Demon Criminal Investigative Services: Winchester Family Road Trip.
Xander looked at the people packing up, sighing mentally. Things were going to suck while they were gone. Either something major would happen or the girls would pout and complain the whole time they were gone. No matter what Dean, John, and Sam had all ordered them to not do - separately of course. They were going back on their 'it's summer, we'll be free' kick and didn't want to listen about training and things. They thought they'd get the summer off because things were slower. Instead, some of the senior girls were going overseas. They were in for a rude shock when he ran practice the next morning. He watched Faith watch them for a minute then snuck back inside, going to get something. He walked out and handed it to her with a shove toward the cars. Brenda caught her, giving him an odd look. "We send slayers out in pairs if at all possible. Even with hunters." He walked off smirking at his good deed.
"I can make my own damn decisions, Xander Harris," Faith yelled after him.
He turned to look at her. "If something happens, Brenda can't handle it because of the baby. The guys will be knocked out most likely. You're going to go even if you do duck out of meeting their friends. No one said you had to travel with them *all* the time. And hey, it's you or you can watch Gibbs and I boot camp Shea." He walked off again. "Give me nice pictures, guys." He walked back inside, waving over his shoulder.
"He's a pushy bastard," Faith complained.
"He's right. Nothing says you had to go all the way with us but traveling with you might be okay." Dean grinned. "You and Sammy can try to complain about the music."
"I don't mind your music, Dean. I can't see me being cooped up in a car for days on end."
"So don't. You can go hunt and come back to join up with us." He smirked. "It means you don't have to be the house mom and you can be a slayer again for a while."
"Good point." Wesley came out with two envelopes. "Payday?" she teased.
"Indeed." He handed them over. "John, do you have her card for field allowance?"
"I'll get that for you. Faith, are you going as well? I wish you had told me. Let me get you one."
"X tried to make me go," she told him. He stared at her. "I don't know!" she defended.
"I'll get you one," he said. "That way you can go and then come back when you've had enough of being on the road." He went to his office to gather those things then came back out. "Here you go, ladies. Is anyone else going out?"
"Xander said he and Gibbs are doing some super training with Shea since she'll be taking up her post this fall," John said. "With only a few of the older ones in her city."
"That's fine then." He gave each girl a hug. "You two be safe and write often. Faith, try not to pick up a lot of trouble. I do know that somehow you've had a lot of infection by Xander on that point but I do hope you don't come back with tales like he has from his vacation." He smiled. "Do call me every few days." He kissed her on the cheek before walking off. The girls were slacking off in the tv room. "I do believe we have chores, ladies."
"Must we?" Anna asked.
"Yes, you must. You wanted pets, go take care of them." They groaned but turned off the tv to go do their chores. Some had to clean the barn the unicorns lived in. Some had to clean their rooms. Some had to do laundry. Some had to do some makeup assignments. Some had some research papers for Sam to grade while he was gone. All in all, not a lot of happy slayers this breezy, sunny, warm Saturday afternoon. He went to enjoy it and do his paperwork outside in the picnic area they had set up for the agents to have lunch in. He loved the laptop for that much alone. He saw Xander walk past. "What are we doing with Shea?"
"She'll be the more experienced slayer and the one that doesn't have a job in New York, which has a very old, very established, very messy when pissed demonic community. She's got to learn how to lead." He smirked evilly. "Because I'm a nice guy." Wesley snickered so Xander walked on. He leaned into the dorm. "Shea!" She came skipping down the stairs. "Time to start prepping you as the senior slayer in New York. The other two there have demanding, high stress jobs so you'll only be getting backup from them. That means you're handling the messy, established, mostly peaceful demon community in your new post. It's one of the oldest in the new world and it's got a lot in common with the Family system that the mafia has created. Therefore you've got to be worthy of being a senior slayer. Just like Buffy and Faith are." She groaned. "Therefore you get to go into super slayer training," he finished with a wicked grin. "Gym. Now. Change too." She sighed, going to do that. He paged Gibbs to meet them there. He walked her in there. "Did we get a rundown of the map from the New York office?" he asked Don Flack since he was in there.
"I did." He let him have the file. "That's the various ones they have run into, peaceful and not, approximate clan size and location. That's also the threat index of the demons that're causing problems. Some of the ones listed as harmful aren't causing problems in the city."
"They hunt somewhere else probably," Gibbs said.
"Some are in fertility downtime?" Don asked.
"Every few centuries a few species take time out to have babies and then go back to war." That got a nod. "Thanks. Since she'll be the senior slayer, she's getting the good lessons. Next weekend, the ones going to Vienna and the one going to India as senior are joining you." Shea gave him an odd look. "I know they'll need it. They've both been in field command positions. That's why they got chosen as lead. They'll need the higher level of demonology lessons from Wes. Which Gibbs has to go over anyway so you'll get it from him as he learns it. You're the only one that hasn't been in a field command position."
"I was in Georgia and Chicago," she pointed out.
"Yes, but you weren't leading a section. They were leading a section and led strike teams in the past." She slumped. "If you're going to New York, you'll be the senior girl and you will be able to handle it. Or else we'll have to send another one up there with you."
She nodded. "I understand. Advanced demonology and what?"
"Training," he told her. "You're good. You're in Faith's class. You still have to be able to use more weapons as the senior girl. If there's a sitch that needs artillery, that is your call to make. It's your call to staff the residence's armory. It's your call to retire the other two if they're injured or to call to get replacements if they need vacation time. It's your call to use artillery if you need some. They might want to pet it, it's your job to fire it. That means you need range time. You also need to have a wider range of bladed weapons skills and other fighting skills. One of them has some martial arts training she's taking. Olivia is going to the PD's training center to see what she can learn that way. You, being the senior one, have to be better. That's why you're senior."
She nodded. "I understand. This is going to totally ruin my summer, isn't it?"
"Hell yes," Xander agreed dryly. "If I'm doing it right, you'll get to hit on House at least once a week." He smirked at her. Gibbs laughed at that. "Shouldn't she?"
"At least for the first few weeks. The same as we did in boot camp."
She nodded, moving to stretch. "Where are we starting?"
"Physical training. Then we'll move onto range time with me," Gibbs told her. "Then you'll move onto bladed weapons with Xander and I'll start with the advanced demonology lessons tonight and then start giving it to you tomorrow during lunch."
"So I'm yours?"
"You're ours until I get called off," Xander told her. "Then you may be his and Mac's."
"Fine. Am I learning Wesley's blade style too?"
"Yes. And mine, and how to use other forms of bladed and unbladed weapons." She nodded at that. "Okay, let's start with the PT part." She moved into position. "You're a slayer. I'm not going to attack you," he said dryly. She attacked like a slayer in a fight would. Fast. Hard. Trying to get him down. Xander sighed and got her down, leaning down to look at her. "If you're in Faith's training class, you can do better than that, Shea." He helped her up. "Come at me again. You get me then you get Connor." She nodded, coming at him again. He had to take longer this time to get her down. He looked at her once she was on her butt again. "Hasn't Dean been working with you?"
"Maybe I'm not ready," she muttered.
He pulled her up. "You are. You're just being stubborn." He gave her a look then attacked this time. She defended better than she attacked. He still managed to knock her down. "The proper response to landing on any part of your anatomy other than your feet is to hop back up," he said impatiently. She hopped back up and came at him again, getting a bit pissed. "Anger is not for fighting," he said, hip tossing her. She groaned on the mat. He looked at Gibbs, then at her. "Fine. We're doing advanced training my way." He hauled her up and to another room that had removable mats on the floor. Faith used this room for advanced weapons training. The weapons were around the room on all the walls, a few leaning in a corner, some hanging from a rack on the ceiling. He got staffs and tossed her one. "Let's do this for real. I may be the toughest demon you'll ever fight. I certainly hope so." He attacked and she had to defend herself. She knew the reason for the room was to teach her to think about other weapons than what she was used to. When he broke her staff, she grabbed something and attacked back. He was still doing okay with a staff. She groaned and grabbed something else while he bopped her on the back of her head.
"Do you think they're going to give you a chance to turn your back and not attack?" he demanded. He hit her again until she attacked him back. He sighed and got something bigger to bop her with this time. Something harder than a wooden stick too. She was going to be bruised by lunch. Sweaty and bruised. When he got tired, he backed off, looking at her. "Not good but I've seen worse," he said finally. She gave him a horrified look. "Why didn't you pick up the metal bar?"
"If it's in here I know how to use it and how to defend against it. I expect you to bruise me, Shea. The same as I did you." She laid back, covering her face with her arm. "Get up, go to the infirmary, have lunch. Stretch and come back." He hauled her up and gave her a shove. "Now."
"Yes, Xander. How long until I can pass this?"
"Until you get it and I end up visiting House as often as you will this week," he said dryly.
"Yes, Xander." She trudged off, heading down to the infirmary. "Chase, I have a bruise in the pattern of the mats and I ache."
He checked her over. "What are you doing?"
"Senior slayer advanced training." She gave him a pathetic look. "I'm so sore."
House stomped out of the office. "We'll pull out the liniment for you. Which gym are you in?"
"The weapons room. He beat me with the staff, he beat me with a club. I'm so sore."
House smirked. "In a few months he'll be whining the same way."
"Can I do that now?"
"No." Chase finished giving her what she needed. "Eat. Remember to stretch before you go back. Then swim some laps tonight to ease your muscles back into a relaxed state."
"I have to do more PT?" she demanded.
"It'll help with the cramps you'll have tonight," House told her. "If we had a hot tub it'd help more but we don't."
She groaned, going up to find something for lunch. When she got back, Buffy was in there. "Are you going to watch him beat me with things?"
"No, I'm here to provide a demonstration," she admitted, tightening her ponytail. "Xander?"
"Behind me. He had to check his voicemail." Xander walked in. "Can I hide in a corner?"
"Sure," Buffy agreed. "Just get out of the way. I don't think Xander's that good."
"I told her she passed when I was whining in the infirmary as often as she will these next two weeks." He tossed her a staff. She nodded at that, smirking a bit. "You have been slacking. Those pants are tight." Which was a sure way to get Buffy pissed at you. She attacked and Xander defended, using his power of evasion to get around some of her heavier lunges. He got the staff off her then she backflipped to pick up something else. He grabbed his own since she got a sword. He lunged first this time, taking her off guard. "When was the last time you and Faith sparred?"
"Last month. I'm on vacation. I should be getting a tan."
"If you don't practice, you look flabby in your bikinis." He smacked her on the arm with the flat of the blade. She huffed and lunged again. He ducked one, kicked her feet out from under her then grabbed something heavier. She groaned, getting up to get something. "I sent Faith off on the Winchester Family Roadtrip."
"That's good for her. She and Dean are probably very cute. The pictures from the prom had her being very hot."
"Very, very hot," Xander said proudly. "I picked out her dress." He ducked a blow, wincing when she got him. She gave him a look. "Yield, not to first blood, Buffy." He swung at her stomach, making her jump back. Then he pressed his advantage until she was against a wall. She braced and pushed him off her with her feet then followed up on her advantage. Xander had to roll back to his feet and grab something else but that was fine. They ended up in a panting, sweaty tie about a half-hour later, blades at each other's throat. Xander twitched his wrist, pulling down his dagger. She moved and kicked him. He scratched her ankle, showing he could've cut it on her, then got her back against the wall. Still mostly a tie but he had a longer reach so was probably going to win but be injured. "Yield or not?"
"Yield." She put down her sword. Xander did the same. "Damn, Xander."
"We've had to work with the girls and hunt," he reminded her dryly.
"Good point. Those bad cases are training you pretty good." She gave him a hug. "I'm not fat." He tested her waistband. "These are always tight."
"If you say so." He looked at Shea. "When yo can do that, you pass."
She whimpered, sliding back down to sitting. Gibbs clapped from where he was watching. "Not bad. Xander, you need some bandaids."
"I know. The bad fights, you get hurt during," he reminded him, getting a nod from Buffy. "We've all had stitches, scratches, and bandages after fights." He hauled Shea up. "Spar with Buffy for a bit." She nodded, doing that while he went to take a pain potion. House gave him an evil look. "I was doing a demo with Buffy. It took nearly forty-five minutes till we got to a tie."
"That sounds like it was a good fight," House said. He handed him the box of bandaids and the tube of neosporin. "Take it to your newest victim."
Xander grinned, heading to get them something to drink on the way back to the practice area. He walked in and ducked a thrown club. "Fine, next time I won't bring in drinks." Buffy got her and Shea some, sitting down to talk to her about what being a senior slayer meant. Xander let Gibbs do the few cuts on his back then the girls got each other.
"Remind me to give her medic lessons since it takes forever to get an ambulance in New York City," House said as he walked in. "Shea, do you need something for the pain?"
"No, I'm okay," she said quietly.
"Okay." He looked at Xander. "Your other protege of evilness?"
"Winchester Family Road Trip," he said dryly. "Faith and Brenda."
House walked off laughing. "Good for you."
"Faith needed a vacation too. This way Cho and Rona know what being the senior girl means."
"You're too evil, Xander," Buffy decided. "You really sent Faith off?"
"She's lucky I didn't pack her in Dean's trunk," he said dryly. "I shoved her bag at her. Told her she could wander if they were getting too family oriented or it scared her." He looked at Gibbs. "Did Wes give you the advanced demonology lessons?"
"He did and I'm going over the makeup reports." That got a nod. "We'll start going over it next week."
"That's fine. She leaves right before Halloween so she can handle the city starting on that day." Buffy and Shea looked over. "That's the start of the build to the usual spring problems and all the fall problems start there too."
"Yes they do," Buffy agreed grimly. "So she's due in New York about a week before Halloween?"
"Sounds good," Gibbs agreed. "That'll let her conference with the other two and learn her new territory. There's things you can learn from the locals that memorizing a map won't give you," he said when Shea opened her mouth.
"We don't expect you to look like a native, but you've got to know which borough is which and how to get places," Xander told her.
"I guess that makes sense. That's my timeline?"
"Yup. If you get done sooner you can go sooner."
"Yes, Xander." She looked at Buffy. "Did you get this training too?"
"No. My watchers didn't give it to me. They knew I wasn't going to be handling anything too huge. Sunnydale had nothing on New York. Then again I wasn't expected to last a year."
"We want Shea to last many years and make her mother a grandmother some decade," Xander said dryly. "She cleaned up?" Buffy nodded. "Then let's get up and do it again, Shea."
"Xander, it's her first day," Buffy complained.
Gibbs snorted. "My first day of boot camp training I was up at four in the morning, had gotten 3 hours after sleep on the bus to Paris Island, went until midnight, and we did that most of the week." Buffy gave him a horrified look. "The more she does, the more stamina she builds. She can have a snack." Buffy nodded, taking her to find her a good snack. He looked at Xander. "Why is she being the senior?"
"Olivia works in SVU and the other one is at the local base." Gibbs sighed, shaking his head. "There's a mother that lives about fifty, sixty miles away. Her husband doesn't want to lose her either so he wants her to handle the town's problems."
"I can understand that." The girls came back, Buffy handing Xander a snack too. He grinned in thanks, then picked up a staff. "Will she be using it?"
"I'm training her to use whatever's at hand. The most common thing is a stick since she'll be handling vampires." That got a nod. He and Buffy got out of the way. Shea attacked once she had swallowed her last bite. Xander put her down within minutes, making her gag. "C'mon. You did better earlier." She got up with a groan, going back to attacking him. "Remember, you pass when you can consistently make me miserable for doing this to you," he said cheerfully.
"I'm looking forward to it. Then do I get Dean in here?"
"Faith maybe." He smirked. "Or Buffy if she's not on vacation at that time." Shea groaned. "I don't expect you to be Buffy or Faith. I expect you to be good enough to beat them. New York is second to the hellmouth in activity, peaceful and not. You're going to have as much work as the Vienna house will in most of Europe."
"Shoot. Can I have more slayers?"
"If you need them. Remember, you'll have that office in the local PD."
"Good point." They kept going until Shea ended up on her back. Again.
Xander checked his watch then looked at her. "One more go then you can shower, do some laps, then eat and hit the sack for morning PT with Gibbs." She groaned but got up and did it again. She lost quickly because she was sore, but they expected that from her.
"Just remember, we've had battles that have lasted longer than an hour, complete with running for bait purposes; a few times," Buffy told her.
"That's the purpose of this," Xander told her. "To increase stamina and ability." Buffy smiled, giving him a pat before going to see Dawn for some sister time and going over the pictures from the prom. Xander looked at Gibbs. "The girls that were on search doing okay? I haven't seen them in days."
"They're good. Still doing PT. Still keeping in shape. Want them in here?"
"When she's higher and more ready. Whichever is better at this." Gibbs nodded, going to talk to them. Xander went to take his own shower then get some food. He was just as sweaty as she was and just as sore. He went to get some liniment of his own then went to do his own laps. She'd join him eventually. Daniel came in so he flipped onto his back to backstroke. "Was I missed?"
"No. Almost nothing came in today." He sat on the side of the pool. "I peeked on her training. She didn't look bad."
"Not bad. Not good enough but not bad." Daniel gave him a cool look. "She's going to be the senior slayer in New York. There's a huge demon population in the city. Over half are harmless but there's also a large vampire population. New York and LA are second to the hellmouth for activity." He turned to do another lap of backstroke. "She'll get there. She has some training. She needs to be able to pick up anything at hand if she's attacked and she's learning that plus increasing her stamina."
"That's a good point. Can Jack help?"
"Sure. If he wants. Gibbs does morning PT and he's going to start getting her up for it. The girls who were on retrieval do the same thing if he wants to join them."
"I'll let him know." He smiled. "You didn't look so bad. Sore?"
"Oh, yeah. And when she can make me as sore as she was today then she's passed."
"Good to know. I'll keep you on light duties."
"I'm fine for sharing, Danny." He stopped swimming to look at his boss. "Gibbs can fill in for me if we have to handle a case."
"That's good to know." He smiled as Shea and Jack walked in with Gibbs. "Jack, he said the girls who went to find the others are doing morning PT and so does Gibbs."
"I might join you but not for jogging," Jack said.
"That's fine. Taylor does," Gibbs told him. "DiNozzo does most days for my run."
That got a nod. "We can do that," Daniel agreed.
"We have to jog?" Shea nearly whined.
Xander laughed. "No, you have to learn how to run when you need to run."
"I can run."
"Good. You'll prove it when we go hunting together as a final test," he said with a grin. "In your new city."
She nodded slowly. "Okay," she said weakly. She slid into the water and started her own laps. "How many am I doing?"
"Until you're ready to nap. Then go eat and go to bed," Gibbs told her. She nodded, doing about twelve laps before getting out and trudging to get something from the kitchen and hit her bed. "Benson has that bad of a job?"
"SVU is rape and children cases," Xander said quietly. "She's constantly on call and she's got stakeouts, chases, and court times." Gibbs shuddered. "That's her whole job. I'm thinking she'll be lucky to hit patrol or problem areas fifteen percent of the time. And I'm worried she'll end up using it as stress relief."
"I'd think it'd be very stress relieving," Gibbs agreed.
"But that's a good way to end up hurting someone," Jack said quietly. Xander nodded. "Which we don't want for any of the slayers."
"No, we don't," Daniel agreed. "That makes more sense," he decided. He got up, looking around the area. "I'll see you at dinner, guys." He left, going to think about the harsh life the girls might be having off base. He knew the watchers were trying their best to help them and make it easier on them.
Jack looked at Xander. "That's pretty harsh."
"Before the great awakening as Willow called it, the girls lasted under a year on average. Average was about seven or eight months. Somewhere in there. There were months when we went through a few of them in the old days."
Jack and Gibbs both shuddered. "The more trained the girls are, the longer they'll live. We'd like most of them to die of old age."
"Yes I would. I want to be an uncle to many more kids," Xander said dryly.
"No plans for kids of your own?" Jack asked.
"Willow warped my sperm." He kicked off again. "If they unwarp and look less like post-nuclear holocaust sperm then we'll see. Even without the spell they're still showing signs of being warped." Jack and Gibbs shared a look then shook their heads. They dove in to swim their own laps. Xander finally got out and went to get his own dinner and then hit his bed.
"He's stronger than I am. I'd have given in hours ago," Gibbs said. "He worked her butt off."
"It's good incentive to know she'll pass when she can do that to him back."
"It would be for me. Boot camp wasn't that hard."
"Boot camp was good for us, but that's her life if she fails."
"I know. Maybe we'll be sending a few others up there with her sometime soon."
"Maybe," Jack agreed. "How are the ones going to Vienna and India going to handle it?"
"They're coming in a few weeks. They've been in field combat and leadership positions. Shea hasn't. For all that she said she was hunting on her own and her parents are hunters, the Winchesters ride her harder than anyone but Brenda."
"Think she'll do good training the future slayers?"
"I think she'll do just fine," Gibbs said with a small smile. "She's a good girl. John would've spanked all the hellion out of her if she wasn't. Or not adopted her."
Jack nodded. "They are cute."
"She's the first Winchester girl. John sometimes gets this look like 'I have no idea what to do with a girl' when she comes in with girl issues." Jack laughed. "One of the younger ones needed her first bra and he froze up like a deer in a semi's headlights. I sent her to see Stella."
Jack nodded. "That's what I'd do." He flipped over to swim in the other direction. "Think we should hype Xander up on chocolate again so he fixes more stuff around here?"
"Don't remind me about the last time," Gibbs said with a shudder. "It was so bad John knocked him out and tied him down for the night. Plus he built some stuff in the lab." Jack shuddered at that too. That was probably a recipe for having to rebuild the base.
John pulled into the front yard of the salvage yard, getting out once he had parked. He walked around to get Brenda up so he could help her out. Dean and Sam pulled in behind him. Faith had escaped that morning so she wouldn't be meeting the extended family. He walked her up to the porch. "Bobby, do I have to find some holy water for you?" he yelled as he walked in.
Bobby came out of the bathroom. "I was fixing a pipe and didn't hear you." He looked at the young woman on his arm then at the two boys. "New wife?" he guessed with a smile.
She gave him an odd look. "Mary would come back from the dead to kick his butt, Mr. Singer. I'm Brenda." She held out a hand.
"Pleasure to meet you, young lady. I've heard a lot about you." He shook her hand with a grin. "You go ahead and sit down." She walked into the devil's trap and couldn't move out of it. "Uh-huh."
"Why would a slayer get caught in a devil's trap?"
"Because when they gave the first slayer her powers, they bound some demon's power into the line," Sam said. He helped her out and she sighed, sitting down while rubbing her stomach. "Didn't even think about that." Bobby gave him an odd look. "Way back in caveman days, they took a girl and forced the powers on her to make her a slayer. Including some demon's powers. I read the account of calling the first slayer back and what Sineya taught Buffy. The stronger, faster, better healing stuff is all from that."
"That would be enough. It gets people who carry a taint from a possession," he agreed.
"We'll have to warn Xander about that," Sam said quietly, sitting down beside her. "You okay?"
"I'm tired for some reason," she said with a small pout.
"She's putting a lot of strain on you with all the rapid growing and cell division she's doing. Remember, right now she's growing organs and things." She nodded, resting against his shoulder. "Beyond that, Dad was probably playing sleepy music." She nodded faster at that, making John snort.
"Little one?" Bobby asked calmly.
"I didn't tell you because I wanted it to be a surprise," John said with a grin. "Some witches knocked Brenda up with a future little slayer." She kicked him. "Behave."
"Good girl." He patted her on the head, sitting down on her free side. Dean sat down in the free seat. "So yes, she's pregnant. About four months along. She'll be a Winchester from birth since Brenda's so much like one of my own."
"That's good then. Will it hurt her calling?" Bobby asked.
"Xander said he's going to be a huge uncle influence and the other girls might babysit now and then," Brenda offered with a grin. "Plus I'm on to train the later slayers and hunters, Mr. Singer."
"Call me Bobby or Uncle Bobby, Brenda."
"Yes, Bobby," she said with a shy smile.
"You even look like the old bastard there." He smirked, going back to fixing the pipe. "Be right out."
"Sure, need help?" Dean asked.
"No, I got it." He closed the door and cackled quietly while he fixed the pipe with the hole in it. John was in over his head this time. Sam knocked then walked in. "You okay with that?"
"We love Brenda like a sister too. She's a good girl. We even have prom pictures. She got asked this year even though she's not a senior." Bobby gave him an odd look. "Her former watcher. Fortunately he's dead so we can't kick his ass."
"Good to know. I'll see in a few minutes." Sam nodded, going to do that. "Do the holy water test anyway," he called.
"I fed them all holy water this morning," John called back. "After Brenda, Faith, and Dean got back from the pool hall." He glared at his son.
"I'm out of practice," Dean said with an evil smirk. "I haven't played since Vegas last summer."
"Think Xander's taken Shea's training over by now?" Sam asked.
"She called me last night to say she's very sorry she ever slacked," Brenda told him. Then she smirked evilly. "He took her into the weapons room that Faith uses for 'pick up whatever's at hand' lessons." Dean shuddered. "She was in there *all* day. Then she did some laps to keep herself from cramping and took dinner to bed. Gibbs got her up at dawn to do PT with him and Jack." John smirked at that. "He said she'll pass when she can make him as bruised and sore as she was yesterday."
"That's a good sign," John agreed. "She okay?"
"She wanted to know if she went jogging and broke her ankle if he'd let her out. I told her no."
"That's my sister," Dean said, giving her a smirk. "She needs it. She'll be the senior girl in New York in a few months."
"Gibbs is going over advanced demonology with her," Sam agreed. "Including what they know is living there and if they're harmful or not. Then Rona and Cho get to join in."
"Xander called Buffy up for a demonstration after Shea had gotten worn out that morning. After working out all morning and she said their fight lasted forty-five minutes."
"That's good," John agreed. "Who won?"
"Buffy's out of practice then," John sighed, shaking his head.
"She said Xander taunted her about her pants being tight. That's how he got her to attack first."
"That'd do it for most of the girls," Sam agreed. Bobby came out wiping his hands. "We're doing okay training the slayers."
"That's good to know. Most of them decent at it?"
"Most of us are," Brenda agreed. "Some of us are crappy at the actual hunting because we don't have the right reactions but there's plenty of things for them to do. Including helping Crissy with her twins." She pulled out pictures. "That's the kids of the first pregnant slayer in this generation."
Bobby looked. "They're cute little future whirlwinds. They charmed or changed?"
"No. Not that we know," John said, taking the picture to look. "The slayer essence doesn't enter them until sometime between three days and six months of age. They're only just under a month." He handed it to Brenda. "Pretty soon we'll have to start a baby book for that little one." He smiled. "She said we're going to name her after Mary and I'll be her Watcher."
"You'll be ancient by then."
"Then I'll step in if he can't," Dean told him. "Not like we won't all be training her."
Brenda nodded. "Me too." He smiled. "But I'm also going to be training hunters and others who want to become DCIS agents. Xander has too much to do."
"Yes he does," Dean said dryly. "But it'll be fine. Danny keeps hiring people to take some of his duties over. I still think it was funny how they were working on plans on what to do when Xander or Danny got taken."
"It's a good probability it'll be them," Sam reminded him. "Danny is as much a trouble magnet as I am and Xander is."
"That one a watcher?" Bobby asked.
"The boss at DCIS. He's an anthropologist and he does languages," Brenda said with a smile. "He was on a classified military project before but they said he got taken a whole lot. Jack has so many stories about rescuing Danny that he can't tell because it's classified." She looked at the guys. "How does Xander have all his contacts?"
John and Dean shrugged. "Through the years he's ran into them."
Dean nodded. "It's possible. I know he's got a lot in the arms dealing field because he did weapons stuff. Some are Angel's contacts in LA since he was comatose and we had to deal with LA back then too."
"It sucked back then," Brenda told Bobby. "Xander was doing all our training at first, including demonology lessons and trying to teach some of us english. He was holding DCIS together as he and Tony built the teams. Anytime he went on an out of town case, he came back injured. We about kidnaped him so he couldn't go off base again. Then he hired us these two lunkheads." She nodded at Sam, who gave her head a nudge. "Sam took over demonology. Dean took over our training. Danny took over the language and classroom stuff so Xander could go train the agents in what they needed to do." Bobby laughed. "Then the invasion happened and John was there so he showed up a few weeks later to be the dorm dad and stepped in to help Dean because some of us were kinda pitiful."
"Yes you were," Dean said dryly. "There were too many of you and Xander was handling the Council almost all by himself in those days. He didn't have the time or the energy to do your training as in depth as you girls need."
"We were happy we got him four hours a day," she reminded him.
"I know. That's why he was overworked and came to pounce us in our motel room when the FBI found us." Sam nodded at that. Bobby gave him an odd look. "Someone in the FBI tipped him off that they had hunters who were doing some odd things with credit cards and had left a few bodies that were demons but looked almost human behind them. Xander gave us immunity if we'd become the training team for the girls. Wes was handling the hellmouth and the patrol rotation there and LA."
"Xander handled LA more than Wes did," Brenda corrected. "Plus all the probates and setting things up for us."
Bobby shuddered. "Sounds hard."
"But we're better and then John came in to straighten out the little panty raiding bitches we had," she said dryly. Bobby gaped. She nodded. "They used to plague the agents. Doctor House had to use a dye pack to stop them from doing him again. They used to pick a different agent each run so they'd prove they had stealth down pat." Bobby whimpered. "John had to do a lot of confiscating since he got there."
"Yeah, it's nice to open up my dresser and find them still full," Sam said dryly. He gave her a squeeze. "I'm so proud you only went on that one."
"I had to find out what it was all about," she said with a grin. "Besides, they hide their naughty stuff with me since John knows I don't buy my own." She looked at Dean. "Who did you give those magazines to this time?"
"Dawn. They in your room?"
"One is. Caridad got curious and stole one from someone then handed it to me while walking off blushing bright red."
"I'll get it when we get back," Dean promised.
John looked at his son. "Didn't I tell you to quit doing that?"
"Dawn's old enough." He looked at Bobby. "Someone had to teach them sex ed too. The girls in Cleveland had a nasty habit of dating things with crabs." Bobby burst out in loud laughs.
"Twice," Sam said. "Even after some of dad's lectures. And Xander's lectures."
"Sounds like they're driving you guys nuts."
"They try really hard but we're stronger than that," Sam said with a grin. "They like to stare at us, a lot, so we get to put up punishments if they don't listen."
Bobby nearly choked he was laughing so hard. "They do?" he gasped.
"Demonology and research times are known as Sammy Staring Time," Brenda said with a grin. Bobby started to laugh again. "We should get him a paper bag to help him calm down," she said when his face turned too red.
"He's fine," Dean assured her. "If not, you have your CPR card, I have mine."
"Don't you dare think about kissing me," Bobby said, looking at his 'nephew' as he calmed down. Dean just smirked. "She's at least pretty." The girl ducked her head with a bright blush. "She's clearly a good girl too."
John nodded, patting Brenda on the back. "She's a very good girl. Otherwise I'd have spanked her into one." She nodded quickly. "But she's been too good for that. Even if they did take a day off to have cocoa with the older slayers in the snow."
"They needed to talk. They didn't understand why we weren't having transition problems."
"It was still in the snow," Dean reminded her.
"We built a fire and most of us had blankets to sit on."
"Whatever," Sam told her. "Thank you for narking on Xander that day."
"Xander needed narked on. He was doing stupid things that'll get him hurt and make us fuss over him, which would make him pout at us and make us unhappy, again."
"He seems to do that a lot," Sam said.
"If we had more guys like Xander we'd all be nuts but they could take some of his cases and spread it around," Dean offered.
"They don't make others like Xander," Brenda reminded him. "You're about as close as we get."
"No, if he walks onto a demon battlefield with a gun over one shoulder and demands to get Calleigh back, we'll paddle sense into him," Sam said with a smug look at his very dangerous brother. Dean just smirked back.
"Huh?" Bobby asked.
"Xander has a female CSI, a ballistics person, on his team. Her name is Calleigh." She found a group picture in her wallet, handing it over and shifting closer. "That's Calleigh. She used to be Miami-Dade's ballistics CSI."
"She's a gun toting woman who thinks she can kick Sammy's butt," Dean told him.
"She might be able to after Xander finishes her training," Sam said.
"Maybe," Dean agreed. "Anyway, they're on an assignment in lower Arizona. Across the border there's been an ongoing war for a few generations between two demon clans."
Brenda nodded. "They decided Calleigh would break the war by marrying an heir from both clans and bearing them babies. Xander, who is very macho, walked out onto the battlefield with a few guns, one openly worn over his shoulder. Didn't say a word. One of the demons on one side said something. Xander blew a hole in the ground near his feet. The other side laughed. He did it to them. Then he demanded to have his teammate back. They tried to argue but Xander's a very stubborn guy. He's more stubborn than John sometimes." Bobby moaned at that. "He got Calleigh back but one of his other teammates had been taping it for training purposes." John snickered. "I saw the video he put online and I told Dean, who sent it on." Dean gave Bobby a smug look. "Jack, Danny's buddy who runs the covert stuff they just put under DCIS, dragged Xander off to spank him in the office," she finished with a grin.
"Yes he did," Dean agreed dryly. "Because that's doing dangerous, stupid stuff and giving you girls a bad example."
"Xander said everyone looks hot with artillery," she said with a sweet grin.
"Maybe, but I hope you never have to find out," John said. She gave him a hug then went back to her former seat.
"This Xander boy a good boy and sane?"
"He's from Sunnydale," Sam said. Bobby shuddered. "Hunted with the slayer team out there before they sent him off with the slayers who couldn't fight when the former incarnation of DCIS showed up to do a switch and offer them safe shelter. He pretty well held things together when what was left of the watchers tried to weed down the number of girls. He rebuilt the council with Wesley's help. The guy's amazing but he's wearing himself out. That's why the boss at DCIS keeps finding people to do all the extra jobs Xander finds that no one's doing."
"Originally we didn't have maintenance guys who fixed things," Brenda told them. "Things like lightbulbs and stuck doors. Xander was doing that and helping us. We learned a lot about home repair helping him with that stuff because it was one of the few times we could get some one-on-one time with him. Though, I gotta agree with some of the girls. Tony and Xander hired for pretty."
"They're mostly very handsome men," John agreed. "And pretty women."
"At first it was by recruitment so they went to hire for pretty and competent," she said with a grin. "Tony did most of the hiring but Xander brought in Ryan the same day he came home possessed by Speed's ghost."
Sam coughed, shaking his head at that. "Then Horatio, Eric, and Calleigh followed to DCIS when he got his body back and Alexx followed to the town. Eric was complaining that his mother said he was too far away to get married the other day."
"Eric was complaining there weren't any easy women for him," Brenda shot back.
"Yeah, he and Tony are playboys." He took that picture to point them out to Bobby. "That's Horatio, Speed, Calleigh, Eric, Tony, Danny Messer, Don Flack, Mac Taylor, Stella Bonasera, Xander, Ryan Wolfe, and the rest of the team that we hardly ever work with."
"How did he get his body back?"
"Dawn sneezed," Brenda and Sam said together. John moaned, shaking his head.
"Then they started to share funky dreams from the stupid demon that took out Mary and wanted Sam or a few of the slayers."
"Don't remind me," John told her. She just grinned and kissed him on the cheek. He sighed, giving her a hug. "I know but it's odd. Especially since they're still sharing dreams."
"Xander's still not admitting he's having visions," Sam told him.
"Has he been?"
"Two that I've got some bleedover from. One was the invasion. That's how we knew to send more girls to Chicago. Not just his just in case feeling as he claimed." That got a grimace from John. "He was right though."
"He was," Sam agreed. "Because that was bad."
Brenda nodded. "Yes it was. Waiting wasn't any better." She pinched him on the arm. "Bastard."
"Don't teach my niece to swear," he shot back with a look.
"I won't have to. Dawn will," she said smugly. "Or possibly her uncle Xander."
"Xander has more sense than that," John assured her. "Or else I'll spank him." Bobby laughed. "I will. I like the boy. He's a good boy. He's a bit insane from all the hunting. They had nightly patrols out there. He comes out with some of the strangest stuff now and then."
"The other night he was comparing the prom to beltane," Sam added.
"And that's pretty mild for Xander," John agreed. "But now and then the boy is one you want to shake for not having sense."
"They had nightly patrols and more than a few apocalypses," Dean said patiently. "It's what let Xander handle the invasion in LA without freaking out and helping those of us who were. Because I stopped and nearly crapped myself when I saw that wave of demons."
"Fortunately I had cheese for breakfast that day," Sam quipped, getting him swatted by his father and Brenda. "I did."
"I nearly crapped watching them come at us," Brenda told him. "I know Faith started to pray."
"Yeah, did that too," Sam and Dean agreed together.
John nodded. "You're not the only one."
"I saw that on tv. Looked really nasty," Bobby told them. Brenda nodded quickly. "You were there?"
"Yup. I was there. I was nearer to the back of the line because I wasn't anywhere near fully trained but I was there." She leaned over John to get closer to him. "A few of the girls snuck some of the soldiers off by 'saving them' from the demons and making them take them out of harm's way to hit on them."
"Which we yelled about later that night," Sam said dryly. He patted her back, making her belch. "Pickles again?"
"Yes. She's driving me nuts with wanting sweet pickles. It's too early for cravings. The sites and books all said so."
"That's your body telling you that you need things," John said patiently. "Probably more vegetables. I don't know how you managed to get Dean's aversion to vegetables before you even met us."
"Proved I was a hidden Winchester," she teased.
"You definitely are, but not even I can eat as many pickles as you have recently."
"We can do a nice salad tonight," Bobby offered. She beamed at that and nodded. "Four months?"
"Not yet but I'm told I'll be hogging the bathroom around Halloween." The guys all smirked and nodded. "I've talked to Crissy, who had a lot of issues now and then about wanting to go on patrol and Connor tying her to a chair and turning the tv on to PBS to make the kids smarter."
Dean burst out laughing. "I knew that'd work when he called up asking advice on how to stop her." John just groaned, shaking his head. "She wanted to help bust up a party at a demon bar that got out of hand. It worked, she didn't try it again."
"She was probably traumatized."
"It was at night so she said it was English stuff. She has no idea why Wesley and Giles don't talk that way." Bobby snickered, shaking his head. "They're stuffy and British but not that stuffy."
"Thankfully," John agreed. "Wes is too stuffy for me sometimes."
"Giles has horses on his estate according to Dawn," Brenda told him. "Willow told her she did some riding when she went on grief leave."
"I'm surprised he didn't try to take the head office back there then," John said.
"The current hellmouth is in Cleveland and Wes said the head office was going to be there. Giles never countered that decision," Sam told him. "You're damn lucky you didn't get to hear some of the conversations Xander and Giles had over the speaker phone in the office." John nodded at that. He stretched. "It's nice that a quarter of the girls and most of the older ones are gone now." Dean nodded. "That leaves you with a smaller class."
"Working on what the future ones will need," Dean pointed out. "Preparing the teams for anything going on and advanced training with other weapons for those who want it." Brenda beamed at him. "After you've had my niece and are back in shape. Like Crissy, you have to pass me and/or Faith again."
"Of course. But I can do that around the new year and be ready in time for the next apocalypse."
"Speaking of, we need to see what that might be," Sam said. "And if there's anyone else who's going to try an ascension move."
"Ten days, up the road by about thirty miles," Dean said with a point. Bobby moaned. "I've got something in the car in case she changes."
"Can I use it?" Brenda asked. "You got to use the one in Miami," she pouted when he shook his head. "Please, Dean?"
"I was going to find Faith and take her so you're not in danger."
She pouted worse. "I'll be good. I won't let the huge demon worm anywhere near me. I promise. It's safer if I fire on it than if I play bait to draw it. Faith complained that the last one got her all nasty too."
"We'll see," John said. She pouted at him. "I said we'll see." She slumped, giving him the pathetic, pitiful, please don't kick me look she had learned off Xander. He sighed. "You two can flip for it based on the situation," he complained.
"Sure we can," Dean agreed. "As long as she's in no danger."
"Why would I be?"
"That might be a point," Sam said. "Hopefully the demon won't see her until it's too late to avoid the rocket or whatever."
"You have real artillery?" Bobby asked.
"Checked out a portal," Dean said with a grin. "And three things so we can solve it since we heard it's going to happen if they did everything right. Might as well since we're here." Someone knocked so he looked back. "Hold on. That's Faith." He went to talk to her outside. "Hey. Change your mind?" he asked casually.
"Not real sure. Checking on Little B work?" she asked, looking upset.
He kissed her and grinned. "He's not mean. We spent a lot of time with Bobby when we were little. Brenda's been telling stupid Xander stories and getting cuddled by Sammy and Dad." He kissed her again. "If he says anything we'll hike off."
"They're your family."
"Family's important. You don't realize how important until you lose it." She looked down then back at him. "You sure?"
"Of course. There's even a possible ascension in the next town," he teased.
"Do we need to call the base?"
"Nah, got a portal with three things and Brenda wants to fire it this time."
"We'll see. Could hurt the belly of doom." Dean laughed at that. "You sure he won't mind?"
"No, he won't mind. Oh, watch out for the devil's trap. The way the slayer powers are leaves a slight taint."
"Figured that much since the pure girls can play with Binky."
"Good point. It caught Brenda earlier."
Bobby came out. "Problems?"
"This is kinda my girlfriend Faith, who is one of the two senior slayers," Dean said. "Faith, this is Bobby. He's as near to family as you get without being born a Winchester."
"Hey," she said quietly.
He smiled. "He picked for pretty and capable. Didn't expect anything less than that." She gave him an odd look "You can come in. I haven't bitten anything in years that didn't deserve it. You might even make the young one less nervous."
"I can do that." She walked in with them. "Little B, you're all fluttery. You need a momma nap?"
"No," she snorted, frowning at her. "You decided to come snuggle Dean?"
"I figured I was bored, he might be lonely, and he said no one's that scary around here. Even if someone at the local bar did give me odd looks for being a girl who could play pool." Dean pulled her down into his lap. "Didn't know I was lap bait or property."
"Lack of chairs," he said with a wicked smirk. He leaned closer. "Next time, leave a note?" he whispered. She nodded, giving him a look. "I understood. You know that." She nodded again. "Thanks."
"Welcome." Brenda suddenly turned green and ran to the bathroom Bobby had been fixing.
"Water might need to be turned back on," Bobby called.
Faith checked her watch. "Bit early. Usually it happens right around five."
John checked his watch. "It is early. Brenda, did you eat lunch?" She retched again. He sighed, going to get her some ice water and help her with that.
"I'm never doing that," Faith told Dean.
"Not an issue. That's a personal choice."
"You can adopt," Sam offered.
"Could, but babies scare the crap outta me," she told him.
"I thought it was nice Mary and Anna knew that the babies were evil and still played and cooed anyway," Brenda called from the bathroom.
"All babies are evil," Faith assured her.
"Babies are born pure," Sam sighed, giving her a dirty look.
"Bet me. They turn people's minds to goo and they make you want what you don't need. They're evil. Anna and Mary are right to be afraid of the twins of evil doom."
"Xander make up that name?" Dean teased.
"Mini mouth did."
"Mary will grow into her sarcastic and blurting out tendencies," Sam said with a grin. "Even if I am refining her quips with Speed's help."
"She could use it. She called Binky a bratty little crap head the other day," Faith reminded him.
"Why?" Dean asked.
"Binky was cranky and kicked her in the butt with her back hooves."
"What is Binky?" Bobby asked.
"Binky and Digger are two of the three pets the slayers have on base," Dean told him. "They're unicorns. Binky's the sort that can play with anyone unpure and Digger and play with the pure ones. Now, the same slayer thing that caught Brenda in the devil's trap means that even the pure slayers can play with Binky. Digger hates that there's so few virgins on base."
"Especially after the prom night," Faith said smugly. Dean gave her a look. She pointed. He shrugged and gave her a squeeze. "The other's a little walking demon shrub that growls and shakes his leaves but loves our forensic goddess for feeding him miracle grow for demon shrubs. When it's too cold for him he rides in the elevators all night."
Bobby shook his head quickly at that. "That's just too strange."
"George has stuck many people who tried to get close to the girls or Dean," Sam told him. "He's very protective of his girls." Dean nodded. "There's been a few visiting agents who got stuck because they were in his sun or they were staring too long at the girls. The unicorns are wonderful but Anna hates to shovel the barn."
"She's the one who wanted to keep 'em," Faith pointed out. Brenda came back and curled up against Sam's side, getting a cuddle. "Bad?"
"Wish it was the flu so it'd be over soon," she croaked.
"Crissy said hers went away after a month. Especially after House gave her something for it."
"It's in my bag," John said, going to get it. He came back with the pill bottle. "I didn't even think about it, Brenda." She read the directions then held it up. "Bobby, can we make her some toast?"
"Go ahead." They went into the kitchen to make her some toast so she could take the medicine. He looked at Faith. "You're not, right?"
"Hell no," she said firmly. "I'm a firm believer that kids are the reason for birth control." He smiled at that. "All slayers are on it thanks to our blood drawing stuff, but that coven of teenage witches were bad to her."
"Coven? Full one?"
"Ten out of thirteen," Dean said quietly. "All charged and punished by DCIS."
"Good!" He smiled as the girl came back. "It seems bad now but it's a blessing in many ways, Brenda."
"That's why Dean's going to be the one to do the nasty stuff like cutting the cord," she quipped. John laughed. Dean gave her an odd look. "It's you or Xander. He and House delivered Crissy's twins in the tub."
"We were worried she'd go during the riots out there," Faith reminded her.
"I know. It's good she held on all the way." She sipped her water. "Thanks, Bobby."
"Toast isn't any big thing. Though I should probably pull out the grill."
"I've got stuff in the ice chest in the truck," John assured him. "Didn't know if you had done groceries this week or not."
Bobby smiled. "That's nice of you. Help me set it up while they rest." That got a nod and they went to do that. "She seems sweet, shy, and nice."
"She is until you threaten something she likes. Then she turns into a very good slayer. We've done a great job training all the girls but Brenda's been all but a real daughter since day one. She even looks like Dean. Came down to help them play with engines so we taught her that. Loves her weapons." That got a smile. "She'll last for a good, long time. Mary'll be like her Ma but probably a bit wilder now and then. Brenda was pretty sheltered."
"You called to complain that some of the former watchers that got killed were bad guys."
"Brenda could barely read when she got free of him," he said quietly. Bobby scowled. "We helped a lot. She's the one I took when I went on that hunting trip and got possessed. Thankfully she's learned to drive since then." Bobby laughed. "Seriously. She was so bad the demon had me take over and drive back to base because she scared him."
Bobby shook his head. "Sounds slightly insane on base."
"Now and then the girls act up and become girls again. They didn't know Crissy was going to have twins so the day they heard she gave birth to an extra one all the girls descended on the mall. Ten hours later they had Dawn send presents over." He attached the new propane tank. "Some went to the prom. Brenda got asked by a pretty nice boy she worked with on a few projects."
"So you're all right with being a grandfather?"
John looked at him then shook his head. "I'm still mentally getting stuck on that point." He leaned closer. "The Powers That Be, the ones who watch over the girls, sent Mary specially to her when the witches did their stupidness," he said quietly.
"She is?" he demanded. John smiled and nodded. "Oh, damn."
"It won't be the same but I'll be her Watcher and this time it'll be okay. She was a daughter before then. She found out when we did and asked if she could be a Winchester from birth."
"Well." He considered it. "She sounds like a caring girl."
"She fusses horribly over Dean and Sam if they get hurt in training or on field calls. She was in scythe and sword practice with Dean when she got a lucky shot. She dropped her weapon and pushed him down onto the floor to bandage this little, tiny cut on his arm. He had to complain for an hour before she let him go. Cleaned it, bandaged it, fussed over him horribly. She'll make a good mother."
"You like the other one that much?"
"I like Faith. She's overcome some things that could've turned her fully evil. She had her brush with the dark and came back. She's one the girls look up to now. She's still wild and a bit more brutal than the others are. All the Sunnydale crew is," he realized. "Buffy and Faith were both there for a while." He smiled. "She's a good girl underneath. Had some crappy things around her when she was younger. Danced on the other side for a few months but she paid for it." Bobby nodded. "Then she came out of jail for the fallout in Sunnydale. Led a section. Got the girls settled later on. When the watchers tried to blow the rest of them up, she wasn't caught in the LA explosion so she was the senior girl up and awake.
"She jumped into Cleveland with Wes and helped him set things up. She's been the big sister the girls needed with Xander playing big brother. She's a bit tough but she gives a damn and she likes Dean. They suit each other very well. She's a superb hunter. Had a few form flaws but she only had a year of having a watcher before she was killed in front of her by a very ancient vamp from what she said." Bobby nodded slowly. "She learned and now she's the one teaching the last level of training to the girls. They're keeping it casual but they're good for each other. Lighten each other's dark sides."
"That's good then. Did I see her on the news in Miami?"
"Yeah. That ascension she got to fire off one of the rockets into the demon. Got gooed for it too."
Bobby laughed. "This one nearby?"
"Next town to the west, Bobby."
"We'll watch and listen for her then. You guys staying those ten days?"
"Dean and Faith were going to go off hunting. We're technically taking Brenda around to introduce her to the ones who might as well be family."
"So a few days here then a few days with Ellen?"
"You might wanna watch out for her daughter Jo. She's become a bit...set in her ways."
John smirked. "If she tries for Dean Faith'll knock her out." Bobby nodded at that. Faith coughed because she had been listening. "Another friend's daughter. The boys worked with her once." He looked back. "You have my permission and her mother would say the same thing."
"Sure, I can do that." She came out. "Can I help? Little B's asleep on Sammy's shoulder."
"Know much about grilling?" Bobby asked.
"I know how to toast something when I set it on fire," she offered with a grin. "I can't really cook."
"Not quite the same. We can teach you. It's a good skill to have." He let her help prepare the grill and put out the food. John gave her a look. "You girls eat a lot because you work it back off. I heard John's comments on some of the dinners you guys have had."
"We can eat like normal girls tonight. I put on an extra one for Little B."
"That's fine, Faith. I'm sure she'll appreciate it." He smiled. "Where are you and Dean headed to hunt?"
"No idea. He's driving and he said it'll have at least one ghost at an amusement park." He laughed. "Otherwise no idea."
"We're going to be heading to another family friend in a few days by the name of Ellen. She runs a hunter's bar called the Roadhouse. I used to hunt with her husband."
"K, I'll let him know." She walked inside. "Pappa Scruffy said we're heading to a bar called the Roadhouse in a few days."
"We can do that." He pulled her down for a kiss. "Let's go help grill before Dad burns everything again." She smiled, letting him follow her out. "Sammy's napping with Brenda." They came over to tend the grill while Dean taught her how to do this. "We can hit the Roadhouse. It's not a problem."
"Jo's become a bit focused, Dean," Bobby warned.
Dean snorted. "I've got Faith. She can hunt with me and lets me do anything I want as long as it's good for her. Why would I want Jo?"
"Good point." He smiled. "Just be courteous to her Ma, Faith. She can hunt but she doesn't want to since it killed her husband."
"Of course I will. The heathen brats are back on base doing summer work." She smirked evilly. "As designed by Xander and Dean." John laughed. "And Sammy Staring Time research projects."
"The girls crushed so massively on Sammy," Dean agreed. "They used to come into the library to stare at him after we first got there. He'd be researching and hand them a book because they were in there. That's how the research class started."
"If they don't keep up with it, then he makes 'em take it with Thomas for a bit. He's a nice older guy from Wales through the Carribean." Bobby snickered, shaking his head. "Even some of the older ones called liked their Sammy Staring Time. It's almost a slayer compulsion to stare at him now and then or to drool on Dean during practice."
"I didn't know you were in research class," Dean quipped with a smirk for her.
She pinched him hard on the side. "I'm not. I've seen you both in your boxers. You have the better body and I'm not the sort to go for brains." He laughed, giving her a kiss.
John took the fork. "Give me that before you drop it into the grill, Dean." He gave him a nudge. He walked her off to show her the woods. He and Bobby shared a look then listened. Faith shrieked when Dean shoved her into the creek then he yelped when she dragged him in to get him back. "Those two are too cute for words some days. They went as chaperones for the prom." Bobby looked at him. "Not like the girls could carry weapons and there was a good chance it'd be attacked. We've had a master vamp try to take over close by and everyone in the underground knows about the base. Xander dressed up Faith in a dress that even made me drool. Sammy arranged it on Dean's end so they got a private weekend off farther away from the town than the rest of the girls were allowed to go. They got some fun in. Some dancing. Dawn and Brenda got the vamps when they showed up. They dealt with some petty girls who tried to ruin their dresses by coming out in ones a few of the girls who couldn't go loaned them. Came out hotter and made them sulk all the way to the office." He found his wallet and pulled it out to show off the picture. "That was Brenda's original dress on prom night."
"She looks adorable."
"Yes she did." He smiled and flipped it. "That's Dean and Faith that night." Bobby swallowed. "Xander did good picking out her dress. Said since she didn't have one, it was up to her to chaperone so she got a special night to wear a fantastic dress and be the special princess."
"She's a pretty girl."
"Yes she is," Dean said as they walked back. "Even in wet jeans and boots." He smirked, going around the house to get them some dry clothes. Bobby and John laughed. He came back, looking at the picture. "Brenda's second dress made her look even hotter. Dawn's too." He found his wallet and took out the picture he had snuck from another chaperone's camera. "There you go. That's Dawn and Brenda in their second dresses." Bobby moaned. "Very. Those girls got very sorry." He handed his father the wallet. "Thankfully I didn't fall on it." He trudged back that way to ...warm Faith up and dry her off so they could put on some dry clothes.
Bobby looked out that way at the giggling and squealing going on. "She's loud."
"Not usually." He heard the crack of a gunshot. "Dean, you good?" he called.
"Got the possessed deer that came to play with us," he called back. Faith carried it back for him, dropping it at Bobby's feet then scampering off in her long t-shirt and panties.
John quit blushing a few minutes later. "Think it's safe to eat?"
Bobby got his flask of holy water and tested the deer. "Seems okay. You unpossess it first?" he called.
"Yes," she called back.
"Thanks, kids." They settled in to field dress the deer and chop it up for freezing. They were both skilled at this art. Brenda came out with a yawn, going a bit green at what they were doing. "You don't have to help us, dear."
"No, I'm good. I've seen others do it. It's just that blood is icky."
"It is," John agreed. "We'll wash it off though."
"Okay." She looked at the grill, turning things over. "They were getting a bit crispy on that side so I turned things."
"Thanks," Bobby said with a smile for her. "You can grill?"
"Now and then my former watcher considered himself a grilling master and used it to hit on women. He sucked and everything got burned to a crisp." They nodded, finishing up quickly so they could rescue the food. Once they cleaned up of course. Sam was woken up too. Dean and Faith were gotten by Brenda. Who came back blushing but they showed up ten minutes later dressed and dried off. It was a good dinner.
Daniel leaned into the practice area, groaning at what he saw. "Is she all right?"
"She's fine," Xander assured him. "Just a bit banged up. I picked up something solid that she didn't figure out she needed to duck." He straightened up. "Hit House up. Then go rest. We're taking down the nest in the next town later on. You and me. Maybe some backup," he said at her incredulous look. "I took plenty down with Buffy. Go to the infirmary then nap until dinner." She got up with a groan, going that way. He looked at the boss. "She's coming along pretty well."
"Good. We have the new liaison officers from Chicago."
"Has Horatio went over what their office needs?"
"We're going to be doing that later. Take them on the tour, get them set up with rooms? I've got a conference with someone at the CIA who ran into an enclave of feeder demons."
Xander nodded, going to find the new guys down at the gate. "Hey, guys. Xander Harris. Third in command around here and second in command in the Slayers Council." He shook their hands.
"I'm Ray Kowalski, this is Benny Fraser, and that's Ray Vecchio."
"Welcome to our base. I'm to show you guys around, get you guys some temporary housing set up, and then we'll go over what your city needs to set up their own office."
"That'll work," Ray Vecchio said since he was driving. "Which way?"
"Go to the blue triangle lot," Xander said with a point. "We just put up some new apartments and there's a few open free that way." He patted the top of the dark green car. "We'll get you guys passes once we get you checked in there." He walked that way, calling on the way. "Cloris, newbies from the CPD coming in to liaison. Three of them and one had a pet." He nodded. "They're driving that way. Thanks." He swung through her office to get keys, then walked out to that building. "I got keys." He let them into the building and up to the temporary quarters. Not full apartments but about the same as a motel room with a mini-fridge. He let the dog sniff him. "You might want to watch out for the slayers. They'll pounce him and pet him bald. Most of them will coo at him while they do it."
"He can hide," Ray Vecchio assured him. "He does from my nieces and nephews."
"If you're sure. We routinely warn that the slayers are teenage girls who squeal, pounce, pinch, and used to panty raid." Ray Kowalski laughed. "Honestly." He let them settle in. "Okay, let's head to the main building. That's where most everything is. Including Horatio since he helps set up most regional offices." He led them back out, watching the dog sniff around. He frowned, staring at it then at Benny. "Constable, is he a normal dog?"
"No, he's part wolf. How did you know?"
"I'm hearing him in the back of my head." He shook his head. "Try to keep the grumpy old guy from me? I'm a medium and I've sucked in more than one spirit." Benton gave him a horrified look. "We have a CSI here that ended up bringing his former lab because I accidentally sucked him in when I was handling a problem in Miami. Then he got his own body back because he was trying to expand my vocabulary." He walked them on. "You might not want him there. That's the disposal bins for the garage."
"Diefenbaker, don't go near that. It's oil and antifreeze." The half-wolf came back. "Thank you for that warning, Agent Harris."
"Around base, I'm Xander unless you piss me off," he said with a grin. He walked them on. "Out there is the unicorn's stable. They're usually wandering around but that gave them some private space. The light gray one will play with you. The white one can only play with virgins but he'll sniff you and probably play chase and tag with Diefenbaker. Now and then he does with George and the one guard who smokes. As long as you hide the smokes in your hand, it's not usually going to get you chased around but if they see it, you'll be running for the building." He smiled and walked off. "And we're walking to the main building. Inside on the bottom level is the infirmary and the gym with the pool. On the main level is the security office, the armory, the gym for PT and training, and the dining hall." That got a nod. "I will warn you that the girls eat a lot." He walked them on. "We're going to the security office and then to the third floor. The second is the labs. The third is our work area and the desks. Plus the boss's office. So we're walking this way. Oooh, there's George. He's harmless as long as you don't stand in his sun or try to pounce one of the girls. Hi, George." He leaned down to pet a branch. "How are you today?"
Ray Vecchio stared at the little walking shrub. "It was walking."
"Yeah. George is a harmless demon species. He's very protective and helpful actually."
"He's a walking bush," Vecchio repeated. He shook his head slowly. "That's not normal. That's not right."
Xander smiled at him. "He's got poisoned spikes too."
"That's not right," he repeated.
"Let's get him to the infirmary so he can take a nap," Fraser said quietly.
"Of course." He called down there. "Chase, one of the new guys that's in to build their own office in Chicago is presently having a freak-out from George. Courtyard." He hung up and moved them. "Out of his sun. He will get you with a sharp spike." George rattled his branches in a pleased way. "I know, it's good for you."
Benton shrugged and leaned down. "It's nice to meet you, George." It tipped some branches his way so he rubbed them like he had seen Xander do. The bush seemed happy. "He's quite nice. How can you tell he's male?"
Ray Kowalski waved. "Hey, George." A guy in a doctor's coat came out. Ray Vecchio was nearly whimpering. "I think the little shrub guy broke him."
"We've seen that before. Be a good boy, George. Abby's back from her trip to see Rodney." He hurried up that way. "We're in the basement when you want to have him back. Come on, detective. You can come take a nap in the quiet ward," he soothed, walking him off. "Try in about an hour, gentlemen." He walked him down there. "House, George upset his sensibilities."
"He does it to me now and then too. Watch out, Digger's in there stretched out so we can work on his side where Binky got pissed at him for being a guy."
"Sure." He walked him to another ward so he could have a nice, quiet nap.
Xander smiled at the guys. "It happens now and then." He walked them into the security office. "Guys, these are two of the three from the CPD. The other's with Chase."
"I saw that on the monitor." The head of security came out at his page. "Chicago PD, sir."
"Let's get you guys badges so we know you belong here." He got them their temporary badges and handed them over once they were printed. "There you go. The elevators all use these. When he wakes up we'll get your friend one." That got a nod. "There's always someone in here even during base assaults and dinner so whenever he wakes up is fine with us. Horatio just headed back up there from the library."
"It shares some space with the lab," Xander told them. "There's some storage areas up there too." He walked them up to the duty floor. "Horatio, two of the three CPD people."
"Nice to meet you, gentlemen. Let's go to our conference room so we can spread out and see what you have already set up." He led them that way. "We can get you some coffee or something if you need it."
"I could use some water or somethin'," Ray Kowalski said.
"Let me," Xander offered. He went to get water and a pitcher of coffee. He brought it back up with one of the slayers. "Here we go," he said as he came back in. Anna let go of Diefenbaker. "Why is Digger in the infirmary?"
"Binky had a womanly outrage moment and stabbed him in the side in a moment of domestic violence. He had to let House stitch him." She smiled. "Can I play with the dog?"
"If he wants. He's gentle and has played with children in the past," he assured the worried looking agent. One he had seen take down a very large demon with a sword just a few weeks earlier. "Diefenbaker, she wanted to know if you wanted to play." The half-wolf sniffed her then followed her out to play with her and Binky. "Thank you kindly," he said when he took a glass of ice water. "I am also passing it back to my superiors in the RCMP to see if we want to set up our own office."
"Of course you are," Xander agreed. That got a smile. He got the usual book list and the other things to make copies for them. Then he came back. "Here you go. Horatio, we're taking out that problematic nest tonight."
"You and who?"
Horatio grimaced. "The reports we have say it's got at least sixty vampires, Xander."
"I'll talk to Gwen or someone about shadowing us and backing us up. Shea has to know *why* she needs the extra training to be a senior girl."
"We'll warn the doctors later," Horatio said. "I can handle this part if you want."
"Okay." He went to deal with his usual daily workout he had been skipping and to check the weapons. Gwen was usually in there at the moment. If not, he could page her. Shea would get this lesson soon enough. She came trotting in. "We're taking out that nest tonight. You're the backup."
She gave him an odd look. "Backup?"
"Backup. Me and Shea are going in first." He gave her a look. She groaned. "She's going to be senior in New York," he said quietly. "She's still complaining that they don't need this sort of training to hunt."
"I heard. Sure, I'll shadow you guys. How many are we looking at?"
"At least sixty." She shuddered. "Call Spike and ask him." She nodded, moving to do that while he found the swords and other things he'd be taking with them tonight. "Do you want one of the new scythes or a sword?"
"Scythe." She got hers. He put a pair out for Shea as well. "Are you taking a sword?"
"Yup." He grinned. "I do better and those are slayer only weapons. We registered the design with the patent office." She beamed at that. "Go ahead and make sure both sets are sharp."
"She should do hers."
"She's napping off forgetting how to duck," he said dryly. "Plus I've been mean to her for the last few days. We've been doing all day in there." She shuddered. "Rona and Cho showed up yesterday and they could tie with me. Buffy tied with me." She laughed. "Yeah, she's slacking. Her pants were tight," he said dryly, giving her pants a look.
"It's PMS, Xander."
"I know you do daily PT." He smiled. "I'm proud of how you girls keep doing it."
"Thanks." She got to work sharpening things. He did his sword. She did the scythes and the stakes. It was comfortable to prep for battle as slayers were supposed to do.
Faith looked around the bar, then at Dean. "Not as rowdy as our usual places."
"No, it's not. Then again it's not nighttime either." He ate a nut, smiling at her. "Think Brenda's puking again?"
"The medicine helps a lot but probably." A blonde girl came out. She looked tired and washed out but she was glaring at her. "That her?"
"Yup." He ate another nut and took a drink of his beer. "Your mom sleeping in too?"
"How did you get in, Dean?"
"Dad taught us to pick locks," he said dryly. "How do you think?"
"Faith," she said with a smile.
"Let me reintroduce myself. I'm the senior slayer Faith." The girl's pale face went paler.
"My girl," Dean said with a grin. She looked at him. "You are."
"I thought we weren't going to go for official stuff."
"We're not. We can date forever if you want. That still makes you a girlfriend. No strings attached and I'd run if you tried to pull any outta your knife holster."
She smirked. "I like that attitude." She sipped her beer. "John'll be here soon with Sammy and Little B. They had a flat."
"That happens I guess. Let me get Mom up." She went back to their living quarters. "Mom, Dean's in with his girlfriend." And wasn't that something to swear about. She was a gorgeous brunette with breasts that stood up without help and was a hunter too.
"How did he get in?"
"He said his daddy taught him how to pick locks."
"Wonderful." She walked out running her fingers through her hair. "Dean, it's not polite to break in."
"Needed some peanuts and beer," Faith told her. "Sammy was horrible last night so we made him ride with Papa Scruffy."
Ellen looked at the girl. No wonder her daughter was pissed. "You're a hunter?"
"No. I'm a slayer." Ellen moaned. "Faith. Senior slayer." They shook hands. "Dean seems to think he's claimed me."
Dean gave her a smug look. "I didn't say anything about claiming but if you want to...." She kicked him under the table, making him laugh. "Fine, we won't do that."
"Hell no we won't," she agreed dryly. "Not unless you think you have chains that way," she quipped back with an evil smirk.
"Of course I do. Have to have some when you're hunting." He smirked. "If you wanna play that way, all you have to do is tell me, Faith."
"If I lose my mind, I'll let you know."
"Sure. Of course we'd have to wrestle or something to see who ended up on top." She growled at that, a pleased sound. He smiled at Ellen. "We're taking some time off to introduce Brenda to the near family and things like that. Faith and I are hunting while we browse around on our own for a bit. We needed off base and the Winchester Family Roadtrip is going to drive Dad nuts soon."
"How far away is he?"
"About an hour. He got a flat about twenty miles from Bobby's." She nodded at that, heading behind the bar to make sure they hadn't made a mess. "Oh, big news with the daughter."
"She's pregnant?" Ellen asked. "You're not showing yet. How far along are you, Faith?"
"No, no way. Not me. Brenda. The one Papa Scruffy adopted."
"John said something about finding a slayer that was like a daughter."
"She's pregnant thanks to some witches but the child's blessed."
"Poor thing. How old is she?"
"Seventeen," Faith said. "The witches were punished. The Powers That Be love the family."
Dean nodded. "Yup. She'll be a slayer some year too."
"Her mother is hunting that way?"
"Hell no," Dean said firmly. "There's no way in hell dad would let her hunt, Ellen. She's so much like me and Sammy. Dad and she tinker with engines. She's got a love of weapons."
"She named the teddy bear John won for her at the state fair Rock Salt," Faith added dryly.
"She did?" Dean asked with a grin of his own. Faith nodded. "Does Dad know?"
"Teased her for a bit but she's happy with Rock Salt. Said he'll go to protect little Mary."
"That's going to be one spoiled girl," he assured her.
"He's going to get her to name it Mary?"
"Brenda asked us if we'd mind and if we'd let her give the baby the Winchester last name," Dean said proudly. "She's exactly like a female Winchester should be. But she's a good girl like Sammy is." Ellen snickered a bit at that. "A bit tired right now."
"That happens sometimes when you're pregnant. How far?"
"Four months. Just over."
"That's good." She went into the kitchen. "You two need food?"
"Nah, we ate at the burger shack up the road. Thanks though," Faith called after her. She looked at Dean. "She seems okay."
"She's not bad. Nearly shot dad in the ass with her shotgun once. Then again, Bobby did shoot him in the ass once with rock salt." She laughed at that. "Yeah, Dad was having one of his pigheaded moments. They happen frequently when we're on the road." Jo came back out. "How's things been around here?"
"Not bad. How's the base?"
"Pretty decent. No one flunked this year. A few lower grades so Dad got to scowl but not bad." She nodded. "The older ones called are mostly back at home. They have enough to be able to protect themselves or handle small problems. If they want time for more serious training they'll come back for their next vacation time too. Most couldn't take that much time off."
"Most are competent to handle a vamp or six," Faith agreed. "Only a few live in areas that have known demon activity." She looked at him. "Did you talk to Xander about Shea's training?"
"No. Why? She call?"
"Yup." She took another drink. "Xander took her into the 'grab a weapon' room. Showed her what a real fight is like." He groaned. "She's getting it. He told her she'll be senior in New York since the other two are full-time plus stress workers."
"Olivia's got a hard job that I can't see even Dad doing. Dad would kill some of the slimebags she deals with."
"So would I," Faith agreed. "But she'll be senior so they're giving her advanced training and advanced demonology on what's already there and set up as peaceful and not."
"That's good. Who's doing that?"
"Gibbs got it from Wes. He's going over it with her since he has to know. He's backing X up on the training stuff. He even brought in Buffy for a demo. Took them forty-five to get through it." Dean nodded, looking impressed. "It came to a tie."
"Buffy's off her training?"
"Apparently." He sighed, shaking his head. "Shea said he taunted her into attacking first by telling B that her pants were too tight." Dean laughed. "So it came down to blades at the throat."
"That's not bad. She'll get back in shape. Dawn will nag her."
"B takes those moods now and then, Dean. Usually when she thinks Xander's too normal for a bit."
"I doubt she'll be seeing that after a tie."
"Hopefully not. Last time he nearly went off on her." She stole a few of the nuts, letting him have the beer. "So, Jo, are you hunting?"
"Mom doesn't want me to."
"It's dangerous," Ellen called from the kitchen, coming out with bowls. "You two visited Bobby's already?"
"Stopped there first," Dean agreed, taking his bowl. "You didn't have to."
"Yes I did." She smiled at Faith. "The boy has a bottomless stomach."
"So do most slayers. That's why we pay half the food costs at DCIS." Ellen laughed. "Honestly. Last Thanksgiving had five turkeys and three hams and there wasn't any leftovers." Ellen and Jo gaped.
"The girls work it off," Dean assured them. "There's no fat slayers." He dug in with a moan. "Good, Ellen, thanks."
"Thank you," Faith agreed.
"Welcome, Faith." She went back to the bar to clean it up for the day. "Where to after here?"
"We were thinking Jim's," Dean said. "Maybe Caleb if he's not gone. We couldn't find out one way or another."
"He is," she said.
He nodded. "Sorry to hear that." He looked at Faith. "We'll split off for a while and head to the amusement park?"
"If you're talking about the small park by Duluth, it's been fixed," Ellen said.
"There's others I'm sure," Dean told her. She nodded at that. He dug in again. "Wherever you want, Faith."
"I...." She looked at him. "Think we can hit the east coast for a bit?"
"Want to see the old haunts?"
"Yeah, I think I should. Put it behind me and the like."
"Sure, we can hit Boston." She smiled and ate another bite. "We can even take out the one that's plaguing Father Philip's church for him." He shook his head. "If he hasn't."
"I don't think he's the sort to dig up graves."
"Probably not. I wanted to meet the guy since he used to hunt."
Ellen came back over. "Another priest?"
"He went back to the church but he used to be one of the ones that you called on for quiet exorcisms and the like. When someone on the team got hit in Georgia, they went to him. He's high on hell's hit list but he makes holy water that can even burn normals."
"Damn," she said, thinking about that. "Tell him about the bar if he needs help."
"I will. He's in Boston right now."
"That's fine. We all know it'll come for him some day if he used to hunt."
"Yup. With a group in San Fran," Dean told her. She groaned, walking off. "We know them?"
"Secret society sorts. Like the watchers only worse about their privacy."
"They have girls they're raising as soldiers too?" Faith asked.
"Nope, just adult members. They take on some of the higher stuff and artifacts."
"That's good to know," Dean agreed. "Have to remember that." He ate another bite. The door opened to admit Sam and Brenda, who headed for the bathroom. "The tire fixed?"
"Yeah. Brenda did the lug nuts for Dad." John walked in and Sam sat down beside Faith. "How was your ride?"
She smirked at him. "It's not usually a bad one."
"Not that one, Faith. I figure if Dean was bad in bed you'd have dumped him or taught him better by now." She cackled, nodding. "The road's a bit worn on the way."
"My girl's shocks are still sound," Dean promised him. "It was a smooth ride for us."
"I know I need to get the shocks and struts replaced on the truck," John told him. Brenda came out. "Cleaned up?"
"Yup." She smiled at Ellen and Jo. "Hi, I'm Brenda."
"She's as close as I'll get to a daughter," John said, putting an arm around her shoulders.
"So Dean told us. And a grandchild?"
Brenda blushed. "Not my doing. The witches did it."
"So he said. You okay to eat?"
"We ate at the burger place, ma'am."
Ellen smiled. "Go sit down and steal Dean's food. He doesn't need to get fat. He'll lose Faith." She laughed, going to sit down next to Dean. She looked at John. "She's cute and polite."
"She's every bit a Winchester," he assured her. He pulled a chair over to look around. "No one in yet?"
"Dean broke in because I was doing stuff in the house," she said dryly. John glared at his son. "How's things otherwise?"
"Pretty good. The girls are training hard. We're in the summer slow down for slayer stuff but the DCIS teams are starting to get cases again. We did damn good work with the riots."
"Yes we did," Brenda agreed.
"I still wanted you on base," John told her. She shrugged. He stared at her.
"I'm a slayer, John. There wasn't that much risk with that one and I had plenty of backup. Even if the Chicago PD did get a bit huffy. We handled it."
"I still wanted you in one of the less volatile situations."
"I'm one of the better slayers. I go where I'm needed to handle things. That's the slayer way. I promise I'm not going to endanger her. Even Chase said there was very little chance I could've been hit hard enough to miscarry her."
"Don't do it again."
"Yes, John. Not unless there's another apocalypse."
"Then we'll lock you in a closet," Faith assured her. "Until you pass me again." She sighed but nodded, digging into Dean's lunch. Faith let Sam have hers. Sam dug in, eating with a hum of pleasure. "Those guys from the CPD get there?"
"Yup," John said with a grin. "Today."
"Bet they're not happy."
"Not fully but they're handling it okay. One freaked out at George the walking shrub," Sam said with a grin. "Xander had to have him sedated by House." He ate one last bite, offering the rest to his father, who shook his head. So Sam ate the rest. "Shea's still sore. She called a few minutes ago to complain that Xander was making her work harder than he was Cho and Rona."
"She needs it. New York's a big city with a lot of possible problems. She came in low on the training scale." Dean nodded. "We've done a lot with the girl, but she's got to be able to get past Connor and me to be able to handle it on her own most of the time."
"She said Connor showed up with the other two and Gwen since she's heading Vienna. Gwen kicked Connor's butt."
"She should be able to," Dean agreed. "He's only a champion. She's a slayer. The others?"
"Rona tied. Cho nearly tied then Connor flipped her and won. Xander had let Shea rest while they tested them. She had over an hour to rest and Connor got her down in about ten minutes. Xander told her it was better than she had done her first day. Connor groaned and took her to work with using Rona to help."
"She'll learn," Faith agreed. "She's going to be senior in New York. That means she'll be doing a lot of hunting on her own." She licked the spoon from Dean's breakfast when Brenda handed him back the rest. Dean took it back and went back to eating with it. She grinned at him for that move. "She'll be fine. Is she going to see her parents?"
"If they're here I'll call Dawn to let her come over for a night," John told her. "Ellen, are Shea's parents showing up anytime soon?"
"They can. They wanted to know how she was. She hasn't written and you haven't called recently."
"She's going to be the senior girl in New York. She's been put onto advanced training that's wearing her butt out," Dean said with a grin for her. "Xander's making sure she can handle a full out assault if she has to."
"That's good for her. Let me call her parents." She found her phone book and called out there. "It's Ellen. The Winchester clan is in and said they can get Shea here for a bit to visit if you wanted." She smiled. "That's fine. Sure. We're here." She hung up. "They'll be in late tonight."
"We can break for a few days," John promised. He called the base. "Xander, let Shea go for a few days so she can visit with her parents. You're doing what?" He grimaced. "Why?" He nodded at the 'breaking her attitude' answer. "Could help. Tonight or tomorrow? That's good. Sure, we'll be waiting." He hung up. "They're hunting the master that's in the next town. He took her with him." Dean shuddered. "It's not that huge of a nest. Maybe sixty."
"Him and Shea? Alone?"
"Gwen's got their back."
"Good. Then they'll hopefully only be bruised." He looked at his father. "Why now? We were going to do a full clean out this weekend."
"Shea's complaining that she doesn't need it to hunt."
Sam shuddered. "Poor girl. Xander's going to turn her into Xena soon."
"Possibly. It'll do her good and save her life," John told him. "The same as yours does you, Sammy."
"I know." They settled in to talk to Ellen and Jo until others came in and could talk to them. It was good for them.
Shea came out of the portal later that night. She was bruised. She had a few bandages and some stitches airing on her forehead. John looked at her. "More than we expected?"
"I... Just don't, John." She sat down next to Brenda. She looked at them. "Hunting one spirit has nothing on hunting a nest." They nodded. "You knew?" They smiled and nodded. "Buffy did this by herself?"
"No, she had Xander backing her up and sometimes Red," Faith told her. "Angel too now and then. The girls before Buffy did it on their own and most of them didn't have watchers that wanted to get dirty. How many?"
"Sixty-four and a master. Gwen got knocked out by him. Xander shot him with his service piece when he came for me."
"How many did you get?" Brenda asked.
"Twenty-four or something." She slumped. "I'm so tired. I had no idea it was like that."
"Vamps rarely come in singles unless you're getting them just coming up," Faith instructed. "That's why the training to be a slayer is so much more than the training to be a hunter."
"I'm training them all to the slayer standard," Brenda told her. "It can only save their lives."
"True," Dean agreed. He patted Shea on the back. "You'll live and take a nap."
"I'd better take a nap soon. Xander let me have a long rest and dinner before we went." She looked at him. "Do you do that?"
"No. We'd send in a holy water bomb or something first. Maybe burn down the house they were in if it was clear of others."
"I suggested that. Xander said they had hostages."
"Was he right?" Faith asked.
"Yeah. He was right. We freed them and got them to the ER." She leaned her head on Brenda's shoulder. "Maybe I don't want to be the senior girl in New York."
"If you're heading there you will be," Faith said. "That's why we senior girls have to be so much better. Because we have to do some admin stuff and ride on the other girls too when they slack off. I don't know how many times I made the girls clean with a crossbow." She whimpered. "You'll be around your brother. Not sharing a slayer house."
She nodded. "That's good to know."
"Get the local ME's to let you in when they have one that's going to raise," Dean advised. "It'll be easier than trolling all the cemeteries." She nodded at that. "That'll leave you for ones already up and walking and other problems that can't be handled by the cops or liaising with that office they have locally."
"Which means you won't be alone," Brenda said gently. She gave her a hug. "It'll be okay. Just think, I've already been through that training with John."
Shea snorted. "I'm sure he was harder than Xander is."
"Nope," John said. "I can't use the bladed weapons as well as Xander does. I'm more used to shotguns and machetes. Xander was trained with crossbows and swords."
She looked at him. "I can have a few days off?" He nodded. "That's good. Connor's really fast."
"He got the best benefits of his vampire parents," Dean reminded her. "If you can beat Connor you can beat a master vamp."
"Good point. Damn I suck."
"You're still in training. You can't suck while you're training," Brenda said firmly. "You can only get better." She nodded at that. "Now perk up. Your mother's across the room."
Shea looked over. "Mommy, I feel like shit."
"I can see why. What did you do, Shea?"
"Nest." She walked over there to talk to them. "I'm going to be the senior girl when I get to New York so I have to take the advanced training. Me and Xander took out a nest with Gwen backing us up if we needed it. I got twenty-four vamps." The portal opened and her bike was walked through. "Thanks, Dawn."
"Welcome. You'll need her for a few days. I let Mary pack you clothes for four days. Xander said you have four days to get back to base and I've got a date that night." Shea nodded at that warning. "So have fun." She skipped back through and the portal closed.
"That was Dawn. Buffy's little sister. She's a pretty powerful white witch."
"Putting it mildly," Ellen said. "How did she do that?" Shea shrugged. Brenda and Faith both shrugged too. "She does it often?"
"When we need to move the troops fast or if Abby wants to get to her boytoy," Faith told her. "She can do a few a day. It's helped. That's how we got to Georgia and how we got to LA for their invasion. Plus all the other ones."
"She's staying on the light," John assured her. "We watch Dawn very carefully. So does Xander, who's like a big brother to her." Sam nodded at that. "She's looked at the line but never stepped that close to it. With her sister being the top senior slayer, she's got a good handle on the problems and she wants to be a watcher anyway."
"That's good I guess. Keeps her sane and on the good side." She shook her head. "Any other shocks?"
"Somehow she, my two boys, and Xander ended up mentally bound for a bit thanks to them having a go at the Powers That Be for trying to kill Xander," he said dryly. She moaned. "It's what let us kill the demon that got Mary." She smiled at that.
"Damn glad we got him out of the way since he was hyping things," Faith said. Dean nodded, his mouth was full. "So any word on that one?" she asked John.
"Bobby and I scouted. We think she'll make it. We'll be ready."
"I've got it in my trunk," Dean said.
"I can do it," Brenda said quickly. "Please?"
Dean and John shared a look then shrugged. "Fine," John said. "As long as you're not in any danger, young lady."
"Yes, John." She gave him a hug. "I do try to stay out of trouble."
Shea looked over. "Do I need to help?"
"It'll be outside your leave time but we'll have an ascending one nearer to Bobby, another friend and hunter, in about seven days," Faith told her. "You know, she could come watch. It's a learning experience. Thank god I was in a coma for the one in Sunnydale. That was pure desperation and a nasty thing from what I heard."
Dean looked at her. "You were?"
"Yeah, B knocked me into one the night before when we rumbled."
"Good. Well, not good but it's good you got to miss that one." She kissed him. "Thanks."
"Babbling isn't nearly as cute on you as it is on Sammy or Xander." Shea snickered at that. "Isn't it?"
"Yup. Sam, my paper's going to be late."
"I figured it would be. With Xander doing your training you probably haven't had time to spend in the library. Give it to me by the end of the month, Shea." She moaned at that.
"Hey, B did school while hunting," Faith reminded her. "On the old hellmouth." Shea slumped. "You know they had nightly patrols. Feel blessed, Shea."
"I do. I don't want to be Buffy. Beyond that she's kinda uptight now and then, I'd die with what she had to deal with." Her mother gave her a hug. "I'm doing good, Mom, but the advanced training is showing me I'm spoiled."
"That's okay, dear. Maybe you shouldn't go to New York. You could come home instead."
"No, I want to go live with Brother for a while. It means we won't fight."
"Good point." She gave her an extra squeeze then let her go when her daughter moaned. "Sore?"
"I have bruises in the shape of the mats on the floor." She put her head back down. Her mother patted her gently on the back.
Dean looked over. "We had to break her from training in her heels," he assured her with a grin. "I finished her hunter's training. Faith and Brenda were doing her slayer training. Now Xander's got her for advanced training."
"Seven hours the first day in a room of weapons and he attacked so I had to pick up whatever and use it against him," she complained. "We only got a break for lunch. Then he made me *swim*."
"Figured out why?" John asked patiently. She nodded quickly. "It help with the cramps?"
"Yup, sure did. I didn't miss that again." She looked over at him. "Can I have other slayers in New York?"
"If some want to go," he agreed. "After we hear from you how bad it is."
She nodded. "Okay." She looked at her parents. "I learned a lot from Dean and them. Now I've got Connor and Xander on my butt with the Marine."
"Gibbs is a good watcher," John told her.
"Maybe but he's hard!"
"Yup," Sam agreed. "Because that'll keep you alive." He looked over at her. "The more training you have, the more you're likely to be able to save yourself and others. That's why I've been taking training time with him and Taylor too." She slumped at that. "Dean too. Dean's been taking a martial arts class once a week too."
She looked at him. "Can I do that?"
"Once you pass the advanced training. You won't have the energy for it," Dean told her. She nodded. "It's hard but so is New York. The other girls have been in the field for a lot longer than you have, Shea. Cho and Rona have both run the Cleveland house and parts of LA when Morgan and Crissy needed help. We know they can handle it if an apocalypse starts in their town and be calling for help at the same time. You're doing good for how long you've been training. Once you pass this it's all on you to keep up your skills."
"Flabby slayers die faster," Faith agreed. She nodded at that wisdom. "It means you can nag the other two into it too."
"Yes, Faith. I'll do my best."
"Which is what we want," John assured her. "Beating Xander and Connor in there is the ideal. If you can't manage it, they'll graduate you when you've reached your limit." She nodded at that. Her mother looked happier. "Then you'll have to figure out how you're setting up out there with him."
"He's already said I could have his spare room. Am I getting a job?"
"All the girls on field assignment get paid," Sam reminded her.
"But it's not a lot."
"We'll work on the housing out there for you," John promised. "I've already talked to Wes about that." She smiled and relaxed further. "Spend time with your parents, Shea. You only have four days of shore leave."
"Yes, John." She hugged her mother again. "They feed us a lot. I got to be one of the chaperones for the prom the high school had. Xander picked girls who hadn't went to theirs to do it. Faith and I did it. Then he made sure I got something hot yet tasteful to go in."
"That's good of him. Do you have pictures?" Shea dug them out to go over with her. She smiled. It sounded like they were training her daughter even if she didn't want to. "What sort of nest was it?"
"Vampires. Sixty-four and a older master making more minions. He attacked the prom but Dawn got most of them and Brenda got one that wasn't gotten by the light spell so we didn't have to get nasty." She looked over at Brenda, who was getting a long look at by John and Dean. She giggled. "Sorry, Brenda."
"I had a broom," she told them. "Spike was there so I let him have him. That way I didn't mess up my dress."
John shook his head. "Sure. Next time, tell us that part too."
"Dawn only left one."
"I thought you told him," Dean told her.
"Nope. Because he'd fuss."
"Yeah, in for it now," Sam agreed dryly. He frowned, rereading the paragraph. "How did she come to that conclusion?" Faith came over to read, then burst out laughing. "I think she got that paragraph from Xander's mind." He made notes for it and overstruck that part of the document for her. Then he sent it back to her. He went onto his next paper. "Mayan magical practices. Huh. Haven't researched that yet." He went over it, correcting some grammar things for her. "We need to help Cho with her English structure."
"Common non-english speaker problems?" John asked. Sam nodded, still reading. "They'll work on it and it'll be fine. She does pretty good speaking." Sam smiled and went back to it. "Let us know if they found anything interesting."
"One went into the sexual history of slayers," he said dryly. "How some got broken in because they were drawing things." He looked over. "I flunked that one because it didn't cite any books or references and it was a lot of conjecture about how." He went back to reading while Dean and Faith giggled.
"Your stalker?" Brenda asked.
"Kim. She was teasing Amber with it." He smirked at her. "I'm sure your next one will be very good."
"I try but I suck at writing papers."
"That's a matter of practice," he said patiently. He went back to reading, making a few other corrections then sending it back with his suggestion file. Including to find another source or three if she could.
"I thought you were chatting with the girl in Brazil," Dean teased.
"Nope, I'm catching up on the research papers. She's off on a work related conference in Nicaragua until the 23rd."
"Pity. I know you two have talked a lot," Dean said.
Sam looked over at him. "We're not chatting *that* way, Dean. She's studying the history of slayers. I've been giving her non-specific information." He went back to reading. "Mostly she wanted to know the history of the ones down near where she lives. She thinks a local legend was a slayer in the last century."
"Interesting. Is she right?" John asked.
"It sounds like it could have been. She's not in the books but they missed Buffy too." That got a nod. "So she's tracking that down to present to her local government to make her named a local heroine and get a statue or something erected." He went back to reading, passing that one back with a good grade. It wasn't the best work but he'd give it a B. B plus if she got pushy. He found he was clear and came over to sit with them. "Not too bad. I sent back four that needed corrections and Gwen's passed with a B for being a bit light on the information value." That got a nod. "Most of them have decided they only want to look at me, not date me, after having me in class for a bit."
Faith smirked. "Afraid of your giant brain, Sammy?"
"They think I need someone smarter, not tougher." He smirked back. "Which might be nice sometime in the near future."
"We'll start looking for good girls for you," Brenda assured him.
"Could've sworn you were doing the naughty chatting with her," Dean told him. "You were talking about dicks."
"Her last name was Coxler, Dean," he said patiently. "I have more class than to have chat sex. Like hiring a hooker, it's not my thing."
"Good to know," John said. "Change subjects around your sister." Brenda blushed. He gave her a look. "You're only allowed to date too."
"I know. If and when I find a nice guy like Crissy did, it'll be on and I'll chase him down and do things that would make Faith and Dean blush or cheer." John moaned, shaking his head.
"Just remember, handcuffs chafe," Sam told her. "Anyone who's been chained up as often as we have knows that."
"I'll remember that and get him soft ones," she teased. Shea gave her a horrified look. "What?"
"You're going to be that naughty?"
"Maybe. If he wants."
"Am I in an alternate universe? Did Dawn screw up?" Shea asked John. Who shook his head. "Are you sure?"
"It's the hormones," he promised. "They do it to every woman." The mothers in the room nodded at that. "Even my wife."
"That's why Sammy's so straight. She was too tired from potty training me," Dean quipped.
John looked at him. "No, I did that for you, son. You had some bad habits that she couldn't stop. She was more tired because Sammy never quit kicking once his feet formed. Even then she still managed to find her naughty moments and you had a babysitter for the nights we went out. Mostly because you used to try to climb in with us and say she was going to be yours."
Dean blushed. "I'm sure every boy does that."
"Yup," Ellen agreed. "From what I've seen every boy does that sometime. You know he was trying to get Sammy out sooner, John."
"Probably true." He patted his son on the back of the head then looked at the one napping against his arm. "We should hit the motel," he said quietly.
Faith looked. "Keys, Dean?" He handed them over. "Sammy, go unlock the Impala." He went to do that while she got up and carefully grabbed Brenda to carry her off. She had done it a few times over the last few months. Brenda complained in a mumble against her neck but oh well. She laid her in the backseat, taking the blanket from Sam to cover her. "There you go. You nap, Little B." She snored and shifted to face the back of the seat, covering her head. "Good girl." She took off her shoes and put them down next to the door then locked and closed it. They went back inside. "There, she's in the backseat."
"That's fine. No one would dare touch the Impala," Dean assured her, making room so she could slide in next to him. She considered it then gave in. He grinned. She gave him a shoulder nudge. "Any particular theme park you want to hit?"
"Not a lot of roller coasters? I'm not sure I like 'em."
"We can do that." She smiled. "There's a nice Six Flags near Chicago. Or St. Louis if you want to head toward the south."
She nodded. "We can do that. We'll plan it out tomorrow. After we give Little B the fixing it package."
"Sure." He smiled at his father. "You sure you can handle it?"
"I saw the tape of Miami's."
"Okay," he agreed. "You know how to use the portal system?" John nodded, giving him a patient look. He looked at Faith. Who shrugged. "Sammy, you going with us or him?"
"Him and Brenda. That way she finally gets a vacation." She beamed at him for it. "You deserve it, Faith. You do a lot with the younger girls. You and Xander held the Council and the girls together more than once. He got to go to Vegas and play that game. This'll be your escape that you bring back wild stories from."
She gave him a wicked smirk. "I'll do my best to beat his."
"Please don't," Dean begged. "I don't think I can handle stranger than winning a live-action game and earning a temple where they think you're a sex god. Xander nearly drove us nuts when that stuff started to happen."
Sam looked over at him. "It did? I thought it was kind of fun watching Xander finally relax. Even if he did end up cursed with that super special luck and he won that realm."
"Realm?" Shea's mother demanded, turning to look at him.
"There's this demon neutral place in Las Vegas that holds a live-action LARP game basically. You go into it, you do the D&D thing with swords and challenges, if you die you come back bruised but not dead in real life. Xander was the first one to win that one. He won a box of spewing money that somehow gave him phenomenal luck. The realm they were playing on now considers him a sex god and has a temple to his magnificence. The casino lets you place all sorts of bets on the people playing. We made a good bit of money betting on Xander bedding girls that then tried to kill him." She gaped. "He's like that. He only dates evil girls. It was great fun for him. He outdrank a dwarf to win their respect. He petted a dragon that was there for a challenge. He traipsed around for a good while in their time, about a day and a half in ours, and had a ton of fun doing it." She shuddered. "He needed to relax. The usual Vegas sights weren't doing it for him."
"Then we left Vegas to hit the theme parks near LA," Dean told her. "He had never been even though he used to live near there."
Ellen moaned. "Is he normal?"
"Perfectly normal," Faith said with a grin. "He worked with Buffy. He's the big brother to all the slayers and our support network. Any of us girls that need things can go to him about anything. He gave us sex talks, got us on the pill, took us shopping. Got us a big sister in Abby when she signed on. He's a great guy but yeah, he finds the strangest trouble to get into. Back in Sunnydale they had a problem when a mummy got reawakened. She looked fully human from what B told me. Couldn't tell. She had to kill to keep her human look. Xander ended up in lust with her, nearer to boyfriend mode. Buffy had to try to stop her. Xander stepped between the two to make Ampata eat him instead of Buffy. She couldn't and went back to being a mummy semi-reluctantly." Ellen gaped. Faith smirked and nodded. "X finds some *strange* trouble. But we enjoy the hell outta the boy for it."
"He does do that," Dean agreed dryly. John nodded. "He never seems to sleep either."
"Well, no, but he is right. Everyone looks hot with artillery," Sam said with a grin.
"Not everyone," John said, giving his younger son a dirty look.
"I do so."
"You probably do," Faith agreed.
"It makes up for being a giant brain and less action oriented," Dean taunted with a smirk.
"Shut up, Dean. More of the slayers watch me than you."
"That's because I keep them busy during their Dean Staring Time."
"I think it's nice he got the girls to learn how to research," John said.
Shea snickered. "How?"
"Their Sammy Staring Time in Research class," Faith said. "They used to walk in and stare at him so he handed them a book on whatever he was working on in the library. It turned into a research class. That's why you guys get papers now and then."
"I don't know why they'd stare at you two. You're cute but some of the agents are hotter."
"Yeah but they don't see them sweaty with a sword too often," Faith said.
"Good point." She shrugged. "Whatever. Give me a man like Eric to stare at any day." She sighed.
"Is he single?" her mother asked.
"Yes, but his mother wants him to find a nice catholic girl to marry and have babies with so I'll just stare in awe at his Cuban-Russian tight butt and legs." Her mother rolled her eyes. "I can appreciate dark and handsome. Speed's cute too."
"Uh-huh. Maybe I should visit you on base?"
"Go right ahead," John assured her. "Some of the others that we've found parents on have. There's a good motel in town to stay in. For those in school we let them talk to the principal and their teachers if they want. They can tour the base, look over the girls' rooms, all that."
"I may take you up on that. I don't like the sound of that one trainer."
"Xander's a sweet guy who's been doing it for a while," Dean told her. "He's not going to hurt the girls." She pointed at her daughter's bruises. "She's going to be in New York handling most everything on her own and she hasn't had much time in the field. The others who are moving to senior status over the new houses are getting the same treatment but they've been in the field during most of the apocalypses. Cho and Rona have both handled the LA team and the Cleveland office plus they were both in Sunnydale during that one. They've been in every single major apocalypse. She's the least trained that's going to a major hot spot. Yeah, she's got to learn all she can before she's handling it by herself."
"The other slayers there are both working hard at jobs that come with a lot of overtime," Faith added. "One's a detective." Shea's mother moaned. "She'll be handling a lot of the problems on her own. She's got to live up to at least *my* standards as a slayer. You can drop me or Buffy in any situation and we'll find a way out of it most likely. Shea's barely been in the field. Hunting and slaying are kinda different. Most of the time hunting is a lot less physical. Slaying vamps isn't done with a shotgun," she said at the heated look Jo gave her. "I don't use guns most of the time. Xander does now and then, his service piece. He's made sure we can all use every single weapon we have. John too. Dean too. There's things that'll take lead to kill and there's more that'll take wood or silver to kill."
Dean patted her hand. "She's right. Half the vampires around are stakeable. A good quarter aren't and have to have their head cut off. We ran into one that takes dead man's blood. You have to get up close and personal for those things. Not like digging up a grave to salt and burn but like hands-on, beating them back fighting. That's why Xander does insane shit when it's called for. Because it saves lives. Even if we yell at him for being cowboy as the cops call it."
John nodded. "Xander's not dangerous, Liv. Xander's very unique. He's been hunting for years. They didn't have the option of shotguns. They used crossbows, stakes, and swords." She shuddered. So did Shea. "The slayers use things like that all the time. We've found areas we can add weapons into."
Faith nodded. "None of us were trained to use more than stakes and swords, maybe crossbows in some cases. X was trained the same way since he jumped in to help Buffy. He's helped find a few new ways of doing things and keeping us safe. There's a lot of demons who respect X a lot more than they do us girls."
Shea nodded. "Morgan and Connor told me that there's demons in LA who're scared of Xander when he shows up on a case. They know he only deals with the worst things."
Dean nodded. "Yeah. Starting with an ascension that was going on in Seattle as his first out-of-town case. He had to hit the underground to find a rocket launcher." Ellen shuddered. "It saved his team's life and a lot of others. Even if he did come back with broken ribs and a concussion."
"Xander has this 'do what's necessary' setting," Faith told her. "You won't find a more loyal guy. You won't find a better guy to have at your back in a crisis. But *damn* does the boy do things that make you gape and then yell when he feels he has to." Dean and John both laughed at that. Sam only snickered. "Sammy, you got the video from the last thing on the infernal machine?"
"Yeah, I do." He restarted his laptop to find that file. "And a few other of his training tapes for the new agents." He let Ellen and Shea's mother see. Both women looked horrified but hey, it worked.
"It worked," Dean said, echoing Sam's thoughts.
Faith nodded. "Yeah, he's got freakish luck that way. Still gets injured all too much. We hate it. Some day the slayers are going to tie him down so he can't do stupid shit to save us all."
"Probably soon since we're not there to stop it," Sam sighed. "That's going to suck."
"X can handle himself," Faith reminded him. "He's running PT with Gibbs too."
"Gibbs is in charge of defense class until we get back," Dean said with a wicked smirk. "The girls probably won't appreciate the boot camp approach but oh well!" Faith cackled at that. "Maybe the infuriated redhead will calm him down."
"Maybe. When did you catch him pissed last time?"
"Someone splashed mud on his suit. He got that 'underwear's too tight' look," Sam told her. She laughed. "Speed was teasing him about the last time his crime scene hummer got mud on it. He nearly pouted that night."
"I think someone got him a new one," Dean told him. "More classy this time." He shook his head. "I never saw that one. Or heard about it."
Sam leaned over to look. "He was training Ryan in how to deal with those sort of cases."
"The boy's insane," Ellen said.
"B did it to him," Faith said dryly. "Sunnydale did it to all of us, but she did it worse to him."
"You did hear that there's a betting pool on a few things, like the next time he gets injured?" Sam asked.
"No, I didn't. Who's running it?"
Faith found her phone and called. "Morgan, Faith. What sort of stunts are we betting on for X?" She listened. "Put me down for five on tonight... oh, not counting tonight? Hmm. No, his next case will probably be gentle, that seems to be how it goes. Put me down for five for the second and five for the third case. Put me down for ten that the girls treat him like he's stupid and helpless soon too. Hmm, six days, Dean?"
"Sunday. Put me down for ten too, Morgan."
"Hear that?" She smiled. "She's got you. We need to ship the money to her."
"I can Western Union it," Dean promised.
"He can ship it over the lines. Thanks, Morgan. Any other bets going on?" She smirked. "So far they've all congratulated John that he's going to be a grandfather. They all like Little B, think she's cute, nice, and polite. No, no problems yet but there's a scheduled ascension out this way in a few days. Little B wants to fire off the artillery. No, we're hitting the east coast soon. With a stop at an amusement park because I wanna go and it's part vacation for me. Sure, thanks. Let me know if new tables come open." She hung up. "They were betting on which one of us would get into trouble first and why." Dean shrugged at that. "Morgan said Sammy's the odds favorite this time."
"Nah, Dad'll have that beat I'm sure." Faith smirked when John smacked his son on the head. "You learned that from Gibbs."
"It seems to work. It kept DiNozzo from being a pain in his ass for years."
"Didn't keep him from being the lothario of DC," Sam said dryly.
"I don't think anything can keep him and Delko off the women," John agreed. "I never saw that one. Rewind it, Ellen?" She did that and they watched the tape over. "What is he doing?"
Dean looked then grinned. "Showing off. And notice he's still nearly got the bulls eye?"
"I did but we don't allow that on the range." He shook his head as he went to get a refill from Jo at the bar. "I'm so glad I didn't have to train Xander to hunt." Ellen let out a loud gasp. "Which one is that?"
Dean looked then back at him. "No idea." John came back to look at it with them. Then he called. Dean took the phone from him. "Dawn, you uploaded a video of Xander vamping the demons on a dance floor then slaying? When and where?" He listened. "That one, yeah." He nodded once. "Thanks, Dawn. No, we're being good. I promise. Sure, I'll bring you back some t-shirts to sleep in." He hung up. "That was right after they got Buffy back and right before the First Evil shit started," Dean told him. Faith moaned. "Buffy was off hunting the vamps on the other side of the floor. Xander ended up attracting succuba there for a bit."
John gulped the beer and went back to get another one. Jo handed him a new bottle. "Thanks, Jo. Don't date Xander, okay?"
"I thought he only dated bad girls."
"Hunters would probably qualify," he sighed, going back to his seat. Ellen swatted him. "They probably would."
"Uh-huh. I'd never let my daughter date a hunter. We end up dying too soon." She went to get her own headache clearing drink. That boy was so *wrong*!
Shea's mother looked at Dean. "He's training her to do what?"
"This week they've been in this padded room full of weapons. The idea is to pick up whatever's at hand and use it." She slumped, nodding a bit. "She's standing. She's not doing too badly. It's only been a week, Liv." She sighed, going back to talking to her daughter. She wanted her to be safer. Hurrying her training might help that. She'd have to show up and check things out too. That boy sounded strange and might go after her poor little baby.
Shea looked at her. "I'm not bad enough for Xander, Mom. His last girlfriend was formerly over Scorned Women." Her mother moaned. Ellen gave her an alarmed look. "Anyanka lost her power center when she granted a wish for Xander's former girlfriend. It got broken when the wish universe was popped. There, Xander was a vampire." Her mother slumped. "He and Anya nearly ended up marrying a few years later. I'm not that bad, naughty, or evil."
"If you are, we're fixing you," Faith said. They shared a look. "You approach my old level of badness and you're so getting it."
"I'll take it if I do." She looked at her mother. "Beyond that, all the slayers want Xander to be gay and take a nice DCIS agent up as a boyfriend. That way we'd have a stable 'mom' to his dad and they already know how he's prone to doing what's necessary in extreme situations." She looked back. "Did anyone download film from Georgia?"
"Yeah," Sam said. "I know where that is." He found it in his bookmarks but it was deleted. He went searching on the same site and found it again. "Here you go, Shea."
She got the laptop to show her mother. "See, there I am. My first apocalypse, Mom, and it's when one of the highest evils in the world comes buying souls. We lost the first slayers since the mass calling that day," she said quietly. She looked at her mother. "I'm damn lucky."
"Luck has nothing to do with it," Dean assured her. "Most of that was training. The ones who fell and were well trained fell that way to protect the girls that weren't as trained."
"One fell right beside me."
"Yup. She dove in front of you," John said, staring her down.
Shea nodded at that. She went back to watching it. "That's Xander there," she said with a point.
"Who're the others that look like the boy?" her mother asked.
"Oh, Calleigh made a wish beforehand for multiple demon fighting Xander's." John and Sam both shuddered. "They were pretty nice."
"Some were. A few were just a bit strange," Faith said dryly. "The happy, bouncy one was worse than some of the younger girls in the mall."
"They said it was his hormones."
"Obviously." Shea laughed. "Liked the hair though. Think we can get our Xander to grow his out?"
"No," Dean and Sam said together, Sam shaking his head.
"Pity. His future boyfriend might like him having hair."
"Good handhold," John muttered. Then he drank another drink.
"Yeah but Danny might not like it," Sam told him. "It could get in the way when he's doing macho things that make us all yell at him."
"They make hairbands," Shea said dryly. She handed the laptop back. "That's who's been tormenting me for the last week by training me to handle my job, Mom."
"He's a strong boy," she said, looking at her girl. "You sure you don't want to come home? You can hunt with us."
"No, Mom. I'm going to New York. We'd have the same stupid fights we had before."
"True." She gave her daughter a hug. She was acting much more grown up. She knew John wouldn't put up with that attitude and cure it where she couldn't. "Let's hit the motel for the night. You can see them tomorrow. Before they take off."
"Yes, Mom," she agreed. "I could use a soak. One of the vamps' shoes tried to do the butt-sex thing as Dawn calls it." Her mother blushed but Faith laughed at that. "Night all. If I don't see you, be safe until you're back on base." She walked off with her parents chatting about her training. Her bike was now outside so she rode it off to the nearest motel.
Brenda wandered in mostly awake again, sitting next to John with a mumble of apology. He just gave her a hug.
Ellen shook her head. "That boy's insane taking on Shea."
Dean looked back. "I had to do a lot of slayer training with her," he mouthed. She grimaced. "I'm the main trainer for the slayers. Dad and Brenda, me, then Faith and Brenda. Then they're passed and only have to keep in shape and ready for anything. Xander teaches swords and crossbows. Dad adds in other weapons with Gibbs. It works well for them."
"What's the plan for when the older ones are all trained and the younger potentials aren't old enough yet?"
"Don't know yet," Dean said. "We'll figure that out when we come to it. It's helped my skills a lot."
Faith nodded. "It has. He's a lot faster now. Like his car."
He smirked. "I can take that comparison." John gave him an odd look. "Night all." He got up and walked Faith out since she was smirking evilly at him. He knew what that meant. It meant they'd get to keep up the rest of the motel playing.
John shook his head. "He's sorry he's giddy with Faith," he said dryly, cracking the other hunters up.
Sam looked over. "I share an apartment on base with him. We live next to Xander. They're still not as loud as Xander and Anya were." He went back to his web surfing. John swatted him. "They're not."
"They didn't need to know that, Sammy."
Sam looked at him. "They broke up. It's cool."
"He's a stronger guy than I am," one told him. "That's a scary woman to date."
John nodded. "Even when she was human for a while she was scary from what we heard." That got a nod. "Xander's a good guy. He's got an expedience switch but he's a good hunter and a good guy to have at your back. All that's what makes him so great." He looked at Brenda, who was starting to dose again. "Let's get you back to the motel too, young lady."
"Yes, sir. Night all." She waved, walking out to the truck while yawning.
Sam picked up his laptop. "Night all. We'll be here for a few days probably. That way we're not that far away from the upcoming possible problem." He waved as he walked out.
Ellen poured herself another drink. "And they save the world every year," she said, holding up her drink in a toast. The others did the same then took a drink.
Sam leaned in. "The Slayers Council is looking for hunters who might want to be watchers." He left again with a grin. He got to miss the mass shudder that thought produced.
Brenda pouted at the field they heard it was going to be at. "C'mon already," she complained. "It's hot out here." John gave her an odd look. "It is."
"It may not happen."
Sam came jogging over. "Shit!" He grabbed the truck's keys and ran to get it, coming back with the portal. He switched out what they had and handed her something bigger. "She did the ninety year version!" he said at the looks he was getting. He pointed. "There. That's got automatic targeting."
Brenda squatted to open the case, then pulled out the unit, looking in the finder. "Hey, it does." She smiled and turned it on the demon. She pressed the fire button but nothing happened. "Is there a safety?"
John looked then hit the right switch. She tried again. Nothing.
Sam called Xander. "We have the X out. How do you fire it?" He leaned over to flip something. "Thanks, Xander. Yeah, the biggest version." He hung up. She fired on the demon, making its guts splash the nearby houses and the cops trying to steer it away from people. "That's a huge mess," he said.
Brenda nodded. "We won't even have to shovel like we did in Miami," she said happily. "Abby won't need another sample."
John looked at her. "That's a good point. Clean up, kids." They put the empty case back into the portal then shut the bag the portal was in so they could retreat to the truck.
"It's a lot more fun hunting with artillery than it is with shotguns," Sam said.
John scowled at him. "Most things only need a shotgun, son. Anything bigger is overkill, more expensive, and more highly controlled."
"I know. Still more fun."
Brenda stared at him. "Are you possessed? Because if the possession thing is a Winchester road trip thing, I don't like it."
"No, that was just dad," he said with a grin.
"Good." They put the bag back into the locking, hidden compartment and closed it back up. "Now what?"
"The cops will be asking questions. We should leave," John said.
"We have a legitimate reason," Sam reminded him. "We don't have to run for the hills when we handle things now."
"Good point. I might not get used to that part." They drove over to the area. He stopped beside the cruiser that was directing traffic, pulling out his ID. "We heard it was going to be to the east. That's why the slayer wasn't on site."
The cop stared. "Excuse me?"
"Hi, I'm Brenda, one of the slayers."
"Oh, shit. Um, sorry, pardon the french, sir, ma'am. My boss wanted a more comprehensive report. Can you give one?"
"Sure, kid," John agreed. He parked where pointed to and walked Brenda that way while Sam pulled up reports from prior ascensions. "Corporal, Slayer's Council," he said, showing his ID.
"No wonder it blew up!" he said loudly.
Brenda laughed. "It's the only way to defeat one of them. We heard it was going to be back that way so we were there."
The officers looked at her. "Did Agent Harris come with you, miss?"
"No. This is John Winchester, he's Slayer's Council personnel. One of the trainers and my adopted father."
"That's good then. How did this happen?"
"Hold on, I'm burning down a CD of prior reports and methodology," Sam told him. He put the laptop on the nearest hood and finished doing that, handing it over. "The how and why of ascensions."
"Ascension?" the corporal asked.
"A human who turned into a demon so he could turn into a pure demon," Brenda told him, pointing at the mess. "Pure demons all look like that I guess. From what we know. There's a few ways but she decided to go with the biggest one that takes almost a century of work to do."
Sam nodded. "Olikvan. That's the name of the demon she transformed into. Generally it's a lot of power raising and other sorts of rites. I know we had her on a list to watch."
"Why not arrest her?" the corporal demanded.
"For what?" John asked. "There's no law against wanting to turn into a demon, even a big demon, and there's no law against making demonic deals. Too many in congress have so it'll never be a law. Since we're on vacation we brought the appropriate cures with us from the base. Brenda fired it off from the field we were in." He pointed that way. "We heard she'd be out there."
The corporal just nodded slowly at that. "You guys keep artillery on base?"
"In the armory for apocalypses," Brenda said. "Things like the invasions recently or what happened in Georgia. That way we don't have to bug ATF or have to find something on the black market at the last minute that might not work."
Sam tested her forehead. "Get a drink, Brenda. You're a bit warm." She gave him a shove, scowling at him. He smiled. "You are and you're babbling."
"I'm a good girl. Usually I don't have to talk to officers." She pouted a bit. "I'm allowed to be nervous. The only officers I know are the hotty ones Tony and Xander hired for DCIS."
The corporal laughed at that. "That's good to know, ma'am."
"Not that you guys aren't cute."
"We've seen a few of your agents," he assured her. "Some of them are hollywood pretty." She smiled and nodded. "Should we be careful of anything in her house?"
"Not unless she's got some gavrok spiders left. She had to eat some about a hundred days ago to become immortal for the change to not kill her. They're poisonous," Sam told him.
The officers all shuddered. "We can look it over, make sure there's not something else going on there," John told them.
"Thanks," one said. "I can take them that way, sir."
"Go for it. Tell the state boys they'll need a backhoe."
"Abby wanted parts from the ones in Miami so we shoveled," Brenda told him. "John, do you think they can burn it?"
"Probably. I know the ones Abby tested did burn and turn to ash." That got some smiles. "I'd get the fire department out here to set it though. That way it doesn't keep going in the fields."
"Oooh, and check for stomach contents because they do eat people and animals," Brenda said. "That way you don't have to wonder and you can identify someone that she's eaten."
"We'll do that, miss. Thank you for your help."
"Not a problem," she said, smiling happily. "I'm glad it was my turn to fire off on one."
"How many have there been?" the corporal asked, looking a bit tired all of a sudden.
"Seven in the last ten years. A higher demon was prompting some to attempt it so he could have some cover for his activities. He was stopped last year." That got a relieved look. "As far as we know, there's no more coming around here anytime soon. There's one next year in Argentina and there's one in LA next year during the same eclipse." That got a nod. "If you catch one that's going up without warning, just hit it with something highly explosive. Basically blow the head off," Sam instructed. "The first the Slayers Council has good records of they lured it into a school and blew it up when one came up during graduation."
The corporal gave him an odd look. "A few years back there was a gas explosion during one."
"No, that was one of these that the mayor of that town was doing," Sam promised with a grin. "Agent Harris led the defensive and stalling action so they could get the spectators out while the Slayer Buffy led the demon into the school so it could be blown up."
"Damn, you all are insane," he said. John cracked up. "No offense or anything but if that's not something to get drunk over, you've seen too many bad things."
Brenda nodded. "All in the wacky life of a slayer," she quipped. She got cuffed on the head by John. "Yes, sir."
"Good girl." He looked at them. "Need us for more than going through her place?"
"No, sir. Go ahead and do that for us please." They nodded, going back to the truck with the volunteer officer following. The corporal looked at the mess then up and said a silent prayer. He looked at the mess again. "Beers and shots are on the department, boys. We can justify it this time. Let the state troopers clean it up or the EPA. And tell the fire department to be on standby so they can come burn the sucker. Before it attracts buzzards." They nodded. One called dispatch to relay those orders. The rest of them called in the guys on the night shift and went to have a few drinks. The EPA and state troopers made sure there weren't any corpses in the remains and then the fire department torched it for them that night. It was a pretty fire they could see from town. The slayer and her people were long gone by then but they seemed a bit off so maybe they were off roasting marshmallows over it. Who knew with those sort.
to part 36
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