Demon Criminal Investigative Services: Real Families.

Daniel looked around the office.  It was quiet, which was probably a bad thing at the moment.  "Why don't we find something to do?"

"You told us no hall bowling," Tony said.

"Good point.  Go find more socially acceptable things to do than solitaire?"

"The local churches are holding a rummage sale to benefit the next town's homeless shelter," Xander offered.  "The girls were going to the sale."

"That's not a bad idea," Danny Messer said.  "Is our priest helping?"

"Yup.  His church is doing the clothing."

"We can probably help until something new comes in," Stella said, looking at the others.  They all shrugged and Danny Messer called.  He hung up and nodded so most everyone wandered out to cars so they could go help.

Xander looked at Daniel.  "Abby's talked to some of her geek buddies in DC about a few other tests to find real families.  I'm waiting to hear."  He went back to solitaire.  "I guess that makes me duty officer."

"It appears it does," he said, smiling on his way back to the office.  He went down to the infirmary instead.  "House, has it escaped your notice that you haven't signed a new contract?"

"No, I'm still thinking."

"How long are you going to think?"

House shrugged.  "I don't know."  He grinned.  "I'll figure that out some day soon."

"When you do, come sign a new one and make Chase if he hasn't.  That way no one gets in trouble with ICE."

"I can do that."  He went back to watching soccer on tv.  "Anything good happening?"

"Not a single call but Abby thinks she might have more real families."

"That's good.  I hope."

"We all hope."  He left, going to check on Abby.  She had been locked in the lab all week.  He walked into her office.  "Abby?"  Her head popped up and she gave him an embarrassed look.  "I was wondering about the family project?  Xander's playing solitaire."

"I'm waiting on the last batch of results to come in."  She grinned and went back to her typing.

"Preparing for the conference?"

"Um, no, letter to Rod."  She blushed again.

"That's fine, Abby.  As long as things aren't being ignored.  You two are cute together."   She smiled.   "Let me know?"

"Him and John first."

He nodded, leaving to go catch up on his filing.  He was going to change Tony's system around a bit to do it by year and team then by what they handled. Or maybe by date would be easier.  He'd have to look and decide after ordering a new filing cabinet.  They were doing a lot more work than anyone liked to think.

"You have a room for storage," Xander called as he walked up the hall.

"Did you take that serum to be telepathic?" he joked.  Though, that was a horrible thought.

Xander gave him a look.  "Don't you wish," he taunted with a smirk.  Daniel shook his head.  "I've noticed you haven't filed in two weeks, Danny."

"I'm out of room."

"B-6 on the second floor.  It's back by the testing lab.  It's got shelves for boxes.  Boxes are in there waiting to be put together."

"How long has that been in place?"

"Two weeks after Tony took over."  He grinned.  "He figured we'd need it."

"Good thinking."  He went to look then pick out the first year's worth of the files to bring down there.  It took three trips but it was eventually filed well enough.  He marked the boxes then went back upstairs to fix the filing cabinets again.  Abby and Xander were talking.  "Should I hear?"

"The Watchers stole a few of them," Xander said.  He called someone.  "It's Xander.  I need you, John, and Giles up here now.  My desk."  He hung up.  He looked at her.  "How many?"

"Four are in the Missing and Exploited Children database.  Two are in FBI files, one overlaps."

"So we have five who we know," Xander said.  Wesley and John walked in together, Giles walking behind him. "They stole some of the girls from their families."

"Shite," Wesley muttered.

"Could've put that more strongly," Xander said dryly.  "Are they calling them or us?"

"They talked to the people and told them.  They're gathering the families.  Mary is one."

Xander nodded.  "That'll be a hard sell."  She nodded.  "Okay.  So what do we do, Giles?"

Giles gave him a look.  "Why ask me?"

"You're in charge," John said.  "You have to set official policy."

"Why were we looking?"

"We've always looked to see if the girls had families left," Abby told him.

"Oh, I see.  Where did we find them?"

"You've seen the pictures in Wal-mart and on milk cartons?  Those people," Xander told him.  Abby sat on the edge of his desk.  "Any other problem ones?"

"The one with Rodney and John, Tiff."

"That's going to be a bigger problem," Xander said.  "She's eighteen?"



"Basically."  She smiled.  "I did send them an email."  Dawn bounced in.  "We have some more real families through the Missing Children network."


"Including the one with Sheppard and McKay."

"I can get her."  She opened a portal with a bit of thought then bounced through.  "We need our slayer back."  The guards gave her an odd look.  "We think we found a relative."

"I'll get her," one said, calling her.  She stomped in.

"Don't give me that look.  Abby's bloodwork project bore fruit in your tree."

She stopped to look at her.  "Excuse me?"

"They found some of the girls were taken."

"I was?"

"No clue.  You were reported."


"Meet, greet, don't tell them what you do?  Jack's on base, you can ask him."

"Let me get a few things."   She ran off while Dawn pulled out a nail file and did her nails.  She came back with a backpack and John.  "I have no clue."

"Abby found a few had been taken."

"Shit," John said.

"Yeah.  So we're going to see what we want to do.  Then I'll bring her back?"  They nodded.  "Cool.  Let's go."  She walked her back through and shut the portal.  "Here we are, one trotting slayer."

"Tiff, we found you a brother and a father," Abby said.  "It's up to you about what you tell them, within classified material radius."

She put her pack and bag down, looking at her.  "Where have they been?"

"Waiting on you.  The report said that the watchers tried to buy you and when it didn't work, they stole you."

"Um, no.  I didn't go to the watchers until I was seven.  My mother gave me to them."

"Then we can talk to them," Abby said.  "Maybe they're nice, I don't know."

She shrugged.  "Okay."

"Daniel said Jack or he can go with you since you know so much classified stuff," Abby offered, pulling her closer to fix her messed up hair.  "It'll be okay.  If they're mean you don't have to deal with them."

"I'm nearly eighteen."

"True and to get custody of you will take a while.  Especially since we can point out that you're in a well-protected training spot plus being a slayer."  She nodded, relaxing somewhat.  "You're not the only one."

"Good.  Any who'll cry on me?  I don't think I can take crying."

"Mary," Xander said quietly.

"I've got it," John said, going to find her and Gibbs.  He found them in the yard with the unicorns.  "We've got to talk you two."  They looked over.  "Abby's DNA search turned up a few more matches."

"I do?" Mary asked.

"You do."

"Huh."  She looked at Gibbs.  "Coming with me?"

"If you want."

"I'm going to need."

He nodded.  "I get that."  He pulled her closer.  "We'll handle it."  She relaxed again.  "They can't help but love you.  You know that."

"I hope."  She looked at John.  "How was I lost?"

"No clue at this moment.  They're looking at it.  The people in DC who matched it know that you're here and what happened.  They're putting everyone together soon."

"Okay.  I need a new outfit, huh?"

"Wear something nice," John told her.  "Let Gibbs find you a cute t-shirt and jeans."  She smiled, letting Gibbs walk her off to talk to her about this.  She'd need to talk.  John went back to find Wesley talking to the others.  "Gibbs has Mary."

"That's fine," Giles agreed.  "He seems to do her good."  He looked at Abby.  "What do we do now?"

"They know you're the *new* council and they know the girls are slayers.  They're going to inform the families then we'll meet I guess."  That got a nod.  "The girls will need some emotional support."

"Xander can have it off," Daniel assured her.  Xander nodded his thanks.  "Anything on the others?"

"Not really.  One's fingerprints came up at a scene a few years ago but it was a home invasion that resulted in a death.  I guess her watcher took her over after that."  That got a mass nod.  "But we have found some."  She slid off the desk.  "They're sending me the full files so we can tell the girls."

"Thank you, Abby," Wesley said.  "I'm sure after the initial emotional overload they'll be able to work things out."

"What about custody stuff?" John asked.

"If we have to we can fight about it," Xander said.  "Leaving it up to the girls."

That got a nod.  "That's sensible."  Giles cleared his throat.  "Should I go to the meeting?"

"I will," Wesley said.  Giles looked relieved.  "Make a decent statement for when the press finds out."  Giles groaned, letting Dawn send him home so he could get a few of the girls to help him with that.  He looked at Xander, who rolled his eyes.  "Let's gather to go to DC.  Get the girls outfitted for the meeting."

"Gibbs is doing that," John said.   They nodded, going to get the girls and take them to the mall.


Xander walked into the meeting area.  "Guys."  They all glared at him.  "Do not glare at me.  That was the old council, not the new one.  The girls are coming and they have been told what was in the files.  They're all emotionally swinging.  Please do not make the slayers cry?  I hate it when girls cry around me."  He let the girls in.  "Ladies."

Mary walked in with Gibbs behind her.  She saw her stepfather.  Then she looked at Gibbs.  "I can't."

"You can."  He put a hand on her shoulder.

"We can."  She nodded, walking him over there.  "You filed instead of my biological one?"

He looked stunned.  "You remember me?"

"I was seven, of course I do.  The same as I remember them talking Mom into it."  She nodded at Gibbs.  "This is my Watcher, Jethro Gibbs.  He's a former Marine and NCIS."  She sat down.  The others were slowly moving closer.

Tiff looked at her mother, then at Xander, who nodded.  She gave him a look.  He came over to hug her and sit with her.  The others could come over for theirs.  Tiff was a bit less stable emotionally, no matter how much her team helped. "Parents."


"It's just Tiff," she said.  She calmed herself.  "This is Xander.  He had Abby look for family after the calling and the explosions and stuff in LA."   She looked at him.  He grinned.  "I'm on field assignment."

"You're doing very good on your field assignment," Xander agreed.  "Your team has nothing but praise except for a few nightmares and a few sugar binges."

She shrugged.  "I needed it."

"Now and then we all do."  He patted her back.  "Deep breath."  She took one.  "Good girl."  She smiled.  "The old council was very much a 'do what's necessary' group.  The new one isn't."

"Then why is she in the field?" the woman asked shrilly.

"Because she wanted to go," Xander said.  "We offered it to her.  It got her away from the girls she was having problems being around.  She gets on well with them and they've helped her with the adjustments to being one of many slayers instead of someday being a possible slayer.  She's done very good.  She had some wobbles in there but she's moved on and grown up."

"I'm proud of myself," she agreed.  "I got over the special girl syndrome I had."

"They took you from us," the man said.

"Xander was, like, five," she said.  "He didn't become a watcher until two years ago."  She stared at them.  "Did they outright snatch me?  The file didn't say if you had been told or not."

Her mother stared at him.  "Unhand my daughter."

"I'm keeping her calm, lady.  I'm not touching her that way."  Mary bounced over to get a hug.  "You okay?"

"A bit stressed."

"Cocoa later."  She smiled and went back to tell Gibbs that.  "Or coffee if he'll let you."

"It'll stunt her growth," Gibbs complained.

"Chocolate coffee?" Mary suggested with an impish grin.

"We'll see."  She hugged his arm and went back to talking to her stepfather.

Tiff looked at her parents.  "I want Xander here."

"It's clear something is going on in wherever they're storing you," her mother said.

"I'm with the military on a top secret base.  They all look at me like I'm their little sister.  Even when one of the Marines got drunk last year he didn't hit on me when he hit on every other girl on base."  She got glared at.  Tiff calmed herself again.  "You know what?  The old records were destroyed but we do know that the watchers usually talked to the parents.  Did they tell you I was going to be a slayer?"

"They're crackpots."

Tiff picked up a chair then bent it into an interesting shape.  She put it on the table, leaning closer.  "No, they weren't.  I'm a slayer until I make my decision at twenty-three.  I'm doing great in my field work and I love working with the guys I work with.  I have a very strong female role model on base, or three.  Including one of the newly called older slayers.  She's been in the field for years before she took on the duties when given a choice.  I'm sorry this destroyed you.  I had no idea about any of this."  She stood up.  "I'll pay to replace the chair."

"We've got it," Xander assured her.  "Go calm down."  She nodded, going outside to do that.  He looked at her.  "I have no idea about her first watcher.  He died during the Bringers' purge.  We know she made it to Sunnydale and was in the battle there.  She was at the invasion in LA.  She's a good girl but she's not good with some sorts of stress.  She's not that hard to get to know.  All you have to do is talk to her."

"We're taking her home."

"That's up to her," Xander corrected.  "Or a court.  The judges we consulted after the Bringers' purge and the fall of Sunnydale, where they were called, knew that the old council did things like this.  That's why I had them look for relatives.  Let me calm her down and I'll bring her back in a few minutes."

"I don't want you near her," the father said.

Xander shrugged.  "I'm the head of training and the slayers' daily routine, sir.  She's outside hitting the building or crying."  He walked off, going to find her.

Mary looked over.  "Don't upset Tiff.  She had a lot of problems in her first year as a slayer.  She got special girl syndrome really badly.  Her present group is good to her."  She looked at her stepfather then the other girls.  "Anyone need a hug?"

"We're good," one said smiling at her.  "Thanks, Mary."

"Welcome."  She looked at her brother.  "I'm one of the youngest so I'm on hug patrol."

"That sounds like you're doing good," her brother said.

She nodded.  "I am.  I love living on base.  I have a lot of sisters in the older slayers.  I'm doing good in school.  The bullies don't bother me all that often."  She grinned.  "I got my own watcher a few months back, with a few of the older girls.  We stagger it so the older ones can mentor the younger ones.  He's one of the first passed into full blown watcher status."

"Do you want to come home?" her brother asked.

She shrugged.  "I don't know.  To visit and get to know you guys again, yes.  To live, probably not."

Her father nodded.  "You're willing to get to know us?"

"Of course.  I'm not against family."

He nodded, relaxing fully.  "That sounds good.  Your watcher is coming?"

"I'll be nearby in case she needs me," Gibbs told him.  "Slayers get attacked, it's a fact of life.  That way she can be safe."

That got a nod.  "That's reasonable."

Mary smiled.  "Want to have cocoa with us later?"

"We can do that.  What about the other ones?"

"We'll get together at the hotel.  The ones who want to bring their parents or whoever can.  We're pretty laid back because Xander's like that too."  Xander walked in with Tiff, who was wiping her cheeks.  She walked over, staring at her before giving her a hug.

Tiff hugged back.  "Thanks, Mary."

"You're welcome.  Remember, Rodney can snark at anyone," she whispered.

Tiff laughed at that, nodding some.  She went back to look at her parents.  "Xander said it's important I get to know you and settle this for all our sakes.  That way we can either get to know each other or whatever happens does."

Her parents stared at her.  "You're not going back," her mother said.

"I am," she said.  "I have a team that depends on me to help them.  I'm an integral part of the base's defense and it's necessary for me to be there because they're dealing with slayer sensitive issues."

"She's not on the DCIS base," Xander said when a parent gave him a horrified look.  "She signed on with a classified military project that we know enough about to know it's not a bad thing."  That got a nod and that parent relaxed again.  Xander stroked down that one's hair.  "Messy again."

"I was playing with it."

"You do that."  He smiled at her.  "Calm down."

Tiff looked at her.  "Looks better than mine."

"You cut yours short for ease of working with it," she countered with a grin.

"Good point.  I don't know how Teyla does it with her longer hair."  She looked at her parents.  "If you want to get to know me, I'm on leave for the next four weeks.  I can't tell you what I'm doing since it's classified but I will get to know you if you want."

"You're not going back," her father said.

"I'll be eighteen in seven weeks," she pointed out.  "I'm not against getting to know you.  I'm not against building a relationship with you."  She swallowed.  "But I am going back.  They need me.  I've saved sixteen lives in the last year with my special skills.  They're good people who need me."  Xander went to hug one of the girls that was crying.  She calmed herself down again.  "Now, if you want to get to know me, I'm all for that.  Do you want to stay here or go outside?  It's a bit stuffy and I can't take crying girls anymore."

Gibbs patted her on the back as he walked past her.  "Stay calm."

"I'm trying."

"Who are you?" he demanded.

"Mary's Watcher.  I joined in the last year.  I'm a retired Marine and a former federal agent."  That got a gape.  "The new council only wants the best for the girls."

Tiff nodded.  "Xander had a talk with John about protecting me from guys who were assholes and wanted in my BDUs."

Gibbs nodded.  "I would if Mary was up there."  He smiled.  "We're going to have cocoa later."

"Thanks, Gibbs."

"Welcome."  He walked off.  Mary bounced out with him.  They'd be meeting them later.

Tiff looked at hers.  "Want to go outside?"

"No," her mother said.  "I want you to come home."

"No."  She stepped back.  "You can get to know me.  You can learn to love me.  I'm going back to my project in four weeks but we can get email in and out.  Plus I'm in contact for letters more often thanks to Dawn."  She stared at them.  "Even if you get a custody agreement, I'm still eighteen in seven weeks.  I can take that much time off.  They know it's possible."

"I can have you committed to cure this problem of yours," her father said, standing up.

"I had that with the special girl problem I had; I attacked someone in my mistaken ideas.  They'll get my records from the base's shrinks, the DCIS shrink, and they'll say I've made impressive progress in growing up."  Someone new walked in.  She stared, then nodded.  "Ladies, shrink in the room."

"Is that like Captain on deck?" one of the girls teased.

"Kinda.  Though, Sam's a really nice captain to work under.  She's great about going over tactics with me for patrol."  She nodded at the shrink.  "Did you need the records?"

"You should hear them out."

"I did.  I'm not going to be demanded to.  I've got a life I like.  I'm doing good.  Even the base shrink said I'm doing great.  If they want to get to know me, I'm not going to stop them.  I can always use more support but I'm not going to give up the life I had to rebuild after I screwed up."

He nodded.  "You're of an age to make that decision."

"I know that.  I had myself declared a legal adult on a break last fall."  She looked at her parents.  "So legally you can't do anything.  I'm more than willing to get to know you."  Someone else walked in wearing his dress uniform.  "Why are you down here?" she demanded.

"Xander called."


He looked over.  "Last night."  She smiled and finished relaxing.  "Not like I understand family dynamics all that well."  A few of the parents looked at him.  "Mine were drunk."  That got a nod.  "That's why I treat all the girls like my little sister.  I even scare dates away."

Tiff laughed.  "John does it to me."

"You are like a pesky little sister," he agreed.  He nodded at the parents, handing over records.  "Her unclassified records.  Blacked out for everyone's protection."  He looked at the shrink.  "DCIS and ours."

"That's good."  He sat down to read it, nodding through it.  "I'm sure that sort of problem is pretty common?"

"Very," Tiff agreed.  "Even Buffy, the senior slayer, has it now and then.  She thought Xander was too normal to help."

John snorted, looking at her.  "After what he does for DCIS?"

"Before.  Same stuff back then though," Xander said dryly, giving him a look.  "We call it Slayer head up the skirt syndrome."

"It fits."  He looked at her.  "You've come a long way, Tiff."

"Her name is Tiffany."

"She said to call her Tiff.  So I do.  That's her choice."

The psychologist looked at them.  "She is on a good, even mental footing by these records.  A bit of battle stress it looks like but she's working through it."

"And I'm learning a lot about science since my original watcher didn't like me to go to high school because of the boys making me pay more attention to them."

"I heard a few did things like that," John agreed.  "Fortunately they're gone."

"Yes, he is," she agreed.  The psychologist stared at her.  "I'm sorry anyone dies but I didn't like him a whole lot.  I got happier once I was made a full slayer and got help to see where my problems were."  She looked at her parents. "You never did answer.  Did they tell you I was a slayer?"

"They were cranks," her mother said firmly.  "Slayers are not real."

"Really?  And yet I have the extra strength, the faster healing, and I was in the invasion in LA."  She stared at her.  "I'm a vampire slayer, mother.  Deal with it."  She took John's arm.  "We're having cocoa at the hotel."

"I can like some cocoa.  We have crappy stuff on the base."  He nodded at the parents.  "We're in the Hyatt?"  Xander nodded.  "If you wanted to come spend some neutral, less emotional time with her."

"She's been brainwashed," her father said.

She picked up the chair she had bent and straightened it out.  "Really?  Then explain that."  She looked at the shrink.  "May I?"

"Who has custody of you?" he asked.

"I do.  I had myself made an emancipated minor last fall.  It uncomplicated some stuff."

"I can see that," the shrink agreed.  "Do you feel you were brainwashed?"

"Yes but I healed from my first watcher's crap."  John nodded at that.  "Now and then I regress but I get better when John sics McKay on me.  He's a genius and he's teaching me lab sciences."

The shrink nodded.  "That's good.  It's good you have support.  Where are you serving?"

"No comment.  It's classified," she said firmly.  "Not around here."

"In the US?"

"No comment," John said.  "It's classified.  She's not allowed to tell you anything about where she is."

The shrink gave him an odd look.  "Are you here to make sure she doesn't spill secrets?"

"Even if I did want to tell them I doubt they'd believe it," she said.  "They don't want to believe I'm a slayer."

"There is no such thing," her mother said with a clenched jaw.

"See?"  She looked at her mother.  "Yes there is."

"There can't be."

Tiff sighed, looking at John.  "I want cocoa."

"Okay."  He looked at the shrink.  "With your leave?"  He handed back the records. "Thank you."  He walked her off.  "Calm down until we're in the car.  You can cry in the car."

"I am," she said, wiping at her cheek.  "Amber's mom wanted her to do professional sport endorsements."

"Some people can't and won't believe in what we do daily.  It gives them the same sort of headache Babylon 5 gives Rodney."

She laughed, nodding at that.  "Or worse, Star Trek Voyager."

"I have never seen anyone throw such a big fit over a show."  She laughed.  He let her into the car, taking her the long way to the hotel.  It included a stop at a drive thru ice cream place so they could get some and a stop in the park so she could cry and let it go.


Xander walked down to meet the officers that had shown up.  "Yes, Officers?"  They stared at him.  He held up his IDs.  "The old Council was full of assholes before they got blown up.  Which parent tried it?"

"You knew?"

"We just found out.  We're in to let the girls meet their parents.  Which one are you here for?"

"Brenda..."  He looked at the paper.

"Hold on.  Brenda's not here.  She's back on base."  He took the paper to look at then at him.  "These aren't her folks.  She's from Kansas originally."  He handed it back.  "Unless the old watchers changed her name."

"They said you're holding her hostage, sir."

"No."  He walked them up to the suite.  "Ladies, someone had their name changed?"  One raised her hand.  "They said I'm kidnaping you."

She laughed.  "Not hardly."  She looked at the officers.  "No."  She took the papers to look over.  "Isn't this Brenda?"

"No.  She's from Kansas and her parents are dead.  We did find that," Xander said.  "She knew before she got given over."

She handed it back.  "Mine was originally Louise.  Kinda glad they changed it to Rona."

The cops looked at him.  "They said she was here?"

Xander shook his head.  "No.  That's not our Brenda, guys.  If you want to search our records you can.  Where was she originally from again?"


"She's how old?" Tiff asked.


"She's a potential," Xander said, getting it.  "No.  We're keeping them at home unless there's a good reason, like CPS being called or their parents dying."  He called Giles, putting him on speaker.  "Giles, me.  One of the potentials is missing?  They're claiming we kidnaped her."

"Which one?"

"Brenda, out of Tulsa."

"I'll have Dawn do a locating spell," he said firmly.  "Give me an hour to get her, Xander.  Buffy said she's soaking tonight."  He hung up.

"Give us an hour," Xander offered. "Want some cocoa?  The girls had some bad emotional rollercoasters today."

"We can wait," the lead officer offered.  "Let me call in."  Xander handed over his phone.  "Lieutenant, I'm with the second-in-command of the Watchers Council.  They're doing some sort of locating thing to find her for us.  She is not here.  Only some teenage girls.  One military guy.  They said about an hour."  He listened.  "That's fine, sir.  We were invited to wait and have cocoa with them.  Apparently some of the old council wasn't against that sort of tactic."

"I will kill any watcher who does something like that," Xander assured him firmly.  "Literally."  They nodded at that.  "I protect the girls.  I'm over their daily lives.  It won't happen this time."

The secondary officer smiled at that. "They've seemed okay when we've run into them in the past."

"Thanks," one said with a wave.  "We do try to live up to Xander's standards."  She grinned.  "He's a pain in the butt but we love him even though he does do background checks on our boyfriends."

"I do them on my daughter's boyfriends," the secondary officer said.

"I consider them like little sisters."  Xander grinned.  "Sit, please.  Hot water and cocoa packets are over there.  The girls won't pounce.  They learned better."  That got a few laughs but the lead officer hung up and handed the phone back.  "Let's talk, girls."  He gathered them together to talk.  "Tiff?"

"I'm good.  I'm protected.  Mary?"

"They agree I can visit to get to know them but I'm good where I am.  Gibbs said he'll be nearby to protect me."

"Good," Tiff agreed.  "It's important."

Rona grimaced.  "Mine's a bit weird but we're okay enough I guess.  We're going to take it slowly.  They wanted me to join them in therapy.  I said I was in Cleveland and being assigned overseas soon.  Did I get mine?"

"Wesley is putting up the list late next month," he said.  "So we can handle all the packing before the spring apocalypse."  The officers choked.  "In the US it's not looking too bad in most areas.  There's not many demons in DC that will want to uprise for more power.  You'll probably get to see most of it on CNN."

"That's good.  Thank you, ladies," the lead agent said.

"It's why we're born," Tiff quipped.  "Have fun with that.  I'll be back on base handling our weekly emergencies."

"What if some want to join you?" Gibbs asked.

"They can talk to us," John said.

"Have to be patrol cleared," Xander noted.  "Preferably with at least a turn through LA or Cleveland to make sure they can handle the stress in the field.  At least seventeen.  Graduated high school."  They all nodded.  "But he can come recruit for later people.  Abby likes it because he brings her boyfriend back with him."

"I dropped him off on base," John said with a smirk.

"Abby's got to be squealing instead of worrying," Mary said.  "That's nice.  She doesn't need to worry more."

Xander snorted.  "She's probably driving him nuts worrying," he told her. "Call."  She called and the others talked to her too.  Xander's phone rang.  "Talk to me."  He listened.  "Bad timing, Fred.  We found some more real families.  DC.  What's up?"  He nodded slowly as he listened.  "We can handle that.  Call Wes?"  She babbled.  "Thanks for the head's up, Fred.  Sure."  He hung up and texted John too.  That way he could be in from the beginning.  They all stared at him.  "Someone's trying to take out Connor to get to Angel.  He might be on base by the time we get back with Morgan and Crissy."

"She's nearly due," Mary said.  "We can get some belly patting in."

"If she lets you," Tiff said.

Mary grinned.  "I can do cute and adorable plus fuss over her."

"Some women get fussy over it," Gibbs told her.  "Ask first."

"Yes, Gibbs."  They gave her an odd look.  "He's my watcher."

"They want some really strong people as watchers," the secondary officer said.

"Comes with the job," Gibbs said.  He sipped his coffee.   She gave it a long look.  "No.  It'll stunt your growth."

"All slayers are short anyway," she pointed out, stealing it to add her cocoa and drink it that way.  He shook his head but got himself another cup of coffee.

Xander's phone rang.  "It's me."  He listened, making notes.  "Let me put you on with the cops, Dawn."  He handed it over.

The cop listened then made his own notes.  "How do we know?"  He grimaced at the answer.  "Are you sure?  Absolutely certain?"  He nodded. "We can do that.  Thank you, miss."  He hung up and stood up.  "We should take you with us in case they are former watchers she said.  You're an agent?"

"I'm DCIS Agent Harris as well," he agreed.  "Third-in-command there."

They both stared.  "I hate your agency," the secondary one said.

Xander grinned.  "We hear that a lot."  He stood up while finishing his cocoa.  "Girls, keep to bedtime.  Gibbs and John are in control until I get back."  He put his mug down and went to get his credentials and his gun.  Plus his jacket.  It was winter here too.  He walked out with them.  "Found her," he told the worried looking manager.  "Someone's in deep crap when I find them.  The girls are in for the night."  He got into the back of the unmarked car and watched where they were going.  He stared at the building.  "Condos?"  That got a nod.  "Okay."  He led the way up there, knocking on the apartment Dawn had found.  No answer.  "Do not make me break it open.  Watchers Council."  He heard movement.  "Fine, have it your way."  He kicked in the door.  "Also, Federal Agent."  He looked at the former watcher.  "Weren't you in jail?"

"Who are you to stop me?" he sneered.

"Second-in-command to Rupert.  Over the slayers' daily life and training."  The man backed away.  "Put the girl down.  Now."  He shook his head.  Xander pulled his gun.  "I'm a crack shot.  I won't hurt her and I can catch her before she hits the ground."

The man looked at the cops.  "Are you going to let him do that?"

"We're going to arrest you for kidnaping.  If he shoots you we'll get him for manslaughter."

Xander grinned.  "Thanks, guys."  He looked at him again.  "Well?  You are *not* with the new council."

"Rupert is destroying all that we built!" he yelled.

"Gee, thought that was the bringers."  He slid off the safety.  "You went to jail for kidnaping the last time.  You were saved from the bringers because you were in jail.  Rupert said you could not come back.  I don't know *who* told you do to this, but you're in deep shit with us."  He moved closer.  "Slayer.  Now.  The girls are all that's important in a watcher's life."  The guy handed her over, then tried to head for the window.  Xander looked at the child, smiling.  "Hi, Bren.  How are you?"  The baby cooed.  "Good girl.  Guys, want me to bring her back with us or are you going to send her back tonight?"

"We need to figure that out."

"Can we go back to the hotel suite?"  They nodded.  "Okay.  Let me do that and you guys come tell us.  We'll be a good future slayer for the older girls to coo over."

"I'll go with him," the secondary officer said.

"Good.  Do that.  We'll let you know."

Xander looked at him.  "If we have to, I'll go on the return to make sure she knows it wasn't us."

"That may be necessary."  He walked them out.  Xander nodded at a curious person peeking out.  "It's handled, ma'am.  Inappropriate custody issues."  They loaded them into the car.  Xander hitched in the car seat.  "You learned well."

"Had to.  We have a pregnant slayer."  He grinned.  "She's in LA."  He buckled himself in and called the base.  "It's Xander.  I have the baby.  She looks okay.  The guy was one who had been in jail for kidnaping and Giles told him off.  We're going back to the suite.  Please do.  And tell her that.  It wasn't one of us."  He smiled at her.  "She's fine.  We're going to let the other girls coo over her and get baby cuddling practice for Crissy's.  Sure, let me know."  He hung up.

"You do a lot," the lead agent said.

Xander grinned.  "In the early days I did a lot more then Daniel kept hiring to take over the little jobs I ended up taking on.  Starting with maintenance guys."  That got a laugh.  They got out at the hotel, him and the officer taking her up to the suite.  He kicked with a foot, letting John let them in.  "Found her."

"Aww, she's adorable!" Tiff cooed.

"None of those on base," John said.

"I know!  I did get the good birth control lectures."

"We got better ones," Rona said dryly.

"That's because some of the girls in Cleveland got crabs twice," Xander said with a smirk.

"They still can't date, Xander.  You were mean when you yelled at them."

"I about sewed them shut for it."  He sat down to let the girls hold her.

Mary looked and waved but didn't take her.  "You're adorable.  Some day you'll grow up into me.  But I'm not holding you.  I might get attached and Gibbs would mind."

"If you have one before you're married, yup."

She smiled at him.  "I'm not even ready to date yet."

"Setting down rules for the future," he said plainly.


The cop's phone rang and he answered it, taking it into the next room.  He came back a minute later.  "They do want you in on the hand back, sir."

"Sure, I can do that.  Tomorrow or do we have a day?"


"That's fine.  If she was mine I'd want her back as soon as possible."  He took the baby back.  "Is she going to stay with us tonight?"

"She can.  Our social worker agreed since she's a special circumstance."

"Thank you."

"Welcome."  He smiled.  "We'll be on the hotel."

"Of course.  We understand.  Want a couch?"

"That'd work.  Thank you, sir."

"Not a problem."  He looked at the girls.  "We can handle tomorrow?"  They nodded. "Good."

"I called Daniel already," Gibbs said.  "He said to use the DCIS jet.  Nothing's going on.  Still."

"That's not a bad sign," Xander said.  "It's not spring yet.  The bad slow downs are in the spring."  He looked over as the door was knocked on.  Rona went to get it and the baby bed.  "Thank you.  Tip him, someone?"  Gibbs did that from Xander's wallet.  "Thank you."  The guy nodded.  Xander put her down.  "There we go, Brenda."  The baby smiled and waved her feet.  "Good girl."  He rolled the crib into the bedroom Mary and Tiff were sharing.  "There we go.  You're both sound sleepers who snore."

"You have *no* idea," John complained.  Tiff swatted him.  "Never share a tent with her on missions."

Xander grinned.  "Only if I join your project."

"I'll die first," John promised.  Tiff got him again.  "Can you see him on our project?"

"No.  They'd all be scared of him and we'd never get anything done."

"Cute.  You can change diapers too," Xander quipped.

"Fine.  Makes sure I don't have any, ever."


Xander stepped into the private room at the airport, looking at the woman.  "He was sent to jail and fired about ten years ago for trying the same move.  When he got out, Giles refused to hire him back because of that.  We do *not* work like that."

"Who're you?" she asked, taking her child back.

"Xander Harris."  She stared at him.  "Second-in-command and DCIS.  I about shot him for this.  We don't play this way."

"What about Meredith?"

"Meredith?  The one from Indiana?"  She nodded.  "Where is... someone tried that?"

"Yeah.  Someone tried."

"No."  He called the base.  "Wes, someone needs to check the potential Meredith.  I heard the same sort of thing happened to her?"  He nodded.  Then he smiled.  "Who?"  He nodded again.  "Thanks, man."  He hung up.  "Wesley went to get her and Amanda last night.  They're fine.  Wes decided to vent some anger on the same sort of former watcher we wouldn't hire back.  They're in jail for kidnaping.  They're begging for mercy."

"Good."  She looked at him.  "Was she good?"

"She's fine.  She was with the slayers last night.  She slept through the night.  She was a good girl and cooed to wake up Tiff for morning PT.  She babbled for breakfast."

She gave him a hug.  "Thank you."

"Welcome.  Not a problem.  If it happens again, call us when you call the cops.  Call us for updates and pictures of birthday parties until she's older."

"We can do that," she agreed, giving him a better hug.  "Thank you."  She left.

Xander got back on the plane to go back to DC and the slayers who needed him.  Wesley could handle this with Dean's temper.


Xander walked into the meeting room.  "The former ones who also went to jail for the same thing are also very sorry they tried with a few other girls.  Wesley got to vent finally so it was a happy night when they went home."  He gave the girls a hug.  "Were we good?"

"They were fine," Gibbs promised.  He glanced at Tiff, John, and her parents.  Then at the other stressed out one.  Xander went to sit with the other one.  John had Tiff.  The other one was younger and about to lose her temper in a major way.  She leaned against his side while talking to her parents.

Tiff looked over then at John.  Then back at her parents.  "He's good at reading the other girls.  He helps train us."

"He's the one who brainwashes?" her mother asked.

"No.  Xander's the one who teaches us self defense, sword work, and a few other things.  Wesley likes to make us look like girly girls and John likes us to try to be girls now and then too.  He misses his boys being younger."

"He'll have grandkids some year soon," Xander called.

"Brenda's not that serious," Mary complained.

"Dean's nearly thirty.  Sam likes being settled down most of the time.  He'll have grandkids some year soon."

"Ooh.  Is that a vision?" Rona joked.

"No.  I've had a vision about his first granddaughter.  All you girls are a build up."  They all stared at him.  "It's sealed until it's needed.  There wasn't a time code.  All I know is Mary's not graduated yet."

"So within the next eight years.  Does he know?"  Gibbs asked.

"Dean knows there's a sealed letter about the first grandchild."

"Good."  They all went back to their talks.

The slayer against Xander cuddled in better.  Xander looked at the complaining people.  "Guys, ease off.  You're upsetting her."  They quit complaining.  She relaxed again and it was better.  They were not going to be taking her home but they wanted to come visit.  Xander gave them directions to the base.  It was copied by Gibbs for the other parents.  Tiff took her parents' copy back.  She got up and walked out with John following her.  Xander watched.  The other girls glanced.  He looked at the one against him, getting a nod.  He got up to follow her, finding her kicking the building.  "No one we said we get a happy ever after unless we make one for ourselves," he said as he walked closer.

"Wisdom from the hellmouth?" she snorted.

"Dean actually.  Now and then he'll come out with something wise that makes Sam give him funny looks.  His dad too."  He turned her around, making her look at him.  "You're safe.  You're liked and respected for who and what you are.  Yeah, it sucks for them, but they've got to accept you as you are, Tiff.  No one said you had to do all the changing or that you'll want to change."

She sighed, giving him a hug.  "Thanks, Xander."

"Welcome."  He patted her on the back and got free.  He wiped off her cheeks.  "If they can't see what a great girl you are, that's their loss.  They waited all this time and can't see you're a good, bright, special girl.  They need help.  More than you did when you snapped."

"They can only see the little one they used to have, not the grown up girl," John agreed.  "You're doing what you can but they won't take that step to meet you.  When they do, it'll be easier."

She nodded, looking at him. "Can we go back?"

"This weekend.  I'd hate to cut McKay's nookie short."

She nodded, taking his arm.  "We're going to the park."

"Go for it," Xander agreed.  "Be safe.  Jack said someone bombed his car the last time he was in town."

"Yes, Xander."

"I've got her back."

"Of course you do.  You be careful too."   He smiled, walking her off to let her talk it out.  Xander went back inside.  He stopped at her parents.  "She's taking a walk.  You do realize she's not four?"  They glared at him.  "Fine.  Whatever.  You can't keep upsetting her like that.  It's not good for her and if you actually gave a damn about her you'd see that.  You need to learn to accept her as she is.  She's nearly eighteen."  She stood up.  "Ask the shrink if you don't believe me."

"He's right," the psychologist said calmly.  "There's going to be some strife but you're nearly provoking her into an incident.  Which won't get her committed.  She has too many witnesses here."  He stood up.  "Mr. Harris?"  Xander nodded.  "Do you work in my field?"

"I'm like their big brother."

"Good to know."  He shook his hand.  "She'll be fine?"

"She was talking about going back to work early."

"That is one haven some people use to wear out their aggression."

"She's in a dangerous area.  Plus they have self defense practice and weapons practice.  She'll wear it out somehow."

"Good.  That's more healthy than some things."

"She's got a very supportive team and an older woman who's also a slayer to lean on."

"Even better.  It's clear the colonel was supportive."

"He's the head of the base's military and we put him in charge of her training while she's there.  He's gotten to know her pretty well."

"Good."  He went to talk to the uptight slayer across the room.

Xander looked at them.  "This is a meeting in the middle thing, not a cross to my side of the ocean one," he said quietly.  "Your daughter's grown up.  Yes, the last watcher did wrong.  Very wrong and I almost killed one last night for doing something similar because we don't allow it to happen at all.  If you try to get to know your daughter you'll find she's a great woman in the making.  She's a strong, opinionated woman but she's also caring and very good at helping others.  You need to see her as she is."

"She's not right in the head.  Your people ruined her!"

"I've only been hunting since I was sixteen and I'm a few years older than your daughter. All the people who did that are dead."  She went pale.  "Something that a slayer had to handle got them and killed them.  Nearly all of them.  Except about eighteen people.  They blew up a building with people in it.  Including her original records.  They killed half the slayers that could have been called.  They killed ones down to the infant level because they wanted to take out the threat.  And when they did, it sucked and a town fell in when we fought back.  Fortunately we saved ninety percent of the town.  Everyone who would evacuate.

"Then we had to deal with twelve of the last watchers who decided to cut down the number of slayers by making a building explode, trying to burn a building they were hiding in, all that.  And gee, they lost too.  Mostly they killed each other.  That's when I stepped in as a watcher to protect the remaining girls.  To train them, to take care of them.  To make sure they don't die from the duty they had no say in.  Unlike the older ones that got called, they didn't have a choice to make about being a slayer or not.  They will be until they're twenty- three.  Then they get to decide.  Yes, your daughter had some problems.  She handled it and got better because she wanted to.  You may have years to get to know your daughter or you could have days.  Because even those who aren't slayers can get hit with a car."

"Is that a threat?"

"No, it's reality.  Earlier today there were six people killed in a car crash on the same street this building is on.  I'm sure you saw the wreckage?"  They nodded. "What makes you think it can't happen to you or to her?  You're tossing away your chance.  Tiff is very high on the pride scale.  I know I sure as hell wouldn't throw away my own child just because she's not what you expect."  He walked off.  Rona stopped him to give him a hug.  "I'm fine."

"I'm sure you are.  It still sucks that you have to watch that."

He smiled.  "There's just as much chance that I'll die since hey, I'm the normal one."  He gave her a dry look, getting a grin back.  "Let go.  Talk to your 'rents.  They've got to be better than mine."  He went to get himself some coffee then went outside to see if he could find Tiff and John.

Gibbs walked out.  "Do you talk to them?"

"They refused to evacuate."  He looked at him.  "I have an uncle that tried to blackmail me during the dragon stuff.  I've made my own."

"You did good at it too.  All the girls were ready to skin them alive."  He moved closer.  "They needed to hear it but you were harsh, kid."

"The truth ain't pretty according what I've been told."

"True.  Then again, you could've used tact."

"It didn't work when Tiff tried it or when John tried it.  It was me or McKay."  He took another drink.  "When are we due back?"

"Two days.  If they want to come out and talk to the girls, their teachers, or the other girls they can do that."

Xander nodded.  "They can.  Are we going to be arguing over custody of any of them?"

"One.  She's not sure what she wants."

"Of course not.  This is tearing all them up and me to watch it."  He tossed away the paper cup, looking at him.  "Did you check on your house?"

"I did.  It's still standing and in good condition.  The people I have taking care of it are doing a good enough job."  He sipped his own coffee.  "Want to go back inside?"

"No."  He shrugged. "It's painful."

"It is," Gibbs agreed.  He clapped him on the back.  "Most of them are going to invite them back later tonight.  Tiff's parents I'm not sure about."

"She was talking about heading back to work."

"That might help her."  Gibbs headed back inside after slapping him lightly on the head.  The girls all stared at him.  "He's outside."  He sat down next to Mary, who snuggled into his side.  He looked at her.  She gave him a look.  "Want some air?"

"Please."  She got up.  "I'll be back."  She walked outside with him, looking at Xander.  "They're not nice."

Xander nodded.  "A lot are.  Some aren't.  They're in the minority.  Personally I think those of us with special duties and destinies get sucky private lives to keep us focused."  She gave him a hug.  "Not me.  The Powers said they don't pay any attention to me."

"Then they're dumb."  She let him go.  "When are we going back to school?"

"Two days," Gibbs told her.

"Good."  The rest of them came out.  "You didn't have to leave already."

"The parents got together last night to watch video of the invasion," Rona said.  "They're a bit freaked out so we're leaving it for the moment.  They'll come over tonight if they want to."  They nodded so Gibbs got them into the van they had rented.  Gibbs got in to drive.  Xander got shotgun.  They headed back.  John was watching Tiff pack.  "They watched the invasion together."

"Not mine," Tiff said dryly.

"Xander had a talk with yours."

Tiff looked at him.  "Have fun?"

"I had one of those reality talks."

She gave him an odd look.  "Okay," she said slowly.  She settled in and quit packing for now.  "Can we stay to see the fallout?"

John nodded.  "Sure.  The longer McKay gets access to Abby, the happier he'll be when we get back."

"Okay, we can do that then," Gibbs decided.  The girls decided to sit around and watch a movie off pay-per-view.  Xander had agreed to one movie a night.  Or it came out of their allowance.  Xander typed one of his confession reports to Daniel and it was nice enough to settle in until the parents got there.


John accepted the copy of the report from Daniel, looking it over.  "Tiff's family needed the reality speech?"

"Apparently."  Rodney looked over. "Her parents were having issues with the concept of slayers."

"Are they coming back soon?" he asked.

"No.  They said you needed more time."

Rodney smirked. "I'll get him back on base."  He looked at Abby, who beamed at him.  "The conference's materials are coming together nicely."

"If I could finish that one experiment I'd be a happier girl."

"You'd be a happier girl if you quit worrying," he chided gently.

"I can't help it.  They're going through trying times and they're like my little sisters.  I'm sure Sam would worry if she knew."

"That's why she brought Sheppard with her.  So she wouldn't smite them."

"I think Xander did it for him."

"Quite possibly."  He fed her a bite of dinner.  "Eat.  You need to eat.  Or else we'll pass out in the lab."

She beamed, digging in again, leaning over to kiss him on the cheek.  "You take good care of me.  Otherwise I'd live on caf-pows."

He smiled.  "I live on coffee now and then.  Sugar others."  She fed him a bite, making him blush.  "Not in public.  We'll warp the girls."

"You're the only relationship we have around here to look at to see how to do it when it's our time," Anna said without having to look over.

"Many years from now," John noted.

"Well, yeah.  Not like I'm ready yet.  When I am, Dean and Sam can give me the talk because they did such a good job with the older girls."

Sam shrugged.  "Sure."  Dean gave him an odd look.  "We did a good job."

"Think of it as practice for when you give John grandkids," Brenda teased.

"Many years from now," John repeated.  "All three of you."

Brenda gave him a hug.  "Not like I'm planning on getting near a boy, John."

"Good!"  He smiled and patted her on the back.  "Some day I'll threaten a good boy for you."

"Of course you will."  She dug in again.  "It's quiet without Xander being here telling bad jokes."

"He'll be fine," Dean assured her.  "He said he pulled out a Dean-ism Wise Moment, trademark pending please, to help them."

"A wiseass comment?" Sam asked.  "Or one of the rare smart things you say?"

"One of the smart things."

"We've got to break that link," John muttered.

"Why?  I'm learning a lot about women if I ever wanted to be a lesbian," Dawn said dryly.  Dean groaned.  "Not from you, Dean.  You do boring things.  Sam, apple butter?"  He groaned, his face bright red as it hit the table.

"Good girls like you don't do things like that," John said firmly.  "I'll beat Sammy for stepping onto the dark side later."

"Does that mean that Dean doesn't need his mags anymore?" one of the older girls asked.  "Because we could use the inspiration."

"Only if you want spanked," John said firmly.

"Yes, John."  He went back to eating so she gave Dean a begging look.  She got a wink back.

"Apple butter?" Dean asked Sam.  "That's not a topping I'd expect, Sammy."  He clapped him on the back.  "Good job!"

"Dean!" John said.  "They are impressionable young women!  I doubt you want Brenda to do that?"

"Nah, she'll stay a virgin forever," he assured him with a happy grin.

"Not hardly," Brenda said.  "Some year I'll want a boy of my own.  Maybe two if I'm anything like my oldest brother," she teased.

"Twins are fun but I'd have to kill one and then make you marry the other," he said with a grin for her.  "Then pray for the grandchild fairy to visit."

She shuddered.  "You'd call down a wish demon?"

"Hell.  Yes."


"Yup," he beamed.  "No twins or other dirty girl things."

"He's the only dirty girl allowed in the family," Dawn teased.  Dean tried to swat her but she was across and down the table so he missed.  She cackled.  "Didn't you say something about triplets?"

"I am an impressionable girl; I don't need bad girl thoughts either," Abby complained.  "You're making Rod blush, guys."

"Sorry," Dean said.  "If they want to know, they can come ask in private."

"I can still spank you too, son."

"As you proved when you found his mags," Amber teased.

"I'm an adult," Dean shot back.  "If I want to buy Playboy, I can do that."

"It wasn't Playboy, Dean.  It wasn't even Hustler."

Dean shrugged.  "Sue me, I'm open minded."

"If we find zoo magazines in the collection, we'll know why," Dawn quipped.  John got her this time, making her yelp.  "Sorry."

"Thank you.  Eat, ladies."  They went back to eating so they could do homework.  They had to before they had free time.  On the nightly patrol, Dean slipped the girls some of his older mags.  John came behind him to confiscate what he could and then went to spank Dean again.  Because he clearly hadn't done it enough when his son was a teenager.


Xander stepped off the transport and went up to Daniel's office.  "Am I in trouble for my reality talk?"

"They called to complain.  We got the film of what you told them.  They have security cameras.  We went back over it with them.  They decided with their shrink that you were right.  They're going to start with email.  They did say you came on too strongly, which you did, but I pointed out they clearly needed the kick in the ass."

"I won't do it again, Danny," he said quietly.

"Xander, you're not in trouble.  I promise."  He smiled.  Xander still looked miserable.  "You're not going to lose them to their families."

"Most of them decided knowing a slayer was hard and they didn't want to come visit for a long time."

Daniel nodded.  "That's normal.  It's a human reaction."  He got up and came over to made Xander look at him.  "They'll be fine."

"How can you throw away a great kid?"

"I've never understood that."  Xander nodded.  "Why don't you talk to the base shrink about that?"

"Because I'm not like that."

"Then write it out, Xander.  You need to get over your own.  Before you become a parent and panic."

"I'm not going to have kids."

Daniel gave him a look.  "You can."

"I can't."  He stood up.  "Thanks, Danny."

"I don't mind if you come to confess to me.  It's nice to hear it from you instead of someone else."  He patted the boy on the head.  "You're not in trouble but next time tone it down.  You get into these preaching moods."  Xander gave him an odd look.  "It was, Xander.  It was a great sermon."

Xander shuddered. "I'm not a preacher."

"No but you're someone that others look up to."

"Or a politician.  Eww."

"Sorry.  Next time be easier on the speech making.  Or else someday they'll make you a head of the agency or our press person."

Xander shook his head.  "No thanks."

"I know.  I don't like it either.  Go find someone decent to talk to?  I'm good at languages, not people," he said at Xander's odd look.  "Especially about not having kids.  Someone has to follow in your footsteps."

"Willow said I took too much radiation from the hellmouth.  They're little moat monster swimmers."

"Have Chase check that, Xander.  Before some woman comes up and drops one off on you some day soon."

"Sure."  He went to find House.  He could talk to House.  House listened to him and understood some of his worries.  He walked into the infirmary.  "We're back and it's only mental injuries."

"That's good," Chase agreed.  He looked at Xander.  "He's in the gym."

Xander smiled, going to find House on the workout machines.  He settled across from him. "Danny said I laid a sermon on Tiff's parents."

"Did they deserve it?"

"Yeah.  They kept going 'there's no such thing as a slayer'."


"They called to complain but their shrink said I was right."  He leaned on the bars of the machine.  "Danny said I should verify what Willow told me about putting out swim team swimmers instead of normal ones."

House paused in his leg workout, staring at him.  "What?"

"She told me I took too much radiation from the hellmouth."

House slowly shook his head.  "Men make more every few days."

"She said mine are permanently deformed.  Daniel said I should check before I have a baby's momma show up."

"That we can do," House agreed.  "How did she know?"


"Did she maybe do the spell to make sure?"

"Don't know."

"We can check," House decided.  "What else happened?"

"I still can't understand how they could search for so long and then throw away their kids because they're slayers."

"They wanted their kids to stay the way they were when they were taken."  He went back to it.  "I know you can't get that since yours didn't care if you were alive but they're stuck in the moment they last had it."  He stopped his workout, leaning down to work on his sore, cramping thigh.  "They'll get over it with exposure."

"The girls were really upset."

"Of course they were.  It's normal to be emotional and swinging wildly.  We have a shrink on base who only hears complaints about you driving people nuts usually."  Xander snorted.  "I think at least one has."  He leaned forward.  "You made your own and it was better than it had been."

"And then the last battle happened and Buffy shot her mouth off."

"You created a better one with the girls.  They don't nag or do mean things to you."

"I guess."

"John's still like a dad to you too, Xander.  He even puts up with you when you feel like Cinderella because you don't think you fit in."

"Not really.  You're closer."

"Thanks."  He smiled.  "C'mon, let's get you to get off into a cup so I can check.  Then we'll talk about tying you off because your kids are scary.  They even scared McKay."

"That's not my fault."

"No it's not."  He grabbed his cane and levered himself up, Xander helping him.  "I overdid it."

"We all do sometimes.  I have plenty of times."  He followed him back, taking the cup into the bathroom.

"UTI again?" Chase asked.

"No.  Willow did a spell that told him he was infertile."

Chase frowned.  "They have one for that?"

"Not that Dawn'll do.  She has sense."  Xander came out.  "That was fast."

"Been a while," he said dryly.

"We're still pretty dead.  Go find one."  House took the cup over to a microscope, looking at the sample he had sucked onto a slide.  "What the hell?"

"Swim team stuff or radiation?"

"No, this is a spell, not radiation or mermaid taint.  There's no way this is naturally occurring."  He paged Dawn, letting her come in.  "Find all the spells on Xander please?"  She gave him an odd look.  "We think Willow leveled one to make him infertile."

"Um, yeah, knew that way back when."  Xander glared at her.  "Tara found it."  She looked at him.  "I have no idea how to remove it, Xander.  I can go look it up."

"Without Sam, please?" he begged.

"Sure.  Without Sam.  Then I'll find the rest and see how we cancel them.  I think some of your greatest hits of stupidity masquerading as heroism may be from another one."  He groaned, walking off shaking his head.  "How bad is it?"

"They don't come naturally with the deformities she caused."

Dawn looked in the microscope, then shook her head.  "I'd like to spank her sometimes."  She went to the library to look it up in their limited magical section.  Thomas, their librarian, gave her a pointed look.  "Someone did an infertility spell on someone else."

"Miss Rosenburg I suppose?"

"Yuppers.  Then she threatened to get nieces and nephews by knocking Xander up.  Oops."

"It's not that unexpected."  He found the book she'd need.  "Are we fixing it?"

"We are."

"Good."  He handed it over then walked off to let her research in peace.

Dawn sat down to find the section she needed and read it over.  Yes she would have to spank Willow sometime soon.  Leo appeared, giving her a pointed look.  "Willow did an infertility spell," she said quietly.  "Then threatened to knock him up."

Leo nodded.  "That's a bad thing.  When?"

"Way back when.  I'm looking up how to remove it."  He pointed at that book.  "Then I need to find the other ones to remove them."

"That could help."

"Is that why he has those bouts of low self esteem after doing something or why he's had action hero syndrome recently?"

"No, that's just Xander feeling like  he's been made into an agent like they made Eliza a lady in that one musical," he said, sitting beside her.  "You were thinking dark thoughts."

"Spanking her is a dark thought?"

"Punishing isn't your job."

"I know but sometimes I want to smack her so badly for the harm she caused."

"She's learning better now."

"She supposedly did that in Devon and then she did it again."

"All addicts can backslide, Dawn."

"I guess."  She looked at him.  "I'm sorry if you're disappointed in me but I've seen it personally.  Had it break my arm.  Had it wreck some of my life, Leo."

"I understand.  That's why I'm warning you that you're heading off the side of the path."

"Thank you."  She gave him a hug.  "Are we still on for this weekend?"

"We are as far as I know."  He grinned.  "Need more help?"

"How many spells should I find?"

"She never removed some from when she was dabbling."

"Is that why his sperm looked like two headed, three tailed monsters with tips that glow red?"

"Could be," he agreed.  He stood up.  "Call more often.  Phoebe worries about you."  He disappeared.

"I can do that."  She went to find the telling spell she'd need.  She found another book on the table and looked.  "Thomas, did you leave me a book by deSade?"

"No."  He came to look, sighing in displeasure.  "I do not know which demon does that. Apparently they think you can go evil."  He took it off for the agents to deal with.  "Something keeps handing anyone less than perfectly calm this book when they're in the library."

Calleigh took it with a grimace.  "That's not a good book."

"No, it's very rare but I fear it's either possessed or something evil is trying to recruit."  He walked off again.

Calleigh put it aside, putting her magic sensing necklace on top of it.  Nothing.  She took it to Sam.  "Can you do an exorcism?"

"I can but I can tell you it's a demon trying to recruit.  I tried it when it showed up to tempt me one day."  He grinned.  "They're getting picky."

"Of course they are.  They only want the best."  He laughed.  "Thanks."

"Welcome."  He took it outside and tossed it into the fire one of the guards had set up to do some document burning in.  "Love letters?"

"Divorce," he sighed, tossing in a picture.

"No wishes," he reminded him.

"I don't have any left.  She took those too."  Sam gave him a shoulder squeeze then went on.  "Why are we burning an ancient book?"

"Demons are trying to use it to recruit."

"Oh, okay."

"That was a first edition!" Thomas yelled from the doorway.

"It's that or I have to sic one of the younger slayers on the demon to confuse and annoy him back."

"Never mind," Thomas decided.  That was a fate worse than burning books in his mind.  He went back to the library and settled in to read.  Dawn went to find Xander to do the revealing spell.  It was nice how you could hear her swearing all the way from outside.

Sam looked then shook his head.  "I think Willow got him before she left."

"For many years before then," Thomas said wisely.  It was best to let Dawn vent then research.  Much safer for his books.

The End.

to part 32

back to crossovers index