Demon Criminal Investigative Service: Talking About It.
Xander settled himself in front of the desk, taking the call off hold. "You wanted to speak to me, sir?"
"What happened last night?"
Xander leaned back. "A group of demons showed up to take one of their kind back. They massed after blowing in the gate. I felt my 'shit's going to happen' feeling so I was outside when they showed up with Sam and Dean Winchester. When they started to sneer, I moved forward to drive them off with my usually-scary-enough rep. That didn't work. One of them challenged me to shoot him, and had a weapon in his hand, so I took the shot. The next one came forward and she sneered. She ordered an attack, so we fought back. The ones who were living were put into the cells downstairs waiting arraignment. Like usual whenever someone attacks us. Why the interest sir?"
"You don't think this is worthy of interest?"
Xander stared at him for a moment. "Sir, you only call when there's a problem or someone said something. This wasn't really a problem since we've had five others of these in the early days. So who said something?"
He smirked. "Smartass."
Xander smirked back. "Yes, sir, it's my native language. That's one of the reasons some people think Doctor House adopted me as his mentoree and son."
The president shuddered. "That's a bad mental image."
Xander grinned. "The warrior clan that wanted us to help them negotiate a wedding treaty liked it." He shifted. "Why the interest, sir?"
"One of the senators has called for an investigation by the panel that sits over agents who are being investigated."
"So, they want Internal Affairs for the Feds to look over the assault?" he said.
"Yes, son, they do."
Xander nodded. "If they want, let them come. We can show them what happened."
"Son, you're a bit scary to most agents."
"That's because I have training they don't understand, sir. To put it like the FBI guys in Cleveland said, it's like I was trained by a paramilitary kook or cult leader. I have the same ways and skills but they're not sure why I have it or what I plan on doing with it."
"I can understand that. My own agents have said the same thing." He stared at him. "Do you want to stay at DCIS?"
"Why wouldn't I?"
"This problem with your Slayers Council?"
"I was doing most of the work anyway, sir." He shifted again. "In truth, Giles was only remaking the new building at the moment. We have someone in Cleveland to watch that going on and to help the girls. Wesley is hiring other people. Giles was more of a titular head than not half the time because he was obsessed with getting this done. It's not going to take much more work for me. I can be the Council Head pro-tem forever if I need to be."
"You're not officially taking over?"
"Hell no. I hate talking to the press. They'd come to us for statements and things. I like being DCIS Agent Harris much better. Wesley agreed we could leave things the way they were while he hired some more, better, smarter watchers than those that got arrested in Cleveland for summoning the demon that took Giles out."
"Oh, I see. I hadn't heard that."
"It sucked his consciousness out. Basically it slowly sucked him dry of brain functions. He's at the state where he can respond to commands but not much else. I heard earlier that he's getting better but it'll be years."
"I suppose that's fine. Why did he want to restart the full Council? You seem to be handling it."
"His family had been watchers for generations. He grew up in them even though he didn't want to be one originally. It was the foundation of his training and his skills. It crumbled when it got blown up so he was obsessed with righting his life's base again."
"Is Wesley the same way?"
"No, sir. We're much more loose and structured because we know we're understaffed and we have to fill in."
"Giles was a bit more stiff than Wes was once Wes grew up after he left Sunnydale the first time."
"He was there?"
"Long, involved story. Wes came in right out of training when they fired Giles as Buffy's watcher. We ignored Wes because he had not a clue and little sense in those days. After graduation, he went off, learned how to be a demon hunter like John and his boys are, and went to help Angel. He's much better now. Since he showed up at Angel's, we could stand him again."
"That's not unreasonable I suppose. Training and experience are two different things." Xander nodded. "Are you all right with what happened last night?"
"Sir, why wouldn't I be?"
"You look edgy and tired."
"I spent a good part of last night burying their bodies properly on the back of the base with the Winchester boys. I only got about three hours of sleep, then had a short talk with Daniel, had my stomach rebel against me putting food in it, then went to nap in the infirmary around Dawn."
"I can understand that. Post-battle nerves?"
"My stomach wasn't awake enough to realize what to do with the food I put in it. It does that now and then."
"Oh. If you say so." Xander nodded. "Is Miss Summers all right? I got the most extraordinary report about Atlantis."
"She's fine. Still a bit tired. She's down to 'feeling like she has the flu' stage. Within a week she'll be back to normal we think."
"Good. That's good. How did you get up there?"
"Near there. It has a gateway. Sheppard and his team have been there in the past. So was Tony's coworker Ducky. We have *no* idea how *he* got up there."
"Interesting to note. Ducky Mallard can show up in some of the strangest places," he muttered, making a note of that. "How are things otherwise?"
"Fine, sir. Daniel's down getting you a copy of the security footage from last night if you still want it."
"I'll pass it onto that panel, son. Are you sure you're all right?" he asked when Xander shifted again.
"Daniel's got a lump in his seat and it's hitting the wrong spot on my ass."
He nodded once. "I had a chair like that once." He cleared his throat. "You're very blunt."
"Yes I am. I'm known for it and not playing politics."
"This same senator has been calling for a hearing."
"Chores out of Wyoming."
He wrote that down. "We'll look into her ties before that can happen. Daniel told me this morning he didn't see anything wrong. I was already out there, I have the scary rep and the longer history. Demons respect me more than they do most everyone here because they know I only show up when the shit's hitting the fan, and they know coming here was terminally stupid. He told me next time I could let him handle it but he's too valuable to risk with stupid people who're holding weapons. His last job beside the point."
"You know about that?"
"Some of the underground has said some very nice things about it, sir."
"Really?" He nodded with a slight grin. "So you already knew when he was assigned?"
"No, not really. I knew of him. The chaos demons I had been dealing with on the case before mentioned him and that he had been appointed. They said they watch him nearly as much as they do me for the chaos he causes. It gives them more to worship."
"Interesting." He smirked. "How does he feel about that?"
"I think he blushed when I told him that."
"That sounds like Doctor Jackson." He looked at someone overtop of the monitor. "We do have the film?" He looked at Xander. "He sent it from the security office apparently."
"I guess he thought you wanted to talk to me too much to take the keyboard, sir."
"You really don't play politics, do you?" he asked dryly.
"No, sir. I think playing politics is what's wrong with the system as it stands," he said honestly. "I don't kiss anyone's ass unless I'm dating them." Someone on the other end choked but the president laughed at that. "I'm known to be terminally blunt," he reminded him.
"That's my chief of staff. He's fine." He looked at him. "What are the plans for the council's new building? Are you moving all your operations back there?"
"If Wes can't find a manager, he'll move back there once he's done hiring. The library's being moved in a few weeks. How long before the library's moved?" he called. "Four weeks?"
"Six," Daniel called.
"Six weeks before it's all on electronic media for us to share wherever is needed so we'll move it after that. Then they'll slowly start taking over admin duties until something too bad happens on the base and we part ways."
"You're anticipating it happening?"
"You won't be in office forever, sir, and we don't know who the next director might be," he said.
"Oh, good point. I can gladly talk to my next one so they leave Daniel."
"We'd like that," he agreed. "Most of the demons respect him and his diplomatic ways. The watchers we have here respect him quite a lot too. Then we'd only have to worry about his successor, which would give us more time to finish setting things up."
"Good point. That is a valid worry for your council. Any others you've come up with?"
"We've had to sit down with Daniel to see what to do when the first hunter gets charged. We know it'll happen sometime, but we don't anticipate it happening soon. We know there's kill them all types like the Initiative boys were out hunting presently so it's only a matter of time. We had to set up strict policies for that and make sure that the system would be just as fair to them."
"That's a good precaution. You're not seeing it happen soon?"
"I think the ones who would complain are still slightly scared of us. We're still seen to be handling the bigger things. While we handle minor cases, the news and gossip being spread are the big things we've done."
"That's understandable. So probably within a decade?"
"Probably within five years," he corrected. "Probably at the outer edge of that though."
"Good point. The prison?"
"We've had to rearrange things a bit here and there. We put the watchers we just arrested for summoning that brain sucking demon in their own secure ward so they can't get hurt. I think we've got a bunch of anti-magic cells going. Things like that."
"Is it going to be big enough?"
"No clue," Xander admitted. "We'll be letting the first prisoners go from their sentences next year. Early February if I remember right. He got a minor sentence for doing whatever he did."
"That's reasonable. Do we have exit plans?"
"Hand him back to his clan. We'll probably escort him back to his city or whatever and let him go."
"No parole officers?"
"No, we never planned for that or parole and probation hearings."
"I'll see if Daniel would like to warp the system a bit then to add that in." He made a note. "Hold on, son." He put him on hold. He came back a minute later. "It was noted he was holding something round?"
"Our armory master is presently in heaven trying to tinker it into working for humans. It's an energy weapon that I've seen in use before. Hurts like a bitch when it burns into your flesh," he said patiently.
"You finally found a real armory master? That's good."
"We had to go to someone who had been covert but he came out of retirement to work in our armory. He jokes with the girls and things. We like and appreciate him even if he does sometimes run from the girls in a naughty mood before they pinch him."
The president laughed. "I can see why. Some of your younger slayers are a bit prankish."
"They learn from Dean too," he agreed with a slight grin. "He's been tinkering all morning with one of them to make it so we can use it."
"That's good. Which one did you get out of retirement?"
"He said we can't tell you. Or else he'll beat my ass."
"I can understand that I suppose. Some of those covert people can be a bit picky about who knows where they are. I had one in mind but something bad happened and we couldn't get him back."
Xander kept his smirk inside. "The one I worked with on that bomb in LA?"
"Yes, him." He stared at him. "How did you two work together?"
"Very well but he gave me some funny looks while we were working because I was kinda calmer than he thought I should be." He shrugged. "It happens."
"I guess it does." He stared at him. "The last I knew some teenage witches had him."
"Angel told them off and had them let him go."
"Even better. Any idea where he is?"
"Nope. And I'm guessing he'd be the sort to want to be left alone, sir. From what they told Angel he needed some intense healing times."
"I know why." He stared at the boy. "Do you want to run the agency some day?"
"Isn't that why you gave us Fargo?"
"Well, yes but you are still about fourth in line."
Xander leaned forward. "Sir, I was handling things two weeks before you hired Tony for us," he said. "If I have to in an emergency, I can do it again. If we have that long of an emergency and it's looking like I'll have to take it permanently, I know people who can raise the dead. We'll get Daniel back." The president burst out cackling. He grinned. "I'll deal with it if I have to, without conflict of interest, but I'll be damned if I want to play politics enough to sit in this chair permanently."
"I can see you doing that," he said with a happy smile. "I'll let the Internal Affairs panel contact you later tonight for a statement."
"That's fine, sir. I know it's a formality. If she still calls for a senate hearing, I'll be just as blunt as I am with you. Because I'm not sucking up to her either. Even if she might be evil enough for me to date." The president hung up while cackling some more. He stood up. "Danny?" He walked in with his new cup of coffee. "Senator Chores out of Wyoming sicced the Internal Affairs panel on last night."
"I heard a rumor someone was trying," he admitted.
"She's also calling for a senate hearing."
Daniel patted him on the shoulder as he walked around him to retake his seat. "Try to be politely blunt, Xander, instead of just blunt. And if you ever try to bring me back to life I'm going to kick your ass as my first act."
Xander grinned. "You can try."
"If I can't, I'll have Jack or Sheppard do it."
Xander grinned, walking out. Tony gave him a pointed look. "One of the senators out of Wyoming sicced the IA panel on last night."
"Damn it," he muttered.
"They had weapons, had invaded the base, and it was justifiable," Horatio told him. "Relax and be calm when they ask you questions, Xander. Make careful, unequivocal statements. Wear something nicer than that so you look more like one of them."
"Horatio, half the government is wary of me," he said dryly. "They don't understand why I'm not going to go spastic some day and shoot them all. They know I won't but they aren't quite sure why."
"He's seen like some paramilitary cult leader's son," Speed agreed. "He's got the same training but they're wary of why he's got the training and how he'll use it."
"Yup," Xander agreed. He sat down at his desk. "It'll be handled but I could use suit help if someone wants to help me with that. We all know it's not my area of expertise."
"You won't be able to bring weapons either," Tony pointed out with an evil grin. "Not even a pocket knife."
Xander stared at him. "I am partially a weapon. If we get invaded that day, it's not my fault."
"Good." He leaned back, looking him over. "How is that black suit with the blue shirt?"
"Gooed the last time I had to testify."
"Hmm. The green one?"
"Dry cleaner ate it and never found it."
"The brown one?" Horatio asked.
Xander shrugged. "No clue. I haven't seen that side of my closet in a while. You guys can come play with my clothes tonight if you want. Please?" he asked with a cute grin.
"I think we can do that," Horatio agreed. "Spenser's on his way here."
Xander nodded. "I wish him luck."
"I'm sure he'll figure it out," Speed said. "He seems to be able to."
"None of us who were in Sunnydale are normal. Though I'm not sure why Spenser had so much fun doing my profile." A few of the others stared at him, including Mac's whimper of complaint. "He said doing it was the most fun he'd had in years. It took him longer than the last pervert too."
Mac shook his head, getting up to find something to take that picture out of his mind. He went down to the lab, finding Abby and McKay sharing a kiss in the halls with Binky staring at them looking very confused. He coughed and they parted, glaring at him until he pointed at the unicorn.
Abby looked down at her. "Humans kiss instead of nuzzle," she told her. "It's a mate thing." Binky nuzzled them and bleeted, seeming to grin. "I know, we're all your herd, Binky. We love you too." She leaned down to pat the little one on the head. "Good girl. Why are you in the lab?" She turned to swish her tail out of the way. "Aww, something bit you. Mean, nasty sucker. C'mon, Radek and Carson are in the experimentation lab. We'll see if Carson can help me bandage that since you like him so much."
"It figures," McKay muttered. "What do we owe the pleasure of your presence to?" he asked Mac.
"Xander's given me a bad mental image."
"I get those sometimes but I get them from Tony too," she said, giving him a short hug. She stole a kiss from Rodney with a grin and a wink then led her unicorn buddy to the experimentation lab. "Guys, something bit Binky. We need to swab it and clean it off." Carson gave her the dirtiest look. "Chase usually does it for her but he's off today. For some reason she thinks House is Anna's relative or something so she won't let him since she loves Anna so much. Maybe she thinks it's like incest, I don't know."
Carson gave her an odd look. "You need more sleep, Abigail."
"I haven't heard that since Ducky said it to me last time. Nearly the same accent too." She beamed and got something from a shelf, coming over. "Binky, let Radek pet you while we swab the bite and put something on it, okay?" She nodded, nuzzling the physicist nearly off his feet until he petted her. Carson sighed but came over to help. "We have to be multi-talented around here because there's so few of us." Another scientist came in, looking confused. "Something bit Binky."
"I figured that part out. Why are there military guys on base?"
"Theirs had a sickness so they had to evacuate," Abby said. "They moved them out to the other non-used buildings, including over the testing area."
"I saw some out there and Jack O'Neill barking orders. How long are they staying?" Abby shrugged. "Okay. Should we see if any of them are scientists and need in the lab?"
"Ask Rodney. They're his people."
"Oooooh," she said, pursing her lips. "Are they as picky and mean as he is?"
"Most of us aren't," Radek said. "I was his second-in-command."
"Even better. Can *you* go see who needs lab time? I know Abby's got this lab booked later for creation time."
"Jack has a new weapon to tinker with," Abby said with a manic grin. "They had these little balls that shoot energy last night."
"Wonderful. I hope you and Dean have a lot of fun tinkering. Radek, please?"
"Go down and ask Sheppard. He'll get them since I'm busy." She nodded, going to do that. "Rodney's scared your staff too?"
"He found her dancing to music while she was working. I had to straighten that out because I do it too," she said as she swabbed. She handed it to Carson. "Here, go run that please." He went to do that. She covered it with some neosporin, getting a bleet. "I know it burns but it helps keep out infection."
Carson came back a few minutes later. "No poison."
"Good." She gave the little unicorn a hug around the neck. "Now, take Carson outside with the big blue thing in the closet and play with him." She nearly danced over to the closet, nudging it until Radek opened it. She found the blue thing, Radek pulled it out for her. She bleeted until Carson grabbed it and followed her. "Step on the pad to inflate it," she called after him. "Then play some unicorn soccer. You could use some play time, Carson. You too, Radek. Stand down." He sighed but went to help Carson inflate the jousting target to lock horns with. Digger nosed the ball toward him so he ended up playing unicorn soccer with a few of the military people and the unicorn. Digger and Binky had a lot of fun running over people to get the balls. They were happy little mythical creatures by dinner.
Anna came out to lean on their fence and watch. "Guys, dinner," she called. The unicorns came over to get some petting, making her smile. "I love you guys too. We'll watch tv later, how about that?" They both nuzzled her then went to get some food. They came out to stare so she went in to feed them then went to get her own dinner. "Are slayers eating here or there?" she called as she walked into the mess hall.
"There," Xander called. "We've got dinner set up in one of our rooms." She ran out to find dinner. She was hungry! John Sheppard looked at him oddly. "You guys wouldn't get any food if the slayers ate with you."
"I've seen Tiff eat."
"Us too." He smirked at their armory master when he came in. "Jack, the president suggested you as the arms master when I said we had went covert but I wasn't allowed to tell him who because you'd kick my ass. He said he would have suggested you but he that bad thing happened and now he couldn't find you. I told him that was probably because you weren't the sort to want to be found. He agreed with me. Did we get the weapon to work?"
"Not fully. We might have to rewire it. I should send imps his way."
"Don't say that, they'll happen," Xander reminded him with a manic grin. "That might be bad."
"Very bad," O'Neill agreed from his seat. "Do not do that."
"Fine," Jack called back. "Thanks, Xander."
"Welcome. I figured you should hear from me that he was thinking about suggesting you. I told him Angel told the witches to let you go."
"He did, and nagged them nearly into brooding too." He went to get his own dinner to go, heading back to his apartment. Some days he loved the base's insanity but sometimes it was too much. Tonight it was too noisy in there to eat quietly.
Xander's cellphone rang so he took his plate out to a semi-empty room, sitting down at his desk to answer it. "Yes?" he answered. Then he took a bite. "No, you're interrupting dinner. We're in North Dakota," he said bluntly. He ate another bite. "That's fine. I heard earlier she had called for one even though my director had said it was reasonable. What did you need to hear from me?" He ate while he listened to what they had. "No, I was out there because I have a 'bad feeling' radar. I also have a 'just in case' feeling system that's hardly ever wrong. My 'bad feeling' radar was blipping at me that something was going to happen. My arm was reacting to the heavy magic going on. Prior injury," he said.
"No, I won't elaborate on that. I don't have memories of it any longer. It was a blessing from what I'm told." He ate another bite. "So I was out there to see why my bad feeling warning system was going off with the two trainers for the slayers. One had been with me. The other felt me being uneasy. No, a spell to yell at some higher powers that were screwing with the girls. Dawn Summers did it by accident." He covered his mouthpiece before belching. "Sorry, needed that." He listened to them. "No, dinner. Meatloaf, corn, potatoes, and carrot cake." He smirked. "Our cook is very good, ma'am."
He went back to eating while they asked questions. "That is why I stepped forward, yes. I saw the little round weapons. I saw that they were an invasion force. This wasn't the first time it had happened to the base since we started. Our director is too valuable to risk but I do have a scary rep among the demons who're doing bad things. My rep was why a few of them backed off." He listened. "If I had ignored that challenge then they would have attacked and my respect from most of the warrior demons would have been gone, ma'am. I may be seen as scary but they do have a lot of respect for me. Warrior clans and beyond have respect. If I had ignored that challenge I would have lost it." He nodded.
"Exactly. I had to take it. Then the girl stepped up to argue. I gave her a good reason to leave. She ordered the attack. We opened fire. I ran out of ammo just as the magic users trying to get the slayers was put into the open by someone falling. Someone else got them and the others. Then later that night we buried the ones who were dead appropriately by what we found in the books we have so no one could get pissed at us for that too." He ate another bite, swallowing fast.
"I'm told they're sharing a clan cell together while the others are awaiting arraignment. I was told that the female, the second speaker, was her spouse and the guy they wanted free was a prince. Tony looked him up and found he was in there for arms smuggling. Ten years." He finished up and started on the cake, savoring it a bit. "I've seen those weapons in action, ma'am; they hurt like a bitch when they hit you. I wouldn't want anyone to have the burns they can cause. I sure didn't want any. He did. He's somewhere around here. We're kind of disorganized at the moment since a related project had a problem on their base so they had to evacuate personnel here to ours." He used his desk phone to text Daniel's phone. "I texted him to come up and talk to you, ma'am."
Daniel came jogging in. "IA?" Xander nodded, handing over the phone. "This is Doctor Jackson." He listened. "That is appropriate. Ma'am, Xander's the one we send on the really bad cases because he used to hunt. He's always been on the front lines whenever we've had a base assault in the past. Yes, we've had four or five before this last one. He usually felt it coming first and was out there before the rest of us could get our weapons out of our desk drawers." He listened.
"I have seen those round balls. There were a few being used during the invasion and Xander had training film from one of his cases that showed one being used on a victim." He sat down, listening to her complain. "Ma'am, we can't do that. We are an investigative agency but a good third of our cases are handling things attacking others. Usually stopping it at that point. Including things like Georgia and the invasion. It's not like we could subdue and arrest those." Xander shook his head quickly. Daniel pointed at his plate. Xander ate the last bite with a grin. "Go get more, Xander, before the Marines eat it all."
"I have food in my apartment. I'll nibble later while I finish paperwork."
"Go eat anyway." He dialed the desk phone, texting someone down there. He loved that McGee had set that up for them. Abby came up to get his plate to refill. "No, he was ill earlier from lack of sleep. After the small assault, Xander and the Winchester brothers spent the night burying the bodies here on base in a way that is culturally sound to their peoples." Abby bounced back, giving Xander a full plate with a kiss on the head. "Thank you, Abby."
"You're welcome." She took the phone. "Dietra, it's Abby Scuito. I've told you about Xander in the past. Yeah, that same Xander. We only have one here on base." She grinned. "Which might be a good thing but we do have some older versions of him in some of the military guys we're hosting right now. Ooooh, and I'm going to pounce Rodney into a ring sometime this year. So you'll be invited." She listened then she cackled. "No, sweetie, Xander's got a 'bad thing' feeling that comes out. He also has 'just in case' feelings that have saved his team's lives many times. And others' too. That's why he was in the lead. That and some of the demons are scared of him.
"Eat, Xander. Don't make me practice motherhood before we scare you all with our future geeks." He dug in before she could nag again. "Exactly." She beamed. "That is what those are. Our arms master couldn't get them to work for humans so I'm going to tinker tonight with Dean and Xander if he's free by then. Because some watchers decided to pull a brain sucking demon from another realm to eat Mr. Giles. He's in the infirmary again. No, that was kinda normal. You should look up his past cases on YouTube." Xander moaned, shaking his head. "I mean it, Xander. Eat." He ate another bite.
"She's scary, I'd do what she says," John Sheppard said as he walked in. "Bad time?"
"For another few minutes," Daniel admitted. "A senator called for an investigation into last night's assault."
"They came to bust their guy out, you guys stopped them. It's happened before and you handled it the same way. Not like you're not going to defend yourselves and your people," he said simply then shrugged. "That's the military way and you were trained military style. Xander was too due to that possession and the hunting."
"That's a very good point," Abby agreed. "One of my buddies who's in the military pointed out that Daniel was trained military style, Xander was trained military style and hunting style, and they handled it that way. No, not the mouthing off part. Though, some might like that. But usually not I know," she finished in a rush. Her friend looked at it that way and agreed that was basic military strategy. "So, see, Xander was doing the right thing, even if he did try to scare them off first. Yeah, he's got a majorly scary rep. He's the guy we send on the bad cases that need artillery. They all know if he shows up it's a horrible thing about to happen or a weapons case." She beamed, swatting Xander on the head. He ate faster. "Good boy, Xander." She petted him. "Exactly. Yup, that's ours too." She listened to the comments from that tape. "You should look up the one from Mexico."
"Not that again," Xander complained.
"Hush," Abby ordered. "And finish your seconds before I sic the girls on you." She laughed. "He's over the slayers' training. He's the one who hired the Winchesters to take on some of his duties so he could do the higher problem things in the admin areas. Yup, still. He could use a good admin if you know someone." She wrote down a name. "Is she free or should he entice and woo?" She laughed, writing another name down. "I'll let him know that." She grinned at Xander. "Thank you. Let us know what the panel says," she ordered. "I'm sure some of us will be up. That weapon's going to drive someone nuts if we don't make it applicable to humans. Plus we've got plans from six other people on base that we need to see if they can be built. That is our stuff," she agreed.
"The light saber was Dean's. Long story. I'll tell you the next time I'm in DC. Yup, you too. Happier night, dear." She blew a kiss and hung up. "She thought the film of the problem in Seattle was better than the one last night but she says it showed a lot of similarities. Those two names are competent admin's who've done major agencies in the past. The bottom you'll have to woo away from the CIA but the other one is free at the moment thanks to age discrimination." She bounced off. "Come to the lab when you're done with the mounds of paperwork."
"I will. Thanks, Abby," he called, finishing his dinner. "She'll swat me if I don't."
John shook his head. "Usually only McKay makes her that hyper."
Daniel smiled. "She's had more Caf-Pows."
"Ah. I was wondering why you guys had a machine in the mess." He patted Xander on the head. "Need him for more?"
"No. Some senator wanted last night investigated. That was the Internal Affairs board." He looked up. "You can make Daniel take a nap if you want. He didn't sleep a whole lot last night either probably."
"I can do that. We're going over what we're doing while we're stuck here."
"Abby has the lab for the science corps to finish up last minute stuff," Daniel pointed out. "The other guys can do PT on the base. Most of the girls do theirs in the morning since they're not in school. There's a few good running trials around here thanks to some of them. Jack's figuring out when he can move you guys back to the base in Cheyenne Mountain. Xander, go do paperwork?" Xander headed off, taking his plate down to the mess hall to put up then headed to his office. "Other than that, consider it shore leave and downtime but we are very nice to the local town."
"I've already ordered that. Would it bother you if we went on shore leave?"
"As long as there was no misconduct. The local sheriff will shoot you in the ass with a tranq rifle if you cause him work."
"I'll let them know that. Any good bars?"
"Two nicer dance clubs, one really grungy bar, and the demon strip club by the interstate. The nearest real city's about two hours away. Jack knows where it is." That got a nod. "Make sure they know the rules. They fuck up, I'm letting Xander beat their asses while they're hung over and then I'm siccing Abby on them."
He smirked. "That's so mean. I like it." He looked over as Jack walked in. "General, any word from the base?"
"None yet. The small cave-in overtop of the living quarters sucks but they're still working on shoring it. What's wrong with Harris?"
"Some senator from Wyoming wanted Internal Affairs to look over last night," Daniel said. "They just called to hear his side of the story. He talked, I talked, Abby talked since she knew them."
"That might help him. Not that I saw anything wrong. Even with the scaring off attempt. It's always better to scare off than to shoot."
"Yes it is," John agreed. "I've done that myself a few times." He shrugged. "Doctor Jackson set down rules for shore leave."
"Sign up sheet. No more than a tenth off base at a time," Jack ordered. That got a nod. "No misconduct or I'm letting Gibbs have people to yell at first and then handing them to the slayers to torment."
"That's almost as bad as having Harris do PT while they're hung over and then letting Abby yell at them."
"Good. Any aliens, you go with."
"They're my team. We can release it two teams at a time. That's about ten people. Plus a few science corps once they've got their last few reports done in the lab. Does Abby have space?"
"Six free work rooms with computer hook ups and the testing labs," Daniel told him. "Go for it."
John smirked. "Thanks, guys. My people will be very happy." He walked down to the mess hall where everyone was gathered. He stood on a seat, staring at them. "Listen up." All chatting stopped. "Since we're apparently here for a bit, due to a small roof collapse in the dorms on the other base, we're going to let shore leave take place within a few parameters." They all stared, a few looking very happy. "First, no more than two teams at a time are to be off base. There's two dance clubs, one real bar, and a strip joint near the highway, plus a real city two hours away. Science team members and infirmary crew can go a few at a time as well.
"Abby has offered her lab for anyone who wants to complete some research or to tinker a bit. She's up there doing that right now. We have six workrooms plus the forensics lab you guys can borrow. Remember, Abby is our head of R&D and the labs as well. She's DCIS's and we're under them now." They all nodded. "I'll be setting up a sign up sheet for that. Anyone who misbehaves will be doing PT while hung over with Harris, then turned over to Abby and the slayers to torment. Am I clear?"
"Yes, sir," they agreed.
"Good. As for PT, they have room for us to do that. There's a few good jogging trails around here thanks to the slayers and others jogging. The girls do theirs in the yard in the mornings since they're off school. If you want to join in, go ahead. Dean's a tough taskmaster but you can do that or use the gym when they're not. Those who have not checked their weapons and done any maintenance, do it tomorrow first thing. I'll be doing an inspection. Also, be aware that there is a prison underneath us, people. That's why the base was attacked last night. They wanted someone out of there. Should that happen, join in wherever you can and feel comfortable."
That got some more nods and 'yes, sir's from them. "I have it on good authority the local sheriff will tranq dart you and hand you to Gibbs if he catches you making more work for him. I'll have a sign up sheet tomorrow on General O'Neill's local office door. Act like adults and don't argue over it. Arrange your own schedules." They all nodded. "To make their lives easier we'll be eating an hour after they do so the cook has time to make enough for us all. That way she's not overloaded. Any questions?"
"Should infirmary personnel help in the local infirmary?"
"Please do. Make sure that all your records and reports are up to date as well in case they become needed. You can even check for new innoc's that're needed if you want. House would probably like to stab us all with sharp, pointy things. The chain of command locally is Daniel Jackson, General O'Neill, myself or Sam Carter for military matters, Abby and Rodney McKay for lab matters. House is in charge of the infirmary and Carson can join in whenever he wants. Any other questions?"
"Longer leaves to visit family?" one female asked. "My mother's nagging, sir."
"Ask O'Neill. That's his call." She nodded at that. "Any other questions?"
"How long do they think it'll be before we're back on our own base, sir?" one Marine asked.
John shrugged. "They're working on it. No telling how bad it was. Or what happened. They'll let us know. For now, we have shelter, we have running water and electricity. Try to help out where you can and if you're really bored, the unicorns love to play. The white one can only be petted by virgins but the other one can pet whoever she likes."
"If you smoke, the unicorns and George will chase you to make you put it out," Daniel said from the doorway. "Hide it in your hands or head off if you catch sight of them watching you smoke. George is the little walking shrub demon. He has poisoned spikes if you bother the girls, Dean, or stand too long in his sun. He adores Abby for that plant food she gave you guys the formula for. All three are slayer pets, as are any and all stray cats on base. Be nice to them or the slayers will kick your butts and we will laugh."
"Yes, sir," they chimed in.
One raised his hand. "You don't have a deputy director?"
"Fargo was part of a scientific branch of the Department of Defense. He's not used to you guys. If you can't find us, of course talk to him. He's a nice guy. If I find someone pressuring him or hurting him, I'll let Xander have you." They all nodded at that. "Good." He smiled. "Then do whatever you're up to tonight. Abby's not using the testing space in that one building if any of the science corps wanted to work in there. They're weapons tinkering tonight in the testing lab." That got a few grins. "Breakfast stretches from six to eight since we start work then. Find food sometime, guys. We're not that strict around here."
"We'll be eating an hour after your people, Doctor Jackson. That way we don't overload the cook all at once like we did tonight," John told him. "General O'Neill agreed."
"That's fine. Oh, the girls *used to* panty raid and snack raid the agents. If you catch one of them backsliding and trying, call us. Do not try to do more than stop them. They may be tiny young women but they can kick everyone's butt but Dean's." He smiled as he walked off.
"If one of you hurt one of the slayers, you'll deal with Harris," John told them. A few shuddered. "Exactly because he's stressed out right now. The gym is next door for those who don't know. The armory is on the end of the hall. The arms master's name is Jack. He's pretty decent and a former covert agent. He's seen it all. Any other questions?" They all shook their heads. "Then finish up so the slayers can sneak in to finish the cake. They will inhale any sweets they can find. Fair warning because they can pout me out of my candy bars now and then."
He got down. "Hit your bunks, do PT, or go hang out in the testing area. Lights out is at ten." They finished up and put their plates in the machine, heading off to do as ordered. John made the sign up sheet to put on the door. Then he went to check on Tiff. She was with the girls watching tv. He leaned over her head, smiling down at her. "We're relaxing tonight. You can join them for PT or us tomorrow," he said quietly. "We'll have shore leave as needed."
She nodded. "I can do that."
"All slayers on base, even those assigned other places, do PT with Dean in the mornings," Mary told him simply. "Dean and Xander said so."
"That's fine. If she wants to, that's good. There's also jogging trails, Tiff. I'm in Abby's apartment in their spare room if you need me. She moved over to one of the new buildings."
"I can do that."
"Good. Let me know." He patted her on the head then went over there to relax. They'd handle it well enough until they could get home to Atlantis or back to their regular base. It wasn't a bad compromise.
Dean tracked down the other slayers. "Carter, Tiff, PT, now." They both gave him dirty looks. "Yay. Slayers on base do PT with the rest. Now." They headed out to do that, stretching on the way. "Thank you. Fight training and keeping up skills is this afternoon since it's Saturday. Sword and other bladed weapons work is tomorrow." They both nodded, groaning a bit. Dean got them into a spot in formation then went back to it. "Slacking means I get to tell Sammy," he said when the girls started to whine. "I'll make him assign another paper and pout at you guys. With Xander." They sped up. Sometimes the girls just needed the right motivation.
Wesley came back from his hiring trip happy and content. He had someone he trusted. "Xander, the names Abby gave us were most competent. I've hired the one that was free. The other couldn't come help for another six months due to an open project. She'll be here next week to learn all the paperwork we do so you can hand half of it over. Also, I've talked with the other watchers. Seven of my initial ten are showing up at the same time to make sure they're not inferior morons. John will be back once the manager is out there. Buffy was introduced to her and she was almost a slayer called past her prime but she turned it down." Xander beamed and hugged him. "So we'll be fine."
"Excellent work, Wesley. On the computer front, McGee was able to crack the old website. He's talked to the server admins for us. They out-sourced it." Wesley shrugged a bit at that. "So we have a full server with full email, storage, and other capabilities. He's talked to Thomas about the book stuff so he can put it on there. McGee talked with Sam, who talked with some of the other hunters he trusts, and said they can have a lesser access password to get into the research portions."
"That is good news. How much is it costing us?"
"A lot less than buying our own. We've got the equivalent of LiveJournal's capabilities at the moment."
"I've never been there."
"It's basically a lot like making an online journal. We can host terrabytes of info. They agreed to upgrade us so we should not run out of space for the next sixty years."
"Even better. So we're set?"
"We are set. We hired an on-site tech person through McGee to monitor that for us and to make sure the passwords and things aren't hacked. McGee talked with Sam, who talked with a hunter who used computers. He recommended, McGee vetted his skills, and I hired."
"Wonderful." He smiled. "Now all we need to do is to wait on the next election to see if we're moving everyone back."
"The president told me he's going to talk to his successor to make sure Daniel keeps his job. That'll give us a few years to be fully up and able to start over out there on the ground running."
"I can handle that timetable." He patted him on the back. "Good work, Xander. You deserve a day off."
"I can't. I have a minor weapons case on my desk plus two training exercises for Dean if he ever comes in from the yard."
"That's fine." He went to find him. "Dean, Xander has two cases for you."
"I heard. We're finishing up military PT." He came in to get them, finding Xander going over his own case. "I hear you're getting a secretary," he taunted with an evil smirk.
"Assistant who can run things," Xander told him with a happy smile. "She used to help run an agency. We're a lot less complicated."
"Hey, that's good news. Dad can come home."
"Next week. We introduced her to John," Wesley said from the hallway. "He said she was competent and still nice. Buffy liked her too."
"Even better news. So, we'll hit the town tonight, Xander?"
Xander shrugged. "Weapons case."
"Eeeh. We'll try then." He went to get those off his desk, finding Tony leaning down to look at something on it. "Xander has two cases for the girls?"
"One. I'm not sure about the others."
"He said he had two and a weapons case."
"He's got five on here."
Dean called Xander. "You have five cases." He hung up, looking. "This one looks like ours."
Xander came in to look, pointing at another folder. "That one was Ryan's earlier. I was helping him with it." Dean nodded, taking his two with him. Xander looked over Ryan's case, putting down what he knew it was. "Ryan, it's Spike."
"Why me?" he muttered.
"Because he thinks you'd make a good childe. You're a bit sneaky, you can menace and if you have to fight. Be impressed. He asked for you specifically to come taunt him." He grinned before tossing it back. "There you go." He looked at the other file he shouldn't have. "Eric, they did get the demon with the big hunting cat." He made a short report then tossed it at him.
Tony grinned. "Good delegation skills, Xander."
"I do try now and then," he quipped. He smirked. "Wesley hired me an assistant to take on all the watchery paperwork."
"Good. Take the night off," Tony told him.
Mac came over to look then took it to walk off. "I can do it since it's Chicago. My team made a good impression on the locals."
"Fine. Any other work I have?" he asked.
"Not unless you want my research case," Calleigh offered. "I have no idea what it is and neither does Thomas."
He came over to look, smirking and crossing out something. "If you remove the drunk guy's explanation or look at what he was trying to say, then you get a very nasty looking poltergeist."
"Huh. We hadn't thought about that." She looked it over. "Even with his statement it looks like a poltergeist but the officer's report clashes." She pointed at that bit of information.
"Calleigh, at the bottom it said his boss tested him and he blew a point-one-one."
"Huh?" He pointed. "So another drunk guy. Okay. Was he drinking before or afterward?"
"Doesn't matter. Drunks often can't find what they really want to say. This was clearly transcribed and edited since there's no slurring on either statement. Want me to go on it?"
"If you want."
He grinned, taking it to call them. "Hi, this is DCIS Agent Harris. No, it's nothing that bad." Sometimes he was really amused by that reaction. "My desk was free so I took it from Agent Duquesne. Is that officer sober now? Can we get a new account from him that isn't edited and in drunk speech?" He smiled. "That's what I was figuring. Please do. Thank you, Sergeant Wilkes." He hung up and went to wait by the fax machine. Daniel gave him a look. "Sober statement on Calleigh's case."
"You don't have enough of your own?" he asked.
"Mac took my weapons case. Dean got two new training ones."
"Huh. So we're in the summer slowdown?"
Xander shrugged. "We'll have something happen soon I'm sure." A fax started so he grabbed his sheet, going back to the desk. Yeah, it was a poltergeist playing pranks. He could handle that. He called him back to see if they wanted him to handle it or to handle it on their own. They wanted him to come deal with it so he headed out. "Going upstate," he called as he walked past Daniel's door. "Should be back for dinner."
"That's fine. Take one of our cars, Xander," he called after him.
"Sure thing, boss." He grabbed some keys from the security office. "Heading upstate to deal with a poltergeist." He headed out, going to grab the usual gear. It was kept in the armory too. He got his service piece back too, already reloaded, cleaned, and with two spare clips. "Thanks, Jack." He grinned. "I could have cleaned it."
"The military guys didn't need my help with theirs. You haven't brought me anything recently."
"I probably won't be today either. I'm going to deal with a poltergeist upstate."
"Can I come?" Sam Winchester called.
"If you want." He grinned at Jack. "Give him my spare gun. He's well trained for that." He bopped him on the arm. "Mac took my weapons case so he might have something for you. Or hey, I've got to go investigate a few new demon-operated pawn shops that got opened by some dealer clan outcasts. They might have weapons."
"That could be nice. This is the easiest job I've ever had."
Xander snickered. "You can come on cases if you want."
"No thanks. I'd have to join your team because you do outrageous and impossible shit."
"Good point." Sam Winchester came in with a backpack on. "Poltergeist."
"I heard." He got Xander's spare gun and another set of gear to help dig up the body if they had to. "Okay, let's go." He grinned at Jack. "The girls aren't making more work for me."
"Maybe all the military guys means that we'll get some new agents," Xander offered as they walked. "There's got to be a few on military bases."
"That's a good point. You should mention it to Daniel."
Xander called him. "It's me and Sam. We had an idea. Aren't there demons on military bases and things? Should we maybe be training MP's for that?" He grinned. "I'm sure it would but it'd be another layer of training in case. With the guys we have we can train them in this stuff too so they know in case they run into it. Your old project would be the place to do that since you guys handle the impossible things like I do." He laughed. "Thanks, Daniel." He hung up. "He agreed, it's not a bad idea." Sam smiled. "Which means more work for you two."
"It happens." They got into the SUV and Xander started it, buckling up. Sam did the same. Xander turned on the radio to a thumping rock station and they backed out, heading off.
"You can tell when it's the younger agents," one of the guards said once they were gone. He had the new guy to train. "They have the music on. The older guys don't. Winchester and Harris can both thump the road with theirs."
"That was Harris? He looked so normal."
"That was Harris and the younger Winchester. Which means the girls may pout later on when they come looking for one of them."
"I'll keep that in mind." He went over the gate protocol sheet again. "What about the military guys?"
"Log them out the same way while they're here. They're technically long-term visitors at the moment. Put a rank if you can." That got a nod. "Good." He showed him the book. "These are things that you call up to the main office if they show up. Not all are bad, not all are good, but if they show up, we call immediately."
He flipped through it. "Furry mice demons?"
"Something like that. They were very nice and very polite. They came looking for some help for their people. They were having a small drought and sickness. Rode motorcycles."
"Interesting." He kept going. "Car." They put down the bar, smiling when the car pulled up. "Another agency?" he guessed.
The guard walked out. "Agent Reid, nice to have you back. Visiting or case, sir?"
"Case. I'm here to talk to Rosenburg for Caine."
"That's fine, sir. Park in the usual spot and head in. Harris and Sam Winchester just left on a case upstate but they said they'll be back by tonight."
"Thanks," he said with a grin. "Have a good day." The bar was raised and he drove in to park in his usual lot. He gathered his bag, heading inside. "Horatio." He shook his hand.
"Spenser, thank you. The judge wanted an evaluation and I don't think the local base psychologist can help too much with her. We have no idea why she turned so dark or even how she got out of the crystal they had her in."
"There's a few things specific to Sunnydale that you might not have heard about," he admitted. "Including that she went magic addiction back then." Horatio shuddered. "She actually tried to end the world when she lost her girlfriend Tara. Xander ended up stopping her and they sent her to Devon, England to work with a coven there. We can see if this is a continuation or not though. It's not a problem."
"Thank you." He led him down to the jail. "This is our profiler, Spenser Reid. He's FBI."
"Agent Reid, we will need you to leave your sidearm and take something safer," the head guard said. He locked it in a box for him and handed him something else. "That squeezes here," he said with a point. "It shoots a light energy beam out this end. No one in the prison can use one once they've been in overnight. Test it please?" Spenser tested it on an already burned chair. "Good. Rosenburg is in the magically null section, B-3." He pointed at the chart. "She's here. Ignore this whole section, they've been acting up all day." That got a nod and he let him inside with Horatio. "Good luck."
"She's no worse than some I've seen," he assured him calmly. They walked into the jail. "I've been in a number of jails over the years. This one is very nice. Very clean too."
"We do try to be good to our prisoners," Horatio agreed. "Chase handles their injuries and all that when they happen." The prisoners started to hoot and call. "He's an agent," Horatio yelled. "Pipe down."
"It's normal," he assured him. He stopped at one yelling vulgar comments. "Do you have Turret's?" The demon glared. He smirked. "You yell like you do."
"I'd never be weak enough to have a human illness," he sneered.
"Then quit acting like it." The demon pouted. "I'm sure you'll regain honor when you quit acting like a human." The demon nodded, settling in to read again. They walked on and Spenser saw the smile. "I'm a psychologist, what can I say." They went through the door that had magically-null stamped on it in warning and he grimaced. "This whole area feels dead."
"That's the dampening field," Horatio told him. He led him back to Willow's cell, letting him pull a chair over. "Willow, this is Spenser Reid. The judge wanted him to talk to you before he made his decision."
"You're a shrink?" she asked, looking him over.
"No, I'm a profiler." She stared. He stared back. He casually sat down. "I've done most of the agent profiles, including Xander's, over the last few years."
"You're here to see if I'm going to go bad?" she snorted.
"No, I'm here to see if there's a chance of redeeming you," he corrected. She glared. "You've already went bad a few times, Willow. I'm here to see if you should be given another chance." He crossed his legs. "Now, let's talk. I can assure you that I'm not going to gratuitously spread around anything we talk about. I'll have to make a report to a judge but I won't be writing a paper or anything from this. If I do end up doing something like that I would come to you first. I do believe in not telling everything unless necessary. Agreed?"
"That's a better 'lying only makes therapy last longer' speech than my mother used to give."
"I heard your parents were on the lecture circuit. Thank you, Horatio." Horatio nodded and left them alone. "There, better?"
"Much. He's icy and unnerving."
"Yet, Faith and the other slayers think he'd make a good watcher."
"They do?" He nodded. "That's just strange."
"He's got a kind soul for the victims, but he's had to get that icy exterior dealing with the bad things he saw as an officer and bomb squad."
"I didn't know that." She settled in on her bunk. "How far back are we going?"
"I can start in your childhood if you want to talk, Willow. I have no problem talking about whatever you want to talk about. The more I learn about you the more accurate my profile of you and your future will be."
She nodded. "I guess. I have no idea how this stuff works."
He smiled. "It's like therapy only I'm the one finding facts instead of you."
She shrugged. "Both my parents were shrinks who knew the books but not people."
He nodded. "Some of us can be that way."
Jack looked worried when Xander hadn't shown up for dinner, going to find Daniel. "Xander and Sam aren't back yet."
He checked his watch. "Xander usually calls if he's stranded so I'm guessing the poltergeist hunt took longer than he expected." He looked up at him. "This is Xander, he'll be fine. I'm sure he will. We can call if you're that worried."
"I tried, his phone said it was dead."
"He's compulsively forgot to charge his phone for the last few months. Here, Sam Winchester's number," he said, handing it over. "Try his."
"I did, it's dead too."
"Could the EMF pulse of the poltergeist be doing it?"
"No clue. That's not my field."
"Ask Dean. If Sam's in trouble Dean would know. Plus he gets feelings off Xander now and then thanks to their bond."
"I didn't think about that." He handed back the number and left to find Dean. He found him getting the slayers to dinner. "Hey." He pulled him off to the side. "They haven't come back yet," he said quietly.
He searched for the bond. "Xander's really calm. Sam's not so calm but he can panic during a hunt if something's not going according to plan. Did you try calling?"
"Both phones are dead."
"Sometimes a poltergeist will knock them out," he admitted. "Usually they'll zap the hunter and get it from their pocket."
"That's good to know. Should I worry?"
"Nah. Sammy's experienced in poltergeists and we taught Xander how to handle any spirit manifestation since we did so many of them."
"Good. Then I'll quit worrying."
"Is your bad shit radar going off?"
"I'm ...uneasy but nothing like we're about to be attacked feelings."
"Good. Let me know if that changes so I can get the girls." He walked into the caf, watching the girls pout. "They're eating after us. You guys can talk to the military guys later. Eat." They dug in, eating like usual. He looked at Anna, then at Brenda. "Sammy's going to be back late tonight with Xander."
"We can hold off our movie time until tomorrow night," Anna said. "Are they okay?"
"Not too bad then. Even Xander can't make a poltergeist into a major case," Brenda said.
"True. People are just uneasy because of that last base assault."
"They're gone," Brenda said. She saw someone she didn't know walking in. "Who's he?"
Dean looked then back at her. "That's Spenser Reid, the profiler for the agency. He usually works out of DC but he's in to talk to Rosenburg."
"I wish him luck dealing with the evil things," Anna said.
"He deals with them all the time, just normal evil things." Dean nudged her elbow. "Manners and eat more. You're growing. You too, Brenda. She's growing."
She smiled, adding more to both their plates and his. "There, now we can all eat." She looked at her stomach then at him. "So far it's not too bad."
"You're only four months along. It'll get worse in your third trimester," he reminded her gently.
"I know but I get to enjoy it now." She leaned closer. "Dean, the books said something about the second trimester and *needs*," she hissed.
He stared for a minute then grinned. "If you gotta scratch that itch, you gotta," he told her. "I'm sure Dad remembers Mom's pretty well. He won't say anything."
"How do I start that conversation? The baby's needy, do you feel like playing?"
He shrugged. "That I do not know. I've never had to pick up anyone while pregnant." She giggled, swatting him. "Ask House. He might know someone."
"I can do that. I might blush myself to death...."
"He's probably heard it asked before. Just be gentle," he warned.
"Yes, Dean." He smirked. "Thanks."
"Welcome. Eat more, you'll definitely need it for energy even if you do go raid Xander's closet."
"That's a bad, naughty idea," she chided. "I'm too good of a good girl for Anya's toy chest." She dug in anyway. The baby was hungry. She walked down to the infirmary once she was done, taking the antacid Chase handed her. "Chase, is House around?"
"He's at his place. He took tonight off since we have more help. Are you having problems?"
She blushed. "Second trimester stuff. I have no idea how to handle that issue."
"Gently and remember to use condoms," he instructed. "No hormonal methods like a vaginal ring, and be sure to check if you're using spermicide foam too."
She nodded. "How do you pick up someone for that purpose?"
"That I don't know. I've never had to do it."
"Dean said the same thing."
He smirked. "I doubt House has but he might know of someone to hit on. Go talk to him. His piano can wait." She nodded, walking that way. He made a quick note in her chart about that topic of discussion, just in case House needed to know sometime.
Brenda knocked on House's door, getting him a few minutes later. "How do I pick up someone to take care of the second trimester urges?" she asked. "Dean and Chase didn't know."
House stared at her, then burst out giggling. "I don't think I could help you personally but I can take you to the local club and drop you off," he offered.
She grimaced. "That seems cheaper than Dean picking up waitresses. John would mind."
"Probably. He seems uptight that way." He let her inside. "You can't just go pick up a boy and not mention the baby?"
"I'd have to mention her and that would send them running."
"Maybe," he agreed. "There's all those military guys."
"They're staying away from us."
He called upstairs. "Abby, it's House. Brenda's in that second trimester spot. Yes, that one. Know anyone?" He listened. "That's not a bad idea. Thanks." He hung up. "She does know someone who's sweet and needy at the moment. She'll talk to them." The girl nearly wiggled on his couch. "First, go take a good bath, young lady. Use a condom. Be gentle, no tying you down in strange positions."
"Yes, House." She kissed him on the cheek before leaving. She may be a deadly thing and a slayer but she was feeling mushy at the moment. Damn hormones. Abby called her over an hour later, letting her pick a pretty dress to wear. Abby introduced her to one of the military guys, who was happy to meet her. He was divorced and had a wife who had two that he wasn't allowed to see anymore thanks to the wife's new religious zeal. He understood this urge very well. Brenda blushed but he was gentle with her and they could find somewhere unused for the night.
Spenser looked at Daniel. "Where am I bunking tonight?"
"We cleared out Xander's spare room if you want it."
"I can do that. Thanks."
He grimaced. "Not totally. I think she's warped it into thinking that it's good that she's doing these things. She's convinced herself that it's good of her. But I'm still digging. She's got some shields up and I'm not sure if she's covering up deeper problems."
"Let us know when you're done."
"I can do that. Will Xander mind?"
"He's upstate dealing with a poltergeist."
"Oh. Okay then. I'll be tidy and things."
"I don't think he'd care, Spenser. He's not Ryan."
"Good point, though his OCD is getting better." He grinned before walking out. Some coffee and he retired to Xander's apartment. Dean picked the lock for him when he ran into him in the hallway. "Thanks."
"Welcome. Taking Xander's pull-out?"
"It has to be comfier than some motel beds we've slept in over the years."
"Yeah, I guess it probably is. I've stayed in some really lumpy places."
"I'm sure you have. You should have kept notes to pass on to other hunters about them and restaurants."
"I might let Sammy do that," he said with a smirk. "The sheets were changed since the military chick was in there and before then when he used to get Anya in there to keep me up." He went back to his own place, settling in for the night in front of his game system.
Spenser walked in and closed the door, looking around. Xander hadn't really decorated very much. A few books, some pictures. Nothing more than that. He walked around the apartment. Nothing there was too personal. Nothing that could positively ID the person living there. Which meant to him that it looked like a temporary apartment. Maybe he'd talk to Xander about that the next day when he finally got back. He did find one interesting picture in the guy's bedroom. Him and another young guy. They were the same age. Looked very friendly. They were all but cuddled together. Young teenage years. "That must be him," he said quietly, putting it back in the exact same spot. Not that Xander wouldn't realize he had snooped but it was unkind to move it on him.
He took a shower and then went to make up the pullout bed. Xander had spare sheets since the bed was bare. The nice military person who had slept on it had been kind enough to remove the old ones for him. That was kind of her. He laid down to read for a bit. Then he decided to call the team. "Guys, I'm still okay," he said in greeting. "It went well talking to Rosenburg." He listened. "No, George didn't get me with his poisoned spines, Morgan. He was following Abby around for more plant food. I did get to see some of the military guys here on base playing unicorn soccer though." He grinned.
"Their base had a problem so they sent them here for safety reasons. They're mostly in the temporary housing building and the other remaining old buildings. Xander's pull-out. No, it's pretty comfy. He's off on a case. I'm fine, I promise. There's not going to be a base assault tonight or anything. Calm down about it. Really." He grinned. "Reading in bed. I thought I'd check in before someone panicked. Sure, have a better night." He hung up and went back to his book. He'd definitely talk to Xander when he got back to thank him for lending the pull-out.
Xander finally drove back onto base, parking in front of the armory. Jack came out so Xander turned off the engine, getting out. Sam got out the other side, heading straight to the infirmary since his arm was in a sling. "So, how bored are you?" he asked with a smug look.
Jack had seen that look before. "How did you turn a poltergeist into a real case? Not even I'm that bad, Xander."
"The town we were in was up next to the border. Sam pointed out a clan of demons that were refueling after crossing in an obviously charmed truck." He closed the truck door. "But anyway, you have stuff in the trunk for your cataloging pleasure and then there's another truck coming tonight from Border Patrol." He walked off, heading into the building and up to the boss's office. He tossed Fargo a USB key. "Here, the report in pre-proof read format. Don't choke."
"That bad?" he asked. "Why are you banged up from a poltergeist, Xander?"
Xander grinned. "It wasn't him. Though it did try to beat me a few times." He walked past Daniel's office. "We busted the smuggling ring that was using compulsion spells on Border Patrol and confiscated their drugs, weapons, and people," he called as he walked past Daniel's door. "Fargo has the report."
Daniel moaned, thumping his head on the desk. "Why me?" he muttered.
Horatio stared at him. "Tough poltergeist?" he guessed. He had some bruises and a ripped t-shirt on.
"Drug, gun, and people running demons. They even compulsed Border Patrol, a whole shack so whoever was working would see their trucks as fuel efficient compact cars that only had two people. Even if it was a small semi." He grinned. "Thank you, Calleigh. Jack needed more work. He said he was bored." He walked off, going to find Dean in his office with Anna. "Sam's fine."
"The poltergeist bang you guys around?"
"Yes, and so did the smuggling demons." Dean groaned. "He dislocated his shoulder but I put it back in for him."
"That's nice of you," he said, glaring at the door since Xander had moved on. "Let me check on Sammy." Anna gave him a hug. "Then we'll go over your next year's school schedule."
"Yes, Dean. I hope he's okay. Xander comes back banged up from his cases all the time."
"I'm sure he does." He went to check on Sammy, jogging into the infirmary. "How badly was he beaten so I can go kick Xander's ass?"
"I was removing the compulsion from the Border Patrol shack when another type that was guarding them tried to attack," Sam told him. "I told him what I was doing once Xander had him cuffed and begging for mercy. He didn't realize it so he let me."
Dean stared for a moment. That was strange even for them or Xander. "What did you two find?" he demanded.
Daniel walked in. "Sam, since apparently this joint vacation problem you guys had was just you and Xander, I'll let Xander take Dean on vacation next time instead of both of you. That way he has someone who can watch his back again." House burst out cackling. "Where's the rest of the stuff he confiscated?"
"Coming later in a truck. It should be here about dinner."
"I'll let Jack know. Are you all right?"
"Just dislocated. I'll be fine, Danny."
"Good." He grabbed something for his headache, walking off drinking it on the way up to get that report from Fargo. Fargo had already worked it over and was printing it out. He sighed when he saw the thickness. "Do I want to know?"
"I'd expect Border Patrol to call to make sure they weren't doing it to other outpost shacks."
Daniel moaned, taking it once it was stapled together. "Thanks, Fargo." He went to read it in the squad room, making Horatio moan. "Who gave him the poltergeist?" She raised her hand. "Thank you for making Xander unbored."
"He said Jack was bored," Calleigh offered.
Daniel held up the report to show how thick it was. They all groaned. "No, Xander was bored." He went back to reading. It was an amusing read. "He didn't mention the group of military demons," he muttered a minute later. "But apparently they were pleasant about having their things searched." He kept reading because he knew it'd get worse. "Oh, they came back to help when Xander put out a call for it. It's good he called for backup this time." He turned the page and found out why. "That's going... Calleigh, Horatio, Mac, Jack might need some help cataloging the confiscated stuff that's coming later tonight."
"Is it going to be better or worse than the portals we got from LA that time?" Calleigh asked.
He looked up. "He doesn't mention any portals." She moaned. "But it's going to be bigger than an SUV of confiscated stuff."
"We can help," Mac promised. Horatio nodded. He looked at Calleigh. "Did you think he was bored?"
"He did that all by himself. I only gave him the poltergeist case," she defended. "Only Xander can go for a poltergeist and come back with a major smuggling ring."
"And enchanted Border Patrol agents," Daniel told her. She whined. He nodded. "They were charming their checking stations instead of each agent. They probably will be calling later, just like he said. Someone go answer my phone, Tony."
"Gee, thanks, don't you have Fargo for that?" he joked.
"They'll ask for you anyway," Daniel said with a smug look. "They remember you from working with Gibbs.
"Gibbs would've smacked one of us if we had accidentally found a smuggling ring," Tony complained. But he did go wait in the office for the call they'd be getting.
Jack walked out of the armory when the gate guards called to warn him the truck was there. What he saw amused the hell out of him. It was an escorted, light semi. One of the smaller ones, only eight or so feet long. He called Daniel. "He said truck, right?" He nodded once. "Just came through the gate." He pointed. "Park it there," he ordered. "That way we don't have to carry as far."
Daniel walked out, staring at the truck. "Xander! You should've warned us!" he shouted.
Jack looked at him. "He said a truck. It is technically a truck."
"Not cute of him," Daniel countered. He saw the man getting out of the back of the escort vehicle. That explained why no one had called. "Director Simmons. I'm Daniel Jackson."
"Director Jackson," he said, shaking his hand. "Thank your man for me. We had no idea they could do this stuff." He looked at the truck as their armory person unsealed it. "I know it's a lot of work but we found a few other shipments today."
"So most of that wasn't Xander's find?" he asked dryly.
"No, most of it is. We found a few kilos of drugs in another one. And in one case we found a witch sneaking her familiar back through. We let that one go since she's native and we have no idea how to handle it."
"This is a strange situation," he agreed. "I had no idea this was going on."
"Can we talk to your people about finding out how it was done and putting preventative measures in place?"
"We don't have many magically gifted people but I can get Wesley Wyndham-Pryce down to talk to you about it. He's third in command of the Slayers Council." That got a smirk and a nod. "The one earlier was Agent Harris and Sam Winchester, who's part of the training team for the slayers."
"That was Harris? He seemed so normal."
"He is until we're attacked," he assured him with a smile. They seemed to hear that a lot when Xander wasn't doing something typical for his cases. The other director nodded back. "But yes, we can gladly help you find out how it was done, see if Wesley can find some way to prevent it from happening again, and then track down any shipment lines we have here in the US. Plus help you set in any policies you may need and let you borrow space in our jail if you arrest demons for smuggling."
"That's what I like to have happen," he agreed. "Can we do that tonight?"
"We can but I'm afraid we don't have any temporary housing open at the moment if you need to stay overnight. One of our associated projects had a base-wide sickness start so we had to evacuate them. They're using most of our temporary spaces."
"I can understand that. There was a nice motel in town."
"Good. Jack, let me get Horatio and them so they can help."
"Can you spank Xander?" he asked. "Please?"
Daniel looked at him. "It doesn't compare to his vacation where he won a realm by being a geek, Jack. Really."
"Never mind. I'll sic the girls on him later." He looked in the truck. "How are we storing this?"
"There until we can arrange for a weapons destruction run for most of it," Daniel told him. "Drugs too. We can lock and guard the trailer."
The other director nodded. "You can keep it for however long you want it, sir." He followed Daniel inside. "This is a nice headquarters."
"They did a good job when they rehabed us," he agreed. He leaned into security. "This is the head of the Border Patrol."
"His pass should work to any but executive areas, sir," the head guard told him. That got a nod and they went up to the office, with a stop for dinner on the way.
Calleigh came out with a thermos of coffee, a basket for dinner, and a package of pens. Mac and Horatio had log-in forms and clipboards. "Oh, dear," she said, looking into the back of the truck. She sighed. "At least it's not packed full. It won't take as long as the portals from LA did."
Horatio looked then at her. "Maybe. I'll take drugs, Mac you three take the weapons since there's more?" They nodded, settling in to bring in the first few locked boxes of evidence. "Shouldn't Xander be helping?"
"Xander isn't fully qualified to log in guns. The same as Dean isn't even if he knows what most of them are," Calleigh said. "Our judge said so."
"Crap," he muttered.
Danny Messer leaned in. "Need help?"
"Yes, you and Stella, Ryan and Eric get the next shift so we're not doing this all night," Mac ordered.
"Sure, we can do that." He looked in the truck then at them. "We love it when Xander stumbles over problems." He left to tell the others they'd have a late shift tonight. "Guys?" They all looked at him. "Me, Stella, Eric, and Ryan got second shift of logging in and notating the bust from Border Patrol."
"How bad?" Speed asked. "And why not me?"
"You can run drug samples if you want."
"I can do that. How bad?" He pointed. Speed looked outside then laughed. "It's a semi," he said, sounding hysterical. "Only Xander." He walked off shaking his head. "I'll run samples," he called into the armory.
"Please do," Horatio agreed, holding up two. "Here you go. The first of many." Speed took them to the lab to work on. He found Sheppard watching Abby and McKay argue about something forensics. "Hey," he said, interrupting it. "That semi of stuff Border Patrol confiscated is here. I've got to run drug samples. Do we have the secure storage area cleaned out?"
"That many?" she asked. He pointed outside. She looked and moaned. "Poor Xander. He's never going to hear the end of this."
"Not from us," Speed agreed. "H is logging in drugs. They've planned for a second shift. Mac, Calleigh, and Jack are doing weapons."
"No Dean? He'll pout if he can't play with them."
"The judge said that they're qualified but not experts in the field of weapons, even if they can use everything there. So no."
"Hell. Here, use my system to do the drugs, Speed. We can go help." She led the way down to the armory. "Anything else for my people beyond drug samples?"
"There's some blood on this gun," Jack offered. She came over to swab it for him, taking it up to run it. "Thanks, Abby."
"Welcome. Remember to eat dinner."
He looked at her back. "You're on a mothering kick?" he guessed.
She shrugged, grinning back at him. "No idea." She went up to look at the blood sample.
Calleigh leaned over to show him how to do that and how to notate the box of the swab. "This is how you do that," she said quietly. He nodded, getting it. "Have fun and ask if you find more samples of odd things."
"I have slime in this one's cartridge," Mac told her. She handed him a swab. "Let's hope we can find the pipelines."
"It might lead back to some human arms dealers," Calleigh agreed.
"I'm hoping the Canadians aren't too overloaded helping," Horatio told them. "They just barely got their new enhanced jail set up."
"I'm betting they've got people in it now," Calleigh quipped with a grin.
Stella walked in and looked in the truck then at them. "Damn."
"Very. Xander and Sam Winchester went up to handle a poltergeist and caught one of them gassing up a hidden truck."
Stella moaned. "That's so bad." She walked off shaking her head. "We'll be down at midnight. Remember to eat something during your breaks, guys."
"Maybe someone laid a nagging spell on the building," Jack mused.
"It's entirely possible," Mac agreed. "Abby was fussing at Xander night-before-last from what I heard."
Jack O'Neill and John Sheppard walked in and stared inside the truck. "I have a bored arms master from their project," Jack offered.
"That'd help," Bauer agreed. He smirked. "Xander was bored."
"Clearly he needs a new girlfriend or something else to take his time and attention." John snickered, shaking his head. "It could help."
"The girls still want him to rope, tie up, and claim an agent," John reminded him. "He told one the other night it wasn't going to happen since none had hit on him."
"I'll suggest that." He went to talk to Tony about finding Xander someone reasonable to date. "DiNozzo?" He looked up from his typing. "Can't you find someone good for Xander to date? That way he's not bored anymore?"
"I don't think I can find any good, evil people," he admitted. "Only the bad girls are attracted to him. As for agents.... if they wanted, they probably would've hit on him before this. I have no idea why no one has." He shrugged. "Hope springs eternal but we have no clue who he's going to finally end up with."
"I can keep trying," he promised. "Gibbs too."
"Thanks." He walked off to talk to Daniel about if he needed help from his bored people. They were just sitting around.
Two days later, Xander walked into a demon marketplace, looking around. He whistled sharply, getting attention from everyone. Those that didn't hear got nudged to pay attention. "DCIS has heard that there are demons smuggling things into the US from Canada and Mexico," he announced. "We do not like it. Border Patrol has asked us to look into this matter. This is *my* case. My team's case," he said. A few shuddered. "If you should know anything, I would appreciate hearing about it now, before I have to do something like we did in LA last year. The more who nark, the less I have to hunt, people.
"I respect most of you too much to want to track them past the innocent members of their clans and families. So please spare Calleigh's temper and let us know if you hear anything. Also, this is a raid!" he shouted. More agents filed in. "The second row over there, guys. Those are all the weapons areas. The illegal fruit smuggling is on this side. Watch out for the orange looking things that're shaped like footballs. They make humans sick." He followed to the weapons areas, smirking at one. "Good morning!" he shouted. The demons tried to flee but were captured. "Idiot. Just turn them over and we can make a deal. Running adds charges if we find you've got something to hide."
The demon gave him a pitiful look. "It makes us money, Agent Harris."
"I know that. It makes you good money but some of you guys sell them to human bad guys who do stupid things with it. We can't have that. Our arms master would be very disappointed."
He nodded, looking down. "Turning over the shippers and smugglers would get us off?"
"That's between you and our prosecutors. Horatio's got a live link to him in the truck." They took him that way while they searched. He had a lot of artillery. "Oooh, baby," he cooed, petting one case's contents. "Such a pretty baby. We'll make sure Jack keeps you for our apocalypse vault."
The ATF agent helping gave him the oddest look. "Why do you need something that big?" he demanded.
Xander grinned. "Things sometimes need the bigger bangs. Just look at the last ascension."
He shuddered. "No thanks. You guys are cataloging?"
"You can help. Our arms master might like the help. He's just now finished up what Border Patrol caught."
"Are you guys going to start running continuing education classes on how to identify demons and things?" one of the agents asked.
"Ask Daniel. That's his job. I get cases like this." He grinned. "Just think, I busted this one while pumping gas after going out on a poltergeist call."
They all shuddered. They had heard of him doing the improbable. This proved it.
The president called Daniel, giving him a pointed look. "A request has been put in to have you teach other agencies how to deal with demons. Both bad and good ones."
"We can easily do that, sir. We have most of the demonology lectures on tape."
"That's good. What about a weekend seminar to put it into a better, less lengthy perspective?"
"I might be able to arrange something but it'd probably be more than one weekend."
"We have the shortened manual for identification," Fargo reminded him from the doorway. "Jack's in my office swearing," he said.
"Why? And which one?" He pointed downstairs. "Why is he swearing? Excuse me for a minute, sir. Fargo?"
"They busted a lot of stuff closing off the pipeline that Xander found while pumping gas. ATF has said they don't want to deal with it. We have enough weapons coming to need a bunker, Daniel."
"They cited a number at least three times worse than what they already gave us from that one market. That's not counting the individual suppliers and things."
"I'll call LA's ATF office to see if they can take some of it to catalog and things."
"I tried. They said they will not deal with demons. Should I call Agent Epps?"
"Yes. Let him handle that. I know Xander called his team in to participate. Let him handle anything from his area of the US."
"I can do that. What about the other things?"
"Call our liaisons to have them help. If it's not in a city with a good office we can count on, tell Jack he'll get help from us."
"Yes, sir." He left to do that.
"I didn't know the DCIS motto was 'never a dull moment'," the present quipped.
"I think unofficially it's 'better you than us'," he said with a grin. "Never a dull moment comes in when we haven't had a bad run of cases in a while. Though it was nice that Mac and Don both turned into Xander during their recent busts. Mac had to tackle one trying to get away. Don had a standoff he mouthed his way out of. Stella made them medals saying 'Xander for a day'."
The president laughed. "That's good to know. Did we find a lot?"
"Yes, sir. I'm told by Fargo that the stuff from LA alone is going to be about three semi's full."
"Oh, sh.... How long has this been going on?"
Daniel shrugged. "Years probably. My people are tracking the demons to their human connections for the regular agents to deal with."
"Someone's arrest statistics are going to be going up. How many agents went on the raid in LA?"
"Ten from ATF, half of mine, Don Epps' team out of LA's FBI office and a few backing his team up. They mostly went through the records to find any humans dealing with them. My teams chased down all the demons who were buying and selling from their stores."
"Did the Slayers Council people arrange for someone to check out all the other Border Patrol spots?" Daniel nodded. "Good. How long before that happens?"
"Within the month. There's only six people Wesley knew who could do the work. He's talked to four of them, they're already starting by their areas."
"Even better. Can we train more?"
"You find us more witches and we can find someone to train them. So said Wesley."
"I'll see if we have any. Think you can run that seminar before the holidays? I know you guys get busy in the spring."
"Probably. House was thinking about running one for doctors and nurses around Halloween. We might be able to share materials around the same time. Four days for agents, three days for medical personnel."
"That might work," he decided. "Probably be cheaper to rent out the hotel for the week than two consecutive weekends too." He made note of that. "Let me know when you've finalized arrangements."
"Thank you." He looked up. "How are Jack's people doing?"
"Not bad. A bit bored. The scientists are finished with their reports so they've been helping Abby with her updating forensics project. Some are working on that demonically created portal problem we have that kept throwing things from Atlantis down here. Oh, one of the areas he liked to throw things was Fargo's old post, sir."
"I've heard that. I warned the people over GD and they were not impressed. They gave Fargo back his access?"
"Yes, and he's going through to see what else was logged into their systems from up there."
"Good. Any other major problems?"
"Not yet. We're still wary since we've got that one assault coming this next spring and Xander's on eggshells about the IA board's decision."
"I emailed that to you." He smirked. "They found him quite reasonable for the way he was trained. They did say it was nice the others had added to his old training to make him do things in a more officer and agent-style way. The head of the panel said she's taking time off if Abby and her boyfriend get married."
"I told them they could hold it down here if they wanted."
"Are they planning on children?"
"Yes, but not for decades, sir. We're all a bit scared of what those children will be like."
"Me too," he agreed, smirking some. Someone said something off screen that he didn't hear. "Daniel, I was just informed that your people's busts made the national news. They wanted a quote."
"I'm still trying to hire a press person. Let your press secretary make up whatever she needs, sir. The basic facts are that Agent Harris caught sight of a magically concealed vehicle while gassing up after a case by the Canadian border. He reported it as he should once he had detained the demons in the vehicle. They showed the Border Patrol what had happened. Sam Winchester, who would not want his name mentioned, found the spells on their outpost and removed it, with a small incident in the center because they had a harmless demon protecting them. When he explained it to him, the harmless demon helped him remove it. That led to many more busts that happened over the last two days."
"I can tell her that. Can we have a copy of his initial report in case she has to reference to it?"
"I can have one sent over. Xander had Fargo proof-read it while giving me a warning I'd need tums."
"You and Hammond both said the same thing about the people in your command," he said dryly.
"Sir, DCIS is my payback for making Hammond need tums and advil," he said dryly. The president laughed so hard his face turned red and his Secret Service agents tried to get him calmed down. "Sorry, guys. I'll forward that report in a minute, sir. Feel better soon." He hung up. "Fargo, please send the President a copy of that report for the Press Secretary. The busts have made national news," he called. He got into his email to find that one from the president. He found it and printed it for later at dinner. "Also send him a report on how many things you've found at GD from that portal problem."
"Yes, Daniel. Already done."
"Thank you." He leaned back, smiling when his deputy director walked in. "We might have to make a press statement. You up for it?"
"I've never given speeches or anything, Daniel."
"That's fine. We'll let Tony handle it."
"Why me?" Tony called.
"You're respectable looking, you speak well in front of others, and you tried to run when Calleigh made that wish."
Tony leaned in. "I paid that back and it was a scary wish," he defended.
"If we had someone else...." Daniel started.
"It's Xander's bust. Let him."
"Xander stumbles over words in front of them," Daniel reminded him.
"Then let Epps help him," he said dryly. "I didn't even go on the busts, Danny. Please?"
"Fine. Or find us a press person very quickly."
"I can try." He went to find them someone to talk to the press. Starting with the assistant to a former president's press secretary. She'd know or might be able to do it herself.
Milana Peters stepped up in front of the gathered press, patting down her dark black hair. Her dark skin was flawless and her brown eyes were highlighted to the best effect. Her arm-grip crutches were leaned against the podium. "I am Milana Peters. I am the new press person for DCIS," she announced. They took note of that. "Some people have been asking questions about a long series of raids and busts on the demon community. I have a statement about that or you can ask questions and get most of it anyway. Which would you prefer this time?"
"Questions," one said, standing up. "What started off these raids?"
"Agent Xander Harris was gassing up his official vehicle when he noticed some demons had a magically camouflaged vehicle. He stopped them, contacted Border Patrol since they were next to one and it was suspicious, and had the vehicle searched. Due to that we have since found that they have magically charmed at least ten border entries so they could smuggle things from Mexico and Canada. Someone is removing that at the moment. With the tracking of the pipeline, they have found a lot of suppliers and some other dealers. They have tracked back to other pipelines as well." She was going to love this job. As long as she didn't have to pronounce too many strange demon names.
Daniel stood up at dinner the night Xander got back, smiling at him. "Xander, the Internal Affairs board reached a verdict." The boy froze, staring at him, looking pitiful. "They have decided it is very nice that all of us have extended your training from military style and hunting methods to agent and officer training styles. They have found that even mouthing off had its good point in that situation. They ruled it a good shoot and encouraged you to learn more of the agent styles so you were more smooth when things happened." He handed over the email.
Xander read it and grinned. "Did the senator give up?"
"Horatio and whoever can help you sort out what you're going to wear. It's next week."
"A small panel. Nothing too huge, nothing televised. Please be polite and like you did when you testify. Short and to the point."
"Do I need a lawyer?"
"Not that I know of. We'll be sending you with Fargo. The people who oversee his last project wanted to talk to him," he said when Fargo choked. "I know I don't have to tell you two to behave and to not do anything that would give her more ammunition. Xander, try not to find another case while you're there?"
"Sam pointed them out."
"Which is why Sam and others are helping me since the president and others want us to run a seminar for other agencies. We'll be doing it the week before House does his for the medical people. We'll get the week, they'll take the weekend."
"I'm nowhere near ready for that," House complained.
"This will let us share planning duties. The president wanted them run before the holidays since we get so busy during the spring."
"I still have no idea how to do that beyond calling a hotel and saying 'we want to hold a conference with you these dates, how much'. I haven't even picked a hotel to call yet."
"We can look at the people who do the forensic conventions," Abby offered. "They can give you their checklist and how you handle those things."
"That might help but I'm already way behind."
"You're within a good time to book," Abby corrected. "Usually within six months of the date you pick."
He grimaced. "We're well beyond that for Halloween. It's June."
"So plan it for right before Thanksgiving. That way they get a few extra days of vacation in there," she told him. Daniel shrugged that he could agree to that. "Pick somewhere nice that won't have a ski season at that point or anything like local major festivals."
"Or just book in Vegas," Xander offered. "They do plenty of conventions every year. They might even have people who plan those things."
"They might," Daniel agreed. "Where did you want to hold it, House?"
"Somewhere closer to the east coast than here. Middle of the country maybe."
"Chicago?" Abby suggested.
"A lot of the agents are going to be higher ups from out of DC," Tony pointed out. "The docs will come from all over, including internationally so you'll want a pretty major airport within easy commute distance. If we're going middle of the country, try St. Louis. Little activity, a few sights for the off hours. Major tourist area if they want to do that stuff."
"Or Dallas," Xander offered. "They're a major city, still roughly middle of the US, and have some major airports, plus shopping and touristy stuff to do."
"Dallas's airport is horrible," Tony told him. "St. Louis usually has pretty decent weather. That time of year they'll have a bit of snow but nothing too horrible most years."
"I know someone who used to help set up a comic con if that'd help," Fargo offered.
"That might be the same sort of planning list," Daniel agreed. "We will have to have somewhere that can do secured rooms," he told House. "The docs will appreciate that too probably."
"Is there a list?" House asked.
"Probably somewhere. I can call around to find the people who did the last security seminar." House nodded, relaxing at that. "Then we'll see." He smiled. "If we can handle Xander busting thousands of pieces of weaponry, we can hand le a small seminar."
"Maybe," House added.
"We should be able to. We have plenty of planning support." That got a grimace but a nod. "Just be ready to go over what you've found. Abby, I might want you to run a section on what you've found forensically." She nodded at that. "So we'll do it that way. Then we'll see what happens."
"Fine. If we must."
"The president made it a very strong suggestion," Daniel told him.
"I hate bending to the whim of others. I always feel like I should be holding up a condom and telling them to use it."
Daniel smirked. "Not with him. Some of the others, that's a good idea."
"I'll bring a few with me," Xander said dryly. Daniel shot a glare at him. "Just in case she is that evil, boss." He grinned sweetly and innocently.
"Uh-huh. Don't pick up your next evil woman, Xander. Unless you're going to turn her over to Spenser."
"If she's that evil I will." He got seconds. "I'll need it."
"How many suits do you have?" Horatio asked. Xander shrugged. "No idea?" Xander shook his head. "We might have to make you shop then."
"Oooh, I could use a good bout of shopping," Tony said, considering it.
"Take Xander suit shopping," Horatio ordered. "Get him at least three in case it runs long."
"I can do that tomorrow if the mean boss will let me."
"Go," Daniel agreed patiently. He grinned at Tony. "Don't forget that you said you have no more room for movies."
"I can buy a new shelving unit. I need a new shelving unit." Daniel smiled, shaking his head. "We all have our hobbies. Xander's is getting into trouble and bad girls. Mine's cute girls and movies."
"What happens if you run into a cute, bad girl?" Don Flack teased.
"Then I'll let Xander tell me if she's too evil. If she likes him more than me, we'll alert the local cops to her."
Xander shook his head. "I'm not that bad."
"Bull," a few people said.
Danny Messer looked over. "Don't make us start counting exes, Xander."
"Fine. I'll let Tony drag me to the suit shop. Hopefully this time we won't have any problems at the mall."
"If we do, you'll keep Dean up that night to cure it," Daniel said dryly.
"That's mean to me," Dean complained.
"We'll see," Tony quipped back. "Finish up so we can plan where we're going, Xander."
"Yes, Great Shopping Buddy Tony," he said dryly.
Tony beamed. "I can like that title with you."
To part 42
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