I brought Xander instead of Tony since we were off recruiting," he said dryly.
"Recruiting?" the head of Homeland asked.
"Armory," Xander said simply. "There's an officer who just retired upstate we're looking at, sir."
"That's good to know. Is he going to take it?"
"He'll let us know. He's not sure about moving." Daniel got them signed in, nudging Xander to take the pen. He read then signed in. He smiled at his former boss. "How is Homeland, sir?"
"Less jumpy now that you're on your own, son." Daniel laughed at that. "I heard you were getting consolidated."
"All under our umbrella. Jack's going to take over as my assistant director for those parts that are coming in, after he goes to shut down the unethical parts we've run into in the past."
"That's wonderful. What about an AD for DCIS?"
Daniel shook his head. "Still no luck." He nodded and Xander left them alone. "Any word on the spring issue? Jack's been too busy to call."
"Quite a bit. We're not sure if they know about it or not. We do know your agency's issue does and they've been found to be a bit active. The Egyptians have been monitoring and talking with Mr. Giles in Cleveland for a bit now."
"We suggested he go since he does have museum credentials and he had worked with their Cultural Ministry in the past," Daniel agreed.
"That's reasonable. As for the other?"
"Jack has plans for it."
"Excellent. Will we need to step in?"
"We think there might be some power plays to shift the hierarchy around. The large weapons bust we had was demons stocking up to fight on the same side as us." He shuddered. "Exactly. So we're expecting that sort of problem and we've told the other officers that have been started." Xander came back. "Settled in?"
"Yup." He smiled at one guy watching them. "Hi, Xander Harris, DCIS."
"Covert under CIA authority but I'm Stephen." He shook his hand. "DCIS? Defense or demons?"
"Demons and all the other strange, wonderful things that happen in this world."
He smiled. "We heard you guys had a major weapons bust."
Xander nodded, walking him off to talk to him. "We did. That's how we found out that the demons weren't trying to take over this spring, they were planning to help us defeat what was coming. We shared with ATF and LA SWAT since they were so helpful taking them down."
"How would the more covert agencies get information if we needed it?"
"Call. We're not mean. Tony was former NCIS. Our library is open for research calls. Some cities have their own local offices now. Most of our people are former officers and a lot are CSI. If you're talking about getting into the computer system? Call Abby and have her do something. I don't deal with the computers except for research and reports."
He smiled. "That makes sense. Do you guys have outsourced access?"
"No clue. You'd have to ask Abby. Right now we're upgrading because they put Area 51 and NID under us." That got a shudder. "Someone's going to be going to look over their shoulder first thing but we had to up the computers so we're upgrading. Abby's on the consolidation committee so she'd know how to do that. She's our head of R&D and the labs."
"Wonderful. So if we have a case that has demon results we can call her?"
"Call her and she might already know. She's been busy for the last two years upgrading forensics so it's something they can use on demonic crimes. We started by telling type and now we're getting down to individual identification. We've got a lot of information on which type of demon puts out this type of residue or this sort of signature, and what they can or can't do, and how they're killed if necessary. We try not to, but now and then it's unavoidable."
He nodded. "That makes sense. I'll get our IT person to talk to her in case we need it." Xander grinned. "Do you guys always look this relaxed?"
"It's not a big thing until you've faced off with a seventy foot demon snake who wants to eat everyone on the planet and all you have is a rocket launcher."
The guy laughed. "That's a good point."
"That was one of my first team cases. Fortunately I found one on the black market the night before." He grinned. Daniel came over. "Boss, he was wanting to know how the covert agencies would get info if they needed it."
"Ask." Stephen nodded at that. "Start with Abby or our library staff. That'll probably get you what you need to know. If not, talk to one of the agents. We can look anything up."
"Good to know. Will we be briefing people about this spring?"
"Most of it will be in Egypt and they already know," Xander told him. "Locally we'll have some power shifting right before or during it. Not a bad apocalypse but a lot of bad fighting probably."
"Like one gang taking out another?"
"It depends on the species and where they are in the hierarchy," Xander admitted. "Some are clans, which would be more run like a gang in this situation. Some are individuals who have lackeys, like in the mob. Some are sources, some are service providers, and some are just annoying and in the way so they're going to fix that."
"We usually treat them as specific cultural enclaves with some specific taboos. Not all are good, not all are bad. Our agents fall into trouble now and then with the cultural issues. Most of them just want to be left alone and don't cause any problems."
"It's the twenty percent that do and only five of them want to deal with humans. We still have to stop inter-species problems as well," Xander agreed.
"It sounds like you guys have an interesting case load."
"Now and then," Xander agreed. "Some of it's fairly routine research cases. What is this and how do we deal with it when it witnesses something. A cold case and we think one of your things did it, what was it and can you get it now. Something huge just moved into town, is it dangerous." He shrugged but grinned. "We get a lot more research cases than we do field calls. We're averaging five field cases a month per team and ten research cases a week on the floor."
Daniel nodded. "My people do good work. Most of the time other agencies give up and hand them things so they go away, but we do good work."
Xander grinned. "Not my fault I make them nervous, boss."
"I know that." He looked at the other agent, who was snickering. "He can."
Xander nodded. "But it means I get helpful agents who want me to solve very quickly." He looked around. "I'm going to get some coffee. Want some?"
"Please." He let Xander go. "Do we have a case that might need our help?"
"We have one we think has ties back to a demon group that's harboring illegal aliens. I'm hoping not outer space aliens but just foreign nationals."
Xander came back. "A few of the groups do move people but not all are good about it. Some are doing it for profit and some sell them." He handed Daniel his coffee. "What do they look like?"
"Blue/green, edging toward blue. Orange eyes. One thing on their head that reminds some of us of Snorks."
Xander considered then nodded. "If I'm right about their classification, then they're moving them for profit and edging on selling them as slaves. I'd have to look at them to know for sure. If you want, have someone call Tony this weekend and he'll look it up for you." He took a sip of his coffee. "A lot of agencies do. Or they let us have an agent for a few years then they take them back as a liaison. ATF just did."
"That's not a bad idea. I'll have someone call DiNozzo tonight."
"He's usually got his phone forwarded but if you get his voicemail, call Speedle or Wolfe. Ryan's extension is 181 and I know he's got weekend call."
"Even better. Thanks, guys." He went to call his boss with that. That was information everyone could use and that he could spread around. He also told him about calling Abby about the computer integration if they needed into something faster or needed to know what the lab knew. They were helpful for being so strange.
Xander grinned at him. "Could be worse."
"Could be," he agreed. He sipped his coffee then switched cups. "You gave me your hyper boy special."
"Ooops." He grinned. "Sorry, boss." He went to mingle some more. Hopefully these guys wouldn't be scared of him like the FBI was.
Daniel shook his head, going to talk to an agency head he had met in the past. "Sir."
"Jackson?" he demanded, turning to look at him. "Why are you here?"
"I'm heading DCIS."
"That's usually when they call us in," Daniel agreed dryly. "Within the next year I'm told we'll be adding Area 51 and NID under our umbrella as well."
He shuddered. "Better you than us."
"That's about our agency motto, yes." He took a sip of his coffee. The other guys laughed at that. "It can be."
"I'm sure it is. How is O'Neill?"
"Just fine. We chat every few weeks. He told me if the job was driving me insane he was going to commit me recently." That got a few more laughs. "Now and then the job does drive you insane. Then I sic Xander on them and it calms down." Xander gave him a dirty look from where he was talking to the ATF people. "Or Tony sometimes." He looked at them again. "We were off recruiting for the armory."
They looked at Xander. "He looks young," one of the few women in the room said.
"He is, but he hunted with a few slayers for about seven and a half years before he moved to DCIS." He looked at her, grinning slightly. "He's a good third in command. He's done a lot to help us."
"That's good. It sounds like you're hiring for quality."
"We are. Or we try to." He smirked as Xander came over. "They still scared of you?"
"Apparently." He rolled his eyes. "Silly people." He grinned. "Hi, Xander Harris." They all nodded. Someone came into the room with a gun and Xander turned, throwing a knife at him, getting him in the chest. Stephen got him with one in the stomach. Another agent shot him. "Damn we're good," he said dryly.
Daniel looked. "Very. Thank you for not coming armed."
Xander grinned. "I figured we'd have security somewhere." He walked over to get his knife. Then he looked outside the room. "If you guys are going to do like he did, come on now so we can get you too." Two more people rushed in while one headed for the door. An agent coming in got him. The two coming in were gotten by others. He smiled and waved at the cops rushing in. "We need a bag in here. Maybe a mop too. Some of us don't like small caliber weapons." They groaned and went to get the coroner. He looked at them. "Huh. Hey, Danny, can I have whatever caused the big hole? We don't have one in the armory yet."
"See who has it to see what it is," he said patiently. A few of them laughed. "We're recruiting for the armory if the one we talked to today doesn't want it."
Xander nodded. "Otherwise that's my fourth job. Though it's very stress relieving since my third one is helping the slayers get ready for the prom." That got a few more laughs and one guy waved him over so he went to look at his gun. "Is it classified? I haven't seen that in any of the recent gun magazines."
"No it's new and in testing." Xander took it to check for weight and balance. "It's not a bad gun for a hand cannon."
Xander handed it back then looked around before unhiding the ones he was wearing. "Even got it through airport security." The guy moaned at one. "This is one we're testing thanks to Mac Taylor but I'm not sure if I like it. It's got a hard pull and it's got a lot of recoil. Plus the thing sticks at the drop of sweat."
"Ours is weighted for little recoil but it does have a hard pull." He checked that one over. "Who was making this?"
"One of the german ones. We have a wide armory but for the last few months the agent guns have been from confiscated stock."
"That makes sense with what you guys captured recently." He handed it back and Xander rehid it. "How do you do that?"
He looked then grinned. "Dawn did it for me. It's basically an ignore me spell on steroids with how she talks about it."
"Can she do it for others, like people undercover?"
"It won't work on anything that's electronic or it'll break it. Guns, mechanical things, but not electronics."
"Good to know." He considered it. "I'd like to talk to her."
"Ah. Are there demon groups who can do the same thing?"
"Yes, but some of them can see through it as well."
"Hmm. How would you find them in LA?"
"Me, personally? I go ask Angel to set something up. Or Gunn."
"At Angel Investigations. He works with the slayers. He's well connected to the non- violent demon community as well. He and his people work out of the old Hyperion hotel."
"I know where that is. We had a case down near there recently."
"Please, if it involves the slayers, we need to know. Especially since one of the ones there is pregnant."
"Of course. Especially if we think they're involved."
Xander grinned. "They shouldn't be and they have an FBI agent watching over their shoulders as our local liaison."
"Even better. I'll have to get with them. That could be very handy. Any other tricks?"
"Depends on the group. We love the portal system. It's basically a sheet, a crystal, and a huge space inside the sheet." The guy moaned. "Which makes it really easy for those transporting weapons, slaves, those things. They even figured out to make it multi entry like the trunks in Harry Potter."
"Would the same people make them?"
"They probably could."
"I need to see them. That could be an asset to us."
"As long as you don't bother them for bad reasons. To them, it's business. To them breaking into ones that've been destroyed is okay business but breaking into ones currently open isn't and is iffy business. Most of the time they're like pawn shop owners to deal with."
"Just business oriented then. Do they care what you do with it?"
"No. They say that's no concern of theirs and they don't ask."
"Would they ask?"
"That puts them in the way of inter-clan politics and warfare. They quit asking way back when because it kept getting them killed. Most normal people don't know however. So if the don't have a connection, most terrorist groups wouldn't know."
"And any that are religion based wouldn't want to deal with demons," he said, smiling at that. Xander nodded. "That is a very helpful tidbit."
"You're welcome. We don't want the world to end for any reason or anytime that's not in spring. Apocalypses always happen in the spring and I don't know why." The guy laughed at that, clapping him on the back. "They do. This year's is in Egypt."
Daniel walked over. "I thought you didn't bring those, Xander."
"Oops, but you know how paranoid John is."
"Uh-huh. Unhide them. Others wanted to know." Xander sighed but unhid his personal arsenal and took everything off. Daniel moaned, shaking his head. Only Xander.
Daniel came in two days after the convention to find someone he didn't know in his cafeteria. "You would be?"
"Looking for the armory."
Xander walked in and stared. "Came to make sure we're safe?"
"And what you have," he agreed.
Xander nodded. "It's fairly safe and they know I'm going to kill them if they come near it." He got his own coffee and donut. "C'mon. I think I talked to one of your people. Stephen yours?"
"Cousin agency." He smirked. "This doesn't worry you?"
"I knew you were here two hours ago when the wards went off." Daniel moaned. "I have the alarm stone. John probably knows too. I'm surprised none of the girls beat your ass."
"I avoided two. One saw me but the guards called her off after I produced credentials and said I was in to talk about a case."
Xander nodded. "Which one of the three spotted you?"
"Gwen." He nodded. "C'mon. I need to do the morning check anyway." He walked him that way, finding the door open. He paused, looking around. "Someone was into the sharp and pointy collection, Danny," he called. He pointed at one spot. "That's missing." He looked at his battleaxe's spot and went to get it back from the new guy. "Mine." He took it back. "It's my baby. Only touch it with permission or to save a life."
"Sure, I get that. It needs sharpened."
"I've got it sharpened off center so it works better with the way I swing it." He let him see the edges. "But yes, I do need to sharpen the bottom head." He put it back on the wall and stepped off, looking. "They got into the two handed swords too. They've been rearranged." He grimaced and walked into the artillery vault. "Well, someone was here. Get me a pair of wire clippers from the second drawer please?" he called. The new guy brought him some and he squatted down, finishing his donut while he got the cover off.
"The blue wire," the new agent said.
Xander looked. "That goes to the ground." He cut the ones he knew and got the other blue wire last when the countdown started to go faster. He tossed it back at him. "Have one of the CSI get it." He got a tape measure to measure the hole, then he called Dawn. It was before she left for school. "Pull the sucker back. With the sword." She did that. It made a slurping, screaming noise as it was pulled backward. Xander captured it and took the sword, staring at it. "What did you think you were doing?" It burbled. "I don't care if you think this is your clan's holy sword! You broke into DCIS and planted a bomb!" The demon whimpered. "No, won't work."
Dawn hung up. "Horatio's on his way down." She kissed him on the cheek before bouncing out. "Slug looking earth demon tried to blow up the armory. Xander's barely had coffee." The girls all shuddered. That thing would be sorry. They went to school and it was okay in their world.
Horatio walked in and looked at the bomb. "You could have called, Xander. I was bomb squad."
"You were?" Horatio nodded. "Okay. I'll remember that. Here, have a slug demon who wanted the sword he thought was his family clan's holy sword so he tried to blow up the armory."
"Charming." He took the demon and the bomb. "You should have known better. You're lucky Xander didn't have to react." It burbled frantically.
Speed looked up. "Yes, that was that Xander. You're damn lucky." It went limp in Horatio's arms. Speed took the bomb. Horatio sat the demon in his chair. "We'll translate for you, H."
"Thank you. Do we have a new armory guy?"
"Yeah, new guy outta Chicago. One of their gun geeks that was on patrol. The petting, cooing sort." Horatio smiled at that. "The guy in upstate New York recommended him. He would've come but he didn't want to move to North Dakota."
"I was a bit wary of that myself." He opened the form to arrest the demon and got to work with Speed translating.
Xander smiled at the agent. "He's going to be sorry now." He waved a hand. "With the exception of earth demons...." He grinned. "Which I'll be fixing with concrete. We're mostly on top of sandstone and a silica base so they can't tunnel through in many places. There's one in the prison and we have it guarded. We have the last one down there. I'll pour concrete down there later."
"Others can't get these?"
"No. His kind can't use artillery or a sword. They've been looking for their Excalibur for centuries. Anywhere that has a major sword collection gets one of them breaking in to take something in the right size. We have three more down in the prison." He looked at the armory guy. "Hey, if I didn't introduce myself, I'm Xander."
The guy shook his head. "Glen." He smiled at the agent. "New to the base?"
"Checking on their vault for other agencies."
Xander grinned. "We're doing okay. As far as my last check last week they were all in the proper containers. We had to move two around a few months back. The girls snuck in to pet the weapons." The agent gave him an odd look. "They got punished. They weren't going to use it, just pet them. Some girls like guns and Calleigh caught 'em." He just nodded. "She's a former ballistics CSI."
"Oh." He nodded and walked in to look at them. Something went across his skin and he paused. "What is that?"
"Oops, wards." He released them. "Anti theft wards for the artillery. We had to let the girls in because if there's an emergency they might need some. They are slayers."
"Oh!" He nodded at that. "What would it have done to me?"
"Eaten you. You probably wouldn't have gotten further than town before they found your mangled, chewed on corpse. Our IDs get us in there."
Glen beamed. "That's why I have to wear it all the time, even in here."
"Yup," Xander agreed. "Did we show you where things were?"
"I'll do the tour after I've helped him." That got a nod and he went back to checking what they had in the vault. "We do hand make the bullets," he warned.
"I can do that."
Xander looked at the guy again. "It looks lax but it's not. We're relaxed, not stupid, around here."
"I can see that." He closed a case and came out. The itchy feeling released him. "It's well stocked."
"Now and then we need them. That's why it's an apocalypse vault."
"Good idea I guess. These portals?" Xander got one of theirs out of storage, then had to hunt for the crystal. Glenn handed it over. "They have to be together?"
"Yup." He looked at Glen, who shrugged a bit. He tried it, then got the other one. Glen put that one back. Xander fired it up and let him go inside it to see. He came out whistling. "We handed one to LA SWAT recently as well."
"Do we have a lot of these?"
"Yeah, after that last bust. They're too helpful to destroy. Even if they were, the demons who made it could access it."
"I can understand that." Xander showed him how they worked on the multi-access setting and he was very happy with that thing. "Can my agency get one of these?"
"Write a formal request to Daniel. We do share."
"Good!" He smirked. "What about the gun networks you keep finding?"
"I take down the gun networks I find. We have a few dealer clan demons who we let keep operating because they're pretty legit. They supply hunters as well. The ones blatantly breaking the law I get. Well, not just me now. The other teams get some of those now that we have Taylor and Caine."
The agent nodded. "That makes a lot of sense." He looked around then at him. "How often do you have to pull out of here?"
"Every single field case we go out with whatever we feel is appropriate. Only once was one of ours mugged and the slayer working with them got his gun back."
"Interesting. What are you using for bullets?" Xander led him to the gun vault. "Spare guns?" he asked with a point.
"From the last bust. We confiscated for spare agent guns since they hadn't been stolen. I think that's the spare parts guns." Glen nodded. "These are our major bullet storage. We keep reloads in each gun locker. These are for grabbing and going. Looks like Glen's going to get to help me make more wooden jacketed ones." The agent looked them over, taking one of each with him. He smiled. "Anything else you guys needed to see?"
"These...wards on the fence. What would they have done to me?"
"Mostly they're alarms. The alarm for intruder, not harmful, went off for you. If you had been a dangerous being or here to cause mayhem we'd have found you within minutes because every agent would've heard the alarms going off."
"Good to know. Hidden is good."
"Hidden is and we are working on the back fence since I'm assuming you came toward that section." That got a nod and a smirk. "Need anything else?"
"I deal in terrorists."
"Only some agents in the FBI think I am," Xander said dryly, cracking him up. "If you find a demon connection in them, call us and we'll probably be able to get you a local contact to ask within an hour. We have some in most cities. The majority are harmless and the ones that aren't generally don't want to destroy the world. They want to rule the world."
"I can deal with that," he decided, holding out a hand. Xander shook it. "He's good with the guns?"
"He comes highly recommended by an officer who had the skills we wanted but he didn't want to move all the way out here. Not that I blame him. North Dakota is pretty far from everything."
"It is but it's pretty country."
"It is." He nodded. "Need to refill your travel mug?"
"Please." He carried it into the caf and refilled it, taking a danish on the way out. His boss was going to be amused. They had protections. Good protections for the most part. They could use a few more but they had someone to fix things if and when they happened. Why would a slug looking demon without arms or hands want a sword? He couldn't wait until the day he had to tell his boss a witch was trying to destroy LA.
Giles called Wesley's office. "I didn't particularly like that place you sent me but the realtor handling it did have a decent one that will be suitable with some renovation."
"Congratulations. Do you need help with the paperwork?"
"No, we're fine with it. I've already talked to the bank and they've transferred money over. The inspection company was a bit steep but useful. They also told me where to look to find a decent contractor to see what we needed. Mostly there we'll need to strip out the insulation and put on a new room as we renovate some of the rooms. Buffy likes it as well."
"Good," Wesley agreed, waving John in. "How much was it? John, he just found a home for the Cleveland center."
"The girls or the Council?"
"We'll have enough room for both and we're not that far away. With them being able to drive it'll be easier for them to head wherever for patrols since the city's officers are helping us so much to pinpoint problem areas."
"That's excellent news," John agreed. "Did you find them a car? I used to be a mechanic if you need the help."
"We've found a place where we can get new ones cheaply since we're a corporate structure."
"That works too," John agreed. "By the time they're crap piles we'll be back down to only a few girls. What did you get?"
"They're not generally bad cars. Middle of the road, pretty easy to maintain," he told him. He scratched the back of his neck. "Do your girls need help with the prom stuff? Dawn's been going nuts since she got invited this year."
"No. I don't believe any of ours are going. That is apocalypse season."
"You guys don't have many of the power movers that could cause problems," Wesley told him. "It's looking like New York, LA, Chicago, and Miami are going to have problems, Rupert."
"Ah, even better. Well, if they want to go they can tell me."
"Ask Buffy to ask them," Wesley suggested. "Or Caridad. They don't really talk to you, Rupert. Now, how soon before you have the building set up?"
"Probably about seven months for all the work Xander outlined. I still don't see a need for a technology center."
"We've been using tracking software here to track some problematic clans and other entities," John said. "Plus vampire patterns and a few other problem groups." Giles moaned. "More than a map and a good computer system would let you put the books on it for multiple research copies, plus keep a separate DVD for backup and the books securely stored away in something like the sheet portals."
"I dare say that's a lot of work," Giles said.
"Thomas has half of it on DVD already," Wesley told him. "Including those found on probate. That would allow someone like Sam or Willow to research on their laptops much faster since they can do a keyword search and come up with multiple entries to page through."
"Oh. I hadn't known that."
"Thomas had the system working very well in the Caribbean office. Within a year I think we'll have them all on a transferable media."
"It's also easier to move ten thousand DVD's than it is ten thousand books," John told him. "Much lighter."
"I had no idea," Giles said. "I'd like to talk to him. The last time I called he had to stop Samuel from eating in the library."
"He tends to nibble while he researches," John admitted. "It's a bad habit he picked up off Dawn."
"She probably picked it up off Xander and the research parties we used to have," he decided. "The girls there are going to the prom?"
"Six of them and we'll have three people going as chaperones since the school's got teachers marrying the next day," John told him. "Faith, Shea, and Dean are going to handle things."
"Hmm. Well, I'm sure Buffy would like pictures of Dawn's dress. I know American girls put a lot of weight into this decision."
"Buffy's more than welcome to come help the girls with their hair and things," John assured him.
"That's even better. I'll let her know. Is the boy she's going with nice?"
"Fairly so," Wesley said with a small smile. "He's a sports player but he's got a very high GPA. He's not terribly rude or obnoxious as most teenage boys can be. He's a bit serious and plans on going to college with his sports paying the way so he can find a good job in the future. I think he wants to be a teacher."
"That's wonderful then. Are they serious?"
"Not really," John said. "They're friends and she's tutoring him in something. It's keeping the cheerleaders off him and her."
"That's fine then. I'm sure she's told Buffy all about it. Any other news I should hear?"
"Right now we're doing good. All the midterm grades were good," Wesley told him. "Brenda had excellent grades." John smiled. "Dawn as well. Only one C and that was in PE. For some reason they made her take it anyway. She had to sit out a few days due to her broken ribs from the one attack so it lowered her grade a bit."
"Excellent news. The girls here are doing all right. Their grades aren't too low or abnormally high."
"I got an A in physics," Rona yelled.
"Congratulations, Rona," Wesley said.
"Wesley said congratulations and I agree. When did you get that?"
"On the last report card you had Buffy sign for you." She leaned closer to the phone. "John, are the girls there getting to hit the prom?"
"Yes. Dawn's been in charge of that maneuver. She's gotten them all dresses, hair and nail appointments. They even have their shoes already."
"Can we borrow her?"
"Of course," John agreed. "You could also ask Buffy. She went to hers."
"That's not a bad point. Thanks, John."
"Welcome. Why are you out of school?"
"Late patrol last night. I only take afternoon classes because I need my sleep."
"That's fine then," Wesley agreed, checking the clock. "Shouldn't you be heading out then?"
"Yes, Wesley. Laters, guys." She left them to their conference.
"The girls are rather more lively than I expected," Giles said.
Wesley and John both gave the phone dirty looks. "Not really lively. You simply didn't expect what being a full time parent was like," Wesley reminded him. "It is a full time job. It's good I have John and Xander to help me here."
John smirked at him, nodding a bit. "I can't imagine you going off on the girls who dated the nasty boys."
"Oh, I fear I would have shouted many things, but I was trained to shout most of them in another language. Latin really doesn't translate to modern education needs."
Giles coughed but you could tell he was nearly laughing. "Yes, well, those ones have been fixed. They haven't even looked at the boys on patrol."
"Good!" John said. "Everything else going all right?"
"It's fine. When are we moving girls to the new houses?"
"Before Easter," John told him. "Sometime between Valentines Day and Easter. Vienna first. The second girl for Rome. One's going to England. Cho's house is being started later on since she's helping Mandy cover LA until about Easter. We're putting her house in upper India. There's been a large population that way and it's close enough to hit Taiwan within a day if they have problems and about the same amount of time to fly to Japan."
"We were thinking Taiwan but with the politics going on we wanted her somewhere safer."
"Plus one of the former Asian Bureau watchers survived and he suggested they put her there," John added. "He said most of the demons in the area are there. There's some traditional spirits but they're not always harmful and the priests often take care of them in Japan and China."
"That's fine, as long as she still wants to go."
"She does and a few girls want to go with her," John said. "We also noticed that three of the seven potentials we have at the moment are that way."
"So we have an indication of future movement then."
"Not necessarily," Wesley cautioned. "We had four come from Africa but no true outbreaks of demonic activity."
"Good point. Where are we thinking?"
"We think there's some higher demons in India that may need to be handled before they grow egos and armies," John told him. "That's why she's getting two of the former watchers that are now doing their field training. If you wanted, Rome still needs a watcher, or one of the girls is going to Cambridge as a history student and she'll be watching over the collection there and at Oxford for us."
"I'll be a bit busy running things but I can see someone going to Rome."
"Gibbs will be taking over the LA route eventually with his three," John told him. "Once Crissy ages out since she's first and Morgan will pop out a few months later."
"Interesting. That's fine. Is he doing all right in his training?"
"He's doing very good and he's teaching the foreign girls a lot. He's served overseas so he's going over what would be considered proper conduct. Your girls will be getting the same lectures in a few weeks."
"That's good news. Some of the ones here are a bit...rowdy."
"They're teenage girls, Rupert," John told him. "Remember Buffy at that age?"
"She wasn't quite this bad."
"She had just won a battle," Wesley told him. "Plus she had to be more serious. It was only her and Faith."
"Good point. I'm sure they'll calm down as they age."
"They all do," John assured him dryly. "Even Sammy did."
"That's good to know. You're really letting them go to the prom?"
"Yes, it's considered an American rite of passage," Wesley said. "A step into official adulthood as it were."
"Oh, I see. Like a coming out dance?"
"Only for the masses instead of the rich children," Wesley said. He rolled his eyes.
"Very well then. Are we going to get Shea here anytime soon? I don't think I've met her."
"No. She's finishing the gaps in her education. Then she wanted to take a spot on New York with her brother."
"She has one?"
"She does but he wanted a normal life and became a stock broker. She's talked with him recently and they've figured out they can stand each other so she'll want to post herself there. It's not a highly hot spot but there is a demonic community there that can have problems and a fluxing vamp population so she'll have some work. She'll be heading in probably a year. Be able to spend next Christmas with her brother."
"Will any of the girls be going anywhere for the holidays?"
"We found a real parent for Amber," Wesley told him. "She's opening a dialogue with her in the next few days. They're the only two that really would. Dawn may go to be with Buffy or Buffy may come here. I'm not sure which they wanted."
"That's fine then. Thank you for letting me know, Wesley. Do have a good day, both of you." He hung up and went to talk to Buffy. She was reading a magazine in the living room. "Have you and Dawn made any holiday plans?"
"Not yet. I was going to sneak out and buy a turkey today when you gave me back my allowance and paycheck card so I could buy groceries." He went to get it for her. She smiled. "Why? Was Dawnie asking?"
"I asked Wesley if she had made any plans and she hasn't. Except for the prom."
"Heard that. Saw a picture of her dress. She'll look very classy and nice." She smiled. "We have three girls here who need to go shopping for that."
"Can you handle it or would you like to pull her out?"
"I can handle it. I did a good job with my dress," she said with a pout.
"You did look very nice," he agreed. She beamed at that. "Will you need anything?"
"The main shopping card."
"I'll get it from Xander."
She gave him a hug and went back to her magazine. "What are we cooking for Thanksgiving? Turkey and what?"
"Whatever you girls want to eat. It's not like it's my people's holiday."
"Good point." She called one of the other older girls who wasn't in school. "We're going shopping for groceries and Thanksgiving." She smiled. "That may work." She hung up. "She suggested we go to one of the buffets they have at some of the hotels. That way none of us have to drop the turkey this year. I think you and I are the only two that can cook."
"I'll check into those." He smiled. "Do have fun shopping with the girls."
"Of course. We're slayers so we can even carry the heavy bags." He groaned. She called her card to make sure her paycheck/allowance was on it. It was and for the last week too. She called Xander's phone. "It's me. We have four girls who need to dress up for the prom." She beamed. "That'll be great, Xander. Thanks. Who's going?" He read down the list and the list of chaperones. "You're getting Faith into a dress?" He explained his methodology and she giggled. "She'll be mortally embarrassed." She nodded that was true. "Good point. Thanks, Xander." She hung up. "He'll send Dawn with the shopping card next weekend," she called. "Faith is going as a chaperone."
"That's probably a good idea," he decided. "There's no telling what might happen otherwise. They could be attacked as yours was."
"Faith's going to be dressed up too. Dean's going and so is Shea as chaperones."
"That's a good plan." He went back to his office then came out to look at her. "We don't need one here, correct?"
"I don't know. We can ask." She went to get the number for the school the girls went to off the bulletin board, calling in. "Hi, this is Buffy Summers, and I needed to ask the Principal a question please. No, nothing slayer related. Prom related." She was transferred over. "Hi, Principal Nicee. It is. We have a few girls who want to go. I need to know if there's a dress code and if you need more chaperones and what the girls can wear in the way of decorative weapons. Well, most of us would probably use hair ornaments or a bodice dagger, maybe a thigh harness for a stake. Depending on the dress." She beamed. "Please. Go ahead and do that. We're going shopping next weekend. A lot of the girls on the base are going too, that's what reminded me. Sure, if you want one of us there as a chaperone we can do that. I'll ask the graduated girls if they want to go since I went to mine." She beamed. "Even better. Thank you." She hung up. "They could use a chaperone in case they're attacked or there's boyfriend/girlfriend problems. He'll send the dress code for it with one of the girls tonight and he said any of the girls are open to chaperone. I figured I'd do like Xander did and let the girls who hadn't went go."
"That's generous of you."
"Every girl should go to her prom," she told him.
He smiled. "That's fine. There's a dress code?"
"Depends on the school. Some won't let you wear anything too showy. Some of the ones I saw last year had bare stomachs and things."
"Do try to keep the girls tasteful, Buffy."
"I'm going to do what Xander did. Dress up in a way that would make your crush drool. Hot, not slutty." She bounced off to go grocery shopping. She was liking this driving thing and the instructor had shown her how to cut down her distraction levels. She wasn't nearly as prone to accidents as before. It was so cool!
to part 25