Doing Weirdly Normal Things.
Wade looked at Weasel, frowning some in the shadow of his hoodie. "Why didn't you tell me that Xander was renting out his former building?"
"You didn't ask or need one?"
"I'm in a dump."
"Yeah but I doubt Xander wants you to blow up this one," he said, staring at him.
"Not an issue." He sat down, staring at him hopefully. "How much?"
"The basement one or one of the regular ones? Xander told me he told you about the basement. You'll have to put in a full bathroom. It's only got a half bath. And no walls."
"I can do that."
"Two grand a month and don't irritate others." He grinned. "Not sure if you can do that."
"I can try."
"You can probably try. Wanna go look at it?"
"It's where the safe rooms were."
"Yup. That's why he bought that building next to the former slayer house." He leaned on the bar, holding up a key. "Basement entrance. Or there's a front door and hallway down."
Wade grinned, taking the key. "Thanks, man."
"Uh-huh. I should tell Al to move in with you. That way you're not there all by yourself."
"I don't need a babysitter."
"Yeah, you do." Weasel stared at him. "You really should. And hey, someone to watch over it when you're out and about."
Wade rolled his eyes. "Let's go look at it?"
"Yeah, we can do that tonight. I've got the relief bartender coming in about six." Wade grinned. "Can you put in a bathroom?"
"Needs plumbing work?"
"Xander said he could put one in but it'd take him a few days of you taking sink baths."
"I can handle that with a hose if I have to."
"He did not renovate anything in there. He only worked on the top levels. And it's got a mail system in the front hall by the washer and dryers for the building."
"I could possibly like that."
"My current dump is so bad I'd almost bend over and let Xander fuck me for somewhere that nice sounding."
"He might like that and we'd all appreciate him not being that bouncy again," Weasel complained. "Could you do it soon so I win the pool about it?"
"I'm not sure if Xander's a top or not," Wade admitted. "Never asked. Two bouncy guys in bed doesn't work."
Weasel walked off rolling his eyes. "Come back at six."
"Sure. Thanks, man." He skipped off, literally, to get his stuff so he could move that night. He didn't have a lot of stuff to move thanks to blowing a lot of it up to try to get to Vanessa. It could all fit in the trunk of Dopinder's cab with one bag for weapons on the backseat. Weasel sighed when he spotted Wade, walking out with him. They got driven over and Dopinder was happy about the new place. He let Wade into the basement, which was a testament to the seventies.
"Xander said if you did good work and wanted to change the floors out, he'd allow it and knock off the cost from the rent for up to one month," Weasel said as he unlocked the door. "Any other changes you'd have to talk to him." He got the door open and walked in, looking around. "That's the half bath," he said with a point at the place that looked like a big closet in the middle of the back wall.
It had a minimal kitchen across from it, just a sink/fridge/stove with a miniature counter top over top of the two cabinets for storage. The floor had ugly green shag carpeting. The walls were plain concrete, with a few bricks showing through one wall's paint. Otherwise it was just a big, open room. Clearly used to be a basement.
Wade nearly teared up. "It's perfect," he cooed. "I can do a lot with this."
Dopinder looked around with a sigh of pleasure. "Some day I'll find something this nice. Mr. Pool, do you need a roommate? My wife and I would adore being one."
"Nope. Not right now. If I do it'll probably be Cable or Negasonic." He considered it. "Negasonic might be a fun roomie," he admitted with a grin. "Her and Yukio...we'd have to put up curtain walls or something." Weasel hit him on the arm. He grinned at him. "They'd probably like being out of the school."
"They'd kill you repeatedly for trying to listen in." He hit him again. "Should I pull out the lease?" Wade made grabby hands so he let him have it to read and sign. "Two months rent as deposit." Wade dug out his bundles of cash, tossing a bundle over. Weasel counted it out and handed the rest back. "You'll need it for a bed, couch, that stuff." He handed over the other keys. They were already marked. "Red's the front door so you can get your mail. Blue's the door from the main hall down here. The one you have fits this door." He pointed at it. "You good for tonight?"
"I need some furniture but I can find that after I deal with this ugly ass carpet." He looked down. "And I need toilet paper."
"Walmart," Dopinder said with a smile. "Many of my people have made their fine products."
"Yeah, that might work," Wade agreed. "At least for the toilet paper." He shrugged. "I'll figure it out."
"You can get a second set of keys made there if you want to give one to Cable," Weasel said dryly, walking off. Dopinder followed, helping Wade haul his stuff out of the trunk. Then they went back to the bar, where Domino was being pouty. "Have bad luck today?" he joked with a grin.
"No. Bad date. He got food poisoning from his dinner last night. So I'm guessing my luck held out." She held up her glass, getting another drink. "Thanks, dear." She looked at Wade. "So I heard rumors of a new place?"
"I rented Xander's former basement."
"In the building that used to hold the slayer safe rooms," Weasel said. "He bought the building next to the old slayer house." She nodded and grinned. "It had a nice, open, almost empty basement."
"I'd offer to be your roomie but you'd drive me nuts," she said with a grin for Wade. "I'd hate to stab you for listening in on my private time."
He hugged her. "It'll be fine. You can come over to help me if you want."
"Get off." She elbowed him but smiled. Xander came in and got handed the envelope, then a second one from the box behind the bar. Xander grinned and skipped off much happier. It meant he could have dinner all to himself that night. Then he'd go on patrol.
"At least he's happy."
"Only one apartment's empty in the building," Weasel said. A few heads lifted. "Xander owns the building next to the former slayer house. He turned it into cheap apartments. Only one left, it's a studio." Most of the heads went back down. A few came over to ask him about it.
Wade made plans about his new floor, because that shag carpet would drive him nuts otherwise. Home Depot had a few cheap flooring options for laminate stuff that was water resistant, noise resistant, and scratch resistant. Which was a good idea in his life. Cable stomped in a few hours later looking pissed off. Wade looked up. "Patrol?" he guessed.
"The kids at the X mansion."
"Ah." Wade nodded. "I can understand that. Teenage drama?"
"Trifling telepaths I had to help corral for being idiots." He sat next to him. "You look pleased."
"I got a real place finally. Xander's apartment building had a basement." He looked at Weasel. "Did he get permits?"
"Yup. It's all approved through the city building office. Xander used to work regular construction so it was done properly. Let him know if you need help with that bathroom."
"I can do that." He looked at Cable. "A whole basement. Barely a kitchen but can't cook anyway. A half bath so I'll need a hose."
"Need help renovating?" Cable guessed.
Wade grinned. "If you wanna help we can do that."
"Xander said he'd put in the bathroom for you," Weasel reminded him. "He'd probably let you pick out most stuff."
"Then he'd have a bathroom that had a Hello Kitty theme," Cable complained. Wade scowled at him. "You can ask. Xander's just outside the door." Xander stomped in. "Huge problem on patrol?" he asked. The kid had a black eye, it was a reasonable assumption.
"Just got hit by an ex-girlfriend's sister for daring to be in the will. Me and a certain Miss she had her first lesbian experience with." He looked at Domino, who choked, shaking her head. "Bethany."
"Oh, shit. I was young," she announced. "And curious."
"And Bethany was shit in bed anyway," Xander agreed.
Domino shrugged. "Nothing to compare it to." Wade was staring at her with Weasel. "I was *young*."
"Bethany had a thing about virgins," Xander agreed. "She thought I was until I pointed out she had been sent my way by a bragging ex." He sighed. "The sister said the will's being read tomorrow at six pm." He handed over the card. "There, dear. Maybe she left me weapons. We could use weapons."
He looked at Wade. "Standard, average bathroom. Toilet, sink with a small countertop and cabinet underneath, tub with a shower. Not any funky colors. I won't make it totally white so you don't have to worry about cleaning blood off as fast but nothing darker than a light blue or gray maybe. Nothing HGTV about it. I'm going to Home Depot tomorrow to pick out stuff so it'll be a few days probably."
"I can stand that. Can you put in the order for the floor at the same time if I pick it out?"
Xander grinned. "Cool! I can put it in this weekend after I run some pipes on Friday. It's got stuff roughed in already."
"In the present bathroom?"
"No. I'll connect it to a bedroom though."
"I might like that. What does the permit allow?"
"Two bedrooms. I put them mostly equal on the wall with the half bathroom. I've got plans to have updated appliances delivered too but not stainless steel because that stuff scratches." He grinned. "Good enough?" Wade nodded quickly. "Cool. I'll see you Friday." He looked at Weasel. "There's two open. One of them was apparently abandoned because it's cleared out but dirty. He left the trash. I was fixing a washer when someone noted that the apartment stunk. Second floor, east wall." He walked off.
"I'll figure that out," Weasel agreed. He grinned at Wade. "So, now you're going to have a two bedroom. Roomie?"
"Maybe. Not sure yet." He sipped his drink, going to get into a poker game.
Domino shook her head. "It's freaky to think that I shared a girlfriend with Xander. I don't usually like arms dealers, assassins, or other dangerous sorts." She went to get into her own mischief for the night.
Cable shook his head with a sigh. "How much are those going for?"
"The one I knew was open is a grand a month for a studio. Two months up front."
"I can't find anything that cheap even if I move out to the boonies," Cable agreed. "I could like that. Plus not live with Wade."
"Some people were betting you'd be roomies. Though he was joking about Negasonic and Yukio."
"He'd probably enjoy perving in their lives," Cable agreed. "Let me know if it's still open when I get my next job?" Weasel nodded. "Thanks." He got a drink then went to his present crash pad. It was an almost abandoned building. The landlord had been trying to force people out so he had moved in and dared the landlord to try with him. The other residents adored that.
Weasel shook his head but was smiling. Wade was happy. Cable was happy. Domino was happyish, though still complaining she had shared a lover with Xander. It was a pretty quiet night overall.
Xander looked at the notes the lawyer had made, frowning at them as the sister of his former girlfriend was dragged off by the cops for killing said girlfriend. Domino had her own notes. They apparently half owned a few things now. The sister had been cut out of the will, which was when they had been added. "What am I going to do with this? It'll screw up my taxes," he muttered.
"You can do the same thing you do with the other building."
"I have no idea what I'm doing with that, that's why I have Weasel doing the rental stuff." He looked at her. "All I do is deposit money into the account for the building so I can pay the yearly taxes on it." He frowned as he looked at the notes again. "Wanna buy my half out so I don't have to learn how to deal with this?"
"Nope. I already own an apartment. We need to go look them over, see if they're rented or about to be destroyed." Xander nodded, going with her. He could drive them wherever after calling the house to leave a note for the girls. One surprised them, it was the sister's home and it had the weapons the sister had stolen. They got there before the cops and Xander held up his Council ID with a grin. "We inherited it, Officer," Domino said with a wave of the legal papers. "We're just making sure there's nothing dangerous here without disturbing any of the present occupant's stuff. We have no idea what we're doing beyond moving the weapons."
Xander nodded. "The slayer's arsenal is really empty right now. Down to a stake shooter and a few shotguns. We can *really* use this for the next thing in about two months. I was going to have to play poker like a mofo to get some otherwise." Domino hit him on the arm. "I was!"
"You guys don't get it from the government?" one of the officers demanded.
"Uh, no. They still hate us," Xander quipped. "They're really going to hate that the next battle in DC is because someone's summoning something to eat an opponent and he's going to lose control of it. Or she, I couldn't tell who it was by the vision."
Domino shook her head. "Damn glad I don't have that gift."
Xander looked at her. "The ones sent by the higher ups over the slayers can cause brain damage. I've seen three seers die of theirs thanks to brain changes." She shuddered. "Yeah. Mine's not been that bad yet. I've only got about five percent of the changes Cordelia had before she died of visions after only two years of having them. I've had mine since a few months before Sunnydale fell in." She winced, patting him on the arm.
He looked at the officers. "We inherited these anyway. Can we finish moving the stuff we inherited? We know the lady who lives here killed her sister, who owned the house." He let them see the legal papers. "This is this address, and was our former lover's main house. I knew she was into smaller arms selling, she gave me a discount in Azerbaijan once."
The officers called that in and whoever said they could strip the house of everything that wasn't the sister's stuff legally. And suggested they do an eviction there for killing the owner and being a squatter.
Domino called someone to get that started once she heard. She smiled at the officers. "It'll be delivered at her plea hearing tomorrow morning. Thank you for that advice. We have no idea about any of this at the moment. We just came to look over what we just inherited."
"Really, the ex cut out her sister for some reason and put a bunch of her ex's in her will instead," Xander said with a slight shrug. "Then the sister killed her for it. We have no idea why they fell out originally."
"The sister was shouting she should've just given that one guy over so she could fuck him and then kill him so he couldn't have anyone else tainted by getting mushy about him." Xander blushed, shaking his head with a moan.
Domino grinned but patted Xander on the arm. "It probably wasn't you. You didn't see her for years, Xander."
"I hope not. It'd be the second one that got killed because they got mushy. Though, the other one I only slept with to get away from him. Fucking nutzoid terrorist sort," he mumbled.
"A what now?" an officer demanded, hand on his gun.
Xander looked at him. "I was in Morocco when a huge demon appeared out of nowhere thanks to a husband summoning it to eat his wife, even though it didn't eat meat. I banished and turned around then saw a whole bright light. When I woke up I was tied on a bed that was basically a bunch of fluffy pillows with the guy standing there smirking at me about how I'd help him do great things. It was a bit forced but really I went along enough so he'd nap and I could escape. Though I did take his fancy dagger with me.
"He had someone steal it back but I took it back and used it to behead a baby hell goddess that had just been summoned to eat humanity. The person who was there to steal it back decided he didn't want it back after all and ran away." Xander grimaced. "I'm told his third-in-command took him out for being mushy over the knife and me using it that way, then leaving it with the body. Something about I should have kept it since it was blessed or something." He shrugged. "I don't know. I got told fourth-hand at a bar during a poker game on a day I had off."
"Was that one of the battles shown?"
"Part of one of them that wasn't shown, thankfully. The one where I was busting into a war camp? It was part of that one."
"The one in the desert."
They nodded at that and let them have the weapons.
Domino looked at Xander. "You were insane in Africa."
"A tiny bit but that was mostly because I was by myself all the time. I didn't travel with a slayer for most of it so I had nothing but me and the radio and my truck."
She patted him on the arm. "We'll buy you a spouse, Xander."
He grinned at her. "I don't participate in people selling and I've brought down three of them."
"We can do it the normal guy way and just get you a mail order one then."
"Sure. With my luck she'll be a biological war expert trying to flee. I got offered one of those by an ex but had to remind him I hated things like that and I'd have to stop it. He agreed she wanted out. I introduced her to someone who helped her flee without the marriage she'd have to annul by death."
"That was nice of you. Really nice of you." He grinned. "Can you maybe screw Wade sometime soon? I'd like to win that pool."
"Nope. We're not compatible. Wade likes it a lot rougher than I do. I don't have a self healing talent. And we'd just bounce each other out of bed anyway. I don't even know if Wade likes giving blowjobs, Domino. I mean, I'd like a girlfriend or boyfriend who was into that since most of mine got mad if I got off at all."
"Yeah but a lot of them were selfish and not into me being more than useful. Even the ones that tried to keep me." He went back for a few last weapons then looked at the safe they found. Well, Domino had found. He stared at it. "How do you crack a safe?" he muttered.
"Usually it's a simple code based on something like their birthday, favorite holiday, or social security number," Domino said, coming over to look at it. "Hmm." She looked through the office, luckily finding the dead girlfriend's wallet in the desk. They tried all the numbers, coming up with one off her birthday. They opened it and Xander stared. Domino backed away. "I don't want to know what's in there."
Xander looked. "Not germs. It's a cold case so it's not germs. Those are usually in a different form of cold case." He carefully pulled them out. "Check the rest of the safe for me?" He looked it over. "Huh, sperm samples. I'll be damned, she was HYDRA." He grinned at the staring officers. "I'm getting someone to come take this. HYDRA was kinda busy trying to make better warriors." He pulled out his phone to take a picture of the case, then the address from the legal papers, then one out the window at the cop cars. He sent them to Clint, who sent he'd be there in twenty minutes, they were in Brooklyn at some dedication thing. "Sure. Hawkeye's coming to pick it up, guys."
"We'll let the archer guy in," one quipped.
Xander grinned. "HYDRA made me four mini slayers trying to make better warriors, two out of the three in one family." They all groaned and went back to searching. Xander let them search the office and make note of what they removed. Clint stomped in with Doctor Banner. He grinned and waved. "It was in the safe. I haven't opened the case after noticing it was sperm. And one vial's probably going to piss someone off since they probably bought it off a groupie." He let Clint take the case to look at the vials.
"How did they get Stark sperm?" he demanded, looking up. Xander and Domino both shrugged. "Okay. Who did this belong to?" Domino held up her ID. "Why are you guys here?"
"We inherited the house," they said together. "Her sister killed her for putting us in the will instead of her." They grinned at each other.
Clint moaned. "Sure. Let's see if we can find any records of how she got Stark sperm." Domino nodded, leaning on a wall. The wall moved. She looked and moaned.
"I call dibs on weapons," Xander reminded her. He looked and blinked. "Wow, she wasn't into science bullshit. She was into small arms sales. Was her sister a chemist or something?" he asked the officers. They shook their heads slowly. "What field was she in?"
"Accounting," one said. "She's a state accountant for the business tax department."
Clint moved in there to look at the lab then let Banner in there. "Germ warfare," he noted. "Nothing out that I can tell. Nothing in process either so it's all stored or they were just setting up." Domino sighed in pleasure. He looked at her. "If you're that vulnerable...."
"We're just looting. I can go look for other safes. Maybe my luck gift will help."
Xander grinned at her. "Someone suggested I should bring you to Atlantic City to gamble with you as my lucky piece on my arm but I yelled at him for you and it was a ploy to capture you to sell you to someone who wanted luck with their plots."
"Aww, thank you." She slapped him on the cheek gently. "I can't use it that way or else I'd have a huge house."
"Welll....." he said with a hand wave. "We do now. I wouldn't mind if you wanted to live here."
"I say we sell this one," she said. "Or rent it out. This sort of house is for pretentious people who have a lot of guests." She went to the other rooms to look at things. "Eww, the kitchen is gross and has growing things. Worse than some mercs I know."
Xander shook his head, going back to the safe. "I know how to clean dishes properly. I learned working in a strip club." The officers left one there to watch over them but the rest followed Domino in case she found anything else.
"Oh my fucking god, she had furs," Domino complained a while later. "A lot of nasty, cheap looking furs."
Xander leaned out of the office. "We can donate them to someone," he called.
"Not even the cheap hos would take them, even the cheap rappers wouldn't take these."
"Then maybe we can burn them." He went back to looking at stuff, holding one file out to Clint to take. Clint took it and burst out laughing but sent a picture of that to Stark. Then of the case's contents. Stark sent back swearing so apparently he was voice texting again. "Stark's mad."
"I'd be mad too if someone broke into my stored sperm my arch nemesis took out of my selected sperm bank," Xander quipped. "Hmm." He looked at one thing. "HYDRA did try to make me a mini me and six people got eaten by the mermaid creature. Interesting." He handed it to Clint too with a grin. Then he went back to searching the office. "Oh."
He stepped back. "Thank fucking god I've had that. Found a vial that's not sealed," he announced. The officer in there with them backed out of the room quickly. Banner came to look, putting the vial into a baggie and then into a sealed box. Xander grinned at him. "Thanks. I don't want to know if I can get that twice."
"Let me search," Clint ordered quietly. "I'll hand you and Domino anything you can use, including weapons or money, Xander." Xander nodded. "I won't even let SHIELD handle it."
"Okay. Remind them we just inherited it from the dead lady and we're going to rent it out eventually. Or maybe sell it. Living here would make me want to have tea in the garden or some such shit." He walked off. "Oooh, baby," he cooed, petting a sword. "Such a cute thing. Not at all sharp though. Someone did not like you enough, baby." He pulled the sword down to test the weight and nodded, going to put it into the car with the other weapons.
Clint grinned at Banner. "Think we can rent it for a month so we can find all the hiding spots?"
"Probably," Domino said from the doorway. "There's a hidden basement hatch in the master closet. Leads down to the getaway car and stuff. I've already boosted the suitcases of fleeing stuff. The car's a piece of crap sports car that's so weak even guys don't like it."
"She had a vial of dengue out," Banner told her.
"You can search them," she offered with a grin. "I don't need that. It looks nasty when they show it on tv."
"Lots of fevers and hallucinations," Xander quipped from up the hallway. "Been there, done that, hallucinated Anya nagging me for not having sex often enough."
Doctor Banner went to search them, finding a few weapons but otherwise nothing too bad. Xander accidentally tripped over Domino's jacket and fell into a panel that opened to a set of switches. He flipped them all. Disco lights came on and down from the ceiling. The living room and dining room looked like a rave's dance area. And then a door opened. Xander got up and went to look then backed out slowly and carefully. Banner went in to look and swore. "Kids, go for the day. We at the Avengers will rent the place from you for a month or so to search everything." He smiled. They nodded and took the fleeing cases with them since they were fleeing. "Clint, I found her stash of drug stuff."
Clint came to look. "MDMA that she's changed some," he said, reading the notes on the table. "Whoever was making it a stimulant that would ...looks like bond maybe? Her handwriting sucks."
"I don't want to know yet," Bruce ordered. Clint nodded, getting someone at the tower to come pack this up for them. He looked at the officers. "We'll test it and give the report to the NYPD."
"We'd like to dispose of any extra."
"We have a portal that'll burn it," Bruce told them. They just nodded. "You guys can watch the destruction if you want. I'll have Stark make sure." Stark stomped in. "We have exploratory drugs to look at and then destroy so the NYPD doesn't worry about it."
"I can handle that," he agreed. He looked around. "What was this?"
Clint leaned out of the lab with a smirk. "One of Xander's ex's bit the dust thanks to her sister and left him this house. He was here with Domino to loot the weapons for the slayers because Xander said she was into small arms. Then we found the sperm in the safe and the bio lab off the office, then Xander tripped and found the switches for all this." He pointed at the panel. "If you want to turn off the disco lights."
Stark squatted down and turned off the party lights and had to flip one switch again. That reopened the lab, even though it was labeled feeding pen. He went to look at the lab and the notes. Then at the people that had been held hostage here for weeks who were basically mindless zombies. The NYPD could help with that definitely. Stark did send a sample of the IV's they were on and the drugs they found there for the ER to look at.
Clint looked at a paramedic he knew was SHIELD. "Harris and Domino inherited this house. The Avengers are renting it from them for a month to see what else we can find from this former HYDRA member."
The SHIELD member stared at him. "Did the Director authorize it?"
"Harris did and he owns the place. He found stuff while looting for the slayers." He grinned. "The former owner's dead anyway, that's how he owns it." They sighed but nodded. "I'll make a report tonight."
"Fine, Hawkeye. The victims?" Stark pointed so they went to gather them and the box of evidence that was going with them. Maybe the ER could save them.
Domino came jogging back. "I have a sudden urge to go out back and to walk through the fountain," she called. "And it feels really urgent."
Clint followed her. "Your luck gift is really handy that way, Domino." She found the spot in the fountain, taking off her shoes to walk over it since it had a footprint. Wrong foot. She considered it then looked back. Clint was scanning it with Stark and they rigged up something. The panel opened and turned out to be a drug that was fed to the water outflow line for the recycling sewer system. And the big, huge bomb. "Wow. Any other urges?"
"The attic?" she said, considering it. "And the kitchen, which is why I went in there and got grossed out." He helped steady her while she put back on her shoe and led him to where she felt she had to go. The kitchen had a safe, that had stuff that she coveted in that shiny, girl jewelry way. Xander wouldn't mind that. The attic had a small crawl space that she found and went through to a torture chamber that had tapes. Clint whistled but nodded.
She opened up a wall she felt and moved away from the trophies but paused and looked at one. She handed him the jar that was listed 'Xander testicle, right' and considered her gift. The chair, which looked like a barber's chair, moved on a smooth railing system that exposed a trap door. The other bomb. Thankfully not running. She spun and felt that tingly feeling so that was nice to find more pretty things, and some more souvenirs of her past lovers.
Clint grimaced but let Banner know. Bruce looked at the jar he was holding. "He has both his. So a different Xander."
"There's one listed on the tapes," Clint said with a point. They were on the old style VHS tapes. "We can check to see if we can identify them." Bruce nodded and they got help packing up the souvenirs. The tapes went right back to the tower so they could identify victims.
By the end of the night they only found one big problem. An ancient little, toothless Yorkie was barking at them from the bedroom. An officer decided to take it home with him to give to his wife. No one would mind that. The former owner was either the dead woman or the sister who was going to prison. It was too old for adoption. His wife would adore it though.
Xander looked at the lawyer over another inheritance. "I'm sorry, I think we should clear up something here," he smugly told them. "I know who you are, Mister Monroe. I'm Watchers Council. I'm also the ex-boyfriend of Cordelia Chase." The lawyer looked confused. "The one who used to work with Angel, who used to also work on the team in Sunnydale with some of us. Like me."
"I..." He cleared his throat. "We were told that man had died."
"No, I haven't died yet." He grinned. "So I know *exactly* what Wolfram and Hart are. And have been. They may not have recalled me for the invasion in LA but I was training the slayers in Africa then." The lawyer shivered. He grinned. "Also, I should note here that my soul is not able to be called in no matter what sort of clause you put into your contracts."
"We can take the powers you have."
"I barely have any magic, dude. My soul's tainted thanks to Rosenburg's little suicidal fit." He grinned again. "You aren't going to be getting anything from me and I'm not signing a single thing, blessed or not. See, I'll destroy something. A lot. I'm kinda known for it actually." He pulled out his wallet and pulled out a picture he had picked up that morning, tossing it onto the desk. He put his wallet back then stared at him.
He stared at it, then swallowed. "I see. We're not here about that individual."
"No, he's not under yours. He was under one of your higher ups though." He grinned. "He bothered a baby slayer." Xander shrugged with a smug look. "Pity. Now, let's get down to business."
"I should refer this to my supervisor."
"You can do that. I can wait here for another ten minutes. Then I'll be telling others who legitimately do this work for real instead of out of necessity."
"I think that should be fine," he said quickly, taking that picture and the papers with him.
Xander countered the time stop spells again when they tried to go up. "My name is not Rip Van Winkle and the Fae like me. I helped save the New York colony by protecting them before that battle," he said when someone stomped in. He stared at them, grinning. "Hey! Lindsay! Cordy told me about you."
"You can't be Xander Harris." Xander pulled out his wallet again and held up a picture of him in high school with Buffy and Willow. "Oh." He blinked. "You were a redhead."
"That was Oz. He's in Tibet the last I heard."
The lawyer who had helped Angel a few times blinked quickly. "Um...there was that one guy that was supposedly no help."
"You know, I get that a lot, and yet I've saved their lives. And I stopped Willow when she was going to destroy the earth. Or at least humanity." Xander quirked an eyebrow up. "I do get that a lot though. That's why I've trained some of the best slayers there are. Like Sid. She's a joy to spar with." He grinned.
"Oh, shit," he muttered. "Let me tell the higher ups?"
"No. I came here to cash in on an unfortunate necessity that you guys hold the contract on. If I don't have it in about eight minutes now I'm going to walk out and tell every single merc I know about you guys." He stared at them. "Not like you can do anything about it. It's not libel if it's true."
Lindsay nodded quickly. "I get that. Usually we'd time stop a room."
"Sorry, I'm not Rip. I'm not going to sleep for twenty years. And if that should happen, Willow's going to show up looking for me. If Tara doesn't first." Lindsay swallowed but nodded and left again. Xander stopped the spell again then broke it for good. It put the building back fully into reality and ended the hiding spells downstairs since he had broken the heartstone it was all attached to. "Huh. I only meant to curse break that one spell. That other Xander has to teach me to be more delicate I guess." He put his newly fixed wand back into his jacket pocket.
A demon stomped in. "How did you do that?" He glared.
Xander grinned. "I was taught by a cursebreaker from another realm." The demon roared and attacked him. Xander, having been here honestly, barely had any weapons, but the demon died a few times before he managed to fully cut off his head. Xander wiped at the blood on himself. "Eww, that'll never come out. Even with Joyce's laundry stuff. That's acidic so the blue stuff won't work." He walked off texting people. Starting with Weasel and a warning about Wolfram and Hart using soul clauses in any contract they wrote and how they were behind the invasion in LA.
"No one will believe you," a woman yelled after him.
Xander turned to grin at her. "Really? We have proof who was over the invasion in LA, lady." He waved a hand. "We're like that at the New Council." He winked. "Sorry, you're not dangerous enough for me." He walked out again. The car was a nice enough place, though it had a parking ticket from a few hours ago. He got his spare clothes out of the trunk to change into once he was inside the car. A cop knocked so he rolled down the window. "Hold on, Officer. I have to get out of these pants. They have demon blood on them."
"Sir, who are you? This car has been sitting here for six hours."
Xander looked at his watch. "I thought I killed their time stop spell sooner. Huh." He finished putting on the new pants with a sigh. "Thanks. I'm Xander Harris, the head watcher in the city."
"I...like with the slayers?"
"Yeah. They have money that I'm owed here. Oh, this is Wolfram and Hart, who were mostly behind the first LA invasion. Their contracts almost always have soul clauses to steal some of them." He looked at the building then at the officer, grinning. "Relax, Officer. I'm the same guy that backed up Buffy. Even though they tried to tell me I was Oz." He grinned. "Let me pay the parking tickets tomorrow. I probably have to go calm down my girls."
"I...yeah, you do that, sir. Do you have proof?"
"Call the LA team or the main house in Cleveland and talk to Rupert about the files on them. I know very well they were behind the death of a few people I still miss. Including an ex I might've settled down with that they captured and sold to a demon they lost a case for. She could've done great things." He started the car and waved at the huffy guard demons then at the officer. "Can I go?"
"Pay the tickets tomorrow, sir."
"I can do that and make sure they can't put another time stop spell on the building again too. Thanks." He drove off, heading to the house. The pants got thrown out after he checked the pockets. He stared at the two girls staring at him. "Wolfram and Hart has money that they owe me. They tried to get cutesy after I pointed out they weren't going to taint me."
"Willow scried," Kennedy said with a grin. "How did she taint you?"
"The blast on the cliff? It tainted me with a lot of energy and magic. It's why I have a damaged liver and it tainted my soul by binding a lot of hellmouth taint to me." She slumped. He grinned and nodded. "Yeah. I'd carry about a tenth of what I do daily without that. That and the demon blood I've been exposed to during battles?" He shrugged but smiled. "And I broke their time stop spell. Twice."
"We noticed the building appearing," Kennedy said with a nod. "Wow."
"I whammied too hard the second time I guess. Broke their heartstone."
"Hmm. She might like to know that."
"She probably already does if she was scrying," he agreed. He went upstairs. "Let me go make sure I don't have any more demon blood on me. That shit's acidic. Were the girls okay?"
"Yeah, they were fine," she assured him. "I'm glad I could babysit for a few hours. Is that why you called?"
"I knew they'd try something, Kennedy," he called back. "They're evil and lawyers for the evil ones. I wouldn't have been surprised if they had tried to take me out while I was there. Only the peaceful protocols made me go without a weapon." He went into his bedroom to shower.
She looked at Penny, who shrugged. "He explained the plan to me last night." She walked off. "I'm making pasta tonight."
"It's easy enough to do," she agreed. "Damn." She texted Willow a note that she could use the notes on Wolfram and Hart so she could pass it on to her house's helpers too. It got faxed over with one for the NYPD. She nicely copied it and went to deliver it. She smiled as she walked into her favorite station. They had always been nice when she had headed the house. "Howdy." The desk sergeant looked up at her. "I have information for someone who's looking at Wolfram and Hart. Our watcher told them who to ask in LA but I had our files' summary sent up from Cleveland."
"Any idea which one?"
"Not yet. Most cities have at least one officer who's investigating their local offices though." He nodded, calling the captain to look that up. He knew who was obsessed with them. They showed up a few minutes later, letting her ignore the pimp that was trying to introduce himself. "Hi, I'm Slayer Kennedy, head of the London house. Our local watcher today had to deal with Wolfram and Hart, which pissed him off. So he's authorized us to spread information." She handed over that. "That is the summary of the file that our main house in Cleveland keeps. Rupert's agreed that we can hand that out to any group that needs to know about their evil ways."
The officer read it over. "They're what?"
She looked. "Which what?" He pointed. "Yeah, they're demonic lawyers for the non-peaceful community. They may take a peaceful community member's case now and then but they do those to obligate them. They do neat things like put soul stealing clauses in all their contracts. They're also behind at least ten judges in California dying. That's all we know of directly thanks to the former members of the LA team who battled that office. We know they've snatched and sold people to demons who they lost the cases of. We know they keep tokens of demons that they won for so they can call on them for help later on. That was a backup plan to the LA invasion."
"That was Black Thorn or something," the detective said.
She smiled. "Who was partially Misters Ram, Hart, and Wolf. All higher level demons." She felt a higher level demon, hand inching toward her sword. "Hmm. That's not good. Mr. Murdock, please move away from the higher level demon who is not a decent being," she said loudly enough to be heard clearly. "That being is not peaceful and is actually broadcasting." She stared at it.
The demon stared back. "It was an accident, Slayer Kennedy. I'm here in peace."
She stared at him. "You're a minor Hell lord the level of a count in modern royal terms," she said dryly. "You're not ever peaceful unless it furthers a plan." The demon glared. "I can call Xander down here. He's in a bad mood after having to deal with Wolfram and Hart. And breaking their little heartstone."
The demon shivered. "We really must get that watcher to bless himself to a chaos source. It's all going to waste." He grinned. "I'm here to represent one of our young that got drunk and stupid and tried to eat someone. I'll gladly quit broadcasting though."
She stepped back, nodding slightly. "I'm sure you will, sir." The demon walked off to get his client out of lockup. She looked at the officer. "That's a dangerous being."
"You brought a sword in here?" he demanded.
She stared at him. "I'm a slayer, the head slayer in London. Me dying thanks to a demon would get someone some status and piss everyone off. So therefore I go everywhere with an appropriate weapon. We're allowed and I didn't brandish it at all."
"Fine." He went back to the notes. "The judges?"
She dialed the main house. "Hey, Andrew, we need Giles to read the Wolfram and Hart full file or send it up here please. I'm going to hand the phone to the detective who's investigating them." She did that and looked at the blind guy staring her way. "Are you all right?" she asked more quietly. "We'd all hate you to be tainted by him drooling at you."
"He was?" Matt Murdock asked, grinning slightly.
"Yeah, he was. You definitely need to clean stinky drool off your shoes. Is he bothering a client of yours?"
"He was bothering a friend earlier."
"I can tell Xander."
"I can tell Xander," he reminded her. "But thank you, Kennedy. I've heard you've done great in London. The rumors state you've really matured into being a role model."
"Thank you. That's sweet of you to say." She plucked something off him, handing it to him. "On your arm." He felt the tiny wire, frowning. "Yup, it's probably what you think. We've found a few in my house. MI-5 is really picky sometimes." He smiled and nodded walking off. "Let us know if we can help. Xander's kinda pissed today anyway."
"I can do that. Be safe, Kennedy."
"You too. Not enough truly good guys still around. Most of us end up gray." The detective hung up and handed her back her phone. "Did it help?"
"It did and he'll copy it for their local department and for us." He stared at her. "Were you up here?"
"I headed the house for a few years." She smiled. "Xander took over for me when he couldn't go back to Africa thanks to Egypt trying to take him out."
"Oh, that problem. I remember hearing about that. Fine. Why is he running around with that lady that has the skin thing?"
"I'm told that they inherited some property together so they've been looking them over. Plus she's a friend of his. Xander needs more friends like her."
"That's fine. Thank you for this information."
"You're welcome. If you ask Xander he can get you things too. Most everyone knows how to contact him in case of emergencies."
"I can do that. Thank you." She nodded and left. He smiled. That was a handy bit of information. "I knew they were bad."
"Nah, the slayers are decent but they have a bad calling to take out evil. Just sometimes they need to use someone more legal than a sword," another officer said, staring at him. "Want me to bring you to a poker hall so you can ask the demon poker hall bartenders group? They have a fine network of information and we've known Wolfram and Hart were evil for years now. They've preyed on the peaceful communities for generations."
"Tomorrow good for you?"
"That's fine with me. Better to have the evil removed before the girls have to fight something like the LA invasion here." He walked off. "I'll be here at ten."
"That's fine, thank you." He went back to his office to work that information into what he already had. He also started to make notes on the slayers. It wasn't right that a group of young women were fighting that way to his way of thinking. Had to be dark or evil.
Xander got woken out of a nap by an officer, who came to talk to him. He frowned at the notes the officer had. "That wasn't me. That's Kennedy. She's flying back to London but she took information on Wolfram and Hart to hand to the NYPD. They had pissed me off earlier and were trying to cause more problems so I let her. Is the person she gave the information to all right?"
"He got blown up in his house. There was a demon there who was dead drunk and had apparently drooled the explosives."
Xander considered it. "Purple?" The officer shook his head. "Blue with spots? Aqua green spots?" The officer nodded slowly. "Hmm. It probably owed them a debt. Those are usually not found on this plane and are usually not able to get drunk. Need me to look at it?"
"It's in lock up."
"I can look at it. It might not speak english or any other human language. No one's studied them."
"If you could, it'd be great."
"Sure." He looked up the stairs. "I'm going to help the police with a demon," he told the teenage girl standing there. "Looks like someone summoned something." She nodded. "Are you up for a bit?"
"Yeah, I can be. I'll listen for the phone and stuff."
"Thanks. Be back by breakfast I hope." Xander got what he needed and went with the officer, who he had realized was at least a half demon. He had no idea if this was a plot or not. The demon in lockup surely was. He stared. "Guys, that thing on his arm is poisoning him," he announced after staring at it. "They actually can't be gotten drunk." He got let into the cell. "Peace. I'm a watcher. I'm Watcher Xander Harris. I'm looking at the thing on your arm." He pointed. The demon nodded so he moved closer.
Xander studied it then waved in someone. "I can't pick locks. It's embedded." They got an officer who could pick locks. "Here, I'm pretty sure that's a lock. We'll probably need a healer and a translator." He looked up. "Can you speak or understand English?" It babbled something. "Nod once for yes. Can you understand english?" It nodded. "But not speak?" It nodded once again. "Okay. Are you injured beyond this poisoning?" It shook its head. "That's good." The thing got unlocked and the demon winced.
"It's got to be attached." He looked. "Here, press this," he said with a point. "That's got to be the feed needle." It was pressed up and Xander removed the rest of it as delicately as he could. "Bandages, guys?" Some were handed in. He bandaged it and stepped back with the officer. "I need to know why you ... Yes or no question. Are you aware that you killed a human tonight?" It slowly shook his head. "Why do you think you're in here?" It patted its chest. Xander winced. "Can we get a translator? I have no idea what language they speak and I only speak four. Maybe one of the demon bartenders?" They called around and found him one through the local overlord. He hurried in. "Hey," he said, waving a hand. "This one was found to be at the scene of an explosion. I've removed a poisoned thing from his arm and treated the injury it left taking it off."
The bartender nodded. "I thank you for that service, Harris. This one is highly rare."
"I know he's summoned. We need to know why he was at the site of the explosion and why he did it."
The guy looked up and asked that of the demon, who babbled back at length. He winced, looking at Xander. "The last thing he knew, his spouse had been at home making dinner and then he wakes up here feeling ill. He said he has no idea but he's too sick to do anything to protect himself and he hopes that you won't be taking him out."
"I'm not inclined to at this moment. I need to know why though. He apparently killed a detective who was after Wolfram and Hart. Kennedy gave the guy info on them earlier," he said quietly.
"Oooh. That's going to get messy. They don't consider you worthy of bothering."
"Is that after I broke their protections earlier?" Xander guessed.
"They said that was Oz."
"Yeah, they tried to tell me I was Oz. I pointed out I'm not a redheaded werewolf. They thought I did nothing in Sunnydale too." He grinned. "Apparently they don't even listen to the gossip networks."
"No, they don't. They consider it beneath them." He looked back. "If we can get a healer, we can tell you what he was dosed with and how he got here. They can tell who summoned sometimes." They pointed at the healer that was waiting. "Ma'am," he said with a nod.
Xander bowed. "Healer."
"Watcher." She looked at the arm injury. "Nicely and delicately done."
"I know it was poisoning him. I'm trying to see why. And who."
"I can understand that." She tested him, shaking her head. "He's been in captivity for over a week." The demon moaned. "Which means he missed his wife's breeding period probably." The demon nodded, patting her on the hand. She patted him back. "He was poisoned and he may not live through this one. He's been captive for over a week. He's very weak."
"He blew up a house with a detective in it," one of the officers said. "We really don't like that." The demon said something to the bartender, who translated it and it wasn't polite. "Oh."
"We know hardly anything about them beyond the fact that there's less than twenty left," Xander said. "And they can't live down here. They have to be summoned. Our native energies or something kills them slowly." He looked back. "Ask him if he owed anyone a debt? Not about that firm specifically. I don't want to lead him."
The bartender did and winced. "His father used them to set up the marriage and breeding arrangement," he sighed. "Shit. He's worried about his wife." He texted someone. "I'm asking a guy who used to be intelligence on his native realm before he got stuck down here on vacation after his divorce." He got back an answer and showed the officer. "They're so rare others track them," he said quietly. "And it wasn't him in his right mind."
"Is it easily done?" Xander asked the healer. "Any of what happened to him?"
"No. That poison is a bitch to make," she said. The officers stared at her. "It takes six months to brew down and before that final brewing is about two weeks of adding things. That poison's a good thousand gold a two ounce vial and what's in his system is a lot more than that."
"The vial in the thing from his arm is bigger than that," one of them agreed. "Is this something someone would have on hand?"
Xander shook his head. "To even get the toenail for part of it they have to trek to a city that's been pulled out of time and space off realm and find the ancient demon, then convince him to give up a toenail or two. Or clip them for him. And they're corrosive to most species."
The healer nodded. They have probably had a few stored in case they wanted to use it. That ingredient is used in a few very hard poisons." She went back to healing that one.
"Here, take some of my energy," Xander offered, letting her suck off him. The bartender did the same thing. The demon finally quit hunching down in pain. "What else did you find in his system?"
"They've taken seed from him," she said. "They only go into breeding once a century and they only live about a hundred-fifty years." She crossed her arms over her chest. "This was the lowest of the low."
"If his mate was bred to by anything other than one of theirs, we've heard rumors that it would kill her," Xander said. The healer nodded quickly, lips pressed together. "But that brings back something."
"It can be used to summon back a higher level demon on the level of an Ancient One like formed during that ascension but in a different, walking form," the bartender said, putting his phone into his pocket. "Which they'd probably use to try to take over a realm or planet that they could use to further their plans."
"Probably like Saretta?" Xander guessed. "Strong warriors, strong academics?" The healer nodded quickly. "So this was a huge plot and they used it against the person trying to take them out as a side plot?"
"Could be," the bartender agreed. He looked at the officers. "They're usually very peaceful, Officers. Without that poison he couldn't even spit explosives unless he was in heat."
"There was enough things in his system to have sent him into a perpetual heat after they milked him," the healer agreed. "Plus the heavy poison that originated in his arm."
"So, the guy really had no control of it?" a higher officer asked as he came down there.
Xander shook his head. "Apparently not. Like I said earlier, we haven't studied much about their peoples. We know they're rare as fuck. Like twenty left rare. We know they're very hard to get kids."
"Probably closer to twelve," the healer admitted. "A few got sick recently when someone tried to put a human with the flu up there." She grimaced. "That one had been kidnaped and held in horrible conditions. It was sent out as an all points and the healers down here contacted a few people to find where she's supposed to be. We know a few died from that." She looked up then at them. "Their peoples hold a few things holy that some of the less light sided groups would love to see in the open."
Xander shook his head. "No. I won't let that one happen. If we have to we'll hide it somehow." He grinned at her. "I did learn from a cursebreaker."
"Is that why you brought down the protections instead of a single spell?" she asked dryly.
"Yeah, they kept trying to time stop the building." He shrugged. "They still owe me money." She laughed as she walked off to make out a report. Xander looked at the captain. "So? We seem to have a quandary."
"We do," he agreed. "I... let me talk to the higher ups."
"He still killed that detective."
Xander looked at him. "Are you sure of that? Yeah, if the explosion killed him it was. Did it? Because I doubt he could get himself to that house or make himself target a single house." They stared at him. Xander looked at the bartender.
"That's true. He was almost blind from the pain when the healer started. He had to squint at her." He went to ask her that. He came back with her.
"No," the healer said. "There's no way he got himself to a single location and focused on a single house. Even during normal heats when they produce that explosive it comes out either in a tiny dribble or in a sixty-foot wide path of vomit. He couldn't see when I healed him the first time. He couldn't stand when I healed him the first time and he's still weak."
The higher up added that to his phone call. He hung up. "Can we banish him?"
Xander nodded. "As far as I know. Healer?"
"Yes, we can get him home through the portal makers. What of his spouse, Knight?"
"Wolfram and Hart have to pay for this shit. If we can rescue her we should. I can go try to rescue her."
The bartender shook his head. "She may not be alive and they'd expect you to gladiator it until they wore you out and you died."
Xander grinned. "I can use an owed wish." The air around them shivered. Xander grinned up and waved a bit. "Can we have his spouse so they can both go home?"
A higher level demon, which looked like a purple cousin to D'Hoffryn, appeared, shaking his head. "She's almost dead. A healer could die healing her, Knight."
"Still, he deserves to have his wife back," Xander said. "You'd want yours."
"I would," he agreed. "It will cause him pain."
"Any idea why?"
"They wanted to use one of their females to call back that ancient one." The higher demon keened and rocked, making Xander pat him. "They decided to get rid of him at the same time to make him take out a problem. They were going to have him go after the slayer house afterwards, but they don't know where the new one is." Xander smirked. "I can steal his spouse but she's nearly dead. Appearing on this realm will kill her."
"Then I use the wish owed to me by right of winning that rigged poker game to get him the reparations he deserves for what his family has went through, including his spouse appearing with him in their house," Xander cast.
The demon smirked at him. "That's sneaky."
"Yeah but I'm about to be even more sneaky soon. Someone has to go see if we can hide the shit they're hiding."
The demon tipped his head to the left, looking at him. "Putting it with the slayers would get them harmed."
Xander grinned. "Xander. Convention." The demon moaned in a way that made a few officers hard. "I use my other wish owed to me by right of you cheating and admitting it to put their holy relics and other things that they want to keep away from groups such as Wolfram and Hart into the custody of Alexander Mikhail Dumass to let his family guard."
The demon fell to his knees as that one was cast, staring at him. "Oh. Damn."
Xander grinned. "No one better is there?"
"No. Unless it went to the one of you that's a warlord."
"Strangely enough, he and Hunter Xander bonded over being creeped out by Crowley," he said dryly. He helped the higher demon up. "Thank you." He grinned. "Can we go bust in there now?"
"Their main office would have all the notes and they're off realm," the bartender said. "But it's on a realm that has a good intelligence network. Let me see if I can ask someone to help the NYPD apprehend the demon who planned and sent this one to kill that detective." He walked off calling someone. That someone agreed and a few minutes later a team of demons brought a struggling demon lawyer to them. They took the damaged one home to heal and rest, and mourn. Xander helped the healer out. "Thank you," the bartender told them. "I know you wanted to blame him."
"I want the one behind it," the higher up said. "That guy was just as used."
They nodded. Xander escorted the healer out. One of the young punks was a demon and spit at them but Xander punched him and reminded him that you had manners around healers or else you suffered instead of getting better. She giggled but did let the bartender escort her home. Xander nodded at the officers. "Thank you." He held out a hand. One shook it. "Let me know if you need me for less drastic things too, guys. We hate Wolfram and Hart like hell. And if it's another demon in lock up, let me know if you need me." He stared at the stupid one and grinned. "Hi." He shrank back away from him, cracking up an officer. "I know it wasn't comfy."
"But it was the right thing to do," they mostly agreed. Xander nodded and left. A full report was made and the higher ups in the NYPD and the Mayor agreed it was the right thing to do. They also agreed that law firm had to go. Quickly. They got the information from the Council and the LA team themselves to handle that problem. They didn't like terrorist demons any more than they liked terrorists or demons.
Kennedy got off the plane and found someone waiting on her. "Good." She turned on her phone, looking at the message from Xander. Then the second one and winced. "Shit." She took Merlin's arm, handing him her carry on bag. "Information on a huge problem that the slayers have been fighting off and on because they're behind stuff. They got a detective I gave that to earlier by totally harming a peaceful, ancient demon who's so rare they're almost extinct."
Merlin nodded taking the folder out to flip through on the way to the car. "Sounds like a good reason for Eggsy to pick you up but he's out of town."
"That's fine. Since they have a file on him." Merlin stared at her. She nodded. "I asked someone who could scry. They knew he saved people from Valentine," she said quietly. "And they're watching out to see where else he inserts himself to solve things." Merlin groaned. "I didn't ask about you but they're old and slightly powerful."
"Sounds like a huge problem."
"The text I got from Xander, it's worse." She let him see the text messages then got into the slayer report system to find the one he was submitting. Merlin read that and his face went stony. "So yeah, probably dangerous."
"Let's get you home. I'll have agents keep watch on the house just in case." He got her home and called in some people from other agencies to help him find out more about this group. They probably couldn't get every single member, some were on other realms. They could damn sure end this current threat though.
Kennedy got to nap on the way home. She hated to fly. Later on that day, after her nap, she got to rescue some people because Merlin had asked. She smiled at the baby she was rescuing then the mother. "Hi. Let's get out of here?"
"KenKen!" the little baby cooed, holding her hands up.
"That's right, Daisy, I am KenKen!" She smiled and hauled the mother up. "C'mon if you want to go." She nodded, following Kennedy out. Once outside, the agents got to raid the place for other hostages. She cuddled the little one. "You're such a good girl, Daisy."
"What happened and why did they take us? And who're you?" the mother demanded. She took her daughter back.
Kennedy smiled and held out a hand. "Senior Slayer Kennedy. Head of the London house and one of Eggsy's neighbors. Someone told us they had taken you hostage to try to get Eggsy to do something. He got really mad. And they're demons so my job." She grinned slightly, patting the girl on the head. "You guys need medical?"
"No, I'm okay. We're both okay," she admitted. "I'm very confused. Why would they want my boy?"
"No clue," Kennedy said with a shrug. "The law firm behind this are stupid and behind things like the LA invasion."
"Mum," Eggsy yelled, jogging over. "Are you two good?"
"We're fine." She kissed Eggsy on the head, letting him have his sister to cuddle since the toddler was demanding it. "Why did they take us to get you to do something?"
"No clue, Mum. They're stupid that way, yeah."
"They're an incredibly dumbass law firm. They even misidentified Xander, thought he was Oz," Kennedy said dryly. Eggsy gave her an odd look. "Oz was part of the Sunnydale team back in the high school years. Used to date Willow before me or Tara."
"Oh," Eggsy said with a nod. "Your watcher guy's pretty well known."
"Yeah and they thought he was worthless. It's like Buffy was in charge of them and using it to get them destroyed." She strolled off. "Your dog's on my bed again. Which is fine. I'm going to go hog him to nap."
"Sure, Kennedy, thanks. I'll come pick him up when I get home." He looked at his mother, leading her over to the ambulances. "Slayer Kennedy rescued them. This is my mum and sis."
The paramedic, who was Kingsman staff, nodded, checking them over. "Looks like they could use a good scream then a shower and food. Go ahead and take 'em home to your place so it's safer."
"I can do that. Thanks. Say thank you?" he told his sister, who grinned at the paramedic and did thank him.
"She's sweet. Some day she'll bring chaos like most girls." The mother blushed but took her daughter back and let Eggsy get them to a car so they could drive off. The paramedic made a note of that for later going over.
"Not my car," Eggsy said with a grin before she could say something. "I'm bumming from a friend. My compact piece'a shit won't fit you both." He drove off, taking her to his place. There were agents on the street watching the slayer house. He went to check on them. He was wearing his official glasses so Merlin heard and told the agent's higher ups so they could yell at him and replace him with someone who had some sense. That helped a lot and everyone could calm down for a few hours. Hopefully. Then he'd get to go steal his dog back from the cooing girls that treated his poor pug like a teddy bear.
Xander removed his files from Wolfram and Hart's file room, and then found the ones he had solved and was owed money on, taking them too. The agents staring at him got a grin. "My file. That way it doesn't get lied about."
"Problems I had in Africa that had a price attached, though I was just solving problems." He shrugged. "They owe me money. I'm mad about that." He walked past them. Clint took the files to look over. "Do they still think I'm Oz?"
"Yup. Even got his picture."
Xander went back to find Oz's file, bringing it out. "No this is on Willow." He found hers. That was on Willow. Buffy's was on Buffy, though mostly about Dawn and assumptions about her. He got that one too. "On Dawn. Buffy's sister. That's classified because she was exposed to a magical artifact." They nodded, leaving that alone. He pulled his wand. "Find...me." The spell found all the mentions of him. "Oh, hey, they knew about me in Africa and couldn't figure out who in the hell I am. Though one thought I was Spike. How damn stupid are these lawyers?"
He walked off reading that one and taking the files from Clint. He summoned anything on Dawn as an afterthought, and took them with him. He paused by one of the lawyers under arrest and held up his file with a grin. "You guys couldn't figure out I was the same guy that was in Sunnydale? Really? You had me confused with a guitarist who was about six inches shorter, had red hair, and is not in the US? Wow, I thought you guys would've had better information than that. Even the kitten poker circuit knows that's not right." He walked off. "Damn you guys are dumbasses. Pity, but that does make it easier to stop you."
Clint laughed. "I want to see those later, Xander. That way I can beef up your SHIELD profile. It still lists you as an annoyance but not good at anything."
"That's because they're as big of dumbasses as these are and probably for the same reason," he shot back with a grin. "I can let you look if you must. Remember, they owe me money." He disappeared, going to summon Dawn to get her files.
Clint looked at the other agents. "We literally have him not listed as doing a single thing in Africa beyond training slayers. The main files are so damn wrong sometimes. We all try to fix them when we can. Must've been HYDRA trying to hide who they were scared of." He walked off to talk to the rest of the confiscation team. "Xander Harris found out that they owe him money for handling a few of those problems in Africa that got put on the news.
"Apparently some had prices on their heads and we'd like him to get those so he can buy real clothes that won't make his slayers complain. Or make him look like a slob so he can date again. Can we do that?" They nodded. "There's about twelve. He took the files but I'll get notes later." He walked off to get those. Xander nicely shared with him most of the time. Except about Dawn.
Dawn appeared in the Sanctorum, nodding. "Hey, Wong." She stared then tipped her head. "Dude, did you know you're possessed?"
"I am?" he asked. "Why am I possessed?"
She waved him over, doing a blessing on him to drive it out. He shook his head and she got the last little bits by banishing. "I suck at doing exorcisms but a banishing will often do the same thing, only a bit more harshly sometimes." She checked him over then did a full spell cleaning on him, making him glow and pull back in his magic. "There." She smiled. "All cleaned up."
Wong bowed. "Thank you, Dawn."
"You're welcome." She held up a file. "I have to tell the head grump about his class of demons that've been trying to figure me out. And got it *so* damn wrong." Wong tried not to smile. "Seriously. They think I'm Xena when I'm more Joxer. Then again, they thought Xander was Joxer and he's definitely Xena. Or at least Jett sometimes." She looked over as two more sorcerers showed up. "Hmm, that same demon is infecting you two."
"Who are you!" one demanded, pulling up magic.
"I'm Dawn." She smiled and waved. "Did you know you were possessed?"
The two sorcerers stared at each other then at Wong. "She did get one out of me, then spell cleaned me," he admitted.
"They can probably spell clean themselves but it might set the demon." She walked closer. "Here, let's try a slight banishing. I suck at exorcisms." They stiffened up. "Shouldn't hurt, guys." She did that and got one clean. She did the spell cleaning on him. "It looks like I broke your daughter's protection on you, dude. Sorry."
He frowned. "I did not know she could do that." He helped her get the other sorcerer free. They spell cleaned him but he held one steady for her. "His former wife laid that protection."
"I'd never want to interfere with that sort of thing," she agreed. She looked at the second sorcerer. "Feel all right?"
"I do feel lighter. And I fought with my new girlfriend last night for no reason."
"Sometimes demons are sneaky and sometimes they're really dumb. They've been trying to figure me out again and got it all wrong so I know Wolfram and Hart are truly stupid." They stared at her. She smiled. "I'm Dawn Summers. Buffy's little sister." They just nodded. "The one who does artifact protection." Strange appeared. "Stephen...you're infected by that same damn demon. What the hell?" He glared at her, pulling up magic. She flicked a hand to attach him to a wall and got to work banishing his part of it.
Wong pointed. "It's gathering together as a shadow."
"No idea what it is," Dawn admitted. "Beyond minor demonic and summoned here." She finally got him free then did a spell cleaning, but paused and stared at him. "Come hold this truth spell please?" They came up to test it and hold it steady for her. She cleaned up around it and let him go. "There." She smiled as he landed back on his feet. "Better?"
"I... I am. I don't know what that was."
"Well, the truth spell was laid by Xander because you were a jackass and nearly got the girls killed. I'll kick your ass over that later." She held up the file. "Some of the demons in your class were trying to get Wolfram and Hart to figure me out and they got me *so* wrong." He took the file to read with a sigh then groaned. She grinned. "But they also upset Xander and thought he was Oz. So...." She flicked on the tv nearest to them so they could see the news covering the earlier raids. Fox News was good at shouting about demon things for days on end after they fixed them. She grinned at him. "They have artifacts too. They might be in SHIELD or they might be in NYPD custody, not sure." She took the folder back, picking up a page that fell out.
One of the sorcerers glanced at it. "You deal with Glorificus?" he demanded.
"No. She tried to kill me way back when." She shrugged. "She's dead. My sister died temporarily to save me but the skanky, psycho, insane, Gucci wearing hell goddess is gone." They stared at her. "It was in Sunnydale. She had her minions steal her Gucci because she had to have the perfect outfit to pull her world onto ours so she could feed them all."
"Who revived your sister?" the other sorcerer demanded.
"Rosenburg." They all groaned and shuddered. "Hey, I grew up with her," Dawn quipped with a grin for them. "Thankfully I had Xander sometimes to blunt it." She looked at Stephen. "So..."
"I'll ask about the artifacts so we can make sure they're safe," he agreed calmly. He looked at her. "The slayer house?"
"I will kick your ass so much you'll look back fondly on your time after your car crash as you lay there in a full body cast." She quirked an eyebrow up. "And if I can't, Xander sure can."
"Yes, I can feel the truth spell he did." He made himself relax. "I was not in my right mind."
"Not the one you need to apologize to. It was his slayers that you nearly killed and he took out your enemy because he was attacking them too. Though he was nice enough to let fate decide for him by letting whatever debts he had be called in."
"That's..." Stephen walked off hugging himself. His special, semi-sentient cloak was petting him to keep him calm. "Thank you for the warning, Dawn."
"Welcome." She winked at Wong, who blushed. "I need to steal you to Spain. My program needs another person with sense and compassion. They wanted to destroy two trapped humans for daring to be trapped and making a relationship while in their jar for over ten thousand years." She disappeared, leaving a jar in her place.
Wong picked it up, testing it. "They are trapped."
"We can release them," Stephen agreed. "It's the right thing to do. We'll put it under protections in a few minutes." He looked at the other two. "That incident is why all the windows had to be replaced."
"We remember," one agreed quietly. "We must test the others." That got a nod. "You'll see those artifacts?"
"If possible I'll do it tomorrow." They nodded, leaving to test the others for that demon. Wong got the jar protected so they could release the captives but Stephen did get the parts of the demon that were trying to form together into the jar in exchange. It didn't like that but oh well. The two crying humans were gathered up and taken to a quiet room to rest for now. They could talk the next day. After he found a language translation spell.
Clint was grumbling as he got out of his car a few days later and headed into the slayer house. "Xander?" He got a bit of noise from the office so went that way. He checked, not on a video or other call. "I got ordered to come ask you a question and record the answer," he said, putting his phone on the desk with the record feature started. "Why were you at Wolfram and Hart to get paid?"
"Because apparently a few of the problems I had to handle in Africa had a price on their heads," he said dryly. "And I'm nothing if not broke most of the time thanks to the girls. Who are denying they stole from my wallet but somehow I don't have any money when I went to the bank yesterday. I've already had everything switched over in case someone decided to get me a second card."
"That's a reasonable reason. Not a current job?"
"No. Right now I'm trying to figure out who's taken out three of my ex's recently so I've been left stuff. Like that one house, it was freaky. And Domino's still worried about why we shared a lover and if that meant she was going to end up like me. I offered to teach her how to use a sword and she nearly got horrified by that thought. She's had a few bad dreams about turning into me apparently."
Clint nodded. "So have I. You do some insane things since you go into huge battles with an axe or a sword. The first time someone compared us I nearly got horrified but that was before I met you." Xander smirked up at him. "What other ex's?" Xander showed him the paperwork. "Wow. He was on our radar and we did have a price on his head. Any idea what killed him?"
"Texting while driving apparently. He ran into the side of a bridge and no one found him soon enough. The report I got said he bled out in the car. Which somehow I inherited but I pointed out I didn't want it due to the remembrance of him dying in it." He leaned back in his chair. "I want to know why that's happening and if it's something funky I did to Domino's talent."
"Could be bad luck."
"Yeah, not likely." He handed over the other papers. "Just settled. I've lost eight ex's, three to accidents, in the last two months, Clint. Are you going out to take out my ex's? Or Wade maybe?"
"Not that I'm aware of." He read them over, frowning. "That is...yeah, that's weird."
"I don't believe in coincidences." They shared a look. "Anyway, that the only reason you showed up today or are you in for sparring?"
"I came for sparring later. I could use the workout."
Xander nodded. "I could too. Fighting against the girls isn't the same as regular practice."
"You pull your punches and you have to keep breaking the fight to instruct," Clint agreed. "We can go spar, Xander."
"Please? I could use the stress relief too." Clint nodded, turning off the recording and sending it before they went upstairs to the sparring room to workout against each other. Clint could still teach him a few things but Xander had a good bit of training so he was pretty good and held up against him.
Maria Hill listened to the recording and sighed. It figured, it really did. She sent a request for a list of names to make sure they didn't have a price on their heads too. She found one on Xander and took it out. And one on Kennedy and took it out. One on Dawn too and it erased itself just before a scary, imp looking face showed up to smile at her then disappeared from her screen. "Great, magical computer viruses," she decided, turning off her machine so she could get tech support up to check it for her. The contact report would amuse them for days trying to figure it out. Until the imp came back and wiped out some of the SHIELD mainframe.
Nick Fury, not so amused at the magical imp computer virus after that.
Xander finished up the bathroom in Wade's apartment, stepping out. "Done," he called. Wade woke up from the couch, blinking at him. "It's all done."
Wade got up and came to check, looking at the nice sized bathroom. It was a good enough size. On one side was a small, cheap vanity with a square sink on top in off-white. It was barely deep enough to soak something in it. The tall shelving unit with a drawer and cabinet on the bottom were the same off-white and had some towels on it now. The toilet was in the corner, next to the wall and fan vent. It had a nice chrome toilet paper holder that matched the style of the sink and tub/shower's handles but was hung up on its side so the open end was at the top.
The tub was on the other wall of the bathroom. The floor were a light beige color and the wall tiles were just a bit darker beige. The lights were single open cone shaped glass covers over a LED bulb, three of them evenly spaced. The tub itself was a claw foot tub with chrome feet. The shower head was on one wall at one end of the tub. The regular spigot was in the center of the tub next to the wall. Xander held up the pretty plug for the tub, letting Wade have it. "So?"
"It's fancier than I thought it'd be but it's nice, Xander. Thank you." He gave him a back slapping hug. "Now I have a huge master closet fit for a girl, a real bathroom, the half bath, and the guest room for getting it on time." He grinned. "What's next, my living room furniture?"
"You're getting two cabinets and a simple countertop to add to the kitchen. Your choice if it turns into an island or not." He grinned. "Home Depot can put that in on Wednesday."
"Thanks." He looked around. "I've seen great hotels that have less great bathrooms." He climbed into the tub, wiggling some. "This is really deep."
"It's also cast iron so it's built to last. Deep enough to soak in if you need it. Easily cleaned out if you get blood in it. Or other organ material."
"Yeah, that'll work pretty well. The beige will hide some dirt but not blood so it can be cleaned up." He nodded. "I almost feel like a respectable person."
Xander grinned. "I designed it in case you ever lure in another woman."
Wade smirked. "I can try that some year."
"I figured you would. Or you'd move someone like Piotr in."
"Not a chance. He's very uptight about things like cleaning. I'd never get any fun. He'd probably scowl if I ran around naked."
"Not like the suit hides anything, Wade."
"True." He walked Xander out of the main bathroom and back to the living room, where he had an old thrift store couch. Xander flopped down with him. "I'm doing okay."
"Wade, I don't even have furniture if it wasn't for the stuff I put in the house. You at least own a couch."
"Now I'm definitely feeling respectable. You own a car."
"Yeah, I kinda need it. I apparently own a few buildings with Domino too. I need to figure that shit out. Maybe I'll have some income soon."
"Giles forgot to pay you again?"
"Yup, and the other watchers are making disgusted with the Xander noises again."
"They're uptight. Even Colossus said they're uptight." Xander nodded he agreed. "You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just kinda tired." He yawned. "The girls kept each other and me up last night giggling at movies. Mimsy came down to yell at them for keeping her up on a school night. They finally got to bed about four."
"I've had that sleep cycle," Wade joked.
"I told them they needed to know how to handle it for apocalypse times. They just groaned and got extra coffee. I'm waiting on a call from either school about picking up sleeping girls."
"They'll be fine."
"They will be. They're usually strong, sensible girls. Did you ever find your wallet?"
"Yup, and that girl's now been expelled to Cleveland too. And I've taken back the extra card she got on my account, and the credit card she got in my name." They shared a look. "Giles was not amused when he yelled at her for me."
Wade grinned. "It sounds like he's tired of that problem."
"We all are. We'll figure it out, the same as usual." He hit Wade on the arm. "In the master bedroom, the one that the half bath attaches to, there's a hidden door in the closet for weapons." Wade hopped up to go look, coming back grinning. "I thought it might be useful."
"Very. I can put the extras in there tonight." Xander nodded, heaving himself up but Wade pushed him back down. "Sit, Xander. You deserve a rest." Xander's phone went off so Wade stole it to answer. "Hey, my Lady of X. What's up? No, he's here. He just finished my super fancy bathroom and bedrooms. Of course you can come over. Bring chips or something."
"I have to get back to the little ones," Xander said. "They're due home soon."
He listened to Domino talk. "Sure, that's great. Yup, he's here. I'm making him not go babysit." He hung up and grinned at Xander. "She'll swing by and tell them I kidnaped you."
"They'll want to rescue me. I think."
"They would." He sat back down. "She'll come check out the new bathroom."
"We have to figure out what to do with the other properties anyway," Xander reminded him. He sank into the old couch with a sigh. "I half own six buildings with her. And one fancy house."
"You can rent that place to some snob."
"Probably but if I rent to a group that the FBI hates, they can confiscate the house and the stuff inside it. Or the police of any group really. So we have to be more careful."
"We can figure out who you can go to for that." He looked over at the knock. "Open," he yelled. Colossus ducked as he walked in, Domino behind him. "The girls okay?"
"They're studying at the library today," Domino said.
Xander took his phone back to call them. "Mimsy, tell the idiot twins that studying at the library means actually doing homework I'll be checking later and if they're sneaking off for dates I'm going to kick their asses in sparring. Also, make sure all the girls aren't at home. No, I have the slayer shopping card in the safe so it can't be stolen again. If she broke into the safe, she's in deep shit." She listened.
"No, that necklace was an artifact." He pulled his wand and summoned it back with everything from the safe. Including Dawn's file, which was missing a page. "Shit, they got Dawn's files. Tell her she'd better hide." He hung up and sighed, summoning Dawn to call. She showed up, took that file with a grin, then disappeared to make sure no one had that missing bit. Xander looked at Wade, who shook his head. "It's going to be that week."
Domino opened the obvious jewelry box. "That's pretty."
"Mystical," Wade and Xander warned, making her pull her hand back.
"It's to help you shape change," Xander said with a grin. "Lavelle's let him have kids."
"Um...yeah, I don't need to know what I'd be like as a guy," she decided, wiping her hand off.
"That is not possible," Colossus said. "Really, Xander." It was held out to him. "I know nothing about this sort of thing."
Domino moved to hitch it on him. "If she locks it down, only she can remove it," Xander warned. She guided the metal fingers to find the clasps himself. Colossus considered himself. "Think about another human form," Xander ordered. "Like you as a girl." That image must've hit his mind because he suddenly changed and had to struggle to get free of the necklace. Xander grinned. "It's a chaos artifact."
"Clearly," Domino agreed, carefully putting it back into the box. "Here." She handed it over. "You have fun with that. I don't want to know how."
"Not my thing. We all protect that thing when we find one in our realms." He tucked it down his shirt so he couldn't forget it.
Wade looked at them. "Xander finished my bathroom." They went to look, Colossus whistling. "Yeah, it's a huge tub," he said happily.
"And easily cleaned for when he gets blood on things," Xander agreed. "I picked for easily cleaned but it will hide a bit of mud or dirt."
"What happens if one of the girls gets that necklace?" Domino asked.
"She gets to go get it back," Xander said bluntly, staring at her. "It's a pretty powerful chaos artifact. When one of us in another realm got stuck in it, he told the rest of us so we could protect the thing."
"What does it do?" Colossus asked.
"It's called the Deermere choker and it's to help you change ...I guess forms would be best but you can basically change your outsides to look like anyone else."
"That could be dangerous. It should be put away safely," he complained.
"It was. Then someone got into the safe," he said dryly. "And your girlfriend helped her without knowing." Piotr huffed. "Sorry but yay. Frankly, the choker's been responsible for one of me having his own family. We all protect the version in our realms."
"I tried that, it totally returned me to my original look."
Xander grinned at him. "In one realm, a woman we casually know in this one knocked up her girlfriend using it, Wade."
"So she turned just that part," Domino said with a nod. "That's creepy."
"The other Xander that showed up, Lavelle, he uses it to get away sometimes but also for fandom conventions. And because his husbands only really love him when he's got tits." She shivered. "Yeah. He got stuck in it against his will at first and had to learn. He had two sets of twins and a single. They are kick ass kids."
Her mouth opened. "Wow."
"The choker plus a fertility spell," he explained. "His was reparation for everyone screwing him over."
She just nodded. "I talked to him and he was a bit weird but seemed kinda nice."
"Yeah, Lavelle's a great guy. Has a *huge* comic book collection," he said with a grin. "He actually has a librarian over his collection. Plus a lot of kimonos. It's an artform he really enjoys." He smiled at her. "For him being him, he's a great guy. He just takes out the bad guys from that side."
"I get that," she agreed. "We do the same thing sometimes." Xander nodded with a grin. "You more than most."
"Nah, mine were in the way or the cause of a problem mostly. It was that or lose a battle."
"That I totally get," Wade agreed. Cable knocked then stomped in. "Hey. He's done with the bathroom."
Cable went to look then came out. "I'm borrowing that sometime when I need to soak out sore muscles." Xander beamed at that compliment. "What's under your shirt?"
"Oh, that thing. Do you have others at the house?"
"Hidden ones. Things that'll be useful later on probably. Things that'll trap certain types of demons. One thing that someone really wants very hard and is willing to pay tons for. But it might make him stronger or it might make him take himself out. I haven't decided about him yet. He's leaning more towards making him stronger and a problem I'd have to deal with. If he was the taking himself out sort I'd probably have already let him so he wasn't a problem."
Cable shook his head. "Are you and Wade related?"
"No," they said then grinned at him. Cable groaned.
He looked at Wade. "Did you have problems when the floor went in?"
"It stunk so I slept on a couch for a few days," Wade admitted. Xander nodded that was fine. "It does look really respectable in here.'
"Now all he needs is a better kitchen," Domino said, looking that way.
"He's getting two extra cabinets he can decide to put somewhere and a synthetic stone countertop," Xander quipped. "He can have an island or expand his present setup."
She nodded. "Could help. Wade?"
"Not sure yet. I used to like our island but that was mostly about Vanessa being spread across it." Xander nudged him. "I'm okay."
Xander smirked a tiny bit. "I'll lend you an ex boyfriend if it'll make you feel better."
"Not really. Yours are stupidly bad, Xander."
Xander smirked. "I have a date tomorrow night. You guys have fun on patrol?"
"It's our night for it," he agreed. "Did you plan that?"
"He did." Wade rolled his eyes and shook his head. "So he's probably scrying but yay." He looked at Domino. "I still have no idea what to do with those properties."
"Me either," she admitted. "I don't want to be a landlord."
"Are there management people who can do the big things?"
"Will it make enough for that?" she asked. "And us not having a crook doing it?"
"We can hire a retired merc who's not a scumbag."
She considered it. "That might drive someone nuts but yeah, it could be okay. What if someone tries to contest the wills?"
"Only one of them had kids or a spouse. And she was the one that we walked in, then backed out slowly and called the cops to come clean up the crime scene." She looked confused. "The ones with the drugs, not the one that got taken out by her summoning attempt."
"Oh, her. She has kids?"
"Kid singular and in a reformatory school from what the lawyer said. Apparently he's like his daddy. Who is already long gone."
"Huh. That was still weird. I have no idea how I even knew her."
Xander shrugged. "I know how I know her. She babied me through the last bit of my malaria."
Cable groaned. "Why?"
Xander stared at him. "Because we had a battle right before then and I nearly collapsed at her feet so she took me home. It was nice she protected me from the idiots with guns. I have no idea who's scrying but I really need to do something to them." The feeling stopped and he cast a curse at them anyway. It tried to rebound but he got it refocused and hey, it hit Willow. "Huh. Willow's having a day." He texted Buffy's phone then Giles' phone. He got called.
"Yeah, Giles?" He listened. "No, that's a Xander obligation. Deermere choker." Giles spluttered. "Me in another realm had it forced on him but he got to have a family in reparation for Wesley sending him to hell." He listened. "No, they may not. And I had to take it back from one of the girls who had stolen it out of my office safe. No, Giles, I've had it since he told us about it. I found where it was back in Sunnydale and got it from a poker contact. Because it's important to us."
He listened. "No, she decided to scry. A lot. About things that don't concern her since I'm talking to some friends. Yes, one's metallic, Giles. He's dating Kara. You've met him. Yes, him." He cast at Giles. He grinned at the bellowing. "Spell cleaning," he quipped. "Are you remembering things again, Giles?" He listened to the complaining. "No I won't be turning them over. Because half the watchers down there would try to sell them for their own gains. Like they have the stuff I sent before when they stole out of the vault. No, I'm pretty sure my vault is safe. It has been safe. It's protected by dwarven tech and magic. I asked nicely and paid for it."
He grinned. "It used to be on my truck in Africa." Giles complained. "You know what, I could easily go do other stuff, Giles. I did have a few ex's who left me real estate. And still back up the slayers. What?" he demanded. "Are you high? I've never touched anyone underage since *I* was underage." Someone on that end complained. "Ah! The lying little brat struck again. No, I did not. And a social worker was there when I knocked her out and put her into the confinement room. The first time I just carried her up there and dropped her into it then locked the door."
He listened. "You can ask the social worker if you want. She was there. She helped end that problem. Exactly. Sure, you ask the girls that. You have fun with that and try me, Carl. Then again, your girls ended up pregnant." A pause while they complained. "No, Penny's married. She has been since she tested pregnant. Her boyfriend, who was long term at that time, ran off to Vegas with her."
Wade leaned over and stole the phone. "Giles, it's Deadpool. Xander's helping me with my new apartment today and I don't really want to watch him blow his stack and have to go find something to fight to get calm again. Or find his boyfriend. Frankly, a few of us have looked at the other watchers you hired and a lot of them should not be around children. Including that one Carl he mentioned who is wanted on three different warrants out of England."
"Two of those were for drunk driving crashes," Xander said as he took the phone back. "The other one was for an unspecified felony. I asked and got glared at by the inspector I asked. In fact, there's a warrant out for eighteen of us. I have a small one for looting a problem's house because he had been summoning something huge. When I pointed that out and let them see what I had looted, and put into Council custody, they put it on after it was stolen from the vault. I've got an order in to find that sucker and get it back but the guy in China still has it in his vault. Thankfully he's a collector instead of using it."
He switched the ear his phone was against. "I did tell you that, Giles. It's a report I sent in. I have no idea why you don't get my reports but you don't seem to. Like I don't seem to be getting paid yet again." Giles complained. "Yeah, let me find a more profitable employment, Giles. I can do that. Hell, I can go loot more artifacts and sell those things instead of keeping them safe." Something was mentioned. "Yeah, because I knew he'd take himself out with it.
"And lo and behold, he took himself out with it because the guy stated his wish badly. His wife destroyed that thing after watching her husband be killed by it. Then she mailed the remains back so I could dispose of it and thanked me for making her a wealthy widow. I think that part was meant sarcastically but hey, he wanted it and he was going to be a huge problem when he accidentally summoned something bigger trying to get a djinn. Did I want to watch the demon he summoned take out parts of Hoboken? Then me selling him a problem that he solved himself took out two problems. And I got paid for a lot of times I wasn't getting paid for.
"Really, Carl? When did you do anything with your girls but sit there and bitch? I go on patrol with my girls or for my girls if it's too dangerous for them to get out or they have too much homework. Yes I know I have a few older girls. Kara's taking college classes online. Penny's retired because she's a mom and pregnant again. Thankfully we have a lot of support up here with all the problems we've had. That wasn't my problem, Carl. That was other people's problems they made me solve to protect myself and the girls.
"If you hate living that much, I'll go back and not stop the guy who was going to burn you and your girls in your house six weeks ago." Carl gasped and said something. "No, I stopped it because I got help stopping that group before they could. They were going to burn yours and the orphans house. Thankfully they got stopped because they tried up here and we worked to stop the full group."
He rubbed his forehead. "Giles, can you yell at Willow please? Before I snap and turn her back into a mule?" He glared up at her. "You can be a pet, Rosenburg." She quit trying to magic him. He summoned back everything from the safe again then grinned and handed the choker to Wade. "Hold that please. Let me go down there. Don't get into the file on Dawn please." He hung up and sent himself down there to scream at them in person.
"Xander has a temper," Domino quipped, sitting on the couch.
"Usually he has an axe when he has that sort of temper. I'm wondering if someone tampered with the girls in the house. They didn't used to be that trifling or able to break into safes."
Piotr nodded. "We are not sure who but Kara has said she felt it. She's investigating that."
"Great," Cable grunted. "Just great." Xander reappeared looking calmer. "You still employed?"
"Yup, and I broke the thing the other watchers were doing to the girls. I dragged Giles and Willow up there to show them what had went on." He grinned sweetly, making Wade and Cable clench up. "Then we had a great screaming match about how I'm the only one in the field doing anything. There's presently six other watchers who do anything in the group and they're in the admin. Giles tried to do something so I pointed out it was my name on that building too."
He smirked a tiny bit. "If they fire me, I'll live near the girls, train them on my off time, and manage the real estate stuff between patrols with them. Not like it'll change a lot for my own life with the way I don't get paid." He glared up at them. "Hold on." He went back down there to get back into the screaming match. He found all those reports hidden from Giles in a filing cabinet he never got into. Giles even admitted he filed them without looking after he cast a truth spell on the office.
Though it did get him a hurt look from the older man. Then Giles realized what he said and got embarrassed. Especially since most of the visions were in there too. He grinned again as he reappeared. "If so, I'll gladly move out and let the girls handle it. Penny will make a great house mom." Piotr shivered. "I've totally had enough of that shit. There's six dead slayers in the last year thanks to those sort."
"It's reasonable to fight back against such injustices," Piotr said. "I'll tell Kara."
"Tell Kara to get her protections inked on formally, Piotr, and go hold her hand for the tattoos." He nodded, going to tell her that. Xander sighed and called Tara. "I had to do a truth spell and found out that Giles was ignoring visions on purpose," he said quietly and trying to sound calm. "Yup, I did. Be damned if I'm going to be blamed by that group. No, I'm not going to start my own Council. Then again, I'm about the only one who defends or goes to rescue the girls, Tara."
Wade winced but nodded that was true. "I'm about to sue for back pay too. No, he admitted it." He walked off, going to the half bath to talk to her in private. And in Latin. She agreed it was a problem and it could've come from the Powers That Be. Then she pointed out to the huffy witches complaining at her that they had another major battle in a few weeks. One Xander hadn't seen but others had. Xander's next seen one was in six months and was horrifying in the most literal sense. The witches went to look those up. Xander pointed out he put all his visions on a site that the poker circuit used as well so they knew to help or get out of the way.
The coven members looked that up and nearly shrieked at what they saw. They were in the middle of the lead up to one and they hadn't realized. Though a few hated that the peaceful community had those things. Tara ripped into them about being from another realm not equaling evil. "You know what, we need to form our own side group, Tara. We seem to be the ones that're doing anything with the girls and have any bit of sense."
The witches complained at that but Tara agreed she did a lot more work than a lot of the coven to help the slayers. Xander told them about the spell he had interrupted at the main building and they all complained about that one until Cordelia showed up to scream at them. Xander listened. Tara started to sniffle. "Cordy, quit making Tara cry," he ordered quietly. "I know damn well you can hear me and she doesn't deserve that."
Cordelia agreed that Tara was doing the right thing and that the PTB hated Xander for saving so many of the girls. Whistler showed up to nag her. Cordelia ripped into him too for endangering everyone and the slayers. She suggested all the slayers get off the realm and go into hiding for good. Make humanity save themselves for a bit. Whistler went on a spluttering fit with Tara. Xander chuckled. "No. They don't need to flee the realm for another five months. Then they can go back to the castle for a bit. I asked to make sure," he said calmly and coolly.
"Until then, they need to remove all the spells from the slayers. Every. Single. One. Because their so-called protections have gotten some killed. Six in the last year. I'm not down with that." Whistler complained about too many slayers. "Then you should've told Willow how to make it not activate every single slayer, just the ones over the age of puberty, Whistler. You didn't. You made it so it activated babies who aren't even born yet. You've endangered their lives even before they could talk or walk or hold their heads up. You made vulnerable *children* into targets. Congratulations."
Whistler complained a lot. Cordelia punched him, knocking him out and onto the floor. Then she went on a tirade. They tried to recall her but couldn't. Xander looked at the phone. "Hey, Cordy, what did your will say about Volo?" She paused in her ranting and then laughed and called on that poker debt to fix some things for her. That stopped all the spells on the slayers, though she did have Tara put back protections on a few of the girls. Which she did immediately. Then Volo went to talk to Giles himself.
Xander grinned at his phone. "Cordy, do I still have a job?" he asked. "If not, I've got stuff I can go do." She complained that he'd die doing it but if he didn't help the girls they'd quickly backslide and he'd end up stepping in to take out Giles and others to stop it for the girls' safety. And that he had to watch out, that the law firm still wanted him and wasn't above theft of artifacts and special chokers. Or locking him into it. "Gee, that'll probably mean that the only slayer who was supposed to be born in Sunnydale vision would happen, huh?"
She paused and considered that, then laughed and said the Powers were screaming about that one being broken. They looked, no slayers ever born in Sunnydale and there never would be now that it was a hole in the ground. Xander held his head as the vision happened. "No, it was supposed to be Andrew. Sucks, dudes." He listened to the hissy fit.
"Hey, it could've been you, Cordy. Now, what are we supposed to do now? I know what I'm going to do, I'm going to paddle a few slayers for theft and things. Sure, we can do that tonight. Thanks, sweetie. Oh, I got the present back from Anya's trunk if you wanted to steal that last birthday present of yours." He hung up and calmed himself down. Then he went back to Cleveland, staring at the higher level demon. "Hey, Volo." He shook his hand. "Thanks for answering her."
"I did owe her. Did you realize the girls got into the artifacts?"
"Yeah. I saw the goddess they released and got onto them last night. And this morning when I reminded them to use all forms of birth control since they had released a fertility goddess," he said dryly. The demon finished casting that wish while Xander got a book from the library and walked back to the office. Volo had left. Xander looked at Andrew after finding that prophecy, handing it over. "You broke one." He grinned. "Welcome to the club."
Andrew looked at it. "I should've been born a slayer?" He looked at them. "I would've freaked out and probably died of panicking." Xander patted him on the arm. "So, Volo just exposed all the problems. Possibly to outsiders."
Xander shook his head. "The coven? Well, slightly outsiders I guess."
Willow stomped in. "You do not need that necklace, Xander! It's foul!"
Xander snorted. "You don't know anything about it, Willow, or why it's important to all the Xanders across the multiverse."
"I still think it's freaky that you guys hold a convention yearly to go over problems," Andrew quipped.
Xander grinned at him. "I got to meet the me that was raised by a version of Iron Man because Willow deaged me." Willow choked but Xander ignored it. "And Lavelle's really got a lot of information and stuff that can help the girls. That's why I let him handle sparring for a week. Trained as he is, he's great with swords and he refined everyone's work with them." He looked at Giles again, handing over that book with a grin. "Andrew warped one that I didn't have to."
He read and groaned. "Oh, dear. They were looking forward to that one."
"Yeah but I'm not a girl," Andrew said. Xander looked at his shoulder. "Yeah, I have the mole. I didn't put that together since I'm a guy." He looked at Xander then at Willow then at Giles. "I've warded the house so no magic can go on inside outside the removing of curses and floating spells for when I'm cooking and need stuff." He stared at him. "That way we can watch the magic area out back better for dangerous things like curses." He glared at Willow, who sneered back.
Xander patted him on the back. "Just think, some day soon her debts will be called in. Especially since she prompted the girls to get into the artifact vault down here and that's why Volo was released." She went pale, shaking her head. "Yeah, you did." Xander stared at her. "And since you had them release the stuff that was possessed, well.... I'd hate to have your debts, Willow. I know mine, and there's a few hell gods who're *really* looking forward to making sure I die some day in a horrible manner. Yours... shit, they were taking bets again." He shrugged but grinned at her. "Something about a holy shrine and a blessed artifact that you broke, and it means two realms will die next year.... Hmm." He stared at her. "Because you decided to draw on the power from it to do a linking spell to the hellmouth in Brazil. Two weren't enough?"
"It'll save the girls during a battle," she ground out.
"They're coming here because you did that," Andrew said. "My own contacts have said that. Spike's contacts warned about that. Hell, they even told Buffy. Who sobbed for about ten minutes."
Dawn appeared, holding up a hand. "There's a way to fix that."
"I hate time flips," Xander said, handing her his wand. She grinned.
"No time flip needed. But I can go stop that magical abuse." She swished before Willow or Giles could grab her. Then she came walking in and everything was better. No spells on the slayers. No curses on the slayers or watchers who did things. Xander looked at Dawn, taking his wand back. "You still lost those ex's. Sorry."
"Did the rest stay? Especially Wade's apartment?"
"Yeah. You were already doing that." She grinned and patted him on the cheek. "It's good you have friends again. Especially guy friends. You need more of them." She disappeared.
Xander grinned at Giles. "See, we fixed it. Again." He stared at him. "So you thought the visions were crap?" He disappeared to go back to the house. The slayers were all there doing their homework like good girls. "It had better not happen, ladies," he reminded them. "Stealing will get you kicked to Cleveland." He went to check his safes and found them holding what they should. The choker was around his own neck at the moment, just in case. Not that he'd be using it but it was safe there. No one could take it off him but him.
He had his favorite axe back too. Though the shield over the house was back, but working so they could walk out but not magic their way out. He shrugged because he could fix that later. Dawn appeared, holding up an orb. Xander took it to pet, making it purr. She smiled and left. Xander looked at the orb. "You're a good boy." He put it next to the magic 8 ball so they could talk to each other. The ball was bored anyway.
The slayers just sighed and got back to their homework. Xander was kinda weird sometimes. But he did good with them.
Doing Weirdly Normal Things.