She's Always A Woman To Me
Tony looked at the case list, then at Speed. "This doth suck," he said dryly.
"It does, but it's grunt work like this that makes it easier to catch the idiots. Do we at least have them under surveillance?"
"Oh, yeah. They're staying at their present bases, even if they ask to transfer to combat situations. We know right where they are and everything. As long as they don't go AWOL we're good."
"Okay, I'll trust you on that." He glanced at Ryan, then back at Tony. "Dinner then call Danny after practice?"
"Sounds good. I heard Don was doing okay. We'll have to pop up for the first game if we can." He got back to work after stretching, going back to his sorting. "I wish we knew if they had minions yet."
"We can't figure that out?"
"They've selectively worked with a few clerks here and there but the clerks usually get found out for messing up paperwork, then they transfer when the clerk is removed from duty. It's never been suspected that there was a tie between them. Most of the time it was considered the clerk shipping home questionable stuff to their families and they were removed back stateside and given jobs out of the way so they couldn't do it again. Very few were arrested for what they were shipping back and the things that were more priceless, like the one time they did weapons, an investigation was done but they weren't connected because they had forged paperwork. It was good enough at the time but you keep seeing the same guys at the same spots when these things show up. One of the other field offices caught onto that but couldn't prove anything so they flagged their records with all the past casefiles and information about what they had been doing during them. So far there's only four and a possible civilian fifth in one's wife. So we can't be sure if they have true minions or they find people who've risen to their level of incompetence and blackmailed them into it. Personally I think the later, but Gibbs thinks they've got to have minions for an operation this big. McGee and I both think that they're using mostly computerized systems to track and handle operations so they don't really need more help except in the clerks when paperwork becomes necessary."
"How have they been shipping things?" Ryan asked.
"Some UPS. Some Fed Ex. Once they shipped stuff back as a dead airman that they inputted into the system without anyone realizing. McGee found that one and went to Vegas to see if he was ever real. He doesn't think so considering all his military files and paperwork start in October of two years ago, right about when they met their last partner, the one who does assassination as a sideline." He shrugged. "They're using perfectly normal means, not shipping out enough for it to be caught. They've got a few dummy companies set up so no one questions why they're sending prescription drugs through the mail to Minnesota or Scotland."
"What part of Scotland?" Speed asked. "You know Don's training over there so Danny goes with him now and then."
"Good point. Not that high up though. Danny told me about the castle and it's not that high on the continent. We've got our office over there handling that end of the investigation for us since this is so widespread." He leaned on the table. "They've kept everything just legal enough not to be looked at. About what you'd expect for an internet based business. They pay business taxes and local taxes. They show up in the right databanks. They're not running anything that would normally need inspections because even the drug business is a subcontractor and a warehouse basically. When the authorities raided them to check for us, everything was in perfect order. These guys grew up in the system and they know how to use it."
"Do they maybe have a background like some of our school friends?" Speed suggested lightly.
"No, I checked. No hint of it in any background file that's open to us. I can't tell you about the sealed file however." He checked his watch. "It is way past supper. Ryan, we should probably break for the night. Do we gather things up and seal them again?"
"Horatio said to leave them in boxes and mark the stack for which case it is." He started to gather files together. "What gets me is that they're in clumps. I know that's because they're moving bases, but still, all around one single area."
"When you're living on base but you don't have leave, you have to keep within a certain distance to the base in case you're going to be called back in," Tony explained. "Even on your unit's days off. Most guys don't seem to get farther than the video place, the laundromat, and the grocery store, like you guys do." Ryan nodded, understanding that. "So I'd expect clumping around their assigned locations and wherever they were living at the time. One of the guys has a wife so he's not required to live on base, just nearby."
"So it makes sense, but there's a pattern here," Ryan said, spreading out what he had been staring at. "Looking at the dates, they were basically going up the street this time." Tony frowned as he looked. "If this is all connected to the same case and not a coincidence, that's just odd."
"That is odd," Speed agreed, moving to look. "He's right, I know that area. He went up the street, took a left, went two blocks, did another one, took a right, went up a block, did another one." He looked at Tony. "That's insane."
"That was right before they shipped out so they were cleaning up loose ends," Tony said, pulling out the original file. "Yup, three of them were being transferred the next weekend so they had to clean up. The last guy was being moved the next month and that's the few mop-ups it looks like," he said, smiling at Ryan. "Nice catch, Wolfe."
"Thank you." He looked at him. "We should map these."
"We can do that first thing in the morning, unless you want to take everything home with a map." Ryan shook his head. "Neither do I. I need to eat." Ryan let out a small smirk at that. "Let's be realistic. It's been two years. Me eating and having a good night's sleep on Speed's sofa means that I'll be fresh to catch new stuff in the morning and it'll go better." He looked over as Horatio came in. "Ryan just found the mop-up phase." He got out of the way so Horatio could look. "I think we should break for the night, come back in the morning and do the mapping, then try to fit any of the other cases into it."
"That would be the most productive since it's been ten hours," Horatio agreed, looking at him. "Your boss called wanting an update."
"I'll get him on the way home as I cling to Speed's back. I can get a ride, right?" he asked with an annoying smirk.
"Sure, you know how to hold on." He looked at Horatio. "Good for you?"
"Good for me. Dinner and a nap would help you all." He clapped Ryan on the back. "Good job, Mr. Wolfe." He left them to clean up, heading up to grab something from his office then going home. By the time he made it to his hummer, Tony was making Speed laugh as he hung on. They were very cute and friendly together, he hoped no one said anything about them *being* together, but that was a police station for you. He got into his hummer and headed for home, needing a bite to eat and sleep himself. It had been a long day.
Danny landed in Speed's apartment, hugging him. "Gibbs growled at me," he said with a grin. "I told him I knew bra-diving dragons who were more scary. He gave me the oddest look."
"You know bra-diving dragons?" Tony asked. "Why?"
"One adopted Ron in Rio and Keelian's just a baby. He did it to Stella and Ginny both. Likes to rest under shirts but over tummies." He walked around to sit down. "Anything good?"
"Ryan found the mop-up phase. They went street to street, doing it logically," Tony offered, handing him a box of food. "We got you some."
"Thanks." He dug in. "We found the same thing when they were in New York, and the last few murders coincide with the last guy leaving." He ate a bite, smiling and moaning. "Oh, good food."
"I refuse to eat bad food," Speed reminded him before taking a bite. "They seem to always ship out that way."
"They do and I think it's on purpose," Tony admitted, taking a sip of beer. "That leaves their more deadly member behind to finish the clean up duties that they don't want to deal with. Right now they're at Norfolk and pissing people off. I emailed everything we had to Abby so she could collate and spread the information to the others. Oh, Ziva ended up in Chicago instead of McGee." He took another sip of beer. "They don't like her much. Do we have one of us up there?"
"Greg said that we've got people who know. Two detectives at the twenty-seventh know about Sandburg and Lindsey Willows when she attempted to go there before the group had to shut it down. They're knowing but not part of us."
"Then we may be able to get them to help us," Tony decided. "If Ziva hasn't pissed everyone off with her blunt behavior."
"It's Chicago, they're used to blunt," Speed reminded him. "You said that when you were in Peoria."
"I did, but still." He finished his beer and dug back into his dinner. "Anyway, how was practice, Danny?"
"Okay. Stella's turning into a pretty good chaser. Don and I are doing well together. Don still likes to reach instead of swooping closer to the bludger. Alex Dumass worked with him a lot during the two weeks he had him for control lectures." They both smiled at that. "Ya know, we might be able to talk him into you guys coming for a refresher as well."
"DC's a null area," Tony offered. "Thankfully. I'd hate to see someone using magic on the politicians. Though it might make them work harder and quit bugging us." He looked at Speed. "How does your lab get such nice toys?"
"They like that we have a high solve and conviction rate and people don't like to mess with Horatio. They indulge him in his whims since our stats are so good."
"We're still a few years behind you guys and we can't get anyone ta help us," Danny complained. "Can we get trials of what you guys have at least? Just one really good lab?"
"I'll ask H tomorrow. If not, they've got a hacker, Danny," he said nodding at Tony, who just smirked and nodded. "Maybe we can get you a DVD with the programs on it and let McGee warp it for their and your use."
"Maybe," he agreed with a sigh. His phone rang and he groaned a bit, pulling it out. "Messer," he answered. He looked at the phone and handed it to Tony. "Sonny."
"Sonny," he said fondly, smirking a bit evilly. "Yes, this is, how *nice* of you to remember me. Did you hear, I'm a Fed now." He chuckled and hung up. "He whimpered." He tossed the phone back and dug in again. "I'm starved."
"You didn't eat lunch," Speed reminded him. "I didn't eat lunch. Alexx nagged that I didn't eat lunch." He ate another bite. "Did you get lunch?"
"I had a trash barge for lunch. Lunch was not an option today," he said dryly, eating another bite. "Turned out to be an old science classroom skeleton." That got a small giggle from Tony. "Hey, at least you don't have to do many dumpster jobs."
"Trying to eat," Speed complained.
Tony gave him a hug. "I'm sorry, Danny. We do some but we get more parks and woods than you guys do. Plus we have limited jurisdiction." Danny nodded, pouting a bit. "You can always transfer."
"I'd get lynched since I'm on the team. Mac even got called to make sure I made it to practice and games without interruptions."
"You gotta love it when your bosses bet," Tony said fondly. He gave Speed a hug. "Because you were left out."
Speed gave him an odd look. "How long has it been since you had a girl?"
"Gibbs keeps me too busy to date," he complained.
"Maybe that's a hint," Danny offered with a small smirk. "He did try to pump me for information. I told him about the day I traced the zits on your back."
Tony snorted. "Every teenager has acne. Even my handsome ass."
"Yeah, I remember that one that went septic on your tight ass," Speed agreed with a smirk. "How you had to pop it for a week straight before it cleared up."
"How the girls thought you were comparing your ass to the ones you usta grab," Danny added with a smirk of his own. "How you got Hannah to pop it for you that final time so she could get out all the stuff, then she cleaned it gently and you claimed you got a blow out of it."
"I did get one out of it," Tony defended, but he was smiling. "Damn it, we need to be in the same city again!"
"Vegas?" Speed offered. "They've got a nice overlord, we'd have Sanders and some others. Limited shopping areas but hey, we can apparate and portkey. With enough of us, we might even get a quidditch team started."
"Plus, Sanders told us how he's got ten really upset minor potions people who want to kill him for being so good and smug," Danny told them. "A few creatures people. Pretty showgirls with fake tits."
"I like real tits," Tony complained. "Maybe we can all move to New York?"
"Too cold," Speed complained. "No bikinis either. You guys can move down here. Warm, humid, bikinis, spring break." He smirked a bit at Danny, winking. "Even you could get laid."
"It may've been a while but I don't usually have problems with that, thanks anyway."
"Pity. Think about what you could do with a freshman on her first spring break."
"Endure the giggling by gagging her?" Tony asked.
"Quite possibly," Speed admitted. "Okay, senior on her last break."
"Doing her doggy style so you didn't have to see the drunken drooling," Danny suggested.
Speed threw a noddle at him. "Guys, I'm trying to help."
"You do it very well," Danny assured him. "But I'd still have to bring Don and Stella. Just so Mac wouldn't have to deal with a pouting curse breaker trainee and a waspish woman with a broom fetish."
"Broom fetish?" Tony teased.
"Oooh, she loves flying. Dawn got her up her first day and she didn't want to come down. Don loves ta fly but Stella's better at not coming down. Don said it took two hours to get her off her broom at the shop. She fell asleep on it."
"Awwww," Speed said, then burst out giggling. "Sure, bring Stella, her broom, and any tiny bathing suits she may have, we can put her up."
Tony's phone rang and he groaned as he stretched to get it. "Yeah, boss?" He smirked. "No, talking with my buddies. Yeah, Danny's here. Why? Did you get the stuff I sent Abby?" He grinned and looked at Danny. "Did you find that mop-up pattern too?"
"Yup, and it's being mapped while we eat."
"He said the computer's mapping it while we eat. Did Chicago kick Ziva out? Abby said the Director sent her to Chicago." He pulled the phone away from his ear. "Boss, I need that hearing. It's my good side after all," he said patiently. "Keep it up, be a fluffy little bunny," he warned when the yelling continued. It stopped at that. "Thank you. I needed that ear in working order to cover your six, boss, even if it would have a cottontail." He pulled the phone away from his ear again.
Speed took it. "Gibbs, calm down. Tony's finally getting food for the first time today. We didn't let him eat Ryan earlier." The growling stopped. "Then quit making unreasonable demands."
"It's not unreasonable. We're always on the clock," Tony said, taking his phone back. "Sorry, boss, they're a bit overprotective of me since they found me again. Now, what's up?" He listened, then nodded. "Okay, I can do that. Why?" He nodded again. "Sure. Thanks, boss." He hung up and stood up. "Someone called Sanders with a 911 page, one of the guys who apparently knows him in Chicago. One of them is on vacation at home in Chicago and they're threatening him on their current case. Apparently they do have a minion who knows some magic, or his wife does. McGee passed it onto Gibbs, and Sanders told him the truth when Mac got on there, so we're protecting one Stanley Raymond Kowalski. Shall we?"
"Sure," they agreed, standing up and straightening out their clothes before disappearing to the point that Sandburg had set up in Chicago. Which was inside the apartment apparently. Blair smiled at them.
"You rang?" Danny asked dryly, smirking at him. "Hi, Blair."
"Thank God, guys. I don't know how to help him. They broke in and killed his turtle earlier to show he was next. It's his only pet," he said at Speed's amused look. "It was a show and tell thing."
"Someone did that to a stray cat I took care of once," he admitted. "Where's our detainee?"
"In the bedroom. They also sent an email to his boss accusing him of wrong-doing and of being gay. His boss stuck up for him so they sent it up the chain. His boss told the other guys what was going on and they pointed out Stan has had to go undercover a few too many times and if they don't remove him, anything that was slightly less than ethical while he was under would come out and taint the department. So they're not firing him but they want him hidden and available to come back."
"Okay. We can do a disguise spell," Tony offered. "I'm pretty good at those really."
"Won't work. Stan's slightly magic resistant. Personally, I think Stan's a squib and he doesn't realize it." He shrugged. "Either that or it's infecting him and making him go odd. Earlier today his hair changed colors without his permission."
"Sure," Danny agreed, heading for the door to the bedroom. The other was open and it was clearly a bathroom. He knocked. "NYPD, friends of Sandburg society." It opened and he looked at him. "Hi."
"Yeah, me." He smirked at him. "I went to the academy in New York." He pulled him out. "This is Tim Speedle and Anthony DiNozzo. Tony's a Fed, Speed works in Miami. We're going to be your protection detail or figure out how to hide you in plain sight."
"They want me out of the city," he admitted. "One of mine was seriously bad and it was less than legal in parts so I could fit in," he finished quietly.
"Been there, done that," Tony assured him. "I do a lot of our undercovers." His phone rang so he rolled his eyes and answered it. "Yes?" He smirked. "Hi, Abby. What's up?" He nodded while he listened. "Okay, but I'm not at the office, dear. No, we broke for dinner and sleep time. So gather, fax or email in the morning. I can check from Speed's computer or my phone if I have to. Sure. Thanks." He hung up. "She's found another case connection. I love our Abby." Stan let out a small grin at that. "You can grin. Abby's nice. Even though she is kinda scary at times, she's very nice and sweet."
"I'll keep that in mind. Hell, I married a lawyer."
"I've met DA Kowalski on a case that crossed over before, you have my sympathies," Speed offered patiently. "So, do you have a city preference?" Stan shook his head. "Any disguise preference?"
"I have wards on the doors and she broke them," Blair offered. "I'm good but not that good, and Alex is fussing over Draco for some reason."
Danny licked his lips. Clues were clicking in his head. "Draco's a consort veela, right?" he asked. Blair nodded slowly. "If I remember right, aren't there family curses? Don said he was acting like a bitch in heat recently. That's unusual for them, unless they're going critical; that's how they wear out the curse's energy so it doesn't kill them outright."
"Oh, shit, it violated when they helped Ginny. His family's curse is monogamy. Emilia said so." He touched his tattoo, sending that frantically back to Alex before it was too late. Emilia joined in to add her help to the situation when she realized it had been Ginny's help. He smiled and relaxed. "Alex thinks he can cure it, it's not too late, so it's all good but we'll have to find someone else to wear out Ginny when her mare goes into heat next time."
"Mare?" Tony asked, looking confused.
"Ron Weasley's little sister is a Valkyrie on reserve call," Blair said dryly, smirking at him. "Her mare, Apple, picked her this year. Vow of celibacy unless her mare is in heat."
"I wonder if toys violate that," Danny said thoughtfully. "Don brought back half a box of stuff that Draco made him remove from Alex's storehouse. All charmed."
"She thinks so, but she's got sore wrists since Luna and Dawn like to compare sex techniques in front of her." Blair looked at Stan. "They're two very good CSIs and one very good Fed. Danny's helping my group of friends train some kids who were missed, who work with him, so they're covered magically that way. So however we need to do it, we can."
"We can get Don's advice too, that way it's one that can't be broken very easily," Speed suggested. "Alex has been pumping him full of information from what he said." He bit his lower lip as he looked at him. "Any idea where you want to end up or how you want to be disguised?"
Stan slowly shook his head. "No. Her note said that nothing you could do would confuse her. She'd find me no matter what I did."
Tony looked at the note Blair held out, then snorted. "She's a weak little bitch," he said fondly. "Shit, Speed, you can out-duel her probably. I know I could." He looked at Stan again. "Okay, pack. We're going to Miami. Blair, arrange with Greg to have all his financial stuff moved with him. He'll end up in one of the three cities. Have McGee help you since he's in Vegas." That got a nod. "Anyone you need to call, Stan?"
"Ray." He grabbed the phone and dialed. "Ray, me. Stay really safe and watch Benny for me. Yeah, they're sending me out of town for my own good."
"It's part of an active federal case," Tony said more loudly.
"Hear that?" He smirked. "Yeah, well. I've got three guys here that Sandburg referred me to, they're all working on the case apparently." They all nodded. "Yeah, with that Ziva chick?"
"She's unfortunately my teammate," Tony admitted. "Newbie too."
"She's Tony's teammate if anyone asks. No, he's helping me hide. Thanks. No, tell Stella I'm safe and good, but I'm basically running and hiding for now because I have to. Thanks, man. Kiss your Ma for me and tell her I'll write if I can." He hung up and went to pack some stuff. "I'll be able to get a job, right?"
"Sure," Tony agreed. "Maybe not as a cop, but sure." Stan nodded at that. "We'll do what we can. Maybe Gibbs can pull some strings." He looked at Speed. "Grab the food, head to Danny's since he's up there." He nodded and disappeared. He looked at Danny. "Head home, I'll bring him by portkey to your living room so make sure it's clear."
"On it." He headed home to do that.
Tony created the portkey, smiling at Blair. "How is your sentinel?"
"Cranky. Overprotective. About the same as before he dumped me and drove my sanity to jump out a very high window. He still thinks it was nothing." He shrugged. "I'm dealing with it at the moment but I'm about to go visit Greg again for a few weeks."
"Watch out for his potions work. McGee mentioned he was a closet Harry Potter fan earlier, he saw his cauldron necklace."
"Uh-huh. It was probably holding his stones. Someone tried to break into his house again but their house elf stopped them. He's got one that reminds everyone of that guy Jett."
Tony snickered. "I bet that's so cute," he cooed. "A little homicidal house elf." Stan gave him an odd look as he came out with his three bags and a box. "That's it?"
"The rest can be put into storage," he agreed quietly. "That's my clothes, a few books, and some pictures."
"Okay." He took two of the bags, letting Stan get the box and the other one. "Touch the paper and we'll head." He did so and Blair activated it at Tony's look, taking them off. They landed and Tony had to catch Stan so he wouldn't fall, but that was all right. "Hey, guys." He waved at Don and Stella. "If we ask, boss, can we all have a good month in Miami with Stella and Don and bikinis?"
"We'll see, DiNozzo," he said firmly. "Detective Kowalski."
"Hey." He shook his hand. "However you wanna do this. Not my first time undercover."
"So I heard. They briefed me already." He led him into the back room to talk to him about what might come out and what was going on in that present case. He came out a minute later. "Get Abby on the phone. I can't get Ziva, yet again." He disappeared again.
Tony called Abby. "He's pissed at Ziva, she's not answering her phone," he said fondly. She giggled so he smirked a bit. "Boss, got Abby, she's eating dinner in the lab and she's found a new connection."
"In a new city?"
"No. Overseas stuff. A few new shipments."
"Fax it to me tomorrow. You too."
"Hear that?" He grinned. "He agreed. No, we've got a detective with the current, open case in Chicago who got threatened." He smiled. "Thanks, baby." He hung up. "Boss, Abby's more than willing to cover him however she needs to. The Director went home early with a headache and she's been good all day since she didn't even snap at her. Hence her eating barbeque shrimp for dinner." He looked at Stan. "How and which city are we hiding him in, Gibbs?"
"I'm not sure yet. He's pretty open to everything but he says that your way may be found."
Danny snorted and went to pull one of his old textbooks. "Not really. There's things no one can break, not even Dumass." He found it and sat down to look through it. "We can...do a permanent disguise spell, which means it'd be on something we implanted in your skin. It'd last as long as it was in there. When we shield over top of it, she'd never find it."
"We could do that to change race, gender, or physical descriptions," Tony agreed. "There's a way to break that but they'd have to have you for hours to break it. We can make you look like anything you want to be, Stan."
Why gender?" he asked.
"Because she wouldn't be looking for a girl," Gibbs assured him. "It's one of the oldest dodges in the world. You could look just like yourself and be passed over."
"Speed and I are very good at making girls out of boys," Tony said proudly. "I did Speed once. He got hit on so many times he had to run and hide in the closet."
"Don't remind me," Speed called.
Danny got up to look at him, then at Stella. "When I first met you, I thought you were him as a girl again," he told her, making her laugh and hug Speed. He went back to his reading. "We've also got the permanent, DNA changing spell, which is not recommended for use by anyone but someone like Dumass and who has an artistic touch. We've also got the more temporary, non inserted, method of disguise spell. It would go away whenever you took it off but it's easier to break."
"I like the inserted one," Tony admitted thoughtfully, looking at Stan. "The problem is that it's better if we use your own natural features as much as possible. That way you don't have to worry about any discordance when you shave and stuff. You don't have the features to change race. We might be able to do a mixed race change, but your bone structure really doesn't lend itself to it." He tipped his face off to the side to look at it in a different light. "You have a wonderful bone structure." Stan pulled away from him. "It's a consideration. We can change your skin and hair color easily enough, but you're going to have to live that way." He ran a hand through his hair. "Longer would be easily done. It'd change your whole facial look too." He stepped back. "Speed?"
"You've got the eye for beauty," he pointed out, looking over his body. "He's well-built. The job shows on him." He walked in and moved around him until someone popped in. "In here."
Alex leaned in. "Thank you, guys."
"Welcome," Danny said with a small grin. "Draco's going to be okay?"
"Draco will be fine. We'll have to redo our vows and Ginny will need more help when Apple goes into heat next time, but we'll be fine." He smiled at him. "What's up, Stan?"
"One of you guys came for me."
"Why?" He walked in and looked at what Danny was reading, then wrote down a title and gave it to him. "Yours." He looked at Don and Stella, then back at him. "We're being called on an assignment as well. We've got the library job I wanted and it's in danger. It's part of the Alexandrian library." Danny moaned a bit. He nodded. "So, we'll let Greg and Tipsy take over their overt training while you two look over their shoulders. They're doing okay at this time, but it's going to be one hell of an assignment. It's kinda in Iraq." He got a moan from Gibbs, looking at him and nodding. "Yeah. It'll be destroyed if we don't move it, but we've got to sneak in and over." He looked at Danny again. "Can you handle their training?"
"I can. Just be safe, Alex. We can't lose you already," he said gently. "Can we borrow the library?"
"Yeah." He handed him something, whispering in his ear.
"I will," Danny agreed, taking it and putting the necklace on then putting the dagger on his belt. "Thank you."
"Welcome." He straightened up and shrugged. "That book is in there. Greg and Tipsy have permanent invites unless I die. If I die on this, I'm so going to haunt the bank for eternity." He looked at Stan, then back at him. "I'm setting stuff up so Don can train and making sure he doesn't *have* to work to train. Arens will be going with us but he's technically retired. We're just hoping to make it back."
"What part of the country?" Gibbs asked. Alex pulled out a map and handed it over. "Here," he said, pointing at something. "There's a command post there. Permanent setup. Talk to them. Have Taylor write you a letter. He served in that unit once upon a time."
"I can do that," Mac called from the living room. He walked one in and handed it over. "Silverstein or whoever took over for him, Alex. Only him. No matter who else pulls rank." Alex nodded. "Good luck, come back as soon as you can."
"Oh, I will. We're leaving tomorrow after I finish fixing Draco." He looked at Danny again. "I'm leaving Ginny in your care if we're going to run long. Greg had a vision that someone was going to mess with Apple somehow. We're not sure how it personally relates back since it usually does, but...." He shrugged. "So help her however you feel best. As long as Apple's in heat, she's covered under her vows." Danny nodded at that. "Take care of my house. Greg'll handle the son, Harry's going to stay due to practice, and I've got to go detox my mate and be claimed into the mattress." He waved and disappeared. "Thanks," he called as he faded out.
"Welcome," Mac said, shaking his head. "His life is never simple."
"Yeah, and he likes it that way," Danny reminded him. He looked out there. "Don, he's leaving you training stuff and I'm watching over your shoulder."
"That's fine." He came to the door. "What're you doing to help Stan?"
Speed looked at Tony and they both looked at Danny, who closed the book but kept his finger in place. "What's easiest?" Danny asked.
"Gender. Race is too tied in with the fine bone structure and hair. We can change the color and texture but the bone structure points to a past history of pale people from Viking country and Britain. Besides, the weed-whacker hair has got to go," Tony said.
Speed looked him over again, then nodded. "Up to you, Stan, but if we're going to make you not look like yourself, it'd be easiest that way. Otherwise, lengthening and coloring the hair. Glasses."
"I need glasses anyway," he admitted, pulling them out and putting them on.
"You even look like a geek," Danny offered, smirking at him. "Nice job." He stood up, handing Tony the book's name. "Get Don or Stella to sneak and get that so we can do it tonight, before we all get worn out." He nodded, going to do that. "Speed?"
"We can but it won't help the physical attributes. Anyone looking at him would see the same pointed chinline. The same cheekbones. Those are going to be hard to hide."
Stan hung his head, then looked at them. "I won't make a good girl."
"You'll be a girl for all purposes," Danny assured him gently. "The illusion would be implanted on a small sliver of silver in your arm or your shoulder. No one touching you would know the difference. Not even groping. I did it to Speed once for six weeks." He grinned a bit. "Pissed him off to no end not having his dick during a date."
"I'm not doing that all that often," Stan admitted sheepishly.
"Well, do you think you can handle that, even if it lasts six or seven months?" Speed asked.
Stan sat down, looking at him. "I've gone undercover for longer."
"This would be one of the hardest ones you've ever done," Tony said as he came back. "You'd have to live as one all the time. No taking it out." He nodded and everyone cleared out so they could talk. He came out a half-hour later. "He's agreeing. We need to prep the spell and implant."
"Got it," Danny offered, holding it up. "We'll let you sculpt since you've got the better eye."
"Sure," Tony agreed, taking it in there to work on it. He could feel the spell the other two had laid. He spent a good two hours molding and crafting the beauty part of the spell, using what Stan had already to help it be the best it could. When he came out, most everyone was crashed on the couch, so he shared a grin with Stan. "You look good."
"Thanks. How long after it comes out does it last?"
"Six days." He smacked Speed on the head. Speed woke up and nudged Danny, who nudged Don.
Don grinned at him. "He did a good job. The hair's a nice touch." It was longer, reaching his shoulders, and barely curled. The body was firm and tight, not too outrageous but generous in the right areas. It used the thinness Stan had and made it look like she was just very toned. "Nice job."
"Thanks." Tony grinned at him. "See, I told you it was important to tweak those last few things."
"I guess it was." He looked at Gibbs, who just blinked. "What?"
"Your voice is husky."
"It is," Tony agreed with a grin. "Just another tweak of the spell." He waved a hand. "Danny, Speed?"
"Good job. Is she coming with me or you?" Speed asked.
"I'd have to slip her into NCIS," Gibbs admitted. "It'd take me about a month."
"I was a detective," Kowalski admitted.
"I've seen your record. Mac and I talked with Horatio." He smirked at him. "I'm a demanding boss."
"That's an understatement," Tony assured him. "He's a holy terror when he hasn't had any coffee and he makes FBI agents piss themselves." Stan giggled and all the guys grinned at how natural it sounded. "Ours, boss?"
"Ours for now, Tony. If she's twigged to, Mac agreed I could send her up here or down to Speed if necessary." He smirked at her. "That month will allow you to get used to your new body and skills."
"Okay. I'll need to get all my bank account and last check stuff."
"Already done. McGee's arranged it so it'll be waiting on us. That'll give you more than enough to get a modest place and wait to be paid." Stan nodded. "Did you pick out a name yet?"
"I couldn't figure out one that sounded like my natural one. I've, um, had some problems in the past coming out the other side."
"Understood," Gibbs agreed. "Been there, done that. Tony too."
"I was thinking something unique and new agey. Constanza? Shortened to Stan? Or Standa?"
"Last name," Gibbs ordered. "Kelly for the first name? It kinda plays off your old one. I tend to address everyone by their last names."
"Works for me," Stan agreed, grinning at him. "My ex wife would freak if she knew and could see me."
"I've met your ex on a case. Nearly as bad as my three," Gibbs assured him smugly.
"Plus, hey, you can still date girls," Speed reminded him.
"Or not," Danny offered. "Up to you about that." He looked at Tony. "You get to make sure she acts like a woman."
"I'm in Miami working on the case. She can come with me and we can work together," he offered, looking at Stan, who shrugged. "Speed?"
"I've only got the one couch, Tony," Speed pointed out patiently. "Unless I add rooms like Danny did."
"It's a nice job," Gibbs told him. "Think you can expand my basement?"
"Not a problem, boss. I can even figure out how you're getting the boat out." Gibbs smirked at him. "So, we're on for Miami, boss?"
"Yeah, that'll be fine. We'll introduce her to Ducky to finish any girlish lectures."
"Calleigh owes me majorly," Speed assured him. "Alexx too. We can do that."
Tony nodded. "Did you yell at them yet?"
"Oh, a few times. I'm not walking anywhere near the morgue at the moment. I'll yell again if I do." He walked around the couch, taking Stan's arm. "Get the stuff, Tony, we'll transfigure what we can tonight so she's got something for tomorrow." Stan nodded, looking at him. "Beats bra shopping." Stan nodded at that. "Danny, weekend?"
"I'm on so call." He smirked at him. "Don't worry, Stan. It'll be fine. We'll do whatever we can ta help and hey, you can help us look at the pretty girls on the beach." Stan nodded, letting Speed take him off. Tony got his things and left with them. "Okay." He clapped his hands. "Gibbs, you can have the couch in the library if you want. The rest of you have homes unless you're sleeping with me."
"You're too cuddly for me," Stella said, smiling at him. "Don?"
"Yeah, going home too," he agreed, yawning a bit. "When can we learn that apparating thing?"
"When you're not tired and we've got all day to teach you," Danny promised. That got a nod and a grin, so they left the normal way, Mac nodding and following to drive Stella home. "Be safe," he called after them. He looked at Gibbs. "The couch in there is more comfortable to sleep on." He headed for his bedroom, going to strip down to his boxers and go to bed.
Gibbs turned off lights and made sure the door was locked before going to the library. He found a few books on magic in there, especially about theory. They looked interesting so he pulled one down and laid down to read for a while. He would understand Tony better and he would make sure he wasn't pulling anything too boneheaded at work.
Horatio walked into the lab the next morning, looking at the blonde woman standing there. "You are?"
"Kelly Standa," she said, shaking his hand. "I'm working with Tony."
"All right." He blinked, looking at her. Then he put on his sunglasses and looked at her again. "Ah." He closed the door, leaning against it. "Against your will?" he asked quietly.
"No, saving my ass. AKA Stan Kowalski, Chicago PD."
"Mac called," he said, opening the door again. "Welcome to Miami. Watch the handshaking, you're a bit firm." He smiled at her. "Calleigh has tomorrow off. I'll make sure she knows she's to help you." He walked off, going to find Speed. "You left her alone in the lab?" he asked calmly.
"I came to get a soda. It ate my money," he said, zapping the machine with his wand. His dollar and his soda came out so he saluted him. "Seen her already?"
"Yes. The spell was very well done."
"Thanks. Tony, Danny, and I were always very good together." He headed down there, giving Tony a look. "Machine ate my dollar."
"I had a talk with Calleigh. She'll help if you quit glaring at her."
"Fine. If I must."
"You probably should, Speed. Yeah, it sucks. It sucks majorly. They did you wrong and all that. But you're back. Have some fun with it. Enjoy it. Be pissed later on when you have to go back." He patted him on the cheek. "We missed you a lot, Speed. Danny called crying when he heard. He called off work to come to your funeral, he spent all weekend clinging to me," he offered quietly. "You destroyed a lot of people by dying. If Danny hadn't been scared of the consequences, he might've done it sooner." He gave him a small cheek slap. "We're selfish. You touch too many lives to stay gone while you're still young and pretty. You can't go back until you're old and crabby, okay?" Speed nodded. "Then I'm really happy you came back. I nearly lost you and Danny that weekend." He slapped him again. "Now, enough mush. Gibbs would've slapped me on the head by now." He led the way back into the lab. "Eric, down boy," he ordered with a grin. "She's very pretty and very tough. She can probably put you on your back and cuff you before you could do more than moan."
"I've only dated girls before," she said, blushing a bit. "I've never seen the point of dating guys."
"If you decide to try, I'd gladly take you out dancing," Eric promised with an impish grin. "No strings attached." She nodded and he walked out happier.
Speed looked at her. "Eric's a playboy but I've never heard anyone say anything other than he was nice and gentle. So don't let him tease you too long. He's got girls all over the city."
"Sounds like me at home," Tony said fondly, smirking at him. "Don't you have a few stashed away for emergencies?"
"Not since school, Tony. I went with the 'one girl, one Speed' approach since the twins broke up with me."
"Twins?" Stan asked him, looking confused.
"Identical. They said since I couldn't tell them apart anyway I should have them both," Speed said proudly. "Very sweet, very nice. Very married with multiple kids now." Tony snickered at that. "Hey, I saw Maggie, your ex. Just had her first one. She's playing keeper on the PD team with Danny."
"Aww. What's she working now?"
"Awww. I'm sure she's very adorable. Anyone else I'd remember?"
"Henderson is coaching."
Tony snorted. "Yeah, right. Danny'll have the team in his hand within a week since we're not there to overrule him."
"What team?" Calleigh asked from the doorway. "Hi." She walked in and shook her hand. "I'm Calleigh. I hear I'm showing you around Miami tomorrow and doing a bit of shopping?"
"Please. Tony keeps putting me in really short skirts and very uncomfortable bras."
"They're all uncomfortable if they've got wires. We'll see what we can do about that," she promised happily. She looked at Speed. "I'm sorry."
"Uh-huh. I'm still working on the acceptance stage." She gave him a hug and he looked at her. "You weren't really part of it, I can forgive you," he offered quietly. She sniffled and nodded, giving him a squeeze. "Alexx is coming, you should head off." She nodded and kissed him on the cheek before leaving. Stan gave him a curious look. "I died. They decided I was a sucky dead person."
"Ah. Well, it shows you're loved and needed. Stella wouldn't have done more than piss on my grave. Benny might've grieved, Ray maybe, some of the other guys, but nothing like that." She shrugged. "It shows you're loved and wanted."
"Needed," Tony agreed. "Gibbs and I talked about it again," he offered quietly, glancing around. "Her first act would be to kill me."
"It probably would be," Speed agreed, giving him a faint smile. "The few times I met Kate she gave me that impression." Tony nodded, pulling out a stool to sit on. "Where is Ryan?"
"It's his day off. He faxed in notes from home on what he found last night while we were working on other things, and left us to sit on the beach and think."
"Okay, so he'll be in after lunch," Speed decided, getting to work on the mapping stuff Ryan had already done. "Come see, Kelly." She moved closer, looking over his arm at what he was doing. "We're so high tech here you get monitored when you shit," he offered quietly. "But it's a nice thing. We work faster sometimes."
"We've only got three computers and we still type charge sheets," Stan complained. "That's it, I'm staying somewhere there're computers." Tony grinned at that. "Seriously!"
"Most labs are behind Miami's. Danny covets the lab too," he promised. "My Abby does too."
"Yeah, you and Abby, there's a topic of conversation," Speed said dryly, giving him a look. "So?"
"Not going there. She's Gibbs'."
"I'm not sure I want to know. If they are, he's keeping her happy and bouncy. If not, then they're still that tight."
Speed nodded, smirking at him and leaning a bit closer. "Danny called him cute in a 'tie you down and enjoy watching you struggle' way."
"Danny's got an eye for the older guys anyway. He always went for the strong, steady type with older guys and the cute and perky younger girls. If we'd had cheerleaders, he would've dated the whole group of 'em."
"Cheerleaders can be nice, they're usually flexible," Speed offered.
"Yeah, I know that from personal experience, dear. Just saying. Danny was the guy who slept with the quidditch coach that one time." Stan snickered. "Sorry, Kelly. He did, he was experimenting." They shared a look and he grinned. "But usually he does these cute, chatty, happy, perky young women. He's going to be the guy dating the twenty-year-old when he's ninety."
"So he'll be the Alex of his day?" Speed teased.
"Yeah, pretty muchly. Speaking of dating, did he and Don's sister go out? I could never tell."
"No. I asked. He taught her how to flirt. One of those times she called him an asshole with a broom permanently implanted in his ass she asked him to teach her how to flirt so she could capture that Craig bastard. She married some muggle guy and Don seems pretty happy with how her life is."
"Good. He taught her how to flirt?" Speed smirked and nodded. "Why didn't she come to me? I was always better at it."
"Because you were dating the psycho ho Bethany and she was scared of her killing her for daring to talk to you in the common room." Tony smirked a bit proudly at that. "So she asked Danny that night she made him help her in herbology. I was in detention in Defense, as I usually was, you were being sucked down by the super slut vacuum party."
Tony laughed at that. "Bethany knew we weren't exclusive."
"True, but she still nearly took some heads off. That's why I stepped in to send her packing, Tony. She was a bad choice."
"I've had so few of those," he noted dryly. "Why do you think I kept moving departments?"
"I thought it was because you got found out," Speed noted sarcastically, staring him down. Tony grinned a bit and nodded. "You were doing Stupid Danny Stuff, weren't you? Early Stupid Danny Stuff, not the later, Sonny-era Stupid Danny Stuff."
"You know very well his father was pushing that."
"Yeah, and? Still stupid. Only Danny could be a wizard and become the mascot of a street gang and unable to get free because he couldn't expose magic and his father wanted it."
"Yeah, well, the Vinese had a long...talk with his family," Tony said proudly. "One of my Aunts gossiped about it when I asked. She ripped them all a new one and handed Danny the family's assets."
"Then why haven't you gone to her yet to mediate with your dad?"
"My father's a fucking bastard and her godson. Why do you think?"
"She might stick up for you. She used to dote on you, Tony."
"I sent her a letter when I went to Ohio State. She said it was good I was following my heart, even if my father didn't approve. It sounded less than happy with me." He shrugged. "She picked her side."
"So am I, but he's old and dying. I was a late child," he said fondly. "Even if I stay disinherited, I'd still be happy enough with my salary."
"Hey, Greg got alchemy to work," he offered quietly.
"Point." He grinned at him. "But I was never good at potions. That was Danny. I was good in Defense and Divination." He looked at Stan. "We all majored in quidditch but we had our areas and we backed each other up. Speaking of, I got to yell at Sonny again last night. That was the call at two this morning. He called to bribe me to get Danny back."
"Interesting. You tell him to go to hell?"
"No, I carefully recorded it when I saw what number it came from and then hung up laughing. I used your computer to send it to Abby this morning so she could pass it on. He was going to tell Gibbs I tried men," he snorted, bursting out in giggles.
"Maybe he'll get onto you about your daddy complex there for a bit," Speed said dryly, staring him down. "I doubt he'll care."
"Me either. He knows I date things that're cute, naughty, and slightly leaning toward evil."
"So we should look for someone like the fixed Draco?" Stan offered sweetly, grinning at him.
"Yes, perfect, only I'd prefer female and maybe not a consort veela. A regular one would be okay but consort veelas have family curses that're very picky."
"Well, hey, when you're ninety and Alex has an heir, you can date her," Speed teased. Tony beamed and nodded, bouncing a bit. "Found another row of murders from the stuff Danny sent," he offered, pushing it over. Stan walked over there to look. "Sorry, Kelly."
"Not a problem. Got to get used to the thinner ankles anyway," she said sarcastically. "If I run into certain people I know, can I freak them out by flirting with them?"
"As long as you don't let them know until after you're done," Tony agreed happily.
"Yeah, but Ray was talking about a vacation down here next month," she offered with a smile. Tony snickered at that. "He made me do his paperwork."
"Good enough reason for me," Tony agreed happily. He looked up from the map a minute later. "Okay, these guys are predictable. I'm going to be bored until I get to chase them down and pounce."
"Sure, let me tell Gibbs that," Speed noted dryly. "Think you'll get whapped on the head again?"
"Probably," he agreed happily, getting back to work.
Danny looked up from his examination. "Okay, these guys are really starting to bore the shit outta me," he announced. "They're predictable, they're stupid, and they're leaving clues everywhere. How that one guy and his wife got these fuckin' morons this far I'm not sure but if we can take her down, I'm sure the men'll cave faster."
Gibbs looked at him. "That sounds like overconfidence," he cautioned.
Danny snorted and pushed over what he had been looking at. "Look familiar?" Gibbs nodded, smirking a bit. "Use it then. They're annoying the fuck outta me with this. Stupid little boys with big plans and no clue. I got enough of that when I was younger." He looked out the door when someone yelled his name. "In here!" Don walked in. "They're copycatting themselves."
"Nothing works like success," he offered. He looked at him. "I got a call this morning at three bribing me to give you to Sonny."
"You laugh in his face, tell him you were gonna piss on his broken, beaten body, and then hang up?"
"Pity, that's about what I'm gonna do." He smiled sweetly. "Thank you for the warning, Don. Help him for few, 'kay?" He touched his wand and disappeared.
"Fuck!" Don muttered, calling Mac. "Danny just took off. Sonny called me with a bribe to get him back. Something about pissing on his mutilated body, Mac. Where do you think he went!" He hung up and took a calming breath. "Sorry, he's been bothering Danny now for a bit." He came over to look. "Fed Ex never saw?" he asked after looking.
"Their scanners only pick up certain drugs and anything from a known pharmaceutical company is excluded. They ship for a semi-legitimate one so they're getting around it."
"Are they using magic to make sure no one looks?" he asked quietly.
"Not a clue," he admitted. He looked at him. "Will Danny be okay?"
"Yeah, once he's got some bruised knuckles." He walked over and closed both doors, looking at him. "Danny's dad is a thug, broke all the rules of the wizarding world thug. Daddy wanted Danny to follow, introduced him to the wrong crowd for a bit in his times off school. Sonny got arrested about a year ago and told Mac, who Danny hadn't told yet." Gibbs winced at that. "Nothing major or anything but yeah. Basically. Sonny's trial is coming up. Sonny wants Danny really badly."
"Abby said he called Tony, he sent her a tape this morning."
"How would he know Tony?"
"I suppose he would've went to save his friend. He's the sort to take on a street gang to save his buddy." He shrugged. "You'd have to ask him but that's my guess."
"Probably a good one," Don agreed quietly. "Well, I have no idea where Sonny is, but I'm guessing Danny's going to be fine when he comes back. Split lip, maybe a black eye, but bruised knuckles. Then Mac'll give him a few days off without pay, he'll go to Miami to help down there, maybe helping Kelly down there. Then he'll come back like nothing happened when it's all done with."
"You think this trial is going to be over with that quickly?"
"Yeah, I do. Sonny's a small cog in the larger pond. He's not that bright, his lawyer could've used Danny being here for a lot more in the courtroom than getting Mac onto Danny's case here did. He blew his wad way too early. He's not very bright, he's got no planning ability, but he knows which other cogs his touch. Which means the Feds want him to talk and he hasn't. Others want to make sure he doesn't talk since his gang tends to work for the highest bidder and exists to cause problems with the minor businesses for them to clean up. If Sonny opens his mouth, his days are severely numbered. If he doesn't open his mouth, they're going to be paranoid that he will, hence his days being numbered." He grinned. Danny opened the door and walked in. "You okay?" He looked at his hands. "No bruises. Couldn't find him?"
"Mac called and said if I touched him I was fired."
"Well, that could happen too. I'd figure a few days unpaid," Don offered.
"No, he said that'd jeopardize the case and that's what he wanted. He ordered me back here." They shared a look. "Jethro, I'm going to take Don down to the basement for a minute, okay? We'll be right back after I'm slightly evil." He walked off, taking Don with him, quietly telling him what he was going to be helping him do. He had done it once before and Tony had helped. That time had gotten him free. This time, well..... They'd have to wait and see how it went.