Note: An apocalypse happens here. NC-17 to be safe for violence.
Xander walked into Mac's office, noticing the three people in there. "Problems, Mac?"
"The bugs you found in your car and your old place were PD issue."
Xander nodded, looking at the Chief of Detectives. "Okay. Why couldn't you just ask me like a real man?" Mac scowled at that. "Truth. If he had asked I would've told him. The same as I did you." He looked at him and Hillbourne again. Then the other internal affair's person. "Yours?" he asked Hillbourne.
"The one he hired to do the bugging, kid."
"How did you get that money?"
"Some judicious finding when I was younger and in more danger." The man gaped. He looked at Mac. "Permission to show them?"
"It might freak them out," Mac said quietly.
"Go for it," Hillbourne said. Xander snapped his fingers and all the blinds went down. The Chief of Detectives and the other officer backed away from him. He smirked. "That's what he's been hiding."
"It wasn't my gift until my friend goofed when I was twenty-one. That's also why people want to hunt my ass down and kill me. Yes, I found some magically hidden deposits of stuff that should not be out of safe hands and I turned them over. I also found some minor jewels and liquidated them so I'd have a safety account so I could set myself up in this stunning life I like so they can't find me. Hopefully." He stared at them. "Those things belonged to no one alive and hadn't for over a hundred years. No heirs, nothing like that. I made sure of it first. Most of them were dangerous and the person I had helping me knew who could safely hide those things so they weren't in the open and able to be used."
"You can do like in those books?" the IAB officer asked, trying to stay calm.
"I have some cursebreaker skills," he agreed. "That's how I funded my safety account. The person who helped me also helped set up my new identity." That got a nod from Mac and Hillbourne. "See, Mac asked so I told him. Hillbourne's flunky, the other guy that knows about me, he found out by accident and went digging. He respects me for what I used to do. I don't like the fact I was bugged and treated as a suspect for no reason when I'm a member of this department. If the NYPD is going to stand up for it's officers, then it should stand up for all of us and you can ask or could've asked Hillbourne to investigate."
"He did and I told him there was no reason to. You had gotten it mostly legitimately and it wasn't related back to any crime."
"No. It's not."
"That could be counted as breaking and entering."
Xander sighed. "It could also be counted as saving lives." He pulled the one from his apartment and set it off, letting the little demon out.
"Javier!" Mac complained.
"Relax, it's an imp." He pointed. "This is the most harmless thing I found. In the wrong hands, and especially unknowing and untrained hands, it can destroy the person. Since I know I can banish the imp," he did that, "and make the vase safe." He did that as well and handed it to Mac "Perfectly clean and normal again."
The Chief of Detectives licked his lips. "Do you do this on the job?"
"No. I do my actual job on the job. I don't use magic unless I have to get somewhere desperately, and the one day I had to change for a sudden court appearance. There's nothing magical that can help me match guns or help me find evidence. The only thing I've been tempted to do, which I have not because it's not ethical, is to make someone confess when we know they did it and they aren't. Again, that's not ethical. I try very hard to stay on the side of the light."
"You talked of other selves?" the IAB officer asked.
"My friend basically did what amounts to a scrying across the universes to see other versions of herself and pulled my butt into it by accident. The only known person who pulled this off went insane. I did for about a week because suddenly I have the memories of all these other versions of me. I took prompt action to get myself to someone who could help me and watch over me to make sure I didn't fully lose it and I didn't fully go dark side and kill people because of it. That's why I have John actually. He's my personal watcher."
"This forgetting to eat stuff? Hillbourne asked.
"Now and then I do get lost in the arguments they have in my head. That and all this caused me to be stuffed with some extra energy. I was bouncy before but this is worse. I get caught up in doing something and completely don't realize I haven't eaten or slept in days. John does a really good dad impersonation."
"Prove it," the Chief of Detectives demanded. "This isn't real." Xander manifested his wings, making him gape and back into Mac's wall with the flag and pictures. "How?"
"One of the other mes, the same witch turned him into a higher level demon to handle something and well, I kept a safe refuge for harmless things but still had the wings. My mate in that life liked them." He unmanifested them when John beeped. He wrote back a text message about what was going on and looked at him again. "John. He's under a compulsion to kill me if I slip sides." He put the phone back into his pocket. "Anything else you wanted to know?"
"You told Taylor this?" Mac nodded. "Before you hired him?"
"I talked to him when he was in the academy. I knew something about the subject before it happened thanks to a few cases. I'm not going to hold him basically being possessed by other versions of himself and them being noisy now and then against him, sir. He's an excellent ballistics tech. He's a credit to this lab and I make sure that he does none of that at work unless it's necessary to save lives. Like the day of the lab assault he knocked two out that way and got a few extra guns."
"These ones who have you under death threat?"
"Don't think I'm here anymore. They think I left the country for somewhere warm."
"They put the bomb on your car."
"They put the bomb on the car of the ballistics tech that caught them and gave the critical evidence on who they were," Xander corrected. "They have no idea I'm me, sir. As I proved yesterday, when I run into one I'll take the steps necessary to protect myself and my teammates."
"What did you do yesterday?" the IAB officer asked.
"One of them saw me on the scene that Mac had me helping him on and I made him forget me."
"Basically an obliviate?"
"Will they come here again?"
"Only if someone tells them I'm here and not somewhere warm and sunny. Or if one spots me and I don't realize it. John's agreed that a temporary 'you never saw me' now and then is ethical because it saves my life and keeps me from having to go to a higher level of defense that might get someone else, someone innocent, hurt."
"The day of the lab invasion we found a dirty cop had tuned him in for the money," Hillbourne told them. "Three-quarters of a million is a lot of money for us."
"Why were you in the field?"
"We're down a tech and were pretty much down a tech before then, sir," Xander said. "Mac's done the best he could but with CSI Burns no longer being with us, someone has to go answer body calls. Yesterday was just my luck to find one next to the threat's meeting area. Since they would have shot all of us, I did what was necessary to save us and the patrol officer with us. Who did not see a thing," he told Hillbourne.
"Good. That's the way I'd expect you to handle it. Did the officer not see anything or did you take it from him?"
"Didn't see me wave my hand at all."
"Even better. Keep it that way."
"I'm trying. Unless we have a local apocalypse or someone sees something when I go to help handle the one in LA that's coming up soon, they shouldn't know anything if I haven't told them. A few have found out, like a few ATF agents and you guys. Is that one guy scared of me?"
"You give him a headache."
Xander nodded. "Sometimes I give myself one." Mac snickered at that. "I do. Especially when the other mes start to complain that I'm not dating a nice boy since most of them were gay."
Hillbourne laughed. "I can see why." He stood up. "How much are you worth?"
"I don't know. My ex got into my account recently so I have to check." He logged on Mac's computer to look then let him see, making him swear. "I did have more but she took some again." He sent a mean thought to the vengeance demon over boyfriends screwed, making him go punish her. D'Hoffryn had said to handle it that way. He reloaded it when he got the 'it's fixed, Harris' message from one of them. He reloaded it and let him see with a grin. "Now she only has ten percent."
The Chief gaped. "No wonder you can afford designer suits."
"I honestly got that one off-season on clearance. Three hundred bucks," Xander told him. "I knew I'd need a good one for court. We went to Dallas for a weekend of shopping right before graduation so I could get good clothes that would look good to defense and prosecuting attorneys."
"You said fifty million on the stand," Hillbourne reminded him.
"I said at least fifty."
"Good. That's not lying and it's not evading and looking suspicious," Hillbourne agreed. Mac nodded that he agreed. "How many more do you have?"
"About sixty. I took one's advice and went shopping to relieve stress. Plus redecorated my backup hiding spot that I had to go to last night because someone had been in my apartment." He looked at the other IAB officer, who shook his head. "That kinda sucks. I wonder who was in there." He saw a small, miniature demon appear and whispered to it, making it go torment Anya since it wanted him to be his. "Anyway." Mac gave him an odd look. "Another who wanted me. It thinks I'm beautiful when I'm mean." He grinned sweetly.
"I'll spank you if you bring another one here to make me send them away," Hillbourne told him firmly.
"Hey, Mac called you. I suggested he call the guy that already knew," Xander defended. "Technically they were trying to bribe Mac and me so he could own me. This one too. I sent him after Anya to get that ten percent back. It'll make him happy to go be mean and stop her." The computer beeped and he reloaded it, finding it all back and then some. "Hey, she got me interest." He shut it down and looked at them. "Any other questions or can I get back to matching guns to bullets and bad guys now?"
"Can a defense attorney use these other memories against us?" the Chief of Detectives asked.
"Why would they find out about them?" he asked plainly. "If so, at the most they could say I have multiple personalities. Which I can refute and point out that neither psych exam I had to pass to get into the program in Chicago or the academy here said I did. Both of those were taken after I got them. The one in Chicago they were more loud more often."
"That's good. What about if you're called to testify?"
"Normally I'm a ballistics tech. It's going to be doubtful that I'm going to be called, Chief. If they do, I can avoid it or talk around it like I did that time. That time they were comparing how scary the defense attorney wasn't and I told him I had been going over the case mentally. Not a big problem."
"Fine. I want you off the streets though."
"Sir, with all due respect, three of them were CSIs before. All of us fought in many battles before we went to our ultimate later lives, like I did." He swallowed air in shock. He called up something, letting him see it. "That's also me." He stared, reading the short dossier on him. He looked at the boy in horror. He stared back. "I can handle a situation better than anyone in this office but Mac and maybe some of the SWAT guys. They won't be distracting me during it. They'd cheer later, offer a few quiet suggestions when I got to a point I could hear them and use them, but nothing else. I'm not a danger on the street or driving, Chief. Though I do want to be a lab tech most of the time because it is safer and it means I don't have to run into the idiot Brits anytime soon. Hopefully. My second week here, we had one in on a consult about some pottery shards. Mac had me taking a nap because I had been up all night clearing a Vice case that got turned over to ATF. That's how he hid me then. With the exception of the lab assault, which got handled pretty well I think, and they got told I had left the country afterward, they don't see me."
"Sir, with us being without Aiden Burns, I have to use who I can. He and Adam are rated for field work. I don't want to but both have been in the field at least twice this week because I need to replace her. I'm taking applications right now so it shouldn't be too long. I do send him with someone skilled. Just in case they do try to spot him and take him out."
"Is that why you're bruised?" Hillbourne asked.
"He and I sparred last night for some stress relief," Xander said quietly. He looked at the Chief. "Mac knows I want to stay in the lab because I know it's safer for me. We talked about this back when I was in the academy, Chief. Really, he knew. Most of the senior techs know who's after me. Some found out on their own, some didn't. One knew of my past life." He shut that down and looked at him. "Sorry, the spyware light went off. Someone was reading his monitor."
"You saw that how?"
"The little flashing icon on the side of the toolbar." He pointed at it. "That one."
"Oh. I didn't know we had that."
Xander nodded. "I think we all do. Mine does too."
"Good to know. Are you sure you're safe here?"
"Unless someone else turns me in for that bounty, yes. Even if I am in the nicer, bigger apartment I had to redecorate."
"Tent spell?" the IAB officer asked.
"Yup. Pretty nice bathroom too," he offered with a grin. He looked at him. "In a scummy building where my landlord had planted a bug. We heard he'd try to blackmail someone. I told Mac and he agreed I could have him arrested when he tried. Are there any other concerns, sir, or can I go back to my normal levels of being paranoid?"
Mac's phone beeped with a message, making him look. "Xander, turn on the tv." Xander did that and whimpered. "Go. Now. That's too big even for the National Guard and the Marines." Xander looked at him. "Go. If they spot you, we'll deal. Come back as soon as you're done." He nodded, disappearing from right there. They saw him appear suddenly in view as he ran over to help John and Dean. Sam was knocked out so he was floated out of the way to safety while they got back to work. Mac watched, wincing when Xander pulled out artillery and shot it at something huge that was knocking down buildings. "Adam!" he bellowed. He came jogging in. "Make sure Sheldon has a full kit here, just in case."
"Tell me that's not LA?" he begged. "Please, Mac?"
"It is and he's there." That got a nod and Adam went to tell the others. They watched as more demons came out. John hopped up onto a tank coming their way and shouted at the guy hanging out of the top, pointing at a building. Xander hopped up and handed him something, opening his own case. They both fired at the right building and it shimmied. The tank fired and an airstrike was called in, decimating the building. The demons stopped flowing. The rest of the warriors went to mop them up. He winced at the way the boy was limping and his arm was hanging limply at his side and bleeding thanks to a claw swipe. He was still going though. Mac coughed, pointing at one. "That's John Winchester, the one with the compulsion who watches over Xander. The tall ones are his sons, Dean and Sam," he said quietly, looking at his boss. That got him looked at. "They protect the boy and make sure he doesn't step over the line. If Xander even thinks about it, John feels it and tells him to stop it then."
He nodded. "That compulsion?"
"John hunted those things for over twenty years, sir. He can do it if he has to. If not, the boy will if and when he realizes it."
"Good to know." He went back to watching. "Your boy's down."
"He's panting, he'll get up in a minute." They watched as Xander got up and John yelled at him. He yelled back and picked up a gun to open fire on them, reloading and moving on, picking his targets instead of spraying around. A blonde girl came into the open and the demons tried to pounce her. The boy limped forward to help her with that, taking a sword off someone on the way. Injured yet he attacked. The blonde girl was freed. They moved on together, Dean, John, and Sam backing them up. Within an hour, the mop-up was done. Three hours of fighting total was finally done. They were all messy, bleeding, injured. There were a lot of bodies. Xander looked at the blonde and waved a little wave before disappearing with John. They appeared in the office. "Sheldon!" he yelled. He came over to assess and check them over. "John, hold still. That stab wound is down into your chest wall. Xander?"
Xander moaned from his spot on the floor. "God I ache. Make it quit?"
Mac knocked him out with a nerve pinch. Adam and Sheldon ran in. "They were in LA."
"Sid and I were watching that." He moved to assess, getting paramedics for them. "They're bad."
"Take them, make them better, Sheldon. Stay with them until I can get there." He nodded. The paramedics rushed in. "Somehow they got here from there," he said with a point at the tv. One gasped. "That's LA. Take them, they were in the battle." That got a nod and Sheldon went since he was holding part of John's stomach closed. Mac called Dean's phone. "It's Mac. They made it back here. Sheldon's taking John to the hospital now because one of the stab wounds was in his chest wall and stomach. He'll be fine, Dean. I'll let you know when I have something. Are you two okay?" He smiled. "Good. I'll let him know. No, he begged to make the pain stopped so I nerve pinched him. You two be safe." He hung up. "Sir, for obvious reasons."
"I understand now. You've got quite a tech there, Taylor."
"One I'm not losing, sir."
"As long as he can keep it subtle and safe."
"Agreed." They left him so he could go to the ER. He rushed out, heading to find Stella first. "He's back from LA. Sheldon took he and John both to the ER. I'll be with them. You're in charge." He hurried off. Those hadn't been superficial injuries. When he got there, he could hear Xander complaining. "That's my CSI complaining," he told the nurse, pulling out his ID.
"Calm him down before we sedate him." She let him back and he went that way.
"Calm down," he ordered as he walked in. Xander looked at him. "They'll tell you about John when they have something."
"You know him, sir?" He pulled up his badge. "He's an officer?"
"I'm a CSI," he said dryly. "Now please stitch my arm so I can go wait on John to get out of surgery!" he snarled.
"The one brought in with him is like a father to him and takes care of him," Mac told her. "I'm the local contact for his sons." She nodded at that. "Is he all right?"
"He was taken up to surgery to close the wounds on his chest," she admitted.
"See, I need to be up there," Xander told her.
"You're in no shape, sir."
"Bullshit. I've had worse than this and been jumped and fought back before. It's only a few scratches and I can do all but my arm myself if I have to." She huffed off.
"Don't make their jobs more difficult. They see too much every day as is," Mac said firmly.
"I'm trying to make it less so I can go check on John!"
"Calm down," he ordered. Xander slumped. "The wounds were bad and a few were deep but nothing life-threatening. The one on your stomach is worse than all of his but the one on his chest."
"I'm fine." He tried to move but Mac stopped him. "Mac," he warned.
"You will let yourself be treated or I will not let you come back until you're fully healed, all the scabs gone and all the wounds sealed," he ordered, staring him down. "Let them stitch you and then we can go find out about John." Xander growled. "Don't make me smack you on the head, Xander," he said quietly.
"Whatever. I'm fine."
"If you were fine, you wouldn't be growling." He moved closer. "I understand the urge. He still won't be out before you're stitched up. So quit being a difficult patient." Xander nodded at that, lips pressed together. "Now, let's see where the nurse is." She came back once he looked out there. "How many stitches will he need?"
"I'll be at work tomorrow if John doesn't need me," Xander told him.
"You're taking a day off to let the battle urges settle," Mac retorted, staring him down. "That way you're not jumpy. I doubt you won't have painkillers so you can't drink or anything."
"I don't take painkillers."
"You will if you need them." He gave him a look. "Or I will tell Dean and Sam."
"None of us take painkillers, Mac. I didn't when my arm was broken, I won't be for some big scratches."
"I wouldn't call a three-inch deep wound a scratch, sir," the nurse said.
Xander shrugged. "I've had worse and had a friend stitch it." He pointed at the scar. She shuddered. "I don't need painkillers. Just some stitches please," he said calmly. "Maybe an antibiotic if you feel it's necessary. Then I need directed up to the surgical waiting area so I can check on my protector."
"I've put a call in to say that you're as close to family as it gets and his medical contact. They'll let you know how it went when he's done." She got the interning doctor to work on the stitching. She swatted Xander's hand when he picked up a kit to open. "You can't do your own in the hospital, sir."
"Sorry, ours was crappy and liked to kill people. I've done many of my own."
"Did CPS come visit you often?"
"A few times. My town had a high denial rate." He grinned. "Small town, rural america you know."
"Uh-huh." The doctor got to work on the worst ones and then the more minor ones. A few she got flinches. "I can use some local."
"It's obvious it hurts, sir."
"So?" He stared at her. "I'm fine."
"You're stubborn," she countered. "And wrong. Local won't kill you unless you're allergic."
"I didn't have any at all when they took out my appendix at seven," he told her. "Or when they had to go back in and clean it up because they screwed up. A bit of a pinch is nothing. I'm fine," he said calmly.
"Let her do the local," Mac said quietly.
Xander shook his head. "I'm fine. It's not even a concussion this time." She sighed but finished up and let him sign out. "Which way?"
"Elevators in the lobby," she said with a point. She handed Mac the prescriptions she had gotten with the paperwork. "Make him take the antibiotic. Force the painkillers on him if you need to. Or conceal it in food like you do with a puppy." He smiled and followed. She shook her head, going to tell her fellow nurses about that one.
Xander came off the elevator in the surgical waiting area, walking up to the desk. "I'm family for John Winchester. Is he out yet?"
She checked the board. "Not yet, sir, but it looks like they'll be done soon. Let's get you into a waiting area so the doctor can find you." Mac came off the elevator and joined him. "Family of Mr. Winchester as well?"
"This is my CSI." He patted him on the uninjured side, watching the wince. "He was just in the ER too," he said at her look. That got a nod and they were put into a small waiting area. He handed Xander the bottle of water. "He'll be fine. This is not the hospital from your town."
"I know but I still hate waiting."
"It'll probably be within the hour. Sit." Xander glared. "Try, please?" He sat then hopped back up after drinking. Mac took the empty bottle and handed him another full one. He got an odd look for it. "You need the fluids. You were bleeding." Xander gulped it and tossed both bottles. Mac timed it. He had to pee in about ten minutes so he went to do that then came back to pace some more. As soon as the doctor showed up Mac called Dean's phone. "I have his other sons on the line," he offered. He let Xander hold it while he and the doctor talked across the room. Dean asked a few questions over the speaker function but that was to be expected.
It came down to John had about two hundred internal and external stitches and would be in overnight, if not for two days, and then he could go home to rest. Xander finally relaxed. The doctor asked him how it had happened. Dean said something about a car accident and he let it go at that. He left after telling them where recovery was. Mac walked Xander up there once he had his phone back. "See, I told you so. I can give you a few days off so you can take care of him too," he said quietly as they walked.
"I'll be in until he comes home, then I'll take a day," Xander said calmly.
"That's fine. If John needs you more we'll let you take some time." He smiled at the nurse. "We're family of John Winchester."
"He's in recovery bed 2. He'll be awake in a while and you can see him then, sir. Does he have a spouse?"
"She died over twenty years ago," Xander said quietly.
"All right. Recovery visiting is family only." He nodded at that. She went to check and came back. "He's coming around all right, boys." She let them see him and then shooed them back to the waiting area. When he was awake she let them back. The younger one hugged him. The man on the bed snarled something and the one standing told him to calm down. She sighed, going to shoo them out. "Some people have strange reactions to anesthesia."
"You're sure he's not possessed?" Xander asked with a slight grin. He had blessed his IV so he was sure he was getting holy water to make sure he wasn't.
"Some people do growl and snap when they wake up. We'll be moving him up to observation in a few minutes. Once they get a bed open. Why don't you get lunch and come back up there?"
"No, I'll wait," Xander told her. He sat down, staring in there.
"Go eat," John called.
"Bite me. I'm not leaving you in here alone, John."
He groaned. Mac walked in there. "He nearly did his own stitches, John. You're both too stubborn for your own good. I'm trying to keep him calm. We've already talked to Dean and Sam. So you stay calm and I'll help him smuggle real food up later." John smiled slightly at that. "Okay?"
"I can do that. He all right?"
"He only needed a hundred-seventeen stitches. He's refused a local while they were doing them and he nearly bit the nurse. No. He's too stubborn."
"Most hunters are that way. The boys?"
"Sam's got a small concussion. Dean's got mostly a lot of bruises. They're both banged up but Dean said it was less than needing the ER. They said to tell you Bobby had been knocked out too but he was less injured even if the military did evacuate him to an ER already. Mostly a concussion he said. They said they'd pack your place out there and Sam would drive your truck back."
"That's fine. I trust my boys, even that one out there pouting. Javier." He came in and stood beside the bed at parade rest. "Be less stubborn, boy. You can have painkillers."
"I don't need them. I never did and I don't use them. Even when they screwed up my appendix."
"I'm fine. They took you to surgery."
John stared at him. "Sammy's the mushy one but want a hug?" Xander hugged him, giving him a gentle squeeze. "I'm fine. Dean said Bobby's fine. Sammy's fine. He's fine. Relax and let it go, kid." He patted him on the back. The nurse came in scowling. "Can I have my papers so I can go?"
"No. You can't walk out of recovery." She walked off to make a note in his chart. The doctor ordered a judicious use of painkillers so he was knocked out when they moved him. The boy ghosted behind them, his boss following. It was good the young one had someone to straighten him out when he got pouty and stubborn like his father.
The nurse up there looked at them. "If you're going to sneak him food, make it soft stuff so he can't puke it back up and make it high in protein and iron since he lost so much blood," she ordered. "Dinner's in four hours."
Xander grinned. "I like you, you're blunt, have sense, and don't nag."
"I will if you need it. Go get your medicine filled and come back with dinner for you two." Mac dragged the boy off to do that, letting her go fuss over his blankets and sheets. "He's going to fuss you to death," she told him.
"Dean'll protect me," he slurred up at her.
She laughed. "Not unless he's on his way here, Mr. Winchester. Want some noise? I'll turn on the tv for you." He nodded slowly, letting her flip it on and him pick the hunting and fishing station. "Figures." She walked out to make a note in his chart.
Dean showed up a few days later looking exhausted. Xander had been ordered to work by John and driven home by Mac who told him Xander had to stay home because he was too sore to work. He knocked then walked in, looking around. "This went better than I expected." He headed for where he could hear complaining. "Dad, I can hear you in the hall. You okay?"
"He fusses worse than your mother."
"You got stabbed in the chest, Dad. Be thankful I drive faster than Sammy does," he said bluntly. "Suck it up." His father grimaced. "Tough. I'm gonna do it too." He looked at Xander, pulling him closer to look over. "You're not immortal," he said.
"Yes I am. Didn't you know that about the life with the hormones?" he quipped back with a grimace.
"You're not here. Others could have backed up Buffy."
"It's my job."
"If we're in the same battle it's my job."
"Fine. Whatever." He pushed him into a chair. "Dad, how are you?"
"I'm fine. I itch, a lot." Xander handed him the approved cream. "Thanks, kiddo. Need some for yours?"
"Mine'll be gone in a day," he said dryly.
"Not if you're not healed," both stubborn Winchester men ordered. Dean blew a raspberry at his father. "Need help, Dad?"
"Could, yes." He let his son help him and Xander help too so he wouldn't be pouted at. He hated being pouted at. "Where is Sammy?"
"He dropped Bobby off at home. They had towed his car on the back of the truck. He's probably in Ohio right now." That got a nod. "He said he got stopped once and told the nice state trooper that we were fleeing LA and he was driving your truck to you." That got another nod. "Any care orders, Xander?"
"Just to rest and not scratch them. His antibiotic is on the side table there. So are is painkillers if he wants one. Water's in the fridge in bottles."
"Good. Hit your bed for a bit and rest. I'll cover for you." Xander pouted at him. "You're just as bad. Don't make me tuck you in and then tell Sammy you need fussed over."
"Why would he?" Xander asked, looking very confused.
"Because you're almost family now. Hit your bunk." Xander sighed but went to curl up in bed. He looked at his father. "Mac called to tell me what happened in the ER and with you." He sat beside him in the chair Xander had been using. "You sure you're okay?"
"The vicodin was nice but I don't need it, son."
"Fine. I can understand that. You're still gonna rest or I'm going to tell Sammy." John moaned, sliding down so he could rest. Sammy and Xander would tag-team fuss him to death if he didn't stop them. "Good idea. Want lunch?"
"I think we're out of groceries."
"You can get them ordered around here," he said dryly, going to check things and order them online with Xander's debit card. Which declined. He checked in the bedroom, looking at the bank. The accounts were locked so he found a prepaid card and did it that way. An hour later there was groceries so he could make lunch. Not much, soup and sandwiches, but still good for them. He carried some in to Xander, finding him pouting around his pillow. "You want to eat?"
"Tough. Get up and eat, Xander." Xander sat up and let him hand him a plate and a glass of soda. "Then you can come back and nag Dad some more with me." Xander cheered up at that. "I won't stop you fussing unless you need to rest too. You were nearly as injured. So don't argue with me, dude." He went to deliver his father's food, making him dig in. "He forget to feed you?" Dean teased.
"He made oatmeal for breakfast."
"The nurses said to keep you on soft food," Xander called.
"I'm fine now, kid. You can come eat in here." Xander came in and took his chair, eating from there. He smiled. "Call Sammy to make him quit worrying."
"I will in a minute. Xander, what's with your debit card? I ordered groceries on the prepaid one."
"Anya tried to get into it again. I'm switching it over because of the theft she did." He ate another bite of sandwich. "You make good spoiling type food, Dean."
"Dude, that's not spoiling you. That's normal people food." He went to look in the kitchen and came back a minute later, handing him a cup of cocoa, getting a grin. "That's closer to spoiling."
"Thank you." He sipped and finished his lunch, leaning back. "Mac got pissed that I said I didn't need painkillers."
"He didn't get local either," John said.
"I didn't need it. It only pinched a bit. I could ignore it."
"Dad, you do the same damn thing," Dean reminded him.
"They kept him on vicodin while he was in there so he wouldn't fuss," Xander told him, getting an evil smirk back. "So now we have vicodin for the emergency packs."
"That's good. There's been times we could use it in the past." He sat on the foot of his father's bed. "Angel said to tell you the FBI handled the military and clued them in that something major was going to happen by the rumors they were hearing. That's why they got there so fast with tanks and artillery. Don said to never let him see one of us with artillery again. I told him it wasn't ours, we were just borrowing it from another hunter. He went to have a headache with his brother for lunch. Angel said the cleanup went well. Hardly any civilian damage outside of those buildings that got hit and a few in cars that didn't move when the demons came closer."
"People always stop to stare at accidents," Xander reminded him.
"Basically or they thought it was a Hollywood stunt and thought they might be captured as extras in the scene according to Wesley." Xander snickered at that. "The demon parts got cleaned up well enough and burned." He looked at Xander. "Buffy said to give you a hug and to smack you around for putting yourself in danger that way because you're still not a slayer - gun, badge, artillery, or wings doesn't make you one."
"I told her that'd be your response and she said she knew but apparently no one had reminded you you're mortal recently so she had to bust that bubble before you did something heroically stupid and got shot saving someone out here where she couldn't nag." He smirked a little bit. "Met Dawn. She vowed to hunt you down and fuss over you until you gave up and just destroyed the council so you could come home. Her mother made her stop it and she calmed down but wanted a postcard somehow, even magically if you could."
"Willow? I don't remember seeing her."
"She was keeping Sunnydale from opening," John said. "She finally tied herself to it."
Xander looked at him. "She did?"
"She write you?"
"Pouting about you being mean and she'd find a way to unstick herself but she does say that it's tougher than you are on my bad thoughts when she has one."
"Yup, which is the point," John agreed.
Xander nodded. "I can see why that would be useful. If I go that way, we'll find me one in the Midwest and let you stick me to it."
"Not cute," John warned.
"Yes I am. Dawn said so all the time."
"Dawn's a teenager. She doesn't know anything yet," John said firmly. Xander just grinned. "Any other good news, son?"
"Sam said Bobby hugged his couch when he got home. Bobby said your taste in music sucked and Sammy's i-Pod being hooked up sucked even worse." John laughed, holding his chest since it hurt. "They're all okay. Everyone made it through, Xander." He nodded at that. "Dad got a lot of new contacts that slightly freaked us out. Did you ever meet Lorne?"
"Cordelia talked about him a few times. Suggested I should go sing for him. If I had, I would've run that weekend." John patted him on the head. "Anyway, I can go back to work tomorrow if you want, John."
"Taylor said you're staying home for the rest of this week, kid."
"I can't. People will go free."
"He said Danny's subbing and Chad's still doing nights. There's no backlog and if things get that bad he'll let you come back sooner but you're staying here. Or else he's going to send Stella to baby both of us and make us shoot her to get her to stop, which he'll kick our ass for."
"Good point." He slumped down again, finishing his cocoa. "Thanks, Dean."
"Not a problem. Those living statue guards came in real handy. Angel's delighted with them guarding the demon underground. They keep stopping fights." Xander grinned. "Did you get back the rest of the artillery?"
"They're in the bag of stuff from the hospital," Xander said with a point. He got them out and went to lock them back in the sanctuary's armory. "I can sneak back, right?"
"I don't want to be fussed to death by Stella, Xander."
Xander pouted. "But I miss my guns."
"Clean yours, mine, and Dean's," he ordered. Xander went to do that. He shook his head, calling Taylor. "Xander wants to come back early. Can he?" He smirked at the complaint. "Dean's here. Sammy's nearly here, he should be here by tomorrow." He laughed. "Fine. Cleaning guns. Thanks, Taylor." He looked around. "Xander?"
"He snuck out, Dad," Dean called. He came back, looking at him. "We ever figure out who was in the house?"
"Nope. Internal affairs said it wasn't them. They admitted to the ones in the car but not the one in the house that was also PD issue." He shrugged and winced.
"Dad, want something like an advil or aleeve?"
"Please." He went to find the bottle, tossing it at him before he went back to playing in the armory. John took two aleeve and slid down to go back to sleep. He should nap before he had to spank Sammy for fussing too much. Just like his mother would have.
Xander snuck into ballistics, looking at the guy in there. "Hey, Adam." He grabbed his coat and glasses, coming over to get back to work.
"Mac's gonna yell, Javier."
"No he's not. Dean's back so he can take care of John and his stitches."
"What about yours?"
Xander gave him an odd look. "They're not infecting and I'll be pulling them soon. They're fine."
"Uh-huh." He moved to the doorway, looking around. "He's not here if you want to sneak out." Xander gave him a shove, then closed the door behind him. "I want to hide anyway," he agreed, going back to his own lab. "The gun reports will be back soon, Stella."
She gave him a look. "He snuck back again?" Adam nodded. "One of the boys back?"
"Dean is. Sammy should be in soon."
"Then we'll let Mac spank him later when he catches him." She went back to work, shaking her head. They watched as the new girl went to the lab and frowned, trying the door. "This could be bad." She stomped their way. "Use the delivery chute on the door. That means either the tech isn't in or he's being moody and wants to be left alone to work in peace."
"I can hear he's in there. There's music."
"Monroe, he has a hundred-seventeen new stitches he just got the other day. He'll bite you if you try to interrupt him today. Give him time to calm down from his grumpiness and then introduce yourself," Adam advised. "Javier's a really nice guy, goofy and fun loving, but right now he'll bite. He shoved me out and we're friends."
"Have you seen his new place?" Stella asked.
"Once. Mac had me drag him home the last time he snuck in. It's nicely decorated and bigger than it seems it should be. With a killer bathroom and armory closet."
"Of course he does," she agreed, shaking her head. She looked over as the door opened. "Hmm, out of soda?" she guessed. He came over with a report. "Thank you, Javier. Feeling better?"
"They're only stitches, Stella. Nothing major." He looked at the new girl. "I do mysterious and mystical things in my lab. If the door's shut, use the chute."
"I can work ballistics."
He smirked. "So can I, it's my speciality. I can also use a crossbow, a sword, artillery, shotguns...." He changed it to a sweet grin, making her shiver. "It usually means I'm concentrating and if you break my concentration I'll lose my train of thought. Use the delivery chute and then come back in a few hours for reports if I haven't paged you or come to find you in person. I do very quick work. Chad's the same way when you work with him." He looked at Stella. "Three matches in the system. It's a gun that makes you want to mug people. In one case shoot their dog because they weren't cooperating."
"Another destroyed one from Chicago?"
"No, this one was ours out of Staten Island's lab. So you get to tell Mac that they're screwing up. We only have a few days to note that in the system or the Feds get mean."
"I'll talk to him about it," she promised. "Go home. You're on medical leave."
He snorted. "For stitches? Please! I've fought with worse than this." He went back to his lab and shut himself back in.
"He's a bit stubborn," Adam said. "I noticed no t-shirt today."
"It probably hurts to pull one on," she pointed out. She paged Mac's phone, letting him have an excuse to leave his meeting early. Lindsay went to talk to the other techs about that one. Mac stomped in. She handed it over. "Staten Island supposedly destroyed my gun, Mac."
He read the report. "I see Javier's back." He glared at the lab then went back to reading. "Let me call over there, see what happened. Don't report it to the system admin's until I hear something."
She nodded. "He said we have a few days."
"That's long enough for us to find out and stomp someone if it's on purpose," he agreed, going to make that call. He stopped in ballistics, watching the boy move. "Go. Home."
"Bite me." He looked over. "It's only stitches. Dean's back so he can take care of John. I don't even have painkillers in my system, Mac. Let me work. Shoo! I need to work to feel good about myself."
"You need to go home. If you don't, I'm going to add days onto your medical leave."
"You can't do that. The higher ups won't like it."
"Yay. Go home before I have Stella drag you." He walked off, going to call the other lab and chew them a new one. He saw Danny and Don heading for ballistics, Danny walking Xander off toward the elevator. He smirked at that. "Good job, boys." He dialed, finding the head of the lab out. Voicemail would have to do for now. "It's Taylor in Manhattan Felony. I need an immediate call back from you. Our tech just found a gun you supposedly destroyed last year on a new crime scene." He hung up and went to check ballistics, sealing it back up with the chute open but leaving a note for Chad in case he wondered. Don came back up the halls. "Danny driving him home?"
"Yup, sure is. With a stop for something over the counter to knock him out before he nibbles on someone."
Adam leaned out. "He politely told Lindsay to leave him alone if his lab door was closed. To use the chute because he was concentrating and didn't want to lose it."
"That could be a good thing," Don agreed.
"She said she could work ballistics and he pointed out he could also work artillery, swords, crossbows...." He let it trail off with a grin like his buddy had. "She huffed off to talk to someone else. We warned her he was sore and cranky first. She'll learn to like him when he comes back happier and less cranky. By the way, Dean sent Stella a text message warning her Xander had said he could pull his stitches in a few days, Mac."
"If he tries I'm adding another week to his medical leave," he said blandly, making Don laugh. "Anything else for me, Adam? Ballistics or not?"
"Not really. Some on Stella's case but I was confused by the markings on that gun. Apparently he knew what it meant when I didn't."
"It meant it was supposedly destroyed," Mac told him, getting a wince. "I've got a call in over there."
"Sure, have fun chewing someone a new one, Mac."
"I usually don't but this time I might take out the bad mood on them." He got a call from reception, going down to find Danny asleep on a couch. He nudged him. "Where is he?"
"Don't know," he complained, stretching. "All I know is we came off the elevator and I felt really tired suddenly."
Mac groaned, going up to the ballistics lab. Sure enough, it was locked and he could hear the keys clicking that meant the boy was in there. Fortunately he had the master key for all the labs. He found the door jammed. "You know that's against fire regulations, open it," he ordered with a knock. It didn't open. "Now, Elton." The obstruction was removed so he could walk in. "You are still on injury leave."
"Someone darted him in the reception area. I didn't think it'd be safe in case they were aiming for me." He held up the small dart. "I'm running the fingerprint on it." He handed it over. "Smells like an herbal thing instead of a medicine one."
He walked it over to Adam. "Have Sheldon check Danny. Elton found that dart on him." He went back to talk to him. He found him looking at a few of the stitches. He looked too. "Another week for that to be sealed enough to not need them." He looked at the boy. "We still respect you, even though you're injured. We've all been injured before. We don't think any less of you because you got hurt saving LA's collective rear end." The boy slumped. "I know your girls probably nagged you to death when you got injured. You probably got a lot of the 'normal guy' speeches when you got injured."
"Buffy sent Dean back with one."
"That's her narrow viewpoint. We know you're human. You've got incredible tolerance due to your training and past hunting. You've got a good handle on how to handle every sort of injury you could think of probably. We still believe you're extra special just because you're insane for sneaking in like that." Xander gave him a sheepish grin. "Would John be back at work this way?" Xander nodded slowly. "Is this a hunter thing?"
"He had to take care of the boys."
"Uh-huh. You can afford a few days off. You're even getting paid. This isn't that. This is you've had to prove yourself so many times that you're not used to letting yourself have time to heal. Which you desperately need. If you don't rest, the wounds won't heal as fast and then you'll have to keep the stitches for longer."
"You're not fine. Even Marines would admit they hurt, Javier." He closed the door. "I know you didn't have time to be hurt before and no one encouraged you to be achy and miserable back then. Now, we want and need you to be that honest with us. You're not as good or as fast when you're in this much pain."
"I can't feel it, Mac."
He frowned. "You can't feel the stitches?" Xander shrugged. "At all?"
"A little bit. It's like a little bit of pulling but nothing too bad."
"Did you take anything?"
"No. I don't do that. Ever. Not even when they took out my appendix."
"So you told me in the ER. Your parents should've sued that hospital." He patted him on the head. "Do you feel that?" Xander nodded. "Do yo feel this?" he asked, pinching him on the undamaged part of his arm. That got a nod too. "Do you feel this?" He touched a stitched part."
"Feels the same as the last."
"That's not good."
"That's probably something like the forgetting to eat stuff," Don said as he came in. "Danny's fine. The blood Doc pulled showed up beautifully with the herbal knock out drug. The tape from security showed who it was and they're in deep since it was an officer who walked off swearing when he didn't get him." Xander nodded at that. "So you left him down there?"
"If they didn't want him, he wasn't in any danger. Plus, ya know, security and comfy places to sleep. I came up to run the dart."
"If you had told us, we might've caught him."
"You're going to have to see why he wants me."
"Good point." He went to check on that. Sheldon had the name through the ID system and facial recognition. He had it narrowed down to two. "Are they twins?"
"Older and younger brother."
"Bring both in, ask 'em both," he decided, taking down their information and heading to get them.
Sheldon walked into ballistics a minute later. "Let me see, Javier?"
"I'm fine. They don't hurt, they're not infected. I'm fine. Really, Sheldon."
"They don't hurt?" Xander shook his head.
"He said he can't feel the difference between unbruised places and the stitches."
"I'm hoping that's from the same thing that makes him forget to eat."
"It probably is," Xander agreed. "But that means I'm fine to work since Dean has John and he can fuss over his daddy very well."
"If you have to be reminded to eat now and then, that's not healthy. Neither is this."
"It's not like this when I'm not injured."
"Uh-huh." He pulled him to his desk chair to look him over. "I'll be damned, you really can't." Xander shook his head. "That means you have to take extra care not to damage it again."
"I can't do that in here."
"Lab coat. And hey, button up shirt without being ordered to. Very protected. Monroe, this would be considered an administrative talk and we don't need help," he told her when he saw her listening. She huffed off. "Can I dislike her on general principles?"
"No," Mac said. "Try to get along." He came over. "Should he work, Sheldon?"
"I'm worried he'll run into something and cut himself by accident. Like that sharp table edge in the break room."
"I can watch out for that," he pointed out. "I just ate so I don't need a break."
"I'd rather you spent the rest of the week at home. Maybe by then some of them can be pulled and it'll ease that problem."
"But you'll get backed up again."
"I can work in here," Sheldon offered. "So can Adam. We won't let Lindsay in your lab." Xander nodded at that. "Or in your personal exemplar. She was looking at them funny earlier but Adam ran her off so he could get to work." Xander grinned at that. "Go home, give it a few more days to see if we can pull any of those."
"How many times have you done your own?" Sheldon asked.
"All but when I got my appendix out and they screwed up so had to go back in and two Willow did for me out of her mom's textbooks."
Sheldon gave him an odd look. "I want to kill your parents. You mind?"
"No but I figure they made themselves miserable. They're living their version of hell until they get to visit a more surreal version."
Sheldon grinned. "I like that thought. Call me in three days; I'll come check them to see if they can be pulled. Okay?" Xander nodded. "If you can feel things normally then, we'll let you come back." Xander pouted but nodded, taking off his coat. "Good boy. Need driven home or did you cab?"
"I cabbed but Danny has my house keys."
"I'll get them for you." He went to get them from Danny's pocket, waking him slightly. "Getting him home." Danny nodded, drifting off again. He went to hand them to Mac.
Mac smiled. "Thank you." He walked Xander off, letting Sheldon close the door and open the chute again. "Lindsay, I heard you were in ballistics earlier?"
"There's a lot of guns in there without tags," she complained.
"That's because they're mine," Xander told her. "Not the lab's." She gave him a funny look. "You'll find a lot of the best ballistics techs do have at least a small collection. Our private exemplar of guns we like a lot. That's maybe a fifth of my collection." She backed away from him. "Don't touch my guns. Did you move any?"
"One to the regular exemplar."
"I'll fix it. I know which ones are yours," Mac said. "Lindsay, he's going to be picky for a while with the pain he's in. Even if he is stubborn. For right now, let Sheldon and Adam run ballistics while you work in trace and fingerprints. That way there's no conflicts."
"He's strange, Mac."
Xander snorted. "I'm also rated for field work and I've done enough to get a second death threat against me for finding who had kidnaped someone, Lindsay. I consider that a high badge of honor." He stared her down, making her back off. "Thank you. I'll let you learn how to work with me when Mac finally lets me back. Until then, Sheldon wants me out for a few more days."
"You nearly died," Adam reminded him.
"No I didn't."
"You were unconscious."
"I begged, the only time I've begged," Xander assured him.
Adam looked at him, taking off his shirt to look at the stitches, making Lindsay gag. "He was in a small issue that came with knives." She fled to get sick. He looked at his buddy. "There's days you make normal guys like me, Danny, Sheldon, Mac, and Don feel less than manly, Xander," he said quietly. "Quit that. I don't need my male ego blown."
Xander gave him a hug. "I consider that a nice compliment. Thank you, Adam." Adam laughed, patting him on the back. "Hey, that actually hurt. That means I can go back to work, right?"
"No," Mac ordered. He walked him off. "Button it back up before someone complains. Or Stella giggles." Xander did that with a grumble of noise but they went down to take him home. It was nice, he was only ten minutes away now. He handed him to Dean when he opened the door. "He was making some of the techs feel less than macho by already being back. He can't feel the stitches. Sheldon will check on him in three days. If he's better he can come back. Need handcuffs?"
"We have his."
"Good. I'll see you with Sheldon, Xander." He walked off shaking his head.
Dean walked him inside and put him in his dad's room. "He can't feel the stitches?"
"Nope," Xander said. "Feels like everything else. Sheldon thinks it's the same thing with me forgetting to eat."
"Possibly," John agreed. "Knock him out, Dean?" Dean did that and they put him in his bed while John went to watch tv. He was bored. That way the boy couldn't sneak out. Sam burst in a half hour later. "Go nap with Xander, Sammy. He's tired and trying not to be fussed over."
"Why are you out of bed already? You nearly died!" he shouted.
"Son, I'm fine. Shut up."
"I told Mac that, he didn't believe me," Xander said as he came out of John's room. "That was mean."
"Shut up, kid. Sammy, go fuss over Xander. I've got Dean to fuss over me for now." Sam gave him the pissed, pouty face that made him realize that his son was kind of like a girl with PMS sometimes. "Son, take care of Xander since he won't take care of himself. You and Dean can switch off later so you can fuss over me then." Sam stomped off, dragging Xander back to his room to put him into bed. He sighed n pleasure. "That's better."
"He'll get you later," Dean warned.
"He says the same thing. You don't believe him when he says it. We feel the same way, Dad."
"Tough. I'm your father and I say I'm fine." Dean shot a dart at him, knocking him out. "No fair," he slurred before passing out.
"Yay." He carried him back to his bed and went to get Sammy so he could fuss over him. "I darted him. Want one for that one?" Sam gave him an evil smirk so he darted Xander too, knocking him out.
"S'mean," Xander mumbled as Sam tucked him in.
"He's spent way too much time with Dad." Sam laughed, going to fuss over their father. Even if he did tie him to the bed so he couldn't get hurt again. Sam came back to do the same to Xander then went to check the kitchen. "I ordered groceries. His account is locked thanks to Anya stealing some."
"Go get stuff for dinner. Pasta, meat, that stuff." Dean nodded, taking some cash to do that. There was a store up the street. He opened the window. "Get milk too, Dean." Dean waved a hand so he pulled back in and shut the window again, turning on the exhaust fans to air out the house. He doubted they needed dirty New York air in their sores.
Don looked at his phone that night, laughing. The others at the table in the bar looked over. "Text from Javier. Sammy tied me to the bed and it's not even for sex. Help me please." He let Mac see it.
"I'll check on him later," Mac decided, handing it back.
"Anyone taking bets on how long it takes Javier to chew her a new one?" Danny asked.
"Today," Adam told him, making him grin. "He told her to stay out of his guns." He took a sip of beer. "He thought it was a compliment that I said he was robbing the rest of us of our macho egos."
"He grew up tough," Danny said. "But he's more Rambo than I am every day."
"He's more stubborn than I am too," Stella told them. "I thought I was the queen of stubborn until he came back the next day."
"John had told him to quit fussing. He even called begging to let the kid come back to work so he wouldn't fuss over him." Mac's phone rang with a plea for help too. "Let me go check on him and John." He got up and headed out, shaking his head the whole way to his car. When he got there he found Lindsay Monroe trying to get past Sam to see him and get to know him better. "Lindsay, what are you doing here? Javier needs to rest."
"I thought we got off on the wrong foot so I'd see if he needed anything. This one, I don't know who he is, won't let me talk to him."
"He's resting," Sam said firmly. "He doesn't need company."
"Are you his boyfriend?" she asked.
"No. My dad is his mentor." She grimaced at that. "Mac, please go tell Dad to quit fussing before I knock him out again?"
"I can do that, Sam." He walked inside.
"This is much nicer than where I'm staying," Lindsay said since she had followed him.
"He redecorated while Dad was out of town." She looked at him. "He was just in LA."
"I saw that stunt gone wrong."
"Wasn't a stunt, sorry." Mac came out of John's room. "Is he going to stop fussing?"
"I told him if he complained too much you might call Stella in for ideas." Sam let out a wicked sounding cackle.
"Please knock my baby brother out," Dean called. "Before Dad ends up taking him out for going evil."
"He's not," Mac assured him. Dean came to the door without a shirt on. "No bigger injuries?"
"Head injury boy there has one but I'm mostly bruised. A few minor scratches." He nodded at the pitiful noises. "I think Sammy tied him down to make him quit trying to get up."
"Sam, he can't feel the injuries," Mac complained, going to untie Xander. The boy ran for the bathroom with a quick hug for him first. He came out to the living room in his boxers.
"You're naked," Lindsay pointed out.
He stared at her. "I'm at home. If I want to run around in my underwear in my own home, I can do that." She glared at him. "Really." Someone else knocked. He went to open the door, grinning at Don and Danny. "Thank the Goddess."
"Cute boxers," Don teased with a grin. "Nearly as cute as some of the t-shirts."
"I'd put some logos on some but John would get mad when people want to look." Danny laughed at that, nodding a bit. "Are you guys here to spring me?"
"No, sorry. Just to check on you." Don looked at the open stitches. "Shouldn't those be covered?"
"They need to air out," Dean told him, getting a nod back. "We'll cover them later for his shower and then so he can nap." Xander gave him a head shake. "You've got to sleep sometime, Javier." He stared him down. He was more stubborn than them. He had to prove it but he could do that. He had out stubborned Sammy, he could do it to Xander.
"So, Monroe, why are you over?" Danny asked.
"I thought I'd get to know our tech a bit better since we got off on the wrong foot. Apparently he's still cranky." She didn't see Mac and Dean giving Xander a look that said 'don't hit her'. "What are you guys doing here?"
"Checking on him."
"Oh. You're friends?" Danny nodded. "I guess that makes sense. Taking breaks together and things."
"No, I take those with Adam. I've known those two since the academy when I turned in a serial killer we had in my class." She shuddered at that. "I'm good with serial cases and their methodology. I'm actually very good at hunting and obscure research."
"I can tell with how you said you can use a sword." Xander pointed at the ones on the wall next to her, making her back away. "They're big."
"They're sharp and I can use every single one," he said with a proud grin. "And my battle axe." He pointed at his baby. She just gave him an odd look. He looked at Mac.
"I think I've seen you working out with one and you did look good with it, Javier. We should let you guys rest. Come on, Lindsay. I'll see you tomorrow, Danny."
"Doubt it, I'm off." He nodded at Xander. "Feel better?"
"I'm fine. Mac's fussy. I was doing fine when I came back earlier."
"Uh-huh," Don said. "Keep it up, get spanked and I'll bring my Ma here to help Sam fuss." Xander slumped into a chair at that. "Good." He nudged Danny. "C'mon, he's okay. We'll check on him tomorrow."
"I hope you feel better soon, Javier," Lindsay said. "I do look forward to working with you."
"You too," Xander said with a grin. "Have a good night." She left with Mac. He shuddered, getting a sympathy pat from Dean for having to deal with her. They heard her out in the hallway.
"We have guys like that in Montana too, but usually the ATF guys are busting in their doors to arrest them. Are you sure he's a sane, sensible tech, Mac?" Xander shook his head, making Danny laugh. They followed the other two out.
"You know, the local ATF office loves Javier," Danny told her smugly. "His rookie ride-along time, his commander sent him on a Vice bust. He went as a field CSI. Came back with over thirty guns. Spent all night working on them, went back to his next day's shift, came back to the lab to keep working on them. When the local office took over, they watched him work and he presented them with a report in nearly record time. Including guns that had been stolen from that group because he talked to the perps and got that list too."
She gaped. "He did?"
Don nodded. "Yup, lead back to a homicide on my desk." He smirked. "He's a great tech. You just caught him on a shitty week."
"I can understand that. We all have bad weeks now and then. I'll see you guys tomorrow." She went home to think over the new tech's surly nature. Maybe he wasn't so nice but she could get along with him at work at the very least. Everyone liked her.
"Bet you ten bucks he'll have locked her in a closet to get away from her within a month," Danny offered to Mac.
"Sucker bet," Don told him, shaking his head.
Mac shook his head. "He'd better not." They smirked at him. "Have a good night, guys. Try to rest, Danny. It's going to be a long week."
"That's why I got tomorrow off," Danny said smartly, earning a smile from Mac. Don took him home then headed for his own. Mac went to his place and it was calm for a night.
Xander walked in the next day with someone in cuffs, dragging him past reception. "Mac in or is Stella?"
"Mac's in, Javier. Do you need help? I know you're injured."
"No, he gives me shit, I'll shoot him." She laughed at that. He gave her a look. "Not kidding." He took him up to the office, dragging him off the elevator and down to Mac's office, shoving him down to his knees in front of the desk. "This nice tech from Staten Island tried to break into my house to get my guns, Mac. Would you have any idea why?"
"We think he's the gun leak out there. Did he touch any?"
"Dean beat his ass before I could." He looked down then at Mac. "Have you kept her out of my exemplar here?"
"I have but you can check it after you give me a statement and before you go home."
"Thank you." He took the form to fill out, handing it back with a grin. "The receptionist thought I was too nice to shoot him." He walked out, going to his lab. "Checking on my babies. One of the Staten Island techs broke into my house to steal my guns." He looked in the cabinet then around. "Uh-huh. Mac!" he bellowed, bringing him running. He pointed at the empty case. "I think there's an obvious problem there. Adam, did you take them down to clean them?"
"No." He looked then winced. "Maybe Chad moved them into the regular storage area?" Xander went to look, coming back with six of the fifteen. Mac went to help him look for the others. Adam thoughtfully took them to run fingerprints. What came up made him smirk and hand the sheet to Mac. "He'll kill her."
"I told her not to touch his guns," he complained. "Lindsay, my office," he ordered, making her flinch. "Now." He walked behind her. Uniforms were there to arrest the CSI. "Charge sheet's on my desk."
"Sir, will we need to pick this one up too or is she going to be arrested for other offenses?" one asked him.
"She violated lab protocol. She won't be arrested this time." They nodded. "Thank you, boys." He waited until the crying tech had been dragged off. "Why were you in ballistics rearranging things?"
"The exemplar's supposed to be in the cabinet. That's what the night guy said."
"The guns you moved don't belong to the lab, Lindsay, they're his personal guns." She went pale. "Fortunately he has a list of what he has here so he has serial numbers on them and all their pertinent facts. That way we can verify them." He stared at her. "If Chad had wanted them moved, he'd talk to Javier and ask him. Since they both agreed his private collection can sit in that cabinet, that's where they belong until we get examples of them in our lab exemplar. You don't go shifting things in another tech's lab."
"He was moving slowly and said he ached. He asked me to put the guns from a test fire up so I thought I was being nice."
"Chad had his leg broken earlier this year. He was out for a good long time because of it. Stay out of ballistics."
Xander stomped in. "One's missing that we can't find. You picked up a lab-owned Desert Eagle fifty. Mine's newer by two years."
"Do you remember where you put it, Lindsay?"
"I put all of them in there."
Xander called Chad from the desk phone. "It's me. Monroe decided my guns belonged in the exemplar cabinet for you. I'm missing my Desert Eagle fifty. Did you see it?" He nodded, making a note on the scratch pad Mac handed him. "Thanks, Chad. Few more days but the Staten Island night shift ballistics tech tried to break into my house to steal my guns. Yeah, I can look at that one since I'm here. Sure thing. Thanks, Chad." He handed it to Mac. "He said he had one out last night that may have been misboxed because she boxed it on him while he was taking something for his thigh. I need you to check it, as protocol demands, while I look at the match he wanted me to look over."
"I can do that. Let's go." He glared at Lindsay, making her shrink back. "Stay out of ballistics, Lindsay."
"Because I do spank hard and I do not hesitate," Xander assured her, stomping out again. Adam had the bullets for him. He settled in at his spare scope to look them over while Mac looked at the boxed guns. "He said the other's listed as 'gun found in lab', Mac. He said he checked and it wasn't mine."
"I found that one. You're right, she boxed yours up. Why didn't he check?"
"He was nearly stoned on the pain," Xander said, looking back at him. "He fell the other night and I'm not so sure he didn't rebreak or at least partially rebreak that same spot."
"I'll have him go in for x-rays before shift." He sat down to make a note on that box while he called Chad. "You were right. If you had told me I would've checked earlier." He smiled. "Javier said that, Chad. I understand that sort of pain. That's why I want you to get new x-rays before you come in. Tomorrow? No chance at the ER tonight?" He nodded. "I can see how that's going to be bad." Xander thumped his head on the scope. "Bad?"
"Not a match at all." He took the phone. "You're right, Chad. Not a match. Not even close to a match. Like sixty percent. Was it originally mine?" He listened, looking up the case file with a groan. "Shit. Okay, I'll let him know. Thanks, Chad. Any others?" He made notes on other cases he had seen. "I have no idea. I'll either look myself, have Mac look, or have Adam look since he's subbing while I'm out with stitches. Mac said so even though I said I'm fine." He grinned. "Thanks, Chad. Next time, let me know at the first one and I'll gladly do that for you. I am this ballistics lab's protocol bitch." Chad laughed. "Have a good rest." He hung up, waving Mac over. "Look at the tech's name. He caught an irregularity when he was inputting on the same gun and had the sample sent over."
"I didn't think Flack was a ballistics tech out of Staten Island." Xander called up the other cases by that same tech's name and ID number, finding a few others. He pulled up a few more based on case numbers and Mac groaned at the mismatches they were showing. "I will handle this."
"Please, before I have to beat his ass."
"Granted." He patted him gently on the back, getting a hiss. "That's a good sign. Let me have your gun cleaned and I'll have it put back, Javier. That way she can't touch it."
He looked at Mac. "She touches my babies again I get to spank, right?"
"We'll see," he said with a tolerant smile. "Go home. Rant at Dean and check your collection there, make sure nothing's missing."
"Good. Adam, I want all these printed out and a note made in their files that they're being pulled for quality control inspections." That got a nod. "I'll have that tech brought here."
"Can I break bad on him?"
"No, I can make him cry and whine on my own. Go home." He nodded, trudging to do that. "Lindsay is no longer allowed in here to help."
"I didn't want or need her help and Chad was probably distracted with this and the pain, Mac."
"I know. That's what he said. Can you pull a little bit of overtime if we get more?"
"Sure, not a problem. Chad not coming in tonight?" He shook his head. "Okay. You know, they say Dean Winchester is about as gun nut as Javier is."
"If he had the training I'd offer him Staten Island right about now. I'm sure he'd whip them into shape the same way Javier is." Adam grinned and nodded. "Let me know if you find any others."
"I can do that." He watched Mac walk off. "I need popcorn for that interrogation." He called Don Flack to give him a head's up. "Someone was using your badge and name to log in ballistics samples done wrongly in Staten Island. Mac is. Chad found it, had Javier verify one, and he about threw a fit since he dragged in another of their techs for breaking into his house to steal his guns. Sure thing. I'm here doing that for him. You might be needed for a statement, yeah. Check with Mac. He's doing that." He grinned and hung up. Don was going to offer to get that tech for him apparently. They were going to be brining chairs into observation so they could sit and munch while the guy begged and pleaded for his life.
Xander walked in and slammed the door. "The other tech out there was mismatching guns and putting it in other names in the system. Including Don Flack's. Lindsay, from last night, kindly put my personal exemplar into the lab-owned exemplar cabinet and one into an evidence box, the wrong box. If Chad hadn't realized, even stoned on the pain he's in, it would've been destroyed." He snarled. "Mac won't let me spank her. Yet."
Dean gave him a pill. "Mild, not very strong, will calm you down some so we can clean the stitches and then you can help me clean the guns, Xander." Xander swallowed it dry and went to the sanctuary to kick a wall.
"He's going to kill her," Sam said.
"Probably," Dean agreed.
"I might let him for that. I'm wondering if it was intentional tampering," John said. He called Mac. "I know you're busy but was her thing intentional tampering to discredit him or just damn fool stupidity?" Mac said something and he smiled. "Kicking a wall. Yeah, he told us. Please do, Mac." He hung up. "He thinks she was being stupid while trying to help Chad." He looked at his oldest son. "He said Adam suggested you could take the same training, son."
"If I ever get too tired of hunting I might. Maybe he and I can take over a lab somewhere and be gun gods." Sam snorted at that. Dean picked up the ballistics magazine, pointing at the ratings they did of techs, their efficiency, their skills, and their competency test ratings. Xander was in the top twenty. "For a first year I'm guessing that's nearly unheard of."
"Possibly. That should be hung up or saved or something." Xander came back pouting. "Did you see this?"
He glanced then nodded. "Yeah. I know I'm a gun geek." He grinned. "It's nice when others think so."
"You should save this or put it in a frame," Sam told him. Xander gave him an odd look. "It's probably unheard of for a first year CSI to make this list at all."
"Maybe. I don't mind if you want to, Sam." He went to the kitchen to make himself something to drink. "Since I'm in here, anyone need something?"
"Not at the moment," John said. "Let Dean clean those for you, kid." Xander made a whining noise. "It's that or an infection that'll keep you off work for longer."
"They finally hurt earlier."
"Good, it's about time you're as grumpy as Dad is," Sammy said with a grin. He got up to finish the soda and ice cream float, handing it over and shooing Xander out while he put things up and did the dishes. Dean took Xander into his bedroom to check the stitches for him. He came out to get the peroxide and cotton balls then went back to clean them. "He good?"
"He could use a few replaced. One's gotten wet it looks like. Another's looking gooey through the whole cut." He tested it. "Did that one maybe have poison, Xan?"
"Not that I know of." He looked back. "I don't remember what got me there. It was when I was freeing Buffy."
"Maybe we can have someone at the lab test it," Dean said. Xander grimaced but shook his head. "If it's got poisons we'll have to counter it somehow. You don't want Dad to mope if you die, right? Because I'll beat your ass if you make Dad mope."
"Fine. You might ask Sheldon. He's a former ME and surgeon."
"I can do that." He took a good swipe of it and put it into a bag he found in Xander's scene kit in the closet. He used a swab he found on another nasty looking one as well, just in case it was a poison and not an infection starting. Then he sat on Xander's back and cleaned all the cuts back there. He let him flip over and let Sam hold him down so they could lean that one. Another of them got the swab treatment too. The pill he had given him finally knocked Xander out so they tucked him in and went to call Sheldon. "Hey, Sheldon, Dean Winchester. I was cleaning Javier's stitches and I noticed a few looked odd. I was hoping nothing had poisoned claws or anything. I did, I took a swab of two of them and used a cotton pad on the other. In some of his bags from his kit. He's knocked out, I drugged him," he said with a grin. "Nah, on the way home would be fine, man. I'm sure. Thanks, Sheldon." He hung up and looked at his father. "Your turn."
"Mine are healing very well, Dean."
"Either you give in or I dart you again," Sam offered. His father glared. He found the dart gun and made sure it was loaded. His father stomped into his room. "Thank you for having common sense, Dad." Dean smirked, going to clean them for him while Sam worked on dinner. Xander's float went into the freezer for now but he'd want it later when Sheldon poked and checked him over.
"I thought you went home," Adam said as Sheldon came off the elevator.
"Dean asked me to look at a few of Javier's cuts. Two are infecting and he thinks one had some poison in it. I'm running to see what it is."
"Sure. Need help?"
"I can do it. Thanks, Adam." Adam grinned and left while Sheldon went to run the samples, frowning at what came up. "That's interesting." He brought the results to Mac since he was doing paperwork. "Would that sort of poison make a man that stubborn?"
"I think it's natural to him," he said as he looked up. "Poison?" He laid the forms out. "Hell. Can we treat it?"
"Probably. I'll see if they know who would know how to do that." That got a nod. "I thought two were only infected but apparently the machine overruled me."
"They can do that," he agreed. "Tell me if they have to take him back to the ER."
"I will." He left with the sheets, taking them back to the guys' apartment. Sam let him in and gave him a bottle of water. "Thanks, Sam." He smiled at him then at Dean. "Know someone who can take a breakdown of the poison and tell you how to treat it?"
"There's three good demon anti-toxins that I know of. I can check with Wesley," he offered.
"The two I thought were infected came out just as filled with it." He put down the forms.
Dean looked. "I sucked in science."
Sam came over to look. "That's still an infection, right?"
"Underneath the poison, yes."
"He's taking his antibiotics," Sam told him. "I make sure of it even if I do have to hide it and drug him."
"We might need something stronger. Let's see what we can do about this poison. Would it make him that stubborn?"
"No, that's being a hunter," Dean assured him. "We can't go to the ER, it draws attention. The one in Sunnydale killed a lot of people for parts and blood. Nearly him from what he said about his appendix surgery when he was seven."
"Wonderful. Are they still operating?" Dean nodded. "I can have a word with someone who can turn them in. Find out what he needs to be given so I know if I need to set up an IV or something, guys."
"We can do that," Sam assured him with a grin. "Everything up to deeper level stitches really."
Sheldon stared. "You're kidding."
"No. Going to the ER draws attention we don't want," Dean told him. He shifted some. "Dad's a pretty good field medic. He taught us how to stitch, remove bullets, arrows, and pieces of metal when it came up."
"A few teeth that one time," Sam added.
"That too. Plus a bear trap when he accidentally stepped on one," Dean agreed. Sheldon gaped in horror. He grinned. "The pay's crap, the benefits are even worse, but you get to see evil bitches go away."
Sheldon shuddered. "Okay then. Let me know if you guys need medical help while you're here in New York, okay? I won't say anything." He left it to them.
"Call Wes and read those or fax those," Dean ordered, shifting again.
"Hemorrhoids?" Sam teased.
"No, bitch, I think that's your thing from the ass sex. Mine's numb."
"Too much pinching?" Sam asked.
"Not enough women." He got up to check on Xander, checking his forehead carefully. Xander bit when you woke him up. This time his wrist got a lick so he was happier. "Just checking," he said quietly, leaving him alone. Sam was babbling with Wesley. "Do we need to find a mojo shop locally?"
"Top drawer of the entertainment center," John called from his bed. They opened it and smirked at the first aid kit. "Second layer of vials, the blue thing. It's the one I used on you when you got bitten, Dean."
Dean took the phone to tell him about that one, getting clearance to use on Xander's injuries. He found a clean needle and went to do that for him, then came back to tell him how it went. They'd make sure he was fine after this was all done. Then they could go back to hunting evil things.
to part 10
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