Xander walked in the next morning looking like he hadn't slept, showered, or changed.  "One of the people I talked to said it was looked into and said to be a hoax.  The others, who are all hackers and things, say it's not no matter what some idiot Fed in a suit thinks."  He handed it over.  "I sorted it out by area, I hope.  That's all the local things going on.  The last two are what's going on in Sunnydale."

"Can you warn them?"

"Giles doesn't believe in computers, Willow's grounded from hers."

"Anyone else have an account?  Or can you get it there like by owl mail?"

He sat up.  "Dawn."  He called the home phone, wincing at the time difference.  "Dawn, glow for me, accept incoming intel for Buffy.  It's an emergency.  Yes, like I sent you that letter, young lady.  I love you too.  It's really important, like an apocalypse is coming important."  She agreed so he hung up and concentrated, sending those to her.  He felt her squeal when an edge caught on fire but she put it out with some salt and it was good.  "Only caught an edge on fire," he said proudly.

"Good job."  He stared at him.  "What if they're at the same time?"

"I don't know.  That's why I was talking to Don before his date."

"He had to reschedule it due to a stakeout before," Mac told him.  He went back to reading.  "If they're right, this is very bad.  Which Fed disagreed?"

"My notes are on the back."  He looked, grimacing.  "Probably of Dawn's of course."  He sent that text message to her phone, getting her mother's promise to fax those pages to wherever he wanted.   He gave her the fax number in the office and she sent back a thank you, be safe.  He sent back a virtual hug and looked at him. "Office fax in a while.  Her mom can borrow one."  Mac smiled at that.  "I don't know what to do, Mac.  The Watchers might be creating one out there to draw me out and take out Buffy and Faith.  The one here may be really horrible.  I don't know what to do.  If I have to choose...."

"I understand, Xander.  It's a hard decision."  He nodded, slumping down some.  "Go home, let me look into this.  Take a shower and eat."

"I can do that here.  I'm too wired to head home.  Did you and John have a productive talk?"

"I've been talking to my contacts all night about that situation in St. Louis."  Xander grimaced.  "I don't know how to prove it."

"Would the skinwalker have his DNA?  Blood DNA?"

"Maybe not."  He grinned.  "That's not a bad suggestion.  Go shower and change."  He nodded, going to do that while Mac called in a contact.  "One of my techs has a few friends who hack underground," he said quietly.  "He got given some information that they all know is correct and one Fed has said isn't.  That is one of the situations, yes."  He listened.  "Are we sure?  Absolutely certain?"  He grimaced.  "I can do that.  That's not a problem. The current address they have is in Astoria."  He nodded.  "That was listed as their last one and they're moving soon.  Please.  I don't want this to happen here.  I can do that but I have more notes coming from where he called around to his contacts last night.

"I'm guessing, he didn't say exactly, just underground hackers who do it internationally.  Exactly.  My ballistics tech.  No he can't hack.  I imagine he found them because he is paranoid about his death threat situation.  Also, he's heard that there's going to be another apocalypse sort of thing in Sunnydale, out by LA.  He is.  You'd be right in that assumption of him knowing their missing person.  Please.  I'd love to meet for coffee.  How soon?"  He smiled.  "Good enough.  I should have the other notes by then."  He hung up and went back to looking them over.  There were six or seven things on those sheets he needed to have stopped.  He hoped his contact could separate out what they already knew about and had stopped.  If they had stopped any of it.


Xander ran into Don Flack that night, smiling at him.  "Thank you for offering wise advice."

"Did it help?"

"Not a whole lot.  The Watchers are prompting it but not making it go totally.  They know, I did tell them.  If my friends are right, they're going to be evacuating that part of the state."  Don shuddered.  "If they're right about here, we're all screwed too.  So I'll help with this and then help where I can out there.  Maybe see if John, Dean, and Sam can go fill in for me."

"That's not a bad idea," Don agreed.  "What's going on here?"

"Oh, six, seven really bad things.  I'm off to sneak around and check something for Mac."

"You need backup."

"No, I'm not doing legal evidence gathering.  I'm checking on locations."  He grinned.  "Like I did while hunting, Don.  Like the day with the rats."  He closed his locker and slid into his dark jacket.  "I'll see you tomorrow if Mac doesn't have a panicked call in later."  He left, putting his phone on silent for now.  If he turned it off, Mac wouldn't be able to track him.  The drive out to Astoria wasn't too easy tonight but it was rush hour.  He found the house in the notes, texting in the information he was seeing.  He snuck closer, checking for guards behind him.  He knocked out one guy watching him, using his cuffs on him and hiding him for now.  He moved closer to scout better.  Oh, they were in such trouble.  He snuck back, putting the guy into his trunk while he called it in.

"Mac, I need SWAT and bomb squad in this location ASAP, QUIETLY.  Yeah, like they have keys.  Like the movie with Arnold and his wife as a spy, Mac.  Keys."  Mac choked and gasped.  "Please?  I can guess but I'm not that good."  He hung up and squatted down when more people came in from a car that was just pulling up the street.  He had been out of sight and being quiet.  The guy in the trunk was making more noise.  "I'll taze you," he hissed.  The guy shut up.  He saw the SWAT truck and pointed, getting a nod.  He mimicked what he saw and that got a second nod.  They formed up and moved in, him following them.

"NYPD, don't move!" the lead guy shouted as they broke in.  The bad guys reached for guns.  One reached for the key on the bomb.  Xander tackled him with a flying tackle.  He kicked at another one and he went down while SWAT got the rest down and out.

"Bomb's off," the bomb guy yelled.  "Get me a Fed!"

Xander let them take the guy he had tackled and probably broken a little bit.  "I've only seen one of these in the movies."

"Which one are you, sir?" he asked firmly.

"CSI Elton, ballistics under Taylor."  He held out a hand with a smile.  "I'm taking my A level bombs qualifications when I do my ballistics upgrade."  He shook his hand.  "We're sure it's off, right?"

"It's powered down."  Xander went limp.  "Any others in the house?"

"I only scouted from outside.  I had a friend give me intel to give to Mac last night.  The intel did say they're getting ready to move to Manchester for their final step.  They'd drive in from there for the unveiling as they were calling it.  Like taking off an improper woman's modesty veil."

"That's a bad analogy."

"They used it first."

"Good to know.  Taylor has it?"

"Yeah, and I have one in my trunk.  I caught him sneaking up behind me.  I told him if he didn't shut up I was going to taze him.  He shouldn't be able to get any weapons in there.  They're all hidden under the back seat."

"We can get him for you, Elton," he agreed.  "You hit the academy?"

"Yup, I was on that Vice sting that went ATF during my last week of ride-along."

"Good work."  He walked out to get the guy out of the trunk.  He tried to kick him so he pepper sprayed him.  He hauled him out to the truck, handing him over.  "He was in Elton's trunk because he caught him sneaking up behind him and decided he was one of them."

"If he's not I'm really sorry but I wasn't going to take that chance with what I saw inside," Xander told him.

"We agree with that.  I saw you on a Vice bust, right?"

"My last week of rookie ride-along."

"How did you know?"

"A friend who hacks found the intel.  I gave it to Taylor this morning.  There's another house set up in Manchester.  They were going to move there this week and then drive in to unveil it like tearing off an improper woman's modesty veil."

"Interesting analogy."

"The other guy didn't like it but they said it first," he offered with a small grin.

"It might give us more clues.  Any idea where in Manchester?"

"Ask Taylor, he was going over it.  He sent me to scout and when I saw the bomb I called because I've only seen those in movies."

"Good job."  He secured the prisoners and walked inside.  "Just the one huge bomb?"  The guys nodded.  "Let's clean it up.  Taylor's team is coming in as CSI."

"Got my field kit and first aid kit in the car," Xander quipped, cracking a few up.  "Sorry, ballistics.  I'll pet the pretty guns until they go away."  They smiled and finished up, calling Mac in to go over the house.  "I told them about Manchester, Mac."

"That's fine.  That's reasonable reporting.  They can talk to their guys up there to see if they have any idea if we can't find it here."  They nodded.  He looked at his team.  "This house held a small terrorist cell.  We are not saying a word to the press until someone higher up does.  We are going to check this house thoroughly and quietly, people.  I want everything they've ever done."  They nodded, getting to work.  "Elton, tag the weapons.  Danny, Stella, take upstairs.  Lindsay, basement.  I'll do the rest of this floor."  He nodded, moving to do that.  They had a team of cops there to guard the evidence they were pulling out of the house.

"Mac!" Lindsay yelled.  She looked over as Mac and then Xander came down the stairs. "That's a bomb.  I know it's a bomb.  The bomb squad guys are gone and that's a bomb."

"Shit," Xander said, moving around her.  "Lights, Lindsay, I need lights and tools.  Now."  Mac handed over his pocket knife while she focused her flashlight on the bomb's controls.  He looked then grimaced, taking it down to the casing.  That was easier.  He found the wires to the explosive, removing them then the one to the battery.  The timer stopped and the wires went off with a pop but nothing happened.  He sighed.  "SWAT swore there weren't any others."

"I'll have them check under the house," he promised.  He went to chew someone a new one, bringing their bomb guy back at a run.  Xander showed him what he had done, getting a clap on the back and a nod of praise.  They checked under the house this time, taking the other one from under the porch with them.  They also stayed while Mac and his team searched the house.


Xander walked into the lab the next morning, nodding at the two ATF agents he knew.  "Heard already?"

"About what?"

"Ask Mac then.  What's up, guys?"

"We had an agent involved shooting."

Xander nodded, taking the gun from him.  "I can run it first.  We've got a hell of a load coming in soon."

"Can we help?"

"I might need a second shift of someone qualified who won't tamper."  He looked at them. "The higher ups sent Anders down to help me since Chad's back on leave for his leg."

They laughed.  "Yeah, not happening.  Let me clear it with Taylor while you match.  It's in the box."   Xander nodded, settling in to work on that.  By the time he came back he had a near match but not a perfect one from the new test-fire.  The old test-fire matched but it came from a different gun.  Which he found listed in the agent's database for them.  He presented them with a printout and report, getting an evil grin.  "You little bastard, you guys found terrorists."  His partner choked.

"I have a friend online who hacks internationally.  I was looking at what's going on out west in my old town because there's one coming there that might need a full evac for.  I badgered him into telling me these when I heard he had one.  Seven as it turned out."

"Shit, kid, we'll help you with that ourselves."

"I'm supposed to be recerting tomorrow."

"We heard Billiams was coming up for it."  He gave him a look.

"You guys' boss tried to say I'm not eligible."

"Fat chance."  Mac came in.  "FBI handling it?"

"No.  Not yet.  Javier, I need you to get some rest before tomorrow.  Do what you can."

"That guy?"

"A neighborhood thug but was buying drugs from them.  They're iffy on him.  Who used the pepper spray?"

"The SWAT guy who got him out of my trunk.  He tried to kick him."

"Fine.  It's legal to do that, borderline but legal.  Do what you can.  I've got someone coming in to help you."

"Will I approve?"


"The Manchester one?"

"Working on it.  The others too.  Quit worrying."  He walked off.  "Get a soda at least."

"Yes, boss."  He went to do that and came jogging back to get to work with them.  They were agents, not lab techs, but the one who showed up nearly made him beg.  "Miss Duquesne."

"Mr. Elton."  She smiled.  "I was up testifying on a crossover case we had a few years back and I heard Mac say that he needed help in here because you're short a good tech due to a broken leg?"

"Chad rebroke his when he fell.  They tried to give me an asslicking political sort who screwed with my scene kit so I swore at him in the halls.  I recert tomorrow."

"I can help."  He handed her his spare jacket and the box of gloves.  "Oooh, pretty.  Where did we find it?"

"Some terrorists had it and the huge ass bomb in their house," he said conversationally.  She whimpered.  "Like you saw with the movie with Arnold and Jamie Curtis."  She grabbed a table.  "They have another place we're hunting and five other really bad things going on in the city.  Welcome back to New York," he finished with an insane grin.

"If I can help I will."  She took his spare scope and computer to work on.  He logged her on with his ID and it was all good.

One of the agents coughed a few hours later.  "Elton, go eat."

"Huh?" he asked, looking up from his scope work.  "What?"

"Eat.  Mac said you haven't eaten in days, kid.  Take a nap too."  Xander nodded, trudging out to do that.  "Sorry, Duquesne, he forgets now and then.  He's probably been up all night."

"I've seen others and done it myself," she assured him.  She yawned.  "Can you watch it while I get lunch too?"

"Of course."  She smiled and took off her lab coat and gloves heading to the break room.  She ran into Danny, giving him a careful hug.  "I'm up to help since I was testifying on that last crossover case."

"Thank god.  Javier's passed out in the lounge."

"The ATF agents just sent him off to eat and nap."

"We'll make sure he eats when he gets up then."   He pointed.  "Down the right hallway."

"Thank you."

"How many left?"

"Billions it seems like but under thirty I think.  I think we can get him home on time tonight since he has to qualify tomorrow."

"That's cool.  If you need me, yell.  Adam and I can both work with him.  Monroe, not so much."

She nodded.  "I'll keep that in mind."  She went to get dinner from the machine, settling in to eat while he slept.  She smiled at the kitty noises he was making.  It was cute!  Mac came in.  "The agents told him to eat and sleep."

"He needs it.  He hasn't slept in two days," Mac admitted.  "And only had the soda I made him get earlier in about a day and a half."

"He didn't finish that."

"Of course not.  He got caught up in it."  He leaned down to pet Xander's head, saying something quietly in his ear, getting a yawn and a stretch but the boy went back to sleep again.  "Good boy," he whispered.  He stood up.  "If something happens because of his death threat up here, we're sending him to you.  Horatio already agreed."

She grinned.  "I'd love to have him in my lab.  He's concise, fast, and has attitude when it's necessary."  Mac smiled, getting a bottle of water and heading out again.  She finished up and nudged him.  "One hour more."  He nodded, drifting off again.  "Eat when you get up," she ordered.  She went back to the lab, with a quick potty break, and got back to work.  He stumbled in forty minutes later.  "Did you eat?"

"Yes, ma'am.  I was nuking stuff while I napped."  He finished his old soda, put the new one in its place and settled in to get back to work.


Xander trudged in the next day, handing Mac the note.  "I fell asleep after I got done and for lunch."  He went back to his lab, finding it clear.  He trudged back to the office.  "Are we done with this one?"

"The Manchester house only had two, Calleigh cleared it already."  Xander whooped and danced around.  "That leaves six problems."

"I'm your man, Mac."

"One you can't do.  It's them."

Xander snorted.  "Wonderful.  They can hide it by magic."

"So we heard.  We have someone else in the city who can help, who you may not see in case she busts you."

"Willow?"  He nodded.  "Okay, I get that.  Tell her I'm okay."

"I already did when she asked.  I've also coopted Dean and John to help in case we run into anything deadly in there.  The SWAT team knows that it's freakish stuff like that.  They hate it but they'll ignore it."  He nodded.  "Good.  Clear up today's gun crime and wait for more.  The others we'll be going on tomorrow so try to rest when you get a chance tonight."

"Yes, boss."  He went to check, finding a few bullets left to do.  He ran them while he waited on the bust to go off.  He had the dispatch radio on quietly so he could hear what was going on and what was called.  He winced at the bomb call.  He considered it then got the text that they needed him.  The bomb guy was out of the city.  He locked the lab door and disappeared, landing beside John.  "Need me where?" he asked, patting his tool belt he had grabbed.

"Up the hall to the right, down the stairs."  Xander jogged that way.  "He's exhausted," John muttered to himself.

Xander found the bomb.  "Oh, baby.  You poor thing.  Were the meanies going to destroy you?"  He got down to disarm it, handing it over and doing the backup in the back.  "There we go.  That's not big enough for a failsafe."

"We can't get into the vault," one of the guys said with a point.

Xander looked, moving closer.  He nodded at Willow, winking at her.  "Take the lock side."  She moved to mirror him, casting what he did on her side.  He did the top then they sidestepped the door and frame falling down. "One doorway."

"You're neat for being so freakish, kid," one guy said with a grin.

"Only when I have to be."  He looked inside, going to get the bomb in there.  "Ah, here we go.  And records, Mac.  Including slayer records."

"Any on the local missing girls?"  Xander held up a file.  He came in to gather and look them over.  "Anything on other apocalypse vault areas?"

"That file," Willow said with a point. "That's how they label those. WGH.  World Going to Hell."

He looked then gave it to the SWAT guys.  "Find them, empty them.  I don't want artillery in my city unless it's an emergency."

"And if it is, I'd better be helping play with it," Xander quipped.

"Yours either," Mac reminded him.

"It's not."  He looked at Willow.  "Yours?"

"No clue.  We're looking."

"They're prompting it."

"We know.  We don't know what to do.  I saw what happened, the same as you did.  I don't think we can do that again.  Not with only two."

Xander nodded.  "Then get the scythe."  She blinked and stared, then beamed.  "If you must you gotta, just remember the rules of balance, Willow.  And make sure it needs thirty."

"I can do that.  Thank you."  She gave him a hug.  "I miss you."

"I miss you too but I'm still mad at you because they all want me to stay gay.  They nag horribly now and then."

She laughed.  "Me too.  We're sending you Dawn and Tara."


"If we have to evacuate, we're sending you Dawn and Tara."

"That's fine.  They can stay at my sanctuary if they have to.  Ask John to see if he can help?"  She ran off to check on him and ask him that.  He looked at Mac.  "Is it a reasonable solution?"

"Yes."  Xander slumped and nodded.   "Did you get any sleep?"

"I was working and listening to the radio.  Need me for more?"

"Shit, dragon!" someone yelled.

"I think so."

Xander popped home to get his axe and a spare sword, tossing it at John.  "Hold that for me please!" he yelled, diving in to tackle the stupid beast.  Which it wasn't.  It was also long, low to the ground, and breathed fire.  "Which realm did they steal you from?" he complained, dodging some fire.  He got in a lucky shot that bounced off and dove to the side, coming up to get it from behind.  He finally managed to get onto its back and chopped down into the neck.  "Wrong angle.  John?"  He tossed his axe, riding the writhing, bucking thing.  He had to dive to get the sword.


"Not your fault.  It's a moving target.  Watch my baby for me."  He dove under a new gout of flame, wincing when it caught his ankle he managed to get underneath the thing and stabbed up, getting it in the throat.  It choked so he moved and came up swinging, taking out it's neck until it was dead.  He panted, backing away.  "I'm out of shape for that.  Damn."

"Language," Mac reminded him.

"Deserved it, boss.  I'm out of shape for this."   He took his axe back, looking at John, handing him the sword.  "In case.  I'm going back to the lab."  He disappeared, finding Calleigh in there.  "Uh, hi."

"Hi.  I already know, Xander.  Horatio told me," she said quietly, getting a grin.  "Since we're your backup spot in case something happens."

"We're taking out their armory and apocalypse vaults right now.  I just took on their pet dragon."

She grinned.  "I can tell from the burn marks.  Go clean up.  I've got this."

"We've got a dumptruck full of stuff coming.  They had local apocalypse vaults."

"Even better.  Go clean up.  Cover any burns."  He nodded, jogging off to do that.  "More energy than I *ever* had," she told herself.  She checked his last report, printing it and resealing the bullet.  He had a good reason for going out that way.  She saw a curious looking female.  "You must be Monroe, the new girl.  Calleigh Duquesne out of Miami-Dade.  With the recent raids Javier's been overloaded and Chad'd still out.  Mac called in a favor to get me to help."

"That's nice.  It's nice to see more perky females in the lab."  She grinned.  "Is grumpy boy not here?"

"He's cleaning up.  He has some powder burns that need to be bathed."

"I can understand that.  How is the current raid going?"  Calleigh found the radio and turned it up for her.  "That sounds bad."

"Very.   He said we're getting about a dump truck full."  Lindsay moaned, shaking her head.  "Do you have anything that needs done before they get back?"

"I was checking since he had the door closed again.  Now and then he gets really grumpy and shuts us out, making us use the delivery chute."

"I do now and then too when I'm concentrating."  She smiled at Stella when she joined them.  "I missed you earlier."

"The prosecutor is missing you now."


"I told him Mac called to have you help and slipped why.  He told the judge who shuddered and said they can call you back for you cross-examination when we're done."

"It's going to be days.  This current one, we're getting a dump truck full according to Javier."

"Ow.  We have a nice couch in the lounge and a sleeping bag in a closet upstairs if you need more quiet."

"I'll remember that."  She smiled as the boy coming back.  She saw his t-shirt and smirked.  "That's so true."

"Mac said to put a button up over it."

Xander looked at her.  "We've got over six thousand guns coming in from that one site, Stella.  Not to mention their other ten apocalypse vaults.  I need the reminder I have a good personality and I'm fun loving."

"As long as he doesn't complain," Stella decided.  "Six thousand?"  He nodded.  "Where are we going to put them?"

"I don't know, figure that out for us since he's there and they just had to take out a lizard guarding some stuff?"

"I guess I can do that."   She went to check on evidence lock up, deciding on the crate method for the safes.  "Guys, I need the safes cleared of everything but drug and money evidence.  We have over six thousand guns coming in to be ID'd and probably some artillery."

"Taylor said that the guns are being put into the old evidence chamber in the basement, Detective, and it's going to have ATF guarding it until they can sort it and do a dispo run."

"Even better.  It might not be big enough though."

"Then they'll figure it out, Bonasera."

She smirked.  "Clean the vaults anyway, some of it's artillery."  He moaned, going to do that.  She texted that to Mac, getting back a 'good idea' from him.  She went back to check on them, finding them cleaning the lab to get ready for the first shipment.  "I'll send in sodas and water in a bit, guys."  They nodded.  "Javier, the old evidence chamber in the basement.  Tag once you've cleared it, put it into a crate."  He nodded at that.  "Good."  She went to get a crate to put outside the lab for them.  It wouldn't fit inside. They could watch it out there.  The first load got carried up by Dean and Mac.  "You were helping?" she asked Dean.

"It was the Watchers.  They had freaky shit."

"Good point."  She went to help get more, letting Dean get Xander another soda and a candy bar then Calleigh some water and her own candy bar for energy.  Mac made him quit trying to flirt while they worked and then Dean disappeared.  He and Stella got more up there.  "That's the first load, guys."

"Goodie," Calleigh agreed.  They got to work on the first few, going to do test fires and come back to work on them.  She noticed the boy was doing multiple test fires at once and stapling the sample to the tag on the gun.  "That's not fully protocol."

"It saves me running back and forth.  Helps me keep them together."  She smiled at that.  "It's not forbidden and my teachers said it was okay to do if I had this many guns at once."

She nodded.  "I've done this before with gun dealers."  They got down to work, carting out to the crate and coming back to get a drink and move on to the next one.  They ran out of boxes by the time the crate was filled.  They took a break while the crate was switched out and brought up to them.  Then they came back and started on that one.  It was going to be a long week.  She was going to love this overtime paycheck.


Horatio walked into the lab, taking off his sunglasses.  "Is Mac Taylor or my ballistics tech in please?" he asked the receptionist.

"He'll be back shortly, sir.  Which tech is yours?"

"Calleigh Duquesne.  I'm Lieutenant Caine, Miami-Dade PD."

"He left a message for you."  She handed it over and signed him in.  "She's asleep in the break room.  They're on their last bust of this set, sir."

"This set?"

"Somehow our ballistics tech got some information on seven really bad problems early last week.  They've busted five of the seven. The FBI took care of the sixth and they're doing the seventh now."

"I see.  How bad are we looking?"

"So far the radio hasn't said anything about needing ATF or more gun room."  He smiled at that.  "The second set of busts had over twelve thousand guns and over two hundred pieces of illegal artillery plus over sixty hours of therapy needed for strange things by the officers on that raid."

"I think I know about them.  Can I see her?"

"Here's a visitor's pass, Lieutenant.  Sign the log please?"  He did that and she pointed.  "Elevator to the second floor of the lab and then down the hall across from it to the right."  He nodded, taking those directions.  "Miami has some cute officers," she muttered as she made a note for the boss.  He came stomping in.  "Lieutenant Caine is here."

"That's good.  The last one has artillery.  ATF and FBI wants it."

"Elton will be pissed he can't pet it."

He smiled as he signed in.  "Probably but he's exhausted.  John's texting me every hour to complain."

"They're both asleep in the break room.  He's on the floor in front of her so no one can bother her."

"Good of him."  He went up there, finding Horatio staring at them.  "That's Elton," he said quietly.

"No new guns?"

"All artillery.  ATF and FBI want it.  Let them do the paperwork since them or Homeland should have caught them long ago."  Xander sniffled so he squatted down, petting him gently.  "Are you clear?"  He nodded.  "Then you can go home.  There's no new ones from this bust, kid," he said quietly.

"Not a kid."

"I know you're not.  Go home."  He shook his head.  "Yes.  If you're clear go home.  Come back in two days."

"Bad guys will win," he snuffled.

"No they won't.  I'll make sure of it.  Dean's coming to take you home."  Xander pouted.  "I promise it'll be okay."  He stood up to look at Horatio.  "We abused them horribly.  I'm sorry."

"Twelve thousand guns?"

"From *one* of the seven problems."  Horatio shuddered.  Calleigh let out a loud snore and Xander purred at her, shifting closer to the couch to pat her arm.  She shifted and calmed herself, going deeper again.  He saw the Police Commissioner stomping his way.  "Brass alert."

"He nice," Xander mumbled.  "Teach me sports."

Mac grinned.  "I've heard he is.  Sleep."  He looked at the commissioner.  "Sir, this is Lieutenant Caine from Miami-Dade.  We borrowed his lab tech to help since we were short."

"You could have borrowed another lab's."

"No, sir.  I couldn't.  These are being watched over by agents."  He got a shudder for that.  "ATF was very clear about who they will not work with, including non-felony here.  She's one of the top in the country, higher than Elton is and he's in the top twenty.  She was up on a crossover case to testify and I shamelessly abused her with Horatio's knowledge."

"Are we done?"

"ATF and FBI took the last one since it looked to be more linked to homegrown terrorism.  A bunch of racists wanting to make the world purer."

"Death Eaters," Xander mumbled.

"Yes, just like them," he agreed with a smirk.  "Sorry, sir, he's asleep."

"Nazi's happen if you don't raise your kids right," he admitted.  "How many guns?"

"I have the reports in my office if we can go that way?"  He nodded, stepping back so they could walk out.  "Danny, watch them?"

"I have been.  Only Doc snuck in for a drink then left when Elton nearly bit him for getting near her."

"Thank you."  He walked them into the office, handing over the three boxes of reports.  "The guns and artillery reports sir.  The other evidence is on the handtruck there," he said with a point at the one in the corner.  "Their files, and all that."

He looked at the stack then at him, putting that one down.  "We processed them all?"

"Yes, sir.  That's why they're some of the top ones in the country."

"I see.  I did get a note from the ATF about him?  Something about identity problems?"

"The death threat made him change his identity during his schooling.  One there doesn't like it so they're trying to block him.  The people over the board did his recert during their new CSI certification testing.  I'm waiting to hear."  An envelope was pulled out of his uniform jacket pocket and handed over.  He opened it and smiled, letting Horatio see.  "Plus his A level for bombs."  He grinned at the Commissioner.  "Thank you for bringing me that, sir."

"Do we have any more?"

"No.  He might ask to take a few days off because he heard of a problem in his original town but he knows it's dangerous so he might send help in other ways."  He nodded Dean inside.  "Let me copy that, sir."  He photocopied it and handed it to Dean.  "His."

Dean looked at it.  "I take it this is good?"

"That's better than some of the people certifying others," Mac said honestly.  Dean grinned.  "Did you guys get that straightened out?"

"Yes.  It's fixed."

"Good.  He's in the break room sleeping in front of Calleigh so no one can bother her."

"She'd shoot someone if they woke her up," Horatio admitted, getting a smile back.  "I need to thank him for the head's up he gave me as well, Mac."

"If you can wake him up and not get bitten," Dean said with a grin.  "That's why I'm wearing my heavy jacket."  He waved at Mac.  "Let me take Sleeping Beauty home."  That got a nod so he left, tucking the paper into his pocket.  He walked into the break room.  "Yo, kiddo, get up?"  Xander flinched and gave him a bleary look.  "C'mon, quittin' time.  Time for bed.  Want help up?"

"They'll bother her."

"Her boss is here to protect her.  C'mon."  He helped him up, weathering the bad breath when he yawned.  "That's bad.  Come on.  Car's downstairs."  Xander pointed at her.  "Her boss is with Mac.  He'll protect her now."   Xander nodded, leaning his head on his shoulder, letting Dean walk him off.  He noticed the grins coming off the elevators.  "He hasn't made it home in a week and a half," he told one, getting a horrified look.  "Become a lab tech, it's a higher pay grade," he said dryly.

"No thanks."  She watched him carry him off.  "Which tech is he?" she asked him.

"Elton, ballistics."

"Don said some nice things about him.  Let's hope he gets a good, long sleep."

"Mac said he's got two days off.  I hope it's enough."  He walked him outside with the security guard's help.  "Thanks, man."  He leaned Xander against the car while he opened the door, then got him into it.  He shut him in and walked around to get in and drive.  "Thank you," he told the guard before sliding in.  He started the car and drove off, taking him home.  John and Sam were waiting to pull him out, making Dean grin.  "Got his scores too."  He locked his precious baby and followed them up, watching John dump the boy into bed and pull his shoes off.  "Hey, Xander, want to hit the john?""

"He be mad," he moaned, shifting some.

"C'mon," Sam ordered.  "Bathroom time."

"Potty break, kid," John ordered.  Xander shook his head and whimpered so they got up and in there to use it instead of wetting the bed.  Then he got put back into bed naked and they left him alone to finish sleeping.

Dean presented the scores to his father, making John give the bedroom door a proud look.  "Mac said that's better than some of the people doing the certifications.  He was also guarding the pretty blonde tech in his sleep.  She had the couch and he had in front of it to protect her.  Bit Doc earlier when he snuck in from what I got told."

"That's good of him," John agreed.  He put it on the fridge and got a beer, handing one to his boys.   "Are they done?"

"Mac didn't say he'd have a stack waiting on him when he got up."

"Even better," he decided.  "Hopefully the city is clear of those things until it's time to start again."

"What're we going to do about Sunnydale?  Mac was telling one of the stuffed uniforms above him that he might be asking to take a few days to go out there."

John shook his head.  "No he can't.  They're sure it's the Watchers prompting it.  They've already started evacuating the town.  I talked to Buffy again last night and she said they had it, they could use the help but the local National Guard base that handled the situation in LA is handling that so they remember very well what happened."  That got a nod.  "She did say they'd be moving closer, she's not sure where though, and if they have to evacuate Dawn and Tara to even more safety, they're staying at his sanctuary."

"That'll work," Dean agreed.  "Can't get much safer.  What about the Watchers?"

"The ones in the city just got a really bad shock for hoarding weapons and artillery."  He took a drink with a smug look.  "Not even he can hoard twelve thousand guns and artillery pieces."

Sam moaned, shaking his head.  "Half of them don't like guns according to Wesley.  They were stocking them just in case they became helpful.  Only a quarter probably even had bullets."

"Wonderful."  He finished his beer.  "We get the ID stuff worked out for when we're traveling?"  Dean nodded.  "Good.  Will he have a new one waiting?"

"Yeah, we worked on his already," Dean promised.  "So we're cool.  Rosenburg said she fixed one of the problems and Mac talked to St.  Louis, handing over a DNA sample.  They're fuming but said it didn't match the sample they had of his.  They also found the fake skin and said 'no wonder' and left it there.  So I'm not wanted anymore."

"Good."  He finished Sam's beer since he wasn't drinking it, getting a dirty look for it.  "Someone order dinner?  I'm too wiped to cook.  If Sammy cooks we'll have vegetables."

"You told us plenty of times we needed them to stay healthy," Sam quipped with an evil grin.  "You still need them because your cholesterol was through the roof."

"How did you test that?"

"Finger prick while you were in the hospital.  It was one of the bloodwork tests they ran," he said.  He got up.  "We've got broccoli for stir fry and we've got corn on the cob.  No steaks, but chicken breasts so that's good for you."

Dean looked at his father.  "Wings?"

"Sports bar," he agreed, getting up and heading out with his son.

"I'll still get you later," Sam called.  "Not like you didn't have a vita-shake for breakfast."

"I'll beat you later, son."  He headed out after his older son.  "At least you don't nag like your mother."

"Is he channeling her now and then?"

"I don't know.  It's possible.  She wasn't real pleased that the Watchers called me back.  I've never heard your mother swear that way actually."  Dean burst out cackling.  "Seriously.  When Xander found me, I was still hearing her swear until she saw him then went 'awww, he needs a daddy' and quit.  I knew then I should've been scared."

"You like him like a son anyway," Dean reminded him, unlocking his car so he could drive them to the nearest good sports bar.

"Well, yes," he admitted.  "But now and then he frustrates me like Sam does.  I called him Sammy Junior a few times in Louisiana."

"They're the same age.  They could be twins," Dean offered.

John looked at him.  "Shut up, son."  Dean laughed.  "I don't need that bad thought, especially not with their stress relief thing."

Dean nodded.  "That makes sense."  His phone rang.  "Yeah, what's up?" he asked, sounding happy.  "No, he's in bed with Sammy watching over him, Mac.  What's wrong?  Well, we were headed for a sports bar, we're nowhere near lit so we can stop at the lab."  He hung up and drove him that way, parking and getting out with John.  The guard blocked their path.  "Taylor called."  That got a nod so they went up there.  "What's up?" he asked as he walked into the office.

"First, we love having him here."

"They're going to make you fire him?"

"They just put a five million dollar contract on him, Dean."

"The Watchers or others?" John asked.

"The terrorists."  John moaned.  "They don't know what he looks like.  He was on the back of the only one who saw him.  They knew his name though."

"So he's got to change ID's," John said bluntly.

"Which is where I come in," Horatio said from his seat.  "Since I do know and about his other problem, and I do need a world class ballistics tech, we can gladly shelter him under his new identity."

"We've got one set up at the basics level," Dean told him.  "Going through Miami from Louisiana because he said he wanted to head that way next.  We've spent the last few days working on it."

"Good."  Horatio smirked.  "He'll be at the same pay grade he is up here.  He'll actually be paid a little bit better because we pay more."  Calleigh stumbled in.  "Good morning, ma'am."

"What time is it?"

"You're done, Calleigh."  She beamed.

"You guys processed so many guns some of the local ATF agents want to set up a shrine to you," Mac told her, getting that same smile given to him.  "There's only one problem."

"Oh, no.   We messed up a file?"

"No, he's now got a five million dollar contract out on his current identity in addition to the old one."

She stared.  Then looked at Horatio.  "Really?"

"Yes, that means you get a competent bit of help and we get a new backup field tech since he is rated that way."

"How soon?"

"Homeland heard about the contract price," Mac told her.

"Then it's probably well on it's way to being filled."

"We can pack his lab," Dean promised.  Mac nodded at that.  "Then drive down to Miami.  He can sell his two spots to others."

"Don would love your current place," Mac said with a smile.  "Or Stella or Danny."

"I'll let them know," John agreed.  "We can't get the boy up right now.  We had to walk him to the bathroom because we said potty break and he whined like he didn't want to wet the bed but he might."

"He hasn't really slept, even when she did, John."  That got a nod.  "Or eat."

"Sammy was threatening us with vegetables and chicken breasts, that's why we were heading to a sports bar," Dean said dryly.  Mac laughed.  "We can do that.  Give him until the end of the month to get set up down there, Lieutenant?"

"That would be more than reasonable, Mr. Winchester."

"Thanks.  Mac?"

"Go ahead.  Do his locker too.  I'll tell the others."  They nodded, going to do that.  "Calleigh, Horatio, there's some things you don't know yet.  Including that the boy will draw trouble and jump into it."

"I thought he looked familiar from the incident in LA," Horatio admitted.

"He brought himself and John back with that popping around thing he can do.  The whole time he was in the ER getting a hundred-seventeen stitches he said he was fine.  Worried about John but didn't want painkillers, didn't want a shot of local."  Horatio groaned.  Calleigh whimpered.  "When John didn't want him fussing, he showed back up the next day.  Said he felt fine.  Kept saying he was fine.  We drove him home.  A few days later when he snuck back for the fifth time he said he was still fine and not feeling them, without painkillers.  We got that one fixed and had to have the whole family sit on him to keep him home.  My trace tech Adam said he sapped him of his macho ego by being that tough."  He grinned.  "Also, watch out for the t-shirts."

"I can warn the others if and when he gets hurt," Horatio promised.  He stood up.  "Let me get her back to the hotel, Mac.  Dinner?"

"Sure, call when you're ready.  I'm done for the night since they did all the paperwork for me."  She grinned at that.  "Stella will probably send you a primer on the boy.  She likes the boy, even though now and then he will swear at Monroe."

Dean leaned into the office.  "Where's his guns?"

"Damn it," Mac muttered.  "If she did it again I get to spank her."  He went to find them, finding them moved but still together.  "Who moved them?" he called.

"Hawkes said he saw something crawling in the cabinet.  He's getting something to lay out in there," Adam called back.  He came out.  "The brass fired him for hearing about these things?" he demanded.

"No, he's switching again," Mac told him.

"Why?  Are the Watchers still around enough to threaten him?"

"Two of the terrorist cells we busted put a higher price out," Mac told him, getting a grunt of displeasure.  "So Calleigh's getting a brilliant young ballistics tech."

"How much?" he asked with a wince.

"Five million.  Homeland heard and told us."

"Crap.  I guess it happens to white knights though."  Mac nodded.  "I'll miss him."  He trudged back into his lab.

"He traumatized him every morning with his t-shirts," Mac offered with a smile.  "You grow to like the boy, but now and then you want to beat him.  He called me on having some stressful snapping at the techs, offered to find me a succubus."

Horatio laughed.  "That is a good warning.  I'll keep that in mind."

"They won't play with him anymore; they were too sore after the last time they played," Dean said from inside the lab.

Horatio nearly whimpered.  "How?"

"I don't know but it was a whole hunting pack and he smelled like a Vegas whorehouse when he was done.  He was bouncy and happy the next morning."  Horatio shook his head quickly.  "By the way, he dates bad chicks.  Evil chicks usually but tainted and bad chicks otherwise."

Horatio smirked.  "I wouldn't expect anything less of him."

"I gave you the dossier I found on him, right?" Mac asked quietly.

"You did."

"His ex showed up to play with him one night and kept trying to get into his bank account."

Horatio shuddered.  "Is he going to have a problem with the bank?"

"No," John said.  "We went through this before.  Mac, we'll need an official notice of the death threat."

"I already have it, John.  I figured you would."  He nodded at them.  "Let's make my team pout."   He walked them down to the break room.  "Meeting!" he yelled as he walked.  They piled into the break room, staring at him then at Horatio, getting a few nods back at the ones he knew.  "Because of the busts, ATF, FBI, and Homeland are very pleased with this lab."

"This isn't starting out good," Stella said.  Especially not with another lab at the meeting.

"Thanks to the first bust, they know who Elton is."  She slumped, shaking her head.  "Not what he looks like but what his name is."  They all stared at him.  "So we're going to have to let him go to somewhere safer in his newest identity."

"How much is the bounty this time?" Don Flack asked.

"Five million.  Plus the three-quarters of one may be upped since they're the site we busted second.  The one that netted us all the weapons."

"Does he have a new one set up?  I thought the family was going to use it for safety reasons."

"They are, but he was already working on a contingency one."  They all pouted.  "He'll be just fine and as we saw, he and Calleigh get along very well."

"I'll take good care of the little hyper, bouncy boy. Alexx will mother him to death," she promised.

"He has no idea what a mother hen is," Stella told her.  "I tried when he was injured.  He was pouty but all 'I'm fine' the whole time."

"Good to know.  Well, Speed can mother him then," she offered with a grin.  Stella laughed at that.  "We'll gladly take hints on any peculiar issues he has."

"He's very possessive of his guns," Lindsay said with a grimace.  "He said he'd spank me the next time I touched them.  He won't let me work in ballistics unless he's in there."

Mac looked at her.  "There was a personality clash when she put his exemplar cabinet into the main one."

"I'd fuss too."  She shrugged.  "We'll work it out.  I am the queen of our lab, right behind Speed."  Horatio coughed.  "No, you're the boss, Horatio.  Queen Speed and I rule the roost."

"I'll tell him you said that."  He looked at them.  "We'll take very good care of him, people.  You can still write him as long as you use his new identity.  I'm sure that would be safe enough as long as you kept it subtle.  Like not mailing it from the lab."  They nodded.  "Dean and John?"  Mac nodded.  "Dean and John are packing up his things right now."

"I moved his exemplar so I could put down bug bait," Sheldon admitted.

"We found that out.  Dean's just as gun nut as he is," Mac told him, getting a grin back.   "We'll miss him but keep it subtle when you tell those who should know and like the boy.  I'll call the head prosecutor.  The Commissioner heard it from a contact at Homeland.  He's already told me and spread it around to the HR department."  They all nodded at that.  "He'll be down there by the end of the month.  So that means that he may be offering up his place," he told Don.

"I'd sleep with the boy for that current one.  Or his old one really."

"He might take you up on that," Lindsay teased.

Don looked at her.  "He only flirts, Monroe.  He'd never carry through with anyone he works with; it might get awkward."

"I'll warn Valera he flirts, that way she knows she has a flirting back target now."  Calleigh smiled.  "It'll make her happy.  Should I tell the boys anything about club preferences?  Or anything like that?"

"John said he dates evil women so he can't go out," Danny told her seriously.

She frowned.  "At all?"

"He's went on one date; John had ta shoot her at the end because she had a knife to eviscerate him on her altar.  The officers responding called Mac out of bed at four in the morning to come get our boy.  John got told good job and to not let him date again."

"Oh, that sort of evil girls.  Okay then.  We'll keep that in mind and have Eric introduce him to nice girls he knows.  Some are a bit strange but he should like that."  They all smiled.  "I'll treat him like a little brother, guys.  We promise to take care of him."

"Good," Mac agreed.  "Why don't you go back to the hotel.  Horatio and I are going to have dinner."

"Oooh, food."

Horatio smiled.  "We'll get you food so you can nap overtop of it.  Thank you all.  We will take good care of him."

"You'd better or someone will repossess him," Danny said with a look at Adam.

"Not gay even if he would make it fun."

"Uh-huh.  You'll pout for weeks."

"Maybe."  He shrugged.  "Are e done, Mac?"  He nodded.  "Is he awake at home?"  Mac shook his head.  "I'll call later then."  He went back to his lab to sulk.

The others broke up and Don went to talk to John about taking over one of his places.  John said he'd arrange it for him and made Don a very happy homicide detective.  One that nearly danced up the halls.


to part 12

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