2 walked into the lab Monday morning, staring at his boss. "Is H here?"
"He's in his office."
"Good, come with please." He walked her up there, closing them in once Ryan had left. "What is wrong with Gretchen Sorventes that you hate her and she's scared to come to Miami to offer for us?"
Horatio moaned. "I hate her whole program, Xander, not her personally. She's trying to get you both?"
He nodded. "Are they bad?"
"No, they're very good. They're pushy, annoying, and try to take over on local labs. She tried it with us a few years back and I had her arrested for getting in the way. Though she was on the right track, she was being a pitbull about it and getting in our lab's way."
Xander nodded. "She got Graham to come soft sell us."
"She's not a bad boss to work with," he agreed. "You two are looking at later placements?" He nodded. "How long is your list?" He pulled out the list of openings. "Hmm, not weeded down any. How would you feel about New York's lab?"
"We'd love it but someone in Homeland is sucking demon whore cock and had a seizure about it."
Calleigh stared at him. "I've never heard it put that way."
"You have no idea how many demon whores there are up there," he assured her. "I'll sell a little bit of me to get what I want," he mimicked a female voice. "Please, God, just let me get higher up the food chain before I turn too stupid." Horatio snickered at that, nodding. "It got bad enough that they tested our vaults and it sent three agents to the hospital for a week, Horatio. We royally hate DC."
"New York is a good lab and we do have ties with them."
"We'd be willing to set the labs outside of the city. That idiot wanted us off the east coast totally and they keep pushing Denver for some reason. Their lead ATF team got told they could work with us to make sure we were all good and all that. Which we expect really." He shrugged. "They nearly took hostages not wanting us out there."
"I do not know what that is about," Horatio admitted. "But.... I can call Mac Taylor and ask him about the openings. Plus about the lab. New York is an exciting city. You could put the lab outside the city but within easy commuting distance. Two hours and you're in the lesser suburbs and smaller towns."
"If they keep this up, we're going to England," he said bluntly.
"I understand." He smiled. "Want me to call Mac and ask specifics?"
He thought at his twin, who was waiting to testify. He agreed. "If we can get it around Homeland being so paranoid."
"We may be able to do that," he promised. "I can broach that subject to him."
"I know we don't want to stay in DC. There's so many official panty sniffers there."
"There are. Miami has a few of them as well." He smiled. "Let me call. Calleigh, you'll be doing evaluations again soon."
"I know. They're good workers, nice boys, all that. I'd have no problem sending them to a top level lab." She pinched his cheek. "Modulate your language." She left, going down to ballistics.
Horatio nodded at the door so Xander shut it. He called. "Mac Taylor." He put him on speaker.
"Horatio Caine. Do we have a crossover again? You never call for good news." He sounded happy to hear from him.
"Actually, I am calling for a few interns."
"Hmm, interns. We're about to beat a few of ours."
"We had that problem down here," Xander assured him. "And with a regular tech who is still undoing her top button every time she sees us."
"This is Mr. Harris, one of our twin ballistic interns."
"Hmm, of SI Corp." He was seriously happy now. "How far along in your internships, Mr. Harris?"
"Our in-school was NCIS DC and my twin had one with the BAU. He turned in a serial killer to you."
"Ah! I thought your voice sounded familiar. Horatio, how do they rate?"
"Very high. They remind me a lot of Danny actually. Or possibly Detective Flack." He smiled at the boy. "The only problem they have is that Homeland is almost rabid to keep them from moving the company to New York or anywhere on the east coast."
"I've had one of them in my office demanding that if I heard of this company moving here to work to shut them down. I told them to go away. Twice. Then I had them escorted out by Stella." He cleared his throat. "How large is your lab, Mr. Harris?"
"Fifteen and we need to hire about seven more probably."
"We've been in temporary lab quarters and some of the generals are disgruntled about our corporate image. It's not our thing but it does make us obscene amounts of money."
"It would, yes." He coughed. "Sorry, we had a chemical leak earlier thanks to one of the interns we need to beat."
"I'll trade you. I had to get in a professional counselor to talk to the ladies about their shoe and skirt choices," Horatio told him.
Mac snickered. "Those, I sic Stella on."
"Can we sic her on the ones we still have?" Xander asked. "I'll pay airfare for her. Give her our spare room and all that."
"She might to get some bikini time in," Mac admitted. "I can tell you that the open positions are in my lab. Both on this shift but we do work more general than segregated labs, Mr. Harris."
"We're wonderful," Xander assured him. "We are fully certified field techs."
"Even better. Let me send you information and the usual person we use for new recruits to talk to. He could also tell you some good areas where to put your lab." He was smiling again. "You would be quite a coup. I know the idiot that showed up here wanted you two in Denver."
"Yes, we've been told that but Denver doesn't want us. The ATF team they wanted us to work with threw fits back."
"That's reasonable. It's hard work being a liaison."
"We have a DOD plant already. Our XO is NCIS."
"That's more than you should need," he agreed. "Any idea why?"
"No. And frankly I'm about to give them the finger."
"I would," Mac admitted. "Let me send that to you. Who else is on your short list?"
"We're in the process of narrowing it down now. We thought about Boston but they only have a single opening. We've mostly ruled out Chicago because most of our staff wants less cold than they get there from the wind. You guys get chilly but the city is nicer about that."
"It can be, yes."
"So we have no idea."
"Do you have any radical affiliations that might get your background check in trouble?"
"We're both ICW adjunct personnel."
Mac coughed again. "The one in Cleveland?"
"Yes. Former best friends actually."
"Interesting. We ran into one of them before. Hated his guts."
"Most of the old ones got blown up a few years back. We're the reformed version."
"So I heard," he admitted. "That's fine though. Do you have a security rating?"
"That's wonderful. Let me send out information to you both. Then you can call me back in a few weeks?"
"We can do that."
"Thank you, Horatio. I could use some very good people and they sound like they will be. Have a good day."
"You as well, and remember, you can take vacations on our beaches as well, Mac." He smiled as he hung up. "Chicago is rebuilding but it'll be a while before they're a top notch lab. I might suggest Las Vegas but theirs has a good night shift ballistics tech and their day shift is ...political. LAPD?"
"I know you're from out there."
"Yeah, which is why it's probably not going to happen. So, her project? That Gretchen lady?"
"It's not a *bad* program. It's very useful. It's very tough and they do a lot of good work. They're very competent. They are assholes however. They have that federal agent mindset."
Xander nodded. "We'll keep that in mind then. Thank you, Horatio."
"You're welcome, Xander. How often is she doing that?"
"Calleigh ignored her doing it on the way up here. I'm sorry but I'm about to puke from it." He shrugged and walked out, going down to ballistics. "Miss Boa Vista, I believe you should be in a lab coat if you're in here," he said firmly as he walked in. Calleigh wasn't visible so probably not in there. "Also, I do believe you're not rated to work in here."
"You're only an intern," she said smugly.
He stared at her. "Who can report you to the national board," he pointed out. She gasped. "Because you opened evidence and you're not rated to work ballistics." He took it to look over and sighed. "Did you lose the bullet in here?" She pointed at the microscope. He glanced then at the envelope. "No it's not." He stared at her then held up the envelope. "It's marked as a probable .45. That's a .22 from a rifle." She huffed off. He paged Calleigh. She came rushing back. He pointed at her mess. "I walked in and found the bosom of fucking mental agony looking those over. She tried to say this sample was that one," he said with a point at the same microscope.
"She's not that bad, Xander."
"Yes she is. And she still looks like a hooker this morning. I don't need to know her bra is purple. It's clear since she's undone her shirt that far." Horatio walked in. "I didn't do it."
"I know." He looked over things, sighing in displeasure. "She's opened a good few." Calleigh checked the envelopes. Most had bullets. "She's not Quality Control either."
"She's not rated to work in here!" Xander said firmly. "She couldn't pass her certifications last year."
Calleigh gave him a dirty look. "How do you know that? Those are kept secret."
He shrugged. "Yeah but the tester gushed at our lab's head of the approval board. He warned her when he heard we were down here. We ignored most of it. Frankly I don't care who passes what, that's Horatio's job, until I walk into something like this."
She nodded. "You should have called."
"I told her to get out of it first," he said. "Then I called you when she huffed off."
She nodded. "Thank you. Sit." Xander sat and pulled up the system so he could run comparisons to the envelopes' contents. She smiled at that. "You should forget those."
He stared at her. "I didn't hear scores, just the bigger, broader category of gossip. Like who didn't recert at all because they forgot," he said dryly. She winced. "It's next month."
"I'll remind Eric of that," she promised quietly. She stared him down. "How close are those two?"
"They're screwing like dogs in heat the last time I saw them both. In her office actually." Horatio coughed and shook his head. "He told her because he thought there might be some...improprieties that might try to snag us down here." He looked at them. "Because he heard about the mole issue and things."
"She was," Calleigh admitted. "That shouldn't impact you two."
"And yet, those same people on high want into our lab," he pointed out. "We're young, smart, have ties they don't like because of our friends in Cleveland. We freak some people out because they've heard of the group in Cleveland. Or the pirates in Africa." She nodded at that. "They like that we're good but they're not happy that we don't have anyone basically above us as a compass to tell us 'no, don't do that'. They think we need parents."
"The profile on you two probably encouraged that," Horatio said. "I heard someone at the FBI had all the profilers in DC do one."
Xander nodded. "Yeah. Not a happy thing. She was looking for a political foothold with the group my twin interned with. Since we don't play politics and they hate that more than most things, they're nervous. They have no idea what we're doing or why. They can't be sure our motives are pure enough for their desires. While I'm sorry about that, politics and all that shit sucks badly. We'll never play politics beyond upping the corporate mobile to make them more comfy. No matter how many generals give us bad looks for it."
"I think that's a reasonable thing," Calleigh said.
"Yeah but these people aren't reasonable. These people want us to be ultra patriotic and that's why we design weapons for them or they want us to be capitalists like they are. They expect us to be like Bill Gates. They are the Gates in Uniforms. They can't understand that we aren't. That we like weapons." He shrugged. "So we freak them out a bit."
"Which could be another reason they don't want you guys near bigger targets like the east coast," she pointed out.
"Then why send us to Denver? They're a huge ass city."
"Language," she reminded him.
"Yay," he shot back. "They are." She scowled. He grinned. "Willow does that look better." She huffed and got back to comparing samples to their envelopes. "Are we signing her initials on these?"
"Yes. She opened them," Horatio said. "We'll make notes in the case files as well." They nodded at that. He went to talk to her. That was not legal and not within protocol. She had a lot to answer for.
"Who else is behind on certification?" she asked quietly.
"AV doesn't have one beyond the general everyone takes. Ryan's ahead by about a test because he took one early. He's due next year. Eric's behind and they're going to notice soon. Speed is up to date from what we heard. You were. Horatio is. Valera is." He shrugged. "I heard she had a problem and three on night shift, plus one in the lesser non-felony lab." She beamed at that. "You might warn him though."
"Go find him so we can talk."
He nodded, going to fetch for her pleasure. He found him in Layout 2. "Eric, Calleigh needs you," he said, leaning into the room.
"Why? New evidence?" he asked.
"Stuff she heard," he said. "That you need to know. Could be case related." He nodded, going to talk to her. He ignored Boa Vista and looked at Ryan. "The other half is in court on that one case."
"I heard I'm going to be called soon. I have a suit in my locker." He smirked. "You nag nearly as well as Alexx does."
"That's because you need it. Especially with that infected thing on your neck."
"It's a pimple."
Xander came in to look at it. "It's still infected. It's green." He looked at him. "Want me to find Alexx?"
"Please don't," he sighed. He shot the boy a look. "I'll clean it in a minute."
"Okay." He grinned. "Nagging done with then."
"What are you certified to do?" Boa Vista asked.
Xander looked at her, ignoring her blatant show of tits. "Trace, ballistics, DNA at all but the top level, AV if we can find a system we can use. Questionable documents at the lesser levels because that teacher could only go over so much for non-majors." She gaped. "We just came out. Of course we qualified on anything we took classes on. We also both have field medic experience from our time in Africa. Which gives me the right to nag him about his neck." He walked off. He wouldn't tell her that she had bite marks on her chest that were showing. He did text Alexx to let her know that. That way she could nag. She did it so well, and loudly; sometimes even in front of others.
Alexx came up to pull her out and look at her. "No wonder I got texted about your mosquito bites from your last case," she said. "No one wants to see that much of you!" She handed her a packet of creme. "There, put that on those so they don't get too infected." She walked off, coming back to look at Ryan. She pulled him to the break room to empty that sore for him. No nagging needed, he knew better. She got the puss out and put some alcohol from a wipe in there on it. "There, baby." She smiled. "You can tell her to button it up too."
"She's trying to get Xander to complain."
"I'm about to complain," she assured him. "I do not like women that way and I do not need to see tits if they're not mine or I'm not doing her autopsy." She walked off happier. She went to AV, staring at him. "Did you take a picture of her?"
"Four times today. Horatio asked," he said, handing over the hard copies.
"Thank you, sugar, I'll gladly deliver them." She went to hand them to Horatio. "I don't blame the boys, I'd be sick too." She walked off again.
Horatio sighed as he looked them over. They had time stamps. No wonder Xander was off taking a 'mental break to get rid of that horrible image'. He nearly needed to clear his mind. He went to talk to her again. Someone had to. He saw Eric scowling. "Problems?"
"I forgot to recertify and someone told Xander that."
"Hmm. He said earlier that one of the board is dating someone of his." He smiled. "At least he warned you that was going around."
"True, he did." He quit scowling so much. "It's next month."
"Let me know when so I can arrange your schedule." He nodded. "Eric, are you having a problem with someone?" he asked.
"Who, H?" He held up a picture. He shuddered. "I don't know why she's trying to tease the boys. She doesn't seem like she's that psycho." He shrugged and walked off shaking his head. Ryan handed him papers as he walked past him. "Thanks, Wolfe. Which waterway?"
"Eastern. That's all I could find. Silt wouldn't dilute down further."
"I can work on that." He stared at him. "What happened to your neck?"
"Alexx caught an infected pimple." He grimaced. "She cleaned it on me."
"Good! Before it popped on something." He walked off happier.
Ryan looked at Horatio. "Can you *please* make her do back up her shirt?" he asked quietly. "I don't care why she's doing it. I don't care that I'm celibate and have been now for almost a year. I'd have to be desperate after last year. I'm going to start having flashbacks to then soon, H. Please?"
"I'm going to talk to her."
"Thank you!" He went to ballistics to talk to the kid. His case had artillery and they knew it better than most anyone. "What's this?" he asked, putting the picture of it down.
Xander looked. "Not bad. Surface to lower level aircraft, shoulder mounted. Looks like an older bazooka," he said, smiling at him. "They're not bad things, just a lot of exhaust and really loud."
"Looks a lot like a bazooka tube."
"I didn't find one of those."
Xander's face lit up. "Really? Weapons trafficking?" He gave him the pouty, puppy eyed look. "Please?"
"C'mon if she doesn't need you." He gave the begging look to Calleigh, who waved with a smile. Xander followed back babbling about that weapon and where it was primarily used. It was so cute!
1 and 2 both got called back to the lab three days later. They had been at the club so they were still done up and pretty. Horatio was not looking happy. "Did we screw up?" 1 asked quietly.
"No. I think your dating history has come back to impact the lab." He held up the note. "She was stolen out of the locker room."
Xander took the note to read with his twin. 2 shook his head. "Not one I recognize right off, Horatio. We haven't really dated down here."
1 considered it. "No, we haven't. It's not the conspiracy because they're dead and gone. There's a chance they're introducing themselves." He handed the bagged note back. "But that makes no sense." He looked at his twin. "How far back did your list you gave to the BAU go?"
"Back from Africa."
Xander 1 shook his head. "We've seen two from that time." He walked off. "Let us do some checking about the people we ran into. I'll be in trace." He scowled all the way there. Eric scowled back at him. "Not my fault. I didn't ask. I'm going to check up on our former list." He walked in and kicked the door shut as he took off his t-shirt. He was sweaty. He grabbed a few paper towels and wiped himself down then put the shirt back on because he saw Ryan's scowl. "You'd rather have me drip on the table?" he mouthed silently. Ryan stomped off. 1 sat down in front of the computer and got onto their one at the company. An IM box popped up so he told Tony what was going on. He already heard so he had a few ideas. Xander started with those and then moved down the list. Speed walked in. "I wiped down so I wouldn't drip on the table."
"Wolfe told me he saw you shirtless and doing that." He came over to read over his shoulder. "Can we help?"
"No. That'll drag more people into my panties." He frowned and backed up, going at that one by another method. "Huh, he's CIA," he said, printing that and putting it aside. Two others were printed as well. He was not happy with them. Three others were not making him happy but the others had been mostly arrested. He went back farther, shaking his head with a sigh when he ran into an older one that was out of jail illegally. Escaping probably wasn't a good thing. So he pointed the Marshal's at him. He found a few others and got hunters pointed their way. Then he found one he hadn't wanted to think about. He printed that one and growled. He hated that guy. He had turned him down repeatedly. He was a sick putz that had no dick, no style, and no clue what he wanted.
Speed picked up the papers, looking through them. "Short list?"
"List of probables." He growled at them, taking them back. His twin came in with his results. They didn't match on a few of them. "I turned him in so they can catch him again," he told 2.
"He was headed this way."
"He's headed to DC. He was in Omaha and got on a bus to DC." He sorted them out. "A few others that want us professionally." He stared at them, then at his twin. "You think this is corporate related?"
"Maybe. It's something we have to take into account." He leaned on the table, looking over the joined piles. He moved a few. "Unlikely."
1 added more to that pile. "I don't think it's corporate related or they'd have come for Calleigh instead. She's more linked to us that way. We spend more time with her and care more about her. Or Abby."
"True," he said, considering them. "But this one's still more likely." He put it back. They stared at it. "He does want us to be his and he's not exactly doing research on us."
"True." He shifted two of his twins' around. "Are they even east coast?"
"Yes." He showed him. "Two are in Miami. This one's in New York, and probably causing problems. That one's a bad idea all around. We should warn Tony about him." 2 moved to send that profile to Tony to warn him. He was dumb and vain enough to go after him or Abby since they were close to them. They weren't sure he wasn't still after them after he had been shot down, nearly literally, by Graham. They sorted the group by probability. Speed took them off to find Horatio. They looked at each other. "Hunt?" he asked quietly.
"Yeah, I think we should." 1 looked around. "Would it be okay?"
"Probably not. But...." They nodded and walked out together. Horatio got in their way. "We're going to see some locals," 2 told him.
"I think you should take us with you," he said calmly. "And explain this list."
2 sighed but nodded, taking him to go over that list. 1 slipped off to supposedly pace, think, growl, and in reality slip off to hunt. By the time anyone realized it, 2 was nearly through the list. Horatio wasn't happy but 2 shrugged. "What did you expect? We have contacts you guys don't." He walked off. "Let us finish working on those. He's asking some very strange contacts."
1 walked into the bar, staring at the bartender. The man swallowed, so Xander smirked and shifted his axe. "Hi." The bartender pointed with a shaky hand. "Thanks. By the way, someone took someone from the lab. If it's here, Horatio is going to come and he's former bomb squad. He's also badass. Like our beta version." He walked back toward the real vampire section of the goth club. He used his axe to open the door and walked in, patting the guard on the head. "Shut up, dog." It quit growling and stared at him, head tipped. He looked at the vampires. "Someone broke into the lab we're in to get our attention? They have it now. Any idea which one it is? Because ya know we have a long list."
The senior vampire in there stared at him, panting slightly. "Which hunter are you?"
He smirked. "Harris."
"Buffy's normal guy," he said, smirking back. "We heard you trip and things." Xander threw the stake at him, making him dust up.
"Really?" he asked the pile of dust. "We think they didn't know us or watch what we could do very well." The others shifted away from him. He smiled. "So, anyone got any idea who stole the lab whore?"
One nodded. "Goddrick from what we heard, Harris. Can we not die?"
"It depends, is that the right answer?"
"We've only heard rumors."
"That's cool. Thank you. Don't hunt while we're in Miami. We've been working a lot of really hard cases and long hours after seeing really bad humans killing others." They all nodded. He smiled. "Thank you." He walked out, going back to the car. The axe got put in and then he slid in. He drove off. General Goddricks. Interesting. He had to look up where he was staying. Though there were probably only a few hotels that met his fussy, picky, bitchy nature. Maybe two or three if he was being generous. He hit the first two and he wasn't there. The last one, he had just left. He headed for the airport. The guy used a private plane. Horatio found him there. "General Goddricks," he said in greeting. He smiled and produced his ID to show the guard. "Is he here?"
"No, sir, his plane left a few minutes ago."
"Brunette with too much cleavage?" 2 asked.
"With him, sir, looking pissed at her boyfriend."
They nodded. "Huh. Thanks." They walked off, 1 calling Tony. "Goddricks has her. The guard at the airport said she looked like a pissed girlfriend. Private plane. Left from Miami a few minutes ago." He smirked. "Thanks, Tony. Let us know if you find him."
Horatio took the phone. "DiNozzo, Horatio Caine. Let *us* know immediately please. She is one of our CSI. Also why he did it." He hung up and glared at them. "You could have let us come."
"Horatio, I went to a few underground clubs that make goth clubs look like cheery little flower power people," 1 said bluntly. "You'd stand out."
"And you don't?" he asked calmly.
"No, I don't. With our past, they know us there." He walked them off, scowling at his twin, who shrugged. "Why take her?"
"Maybe she is a girlfriend."
"Who knows," 1 agreed. "We can check." He called. "Finn, us. Goddricks stole one of the CSI in the lab we're in. Boa Vista. Yes, the one that we complained about her tits that she keeps flashing at us. Please. Probably. He took off from an airport down here within the last hour we're pretty sure. Please do. We've told Tony. Yeah, Goddricks. Him, yes," he sighed.
Horatio took that phone as well. "Agent Finn, Lieutenant Caine. She was stolen from our lab's dressing area. We would like to have her back." He listened. "That would be most acceptable. Please do as I have their phones now. Thank you, Agent Finn." He hung up. Then he glared. "Where is that one from?"
"He's Graham's former coworker who got sent to Homeland in penance," 1 said. "We know she's in the air. As long as he doesn't land....." He turned and started to go back in but Horatio stopped him.
"We have someone finding out which plane he was on and the other pertinent details, boys. Come tell me about these clubs." He walked them off to yell at them in private. 1 finally took him down to one. Horatio was horrified so they left after a few minutes and 1 having a beer. That was better. Horatio could forget and they could be sulky boys all night.
Tony sighed as the plane landed, walking over to meet the people coming off. "General Goddricks, you are hereby under arrest for kidnaping an officer from Miami," he said, pulling out his cuffs. "Please finish coming off the plane before you fall. Your hip may break at your age, sir." He got him cuffed. "Miss Boa Vista?" She peeked out. "I'm Agent DiNozzo, NCIS and SI's XO." She beamed and came down the stairs. "Thank you. Agent Finn, go ahead and bring her home." He came over to take her to his car. Tony was not happy. "So, General, what was the stupid idea here?"
"We needed someone to convince the boys to do things the right way."
"So you take the woman they hate?" Tony snorted. "That makes no sense."
"She's pretty, young, slightly hot," he said dryly. "They should like her."
"They're both bisexual and more drawn to psychos than not," Tony shot back. "That's why they turned in over seventeen serial killers, mostly male."
The general sneered. "You mean they're gay?"
"No, they're bi, but the women they date? They like to kill others." The general sneered harder. "It won't matter to you though." He walked him off to finish the arrest procedure. "And really, which group is going to care about them giving someone ass sex? All they want are weapons, which are sexual metaphors for male genitals. So gay guys would make sexier, more deadly weapons anyway." He shoved him into the car.
"You'll regret that, boy."
"Sure, you can talk to Gibbs about spanking me," he said sarcastically. "I'm sure he'll like you too." He got into the car, putting up the safety glass that was now standard on all agency sedans after someone had tried to choke their driver. He called in. "Got him, Gibbs. Homeland has her. Please tell the huffy lieutenant. Oh, he said I'll regret this. I told him to talk to you about that." He hung up and drove them off. This was going to possibly bother the business but not that much. More for the others. They were like piranhas. Eating one of their own was no problem.
Horatio walked out to meet the plane, helping his CSI down. "Miss Boa Vista, are you all right? Do you need to see someone in a medical way?" he asked quietly.
"I'm fine. He was sneering, self important, and all that." She shuddered. "He's not worth my time." She straightened herself out. "Thank you, Agent Finn."
"Not a problem. We'd rather not see the twins go on a rampage in DC after someone like that. Too many people would be amused or help them." He walked off. "Lieutenant, I have the report for you in my bag." He put the bag on the hood of the crime lab hummer and pulled out the reports. "I need you to sign these three saying that you won't talk about the incident, that you'll let Homeland handle it, and that you'll keep the boys from going hunting in DC for others like him." He handed them over. "Then this is the incident report and the arrest report."
He put them aside. He looked at her. "We fed her dinner on the way down. She should be fine to have a day off and rest then come back to work. He thought the boys would want her." He looked her over. "I hate to say it but she's not their type. She's not evil, only bitchy. The last one of those they had, they nearly married." He took the signed papers back, putting them back in his bag. "Also, if you feel like talking about the contacts they have, they might look at you funny," he said quietly. "Those people are not very normal, Lieutenant." He took the last one and put it back. "There you go. This is his plane so you can deal with it. He won't be able to and his company is very sorry now." He zipped the bag back up. "Anything else we can do for you, Lieutenant?"
"How do you know about the clubs they were asking in?"
"Sir, that's classified, but I knew the twins and their friends before they went to Africa," he said. "I used to date their friend Buffy actually." He nodded at her. "Let me go to the main airport. I have a flight out in about an hour." He left.
Horatio looked at her. "Did they do anything?"
"He made fun of my dress."
"It is a bit... unprofessional looking," he admitted. He let her into the hummer and walked back to the driver's side so he could drive her back to the lab. He would not think about the sparkly, low cut, high cut dress she was wearing. He had seen escorts wearing more modest things. He coughed. "Perhaps you can change when you get to the lab," he said quietly. "That way no one has to see you in the dress he put you in."
She glared at him. "It's a good dress, Horatio."
He paused before the security gate out. "More than four separate people in the PD have put in written complaints about your shirts recently," he said quietly. He stared her down. "I would suggest you reverse that trend."
"Those twins," she snorted.
"No, not them. All of them were detectives." She slumped down. "They have asked that I remove you from scenes as well until your attire becomes less professional in a bad way as one put it. I would suggest that they were correct because a few have decided to file that you're creating an uncomfortable, sexually charged atmosphere. They can fire you for that," he said and got them through the security gate then back to the lab. She went to change. He went to talk to the boys. Speed was interrogating them about their contacts. He cleared his throat, walking in to interrupt them. "Agent Finn suggested we ignore those sources."
"Bet me," Speed complained.
1 raised a hand. "Did you really want to know about the underground? Especially with some of the stranger things that happen down there? It's not like they usually end up on the caseload."
"No, they don't. They don't often leave their group enough to become victims," Horatio agreed. "Unless someone takes offense at their lifestyle."
"A lot of the time, those are the outliers," 2 told him. "If you're one of the group, they tend to protect themselves. Anyone going after the group and they have people who can stop it."
Horatio nodded. "I have seen that." He stared at them. "If you had told me, I would've let someone go with you."
"None of your people would fit in," 2 said bluntly. "Most of you guys are way too straight and uptight."
"And you're not?" Speed demanded.
"No, we know a great many of them," 1 said. "We played kitten poker with some of them and all sorts of things back at home."
"This was all pre-African trip stuff," 2 added. "Back at home."
"Kitten poker?" Speed asked. They both nodded, looking calm. "What did they use the cats for?"
"That's the most common question people ask," 1 said.
"They didn't have ...relations at least," 2 added, shrugging some. "It wasn't our business, man. We used them as information sources. They knew a lot of what was going on around town."
Horatio stared at them. "I'm horrified by that very thought."
"So are many people," 1 agreed.
"Some people are strange and as long as they're not hurting anyone else, we don't care," 2 said. "We protested the cats but that's a tradition. It's very underground and a very small minority of them. The clubs we went to earlier, they'd probably give them horrified looks too."
"That can't be normal," Speed said. "Eww!"
"Not like we participated and when we won cats, they got found new, safe homes," 2 said bluntly. "But we can't stop them totally. Or even talk them into things like mice."
"We can't turn them into the ASPCA?" Horatio asked.
"I'm pretty sure the ones at home knew," 2 said. "Home was like that sometimes."
Speed stared at them. "Where are you two from?"
"Southern California," they said together.
"Uh-huh," Speed said dryly. "Town's name?"
"Sunnydale," 2 said.
Speed scowled, going to look that up. He came back ten minutes later. "It's not a town."
"It got closed after most of it got sucked into a sinkhole," 2 told him.
Speed looked at 1. "Sinkhole?"
"Yeah. Sucked in most of the town. We got out on busses. One of the mini-quakes gave us some warning."
Speed went to look that up, coming back. "They said so too." He let Horatio see that. "Kittens?"
"Their choice. We were outliers. We got information from them," 2 said.
"They were like our Lone Gunmen at times," 1 agreed.
Horatio stared at them. "I saw many strange things at that one you brought me to. I did not see anything like cats."
"They wouldn't play that there. That was kinda tame compared to some," 2 told him.
Speed stared at 1. "Tame?"
"Yeah. I hit a few of the more unusual ones earlier. I took him to a wannabe joiners club. For the ones that want to join but haven't quite gotten acceptance yet. Fairly goth but not too stunning. That way it wouldn't freak him out too badly."
"I doubt you could show me anything that bad," Horatio said bluntly.
2 sighed and got into his phone, finding a specific picture from Africa. He held it up. Both CSI gave him a horrified look and backed off. "She's actually very nice, very mother hennish. She tried to mother us all the time."
1 looked at it and nodded. "I ran from her a lot. She kept trying to fatten us up and things." He leaned back to get more comfortable. "That's not the strangest or worse we've seen. I have seen her clan before in one of the clubs in DC."
"That's a goat," Speed said, staring at it.
"Yeah, we know," 2 said, turning his phone off and putting it into his pocket. "She made really good firepit bread."
They both stared at them like they were insane. "So, Africa, DC, anywhere else?" Speed asked.
2 shrugged. "No clue. Haven't seen them outside of those two places but we never really looked."
Horatio walked off shuddering.
Speed stared in awe. "Nothing gets to H that way, guys."
"It was Africa. It got to all of us in different, strange, and disturbing ways," 2 said.
"Clearly. You two go home. Report for work at the normal time."
1 looked at his watch. "That's in about thirty minutes," he pointed out. He stood up. "I'll get the sodas."
2 stretched as he stood up. "I'll get us the sneakers." He went to the locker room to get them. He came back to exchange his twin's sneakers for a can of soda. "Thank you for the morning dose of goddess." They gulped, changed shoes, dropping the others into the trunk, and came back to get to work. Yeah, they looked like sweaty clubbers. Yay them.
"Why can't you two do more laundry?" Valera demanded.
"We've been in here all night," 2 said bluntly. "Since we got called back to handle your lab pet's kidnaping."
"She was kidnaped?"
"She's back," 1 said dryly. "Some general thought we'd like her so he took her to encourage us to play his political bullshit, asslicking game. She's probably at home." He waved a hand. "Otherwise, we've been here or working."
"Oh." She stormed off, going to find Horatio. "Natalia was kidnaped?" she demanded.
"We have her back, she's fine," he said calmly.
"You didn't call!"
"I didn't need you this time. We knew she was alive. The idiot left a note," Speed told her.
"So the boys said. Political games?"
"Some general that buys from them wanted them to appear more their style of people." He shrugged. "Who cares really." He walked off. "H, want me to send the terror twins home?"
"They are wearing clubbing clothes again," Maxine pointed out dryly. "They look sweaty too."
"Earlier one wiped himself off before logging on in trace," Ryan said as he walked past them. "I've already cleaned it. Is she all right?"
"She's fine, Mr. Wolfe." Horatio looked at Maxine. "Really. She's fine. They're fine."
"Uh-huh. In those pants you can tell." He blushed, going to hide in his office.
1 snuck up there. "This won't get around to others, right?" he asked quietly.
"No, I won't be telling Mac or anyone about this general's plans or the people you met in Africa," he said, smiling some. "Okay?" He nodded and scurried back to work. He looked down at the hallway. The others were gossiping. He cleared his throat. "Work? I know we have bodies somewhere, people." They went to check in and get to work before he had to snarl. Horatio walked down to the break room to get something for his headache. Speed was making tea. "He wanted to make sure it wouldn't get around," he said quietly.
"I don't even want to think about it," Speed said bluntly. "Beyond that, I don't trash people for having strange contacts. They apparently come in handy." He took his tea to go. He had cabbed over when the call went out because he had been clubbing himself. Hopefully he wouldn't have nightmares about that picture. Ever. Horatio got his own tea for his headache and went back to his desk.
Xander 2 looked up at the feeling of stalking. He smirked at the woman. "You can quit that, we're bi and you're not that dangerous," he called. She paused, staring at him. He stared back. "You're not."
She shrugged and stalked over anyway. "Yes I am."
He snorted. "No, you're not. Sorry." He stared at her and she shivered. "Nice try though, have to give it a four for effort with those pants and shoes." He sipped his soda. "So, you wanted to have lunch?"
"I did, Mr. Harris." She sat down, staring at him. "I know that you and your twin are fully certified ballstics techs and have other interests." He nodded. "I'd like you to join my teams."
"We've heard and we're considering," he admitted. "Homeland is still blowing things out of proportion about us possibly going to the New York labs. I think my eviler clone offered one a valium the other day."
She snorted. "They are paranoid about you two."
"Yeah, but we're comic geeks, not the sort they think should be building artillery."
"Ah." She rested her arms on the table, staring at him. "We do good work."
"You're pushy to do it, worse than Gibbs, and you have a lot of strange talent there."
She smiled. "You checked up on us?"
"That was all in one conversation with someone."
"Well, yes, we can be pushy when people don't let us work."
He snorted. "You realize you're in Miami? And who I asked?" She grimaced. He stared at her. "I can understand pushy with the know-nots who don't want to know. I can't see doing it with a major lab."
"No, and we don't usually have to. That time we got a bit over zealous."
He nodded. "Yeah, a bit," he said dryly. "Though I can't fault that point if it had been someone not working."
"So you're putting us lower because of that?"
"I don't know yet. We have four months left." She nodded she knew that. "Right now we're talking to our people since we'd have to move our people as well and we don't want to stay in DC."
"We are thinking about opening a new project but it'll be in DC itself. Your friend Zach will be working on that."
"Which is why we recommended him to you," he pointed out with a small smirk. "We want out of DC. Too many people trying to help us the wrong way."
"I get that. Especially after we heard about General Goddricks."
Xander snickered. "She's not even close to being an object of like, much less lust," he assured her. "We have taste."
"You clearly do with the cars you drive." She stared at him. "I can also assure you that I did a *full* background check." He nodded at that. "Including how you first ran into artillery."
He snickered. "Yeah, they know about that and called it reasonable. Did you get film from grad too?" She went pale. He stared at her. "So, no, being pushy doesn't work for us. Sorry. You can try again later when I'm in a good mood. Or your new husband." He smirked. "Henri." He pulled the man down to kiss him on the cheek. "This is Gretchen Fielders. She's a federal CSI."
He stared at her, barely audible moaning. "She's very pretty, Xander. Are you going to be his boss? Both boys would look so charming in collars."
She shook her head. "I don't collar mine. They learn to heel without them."
"Pity." He stroked her cheek before walking off. "Very pretty, Xander."
Xander waited until he was gone to look at her. "That's how you stalk." She gaped. He got up, putting down money for his soda and former lunch. "Have a good day. We're still considering." He walked off happier. Henri really needed to be caught sometime soon. He went back to the lab, leaning into the lab Eric and Ryan were fighting in since Horatio wasn't around. "Guys, that one nice guy Henri was at lunch with me and Fielders. He liked her a lot."
"The psycho who wants to collar you both?" Ryan demanded. "And dress you both in silk?"
"Yeah, him." He smirked and walked off. "We have no idea if he's killed others or not."
Ryan scowled at the doorway. Then at Eric. "There, go do that. That way I can process without you nagging!"
"Fine!" he growled, going to talk to the twins about *this* one. Maybe he was a serial case so he'd have a lot of cases solved at once. It'd help his monthly stats.
1 looked up then at the clock then back at him. "Eric, weren't you off today for recert? In about an hour or so?" he asked quietly. Eric groaned, going to do that. He looked at his twin. "Henri?"
"She totally tried to stalk over to me like she was dangerous. Wore the nice heeled boots and tight pants. I blew her scary stalker image out though. Then I spotted him." He shrugged. "Who knows." Calleigh stormed in. "Hey, boss."
"What are you two doing here today?" she demanded.
"It's not our day off?" 1 guessed.
"Yes it is!"
"No it's not," 2 said. "It's Wednesday. We have tomorrow off, boss."
She glared. "It is Thursday."
"Are you feeling all right?" 1 asked. He looked at the calendar then at the one on the computer. "Boss, this says it's Wednesday too." He stared at her. "Really."
"It is not!"
"Ryan!" 2 called. He came jogging in. "I think she needs to see Alexx. She thinks it's Thursday and we should be off."
"Huh. You were fine earlier."
"I'm fine now," she said, getting free of his hand.
2 called the morgue. "Alexx, Calleigh's acting funny." He hung up. "She'll make sure." He got her sitting down at her desk, no matter how mad she looked. They were used to tiny, pissed off blondes so it didn't phase them too much.
"I should suspend you both," she said firmly.
Alexx walked in. "For what?"
"They're not supposed to be here today. It's their day off. They're setting a bad example for the others."
Alexx looked at her watch. "It's Wednesday, sugar. Has been all day."
"She's angry for no reason," Ryan told her. "She was normal earlier."
Alexx nodded, helping him lift her up. "Come on, let me check you over for being drugged, Calleigh. You're clearly not good right now."
"I'm fine," she complained, struggling.
2 walked up to her, capturing her chin. "No, you're not." He kept staring until she looked away. "Let Alexx help you, Calleigh. She can find out whatever's wrong. Even if it's voodoo we can fix it. Let us," he said more gently. Alexx gave him a dirty look. "I met someone."
"You probably dated her," she complained.
"Him, but yeah."
She walked her off with Ryan's help. This was seriously odd.
2 looked at one, who shrugged. "Should we call Horatio?"
"Good point." He got back to work, changing gloves. Alexx came in about two hours later. "How is she?"
"Resting quietly." She closed the door, looking at them. "She was drugged and other things. Natural herbal drugs, boys."
They both stared at her. "Rogue witch?"
"No." She stared at them. "We don't know who it was but she said they wanted you out of the labs. That it would *protect* you two."
"We're pretty good at protecting ourselves," 1 reminded her.
"We learned long before we went to Africa," 2 agreed. He shifted on his stool. "So who did it?"
"No clue. Horatio is tracking that back with Ryan." She stared at them. "Be a bit careful?"
"We're always careful," 2 said. "Though I did bait the wannabe boss Fielders."
"Gretchen and her crackpot CSI teams?" she demanded. They nodded. "You're much better than that."
"It would give us a lot more time to work in the lab," 2 admitted. "We're thinking New York."
"They're good people. I have friends up there." She left them alone. Something very bad was going on.
2 looked at 1. "Let me get into the system to check the building." 1 nodded, finishing up their last few cases. This was going to be indecently insane until they knew what was going on. It wasn't that conspiracy but why drug Calleigh to make them leave? Even a seer.... "Have you seen anything?"
"No." 1 looked up. "Not in days."
"Small uprising. I sent it on."
"Good." He got back to it. "We have so many open spots," he sighed. "This building is not secure."
"The morgue can't be more secure," he pointed out. "You have civvies coming in to identify and pick up."
"We can't put a guard down there?"
"What about the other entrances?"
"Mostly guarded unless they can get past our receptionist or use gum wrapper and a paperclip to get past the emergency exit door on those stairs."
"Half the time that's propped open." He left, going to talk to a few of the patrol guys. "Hey." They stared at him. "Listen," he said quietly. "We think someone tried to attack Duquesne earlier, but we're not sure who. They were real certain they wanted her to send us away for the day."
"Want someone to lurk closer to the lab?" one asked.
"She's with Alexx. We're more worried about her or that being a huge, gaping entrance point to the building if someone's going to try something."
"Good point. We can take smoke breaks over that by one," another said with a smile. "She going to be okay?"
"We think so. Alexx said it wasn't that bad. Just made her a bit panicky. Just... in case, guys? Thanks?" They nodded. "Thanks." He walked off, going to look over those exits. He checked the stairs. No one was on them so he kicked the door shut. Again. The emergency exit on the other end of the lab was apparently stuck open. He stared at it, frowning. "Get me a screwdriver," he told whoever walked in.
"I doubt they're going to attack here," Horatio said.
1 looked at him. "With the way they wanted Calleigh to get us out of the building?"
"That is a point." He handed it over. "I was coming in to fix this one myself."
"I asked a few of the patrol officers to take smoke breaks by the morgue."
"That is a worrisome checkpoint lag." He held the door while Xander popped the thing holding it open out. Then they locked it and checked.
"It's hot, what are you doing?" Maxine complained.
"It's supposed to stay closed, Miss Valera," Horatio reminded her.
"The air conditioner hasn't worked since the lab revamp," she reminded him.
Xander sighed. "I haven't done a ton of it but maybe it's something simple." He let her lead him there, watching him look it over. "Three things. Fuse. Probably on purpose." He tripped it and it started to grind. He retripped the fuse and it quit. "That's a fan issue. You should have that fixed by the people who put it in."
"It's three years out of service contract," Horatio admitted. "Also our purifier isn't working correctly."
Xander looked at it. "That needs new filters." He pulled up his phone book on his phone, finding a HVAC place. "Hey, I'm looking at a friend's AC and the fan is broken." He read off a model number. "Plus it needs filters on the air purifier he had installed. Yes, that one," he said dryly. "How much?" He snorted. "Will it fit better? Done, we'll pay if you can come today. Next week.... Can I get the part and install it? Some. I used to be interior crew lead on my team." He nodded. "Okay, I can do that. Let me come get it." He hung up. "Maxine, busy?"
"Damn." He shrugged and walked off. He tossed his jacket onto a chair in ballistics. "Fixing the AC."
"I heard. Have fun." His twin smirked as he walked off. That one shook his head. It was cute of him. 1 came back and handed over both of his guns, in case he needed them. He smirked at that move but it was appreciated. He was in one of the last samples they had backed up when he heard an alarm going off. He logged back into the monitoring system. "Fucking hell." He grabbed the two extra guns, checked the clips, and came out without his jacket. It wasn't like a lab coat was body armor. Then again, he didn't usually wear body armor anymore. The idiots weren't on that floor.
He headed down to evidence. Two in there. He got them from behind. Someone was coming up on his blind side so he ducked and fired at their ankle. They fell down screaming. He had no idea who they were but they weren't wearing a badge. He locked the cage and the main door, then headed out. The officers were heading toward the cells. "Shit," he muttered. "Guys?" They stared at him. "Yeah, I know, guys. Really." They put him in front of the rookies but that was okay. He had more experience than some of the older guys. "Got three in evidence," he told one in a hissed whisper. He nodded at that. "Evidence."
"You four, go guard evidence." The rookies ran that way. "Aren't you a CSI?"
"Ballistics," he said dryly. He smirked at the moan. "Yeah, that's us. My twin's off base getting stuff for the HVAC." He saw the prisoners coming their way. "Shit."
"Freeze!" was called from most of them. Most of the prisoners didn't stop. They had slight weapons.
Xander put up his gun and disarmed one with a kick to the stomach and then picked up his bat to test the weight of it. He used it to knock a few more down while the other guys were going hand-to-hand. "I don't know why I quit carrying sleeping gas," he complained. One of the officers gave him a horrified look. "We came back from Africa to start the company." He got a few more down, admittedly being a bit brutal. They were going to feel those hits for days. He found an open cell and no one in it, shoving them all in there. He slammed the door shut. "If you're not participating," he told one in a cell. "Go to the other end of the hall." That guy fled. That let them use that cell too.
1 got back and found more idiots there. "What the fuck?" he decided. He parked and got out, grabbing from the hunting kit. "And of course, we forgot to add extra ammo," he muttered. "I'm going to kick his ass later." He signaled to a few officers and pointed. They nodded, heading to help him. Six commandos in pure black and hoods. In Miami. In the daytime. No, they weren't going to be noticed at all! Idiots. One of the officers took point by shoving him back. He shrugged and got two before they all disappeared into the stairwell. "Only have five shots," he offered. "My others are with my twin."
"They've got a prisoner break."
"That's a lovely diversion," he agreed. "He said he found some in evidence."
"That's a good place to start," he decided. They took the elevator. It was faster. They came out into the last four commandos trying to fire on the officers. Xander got down two more. He got a graze too. A few of the other officers fell so he grabbed a gun. That one wasn't going to need it for a while. The next one was knocked out with one to his side. He moved on when those two ran, loping after them. They were heading for an exit. Xander shot one and tackled the other, knocking them both into a wall. He lost the gun. The commando got up and tried to kick him but Xander was up too and he was pissy now. Very pissy. Long live the queen...of destruction pissy. The incidents with the pirates had nothing on his level of pissy currently.
That commando, seriously not worthy of the title. Xander stared at him. "Did Riley Finn train you too?" he sneered. He took off his hood, seeing the man underneath. "Huh. He did." He kicked him in the jaw to make sure he was out. Loafers wouldn't cause as much damage. He went to the others, checking on the officers. He grabbed the borrowed gun and headed down to the cells. "MOVE!" he shouted. The prisoners flinched and they ran. "Fucking morons! Congratulations on more jail time to be a diversion for shitty commandos." He looked at the commander. "Few in the entry, few by evidence. Two by the exit on the other end of the floor." He radioed it in. 1 pulled his twin closer, looking him over. "You okay?"
2 panted, nodding some. "Bit tired."
"Me too. One was formerly Riley's."
"Fuck him." He walked off with his twin to take off masks.
"Guys, injured up a bit," 1 said with a point. "Oh, I took a gun when mine ran out." He handed it over carefully to the head of the scene. He finished unmasking them. "Only one that I recognize."
"Hmm, me too," 2 agreed. "Oh well. Sucks to be them." They went back to that one to pat him down for anything he might have on him. "Go find the car?"
He walked around to the others. One had the keys. He walked outside, looking at the little bleepy thingy on the keychain. He hit the lock button and the lights flashed. "Idiots," he decided. The guards out there, nervous and jumpy, flinched. He undid it. "From their pockets. Confiscate the car, make sure it doesn't have anything like a bomb." They nodded, going to do that for him. One took the keys to do that. Xander watched, taking a deep breath. "I thought we were done with assaults," he muttered. "Miami's supposed to be more civilized than Somalia or Ghana." He stared, watching the doorway. Someone stomped his way. "What?"
"Which one are you?" he demanded.
Xander looked at him. He could've quipped but the guy looked like he was about to explode. "I'm the one that got here later and helped with the commandos. My twin was helping with the cell break."
"Did you fire darts?"
"Yes, sedative darts. I had five shots in my clip. It was in the emergency bag in the car. I left my twin my guns before I left to hit the HVAC place so I could fix the AC in the lab."
The man stared. "You can?"
"It only needs a filter and fan replacement."
"Oh." He stared at him. "That was royally dumb, kid. You're not trained."
"Really? You think having to deal with those sort of issues invading the village you're staying in counts as training?"
"No, it doesn't. We have official methods."
"We both let someone take the lead when they got pushy."
The guy nodded. "Better have. I want a statement. Now."
"I'm watching the guys confiscate their car."
"Oh." He looked. "What are they doing?"
"Even better idea, I'm going to be questioning one of them. We knew him from before we went to Africa. We helped shut down the program he was part of," he said quietly. "He's not going to be happy I kicked his ass."
"You and your twin are violent," he complained.
Xander looked at him. "Sometimes. When necessary. Not always." He grinned. "Usually we're goofy little comic geeks who build artillery." The officer gaped, looking horrified. "The company's doing very well." He walked over. "Guys, what did you find?" he asked since they were backing up.
"Sir, pipe bomb."
"Get me some wire clippers or a really sharp knife," he ordered, getting down to look at it. "Remote sensor..... Cute." Someone handed him wire clippers so he got it fixed and handed it out. He saw another wire and traced it back to the trunk, nodding at that. "Very pretty." He fixed that one too. Then he took off the counter because it was still going. It fizzled where he threw it across the parking lot. He looked. "Ah, second chamber. Okay." He checked, handing the guy back his wire clippers. He grinned. "It's safe." The higher up was still staring in horror. "I can build better than this in my bedroom," he told him. "The timer's over there." He pointed then walked off. "I want nothing and no one outside of CSI to touch this car," he told the grunts. "Caine will tell you who." They nodded and set guard on it. "Thanks, guys, good job." He clapped one on the arm and went back to the doorway. "Horatio, I disarmed the car they came in," he reported when he saw him. "The timer for the trunk bomb is over there," he said with a point. "The pipe bomb underneath was disarmed and the trunk one was a dual chamber but I only saw the one counter or ignition point."
Horatio stared at him. "I keep forgetting you two can do that as well." He went to look. The timer was handed to him in a bag. "Thank you, Sergeant."
"Who is that kid?" he demanded quietly.
"They are our prize ballistics interns," he said quietly, smiling at the trunk. "Effective but not pretty." He checked. "It'll be fine until Bomb Squad can finish disarming it." He looked at him. "Why?"
"One jumped into the prisoner riot, the other sedative darted the commandos."
"Yes, they did. They're like that. A bit odd but very sweet young men." He walked off. "Xander, did you recognize any?"
"Yes, the last one I handled, he has a chin kick imprint from my shoes. He's formerly one of Agent Finn's people."
"Interesting. Should I call him?"
"Let us try first."
"Agreed." He walked inside. "Your twin is fine."
"I know." He gave him a look. "I'll fix the AC later to calm down."
"Thank you for that as well."
"The donation to the lab will help at tax time," he quipped, making Horatio smile and nod as he walked off. Xander stared, not being happy. "What the hell were they going for?" he muttered. "And who was their plant in the cellblock?" The sergeant came back. "Who was their plant in the cellblock?"
"Prisoner riots don't just *suddenly* start for no reason," he pointed out. The guy jogged inside to see if they could figure that out. "What case were they here about?" he muttered. This was not a good thing to have happen. Now he had went from pissy to bitchy. That commando? Was toast.
2 walked into the interrogation room first, 1 followed. 1 kicked the door shut, looking at the idiot. "Morning," 1 said.
"We think you'd rather talk to us than someone who didn't recognize you," 2 agreed.
He swallowed. "I know who you two are."
"Yes, we are," 1 said dryly, sitting down, looking casually slumped. "Now, why did you invade *our* lab? Because you made a mess that we had to clean up. We don't really like that sort of mess."
2 smirked evilly at him. "You can tell us or we can ask Riley to come down and interrogate you in the old methods."
The man shuddered. "I'm not saying anything without a lawyer."
"Hmm, well, your lawyer was just arrested for being on the terror watch list," 2 told him, handing over that picture. "Now, who are you working for?"
"We're a legitimate government contractor."
"Uh-huh. Is that why your car had 2 bombs?" 1 asked with a smirk. "That one in the trunk was almost pretty. Thank you, I needed to play with explosives to calm down."
The commando stared at him then at his twin. "I thought you were the insane one."
"We share a lot of things." He smirked even more evilly, then let out a quiet snicker. "I'm sure you'll be finding out. Because you guys offended us and we *are* legitimate with the government. You can ask Graham. We let him be the DOD plant." The guy shuddered. "Now, want to give us a company name? That way we can make our displeasure known in a greater circle?"
"They'd never let you in. They'd set off the failsafe first," he said firmly. "You two are unnatural. We know how you two got split." He sneered back.
2 leaned over to pat him on the head. "Good doggy, you did pay some attention." He leaned back.
1 sat up. "That doesn't make us unnatural. That makes us twice the power of bitchy and devious." He smirked. "After all, look what happened when things got bad out there." The guy shuddered. "We don't care about their failsafe. Really. The innocents we might care about, but ..... That's more the boss's thing." He stared him down. So did 2.
"Corporate whores' names?" he suggested quietly, letting a touch of growl out.
The man stared at them. "You're one of them!" he shouted.
"Nah, it was a possession. The shaman we ran into were all very pleased." He smirked. "They all liked us."
The commando was starting to sweat. "I won't tell you anything! You can't make me! You're not Rosenburg."
"No but we can call her," 1 offered. "Not really a hardship. Or the one in town that gave us an oblique warning." The guy was shaking now. "Now, we want the company name. We can tear down the rest later on."
"Yes we can," 2 agreed happily. "I haven't had to ruin anyone in days." The guy burst out swearing and got up to pace. They both snickered at that. "Gods, it's clear Riley trained you. Really pitiful." The guy lunged at 2 but 1 was there to bring him down to the table, arm pinned up behind his back in a painful way. "Thank you, dear."
1 blew a kiss. "You're too pretty to mess up." He gave the guy a bit of pressure on the captured arm, making him moan in pain. "Name?"
"I won't. Not even if you rape me."
"Yeah, because that's so our thing," he said sarcastically. "I can call our latest admirer if you want it that way." The guy whimpered. Xander put more pressure on the arm. "Tell me or else. You've got two minutes and then we get referee interference and Finn's going to be the next one."
"I won't tell anyone!"
"Fine," he said, letting him go. He stepped back, staring at him, smirking. "That's fine. We can trace your employment records. We can find them that way and tell them that you told us anyway." He shrugged.
"They'll know," he sneered.
Xander looked at him, flipping up a necklace. "Probably not. We made sure it wouldn't work. We did learn some things from home." He smirked. "Pity." The man gave him a horrified look and backed off. "Now, I believe you have 2 children, a soon to be ex-wife that has custody of them, and you're working for... Blackstone wasn't it?" His twin nodded. He looked at him. "Did they send you?"
The man gave them horrified looks. "You're telepathic!" he shouted. "Get out of my head!" He started to hum.
They shared a look and shook their heads. "Please, if we were, there's plenty of more interesting minds than yours," 2 said dryly. "Though, by doing this, your wife won't get your pension. So your kids are going to suffer, and probably end up getting a sudden stepdaddy to have someone to help her. Which means there's a damn good chance she won't be picky and he'll be a lot like our parents." The guy rushed at 1, who put him on his back on the table, holding him there by his throat.
"Boys," Horatio ordered as he came in.
"Fine," 1 said, letting him go. He stared at him. "Blackstone?" The man swallowed. "Yes or no? If it's not, we won't destroy them too." He smirked evilly. "We need some destruction time. It's been *ages*."
"They'll know!" One took off that necklace and tossed it in a corner then looked at him, finding the implanted one. He pulled out a knife and removed it before Horatio could complain. "With this sucker?" he asked, holding it up. The man babbled. Horatio took notes. 1 carefully put that and the necklace into a bag Eric came in holding. He wiped his knife off on the guy's pants leg then stared at him. "Pray for Finn to save you. Miami's not pretty like Sunnydale was." They walked out together.
"So, destruction," 2 said. "It'll be fun."
"It will be. Go replace that fan and the filters while I start?"
"Sure." He went to get them while his eviler twin did some dirty work. "Oh, Calleigh, you might remind Horatio that they have a failsafe on the building."
"Already going there," 1 assured him with a wave. "Fuck if I want them to blow up innocents."
"Cool." He beamed and headed out to their car. The guards were still jumpy. He waved at one. "Fixing the AC so they don't have to prop open doors."
"You two are insane," that guard said.
"No, it's helping us calm down. It's like meditation." He grabbed what he needed, including the two tools and headed in there. The guard shut the trunk for him. "Thanks, Bob."
"Welcome, Harris." He went back to his spot.
His boss looked at him. "You're right, they're insane. More than twins insane."
Bob nodded quickly. "Let's hope this time they weren't after them."
Eric came out to get some air. "No, they weren't after them. Though they were heading for the ballistics lab to see if they had plans or anything according to one of the other ones. They were here because we caught one of their operatives doing bad things." He looked at them. "You guys good?" They all nodded. "Good." He went back inside to check in with Horatio. "Did the twins scare you?" he asked him.
"Sometimes but with their past it doesn't surprise me," he admitted. "They were taught to be scary for a reason, mostly to protect others." He looked around. "Where are they?"
"One's fixing the AC, the other's in trace destroying the company. Starting with the failsafe."
"Wonderful." He considered it. "They are contractors....." He called an agent he hated. He'd love to take these people down and it would get him promoted if he could do it. Thereby out of Miami's hair for a change. He met him in front of the building and shared what he knew. His phone got an update from one of the twins. Then from Speed. Who was watching it on tv. They went to that site and it was better. It was their less guarded office area and supply depot. The FBI was not happy when they saw what they had. All the local branch of the FBI wasn't happy for hours on end. Then they went to be not happy in the corporate offices. Fortunately the codes for the failsafe had been changed by the twins. That was just another few charges - having a bomb like that in Miami, trying to set it off to kill the invading agents, and the attempted murder of everyone else within two blocks. Yeah, they weren't happy for *hours* of playing in their files.
Graham walked into the boys' apartment. "All government contractors won reviews thanks to that incident," he reported.
"Not like we're true contractors."
"They want to expand it."
2 looked up. "What are they going to find really?"
"True." He shrugged. "Fair warning and all. That idiot?"
"Jail. You tell Riley?"
"Oh, he so bitched for hours," he assured him with an evil smirk. "He called the guy's wife too so she knew to empty out the accounts and things for the kids." They both smirked at that. "The CPA called. You guys bought the lab stuff to fix the AC?"
"Call it a donation," 2 said with a hand wave.
"She is. Anything I should be aware of?"
"Henri's in town," 2 said
"Charming," he said grimly. "Anything else?"
"Some agent sent us a very nice letter," 1 said, handing it over.
Graham read it over and groaned. "I'll tell them it's not pertinent unless it is." He got sent back to the office by Willow gram. She was being very helpful today so she didn't lose her temper on the weenies that had endangered the twins. He walked out to grab the keys to the corporate car and head over there. He found the agent he wanted, after some trying. "Agent Heralds?"
He looked up and saw someone from a dossier on his desk. "Mr. Miller. Why are you here?" he asked. "I see my letter in your hand."
"Yes, because the boys are letting me handle it for them."
"We do need to know what intel they got from those people."
He stared at him like he was dumb. "Do you think they left any alive?" he asked.
"Yes. They're not trained."
"Yeah," he snorted. "That's why those two, two blondes, a redhead, and a former librarian managed to take down a covert group," he said dryly.
The agent stared at him. "The one you were part of?" Graham nodded. "How did they do that?"
"The boys were part of the team," he said bluntly. "And yes, they're at least partially trained but it's all home grown. I doubt that there's many left alive if any at all, Agent Heralds." He handed the letter back. "For the full records they sealed, ask Mr. Giles in Cleveland for their sealed box. They've had a bad week with the lab assault."
"I heard about that. They were involved?"
"Yes. One was helping with the cell block riot and the other was ...busy with the commandos."
"Oh, I see." He nodded. "I'll start with that source and if I need to know more, I'll talk to them."
"Talk to their boss first. Caine is very protective of his people." He walked off happier. He ran into Sam Finn. "Sam."
"Graham." She smiled. "They pay you that much?" she asked, pointing at the car.
"No, it's the corporate car. I'm bumming today."
"Ah." She smiled and moved closer. "How are the boys? Riley wanted to know."
"They're fine. They helped with that lab assault. They both shrugged when I said that review was going to be extended to cover us too. Pointed out that nothing was going to be found anyway." She nodded at that. "So, we're all good. They're off today. Were sitting on the couch in their boxers watching cartoons when Willow popped me down there."
"That sounds like them, yeah." She patted him on the arm. "Any other good news Riley should hear? We've heard rumors Fielders wants them badly."
"They told me that she tried to alpha dog them and 2 giggled about it. Introduced them to Henri D'Alder." She moaned. "He's down there."
"Wonderful." She patted him again. "You should date more."
"I date plenty, Sam."
"I know a few nice Marines."
"I'm not above fix ups since my last one left a few months back," he admitted with a grin. "Thanks."
"Welcome. Riley wants invited to the next show off weekend so you two can catch up."
"He can take me out to dinner. If he wants to snoop, we're not doing one for another four months. We're in testing."
"I'll let him know." She winked and walked off, going back to the office.
Graham got into the car and took off the bug she had put on his arm. It was sad when your friends did things like that. Homeland had some seriously paranoid people. Maybe they'd take the company to England after all. They'd like Scotland Yard.
1 had heard a bad rumor and chasing it down has made him a bit pissed with the former Blackthorn Inc. Especially the woman who had hired the nice people he was scoping out. They were making it easy today so something was probably up; maybe he could give them some better ideas. He got out of the car and walked over, sitting across from his very professorish looking target and the tough guy next to him. "Easy, spanky, I'm not armed today. I don't hit work for three hours." He put the CD he had carried over, staring at the professorish guy. "On the people who so nicely hired you to deal with us, and the Council. In fact, they were behind the cellblock riot we had a few weeks back, the commando assault on the CSI lab we're interning in, and everyone in a three block radius should be very thankful I hacked their failsafe," he said bluntly. "Because we're not the bad guys here." He stared at him. "I'm open to questions, as is my twin, if this situation is going to become a *situation* but I don't think it will be once you realize who the hell hired you. Henri, leave the nice tough guy with the hair the hell alone."
"He's very pretty," he said.
"I'm very taken," he retorted.
"Pity, I could do much with someone like you. Xander, when will you give in to my desires?"
"Probably not ever. We're moving in about three months." He pouted off. He looked at the guy. "By the way, he's killed about four of his pets," he said quietly. "He's got another ten or so somewhere and isn't above kidnaping. Fair warning." He looked at the other guy. "Were you asked to take out the Council as well?"
"How do you know us?"
"I know Quint."
"Yeah, them." He grinned. "So, Cleveland?"
"They were mentioned as your backers."
"No. They're friends. How long have you been around and how deep?" He got a dirty look for that. "ICW." The man shuddered. "Reformed, the old one got blown up."
"I saw that. Then we heard similar things from other areas with their personnel."
"Which led to my former town having an earthquake and sinkhole, yes." He smirked. "They're much reformed, it's our old team in charge. If they're that bad, we'll handle them. Trust me."
The guy stared at him. "So how does a set of twins, when there's only a record for one live birth between you, learn artillery that way?"
Xander smirked. "That's a longer story and you just had to be there." He stood up and put down a fifty. "Lunch is on me. It's a pretty day so I'm going to bikini scope before work at the lab. If you want to ask questions, go for it. If you still feel the need afterward, well, we've had enemies before. Right now, we seem to have one in Homeland who's making everyone nervous." He shrugged and walked off, getting into his car and driving off.
"How does a guy who wears baggy jeans, ugly shirts, and cheap sneakers afford to drive an Aston-Martin?" the other guy asked.
"They're wealthy thanks to the company. Worth a few mil." He looked at the CD. "We've only heard the proposal about this job."
The other guy nodded. "Yeah, we have. He's clearly got good contacts. What's that group in Cleveland?"
"Don't worry about it for now. Right now, I'm more worried we're being used for revenge." He finished up and they left the money there for the waiter. Saved them some. It was nice of the boy to give them information they could verify and ways to track them back. He walked into the room they were meeting in. "I had the most amusing lunch date with Alex Harris." They all stared at him. He held up the CD and it was taken to be scanned for viruses or anything harmful before it was run. Copies of official reports, which were open to the public if you knew where to look, about the lab assault and the resulting arrest and shut down of Blackthorn Inc. The secretary who had hired them wasn't actually a secretary. She was a wife. Someone had tried to use them. That meant they were fair game. The boys came out a lot cleaner. Strange, some blocked entries, but clean. Not the sort they'd ever have to bother. Not squeaky because they weren't saints, and the trail of serial killers they had turned in proved it.
"How?" the female in the room asked. "I've never seen anyone do that."
"I've heard rumors," the tough guy from earlier offered. "But only that." He sat down to stare at the files.
"Anything off this garden path they led us down?" They looked and shook their heads. The videos that were part of the court case backed it up. They were full and uncut. Statements from those who had pled guilty agreed with the stuff the boy had given them. So they were in the clear this time. They had a new target to play with though.
Xander 1 walked into the lab, pulling on his jacket. "Sorry, bosslady, I forgot to check my watch while I was watching the bikinis of improbable plastic surgery."
She stared at him. "What?"
"I was on South Beach," he said dryly. "Home of the plastic surgery queens of improbable breast size."
"Ah. Yeah, I've stared at them in horror a few times myself."
"I almost drowned myself on the only set of real ones and she looked self conscious so I flirted with her and told her it was nice to see a woman with a real set instead of bags of saline without feelings. She blushed and had to go to class." He grinned.
His twin looked at him. "Naughty you."
"Sloppy clothes," she pointed out.
He looked down then at her. "It's good and I have an overshirt in case I need to hit the field."
She sighed. "You're strange, both of you. Sometimes you look like models and sometimes you look like comic geeks that don't get out of your mother's basement."
They both shrugged. 1 looked at him. "I encouraged Henri to look elsewhere," he told his twin. "Went for one of those we heard about."
"Huh. They okay?"
"Yeah, for now. I warned him he wasn't above kidnaping." 2 nodded at that.
"Henri?" she asked. "Do we know him?"
"Yeah, H does," 2 assured her with a grin. "He likes pets."
She stared at them. "Kidnaping pets?"
"Ah." She sighed. "Illegal?" she pressed.
"We've turned him in before but one of his sons is a state guy," 1 told her. "H knows."
She went to talk to him. "Horatio, this Henri guy?"
He groaned, handing over the files. "We know he has some but all officers sent there have said they want to stay."
"I do not know but we cannot get anyone to intervene. Not even the FBI. Therefore we are watching them."
"He seems to want the twins."
"And if he steals them, we'll go after them, rescue the others even if they don't want it, and arrest him. Until then we cannot do a thing."
"If they take us and you hear, we should've already gotten ourselves free by then," 1 said as he walked in with a folder. "Computer burped and burned." He handed over that pile of paperwork.
"Any idea why?" Horatio asked, taking it from her hand. "Attacked or anything?"
Xander shook his head. "Nope. Not that I could tell." He shrugged. "It burped, literally, then started to smoke." He walked out. "Anyone else having computer problems?" he called. "Let Horatio know."
"I thought ours was a bit slow," Eric complained. He went to get Horatio to let him see it. A few more made burping noises and went down.
"Aw, crap!" AV called. "We're virused," he announced. "Let me trace it back." He got into the laptop Calleigh handed him but Xander took it back and handed him 2's. "Thanks." He got into the hacking programs with a smirk. "There was not a chance you two couldn't do it."
1 shrugged, then grinned. "A bit, not very much. Mine has other stuff you shouldn't see though." He set it up and started the super virus protections that they had. "Good, let's work," he told his twin. Who handed over the bullet to compare. They got it hooked to the microscope and got back to work. That would work for them for now.
Calleigh came in, giving them an odd look. "You guys have laptops with the ballistics comparison software?"
"Yeah, and database access," 2 said smugly, smirking at her. "We need it for work, but we only usually subscribe to the lesser databases." She just nodded at that, then walked off shaking her head. At least her lab wasn't fully down.
Horatio came in a few hours later, handing over the laptop. "Thank you, boys."
"Welcome," they said in unison. They both grinned and he walked off happier. Someone was in trouble and he hated that group leftover from Blackthorn.
2 walked up to the lab where he was going to be interviewing later. A car roared by with people shooting out the windows at the sky. Officers ran after them. Some went for cars. 2 looked and pulled his gun, shooting the tire. The car skidded, turning onto its side then tipping over and skidding some more. He looked at the people staring at him. "Hi, CSI Harris, I'm supposed to interview. Should I start with that scene there?" He put the gun back.
The detectives out there stared at him. "Harris?" the blond guy asked.
"Yeah, one of us. My twin is waylaid in court and will be up tonight. We called ahead about that snafu but the defense attorneys are more stupid than usual today." He shrugged. "Not our fault."
"That happens up here." The other, dark haired, detective, stared at him. "So, you're what field?"
"Figures," he sighed, walking off. "Yeah, start there with your coworker and I'll get Mac down." He went to call him. "One of a set of twins is here to interview. On the scene outside the door. With Danny." He hung up. Mac Taylor walked out, staring at the scene. "The car decided to drive by with their guns firing into the air. The patrol guys did what they're supposed to do. They ran for the cars, followed the idiots. Harris.... Did anyone tell us he was Rambo?"
"That's my brother," Xander called. "I'm the happier one."
Mac blinked, nodding. "Horatio said they were very good at what they do." He walked over there. "Harris." He grinned and wiggled his fingers then went back to gathering shells that had spilled out. "When you're done, we'll interview."
"Yes, sir." He stared up at the sky, grimacing. "That's not good. Someone's going to get my twin up their nose." He shook his head quickly. "They just shot him. Not too bad so probably a graze. He'll beat them to near-death and it'll be fine." He got back to work.
"You two are those freaky bonded sort of twins?" Danny asked.
"Slightly but only when we're in danger." He grinned. "He's the better fighter."
"I'll keep that in mind if we're jumped," Danny decided. That one just smirked. "Where are you two interning?"
"Miami under Horatio. He arranged our interview early because a well known human pet keeper was trying to be more bothersome than usual."
Mac coughed, then nodded at Danny's look. "I did hear that story. When you're finished with the shells, come see me."
"Thank you." He walked off to get reports on what had happened. No one could shoot out tires, could they? Not without a rifle and a scope? Especially with an eye missing.
Horatio put the phone on speaker. "Mac, I have Calleigh and the other twin with me. Since we've rescued him from the standoff in the courthouse."
"His twin felt that," he said. "I have the other twin here."
"We got told rumors of a problem?" Calleigh asked.
"No, no problem. He stopped some happy people shooting guns by flipping their car."
"Go us," Xander 1 said dryly. "I had people who wanted to get free *really* badly. I'm fine though."
"I know," his twin said. "They all back? Need me to come back and help with the manhunt?"
"We have all but one and everyone in Miami knows what he looks like," Calleigh promised. "We'll be sitting a uniform on your house tonight, Alex."
"Okay." He was smiling. "Remember the mini tank," he told his twin.
"I am. The new one even." He shifted and winced a bit. "Anyway, do I need to come up and interview as well, Mr. Taylor?"
"Not if you're anything like your twin."
"We're very much alike, most of the time."
"Good to know." He coughed. "How dangerous are you two in the clubs and things?"
"Depends on who tries us this time," 2 admitted. "I try very hard just to get laid."
Mac snickered. "Not what I was asking. How many serial killers, Horatio?"
"Only two down here and one's been annoying, which is why I sent him up early."
"I heard about him."
"Henri does take very good care of his pets, but sometimes he has to break the new ones extra hard we guess," 1 told him. "Then again, even if he does capture us, he's not getting any fun with us. We'll kill him and his whole staff before we give in."
"Like he did with the pirates," 2 agreed.
"Pirates, like on a ship?" a male voice up there that no one immediately recognized asked.
"Pirates, like we were in Africa," 2 told him.
"So like bringing down barges, has major weapons, pirates?" that male asked.
"Yeah. He got a bit pissed when they decided white guys shouldn't be there."
"Okay then," he said and the sound of a door closing.
Mac snickered. "Don will get used to you two."
"Hopefully. We want a good working relationship with our coworkers. I know we freak some out just because we're twins and that's usually amusing but still."
"Or the fact that we design weapons," Xander 1 agreed. "Speaking of, has anyone in Homeland come to freak out on you yet?" he asked.
"Twice today. I've sent them off saying I'd rather have it here where we could protect it."
"We had plans of moving the company outside the city by about an hour," 2 said. "Put up that nice building for show, because the lab is still going to be grungy, and do all that nice stuff the generals nag about because we aren't putting up a good front for them. They think we should be all shiny and showing off our assets," he said dryly. "We have clothes to meet them in, because making new weapons is sweaty work."
"And the new corporate mobile that Graham said isn't all that he expected. He said he expected a smoother engine and things," 1 added.
"It is pretty," 2 agreed.
Mac was smiling, you could hear it in his voice. "I guess that's like stars having to dress up for red carpet events for you guys."
"Maybe but I can't pound out things in the foundry in a suit," 1 said dryly. "I barely wear a tank top."
"Me either. Some things we can cast mold but you're still working with molten metal. It's hot and sweaty work."
"I'd assume it was," Mac agreed. "Horatio, when are they done with your city?"
"Wonderful. We could probably use them in about eight. That would give them time to set up things and start looking for a business address as well."
Xander 1 coughed. "I emailed it to my less evil clone up there earlier. Nice building, used to belong to a computer maker so it's got security we only need to upgrade. Has lab areas already and we can switch out a few areas for the safe vault and other things."
"I'll look at it later. Did you buy it?"
"No. I did put in a heavy suggestion with the reality company. It's an hour and ten minutes away from our new apartment, which I did buy thank you."
"You already knew?" Mac asked.
"We are twins," he said dryly, smirking some. "I felt him being happy. I didn't figure he had found someone to hit on..... So I made the logical conclusion."
"That's good to note," Mac said. "How telepathic are you two?"
"More so in dangerous situation. Now and then I'll get a spike of feeling."
"Huh. So that's how he knew you had been grazed?"
"Yeah, I got a bit pissed at them. I'm still really sorry about the courtroom brawl, Horatio, and that I opened the door to tell SWAT to come collect the minions that way. I didn't mean to scare them. Next time I'll yell."
"That's all right, Xander. They liked that you handled it on your own. Also that you only had to fire one shot while grabbing the gun from the idiot who got you."
"He saw that I wasn't crying and screaming over the flesh wound and pulled me up to menace by trying to top me. Didn't work and as soon as he got close enough in a good position he was sorry." He smiled a good boy grin.
"I saw the tapes. SWAT did as well and said you did a very nice job rendering them obsolete today."
Calleigh moaned. "Next time, get backup," she said with a swat.
He stared at her. "Why? I didn't really need any and none came running even though we were in the courthouse. Where were the guards and things?" She gaped. He stared back. "I expected guards to come in at the gunshot. None did. That's why I went looking and found SWAT trying to come in. The other officer is all right, right, Horatio?"
"He's fine. His new concussion is very nice and keeping him there overnight. He did say he was sorry he couldn't provide more backup. He wondered the same thing actually. And said that you move in scary ways as he put it." Xander beamed at that compliment.
"How long did you two spend in Africa?" Mac asked.
"About ten months," 2 told him. "We were down there training some young women for some friends of ours. It gave us time to grieve, heal, and all that. Of course, Africa is dangerous. One village we were in nearly got invaded. A few did get invaded. One was in Somalia so we had her moved to Morocco. A few to Egypt. A few more further south. We ran into a few slavers who wanted people for prostitution and things. Who we killed with all due intent and prejudice after taking back the ones they kidnaped. We ran into the pirates twice, well he ran into the pirates twice. They kept thinking he was an aid worker and he wasn't." He shifted. "We ran into a few other problems here and there. Mostly natural from animals and the terrain."
"We are fantastic trackers. We upped that skill by tons while there," 1 agreed.
"Wow," Mac said. "So you're probably not fully trained for military maneuvers, but at least partially trained to protect and hold a target?"
"And a bit more," 2 agreed. "He's still a bit better than that. He's got our temper and the Rambo side. I'm the lover of the two of us," he said with a grin. "He's the evil one and I'm the wicked and plotting one if they upset us too much."
"Good to know," Mac said. "How Rambo?"
"That one got taken hostage, and Xander created a very... messy rescue," Horatio told him. "Without backup on purpose that time."
"They stole my twin, they wanted me too. Hell yes I went without involving the PD, Horatio. It was conspiracy idiots. And there were only about sixteen on the boat."
Mac sighed. "That's good to remember. Up here, I'm a former Marine, boys. I can and will back you up as long as it's legal and you need rescued."
"Sure," 2 agreed.
"If we can," 1 agreed.
"Try," Mac ordered. "Horatio, you'll handle sending me all the forms?"
"Of course. I know we'll miss them down here. They have brought a lot of life to the lab. They even helped straighten out one of my more senior people and a group of interns."
"Gagging at the whore patrol made them see that they were scuzzy, not alluring," Xander 1 said with a small shrug. He shifted again.
"Take something for that," 2 ordered.
"I have. It's barely a scratch."
"Your barely a scratch or mine?" 2 asked.
"Alexx's barely a scratch," Calleigh said. "The numbing stuff is probably wearing off."
"That's fine. We probably have some in the first aid kit at home."
"Probably," 1 agreed. "I remember stocking it."
"Good! Did you put our house on the market?"
"Yup. In ten weeks. That way we can clean up, get all that rental stuff back, and finish off that last bathroom in the house."
"Next week. Tuesday, Horatio. One of us has to be there."
"That's fine. We can work that out."
"Wonderful," Mac agreed. "I'll see you both in about eight weeks then." A few paper sounding things flipped. "The second, nine?" They checked their phones.
"Doable," 2 agreed.
"Sure," 1 agreed. "If the court case the day before isn't an idiot."
"That's something we all understand," Mac promised. "Just let me know if it becomes a problem."
"He has to testify," 2 said smugly. "I come off very hard and a bit vindictive on the stand so they like him to do it more." He cackled. "The first one he told their hamster wheels kept getting stuck when they stared at him oddly."
Mac snickered. "I can see that and the prosecutors will love that. They'll call down there to make sure anything interesting is heard in advance."
"We have copies of the name change paperwork," 1 promised. "That way they can't be as confused as the first one."
"That's fine, boys. See me on the second. Tonight, have *safe* fun. Please wait until you're full time to draw more serial killers, Alex."
"Yes, sir," he said, sounding happy. "See you soon, clone me."
"Yup, have good pizza and scope the new apartment. I sent you the addy as well."
"Cool beans." They hung up and the ones in Miami smirked at each other. Xander had found the apartment during the wait to be questioned by IAB. It had been amusing listening to his comments about what New York considered an apartment.
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