Notes: some touchy subject matter in this part. Someone is impregnated with a demon child she doesn't want so they handle it for her medically - non-graphically stated. Sorry if this bothers you, it's about on pages 23- 25 if you wanted to skip that part. It's mentioned later but there are no graphic details given at any point in time.
Xander walked in the next morning with his iPod playing, handing it to Speed.
"Ear wax, that's a present," he said dryly.
"Listen to the music, dumbass," he said with a grin. "I think it'll make your case since you're heading out to the 'Glades from what I heard on the way over."
"Ewww." He listened then burst out giggling, shaking his head as he handed it back. "Probably, yeah. Thanks, Xander, I needed that pick-me-up." He saw the t-shirt of the day and walked out laughing. _NATIONAL SARCASM SOCIETY. Like we need your support_ was a shirt that he should probably steal.
Calleigh watched him go, then looked at her lab gremlin. "When we said you could make others happy, I didn't mean you could make Speed cackle in glee so badly that others are now scared for their future sanity." He replayed the song, letting her listen to it, making her giggle. "That's cute."
"They're heading out to the 'Glades on a case."
"That makes it better." She saw the t-shirt. "He'll steal that off you."
"I have a few other sarcasm ones. Besides, I might get him his own copy. Then we can match and be twins." He grinned.
She checked his forehead for a fever. "You feel normal."
"I am normal." He got free and headed up to get to work. Eric saw his shirt and walked off moaning. "Speed liked it," he called after him.
"Speed's one of their local chapter presidents," he called back with an air wave.
Ryan looked and walked off giggling. Xander put the iPod on him, letting him listen to the music that made Speed giggle too. He burst out laughing and bopped Xander on the arm. "And them going on a case out in the Everglades," he walked off snickering.
"If it's contagious, you should go home," Eric called from his lab.
"Happiness is another full service I offer." He went into his lab to get to work since he saw Calleigh getting off the elevator. He wanted to stay on her good side.
Calleigh walked into where Eric was hiding. "Not only is it the t-shirt but he had a song called Rippy the Gator playing and let Speed listen to it on his way out to the 'Glades, Eric."
"He's your tech," he reminded her smugly.
"Yes, he is." She looked that way. "It was nice that the officers all flinched away when they saw Speed cackling evilly."
"I'm not sure if Ryan can be that evil or not. We'll have to see." Ryan burst out laughing, not walking in. "Well, can you?"
"Nope. I'm a good boy, Calleigh."
"Uh-huh," Eric said. "No new case?"
"Waiting on ballistics reports."
"He had a few done yesterday. When did you hand them in?"
"Two days ago. I think they went to night shift because I was here late."
"Possibly." She took him to look. She knew where they put reports they couldn't deliver. "What's the case name?"
Xander pointed without looking up from his reading. "They decided to hide them on you. Three bullets?"
"And a gun later."
Xander turned to look at his system of reports. "I think I did the gun." He handed them over. "You'd have to see if they're in the system since it wasn't a match to anything."
"Can you compare those bullets to the test fire?" she asked.
"Sure." He popped the gun box open once he found it, bringing it back. The test fire's envelope was inside. She found him the bullets and he frowned. Then he looked it up in the system by case number. "Well that explains that." He pointed for Calleigh's benefit. "Yes, Ryan, this one at least matches."
"Thank you. Can you...." He handed over the report.
"Gladly and kick their ass." He got a grin back and Ryan walked off. "Boss?"
"Oh, no, that's my fun, Xander. That's where they sent the incompetent one that you replaced."
"Yes, I have much more style, sense, and skills than some idiot who probably counts on his toes. Should we institute quality control?"
"Horatio does that."
"Okay then." He took the others to match and put into the system, handing over the report once he was done. "Did you see the new memos?"
"I hadn't. Anything important?"
"Union dues are going up. The Chief announced his annual vacation and who was subbing for him. Stetler sent one saying he's drug testing all of us." He handed that one over. "Can I have an intern some year soon, boss? I remember I liked teaching them."
"We'll see," she said with a smile. She walked out with the report and the memos. "Eric, memo from IAB. We're up for random drug testing in the next week or so."
"Wonderful," he muttered, taking it to look at. Ryan ducked in and she handed over the report. "He miss one?"
"Night shift didn't do them."
"Oh, crap," he said, looking at her. "He going to kick their butt?"
"He wanted to. I told him that was Horatio's fun." She smiled. He laughed.
"Thank you, Calleigh. I love your tech."
"Well, he is single," she offered.
"Not that way." He went to find the guy and arrest him for questioning.
Eric laughed. "He could use a few good ones to calm him down."
"He dates scary, evil women, Eric."
"Yeah, but his last girlfriend liked to punish cheating men."
"Yup." She walked off calling Horatio. "I just had to get my lab gremlin to do a report that night shift didn't, Horatio. On Ryan's case," she said when he asked. "Three bullets. The bullets were put out of the way of being found. Weren't in the system." He growled. "I told Xander that was your fun. Oh, did you see the memos about drug testing?" He hung up and she went to get the others. He handed her one. "What's this?"
"Apparently they decided we share an inbox, boss. Or else I should wear a bra."
She read the write-up form and growled. "How dare he! I was so!"
"Not all structural things are for support; some are flimsy and meant to be ripped off," he said dryly, grinning at her. "I will back you up if you want. I flipped it over once I glanced at it to make sure it wasn't mine."
"Thank you, Xander, but he might need the ER after I'm done yelling at him."
"Hey, then I'll definitely back you up," he offered with a grin. His phone chirped with a text message, making her smirk at him. "I know, John felt it." He answered back and waved a hand. "Shall we?"
"No, I don't need backup for this one." She stomped off, going to his office. "For your information, Stetler, I was wearing one. You were apparently staring *way* too hard and I consider that harassment."
"It was a report from another officer. Not like I want you," he said, handing over that sheet.
She looked then snorted. "Some bras are flesh colored so they don't show through the thinner shirts." She handed it back and the write up. "I can bring it in tomorrow if you want to check."
"I'll make note that you're challenging it." He did that and handed it back with an evil smirk.
"You'll take it off my record or I'll start writing up your department for stalking and harassment," she said.
"There's no evidence of that."
Xander walked in something and handed over the pictures. "Next time, don't stand outside my house, you cheezy bastard. Really, how stupid do you think I am?" He walked out again. "Those are copies I found in my inbox, boss. The packet and the letter are on their way to the Chief with one of us."
She smirked at his horrified look. "Want him because you're a touch evil?" she sneered, walking off. Horatio was coming in so she handed him the write-up form.
He looked at it then sighed. "I'll remove it from your file, Calleigh. Why was Eric muttering outside?" She held up a photo and he grimaced. "Xander is where?"
"Lab probably. He was going through the inter-departmental mail. He said that's a copy and one of us was taking that form to the Chief."
"Good." He went to get them from Rick. "Thank you." He walked off looking at them. "Xander, how did you get that gun?" he asked as he walked into ballistics.
"A stripper gave it to me, boss. It's in for destruction. I turned it in the next day. Apparently her boyfriend left it and his other guns. She threw him out and she thinks I'm cute since she found out I'm one of us. She gave them to John with orders to have me deal with them since he was a bastard and cheating on her."
"Good. The others?" Xander handed over that report. "A copy went as well?"
"Yes it did. And the copy of the report I pulled up when I had to stop him from beating the crap out of her for it. Patrol was very nice to come get him once I had him down and begging for mercy while John got her an ice pack."
"Good." He smiled. "Anything else I need to look at?"
"Her stalker left her something," he said with a point. He looked at her. "It might be him who sent that report since it's flimsy and not structural too."
She opened it once she had gloves on. "Did you glove?"
"Of course," he snorted. "I know you don't order stuff to come here."
"Thank you, Xander. Keep track of anything he might be sending so I can get him on stalking."
He handed over the clipboard. "Candy's in the fridge if no one ate it. I did put an evidence sticker on it." Horatio went to look. She smirked meanly. "Look at it this way, you can track who sent that one officially."
"I so am." She went to make that call. She saw the Chief walking in. "Sir, I need to talk to you as well."
"Fine, Duquesne. Let me talk to your tech first." He walked in and looked at him. "Thank you for sending that to me."
"Not like I took them." He looked at him. "Calleigh's stalker struck as well, sir."
"I'll handle that in a moment. Was that yours?"
"No. That was hers. I was checking for a clip and I hadn't had one of those in my hands so I was looking it over."
"Good. I'll talk with the man myself."
"Remind him if he fucks with me, I stop being nice and I go all the way to screaming evil that would make John shoot me, sir." His phone beeped with a message to calm down. "See?"
"I do." He smiled and left, taking the drug test notice with a sigh from Ryan Wolfe. "Why?"
"No clue, don't care, and we're not stupid enough to be caught since he announced it." He walked off. "Calleigh's in the break room looking at the other thing her stalker sent, sir."
"Thank you, Officer Wolfe." He went in there, being handed the bagged bra and envelope it came in, plus the write up and the box of candy. He stared at the write up then at her. "No basis?" She shook her head. "You're certain?"
"Flesh colored because the shirt was gauzy. I consider them staring that way harassment."
"That's fine. This new one?" She handed over a note. "The store said he sent it?"
"I'll handle that."
"That's the same one Xander pulled out his bushes that Rick didn't arrest even when Xander did the charge sheet, sir. The one who accused him."
"I see." He nodded. "Then he's in for a world of hurt, young lady. Are you all right?"
"Creeped out. The note inside the envelope said I had broken a strap the other day so I needed to replace one anyway. It's even in the right size. Eric's going to my place to see if he can find his fingerprints."
"Even better. Calm down, let me handle this."
"Thank you, sir."
"You're welcome. Keep me informed if more come."
"Frankly, I'm filing a restraining order later, sir. I don't want him near me or my things."
"Good plan. Give me a copy as well." She nodded at that. "Calm down, have some tea, keep Winchester calm too because otherwise he might go beat him for you." He walked off to handle this problem himself since Internal Affairs was only making it worse. Plus to handle Internal Affairs.
Horatio rubbed her upper back. "I'll drive you down for that." She nodded, letting him do that. They had pictures of the evidence. It would be enough for a judge.
Xander looked up a few hours later when Calleigh came back. "Personal call," he said, handing over a slip. "All I told her was that you were at the court house and would be back in a few hours." He handed her another slip for a piece of mail. "Eric found it but he's in the field at the moment. He wanted to make sure you got that since it's a second notice. Also, reports," he said, handing them over. "Rippy the Gator's cousin Bertha gator bit the guy this morning, Horatio. Alexx is now out for the day because one of her kids started to puke orange at school. She gave Speed that report but he's been called in for a sentencing hearing." He handed that one to him with the note on top. "Also, your last case's ballistic report is on the bottom. I had another case of I had a gun and no bullets so I checked, there were bullets but no report, so I did the work. Sorry if it's stepping on toes, but since the registered owner is a child....."
"I needed to know this," he agreed. "Any other good news?"
"My drug test got pulled earlier. So unless they catch me with a beer from dinner the other night, I'm clean. I don't even take painkillers for shoulder strain and things." That got a nod. "If it comes up differently we'll know why."
"I'll check on that," he said. "The other issue with the stalker?"
"The Chief fired him earlier in front of the press because the guy threw a fit outside his office for being put on suspension and being told about the restraining order. A reporter was standing outside hoping to overhear something and caught him, so he gave her an interview. The chief saw and came out to fire him on camera for his disgracing the uniform. We got a certified letter from him, addressed to me for some reason, that says he has a lawyer." He handed it over. "Don't know why."
"I'll handle that as well. I see other notes?"
"Two are Ryan's. One's Speed's. One's yours from your nephew. I was going to end on a happier note of he's cutting school today because some girl tried to pounce him in the hall and he was creeped out. The teacher who made her stop it agreed he could run and hide if he wanted, but he thinks she meant inside the school. He's going to call once an hour to let you know where he is. That's where he was at last check in twenty-two minutes ago." He handed it over. "Speed redirected your phone down here when he left."
"Thank you. That is a happier note to end on." He walked out to call his nephew then he could handle the rest. He also paged Yelina to give her the note. She took it, groaned, and walked off to cuss at her son. He laughed, going to handle the other things with a happier mood.
Xander looked at Calleigh. "If you need me to be a pretend boyfriend, go for it."
"No, I don't." She bit her lip. "I have John for that."
"If I remember right, the rumors state he's coming back this way in about six weeks now that he's better."
"Really?" She moved to call him. "John, it's Calleigh. I just heard a rumor you were coming back to homicide." She smiled. Xander left. "No, I wanted to talk to a guy who wasn't hyper-protective of me since an officer just got fired for stalking me." He growled. "You quit." He didn't but it was nice. "No, my ballistics tech offered to do him in for me before Horatio could. I'm in the lab for now. Sure, I could use lunch." She hung up and got to work on the other reports on the table. She smirked at Xander's back. He had found a few more problems and quietly fixed them so no one would say anything. That was sweet of him and gave Horatio more things to look at. She took the names of the amended reports for him, handing them over when he came in a few minutes later. "John Hagen is switching back soon."
"Good." He looked at her. "We are going to be a bit more protective of you, Calleigh."
"I'll shoot him if he tries anything, Horatio."
"Good. So will Xander probably." She nodded at that. "As I will." He patted her on the cheek with a soft smile. "Relax. Are any of the other reports mine?"
"Nope, not that I saw." She smiled when John walked in. "Hi, stranger."
"Calleigh." He looked at the piles of reports. "Too busy for lunch after all?"
"Nope, Xander did all those for me earlier. He's so speedy I almost don't feel needed." She took his arm and walked off. "You should've seen us when I got borrowed in New York, John. There were so many guns I can't even remember how many I did."
"I heard they found a small terrorist cell."
"Xander had someone who heard and gave him some intel," she said quietly. "That's why he's down here under death threat."
"I'll keep an ear out for that." He walked her out to get something to eat and to the picnic tables. "How many guns were there?"
"Twelve thousand." He moaned at that. "Plus artillery from their apocalypse vaults."
"Ow. Did you take a month to do it?"
"No, we got it done in about a week and a half. We only slept in the break room but we did manage it." He grinned at that. "He went so hyper puppy he let me have the couch and slept in front of it so he could bite whoever came near me. He's sweet but very strange."
"I saw the guy with the t-shirt. I figured it had to be him since I knew everyone else."
"That would be Xander, yes. He's very unique."
Xander came over to sit down next to her. "Did you want me to be twins? I can try to do that, boss."
"Please don't. I'd hate to have to beat you. John, this is Xander."
"Hey." Xander shook his hand. "I'll protect her."
"Good because he's over there," he said with a point of his soda bottle. "Horatio sent me out when he heard he was here."
"I've got her, you get him if something happens," John ordered.
"Always happy to pounce for the pretty one's orders," he quipped. John's mouth fell open so he giggled. "You look like a fish, Hagen." He stood up and walked over that way. He stopped at five hundred feet from where she was. "Sir, did you need something here at the lab? I can direct any civilian to wherever they need to be," he offered. The officer growled. Xander stared him down. The guy pulled his gun. Xander pounced and knocked him down, getting a small graze. "Ah, you're a psycho like my last few girlfriends. Don't worry, I'm sure your new prison husband will fuck that out of you." He flipped him over, taking the cuffs from someone. "Here, all yours."
"Winchester, are you all right?" Frank demanded. He and others had come running at the sound of the gunshot.
Xander nodded. "Why wouldn't I be? No sucking chest wound, Frank." He grinned. "But thank you for asking." He walked off humming happily. "Hey, Horatio," he yelled as he walked under his office. "The idiot of the hour just tried to shoot me so he's in cuffs outside." He went to the changing area to look at his arm, finding his first aid kit in his crowded locker so he could bandage the small scrape. "There we go." He put back on his lab coat and went back to work. He loved his job. The only better thing was if he got to play with naked women and guns all day. The voices complained at that thought so he imagined it better for them. That way they'd let him work in peace.
John quit covering Calleigh. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine. It didn't come over here." She got up. "Boys, there's a restraining order on him." She pulled out a copy to let them see. The officer doing the arrest nodded at that and handed it back, going to book him on that charge as well. They could say he was inside 500 feet by a few inches. She sat down again, watching him be dragged off. John handed her the bottle of iced tea, earning a smile. "Thank you, John."
"I can be as over-protective as your new lab tech is," he said with a grin. She swatted him but she was smiling. Horatio came stomping out. "Ooh, his thong's twisted."
"Xander must've told him." He hauled the man up and said something very quietly, making the officers stare in horror but walk him off. "Horatio, is Xander all right?"
"Why wouldn't he be? I heard he shot into the ground."
"Xander pounced when he pulled his weapon," John said. "Kid taunted him a bit too. Called him a civilian. Called him a psycho afterward, said his new husband would help him with that." Horatio smirked, going inside to check on Xander. Then he came back out a minute later. "He okay?"
"I'm going to let Maxine check on him."
"Are you catching Speed's evil mood?" she asked.
"Apparently." He sat down. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine. John covered me."
"Thank you, John."
"Not a problem. The kid pointed him out to me." That got a nod and Maxine stomped their way next. "What happened? He said he didn't have a sucking chest wound."
"He doesn't. He has a graze on his arm that he's already bandaged, Horatio. He insists he's fine."
"He did the same thing during and after getting a hundred-seventeen stitches in New York. Tried to come back to work the next day."
"I'm so telling John," she decided, texting that to him. She sat down. "Are you all right, Calleigh?"
"I'm fine. John covered me." Maxine bopped John on the arm with a smile. "How bad of a graze?"
"Little one. No stitches or he probably would've done those too."
Horatio coughed to hide his smile. "Quite possibly. Mac said he started to do some of his in the ER when the nurse kept arguing with him."
She rolled her eyes. "Of course he did. It's a very Xander thing to do," she told him, earning a smile.
"It is," Calleigh agreed. "He's tougher than you, John." She saw a black pickup pull in and park, then an older guy got out. "Is that John?"
Maxine nodded, waving him over. "John, this is Detective Hagen if you haven't met him or Horatio Caine." She pointed at them.
John shook their hands. "My boy's where?"
"In the middle of a test fire. He bandaged it."
"Of course he did. That's what we do," John agreed. "ER's ask questions, Maxine." He patted her on the head. "Let me check on him. He was thinking evilly earlier."
"He wanted to beat my stalker for me, John. Don't be mad at him."
He looked at her. "If he comes back, you let me or Xander know, Calleigh. He won't be doing it again once a real man teaches him how to properly treat a woman. I beat it into Dean; I can beat it into that one." He walked off.
"Xander's dad?" John Hagen asked quietly.
"It's a bit complicated but John's like an uncle to him," Horatio told him. "He watches over the boy." That got a nod.
Maxine looked at her watch. "He didn't eat either, did he?" She texted that to John too, so he could nag about that. She looked at Horatio. "Now I know why Alexx adopted Speed." She got up and headed back inside.
"It's scary but she's nearly as good as Alexx at mothering the boy so far," Calleigh said.
Horatio nodded. "It is scary." He stood up. "Come back inside when you're ready, Calleigh." He headed in to watch John fuss at the boy in the entryway. "Take him to the changing area, Xander," he ordered as he walked past them. "Someone might say something if you take off your shirt out here." Xander huffed that way but John nodded politely in thanks as he followed the boy. Horatio smiled at their receptionist. "That is his uncle. Expect him if Xander has been working too many hours and things."
"I can do that, Lieutenant." She made herself a note, smiling when he had left her alone. "The boy needs fussed over apparently." She looked around before spreading that bit of gossip to her friends in patrol. Calleigh's stalker was insane and that boy was a bit heroic. And cute.
Dean walked into Bobby's a few days later. "Hey."
"Hey. The boy's fine."
"I heard Dad had to nag him about pouncing the guy with the gun." Sam walked in and sat down. "We're checking on you for dad."
"I'm fine. Same old same old really. Is he having fun?"
"He's nagging Xander a lot," Sam said with a grin. "He says it's fun. Xander tweaked him by saying he was going to date a succuba. Dad got permission from Horatio to show up at the lab with a shotgun. Calleigh nearly had a heart attack."
Sam pulled out pictures to hand over. "The short blonde one is his boss in ballistics. She's a ballistics and field tech."
He smiled at the picture. "She's cute."
"She's got a butch detective who wants her badly," Dean told him. "Xander thinks of her like a big sister. Got her to stomp off the other morning when he was busy and needed to concentrate by messing up her hair."
Bobby shook his head, putting the pictures down. "Which one is Maxine?"
"The dark haired one in the print skirt." Dean relaxed. "She agreed she can mom him. She does a pretty decent job. Fussed over him when he got a small graze protecting Calleigh. Called Dad too. Nags him about eating and all that stuff."
Bobby smiled, shaking his head slightly. "That's good. Is it stranger than New York?"
"Nah, they're having more fun. Xander said there's a hit on the lab and everything so they don't look at him too strangely. He's been giving fashion advice to Wolfe. He gets to have a sarcasm buddy in Speedle. Gets to make Dad huff in irritation by admiring the bikinis up the street. Two of his neighbors are bikini mud wrestlers so they have to tan all the time. Dad forbid him to go help them the last time they wanted him to come put on their tanning oil."
"Sounds like John," he agreed dryly.
"Xander's t-shirts are usually accepted," Sam told him. "Now and then he gets told to put on a coat or something. It's a lot less tense unless something happens. But his boss is like the prototype Xander, only calmer. He doesn't bounce."
Bobby smirked. "Did he like that comparison?"
"Calleigh made it first. Horatio admitted he saw a lot of the younger him in Xander but he had less temper than Horatio did," Dean said with a smirk. "And get this, they had a neighbor who had a boyfriend with weapons. They broke up because he was cheating on her. So she kindly walked all the weapons up to their house so Xander could get rid of them for her."
"Sounds like a vindictive woman," Bobby agreed.
"But Internal Affairs was stalking him," Sam added. "They keep trying to get him in trouble. They used Calleigh's stalker to search the house. So we left a day early."
"He decided that Xander giving us money to buy new t-shirts was doing bad things," Dean said sarcastically. "Xander about made him cry and he'll keep it up if the guy won't leave him alone. His badge is suspended on purpose so he's a simple lab tech. Or else they'd have put him in patrol for about a month."
"Sounds logical but painful for him."
"Nope, he said he didn't mind. He still has it, it's just in the files instead of on him every day."
"I guess that's fine. John didn't fuss?"
"It kept him from going back on the streets and possibly being seen," Dean told him. "He hasn't gotten to work a field case yet because they're not short a tech. He's had hot and cold running guns."
"I'm sure he likes that. Any other reason you two dropped in?"
"Yeah, I think Sammy picked up a small possession again," Dean said. Sam reached over to swat him. "Try to get out of the devil's trap, Sammy," he said with a smirk. Bobby got up with a sigh, going to get some holy water. Sam tried to follow but the capturing figures stopped him. "Knew it. Must've been that waitress who hit on you. Like Xander, being gay is good for you, Sammy. Stick with your little butt bitch down there."
"He is not! We're just friends, Dean." Bobby came back and splashed him. "Ha! didn't hurt. I knew I'm not possessed."
Bobby stared at him. "Then move out of it." Sam tried again but he was stopped. He splashed him again. Xander appeared, looking confused. "Should you be here?"
"It's my day off. I'll go nag Ryan into better clothes soon." He laid a hand on Sam's head and chanted, getting the spirit out of him. "Holier than usual spirit, Bobby." He waved at it. "Hi." She stared at him. "Not my fault, I just got you out of Sam." He shrugged and left.
Dean looked at the flimsy spirit. "Sorry, we can't see you like he can. Would you like to become solid maybe?" It faded out. "Okay. Guess not. Sammy?" He walked out of the figure. "Better!" He grinned at Bobby, getting splashed as well. "She didn't hit on me, Bobby."
"We'll see. You two feel anything else strange going on?"
"Why was Xander wearing spandex shorts?" Sam asked Dean.
"He was probably going for a run thanks to Dad."
"Oh." He nodded, sitting down again. "Sorry, Bobby, but hey, not a demon."
Bobby looked at him. "Drink some, Sam." He handed over the holy water. Sam groaned but did as ordered. Nothing happened. Dean took a sip too because he knew Bobby would make him. "I guess you're fine but we don't have anything for dinner. I was going to hit the burger place in town."
"I miss fleecing people at pool," Dean sighed.
"Our treat," Sam offered.
"Sure. Let's do that." They headed out with him, letting Bobby shake his head once he got to his own car. The boys were going to go nuts. Once at the burger place, Dean pulled out his stories of bikinis that were beyond a fantasy for him. Some were trying to conceal breasts nearly as big as his head.
Xander walked Ryan into the suit shop, putting down his prepaid card. "There's eighty thousand on that. He needs at least one new suit. We're criminalists so it has to be comfortable, look good on him, plus make him look respectable and a bit serious on the stand." He gave Ryan a shove. "Please."
The salesman looked Ryan over. "We don't often get officers." Ryan pulled out his ID, earning a faint smile. "I did believe you. Now, what fabric were you thinking about?" He took the card with them.
"Comfortable," Xander told him. "He likes brighter colors and pastels now and then too."
"Xander!" Ryan complained.
"Shut up, Ryan. You need one for testifying that's not itchy and wool like your other one. You'll die in this heat. That's why I got all mine in Dallas a few years ago." He looked at one suit, pulling it off the rack to look at it against himself. "Think I'd look good in this cut?"
"I think your muscles would make it bulge a bit, sir, but perhaps. You can try it on." Xander went to do that once he found his size. He looked Ryan over. "You are well built. We do have some of the nicest things this time of year." He pulled a few off. "I think these colors would look good on you."
"No one would ever listen to me in the green or the pink one," Ryan said, "but I like the other one." He went to try it on. Xander was examining the jacket on himself. "Too tight?"
"I don't think the cut would suit me." He went to hang it back up and hand it over. The salesman handed him something. "I have one in this color in silk. I don't have a lighter blue though. Say a medium blue?" One was found and handed over. Xander tried it on and he did look good. "Cool." He put it aside once he had two shirts for it. Ryan was a bit harder. Horatio said he needed a good suit for his upcoming testimony. "Ryan, go for smart, not hip."
The salesman brought him another one when he heard that. Ryan looked much hipper but still like a professor in it. "That should stand you well when you have to testify. Is this going to be a common problem?"
"Only when we catch someone bad," Ryan told him with a small shrug. "I'm told about three days a month total."
"Then you need more than one." Xander went to hunt, getting a few things taken out of his chosen pile. The card went through flawlessly and the boys walked out talking about formal watches for on the stand. "Such nice gay men in the department these days," he decided. No one else wore pastels that he knew.
Xander looked in Armani. "I wonder if H's suits are made here or by elves somewhere else." Ryan walked him off laughing. "Seriously! Not even I'm that bad now and then."
"Yes you are." They found the Ralph Lauren store and Xander walked him inside. "I have plenty of suits, Xander."
"So? You still need better shirts, Ryan." He smiled at the saleswoman. "A few years back I visited the store in Dallas and she was *so* helpful. This is my coworker, Officer Wolfe, and he needs some stuff for work. Shirts that are casual and comfy but not too casual. That sort of thing."
"We do have a good line of what we consider after hour or casual Friday clothes," she said, leading them that way. Ryan found a few shirts he liked and a new pair of pants too. She let Xander buy them and they walked out together, making her smile. "They're adorable."
Xander came back and got a few more for himself. "Replacing stained stuff." He bought them and walked off to find Ryan putting stuff in his car. "Come on."
"I have plenty of clothes," he complained, locking his car again. Xander's were in the backseat.
"You promised me fun, Wolfe."
"I did, didn't I." He grinned, taking him to the fun place up the street. Once they were played out and had eaten, Xander made him go buy a few more shirts and a better pair of shoes then let him take him home. Ryan grinned at him. "You know, they probably thought you were a very nice boyfriend."
"I am a very nice boyfriend to the ones who're mine. The girls I used to have as friends trained me well to give presents." Ryan laughed. Xander grinned. "Next time, go there again. In about a month they'll have season ending sales."
"I can do that." Xander got out and grabbed his bags, heading inside. Ryan backed out and headed home to hang up the new clothes. He had enough for about two weeks of work. Now no one could pick on his shirts or track jackets.
Xander kicked the door shut, looking around. "John?" he called as he headed for his room.
"Shopping yourself poor?" he asked from the couch.
Xander dropped things. "No. I didn't spend that much. I have stuff." He looked at him. "Are you okay? You look funny."
"How do they put up with you when you act so gay?" he sneered.
Xander stepped back to stare at him. "No one at work sees it as a problem. Since I got ordered to take Ryan shopping he didn't either. Are you possessed?"
"No, I'm not. Never was. Not since I was very young." He hushed the voices when John made a move toward him, knocking him down and then out. "Yup, I think you're possessed." He found the masking tape and got to work on a devil's trap around him. John slowly woke up and sneered again. "Okay, let's see if that works." He made sure the figure was secure but John got out of it. "Huh." John rushed and he got him down, holding him down. "What is wrong with you?" he demanded. John snarled and moved so Xander kicked him in the side. "Don't make me hurt you. John won't like it."
"We'll get you."
"I doubt it."
"You're going to die."
"If you say so." He couldn't quit reach his cuffs. He had to let him go to grab them. John hopped up and Xander spun-kicked to get him in the side of the head, knocking him down and out again. "I don't think we're going to play this game, whoever you are." He handcuffed John and called Horatio. "It's me. Can you please tell Dispatch not to come to my house? John's possessed or something and he's annoying the hell out of me. Called me pathetic and things. No, I'm good, Horatio. Thank you." He hung up and looked at the body, dragging him into the bathroom. "If you make me do it, I will." He blessed the water in the tub then dunked his head to wake him up. "Hmm, not holy water reactive." He texted that to Sam since he knew more about these things than he did.
"What's wrong? Running to Sammy again? Can't do it on your own?"
"I can but I don't feel like researching right now. Sammy should know right off. If not, Bobby probably will." He got back an answer. "Huh. Okay, we'll do this the hard way." He went to get the exorcism book and came back, flipping to the one he liked. Sam liked another version. John liked the simpler one. Xander liked the older, heavier than hell, would get Satan out of a baby version. Just in case it was too big to get out any other way. The chanting was started when someone knocked on the door. "Damn, saved by a neighbor." He went to open it, smiling at the girls from up the street. "What's up?"
"Are you all right, Xander? We thought we saw someone fighting you."
"John and I are sparring."
"He's got me locked up in here," John shouted. "Call the cops."
"I am a cop."
"Not anymore you're not."
Xander looked in the bathroom by stepping back. "Yes I am." He grinned at them again, casting a small fascination so they'd forget. "It's fine. He's a bit drunk and wanted to get feisty. That's why he's in the bathroom and I'm tormenting him by reading Latin to him." He held up the book.
"Is that a book on exorcisms?" one asked.
"Yup. What better way to make him not want to get this drunk again?"
She giggled. "We'll let you handle it then, Xander. If you need us, yell and we'll call someone."
"Nah, I already called my boss. If I need help he'll come running in his hummer."
"Good." They left, going back home after kissing him on the cheek.
He shut the door and walked over to where John was sitting on the bath mat. "It's not nice to worry good girls like that." He shut the door most of the way and went back to the exorcism, starting over so he didn't miss anything. John struggled and fought but the spirit came out of him. He waved at it. "Not as cute as the one in Sam earlier," he told it. "Quit picking on Winchesters." It faded out. He looked at John, watching him pant and gasp for air. "John?"
"Kid. Help." Xander shifted him so he was more comfortable. John tried to kick him in the side. Xander hit him with the book, making him howl since it was a blessed relic. "Did you have to do that?"
"It's the book, my axe, or a blessed knife," he quipped, staring at him. He grabbed the knife and came back, stabbing him gently with it on the thigh. John howled but the other two spirits floated out and Xander captured them. "Ah, better." He looked at John. "Are you back?"
John glared at him. "Did you have to do that?"
"You wanted my axe instead?"
"No. Can I get free and some bandages?"
Xander pulled the dagger out and did his leg, then looked at him. "Recite the Lord's Prayer." John tried but his mouth got stuck. "The holy water is beside you, John." He dunked his head, screaming into it. "I can see we're going to have a fun night." He went to look at whoever had just stepped in through the door. "Hi, guys. What's wrong?" He held up his ID. "He's drunk."
"Your neighbor said you stabbed him, sir?"
"No, I was removing something from his thigh. I've bandaged it. He had a funky mole he wanted removed. Drunks do some strange things. Did they also tell you I was reading in Latin to annoy him?"
"Then the girls up the street didn't call you. No, he pounced me when I came home and he was mightily drunk then. Right now he's dunking his head in my cuffs and I'm still reading Latin to him to make him regret being this drunk. I called Horatio to let him know already."
"You're which tech?" one asked.
"Winchester, Ballistics under Calleigh."
"I've heard good things about you. Can we talk to him?" Xander pointed.
"He's holding me hostage." John looked at them. "He stabbed me. Look at my thigh."
Xander looked at him. "Earlier he was complaining he was possessed." He pointed at the dagger he had wiped clean. "I used that to cut off the funky mole but I might've cut a bit deeply. He doesn't need stitches or I would've done them already."
"Is he a mental patient?" the one in charge asked.
"No, he's just drunk. And yes, I made him brush his teeth and gargle when he pounced me. I can't stand drunks." They gave him a long look. "I had two drunk parents, guys." That got a nod. "You can call and ask Horatio. I warned him John was drunk already. In case I have to be late tomorrow taking care of him."
"We can call him." Xander offered his phone, letting him step onto the porch to call. "Lieutenant, your ballistics tech said he called you about his housemate being drunk and disorderly?" He listened then nodded. "His housemate is claiming he stabbed him when the boy said he took off a mole but cut a little bit deeply. Said he was tormenting him by reading in Latin to him." He saw the figure on the floor. "He has a mystical symbol on his floor in masking tape?" He listened to Xander's interest in archaic things. "That's reasonable I guess. Doesn't mess up the floor. Do you want us to bring one in? I can do that. Thank you, Lieutenant." He hung up and walked the phone back in. "Your boss said he's confused."
"My boss is confused?"
"He said he's never heard of you after he agreed he knew you." Xander handed him his ID. "This is the PD ID card. Are you an officer?"
"I had to take the academy when I was in my last posting because I'm rated as a field tech. Since I don't plan on using it down here I let the Chief put it on suspension in the files so I can't be called out of the lab unless it's an emergency. That way I don't get hit with mandatory overtime stuff."
"That's not a bad idea," he admitted. He handed the ID back. "What are you going to do with him?"
"I'm going to start an exorcism ritual," he said. "Because if he calls me worthless or pathetic again I'm going to beat him. He can wake up bruised and hung over."
"Sure, you do that," he decided. "We'll keep an ear out."
"I called Horatio so you guys wouldn't have to show up because of him being a noisy drunk. Thank my neighbors though."
"I can do that, sir." They left. Xander locked the door behind them and said something in Latin, making the guys outside smirk at each other at the new swearing the other guy was doing. "Caine sounded distracted."
"With his job I would too." They got in and headed back to make a report. Drunks happened even in Miami and mean drunks happened all too often too.
Xander finished casting the muting spell so no one could hear or see what was going on then looked up. He got something out of the sanctuary and came back, sitting down in the middle of the devil's trap so he could work. He wanted that spirit out of John and out of Horatio. He got pictures of everyone and laid them around him. Then a picture of the city from the sky. The spell wasn't hard. Banishing spirits was really pretty easy. He looked up at the last word, finding that angel staring at him. "Wanted me to leave him that way?"
"No. We were wondering what you were doing."
"Casting all these evil bastards out of my new city and my coworkers."
"It might lead to other officers being stuck."
"It could but I'm working on that next. Got a class name for them so I can look them up? Sam said he had one earlier."
"No, I don't. I have no idea what they are." He stared at him. "You're near the line with that bit of magic."
"You'd rather have them involved?"
"Then I do what I have to do to fight for the light, Angel. John can beat my ass tomorrow when he's normal."
"That compulsion is oddly done at the moment thanks to the last three spirits."
"Who're watchers," he told him. "They're out of their body but they can't report back. See, if I was evil, I'd destroy their souls."
"You could do that accidentally."
"No I can't." He grinned. "I know that spell, which is why I'm not going near it. One of the others had to use it once." That got a single nod. "Now, any good advice or are you just here to nag?"
"Mostly to nag." He stared at him. "You are still considered a danger by many."
"Yes, but most of them are evil or do bad things for the right reasons. Are you?"
He smirked. "That's a good answer." He faded out.
Xander looked up. "Be less cryptic. I'm not Angel." He went back to his spell, casting them out of his city. Then the watchers. Though they wouldn't remember anything. He released the trapped ones and did the same thing. Then he laid there on the floor panting at the energy loss. He looked in there. "Don't shoot me for saving you?"
"I'd keep me in the cuffs for a while."
"I can do that. Need a bandage change when I can finally get up?"
"Could." He shifted, testing himself with the holy water. "What were they?"
"Living spirits of mean bastards. One of the ones in you was my uncle." He made himself get up with a groan, going for some juice. He was dripping with sweat. He turned and found the angel standing there. "I needed more cryptic advice?"
"I'm not here for my boss. I'm here for your friend's boss. You are being given a guarding job."
"Someone non-mystical impregnated a young woman against her will."
Xander sipped his juice. "Like Initiative? Or like mad scientist?"
"Mad scientist. We think he's down here and the child is an unholy nasty according to your ex. She can't tell you directly. Some of the demons might've been related to that problem."
"And I need to do what to help Dawn? Find it? Fight the child?"
"Yes." He disappeared.
"Okay. Thank you for the less than cryptic advice this time." John laughed. Xander took some juice in to him with a straw, putting down the toilet cover so it was at head height or about. "Dawn's got to be freaking out." He went to look things up, finding what he needed. "Dawn?" he called. She appeared, sniffling and sobbing. He hugged her. "Shh, we'll find him."
"I don't want this unholy thing in me, Xander."
"I know." He laid a hand on her stomach, nodding. "It's not alive." She looked up at him. "Alive things put out energy, Dawn. It's not." He looked at John, who nodded. "You sure?"
"Uncuff me a little bit?" Xander came in to do that. John had to fight not to grab him. "No more magic."
"Shut up, John." He undid the shielding and closed the bathroom door on his way out. He grabbed stuff and took her to the car, taking her to the closest ER. Once there he parked and walked her inside. "This is like my little sister. She was unfortunately knocked up by someone who she never saw. I think the little creature in there is having an issue because there's no heartbeat I can find," he told the nurse quietly.
"We can check that for her. We can't remove it."
"If it's dead?" he asked.
"If it is then we can. Let us check her in." Dawn let her check her in and give her an ID bracelet then Xander took her to the waiting room. She went to tell the head nurse. "We have a former rape victim who is pregnant and doesn't really want the child but she thinks it's dead. They couldn't find a heartbeat."
"I'll get the OB on call down. Poor thing." She made that call. When they got a room she got Dawn back there. "How far along are you?"
She shrugged. "I don't know. A few months I think?" The nurse stared at her. "He used a needle thingy instead of doing it himself and the natural way. I'm not sure if it was advanced or not."
"We can do an ultrasound," she decided. "Let me check your vitals." She did that, writing them down. "We have an OB on call. He'll be in soon." Xander nodded at that, holding her hand. "Boyfriend?"
"Might-as-well-be big brother," Dawn said. "He's keeping me from doing stupid things. Like fall down stairs and stuff."
"I can see how that goes." She left to tell the OB that, getting a nod of understanding. They had the machines down there so he pulled one in.
"I'm Doctor Grant. I'm an OB resident. I'm going to be searching for the fetus."
Dawn took off her shirt and laid down, letting Xander push down her waistband. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Do you know what he used?"
"No. I kinda woke up pregnant."
"I've seen it happen to others." He turned on the machine and plopped some gel onto her stomach. The wand was pulled over and he found the buttons he wanted while he looked. "I can see it," he told her. He stared, enlarging the image. "Is that... It looks like a horn."
"So a clear birth defect?" Xander asked. The doctor nodded. "Is it alive? We couldn't hear a heart beat."
He flipped a switch and they found it. "It appears so."
"How far?" Xander asked.
"About five months it looks like."
Xander looked at her, getting a begging look. "If I could call someone who did things tonight, who should it be?"
The doctor looked at him. "I can't refer that sort of service."
"How about an OB she can call overnight then? She'll need someone to keep track of that birth defect."
He considered it then wrote down a name. "He's one of the doctors that practiced out of the country so he can't get his full license here without going through a lot of hoops. He does a lot of work with immigrants and he has helped a few rape victims in the past." He handed it to her. She nodded, smiling slightly. "I hope you're better soon, Miss." He wrote notes on the birth defect and things, then left them alone.
Xander looked at her. "Up to you."
"Please?" she whispered.
Xander nodded, going to get the paperwork from the nurse. They got her checked out and he called on the way home. "Hi. My little sister was impregnated by needle by someone she didn't consent to. We just found out the child has a severe birth defect. It has a horn," he said quietly, pulling over. "That is, yes. That's fine, I can afford that. I have that much on me." He nodded again at her, getting a squeeze back. "We can meet you there within an hour. Thank you." He hung up. "You're sure? No going back?"
"I'm sure," she said. "If it was wanted, I might not care, but no. I didn't want this. He did it to me magically, Xander."
He made sure his phone was off then nodded. "I've seen other freaky things in the past." He drove her to the clinic the doctor had noted, walking her in the back door as ordered. He nodded at the cop in there. "Stitches?"
"My partner got shot up the street, nothing too bad." Xander pulled out his ID. "Been there?"
"I've done many stitches in my time. My town was a bit rough." That got a nod. "We can wait." The doctor peeked out, getting a nod from Dawn. He sat her down and stood guard over her, smiling when the officer came limping out. "You'll need to wrap that top bandage tighter or it'll slip, guys." Another piece of tape was applied and he smiled once the doctor came out cleaned up. "You can do another ultrasound if you want."
"I would like to see this birth defect." He led them back to the room with the machine in it, letting them arrange her for him. He looked, frowning at it. "It looks like the pictures of demons in my brother's books."
"Then I definitely don't want to carry the mad scientist's demon child," she told him.
He looked at her. "Are you absolutely certain, young lady?"
"Yes, sir. I didn't want to be stuck with a needle and I have no idea who did it to me."
He stared at her then nodded. "I can see that happening." He got what he needed, coming back to knock her out. "That will be a mercy later."
"That's fine. I've carried her to bed in the past." His phone rang. "What's up? No I can't, Horatio. Because I'm at a clinic with Dawn, who is having issues with someone who stuck her with a needle that had a baby in it." Horatio hissed. "Why are you at my house?" He nodded. "That's fine I guess. Is John back to normal?" He smiled at the curious looking doctor. "My housemate and uncle was a bit of a mean drunk earlier so I handcuffed him in the bathroom. My boss is there to unlock him at the moment." He listened to Horatio, nodding at what he was saying. "I can do that when I get home, Horatio. Because she needs me here. I'm not going to abandon the little sister for anything. Especially not during this. About an hour." He hung up when she mewled in pain, coming over to quiet her down and hold her. The doctor go finished and he looked up. "Usual post surgical worries and can she have a warm bath?"
"She can. You've had surgery?"
"A few times. Thank you." He pulled out his wallet and handed over a stack of bills. "Two thousand you said?" The doctor nodded, counting it. Xander picked up Dawn and carried her out to the car. Then he drove them home. Horatio wasn't looking happy when he got there. He got out and walked around to pull Dawn out, carrying her inside and to his bedroom to put her down. Then he came out and hit Horatio with a spell to freeze him. "Did we not depossess you well enough?" he asked dryly. Horatio groaned, trying to move. He stood in front of him. "Are you still in there, demon? If so, I'd leave before I get mean and vicious. John's not going to get me for this one." John tapped him on the shoulder so he ducked, turned, and knocked him out. "Yay you." He looked at Horatio again, staring at him. "Fine, we'll do this the hard way even though I'll have a migraine tomorrow." He cast the spirit out of him and John, making them both scream in pain. Then he collapsed on the floor. The spell holding Horatio ended because he was passed out.
Horatio looked at himself then down. "What am I doing here and are you both all right?" He squatted down to check them. Still alive. John looked bruised. Xander was simply out.
"You were possessed," Dawn called from the bedroom. Horatio looked at her. "Whoever knocked me up with a demon child decided I needed guards so he had you guys possessed to protect the child."
Horatio stared. "Are you all right?"
"No but I'll be better soon. Xander knocked himself out doing magic. He was kinda wasted from earlier I think. He was shaky from too much magic when I showed up. John came up behind him so he did what he had to do." She felt the spells snap and smiled. "Good." She got up carefully, coming out to look at him. "We'll be fine. They're all gone again unless that doctor was influenced enough to put the baby in someone else." Horatio gave her an awkward pat on the shoulder. "It's cool. Get Xander some juice. Get John an ice pack." He nodded and she went back to bed. At least until someone new popped in. "Huh, he wasn't sure you guys were real in this life."
"Who are you and what happened?" he asked calmly. He was impeccably dressed, had silvery blond hair that was presently curling around his ears, and stood ramrod straight. "Why did you call me?"
"I didn't think I did. Hi, Dawn Summers."
The boy stared at her. "Interesting. I don't know who you are but you're a witch?"
"Of the nature path class." She sat up with a wince. "Are you a bad guy Draco or are you less than evil today?"
"I'm not evil."
"That's fine. My sister's a slayer." Draco stepped back at that. "As for who called? No clue. We just got rid of the demon that someone implanted in me while I was unconscious. Xander just knocked himself out banishing the spirits magically that the demon called to protect itself. Are you in the right world?"
He swallowed, pulling his wand to test things. "No, I don't believe I am." He frowned at her. "How did I get here? I was apparating home."
"Unless it was my funky magical oops thanks to the anesthesia I got given before my surgery an hour ago, no clue. Or maybe Xander did it when he collapsed by accident." She moaned when she shifted. "Would you please help me up?" He did that and got out of her way as she trudged to the bathroom. "Sit down and we'll figure it out. That way we can help you get home."
"I'm a powerful wizard, girl. I can do that on my own."
Dawn gave him a look. "I'm the Key, mister. Shut up and sit down." He sat down, staring at her. She closed the bathroom door so she could use it in peace.
Draco looked out there. "This is definitely interesting." He came out to look at him. "If he's got magical backlash, he'll need juice, something with some sugar, and something with some potassium and iron."
"We have a juice that has all that," Horatio told him, calling someone to pick some up. Xander moaned and shifted, then whimpered. "Shh, Xander. It's solved. I'll protect you and Dawn."
"If she's what she says she is, she can."
"I don't know. That was before I met Xander and he had to change lives." That got a nod. Ryan showed up with the juice. "Thank you, Mr. Wolfe."
"What happened? Should we get an ambulance?"
"No. He had to stretch himself doing something and knocked himself senseless. He'll be fine but probably won't be in until late tomorrow."
"I'll make sure Calleigh knows." He saw the young woman, nodding slightly.
"I'm like his little sister from his original life. Quit giving me looks like he picked me up on a playground." Ryan grinned at that and left them alone. "It's good you guys are protective of him but don't treat him like he's too normal like my sister did." She got him some juice. "He'll suck in his sleep if you can find a straw." Horatio went to get the one from the glass in the bathroom. "That'll work." She pushed Draco down, staring at him. "How far off your realm are you?"
"You can't tell?"
"They put it in me. They didn't give me an instruction manual, Draco." He sighed in displeasure. "So we'll do this the hard way. Since I'm bleeding already." She concentrated, laying a hand on his head. They both disappeared. "Oops. Sorry, didn't meant to tag along." She looked around. "This is cool." She grinned at him. "Is this home?"
He tested it with his wand and nodded. "It is. What's wrong with you? You're glowing."
"I just had to have the demon that was implanted in me against my will removed, Draco. I'm a few minutes post surgery and now heavy magic."
He stared. "Knives, get us some tea," he yelled. His house elf went running for some. "Come talk to my mother. She studied you, you know."
"I didn't but maybe she has some answers. Thank you. Um, I should probably clean up first."
Narcissa came out of the drawing room, staring at her. "The Key."
"Mrs. Malfoy. Somehow Draco got relocated to my normal realm. I accidentally came back with him. Is there a place I can clean up a bit? I'm a few hours post surgery."
"This way, child." She walked her up to her private bathroom, sensing what the problem was. "The child?"
"Someone put a demon in me without my granting it's desire. It was just fixed."
She grimaced. "There's necessary things under the sink, young lady."
"Thank you." She shut the door carefully and went to clean up. When she came down she was feeling a bit more in control. "I'm sorry I did the magical hitchhiking thing."
"No, it's fine, child. I've always wanted to meet whoever took the key into themselves."
"The monks did it to hide it from Glory. Fortunately she died." She sat down. "Thank you for your gracious help. It's been a bad few days."
"I can understand that." She smiled. "Here, have some tea. It'll calm you down. I added a potion to help with the pain you're in." Dawn gave her a gentle smile and sipped. "Draco, where were you?"
"Miami," Dawn said at his shrug. "My kinda big brother had just passed out banishing some spirits. We weren't sure one of us accidentally brought him. We are sorry. I know Xander would be."
"Think nothing of it. Travel is often broadening."
Dawn grinned. "Only if you don't do it like Xander. One of my sister's friends did the viewing across the realms thing," she said at Draco's odd look in her direction. His mouth fell open. Narcissa's too. "He's a medium. He's not insane but he said they're very loud. He had one where he was a cursebreaker too."
"That's interesting." He sipped his tea, getting comfortable. Dawn did the same. "That's unheard of as well. The only ones who try that go insane for their hubris."
"He didn't do it, she did it and brought them in."
"Hmm. That might have saved him. That and his medium skills would have sucked in the spirits so he absorbed them instead of viewing." He considered it. "That is an interesting tidbit."
"Which is why they're presently nagging him to be gay probably," she agreed. He smirked so she smirked back. "Not that we disagree. His last serious girlfriend was Anyanka when she lost her powers."
Anya faded in, looking at her. "What are you doing here?"
"I accidentally caught a ride when I helped Draco back home. Xander handled the demon."
"Of course he did. That's what he does." She looked her over. "Oh, he *handled* it. Interesting."
"The doctor handled it that way. He was helping," Dawn said. "And it got a lot of spirits out of where he is. The child or something was trying to protect it by possessing everyone around him."
"Huh. I'll have to tell D'Hoffryn that. I'll tell your sister you're all right." She disappeared. "Buffy, Dawn's having tea with a hotty British guy who's not a watcher," she called before disappearing again. D'Hoffryn would definitely want to know this information.
Dawn shook her head. "Sorry. That's Anya. She dated Xander for a while. They nearly got married."
Narcissa blinked a few times. "He must be a very strong young man." Dawn nodded with a grin, finishing her tea. She poured her more. "Can I ask you questions?"
"Sure but I'm not sure what help I can be. To us you guys were a book. Plus the monks made me to surround the key then aged me up to fourteen."
"That is very interesting. Can I cast a diagnostic charm? I promise not to hurt you, dear."
"Go for it." She moved the tea cup to the table and let her cast it on her.
"That is unusual. I can see the key and I can see other things. Bonds that tie you to places."
"They made me the sister of a slayer to protect me from Glory."
"There's that as well." She did it again and smiled. "Come, you should rest. It says you're very tired. Finish your tea." Dawn did that and headed up after her. She made sure the girl had the necessities she'd need to handle her current health issues then went to look at her son. "Did you see what I did, my son?"
"I saw her order and me do it without thinking. She reminds me of a nicer version of you, Mother."
"She is very strong willed." She smiled. "If she could stay I would arrange things so she'd take my place as matriarch some day."
"Mother, I don't want to be married," he complained mildly.
"There must be heirs some day, my son." He grimaced. "You could try. She's very sweet."
"She doesn't use a wand."
"She could if we taught her. She's incredibly powerful. There's even hints of necromancy in her aura." Draco looked interested at that tidbit. "Try her, my son. She might enjoy it. Plus it would keep her very safe."
"If I must, Mother." He finished his tea and went to get a brandy. His mother's word was law. He had to follow it. Somehow. He supposed he could chat the girl up somewhat when she was feeling better. Right now she had to be feeling emotional and needy so he didn't want to get to chummy with her until she was back to normal again. She might cry on him or some such nasty thing that he'd have to memory wipe from himself.
John woke up first and automatically reached for his knife. "I have them, John," Horatio said. John looked at him. "He had to use some larger skills to save us from the spirits that wanted the demon child his almost little sister was carrying. We were both possessed."
"That's probably why I feel like I went two rounds with the boy."
"From police reports you did and you got a stab wound." He pointed at his thigh. Xander moaned. "Sleep, Xander. You need sleep to heal," he said more gently, rubbing his arm until he went back to sleep. John looked at him. "He passed out after freeing us. Right before a mythical person showed up and took Dawn with him."
"Draco Malfoy if I'm not mistaken. Or a very young Lucius."
"Probably Draco. Was it the queen that he married in one realm?"
"No. This one was giving Dawn awed looks."
"That's fine. She can get herself home." He sat up, looking at him. "What else happened?"
"He passed out at my feet as I woke up. I basically woke up and found you both unconscious."
"That's not that uncommon, Horatio."
"I had Mr. Wolfe get some juice at Draco's say so." He handed him a glass. "I think that compulsion might be acting?"
"It's trying to. Something's blocking it." A blonde girl appeared. "Buffy."
"Is Dawn here?"
"No. She was here."
Horatio coughed. "He was letting her sleep on his bed before he apparently unpossessed us and then passed out."
"Shoot. Anya said she was with some foreign hotty but didn't say where."
"I know she went with the Draco Malfoy that showed up here for some reason," Horatio offered.
She stared at him. "He's a book."
"One of his lives he was a cursebreaker," John told her.
"Aw, crap." She stomped a foot and poked Xander, getting a glare from Horatio. Xander blinked at her. "What happened?"
"Baby had horns. Dawn said she wasn't going to have horns on her baby when she didn't want it in the first place. All the demons I sent off were because it was being protected. She's probably still sleepy." He yawned and let himself drift off again.
"Sleepy?" she asked.
John nudged Xander. "Were you at a doctor with her, Xander?" He nodded, humming as he rested his head on John's thigh. Buffy groaned. "Unless the doctor wanted it...."
"It's not an apocalypse. I don't like how, but I guess as long as it was her decision it's all right. I don't want Dawn to have to raise a demon either." She shuddered. "I'd have to fight myself not to kill it. How do you do it, John?"
"Most of the time he doesn't give me reason, Buffy."
"Oh. He used to be evil to our minds and give us bad thoughts all the time."
"Those I warn him for and he stops."
"I needed that skill." She looked up. "Okay, I'm done." She disappeared.
John shook his head, finishing his juice. "That was Buffy, Dawn's sister."
"The one who goofed?"
"The other one."
"Hmm." He looked at the boy stretched across the couch. "Are you feeling better?"
"In more control. Thank you, Horatio."
"Not a problem." He stood up. "If he comes in I'll expect him late tomorrow. Or not at all."
"I can do that." He shook his hand. "Have a better night."
"I'll try." He left, going home to think. He wasn't used to being possessed and people suddenly appearing that way. Especially not mythical characters.
John looked down, poking Xander on the head. "I'm not a pillow."
"Hush or be a bunny."
John growled. Xander whimpered. "Bed."
"Yes, John." He got up and wobbled so John had to help him to his bed. "Night. Sorry."
"Don't be. You saved our butts." He tucked him in, getting a sleepy grin. "Rest. You'll need it." He went to get more juice, leaving a glass beside the boy's bed, then went to shower. The holy water in the bathroom burned the cut on his thigh but he could stand that. He even pulled up the devil's trap. He turned and found someone there. "Who're you?"
"The one who watches over him and your son, John. He's not in trouble and I did block it from him for now."
"Block what? The overuse headache?"
"And your compulsion." He smirked, giving him a pointed look. "He did what we could not."
"Can we remove the compulsion?"
"No. It can be weakened but not by our side since they didn't call on us." He looked him over. "Even then the boy needs you."
"He's like my son. I'm not going to abandon him. I don't want to know when he has bad thoughts though."
"That more than anything is protecting him. It has stopped him making some plans that would make some of us very unhappy. Instead he only writes them down to amuse us." He disappeared.
"I agree with the kid, cryptic shit like that doesn't do much for me," he called. He finished pulling up the devil's trap and called Bobby. "Are the boys all right?" He listened. "Yeah, seizure is a good excuse for that. Tell them to call when they get up. Thanks, Bobby." He hung up and went to bed. He was exhausted. He hated being possessed. He felt funny for days afterward.
to part 15
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