Demon Criminal Investigative Services: Geeky Things.
Abby watched the cargo handlers pulling out the SUV that was loaded with all their stuff, tipping the one doing the driving. "Guys," she called. "It's down!" They came down off the plane buttoning the nicer shirts she had them put on. Still in jeans but nicer shirts would be good enough. It's not like they were Secret Service or FBI. They didn't have to look uptight. "Who's driving?"
"I'll drive, you navigate," Dean told her. She nodded, handing over the keys the handler had given her. They waved at the pilot, who tossed down a bag before going to check over their plane. Xander caught the bag and tossed it into the back of the SUV, opening Abby's door for her. Then he got into the back and buckled in. Tony had chosen some comfortable SUV's for them to buy so it was all good for rush hour traffic on the beltway. "Where are we staying?"
"Gibbs' house so we can check on it and the boat for him." Dean nodded, heading for the exit while their plane taxied to the fuel station. "We landed here because it's closer. Otherwise we'd have to travel across the city to get there and it's nasty this time of day." She pointed. "Go that way so we can pick up dinner?" Dean nodded, doing as ordered. She smiled. "You two could relax. It's not like I'm going to feed you to the scientists who want to look at this stuff."
"We're here to guard you," Xander reminded her.
"I lived here for years and you guys can be happy bodyguards," she promised, smirking at Dean. "Maybe get in some sightseeing?"
"Danny gave us stuff to give to Reid," Xander said.
"We can find him. Garcia wanted to look at some of this stuff and she's their computer goddess." They smiled at that. "Grocery store." They pulled in and she ran inside to get something to eat for dinner and beer. Plus a few sodas for them in the morning. She came out with the three bags and got back in, pointing the way for Dean to take. They'd be fine, even if Xander or Dean might have a routine freak out over the patent stuff.
Abby beamed at the man there to look at their things. He handled patent law cases and could file for them without them having to be exposed. "Here you are. Guys, where's the last thing?" she called.
"Fixing the broken wire," Dean called back. He brought it in a minute later. "Here you go, Abby."
"Is that like from the movie?" he asked dryly.
Dean turned it on then fired at the wall with an evil smirk. "It works too." He turned it off and went back to guarding with Xander.
She nodded. "We got possessed by the spirits of some of Xander's friends who were ubergeeks and they had us build stuff they had wanted to." She lit the light saber, making him moan. "Exactly." She turned it off. "Go ahead and drool. I know most of these are mentioned in other copyrighted works but these are working models with plans."
"That would let you get your own copyright," he agreed.
"Us. Even if they don't realize it."
He smiled. "Fine. The three of you then." He looked over each thing, pulling out the plans to look at them and the forms to go with them. He corrected one entry and moved on to the next instrument. He held it up. "It's a what?"
"That is a heat sink for a new water splitting energy producing machine those two developed." She got the plans. "This is fully classified. It's being tested on a secret military base. That's to take care of the heat issue since it puts off a good amount of heat."
He hummed, reading over the plans. The heat sink itself was a bit different and new as far as he knew. He got done and nodded, signing the forms. "They'll want to look at the prototypes."
"That's why we're here," she said, bouncing some. "That and so I can brag to some of my fellow lab geeks."
He nodded. "Let me file these today, Miss Scuito." He shook her hand, walking outside to shake their hands. "Good work, gentlemen. Give me a few days to hear from the head of the patent office about your work." He walked off.
"Abby?" Dean called. "Did he just say what I think he did?"
She leaned out. "Yes, Dean. You did some of the work, you get credit," she said dryly. "Or blame but this isn't a blame situation."
"Dad's going to freak," Dean said, slumping in his chair.
She beamed. "He said normally he would but he's so darn proud of you that he arranged for you to come with us." She patted him on the head. "Breathe, Xander. You have to breathe before you pass out." She came over to help him since he was hyperventilating. Dean got her something to help him calm down by breathing into. Xander kept shaking his head. "It's all right."
"No it's not!" he nearly wailed.
"Yes it is."
"No! I'm grunt support, donut guy, hunting down vamps guy, not...patent guy!" he finished.
She huffed, petting him gently. "It's all right. We know you're more than that."
He gave her an odd look, shaking his head. "No I'm not!"
"Yes you are," Dean said firmly. "Not even I can get away with as dumb as you play now and then, Xander, and if you don't quit putting yourself down I'm telling Faith."
Xander huffed. "She'd agree!"
Dean called her, putting it on speaker. "Speak to the Goddess of Slaying," Faith quipped.
"Faith, me, Xander, and Abby," Dean told her. "Xander thinks he's too dumb to have his name on the patents."
"Boytoy, shut up!" she ordered. "You're not stupid. If you were, you would've died back in the big sitch at grad. Now, quit! Be a man, Xander, not a whimpering little boy."
"Hey!" Abby complained. "He has low self esteem."
"Yeah, because B and the others thought he was stupid. If he was, they would've all died. Some guys are street smart, which Xander is. The same as Dean is. Do not make me come back to the base to smack you, X. I will. You know I will."
"We're in DC after meeting with a patent lawyer," Abby told her.
"Way to go!" she praised, sounding happy. "Cor just managed to do a backflip."
"Congrats," Xander said.
"Cor, Xander said congrats, munchkin." She squealed and came closer. "Here, you tell Xander he's not stupid and his name does belong on those patents, even if he was possessed."
"Xander, quit being a poop. You built them even if Andrew and Jonathan did come up with the ideas before they died. They could've possessed anyone. They chose you instead of someone like Charlie so behave and be happy about it." She hung up on them.
"See?" Abby said. "She's not only a wise young lady but a slayer too." Dean put his phone back. "Danny is *very* proud of you two." She gave them a hug.
"Getting noticed is bad," Xander told her.
"Not like they print new patents in the newspaper, Xander. We're only going to let the geek gods I know look at them. We won't tell them your part." She sighed when he and Dean both nodded. "Fine." She moved to call her buddies. "We're done and they're calm. That's where we are. Because a few can be dangerous if they're in the wrong hands," she said cheerfully. "Thanks. Sure, bring lunch if you want." She hung up and went to fuss the files back into order.
Dean nudged Xander. "I agree. Notice makes the job harder," he said quietly. Xander looked at him. "We'll get through it. It's not like it'll be published and there's every chance they'll turn us down because of the way we got the ideas."
Xander nodded. "I hope so."
"I'm pretty certain. No one really wants to see a working light saber in the military's hands."
Xander smirked. "Jedi Marines?"
"Could be." He nudged him and nodded. "Don't you have stuff for him?"
"I do but it's in the car." Spenser Reid stopped to stare at them, grinning slightly. "Danny sent you stuff but I left it in the car."
"Nope." He walked out with him. "You were coming to see Abby's stuff?"
"All three of your stuffs? I was. I heard you guys have made some really interesting toys that any geek should love." He leaned closer. "How much to get a working light saber?" he hissed in the elevator.
Xander grinned. "Have to ask Dean. That's his baby."
"I can do that." He showed his pass to the guard on the doorway. "Getting something from the car." They walked out and Xander found the files for him, handing them over so he could relock the SUV and walk back inside with him. They flashed their passes on the way back to the elevator.
"You two are just perfect!" a female voice shouted.
Xander instinctively reached for his weapon. Spenser gave her a look like she was a creature. "Lady, back away from our profiler," Xander ordered.
"Oooh, pshya. I'm harmless." She smiled at them. "I am in charge of our fundraising effort for charity this year at the bureau."
Spenser shrugged a bit. "I donate quite well on my own. Thank you for letting us know who to go to."
She laughed. "Not like that. We're doing a charity calendar to show the normal people that we're normal, average people as well. You two are both so adorable. I'll have you signed up."
"I'm not FBI," Xander told her.
She shrugged. "It'll be good for whichever agency you are."
"Um, no," Spenser said. "Thank you anyway, but I don't want to be used as a piece of meat to recruit more people to the bureau." He pushed the elevator's button. "I'm sure you can find one of the more muscular, pinheaded agents to fill the pages."
"We have plenty of those but not enough of the smart types."
"Lady, what part of no thank you didn't you get?" Xander demanded, hand still on his service piece. "We're not interested."
"I can make it so your director makes you, young man."
"I doubt my director wants me to look like some sleazy tramp in a pinup calendar. He encourages us to use our minds, not sleep around for intel." She blushed. "Beyond that, only evil women want me. Why do you want to flood the bureau with the sort of women who like to bomb malls to get attention?"
Spenser looked at him. "I heard about that incident. Seven wasn't it?"
"Two with bombs," Xander agreed. She moaned. He glared. "We're not meat locker material, lady." They got onto the elevator and went back up to the meeting room. "Bitch," he muttered.
Spenser grinned, going back to reading. "I have no idea why she wanted me. I'm skinny, nerdy, and have bad hair. The only thing I don't have on the geek trifecta of ugliness is zits. Thank God I got rid of those."
Xander nodded. "I've got some muscles but still not my thing. Even if I did strip that one summer when my car broke down."
"I remember seeing that in the background when I did your psych profile."
Xander made a whining noise. "Why?" he demanded.
"Someone higher up wanted one. They relented when Jackson chewed them a new one." They got off and walked down the hall. "Hey, Garcia, there's a meat puller's calendar coming out of the bureau?"
She beamed and nodded. "They say it's for charity. For the next hurricane's victims and so we can look more upbeat so we recruit more."
He snorted. "And yet they wanted me."
She cooed, pinching his cheek. "You'd be adorable."
"I'd be embarrassed," he corrected. They walked into the room to look at the goodie toys, him moving next to Dean. "Xander said to ask you. How much for a working light saber?"
Dean grinned. "There's a spare one on the base for Jack but we can make another for about three hundred."
"Deal." He shook his hand and went to look at the other toys. "Wow. Is that a nuclear accelerator?"
"Proton," Xander said, sitting down. "She wanted me and him to be the gay pinups."
Dean snorted. "You're both cute but I wouldn't buy a calendar with you in it, Xander. I can go raid the slayer dorm if I want naked pictures."
Xander gave him an odd look. "You keep walking in on me when I'm in the shower, Dean. I wasn't so sure you weren't trying to peek," he teased back.
Dean smirked, shaking his head. "Nope. Just looking for sweets."
"He is very sweet," Abby reminded them.
"Uh-huh, but not my sort of sweet," Dean teased.
She gaped then shook her head so hard her pigtails stung where they hit her. "No, Dean. You two would be *good* together." She bounced off to get the others to help her with that plan, and to do some recruiting of course. She couldn't pass up the opportunity to recruit for her labs.
"Hotch said if you try to steal Garcia he's paddling you," Spenser told her, not looking up from his reading. Garcia swatted him. "Hey!"
"Every woman wants to be courted for some reason, Spens."
He grinned. "We know how magnificent you are, Garcia. We don't want to lose you. Who else would brighten our lives during the bad cases and pick on Derek?"
"Good point." She looked at Abby. "Can I bring my boys?"
"If you can talk Daniel into it," she agreed. "We can probably use a few new agents."
Spenser gave her a look. "They'd kill us all if we suggested that. None of them want to deal with the strange stuff you guys do daily out there, Abby."
She shrugged but she was smiling. "We're special agents for special reasons," she quipped, cracking the others up. "Did you guys hear that I'm getting Area 51 and NID under my labcoat?"
Garcia gave her an odd look. "That isn't a reason to celebrate, Abby dear."
"Yes it is. Daniel's having a team go through to weed out the assholes with power trips," Xander told her. She stared then moaned. He smirked. "I only get bad girls, Garcia. Are you that naughty?"
"No, she's not," Spenser said. She swatted him. "Ow!" He glared at her. "He attracts women who have bad plans, like bombs and world take over events. You can be naughty but not that bad."
"I guess that's a compliment," she pouted. Xander gave her a pat on the arm. "So, give! Why are you guys in?"
"Patent lawyer she suckered us into dealing with," Dean said grimly.
Spenser smirked at him. "Better that than a beefcake calendar."
"Not really. Hunters who get notoriety get dead from the fame," Dean shot back.
"Ah, but you have a better calling," Abby reminded him, trying to sound wise. "Who else could teach the girls?"
"Point," he muttered.
She gave Garcia a hug. "You should come out. You could have all sorts of girls to look up to you like a big sister. I do."
"They don't look up to the older ones?" one of the other lab geeks asked.
"The newly called older ones are..." Xander said, searching for the right word.
"Uptight," Dean said. Xander nodded and pointed. "They're stiff, they're good in their usual fields but the girls haven't really bonded since the older ones tend to be more creeped out by the younger slayer squad and how easy they picked up the mentality they need to survive. We have a few who can't manage to slay anything even when it's attacking them. We've only passed ten into field readiness out of the new seventy-four."
"And three decided to take their first three self defense lessons to start a bar brawl at a demon bar," Xander added.
"Ah," they all sighed and nodded. They had agents who were like that around them.
The woman from earlier stomped in. "There you are! That was rude! I have mandatory compliance letters here," she said, handing Xander one.
"Lady, I'm not FBI. I'm not going to cooperate."
"You will or I'll have your director suspend you."
He held out his phone. "It's the second speed dial." She gaped. "By the way, I'm DCIS. I'm not even in DC. We're selective in our recruiting and I'll be damned if I want the sort of women who hunt me to come join *your* bureau because I doubt they'd want to protect anyone's asses."
She swallowed. "DCIS?" He smirked and nodded. "Well, your director will have to comply. Ours said so and so did Homeland."
"We're not under Homeland," Abby told her. "Beyond that, it's a cheesy idea."
"You have to be! Or one of the military units! You do defense contractors!"
"No, we're the DCIS that deals with demons," Xander corrected smugly. "Do you want to come deal with goo and slime?" She shuddered, backing away a step. "I'm not going to be part of your calendar. I don't care if God herself comes down to tell me to do it." She whimpered. "Now, do you mind? Abby's showing off new geek toys to other geeks to make everyone happy for the afternoon. You're busting the happy mood."
She sniffed. "You will comply. I'll make sure of it." She spotted Dean. "You'd do as well."
"I'm not a Fed, lady. I'm ISC."
"What's that?" she asked impatiently. "I'm sure I can talk to your director as well."
"International Slayers Council. Which means you'd get a hundred slayers down your throat for touching their trainer." She moaned like she was getting off. "Go. Away. We're not going to participate in whatever plan this is. We're a bit more paranoid."
She huffed. "We'll see." She spotted Spenser and walked over to him. "Here. Your director signed it."
He gave her a look that should've told her to run. "You touch me with that paper and I'm filing a sexual harassment complaint against you, and then a lawsuit against the agency. I'm not going to risk my professional credentials to do some perverted, juvenile excuse for masturbation and fantasy relief. If people want to see me that unclothed, they can come ask me for a date. Since they don't... I'm guessing I wouldn't have the draw you need. Other than that." He pointed at the form. "That cannot make me comply. I can have that removed today."
Xander hummed and called. "Danny, Xander. We have some heaving fangirl here who wants Spenser, myself, and Dean to do a beefcake calendar for the FBI. Can't I just hit her and throw her out a window?" He grumbled at the concise orders. "But, Danny!" He sighed. "Thanks, Danny." She gave him a smug look so he hung up. "I'm not allowed to beat you senseless and throw you out a window. I'm only allowed to do one of those. Dr. Jackson said we will not be participating because we don't want that sort of attention on our agency. If you don't like it, take it up with the president." He snapped her picture and forwarded it to him. "That way he knows who to reference when he calls to complain to your director." She huffed off. He looked at Spenser. "Call your boss?"
"I'll tell him on the way back," he said with a grin. "I'm not giving up what little respect I have to be some girl's wet dream." He went back to reading. "Why did I need these? They're demonic."
"They're a cult, but they're sucking in humans to kill them. We figured you could use it since your team got one of them the other day," Xander told him.
"We can have you brief the team on the way back. That okay with you, Abby?"
"Of course," she said happily. "We can load the car first." They nodded and a few made begging faces while petting things. "There's a few spares around the office but some of those are too powerful and will end up classified." One geek was petting the proton accelerator. "That one especially. If your boss agrees, we wouldn't mind letting them have a working copy to test the destructive power of. We had a lot of fun doing that."
"Then Xander had too much chocolate and fixed the holes we created," Dean said, grinning at her. "We need a testing area."
"We have one," Xander said. "None of us want to hike stuff out there in the snow. We need to add to the tunnel system." She nodded at that. "Guys, get in one last pet." They did that and helped load everything back onto the cart so they could haul it down to the SUV. He pulled the guard with them. "These things are going to end up classified. Some have weapons potential." He shuddered. Xander turned on the light saber and used it to trim a long thread off his hat. Then he pointed. The guy moaned. "Understood?" That got a nod. "Good. We'll be with the BAU teams for a few minutes. Call there if something happens please. This is DCIS property."
"Defense contractors?" he asked hopefully.
Xander smirked. "Didn't see me after the dragons?"
"Well, yeah, but I had hopes."
"So do I some days. Sometimes it's even too strange for me." The guard nearly cried at that. "Make sure no one steals stuff for us?"
"Yes, sir." They walked off, Xander slipping Spenser the light saber. The boy was in major lust over it.
Abby gave him an odd look. "What if we need a working copy?"
"We can have Spenser bring it in. He does work with us so he should get to play with the toys."
"I guess." She gave Spenser a hug once they were in the elevator. "You cannot destroy things with it. I got yelled at for that. Even Rodney pouted that I got to destroy stuff with it."
"I think the crystal turned," Dean said, taking it to tinker with while they got through security. He turned it on and nearly fried Garcia so he turned the crystal some more, putting it back to the single beam. He grinned as he handed it over.
"A very phallic weapon," Hotch said dryly.
Xander beamed. "Big boys need big toys. Especially after the heaving bitch decided we three need to be her wet dream calendar showboys."
Hotch gave him an odd look. "I heard a rumor about that."
Spenser handed over Xander's copy of the compliance letter. "She tried. I told her I'd file sexual harassment complaints and sue." He walked past him, turning it off and petting it. "We have files on the cult that's killing people."
"Demonic?" Morgan asked.
Xander nodded. "'Fraid so but the locals won't believe it and tried to shoot at us when we came in."
"We got one of their folders they think," Spenser said.
"I remember seeing a cult case," Hotch admitted, going to find it. He came out waving it. "Here it is." They compared it. "How do we deal with the demons?"
"Bashing their skulls in works for us," Dean said. "Or lighting them on fire."
"Without killing them," Spenser said, giving him a look. "We arrest here too."
"Pity. I hate these things." He looked at Xander. "You wanted to use tear gas."
"It'd get the humans out of their compound," Xander agreed. "The demons are cold blooded so cold air. Fire extinguishers maybe." They nodded at that. "We're still doing some research on that part. Thomas was supposed to text me when he had it. Should be within a few hours."
"We're at Gibbs' house checking on the boat for him," Abby said as she walked out of Garcia's office. "Xander, I think she's your sort of woman."
"Clearly if she can't take a hint. Anya couldn't either," he said. He sighed. "I've got to call her later."
Dean gave him an odd look. "No you don't."
"Yeah I do. She said so."
"The girls said they'd hunt her down and marry you off," Dean countered. Xander gave him a dirty look. Dean stared back. "They will, dude."
"No they won't. They're worried Anya's going to warp me. They'll calm down about it." She finally made it through the security station and he shook his head. "Some people need hit by the clue bus. That cult leader is one."
"Is he controlling the people who shot at you?" Morgan asked.
Xander shrugged. "We don't think they can do that. Sam and Thomas say they don't have any sort of controlling ability beyond being persuasive and good in bed to their cult members that they're feeding off the energy of."
"Your director will have to comply," she said in a snotty voice, holding out the letter. Xander pulled his service piece and pointed it at her. She wet herself. "What are you doing?"
"It's pretty clear you're either demonic, in thrall to a demon, or a threat to the US and my personal safety, lady. They're the only sort of women who like me the way you appear to. In my service piece are blessed silver, holy water hollow point bullets. If you are demonic, they will end you," he said matter of factly but didn't sound angry, upset, or huffy to his ears. Which was what he was going for. "If you're just in thrall, killing you will probably backlash that demon, who will be considered a threat to the US because she or he is tainting agents to use for his or her own agenda.
"If you're simply evil, it'll be better to end you now, before your evil plan starts to hurt others. If you are demonic, we can arrest you. If you're in thrall, Dean might be able to save you by cutting the bonds you have. If you're simply evil, I'd beg the agents in here to save your pathetic ass and admit to your plans so they can stop anything that's gotten beyond the planning stage." She let out a whimper. "Ten seconds," he said, sounding bored. She crapped herself then slowly backed away. "Five." She ran to Morgan and babbled at him. He put his gun back and put his shirt back down over his holster. "Knew you were evil." He looked at Spenser. "And hey, no more plans to enthrall all the women in DC."
"Xander," he moaned, shaking his head. "I knew you were going to do something like that but really!"
"Don't do it in the building next time," Hotch said. "Please?"
Xander shrugged. "Only if I'm attacked."
"That's fine. We'll back you up for that." Xander grinned sweetly. "Are you sure he's sane, Spenser?"
"Most of the time. It's just the evil bitch league that drives him to extremes unless there's another apocalypse or someone hurts someone he protects, like a slayer."
"Good to know."
"I can't believe they made you profile me," Xander complained.
"It's the most fun I've had in *years*, Xander. The possessions, the bad childhood, the hunting and the combat trauma? I had a lot of fun working up your profile. It's really thick too. You should be proud. You took me longer than the last sexual significance killer trying to make an obscure literary fantasy come true. I even included a part to show what would've snapped you to put you on our caseload if you had went evil yourself."
Xander blushed. "Gee, Spenser, you sound like we should go have dinner," he joked lightly, trying not to be embarrassed.
"If I swung your way, I would," he said with a grin. Xander nodded, sighing a bit. "Too bad I'm straight."
"Very," Dean agreed. "The slayers would like that." Guards came in. "It's all right, guys. It's handled. She's confessing."
"Sir, can I see your pass?" one of them asked Xander. He handed it and his ID case over. He got a horrified look. "DCIS?"
"Yup, tis me," he said dryly. "And ISC."
"Oh, shit, you're him," one muttered. "Is she demonic?"
"Evil and trying to start a world takeover bid with a cheesy calendar," Abby told him. "Xander gave her the choice to confess. She's doing good with it."
The guards nodded, calling their boss to let him know what had happened. Their boss said to leave it alone and let the profilers handle it so they did. One looked at Xander. "What sort of load do you guys carry?"
"I'm trying out our new multipurpose bullet. Usually we'd carry blessed silver or holy water hollow point ones. This is a combination of them." He pulled his gun to show off a bullet once he had ejected the clip. "It's only a tiny bit of holy water but a little bit goes a long way with most demons who're doing bad things." He grinned. "It's a bitch to mass produce but they're very handy."
Dean nodded. "Very. Him, me, and my dad all worked on those. Getting the bubble for the holy water is a pain in the ass."
The guards looked it over. "Can we talk to your armory people about getting special loads in case we're invaded?" the more senior one asked.
"Sure! We make them by the case," Xander told him. "Or we can tell the local armorer how to make them. Our current guy's name is Glen." He took a notepad to write down the number. "That's the armory's direct line so you can talk to him and get specs. You guys can keep that one. I've got a spare clip in case we're attacked since we came up with semi- classified geek toys." Spenser lit up his light saber. "Like the laser application there." They moaned, one drooling. Xander grinned. "Dean makes those. We're seeing if they can help slayers."
"Wow," one of them said. "Thanks, Agent Harris. We'll try to keep them off you here in the building."
"Next time I'll warn better," he promised with a goofy, good boy grin. "I'm sorry I caused some paranoia. I'm really edgy about my personal security sometimes."
"It's understandable with who you are and what you deal with," the second guard said. They left to tell their boss about the bullets and how to get in touch with their armory. The FBI would be on the front lines if something happened in DC. They might need them.
"Nice save," Hotch mouthed. Xander just grinned and put his gun back again, fastening down the strap. "Warn us too?"
Xander nodded. "I can do that." He grinned at Spenser. "You sure about dinner?"
"We can have dinner but don't expect it to get past that, Xander. Sorry, still straight."
"Pity. I could use someone to offset my lack of brains." Abby swatted him. "Hey!"
"Shut up, Xander. You're very smart. Even if you aren't my level or Sammy's level of smart you're still very people and demon smart." She gave him a cuddle. "Though, I agree. We'll be hunting down Anya if you two take up together again." She let him go and bounced over to go over what they knew about the demons in the cult with them. The lab had gotten a few pieces of evidence and it was pointing at some weaknesses that the guys may not have thought of.
Dean pointed. "See? If even the nice one will hunt her down..."
Xander rolled his eyes. "She's not bad, Dean."
Dean snorted. "I don't care if she is or not. It looks bad for the second in command of the ISC to be dating a vengeance demon, whose sole purpose in life is to make others miserable for making mistakes."
"You'd rather I date an evil woman?" Xander asked dryly.
"Xander, I don't care if you date evil girls, evil guys, or evil slayers. Just don't date Anya! You kept us all up after the last time. And yes, I heard her sneak in after that chocolate incident." Abby gave him an odd look. "I did. They kept me up. Why were you in the office anyway?"
"Sam put demon warding marks on my bed."
"Good! I'll have to put them around the rest of your place. I swear, we're going to set you up with someone who'll be good to the girls."
"Anya was good to Dawn."
"Now she's back to work and she probably won't be good to the slayers."
"Whatever," Xander said, walking off shaking his head.
"It's to the right, Xander," Spenser called after him. He waited until he was out of sight and hearing range. "Don't let him catch you calling John. He'll turn it into a fight before walking off because he feels the trust is broken."
"I have more subtlety," Dean promised. He smirked at Abby, who grinned back but got back to going over results with them. Xander came back from the bathroom and had information from Sam and Thomas on his voicemail. Letting them listen to it helped and Daniel said they could have some DCIS agents as backup.
John took the paper Sam was holding up as he walked behind him, reading it over. "How are we stopping her?"
"We extended the wards from the prison up here. Dawn and Phoebe did it together. There's no demon teleporting out for a mile around the base," Sam said. "I added some warding runes on Xander's walls in the same paint as his walls are after we got done painting. There's still ones on his bed, which is why they play on the fold-out in his office, which keeps Dean up."
"She's not a bad girl," Mac said as he sat down across from Sam. "I've talked to her."
"She's not good for Xander," Dawn said as she sat down. "She was always complaining about something. Yeah, they were kinda happy now and then, but it wasn't a content happy and it wasn't a good happy. No happy relationship has the woman complaining loudly in public in front of everyone in the town that she's not getting enough orgasms."
Mac blushed. "She did?" Dawn nodded. "Shoot. She seemed nice."
"She's okay and I don't mind him and Anya. I like Anya. She grows on you after a while and you quit being shocked at her bluntness. But I want Xander to be happy. All of us girls want Xander to be happy with someone who won't try to end the world. She's back to being demonic. That's going to cause problems for him."
"Daniel said he didn't care as long as it wasn't a case," Speed pointed out. "Though, for the record, I do agree that Xander was settling for having someone there and getting sex," he said at Dawn's searching look. He had spent nearly a year inside Xander's head, he could judge that. "That's why they didn't go through with the marriage." Dawn nodded. John gave him a horrified look. "Some of the other vengeance demons showed him what their life together would be like so he left her at the altar." He looked at Dawn again. "I think driving her off is the wrong approach."
"She'll end up being a case. We've already talked, Speed. She agreed some day a vengeance demon would end up being a case of you guys'. As much as I love Anya, she agreed she came back for the sex. Not because she loves Xander or anything else. I pointed out that was unfair and she snorted and said Xander didn't mind. He didn't have things like emotional ties to people."
"Yeah, he has some pretty deep ones," Speed agreed. "I wouldn't let him hear."
"We're not. They pushed back their departure to meet with someone in the patent's office about the classified nature of some of the stuff. She'll be here the night before anyway since she can't really carry a cellphone on the job."
John nodded slowly. "We'll talk with her when she shows up," he decided. "I want what's good for the boy. Everyone should have what Mary and I did." They all smiled. "He deserves it and someone should be there to calm him down." He handed the note back to Sam. "We'll deal with it." They nodded and got back to dinner. Mac stayed to talk to Sam about something else while he monitored the girls.
One of the older slayers looked at him. "You're very uptight about the girls' safety, John."
"That's because they're still girls. They should have a parental unit of some sort to enforce rules before they start going wild."
"Most of the time we don't mind," Dawn offered. "Only when they turn into overprotective boobs and start doing background checks on teachers and our dates."
John smirked. "It helped."
"It may have but it's kinda creepy."
"So? It keeps you girls safe. Teachers know they're on the public registries, kiddo. They know a lot of parents are paranoid these days." She slumped. "Granted, I did it when my boys were little, but in our field you can't be too careful. It's not like we've said anything to the half-demon running one of the junior high classes. I won't put up with a sex offender around you girls however."
"I know. Still kinda overbearing at times. Especially when you do our dates," Dawn told him.
He shrugged. "We don't want to come identify you some day soon, Dawn. Remember, you draw the same sort Xander does."
"I know. I know why too," she sighed. "Fine."
He grinned. "Some year you'll be doing your own before you take a job."
"Uh-huh." She got back to her dinner, shaking her head. "He's being a dad. Xander, Dean, and Sam have perfected the overprotective big brother routine. It's for our own good, we know that, but now and then we have to rail at the unfairness of John not letting us go to the party out at the Hallis farm the other night."
"There's no way in hell I'd let you girls go that far out into the country where there's going to be liquor and drugs," he said dryly. "The first two times Dean snuck away to one, I tanned his behind and I will do it to yours, young lady."
"I wasn't going to go for that reason, John. Geez!"
He gave her a look. "I don't care if you were going to meet a cute guy and get laid, Dawn. The answer is still no." Some of the other girls choked. "It's unsafe. If you girls want to host a safe party, without drugs or liquor, ask Daniel."
"I hadn't thought of that." She looked around. "He's not here but we'll talk about it later on." He smiled at that. "We all know the rules."
"Good. I'm glad I don't have to post them again." He looked at Faith, who blushed. "I don't care if you and Dean go be noisy, Faith. You're an adult and you can make those choices. Until you bruise my son from whatever strange, exotic thing you had planned for prom night, I'm good with it."
She cackled. "I'm not that kinky, Papa Smurf." She finished up and stood up. "Yo, who has KP?" A few girls groaned and finished up, going to gather the used dishes to start on them. John gave her an amused look. "*I* got called to the school this time." Dawn snickered. "Because some of the girls were arguing over something tiny and meaningless. So yeah, three days of KP for being bitches." She walked off. Since John had given her permission she'd have to come up with something fun for Dean that night. She did have that kick ass dress that made her look smokin' and beyond. Hell, if Xander had drooled, she knew she was hot.
Dawn looked at John. "What if some of the girls want to go to the lock-in at the school after the prom?"
"If they want to, that's up to them. I will not put up with them getting drunk that night. I won't put up with them using drugs. It's not safe and we don't know if drugs work differently on you girls. If they want to have a gentle night with their boyfriends, that's how it was done in my day too, and many girls got married off because of it. I'd expect more sense than that from you girls." She grinned at that. "And a hint beforehand that they were planning on staying out that night so we didn't worry. They'd need to be back by lunch the next day." Sam gaped. "What?"
"You about bashed my skull in with the yelling about me wanting to go to the lock-in."
John looked at him. "That's because you were dating a girl that not even Dean would've touched, Sammy. She was the definition of 'has something'."
"Actually, she didn't, she was a virgin until that night, and she was a bit bipolar, Dad."
John shrugged. "Still strange and wrong somewhere, son. I'm just glad you didn't end up knocking her up. I'd hate to have her as a daughter-in-law."
Sam groaned, shaking his head. "If the girls have that accident?"
"I'd be very happy to walk them down the aisle if the boy steps up to be a man and does right by her. If not, we'll have words with the boy."
Dawn cackled. "We all know what birth control is, John. They made sure of it."
"Good. Though I hear that they do have a tiny failure rate. That's how we got Dean."
"TMI!" she said quickly. He smirked at her. "Thank you. We'll be *really* careful so we don't have to dye our dresses white."
"Good. I'd like that. Though I am looking forward to grandchildren some year." He gave Sam a pointed look.
Sam stared back. "You want me to date Dawn, Dad?"
"Actually, I'd rather you dated Xander, son."
Sam's jaw fell open. "Excuse me?"
"You two calm each other down. You get his moods, he pulls you out of the library. Works for me. Or him and Dean."
"I'm still straight, Dad. Thanks for sticking up for that."
"If you wanted grandkids from that match, I'd have to intervene and I'd get yelled at by Leo too," Dawn quipped.
John choked, letting Sam help him calm down. He looked at her. "If you *ever* pull a stunt like that, Leo gets your tanned ass after me, young lady. That's against natural rules."
She grinned. "I know. But hey, Ethan might if you asked him nicely." She got up and put her dishes in the drop off spot then went to do her homework.
"I'm still straight, Dad. Don't worry about it."
John patted him on the arm. "Thanks, Sammy." He finished up and went to sulk in his own room. Dawn needed spanked if she could make that joke.
Annabelle looked down, looking innocent. "Plenty of the girls would like it if you liked tough girls," she offered with a grin.
Sam grinned back. "I can't date anyone underage, Anna. I'm still getting over Jess's death too. If and when I'm ready, I'll announce it by finding someone." A few girls sighed. "Don't you three have research papers due soon?" They scrambled to do that. They knew they'd be switched to Research with Thomas as the teacher if they didn't hold up their grades. A few others scurried out too. They knew they had papers to do and they wanted to keep their Sammy staring time too.
Mac shook his head at the older slayer's odd look at him. "Sam teaches the higher research oriented class. The girls have bad crushes on him. They used to sit down in the library with him to stare at him, so he'd hand them a book to look through for what he was looking up. It turned into a research class."
"If they don't keep their grades up and do the papers he assigns then he sends them to watch Thomas instead," Mary said with an evil smirk. "The girls would lose their Sammy staring time."
She shook her head. "That's bad."
"They're teenage girls and I know my boys aren't going to touch them. They can crush safely on them and the agents."
"Pity we can't go on the panty raids they used to," Anna sighed, looking at Mary. "They had a lot of fun taking back what John confiscated." The older slayer gave her a horrified look. "They did."
"They did. They used their stealth training to break into many apartments to steal stuff. Drove us all nuts," John complained as he walked back in for some coffee. "Underwear, t- shirts, whatever they could get of our clothes. Then they'd hide them for their noisy times." The girls all giggled at that. "Most of you were."
"I didn't panty raid except the first few times," Amber complained. "I've got something better." She nodded at her sleepy girlfriend. "Speaking of, we're going to bed. Night all." She got up and walked her girlfriend back to their room.
"You're letting them date?" the older slayer asked.
"The girls can date as long as they're not dating dirtbags and they're of age," John told her. "We're cautious about who they date in case it's someone who has ties to a group that'd like to capture and/or kill a slayer. They're more than allowed to have meaningful relationships but we'll stop any of them that're turning into sluts and doing it for the cheap thrill. I consider myself like the girls' father. I'm firm about some rules but all good parents should be."
She sighed. "I guess. It still seems a bit rigid."
"No. The girls get their freedom. That's why we got the girls their own cars. That and so they didn't have to drag someone shopping."
She rolled her eyes. "There's more to life than that. What're they going to do when they go to college?"
"Do the same thing they are here because the habits are ingrained to be careful, watch yourself and your surroundings, and make sure they're not dating something harmful to them."
She shook her head. "I guess." She finished up and put her plates away, going to talk to the other older girls in the building they had in town. "John was setting down rules for the prom stuff."
Olivia looked over. "He's done a good job with those girls. They went from having a watcher who controlled everything in their lives to living like a family with fair, but tough rules that're meant to protect them. I'm sure if they get hurt, the people in my job would be called immediately and not for vengeance reasons. Because we hate it when that happens." The other woman looked confused. "If your fifteen-year-old daughter is dating a guy that's over the legal age limit and you don't like it, plenty of mothers have made rape claims based on the statutory age clause. A good third of our caseload is that instead of real rapes, real crimes against kids, those things."
"He's making it so they can't do normal teenage things. No, they shouldn't drink but every teen tries it."
"I'm sure they would but what happens when a slayer gets drunk and starts a fight?" Olivia shot back. "With our extra strength and speed, we could end up killing someone. Beyond that, even the best parents set down that rule. I've seen ones that let their kids try it at home so they know what it's like, but they tape it so they can talk about it. I've seen ones who let their kids get really drunk and then made them do PT too. I'm sure John was like that with the boys. But all parents who give a damn don't want their kids drinking or doing drugs. Even if they do realize they're going to try to experiment a few times. Hell, I know a few of the girls have tried pot. John knows they tried pot because he sicced one of the guard dogs on them the other morning." The other woman blushed at that. "The dogs pinning them and growling at their jackets made sure they knew he knew."
"Much faster than a drug test too," one of the other women said. She looked over. "He's doing a pretty good job for having so many girls and only having raised boys before. They've got Abby and the female agents for female things. Abby said she gave many talks about sex when they first got to the base."
"I'm sure she did. She was the only woman on base outside the cook until Stella got hired," Olivia agreed. "My partner has a few kids and he said John's doing good with them too. They're sensible, practical, doing good in school, and the ones that aren't don't get bitched at but get pushed toward things they can do and might want to do for a career. Only the older girls in Cleveland are sluts from what I heard and Xander scared them straight the second time they had to have a talk about slutty issues."
"From what I heard, the first time six girls were caught sharing three guys, four diseases, and a mass case of crabs," the other woman butting in said.
The worried slayer shuddered. "Eww."
"Yup," Olivia agreed. "The second time they got caught with that sort of problem, Xander screamed instead of John. Those girls still aren't looking at boys." That got a gape. "Xander's a great big brother to the younger ones. Especially Dawn." That got a nod from the other two. "I wouldn't worry. If the girls want to fight against the restrictions they can rebel and John'll see that. I'm sure Sam did at least once."
"Probably," the other one agreed. "Did you know Research 3 was called Sammy Staring Time?"
Olivia laughed. "The girls used to have such major crushes on the two younger Winchesters, Xander, and some of the agents. One of the girls in Cleveland snuck into Ryan Wolfe's apartment one night from what I heard."
"They said they used to panty raid," the worried one admitted. "A lot."
Olivia nodded. "So I heard. It proved their stealth training because some of them didn't realize it until they got dressed and had no underwear. John got them settled down. Sam knows about the crushes, the same as Dean does. They ignore it but they do tweak it now and then to get the girls back onto track of what they're supposed to be doing. The girls were going off about the holidays and the Secret Santa they're doing for Rodney's project since they can't get off base where they are. Dean got into PT with them without a shirt on and it stopped all that talk. They dove into training that day to see him sweaty and to touch bare, sweaty skin. Faith giggled her butt off, but they fixed it and refocused them on the training that'll some day save their lives." She smiled. "Remember, originally it was just Xander and the first few agents. Xander was doing double duty. Then Xander hired Sam and Dean for the girls. After the invasion, their father showed up and Xander asked him to be a parent to the girls. He's done a good job keeping them from running wild. Otherwise we'd have a lot of baby slayers on the way."
"I don't even want to think about babies," the other woman said. "I have one. That's enough." Olivia looked at her. "She's with my mother. My mother started to scream at me when she heard. She had an idea I'd be caught up in this."
"I think most of us had the reputation for getting into trouble," Olivia admitted. "Have we heard anything else good from the base?"
"They're going to talk to Xander's girlfriend to drive her off." Olivia and the other woman stared at her. "Anya, something like that?"
"Anya's a vengeance demon from what Dawn said," Olivia said dryly. "Apparently they don't think that's a healthy relationship. She did say they almost married once but I guess they've been over with for a few years now." She shrugged. "It'll be handled if there's a problem I'm sure."
"You don't consider that odd?" the worried one asked.
Olivia shook her head. "No. I heard that Xander killed a demon once that left him with a small curse that drags bad girls out of the woodwork to come try to take him. They're protecting him. Xander's a close friend so they're protecting him. The girls going hunting for her might be different." She gave her a long look. "Xander's much different in the field than he is here. The same as he's much different off duty and outside of training us. In the field, Xander's very focused and very uptight. Almost paranoid about the team's safety. The first time I met Xander he set down some hard and fast slayer rules for me, including I should be wanting to eat more. We handled the case they had demanded to have him called in on. He ended up decapitating the demon because that was the clan's punishment for touching his daughter and our boss said they could do their own or we could arrest, but they wanted that. Then he led me and my partner to take out the vampires no one had gotten to that were bothering the demons in that neighborhood. The end of my first month as a slayer was taking out a nest."
The other women shuddered. "Did Xander come off as a hard, headcase sort?"
"No. He came off as very hard. Very focused. Very gruff and a bit icy cold. Especially about the vampires. After the nest was gone he relaxed some, joked with the people in our city's unit. Came back to make the report with us before leaving. Told my boss and my partner how I was now in danger, laid it out very clearly for them and found a half-demon at the station who was part of a plan to get us new slayers. He drove home the point about slayer blood drawing things to us because I was injured. He told them I'd need a watcher sort. Then he told me to eat something." They laughed at that. "I can't imagine how Sam Carter deals with the Marines nagging her on base."
"I asked, she said she flipped the first one, proved she had better self-defense training, and then went back to eating," the non-worried one said with a grin. "We'll get there some day. If I can pass John and Brenda."
"Is she a natural Winchester?" the worried one asked.
Olivia shook her head. "No. She had one of the worst of the old line. Her watcher kept her out of school for the most part. John saw she was a lot like his boys so he took her under his wing. She's not great in combat situations but training she's great at. John's good at it so they bonded and then she slowly became an honorary Winchester. John's extra protective over her."
"If he had natural daughters, would they have been on the hunt?"
"He doesn't stop her from hunting, he makes sure she's better prepared than the boys probably were," Olivia corrected. "She's been sent to a number of things because she's good enough. She doesn't like patrol but she's good for the bigger call outs. She's one of the ones the other girls look to for orders. Her word can be John's at time. Even though Xander's in charge of training and Dean's over their physical training under Xander, John still rules the house."
They all nodded at that. They understood that all too well. "We should pass out now. John promised we'd be running tomorrow," the one on the couch said, getting up to stretch. "This has got to be easier as a teenager."
"Maybe," Olivia said. "Maybe not. The girls look tired after their Saturday classes with everyone. Then again, so do we after an all day."
The other woman nodded, standing up as well. "I'm exhausted after a morning of training. Night, Olivia."
"Night, ladies. I'll head up after I call home." They nodded. She called her partner. "Hey. How's my city?" She listened then laughed. "That bad?" He said something else and she groaned. "Trade ya. I've got daily training, PT, and weapons training. Not even the Academy's course was this hard. We're getting up at five for a four mile run in the snow around the base. Yeah, they're serious. That, self-defense, and get this I didn't pass further than basic self-defense. Weapons of various classes. At least I passed gun qualifications. I only have to pass shotgun and rifle, crossbow, sword, staff, and scythe training with that. Another class of self-defense then the advanced slayer tactics class teaching me to use my extra strength and speed. Then I've graduated to patrol once we take on a case." He said something dryly.
"Maybe, I have no idea. Dean handles that and tells us when we pass on. How'm I really? Damn tired," she said. "How's the guys?" She listened and smiled. "That's good. Tell them I said hi and we have a lot of snow here. It's colder here than at home. Lots of open areas for the wind to get you. The base's docs are bastards but pretty cool even if they mean and try to be smartasses. Yeah, I'm doing okay. Just really tired. I hate self-defense class. I have no idea if you guys got this in the service, but this really does suck, Elliot. Honestly. Three hours of that, then lunch, then weapons and demonology." He laughed. "Yeah, yuck it up, Elliot. Whoever's going to be watching my back has to go through the books and the tapes too. Possibly self defense too so they can keep up with me.
"Yeah, I'm fine otherwise. The Winchester clan has a strong hand on the younger girls so they don't run wild and us too because they treat us like we're pledges at the academy all the time. Yup. Though we did get warned not to go visit the demonic strip bar. Apparently they don't like us and the last ones that went got attacked." He choked out a laugh. "Glad you think it's funny. No, I'm fine. Missing delis but I'm good. Sure, send me some, please." She smiled. "Thanks, Elliot. Have a good night." She hung up and went up to bed. The faster she got done with her training the faster she could get home and go back to taking scum off the streets. She could definitely see where her new training was gong to be helpful to her real job. "Super Slaying Cop: able to outrun the fastest drug dealer or pickpocket, able to leap tall trash piles with a single grunt of effort, able to get into spandex again because after this I'd better have a better body," she muttered as she climbed into bed. "Still too tired to write reports."
Anya showed up and found herself trapped. "Hey, that's not nice! I don't like bondage beyond handcuffs," she whined at John.
He shrugged. "I don't care, Anyanka. That's not why I put that up."
She glared. "What?"
"We're not sure you're the best thing for Xander."
He held up the stuff in his hand. "It'll burn like a bitch," he interrupted. She settled down into the chair he had put inside the devil's trap. "Anyanka, Xander is starting to feel things for you again." She gave him a shrug. "You've been heard saying that you don't. Do you think that's a good relationship for you to be in?"
"It's very good for me. I get what I need and he wears out that stupid curse," she sulked. She clearly didn't pout as well as Xander. Xander would've been able to pout himself out of this stupid devil's trap.
He stared at her. "It's not good for Xander, Anya. What's going to happen when you dump him? Or when he finds someone he wants to spend some meaningful time with?"
"If he does that then I can curse him," she said, cheering up.
"Hmm, and he can curse you because that means that you felt something and it's more than sex." She slumped again, going back to pouting. "You need to figure out if it is or not. If you're just playing with the boy, you should tell him that. Because honesty is good for this sort of thing. He might continue sleeping with you anyway. I have no idea about that. But I will not see the boy hurt and if you hurt him I'll calling one of your people on you."
She glared at him. "They can't do that."
"Your boss can and he has to kiss slayer butt for years after that screw up with the scythe," he shot back.
Her eyes narrowed. "Does he know you're doing this?"
"I'm taping it so he can see and hear every single thing we say," he said, pointing at the camera. "I'm not going to go behind the boy's back like that. I did this so you have time to think and see if it's an honest desire to be with him. I don't want the boy hurt. I like the boy too much and I have too much respect for him to see him mope for weeks on end because you're a cold bitch when you want to be."
"In my line of work that's a good thing."
"Yay. That's fine for you, Anyanka. It's great for the ones you serve now since you're over lost childhoods. There's been plenty I could have referred to you before. Including some of the girls in the other building and that boy of yours."
"You want to steal him," she sniffed.
"I'm not interested in anyone that way, girl. I had my shot with Mary." She grimaced. "I'll probably never go for another woman."
"Xander's not a woman."
"No, he's a friend and I respect him. I don't want to see him hurt because you're treating him like a playtoy."
"He likes being my toy."
"I doubt it. Remember right before the near wedding?" She nodded with a smile and a small, pleased sigh. "He's starting to get there again, Anya. He can't marry you while you're a demon. You can't give it up this time without dying. Are you willing to die to have him and keep him?"
She shook herself free. "D'Hoffryn said I could have him."
"D'Hoffryn is scared that Xander will come after him. He's using you to keep Xander busy."
She grimaced. "That's possible."
"It's probable. Think strategically."
"Poo. That's not my thing." She waved a hand. "That's Xander's thing."
"That's because he's an excellent hunter, Anya. You're keeping him from doing that," Sam said as he walked in. He shut the door and came over to sit in the devil's trap with her. "We don't want to see you two break up. It'll be hell on everyone. You'll get punished for pouting on the job. He'll be hurt too badly to work and might end up fired. Then the girls will be without him and he'll be back to being a roving hunter again." She shuddered at that. "Yeah, you're pleasing him, you're making him happy in a limited way with the sex. Unfortunately you never saw that Xander bonds tightly to those he's with. You remember how he'd bend over backwards for Cordelia?"
"I do," she admitted, pouting at him.
He smiled. "He feels like that about you now. You coming back has strengthened that bond you have. He's trying to see if he's ready to go back to what you had and see if you can make it work this time since he's got a calling now."
"He doesn't have to."
"He sees the slayers, every single one of them, like his little sister," Sam told her. "He'd die to protect them. The whole underground knows that."
She nodded. "I've heard that rumor."
"Are you wiling to stand with him as their big sister? Help them grow up strong, moral slayers who can save themselves and the world? You've seen him train with them. Making them better than even Buffy ever was. That's why he got us."
She slumped farther in the chair. "I don't think I could be that responsible for other humans. You guys die and stuff."
"We do. Slayers die sooner," John agreed quietly. "That's why they train, to hold it off." He gave her a sympathetic look. "Anya, he's looking for the long haul this time. Someone to be with him for more than sex and more than fun. If that's what you want too, then we'll swallow it I guess."
Sam nodded. "We will. They all know you're Xander's ex anyway. Even though two cases have refused to work with him because he's seeing you. If you make him happy then we're all for it. We do think you two mean different things when you say you're together. Because Xander does say that you're together."
"I didn't know he was becoming emotionally tied again. I should use that to do something."
"You hurt the boy that way and we will hunt you," John assured her.
She glared at him. "It is my calling."
"So?" He shrugged. "Mine is to hunt the evil bitches and bastards who hurt others."
"Would you do this if Xander was dating another demon?"
"If they were going to hurt him, the girls, or anyone else, yes," Sam said. "If they're not going to harm the girls, the base, the ISC, or Xander, then no. It's no different than Buffy having dated Spike and Angel. We might even accept a succuba but not if she was going to feed on him and hurt him. That's the standard we're setting. Xander's like a member of the family. We don't want him hurt and we don't want to see you hurt either. You've been hurt enough with all this stuff and the rehumaning, all that."
"Xander was the only one that got that," she said quietly, staring at him.
He gave her a sad smile. "I don't mind if you're friends, but Xander's my friend and we don't want to see him hurt. So we're asking that you consider what you want with Xander and let him know. Talk to him instead of sleep with him for a few hours. We don't want to see either of you miserable. Beyond that, if you make Xander miserable, the girls are going to get you."
She looked confused. "Is this the shovel talk?"
"No, this is the my shotgun can give you pain like you would not believe when I fire rock salt into your ass talk. Shovels are for girls like Willow," Sam said honestly. She smiled and leaned down to kiss him on the forehead. "No one gave it to you before?"
"No. The girls didn't seem to care."
"We do care about Xander's well-being. We're friends. Buffy's a bit selfish," he admitted.
"She was." She stared at him. "I'll consider my entanglement with Xander and talk to him about what he wants. When is he getting home?"
"Tomorrow. He had to stay over to talk about the patent stuff. It's being classified for the most part," John said quietly.
"Shoot. That means no one can buy it and give him money."
"He has money," Sam told her. "He never spends his paycheck."
"That should be mine," she whimpered.
"Anya, modern women can support themselves," John said patiently. "You have a good job and should be able to do that."
"Whatever." She stood up. "Can I get free now? This is boring."
Sam got up and covered one of the lines to let her out with his shirt. "Thank you for considering it, Anya."
She patted him on the cheek. "Some day I'll answer one on you and then we'll see what I think."
He smirked. "I was taught to be honorable to any lady I dated. I never make promises I can't keep."
She slumped. "Pity." She faded out, going to her favorite demon bar to think. She didn't know her full-body, lifesize sex toy had feelings again. They ruined everything. She pouted into her wine until the vengeance demon who had her old job showed up. "Xander's getting emotional ties to me."
"That's excellent news. This means you can finally get him back for dumping you at the altar."
"No, he had a point. I saw what they showed him and it was horrible. We'd be poor. He'd be sweaty all the time from work. We'd eventually fall out of love and I'd turn into his mother, only without the alcohol." She took another drink. "His friends used a devil's trap to talk to me about it. They didn't want either of us hurt. Sam said I'd pout."
"Winchester? The chosen one?" she demanded.
Anya nodded. "He's a friend and training the slayers."
"That could work in our favor. Does the boss know?"
"Yup. He's very wary and thinks Sam won't break." She took another drink. "It'd take a strong problem to break Sam Winchester. I looked into his soul and it's rusty but not even starting to crack from it. If he finds love, all bets are off."
"Pity." She got her own drink and sipped it slowly. "So what're you going to do?"
"I don't know if I want to be attached to him. To be exclusive and give up all my other perks. All the fun and games that Xander never gave me before and I had to find other places."
"You cheated on him?" she asked.
Anya nodded. "He wouldn't play with me like I wanted. It was good but when I wanted rough, he either played a different sort of rough or wouldn't go as far as I wanted. He's good at what he does but he's limited in what he's willing to try." She finished her glass of wine. "When he was in the mood to play rough it was always something like a claiming thing. Pouncing, marking, holding down to scent mark and claim me. He let me buy almost any sex toy I wanted but half the time he wasn't into toys. I did like his tongue but he was always very focused on making me sweaty as well as orgasming. It's not as fun when I'm sweaty. I can't concentrate."
"Does he know you cheated?"
"He might. I'm not sure." She looked at her coworker. "At this point it's a moot point. Statute of limitations."
"You've answered older ones. Tad has too."
"Xander would never call them on me. He knows how that works." D'Hoffryn appeared and they both looked at him. "Are you using me to keep Xander form hunting you?"
"Now and then. Sometimes to keep you from pouting. Why are you here instead of working?"
"Xander's friends trapped me to talk to me about our relationship."
"Hunters wouldn't like another dating demons," he agreed.
"No, they said they'd put up with it as long as I was good to Xander. Sam said he'd shoot me up the butt with rock salt if I hurt him." She looked at him. "They said Xander's getting emotionally attached again."
"That could be a problem. You can't have a full relationship with him. I can't unmake you a demon again without killing you," he said, staring her down.
"Which is why I'm here. Sam wanted me to think about what I wanted so neither of us would get hurt. He seemed to care about whether or not I'd get hurt if we broke up. Said I'd pout."
"You're already pouting," the new vengeance demon said.
Anya glared at her. "He's special to me. If I needed him to, even before sleeping with him, he'd have come to help me." She took her friend's drink to finish. "I don't know what I want, D'Hoffryn."
"You're not allowed to get emotionally involved, Anya. That's what got you fired before. It leads to a conscience."
"In my job, emotional attachment is a good thing," she argued. "Or else I'd never help those kids that beg me to help them get away."
"Good point. You still can't enact vengeance if your conscience is that high."
She stared at him. Then she sent him her last case, the one that she went to Xander to heal after. He shuddered. "I need some in my job. I understand why Hallie needed hers too." She pursed her lips then looked around before looking at him again. "I'd like to keep him as a casual friend, for after the bad cases."
"Then do so. You may do that. You may not become emotionally attached to him. You may not move to the point you were when you got your powers back. There's rumors you're emulating Summers." He disappeared.
"I'm not an undead yo-yo," she said with a pout. She searched and went to find her buddy. "Hey," she said, sliding into his lap. Abby hissed. She glared. "Butt out." She looked at Xander again. "Can we talk?"
He stared at her. "Who tried shit?"
"John and Sam trapped me to talk to me, see if I meant the same thing about you as you did me. Sam was very worried I'd get hurt."
"They taped it," Abby said.
Xander looked at her. "Do I not have a say in my own relationships?"
"Yes, but we'd like to see you with someone who won't get you fired. We'd miss you, Xander."
He sighed, looking at Anya again. She shot the whole conversation at him. He'd think about forgiving Sam and John later. "So what's with the big talk?"
"I... D'Hoffryn said I can't get emotionally attached to you again. I didn't realize you were, Xander. I thought you knew it was just for pleasure and after bad cases."
He stroked her back. "I don't mind that."
"You do because Sam was right, that's not fair to either of us. I realized I started to crave you and to go back to where we were together and that's not possible. You'd be fired and I'd get hunted by all the slayers for it. Or I'd get dead because D'Hoffryn said I can't have a relationship because it makes me suck at my job." She played with his chest. "Beyond that, before we had so many faults. You wouldn't do things I wanted. When you tried it wasn't what I really wanted. You were messy sometimes and you had a bad diet, Xander." She looked at him. "I'd like to keep it as pleasure and after bad cases but I don't want to hurt you. They made it really clear they were doing this so you don't get hurt because they respect you and want you to be happy."
Dean looked over at them. "We'd like him to be happy, Anya. If casual sex with you does it then those of us who're creeped out will deal. Though it is impacting his job." Xander glared. "You were complaining two cases wouldn't let you work them because you were dating her again."
"And that's bad for your life," Anya said, staring into the deep brown eyes. "I don't want to hurt you. I never meant for you to get emotionally involved. Sam even pointed out I get the same sort of care and attention Cordelia used to get from you after you two broke up. I think that's pretty special."
"It is," he agreed quietly. "Are we breaking up?"
"If you're thinking we're that far along, then I have to, Xander. I can't let you be hurt and I can't let them be hurt when you get hurt and hunt us down." She kissed him. "I'll come visit?"
"Sure. After bad cases if you want," he promised, giving her a cuddle. She sighed and let him then wiggled free, standing up. "I know, but you needed one. You looked sad."
She patted him on the head. "I can go find another case that needs me to work that out on." She looked at Dean. "You do know that they're watching Sam? That the closer he comes to our areas, the more they want him? That some are even hoping he turns the slayers to our side?"
"He can't with Dad or me even if he wanted to," Dean assured her. She pouted and left. He looked at Xander. "It was Dad's idea, Xander. He saw you getting emo about it and heard how she talked about you. All they wanted was for her to consider how deep she wanted it to go. Sam downloaded the tape to your email if you wanted to watch it. Sam said he gave her the shovel talk too. The first time anyone had."
"The girls didn't," he agreed. "I could've handled it!"
"Xander, dad considers you family," Dean said gently. "You get the same overprotective, nagging parent responses Sammy does and Brenda do."
"I'm not her."
"No but you were clearly being hurt. If one of us was being hurt by our relationship he'd step in too. Watch the tape, Xander." Xander huffed but Abby handed over her laptop for him. He settled in to watch it. Dean watched him for a minute then looked at Abby. "You okay?"
"I'm good but I'm going to miss the toys."
"We should have Dawn shrink the boat and bring it out for Gibbs."
She beamed. "I wonder if we can."
"She can't shrink something that big. We'd have to leave the SUV here," Xander said, looking over at her. "They really didn't rag on her?"
"Nah. Dad knew you'd be upset and thinking they did. That's why he taped it. Beyond that, if she makes you miserable, the girls are going to hunt her down and end her."
"They were making up hunting teams for that exercise," Abby admitted. Xander glared. "They don't want you to be hurt, Xander. You know that."
"Whatever," he mumbled, watching it again. Nothing showed that they had stopped it and restarted the tape. Maybe they did respect him but it wasn't their right to do that to him. He handed back the laptop, going out back to walk in the woods.
Abby stopped Dean from following, shaking her head. "You need alone time for these moments."
"Fine." He settled in again, looking around. "This is a nice house."
"It is. Gibbs has had it since his very first marriage, the one where his wife got killed by drug dealers."
"I didn't know that."
"Neither did we until he got a head injury. It's why he came to NCIS." She settled in better, looking out back. "Poor guy."
"Dad and Sammy had a good point. She's not good for Xander. She'd end up hurting him a lot and he doesn't deserve that after all he's been through. Not to mention how it could get him fired."
"Danny said as long as it doesn't impact a case he doesn't care."
"He's been taken off two cases already because of her."
"Oh." She slumped. "Would Giles fire him too?" Dean nodded. "Hell. You're sure?"
"Yeah, pretty sure. Buffy wasn't happy she was back."
"Crap." She wrote an email to one of the girls in Cleveland to tell them Xander and Anya had broken up because she didn't want to be emotionally attached and Xander was moving that way again. That he was sulking. The Tara robot should give him a call. She put her laptop down again and stood up to stretch. "I'm going up to bed."
"Night." He made sure the house was sealed up then went to stand on the back porch. He could almost feel the miserable and pathetic vibes from there. Sometimes the bond they shared was too much. He closed and locked the back door after making sure he had the keys Gibbs had given them. Tracking Xander wasn't that hard. He wasn't trying to hide his trail this time. He found him sitting on a stump and moved to lean against a tree near him. "It sucks."
"But is it better than being fired, having the girls go on a rampage, and having to go back to hunting full time?" Xander looked at him. He nodded. "The girls were pretty adamant that if she came back and hurt you they'd be going on a hunt. With you being taken off two cases because of her, Danny might have to fire you some day for it interfering too often. Or Giles since Buffy wasn't happy she was back and she has him twisted around her finger."
Xander considered that. "I don't want to think the job comes above my life."
"It doesn't, but you have their respect, Xander. You have a lot of respect and it's slipping. Beyond that, you being miserable would make Sammy pout and be miserable too."
He nodded. "I can see how the girls would do that."
"Dude, friends are supposed to feel bad when you're miserable."
Xander frowned. "I did with Jesse but we were closer."
Dean moved closer, making the boy look at him. Not that Xander was so much younger but sometimes his outlook and experiences were sheltered. "It sucks when they break it off with you. There's a lot of other women who would appreciate you, Xander. Even some who aren't evil." That got a light snort but a faint smile. "Really. Then you could date someone the girls could look up to. Remember, whoever you or me or Sammy ends up with the girls are going to have to get along with. I guess this is how single parents feel but we have to be careful for their sake. Not to mention the job. Higher ups could have pressured Anya to try to get into the prison or even fix cases on us. Or to warp the girls." Xander slumped, nodding at that. "And who's to say that her coming back at that point wasn't D'Hoffryn's idea of keeping you off his tail and horns for that wish."
Xander stared at him. "You think it was?"
"I think, honestly think, that he let her come back and keep happening because of that but he didn't push her toward you. He's got to play politics and consider all the options of things. You dating one of his helpers gives him some status and takes some of your respect in the demon community."
"I didn't think about that."
"Of course you didn't. Only princesses are supposed to consider their marriages and boyfriends politically. Only a few slayers and Dawn are princesses on base."
Xander grinned a bit bigger. "Thanks, Dean."
"If you wanna fight with Dad and Sammy, do it away from me and the girls so we don't get sucked in?"
Xander nodded. "I understand why he did it but I'll chew on him in person."
"Thanks." He cuffed him gently on the head. "Want to head back inside?"
Dean hauled him up. "Abby's already in bed." That got a nod and they walked that way together. It was comfortable in the woods with Xander, even if he did want a shotgun in his hands. He was almost never in the woods without a gun. "Do you feel strange just walking in the woods?"
"Kinda but mine's the hyena. Missing the shotgun?"
"Yeah. I'm hardly ever in the woods without a gun. Food hunting, thing hunting. Running after Sammy when he tried to run away a few times so I could use it to club him over the head." Xander gave him a sideways look. "He was little but a pain in my ass."
"But you love him," Xander pointed out.
"Yeah, he's my brother." Xander nodded, looking down at his feet again. "Some day you'll have the same feeling for your kids. Not like I didn't do a lot of raising on Sammy."
"I guess. If I have any. I'm not thinking about it really."
Dean patted him on the back. "Shut up, Xander. You'll have kids to annoy everyone for decades. Even Jack'll be impressed with how smartass your kids will be. They'll make House and Speed hand on their jackass crowns too."
Xander grinned. "Maybe if I decide to date some evil wench that's not from hell or any hell-like dimension."
"That's the spirit, but remember, even gay guys can use surrogates." Xander gave him an odd look. "Dad reminded me of that before we left. I think he's getting antsy about having grandchildren."
"Hmm." Xander shook his head. "I think Brenda'll have one first."
"Way." He grinned. "I had a funny dream about a fight with her saying it was a magical pregnancy."
"Like *Dream* or dream?"
"No idea. I wrote it down just in case. Your dad blew."
"That could help. If it was a vision dream, we need to know sooner."
"We'll see what happens." They went into the house and up to the guest rooms. Abby had claimed Gibbs' bed for her own. They settled in for the night, listening to the quiet of the woods. Xander was wondering why he didn't hear noisy slayers. Dean was wondering why he didn't hear any of the birds. So they both woke up when the doorknob shifted slowly. One grabbed a knife. One grabbed his service revolver. The guy at the door screamed when he saw them and wet himself.
Abby came down the stairs. "That had better not stain. Gibbs will not like that." The man spluttered. "This is the home of Gunny Sergeant Leroy Jethro Gibbs, formerly of NCIS. That means he's a former federal agent, sir. Who in the frilly heck are you?"
"I've got to teach you how to swear," Dean complained.
She swatted him. "I'm a good girl and good girls don't swear." She called the cops. "Hi, I need officers to respond to the unkind person who just got caught breaking into the house we're staying in. Well, you might want to warn them he's a bit wet since he peed on himself but he's physically fine unless he moves. That is this address, yes, ma'am. Thank you. Oh, we have a federal agent on property with his service revolver. Just in case they're paranoid officers." She hung up. "Sit!" she snapped. The man sat down.
"You're good," Dean said.
"Of course I am." Officers came up the driveway ten minutes later. "He's nasty and he peed on the floor like some puppy that needs house training and a rolled up newspaper. Or something like that. However you train puppies not to pee in the house."
The officers looked at them. "Ma'am, where's the owner of the house?"
"On the DCIS base in North Dakota," Xander said, pulling up his credentials from where he had dropped them earlier. They groaned. "Gibbs is ISC now. He's a Watcher."
"Oooh," one said with a hiss. "I know a girl who went."
"Which one? I'm Abby, the DCIS lab tech and that's Xander and Dean. Dean's the girls' trainer and Xander's second-in-command at the Council."
"Sarabeth?" he asked.
"She's doing good. Her grades are a bit low this term. She's got a boy's scent and she's trying to make hunting plans that won't get her grounded to base. She's been on a few good hunts in LA recently."
"She took to her training pretty well, passed onto patrol ready status about six months ago," Dean added. "Still got a small problem where she doesn't fully guard her left side well enough but they're only human and she's working on it with Dad and Brenda a lot. She has an email address if you wanted it."
"My wife used to make her cookies."
Dean wrote down the email address on one of Xander's cards. "Put her name in the header. That's the official email account for all the slayers." He handed it over. "Or you can write. On the front is the address on base for letters." That got tucked into his pocket with a smile. "Gibbs is one of her year mate's watchers."
"That's good to know. She planning on college?"
"She's not sure yet. She was a bit behind so she's a sophomore," Xander told him. "A lot of the girls were slightly behind due to the old Council's training."
"We saw," he assured him.
"We had one that could barely read," Xander said quietly.
"Damn glad they're gone. Dad would've made them beg for mercy," Dean said.
Xander nodded. "Me too. He could've stood in line since he got there late." Abby petted his head. "Thanks, Abby." He grinned at the cop. "We don't keep the girls from writing, calling, or anything. Really."
"That's good. Thanks, Harris. He was breaking in?"
"We stopped him walking in," Dean told him. "He wet himself n fear."
"Even better," the other cop said. He hauled him up once he was cuffed. "Thanks for solving it non-violently."
"I'm only violent when I have to be," Xander said with a pout. "I'm not the mean one on base. That's Sam."
Dean shook his head with a small moan. "Sammy's not mean, Xander. He's picking on you."
Abby petted Xander again. "Thank you, Officers."
They nodded, walking the guy off.
Xander put his gun up and headed back to bed, flopping down so he could sleep. Dean came in to stare at him. "What?"
"Sammy's picking on you too much?"
"No but between us he's the meaner one."
"Uh-huh." Dean sat down on the bed. "Sammy's straight but I'm not sure if he ever tried it."
Xander looked back at him. "We're only buddies, Dean."
"If you say so."
"The girls are trying to get me to date you, not him."
"The girls are going to auction you off to the highest DCIS or ISC bidder, Xander. That's the only sort they trust to be with you and not hurt them."
"I don't think I'd let them be hurt."
"They know that but they don't want to change stuff too much." He patted him on the back. "Though, Dawn did remind Sam we never spend our paychecks on more than car parts and gas." He stood up and went back to his own room.
"If you're hitting on me, I demand a nice dinner away from the girls," Xander called after him. Abby cackled in her room but Xander curled up and went back to sleep. It was still too quiet but he was tired.
Dean shook his head until he fell asleep. He didn't want to see the images of him and Xander together. He really didn't. They were friends and that was all. Really.
to part 28
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