Demon Criminal Investigative Services: Dreaming Big
The girls all pounced John when he walked out with his bags one morning. "No, you can't go," one said.
"I'm just going on a field call," he said. This was going to get bad. Worse than a four- year-old Sammy who couldn't understand why he had to be left with Pastor Jim for three weeks while his father went to hunt a demon down.
"No, you can't," one of the girls said more firmly. "Bad things will happen and you'll make your sons cry."
He frowned. "They'll hide if they do. I promise I'll be fine." They started it wail and he groaned. "Ladies, stop it."
"No!" one shouted, pouncing him and knocking him down. "You can't go. We won't let you!"
"Help!" John called, trying to get the girls off him.
Sam leaned into the building. "Girls!" he snapped. They scowled at him. "Get off Dad."
"They don't want me to go on a field call." He got helped up by Dean when he walked in. The girls started to sniffle. "I'll be back in a few months." They wailed louder and one shook her head, heading toward hysterical. "I promise it'll be okay," he told that one.
"No it won't. You'll die and the demon will win and you'll be possessed and try for your sons," she sobbed, clutching him.
Dean looked at her. "You're a seer?"
"Slayer dream," Xander said as he walked in, pulling her up to look at him. "Tell me *exactly* what you saw. Sometimes those things are cryptic."
"He was chasing something and it looked like a rabbit but it had yellow eyes and when he caught it, it bit him and possessed him so he came back here to get his sons," she wailed, clutching him. "Then he died because you had to," she said into his chest.
John blinked. "Slayer dreams are...."
"Prophetic dreams sent by the Powers That Be," Xander said quietly, cuddling and patting her. "Not particularly nice for the girls." Buffy and Faith walked in. "Her first slayer dream."
"I hate those things. My first one was this master vampire playing with my hair and putting a ribbon in it before he tried to kill me," Buffy told her.
"He'll be possessed and come back after his boys then we'll have to kill him," she sniffled, switching to Buffy to cuddle.
"Shh. We'll figure it out. Maybe it'd help if he brought one of the girls that's experienced on patrol?" Faith suggested, looking at John. He gave her a look. "It'd make it easier to hunt whatever and some of the older girls who've temped need to stay in practice."
He considered it. "They'll be in the truck with me for weeks, Faith."
She shrugged. "So? Beats patrol, right? We can read. Most of us." Xander slugged her on the arm. "Didn't mean anything," she told one girl.
"I know. It was the watcher's fault for being an ass." She looked at John. "I could go. I passed my field test and I've got a great hand at demons and possessions. My slayer senses seem to call to them. It might even think I'm bait. Then I could work on stuff without the other girls being helpful. It's nice but sometimes it's a bit much," she told him.
He considered it then looked at the crying one. Then back at her. "Go pack. We'll try it. If not, I'll have Xander bring you back on a bus."
"Yes, John." She gave him a hug and ran off to pack her bag using the 'going on patrol' list. She came back with a duffle bag and a smaller one. "I need weapons."
"Armory's still in the same place," Xander told her. "You brought music, right?" he called after her. She nodded. He watched her go then looked at John. "She's not allowed to bring my battle axe."
"I'll make sure she's being practical," he said, going to check on that. He knew the demon the one had seen, though it being a rabbit was strange. They had said they were cryptic though. "Do all you girls get those?"
She grimaced but nodded. "I had one before the Bringers came. It's how we escaped. I was taking a nap when they got to town." She pulled down a sword and Benny Ray got her a different one. John handed her a large machete instead. "You sure?"
"Yup. More practical, easier to hide." She nodded and put it into her duffle bag and then went for the other weapons. "Use the break-apart crossbow. Get a good selection of bolts." She did that, bundling them in a case so they wouldn't snap in her bag. Then she got a few more things. "We have the basics, right? Jeans, t-shirts, overshirts and jacket for warmth?"
"Jacket," he said patiently. "It's going to get cold again sometime soon, especially at night."
"I used Faith's list." Xander walked in something and held it up so John could see it, letting him take it. "My allowance?"
"Will be deposited directly on that so John can get you guys hotel rooms." She smiled at that. "We remembered socks, underwear, bras, your extra pills?" She squeaked and went to get those while Xander finished getting her weapons together. Benny Ray took a few away from him but John put one back and changed out something else. Xander looked then at him. "She'll still need stakes."
"She can carve stakes."
"Actually, she can't. I tried for two weeks and Dean for another three. She doesn't quite get how to sharpen her blades."
"I can work on that," he agreed.
"Sammy's getting a bag of stuff for her to work on for school stuff," he said quietly. That got a nod. "The girls have been helpful."
"They have been but sometimes it's overwhelming." He finished up and took her bags out to his truck, coming in to get new bullets and empty shell casings. Benny Ray handed him a box. "Rock salt?"
"Dean and I sat down to make a good case last week." He handed him a second and third box too. "Should do you for a good hunt." John smiled and punched him on the arm before leaving. She hurried down to stuff her pills into the smaller bag and check the others. Dean and Sammy gave her some advice about being patient with their dad. Sometimes he was grumpy and fussy about stuff. She nodded and gave Xander one last hug before getting into the truck and waving at them as they took off. Benny Ray looked at Dean. "Two weeks?"
"Dad's planned about a month on the road. She might make it. She's easy to get along with. She can stand his music. It should be okay. If he hasn't sent her home in three days she might make it." That got a smile. "Dad's picky."
Xander's phone rang. "What's up?" He listened then laughed. "I'll have Faith get it, John." He hung up. "Faith, she forgot her sneakers and boots. We need to amend your list according to John." She nodded, going to let Dean help her get what she'd need. They went into a backpack, which could be used on patrol, so that was practical. No girl went anywhere without a lot of things. It was a rule of the universe. Xander looked at the other girls. "Well?" They sighed but went back to classes. "I need to know if there's more slayer dreams, girls," he shouted after them.
"Yes, Xander," they all called back.
"I thought Giles was doing research," Sam teased with a grin.
"He is but he hasn't come out of the library in a week," Xander said dryly. "This way we can pass it onto him." Dean smirked at that. "Okay, where was I?"
"Desk," Dean said. Xander nodded, heading to do that once he had some soda. He looked at Buffy. "Want to help with the remedial classes?"
"No thanks. I kinda sucked in school. No time for homework."
"Now's a good time to learn what you missed before," Sam said cheerfully. "After all, you'll age out of it too, Buffy. Gotta do something then."
"I'll train the new girls."
"So we'll start on things that'll help - accounting and physics." She grimaced. "It's very useful. Come on." He walked her that way, putting her into the classes. Faith was snickering when he came back out so he dragged her into a room and put her down into a chair too. "Here, learn a demon language. It's good for you too."
"Yes, Sammy," she pouted. Danny Jackson smiled at that. "I know, it's good to know." Sammy strolled out, going back to his own classes. Dean too. She listened to the taped lessons and frowned. "I heard that from the demons trying to take over Cleveland a few months back."
Danny looked at the tape player then at her. "They're talking about their hotdogs for dinner." She slumped. "A good reason to learn it," he promised. "Some girls got it when they got called, but not all of you." He gave her a worksheet to study. "That's the basic words and they're spelled phonetically." He got back to the lessons. The girls were happy enough to be doing it. It kept them from PT. with Dean for a few more hours.
Xander blinked because the nice, calm feeling he had had changed. Now he was in the middle of a field. No flowers, mostly mowed grass. He looked around, whistling sharply. Because this was strange, even for his dreams. He looked back as twinkling started in front of him. A figure formed out of the red sparks and he nearly gaped. "Ares God of War?" he asked. The guy nodded. "From the show?"
"Yeah, but we were real at one point too, kid." He looked him over. "You're not exactly mine."
Xander shrugged. "That's probably a good thing since I don't pray to you. I might've been Joxer in a former life, that would explain how I got Buffy and Willow this life." Ares shook his head. "Then how do *you* explain them in my life?"
"I don't," he said dryly. Xander shrugged at that. Ares looked him over again.
"The myths said you were a horndog but really," Xander said dryly.
Ares snickered, shaking his head again. "Not the reason I'm looking you over." He pulled his sword. "Only my worthy should be in the next battle." Xander moved and took him by surprise, knocking him down and stepping on his sword hand, manifesting a gun. "Maybe I'm wrong. That was a nice move."
"Learned it off Dean." He stared him down, then frowned. "New apocalypse?" Ares nodded, looking totally unconcerned about being held down by Xander and the gun pointing at his chest. "Is it some sort of prophecy? We've had two major, one semi-major, and another ten ascensions in the next five years if they're all on track."
"Not my field. I'm not Athena."
Xander smirked. "I'm sure you'd look cute in her armor." Ares burst out laughing, moving so Xander let him back up but kept the gun on him. "Where, when, what can you tell me?"
"Who says you'll be there?"
Xander snickered, shaking his head. "Because I'm helping your girls." He looked behind him as a body appeared then two more in fast succession. "Hey. Ares, this is Sam, his brother Dean, and Dawn."
"I know." He looked them over then nodded. "They'll be there." Xander shot him in the thigh, making him yelp. "Hey! Respect the authority!"
Xander smirked. "No. I don't. Never have." He cocked the gun for a second shot. "And?"
"Fine, you can be there but it'll be your life."
"No better reason to die," Xander assured him. "When, where? Who? Anything more than that you can tell us?"
Ares looked at him then lunged. Xander used his momentum to flip him then kicked him in the side, following it up with a stomp at his head. Ares moved but Xander managed to kick him hard enough to unbalance him from getting up. "Not bad," he said, disappearing and remanifesting behind Sam.
Sam turned to grab him. "You're not a God of War. The youngest slayers are better than you."
Ares put a hand over his chest. "I'm wounded." Xander shot him and he groaned, falling down to his knees. "Didn't mean that literally."
"I did," Xander said, walking over. "And? What's going on that you don't think I'm worthy to help with?"
"New apocalypse. Somewhere in the south. Major demon growing a people's army." His eyes started to glow yellow as he flowed back to his feet. "You have no idea what you are messing with, Harris."
Xander snorted. "You'd be surprised. If you had paid attention to me, you'd know that." He pointed the gun at him again, watching as it subtly changed because Sam put a hand on his wrist. "Time's up. Anything you want as famous last words?"
"You're still not worthy. I've already picked the worthy. They're marked and tainted as mine. The normals will flee in terror from my chosen. The worthy will be trained and my scion will rule the world." He lunged and Xander shot him. The demon screamed as it faded.
Xander looked at Sam. "Freaky. Yours or ours?"
"Mine," Sam said. "Something about what he said was mine." He looked at Dawn and Dean. "Why are they here?"
"They came with you, Sam." Xander woke up with a gasp, panting, gripping his chest. He got up and padded out of his apartment, going down to Dean and Sam's apartment, pounding on the door. Dean glared as he opened up. "Sam?" he called, heading that way. "Did you get the same thing I did?" he asked as he shook him.
"Xander, calm down," Dean ordered.
"No. Too important." Sam woke with a moan. "Did you get the same thing I did?"
"Ares, God of War," he said quietly.
"You're a seer?" Dean asked, looking confused at his buddy.
Xander shrugged. "I know I'm a medium. It's possible I channeled Sam somehow. You and Dawn were there." He hauled him up. "Who was the demon?"
"I don't know yet. Let's document it." He led him to their table and handed him paper and a pen. "As much as you can, Xander." He nodded, settling in to write what he had seen. Sam did the same thing. Dean was reading over his shoulder so he gave him a shove. "Coffee? Please, Dean?" he asked quietly.
Dean nodded, going to do that for him. "Why was I there?"
"When Sam showed up, you and Dawn showed up right after him." He looked at Sam. "Would that mean they're linked to you somehow?"
Sam shrugged. "We'll figure that out." He went back to it, frowning at Xander's longer account. He had a lot more detail. Sam read it over and frowned. "Why is it in Latin?"
Xander shrugged. "That's what I heard it in. I figured it was important."
Dean came over to get it, frowning at what he read. "This is not good. Though, why Ares?"
"He's an authority figure that would appear to guys like us in the old days. We'd both get the cultural reference maybe?" Xander suggested. "I don't know. Should we wake up Danny?" he asked Sam.
"No. Not yet." He yawned, taking his cup of coffee from the microwave. He walked back to the table and sat down, frowning at the instant nastiness. "Now we have to research."
"Danny wants to know before it starts," Xander reminded him. "That way they can try to stop it sooner."
Sam nodded. "Then we'll see him first thing in the morning." He took a sip and grimaced. "Dean, too much sugar, dude." He took another drink anyway. "I can't believe you taunted him about looking good in Athena's armor."
"I could've asked for Aphrodite to call me hers instead," Xander said dryly. "Maybe gotten a naked picture to take my mind off all the files on my desk."
Dean snickered. "If you do, share."
"Sure." He took the coffee to take a sip then handed it back. "Thanks, guys. Meet me in his office at breakfast?"
"Sure," Dean agreed. They watched him leave and Dean looked at Sam. "You okay?"
"No headache. I don't know why." He looked at him. "Do you remember any of this?" Dean shook his head. "Any strange dreams right before he got here?"
"Something cloudy and quiet. Nothing with mythical people from tv shows." Someone knocked so he opened the door, looking at the man standing there. "Giles."
"Just went back to his room. Why?"
"We found two prophecies. I need to see if he's seen them."
"He just had some funky dream and went back up there," Dean told him. "Is there some sort of prophecy that covers how many apocalypses we've had in the last few years?"
"I hadn't thought to look," Giles admitted.
"Sunnydale, the LA invasion. One minor ascension. Your minor ascension. The five they've got on a watch list," Sam listed.
"I'll definitely look into that option. Any other wisdom? You both look like you've had slayer dreams."
"Somewhere between that and a prophetic one," Sam told him. He let him see the accounts.
Giles looked at the Latin on Xander's. "I didn't realize he was that fluent."
"He said he got his in Latin so he wrote it in case it was important," Sam offered. He finished his coffee with a grimace. "Then I got pulled in after a few minutes." He handed over his. "Dean said he didn't remember anything." Someone knocked. "C'mon in, Dawn." She walked in. "Funny dream?"
"Felt like a statue and I kept getting glimpses of Ares, God of War, from the tv show. I have *no* clue, but I saw you and Xander both during a glimpse."
"Xander started it, whatever was pretending to be Ares pulled me in, and you and Dean followed," Sam told her.
"I still didn't get more than calm and quiet," he said when Giles looked at him.
Dawn gave him a hug. "We'll be fine. We'll figure it out, like we always do." She looked at the pages of paper. "Latin?"
"Yup. Xander heard it in Latin." Sam shrugged. "We're seeing Danny in the morning to brief him since it's about another possible apocalypse and a people's army raising in the south with a scion of the demon and special children being chosen."
"Which could be a reason she was called," Dean offered.
Giles looked at her. "They know?"
"They do know. They found out when I went to swear at the Powers for being assholes and not realizing that the only way to get their precious balance was to eliminate everyone. Sam guarded me, then Xander woke up and came to help so Sam guarded us and then Dean guarded all three of us when he sent Sam to get us out of there."
"I see." Giles stared her down. "Would that be before or after the sneeze?"
"Before. Right before. I got my psychic friend when I was off swearing at them. There was even a pretty nice demon there who was atoning for doing bad shit trying to keep us from killing the Powers or the Oracles."
Giles squeezed his eyes shut, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Where did you get such an idea?" he demanded after a few calming breaths.
"One of Willow's books."
He groaned. "Your teachers?"
"Yelled," she promised with a grin. "Though they said we're right. Their balance isn't going to be achieved without stripping everyone of free will or their lives. Also, not watching Xander as a player in their chess game was a stupid thing to do. Especially after he started to screw in their plans and made them work better for the Light."
Giles stared at her. "Excuse me?"
"Giles, how many times has Xander warped a prophecy, saved the day, created two slayers, any of that?" she asked bluntly. He grabbed the chair next to him so he wouldn't fall down as the truth hit him. "You and my sister did the same shit. I'm so proud she's nearly a Power." She handed the papers back. "Let me know what I can help research, Sam." She gave the boys a hug and left.
Dean looked at Giles. "She's right from what we heard."
Giles nodded slowly. "She was. They weren't watching him to see how he'd interfere in their plans?" Sam shook his head. "They should have to make sure their plans worked right."
"They're a bit arrogant. Like higher level demons usually are," Sam said dryly. "Yours and Buffy's problems with him being a normal guy sound about the same."
Giles nodded, swallowing hard. "I realize that now. I'm watching my own attitude. It was wrong of me." He looked at the papers. "Let me know when the meeting is and I'll be there." He left, going back to his rooms to think. He needed to think. That revelation had hit him in a dear spot of his firmly held convictions. He had missed quite a lot of points that hadn't seemed important before. Now they made much more sense. "Hindsight," he reminded himself. "It is always clearer and you often don't need glasses." He closed his eyes, letting his mind work without him for a while. Because he had no idea why Xander was getting prophetic or even slayer dreams.
Danny walked into his office and groaned. "I have a teleconference with the CIA today."
"We're pre-warning before we start researching the next problem," Sam told him.
"Charming." He sat down, taking the two sheets of papers. "Which is which?"
"The Latin is Xander's," Sam said.
He read it then looked at them. "Ares, God of War?" They nodded, grimacing some. "Okay."
"It was somewhere between a slayer dream and a vision one," Sam told him. "I have visions," he said at Danny's look at him. "I have no idea why it went for Xander."
"I do," Dawn called as she walked in. She coughed and read something. "Glorificus' people have noticed that one who does nothing yet everything is not a normal human. He cannot be. Nor can he be more than a man. He clearly Sees, in capitals, where needs are not being seen and clearly Sees, again capitalized, what others do not for he straddles the line between being seen and being unseen by everyone." She closed the book, holding her finger in place. "From the journal of one of the knights tracking me to kill me for safety reasons."
Danny scowled. "Still?"
"Glory stuff, well before Sunnydale fell in. Before Willow went evil even." She looked at Xander again. "Can't be Giles."
"No, or Riley," he sighed, grimacing. "They thought I was a seer?"
"Later on he calls you one. The unseen seer as he named you." She pulled out a photocopy from the back of the book. "The First Evil can be fought by seven slayers and a blind one who sees. The One Who Sees shall take the place of the Powers for a while in this battle. To negate him means he must not be able to see. He must be disconnected from all forms of sight so that the Great One can woo him to her side." She folded it back up and put it into that same spot. "Looks like you were on the hitlist. Taking the younger ones saved you, Xanman."
"Hmm." He looked at Sam. "That explains why it came to me and you."
"He came to you first," Danny said. "He pulled Sam in as an example if I'm reading this right." He let Xander see what he had written while he was so tired. Xander frowned. "It looked like Sam was an after-thought or an example to me."
Sam took it to read, nodding slowly. "It does. Then why pull Dawn and Dean?"
"You're linked to them," Danny said firmly. "Somehow. Maybe that spell created a tenuous link between you two. Maybe she's another of the special children and the demon thinks you'd guard her or Dean would guard her."
"No problem with that," Dawn promised. "I've been looking at the demon. It's not that uncommon from what I've seen but there's a few that sound fairly familiar." She handed something to Sam. "Who's Max?" Sam stiffened. "Dean was muttering about this sounding a lot like him when he brought in coffee to start the research."
Sam slumped. "Another one that was marked by the same powers I am but he went wrong," he told her. "Are you a seer? Telekinetic? Anything like that?"
"No but I'm damn special," she reminded him. "I can pull spells to mimic those."
He nodded. "Then we'll have to see." He stood up. "Let me get to work on the research."
Xander stuck the sheets into the copier, giving him a copy. Sam gave him a faint smile before leaving, Dawn with him. "So, pre-warning. Let us do some thinking and some research. It might not be one we can stop, but we're not sure yet. I'm not going to sacrifice Sam or Dawn."
"What about that 'you're not one of mine' thing he had going on?" he asked gently.
Xander smirked. "The Powers said I was worthless," he said dryly. "Do I seem like it to you?"
"No. Behind on some casework."
"I know. Her throwing up delayed me doing my report to send back." He went to do that. He could think while he typed for a while. He'd have someone proof it for hidden code words his mind slipped in later on.
Danny shook his head. "Even in his dreams he's a smartass," he muttered, dialing out on the comm system. "Sorry I'm a bit late. Had to be briefed on a vision someone had last night."
The head of undercover agents grimaced. "We trust them?"
"Sometimes they're cryptic but they warned us about the invasion so we had to look to see what was coming. They warned the girls to get to Sunnydale. They warned the ones who survived about the Bringers. I'm going to trust it enough to research it."
That got a nod. "I can understand that. I think one of my people ran into a problem for your people. Do you still have Harris there?"
"I do but he's got about ten open cases at the moment. Mostly things he needs to finish reports to send back to the sending department."
"They were talking about him. You might want to warn him."
"As soon as you give me what you have I will," he assured him. "I'm honest when my people are under threat. Him more than most because his multiple jobs."
"Good to know. Think we could get a slayer to train for us?"
"They age out at twenty-three as far as we know. The older ones might not mind if they're asked but plenty of them know how dangerous it is."
"I can see that. If I come up with a special project, I'll call."
"Please do. We'll gladly cooperate. We're not out to hog glory in the least."
The head at the CIA smirked. "That's good to know." He hung up.
"More paperwork for his bosses to read anyway," he muttered as he made sure it was hung up on his end. He got into his voicemail, finding a good one to call back on. He called, frowning as he leaned back. "Director, this is Daniel Jackson at DCIS. What did you need?" He listened to her. "No, that's not possible. I'm sorry. Because he's out on case assignment right now in Atlanta. He's not due back for at least another week." He rolled his eyes. "No I can't. Because he's helping track down some missing coeds that a demon kidnaped for some reason," he said bluntly. "I'm not going to take his mind off that and make them possibly die. What did you need him for? We do have a number of good agents thanks to Tony's poaching."
He listened to the rest of the problem. "Director, unless it touches on the supernatural in some way we're not allowed to get involved," he said more gently. "That is our charter. It has to deal with the demonic, supernatural, something like that. Wicca is a religion and even if they can get it to work, I doubt they're doing harm unless they're changing sides." He turned on his computer monitor and found what he needed in his bookmarks. "I can send you a site that would deal with that issue. That way you could use it for research. Some of my people might know someone in DC so you can talk to them about whether or not the young woman in question was doing it the right way. Other than that, if she's a real Wiccan witch, she doesn't believe in doing harm unless it's her life in danger. Protection possibly, not murder."
Don Flack leaned in. "A team is back in the air and on their way back. No casualties. Three of the six were still alive and the ones that weren't they said were from prior injuries. Not during their captivity. They said the slayer on the team was very helpful hunting them down and she's going to want dessert tonight as a reward."
"I'll do what I can, Don. Thank you."
"Welcome." He grinned and left, going to help Xander with his reports. "Want me to take one?"
"I know what most of them are, it's a matter of getting to the reports. This one's been waiting now for three days." He finished up. "You can proofread for me, make sure my head didn't add in any coded phrases or things." He grinned. "Please?"
"Sure." He took the file on CD to do that. Sure enough, there were mental babble in there so he cut and pasted it into another document. He wasn't sure why Xander was hooked on Xena, but okay. He saw enough strange stuff around here that Xander going strange for a bit fit right in. After all, the guy was seriously overworked. Tony strolled in a while later while he was proofreading the last few reports, looking over his shoulder. "Xander's having a mental stream of babble in his reports." Xander groaned. "I'm proofreading."
"That's a good idea." He took the last few to look over, taking them to fax for him. One might be a bit too late. He knew John was in that area. He filed them in the 'done and sent back' file for Danny to look over and sign off on. Then he went to pull Xander up for a talk. "What's wrong?" he asked as he walked them out the back door and away from the base's main buildings.
"Long night. A strange, slayer sort of dream."
"Another one already?"
"Sometime but maybe not a mass one like in LA," he admitted. "I had Ares, God of War, telling me I'm not one of his." Tony snorted. "Then he turned into a strange demon who seemed to want Sam. So I'm not sure. I'm just tired."
"You've been just tired now for a few days, Xander." He stopped him to look at him. "You're still doing about six jobs. Have you talked to Giles about hiring you an assistant? Or him an assistant?"
"No. I'm fine. I just got a bit backlogged with the cryathon they had the other night."
"I know. You still need to take a few personal days. Go shopping for yourself. Go play. Go find a real amusement park and hit it."
Xander grimaced. "Then the guys would be stuck with the girls for those few days and no one's there to play mom."
"You're not a girl," Tony said dryly. "The rest of us like the girls too. We can let them cry on us. I'm sure Abby has. And hey, Sheppard is back down here because someone higher up wanted him here for the next few weeks. Heard that on the way back since we stopped to pick him and his loud one up. Let the girls pounce them."
"They're being good," he defended.
Tony grinned. "They have been. Which is why this is a good time to take a vacation. You've been working non-stop now for over a year, Xander. Everyone else takes time off." Xander walked off shaking his head. "Yes you can. You need it, Xander." He followed him for a bit but he was heading for the woods so he went inside. He made a note and held it up at the doorway since Danny was on the phone.
"Hold on, Jack." He looked at the note, then he snickered. "He hasn't?" Tony shook his head. "Why not?"
"The girls need him."
"I'm going to see if we can cut down on some of his other duties too. The girls need him alive and sane, not tired and exhausted from all the stress. Thanks for pointing that out."
"Welcome." He shredded the note then went to do his own reports.
Danny took Jack off hold. "I didn't ask, Jack. I have no idea who asked. If I knew, I'd go beat them. He's needed there." He smiled. "We'll do what we can. Sure. No clue. Thanks, Jack. But hey, maybe I can use him to fill in for Xander." He hung up and went to talk to Giles. He found Xander in there, then smiled and leaned closer to him. "Anything on this morning's dream?"
"Not yet," Giles admitted. "Are we sure it'll be in the south?"
"That's what he said," Xander told him.
"Hmm. Well, I have found that someone did see that we'd have a mass of apocalypses as the shockwaves of Glorificus dying and the First Evil being let out washed over the world. They'll slowly stop in about two years and we'll go back to the normal level, a few minor ones a year or so." He took off his glasses to look at Danny. "The ascension list, how sure are we?"
"We looked over the book and found the things they'd have to order. Some of them you have to file paperwork to get into the country. So unless they're raising some on their own or they're getting them from a black market source we should be okay. Crissy's asked the major dealer in LA of most of those things to call us if he does get a sudden request. That they're looking to do what your former mayor did and the girls would like some warning." Giles nodded. "He agreed and said it was bad for business if everyone got eaten. He's helped them with a few other cases as well. So we should have a good head's up. If not, we'll get there as soon as it's told to us and handle it."
"I dare say it's easier than blowing up the school," Giles said dryly.
"If I had any sense I would've grabbed a second launcher and tried that when he first came out," Xander told him.
Giles looked at him. "That was a situation where we all did the best we could, Xander. We were being blindsided by the other problems within the group. Even you." He smiled at Danny. "We're working on it."
"Good. Now, I was going to have you suggest seeing if we could mutually hire someone to help you with the research work. Sam's been a bit busy with the demonology classes and helping a few girls look up things for the agents. A research helper could help both of us and you definitely need someone who has some training and sense to help you. That way you make it to meals, Mr. Giles."
Giles smiled. "I had thought about that but I have no idea how to handle that."
"There are actually people who go to college to get a degree in mythology," Danny told him. "Or perhaps a family of a former watcher. But you do need help in here. The girls are just now learning how to research for the most part. Sam gave them their first research paper in Demonology 3."
"I know. I shall look into that. Perhaps Abby might know someone as well."
"Abby might," he agreed happily. "Plus that's a position we could split between the two groups. Each pay half of his salary so he can help us do ours as well. That gives the girls time to get ready for regular school and us someone to help when they're finally there in a few months."
"That would be a good idea," he decided. He looked at Xander.
Who shrugged. "I thought about it but I was doing good just getting them to classes and not making them that boring."
"Have you a thought where to look?"
"Not yet. I know there's some who research within the community but they're mostly in it to find things. You might ask John. He's given us a few contacts who help Wes now and then."
"Hmm. I'll have to call him tonight then. Thank you both." He smiled and put back on his glasses, going back to his reading. "Did you need Xander to do more casework?"
"No, he's caught up. I might need him to take a day off soon if these dreams are going to start interfering with his daily schedule." Xander scowled at him. "If they do, you'll need it. I'd rather know than have you exhausted from it and then have you die, Xander." He walked off to look at the paperwork he had on Xander. It was sketchy at best. "Tony?" he called. He came jogging in. "Why is Xander's file without any forms?"
"Um, because we kinda adopted him and he volunteered?" he said with a wince. "I knew I was going to screw something up."
Danny tossed over the 'new hire' packet. "Here you go. Backdate it and sign it since you hired him."
"He was here before me."
Danny grimaced, getting into the oldest files, finding some of it in there. "Here we go. He was here a good month before you it looks like." He pulled that file off the computer and handed it over. "Here, now fill those out and backdate them." Tony nodded, going to do that. Danny shook his head. He still probably owed Xander a back pay check. Wonderful for his budget. He wondered if anyone else wasn't getting paid so he went down the list of personnel versus checks cut this time. It was nice, Sheppard was on both lists. So was McKay. He smirked and went to talk to them. "Who said to come back?"
Sheppard shrugged. "No clue. I was told it had to do with the leaks."
"Okay. I thought we plugged that leak."
"I don't know, Danny," he complained. "How're things going?"
"Xander and Sam had some sort of prophetic dream last night that says we're having another one soon but it'll be smaller and more personal to them than not. Giles found out why we're having so many so close together and it should even out in the next year and a bit. Jack's pissed."
John Sheppard grinned. "Jack? Whyever for?" he asked dryly.
"Because the Pentagon came up with six new forms he's got to fill out," he said with a smirk. "Unlike him, I can have someone do mine."
"Better not be me."
"No. But since you're here, you want to work on the girls' training or help in research?"
He shrugged. "I don't care. I can check on that leak later. Abby hasn't had anything new come in recently that they've found. Rodney's helping her rewriting forensics and chemistry for the demonic. Why not."
"Good. Xander needs to go back to doing *two* jobs. Not six."
John nodded. "Know how that feels."
"Yes, but he pouts when we try to relieve his stress. And honestly, he's been here longer than everyone but a few of the military guys that transferred in." That got a nod and John went to the library to see if he could help them any. Danny went to his office to find Tony had gotten the paperwork done, backdated, and not signed. He called Xander in. "Here, sign this. I went looking for your paperwork and we only had a bit of it on the computer and none of the official stuff we need."
Xander grimaced. "Does this mean you'll have to do a background check on me again?"
"Probably not. Why? Pot bust?" he joked with a grin.
"Well, no, but when I was stripping to fix my car I got busted for underage drinking and they thought I was a pro for about a night."
Danny gaped. "You what?"
Xander nodded. "The car blew up in Oxnard on my post-grad road trip. I had to do something to fix the stupid thing and pay rent." Danny moaned. "Sorry. Thought you knew. Tony found out."
"Tony never told me but I've been in those sort of situations, Xander. Any drug arrests?" Xander shook his head. "Was the hooking charge removed?"
"Yeah, the next morning when the cop tried to cop a feel and I busted his ass. The doctor in the jail checked and found out no one had stretched me back there when they asked. Of course, they had to tie me down to look...." He trailed off. "Not a happy night to remember."
"I bet. No, I shouldn't need to do one. Any weapons charges?"
"Sunnydale's PD had a lot of suspected charges because the mayor decided to make us the bad guy for fighting against his crap."
"Understood. I don't care." Xander nodded, signing things and handing them back. "I'll get you the rest of that backpay this payday." Xander rolled his eyes as he walked out. "You do the work, you get paid around here, Xander." He checked them over, making sure everything had a signature. They went into his personnel file and was filed in the perpetually locked cabinet. Then he sat down to get back to work. For fun he did do a background check on him, smiling at the Initiative's file that came up saying he was dangerous and mentally unstable, that he had helped take down a military unit and caution should be applied. He got into the remarks section to add to it with the truth. That the project needed to be taken down, he was not unstable mentally or emotionally, and others had a real problem with a project that resulted in hundreds of beings being tortured and one of those tortured assassinating the president. He added a last note that said Xander was perfectly reasonable when not faced with situations that involved hurting innocents he had to help save. Then he saved it down and shut it. His phone rang a few minutes later so he put him on speaker. "Jackson."
"Doctor Jackson, you just updated a personnel file from my people," a male voice said.
Danny looked at the phone. "You would be?"
"I'm the head over the covert branch in Homeland Security, Doctor Jackson, therefore your boss."
Danny snorted. "Sorry, sir, but their suppositions came because they were torturing others and their torture led to others having to protest, and yes, take down their project. Their project also led to the assassination of a president and the formation of my bureau. He's not unstable. I work with the man every day. He's bouncy. He's hyperactive. He's also very intelligent and has a lot of weapons knowledge. No one has to fear from Xander unless they're doing things that are very wrong and hurting innocents."
"I see. You still should not...."
"He is my person and it is my responsibility to make sure that their records are reflecting accurately on them," he said firmly.
"I don't like your attitude."
"Then take it up with the president since he hired me. Xander was here before Tony and I were and it was going well then. He's kept this agency together and working, plus all the girls. I don't care if you don't like him. I don't care if you're buddy-buddy with the Initiative freaks who think torture is good science. You touch my people and I will make sure the consequences are severe and total. Am I clear, sir? Since you still haven't proven who you are or given your name."
"We'll see." He hung up.
Danny called the president's office. "It's Doctor Jackson. Small issue. Something he should hear from me. A Jack-style pissing match," he told his assistant. "One of those." He leaned back. "I got into one of my people's files and corrected the assumptions made by the Initiative about him being dangerous, mentally unstable, etc. and so forth. Someone claiming to be the head over the covert agencies in Homeland just called to try to intimidate me and correct me. I told him off because I'm not stupid and I know my people. Yes, he should hear about it. Just a head's up, I hope." He smiled. "A bit of one coming in the south somewhere. We're looking it up and it's going to be at least a few months, something small and probably more personal to some of our personnel. As far as I know we don't have anything major coming. Giles is checking. Speaking of, can you pass on the word to the Chief of Staff that he's looking to possibly hire researchers we can split here? Thanks, Miss Anderson. We have no idea where to find any but I figure the Chief of Staff might know some who could handle this subject matter and might even know some other languages to help since about half the books are in Latin. Thank you. Sure, just hand him the note. Have a good day." He hung up and got back to work. The little fairy that had shown up one day and decided his job was to deliver things flew in with a stack of files for him. "Thank you."
"Welcome." It flew off, cheerfully humming. It was doing good work.
Danny smiled, getting into the sent files. Xander's files were on top since they were the most recent. He went over them. They were up to standard and looked well researched. One he wasn't sure about the demon but looking it up showed what it was and he had no idea why he had ruled out the other six it could've been. He called him in to ask him. "There's six others it could be."
"I texted Brenda. She said she got a good look at it and that's what it was."
"Oh. Are they handling it?" He nodded. "That's fine then, Xander. Just wondering."
Xander stared at him. "Who said what?"
"I fixed the personnel record on your behalf since the Initiative had you being next to Charles Manson," he admitted. "Someone higher up wanted that changed back."
Xander snickered. "The remains of their group are now somewhere in Homeland too."
"I'm not hiring them."
Xander got the file from his desk and handed it over. "This is who is left. He is in an admin. position and so is Finn." He handed it over once he had marked those two names. "I made sure Tony got a copy of who I remembered and the notes we made."
"Good. Even better. Anything else I should know?"
"Not yet. Though they did try to divide the group. Nearly succeeded. You should ask Buffy. She was dating one."
"I'll do that. Thank you." Xander smiled. "I asked the Chief of Staff at the White House to send any good researchers he thinks we might be able to use this way. It'll help us both."
"So you said. Have more coffee, Danny."
"I can do that." He got up and went to do that while Xander checked his email and went over the notes Don had taken out of his reports.
Xander walked into Sammy's classroom between shifts, handing it over. "I was writing my reports while tired and this showed up in the ten of them."
Sam leaned on his desk to look them over, frowning. "That makes sense with what we both saw," he said, handing it back. "Anything yet?"
"No. Something on why we have so many apocalypses scheduled but not this yet. Giles thought Ares was symbolic from my mind but I don't think so. I think the demon who sent it did it on purpose."
Buffy cleared her throat. "Did we say you saw something, Xander? Like a slayer dream?"
"We both had a dream last night that was halfway between a slayer and a prophetic dream," Sam told her. "Fairly strange. It seems like it's coming after some special children."
"The girls?" she asked hesitantly. Sam shook his head so she sighed and grinned. "Good. Well, not *good* but the slayers don't need to handle another one."
"When we killed Glory, it started off a chain reaction and the First Evil created ripples. It's what's causing all the apocalypses."
She shuddered. "Bigger ones?"
"Like ripples in a pond," Sam assured her. "It'll go back to normal levels soon."
She nodded. "Even better. Who're the special kids? Dawn?"
"Possibly. She showed up but so did Dean and Xander," Sam said. "It sounded like it thought I was and it was trying to warn Xander off from trying to stop it."
"Okay then. Then we'll watch out for strange slayer dreams."
"Watch out for yellow eyes, special children, a people's army in the south following the demon's scion," Xander said. "That's what he basically said it was."
She nodded. "Same yellow-eyed demon that got Brenda so upset?"
"Could be," Sam agreed. "It could be the one that's been after my family for years. I'm not sure. We're still researching."
"Okay. I'll keep an ear out and I'll warn Faith to do the same. Wes too probably. Where's Giles?"
"Library," Xander said dryly. "Where is he usually?"
"Good point." She strolled off. "Lunch time, guys."
"Coming," they agreed. They shared a look then shrugged and headed off to eat. They could both use it. Xander's notes went into Sam's pocket so he could go over it again later when he had the incidences in front of him. It might give him more clues.
Danny looked out his window as a helicopter approached, sighing in displeasure. "Hell," he muttered in Chinese, walking out to greet his boss. "Sir," he said, nodding politely once the Head of Homeland Security had gotten off the chopper. "You could've landed in the back lot easier. It's a safer landing spot. Have him go back behind the gym please?" He said something to the pilot, who took off and took his helicopter back there. "Now you're not in the way if something happens. What can I do for you today, sir?"
"I wanted to talk to you about your little pissing contest."
Danny stared at him. "Xander, can I please have the Initiative files?" he called.
"On your desk, boss," Tony called back. "Xander thought you might need them after lunch. Just in case."
"Good to know." He waved a hand. "We can go to my office if you want, sir."
"I saw their project."
"Sir, I saw their testing tapes," he said bluntly. That got a shudder. "They were judging Agent Harris on the basis of having helped stop them from doing horrible things to some beings that were and weren't innocent. Including some children." That got another shudder. "Xander is no more a danger than I am. His dangerous side only comes out when he has to protect others. Mostly to the US's benefit. I'm sorry their wounded prides and attitude problems made you come all the way out here. Since you're here, would you like a tour of the base?"
"I wanted to know some things first." Danny waved a hand. "You're nicer than O'Neill."
"Often. Until you get in my face and I have to protect people." The little shrub demon wandered over. "Hey, George. The girls are in classes for another hour." It rubbed against his leg than waddled off. "One of the young girls on base adopted him. He's harmless but protective." He led him back to his office. He even shut the door, something he hardly did. "What did you need to know, sir?"
"First, those girls?"
"The last of the slayers. Our mutual aid pact means that we can lean on them and they can shelter with us since so many of them are underage." The other man gaped. "We have one that's seven. She's been taken in by a great family for us, but the spell to end the First Evil in Sunnydale called all the ones born. We're still missing a few but they're arranging to get them here for training and support."
"I see." He considered him. "We lean on them?"
"My people would've been decimated in LA a few months ago," he said honestly. "Their training helps my people train as well. We get to share classes, research, all that. They're doing the same job as we are, only with less forms and less legal intervention. It's their hereditary duty. The president who set this up agreed it was a good plan when things went south in Sunnydale before the final battle out there. We had intercepted a few Watchers who were about to be killed by the minions and protected the girls from them."
"Then they raided that base," he said dryly. "Getting a bunch of good men killed."
"It wasn't them that raided it. That was a power play by the remaining Watchers who wanted to take out all the girls. They were going to kill them all, including anyone with them or shielding them." The other man groaned. "They're the ones who broke onto that base and killed those men. When Dawn Summers got them off the base and hidden, they decided to try arson after trapping them in a basement. Mr. Harris got to them as they were pouring gas, sir. It's his direct intervention that protected all those innocent young lives."
"So why are they still here?"
"Because Cleveland doesn't need them all there. It was felt that having so many slayers there would draw things to them. Which Cleveland does not need. Their city council agreed that they didn't need it when they found out. As a matter of fact, they forbid that many slayers to be in their city. Since Cleveland is a new hellmouth it doesn't have many problems or need more than a few of the girls at a time. We have a rotation for there and LA with the older girls who have passed their field tests. The only problem we have with the girls is the lack of space at the moment. If we get too many more, they're going to have to build somewhere on the back of the base. Then we'll change that building over to single quarters since we're running out of them. That had been a topic of conversation recently."
"We're sharing salaries?"
"Mostly we're sharing training. Only one person right now works for both, Mr. Harris. They're hiring people to help the girls and we're taking the same lessons to get my people up to speed on various demons, their clans, the harmless and the peaceful versus those who might cause us problems, all that. Both sides need their library for research and since Xander evacuated it with the younger girls when the chance was given by the old unit, we both get the library. We're talking about hiring a split researcher right now. The girls are going to be starting school this fall and they've been doing a lot of helping in there."
"Uh-huh." He considered it. "I'd like to meet Mr. Harris."
Danny opened the door. "Where's Xander?"
"Practice with Dean," someone called.
"Thanks." He nodded. "Shall we? Dean's a hunter, his family's been hunting demons since he was four, and Xander saved him and his brother so they could help the slayers."
"I'm aware of that." He followed him out, watching those two work out and trade light insults with each other. The boy had some skills but wasn't nearly as good as his trainer. "He's untrained in this area?"
"I had specific knowledge and Dean's got a wider variety of skills so I'm picking up additional ones, thank you," Xander called. He ducked a hit then pushed Dean down, looking at him. "You would be?"
"Xander, this is the head of Homeland," Danny said, shooting him a 'be nice' look.
Xander waved. "I'd try to shake your hand but you're probably as paranoid about me being contagious as the assholes in the Initiative who I caught tasering a harmless, herbivore demon who was the equivalent of a ten-year-old human." The man moaned. "By the way, I'm only dangerous when you make me, sir. I don't care who it is. Was your grandmother G'wark or one of the other clans?"
"G'wark. How did you know?"
Xander walked over and looked at something on his collar. "You wear their mark." He stared into his eyes. "I'm not a threat unless you make me one," he said calmly. "They wanted me and my group of friends to break up so they could get Buffy, dissect how she did things, take her skills for their own, and then kill her. A normal guy who was partially trained wasn't wanted or needed according to them."
"I see. So the file?"
"Pure BS," he said dryly. "I only drive you insane if I like you."
The man smirked. "Good to know. That does go with your reputation, Mr. Harris. My grandmother's people have heard of you."
"Good things?" he asked with a grin.
"Some. Some not."
Xander nodded. "Someone has to do the job. I think that was my job description until about a month ago."
The head of Homeland laughed. "I'll make sure Doctor Jackson has a good budget so he can hire some assistants for you."
"Sure. Any idea why they pulled some of the people off his old project to come here when they're needed desperately there by the rumors I've heard?"
"That was a decision from outside the network and someone bribed someone to make that call," he said bluntly. Xander grinned at that. "I do not know who but I do know that they want their project to fail."
"And the people that would be killed?"
"I don't think this sort cares, Mr. Harris."
"I know people like that. Can I get them back there then?"
"If you can."
"I think I can. Hey, Dawn, go get the new guys. Send them home!" he yelled. She squealed and did that. He smirked. "There, better."
He smirked back. "Thank you for handling things when they went pear shaped."
"You know, I never really understood that analogy," he admitted. "But you're welcome." He grinned again. "Want the dollar tour?"
"No, son. I came to check on some things. Why do you scare agents?"
"Because I'm a combat vet without a known affiliation for any branch of service. I have the same reflexes, some of the same training and knowledge, and they can't be sure who I swear allegiance to. Think of me like a kid who was possessed, because I was to get the soldier's memories, and then I'm thrown onto a battle cruiser. Where I have all the knowledge I could need but I'm not in the service."
"Do you swear allegiance to Doctor Jackson?"
"As long as the agency doesn't turn into the Initiative they have my support and the girls' support. I do what's right, even if it does end up causing some bad feelings."
He nodded. "Good answer. Sometimes being right and being good are two different things."
"No, I'm still mostly good. But I'll be damned if I let any of the agents here torture people or demons."
He nodded. "Even better. You're raising those girls of yours right."
"Thank you. Anything else we can do for you today, sir? Danny, we've got a gate breach I think. I'm having the 'I should get near the east gate just in case' itchy feeling."
"We'll handle it," he promised, leading his boss off. "Xander's not often wrong but he's not an officially known seer," he said quietly.
"Gut instinct works for your second's boss. I can see it working for him. I'll leave you alone. How is your budget?"
"If I'm hiring a few more agents and people, I could probably use a small raise but I won't have the same startup costs as I did this year. So it might even out."
"I'll keep that in mind. You will be at the anti-terrorism conference next month?"
"If I'm reminded. Not that I think we'll intersect a lot, sir, but we do what we can."
"I know. It's possible some of the same pipelines are leading into your caseload." He heard an alarm. "Let me fly off. Doorway out back?" Danny pointed then ran for the armory. He ran for his chopper and was taking off as the agents headed for the gate to defend it against the ones coming in. Jackson came out firing as well. So it was good. They had well-trained people. Maybe the paranoid ones were wrong about Harris bringing down that agency from the inside. He saw Harris taking down two demons and one of the girls fighting with him got another that was trying to block Harris' shot. Harris fell and he winced but he got up and went at it again. The girl beside him fell and was apparently unconscious. She didn't get back up. But they guarded her and someone floated her off somehow. Then an explosion went off and it was pretty messy. "Charming," he said blandly. "They do have plans though." He looked at his pilot. "Got the information file?" He handed it over. "Then let's head back to the airport." He read it on the way. It was very interesting. What his friend needed to know was in there, just not blatantly stated.
Danny walked into the infirmary. "How's Faith?"
"Fine. Small concussion. She's already been up and fussed so we knocked her back out for a few hours. Everyone else?"
"Some debris scratches. Nothing major." He looked at the dark-haired slayer then at the nurse. "I got a voicemail from you?"
"Our head doctor is wanting to retire to private practice. She's pregnant."
He nodded. "So I need a new doc to handle this."
She handed him a list. "The qualifications you need, Danny."
"Thank you." He smiled. "You do make it easy."
"Good. We've got flu shots coming in November. Should I hunt you down?"
"Please. My allergy pills?" She handed them over and he nodded, walking off to go find them a new head doctor. He ran into Xander, who was pacing. "Another one?"
"No. Wondering when I got able to tell what I needed." He looked at him. "I'm not a seer like Sam is."
"Are most of them like Sam is?"
"I don't know."
"Then ask one. Or ask Sam."
"I did, he gave me a dirty look."
"That was probably the way you blurted it out, Xander. Go apologize and ask the rational question." He nodded, trudging to do that. Danny got another cup of coffee and went to find a doctor from his desk. They couldn't do without one. Too many injuries happened. He looked around his office then frowned. "Tony, get one of the CSI in here, please?" he called. There was a lock popped open on a cabinet that should not have one open. Tony and Ryan walked in. "That lock please."
They looked. "Isn't that the personnel cabinet, boss?" Tony asked. Danny nodded. "We'll check the index list against it then." Ryan dusted for prints, finding two, then he left to run them in the lab while Danny and he checked the index lists. "We have two missing."
"I'll let them know." Danny went to find the two in question, finding them not talking to each other at lunch. "Xander, Sam, can I see you for a minute?"
"It's their fight, let them," Dean advised. "They're both being chicks at the moment."
"I would but someone got into their personnel records while I was showing the Head of Homeland Security around."
Sam frowned at him. "How?"
"I don't know. I keep that cabinet locked and when I got back after the emergency it was open." He looked at Xander. "Unless you got into yours?"
"No. No need to." He ate another bite. "We think it was him?"
"We found fingerprints. One should come up mine, one might not." He sat down across from them. "I don't know if it was him, since he was with me until the alarm went off, or the pilot he brought." Ryan walked in and brought him papers to look at then got his own lunch to head back to his current case. He looked. "The pilot." He handed it to Xander. "Know him?"
He looked then shook his head. "No." He handed it to Sam. "It didn't list any covert service, like the Initiative."
"No, it doesn't," Sam agreed. He scowled at Danny. "How could this happen?"
"I was showing him around. He's the boss over all us. I'm assuming he snuck in. Ryan, did you run hallway cameras?"
"Yours doesn't have one but the one nearest your office is being looked over by Abby after lunch," Abby called.
"Thanks, Abby. Let me know please?" He looked at them again. "I don't know why you two, guys."
Sam started to open his mouth to say something mean but Dawn froze all three of the men in question. "I think this is a bit coincidental, don't you?" she asked them. Xander's eyes were glaring. "You two have a funky dream about a demon raising an army, including special children, which seems to indicate Sam is in trouble, and today someone breaks in to steal not only his file, but yours as well, Xander. After you smarted off to the demon and protected Sam." She unfroze them.
"Spanking later," Dean told her.
"Had to get the point across and it's not like I did like Willow would and turned them into bunnies or something." Xander shuddered. "I know, don't remind you." She looked at Sam. "Do you believe in coincidences when there's bad demons involved?"
"No," he said quietly. "I don't think...."
"I do. I've been mean all day. So has Dean. So has Xander. Something in the dream infected us." Giles moaned from his seat. "I'm betting there's some sort of spell so you two at least would break up to get you out of the protections here, Sam."
He slumped but nodded. "Can we check?"
"Already started on it. My psychic witch friend is helping. She's the one who had to point it out to me."
"Don't sneeze," Tim joked.
"Oh, I won't." She looked at them. "So?"
Dean nodded. "Could be."
Xander sighed but nodded. "Definitely could be." He looked at Sam. "I did apologize for putting that badly, right?"
"He did his usual blurting out babble of information and it came out wrong," Dawn translated. "Please forgive him for being a Xander."
"Way to pick up your sister's attitude," one of the younger girls complained.
Dawn scowled. "Butt out." She looked at Sam. "Even if you're fighting it could save your life, Sam."
"I know. I'm not really mad at him. I guess that's more evidence of the whatever it is infecting us since I understood what he was asking. Why take his personnel file?"
"Because the demons don't do what the Powers and Buffy did," Danny pointed out. "They pay attention to Xander and how he supports and messes up things they plan. That's why all the demons earlier were aiming at Xander. That's what allowed us to pull the flanking maneuver so easily." Xander groaned. "Whatever gave you that warning was going to take him out."
"Crap," Dean muttered. "Xander, more sparring practice later."
"Good." He looked at his brother. "Let's figure out if we're infected or magicked or whatever." Sam nodded and headed off with Dawn once they had put their plates up. He looked at Danny. "Do we think the demon is infecting whoever got into the records or do we think it's a payoff situation?"
"I think a lot of people in high places probably made a little bit of a deal to make it easier to climb to the top," Xander told him. "How else do you get the bump up if you're not known for doing special things for people? Some, yes. They had a rep, they were well known. How did someone who we had no idea who they were make it to president a few years back? Even during that election I couldn't spell his name or identify his picture."
Dean gaped. "That's not that far fetched," Giles said. "If they only asked for a small step up in return for a single later favor, the demons would be able to use them for information sources on their enemies, use them to help support later plans, and I'm fairly certain Xander's correct since I know at least ten in the US Congress have made such deals. One fairly more strict. His daughter is marked. I saw it in some horrid beach pictures that got splashed around those trash journals they sell at the supermarket."
"Then we could be looking at this same demon or we could be looking at another demon calling in his favor?" Xander asked.
Giles shook his head. "The timing is wrong for it to be some other unless they're working to stop the one that sent the dream, Xander."
"Coincidences don't really exist," he agreed. He looked at Dean. "So."
"So," he agreed. "You're not leaving base for a while either."
"The next team case goes to my team. The other guys have been pulling our weight while we rebuilt."
Danny shook his head. "I like keeping your team for the bigger cases, Xander. ATF wants to know about the weapons pipelines the demons use. Did you leave any weapons in Sunnydale? Major things I mean?"
"Not of mine. Did the demons have some? I'm sure they did. I never knew where they were so if Spike didn't find them then probably so. I haven't gone through that storage area except for books and those were all put in the front of the room for us to move easily later."
"Then we'll let the older girls, you, Dean, Sam, and your team do that today," Danny decided.
"I got a new call in," Xander told him. "Here in town. The sheriff thinks they've got a rogue witch casting on people."
"How would they know?"
"Six people showed up with marks and had no idea how they got there. He checked the local tattoo places so it wasn't a drunken binge of friends. Looks like it's in the high school and a case of jealousy." He looked at him. "I was going to bring Dawnie with me."
"Go ahead and do that. Bring another member of your team as well," Danny ordered. "Just for safety reasons, Xander." He nodded. "Good." He looked at Dean. Then at Giles. "Can you both go over that room with the rest of his team and the older girls?" Giles nodded. So did Dean. "That way we have an index list and know what might come back to bite us later on."
"In a few cases literally," Giles warned.
"Of course. I'd expect possessed things to be among the most dangerous."
Xander shook his head. "Not always. Otherwise we wouldn't have nearly released a harder to kill demon onto the internet." Giles moaned. "Books online project," he said with a grin. "Scanning it in read the demon so he got released."
"We heard about that," Dean said. "One of the guys we know was chatting with it one day."
"That was Miss Calendar's project with Willow," Xander told him. "One's dead and the only hint we have about Willow is that she's somehow tied to Spike at the moment. The Powers brought him back for some reason." Giles spluttered. "I told you that. Angel's looking for them for us. That way we can separate them or whatever." He looked at Dean again. "Tie something around the possessed books if you can? That way we're warned."
"I can tie a ribbon around them," he decided. "That way some later witch can use it to seal the book shut." He looked at Giles, who nodded that was reasonable. "Good. Girls, after lunch, those who are field ready and passed are helping Giles and me with a project in the storage areas. The rest of you will be practicing with either the Major or Sammy. Depending on who's free." They nodded and finished up, heading off to classes or to grab another drink to take with them. The place down there was dusty. Dean finished up and headed down with them, Giles following with Buffy.
Xander looked at his team. "Guys, one of you gets to help me in town just in case." That got a shudder. "Danny thinks the demons earlier were coming after me."
"Sure. What's the case?" his team's leader asked.
"Rogue witch with a jealous streak against teenage girls," Xander said.
"I'll go," their former ATF agent said. "I could use the teaching in that area anyway." Xander nodded. "Do we have another case beyond that?" he asked Danny.
"Whatever comes in or whoever's free can help Giles in the storage area. We're not sure what they brought in from Sunnydale."
"It was two huge trucks and only one had books," Xander admitted. "Spike found us a lot of stuff to evacuate from Sunnydale."
"Sure," Danny Messer agreed. "Dangerous?" Xander shrugged. "Then we'll see." He finished up and went to check his desk and the fax machine then went to get sucked in. "Can I help?"
"Sure," Dean agreed. "You can help with the index portion. Description if it doesn't have a tag or the girls don't say 'that's possessed' or 'that's pure evil'."
"Sure," Danny agreed, settling in to help one of the groups. More agents came in to help by taking a group of people digging into boxes to do the same thing. Some of the girls had really crappy handwriting. They had found that out by some suddenly appearing mushy notes from the ones that had crushes. Annabelle came in and Danny tossed his spare pencil at Dean, nodding at her.
"I said field cleared, Anna," Dean said, giving her a look.
"I can help repack."
"Some of these are dangerous things," Buffy told her. "Half of this stuff came when we got the scythe."
She frowned. "Can I at least help with the non-possessed weapons?"
"No," Buffy said, shaking her head. "Not until you're nearer to field age. You can go ask the hotty in the armory if you can help him clean weapons. He said you're very good with them." She smiled and did that since he'd appreciate her help more than the other slayers did. She looked at Dean. "How's the one that got fostered out?"
"She's good from what I hear. Tony, Danny Jackson, and Xander look over their shoulder. The last I heard Cordette had aced a math test and a science test, plus she was doing great in her self-defense lessons that the FBI offered."
"You can ask the girls in LA. Crissy treats her like her little sister," Tory said from her group of boxes. She held up something. "Why do we have demon parts?" she said with an 'eww' face.
Giles looked then took it to look at closer. "Hmm. Part of a summoning spell that was interrupted since it's partially burned." He made a note on his chart and put it with the other magical supplies he had found. "Thank you, Tory."
"Welcome, Giles." She got back to work, then shoved her box over. "I think this is more like that. There's eyeballs and stuff." She shuddered and got another box. They ended up switching piles after a few more boxes with icky stuff but that was fine with her. As long as he kept the icky stuff with him.
Sam walked in and nudged Dean, handing him something. "Drink."
"The trio said so."
Dean drank the foul looking potion and really it tasted worse than it looked. He shuddered. But he felt better. More calm again. "Fixed it?"
"Yup. We've all been dosed so we should be okay. Xander and Dawn went to handle the jealous witch in the high school with Joe." He sat down to help him catalog things. There were some strange things in here.
Only one thing that got released though and the girls destroyed it pretty quickly when it tipped over someone's drink. Pity about it but she was thirsty.
Later that night, Xander looked up at the man who woke him up again. "Okay, this is getting monotonous. Damn it, another Tim word," he muttered, making himself sit up. "You know, if you're going to visit, bring me stuff so I can dedicate myself to Aphrodite instead, okay?" Ares handed over a picture. He leered. "That's nice," he agreed, tucking it into his shirt pocket. "The naked Hustler pose works for me. So thanks. Anything else?"
"You cannot stop the plan."
Xander giggled. "Yeah, right." He stood up. "Because I didn't help stop the others?"
"This isn't a play by the Powers, boy," he said smugly.
Xander nodded. "I realized that. They're usually more arrogant and pushy. So, these special kids. Anything that marks them so we can look them up?"
Ares laughed. "Like I'd tell you."
Xander shrugged. "Had to try." He stared at him. "You know very well no one on this base is being taken. I am the gatepost for them."
"That's why we're talking. If you don't let them, then worse can happen. He'll never get training."
Xander snickered. "I'm pretty sure we can train anyone around here. After all, I'm also part of the Slayer's Council." The demon backed off, looking alarmed. "Now, any other reason you decided I needed to be cranky tomorrow? Because, gotta tell you, that spell from the last dream?" He snorted. "Dawn said it was elementary and she would've canceled it out herself if she was trained to look for it."
"You cannot shield him. He is mine and will stay mine. I made him come into being."
Xander looked him over then looked into his eyes. "Why don't you drop the Ares, God of War look? It's really kinda pathetic. I liked the actor who played him while he was alive."
"I have to use an intermediary image that you would recognize so you know the power you're up against."
"Uh-huh." Xander stared at him and the guy's image changed to Joxer. "Really?" He looked then let out a horrified scream before going away. Xander looked around the realm. "Guess we'll do this the old-fashioned way." He pinched himself. He woke up and found a Hustler under his hand, making him smirk. "More than a dream realm demon then." He went to write down what he knew, making a copy of it just in case. One of the copies went under Dean and Sam's door. The others he hid around and one he even hid from himself. Just in case the guy was that sneaky. Dawn or Giles could find it for him. He went to sleep on his couch. Maybe a bit less comfortable but less likely to draw him back down to the dream realm because he couldn't get that deeply asleep again. Even if he would be cranky in the morning.
Xander walked in the next morning, hearing yelling coming from the office area. He walked up to find John yelling at Danny.
"How could you endanger my boys that way!" he shouted. "You let some minion get my son's records!"
Xander looked at the cowering slayer. "Weren't you supposed to keep him from being possessed?" Because he clearly was. Xander could feel the spirit sucking closer to him. John didn't usually try to suck him down so he had to be possessed.
"I tried, Xander," she whimpered.
"Go wake his sons up." She ran off and John turned to snarl at him. "So, what do you look like outside my dreams and John?" he asked bluntly. Danny moaned. "Because, gotta tell you, you just got that body fussed to death when the other slayers find out. Should've listened, little demon." John lunged at him and Xander took him down. "Can't use the body you're in. Good to know." He held him down while everyone else got him sedated and tied up. He looked at Dean. "Brenda tried."
"I know." He looked down. "Let the girls question him?"
Danny gave him a look. "We don't believe in torture, Dean," he said dryly.
"Pity." He hauled his father's body up and walked him down to the possession ward, putting him into a room. The nurse came in to tie him down. "The girls are going to fuss over him."
"I'm sure they will. Is Sammy coming down to help him or should I turn off the ventilation system for Dawn?"
"I'll do it since this one seems to want Sammy." He went to get what he needed, coming back to start the exorcism. He wasn't as good as Sam was with it but he could do one. Of course, the demon was being stubborn until Sam walked in. Then he smirked evilly at him. "You shouldn't be in here."
Sam winked. "It'll be fine. He can't hurt me." He came over to do the same exorcism chant.
Dean stared at his brother. He wasn't Sammy. It wasn't Xander either. The demon faded and he joined in to help him. They wanted the demon out of his father's body. The demon wasn't going to be obliging so Xander strolled in to add a banishment with it. Still stuck in there. "Okay, let the girls fuss," he decided. "We'll get a priest."
"One from the local town is on his way up," Xander promised. He grinned at 'Sammy'. "Thanks for trying."
"Welcome." He walked out and the illusion dropped to show Don Flack, who was a practicing Catholic. The priest nodded as he walked past him. "Watch out, Father. This one's a bit powerful."
"Of course he says he is." He walked in and nodded at Xander. "Any idea of his true name?" Xander and Dean both handed over the sheets they were working from. He looked then nodded. "That's reasonable. Why him? Is there a connection?"
"He killed my mother and nearly Sammy. This is our father."
"Which means Sammy's got a method of destruction and to help him," Xander pointed out dryly. The demon screamed and tried to wiggle free but Xander slugged him on the jaw, stunning him.
"Dude, my dad," Dean complained.
Xander shrugged. "Get me back in practice later. Did you get the sheet?"
"I did. Interesting. Sammy heard different words in a few spots."
"We can compare. I even hid one from myself."
"Good." They stepped back, watching the priest work. Xander got him some extra holy water when he started to run out but that was fine. Finally John was free as far as they could tell. Sammy leaned in to check. "You okay?"
"I'm fine. The girls are in hyper fuss mode." He got out of the way of the fussing girls who came in to help clean John up. "Brenda said she even tried to drive him back but he took over and drove instead. That way they wouldn't die." He got closer and the demon reached for him so the priest and the girls worked the banishment together. This time, it was gone. They were sure of it. It came out screaming and wailing as it was sent back to hell for a while. Dean waved as the spirit dissipated. Sam swatted him.
"Fine." He looked at Xander, then at his dad. "Morning. How did that happen?"
"Brenda said the demon made Dad think we were in the hospital and you were nearly dead," Sam said, leaning on the foot of the bed. "When she pointed out repeatedly, to get it through his stubborn head, that we're fine and here, the demon took him over. He wanted Dad to make a deal to save your life."
"Hmm. Interesting," Dean said. "It gave Xander a Hustler last night and now this."
"Trying to distract me so Sam's more open," Xander said. Then he shrugged. "We all know I can do without for longer than this demon thinks. Even if she's naked and on top."
"Eww," one of the girls said. "Not ready for those thoughts yet."
Xander stared at her. "Good!" She pouted. "You're fifteen. That's a good thing." She rolled her eyes and went back to helping with her part of the sponge bath.
"Must you do that?" John asked them hoarsely.
"Yes!" they said in unison and scowled. He wilted at the five scowls. They giggled and went back to it.
Dean patted him on the foot. "We're making sure the demon's gone, Dad. Nothing can stand against five slayers in a fussing mood. Not even you." He walked out with the others and the priest. "He good?"
"He should be fine." He looked at Xander. "You need to see me as well."
"I like my two possessions. They're helpful and my babies."
The priest moaned. "They taint you, boy."
Xander nodded. "They made it so we defeated the ascension at Graduation and Glorificus. Yay. A bit of tainting isn't anything against that."
The priest stared at him. "And the other?"
"Dawn sneezed up a new body for him. He's somewhere in the squad room if you wanted to talk to him."
The priest groaned. Then he shook his head. "If you need me for his, let me know," he told Sam. Who nodded but grinned a bit. "It could be dangerous."
"No, the hyena loves being pack mother to the slayers. Considers most of them cubs." The priest walked off shaking his head. Dean gave him an odd look. "I was possessed by the hyena pack leader and then Ethan's Halloween surprise meant that I turned into a soldier with all the memories and training he had. Since I'm me, it stuck around a bit." He walked off grinning. His babies were very helpful to him.
"Anything else we should worry about on the tainting side?" Sam called after him.
"Only if Willow was right and I didn't get to detox every single bit of mermaid steam from my body after the swim team incident," he called back, then shot them a grin before getting onto the elevator and leaving.
Dean looked at his brother. "I never thought I'd meet a worse demon magnet than you. It's good to know they exist." He went back in to save his father from the girls. It's what dutiful sons did. "Girls, let him nap so we can make sure he stays clear," Dean ordered.
"Few more minutes," Brenda complained. "I've got dry shampoo and we need to shave him."
"Leave the scruff," one whined. "I like scruffy men to look at."
"I'm still too old for you. Please quit?" John begged.
"No," Brenda said. "I failed and you got possessed. I have to make sure you're all right." She finished his hair and brushed it out, then looked at the others. "He redressed?" They nodded. "Then we'll post a guard."
"Go file reports so it can be official," Dean ordered. They trudged off to do that. "You too, Brenda. You especially." She nodded, leaving them alone except for the guard outside the room. He grinned. "You back, Dad?"
"I'm going to beat your ass, Dean. No more fussing girls."
"Suck it up." He walked closer. "Still in there?"
"Maybe a taint but not a full one. I can hear myself think and I sound like myself instead of wanting to grab Sammy and take off with him."
"Good!" He patted him on the head. "Could be worse. They could've fully stripped you."
"No, thankfully I talked them into leaving on my boxers. Go away? Let me be humiliated in peace?"
"For now." He walked off, taking Sammy with him to go over Brenda's report with her. They needed to know what happened. They couldn't find Xander but that was fine. He was around there somewhere. He always was.
Sam looked at Xander that night at dinner. "Dad should be fine."
"Are you still sucking in spirits?"
"The shield they put on me is still holding."
"Good." He grinned. "You good otherwise?"
"I'm fine. I'd expect the same sort of visit if something wanted the slayers."
"Thanks." He dug back in again.
Dean looked at Xander. "You still need to find a day off."
"Once this one is done," Xander assured him.
"By then it could be another year," Dean complained. "The last time you took a day off was the demon strip club."
Xander grinned. "Some were pretty."
"You're still not allowed to date, X," Faith called. "We don't need to expose the girls to badder ones."
"Yeah, we might take lessons and then no one would be safe," one quipped. Buffy choked. "Not that *I'd* do anything like that, Buffy. Really." She gave her the best 'innocent, good girl' grin she could.
"Uh-huh." Buffy looked at Xander. "Go gay?"
Xander shrugged. "Not my thing most of the time. Though I have been asked if I was a boy pro in the past." She moaned and Giles choked. "Road trip."
"You're never allowed out alone again," Buffy said firmly. "We'll find you someone nice to date and make sure they can work here too. That way we make sure it's not evil, mean, or going to warp the younger girls."
"I'm sure we can make them nicer," Annabelle said with an evil grin of her own. "After all, we made John hug earlier."
"I'm so proud," Dean said with a grin. "You're going to be the best slightly evil slayer ever, Annabelle."
She cackled. "Thank you, Dean! Want a hug?"
"Hug Sammy. I don't do mushy stuff." She got up to hug Sammy then went back to her dinner.
"You hug very nice, just enough strength for pressure," Sam told her. "Finish up. You have homework to do." She pouted but did that. The other girls who had homework went with her. They knew the rules: no tv if you had homework and a group favorite tv show came on tonight. They all liked to laugh at the Xena double play that came on a local station later tonight.
Buffy shook her head. "We'll get her straightened out."
"She's a good girl," Xander said, giving her a look. "She knows when the right time to be evil is. Mostly to annoy someone." He finished up and went back to his paperwork. He had a few things he had to finish up before he could turn in and have another strange dream tonight.
Buffy looked at the agents in there with them. "Anyone want to date Xander? We'd trust you not to be evil. And hey, Xander was apparently good to Anya in the bedroom according to all the bragging she did."
Tony looked at her. "Behave, Buffy."
"But he's lonely and if he dates it'll be a bad thing."
Tony shook his head. "The three dates he's been on since he got here didn't go badly except for the time the boys brought him to the strip club."
"So maybe it's just sex," Faith offered.
"It's a poor guy who can't have sex," Dean told her. "He should be put out of his misery if he can't and then what would you girls do?"
"Go bra shopping with you?" Buffy said happily.
Dean cackled. "I'd like to see you make me go bra shopping, Buffy."
"Good. We'll go Sunday." She finished up and went to check on the girls. Then check their chains and handcuffs. Because Dean might be stubborn but she needed a guy's opinion now and then.
Faith looked at Dean. "Remember, commando boy taught her the meaning of 'tie you up and hurt you'." Dean shuddered. "I'd hide."
"I'll help him," Sam promised. "We'll both hide so we don't end up in the mall bra shopping. Did that once, never again." She smirked. "My girlfriend Jess brought me once."
"Uh-huh. Special treat?" she teased.
"Well, yeah. But I'm never doing it again."
She walked out laughing. "I'd hide really good. Remember, she does know how to track."
Dean moaned, shaking his head. "Maybe we'll go on a short field case Saturday?" he suggested.
Sam nodded. "Works for me."
The other girls trooped out and a few loyal ones warned Buffy they'd try that. She'd have to capture them sooner. Maybe they'd even let her drive their car if she tied them up nicely enough.
The rest went to think about bras and Sam or Dean or Xander in the same thought. It was a happy night in Slayer Hall. Even if it did get a bit loud and the guards would complain to Danny and Giles.
Xander woke up to Ares, God of War again. So the first thing he did was change him into Gabrielle, making him huff. Xander just smirked. "Fits you since you like to gab so much and you try to make up stories. Nice work with John by the way. He needed to be fussed over and the girls needed to learn how to fuss properly. He'll be begging for mercy and a new baptism very soon."
The demon changed back. "I am not female."
"I'll make sure someone knows that for your tombstone. Wanna give me a name so I can put it on there too?"
"No," he sneered. "You won't stop me. You're a mere mortal."
"You know, the Powers said the same damn thing. And look what happened then." He stared him down. "We're all mortal somehow. Everything dies from something. If I go protecting the others, yay me." He moved closer, letting his hyena out. His eyes changed to greenish-yellow and he snarled, sniffing him. "You smell like rotten eggs. Probably taste bad too." The human voice in her head told her that he wanted to hurt Sam and the cubs. "Hmm, a threat to the pack." She sniffed then smirked. "We'll see, won't we? No one touches my pack." She lunged and the demon disappeared. Xander woke up. The voice in his head told him to sniff, marking certain doors on her rounds. Including the slayer's doors. Then she went to curl up on her desk. It was comfier because it had a good, warm surface from the lights overhead. Plus the brightness meant the trivial thing wouldn't come back and interrupt her sleep again. She needed sleep or the human would be extra cranky tomorrow with the cubs.
Dean woke up and did his usual morning things, taking his cup of coffee to the dining hall with him. He opened his door and looked. Then he swore, which got Sammy out of the shower. "We've got markings!" he bellowed. More people came running and found them on other doors. "What the fuck?" he muttered. "Sammy? Any clue what it means?"
Sam pulled on pants before coming over. "It's a protection mark. Tribal, from Kenya if I remember right. Somewhere near there." He traced it and felt the magic in it. "It's... Okay, one of the people with skills traced it." The agents all groaned and one called Dawn.
She came in to look. "A few slayers got one too and it was not me. I had a good, peaceful night dreaming about the guy from that one movie that ran around shirtless half the thing and with knives the rest." She traced it and nodded. "Xander did it." Everyone looked around. "Did we get another dream?" she asked Sam. Who nodded slowly. "What happened?"
"I was walking through the fog, heard him say something about his new form fitting him since he gabbed and told so many stories. Then I heard a growl. That's the last I heard. I woke up."
"So he went hyena," she said blandly. "Good to know. Someone find Xander and make sure he's back to human?" she called. A few went jogging to do that. She looked at the symbol. "It's to protect you. I don't know why he marked the ones he did. Give me a list and we'll find out." Sam nodded he agreed. One of the other agents did that, taking over the case for them. Danny and Don were a good team and they could do it. She looked at them. "See you at breakfast. Sam, what's that scar from? It doesn't look like a knife or a claw mark."
He looked then blushed. "Stupid fight with a drunk frat brother using a broken beer bottle. He wanted me to drink with him and I wanted him to get out of my way so I could get to my ten a.m. class."
"Ah." She nodded, walking off again. "Hopefully he got detoxed."
"Oh, yes. He got arrested, put into rehab. All sorts of good stuff." He went back to his shower since Dean was giving him an odd look.
"The guy obviously needed help if he was drunk that early. That's pretty pathetic. You let him cut you?"
"He kinda fell into me," Sam admitted from the bathroom. "Tripped and I caught him wrong."
"He was still drunk from the weekend before. Hadn't sobered up and it was thursday."
Dean shook his head. "That's really pathetic." He went to breakfast anyway, finding a lot of people heading for the squad room. He walked that way and coughed. They got out of his way. "Awww," he said loudly. Xander snapped awake. "You going to growl at us too?"
Xander frowned at him. "The smell's not on you."
"Is that what made you mark the others?" Tony asked. Xander nodded, putting his head back down. "Go sleep in bed, Xander. Not on your desk."
"Can't, the whiny thing will come back. He said so."
"We know for sure he's male?" Danny asked. Xander nodded and yawned. "Then give me an account and go eat."
Xander blinked at him. "Can't I sleep?"
"You can sleep in the armory, in the gun vault," Benny Ray told him. Xander grinned and blew an air kiss, wandering that way. "Why are we worried?"
"He's been getting taunting dreams from a demon who wants Sammy and possibly a few others," Dean told him. "Xander's somehow set himself up as the base's guardian and the protector of anyone here. Last night Sammy heard him go hyena on the demon since they're sharing the same dreams, mostly."
"No, probably not. He got up and walked around to mark apartments with protection marks," Tony admitted.
Benny Ray nodded. "Okay. So he came up here....."
"It's warm, light, and he can't get that deeply asleep for another round," Tony told him.
"Ah. That's reasonable. I'll let him nap in there. The light's pretty bright and it's warm." He went to get his own breakfast and check on the boy. He had pulled a thermal blanket over two crates in there and was asleep on top of them. So Benny Ray went back to breakfast. He wasn't going to be in the way. The poor guy probably really needed a nap.
Buffy and Faith walked in. "What's with the funny magical marks on some doors?" Faith asked.
"Xander scented the demon on some of us," Dawn called. "He apparently drew them last night after another shared dream with Sam. Sam heard him growl at the demon. He's sleeping and was back to normal earlier."
Buffy nodded once. "Why can't we remove them?" she asked Giles.
"Because spirits stick in Xander's mind and soul," he said patiently. "It's something strong mediums do."
Tim looked over. "He's a damn strong medium, guys. I only had to look at him to get snared by accident because he was walking over the foot of my grave." Buffy shuddered. "Honestly. He was going 'here, ghosty, ghosty' a few graves over to get the one killing mourners. I looked and got hooked without either of us intending it. Gotta say, this is better than death so I'm thankful but it's still strong and he's very strong. Otherwise I would've had him in the lab and taught him how to be me."
Abby coughed. "Maybe we should see if he did pick up any knowledge from you," she suggested. "Since he did from the soldier he got turned into that one Halloween."
"He did," Giles agreed. "Including base codes, paramilitary training. Bombs, weapons, physical training, and a few other things that were immensely helpful to us back in Sunnydale. Especially the tactics and planning." Everyone gaped. Giles nodded. "He is a very strong medium."
"Who has some odd sort of sight," Sam offered from his seat. "Not true visions," he said when Giles looked at him. "That 'just in case' feeling of his. He's had it four or five times now and it's always saved lives."
"Maybe it was another possession," Buffy quipped.
"No, he had a few of those back in Sunnydale," Faith said more quietly. "He had some extra weapons on him a few times, just in case ours broke. He knew you couldn't beat Angelus so he made sure you would. He got an extra rocket launcher if I heard right."
"He used it to barter for something we needed more," Giles told her. "It ended up being a potion to disable a demon that was going to eat Buffy and Tara. No one heard about that but he presented their unconscious bodies to me and the empty vial, then the thing's head. He had said he wasn't sure why he followed them to go shopping but he had."
"I don't remember that," Buffy complained.
"It was back in December of your first semester, Buffy."
"Oh. Yeah, I had a few stupid moments that year." She shrugged and sat down to eat. "He's back to not growling, not trying to hurt girls, that stuff?"
"You know, it's possible he was testing you to see if you'd join the pack, and since you didn't, he had to drive you off somehow," Sam said. "That is pack dynamics." Buffy looked stunned. "Then again, you were a threat to him."
She slumped then shook her head. "I didn't see it that way."
"You were clouded by the moment and didn't look at the pack angle," he said, grinning some. "Xander said his hyena likes his current pack. Has a few she considers cubs." She smiled at that. "So we'll be fine and he's fully back to talking and all that."
"He said he smelled the demon on those he marked," Tony said from his seat. "I can understand why Sam and Dawn."
"Not," Dawn told him. "Brenda. Annabelle. Tiff's old room. Not mine. Faith's."
"Brenda would've gotten touched when he possessed Dad," Dean said, leaning on the table. "Annabelle, have you run into any demons?"
"No, Dean. Not yet. Well, except for that creepy asshole in the mall."
"Language," Sam snapped.
"Sorry, Sammy. He was though. He was creepy and kept touching himself. Plus he called me a pretty little bitch, his words before I get in trouble." She pushed back her blonde hair. "I reported him to Xander, who glared and reported him to a security guard. They apparently drove him off and reported him to the local cops."
"Good!" Buffy agreed. "Point him out to us if he shows up again."
"Anyone else set off your demon sensing abilities?" Sam asked.
She considered it. "Someone came to the house once. I was really little and my watcher drove him off after a few minutes of yelling at him. I don't remember why. I was barely four."
"Do you remember what he looked like?" Sam asked. "Human?" She nodded. "White, black? Long hair or not?"
"White guy, dark hair. Creepy, itchy feeling under my skin. I asked Watcher Paul and he said that was how I knew it was a demon in disguise."
"Sounds like what I got off Max," Dean said quietly.
"Which might fit," Sam said, taking his breakfast to the library with him. Danny and Don followed so they could help. Since it was now their case. Xander's markings had shown a bunch of people who needed to be protected. That made it an agency case. Danny Jackson nodded at them and smiled a bit, giving them permission to handle it. Sam looked over, frowning at the guys who joined him. "We've got it."
"Sam, you're part of this agency," Don said. "Xander marked others. That makes it an agency case, even if it was just you two. Suck it up and help us find it so we can all eliminate it."
Sam shrugged and handed over what he knew about this Max guy and a few others. Plus what they knew about the demon that had killed his mom. It had to be the same demon. It fit the same description.
Tim looked up as Tony walked over to him. "You don't look happy. Bad team case?"
"Your team's up for it," he told him. Tim nodded slowly, he knew that. "It's in Miami."
"I'm going to be beaten."
"Perhaps. It's going after cops though."
"So I should go. They'll trust me after they beat me," he decided. Tony nodded, handing over the file. "Partners or full team?"
"Full team. You'll need the backup." Tim looked at him. "I know your team's only got three people on it. So I'm sending Wolfe's team with you on it. They'll trust both of you and the profiler's already gotten something started for you. Your two teammates are still limping after practice."
"Thanks. Ryan can run interference with H for me."
"Maybe," Ryan called. "He's nearly as hot as Taylor is to get Danny back."
"Did you tell him I was here?" Ryan looked over but shook his head. "Damn it. He's obsessed?"
"Xander stole his people. A direct quote from Calleigh."
Tim winced. "Okay. We'll handle it." He walked the folder over there, going over what they had and what the profiler had sent to them so far.
Danny looked over with a grin. "Let's hope you don't pick up Xander's luck since you were inside him for so long," he teased. "His first team case he needed artillery and came home on an airlift helicopter."
"If I need artillery, I'll go hit up Horatio and Calleigh. They can find me some." He grinned but got back to work. That was a good hope to have. He even prayed not to get Xander's luck for away cases. Because dying again in Miami would suck a lot. He'd really be beaten then.
Tim walked off the plane last, looking at the person there to meet him. Eric gaped. "Shut it, Delko. You're catching flies."
"Yeah. Xander ended up possessed by me." He shrugged. "Then someone sneezed so I got my own body back. Kinda interesting being in Xander's head." He slid on his sunglasses and looked at him. "Let's get this out of the way. We've got some good ideas about what's going after officers."
"Sure," he said. He pointed at the hummers. "I've got one and the rental car you guys called ahead for. Um, we're going back to CSI I guess." Speed nodded. "Wolfe, you drive the other one?"
"Sure. I still remember the way." He nodded and Speed followed. Eric almost reached out to grab him but Ryan shook his head quickly. There'd be time to grab Speed later. Eric got the one who couldn't fit into their car into his hummer and they headed back to the lab. Horatio was not going to be pleased. "You good?" he asked quietly.
"Yeah, I'll be fine. I've been putting off telling them. They're going to fuss."
"A lot. Even worse than the girls do," Ryan agreed with a small grin.
"Right now, being tied down and fussed over by the slayers doesn't seem os bad. Alexx is going to cry while she beats me."
Ryan nodded. "Quite possibly." He turned onto the causeway and followed the old path he used to take daily. "Nothing much seems to have changed."
"Doesn't look like it," Speed agreed. He was tense and uptight. Ryan gave his knee a pat. "I know. I'll handle it and it'll be okay. Thank God this isn't a Xander case. Then we'd be in real trouble because he'd be trying to block Alexx from beating me." Ryan and the others laughed. "He would and then he'd be injured, the girls would yell at us and fuss over him too. We'd all die from that fussing." A few minutes later they pulled into the station, letting him sigh. "Anything I should know?"
"Lab revamp made it have a lot of glass," Ryan told him. "Some of it pretty ugly."
"Who did that?"
"Boa Vista when she came in."
"Uh-huh," he said flatly then grimaced. "You told me about her." They waited until Eric parked then got out to follow him, Speed carrying the folder. He nodded at Frank Tripp as he walked past him. The shocked and horrified look wasn't that good but it was probably an indication of how bad it was going to be. Once they were on the elevator he looked at Eric. "Called ahead to warn them?"
"Called to tell H the team was in and there was a huge shock coming, to make sure Alexx and Calleigh didn't see you guys first. I told him Wolfe was back."
"That's good I guess," he said. They walked off onto the lab floor and he looked around. "Damn," he muttered, cracking Eric up. "Tell me she got better taste after you slept with her?" he asked him. Eric gaped. "Of course you did, Eric."
"She tried," he admitted. He pointed. "Conference room to the right and up the two stairs." They walked that way and he texted Horatio they were there. Then he closed the blinds. Before someone saw and threw a fit. Like Alexx. He could hear her up the hall.
Horatio walked in and nodded at Ryan. Then he caught sight of Tim. "Speed?" he asked quietly, staring at him. "I..."
He shrugged. "Xander accidentally got possessed by me in the cemetery. Someone sneezed me up a new body. Just cleared for field work last month."
"I, um...." He closed the door and held it shut, making sure the shade was down as well. "I can see this is going to be...interesting." Speed nodded. "Welcome back."
"For the case," Speed corrected. "Ryan and I both, H." He stared him down. "They need us." Horatio stiffened and nodded a bit. So they'd fight about that later. He opened the file. "Okay, we have three logical things it could be and one thing that it might be but it's a bit farther fetched. Has anyone caught the thing on camera? Of any sort?"
Horatio shifted the bad thoughts he was having to the back of his mind. "We've checked the local areas. We haven't been able to find them on any sort of camera. They've been avoiding areas that have them."
"Then these two make more sense," Demetria Dorrens, the team's leader, told him. "Or it's a human who's smarter than average. Have you found anything that was definitively point to a human or demon doing it? Slime, hairs, anything?"
"We have very little trace evidence," Horatio said, handing over the file he had been carrying. "This is all we have so far in the way of evidence. Including better pictures to compare against." He sat down, looking Ryan over. He looked healthy, well, tanned, and happy. Speed looked the same but he looked nervous. Now he understood why he was to keep Calleigh and Alexx away from the team for right now. He'd need to break this new knowledge to them very carefully.
Ryan took the evidence folder from Demtria. "This pepper looking stuff. Did it come up as anything in the machine?"
"No. It came up unknown but biological."
Speed looked over his arm. "Do we have a good sized sample? Abby's been busy figuring out new tests to tell demons and others apart. She's got some interesting work done on slime." He went to get it for them. He looked at the others. "Sorry, guys. I don't mean to drag you into this soap opera."
"Not a problem. It's got to be hard for them," Demetria promised, patting him on the hand. She took it back. "What's this fiber do you think, Ryan?"
He looked then smirked. "I think that's silk." He checked the pictures, handing one over. "We might have a half-breed. Look at the precision of the cuts. No sloppy work, no shaking. Some demons can do that but not most of them. Even magical runes drawn for spells would look different if drawn by a bigger or smaller hand."
Speed measured. Then his own when he drew them onto a paper. "The hands are probably a bit smaller than mine. Could it be female?"
"No, the file says they dragged the bodies," Ryan told him, letting him see. "Even with the pulley system they used it's going to take some strength or a winch. No evidence of a winch that I'm seeing so some strength to haul the two-hundred pound body up."
Someone walked in with a box. "Horatio had me pull the evidence on these killings," the blonde woman said cheerfully. "I'm hoping you guys have a clue since we don't." She smiled when she spotted Ryan. "Welcome back." She spotted Tim and stared, mouth slightly open. "Speed?" she asked hesitantly. He nodded. "How?"
"Someone sneezed me up a new body after I possessed someone."
"Ryan?" she asked, sounding hopeful.
"No, Xander. It was an accident on both sides." She hauled off and hit him, making him duck the second slap. "Hey!" He scowled. "I'm trying here, okay? We can talk after we get this thing." She stomped out. He sighed, shaking his head. "That's going to be bad."
"We have body armor in the bags if we need it," Demetria pointed out gently, patting him again. "It'll be okay, Tim." She took the box to get into, handing Ryan the fibers. He looked then nodded. "Silk?"
"Definitely a silk blend. It's marked on it." He went over the other contents of the box, finding something. The pepper looking sample was odd. He frowned at it. "Slime based?" he asked, handing it to Tim.
Who held it up to the light. "No. Not slime based. Looks like cooking oil based. We can test it." He frowned, opening his field case kit to pull out some testing equipment. What he found was interesting. "Looks like hell-spawned residue. It's coming up positive for nightshade and sulphur." Ryan looked through the books while Speed resealed the sample. The others gathered what they could and figured out how to trap it.
"Found it," Ryan said. He slid it down the table to the others. "Calling it up to have it fed for power. It's a long term contract."
Tim looked it over, nodding slowly. "Then we can capture the person doing it and then deal with the demon through them."
Demetria looked at her planner, who nodded and took it to look over the full information they had, including texting back to make sure there wasn't a weakness they'd have to deal with. She looked at the doorway since someone was watching them. "Ma'am. DCIS."
She nodded. "I heard," she said calmly. "Timmy?"
He looked over at her. "I got sneezed out of someone when I accidentally possessed them. The young witch was very nice when she gave me a new body."
She walked in and tried to swat him.
"Hey!" Ryan said, getting between them. "Not the time, Alexx. Do it later. When we've got this solved." He stared her down. "He's just been cleared for field work. He hasn't been back very long. He's still getting used to things. Fuss, swat, and beat him later. Let us get the thing that's killing officers first."
She lifted her chin, staring at him. "You've gotten more ballsy," she said sarcastically.
"Yeah, well, dealing with twenty slayers who're teenagers lusting after most of us does that," he shot back dryly. She gaped. "Smack him around later. Let us catch this person first. Before they get another one. Please?" he finished more quietly.
She nodded. "I'll expect to see him tonight after shift if you're not on a stakeout."
"I'll be here," Speed promised. "Until the case is done with." She glared. "I owe them, Alexx, and they need me. They need my skills and my mind. I do a lot of good with them."
"We'll see." She stomped off, going to cry on Horatio for a bit.
Tim called Xander's phone. "No one's having a vision of disasters, me dying again, nothing like that, right? You don't feel the need to come to Miami just in case?" Xander quipped something and he smiled. "You sure?" He nodded. "Thanks. Let me know if they do come." He hung up and looked at the others. "So far nothing." They smiled and got back to work.
Ryan looked at the ritual. "It says she had to catch them doing something against the natural order." He frowned, taking the file to Horatio's office. "Question," he said, walking in and closing the door. "Is anyone on this list under investigation?" Horatio glared. "It's more common to sacrifice someone if they're an oath breaker, done something wrong, stepped over the line, that sort of thing. Even being a bully. The one we're pretty sure is doing this has a clause that said they have to be going against the natural order and rules," he finished more quietly. "So that or gay is my guess."
Horatio was still scowling. "I can check. Is that often a factor?"
"The thing we think doing this is a human using them to feed the demon he or she's calling on for power. If we're right, the pepper looking stuff is what that demon's leaving behind. This demon can't eat anyone quote-pure-unquote." Horatio nodded slowly. "It says against the natural order, which could be as minor as dying their hair in some cases. Sometimes the demon's not that picky. Some of them are very picky. We're researching to see if this one is or not."
"So we need to know if anything about them would fit that unnatural clause. Do we think we already have a copycat?"
"A few of the pictures looked a bit different. It could've been who took them. That's why I wanted to know."
"I'll check quietly. Would they naturally be targeted? Other officers?"
"No. Actually, being impure in some things can make you less vulnerable but some of the higher ones need you to be impure. They can't touch pure things. It depends on the demon. Consider each one a serial killer with a specific method. Some want holy icons, some hate holy icons, some don't care either way. My second overall case had one that could only eat people who wore polyester blends," he finished dryly.
Horatio smirked a bit, nodding some as well. "That is something to consider. You'll tell me before you go out to find them?"
"Of course. We might need to look up a few samples in the labs. That's why all teams have at least one CSI on them. Technically this is my team but Tony decided to send Tim since someone suggested he could handle it and his team was up for the next case, but limping after PT."
Horatio nodded. "I know the shock was unintentional."
"He told Alexx to beat him later."
"Probably a certain thing," he agreed. "Let's see what I can find out." He walked him back there to get the specifics of why his officers had been chosen. Then he went to talk to Internal Affairs. "Rick," he said, finding him in the hallway. "I need to talk to you."
"Because DCIS is down on the case of those officers who got killed. They have it narrowed down, they think, to what's going on." He handed it over, pointing at a line. "We need to know if this fits them or not."
He read it then grimaced. "Two were gay. One was squeaky clean."
"Hair dye?" Rick gave him a disgusted look. "I'm told that could fit. Probably being a Vegan or macrobiotic could fit as well since our bodies are technically configured to be omnivores."
"I'll look to see if there's a reason." He handed it back. "Who's down on the case?"
"Wolfe's team with one addition."
Rick grabbed the wall. "Excuse me?" Horatio nodded. "I'm staying away from the lab until Duquesne beats him then." He walked off muttering.
"She's not the one he has to worry about," Horatio said as he went back to the conference room. "We do have confirmation two were gay officers," he said once the door was shut.
"Then it's pretty certain what's going on. Now all we have to do is find out who it made the deal with." She took the book back. "Boys, any signs of humans?"
Ryan shook his head. "They're good. Outside the few silk blend fibers and the smaller than Speed's handwriting, not yet."
"All right. It'll take about an hour for our research nerds to get something more concrete to us," she told Horatio. "Let us go check in for now and we can work from there so your people aren't bothered?"
"You can work here. We'd prefer it."
Ryan smiled. "I think she wants to kick her shoes off, H. Plus it'll keep Alexx and Calleigh from going off the deep end and smacking him around some more."
Horatio nodded. "I'll talk with them. You can work here. It'll look worse if you're somewhere else and harder to find you since another's due today."
"Tomorrow," Speed said. "New lunar month. If whoever doesn't have a target in mind, they're probably picking them today."
"I'll make sure Dispatch knows to do a random check more often today and tomorrow." He went to do that, then came back to listen to them work from the next room. They were a good team and Tim had some good ideas. So did Ryan Wolfe. This just meant he needed to make them stay in Miami all the more. The lab and his people needed them both back.
Speed finally got the demon banished. It had been a hard one to do once it was trapped and Sam had walked him through all the exorcisms and banishments they knew. It took a very old, very Hun method of banishing spirits to get that one gone. He was sweating and tired. Ryan gave him a bottle of water. "Thanks, Wolfe."
"Welcome. We could've changed out."
"It focused on me. I figured it'd come easier." He opened the bottle and took a drink. "Better." He looked at the woman in handcuffs. Then at the scorch mark on the floor of the warehouse. "It's been a long few days." Ryan nodded. "We should head."
"Alexx is waiting impatiently back at the station. She and Horatio said they want copies of our reports before we leave. He sent Calleigh to make sure at least you make it back there."
"He wants us both back, Wolfe." He walked out with him. "Gone," he announced. Demetria clapped. "Thank you. I can't believe we have records of how the Huns banished spirits."
"Those Watcher guys had a lot of stored information. They wrote most of the books," she said dryly. "I'm glad we have their library at the office." She nodded. "Let's go write reports. We'll guard you two." That got a nod and they got into the rental car, heading back to the office. One of their team had stayed to coordinate information with the lab. Also to make sure they wouldn't be ambushed too heavily when they tried to leave. They got back there and went into the conference room to do their reports, frowning at the laptops while they typed. "Do we make it politically correct, something the DA can use, or should we write a real report?" Demetria asked finally.
"I'm writing a real report," Ryan admitted. "I'm sure the DA saw the demon riots like everyone else. She can weed out what she doesn't want to know." He frowned and spell checked a word. "We need better spell checkers. Half of the stuff I misspell isn't going to be in there."
Speed lead over. "Aea." Ryan fixed it in the whole document and he got back to his own. Demetria let him proof hers as well, making him fix her typos too. "The demon's name has 'aea' in the first syllable." They all groaned and fixed it. He handed hers back. "Not bad. Bit brief." She grimaced but filled in a few spots for better clarity. He finished his and traded with Wolfe, taking his to grammar correct. He was good about most things but now and then he had a shift tense. He finished his and handed the laptop back, taking his own back. "Thanks for putting the corrections in parenthesis, Wolfe," he said dryly, shooting him a dirty look.
He grinned back. "There's only six." He printed his on the room's printer and stapled it then the others that came out since he was next to it. They piled them in the center of the table and gathered things back together. Their bags were in the rental car since today was the day they were going to get the demon - it'd make it easier for a fast getaway from those who wanted to keep Speed. Speed walked out in the middle of the pack. They didn't expect the gas in the elevator.
Speed woke up and blinked. "What the fuck?" he muttered. He looked around the familiar room. Then at the body next to him. He nudged him, getting a displeased grunt. "Wake up, Wolfe." He snapped awake. "H's house," he said at the confused look.
"Never been here." He stood up and looked at the door. "Not locked."
Speed found his shoes and handed Ryan his. They slid into them and tried to the door. Sure enough, not locked. They walked out together, running into Alexx. "Hey." She slapped him. He winced. "I didn't want to hurt you more, Alexx."
"I do not care, Timothy Speedle! I am beyond pissed at you both for leaving!"
"I died, I didn't leave," he complained. She sniffled. He toughened himself up, pulling up some of Xander's stubbornness that he had inherited. "I'll write and we can visit, Alexx. I promise."
"No. You're not leaving." She glared at Ryan. "Either of you."
"That's kidnaping a federal agent," Ryan pointed out gently.
"Not anymore you're not."
"I doubt Doctor Jackson would take our called-in resignations," Speed told her. Danny was more likely to send Xander and a strike team down to get them if they tried that move. "I'll be seeing you very soon, Alexx."
"No. You're staying. Horatio and I agree, you need to be back here. You were happier here."
He shrugged. "I'm actually pretty happy where I am. We have some really interesting cases. We do a lot of good work before people die usually. I'm mentoring some of the slayers we have training on the same base. It's a good job. We could actually use you. We've been looking for someone who could do forensic autopsies."
She scowled. "You're not going back."
"Mama, please," he said quietly, giving her a begging look. "I don't want you to get in trouble for this."
"They don't need you!" she shouted. "We do!"
"No, you want, you don't need. Otherwise you would've all died after I did." He moved closer, giving her a hug. "I'm sorry I died. I really am."
She hugged back. "That's why you're staying."
"I can't stay. I'm under contract for the rest of this year." He pulled back to look at her, then at Horatio, who was in the kitchen. "Is the rest of our team gone?"
"The pilot had no reason to wait since you're staying."
"We can't stay, H," Ryan told him. "We signed contracts saying we'd be there through at least October of this year."
"If we don't go back in a timely manner, they'll send Xander and the slayers after us."
"I can defeat any little girl," Alexx assured him. "Even them." She glared at him. "You're tired."
"I wasn't until I was gassed," he said dryly, glaring at Horatio. "Kidnaping federal agents? Stetler is going to have your ass, man."
"No he won't. He approved." He handed them both plates. "Here, you two need to eat." The door slammed inward and men rushed in. "Get out of my house," he ordered, pulling his gun. They tranq'd him and Alexx then drugged Ryan and Speed.
"Oh, no, *so* not happening!" a female voice said as she strolled into the house. "Who're you idiots?" She removed a mask and that one fell to dust. "Hmm. Freaky shit. Yay us." She kicked the rest of them until they dusted then patted Ryan on the head. "Morning, dear."
"Still not sleeping with you, Faith," he moaned, letting her pull the darts out. "Who were they?"
"Dust inside their uniforms. No clue yet." She pulled Tim's dart and woke him too. "Hey, handsome. You ready to hit that?"
"Not with you but sure." He looked at the other two. "I...."
"They're family. I hear a lot about that," Faith said dryly. She removed their darts too and woke Horatio up. "Feel damn lucky since they weren't our folks. Others want him too. At least with us, they're protected." She helped him up then got Alexx up. "C'mon, boys. Let's hit the road. Xander had a real vision and it freaked all the girls out."
"Another invasion?" Ryan asked.
She shrugged. "Don't know. I was down here by then. Heard it from B. Even she's freaked." She looked at Alexx. "We girls take very good care of Timmy. He's a good guy and one that the younger girls can look up to and at now and then." Ryan snickered at that. "Which one tried to crawl in with you anyway?"
"Tiff. The one in seclusion."
She rolled her eyes. "The girl has little brains." She looked at the officers again. "You can visit. We don't mind visits. It makes the guys happy and the girls like them to be happy eye candy." She smirked a bit at Alexx's horrified look. "We've got twenty-three girls under the age of eighteen on base. Of course they look, woman." She looked at the guys. "Let's go. I called Demetria and she said your bags were with them."
Speed gave Alexx a hug, then wrote down the address for her. "I'm here. My team's on rotation for bad cases but I'm usually there. Now and then I have to leave base so call first. Come visit? I'll come back and visit this Christmas?" She sniffled. "Please, Alexx?" he begged.
"I'll make sure he has time off, Alexx," Ryan told her. "The boss isn't mean. As long as it's not a bad thing, it's all good to him. We can probably even use the agency discount for cheap airfare for him." She hugged him too. "I miss you too. Did you get my last letter?"
"I did but it's not the same."
He grinned. "Then come work with us. We could use a few good doctors and the girls could use a mother figure beyond Abby. She's a great big sister but she's never had kids so she can't always answer the mom questions."
She shook her head. "We'll see." She hugged Timmy again. "You behave."
"He's not going," Horatio told her. He glared at Faith. "I can charge you."
She giggled. "And they can charge you for kidnaping an agent. That's not gonna look real good on your lab and you're way too pretty to make it in the slammer. You'd have to find a protector real quick." He shuddered at that. "Got it?" Horatio backed off. "Good. Then let's get these two to safety before whatever sent those minions tries again. If you need us, call us. We can send 'em back for a few days if you guys need 'em. Danny said so." She walked them out to the rental car, tossing Ryan the keys. "I do better than Buffy," she told Speed when she saw him looking over the car.
"Barely," he agreed.
"Hey, I didn't hit a single demon on the way here. I deserve special time for that."
"Just don't get so loud the guards come tell us who you were thinking about," Speed said as he got in to drive. He waved and they headed off once everyone was buckled up. He was not going to die in a car accident. So when the vision hit him, they all got out and watched the car explode. Horatio was there a few minutes later. "Not a clue," Speed told him.
"Probably the same people," Faith said. She hummed. "Guess that's gonna be expensive since I had Tony's card."
"Not our fault they blew it up," Speed said, patting her on the back. "Call Dawnie?"
"Calling D," she agreed. "Yo, us. Got 'em. Someone tried to snatch 'em from their friends and then blew up the rental car." She smirked. "Don't let Tony have a heart attack. He's too cute and that Gibbs guy would come storming out again. Sure. We're here." She hung up and opened the locket she wore that activated the locating spell. The portal opened and they stepped through. She waved with a grin. "Come see us, we get lots of snow." The portal snapped shut behind her. "Hey, D, thanks for the pick up."
"Not an issue. I wasn't doing much anyway." She went back to her homework. "What happened?"
"Don't know," Faith admitted. "Gotta go talk to the boss. The vision thingy?"
"Bad, but not riots bad." Ryan sighed in relief. "He got another one about prom shopping too." She smirked at Faith, who walked off giggling at that.
"That's more horrifying than the riots were," Speed agreed, following behind her. "Thanks, Dawn."
"Thank you, Dawn," Ryan agreed, giving her a quick hug before following. He even emailed the plane to say they were fine and back on base so they wouldn't have to worry. It was going to be a long time before they could step foot in Miami without fear of kidnaping. A very long time.
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