Mac Taylor walked back into work Monday morning smiling and happy. He felt good this morning. His weekend in Scotland had went well. He had gotten to know his people a bit better. Danny had proved he was the badass he had been when he was younger. He ran into Sheldon and smiled. "Good morning, Sheldon."
"It was a good weekend off?" he asked happily.
"Yes, a very nice weekend. How was yours?"
"Six dead bodies from Friday night clubbing, all related, and a domestic that we've already solved. She killed him because he came home drunk after nearly four years sober." Mac nodded at that. "How's the friend you went to see?"
"Fairly decent. We reconnected, we watched a sporting event. Stella and Don did a bit of shopping. We got back about midnight." He smiled at that and nodded. "Oh, we heard from Aiden. She's in Chicago and is doing well. She's not fond of her job now and then but she's okay." He saw Danny coming in. "Did you send Aiden the stuff you got her?"
"I did. I tossed it over last night." He smiled at Sheldon. "My man! What's up, doc?"
"Seven homicides Saturday, but six were related and the other was a domestic, already solved."
"Wonderful. Need my help in Trace?"
"No, I'm okay there." He looked from one to the other then back. "Where were you guys?"
"Out of the country," Danny noted dryly. He grinned at Flack as he came in. "You're pouting."
"I don't pout," he said firmly, staring at him. "I realized this morning I make crappy coffee compared to his housekeeper."
"Well, yeah, everyone makes crappy coffee compared to his housekeeper. She uses purified water."
"I've got to get one of those pitchers then," he said. "Sheldon, thank you for dropping six new cases on my desk. Who was over it this weekend?"
"Salvaro. Whose last day was Saturday. They're all related at least."
"Gee, thanks. I love serials first thing Monday morning." Sheldon grinned back. "When can we go over it?"
"Whenever you've got a few free minutes. I just got here too and I haven't gotten called out yet."
"I'm off to do paperwork, let me know what I need to," Mac ordered, heading for his office.
Danny looked at Sheldon. "Need me or did you pull Lindsey?"
"I pulled Lindsey," he admitted.
"Have fun with that then, I'll take Stella today." That got a nod and he headed for the locker room to get his gear. He found Stella in there holding her head. "Beer?" he teased.
"Much beer at the game," she agreed. She looked at him. "Who do I have today?"
"Probably me. Sheldon and Monroe caught a serial on Saturday."
"Better them than me this morning." She opened her purse and took the small vial of stuff Greg had handed her when he had dropped her off. She grimaced but her headache eased almost instantly. "Oh, better," she moaned, tossing the bottle into her locker. She grabbed what she'd need for the day and closed her locker, looking at him. "You don't have a hangover?"
"I have a supply of that stuff at home," he said wisely. "I took the practical application class on that a few years back." She smiled at that. "Mac's in the office so I guess it's us. He's briefing Flack on that case since Salvaro was the answering detective. I'll drive."
"Might be a good idea, yeah," she agreed, following him out. They met Mac coming out of his office. "Is Danny working alone or are we a trio today?"
"We are a trio today because we have a nice body waiting for us in the park that's partially pinned under a dead horse."
"Okay," she agreed, following him out. She glanced at Danny. Then at Mac. "Riding accident?"
"With what the detective said, no. Not unless he was pulling a Lady Godiva."
"Staged hopefully?" Danny asked.
"I haven't seen it yet, Danny, but I can only hope so." They made it outside and to the car.
Danny looked over when someone tapped on his door. "Just a minute!" He finished the charm he was working on and hit the charm to hide stuff from those who didn't know, closing the new extra door to his apartment before going over to answer the front door. "Monroe, what's up?" He let her inside, checking the hall. "Need help on the serial case?"
"No, I came over to see if you wanted to do something tonight. You weren't answering your phone."
"Yeah, I turned it off since I'm not on tonight." He turned it back on, checking the incoming call log. Just her number and one from Mac. "Hold on, Mac called and left a voicemail." He got into that and listened, then nodded. "Okay." He hung up. "I was going to clean tonight. The kitchen's still a wreck and I've got stuff growing in my fridge. My momma would kill me for leaving my fridge that way."
She snorted. "Like you really want to clean tonight, Danny."
"Well, no," he admitted. "But I should so I can eat."
"We can get something on the way. Sullivan's?"
"Sure." He shrugged. "Let me change shirts." She nodded and he went into his bedroom, going to change his shirt and figure out if he was bringing his wand or not. He decided on not this time and turned, finding her standing in the doorway. Which meant she had bypassed another four doors he had recently put in. "Give me a few more."
"How are you affording a spot this nice?"
Danny smirked a bit. "Rent control. I've been here for a while." He went back to buttoning his shirt. He left it loose, putting his badge on underneath and then his gun as well. He felt hands go around his chest and looked back at her. "That's not what I had planned for tonight."
"You can't tell me you don't want it."
"I can." He got free and looked at her. "No, Monroe. I don't date at work."
"You dated Aiden."
"No, Aiden and I were buddies," he corrected calmly. "We were best friends, we never dated. I don't date people I work with. Things get awkward." She frowned at him. "Seriously. It's bad politics all the way around. You start mixing emotions with samples and you get stuff that's misrun and stuff that's overlooked. I'm sorry if I gave you that idea."
"No. Everyone says you used to date Aiden."
"Nope, sorry. Aiden dated some guy who worked at the Met for the last six months she was here."
"Oh. Did you guys go to see her this weekend?"
"No. She's in Chicago. We did talk to her. She called. I talked to her again last night, but we were up in the woods visiting someone."
"Sheldon said out of the country."
"Canada's only a few hours away," he pointed out dryly.
"Point. I'm sorry, Danny."
"Not an issue. You still want a beer?"
"I probably shouldn't." He nodded, accepting that. "Will we be okay tomorrow?"
"We'll be just fine," he promised. She smiled and nodded, leaving the apartment. He groaned and held his head, going to call Mac. "It's Danny. No I'm okay. Yeah, want a beer?" He smirked. "More like issueage as Alex would say." He nodded. "Yeah, that one. Who said I was dating Aiden?" He listened. "No, she was dating that guy at the Met. Not me. I don't date at work. Yeah, that's why. Well, she did want to know how I could afford a place this big." He smirked. "My thoughts but I'm not sure that's the right thing. Thanks, Mac." He hung up and slumped down on his couch, taking off his badge and gun to leave there for now. Then he went back to fixing up his apartment and hiding the door from everyone who wasn't invited in. He searched his room, finding a piece of her hair and used it to exclude her personally from the other rooms. Just in case she tried to come back. Then he went to sit in his new library and put his feet up, watching the tv in there with the door open so he could hear if someone knocked.
Mac looked at Lindsey when she came in the next morning. "Hi. Got a few?"
"Danny turned me in?" she asked quietly.
"He was worried that things could get said in the heat of the moment, Lindsey. He said you wouldn't do it on purpose but he wanted me to know in case anyone else insinuated something. Like whoever told you to approach him because he had dated Aiden."
"I didn't mean to cause any trouble."
"You didn't," he assured her. "We're just making sure that no one else could say anything to either of you. Things like that can ruin a career." She nodded, understanding that. "So, let's go talk in my office and I'll make official note that someone had suggested you date a coworker but you turned the idea down. Okay?" She nodded, that made her look really good. He smiled and led her that way, puling his wand once they were alone in the elevator. "Obliviate last night," he whispered. She went stiff, then moaned and held her head. "Are you okay?" he asked, slipping his wand back into his pocket. She looked at him and nodded. "Come on, you can lay down in my office, Lindsey. I have some tylenol if you need some." She nodded again and let him lead her that way. He noticed Sheldon frowning. "Headache."
"Okay." He watched them walk off, frowning at the sight of something. He waited until Mac had Lindsey laying down to go confront him. He gave Mac a look and nodded at a nearby corner, making him join him there. "Mac, your jacket's hiked up," he said quietly, staring at him. "How long have you carried a wand?"
"You know about..." He led him out of the way.
"I was an ME, Mac. We see the personal effects more than you guys do. I've seen a few over the years," he said quietly. "Is she all right?"
Mac gave him a dirty look. "Why?"
"Because if you obliviated her," he said quietly, "you should know she's fairly resistant. Someone tried it at the multiple homicide. One of them was a witch and her boyfriend didn't want her known about. I gave him her wand since it wasn't a reason for the killing."
"Thank you for telling me. Anything like that I need to know."
"Of course." He glanced around then back at him. "You're trained?" He nodded. "Good. Military?" Mac nodded at that. "Then maybe it'll stick. If not, what should I look for?"
"She came onto Danny last night and saw his expanded apartment."
"Expanded..... Ooh." He licked his lips. "He is?" Mac nodded. "Okay. I'd never suspect him or you."
"We thought you were going to freak if you found out," Stella said from behind him. "Lindsey all right?"
"An advanced lesson," Mac said quietly. "Not an issue."
"Okay. Flack went in there to check on her." She looked at Sheldon. "He said your case had someone like me?"
"Um, damn," he said, shaking his head. "How many?"
"The four of us," Mac offered. "Are you?"
"Sibling of. She went to Andromeda." He shrugged. "I saw plenty around the house."
"Good. If you see it again, you come directly to me," Mac ordered. Sheldon nodded at that. "Thank you, Sheldon." He looked at Flack as he came over with Lindsey. "Is she all right?"
"Fine. Headache. I'm going to take her home."
"That's fine. I'll let her make up the hours so she doesn't use sick time," he promised. Don nodded and walked her down to his car. He looked at Stella, who looked amused. "What did you think I did in the service?" he asked quietly.
"What did she do?"
"Came onto Danny last night citing the rumors of him dating Aiden."
"But Aiden wasn't. Danny doesn't date at work. I asked him out and he told me that."
"He called me to make sure I knew in case it became problematic considering hie was working on his apartment last night."
"Ah." She nodded. "So did I. When is Timmy getting here?"
"An hour. Ten." She smiled at that. He looked at Sheldon. "If you see her leaking, I need to know ASAP. Her or Flack," he ordered quietly.
"They missed you?" he asked. Stella nodded. "Damn. Sorry. I can get some of my sister's books if you need them."
"No, we've got tutors," she assured him with a grin. "Thank you though." She pinched him on the cheek. "Need help on the serial?"
"Please. I'm not sure if I need you or Danny though. It's all Trace stuff."
"I'd get Danny. He's better at that." He nodded and went to find Danny to help him. "You did what?" she mouthed.
"Obliviated." He adjusted his wand so it wouldn't show. "I'm going back to my desk."
"Sure, have fun with that. I'll see you on the next call." She headed to find her last case and get back to work. He went to put his wand in the drawer until their new union rep came to get them.
Don walked into the meeting room late. "Sorry, she lives near the middle of nowhere." He sat down and looked at the cop he sort of knew. "Hey, Tim."
"Hey, Flack. You are?" He nodded, putting his wand on the table. "Excellent. Who's training you guys?"
"Ooooh," he moaned, ending in a small shiver. "So the Bane network has your training. Makes sense with Sanders being among you guys. Okay, this is the benefits package and stuff on the convention," he said, passing down a pamphlet. "On it is my contact number. If something should happen, I need to know. It's my job to cover this stuff on the PD, got it?" Don nodded.
"I had to obliviate Monroe earlier. She came onto another of my guys and saw him expanding his apartment." Tim looked at him. "It's what I did in the military."
"That's fine. I'll check on her later to make sure it holds." He looked at Danny. "Doing the living in a slum thing?"
"I've been living in a slum but now I've got the family's library. Plus a nice, quiet spot to sit and read."
"That's fine. I do have some rules that we live by. It is considered unethical to reduce your rent by more than half. We know those of us with this life have to sometimes spend a lot to cure a problem and we considered that a fair compromise." Everyone nodded at that. "It is considered unethical to announce this at work."
"I found out earlier Sheldon Hawkes' sister went to Andromeda. My wand wasn't very well covered and he saw it," Mac offered. He got given a dirty look for that. "I'm not used to carrying it anymore. I haven't really used it in years."
"Fine, Mac, be more careful. Since he already knows, I'll make sure he's good with it. You told him to report anything like that directly to you?" Mac nodded. "Including any leaking and things?" That got another nod. "Good, then what's wrong with Flack?"
"I'm a natural curse breaker according to Dumass," Don offered with a small smirk.
"Then please find control before you drive me insane," he pleaded. "Take a few weeks off for some intense training with him. Please."
"I don't have that much leave time built up," he admitted.
"So? I can arrange that for you, Don. Really, I can. I can call it continuing education necessity and do it that way. Since one of the Deputy Chiefs is one of us, it'll fly. Have you told your father?"
"Not yet. I'm avoiding that yelling match."
"Might be a good idea." He looked at Danny. "I know you."
"You should know me, you lived three doors down from me for two years, Timmy."
"Oh, okay. Oh, Danny." He slapped himself on the head. "Sorry. My mind's going with the convention stuff. By the way, do we know anyone in Miami who knows?"
"Yup, but he's doing what Mac's doing so I can't out him," Don offered.
"Crap. I need a local anchor down there for the concealment spell on the hotel."
"I'll call him later tonight, give him your phone number," Don promised.
"Thank you." He smiled and patted him on the shoulder, then had to work to get free. "You're taking leave time. You're sticking to things."
"I'll call Ron to see what I need to do."
"That's fine. Thank you." He smiled at him. "How did you like hanging with Harry?"
"He was a pretty nice guy about me staring for the first few minutes," he admitted. "Ron assured me he belched and scratched like the rest of us." That got a grin and a nod. "We saw the match before we came back."
"*Please* tell me you guys'll think about playing?" he begged.
"I need better wrist guards but Alex and I worked out how I can play," Danny admitted with a smirk. "I'm still damn good too."
"Blessed be, Goddess!" he said happily, beaming at him. "Stella, Mac? Don?"
"Airsick," Mac said quietly. "I don't fly."
"I like to fly and Stella and I were told we might make pretty good chasers," Don admitted with a small grin.
"If you could play beater, we'd kiss your ass, man. Every day before every game."
"I have no idea. I'd have to try," Don offered. "We need both beaters?"
"One got shot last year the other's retiring to be a mom. Our keeper's leaving next year. I'm our reserve."
"Magdaline," Danny reminded him. "She's in Narco."
"Oooooh, I had forgotten she played on the house team. That's not a bad idea." He wrote a note to himself. "Can you see if Flack can be your second?"
"Thank you." He made another note. "Okay, third thing. You guys are now on call for anything really bad. Like the seventy foot demon Dumass and his apprentices took out for us because the local school was shit."
"And then some," Danny muttered. "They were throwing finites at it. If I'd had my wand I might've tried to help."
"That's okay. I can agree with that. I didn't have mine either." He shrugged. "You can't do much about that unless you can do the wandless stuff too."
"Does that work?" Don asked.
Stella nodded. "I know someone who's a Druid and hers does."
"Okay," Don agreed. "I can accept that." He looked at Timmy again. "Do we have a list of ethical conduct rules?"
"We do and I put it into the pamphlet. Technically, New York has an overlord since we don't have a ministry over here. He's also in tight with the military idiots who want us to be the army instead of the army." He looked around the table. "Sorry, Mac, but some of your bosses are morons."
"I knew that already," he admitted. "They came for me too. I pointed out I'd already done my service."
"Good. That works for me."
Danny looked at the rules then up at him. "Alchemists can only double their monthly salary?"
"That way it's not too conspicuous. I'm sure you hid your expansion project, right?" Danny nodded at that. "Same thing, different topic. There's none of us in IAB." That got some nods. "Unfortunately we're the city that the strange stuff hits first. We end up getting outed at a phenomenal rate. I don't know how many times I've obliviated Hillborne." That got a small smirk from Danny. "Did you?"
"No, but the thought had crossed my mind."
"Thank you. From now on, you come to me first if they're coming for any of you. That's what union reps are for." That got a mass nod. "Okay. Learn the rules by heart. I'll talk to Hawkes in a minute. You guys are coming to the convention?" That got smiles and nods. "Good. Flack, you're taking off because you're leaking again. We don't want to hurt you or anyone else. Sometimes it's got to happen, my man."
"I'm good with it. I don't mind taking a vacation as long as we've got someone competent filling in for me."
"I can get Mirck over to fill in for a few weeks. He's in Staten Island Homicide. That good enough?"
"I heard he's okay," he agreed. "He wanted to transfer over?"
"Yup, and you're getting an open spot next month. Therefore he can fill in now and then transfer." He made a note about that. "Do we have any questions?"
"Can we get reimbursed for the convention?" Danny asked. Stella punched him on the arm. "Ow!"
"Yes you can. Just like any other convention, Danny. Forty percent."
"Works for me. Less I've got to pay in the end." He reread the list. "Half the stuff on here is stuff I'd consider borderline ethical."
"Yes, well, it was a compromise," he said patiently. "How did Sanders explain his gold?"
"Old school friend who owned a mine and was paying him back for a loan during their school years," Flack said with a smirk. "Reported it the day he got back."
"Excellent. If you take that up, I need to know first." Danny nodded at that. "Good. Any other questions?" No one said anything. "Then where might CSI Hawkes be?"
"Hopefully in the lab with his multiple," Mac offered.
"That's fine." He gathered up everything and smiled. "Danny, call me in two days about the beater stuff. Good enough for you?"
"Yeah, I've got to get wrist guards and Don needs his own broom."
"That's fine," he agreed happily. "Stella too if you can please." He hurried out, going to find Sheldon and talk to him. Sheldon smiled at him. "Ah, you know me."
"I do know you. How many are like you in the PD?" he asked quietly.
"About eighty at the moment." He smiled at him. "You were tested, correct?"
"Good. You can handle covering and watching?"
"Of course. I call you for problems?" That got a nod and the pamphlet being handed over. "What about healers and stuff?"
"I've got two who know about us on call for any hospital in this city," he assured him.
"Good. Can I get tickets to the inter-borough games?"
"Of course. The website has dates and times. You're more than welcome to come to any of them you want to." He smiled. "Any other questions?"
"Where can I go to get my sister something special for her birthday?"
"Ask Messer. He's got to take Flack shopping soon."
"Okay." He smiled. "By the way, one of the vics had a wand so I gave it to her boyfriend."
"That's fine. It wasn't a reason for the case?" Sheldon shook his head. "Then that's fine. That's an appropriate resolution." He smiled. "Thank you, Sheldon, for making this so much easier."
"Not an issue. Let me know if I can help."
"Thank you!" He walked out, going back to his post and writing out the emails he'd need to from his notes.
Sheldon got back to work, tucking the pamphlet into his scene case for now.
Danny walked Don into the quidditch shop in New York's shopping area, smiling at Sheldon when he joined them. "You find it?"
"I did. She's going to love it. She likes odd crystals." He smiled at the shopkeeper. "Hi."
"Hello. How can I help you today?"
"I need wrist guards, Don needs a broom. We're playing inter-borough."
"Okay. What do you play?" she asked Don.
"He's trying for beater but I know he'll at least make chaser for the PD team," Danny offered. "I play beater and I've had a wrist injury before."
"All right." She led him to the wrist guards. "Try them on to find the best fit." She led Don to the brooms. "These are the models we carry in-house. The others we'd have to special order for you."
"I've got a new Stardust," Danny offered. "Plus an older Kiplian."
She turned to look at him. "How did you get one of those!"
He smirked at her. "I rode it while I was playing at school. QQS in Diagon said it was still in good shape." She moaned. "He needs to be able to keep up with me."
"Who are you?" she whimpered.
She went limp and nodded, giving him an adoring look. "I cried the day you fell." She gave him a hug. "The black and blue ones, Mr. Messer, sir. They're the best there are and I'll give them to you at price since you're going to try to come back." She got Don down a broom. "We'll try this on for size and if it's good with you, there's a top of the line broom that'll be the best yet."
"I still have to live on my salary."
"He can take it out of my vault and pay me back," Danny assured her. "The family's vaults are mine according to the Vinese. Even though my father tried to kill me for playing quidditch and not being a thug."
"I've still got to tell my dad they missed me on purpose." He took the broom to try it out, coming out looking uncomfortable. "Danny, what was I riding at Alex's?"
"Ron's Cleansweep six."
She got down a different broom and handed it over to him. "Try that." He went back and tried it, coming out smiling. "Feel good?"
"A bit too tiny around. I need something I can grip without feeling like I'm going to break it."
"That would be for the best." She looked around at her stock. "Shoot, the one I'm thinking about is special order only."
Danny came over and handed him one, then made a shooing motion. She looked at him and he shrugged. "It's a good broom and it'll require his talent to make it great. These are stiff." She led him back and got him some other gloves, like handball gloves but they went further up his wrists. He tested them, even letting her hand him a bat to test and flex. "These I like." He smiled at her. "How much?"
He checked his wallet and handed over his card. "I'll take two sets. Don? Did you fall and crack your head open?"
Sheldon looked in there. "He's leaned back and totally relaxed."
Danny looked and grinned. "Get your lazy ass down, Don. You can have that one."
"How much do I owe you?"
"That one's three hundred eighty," she offered.
"I can afford that." He landed and let her have it for a minute, then looked at the gloves. "Do I need a set?" Danny nodded. "Even if I end up playing chaser?"
"Yup, keeps the sweat off the quaffle." Danny nodded and got his own pair, letting her measure him to fit it. Don paid for his and took his bag and box, then they walked out to the main street. "We need anything else today?"
"Can we get that butterbeer stuff over here?"
"Special order," Sheldon told him. "I got her some for her thirtieth." He smiled at them. "Where to now?"
"Now, we drop the broom in the car and head to the school to look at the maps of safe flying areas." He winked at him. "You need anything else, Sheldon?"
"No, I'm okay on everything at the moment. I wonder if we've got a potion maker in the PD."
"Sanders, in Vegas," Don said dryly. Sheldon whimpered. "He started our lessons."
"Oh, I know Greg. He's so going to get it when I talk to him next time." He grinned. "Thanks, guys." He hurried off.
They went to Flack's car and then to the school, Danny getting them inside. The guard gave them an odd look. "We need ta see the safe-fly maps."
"That's fine, sir. Are you a graduate?" Danny nodded. "It's up in the library, on the East wall." Danny nodded and led the way up there. "Sir, your friend looks familiar."
"I came to be tested but you guys missed me."
"Oh. I'm sorry about that, sir. Did you need to see the headmistress?"
"Nope, we're good. I'm tutoring him," Danny assured him. He led the way into the library, right to the maps. "We have changed the area of the park," he offered, pointing at it. "Anything in red is magic only. Anything in blue is covered but we can be seen by normals. Everything else is no magic."
Don stared at all the red and blue spots. "Wow."
"Very." He pointed at a spot. "I'm on a blue block, I didn't realize that." He looked around, finding the librarian. "Handy carry copy?" he mouthed, pointing at the map. She nodded and got him one to copy. He smiled and kissed her on the cheek. "You were the best librarian I've ever met, and the nicest. Do you still make cookies for finals?"
"I do, I find it keeps other junk food out of my library." She patted him on the cheek. "Mr. Messer. Why didn't you buy a map?"
"Because I couldn't find the bookstore, again," he admitted dryly, smiling at her. "I'll buy this copy." She chuckled and nodded, taking the three gold for it. "Thank you, dear. Red's still clear, right?" She nodded. "Good. Oh, this is Don Flack."
"I remember your sister," she said, shaking his hand. "I also heard that we missed you."
"You guys tested me and missed me," he offered quietly.
"Natural born curse breaker," Danny said dryly. She whimpered. "Yeah. I'm helping tutor him though. We're flying together."
"Good. You were always so relaxed in the air." She patted him on the cheek. "I'd go before the headmistress hears you're here. She's not exactly fond of the PD at the moment since her daughter was arrested for doing stupid stuff."
He nodded and led Don down the back stairs and back to the car. "Well, that was my school. Nearly yours." He smiled and handed over the book. "I know most of 'em."
"Thanks." He got in, letting Danny drive this time, while he looked over the areas they could go to. "Can we fly tonight?"
"Yeah, we can do that. I've got to get my broom from the house. I've got the other rooms shielded so I can't just summon it."
"You can do that?"
"Yeah, that's the Accio spell." He grinned as he merged with traffic, heading for his place, which wasn't that far away. "Should we invite your dad down tonight to watch us practice?"
"I'd rather not be shouted at in public today."
"There's privacy shelters," he assured him.
Don nodded and pulled out his phone, calling his home. "Hey, dad, Don. I'm going to the park to play for a bit and wanted to know if you wanted some fresh air. No, I'm going down to the arena section with another guy at work. Sure, know how to get there?" He smirked at his father's groan. "Yeah, I can do that. Thanks, Pop." He hung up. "She used to play?"
"She might have after I fell. That was my senior year, her third. She was in training to be my replacement." Don nodded at that. He parked in front of his building and ran inside to get his broom, coming out with his new one. His old one was like someone he had married in his teen years. He knew ever dent, ever blemish, every inch of the flying spells on her. This new one he needed to get to know that way. He also got his ball set and brought it down too. He got back in and handed Don his broom. "Don't bang it." The balls went into the back seat and he started the engine, heading to the park.
Don smiled when he felt the magic wrap around the car. "We're really protected?"
"We could fly in from the parking lot," he promised. He found a good parking spot and got out, handing Don back his keys before taking his broom and the balls, getting out so Don could get his broom from the trunk. "All right, what do you remember about the balls in quidditch, Don?"
"Um, the shiny gold one ends the game. The quaffle has hand-holds and it's totally normal. The bludgers were the psycho balls that giggled as they chased you?" Danny smiled and nodded. "As a beater I'll be playing with the psycho ball. Using it as a weapon against the other team and keeping it off my team, right?"
"Right," Danny agreed. They made it into the practice area. "There's a spell here to slow the bludgers down by half," he promised. He opened the case and handed Don a bat, taking the other one himself. Then he unsnapped the bludger cover and got out of the way. It flew up. He kicked the case closed and out of the way. "Join me when you can." He took off after it, going to get in some practice swings. His wrist hurt but not like it had when he was younger.
Don unwrapped his broom and checked it over carefully before taking off to join him. "We need to get a picture of me on the broom for Aiden."
"We should," Danny agreed with a grin. "During the first game, man. That way you're in uniform." He hit the bludger at Don. "Now, bat it back at me." Don did a nice side hit. "Good job! Just like handball, man." He hit it back and Don had to chase after it, swooping down to do that. "One hand on the broom or you fall!" he yelled. Don nodded and got it underneath him. "Next time, fly lower!" He showed off a bit before batting it back. Don smirked and did what he did. "Isn't this better than the gym any day?"
"Much," Don called back, smirking as he sent it back with a really hard backhand swing. "Incoming!" Danny ducked the blow and chased it down, hitting it as it turned to get him. Don chased it down and hit it back, having to lean down to hit it. "I know, fly lower," he called. "It dove at the last second."
"They do that. That's why they're psycho balls, Don. They like to hit you and your broom." He swung tightly and got it as he came back around. Don chased and sent it back. "Good job!" Danny chased it this time, then sent it back with a vicious backhand. It turned mid-return and came after him again. Danny did a loop, coming up behind it and sent it down, which made it go after him. He let it follow him back toward Don, who got it off his ass and chased after it. "Excellent!" He noticed Don's father coming into the practice area and returned the serve. Don growled and went after it since it was lower. He ended up nearly underneath it and got it back, following it up to hit it a second time and get it where he wanted it to go. "Good plan!" He hit it back and Don flew out to meet it, sending it at his chest. Danny had to get out of the way and got it with the tail of his broom instead, smacking it back at him.
"No fair! I'm not risking my broom that way!"
"Keepers do it all the time, Don. You tired?" Don nodded, panting. "Fly toward the ground and hit it into the dirt!" He followed, it'd follow one of them. Don got it into the ground and Danny hopped off his broom to capture it and wrestle it back into the box with Don's father's help. "Thanks, Mr. Flack."
"Welcome." He looked at his son. "You were doing what?" he asked.
"They misread me, dad."
"I can see that," he said quietly. "You're being trained?" Don nodded. "Fully?"
Danny looked at him. "I'm working with him and so is a really good curse breaker and his apprentices, Mr. Flack. He's not the only one they missed or misread." He closed the top of the case once their bats were back in there. He took off his gloves as he walked over, putting them in his back pocket. "Don's doing okay and he's studying really hard. We're covered on the job and he's trying out for the inter-borough league with me."
"He looked okay up there," he said, looking at his son. "It was your mother who probably got you misread. I knew you'd still be an officer, Donny."
"Gee, thanks, dad. Do you know what happens if your magic turns stagnant?" He slowly shook his head. "It changes cells that can turn into cancer." His father moaned. "Ma get any others?"
"No, just you," he admitted, walking closer. "You're safe on the job?" Don nodded. "Someone else knows?"
"We've got our own union and Danny's a CSI in my unit."
"Okay." He clapped him on the arm. "Tell me when the games are and I'll show."
"There's a website," Danny said, handing him the address card he had picked up in the broom shop. "We told Tim, the union rep locally, we'd be trying out just after the convention in a few weeks."
"That's fine. Thank you, young man."
"Danny," he offered, shaking his hand. "Your daughter was in my house."
"She said your friends tormented her to make her stronger."
"I was an asshole when I was younger."
"We all were," he agreed, smirking at him. "You watch out for my son, Danny. I mean it." That got a nod. "Thank you. Call me if something happens to him."
"Of course. Right after whoever's handling it." That got a nod and he left them alone. He looked at Don. "Beer?"
"No, I'm okay. He didn't seem too surprised and he wasn't yelling." He looked at his buddy. "Thanks, Danny."
"Not an issue. He'll probably yell the next time you head over for dinner." Don nodded at that. "Okay, we should head home and shower. I stink."
"Nah, you played pretty good for an old guy," Don teased.
"Keep it up, I'll teach you to play seeker and find the shiny gold ball under bright lights." He lifted his broom up and got the balls. "Help me with these things." Don got the other side and they took everything back to the car. Danny had to summon one of his gloves but that was fine. When he got home, he found Lindsey waiting on him. "Hey." He unlocked his door, making sure the other door stayed hidden for her while he put his broom and balls behind the couch. "Want a drink?"
"No, I'm okay." She looked around then at him. "Have you ever had the feeling of deja vu?"
"Yup, a lot." He sat down and looked at her. "What's up?"
"I was going to see if you wanted to go out tonight."
"No, I just got back from a workout. I'm thinking about soaking off the sweat and curling up with a book. Maybe Friday?"
"Friday would be okay," she agreed. She sat across from him. "I've, um, heard some rumors, Danny."
"They seem to breed around the station," he agreed with a small grin. "'Bout what?"
"You and Aiden. That's why you're so hard on me."
"No, I'm hard on you because you need to be able to keep up with Mac. Mac's got this issue with seeing us as superhuman at times." She nodded, realizing that. "No matter how good you are, there's going to be days you've got to be better. He expects it. Now, Aiden, she was good. She was the sort you could get answers from before you had a question. She was always chasing down the leads. She pulled a lot of overtime because of it. I don't compare you two. You're nothing like Aiden. You don't have collagen in your lips, you aren't mouthy, and you're not the same sort of classy she was when she tried." He leaned forward. "As for me and Aiden? I don't date at work, Lindsey. I never have. Friends, yeah. Aiden and I were buddies. Lovers? Nope. Never happen. Things go wrong and get weird, cases suffer and people who should rot in hell go free."
She nodded. "I can understand that. So you don't hate me because she left?"
"No." He hated her because of her attitude now and then, that smug know-it-all thing she had now and then. The air of 'favorite child' that kept coming out. "I judge everyone on what they do. It wasn't your idea to get her fired." She smiled, accepting that. "So, if you want to have a beer or two as a friend, we can do that Friday."
"Okay. After work?"
"Sure." He smiled at her. "Anything else need cleared up?"
"No, I'm okay. Thank you, Danny." She stood up, looking around. "You'd think this place would be bigger. There's no bedroom?"
"It's pretty sealed up at the moment. I saw a mouse earlier."
"Yeah, I've had a few of those too. Thank you." She smiled and let herself out.
He got up and locked the door, making sure the chain was on as well, then he charmed the door unopenable by anyone but him and emergency personnel before heading to his shower. He had gotten out of his shirt when someone knocked on the door, making him sigh and walk out there. He checked out the spy hole and undid everything on the door, letting Sheldon in. "Hey, w's'up?" he asked, closing it behind him.
"Okay. How small? Like bugs small, like magic small?"
"Like the witch's body disappeared from the morgue small."
"Hammerback doesn't remember signing anything to hand her to the mortuary."
Danny nodded. "He around?"
"Back at least three generations."
"Okay. Can we do the paperwork with their help?"
"I can't get in to see them."
Danny moaned and nodded. "Let me shower." He headed that way, going to take a quicker shower and put on clothes. He came out and headed to his bedroom to dry off and put on nicer pants and a button-down shirt, a robe over his arm for now. He grabbed his wand and shoes, then his badge. He stopped to put on his shoes and his gun, then followed Sheldon out, resealing the door. He even let Sheldon drive. "What's her last name?"
"Know 'em." He looked at him. "Do we have a copy of the paperwork?" Sheldon nodded and pointed at the stuff on his dashboard. "Thanks, Doc."
"No, thank you. He's probably been obliviated and he's confused."
"Yeah, too much of that shit'll ruin your mind." They pulled up outside the victim's house and he gathered the paperwork, then slid into his robe, heading up to the door with it. He tapped gently, giving the man who answered a long stare. "You took her without the paperwork." He held it up. "We have to have it and don't obliviate the ME. He's already got enough mental problems. He talks to tha dead." He was let inside. "Listen, we all know it had nothing ta do with her being her. Probably not anything to do with the family."
"I couldn't stand to see her there," he said quietly.
"Then next time, you call us. You tell us it's a religious thing. Hammerback's a good guy. As long as there's no reason ta keep a body, we won't. We don't have that much storage space and we've got plenty of people unidentified. Then it's a few sheets of paperwork and you can take her." He handed over the paperwork. "Okay?"
"Are you working down there, Mr. Messer?" his wife asked as she came out.
Danny nodded, giving her a grim look. "I'm one of the CSI down there. I've helped Sheldon Hawkes, the main CSI on the serial case, with some of the evidence. His sister went to Andromeda so he knows. All we ask is that you try to make it look legal."
"We'll let that be known." She signed the paperwork and handed it back. "Thank you for handling this quietly."
"No one deserves their kid to die and yelling for trying to get her among her family doesn't make any sense to me. Just, in the future, let it be known that we work with people, okay?" She nodded. "Then I hope we solve this quickly to give you peace and I hope no other griefs touch your family," he offered more gently. "I'm sorry for my intrusion."
"It's not a problem. Thank you." She shook his hand and he bowed, then left, taking off his robe on the way back to the car. She looked at her husband. "I told you they'd come about that."
"I didn't know any of us worked such a menial job." He led her back into the dining room, where they were holding the wake.
Danny let Sheldon drive him back to the station, going to hand the paperwork to Hammerback himself so he could check on him. "Hey, Doc," he called as he walked in, making him jump. "Sorry, bad day?"
"We had a body disappear."
"Sheldon called me ta go see the family with him. They kept the paperwork." He checked it over then handed it to him. The other man smiled and relaxed. "That should get someone off your ass and make 'em quit nibblin' at the delicate stuff, 'kay?" He grinned.
"Thank you, Daniel. That was very kind of you."
"Eh, they were hurting and not thinking. It's not the first time it's happened." He patted him on the cheek, then removed the spell from him when he turned back around to file the paperwork. "You need any more help tonight? Any other bodies get up and walk out?"
"Only the normal amount of vampires," he offered dryly, looking at him. "I felt that."
"Felt what?" He grinned at him. "I'm surprised you don't stake the vampires when you've got 'em open." He grinned and walked out, heading back to the car. "He's fine," he said as he slid in. "It was a piss poor obliviate." He looked at his coworker. "Do we have a bad vampire problem?"
"Not this year. Most of the time I embedded stakes." He shrugged and started the car, heading home. "Thank you, Danny."
"Not an issue. They probably didn't know we work here too. Oh, Lindsey's got deja vu." He grinned at him. "Beer?"
"No, I'm going to go home and read."
"I was going to go home and transfigure more pillows." Sheldon laughed. "It's hard to get 'em just perfect. Not too squishy, not too hard, not too thick." He shrugged. "It's an exercise in control. Plus I could use some more."
"Sure." He dropped him in front of his house a while later then went home to write his sister an email and attach the portkey she had sent him to the present he had gotten her earlier in the day. She worked in the middle of nowhere and mail service took forever.
Don jumped as someone landed behind his couch, looking back at them. "Ron! What's wrong?"
"We heard you were leaking." He leaned on the back of the couch, looking him over. "Those two books I handed you, do the exercises in them, Don."
"I've started, they're hard."
"Of course they are. Remember, the passion and heat that you're giving off could better be used in another area, other than magic and quidditch, though that might be heresy, I'm borderline on that recently," he offered with a grin.
"Too bad I'm not dating."
"Yeah, it is." He patted him on the shoulder. "Just work at it. It's always hard when you start. The more you work at it, the less you've got to consciously control stuff and you can yell and scream at people without turning them purple and fuzzy, like Dawn did, or pregnant like my mother did once." Don choked and he nodded. "Seriously. A fake pregnancy but yeah, she fully thought she was pregnant. She ended up that way because her husband celebrated and she couldn't take her birth control potion, but mum made her think she was." He clapped him on the shoulder again. "The stickiness is the internal passion for things, Don. Go wank off if you don't have a girl." He stood up and winked, then disappeared again.
Don wiped his face off and went to take a shower. At least he could cure that problem!
Mac looked up as Lindsey walked into his office and shut the door Thursday morning. "Problems on your case?"
"Sheldon's hiding something about one of the bodies, but he says it's not important."
"He told me. It's not pertinent to why they died. It's just about a special set of skills she had and a club membership."
"Oh." She frowned. "Are you sure? The guy I liked for it creeps me out. Sheldon said that was normal when you were looking at sociopaths, but it was even creepier than that."
"I'm sure." He smiled at her. "Do you guys need help questioning him?" She nodded. "Is he here now?"
"He is." Mac stood up and pulled his gun out to put back on, then something else she couldn't see went into his inner jacket pocket. "What was that?"
"A new recorder I'm testing for someone." She nodded and walked out. He gathered himself together and walked down there. "Sheldon?"
The former ME looked at him. "Something's very odd about this case. Danny's in there because I went to him first." He moved out of the way so Mac could watch with him. Lindsey came down and he took the file. "He's just spouted off 'women are lesser beings' stuff, Lindsey. You won't be able to break him."
"I can still watch." She moved closer, frowning a bit. "Man, what's wrong with the acoustics? Usually you can hear very well from here."
"I'm not sure," Mac admitted, opening the door and walking in. He looked at the man, then at Danny. He closed the door and felt the anti-listening spell go back up. "Issue?"
"Wizard's duel that got out of hand. She took the challenge for her boyfriend. He wanted her so he challenged the guy. Or so it looks like. He got the others as collateral damage."
The wizard snorted. "I wanted *him*, not her. She was defending her little boy."
Mac stared him down, making him whimper and back away, then looked at Danny. "What's the usual procedure?"
"Usually? I call the overlord and we've got to confiscate his wand anyway. You could see if we call Tim about these things." He shrugged and came over to pull the guy up and handcuff him. "Thank you for confessing." He got him patted down and put all his effects on the table in front of him. "Say bye-bye to the wand, bright boy," he hissed in his ear. The wizard started to struggle and Mac came over to gather everything while Danny made him sit down. "We'll see what the overlord says about this stuff." He pulled out his phone and dialed out. "Tim, Danny. We just arrested one'a us. No, not literally. Our serial was a duel gone wrong. Yeah, we've already done that. Do we contact the overlord to let him know or treat him normally?" He smirked. "Thanks, man." He hung up. "He's just like any other scumbag according to Timmy. We keep the wand in evidence even if he gets bail."
"Agreed." He sealed the bag of possessions and they walked the guy out together. "Have you met the overlord?" he asked quietly once they were in the elevator.
"I have, twice. Once for him ta yell at me, once for me ta hand over someone really nasty who did shit I couldn't put up with. Then he yelled." He smirked. "Vegas' overlord is so much tighter than ours is."
"Who is the guy in Vegas?" Mac asked.
Danny smirked as they landed and the elevator door opened. "You've never seen Penn and Teller's stage show, Mac? They're pretty good, even for being stage magicians and stuff." Mac just gaped then muttered something and led the guy out. Danny smirked and followed, signing them in for processing. "He's not ta have a pencil. Pens are fine, pencils are bad. He's the sort ta stab himself with one," he told the booking clerk.
"Okay. We'll put him on as a suicide risk. Thank you, CSI Messer."
"Eh, not a problem. He wanted the guy and she defended her boy. The others were just collateral."
The booking clerk looked at him. "You killed a woman to get her boyfriend? He'd probably be straight and not want you anyway." The wizard glared. "Yeah, you're gonna have fun." He took him off.
Danny smirked at him. "Not like most of us care," he noted dryly. "There's ways around that." He walked off happier, taking the effects back to evidence for now. He had marked it on the slip in case someone wanted to find it.
Mac shook his head. Some days he wondered why he lived this life.
Don landed on the blackened spot of earth and looked at the castle, then at Draco. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be. Potter's still leaking magic and he's been learning for years. Weasley's brother got onto him. Alex should've thought further ahead. Come along, we're cataloging." He led him down into the catacombs. "He's here, Alex." He gave him a nudge and went back to his box of crap, as he called it.
Alex smirked at him. "Leaking happens to all of us."
"I got sticky."
"I've done that too. I ended up nearly dying in a trap because of it." He grinned. "Come on over, you can help and we'll go over the shielding lessons again, Don."
"More hands means I have less of a headache later," Ron quipped. He held up something. "Alex, I thought you promised to get rid of this thing."
"I did. It came back. It keeps coming back." He took it and tossed it out of the way. "Sorry, formerly holy chamber pot."
Don snickered and took off his jacket since it was warm. "What do you need me ta do, Alex?"
"Pick up a notebook and a pen, and start cataloging what you can about something. We'll be able to see your affinities pretty quickly and that'll help us shield you better. Just don't touch any box with a red mark, okay?" Don nodded and got a notebook and pen from the stack of them, getting down to work. He looked at Ron. "You wear all that energy out with Dawn most of the time."
"I had wondered if being naturally horny was a curse breaker trait too," Ron said dryly, giving him a look. "I noticed you haven't leaked since you and Draco took up but you did before you started sleeping with him."
"Why do you think I loved a tenth of the world, Ron?"
"I heard it was half," Don teased with a small grin.
Alex looked at him. "Not really. One to three lovers a night, most every night, for seventy- five years? Nope. Not even close."
"Three a night?" Don demanded, staring at him. "How?"
Ron smirked at him. "He dated some quads and sets of twins." Don's mouth fell open. "At the same time. There's a reason why Draco sits funny every single day."
"I heard that."
"Tough shit, Draco. You do."
Draco looked at him. "I do take him sometimes, Weasley."
"Yeah, and? You still end up on the bottom during morning sex."
"Point," Draco agreed smugly. "It's usually quite excellent as well. Since you're so interested were you planning on watching my magnificence in action?"
"Eaugh! Nasty bugger!" He shuddered. "I like my women, Draco."
"Thankfully or I'd have to hurt you for cheating on Dawn," Alex noted dryly, staring him down. He looked at Don again. "Technically, most of the wizarding world is fine as long as it's not kids or sheep."
"Can't say as I like either of those," Don admitted, getting back to work on the necklace he had chosen. He could feel something in it and Alex came over to whisper in his ear, making him nod and cast that charm. It helped, a lot. He found himself stroking over the necklace once he was done cataloging it, just looking at the various spells. It was well-crafted. The jewelry itself wasn't anything spectacular, a fairly expensive string of rubies put together with silver backings, but the spells woven around them were much prettier."
"What color are they?" Alex whispered in his ear.
"This one's pink and it feels like beauty. There's this long blue one, it's not quite as tightly wrapped and it feels like a protection spell. The green one's bugging me though. What it is?" He looked at him.
Alex looked at the necklace, activating the spell for himself. "This one?" Don nodded. "Fertility. It was part of a wedding set." Don shuddered and put it down. "Condoms work on us too, Don. Never worry about that." He grinned and handed him the next one. "Do that one. Let's see where your affinities lie."
Don looked at it, then at him, frowning. "It's magical?"
"It is. Cancel the spell on yourself." Don did that then stared in horror, dropping it. "Huh, he can feel dead things and he's got a good jewel and spell affinity. You're going to have fun in the field." He clapped him on the back. "The dead thing used to wear it, Don. It's long dead and dust." He got back to work, finding what he wanted and needed to work on next. Doing this meant they could strengthen their affinities, especially when you only had a touch of it like Don did.
"Was everything in here from dead stuff?"
"Some tombs. None very recent. Nothing under fifty years. I'm sorting out some of the family's stuff that got taken during the purges in Russia that Stalin did." He held up a really old dress. "Ron, what do you think of this one for Dawnie?"
Ron looked then at him. "I think her tits would fall out and I'd be hard-pressed to let her wear it outside the room."
"Okay." He handed it to him.
"That's got some dead stuff on it too," Don said, frowning a bit.
"Um-huh. The owner's dead. You'll weed that one out soon." Don nodded and concentrated like the books had told him. Draco walked up behind him and stroked over the back of his head, putting him at ease, and it clicked off. He frowned at him. "How did you do that?"
"You're trying too hard. Magic is part of you, it's in your blood and every cell of your being. If you try too hard, you block it off. It should come nearly as naturally as breathing, Don."
"Oh." He concentrated on the shielding lesson he had tried at home before calling because he had stuck to the couch. It came up and he sighed in relief. "Oh, man, that's nicer."
Alex smiled at him. "In two weeks, when you go to the convention, you'll be firmly able to do that and manipulate it when you need to drop just a few layers to sense something. Ron and Harry got the basics in a month and we've been expanding them out to other areas to work in the field. Since I doubt you'll be giving up being a cop to go raid tombs with us, we'll get you able to do it on your vacations." He grinned. "Stress relief is very good at times. You'll mostly get to blow the hell out of stuff."
"Cool." Don nodded and got back to work, frowning at something. "What language is this in?"
Draco looked. "The bane of my existence, Goblin." He went back to his box of crap. "Alex, can't I switch?"
"No, Draco. Not unless you want to go through the box of magical sex toys."
"I'll teach Don how to enact the spells so they won't go after Weasley again," he promised.
"Fine. Ron, go do his box."
"Yes, Alex." They switched off and Don headed over to help. "Watch out for the blue one, it's a buggering toy."
Don snorted. "I've never had one of those." Draco gave him an odd look. "What?"
"Sit," he ordered, "firmly." He opened the box and pulled out the blue toy, letting him catalog that one. "If you turn it on, it will do it for you."
"Can I bring some of this back for Stella?"
"Sure," Alex called. "Just make sure she's alone when she turns them on."
"Cool." He and Draco shared a mean smirk. Curse breakers were good pranksters at times.