Imagine: The List
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Vignettes of unused t-shirt slogans for last part of Ballistics Part 8:

remember, some of these came from Scribe's website ( and some came from Just some short fun for the list.

The T-Shirts of Ballistics.
(Because Even David Hodges Needs Something Funny Sometimes).

David Hodges looked around his lab in despair. He was going to need help for this one. A lot of help this time. He got into his email and clicked on the 'whole lab' listing to put their addresses in. Then he typed. "Xander has threatened to wear all the t-shirts he has over the next few months. In a row. I cannot stop him," he muttered as he typed. "God help you all. Any you want, he may be open to selling as long as you're respectful to them and love them like he does (they're next to the dog in his affection). Do remember that his collection has more than one entropy t-shirt and a few that may be a cause of a stroke or heart attack. If this bothers you, take it up with Mac and Xander. Please!" He signed his name and made sure Xander's name wasn't included. Not that he wouldn't hear about it, because he would, but this way he didn't see it before David had a chance to make him cookies as an apology. Because he would be insane too.


Mac pulled out his phone when it beeped, groaning at the message line. "David," he complained, using the little button to open up the email preview. He read it and whimpered. "Stella?" he pleaded, letting her take it.

She read it and groaned. "Well, it'll be a fun few months and it'll mean he'll be a happy boy, Mac." She erased it and handed it back. "Let's see who complains."

"Vecchio will. Again. Because he thinks I'm stronger than he was to avoid the dreaded pout as he called it."

"Well, could be worse. I'm sure David didn't send it to him."

"Knowing Xander, he's cackling evilly. This is his plan for the holiday stress relief."

"Probably true," she agreed, getting back to work. She had wondered what else was in his closet of t- shirts. Now she'd get to find out.


Mac walked into his office and found four written complaints about the email already on his desk and Mortty cackling against his walls at Lindsey. "Mortty, you're not supposed to be back yet," he called.

"I'm not, I'm bringing the baby for his checkup and I'm letting the daddies have him for a few minutes. Xander's cackling and dancing around, showing him what guns are." Mac moaned and shook his head. She came in to give him a hug. "It's all right. I promise. Only a few are really evil. And hey, this way he can buy more from the same place he got the corpse t-shirt." She danced off to grab her son and take him to get his baby boosters. Xander just smirked at her. "Don't make David bake all night."

"I was thinking more straps," he said dryly. He sent him an email saying he was going to get it later then got back to work once his kid was gone. He smiled and waved at the people who paused to look at him, noticing how many of them were carrying single sheets of paper. Mac came in about an hour later with a handful. "I haven't even started yet."

"Every morning you are to appear in my office first, Xander," he said simply. "That way you can't traumatize anyone else. Don't even bother to take off your jacket."

"I wear a jacket?"

"Fine. Just appear in my office first thing, Xander."

"Yes, Mac." He gave him a hug then had to put on a new set of gloves. "I'm trying to be good and I do need to thin the herd. This way if someone wants one of them, they can have them." He grinned. "I'm being a good boy."

"No you're not. You're going to drive us insane. I heard about last year's holiday stress relief." Xander just smirked. "It may have helped break the stress and tension but we don't need the mental damage some of your t-shirts can cause."

"I can talk about sports instead," he offered.

"Um, no. That's all right." He walked off. He had assured the others he would make sure none of them were *too* horrible. Hopefully. He did tell Danny he had approval anytime he wasn't in the building and Xander had to change t-shirts or came in for his shift. Danny was sensitive enough to laugh at the good or odd ones and make him change the ones that gave people headaches ...or worse in a few cases. Because every little once in a while Sheldon still got stuck in a thought loop about a few of them. Especially ones about elephants wearing tutus in pine trees. At least David had been nice enough to warn them first. Greg walked in and shut his office door. "What's wrong, Greg?"

"He's got three or four entropy t-shirts," he noted calmly. "He cannot wear them together. The week he did that in Vegas nearly got us hijacked."

"I'll make note of that and remind him."

"Thank you. Oh, watch out for his Homeland Security one, it's in his locker and he's just waiting for them to show up again." He walked out, going back to his lab.

Mac put his head down. He was having the headache now instead of later. His computer beeped and he looked at the new message. It was from the system administrator. He opened it and responded to the question about the email David had sent by sending him pictures of some of Xander's favorite t-shirts. His response of 'enough said, legal to me' made him smile. So other people would appreciate him and have the same headaches. It was always good to share.


Xander walked in the first day and as ordered, walked into Mac's office and showed off his shirt. -In some cultures what I do would be considered normal._ "Okay enough?"

"That one's perfectly fine, Xander," he agreed happily. "I like that one. Keep that one."

Xander beamed and walked out.

Stella looked at the shirt. "Yes, then the Missionaries came and converted them so they're on the same standard of normal we are now, dear," she offered, patting him on the cheek. "They're mostly lost to time and memories of the good old days." She walked off shaking her head. This was going to be a fun lead-up to the holidays.

David looked at it. "Starting slow but a warning," he noted when he read it. "Good job."

"Does that mean I get ear scratches for not pissing in the corner this time?" he quipped.

"You only bark when I tie you up. You had better never lose your paper training." Xander cackled at that. "Come help me when you're done. You deserve the reward."

Lindsey looked at his shirt. "Did we quarantine those cultures?" She walked off shaking her head. She really didn't understand Xander in the least.

David and Xander shared a look. "Go ahead," he mouthed. "Tomorrow." That got an evil smirk and a wink, then Xander danced off to his ballistics lab. David moaned. She had earned the wrath of Xander's oddness. It was her own fault. They'd deal with her again when she had returned to sanity.


Xander walked in. He had been timing it just perfectly, walking in just in front of Monroe so she hadn't seen his shirt. Danny saw it and then burst out laughing, leaning against a wall. "Xander," he snickered.

"I'm being a good boy. It's deserved." He knew where she was going. She was predictable and it was on the way to Mac's office so he had an excuse ready. He left her after half the lab had seen it and his bright, cheerful grin (and a few winks at some who would get the joke) and walked into Mac's office, letting him see it. _Watch Out For The Idiot Behind Me._

Mac looked at him, then at who he had been walking in front of. "Not nice."

"She said my one from yesterday should have been quarantined so they didn't pollute others. She earned it."

"Fine, she earned it," he said dryly, shaking his head. "Go do it to a few suspects at lunch too. Liven up the other officers in the detective's pool." Xander beamed and danced out, going to find another target. He managed to get Lindsey behind him again and walked that way, making Stella burst out in giggles. Xander ducked into ballistics and put on his work smock before she caught on. But he would go torture a few perps later. That had been a good idea!


Xander got called out for a SWAT exercise, and found his special shirt just for them. The commander took one look at it and nodded. "That fits."

The other guys, and two female officers, all looked. _Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live, taking the form of readiness to die. - G.K. Chesterton_. They nodded too. It did suit them. The commander bought it off him and hung it up in the training room as inspiration. He liked the kid, even if he was odd and had reportedly sent at least three cops over the edge.


Xander's one a few days later got a bit of notice. Mostly some laughs from the women and a lot of confused looks from people who had never seen a saddle. _If there was any logic in this world, it would be men who ride side-saddle, not women._

Lindsey nodded. "It would be. Then again, side- saddle sucks. Can't grip with your knees at all. Do you ride?"

"Now and then David lets me go play with the ponies in the park."

"I'll have to check into that. I haven't ridden since I got here." She walked off happy and thinking. It was a good thing. She liked riding.

Don looked at his shirt, then at Lindsey's back to make sure she was out of hearing range. Then back at Xander. "That's true, but there's nothing like the feeling of power between your legs, ya know?"

"Oh, I so do." He squealed and bounced. "My buddy from school just bought a bike and he let me ride it around without David knowing. Think he'd let me get one?"

"Probably not, but if you do, can I borrow it?"

"Of course." He patted him on the arm. "Just don't ride it side-saddle." Don giggled and swatted him so he went back to work. He called David since it was his day off. "Dear, Lindsey wants to know where you let me go riding in the park. She said she hasn't had a ride since she got here." He grinned. "My side- saddle t-shirt. Oh, can I have a motorcycle? I even promise to share it with Don and Ray if he wants." He pouted. "But, honey, I'm being a good boy. Uh- huh. Eric let me ride his. Yes, the guy who got me through Econ who's a Crypt, that Eric," he agreed patiently. "He just got one." He beamed. "Thanks, sweetie." He hung up, turned up his happy music, and danced around the lab while he worked. 'We'll see' always meant he got what he wanted out of David.


Don saw the t-shirt of the day and flinched. "If you've had chocolate, you're in deep shit," he called after him.

Xander just smiled and waved, then went back to his stroll to Mac's office and then the break room. He hadn't been planning on having a candy bar but it was a good idea.

Mac's lips moved as he read the t-shirt...Hyper? I make a ferret on amphetamines look lethargic. "No candy, no soda, Xander," he ordered firmly. "If you make that one come true, I will send you to the academy to do PT with the cadets." Xander pouted. "Don't even think about it. No."

"But, Mac," he whined.


"Yes, Mac," he sighed, going back to his lab. Fortunately, Mortty came and stole that one off him and went to put it on herself. "You can't have a second baby Xander, David said so," he called.

"If I get pregnant from your shirt, I'm going to bottle your sweat and sell it," she retorted, smiling and holding it up for Greg's approval.

"Xander, no candy!" Greg warned. "I will spank you and then let David have you again."

"Yes, dear." He peeked out of ballistics. "Now what am I supposed to wear?"

"Well, the DHS person is coming in for a review," Mortty offered.

Xander got his totally evil smirk and hurried to the locker rooms to change. "Don't give him any ideas," Greg complained.

Fortunately, Mac did a walking inspection before she got there and saw the t-shirt.

_Department of Homeland Security - we're guarding your ass, even when you need a moment alone to pick out the wedgie._

"Take it off," Mac ordered. "Now, Xander."

"I don't have another one."

"I don't care! Go steal one of Danny's normal shirts! We don't piss them off, they'll make complaints and have us shut down for another few weeks."

"I could finish my holiday shopping," he noted thoughtfully.

"Xander!" he snapped.

"Yes, Mac," he sighed, trudging slowly back to the locker rooms. Then upstairs to find someone to bum a shirt off of. "Guys, Mac said I have to bum a shirt before I get the lab shut down this time."

Don looked at him, then snickered. "Very true. You can borrow my spare one, Xander." He walked him down to the locker room, getting him a dress shirt to put overtop of it. "Don't let them see it, wear it the rest of the time." He walked off smiling and happy.

Of course, Xander coming out of the locker room in what was obviously one of Don Flack's pink dress shirts did get a rumor started among a few of the techs. David came down while the DHS inspector was in and unbuttoned it on him. "You do not belong to Don Flack. I will not allow you to wear his clothes or anything else of his."

"David!" Mac warned.

"I'm a jealous spouse," he growled. "He's wearing someone else's shirt and they're saying he's cheating with Don. There's no way in *hell* I'm letting that rumor go on, Mac. I don't care if his shirt gives people heart attacks or who it gives one too!" He took the shirt off Xander and glanced at it, then snorted. "You've got better at home." He walked off, still glaring, sending a potent one at Mac for making the rumors start that Xander was cheating on him. He walked up to where Don was, handing him back his shirt. "Please correct the rumors saying you're sleeping with my husband, Flack. I am possessive and I will kick your ass over him. It might take me a while and some knockout gas, but I am a chemist." He stomped off, leaving whole new rumors in his wake.

Don saw all the curious looks. "Xander's wearing his Homeland Security shirt and they're in for an inspection. Mac made him borrow a shirt. Not my fault. I was being a nice guy." Xander came up and hugged him. "Thanks, Xander."

"Welcome. I'll screw David into a better mood later. He won't hurt you. He knows I'm not going to cheat with you. You'd be fun but you'd never put up with me in bed." He walked off, going back to work. Stella pulled him into a closet and leaned against it when she saw the inspector coming up the hall.

"I've seen it and he's right, but we feel it's best to know when you're picking the wediges out as well, Detective Bonsera."

"Sorry. You know, Xander's parents work there somewhere."


"Yeah, his Stetson's son."

"I know of Lee." He shuddered. "I'll tell him how you all tried to hide that one. I know Lee isn't very fond of being merged either." He walked on, making a note to email Lee later about his son and his very cute shirt. He came back and found Xander being pulled out of the closet by a complaining woman. "Is that one custom?"

"It is," he agreed. He wrote down the name of his t- shirt guy on his pad. "I go there. He's got it on file. I gave him permission to sell it if he wanted to."

"I'll see if he's got more then. Thank you. That is very cute." He went back to his car happier than when he had come in. He liked this lab. They handled things so they didn't have to. Between the Marine and an agent's son, they had it well in hand most of the time.

Stella glared at Xander. "That does not get you out of trouble."

"I borrowed a shirt like Mac ordered. David walked in and stripped it off me in front of him. Said that there were rumors I was sleeping with Flack because I was bumming a shirt for a few minutes." He walked off pouting, getting a hug from Danny. "I'm not sleeping with Don."

"I know you're not. It's a good thing you're not too. David's a scary man when he's being possessive." Xander nodded and scurried back into his lab and the firing chamber when he heard Mac coming up the halls. Danny looked at him. "It's not his fault."

"He put it on."

"The agent thought it was cute," Stella said grimly. "David did what?"

"Stripped it off Xander in front of the agent," he sighed. "He claimed there were rumors going around that he was sleeping with Flack."

Danny snorted. "Don would never put up with him in bed. Xander's much too bouncy and Flack's not one for bondage." He walked off happier. "They're gone," he announced. The sodas and coffee cups came out of cabinets and drawers so everyone could get back to work. He paused next to DNA when he saw Mortty changing skirts back. "Mortty, shades next time?" he requested. He walked on rubbing his eyes. She was very cute but not his type. He had to remind himself of that. She was not his type. He would look bad as a goth. She was not his type. Him in a spiked dog collar would get a lot of bad looks. He didn't need the attention. She was not his type.


Xander heard Nick was coming in from Vegas so his next shirt was just for him. He proudly popped up at the airport in front of him, making Nick look and laugh.

_First let me warn you that I have PMS, and Texas has a lovely thing called the Concealed Weapon Carry Law. Now, then--what were you saying?_

"I like that one, Xander," he offered, giving him a hug. "Did they think it was a threat?"

"Yeah, almost no one knew you were coming in but me, David, and Greg." He beamed, looking sweet, gentle, nice, and kind to puppies and kittens. "So Mac told me to come get you when he got told."

"Not like I mind. Saves on cab fare." He walked off with Xander, happy that the boy loved him enough to put on a special t-shirt just for him. He'd have to get a copy of that to send home to his sisters. They'd adore that one. Then again, they liked Xander for some reason.


Their first real snow day, Xander showed up in his dogsled t-shirt making some of the cat lovers nod and smirk that he was right. Mac read it. _Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow- Jeff Valdez_ "It's true," Xander pointed out. "You can't even get cougars or some other large cat to pull a sled. That's why they're called dogsleds." He hurried off, happy that Mac looked so flustered. Mac needed a break from the stress, maybe he'd take a nap now. Then again, he could wear a nap-inducing t-shirt the next day....

Jane, the nightsift DNA person, came in and stole the shirt, paying him twenty bucks for it. "Thank you, love. My sister has ten cats. She'll adore this as a holiday present," she said in her pretty British accent as she walked off.

Xander had to go to his locker to get a new one, deciding Mac really did need a nap this time. So he chose very carefully.

Mac and Danny both caught sight of the new t-shirt. _Would a dog still chew on a foo that shits?_ Xander just smiled. "An online friend's warped bus thought of the day. It's a legitimate question for those dogs who chew on shoes."

Mac handed Danny the file and started to go after Xander but Danny drug him into his office and put him down on his couch. "Nap, Mac. That was probably his intention. The more stressed you get, the weirder the t-shirts are. So less stress saves the rest of us from severe mental problems. Take a nap and it'll be better." He walked out, closing the door behind him and went to warn everyone else that Mac needed a nap. Many of them had noticed the correlation between Mac's stress levels (and occasionally the tormenting of Monroe) and Xander's t-shirts. It was nice of him to try to relieve Mac's stress. He ran into a confused looking Sheldon in the hallway. "He said it was an online friend's thought of the day."

"I see." He just nodded and walked off. Xander had some strange friends, he knew that already. After all, Mortty and Greg were very strange but nice people. He supposed the originator of that line was too then.

"That's disgusting!" Mortty called.

"The t-shirt?" Danny called, heading that way.

"No, the baby's diaper the nanny just put over the camera when she found it." He got there in time to see her pick up the phone and call home. "Take the diaper off the camera and clean it off or I'm sending Xander over," she warned. She noticed Xander standing behind Danny, looking over his shoulder. "Right now. Yes, he's here. Don't think I won't send him over." The diaper was removed and the camera cleaned off. She hung up. "Xander, the nanny is not working out."

"Go with the goth one you liked," he ordered. "I'll make David see sense." He went to talk to his mate. "Dear, the nanny just put a really nasty diaper over the camera so Mortty and I couldn't check on her. She's going with the one she liked."

"Fine." He looked at the shirt. Then he shook his head. "You and Vo are bad together, Xander. Very, very bad. Go away before someone needs a nap."

"Mac's taking a nap," he said innocently, heading off. He slid a note under Mac's door about him going out to check on the baby at lunch and have a with the old nanny as well. It was his son, he could do that.


"_What was the guy who invented the bagpipe going for anyway?_" Mac read a few days later. "Harmonious noise?" he guessed.

"It's a quote from the Wizard of Id comic strip," he admitted. "Most bagpipes aren't harmonious."

"No, but it's a very unique instrument."

"It is that," he agreed. "So I'm good?"

"You're fine." Xander smiled and headed off, going down to his lab. Mac shook his head. At least until Xander yelped. "What happened?" he called, heading that way, finding two men in there with guns and Xander rubbing the new sore spot on his head. He cleared his gun and coughed. "Gentlemen, perhaps we should get out of the ballistics lab?"

"He's ours! He gave us evil thoughts on the subway!"

"I haven't been evil in days," Xander protested. "For that matter, I was reading Guns and Ammo the last time I was on the subway four days ago." They looked shocked. "You mean there's another guy who looks like me running around the city? Is he about sixteen and looks like my twin?" They backed out and Mac grabbed them with a few others who had seen Mac pull his gun. "I really do need to know if the vampire me is around, guys. Was it him?" They shook their heads and allowed themselves to be carted off. He called Dawn. "Is the vampire me around? No, two guys who claimed I gave them evil thoughts on the subway on a day I wasn't down there. They said he looked like me." He shrugged. "Well, if he is, tell him I said hi and dust him. Thanks, dear." He hung up and sat down to write out the obligatory report they'd be needing later.

Don looked at his shirt and nodded. "I have no idea what he was going for but they obviously missed." He checked Xander's head. "You're fine. Need some ice?"

"Some tylenol. Ice would make it ache more. I'll go stand outside later if I need an ice pack."

"Sure." He went to find him some and brought it back with a soda and a small candybar. No way was he feeding Xander too much sugar. David would skin him this time. He had vowed it after the last one.


Stella saw the next one and moaned. "You're going to a very dark, warm place, dear. It's in punishment for all the mental issues you've given others." She patted him on the cheek with a smile and walked off. "Mac, gotta see this one," she yelled.

He came out of ballistics and Xander proudly showed off his t-shirt. _Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?--coolsig.com_ Mac just nodded. "If you need to know that, you need to go back to your original home for a vacation, Xander. Now get in here. We've got an officer-related shooting we've got to run." Xander skipped in and got down to help him. It was his lab after all.

Lindsey leaned in an hour later while they were working together. "Did someone sleep through Vacation Bible School?"

Xander looked at her. "Depending on which faith you're talking about, it could be leading many places. Especially since some of us aren't Christian." She blushed and walked off. He looked at Mac. "Can't I smack her, just the once?"

"No, Xander," he said patiently. "I will remind her we are a multi-religious organization in a few minutes for you." He checked the date on the calender then the young man. "When are you decorating the halls with Mortty? I know Thanksgiving is next week."

"We're taking on-shift that day," he agreed. "Right after the parade." That got a smile. "I watched it every other year on the tv, this year I'm going in person, even if I do have to camp out overnight." He considered it then called Mortty. "Are we decorating on the first or that weekend?" He smiled. "Mac wanted to know. Yeah, here." He beamed. "Thanks." He hung up. "If you let her play with the talking santa we'll be doing it the weekend after the first and we'll even remember to water the garland."

"Okay. What about the tree?"

"It'll be alive too," he promised. "It'll be planted next spring for Beltane." Mac smiled at that and nodded. "As for the angel, you can get someone to put it up after we're done. We're doing gold, cream, and blue this year."

"Sure. That'll go with our angel. Thank you, Xander."

"Welcome. Who else is working so we know how much food to bring and am I working field that day?"

"If necessary, you can." He considered it. "Even alone as long as you promise to behave and call me for any problems."

"Yes, Mac," he said patiently, finishing his report and handing it over. "Yours." He went to tell Greg and David and put up a list in the breakroom so they could get an accurate count and see if anyone else wanted to bring something.


Don looked at the shirt Xander was wearing for Thanksgiving when he walked onto his scene. "I know you were wearing a normal one earlier for the parade. They caught you on tv."

Xander beamed. "They did?"

"They did. They caught David handing you a cup of coffee actually. I know you weren't wearing _No, no, no, NO! Spoons on the RIGHT, chainsaws on the LEFT_ then, Xander."

"No, but it was on underneath it. David said I had to wear real clothes just in case I got caught. Good idea as it turns out." He beamed. "What do we have?"

"Jumper it looks like, not sure if it is or not. 'Tis the season for them to start with the holiday depression stuff." Xander looked at him. "People who feel lonely and without family and stuff," he explained.

"They can have Willow. She wrote me yesterday."

"No, that might make more jump instead of less,"
Don said firmly. "Please don't share that gift around."

"Sure. Did you notice the rope marks around his ankles?"

"Yeah, that's why I called. Since I don't see more evidence of bungi jumping, I figured it probably

"Works for me. Let's see what this guy's ID says he is." He took pictures then patted him down to find it. "Hey, an actual Mr. Alan Jones."

"Wow. I thought that was just for guys using pros in the motels." He made note of that. "At least no one asked him to spell his name."

"Better them than me," Xander agreed dryly. "I had one who asked me to spell Harris the other day." Don laughed at that. "Seriously. It was about the explosion in Vegas and the chemicals that Sarah and I got exposed to. They wanted me to sue the department."

"Did you?"

"Hell no, I like Vegas. If it was LA...." He grinned. "Or possibly Chicago." He shrugged and got back to work until his phone rang. "Harris." He straightened up. "What's up, Horatio?" He smiled. "No, I'm on today. What's wrong?" He nodded once and looked at Don. "I'll be there tonight. Tell them you've got an expert in construction and bombs on the way who is a fully trained CSI. I did Vegas's if they need a reference. Got me here? I'll be there tonight." He hung up and called David. "Honey, make me a reservation to Miami, call Mac and tell him they just got bombed, I'm going down as a ballistics, bombs, and construction expert, and tell him I've got a pushee. I'll do this case. Bring me a bag at the station please." He hung up and got back to work faster this time.

"They all good?"

"They're all fine. They got a five minute warning. They had blast shields around the evidence containers too. Still bombed the building." He opened the guy's shirt and took a picture. "Stab wound. I'm going to say he was probably dragged to the roof."

"What's his address, we'll route the new CSI for the case over."

"That would probably be Danny sine he's on-call today and..." He tossed over the wallet. "We can do that too." He got finished and waved the ME's people in. Then he drug Don with him up to the top of the building to take any pictures up there, finding the rope. Fortunately he lived next door so it was all good. The doorman could let them in and everything.


Xander stepped off the plane in Miami and Horatio noticed the shirt. _I'm not myself today. Maybe I'm you._ "If you're me, Xander, it's not going to be a happy time in your house. David's used to more insanity."

Xander gave him a one-armed hug. "Then maybe I'm Eric or Speed?" He walked off with his temporary boss. "Okay, we're going to go look for a bomb and see what damage they did to the building. I can probably even do some on the insurance estimate." He smiled at the hummer. "Let's go. I haven't gotten to crawl around wreckages since the bomb in Vegas."

"That's fine. We haven't touched much yet. The building's too unstable."

"Says who?"

"Says the fire department."

Xander snorted and buckled up. "Fat chance." Horatio smirked. "I don't have the energy to fight
with them. We've got a camera setup?"

"David sent me a list of what you used in Vegas. We've got it."

"Good." They headed off. Once they got to the station Xander got out, taking the vest from Speed's hand. "Get off my crime scene!" he bellowed. Everyone stared at him. "Now!"

"It's not stable," one of the firemen said.

"Bullshit! I worked construction and destruction. Get off my crime scene before one of you compromise evidence."

"What makes you the expert?" the head guy in charge asked.

"I did the investigation in Vegas. Is it not on fire? Is everything done?" They all nodded. "Then good work, go relax and celebrate not losing everything. You guys did a good job and now it's our turn."

"How long in construction?"

"Ten years of urban combat experience, five years of that in construction in LA and a little town called Sunnydale." That got some winces. "Yeah, I was there when the high school went up. I'm the one who did the Vegas investigation. The longer you guys are here and blocking my access, the more evidence dies. Now, you did a great job. Go give back pats and tend the scrapes, cuts, and smoke in the lungs."

"Going," he agreed. "We'll leave a rescue unit here just in case."

"Okay. I'm good with that. I know I'm not invincible. Just really damn good." That got a laugh and they left. "Thanks, guys. Who's got the rope? Where's my camera and who's taping?"

"I'm taping," Speed called. "Eric? That's closer to your area."

"Here, guide line and harness. We did have a basement."

"Works for me." Xander slid into it and put on the camera and helmet setup, heading into the wreckage once he had his tool belt, some gloves, and a small breather in case he needed it. This was the sort of stuff he liked to do. It was challenging and interesting. "Where was the bomb originally?" he asked, mostly to get a sound check.


Xander turned it down some. "Main floor, right?"

"Yup." Xander clicked it off and headed that way. "Gonna need more rope than that. Not like the elevators are working, Eric." He heard the laugh and more lines were attached to his. It wasn't like he was going to fall through the floor or anything. They'd be using it to track him if something happened. He found the bomb parts and started sweeping the camera. "Tell me if you're catching this."

"We are. Slow down." Xander plucked the camera off and slowly swept it, then moved to each individual part. They got loaded into a bag and when his hands were full, he dropped them back in a central location and went back to it. Yeah, this was meticulous but fun for him.


Xander stepped off the plane back in New York, smiling at Mac. "Hey. Solved."


"Reporter bitch for having her fired for making up shit." He shrugged and put his bag over his shoulder. "She hired someone. They were quite happy to arrest the thorn in their sides. Did we get the person who got my pushee?"

"We did. She tried to say he stabbed himself and she was making it look different but Danny got her broke and begging within hours." He led him out to the car. "Thank you for warning me before you took off."

"Not an issue. Miami doesn't have construction guys on their CSI roster. I worked with Horatio on the bomb stuff too."

"I heard he used to do bomb squad." He got in to drive. "Can you do something about the talking santa? Lindsey's been pitching a fit because it said 'ho, ho, ho to my bitches'. She said that's ruining her holiday."

"Get Mortty to put something else on there. Fixing those is a Mortty and Abby skill, Mac. Not a Xander skill."

"Fine." He smiled and headed back to the station. "Need to hit home?"

"Not as long as my dog's in."

"She is. She's barking at the santa whenever he starts to sing the grunge version of 'Oh, Holy Night'." Xander giggled at that. "Got any ideas, she's about to make a formal complaint."

"Sure." He pulled out his cell. "Mortty, love, put in the pagan tape we found. Yes, that. Thank you." He hung up. "There, now it's a holiday track for the actual holiday." He smiled sweetly and Mac almost shivered. That was a bad sign. Xander even changed into a new t-shirt for the afternoon. _I see dumb people_ was a big hit at the station and when he looked at Lindsey then gave a pointed look at his t- shirt, then at her, she fumed off.

"Not nice, Xander."

"Yay." He found Mortty tinkering with Danny's help. "We got the pagan songs, right?"


"How did we get pagan holiday songs?" Danny asked. "Were they written down?"

"No, someone took the old songs and converted them back to the original meaning of the holiday." He smiled sweetly. "We figure it's only fair we borrow from you since you guys stole from us."

"Works for me," Danny decided. They got the santa rewound and started him off, listening to the song about stars and the Goddess. "That's actually kinda nice. I like that one."

"I've got the lyrics on my computer," Mortty said proudly. She looked at Mac, who shrugged.

"It's better than grunge, kids. I can accept that." They headed off. "Xander, play nicely."

"But, mom," he sighed, then he gave him a shit eating grin. "I was really good for Daddy Horatio while I was in Miami. Can't I have a little bit of fun? I earned a reward, Daddy said so."

"Let me check with Horatio first." He went to call him. "Horatio, Mac. Need some tylenol? No, we're having a fight. Mortty doctored the talking santa this year. Monroe. Set Xander off. He said you told him he earned a reward." He laughed at the report he got. "So he was a good Xander?" The retort of 'for a Xander he was excellent' made him smile. "How was he for a normal being?" 'Okay but a bit strange' was a typical answer so he let it go. "So, should I let him? Or would you like her for a bit? No, she'll need recovery time. Sure, if that's what they want you to do, we'll gladly have you up for the weekend, Horatio. Thanks." He hung up and called Xander. "He said you were very good for a Xander so go easy on her since you didn't quite make it to good for a normal tech. No bloodshed, no driving her too insane, nothing to damage her permanently, Xander," he ordered at the pout. "Thank you." He hung up and sat back to watch and listen because Lindsey had earned this one. This issue had come up a few months back when Xander first asked about the holidays. She knew two of them were Pagan and not going to do the traditional Christmas celebration.

"What is the santa singing?" Stella called as she headed for his office.

Mac walked out. "Revamped Pagan Solstice songs."

"Oh, it was cute." She went back to listen some more, making Mortty smile at her. "Who did these?"

"A group in Chicago that we paid. Someone online revamped some of the holiday songs back to the original meaning of the Solstice holiday. We got the group to sing it for us and they sold it through her website. Aren't they cool?"

"They are." She hugged her. "Is Xander back yet?"

"Yup, he and Sarah are cuddling in ballistics before he digs in. Apparently he was a good boy for

"For being Xander or just any good boy?"

"Probably for being Xander. I'm not sure Xander could be a good boy like Don can." She shrugged. "We're doing the tree this weekend. Would you like to help since you're on-call?"

"I wouldn't mind that at all. Where are we getting one?"

"We're getting a living tree and some live garland." Stella smiled at that. "That way we can replant them because the world is running out of trees. That's why some people need more oxygen to their brains."

"Indeed they do," she agreed happily. The santa said something garbled. "What was that?"

"Happy Solstice in one of the common demon languages. We had a few at the station and Xander warned them that he knew that way. So if someone suddenly takes off running, we know why." One was sneaking out of the building. "Xander put that on there," she called. The janitor relaxed and got back to work. "See?" she said brightly. Sheldon came in and listened then smiled at the song playing. "Aren't they nice?"

"Better than 'Grandma Got Capped by a Reindeer Drive-by," he agreed. She hugged him. "When are we doing the tree?"

"Next weekend. Oooh, and Xander's back."

"Wonderful. I look forward to the paperwork I'm going to need since I dropped him off about fifty shell casings and about thirty bullets."

Xander leaned out of ballistics. "Tomorrow, Sheldon, say it with me. Tomorrow."

"That's fine, I can wait," he agreed. "How was Miami?"

"I forgot what a non-white holiday was like," he noted dryly. "But they broke into their holiday gifts this weekend. They decided they needed the boost." He ducked back in. "Going back to really working now."

"Hmm, full ahead warp three," Mortty giggled. "Oooh, you should see Sean. He's so cute!" she said, leading them back to her lab to show them the video she had saved down earlier.

Stella 'aww'ed at the baby goth outfit and Sheldon just patted her on the back and smiled. He did look so cute in his little velvet dog collar with bells and his black velvet footies. Plus his skull and crossbones skullcap.


Xander was sitting on the steps when Lindsey came in the next day. His t-shirt wasn't risque or anything. It was kinda nice and it fit with the textbook he was reading.

She looked and huffed, heading into the office. "Make him change."

"I can't make Xander change unless the shirt has objectionable material." He paged Xander, looking at the shirt when he came in.

_The Three Laws Of Thermodynamics, God Shoots
Dice Style:
First Law: You can't win.
Second Law: You can't break even.
Third Law: You can't even get out of the game._

Xander held up his textbook. "It's helping me study for my test online tonight."

"I don't see anything wrong with that. That's an odd way of putting it but it if helps you get good grades...."

"That's disrespectful of all us who aren't Pagan," she said firmly, stomping a foot. "We'd never put up with that in Montana."

"Then go home," Xander said dryly. "Welcome to New York City, the most populous and diverse city in the world. Here you're going to find over a thousand different forms of religion. Plus about as many different ethnic groups. Yours is in a severe minority. Mine is in a severe minority. We're all a severe minority around here except for the Irish who came over during and after the famines. That's why they get the big, loud parade. Now, there's nothing wrong with my shirt. I'm studying for a physics test tonight. It is a paraphrasing of that law. If you want, we can go to the Shift Commander and have him check it for you." She nodded, stomping off. "Fine. Mac, can you hold my textbook?"

"Sure, Xander. Though I think the Hispanic population might be the biggest minority in the city."

"Quite possibly. I haven't read the census." He followed casually behind, hearing her screaming at the guy. He pointed at his shirt. "I'm studying for a physics test. I was sitting there reading my textbook on the stairs while I took a break. She's mad because we won't put up a manger scene for the holiday decorations."

"You and Mortty are disrespecting the holidays!" she shrieked.

"It was our holiday first," he said dryly. "If you don't like it, you know where the bus station is." She went red. "It's the truth, Lindsey. Welcome to New York. We're putting up decorations that are mostly in line with your version of the holiday too. All but the talking santa's soundtrack and the fact we're going to be using living trees. We're even letting Mac put an angel on top of the tree because he requested it. *You* have been impolite. You have been snarly and bitchy this whole season. If you don't like the talking santa, Mac's agreed we could move it to the detective's side or by the elevators. We were nice enough to put in some decent carols that shouldn't offend anyone."

"I heard the one about the Green Mother waking up, it was fairly decent," the Shift Commander agreed. "I didn't like the soundtrack before that."

"Mortty makes those," he said dryly. "You should see Ray's desk angel." That got a smirk. "He had it out?"

"She put it on his desk and it scared a few people and made one of the guys laugh. He got the joke." He looked at Lindsey. "That's fairly mind compared to some of his shirts. It really is. Especially since he trained in Vegas." She stomped off in a huff. "Try, Xander. Please?"

"I was being nice today. Yesterday I put on my _I see dumb people_ shirt and gave it then her a pointed look. I do not need this shit today. I ended up making my own snacks last night while I was studying." He shrugged. "It good?"

"It's fine. Try not to wear your 'militant agnostics' shirt for a few weeks."

"I wasn't going to wear it until January. I'm going in order of how they're hung up. That way I don't have to worry about it and my other entropy ones will be right around Christmas so we'll have a weird but a safe and calm one."

"That's fine. I like that one. It's more understandable than the literal translation." He shrugged. "Tell Taylor it's fine." Xander nodded and grinned, heading off. He made a note of the complaint and what the shirt said in case something else came of it.

Danny and Sheldon stopped to look at it. "That's not bad enough to warrant her screaming and ranting fit in the locker room."

"I pointed out that this wasn't Montana, we weren't doing things like in Montana, and if she didn't like it to go home," Xander said dryly. "I'm going to be mean and evil now. Excuse me. This is taking valuable study time before my test." He went to grab his textbook off Mac's desk. "He said it's fine and to not wear my militant agnostics shirt for a few days. Since I'm going in the order they're hanging up, it should be January, but I'm wearing my entropy ones the few days around Christmas so it's weird but quiet. Just like last year." He went to his lab and sat down to email his father before getting to work.


Lee walked in the next morning and the receptionist pointed. "He in trouble?"

"No, it's an odd t-shirt day. Monroe got onto him yesterday about a really nice one. She's having fits over the holiday decorations and us not putting up anything overtly Christian."

"Are we doing other things from other religions?"

"A tree, some living garland. Xander and Mortty are designing it and they're Pagan. It's making her soul ache."

"Ah, I wondered why he called to complain about her." He smiled. "Let me go calm my son down."

"Watch out for the shirt," she warned as he walked off.

"I usually do." He checked in ballistics but it was empty except for a box and a note. He headed up to trace, finding his son up there. "I got warned about the t-shirt?" Xander opened his coat to show him. _Sticks and stones may break my bones, and so would an 80 lb. carrot._ "That's true, it probably would," he agreed, patting him on the back. "How did you know they had an opening?"

"They posted it in the break room," he said dryly, giving his father a look. "Don't you guys have a
federal lab out there? Or the cloning tank?"

"The cloning tank is near St. Louis," he admitted dryly. "Closer but not quite." He patted him on the back. "You know, Chicago's trying to rebuild."

"Hey, she can go unkink what we had to fix," Xander told David.

"Maybe but I wouldn't want to do that to Welsh," David said dryly, pouting at him. He looked at Lee. "Is his grandmother still going off about the baby?"

"Yup. Mortty sent her pictures of the baby in a dog collar. She was not amused. Then again, Abby's baby wore an identical outfit, only in baby blue and she was really not amused. Gibbs was amused."

"I thought it was cute," David admitted. He looked at Greg. "He left you stuff."

"I saw that. I should pout." He came in and gave Xander a hug. "Don't you love me?"

"I do love you but that piece of crap never fired a day in its life, Greg. It's a lighter." Greg pouted. "Unless they were burned to death it's not a weapon."

"No, unfortunately not. But that's about the right size, right?"

"Oh, yeah, it was definitely a derringer." He grinned at him. "Find me a little bodice gun and we'll match it."

"Yes, dear." He kissed him on the cheek. "When are we getting presents?"

"I'll hand them out Solistice evening so you can decide to open them then or not."

"Okay." He let him go at the cleared throat. "I was looking over his shoulder and seeing if I could shake my present," he said, grinning at Stella and ignoring Lindsey. "We'll get them on Solstice."

"Which is when we're doing the present exchange here too," Stella agreed. "That way those who are going out of town for the holiday, like Mac, can still have theirs opened and oohed over." She smiled. She knew who Mac had drawn and he was still trying to figure out what to get Greg. Greg just grinned. "Did you get me?"

"No, I didn't get you." He whispered in her ear, making her cackle. He had gotten Hodges. "I've already done my shopping. Dawn's doing hers this weekend but I'm itching to feel me some wrapping paper."

"Soon, dear," she promised. "Xander, box in ballistics?"

"Mine," Greg moaned. "The only gun I found anywhere near that scene was a lighter gun."

She laughed. "I did that once. The ballistics tech, Chad as it happened, just gave me this offended look when he handed it back and stomped off."

"I wrote him a note," Xander said with a grin. "My dad is here to pimp the lab position that they've got open, guys."

"I am," Lee sighed. "They've decided that I'm better to do this than anyone else because we're Xander's parents." David snickered at that. "Didn't make any sense to me either, it's just the government way." He looked at Stella. "You have enough time in to probably run one."

"But then Mac would get bogged down and go sour."

"True. Plus it's a level two position." He sighed and looked at Greg, then at Lindsey. "It's a field position within the FBI, guys. I'm supposed to be begging since Miami's people ran us off." Xander snickered at that. "With his help."

"Horatio is very possessive of his people."

"I realize that now. I was warned but I didn't listen well enough. I nearly got bitten on the butt by Calleigh's dog." Stella and Greg both giggled at that and Sarah barked. "I saw you. Your son is fine and spoiled." He reached down to pet her. "You need brushed."

"She's had a bit of shedding recently," David agreed. "It's the change of weather and the heater we're using. She's not used to gas heat."

"I can take her down and brush her while I pimp our program. Either of you want to talk about the extra fifteen thousand a year plus perks and your own lab?"

"Our own lab?" Lindsey asked.

"You'd get your own work area."

"Ooh." She considered it. "I like working here, sorry, Mr. Stetson."

"Are you sure? You've got the qualifications for it, Lindsey. Greg would be pushing it and they'd make him go back into the DNA lab now and then. You've got some fantastic credentials and some great evaluations." She preened at that. "Let's go talk about it while I brush my grandchild here." Xander handed over his comb. "Don't you need that?"

"Nope." Lee sighed but took it to go talk with the inferior one. He saw Mac's cautious look. "I got sent to recruit for our labs."

"Hmm. All right. If Lindsey wants to talk about it that's fine with me. She can have a few minutes to do that without it counting as break time."

"Thanks, Mac." She smiled at him. "Did you see the threatening t-shirt?"

"It's not, it's a true statement," Lee offered. "An eighty pound carrot would break a limb." He walked her into the breakroom. She definitely had the Fed mindset of only thinking in linear fashion. Hell she was a born fed from what her evaluations had said. "I think our lab would suit you a lot, Lindsey. There's more people per shift but we work harder cases and we're a bit more diverse than here. Plus you'd be about the most open minded person in the lab at this point. One of the youngest as well. Most of the lab is reaching mandatory retirement age in the next five years. The others are reaching it within two or three more. That leaves whoever steps in first with seniority and the probable position of lab head." She perked up at that.

"Plus there's all the perks of living in Arlington or DC itself. We also offer a good fifteen thousand more than you get here. For that you can live in a fantastic building that has great amenities or even put a down payment on a house. We offer free gym membership to the academy's gym. We offer tuition reimbursement. We've got some great colleges near us. You'll have to work with other lab techs in other agencies but most of them are just like here. The only *odd* one we have is Abby out at NCIS and she's a genius so we let it slide. You'd have a month total of vacation time a year starting next year. This year would be two weeks. We've got two airports plus the train station so you could get home if you felt a bit homesick now and then. Plus we also have to do a bit of traveling now and then for cases. You'd be on the beta team. That's on-call if our alpha team is out on assignment. They get pulled all over the US for serial cases and that team is by invitation only but they're encouraged to hire from within."

She smiled at that. "We'd also pay for all the traveling you'd have to do for cases and to get back there if you had to. Once you've been there a year, if you decide you don't like DC," he offered, working on a stubborn knot, "you could transfer to any of the regional or satellite labs. Some of those you're qualified to run at this moment. Some you're not. I know Chicago's got an opening but they want someone who's a level two to fill it in." She nodded at that. "There's a good lab in Texas as well, plus one in North Dakota somewhere. I know some people are unnerved by living surrounded by eight or ten million people, not saying you are, but if you are those are options." He put the dog down. "There you go, Sarah." She barked and headed back to the lab - with a quick stop to check on Mac since it looked like he was sleeping on his desk. "We also offer a way for you to buy a car under our purchasing program whenever we're ordering one. That means you'd get a ten percent discount at the least off the factory price." She nodded at that. The dog's barking brought them running. "What happened?"

Xander got out of Sheldon's way. "I think he passed out. Stella, has he not eaten?"

"Not that I know of. Why?"

"His breath. It smells off, sour." Sheldon sniffed then nodded. "Ambulance?"

"Please." Xander dialed the desk phone while Sheldon got him leaning back. "I've got it, people, go back to work," he ordered. "He'd hate having you guys watch." They filed out of the office but stayed close by. "Good catch, Xander."

"He hasn't been eating a lot recently," Xander pointed out. "He missed at least ten hours of eating yesterday while I was here. I think he only drank."

"That's fine." The paramedics rushed in. "We think he's forgetting to eat so it may be a blood sugar problem." They nodded, moving him to check it and the rest of his vitals. "Go ahead and take him if you have to. Tell Stella where since she's his medical contact."

"Of course, Hawkes." They gathered Mac up and let Stella follow once she appeared in the doorway. "His blood sugar is very low," he reported to her. "They think he's not eating."

"He's not," she agreed. "I don't know why but he's not." She climbed into the ambulance with him and they went off.

Xander walked into the hallway, seeing all the watching people, then he looked at Sheldon, who nodded. "It is?"

"Yeah, I saw the numbers. Guys, Mac's forgetting to eat. We have to *gently* and *subtly* make him remember. All right?" They all nodded. "He'll be fine. They'll monitor him and make Stella spank him and feed him later." That got a few smiles. "Go back to it and plan what you're going to bring extra of tomorrow to make him nibble." They walked off, going back to their labs. He looked at Lee and Lindsey. "Sorry."

"It happens. I've had cases like that," he admitted, walking Lindsey off again.

Xander picked up the dog. "You are so good," he praised, going back in there to get her a dog biscuit out of Mac's desk. He fed it to her and locked the drawers, then walked out with her. "You are an excellent good girl. Yes you are, Sarah. That's a good girl to bark because Mac needed help. Very good girl."

Sheldon petted her. "You are a good girl," he praised. "Go with the daddy." She barked and wagged her tail, going with him to check ballistics then back up to Trace. Sheldon smiled. They were so cute together.


Mac opened his door to find Xander standing there. He did a quick read of the t-shirt, laughing when he read it. _The Benoit/Blamey Theory of Thermo-Sock- Dynamics: Why bother to do laundry, when the inevitable loss of a sock will just increase entropy and contribute to the eventual heat death of the universe anyway?_ "I like that one."

"Thank you. It's how I get out of laundry now and then." He walked inside and handed over the two paper shopping bags with handles he was carrying. "Don't worry, David made it and I bought the cake." Mac took them into the kitchen and he followed. "You know, Mac, you scared the hell out of everyone," he said quietly, following him. "There were some really worried people standing there watching you be rolled off." Mac gave him a look. "Jane was absolutely pale. Chad was just coming in and he ran over and gaped, nearly crying. Adam and Sid were clutching hands as they watched. Greg was bouncing and David was trying to hold him down. You worried your people sick. Okay, in some cases sicker because Greg's got another cold, but you still worried him sick." He pulled something out of one of the bags and handed it over. "This is one of mine so you remember you can come to me. Remember, I've had the fate of the world in my hands a few times. I can handle letting you rant at me about PTSD nightmares, you not sleeping, your mother getting pushy and trying to get you to date, or anything."

Mac looked at the t-shirt - I don't suffer from stress. I'm a carrier. "How did you know about my

"You were walking around mumbling about her the other day, Mac," he noted, giving him a look. "I am fluent in sulky mumble. David does it to me when he's upset with me." He pulled him in for a hug. "Talk to some of us, Mac. Maybe Don wouldn't understand that part, but I'm betting I would. I'm betting Stella would let you talk to her. Even if she didn't understand she'd still try to come up with something wise to say. Even Danny said you could talk to him. Not like he doesn't know how things are in the real world as well."

"Point. Thank you, Xander." He got free and smiled at him. "Eat with me?"

"Hell no. You're lucky Sarah found you when she did, Mac. Your blood sugar was down in the fifties. A little while longer and you could've died. You're going to sit there and eat a real, full meal, including a piece of cake, or else I'm going to have to spank."

"You wouldn't...." He gave him a look. "I won't let you."

"Ask Eric if that stopped me." Mac shivered, Horatio had told him about that. "Got me here?"

"I do, Xander, and I'll eat."

"Yes you will. Dish it out now and I'll get you a beer. Since you're not on sugar restriction at the moment you can have one." He handed him a plate and a fork. "Now. David made good food."

"I'm digging in," he promised, dishing himself out a plate of food. Xander snorted and added more to it before handing him his beer. Then he leaned against the counter and watched him eat. "This is good."

"I'll tell him you said that. There's enough there for dinner tonight, a reasonable midnight snack when your body figures out it's hungry, and then breakfast or lunch tomorrow. Because they *all* know what happened." Mac moaned and sipped his beer. "I'll bring you extra twinkies if you want," he offered with a grin.

"No, I'll be fine. I'll bring more of this for lunch and dinner tomorrow, Xander. You don't have to stay."

"Yes I do. Someone had to stay to watch me eat when the apocalypses and finals merged one year because I forgot to eat for four days. I ate the first time under duress. The second time too, then my body decided it was hungry after all and I had one hell of a midnight snack."

"What were you fighting?"

"Remember when LA had that sudden eclipse?" Mac's fork paused and he nodded. "That. Plus my Econ 2 and my Chem 3 final the next day." He shrugged. "We killed it and it nearly killed us. I went to my Chem 3 final but I had a medical excuse for a makeup for the other one. I was having my wrist splinted and about sixty stitches put in." He lifted his shirt to show him the scar. "That one."

"That did look like it hurt."

Xander put down his shirt. "It did, but I'm sure you've got similar ones where you saved someone else," he said gently. Mac nodded and rubbed his chest. "So if it's something like flashbacks or nightmares, you can come to me. I'm the only other vet in the lab as far as I know." Mac nodded that was true. "If it's something like scary women bothering you, hell, I had two of the prototypes on my ass for years plus I dated others."

Mac laughed, smiling at him. "I will, Xander. I promise I'll finish dinner. I am hungry. I was about to order out."

"That's fine. David and Stella got together about who was bringing you food tonight. Danny's probably coming over later with some wings or something since there's a game on." He gave him another hug. "You collapse like that again, I get to go evil in the lab and make sure I can take it over when Stella and Danny go insane," he said quietly. Then he left him there.

Mac finished the plate and had seconds. He wouldn't wish that on anyone but also because it was a sweet gesture.


Mac walked in the next morning to find Xander and Mortty there very early. "Why are you two here already?"

"Waiting on the tree to be delivered," Xander said honestly. Mac smiled at that. And at the t-shirt of the day. Life's short and hard, kind of like a bodybuilding elf. It was one meant to make you smile at the ridiculous picture. Especially after the Tolkien movies had come out in the last few years. "Want to help pick out the spot for it?"

"Sure. I usually suggest next to reception." He pointed at the niche in the wall.

"I was hoping for this side so perps and others can't get their grubby fingers on it," Mortty offered. "How about there, Mac?" she asked, pointing at a clear spot of hallway wall.

"It could get in the way of hefting and toting," he admitted. "No one touches our tree usually."

"I was going to put candy canes on it," Xander admitted, rolling his eyes. "She thinks the lawyers will eat them all instead of us."

"Anything like that it's up to you guys to maintain," he reminded them. "The same with cookies and things." She opened up a tin and let him have one. They were oddly shaped, like candle flames, but they were good and lightly cinnamon cookies. "These are great."

"Thank you." She smiled and put them into the break room.

Xander smiled at the tree delivery people. "You sure you want it there, Mac?"

"It's usually out of the way. We don't have room in the break area."

"Okay. He said he wants it in the niche there beside reception, guys. Please?" They nodded and carried in the tree and pot, putting it there. "That's bigger than I thought. Hey, Mortty, they're here," he called, coming over to help them shift it perfectly into place. "Leave me a little bit of room to decorate, guys." They nodded and pulled it out a few inches then went to get the garland strands. He hung those up while she added tree food to the pot and watered it since it was dry.

Mac watched as Xander strung the garland up with thumbtacks, making arches. Two pots side by side, one gracefully arching up to meet with the next one over. The other going in the other direction. Then they were twisted together and tacked together at the top of the arch. Mortty came over to water and feed them too, then handed Mac the slip. "That's cheaper than our plastic one last year," he said happily, signing for it. He took his copy and they smiled and nodded, leaving it there. "Did you use the decorations we had?"

"Some," Mortty offered. "Some were kinda old and we liked the look of them. It spoke of generations and of family tradition, which this should be. Some was kinda new and tacky though so we left most of that alone. If someone's got favorite ornaments they can hang them from the stash." He nodded and she sat him down. "Watch us decorate, Mac. Since you're supposed to be on leave today anyway." He opened his mouth and she glared. "Do not make me mother you too." He closed his mouth and accepted that. She was one of those scary mothers. Xander apparently caught that thought because he looked at him and nodded quickly before training another garland up. By the time he was done, Mortty had come back with the electric candles and put them in front of the pots. She stepped back. "Does that look dumb? We couldn't decide on paper."

"Do it in the center for evenness," Don ordered. She smiled and nodded, doing that. "That's pretty. And it's a beautiful tree so far." They both grinned and got back to work. Tinsel onto the garlands, nothing too heavy to bring it down. Some flakes of fake snow as well. Then onto the tree. Mortty covered the base with a piece of green cloth and got to work from there. She and Xander laid the lights on, twinkling blue and silver ones that flashed. Two bulbs had to be replaced but Xander handled that efficiently. Then the ribbons. Pretty gold and cream heavy ribbons wound around and up the tree from the base. Then another one wound counter-clockwise. They met up at the top and Xander taped them together. The tape would be covered by the angel's skirt. Then the ornaments, letting Don help them. Don also got to steal one of the candy canes. Then another set of smaller lights were added on, looking like they were sprinkled here and there. Then finally some white and silver tinsel, just a few dollops here and there, looking like snow fall. The rest went around the base like snow had fallen through the tree. Then the candy canes were added and Danny walked past, pausing to watch, stealing one from the box to suck on.

"That is very pretty, guys. I like that. Will it stay that way?"

"It should," Mortty offered. "Because I will kill anyone who ruins my tree." They all smiled at that. "I will."

"She will," Xander agreed. "I'd have to hold them for her. I did the last time." They grinned at that. "Okay, Mac, Angel?" He came over to get the ladder they had ready and climbed up slowly, taking it from Don's hands. He put it up there and adjusted it. Her hair barely brushed the ceiling the tree was so tall. The skirt did cover the ends of the ribbons. He backed down and smiled. "Good. Beautiful tree. Now, that leaves the other ornaments if anyone wanted some of them. Do not hang them on the garland. It's only being held up with thumbtacks."

Everyone watching nodded. The receptionist and a few others came out to pick through the older ornaments, some of them going up. One silver bell was carefully put aside and Stella got it when she came in. They had to replace the candy canes on the tree by the time they were all done and some of the other ornaments went as decoration around the candles and in the pots holding the end of the garland. It was well done. Even if they did say so themselves.

The Chief came in a few hours later, smiling at that. "This is well done," he praised.

Xander came out of ballistics at the page. "What's up?" She pointed and he smiled. "Hi, Chief."

"Mr. Harris. Who did this year's tree?"

"Mortty and I had the honor of decorating." He took the box of candy canes and replaced the few that had been taken, making him laugh. "We went pretty neutral since I know we have some pretty devout Christians and other faiths here."

"I can see that. The only thing that truly speaks of the Christian side is the angel and the candles."

"No, the candles started out pagan as well," he instructed. "To light the way to the celebrations. This way you know that there was someone who was celebrating inside the house by the candle in the window."

"Oh. I didn't know that."

Xander nodded. "Most of the Christmas traditions are ours. Though you guys don't clean and lay a new hearth fire anymore."

"Not with central heat," he agreed, smiling at him. "Have you had any problems?"

"Monroe. Mortty doctored the singing santa's soundtrack to the old one we had in Chicago. It had some grunge versions of some of the carols and things. Now it's playing pagan carols and she's still upset."

"Should we move it perhaps?"

"We've talked about it but it makes everyone jump and some people smile. Besides, Flack said I can't put it next to his desk like we planned."

He smiled at that. "As long as Mac can handle the dissent reasonably."

"Depends on her that day," he said with a small shrug. "You saw my thermodynamics shirt, right?"

"I got a copy of the report and it was listed," he admitted. "I didn't think it was that bad and it was a decent enough paraphrasing when I looked it up."

"I was studying for a test that night," he admitted. "She threw an absolute fit though." He shrugged. "I could care less if she likes me or not. I can ignore her."

"As long as it doesn't get in the way of the job."

"No, and the rest of the lab are great folk. I love it here. They've been welcoming and love us back." The receptionist smiled and nodded. "See?"

The Chief smiled and looked at his present shirt. _Life's short and hard, kind of like a bodybuilding elf._ He laughed and nodded. "I can see you're keeping up with the stress relief."

"I'm wearing them in the order they're hanging. I always wear my entire entropy collection around the holiday so it's less chaotic instead of more. It's like I create a counter current in the eddy of chaos going around. It smooths the waves."

"If you say so. Is Mac in? I couldn't get him at home."

"He came in to do paperwork but we've all been watching him today. I know Sarah's in there with him to make sure he eats by begging for some of it." That got another laugh and he led him that way. "Let me know who I have to smack if they touch the tree."

"Of course, Xander." The receptionist smiled and texted Mac, just in case.

Mac smiled as they came in. "Wasn't the tree well done, sir?"

"It was. It was beautiful and very well done."

"Thanks. Mac, I'm clear yet again. It's another year for poisonings. Do you want me to work on the food poisoning cases?"

"Please. If anyone knows what they look like it's you, Xander." He blushed but went to help with those. "He can't cook and anything he tries to cook ends up being poisonous," he admitted. He moved the dog and sat down again, letting her sit in his lap. "She's been protecting me from stress."

"I can tell. You didn't answer your phone. Are you all right?"

"The stress was getting to me and I forgot to eat for a few days. Xander's husband David cooked me a casserole last night and Xander brought it over to make sure I ate, then Danny brought over wings and beers to watch the game with me and make sure I ate at least half of them. Stella brought me breakfast and threatened to tie a bib on me and feed me." That got a laugh. "I'm well watched and taken care of. That's part of why she's in here since she found me yesterday."

"Excellent. I had qualms about a dog in the lab but she seems to be helpful around here."

"She's also helped with some children we've had in as suspects and as lost people. She's good for us."

"Good." He relaxed and smiled again. "Are you going home for the holidays?"

"My mother will skin me if I don't."

"Understood." He watched the dog watch him. "She's very protective."

"She's very protective of her father too. She watched out for Xander since he got her." He stroked her back. "I take you're down here because you heard about Xander and Lindsey getting into it?"

"That and Miami sent up a commendation for his help." He handed that over. Mac smiled and put it on his desk blotter. "Did he really run off a scene?"

"No, he finished the primary scene while his husband made reservations and packed him a bag. He came back, submitted his notes to Danny with his field kit, then headed off."

"Well. That's good procedure, right?"

"It is. He could've called him earlier and left on an earlier flight but I know Xander's like that. He and some of Horatio's crew, including Horatio himself, are friends as well."

"Excellent. Give him that and make sure your health doesn't fail again. I've been hearing rumors about handcuffs being hoarded in someone's locker in case you collapsed, that way they could take care of you."

"That's probably Mortty, sir."

"No, I think it was Stella."

Mac blinked a few times, then blushed. "Not if she ever wants to be able to sit again, sir."

"I understand. Take care of yourself and go home at a decent hour tonight, Mac. The lab needs you here. So does the city." He walked off, heading back to his office. He found Monroe looking at the tree. "They did a great job, didn't they?"

"Not very traditional."

"Everyone has their own traditions. My grandmother used to put candles on hers. She was German," he said at her look. "That's the Old Country way they had." She nodded at that. "My wife's family put pink flamingo lights on hers. They go for more of a festive and fun air to their celebrations." He shrugged. "Every family does it a bit differently. I heard a rumor saying you were being talked to by one of the federal labs? Has Mac counter-offered you yet?"

"I'm still thinking about their offer. I'm not sure they were serious since it was Xander's father who came up."

"Yes, I've met Lee in the past due to cases," he admitted. "Family is a different matter from the job for him." She looked stunned. "Truly. He wouldn't have more than mentioned it if you hadn't been qualified and a real candidate. He's not very involved in that side but his former agency had some lab personnel. He probably knows about as much as I do." He took a candy cane and the receptionist smiled. "I noticed he had to refill it already."

"Mac said they could put them up there as long as they kept it filled. Like the cookies Mortty brought in the break room, sir. Very nice vanilla and cinnamon cookies. Candle flames." He smiled at that and nodded before leaving. "There were a few ornaments left in the boxes," she offered. "They said if you absolutely had to have one of them to put it on if you wanted. They let everyone pick the ones they wanted to go on." Lindsey looked then shook her head and walked off. She put it back behind the desk in case anyone on night shift wanted them. Then Lindsey came back to look at the garland and took one of the ones from over there and put it onto the tree and walked off again.

Danny came out and looked then sighed and walked after her. "Monroe." She stopped and turned to look at him. "That was Aiden's ornament. It goes in front of the candle for her."

"I'm sorry, Danny."

"That's all right. I figured explaining it would get less fits than moving it. So I'm gonna go put it back." She nodded and he went to do that, noticing Don looking at it. "Monroe moved it," he said quietly. "I told her it was Aiden's."

"Sure." He put a flower down in front of it when it was back in place. "Suits her. She'd have hated it but oh well."

"Yeah. She'd have thought it was sappy. She'd have pouted and come back to look at it later." He punched him on the arm. "Getting a candy cane?"

"No, the boss wanted to take possession of the santa." He groaned and walked over to get it and carry it back to their side of the building. It went by her office and he called Mortty, who brought up a new CD with all the old stuff and the new stuff, and put it on random. Then she skipped off with an 'I made cookies'.

The next person who walked in front of the santa lit it up and it started on one of the nicer, softer pagan hymns it had been doing, making Ray Vecchio relax. The next one was 'come give santa a lap dance' and got his boss out there to look at it. "You wanted it," Ray Vecchio noted. "She put the softer stuff too."

She activated it again and it went onto the sound of tires squealing and then 'get in the sleigh, ho, we've got work to do' and then a soft, subtle hymn about the Green Mother slowly waking up again. She walked off shaking her head and slamming her door.

"Ho, ho, ho to my bitches," santa laughed, the statue wiggling.

"Kill me," Kowalski moaned, putting his head down. He looked in his desk drawer, then at Ray. "Is Sarah sick? I've got jerky still in here."

"She's guarding Mac today," Don offered, grinning at him. "Mortty and Xander got done with the tree." They all filed down there to look at it for a break. And to get cookies and candy canes. Which meant Xander had to come refill the tree sooner than lunch.


Xander walked into the interrogation room, giving the guy time to read his shirt of the day - It's the Borg! Quick, everyone try and look useless! - while he pulled the candy cane out of his mouth. "I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public. Maybe I should've worn that shirt today instead of this one." He sat down across from the guy. "Do you want to start or should I?"

"Why am I even here?"

"Because you were seen running away from a dead body while naked in the snow." The man shivered. "Would you like to tell me why you were naked with a dead body in the snow or should I guess that you've got a really kinky sex life and you like them cold, clammy, and decomposing?"

The man gagged. "I tripped over her!"

"Interesting, then why did we find your sperm in her ear." He put that report in front of him.

"When I tripped it must have transferred."

"Hmm. Okay. Then why were you naked and having sex with someone else in the snow? In the middle of a park during the daytime where any little child could see you and point and laugh at what the cold did to your already small dick." The man glared and Xander glared back. "If you've got the name of the girl, we'll gladly go check your alibi. All you have to do is give it over."

"I didn't get it."

"Which means what, you were raping her?" He opened his mouth and started to move. "Sit down," Xander said coldly and he sat. He also looked a bit scared. "Describe her."

"Brunette. Shorter than me. Short hair. Girlish figure. Pageboy haircut."

"Age?" The man blinked at him. "Yes, that was a question, you are expected to answer it at least

He swallowed and started to sweat. "Um..."

"Hmm. That's fine. We'll start with the area hospitals then." He got up and walked out, taking the reports and evidence with him but he had to come back for his candy cane, finding it in the guy's mouth. He bagged it and handed it to DNA. "If we need more evidence for a positive match, he was on my candy." She smiled and took it and he went to start the round of calls to the hospital. "Hey, this is CSI Harris. I've got a guy who claims he was having sex in the park but he got really nervous when I asked her age. I'm thinking you might have a victim there with his DNA on her." He took notes. "That's fine, I understand that. She'd probably have a bit of frostbite. Like I said, middle of the park, he was fully naked and claims he tripped over a dead body." He nodded once. "That sounds like a winner to me. Is she able to be questioned?" He smiled. "Thank you, dear. I'll be right down." He hung up and went to grab the guy's picture and a few others since he was working on a photo array. "Mac, got a lead on where the naked guy was," he called as he grabbed his jacket and walked out. He made it in good time to the hospital and smiled at the receptionist. "Hi, I'm CSI Harris, I just called about a potential rape victim?"

"Let me get her nurse, detective." He nodded and waited while she paged her. An older woman came out. "Him, ma'am."

"Hi. CSI Harris," he said, showing his badge and ID card. "Manhattan Felony Lab. I called about a potential rape victim. One of my suspects claims he was having sex in the park before tripped over a dead body and left biologicals on her but he wouldn't give me an approximate age. Since he was naked in the park in the snow...."

"We do have one case that could fit. She's fairly young."

"I'd expect that. Is she too young for a photo array?"

"She may be. We'll see. Her mother brought her in and she's back there with her." He followed her and she went in to check with the parent, bringing her out. "This is the mother, Detective."

"Hi, CSI Harris," he said, shaking her hand. "Did she tell you about my suspect?"

"She did. Can I see the pictures? I ran the asshole off."

"Sure. You might be a better witness if your daughter's that young." He let her see them and she pointed at the guy. "Are you sure?"

"I'm very sure. Especially if he's got a birthmark on his right ass cheek." Xander had to check that and nodded that he did. "That's who I drove away from her. Thankfully she wasn't that hurt." She handed it back. "What do we do now?"

"If I may, I'll take the SART kit back with me and have it processed. If it comes up positive we can have him charged with that." She nodded. "If not, there's at least a really good chance that he'll come up in the system."

"That would be acceptable to me," she agreed. "Nurse? Is that okay?"

"That would be procedure. We've got an SVU detective coming in to take a statement." Xander handed over the card. "Are you sure?"

"I'm sure. He was trying to use his activity as a cover for not killing that body." That got a round of nods. "If you get a different one, let me know just in case she wasn't the only one, okay?"

"Of course. Thank you, CSI Harris."

"You're welcome. Ma'am, I do hope your daughter heals all right. I'll do what I can." She nodded and he left with the kit. Once he got into the car he called Mac before starting it. "Mac, me. I called to the closest hospital and talked to a nurse there. She had a lead about a juvie rape victim who came in with frostbite. I came to get her SART kit. We'd process it anyway, Mac. It is a felony at her age. The mother did ID him and his birthmark on his ass. I had to look to see if he had one. No, he refused to say how old she was. Yeah, another nail. I'll be right back in." He hung up and headed back, going to process the kit himself if he had to. Mortty shooed him out of DNA and did it for him. A few hours later, Xander walked back into the interrogation room and sat across from him, hands clasped. "I very muchly want to strike you at this moment. Your victim was six years old." He opened his mouth.

"Don't even. We matched it to your reference sample. We also found her DNA on the other victim. In a few places. Further testing indicates that you did kill that one as well. What happened? She catch you with the kid first?" The guy screamed and jumped up, trying to overturn the table. Xander caught the table and then him, pushing him into a wall. "Don't try that again," Xander said blandly. "I'm a combat veteran from the streets near LA. You don't want me to go ghetto on your ass." The man whimpered and backed away. "Now, it is in your best interests to talk. Again, if you wanted a lawyer you can have us call one and he'll tell you to shut up unless you want a deal. At this point, your best interests are to make a deal. We have you on homicide and child molestation and endangerment charges. Her mother identified you for me. The DNA didn't lie." He moved a step closer. "If you've got a word to say, this is the time. Once I walk out of here, you're going to be booked and you're going to jail for the rest of your very miserable and short life."

"I can't."

"You can and you will. For good this time. I looked at your juvie record, Nick. It wasn't pretty. They'll send you to an adult jail this time. It'll be harder time than juvie was for you. Your last chance and then I leave."

"I... I didn't mean to kill her. I ran over her and she screamed and screamed and then I had to kill her," he said, his hands clenching. "I'd never tried it as they cooled down and it was good." He lunged again and Xander blocked him, catching him and pinning him to the wall while the patrol guys ran in. He laughed. "You won't keep me. I'll get off again."

"No you won't," Xander assured him. "Even if they put you in for being mental you won't be getting off this time." He released him once they had him in handcuffs and stepped back. "Murder and child molestation with endangering circumstances, guys. He raped her in the snow in the park. Then he tried the dead body as it cooled." They nodded and walked him off to book him. Xander turned and hit the wall then walked off to calm down outside in the alley between the buildings.

Don walked out and looked at him. "He's a sick bastard," he said wisely. "He'll go away this time or the system is so broke we can't believe in it anymore."

"Yeah, and the mother looked just as broken and that wasn't the only reference sample in her," he said quietly, looking at Don. "There was another male reference sample in the kit."

Don sighed. "It happens. We stop it when we find it and we make them suffer."

"I'd like to make him suffer."

Don made Xander look at him. "His first night in prison someone will find out. Guys like him serve the worst time of everyone." Xander nodded and relaxed. "Now, let's go get the other one."

"He's a judge," he said quietly. Don hissed. "Mac's handling it for me. I got this one, he went after the other one and took the SVU detective with him back to talk to the little girl. She's *six*, Don!"

"Hey, we protect those we can and we help the others heal. It's not a great comfort but it's all we can do. We're not God."

"I know. If I was, they'd all be dead." Don nodded and patted him on the back. "Thanks."

"Welcome. Ray said these hit you hard and he had to pull you off one guy in the past."

"This one tried to get me to hit him. I didn't. I'm getting better."

"Good." He patted him again. "Come on, let's go back inside." Xander nodded, following him back to the labs. He ran into David. "He got one of the two, Mac's got the other one."

"I can understand that. I heard he tried him and Xander only shoved him and pinned him. Good job." Xander nodded, giving him a hug. "Shh. It'll be fine. Xander. Home is soon." Xander nodded and pulled off, going to ballistics to get back to work. Don gave him a look and he shrugged. "I don't know who it was but it wasn't him."

"Then he's a caring soul and this job'll eat you up at times, David. We've all had cases that have gotten to us. I'd watch out for the father to pull shit about him calling to see if the nurses had a case that could fit the circumstances and him having the SART kit brought back."

"We had parental permission," Greg offered. "I made sure of it. I've got her here with her daughter." He came out of DNA. "I also showed her how we ran the test and then matched it in the system, redoing it for her. It came up the same way. She's crying on her daughter in Mac's office while they talk about it with the SVU detective. Xander?"

"Didn't get to hurt him even when he tried," David told him.

"Good. The next one gets easier because you get a bit more numb each time and you start to suppress those things."

"That way leads to not feeling at all," Don warned.

"No, we let it out later. For every horrific outcome you guys see, we see how it happened and sometimes have to recreate it. It wears on you unless you can put it aside for a few hours."

Don nodded. "Most of us have nightmares and beers."

"Some don't drink," Greg reminded him dryly. "Xander being one of them. He'll go do targets tonight and he'll blow the crotch off them and he'll be better later on."

"Whatever works," Don agreed. David nodded that he'd handle it. "They need me? Or you guys got anything for me? David, I know you're brilliant and were working on one of mine."

"I still am and it's not totally conclusive. I've got an either or situation going and one last test to run." He headed to do that, only glancing in ballistics. Xander was firing something. He'd be fine.


Mac looked out of the lab he was working in when he heard the laughter, then at his watch. "Xander must be in. Xander?" He came to the door and Mac read: when I wash the cat, it takes me hours to get the hair off my tongue. He blinked, then read it again, slower this time. "Um..."

Xander just grinned. "It's not dirty."

"Bet me," Stella said. "I know some lesbians who say the same thing."

"Danny said one of his exes had that complaint too," he said happily, bouncing off. Xander heard the meow someone let out behind him and snickered at it. Lindsey glared at his shirt of the day and stomped off. "What?"

"That's not polite, Xander!" she yelled, turning around. "You should support your sisters better."

He shrugged. "I got it off a lesbian," he said dryly. "She traded me for one of my other ones in the bar. Besides it's not inherently dirty, Monroe. It could be one of the mind numbing ones like my wombat t-shirt. The fact you took it as a dirty things shows where your mind is."

She huffed off. "Mac!" She followed the groaning. "Make him change that! It's very anti-lesbian. Even if he does claim he got it off one in the bar one night."

"The only two lesbians I know in this precinct have seen it and laughed in the past," Xander said from behind her. "It's not the first time I've worn it, Monroe. One of them wanted to buy it off me but it belonged to her ex and she decided not to." He leaned on the doorframe. "Mac?"

"It is a bit risque," Stella offered. "Even if it is cute. Even if the other lesbians who aren't out liked it. All but one who was embarrassed because her girlfriend shaves." Lindsey gaped at her. "She said so. I checked when I saw her blushing in case she wanted to complain about it." She looked at Xander, then shook her head. "That's why we wax."

"I thought it was to make you cranky but set your pain tolerance for the month," he offered. "That's what Buffy said waxing was for. To make sure you still had appropriate feelings and to see how high your pain tolerance was."

Mac shook his head. "Not in the labs, Xander. Though I thought that too," he admitted quietly.

"We do it because you guys like it and are more willing to do more than simply thrust and grunt," Stella shot back. Lindsey huffed off again. "Change, please?" He nodded, going to do that. She followed because she knew he had a few in his locker. She didn't want anything worse. It came down to: Celibacy is not hereditary, If two wrongs don't make a right, try three, People don't see the world as it is, but as they are, and Black holes were created when God divided by 0. She looked at them then the last one in the locker. _And now for some feedback:
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE_ She frowned at the choices then at him. "Do the celibacy shirt."

He smiled and put it on. Then he went to work.

"That's not any better!" Monroe yelled.

"No, it's the truth. If your parents had practiced celibacy, you wouldn't be here. Neither would I if mine did. Or anyone else's. That's how the life cycle works. If you practice celibacy it stops." He walked into ballistics and closed the door, turning on his radio to destress. Mac walked in so he turned it down. "Too loud up in Chem?"

"Just a bit." He looked at the shirt. "It's true."

"It is and Stella chose it."

"I can't fault her taste. The same as the last one wasn't so bad. It's just a sensitive person." Xander grinned at that. "Are you all right with the case the other day?"

"No, but I'm sure we got the judge?"

"He had some sort of excuse and I left it with them to get him."

"Are we sure?"

"We're sure. That's what they do all day long, Xander."


"They're worn down faster. They have a higher turnover rate."

"I can see why." He leaned against the table. "It's just so hard. I want to beat the shit out of people like that."

"You and me both. Don as well. He and Danny have both come close to it." He stepped closer. "Are you going to be all right?"

"I'll be fine. David made me relax and have fun today. Even if Monroe did manage to break it."

"It'll get better."

Xander snorted. "Sure. We'll get her laid and it'll be better."

"Xander," he said impatiently.



"Tough, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it." He heard a crash. "If that was the bitch and the tree, I'm killing her," he noted, heading out to see what that was. It had been the tree. "And?" he asked the receptionist, who was hiding under the desk.

"Sir... it just tipped." Xander gave her a look. "It did. Maintenance was examining it earlier for some reason."

Xander sighed. "Mac, come help?" He came out and helped Xander tilt the tree back into place and redo the decorations that hadn't broken. "Hmm, Stella's bell is dented." He went to get a hammer, using the reception desk to hammer it back into place. Then he rehung it. Only a few hand broken, including some of the tiny hidden lights. He took that string out and handed them to Mac. "I'll get a new set tonight." He looked at the tree since it was rocking. "Mac, someone put a shim under this and glued it."

"Can we remove it?"

"Sure. Or we can counter-brace it." He went to the garage and came back with some stuff, using it to hold the planter off the ground and brace the pot that way. Then he fixed the cloth and the tinsel that had spilled. "If I find out who touched the tree I'm going to kill them." He walked off, going to tell Mortty. "Someone touched the tree," he said from the doorway. "I'm going to fix the lights at lunch."

"I'll get into the security cameras." She turned to do that, scowling at the screen. "MAC!" she yelled a moment later. He came walking in quickly. She pointed. "I want him fucking fired!"

"Who?" She got out of the way and reran the sequence. He nodded. "Okay, I'll talk to him." He walked out shaking his head. "That was fast," he told Stella. "Xander undented your bell."

"Thanks. Why?"

"One of the maintenance guys shilled the bottom of the pot so the tree tipped."

"Hmm. Pity." She walked off to look at it, checking out how he had braced it. She smiled and recovered the area and rearranged the tinsel. She looked at the receptionist. "Anything else you wanted to not share?"

"No." She pointed at the single ornament and candle, plus two flowers now. "They're adding to it."

"Good." She went to push one of the garlands back into place and looked at the ornaments. "Mac, we're missing some," she called. She counted. "One of the bird cages and two of the balls."

He came out. "I'll check the footage."

"Thanks." She walked off, letting him handle it. Personnel things were his job so she didn't have to smack anyone. She took the candybar from Xander's hand, kissing him on the cheek. "Thank you, I needed this." She walked off nibbling, going back to work.

"Ooh, scary woman," he said, shuddering.


Horatio opened up the large box of presents from Xander and David, smiling at the gifts already wrapped inside. "From Xander and David. Mac's are already under the tree," he offered. The lab crowded around. "Eric, this one's yours. Speed. Ryan, Calleigh." He handed those over. "Alexx. Mine." He smiled and handed over Frank's and Yelina's to her. Then he found the bigger present. "Plus one group one." He pulled it out and set it and the empty box aside.

"Looks like we all got t-shirts, and knowing his fetish for them, they're going to be good," Calleigh said, ripping into hers. Science is everything we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else. - David Knuth. "Awww. It's good."

Horatio smiled at that. "It does suit you. He probably couldn't find one on ballistics."

"He's probably hogging all those," she said dryly.

"Probably," Ryan agreed, opening his. His was a cartoon cell, capturing a Calvin and Hobbes scene with Calvin talking. _For the next 60 seconds, I will conduct a test of my emergency broadcast equipment. AAAAHHHHH!!! Had this been a real emergency, the scream you just heard would be followed by lots more just like it. This concludes My test of my emergency broadcast equipment._ He laughed. "I complained I used to get called Calvin when I was younger."

"That's so cute," Calleigh said, pinching him on the arm. "I can see you doing that in the middle of recess too."

He laughed. "No, not me." He pulled out the thing that was under it. "Huh. A note taped to a gift certificate for that new orange cleaner stuff. He wanted to know how well it works."

"Yeah, he knows you," Speed said dryly. "Calleigh, did you have a second one?"

She looked and nodded. "I did. I got pictures." She held them up and giggled. "Oooh, they put the baby in goth gear!" She let them see it. They were family portraits with a very understanding looking David Hodges behind the two parents, almost looking like he was ready to shake his head.

Horatio looked at it and laughed. "I got one almost like that from Abby as well. Hers was blood red." He opened his and pulled out his t-shirt. He burst out laughing. "I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me, Superman! - Homer Simpson," he read then showed it off. Eric gave him a confused look. "Xander and I got into an email discussion about religion one day," he admitted. "It came down to 'is Superman a deity or not'." He looked at his other present. A gift certificate for a naughty store for whatever he needed. The note attached said he probably had needs and this way he could get his harem something fun. "I don't think we need to go over that one."

Eric looked and giggled. "Probably not in public no. Speed, do yours?"

Speed opened his. "I doubt therefore I might be. Ah, for my insecure days. Oooh, I got two." He unfolded the other one. And laughed. "I guess surrealism's not your cup of tuna."


"It's a philosophy joke," Yelina told him, rolling her eyes. In hers were mostly pictures. "I guess he couldn't find one for me." She found a note. "Oh, David took the one he found for me, said it was not going to pollute Miami because it would make people's head hurt."

"Yeah, some of Xander's t-shirts can cause strokes," Eric agreed dryly, opening his. "I've got two too." The first one said 'I like feminists - I think they're cute' making him and Calleigh laugh very hard and lean on each other. "They are. Strong women are always cuter to me."

"Yeah, because you have to chase them, not just lay there and take it," Speed said dryly.

"That too," he agreed with a smirk for him. "Though there's nothing wrong with just laying there and taking whatever your lover wants to do with you."

"Um, guys, I know you've tried really hard to cover up the quad," Ryan said once Yelina got up to answer the phone. "But I know. You're cute." They all looked at him. "Doesn't bother me, I'm not jealous, it's cute. Be normal if she knows. Please. This is a family holiday and you're all family."

"Thank you, Ryan," Horatio said quietly. "How long have you known?"

"Since you all went up for the baby's blessing?" He looked at Calleigh. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. It wasn't meant to be. Now I'm on better birth control."

"Some of us are still more potent than that," Eric teased. "Let's see what the other one says." He unfolded it, finding a small fairy with a crown and wings with her wand in her hand and sparkles coming off it. At least it was a manly shirt but the saying made him choke. _Every child has many wishes. Some include a wallet, two chicks and a cigar, but that's another story_ He handed it to Horatio and leaned on Speed to howl and be held up.

"Yup, he knew you really well," Speed agreed, pushing him off and onto Ryan, who held him up for a few then Calleigh took him to get him calmed down.

Yelina looked at the shirt and nodded. "I can imagine Eric having that fairytale wish when he was younger."

Horatio smiled at his family. They were adorable at times. He'd get to pick on Frank tomorrow in public when he opened his two shirts.


Xander skipped into the gift exchange and sat down, his basket at his feet.

"Food contribution that you had better have a receipt for?" Don asked from his corner.

"Ask David, he's got it."

"Sure." He went to help David, bringing in the fried chicken and the cake. "Hey, real food." He settled in to nibble and listen to the stupid talking santa do less than traditional renditions of some of the carols. Mortty had been into it again. He even got passed the mini-Xander for a minute. "Hey, Sean. How are you? You look adorable in your reindeer outfit and painted-on nose."

"Don't tell him that. He'll want to be in Beauty and the Beast when he grows up," David complained. "He can act if he wants to but not in that." He sat down next to Xander and looked at him. "Personal presents?"

"In the back of my car." He hopped up to go get them, sliding on some ice but that was okay, he did it every day anymore. He grabbed the huge shopping bag and brought it back inside, smiling at some of the patrol guys. "Hi." They shook their heads at his present t-shirt.

Sheldon looked at his shirt and then pulled out his pen. _In the 60's people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird, people take prozac to make it normal._ "You know, Xander, I do have prescription rights," he offered, pulling out a pad so he could write one.

"Then the voices would leave me alone and who would I talk to all day then?" he countered with a grin.

"Lithium," Danny said slowly and clearly. "Please."

Xander just beamed. "Awwww. I'll wear a Star Trek shirt tomorrow for that." Danny laughed and handed him some food. "Gee, you don't look like David."

"He said he's too tired to get up and feed your lazy ass," Don teased.

"I was a good boy. I was in the kitchen all morning." Everyone paused at that. "I was doing dishes and cleaning, guys. David padlocked the cabinets before I went in there. I couldn't even get a soda. I had to drink tap water." Everyone relaxed at that. "Eat and then presents?"

"That way no one chokes," Sid Hammerback, their shift's ME agreed. "Please. I'm not up to doing CPR today."

"If the choice is CPR or more patients," David started.

"We'll miss you horrible and I'll finally get to see why Xander's so interesting" he assured him. That got some laughs and they dug in while the presents made their way around the room. Including the soft and mostly squishy ones from Xander.

Don looked at his then at him. "Do I even wanna know?"

"Maybe." Xander ate a bite of chicken. "I was being nice."

Don opened his package. He burst out laughing at the snarky one of _Millions of sperm and YOU were the fastest?_ Then he found the other one with the CD between them. He unwrapped that one and looked at it, then fell out of his chair with the second one. _My slinky's kinked_ got a look from Mac but just a nod from Danny and Stella.

"Suits you, Don," Danny assured him. He dug into his and stopped to blink. "Gee, Xander, get into the geek shop for mine?" ' Alcohol and calculus don't mix - PLEASE don't drink and derive' and 'To most people solutions mean finding the answers but to chemists solutions are things that are still all mixed up...' were cute and did fit his geekly nature. Inside his was a cute little keychain with glasses and a microscope hanging off it. "These are cute."

"Yup. By the way, Don, I have an identical one to that last one but mine's in red."

"We all knew your slinky was kinked, kiddo," Ray Vecchio said dryly. He opened his present. Inside was a new book he had been thinking about getting and the usual t-shirt. It had a saying he had used on many suspects, making him smile at the simple 'I figure I'm pretty good with the B.S. but I love listening to an expert. Keep talking'. "Thanks, kid. Works for me."

"I learned that saying off you."

"Yup, you did. Hey, Stanley, open yours."

"Let me swallow first," he mumbled, finishing his mouthful and swallowing. He took his package and opened it. He snickered and held it up. _Bad cop. No doughnut._ "Try to take 'em," he offered, smirking at Xander.

"Hey, look at the diet meany," he said, pointing at Greg. "He's the one who takes yours."


"What? It's not my fault he doesn't buy enough of that flavor. Get in earlier."

Mac opened his, finding two t-shirts and no additional present. "Hard to buy for me?" he teased.

"I got you in the Secret Santa," Xander admitted. Stella frowned at him. "I did."

"No, I did."

"Greg and I noticed something, Mac's name got in there twice and Stan's name wasn't in there so we got him one."

"Thanks," Stan said. "What's the shirt say, Mac?"

He held it up. "It's very true. ' 'Tis a brave man who wears the kilt in January.' --Scottish saying." They all laughed at that.

"Women who wear skirts in January, especially the short little things that you can't sit down in feel the same way, Mac," Stella promised, patting him on the back. "What's the other one?" He held it up. _Those who think outside the box often find that they have only exchanged one box for another._ "That can be very true," she agreed. "Plus very good advice on this job." She looked at hers, then at Greg and Hodges, then at Monroe. "What did you get?" she asked Lindsey since she only had a small, non-squishy present.

She opened it. "A book on wild animals in the local areas. Thank you, guys."

"We thought maybe you'd like to hunt out here," David said with a small shrug. "You're incredibly hard to buy for."


"Not your fault," Xander offered. "Hey, Sid?"

"Yes, Xander." He cleared his mouth and opened his. _I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac_ made him burst out laughing and hug the poor, deluded boy. "I would hope I never end up in that situation. If I do, I'm sure someone will solve it for me." He showed it around, making Sheldon giggle and lean on Greg's shoulder. "Let's see what yours says, Sheldon."

He opened his. "Man must exist in a state of balance between risk and safety. Pure risk leads to self- destruction. Pure safety leads to stagnation. In between lies survival and progress." He smiled at the couple. "That's cute, thank you. I should hang this up as inspiration."

"I nearly got you one on color since you had that one case with the pigments and paints but David vetoed it so I got it for myself," Xander offered with a grin. Sheldon laughed and nodded. "He figured you had enough nightmares."

"For many weeks I had nightmares of paint samples coming back to eat me," he agreed happily. "Thanks, guys."

"Welcome. Greggy?"

Greg moaned. He knew Xander's sense of humor. He smiled at his. "Very true." He let the rest of them see his. _I do know everything, just not all at once. It's a virtual memory problem._ Thank you, Xander. Did you send some back to Vegas?"

"Yup. Bobby got a copy of my favorite ballistics one. Nick got another Texas joke one. Warrick got one on being cool. Grissom got one that says 'No-one suspects the butterfly!' and I sent a few smart ones back for Archie and Jacquai."

"That's cool. I'm sure they'll appreciate it." He checked the package. "I only get one this year?"

"Dawn's got the other one at the house. She stole it while we were wrapping," David noted patiently. "The 'On the sixth day, God created the platypus. And God said: let's see the evolutionists try and figure this one out' t-shirt was from us."

"That's cool. She's stretched it out so it's comfy." He grinned at Stella. "Your turn."

"I guess it would be. Unless Hodges wants to go?"

"Nope, your turn," David assured her.

She grinned as she opened hers. The first one got Xander hit on the arm. "I have higher expectations than that." She held up the 'He's boyfriend material if--you fix him S'mores, and he kisses you for cooking for him' shirt. The other made her pause. "There are 2 ways to do it - my way and the right way," she read. "Very true. We will remember to do things my way, correct, boys?" They all nodded. "Good." She pulled out the small crown and laughed. "Is it my month to be the princess?" "Better you than me," Xander said dryly. She hugged him across the table. "Dear?" he asked, smiling sweetly.

David moaned. This was not going to get him laid tonight, he knew that already. He pulled it out. "I'll never be satisfied until I'm too smart for my own good." He looked at his mate. "Too late."

"Very true. Read the other one." Xander smiled and accepted the kiss when the other t-shirt was uncovered, under the reservations for them to go to Atlantic City for a weekend soon. _A pessimist counting his blessings: 10 ... 9 ... 8 ... 7 ..._ suited his husband very well. "Notice the other one? It's got a date. File the paperwork."

"Already done," Mac noted dryly. "I saw you booking it and snooped. They're in my desk and approved, boys." David smiled at that. "It's only a weekend, we can spare you two for that long." David nodded and kissed Xander, making him moan. "Boys, not in front of us," Mac complained.

"It's cute and sweet," Stella told him.

"Doesn't mean I want that image burned on my retinas," Lindsey offered.

"Time for the Secret Santa and other gifts," Don said to break up the whining. He dug into that pile of presents, finding one for himself and handing the others out. Then he handed out the personal presents.

Xander, of course, got t-shirts.

_Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready_ (on back: my husband has my change purse, ask him to help break the larger bills) from Sheldon.

_The next time a guy gets into a snit because you're admiring another guy and says, "I bet he's gay!" say "Maybe. Why--do you want me to see if I can get you a date?"_ from Stella, who only smirked and shrugged. "It's good advice."

_Crazy people who are productive are geniuses. Crazy people who are rich are eccentric. But crazy people who are neither productive nor rich are just crazy._ from Sid.

_Don't trust reality. After all, it's only a collective hunch._ from David.

_Projecting empaths - You gotta feel sorry for them._ from the nightshift DNA tech Jane.

_Illegal drugs are the chlorine in the gene pool._ from Chad, his nightshift counterpart.

_Some people have a way with words, others not have way._ from the receptionist, she who he bounced ideas off of. Sometimes so fast he got word order confused.

_The more you cry, the less you have to pee._ from Adam, the nightshift Trace tech. Sheldon shook his head at that. "I'm not sure that's a factual statement." He looked at Sid, who shrugged.
_Time is money, money is the root of all evil, and knowledge is power. Therefore, procrastination is the key to world peace._ from Greg, who just smirked at that. "Not in the labs," Mac warned with a smile, finding his in the pile and handing it to Xander. _As I learn the innermost secrets of people around me, they reward me in many ways to keep quiet._

"We'll pay a lot for some secrets," Stella quipped.

Xander giggled and unwrapped the next one. _Don't worry, I'm fluent in weirdo._ from Ray Vecchio. That got him hugged but he waved him off with a grin.

_I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce. (and incurable)_ from their other ME, who liked to try to get Xander to understand sports.

_And he disappeared in a puff of logic._ came out of a package marked 'santa'. "Thanks, Lindsey, very cute," Xander said with a grin for her. At least she had tried.

Greg's had three presents. _When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with atoms. But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with explosions. (And explosions PRETTY)_, _Pinky_, which took some explanations from Ray Kowalski, and _'Meesa Jar Jar Binks of Borg! Yousa gonna be Assim'lated!'_ "Ooh, for my Star Trek collection," Xander squealed, hugging him. "Thank you!"

"You actually have a Star Trek t-shirt collection?" Sheldon asked.

Xander nodded. "Yeah, and a few on the Force too." He grinned. "Does that really surprise you, Sheldon?"

He considered it then shook his head. "No, not really. I'm not sure if that means you've finally finished driving me insane or if we expect it from you."

"You expect it from him," David assured him. "He's got a huge box of new t-shirts a home, guys. The guys in Miami sent some. Some of our friends still in Chicago sent some. He's got enough to keep going until April." They all mock-groaned at that.

Don's present got some giggles. And some nods that it was true. _Sanity is not my strong point. -Pelican Bob_

Danny's got a geek-to-geek knowing look. _Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of_ "I liked quantum theory," Xander agreed happily. "Thank you."

"Welcome. So, are your t-shirts coded together in any way?"

David moaned and nodded. "All his Star Trek ones are together. All his entropy ones hang together with a little blank space around them so they don't infect the others. All his scientific ones are together. It's the only organized thing in his closet."

"I noticed he had worn the same pants two days in a row a few times," Stella teased.

"No, he accidentally bought three pairs of the same pants," David said dryly. He looked at his spouse. "I still can't believe you got Horatio a Simpson's t-shirt."

"What? When I was helping him on his delusional kid being a superhero case we got into a discussion about the religious nature of Superman and if he could be considered a deity." He gave him a manic grin. "The t-shirt reminded him of that."

"We had one of those up here," Mac remembered fondly.

"No, Horatio's was a kid who wanted to be Batman. He had gear and all," David assured him, getting a mass of groans. "It took them three weeks to find the demented engineering students. They gave Speed, Eric, and Horatio spandex suits since they decided they were as close as Miami came to superheros."

"I asked for one for Mac and Don, but Horatio hung up on me," Xander offered with a grin, making those two snicker and cough in Mac's case.

"It's too dangerous to be one," Lindsey said. "Were they hurt?"

"No but they stopped ten street level drug dealers, two car jackers, and a rape-in-progress," Xander said dryly. "Perps would come in complaining about the strange new uniforms the cops were using. They actually had a street rep." David nodded at that. "Oh, Mac, I'm supposed to warn you. One of them's coming up here for his Master's. So if we suddenly start hearing Batman rumors, it's not me."

"It had better not be you," he warned. "Don? Ray? Stan?"

"If we hear, you'll hear," Don assured him. "They were good?"

"They were excellent. One even figured out how to make a working jetpack that was light enough to run in," Xander said, looking envious.

"No," David said firmly. "I will spank." Xander gave him a sheepish look. "Nor can you make
weapons for them."

"Yes, dear," he said meekly.

"Thank you." He rolled his eyes. The others laughed and got back to eating.

Later that night, Xander cleaned up on t-shirts from David and the other friends:

_Mind Like A Steel Trap - Rusty And Illegal In 37 States._

_How do they get the deer to cross at that yellow road sign? _

_Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one._

_All generalisations are dangerous, even this one _

_Constant change is here to stay _

_Every snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty._

_Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter since nobody listens _

_Half the people you know are below average _

_I went to school to become a wit, only got halfway through..._

_If an infinite number of rednecks in the back of an infinite number of pickup trucks shoot an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce a complete version of Hamlet in braille._

_If beauty is only skin deep, I must be inside out!_

_If the human brain was simple enough for us to understand we'd be so simple we couldn't understand
_If tomorrow never comes, then, you're dead._

_If you can read this, you've just wasted your time on reading the sentence 'If you read this, you've just wasted your time on reading the sentence' - Twice!_

_If you think education is expensive, try ignorance._

_The future ain't what it used to be._

_A few sandwiches short of a picnic, aren't we?_

_All foam, no beer._

_Brains by Mattel._

_Everyone is entitled to be stupid but you're abusing the privilege._

_No matter how bad it gets, if you're still alive it's just another bad day._

_You can't fly if you're not happy._

_"Invisible Dave and Pelican Bob think that they are real people, but they are actually only figments of my imagination." - Larry the Emu _

_"The quality of my life would be greatly reduced if I did not have nostrils." - 'Weird Al' Yankovic

_Give a man a match and he'll be warm for an hour... Set him on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. _

_God Made Us Brothers, But Prozac Made Us Friends._

_Happiness is like peeing yourself. Everybody can see it but only you can feel its warmth _

_Humpty Dumpty was pushed!_

_I can bend minds with my spoon._

_If a chicken and a half can lay an egg and a half in a minute and a half, how long would it take a monkey with a wooden leg to kick all the seeds out of a dill pickle?_

_If the circumference of a circle is the distance around the edge of it, and the diameter is the distance through that same circle, how many licks does it take to get to the centre of a tootsie roll toastie pop?_

_In space, no one can hear your teddy bear scream._

_Over and over I find being redundant is key to success in the art of redundancy - Jay Armstrong

Personally... i would build a gremlin trap... bait it with dirty socks or something.. then you could sell them to the zoo... i would go to the zoo to see gremlins..._

_Small, green leafy bodies, long tongues drooling over sharp incisors, they weren't human, they were brussel sprouts, killer brussel sprouts._

_So what if the undead and zombie walk slow? They'll catch up eventually.;0 _

_Therapy is expensive but bubble wrap is free._

_All right! I know I'm in there! If I don't come out with my hands up, I'm coming in after me!_

_As I let go of my feelings of guilt, I am in touch with my inner sociopath._

_As I said before, I never repeat myself._

_Do not disturb. I had a hard enough time getting turbed in the first place._

_Fear not my insanity, fear the mind it protects._

_Forget the Joneses, I keep us up with the Simpsons._

_Give me ambiguity or give me something else._

_Heaven doesn't want me and Hell is afraid [knows] I'll take over!_

_I always wanted to be a procrastinator, never got around to it._

_I always win. Except when I lose, but then I just don't count it._

_I am learning that criticism is not nearly as effective as sabotage._

_I am the one your parents warned you about._

_I am the world's greatest authority on my own opinion._

_I am willing to make the mistakes if someone else is willing to learn from them._

_I don't have a big ego, I'm way too cool for that._

_I don't think so, therefore I'm probably not._

_I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe._

_I have a great diet. You're allowed to eat anything you want, but you must eat it with naked fat people._

_I intend to live forever - so far, so good._

_I just got lost in thought... It was unfamiliar territory._

_I know exactly what I think about all this, but I can never find words to put it in. Maybe if I get a little drunk I could dance it for you._

_I know you think you understood what I said, but what you heard was not what I meant._

_I like long walks, especially when they're taken by people that annoy me._

_I live in my own little world, but it's ok, they know me here._

_I love being a writer... what I can't stand is the paperwork._

_I may rise, but I refuse to shine!_

_I stayed up all night playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died._

_I tried to wrestle my demons once... but they used too many illegal holds._

_I want to live forever or die in the attempt._

_I'll listen to logic and reason when it comes out on CD._

_I'm not cheap, but I am on special this week._

_I'm not tense, just terribly, terribly alert._

_I'm serious. It was a joke._

_I'm the leader. Which way did they go?_

_I'm willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong._

_I've been wrestling with reality for most of my life. I'm pleased to say I've won._

_I've gotta be me - everyone else was already taken._

_It doesn't matter if the glass is half empty or half full, what matters is whats in it, and if it tastes good!_

_It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it._

_It's not the pace of life that concerns me, it's the sudden stop at the end._

_Just because I have a short attention span doesn't mean I _

_My inferiority complex is not as good as yours _

_Of course I'm arrogant. The best usually are._

_People say I'm a bad influence. I say the world is already pretty messed up - I'm just adding to it._

_Sometimes I think well. And sometimes I think: Oh well..._

_Sometimes when it's quiet, I can hear my brain cells die._

_Tell your little voices to SHUT UP! I can't hear mine..._

_The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!_

_They told me taking over the world would never be easy, (in a tearful voice) but... they never told me it would be this hard!_

_Trouble's always a good shot, and in my case it has a laser sight._

_What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet._

_Yes, I know it's bad for me, but nagging me about it might be bad for you._

_You're just jealous because the little voices only talk to me._

_A day without fusion is like a day without sunshine._

_A mathematician is a machine for converting coffee into theorems._

_Actually officer, if you factor in the earth's rotation, we were all speeding._

_All that glitters has a high refractive index._

_As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain. And as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. - Einstein_

_Black holes suck._

_Color... it's just a pigment of your imagination._

_Entropy is the tendency of everything going to hell_

_Entropy isn't what it used to be._

_Entropy: Not just a fad, it's the future!_

_2nd Law of Thermodynamics: Chaos will Reign._

_Gravity isn't MY fault--I voted for velcro!_

_Gravity... not just a good idea: It's the law._

_If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate._

_In The Beginning there was nothing, which exploded._

_It might look like I'm doing nothing, but at the cellular level I'm really quite busy._

_May the torque be about you._

_Nature abhors a vacuum. So does my sister's dog_

_The law of gravity says, "no fair jumping without coming down"_

_The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny..."' - Isaac Asimov_

_The most important part of a microbiologist's job is not letting the little things get to him._

_The square root of three equals two for large values of three. - found in a bathroom in the Cornell Physics department_

_Why, if heat rises, are mountain tops so friggin' cold?_

_"Captain, I cannot believe my ears!" - Spock_

_He's ALIVE, Jim. Where did I go wrong?_

_"He's BREAD, Jim." - McCoy after a tragic transporter accident while visiting planet Pillsbury._

_"Logic has nothing to do with it, it's just lust." - Spock the pimp_

_"Very funny Scotty, now beam me down my clothes..." - Kirk_

_"We're StarFleet officers, Mr. Kim. Weird's just part of the job" - Captain Janeway, Star Trek:

_AAAAAGGGGHHHH" - Any "Classic" Star Trek Security officer sometime during the show._

_Captain Kirk, meet my father. He's Dad, Jim._

_Kirk: To heck with the Prime Directive, I want to sleep with that girl!_

_Real Trekkies work out at the 'He's Dead Gym'_

_Scotty is smoking the dilithium crystals again, Jim_

_Spock to Kirk at his annual review: "I'm tired or wearing the same shirt and I can't afford a good

_Trek Bumper Sticker: To Hell with the prime directive, I'm gonna kill something!_

_You, in the red uniform, go see what that noise is!_

_This is actually logical for once, WOOHOO! - Spock_

_I am Homer of Borg. Prepare to be ...ooooh donuts!_

_We've secretly switched the dilithium crystals with new Folger's Crystals... let's watch what happens._

_'It's bad luck to die on empty stomach.' G'kar, Babylon 5_

_Blonde Klingons: Because it was a good day to dye!_

_Borger King: Have it our way, your way is irrelevant._

_Defect borg: Refutile is sistance. Your ass will be simulated._

_Honk if you've slept with Riker._

_How come I can never find Troi when I'm mad at her?_

_If you are talking via communicator to your captain, remember this, for it is the single most important thing you can learn here at Starfleet Academy... Never give your Captain a straight answer, make sure he has to come on down to the planet and see for himself. Especially if you are serving on the Enterprise._

_Kaden thought of the old Klingon proverb: Fool me once, shame on you: fool me twice, prepare to die._

_Lt. Commander Data--your plastic pal who's fun to be with._

_Original Pentium of Borg: Division is futile - your decimals will be approximated._

_The Borg assimilated my race & all I got was this T- shirt._

_Tired of your clothes sticking to you like glue? Use statis stopper for klingons!_

_You've just had a heavy day commanding a starship. You've fought Klingons off the starboard bow, kept your ship from being blown up many times, and you're exhausted! Now comes LOG time. You deserve more than just LOG, you deserve CAPTAIN'S LOG!_

_In the force if Yoda's so strong, construct a sentence with words in the proper order then why can't he?_

_Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. -Ben Kenobi, 'The Return of the Jedi'_

_The force is like Duct Tape - it has a dark side, it has a light side, and it binds the universe together!_

_The Force. It surrounds us. It enfolds us. It gets us dates on Saturday Nights. - Obi Wan Kenobi, Famous Jedi Knight and Party Animal._

_When 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not. - Yoda_

_AAAH! You broke my fortune cookie!_

_Be yourself. Who else knows how?_

_Confucius say - 'He who stands on toilet is high on pot'_

_Don't follow me, I'm lost too..._

_I know I'm in there somewhere, and if I don't come out with my hands up, I'm going to go in there and get me!_

_Ankh if you love Isis._

_Don't Annoy The Crazy Person. _

_Don't Laugh, your daughter may be in here. - from a bumper sticker_

_Don't piss me off - I'm running out of places to hide the bodies._

_Drive defensively - buy a tank._

_Drive it like you stole it!_

_Earth first! (We'll strip-mine the other planets later)_

_I brake for hallucinations._

_I may not believe what your bumper sticker says, but I will defend to the end your right to stick it!_

_I need patience. NOW!_

_i souport publik edekasion._

_I'm going crazy. Wanna come along?_

_If you can read this, you are in phaser range._

_If you don't like the way I'm driving, YOU come get these handcuffs off!_

_Instead of being born again, why not just GROW UP?_

_My karma ran over your dogma._

_My other vehicle is a broom stick._

_My reality check bounced_

_People are worried about the voices in my head, but it doesn't bother me. It's nice to have friends_

_Supporting America's Militant Agnostics... we don't know, and you don't either._

_Take my advice, I'm not using it anyway_

_Take Revenge: Shit on a pigeon!_

_The ability to speak several languages is valuable. The ability to keep one's mouth shut in one language is priceless._

_Unless you're a hemorrhoid, GET OFF OF MY ASS!_

_When in doubt, poke it with a stick._

_Witches' Parking - All others Toad._

_You! Out of the gene pool!_

_Your kid may be an honor student but you're still an IDIOT!_

_Zero to bitch in 2.4 seconds._

_Alex, I'll take 'Things Only I Know' for $200"_

_Streakers *repant* your end is in sight._

_"The game of catch has never been so fun!" - inventor of the hand grenade._

_'Bother!' said Pooh, as he uncovered a hive of Smurfs._

_'I'm not sure who he is, but I've heard he's got his hand in a lot of things.'- Kermit The Frog, about Jim Henson._

_'Veni, Vidi, Velcro' - I came, I saw, I stuck around._

_'When I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you.' - Chuck Norris_

_37% of Americans agree that while they would hate being British, they wouldn't mind having a British accent._

_47.5% of all statistics are made up on the spot._

_5 out of 4 people don't understand fractions._

_60% of Americans say that, if they could push a button that would make Larry King disappear, they would keep pushing it and not stop._

_665: Neighbour of the Beast._

_766: Upstairs neighbor of the Beast - who usually complains about the party's noise._

_A day without sunshine is like, you know, night._

_A flying saucer results when a nudist spills his coffee._

_A rock --> me
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