Summary: Sometimes twins may look identical but not act or be identical. Sometimes one just really gets fed up with the non-family too.
Categories: Buffy/Angel Crossovers > CSI/NCIS Characters: None
Chapters: 3 Completed: No
Word count: 40039 Read: 1203
Published: 2022.11.23 Updated: 2022.11.23
1. Part 1 by voracity
2. Part 2 by voracity
3. Part 3 by voracity
Willow was stressing. Graduation was in four days. Things were going a bit weird to her sensibilities. Of course, she had no idea about battle anythings. She didn't even play role playing games. And they were trusting Xander to handle things. Which she didn't like. Buffy didn't like it either but neither one of them could plan a battle and Giles' plans had forgotten about others being there beyond the team. So Xander was doing it and she was still stressing about that. "We don't have enough people," she told Buffy.
The slayer nodded at her. "I know that. We'll do what we can with what we have. At the worst, we all die," she said dryly, staring at her best friend then smiling. "It'll be *fine*, Willow. Quit stressing out. Not like you can suddenly call up a unit of slayers for me to be backed up by."
"No. I can't. I have no idea how to do that." She bit her lip. "I can maybe do something to make a temporary set of twins?"
Giles cleared his throat. "That is dangerous and it would leave whoever it was done to more vulnerable and able to be killed, Willow." He stared at her. "Do quit stressing as you're stressing the rest of us out." She slumped but nodded. "We have good plans. We'll manage it," he said more calmly. "In a few days it'll all be done with and we'll be past another apocalypse."
She nodded, going to her home to think up ways she could help more. She did look up that twin idea. The online notes said it would render one twin weaker so that was a bad idea. She looked up other ways to call more fighters to help them. Oz came over to calm her down so that was a welcome change of thought. He was good at it too.
But the idea was stuck in her head.
Xander walked into the library the day before graduation, making Giles smile at him until he saw the second Xander walking in. "Oh, dear. How did that happen? Another temporal or realm spell?" he asked, trying to stay calm.
"No, I went to bed last night and this morning woke up twins in the same outfit I went to sleep in, on both of us," the second xander said dryly.
"We checked, we have the same memories. I pinched myself and he didn't feel it. He's not a vamp like that one we nearly had."
"Since we know there's a ton of magic using people in town but most of them wouldn't want us to be twins," the second Xander continued dryly. "Would you, that lesser you Wesley, or a certain redhead want to tell us how this happened?"
"I did not do so," Giles said. He sighed. "Wesley doesn't have that level of skill." He did a magical test. "He's a fully separate entity. No shared traits beyond being twins." He frowned. "Oh, dear. I see the principal."
Both Xanders smirked at the short, irritating man as he stomped into the library. "Hey, Principal Snyder," they said in unison then smirked and waved. "How're you today?" The man stopped, staring at them then moaning as he stomped off again. They shared a look then looked at Giles, who smiled at that move. "So," they said in unison.
"I'll see what she was thinking. As far as I can tell it won't be undone. Or can't be undone actually." He rubbed his eyes then picked up his glasses to put on. "For now, do you have the same level of skills?"
"Yeah, as far as we can tell," the second xander said.
Buffy walked in and stared then nodded and walked off. "I don't want to know about the freaky this time. I don't have the energy for this."
"Yell at the redhead," the first Xander called after her. She waved back that she had heard. He rolled his eyes, looking at his twin. "Well, looks like we'll have someone to talk to on our road trip in a few days I guess." He sighed.
"We'll figure it out." He patted him on the arm and went to go figure some things out while the first Xander went to class. They had worked that out earlier. Giles got to moan and complain until he could find Willow to talk to her.
Oz saw both Xanders and went "Huh, twins?" then stared at the Xander in front of him.
"We think there's a female redheaded person who did it," that Xander admitted. "No clue though. Woke up this way today."
Oz just nodded, walking off. "I'll go find her and talk to her if Buffy hasn't." He shook his head quickly but this was Sunnydale. There were weirder things than Xander waking up being twins.
"But I thought Xander was sitting out," Willow said that night while they were cleaning up injuries.
Both Xanders stared at her. "No, Willow, we had plans to be there helping. That was actually the plan." Buffy nodded but sighed. "I'm sorry you had that thought but oh well!" She shrank down. He looked up then went back to helping Buffy's injured ankle.
The other one was working on his own cut on his bicep from a scale. He finally got done and handed Buffy the medical tape so she could use it on the bandage Willow was putting on for her. "We're off," they told the girls. "Our roadtrip calls." They walked off together.
"We'll send postcards," the second Xander said.
"Okay, have fun," Buffy called after them. "Don't get arrested."
The second Xander turned to grin at her. "Why would we do that? That's not very fun." He turned around and went back to hiking to where their car was waiting in their storage area. He got into the passenger's seat, letting Xander drive them off. They were free of Sunnydale until they had enough of the rest of reality. Who knew when they'd come back and how far they'd get. But first they needed to go to Disney. So Anaheim here they come!
Buffy looked at Willow. "That was actually the battle plan, Willow." She pouted but nodded. "Maybe they'll figure it out on the roadtrip thing this summer." She hugged her. "You should go home. It's getting dark." Willow got her stake and went home to sit in her empty house. Buffy went back to her own house, getting a hug from her mother. "Mom, don't freak, but Willow created twins of Xander."
"So there's three of him?"
"No, just two." Joyce sighed but nodded. "She thought he'd be sitting out or just evacuating people so she thought it'd be safer when we needed more people. So they're going on their road trip and Willow's pouty. What's for dinner?" she asked hopefully.
"Soup. I wasn't sure you'd be home tonight." Buffy followed to get some dinner. "Do you need an ER?"
She shook her head. "Xander did the cuts on my ankle and Willow got my arm." She let her see it. "Besides, our ER is more for killing people." She slurped some soup and sighed. "That's nice. I've been hungry all day." She went back to inhaling soup. Her mother warmed up more for her. She was a nice mom that way.
Buffy looked up as Xander walked up to where she was standing on the park's little bridge. "Did you find someone to get that wackiness fixed?" she asked, sounding happier.
"Nope. He's outside town talking to someone we're now penpals with." He looked down at her. Even in the heels she was wearing she was shorter. "But we're back."
"That's cool. I guess. Still twins?" He nodded. "Huh." She shrugged. "I guess it means that you don't have to worry about things while we go on patrol and you help Giles at the store."
He snorted. "Things have not changed, Buffy." She scowled. "I've seen kitten demons to be more scared of."
"I'm the slayer."
"You're the slayer who slept with a vampire, made him lose his soul, and then didn't even *regret* when he killed your watcher's girlfriend," he said quietly, staring at her. Buffy went pale and backed up a step. "I'm the same Xander I was." He smiled sweetly at her. "So, let's patrol?"
"I guess," she sighed. "But if you get hurt I get to nag."
He snorted. "The last time you nagged me over something I didn't do you fell into a grave yourself then complained I gave you back what you gave me." She rolled her eyes, huffed a bit, and walked off. So he went with her. They met up with the other Xander at the other end of the park. "Hey. How's Abby?"
"Pretty good. Things are okay enough in DC." He walked on Buffy's other side.
"What sort of deadly is this one?" Buffy asked dryly.
"Goth but a forensic lab tech," the second Xander said happily. Buffy stopped to stare at him oddly. "Yeah. She does know by the way. It's all over the bulletin boards online." She whined but nodded, walking off shaking her head.
"She is really sweet," the first Xander said. "Kinda cute. Wears goth clothes and has pigtails." Buffy gave him an odd look. "That's what she wants to wear."
"Because she finds it fun."
"Oh. So she's a groupie thing?"
"Nope. Ran into it in New Orleans when she was a teenage girl." Buffy grimaced but nodded. "So she's been paying attention since then. She showed up right after we took out the Overlord over Western LA to buy us a drink for that and see if we were really the normal guys you said we were."
"You are." She paused. "You did what?"
"He was drooling on us while asking if we were tasty. He was also allergic to the metal that they make quarters out of. I flicked one at him and he yelled, tried to attack the bartender, so we had to to save the rest of the people in the club," the first Xander admitted. Then he grinned and shrugged when Buffy stared at him. "Not the first."
"You're normal, Xander. Stay normal."
"No, we're Xanders, we're not normal." He stared at her. "Also, Abby noted that we've got a problem in town. A huge problem in town. The demonic bulletin boards have been having fits about it. Which was why she really showed up to talk to us since we were the first ones out of Sunnydale in years who had a clue."
"Big demon like the mayor?" she guessed.
"Worse. Military," the second Xander said, handing over his notes. "What we took from the bulletin boards."
She read them over as they walked. "Oh, no." She grimaced. "That's bad." They nodded. "I'll have Willow look. Do you guys need to stop at the motel?"
"Already did," the first Xander quipped. She nodded as she walked off. She ran into Willow. "We're back," he said dryly.
Willow smiled and waved. "Hey, Guys. Is Buffy walking you to the motel?"
"Why would we need walked?" the second Xander asked her.
Both Xanders held up a hand. "We've done this for three years, the same as you have," the second one told her. "That problem got old in high school." He stared at her until she backed up. He looked at his twin then at Buffy. "Let me go check in with Giles." He took the notes back. "So he can make notes too." He walked off. A vampire popped out to try to eat him so he punched it and staked it before walking over the ash. "Thank you for the welcome home," he quipped.
The first Xander nodded. "Yeah, he's right. He's just blunt because he didn't get much sleep last night." He shrugged and glared at the vampire staring at him from the street. "Yes, we're back. Are you here to bow at my specialness?" he quipped.
The vampire shook his head. "You're weird, Harris."
"Sometimes." He grinned and shot him with his mini crossbow. "Bye. Thanks for the input." He walked on. "The papers had Shady Rest tonight, Buffster?"
"Yeah, I guess. That was what the paper said." She walked off with Willow, who was scowling. "It'll be fine, I'm here," Buffy told her.
Xander turned to stare at her. "Do you remember having the flu so bad you were in the hospital?" She blanched but nodded. "If I could handle it then to protect your blonde self, I can do it now." She slumped but nodded. "Really. We're the same people we were at graduation." He walked off shaking his head again.
"Are you going to start college next semester?" Willow asked, trying to change the subject.
"Nope. I'm not a college sort, Willow. Why would I waste my time and money that way?" He looked at her. "Nothing I like doing is included in a major at the college." She slumped. "Within a week I'll have another job and we'll figure out an apartment, all that stuff.
"Some people go to college and study a lot for a lot of money, some of us do the work people like you count on to get stuff done that you don't want to do yourself." He gave her a pointed look. "It's just as important, even when you're working fast food. Or else you wouldn't get to eat slightly tasty and yet cheap burgers and fries."
"Point, I guess." She glanced at Buffy. "She's going. We're not sure what she's taking yet."
Xander nodded. "Great. I hope she has fun in classes. It's not something I value." He shrugged and grinned. "I'd rather work as a plumber or something."
"Oh. So the vo-tech?"
"Not sure. The closest one barely has any offerings anymore." They continued to walk, stake a few vampires, all that good stuff. He met up with Xander at the motel. "Giles give you the same 'you're normal' talk?"
"Yup," the other Xander agreed dryly. "Then I reminded him I'd been doing it for three years. He cleaned his glasses a bit and agreed with that." They shared an eye roll. "Job services tomorrow?"
"Yeah. We can do that. I planned on looking around the town during the daylight hours."
"Not a bad idea. I'll sign us both up." That got a nod and they settled in for the night. They'd had jobs in high school for money and their roadtrip fund. They could easily find *something*, even if it wasn't something good. And they'd put up with the girls being little girlish assholes at the same time, same as usual.
It was nearly the spring and the usual was happening. They were working their way up to dealing with a huge problem. This time a sanctioned problem. The Xanders were arguing about turning them in. The second Xander wanted to. The first one said it wouldn't do any good. They already knew they were here and what they were doing.
The second Xander called their friend Abby to talk to her about it anyway. The first Xander just nodded at that decision. Abby did not know much more than what was on the bulletin boards. She hacked in at his suggestion and started to call for help. So maybe they could do something. Maybe.
Xander still had to go in with the group to do that spell to defeat the new monster of the spring. And some military guys. Not like Buffy would shoot one to protect herself, even in the leg to make them fall down and quit shooting at them. They fixed things and got out of there.
Buffy looked exhausted. "Movies?"
"Later," the second Xander said. "I need a shower." She nodded and they all went to do that then gathered in her living room to rest and do a post-battle movie.
Xander looked up from his construction job, seeing the guys in the dark sedan with federal plates pulling in to park. He nudged his twin, who looked and sighed. But nodded. They were probably in for it for that problem. The original Xander walked out there to talk to them when the supervisor looked his way. "Yes, guys? You're interrupting our day job?"
"Mr. Harris, you were caught on film...."
"Yes, I'm well aware *your* people sent people to my town to torture and tear apart beings," he interrupted. The agent stepped back, looking horrified. "We figured you didn't care about what they were doing since you guys looked the other way about them. My twin decided not everyone had to know so called a penpal we have out that way to make sure. What about it?"
"Not sitting well after your first battle?" he asked smugly.
Xander snorted. "Not my first battle." The agent looked confused. "Clearly, you know less than half of anything about this town, dude. Anything else? I've got to earn my paycheck." He walked off anyway before the guy could answer. He heard the agent huff but he didn't chase after him.
Xander got all the way to lunch before someone else showed up. That one sat across from them with a tablet, letting them see it. It had the agency name branded across the edge with a property of sticker. Xander looked then shrugged. "Well, it's about three-quarters right," he offered, pushing it back. He ate a bite of his sandwich. His twin was chewing hard.
"We're not going to charge you two."
"Great. Good to know that the guys who helped stop the torture are seen as good guys," the second one said, making that agent glare. "You can't tell me they didn't."
"No, we cannot. The stuff NCIS found and told us about showed what they were doing in all the wrong minded details." Both Xanders nodded. "We just wanted a report on what happened."
Xander got into a site for him and let him see it. "Our thinking journal for after patrol things."
"Okay." He read that and nodded slowly. "Damn it." He looked at them. "Why not sooner?"
"The first time we were evacuating a friend," the second Xander said bluntly. "We got argued with that it was necessary. Then she realized."
The agent sighed but nodded once. "Okay. So you went back to finish the problem?"
"And their monster," the first Xander agreed.
"That's a great thing." He went back over those notes, copying them for his own report. "Anything not in here?"
"Probably a lot," the second Xander admitted. "Not that you'd hear about that anyway."
"Is it germane to their trials?" They shook their heads. "That's good then." He tipped his head to the side. "How long has your team been around?"
"Tenth grade," the original Xander admitted.
"Oh, so you probably know what happened to this building you're finishing the destruction of?" They nodded. "What happened? We don't have a report." Xander nodded and got up, taking him to the burn pit pile, which had parts in it. "What is that?"
"That was the thing that attacked our graduation," Xander told him then patted him on the arm. "It was going to eat us all and then go move onto more populated areas. You're welcome." He went to finish lunch and then go back to his spot on the team. His twin followed just after that since he had an extra granola bar today.
The agent took pictures and sent it to his supervisor, who was horrified at that story. He did pick up a smaller piece to bag so they could see what it had been. The DNA people were very confused about the odd DNA that was mixed with human DNA. They couldn't break it down further than that. Abby sent over a tape from the graduation battle when he noted to the agents on this case about that pile of parts.
They all didn't want to see that but it explained a lot. A few agents really needed help for the sour stomachs that night. They couldn't deny the tape. It was in official custody of the FBI. It had been taken from the site's aftermath apparently. Not tampered with in evidence. The LA FBI office hated that and had went on ignoring that town once they figured out what had happened.
The second Xander was really tired of the putdowns and glared at the girls, who walked off. He was proud of himself, he had let them walk off. He looked at his twin, who shook his head. "I..." he started.
"You go calm down. I'll do a turn at the Bronze," the original Xander said quietly and calmly. "They're like this sometimes then they need something."
"Yeah, I hate feeling used. That's why I won't go near Anya either."
Xander nodded. "I get that and more for me."
"Point." He popped his neck then nodded. "I.... I think I'm done for a bit."
"Okay, I get that. I'll probably join you some day soon." They hugged. "Be safe."
"I can do that." He went to the shop, staring at Giles. "I've had enough of the put downs," he said quietly and calmly. "I'm about to finish burning the witch at a stake."
Giles winced. "I've tried to stop them."
"Not really, Giles. You ignored it a lot earlier." Giles frowned at that. "Didn't say a word." He looked around. "I'm done. I'm truly and fully done. My twin said he's not yet. Apparently he got the patience with the bitches that I don't have." He grabbed a few things of his. He hesitated over his usual sword and axe. Then shook his head. "He'll need 'em."
He looked at Giles again. "Watch over my twin please. Before he has to stab the witch?" He walked off, going home to make plans. He didn't have the money to just move so he had to find some somehow. Of course, somehow happened in Sunnydale sometimes if you were smart. He knew just where to start with that plan. His twin came home to treat the attempted bite mark. "Go with me tomorrow to up the bank account?"
"Yeah. I figured you were going to do that and checked a few on the way home. They're still mostly there. All but the one on third. The dirty cops probably got that."
"It would've been hard to explain anyway." They made plans until about daybreak then went to loot some demon hoarding sites. None of the peaceful ones. Nothing that would end up hurting someone. But the old mayor had things stored that he didn't need anymore. Some vampires had things they didn't need anymore once they found them there. They split it pretty evenly. The Xander going got five percent more than his twin because moving was expensive. His twin had insisted. Then he left town. He'd come back for important funerals. Maybe.
Two Years Later
New Xander, now Alex, was staring at the letter from his twin. They talked all the time. So a letter was unusual. He opened it and stared then nodded, making plans for his twin's needs. He hated the 'just in case I die' letter. He considered going back but his twin's letter told him it wouldn't matter and it'd only get both of them dead. To stay there, to baby his things he was sending his way to protect if he fell. Including his extra weapons.
Alex considered it then went to rent somewhere for it to land. He'd check it over once it got there. Someone tried to intercept it and wasn't happy to get his last boyfriend up his nose for it. His present boyfriend knew but didn't *realize*. But he was good to him most of the time. He'd put up with the boyfriend for now. He got home that night from all that and his daytime part-time job in an office, nodding at the boyfriend. "Xander's going into a battle so I'm getting his storage shed."
"Is he going to be moving this way?" he asked, staring up at him from his reading.
"Probably not. He still considers it his duty but this battle's too big."
"Battle?" he asked with a grin. "Like a real battle?"
Alex stared at him and nodded. "Yeah. Like a real battle." His boyfriend sat up straighter to stare at him. He let him see the letter. His boyfriend handed it back after reading it. "So in a few days I'm going to be super tense and pacing until I hear he's made it out alive."
"Are you wanting to go closer?"
"No. I don't want to go back to there. I went back for two funerals and that was more than enough. I miss my twin but ...he's still got the duty and I couldn't stand the others in the unit to put it bluntly." That got a nod. "So I have no idea but I know he's injured." He went to make some cocoa and then settle on the couch with the news.
"Will we have to sort his stuff for him?"
"If he dies I'll sort out the things. You'd hate his comic collection." His boyfriend sneered about comics. "We both have a pretty good collection."
"Didn't you sell yours?"
"No." He stared at him. "I'm not giving up something that makes me happy." He went back to the news. "It's all in safe storage."
"Well, if his death kills you too, I'll make sure any other collector can have it."
Xander grinned. "You're not on the paperwork. I've had that storage area for three years, dear." He grinned. "I got it well before you met me." He scowled. "I did. I've never amended that and Xander's stuff is under the same name at another place because I know most of his is swords probably. Or crossbows." He sipped his cocoa and went back to watching the news.
His boyfriend huffed a few times but went back to reading. Maybe it was time to get a better boyfriend. When his boyfriend went to bed he stayed up to consider things. This was his house. In his name. The boyfriend didn't have his name on anything in it. His boyfriend seemed to think Alex was a sugar baby who had been left things. So whatever but he wasn't on the deed.
Alex looked at the officer there to try to eject him. "Officer, it's *my* house. My name is on the deed." He nodded. "I'm going to the office to get it out of the safe if you want to follow me." They did that, his partner joining him from the car. He pulled out the deed to show him. "I bought it."
The officer read it over and let his partner have it to read. "That's stamped," his partner agreed. "That's the original deed from the sale." He handed it back. "Your lover said it's his house."
"No, the only thing he has is some clothes and his car. He somehow thinks I'm a sugar baby who got left things. He's got no hold on my accounts, my house, or anything. I know better than that." He let them see the bank statement for his primary account.
"Okay, are you going to evict him?" the second officer asked, handing the statement back.
"Yes I am. You can tell his dentist self that if you want." He grinned, going upstairs to pack the few clothes into a few bags and hand them over. "Here, all his stuff. Oh, I forgot a few things." He went to get a few books that were his. "His, boring. Not my style. And he hated my comic books." He grinned with a shrug. "Oh well. I can do better."
They nodded, taking it to talk to the complaining dentist. Who loudly shouted that it was his house now. The officer told him about the deed, the bank statement, and how the guy had the proper paperwork, plus had packed his things for him. The bags were handed over and they made a note on the paperwork. If the dentist wanted to sue the kid, that was his thing.
Alex saw the stuff coming in and nodded. "This storage area. Unless I need two?" he asked the driver.
"No, sir. It'll barely fit." He got out to put things in there. Xander took one thing to put on top of others but that was fine. "Sorry, didn't realize it was fragile."
"It's an urn," he said quietly. That got a nod and they were more careful. "Is my twin still alive?"
"As of yesterday," the driver said with a grin. Alex nodded at that, taking the picture Xander had sent him with. "Pity about his eye injury."
"Yeah it is. He never mentioned that so it's gotta be recent." He grimaced, tucking the picture into his pocket. He helped move the rest of the stuff and let the storage place, which had good security lock it. He did warn them about his ex-boyfriend, who was trying to be a dick. He had tried to get into Alex's storage area too. The storage place hadn't allowed it thankfully. He went to move some of his too.
He had a few things left from Sunnydale. It went into a more uptight storage system that had armed guards. He talked to them about his twin, showing them that picture. They agreed he was the only one allowed in there. The boyfriend's picture got noted as an ex who was trying to claim things that weren't his.
Alex went to talk to his boss at the law firm. They were more than happy to file a restraining order for their front desk guy. The dentist was very upset and tried to sue but the judge pointed out he didn't have rights to any property, they'd only been together for six months. That wasn't long enough for patrimony. So Gerrard the dentist huffed off and left Alex alone. Which was just fine with him.
Xander made it to DC a few months later, finding his twin working. He walked into the law office and the security guard frowned then looked at the desk then back at him. "We're twins," he said with a grin. "I'm finally off the west coast so I came to take my brother to lunch."
"Give me twenty more," Alex called. "Have a seat, twin'o mine." He looked at him. "That looks better than I expected." He got back to work on his typing, letting his boss know that his twin was visiting suddenly. He got the afternoon off and they went to eat and talk, and make plans. Xander told him the bad news about Sunnydale. And about his upcoming trip to Africa. Alex just stared at im. "Why?"
"Because it's needed," he admitted. "The girls need me. They don't know yet. They only have the download."
"I get that. Why you?"
He sighed. "It has to be someone."
"Or you could be safer."
"I could," he agreed with a nod. "And sometimes that's a really good idea." He took a sip of his tea then put the glass down. "I need to grieve for Anya. I can do some good helping those girls." He stared at him. "I know you don't understand...."
"No, I do. I fully understand and remember why we started on that path. I don't understand you not giving yourself time to heal. To grieve and heal the injuries, all that."
"I realize that." He stared at him. "Are you fully healed? Able to do all the stuff you used to do?"
"Is that going to impact things?"
"Probably." He sighed and finished his tea. "I need to go grieve anyway."
"I get that. I totally get that. Anya was important to you. You should grieve her. And all the others that fell." He stared at him. "But someday you'll have to say it's enough."
"Is it though? They're still out there taking out innocent kids."
Alex nodded at that. "Yeah. You making a small dent helps some. Or you could go make a specific antigen to stop them all."
"Too many species according to Willow." Alex stared at him, handing over his glass of ice water so his twin could drink it. "I know. But I can get away from that nagging too." He smirked a bit. "Plus I'll be traveling. I wanted to travel more."
"Okay. Let me know how you're going and when you need it, I have a couch. Unless my ex burns down the house."
He snorted. "Bad?"
"Dentist. Thought I was the sugar baby of our relationship."
Xander rolled his eye. "Figures. My last one's kinda....an assassin I think."
Alex sighed but nodded. "That figures. I'll watch out for them."
"Her then." He grinned. "Be careful? Don't let them nag you?"
"If I can." He finished the water and looked around then at him. "What're you doing beyond the desk job?"
"Mostly that. I'm taking some law classes after hours to be a paralegal. It's boring but well paid. I have SCA some weekends and Habitat projects I just suddenly show up on to help with." He grinned. "I'm not totally bored."
"That's good. Um...."
"Yes, your stuff can stay in storage here," he said dryly, nodding a bit. "I doubt you want to move your comic collection to travel with you in Africa."
"Thanks." Xander grinned. Alex leaned over to hug him. "Thanks, evil twin."
"Oh, I'll go evil if I have to." He stared at him. "Including on the redheaded one who tried to nag me last year."
"She had an addiction problem."
"Could've called that coming in high school," Alex quipped back.
"True." They finished up and Xander got one last hug before heading for the airport and his traveling to the baby slayers. Alex went to the lone place he kept in touch with his old life through. He looked at the bartender. "Can you let me know if my twin gets in *more* trouble? Or his ex the assassin shows up in town?"
"Yeah, Harris." He nodded with a grin. "He good?"
"Bit depressed. He lost Anya in the battle. So he's going to check on the slayers that didn't get to Sunnydale."
"That's a hell of a trip."
"We do like to travel." He grinned. "Oh, that one wanting that vase? No. I still have it. He won't pay for it." He smirked. "Do I need to go back to find more stuff?"
"Could help," he admitted. "Half of them sank but not all of them."
"I can do that for my vacay this year. Thanks, man." He shook his hand and went back to work. His boss gave him an odd look. "He was on run-through on his way to go to Africa to travel around." His boss nodded at that, going back to his office. He was half-demon and knew who Xander was, and who Alex really was. So it was all good and he was safe here.
Even when someone came in to kill the lawyer that hadn't won his lawsuit. Then he got up to beat that guy before the guard could. He stared at him. "Really?" he asked. "Is this legal?" The man moaned and cried. "Good!" The guard was getting an officer in. Alex went back behind his desk, smiling at the officer. "He upset me rather a lot," he said happily. "But now I don't need to go to the gym."
The officer looked at the guy then at Alex. "You hit him, sir?"
"A lot." He smiled. "He came in with that pea shooter." He pointed at it.
The officer got it and arrested the guy so he could take him to get some stitches before going to be booked into the jail.
Alex got back to his paperwork he had to type up. His boss's sigh was loud but sounded slightly amused.
A year later, Alex looked up as Abby rushed up to him at the Habitat site. "Hey, Abby. Long time no hear."
"I know, and I'm super sorry, Alex, but it's an emergency. There's a terrorist who wants me and Tony. Can I use your basement?"
"Sure." He nodded at the boss. "Personal emergency. Sorry."
"Thanks for the time you put in today, Harris." He shook his hand and Xander took Abby back to his place. She called her buddy, who came over. Abby checked then let him in. "Tony, this is Alex Harris. He's an older penpal for a few years now."
Alex waved from the kitchen. "Hey, Tony. Pleasure to meet you." He shook his hand with a smile. "So, terrorist? Do I need to do more than turn on the special security system?"
"I think we should be fine," he admitted smoothly.
Alex smiled. "Dude, I've seen worse than a terrorist." He led them to the basement. "Here you go. Two rooms, three couches. Big tv. Surround sound. Bathroom." He opened the door. "Come up to the kitchen if you need more than the stuff in the mini fridge if it has anything. I haven't hosted a movie party so not sure when the last time it was filled." He checked and grimaced. "I'll make a grocery order to be delivered." He walked off doing that. "Abby, want more than comfort food?"
"Okay." He grinned at Tony. "Anything you need me to put on the list?"
"They could trace it here."
"No they can't. Not with the guys I use. They retired from the CIA." He smiled before walking off. "Use the kitchen if you want or need, guys. I'm going to be on the couch going over the bank statement. I'm undercounting ten bucks somewhere."
"Okay. Thanks," Tony said, looking confused. He looked at Abby. "Is he normal?" he asked quietly.
She shook her head with a grin. "Not in the least. But no one's getting in here."
"Okay." He'd trust her. They heard when groceries got there and Alex making out with the delivery person. Then the guy left and their host brought down snacks, drinks, and stuffed the mini fridge area. Then he winked before walking off again. He sat down to look up this odd person. This was odder than he was used to. Though...it was an Abby contact.
They heard when someone broke in, Tony hopping up to go help. He found someone being eaten by a fog of something from a vase that looked like a bad Chinese antique knock off. "What is that?" he asked.
Alex looked at him. "He really wants this vase because he wants Mortimer in there to be his new master. Mortimer isn't interested in him so he came out to talk to his wannabe worshiper. Mortimer won the talk." The husk of the demon dropped the ground and turned to ash. "Hey, nice to clean up after yourself. Thanks!" He waved. He looked at the fog, which flowed back into the vase. "Thanks, Mortimer."
"Welcome, Harris," it grunted.
He put the vase back on the table and looked at Tony. "No, I'm not normal." He grinned. "But I'm just like that. You're still safe here, Tony. Quit stressing."
"Will someone report him missing?"
"No. Anyone who knew him I'll tell in a second. The bar will probably host a toast in his honor, and then they'll mostly forget about him." He called the bar, letting Tony hear the cheer that the guy was eaten. He hung up and put the phone away. "The world is a wider place than you think, hotty one."
He patted him on the arm. "I used to live there. Now I'm here." He stared at him. "Go rest, have the headache I know you have, all that." Tony walked off looking confused. Alex tipped his head to watch him walk off. It was a great view.
Tony looked at Abby later that night. "Are you sure he's...good?" he asked.
She sighed, staring at him, nodding. "Yes, I am." She pulled up the information sheet on the twins, letting him see it. He sat down to read, looking displeased but not at the subject. She smiled when he stared at her. "Yeah, they're strong because they had to be. This one couldn't take more combat so he left. His twin's somewhere." She flapped a hand then smiled again. "They're sweet boys, just very protective."
"The guy earlier?"
"Was probably a demon."
"Oh." He went back to reading up on their host. "Gibbs would not like this."
"He didn't like it when the twins told me about something going on and I told others to go stop it." She shrugged when he looked. "They were both there then. This one left right after that."
"I get that." He handed the phone back with a sigh. "Do others know?"
"Not right now. By the rumors coming off the west coast that may change soon." He winced. "Yeah but I'm not sure why." She got comfy again. "It'll be fine. If the one after you comes this way, he might want to date Alex to be honest. Some have wanted to date his twin."
"I saw that." He rubbed his forehead. "Wow."
"Yeah." She nodded with a grin. "So you can see why I asked him for help."
"I can, yes. He's very protective and very helpful. And doesn't drool at me like a few of your friends." She punched him on the arm, making him wince and rub it.
"Sorry, forgot you were in the car crash yesterday." She leaned against that arm, letting him turn on a movie and turn the sound down for now. They were safe down here and Alex was a nice, protective, good boy host. For now.
Gibbs knocked on the door McGee told him to go to, finding a young guy without a shirt there. "Are my agent and lab tech here?"
Alex stared at him. "Thankfully Abby showed us pictures, Gibbs. Abby, visitor."
"Bad or good visitor?" she called back.
"A growling one." He let him in and shut the door, then went back to get his package and come back in. Abby came up to bring Gibbs to the basement. He checked then put it on the shelf next to the other vase, which hummed in pleasure. "No," he told the vase. "It's for the thing out west."
"Fine," it muttered. "It'll double-cross them to go after the girls."
Alex looked at the vase. "I know that. It'll have a better reason though. Including some of my blood going." The vase moaned and Alex smiled at it. "Exactly."
"Fine. Can I go?"
"No. I can't ship you out there safely."
"Pity. All those slayers are luscious."
"Uh-huh, and underage and not innocent."
"Point. Pity." He went quiet since the normal was coming back. It did sniff him and sighed in pleasure.
Alex shrugged at the look Gibbs gave him. "Not me. The air system does that sometimes. You're not my type, Gibbs. I'm not into Daddies." He went to the kitchen.
Abby came up. "We're really safe here, Gibbs." Alex nodded with a smirk while he sipped some milk from the quart jug.
Gibbs huffed. "We'll get them tomorrow so you don't have to watch over DiNozzo and his movie habit."
"I have no problem watching over either of them. They've been safely in the basement outside of dinner prep." He shrugged with a grin. "I told them to the use the kitchen since there's not even a burner or a microwave down there."
"Thank you for the help." He left, going to get McGee to find out who that guy was. He didn't like to be sighed about and he didn't like people who lived in a big, nice house without looking like they belonged there. What McGee found upset him because it looked like he was a guy who sucked up to lovers to buy him things like the house. He wanted Abby far away from that sort.
He'd find out differently in a few weeks when there was a ...something in LA that the guy was seen at. Gibbs was horrified when the guy opened something and a being came out. Then he gave it some of his blood so the demon decided he'd be good and just suck in what he could. All those girls got warned so got out of the way.
It ended the portal as well by sucking it in too. The ...being belched at that but went back into the thing holding it, which looked like a cheap urn. "What the hell was that?" he demanded to Abby.
She looked up from watching. "What Alex and his twin Xander used to do before Alex left the life and Xander wasn't recalled for this one."
"This one?" he demanded.
"Yeah. There's been a few every year, Gibbs." She smirked. "Alex used to help his twin and that team, the original team, out by there. Then he left after one really bad event to come to DC to start over. His current boss talked him into taking paralegal training." She went back to typing at some people online while watching the battle.
"He's fine. He's got a sword now so it's all good. Even though the witches are complaining that he gave the demon his own blood because it could mean the thing tries to hunt him down to eat him." She spun to look at him then grinned. "It was stupidly necessary since they didn't have a way to take out the portal."
She turned back to it. "It's amazing how many agents aren't there. Or the military. You'd expect they'd jump into an invasion in their own city. I would've expected at least Homeland but nope. Only two agents." She stared. "That's really weak. I hope the president has a good yell at them for not showing up to help."
He stomped off shaking his head, going to the old director to talk to him. "Did you see that thing in LA?"
"Yes, and the lack of agents responding was noted," he said dryly, staring at him. "Yes, those were demons from another plane trying to overrun the city to eat the people so the ones behind it could take over and then the US. Yes, they're real. Abby knew, yes."
Director Morrow nodded a bit with a smile. Gibbs was so flustered. "Yes, they're all girls. Though now they're all over the age of adulthood, the old version of their group wasn't that way and was a lot worse. Thankfully they blew up a few years ago and the new one was rebuilt around the girls to protect them. No, you cannot get into that."
"Abby wanted the president to yell."
"I'm sure he will be. Not at me as I sent orders to go help."
"That one guy guarded her and DiNozzo."
"Interesting. Abby makes some amazing friends. Though I'm not sure how he got there since he's supposedly in Africa having his own battle today."
"Abby said they're twins," he said dryly.
"Oh, I did not know that." He added that to a file. "Thank you for that, Gibbs." He stared at him. "It was one of them that tipped Abby off about that group out there." Gibbs stomped off to go talk to Abby again. Director Tom Morrow just smiled. Seeing Gibbs that upset was a fun thing as long as it wasn't aimed at you.
"Mr. Harris," the agent walking in said. "We need to talk to you about our response teams for such emergencies."
Alex looked up. "Sorry, wrong twin for that." He smiled slightly. "My twin is presently in Africa already doing that and I retired years ago." He stared at him. "That's not going to change."
"There was only one birth recorded."
He shrugged. "We've been twins for a very long time." He pulled out his phone to call. "You got ten?"
His twin nodded. "Yeah, I'm just sitting up and groaning in agony while wishing pain killers worked." Alex let the agent see the phone. "Oh, hey, FBI guy. Sorry but Buffy didn't call me back for that and I had one yesterday since it was considered an auspicious day to try to invade."
"Are you an LMD or something?" the agent demanded.
"No, I'm Xander, that's Alex, and we're twins. Have been for a while now." He smirked a bit. "Though if you ask Buffy she'll probably complain that I'm a normal guy and Alex is retired."
"We're making a national response team."
Xander shrugged with a wince. "Sorry, I'm already doing my duty and one of us has to survive so my twin's retired. Also, you might look into the last time the US government got into demon things. We had to stop that one with a lot of prejudice." He looked to the side. "You good, slightly less evil twin?"
"Today. I got a bit nagged by someone about bringing Victor out there with Jacob to take down the portal."
"Not like the girls had explosives. They didn't ask me to find any," Xander admitted. "You were there?"
"It was an invasion. I'll fall in slightly to help with those bigger problems. I'd hate to start to run a resistance group instead."
"Point. Did you run into anyone else?"
"No, just the nagging witch. They didn't see me at all. Faith may have but she ignored me hard."
"Great." He grinned and nodded. "Agent guy, if you guys start down the same road they did last time, we'll have to end it again. There's people in place to handle those things. You should go to Cleveland to talk to them and leave my retired twin alone." He hung up.
Alex put his phone back with a nod. "I retired three years ago from all that."
The agent huffed off. Alex waved at his back. His boss stared at him. Alex stared back then shrugged. "Do not go join their hunting groups," his boss warned.
"Only to take it down from the inside. I did help my twin end the Initiative."
"Good point. They do that again...."
"I'll start filing court papers against them while the Council takes them down behind the scenes. That way victims get some answers and hopefully it'll shut it down faster with some publicity."
"Good idea." He went back to his desk to pass that around.
Alex looked at his phone as it rang. "Aww, my last ex said I'm hot with a sword." He sent back a 'thank you, it's an old habit' and left it there. He did not want Gerrard back by any means. Though it was nice the agents were trying something new already since Gerrard had been killed a few months back by a vampire while drunk and pouting about not getting his house.
Xander looked at the general staring at him. "What?"
"You were in LA too?"
"No, that's my twin. He's retired from all this glamorous, injuring stuff." He waved a hand around. "He showed up to help during it because it was an invasion." He adjusted his eye patch. "He's still got his other eye."
"Oh." He nodded. "That makes sense. The US wanted to talk to you as well."
"We saw the last time the US got into the demonic community and tried to destroy it. We're not going to do that this time. We'd have to break it again." He walked around him. "I'm sure my twin's had fun telling them that."
"Probably." He followed to go over the plans for the current problem.
Alex looked at the agent who had tried to lure him somewhere. "Fake eye?" the agent asked.
"No. My twin lost his eye before Sunnydale fell in. Over a year after I left Sunnydale for good."
"That won't work this time," he said smugly.
Alex pulled something out of his back pocket and put it in the guy's hand. "You've hereby been served with the paperwork for the lawsuit the demonic community is filing about your last attempt at getting into their faces." He got up and smiled. "Have a great day." He left him there spluttering.
Someone tried to get into his way so he stared at them. "Didn't I shoot you before?" The guy got out of the way. "Thanks." He went to tell them that he had started the lawsuit and had served the first paper. The demon community was not happy but they said it was a good idea to save them this time.
Alex's boss got the paperwork to look over that night. It had everything, including the last program's problems and how they got ended. "Do you have the information on that, Harris?" he called.
Alex leaned in and then opened a closet to point. "Right there, boss. Everything Willow hacked, everything from Abby hacking them and telling others. Where their own files are, where the bastards are presently stationed, all that. Without outing the Council." He grinned.
"The judge won't allow hacked evidence."
"Well, I can go rescue their computers. They're still sitting out there. Still full of information." The boss stared at him, mouth open. "I was going to go back to loot the remains for artifacts for my vacay anyway."
"Is that how you afforded the house you have?"
"That and we found things Wilkins left after he died." He grinned again. "Plus a few demon stashes and some vampire enclave stuff. If I had liked leather clothes I would've had a full wardrobe for both of us. Then we split it."
His boss sighed. "Will others be displeased?"
"No. They haven't been yet. I left some of the most important things like the Gem of Amara's stash. Well, I took a quarter of it but I left all the big stuff. It was a bit gaudy."
His boss sighed but nodded. "That's good. What if this gets the community hunted?"
"They're already trying that. They can ask the judge to stop it."
"I didn't think about that." Alex laid out the strategy he was using, getting a smile from his boss. Who hated it but it was a great idea. "If they hate on you I'll have to fire you."
"That's fine. I can go play sugar baby for a few weeks." He shrugged. "Or I can go sell a whole lot of artifacts I have. I've let out a few now and then when someone really needed one for a less than apocalyptic reason. I've got a few more healing ones that I'm willing to let go fairly cheaply if I'm asked. Which everyone knows."
"I had no idea about that, Harris." Alex pulled up his site on the usual bulletin board, letting him see it. "Oh." He nodded, handing it back. "That makes a bit of sense but seems mercenary."
"I make it cheap for important things that are necessary or life saving. Or I lend them temporarily. I've only lost one that way and I misjudged why someone wanted something and told others that when they complained about me selling that thing."
"Reasonable," he decided, going back to the lawsuit. "Can we really move those computers with what happened out there?"
"Yeah. Xander checked on it before they left. It's under the former college and that wasn't touched by the sucking."
"Good to know. Would that be considered trespassing?"
"No. The base isn't listed as a base or government property. The town's listed as a secured area and only former residents are allowed out there. Which I am one of."
"True." He nodded. "Can we get them out of there subtly?"
"Yeah. I can do that. And take pictures of the base." He grinned. "Though we have some from before the sucking." He got into the boxes to show him those.
"You've obviously been taking the information gathering seriously."
"I did the drives when I left. Xander and I both took out the hard drives and had them copied. I've got two different copies and the originals in the box. Plus the computer brain parts that Abby said we'd need. Xander pulled them at her command a few months later." He grinned again.
"We have *all* their files. They left them when they abandoned the base and the base was never listed as a base in the Pentagon. It wasn't even listed as a rental. The only thing they listed was the frat house that was their cover and that was listed as a rental they abandoned. They still owed the college six grand for that semester actually."
"Huh." He nodded, going over the rest of the boxes. "If it's admissible that's great."
"It should be. They abandoned it. No one ever came back to get anything. Including the bodies. We had to dump them outside the national guard base in town and they tried to leave them there until we tipped off the cops and they went to complain about the openly sitting bodies."
"Is that in here?" Xander looked then pointed. "Oh, that is abandoned." He nodded. "So that's just gathered and handed over....does the community know?"
"Yeah. I've told the healers I have it and let them have a copy so they could search for families to notify them. The healers on K. The ones who do the census."
"That's reasonable." He nodded once. "Did they?"
"Mostly. Xander tried the healers out there but they said they couldn't do anything with it so give it to them. It was one of the first things I did in town after checking into a hotel."
"Good. I like that action. It shows you do care about the community."
"Of course I do. Most of you are peaceful and I appreciate anything peaceful. I did come into being in Sunnydale and Xander grew up around half the town being non-human. Plus he does still have mermaid taint."
"I forgot about that."
"And the possessions and now visions." His boss winced. "Yeah, how we feel too. Those suckers hurt."
"I've heard they do." He stared at him. "I know you were split."
"Talk to the redhead. She did it before grad." He snapped his fingers. "By the way, another ascension, next year."
"Yeah, we think the same thing." He grinned while nodding. "I'm not falling in for that. Unless it's the fate of the world, no. I'm retired."
"Even better." He put things back. "We'll try it."
"The judge, even if he throws it out, can order them to stop any hunt teams."
"Yes he can. That's actually very tactical. The community isn't fully happy."
"They're very worried about being blown open and I get that but will the congressional hearing about it, which was announced today, do anything else?"
"I had not heard that." He looked it up and told others, who groaned. "You'll get to see your former friends."
"Not likely. They still think Xander's normal and if he is I definitely am." He walked off. "I've nearly got that one letter finished. I'm proofreading."
"Fine. Thank you, Alex." He talked to the higher ups in the community and they agreed a judge siding with them would stop the hunts legally and if they didn't stop they could have them stopped legally by others. If they'd stick up for them. They noted a slayer was coming to DC to handle the community's problems so they could talk to her about it as well. It was one of the older girls who had some experience and was said to be a good slayer. "Harris, do you know our new slayer?"
"I left right after the Initiative raid, boss. That'd be my twin."
"Oh, point." He went back to it, including what information they had thanks to Xander doing things. It was a good thing for the community's actual law team. They showed up to get the boxes of information for themselves before the agents got there to arrest the lawyer for 'pretending to be human'.
Alex got up to get into the agent's face. "That is not legal," he noted. "That is not an actual law."
"The president said it is," he sneered. "I can arrest you as well."
"You're going to be hard pressed to prove anything and I'll just bring down the jail." He smirked a bit. "He's human if he said he is and being not human isn't against the law. *Nothing* in any law book states that. And really, you're just a bigot." The agent took a swing at him so Xander got him back. "Yeah, not putting up with that, boy." He stared down at him.
"You can try to arrest me for that but what you're doing isn't legal so it's not resisting arrest. And let me call someone." He reached for his phone but his boss shook his head. "Oh, no, I've had enough of this shit." He called someone and talked to them in another language then came back to grin at that agent. "Your boss is on his way. We can wait."
"He'll agree with me, demon!" he sneered.
"I'm not a demon. Never was." He smirked a bit. "Combat veteran against the ones who were causing problems, which is less than ten percent of the demonic community, but not a demon myself." The agent tried to get him again so Alex broke his wrist for it. "No. Not legal." Someone in a suit stomped in. "Hey, Bob."
"Harris." He stared at him. "We all forgot you were twins." Alex grinned and nodded. "Who's this?"
"Said he was yours. Tried to arrest my boss for supposedly not being human." He looked at him. "That's not a legal law on the books."
"No it's not but the president is considering it," he admitted. Alex grinned and showed him that lawsuit's paperwork. "Oh, shit."
Alex nodded with a grin. "Yeah. And remember, we're from Sunnydale. We helped end that nastiness out there." He beamed. "I'm pretty sure, since I know what the dangerous ones in the area are like, that my boss isn't one."
"No, he's probably not worse than any other lawyer in this city," he agreed. He looked at his moaning agent. "Get your ass up." He stood up carefully, holding his wrist. "What are you doing?"
"We're to take in all the non-human beings in this city." He showed him his orders. "And who're you?"
"The director over internal affairs at the FBI," he said, showing him his ID. The agent went pale. "No, I don't believe that's legal." He looked that over. "Not signed by a judge. Not legally enforceable."
"I'm worried they have others already," Alex said. "Do I need to remember going to raid the Initiative with the team out there?"
"No," the Internal Affairs director said slowly. "I'll look into that and make sure they get back if there are some." Alex pointed at that paperwork. "That's true. I'll have a judge sign a cease and desist letter tonight, Harris." He dragged his agent off to go do that. That agent got put into custody but not arrested.
The judge that saw that lawsuit and what that director found about the ones already taken, released them immediately to get medical attention. He scheduled that lawsuit for the next week since it was such an emergency. Alex showed up to help the healers with something that would help them heal others, nodding at the head healer as he handed it over.
"Ten bucks." She paid with a smile and pat of a flipper to him. He went to guard the healers office from his car tonight. Just in case they needed to stop them being raided and killed. He missed the vampire coming in the back door but they got that one down themselves. The agents tried but Alex got out to stand in front of the door, staring at them. One pulled down his glasses to show off his slit eyes. Alex let them in and went back to his car.
"Watcher Harris," an agent said as he walked up to him in the mall.
Alex looked at him. "Wrong twin, dude. He's in Africa. I'm Alex and I retired years ago."
Alex stared at him. "I'm Alex, you're using Xander's title. He's the watcher; I retired years ago. And frankly, all this stress is making me wish I hadn't helped that problem be ended."
"Is that why he has an eyepatch?" Alex nodded. "Oh. Okay. You were the one in LA?" Alex nodded again. "What did you use?"
"An artifact that's been around for years now. It ate the energy from the demons that had been summoned over here and the portal itself."
"All right." He nodded, making that note on his phone. "Why did you do that?"
"Because I'm not Xander. He'd have weapons. I don't do that outside some minor things like my swords. Not all battles take physically violent responses. Sometimes you have to work smarter. While it does mean that trapped being is attuned to me, it also means he can find me someday if someone needs him to."
"Uh-huh. That house you live in?"
"Is my house. I bought it."
"Your ex, Dr. Gerrard Likens, said it was his."
"He's lying and he's dead."
"What?" he demanded.
"He died a few months after I kicked him out. A vampire found him drunken and pouty about not getting what's mine for himself. He thought I had been a sugar baby and I wasn't. I've had the money since I left Sunnydale. I bought the house when I landed in DC and decided to stay after a few months in an apartment."
"How did you afford that?"
"I found a few artifacts in Sunnydale that belonged to no one living." He smirked a bit. "Being the kids who ran all over town and finding all the hidden things that have been hidden out there for generations means that I could find them and pack them up as I walked off into the sunset."
"Oh." He nodded, making that note as well. "We're making a new hunting team."
"And my twin will be hard pressed to not take you out when you threaten the peaceful community. Which is ninety percent of them. I'd probably be drawn in to help stop that horror in the making." The agent looked horrified at that.
"My last act in Sunnydale was helping remove the last attempt at the government getting in the face of the peaceful community by torturing them, tearing them apart, not caring if they took kids or adults or even harmful things. It was so horrifying my twin was immune to walking into the aftermath of a massacre because he'd seen worse bringing them down."
The agent took a step back. "Should that start again, we'd be honor bound, and proud of ourselves, to take them down and out for good. We won't stand for another one starting. That is considered an honor debt to end." He tipped his chin up. "We're not going to let them be *subjects* or *hostiles* again."
"We wouldn't do that. We have information from somewhere."
"Yes, probably them."
"Oh." He made that note on his phone. "We know nothing about that."
"And yet, your ID says Homeland and a whole bunch of you are there because that's where the tribunal put them."
"Oh." He made that note and whoever was on the other end screamed about that. That one called to yell at him. He let Alex have the phone to answer him.
"What, don't believe it happened? Look up the Initiative project," he said impatiently. "We'll all be *damned* if it starts again. And if you're Homeland too, you already have the ones who should've went to jail instead among you." That person looked it up and started to yell at someone on that end.
"Exactly. *Good* people won't stand for agents going after peaceful beings because they look different." He handed the phone back. "Beyond that, have a better day." He walked off to get a drink and pretzel then go to the bookstore.
The agent listened. "No, they're twins. His twin is apparently the watcher. I have no idea how that worked, sir. He did not say. Yes, sir. No, bookstore." He hung up, going back to the office to dig into that project to make sure they weren't the same thing.
They were, and there were some similar names. They'd regret that when the director heard and had a fit on them for trying to restart their bad ideas. This time, they went to jail if they had made a single move towards that old idea.
The judge over that lawsuit came to snoop about things. That got him handed the information on those agents. It gave him copies to compare those files against. They weren't complete but the files on those hard drives were much more graphic.
Xander was dragged in front of the congressional hearing. So was Alex. They shared a look then shrugged. "See, I told you we were twins," Xander told the agents who had him. "I was busy that day saving parts of Africa from about the same thing, only with fewer slayers around to help." He got his arm free again. "That was pretty imaginative," he told his twin.
Alex smiled and nodded. "Yes it was and it worked. I didn't have the weapons I'd need to help otherwise."
"Why were you there?" one of the agents on him asked Alex.
Alex stared at him oddly. "It was possibly the end of humanity. Why weren't you there? Because only two agents showed up. I'm pretty sure LA has more than two agents in the city." The agents around them glared. "Sorry but truth, people. None of you stepped in to help. None of you called in backup who could've helped more.
"None of you called a military base. You decided to let some young women save your asses." He got punched for that. He rubbed his eye. "Well, if the truth hurts, you're doing something wrong." Another one tried to hit him but he blocked it and glared until that one backed away shuddering.
"If an eighteen-year-old girl can do it, I'm pretty sure a full blown, fully adult agent, can handle it the same way. Other than that, I'm retired, people." His twin snickered but nodded. "You should be damn lucky I did step in and bring that artifact that ended that portal so it didn't go for *hours* more. We could still be fighting it and without the slayers because they were getting injured. What would you be doing then?" The agent tried to hit him again so Xander stepped in to stop him. "I can hit him back."
"I know that. It's my turn." He stared at the agents. "Unlike me, who hasn't retired yet, he didn't have weapons to help with all that. I could've found a friend who had something I could've bought cheaply somehow. He doesn't have those contacts. He used what he had and at least *we* were handling the problems instead of hiding in a closet." He looked at his twin's face. "We almost match."
"If I lose my eye, someone's going to die for it," Alex said dryly. "It'll mean I don't get the same level of dates." Someone in the room opened the door and stared. "Yes, we're twins," he said sarcastically. "Have been twins." They got shown in and sat down, looking unimpressed. Buffy stared down at them so they shrugged.
"Did someone hit you?" Buffy asked.
"A weak ass agent who was too scared to show up," Alex said dryly, looking at her. "They didn't like being asked why none of them showed up."
"Because they wanted women to do it for them so they could then attack them and say we're all bad for being women," Buffy said. "As far as I can tell," she said when Giles cleared his throat. "Because that's what happened."
"That's about what I see in Africa," Xander agreed with a nod, not looking at her. "They learned to stop that before I moved all my girls and made them do it themselves." He smirked a bit. "It stopped a lot of problems and a lot of coming for the baby slayers. Guess what happened when I had to protect one of the babies."
Giles cleared his throat again. "Yes I've those reports. Is that one all right, Xander?"
"Yup. Just fine now." He grinned at him. "They really hate doing it on their own. I'll give advice to them but I'm not their army either. I'll show up for major problems but not the things they decided was weird."
"That's reasonable," Giles decided. He looked at the people staring at them. "We usually don't see Xander. He's in Africa training the young slayers down there who're staying at home."
"And the other twin?" one of the congressional members asked.
"Oh, I retired," Alex said with a slight grin. "Before I blew up the town." Buffy shivered. "With the vampires in it."
The congressional members shared a look. "Then why are you here?"
"Because agents can't tell the difference between myself and my twin," he said with a handwave at Xander. "Though I was at that invasion. Because we could've lost humanity. I didn't want to unretire but I'm not the sort to let humanity fall due to some beings summoning a lot of nibbling little bastards who wanted to eat us all so the summoners could take over."
"I can see that point," the head of the panel decided. "Are you going to keep being unretired?"
"No. Especially not after what we've seen going on in the last few weeks. Frankly, I'm wondering why agents weren't there. I'm pretty sure there's more than two agents in all of LA and the surrounding areas. The battle took three hours. They could've driven from San Diego's bases as well." The congressional people all winced.
"Also, as a note. The peaceful community is just that. Peaceful. Ninety percent of them are peaceful, decent beings who just look funny. I don't know why people hate them for looking funny, I think it's about the same as when we used to consider Asian people and Black people funny looking so therefore not human. Just because you look weird doesn't mean you're a bad being."
"We were both there, with the Sunnydale team, when the government wanted to take out the peaceful community by torture," Xander added. "We hated to bring down that whole group. I didn't want to have to shoot some. I *did*. We needed to save their victims. We won't let it restart."
Alex nodded. "There's a lawsuit to stop all that going on again and to find out the facts of that one," he told his twin.
"Great job." He punched him on the arm with a smile.
"They have no legal standing," one sneered.
"By law, neither do you as women were considered property," Alex said. "It's still on the books that women don't have legal rights. In every single state. It's not that hard to bring that back. I'd hate it and fight against that, but it's a possibility." She shuddered, leaning away from them.
"By law, there's only three people on that panel that actually have votes. Even with the amendments, they can be removed. Do we want that? No. Do we think the same racist people would've went after the peaceful community the same way? Yeah, probably. Not like they haven't been here longer than humanity."
"You can't prove that!" she shouted, standing up. She looked like she was about to throw the bible in her hand at them.
"Actually, we can. We do have written evidence," Giles said pleasantly. "In the opening notes it's stated that it's the written account of the verbal accounts of how slayers got started." He handed over the photocopied pages. "The slayers spirit was made to combat the demons that were preying on humans.
"That is a copy of the translated version. Which was first written in Linear B and the earlier version of hieroglyphics. We have original papyri with the account that was finally written down instead of given from watcher to watcher. We're all taught to memorize it and if we can't recite it in our sleep a few years later, we were removed from the Council."
The woman was spluttering but oh well.
Buffy nodded. "I've meditated to talk to the spirit of the first slayer, Sineya, many times. She's connected to each slayer. When we're called, a part of our spirit joins hers so later slayers can learn from all of us." She smiled a bit. "Sineya was most amused that we have pants. Thought it was handy for hunting. She had a forehead ridge and Native-style face paint designs."
The head of the panel stared at her. "You can do that?"
"Yes. She's in each slayer. What we know she knows and can pass on if we ask. If one of my slayers is in trouble, she can meditate with the spirit and get some ideas. If we're all meditating around the same time sometimes we can connect slightly." She grinned. "It's actually very comforting that we have that support of all the slayers that came before us. Though now and then we do get dreams from them about corsets."
Xander nodded. "The babies I'm training are all amused by that. They had to ask what a corset was after one of those dreams. Their mothers just groaned. I told them about how women used to wear those."
"Can you talk to her too?" the religious one sneered.
"Actually, yes. Because of an incident where Buffy had to call up Sineya's strengths to help her with a battle we were all in, there was a slight magical connection created. I can meditate and find her to talk to her to help some of the girls." He smiled. "She thinks it's neat there's finally people helping with the duty."
"I wasn't part of that spell. There were only four parts to fill and I was extra. Went in to help anyway."
"I didn't even think about that," Buffy admitted, looking at him. "Or I wouldn't have let you."
"I would've kicked you on the butt and went anyway," he told her firmly. She huffed but quit staring at him. "I retired right after that raid."
"Raid?" the head of the panel said.
"Going to save the victims," Alex said. "They abandoned everything there so we had to go back to check for more victims and took the bodies of the soldiers to the local reserve base to drop off."
The head of the panel looked at the others then at them. "Can you prove any of that?" Alex sighed and handed over a USB keydrive. "What's this?"
"Evidence from their own film. That particular being is the same as a six-year-old and he eats dead leaves. His whole family was killed. He was the last one they killed so he could watch them all die first." They watched it and the religious one flinched first but only looked horrified.
"Please turn that off," another one said quietly. They did. "The government did that?"
Xander nodded. "Yes. With Rangers going to gather specimens, or as they called them Hostiles, to hand to the science teams." That one heaved again. "That's why we went in to save them."
"That and the head person was making a hybrid human/demon parts monster," Buffy said. "It was my job to stop that. Which is why we did that connecting spell. They handled the soldiers and got the pens free."
"Then I went back a few days later to check for more victims because some were still missing," Xander said. "I found all the bodies just laying there. Most had been injured then died by their own hands. I had the not-so-nice duty to drag them to the reserve base and put them against the gate because they refused to take them back. Then the PD made them put them in a morgue."
"So we're looking at two distinct groups of failures," the head of the panel said then nodded once. "Rangers, you're sure?"
"It was the patches they were wearing," Buffy said. "The one I dated was. He turned on them at the end." She looked at Alex. "Is he in town?"
"Jail. He was part of the new hunting group that had to be stopped."
She grimaced but nodded with a sigh. "That's good then. He went back." She looked at Giles then at the panel. "What did you want us to do? Not fight to save humanity? I've been doing it since I was fifteen. Xander's been helping since he was sixteen. Willow too." She waved a hand at them. "We save people a whole lot. It's the duty."
"Sometimes it's smaller, sometimes it's larger," Xander agreed.
"So you're saying there's going to be more?" the head of the panel demanded.
"Yeah." Alex nodded with a wince. "Next year, on some eclipse, you'll have someone locally doing an ascension rite. Which means they'll go from a human that made deals to a huge demon worm. I've heard the sixty foot version instead of the bigger ones." Buffy shuddered. "When you see it, blow the head off." The others nodded at that.
"Have someone make sure how many they ate," Buffy said. "The one we saw could probably eat about ten people an hour at least." The head of the panel looked horrified. She shrugged. "They're rare and usually caught because there's a lot of sacrificing to get there."
"That version had the least amount of human sacrifices," Giles said. "Only two sacrificial rites if I remember right. The biggest version took three different sacrificial rites, one of them of at least twelve newborns. The former mayor of Sunnydale stole the hospital's nursery." The panel shuddered at that plain tone of voice. "We did not manage to stop him. Which eclipse next year?" he asked, looking down at the twins. Alex shrugged. "Hmm. How many eclipses next year?"
"I think two," Willow said quietly. "I'll look it up later to warn the local slayer."
"If he hears he can take it outside town to a field," Xander said. "It'd be strategic. Do we know which one?" he asked his twin, who shook his head. "Poker?"
"No. Actually the news board out of London."
"May I use my phone?" Xander asked, getting a nod. He looked that up and sighed. "Oh, no. It's a judge." He let the panel see that. "Immortal for the last hundred days. So capture and hold him then blow off the head." He took his phone back and turned it off.
"Changing him back?" the religious one demanded. They all shook their heads. "But someone...."
"You have to do those rites yourself," Giles told her. "You have to want that power, you have to do the rites yourself, you have to do the ones to yourself by yourself. Nothing can change them back since they'd protest and fight against it even if it were possible. It'd ruin their power grab. Some people do very extreme things for power. Like running for office."
"That one just sacrificed a lot for it in other ways," Buffy added. "I have no idea why people want that sort of power but I never got beyond head cheerleader before I got called to being a slayer. You guys sacrificed some of your privacy and stuff for your power."
The religious one sneered. "It's not like that."
"It is like that," another said. "We had privacy before we ran for office. Now we don't have as much and we have people who judge us on everything." He looked at them. "Though we've never had massed protests outside our homes."
Buffy nodded. "We tried to drive them off to protect the minis."
"Surely you can get rid of that *calling*," the religious one sneered.
"No, we can't. It's with us until we die. In fact, I have died. Twice now." The woman shuddered at that. "Still have the calling," Buffy said dryly. "Once I drowned and Xander did CPR. The other one, Willow intervened." She shrugged. "Still a slayer. Still have the active calling. Though that's how we found out that there can be multiple slayers at once. My drowning led to another being called."
"Before it was one was called, fought, died to call another," Giles agreed. "Now they're presently all activated and future ones will probably be activated at a reasonable teenage age so they can train then and make decisions if they want to patrol or do the duty, or to fade back to a perfectly normal life. We support both choices. Including paying for college for our girls."
"Why is she the senior one?" another member asked.
"I'm the oldest," Buffy said. "The last called individually. We consider Faith the Mother Slayer because she was the last before the mass sending so it came from her to the others through the slayer spirit. Me, Kendra, who died and called Faith, then the whole group to fight the First Evil."
"Is that something that can come back?" the head of the panel asked.
"She's loosened when someone's not fully brought back from the dead. We hope not but I realize what grief is. Just before I died the second time I lost my mother." Xander patted her on the arm. She grinned at him. Then at them. "She was the strength I leaned on for years after being called, even when she didn't know."
"How did she not know?" the religious one demanded. "Good mothers would."
"Because I didn't tell her. My first watcher didn't tell her. Giles didn't tell her and he was my second." She waved a hand at him. "She thought I was sneaking out to go club and meet a guy. Instead I was sneaking off to go patrol cemeteries for vampires with Willow and the Xanders." She waved a hand at them. "When she found out, because I blurted during a moment of great stress, she freaked out a bit then understood."
"In the old days of the *old* Council, the girls were often removed from their families so they were raised with the training," Giles said. "As soon as I took control to rebuild things, I ordered that stopped and their families found so they could find them if they wanted. Some we can't find one so they're our family. It really is like a large sorority of young women."
"No older women were called?"
"There's a few. They've mostly retired and are doing support things," Giles said. "They're the wiser, older female voices of reason and advice. One is our Counselor for the slayers that want to talk to her. One of our doctors is the sister of one who is presently in college. The ones who are agents are still doing their duties, just now they have a second job to attend to if it happens around them."
"Looking it up, the two agents that appeared in LA's battle, one had an aunt who had been so it probably got talked about in the family," Xander said. "The other I couldn't find a connection but plenty of people don't want to let humanity fall." He looked at the panel again. "We do what we have to do so you guys don't have to mourn a teenager or young adult being turned. Were you going to help us do that?"
"Why do you do it?" the head of the panel asked.
"The vampires took the one guy I'd known since before I could talk," Xander said firmly. "The one I could always count on. The one who was always with me." The head of the panel nodded at that. "We got the ones that got him then I realized that it meant one little girl had to do the duty by herself if I wasn't there helping. Seems like the wrong thing to let go on to me."
"No, it's not right that all of humanity hangs on the back of one young woman. Or even a group of young women." He looked at Buffy then at Giles. "How many are there now?"
"Sixty fully patrol cleared and farmed out to various international locations. Sixteen in the US to cover the whole country and hellmouth. Under the age of patrol clearable there's over two hundred world wide. I will not be specific in case they're attacked again."
Xander nodded. "I sure hated to blow up the people that came for one of my minis I'm training since she's four. I did, and the locals hated it, but she's four and can't protect herself yet. That makes it my duty as her training watcher." Alex rubbed his arm, calming him down. "Thanks," he said quietly.
"Not a problem." He looked at the panel. "I don't see what the point of this is. You guys saw it the same as the rest of the world that was paying attention did. Many of them have convinced themselves it was something else. You aren't finding out what made it happen, because that's been on the news a lot. You're not here finding out how you can help it not happen again, because no one's asked that."
"You don't think we should have a hearing on how wrong things are handling big problems in this country?" the woman sneered.
"No. Because the Council's been around for thousands of years. This government and all the other ones grew up with them whispering in ears to not worry about those boogey monsters under your bed." She snorted at that. "Hasn't it?" he asked Giles.
"Yes. We first started to call ourselves the Council of Watchers back in Ancient Mesopotamia. It rather stuck as the group's name," he said blandly, looking at him. "Though he is correct. We're not going to give you anything that will help you harm the young slayers. Or any slayer actually. We are very protective over the young ones, making sure they get a normal life. Which should not include death threats."
"The only thing this panel could reasonably find out is how to help make sure it doesn't happen again and why there were only two agents in all of the ones in LA and the surrounding area, no military people, nothing like that, in over three hours. Or that night," Alex added.
"We're not amused that you're wasting our time, our very precious free time when we're not on duty or working, to ask us about this instead of asking them why they failed so hard. I mean, you pulled my twin from Africa and he wasn't even there. His girls are probably in danger without him being nearby."
"They're guarding each other," he admitted. "With some people I trust. If I'm wrong and they're hurt, someone's going to die. A lot."
"A lot?" the woman sneered.
"Yes. There's a whole lot of difference between a nice, clean head shot and what I'd do when I took a few hours to kill them for harming little girls who had no choice in being born this way. The calling is gifted before birth." She shuddered again. "They have no choice in that and it's not like we can remove it. Unless you think going around to kill them for daring to be born is good?"
"God would hate you all," she sneered.
"Then let them come down and tell us that," Xander quipped back. "I've spoken to three different god beings and they didn't. They appreciated that the slayers kept down chaos and problems among the community so they could all live in peace and quiet harmony." She went on a rant about that. Xander leaned back to watch her have her fit. "Oh well, dear. A lot of the community came from other realms. Their higher ups came with them."
"We should burn them down!" she shouted.
"Why? Two were teaching english at my college back in Sunnydale," Buffy said dryly. "The only wrong thing they did was really like boring books to teach us. I still have no idea what I was supposed to learn from Jane Austen."
"Manners," Giles told her firmly. "The greatest majority of the peaceful community are other dimensional natives. The rest were here already and bred down from the original demonic courts." The woman went on another fit about that. "Dear, do calm yourself. We can prove it with some archeological digs. Three ancient demon cities have been found in the last ten years. We can pull up the papers on them if you wish." She went on another swearing rant.
Buffy stood up. "Sorry, but I need to take a trip to the little girls' room."
"Not ladies?" the woman sneered.
Buffy stared at her coldly. "No, because many of us aren't ladies. I don't have that sort of manners sometimes, even though my mother was great and tried. Bitches may fit as accurate label but shouldn't probably be used in this sort of situation and while some of us are women, some of us aren't worthy of that title."
She gave her a pointed look. "I'd rather go take a break than to air the thoughts your little ranting about your problems are giving me. So please excuse me for a minute while *I* act like a lady." She walked off. It was the better, wiser, more adult choice.
"She's right and she's also not noting that you misquoted over ten passages you just tried to shout about," Willow said. "Should I pull them up so you can read them? I can do it in Latin, in English, or in the new translation that fixed some of King James' problems if you want, ma'am." The woman stomped off. Willow smiled and waved at her back. "Have a great week and remember the Three Fold Rule!" She put her hand down at Giles' glare. "I didn't breech the rule."
"No you did not but be more polite, Willow."
"Yes, Giles. Sorry, I let my temper get the better of me instead of going for a potty break." They heard yelling and then Buffy came back in wiping at her hands with a paper towel.
Giles stared at her. "Did you have to defend yourself?"
"No. The yelling was someone worried that they'd make the agents deal with our duty. I pointed out calmly that no one was expecting it because no one was asking why they hadn't." She sat down. "Sorry, I needed a short break." She put the paper towel into her purse.
"You don't expect us to ask the agents why they didn't help?"
"No," she said bluntly. "You haven't. You've had three weeks and you didn't. The president hasn't. No one has. Which is fine. We're used to working in the shadows. But I will not allow anyone to threaten my minis. Or my older slayers. I am the head slayer. It is my duty to protect them too. If I have to against people, well, Faith said jail was hard but I can survive I guess." She shrugged. "I won't let their lives be hurt by anyone." The panel shifted at that.
"Amen. And I'm the rabid bitch of protectors over the girls," Xander added.
"Language," Giles snapped.
"It's a quote and one of my official titles in the Underground," Xander quipped with a grin for him. He looked at the panel again. "For people who've sworn to help the people of this country, you're sure looking at the wrong people for helping the people of this country be alive today." He stood up. "Anything else? I haven't seen my twin in over a year and I'm going to take him to lunch." Alex got up with him and walked off. Buffy and Willow followed.
Giles cleared his throat. "I believe they're correct though I do apologize for some of the language used here today. We await the panel telling us how others are going to help us do our duty or if it's still just ours to handle." He got up and left after the younger ones so he could nag them. The twins had been stopped by a reporter so Alex was giving a good comment while Xander stood there looking awkward. It showed he was going to law school to be a paralegal. Giles would chew on them all over lunch in the park.
In the hearing room, an agent stood up. "Sir, most of us who are senior agents agree with that. That's our job to protect people, not a bunch of young women. When are we to appear here to answer why no agents showed up?"
"You're stationed in DC, DiNozzo."
"I know that and when that ascension next year happens I expect agents to be there and maybe one slayer."
"Do you know what that is?" another one asked.
"Yes, the FBI has film from the younger peoples' graduation where their mayor did that. They watched it once, ignored it afterwards, and forgot that the town existed again." He came up to show them the video. "That is from the dropped video camera."
He let them play it on the room's tv, all of them looking horrified. "We have one of *those* here?"
"Apparently, sir. Should I deliver a summons to my director for you? Or both since they were mid-transition?"
"No, we have one ready for all the agency directors," another one said, turning that off. "That's...fantastic but nasty."
"He did the biggest version I'm told."
The whole panel nodded. "We'll be talking to agency directors tomorrow, DiNozzo. You can spread that for us?"
"Of course, sir." He left to go do that. His director was still having a fit. "You testify tomorrow," he called into the office to avoid having her throw something at him.
"We are not going to do that!" she yelled, glaring at him.
"None of the Marines or the Navy people will *ever* let an eighteen-year-old girl protect them instead of doing it on their own. That's not who soldiers are," he shot back. "Maybe some fainting agents in the FBI or Homeland but we are a military agency." He walked off. "You testify tomorrow. They'll send the summons later."
She slammed the door and went back to her fit.
Tony went down to his desk, staring at Gibbs.
"If I had been closer I'd have jumped in too," McGee said. "I couldn't have done much but I could've helped with evacs of injured or civilians." He looked at Tony. "Didn't Abby hide you and her with one of those twins?"
"Yeah, the one with both eyes." He nodded, sitting down again. "He was pretty nice. Bit goofy. Happy enough to host us. Let us bum the kitchen whenever we wanted. The couches were comfy."
Gibbs stared at him. "I still don't believe any of that."
"Not my fault," DiNozzo said dryly. "That's all on you, Gibbs." He stared at him. "Though I doubt you'd let the girls do it on their own."
"No, that's not the Marine way." He went back to work, listening the bits of gossip going around in the section behind his desk. He had a lot to think about. This was not something he was expecting to happen or something he was used to but those kids were right. That was the military's job, not some girls' job to do.
Alex and Xander were out at a club that night when they ran into DiNozzo. Who was having an argument with someone. Someone who tried to hit him with a gun. Alex strolled over, Xander right behind him. Xander handled the bad guy, Alex removed DiNozzo. The bouncer came over to break it up. Xander was staring at the guy, making him back away.
"I don't think this is a good idea," Xander said bluntly. "Head injuries suck. I've had a few concussions." The man tried to hit him so Xander punched him back and made him scream in pain since he had broke his ribs with his. "Yeah, I have some muscles," he said dryly. "No assaulting nice guys my twin knows." He looked at the bouncer then at his twin. "He good?"
"Light concussion." Alex looked over then at him. "Want helped to an ER?"
"I'm good," he said quietly. "Thanks, Alex."
"Welcome. Didn't think you wanted to be beaten that way." He patted him on the cheek, letting the bouncer handle him. "Guys, be more gentle. Concussions suck." They got him to an ambulance and the other guy expelled. The twins went back onto the floor. They could handle it if someone yelled because Tony had been at work instead of at play.
"You keep running into my agent," Gibbs said the next day when he ran into Alex on his way to work.
"I guess he's just lucky." He smiled at him. "Because I am amazing. How's his head?"
"Fine. Why were you at that club?"
"Xander spotted a whole bunch of pretty girls being let in and picked it instead of one of my usual. Which I've seen Tony at before." He took his coffee, paid a tip, and left. "Gotta go to work. Tell him we said feel better and Xander's already on his way back to Africa."
Gibbs growled a bit but he couldn't fault that reason if it was the truth. He wasn't sure it was. He followed him back to the law office, finding him getting in a officer's face.
"Why are you raiding my job?" he demanded. "Are you one of those who're coming after my boss again?"
"No. Your office's guard is under arrest for threatening his ex drunkenly last night by text," the officer said.
"Oh. Okay. Sorry but we've had some problems."
"We don't have that noted."
Alex stared at him. "Yeah, I know." He nodded. They huffed but did take that guard with them. He went inside. "You good, boss?" No answer. He looked. No boss. He checked his schedule, no court date. No meeting. Not at home as his family was off at a safe location. He texted him and no answer. He went out there to stop an officer. "My boss may be missing." He looked at the guard. "Did you see him earlier?"
"Not since I left last night. He put something on your desk." Alex went to look then came out to show the officer, who called that in. "Bad?"
"Those hunters. Again." He stared at the officer, who shook his head with a sigh. "He's a good lawyer for many people."
"I'm sure he is." He looked him up. "Listed as detained by immigration?"
"He was born in Virginia. I don't know why."
The officer showed him that entry. "You can call them to see."
"I can do that and my twin. To make sure he actually made it onto the plane home." He walked off calling his twin first. Xander was in the airport, had no problems with Customs. Was about to board soon. He'd pay attention though. Alex hung up and locked up the office, taking that information to one of the community bars. He wasn't really allowed there, but.... The bouncer tried to stop him. "My boss got detained by immigration for being born in Virginia." He showed him the paperwork.
"Elliot's not in today, Harris."
"Anyone else and is he missing too? Since those two are drinking buddies?"
"That I don't know." He took them to show to someone inside and tell them that. He came back with the papers. "Elliot's ex said he was camping."
"The man hates dirt. Even puddles in the city. Why is he camping?"
"No clue." He sighed.
"Okay, well if I'm right, let me know so I can help somehow?"
"Your twin left earlier."
"He just got on a plane about ten minutes ago. I called him on the way over."
"No, his plane took off an hour ago." He looked it up. Alex did the same thing. "Or not. How...."
"Yeah, not sure. And hell, Xander got all the calm." The bouncer stared at him. He grinned. "Redheaded tornado wanted more people for grad and thought Xander *had* to be out of harm's way," he said quietly but sarcastically. "So we woke up this way." The bouncer sighed but nodded. He checked the bulletin board for the other two names, letting him see it. The bouncer winced but nodded. "So.... Do we have a response to this? Or do I get to go full on Xander?"
"You can't do that. He's got experience you don't."
"I may have left after the base raid, but that doesn't mean anything. You guys know I cleaned up a few messes that tried to get into my face." He walked off thinking. If they had a response from the community he'd help it. If not...well, he had a response for the community. People might hate that in DC though. He wasn't subtle.
Xander wasn't either but Alex tended to make a bigger mess and had a worse temper. Maybe he could use something owed as a poker debt? No that may be a bad thing. That was limited and may not get everyone out of there. Though he did stop in at another community bar to whisper in one guy's ear, getting a moan and a nod. "Can you?"
"I can't save your twin and boss," he said, looking at him. "Unless you want me to leave the kids?"
"Hell no. Get the kids out of there and to a healer or someone if you can. I'll go be a Xander I guess."
"Your twin's boss will get mad."
"I'm not employed by Giles. My boss is presently there. With my twin." He grimaced. "Gotta go fix that. He needs his owed debts." He walked off, going to the bank then to another type of bar, going to find someone. He smiled as he leaned down in front of him. "My twin and my boss both got captured with a lot of other people and kids. I have an owed debt getting the kids. Can you get my boss and twin? Or should I do it myself and make a mess?"
"They'd hate either option and we're under orders not to." Xander put the envelope with money. "Not even for that."
"Sure. I'll go solve that myself like a real Xander." He winked, picking up the money, using it to go buy something at the bar. The bartender winced when he saw him but oh well. He got the three things he wanted and went to go break into that science lab with razor wire and armed guards. He got one graze but that guy went down to a non-fatal shot.
He did try for non-fatal. He was also wearing an eyepatch. If they were confused that was fine. If not, that was fine. The patch was special. He got into the cells, getting his boss first. "Go. I've got someone rescuing the kids by wish."
"You...Harris?" he demanded.
"Yeah. Ya think?" He pointed. He went to free his twin. Other guards were showing up looking amused. Until the demon snot bomb went off and they all moaned as they fell down. He got Xander out, handing over the eye patch since he was missing his. "It's your special one."
"Great. They decided we're all immigrants for some reason."
"This isn't listed as an immigration facility. Go for it." He handed him the bag. "You can bum. I just bought them." He grinned. Xander took it with a smirk and went to handle a bitch. Alex went to force his boss out. "This is not a legal immigration facility, boss."
"If I leave they'll charge me with that."
"They can't do that. You were born in Virginia." The guy sighed at that. "Let's go? This isn't listed as an immigration facility. This is listed as a science lab."
"Shit." They got taken from there to a legitimate immigration facility by Alex's plot. Xander disappeared thanks to a witch with the rest of the kids in the facility, after telling the people guarding them where they were going. That got a crying mom and a happier few other people. Apparently his owed wish had only gotten the injured ones. Alex's boss walked up to the gate.
"Myself and the others were taken by supposed immigration agents, who weren't wearing the new ICE coats, and put in a facility that was listed as a science lab instead of an immigration facility. We need to make sure of our status before we're fully rescued please." The agent on the gate called the higher ups to come straighten that out. The boss told them where it was, and what had happened. They investigated, found it wasn't them, and they were all released.
He really had to talk to his secretarial guy. Though Alex was a nice enough guy. Xander was a pacing menace when he was bored or upset. Alex was much calmer. That's why that facility wasn't in ruins. He got a text and looked then brought it back to the gate agent. "There had been kids. These ones got evacuated to a healer's office uptown." He let him see the picture, making him heave. "Can you let them know that and the rest of the kids were taken to Cleveland's healers?"
"I can do that, sir. Thank you for letting us know." The lawyer nodded as he walked off looking calmer. He called that in and his boss went to investigate that too. Those kids were in bad shape. Those agents, if they were agents, were going to be in a world of hurt when they found them.
Alex came out of the healer's office, looking at the agents pulling in. "I'm sorry, people, but this is a healer's office. You are not going to be allowed to go harm injured people seeing a doctor. We're not supposed to resist but since I helped some injured kids get to another one earlier, I'm not going to let healers get hurt. They're incredibly precious."
One agent walked over. "Kid...."
Alex stared at him. "Not really."
"And I'm right." He smiled. "And unless you have a warrant or a reason to need a healer, why are you here illegally?"
The agent blinked a few times. "You a lawyer?"
"Paralegal. Maybe later I'll go for the full ride."
"We can arrest you."
Alex grinned. "That's not legal either. If I'm stopping you from going in there illegally, that's not a problem for me legally. That's a problem for you for being here illegally. Which my twin will sing about."
"I heard he's in Africa."
"Now. I had to go make sure he got there earlier." He stared at the agent.
"Shit, you are him."
"I are him," he quipped back with a smile and a nod. "Yeah. I'm the hidden Harris spawn. Why?"
"We wanted to get notes on what was done to those kids." Alex looked at the three cars then at him. "We were hoping we wouldn't have to meet an army protecting them."
"I tried to hire some earlier but they didn't want to protect my twin for me. And I took them to Persimmons not here."
"Oh, okay. How bad?"
"I used an owed poker debt to have someone else move them from there. He said he could only move five, told me there were kids, and moved them when I agreed. Then we found more there so my twin kindly had a witch move them for him."
The agent shook his head. "That's probably illegal."
"To raid a lab facility for their experiments? Maybe. What's more illegal though?"
The agent considered that. "It's immigration."
"No, it's not." He showed him what he had pulled up earlier and copied a few times. "That's the site where they were. They went to an immigration facility to make sure they wouldn't get blamed for being rescued."
He took it to look at and sighed loudly. "No, that's not immigration at all. They destroyed the building in the rescue?"
"No. I made a huge hole in a wall when I couldn't get the doors open on the way out. It was still standing when we left."
The agent handed it back, going to talk to his boss then come back. "The other healers?"
"They got sent to Persimmons over on K."
"I can ask them for details so we can arrest the fake agents."
"Are they fake agents or agents faking being in another group?" Alex asked.
"I don't know yet. Either way it's still impersonating an immigration agent." He tipped his head. "You're rabid."
"Healers are precious and often hunted for their skills. So are seers."
"Oh." He nodded. "I didn't think about that. Okay, we'll go politely ask that healer."
"She does have a gang protecting her clinic."
"I can handle that." He got in to drive off, letting the others follow him.
Alex looked back at the staring receptionist, who smiled at him. "You're safer."
"We do try, Harris. I've alerted them that agents are showing up to talk about those kids. It was wise to let them evacuate the kids."
"I had no idea they had kids until I asked them to get my twin and my boss. I'm just glad he realized it." He stretched. "Need me?"
"No, our guards are coming back. Go rest."
"I should probably go to work and check the voicemail." He grimaced. "Though my boss is probably pissed at me." She nodded. "It figures. But if I have to find a new job, I'll figure it out. Maybe I will go to law school after all." He strolled off to grab his car so he could go to work. He walked in and nodded at the boss before sitting down and getting into things to handle the daily tasks. Including sorting the mail. He went to hand over his personal mail and then went back to typing.
"That was dangerous, Harris."
"It was necessary."
"Yeah, I'm almost missing having my life threatened," he said dryly. "But I can't hack physical battles where I'm being put down by both sides."
His boss nodded at that. "Fine. Are you injured?"
"Not even more than a graze, I've already cleaned it up."
"Are you a paramedic?"
"Learned from Willow's mom's books. Just like she did."
He leaned over to look in there. "I've been doing my own stitches since I was six, Boss. I'm a bit better than I should be." He sat back up then decided to run a bug scanner around the office. He found a few he handed over then went to check the guard's usual seat to make sure he hadn't left anything. He went back to his own desk. "By the way, Billy got arrested for drunk texting his ex last night."
"That's when we found out you were missing."
"Even worse." He sighed. "Did you tell others?"
"Yeah. I went to the bar by the Cressida. Elliot's wife told the bouncer that he's camping. The bouncer and I thought that was weird so I looked it up on the bulletin boards."
His boss did that and groaned. "He hates dirt. Why would he be camping?"
"Wasn't he there?"
"Let us handle it, Harris."
"Okay. You'll ask if you need my help. I tried to hire someone more official but they had all been warned off."
"Even better and more charming. Do you think they'll turn that in?"
"It's not illegal to hire someone to rescue my twin."
"If they're under governmental holding....."
"That site was listed as a lab. Not immigration."
"I saw that."
"Those agents weren't ICE."
"Oh. Didn't think about that."
"I did. Because people hate my twin for doing the work he does." He sighed loudly. "I really wanted to talk to him about retiring but he likes his minis."
"Someday he'll get too battle tired too."
Alex leaned over to look at him. "It's very likely he'll die in the field." His boss nodded that was true. "Which I'll hate and have to go avenge." He sat up again. "Also I dropped the film in the box to be developed on the way out."
"My son will thank you for that. He was supposed to."
"Sure." He got back to menial tasks that he actually enjoyed doing. It wasn't hard and gave him a way to think about things. That's why he always did a proofread for things like twinkies showing up in things he typed.
Alex looked at the judge who had gotten the case for the peaceful community. "Yes, Your Honor, I am a fully graduated paralegal. The community has another legal team but they're busy with other things." He stared at him. "I'm also related to this issue as my twin is Watcher Xander Harris, the trainer for the slayers in Africa. I used to hunt with the team in Sunnydale until I retired a few years back."
"So you do know a good bit about the community." Alex nodded. "Are they in agreement?"
Alex looked at them. "We are, Your Honor. It gives us a way to stop the confiscation of our people. Multiple times already."
"I can see that being necessary." He let the sides call for their opening statements. The other side had a few lawyers. Alex listened then shook his head at one point, making himself a note. When it was his turn he stood up. "Who are they to say that looking different is illegal, Your Honor?"
The judge looked startled at that. "In the not so distant past, they said the same thing about people from the Asian continent, about Black people, about Native peoples. Many of the peaceful community have been on this plane for longer than humans." He looked at that side, who winced. "We can get written records based on the original calling of the slayer. One was presented to Congress."
He looked at the judge again. "Beyond that, even the ones that moved here, mostly to get away from horrible despots and wars, are living peacefully. Paying their taxes, running businesses. Being good citizens. Only about ten percent of them are out to cause problems.
"Maybe thirteen if you take the higher estimate of how many vampires there are on this plane since so many are just hungry and not really discriminate enough to feed from other sources that aren't running happy meals." He looked over then at the judge again. "Since when has the government had the right to decide if someone's sentient and sane?
"I thought we got rid of that with the eugenics movement, which was also racist. Also, we have proof that the government knew about the peaceful community before all this. They had a *charming* project in my former town where Rangers and some scientists decided to figure out their biology by means of torture.
"Literal torture, not figurative, ow that hurts sort. Of the pulling apart while alive. Of skinning while alive. Of burning while alive," he said, staring at them. "In fact two of the people at that table know about that project. One was on the clean up team and tribunals. The other was one of them." He looked at the judge again.
"If a being is sentient, is proven sentient, can go to college and pass classes better than I can, isn't that putting them on the same level as a standard whitebread American human? If we're against them because some are purple or blue or red, then that's really racist. I thought the government was against that." He sat down. "Also, my clients would like to hear about any family that may still be missing. All their victims weren't accounted for. If they're able to be saved we should do that sooner instead of later."
The judge nodded. "I can see those points. Is that project classified?"
"I didn't sign an NDA. No one's asked anyone on the Sunnydale team to sign any sort of non-disclosure agreement. Is it classified now? Yes. Am I under that restriction as I do not work with classified materials and I was there to help bring down the base? No because they didn't tell me I had to not talk about it."
"Oh. I see." He nodded. "The hard drives you presented?"
"They abandoned the base after we brought down the project, Your Honor. My twin and I went to strip the hard drives." He presented some papers. "This is the only notice in the system of that whole base. It's the frat house they were using as a cover as the base was underground. It does not mention the base. The college didn't mention the base. The town didn't mention the base. The government didn't mention the base.
"As we did not use their entry, we used the alternate entry in the woods, we did not trespass on government property. Also, that was weeks after they had abandoned it. They even left bodies there rotting. Didn't pick up their injured." He handed over pictures. "When we went in to check for other victims when we heard some were still missing we found that."
The judge grimaced as he looked at them. "They left the soldiers?"
"Yes, Your Honor. My twin dropped them at the local reserve base. Which did not want to deal with it so they left the bodies sitting there until we tipped off the local PD and they made them put them in a morgue."
"Oh, dear." He went back through the pictures, including the computer ones. "What did you take of it?"
"Mother board with the chips and the hard drives in case there was some sort of cryptography thing going on. We asked someone who knew more about computers than we do and she said to just in case."
"Is she going to testify?"
"I have not asked. Would she? I'd think so. When I told her about all this, she alerted people who got them shut down from this end of the problem."
"Oh." He nodded, handing the pictures back. Alex waved a hand so he put them into evidence. "How sure are you that two of the government's side were there?"
"Pictures of the tribunal?" He handed it over with a smirk. "Also, the duty jacket of one of them." He handed that over.
"Oh, he was listed as permanent duty assignment, Homeland, but he went to law school." He nodded, looking over there. Then at Alex. "I may not have a classified rating high enough for this, Mr. Harris."
"You do. The project's currently closed and sealed but it's rated at ten, Your Honor."
"I do have a security rating above that, yes." He looked at the other side. "I know you have motions to suppress most of their evidence?"
"It was illegally gotten, Your Honor. Even if they abandoned it, it was still a base." That paperwork was handed over. "That is not what I have." He let the judge have those, which gave them to Xander.
"Your Honor, this is dated six weeks ago," Alex said. He pointed. "That date there is six weeks ago. When they tried to restart it and that address is not in Sunnydale. That street did not exist." He looked at him. "The Initiative base was under the college's eastern edge and into the woods. There was also no such road in Sunnydale." He handed them back. "Is that where the current ones are?" The lawyer shuddered.
The judge looked at him. "Can you prove that? I know Sunnydale is destroyed due to something."
Alex turned on his phone and pulled up a map with a list of roads. He let the judge have it. "As of when it closed. It hasn't been updated."
"How would you know?" the other lawyer demanded.
"Because I lived there my whole life until I got to DC," he said sarcastically. "I got four months of a road trip after graduation, got stuck in Oxnard due to car problems, but that's over twenty years of being the kid who searched around town, got into everything, found so many wrong things the mayor actually tried to stop us from doing it. Because we found his gold stash and called a librarian, who called a reporter, who told the mayor. We got given a certificate and got a picture in the paper."
"There was only one of you," he sneered.
Alex nodded. "Yeah. My twin and I were split one night by magic. The witch had problems and thought we needed more people for graduation but never planned to put us back together. So yes, I am the magical twin of Xander Harris." He grinned. "Good job finding that!" He held up two thumbs. "But I'm also my own person. Have been for years.
"The city swore up and down we were twins and made sure the proper paperwork was there. The state of California just nodded because Sunnydale did." He smiled. "You can ask Rosenburg how she did that. Though there was an incident where we were triplets for a few days thanks to a troll with a hammer. When you deal with magic sometimes things aren't normal."
His boss stared at him then nodded. "We knew that, Your Honor. We share information among the communities."
Alex nodded. "I've kept in touch with a great many beings I used to know out in Sunnydale. I play poker with a few."
The lawyer slumped, looking at the judge. Who nodded. "You do have a legal birth certificate?" Alex handed it over from his bag. "Oh, I see they did give you one. Is that a corrected copy?"
"Willow forged our original one because my mother was too drunk to file her own birth certificate at first. The school didn't care, they were dirty to the mayor too, but Willow got worried it'd cause problems so made one and got the date wrong. I did have the date corrected for both of us to our acknowledged birthday."
"How drunk was your mother?"
"She was apparently drunk enough that she didn't realize she was in labor, just complained while mopping up the new fluids, and called the paramedics to save her from the thing trying to eat her leg. Which wasn't the kraken but was the infant she gave birth to. She had no idea she was even pregnant. Then again, she was a good quart of gin a day sort."
"Oh." The judge let out a shudder. "I've seen bad parents."
"We did amazing raising ourselves," Alex agreed happily with a smile. "Even if we did go everywhere in town and spotted so many wrong things. And kind of drove a librarian nuts for not having comic books."
The judge shook his head. "You're very weird."
"Yes but they demanded I show how things were out there," Alex shot back, staring at that lawyer. "Feel better?" He shrank away from him. He looked at the judge again. "Anyway, that date is still six weeks ago, that area is not in Sunnydale, and it'll be something I research later on, Your Honor."
"How did you leave the town?"
"I looted from some vampire clans, some of the shiny things that were laying in crypts that didn't belong to anyone, set up a trust fund I split with my twin, and then left. I retired after the last base raid on the Initiative."
"I can see why," he admitted, going back over the government's motions. "None of your paperwork pertains to Sunnydale, gentlemen." He looked at them. "It's all that same address."
"There was a small attempt to get back to that project but it was stopped within weeks and we assumed they were talking about that, Your Honor."
Alex looked over at him. "In Georgia? They didn't get more than three people before someone higher up got them free." He sat up again.
"No, not Georgia." He sighed. "In Tulsa."
"Tulsa had thirteen beings that had been shipped off from Sunnydale," a demon in the theater seats said, standing up. "My group ended that one and got them free, Your Honor. There was evidence of two others but we informed the healers so they could notify families." He sat down. "That was also not at that address as that one was actually illegally on Tribal lands and the address wasn't a street, it was a county route. I can look that up if you need it."
"Please. I'd like to see evidence from all the other versions." He frowned at Alex then at the others. "I'm going to allow this until you can show me proof of which incident those are from. This lawsuit only covers the group in Sunnydale." They nodded, making notes on what to look up. "Okay. Onto the second motion. It comes from Mr. Harris' side.
"I see they're asking for a restraining order to keep the government from presently confiscating people. Have they?" Alex handed over sheets with pictures, including incident reports. He took it with a sigh to look at. "That's at least less disturbing but still bad." He looked at one then at the other side. "Was there not already a restraining order?"
"It ran out yesterday, and we are not aware of an official government group, Your Honor." He stood up. "We're aware there is one. We're aware some are actually agents. They're pretending to be from agencies they're not from. Many have been arrested. I have no idea how many are missing and we agree that there should be a restraining order until this is settled into law. Especially with some of the atrocities of the past groups. We don't want to make Mr. Harris have to rescue anyone else."
"I've only rescued people twice," he said with a smirk. "But my twin's fine."
"Good. We heard he's having a huge problem this week down there."
"Two actually, back to back so he'll handle one, fly to the other, get a nap on the plane, and handle it."
The lawyer nodded. "We honor Mr. Harris and his twin for their service but we all agree that no one should be in custody until this is settled. If there are, it is not an official group sanctioned by the government."
"Then how do we stop it?" the judge asked. "Will another restraining order work?"
"I'm hoping," the lawyer said. "We did agree and not fight against that motion, Your Honor. None of us want to torture beings who aren't human. We may not want them in the US. Even if they were born here. Even if they're good citizens who just look funny. But we do not want to torture them."
The judge nodded. "Good. Find information that group for me?" He looked at Xander, who looked at the others, who handed up what they had. "Yours, Mr. Harris?"
"I only know of one and I rescued those kids last night. They were trying to confiscate an egg nursery. Only one egg got moved and the caretakers said they think it'll be okay."
"That's good of you." He looked it over and sighed. "That's where that address is." He let the lawyer see that. Who sighed but nodded at that information. "I'm going to halt their work. One way or another. The US is to arrest them to stop them if they must, or stop them however they must, and hand any beings back to their peoples. Any particular hospital?"
"We have healers set up around the city," the one in the theater seats said calmly and quietly. "We don't usually go to human hospitals."
"I can understand that." He wrote out that order. "We have one last motion. I see paperwork to suspend any talk about that prior project. Which is the hinge of the case itself." He looked at them. "I'm going to look into the legality of classification before I rule on that. So if the President comes to tell me to butt out, I have to rule without that information."
"We can talk about it without talking about them," Alex offered. "They were still captured and tortured, Your Honor."
"That's not exactly how that works. But it has been allowed in the past. I'll check on that and tell you tomorrow at two." He banged his gavel and they stood up when he did to go back to his office with the evidence piles and boxes.
Alex sat down with a sigh, looking at his boss. "You're doing okay," he admitted. "Bit scattered but you're just like that, Harris." He patted him on the shoulder. "Going for the full ride?"
"Thinking about it." He packed up his things and put his bag back on his shoulder. "Let me go make mac'n'cheese. I deserve something gooey for dinner." They nodded and let him do that while they gathered to talk.
Buffy walked into the court room a few days later with a baby in her arms and looking messed up. "Alex." He hopped up to take the baby from her since it wouldn't let her go. "They tried to grab a nursery center in Cleveland," she said quietly. "We rescued most of them but two are still missing. She's a twin and her twin's one of the missing. Their little sister is the other. Willow can't track them. We're hoping your twinness can help."
"I'll see what I can do. Sit, Buffy." He looked at the judge. "Your Honor, I'm needed to help find her twin and little sister." He looked down. "You can grip me all you want. I know about being a twin." He kissed her on the forehead. "We'll let a healer see you as soon as we walk out of here." He looked at him. "May I call for a time out?"
"You may and I'll allow that. How do you plan on finding her?"
"My twin's known as the bastard protector of slayers, Your Honor. I can hunt just as well as he can." He gathered his bag and walked off with the kid. Buffy followed. They went to a healer, who took the baby to treat immediately. They were all paying attention to the hearing. Alex got his pendant out and put it around her neck, making her calm down at the energy she could cling to. He looked at the healer. "Let me hunt?"
"Be careful. They'd consider you one of us," she warned.
"Nah. Xander has the mermaid taint, not me." He grinned and left, locking his bag in the car. Buffy went with him. One of the demon clubs tried to stop them but Buffy stared. "There's missing kids," Alex told him.
"We heard. They're not local, Knight." He stared at him. "Are you going to turn into your twin?"
"Nah. I have all the temper. He got the weapons." He grinned. "Any idea which state?"
"We've heard rumors about Nebraska. We've heard rumors about Plath, North Dakota. We can't be sure."
"Is Mortimer in and will he do a tracking for us?"
"I can ask. He is behind the bar." He went to ask, bringing out a small coaster. "Blue is closer." Buffy smiled and patted him on the arm as she followed Xander and called the witches.
They got there and Alex pulled out a few hidden things he carried. That whole base went up but the innocents were safe. Those demons were really nice to stay confined. They didn't find the kids so went to the other one. That took a few hours to trace around town. When they did, the locals came out to help them. No kids but they had evidence on where they were. Buffy took that for the court case.
Alex got sent there with a weapon he bummed from his brother's storage area. The kids were mostly okay, bit injured but would live. The humans.... The locals decided to come arrest them for him when the cops from the last area called them to warn them he was coming to help those kids. Which was nice of them. He got the three kids he had found back with him. Buffy sighed, taking the extra. It struggled so Xander took her back to cuddle. "It's probably my hellmouth taint," he told her.
"Could be. Healers?"
"None nearby," an officer said, coming over. "Are they good?"
"Maybe," Alex said. "Probably." He looked at the officer. "Can you clean up my mess?"
"Gladly. Who're you, just for the records?"
"Alex Harris. I retired from hunting about five years ago now but they have stolen kids." That got a nod. "Let me get them back to DC and a healer. Their sister's there." Buffy called and the coven sent them back to the courtroom since it was early but they were there. "Sorry, I meant for them to send me to the healer. Boss, get a healer? They're sucking at my hellmouth taint."
"Already calling," someone said, coming up to help. "They'll live, Harris."
Alex nodded. "That's what I wanted. The one on my back? I think she's asleep."
"I'm hoping she is. She's clearly got head trauma with that dent."
"Your Honor," the government's head lawyer complained. "This is highly prejudicial."
"I did not plan for them to send me here," Alex told him. "I expected to land closer to a healer. But the witches are tired and so are we." Buffy nodded, letting the healer in when she got there and making sure she could hold the kids. She went with her.
"You stay," the healer ordered quietly. "It's too important." He nodded and she took the kids with Buffy and a few guards. Buffy rushed back to hand over those papers then went again.
Alex looked at himself. "Sorry, Your Honor. This was not a planned stop." He put the papers down on the table. "My bag's in the car." He sat down. "Sorry about the sweat and smoke damage."
"Did you find that one's sibling?" he asked.
"Yes, two of those were. The other one's a child of a member of the Demonic Council of Cleveland. Her first birthday had pictures all over the underground because she's a sweet little hellion that her parents tried very hard to have."
"I can understand how that happens. I know humans who've done that." He looked. "Are those being presented?"
"These are from the desk area in one of the facilities we raided. I haven't looked through it yet." He flipped through it. "Aww, they have plans of blaming things on Xander." He let the other side's lawyers see that. They groaned. "He wasn't in the US then. That was about two weeks after he went to Africa." He went back to looking then handed them over. "We raided that one facility to find the kids based on that evidence."
The judge read through it, taking that one sheet. He snorted. "They think your twin's twenty-nine."
"I think we're twenty-six, nearly twenty-seven," Alex said, looking over there. Then at the judge. Who was shaking his head. "Those were not legally gathered as we went through the desk to find the other facility. The local police arrested those ones we found."
"Injured mostly but yes. Even if I have to shoot another human I tend to go for injuring instead of killing unless I have no choice."
"That's good of you." The judge went over it. "Mr. Harris, give me an end game of your plan."
"Stopping all this, legal acknowledgment that they're sentient beings who can decide things for themselves, and giving the families the information on their still missing members at the baseline. At best prompting a way for those who're here through illegal immigration a way to fight for citizenship.
"Acknowledging that some of them are already citizens and entitled to the rights and responsibilities of all human citizens. We'd *like* to see these sort of projects stopped for good. We figure that'll take a different court case. Or someone with really big shoes using them as suppositories. We're not sure if anyone wears that big of shoes however."
The judge smiled. "You're right about the last one. Path to citizenship, that would probably take a higher level court."
"I have no doubt that the other side will try to appeal whatever you think, Your Honor. Or we'll have to."
"Possibly." He stared at him then at the others. "I find most of you are sentient. The ones I've talked to mostly have been. One grunted a bit but I was told he had problems with English." He looked at the other side.
"No, Your Honor, we do not have a problem with those. The president himself said it was going to be necessary to stop things and we were to agree they were sentient, some were born here, some immigrated here, and that the present plans are bad. If we find any information we can hand it over."
"The healers keep track of the census," one of the ones with Xander said. "They're the ones that gave us information about any family in Sunnydale." That got a nod. "We are still missing at least three hundred beings, Your Honor, just from Sunnydale."
"I understand that and I agree you should be told what happened to your relatives and if there's a way to relocate the remains to be allowed to do that. I see no problem with sentience or naturally being born here. Full legal rights....should be assumed but may not be." He stared at Xander. "You started this for them they said."
"I did. It was important to protect the community. As you've seen."
"I have." He nodded a bit. "Not asking for redress?"
Alex looked at his team, who all shook their heads. "They said no, Your Honor. That would also get a lot more people mad than this will."
"Point." He nodded. "You have laid out evidence that they're sentient. That they're mostly good beings. You included crime statistics."
"Done by the healers as well."
"That's nice of them. No courts?"
Alex's boss smiled and nodded. "Of course we do. It's a bit hidden within our own city council. That's where he got the figures from."
"Interesting. Do you go by US laws?"
"Ours are a bit more strict since outing the community will often be a death sentence."
"On Mr. Harris?"
"No. We cannot punish him for protecting the people of our community. He made capable, quiet, calm arguments to protect us. He's done much more huffy things in the past."
"I've heard." He looked at Alex, who just smiled. "Was it you or your twin that blew that one building?"
"I just blew a hole in the wall since the door wouldn't open for us," Alex said. "It was standing when I removed the people they had supposedly arrested for being illegal immigrants. By the records, ICE said it went down six hours later."
"Wonderful. Is your twin into weapons?"
"Everyone looks hot with artillery, Your Honor," he quipped with a smile, getting swatted by his boss. "You can't handle an invasion level problem with just a sword."
"No, you can't," he agreed. "All right, I'm going to agree with the basics here. The community is to be handed any information found about their members that were taken and/or harmed. Every family deserves the right to know. They are noted as sentient beings with the full rights and responsibilities of humans. That does include paying taxes and all that.
"While I find some of you very weird, and a few a bit worrying because flesh eaters bring up bad associations in my mind, I find most of you to be generally pleasant, sensible beings able to make your own decisions. I cannot grant you the full range of citizenship, that takes an act of Congress, but I can give you legal rights so you can do things you need to do legally. Being born here means you're automatically US citizens and there's no reason to doubt that.
"Stopping the problems, I will order them stopped. It may not end them all but it does give you an order that can be enforced when someone finds another one starting. I hope the government is done with that but I'm guessing we're all realistic that ending this current one will take some time and energy. Hopefully the president will agree." He looked at them then nodded.
"I find you a bit weird, but I say the same thing about teenagers in the malls. Really I find you less weird than some of the kids I've seen in malls." He signed the order and handed them over to be handed out. "I wish you luck with any future legal proceedings and stopping those groups. Have a good day, people." They broke out in cheers so he got to go back to his office happier.
Alex smiled at his boss. "Go for the full ride, kid. Though I'm moving the office to Alexandria. It's safer and the wife said so."
"I can find another job while I take a few classes as I can, Boss. I'll miss having you nag about my hair." He gave him a hug and packed up, going to find his car and then go home to shower, calm down, and celebrate.
The demons all smiled at that and led the way to celebrate this. Someone would try to interfere but the local slayer kicked him on the ass as she walked behind him. He huffed off since a girl had dared to overpower him. She leaned into the bar. "Giles, Faith, and Buffy all said congrats," she called in.
"Willow said the same thing but it was through a pencil since she was writing in a magic book she shouldn't have again. Let me know if you have problems or need help finding people. That's my job since Alex is retired." She waved with a grin. "Got my number hanging up?" A few nodded.
"Cool. I've got a kegger to go party at because vampires are going to take over the college again apparently." She strolled off to handle that. It was her duty after all. Not that she didn't enjoy it sometimes. Maybe she'd bag herself a hotty college boy.
The demons got to be happy with all that.
The next time Alex ran into DiNozzo, it was at his college. He had to take a mandatory lesser level class while doing some of his mandatory upper level classes for law school. It had been a peaceful few years. The hunting of the peaceful community had finally been stopped. Alex was getting his nicely wanted retirement from fighting.
A few people had tried to loot Sunnydale before he could but most of them had been killed by leftover vampires. He had gotten another two weeks to finish his cleaning out so he was set. It was a decent enough life. And then he ran into the one he used to protect. He saw the look in his direction but played it cool. If an agent was here, that was probably a big thing instead of him retiring as well. He'd talk to him later.
After class DiNozzo stopped him with a look. "You're going higher?" he asked with a smile.
"Law school. I'm a second year but I had to take a few mandatory lower ones. Corporate law is less stress for me but in a new stressful way as I hate math."
Tony patted him on the shoulder. "You'll manage at least a C. I allow calculators."
"Thanks." He stared at the room then at him. A woman came in and he nodded. "Sorry, I'll quit monopolizing my teacher. Never enough fun times outside of work things and even though I'm confused he can fix me later." He walked off. "Have a good day, Prof, and thanks."
She stopped him. "My father has a picture of you."
He grinned. "Does it have an eyepatch wearing me?" She nodded slowly. "That's my twin. He's the guy training slayers in Africa."
"Oh." She nodded. "That's interesting."
"I retired from all that years ago. I'm not meant for battles. I'm meant to be pretty, smart, and do other sorts of good things for people." He grinned. "But I'm sure my twin would say hi if he knew."
"I'll let him know." Alex smiled and left them to talk. "He's ...interesting."
"He is. I met him years ago in a club." She nodded at that. "He's in the law program but had to take a few lesser mandatories."
"That happens." She walked off with him once he had his things so they could go eat on the lawn. They saw that goofy young one chasing someone and pouncing them then getting up to frisk them and give whatever he had found back to someone else.
"Thank you, Alex," the girl said, hugging him. "He's an idiot."
"I had an ex like that. He thankfully died a few months later while being pouty and drunk. Hopefully yours just grows up." He glared at the guy, making him run off. He walked her off. "C'mon, I'll make sure you get back to your dorm."
"Thanks." She let him walk her off. "I'm in the same hall as Eustace."
"I remember her. She needed some walking home too. There's a lot of failed young men at this college for some reason." She giggled but nodded. "Hopefully they all grow up after this." He nodded at the guard coming their way. "I got her keys and phone back from the ex that stole them just now. He went for a run."
He waved a hand in the air in the right direction. "Another failed male specimen that even the biology department can't figure out the classification of." The girl giggled at that, hiding it on his arm. "They really can't. They can't be human with how they are."
"I'm sure the biology department will enjoy naming their species," the guard said dryly, looking at her. "Are you going to press charges?"
"You guys said I couldn't get a restraining order," she said sarcastically. "So I guess I'll just have to ask Alex to walk me back to my dorm a few times."
The guard sighed but nodded. "We'll see what we can do. Have you filled out forms?" She nodded. "I'll look it up, Miss...."
"I'll look that up and have a talk with that failed male being. I'd hate my son to be that way." She smiled and let Alex walk her past him.
"Thank you," they said together. Then shared a grin.
She giggled but it was nice. The guard went to ask the teacher if he had seen them. "He's one of the cross country team," he said. "He's in my intro class."
"That'll help as well. Thank you, Professor." He went to report that and look up her reports. She had reported him twice. Both for stalking. Great. Just what the college needs.
Alex walked around the arguing set a few weeks later, shaking his head. "Get off the sidewalk before the kids in the wheelchairs have to run you over!" They flinched but did that. "Thank you!" He went to be irritated with his teacher at her office. "What did I do wrong? I wrote the paper on a case I helped defend." He handed it over and the information from the case. "I'm the one that started it, that filed it, and that did all the work. I know exactly what I did as a paralegal."
The teacher blinked. "It's distasteful," she said.
"Well, oh well!" He stared at her. "I don't put up with hateful shit against anyone! And you graded me down for it." He leaned on the doorframe. "You hating the peaceful community is *your* problem and it's not supposed to be brought into your job by what I know."
"I can flunk you from the program, Harris."
"You can *try*. I can appeal." She glared. He stared back. "Unlike half the trust fund kids in the program, I'm fully aware of all my rights. And responsibilities. This program is already racist in a lot of ways. Including against women being in it as we've got two and they both have male first names. I'm hoping women find out and sue you guys for it."
He grinned. "I don't need to suck up to you for grades, Professor Talbot, but I'll be damned if you're going to leave remarks on my paper that I didn't know what I was writing about when it's something I personally handled. I will appeal that grade and that paper and all that you've graded unfairly this semester, and help the two women who made it in do the same thing since you've counted them down too."
"Harris," another teacher yelled up the hall.
"Bite me. She decided to count down my paper about the civil rights case for the peaceful community and told me I had no idea what I was talking about when I handled it as a paralegal." He looked at her again. The head of the program was huffy but Alex just stared at him too. He took the paper back to hand to him. "I'm the paralegal that handled the case. I'm fairly certain I know what I did in my own history."
The chair looked at the paper's remarks and grimaced. "Well, that's distasteful."
"No, it's downright racist," he said dryly. "The same as how she doesn't allow women into the program is. Or any member of the peaceful community."
"I don't think we've had any apply."
Alex stared at him. "They know which colleges are prejudice against them. The same as I'm sure women do and don't apply here because she and the others don't let them in. And when we do get a rare one, they basically run them over and out of the program, including glorifying sexual assault like this one and Dr. Loranda have."
"I don't like racists of any form. Especially when it steps into my face. And I corrected Dr. Loranda on his too." The chair winced at that reminder. "I'm going to appeal her grading me at all. It's clear she's got a bias."
"It is with those remarks." He looked it up. "You were the paralegal."
"I was," he said proudly. "And then I decided to take the advice to go for the full ride. Maybe I should've picked a less...closed minded program but this is closest to my house."
"You're on financial aid anyway," the teacher sneered, standing up. "I can have that ended."
"Lady, I'm worth more than the college has in emergency trust funds," he said dryly with a smirk. "Even if I lost it all tomorrow, I can survive that way. I worked for years before moving to DC. Some of us are *real* people, not fake ones like you." The chair glared at him. "She's the one that's trying to get people interested in a reality show about lawyers. No one wants to watch us read law books!"
"No, probably not. She's not wealthy enough for a real housewives sort of show either." He looked at him. "Yours may be."
"The last woman I dated tortured men for being dicks to their women," he said dryly, smirking a bit. "She really loved it too. Gave it up for us while she was with me and my twin, but then went right back to it when they broke up." The chair winced. "Anyanka was just like that. It was her hobby that she turned into a career."
"I've heard her muttered about," he complained quietly.
Alex smiled. "I'm actually very bi and my last boyfriend was last month but he got pouty I didn't want or need a sugar baby. I wanted a real relationship." He shrugged. "It happens. I'll find someone somewhere someday."
"I..." The chair nodded. "You may be the only gay person in the program, Harris."
He shrugged. "That's fine. As long as I don't have to deal with racist crap. Like I am today with her."
"Sometimes you'll have to work with lawyers like that in the field."
Alex stared at him. "No I won't. Because if it starts around me I'll give it back. They'll give up sooner than I will. I had to deal with bitchy women who thought I was less than useful who were friends for *years*. I can outlast any little racist brat on the job and sneer at them until they give up and hike off to suck their thumb under Mommy's skirts."
"Lawyers are stubborn," he noted.
Alex grinned. "Last month, my twin brother outlasted six weeks of battle to finally get the big problem that kept thinking he was weak. I'm pretty sure I'm just as stubborn." The chair slumped, staring at him oddly. He grinned. "Yeah, my twin's a watcher. The guy in Africa actually."
"Wow. I've only heard about him a few times."
"They don't report on his battles over here."
"So he does that and you do this?"
"I retired to do other sorts of good things for humanity."
"That's reasonable. I suppose that means you're not going to be a prosecutor?"
"Not likely." He grinned and shook his head. "I hate the taste of ass so I'd never kiss it that way."
The chair nodded. "That is an often necessary lunch in the law field." He looked at the teacher. "Has she had any other papers?"
"We have one more due and one test."
"They're demons!" she shouted. "They're evil by definition!"
"Mostly they're just normal sorts who look different," Alex countered reasonably. "Some are from other dimensions, some are from here, but they look different. The evil kind you mostly have to summon. Seen those a few times." He grinned. "Though some have wanted power, and a lot went to law school. Wolfram and Hart prove that." He smiled at her. "By the way, you may want to warn anyone going to them that their contracts have soul debt clauses."
The chair moaned. "I've warned them all to read all contracts. They should know how by the time they're graduating. If they did not, that was a choice they made."
"Some lawyers may not mind," Xander agreed. "But still, a few good ones were desperate because people like her didn't want more women in the field of law. I had to warn her myself last year. Then got her to look at a few light sided firms."
The chair nodded. "That figures. Have you decided on a specialization area?"
"Business it seems. I can do some of the defense work if I need to, it's my minor and I'm taking those classes, but business law seems to be ...cleaner to me mostly. And I can help people who're setting up new businesses. Plus help those who're fighting racist ideology about their businesses."
"That's fine," the chair agreed. He looked at his teacher, who stormed off and slammed her door. "Was that an admission of guilt and resignation?" he called after her.
"YES! I REFUSE to work with those sorts!" She pointed at Alex then got onto the elevator to stomp off. Unfortunately she got hit by a car in the parking lot. Not fatally but enough to break her leg.
Alex looked out at the screaming. "She ran into a car backing out." He sighed. "She'll try to sue me for that I'm sure." He rolled his eyes. "She was also teaching against the book and against the laws in her specialist class on state's rights." He walked off. "Can that paper be regraded?"
"Yes, Harris. I can do that."
"Thank you, Sir. Should I tell the other students?"
"I'll be looking over all the papers. I'll make that announcement. And look at how she's staffed our students." He went to talk to his other teachers. He clearly needed to hire. And to fix a few problems before the program got sued.
Alex had gotten done yelling back at the incel frat house's stunt saying sexual assault was a great thing and had to hurry to class. Though he got stopped by two women fighting against someone with a gun. "Gun!" he shouted as he pounced the guy. It got him off the girls and the guy tried to swing on him so he fought back.
He had upped his hand-to-hand with classes from the college. He finally got the guy down and out, knocking him out with a punch to make sure, and looked up. His accounting professor was there with the girls, guarding them. "They good?" he asked.
"Fine," DiNozzo said. "You?"
"I'm fine." He checked himself. "Yeah, I'm good." He got up with a groan. "My knees hate kneeling though." He walked over. "You two okay?" he asked gently. One was crying but nodded. "Okay. Let's sit. I'm sure there's some sort of officer coming soon to yell at me for pouncing him for having a gun on you two."
They got them onto a bench with their bags they had dropped. Alex's bag got pulled over too. He walked over to grab the gun and put it on the ground near them. "So he can't get it again." They nodded, letting out the crying now. Two security staff ran over. "His gun's over here," he called with a point. "He was holding it on these two women when I spotted him and yelled about the gun then pounced to beat his ass."
"He did a really good job," DiNozzo said happily. "I only had to guard the two young women."
"Thank you, Professor. Which one?"
"Accounting." He smiled and handed over a card. That got a nod and it was put into the record of this.
The other officer looked at Alex. "You did what?"
"Spotted him holding a gun on them so I noted it loudly, so others could run away, and then I beat his ass."
"Oh." He nodded. "Is that how you're supposed to handle that?"
"Yes." He stared at him, making him back up. "Be damned if I want to help someone not die today. Pouncing him meant he dropped the gun. Beating his ass was very stress relieving from law classes. And it kept him from going after the two girls again." He looked over at the sound of movement. "He's got another one!"
He moved the officer and kicked the guy, making the gun go off into the ground and the guy got cuffed by the security officers. They patted him down and got his knife too. Alex pointed. "His first one I dropped there. That way he couldn't reach it. Didn't even think about fingerprints though."
"That's actually sensible and most people wouldn't think about leaving fingerprints," DiNozzo said, patting him on the shoulder. "Calm down. They're here now and can kick his ass."
Xander nodded. "True." He looked around. "Can you guys tell Professor Lava Brain that I was here and not just skipping?"
"Yes," the security agents agreed.
"Soloman in Legal?" one asked. Alex nodded with a sigh, sitting down next to the girls. One hesitated so he pulled her closer to cuddle, helping her calm down. He let her go when she calmed down, looking at the other one to see if she wanted a hug too. She shook her head so he just sat there looking like the good boy he tried to be.
The security guys came over to take statements about why the guy had the gun pulled on them. It made their week that they had stopped a mugging gone sideways. The law student was helpful and wrote the report for his part for them. The professor cooperated and was pleasant to them. The girls got walked back to their dorms and they got to call three teachers to tell them their students had missed for a reasonable reason.
Alex showed up after class, shrugging when the teacher stared at him. "The security guys called."
"I got that voicemail just now. You did what?"
"The guy had a gun on two girls in the quad! What did you want me to do? I relieved some stress from class beating him but otherwise I had just been picking on the sexual assault is good protest on my way to class. I turned around and there was a guy with a gun."
The teacher sighed. "Are you in trouble?"
"They didn't say I was in trouble for knocking him down and out. If I am I can argue against that."
"Point," she admitted. "Fine. You have a paper due in a week, still. We went over that next chapter today, Harris." He grinned and handed over the paper with a smile. She looked through it. "Your formatting is weird."
"That's what the computer considers legal formatting. I can reprint in regular college formatting."
"No, that is weird legal formatting. Word?" He nodded. "That figures." She glanced through it again. "You're missing a conclusion?"
"It's not concluded yet." He looked over and pointed. "Then I laid out the possible conclusions. It won't be out for three months."
"Point." She read it over and nodded. "I'll accept this." She stared at him. "Not exactly the point of the assignment."
"I could've just presented my paper on the case I helped with. I didn't think it was legal and the chair hated that it lost him a teacher."
"Oh, that one. I heard later on from gossip." She gave him a pointed look.
"I hate all racism. In all forms."
"Good. That makes you a nicer person to be around." She walked off. "I'll accept this."
"Thank you." He skipped off. "I'm doing the three cases against the slayers for the bigger paper."
"That's reasonable with who I've heard you are," she agreed, still walking. "Make it reasonable please."
"Yes, Professor." He skipped off to get ice cream because he now had the rest of the day off. He got his ice cream but they were having a 'debate' in the caf about consent. He paused by it. "I always say 'I wanna fuck you' or something like that. If they don't answer 'yes' then I can pull back and make sure of what they want to do instead.
"If you can't manage that, the answer's always no and you're the asshole who was going to rape someone who couldn't give consent. Not like you have to be formal and ask in proper english. Just 'you want some of my dick in you' and if they say yes, hey, you've got consent," he told them. They were so young. He had been that young and he remembered being that young but damn! They looked at him.
He nodded. "It's not that hard to get consent. If they can't consent then that's rape. If they're drunk, asleep, unconscious, whatever. It's yes or all no." He shrugged, going back to licking his popsicle. "It's easy enough to do in a club's bathroom, in an apartment, in a car, in a park, wherever you're getting down and funky.
"Do you want some of me, yes is all you need to do. Unless you're into something kinky and then it's a talk beforehand about it by the standards of that community." He walked off again. "Don't be like that frat that was just chanting loudly about how they like to sexually assault people."
"No, we're hoping not to," one agreed, looking confused. He looked at the others. "I mean, he's right." The others nodded they agreed. "It doesn't have to be a huge talk. Well, I guess some kinkier things may need one for some reason but I have no idea about that. Not my community."
The others nodded they were with that and got down to their signs about consent, using his words for it. Younger students would understand that easily enough.
Alex was stopped by Jeanne, Tony's girlfriend. "Hey, what's up, girlfriend of my professor?"
She blinked a few times. "My father wanted to talk to you, Xander."
"No, I'm Alex. Xander's still in Africa." He grinned slightly. "We're twins."
"He said there's only one of you."
"And yet, I was here when there was a battle just the other day. I can't be in two places at once."
"I...." She called her father. "Father, he insists they're twins."
Alex leaned over to wave. "Yeah, my twin Xander is down there, sir. I can't be in two places at once. I'm great but not mythical yet." He grinned. "Xander's missing an eye, I'm not."
"I can see you're not. I have worked with your twin."
"That's great! The girls could use a lot of help. Thank you for that." He leaned out of view and shrugged. "I retired from all that years ago. Or else my twin probably wouldn't be missing an eye."
Her father said something so she nodded and hung up. "I guess that makes sense. He wanted to talk to your twin about future business things."
"I'm sure Xander would like that. The girls need all the help they can get sometimes." He smiled slightly. "He said they're all little smartass hellions but he loves them like sisters."
"I guess you do get close to people you're training." She smiled. "I'll make sure Father knows that better." She looked around. Alex looked and pointed. "Oh, that is his car. Thank you." She walked off.
He wrote his twin an email and sent it. Just in case that was a bad thing. He was still there when he saw Jeanne's father talk Tony into his limo instead of his car. That set off his Batman senses. He watched them drive off and considered calling someone but he had no idea who Tony was working for right now.
He went for his own car, then decided to be smart and check the car. "Oh, fuck!" he shouted loudly. "SECURITY!" he bellowed. One came jogging over. "Bomb!" he called when he got closer. "Under the engine, behind the left front wheel." The guard stopped and called that in. Alex walked off grimacing. He decided to call someone, who did track Tony.
It wasn't good and they also sent someone to pick him up so he could track them himself. He got there as Tony got shoved out of the car and then the car blew up. He raced over to help Tony, knowing the people in the car were dead. "Hey," he said, helping him. "Injured?" Tony nodded a tiny bit. "Okay. Let's get you back to my place and safer. Anything huge that'll definitely need the ER?"
"Need stitches," he said, sounding fuzzy.
"I can do that." He grinned at the odd look. "Had to learn from a friend's mom's medical books when I was little. I'm actually really good at it but my twin has more practice." He helped him up and the team took them back to his house. "Thanks, guys."
"Welcome, Harris," they agreed, going back to report to their boss.
Alex got Tony onto the couch and got his medical kit, coming back to treat the injuries, get him some ice for his sore head, and then handed him the phone. He moaned at that. "Want me to call Gibbs?"
"He's going to growl."
"If he hears you got blown up, he'll growl more."
"Point." He called the one he was undercover for. "I'm alive. They're not." He hung up and sighed. "I need to tell someone in the FBI and I don't know his number."
"So tell my contact who stares in horrified awe at me dating," he quipped, going to look outside. He ran out there to their car, nodding. "DiNozzo needs you. I had to rescue him after he got thrown from a car that blew up a block later." The agent frowned but came in. He waved a hand.
Tony rolled his head to look at him. "I was undercover. The driver shot the Frog and shoved me out then the car exploded," he said quietly. "My head hurts. Alex did my stitches."
"Also, his girlfriend stopped me to try to tell me I'm my twin," Alex said. "I proved we weren't by talking to her dad on the video call. Then I went to my car and found a bomb."
The agent nodded. "Okay. So how did you get home?"
"Oh." He nodded. "All right. Let me call this in. Is he safe here?"
"Yeah. I'm not going to do more than keep him in ice packs. I'm not Xander, no one attacks my house."
"Point. There's a question about how you got the money?"
"I looted the stuff vampires owned in Sunnydale before I left? Split it with my twin?"
"Oh. Yeah, I guess. I'll report that." He went to make that report from the car. His boss didn't know who was over the undercover but he could ask a few quiet questions over toward NCIS. A few agents came to rescue Tony from Alex but he was resting and healing well. They took him back to NCIS.
Alex cleaned up the mess and relaxed again. Tony came back that night so Alex let him in and let him collapse on the couch. "Bad day?"
"Yes." He groaned. Alex got up to get him another ice pack and came back to hand it over plus sit next to him so he wasn't alone. Sometimes not being alone was the best thing. "Wake me up in a few hours?"
"Sure. Done that a few times." Tony smiled but let himself drift off. It was safe here. He turned on the security alarm and got his books to read up for his next class. He really hated being in college but he knew it'd be helpful some day. Plus he did get to party like a college kids some days. Even if they were so very young to him.
Tony hummed. "Only been twenty minutes. I'm just studying. Sleep, Tony." He hummed again and drifted off again. He woke up fully when Alex took off the ice pack but then got to go back to sleep. It was the bad part of head injuries.
Alex sent out invitations to his graduation, smiling at the few he had to send. Xander couldn't get back. Well, he could but it'd mean that somewhere in Central Africa had to deal with its own battle. He'd try since the battle was two days before his graduation ceremony. Tony's got sent, and got returned with a writing that wasn't Tony's that he was not accepting personal mail there.
He sent one to his former boss, who sent back a 'good job' card and a small gift certificate to help him get a new suit. He considered it then went to see Tony at work. He got lunch time. Most of the time. He showed up and found Tony outside glaring at the building. "I just showed up to invite you to my graduation so I have someone there who can take pictures," he said happily, handing over that same invitation.
Tony stared at him. "Xander can't get back?"
"Probably not. Somewhere in the center of Africa has a battle two days before then. He'll try but you're one of my few friends in the area. And my boss sent me something to get a new tie to go with my new suit." He held up the gift certificate then tucked it back into his pocket to keep it safe.
Tony looked at the note. "She's going to get it." He grinned and opened it then made a note on his phone. "If I'm not out of town." Alex hugged him with a grin. "Are you getting honors cords?"
"I'm lucky I made it through. Books and I aren't really friendly. I mean, 2.3 in high school and that was actually trying most of the time. I'm above a 3.0 but not that far above."
"So well in hireable ranges," Tony said with a smile.
"Yeah. I went business for speciality and I've already done the pre-bar test and passed it well enough that I'm not totally worried for the actual bar." Tony smiled at that, nodding some. "So I'll be okay. If not, I'm still a paralegal and I passed that test so I can get a job. Not like I don't have a job."
"True." He patted him on the cheek. "How is the new job?"
"Deadly boring. The firm got bought out by another firm and they're all uptight and annoying as hell. I think one was trying to tap my phone the other day." He did a hand wave slowly in the air. "I brought that up and they said the new people are uptight so I'm looking for a better firm to work with anyway. Be damned if I want to turn into an uptight earlier era Bush republican. Reagan loving I am not."
"Only people who don't remember what he did like him anymore." He patted him again. "I'll be there if I can."
Alex grinned. "Thanks, Tony."
"What are you doing here?" Gibbs demanded.
Alex looked at him. "Inviting him to my graduation from law school. What are you doing here, Agent Gibbs?" The man glared. Alex stared back. "I've seen worse from teenage girls who were cheerleaders and I dated her. Are you auditioning to replace her in my bedroom?" Gibbs choked at that. He grinned at Tony. "Cordelia was not that sweet or nice. Queen C was kinda also the bitch queen quite often. He really does remind me a lot of her."
Tony gave him a hug with a grin. "Thank you, Alex. Go have fun before he recovers."
"I'm not scared of him." He let him go with a smile. "You be safe. Or if you have to get another head injury come camp on the couch so you have someone who'll wake you up." He patted him on the cheek. "Though, quit getting hurt, Tony. Before one of those less-than-logical beings gets you killed. Some of us would miss you." He strolled off.
Tony smirked at Gibbs. "I've seen pictures of Cordelia, Boss. She was pretty and fashionable. I guess you can't compare to her after all." He walked around him. "I'm still on lunch before I smite Ziva."
"Go back to your desk," he growled.
Tony looked at him. "I'm allowed to have a lunch. That is the law." He gave him a pointed look before going to get something to eat.
"Don't care, Gibbs." He waved a hand like Alex did. "Maybe the kid has the right idea and I should hit law school too." Gibbs groaned but stomped back inside to glare at Ziva and have a talk about her problems of the day. Tony came back with his lunch and settled in to eat it while he proofread.
McGee looked over. "Report?" he asked quietly. "Gibbs is in a horrible snit."
"Yeah, Alex Harris just compared him to a bitchy cheerleader and found him lacking." He shot him a grin. "He showed up to invite me to graduation."
"I thought he was older."
"He worked for years. He's graduating law school."
"Oh, congratulate him for me. That's really hard." He went back to what he was doing. Tony was nibbling while typing a few corrections.
The director came down the stairs. She spotted the invitation and snatched it. "I thought I sent that back."
"Which means you just admitted to a federal crime. Tampering with the mail," Tony quipped, taking it back to stare at her. "I am allowed to have friends, Director."
"He compromised your undercover."
"Bullshit. Jeanne's father found out from someone CIA. Would you like that letter explaining that again?" He stared at her. "I gave you the last copy. And frankly, my private life is none of your business. Not my friends, not anything else I do. Not like he knows what my home address is and sending it here is very nice of him. Now, anything else, Director?"
She stepped back, looking horrified. He looked at the thing that had appeared beside him. "What?" It mumbled something he didn't understand. "I don't speak that language but if you're tracking Alex, he's probably grocery shopping then going home. It's his day for it." The thing nodded and left.
He stared at the director again, making her stomp off again. "Have fun with your broom practice, Director," he muttered, glaring at her back. McGee tried not to laugh at that. He looked over. "She might even play quidditch." McGee did laugh at that. Gibbs and Ziva David came off the elevator together. "You missed the Director trying to prove she's tougher, Boss. Pity she's not that scary either." He went back to proofreading and eating.
"Are you still on lunch, DiNozzo?"
He ate another bite and nodded. "Since I'm not even supposed to be here today? Yes." Gibbs winced. "That was *your* call to bring me off injury leave early for no reason. So yes, I'm eating things I need to finish healing the problem in my leg. Hopefully it'll stop the cramping soon." He went back to it.
"You don't have any backed up reports."
"No, I did that a few days back when I couldn't stand up from the couch for almost a day. This is for continuing ed classes. Which are required for all agents."
"I did mine last month," McGee said.
"I did most of mine but I'm missing the investigative session," Tony said. "So I'm working on that. Just have to get the paper done." He smirked at McGee. "Then I'm done for two years."
"I've got some next year. I spread them out to give me a break between." He looked them up and sighed. "She added two more classes."
"Already done 'em. Injury leave is good for something."
"Maybe I need to get injured again so I can just sit and do them all in one week," McGee muttered. Tony snickered, shaking his head. "I know, it's not worth the pain."
"No, it's not." He started a spell checker, finding the last few things, and then a grammar checker to find anything else. Then he saved it down and sent it to the class address. He got an email back that it had been sent and received. "That's good." He got out of that and went back to the surfing he was doing.
Gibbs stared at him. "What are you doing now, DiNozzo?"
"Looking at realty sites, Gibbs. Since I don't have any work I need to do." He didn't even look up.
"You are being snippy," Ziva said. Tony stared at her until she backed down. "Perhaps you should go back to bed?"
"I would be on the couch recovering but someone pulled me off injury leave when I still had another five days before the injury you helped cause seals, Agent David." She shrank down again. He went back to surfing.
"You're fine," Gibbs said.
Tony snorted. "No I'm not. I've already had to have two bandage changes due to the stitches snapping and Ducky having to redo them." He stared at him. Gibbs glared. He stared back. "Do I really need more scars in my life? Law school's looking like a nicer alternative all the time." He looked up the various law schools he could attend. The one Alex had went to had a bad reputation but good credits for prior work.
Probably why Alex had went there. There was another in town and it was a better program but wouldn't give him any credit for his years in law enforcement. That was a bad decision to make so he looked at others.
University of Virginia's looked decent and it was within commuting distance. Had a lot of distance learning. He asked them to send him information on that program and in his notes he added that he was currently a federal agent at NCIS and had prior law enforcement service as well. They would like that in a student. Plus he'd have to do less research for some papers. Hopefully.
He got out of that page and went to a few others he liked because he liked some of their graduates. Only one wasn't nearby. He'd have to move to Pennsylvania. Which...wasn't actually a bad thing. He sent an email to HR to get his education hours looked at to see how many he had left. They sent back one almost immediately that it was no longer a category they had on file, the director had removed it. So that was fine. He'd just do it without that.
Gibbs was huffy but oh well. "We no longer have education hours, Probie."
"That's odd. I had one last time I looked." He looked at that. "She did take it out. Great. They demand classes for continuing ed and then don't count those hours as work hours. Just absolutely marvelous." He huffed.
"That was my feeling too," Tony said, looking at him. McGee looked back. "One section of the required classes is only given in two weeks for the next year. Thankfully I took it last year and it's only every five."
McGee looked then smiled at his screen. "I took that two years ago. I have time." He sighed in pleasure. "I only need four of the classes in a year. I can do that on weekends I guess." He went over what each one would need.
"What classes?" Ziva demanded.
Tony looked at her. "All federal agents in all agencies, including this one, have mandatory continuing education classes so we're not stuck without current information and skills. FLETC should've taught you that. You have a total of twelve classes that are due at least bi-yearly and one that's due every five years. The classes range from five hour seminars to three months of classes you can do online.
"That one's a pain but it is on field investigative techniques. If you don't take them, they can fire you, Ziva. Sometimes they'll ignore it, like in Gibbs' case because he's years behind. Again. Last time they put him on desk duty until he did at least four of the classes. They can outright fire you for not having them. And they do audit that randomly for every agency."
"Mine got audited last year," McGee said. "I passed the audit, got praised for keeping up, and then they warned Gibbs about his."
Gibbs rolled his eyes. "It's not mandatory."
Tony pulled up the pertinent code and put it on the main monitor. "Yes it is. For all agents." He pointed at it. "That is in the manual and she cannot override that. Only the president can override that order." He grinned and erased it from the monitor since she was coming back. He looked at Ziva. "How far behind are you? Days like this, we catch a few hours of it so we have something to do. They're rare so we take advantage of it." She huffed but got back into the reports she had backed up.
"DiNozzo, since you're bored, proofread her reports," Gibbs said.
"That's illegal," he said in a sing-song voice. "That would be tampering with her statement and reports. Only supervisors can do that. I am not her supervisor. I'm not going to be fired and blackballed for taking over duties that only a supervisor can do."
Gibbs glared. "That is not a rule either."
"Yes it is," McGee said, pulling up that to show him. "Written by Director Sheppard, Boss. Before it could have been delegated for education on how to write better reports." He pulled up the last one. "It's now illegal." He sat back down to get into his continuing ed again. The Director paused to glare at them. "Doing federally mandated continuing ed, ma'am, since you took our ed hours out."
"You're not required."
"We're a federal agency, we're required." He put back up that statement for her. "The only one who can undo that is the oversight board over all agencies or the President." He looked at her. "We have to have it. They'll audit otherwise." He went back to work. "Shoot. I have the updated HR panel this time."
Tony laughed. "This year's wasn't so bad. Just an update of the last one and the seminar was only three hours. It's on tape. I played it and answered the questions while I made dinner."
"Oh, good. That's an every other year course. I hate that one." He got into that file to see what forms it came in. He looked at the ending questions and he could answer most of them. He put in his headphones and went over that one to answer the questions he didn't have an immediate answer for. The Director went to call someone and have a fit on them.
Tony went back to the realty site. Did he want to buy? He wasn't sure. Was he staying in DC? He wasn't sure. He shifted and winced, holding his thigh. He checked, no new blood at least. He put pressure on it and it quit hurting for a little while. He finished his lunch so he could take his antibiotic and something for the pain. That helped a little bit at least.
One house caught his eye. It was near Alex's house. Not a bad neighborhood. He grimaced. "That's way too high for that level of house." He went back to looking at condos. With how often he wasn't home, it'd pay to have the condo's amenities.
Gibbs was still mad but oh well. He'd be even more mad when someone from Internal Affairs came up to talk to Tony. Tony blinked at him. "Agent DiNozzo, HR has informed us you're missing medical release forms from your last three injuries." Tony pointed at Gibbs. "I'm aware you're supposed to be on injury leave today," he said patiently.
"Yes but I got called in by Gibbs. And told if I didn't show up he was going to fire me. So I'm on desk duty apparently. Gibbs decided he overruled that. And the last few times too. He told me Ducky could do it, when he's not allowed by NCIS law. I've done what I can and gotten belated ones from my doc when I went to have stitches taken out." He pulled those out. "That's all I have."
He looked at them, then looked at Gibbs. "That's a violation of federal law and his human rights." Gibbs glared. "You're not that scary, Gibbs." He looked at Tony. "Stitches?"
"Ducky had to redo some earlier," he admitted. "It hurts like a bitch right now but I can do desk duty. Since I have nothing to do and I just finished a continuing ed section, I'm looking at real estate."
"Good. We're doing an audit of that last week." He handed over a letter to each of them.
Tony looked. "I'm not due those." He got into the system to show him. "See?"
"Oh, you're not. Huh. We got into all agencies database instead of ours." He made that note. "Print that." Tony did that. McGee did his too. "Very nice, Agent McGee. Thank you." He looked them over. "That does fit yours. All but next year's."
"Already starting. I'm doing the HR one right now." He smiled and let him see the screen.
"Excellent. That one will need to be updated next year as well because they're changing a few of the rules about what you're supposed to take yearly. They're dropping one of the classes and including it in another one then changing the title of another." That got a nod. "But it is that HR one to go over the manual so short at least. We know you guys are busy since your overtime records are heinous and also a problem with federal guidelines."
Both male agents smiled at him like they were stupid. "We know why, boys. Relax. You're not in trouble." He looked at Gibbs. "You're years behind, Special Agent Gibbs. It is mandatory. You have a single week from yesterday to show that you have done at least six classes or you will be suspended to non-office time to do them. Which means taking them with the rookie agents at FLETC. Am I clear?"
"I was told it was no longer mandatory."
"Someone lied to you and the president is looking at this issue because of the FBI messing up. So we're all complaint or we're all in trouble." He looked at Ziva then at Gibbs. "Also, you should be aware that the president is aware of your team's ...assistant, who is not an actual agent as she's not a US citizen. Going for her citizenship is good, and he likes that. It still won't count until she takes that oath. And the updating classes.
"As she's your team's addition, if you go on suspension so does she because neither lower agent is of high enough rank to oversee anything she does. That is the law. That is what the Oversight people have noted." He handed over that folder. "That's the legal orders on how to handle foreign agents working with a team. They wanted you handed a copy. And your director." He walked off to go up the stairs to the walkway. "People," he said loudly.
"I am Internal Affairs for NCIS and ACIS. The president has called an audit of continuing education classes, which we did last week. You have a *week* from yesterday to be up to date. Some of you are very far behind. I'm announcing this now instead of enjoying so many people being suspended next week because we were informed that HR no longer has education hours allowed." He shrugged.
"Some of you are years behind. Do this year's and last year's if you can. You have until 5pm on a week from yesterday. Or else we will be forced to suspend you. That is the presidential order because some people in the FBI screwed up. It made the news." That got a few groans.
"Remember, if you're suspended, you only have two weeks, have to take it with the rookies in FLETC, and they're not doing it soon so you'd be fired if you haven't complied within that two weeks, with the rookies. Am I clear?" They mostly nodded. "Good. Sorry but at least I'm not here to suspend half the floor."
He went in to tell the Director what she had done wrong according to the oversight people and the president. She called him and he told her to follow orders and hung up on her. So that was pleasant. He was having a nice day. He stopped at DiNozzo's desk again.
"Going to UVA isn't a bad idea but their school is hard and won't give you credit for work credit. The one where you did that undercover isn't a favored school but they will. And they're cheaper. The other choice is good but a pain to get into. They only accept five percent of the applicants. Good luck." He left again.
Tony nodded. "That's good to know. Were you checking up on me?" he called.
"Wanting to see what was so bad that you had to break injury leave. Then we found out why." He shot him a look. "Go home. Get actual clearance. Until then you can't come back."
Tony nodded, packing up to do that. "I talk to my doc in two days anyway."
"Good." He smiled. "Get clearance for the head injuries too, DiNozzo. The president said it's a running joke about your concussions." He smirked a bit, getting onto the elevator.
"I can do that too," he sighed. "Even though I hate MRI's." He looked at Gibbs. "I can't go against direct orders, Boss." He left, going home to rest. And order dinner. He was still hungry.
Gibbs glared at McGee, then at Ziva. "Show her how to get into that, McGee." He came over to get her into the continuing education program. Then he got to teach the other team leaders, including Gibbs, when the director called a meeting.
Everyone was mad. It was a great day to be NCIS if you had followed regulations.
Tony came over that weekend, walking in when Alex opened the door and going to flop down on the couch. "I'm screwed."
"Is that something you wanted to be?" He closed the door and came over to give him a hug. "Why are you screwed?"
"My doc said I get one more concussion and he'll pull me from the field."
"Okay. So now what? Are you looking at options other than NCIS? Would some other agency protect your head better?"
"They hate that I managed to survive Gibbs and think it gave me a weird view of the world."
"You probably already had it."
"True." He put his head back down. "I was thinking about law school."
"I had some fun," Alex said with a grin. "Broke some people too." That got a nod. "You have a lot of options, especially if you're willing to do college. There's finance stuff, there's legal stuff, there's running for Congress...." He shrugged. "You could even do medical school so you could mentor the next agent that turns into you."
"I could. I don't want to do medical school." He stared at him. "Congress?"
"Yeah, you could. You know how things should be and how they really are."
"True. Not something I wanted." He put his head back down. "I'd put that below medical school right now."
"Or you could use it to protect the agencies that are working right." He grinned. "They want to cut your whole agency out of the budget. They have no idea who you are."
"Fuck. That's going to be bad. They wanted us to do updated continuing ed so we can be transferred to other agencies," he realized. "Oh, no." He sat up. "What's your source?"
"CNN this morning."
Tony looked it up on his phone, finding it. Then he called Gibbs. "Found out why we're all doing updating paperwork, Boss. NCIS was trying to be removed from the budget. That way they could farm out the good agents to other agencies without many problems. CNN this morning." He hung up and laid back down. Alex sat beside his head and petted through his hair. "That's nice," he said quietly.
"You're welcome. I know very well that sometimes you just need someone there. I ended up going clubbing for a few of mine."
"Yeah, so have I," Tony admitted quietly. "It doesn't always help enough."
"No but it's something." Tony nodded so he went back to petting him while he thought. He had to make some choices. Did he jump ship sooner? Did he stick it out? Maybe get another head injury and therefore be forced out of his job due to too much damage? Go to medical school? Go to law school? Run for congress? That thought made him shudder. He didn't even know how to start that. "How is looking for a new firm going?"
"I've had two interviews. I took the bar last week and I'm waiting on results. Things will be easier then." Tony nodded. "I'm not hurting for money, Tony."
"I realize that." He shifted his feet. "I hate head injuries."
"Then get fewer of them. That's an option. Even if you just changed teams it'd probably cut down on that."
"Point. None of the other teams get injured like we do." Someone pounded on the door. "Not sure who that is."
"I think that's your director," Alex said, looking out the window. "It's a limo." He got up, going to answer it before she made another attempt to break down his door. "Yes?" he asked. "Why did you come to visit today, ma'am?"
"Is my agent here?" she demanded, trying to push her way inside. Alex stopped her. "I'm going to tell everyone he's gay."
"That's a blatant lie and he's dated enough women in this city that they all know him." He smiled a bit. "Beyond that, he's napping on the couch. We are friends. He can nap on my couch if he wants. I doubt I'm his type anyway."
Tony strolled over. "You're kind of my type but you're a guy. If you were a girl I might've flirted." He stared at the director. "Yes, Madam Director?"
"You...." She looked him over. "Napping?"
"Yes. I needed a nap after having an MRI earlier. The noise always gives me a headache, even with ear plugs." She glared. He stared back. "Why did you come all the way out here?"
"This...thing..." she said with a hand wave at Alex. "Is getting you in trouble, DiNozzo."
"I'm still fully human," Alex said.
"You're not. You're one of *them*."
"No. My twin's been exposed to demon blood. I haven't. I do work with the peaceful community. I grew up around a lot of them. Went to school with plenty too. Still human though. I'm just tolerant. It's a pity more people aren't." She tried to hit him so he held her off. "Lady, don't make me punch you back.
"I can defend myself against any charges you'll bring as I have a taping home security system. And an agent watching again." He waved at him, getting a huffy agent. "Can you please take this heaving, hissy fit throwing woman out of my vicinity? She just accused me of not being a human and tainting Agent DiNozzo by being his friend and letting him nap off a headache."
"I can do that, Mr. Harris. Director Sheppard, he's fully human. We've tested some of his twin's blood once, and had the computer system fully shut down to protect him."
"Yeah, Xander has a few things that he's caught over the years. He really hates blood hunters."
"I can't say I like them either," the agent said.
"Me either," Tony added. "She's decided he's leading me astray."
"DiNozzo, you've dated seventy women in the last four years. Save some for the rest of us. And if you take in that one, make him quit being bouncy." He walked her off to force her into her car and make her go away. "I heard your agency's being shut down, Director."
He smiled. "I look forward to seeing what agents my people poach from yours. Which probably won't be DiNozzo since Gibbs made him act weird and superhuman. We don't allow agents to wear capes." He walked off back to his car to keep watch over Alex.
Tony shut the door. "Why are they watching you?"
"Someone went after a nursery again and I heard, went to defend it. They got really horrified that I'll unretire for that sort of thing. Watching me means that I let them know if the agents are trying them again. I need to call in that Sheppard's that prejudice but they probably have the place bugged." He shrugged. "We'll figure it out." Tony nodded, going back to the couch and his bad thoughts.
Tony got called to testify by Sheppard. He was nicely enough dressed. He spoke the same spoiled asshole language they did. So she was making him do it instead of her. He got sworn in and sat down. "Senators, may I have a moment first?" They nodded. "I believe none of you realize what NCIS is or does. That's understandable with how many agencies in the area use initials. We are the law enforcement for the Marines and the Navy. ACIS does the Army. JAG does the Air Force and trials. We are important."
"Actually, I did not know what your agency did," the head of the panel said. "Can it be combined with ACIS?"
"No. We can barely combine the Marines and Navy and only because the Marines came off the Navy. The army's investigative agencies and us do have to work together sometimes but we do tend to deal with different things. My team is for major crimes, felonies, done to or by members of those two forces. ACIS doesn't split that way and they actually don't have as much work because we have agents on ships and bases plus the investigative teams."
"So if someone robs a mini mart...."
"There's other teams for that," Tony said.
"All right." He nodded. "Your background includes other federal service?"
"My background is law enforcement in three city departments and then NCIS. I have worked with other agencies. I have done an undercover my Director asked me to handle, which was multi agency. I have not been a member of any other investigative agency."
"So you're an officer and then an agent, all about enforcing the law," the head of the panel said. Tony nodded. "All right. Can we not combine all three agencies together?"
"No, sir. They have too much work as is and are needed to do their own work." His phone turned on. "Sorry. I had that turned off." He looked. "It's my team leader," he muttered. "May I growl for a second?" They nodded. He answered.
"I'm in front of Congress talking about NCIS. Is it an emergency that you turned my phone on, McGee?" He listened. "No." He hung up and turned it back off, and took out the battery. They went in different pockets. "Sorry. My supervising agent had my team's technical agent hack my phone to turn it on. I apologize for him."
The head of the panel shook his head. "Who is your supervisor?"
"We've heard of him," another one said with a sigh.
Tony smiled at him. "I remember raiding your former boss's office, Representative."
"That's where I knew you from." Tony nodded. "That explains a lot. Are all your agents like you?"
"No. My team lives by Gibbs' rules. Most agents are normal agents within NCIS."
"Huh?" the head of the panel asked, looking down there.
"His supervising agent's laws for his team state things like you're always on call, even if it's your day off. They've been known to be at the office for thirty-six hours straight due to a case. One without a missing person." Tony nodded at that. "He's also got a Mossad agent on his team?"
"Ziva David was given to our team to liaison after one of my team was killed by a terrorist," Tony said.
"Don't like her?"
"She's had some rough times but I feel about her like I do most agents. She's competent in her areas, has some flaws because she's human, and is learning more about how to be a field agent like all of us."
That got a nod. "DiNozzo, that was the most polite way to say her records are spotty, NCIS has multiple forms of problems with her, and their Internal Affairs department has issues with her I've ever heard," the Representative who knew Tony said dryly.
"I'm not IA, Representative. I have no idea what is in their minds or their files. Ziva is part of my team and she has a place on it."
"Well, just in case you didn't know, many of us are irritated by her presence in your agency."
"That's not my call. That's the Director's orders, Representative."
"Point." He stared at him. "You've been seen with Alex Harris."
"I have. I've ran into him a few times and he's helped me in the past when I was injured. Abby, our lab tech, introduced us. He's an interesting guy."
"Why is the FBI watching him?"
"They think he'll be indicative of the next major apocalypse battle that he'd have to unretire for. They don't like watching the slayers themselves and are banned from that. His twin's the Watcher in Africa. So if his twin calls in a warning or sends a letter apologizing for possibly getting dead during the next battle he has, they have some warning."
The head of the panel stared at him. "He has?"
"Alex said he got the fourth one the other day. He hates that his twin brother still does the duty and is proud he does the duty he does, but hates it for him."
"I hate it for the kid," the head of the panel sighed. "And for the girls." Tony nodded at that. "I guess that makes sense. So not a boyfriend?"
"No, Representative. Not a boyfriend. He's never even flirted. He said he would've but he knows I'm straight."
"Pity. He could be a good match for you. And probably against Gibbs."
Tony smiled. "The last time they met, Alex told him he reminded him of a cheerleader from high school he had briefly dated who was mean and he lost that comparison against her." The whole panel laughed at that. "Gibbs doesn't like him, my director doesn't like him, but I'm allowed to have supportive friends. She showed up to complain that I was napping a headache off on his couch after an MRI."
"Let's go into that," the one on the other end sighed. "Agent DiNozzo, do you try to get so injured?"
"No, ma'am. I really wish I'd quit getting hurt."
She nodded. "We all think that's a good idea. Is that a training thing?"
"Most of the time it's lack of additional people. Our team only has us four. If we had eight or ten, it'd be easier to not get clubbed on the head, or they could get it instead. We'd have more people to chase down suspects and the like so I wouldn't get another graze."
"Is that because your agency's so small?"
"In part and also we work in small teams on cases. There's a few teams that have six people. Ours only has four. That's not my call. I turned down my chances to run some teams that were offered because I didn't want that sort of responsibility. I don't want to be the guy in charge who sends someone into a situation where they'll get shot. Run in the field yes. Sending them into a dangerous situation where I know they'll get injured? Not what I want on my soul. That's a decision I made long ago."
"I can understand that. I wouldn't want that sort of responsibility either," she said, staring at him. "If we gave NCIS a raise would they hire more agents?"
"I'm not over that but there's a few places where some replacement agents have been needed due to retirement or firing." He sipped his water. "That's one reason why we have Ziva David."
"Okay," she said. She looked at the others then at him again. "What if it's a terrorism case?"
"We've had a few of those, ma'am. If a case comes and it's our turn, we handle it. If it's a felony it's ours. That would fall under that."
"Did you handle that terrorist that got your teammate dead?"
"The case? Yes. Even against orders," he said honestly but firmly. "Did I end that terrorist? No. He broke into Agent Gibbs' house while he was home. He was taunting him by shooting our teammate and going after Ducky's assistant and him. He finally decided to go after Gibbs and lost."
She nodded. "So he did die?"
"As far as I know, Gibbs did his duty, ma'am. I didn't get to see the body but I'm told he died. Gibbs had been a sniper so he's a fairly good shot."
She nodded again. "All right. Good for him. The world needs fewer people like that." Tony nodded at that. "Have you picked an agency to go to if we do remove your agency?"
"I've had offers from one that I may take up. I'm not sure if that's still a good offer due to recent injuries. It's been suggested I could go to medical school or law school as well. Or run for one of your seats." He smiled. "I'm keeping all options open in my mind. Though I do hate moving and job hunting."
"We all hate moving," the head of the panel said dryly. "How many head injuries have you had?"
"Seven that I know of."
They stared at him. "Is that like boxers have?"
"I'm not showing that damage as of this point in time. They made me get that checked recently. I've been warned not to get many others." He grimaced. "I'm in good health overall."
"You had the plague a few years back."
"It got mailed to the office," he agreed. "I survived."
The woman on the panel stared at him. "You survived? Without additional problems?"
"I have to be careful not to get the flu or any chest condition. I got the pneumonic plague and had a lot of chest congestion. Now I get it easier so I need to avoid that." He stared at her. "I'm fine now, ma'am."
"Are all agents like you?"
"I have no idea. I know I was a bit softer, happier, and had fewer scars as a detective in Baltimore. Other than that, life changes us all."
"I'd hate that for myself or my children."
"I'd hate it if I had kids."
She nodded. "Maybe someday?"
"Maybe if I find someone who's willing to stay with me. I've dated a lot. The president's joked about my dating, but no one stays. There's too many women who don't want substance, they want up front flash." Someone kicked in the door and he had his gun in hand before the door fully opened, pointing it at them.
"Freeze, Federal Agent!" The man froze and stared, hands going up. Tony stared then put up his gun when Capitol Guards showed up. He sat back down after locking his gun back down in the holster. "Sorry. Force of habit."
"No, you're very good at that," she said, eyes wide. "Well." Tony shrugged. "Do you expect other NCIS agents to react that fast?"
"Is that how your teammate died?"
"Sniper head shot from a nearby building."
"You can't get out of the way of those," she sighed. "I'm sorry for your loss, DiNozzo."
"Thank you, ma'am."
The rest of the panel shared a look. "If we could combine one of the agencies with another?" the head of the panel asked.
"Didn't you do that with Homeland already, sir?"
"Well, I suppose."
"I know a lot of people wonder what they're doing since they seem to react and not stop. I know Immigration is thought to be overreaching. Civilian outpouring of anger at agencies usually hits those two and the TSA for groping children and demanding cancer patients take off sterile dressings in the open air of the airport. We all think it'd be great if they were *agents* instead of just needing a GED."
"They don't need a degree?" the female asked.
"No, ma'am. They need a GED. They don't have to take any agency's training academy. They don't have to do our continuing education things that all agents have to do. That and they think I'm a danger because I've got an Italian last name. I'm forever getting picked for secondary patting down even with my badge."
They sighed. "We'll look into them next week," the head of the panel said, making that note. "Can we combine an agency to save money?"
"If you plan on saving money but making half the agents in both agencies quit? Perhaps. If you want to keep good agents working well, no, sir. In fact, of all the agencies we have the least amount of budget. We run on a shoestring. Our Director demands we're taking up slack from other agencies. It'd be nice if they paid us to do their work for them. A few of them owe me money for doing their work for them." He grimaced but let it clear up.
"I've heard rumors about a long term undercover," the head of the panel said.
Tony nodded. "Yes I was part of one."
"How did you get found out?"
"The subject checked too hard and whoever was supposed to lay out a background failed horribly. I nearly got blown up with them. He checked into Alex Harris because the one I was working around to get to her father spotted him talking to me on campus after a class I had taught. He apparently knew his twin. They tried to bomb his car too. Though I'm not certain who put the bomb there."
"We are," the female said. "It wasn't the arms dealer."
"Charming. I'll go punch someone in the nose over that for him." She chuckled. "He wasn't part of that. He was going to law school." She winced. "They included outsiders probably because they're against his twin's job. I know my director is. She accused him of not being human and me of dating him."
"Your director's a piece of work," she said.
Tony smiled. "I cannot comment on that statement, ma'am. It won't look good on me no matter what I answer."
"Point. You can play politics. Maybe you should try for a seat up here?"
He smiled. "Maybe. I'm keeping all my options open."
She nodded. "Run for office, DiNozzo. You'll do a better than some of our coworkers, who are mostly less than brainy. It'd be nice to have someone who thought before he spoke."
"I'll consider that the next time something comes open." He smiled. She chuckled and nodded. He looked at the head of the panel. "NCIS is a stand alone agency. We do a lot of work. The week before I went on injury leave the last time I had forty-three hours of overtime. If we didn't do a great bit of work, I wouldn't have that. I'd never sleep behind my desk during cases. I'd never have whole weeks I never see my house and movies. Thankfully I don't have a relationship or a pet waiting on me."
The female representative looked confused. "You slept behind your desk?"
"During cases, if we're in the middle, we don't go home."
"Is that NCIS rules or Gibbs rules?" she asked.
"Other teams do the same things at time. Maybe not as often as we do but others teams do have the same thing."
She nodded. "If they did that at the FBI, the supervisor would be fired."
"Yes, but we tend to take any crossover cases from the FBI to solve them before they do. It's just easier than trying to make them not be scared of Gibbs, ma'am."
"So you're doing eighty hour weeks?"
He nodded. "Sometimes."
"How many weeks a year do you have at least twenty hours of overtime, Agent DiNozzo?"
"Forty-three last year. Thirty-seven the year before."
She sighed. "Well, if you have to switch agencies then you'll have fewer hours at work probably."
"Perhaps. I get the job done. We all get the job done."
"Yes but you're human."
He nodded. "I've got the scars to remind me of that, ma'am."
She sighed, slumping and looking at the others. "We're going to clarify which agency does what, DiNozzo." He took some paper and wrote that out for her. "Oh. That's a nice way of putting the CIA, spooky geeks and weird spies."
"All the ones I know of," he said.
"The ones I've met as well." She handed that down. "I liked how you described Homeland as the new home of semi-talented agents and small agencies that got sucked in."
"It was how it was designed."
The head of the panel smiled. "All good points." He looked at him. "Could you be pushing for NCIS to get a raise?"
"I think if you did, the Director would dance about it, sir. I know a few agents didn't get their time in or cost of living raise this year. There was a huge fit. They almost all walked out one day."
"Okay so you guys need a new pair of shoestrings to hang by," the head of the panel decided. Tony nodded. "What about ACIS?"
"They have a good budget and their snack machines are nicer than ours. Our director canceled most of ours. Including the one that held snack cakes for those long afternoons. We went from fourteen in the building to two in the building. And we need a new coffee maker that does multiple pots. The last one broke and got replaced by two smaller Mr. Coffees, which make crap coffee and only hold twelve cups each. Most agents have at least a pot a day habit."
"How much is Gibbs' coffee habit?" she asked.
"Up to four pots a day if we're there all night."
She shook her head with a sigh. "Anything else you know your agency really needs?"
"I've heard that the computer servers are being updated. Not sure how that'll go. We have some needs in the lab for forensics. The floor's computers are a bit old and should be replaced in about two years. We could use the conference room back since my boss tends to use a stranded elevator and there's only one. We could use more agents as well to replace ones who're gone."
They just nodded. "We can see that." They shared a look. "Thank you, Agent DiNozzo. We'll take that into account when we talk about NCIS and their place in the budget."
"Thank you, Congress members." He nodded at them before leaving.
They shared another look. "NCIS is apparently being run like a war camp. Is that a good idea?"
"No," the female said. "We can ask the others if they're as threadbare as NCIS is."
"We have ACIS waiting," the head of the panel said. "Go get them for me." The guard went to find them and bring them in. They had to give up nagging an agent. "Bad time for you?" the head of the panel asked dryly.
"My assistant just informed me that I've had an agent injured in the field but it's not a serious injury. He got hit by a car and it broke his foot and ankle." He sat down. "I saw Agent DiNozzo. ACIS is run like a normal agency, we don't have agents like Gibbs."
"They've had forty-three weeks of at least twenty hours of overtime?" the female asked.
"That few?" he asked. "Interesting."
"Do your people have that same level?"
"No, ma'am. We don't have Gibbs running our floor. Or running over our floor."
"So it's an NCIS problem alone?"
"Probably, yes, ma'am."
"All right." She handed over the list. "Agent DiNozzo told us what each agency handled."
He looked smiled. "I don't like us being compared to Gibbs as the Gibbs for the Army but it's accurate." He handed it back.
"Is your agency running on a shoestring too?"
"No. NCIS used to not be that bad but you did cut them five percent and Jennifer Sheppard is not Tom Morrow, who is now in Homeland."
That got a nod. "So if we got rid of Director Sheppard and put in someone who's run an agency before?"
"It may solve some things but not all. They are underfunded compared to ACIS and JAG." That got a nod and a note made. "Though getting a different director would probably cure a lot of problems."
"DiNozzo said that they're doing the work of other agencies?" the head of the panel said.
"Representative, I'd have to have a closed hearing to speak on that subject," he said bluntly. "Though I will note that Gibbs will take over cases if they're cross-agency to get the thing solved faster and without someone complaining at him. He steps on a lot of toes and if we hear it's a crossover I only allow a few teams to work with them so they don't feel disrespected."
That got a nod. "Close the hearing," he ordered. "Cut off the broadcasting camera too please." That got closed and they got into the grittier details that DiNozzo hadn't shared so he didn't embarrass his agency. Including about that undercover he had went on for his director and her CIA contacts.
DiNozzo showed back up after his hearing, putting his bag on his desk before heading upstairs. "I told them we're good, but underfunded. They've done some research," he told the secretary. "But I did make a good case not to shut us down." He went back to gather his bag again. He handed Gibbs his paperwork. "A copy for the records you keep. Dr. Pitt sent it to HR by fax already." He stared at him. "I'm to retest in six months so another MRI." He walked off. "And I'm not allowed back until next week." He left again.
"What?" Gibbs demanded. He read those over. It was his medical clearance to resume duties. It was blatantly dated, and circled in red ink, that he was due back next Tuesday. "DiNozzo!"
"Elevator's already gone, boss," McGee said from his desk.
"The doctor's keeping him at home?" He looked up. "Is that about the brain MRI he had to have or the leg cramps from the graze?"
Gibbs stared at him. "What?" he demanded.
"They had to make him get clearance for the head injuries he's had since he's had two concussions in a year," McGee said, staring at him. "He said he's got to do another one in six months before he left. I'm not sure if the medical clearance is because of that or the graze?"
"I'm hoping the graze." He stomped off with his phone to call his senior agent. If that was about concussion then they had to have a realistic talk about how hurt DiNozzo got. Tony wasn't answering the phone so he tried his doctor, who said he didn't have legal reason to know anything about Tony's medical care. Then he hung up on him. He tried DiNozzo again, getting him on his headset since he was driving.
"Concussion damage?" he demanded. He listened, actually listened. Then he heard how DiNozzo pointed out no other agents in the officer ever seemed to even get a graze. And he admitted he'd have to quit if he got another head injury. So he was looking at colleges while he was off on injury leave. Then he hung up but Gibbs had heard screeching tires.
Tony called back twenty minutes later to tell Gibbs he needed backup since some agents had just tried to run him off the road and shot at his car. He had flipped them with a ramming maneuver off the edge of the road. Gibbs headed for the car and called Fornell on the way. It was another agency, the FBI had to slightly handle it. FBI agents made it there first but they were their internal affairs people. So DiNozzo had called them probably.
Tony leaned on the side of his car, waving at the new agents. He had pulled off to the side so it didn't affect traffic. "Those three tried to ram me off the road. They shot at my car so I bumped them back and they skidded then flipped off the road. I haven't went to check on them so they didn't try to shoot me again. So what's their malfunction?"
The FBI agent in the lead shrugged. "Let me go ask, DiNozzo." He went down to check on them. "Nope, can't do that. They shot each other."
Tony looked up then down there. "They yours?"
"One is. I had him under investigation recently. We were thinking we'd have to send Fornell to bother you because his brother's a Marine who was known to sell drugs." He came back up with help from his partner. He stared at Tony. "You were the one who arrested him while you were on injury leave after the plague."
"The guy who tried to sell me smack while I was walking in the park?"
"Yes, him," he said with a nod. "The driver was his brother. I'm guessing it's probably about that." Tony huffed but nodded, crossing his arms over the chest. "I'll look into it and call your desk."
"I'm on enforced injury leave until Tuesday. Our IA enforced the rules."
"Good. About time." He called that in and got a tow truck, a forensics team, and Fornell to come liaison since no one wanted to work with Gibbs. Especially when he was huffy about his senior agent. He looked around, spotting another agent. He noticed DiNozzo was staring that way too. "Do you have a safe location you can stay tonight?"
"I have a friend who'd let me have a couch." He called him. "It's me. Can I bum the couch again? No, someone tried to run me off the road. Thanks, Alex. Yeah, if you go out tonight I can amuse myself with your movies. Thanks, Alex." He hung up. "Alex said I can stay with him tonight. He's going clubbing but he'll make sure the house is safe."
"That's fine. We watch over that boy so we can have hints when it's another bad thing coming since his brother warns him. I'll have the neighborhood watcher stay and send someone else to watch the kid in the clubs." He called that in and he got driven there by Fornell when he got there. The IA agent looked at Gibbs. "He'll be safe there."
"Should I put out a warning with McGee?"
"He wasn't involved. If I find out it's about more than that I'll let you know." He got out of the way of the tow truck, pointing over the hill. "Forensics team is about a mile away, I can see their van," he told the driver. "They flipped off the road after trying to ram someone else off it. This one will be evidence but it's the victim's car."
The driver nodded, going to check the car to see how hard it'd be to pull it back up. He came back up. "I can haul that one up fairly easily. I'll get a flatbed to come get the victim's car. He good?"
"He's fine. On his way to a friend's couch." That got a nod. "Though he's on Gibbs' team at NCIS."
The driver looked at him. "We've heard about you from other agents." He pointed for the forensics team. They started with DiNozzo's car since it'd have fewer samples to take. The other car would take longer to search. Especially with three dead bodies.
Gibbs huffed but drove back to the office to tell McGee so they could watch out for him too.
Tony sat up when he heard the door slam. "Bad night in the club?" he asked.
"Two of Xander's ex's decided to try to see if I was fun. So I'm banned from the gay bar on sixth for beating their asses and pointing out I didn't date dicks that dirty. Then I smirked evilly and told the bouncer coming over that they were my twin's ex's and arms dealers." Tony moaned, shaking his head.
"They are. They're not even great ones. Xander said they were pathetic at it and got him junky things." He smiled a bit. "Then the agent wanted to know about that stuff. I pointed out no one gave the slayers weapons from this or any other government. How did they expect them to handle huge emergencies that would need more than swords?"
He shrugged with a grin. "The guy got horrified that Xander's had to buy some weapons, the girls use swords, and we expected the government to jump the hell in so I don't have to be unretired. The agent tried to take a swing at me for me pointing that out so he's probably in trouble once he gets out of the ER.
"I gave a note to the paramedics for the supervisor that showed up for him. And I told the one outside, who was also horrified." He took off his t-shirt. "I didn't even get good stress relief." He grinned. "Also, that thing earlier wasn't about that drug case. Taking you from Gibbs means that he'll not be as effective. They think you're too pretty to be effective." Tony snorted, sending that text around. "They're in the service of Mr. Marcanthin."
"I have no idea who that is," he said, looking it up. "Hmm, higher up political minion."
"Keeper of the tapes of whores. He runs a brothel or six for senators." Tony looked at him and sent that off. Alex looked him up for Tony through his contacts and let him see it. Tony moaned, copying all that to his own phone so he could send it around. "He doesn't want to come near me at the moment. I'm not politically inclined and he's not sure if I can't get a slayer called here to get into his face. Which I don't need one to do that for me." He beamed. "Everyone still considers me lower class."
"You dress lower class and swear some, Alex."
"Point. I guess I can't shake the bad upbringing." He winked. "Though they're saying the only way to protect yourself and NCIS is to run for office to be their political knight."
"I'd hate that."
"Yeah but a few seers have seen you doing that to protect yourself and others."
Tony laid back down. "Great. Is that one coming here?"
Alex snorted. "Not if he's not smart. Is he that smart?"
"That's a good question."
"Besides, I'll just move." He went up to his room. Then he came back down. "My storage area hasn't been checked recently. Let me do that." He went to the office to check on that. Someone had tried to get into it. A few things were missing. So he activated the spellwork he had paid for and all his things returned. All of Xander's things returned. Though one of the comics was pissed on.
He passed on a message that he'd be there tomorrow to check it to their security team, who probably shuddered. Alex patted the statue next to him. "May wondrous amounts of attention grace my enemies' lives," he cast. It went out and suddenly all his enemies were finding out a few things they didn't want to be known as.
He went back to his bedroom to relieve his stress the old fashioned way, but quietly so he didn't embarrass the only real friend he had in town.
Tony walked past Gibbs the next day, nodding at him. "Some seers have seen me during visions being a politician."
"That's a horrible way to end up," Gibbs complained. "Cite your source last night?"
"Alex looked him up." He grinned. "Then he wished attention on him." Gibbs shuddered at that. "Exactly." He smiled. "He learned how to be vindictive from girls."
"It shows. Why did he beat an agent last night?"
"The agent was horrified the slayers have to buy weapons on the black market because no government gives them any for big incidences." Gibbs drank his coffee but was wincing. "Exactly. That and Alex pointed out they could at least bring some when they jumped in to help. The agent was horrified they expected him to protect the US."
Gibbs nodded. "How high up did they see you?"
"The visions showed me being a senator in a few years. When we have the next best thing to the invasion. Our upcoming one of an ascension is today." Gibbs grimaced but nodded. "Blow the head off, Gibbs. It'll take artillery. Or trapping it in a building and blowing it up. Unless they captured the guy and held him somewhere they can get him when he changes."
"Then next year's mild. Another civil rights push will have a few riots. Which the slayers won't do more than step in to protect the demons from humans. The year after that...." He smiled. "Well, I'll gladly be out of the way somehow. Have fun with that!" He went back to his walk to figure out how to become a senator. He voted every time he needed to but he had stayed out of politics beyond that. How did one start to become a senator?
Gibbs called Fornell. "We have that ascension today if they haven't captured him." He hung up. He got something to settle his stomach so he could deal with people later. They had agents all over the city to handle an ascension. And a slayer. He was proved wrong because the slayer was injured within minutes and Tony had helped evacuate her then gave orders to handle it to the agents showing up to complain.
They protested but one got eaten so they had to handle the problem. He field commanded very well. Alex showed up with something and handed it over. They shot it at the demon worm, severing his spinal cord but not fully cutting off the head. Alex handed over a sword and Tony went to do it himself since the other agents were being whiny sorts.
The news captured a few good pictures of him with a sword and defeating the demon. Then more agents showed up to yell at them so Tony yelled back, getting into their faces to impart sense at the top of his lungs. Alex had gotten the slayer to an ER that was hidden and then back to Cleveland for the week to heal.
One of the agents tried Tony and Alex intervened by walking over there and standing between them then reminding them that they were agents, had been less than a block away, and this was a threat to the people of DC. Which was their job so why hadn't they done it? They tried to arrest him but the president himself showed up to end that and yell at them about the same things.
He thanked Tony and Alex. Told them to go calm down and clean up. They faded out of the mess to Alex's car and drove off. The president got to see the demon himself and then talk to the agents about how their responses weren't very appropriate this time. They had to do better as senior agents in the nation's capitol.
A few quit but that was their problem. The president nicely made a speech about how he'd be figuring out a proper response with his agencies in the morning. After they took this one off and cleaned up the mess. It turned out there was another one. It came to eat its rival. It nearly ate the president but he managed to get out of the way and away from the car.
That's when the military people showed up and blew it up. They had been chasing it but hadn't managed to capture it. One of Tony's group yelled how to kill it while guarding the president. They finally blew his head off. Killed the presidential limo to do it but it had worked. The thing didn't get to eat anyone.
The president huffed and sent out quiet orders about tomorrow's meetings and to reward the agents who had done 'real agent work'. A few agents looked upset at that but oh well! The military troop leant the president a ride back with his driver and guards so they could clean up the mess. The news people were happier with that than they were reporting on failed agents doing nothing to protect the US. Well, some reporters loved to showcase agent failures but that was just their style.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters and settings are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended.