Demon Criminal Investigative Services: Training You, Training Me.
Xander looked at the pouting girls, frowning greatly. "I don't care that they are gone, you still have to do daily PT. Just like you do on every other holiday."
"But nothing happens until spring," one whined.
He glared at her. "Do you think that you don't have to hunt during the other times of the year? The really bad stuff happens in spring, not everything. Every day, a new vampire rises. Every day, some evil thing is working on his plans for world domination during the spring. Those are slayer jobs, ladies. You have to be ready even if you were on a beach in a bikini." That got a few giggles. "Not that any of you are old enough to go out like that on your own." They pouted again. He sighed. "How do you girls turn an hour's worth of PT into three?"
"It's our vacation," another one complained. "I'm already in good shape."
"Slayers that get out of shape tend to die sooner," he told her. "And you can get out of shape in only a few days with the way you suck down sweets." She glared. "Otherwise you wouldn't be complaining about your shirts being too tight again." She huffed off. "Get back in line," he snapped. She glared. "Now." She slunk back. "I do not care if you think John wouldn't be making you do daily PT. You're wrong, because he would be. I can call and make sure if you want."
"We can," they said. They stomped off together to call him in the armory.
Xander looked up at the sky. "Why am I putting myself through this?" he muttered. "I should just spank and get it done with." He heard a laugh and looked at Wesley. "I don't wanna do PT," he whined in a near imitation of one of the younger set. "It's summer vacation."
Wesley nodded. "They are feeling a bit spoiled."
"Can't I spank, Wes? Please?"
"No, Xander. Corporal punishment is not the answer in this situation." He gave him a pat on the arm as he walked past him. "Your break is nearly up, ladies. Get back and do your daily training so you can get on with your chores. The longer you wait and huff about it, the less free time you have afterward to do things that you want to do."
"It's our vacation," a third complained.
He stared at her. "You only get a vacation if you're assigned to a patrol and even they have to do daily PT. Or should if they're not. Not doing it could get you killed when it is your turn. What happens if some missed minion of that nest Xander, Shea, and Gwen took out gathers or makes more vampires so they can attack us?" They pouted but went back to talking to Sam. They couldn't get Dean, Faith, or John and they didn't want to interrupt Brenda, who would back Xander up. He came in and said hello then called John's phone, getting him. "John, do tell the massed girls that daily PT is still to be done. Xander said one hour a day, then their chores and if they have anything assigned from Sam or Thomas, then their free time, correct?"
"Sounds right to me," he agreed, sounding gruff. "Why is this a problem?"
"I'm going to paddle each and every pouty, whining one," Xander said from the doorway. "Three hours and we're halfway through with daily PT. If they had gotten it done they'd probably be in free time by now." They all pouted. "You still have your daily chores and any assigned slayer homework before free time. Because I'm not putting up with the pouting. If I have to break you of it by beating your ass in training, so be it."
"You can't beat us," one complained.
"Maybe not all at once but you're still in Dean's class." He stared her down. "Now, back to the yard, and get back to it. All of you, ladies." They huffed off. He walked in further. "Thank you, John."
"I've had the urge to spank too, Xander. Assign them more for doing it. Or make them see why it's necessary."
"They're too young to hit any of the troubled areas. Even if it is a downtime."
"Cleveland's pretty uncluttered at the moment. It might be good for the younger girls to understand how patrols go," Wesley offered. "We could send them there for a few nights in a row, let them get the feel for what patrol really is."
"Big problem with that. Caridad had a few girls the other night who decided patrol meant a date at the ice cream shop in the nearby mall."
Wesley moaned. "Did she spank?"
"Buffy yelled. Told them how to take the night off." That got a smirk and a laugh from John. "I'd send them to LA but Angel would kill me."
"Perhaps that's not such a bad idea," Wesley decided. "Thank you for your help, John. How is the trip going?"
"Fairly well. We're doing pretty good hunting things. Dean and Faith are headed for Boston."
Xander gave the phone an odd look. "She's going back?"
"Yup. Said she wanted to move on a bit more. They're going to handle something for Father Philip."
"That's cool. Thanks, John." They hung up and Wesley called LA. "Angel's going to eat us both and if he doesn't, Gunn will, Wes."
"He will not." He smiled and put it on speaker. "Connor, charming to hear from you."
"A bad thing coming?"
"Whiny, spoiled things that need to see how patrol goes," Wesley corrected with a smile. "The next group needs to understand the mechanics of patrol before it's their turn to be so active."
"Do you really hate us, Wesley? You used to like us like family but I think you really hate us. Maybe really, really hate us."
"I do not, Connor. I wouldn't dream of leaving them there or anything. Simply sending out some of the younger crew to see how patrol goes when it does go."
"Can't they go to Cleveland?"
"They had a date night during patrol the other day. They need their own spanking," Xander said. He walked back outside. He coughed loudly. "Could've sworn we had a half-hour, ladies." None reappeared. "That means you get double tomorrow," he yelled. "And more homework." Still no one reappeared. "And no free days off base for two weeks!" Most of them slunk back. "Thank you. Get back to it." They sighed but did. He took note of the names that weren't there and had them sent to the gate so if they tried to leave they were stopped. Grounded to base meant no going to the mall, the movies, or out on dates.
"Is it being in control that makes people mean?" Stera asked. "First Giles and now you."
Xander glared at her. "Unlike Giles, I'm doing this so you girls survive longer. Which you won't do if you can't fight and don't have the stamina to outlast your opponent. The only way you build that is over time and with continued practice."
"Then why don't you do daily PT?" Anna asked with a pout.
"I do. I do it with the agents while training them. Someone has to run them through sword work and all that stuff. Not to mention I'm giving Shea and the other seniors a lot of personal attention right now, and I do mine at night before bed to work off dinner." They all sighed. "Even with doing all that training with the new senior girls I'm still doing mine. The only thing I don't do that you girls do is jog. I get plenty running after cases."
"But...." Anna started.
Wesley coughed as he came out. "Yes, you girls do need to know how to run and to do it daily. Much hunting requires running after the demons to kill them." He looked at Xander. "Angel is not pleased but he agreed we could send them for a few days here and there."
"Good!" He grinned. "Now what's this shit about Dawn going to Cambridge?"
"It is where we have always trained the watchers, Xander."
"Yeah, but back then the Council was over there too, Wes. Now there's some updates to that program that could help. Like forensics? Profiling maybe?"
"I hadn't thought about that. I will get into that with Rupert later. For now, I know she's taking a year locally so she can be on hand for her further physical training." Xander nodded; he had flat out refused to let a seventeen-year-old Dawn Summers loose in England on her own. "That's fine then. We'll do what we can, Xander." He smirked at the girls. "Those who are in Faith's class and some of the ones in the later portions of Dean's training class are going to be going on harmless, routine patrols with Connor and the slayers in Los Angeles. I will expect you girls to have manners." They all groaned. "That way you get used to the rhythms and methodology of patrolling."
"Will this qualify us for patrol status?" one asked.
"No. This'll tell us if any of you have problems like Amber does, where she doesn't handle patrol stress very well," Xander said. "Not every girl can handle the stress of combat or handle a patrol position. If you have that problem, it'll make it easier on us to either help you with that issue or to move you on to train in other areas so you can use your skills to a better purpose. Some of you may be going for later Watcher training." That got a few stunned looks. "Someone's got to help the girls that'll be called when they're older. Not like we'll live forever, guys." That got a few nods of understanding from the older girls. "How many did you plan for, Wes?"
"Five at a time with two seniors in case there's a problem. This is also to see if any of you make illogical jumps in reasoning like 'kill all the demons' instead of 'protecting those who need it' or other logic jumps that could prove fatal for you or problematic for the slayers in general." That got a few more nods this time. "We'll be selecting who will go. You'll be going on an expected quiet night. Perhaps a few vampires but nothing too bad. You'll be expected to keep up, listen to the senior staff there, and to help with whatever is going on so you can learn how these things go. Then we'll present reports on what happened to Dean when he gets back. That way he can move those who're ready onto a proving case and those who need more work onto that." Anna raised her hand. "You have years yet."
"I know. Do we really have chores?" she asked.
"You wanted pets," Xander said dryly. "You also have a paper due for Sam early next month. I'd start working on that now." She sighed but nodded. "Good girl, Anna. The rest of you, finish up. Then go do chores. Lunch is after chores." They groaned but finished up as quickly as they could so they could get on with their chores. Then lunch followed by free time. "Remember, if you get down to it, PT only takes an hour a day," he called after them. "Therefore more free time later if you don't whine at me." He looked at Wesley, shrugging a bit. "Those who didn't show back up are grounded."
"I agree. Training is necessary for every slayer. They can be grounded for the weekend."
"Two weeks. They were being spoiled brats."
"Fine. That's a bit much but reasonable I suppose. Better than spanking."
"It may get us pouted at but I can offer to spank instead," he said, walking off. He found the girls training with Gibbs. "Tomorrow, join them for PT, all of you please. I got whined to impatience today."
Gibbs snorted. "Whining?"
"Mass whining and a bunch of grounded girls." That got a nod. "I nearly paddled the whole damn younger group." He looked at his new senior girls. "How have we done today?"
"Better. Two are ready to go right now."
"They go next week." They beamed. "Shea?"
"She's come far. She's still got some work to go based on where the other girls are but she's getting there, Xander. Are you going to be adding more girls to New York?"
"Depends on what they need. She'll be letting us know that once she gets up there. Also, Chicago's cops have asked that one gets put in their city as well."
"There's one who's naturally from Cleveland, the one bomb squad girl. She seems to like Chicago," Gwen offered. "She's been there for both issues. She's a bit young but I can see her going to college that way."
Xander considered it. "I'll talk with her in a bit." They smiled. "She's grounded for the next two weeks too but I'll talk with her when she finds me to whine about that. Spar, ladies. And tell the ones going to LA for some patrol training what it's like." They smirked evilly and got back to work with Shea. She needed the most work.
Xander walked a slayer into the meeting area. "Guys, this is Guinevere. She's going to be going to the University of Chicago starting next year. She is a slayer, Cleveland trained." They all smiled at her. "She was at the riots but missed the situation with the invasion due to being knocked out in Georgia. We'll need to figure out where to set her up a residence that may or may not house a few other girls if she needs more than her there. Usually, from what we can tell, your city's pretty well settled in and peaceful. The same way New York is."
"Most of the time," Horatio agreed, looking over the reports. "Some simpler patrols for risings and problems would be for the best. They can work with her when something too big happens in the city and is reported. Or if we're called to the city." The detectives looked at him. "That's how New York has it planned as well. They have one of the older slayers in their police force, three or four officers now in their city's demon office, plus a slayer going by thanksgiving."
"Halloween. In case there's problems for that again this year. It usually skips a year but why wait." He pulled out a chair to sit her down. "She's from ..... If I remember right you're from the southern part of France?"
"Oui. I am." She smiled at them. "I asked to go to Chicago because I wanted to go to school there. I like the art of architecture and there's an excellent school there for that subject." They all smiled and nodded. "I can live in the dorms?" she asked Xander.
"If you only need you up there, yup. We can try that. If it turns out we need more girls in Chicago, we'll set you up somewhere near the campus. Oh, all the girls do know how to drive, even if this one is a bit scary and likes to go fast." He patted her on the head.
"Can she be moved up sooner? In case we need to have her in the spring?" Ray Vecchio asked.
Xander shrugged, looking at her. "Are you waiting due to school or just waiting?"
"School. I have to finish my high school requirements first. I may be able to show up for anything in the spring, though I would like to make it to my prom. The girls who went this year said it was a very good night."
"It was from what I heard," Xander agreed, patting her again. "We can look that over and work it out for you, guys. We can send someone up to cover if she can't make it. We have a whole group who're going to be turning patrol-age this year." They smirked. "I know. A few more years and we're down to the really young set." He smirked at Ray Kowalski. "If and when she does show up, she'll need a parent-type person to tell her what bad boys look like. Someone to ease the transition of me, who does background checks on boyfriends, to being able to do it on her own."
"Shouldn't be a problem," he agreed with a grin. It was a big responsibility.
"I am not like some of the girls from the Cleveland house. I was not one of the ones who was sharing the diseased wenches from the college."
"Good," Xander said dryly. He grinned down at her. "Talk to them, get to know them. They can introduce you around and we'll start sending you up for some weekends, getting you used to your patrol area. That way you can tour your college." He grinned at the guys. "I'm going to go beat the crap out of the other senior girls. Have a good afternoon, guys."
Horatio coughed. "Problems?"
"Whining all morning long," he said dryly. "A quarter are now grounded for two weeks. Tell the ladies for me? I know it'll interrupt their shopping trips." He walked off, going back down to the practice area. No one was in there. He called Gibbs' cellphone. "Are they hiding from me too?" He listened. "Sure, we can do that. Remind them how to do it in snow? And hey, this means I can go check my email, right?" He beamed. "Thanks, Jethro." He hung up and nearly danced back up to his desk, settling in to go over his email, his inbox, and make sure nothing had escaped his notice.
Stella looked over. "What happened this morning?"
"It's vacation, why do I have to do daily PT?" he whined in mimic. She groaned. "Half of them are grounded for two weeks thanks to their issues this morning. The rest now have a real understanding of why I nearly spanked every last one of the younger set." He looked over at her. "The list of grounded ones is kept at the gate."
"I'll check it," she promised. "Do they really need it?"
"Yup. We're due for another base assault sometime soon. It's been nearly a year since we've had one." He beamed. "I'll send up an alarm when we do." She moaned, shaking her head. "By the way, please talk with Mary and Anna about bra things sometime soon? Gibbs was staring at them earlier. They're just starting to sprout and bounce. I don't want them to tear a muscle."
"Would the old Council appreciate that?" Mac asked.
"They have free time after an hour of daily PT and their chores," Xander shot back with a glower. "I'm not abusing them like the old Council did. This is to keep them in shape and out of trouble if something happens when they're out shopping. Because it has and does now and then. Not to mention the fact that they can fall out of training and even if it isn't an apocalypse we might need them for cases." Mac nodded at that, looking away. "I'm not that sort of hardass, Taylor. I do have their best interests in mind. I don't want to see what'd happen if they broke training for real. Half of them are going to qualify for patrol status in the next year."
"Ease off," Stella mouthed. "You're doing a good job," she said out loud. He gave her a look and got back to his inbox's contents. She glared at Mac, who shrugged slightly. "Do we have any more who might need the puberty talks?"
"Not that I know of. I think they all got it." He grinned at her. "You can go back and reinforce any teaching we've already done because I do not want to give the 'crabs are bad' lectures ever again."
She nodded. "I think we can do that too." She grinned. "How many times have you had to give it?"
"Twice. To the same group of girls." She shuddered. "They learned after I lost my temper and a few are now celibate." He grinned sweetly. "Because they were sharing too."
"Very. Fortunately the Cleveland girls now know better." She laughed. "They do. I yelled, Giles yelled, John yelled. Dean and Sam lectured on sex. So yeah, they learned. I don't want to have to give it to the younger set. Even if Mary does need someone like House to be hers."
Stella shook her head quickly. "That would be one snarky, spitting relationship."
"Yeah but she likes 'em that way," he offered with a grin. "The same as Dawn does."
"Where is she going to school?"
"The local college. No way am I letting that girl, a seventeen-year-old girl, go to England on her own and end up doing stupid stuff. Especially since half the stuff the Watchers wanted her to learn can be gotten over here in a less expensive, more American friendly school where I can make sure she's not hanging out in a frat house."
"Dawn has more sense than that," Mac assured him.
Xander snorted. "Buffy went party girl for nearly a whole semester." Mac gaped at him. "Dawn'll try it out a few times but I think she could use some more solid backup until she's ready to travel that way. Buffy pouted about her going to England and Giles agreed that many of the same classes can be taught over here but they had trained those teachers specially for Council needs. I snorted and walked off after leaving him with a probable course of study based on what they did and what needed upgraded. Things like forensics, the basics should help, right?"
"That or profiling, I would think either would help," Horatio said as he came out with the foreign detectives. "Dawn's course of study?"
"Yes," Xander groaned. "They wanted her to study some crap that hasn't been in use in generations. Including how to use an abacus. Giles said it was tradition."
"Tradition can be good but sometimes newer technology has to gently push the old out of the way." He patted Xander on the back. "Can you check the arms case I have on my desk? I'm not sure about the clan."
"Sure." He got up to get it, looking it over as he sat down. "Hey, haven't seen any of these guys in a few years."
"Let me know if I need my vest."
"Wear a raincoat. They blow snot in greeting," he called after him.
Ray Vecchio shuddered. "Are there any of those in Chicago? If so, Kowalski can go talk to them."
Horatio smiled. "I definitely won't be wearing a good suit to that meeting," he said quietly. Both Rays cracked up at that.
"Uniforms do solve that issue," Fraser said.
"It's going to be hell to clean, Benny," Vecchio told him.
"The consulate would be paying for it."
"The Dragon Lady would crap cute, cuddly kittens if you walked in covered in snot," Kowalski said, giving him a nudge and a grin. "Especially if you're drippin' on her rug."
"She would not be pleased but she'd make Turnbull clean it up while I got presentable again." He looked at Horatio. "Would the RCMP set up their offices the same way?"
"They would," Horatio agreed. "Once we get all the library on digital media our director has said he'd have no problem sharing information sources. That'll help most of the local offices more than anything but setting ethical rules. That has been a problem for some of the local offices when their overlording department only wants them out of their city. New York started that but had to back down when our people stepped in and started to yell." That got a smirk from Vecchio. "They were from there originally."
"Why do you get to set up so many local offices?" Fraser asked. "If it's not too impertinent."
"I seem to be able to cut through all the complaining and set up a solid team that's only going to scream a little bit when they run into strange things."
"I'm already screaming at our bosses for switching our unit over," Kowalski assured him.
"I don't think that's unreasonable. The others have been by hire and referral. Officers who already dealt with the issue in the past. Ones who had been our local liaisons and the ones who were dealing with the strange things quietly."
"That makes more sense," Vecchio said, sounding like he was going to complain.
Horatio smiled. "Some cities want an expedient unit. Some want them quieted down."
"We'd like that," Kowalski agreed quickly.
Horatio smiled. "Your city is fairly well settled. It's almost on a family system in your city, the same as New York's is. Yours, Philadelphia's, and Baltimore's all split off from the original colony in New York. They tend to live in a quiet family clan and enclave system. They also tend to punish anyone who steps out of line very harshly. They've relaxed very little." He grinned slightly. "Xander had one that called him in on an SVU case up there. Somehow it had come to the attention of the SVU office up there and they demanded that Xander be called in because some enclaves see him as a higher authority since he used to be a hunter. They had him carry out their sentence of killing him for touching his daughter."
"Works for me," Vecchio said.
"It didn't trouble him much either," Horatio said. "Now and then we do get asked for that. In those situations we leave it up to the local office or the responding team if it's a federal level case to make that call."
"What's ours versus yours?" Fraser asked. "I'm still fuzzy on the boundary."
"Basically, anything the local office says is local, outside of normal federal level crimes, is considered a local crime. Now, if you ship to us or not is up to your office. That's up to your city to make a new prison or refurbish one for the needs of housing the demonic contingent. When I come up in two days, I'll bring the prison's specs."
"What about the judge thing?" Ray asked. "Will we need a prosecutor too?"
"Yes. If you're going to try them, you'll need a full court system set up. We have one judge and a single prosecutor here. We have a defense team if the demons want to use them. We present full cases and testify, here and for local hearings."
"Our boss wanted to ask about the spring issues," Vecchio told him.
"It's not the same every year. Some are bad, some are less than bad, some take Xander and the slayers going into hyper-protective overdrive. Some are bad enough that even we have to have a night to shudder after we're all out of the infirmary."
"The girls seemed good and well trained," Ray Kowalski offered.
"They are. Even if they do pout about doing daily PT. The older girls are very good at what they've been called to do. Xander and their trainers make sure of it. Xander also trains us."
"Are we going to need special training?" Vecchio asked.
Horatio gave him a look. "That depends on what your city decides on how to handle certain matters. Around here, all agents have to be able to use their sidearms very well, crossbows if necessary, and we all have to be proficient enough with a sword or other bladed weapon in case it becomes critically necessary on a case. Then again, we deal with higher level cases and back up the girls if the apocalypses are too bad." That got a slow nod. "We can share the sort of ammo we use here, that would be helpful. There's also letting whoever wants to take the other lessons. Many of us have had to get into physical altercations of the holding, throwing down, and pouncing on someone variety to get them off a teammate during issues on a case. Some of Xander's have included artillery."
"Is that usual?"
"No," he assured him with a slight smile. "Only if you're Xander."
Vecchio looked at his two partners. "Don't you two *dare* turn into the bouncy, violent one." They just gave him odd looks. "Kowalski's halfway there and Fraser already deals with the strange shit."
"I only go that way when I have ta," Ray complained.
"Really, Ray. Neither of us are hunters that way."
"Good!" he said. "Less stuff to get on my suits."
Kowalski smirked at him. "You might wanna invest in jeans, Raymondo." He jogged off when he saw the little unicorn bleating pitifully. "What's wrong?" She looked at him and gave him an odd look then nuzzled him and went back to bleating.
"She's doing chores," Horatio said over the noise. Binky nuzzled him and trotted into the slayer building and up to Anna's room to get her to play with her. Horatio looked at the amused looking two men and Vecchio, who was shuddering. "Anna adopted all the pets we have and named them. She and Binky have crashed together many nights in front of the slayer's tv."
"I don't wanna know," Vecchio said, shaking his head quickly. "Too strange for me. I can't tell Ma or she'll come here and smack you all with her purse for daring to raise girls without a mother figure around. My sisters would warp them. No one needs that trauma." Fraser gave him a frown. "What? You know Frannie would! Maria too!"
"Maria would not, Ray. She'd be a mostly supportive big sister figure to the girls on base. The same as I'm sure all the other women who work here are."
"Yes they are," Horatio agreed. "As for mothers, we do have the teaching team that does some of that and Xander along with Abby in our lab. The teaching team is a father and his two sons," he said at Ray's amused look.
"Nothing's as good as an Italian mother to get you fussed over."
"They already eat three times what the agents do," Horatio told him. "Every sweet on base disappears too." That got a smirk. "They could use the mothering but most of the girls would run from it."
"Ma don't let anyone run," Kowalski said. "I went undercover as him and I'm still getting dragged over by my ear to help his mother grocery shop."
Horatio coughed to hide his laugh. "It's good when people like you."
"Sometimes too much. Eight on a Saturday morning comes to mind," Kowalski said, looking over at his partner. "Why doesn't she get you up more often?"
"Maria lets the kids try to torment me and they know better," Ray said dryly. "Otherwise you'd have been called over to fix the lawnmower and do the lawn too."
"I did fix the mower and do the lawn."
"Enough, boys," Fraser complained mildly.
"Families can be like that. My lab and I had a few very odd and amusing arguments over the years we were in Miami together," Horatio said with a smirk. "Are you joining us for dinner tonight, gentlemen?"
"There's room for us?" Kowalski asked.
"We have a very nice cafeteria and a cook that's used to feeding an army."
"Cool with me," Kowalski said. "When do we fly back, Ray?"
"That means we gotta leave at what, six?" Horatio nodded. "That works. I'll set my alarm."
"I'll be up by then," Fraser assured them both. "Let's go rest and send that information back to the Leftenant so he can get started on some of the ideas we'll need to deal with. That way they can work on their own cases."
"I gave Xander my last one," Horatio admitted with a slight smile. "He likes to deal with the weapons dealers."
"Ah." They all three nodded.
Horatio turned to look at the sound of running feet. "Chase, do you need help?"
"No!" he called. "Just an injured person at the gate. Stay!" He came out to the guard shack, finding the guy there holding his ribs. "Broken?" he asked.
The guy looked at him and nodded. "Definitely. That takes time to heal and the little witches ran out of hiding time when Angel got them for going after my boss again."
Xander jogged out, grinning when he saw him. "C'mon, you can have my favorite bed in the infirmary if you need it."
"They emailed you?"
"No, Angel called." He smiled. "House isn't that bad and Chase is the nice one. Our herbal painkiller is non-addictive and works very well on broken ribs." He helped Chase get him inside. "Did you talk to anyone yet?"
"Nope. I don't want to either."
"Hey, we're used to needing people who can handle the end of the world," Xander quipped. "If you want quiet we can get you that too," he said at the odd look he got. "Thankfully, Georgia won't be happening again anytime soon."
"Good. That got to where I was being held. Sounded nasty." Xander nodded, losing his smile. "It cleaned up?"
"Yeah, they got the field blessed and all that already." He and Chase walked him into the infirmary. "Hey, House?" He came out of the office. "He was tortured by some tween witches and before then by other bad guys."
"They giggle you into shooting them?" House asked.
"They rescued me. I put up with the giggling for that," the agent said, letting himself be helped up onto the bed. "It's only broken ribs and the rest of the concussion. Really."
House looked at him then pointed at Xander. "Don't be like him. We routinely have to knock him out, chain him down, and then let the girls fuss after we've fixed whatever he did to himself that time. We can do the same to you." The agent moaned. "So be a good boy and Chase might give you a lollipop."
He looked at him then at House. "He's cute but not my type."
Chase blushed. "That's good since I like girls," he said, fleeing to get medicine.
"Aww, but the girls still want me to date you, Chase. They said it'd finish making you evil enough to pounce House."
Both Doctors gave him an odd look before the agent leaned over and nerve pinched him. "Before he warps my brain and I think he's the version of what normal all agents should be."
House smirked at him. "We'll enjoy having you here. Do you have any records we should get from anywhere?"
"That would get attention."
"We can do it in mysterious ways," House assured him. "Want to let us tell the director or do you want to?"
"I have a letter for him from Angel."
"He's already on his way down." He handed over the vial. "Here, take that." The guy looked at it then took it. A few minutes later he quit hunching over and actually smiled. "They had it when we got here. It's amazing," Chase agreed. He got Xander onto a bed before Daniel got there. Xander got a pointed look. He pointed at the new guy. "He said Xander was warping us."
"He often does." He looked at the guy. "Angel warned me he sent you away from the teen witches of angst."
"They were good to me."
"Good. Then we won't have to bring them up on charges." He looked him over. "Needing to break your trail? Needed healing? Or did you need to call someone higher to let them know you're alive?"
"I'd rather they all thought I was dead."
"That's fine. Do you have an alternate ID set up?" The agent smirked at him but shrugged slightly. "We need an arms master before Xander has to keep doing that job too. The boys could use some help with the training now and then too. You'd be over that and agent PT."
The agent considered it, then nodded. "Pays well?"
"Plus free room, board, and all the annoying girls who want to coo over you you want," he said with an evil smirk. "Plus if Jack needs help, I can refer him to you for quiet talks since you're both about as covert as my old project is."
"Is it still going?"
"Under DCIS's banner now," Daniel told him. "Along with Area 51 and NID. We made sure they were ethical first of course."
"I can try. As long as no one tries to torture me."
"If someone tries to torture anyone, we sic Xander on them," House assured him. That got a more relaxed man. "The only one around here allowed to torture anyone are the girls torturing Xander."
"You'd have to stock, sort, maintain, and log in evidence," Daniel said.
"I can do that. I'm very proficient in all types of weapons and I was a ranger, Doctor Jackson."
"Good. Then we've never been formally introduced."
"Jack." He held out a hand. "Don't tell the nosy, old white guy patrol, as the witches named him?"
"I'll let him know you're safe if he asks."
"There's paperwork to fill out so I can pay you. Is he okay, House?"
"Broken ribs, a few stitches that'll need to be pulled soonish. Looks like a back ache too. Make sure he has a tub and shower."
Daniel looked at him then at Xander then back at him. "Have him put in more therapeutic devices in the gym? Whirlpool, hot tub, whatever's best for all the injuries." He led Jack out. "Our gym and pool are at the end of this hall. Pool's to the right, gym to the left. It's open to the slayers and agents." That got a nod. "House isn't really mean, just snarky."
"I can do that," he promised.
They got on the elevator and Daniel looked at him. "Think we could use you if we have to go rescue Xander because he got kidnaped or something?"
"I've done that many times in the past. Does it come up often?"
"There's a lot of demons who know that Xander does a lot around here. We've been setting up protocols for getting him back since he's usually the one doing the getting back." They stopped on the first floor in security. "Gentlemen, this is our new arms master, Jack Bauer. Get him his ID so I can do his paperwork please?"
"Yes, sir, Doctor Jackson," the head of security said. He got the picture taken and the ID card put together within a minute. "There you go. Elevator works on it, so does the cage to the armory. The press code can be reset whenever you want us to but there's a list that gets it and there is an emergency code in case the agents or the girls need something for a situation."
"Good to know. I came up to check over the defenses for my old agency before."
"The ID gets you past all that."
"Good. Thank you. Anything I should worry about?"
"Binky'll play with you. Digger won't because I doubt you're a virginal sort, Jack. Don't stand in George's sun and watch out for the girls on a mass pouting thing like this morning."
"I met George. Who're Binky and Digger?"
"The unicorns," Daniel said with a small smile. "You'll probably see them later." He led him up to his office. "The second floor is the lab and some limited storage areas for paperwork plus the library. There's not a whole lot of fun reading stuff but we have been slowly expanding it. Thomas is the Council's librarian and that's his domain. He's decent and lets you do whatever you want as long as you don't eat in there."
Jack smiled. "Good. Is there a place I can get clothes?"
"There's a decent mall in town and a real city a few hours away. There's a good bank we go through in town for paychecks. We can figure out whatever you need to set you up with a good fake identity so you can do all that stuff without notice, Jack."
"Please." They walked into the office and his Jack joined them a few minutes later. He looked then held out a hand. "Jack Bauer."
"Jack O'Neill. Have you met the smartass patrol yet?"
"House has seen him, so has Chase, and he knocked Xander out for being warping."
"Good! Watch out for the girls. They're doing a mass pout today because Xander's making them do PT this summer. Oh, heard he grounded a few from the gate's guards, Danny."
"I heard that too. They walked off. Xander was going to spank. They turned an hour of PT into three and a half. Wesley got him calmed down and reminded them the more they pouted the less free time they had after chores and slayer homework."
Jack smirked. "At least they're not being spoiled."
"No, they're mostly like normal girls," Daniel assured him. He grinned at Jack. "It happens sometimes. The girls go on a massive pouting movement and get grounded or something."
"I had a teenage daughter until her mother got smart and left me." He took the paperwork packet to fill out. "Want me to put my real clearance on here?"
"The last three or two sheets is what goes in the system. The rest is my private files and if someone else breaks into them to steal files I get to beat them and make them miserable too."
Jack smirked. "We heard and cheered." He got to work on the forms, handing them over once he was done. "That's my backup identity that I have set up. It comes out of Corcouran, Mexico. Supposedly I retired down there."
"That'll work for me," Daniel promised, turning to the computer to input it. A few minutes later he smiled and printed something. "That's your salary per year." Jack smiled at that number. "Check to make sure all your numbers are right." Jack looked then handed it back. "Good." He finished inputting it and sealed the file as his personal eyes-only, like he had Xander's. "There you go and it is sealed." He looked at him. "We had to start doing that with Xander's because we got hacked a few times."
"Do we have hackers on base?"
"Abby and McGee both do. Our IT department has two others who can," Jack told him. "Want to be called Jack around base?"
"That'd be fine. I kept it as a middle name," he offered with a grin.
Anna stomped in. "Why is Xander knocked out again?" she demanded. "You haven't had him going off to do bad things again!"
"We got him because he was warping House," Jack O'Neill told her.
"Oh." She pouted. "Gibbs is off base. I need help with my hand-to-hand."
"Sam's in the lab," he offered.
"Did Rodney come down too? Abby would be happy and squealy."
"No, he's having their usual spring thing."
"Oooh. Does he need more slayers? We have the whiny ones if he needs more than Tiff and Buffy's on break and eating a lot; her pants are still too tight again."
"I don't think he needs it but I'll let Sheppard know he can borrow if he needs to."
"Good!" She smiled at the new guy. "Hi, I'm Anna. Are you a new agent?"
"Arms master," Daniel told her. "He's over the range too."
"Cool," she said with a bright, slightly insane grin. He smirked back. "I've got to do crossbow practice sometime this week. Gibbs too because he sucks at it. Still. Need shown around?"
"I'm not doing anything," Daniel told her.
She scowled at him. "Then go wake up Xander and have him find something messy so Shea gets a few days off." She hauled Jack up and walked him off. "We need to take you to Cloris. She's over the apartments. Then you can get your stuff shipped in so you have it spread around however you like. And if you want, the slayers on discipline duty can help you move or clean stuff that needs it. That's what we do when it's not KP." He smiled but nodded. "Mary, new arms master," she called as she walked outside. She and the unicorns came rushing over. "Don't be scared. Binky won't horn you up the backside unless she catches you smoking. Just hide it in your hand like the guard does," she said with a grin. "The gray one is Binky. The other is Digger. They've got their own barn out back but they tend to like to come and play with us."
Jack squatted down, letting them sniff him. "Hi, kids." They both bleated at him and Digger backed up but Binky nudged his hand and got a pet. "Let me settle in then you two can try to follow me around." They nudged Anna, getting petted.
"I'll take him to Cloris. They missed you while you were doing your paper for Sammy." She took his arm properly. "Cloris is over our housing and stuff. She'll have keys and linens until you can get yours down. Will you need parking?"
"No, I probably won't. You're Mary?"
"I am." She grinned. "Which one are you?"
"Wow, two Jack's on base. Well, we'll figure out how to get you and not Mr. Jack because he can be grumpy now and then." She walked him into the slayer hall. "This is our building." He gave her a look. "Shortcut." She led him out the back door and over to the towers. "It's easier than walking that way with the way the sidewalk's cracked after one of the things in the prison tried to escape that way. Xander was not happy to have to yell at him. Again." She smiled as she opened the door. "Cloris, new arms master."
"Already? Usually it takes them six or seven months to find a new one."
"I just left my old assignment and it had been offered to me before," he said quietly.
"Oh, good. Family, dear?"
"No, ma'am. Just me. Maybe a friend who might visit if I tell him I'm alive and well."
"Okay. Well. We have one open in the high rise here. We have six open in the new building and one that's just been completed in the newest building but you'll have to put up with construction noise now and then. Especially when Xander's trying to think so he goes to build in the middle of the night with Jethro Gibbs."
"What's the new building look like?"
"Pretty nice. Two stories." She got the keys to an end unit and led him over there with linens under her arm. "We don't do inspection. We figure if you're having problems, you're adult enough to tell us. Name, dear?"
"Good." She let him inside. "This is the new corner unit. Downstairs you'd have O'Neill's apartment until his is finished in the newest building. Then you'd get whichever agent I like the best." She smiled and he smirked back. "This is your bathroom." She let him see and he tried the water. "That'll be on later on. All you have to do is turn the knobs. Since we get frozen pipes in winter we shut the valves so we didn't have to worry."
"I can understand that." He walked into the bedroom, running a hand over the bed. The mattress still had plastic on it. "All new?"
"All new." She opened up the closet. "They didn't give you huge ones, but none of them have been really huge." He looked in and nodded then went to look at his living area. "You can cook in here if you don't want to eat in the mess hall. There's a good grocery in town that we order from. The town is very used to us." That got a nod. "All the girls go to the public school locally too. The sheriff and all them like us even if they do think some of us are a bit strange. The mall's on the other end of town," she said with a point. "The bank's downtown by the pharmacy."
"I'll remember that." He ran a hand over a wall. "Someone did a good job."
"Xander checked constantly like it was his own personal house. He lives in the married tower so you don't have to worry about the girls breaking in to pounce on you."
Mary smiled up at him. "The girls who were on rescue duty and some of the others do daily dawn PT and jog too if you wanted to join them. Our watcher does."
"I might do that." He patted her on the head. "Is Gwen back?"
"Yup, sure is. She's being tortured by Xander before she's sent as Senior Slayer to Vienna. He's very proud of her. And all the others but Shea needs a lot of help so he's held them back to help her."
"That's good of him." He shook Cloris's hand. "Paperwork?"
"No, son. All yours." She pinched him on the cheek. "If you want, the girls on punishment can help you paint or move things." She left him alone.
He smiled. "Let's go find Gwen to see if I can borrow her car for a few hours."
"Okay." She bounced up and took his hand to lead him out there. "Don't worry about locking it. They quit panty raiding finally." He laughed at that. "Some of the older girls were naughty that way, Jack. They'd hit on trees. John was not happy with them when he had to go confiscate his undies back. Even from Brenda, who was sleeping in his boxers and she's like a daughter to him now." She leaned into the usual gym then huffed and took him to the weapons room, letting him whistle at the niceness.
The girls looked over. "Jack!" Gwen said, bouncing over to hug him. "What're you doing here?"
"I'm the new arms master. The witches let me go when Angel got onto them. By the way, I'm not here."
"I can understand that. Need to use our computers to let anyone know?"
"No, I'm here. As far as they're concerned I no longer exist."
"Can I borrow your jeep?"
She pouted. "My baby, but I could use a few things at the mall." He nodded at that. "C'mon. Thanks, Mary. Shea, go rest since Xander's hiding."
"Jack knocked him out because he was warping House again," Mary told him. "Anna hissed that at me."
"Okay then. Probably needed the nap anyway with the way we've been keeping him up." She walked him out. "Let me grab my keys?" He nodded. "Need to stop anywhere?"
"Do we have access?"
"All the apartments are wired and we have a computer set up in the building if you needed to get into stuff before we go." He nodded, following her to activate his second identity a bit more firmly and get his money transferred to the local bank. Then they left together, him buckling up when she started the engine. Even if slayers could drive, he wasn't sure how good she did. Not too bad as it turned out. She let him stop at the bank first and they had the paperwork all ready for him to open a new account and hand over the money he had electronically transferred over. Then they went to the mall to get him what he needed. He thought about a laptop but she coughed and pulled out her wallet to hand over a card with a wink then went to the bra shop. He smirked at her back. It was going to be nice having some backup on base if things went south or they came for him.
Xander looked up as Daniel walked into his office. "You have four good choices for therapeutic water devices. Unless you wanted to add a sauna too?"
"Do the agents want one?"
"Not that I know of." He got out of his seat and let him have what he had been looking over. "House's thigh could use this set," he said with a point. "It'll be good for the agents' injuries too. That's the most expensive set. If we get a combined system it'll be cheaper but none of them have the same range of usage and most of them are smaller, single person units. The more expensive one can fit up to six at the biggest size so a whole team can soak if we all get injured. Or the girls if they get injured. Less scheduling that way. Though I may talk to John about putting in a therapeutic use only whirlpool in their building."
Daniel looked it over. "How expensive is it?" Xander handed over the cost sheet, making him gasp. "You weren't kidding."
"No, I wasn't." He grinned. "Which is why I was looking at the multipurpose systems but I'm not liking them as much. I asked House's opinion and he moaned in pleasure about the thought of that more expensive one. Or maybe changing out his apartment's tub."
"That we might be able to do," he admitted. "What about single uses?" Xander pointed at that column. He groaned. "Still very expensive."
"That's from a wholesale company."
"How much would giving just House a new tub be?"
"About two grand for the good one with the jets that'll help his thigh or back when he cramps. Plus aggravation from the girls when they try to borrow it on him. Or we can put it into the new building going in." Daniel looked at him. "If we move the gym over there it'd be easier to set up. That'd leave that big space open for something else, not sure what, but whatever we needed it for." He pulled that set of ideas out of his back pocket. "If we do it this way.... We could actually turn that area into Jack's office or a liaison center for Horatio." That got a small smile. "It's all set up. We're running the tunnels from the high rises and here to the new buildings so no one would have to go outside. Plus there's a good, huge space on the first floor there for the gym."
Daniel looked over the ideas. "How many apartments would that take out?"
"Cloris's new office. We could put her down there."
"What did she think about that?"
"She said she'd love you forever and ever if you made her knees quit hurting in the winter."
Daniel smiled. "Mine too. Jack's too." He called in the interested parties, including O'Neill. "Okay, here's what we're thinking. There's three things we can do. We can...take some of the gym we have to put in new therapeutic equipment. We can give House his own new therapeutic tub and let him sort out who uses it whenever they can whine him into it or we can move the gym to the newest building and put Cloris's office and the liaison center down in the old gym."
"How much is that going to change the plans?" Jack asked.
"Three walls that aren't built yet," Xander said. "But we have to tell them soon so they can beef up the electrical systems and run the plumbing to that area."
"Are we talking like whirlpool tub?" House asked. Xander let him see the most expensive set, getting a moan. "That looks nice."
"That'll help with all the injured joints and aches and pains the agents come in with?" Daniel asked.
"It would. If you could get these three they'd help the most," he said with a point.
"They don't come combined. One would have to be single person only and the other one would only seat two. I figure the bigger one should fit a whole team or a bunch of the girls who need it after something. Single person only would lead to scheduling things and fussing."
"Plus it'd let us put in a public bathroom there," Cloris pointed out. "I'd be willing to clean it so we had one that meant you didn't have to rush off somewhere."
Daniel nodded. "Would you mind your office being over here?"
"No!" She smiled. "I'm right next to the tunnel. Either way it's not that far for me. Plus I can flirt with Chase. He's such a cute little thing. Needs a good woman to smother him to death."
"Yes he could," House agreed dryly, smirking at her. "I'll let him know you're hunting." She beamed at him. "He likes cookies."
"You like cookies and you'd steal any I left for him," she countered. "If I do, I'd drop them at his place, House. Not like I don't have the master key." He laughed at that. "Does the new building have the bigger tubs? I know a few of the agents want something deeper to soak in."
"They do," Daniel told her. "That was one complaint we fixed with the last building." Xander shook his head. "Why not?"
"They couldn't get enough ordered. Three of them are in there and this time they're waiting to place the order from the supplier directly instead of going to the warehouse place we went to before. Also they wanted to know if House was moving out there. If so they were going to be specially insulating his apartment so he can play his piano whenever he wants. That would let us make sure he got a deeper tub."
Daniel looked at House. "That's up to you. It'd be on the bottom floor so no more elevator."
"It's not over the prison like that one walkway," Xander told him. "The other one was." That got a nod. "So that's up to you. Also, got the plans for the next one, Daniel." He handed those over from the top of the filing cabinet. "They wanted to know if we wanted little, tiny efficiencies for more visiting people."
"Didn't figure you did. There's two sets of plans rolled up in there. That's for the next time we need to add more room."
"Agreed." He put them aside. "House, do you like the gym idea?"
"I could like that," he agreed. "You guys are trying to spoil me."
Xander grinned at him. "We want to make sure the guy who stitches us up when we do heroic yet stupid stuff is in a good, happy mood." House laughed at that. "Otherwise you bring out the big honkin' needles."
"Only for you, kid." He looked at the ideas. "That's not going to be enough room. It's smaller than what we have right now."
"The pool's staying where it is," Daniel told him. "Is that an option, Xander?"
"It is but we'd have to take a changing room out of the way or reduce the area that the infirmary shares with it."
"That's our storage area," House told him.
"Which is going to be cheapest?"
"Really, it'll be about the same to run the lines no matter where they go," Xander told him. "The gym has the easiest fix if we take that back changing room. Then again, most of us don't use the changing areas."
"So mostly the expense of the units and putting them in?" Daniel asked. Xander nodded. "In the others it'd be added to the finishing costs so probably upping the budget by a few hundred more plus the cost of the equipment." He looked at House. "When do they need to know if he wants to move?"
"By Friday. They're going to start the wiring and insulation then."
"I hate moving," House told him. He frowned slightly. "Would it be bigger?"
"A bit bigger in the living room but the same size kitchen and bedroom I think," Xander said, pulling that bit of plans out of the right drawer. "Here we go. Um.... Ten more feet of width in the bedroom." He let him see. "The island looks a bit bigger too."
"Who gets the huge half a floor?" House asked. Daniel pointed at Jack. "Pity."
Jack gave him a smug look. "I earned it. I had to put up with him in the field. Running at trouble, getting kidnaped. All that fun stuff."
Daniel gave him a dirty look. "And I'm sure you didn't get into any trouble at all, right, Jack?"
"Not me," he said with a grin.
"I should ask Mitchell."
"Go right ahead. He wasn't there."
"Sam's in the lab," he countered.
"That's just mean. McKay's not down, right?" Xander pinched him. "Hey!"
"Leave the cute, babbling, geeks alone. They're adorable and teaching the girls what real couples look like. That way no one has to complain when I start to date again."
"When you're ready we'll make sure none of them want to take over or destroy the world," Jack said dryly.
Xander looked at him. "None of mine have been *that* evil."
"Daniel wanted him to have kids. They'll be that evil," House told him.
Jack shuddered. "No. Not while I'm here please."
Xander grinned. "We've got some time before the last effects of the spell Willow put on me long ago wears off."
"Warn us before you try," Daniel ordered. "That way we can make sure you're in a big enough apartment."
"You'll hear us if and when I find someone," he reminded him with a sweet, innocent grin.
"I'm sure we'll hear Dean complaining some more," Daniel agreed with a grin back.
"I'll put up more insulation," Xander promised. House laughed. "His bedroom is against my study."
"So Sammy got the good room?"
"His is next to Tony's bedroom and he's loud too according to Sam." House groaned, shaking his head. "So they're trapped in the middle." He beamed at Daniel. "Six of the girls are moving out this fall to take up in Cleveland where theirs are leaving."
"Three are. Three aren't but one's going to Chicago next year. She's already in Cleveland and she has to finish her schooling before she can apply up there."
"Good. I'm glad that worked out." He looked at House. "Think you can let me know by noon on Friday? I'm supposed to meet with them at two to go over some final ideas they had."
"If not, you have to stay there," Xander teased. "And listen to the windows rattle all winter again."
"I'm used to that. New Jersey has winters too." He shot the boy a grin. "How are you handling snow?"
"I'm very glad I learned how to drive on it that first winter thanks to Tony. And that our new maintenance guys are good and I don't slip on the ice anymore." That got a nod from everyone. "Anna is too."
"I think we're all glad she's no longer limping," Daniel told him. "Cloris, which option do you like best?"
"She shrugged. "It doesn't matter to me, Daniel. Whichever is easiest and best for the base."
"Either use the changing areas or switch it to the new building," Xander told him. "Easiest and fastest done and I can probably do most of the changing room work myself if I can get a weekend off. We have showers and stuff in there right now so it won't be too big a problem to divert the pipes a bit farther and then redo the floors."
"Can we make a mini gym out there anyway?" Jack asked.
"We could," Daniel agreed. He thought about it. They did have the room in the budget they had to use up. "Not the pool but I can see some of the therapeutic equipment and a few treadmills and bikes going out there." That got a nod from House. "If you do move, let me know if the girls are moving your piano or not."
"Not. It's too delicate to be rolled over on the sidewalks. I'll get a specialty mover in," he said. "Is this the budget surplus we've got to use or loose?"
"Right now we're projecting one, as long as nothing too big goes boom in the next few weeks," Daniel admitted.
"This'll use a good portion of that," Jack agreed. "How much are we looking at?" Daniel found the budget folder and tossed it over for him. He read then nodded. "We cut twelve percent?"
"They wanted ten, we'll give them twelve this year." That got a few smirks. "Most of the stuff we've upgraded won't need to be for a few more years. We'll be good on the budget by then."
Xander looked at House. Then at Daniel. "Has anyone heard anything about our new arms master and his former people's job?" They all frowned at him. "We might want to get an idea if they're dealing with a huge bad thing for next spring."
"We can do that," Daniel agreed. "Did someone have a vision?"
"No, but I was thinking that his former people would probably be at least tipped about anything too heavy so we had plans in place."
"Is this a just in case thing?" House asked.
Xander nodded. "Yeah, I think it is." That got a nod and Daniel made a note. "I don't want to bust him but if he can tap an intel source it might help earlier on instead of having to plan around easter."
"We can see," Daniel promised. "We think it'll be bad?"
"For some reason, I do. I think it's going to be bad for the base too. I'm not sure why." He shrugged and grinned. "Sorry, what was I saying?"
House looked at him. "A just in case feeling." Xander grimaced and shuddered. Which meant that had been a warning from on high, and an odd form of vision. He glanced at Daniel, who smiled at the boy. "How much to put a set of the good ones in the two places, kid?"
"Thinking about it, it'd almost be easier to move the whole gym that way and put it in there and the changing area." He sketched out his idea for Daniel. "That'd make it easier for everyone to find the gym. I know a few of the girls have been avoiding it. This way they could sneak around and feel like they were back in the panty raiding days without actually breaking and entering. With the pool, if we change this room, it'll be easier."
Daniel looked then nodded. "I can see that happening. Do we have to glass one wall?"
"You might want to put in a glassed, free space," House offered. "A few of the people on base do Yoga and things."
"Good point." He noted that down and had Xander fix the idea for that. "That'll work. I'll get onto that. By Friday at noon, House."
"Yes, boss." He got up with a small moan. Xander gave him a worried look. "I'm fine. I was up late last night thinking." He wandered out, getting some coffee on his way down to his office. "We're moving the gym and putting in healing water therapies."
"We could use it," Chase agreed. "Are you all right?"
"I was up most of the night."
"There's nothing going on, House. Take a nap." He went back to working on the reference material they had been gathering together. It was nearly time to sort it into book format. House smirked, going to do that on the couch in his office. Chase shook his head. "Stubborn bastard. Not like we do that much out here," he muttered. And to make sure House was going to be a good boy and take care of himself, he sent Wilson an email and an offer of a plane ticket. House needed old friends to torment for a while. It'd make him feel normal again.
Xander walked out to where Jack was watching the sunset. "I'm making bullets tonight if you want to help."
"Isn't that my job?" he asked, smirking at the young man a little bit.
"Probably. Know how to make the holy water tipped ones?"
"Nope. Not yet."
"I can show you. It's either that or I'm going to go build something." He walked back to the armory, settling in with the molds and the metal he'd need to do what he needed to do. He had to go find the holy water stash but John hadn't put it somewhere strange this month. He came back and found Jack looking over everything. "We hand pack everything. The dipping solution for the wooden ones is in the cabinet," he said with a point. "That makes it hard and last long enough. The silver ones use the other molds because they shrink more than these do." That got a nod. Xander showed him how to use the special tipping mold to make the hollow area for the holy water. Jack got to work on his own set. "These are our most common carry. Oh, if you looked, the wooden box? It's for a special colt John and his boys have. Those are formerly part of a relic." Jack gave him an odd look. "Sometimes you need the heavier firepower to kill a higher thing. John has a special colt that kills demons. I made the special bullets because his old stash ran out. I'm fairly sure he's got the colt with him." That got a nod. Xander turned out his cooled tops and moved to pack them into the bottom casings with the gunpowder. Jack made more tops while he packed them in.
Jack O'Neill came in and gave them an odd look. "Didn't Danny hire him so you didn't have to do that?" he asked Xander.
"It's thinking time, Jack. It's this or I go work on the newest building."
"We could probably use more anyway. Where are the stashes?" Xander pointed at the big shipping crates. "You're joking."
"Nope. All loose. Most of us keep at least two clips full in our lockers and ours ready to load. Did I show you how to use a portal yet? I can't remember."
"I can do that in a while," he offered with a grin. "That's how we move the artillery." That got a nod. "It's not that hard. We have tons after an arrest last year." He looked at Jack. "The next time you have to take the boss with you, you're bringing one to smuggle him back in since he gets into so much trouble."
"Will it hold people?"
"Yeah, the demons that move people and other demons use them." He got one out and hung it up, letting him see how to find the tuning spot on the crystal. Both Jack's nodded at that and walked in to look around. Jack came out shaking his head. "Exactly. That's why we use it for artillery."
"It's probably a good thing. Can you pack it into a bag?" O'Neill asked.
"Yeah, we have one bag set up with a portal already in it. That's what we took to Georgia."
"Decent," Bauer said with a small smile. "I know some people who would kill for those. Literally." The other Jack gave him an odd look. "Covert service?"
"True. It's a lot easier to sneak one person in and out than a whole team." He walked off shaking his head. At least until Binky nearly ran him over and nuzzled him. "Are you bored again?" he teased. She neighed and nudged him with her nose. He went out to kick the ball around with them. They needed another playmate. George just couldn't play unicorn soccer very well.
Xander grinned at Jack. "If you have to use one in that manner, go for it. We have about seventy of them in the drawers. Make sure to keep the crystals with the sheets."
"I can do that." They got back to work. The kid knew what he was doing and showed him the rest of the armory. They had some killer stuff in there. Literally.
Xander came out for morning PT the next morning, finding Gibbs and the others. "The girls?"
"In bed," Gibbs said. He looked at Xander. "Don't they usually do theirs in the afternoon?"
"Only during school. Out of school it's PT, chores, lunch, free time." That got a nod. He looked at his girls. "Shea, what did you do to yourself?"
"Threw myself down the stairs in a brilliant bid to have a day off," she said dryly.
"She tripped over Digger," Gwen told him. "He was sneaking up to nap on Anna's bed since she didn't last night."
"Really?" Gibbs asked. "Where is she?"
"No clue. We were hoping she was with you or in the barn."
Jack Bauer came out. "The little brunette one is in the dining hall."
"That's Mary," Xander said. "Mary!" She came jogging out. "Where's your teammate?"
"No clue, Xander. Do we have to have PT already?"
He looked at her. "You can't have free time until you do PT and any chores."
"Shoot." She went back to breakfast, bringing it out to eat while she stretched. Gibbs gave her a look so she took the tray back then came back to work out with the older girls. "I have no idea, guys. She didn't wake me when she snuck out."
Xander jogged down to the guard shack. "Anna's missing."
"She was out and wandering at two," one said, checking the sheet. He looked at him. "The guard steered her toward the slayer building." Xander grimaced. "Let us search, Harris." He called out a 'look for' order into the comm system.
Daniel came jogging out. "She's missing?"
"Up and wandering at two. Never made it back to bed," Xander told him, listening to what came in. He groaned, thumping his head against the wall of the guard shack. "I'll get her."
"Gibbs knows where that is. Let him. He's her watcher," Daniel ordered. They shared a look then Xander went to tell him. "Any of the other girls going for a walk at midnight?"
"Only the one that's seeing the town boy on the back twenty, Doctor Jackson."
"I'll let Xander know." He walked back that way, pulling Xander out of the conference. "Shea's got a boyfriend she meets in the backwoods of the base."
"Really?" He looked over at her. "You can bring him up. We'll only make sure he treats you well. That way you don't have to lose sleep or be outside when it rains." She slunk down, giving him a horrified look. He looked at Gibbs. "I don't know if it's nightmares or not. She's a good one to get slayer dreams."
Gibbs nodded. "I'll go get her." He jogged that way. He needed to go on his daily run anyway.
Xander looked at the others. "Go wake 'em up," he ordered. They smirked evilly and went to torment the others until they got up. He stopped Shea. "You're more than allowed to date, Shea. We don't mind. We'd only make sure he's good to you. We expect the girls to be normal young women with sense." She nodded at that. "The same as I'm not going to tell your parents if you're dating unless it's a problem. So bring him in during the day. There's snakes and things back there."
"He's kinda grounded and his parents hate us."
"Sorry. Do what you can." She nodded at that. "Make sure you're careful so we don't have to relieve you of duty before you're sent."
"Yes, Xander." She strolled off, going to get in on the waking evilness the others were doing.
Xander sighed, looking at Daniel. "I'm not mean, right?"
"No, you're not mean." He patted him on the back then left them alone.
Xander settled in to stretch out before the daily workout. He was in better shape now than he had been when he was the girls' age.
Gibbs found Anna still asleep and sat beside her, giving her a gentle pat to the head. "Hey. You should sleep in your bed."
"Stuffy." She yawned, looking at him. "Are you mad?"
"No. Not that I want you wandering out here alone. There's snakes and other animals out here." She showed him the knife she had. "That's sensible. Want to talk about it?"
"No. Just some bad dreams."
"Like slayer dreams?"
"I hope not. I think I'm just a worrywart. It's nothing big or anything." She snuggled into his side. "Am I in trouble?"
"Nope. Next time slip a message under my door or wake me up if you need to talk, Anna. I know you girls have a lot of stress on you."
She looked at him. "Do you think Xander's right to ride us that way?"
"Yes. You need to stay in practice, even if you're not on a patrol rotation. You never know when something's going to happen here or at school or even the mall."
She nodded. "I understand that but it's boring."
"PT isn't supposed to be exciting but it's something that's necessary. Then again, you girls drag it out longer than it needs to be by complaining. An hour of PT isn't that bad. Even DiNozzo does that." She yawned again. "When was the last time you got a good night's sleep?"
"No more coffee for you."
She pouted. "I don't drink it at night."
"So? You need your rest and it's too high octane for your younger body." He gave her a hug. "Why was your room stuffy?"
"Because I can't open my window. One of the girls glued it shut when the breeze kept migrating to her room and screwed up her papers. She claims it disorganized her organized mess."
"I think it's time for another inspection."
"John'll be pissed he missed it."
He smiled. "Not that sort. Just a cleaning one."
"I clean very well," she pouted.
"You do. You do a very good job, Anna. You even managed to get the sawdust out of my shirt the last time you did mine." She beamed at him. "Which you don't have to do."
"Do so. You need to be presentable sometimes. Especially if you start to date again." She smirked. "Because we need more couples to stare at around here."
"I know. You'll figure out what couples do when you're old enough to date."
"Dawn said she got to go on group dates at that age."
Gibbs looked at her. "Group dates?"
"Yeah. A few couples go to hang out together so no one can be naughty. Or they go as a group and the significant others show up mysteriously at the movies and things like that."
"We'll see." She laughed. "Are you starting to like boys?"
"I'm wondering why boys are necessary for species survival. They're mostly stupid and think I'm too delicate to do anything."
"Being that tiny is a slayer's weapon," he reminded her. "It means they underestimate you."
"Yeah and so do the bullies."
"Did we have a lot of them?"
"The teachers said it's usual. Boys figuring out they like girls by picking on them. Before you got here I got a day out-of-school suspension for breaking a boy's finger because he tried to give me a wedgie. They hurt, I was justified in hurting him back to stop him."
He smirked at her. "There's non-violent ways around that sort of thing."
"He kept trying later until Brenda jumped on him."
"He was how old?"
"Um...fifteen? He was in ninth grade."
He shook his head. "You should've told Xander."
"I didn't want him dead or begging, Jethro." He laughed at that. "Brenda handles that stuff for us. She's a good big sister. If he had kept up, I would've told John and Sammy. Dean would've made him beg for God to save him. John would growl and Sammy would put him down in ways that'd make him look up the insults in the dictionary again." Gibbs laughed harder at that. "You know he would."
"I know." He gave her a squeeze. "Let's fix your window after PT. I'll let the jog back be your PT today."
She beamed. "Thank you."
"It had better not happen again. If you need to wander that way, come camp on my couch."
"Yes, Jethro." She got up and hauled him up with a grin. "Let me grab stuff." She grabbed her sweater she had been using as a blanket and her knife, putting them together and tying it around her waist then they jogged back to the building. They made good time on their run. Running with him was nearly as good as running with her i-Pod. "Xander, he said jogging back is my PT today."
He looked at her. "That's fine. Need to talk? Slayer dream?"
"Stuffy and thinking."
"If you need to talk, you can still come to me, Anna."
"We'll be teaching a class on bullying this year," Gibbs announced. The girls all stared at Anna. "I know it wasn't just her."
"Yeah, but Brenda solved it all," one of the girls said.
"She'll be pregnant then," Xander reminded her. That got a sigh and a nod. "It's better if each of you has an extraction plan for that problem and then handle it in a way that doesn't make me go swear at the principal." They all smirked. "Yeah, I did."
Dawn nodded from her spot. "Yes he did." The other girls cracked up. "He scared a few other parents too." She beamed at Xander. "We love you anyway, big brother."
"Thanks, Dawn. You still can't live in a frat house your first year."
"I know. I'm not going to drink the caveslayer beer."
The girls all stared at her. "What?" Gibbs asked.
"Ah, you never heard that story. Xander?"
Xander cleared his throat. "Buffy's first semester of college." Gibbs nodded slowly. "She made a few frat boy friends thanks to some dirtbag that was doing freshman initiation for panty trophy points." Gibbs' eyes narrowed at that. "They came into the pub where I was working. The bartender hated the college kids. Especially frat boys. His brother was a sorcerer. He got his brother to make some herbs he laced his draft beer with."
"Forehead ridge, messy, knotted hair, altered speech, all of it," Dawn said cheerfully.
"Buffy nearly got her butt toasted because she went 'fire pretty' and tried to touch it until it bit her." He and Gibbs shared a look. Gibbs walked off moaning. "It's in my journal if you wanted to see it, Gibbs."
"Read Giles' journal, Gibbs; it gave John and Dean both a migraine but they had to hug Xander after reading it," Dawn quipped.
Xander looked at her. "That was the one up to graduation." She gave him an odd look. "Nothing on having Spike as a roomie or anything about that."
She gave him an odd look. "Really?" He nodded with a small smirk. "What drove them that nuts?"
"Your sister." She cackled. "She did it to everyone else. Willow helped. That's why I'm so insane." The girls all nodded. "And just think, you guys could grow up into being Buffy too!" he finished cheerfully. "And I will spank."
Dawn nodded. "He does it hard too. He caught me shoplifting once." Xander smirked evilly at her.
Amber looked at her. "He stopped you instead of Buffy?"
"She tried but she was why I was doing it. Xander sat my butt down after giving out a big helping of daddy style justice and made me listen after I quit sobbing like he had beaten me to death."
"And now I get to do it if you guys miss your *hour* of PT," he said happily, rubbing his hands together. They got to work harder and faster than before. "Slow down." They ignored him and ran off once they were done. He gave Dawn a hug. "Thanks."
"Welcome. Am I living in the dorm?"
"Unless you want to commute during the winter, probably."
"We'll work it out." She pinched him on the arm and walked off. "I'm thinking Gibbs is fixing her window and Stuarana is going to complain."
"She needs to clean anyway." He went to see if Gibbs needed any help before going to finish working on the case Horatio had surrendered so he could go to Chicago. Ten minutes later he walked into the dining hall to look at the girls. "We're doing a bug check later on tonight, ladies. Not searching for contraband this time, but I am going to be checking for dirt and nastiness. Like plates under beds and things. Gibbs and Wes are helping." Wes gave him an odd look. "Before free time today, clean your rooms please." He went to work on his case now.
"Not all of us can be as OCD as Anna," Kim said. "My girl sure isn't." Amber stuck her tongue out at her. "Some of the girls look like hoarders too."
"I heard that is a real condition and if it's necessary the base's psychologist can help them," Wesley assured her. She smirked at that. "Though I doubt he was talking about Amber's socks being everywhere in your room."
"She finally quit that. I told her if she didn't I was going to hand them to something in the prison that'd eat them on her. Then she'd have cold feet all winter long." She smirked at her girlfriend. "She learned how to pick up clothes."
"It's fine," she said impatiently.
"Usually," Kim agreed. Amber grinned at that. "You're still only getting cuddles tonight since I'm on my spacer pills." Amber moaned at that. "Sorry."
"I know it happens. The rest of us are going to have the same issue soon."
"Thanks for the warning," Mary quipped, getting a headsmack from Gibbs. "They're mean when they're having their girl times! I needed the warning, Jethro."
"That's still not a discussion for over a meal or in public."
"We're all girls but you guys. Abby said girls talk about that stuff now and then."
"Not over meals," he assured her. "Not in public either. You have manners."
"Yes, Jethro." She dug in again. She was young, she'd get away with it for now.
Gibbs looked down the table. "I did take fingerprints off Anna's window to see who glued it shut. Whoever did it has ten days of punishment duty. If you want to confess I'll drop it to seven."
The girl in question gave him a dirty look. "She creates a tornado in my room."
"So? Stuff a towel under your door." She slumped. "Did you glue it shut?" She nodded, looking down. "Then I'd put my name on the roster by tonight."
"Yes, Jethro." She finished her breakfast and went to do that. Then she went to clean her room. She knew they all thought she was a dirty, messy person but she had a system and it worked for her. She'd never find anything if she had to clean. She sulked her way through cleaning until maintenance called to get her to help the construction guys for a few hours. She was good at holding stud walls going up. Slayer strength was good for that too and she was leaning a lot about how to build things. Maybe she'd go into that when she aged out since she was getting so much experience now.
John looked over at Brenda, who was grinning at the small carnival. They were there for work purposes but it didn't mean she didn't get to ride the rides and eat cotton candy. Sam had gotten it for her so he wouldn't complain it was ruining her diet. Or that it was unhealthy and probably had chemicals that were bad for his grandchild. She gave him a hug around his arm. He gave her a look.
"Because you're not complaining even though you want to." She beamed. "The ghost is still by the animals. Sammy found it."
"Good." They walked that way. She had seen some on tv but this time the cows let her pet them. The sheep too. He shook his head but she was a gentle girl most of the time. The ghost saw them and faded out. But now he knew what it looked like so he'd have to look it up later.
"It's just a kid. Think it was a disappointed one?" she asked quietly.
"Could be." He walked her back out to the rides, letting Sam take her on whatever she wanted. It wouldn't be too much longer before they'd have to ground her to base for her own safety. She should have some fun now. He saw a familiar head of hair and frowned, strolling over to where the hair was. He could've sworn he saw Faith. He turned and found her behind him nibbling on a caramel apple. "Sweet tooth attack?" he teased.
"Definitely. Since Little B's got cotton candy." She smirked. "Dean's in the parking lot. Why doesn't he like fairs?"
"It's more fun houses than all fairs." He dialed him, getting a smartass answer back. "There's no funhouse, son. Brenda's being taken on the rides by Sammy if you wanted to help that instead of the problem." He hung up and walked Faith back to the animals. She stared at them then at him. He gave her a look and subtly pointed at the ghost.
She nodded. "We heard. Also about the bull that's started a cult." She took another nibble and petted a goat then walked off to find her man. Dean was pulling Brenda off the ferris wheel and over to the crawler, which was an eight-armed wiggling, swirling ride. The ride operator asked her a quiet question before letting her on. Apparently she wasn't too far along for it yet. Faith got dragged on by Sam so it was pretty cool. An adrenaline rush without the problem and ass-kicking in the center she decided. They came off grinning and went to find John to make him loosen up. Faith found Bobby. "Bull or ghost?"
"Bull. You two?"
"Us two came because of the bull. Papa Scruffy, Sammy, and Little B are here because of the ghost."
"That's fine. Where's the boys hiding at this time?"
"Trying to make Papa Scruffy lighten up and giggle with Little B." She nodded in their direction. He looked then smirked. "Yeah, Little B's got cravings. They're contagious too." He gave her an odd look. "All slayers love sweets but she and Sammy went on a sushi eating spree last night."
"Ick. Bait in seaweed." He shuddered but led her over to them. "You look nice in his shirt, Brenda."
She grinned and gave him a one-armed hug around the chest. "Hi, Bobby. Want a pretzel?"
"I can get my own. John's too stingy to buy others dinner."
She laughed. "My treat from my patrol allowance." He shrugged and let her buy him the littlest pretzel they had so he could nibble and not make her feel awkward. "Now, how do we solve these things?"
"There's no we in this team," Dean told her. "House said no patrolling or anything once you tested yes on the test."
"I can guard."
"Not if there's a chance of you miscarrying," John said firmly.
She pouted at him. "I'll take guard."
"No. You can help Sammy with the research. I'll do the ghost. They can do the bull."
"It might even take artillery," Faith teased, making Brenda grin at her. "C'mon, they got ice cream too." They walked off together, letting the guys fuss behind Brenda's back.
"I'm not that fragile."
"No, but slayers attract trouble, Little B. Even if she weren't who she is, they'd worry." She sighed but nodded she understood that. "Just think about how bad Papa Scruffy would be if Sammy or Dean was knocked up. Dean probably wouldn't even be allowed to drive his car."
Brenda snickered. "I can't imagine his face if that happened. He might pass out." She saw someone and smiled. "That's Shea's father, isn't it?"
"I think so." They walked that way. "Hi, Shea's dad." He spun, looking at the girls then smiling. "Bobby, Papa Scruffy, and the terror boys are back by the pretzels nibbling and making fussy plans."
"Thanks, girls. Having fun?"
"Lots and tons," Faith said dryly. "Dean's a regular laugh riot in the car." Brenda gave her an elbow to the ribs. "He can be."
She smirked. "You should distract him more often if he's not having fun."
"Tried that. We nearly wrecked. Then he would've freaked out." She walked her off. "We'll see you guys after a few more rides."
"Sure," he agreed, watching them walk off together before turning to find Sam there. "Following them?"
"Slayers get into all sorts of trouble," he said grimly. "Last night Brenda got between two transvestites fighting over a purse and got them to the point where they were explaining crossdressing to her instead of fighting. Should've heard dad scream," he muttered. Shea's father laughed. "We're making plans to keep Brenda out of trouble if you wanted to help."
"I wouldn't mind." He followed him back then Sammy jogged off to find the slayers and shadow them for a bit. He nodded politely at Bobby and John. "The girls looked happy."
"They are," Dean agreed. "Brenda's feeling spoiled and she's complaining about it. We're trying really hard not to let her get into too much trouble."
"That's good. Girls in her state are usually a bit more picky."
"Sammy deals with that," Dean told him. "Until it's mine, I can make grossed out faces at odd foods." John shuddered. "Sushi's not that bad, Dad."
"Bull." He shook his fellow hunter's hand. "Which one brought you?"
"Bull. They got a girl from our neck of the woods. You, Bobby?"
"Same. John and the two young'nes are here for the ghost."
"Suicide a few years back but no one knows where they buried the body," he told John.
"Makes sense. Harmful?"
"Not usually. Only to his family's stock." He shrugged. "Guess they drove him to it." He looked at Dean. "You two since I know you two broke off?"
"The bull. Father Philip got a head's up that there was this sort of problem and asked us to look at it." That got a nod from John. "He's a nice, quiet guy who likes soccer but I saw him pull down the wrath of god on a demon possessing someone. That thing fled after one attempt." John moaned. "No wonder his holy water burns everyone." Bobby moaned at that. "Worked to cure Xander after the battle in Georgia. Saved him really."
John nodded. "That one blast that hit him nearly did him in." He looked around. "We should handle that bull while Sammy's got the girls occupied." They nodded and headed out to deal with it. They didn't know why the demon had possessed the bull. They didn't really care why it had possessed the bull and had started a cult of people for the demon to impregnate with demon spawn. All they wanted to do was to stop it. Dean tried shooting it but no luck. It panicked the minions but still no luck. They tried the special colt. Nothing. Dean finally got into the trunk and got a smaller piece of artillery, blowing the cow and part of the field up. That worked. The minions all wailed and gathered parts but they left before anyone could find them. They went back to the fair, finding two impatient, foot-tapping slayers, and one scared little brother. "It's all good," John said.
"The ghost was buried out back in the woods," Sam said. "He was tormenting his brother and he showed them. He's gone." That got a clap on the shoulder from John.
"I dug," Brenda complained, getting a hug for it. "Thank you, John." She smiled at Shea's father. "We're going back to base in about two weeks. Are you coming to visit soon?"
"Probably. One of the girls wrote to me to say Shea had a boyfriend she was sneaking around to meet."
"Which one narked?" Dean asked.
"Hmm, messy, slightly MPD slayer," Sam said with a grimace. "Starting to hoard things too."
"I saw her room," John admitted. "Jethro sent a text message that he had done a cleanliness inspection but I could do a contraband one when I got back." They all smirked at that.
"Don't look at me, I only sent D porn and stuff," Faith said dryly. John spluttered. She shrugged. "She's dateless. It's kinder than making her worry about living on campus this fall. We definitely don't want her to go party-girl like B did her first semester."
"One of the other girls wrote about the caveman beer and could we find the herbs for some of the bullies that liked to drink in town," Sam said, smirking at her. "She asked if we could age clause charm it too so they'd only get the bad boys who were drinking underage."
"Which one asked for that?" John demanded. "None of the girls have said anything about bullies to me."
Brenda burped. "Sorry. I took care of all the bully problems all the girls were having." She smiled. "The tenth grader picking on Anna was not happy to see me after he didn't stop when she broke his finger." She strolled off. "Are we staying for the animal judging tomorrow? If not, I want to ride on the rides again."
"Sure," Dean agreed, following with Sam. Bobby followed to, shaking his head slightly.
"She did really good threatening without having to break bones," Faith told him with a happy grin. "The only ones she didn't get were the magical ones D got. Not too many bullies around us after that. They protected their yearmates too." She strolled off to catch up to the other young ones.
John looked at Shea's father. "They're not really that bad, most of the time." He laughed, clapping him on the arm. "How's her training going?"
"She's got the points that she needs to learn. He's had some of the other senior girls in to work with her and a few of the watchers. They're going out this weekend."
"Good." He pointed. "We should follow."
"You're babying Brenda that much?"
"Last night she ended up stopping a trannie brawl over a purse, Doug." That got a laugh. "Honestly. She's drawn to trouble, like all the other girls. Just like Shea stopped that one boy picking on his brother because he was saying he was going to beat him then hand him to someone as his boyfriend that one time when she was eight."
"Oh, I remember. She told the parents what they had been saying and that it was gross. They got beaten pretty badly for it and she wailed all night about being grounded to her room." They walked off to catch up. "Does the training stop that?"
"Helps 'em deal with it when they jump in. We try to teach them caution but they're mostly late teenage girls." That got a nod of understanding. "Didn't you get to meet Buffy at the devil's gate?"
"I did. She seemed nice enough. Bit of an airhead now and then."
"It's slightly a persona. Now and then it's not, but mostly she tries to keep a good head on her shoulders. She and Faith are very different." That got a nod. Faith was tickling Sammy until he begged, no matter how much Dean was trying to pull her off him. "Faith," he complained.
She looked over at him, tossing her hair back over her shoulder. "He was saying stupid shit to the baby again." She walked over him, leaving him panting on the ground. "C'mon, Little B. We'll make sure the baby only hears good stuff so it'll grow up smarter'n Xander."
"I wouldn't mind if she turned out like Xander. He's a good guy," she complained.
"Yeah but he could've done better in school."
Brenda nudged her. "She'll do whatever she wants to in school and we'll make her try her best. Not everyone is meant for school. Or so you said you weren't."
"I wasn't but that niece of mine is going to college," she said dryly. "Crissy's too. That way they get what we didn't."
Brenda beamed at her. "I like that idea. I'll have to start a college fund." They linked arms and walked off. "Wesley can help me with that probably. He's got some money invested."
"Slayers get to go to college on the council's dime," Dean reminded them patiently. "Even you two if you want."
"No thanks," Faith said. "I'm happy enough with how I am."
Brenda smiled. "Maybe vo-tech for business stuff." She pulled him up to walk with them. "We need a roller coaster."
"We'd have to steal you from Dad for that," Dean said with a wicked grin. She beamed and glanced back. John was saying something mean to Sam about Faith picking on him. They fled the fair and went to find a real amusement park. Dean was nice enough to sneak Sam out when they found him in the parking lot looking for them. The girls got the back seat. Sammy got his usual spot in the front. And they were off to play and be young adults for a few days of freedom before going back to base.
John shook his head. "They'd better watch themselves," he said dryly.
Doug patted him on the arm. "They'll be fine. Your boys have sense." John smiled at that compliment. Bobby laughed. "Don't they?"
"Probably. As long as they're not out with Xander getting into trouble. He still getting letters from the people over that game?"
"They wanted him to come back and win their current round since no one could," John sighed, shaking his head as he looked down. "Daniel said he couldn't. He'd send Tony this time." Bobby snickered. "We're doing pretty good." He smirked at him. "Where are you two going after this?"
"Home," they said together.
"But I'll be out soon to check on Shea," Doug promised.
"Show up whenever you like. Nothing much changes around the base." They shared a look. "They're teenage girls, Doug. I'm just glad I got them to quit panty raiding the agents." Doug gave him a horrified look. "Exactly." He walked off. "Call first and I'll make sure the motel in town has room or you can have the boys' pull out." Bobby waved then followed. "Where do you think they went?"
"Probably to give the girls some fun. Dean'll check in later. He's like that."
"I know. That's because he used to sneak off to meet with half the girls in town and I had to keep track of which daddy we needed to avoid." Bobby laughed at that. "Didn't I?"
"Definitely." He looked around. "Motel?"
"Yup." That got a nod and they went back to the motel to drink some beer, catch up without the kids interrupting and give John a chance to talk Bobby into becoming a watcher. The girls could use some more level-headed people in their lives. Look at all the wonders Jethro had done since he had signed on.
to part 37
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