Mac looked at Xander as he walked in the next morning. _I'm not God, I'm your GM. Consider me your Angel of Murphy._ "What did I say about t-shirts?" He buttoned up the shirt overtop of it. "Thank you. If you're going to be the Angel of Murphy, don't mess up any cases."
"I'll try really hard not to, boss," he quipped with a grin. "I thought the other geeks might like it."
"They probably will but the Mayor's due in later for a meeting."
"I have something else I can wear," he offered with a sweet smile.
"How bad is it?" He pulled it out to show him. _Life--an invariably fatal condition spread by sexual contact_ "Do I want to know where you get those?"
"No." He grinned. "Want me to change?"
"Keep your overshirt buttoned while he's in the lab."
"It does relieve stress and tension."
"Maybe but I'd like the lab to be a bit more serious."
"I can be serious about my work and still be fun and tension relieving the rest of the time, Mac. Really. Like I was last week. Let me go stuff my locker then I'll hit my lab. Much work for me?"
"Not yet." He watched him go, shaking his head. He looked at the other lab techs. "That's Javier Elton, our new ballistics tech," he told a few curious people. "He has an unfortunate smartass t-shirt habit." They went to introduce themselves. Mac went to take a tylenol. The mayor was not going to like that and would nag him some more. When he came, Javier had everything buttoned closed so he was fine this time. "Our new ballistics tech, sir. Elton, this is our mayor."
"Sir." He waved. "I can't shake your hands without changing gloves. That'd be wasting money. Is there anything I can help you with today? Case information or something you needed?"
"Just touring the lab to make sure it's running all right and properly, Elton. Are you new?" He nodded. "Welcome to the department."
"Thank you, sir. I look forward to driving Mac nuts so he has less bad days for years to come. That way he doesn't have to snap at others when he has a case that makes him ache."
He smiled. "That's a service we could use sometimes. Try if you can and he lets you." He walked off grinning. "I like him, Taylor. He has a sense of humor."
"Yes, sir, he does." And he'd be spanking it out of the kid if he had to.
The mayor smirked. "Sometimes you do look like someone crapped in your cereal, Taylor. Stress relief saves sick days and blood pressure spikes."
"I'll keep that in mind and let him try to cheer me up when I'm having a bad day after a budget meeting."
"Good." He clapped him on the back. "CSI Bonasera. Pleasure to see you again."
"Mayor, welcome back to the lab. Problems?"
"Touring since I haven't heard a budget complaint recently. That new ballistics tech seemed nice. Said he was there to make Taylor scowl less after bad cases by being comic relief."
"So I've heard but I haven't met him yet. I'm just getting in from a case." She smiled. "Have a good tour, sir."
"I hope it's an easily solved case, Bonasera." He walked on.
She went to look at the kid. "Mac has many forms of comic relief, including spanking people who make him get odd looks." Xander undid his coat and shirt, making her snicker at the t-shirt. "That might help, yeah. Be nicer."
"All I said was that I could help cheer him up after a bad case made him ache. Otherwise we get pushed down to the point where we want to quit."
"Good point." She smiled. "Do it back up. He's coming this way." He buttoned his coat and got to work. "He seems nice, Mac. Good choice."
"You have other jobs than to cheer me up, Elton."
"I know that. That's why you have two reports on the table and Stella has one too." He grinned. "I'm efficient and fun. Like Commander Data." She burst out cackling at that, grabbing her report and walking off laughing.
Mac shook his head. "Try to be a bit more circumspect when the higher ups are here?"
"That's why I had it covered, Mac."
"Good. Thank you." He walked off with his reports shaking his head. He'd have to get used to him. He was sure he was here for a good, long time. Then he'd get to warn his next boss. Which might be Horatio so he'd lose that pinching underwear look he got sometimes. He heard a shot and went running, finding two officers on the ground fighting and his new ballistics tech with a gun in hand. "That had better not have been you shooting something," he warned.
"It wasn't. The one in the biker boots was going for his gun and it went off into the wall," he said with a point. "I took it when I got here and I'm trying to get the other's gun in a second." He watched then reached down to snatch the other one and then got his backup from his ankle. He handed them to Stella since she had a bag. Then he and Mac hauled them apart. "Welcome to my foot going up your ass, the hottest gameshow this side of hell. You're here to play for our grand prize," he quipped as he shoved his against the wall. "Which round do you want to play, little boy? Questions from Me? Questions from a supervisor? Or maybe Ruining Your Lives with Internal Affairs? Your choice!" They moaned. "I'd answer now. The offer only lasts another ten seconds since you were trying to pull your gun in this hallway in *my* damn lab."
"Please? Not IAB?"
He handed him to Mac once he was cuffed. He looked at the other one. "We can call him for you if you want. Mac's a lot nicer than I am." The guy nearly hid behind Mac. "Good! Then I'll go put your guns in for destruction since you won't be needing them any more." They whimpered but Mac walked them off. "Bye now!" he called, waving after them. "Have fun being beaten in prison." He took the bag of guns, walking off shaking his head. "Want me to pull the bullet?"
"I will," Stella said, looking very confused. "He seemed so nice earlier," she told Danny when she caught him watching.
"He is until you get in his face," he assured her. "Want pliers?"
"Please." She got down to find the bullet, taking the pliers to pull it out of the baseboard. "At least it wasn't into a glass panel."
"He'd have made them clean it up with their bare fingers and tongues," Danny assured him, taking the bullet to ballistics. "Here ya go. One idiot's bullet."
"Thank you." He put it aside and went back to doing the formal search through the records. "Huh. Hey, Danny, I just found a match."
"It's an officer's gun, you should."
"Not in that database at the moment." He moved the monitor so he could see it.
"Print it, let me get it to Mac." He did that and Danny got to deliver the happy news. He knocked then walked in. "Hey, Mac, something you should see. The bullet didn't cause any harm." He handed it over and smirked at that officer, who shuddered.
"That's very interesting. Match the bullet as well?"
"He'll probably be doing it next."
"Good. Let me know, just in case. I'd like to get them on their way to the courthouse before IAB gets here."
"I think we'd all enjoy that." He left to go back to ballistics. "Any other matches? Bullet or either gun?"
"I've got the bullet running on the second system. His backup isn't registered. The other officer's gun is running now. I need his name for the backup's file." Danny wrote it down for him from what he had seen on his badge. "Thank you." He finished that file and printed it for him. Then he looked at the other system. "Clean, no matches. The bullet?"
Danny looked. "One. Same case." He printed it and let Xander type notes onto that file. He took it to Mac and it was nicer. "One's clean. His backup's not in the system anywhere so it is now. I attributed it to him. Was that right?" Mac nodded. "Good." He handed it over. "Bullet matched that case too."
"Good to know." He looked at it then at the officer that may be clean. "Ten words or less, what were you thinking?"
"He was walking around with his hand on his gun and I thought he was going to hurt someone, sir. That's why I tackled him."
"No you didn't," the other complained.
"We can verify it with the hallway's tapes," Mac told them. Stella walked in with that note. "Thank you, CSI Bonasera," he said, looking at it. He pushed it over. "You're both going to jail. If you give me the truth, I won't have them put you in gen pop." They shuddered and shrank down some more.
"Sit up, you disgraces to the uniform," Stella snapped. They sat up like they were in the academy. "Give it now, boys. It's him or Internal Affairs. They'll walk you into gen pop crying." One did sniffle. She walked off shaking her head. Mac came out a few minutes later with a tape of their confessions. Officers walked those two down to booking for him. "You okay?"
"I'm fine. I'm surprised he didn't join them."
"He knows better. It would've gotten him hurt. At the very least by me yelling at him." They shared a look. "Any other bad ideas for the day, Mac?"
"I can change shirts," Xander called from his lab.
"No, don't," Stella ordered. She walked off shaking her head but she was smirking.
Mac looked in there. "You did that correctly."
"I was going to get them apart once I had their guns, Mac."
"Which is the right thing to do." Xander nodded. "And to yell for help?"
"Why? I had it." He shrugged.
"There's this concept of backup," he said, walking in there.
"Which if I'm taking down a gang of kids I'll ask for." He grinned. "They were just two idiots."
"I know. Still, next time shout a warning in case they manage to get off another accidental shot."
"Thank you." He walked off but he was happier. He came back. "Apparently you were their Angel of Murphy today." He went up to his office to let others know that they had just put two officers in jail. His boss wasn't pleased so he sent the hallway surveillance video to him. That made him less happy but he agreed they didn't have to wait for IAB and Harris was a smartass who needed spanked. He sent back a note saying he had told the mayor he was stress relief for bad cases and left it there.
Xander walked in that night, seeing John pacing. "Was I bad when I was smarting off to the guys I stopped having a brawl in uniform in the middle of a hallway in the lab?"
"No." He looked at him. "Dean's not answering his phone."
"Okay, so let's scry. In case he's with a girl somewhere." John relaxed and Xander got a good dish for them to use. He ran water into it and moved it to the table so he could find them, finding him knocked out in a cave. He found Sam knocked out in the same cave. Xander looked at John then took his hand and focused on the scene, taking him there. John found the demon and shot him while Xander got them untied and awake, doing some field treatment of their injuries. "Aren't you two dumb?" he taunted with a smirk.
"No," Dean said weakly.
"Yeah," Xander assured him. "It was. Or else you wouldn't have a concussion and be tied up in a cave. Apparently he thought you were a tasty hunter."
"I'm cute but not that way," he complained.
"Uh-huh. He thought you and Sam both were." Dean snorted, holding his head. Xander moved to help get Sam free and awake. "Morning, sunshine."
"Bite me," he muttered. Xander leaned over to nip him on the shoulder, making him yelp. "That's mean!"
"You offered and I'm having a playful day since two guys in uniform decided to brawl in the middle of a lab hallway over their illegal holding up convenience store ring."
"I'm sure Mac was just as pleased," John said as he came back. "They okay? Sammy, why is your shoulder wet?"
"Sammy told Xander to bite him so he did," Dean told him. "Ow," he moaned, trying to get up. John helped, making him moan more. "I have no idea where that thing came from. The last I knew we were on the road."
"You can come have the spare room while the car gets fixed, Dean," Xander soothed. "John?"
"It's outside. I'll get a wrecker." He looked at his boys. "You two good?" They shook their heads. "Go with Xander. He'll make sure you'll be fine and fuss enough so you never do it again."
"Not always, you went after those cannibal gold fish by yourself after I fussed over you," Xander said dryly. He took both boys back to the apartment, making sure John had his phone while the boys puked in the sink next to each other. Xander poured the water out and shook his head, going to make up the pullout and the spare room's bed for them. "At least you weren't far away." They groaned again. He took them to the bathroom. "Do I need to hold you while you shower?
"You might get too happy and rob the world's women of me," Dean complained. "Go baby Sammy, he might like it."
"Sure. Shower, I'll put some of my sweats in there for you, Dean." He went to do that, bringing Sam to John's bathroom and doing the same for him. Sam swatted weakly when Xander tried to help him into the running water so he left him alone. In ten minutes he went to check on them, stripping down to help Dean finish his shower and out, then helping him dress and putting him onto the spare bed since it was closer. He trudged over to help Sam out, finding him nearly passed out again. He got him cleaned up and out, putting him into the sweat shorts he had found, then onto the pullout sofa. He called John. "They're both showered and out. Need more help?"
He smiled. "That's good to know. Do we have GPS?" He nodded. "Thanks. Of course mine is magical, John. Do you know how much my phone would cost me a month if it wasn't?" He hung up and called AAA for him. "Hi, Auto Club? I just got a message from my uncle. He's stranded with his car out at some GPS coordinates and can't get a signal to call for himself. I can do that." He repeated them for them, letting them check it. "Black Impala. His name's John. My Triple-A number?" He dug it out and repeated it for him.
"Thank you. He had a small wreck. No he should be fine. I brought in my cousin who had been driving. He's obviously got a head injury since he said he saw Bigfoot. Yeah, like that. Thank you. No, no signal at all on his cell. Thanks, man." He hung up and went to check on the boys, starting some soup. It was cooler and rainy where John was. The boys would hopefully be able to keep it down soon too. It was going to be a long night of waking them up.
"Mr. Elton," the internal affairs asshole who liked to bother him said when he spotted him. "What makes you think that what you did yesterday was technically correct? You smarted off and offered a supervisor over us?"
Xander looked at him. "I figured I could scare the crap out of them and if I couldn't Mac certainly could. It meant that you didn't have to come out of your office to do the boring paperwork. Besides, the academy said if we suspected a bad cop to tell a supervisor first and then you guys. That means Mac would've gotten them when I had pounced and dragged them off by their balls then you would've gotten them anyway." He smirked. "Did you have a problem with me being a scary bitch that makes people beg in many interesting ways?"
The officer gaped at him. "Excuse me?"
"I have. It's kinda fun to watch them beg. Some beg for pleasure. Some beg for destruction. It's all in what they want. One guy begged me to spank him during my ride-along; he thought I'd be good at it. Made my partner at the time *very* happy." His partner had cackled so long and hard they had to cut their lunch short because he couldn't quit. "I do scary bitch nearly as well as I do pleasure slave Javier. Wanna see?" The officer turned and fled, stomping off. He waved. "Just let me know. You're not my type but I can look at it like an acting job if you insist. Have a *good* day now, ya hear?" he called after him. The man slammed the stairs door open since the elevator wouldn't come instantly. He turned and found Flack and Mac both there. "What?"
"I heard about that spanking guy," Flack told him. "Cute."
"Yes I am." He grinned and looked at Mac, who was staring at his t-shirt. "It's entirely nice."
"Uh-huh. Button up shirt, Javier. _ My toys! My toys! I can't do this job without my toys!_ is not appropriate for work."
"Sorry, Mac. Just being the interesting sort I am," he quipped, pulling out his button-up of the day and putting it on. "Doing this means I don't have to get GSR out of my favorite t-shirts anyway." He walked off grinning.
"I think he's right, he does scary bitch very well," Flack decided, cracking Mac up.
"Don't encourage him, Don." He walked up to his office to call Internal Affairs to make sure they didn't need statements from yesterday. Since he had fled before getting any.
Adam walked into ballistics. "Dude, you *are* a scary person." Xander grinned and nodded. "No one makes Internal Affairs run like that."
Xander shrugged. "What did you want me to do? Cower and suck my big toe? I've seen scarier girls than him."
"That's a bad thing. Did you date them too?"
"I had a crush on one, slept with the other two." Adam shuddered. "You'd have to meet them but I can't do that to anyone."
"Thank you for not endangering my life that way," he quipped. Xander let him see the t-shirt, making him crack and laugh. "That's cute." He walked out giggling. "Hi, Stella. Did you see his t-shirt today?"
"That and the fact he made IA run for the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator when one tried to nag him. Totally started a 'what were you doing' rant and Xander just shot him down and made him flee."
"That might not be good."
"Nah, it was fine," Flack assured her as he walked in. "Kid told him about the one who wanted him to spank him during his ride-along. He can have Aiden's rep as scary bitch CSI."
She shook her head and walked off. "Elton, be nicer to our mental states," she called into ballistics.
"I'm fun so you can remember what happiness is when it gets too gloomy to do our job," he called back.
She smiled at that. "Good to know."
He leaned out. "I simply told him I did scary bitch very well in many ways. That's why I offered to threaten them into a confession." He went back to work once she was laughing.
"Okay, maybe you're insane but in a good way most of the time I think."
"Ask me again when I get lost in thought if I'm insane."
"Sure, I can do that." She went to check on Mac. "Are you all right?"
"I think he's right. He's scarier than I am." She giggled again, walking off shaking her head. "He does make it a happier lab."
John finally got in and looked at his sons, who looked miserable. "Concussions?"
"Xander's been waking us by phone," Sam said, yawning a bit. "Cartoons suck right now."
"That's usual this time of day. The car's at a nearby garage, Dean." Dean nodded. "I emptied the trunk into your bags before the wrecker got there." He put them down in front of them. "If we have to, we'll tell them it's for hunting trips."
"It's just a never-ending hunting trip," Sam agreed. He yawned again. "I'm tired but my head hurts too much to sleep."
"Tylenol's out," Dean agreed. John went to get his bottle from his medicine chest but it was gone too. John came out to go to the store. "Thanks, Dad." He laid down, curling up on his half of the couch. "You'll be fine, Sammy."
"Only if the little hammers inside my head quit." He pouted, snuggling under the blanket. "Why is it cold?"
"Because Queens is in New England," Dean said dryly. "They get snow up here like they do in Idaho, Oregon, and Michigan." Sam shot him a low powered glare. Dean just smirked. "Ask a stupid question, Sammy."
"Shut up, that's not what I meant and you know it."
"You're cold because you're part lizard. Mom hatched you from an egg in an aquarium."
Sam kicked at him. "She did not and I'm not part lizard."
"Then you explain why you're always cold." John came back. "Tell him he's cold-blooded."
"I'm not part lizard!" Sam said more firmly.
John tossed them their bottles of tylenol. "Go to bed, boys. Before I make your concussions worse." They groaned but got up. Dean went to his room. Sam pulled out his couch. John grabbed the phone when it went off. "What?" He smiled. "Hi, Bobby. No, they're mostly fine. Concussions. Sammy's being cold-blooded again." Sam spit at him. "I can still paddle you, Sammy." Sam slunk down under the blankets. "No, it's got some good front end damage. There's a local shop. I scared Jose to death, Bobby." He grinned.
"Yeah, that guy. I put them in the boys' bags so they could quit borrowing clothes. No, he's at work. You did?" He settled down to listen to his idea. "Is it doable?" He nodded. "Yeah, you'd have to talk to him. I don't think he's going to have a bad day. They don't have any backlog at the moment. No, yesterday he had two boys in uniform fighting in the lab that he got to help break up. Smarted off, yeah." He grinned. "That's fine, Bobby. Yeah, I'm here. Thanks for looking. I will once they're better. Do you need my help? I can leave him to them for a bit. Sure, if you're sure. Let me know. Thanks, Bobby. You too." He hung up. "He might have a way to break the compulsion."
"That's good. Will it take another demonic deal?"
"Not that he's aware of." He turned on the heater for him. "There. Your mother used to have the same problem now and then." Mary's had been related to her hormones but he wouldn't tell Sammy that since Dean picked on him about being more girlish. He moved into the kitchen to make himself lunch. "Think you can eat?" He heard the aborted gag and nodded. "Figures. We'll try that later then." Sam shuddered and covered his head up.
"It's no fair he gets the tv," Dean complained from his room. "Even if I do sound like I'm whining and I hate it about myself, I'm bored."
"You can come out here to curl up on the sofa bed too, Dean." He came out to do that, flipping the channel until he found something he wanted to watch. "Fine."
"Good luck on however Bobby figured out how to warp it, Dad. He need you? We can watch over Xander."
"No, he's good. There's a problem coming up nearby that he can hand to another hunter in that area." That got a nod. John finished his sandwich and sat down to go through the local paper. Really he had enjoyed hunting ghosts and things in New York. There was a thriving culture of hauntings and people who didn't like them, plus those who loved them to annoy him. Not to mention the demon underground he hunted in when they were being annoying and Xander heard something. If the boy went, they'd hear and turn him in to get him off their asses. That was not safe for them. John looked at the real estate listings again, frowning at a few things. "Huh. Nicer place closer to the station up for grabs. Fairly cheap it says."
"Look at the places that were confiscated for drugs and things," Sam suggested. "They usually go for cheap, or the ones that got foreclosed on."
"Not a bad idea, Sammy. Thanks for the suggestion." He got into a list of those too, finding some very cheap ones. Land taxes were outrageous but buying one for the cost of two years back taxes was nicer than paying a million for a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan. No normal people could afford to live in the city.
Xander hung up and smiled at Hawkes since he was bringing him bullets. "John thinks he found a nice place on tax debt auction that's relatively close by."
"That's good. We pulled two out of a body today."
Xander looked. "You pulled one and kibble, Hawkes."
"Well, yes," he agreed. "Can you match the other?"
He looked at it. "I should be able to. Did you make these marks on the end?" He let him see, getting a head shake. "No teeth on your extracting pliers?"
"No. I use padded ones to make sure I don't leave any marks."
"Cool. That might help us then." He grinned. "Any other ones?"
"Not yet. If so I'll send them up with Marty." He left, going back down to his morgue. He was a nice guy. "Marty, Elton's in if you want to get his opinion on that stabbing."
"Why would I?"
"Adam said he knew something about swords."
"Really? Huh." He took pictures up there to him. "Hey, got a few?"
"Yup, give me two more to type. Bullet or otherwise?"
"Stab wounds with a long, sharp, and pointy thing."
Xander looked at him, then finished typing in his preliminary remarks, turning to look at them once they were saved. "Hmm. Spanish dueling blade." He handed them back, looking at the other one. "Yeah, it's a bit thicker than a foil but still one of the thin, dancing style fighting styles. Fairly formalized. Like you saw on one of the Highlander movies." He looked at him. "The one where they flashed back to Connor and Duncan fighting."
"I remember that. Got any idea where to get one in the city?"
"I'd start with the fencing clubs locally. See if they'd know or if they had any members who would know. Usually there's at least one old guy there who knows very well who to see about those things."
"That's not a bad idea. I'll suggest it. You're sure?" Xander nodded. "Like hundred percent? They hate us and sneer when we make assumptions."
Xander held up a hand, calling home. "Hey, John? Do I have a Spanish fencing foil that the lab can use for comparison? Yeah, one of those. No? Any idea where we could get one to compare?" He did a fast search and came up with a name, letting him write it down. "Thanks, John. Yup." He hung up. "Go to him. He knows swords like I know guns, or so John says and he'd know."
Marty took the address and name. "Thanks, Javier. You're pretty cool."
"Of course I am. I'm a geek. I have to make up for that in some area or another. Just ask my exes if you could find them." Marty walked off laughing so Xander got back to work on his badly mangled bullet. "Why does it have pry marks?" he muttered. He called down to the lab. "Hawkes, something about this bullet isn't right. Yeah, those marks. Can I have wound pictures to look at? Thanks." He hung up on his saying something. He stared at it under magnification again. Stella brought in hers. "I need exact distance shots."
"I have those from him. Why?" He let her see. "Those are plier marks."
"Yeah and the other one's kibble." He turned to look at the holes then back at the bullet. "That's the wrong size hole for this caliber. That's a twenty-two, this hole is about the same size as a forty-eight." She sat down to look at it with him. He pointed. "That spot looks stretched. Is it possible they implanted the bullets and he died another way?"
"I can ask. The other one?"
He poured it out for her, letting her see it. "That's oxidation. Too much for just being out of the body. I'd say it was a few weeks older or more. I can scrape it to find out roughly, within months."
"Please." She got up and gathered that. "Can you take a picture of that?" He snapped it on the video capture, handing her the printout of it. "Thanks, Elton. That might be a very important clue." She went to talk to Mac. "Got a few?"
"Of course. What's wrong?" She held up the hole picture. He nodded slowly. She held up the bullet pictures. "That's not the right size hole."
"That's what he said. The other has a lot of oxidation. Elton thinks it's older, but look at this. Pry marks, Mac." He looked at the picture and grimaced. "He thinks it was implanted into the hole. He said this area looks stretched," she said with a point.
"Let's go look at the body again. Maybe Hawkes has his COD." They went to do that together. That was strange. "Hawkes."
"Stella," Marty said. "I can't get Danny; it's his day off so his phone's off." She nodded at that. "Elton identified the type of foil used on that one body. He gave me a name to make sure of it with. He said the guy knows swords like he knows guns. He's pretty sure it's a Spanish foil. He said like you saw in Highlander Four when they flashed back to Connor and Duncan training in Spain."
"Interesting reference. How did he get the name?"
"John knew them."
"That's good to know. I'll take the pictures to talk to him after we figure out this bullet. Thanks, Marty." She patted his cheek with a smile. Mac was talking to Hawkes when she made it over there. "Any chance they were dropped in?"
"I did pull it round end up but some do flip inside the body as it travels," he admitted. "I can't find another COD."
"No strangulation? No embolism?" Mac asked. "Nothing normal?"
"Well." He considered it, looking at the tox screen. "We did find a high level of insulin. We did find a few other drugs but not enough to OD." He let them see. "Let me check something I didn't." He went to look at the heart again, frowning. "I'll be damned. His valve is stuck." They came to look. "I didn't notice that."
"That was probably the point of making a hole and putting in a bullet," Stella said. "Elton thinks the kibble one is older."
"That wound was nearly fully healed. Probably a month or two old." She nodded. "This one..." He looked at the wound tract. "I can see that it might've been that way. I had some doubts with how shallow it was."
"So they stabbed, pried off a bullet from somewhere, put it into the hole," Stella said. Sheldon nodded. "After he died of natural causes?"
"If they panicked and thought they had caused it, this would've thrown off whatever they had done," Sheldon offered. "With that valve defect, that much viagra in his system could've killed him. So could the insulin." They nodded. "Let me look a bit further for that, guys. Thank him for me." They nodded. "Any idea what the bullet hit?"
"Pry marks," she said, letting him see the picture. "Was that wound starting to heal?"
"I can excise it and see. You think it was domestic assault related?"
"Maybe. See if you can find something like wallboard in it?"
"I can do it." She nodded and they left him with his mystery. "Whoever did that nearly got you classified as a homicide," he told the body. "Pity them when Mac talks to them." He cut into the wound tract to look for debris and healing signs.
Xander walked in that night. "Was your friend okay with Stella and Danny coming over?"
"He said he thought she was a beautiful woman. Told her she could come pick his brain anytime as long as he got to stare at her." Xander grinned. "Apparently she pointed out she liked being admired for her brains more and he said of course she did, she wasn't some bimbo or a pinup girl. Made her giggle. He did have a reference she could use and you're right, it was a Spanish blade." Xander beamed. "Any other good cases?"
"One who pried a bullet out of a table to put into a hole in a dead body so it wouldn't look like his girlfriend had beaten him to death. Which she didn't; he had a heart attack during an argument so she panicked."
"That's just strange," Dean told him from the couch.
"Aww, don't you two look like cute big puppy dogs."
"Bite... Never mind," Sam said, hiding under the blankets. John laughed, shaking his head. "He did last time."
"His lizard blood taste good?" Dean asked him.
"I didn't draw blood but I can if he wants me to." John swatted him. "Yes, Dad."
"Thank you. Go eat." Xander went to get dinner, coming out to sit in his chair. "Light day at work?"
"Only scaring the crap out of the IAB guy," he quipped. He grinned sweetly, getting a laugh from John and Dean.
Sam looked at him. "Won't that hurt your career?"
"He wanted to know why I offered to scare them or let Mac scare them instead of calling them. I rightly pointed out we should tell a supervisor first and then them if nothing was done. I told my supervisor first and offered him to threaten them instead so he didn't have to come do paperwork." He ate a bite and moaned. "Hot peppers."
"Thought you might be missing cajun food," John said dryly, sipping his coffee. Xander got up to get a drink, bopping him on the shoulder. "Anything else happen?"
"They liked my t-shirt today. Even if Mac is making me cover them up. It means I don't have to get GSR out of them."
"That's good I guess. Even if some of them do give me a headache," John told him.
"I'll save those for seriously stressful days to encourage my fellow lab geeks and CSI to take a nap if they need it. I have one in my locker to hand over in case of an emergency nap being needed."
"Do I even want to know?" John asked.
"It's one you groaned at." John stared at him. "My chicken and dill pickle shirt."
John shook his head to clear it. "I guess it could be worse."
"Probably." He grinned at the watching boys. "I missed the smartass t-shirts I had over there."
"Uh-huh. It's bad to give Dad a migraine. Though, I'm thankful I have never achieved that one. Only you and Sammy."
"You gave me plenty of headaches, Dean. Especially when you used to try to pick up women for me as a little kid."
Xander snickered. "I bet that was cute. Date my daddy please so you can cook for us?"
"Or date my daddy please so he doesn't have to go to work. Once he asked a nice lady with twin girls if she could date me so I could have daughters."
"Hey, I wanted to snuggle her. She looked comfortable," Dean complained.
"Her husband minded just a bit, son."
"He growl at you?" Xander taunted with an evil smirk.
"Growled at Dean until I figured out he had walked off again and went to gather him and spank him for it." Xander giggled, clutching the table. "If you give me that sort of headache, I'll spank you too, Xander."
"Sure, I won't ask anyone I work with if they'll date you, John." John swatted him. "I do work with some pretty people."
"Uh-huh. They wouldn't like the family's job."
"Good point." He ate another bite, looking at the boys. "Did you two get up okay earlier?"
"Yeah, you calling and blasting bad music at us woke up Sammy, who yelled until I woke up," Dean assured him. "Thanks, Xander."
"Huh?" John asked.
"I called every few hours and put the phone next to the speaker so whoever answered it got blasted with the music."
"How did you come up with this idea?"
"I only remember a few things from the life where Willow turned me into a girl and a slayer but I did that after a battle when they were in the back of the blazer. I turned up the country music until they complained."
John just nodded at that. "I'm sure they would. Eat." Xander finished up and went to do the dishes. Mentally he was shuddering at that thought. A world where Xander was a girl? And a slayer? Eww! And didn't that just sound like Dean's voice in his head?
Xander gave him a hug around the head. "Remember, she can't do it to me here."
"Thank God." Xander went back to the dishes for him. "You two ready to eat yet?" They both gagged this time. "Then sleep, boys. It'll help." Dean trudged back to bed. Sam slunk down more to nap again. He shook his head, looking back at Xander. "How often are you still getting lost in thought?"
"Most of the time it's okay. Now and then I get a piped up comment from one of them." He shrugged. "Payday's tomorrow so I'm hitting the bar with the guys."
"I remember. Be safe and call if you need a ride home."
"I can cab."
"No you can't."
"I'm a big boy."
"No you can't." He held up the paper. "That's the third body found in a cab this month." That sort of psycho would be drawn to him, making them handle it, which would get his boss mad at both of them.
Xander looked then nodded. "Interesting." He went back to his dishes. "Has anyone checked the intel from LA recently? I know this is the year they're going to have major issues and we won't have a world full of slayers here."
"What?" John demanded.
Xander turned to look at him. "In most of them, Buffy died with Glory. Here we managed to fight off Glory without her dying." That got a slow nod. "Basically, someone ate her host and she died. But since she didn't die the First Evil didn't show up and Willow didn't activate all the slayers to fight her. Which turned Sunnydale into a hole in the ground after they blew up the Council." That got another slow nod. "But Angel's going to have a demonic invasion this year. Like open portal and invade."
"I can get people moving that way."
"Tell Angel that I'm okay but don't give him any more intel?"
"Of course not. You could've told me sooner."
"I didn't think it could be stopped sooner. But by all means, take some of the heavier stuff with you. You'll have to bring down their building to close the portal."
"What happens if it goes down first?" he asked.
Xander shrugged. "They can probably move the portal. It's a small subset of their law firm for hell."
"Three months gives us time to plan. I'll head out there next week after I talk to some others." He grabbed the phone, calling Bobby. "It's me. Xander just told me to start checking LA because they're having a demonic invasion this year?" Bobby yelped. "Dropped your coffee in your lap?" he guessed.
Xander took the phone. "As far as I know it's a subset of W&H, Bobby. Yeah, them. Open portal and let it spill. Their building but they might be able to move the portal if we do. I don't know. That's good. Yeah, of course you can. Thanks, man." He handed the phone back. "April. Sometime in April." He sat down and looked at his phone. "It's jammed," he decided, calling out there. John glared so he held up a hand. "Hi, Gunn. No, Gunn, you do know me. Because I used to date Cordelia and I have a head's up from a higher source." He handed the phone over. "Angel." His moan came back very well. "Your law firm has a sub-group called the Black Rose or something? Invasion? April or so?"
He nodded. "I'm sure you've been told what went down with Willow?" He nodded at his 'yes, I heard'. "All of them, Angel. Every last one. Only in most of them Willow had activated the Slayer line due to the First Evil. This time you don't have that. I know some hunters. I'm sending them with some of the toys I had saved. Yeah, those sort of things," he agreed when he mentioned the mall. "Within a few weeks. That gives three months. I don't know. No, I'm nowhere near there and if I show up you know we'll have the council on my ass immediately. Thanks, man. Yeah, look for John. Be safe. It wasn't a pretty thing by any means. Tell my girls that too." He hung up, looking at him. "He'll be expecting you."
"That's good. What if they're tapping the lines?" he asked.
"Why would they tap Angel? They hated Angel. They know I don't like Angel all that much either."
"Good point but he could have problems on his end too."
"He might. If Wolfram and Hart think that someone's going to stop them they're not above using their germ warfare lab or their federal contacts." That got a pained groan from Sam. "But I remember how I got in once." John smirked at that. He settled in to draw out plans to what he remembered. Two lives he had been in that building for a good, long time. He marked everything and handed it over. "Use what you have to."
"What if they are tapping?" Sam asked. "If they heard you have toys...."
"They can't prove it, Sam. Where are they going to find them?"
"And if I have to show up for it, I'll damn well take a few days." That got another nod. "But I still need to figure out how to disguise myself better if I do."
"I thought that's why you were growing your hair," John said dryly.
"I think that's the one with the hormone's life coming across. His was waist-length." John shuddered again. "So yeah, we'll see." He called his boss. "It's me. Head's up, and only a head's up. I'm helping arrange things through John so LA doesn't hit the bottom of the ocean this spring. Yes, as in. Like an invasion by another place, Mac. Yes, I'm serious, I haven't been drinking. No, but some of my toys are going out there with John. I hope I don't need to show up because I can damn well teach him how to blow a portal if I have to." He grinned. "April. Yeah, so serious head's up at this point. In case Wolfram and Hart is tapping their lines or something. I know they have a branch locally. I also know that they're the lawyers for hell, literally, Mac. So we should be wary of signing anything for them. Angel said they like soul clauses." He nodded.
"Basically. Because I just got the head's up from the little voice that I sucked up oh so long ago," he said dryly. "Yeah, those lives. Every single one. April. Angel will know and John's heading that way soon. So I'll keep you in the loop, especially if we have to help it. I'm sure the National Guard will help, Mac, but not in the first few hours and most of the guys there don't know how to dismember or behead. Yeah, those skills. We'll see but Angel's making sure of it happening here since I know it did so many other places. Former cohort back in high school, now a Champion for the Powers That Be. No, they're over the hunters and those guys. Yup, so just in case you need to know. Once he knows I'll pass that back to you so you can warn some others if you know anyone out there who might need to take a vacation in April. Thanks, Mac." He hung up. "He's going to drink dinner now."
"You did spring that on him," John said. "Let Bobby look up the occasion and we'll talk with Angel." Xander handed him his phone. "Thanks, kid."
"Welcome. Use some of the safe so you can set up a place to stay." They shared a look. "If they show up here, I'll deal with them like I would the council."
"Good idea. How evil?"
"They've tried multiple world takeover bids." He held his forehead as a flash happened. "Including yearly sacrificial power raising. If you can find that and let me know I'll pass it onto the boss." John nodded at that, moving to look it up. "Fall power raising for some reason."
"I can find it."
"Chicago had some I think. The flash was from the furry life and they stopped one there." That got an evil look. "You didn't like the furry life? I have flashes of one of the other lives going as him to a comic con."
"Shut up, kid."
"Yes, John." Sam snickered from his bed. "You nap. Or else I'll work on your shoulders for you."
"That's not a threat unless you're bad at it," Sam pointed out. Xander came over to work the tension out of his shoulders so he could sleep, earning a light moan of pleasure for it. "Very not bad at it," he mumbled as he fell asleep.
John smiled. "Thank you."
"He needed it." He went to peek in at Dean, getting waved off. "Need one?"
"You don't have breasts, Xander. You can't give me what I need."
Xander leaned against the door. "It's not my fault all the other lives are gay, Dean." Dean choked, shaking his head. He came in to hug him. "Calm down. I'd never offer unless you wanted me to." He kissed him on the head. "Want a shoulder rub? That's all I did for Sam."
"No thanks." He put down his book and Xander tucked him in then went to get his own book to read. Dean shook his head. "Fussy bitch," he said with a fond grin. He even went to sleep because you had to when you were tucked in by him. Or else it was a sleep spell but he didn't mind at the moment.
John just smiled and shook his head. Xander was a good fussing sort. If he wasn't slightly insane and on the run, he'd let one of his boys date him. He fussed worse than his wife had. Everybody deserved a fussy mate that drove them nuts.
Xander walked in the next day and found ATF agents in there. "Guys, problem with the case?"
"Someone was tapping your former friend's phone," Mac told him. "My office."
"Going." He walked in and saw another one. "Ah, Wolfram and Hart." He pulled out his cuffs and cuffed him to the chair, then searched him until he found what he wanted, handing it to Mac. "Magical listening device." He stared at him. "Do you have any idea who I am?" He shook his head. "Good." He smirked. "Very good." He looked up. "Can I have a minute to scare the crap out of him and not influence anyone else since you don't have windows that open?" They left, watching from the hall. Xander let his hormones go up, making him sweat. "You are going to leave me and mine alone."
"How are you doing that? You're Quarth!" he accused.
"No, I have the same hormone condition and I will let it rip to enslave your whole board," he sneered. "I could use some good slaves to do things like clean my house." He lowered them and stared. "Are we clear?" He nodded quickly. So Xander walked over to turn on the fan and let them back inside. "I'd leave the door open for a bit and let Hell's Lawyer here go to booking to confess." He stared at him. "Am I clear?" He nodded quickly. Mac had him gotten by Danny. "Watch out for him. Some of them have sacrificed people in the past." Danny shuddered. He looked at the agents. "This cannot and will not get out," he said quietly. They nodded. "I am also known as Alexander Lavelle Harris, from Sunnydale. The one the Watchers Council wants to kill for helping Buffy Summers and for a friend's goof. I was there when the Initiative was taken down. It was my plans at graduation."
One sat down, gaping in horror. "I remember the Initiative fiasco's clean up, sir. Why are you here?"
"The people over girls like Buffy want my ass dead. Dissected while living and then dead actually is how they order reads. The redhead with us? She goofed badly and gave me memories from other selves across the many other planes and realms. So yeah, now and then I get lost in thought when they nag. Mostly because I'm trying to date."
"The artillery you have? We heard you had some out there and I'm assuming you didn't sell it for safe passage or money."
"Safely stored in case of an apocalypse like is coming in LA. In every single one I have memories of, LA gets invaded thanks to Wolfram and Hart's board." Stella stomped in. "Beautiful one, these people have stumbled into my last life."
"What did you used to do?" He looked at Mac. "Mac?"
He coughed. "Let's just say at one point in time there was a rogue military group that needed to be taken down due to their ideas of torture being scientific. Xander and the group he used to help did that. It's only *one* of the things that could cause him problems."
She stared at him in horror. "I handled issues, Stella. Bad ones that most people don't want to deal with. The same group that wants me dead now wanted me dead back in tenth grade but the bounty was too low for anyone to take it. Then my friend goofed and I'm now target number one for them." He looked at the ATF agent tapping into his PDA. "If you get me hunted here I'm going to come join *your* lab so you have to protect me." Both agents shuddered. "What'm I listed as now? My old sealed file made me giggle."
"Do not touch, under serious death threat. Give help if necessary. Allowed to have weapons, is experienced in multiple forms and some explosives," he read. Xander nodded at that.
"You are?" Stella demanded.
"Yeah. I used to work construction." She glared. "And one thing we had to handle included blowing up a high school. It was a huge ass battle that you guys got as a gas leak."
"I remember that," she said, sitting down. "But you're goofy and sweet and nice and have those t-shirts," she complained. "That sounds more like some spy's file than a nice guy's."
"My friends said the same thing when they went off on their special girl, no guys allowed to help things rants now and then. Then they hated it when they got shown up," he said dryly, glaring at her. "I am by no means ineffective, Stella. I simply can't hunt like I used to or else I'll get caught by the people after me."
"Hunt? Like John does? I did a background check on him."
"Basically only I was on the pressure point of evil out there and they brought John back to life to kill me. There's a compulsion on him to kill me if I ever go evil thanks to Willow's goof." He looked at the agents. "He'll be setting up in LA to help within a few weeks."
"If we could stop them...." one started.
"I'm not sure we can. Ask Angel. I gave John building plans from what I remember from over there." That got a nod.
"Huh?" Stella asked.
"No comment," he told her, giving her a dirty look. "That's directly related to why I'm being hunted by the watchers council, Stella."
"Oh, damn, I did not want to hear that," Adam called, closing the door.
"Get in here," Mac yelled. He came in and shut the door. "You know about them?"
"Yeah. I've haunted the geek sites now and then. They do some strange stuff."
"Yes I did," Xander agreed. "I was working with Buffy when Willow goofed."
He stared. "Yeah, I don't want to meet your exes then, they're scarier than even Stella with PMS and no midol." He shuddered. "That so figures! What happened?"
"Willow goofed. It upped my hunt order. The last I heard the bounty was about seventy-five grand or something."
"You missed a zero," Mac told him gently. Xander looked at him. "Three-quarters of a million, Javier."
Xander nodded. "Figures." He looked at the agents. "Do we still have problems?"
"Where are you storing your artillery?" one asked.
"My sanctuary. Which no one but the Winchesters and one other hunter can get into." That got a nod. "He watched me when I was healing and he knows most everything." A file was shown to him. "Not mine, but that's cute. No, mine's in the Midwest. Mac said I can't bring the toys here."
"No, he may not," Mac agreed.
"That's fine then, sir," the agents agreed. "Is it safe?"
"The only other way in is local and it's keyed to Winchesters."
"Good." They stood up. "We have no qualms but let us look into LA?"
"Go for it. Wolfram and Hart do bad things universally speaking. John's seeing if he can find the sacrifices they've done through the years, especially locally." Danny stomped in. "How many bad things did he say?"
"He admitted to twenty-three tampering charges and three homicides of jurors plus a judge. How did you know?"
"Wolfram and Hart are evil. It's a well known fact in my former life, Danny. If a situation hadn't come to my attention we wouldn't be having this discussion. I'd work behind the scenes to bring them down."
"Like you are the Council?" Stella asked.
"Only when they come for me. I know they serve a purpose but they suck ass. That's why their weapons facility in Leeds got turned in." He grinned at the agents, who snickered at that. "My teacher kindly heard me talk about that."
"We heard." They shared a look. "Most agents hate the Council, Elton. So do most cops that have to run into them. We'll keep that in mind." That got a nod. "Try to be safe. We think there's a hunt team that just landed in the US."
"Faith's about to get out of jail." They groaned, going to warn the LA office. He looked at Mac. "As long as I'm safe, you're still my boss but I'm not giving up my smartass t-shirts. I refuse to be that paranoid. And hey, they'd expect me to dress ugly but I do have some matching taste and skills now."
"What did you do to him?" Danny asked.
"Let's just say now and then I can manifest a hormone condition that makes people beg. That's why the door was open and Adam overheard something he shouldn't have." That got a confused look. "Dean gave me that look this morning before coffee. I can raise my pheromone output, Danny. I told him if his shit endangered me I'd make him clean my house and beg for me to treat him nicely."
Xander looked at Mac. "Go ahead." Xander let them out again and Danny moaned when he moved closer to him. Mac turned up his a/c in his office so it'd clear it out. Xander concentrated and they went back down. "That's only one side effect of the goof that got him hunted, Danny."
"That's a strong side effect," he said, giving Xander a funny look.
"That can get my ass kidnaped as a concubine. So I keep it down most of the time."
"Good! I like that idea."
"Go clear your head and ask him if he helped with any of the power raising sacrifices. They work for hell." Danny went to do that. "Adam?"
"We're still good, Javier." He grinned. "But it does explain *a lot*." Xander nodded. "Especially why you're a gun geek."
"Oh, well, yeah. And artillery and swords and crossbows and axes," he said dryly. "Speaking of, anyone you know in LA?" They all nodded. "If I'm right, and the memories have been, then this spring LA is going to have critical level problems."
"An apocalypse?" Adam whimpered. "There? It's a city, not Sunnydale."
"Wolfram and Hart is doing one."
"Only if you consider an invasion bad," he quipped with a grin. "Probably April if the agents can't stop it."
"Sure, I know some techs. I'll warn them to be on their toes because of your friend Angel saying there's an upcoming threat. A few of them out there know about him." He looked at his t-shirt. "No smartass remark?"
"I couldn't get into my closet. Sam wouldn't let me. He said I gave him a headache this morning so I had to be a normal person again." Adam walked out laughing. He looked at Stella. "Hi."
"Hi," she said, standing up. "You don't use that in the field?"
"No, I only use it on evil things. Otherwise I'd be kidnaped and used horribly, probably castrated, and spend the rest of my life on a leash in some harem motif room."
"Good. What can you *really* do?"
"You know what I can do, Stella. If I'm noted looking at other things they'll track it back to me. You can come ask me construction questions if you need to. Some antique and archaic weapons, but I was grunt and planning support." She nodded, giving him a pat on the arm before leaving. "I'm sorry I turned your lab into a drama sink, Mac."
"No you're not," he said with a smile. "Otherwise you'd be working with Horatio in Miami."
"True. Is Speed okay?" Mac gave him an odd look. "Sometime soon his gun's going to jam and he'll be killed."
Mac dialed down there. "Horatio, Mac Taylor. You know that situation I warned you might be impacting you if I had to send him down when his life was threatened up here? No, he just heard that Speedle has a problem with his gun. He thinks that someone will be using that against him soon. Like killing him, Horatio, not suspending him. Yeah, you might want to ride his ass on that if he's got a known problem. Thanks. No, so far a few agents have found out but they hate the people who hate him so it's all good. Sure, let me know if you need more help. No, he came to me last night about a problem some of his contacts said might be going in LA in April. So we've been talking with ATF agents. Thanks. Oh, watch out for a law firm called Wolfram and Hart?" Xander nodded. "They're supposed to be part of the bad thing that's happening in LA in April. Apparently they want to rule the world somehow. No, they're serious."
"Did he hear about LA's last problem? That was them too," Xander said quietly, sitting down.
"He said last year's problem in LA was them too, Horatio. If you have a branch, watch out for them. He's heard human sacrifice rumors and is having someone look into them for him. Please do." He smiled. "You have a better day, Horatio." He hung up. "He's going to check his gun right now, Xander. He said it jammed last month from not being clean."
"That's why he died in the jewelry store," Xander agreed. "It wasn't clean and suspects surprised them. I don't want anyone to have to hold their friend as they bleed out on their lap." He stood up. "So I'm still working, right?"
"Yes. And you have a few. A drug dealer got busted with about ten guns."
"Cool. How's Chad?"
"He'll be back next week, after some mild PT for his leg." Xander grinned. "Then he'll take overnight for you." That got a nod and Xander went to work. Mac leaned back. The more he knew the kid the more he liked him. And John wasn't such a bad guy either. Even if he was a hardass, overprotective sort over the boy. He clearly needed it. He went to see Adam. "Can I see what you know?" he asked quietly. Adam wrote down a web address, username, and password for him. "Thank you."
"Don't use PD resources. They're monitoring it recently."
"Of course not." It went into his pocket and he went to do it from his phone. The dossier was very good. And yes, he would be keeping Xander from dating women. He could use more gay officers to make the lab look progressive and liberal. Especially if any of his exes showed up here to get with him again.
John showed up a few weeks later in LA, walking into the Hyperion. "You must be Gunn. John Winchester."
"I heard you were coming out. Why?"
"Information came to a friend of your and mine through a higher source."
"On?" he prompted.
"The invasion we think you guys have coming in a few months."
Gunn shuddered. "Invasion?"
"As he put it, open portal and invade."
"Angel?" Gunn called. He came down the stairs. "This is John Winchester."
"I know." He shook his hand. "Is he actually sane?"
"Now and then they nag him about things, mostly wanting to date girls since all of them were apparently gay, but mostly." That got a nod. "He's found something he loves to do thanks to them. It lets him use his skills every day he works. He gets to hoard smartass t-shirts." Angel smirked at that, nodding some.
"Who?" Gunn asked.
"Xander," John said quietly. Gunn moaned, leaning against the chair's back behind him. "I got brought back to take him out but Willow warped the compulsion so it has to be justly done." He looked at Angel. "Speaking of, while I'm here, can you set me up to talk to someone roughly the power of a high level sorcerer? A friend thinks he may have found a way to wrap the compulsion or take it off fully."
"I know a few." He waved a hand. "Let's talk." He led him to the office. "What does he know for sure?"
He handed over the sealed letter. "That's what he got from multiple other hims. Unfortunately most of them had a lot of extra slayers thanks to Willow having to activate them to fight the First Evil, which we managed to avoid by having Glory die sooner."
Angel opened the letter to read, going over what he knew there. He frowned, going to the other accounts. "Damn it. Gunn? Get Wesley?" He looked up at him. "It's not sounding good."
"He gave me some of his gear to take the place of the slayers. He said once it opens, take out the portal and then the building." That got a nod. "Then deal with the mopping up. He did suggest seeing if any of the local hunter tribes or the other demons might want to help take them out. That it'd endanger them too."
"It could," he agreed. Wesley and Gunn walked in. He handed over the letter. "What the annoying one saw in his other selves."
Wesley sat down to read it, grimacing. "Oh, dear Christ," he muttered. He looked up at John. "How is he?"
"Mostly fine. He's still forgetting to eat and sleep now and then. He'd like to date but I nearly shot the succubus that was trying to get into his pants. I left my boys there for a bit to make sure he's all right until they come out to help." That got a nod. "I've had a lot of work cleaning out some of the annoying things in New York."
"We've heard," Angel told him. "Nice work with the Einsten ghost."
"She was a pain in the ass," he agreed. "Felt good to salt and burn her." That got a smile. "Works every time." He looked at Gunn. "He suggested I should talk to you about finding somewhere relatively decent enough with security to park myself and any hunters that're coming in to help since I've got cases that need to be stored safely."
Wesley looked up. "Xander did gather some odd pieces of machinery in Sunnydale," he assured him with a small smirk. "Mostly of the helpful sort if you're taking down something the size of Godzilla."
"Ah, cases. I can look into that for you. Got a budget or need somewhere abandoned?"
"I've got a budget from him."
"How did he get cash?" Angel asked. "He wasn't making that much on his construction site. Not with Anya sucking at his wallet."
"One of his lives was a cursebreaker who was a magical theory research nerd." Angel whimpered. "The night he left he went to Ethan Rayne to help him set up his sanctuary and to help him ...liquidate what he found in some places that self had looked into on the job. Plus he figured out some minor alchemy."
Angel leaned back so he wouldn't thump his head on the desk. "Only Harris," he muttered. Wesley nodded.
"Alchemy?" Gunn asked blandly. "Like changing lead into gold alchemy? Like on the anime Fred watches?" John pulled out one of the small gold balls, holding it up. "Damn. They come in that shape?"
"Twenty-two carat. It's also how he managed to make a teacher leave his first college when he found him making drugs in the chemistry lab."
"We heard about that. The treasury agents that saved him from being killed are keeping him under lock and key," Wesley said. He looked at Angel. "I'll call my contacts later, see if we can verify it." Angel nodded. "Thank you, John," he said, shaking his hand as he stood up. "I look forward to working with you on this." He left, going to start the calling process.
"Give me a few hours to look around," Gunn said. "Need help unloading?"
"He shrunk them." He pulled the case out of his pocket. It was a black zip case with little elastic straps holding down a lot of shrunken boxes. "I have three others too. As long as they come back up, we'll be okay."
Gunn just nodded. "That's freaky." He left to call some people he knew.
"Magic always went wrong around Harris," Angel warned him.
"Not now. Now he can do scary things with it that make me twitch and reach for a gun," he said blandly, putting the case back in his pocket. He heard someone stomp in and groaned. "Feds are here."
"Wonderful." He walked out to meet them. "Yes, Gentlemen, can I help you with a case?"
"No, we want to talk to you about a different matter, sir. Come with us please."
"I can't go outside yet, sorry."
"You will or you'll go in cuffs."
"I'm allergic to the sun, I doubt you want to deal with it," Angel said. "I'd be more than happy to talk to you here if you wanted."
"You're coming," he said, grabbing him to drag him off with his partner. "The rest of you we'll get in a minute." They dragged Angel close to a window and watched as part of his hand lit on fire. "What the hell!"
Xander appeared and put him out then looked at them. "You fucking morons." They backed up. "Well, I guess this is an interesting lunch. John, grab something." He manifested his wings and glared, sending his hormones up higher. "Kneel!" he ordered. They knelt. Angel knelt. John grabbed his pistol. "What the hell do you think you're doing? These aren't the bad guys. These are the people who stop the bad guys who want to use you as pawns. So get over your asses!" he finished in a snarl. He stepped back and let his hormones come back down. "Why are you harassing the vampire?"
"Who're you?" one demanded weakly, staring at him.
"He saved my life once, I'm repaying the lift debt. Who sent you to harass him?"
"We'll want a name," another man said as he walked in.
Xander looked at him. "Are you with their conspiracy of idiocy to get your city trashed?"
"No. We're following them because we believe they're on the take to a local law firm with federal contracts and a suspicious history. Who are you?"
Xander looked at them. "Wolfram and Hart were behind this?" he asked, looking amused. One whimpered and nodded so he leaned down, letting his wings flop forward. "Why?"
"He'll stop them. We'll never get our end of the bargain," he pleaded.
Xander stood up with a snort. "Too late now. Hell, I might even work with the watchers to stop them now." He unmanifested his wings again, staring at the new agent. "They're puss suckers who were behind the problem last year too." He hauled Angel up, looking at him. "Don't go all stalker over me."
"How did you do that?"
"One of them could." He grinned sweetly. "I only do it to the bad guys." John smacked him on the head. "Ow!" He looked back at him. "What? They're bad guys!" He looked at the agents again. "I'd beg and plead, gentlemen. Do not make me come back to LA again. I'd hate to have to take out those that have threatened my life." He looked at the new agent again. "A few years ago Angel and I were in the same business. Now I'm retired due to a death threat by some of the people on the same side. Supposedly anyway. We're working on *this* year's issue since it'll be an invasion." The bad Feds whimpered at that. "Don't worry about me, I just popped in to help them." He looked at John. "Need another case?"
"No. As long as this one works and so do the other ones."
"Sam tested it and it worked for him." He disappeared. "Thanks for the lunch break."
John shook his head. Angel gave him an understanding look. "He drove me nuts too."
"One of these days I'm going to spank him. I really am."
Angel nodded. "He might like that. You never know with Harris." John laughed, punching him on the arm. "Can you please clean them up out of our lobby, Agent?"
"Epps. What is going on?" Angel went to game face. "I knew that," he said, glaring at them.
"We're in to help with their plan to get LA invaded this spring," John said. "I'm a hunter, young man."
"My aunt did that way back when for a while before she got too badly injured."
"Many do," John agreed. "As far as I know the hormones will wear off them in a bit but you might want to give them a shower and put them in solitary so they don't accidentally get some attention of the wrong sort in their cells."
"I'll keep that in mind. Who was that?"
"Someone on the hit list of the Watchers Council," Angel told him. "We'll be spanking him for coming this way to interfere."
"He heard you got the hit team that was coming after Faith."
"He did," Faith agreed from the stairs. "Why did he have wings?"
"Long story," Angel told her. "Remember that information Wesley gave you?" She nodded, coming down the stairs to look at them. One of the Feds tried to move so she squeezed his shoulder until he whimpered and passed out. "A bit low for the neck pinch, Faith."
"I'm not into Vulcans. How would I know?" she asked dryly. "That's why he had wings?" John nodded. "You are?"
"The one the Council pulled to take him out if he went evil. I've been watching over the boy for years now. Since it happened almost."
She gave him an odd look. "Spank him more. Really." She looked at the new agent. "Want help carrying them to the car?"
"I want to know more about this situation. Him and the upcoming problem."
"Can't tell you about him. If it slips out at the wrong time, they'll find him and try to wet works him like they tried on me," Faith told him.
"The Watchers have a three-quarters of a million dollar contract to get him so they can dissect him and then kill him," John agreed. "He's in protective hiding working in law enforcement."
Agent Epps just nodded. "I can understand that but someone will want to know how they were captured."
"Hormones," John said. "Very high hormones brought them to their knees." He just nodded at that. "I can't tell you much more than that without endangering him. I'm sorry."
"Are you going to be doing things that would worry us?"
"Only if we're right and there is an invasion coming. Then we might need some help handling but we'd be doing what we had to do."
"I want a more detailed rundown on that situation. I'll leave wing boy alone for now." He hauled the agents up with Faith's help, letting them go out to the car. "Thank you."
"Not a sitch," she said with a grin. She walked back inside, staring at John. "What the fuck happened to X?" she demanded. "That was not like him."
"He's a bit different since he saw other versions of himself across the universes," he said quietly. She gave him a scared look, backing up some. "The wings came from one. The hormones came from another. The scary nature apparently came from this one." Angel snorted but nodded some. "He's mostly safe and mostly happy, Faith. Even if I won't let him date a succubus who wants him badly." She sighed, walking off shaking her head and moaning. "I've done that a few times."
"Me too," Angel agreed. "Gunn?"
"Two possible places," he said, coming out of where he had been hiding. "Think they'll take W&H down now?"
"Maybe but I'm not sure if it'd stop it or not," Angel said. John took the slips with a nod of thanks and left. Angel waited until he heard him drive off to shudder. "Harris is going to end up slipping," he moaned.
"No he won't. That's why he's got Winchester on his tail. You saw him warn him and John pause at drawing his gun to take him out."
"He read as evil."
"Only the wings," Faith called from the kitchen. "The rest wasn't."
"Really?" He frowned. "That might explain why they're sividia wings then." He walked off shaking his head. "I pity the people in his present life. A sane Harris was hard to deal with. An insane one has to be worse." Gunn burst out laughing once he had closed the door, he heard him, but that was fine. He'd learn some day. If things were going to get that bad he might have to put up with Xander in his city. Gunn's crew would do nicely to watch over him.
Xander reappeared in the bathroom, as planned. A few feet off target but only one person was in there. "Hey, Don." He turned on a sink and splashed his face with water then wiped it off. His phone beeped with a text message, making him smile at the 'that won't save you from me beating you later' from John. He put it back into his pocket and looked at his friend. "Problems?" he asked at the odd look he was getting. He seemed to get a lot of those these days.
"Ran out for lunch?" he quipped.
"Kinda. Had to stop an evil minion Fed from taking out John and a few others." He shrugged and walked out to get his soda to drink on the way to his lab.
Flack wiped his hands off and followed, stopping him in the break room. "Isn't that *dangerous* for you?"
"They don't know who I am. They just know I was pissed off." He grinned sweetly. "Like the one a few weeks back here. They apparently wanted the invasion to take place in LA." He shrugged. "Who am I to judge idiot Feds who have made dark deals?"
"Maybe, but I'm guessing going to help wasn't exactly hiding very well."
"Well, yes and no. They didn't know me. John was there. A few older friends saw me, but otherwise nothing new was going on. They don't know who I am, just that I made them sorry and confess, and then the good guy Fed took them away since he had been stalking them for being bad guys." He shrugged and opened his soda, walking down the hall drinking it on the way to his lab. Mac got in his way so he paused, swallowing his current gulp. "I was on lunch," he defended quietly.
"Where did you go on lunch?"
"To help Angel with the Feds that Wolfram and Hart had on the payroll out there. They were going to arrest him and John but Angel kinda went all smoky in the sun on them. Then we found a Fed who had an aunt who hunted and he was tracking them for being on the take and making dark deals with the law firm for hell." He took another drink. "I went to scare the piss outta them like I did the one in your office."
"Would that bring you into the open?"
"No. They don't know who I am." He shrugged. "I'm too insignificant for W&H to take me out at the moment. I'm not the thorn in their side. Even if it would get them a tiny bit of working funds, they don't work with the Council. Opposite bad ends of the same spectrum. One's evil and pretending to be good and one's evil and quit pretending years ago." He finished his soda and squashed the can a little bit. "If I were my former blonde friend maybe. That might get some notice or help some of their plans. Unless I overtly screw with some of their plans I'm on the laugh at his troubles list for them." He shrugged. "And those two still don't know who I am. Angel knows not to say anything and so does John."
"Fine. Next time, at least text message me a warning?"
"I can do that. I'm sorry I worried you, Mac." He looked over his shoulder. "Shit." He dove, taking Mac with him into the nearest lab as the shots went off. "They're here. I don't know why they're here."
"One of the dirty cops turned you in for the contract price probably," Mac admitted. He sent out the SOS that shut the lab before they ducked out of sight into another hallway. He waved at the techs, making them run in a different direction. Xander headed for ballistics but they were by that door. "Come on."
"I only have the one gun," he hissed back. He considered it and popped into his exemplar, taking out the two in there with magic, and then grabbed a few more and bullets, heading back to where Mac was hiding. "Here, we might need these. One was in my evidence closet. The other was in my exemplar. They're presently asleep." He slapped a clip in and used the slide to chamber a round. "I'm not happy I'm using my exemplar this way. I'll have to clean the babies later." Mac gave him an odd look. "I will." More cops came into the halls and surrounded them. "C'mon," he muttered. One tried to fight back. They got him in the shoulder, making him scream as he went down. "Two more." He saw one coming toward them and popped up, hitting him on the leg. "Piss drinker," he called in demon. "Stupid ass. Now I have to move again." He seemed to pop off, making him swear and try to move. Once they had him out of sight Xander reappeared, looking at Mac. "That might help."
"Misdirection might help," he agreed, handing back the gun. "That's in your exemplar?"
"MY exemplar," he said dryly, taking it and putting it into his waistband. He walked that way, nodding at the SWAT guy. "Hi, Elton, ballistics. They stupidly were trying to get into my evidence locker and my exemplar. Did they say why?"
"You have that death threat?"
"Yes, and unless they're Brits, it might not be them. If so, I was justified in knocking those two out to get more guns."
"I'm amazing," he said dryly. "And not the average nice guy." That got a nod. "I had many mentors with military training, let's put it that way."
"That's probably saving you. Any idea why they want you?"
"They're idiots and when a friend messed up they decided I hold some secret to the universe. Are they Brits?"
"Only one. The others are hired."
"Mercenaries, nice. Are they the ones that were in my evidence?"
"Probably. Did you get the one in the leg?"
"Yup, sure did."
"That one is Brit. We'll see, Elton. Where's your supervisor?"
"He's checking the other techs and for other damage." He ran a hand through his hair. "I'm so going to destroy them for this." The officer laughed. "Last time they tried me I turned in their apocalypse vault in England." The officer quit laughing. "They hunt vampires and do that sort of research."
The officer shook his head. "We'll take that into account. Did you do anything else?"
"I pretended to disappear on that one so he thinks I left the area. Let them search the rest of the world while I'm here playing with guns." Stella rushed in. "They hired mercenaries to come get into my evidence locker and exemplar."
"Are you missing any?" she demanded. He went to look, checking the ones he had on him. "Well?"
"Three." He pulled up his list to get their specifics and serial numbers, handing them over to the officer. "Let me check the official exemplar instead of mine." He looked then shook his head. "All here." He looked at him. "I do have the better guns so I guess that's reasonable." He sat down, looking at the evidence locker. "There's at least two missing from the bullets envelope tray and I can see at least one gun missing." He picked up the box to show them. "And it looks like another one is missing too." He went to check against his recent case inventory, finding it for him and which bullets it was. "Here you go. Need it in report form?"
"No, this is good for us. Give us time to talk to them."
"Feel free to threaten them with being eaten. There's plenty of things that can and the Brit one, if he's one of them, will enjoy the hell out of that idea." He grinned. "Let me go up to the roof to throw an unholy fit please?"
"Go to the basement, it's safer," Stella ordered. He nodded, going that way. "Take someone with you." He snagged Adam on the way. She looked at him. Then at Mac since he was stomping their way. "How did they know he was here?"
"ATF agents or a dirty cop realized it was him and turned him in. As far as I know nothing else could have. Are we missing anything?" The officer handed over the list. "I can pull up those case files for you if you need them."
"Please. He seemed nice. A bit stressed."
"He spotted them and moved me since they were behind me."
"I sent him to the basement to throw the unholy fit he wanted to. I made him bring Adam." Mac nodded, taking the officer to his office to pull up those case files for him. She went to check on the others. They'd tell her when they were shaky because they wouldn't tell Mac.
Xander came back twenty minutes later still pissed and tense but calmer. A little bit calmer. "John told him to quit throwing a fit," Adam told Mac when they ran into him. "That it was tweaking his issues." He walked around him. "He told John to bite him and why. Apparently he's not happy."
"I'm not happy," Mac assured him. "Let me know if anything in your lab needs fixed or got damaged." Adam nodded, heading to check it out. He looked at him. "You're still safe here," he said calmly.
Xander nodded. "I know. Who told them?"
"I don't know yet."
Xander went to watch the interrogation, tapping on the window. Someone came out and gave him an odd look. He wrote down a list and handed it over. "Their local apocalypse vault. It's under their mostly legitimate paranormal and research oriented bookstore and that's the Watchers Council meeting area."
"They're the ones who have the hit out on me," Xander said simply. The officer groaned. "I take it you've run into the Council?" That got a nod. "I was in Sunnydale." That got a single nod and he went back in there to taunt them about that. Xander watched then looked at Mac when he came in. "He won't break."
"He will. Stella's going in."
Xander grinned. "Can I?"
"No. It's too dangerous. They'll know you're still here." He frowned at a dark blonde girl coming their way. "Who is she?"
"Big ass trouble." He grabbed her arm to pull her into the observation room. "Cordy? Are you descended again? Like the chunkier highlights too."
"Only for this." She patted him on the cheek. "I like the t-shirts. They're good stress relief." She beamed. "And yes, please get some soon, Xan." She winked at Adam. "They had me *so* much nicer than I am to anyone but him." She walked in there and slammed the door, staring at the Watcher. "Hi. The Powers said so." He swallowed. "I'm Cordelia Chase. Mouthpiece for the ones on High." He started to shake. A few others did too. "They're kinda pissed." She leaned on the table. "I have full authority to destroy every single Watcher in existence." She patted him on the head.
"Unless you're a good doggy." He ran for the trash can and threw up in it. "Aww, it's nice of you to debase yourself that way in front of me! How good of you. Need a doggy biscuit to settle your stomach?" He fell down beside it, clutching it. She walked over to snatch it and put it down. "That's disgusting. Real men don't play with stomach content." She hauled him up by his ear, staring at him. "You are *so* toasty. You get to be my playmate. And I did teach Xander to snark and how to play." She took them for a minute and brought him back sobbing. She smiled as she handed him over. "He wants to confess before I get to keep my new doggy."
The guy nodded quickly. "And tell you all about the one who sold him to them. Since now he's gotta leave this town of prettiness for somewhere brighter and warmer. But that's okay. That means I get to go hang and tan in a bikini with him." They all moaned. "Now, you tell the nice officers alllll about everything or else I'll tell him everything. Down to how you sleep with a teddy bear you molest at night." One officer coughed. "Oops, was I supposed to keep that secret?" The Watcher glared at her. "Time's ticking and I'm having fun. You?" He started to babble at them. The mercenaries tried to move but she glared and they sat back down at the sight of the guns coming out of their holsters. "I never did get what he got out of playing with guns, but hey, it's all good. Maybe it'll encourage him to be gay or something." She shrugged and disappeared.
"Who was that?" one asked his boss.
"Don't know, don't care, didn't see her leave anyway," he said firmly. The others nodded at that. "But if that boy dated her, more power to him going gay." The watcher moaned so he made him keep going. "I'll bring her back, boy. Are you done confessing or not?" He went back to telling him why they were there. That gave them a few good targets to hunt down. If you were NYPD you did not turn on your own unless they were dirty. Turning in a kid for money? That made you a good one to be hunted down.
Xander came in and flopped down on the couch, looking at the curious looking boys. "John's in LA. He's fine and settling in. Angel was saved from W&H's people. We were saved from the Watcher and his mercenaries invading the lab."
"Shit, dude, you all right?" Dean asked.
"No. But they think I'm heading somewhere warm and toasty so Cordy can come visit me in her bikini." He blinked at them. "She got to play." He yawned. "I don't know what to do now."
"Now you rest, and you make contingency plans in case you do have to go somewhere warm and sunny," Sam pointed out gently. "Take a nap. You can eat dinner later when you get up." Xander nodded, curling up on the couch. Sam smiled. "Guess that means I get his room." Dean nodded, covering the boy then they went to check over the house and hit their rooms for now. They'd check on him later.
Xander looked up at the strangled sounding "Elton" that Stella let out from up the hall. He leaned out, blinking at the thing up there with her. "Elton?" she called. "Come here please? He wants to talk to you." At least the new problem had waited nearly a month and a half before showing up.
"Why? Do I need one of my guns?" The demon looked at him. "Or Dean or Sam?" He kept one half of him hidden so he could text the boys. They knew how to get into the lab if something happened. He had told John and Bobby too. He walked out once the message was sent, coming over to look at him. "Did you need help on a case? Or for someone to investigate something for you?" he asked it.
It sniffed him. "Boy smell good."
"Thank you. I think. Do I smell good like trash barge good or like human good? Do I stink, Stella?"
"No, I like your aftershave," she admitted. "What is it?"
"It's a bodyguard type." He looked at the demon again. "What did you need?" he asked it.
"Master say boy smell good to him too. Need happies so he can come to him."
"I'm not going to date anyone named Master. I'm sorry, but not my thing."
"Master say so," the guard demon told him.
Xander shook his head. "No. Sorry. I don't date higher demons. A succuba now and then but not higher demons. Tell him thanks but no thanks." The demon frowned, not understanding so he repeated it in a common demon language, adding more detail. The demon nodded at that. "Now, can you kinda go? You're freaking people out."
"Master say stay with boy."
"I can't work if you're here."
"Master say you not have to work, except on him."
Stella blushed and coughed. "Is he proposing?"
"No, he wants my ass as his own. Literally. He wants me as a concubine," he said with a grin. He looked at the demon. "No. Sorry but no. Go away before I have to get mean."
"Master say stay."
"You have to ask Mac to own me. He owns me," Xander said suddenly. He pointed. "Ask him, bother him until he says yes."
"That's mean," Stella said.
"It gets him out of the hall," he told her quietly. "That way they can talk in private."
"I guess that might help. Mac?" He came over, hand on his gun. "This nice bodyguard type of demon says his master wants Xander as his concubine for smelling good."
"Master say boy be his, he smell good," the demon agreed.
"I told him he had to get you to agree so we're not doing this in the hallway," Xander hissed at him, getting a nod at that.
"Come to my office, we'll talk about you owning the boy since he's mine." The demon nodded, following him. He glared at Xander. "How?"
"Okay. I'll expect that." He walked the demon that way, taking the shortest route possible. He closed them in there and closed all but one of the blinds on his glass walls. That one he left slightly open so he could see whoever it was sneaking up on him.
Xander called Dean's phone. "Big, huge ass bodyguard type demon, Dean. No, his master decided I smell good. So I'm his apparently. Mac's office with him." He went back to ballistics. "I'd suggest injecting silver but that would make him go sploosh and Mac would be mad. I don't know. I can't exactly shoot him in the middle of the hallway, Dean," he hissed. He saw Danny and shook his head. "Someone thinks I smell good and is talking to Mac about owning me."
"Can you not stay out of trouble?" Danny asked, looking amused. "You're worse than I am."
"It's a demon," he said dryly.
"That's even worse."
Xander listened to Dean. "Yes, them. Please? Thanks, guys." He hung up and texted Mac an ETA and what was going to happen. Then that Danny was amused. He looked at him. "You can go help Mac bargain to keep me if you want, Danny."
"He might try ta take me too," he said dryly, walking off to check on Stella. "You good?"
"Kinda freaked out. It sniffed me, said 'girl', and then 'need boy who smells good'. I figured Elton might know how to deal with him."
"Apparently so. He's been talking to someone named Dean."
Adam stomped in. "Why is there slime in the hallway?"
"A demon decided it owned Elton. I'm not sure if that's blood, urine or other biological functions. Throw some spill powder on it and let maintenance clean it up," Stella told him.
"Why did it want him?"
"It said I smelled good," Xander said from behind him. "Don't use the spill powder. It'll eat a hole through the floor. I dropped baking soda on it. It's being soaked up and can safely be swept up in a while." He got another soda, looking at Adam. "It says I smell good and his master wants me to ride him plentifully."
"That's a disgusting mental image," Adam said, shaking his head quickly. "Don't do that to me!"
"Sorry." He took a drink. "But anyway." He looked at Stella. "It's just shock, you'll be fine."
"You dated a succuba?"
"Yeah. Once. And a former vengeance demon. Heard a lot about her former job." He walked off finishing his soda on his way to the lab. He saw Sam sneaking up the hall and pointed, getting a nod. Sam must've been at the library. He went to lurk that way, finding Sam had ambushed it and stuck it with a silver knife, making it howl and try to bat at him but then stop and bow to him before disappearing. "Huh, it's not just me getting the freaky treatment." He handed Sam the rest of his soda. "Baking soda, Mac. It'll eat the floor with the usual spill powder."
"Thank you, boys. You are?" he asked.
"Sam. John's younger son." He shook his hand. "If he comes back, threaten to shoot him with silver. If his boss shows up... Did we find out what his boss is?"
"They usually work for a class of snake demons who're fairly high up the scale," he admitted. "Would my wings solve this?"
"Maybe, don't know. If you have to, try it. I'll calm Dad down."
Xander nodded. "I can do that. Thanks, Sam." He gave him a hug. "Have a better research time."
"How did you get up here?" Mac asked.
"Basement access through the morgue." He grinned. "Sometimes hunters have to sneak in there to handle stuff so one of us created a back passage. We used it to get to the stairs then up here."
"We?" Mac asked.
"Dean was pausing to handle the one trying to eat an ME." Xander took off running. "Anyway, if they come back, threaten it with silver. If not, try holy water. I'll keep my phone on in case you need a further consult." He wrote down his number. "Call if they come back and you don't want to handle the mess. If you shoot it, it goes sploosh as he said earlier." He grinned and left, going to pick up Dean. He watched as Xander helped him fight the demon. "Shoot it."
"We can't in the building," Xander complained. "Fuck this." He stunned it and it went down. Dean stabbed it and Xander took the sword to behead it. "Fucker," he muttered, handing the sword back. He gave him a hug too. "Thank you for the timely rescue. Sam scared the other one." He walked off muttering, getting a candy bar on the way back to his lab. He shut and locked the door, opening the drop hatch for guns to be delivered to him. Then he sat down to eat and sulk to his chocolate.
"We'll make sure it's a good dinner later," Dean decided. He looked at the cowering ME. "Want us to salt and burn it for you, honey? Or can you?"
"We have an incinerator," another ME said as he walked in. "Oh, good, you had it. I didn't know we had more hunters in the city."
"Our dad watches over Elton," Dean told him.
"That's a charming thing for him to do for Xander, yes." He smiled. They looked so shocked. It was cute on them. "Don't worry, we can handle it from here. Thank you, boys." They nodded. "Did you get the one upstairs?" Sam grinned and nodded. "Good job." They smiled and walked out. Sid pulled Peyton up. "Run to the bathroom, dear. Let me handle this." She nodded, going to do that. "I forgot what fun being the Manhattan ME was like," he said with a smile. "Hidden people and demons and zombies." One of the grunts came over to help him gather the body and get it to the incinerator. It stunk but they had some nice smelling wood they tossed in with the worst smelling stuff. Like the zombie last year. He went back to work, smiling at Sheldon as he came back from lunch. "A bit of excitement but everything's fine now."
"No, a full demon. It wanted Peyton for some reason. Fortunately some hunters were nearby and handled it."
"Good. Because zombies stink when you burn them."
"I put in some of the apple wood with this one." Sheldon grinned and went to log in again so he could get back to work. Sid went to check on Peyton but she was only shaky. "Go home, dear. I'm back now. You can take some time." She nodded, signing out so she could go home for the day. Sid went to find his next case and get to work on them. Such a nice set of boys like that would do their prized ballistics tech some good. Maybe they'd even calm him down by dating him.
"Dude, you are so screwed this time," Dean said when Xander walked in.
"I think that's its plan," he said dryly, cracking Dean up. "Any other cheery news, like there's an apocalypse happening here?"
"Nope," Sam offered. He handed over a message. "It sent you stuff." He pointed at the bag. "We're scared to look after we peeked and saw a marble sex toy."
Xander squatted down to open the bag, shaking his head. He looked up. "Not my thing, thank you anyway." It disappeared. "There, better. Do we have dinner? I got ordered to wear out the two candy bars I moped to earlier." Dean pointed so he went to get himself a few things from the chinese food containers. "I love you guys." He gave them a hug and wandered to his room. "Night."
"Night," they said, waving at his back. They shook their heads and Dean nudged Sam.
"Shut up, jerk."
"Make me, bitch."
"You guys can use your dad's room but if he smells that you had sex in there he's gonna blame me," Xander called from his room.
Sam gaped at the doorway then burst out cackling. "Not into that, sorry, Xander. He's too used to breasts." A book flew out. "Where did you get that?" he demanded.
"It appeared on my workbench. That's why I had *two* moping candy bars."
Dean picked up the book on gender reassignment spells and lit it on fire, putting it into the bigger ashtray to watch it burn. "That takes that bad idea away before I end up with breasts."
"You'd play with them all day," Sam taunted with an evil smirk.
"Maybe but then we'd never get anything done. Dad would be really pissed. That would be one of the best ways for the demon to get itself destroyed."
"Yeah, that vendetta hunt would probably take more time than the last one did," Sam agreed. "Better you than me though."
"You're the one who goes all girly and shit," Dean reminded him dryly, giving him a dirty look. "That's why you're the family's bitch."
"You say some of the sweetest things," Xander said, coming out to get more. "Kiss your brother with that mouth, Dean?" Dean spluttered. "Does he enjoy it, Sam?" Sam spluttered. He grinned. "Good. Now I feel like one of the family." His phone beeped with a text message. "Dad said to quit picking on each other." He tossed it at Dean. "Let me know if I get a call out and put it on the charger for me?" He grinned sweetly and went back to his room.
"We knew you were wrong in the head, but that's worse than usual," Dean called after him. He sent one back to his father that it was Xander's demented mind doing it, not them. He got back a 'quit picking on Sammy too, Dean,' and put it on the charging cord so they could search for the bug his father had planted. He had to have one somewhere since he had heard them. Not even parent special hearing was strong enough to hear them from the other coast.
Xander blinked at the shove he got the next morning. "Call in? It's my day off," he complained, pulling the blanket over his head.
"The demon came back. This time with stuff."
Xander pulled the cover down to look at him. He took the phone and called Mac's. "Get that IAB guy in there since that would be considered a bribe. Because if anyone's more stubborn than you and can talk down to people doing bad things, he can, Mac." He hung up. "I don't want to know why there's two." He pulled the covers over his head again. "Thanks, Dean."
"Welcome." He went to the kitchen to laugh, leaning on the counter. "He said to call internal affairs to tell the demons off this time."
Sam shook his head while he took a drink of coffee. "That's an original thought but they could probably use the evil time."
"Probably." They shared a smirk and burst out laughing. Dean texted that to his father, who sent back a growl. "Oops, time difference."
Sam looked. "No, he heard." He smirked. "He probably bugged Mac's office too." He took another drink and got some more coffee, handing Dean his refilled cup. "Wonder what happened to the last one?"
"Dad said it was fancy trash and tossed it out a window when it scalded him once," Xander called, stumbling out to get something to nibble on his way back to bed. "Day off. Be up later. Giggle fits then." He slammed his room door.
"Cute boxers," Dean called after him.
"Thanks, big brother."
Dean smirked. "We'll have to initiate him as a real Winchester."
"Don't make him go play naked in the woods on the full moon, Dean. Remember how you couldn't sit for a week after you did that to me?"
"Well, yeah. I still say Dad overreacted. It's not like there was a werewolf out there or something. Only a little plant demon and one coyote."
"That you made try to bite me on the ass, Dean."
"Yeah, so you couldn't accidentally knock up some girl in high school, Sammy. Really! How many times did we have to have the birth control talk with you?"
"I learned it the first time," he complained, starting to scowl. "You're the one who had the girlfriend with the oops."
"Glad that turned out to be the flu." He sipped his coffee, watching Xander's door. "Think we could get him to do it anyway?"
"They might like him and come play."
"Yeah, they could." They shook their heads. That was too mean to the semi-adopted little brother. Their dad would really kill them for that. Dean's phone beeped with a 'don't make me beat you for going evil, boys' text. "Man, now he's telepathic too. We've got to cure that one."
Sam smirked. "You're the one with the thoughts that shouldn't be aired in public."
"At least I still have a sex drive, Sammy."
"I have plenty, Dean. I'm simply more picky than anything with a nice ass and big breasts."
"Hey, mine have to be clean too," Dean complained.
"Yeah, after Dad shaved you when you got crabs that once."
"That was from the nasty motel sheets," Dean defended.
"It was. I hadn't had anyone in a week and Dad got 'em too. We don't know how you didn't."
"I wore more clothes to bed than you two did."
"Good point. Back then you were jammie boy."
"Some day I'll turn your kids into one."
"Can't happen, Sammy boy. I'm snipped."
"Since when?" he snorted. "I remember seeing plenty of your biological contribution in the showers of the motel rooms when we were younger."
"Every since I thanked God that it was the flu. I didn't want to go through that again. I can have it reversed if I want to but I'll be damned if I'm going to have to start praying for a bad case of the flu ever again."
Xander opened his door to look at them. "Then I'd clean up the bathroom better, Dean. Because you're still putting out too much stuff to be fully snipped." Dean moaned, shaking his head. "We can check if you want."
"No thanks. Unless you want me that way?"
Xander smirked. "I could call up those memories if I wanted to." Dean blushed. So did Sam. "Can I nap or do you two want to go back to your baiting and foreplay in there? Because if you use the kitchen, you're cleaning it. I was taught to find biological deposits on any surface just from looking, guys." Dean spluttered. Xander closed the door. "Have fun if you do. I can put on music so you don't keep me up."
"Not happening. Go back to sleep, you're getting warped again," Sam called. He shook his head. "I think he enjoys doing that to us."
"He probably does. I would if it wasn't being done to me," Dean complained. Sam snickered. "Phone book?" Sam handed it over from next to the phone. "Thanks." He found the number for the local fertility clinic and called them. "Hi, I had myself snipped when I was eighteen and I think it grew back. How would I get that checked?" He listened. "I can do that, yeah. Many times a day." He nodded. "Do I bring in a sample when I find one?" She gave him a name recommendation, letting him find it in the next page's listings. "Got him. Thank you, ma'am." He hung up and went to the bathroom first to take her suggestion. It was an easy way to see if he was putting out more little Dean swimmers.
Sam snickered, leaning on the counter. That was too funny.
"Damn it," Dean called five minutes later. He came out to get the phone book so he could call that doctor. He was not going to go through another pregnancy scare ever again. Sam howled in laughter but he could ignore him. He really could.
Mac Taylor looked over as the Internal Affairs captain walked in. "Hillbourne, why did they send you?"
"Because the one your boy talks down to is gone," he sneered. "What's this?"
"These two beings want my ballistics tech. They're trying to bribe me and him to make me give him up." He saw the horrified look. "Elton rightly pointed out bribes are your area and I'm having no luck. It's this or I have to redecorate my office after I shoot them and that's no guarantee that they'll stop."
"He doesn't want to go to them?"
"No. He told them I owned him and then called in a hunter he knew to handle the taller one. The other one is new and doesn't seem to speak English at all."
Hillbourne looked at them. "It is illegal to own people." The demon who knew English laughed at that. "Especially an NYPD officer." That got another laugh. "We humans don't appreciate being owned."
"Boy smells good," he told him. "Master would be pleased to have him."
"Your master is full of it. The boy belongs here, not to him," Hillbourne told him.
"He offers much to buy him." He pushed over the bag. "We go higher if we must. Master say he smell good."
"Why does he smell good?" Mac asked. "Hormones or some other reason?"
"Smells like chaos."
"That's from where he was born then," Mac decided. The demon considered then nodded. "You know who he was?" The demon shook his head. "Then why want him?"
"He's ancient by their standards. That makes him special and skilled. My master say smell good."
"Oh." He sat down, looking at the other officer. "It's interesting to note." He texted that to Xander's phone. Xander sent back an 'I'll be dating a succuba tonight to get rid of some of that'. "He said he'll fix that later."
"That might help." He looked at them. "Officers cannot accept bribes or payment for others. We also don't give up our people as concubines or slaves."
"Master will have him."
"No he won't."
"Does the other demon speak our language?" Mac asked. The demon asked him then shook his head. "Have him get someone here who does. That way we can talk to him about this too." He said that. "Tell him we don't want to negotiate but we can give him good reasons to leave the boy alone."
"Hims master said he have too. We fight over him if we must." He pulled another bag out of thin air and put it in front of them. "Master offers as well."
Hillbourne looked inside and gasped. "How did you get this?"
"Master has many of that."
"There's got to be a million dollars in here," he moaned.
Mac nodded. "The first one was jewels and things." Hillbourne sat down. "Now you know why I called for backup. What do we do about this?"
"Can't the kid talk to them?"
"He's more likely to kill them and then I'd have to redecorate. I doubt I can get it approved by the higher ups."
"No, probably not." He looked around then at him. "I see you took something down?"
"Just in case," he agreed. He hated this guy but he was trying to help. "Is his translator coming soon?"
The speaking one said that to the non speaking one. "Him say he is honorable by coming himself to get the boy instead of sending someone who can speak better."
"I can't negotiate with a person who doesn't speak my language. It's honorable of him but annoying," Hillbourne said. The demon translated that, getting a nod. Another, smaller, demon showed up. "You speak good english?"
"I speak very good English," he said in Chinese.
"No, we need someone who speaks our language," Mac ordered. The smaller demon disappeared and a young man with glasses appeared. "I'm assuming you speak English?"
"Of course I do," he sneered. "Who are you?"
"These two are trying to negotiate to buy my ballistics tech. We can't seem to get the word no across to them," Mac ordered. "They brought you to translate." He looked him over. "Are you a Watcher?" He smirked and nodded. "Good. The smaller one doesn't speak English, the other speaks some. Tell them humans are not for sale."
He turned to look at the demons, speaking in the formal language they all learned. They stared at him like he was insane so he said it again.
Xander appeared in a flash of sparkles in his pajama bottoms. "Your pronunciation sucks since you just told them to eat the fish and party with the worms." Thankfully he had a small disguise on. Not that this guy was going to be allowed to remember seeing him. Even John had agreed that a bit of memory tampering of watchers was okay. He looked at the demons, dropping into the common tongue he knew. "I am not for sale. I do not sleep with demons above the succuba class."
The one who spoke english looked at him. "Smells like chaos."
"I know that. I'll be having her suck that taint off later."
"Very old means very skilled."
Xander gave him a confused look. "I survived so long so I'm more wanted now than when I was younger and prettier?" The demon nodded. "Why?"
"Survived so long means more powerful. Much status to master."
Xander nodded once. "I can see that but I'm still not for sale." The demon added another bag. The non-speaking one added two more to his offer. "No, we will not start a bidding war. I'm not allowed to take bribes!" he said hotly in English. "I don't want money or jewels. I want to be left alone!"
"Master say you his. We fight this other demon later for control of you."
Xander looked at Mac, who shrugged. "I've been trying," he admitted. "He's been trying."
"Tell him he has to pay each member of the lab and any protectors you have at least ten million each," Hillbourne said. "That might discourage it."
"The one on the right can make gold."
"Oh. Didn't know that. Though I heard you can."
Xander grinned sweetly. "It got the drug making teacher out of the school." He looked at them again. "I'm still not for sale. If you keep annoying me I'll have to retaliate and destroy all of you." The demons laughed. "I can do that."
"Xander, would those things on your back help?" Mac suggested. "Would they respect that?"
Xander shrugged, texting that suggestion to Sam and John, who both sent back a 'try it'. "They said to try." He let them manifest, making the watcher nearly pass out in shock. "Shut up before I turn you into the toad you are." He looked at the awed demon. The non-speaking one touched one wing and backed up, bowing.
"Sividia," the other said, bowing as well. "We are sorry to insult you. We did not know."
Another appeared and knocked the watcher dead with a fist to the back of the head. "This is very interesting."
Xander looked at him. "I remember you from that place. You were Cordain's third-in-command."
"I am here as well."
"So you know about the spell?"
"We felt her doing it and thought it would be a good idea to temper her ambition and power. We had no idea she would pull you in," he offered when Xander growled. He looked at the demons. "Begone, none of you are high enough to rate the offspring of a Sividia." They disappeared.
"Make them take the bribes," Hillbourne ordered.
He called that but nothing happened. He shrugged. "Can't do that. I'm all powerful but they're seeing it as a tribute probably." He looked at the boy. "That was a bold risk."
"I had to try to discourage them somehow since nothing else was. I'm sorry if I offended or horrified anyone on the council. I know I don't fully feel like a full sividia."
He touched the edge of a wing, making Xander moan. "No, you feel more like a half or a quarter of us. An offspring. Which is probably useful for you." Xander nodded. "You need preened."
"I need to pounce someone too but I can't do that. I might find a nice succuba later on to take some of that taint out of me and ask her to." He felt a finger touch his wing. "Don't! Those are highly sexual organs and I'll have to pounce someone," he said, sounding almost hysterical. Mac's fingers moved away very quickly. "Thanks, boss." He looked at the demon. "How do I stop this?"
"I don't know. We're all amused that you ended up partially sane."
"I'm mostly sane, it's just now and then they nag me and things."
"Good point. You're doing better than expected at any rate."
"Huh?" Hillbourne asked.
Xander looked at him. "I have these and the death threat against me because my best friend ever goofed on a spell and somehow drew me in to merge slightly with my other selves in other realms." Hillbourne shuddered. "They're in the back of my head nagging me, mostly about dating things. And yes, they like the succuba idea," he told Mac.
"If it'll help, go for it as long as you don't end up with an STD or in the hospital."
"I'm not that desperate." He looked at Hillbourne again. "I can see the question, ask."
"What happens if you get lost talking to them and someone notices?" he demanded, standing up. "We can't have a member of the lab found to be insane."
"Now and then I get lost in thought arguing with them but most of them were warriors at some point in time. They know when to stay down and out. Especially since three were CSI." That got a nod. "I can hide it; unless a defense attorney directly questions me, all I have to say is now and then I have deep thoughts that make me get stuck for a few hours, hence me forgetting to eat and sleep." He turned back to the demon. "I need to ask a question." He moved closer to whisper about John's compulsion and how he thought it might be warped or broken. "Can I do that?"
"You would need your other life's powers."
"Can I send him there temporarily to have that me fix it? He'd hate it."
"No. We cannot allow the realms to be breached like that."
"Am I still connected to them?"
"No. You basically downloaded it and your mind is still processing or unzipping the download now and then, young one." He smiled. "Though we did have one who saw what you did when it happened, as a vision, and he said you do that one credit." Xander grinned at the compliment. "I'll see if one of the highers will help. It's not like we like the Council."
"Even if we could loosen it some so John doesn't reach for a gun whenever I hit on someone?"
The demon laughed. "That would be helpful for you. Not many of us want to bother that one again. He has a temper."
"So do I," Xander assured him. "Messing with the family will get mine in your face. I'm more creative now."
"I realize that and so do the others. That is unnecessary."
"Just stating a point."
"Good." He smiled and patted him on the head. "Unmanifest them."
"I'm guessing the beep was John asking why they were out?"
"Do you guys like the invasion thing coming?"
"No. That is not our doing."
"Can you maybe help them a little bit?" Xander suggested. "Please?"
"We can see where we can meddle. It is not fruitful for our plans for LA to fall." He looked over the boy. "You will make it somehow." Xander grinned and relaxed. "We will make sure they think you have left the field and the US. That way they quit bothering our plans."
"Not a problem. I will tell Cordain that it is what it is and about you. Perhaps he'll share a concubine or something." He disappeared. "I talked with the cursed one," he told his boss, making him drop his pen. He sent over the whole incident in a thought, getting a thoughtful look back. "Can we ask if anyone would lessen that compulsion without asking for his soul? I doubt we want him back with the problems he caused last time."
"True. I'll see. It might help the boy become more settled." He smiled. "That's good work. What of them?"
"He reads as an offspring. They will not bother him again. I even got to remove a watcher from the world."
"I saw. It was good work." He smirked. "I will alert the local succuba up there to hit on the boy and preen his feathers for him." The lower demon nodded and left to go back to his own duties. He sent that information where it needed to go. The boy could plan and that would work if he was a full sividia here but they would not mimic that problem he had the last time. They didn't need the headaches that boy had given hell.
Xander looked at Mac. "That should solve that once and for all. I'm sorry they bothered you, Mac."
"No, I'd rather stop that than have to replace you because you got snatched one day." Xander grinned and gave him a hug before looking around. "Do something with those bags."
"I don't want 'em. That would be a bribe and a bad thing."
Hillbourne let out a dry, painful sounding chuckle. "I want to forget today."
"Tequila," Xander said slowly and clearly. "It helped me handle the memories that got shoved into my head for nearly a whole week. I don't remember a thing of it."
"I might try that cure when I leave. Technically it can't be counted as a bribe."
"I still don't want or need it. Give it to the lab or the PD. Or whatever."
"Donate half to the PD's charities and take the rest," Hillbourne ordered. The boy pouted, making him feel miserable. "They might come back if you don't take some of it. So take half and donate half. I can get that cleared." Xander sighed, sitting down to sort. "We can't do jewels, kid."
"Have an auction or take them to Jewelry Row. They're nice enough. I have plenty at home." Hillbourne gave him a horrified look. He grinned. "Another was a cursebreaker. I went to do some tomb raiding so I had a hiding my ass safely fund."
"How loaded are you?" he demanded quietly.
"I have about eighty mil in the local bank plus my sanctuary house has a small vault in it with some ready cash and the other stones I have."
Hillbourne swallowed. "Take it and go."
"No way in hell."
"Pay for a really good set of hookers to wear you out so they don't come back."
"Succuba are cheap and like it more." He shrugged. "Even if John would want to shoot me for it."
"John?" Hillbourne asked.
"The dead British guy's people are the one with the death order on me. They brought John back to life with a compulsion to kill me for supposedly being evil for being like this." Hillbourne's mouth flopped open. "So far he can't because I'm not evil." He shrugged. "This I would count as evil."
"It's not," Mac said calmly. "Take it and go, kid. Give it to John."
Xander pouted. "He'll spank me." He went to find John and bring him back from LA. "Here, you tell him. And yes, the demon said I could play with succuba because it'd take the hellmouth taint," he told him.
"I will beat your ass," he told him.
"If I don't, more will sense the hellmouth taint. They said I'm older than the average one who escaped so I'm more wanted. That's why they wanted me."
John grimaced. "One. And only one," he ordered.
"Okay. The sividia who came to help said they could preen my feathers too."
"I don't need to know," he said dryly.
"Yes, John." He gave him a hug. "He knew how to weaken it," he said in his ear. "He'll see if anyone can do that for you without asking for anything." He pulled back to look at him. "Also, LA? Screwing with their plans majorly."
"So we might get help?"
"Good." He patted him on the back. Then he looked at Hillbourne. He looked like a Fed. "FBI?"
"Captain Hillbourne, Internal Affairs."
"Nice to meet you. Is he in trouble?"
"Just take it and go," he ordered. "Donate half sometime this year, Elton."
"Yes, sir." He looked at John. "Want the bags?"
"No." He stared at him. "Why would I?"
"They left them as a tribute," Mac said.
John looked at the bags then at him. "Bidding war?" Xander groaned but nodded. "Give them to Dean. Let him play with them since he likes it." Xander mumbled something, getting a swat for it. "Be more respectful in front of your superiors. You don't want to seem surly and insubordinate."
"Yes, John." He took them with him back to the apartment.
"Sorry," John told them.
"We both want to forget today," Mac said.
"At least it wasn't an invasion." He grimaced but disappeared, heading back to his apartment via Willow's spell. He looked at her. "Did you not bind yourself, girl?"
"No. It might make the hellmouth open again," she told him. "It could destroy me and the town." She had gotten him back because she wanted to ask him how her friend was and he was being a big grump to her. It wasn't fair.
He knocked her out. Then he got a drink on his way to find the book he needed. Once he had it, he and Willow took a little road trip to bind her to the hellmouth for good. It'd control her. It'd help her. It'd knock her on her ass if she screwed up again.
Mac looked at Hillbourne. "You go drink, I'll get the body cleaned up. You do the paperwork and send it to me for me to pass up?"
"Deal," he agreed. He walked out to go get drunk. Tequila sounded like a good idea after that. He sneered at Danny. "Not even you give me ulcers like that."
"The one who wanted him come back?" he taunted.
"Both of them. Help the boy count the cash he'll be donating." He headed down in the elevator, going to the nearest cop bar - they'd protect him if they came back while he was drunk. And maybe to church later on if he could manage to wobble that way while drunk.
Danny went to check on Mac. "Want me to call the ME?"
"I already did. Thank you," Mac said quietly, drinking down another painkiller.
Mac moaned but nodded. "Two who decided he was tainted and above average age so there had to be something special about them. They were convinced to give up." He looked at him. "He'll be wearing that out later."
"Probably a good idea. What happened to him?" He pointed at the dead body.
"A higher thing showed up to help when he had to go off on the two who wanted him. He killed him with a fist to the back of the head for being a watcher."
"Good." He walked off, going to tell the ME that since Sheldon was on his way up with his kit. Then he went to get a drink from the machine. He'd get drunk later.
Xander landed in the apartment. "John agreed I can go play with a single succuba tonight." He turned. "Isn't this my apartment?" he asked the guy in there.
The man stood up and came over to him. "You are not what we expected."
Xander gave him a confused look. "Who the hell are you and where are Sam and Dean?"
"They're at home. You're in between at the moment, Harris." Xander changed his stance, arms going over his chest, feet shifting further apart for balance in case he needed to fight this threat. "I only need to talk to you."
"I'm not going evil, no matter who thinks I am."
"That's good to know considering I'm on the same side you are."
"You're a Power?"
"No, I'm a higher authority," he said dryly, staring at him.
Xander shrugged. "Okay, and what do angels want with me?"
"Taint," he corrected. "I removed most of it in one of those worlds."
"Okay, his blood taint." He looked him over. "He must not use it."
"Talk to Sam. I'm not his keeper. John's mine."
"You're in similar situations."
"I realized that long ago. And? If Sam's using it I'm sure he's using it with good intent and for the good fight."
"Perhaps but using evil gifts to do good is still using evil gifts."
Xander nodded. "Yeah, but sometimes you gotta use their methods to beat them or you lose. Because evil is more creative than good. It's an inherent weakness if you're too good. You're constrained from doing certain things that would make sure you win. That's why a lot of knights died through the centuries."
"Very true. Still, we need someone to talk to him."
"Then talk to the boy. Or talk to Dean. I don't know them that well. All I have are memories Sam doesn't share," he said more quietly at the look he got given. "I'm not even sure if I could replay the good parts anymore. We're not like we were there. My soul aches each time I run into one of the ones I had in them."
"I doubt it. Unless you were here? Had soul-deep mates in a few lives?"
"No, that I did not," he admitted, stepping back. He could respect this one. "You put yourself in the way of most of them. You'll end up running into them."
"Did you ever see the _I Dream of Jeannie_ movie where at the end they made her give up her human life and wiped their memories of her but she went to introduce herself to them again?"
The angel considered it then nodded. "I haven't seen it but I understand the concept. Same thing?"
"Maybe one of them will like me like this. Who knows. At least they're the sort who might try to understand my fucked up world."
"You shouldn't swear."
"I have good reason to swear."
"Fine. Tell him about that problem?"
"I can mention it but I'm not his true family."
"I know that now." He bowed slightly, getting one back. "Something in there is cursed."
"I know. I had one of those lives too." He grinned. "Can I go? It's my only day off in the last week and a half."
"Fine." He sent him home with the bags, keeping the cursed thing so he could destroy it. He doubted the boy wanted a cursed sexual aid that would keep him in slavery to it's owner.
Xander landed and looked at the boys. "I had an interesting chat just now. Dean, your dad said you could play with the money until I gave the PD charities half. Sam, the angel that waylaid me said to remind you that the side of good looks down on those who slip over to use the evil things' ways to get the evil things. That it can still taint you further." Sam went pale. "I pointed out you weren't mine in this life and he agreed as long as I mentioned it. Sorta like me pulling out the wings to scare the crap out of the demons that wanted me earlier." He flopped down. "But I saw one of the native sividia. He was fairly decent and helpful. He got the demons to leave me alone, and agreed that I should hit a succuba tonight to take some of the Sunnydale taint off since that's why they came earlier."
"Hold on," Dean said. "You're babbling again. Sunnydale taint drew them to want you?"
"I'm older than the average hellmouth baby. It means I must be powerful or specially skilled according to them." Dean nodded once at that. "So they wanted me as a concubine because of that. Without knowing why I was so old."
"So a good with a bad," Dean agreed. "The bags are?"
"Tribute since they couldn't use it as a bribe. The cursed thing is gone though. The angel apparently kept it."
"Angel? We're sure?" Sam asked quietly.
"Yeah, I saw the wings. He stopped me on my port home." He shrugged. "He said he understood why we use these gifts to stop evil things but others are worried."
"That's good to know," Sam said. He shifted some. "Tribute?"
"The native Sividia came to help me when I had to pull rank. Kinda. Whatever, it made them leave me alone. I'm told with my wings out I read like a quarter offspring. John even agreed I could hit a succuba tonight so I can get my wings preened."
"I know where a few are," Dean told him. Xander beamed at that. "What are you doing with those?"
"Hillbourne in IAB said to donate half. He's the one Mac called in to help him discourage the demons from bribing everyone. It still took me going wings out to do that. So we'll see." He shrugged. "Two wanted me to be their concubines." He stood up. "I'm going to shower and change so I can go play. I'll see you guys later."
"Call us when you're done so we can do the holy water tests," Dean ordered. Xander nodded and bopped off to his room. Dean looked at Sam. "Now we know not to let you use them unless it's an absolute emergency," he said quietly.
Sam looked at him. "Why give the warning now?"
"He could waylay me on the way home," Xander offered from his room. "This way he could be subtle."
"Why tell you instead of telling me?" Xander leaned out to give him a pointed look. "He saw them too?"
"One of the higher demons got it as a vision when she did it. The sividia said they let her do it so it'd drive her insane and she wouldn't be so dangerous anymore. They had no idea she'd draw us in." He shrugged. "Who knows. I know the sividia hated watchers. The one that the demons pulled in to translate for them got killed immediately when he showed up." He ducked back into his room. "The blue pants?"
"Wear jeans, Xander." Sam shifted again. "I didn't want to have them anyway," he said finally.
"Good. Only for emergencies."
Xander came out. "I pointed out that plenty of people used their so-called evil gifts to help the good side because only using good guy tactics could get you killed and then the war's lost." He sat down, looking at Sam. "It's the same battle I have now and then with myself, Sam. They probably consider the magic the same way." Sam nodded at that. "So, see, we'll be fine. Just try really hard not to use it unless you have to save Dean from some evil girl hitting on him or something."
"I can do that," he agreed.
"He's right. If good guys didn't walk in the dark, nothing would ever be killed. But there's probably a threshold for 'you're scaring us and possibly moving that way'," he said, thinking out loud.
"Taint grows, Dean," Xander and Sam said together. Dean moaned.
"But in the one with the wings we wore some of Sam's taint out, often. You came back to do that each time we gave hell a headache." He went to find the book, bringing it over to him. "Here, how we did it." He grinned. "Not that you feel tainted, but we all know it happens." Sam grinned at that. "Now, I'm off to get laid for the first time in nearly a year because John's a pushy dad. I'll see you guys later." He grabbed his wallet, taking out his PD ID card. Then he put it into the back just in case he had to prove he was one. He made sure he had money. "Laters. I'm headed to the bar they've been hunting in."
"They've been gathering in some Irish Pub down on Madison before going hunting," Dean offered. Xander beamed and headed there instead. He looked at the book. "Can we do it without him having to use his wings?"
Sam nodded. "Pretty simple spell."
"Good. Then we'll work on that tomorrow while he's at work." Sam relaxed. "Let's see what sort of presents he got given earlier." They pulled the bags over with a groan of complaint for the weight of them. Dean opened his and gasped, grabbing his chest. "I think that's illegal to look at if you're not a Fed."
Sam looked at the bars. "Good thing there's wheels on that sucker." He opened his, finding gems. "Pretty." Dean looked and cooed. They put those aside and pulled over other bags that looked more lumpy and less heavy. "Good money." Dean petted his stacks too. "We have to divide it into half." Dean nodded, starting one for you-one for me piles of the money. Sam did the same and it was good. His and Dean's center piles finally merged so that was fine. They got the rest of the bags sorted and it was even better. The ones for the PD got put by the door. The rest got dragged to the sanctuary vault. Dean cooed at the gems but that was him being Dean. They were very pretty. The gold bars they left. The PD could figure out how to change those and keep them. Xander wouldn't want more gold.
Xander walked into the pub and over to the succuba sitting in the back, pouting at them. "Can you ladies help me with a small sitch?"
One smirked. "Why should we, Harris?"
"Sorry, forgot." He sat down. "What do you need one of us for and is your protector around?"
"LA. I had two higher things want me earlier because I'm a born and bred hellmouth baby that's nearly made it to thirty." They all moaned. "Started a bidding war with my boss and internal affairs. John gave me permission if one of you guys would like to deal with that for me? And maybe preen the feathers?" he asked hopefully but quietly.
One laid a finger on the back of his hand. "You do have enough energy to feed all of us tonight."
"But that would be an orgy and bad," he mouthed, making her laugh. "But I can see one or two. I can totally see switching out if you want to." The head succuba nodded at that. "Please?"
"Your ex said good things about you."
"It's been nearly a year. John's picky and won't let me pick a girl up in the club." That got a few shivers. "Please?" They nodded, taking him back to their place. The whole group pounced him to suck his energy from the hellmouth taint. He let out his wings and one played with them for him, making him get off with a moan. "Oh, that's good. Now who wants oral sex?" They pounced and he did what he wanted to do. He was a happy, sated, tired boy when they got done with him. Then a few of the ones who were still a tiny bit hungry went to the club to hunt but the rest called Dean to pick him up.
Dean walked in with Sam behind him. "Dude, you smell like a whorehouse in Vegas," Dean complained.
"He has almost no more hellmouth taint," the head succuba said. "As requested, boys." She stared at Sam. "No, we can't remove it that way. That's a blood, not an energy taint. Though you do look like fun."
Xander blinked at her. "If you need more, I wasn't good enough."
"Dear, even I'm sore. You did just fine." Xander grinned at that. "Go home with them. Shower off the lust. Put your wings away." He did that and they took him off, the girls all waving from where they were collapsed. "Thankfully he didn't want another round," she moaned as she stood up. "I'm going for a bath. Poor Anya dealt with that every night? She must've been sore."
"Anya used to complain she only got four a night," one told her.
"Then that's her fault. Good to know. We should offer her a job with us." She found her bubble bath and settled into it with a moan of pleasure. It helped the soreness a lot. He was damn good but too much for their hunting pack to handle.
Dean looked at Xander once they had cleared him of any demon spit and things with holy water. "Dude, you made succuba *sore*. How?" he demanded.
"Anya always wanted more." He grinned. "I feel so much better."
"Good," Sam agreed. "Go to bed, Xander. You have to work tomorrow." Xander nodded, going to do that. Sam shook his head. "If you ever get that bad...."
"My heart would give out and you can bury me with the smile, dude."
"Sure, I can do that." He flopped down and turned on the tv. Dean flopped down beside him. "Should we check on him later to make sure he doesn't die in his sleep?"
"Nah, he'll be fine. Even if I want to know how made them sore." He sent that information to his father's phone, and that he was fine and less tainted by Sunnydale. His father didn't answer. "Dad must be having a happy night." He put his phone up until his father would eventually answer back.
John looked at the message and then at Gunn. "Got any beers?"
"That bad?" he asked with a grin.
"Because of earlier I let Xander go play with one of the succuba who have been trying to hit on him. Dean just wrote that he's nearly out of Sunnydale taint, he smelled like a Vegas whorehouse when they picked him up, and he made the pack of succuba sore and sated."
"Anya used to complain that she needed more sex from what I heard," Gunn said, going to get John a beer. "He home safely?"
"The boys picked him up and made sure he wasn't tainted from it." He opened it and took a drink, shaking his head. "A whole hunting pack?"
"Xander can do some amazing things according to Anya. She probably built up his stamina."
"I hope so or he's never allowed to jog again." Gunn cackled at that. Angel came out to give them odd looks. He showed him the text message.
"Anya should be a succuba. She did it to him. Though I'm not sure why they're sore."
"She walked funny often enough according to the others," Gunn reminded him.
"I didn't need to know that."
"The demon want him?" John asked dryly. Angel walked off moaning. "I'll take that as a yes." He took another drink and put the beer down. Xander said that Angel taunting was a fun hobby and it looked like he had been right about that too.
"I heard he had went bad for a while in Sunnydale. Maybe they played or something," Gunn offered. They went back to their battle plans. "Okay, how's this for a backup line?"
John nodded. "That'll work but we'll need some here for safety reason," he offered with another point. "I know we don't have enough people but if we can get a few of the agents who know that way it might help. Faith, Buffy, and the main crew plus me and the other hunters in the center running path would be better. Fan us out a bit." Gunn made those dots. "That'll work." Angel came back to look and added a dot. "Who?"
"The boy if he shows up."
"He shouldn't. There'll be watchers here."
"We all know he will," Angel said. "He jumps into everything, even when it will kill him."
"Then we'll have to see," John agreed. That got a nod and the vampire walked off again. John took another drink and put the can down. "Think the higher demons who don't like this plan will get us a lot of help or just nudge help our way?"
"Probably just nudge help our way. They don't like to get involved."
"That's fine if they can. Maybe it'll lead to more hunters being here."
"Could be. Or more potential slayers."
"They're kids. I don't want them in the way of harm," John told him.
"So they can take that safety spot watching to make sure none go that way." That got a nod and he wrote that in as a suggestion of placement. "Cool." He rolled it up. "Go to bed, John. The boy clearly gives you a headache."
"Most of the time he's a good boy. Now and then though."
"Yeah, we heard. Go home." John nodded. He was nowhere near drunk or lit from the few sips of beer so he took it with him. Gunn got comfortable, putting his feet up. Angel came back. "How would you make a succuba sore? It seems like they'd be used to it from their jobs."
"I don't want to know," he complained. He walked off again. "Do we have battle plans?"
"We do. All we need are the final numbers of how many we'll have. We can assign areas then." That got a nod and Angel went to see who else was going to be helping them. Gunn went to get his own beer. He deserved one and it'd take the ideas going through his head out before they stuck. Wesley looked at him. "What?"
"The kid made a pack of succuba sore."
Wesley shivered. "That's nearly unheard of." He smirked. "But with Anya in his past, it's possible he's still needy." He walked off. "Let me know what weapons I'm working on tomorrow and if I need to find anything mystical."
"I can do that." He went up to his room to get drunk in peace and quiet. Faith gave him an odd look from the hall. "We have placement plans for the battle."
"Sure. That's fine. And then what?"
"Take out whatever comes?"
She smirked. "I like how you think, Gunn."
"I'm still stuck on the text John got from his boys. He made a pack of succuba sore."
"Damn, I thought it was only me." She walked off shaking her head when Gunn gaped at her back. He had been a fun playmate. She wondered if he was still one. Maybe she'd hit that after the invasion if she was still alive. It'd be good stress relief to come off the slaying high and it'd mean she couldn't do anything stupid or bad. If he showed up, she might see if he wanted to play afterward. He was a nice guy. Who apparently someone had trained some skills into. Before it was natural talent, now apparently it was training. Which could be very good for her sex drive. She shook herself clear and went to hunt. She needed a good hunt to get the blood flowing.
to part 7
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