Ballistics Dean ideas
--- On Fri, 4/10/09, Stephni Warner wrote:
In Many Mystical Mes, you have John and Xander saying that Dean would make a good Ballistics Tech. and Dean saying that if he gets to injured and wants to retire then he would think about it. That he and Xander could run Ballistics. You ever think of doing a story where Dean gets injured and does go to collage to become a tech and then goes on to Intern with Xander as the tech over interns in Ballistics?
Stephni / Danu40k
On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 11:05 AM, Catherine . Wrote:
i have thought about it. it's lower on the priority list right now but I have thought about it. i think he'd make a pretty decent one. probably freak some cops out but i could definitely see it.
*blinks* Dean getting pulled into the Demon ballistics route, getting his own white lighter, and then being sent to intern under Xander, as he's the only one who would understand him.
Medjai's Quatre Winner
Mate to Trowa Barton
Friday, April 10, 2009 9:54 PM
From: "Barshadatsky Margarita"
I prefer Dean and Sam as close as possible. So. Dean injured and stays with Sam while going trough therapy and Sam is the one that convince Dean to go into ballistics. After graduation we have ballistic techs Dean and Xander and a profiler /lawyer Sam. Where
will they go and what will they do?
Friday, April 10, 2009 10:50 PM
*bangs head on desk* Now that the thought has had time to ruminate...Xander, after seeing how "girl crazy" Dean is (and not knowing who his white lighter is) asks him, "so, are you sleeping with your white lighter too?"
Dean's reaction is a face vault... "EWWW Dude! That's so wrong! My white lighter's my dad! That's worse than all those people who thought I was sleeping with my brother!" and he walks off to find brain bleach.
Medjai's Quatre Winner
Mate to Trowa Barton
Friday, April 10, 2009 11:59 PM
From: "Tabathia Adams"
<giggles> Just imagine Sam's reaction to finding out about John being Dean's Whitelighter, cause you know even though John is Dean's whitelighter he isn't going to limit his meddling/guidance to just Dean.
Notes: you guys give me some of the strangest yet decent ideas I've ever had.
A New Breed of Demon Ballistics Tech is Born
Dean Winchester looked up from his moping when his hospital room door opened, frowning at the woman he didn't know. "New doc?" he guessed.
"Not like you think, though my mother would have preferred." She pulled a chair over to sit and look at him. "The friend of a former student named Angel came to see me early last night. Apparently he got some sort of head's up that you do things like one of my favorite students used to, Mr. Winchester." He gave her a confused look and a slight shrug. "He said that the head's up told him that you were going to need to change careers from something like my former student's hunting, stalking, staking former job."
Dean blinked a few times, then looked confused. "Staking?"
She leaned closer with a smile. "Mr. Harris was a demon hunter. I've heard you were one as well until that car crashed into you?"
"If I can get out of this bed and walk again, I'll be one again," he assured her.
She smiled. "Mr. Harris, Xander, had come to us after losing an eye during an apocalypse." Dean gave her a horrified look. "He hunted throughout school and then retired once he graduated, slightly anyway. He went through a special program that gives him legitimate reasons to hunt demons for the police department he works in."
"He's a hunter and a cop?"
"He's not an officer. He's a CSI. Do you know what those are? I don't know your past experiences with police."
"Exactly, only he's a ballistics tech." Dean grinned and relaxed some. A hunter who got to play with guns all day and got paid for it. That was a dream job. "Now, this guy Angel was one he was working with and somehow he had some higher connection that invaded his head or whatever who told him to get me to talk to you about similar options. Ones that would actually pay you to hunt bad guys and if you went the same route could let you still hunt demons."
"I'm not sure I could do something like that, ma'am. Most hunters live in the shadows."
"I know that. Trust me, I looked up what Xander did when he started to have flashbacks one day during class. He kindly fell asleep during a test review." He shuddered. "It wasn't pretty but he did tell me that doing it this way gives him the same amount of hunting, plus he gets to play with guns all day." She stared him down. "Also, even mildly handicapped, it would be a job you could do. Labs are often the most accepted places for handicapped individuals in any department. They also usually contain some of the oddest people in any department."
"But that's science stuff," he said.
"It's a concrete set of skills that you learn the reasoning behind. We're not going to have you doing theory stuff, Mr. Winchester. It's like how you probably know the theory behind trajectory because you've had to plan shots." He nodded. "Can you do it in reverse to find where one came from?" He nodded at that, relaxing even more. "Can you look at guns to tell what type they are?"
"I'm actually very weapons oriented. We prefer shotguns."
"Good. Xander had a thing for swords and crossbows because of the way he hunted. Plus some artillery now and then. I won't lie. You'll have to pass chemistry and physics. You'll have to be able to put things in little bottles after the proper preparation and then let the machine do the analyzing. There's a lot of skills that you could find useful. From what I know about hunters, you probably have a lot of them down in some way or another. We'd be giving you a lot of the background and theory behind it. It's a very hands-on set of skills and classes. I can tell you Xander goes into the field to work crime scenes."
"He's missing an eye and he can do that?"
She nodded. "He trained after missing it. He was missing it when he joined us. He had lost it about a year before that Angel guy sent him to college to make him quit annoying him but to still keep him close enough to help with the problems that LA draw." She shifted to cross her legs. "I can also sponsor you into the same demon forensics program he went through, either during or after your four years with us. Not to say that you can't test out of some classes. I think you can."
"Um, I'm not really the school sort, ma'am."
"Neither was he. He had gang kids who tutored him through chemistry, physics, and economics." Dean gave her an odd look. She smirked and nodded. "Xander is very hands on. He's also going to become one of the best ballistics techs ever." She uncrossed her legs so she could stand up. "I'll let you think about it. Then next time you get some online time, look up our program at UCLA. You can call my office at anytime. I was Xander's advisor so I know where we'll have to warp a few things now and then. Plus how to get you around some of the odder problems you guys have." She smiled as she handed him a card. "If what he heard was right, you have a brother that hunts as well. The offer is open to either of you." She patted him on the hand. "That way you can still hunt and get paid for it, even if you don't ever make it back to the running after beasts that drool stage." She left him alone.
Dean looked at it for a few minutes then put it on his bedside table. He'd have to give that some thought. He wanted to get back to hunting. There were too many bad things in the world for him to ever give it up. People could and would die if he didn't help end the menace. He looked down at his legs. Who would've thought the thing that might take him from hunting would be a car accident? He'd had a few but this one had shattered the side of his hip and broken one of his legs in a few painful places. He had a few bone screws now. His hip had a plate in it. They said he might be able to walk again, if he wanted it bad enough, but running might be out for years. He looked at the card again then turned on the tv. He'd think about that later. He didn't want to mope anymore today.
Sam walked into his brother's room with a takeout bag. "Burger with onions and mayo," he said cheerfully. "Plus a soda that's not diet." He handed them over, getting a weak grin back. "Bad day in therapy?"
"No therapy today, Sammy. Kinda an odd day." Sam had noticed the card. "She came to see me about taking some CSI type training. Mentioned a hunter that had went through it a few years back. She said that there's a demon program too."
"Really?" He sat beside his brother. "It should still be warm. I only stopped a few minutes ago." Dean dug in while Sam pulled out his phone to look that professor up online. "Hmm. She is one of the senior professors at the criminal forensics program at UCLA." He let Dean see the information he had pulled up for him. "Who did she mention?"
"No one I'd heard about before. She said he's missing an eye. Retired from hunting mostly when he graduated. But he went to that special program so he was hunting demons for his department as well as hunting other bad assholes." He took a bite of his burger, moaning at the flavor. "Good burger."
Sam grinned. "I knew you were missing them." He shifted on the hard chair, looking at him. "It's an idea. If you can't hunt, you'll go insane. I can't see you sitting around the house doing research like Bobby does."
"Point," he agreed between bites.
"Plus we could get paid for hunting."
"She said you could go too. It was open to either of us. She said she thinks some of our other skills would transfer and we could probably test out of some classes."
Sam grinned. "I can probably have my transcripts sent and only have a few months of classes, Dean." He looked up the curriculum, frowning at it. "It's a heavy load." He let him see.
"They do have some more practical options that're more hands on."
"She said he had a gang kid tutor him."
"Interesting choice of tutors," Sam said dryly. "What field does he work in?"
"Ballistics plus he does crime scenes. Even with only one eye. She said that I could do it even when I'm still working on walking again."
Sam nodded. "As long as you weren't expected to go into the field, you could. If it takes years, you might be down to a cane so you could do that then." A nurse came in, making him smile. "He was begging for food with taste."
"I understand. We eat the same food they do if we eat here. Make sure it's slightly healthy so the others don't complain." She smiled. "Some of us are realistic people." She checked Dean's machine readout then his pulse before fluffing his pillow and leaving them alone.
Sam smirked at Dean. "No flirting? She was pretty."
"It hurts when I get hard, Sammy, and I don't think she'd like that since she was telling me about her grandchild that's about to be born the other day."
"Huh. She didn't look that old." He shrugged it off. "It's up to you, Dean. I can look up info on their program, the demon program, all that if you want it." Dean shrugged. "Okay, I'll do that before the next visiting time. You're going to have to stay stationary for a while anyway while you work on walking again."
"I know. It sucks but I know."
"Well, I have some better news." Dean put down the last few bites of his burger to stare at him. "Bobby's finished fixing the Impala. She's good as new." Dean beamed at that news. "She's safely sitting in his garage until he can get her out here to us."
"I'll call him later." Sam handed over a new phone card. "Thanks, Sammy."
"Not a problem, Dean. I know this has seriously sucked and has been making you think bad thoughts. I know you don't want to talk about it because then you'd feel you were going emo and shit. I get that. Put the frustration into the therapy. It'll only make it go faster." He gave him a wry look then a grin. "I got a promotion."
"Congrats. So the job's going okay?"
"Not bad. How did she hear about us?"
"Some guy named Angel told her. Apparently that Harris guy used to hunt with him. No clue. She said he had a higher connection that told him to talk to her about us."
"Huh. Well, I know about Angel. I've heard some rumors about him. He's a vampire who works for the Powers That Be and hunts the dark." Dean gaped, starting to whimper. That wasn't right by any means they knew. "He's the local heavy hitter in the area." He smirked. "I ran into one of his people out at a demon bar I accidentally walked into. Really great place. Full neutrality and anti-violence charms. The owner's some sort of seer as well. We got into a discussion about the headaches from the sight and how to cure them." He grinned again. "I'll take you when you can get out."
"Yeah, apparently there's whole categories of peaceful species of demons. Not the possessing kind, not the rampaging animal kinds, though he did say there were more of those than we know, but there's also fully peaceful demons who just ...are."
"That's really strange."
"Yes it is. Oh, and there's a demon law firm in town but they're bad guys."
"Good to know."
"I nearly interned with them. I would've that summer after passing my LSATs."
"So we saved you working for the demon lawyers?"
"Apparently." He stood up to pat Dean on the hand. "I put napkins in the bag this time too, Dean, and some M&M's for later on. Let me go look that stuff up."
"Sure. Please do. Dad would freak, huh?" he asked after a moment's thought.
"Dad would've screamed and tried to burn that bar because he wouldn't have seen a difference in them," he pointed out. "No one ever told us there were peaceful ones."
"True." He shook his head quickly to clear it. "That's still strange."
"Yup." He gave him a short hug. "Let me go look that up. You rest and I'll be back tomorrow afternoon?"
"Therapy around one."
"I'll be back around dinner and bring you another soda or something." Dean grinned at that. "See you then, big brother." He walked out, heading back to their small rental efficiency at a rundown motel. His job gave him enough for the rent plus necessities. The state was paying for Dean's medical care. Plus Sam was suing the bastard that had hit them. Sam had been in a full arm cast up until a few weeks back. He had spent six days in a coma after that night. He wanted to pay the guy back for every single ache and pain they had. Now, maybe, they might have to leave hunting so this might be a good option.
Dean finished his burger and soda, getting comfortable to watch some mindless action movie while he ate his M&M's. Peaceful demons? Really? Yeah, their dad would freak the fuck out and lose his mind at that thought.
Sam smiled at the professor that let him into her office. "Professor Destra?"
"I am. You are...."
"Ah. I talked to your brother."
"You did." He sat down, looking around the office then at her. "Demon forensics?"
"It's a small sub-program meant for people who're going to be CSI or officers." She found the brochure and gave it to him. "My last student who attended said it had a lot of nasty stuff in chemistry class. The first one I sent managed to skip a full year of the two years based on his past."
"Interesting." He looked it over, then looked at her. "You do realize that a lot of hunters have had to...skirt the boundaries that you would consider sacred to do our jobs?"
"Yes, but I'm also aware that your kind of hunter could probably also have that cleared up fairly quickly."
He scratched the back of his neck. "Well, I do know a few hackers," he admitted. He grinned. She smirked back. "Not to admit anything."
"Did you know that there is an international group that watches over certain types of female hunters?"
"I've heard about them slightly. Some rumors mostly."
"They do offer scholarships to those children of hunters or hunters who have to change fields. They've also sent some teachers to that program." Sam relaxed at that. "There's not a lot of people who know but some do. I've had students who've been in most major metropolitan police departments."
"In this field?"
"One's in New York, one's in Miami, and the most recent one that's just come back is going to, I want to say, Houston but possibly some other area in Texas for her after-school internship." She stared at him for a moment. "I won't say it's an easy program. I will say that you probably have a lot of skills already. I will say it's a solid career. That it's a good paying career after your internship. Interns are paid crap." He nodded at that knowledge. "I can tell you that you could both end up in the field easily enough and still be able to hunt your old way fairly easily as well."
"I was pre-law before I went back to hunting," he said quietly.
She smirked. "Excellent. So you probably have everything but the program core classes out of the way. From what I've found about your brother, he can probably test out of a lot of them. Also, he might like to know that some of them can be done online from his bed while he's healing. That way he leaves the more physically intense classes for when he's better able."
"What would it entail?"
"Depending on what you could test out of?" He handed over the folded papers from his back pocket. "Good boy." She pulled out a sheet to mark things off. "Stanford always transfers to UCLA." She finished and showed it to him. "You have to take your basic forensic classes. That's twenty-four hours. Then there's area of emphasis hours. Like ballistics, trace, DNA, field, whatever. You get three classes in field work in your basic hours. There's a few other specific classes you'd need to take." She looked at him. "If you went spring, summer, and fall, you could graduate within a year and a half to go there, and however long they kept you. Xander got out of some classes by stating his pedigree. You could probably do the same." She leaned back. "Has your brother taken any classes?"
"He's more hands-on. He hated high school."
"That's fine." She handed him a spare sheet. "This is what he has to take. Anything in blue is something he can test to see if he doesn't have to take it. He'll need to take his SATs if he hasn't already. If so, we'll need his scores to admit him. I can guarantee a special admittance. I know you guys feel what you do is very important. So do we. It's more legal to do it our way. You can't kill a perp at the end of the hunt. Even if you want to." She gave him a weak smile. "But you do feel the same after you put them away for years."
"I'll definitely talk to him about it. I might not mind but it does depend on Dean."
"I can understand fully. If you guys decide to settle somewhere less expensive, since I heard you were midwest boys, there's other programs out there. I can definitely steer you toward a good one. One that I'd trust the techs out of. Then I can sponsor you into that special program if you wanted."
He nodded. "That's good to know. What about the academy?"
"You'd be a tech, Sam. Not a full officer. Some techs are officers but if you're a lab tech you don't have to be in most departments." She smiled. "To sweeten the pot to stay here, I can get my former protégé that drove us nuts for four years to do your internship in Miami. That way you have an internship director who's been in the same field and knows exactly what the instincts are screaming at you to do."
"I'll definitely talk to Dean about that," he promised with a smile. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. I hate to see talent wasted. In your case, fate sucked and made you make some changes. This way, your skills aren't wasted and all your old instincts are still helpful to those who need to be protected. There's still human monsters out there."
"I'll talk to him later tonight, after he annoys his therapist." She smiled and nodded, shaking his hand. "Thank you, Professor."
"You're welcome, Sam." She watched him leave, hoping that he made a good choice. He and his brother could be great assets to any lab.
Sam flopped down next to Dean, watching his brother drift on his most recent painkiller dose. "Dean, you awake?" he asked quietly.
"Not fully, kinda still fuzzy. Why?"
"She's pushy but she's got a good reason. We could do a lot of good hunting human monsters instead of demonic ones." Dean turned his head to look at him. "Plus you can test out of about a quarter of the classes and a lot of those you can do from your bed when you can't sleep." He leaned forward. "She said if we moved closer to Bobby once you get out of here, then she'd refer us to a good program there if we wanted." Dean nodded at that. "She said you can take them out of order so you get the more physical classes later on. She'll still sponsor us into that other program. Which we might be able to cut down the time on. The first one she sent got to cut a year off because of his hunting."
"Interesting. Any other good news?"
"I'd have about two years of classes left plus however long there. If you started this upcoming semester online and did about full time from the bed, you'd be out within three." Dean nodded at that. "I can slow down mine."
"Three years, Sammy?"
"Dean, they said it'd take at least two before you could walk fully," he pointed out. "That's two years of sitting on our asses."
"This'll at least teach us new tricks. Ways to get around some of the fields if we have to. She said she knew I could clear up our records if necessary. Also, she said that the international group of hunters we heard about offers scholarships for the children of hunters or those who have to change careers."
"She's in it to get the human monsters, Dean. The ones we can't hunt."
"I can understand that," he admitted quietly. "Still, three years?"
"It's not that hard. I can help you with a lot of it. My former classes all transferred in so I've done a lot of it. I only need the core program classes. Field work, lab work, all that stuff."
"I'd have to wear a tie, huh?" he asked blandly, looking disgusted.
"The picture she had of some of her students had some. Some were in t-shirts and lab coats." Dean perked up at that. The painkillers really did mellow him out a lot. "She also said she'd get us an internship with that other hunter so we had someone who could help us when the instincts to blast someone with rock salt came out."
Dean smirked at that. "That might be nice."
"He's in Miami."
"Hopefully by then it won't hurt when the little Dean gets happy."
"I'm sure it won't." He patted his wrist. "It's up to you."
"How much is online?"
"Everything but the core classes. Which I can hold off doing until you're ready. That way we can go as a team and help each other when we get stuck."
"I'll think about it."
"That's what I told her." He grinned. "I also called Bobby to see if he'd heard she had been checking up on us. He did hear that she had and gave us some information on her former student. Apparently he was working with Angel when they had to enlighten a few local officers. He also heard that the program up there is hard, but it does teach you about alchemy, cults, demons, hunting techniques, all that good stuff." He handed over the brochure. "It looks like we can skip a lot of it."
"Demon chemistry?" he read. He snickered. "Sounds messy."
"Probably is. Bobby said he knew of a hunter that had started up there and said it was really hard. They did teach weapons, classifications, that stuff, but he wasn't willing to study so he washed out and quit. But it does look like some of it's going to be the same thing we'll be learning if we go through this program. Just extra categories and tests and stuff for demons."
"Huh." He yawned, blinking hard. "I'll think about it."
"That's all I promised, Dean. You rest. I'll be here when you wake up again." Dean nodded, shifting some so he was more comfortable to sleep. He winced so Sam got up to help him. His hip still throbbed all the time. Even with it healing.
Dean decided he hated the therapy center's room within another week. He hated sitting on his ass anyway but to be stuck in a hospital bed was the worst. Even if he couldn't walk he still wanted to go farther out than the smoggy smoking area. He had nearly begged a nurse earlier to let him at least hit the parking lot since his car was finally out here. She had denied it and told him it wasn't safe. Which he didn't really care about at the moment. Sam had stuck up for him but she had been stubborn. Usually she was one of the nicer nurses but oh well.
Sam came back from run for lunch, winking at Dean. "She agreed you need more fresh air."
"LA doesn't have fresh air."
"Not that sort." He smirked. He helped Dean into the chair and outside, taking him to the car.
"How did we manage this?"
"I charmed your doctor, who gave you a day pass for up to two hours." He opened the passenger's door, shifting the chair to help Dean get into the seat. Dean sighed in pleasure as he settled himself, even if he was sitting oddly to keep most of the pressure off his hip. "Oh, got this for you too." He opened the back door to grab something, moving Dean so he could slide it underneath him. "Gel cushion to take some of the pressure." He put the wheelchair back then jogged back to drive him off somewhere more scenic. He parked about twenty minutes later and handed Dean a bag from his present favorite takeout spot.
Dean sighed in pleasure, patting his dashboard. "Baby."
"Tell me when you start to hurt."
"Without being that stubborn. I've gotten you weekly afternoon passes." Dean beamed at him. "I knew you were going nuts sitting in there, Dean."
"Yeah, I was about to start watching horse jumping I was so bored."
Sam grinned. "Wouldn't want that. Eat." Dean dug in, relaxing again. Sam watched him, eating his own lunch. When Dean started to shift and looked like he was in pain, he reached for the keys but Dean stole them. "Dean."
"Okay." Finally the pain got to be too much so he drove him back. "As you heal it'll get to be longer times out," he assured him quietly. Dean nodded. "But hey, an hour's good, Dean. I mean, you still have broken bones."
"I know. Thanks, Sammy."
"Next week we'll hit another nearby nice spot to have lunch and you'll last a bit longer." Dean nodded. "So, the school thing?"
"Sounds kinda like class work and homework. Boring shit I hated the first time."
"Not all of it. The englishes and those things, yeah. The science classes are all hands-on. The core classes are all hands on. Oh, and I did some more checking, when did you take three online classes?"
"Few years ago when I was down on my back for six months. Dad got totally tired of me complaining so he ordered me to do them as a punishment for whining."
"That, with your SAT scores from high school, meant that you got to test out of a few classes already. If you take the other tests, you can be out of more of them."
"It still seems kinda boring."
"So's laying in a bed watching horse jumping."
Dean gave him a dirty look. "Not my fault we got hit."
"No it wasn't, and the guy's in jail. His insurance is offering a trifling amount of money. I've already upped what we want plus all your medical bills paid. They're trying to sneer but I'm acting like some of my former classmates. They're going to try to push it into settlement court or something. I'm going to make them fucking sorry for doing it and him too. I pointed out that we can and are suing not just them but him as well." He parked at the hospital and got out to get a chair, walking it back to help Dean out. He could stand if he could lean on the hood of the car. Sam even put the cushion down for him, getting a weak smile for it. "The guy's protesting that it wasn't his fault he was going over a hundred miles an hour on a back road. No judge is going to let that stand and his own attorney for the criminal case is telling him to settle."
"That's good news." He sighed as he stretched as much as he could. "Thanks, Sammy."
"I know you needed out. Next time we'll go out on Sunday afternoon. You don't have therapy that day so you're not going to be tired, plus there's nothing on tv." He smirked. "We'll picnic." He helped Dean into the chair, locking the car so they could head inside. The nurse gave him a dirty look. "He's better."
"He's in pain."
"It was worth it," Dean said firmly.
"Whatever," she shot back. "You're not due for another dose for an hour or so, Mr. Winchester."
"I can live with that." He let Sam wheel him into his room and help him back onto the bed. The cushion got put beside the table and Sam sat down. "They're grumpy this week."
"Even nurses have PMS, Dean," Sam said dryly.
"Good point I guess." He shifted, smiling as he got a bit more comfortable. "So, more time on Sunday?"
Sam grinned and nodded. "More time on Sunday. That's how you build back up. Like with the walking stuff."
"Yeah, I'm still working on standing up in there."
Sam leaned closer. "Your hip isn't fully healed yet, Dean. Of course you are. Ask to do some water stuff." Dean grinned at that. "They can do all sorts of therapy in the water. You can swim just using your arms too."
"I'll talk to the PT about it, dude. Thanks."
"Not a problem." He leaned back. "Professor Destra said the driest and most boring show of what they do all day is on the Discovery Channel tonight. There's a whole block of them on unsolved crimes. Mostly it'll show some field work but it will show some of the more usual test running and the autopsy stuff. She said there's a better show but it's on a channel the hospital doesn't get. If you want I'll tape it for you."
"I guess. At least I can play 'guess who did it'."
"You can," Sam agreed. "I did when I caught one last week. Do you want me to tape Mythbusters for you too? It's on right before that show."
Dean smirked. "Explosions are cool. I could like that."
"Good." He smirked. "Anything else you need? Like shampoo, soap, that stuff?"
"I'm good for another week on both of those. The electric razor's a godsend too. Thanks for that idea."
"I didn't figure you could stand up and shave, Dean." He smirked. "Need anything treat wise?" He patted his jacket down, pulling out a bag to toss over. Dean dug into his candy delivery with a wicked grin. "Remember not too much at one time or you'll bounce and ache worse."
"I remember," he said through a bite of milky way. "Nearly as good as percocet."
Sam grinned. "It can be when you're craving it, yeah." The nurse came in. "I'm taping some stuff for him."
"There's a vcr attached to his tv. We can put in tapes for him, Mr. Winchester." She looked at Dean. "You're not supposed to have candy."
"Tough," he said through a current mouthful. He held one up with a grin. "Since you're cranky?" She blushed but took it and gave him his medicine. Then she left. He grinned at his brother, who only smirked and shook his head. "Thank you, Sammy."
"Welcome. I'm a fabulous little brother. You know that." He stood up. "You behave."
"I'll nap in a bit."
"Good." He smoothed down some hair. "You need a trim." He looked at him. "I'll find the clippers." He walked off happier. Dean was happier after his time in his car. Even if he was in pain it was better.
Dean settled in to nap off the new painkiller, cuddling around his candy. The nurses might steal it if he didn't.
Dean finally gave in two weeks later. After another mind-numbing week of boredom. He was well past the stage where he wanted to use an ice pick on his brain. Sam knew this so he arranged to have a new present waiting on him. He stared at the box then at him. "It's a mini-laptop."
"It's a notebook," he corrected.
"We can't afford this, Sammy."
"It's under four hundred, Dean." Dean gave him an odd look. "Seriously. It can't do much but you can get online. I did put some money onto the account so you can pay for internet access. I preloaded the classes that you said you wanted to take so you only have to log in. I left your password inside the box for you too." Dean nodded at that, opening it to look over. "The keys are kind of tiny, sorry."
"No, it's good. I can surf for porn on it too."
"Hospital has most of those blocked," Sam sighed. "Pity, sorry."
"Nah, it figures." He shrugged. Then he grinned. "They're not perfect though. Some sites still get through."
"Some do," he agreed, getting comfortable while Dean plugged it in and then turned it on. It was a fully featured, low memory and hard drive, tiny computer. "Since you wanted that one lit class, I found your books online and saved them down already." Dean gave him an odd look. "There's tons of books online these days. Audio and otherwise. Destra said she did warn the professor that you're doing it here when you're bored. He said to log into the student chat room at least once a week to talk about the book they're currently reading. Do your reports and send it to him through the system. You can upload it through the class's page." He shifted closer to show him how it went.
"My password is bustybabes?" he said with a grin.
"I figured you were missing some," he smirked back. Dean swatted him but he was laughing so it was all good. "If you want to change it you can do that from here too." He showed him the class's page and how it worked. "That's the chat section. There's where you upload work. That's your email from the teacher." He clicked on it so Dean could see. Dean read it then nodded, going back to browsing around the computer. Sam had saved a few mpeg movie files for him too. Dean beamed at him. "You said it finally quit hurting when you got hard. I figured you needed some encouragement to work on that muscle too."
"It does kill boredom but yeah, I needed it. Even my type. Thanks, Sammy."
"It's LA. You can find all sorts of porn out here. One's the busty, Asian women you buy in the mags, only in lesbian porn. The other two are lesbian porn but biracial. I've got another sixteen movies at home that I rented and copied onto my laptop when you're ready to switch out."
"Deal. That's so wicked. No CD drive?"
"You'd have to get an external one or a USB key of some kind. You do have one of those," he said with a point. Dean grinned, plugging it in to see what was on it. More porn. Dean was in heaven. Sam got up to give him a hug. "Play but don't upset the nurses. Try some of the class work tonight when you're bored. Email me if you need help writing your first book report in a decade. I'll be at home making baked chicken." Dean drooled. "I'll try to save you some," he said with a grin. He left Dean to play around.
Dean relaxed, watching his first porno in months. It was good to be somewhat back. The nurse came to check on him, giving him a dirty look. "My brother knew I missed all my ladies."
"Uh-huh. Should we test you for funny diseases, Mr. Winchester?" she teased.
"No, I play safely. I don't want any little Dean's to come into being," he said dryly. "Thanks though." He grinned. "I've got class work stuff on it too."
"He cleared that with us earlier." She showed him how to log online from there, making him a happier boy. "There. That's the hospital log on." She patted him on the arm. "Want dinner soon?"
"Must I be tortured with bland food?"
"Can I have the candy the one nurse stole back?"
"She needed it more than you did," she said with a pinch to his cheek. "But we'll see about pudding or ice cream." She went to add that to his menu tonight. He needed the extra calcium. He was a decent patient who hated to let them help him do anything. It was sweet how independent he was. She heard a moan and closed his room's door, winking at the other shift nurse. "His brother gave him some amusement."
"He's not the first."
"He said he's missing his ladies." She smirked at that. "The computer has educational stuff on it too."
"Good. He's been bored."
They shared a smile and went to check on the other patients.
Dean was finally getting to go home. He was bouncing on his bed, kicking his feet while Sam pulled down the warding runes on tape he had around the doors and windows. His clothes and computer were already packed. Sam came back to toss them out, staring at him. "What now?"
"Papers. Have to sign you out." He went to get them, bringing them back with a nurse. Who hugged Dean. The ladies had doted on him because he had manners and a cute grin. "Aww."
"Shut up, Sammy. She gives nice hugs." He signed himself out. "Okay, I'm gone."
"For today. Remember, you still have to come back every day for physical therapy."
"I know. It sucks but I know."
"Good." She helped him into the chair and wheeled him out, Sam following along behind them with the duffle bag of his stuff. "There you are. One shiny car." She rolled him up to it and let Sam help him into the passenger's side. "You be a good boy, Dean, and remember to work just as hard at it." He nodded. "Good boy." She walked back to the hospital, smiling when a blare of Metallica came on and the car backed out. "They're cute." She went up to close out his residency file. Then to tell the other demon nurses in the hospital that he was gone, they didn't have to worry about it so much. They hadn't wanted to spook the poor boy.
Dean rolled into his first day of real class. He hated it but Sammy had rented him a power chair until he could walk well enough for a walker. Which he'd hate when he got to it. His teacher pointed at a special seat that was set up for him. "Thanks."
"Welcome. You're a bit early so I can see what other help you'll need."
"I haven't had a lab science since high school, dude."
"That's fine. We're getting a lot more mature students these days. People who have to retrain skills. Can I ask what happened?"
"Idiot going one-thirty on a back road." The teacher winced. Dean shrugged a bit. "He's miserable but paying out the ass for it." He smirked. "He's probably still swearing at himself for being that dumb since he thought it wasn't his fault he was going that fast."
"Ah, Hollywood syndrome. We know it well around here." Sam strolled in. "You're in this class too?"
"I am and his brother." He sat down next to Dean. "This way we can be confused together."
He smirked. "I've heard from Professor Destra that you're both more hands-on oriented. We do have some very nice tutors available if you need it. We've had others who have in the past." He got them the syllabus. "For the ones that're marked with a highlighter dot, you'll have to use a bunsen burner for the experiment."
"It's my leg that's messed up, Professor."
"Good. Then I won't worry."
"Hopefully by the end of the semester I'll be on a walker."
"If so we'll change you to an end station, Mr. Winchester. How many other classes do you have today?"
"One right after this one then I'm home for four hours, then a night class."
"Good." He looked at them. "If there's something you don't understand, I do have a TA. He's in the same program you two are. He's a senior doing work study. Feel free to ask him to put things into your own field's area of expertise." He looked over as more students came in. "Welcome. This is Chemistry 205, for forensics and pre-med majors. If you're not in that class, you're supposed to be up the hall." A few left. "Good." He took roll then went into his opening spiel about what they'd be doing, what he expected, and how he expected it to be done. He saw the younger Winchester taking notes so that was good. He'd help his brother.
A year and a half later, Dean and Sam were on their way to San Francisco. They had been there before but not for this reason. It was a long drive and Dean still couldn't sit that comfortably in the car for all day drives so they made it in two days. They had found a samllish apartment near the school through their housing lists. It wasn't that bad. So when they finally showed up for their first day, they were shocked. It looked like a regular college building. Had classrooms and all that good stuff. Dean was down to a walker for now, though he was hoping to move to crutches within a month's time. He and Sam got their schedules and headed for the bookstore.
"Demonic chemistry. Why does that sound like it's going to be messy?"
"Because it probably is," Sam admitted with a grin. "Read the one below it, Dean."
"Necromancy." They shared a look. "I guess you have to know what it is to counter it sometimes." Sam shrugged. "Huh. Wonder if we're raising the dead."
"Probably not fully. Probably going over the ways to counter it. Notice the other one? Magical theory and practice."
"What if we can't do that shit?"
"Then I guess it's just theory in that case," Sam said with a small shrug. "I did talk to the registrar and a few teachers to tell them that we had experience. They had a few flashbacks to the same guy that you're being compared to all the time. Apparently his first day he told a teacher off for not believing in demons." Dean snorted, shaking his head. "And busted the magic teacher for being one that went rogue a few years earlier."
"They still teaching?"
"No. They're back with those international hunter people." They shared a look then Dean snorted. "I did talk to the physical combat teacher, told him that you were doing therapy and working your way back to walking without help. That it had been going on for a while. He said he could help you with that and once you were down to a cane he could help you learn how to spar with it. I mentioned that guy's name and he had a fond flashback. Apparently he did some compensation upping of his skills too."
"So he understands that we can do it, we're just not as good as we were before," Dean summed up.
"Decent." They made it into the bookstore, finding all sorts of books they had no idea about. "How bad is this going to run us?"
Sam winked. "I did apply for a scholarship through those hunters. I told them that we were going here. They gave us full ride plus books and a housing allowance." Dean smirked at that. "Apparently they help sponsor a few guys who go here so they know how expensive it is. Plus they did say to hold off buying a few of the books until we met the teachers, in case we could skip it." Dean nodded at that. They picked up their starter set and headed back to the apartment to rest. It was a good day, a decent enough start to this very strange college.
Over the holidays, they got a visit from an old family friend. "Bobby!" Sam cheered, letting him into the apartment to give him a hug. "Welcome to our humble slum."
"It's not as bad as some I've seen," he assured him with a smile. He looked at Dean, who was stretched out on the couch. "Bad day?"
"Just got back from Atilla the PT Hun." He sat up with a wince and a groan. He even accepted his own hug. "Thanks."
"You looked like you could use it, Dean. How's it going?"
"I'm down to the funky crutches with the arm bands."
Dean grinned. "Thanks." He shifted to make room for him. "So, how's hunting going?"
"About the same as usual. Nothing too huge but a lot of little, annoying things." He looked at them. "How's classes going?"
"Messy," they said together, getting a quiet chuckle from the older man.
"Necromancy class wasn't that hard," Dean admitted. Bobby gaped.
Sam got their books for him to look over. "Next semester's chemistry goes into alchemy too. We even figured out how to use a lab to find demon slime. Then how to tell them apart."
Bobby shook his head. "These people are insane."
"Some days," Dean agreed. "The combat coach has been really good about helping me work on some strength training and how to still fight even if I'm on my crutches. Or if I get knocked down, how to get up more smoothly. My PT loves it." He looked at Sam. "Coffee?" Sam went to get it for them. "There's stranger shit out there than we ever knew."
"I can see that," he said, flipping through the classification manual. He looked at him. "So you're going to graduate when?"
"From here, final test is in March. We got to skip a year," he said with a grin. "Then one last year at UCLA."
"So you're going to go all the way?"
"I may never be able to fully walk again," Dean admitted. "Not without at least a cane. I can't hunt like that. This way, I can hunt. Hell, some year I can teach this."
"That might work," he decided. "What's after UCLA? I know most of these places have internships."
"Yup," Sam said, coming back with three cups. "With holy water, Bobby." He settled into his chair. "She's going to get us with the other hunter she knew who went through the same programs."
Bobby stared at them then burst out laughing. "Is he a ballistics tech?" They both nodded slowly. "Yeah, you'll fit in with him. It's strange but you can deal with him really well. It'll be like dealing with Dean all day." They both relaxed at that. "He's not real active but the last thing they had in LA that you guys got to miss by being in the hospital, he was there. We heard about him from some of our contacts, who warn him when they're in town to handle a case in his area."
"That's nice," Sam said. "I guess we should be able to get along with him for a year then." Dean nodded, sipping his coffee. "Dean'll get to play with guns all day. I'm deciding on which way I want to end up. I'm kinda torn between field work and trace."
"Both pay well," Dean said. "Field techs get paid less than straight lab techs because field techs have to be cops."
Sam nodded. "True."
"I think John would've been proud of you two. You're still hunting even if you can't fully hunt, and you're doing good things for the world." They smiled. "So, what're we doing for the holidays?"
"I don't care as long as I get to smack the caroler upstairs when they practice at 2am," Dean told him. Bobby laughed and nodded at that. "There's a pretty nice celebration coming up in the park tonight."
"We can definitely hit that," Sam agreed. Bobby nodded so they got ready to go out. "Dean, want the chair?"
"Fine." He followed them out. "He'll be cleared to drive in another six months," he told Bobby quietly. "It's been good. He's healing and keeps pushing himself. I have no doubt he'll make it all the way to a cane some year soon."
"It's good to hear. Ellen worried that he'd be one of those bitter guys that ended up in a chair reliving their past accomplishments."
"Nah, he said he couldn't pick up waitresses that way." Bobby snorted, but was smiling. "Exactly." Bobby got into the back of the car and they headed for the nearby park. "You know, one thing we did learn that was helpful. They had a mini-course on runic markings. We got a lot of stuff on protection wards and what various symbols meant." Bobby nodded that he liked that. "You can copy whatever of our stuff you want, Bobby. I know others might want see it."
"I can do that. Ellen wants Jo to be safer but Jo still wants to hunt. This might be an option for her."
"Could be but warn her there's disgusting slimes in demonic chemistry, and they will explode," Dean said dryly.
"Oooh, don't remind me." Sam shuddered. "Dean managed to make one explode all over the classroom. It also ate the classroom and our clothes. Anything not organic." Bobby snickered at that. "The teacher just sighed and said it happened, welcome to field work. Then he handed me a mop so I could clean up Dean's mess."
Bobby's laughs got louder. "Yeah, sounds nasty."
Dean looked at the combat instructor. "So you're saying that people who graduate the program get a spirit who'll offer them guidance when they have to hunt and help make up for weak areas they have?" he said, making sure he had it right.
"Plus some head's up visions from the Powers That Be," he agreed.
"Sammy's already a seer. We won't be hunting full time for a while. Why now?"
"It's a graduate perk," he said.
"So, this Harris guy had one?"
"His was a former CSI. I can tell you that he's on his second one. His first one decided to descend back to a real life. He couldn't handle the hunting duties. Then again, the Powers hate Xander. He had to make his own plea not to get someone who'd work against him."
"Interesting," Sam said.
"Apparently he screwed up a prophecy or something."
"Sounds like our sort of guy," Dean said dryly. "So we'd be getting someone like a former CSI of our own?"
"I don't know who they'll pick for you guys. We'll be doing it at ten tonight. You're both to be there. In clothes that would fit for ritual magic. We'll be graduating you two and three others tonight." They nodded at that. "Then you have to finish passing your classes. Try to bring up your demonic chemistry grade, guys."
"Sure," Sam agreed. "Can we make the slime explode again?"
"Why not, others have. We had a witch going through last year that ended up allergic to that purple slime. She sneezed; it nearly destroyed the building and set off a minor earthquake." They gaped in horror. He smirked. "Exactly." They shuddered. "So, ten tonight. Get here a bit early. Think about what you want in a white lighter. Maybe they'll get visions instead of Sam."
"They still hurt," Sam complained.
"Yes they do. They've also killed some humans that've had them. White lighters would be better able to handle them," he said with a smirk.
"That's a good reason," Dean agreed. They left the teacher alone, going to get dinner and shower then come back that night. It was odd watching the prayers going on and the beings in white cloaks appear. The teachers brought up each person and introduced them to the group in white. One of the beings peeled off for each of them. When it was their turn, Dean went first. He walked up, leaning on his cane. "Hey," he said quietly.
"This is the first of two former hunters who've had to change over."
"They have a special one together," one of them said. Dean quirked an eyebrow up at him/her/it. "They will be here shortly. We have to get him to stop complaining about stupid things."
"Some people do that. Can't say we like stupid people either."
"Don't worry, you'll fit in with him," it assured him. Dean nodded, stepping back beside Sammy until the rest were gone. Then she turned to look at them again. "He's finally quit ranting. He'll be here in a moment. Many happy years doing what you're doing, young men. You'll do fine hunting more general monsters." They disappeared.
Sam and Dean shared a look. "That's good to know," Sam decided.
"I'm getting a freaky feeling," Dean said quietly.
"Yeah, me too. Which means that it's probably a hunter." Dean nodded at that.
A white field came down and crystalized into a shrouded form. Which started to swear.
"Dad?" they said in unison, watching as he finally got the shroud off him.
"Must you do that!" he complained. "I didn't need to be covered in floss!"
"Cute toga, Dad," Dean said dryly with an evil smirk.
"Hello, boys." He stared at them, then specifically at the cane. "I saw. Your mother threw a very loud fit when you got into that accident." He moved closer. Then he stopped to grab his head as orders hit him. "Thank you, must you do that?"
"Yes, they must," Sam said dryly. "Trust me, they must."
John Winchester looked at him. "Smartass."
Sam smirked back. "Yup. Had a test last night, Dad."
"Figures." He moved closer. "How are we doing, Dean?"
"Better. Getting better all the time."
"Good." He smiled. "I'm proud." They smiled. "But I'm here to guide you when you need some head's up or some practical butt kicking."
"Of course you are," Sam agreed. "Should we know anything right now?"
"Don't go clubbing with your future mentor and don't eat his cooking. That's all they told me so far."
"How corporeal are you staying?" Sam asked. "The others that came in tonight went from ghostly to fully here."
John pinched him. "I'm mostly here. By the way, your mother sends her love. She's cheering for your grades, boys. She knew you could do it. And that you can make the purple slime explode too." They both smirked evilly at that. "C'mon. Let me change before I get propositioned. I always get hit on out here." They walked him back to the car, letting him run a hand along the former damaged side. "Bobby did good."
"He did," Dean agreed. John got into the back. Sammy got in to drive. Dean got his seat in the passenger's side. "Six more months," he said, patting the dashboard.
"At least we didn't have to put hand controls on her," Sam quipped. He drove them off. There was time to talk once they got somewhere warded and safe. Then they could all finish swearing at the Powers. This was not what they expected in a white lighter. It really wasn't.
Sam called their friend Bobby. "It's us. Did you know that when you graduate this program you get a white lighter of your own?" He listened to him look up what that was. "Yeah, that's the graduation gift they give you." He listened to him reread it then ask a question. "No, we got given a hunter. He even appeared in a toga. He was not pleased."
"I'm still not pleased you took a picture, Sammy," John called.
Bobby choked and spluttered. "Exactly. Non-corporeal, at least not fully. He's still floating above the furniture. I don't know. He did warn us not to eat our mentor's cooking or go clubbing with him. Apparently things happen." He listened to him complain, typing something into his computer. He sent it over.
"Our final grades and our final exam case. I think Ellen might like to hear about it. It was in her neck of the woods and had killed a few hunters. Dean's laying down. His leg's throbbing. That was what I sent, yeah. Sure, you can spread that around. I don't know. Dad, can you travel if others need advice? That way we get some non-nagging time?"
"I can," he admitted. "To people who knew me."
"Yeah, he can come nag you, Bobby. Or Ellen. Thanks, man. Sure, we'll be heading back to LA in a few weeks. Summer school. Dean's going to take his last few field classes. I've got a few lab classes. We've got to do our in-school internship. Yeah, those tiny things. Thanks, man. Have a better night muttering. No, it's not the start of the end of days. He's still dead. Fortunately more dressed now, but still dead. Thanks, Bobby." He hung up. "He said you can come nag him later, tell him what was going on up there."
"I'll do that while you two pack up and move back to LA. No more tests?"
"I asked on the way out. The teachers said we didn't have anything to do. We'll check tomorrow with the normal classes." That got a nod. "If so, we still only have a month and a half of classes left, Dad." He got up to fix dinner. "Dean, food?"
A hesitation. "I can make it."
Sam walked one and a cup of coffee in there, handing them over. "Being in that sort of pain means it takes longer to heal." He left him alone to take it in private. He knew Dean hated relying on them. He hated watching him be in pain. It was a recent set of arguments about Dean not taking them when he needed them. John looked at the bedroom. "He's being stubborn."
"Dean always was stubborn about injuries." He went in there, looking down at his oldest son, who was ignoring the pain pill. "It doesn't make you weaker, son. Being in that sort of pain clouds your mind and makes your body weaker. Handling it won't make you addict either. There's no reason to put yourself through this. It's not going to help you heal faster."
"I get nagged enough from Sammy, Dad."
John leaned down. "Don't make me switch places with your mother, Dean." Dean gave him a confused look. "I'm not sure I can't and I'm damn sure your mother is just as stubborn as you are. She's where you get it from, Dean. She will find a way to come down here and cuddle you while making you take that pill when you need it."
"It's too strong."
"So ask to be cut down to something lesser. I'm sure the doctor would love it."
"The next step down doesn't work. They don't make a lesser dosage in this one."
"Then cut it in half."
"Will it still work?"
"It's a tablet, it should." He shrugged. "Call a pharmacy to check."
"I can do that I guess. Thanks, Dad."
"None of us want to see you in that sort of pain, Dean. It's not healthy and it's not good for you. Take it when you need it. I know you're not going to become an addict."
"Welcome." He went back to watch Sam cooking. "He'll cut it in half."
"He can do that." He looked at him. "He could move to a different class of drugs. Loritabs or maybe vicodin. I've asked his doc about that since he doesn't like to take these. They make him fuzzy-headed and sleepy."
"They did me too when I was taking them." He watched his son work. "He'll be fine, Sammy. Even if he doesn't make it fully back to running, he'll still be fine."
"I know but it hurts him to grab his cane every morning."
"The same as it hurts you to see him do it," he agreed. "That happens to the best of us though. There was no way to avoid that one. It wasn't fated or anything but accidents are just that. Accidents. You're lucky Dean heard him coming and turned the car some. Or else you'd both be in beds permanently if not dead." Sam nodded at that wisdom. "It'll work out."
"Vision from on high?"
"Winchester toughness. You're both as stubborn as Mary ever was." Sam snorted but he didn't look pissed at it. "If there's a way, Dean'll be back to full health. If not, you're still fighting monsters and taking care of some that not even hunters can deal with."
"I would've thought you'd be pissed." He shot him a look before going back to stirring stuff in the pan.
"If you can't hunt, then you can't. This is the next best thing. It's as important as hunting demons. You'll still get to help people and stop people who should be called demons. Even if I have no idea what a lab has to do with that calling."
Sam smirked at him. "You'd be surprised, Dad."
"Probably. Science was not my best skill, son. We all know that."
"I remember you trying to help me with a class project and failing." He handed him some food and filled a plate for Dean, leaving it beside him then sneaking back out. He settled in to eat. They had a lot to catch up on and a lot of things that they needed to hear from John. Maybe this time he wouldn't nag so much.
Xander Harris hung up and went to find his bosses. Unfortunately not together so he had to haul Calleigh with him up to the office. "I got a request from a teacher."
"Why?" Horatio asked, watching him shut the door. "That bad? New case?"
"Two interns." He handed over the notes he had been sent. "Came up through the same two programs I did. Have the same sort of history I did."
"Do they wear the headache inducing t-shirts you do?" Calleigh asked patiently.
He smirked. "Remember, I have worse."
"If you wear them, I get to burn them," Horatio reminded him dryly. He looked over the qualifications. "This one's evenly balanced."
"He said to let us know which side he should land on for that last class of emphasis time." He looked at her. "One is injured."
"Usually you get a lot of injured interns," she reminded him. "They see you as a good trendsetter and someone who can help them deal with the realities of daily life in a lab with a life-changing injury." She looked over the ballistics one. "I definitely wouldn't mind him. His grades are a lot like yours."
"He had less tutoring but yeah. He and his brother finished together."
"They're both hunters?" Horatio asked. Xander nodded. "From your friends in Cleveland?"
"No. Apparently their family were hunters like that one guy I had to step in to help last month. Roaming, dealing with smaller issues hunters."
"Some of those have been decent people," she admitted, switching with Horatio. "We only have three open intern spots this upcoming year."
"Which is why I'm asking for the favor." He looked at Horatio. "They need to stay together."
"I understand why. I had one from Mac Taylor that was a specific request too. They didn't have room for him but he's looking to be an excellent field tech." He considered it. "It's unusual."
"If we have to, and I haven't talked with Tim about this yet, but I can let you take one's salary out of mine. That way we can afford another intern."
"I can probably get a grant from your friends to cover them, Xander," Horatio said. "But if I have to, I can talk to you and Tim about that." The boy relaxed. "You sure you can handle it?"
"I can. Professor Destra nagged them into the forensics program out there and into the program she nagged me into. They've been compared to me the whole time. Apparently they had a car crash. Dean, the ballistics one, is still on a cane. He's recently moved there from crutches. He had it before he started training." They both winced. "So he'll be a lab tech, but she said he's still working on getting back to fully walking without assistance. I like that attitude. He's never made excuses for it. Never tried to get out of classes for it. Even the field work classes he did what he could and pushed himself. His brother was apparently the more school-oriented one so they helped each other through the harder classes. She said he had been pre-law at Stanford."
"Interesting," Horatio agreed. He considered it, looking at her. "Let me call them to see if we can get that training grant." Xander nodded. "I'll call her myself in a few days. Then I'll help him figure out which side he wants to fall on."
"Thank you." He hugged them both and went to email her.
"He's excited," she said with a smile.
"He should be. This is like him being a big brother to a new sibling in the lab." She walked off. He called up to the Watchers Council headquarters. "I need to speak to Mr. Giles please. Lieutenant Caine in Miami. Tell him it's not about Xander." She transferred him after a short wait. "Mr. Giles. No, he's fine. He's excited because it seems that there's been two hunters who have went through his old programs. They want him to mentor them. Yes, that is their name." He smiled at the 'we've helped them with a scholarship'.
"I was going to ask for a training grant actually. That way we could cover their internship costs." He got comfortable, listening to him talk about what they could do to help. "I do think it'd help them both, yes. Are they doing good out there? I have their transcripts but grades are only part of the equation of a good CSI." He listened, nodding at the points he knew. "Excellent. Please do. Thank you, Mr. Giles." He hung up and went to talk to Xander. "There is a grant, he's faxing down the paperwork for me tonight. He'll have an answer for me within a week." Xander beamed at him. "Tell her I want full portfolios on them and we need to interview them somehow."
"The convention's coming up in about six weeks," he reminded him.
"I can do that there or however."
"Up to you. If I go back to LA I'll be smacking Angel on the head for making dirty comments about my past dating habits and wondering if Tim was evil yet."
"Good point." He smirked, heading back upstairs to get that fax and fill out the paperwork.
Horatio smiled at the two boys he was out here to interview. "Good day, gentlemen."
"Sir," Sam said, shaking his hand. "I'm Sam, this is my brother Dean." Dean shook his hand and they sat down. "Professor Destra said that she'd personally petition an older intern to take us in."
"She did. He nearly bounced up the stairs to make sure he had room. Even offered some of his paycheck for your intern stipend if we had to." That got an odd look from Dean. "He's excited. He's had some specially sent interns in the past, mostly due to a physical issue that was making them work in a different manner. Xander is one of the most openly disabled techs in the US right now, and the highest rated one. So he gets one of those now and then. Usually on the in-school internships instead of the full after school one." They both nodded at that. "Right now he's bouncing around his lab hoping you both meet up to our high standards in Miami." He smiled. "From what we've seen of your transcripts and portfolio, it shouldn't be a problem."
"I shouldn't need that much help," Dean said. "I'm still working to ditch the cane."
"Good. We do have a gym you'd be more than able to use. Plus an optional membership with a gym that does have some very nice physical therapists on staff." Dean smirked a bit at that. "Sam, it would be open for you as well."
He smiled. "Which way do you want to go?"
"I'm... I like both areas but I'm liking Trace more often than not. Field work is exciting and a lot like what we're used to but trace work has the nitpicking nature. Now and then it drives me nuts, but I guess we all get that."
Horatio nodded. "Definitely. Whichever way you want to go, you'll be getting hours in both of them since that many classes qualify you as a minor in that field." Sam smiled.
"Over achiever," Dean teased.
Sam bopped him on the arm. "It was that or watch you try hard to date, Dean."
"Not my fault the chicks aren't seeing past the limp."
"Plenty have. That's why you nearly missed a final."
Horatio coughed. "Xander nearly missed one by being kidnaped." They gaped in horror. He smirked and nodded. "Back when he was dating, it was often a bad thing. Some threatened officers to get him back. One turned into a serial killer. One tried to blow up a police station in San Diego after having been rented twice by him. Plus we have a playboy on staff in the lab. We're used to dating causing problems, boys."
They both grinned. "Xander's slightly insane?" Dean asked.
"His white lighter settles him down." He pushed over packets. "These are what we got from you already. Is there anything you'd like to add to it?"
Sam looked over his then dug out something to hand over. "Work study reports."
Dean nodded, handing over his last report from his physical therapist. "On my current limitations and where I'm heading."
Horatio read over each of them, nodding some. "Sam, with your skills, I would suggest field work." He looked up at him. "You'll still spend plenty of time in Trace and Chemistry running tests. I think you'd rather have the questioning, going out to gather on scenes, those things."
Sam relaxed. "I could like that."
"Good." He looked over Dean's report. "Very good job, Dean. Professor Destra told us how badly you had been injured." He looked at him. "I'm sure you'll heal as much as possible." Dean nodded. "We look forward to helping you with that. If you need to arrange your schedule around therapy, you'll let us know."
"I can do that. How is he in the lab?"
"Xander is a bit... of a perfectionist in the lab. Truthfully, he came in nearly having enough hours to be out of his internship." They stared. "He temped in for someone's maternity time, did some hours when he took that special program upstate, plus jumped in horribly for us the first few months. He learned identification by going to pawn shops. He also has this thing for artillery that's a bit disturbing." Dean grinned at that. "He usually starts out his students on an identification exercise as a before and after sort of test. He calls himself a protocol bitch about his lab. He's also a bit fussy. He was raised by some severely warping girls. He has a t-shirt habit that we haven't been able to break yet and it can drive you insane. We discounted Xander horribly due to his eye. He taught us all better. If we do the same to you, I'd expect you to counter it for us and to tell him it's your fight instead of letting him jump in and get huffy. Because he will."
"That's my job," Dean assured him. "Not my mentor's. He's not my dad."
"Good. Then we won't have a problem. Xander has trained some exceptional techs. He's driven a few nearly insane but they came back better techs for it. He's cleared for field work so he can look over both of you because his minor was in trace."
Sam grinned. "That's why I was suggested toward trace or DNA?"
"The main tech in our DNA lab is his mother hen. She mothers him horribly. The cold case tech in our lab is his boyfriend. They probably thought it'd be easier for him to watch over you if you needed it. I can tell you that there's not that much demon activity most of the year. Now and then we get some down to vacation. The last few years Xander has had to deal with something that came down to eat kids on spring break." Dean shuddered. "We forbid him from clubbing during spring break. We don't want to have to rescue him again."
"He still gets taken?" Sam asked.
Horatio nodded. "And paid in the clubs." They gaped. "We have no idea why. Even his white lighter doesn't know. He laughs about it, but he doesn't know why." He stared at them. "Let me go over what Miami can do for you two." He pulled out compensation packages, letting them look it over. "Sam, if you want, we do have a lot of field techs that can mentor you as well. You'll basically be under Xander's tender mercies to nag and be patted when you need help. Because he will fuss if you let him. He's like that." That got a grin from Dean. "The girls warped him horribly. That's why he calls football gay sex in teams."
Dean burst out laughing. "I heard that story."
"Good. He horrified a few of us when he said that around the station the first time." He went over each perk and the pay scale for their internships. They would fit in very well. He'd have to warn Alexx not to fuss over them but they'd do fine.
Xander looked at his interns their first day in. "Good morning, my evil minions," he said happily, smiling at them. "For the next year, you are my minions. A few of you are night shift's minions. You'll get on fine with them I'm sure. If not, you can come talk to Calleigh or myself about transferring around the lab to get away from interpersonal problems. I'll have to insert an excuse here. I haven't had caffeine yet so I'm a bit scatterbrained at the moment. It'll get better within an hour. First, see the big, red button? Do not push it. It leads back to a cranky redhead in Cleveland and she will turn you into something furry. If you don't believe me, find the janitor that won't come in here. He'll tell you about when he accidentally hit it while cleaning. That's why we have to bring our trash out to the hall for him."
He cleared his throat, counting noses. "I see the two I gave permission to be a day late aren't here but the rest of you are. Let's start with going over ballistics. This is the felony ballistics lab. This is our exam area. That is our exemplar vault," he said with a point. "We have extra storage down in evidence for some things that can't fit here. Most of what's down there are things that we don't see all that often so we don't need to compare them too often. Behind me is our firing pen. It has interchangeable methods of catching bullets. Depending on if we need the jell-o cube for testing, the regular pit to fire into, the wall to catch it, whatever." They all nodded. "Get familiar with in here for the next few minutes then I'll take you around the station." They went to look around then came back.
"Do we all have our ID's? If so, put them on. If not, we'll go get it first. It is your job to make sure you are always wearing it. No matter why you are in the building. The receptionists are told to stop and possibly detain anyone not wearing an ID. They do it to those of us who've been here for years, even if we're just running in for our checks. They will do it to you and they enjoy it. Then they'll try to mark you as being late." They all nodded at that. "Let's head out to the elevator and up a floor. We'll do that first. That's also where you'll pick up your computer log-ins. For some reason they put it with internal affairs. We don't know why, but apparently the chief thought they were bored and had a free corner." He pointed. They left, him following. They ran into one of the other two in the hall. "I told you guys you could come in tomorrow."
"We didn't need special favors, Mr. Harris," Sam said.
"Good, but I'd do it to anyone who had to drive across country." He grinned. "We're going on the tour. Where's your brother?"
"Talking with Horatio. He had to hand in his last report."
"Good. We're going to get ID's, then take the tour, join in."
"I'm a Xander, not a sir. I'm only a sir if I need to go back to the S&M club."
Someone leaned out of a lab. "Xander, haven't you had caffeine?" someone yelled.
He looked. "No, Ryan, the alarm clock was broken so I didn't get up on time," he said with a grin. Ryan gave him his soda. "Thanks. Needed this." He followed them up to the internal affairs office. "If you see these guys coming for you, it doesn't always mean you've done something wrong. Don't panic unless you have a guilty conscience." He took another sip. "Most of us try to avoid them anyway, because the main guy here can bug the crap out of us, but it happens. Especially when there's been an officer-involved shooting. They will come to us to get evidence looked over." They all nodded. "Sam, your ID?"
"I have to get it," he admitted, moving to that line.
"Catch up once you have it." He walked the students out. "We are going to the second floor. Put your ID's on. Their receptionist has managed to get people suspended for not wearing them. For those of you with them on your waistband, it will fall off as you move. Watch out for that. Later on you can get a lanyard or whatever sort of clip you want to put it on. As long as you're wearing it." Sam came out with it on his belt loop. "That's a good way to wear it. Lanyards can be difficult to lean down to run through for the elevator."
He got on with them, going down to the detective's area. He tossed out his empty bottle since he drained it on the way down. "This is homicide. We share this pile of glass and steel that's way too bright in most areas with them." A few people laughed. "Seriously. Lab remodel a few years back made it a lot more bright. Some of us do wear sunglasses indoors without a hangover." He pointed. "That is Detective Tripp. He is the overlord of this department. He'll be giving you a short speech. These are ballistics interns, Detective Tripp."
"Haven't you had any caffeine?" he demanded, hands on his hips.
"Alarm didn't go off. I got up late. Ryan handed me half of his."
Frank stole another detective's, not even getting a complaint as he handed it to Xander. "Drink it, Harris. You're horrible when you bounce." He looked at the kids. "This all of them?"
"One's in conference with Horatio. He can join Ryan or Tim on the other tour. Usually I give all the interns the tour but Ryan was supposed to. Since he's buttcheek deep in a test it might be Tim's job." He took a drink from the newly opened can, smiling at Sam. "Yes, he thinks I'm insane."
"I know you're insane and I've met the reason why," he said dryly. "Welcome to our building," he said, looking at the rest of them. "As he said this is our homicide unit. I am Detective Frank Tripp. I'm senior officer over all these lunatics here." He waved a hand around. "I will make a few things clear. We are here as equals. Many of us don't have the advanced degrees some of you guys have. We do have years of experience and we do expect to be treated as an equal. That has been a problem in the past. From what I heard, Xander took down an intern for talking down to one of my boys last year." Xander nodded, taking another drink.
"If you have problems, you can come to us to talk about it. We are here to be mentors and to teach you just as much as the lab's people are. I will warn you that some interns have had problems by hitting on detectives who weren't interested. I do not want to see that this year. The last one ruined her career by doing it. All the way through a restraining order." A few of them shuddered. "If you ask us, we will help you or mentor you. Especially if you're having a problem like someone trying to blackmail you."
"That happens often?" Sam asked.
"More often than you think," Xander admitted. "We've had ones that've been blackmailed by their spouses to fix their friends' problems. We've had one that was a fundamentalist christian who was roleplaying. One of his church found out and was going to turn him in. It would've gotten him kicked out of his church. The guy wanted him to fix his parking tickets. If anyone approaches you to fix a case, bribing, blackmail, whatever, you are to come to one of us in the lab.
"Horatio and I will do whatever we can to help you. Even if it's something in your past like you were a contract killer. Don't laugh, we've had one that retired and went to DNA a few years back." They stared in horror. He nodded. "We'll do what we can to help you if they come for you. You can come to Frank. Most of the detectives as well. We've all had people that tried to talk us into things." He finished that can and tossed it out. "Thanks, Dave."
"Welcome, Xander. We hate it when you're bouncy. You call spot gun checks and bop us on the head when they're not clean."
"Yours had better be clean," Frank assured him. He nodded it was. "Good." He looked at the kids again. "Xander may be bouncy but he's been with us for years. He was our intern as well. He's overqualified but we like him anyway." They all looked at Xander then at him again. He smirked.
"If you need us, we're here. If you're delivering and we're not at our desks, put them in the middle of the desk, where we'll see it when we sit down. Putting it in our inbox means we won't find it for weeks. Also, our breakroom's machines do not stock diet soda. Sorry. We know yours runs out but we don't have any at all, kids." He stepped back. "Remember to wear your ID's. Our receptionist is mean and has suspended even me for not wearing one. I needed the day off, but she'll be evil about it." They nodded. "Where to next, Harris?"
"Patrol, morgue, then back up to ballistics." That got a nod. "Go up the hall to the right," Xander said with a point. He picked up the ID that had fallen off. "Melissa?" She snatched it and put it onto her shirt instead. "For those who have clothing questions, you can ask me or Calleigh. Field techs have to be more clean cut looking than the ones in the lab. I would suggest that, male or female, wearing heels hurt. You'll be standing on your feet for hours on end. Yes, I have had a trannie intern who was wearing heels. He quit wearing them really fast."
They all gave him a horrified look, even Sam. "This is Miami, people. We've got one of the biggest gay contingents in the US. Labs are where you'll find all the oddballs so deal with it." They ran into Dean. "Are you joining the rest of the other intern tour?"
"I already have my ID. I know to treat detectives with respect because they know shit I don't."
"Excellent. To the glass door that says 'patrol'," he ordered. They headed in there. "Ballistics interns on tour," he shouted, bringing the head of the patrol unit. He looked at Dean. "You could've had today. I would've given it to anyone who had to drive across country," he said quietly.
"Good. Tell me when you're not." That got a nod.
The patrol supervisor looked at them. "Harris, haven't you had caffeine?" he demanded.
"Ryan gave me half of his. Frank stole Dave's for me. I'm waiting for it to kick in." The interns snickered when the guy handed him someone else's can.
"You laugh now but Harris is scary when he doesn't have caffeine in him. Bouncy, distracted, and violent. We hate him like that. There's always a kidnaping or a bomb threat involved."
"I don't always go clubbing when I don't have caffeine," he complained. He tapped the top of the can before opening it. "Thanks, Hugh."
The patrol supervisor looked at them. "For those of you who do not know, I am the day shift Patrol supervisor. We run three shifts: day, swing, and graveyard. You see my boys from your early morning commute to the early hours of your evening commute. For those who're going to night shift in the lab, you'll be seeing the end of swing and graveyard." That got a few nods.
"I will make this clear. In the past we have had interns that have tried to get us to help them move, wanted to ride in the cars with the sirens on, wanted to date my boys and girls even when they didn't want it, and a few odd ones who wanted to have sex in the back of a cruiser. You can't do any of that. Am I clear?" They all nodded. "Good. We may be simpler officers but we demand the same respect that you'd give to your fellow lab techs. If you need our help with a problem, we are here to give advice. If you have not taken the tour of booking and holding, let us know by the end of the week."
"It's Thursday," Sam offered.
"Next week then. I'll arrange for the tour through booking and holding so you understand how the system works. Also, if you're arrested for something stupid, like the ones we get every year for drunk driving, tell us you're an intern so we can put you in a separate cell. You'd hate it when the cons hear that you're with the department. They tend not to be that nice."
"Again, another reason many techs ruin their careers," Xander agreed. "And if my techs get caught drunk driving, you might as well consider your career over. Am I clear?" They nodded. "Good. Any other words of wisdom?"
"Our breakroom machines do stock diet soda but we run out sooner. There's more of us and they refill our machines at the same time they do yours. Sorry, kids, but we can't change that."
"At least you guys don't have any more food thieves," Xander said with a grin.
"True, thank you for that, Harris. As a fair warning, *NEVER* eat his cooking. He's poisonous. That's why we no longer have a food thief. Neither does the lab." Xander gave him a smug look. "I'd suggest you guys not try that this year either." He looked around. "Any questions?"
"Sir, the guy in Internal Affairs said that we'd be drug tested this month. Is that down here?"
"No, that's in our bathrooms. Yes, interns do get hit with it twice as often as regular officers or detectives," Xander told them. "It's because interns do stupid shit. It's their first taste of adulthood outside of the fun years of college. Plenty of you guys have continued on your bad ways from your frat party days. I'd suggest that you not do it for a while. We see the most incidences of techs ruining their careers around their second paycheck. Be aware that you'll probably get hit around there."
The patrol supervisor agreed with a nod. "They do. A lot of you guys decide to be stupid and go party. We see plenty of you then. Caine comes in quite pissed that morning."
"The rest of us duck or have popcorn, depending on our personalities," Xander said dryly. They gave him a dirty look. "I won't lie. There's people who like to see interns wash out. They enjoy the hell out of it. Some of my former interns I've watched and giggled because I warned them and they stayed stupid. So if you have to see them in a professional capacity, expect to see internal affairs the next day, or that night. If you're mugged it's okay. If you're not the cause of the bar brawl you might still see them. If you're being arrested, kiss your ID card goodbye and your career will follow it within seconds."
They all nodded. "Thank you for being so nice to my future minions. We're going to the morgue, people. Our dayshift head ME is a mothering sort." He pointed. "Down a floor." They headed that way. "Dean, ID card." He put it on better. He picked up Melissa's, handing it to her. She sighed, putting it through a buttonhole. He nodded at that idea. "Thank you. Have an easy day at work."
"Your mouth to all the Gods' ears," one guy agreed.
Xander smiled at them once they were all in the hallway. "Yes, that point about diet soda needed to be made. Miami seems to live on the stuff for some reason." He pushed the right button, taking them down there. "All the way to the end of the hall. If you have a touchy stomach, stand in the back of the group." He walked in. "Ballistics interns."
"I just saw the other group," Alexx said, looking them over. "A good looking crew this year." She looked at Dean. "You need to sit down?"
"No, ma'am, not yet."
"You swat him if he ignores it."
Xander gave her an odd look. "Why would I, Alexx?"
She gave him a pointed look. "Because you ignore it when you're injured and in pain. Or should I mention coming to work with stitches you ignored?"
He shrugged. "I'm tough that way. If he needs it, he'll tell me. He doesn't need me to mother him."
"I don't need a mother," Dean agreed. "Sammy could use one."
She looked at Sam. "You're really tall, sugar." He grinned and nodded. "Well, that means you can reach higher things in the field." She looked around. "I am ME Woods. Yes, I am the mother hen of the lab if I like you. Everyone but Xander. He had Maxine Valera and Tim to do that for me. I taught Timmy so he's very good at it." Xander grinned and nodded. "First, do not eat anything that boy cooks. He's poisonous to every creature ever created when he cooks. Even himself." A few snickered at that.
"Secondly, all of you have to have time in autopsy. You can arrange that however you want. If you don't do it fairly soon, the field techs will trick you into it. Usually when I'm having to boil someone down to find other injuries." A few shuddered. "For those who have weak stomachs, choose an easy case. You don't want to come down during a burning case." Xander shook his head quickly at that. "Thirdly, I am here if you need to talk about things. I have helped interns with personal problems, boyfriend and girlfriend problems, one that wanted to commit homicide on her girlfriend, and other problems. You can come to me about those. Also, I am the one you'll see when you come in with the flu. Sorry but Horatio will send you to me."
"And the stink will make you sick," Dean quipped.
"Usually," she agreed with a smile. "If you don't take care of yourself, the other techs will call me to nag you. That means I get to nag the too-skinny boys," she said, pointing at Sam. "And the girls that come in looking like a crack ho or like a plastic Barbie doll from the surgeries." She looked at Sam then at Xander. "Have dinner with them tonight."
"My door is open to every one of my interns," Xander reminded her. "I'm not always home so call first, but if you're having problems, my door is open to you. Here or at home. So if you need to talk, come to me. Come to her. Come to Horatio. Whoever. Just come to one of us. None of us want to have another intern that gets overloaded and jumps off the building." They flinched. "Exactly. That was not a good thing. Not my intern, fortunately, but one of the interns that decided that no one would understand. If he had come to us we would've told him we did understand, set him up with a mentor who could help him with the problem he was having, and set him with the union we have of people just like him."
That got a nod. "So this is our morgue. Those are the storage drawers. Her office is off to this side. She has an organizer when you need to hand her reports. Now and then we'll be called down to help rod wounds to determine trajectory. Field techs get it more often but that's our area so we get called for that. Any questions for Alexx?" They shook their heads. "Then let's head back to the lab to start your first exercise. Those of you who are night shift, head home and come back at eight. Try to sleep today so you get on the right sleep cycle. You'll be exhausted for weeks if you don't." They nodded, splitting up to head off. "Also remember to sign in and out of the lab. If you forget to clock in, we take it from the sign-in sheets," he called after them.
He got them up to his lab again. "For today, my minions, I want you guys to go into the exemplar. I want you to write down the make, model, year, caliber, and if it's clean or not of every single weapon in there. You don't have to clean it if it's not. You may not use the manual. This is your before and after test. We want you to be able to do more of them by the time you leave. Any questions so far?"
"Sir, I noticed the sword?" Melissa asked.
"It leads back to a speciality class I had to take. If you want to learn how to deal with the strange things that sometimes show up, let me know and I'll teach you what I can. It led back to being able to handle cult cases, strange chemistry, and a lot of other odd things. I will warn you that is sharp and heavy. I was a construction worker so it's very heavy for most people to use. And if you want to learn how to use a sword, let me know and I'll teach you that. I can teach that, battle axes, crossbows." They all gave him odd looks. He grinned. "I'm a weapons person. That's why I'm a ballistics tech, guys. Now, go to work." They went to do that. He stopped Dean. "That padded one is technically my stool. Do we need to get one for you?"
"I wouldn't mind padding but it's not that important," Dean said quietly.
"The regular ones will hurt even healthy asses, Dean."
"Then I wouldn't mind," he agreed.
"Good. If you get too tired and need some time on the break room couch, you'll let me know." Dean nodded. "If you end up having to switch back for a few weeks, because even I've ended up in a wheelchair for a few days due to injuries, then the station there," he said with a point, "is set up for that. It unlocks underneath to lower."
"Good to know."
"Good." He let him go. "Also, that door open policy is open to you guys. My white lighter and I would love to have you and yours for dinner soon. Tim cooks really good. He's nearly chef quality."
"Is he your white lighter?" he asked quietly.
"He was and then he descended to boyfriend status. So now I have a former detective who I worked with a lot. He tends to stay gone." Calleigh walked in. "This is Calleigh Duquesne. She's the head ballistics tech and a field tech. Calleigh, this is Dean Winchester."
"I got your profile from Professor Destra, Dean. You're a lot like that one who used to drive me nuts." He grinned at that. Dean did too. "We'll expect great things from you." She looked in the exemplar then at him. "I'll talk to her about her skirt." Xander nodded. "Did you warn them about the t-shirts?"
"No. I think Frank did. Everyone was forcing caffeine on me since I hadn't had any yet." The look on her face was comical. "The alarm got slung by Tim again. I've had two cans and half of Ryan's soda too." She relaxed. "Go hit the task, Dean. I know you can do most of them." He nodded, going to do that. He looked at his boss. "It'll be okay."
"Good. I have introduced Sam to Tim. Sam realized who he was somehow." Xander grinned at that. "I also put him under you and Ryan for a mentor."
"That's fine. Ryan was helped by me and Tim." She nodded. "It's cool. Who ended up doing the other tour?"
"Ryan forgot so Tim started. They nagged Ryan so he joined them to take over." She looked at the inbox. Then she sighed. "No good shootings in days."
"I know but it'll be soon. Otherwise I'll go clubbing." She pinched him, going to warn Tim he had said that. He smirked at the watching tech. "Melissa, that was Calleigh if you wanted to ask her something about skirts." He nodded at her current one, which was riding up some. She blushed and pushed it down. "Be comfortable, people. Unless you're in court, then you can change when you get back." He got to work on the monthly jobs that had to be done even when they didn't have any work.
Dean looked at the one with Xander's name on it. "Xander, this board?"
He looked then grinned. "I donated them after the lab got blown up by someone trying to destroy evidence. Some of those are mine, some of those are from the ATF because I asked nicely. Some of those I bought specifically for the lab." He smiled. "Treat them all with respect. We'll know otherwise."
"Of course we will. Or we'd be in another field," Dean quipped back.
"Some ballistics techs do hate guns. They're in the field to get all of them off the street and out of untrained hands. Some of us have personal exemplars. Some of us have small collections. Depends on the tech." He smiled. "You did get a parking permit, right?" Dean nodded. "Good. I heard your car was your baby."
"She is. Family heirloom."
"Cool." He smiled. He came in to look over their shoulders. Then he pointed. "That's a forty-five, guys. Not the nine-mil version." They groaned and corrected it. "We see a lot of both of those though."
"Are we doing the larger exemplar vault?" Melissa asked.
"If you want to you can. We're out of work at the moment. No one's shot anyone in days. No new weapons dealers. Not even a drug bust with guns. For some reason Miami's enjoying the pretty summer weather." He went back to his cleaning and sorting duties.
"Geek," Dean muttered.
"Every bit of one and loving it," Xander quipped back from his seat, making Dean laugh. Yeah, they could get along well enough.
Calleigh walked in, noticing all the other techs were gone. "Already done for the day?" she asked.
Dean came out of the exemplar with Xander. "No work." She nodded at that. "Eight tomorrow, Xander?"
"Yup. Melissa covers afternoons."
"I talked to her about comfortable clothes, shoes, and how to fix her ID," Calleigh promised. "Sam's in the field right now, Dean."
"That's why I'm hanging around."
"It'll be hours. It was a trash dump case." Dean grimaced. "Exactly. We'll make sure he gets home."
Xander grinned at him. "Lemons. If they didn't tell you in school, lemons make you stink less." She nodded quickly at that. "Fortunately they're cheap down here."
"I'll buy some on the way home." He looked around. "It's a good lab but I don't want special treatment."
Xander shrugged. "Why would I, Dean?"
"The injury thing?"
Xander shook his head. "I had to get pushy to get into the field. For the longest time they treated me like I was damaged. You won't have to push as often if you want to go out into the field."
"That's good to know. So you gave us the extra day off why?"
"Driving is tiring. I figured you guys would need the extra day to get settled in."
"He's done it to other interns that had to drive," Calleigh assured him. "He's probably a bit harder on the techs he's had that have issues. He knows what they have to do to prove themselves. Now, the whole past that you guys share might make him take it a bit easier on you."
"Because of that, I know that they know how to question people, how to hunt and track, and how to do a bunch of other little things that I teach the kids," Xander told her. "I won't have to train them." He pointed at the button. "Goes to Rosenburg at the Council. She'll turn you into something fluffy if you set it off and it's not an emergency. She did it to a janitor who did it by accident."
"We got scholarship help from them," Dean admitted.
"It had to be pointed out to them how bad they were when they tossed me aside like lint," Xander said. "After having been with them for years." Dean winced. "Basically, I got injured and they decided I was too helpless to work with them. They had done it before but not that bad. I proved them and everyone else wrong. So I'm guessing part of that is guilt, to make sure that no other hunter gets treated the same way."
"That can work out for the positive," Calleigh said, patting him on the arm. "So, are you sleeping with your white lighter like Xander did?" she asked him.
Dean gave her the most horrified look, then shuddered. "EWW! Eww! No! Bad, bad mental image!" He squeezed his eyes shut, shuddering again.
"Sorry," she said with a grin. "I noticed you checked the girls out all day, Dean."
"It's our *dad*," he complained. "It was bad enough everyone in LA thought I married my little brother. Eww." He limped off shaking his head.
"Dinner, tonight," Xander called. "Bring yours, I'll bring mine." Dean waved. He grinned at Calleigh. "That's good to know."
"It is." She pinched him on the cheek. "Tim said he's not cooking tonight."
"That's why someone invented take out." He grabbed his stuff and clocked out. "Laters, boss."
"Go home, don't warp the interns tomorrow."
"Shoot, take all my fun," he complained as he walked out. "Heading home, boss," he called up into the office.
"We'll see you tomorrow, Xander," Horatio called back. He waited then went to find Calleigh. "Why was Dean so loud and vehement about being disgusted?" he asked quietly.
"I asked if he was sleeping with his white lighter too. It's his dad and apparently he and Sam got confused for boyfriends at least once."
"They are very close." He walked off smiling. That was nearly a comical image.
Xander walked into the house with the new alarm clock and take out. Tim had apparently bought another clock too. "Hey, a spare." He took a kiss. "I invited Sam and Dean over with their white lighter. Calleigh asked if they were sleeping with him. Dean got disturbed because it's their father."
"That's cool." He laid out the take out. "Sam called and said they'd be over in about thirty minutes. After he showers."
"Hmm," Xander said, pushing Tim against the fridge to kiss him. "Have a good day threatening your little craphead? I heard you."
"Yes I did. She needed it. Came in wearing a nearly see-through shirt and short skirt, plus heels. I had Maxine teach her better then I got onto her for making major mistakes." He took another kiss. "You're happy today."
"I got lunch."
"Good." He grinned. "No work all day?" He shook his head. "Spent it cleaning the exemplar?" He grinned and nodded. "I'll finish off your happy day after dinner." Xander took another kiss, so Speed let him have his way until someone knocked. Then he went to open the door. "Hey," he said, letting them inside. "Xander, they're here."
"Cool. Hey, guys. John?" he called. John Hagen faded into view. Dean and Sam's father faded into view too. "This way the white lighters can compare." He waved a hand at the food. "Take out's getting cold." They grinned, coming in to eat and talk with them. John and John were talking about the area, the problems Xander had seen recently, and warning Winchester not to eat his cooking. "I'm not that bad," Xander called.
"Yeah, right," Tim snorted. "You nearly killed someone with it, Xander." Xander shrugged and ate another bite. "Fine. You can have your mental block on how bad you cook." He patted him.
Xander took a kiss. "Behave or I'll spank."
"You can try."
Xander smirked. "I can do more than try. Alexx told me to."
"I'll get her tomorrow."
Xander grinned at the boys. "That's why Calleigh asked. He descended to be my boyfriend instead of white lighter. I foolishly thought I'd get to retire." He ate another bite. "So, how was your first day, Sam?"
"Not bad. The scene was really disgusting."
Dean nodded. "We heard. Don't give details, Sammy."
"Not a problem." He ate another bite and chewed, looking back at the two ghosts then at Xander. "They were going to call you about the one who keeps showing up in the patrol room."
"I heard. I put down some banishing solution earlier to shoo it off. If it needs help, my John can intercept it tomorrow to talk to it. Right?" he called.
"I tried, he's scattered. I'll try again tomorrow, Xander."
"Thank you." He looked at the boys. "So, how did you find demonic chemistry and necromancy?" he asked with a grin.
"We made the one slime explode all the over the room," Dean told him.
Tim snickered. "Many have. It's not often it shows up down here. When we were in New York it showed up a lot more often." Xander nodded. "Down here you get an occasional slime sample. You know it's slime because the machine denies that you have a sample to test. Then they call Xander to get his kit to run it." He ate another bite, looking at the two spirits. "Could be worse, guys."
"Maybe," John Winchester said.
"No, it could be worse," Xander agreed. "We've had people who were interested in the darker effects of what we learned. I had to stop one last year who was using what they taught us to raise some higher demons."
"That would be worse," John agreed.
Hagen nodded. "Frank got to make fun of them for days."
"Better than the plant demon guy," Xander pointed out dryly.
"True, it was better than the guy who was warping plant demons and had one eat his girlfriend," Tim agreed. Hagen nodded at that. All three Winchesters looked confused. Tim grinned. "He did. Xander got to take out all the nice magical marks in an interrogation room."
"Wonderful," Sam said with a grin. "How often do we have to deal with that?"
"There's some Central, South American, and Cuban witches locally. A few who moved from New Orleans after Katrina. We have an overlord for demon problems." That got a relaxed set of hunters. "He's pretty decent. Doesn't tend to involve himself but if he finds a case where it has to be taken out, he calls me. I get about one or two a month unless it's spring break. Then you get the half demons who are in college and come down to party so they get exposed somehow. The ones who get hurt. The ones who come down to eat all the easy targets who're marinated nicely by being drunk. February through April is a busy time for me. The rest of the year isn't so bad. Christmas brings a few out who feed on miserable people. Some that snowbird down from New York. I talked with the slayer in New York last year when the snowbirds started to show up. She got me a list of who was probably traveling for our overlord. He pointed out three were dangerous. I threatened them. They went to Texas so I warned one of us out there. Two didn't make it back. The other was only dangerous to strays. Apparently she decided kitten poker meant he was dangerous."
"We heard about kitten poker but we didn't believe it," Dean said.
Tim nodded. "Xander still plays a mean hand of kitten poker for information sometimes. We don't ask what they do with the cats...."
"Probably a good idea," Sam decided, stuffing his mouth again. He looked back at his father. "Is kitten poker talked about on that side?"
"No. I've never heard of it."
"It's the poker choice of demons," Tim told him. "Like Texas Hold 'Em is for humans. Only they play for kittens."
John stared in confused. "How?"
"No clue how it got started," Xander admitted. "I learned from some of the demons we worked with in Sunnydale."
"You were there?" John demanded, staring him down.
Xander grinned. "They never told you I'm *that* Xander Harris?"
"Damn," Winchester said. "He'll do a good job mentoring you, boys." Xander nodded. "I know Dean and Sammy said they got compared to you a lot in school."
"Professor Destra told me that when she called me about you two to see if I'd mentor you. Did my picture go up on the wall yet?"
"This last spring. After you did something insane," she said.
"I'm proud of myself then." He grinned at Tim. "We should tell the others tomorrow."
"I doubt any of the other techs got put up there before a decade. You deserve bragging rights," Tim agreed.
"If he says why, Frank's going to freak out again," Hagen pointed out. "Especially since it saved his life."
Xander shrugged. "Not my fault. I didn't even date her, John."
"I've heard about your dating curse," Sam said.
"Did anyone warn you about his clubbing problem?" Tim asked. Both boys nodded. "Good. We really do have to go have some fun soon, Xander."
Xander looked at him. "You warn Horatio. He ordered you to."
"I will." He finished up. "Anyone want seconds?" They all shook their heads so he finished up the food. "I didn't get lunch. I had to take down an ego."
Xander grinned at Sam. "Did you get to see his new DNA intern?"
"I did and I stared in horror at her thong."
Dean nodded. "So did I. She doesn't have the butt for it."
"Oh, we talked about that earlier," Tim promised. "Especially that she couldn't tell she had her skirt stuck in the band after a bathroom break." He stuffed his mouth again. Xander grinned at him. "Next time I'm letting you have her."
"She hits on you again and I get her anyway," he assured him. "I surprised Calleigh was the one who asked you that. I figured Eric would've asked one of you that earlier. Or Ryan. Maybe Alexx."
"Ryan started to talk about white lighters with me but we got a patrol officer who came over with some new information so I had to look at it," Sam admitted. "I didn't see Eric today."
"Huh," Xander said. He considered it then nodded. "Well, we'll figure it out." Tim sighed but nodded. "Remember, any demon cases you guys need help with, come to us. I still have my kit at the station if you need it, Dean."
"The teacher said he updated a few things."
"I heard. I like the old version better. The banishing potion is stronger. Might hurt them more but I don't feel that much sympathy for them. There's a potion you guys got in necromancy I didn't, but otherwise mine's there. You can bring yours in if you want to."
"It's in the trunk of the car," he admitted.
"That's fine. Someone's found mine a few times and got very odd thoughts. Especially since we have a dried iguana head from a cult case."
"Then there was the one who decided you were sleeping with a dead person," Tim added.
"Yeah, hopefully she's straightened out more. She kept avoiding me after I paddled her for that." Sam gave him an odd look. "She told the whole station that I was sleeping with dead people." He smiled sweetly. "Then she had to nicely recant and come up with a cover story for that."
"Mac Taylor was not amused," Speed added. "I'm not so sure he didn't want to help paddle her later that day."
"I'm sure he probably did but when I got done with her she couldn't sit," Xander said.
John Hagen nodded. "He was brutal when he paddled her but for a good reason. Door."
Xander went to answer it, finding Maxine there. "Hey, Max." He let her in. "I'm sure you met Dean and Sam earlier today."
"I did." She pinched Sam's cheek. "You're adorable. Even if I would have to pull out the six-inch heels to be anywhere near your height."
"I'm not that tall," he complained with a blush.
"Yes you are, Samzilla," Dean joked. "Hey, Miss Valera."
"Maxine, Dean. I'm like Xander's adopted mom. You can call me Max." She ruffled his hair, looking at the two spirits. "Hmm, you got one like John Hagen instead of like Tim was. Interesting."
"I couldn't fade out," Tim told Winchester at his odd look.
"You were over here?" John asked.
"Yeah, I didn't clean my gun well enough. Now Xander does it for me. He finds it like meditation."
"I can see it that way too," Dean agreed. "It's good they put me with another gun nut."
"I think it's great you could identify most of the guns in the exemplar. I've only had one other that got near that level and he's presently lording over a smaller lab in Michigan. He wanted to go to a smaller lab. He's also the sort to collect a personal exemplar. Which saves his department a lot of money." They all grinned at that. "I've trained a few good interns every year, Dean. I'm not absolutely new at it but if you find me going over points you already knew, let me know that."
"I can do that," he assured him. "Why did you end up in a wheelchair for a few days?"
"He broke his leg in two places and tried to go in without crutches," Tim told him. "He was using a cane at least but Maxine and Alexx banded together to stick his butt in one and strap him in with locking straps. We had one tech that had come in for an in-school in a wheelchair so fortunately the lab already had that adjustable table. He gets a lot that want to make sure they can handle a lab environment with a disability."
Maxine nodded. "He gets about one a year for in-school."
"Plenty of people are driven away from forensics by the physical nature if they feel they can't run, jump, and play in the dirt," Xander told her. "I got warned away a few times because of my eye."
"What's wrong with your eye?" John Winchester asked.
"It's missing. One of the minions of the First popped it." The ones who didn't know stared at his very matter-of-fact tone. "So yeah, I know really well." He grinned. "I learned how to compensate by jumping back in too." Dean nodded he understood that. "With the way Dean's working on his leg, he'll get as good as he can. Being in the lab isn't that hard on him. If, when he can manage to get down into the dirt to gather evidence, he wants to start working field cases he can ask to be evaluated for that. Horatio can and has done that in the past.
"They saw what I went through and Horatio made sure he talked to all those other techs about their choices. Then he started getting sent techs who had been injured on the job. Even the Feds like Horatio to test them to make sure they're still fine to work." Dean nodded at that knowledge. "So yeah, we won't baby you for it, Dean. I'm a bitch of protocol in my lab. I expect people to live up to my standards, and they are high in matters of work. I could care less what you're wearing most of the time but screw up in work stuff and I'll be down your throat."
"I appreciate that stance," Dean agreed.
Sam nodded. "We're used to tough but mostly fair. Dad was a Marine."
Xander nodded. "Good. Now, if anyone other than Maxine flirts with you and makes you uncomfortable, because some will, let me know. There's been quite a few interns that have had problems that way. Including one a few years back that tanked her career when she wouldn't leave a detective alone and he had to get a restraining order. If they feel like playing, go for it. If they don't, let it go."
"I'm like that anyway. I never promise to stay with them but if they want fun I'm good at fun."
Maxine gave him a short hug around the shoulders. "I'll point out who you can flirt with most of the time. A lot of us will flirt without carry through. I do it all the time." Tim nodded at that. "Ryan can now and then when he's in a playful mood."
"Ryan's not my type."
"It's all good for us in the lab. Every now and then we get a bigot but most of the guys on the floor wear really big shoes," she told him with a grin. "Horatio has stomped a few. Frank stomped one last month. Xander put his foot up a few of them over the last few years. And a few in New York too."
"It's wrong to pick on lesbians," Xander agreed with a small shrug. "If you get bastards like that, you let us know and we'll have them put on the worst jobs we can find and then get them mandatory therapy." He smiled meanly, making Tim shudder. "They really hate it when we do that. Most of them would rather quit than go to therapy." Maxine let out a small cackle at that. "Especially since our three PD shrinks are either gay or combat veterans. The only male one is a Vet and he's a pain in the ass. He said I was doing the right thing ignoring my injuries to keep doing the job. Of course, he thinks I'm tragically injured and going to keep going until I get killed on the job. He accepts that idea as long as I don't take anyone with me. Post-shooting interviews are not that fun."
"I'll keep that in mind," Sam said. "Who knows about the strange stuff?"
"Quite a few at our precinct," Tim told him. "I died when I was a CSI." They all groaned. "I made Xander come back down here so that was mostly my fault that they figured it out. Hagen's showed up a few times thanks to a case and Buffy. We've had a sucker demon in the parking lot. We've had a few scenes with people summoning things."
"Dispatch knows because they'll call me automatically when something shows up on a scene. Or if one shows up in a hotel. That's how I find out the spring break rush has started." They nodded at that. "Mostly around the office it's ignored until I have to deal with something. Then I get wary looks for a few days. I wear a few really brain busting t-shirts and they decide I'm warped because of the girls I used to know."
"We got warned about your views on sports thanks to them," Dean said dryly.
"It's not my fault basketball looks like a rerun interrupted by hookers shaking it for tips."
Sam moaned, shaking his head. "We heard about football."
"Willow's girlfriend added another viewpoint about it looking like birth instead of a gay orgy," Xander offered with a grin. "Some sort of ancient fertility rite of birth, bringing it home, the after birth celebration dance."
"Shut up, Xander," Tim said, shaking his head. "Please don't warp them already. They just started."
"I doubt he can warp my boys that way," John said. "They've had too long as normal folk."
Xander grinned. "Does that mean I can't let them borrow t-shirts?"
"If they want. I won't stop them." Xander bounced up and headed up to his room to grab two from his collection, bringing them down folded up.
"I know those two by color. I'm sorry for your headache later," Maxine said. John Hagen snickered at that. "You hush. Before I see if I can call that spirit that possessed Horatio back."
"I'd hate to spank you, mom," Xander said dryly.
Sam read his then folded it up again quickly. "We'll wear them on a playful day in the lab." Dean gave him an odd look but looked at his and could only blink at it. Sam looked at it then stared at Xander. "They really did warp you." Xander grinned and nodded. "It's okay. Maybe we'll help you warp back toward guy things. Dean's very macho most of the time."
"We've all tried," Maxine assured him. "John even tried to unwarp him about sports."
Tim nodded. "Me too. But it's fun to watch the headaches when they pop up."
"You do know that she was hitting on you, not me?" Maxine asked him.
"Should I lisp tomorrow?" he asked her.
She smirked. "Be as gay as you want. You know I don't mind you making out with Xander. As long as you're not infecting samples with spit what do I care?"
"Horatio said no more kissing in the break room or the locker room," Xander reminded her. "A couple of the patrol guys decided they were uncomfortable with me making out with him on our anniversary. We had both been there all night and all the day before and were looking at another all day session. It ruined our plans so I gave him a kiss. Two got confused about their sexuality. One called his minister to reaffirm his hetero nature. Two others came out of the closet since we were such an accepting precinct. One of those got into trouble with his people so I got to spend part of my anniversary down there taking out some frustration from a people buying ring on that guy's tormenters. They were not happy. IAB was not happy but decided I'm the reason why so many gay bashers left. Somehow one of them decided I could turn him into a demon. I never said it but he somehow decided that."
"Seems fitting to me," Maxine assured him. She smiled at them. "Bring in lunch tomorrow. You won't be in the field again unless we become murder central tomorrow, Sam. That way you two can eat together with me, Tim, and Xander if you want. We have a few nice tables outside off to the side of the building."
"And a few very nice trees to picnic under if you wanted more privacy," Tim assured him. "He takes some of the interns out there to talk to them when they're having emotional problems."
"I'll remember that but we've got to make sure they don't think he took my name when we got married," Dean said, nodding at Sam.
"You're brothers and I can help with that. I am a major link in the gossip chain. I hear all," she assured him happily. "I can brag that you're both sweet, straight guys." She patted them both on the head. "Watch out for Alexx. She might mother you too. She does Ryan and Timmy all the time."
"Only she gets away with that," Tim said firmly.
She blew a kiss. "You're such a cute, grumpy bear, Tim." She left with a wave.
"Max and I go out to club all the time when I can't take Tim," Xander said with a grin. "She even helped when my former friends came down."
"That's good of her," Sam said with a grin. "She's really active."
"No, that's Xander when he hasn't had caffeine. I heard you got given some today," he said dryly.
"I hadn't had any thanks to the alarm clock breaking."
"I'll try to quit slamming them against the wall again." He sipped his soda, leaning back to get another one, handing one to Sam, who grinned. "We're used to it."
"What about team nights or intern outings?" Dean asked. "I know a bunch of us students went out together."
"That's up to you guys," Xander said with a hand wave. "Arrange it if you want to. We can show you guys where some of the nicer hangouts are. There's a few decent cop bars. There's a few nicer bars where we hang out when we don't want to be surrounded by other cops but the whole team goes out to. There's a sports bar I'm not allowed in unless Horatio or Calleigh are with me because some guys got upset that I insulted their manly sports because they were acting very gay at the time. Then I told them why ice skaters were more manly. Most football players couldn't stand on three-quarter inch blades and pick up someone to hold in the air at the same time." He sipped his drink, giving Tim a puppy eyed look when he found it was empty. Tim huffed but got him another one. "Thanks, Tim."
"Welcome, Xander." He looked at them. "He's very playful but if you think he needs a leash, call."
"Oh, that's right, you need other tech's numbers," he told Sam. He got his phone and let him have it. "Copy down Horatio's, mine, Calleigh's, Eric's, Ryan's, Alexx's, and Peter's. He's one of the night shift guys. He's not bad but he tends to come in first so if your case ends up nearing their time he might try to help."
Sam nodded, copying all those numbers into his phone. "Any others?"
"Usually you won't have to call in to get test results but if you want, copy Max's and Christopher's. He's chem, she's DNA. QD you can almost always walk down to get that same day. AV is Cooper. By the way, Cooper talks and chats with people, sometimes unintentionally. He's not a bad guy. He's a really nice guy actually, just now and then his mouth can get him in trouble."
Dean nodded. "I can take that into account. I heard something about Ryan's problem."
"Ryan had an ex he couldn't regulate his mouth in front of," Tim told him. "He blurted stuff without realizing it a few times."
Dean nodded. "I can understand that."
"You get past those incidences and move on, because no one's perfect," Xander reminded him. "They're both really good techs and nice guys. They're the sort to have your back. But if you tell Cooper something like you prefer thongs, it'll be all over the station. Then Max will giggle and try to see so the other ladies get verification."
Dean shook his head but he was smiling. "You guys are slightly insane."
"All labs have kooky people, Dean. Welcome to the L'Abddam's family."
"Gee, thanks. I'm sure we'll fit right in."
Sam nodded. "Probably. I was told Eric and Calleigh are kind of uptight and Horatio too."
"Once you get to know them better they relax around you," Tim assured him. "Eric and I were best friends before I died. I twitted him many times about his slutty ways. I got to tease Calleigh all the time too. Ryan never fully got that much relaxed around because he came in right after I died. Plus he was helping find a mole so he couldn't fully mold himself a comfortable spot. He's liked, now, but some of the techs are still a bit uptight around him. Unless he's with Xander. They decided if Ryan did bust out into mouth issues that he'd take care of it by shooting the reporter."
"Don't tempt me. She tried to stalk me into a bathroom last month."
"I forgot about that."
"Ryan warned her off me," he said dryly. He looked at Sam. "That's a 'once you make friends' thing. Like new boy in school syndrome."
"We had that a lot since we moved a whole lot," Sam assured him. That got a nod from Dean and a yawn. "Ready to head?"
"I should hit the bed. Thanks for dinner, guys."
"You're welcome, Dean," Tim said. "Remember, any problems or issues, you can come to us. Even if Xander will try to fight some battles for you it's all good."
"I can do that. Thanks, guys." He looked at their father. "Want to stay to talk to his white lighter?"
"I can do that tomorrow while you're all at work. When are you two working tomorrow?"
"Morning," Dean said. Sam nodded. "We only have thirty hour weeks right now, Dad. I meet with the new PT tomorrow at four."
"Remind me," Xander called after him. Dean waved at that. He smiled at his John. "So?"
"He's practical. I can like that. Even if he is very focused on the demonic."
Xander nodded. "It happens. I was at one time too." He leered a his mate. "You said you'd finish off my happy day. Can I start that finishing off now?"
"Load the dishwasher for me," he sighed heading upstairs to start the tub. Nothing made Xander happier than to spoil him. Really, he could use some spoiling time. So a nice bath to soak in together. He heard the purr of contentment behind him, turning to look at his boyfriend. "Read with me?"
"Read to you while I nibble on you? Sure, I can do that," he said with a wicked smirk. He went to get Tim's book, coming back to find a bubble-covered Tim in the water. He stripped down and climbed in, relaxing with his boyfriend until he shut off the water. Then he opened his book to read to him. Voices and all because it made Tim laugh and he loved that sound. He'd get to nibble on him later.
Tim walked in the next morning and laid a deep kiss on Xander at the doorway to DNA. "Lunch?"
"I can see lunch," he agreed with a grin. He watched his mate walk in and noticed how the DNA intern was giving him a dirty look. He walked in and handed Max something. "Do we like that for a present?"
Tim tried to look but Max shielded it. She tried very hard not to squeal. "I do like that, Xander. It's very nice."
Xander smirked at his mate. "It's your anniversary present." He walked off, leaving it with her. He'd give in and give it to him too soon. She'd tease him about it all day. He walked into his lab. "Morning, my people. Calleigh, I took your advice on his anniversary present. Max is holding it so she can tease him for me."
"That's something she's good at," she agreed. She gave him a tired look.
He stared back. "Problems with one of my cases?"
"Six of the night shift cases, Xander. All field."
"You know I have ballistics covered. Go. Shoo." She smiled, going to do that. "She's one of the senior techs. She's also second-in-command. So she gets the dirty quality control jobs." He looked at his people. Then at the inbox. "I see we have cases today." He grinned. "Take a case. Start the process while I watch over your shoulders." They nodded, getting to work. He handed Dean one. "I noticed the note saying someone had put the shotgun in the exemplar. You're more used to shotguns. Think you can handle it?"
"Of course I can." He went to find that one and brought them both to the firing area. "Xander, ball or water pit?"
"We have the water pit up the last time I knew. Check it." Dean nodded that it was. "It should still hold the shotgun."
"I'll step back a few feet just in case." He did the handgun first and properly filled out the envelope for it. He checked over the shotgun. "Problems." Xander came in to check. "Did it fire?"
Xander looked at the tag. "No, that note says that it didn't fire this time. We should still test it to make sure it wasn't involved in another case." He looked at the muzzle. "Crap. Let me get this to trace. Work on that one and you can have this one back later. We can do a part switch if we have to." Dean nodded, letting him walk it off. "Ah, Sam. Dirty, nasty, makes you wanna hurl case. Your brother's new ballistics case actually." He handed over the shotgun. Then showed him the barrel. Sam grimaced. "Sweep it for trace. Give it back to Dean with the reports please. We'll test it anyway to make sure it didn't fire on another case."
"I can do that." He moved to get the swabs so he could process it there. Xander went back to his own lab. Eric came in to look over his shoulder. He let him see.
"Make sure the hairs get to DNA," he said quietly. "Any blood if you find it too, Sam."
"Of course." He finished his swabs, starting the first one running. He marked down where it came from and that it was going to DNA too. He walked them over there. "I swabbed the barrel of a shotgun that got brutally used." Maxine grimaced. "Found a few shorter hairs, couldn't be sure if there were tags or not, and some blood. I took small snatches for samples in trace. It's Dean's ballistics case."
"I can do that, Sam. Give me a few hours." He smiled, going back to work on what he had. She settled in to run those samples. "I hadn't heard about someone doing this. Usually I would've remembered that."
Tim looked over. "There was one a few years back who was doing that with a shotgun then double-tap to the back of the head." Maxine shuddered. "If I remember right, I think he was killed during the apprehension. He had a victim hostage."
"Look that up for me so he can compare. Was it before Xander's tenure?" Tim nodded. "Then let him know so Dean can compare back to that case." Tim nodded, getting into the old cases to find that one. He printed off the fact sheet for them. She ran it and printed off the results she got, going to hand them to Sam, who compiled them with his for Dean. She walked over with him. "Tim said that there was a similar case before Xander got here, Dean. That's the fact sheet from that. My DNA, his trace."
"Thanks, guys." He looked them over. He called up the guns in that case to compare them. "It says he died."
"That doesn't mean that we don't have a copycat," Xander admitted. He looked at the name on the case. "Small problem. That's Horatio's former brother." He paged him, bringing him in. He let Dean tell him, walking over to look over his other interns' shoulders. "Less complex on your reports," he told Melissa quietly. "Think of it like an oral report. To the point. The gun or bullet was this caliber, fired from this type of gun, was this size. It did match to this case by name and number if you can. Any other particulars you noticed like scuff marks, anything like that. If you've got a very close match, make sure you note that." She nodded, moving to fix that.
"Remember, the detectives get dozens of these a week. Sometimes hundreds if it's a weapons dealer or Vice sting." She nodded, grimacing some. "It's something we all worked with. Destra pounded mine down to a simple version that I use now. It's something you get with practice." He patted her on the shoulder, moving to the other one. "Again, a bit wordy. Detectives are just as smart as we are, but they also have dozens of open cases. Use to the point, simple yet technical terms. Like you'd tell them orally. Remember, not all prosecutors are smart enough to read a report. Even if detectives are." He smirked but corrected it. "Use both name and number in your reports if there's a match." He went to check the firing pen. Then he came out holding up an envelope. "Whose?"
Dean looked up. "Not mine." He held up his own. Melissa held up hers. Xander looked at the other intern, who winced. He accepted it.
"Rerun it to make sure it's the same thing. Do you have one or two guns?"
"Two," he moaned.
"Are we sure which one that came from?"
"I think so." He gave him a sheepish look.
"Go refire. One at a time. Gather the bullet, mark your envelope. Do the second one." He moaned but went to do that. Sam brought in the shotgun for them. "What needs replaced out of it, Sam? Did you or Dean look?"
"Firing pin's broken. Spring too," Dean said.
"We can replace those parts. Make sure you note it in the report. It won't cause a difference unless we're searching pin impressions but some defense attorney will jump on that point to confuse the average juror."
"I can do that." He took that one in there to replace those parts from the stuff in the drawers. No good springs so he got down another model of the same shotgun, taking the spring out of it and replacing the old one.
"Make sure you know which part went to which one," Xander instructed. Dean made sure they were separated. "Thank you." He watched him to make sure the firing pit would hold the bullet. It did. Dean rocked a bit unsteadily. Xander moved closer. "If we have to, move a stool in here to the corner for yourself," he said in his ear. Dean looked at him. "Falling down will cause more problems."
"I know. Thanks, Xander."
"Not a problem. Tell me if it comes up against that old case."
"Horatio said to let him handle it."
"That's fine. Is he pulling the evidence?" Dean nodded. "Even better. Get back to it." Dean did that, replacing the original parts in both guns then brought the bullet out to start the comparing. Xander took the preliminary reports, sitting down with a pen to go over them. "Melissa." She came back to his desk. He underlined a few things. "A bit wordy. Do we need adjectives?" he asked with a grin.
"No, probably not."
He pointed at something else. "Proper signing format." He wrote that out for her. "That's Miami-Dade standard." She nodded. "Header's fine if you want to do it that way." He handed it over. "More work for you."
"But it's okay?"
"It's fine. I've had days with multi billion reports coming out of the printer. That'll keep them together. So if you want to do headers, go for it." She nodded, going back to correct it. He looked over the other one. "Evan?" He came back. "Format for signatures is off." He wrote out the format. That got a nod. "Also, case name and number. That way they
can search by their preferred method. And this word means what?" he asked, circling one. "That's not a technical term. Good, standard English that anyone from any language background should be able to find in any good abridged dictionary." He handed it back. "I've had a few lab only reports I've added slang to and gotten nibbled." That got a nod and he went back to correct it. "Before you print, call me over, Dean."
"Yes, Xander." He went back to work. "Destra beat good report habits into me and Sammy."
"She's really good at it. By the way, if you need to point to the moron signal tower, it's in the eastern half of the center of the city. It's called rich people ville." He pointed. "It's about six miles that way." Dean smirked at him. "I've used it on a number of people who I thought should quit using it as a suppository."
"Eww," Melissa complained.
"Our teacher had this theory that every town had a moron signal tower," Dean told her. "That some people picked up the signal very well."
"I personally think some suck up the signal, some suck up the tower, and some think it's an anal use suppository," Xander added with a grin. "You'll see some of them now and then."
"One of those hit me then said it wasn't his fault he was speeding," Dean agreed dryly. Melissa gave him a horrified look. "I've been doing rehab for the last three years, Melissa. He totally wrecked my car. Thankfully we have a buddy who could fix it while I was in the hospital. If I hadn't managed to turn us some, Sammy and I would've either died or had broken spines. He was going about one-thirty down a dark back road out by LA."
"He said it wasn't his fault?"
"LA and Miami both have that sense of entitlement for the rich kids. It's 'I'm pretty, I'm rich, and everyone has to cater to me'," Xander said, doing his impression of one of them, then flipping back some imaginary hair. "Them, they sit on the signal tower. We love showing them some reality around here."
"The professors at UCLA did too," Dean agreed. "Our in-school, Sammy got to get onto a starlette who was being an idiot. Told her she couldn't act anyway so she could take her time in prison to teach her how to do pornos. At least then she'd be on film." He grinned at her. "The officer watching over us cackled for nearly an hour once she had been led off."
"I remember those," Xander sighed. "Then again, I had a gang kid who tutored me so I got in down there too. The last time I went to LA someone offered me money to do porn with her. Tim about took her head off."
"I would've too, dude," Dean assured him. "Done."
Xander came over to look. "Name and number." Dean corrected that. "Format for signing." He showed him. Dean corrected that. "Good, less than wordy but still a bit too intensive to read. Like the others, you'll cut down on words as you go along." He looked at him. "Like an oral report. It can sound clinical if you want or need." Dean nodded, correcting it. "Good." He printed it and Xander signed off that he had looked it over. "Find Horatio, give it to him." He handed it over. Dean went to do that once he had made sure the guns were in the proper spot. Evan came back to do his. Melissa was checking the inbox. "Go to trace, the morgue, then DNA, make sure we don't have any floating around, Melissa. Evan, check the other labs. Don't worry about QD, documents don't usually shoot." He nodded, going to do that with her. "Get drinks while you're at it."
"Yes, Xander," they called.
Dean tapped on Horatio's door. "Matched." He handed it over. "Xander proofread."
"It's clear Professor Destra worked on your report style too," he said with a smile. "Most techs and detectives like Xander's report style." He read it over, nodding at the points. "I'll handle it. Who had the initial case?"
"Ryan. RW was on the tag."
"I'll take it from him. Thank you, Dean."
"Welcome. Let me know if I have to test any more."
"I can do that. When is your appointment?"
"Let us know if you need time off." Dean nodded and went back to the lab. Horatio called Ryan up. "Your present case matches one of my brother's old ones," he said quietly when he walked in.
"Okay. Which one?" He handed it over so he could glance over the reports. "I was wondering about that." He handed it back. "Let me get my notes. Do you want me to correlate with that old case or do you want me to hand it over?"
"Let's work together on it. Supposedly the person who was doing my brother's died during a standoff with a hostage."
"Interesting. Let me get those notes." He went to do that, bringing them back up to go over with him. "It came in right before I left. The early night techs were only coating up at that time so I took it to get some overtime hours."
"I've done that myself, Mr. Wolfe." He went over what they had, comparing it to the old files his brother had kept and what was in the system. He sighed. "It does seem to compare perfectly."
"So, should I go pull that evidence?"
"I'm having it sent back from the warehouse." He looked at him. "Did we get a description?"
"Dark, had a hood or mask on. Tallish, white guy, dark hair. Didn't see eyes. Wasn't pantyhose for a mask, she made sure I knew that. She said he had cold fingers and the gun was warmer than she thought. He did try to shoot her in the head but it hit off to the side. She said he seemed hurried so she was lucky."
"Good to know. Did we warn hospital security?"
"I did. She's single so I offered to call one of the local rape crisis centers for her. I know one of them does have a way to get her protection if she needs it."
"Excellent. Did you?"
"She was drifting off but nodded so I made the call. Christina said she'd be waiting when she came out of surgery to talk to her about it. Hospital security said they'd post a person near her room but not right outside it so they wouldn't spook her. The docs were saying she'd probably be in for about a week to heal the surgery to remove the bullets. They were supposed to send them over last night. They weren't in the report."
"Let me call...."
"Why? I can jog. I need the exercise." He jogged down there. "Dean, the hospital was supposed to send over two bullets last night from that case you ran for us."
"I didn't see any. Are they in the box?"
He looked. "No."
"I got bullets from the morgue," Melissa offered, letting him see what was written on their package. "Is that the same case?"
"No, but I know which case that is. Those were supposed to show up about two days ago."
"Want me to call the hospital?" Xander asked.
"I can. I talked to her surgeon about how long she'd be out last night." He went back up to the office, looking up the hospital to call there. "Hi, can talk to Dr. Meadows. This is Officer Wolfe with the crime lab. I need to check on something he was supposed to send us." He was put on hold. "Dr. Meadows. This is, but we never got the bullets." He listened. "That's fine, I can run over to pick them up from security. Warn them I'm coming. No, we hadn't gotten them so I thought I'd check. Did she come through all right enough to answer more questions?" He made a note. "Thank you, Dr." He hung up. "Security has them. She's still sedated and will be until tomorrow in case we need to ask her anything else. She came through fine from the surgery he said." He looked at him. "Let me get them."
Horatio tried not to smile at the bouncy young tech. "Did you somehow gain Xander's hyperactivity?"
"I had bad thoughts all night." He smirked. "It was a bouncy night." He went down to the motor pool to get a hummer so he could head over there. He found Eric down there. "Are we short?"
"Looks like one's in the shop," Eric said. "Scene?"
"Hospital. Got to pick up evidence they haven't sent."
"I'm questioning people." Ryan nodded, going with him. He could be dropped off while Eric went to question and get a ride back from a patrol that was dropping off at the ER.
Dean walked out and took a breath of air. "Less smog is nice." Sam laughed, walking around him. "It is, bitch."
"I know, but you've got this happy look because there's less smog. Picnic table or tree?"
"Tree. I need to stretch out." He followed his brother and their lunch that way. He saw a few odd looks. "He's my brother," he announced. "No matter what it looks like." That got a few grins and a few more nods from the officers. He found a good spot to sit in the shade, stretching out his legs once he was down. He rubbed out a cramp. "The stool's just a bit too short. And Xander was right, the unpadded one will set your butt to sleep." Sam laughed, handing him food. "Thanks, Sammy."
"Anything good today?"
"Not really. Our case is still in processing but we have an ID. I went with Ryan to question on it after he got back from picking up those bullets. Thankfully I didn't have to break the bad news." Dean patted him. "I know, but it's going to get this sicko off the streets before he hurts someone else."
"Monsters are monsters," Dean reminded him.
"Yeah, they are." He ate a bite of his sandwich. "I can't believe Dad made us lunch," he muttered.
"I think he was having school flashbacks." He dug in, eating quickly. "Xander is picky."
"I heard him chewing Evan a new one."
"Evan dropped evidence. Oh my god, I thought it was an invasion."
"It could contaminate it."
"It's a bullet, dude."
"If I drop it in trace, I'm screwed because it's contaminated. His minor is in trace. Plus, if it had body fluid on it, it could've picked up anything on the floor."
"I guess, but chewed him a new one."
"I'm sure we'll all get it when we make rookie mistakes." He looked over when Max, Xander, and Tim walked over. "Hey. Pull up some grass?"
They sat down, making Xander grin. "Yes, I had to chew him out. We still have to swab that bullet and he was being clumsy on purpose. Melissa said I was too harsh on him but he was having clumsy moments. I'm going to move him to afternoons so he has more personal time with me instead of lumped in with you guys." He dug into his lunch. "Thank you, Tim."
"Welcome, Xander. I knew you wouldn't eat if I didn't."
"I would've ordered from the lunch truck."
Tim gave his head a nudge. "That's expensive and bad food."
"I've eaten some questionable takeout in the past." He dug in. Alexx came over. "Pull up some grass, Alexx?"
She patted Tim on the head. "I came to see if he had talked Maxine out of his anniversary present yet."
"Nope," Max said with a grin. "I'm going to be stubborn. Xander might give in to see the happy look but I'm more tough in the face of Tim pouts."
"Good girl, sugar." She patted her on the head too. "Some static, dear." She looked down at Xander. "Is he going to squeal and brag?" Xander just grinned. "Fine, I'm sure he'll brag when he talks her out of it. Eat and remember to drink plenty of fluids, boys. It's humid today and it'll suck it out of you." She walked off to enjoy her own lunch among her friends.
Xander smirked at Tim. "I think you'll squeal and brag too."
"I hope so. I know you have good taste in presents." He winked, digging into his own lunch. Melissa and Evan came out, letting him wave them over. "C'mon. We're an inclusive group." They came over to eat with them. "How was your morning, guys?"
"Interesting," Evan said.
"None of us are perfect but Xander has high expectations," Tim told him. Evan nodded. "That's why he's moving you so you get some more individual work time. Also, afternoons usually have some mop-up from the morning body dumps but mornings are often more intense than afternoons."
"Why can't Dean do that?"
"Dean's got a history with a lot of guns," Xander told him. "He's used to playing with them more often than you are. You're not the sort to collect weapons, Evan. We realize this. Some of us are borderline gun nuts. Melissa's the sort that doesn't like them that much so she's working to get them out of untrained hands."
"I'd like stricter gun control laws," she agreed. "But I'm seeing how you can get around those."
"Gun shows are great for that," Dean assured her. "We've gotten quite a few from them."
"A lot of them skip the Brady process all together," Xander agreed. "I've gotten artillery at some." The two young ones gaped at him. He nodded with a small smirk. "Nothing too huge but yeah I have."
"Damn," Melissa said.
Xander nodded. "Because of my past, I knew what to do with them. The same as Dean knows what to do with any gun he's handed. Even if it's one he's never groped before. Evan, you've never really fired guns from what I saw earlier."
"I like guns. I find them a fascinating subject, but I'm starting to see I might've picked the wrong field."
Xander grinned. "What was your minor emphasis?"
"Um, chemistry and DNA."
"As interns, you can claim a minor and do hours in your minor outside of your required hours for ballistics. Our chem guy's uptight, but if you go to him and tell him that you feel more comfy there, then he'll work with you and make sure you're up to it. Then you can decide which one to apply for by pointing out you discovered you were more comfortable in your minor area. That's why you spent however many hours there." The boy beamed. "I'll introduce you to Christopher today. Beyond that, if you go to anywhere but a major department, learning another area can be really handy for your future lab. People get sick, go on maternity leave, all that stuff, and if you don't have a second shift that can fill in, someone's got to because evidence has to get processed."
"Should we have a minor?" Melissa asked.
"Do you want a major metropolitan lab?" She shrugged. "Somewhere like here, Las Vegas, LA, New York, you want to have a single emphasis, but it's good if you know more. I did work in New York while we were waiting on a spot to open down here. I did temp in trace whenever I was clear. It wasn't often but it did happen." She nodded at that. "If you want somewhere more calm, somewhere with enough work to keep you busy but not overloaded, check for a medium sized city. Miami's so active we've had days we didn't get to samples for three days." They all stared. He nodded.
"We've been that backed up with me and Calleigh working in there and I work about double intern's speed. With practice comes speedy work." Tim nodded at that. "So if you want a small, tiny, county lab or state lab in those areas that have minor labs and let the state or FBI do some of their work for them, then realize that you're going to need more skills than not. The more you can sub in, the more it saves them money. They're all critically underfunded. If you want to go Fed, be a single topic and don't admit more than I took the mandatory classes but I went with what I love to do. They're all very uptight."
"We'll have a lab eval while they're here," Tim pointed out. "They'll come pouring out of the elevator like a demonic ant army." Xander snickered at that. "Some of them will be violating protocol. Xander has shoved one out of his lab for that in the past."
"I don't let you violate protocol in my lab," Xander assured them. "As interns, I'll correct you the first few times. As the people who wrote the book, I'll throw them out of my lab until they fix it. They know better. You will by the time you leave." He grinned. They all ate lunch. "Seriously though, I'm difficult but I'm not as uptight as some, guys. There's some assholes in some labs. Taylor, up in New York, is a former Marine. His way is perfect or else. He will yell in the middle of the lab." They all stared. Tim and Xander both nodded. "He has. He can be sneaky now and then but if you violate something or screw up so majorly and he's having a bad day? Yeah, you'll hear it and so will every one else. Horatio won't do that. He'll pull you aside, tell you how you screwed up then tell you 'I expect it to not happen again' or whatever needs to happen. I'll pull you into the exemplar and chew you a new one then tell you how to correct it." Evan nodded at that. "Sorry, now and then I did learn things from Mac."
"It's fine, Xander," Evan assured him. "I understood why."
Tim patted him. "After a few weeks, it seems to be second nature to be so nitpicky. Then you wonder one night if you're getting OCD. Which you probably won't. If you do, talk to Wolfe. He'll tell you how to manage it in a lab."
"The week we went over germ finding, I nearly cleaned our apartment with bleach every hour," Sam admitted.
Tim smiled. "That's what your teacher wanted you to do too. Mine did too, Sam. Also, pet hair, Melissa and Evan. Big no no."
"I'll lint roll," Melissa promised.
"I don't have pets," Evan said, pouting at his pants. "I think I have lint. I'll sticky pad roll."
"Thank you. Don't want them to transfer onto samples, guys." They nodded.
"Also watch if you go from ballistics to any other lab," Maxine said. "Because you can drag GSR with you."
"I keep separate lab coats for that reason," Xander agreed.
"You're very uptight about that," Sam told him.
Xander nodded. "That's why I'm the protocol bitch for my lab, Sam. I'm not OCD but I do make sure it's what it's suppose to be all the time, no matter what."
Dean nodded. "Because otherwise we get challenges and assholes go free."
Maxine nodded. "Yup. Exactly. Then we have to explain to the next person why we screwed up."
Dean looked at Xander. "Some of the hunter's pipeline got shut down a few years ago. You?"
"Buffy and them turned me into the ATF for having weapons." Sam moaned, shaking his head. "I told them I would not cripple the hunter's pipeline but I could cripple the demonic one. In the places where they crossed over or where the guy was too free with his selling, yeah, they got them. I'm sorry some of the contacts dried up. Even some of mine did, Dean."
"Nah, it's cool. Most of the ones we used are still okay. Some of the underground ones disappeared."
Xander nodded. "I busted three demonic ones in LA before I left to come down for my internship. That happened when I was up in New York."
"Yes, he is," Maxine said with a grin for him.
Xander smirked back. "I'd turn you evil, Max. You know that."
"I do, and it's a pity. Or else I would've given Tim a run for his money when you were an intern, Xander." She patted him on the wrist.
Tim looked over. "If he wants to play with girls that much, I'll take him to the club so he can turn another one evil. Everyone's said we've had an easy month."
Sam shuddered. "Please don't. We went over his ex that turned serial killer in a class. The teacher said he seemed like such a nice boy so he had no idea how he had set her off, but clearly something was wrong with him."
"Not my fault she wanted to kill Buffy and Willow repeatedly," Xander complained. "Did you get to go over the one that tried to bomb the San Diego lab to get me back after I rented attention from her twice?" Melissa choked. He looked at her. "I wasn't dating. I'm a practical person. I was also between semesters doing some field work."
Dean nodded. "Heard about that one from Doctor Sherill."
Xander grinned. "She tried so hard to get me back."
"So did some of the ones that kidnaped you down here," Maxine said dryly. "Please don't let him go dance with women again, Tim? Pretty please?"
"I'd have to fumigate him if he did more than that, Maxine. Relax." Horatio walked over. "Hey, H."
"Kids." Maxine giggled at that. "Long lunch?"
Xander checked. "I've still got ten." He finished his lunch. Sam and Dean did the same. He looked up. "Need Dean to help you, Horatio?"
"Right now I have Ryan running down leads. Dean, did you pull fingerprints?"
"I did since it the tags didn't have notes from them. I sent them over before I handed them to you, Horatio."
"Good. She's a bit backed up so I'll get them later. How is your first full day going?"
"Busy," Melissa said.
Xander shook his head. "It's not that busy. Usually I would've done all those myself this morning, Melissa. Then taken lunch, come back to clear up any new samples and then go to help in Trace." She whimpered. "Metropolitan areas are never boring. You're never going to get time to sit and read. Minor city labs, you get some now and then but you also get days like today when you have one to do as soon as you get done. That's why you want to pick your destination point carefully."
"I understand that." She slumped. "You really do this all the time?" He nodded with a slight grin. "You take vacations, right?"
"I haven't in a year or so. I think I used a few vacation days last year to call off due to kidnapings from a club or once because Tim left me tied to the bed." He had seen that problem intern coming. He had briefed his in case they caught them tweaking her issues. Dean had probably warned Sam. He looked embarrassed but he was a good boy who probably didn't play those games.
"You said you had a migraine that day," Horatio told him.
"No, I told Calleigh why I was calling off when I had to magic the phone over, Horatio. She told you *she* had a migraine."
"Ah. That's what it was." He nodded. "You do have some leave time that has to be used up."
"He wants to go to Disney and Universal Studios, H. I'm avoiding being happied to death," Tim said bluntly. Xander pouted at him. "I can't stand Disney, Xander. Sorry."
"Can I take someone else?"
"Sure, I want to see you get H, Eric, or Calleigh into Disney," he said dryly.
"I've never been." He turned up the puppy eyes.
Dean swatted his brother. "You do that to me, Sammy. That's why I don't look at you when you start to pout."
Xander cracked, grinning at him. "Keep it up, I'll bring you two to Disney with me."
"Fat chance," Dean said dryly. "I'd shoot the first thing that tried to hug me. I don't do happy or emo."
"I might go," Sam offered. "I went to the one by LA when I was at Stanford." Dean looked at him. "Jess wanted to go," he said quietly. "It was a fun spring break."
Xander grinned. "We can do that. Horatio?"
"He has days off and so do you, Xander. Arrange them if that's what you all want." He patted him on the head, getting a grin. "Take pictures of Tim on the roller coasters for Eric. He wants to see it."
"I can do that." He smirked at Tim, who gave him a wary look. "Did you want anything from Disney, dear?"
"I can get you Eeyore. You seem a lot like him now and then. Especially some mornings." Horatio walked off laughing. "He does," he called after him.
"He so does," Maxine agreed. Tim glared at her so she grinned back. "You can be grumpy and sarcastic, Tim."
"Whatever," he muttered. "Finish up, guys. Lunch is nearly over. Thankfully." He finished up and headed inside.
"Mouse ears hat?" Max hissed to Xander, cracking him up.
"Or something like that." He winked. "It'll be worth the week on the couch." He stood up and cleaned up his mess. "C'mon, guys. Back to the slave yard."
"Coming," Dean groaned. Sam got up and helped him up. "I could've done it."
"Yay." He picked up their mess and headed up too. Maxine and the other two interns followed. "What else are we doing today, Brain?"
"I don't know, Pinky, most of the time I try very hard not to take over the world. I might not like it and destroy the bad parts," Xander quipped, cracking Sam up.
"Now I have two," Dean moaned, shaking his head.
"You and Tim can complain together, Dean," Maxine assured him with a pat to the arm. "You have very good muscles."
He smirked. "You said you'd only flirt, Maxine, not really hit on me. Of course if you want to change your mind...."
She blushed but giggled. "I'll think about it, Dean. I might be too much woman for you to handle. I'm known to be a biter." Dean laughed. "I am."
Xander nodded. "She bit me one night at the club. Eric picked on me for weeks."
Dean snickered. "I'm sure she is."
She winked. "If I do decide to make you wish for God to come screaming down at the perfection I'll let you know, Dean." She strolled off.
"That woman is a humongous tease," Xander sighed, shaking his head.
Evan tried to quit blushing. "Are you sure she was?"
"Yeah. She might be looking but she's not looking for permanent. Playmate material but not permanent."
"Playmates are fun," Dean said. "That's all I did for over a decade."
"I tried so hard to be good but now and then...." Xander admitted with a sigh at the end. "You just gotta get the bad girls out of your system."
"Amen," Dean agreed. Melissa squeaked, bright red when they looked at her. "We'll change the subject."
"Please? I'm one of those good girls who doesn't even put out until after the twentieth date, guys."
"Eric expects his sisters to be that way too," Xander said. "Maybe he can introduce you to someone nice. He keeps trying to set them up with guys who won't sleep with them."
"I'll ask later on. When I know him better." She fled back to work.
Xander strolled into the ballistics lab. "Remember to clock in." They all did that. "Good. Now, let's get back to work." He handed out packages from the in-bin, sitting down to do his own. "Just like before. Let me see the reports before you print." They nodded and got to work. He did his, which still gave him plenty of time to watch over their shoulders. Melissa and Evan were both staring at him in awe with how fast he went through the case. "Experience means you can go faster. Plus I already know what sort of gun this is. I predict about six matches since it's been part of a robbery spree recently." The computer beeped and he let them see it. "See?"
"You really do learn to go faster," Melissa sighed.
"I also learned to start typing the general portions of my report while the system was running. That can take hours if you search all the various databases out there. That's also why we have multiple systems. So we can run one and start on the next one while that one runs." They nodded. "Remember, you guys are only here until two. You have to have closed out your current report by then or you're staying." They nodded, getting back to it. He looked over Dean's shoulder since he got done first. He only had to match the bullet. "Nicely compact, Dean. Good." He patted him on the back. "Print, sign, and hand out. Then hit the bricks for the day." Dean nodded, doing that. He checked the other two's work. "Good job, Melissa. Much more compact this time. You too, Evan." They got proofreads then got to print and hand them out. Xander walked Evan down to Chem. "Christopher."
"Xander. New sample from a gun?"
"No, new intern with a minor in your area. This is Evan. He was kinda torn between our two fields but he felt he liked historical weapons research. For the lab stuff he wants to get some chem hours to stay in practice in case he wants to switch over."
"I can give him hours like it's his minor."
"If I remember right, he was about six hours shy of a true minor."
"That's fine. I can do that. When do you have him?"
"Afternoons. He does better with some individual attention instead of having to compare against the group."
"I can do that. Come in an hour or so early tomorrow and we'll see what you can do in here, Evan."
"Yes, sir, thank you for the opportunity." He smiled and left.
Xander grinned. "Thanks. Anything coming my way?"
"Nope. You get three?"
"One came out of my old program. My teacher asked me specially to take him on and his brother was training with him."
"They're brothers? They looked closer."
"Nah. They're brothers." He grinned. "Thanks."
"Welcome." He watched him go. "I never get special requests like that," he pouted.
One of the other techs came over. "I heard they got a special grant to train them since the one's got that injured leg."
"Could be. Xander's good at making sure you can work in the field even if you are handicapped. He had to push his way into the field now and then." That tech gave him a look. "You weren't here then but Xander was our intern. He had to push and prove himself a lot to get treated like he knew his stuff. For the first month he did nothing but have to be pushy to get his hours in trace and field work. He had two minors. Now he and Horatio are seen as the team to make sure techs who were injured and coming back or the new ones who have problems can do the job. We even get Federal lab people who've had to come back after injuries spending some time here to make sure they can do the work. It raises us in the ranking stakes. Plus it doesn't hurt that Xander's all but an ancient weapons expert in some things and he's one of the top techs in the country in his field." She slumped. "Seriously. There's even been international cases forwarded through our lab because of that guy. I don't know why but there have been."
"He's gay though and goofy."
Christopher smirked. "Goofy and gay, but talented and focused when it counts. Even with those hideous t-shirts. That's how he won Tim before he graduated."
"I guess. I've been hearing rumors out of DNA. The new intern is trying to say stuff."
"I noticed the clubbing clothes yesterday. Bad things, good things, or she's jealous of Xander's possessive streak things?" He pulled his last result out of the machine to read over then put where it needed to go.
"She's seriously trying to bash Xander."
"Valera reacting yet?"
"I'm not sure anyone's told her. You know how she is about protecting him."
"Go tell her." She nodded, heading to do that. "I was hoping we'd go a year without an intern smack down," he said dryly. "Maybe next year. Though this one probably won the award for the earliest one."
Maxine and the chem tech walked up to Horatio's office. "You need to hear this one before it gets out of hand, Horatio." He looked up at them so she gave the chem tech a small shove. "Please. Before someone gets into a fight in the halls."
"Already?" he asked her. He put down the file he was reading. "Usually it takes a month."
"The DNA intern has been talking trash about Xander, Horatio. Saying he's slightly insane. That he's corrupting evidence. That he's doing unnatural things. She tried to tell me she saw him tampering with something in DNA."
"Interesting. How many people has she told?"
"She tried to tell me and two of the field work interns."
"I'll discuss this with her."
"Horatio, did you see what she wore yesterday?" Maxine asked. Horatio nodded. "You also heard Tim's comments?"
"I told him to be a bit more quiet and subtle."
"We tried that today, boss. That's when she got told that he was tampering."
"I see. I was hoping for a year without a major intern problem. I'll definitely talk to her about her allegations, ladies. If you hear more, let me know. Maxine, please talk to those two field candidates."
"I can do that," she agreed. "Thanks, bossman." She left.
The tech leaned down. "She was seriously snarling about Xander, Horatio. I don't know what her problem is but she was sneering at his back earlier in the labs when he was in the halls. I don't want to see him rearrange her molecules on her or anything."
"I doubt he could do that."
"She said something that suggested she knew he had artillery, Horatio. It'll come close when he used it on her." She walked off.
"Yes, that means it's a critical talk." He went down to get her. He cleared his throat when he saw Tim kissing Xander against a corner. "PDA is not allowed in the labs."
"Blame me," Tim said, pulling back to look at him. "I was stopping him from ripping her into tiny chunks, Horatio. She accused him of tampering with DNA evidence to his face." He was still keeping Xander in the corner with his body.
"Where might she be?"
"Maxine dragged her off by her really ugly hair weave," Xander said. "I'm calmer, Tim."
"Bullshit. I can feel the trembling, Xander." He petted him.
"Break room, boys." They went that way. Horatio went to find Maxine. They were in the locker room. "I heard we had a sudden problem?" He put his hands on his hips when Maxine only glared at the sobbing young woman. "Miss Valera."
"She just told a senior tech that she saw him tampering with evidence when he hadn't even been in the lab all day. Beyond dropping Tim off and handing me his anniversary present so I could tease him."
"That's what I heard. What did she say he did?" He shifted closer.
"She said he switched samples and then contaminated one." She looked at him. "She came in yesterday looking like a whore and tried to hang all over Tim. He yelled at her for it. She's tried to start rumors but we all know Xander doesn't contaminate cases." He nodded he knew that. "I'm kicking her out of DNA. I'm not having something like that in my lab, Horatio. She can find a different internship." She walked off.
He sat down near her. "I would like to hear your side of the story." She glared at him. "That will depend on what I put into your file."
"Why would it matter?"
"Because if I put her version into the files, you will not be getting any other internships. Ever." She wiped her cheeks. "Now, let me hear your side of the story."
"I know he's doing things wrong! He's not a *real* tech! He doesn't have the degrees and he's tampering! He has to be! He has no idea what he's doing!"
"He went through the same amount of schooling we all did."
"All the rest of us have masters."
"Not all programs make you get one. Some programs are dedicated to forensics so they only need an undergrad. Masters are for higher research work." She glared. "That's why the four-year programs were started. It combines the former criminal justice degree that most of us got with the forensic classes we did in our masters. As for being a real tech, Xander is one of the highest rated in the country."
"He shouldn't be. He has no idea what he's doing."
"He has every idea what he's doing. That's why he graduated second in his class. Right behind a ten-year veteran who was changing fields."
She shook her head. "UCLA doesn't have him listed. I looked him up."
"I talked to all his professors."
"It's probably that freaky stuff he does," she insisted.
"No it's not."
"It has to be." She stood up. "He's retarded. He doesn't think, he doesn't read. I doubt he can read."
"He's actually very well read and educated." He stood up. "I do not know why you have this problem with him. Or why you were trying to attract his boyfriend."
"He's tainting him and Tim could be such a good tech without his tainting."
"Tim is an excellent tech. He always has been." He stared her down. "I think it would be for the best if you pack and head home."
"We'll save Tim from him. Before he's drug down and put in jail for having to tamper because his *boyfriend* made him," she sneered.
Sam walked over and splashed her with holy water, making her shriek but not in the right way. She huffed off. "I was hoping she was possessed."
"No, I think someone set her onto Tim to break them up. That's worse." He looked at him. "But she probably needed the dousing anyway." Sam grinned. "Let me know if others try things, Sam." He walked off to talk to Xander and Tim. "She's insistent that Xander is bad, called him retarded and unable to read, and thinks that you'll be taken down with him some day," he told Tim. Xander snorted. "She said she tried to check UCLA on you, Xander."
"So is this an obsession?" Tim asked. Xander shook his head. "Why not?"
"How would she know about you before she got here? She was out of UNLV."
"She was," Horatio agreed. "And she said 'we would save Tim'." Both boys stared at her.
"I'll start searching," Tim said.
Horatio smiled. "We'll do what we can. Xander, endure. Everyone knows that you do know what you're doing."
"Oh, I'm sure they do but everyone likes to gossip too." He sighed, sipping his soda. "Thank you for calming me down earlier, dear."
"Welcome," he said, looking grim. He looked at Horatio. "No idea why?"
"She said we'd find out."
"Ah." He stood up. "Laptop from Willow?"
"Cooper." Tim nodded, heading that way. "Stay calm about it, Xander."
"I'm so going to kill her ass. Especially if she tries to take me out of UCLA's system or their heads."
"I doubt she can."
"Depends on whose behind her," Xander pointed out. Horatio nodded at that. "Let me work it, Horatio." He went to call a contact out in LA. "It's Xander. I've just heard about some psycho slut being sicced on my Timmy. So, who's she working for?" He listened. Then he groaned. "My professors okay?" He smirked. "Good to know. Thank you. Yes, I'll call them. Thanks, Bob." He hung up and called Angel's office. "It's Xander, Gunn. Wolfram and Hart's other offices are trying to attack me through my schooling. Can you warn my professors? Set an intern out of UNLV to try to pry me and Tim apart." He smirked. "Thanks." He hung up and went to find Tim. "Wolfram and Hart supports her."
"I saw they gave her massive scholarships for help." They looked at each other. "Horatio?" he called. He came in. "Wolfram and Hart."
Xander smirked. "I have no idea why I'm in their view this time but I've had enough." He walked off. "I told Gunn."
"Good. Maybe Gunn can help stop it." He waited until he was out of sight to shudder. "He's livid. I'm very sorry."
"I'm not," Horatio muttered. "Thank you, Tim." He took that information to show it to his boss. He wanted Xander fully covered. Xander would be subtle enough. He'd just destroy them. And possibly destroy their building with some artillery.
"They're untouchable," the agent told the naive young tech in front of him.
"They're already trying to fuck with me for some reason. What else can they do really?" He smirked. "You can help or I can do it on my own. But some of them are federal charges."
"What can you do? You're a one-eyed ballistics tech, Harris."
Xander leaned down. "I worked with the protection detail in LA," he said quietly. The man gave him a horrified look. "Four years with Angel. Seven years before then with Buffy and the present Cleveland crew in Sunnydale. What do you think I can do?"
"It'll unbalance things."
"The overlords mostly hate them anyway. They cause problems that bring notice."
The agent moaned, shaking his head. "They'll kill anyone involved."
"Killer, I'll do it." He smirked. "I need these files," he said, handing over a list. The guy whimpered. "Do it or I'll involve your bosses."
"They hate them but they know they can't do anything about it."
Xander shrugged. "I'm not like them. I know what they're doing down to the last molecule of taint." John Winchester faded in. "You aren't my white lighter."
"I was wondering what you were messing with. Yours is throwing a fit, kid."
Xander smirked. "Butt out. Really. I'm dealing with an issue that's trying to discredit and ruin me." He looked at the agent again. Who printed off those files. "Danka."
"There's one not listed. They did something recently that the lab had to handle. It's going to court."
"Did I have to process it?"
"I don't know how you were involved." He let him see that one.
Xander shrugged. "That was Ryan's case." He smirked. "Thank you." He walked off, going around John. "Warn your boys I'm in scary bitch mode." He waved before disappearing out of the office.
Winchester looked at the agent. "How bad?"
"Wolfram and Hart."
"Highly evil then." He faded out again. His boys needed warned.
Xander held up the file as he walked past Horatio. "They got me confused with Ryan."
Horatio took it to read. "I'll warn him."
"Why? They won't be here." He walked past him, heading for the lab to pull up evidence. He found what he needed and went to the biggest right wing Christian, the most uptight, never gave a warrant, judge he knew in the county. He stared at her. "I know you hate me because I'm gay. I'm not here about that."
"What makes you think I'll do anything for you, CSI Harris? I don't even like you tainting my courtroom by testifying."
"Because it's either me or you have to deal with the law firm that's presently twisting the system to their own ends and doing it while promoting demonic worshiping, deals for souls, and other nifty things. Including some human sacrifices, some jury tampering, the judge you replaced being killed, little things like that. They came after me this time and I'll get them or they'll get me. Which would you rather have?"
"You're both evil but I suppose being gay is less evil than demon worshiping. What do you have?" He let her see it. She looked over all the evidence. "This one isn't firm enough for a search warrant."
"It's in the next group down, Your Honor." He pointed at it. She looked that over, grimacing at it. Then up at him. He nodded. "That's how you got your seat. You notice one of the other ones managed to get some asshole rapist into a children's shelter?" She went pale, looking that one over. She went over the rest then pulled out the warrant papers to fill out for him. "Thank you."
"What did you do before you came down here? There's all sorts of rumors."
He smirked. "I fought against guys like them for ten years. First my hometown to protect it from the darker things in life then in LA." He gathered his evidence and nodded. "Thank you, ma'am. Expect arrests late tomorrow. I need to do some recon." He walked off.
She shivered. Then she called her minister to get some prayers going. Anything that evil needed to be stopped. He wouldn't put up with lawyers who asked for souls either.
Frank and Horatio stopped Xander before he could walk in. "We can help, Harris," Frank told him.
"Frank, if I can't win, they'll want to take out everyone else involved too. Besides, I'm used to fighting their slime." He smirked. "Angel's kinda in a battle with them too."
"Still, Xander. It is the full lab's job to help bring down evil things." Xander stared at him. "Let us help. We can help you shield Timothy as well." Xander nodded at that, letting him see what they had.
"How did you get her to sign a warrant?" Frank asked.
"They ask for souls. They killed the judge that got her seated, and they put a rapists using power raising magic into a children's shelter."
"Did we catch that one?" Frank asked.
"I did about three weeks after he started," Horatio admitted. "The DA refused to prosecute. They got him on another charge and the guards mysteriously told the other inmates."
Xander smirked. "Some of those are federal charges. There's some hard, insane federal prosecutors. Plus, West is still in her job." They all smirked evilly at that. She was a pain in their ass but she'd do it to get around the evil things because it'd give her back some prestige she had lost by turning on the lab. "I was going to recon their building."
"Let us make some plans, Xander. A show of force is always better than a single person with officer backup."
"What happens if they hear and move things?" Frank asked.
"Federal charges, Frank. With the first warrant they can apply to search all their other offices. And I do know that there's demonic officers who can get to those offices." They smirked evilly and went to the office to go over what they could do. An hour later they were on their way to the building with a good force. Including SWAT behind them because Xander found out they had a failsafe bomb in the building. Which was another charge since no one had given them permission to build a bomb that could destroy a third of Miami if they got paranoid.
To Part 2
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