Demon Criminal Investigative Services: Recruitment
Danny Jackson met the plane as it landed, smiling at his group as they got off. "Thank you all for helping with that." He clapped Xander on the back. "Good work."
"It was a team thing, Danny." He smiled at Faith, who shrugged. "She did some amazing scouting."
"Then maybe we'll see about offering her a job when she ages out."
She shuddered. "No. No more paperwork. Please?" she begged, trying for cute.
"After your reports today," he assured her. Flack handed over the thumbnail drive. "Did it already?"
"All of them," he quipped with a grin. Tony walked off and stretched, getting his bag from the luggage coming off and heading for his car. "Hey, Tony, can one of us catch a ride with you?"
"Nope. My baby and I need to commune."
Faith looked at him. "Does that mean you and the car are special friends?" she taunted.
"Very. She helps me pick up *good* girls." Faith cackled at that. "See you guys back on base." He waved as he slid into his front seat and started his baby up.
Xander looked at the others. "I'm sure there's transport somewhere."
"Coming," Danny promised. He looked at him. "By the way, everyone's out playing with the huge demon worms."
"I'm sure they're having fun," Xander said dryly. "The thing in Wyoming?"
"Buffy got there last night and got a lot of the demons. John reported the other hunters were in awe but they helped when they found out who she was. They consider slayers mythical, like unicorns."
"We've seen a few of those," Xander told him. Danny shook his head quickly. "Sheppard has too I think. He said something about them not crapping rainbows like Dean thinks they do."
"Don't make me knock you out for having bad thoughts," Dean complained to him.
Danny laughed. "So everything's back to normal?" They all nodded. "Good. Because I'm going on a week's vacation tomorrow. I already put a note in Tony's car. Xander, no taking over if he's slow to respond. Give him time to wake up."
"Yes, Danny. I'll try."
"Good." He patted him on the shoulder. "Good work, everyone. I can hear the troop carrier so let's head back to base." They piled on when the covered truck got there, and he got into his own car to head back. He was so happy! He hadn't had a vacation in over a year and he was going to go somewhere quiet, without demons, and relax. No Xander. No horny slayers. No agents. Just relaxing. Or else he'd kill a lot of people for interrupting him.
House met the troop carrier at the front gate. "How many injured?" he demanded.
"No one, doc," Xander said with a grin. "The Higher demon down there made sure of it when he trashed the others."
"Good. Excellent. Go sign back in and head to do whatever." He watched the truck pull over toward the apartments, smirking at Danny pulling in as well. "You, go pack."
"Going, Doctor House. No more demon parts?"
"Many demon parts and she shipped one to McKay. He wanted some of it and some saliva as well. Shoo, go." He left, going to do that. House considered it. "When did I become the mother?" he asked himself as he limped back to his infirmary. This was a trend that had to stop. He'd have to leer at the underage girls or something so he didn't feel motherly. Chase could nag; he'd be amused at it instead. He walked in. "They're fine."
"Good! No repeats of the last one." He scowled at the slayer walking in. "Pain?"
"Pills. I ran out and I forgot to get them last night."
House looked her up. "Congratulations, you get to have your annual exam too."
She blushed. "Can Doctor Chase do it?"
Chase blushed. "Not my field, sorry." He fled for somewhere safer.
"He hasn't realized yet that after fifty or so, they all look the same. Some shade of brown on the outside and pink on the inside." She blushed brighter. He pointed at the exam cubicle. "In there. I'm sure you remember the drill." He went to scrub up and put on gloves and a face shield, just in case. A few of those girls were picking up nasty habits. This one apparently shaved for some reason. She could talk to Faith or Abby about that if she hadn't already. It was quickly done and he checked her pills, handing them over. "Take it now." She took it as she walked out. He shook his head as he got to work processing the scrapings for infections, issues, and diseases. Maybe if he let Chase do them the girls would volunteer and do theirs early instead of the last day of their pill pack or the day after they had missed starting a new one.
Xander met John when he came in. "How'd it go?"
"It went fine, Xander. They're not as strong as the other ones are, but they do work wonderfully." He squeezed his shoulder. "Good job."
"Thanks." He smiled. "Both boys are in their place. Brenda's going over what happened to teach the younger girls later tonight. Sammy even bought food so he could cook dinner."
"Even better." He went to drop his stuff and get a hug from Brenda, who grinned at him. "Good job. I'll listen in later." She nodded and bounced off to talk to the other girls. "Buffy and them headed home already."
"That's fine. She's been through an ascension."
He shuddered, going to see his boys. Dean had copied the tape before sending it back so Sammy was watching it. He sat down beside him, letting Dean rewind it for him. He watched then he shuddered. "That's gross."
"Very," Dean agreed. "They spray nasty crap too. Faith and the lieutenant both got it at the second site." He looked at his dad. "It good?"
"It's excellent. The hunters backed up Buffy very well. Giles made sure he could seal the devil's gate like they did the hellmouth so it's staying shut for now. Then we'll see." Dean and Sam both grinned. "Buffy did a lot of complaining about her t-shirt being messy by the end, but she got over it. Bobby called her charming and cute, but a bit uptight."
"She is," Sam agreed.
"Did this solve the sharing dreams thing?" John asked.
"No clue. Though Xander seems to think he was getting my visions for me thanks to it."
"Why are you guys linked?" John asked.
"The spell where they went to yell at the Powers," Sam said. Dean moaned, rubbing his forehead. "Which was why Dean only got a little bit and I got more of it."
"That's good to know. Can we break it?"
"I'm looking up how," Sam promised. "So, dinner?"
"Dinner's good," John agreed. "Whatever's fine, Sammy."
"Sure." He went to deal with dinner while Dean and John went over what had happened at the devil's gate and what had happened in Miami. This way their group got all the same information the slayers and DCIS got. They'd probably need it some year and having a hunter around the gate would be for the best in case they started to mass again.
Tony looked at the agents who looked very tired the next morning, then at Xander, who shrugged. "Did we all have bad dreams, guys?"
"Caterwauling from the girls' dorm," Messer told him. Xander gave him an odd look. "They were."
Xander went to find one, finding Wes first. "The girls kept up the singles' dorm?"
Wesley blushed. "Um, well, they were a bit celebratory last night."
"I don't care if they got down and funky, Wes. You know that. As long as it wasn't the younger kids and they were careful."
"They were. It was mostly stress relief after all that's gone on recently. Though Dawn did end up shrieking at a few of them to shut up because they were keeping *her* up."
"Heard that," Flack admitted as he walked out with his morning coffee. "They had the windows open."
"I'm certain it won't be happening again," Wesley promised. He pointed at where most of the girls were doing pushups. "John got a bit upset when he heard."
Flack smiled. "It's a natural to relieve the stress. We do it too." He patted him on the arm. "John, how many more do they have?"
"About five thousand," he said grimly.
"It was stress relief," Xander told him.
"Yes but they didn't have to be *that* loud doing it."
"As long as they're able to do their homework and laundry," Xander reminded him, smiling at the dirty look he got. "Unless you want to wash their bras and panties for the upcoming school week?"
"Hell no!" He looked at the tired looking girls. "Dismissed to do your chores. Now." They fled to do that. Annabelle stopped to give him a hug. "You weren't one of the loud ones. You didn't have to do the pushups or give me a hug."
"You needed it." She skipped over to give one to Wes and Xander then Don Flack before heading inside to clean her room and start on the laundry. She had a good touch with it so the older girls paid her to do theirs too.
John walked over. "They're very sorry they got that loud."
"Any of the younger ones?" Xander asked.
"No one under sixteen. They kicked one of the fifteen-year-olds out when she tried to join," he admitted. He glanced at the dorm then at him. "We should talk."
Xander grinned "I've seen them. They're cute." John relaxed. "I need them to make sure they have the right information."
"They should. Are we supporting it?"
"I don't care who it is as long as it's not another one's girl or boyfriend," Xander said honestly. "We will not turn into the Springer Slayer Squad. That's Buffy's." Wesley laughed at that. "Kennedy's there with her Willow snuggly." He looked at John again. "It's all good from my end. Giles I can't speak for but he never had a problem with Willow and Tara."
"Good. Thanks, Xander. You too, Wes." He smiled at Don. "Kept up?"
"Woken up actually. Danny got kept up and came down to see if I was too." He grinned as he walked back inside, going to get more coffee for him and Messer. "Here, you look like crap."
Xander looked at his watchers. "So, anything from Giles?"
"He's making concrete plans but he's worried about the funds," Wesley said. "I'm making sure he has what he needs to build on out there. Some year we'll need somewhere for the slayers to be local to that hellmouth. Plus a new head building."
Xander nodded. "I can see that happening about when we change directors. Unless our next one is nice."
Wesley smiled. "Good. What were you planning out that way?"
"I figured you had some."
"Well, yes, but not total plans. Just the barest of bare bones."
"I started making a list of what sort of areas we'd need. Like we'll need an information and command center for deployment issues. Even when we're back down to one. If we get back down to one. Dawn said Willow and Giles are working on how to uncall the girls and we all know Willow has accidents."
"Indeed," Wesley sighed. "That's fine then. If I can have the list?"
"It's in the Cleveland folder in my desk, which you stole."
"That's what that was then. That's good, Xander. Thank you." He headed off with a smile and a pat on the shoulder for John. "Do have fun with the girls." He walked off to go over those ideas with Giles.
Xander looked at him. "I know you're uncomfortable talking to the girls about girl things. Want me to handle that talk?"
"Send them my way after I'm done tonight." He nodded, going to supervise and make some of the girls do their own laundry instead of paying Annabelle since she had some homework she had to get done. Xander went back to his desk. "John showed the girls it was bad manners to have that loud of stress relief. They won't do it again."
"Thanks," Messer called. Ryan nodded from his desk. "Any new cases come in?"
"Not yet," Tony said from his. "Let me check Danny's office." He went to do that, coming out to hand something to Ryan. "They didn't like your report. The prosecutor hates the sea monster explanation."
"I put mine into scientific terms," Tim offered, handing over his report. Ryan read it over and added a section once Tim had sighed and pulled it up. "Good, on the negotiations." They signed it and so did the rest of their team. It got faxed back. If she didn't like it, she could make up her own excuses. "Any fallout from the war in Miami?"
"One church got a bit singed and the prison's a bit fuller," Xander admitted, looking over at him. "The rest they kept to demons mostly. The Higher living down there beat them bloody and into parts for doing this on the Yellow-Eyed-Demon's say so." Ryan gave him a confused look. "The one who wanted Sam. With the special children and all that?" They both nodded. "That was to cover up his plans to open a devil's gate." They shuddered. "That got stopped and Buffy freed the people she found in the town once the demon was dead. John went with Buffy and the others. I'm hoping I have the report on that."
"I do," Tony said. He waved it. Xander grinned. "I'm putting together the Miami report. Then we'll copy it for your records too." The others handed over theirs once they had fixed the corrections Danny wanted made. "As for the rest, the two ascensions got stopped. One was prompted by the demon, one wasn't. Horatio and Faith got sprayed by the second one when they blew it up."
"Bet H hated that it ruined his suit," Ryan teased.
Speed nodded, leaning back. "I'm sure he and the dry cleaner had a lot of discussion before he handed over that version of his suit of immortality." Xander gave him an odd look. "He thinks it is. That's why he stands in front of snipers to draw them to him so SWAT can arrest them."
Ryan cleared his throat. "He and his hummer of knighthood drove into a building that was due to blow in under three minutes to get the person tied up in there, then he drove them out as the building was blowing behind him," he told Speed.
"Sounds like H," he agreed. "Eric yell?"
"Calleigh went over that night and ranted for over an hour according to her. Dispatch called Patrol to tell her to yell more quietly." Speed smirked at that. "Then Eric yelled."
"Sometimes H is his own worst enemy. Any other good news?"
"The girls down there with us thought he'd make a great Watcher," Xander told him. Ryan choked at that. "He has tactical thinking, he knows self defense and weapons, he knows how to handle bad situations, he can tell the cops what went on in a language they can understand. He listens to them when they talk about something they know and ignores the clothing talks, but not the boyfriend ones in case it's important. He understood how important their job is, even though it's a messy and nasty business to get sucked into, and that the girls would need help once they aged out to return to normal after living in combat." He looked at them. "They suggested we try to recruit on the way back. Faith especially. They also think he could out-stubborn Giles and spank Willow if she went on her old trip again."
"I can agree with that but H carries a lot of weight on his soul," Tim told him. "The ones he couldn't save will weigh on him."
"They do all cops," Xander said gently. "I've seen it on all of your souls." Tim nodded that was true. "Plus, hey, Benny Ray and the Major both want to retire at the end of this year so he's making a list to take over his spot. He wants Calleigh. He wouldn't be losing the lab if we could get Eric on a field team too."
Speed snickered. "The girls could use more female influences. There's not enough on base."
"I doubt she'd leave the lab," Ryan told him.
"Maybe but she'd still get to play with guns."
"Not the same," Ryan assured him. "We can ask." Speed nodded. "Both of them."
"You ask him, Wolfe. I'm not asking H to leave the job that he's called to like a priest is to help the girls."
"He might see it as stopping more of the bad things from happening before it makes more victims," Tony said. "Gibbs has the same qualifications and a few of the girls liked him."
Xander nodded. "A few did. Especially a few of the younger ones." He grinned at him. "Ask Wes what we're offering new watchers for salary and things." He went back to work. He finally finished correcting his report and handed it to Tony. "My part."
Tony read it over, nodding but taking out one part. "They don't need to know you wanted to go Rambo on the community," he told him. He proofread the rest then printed them together and put the folder together to be signed off on later. After he did that he'd send Horatio a copy. They always sent the local department a copy of their reports in case they needed it. "Flack or Messer, any new moves by Taylor to get you two back?" he asked after a few minutes of quiet.
"Not yet," Danny offered. "A few nice letters. Stella misses us. Lindsay is driving her nuts." Flack nodded at that. "We'll see what happens when he comes out for a visit in three weeks."
"Pending a new team case," Don agreed.
"I'm hoping that demon being dead slows things down again," Xander told them. He looked at them. "Without him prompting we might get lucky and be a bit bored for a few weeks."
"I hope so," Danny agreed. He leaned back, sipping his coffee. He heard the fax machine in the office going off so nodded at Tony. "Fax." He went to get it. "We're doing pretty good for such a small agency."
"We are," Xander agreed. "But we could use some more research people. Both in the books and not."
Tony came out of the office. "They didn't like that one either. She said there's no such thing as sea monsters."
"We gave it to the morgue when it died," Ryan told him. He got onto his phone once he had his notes open to call the local Sheriff. "Hi, Sheriff. It's Agent Wolfe. No, small problem. We were sending over a final report for your people and the prosecutor won't take it because she doesn't believe it was a sea monster." He smiled. "However you want to deal with that. Would you rather we send it to you? We can do that." He wrote down a new number. "Thank you and let us know if we can help you again, sir." He hung up and went to send it to that number, coming back a minute later. "He's taking the prosecutor down to the morgue to show her the remains."
"Why did it die?" Flack asked.
"Because it got stubborn and stayed out of the water for too long to pat one of the virgin hostages," Speed said grimly. "Keeled over in the middle of a beach. Heavy sucker too. Took two cranes. It tipped over a bulldozer."
Ryan nodded. "It was huge." He sat down and let Tony take the report to file. "The hostages were okay though and that was the important thing. Plus the fishermen decided not to bother his nest so no others have to come up to do the same thing in a few years. Or else they'd have a definite run on cures for virginity."
"That was a nice conclusion," Speed agreed smugly. He had prompted that one.
"You know, there's another one who's going to try to ascend in six weeks," Xander offered.
"Don't even *joke*," Speed ordered.
"Everyone looks hot with artillery," he teased back with a grin.
"I'd have no idea how to fire anything that huge."
"So take Tony. It's in DC." Tony stiffened, glaring at him. He grinned and waved. "Didn't look at the list?"
"Fuck," he muttered. Xander nodded. "I'll warn Gibbs. He should be able to get some artillery to kill the sucker." He sat down to do that. Gibbs was not going to be happy to be sprayed. So he suggested the director could feel like she was in charge by doing that part. What he got back amused him. "The Director of NCIS was in one of those 'demons don't exist, even if they're in front of us' groups. She tried to burn Gibbs' house while he and the president were sitting in his car in the driveway, in clear sight of the house. Walked right past them with a gas can." Others laughed.
"Mental help?" Ryan guessed.
"Special mental help for VIP's so the press doesn't see them in a thorazine coma. The Prez dropped her off himself."
"He didn't seem like he'd take any shit," Xander said dryly.
"No, he didn't." He shook his head quickly. "How do we know it's in six weeks?"
"Minor eclipse," Xander told him. "Last of this year on this side of the world. The next one is in Spain and it's not until November I think. It's one of those things we track, like moon phase. Wes has a calendar in his room."
"Oh, good." He went to get that exact date from Wesley, who was more than happy to share what he should be warning Gibbs about locally. The man was too cheerful this morning. Clearly he had used the cover of the girls making noise to have some fun with himself.
Xander let the two girls into his apartment then closed the door. "Relax, you're not in trouble." They sighed in relief. He sat them down and sat on the coffee table, looking at them. "John asked me to talk to you two." They nodded, clutching hands. "Yeah, about that." They looked stunned. "None of us here care. We don't think Giles will since he never had a problem with Willow and Tara or Willow and Kennedy. So this is a head's up and all that talk, okay?" They nodded. "How long have you two been together?"
"Six weeks," Kim said quietly.
Xander smiled. "Don't be scared of me. I had to watch Willow figure hers out." They nodded. "Now, with that said, do you two need the lesbian specific sex talk? Protection and stuff is sometimes different when you're loving on girls." They blushed but shook their heads. "I know you're both very responsible girls. You're both late fifteen. You're both in the right grade because Amber busted her ass this summer to make sure she would be. Which I am very proud of." That got a smile and a nod from that girl. "I will need to know if you two have problems in school."
"Nah, one of the teachers caught us necking in the bathroom and told us we do have an official non-discrimination policy but it still wasn't allowed on school grounds. We got a warning, next time will be detention."
"There's always better places than the bathrooms, ladies. Trust me." They grinned. "Ask one of the senior girls that you think is pretty cool. Or even where you two can take a private lunch now and then. You'll be cooped up all winter." That got another dual nod. "Good. So, we don't need to talk about dental dams, toy care and maintenance, any of that?" They both blushed bright red. "Ladies, Anya made sure I was blunt." They giggled. "Do we?"
"Dental dam?" Amber asked.
"The female version of what you use when she goes down on you," Xander told her. "If you're monogamous it's not really an issue but you should have it for future reference, in case you two break up in twenty years or so."
Amber nodded quickly. "Okay. I get that. Think Abby would know?"
"You know, I don't know," he admitted. "I can ask." They shook their heads, blushing again. "Okay, how about I ask Doctor Chase? House might pick on you two to see the blush." They smiled and nodded. "Then let me do that." He called over there. "Chase, you busy? Because I have two girls who need the girl-lovin' sex talk." He smiled. "Yeah, that one. I can go over some of it but there's specifics that I can't go into. Thanks, man. Home. With them." He hung up. "He'll be over in about ten minutes. Let him hit work for a minute first to pick something up." They nodded. "Now, until then, do we need *things*?"
They blushed bright red. "I'm betting John confiscated the last round?" They nodded. He went into his bedroom closet, opening a trunk with a sigh. "Anya," he moaned. He picked out three things that wouldn't traumatize the girls, one a vibrator, and wrapped them up, then locked the trunk down again. He walked out in time to find Chase coming in. He nudged Kim. "Anya sent me with her stuff when he left." She blushed bright red. "Yeah, there's stuff in there I don't know *what*species she planned on using it on." He handed over the bundle in the pillow case. "Three of the more harmless things. Treat them well." She nodded. He grinned at the flummoxed Chase. "My ex was a slight case of nympho because she had been a demon for over eleven hundred years. Didn't get any during it."
Chase shuddered. "That poor woman."
"More like my poor back, man. Really." Chase smiled at that. "So I gave them three pretty harmless things." That got a nod and Chase sat down with the girls to go over the pertinent safety precautions, including what a dental dam was. He was blushing as bright red as they were but it was getting through. Xander got them all cocoa, earning smiles, then he went to listen in. He'd have to give it some day. Far in the future. Maybe when he had kids. If he had kids. The girls finished up and hugged him then bounced back to their dorm. He grinned. "Thanks."
"It's good to see them in healthy relationships."
"It is. They'll be good with each other." He shook his hand. "Think you want to traumatize House tomorrow?"
Chase cackled. "I'd like to see it happen." Xander went back into the toybox and came out with something. He stared. "That's used for sex?"
"Yes it was. Somehow. I'm not sure," he said, looking at the extremely thick, bent toy with a corkscrew tip. "I have no idea what you use this on." He grinned at him. Then he called Dawn over. She walked in without knocking while they were trying to figure the thing out.
"Wow, I haven't seen that since Anya bought it to use for butt sex."
Chase spluttered. "There's no way."
"According to Anya there was." She took it. "Got into the toybox?"
"Yeah, got something mild since John confiscated their stuff. You girls don't mind, right?"
"They're so cute they're gagging Annabelle," Dawn said dryly. "We don't care and we'll watch out for them."
"Good. John knows and he'll quit confiscating their toys."
Dawn smirked. "Why pull out the alien sex toy?"
She cackled. "I love you." She gave him a hug and took it with her.
"You're going evil," Chase taunted with a smirk.
"I haven't had sex since Vegas."
"Poor man." He got up. "I'm going to make notes on what I told them, just in case I have to give it again. I know I forgot something."
"If so, they'll come ask," Xander said prosaically. That got a nod and he let him out, then sat down to watch some tv while calling John. "Hey. Quit taking Amber and Kim's toys please. Because lesbians use them too, John. I know your wife didn't need one, she had you. Two girls won't. No, I gave them a few of the ones Anya sent off with me. And Dawn one so she could ask someone the use of it." He smirked. "Chase said the same thing. Yeah, all given. Thanks, John." He hung up and went back to his tv. It was nice to have a quiet night now and then.
Buffy walked into the Cleveland house. "We slayed *so* many demons," she said in greeting when the girls stared at them. "There were tons and tons of them around the devil's gate thingy. And some other hunters too. Not all that cute and young but nice guys." She smiled. "How was Cleveland?"
"Good," Kennedy offered. "It held down while we did Miami and Minnesota."
"Good!" She smiled. "How did Miami go?"
"Not one, but two ascensions," Faith said dryly. "Shooting them with artillery does make you look hot but they spray nasty crap. I nearly had to throw my favorite jeans out."
Buffy gave her a hug. "It'll be okay. Ask Annabelle how to get them clean. She seems to be able to work the same sort of laundry magic Mom could."
"I did. It took ten washings to get all the crud out." She looked her over. "He cute?"
"No, no cute guys. Lots and lots of hunters. We talked about demons and slaying and all that stuff. It was nice that they understood. Giles is even trying to recruit some as watchers for you other girls and the later ones." They smiled. "So we had fun. It was nice. The special children demon is gone. The devil's gate can't open for another twenty- one years. So we'll see." They all beamed at that. "Giles is out in the car finishing his journal because he didn't want pounced."
"Not like we would," Kennedy told her.
"Guys, can't we ease up on him? He's getting better," she pointed out.
"He's still a butt," Willow said. "Why?"
"Xander had to take over and he did it really well with Wes," Faith told her. She sighed but nodded. "He did a great job."
Buffy nodded. "He did. So Minnesota?"
"Cool. All the ghostly, called back spirits of demons were banished. The lonely one doing it wanted his crew back; he broke down in tears when DCIS sent him to the prison for it because it killed people. We did the reports on the plane," Cho told her. "Then we were getting off the plane and Tony took us to Miami."
"Where up to sixteen gangs of demons were at war with their clans sponsoring it," Faith added. "We got it down to seven and then the Higher living down there got told why they were having a war. He was not happy, as proven by the chunks the next morning of the seven gangs and most of their clans." Buffy shuddered. "And the two ascensions in the center."
Buffy shook her head. "Sounds like you girls had just as much fun as I did." She sat down beside Faith. "Did we keep up patrols?"
"I did," one of the younger girls said, holding up her cast. "Which is why I have this." Buffy grimaced. "Demon doped on PCP decided I'd waltz with him and didn't like it when I said no."
"He was taking drugs?" Buffy asked, looking confused.
"Yeah, some do," Faith agreed. "Doesn't do much for vamps but for some of the others. That one, PCP acted like blotter for his kind."
"He was tripping very hard," the girl said. "And he's a harmless one so I got one of the elder demons around here to have him carted home and let them yell at his parents for me while my wrist got the pretty cast."
Buffy nodded. "Sounds reasonable. He apologize?"
"I got a wonderful apology letter from his mother," she said, handing it over. Buffy smiled at the nice letter of apology for her stupid son, handing it back. She put it onto the board. Giles came in while she was doing that, reading it over her shoulder. He snorted. "Her son was very high. He was trippin' hard and I had to take him down when he grabbed me. A harmless one so I wasn't going to kill him for being high. I had someone send him home while my wrist got casted."
He nodded. "As long as it doesn't happen again."
"She said it won't." She smirked. "Did you have as much fun as Buffy did?"
"Quite, plus I have found at least one other who might be a watcher." He walked into the family room. "There we are." Kennedy answered the phone since she was closest and took it outside. He watched her go, looking confused.
Willow checked. "It's one of the younger girls. Probably wanted to ask her something," Willow said. She smiled. "So, how many hunters were there?"
"About six but one does know of others." He sat down in his usual chair. None of the girls seemed to favor it. "A few said they might think about retiring from hunting so we could have more watchers here. It's nearly the same job on their end only they wouldn't have to hunt as much as guide some of you girls."
"It could also help with those potentials too," Buffy pointed out.
"That as well. Willow, did you find them? I know Dawn did a locating spell."
"I did. I took her map and did it. Including finding the potential she had marked to make sure she wouldn't spontaneously pop out in powers when she turned a certain age. I also spread it out over the rest of the world since it was so quiet and I wasn't being bugged. We have five potentials as of this moment." He smiled at that. "And still another four we haven't gotten to yet to bring them into the fold."
"Wesley has that well in hand."
"Good!" She smiled. "I let him know and he updated the people the Major, whoever that is, picked to go find them and tell them."
"The Major is Benny Ray's boss on his strike team and the regular self-defense trainer," Faith told her. "Really nice guy. Only gave the girls funny looks when they went all cooing over Benny Ray or him. The whole base has him and then we got passed onto Dean when X found them. We passed him then got moved up to the higher level of training."
"That explains that." She smiled. "That's good to know. So they're commandos?" Faith nodded. "Real military?"
"Yeah, the Major used to be a Ranger. Benny Ray was a Marine."
"That's cool." She smiled as Kennedy came back with a blush. "Naughty question?"
"Two of the girls have hooked up. One of them wanted me to ask Buffy for her blessing?"
She shrugged. "As long as they're happy and treat each other well, I'm all for it," she said happily. "Who?"
"Kim and Amber. Mr. Giles?"
"It's fine with me, Kennedy, the same as you and Willow are. I'm no bigot. I would not want it to interfere with their education or training."
"No, Xander will make sure it won't. Xander let them into Anya's trunk of stuff she sent, Buffy." Buffy cackled and so did Willow. "John won't confiscate anything they might have." She put her arm around Willow's waist. "They wanted to make sure they could come to us to ask questions."
"Of course. I might blush but that's fine with me."
"Good. I said they could." She took a kiss and looked at Buffy. "No offense but they won't be asking you for tips."
"Not my area of expertise," Buffy said dryly. "Now, if they wanted to know about dating a commando...." The other girls cracked up. "Anyway, we did find a very nice young man that we rescued from the stupid demon. He's going home but he might be showing up here. He's a bit psychic. Telepathic, Giles?" He nodded. "So he might show up here to help. We'll have to see. He knew Sammy somehow."
"That's cool," Faith agreed. "As long as he doesn't perv in our heads."
"He said he can only send," Giles assured her.
"Even better." She grinned. "Okay, you probably need to do laundry since you didn't used to own a shirt that said 'better loving through antibiotics' before you left." Buffy blushed but went to change and toss stuff in the laundry. Giles smiled at her. "We left our reports we had to do for the case file in your room. If you need a full one, let X know and he'll get you a copy but I think Wes is taking over those."
"Thank you." He went to read it over while he unpacked. It had been good to get back into the field. He felt energized. Renewed. It had been a good experience. Now he knew what he needed to do for the organization while Wesley and Xander handled the girls for him. He had a duty to make more watchers and get more knowledge. He knew Xander had a lot of things in storage on the base. He hoped some of them were copies of books from other watchers' personal libraries. They'd have to rebuild theirs. Of course, he'd let DCIS copy and translate anything they wanted before he took his own collection back from them. They did seem to need it now and then. Wesley had said Xander had seen reason and by the time it got back down to one girl, they'd have things set up os she could live here and be safe and well taken care of. All he had to do was to make a new Watchers Council. Well, Slayers Council. He did agree with them on why he had renamed it. He didn't want another Travers in charge ever again either.
Xander ran into Tony outside late the next night. His buddy was nearly stressed out. He was vibrating and pacing. Xander stopped him, staring at him. "What's wrong? New case?"
"No. Not that sort of issue."
Xander smiled. "No pretty girls to hit on?"
"No," he sighed. "I think this is my longest dry spell ever. I haven't had any since the case in DC, when I hit up one of my exes the night before we came back."
Xander rubbed down his arm. "You can't let yourself get this tense, Tony. It could hurt you or someone else."
"I'd hit on the girls but they'd beat me up," he snorted.
"Plenty wouldn't but John might." He gave him another pat to the arm. Tony gave him a look. "It's stress relief."
"Not the first time I've had to go that way," Tony admitted quietly, glancing around. "The girls would try to jump me about it."
"They're in bed." He smirked. "All tucked in." He nodded. "You can if you want. I could use some after Miami too." Tony nodded and Xander turned off the electric to the girls' dorm on the way past. They wouldn't be coming to him about that but it would make sure they weren't listening. He winked. "Insurance. That way they'll all fussing here instead of my apartment. Or your apartment."
"Mine's safer." He led Xander up to his, keeping the lights mostly off in case one of the girls decided to browse with the telescope again. Xander was more than ready and able to help him and it was nice. He even cuddled after they were done. Very nice. He heard someone knock on Xander's door but oh well. Xander shifted and nibbled on his throat. "No hickies."
"Not." He moved further down, teasing him again. This way he wouldn't go check on whoever it was knocking.
Dawn stomped off. "No answer at Xander's, ladies. Let's see if we can figure this out." Those who had fans to sleep under had woken up when they went off. They found the fuse box but it looked normal. Finally Brenda went to wake up John. He knew about a lot of things and cars. Maybe he knew about breakers too?
John stomped down with a flashlight to look at the breaker box, flipping the main one. "Where's the meter outside?" Dawn walked him out there to show him. He found it thrown and turned it back on, earning a cheer and a lot of hugs from the girls. "Bed." They ran back to their bedrooms, making him shake his head. "Who shut off the power?"
One of the guards strolled over. "Xander did on his way to help DiNozzo with some stress," he said quietly next to his shoulder. John looked at him. "That way the girls didn't have listening equipment or anything else that was able to be run."
"I'd paddle them," he promised. "Thanks."
"Welcome." He strolled on. A quick glance up at their windows showed that Sammy was staring out a window and the rest of the floor had no lights on.
John looked up at his son and went to put on pants, waving from the ground until his son saw him and opened a window. "Need to talk?"
"I'm good. Just thinking. Thanks. You okay?"
"Someone unkindly spooked the girls by turning off their power."
Sam smiled. "Kept them busy?" John nodded. "I'll see you tomorrow. Night." He shut the window and turned off the lights, going back to his own bed. He did feel better now.
John went back to his own room, finding Brenda leaving him a cup of tea. "I need tea?"
"Yes. Because you haven't signed permission slips." He moaned. She kissed him on the cheek. "That won't keep you up while you drink it." She skipped off, heading back to her own room.
"Mary would love that girl and how she dotes on me," he told himself and his wife's picture. She would've taken Brenda in and made her a daughter. She was a lot like Sam and Dean, even looked a bit like Sammy. He settled in with the stack of permission slips for various school field trips, exercises, and reports. And one bad conduct report. Why Dawn had detention after her first week he wasn't sure. He read over each one, frowning at Dawn's. One of the girls had smarted off to her about being an orphan so Dawn had mouthed back? Well, at least she hadn't hit her. Buffy would not be pleased if she had gotten expelled.
Tony nearly skipped into breakfast the next morning, a bit later than usual. Most of the agents were gone and all the girls had already headed off to school. Xander strolled in after him. "Morning."
"Morning." He patted him on the back. "Did they leave us any?" he asked the cook, getting food handed to him on two plates. "Thanks." He walked them back, handing Tony one. "There. They did leave us some. Even some pastries."
John leaned in. "That was mean to turn off their power, Xander. You confused every single one when their fans shut off."
"I had to help them look at the breaker box then the meter." Xander grinned. "By the way, found their bug; it's in Dean's room and I confiscated that too. Annabelle had it." Tony moaned, shaking his head. "Don't know why. I'm going to ask her after school."
"I'll be there if I'm here."
"Thanks. Next time, just sneak past."
"I tried, they were watching," Tony admitted. "One of the older girls tried to take my keys last night since she said I was too uptight."
"I'll talk with them and we'll work out how the girls relieve stress without bothering you guys." He left, going to do whatever Wesley needed him to this morning. It was much nicer with them all in school. Dean and Sam were going over things with the two new girls who had recently been found. The Sudanese girl was too old for school and had graduated. Her children were still too young but very cute. They adored Sam and one called him a bunny rabbit for some reason. He and Sam had no idea why but it was adorable. The girl from Iraq was still on crutches and wouldn't be able to handle the local school for another few weeks, until the casts came off. It had an elevator but she was tense, too stressed from the injury and the bad things around her house. She'd end up hurting a kid if they bumped into her wrong. This gave them time to work on her PTSD issues. She was having daylight flashbacks and it wasn't good for her. So for now, they were going over what they needed to know, helping with defense strategies and getting to know them. He leaned next to Sam's ear. "We need to talk to Anna later."
"Why?" he asked, looking at him. "I saw Xander's move with the power."
"Xander thought they might have bugged his or Tony's place. Turns out she had one for Dean's room."
Dean spluttered, looking at him. "Excuse me?" he demanded.
"Annabelle," John told him.
"No idea yet. We'll be talking to her later. You can listen while Xander and I talk to her."
"Fine," Dean agreed. He glanced at the girl then switched to Spanish, which he had been brushing up on. "What about Kim and Amber? Do we tell them?" John nodded. "I can do that."
"I can," Sam promised. "Ladies, a point has recently been raised by a few of the girls starting to date. Are you going to feel uncomfortable if two of the girls get together?"
The Iraqi girl frowned. "Is it expected?"
"No, we don't care who you date as long as they're not shitbags," Dean told her. He got swatted by his father for it. "Excuse my language."
The mother looked at him. "They've heard worse. Kim and Amber are adorable. They're also not the sort to do it in front of the children. I cannot take someone's joy from them."
The other girl frowned at her. "They are?" She nodded, smiling some. "I thought they were just friends. So if I find a boy?"
"As long as he's nice, decent, and doesn't treat you badly, we're all for it," Sam assured her with a grin. "Please don't date like Buffy. She dated a vampire with a soul." They both gaped and the Sudanese girl covered her children's ears. "He's a nice sort. He's the Champion for the Powers in LA. She dated another one too, one without a soul but he had a behavior chip to keep him from hunting."
"Spike had one inserted because he loved her back," John told him. "Dawn said so," he said at Dean's odd look in his direction. He grinned at the girls. "We don't care as long as you treat them well and they treat you just as good. Xander might say something if you date a vampire. He did to Angel often enough according to Buffy, but I'm sure he had his reasons."
"That's disgusting," the Iraqi girl complained, then shuddered.
"Yeah, well, he was an ass," Xander said as he walked in. "I've seen some great half- demons, some nice full demons, and some nice humans. As long as you like them, it's a good, firm relationship, it's not hurting anyone or you two, and we don't have to hear details unless you need us to, we don't care." They smiled at that. "As for Angel, he moved on. He dated my ex after her." John shuddered so Xander grinned. "Did you meet Cordelia?"
"Once." He shook his head. "You need better taste."
"Well, yeah," he admitted. He grinned at the girls. "It's a mutual problem. Buffy dated people who knew who she was and were in the life one way or another. I dated girls who wanted to kill me. All the other girls want me to go gay." Both those girls nodded at that. "I know. Not a bad thing really. Anyway, as long as you're happy and content, they're not shitbags, and things like that we'll be happy for you, okay?" They nodded. "Good. Doctor Chase is looking for you guys." They went to the infirmary. "I'm surprised Dawn hasn't pounced House yet. I gave her the perfect opportunity."
"She's picking her moment," John said blandly. "I saw that thing. What was it used for?"
"Anal sex according to Anya." John went pale. He shrugged. "How would I know what sort of alien species she needed it for? I came home and it was on the bed. Knowing Anya, she had found a willing one and was cheating on me. She did with Spike." He strolled off. "I'm bored."
"Fix your filing drawer," Sam called after him. "Wesley said he couldn't find anything."
"Sure." He went to do that.
John shook his head quickly and shuddered. "That's gross."
Dean patted him on the arm. "That's probably not the worst with what we heard about Anya, Dad." He and Sam went to check on that ...appliance. Which it was. It plugged in, it was an appliance. John went for more coffee and a few cookies to take the image of it out of his mind. The sons followed along, Sam was traumatized thinking about trying to even get that into a body. It was too wide to his thinking.
Dean leaned on Dawn later that night. "You should ask him in here," he whispered.
She beamed and bounced out then came back. "Doctor House?" He looked up from eating, still chewing. "I was going through some of the stuff Anya sent with Xander when he evacuated the younger girls from Sunnydale."
"I've heard about her," he admitted once he swallowed. "Why?"
"I was going through the trunk of stuff she sent and found something I have no idea what the purpose is. Can I ask you?"
"Of course," he agreed smugly. She put it in front of him. It was lurid pink. About a foot long. Had a corkscrew top, a funny 'z' bend in the center, and was as wide as his ankle. He choked, because it had a dial to adjust the vibration. Chase patted him on the back to help him breathe. He finally caught his breath. "You know, I don't know."
"Anya said it was for anal sex but I decided she had found an alien species," Xander called helpfully from his seat. "Think we should send them to Sheppard and McKay?" he asked his protege of evil. Dawn cackled at that.
House looked over his shoulder at Xander. "Not even I'm that mean, kid. Find a girlfriend? Please?"
"No, he's not allowed to date girls. He dates girls like Anya," Dawn said, waving the toy. "Isn't it too wide for that purpose?"
"Some people like things that wide," he told her, watching her blush. In truth, he could tell he was too. "I'm not one. Think I can send that to Wilson first?"
"Cameron's not that much an alien," Chase told him.
House looked at him. "I was thinking he could give it to Cuddy, a present to make her miss us less."
Chase shook his head. "She might fire us, House."
"We're fun and neat; you can stay here," Dawn said with a grin.
Chase looked at her. "We'll see. Is that the strangest?"
"Hell no." She concentrated and the trunk floated in. "Sorry to raid, Xander." She handed over the boxers that had been lying on top. He looked then put them into his pocket. One of the girls gave him an odd look. "What?"
"Those didn't look like his."
"Laundry left in the dryer," Xander said dryly. "As I found out when I put them on. I'll wash them and give them back, unlike you."
"Faith has all yours," she pouted.
Dawn opened the trunk and dug past the regular toys, watching House's face go bright red at all that was in there. "I know. She didn't pack much beyond a few outfits, a few pieces of jewelry, and all her sex toys. Showed her priorities." She came up with a stranger one. This one was lime green and *huge*. It was three feet long, eighteen inches wide at the tip, then tapered back to six inches at the base. "Any idea?"
"Saw that on a demon," Don Flack said happily. "Doing porn. The bust in Texas had the guy watching some that had one of those when we got him."
"That's understandable," she decided, digging out another one. This one was short, thick, and ugly looking. She waved it. "Inhumanly wide?" She had to hold it in two hands and it wouldn't fit in them.
"I don't see how anyone can fit that," Chase admitted.
Xander looked then shrugged. "She called it a pacifier. You do realize there's kids in the room?"
"Bring it down to the infirmary, Dawn. We'll look it over and see if any of the rest should go to Sheppard." She nodded, floating it off. Which left the original in front of him. He whimpered when he noticed the plug hanging off the side. "Anyone want to set Xander up on dates?"
"His first three tried to kill him," Sam called. "The next one was a bitter, yappy thing with a 'tude who liked to put everyone down. Then there was Anya."
"So you agree with the girls and he should be gay?" House asked.
"None of the girls he met in Las Vegas went bad," Dean told him. He looked down at Xander, who was bright red. "Unless the ones in that game did."
"Don't ask," Xander said, stuffing his mouth. Everyone stared at him. "One tried to take over a town in my name, okay? Not my doing. She just wanted me back." He quickly ate another bite.
"I cede the point. He should be gay," Sam said. "Ryan? You and he seem to get along. Or Tim? You were in his head for a while." Xander glared at him so he grinned. "They'd understand you. They'd like being a big brother to the horde."
Xander stuffed his mouth again, taking his plate with him once it was refilled. He was going to be embarrassed in peace.
"Kinda straight but thanks for the suggestion," Ryan said once Xander was gone. "I'm sure he's a great cuddler. I should suggest that to Eric." Speed looked at him, an odd, disturbed look. "Eric said Xander unnerved him."
"Xander does it to most other agency's agents too," Tony said dryly, eating a bite of dinner. He had wondered where those boxers had went. Now he knew, they had gotten tangled in Xander's clothes. He'd get them back later. "Hey, Dean, why was she taping?" Annabelle slunk down in her seat.
"She was curious about what boys and girls did together so she stole a bug and receiver from the armory and was taping my bedroom." Annabelle fled before the older girls could glare at her. "She's not in trouble. We talked, and she's okay with me. The next one who does it gets beaten." He stared at one girl who had a serious crush on him.
"Spanking can be fun," she whispered then got up and fled too before anyone tried to.
"Not the way I do it," Dean called after her. John choked. "She said it."
"Son, shut up."
"Sammy, find Xander a nice boy. I'm sure you met a few at Stanford."
"I'm trying. We're too far away. The next case that way I'll introduce them."
His father sighed, shaking his head and getting more coffee. Brenda handed him down the plate of cookies. "Thanks, Brenda."
"Welcome, John." She smiled at Dean. "At least she went after someone who might date. She didn't tap John's room or Xander's room to find that out."
"She did know who gets all the chicks," Dean agreed happily.
Tony waved his hand. "I had ten a month in DC, Dean. Thank you for realizing I was better at it than you are."
"Should we take a nice swab of you too?" House asked dryly.
"No, I play safely. Always. I don't want there to be little Tony's. Gibbs might freak and take them out to spare the world my offspring's future brilliance."
Abby pulled something out of her pocket and shot the dart at him, knocking him out. "Before he turns evil." Chase cackled. "He was."
"He was," Speed agreed. "Is that the new demon snot darts?" She beamed and let him see. "That's pretty cool. Will it work on a werewolf?"
"It should. He'll be out until tomorrow so can I have his potatoes?" House handed his plate down. "Thank you," she said happily, scraping his plate onto hers so she could have seconds. The agents got done eating and the girls came over to steal the food off their table to finish off for them. They only had leftovers on liver night at the base. "Hey, Sammy, bring George up to the lab tonight please? I found a recipe for plant food for plant demons and I wanted to see if he wanted some. I don't know where he's hiding right now."
"He's in our building's elevator for the night to hide from the cold air," he told her. "I can do that." He finished up and went to talk to George, getting him up to the lab. Abby came up a few minutes after they got there. The plant food was gotten and dropped in. George's leaves trembled so she added more. He growled and rubbed against her leg, his branches taking the formula to pour into his pot. Then he waddled off, heading to find some nice, bright, warm lights. It was a good night for him. "Guess he likes it."
"I hope so. I can make more." She bounced off to do that while Sam went to do his chores for the night at their apartment. She sent an email to McKay about the plant food and the formula in case it might help in their botany department. It seemed to help George be more lively.
Xander opened up his door, letting Dawn float in the trunk of sex toys. "Thanks." He looked at House when he walked in.
"Welcome." She put it back and came out to give him a hug. "Anya was strange."
"Just a bit," he agreed dryly.
"No just a bit about it," House told him. "We found the site she ordered from. She ordered sixteen different demon dildos, kid. By the way, she submitted one of you. You're a pretty good seller recently. Since the game." He walked off happier.
Dawn beamed at him. "Isn't that cool?"
"More freaky than cool," he told her. "Go study." She nodded, going to do that. He shook his head quickly to banish that image. Though he did get online to look. Anya had apparently somehow made a mold off him one night. It looked just like him. Well, maybe the women he had bedded in that game would like one or two. He logged off his computer and went to bed to have freakish dreams about demons coming to ask him for his autograph like he was a porn star. That was too strange for him.
Daniel looked up from his breakfast his fourth day on vacation to find his boss standing at his table. "I'm on vacation. Is it an emergency?"
"No." He sat down. "I think we should talk."
"I think not since you had someone break into my office to steal personnel files." He ate a bite of croissant. "Until you retire, I'll deal with your assistant, sir."
"I had to."
"I don't care. You broke any means of trust I might have for you. Your assistant hasn't made your mistakes yet. I would assume he'd learn and not try to screw with my people. After all, he knows what they can do."
The director laughed. "Your people are strange but powerless, Jackson."
Danny smirked and waved over the demon waiter, getting a hesitant look. "Now please. Nothing bad." He came over. "This man is my direct boss. I am..." He nodded quickly to show he knew. "He thinks my people will work for him after he stole Xander and Sam's personnel records."
The demon looked at him. "The Knight hasn't taken care of him yet? He would us."
"I've asked him not to yet. The president would get very upset if he handled it his usual way."
The demon swallowed, looking at him then back at Danny. "I'm very sorry for them. The Great Family and the Knight will not stand for this. They will react soon if someone doesn't." The Director of Homeland laughed at that. "Does he not know that the Knight has fought many heavy beasts and killed them all? That he's taken out clans to protect the slayers? That he blew up a building to do so? Or that he helped take out a military unit because they had a friend and were tainting that slayer?" The director quit laughing, giving him a horrified look. He nodded. "You are lucky he considers you beneath a threat to him or the Great Family. If so, it would be tragic to your clan." He left after refilling Danny's coffee. The Knight must respect that one quite a lot to listen to him.
Danny smiled, sipping delicately at the steaming hot cup. He put it back down. "Xander's all that and more. There's a reason he makes most agents jumpy. Thankfully, he knows and believes in what we do, Director. As I said earlier, we've all agreed that we're able to work with your assistant until you quit. Because you have no idea what you've pissed off in my people. Even the ones against us don't want to get on the Slayers Council's bad side." He shuddered at that reminder. "Yet you've pissed off fifty-eight slayers and two other watchers, plus the rest of Sam's family. Pity you were working for an evil one who recently got killed."
"He did not," he hissed.
"If he's the same one who wanted Sam, he did. Buffy made sure of it and John Winchester helped." The man went pale. "If you're working for someone else." He leaned closer. "Fair warning. We won't put up with people trying stuff on my staff. We tend to take that as personally as Jack takes a threat to SGC." He leaned back and sipped his coffee again. "Anything else, Director? Because I'm on vacation. It's been a stressful year." He took another drink and nibbled a bit more of his excellent, handmade croissant. The director got up and stormed off. Danny pulled out his phone and texted a message to someone. Just in case. Then he turned off the recording and sent it as well. Pity the man was against his people. He'd hate to see what would've happened if Tony had still been in charge. Or worse, Xander.
Abby looked up as the door to the lab opened, waving at the blonde woman. "I'm in here," she called when she didn't see her. Sam leaned in. "Hi, Sam. What's up?"
"McKay said to tell you the plant mixture didn't work as well as hoped but substituting one chemical in the compound worked wonderfully for the peculiarities of their local growing system." Abby beamed at that. "What did it do here?" She pointed at George, who was shaking in the corner. He had grown by about seven inches since she had fed it to him a few days back. "He's grown."
"He has. He's becoming a huge shrub demon. Even Annabelle said so when she helped him pluck some of his new buds." She beamed at George, patting him gently on the top branches. He shivered and came to nuzzle her leg. "More later, George. Go sit outside in the sun. You need real sun, not lab lights." He waddled out, going to sit in the sunniest part of the courtyard. "So why else did you hop up?"
"Hoping to find Daniel."
"He's on vacation. House said so."
"Our new head doc. Doctor Greg House. He's been very helpful. Did I send you demon parts?"
"No," she said, coming in further. "What sort of demon parts?"
"They had two ascensions in Miami so they sent me the remains," she said happily, beaming at her. Sam smiled back. "They're out back in the refrigerated building so we could dissect and look at things like their poison sacs."
"Let's go look. Or are you busy?"
"Bit busy. I'm doing forensic work right now." She shrugged. "Some tests won't work on what we have to deal with so I'm reformulating for our specific needs. I'm making sure our tests have a good reliability rate."
"That's exciting work. How much have you had to change?"
"We've had to add whole indexes to the GCMS and a few other machines," she said with a point. "That's what we've been working on up here."
Sam moved over to look at the new index lists. It was well laid out for easy searching. "Hey, one of mine is on here." Abby rolled over to look. "That one."
"We weren't sure if he was alien or demon. He kinda looked like a slime, lime green version of a Roswell Gray, but you never know. Could be a half-breed." She shrugged and got back to it. "Shoot, failed one out of four tests. Not good enough," she said a minute later, pouting at it. "I need more research CSIs." She called down to the squad room. "Tim, are you, Ryan, and Danny busy?" She smiled. "No, my current one won't be reliable. I need to find out why. Thank you. I'm taking Sam out to see the remains. Sure. I can wait." She hung up. "The other CSI gods will be up here in a minute."
"Sure, I can wait." She smiled. "Anything else that went to McKay and Sheppard?"
"Well, I think Danny sent the film of the ascension Dean got from the first one in Miami. I know he had it copied onto a DVD so he could send it to Jack at the very least."
"I heard about that one. He said it was disturbing."
"It was, and kinda gross when the artillery hit it. No wonder Xander had to blow up a school to kill the bigger version." Speed walked in. "You wonderful man you!" she said happily, giving him a hug around the neck. "That test. It's driving me more insane. I don't even have Gibbs to get me a caf-pow."
"I'll look it over," Speed promised. "Show her the remains for a while." She nodded, taking off her gloves and coat to drag Sam out to the refrigerated exam building. Speed shook his head, gloving and coating up so he could get to work on his first love - samples of weird things that had to be identified. There was a forensics convention coming up and Abby wanted to present a lot of new material, which she had, but she wanted to finish this database and test too.
Daniel walked back on base two days later, smiling because it was still standing. The girls squealed and ran over to hug him. "Yes, I'm back. Don't undo all the masseuse's good work, girls." They laughed and let him go. "Any traumas?"
"Dawn got House back for the dye stuff," one said happily. "Anya gave Xander freaky sex toys so she asked him what one was for at dinner."
Danny moaned. "Why?"
"To make him blush," Dawn said with a bright, happy grin. "It worked! She had a lot of freaky stuff and he was horrified. Though he did agree, Xander needs to date a nice boy."
"I'm sure he'll find one," Danny said dryly. "Anything else happen?"
"Jack called," John said, coming over. "For some reason he called me to have me call when you got back. I guess to make sure you got back. Sam's helping Abby in the lab."
"That's fine. She's good at it." He smiled. "I'll call Jack." He handed over the verbatim message as ordered. He read it and laughed. "He thought I was going to be kidnaped."
"Are you as bad as Xander?" Brenda teased.
"Worse in some areas," he admitted. "Anything else I should know?"
"No paperwork. Only one research case this week, already passed on and signed off." Danny really smiled at that. "No one checked your voicemail though."
"I'll check it in a few. Thanks, guys. It's a good welcome home."
"We're cooking tonight," Annabelle told him.
"I look forward to it," he promised, patting her on the head. "Let me go check in and drop my bag." He went to do that then headed to his office to listen to his voicemail. Nothing horrible. Notice that the Director of Homeland had retired and the president was taking nominations for a new one. Jack wanting to know where he was. Which was probably why he had called John. He called him back. "I'm back from vacation. I had a great time. It was quiet, peaceful, and decent." He leaned back, listening to him complain. "I heard Sam's here, Jack. Why?"
He smirked. "I'll let her know you want a call and she forgot to get extra time before reporting. Anything else?" He nodded, making a note. "I'll have Abby check it and send you the results if Sam doesn't. How's the base?" He smirked at the 'hell on my nerves' answer. "I'm sure it'll be fine, Jack. Not like you have SG-1 to rule over," he taunted. "Not like Hammond did us." He listened to Jack complain about the new version. "Still not as bad as us, Jack. Jack, two words: quantum mirror." Jack spluttered but did finally agree it wasn't something they had run into yet. "See, better than we were. We hit how many alternate realities?" He smirked. "Good! I'm back. Why?" He nodded.
"Sure, if Major Davis wants to talk about that treaty I'm good. I'm back and we haven't had much to do while I was gone." Someone screamed. "That was the sound of a prank gone wrong since no one's running to help. So much worse than you are, Jack. The girls get into it too." He hung up on his cackling. "I should send more of them to you for a bit of training." He called the lab. "Hey, Speed, put Sam on?" He waited while he did that. "Did you forget to tell Jack you needed extra time to report and give him the results on some PX-9484y alien bits?" He smiled. "I just did. He thought we had kidnaped you." He laughed at her assurance she was working hard. "Fax him the results and then call, Sam. Sure, I'm back." He hung up and went to check what had happened. Xander was missing the hair on his head. "Nair?"
"Spell," Xander growled. He finished texting and it grew back. "I should go beat Willow," he said blandly. "Anyone want to spank Willow for me?" Everyone in the room raised their hand. "Good!" He texted that to her and she appeared to give him a hug. Danny Messer grabbed her and walked her off to have a talk about responsible magic use with her. Someone clearly needed to. He looked at him. "Hey, boss. How was the vacation?"
"Great. I'm very relaxed, it's nice. Should I expect an assault?"
"Buffy stopped that one."
"Good!" He beamed. "Anything I should know? I heard about Dawn embarrassing House already."
"Abby wants to present stuff at a forensic conference. Tony wasn't sure if it was reimbursed or not. He couldn't find the forms and he never wrote that out. She has to know by next week."
"We can talk about that. Anything else?"
"She could use more people and we could use more research people."
"I've been looking for those. We'll see what we can do." Xander handed him a list. "Why?"
"The girls wanted and Giles likes but he doesn't want to check with Gibbs. Considers him too hard."
"I'll check and let Tony talk to him." He put that into his front pocket. "Nothing else happened?"
"The first annual DCIS poker game," Tony said as he walked in with a donut. "Abby..." Danny nodded. "Cool. Researchers? Giles wants his books back soon. Once he has a library set up in about a year."
"I can find those too."
"We have enough for a full new team. We'll have another ascension soon but I've warned the people out there so we shouldn't have to go. It's in DC and Gibbs can find artillery." Xander pouted. "They'd never let you do it in DC, Xander."
"Fine," he pouted. "Don't let me play with the nice toys."
Danny Jackson patted him on the back. "We'll figure it out, Xander. Maybe you can go consult if we don't have anything going on." He looked at Tony. "How often do we need a full new team?"
"Six cases out of eight," he admitted. "Plus they've got skills we don't. Since the computer techs are freaking out at the demons having sex thing they found on that slavery ring, McGee could fill in there now and then. Abby does right now but she could use the help. It'd add a few other languages to the group and a few others who can write good reports. Plus another bomb person."
"I'll talk with them and look over to see if we need them soon." Tony got something and handed it over. "This is?"
"Next prophecy of a major bad thing next year. We'll need one by then. Giles said it was nice the demon covering up his misdeeds created so much work and he did it during a time when there were no prophecies."
"Good to know." He walked off. "Anything else I should have?"
"I arranged your filing cabinet by the thing handled, not the date," Tony called. "Easier to find it that way. I also added a list by which team handled it which is by date, as well as an index listing which case had which main demon it was filed under. If you don't like it we can fix it later."
"We'll see how well it works." He went to find Abby and talk to her. Sam had sent the information to Jack and was talking to him in the lab's office. He looked at Abby. "Conference?" She held up the brochure while she typed one handed. "Problem?"
"Ryan's new case. He's got some strange results that point at no demons. But we've clearly seen demons so we don't know why."
"No, we've seen physical demons." She let him have the brochure and went back to searching. "Ah-ha!" she shouted. Ryan came jogging in. "Here, this a demon result," she said proudly. "He's a halfie and he changes sides!" She hugged him. "Such a brilliant case, Ryan. Thank you."
"Thanks, Abby. It was driving me nuts." He took the results and went to tell the local office out there that had forwarded it over.
Abby beamed at the boss. "I love to make them happy."
"I'm happy too." He looked at it then at her. "Let me see if we have room in the budget." She squealed and hugged him too. "Give me two days and remind me if I haven't told you." She nodded and he went to start with her contract. He saw she was needing a new one soon and put that onto his task list. The contract didn't say anything about conferences, just proprietary information. So he sat down to look at the budget and how much it was supposed to cost. He had some wiggle room.... So maybe they could pay for rooms or the fees, but the agents could pay for the rest? He decided that was fair and went to talk to her about it. "How about if we cover fees but you guys get your own rooms?"
She pouted. "They're really expensive there."
"Abby, not like you pay rent here," he pointed out.
"Oh, yeah. I forgot about that." She shrugged. "Then I guess I could. I'm sponsoring an information seminar on what we've found so other forensics people can know."
"Good! I encourage that. It's furthering the art." She smiled and nodded, bouncing around to her music. "Give me a form about how much it cost and a receipt?" She nodded. "Good. Who else is going?"
"Ryan. Sam wanted to go too. Speed might go but he might get funny looks. Danny might go too."
"That'll work as long as we can make at least one team while you're gone."
"It's only for a weekend so it should be okay."
"Good." He smiled back. "Let me know." He left, going back to his office to draft a memo about that. It got sent around and it was good. He was actually done for the day. He went to look at his filing cabinet. It was easy enough to read. Tony had kept it alphabetical. 'Demons under A' had a few and so on. The indexes weren't that easy to read but it looked good enough for now. He'd see if it worked. If not, they could redo it when they were bored. He went to check the contracts. A few more were about to run out. He went to talk to the Major. "Good afternoon."
"Hey, boss. What's up?"
Major Sheppard sighed. "You don't really need me now."
"You do run the gym and help the girls."
"They've all graduated to Dean. Plus, I have a bar at home that's been declared a hot spot for girls playing beach volleyball."
Danny smiled. "I understand. Find a replacement for Benny Ray?"
"Of course. He's got a short list for you."
"I'll see him next." He shook his hand. "Thank you for all your help during our setup and insane times. Keep an eye on Cordette's training?"
"Not a problem. If you need help in LA, look us up." That got a nod and Danny went to the armory. Sheppard smiled at his back. That was the nicest retirement he had ever put in.
Danny looked at the short list and sighed. Nearly impossible. Every single one of them. Fortunately John, Xander, and Dean could fill in for a while. Unless they got a huge bust then they'd need someone who was an 'expert' and their lone former ATF agent was not qualified. He could bust but he couldn't name the make and model of his own gun, much less others. They could borrow. He could haunt the federal labs for one. Or he could send Tony and Xander out to bag one for him. They weren't busy.... Well, it might work.
Xander smiled at the blonde lady he was back in Miami to see. "CSI Duquesne, may I have a word?"
She looked at him and the folder in his hand. "New case? Horatio's going to be very upset."
"No, not a new case. I'm here to be tempting."
"Oooh. I shouldn't even listen. Horatio will be *very* upset if I listen to lofty goals and offers from federal agents." She smiled. "I'm sorry."
"You can have a position on a field team when you're not in the armory," he offered, moving closer. "You'd have all the slayers on base who'd look at you like a big sister. They do to Abby."
She shook her head but patted him on the cheek. "I like my present job. Sorry, Agent Harris."
"Xander, please." She nodded at that. "Would you happen to have a handy list of people we could talk to? We need an armory master. We have different guns, artillery, unusual weapons, and now and then poisons and darts. Some confiscated and some not. They'd be responsible for any count we had for confiscated ones."
She considered it. "I know a few people I could ask."
"That'd be handy." He smiled. "Ours is leaving in four months. Do you think you can do it by the big forensics seminar and conference thingy that's coming up? Abby's going to be there and so is Ryan since he and Speed helped do a lot of the research to make what we do applicable to what you do."
"Really?" She moved closer. "How applicable?"
He grinned. "Very. Some new tests, some indexes. She's giving a lecture during it."
"I want to see that. Horatio would too."
"It's the one in Chicago. She asked a few of the guys what the weather would be like recently at dinner."
"I'll bring it to her there, Xander. Thank you for the offer. I'm honored."
He grinned. "We need more females on base. The girls could use more female role models who kick ass."
She laughed. "I certainly do." She winked. "I'll let Horatio know about Abby's lecture too. Thank you." She walked inside and he went to call home she guessed since he was on the phone as he drove off. She ran into Horatio in the lab. "Abby, out of the DCIS lab, the one Ryan's been working with, is going to be giving a lecture at the conference in Chicago."
"Really?" he asked. "How do we know this?"
"Harris just came to ask me to be their armory master."
"I said I'd give Abby a list during the conference. Ryan might be there too. He said she's got a few new tests, some indexes to look through."
"I saw one of them. It's a handy index to look at and find what you need." He stared at her. "It is a prestigious spot."
"I like what I do and you'd pout worse if I left." She bopped him on the arm with the folder. "He even came with the offer."
"I'm sure he did." He walked her off. "Let's see how much this one costs. We might be able to be reimbursed for it." She smiled at that. "Is Speed going?"
"No idea. He mentioned Abby and Ryan."
"Hmm." They looked it up on the first computer they came to, reading up on the particulars. Abby's lecture was listed. She signed them up and did the reservations right then. Then she started on the reimbursement for the room and fees since she had used her credit card. Horatio got his own, then he went to his office to call a few others and let them know. "Mac, Horatio down in Miami." He smiled. "It is good to hear from you. We were just approached by one of the DCIS agents and heard something interesting. Abby has done more than the one chart I've seen. She'll be speaking at the conference in Chicago. That one, yes. I've heard Ryan Wolfe will be with her, I'm not sure about others. Also, if you have a suggestion, they're looking for a new armory master. Yes, they came for Calleigh but she graciously turned them down for my sanity." He laughed at the laughter going on. "So, should I say I'll buy lunch this time?" He smiled. "Good enough. I'll see you there." He hung up and emailed a few others. They needed to know too.
Mac walked out of his office, running into Stella in the hallways talking with Sheldon Hawkes. "Abby Scuito is giving a lecture at the conference coming up in Chicago."
"Which means....?" she asked.
"She's the head of the forensics lab and R&D at DCIS," Sheldon told her. "She used to work in one of the government labs in DC before she got poached."
"Ah! I see the connection now. Are Danny or Don going too?"
"We'd have to ask," he said with a smile. "Horatio told me they came down to poach Calleigh for their armory. She said no apparently; he was too happy to have just lost her."
"Interesting. So maybe we'll go. Weren't you going, Sheldon?"
"I was," he agreed. "I wonder what they've found."
"Probably a lot. They've been doing a lot of research, including medical fields from Don's last letter," Stella told him, getting an interested look.
"I'll definitely be attending that one. I hope there's going to be empty seats left. I should check to make sure it's not pre-registration required." He went to do that.
She smiled at Mac. "Are you going to hear the new stuff or to see Danny and Don?"
"To try to talk them into coming back."
"If we have the manpower, let me know. I'll go with you and Sheldon." She pinched him on the cheek. "Relax, Mac. They're not in danger. All the bad things happened last month from what I heard. Horatio should've been throwing a fit. He had a demon clan gang war going on in his city."
"I heard. Oh, did I hear," he moaned lightly, shaking his head. "Horatio complained for three days about the slime he got covered in and Harris being bouncy and violent."
"I guess he's good at what he does," she decided. She walked off. "I'm nearly done with my last case."
"Let me know how it turned out." He went to see who else had signed up to go. Maybe he could bump someone. Stella would be a better enticement than Lindsay was to get his people back where they belonged.
A few days later Greg Sanders looked up from his latte in the mall, frowning at the man sitting across from him. "Agent DiNozzo. New case?"
"Poaching," he said with a wicked grin. "Xander tried to get the first on the list, I'm trying the second."
"Oooh, Bobby," he said with a grin of his own. "Hard sell."
"All the pretties he could play with, helping us make the speciality bullets we use. Confiscated guns now and then. In charge of our armory and range."
"He might go for it. I don't know. Need introduced?"
"Please. I know you work in the same lab he does."
"He's a buddy actually." He called him. "Bobby, my man. There's an agent here with me at the Crestside Starbucks that would like to talk to you about something. Yup, with me. Thanks." He hung up. "We can go over, it'll give him enough time to pick up."
"Sure. Want me to follow you? I drove down."
"That'll work." He walked his coffee out and drove over there, getting out to watch the agent park his mustang very gently. "She must be loved."
"She's very loved. Especially on our roads for the long drives." He grinned. "Shall we?"
"Fix your shirt?" He looked down then fixed his shirt so it wasn't bunched up. He walked him up to the proper apartment, knocking for him. Bobby Dawson answered. "Bobby, this is Special Agent DiNozzo, DCIS."
"Nice to meet you. I know Greg's our regional liaison. Is there a new case you need help with?" he asked in his gentle southern accent.
"Actually, I'm hoping for a new armory master." Bobby gaped. He smiled. "Inside?"
"Of course." He let them in and sat down, looking at him. "You mean like confiscated weapons?"
"That and our arsenal, our speciality bullets that we make on site, the gun lockers for the agents. We have a Marine who did weapons training before he retired from the Corps but he's retiring in just under four months. Your name was second on the list, he chose a female first so the slayers would have another good female role model."
"Did Calleigh blush?"
"Xander said she gave him a horrified look and said Horatio would be *very* upset if we poached more from Miami since we have Wolfe and Speedle."
"Didn't he die?" Greg asked.
"Yes but then he ended up accidentally possessing Xander; the witch we have on base sneezed to exorcize him and give him a new body. She got teachers after that." Greg choked. "Sorry, but sometimes Dawn is amazing and sometimes she's seventeen." Bobby laughed. "If you couldn't, I figure you could give me a good list. She's making us one if you don't accept."
"I'm flattered to be asked. What sort of speciality bullets do you guys use?"
"We have some lead ones. Some hollow point, holy water ones, and some wooden core ones that are teflon jacketed." He popped out his gun and handed it over. "Those are the holy water hollow tipped. Those are the most usual carry. We also teach all the younger slayers how to use anything we have in the armory. They have instinctive knowledge but not always great aim. You'd be our arms master in all meanings of the word."
"Wow," he breathed, popping out the clip to look at a bullet. "That doesn't look that complicated."
"I've got a box of each at home," Greg admitted, finishing his coffee and tossing out the cup. Bobby took it out of the trash can and put it into the real one. "Sorry, forgot you were using that to store the current month's journals until you read them."
"Not a problem. They weren't wet. You suck all the coffee out of your cup. Unlike Archie." He put the bullet back and handed it back properly. "How long do I have to think?"
"Few hours? Up to a few days? Benny Ray's leaving in just under four months and we asked Calleigh to give us a list by the conference in Chicago since a few of us are going up to hear what Abby's come up with."
"She is?" Greg asked, sitting up. "Like lists so we can tell when something comes up?"
"Like whole new tests," Tony told him with a grin. "Plus new lists and charts."
"I'm so going," Greg said, looking at Bobby. "If you don't take it, I'll bring the list with me."
"Sure." He smiled. "I'll definitely think about it and let you know by tomorrow night?"
"Of course." He handed over the envelope from his pocket. "This is our standard contract. We're open to a bit of negotiation."
Bobby read it over, nodding at the salary. "A bit higher than I make now. Where's the headquarters?"
"North Dakota. So if you hunt, there's some great hunting. Benny Ray got his limit in deer last year. Bow and shotgun. He brought his son up for his first hunt and he got his first deer too." That got a smile. "The girls went 'eww' when they found it was deer meet, but they're girls."
Bobby laughed. "They seemed very energetic during the invasion video."
"You have no idea. Fortunately they've calmed down. They used to try to panty raid the agents." Bobby gaped. "We live on base. Nice apartments. Free cable."
"On top of the salary?" Tony nodded. "Wow."
"We deal in things that give most cops and agents headaches. F or those who can deal, we want them protected and able to not have too many worries. We protect each other like some very strange family." He stood up. "I'm going to be in town. I needed a few days off and Xander seemed to have a lot of fun during his vacation here."
"That's good to know," Greg said dryly. "He still having the freakish luck?"
"Don't know. We didn't let him participate in the first annual DCIS poker game. Or Dean either since he's a card shark." He grinned. "Let me know." He shook their hands and left, heading to his hotel for a short rest and to hit on the pretty women. Maybe he'd even sink low enough to buy a few.
Greg looked over at the offer. "That's about what they offered me but I'd be a regular agent so I'd be making about ten grand less." He stood up. "I took my offer to Griss and negotiated." He walked out, leaving his friend to think. Though he did go put up a notice on the bulletin board back at the lab. Ecklie caught him. "The head of forensics at DCIS is speaking at this one. She's made new tests and charts for easier identification."
"Are they being added to the machines?"
"I don't know yet," he admitted. "I can email her. I know she's handed what she's figured out to people taking the classes to help her. Hodges is testing a few hypothesis for her in a wider lab setting since they only have a few cases a month." He grinned. "It's a forensic conference some of us were going to anyway."
"If at all possible."
"Fine." He walked off fuming. He hated it when his lab was shown up. He walked into Grissom's office, finding him packing up for the day. "DCIS is speaking at the forensics conference coming up in Chicago."
"I saw that. Nick's going, so is Hodges."
"I'm going," Greg called on his way past the doorway. "I put a notice on the bulletin board. She's got new tests too."
"Good to know." He smiled. "Whoever can should probably go. Hodges has found a number of demonic samples at crime scenes that don't relate back to anything demonic. One had a maid who was a half-demon, a few others that had workmen who were. Before it would've been an anomalous sample; now we know."
"I want full details to see if we need to upgrade anything, Gil." He walked off, going to sulk. Why weren't his people getting that sort of work? Why *Hodges*?
Grissom went to check in with his trace tech, who was getting ready to head out as well. "Are you going to see Abby Scuito speak at the Chicago conference?"
"I am. My papers are on your desk."
"Good. Remind me tonight." He walked on, heading for his home. He could use a nap.
Hodges shook his head, going to his own home. Some labs were too paranoid about people being poached.
In Washington, DC, Gibbs was looking at the email that got handed to him. "What's this?" he asked McGee. "Resignation?"
"I'm going out in three weeks to interview. Their director went on vacation after the incidences in Miami, Minnesota, and that sea creature in Maine in the same week."
"I don't blame him." He looked at it then smiled. "Abby's giving a lecture?"
"Apparently so. She's apparently updated at least a few things. It's a forensics conference but I'm sure she'd want you there, boss."
"I'll go." He smiled at him. "Thank you."
"Your email's still forwarded to mine," he said dryly. "I fixed that for you." He went back to his desk while Gibbs got back to work on their present case. The tech that had replaced Abby was pouty, slow, and whiny. He missed having Abby and Tony around to make his life more lively and fun. He wanted them back too! He had pouted a few times about wanting them back.
The conference chair in Chicago looked at the reservations that had suddenly went up from some very major labs and smiled. "We'll have to move the new forensics technologies panel somewhere bigger," he decided, shifting rooms around. He looked at the selected list of events and moved one other talk to a bigger room too. He had no idea which agency DCIS was but apparently their tech was going to be giving a lively recruiting or whatever talk a few were looking forward too.
to part 10