Demon Criminal Investigative Services: Temper, Temper.
Xander looked at the set up they had put into the meeting area, then at the cameras they had in there. "I was told it wasn't going to be televised."
"Those are off," the guard assured him.
Xander nodded. "Which one is mine?"
"The name placard, sir." Xander went to look at it then sat down. "Need anything before we begin?"
"Can't do that but I'll make sure there's a trashcan near by. Oh, and if you need it the floor is washable," he said with a smirk.
"That's handy to know. Water?" Some was gotten for him. The members of the panel walked in. "Thank you," he told the guard, letting him go back to his post. Someone started the camera. "Um, no. I was told this was not going to be televised. I'm not having this talk with cameras on."
"That's not in your control," one told him.
"I can disable them," he offered. "Easily." They glared. He stared back. "I'm not going on national tv. I don't speak to the press and I'll be damned if I'm going to do that here. You wanted me here and I'm here but I'm not going on C-SPAN for anything."
"It's only taping for later reference."
"There's going to be classified materials from cases," Xander pointed out. "Any case that has not been heard by a judge or is ongoing is considered to be classified materials. That is in both ours and the FBI handbook, sir. Which means I can't be my frank, honest self and you'll get frustrated since I heard you wanted to ask about the busts and that's an ongoing case." They were turned off. "Thank you. I have no idea why you wanted to talk to me since you're not over DCIS."
"Agent Harris, we are very concerned about your conduct," the woman in charge said.
Xander stared at her. "Why would you be, Senator Chores? None of my caseload has impacted your area of the world except for making it keep going."
"According to the underground's last census, there's no demons in your area of the state. Why would you be interested in DCIS?"
"Said who?" she demanded. "I know there are. I've seen funny looking people."
"Ma'am, we have a person on base that's slightly green from gold poisoning. Funny colored isn't a clear indication of being partially or fully demonic. Most of them can pass very well for humans or the humans never see them. As for who told me that, they did their own census to see where healers and things needed to be redistributed last year. The whole state of Wyoming only has sixteen demon families and they're all in one area. Which is outside of your campaign area by who appointed you."
"How do you know this?" another one asked.
"I looked up where she was voted from online."
"That's not that hard to find," he agreed. "This census?"
"Was done by the healers and other support mechanisms. It's very accurate. It also has less stupid questions to answer. It's done in a month and then it's not needed for another five years."
"You have access to them?" the chairwoman asked.
"I asked one of the healers I know to let me see it. It's not like it's classified."
"We are here to talk about your conduct while on cases. We are the newly formed investigative panel, young man."
"Ma'am, with all due respect, if Congress had named a new board, everyone would have heard about it. There's no official board. You want to be nosy and ask me questions. You could have come to the base so I didn't have to take time off. That way you could have toured the prison as well to make sure it was up to your standards."
"I don't like what you're insinuating," one of them said. Xander shrugged. "You don't care?"
"Sir, your happiness isn't my concern. I'm not your wife." The senator blushed as he spluttered. He looked at the chairwoman again. "It's not like we're not really close to where you are, Senator. You could have flown over. Driven over. Hell, you could video conference if you wanted."
"I still do not like your attitude. We are worthy of respect."
"As am I and this has proven that you have little respect for those who do the jobs you don't want to." He stared her down until she looked away. "Ask away. I have open cases on my desk."
"If we do not let you go, you may not have a job."
"That's not your decision," Xander pointed out. "That's Doctor Jackson's decision. Since he cleared me of any misconduct related to the base assault, as did the Internal Affairs board, then we should not be having to have this talk. You wanted this talk and I'm here. I'm being as polite as I can be. I don't kiss ass unless I'm dating it. I don't play politics and I think that's what's fundamentally wrong with the system as it stands. I don't suck up to higher ups to get things done. Now, are we done with the stomping for attention?"
"We have called you here to about your misconduct with the assault that happened," Chores said.
Xander shook his head. "No one said there was any misconduct, even when you had them look into it, Senator."
She glared. "I said there was."
"Senator, with all due respect, have you ever been in even a fist fight?" She glared harder. He gave her a pointed look. "I did what I had to do so my base and the prison we guard was protected. As they had weapons showing when they invaded the base, that was their call to bring it to the level of kill or be killed. I did try to talk them down but they did not want to do so."
"Weapon?" one of the senators asked. "The tape I saw showed something round. No weapon I know of is."
Xander looked at the guard. "May I?"
"I really wish you wouldn't, Agent Harris."
Xander grinned. "I won't hit anything important." He pulled one out to hold it up. "This is the weapon they were holding. This is the only one we've twisted so it can work for humans as well as those people with claws and other DNA structures." He fired it at the chair next to him, letting them see the energy whip that came out to burn it. "That is what happens when it hits flesh. Human or demon. I've seen them used on other cases and in one of the training videos I did during a case for future agents they had demons using them on the victims." He tossed it to the senator, who caught it with the papers in front of him. "The red button fires it but only if your body temperature is between ninety-five and ninety-nine degrees. It has to be depressed completely to fire and held for at least a second before it will start firing as a safety precaution."
They looked it over. "This weapon is standard issue among them?" that one asked.
"It's not uncommon but it's not real common either. It's one of many they can use, including human style weapons that have been fixed for however their hands can manipulate."
The ball was passed on. "You saw these in their hands?" Chores demanded with a sneer.
Xander nodded. "Yes, ma'am, I did. I counted at least ten of them in the front ranks of the demons invading the base."
"You say invaded," she said.
"Not like we invited them to show up so they could storm us to take back one of their own kind, Senator."
"What had he been convicted of?"
Xander looked at the folder in front of him. "Trafficking in a human bio-weapon, a major strain of the flu it looks like, for which he got ten years a month and a half before then." He looked up. "The samples were handed to the CDC for testing and destruction. Since he was only carrying it without intent to sell, distribute, or use he was giving a more minor sentence."
"What did the person who told him to courier it get?" she demanded.
He looked that up. "They were found and sentenced in the last series of raids. They took a deal for ninety years." He looked up. "They had more than that and he never talked so we couldn't fully trace it back. We had our eye on another six clans that could have been making it. He comes from one of them."
"Different species?" the senator who caught the weapon asked.
"Four of the same but split apart due to what boiled down to ideological differences. Two other, different species beyond that. One was recently decimated during the first series of raids, they were the major push behind the pipeline. The other was mostly wiped out during a recent uprising in Chicago for power purposes. The local office handled that issue and let us know since they heard we had surveillance on them."
"The other four?"
"Mostly grumbling but a few of the more wild members may act out. Grumbling isn't against the law. Plenty of people do it when you guys give yourselves raises every session. If it were illegal, we'd all be in jail." He closed the folder again. "The members we suspect might be tempted to act out given enough stimulus are under watch and we keep tabs on them through the underground's channels. With my ties back to the dealer clans, who basically operate demon style pawn shops, they'd hear and tell me almost immediately. It's bad for business."
Chores stared him down. "You were trained to kill them, Harris."
"No, I was trained to kill those who were attacking people," he corrected. "Not to kill every demon. I've never had any intention of killing every demon. Almost every vampire because as a species they do attack humans almost all the time. Most demons are peaceful and just want to be left alone, Senator. Why would I harm that and make them defend themselves against me? That's a sure way to die."
"You were trained by the military...." she stared.
He held up a hand. "Whoa. I was not trained by the military. The team I was originally on took down a military unit that was using demons to experiment on. We ended them with prejudice and it has stayed closed. When we found out that they had other victims who had been moved, my agency moved in to stop them immediately without my having to do more than moan in the infirmary since I was that day. My director agrees with me on this. We are the chainlink fence between the bad demons, who try to attack humans, and everyone else, demon and human."
"Most of them are like that," she sneered.
"Only five percent of the species are detrimental to humans," he corrected coolly. "Another fifteen percent of the individuals are harmful due to things in their lives, they think it'll help them, and the usual reasons criminals form. If you add those numbers together, that's basically just about eighteen percent by population outside of vampires. Who have a fluid population and move around the world all the time. With vampires added in that brings it up near the twenty-two percent mark of the total demonic population. Considering about that much of the human population is in jail at any given point in time I don't see much of a difference. Gang thugs are gang thugs if they're human or if they're purple with fins."
Chores snarled. "How dare you," she said. "You know nothing about them."
Xander stared. "Senator, I know a lot more than you think. It's not like we didn't learn these things while we protected Sunnydale. We did do a lot of research then to figure out what was going on and who was doing it. The same as the slayers do not kill every demon, and work with the peaceful ones, because that's how the senior slayers and staff do it. We moved them away from the sort that killed them all."
"You still know nothing about demons."
"I know a lot more than you do. Not like I haven't interacted, lived with, worked with them. Not like the hellmouth didn't have the largest percentage of demons living there to hide in the excess energy. Not like we didn't see them in classes, the stores, on jobs, those things, right?"
"You still have no idea of what you speak."
"I can call clan leaders to back me up if you want," he shot back. "Because you clearly have no fucking clue what you're going on about, lady. Perhaps your species is a bit violent but none of them have attacked humans in over three years. We made a peace treaty with them. Showed them that the Initiative had been ended by my original team. That they weren't coming back. They agreed to stop their attacks."
"I'm not demonic," she said hotly.
"Are you sure? You look like you have some scales around your collar."
"That's flaking from dry skin."
"If you say so," he said, looking relaxed. "If so, then I'm sorry I mistook it." He stared her down. "I know very well of what I speak, Senator. I've lived and worked beside demons for years."
"Demons fear you and your agency coming down on them like Nazi's," she shouted.
"Not true," he said calmly. "If they did, we wouldn't have a whole commune of them that had been forced out of their original towns after the invasion move to the town near us. Since that year we've had over ten thousand demons move into the county. A good six hundred moved into the town. They bought land, they pay taxes, their kids go to school with everyone else's. They're very good neighbors."
"No one minds this?" one of the quiet senators asked.
"No, sir. There was some debate at first. Some people who had seen the invasion and were uneasy about it. Then the demons bought their lands at slightly higher than market value. Their kids were exemplary students in the school. They cause no problems in town. They've brought in a lot of funds and a few speciality stores. Our local sheriff says they cause less trouble than some of the teenagers in town give him. The only ones he has problems with are a few who're now alcoholics because of how their last towns forced them out for being funny looking." He shrugged. "Half of those are demons who need the alcohol for digestion purposes. The others mostly drink at home. Now and then he has a DUI from one and he calls Horatio to come snap at them for him."
"How did they make this commune?"
"The nearest section to us has both above and below ground housing. It looks like a subdivision. They built to local codes and a few beyond because their type needed that extra wall strength. The ones who live underground created their own burrows but kept in mind where the other houses were so nothing would cave in. It's like many other rural demon communities. City ones can be a bit more spread out along a block or so. A few families move in and then their offspring slowly take over the block as they breed. They have their own schools and those things in most urban areas. In rural ones it's more mixed. They don't sort themselves out by types because there's not as many of them. They can build bigger houses to hold the whole family instead of having a two room apartment for too much money and having to spread out that way. Usually there's a healer somewhere near most rural ones but it may be a human who has some healing skills and works with both humans and demons. Those that can appear human go to human schools and the rest are home schooled."
"Basically like a cultural enclave?" he asked.
Xander nodded. "Basically, yes, sir. Especially in cities. New York's the original colony in the US and they're still laid out about like country specific and religion specific groups are up there. They have Chinatown and a group that come from New Delhi. They also have groups that are demonic and spread about the same way. They have the same sort of support systems as well. Mentoring for the younger ones. Enclave rules, which are usually stricter than human laws. Usually there's some sort of mature figure who looks over the group. A clan patriarch or matriarch. In rural areas, there's more a council set up since there's the mixture of species."
"Interesting. We had heard you were punishing demons in New York?"
Xander shook his head. "No, sir. That's not fully true. The demons in question called on me to hear the problem as a hunter and as someone who has a lot of respect among the demon communities. Which I've earned by not being a kill them all sort. What had happened was one of the younger ones had been molested by her father. That had somehow gotten back to SVU up there. I, with the detectives and the clan's matriarch, heard his defense of his acts and her account of what happened. The clan matriarch wanted me to carry out their sentence, which was a death sentence for hurting his own child.
"The SVU detectives talked to their boss, who talked to the local demon handling office, whatever it's called, and they agreed the demons could carry out theirs so they didn't have to ship him back to our prison. They've since updated one of theirs to handle demons. As was wished for, I took care of it since the clan matriarch probably couldn't behead him herself. I made it a quick, painless death after making sure of the proper problems that might crop up. Things like his will and who would watch the child. She assured me they had that. The clan patriarch was gotten and he agreed to the sentence and method of death. He asked me to carry it out so I did. Then I went to hunt the vampires who were hurting them and humans on the block afterward with a newly called slayer."
Chores glared. "You make taking a life sound so simple."
"Ma'am, he was going to die. They asked me to do it. Personally I think every child molester should be put to death." She flinched at that. "Just so they can't make their kids hurt and then they end up repeating it."
"Were yours?" she demanded.
"No, mine were drunks." He smirked. "I did a lot of my own raising, but I did a pretty damn good job over all."
"You're vulgar, rude, and homicidal. I wouldn't say that."
"Ma'am, I have no desire to kill anything unless it's attacking me or someone who can't defend themselves. That's no more homicidal than any other agent or military person. As for rude, I'm more honest. I'm brutally, impolitely honest because I have no idea what you're trying to prove by calling this. If this is your next big campaign soapbox it's a wasted effort since no demons live in your district. If you're hoping to jump higher up the food chain with it, it probably won't work. They do vote in most areas." She went pale. "As for vulgar, only if I think you deserve it. I respect those who deserve it. Those who have earned it. As of this point, this pointless exercise in taking me away from my desk is just pissing me off. I'm sure your delicate ears have heard worse than the word damn."
The quiet senator coughed. "We're trying to get to the bottom of why you felt it was necessary to kill that first spokesman, young man."
"Because he challenged me to do it. If I hadn't, I would have lost all respect from everyone. Also because he had a weapon and was shifting it to use on us. I'm not going to risk my director, my fellow agents, or any slayer on a being that clearly wanted his ass kicked because he led an invasion force onto our base. It wasn't the first one. It won't be the last one. All the others so far we basically piled out and fired on them for trying to kill us or overrun us and release the prison. The investigative panel she sicced on the incident said that most military leaders would do the same thing in my place. Try to talk to them and then fire when it got to a point where it was fight or die. Then I kindly called for a second spokesman to try to talk them out of it. She wanted the fight more because it was her husband."
"Did you know anything about them at the time?" the one who had liked the weapon asked.
"That case had been from Tony DiNozzo's team, not mine. I knew of them. I knew very little about their species because usually they stay out of humanity's way. They're reclusive and almost nothing was known about them."
"The bodies were tossed out like trash I'm sure," Chores sneered.
"No, myself and two others spent half the night burying them by what we found was proper according to their people. They were honorable enough in the fight to earn a warrior's respect and secondly it would keep the others of their species from being insulted. We put it near the back gate so if they wanted to sneak in and steal the bodies to bury among their own they could. They haven't as of when I left. A note was sent back with one of the younger warriors who had backed off when he heard who I was. He hadn't attacked so therefore he wasn't going to be charged. That note stated all of what happened, where they were buried, how they were buried, and if they wanted to send a peaceful envoy to talk to us we'd welcome it. We haven't heard anything about it yet. We know they got the note but nothing's happened."
"Many species consider your base a dangerous area," Chores noted.
"Not that many. We have peace treaties with all the major warrior clans so if we have to chase one of them down for doing something we won't be attacked. The peaceful ones report crimes to us when they happen because they know we're not going to make fun of them for being weaker. We've handled things from murders to custody disputes when one parent snatched their child from the one that had custody. I was in the infirmary with smoke inhalation that day but Stella did that case. The demonic judges in LA gave her a warrant to enter the premises once they showed her proof of the kidnaping. They presented the child to the judge, who handed her back to her father."
"Your team is known for destroying things."
"Ma'am, I'm one of the few people on base who can handle it if a situation goes bad. One of my first cases was the ascension in Seattle, where I had to find black market artillery to blow the thing up before it ate the city's residents. Yes, they send me on the harder cases because I'm known to be able to get into and out of the damndest places without a lot of harm to myself or those with me. That combined with my hunting skills and knowledge meant I was the one DCIS sent on the worst things in the early days. Tony could handle it but he was second-in-command so he had to handle the agency instead. I've also got a lot of weapons knowledge so I was sent on weapons cases that involved demons. I've made some very big dents in the weapons pipelines over the last few years."
"How did you get black market weapons?" one senator asked. "Was it easy?"
"In Sunnydale we had no official sanction. DCIS was only started after that one president was assassinated. At that time, it was a small office in Homeland Security. We had no one who'd give us weapons. I had to find what we needed when we needed it. I grew some contacts. At that case's time, I called one in LA, who sent me to a contact she had in Seattle. I barely got it in time and had to unjam it because it didn't fully work when I opened it."
"How did you gain so much weapons knowledge?" one asked.
"Partially from having to learn it. Partially from a possession I had at one point in time. I was possessed by an Army PFC."
"I see. That's interesting."
"It was. It was also helpful considering I wasn't the only one who was turned into his Halloween costume by a chaos sorcerer. Our slayer was wearing a seventeenth century getup. She fainted a lot that night."
"I can imagine the chaos that caused," he said, shuddering some.
"We figured he got high off it too," he agreed. "A follower of Janus did it. We've dealt with him a few times in Sunnydale and freed him from the Initiative when we found out they had moved some captives to other places. We treated him, let him go, and he promised not to work on the base. He has stopped a more minor person who wanted his rep. Saved us some energy last year."
"I remember that night. I spoke to my grandfather for some reason."
"The kid in Delaware's big move to become a huge name in chaos."
"Charming of him. Is he in jail?"
"Four years and his magic is fully bound so he can't do it again."
He smirked. "That's fitting."
"We do have a section of the prison for magically active peoples who cause problems."
"We heard a member of your council was there," Chores sneered.
Xander glanced at his arm then at her. "A few years back, Willow went dark magic addicted when her girlfriend was killed in front of her. We got her help after we got her backed down from trying to end the world." She flinched at that. "The help she got was enough for a while but it is an addiction. She's went back and forth on it. She's caused a lot of harm. Including the FBI putting her on probation for hacking my base's utilities to get us shut down. This last time, she called a higher demon to Cleveland, the current hellmouth, to handle something while she had the slayers under a compulsion. She was arrested for that and has had a hearing with the judge. He's about to decide her sentence soon. We do try them based on the human legal system, with some tweaks so it works for demonic crimes and so it's actually fitting. Not like the human system has a category for those who ate their enemy for no reason other than he stole his girlfriend."
"A recent case?" the weapon liking senator asked.
"About six months ago. One of Danny and Don's cases. They do a lot of diplomatic work among the clans. They negotiate when things start to go wrong. They keep clans from going to civil war status. They make sure that clans who've had someone going bad don't have the rest of the clan wanting to follow a bad example."
"Your group really does provide a barrier between the two worlds."
"We pride ourselves on being the chainlink fence between humanity and demon kind. There's some interaction but we do keep the bad ones from acting in the wrong manner. We're very proud that we handle the case no matter which side starts it and no matter which side it's against. We've handled plenty of demon-on-demon crimes as well as human-on-demon and demon on human crimes."
"Why was your base put all the way out there?" Chores asked.
"The president who authorized our creation said so. I'm guessing since we'd have to work from one office but on both coasts, plus house the jail, he wanted us somewhere out of the way of problems, but somewhere we could be safe and keep the prison secure. The base does that and it refurbished one that was shut down. It's got room for us to grow. It's got everything we need. The local town was in a slump once the base was closed so we have a lot of support from them. We're far enough away if another major incident happens to not be drawn in, but we're close enough to handle it if it does happen and we need to get there to stop it. Like the invasion or Georgia. It also gives us the chance to stay out of the political dance that you see around here, which all of us on base loath. None of us are politicians and most of us would rather shoot ourselves than be one. If we're forced to take command of a situation we can, but we don't have to usually. Us showing us has led to a lot of things being less than they wanted them to be. Me showing up has stopped some crimes-in-planning cold because they know of my past and my rep."
"Your reputation, from what I have heard, was that you would kill any demon, Mr. Harris."
"No, my rep is that I'd kill any demon who attacked a slayer that she didn't get or that I would attack any demon that I found attacking something or someone that could not protect itself. I do not kill indiscriminately. I have never killed indiscriminately. Nor will I ever do so. There is no proof that I ever have since I never have."
"There's whole realms that I'm told are bare because of you."
He glanced at his arm then leaned forward again as the memories were given back to him. His head was now throbbing as the memories were unblocked. "Ma'am, with all due respect, shove it up your ass. I didn't bring those realms into being. Willow Rosenburg was making wishes to pull out of hunting and to go back to the innocent girl she had started out as by taking me out of hunting since we were supposedly best friends. The parameters of the wishes she cast, through a wish demon she had in compulsion, created those.
"I was instrumental in keeping some things from happening. I did not cause any of them to be without people. I suffered through walking them because she made me. I nearly died because of her and I don't really need to be reminded of that shit. So blow it out your ass, lady, because that wasn't my fault and if you accuse me of shit that isn't my fault again, I'm going to find everything I can on you and expose it."
He stood up. "Like the fact that you are part demon. One-eighth to be exact." He put down the statement. "From your family's patriarch. Your mother was expelled for doing something horrible to them. I don't know what, they don't speak of it." He handed it to the senator who had asked reasonable, polite questions. "You're on a witch hunt and I'm not the witch you're looking for. You want to go after hunters, we protect them too. Now if you'll excuse me I need to go repress those memories again because I don't need to see the world where there weren't enough slayers at the invasion so we lost," he sneered, making her burst out crying and flee the room.
"Calm down please," the weapons liking senator ordered. "May I see that?" It was handed over. "I realize that was painful for you to go back over."
"There's a reason most of those memories were taken from me," he said bluntly. "I don't need to go through that again. If you want to ask me about my skills, what happened that night, any of it, so be it even though I think it's pointless and wasting money to do so. That's Congress' right, to waste money." They both flinched. "I was cleared by my director. I was cleared by the investigative panel. I'm not going to sit here and be sneered and forced to go over things that nearly killed people, including me, for her sick, demented, perverted pleasure. She wants to fuck me so badly because she's that evil, there's better ways to approach me."
"Excuse me?" the other one asked.
He smirked. "I only draw evil women, Senator. My last true girlfriend was a vengeance demon." He shuddered at that, shifting some. "Exactly. I draw a lot of evil wenches of the universe. If she wants to be one, so be it. There's cheaper ways of coming at me than that. And it was clear she was. So no, if you want to talk about that night, so be it. If you want to talk about other cases, so be it. Not that I think it has a point. If you really wanted to know what we do, show up and tour the base. Now, if I'm excused, I need to go calm down somewhere she's not. Since I can hear her coming with guards." He turned to look at them. "Yes?"
"He threatened me," she snapped, pointing at Xander.
"No, I did not. I stated if you were that intent on screwing my life up, I'd reciprocate and put out what I knew about you. It wasn't that hard to have your patriarch sign a statement saying you're an evil bitch who's an eighth demon." The guards moved away from her. "Guys, most demons are perfectly nice."
"We had a school group in earlier that was. A bit messy but nice," one agreed. "You're...."
"Oh. And she's wanting you because she's one of the bad demons?"
"Possibly. That's the only reason I can see this going on. Personally, if they want to know about DCIS, they can show up and tour the base. Any senator, other director, any higher authority can do so. They might not like our apartments because half of us don't compulsively clean, but we have to live in them."
"I can see that. Did you have a weapon, sir?"
"They wanted to know about the weapon that the last base assault featured. I brought in one that was modified so humans could use it. I used it on the chair," he said with a point. "Which I will gladly pay to replace. I made no threat against her until she started to screech about shit I didn't do. Shit I'm not going to be blamed for since I was a victim of it. As in I'll be damned."
"I understand. Please calm down?" the guard begged.
Xander stared. "I'm not that scary, kid. I'd never hurt you unless you tried to pull me off her when she attacks me."
"Thank you, Agent Harris. Is this session closed?"
"Yes, we have more than enough information. Agent Harris, I'm sorry she brought up those very bad memories."
"You haven't lived until you've seen three worlds who've died because you weren't in the right place and left one right before a mass nuclear weapon went off because a friend went off the deep end in another," he said dryly. They all shuddered. "Yet she tried to blame me for that," he told the guards. He stared at her. "Your pathetic attempt to gain attention is over with. You're not using me. I could care less about your agenda, your political platform, or anything else. Not like any demons live anywhere near you. Even the other exiles." She screeched and went for him with her nails out. He ducked and moved out of the way. "Guys, am I going to be in trouble if I hit her?"
"Probably," they said, pulling her away from him. "Why don't you hit your hotel for the night, sir."
"Gladly." Xander got the folder and left, walking around her.
"I'll see you and all the other hunters put to death!" she shrieked.
He waved back without looking. "You can try," he quipped. "I doubt you'll make it." He walked outside, finding Fargo waiting on him. "It's time for me to give Daniel one of my patented confession reports. Because she asked me about shit that I had blocked off and tried to blame me for it." They walked off together while he called. "I was doing good until she mentioned those wish verses, Danny. Then I lost it and swore at her. She tried to have me arrested for threatening her when I didn't. She tried to come at me with her claws in front of the guards.
"She's against hunters in general and I did let slip that she is an eighth demon. I'm sorry if I'm fired, but I'm not going to be blamed for those worlds dying." He hung up and handed the phone to Fargo. "Here, you can calm him down now. I need to find a fight." He walked off undoing his top two shirt buttons on his way to the demon part of the city. He walked into a rough looking demon bar, waving off the hushed voices when he walked in. "I need a fight. The bitchy senator just told me I was the reason Rosenburg went wishverse that time. Any good fight-to-the-death things going on in town?"
"Baltimore. One train stop up," he offered, handing over a pamphlet. "No weapons allowed."
"Even better. Thanks." He walked out, taking a cab to the train station. It wasn't that hard to get to Baltimore from DC. Only took forty minutes too. He got off the train and went to the cab stands, getting in one and handing over the pamphlet. "Take me there please."
"It's no weapons."
"I just had to deal with a senator who said I kill all demons I run into, I'm the reason Rosenburg went wishverse, and I'm the evil in the universe that crapped in her cheerios. I just need to get it out of me before I explode."
"I can understand that." He drove him off, taking him to the arena. He walked him up to the door. "He has no weapons on him."
The guard looked him over. "Hunters aren't allowed."
Xander stared at him. "I don't want to hurt anyone. I just want to beat the shit out of something before I go off on that senator."
"Which is why I'm here. No weapons. I'm not that great a fighter without them. Just to fight? I'm not here to hunt, to slay, anything."
"There's a human version in town."
"I'm not trained to fight humans. I'm trained to fight vamps. I'll fight vamps without a stake. Really. Because I might kill one of the humans."
He considered it then went in to talk to the boss. They had some vampire contestants that were annoying people. He let Xander in and took his jacket and shirt, leaving him in an undershirt and pants, plus his dress shoes. Xander walked into the ring, snarling at the vamps. Three on one, all right. He could do this.
Daniel hung up and called his contact. "Sir, what happened? Xander just confessed to nearly blowing her up." He listened, wincing a few times. "You got the transcripts already?" He nodded. "No, he was right to do that. He had no memories of that incident. He had it removed for the good of everybody, sir. I don't know how they came out or if some were gifted back but I'm guessing Xander's somewhere he can beat the shit out of something. Tony, find Xander," he called. "DC was your haunts."
He listened. "No, sir, I fully expected him to last less time. He was fully polite and bluntly honest before then?" He nodded at the reading of her questions and his answers. "So she blamed him for that and he lost it. Which is what he said. He also said she's against hunters?" He nodded at the statement of her screeching. "Good to know, sir. Is he or she going to be arrested? No, I don't think he did. I know Xander doesn't attack first. She clearly upset him greatly, sir." He leaned back when Tony walked in. "Good news or bad?"
"Xander went to a demon fight club. He gained admission and was given to three vamps to fight. Without weapons. They're a weaponless kumate style system." Daniel nodded once. "So far Xander's managed to get one of the vamps down and nearly dead, one limping, and he's limping a bit himself but he's still very pissed. They think that all those memories broke through. Leo appeared to tell me this because he said he can't get in there and he can't get around Xander's anger at the moment. Xander's about pissed enough to summon wish demons without intending to. Fargo's still back in DC. He's at the hotel having cocoa, waiting on Xander to show back up."
Daniel grimaced. "That's not good."
"No, it's not. I doubt three vamps are going to be enough to work that rage out of him considering the last time he nearly blew Rosenburg up."
"Good point. Can you get someone to go rescue him?"
"Nope. We have no one there who can. I wouldn't want to ask Spenser to, even though his team's in Alabama this week. I wouldn't even let Gibbs in there, Danny."
"Can we send someone?"
"Dawn's still sick."
"Even worse. Any chance he won't come out?"
"I don't think there's enough there who'll fight him if he gets all three. I think if he does he's still going to be pissed."
"John's still in Cleveland, right?" Tony nodded. "Send him."
"That's a good few hour drive, boss."
"Have him fly."
"Winchesters hate planes. Dean said so."
"John can fly. It'll only take a bit."
"Fine. I'll talk him into it. Then Leo said he can reblock those memories. What're we doing about the demonic senator who was exiled thanks to her mother doing something evil?"
"She's against hunters. We'll have to watch out for her."
"Sure, I get that." He walked off, going to call John. "It's Tony." He smiled. "No, small problem. How do you feel about flying to Baltimore to make Xander quit being so pissed so we can lock those wishverse memories away again?" He smirked. "At a demon fight club. Vamps actually. No weapons. From what Leo said he's gotten one bare handed. Yeah, he's very pissed. Please? We'll pay for it. Thanks, John. Give me a few to arrange it. Oh, you do?" He smirked. "That's fine. We'll pay you guys back if Daniel agrees to it. Thanks, John." He hung up. "He's got the slayer's credit card so he'll fly out on it," he called into the office.
Daniel came out. "She's being sanctioned. The other two are pushing that. Xander was calm enough, like usual, until she brought that up." Leo nodded. "I'm not going to ground him but I think some counseling might help." Leo shook his head. "No?"
"If he remembers it, he'll stay in that rage. We need him out of it so we can lock it away again."
"We think counseling might help him be calmer overall."
"She threatened him," Leo pointed out. "She came after him. The only thing keeping her from being hunted is the fact that she's a senator." Daniel moaned. "What did your higher ups say?"
"To let him wear it out. They're going to forget today happened."
"That's not a bad idea." He smirked. "I'll see if we can all do that." He disappeared. That would reestablish the memory blocks without having to physically get near Xander when he was this pissed. The Council of Elders agreed. It'd go off once Xander was out of the club. It could make him attack them if he didn't realize why he was there.
John Winchester walked up to the demon arena, clearing his throat to get attention. "Is he done yet?"
"Nope. We sent in another four vamps a few minutes ago, Winchester."
"Can I have him anyway?" Inside people started to cheer. "Him or them?"
He looked inside. "Them." He let him see. "You can try. He's calmer. A bit calmer."
"She's after hunters because she's part demon," he told him. That got a grimace. "Chores from Wyoming."
"None of them live near her from what I heard."
"Nope. She hates hunters."
"No wonder she picked at him until he lost it. You can try." He signaled the boss. They knew someone was going to come get the boy.
John walked down there. "Let me in." They opened the doors. Xander was finishing off the last vampire so he blindly attacked back at him. "We taught you better than that."
Xander finished off the vampire, turning to stare at him. "I'm not ready yet."
"I'm not. I'm going to keep going psycho on someone. Probably the next person who touches me, John." John moved closer so Xander stepped back. "Maybe you're a figment."
"Fat chance. C'mere."
"No. I'll hurt you."
"No you can't and you won't." He grabbed the boy and pulled him closer, looking at him. "The rage is reasonable. The wearing it out was good," he said quietly. "But you left Fargo unguarded in a hostile area with a bitch after us all." Xander slumped. "It was good to get it out, Xander. I'm not blaming you. You called in so he could get someone to back him up if necessary. It was good to wear it out. But now it's done. Push it back and if you have to, you can go rant at Spenser." Xander swallowed but nodded. "Daniel thinks it might be a good idea anyway. He would've sent him but he's in Alabama with some sicko."
"A breast fetish serial killer," Xander said, then shook his head.
"How did you know that?"
"Got a flash when I walked in?" he asked hesitantly.
"Hmm. That's new. C'mon. You done?"
Xander looked at the vamp then sighed. "I shouldn't be."
"Then we'll handle it. Maybe we'll be attacked." He walked him out, listening to the cheers. "See, you did good." John took the jacket and shirt Xander had taken off when he had walked in.
Xander nodded. "It taught me how important I was when she did it, but I can still remember everything now, John." He was rubbing his arm again.
"Leo said he can fix that once you're not pissed, kid."
"You can't put back on a block that's been removed. It won't be strong enough," Xander said quietly. They walked outside and Xander was nearly blinded by the flash. He looked up. "Does this mean no one else knows I snapped?" he called quietly.
Leo appeared. "You were supposed to be included." He put a hand on his head and sighed. "Damn it."
Xander grinned. "Funky medium skills?" he guessed. They had plagued the last block too.
"Yes." He let him go. "I can't block it, Xander."
"I figured you couldn't. A weak block won't hold anything back." He shrugged. "What about her?"
"She'll get hers when it's time," Leo reminded him. "It's not your job to judge."
"If she attacks?" John asked.
"Then he has the right of defense. Him attacking would look bad though. On the Council and on his agency."
"I know. That's why I'm here," Xander said, waving a hand at the building.
"It wasn't the worst idea," Leo admitted. "You could meditate."
"No I can't."
"Fine. Tell Dawn to call us when she's up and around?"
"She's been up but not around for the last day. We think she drained the Key as well as herself," he said quietly. "She's not able to make a portal or pop around."
"We'll pop up to get her then. Let me do that so we can have dinner. Be safer, Xander."
"Any idea how he knew what Spenser was doing? He said he saw it in a flash," John said.
Leo gave him an odd look then looked at Xander. "When?"
"About as I attacked the first one."
Leo put a hand back on his head, then nodded. "Spenser's in trouble. That's why you had it."
"Future tense. He sees at least a few hours in the future."
Xander found John's phone, which had all the same numbers his did. He called Tony. "It's me. No, I'm still pissed but not that badly. Call Spenser, tell him I had a flash of him in Alabama and Leo said that means he's in trouble soon. Please? No clue. Had it as I attacked." He looked at Leo. "Tony wants to know if this means I'll have real visions."
"Probably not full ones. That one could have leaked over from Sam." He disappeared.
"Heard that?" he asked. "No, John's here. Thank you, Tony. Let Daniel give me time to pack." He hung up. "Tony said Daniel's pacing in his office."
"We'll see in a few days. Let's go protect Fargo. That boy needs more self defense training before he trips into something too bad."
"The train's easy."
"We can do that. How are we going to get there?"
"I cabbed." He looked around then whistled as loud as he could. A cab sped up to them. He grinned. "Like the Knight Bus, only for knights." He got in, making John shake his head. "We're going to the train station so we can go protect Fargo."
The cabby looked back at him. "How did you know how to do that?"
"Don Flack told me to whistle for a cab," he said with a grin. "Please?"
"Fine." He drove them off. Having two hunters in his cab was good for his rep. As long as they didn't kill him. Since they even tipped him, it was a happy night at the demon cab company.
Tony hung up and looked at the boss. "Xander is once again certain you're going to fire him, Danny," he said quietly.
"Only if he attacks her," he said. He ran a hand through his hair. "Where are they?"
"Heading to protect Fargo." He checked his caller ID. "He's on John's phone. Fargo said he handed him his before he took off." He looked up. "Do we think she'll try something else?"
"No clue," he admitted. "As long as he's only defending, it'll be okay." He sat down. "Where is Spenser?"
"Alabama. Xander said to call him because he's going to have a problem." He dialed that number. "Spenser, Tony DiNozzo. Xander had a spot vision. You're in danger. He said he had it as he attacked the vampire to wear out his anger on. No, he went to a fighting club. Yeah, like that. They wouldn't let him have weapons. He took on vamps. We sent John to get him. Yes, that John. Going to protect Fargo in DC for the night. Yes, that senator is against hunters because she's part demon. She ... What did she do?"
"Leo said he was removing it from most memories since Xander lost it about the wishverse stuff," Daniel told him.
Tony repeated that. "So, he's really pissed. I have no idea what sort of danger. Xander saw it. You'd have to ask him but he's on John's phone. Just be careful, okay?" He hung up. "He'll be very careful and warn Hotch that Xander had a vision saying he was going to be in trouble."
"That'll hopefully be enough." He stood up. "I realize this certain attitude about screwing up meaning he's fired comes from low self esteem. It's one thing I'd like to have cured with counseling."
"I think he talked to him once but the guy thought he was a bit too focused on violence to help," Tony said quietly.
"I'll ask him. If not, maybe Spenser could help. Who knows." He left, going to talk to the base shrink. "Hey, do you have a few?"
"Of course, Director. What sort of problem are we having?"
"Xander's having a bout of low self esteem after being attacked by a senator earlier over things that weren't his fault."
"As much as I would like to see Harris get help, nothing will help with that. His family started it, Rosenburg added to it when she and Buffy decided he was too normal to help anymore, and it got worse from there. He'll have bouts but he won't open up to me. I told him he needed to find a focus beyond all this." He waved a hand around. "He said it was better to use him for what skills he had than to try to grow some funky, his word, skills at this late of a date that wouldn't help anyone. At least this way he could help someone."
"So you can't help him?"
"No. The first thing I would suggest is that he quit hunting and find himself instead of doing this job."
"Which Xander's built his life around," he said. That got a nod. "Do you think someone more in tune with how Xander thinks could help?"
"I doubt there's anyone that thinks like Xander does."
"You'd be surprised." He walked out happier with that answer. For the basics of combat trauma and those things, the guy wasn't bad. But he had never fought in more than a light combat situation and he couldn't understand a person who had fought all their lives. He probably didn't understand the Winchesters beyond the vengeance that had driven the family for decades. He sat down behind his desk to call Spenser himself. "Are you still all right?" He smiled. "Good. No, I was wondering. Xander's having another bout of low self esteem. She attacked him over that then he removed himself from DC before he lost his temper on someone innocent. He went to a demon fight club place. No weapons allowed. He got handed to some vamps.
"No, we know he won. John went to get him out when we heard. He was in a full-blown rage. Then he called up to tell Tony about that vision. Tony told him I was pacing and anxious. He said to let him know how long he had to pack. No, I don't want him gone. I want this low self esteem gone." He listened to the profiler. He agreed that it was too ingrained to ever fully be removed but they were already doing the best thing. John would understand what was wrong with Xander. The only better mentor through this episode would be Dean because he got Xander in a way that John didn't. He nodded.
"So what do we do when he comes back? After the hearing he called in one of his confession reports. He was so mad it wasn't funny, Spenser. I've never heard Xander that mad. Even after slayers got attacked." Spenser told him to let him calm down, then to hold a good, fatherly instead of administrative talk when he got back. "You're sure?" He nodded that Xander did see him like an uncle. "I can handle that I think. You think Jack would be better?" He smiled. Spenser liked that idea. "Thanks, Spenser. I'd like him to work on some of these issues.... Oh, no, you're right, he won't tell anyone. Xander doesn't share emotions. So do we think it could help any?" He nodded at the suggestion. "If you can, I wouldn't mind. Heading back to DC to guard Fargo. No idea why he thinks he needs it. Thank you and be safe, Spenser." He hung up, making mental plans.
Down in Alabama Spenser hung up. "Xander went psycho rage boy as he put it once when the senator tried to blame him for Willow's wishing stunt." Hotch shuddered. "It loosened the memories. He went to find somewhere to wear out the rage without hurting anything but vampires. Daniel wanted to know if I'd feel comfortable talking with him in a professional capacity since doing so caused a bit of a self esteem drop."
"Below the water table and sinking into the center of the earth probably," he admitted grimly. "John Winchester got him out of the fighting to relieve it. They're going back to DC to guard Fargo."
"Why would anyone want Fargo?"
"He worked at GD his last posting," Spenser said with a smirk. They had one psycho that had come out of their labs once. Very unusual, creating little machines to kill people with.
"No wonder. Sure. We might be done here within a day or so."
"He's under orders to stay in case more people want to know things. We need to watch out for Senator Chores. She's apparently one-eighth demon and against all hunters and those who know about it. He let that fact out after she accused him from the intel I got from the guards."
"Ooooh. Yeah, he was pissed."
"She tried to attack him. Physically attack him. He sidestepped and noted it'd look bad if he hit her."
"Probably, yes. Where did he find a demon club to fight at?"
"Baltimore according to another source."
"No weapons and he fought at least three vampires bare handed. And won."
"Yeah, he was in a psychotic rage." He sighed, looking at the guy in the interrogation room. "Him?"
Spenser shrugged. "No. He knows who though. He's seen and liked it." Leo appeared. "Leo. I know you're not here for him."
"No. I wanted to know if you could talk to Dawn. I don't know what happened when she was helping with the diphtheria thing but she's been brooding and won't tell Piper why. She won't even come up for dinner."
"I can do that. I have no idea about magic stuff but I can do that."
"Thanks, Spenser." He patted him on the arm before leaving again.
The local officer with them pointed. "What was that?"
"A white lighter. They help powerful witches keep from crossing to the dark," Spenser said. "He works with the witch at DCIS now and then."
"I figured those portals to get to Georgia had to take a lot of power."
"It does," Hotch agreed. "She's only eighteen too."
"Really?" Spenser nodded. "Huh. I thought she was older. She seems older."
"Her sister's a slayer, her mother died when she was fourteen, and she's been a ward of Xander's for the last few years."
"That would make her grow up faster. So she was there when DCIS was starting up."
"His right hand until he hired Dean."
"Good for her. She'll make an excellent watcher."
Spenser smiled. That gave him an idea on how to approach this unsub. "Yes she will." He walked into the room. "So, do you enjoy watching him do that nasty stuff he was doing?" He sat down, watching the guy give him a horrified look but his eyes were dilated and you could tell by the way he was shifting he was getting hard. He leaned on the table, leaning closer to him. "You know, you can see it happen to him too," he shared. "They'll do the same thing to him in prison and you should be able to watch it if you want." The guy let out a moan. "But we have to get him first. He took another girl and you're not there to watch him."
"He doesn't know I watch."
"That's fine. It means he's not as good as he thinks. That he should be punished the same as he punishes others. He's not good enough for you to learn from him."
"No, he's not." He tapped the table. "They'll do the same things?"
"Quite a lot of it. They might not cut off a breast, but they'll probably cut him and do all the rest."
The man licked his lips. "He likes to lick the blood off the back. Said it tastes like mother's milk."
"I figure it does to him. But you want to taste that, don't you?" He nodded quickly, letting out a quiet whimper. "Tell us so you can ask him."
"He's out at Old Man Jenkin's field. He's got an old pole barn. He's in there. I watch from the hayloft. The right side's caved in but the left's still good."
"I'll let them know that. Give us a few hours, then you can ask him all you want." He smiled. "Thank you."
"Can we have a woman too?"
"Sorry, that I can't promise. You might be able to pick up a guy though."
"That might be nice once we cut him to be a girl. Plump up his breasts and things with muscle." He went off his mental fantasy.
Spenser looked at the sick looking guarding officer. "Give him a cell?"
"Gladly," he mouthed, taking him off to give him privacy. Maybe one of the bigger psychos in prison would stop this one and that one.
Hotch walked out with Spenser, following the officers. "It worked."
"It did and they will probably do all those things to him in prison. If they're on the same cell block they'd probably let him watch it too."
"Probably," he agreed. "That's disgusting."
"It's reality, Hotch. They'd do it anyway for fun."
"Good point. Still disgusting." They got into their SUV and headed off for the farm.
Fargo had put Xander in his room with ice cream to sulk with. He had said he needed some calming down time still so he wasn't insulted if he wanted to go brood. Which Xander insisted he didn't, but Fargo was nice about it. John had checked the room over for alternate entries and safety risks. Fargo had no idea how you lived being so paranoid all the time about things coming to get you. He probably wouldn't even after the door burst inward when a heavy foot kicked it.
Xander came out and found his service piece, taking off the safety as he pulled it up. "Who're you?" he demanded, moving in front of Fargo. "John?"
"Got him," he agreed, moving Fargo behind him. "They're demons."
"Clearly but I can't attack outright," Xander pointed out. "Why are you here and what do you want?" he asked.
"We want the nerd. Someone wants his brain," one sneered.
Xander shrugged. "Which nerd? I'm one, he's one. I created stuff that has seven patents pending." They stared at him. "I did. I even made a working light saber."
"Xander," John hissed.
Xander shot a glare at him. "Guard Fargo." He looked at him. "Which geek boy did you want, boys?"
"We'll take you. If they want the other, we'll come get him and sell the other to someone who'd like him." They grabbed Xander, making him leave his gun there before they took him off.
John called the base. "Xander let himself be taken in Fargo's place," he said once it was answered by a voice. "This is John Winchester. I've got Fargo at the hotel. We're changing rooms and possibly hotels. Thank you." He hung up. "Get the stuff, let's go."
"Fargo," he growled.
Fargo grabbed what he could, John got Xander's stuff, and they headed out. "Shouldn't we follow them?"
"They've probably taken him off realm," he admitted. "Their sort aren't earth bound demons." Fargo shuddered. "He'll be fine. If anyone would be, Xander will be."
"He took my place."
"He did." He got them into a safer, lower class hotel. "Why didn't you guys stay here originally?"
"I booked online. It looked nice. It was close to where we needed to be. It was cheaper."
"I'll give you guys a list of good hotels to stay at." He found his phone and called back. "Any word on Xander yet?" He smirked. "Why is Angel going after him?" He nodded. "That's fine. Thank you." He hung up. "Angel heard and is trying to get him back already."
"Will he be able to?"
"I don't know. If not, we can ask Bauer, Gibbs, DiNozzo, and others to go on a raid."
"Good point." He sat down, staring at John. "Why want me? I'm an assistant, even with the fancy title."
"Apparently they wanted a major brain to help them make something, Fargo. It's a compliment but you have to be more careful. This isn't Eureka and you're not as safe here. Especially not away from the base. There you're as safe as you were at home. DC is not the base though. There's plenty of people who want the agency to be closed. Too many people got power by making promises and deals."
Fargo nodded. "I can see why." He looked at him. "Now what?"
"Now, we wait." He called the other hotel to make them pack up the rest of the room. They had witnessed the kidnaping. They'd handle it for him and ship it back to the base.
Xander woke up and looked around the lab. "Hmm. Abby's lab is prettier and more useful." A demon walked in through a wall. "So that's where the door is."
"It's sealed so a human can't get through it," he assured him.
"I'm not fully human."
"Yes you are."
"If you say so. Why take a geek at this point in time?"
"We want you to make us something that will bring us back to our glorious past days so we may bask in the blood of our enemies again."
"You know you sound Klingon, right?" he asked.
"That proves you're overly intelligent and socially inept." He smirked. "The materials are in front of you. So is the plan."
Xander looked at it then at him. "It won't work either. You don't have the materials necessary to make a solid housing to keep the contamination of the core down. If it's contaminated with anything it won't go off." The demon stared at him. "It's true. That stuff is very open to contamination. You have to shield it better."
"We can get you some. Start with the trigger."
Xander snorted. "If you start there then you have to engineer the rest of the device to it, which changes the plans. You always start with the core's chamber and work out, implanting the core last."
"I will get you the thicker metal you need." He left, leaving him to look over the plans. Finally a human geek who knew explosives!
Xander looked up then snorted. He shook his head. "Poor pitiful fools," he muttered. He got to work with what he had. They had given him more than enough to build something explosive in the more traditional way. So when his keeper was coming back, he threw it at the doorway, setting it off. He smirked. "If you step outside this room, you will be radiated by the carbon I just put in that bomb. No one can help you and anyone watching is now dead."
"You could kill us all!" he shouted.
Xander shrugged. "You took me hostage." He smirked. "By the way, I'm not the normal geek boy. Hi, Xander Harris," he said, grinning and holding out a hand. The demon wailed and ran out to be sickened like the rest. To humans it'd feel and act like graphite dust. To those demons it was like uranium had just went off in their realm. He walked out the doorway, finding another weapon. "Hi, baby. Let's get you fixed up." He checked it over, then loaded it from the stores sitting next to it. It was good to be him sometimes. And hey, no more anger outburst.
Jack Bauer looked at the portal opening in the armory, frowning at the man walking through. "Angel."
"Jack. We couldn't get Xander free. They don't have him anymore. No one does, but Xander's not exactly free."
"On another realm?"
"Yes. He's wearing out some anger on the demons who wanted him to build them a bomb to blow up their enemies so they could bathe in their blood."
"Sounds Klingon," Dawn said as she walked in. "I felt a portal." She gave Angel a hug. "Hi."
"Hi." He smiled. "How are you feeling?"
"I think I drained the Key too much."
"It'll come back, Dawn. Magic always gathers inside you." He patted her on the head. "Tell your sister I said hi."
"I can do that. Wes is in his office. Can we pinpoint which realm he's on?"
"I think they're going to be giving him back soon," Angel admitted. "He's a bit upset about what happened earlier according to the underground. The realm there is floating in graphite dust." He walked her out to talk to Wesley.
"Graphite?" Jack wondered.
"Carbon bomb," Dawn called. "Xander made one once to take out a nest of anti-carbon demons."
"Huh. I need those plans." He considered it. "Maybe Dean has them." He went to ask. They did give him all sorts of neat new weapons to play with. It was one reason why he liked this job. Beyond saving the world about every week.
Spenser looked up from his chess game with Hotch when the twinkling portal opened in the agency's plane. The fairly young demon dragged Xander through and handed him to him. "Please, take him. We don't want any more geeks! We want no more bombs built! Bathing in the blood of our enemies will wait for generations until we can do it in the glorious old style. The Elders said we were being foolish to use new technology. Now we know why. We promise we will go back to our former warriors' ways so we can overtake them as is proper. Just, keep him away from us. Please?" he begged. "We will pay you any ransom you want to keep him."
"We can keep him," he promised with a smile. "I like Xander. He's a very good friend."
"Good! He could use one such as you to keep him calm! Before he bounces some more and kills more of us!" He ran back through the portal and it closed.
Spenser looked down at the man laying half-across his lap. "What happened?"
"They wanted to take Fargo," he groaned, making himself sit on the floor next to him. "They only wanted a nerd. Didn't say why. I told them about inventing and the patents so they took me instead of Fargo's giant brain." Hotch gave him a strange look. "Isn't that better since Fargo's our DD?"
"Yes it is," he agreed. "Very selfless. They give medals for that stuff."
"So you did what?" Spenser asked to interrupt Xander's distaste of being rewarded.
"They brought me up to their lab. Woke me up in it. Gave me these plans," he said, handing them over. "I pointed out a fault with the core's shielding. It's contaminateable stuff so it has to have a thicker shielding on it. They tried to get me to do the trigger first. I corrected and said you had to build them from the core out, then implant the core right before the trigger. Otherwise you have to reverse engineer the wiring and stuff." Spenser nodded at that, looking at him. "He left to get it for me. I created a carbon bomb and sent it out behind him when he walked back in with it. Then I walked out, found a gun, did some fish in a barrel hunting. They decided they want to go back to being warriors again."
"I heard that part." He gave him a hug. "I'm glad you're okay."
Xander sniffled. "Don't make me emo, Spenser."
"Fine. Want to talk about it now?" Xander gave him a hurt look. "It's all over the underground. Whatever the Elders did didn't remove it from geniuses again and didn't remove it from them."
"That means they're going to lose respect since I went to vent on the vamps," he muttered.
"No, I don't think so. C'mon, we'll hog a seating area away from everyone. Want a soda?" Xander nodded so Spenser got him one and walked him off. "Morgan, can Xander and I have this area to talk? He had a bad thing happen earlier."
"Sure, I'll go play chess with Hotch." He left them alone to talk. The boy looked like someone had shot his dog. He sat down and pointed. "What's going on?"
"That senator tried to blame him for everything that's happened. She's anti-hunter and is partially demonic herself."
"Can she be removed?"
"I have no idea," he admitted. "We know she wants to take down him and possibly DCIS."
"She wanted me badly," Xander called, grinning some. "Her mother was kicked out for being evil. She was too. So clearly my bad girl drawing power was hard at work."
Hotch smiled but shook his head. "Don't date another woman, Xander. Especially not on my team." He found Spenser's cellphone, using it to call the base. "This is Supervisory Agent Hotchner. I need someone to tell Doctor Jackson that we have Agent Harris with us. The demons were very nice and begged us to keep him. That they'll go back to being proper warriors now. He even brought back the bomb's plans for you guys. We're on the plane. Thank you." He hung up and went back to the chess game. "He was going to move his knight."
"I can see why but that's a sucky sacrifice play." He moved a pawn, sacrificing it so he could get the queen. "That's better."
Hotch shook his head.
Spenser knocked on the hotel room's door, smiling at John when he opened it. "We've had a long talk after the demons handed him back and begged for us to keep him."
"Usually that takes a few Mountain Dews," he said as he let them inside.
"They had Molintz berries on the table," Xander said with a grin. "I nibbled."
"You shouldn't nibble at things you don't recognize. They can be poisonous," he said, smacking him on the head.
"Ow! I knew what they are. I nearly destroyed the school we were rebuilding thanks to them." He grinned. "Besides, it worked."
"I guess it did, kid." He gave him a once-over. "You okay?"
John stared at him. "Fargo, take Xander into the bedroom and check for injuries?"
"Yes, John." He dragged Xander off nagging about not scaring him like that again. Xander told him it was his job, to shut up about it. Before someone gave him more praise.
Spenser shook his head. "We had a long talk," he said quietly. "He's feeling better. He's worked over a lot of the anger at her for all of it. Everything back to high school." John nodded. "Daniel wanted me to help him too so I'll tell him we talked on the plane ride back. He wanted me to talk to Dawn too so I'll be out on base this weekend."
"Thanks. Anything we should know?"
"Give Jack this," he said, handing over a CD. "Garcia copied it down for him. He stole their bomb's plans when he got free."
"I can do that. Anything else good happen?"
"Xander's back to joking. He's better."
"There's no full healing but he's more even again?" he guessed.
"Basically. His arm's always going to ache as a reminder, John. But he'll be fine now. Let me go do laundry and unpack, then repack so I can go back with you if possible. Have him call me before you guys leave."
"We're in town for another day. Another senator wanted to know what happened. He's having dinner with him tomorrow since he's back."
"That's fine. Which one?"
"One of the conservative assholes."
"He'll probably try to drive her off because of what she is." He shrugged. "That's politics and I don't play it either. I'll check in tomorrow." He left, going to call Daniel once he got home. "We talked. He's better. Not perfect, but better. He still thinks you'll fire him for losing his temper and swearing at her. He thinks he looks bad on the agency. I couldn't convince him otherwise. Only you can do that." He smiled.
"That might be overkill. Let them be handled by another team. Xander's arm is aching like hell according to him. The memories breaking free brought out all the pain. He said he's been ignoring all the pain in it anyway. No, he explained it as there's three physical bodies. One's been healed. One's been healed for longer. The third can't be healed but it was merged with the other two so he could feel his fingers again.
"Yeah, still. So he's in pain and Fargo was nagging him about being heroic for him. Xander told him to stop it before someone overheard and offered a medal or something equally ick-making, his word of course. I can do that if Hotch will let me. A senator wanted to know what happened so John said he has tea tomorrow. If you can, I'll try to fly back with them. Thanks, Daniel."
He hung up and called Hotch. "Can I go with them tomorrow? They need me to talk to Dawn too. She nearly killed herself saving an associated project that had diphtheria. Yeah, her. That'll work, thanks, Hotch." He hung up and went to do laundry since he could fly out tomorrow and only take a few sick days. His boss was a good friend.
Jack O'Neill pulled Xander into the office once they got back on base, staring at him. "You did good, kid."
"No I didn't. I lost my temper majorly and swore at her. I pissed her off enough that she tried to say I had threatened her."
"She's an idiot. You did good then, you held it in for as long as you could. You took yourself away from people you could have hurt and requested a way to deal with it that wouldn't trash your rep or any innocent beings. You did good in the fights. When John showed up you didn't fight him removing you that hard, just stated that you didn't think you were ready yet. Which you weren't but there wasn't time to do that then.
"When Fargo nearly got snatched you did good protecting him by going in his place, and then you made a whole realm beg, plus brought back important plans that's going to save lives. When the other asshole senator tried to get you to say something bad, you didn't and pointed out you didn't want to play politics. That wasn't your thing and it wasn't the way this agency worked. He agreed and pressed but you stuck to it." He smiled. "That's all anyone could expect, Xander."
"I still embarrassed the agency by swearing and breaking that way."
"You're human. We expect you to be human. With the way those memories broke out, I would've trashed the room and any humans that got in my way." Xander slumped, shaking his head. "You were in enough control that you got yourself to a safe location to wear that out and made sure that no innocents got hurt. You did it out of public sight. That's all Danny would want you to do."
"True," Daniel said as he walked in. "You did not disappoint me. You did not disappoint me when you broke. Those memories are traumatic just knowing what little I know, Xander. For you they have to be devastating. You took it away from innocents, away from the public seeing, and actually increased your rep doing so." Xander grimaced. "You saved the weaker member of the team, Fargo, and made them sorry for trying this. They've stolen other geeks in the past and killed them because their version didn't work." He patted him on the head. "I want you to stay on base for a bit to let the political bullcrap settle down some. Some press person got hold of the story that the senator wanted you gone because you're a hunter first. I want you to stay out of that." Xander nodded, staring at him. "For that reason I gave the raids and pipelines to Mac and Stella for now. Their full team is working on it. When this has died down you can go back to it."
"They consider Mac's team like mine light," Xander said quietly.
"I know. That's why I gave it to him and let Horatio back him up. They need to be more scared of Horatio and Speed." He smiled. "You're not in trouble."
"I should be."
"Then consider the guilt you feel and the staying out of the public eye to be punishment if you want, but you don't deserve it. You punish yourself better than I could." He patted him again, smiling at him. "Talk some more with Spenser if it helps, Xander. He understands you better than nearly anyone and he gets where you're coming from."
"He said my profile was fun."
"I'm sure it was. Now, go shower and rest until dinner."
"You're not...going to say anything about the realm going bye-bye, right?"
"No. I think that was subtle and less than what Jack and I would do. I don't judge your actions like I do the other agents, Xander. You're not like them. I judge you against Jack's measuring stick. He wouldn't have stopped shooting them and would've come back with all their weapons and the last few begging." Xander gave him a shy grin. "I judge you, Jack, and Sheppard all on the same stick. You're fine. You're above average on it but if you pout again I'm going to drop you down. The same as you don't need to feel guilty about losing your temper. I would've hit the bitch." Xander gaped. "With what I know about it, which is only the barest of dry facts, I can only imagine that sort of question thrown at me and making me react in a violent manner."
"How did you get transcripts? Spenser tried and couldn't."
He smirked. "One of the senators called and told me. Read the last few to me. Even he said your anger was reasonable and he was glad he hadn't done the gentlemanly thing and stepped in front of her."
"I probably wouldn't have hurt him."
"Which shows that you're in control of your temper. It's not in control of you. Now, go finish resting. The girls will want to know about the fight club and that realm."
Xander nodded. "Thanks, Danny."
"You're welcome. You're a friend, Xander. As long as I'm not doing something important that absolutely can't wait, come talk to me. Okay?" Xander nodded. "Try to keep it down for a bit, but if you have to do something on a case you have to do something. Even if we do pick on you for it. That's what good friends and family do." He grinned and Xander nodded, heading over to his apartment to rest. He was much happier. "Thanks, Jack."
"Not a problem. This bomb?"
He held up the CD. "Got it from Spenser. Garcia copied it for us. Take it to the armory to let him see it. Oh, he said the core needed heavier shielding when they wanted him to build it."
"I'll keep that in mind." He took the CD to the armory, getting a groan. "Some demons wanted Xander to build them a bomb. Wanna see the plans? Xander told them they needed heavier shielding around the core but I'm guessing it's something new."
"Sure. Put it in and pull over a stool." He put it into the computer and pulled over a stool to look over the diagrams. "What is that core?"
Jack highlighted it. "I have no idea." He called the lab. "Abby, can you send McKay down here to identify what they wanted to build a bomb out of? If you want." He hung up. "They'll be right down." She walked in dragging him by his arm.
"I don't see why I have to come to the armory this time."
"We need to know what they wanted in the core of their bomb," Jack told him. "I figured you knew more about them than she did."
"Probably since I've built a few," he admitted. He leaned down but Jack enlarged it for him. "What is that?"
Abby looked. "The purple stuff in the dangerous materials locker." She beamed. "We know it's light sensitive and it's very fragile. Air can contaminate it and make it not as explosive, but it'll turn into a gas that'll make you happy if it's too contaminated."
"That's probably why Xander said it needed heavier shielding around the core," Jack decided.
O'Neill looked at them. "Can we play with it? Just to test it out?"
"We could but the botanists took over the testing area with George to feed him all the plant food he wanted. They're having a lot of fun giving him branch rubs and things."
"Yes, well, they are a bit sick in the head. Wanting to have plants as bed partners. One even suggested making a plant that changed shape into a human form for pleasure around base." Rodney walked off shaking his head. "We'll find some way to test it and let you see."
"Thank you for letting us play with the explosives again," Abby called, waving as he walked her off. "We might need to get some more."
"We might," he agreed. "The last time I saw that sample it was only a few grams worth. That plan called for nearly thirty of it."
"I'm wondering why Xander was making plans with it," she said.
"Who knows. With him, he could have been expecting to need it during the next apocalypse."
"I wonder if you could make it into exploding-tip bullets. You'd need something to set it off.... Maybe one of Dean's magnesium rounds?"
He looked at her, then smiled and kissed her. "That's a very wicked idea, love. We should try that later on, when we get more to play with."
"We should." She called LA. "Hi, Connor, it's Abby. We need some of that purple, sparkly, explosive stuff to experiment with. Yes, that stuff. Please? As much as you can give us and I'll pay for it? Let me know?" She beamed. "Thanks, Connor. You're a sweetie. No, you don't have to tell Morgan I called you that. She won't be jealous. Be good and send baby pictures soon from Crissy." She hung up. "He'll ask around for us." She called Dean next.
"We found a new explosive stuff and were wondering if it might work in exploding-tipped bullets. We're getting some from Connor. The purple stuff in the dangerous vault. Yup, that stuff. We'll see. Thanks. Oh, we know he's back. Do we know why he came back with bomb plans?" She listened, tipping her head to the side. "Really? Huh. That's strange. I hadn't heard of geeks getting kidnaped by demons to make them a bomb. Huh. I'll have to ask Fargo about that. Thanks, Dean. Once we get some. Thank you!" She blew a kiss and hung up, giving him a hug. "Xander saved Fargo by going up in his place. Then he blew most of them away with a carbon bomb made with graphite."
"I've never seen one of those."
"We'll get him to make us one to play with." She beamed. "Okay?"
"I might like that." He took a kiss and nuzzled her throat, which made her purr. "You are my perfect mate, Abigail."
She nibbled on his ear. "Does that mean I should propose to you?"
He pulled back to look at her. "That was a leap in logic."
"Well, some year we'll end up on different labs again. Especially if they get Atlantis set back up."
"A ring would make it easier to get conjugal visits."
He smiled. "That's nearly evil. Plus it would scare some people."
"It so would. They'd start asking all the time if I was pregnant again." He smirked back. She stole a kiss. "Whenever you're ready, I am."
"I'll think about it after I make you keep up House tonight."
"He doesn't seem to mind." He laughed, pulling her into the changing area of the biohazard lab so he could have some more snogging. He did so love to love his girl. She was perfect for him and let him exercise his brilliant mind in many new, interesting ways.
"Not this again," one of the lab geeks complained.
Abby opened the door. "Go away. I just proposed for whenever he's ready."
She whimpered. "That means you'll be polluting us all with super geek babies some year."
"Not this year," Abby assured her, closing the door again. She looked at Rodney. "I know what birth control is. I helped teach the slayers."
"Good. We don't want that accident yet."
"No. Not for years."
"Good." He kissed her, getting her back in the mood. Himself too. He nearly lost all control and had her physically in there. She would have let him but it wouldn't be too decorous of him. She finally made him snap by taking down his pants and climbing on top. "I'd never usually do this but you do inspire me to evil ways," he panted against her shoulder.
"Awww, I love that compliment." She pulled his head back by his hair to kiss him. "Do more, Rod, and I'll play helpless, slutty lab assistant all night long."
He smirked. "You do it very well." He worked until they both got off, then sat there cuddling her.
Fargo had come into the lab, spotted them, then blushed and walked out, sending everyone else off for a break before they saw them. He ran into Daniel outside while trying to get some air. "I think Abby and Rodney are very serious."
"Why?" he asked with a smile.
"They just broke the lab's rules to .... play in the changing area of the biohazard lab."
"Hmm. That is odd for McKay. I guess it's really love." He smiled. "When you find it, let us know so we can give you more time off for cuddling." He patted him on the back and went to check on them. He found Sheppard on the elevator and pulled him off. "No. Let them cuddle."
"Who? Again?" he asked at the knowing look.
"Fargo said he broke his own rules to have her in the biohazard changing area."
Sheppard shook his head. "I'll expect him to be flashing a huge ring for months." He walked off shaking his head. "Remind McKay that we have shore leave tomorrow please?"
"I can do that." He went up there, finding Abby in the bathroom. He faced down McKay. "I will see you make an honest lab goddess out of her, McKay, and if you hurt her I'm siccing all the girls, Xander, and Gibbs on you."
"I'd never hurt her." He looked so upset at that thought.
"Good. Then Sheppard said you have shore leave tomorrow. Let me know when she'll need time off to become an honest goddess of both labs." That got a smirk and a nod. "Whenever you guys want and of course you can use the base. You can even have Binky and Digger as flower unicorns." He left him alone.
McKay finished dressing, looking in at Abby. "They're very protective of you."
"They love me like a sister. Flower unicorns?"
"Not my idea of an appropriate thing. They might crap during it and that would ruin the ceremony."
She came out to kiss him. "We'll figure it out when you're ready."
"Good. Are you going with us tomorrow? You can leave Radek in charge."
"I might." She gave him a sly look then winked. "Let's go play in the apartment for dinner?"
"I'm all for that." He led her off, taking her home to play with her. He'd love whatever her slightly warped mind would come up with. He always enjoyed it. She took such good care of him.
To part 43
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