Two days later Xander walked in someone by his arm, waving at the receptionist. "Horatio or Calleigh in yet?"
"Both are, Winchester. Did you need a uniform to help you?" He shook his head. "Did you arrest him?" she pressed.
"I found him outside my house trying to take pictures of us inside." He grinned. "I am qualified to do this too." She glared. "I had to do the academy to hit the NYPD lab, Gloria." She groaned, shaking her head. "Really. Second in my class. We're good." He hauled him to Horatio's office, handing him over. "Taking pictures inside my house from the bushes."
Horatio looked at him. "Who is he?" Xander tossed over the guy's wallet. "Interesting. Calleigh?" he yelled. She came jogging in. "He was trying to take pictures of your tech's house from the bushes."
"He's not right and he's going to make her dirty," the man sneered. He glared at Xander. "You're not a cop." He pulled out his badge, getting a hiss. "You're still dirty."
"No I'm not. I had the money before I became a cop." He put it back, giving him a smug look. "You're still doing things that can get you charged under the anti-stalking laws. I'd suggest you be nicer before I have to break the law and kick your ass for upsetting one of us." The man moved away from him. "So, anyway, John wanted to beat him but since I saw him first that would put him officially in custody. John's not a happy camper today because of that. Well, and Sam and Dean are heading off for a few weeks of work so he's grumpy for that reason too. I told him he could if he wanted, but he bopped me on the head and threatened to poison me for breakfast." He shrugged. "All yours, boss lady." He walked off.
"He is?" Calleigh asked.
"Mac told him he had to," Horatio told her. "Since he's field rated as his minor."
"Oh. And if he had to spend any big amount of time in the field he'd have to be an officer." Horatio nodded. "I guess that comes in handy." She looked at him. "He's a nice, goofy kid. Really."
"He has too many weapons, he drives too fancy of a car, and he pulled two suit bags out of his car to casually talk about them and hand one to Speedle."
"He has money."
"He's not from a rich family," he sneered. "He's too common. We would've heard and seen him if he had won a lottery. That means he got it illegally."
Horatio coughed. "I do know how he got the money and it was not illegal. It was actually helpful when he found something that was dangerous and handed it over. It was the reward for that." The guy sneered. "That, some careful management and being mostly frugal... And one person that had wanted to own him up in New York tried to bribe him. Internal Affairs let him keep half of it since there were four bags of money and gems." The guy sneered. He looked at Calleigh. "Have him fill out a charge sheet?"
She called. "Charge sheet?" She smiled, going down to get it from him. He was rereading and then signed it, handing it over. "Thank you, Xander." She walked back up there. "He was already doing it, Horatio."
"Good." He took it and the man down to the Internal Affair's office, handing them both to Rick Stetler. "He was trying to stalk my new ballistics tech."
"Your new ballistics tech is strange and has a record from New York," he sneered.
"That is easily explained I'm sure."
"That buying thing?"
"Two who wanted to own him. He said he got frustrated when the first showed up, told them they had to talk to his supervisor since he owned him. Mac had to call in Internal Affairs because they were offering to bribe him. Plus you guys could out-stubborn them both. They finally left the money there and stomped off. The officer from IAB up there said he had to donate half and could keep the rest. Four large wheeled bags of money and jewelry."
Rick shuddered. "Why would they want him?"
"For personal and private reasons, Rick. They wanted him as a concubine." Rick shuddered harder. So did the officer. "Was there another point of doubt on his record?"
"It lists a prior death threat?"
"As he told us, his former friend, a female friend he'd had since the first day of school, managed to mess up something that got them the attention of a group of paranormal researchers out of England. They have a three-quarters of a million dollar contract out on him to have him captured for dissection then death."
"In that order?" Rick demanded. Horatio nodded. "So that's why he was doing home-grown witness protection?" Horatio nodded again. "He's a bit flashy and open."
"He's young, Rick. He's only twenty-seven." That got a moan. "Though he can handle it. His original town was a bit rough. As we found out with that accident, the boy can even stitch injuries if he has to and no one more appropriate is available." He smirked. "The ATF has that same note about his prior life and two sealed files from it, Rick." He walked off happier. He loved to piss the little worm off.
Stetler looked at the guy. "What did you find out?"
"He has a lot of guns, loose cash in the house that's more than we make, and he's a bit strange. He was talking to himself last night."
He considered it. "I want a full account."
"Am I off the hook?"
"That depends on what I get from you."
Xander walked in four hours later. "It's amazing. When I checked the booking system the guy's not in it yet." Horatio growled. "And if Stetler thinks that warrant he got an hour ago is going to help him, he's sadly mistaken. John will put him on his ass if he gets in his face. Every weapon we have openly in the house is licensed. So are most of the ones in my sanctuary and I made sure no one can get through it without me or a Winchester helping them."
"Will it look strange?"
"He'll think it's a really shallow closet."
"Good." He looked at him. "Are you all right?"
"I'm going to kick his ass. John said he was handling a demon that rushed up on him when I called to warn him that they were coming. He's making sure things are put away where they should be. Including the mail and stuff."
Horatio nodded. "He does have your record from up there."
"It's pitiful things, like I offered two dirty cops fighting in a lab hallway, one who shot off his weapon accidentally, a supervisor instead of Internal Affairs."
"I didn't know about that one. He did mention the buying thing." They shared a dry look. "Go. Are you clear?"
"Not hardly. I'll make it up later." That got a nod and Xander went home, looking casual. He walked in and tossed someone out of his house. "You don't touch the swords. They're sharp. Like any kid, you'll cut yourself." He looked at Stetler. "What did you want to know? You could *ask*. I do answer polite questions."
"Why is there a case from a rocket launcher under your couch?"
"I used it as a footlocker when I found it during my training. It's empty."
"I saw that," he sneered.
"It makes a good footlocker and the other tech trainees thought it was cute. Very me." He grinned. "There's nothing illegal with owning an empty case. It's owning what should be inside the case that gets you in trouble."
Rick pointed at the doorway. "What's through there?"
"I saw a hallway, Winchester."
Xander stared at him. "Huh. I didn't know you had hallucinations. Are you on appropriate medication for that?" Rick snarled. He shrugged and sat down. "You can ask, like anyone else. I do answer questions."
"We found six thousand dollars laying loose around the house."
"I'm worth over eighty mil, Stetler." The man gaped. "I have money. I don't do or sell drugs. Or weapons. My weapons are my babies."
"We found one that's not licensed," he said, smirking.
"Really? I thought I had them all licensed." He got up to get the binder with that. "Which one was it?"
"Dumbass, that's my NYPD service piece," he said dryly, looking at him. "I need to ship that back to Mac. I was asleep when the death threat came over so they didn't have me sign forms at the office." He called. "Mac, did I forget to hand back my sidearm?" He smiled. "Thanks, please tell the nice Internal Affair's person that?" He handed over the phone.
"This is Rick Stetler. That gun is his NYPD issued firearm?" He listened to what had happened, nodding and making notes. "Didn't he sign the forms for release from the job?" He made another note. "Thank you.... Detective Taylor." He hung up. "You lucked out."
"No, I do tend to stay within the law most of the time," he said dryly. "I'm like that. Unless I have to save someone by heroic and evil means, I'm good." Horatio strolled in with the Chief. "Horatio, he found out I still have my NYPD issued piece. I need to add that to my registration later. I didn't realize I still had it. I thought John had handed it over."
"Mac called and said that. He said he's filled out the forms and the bosses up there think it's a good thing even though you have your own collection."
Xander nodded. "Then I'll just add it to my current registration file." He looked at Stetler. "By the way, if you confiscated the cash laying around the house without proper cause, I will sue you and the department. Especially since it's not unreasonable for a man of my wealth to have six grand laying around the house. Especially with the rest of it having to be shipped down from New York next week."
"That is correct," the Chief agreed.
"He has an empty artillery case under the couch," Stetler told him.
"It's been empty; I used it as a footlocker during my training. The other CSI tech trainees thought it was very me and none of the others tried to bother it."
The Chief looked at him. "You have a personal exemplar?" Xander handed over the binder, getting a look at the guns. "You certainly do like weapons."
"That's why I'm a gun geek, sir, and a ballistics tech."
"One rated very high on the national certification tests," Horatio agreed.
"I saw that and I did hear about you from the bosses up there, Winchester." Xander grinned. "Including the name change."
"It's the easiest step since they only knew my name, sir."
"Good. Are you an officer?"
"I'm rated and certified as a field tech. NYPD rules said if I was going to keep that I had to do the academy and my ride along as a formality. I did five weeks of my ride along when the lab got backlogged and my overseeing supervisor decided he hated CSIs. That's why I got pulled back with my ride along supervisor to do a Vice bust that netted about sixty weapons total and one guy that had stolen some of them. The tech I split a lab with was out with a broken leg at the time."
"That's reasonable," he agreed. "You are an officer?" Xander nodded. "Do you wish to stay one?"
"I'd rather be a lab tech, sir. Some day I might take my detective's exam but otherwise I don't play politics, I could care less about the hierarchy outside my lab supervisors, and I'm not looking toward running a lab some day. I want backup field status. When we're short of people or an all-hands situation."
"Good." He handed the binder back. "Rick, was there more reason to assume he was doing bad things?"
"The officer who spotted him said he was transacting things with two young men last night."
"They're John's sons. John watches over me as a dad-type person for when I need a leash or help. I was giving his sons gas money and money for new shirts. I spoil them rotten according to John."
"Why do you get watched over?"
Xander looked at him. "For the same reason two people came up to buy me in New York," he said blandly. "The original death threat." He looked at Horatio, then shrugged. "He's met John. John likes to nag about it when I don't sleep and eat too. He and Mac talked a number of times about my forgetting to eat while I was working."
"He did," Horatio agreed with a slight smile. "Mac said he was always very polite when he had to call to nag."
Xander nodded. "He whaps me on the head or something when I'm not. Got onto me when I went to the bar with some of the interns at the convention for hiring. Took me suit shopping in Dallas and nagged that I hit on the salespeople."
The Chief coughed. "That's fine, son." He looked at Rick. "Do you have any concrete proof?"
"I know he's doing something wrong. He has a door that leads to a hallway I can't access."
"It's a closet," Xander told him. "Sir, I think the stress is getting to him." He opened the door so he could see. He had forgotten Rick could see through illusions. The Chief gave him a look so he knew he couldn't. He shut it. "It's an odd place for a closet but it's helpful." He leaned on the door. "Now, is there anything else or can Paranoia Man leave and learn how to ask me if he has questions? I try very hard to be polite when the higher ups ask me things. If they annoy me, they get sarcasm, but if they're generally polite and not sneering I do tend to answer ones. I did when the Chief up there got scared because of the two people who tried to buy me and I had to face down him and his chosen IAB person about their bugs."
"That's fine. I'm sure Rick Stetler will learn how to ask you questions when he has one."
"And my money and guns will be back when?"
"Within an hour, son. Do you need to take today off?"
"John will fuss them into place again until I get off shift. I have work to do. Or else real criminals go free."
The Chief gave him a dirty look. "No need to be snide."
"I find it odd he's down on me since I handed over information an online friend found and it stopped seven *major* issues in New York. Which is why I was getting help from Calleigh with that one series of busts. It's not like I didn't help stop terrorists or something, sir."
"I know. Calm down. Pet your guns for a bit before coming back, son. Stetler, get them back here."
"Where is this John?"
"I think he took a walk so he wouldn't punch you," Xander told him dryly. "Like his text said." He texted him and he showed back up. "Thank you, John."
"Welcome, kid. Go back to work. I'll fuss things into place."
"Sure." He looked at Rick. "One hour." He sneered back. Xander smirked. "Hey, harassment is wrong." He stepped back at that. "I can take my national level ratings and go work for the ATF. They like me." He stomped out at that. He looked at the Chief. "I'm going to be blunt, sir. I'm good until you fuck with me for no reason. If he comes back, I'm going to have to react and I'm going to end up making his life miserable. It's just the man I am." That got a nod. "So I'm very sorry in advance since he seems to be stalking Lieutenant Caine and didn't put the officer I found taking pictures of my house from my bushes into jail." He walked off groaning. He looked at Horatio. "I don't know how you put up with him in your panties, Horatio. I really don't."
"I tend to make him go do something else quickly." He gave him a look. "Finish up here."
"Go. I've got it." Xander nodded, heading off with Horatio to go back to work. John calmed himself down. The guns and money came back, so he got to mark things off. Including the one Browning that wasn't on the list. He called him. "We have a Browning nine that's not listed?" He smiled and made note. "I'll text that to you." He hung up and texted the serial number so he could amend his registration. Let's see the guys try this again.
Xander walked into Horatio's office that night, handing over his badge and the letter he got found in his mailbox. "No way in hell am I going to patrol. If this means I give up my lab, so be it, I'll go work for the ATF." He walked off. "Let me know."
Horatio looked at the letter then called the person who had signed it. "This is Lieutenant Caine. Is he in?" He smiled. "Thank you. Yes, I'll be right there." He took both things down there, handing him back the letter. "He had to take it as a formality since he's field rated, sir. He's threatened to quit. I am not losing my lab tech."
"He never completed his ride along."
"He was short by four days due to his real job calling thanks to the other tech being out with an injury. He's only been out on three field cases. He's not an officer and he has offered to give up his badge if that will solve this issue."
The Chief considered it. "He was rated very well though his supervisor did note that they had to talk about proper pouncing procedure once. He claimed it was better to pounce than to get a shooting review."
"Which I don't disagree with."
"Neither do I. We still need him to complete it and we have eight weeks mandatory."
"Not for officers who transferred in, sir."
"They all come in with at least that much time in. We do that so we can make sure they have the same training we do, Caine."
Horatio closed the office door and came back to look at him. "I'm very sure I can trust Xander in the field, sir. He was in that situation in LA." That got a shudder. "That was the sort of thing he handled in his original life. In truth, he's so quick to react because he grew up in a very tough town. That's why he can do his own stitches and didn't ask for even local with his last ones." That got another shudder. "I can trust Xander to be at my back no matter what. Now, would you prefer he keep his badge and lab spot or just his lab spot? If we pay him as a lab tech, he gets an automatic raise and can still work backup on field cases as long as it's not a significant amount of time spent in the field."
"Why do you like the kid?"
"He's a lot like I was when I was younger, only he has less temper."
He considered it. "How much of a raise?"
"Ballistics techs start at fifty a year, sir."
He gave him a horrified look. "For an undergrad?"
"With a speciality. Plus he has experience."
He took his keyboard to find a file on the LA invasion, letting him see the video. "Not exactly."
The man watched, hunching himself some like he was instinctively protecting his stomach. "Where did they get the artillery?"
"So he does know them?"
"A fair bit. He's expanding his knowledge base there and archaic weapons."
"I see." He looked at him. "Is he safe on the streets?"
"His ride-along supervisor seemed to think so. He would have finished those four days but the captain over that unit decided he didn't like the boy pulling doubles to clear up that backlog and got into Taylor's face about it. That's how Xander ended up on a Vice bust one night in triple overtime."
"They netted sixty guns, a small drug ring, and the person who stole some of their weapons, sir. I'm very sure that Xander will react in an appropriate, but deadly manner when necessary. He's trained to hunt."
"Hunt?" He pulled up the file on the Winchester family. That got a small moan. "I had a case that had someone like that once."
"Exactly. They're watching over him."
"How did he come to their attention?"
"The thing that his friend screwed up."
"Not my duty to tell you, sir. It doesn't impact him in the lab but that is why now and then people like him an extra bit that makes them do stupid things like try to buy him."
"I see." He considered it. "I'd rather he be a lab tech if your budget can handle it."
"I was expecting he was until I got his records, sir."
"Fine. I'll come by tomorrow to do that. Did he update his registration?"
"He did that earlier from the lab with Calleigh looking over his shoulder."
"Good. How is he in the lab?"
"Fast, accurate, helpful. The techs all love him. He flirts but doesn't expect or want to carry through with it. Everyone but Rick Stetler likes him. He even leant Speed a suit when he spilled tea on his. He bends over backwards to be accepted and liked, sir."
"Is that why he reminds you of a younger you?"
"Partially. His parents were about as bad as my father."
"Fine. I'll be down tomorrow to do that paperwork transferring him from an officer to a lab tech." Horatio nodded, handing over the badge. "Have him have any uniforms there."
"He has his three NYPD ones that he got out of the academy in a bag in his closet."
"He can keep those. I'll state that we're only suspending his badge due to his desire to stay out of the field. That way if he has to transfer he's not in trouble. Rick might even leave him alone."
"I'll make sure he hears the reason, sir." He smiled. "Thank you." He walked out calling Xander. "The Chief is coming in tomorrow to suspend your badge and transfer you to only being a lab tech. That way if you have to switch you still have it, but you won't be required to do another three weeks on the street." He smiled. "That's fine. I'll see you tomorrow. Do not wear something that would make him have a headache." He hung up and went to find Rick Stetler. "Thank you for reminding him about those ride-along hours, Rick. It means I get Xander as a full time tech instead of having him as an officer."
Rick sneered. "Is he giving it up?"
"The Chief agreed he could suspend it since it was only gotten as a formality for his field work. That way he's not forced to do those nice officer mandated hours." He walked off more smug. Rick was muttering behind him about his last plan failing. Maybe he'd learn to quit making plots against the lab. Horatio went back to his office to finish looking into that background check the Feds should have given him but hadn't. He called Frank. "I could use your skills for a few minutes, Frank. My office." He hung up and went back to looking. Frank knocked then walked in, shutting the door again. "This is what someone heard." He slid over the recopied notes. "This is what I've found so far. The Chief is coming tomorrow to switch my lab tech back to a lab tech. I'd like to present him with this information."
Frank looked it over. "Let me in the system." Horatio moved, letting him do what he did best, ferret out people's secrets. "I'll be damned," he said an hour later.
Horatio smiled. "That sounds promising."
"You mean like there's a W-2 of her getting a second paycheck? A federal one?"
"Very interesting." He came over to look. "Is that a second, small one, from the prosecutor's office?"
"It is." They shared an evil look. "Looks like you've got a mole."
"It'll be nice to expose her to the light to see how blind she is." That got a nod. "Thank you, Frank."
"Not a problem. What was Stetler on about earlier?"
"Mr. Winchester, my new ballistics tech, is a gun geek who has personal funds. Calleigh's stalker decided he did not like that."
"Which meant Rick listened to the officer instead and tried his usual BS," Frank finished. Horatio nodded. "Is he okay?"
"He's fine but we did have to clarify his badge status."
"He is? With those t-shirts?"
Horatio smiled. "The one who hired him for the NYPD labs told him if he was going to be rated for field duty he had to go to the academy if he was going to spend any significant time in the field. Truthfully, Mac would've rather had him as a straight tech and so would we. The Chief is accepting the surrender of his badge for suspension based on the fact he doesn't really need it, but he'll keep it in his file in case he has to leave here due to either death threat."
"He has two?"
"On e was why he changed lives in the first place and took his training, Frank. The other got him out of New York. The first one was from the same people that netted them all those thousands of guns and artillery pieces that they borrowed Calleigh to help log in." Frank shuddered. "They study the paranormal and hunt vampires, Frank."
Frank snickered. "Wonderful! He's got psychos on his tail."
"Who want to dissect and then kill him. They've found him a few times over the years. That's why he's on his fourth made up identity." That got a nod. "And why his uncle's children needed another one since they do a lot of traveling for work."
"Interesting. So he's good?"
"He's very good. Rick is snarling in his office. The Chief agreed he didn't have to make up those few days he missed of his ride-along due to a tech injury in his lab up there that he was filling in for. It's been a good day if we can pin this on her."
"Is she still here?"
"No, she's gone home for the day."
"Then we'll pin it on her tomorrow with the Chief there to question her."
"I do have plans of that." They shared another smirk. "Thank you, Frank. Have a good night with the wife?"
"I'll try but she's fussy."
"Ask Xander what to give her as a just because present. All his former friends were girls."
"I might do that." He went down to look in ballistics. "Hey, Winchester, I need to get my wife a just because gift. She's been in a bad mood all week. Flowers you think?"
"One or two of her favorite flower and get her something sappy that makes her grin." He looked back. "A few pieces of her favorite candy or whatever. Tell her you know she's had a crappy week so she deserves the pick-me-up, you just wanted to see her smile again. Otherwise she'll ask you what you did wrong."
"Thanks, kid. That's a great idea." He left to do that. A small box of her favorite toffee. Two roses and he was home, smiling at his wife as he walked in. He handed them to her. "You've had a crappy week and I'd like to see you smile again," he said, kissing her on the cheek. He got a sappy grin and a real kiss back, then she went to nibble on her candy while she fussed over him. Yeah, that worked well. He'd have to remember this.
Xander looked up from his bullet and report when the Chief came in. "Give me a few more, gentlemen. I don't want to lose my train of thought." They nodded, sitting down at the work table. He finished up and printed it, handing it to Horatio. "Speed's case. He's got another five in here." He looked at the Chief. "Do you have it? Horatio never gave it back."
His badge was slid over. "I do, but you won't be authorized to carry it, young man."
"That's fine. My ride-along supervisor told me I was too paranoid and too apt to think everything was bad."
"With your past, I'm not surprised," Horatio agreed. "This is paperwork to make sure that you're only a tech. At least until you leave Miami." Xander nodded. "In truth, Mac said he would've rather had you as a tech too. As an officer you could get called out for horrible situations."
"I would've been there anyway, Horatio. You know what a white knight is like." The Chief gasped, staring at him. He grinned. "Hi."
"You're that Harris guy," he hissed. "My wife's a former potential slayer." Xander nodded. "This is where you're hiding?"
"Yeah, after the lab in New York. I'm a gun geek. It was this or struggling through medical school." He shrugged then grinned. "See, I'm good at what I do."
"No wonder you graduated second."
"Low test score that I had to keep making up due to things like the serial killer."
"Figures." He handed it over. "I only want you to handle things if it's an absolute emergency, like we have something coming up out of the ocean."
"Fair enough. Though I would try to hide it."
"Please. Your guardian?"
"John Winchester?" He smirked. "Your wife's former masters brought him back with a compulsion spell to take me out if I'm evil. He's been a good dad to me and can feel even the first bad thought."
"Good. I like that. The wings we heard you had?"
"Unmanifested. They get in the way and knock things over. Plus I need someone to straighten out the feathers again. It's been a while but they're...sensitive."
"I can understand that. Sign, date." Xander did that, handing them back. "Thank you, Mr. Winchester." He gave him a pointed look.
"Figured they weren't using it," he said dryly. "Someone has to be a Winchester. It's like John adopted me some days anyway."
"Good thinking." He shook his hand. "Go back to work." Xander grinned and took off his overshirt to do that. The t-shirt made him cackle. "The t-shirt rules are up to Lieutenant Caine, young man."
Horatio looked at it, groaning at _"The game of catch has never been so fun!" - inventor of the hand grenade._ He sighed. "Xander."
"It is a fun game with grenades, Horatio."
"Lab coat, Xander."
Xander grinned. "Mac made me put on an overshirt now and then my coat but it helped relieve stress and tension around the lab. Plus made him walk off to handle his headache instead of ignoring it."
"Don't wear them on a scene. As long as you're in the lab I can't mind." He shook his head, looking at his boss. "Now you see why Mac would love him back if they can get all of that terrorist group."
"Yes I do." He walked out with the papers, seeing the pouting people. "He didn't resign, people. He had to go to the academy in New York as a formality so he was giving up his badge until he leaves Miami; he's a simple lab tech again." That made them happier and go back to work. He watched Horatio find someone and say something in her ear, walking her back to him. "Problems?"
"I believe we should talk in the office for a minute, sir. Something you had told me about has happened and I believe our cold case DNA tech has some answers for it."
"I see." He walked up with them, smiling at her. "Dear, do you know something about the mole situation?"
"No," she said quickly.
"Yet, we're paying you, the prosecutor's office is paying you, and the federal government, the oversight board specifically, is paying you," Horatio said, putting the copies of the W-2 forms in front of her. He smiled. "You don't hide it very well when you come in wearing thirty-six-hundred dollar shoes, Miss Boa Vista."
"I never told them anything bad," she said firmly. "They have another person that they're getting information from."
"Yes, Miss West, one of our ADA's." Horatio put that folder down. The Chief gave him a look. "We wrapped up the investigation portion last night with Frank's help."
"Hmm." He looked at her. "What do you have to say for yourself, young lady?"
"It was part of the grant, sir."
"I see." He considered it. "Horatio?"
"She has caused some problems trying to get information. Including getting Wolfe and Delko's personality clashes to be more prominent at times by hitting on them both and playing them off each other."
"I did not."
"You canceled a date with Eric to go out with Ryan," he said blandly. He handed over something else. "That is where the other is coming from, sir. He had an unfortunate opening of his mouth around the wrong people. I'll be talking with him later."
"Do so." He looked at her. "I believe we should talk about what's been said, young lady. Head directly to my office and do not call to alert them or Miss West." She nodded, trudging off to do that. He looked at him. "What do they know?"
"That I do not know but it is not good."
"No, it's not good for your team. Any other cheery news I should hear?" Horatio sighed. "I was being factious," he said. Horatio handed over a very slim folder. "Your brother?" He looked inside and went pale. "No."
"I'm afraid so. The same one who told me about her let that slip."
"I heard what happened to him, Horatio." He handed it back. "How are you handling that?"
"Look at the last page, sir." He did and groaned. "I'm not sure yet."
"Fine. We'll figure it out." He handed it back. "I want kept informed on that one." That got a nod and he left to talk with Boa Vista and then Miss West. He didn't like her anyway. This little minx was not going to be allowed to rip his lab apart either.
Ryan walked into ballistics. "I heard you were doing official paperwork. How long do we have you for?"
"It was to surrender my badge, Ryan." He grinned. "I had to take my academy stuff in New York as a formality because I'm field rated. If I had kept it down here I'd have been stuck in patrol for at least three weeks." That got a nod. "I'm a bit paranoid on the streets thanks to my past and it's not good for me. They agreed and it's fine. Now I'm a full time lab tech instead of Officer Winchester."
"That's cool." He grinned at Speed as he strolled in. "Did you hear?"
"I heard from H earlier when he was calming Alexx down. You were in interrogation." He looked at Ryan, then nodded. "Better," he decided about his clothes.
"Thank you. I did try this morning." He grinned at Xander. "Saturday?"
"Sure. You know, this means I get a raise automatically," Xander said with a smirk. "Lab techs make more than officers." Ryan grumbled but didn't look too displeased. "So we'll go shirt shopping when you call to make sure I'm up." Ryan nodded, heading off. He looked around and handed Speed his last few reports. "Yours."
"Thank you, but not why I'm in here." He closed the door then looked at him. "Somehow you know things."
"When I'm told."
"Not like that. You know a lot of things. You're the one who turned my gun cleaning issue in to Horatio even though we hadn't met yet. You knew about Maxine's soft spot for tea when she never drinks any unless she's stressed. You knew about Ryan's OCD without anyone telling you. You knew about Boa Vista and told Horatio."
"She was wearing really expensive designer stuff and you can't do that on our salary."
"Uh-huh. But you didn't deny the other things. So whatever your friend did made you clairvoyant, which cops would hate. Or you somehow saw ahead another way that isn't fully correct with world because I overheard you the other day saying things weren't like it was *there*."
"I should refer yo to Horatio for this talk, Speed."
"I don't want to be run-around, Harris." Xander grimaced. "Yeah, looked you up when you mentioned the second death threat. It's not real well known but my father hunted for a bit." He leaned against the table. "How are the Winchester clan and how did John get brought back?"
"The same people decided they couldn't do it and made him their instrument of 'take him out if he's evil' but Willow warped it," he said quietly. He nodded him back to the exemplar since there were cameras in other places. He chanted the small spell to take out electronics back there for ten minutes and looked at him. "Yes I'm still Xander Harris, White Knight of Sunnydale."
"You're not a seer."
"Well, technically a few of me are across the realms. Which is what Willow did in a misguided attempt at a bonding exercise to bring us closer together," he said quietly. "And me being me, I kept more than memories."
"Which is why they want to dissect you." Xander nodded. "Why are you a CSI? You know we'd find out when you slipped."
"I like guns. Three or four of the other mes liked being a CSI."
"That makes more sense. Why here? Why New York?"
"I liked working there," he said, giving him a kicked puppy look. "I liked working with you guys. I liked it when I worked up there in another one. Actually, I had more down here than I did up there." He looked at him. "It's kinda painful because I have all these memories. In the ones I worked down here, Max was like a mom now and then. She fussed at me when I got sick. We went clubbing together as buddies. You liked my t-shirts."
"I still like your t-shirts." He relaxed. "So you already knew?"
"I didn't know if it was a current or a past issue. Mac knew. He had a neighbor or something that was one who complained to him right after it happened while drunk. He blatantly asked me and he told Horatio. The problem is the more I use them the more I have from them and the louder they get. Which is why now and then I get lost in thought and why I forget to eat and sleep sometimes. Which John does a great job helping me with."
"What about your boyfriends or girlfriends in those realms?" Xander blushed. "Really?" he asked dryly.
"In one you did die in that jewelry store," he said very quietly, staring at him. "They gave you to me as a white lighter after I passed a course in demonic CSI skills."
Speed shuddered at that. "I can't even imagine how nasty that class would be."
Xander nodded. "Was now and then but I did a lot of cult stuff. My teachers there heard what I was still doing at that time and sent me there. I retired from that life the day I graduated UCLA's program in those. Before then I was working with Angel. After the fall of Sunnydale. That's why I gave a head's up about the invasion."
"Which you were at, which was dangerous."
"They figured I'd jump in and I helped."
"A lot," Horatio agreed when he came in. "Maxine Valera was going to walk in when she heard you."
"No, I told her. She's fine and she grinned that you guys were such good friends. She said if you want, she'll mother hen you."
"I don't want to make her because of that. If it happens it does. Like if I take up with any of the people I was with in any of them I do."
"Not just me?" Speed asked.
"No. You, there was one with Don Flack. One with a guy out of the Vegas lab. One with a Fed out of NCIS." Speed grinned at that. "You guys kinda tried to understand me. You and I had this casual kinda thing after so long together as partners. Which was how they found out when I got a major case of the flu. I know things aren't the same and I know I can't make it the same. I remembered enjoying it. I knew I could hide easily enough here or there. I should've decided to go to medical school."
"No, it's not a bad decision," Speed told him, "but I'm not yours."
"I know that, Speed. You like him," he said with a head nod at Horatio, getting a blush. "I'm not hoping. I felt comfortable. This is like a sweater that used to be your favorite but your roommie stole it for a year and stretched it differently so it's still your comfy sweater, but it's not quite the same."
"Good." He looked at him. "We'll handle it, kid."
"You shouldn't even know. If they're doing a general scrying or have little things set to pick up whenever I talk about it, they'll track me here and then I will go to medical school."
"No, don't. You're safe here. Mac may have been able to keep you safe but he had to do a lot of city cleaning to do that. Here you'll be safer because they haven't moved into Miami at this point in time." Xander nodded, looking down. He tipped his face up. "Are you going to be all right?"
"I hope so. Maybe."
"Good." He smiled. "Quit stressing. You've been stressed out since you got here."
"That's because I feel like I'm forgetting something." That voice popped up to go over what he knew, making him groan and write down a note. "Sometime, in my first year down here with you in the one I had Speed in, they're in the Keys moving this way."
"Which would be in a year or so," Horatio reminded him, looking at the note. "We'll check into that and keep an eye out for them." He stroked over his hair, making him duck away. "You can be like one of the kids in the lab, Xander. I know how hard it is to live like you're undercover all the time. It helps that you went back to your old name but not fully."
"No. But I don't really miss them as much anymore."
"That's to be expected. You've made new friends who like you more," Speed told him.
"Well, yeah, but that's how I got caught in Chicago."
"I heard about that. Alchemy?" Speed asked. Xander grinned and nodded. "Amusing and unique."
"Yes I am. No one else around here has wings."
"You do?" Xander took off his shirt to let them out with a sigh of pleasure. "Wow, you do." He touched one gently, backing up at the moan. "Directly connected?"
"Kinda feels *really* good and I need preened but John won't let me hit on succuba anymore." He put them back and put on his shirt but Speed stopped him to stare at the scars. He looked down then at him. "Some are from LA."
"Not all of them."
"Years on the hellmouth, Speed." He put on his shirt. "I'm sorry if I've been freaky. Adam up there knew. He used to surf those sites and found me once. Don Flack and an IAB guy found out by accident because they were eavesdropping. Danny knew some because he overheard it while IAB, Mac, and I were discussing something. Which is how Adam realized he knew me."
"Chill. You're cool with us, Xander." Speed patted him on the arm. "Anyone you didn't get along with?"
"Yelina got creeped out by me now and then but otherwise no. She learned to just ignore me when I was being strange. John Hagen and I got along okay. Frank and I got along fine once he realized the bounciness was staying and I was good because of it. Ryan and I were buddies." Maxine walked in with Calleigh. "Horatio!"
"I thought she went home." He scowled at Calleigh. "You should not be hearing this."
"I wasn't paying it any attention until I heard John's name. I got called back because the monitoring system was shut off."
"Oops. I did that in case there were bugs."
He snapped his fingers and created a small light, making her back away slowly. He let it go. "What Willow did to me, Calleigh. The friend who got me the original death threat? That stuff."
"How did you know John?" Horatio had told her some about his past life, but not that he could do that strange stuff that drove people like her nuts trying to explain it.
"That's a long story that's best told over beers. I spent the first week after it happened drunk."
"You traveled to another realm?" she guessed.
"Something like that."
"Oh. Which is why you came here?"
"I remembered liking working here, boss."
"I guess that makes sense. Horatio told me enough that I wouldn't worry up in New York." She looked at Speed. "How did you know?"
"I heard about his original life through some mutual friends of contacts."
"Huh. Were you going to tell me?"
"Things aren't exactly the same, Calleigh. For one I didn't go to UCLA. I don't want to make them the same but some of the differences are more painful than others. Things like there, Max used to mother hen me because Alexx considered me too odd and kinda strange. And at one point I snapped back when she said something to me about not belonging in a lab."
"She can do that on her bad days," she agreed.
"I don't want to force things into the way they were there. If they grow into it, they do. The same as in one I was dating that one," he said with a point at Speed. The girls both gaped. He shrugged. "I'm not foreseeing that happening but it's not going to hurt because we were mostly friends with benefits, and a bit more. I nearly tried to get Las Vegas because of this but I'd have to explain way too much to Grissom and show it to him too."
"That would've been a long talk about the wings," Speed said, shaking his head quickly to shake off that thought. "Any other carryover?"
"The glowy ball stuff, the memories, the wings. The Watchers wanting me dead." He shrugged. "I went to Dean and Sam because I knew I could trust them if something happened and I was going to slip and go insane." Maxine slowly raised her hand. "What my friend did caused the only other person to do it to go insane. Unfortunately I'm me. Unless this is just a really vivid drug dream and Sam did commit me. He was kinda mean when he needed to be in the one where I was mated to him."
"No, it's not. You can't wear that sort of shirt in a drug dream." She looked at him. "I like you anyway and you could use a mom now and then. You didn't eat lunch."
"I forget now and then," he agreed. "John nags too." She grinned. "Can one of you please tell the other mes that I can date girls? They nag a lot about that."
Speed shook his head. "Not from what I heard, sorry." Xander pouted at that, looking down. Calleigh gave him a pointed look to share. "One of his exes used to punish men who cheated and things by torture." Xander nodded at that. "One tried to kill him."
"The one who punished those guys was about the only one who didn't try to kill me," Xander admitted. "But I'm working on that. The succuba didn't. I just made the hunting pack sore."
"How?" Calleigh asked. "I've been sore but you're talking like there was more than one."
"There were only seven." He shrugged. "Anya wanted a lot all the time. Too bad the stamina doesn't show up when I jog." He shook that thought off. "But I do take fix-ups."
"No offense, but you might turn my girlfriends eviler," Maxine said with a small grin.
"Maybe. One of my teachers wanted me to date her niece so I could see what was wrong with her or to finish pushing her over the edge so she'd finally get help when she went fully evil."
"Maybe the others were right then," Speed said dryly.
"Maybe but the one that was a concubine keeps giving me some very bad mental images about how he loved his hormone condition." They all gave him a clueless look. "He had a pheromone condition that left them very high. Basically, he was kidnaped, bought, sold, all that against his will many times. He's the one with the hair and apparently is prompting my hair to grow out too." He fingered some of it. "I need another trim already."
Maxine giggled. "I know someone like that. They walk out of the house and even the guys who don't like her looks, and she's no international beauty queen, hit on her."
"That's gotta suck," Speed said. "Is that what happened in New York?"
"No, they knew where I was from. Said I was older than the average so I must be special. That's why I went to make the succuba sore."
Calleigh shivered. "You poor man." She gave him a short hug. "If you get too lost in thought I'll nudge you gently." She smiled. "Now, go home. Eat dinner. Let John nag."
"I will. It's gun cleaning night." He grinned. "Night all. Sorry to have freaked you out."
Maxine snorted. "Speed coming in happy and grinning one morning freaked us out, Xander. You're sweet until something happens." He beamed and grabbed his stuff to go home. "We're keeping him, right, Horatio?"
"Yes we are, Miss Valera."
"Good." She smiled. "I'm going to warn my girlfriends not to hit on him unless they really want to go wicked and evil." She walked off. She could see why the other self in that realm or whatever had liked the boy.
Calleigh smiled. "How did you realize it, Speed?"
"Mutual contacts told me about what had happened, kind of, and about the first death threat. I figured it out when he slipped the other day. I'm heading home, guys."
"Don't be upset with him?" Calleigh asked.
"I'm not. I like the little goofball. He's like Horatio only sweeter." He walked off happier. If something happened, they now had two that would jump in and take over a situation by doing something totally stupid yet effective that would save Miami.
Horatio smiled at her. "I do see a lot of my younger self in him."
She walked out laughing. "We'd better not see him take on a sniper," she teased.
Horatio followed, making sure things were on, no one else had overheard, and everything was locked down for night shift. Then he got to go home and have an excellent dinner while waiting to see if Speed would come over. Though, those two would be cute together. Pity Horatio didn't share.
Xander walked in and looked around. "John?" He came out of his room. "Speed figured it out."
"So who knows?"
"Max, Calleigh, Horatio, him. Max and Calleigh eavesdropped."
"That's fine. If you think it's wise."
"Max might spank. She did offer to help you mother hen me." John gave him a dirty look so he grinned. "Can I make dinner?"
"Go ahead. I'm doing laundry."
"Did the boys already leave?"
"They went to Orlando to look over a situation there with some little possessed dog." Xander grinned at that. "Anything else good go on today?"
"Everyone got happy that I was staying when they heard I had done official paperwork."
"That's a good sign."
"Ryan and I are going shopping on Saturday."
"Fine. No more suits."
"Yes, John." He grinned. "Speaking of, Speed said his dad used to hunt."
"Huh." He thought back. "How old is he?"
"Bit older than I am. Speedle."
"Out of New York?" Xander shrugged. "I might've met his father once in the early days." He settled in to send that email to Bobby.
"The Chief's wife was a slayer. He figured it out when I said I was a knight."
John looked at him. "Called?"
"No, a potential. They die, John."
"Good point." He sent that on too. Just in case it became relevant.
"He told me to handle it if something huge that way happened but to keep it subtle. What did you want for dinner?"
"Something edible that's not a salad. I realize it's the city's official food but I don't need roughage."
Xander snorted. "Me either." He pulled out pork chops and got to work with tutoring from the hormoned him. It went into the oven and he came out to change then back to the living room. "Are we doing anything soon?"
"Not that I know of. What did you want to do?"
"Movies? It's a low risk activity. There's the new movie with all the guns and car chases, plus the babe." He held his forehead when they all complained about that thought. He told them to shut up, he liked breasts. "Sorry, they're arguing over me liking breasts. A few are waxing poetic about the dick they've loved and lost. The booknerd me was a slut." John smothered a laugh at that. "Please?"
"Sure. We can do that." Xander beamed and went to check on dinner, plus make some good veggies to go with it. John watched. "Missed lunch?" Xander nodded. "Anyone catch it?"
"Good." He got back to his emailing. Bobby would appreciate that woman too. And Calleigh since she liked guns and was sweet and polite. Bobby liked them that way. Bobby sent back an 'I don't need fixed up' email but he said they sounded nice. Now if only the boy could date someone like that. "Bobby said Anya's been working near him. He got her in the butt with rock salt the other day."
"Poor girl. She okay?" John gave him another dirty look. "She is my ex."
"I'm starting to agree with them, Xander. Go gay. Have Sammy." He sent that to Bobby, getting a laugh back and a reminder that he had Dean in one too. "Or Dean. Bobby suggested you have Dean."
Xander walked off shaking his head. "I'll tell them you said that."
"I'll tell them," he promised, sending an email to Sam saying he agreed with him keeping Xander if he wanted him that way. Sammy was girl enough for Xander and to be gay now and then, but he was a tough guy that understood the kid too. He couldn't mind that too much.
Sam looked at his emails. "Dad wants one of us to take Xander permanently. He's decided I'm nice so I can be gay or you can quit liking tits and be gay." He handed over his phone, getting a snort back but Dean was smirking evilly at it as he sent back a response. He took his phone back once Dean was done. "Where are we headed after this?"
"Check on Bobby and Ellen."
"Cool with me." They headed for the highway. The nice lady had made them dinner for depossessing her poor shelter dog. It was a cute dog. "Think Xander's asked for a pet yet?"
"I think he did and Dad gave him the same reason we were given - it's hard to travel with a pet and you'd end up forgetting or losing him during a move." They shared a look then sped up as they pulled onto the on ramp. "So maybe he'll decide to take a succuba as a pet or something," Dean decided. "That would freak Dad out and be a good April Fool's joke."
Sam snickered, leaning against the car door. "If he does, I want a picture of his face." He sent that to Xander's personal email and relaxed again. That would be a cool prank.
Dean gave his little brother a smirk. "Gonna miss your butt boy?"
"He's a buddy, Dean. It's stress relief. I go for quality over breasts and a tight ass."
"Uh-huh. Keep telling yourself that, little brother. If you need it that much, you can pick up some little bottom boy somewhere."
"I don't need it like you do, Dean. I'm fairly self reliant on that problem." Dean laughed, shaking his head. "One of these days you're going to end up picking up something fatal."
"That's why I play safely, Sammy. Just like I'm hoping you do."
"Of course I do." He smirked at his big brother. "I still remember the many interesting things that happened when you were nineteen and you did catch something." Dean glared at him. "What?" he asked innocently. "I do."
"Never mention that again, Sammy."
"Sure, Dean, if you call me Sam instead of Sammy since I'm not six."
"Shut up, Sammy."
"So I get to tell the next girl you hit on?"
"You do and Dad will mourn you horribly."
"Uh-huh. Then you'd have to take Xander hunting."
"He might be fun to travel with." Sam rolled his eyes but he was only picking on Dean. Dean would kill him if he ever told some girl he had caught VD off someone. Plus he'd pout for weeks. He'd hate to see that.
to part 14
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