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Law and Orderly Chaos.

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Someone wanted me to put up stuff for Evil Author Day so.....
Law and Orderly Chaos






Willow was stressing. Graduation was in four days. Things were going a bit weird to her sensibilities. Of course, she had no idea about battle anythings. She didn't even play role playing games. And they were trusting Xander to handle things. Which she didn't like. Buffy didn't like it either but neither one of them could plan a battle and Giles' plans had forgotten about others being there beyond the team. So Xander was doing it and she was still stressing about that. "We don't have enough people," she told Buffy.

The slayer nodded at her. "I know that. We'll do what we can with what we have. At the worst, we all die," she said dryly, staring at her best friend then smiling. "It'll be *fine*, Willow. Quit stressing out. Not like you can suddenly call up a unit of slayers for me to be backed up by."

"No. I can't. I have no idea how to do that." She bit her lip. "I can maybe do something to make a temporary set of twins?"

Giles cleared his throat. "That is dangerous and it would leave whoever it was done to more vulnerable and able to be killed, Willow." He stared at her. "Do quit stressing as you're stressing the rest of us out." She slumped but nodded. "We have good plans. We'll manage it," he said more calmly. "In a few days it'll all be done with and we'll be past another apocalypse."

She nodded, going to her home to think up ways she could help more. She did look up that twin idea. The online notes said it would render one twin weaker so that was a bad idea. She looked up other ways to call more fighters to help them. Oz came over to calm her down so that was a welcome change of thought. He was good at it too.

But the idea was stuck in her head.

***

Xander walked into the library the day before graduation, making Giles smile at him until he saw the second Xander walking in. "Oh, dear. How did that happen? A temporal or realm spell?" he asked, trying to stay calm.

"No, I went to bed last night and this morning woke up twins in the same outfit I went to sleep in, on both of us," the second xander said dryly.

"We checked, we have the same memories. I pinched myself and he didn't feel it. He's not a vamp like that one we nearly had."

"Since we know there's a ton of magic using people in town but most of them wouldn't want us to be twins," the second Xander continued dryly. "Would you, that lesser you Wesley, or a certain redhead want to tell us how this happened?"

"I did not do so," Giles said. He sighed. "Wesley doesn't have that level of skill." He did a magical test. "He's a fully separate entity. No shared traits beyond being twins." He frowned. "Oh, dear. I see the principal."

Both Xanders smirked at the short, irritating man as he stomped into the library. "Hey, Principal Snyder," they said in unison then smirked and waved. "How're you today?" The man stopped, staring at them then moaning as he stomped off again. They shared a look then looked at Giles, who smiled at that move. "So," they said in unison.

"I'll see what she was thinking. As far as I can tell it won't be undone. Or can't be undone actually." He rubbed his eyes then picked up his glasses to put on. "For now, do you have the same level of skills?"

"Yeah, as far as we can tell," the second xander said.

Buffy walked in and stared then nodded and walked off. "I don't want to know about the freaky this time. I don't have the energy for this."

"Yell at the redhead," the first Xander called after her. She waved back that she had heard. He rolled his eyes, looking at his twin. "Well, looks like we'll have someone to talk to on our road trip in a few days I guess." He sighed.

"We'll figure it out." He patted him on the arm and went to go figure some things out while the first Xander went to class. They had worked that out earlier. Giles got to moan and complain until he could find Willow to talk to her.

Oz saw both Xanders and went "Huh, twins?" then stared at the Xander in front of him.

"We think there's a female redheaded person who did it," that Xander admitted. "No clue though. Woke up this way today."

Oz just nodded, walking off. "I'll talk to her if Buffy hasn't." He shook his head quickly but this was Sunnydale. There were weirder things than Xander waking up being twins.

***

"But I thought Xander was sitting out," Willow said that night while they were cleaning up injuries.

Both Xanders stared at her. "No, Willow, we had plans to be there helping. That was actually the plan." Buffy nodded but sighed. "I'm sorry you had that thought but oh well!" She shrank down. He looked up then went back to helping Buffy's injured ankle.

The other one was working on his own cut on his bicep from a scale. He finally got done and handed Buffy the medical tape so she could use it on the bandage Willow was putting on for her. "We're off," they told the girls. "Our roadtrip calls." They walked off together.

"We'll send postcards," the second Xander said.

"Okay, have fun," Buffy called after them. "Don't get arrested."

The second Xander turned to grin at her. "Why would we do that? That's not very fun." He turned around and went back to hiking to where their car was waiting in their storage area. He got into the passenger's seat, letting Xander drive them off. They were free of Sunnydale until they had enough of the rest of reality. Who knew when they'd come back and how far they'd get. But first they needed to go to Disney. So Anaheim here they come!

Buffy looked at Willow. "That was actually the battle plan, Willow." She pouted but nodded. "Maybe they'll figure it out on the roadtrip thing this summer." She hugged her. "You should go home. It's getting dark." Willow got her stake and went home to sit in her empty house. Buffy went back to her own house, getting a hug from her mother. "Mom, don't freak, but Willow created twins of Xander."

"So there's three of him?"

"No, just two." Joyce sighed but nodded. "She thought he'd be sitting out or just evacuating people so she thought it'd be safer when we needed more people. So they're going on their road trip and Willow's pouty. What's for dinner?" she asked hopefully.

"Soup. I wasn't sure you'd be home tonight." Buffy followed to get some dinner. "Do you need an ER?"

She shook her head. "Xander did the cuts on my ankle and Willow got my arm." She let her see it. "Besides, our ER is more for killing people." She slurped some soup and sighed. "That's nice. I've been hungry all day." She went back to inhaling soup. Her mother warmed up more for her. She was a nice mom that way.

***

Buffy looked up as Xander walked up to where she was standing on the park's little bridge. "Did you find someone to get that wackiness fixed?" she asked, sounding happier.

"Nope. He's outside town talking to someone we're now penpals with." He looked down at her. Even in the heels she was wearing she was shorter. "But we're back."

"That's cool. I guess. Still twins?" He nodded. "Huh." She shrugged. "I guess it means that you don't have to worry about things while we go on patrol and you help Giles at the store."

He snorted. "Things have not changed, Buffy." She scowled. "I've seen kitten demons to be more scared of."

"I'm the slayer."

"You're the slayer who slept with a vampire, made him lose his soul, and then didn't even *regret* when he killed your watcher's girlfriend," he said quietly, staring at her. Buffy went pale and backed up a step. "I'm the same Xander I was." He smiled sweetly at her. "So, let's patrol?"

"I guess," she sighed. "But if you get hurt I get to nag."

He snorted. "The last time you nagged me over something I didn't do you fell into a grave yourself then complained I gave you back what you gave me." She rolled her eyes, huffed a bit, and walked off. So he went with her. They met up with the other Xander at the other end of the park. "Hey. How's Abby?"

"Pretty good. Things are okay enough in DC." He walked on Buffy's other side.

"What sort of deadly is this one?" Buffy asked dryly.

"Goth but a forensic lab tech," the second Xander said happily. Buffy stopped to stare at him oddly. "Yeah. She does know by the way. It's all over the bulletin boards online." She whined but nodded, walking off shaking her head.

"She is really sweet," the first Xander said. "Kinda cute. Wears goth clothes and has pigtails." Buffy gave him an odd look. "That's what she wants to wear."

"Why?"

"Because she finds it fun."

"Oh. So she's a groupie thing?"

"Nope. Ran into it in New Orleans when she was a teenage girl." Buffy grimaced but nodded. "So she's been paying attention since then. She showed up right after we took out the Overlord over Western LA to buy us a drink for that and see if we were really the normal guys you said we were."

"You are." She paused. "You did what?"

"He was drooling on us while asking if we were tasty. He was also allergic to the metal that they make quarters out of. I flicked one at him and he yelled, tried to attack the bartender, so we had to to save the rest of the people in the club," the first Xander admitted. Then he grinned and shrugged when Buffy stared at him. "Not the first."

"You're normal, Xander. Stay normal."

"No, we're Xanders, we're not normal." He stared at her. "Also, Abby noted that we've got a problem in town. A huge problem in town. The demonic bulletin boards have been having fits about it. Which was why she really showed up to talk to us since we were the first ones out of Sunnydale in years who had a clue."

"Big demon like the mayor?" she guessed.

"Worse. Military," the second Xander said, handing over his notes. "What we took from the bulletin boards."

She read them over as they walked. "Oh, no." She grimaced. "That's bad." They nodded. "I'll have Willow look. Do you guys need to stop at the motel?"

"Already did," the first Xander quipped. She nodded as she walked off. She ran into Willow. "We're back," he said dryly.

Willow smiled and waved. "Hey, Guys. Is Buffy walking you to the motel?"

"Why would we need walked?" the second Xander asked her.

"It's dangerous...."

Both Xanders held up a hand. "We've done this for three years, the same as you have," the second one told her. "That problem got old in high school." He stared at her until she backed up. He looked at his twin then at Buffy. "Let me go check in with Giles." He took the notes back. "So he can make notes too." He walked off. A vampire popped out to try to eat him so he punched it and staked it before walking over the ash. "Thank you for the welcome home," he quipped.

The first Xander nodded. "Yeah, he's right. He's just blunt because he didn't get much sleep last night." He shrugged and glared at the vampire staring at him from the street. "Yes, we're back. Are you here to bow at my specialness?" he quipped.

The vampire shook his head. "You're weird, Harris."

"Sometimes." He grinned and shot him with his mini crossbow. "Bye. Thanks for the input." He walked on. "The papers had Shady Rest tonight, Buffster?"

"Yeah, I guess. That was what the paper said." She walked off with Willow, who was scowling. "It'll be fine, I'm here," Buffy told her.

Xander turned to stare at her. "Do you remember having the flu so bad you were in the hospital?" She blanched but nodded. "If I could handle it then to protect your blonde self, I can do it now." She slumped but nodded. "Really. We're the same people we were at graduation." He walked off shaking his head again.

"Are you going to start college next semester?" Willow asked, trying to change the subject.

"Nope. I'm not a college sort, Willow. Why would I waste my time and money that way?" He looked at her. "Nothing I like doing is included in a major at the college." She slumped. "Within a week I'll have another job and we'll figure out an apartment, all that stuff.

"Some people go to college and study a lot for a lot of money, some of us do the work people like you count on to get stuff done that you don't want to do yourself." He gave her a pointed look. "It's just as important, even when you're working fast food. Or else you wouldn't get to eat slightly tasty and yet cheap burgers and fries."

"Point, I guess." She glanced at Buffy. "She's going. We're not sure what she's taking yet."

Xander nodded. "Great. I hope she has fun in classes. It's not something I value." He shrugged and grinned. "I'd rather work as a plumber or something."

"Oh. So the vo-tech?"

"Not sure. The closest one barely has any offerings anymore." They continued to walk, stake a few vampires, all that good stuff. He met up with Xander at the motel. "Giles give you the same 'you're normal' talk?"

"Yup," the other Xander agreed dryly. "Then I reminded him I'd been doing it for three years. He cleaned his glasses a bit and agreed with that." They shared an eye roll. "Job services tomorrow?"

"Yeah. We can do that. I planned on looking around the town during the daylight hours."

"Not a bad idea. I'll sign us both up." That got a nod and they settled in for the night. They'd had jobs in high school for money and their roadtrip fund. They could easily find *something*, even if it wasn't something good. And they'd put up with the girls being little girlish assholes at the same time, same as usual.

***

It was nearly the spring and the usual was happening. They were working their way up to dealing with a huge problem. This time a sanctioned problem. The Xanders were arguing about turning them in. The second Xander wanted to. The first one said it wouldn't do any good. They already knew they were here and what they were doing.

The second Xander called their friend Abby to talk to her about it anyway. The first Xander just nodded at that decision. Abby did not know much more than what was on the bulletin boards. She hacked in at his suggestion and started to call for help. So maybe they could do something. Maybe.

Xander still had to go in with the group to do that spell to defeat the new monster of the spring. And some military guys. Not like Buffy would shoot one to protect herself, even in the leg to make them fall down and quit shooting at them. They fixed things and got out of there.

Buffy looked exhausted. "Movies?"

"Later," the second Xander said. "I need a shower." She nodded and they all went to do that then gathered in her living room to rest and do a post-battle movie.

***

Xander looked up from his construction job, seeing the guys in the dark sedan with federal plates pulling in to park. He nudged his twin, who looked and sighed. But nodded. They were probably in for it for that problem. The original Xander walked out there to talk to them when the supervisor looked his way. "Yes, guys? You're interrupting our day job?"

"Mr. Harris, you were caught on film...."

"Yes, I'm well aware *your* people sent people to my town to torture and tear apart beings," he interrupted. The agent stepped back, looking horrified. "We figured you didn't care about what they were doing since you guys looked the other way about them. My twin decided not everyone had to know so called a penpal we have out that way to make sure. What about it?"

"Not sitting well after your first battle?" he asked smugly.

Xander snorted. "Not my first battle." The agent looked confused. "Clearly, you know less than half of anything about this town, dude. Anything else? I've got to earn my paycheck." He walked off anyway before the guy could answer. He heard the agent huff but he didn't chase after him.

Xander got all the way to lunch before someone else showed up. That one sat across from them with a tablet, letting them see it. It had the agency name branded across the edge with a property of sticker. Xander looked then shrugged. "Well, it's about three-quarters right," he offered, pushing it back. He ate a bite of his sandwich. His twin was chewing hard.

"We're not going to charge you two."

"Great. Good to know that the guys who helped stop the torture are seen as good guys," the second one said, making that agent glare. "You can't tell me they didn't."

"No, we cannot. The stuff NCIS found and told us about showed what they were doing in all the wrong minded details." Both Xanders nodded. "We just wanted a report on what happened."

Xander got into a site for him and let him see it. "Our thinking journal for after patrol things."

"Okay." He read that and nodded slowly. "Damn it." He looked at them. "Why not sooner?"

"The first time we were evacuating a friend," the second Xander said bluntly. "We got argued with that it was necessary. Then she realized."

The agent sighed but nodded once. "Okay. So you went back to finish the problem?"

"And their monster," the first Xander agreed.

"That's a great thing." He went back over those notes, copying them for his own report. "Anything not in here?"

"Probably a lot," the second Xander admitted. "Not that you'd hear about that anyway."

"Is it germane to their trials?" They shook their heads. "That's good then." He tipped his head to the side. "How long has your team been around?"

"Tenth grade," the original Xander admitted.

"Oh, so you probably know what happened to this building you're finishing the destruction of?" They nodded. "What happened? We don't have a report." Xander nodded and got up, taking him to the burn pit pile, which had parts in it. "What is that?"

"That was the thing that attacked our graduation," Xander told him then patted him on the arm. "It was going to eat us all and then go move onto more populated areas. You're welcome." He went to finish lunch and then go back to his spot on the team. His twin followed just after that since he had an extra granola bar today.

The agent took pictures and sent it to his supervisor, who was horrified at that story. He did pick up a smaller piece to bag so they could see what it had been. The DNA people were very confused about the odd DNA that was mixed with human DNA. They couldn't break it down further than that. Abby sent over a tape from the graduation battle when he noted to the agents on this case about that pile of parts.

They all didn't want to see that but it explained a lot. A few agents really needed help for the sour stomachs that night. They couldn't deny the tape. It was in official custody of the FBI. It had been taken from the site's aftermath apparently. Not tampered with in evidence. The LA FBI office hated that and had went on ignoring that town once they figured out what had happened.

***

The second Xander was really tired of the putdowns and glared at the girls, who walked off. He was proud of himself, he had let them walk off. He looked at his twin, who shook his head. "I..." he started.

"You go calm down. I'll do a turn at the Bronze," the original Xander said quietly and calmly. "They're like this sometimes then they need something."

"Yeah, I hate feeling used. That's why I won't go near Anya either."

Xander nodded. "I get that and more for me."

"Point." He popped his neck then nodded. "I.... I think I'm done for a bit."

"Okay, I get that. I'll probably join you some day soon." They hugged. "Be safe."

"I can do that." He went to the shop, staring at Giles. "I've had enough of the put downs," he said quietly and calmly. "I'm about to finish burning the witch at a stake."

Giles winced. "I've tried to stop them."

"Not really, Giles. You ignored it a lot earlier." Giles frowned at that. "Didn't say a word." He looked around. "I'm done. I'm truly and fully done. My twin said he's not yet. Apparently he got the patience with the bitches that I don't have." He grabbed a few things of his. He hesitated over his usual sword and axe. Then shook his head. "He'll need 'em."

He looked at Giles again. "Watch over my twin please. Before he has to stab the witch?" He walked off, going home to make plans. He didn't have the money to just move so he had to find some somehow. Of course, somehow happened in Sunnydale sometimes if you were smart. He knew just where to start with that plan. His twin came home to treat the attempted bite mark. "Go with me tomorrow to up the bank account?"

"Yeah. I figured you were going to do that and checked a few on the way home. They're still mostly there. All but the one on third. The dirty cops probably got that."

"It would've been hard to explain anyway." They made plans until about daybreak then went to loot some demon hoarding sites. None of the peaceful ones. Nothing that would end up hurting someone. But the old mayor had things stored that he didn't need anymore. Some vampires had things they didn't need anymore once they found them there. They split it pretty evenly. The Xander going got five percent more than his twin because moving was expensive. His twin had insisted. Then he left town. He'd come back for important funerals. Maybe.

***

Two Years Later

***

New Xander, now Alex, was staring at the letter from his twin. They talked all the time. So a letter was unusual. He opened it and stared then nodded, making plans for his twin's needs. He hated the 'just in case I die' letter. He considered going back but his twin's letter told him it wouldn't matter and it'd only get both of them dead. To stay there, to baby his things he was sending his way to protect if he fell. Including his extra weapons.

Alex considered it then went to rent somewhere for it to land. He'd check it over once it got there. Someone tried to intercept it and wasn't happy to get his last boyfriend up his nose for it. His present boyfriend knew but didn't *realize*. But he was good to him most of the time. He'd put up with the boyfriend for now. He got home that night from all that and his daytime part-time job in an office, nodding at the boyfriend. "Xander's going into a battle so I'm getting his storage shed."

"Is he going to be moving this way?" he asked, staring up at him from his reading.

"Probably not. He still considers it his duty but this battle's too big."

"Battle?" he asked with a grin. "Like a real battle?"

Alex stared at him and nodded. "Yeah. Like a real battle." His boyfriend sat up straighter to stare at him. He let him see the letter. His boyfriend handed it back after reading it. "So in a few days I'm going to be super tense and pacing until I hear he's made it out alive."

"Are you wanting to go closer?"

"No. I don't want to go back to there. I went back for two funerals and that was more than enough. I miss my twin but ...he's still got the duty and I couldn't stand the others in the unit to put it bluntly." That got a nod. "So I have no idea but I know he's injured." He went to make some cocoa and then settle on the couch with the news.

"Will we have to sort his stuff for him?"

"If he dies I'll sort out the things. You'd hate his comic collection." His boyfriend sneered about comics. "We both have a pretty good collection."

"Didn't you sell yours?"

"No." He stared at him. "I'm not giving up something that makes me happy." He went back to the news. "It's all in safe storage."

"Well, if his death kills you too, I'll make sure any other collector can have it."

Xander grinned. "You're not on the paperwork. I've had that storage area for three years, dear." He grinned. "I got it well before you met me." He scowled. "I did. I've never amended that and Xander's stuff is under the same name at another place because I know most of his is swords probably. Or crossbows." He sipped his cocoa and went back to watching the news.

His boyfriend huffed a few times but went back to reading. Maybe it was time to get a better boyfriend. When his boyfriend went to bed he stayed up to consider things. This was his house. In his name. The boyfriend didn't have his name on anything in it. His boyfriend seemed to think Alex was a sugar baby who had been left things. So whatever but he wasn't on the deed.

***

Alex looked at the officer there to try to eject him. "Officer, it's *my* house. My name is on the deed." He nodded. "I'm going to the office to get it out of the safe if you want to follow me." They did that, his partner joining him from the car. He pulled out the deed to show him. "I bought it."

The officer read it over and let his partner have it to read. "That's stamped," his partner agreed. "That's the original deed from the sale." He handed it back. "Your lover said it's his house."

"No, the only thing he has is some clothes and his car. He somehow thinks I'm a sugar baby who got left things. He's got no hold on my accounts, my house, or anything. I know better than that." He let them see the bank statement for his primary account.

"Okay, are you going to evict him?" the second officer asked, handing the statement back.

"Yes I am. You can tell his dentist self that if you want." He grinned, going upstairs to pack the few clothes into a few bags and hand them over. "Here, all his stuff. Oh, I forgot a few things." He went to get a few books that were his. "His, boring. Not my style. And he hated my comic books." He grinned with a shrug. "Oh well. I can do better."

They nodded, taking it to talk to the complaining dentist. Who loudly shouted that it was his house now. The officer told him about the deed, the bank statement, and how the guy had the proper paperwork, plus had packed his things for him. The bags were handed over and they made a note on the paperwork. If the dentist wanted to sue the kid, that was his thing.

***

Alex saw the stuff coming in and nodded. "This storage area. Unless I need two?" he asked the driver.

"No, sir. It'll barely fit." He got out to put things in there. Xander took one thing to put on top of others but that was fine. "Sorry, didn't realize it was fragile."

"It's an urn," he said quietly. That got a nod and they were more careful. "Is my twin still alive?"

"As of yesterday," the driver said with a grin. Alex nodded at that, taking the picture Xander had sent him with. "Pity about his eye injury."

"Yeah it is. He never mentioned that so it's gotta be recent." He grimaced, tucking the picture into his pocket. He helped move the rest of the stuff and let the storage place, which had good security, lock it. He did warn them about his ex-boyfriend, who was trying to be a dick. He had tried to get into Alex's storage area too. The storage place hadn't allowed it thankfully. He went to move some of his too.

He had a few things left from Sunnydale. It went into a more uptight storage system that had armed guards. He talked to them about his twin, showing them that picture. They agreed he was the only one allowed in there. The boyfriend's picture got noted as an ex who was trying to claim things that weren't his.

Alex went to talk to his boss at the law firm. They were more than happy to file a restraining order for their front desk guy. The dentist was very upset and tried to sue but the judge pointed out he didn't have rights to any property, they'd only been together for six months. That wasn't long enough for patrimony. So Gerrard the dentist huffed off and left Alex alone. Which was just fine with him.

***

Xander made it to DC a few months later, finding his twin working. He walked into the law office and the security guard frowned then looked at the desk then back at him. "We're twins," he said with a grin. "I'm finally off the west coast so I came to take my brother to lunch."

"Give me twenty more," Alex called. "Have a seat, twin'o mine." He looked at him. "That looks better than I expected." He got back to work on his typing, letting his boss know that his twin was visiting suddenly. He got the afternoon off and they went to eat and talk, and make plans. Xander told him the bad news about Sunnydale. And about his upcoming trip to Africa. Alex just stared at im. "Why?"

"Because it's needed," he admitted. "The girls need me. They don't know yet. They only have the download."

"I get that. Why you?"

He sighed. "It has to be someone."

"Or you could be safer."

"I could," he agreed with a nod. "And sometimes that's a really good idea." He took a sip of his tea then put the glass down. "I need to grieve for Anya. I can do some good helping those girls." He stared at him. "I know you don't understand...."

"No, I do. I fully understand and remember why we started on that path. I don't understand you not giving yourself time to heal. To grieve and heal the injuries, all that."

"It's gone."

"I realize that." He stared at him. "Are you fully healed? Able to do all the stuff you used to do?"

"Mostly."

"Is that going to impact things?"

"Probably." He sighed and finished his tea. "I need to go grieve anyway."

"I get that. I totally get that. Anya was important to you. You should grieve her. And all the others that fell." He stared at him. "But someday you'll have to say it's enough."

"Is it though? They're still out there taking out innocent kids."

Alex nodded at that. "Yeah. You making a small dent helps some. Or you could go make a specific antigen to stop them all."

"Too many species according to Willow." Alex stared at him, handing over his glass of ice water so his twin could drink it. "I know. But I can get away from that nagging too." He smirked a bit. "Plus I'll be traveling. I wanted to travel more."

"Okay. Let me know how you're going and when you need it, I have a couch. Unless my ex burns down the house."

He snorted. "Bad?"

"Dentist. Thought I was the sugar baby of our relationship."

Xander rolled his eye. "Figures. My last one's kinda....an assassin I think."

Alex sighed but nodded. "That figures. I'll watch out for them."

"Her."

"Her then." He grinned. "Be careful? Don't let them nag you?"

"If I can." He finished the water and looked around then at him. "What're you doing beyond the desk job?"

"Mostly that. I'm taking some law classes after hours to be a paralegal. It's boring but well paid. I have SCA some weekends and Habitat projects I just suddenly show up on to help with." He grinned. "I'm not totally bored."

"That's good. Um...."

"Yes, your stuff can stay in storage here," he said dryly, nodding a bit. "I doubt you want to move your comic collection to travel with you in Africa."

"Thanks." Xander grinned. Alex leaned over to hug him. "Thanks, evil twin."

"Oh, I'll go evil if I have to." He stared at him. "Including on the redheaded one who tried to nag me last year."

"She had an addiction problem."

"Could've called that coming in high school," Alex quipped back.

"True." They finished up and Xander got one last hug before heading for the airport and his traveling to the baby slayers. Alex went to the lone place he kept in touch with his old life through. He looked at the bartender. "Can you let me know if my twin gets in *more* trouble? Or his ex the assassin shows up in town?"

"Yeah, Harris." He nodded with a grin. "He good?"

"Bit depressed. He lost Anya in the battle. So he's going to check on the slayers that didn't get to Sunnydale."

"That's a hell of a trip."

"We do like to travel." He grinned. "Oh, that one wanting that vase? No. I still have it. He won't pay for it." He smirked. "Do I need to go back to find more stuff?"

"Could help," he admitted. "Half of them sank but not all of them."

"I can do that for my vacay this year. Thanks, man." He shook his hand and went back to work. His boss gave him an odd look. "He was on run-through on his way to go to Africa to travel around." His boss nodded at that, going back to his office. He was half-demon and knew who Xander was, and who Alex really was. So it was all good and he was safe here.

Even when someone came in to kill the lawyer that hadn't won his lawsuit. Then he got up to beat that guy before the guard could. He stared at him. "Really?" he asked. "Is this legal?" The man moaned and cried. "Good!" The guard was getting an officer in. Alex went back behind his desk, smiling at the officer. "He upset me rather a lot," he said happily. "But now I don't need to go to the gym."

The officer looked at the guy then at Alex. "You hit him, sir?"

"A lot." He smiled. "He came in with that pea shooter." He pointed at it.

The officer got it and arrested the guy so he could take him to get some stitches before going to be booked into the jail.

Alex got back to his paperwork he had to type up. His boss's sigh was loud but sounded slightly amused.

***

A year later, Alex looked up as Abby rushed up to him at the Habitat site. "Hey, Abby. Long time no hear."

"I know, and I'm super sorry, Alex, but it's an emergency. There's a terrorist who wants me and Tony. Can I use your basement?"

"Sure." He nodded at the boss. "Personal emergency. Sorry."

"Thanks for the time you put in today, Harris." He shook his hand and Xander took Abby back to his place. She called her buddy, who came over. Abby checked then let him in. "Tony, this is Alex Harris. He's an older penpal for a few years now."

Alex waved from the kitchen. "Hey, Tony. Pleasure to meet you." He shook his hand with a smile. "So, terrorist? Do I need to do more than turn on the special security system?"

"I think we should be fine," he admitted smoothly.

Alex smiled. "Dude, I've seen worse than a terrorist." He led them to the basement. "Here you go. Two rooms, three couches. Big tv. Surround sound. Bathroom." He opened the door. "Come up to the kitchen if you need more than the stuff in the mini fridge if it has anything. I haven't hosted a movie party so not sure when the last time it was filled." He checked and grimaced. "I'll make a grocery order to be delivered." He walked off doing that. "Abby, want more than comfort food?"

"Please, Alex."

"Okay." He grinned at Tony. "Anything you need me to put on the list?"

"They could trace it here."

"No they can't. Not with the guys I use. They retired from the CIA." He smiled before walking off. "Use the kitchen if you want or need, guys. I'm going to be on the couch going over the bank statement. I'm undercounting ten bucks somewhere."

"Okay. Thanks," Tony said, looking confused. He looked at Abby. "Is he normal?" he asked quietly.

She shook her head with a grin. "Not in the least. But no one's getting in here."

"Okay." He'd trust her. They heard when groceries got there and Alex making out with the delivery person. Then the guy left and their host brought down snacks, drinks, and stuffed the mini fridge area. Then he winked before walking off again. He sat down to look up this odd person. This was odder than he was used to. Though...it was an Abby contact.

They heard when someone broke in, Tony hopping up to go help. He found someone being eaten by a fog of something from a vase that looked like a bad Chinese antique knock off. "What is that?" he asked.

Alex looked at him. "He really wants this vase because he wants Mortimer in there to be his new master. Mortimer isn't interested in him so he came out to talk to his wannabe worshiper. Mortimer won the talk." The husk of the demon dropped the ground and turned to ash. "Hey, nice to clean up after yourself. Thanks!" He waved. He looked at the fog, which flowed back into the vase. "Thanks, Mortimer."

"Welcome, Harris," it grunted.

He put the vase back on the table and looked at Tony. "No, I'm not normal." He grinned. "But I'm just like that. You're still safe here, Tony. Quit stressing."

"Will someone report him missing?"

"No. Anyone who knew him I'll tell in a second. The bar will probably host a toast in his honor, and then they'll mostly forget about him." He called the bar, letting Tony hear the cheer that the guy was eaten. He hung up and put the phone away. "The world is a wider place than you think, hotty one."
He patted him on the arm. "I used to live there. Now I'm here." He stared at him. "Go rest, have the headache I know you have, all that." Tony walked off looking confused. Alex tipped his head to watch him walk off. It was a great view.

***

Tony looked at Abby later that night. "Are you sure he's...good?" he asked.

She sighed, staring at him, nodding. "Yes, I am." She pulled up the information sheet on the twins, letting him see it. He sat down to read, looking displeased but not at the subject. She smiled when he stared at her. "Yeah, they're strong because they had to be. This one couldn't take more combat so he left. His twin's somewhere." She flapped a hand then smiled again. "They're sweet boys, just very protective."

"The guy earlier?"

"Was probably a demon."

"Oh." He went back to reading up on their host. "Gibbs would not like this."

"He didn't like it when the twins told me about something going on and I told others to go stop it." She shrugged when he looked. "They were both there then. This one left right after that."

"I get that." He handed the phone back with a sigh. "Do others know?"

"Not right now. By the rumors coming off the west coast that may change soon." He winced. "Yeah but I'm not sure why." She got comfy again. "It'll be fine. If the one after you comes this way, he might want to date Alex to be honest. Some have wanted to date his twin."

"I saw that." He rubbed his forehead. "Wow."

"Yeah." She nodded with a grin. "So you can see why I asked him for help."

"I can, yes. He's very protective and very helpful. And doesn't drool at me like a few of your friends." She punched him on the arm, making him wince and rub it.

"Sorry, forgot you were in the car crash yesterday." She leaned against that arm, letting him turn on a movie and turn the sound down for now. They were safe down here and Alex was a nice, protective, good boy host. For now.

***

Gibbs knocked on the door McGee told him to go to, finding a young guy without a shirt there. "Are my agent and lab tech here?"

Alex stared at him. "Thankfully Abby showed us pictures, Gibbs. Abby, visitor."

"Bad or good visitor?" she called back.

"A growling one." He let him in and shut the door, then went back to get his package and come back in. Abby came up to bring Gibbs to the basement. He checked then put it on the shelf next to the other vase, which hummed in pleasure. "No," he told the vase. "It's for the thing out west."

"Fine," it muttered. "It'll double-cross them to go after the girls."

Alex looked at the vase. "I know that. It'll have a better reason though. Including some of my blood going." The vase moaned and Alex smiled at it. "Exactly."

"Fine. Can I go?"

"No. I can't ship you out there safely."

"Pity. All those slayers are luscious."

"Uh-huh, and underage and not innocent."

"Point. Pity." He went quiet since the normal was coming back. It did sniff him and sighed in pleasure.

Alex shrugged at the look Gibbs gave him. "Not me. The air system does that sometimes. You're not my type, Gibbs. I'm not into Daddies." He went to the kitchen.

Abby came up. "We're really safe here, Gibbs." Alex nodded with a smirk while he sipped some milk from the quart jug.

Gibbs huffed. "We'll get them tomorrow so you don't have to watch over DiNozzo and his movie habit."

"I have no problem watching over either of them. They've been safely in the basement outside of dinner prep." He shrugged with a grin. "I told them to the use the kitchen since there's not even a burner or a microwave down there."

"Thank you for the help." He left, going to get McGee to find out who that guy was. He didn't like to be sighed about and he didn't like people who lived in a big, nice house without looking like they belonged there. What McGee found upset him because it looked like he was a guy who sucked up to lovers to buy him things like the house. He wanted Abby far away from that sort.

He'd find out differently in a few weeks when there was a ...something in LA that the guy was seen at. Gibbs was horrified when the guy opened something and a being came out. Then he gave it some of his blood so the demon decided he'd be good and just suck in what he could. All those girls got warned so got out of the way.

It ended the portal as well by sucking it in too. The ...being belched at that but went back into the thing holding it, which looked like a cheap urn. "What the hell was that?" he demanded to Abby.

She looked up from watching. "What Alex and his twin Xander used to do before Alex left the life and Xander wasn't recalled for this one."

"This one?" he demanded.

"Yeah. There's been a few every year, Gibbs." She smirked. "Alex used to help his twin and that team, the original team, out by there. Then he left after one really bad event to come to DC to start over. His current boss talked him into taking paralegal training." She went back to typing at some people online while watching the battle.

"He's fine. He's got a sword now so it's all good. Even though the witches are complaining that he gave the demon his own blood because it could mean the thing tries to hunt him down to eat him." She spun to look at him then grinned. "It was stupidly necessary since they didn't have a way to take out the portal."

She turned back to it. "It's amazing how many agents aren't there. Or the military. You'd expect they'd jump into an invasion in their own city. I would've expected at least Homeland but nope. Only two agents." She stared. "That's really weak. I hope the president has a good yell at them for not showing up to help."

He stomped off shaking his head, going to the old director to talk to him. "Did you see that thing in LA?"

"Yes, and the lack of agents responding was noted," he said dryly, staring at him. "Yes, those were demons from another plane trying to overrun the city to eat the people so the ones behind it could take over and then the US. Yes, they're real. Abby knew, yes."

Director Morrow nodded a bit with a smile. Gibbs was so flustered. "Yes, they're all girls. Though now they're all over the age of adulthood, the old version of their group wasn't that way and was a lot worse. Thankfully they blew up a few years ago and the new one was rebuilt around the girls to protect them. No, you cannot get into that."

"Abby wanted the president to yell."

"I'm sure he will be. Not at me as I sent orders to go help."

"That one guy guarded her and DiNozzo."

"Interesting. Abby makes some amazing friends. Though I'm not sure how he got there since he's supposedly in Africa having his own battle today."

"Abby said they're twins," he said dryly.

"Oh, I did not know that." He added that to a file. "Thank you for that, Gibbs." He stared at him. "It was one of them that tipped Abby off about that group out there." Gibbs stomped off to go talk to Abby again. Director Tom Morrow just smiled. Seeing Gibbs that upset was a fun thing as long as it wasn't aimed at you.

***

"Mr. Harris," the agent walking in said. "We need to talk to you about our response teams for such emergencies."

Alex looked up. "Sorry, wrong twin for that." He smiled slightly. "My twin is presently in Africa already doing that and I retired years ago." He stared at him. "That's not going to change."

"There was only one birth recorded."

He shrugged. "We've been twins for a very long time." He pulled out his phone to call. "You got ten?"

His twin nodded. "Yeah, I'm just sitting up and groaning in agony while wishing pain killers worked." Alex let the agent see the phone. "Oh, hey, FBI guy. Sorry but Buffy didn't call me back for that and I had one yesterday since it was considered an auspicious day to try to invade."

"Are you an LMD or something?" the agent demanded.

"No, I'm Xander, that's Alex, and we're twins. Have been for a while now." He smirked a bit. "Though if you ask Buffy she'll probably complain that I'm a normal guy and Alex is retired."

"We're making a national response team."

Xander shrugged with a wince. "Sorry, I'm already doing my duty and one of us has to survive so my twin's retired. Also, you might look into the last time the US government got into demon things. We had to stop that one with a lot of prejudice." He looked to the side. "You good, slightly less evil twin?"

"Today. I got a bit nagged by someone about bringing Victor out there with Jacob to take down the portal."

"Not like the girls had explosives. They didn't ask me to find any," Xander admitted. "You were there?"

"It was an invasion. I'll fall in slightly to help with those bigger problems. I'd hate to start to run a resistance group instead."

"Point. Did you run into anyone else?"

"No, just the nagging witch. They didn't see me at all. Faith may have but she ignored me hard."

"Great." He grinned and nodded. "Agent guy, if you guys start down the same road they did last time, we'll have to end it again. There's people in place to handle those things. You should go to Cleveland to talk to them and leave my retired twin alone." He hung up.

Alex put his phone back with a nod. "I retired three years ago from all that."

The agent huffed off. Alex waved at his back. His boss stared at him. Alex stared back then shrugged. "Do not go join their hunting groups," his boss warned.

"Only to take it down from the inside. I did help my twin end the Initiative."

"Good point. They do that again...."

"I'll start filing court papers against them while the Council takes them down behind the scenes. That way victims get some answers and hopefully it'll shut it down faster with some publicity."

"Good idea." He went back to his desk to pass that around.

Alex looked at his phone as it rang. "Aww, my last ex said I'm hot with a sword." He sent back a 'thank you, it's an old habit' and left it there. He did not want Gerrard back by any means. Though it was nice the agents were trying something new already since Gerrard had been killed a few months back by a vampire while drunk and pouting about not getting his house.

***

Xander looked at the general staring at him. "What?"

"You were in LA too?"

"No, that's my twin. He's retired from all this glamorous, injuring stuff." He waved a hand around. "He showed up to help during it because it was an invasion." He adjusted his eye patch. "He's still got his other eye."

"Oh." He nodded. "That makes sense. The US wanted to talk to you as well."

"We saw the last time the US got into the demonic community and tried to destroy it. We're not going to do that this time. We'd have to break it again." He walked around him. "I'm sure my twin's had fun telling them that."

"Probably." He followed to go over the plans for the current problem.

***

Alex looked at the agent who had tried to lure him somewhere. "Fake eye?" the agent asked.

"No. My twin lost his eye before Sunnydale fell in. Over a year after I left Sunnydale for good."

"That won't work this time," he said smugly.

Alex pulled something out of his back pocket and put it in the guy's hand. "You've hereby been served with the paperwork for the lawsuit the demonic community is filing about your last attempt at getting into their faces." He got up and smiled. "Have a great day." He left him there spluttering.

Someone tried to get into his way so he stared at them. "Didn't I shoot you before?" The guy got out of the way. "Thanks." He went to tell them that he had started the lawsuit and had served the first paper. The demon community was not happy but they said it was a good idea to save them this time.

Alex's boss got the paperwork to look over that night. It had everything, including the last program's problems and how they got ended. "Do you have the information on that, Harris?" he called.

Alex leaned in and then opened a closet to point. "Right there, boss. Everything Willow hacked, everything from Abby hacking them and telling others. Where their own files are, where the bastards are presently stationed, all that. Without outing the Council." He grinned.

"The judge won't allow hacked evidence."

"Well, I can go rescue their computers. They're still sitting out there. Still full of information." The boss stared at him, mouth open. "I was going to go back to loot the remains for artifacts for my vacay anyway."

"Is that how you afforded the house you have?"

"That and we found things Wilkins left after he died." He grinned again. "Plus a few demon stashes and some vampire enclave stuff. If I had liked leather clothes I would've had a full wardrobe for both of us. Then we split it."

His boss sighed. "Will others be displeased?"

"No. They haven't been yet. I left some of the most important things like the Gem of Amara's stash. Well, I took a quarter of it but I left all the big stuff. It was a bit gaudy."

His boss sighed but nodded. "That's good. What if this gets the community hunted?"

"They're already trying that. They can ask the judge to stop it."

"I didn't think about that." Alex laid out the strategy he was using, getting a smile from his boss. Who hated it but it was a great idea. "If they hate on you I'll have to fire you."

"That's fine. I can go play sugar baby for a few weeks." He shrugged. "Or I can go sell a whole lot of artifacts I have. I've let out a few now and then when someone really needed one for a less than apocalyptic reason. I've got a few more healing ones that I'm willing to let go fairly cheaply if I'm asked. Which everyone knows."

"I had no idea about that, Harris." Alex pulled up his site on the usual bulletin board, letting him see it. "Oh." He nodded, handing it back. "That makes a bit of sense but seems mercenary."

"I make it cheap for important things that are necessary or life saving. Or I lend them temporarily. I've only lost one that way and I misjudged why someone wanted something and told others that when they complained about me selling that thing."

"Reasonable," he decided, going back to the lawsuit. "Can we really move those computers with what happened out there?"

"Yeah. Xander checked on it before they left. It's under the former college and that wasn't touched by the sucking."

"Good to know. Would that be considered trespassing?"

"No. The base isn't listed as a base or government property. The town's listed as a secured area and only former residents are allowed out there. Which I am one of."

"True." He nodded. "Can we get them out of there subtly?"

"Yeah. I can do that. And take pictures of the base." He grinned. "Though we have some from before the sucking." He got into the boxes to show him those.

"You've obviously been taking the information gathering seriously."

"I did the drives when I left. Xander and I both took out the hard drives and had them copied. I've got two different copies and the originals in the box. Plus the computer brain parts that Abby said we'd need. Xander pulled them at her command a few months later." He grinned again.

"We have *all* their files. They left them when they abandoned the base and the base was never listed as a base in the Pentagon. It wasn't even listed as a rental. The only thing they listed was the frat house that was their cover and that was listed as a rental they abandoned. They still owed the college six grand for that semester actually."

"Huh." He nodded, going over the rest of the boxes. "If it's admissible that's great."

"It should be. They abandoned it. No one ever came back to get anything. Including the bodies. We had to dump them outside the national guard base in town and they tried to leave them there until we tipped off the cops and they went to complain about the openly sitting bodies."

"Is that in here?" Xander looked then pointed. "Oh, that is abandoned." He nodded. "So that's just gathered and handed over....does the community know?"

"Yeah. I've told the healers I have it and let them have a copy so they could search for families to notify them. The healers on K. The ones who do the census."

"That's reasonable." He nodded once. "Did they?"

"Mostly. Xander tried the healers out there but they said they couldn't do anything with it so give it to them. It was one of the first things I did in town after checking into a hotel."

"Good. I like that action. It shows you do care about the community."

"Of course I do. Most of you are peaceful and I appreciate anything peaceful. I did come into being in Sunnydale and Xander grew up around half the town being non-human. Plus he does still have mermaid taint."

"I forgot about that."

"And the possessions and now visions." His boss winced. "Yeah, how we feel too. Those suckers hurt."

"I've heard they do." He stared at him. "I know you were split."

"Talk to the redhead. She did it before grad." He snapped his fingers. "By the way, another ascension, next year."

"Gross."

"Yeah, we think the same thing." He grinned while nodding. "I'm not falling in for that. Unless it's the fate of the world, no. I'm retired."

"Even better." He put things back. "We'll try it."

"The judge, even if he throws it out, can order them to stop any hunt teams."

"Yes he can. That's actually very tactical. The community isn't fully happy."

"They're very worried about being blown open and I get that but will the congressional hearing about it, which was announced today, do anything else?"

"I had not heard that." He looked it up and told others, who groaned. "You'll get to see your former friends."

"Not likely. They still think Xander's normal and if he is I definitely am." He walked off. "I've nearly got that one letter finished. I'm proofreading."

"Fine. Thank you, Alex." He talked to the higher ups in the community and they agreed a judge siding with them would stop the hunts legally and if they didn't stop they could have them stopped legally by others. If they'd stick up for them. They noted a slayer was coming to DC to handle the community's problems so they could talk to her about it as well. It was one of the older girls who had some experience and was said to be a good slayer. "Harris, do you know our new slayer?"

"I left right after the Initiative raid, boss. That'd be my twin."

"Oh, point." He went back to it, including what information they had thanks to Xander doing things. It was a good thing for the community's actual law team. They showed up to get the boxes of information for themselves before the agents got there to arrest the lawyer for 'pretending to be human'.

Alex got up to get into the agent's face. "That is not legal," he noted. "That is not an actual law."

"The president said it is," he sneered. "I can arrest you as well."

"You're going to be hard pressed to prove anything and I'll just bring down the jail." He smirked a bit. "He's human if he said he is and being not human isn't against the law. *Nothing* in any law book states that. And really, you're just a bigot." The agent took a swing at him so Xander got him back. "Yeah, not putting up with that, boy." He stared down at him.

"You can try to arrest me for that but what you're doing isn't legal so it's not resisting arrest. And let me call someone." He reached for his phone but his boss shook his head. "Oh, no, I've had enough of this shit." He called someone and talked to them in another language then came back to grin at that agent. "Your boss is on his way. We can wait."

"He'll agree with me, demon!" he sneered.

"I'm not a demon. Never was." He smirked a bit. "Combat veteran against the ones who were causing problems, which is less than ten percent of the demonic community, but not a demon myself." The agent tried to get him again so Alex broke his wrist for it. "No. Not legal." Someone in a suit stomped in. "Hey, Bob."

"Harris." He stared at him. "We all forgot you were twins." Alex grinned and nodded. "Who's this?"

"Said he was yours. Tried to arrest my boss for supposedly not being human." He looked at him. "That's not a legal law on the books."

"No it's not but the president is considering it," he admitted. Alex grinned and showed him that lawsuit's paperwork. "Oh, shit."

Alex nodded with a grin. "Yeah. And remember, we're from Sunnydale. We helped end that nastiness out there." He beamed. "I'm pretty sure, since I know what the dangerous ones in the area are like, that my boss isn't one."

"No, he's probably not worse than any other lawyer in this city," he agreed. He looked at his moaning agent. "Get your ass up." He stood up carefully, holding his wrist. "What are you doing?"

"We're to take in all the non-human beings in this city." He showed him his orders. "And who're you?"

"The director over internal affairs at the FBI," he said, showing him his ID. The agent went pale. "No, I don't believe that's legal." He looked that over. "Not signed by a judge. Not legally enforceable."

"I'm worried they have others already," Alex said. "Do I need to remember going to raid the Initiative with the team out there?"

"No," the Internal Affairs director said slowly. "I'll look into that and make sure they get back if there are some." Alex pointed at that paperwork. "That's true. I'll have a judge sign a cease and desist letter tonight, Harris." He dragged his agent off to go do that. That agent got put into custody but not arrested.

The judge that saw that lawsuit and what that director found about the ones already taken, released them immediately to get medical attention. He scheduled that lawsuit for the next week since it was such an emergency. Alex showed up to help the healers with something that would help them heal others, nodding at the head healer as he handed it over.

"Ten bucks." She paid with a smile and pat of a flipper to him. He went to guard the healers office from his car tonight. Just in case they needed to stop them being raided and killed. He missed the vampire coming in the back door but they got that one down themselves. The agents tried but Alex got out to stand in front of the door, staring at them. One pulled down his glasses to show off his slit eyes. Alex let them in and went back to his car.

***

"Watcher Harris," an agent said as he walked up to him in the mall.

Alex looked at him. "Wrong twin, dude. He's in Africa. I'm Alex and I retired years ago."

"You're what?"

Alex stared at him. "I'm Alex, you're using Xander's title. He's the watcher; I retired years ago. And frankly, all this stress is making me wish I hadn't helped that problem be ended."

"Is that why he has an eyepatch?" Alex nodded. "Oh. Okay. You were the one in LA?" Alex nodded again. "What did you use?"

"An artifact that's been around for years now. It ate the energy from the demons that had been summoned over here and the portal itself."

"All right." He nodded, making that note on his phone. "Why did you do that?"

"Because I'm not Xander. He'd have weapons. I don't do that outside some minor things like my swords. Not all battles take physically violent responses. Sometimes you have to work smarter. While it does mean that trapped being is attuned to me, it also means he can find me someday if someone needs him to."

"Uh-huh. That house you live in?"

"Is my house. I bought it."

"Your ex, Dr. Gerrard Likens, said it was his."

"He's lying and he's dead."

"What?" he demanded.

"He died a few months after I kicked him out. A vampire found him drunken and pouty about not getting what's mine for himself. He thought I had been a sugar baby and I wasn't. I've had the money since I left Sunnydale. I bought the house when I landed in DC and decided to stay after a few months in an apartment."

"How did you afford that?"

"I found a few artifacts in Sunnydale that belonged to no one living." He smirked a bit. "Being the kids who ran all over town and finding all the hidden things that have been hidden out there for generations means that I could find them and pack them up as I walked off into the sunset."

"Oh." He nodded, making that note as well. "We're making a new hunting team."

"And my twin will be hard pressed to not take you out when you threaten the peaceful community. Which is ninety percent of them. I'd probably be drawn in to help stop that horror in the making." The agent looked horrified at that.

"My last act in Sunnydale was helping remove the last attempt at the government getting in the face of the peaceful community by torturing them, tearing them apart, not caring if they took kids or adults or even harmful things. It was so horrifying my twin was immune to walking into the aftermath of a massacre because he'd seen worse bringing them down."

The agent took a step back. "Should that start again, we'd be honor bound, and proud of ourselves, to take them down and out for good. We won't stand for another one starting. That is considered an honor debt to end." He tipped his chin up. "We're not going to let them be *subjects* or *hostiles* again."

"We wouldn't do that. We have information from somewhere."

"Yes, probably them."

"Oh." He made that note on his phone. "We know nothing about that."

"And yet, your ID says Homeland and a whole bunch of you are there because that's where the tribunal put them."

"Oh." He made that note and whoever was on the other end screamed about that. That one called to yell at him. He let Alex have the phone to answer him.

"What, don't believe it happened? Look up the Initiative project," he said impatiently. "We'll all be *damned* if it starts again. And if you're Homeland too, you already have the ones who should've went to jail instead among you." That person looked it up and started to yell at someone on that end.

"Exactly. *Good* people won't stand for agents going after peaceful beings because they look different." He handed the phone back. "Beyond that, have a better day." He walked off to get a drink and pretzel then go to the bookstore.

The agent listened. "No, they're twins. His twin is apparently the watcher. I have no idea how that worked, sir. He did not say. Yes, sir. No, bookstore." He hung up, going back to the office to dig into that project to make sure they weren't the same thing.

They were, and there were some similar names. They'd regret that when the director heard and had a fit on them for trying to restart their bad ideas. This time, they went to jail if they had made a single move towards that old idea.

The judge over that lawsuit came to snoop about things. That got him handed the information on those agents. It gave him copies to compare those files against. They weren't complete but the files on those hard drives were much more graphic.

***

Xander was dragged in front of the congressional hearing. So was Alex. They shared a look then shrugged. "See, I told you we were twins," Xander told the agents who had him. "I was busy that day saving parts of Africa from about the same thing, only with fewer slayers around to help." He got his arm free again. "That was pretty imaginative," he told his twin.

Alex smiled and nodded. "Yes it was and it worked. I didn't have the weapons I'd need to help otherwise."

"Why were you there?" one of the agents on him asked Alex.

Alex stared at him oddly. "It was possibly the end of humanity. Why weren't you there? Because only two agents showed up. I'm pretty sure LA has more than two agents in the city." The agents around them glared. "Sorry but truth, people. None of you stepped in to help. None of you called in backup who could've helped more.

"None of you called a military base. You decided to let some young women save your asses." He got punched for that. He rubbed his eye. "Well, if the truth hurts, you're doing something wrong." Another one tried to hit him but he blocked it and glared until that one backed away shuddering.

"If an eighteen-year-old girl can do it, I'm pretty sure a full blown, fully adult agent, can handle it the same way. Other than that, I'm retired, people." His twin snickered but nodded. "You should be damn lucky I did step in and bring that artifact that ended that portal so it didn't go for *hours* more. We could still be fighting it and without the slayers because they were getting injured. What would you be doing then?" The agent tried to hit him again so Xander stepped in to stop him. "I can hit him back."

"I know that. It's my turn." He stared at the agents. "Unlike me, who hasn't retired yet, he didn't have weapons to help with all that. I could've found a friend who had something I could've bought cheaply somehow. He doesn't have those contacts. He used what he had and at least *we* were handling the problems instead of hiding in a closet." He looked at his twin's face. "We almost match."

"If I lose my eye, someone's going to die for it," Alex said dryly. "It'll mean I don't get the same level of dates." Someone in the room opened the door and stared. "Yes, we're twins," he said sarcastically. "Have been twins." They got shown in and sat down, looking unimpressed. Buffy stared down at them so they shrugged.

"Did someone hit you?" Buffy asked.

"A weak ass agent who was too scared to show up," Alex said dryly, looking at her. "They didn't like being asked why none of them showed up."

"Because they wanted women to do it for them so they could then attack them and say we're all bad for being women," Buffy said. "As far as I can tell," she said when Giles cleared his throat. "Because that's what happened."

"That's about what I see in Africa," Xander agreed with a nod, not looking at her. "They learned to stop that before I moved all my girls and made them do it themselves." He smirked a bit. "It stopped a lot of problems and a lot of coming for the baby slayers. Guess what happened when I had to protect one of the babies."

Giles cleared his throat again. "Yes I've seen those reports. Is that one all right, Xander?"

"Yup. Just fine now." He grinned at him. "They really hate doing it on their own. I'll give advice to them but I'm not their army either. I'll show up for major problems but not the things they decided was weird."

"That's reasonable," Giles decided. He looked at the people staring at them. "We usually don't see Xander. He's in Africa training the young slayers down there who're staying at home."

"And the other twin?" one of the congressional members asked.

"Oh, I retired," Alex said with a slight grin. "Before I blew up the town." Buffy shivered. "With the vampires in it."

The congressional members shared a look. "Then why are you here?"

"Because agents can't tell the difference between myself and my twin," he said with a handwave at Xander. "Though I was at that invasion. Because we could've lost humanity. I didn't want to unretire but I'm not the sort to let humanity fall due to some beings summoning a lot of nibbling little bastards who wanted to eat us all so the summoners could take over."

"I can see that point," the head of the panel decided. "Are you going to keep being unretired?"

"No. Especially not after what we've seen going on in the last few weeks. Frankly, I'm wondering why agents weren't there. I'm pretty sure there's more than two agents in all of LA and the surrounding areas. The battle took three hours. They could've driven from San Diego's bases as well." The congressional people all winced.

"Also, as a note. The peaceful community is just that. Peaceful. Ninety percent of them are peaceful, decent beings who just look funny. I don't know why people hate them for looking funny, I think it's about the same as when we used to consider Asian people and Black people funny looking so therefore not human. Just because you look weird doesn't mean you're a bad being."

"We were both there, with the Sunnydale team, when the government wanted to take out the peaceful community by torture," Xander added. "We hated to bring down that whole group. I didn't want to have to shoot some. I *did*. We needed to save their victims. We won't let it restart."

Alex nodded. "There's a lawsuit to stop all that going on again and to find out the facts of that one," he told his twin.

"Great job." He punched him on the arm with a smile.

"They have no legal standing," one sneered.

"By law, neither do you as women were considered property," Alex said. "It's still on the books that women don't have legal rights. In every single state. It's not that hard to bring that back. I'd hate it and fight against that, but it's a possibility." She shuddered, leaning away from them.

"By law, there's only three people on that panel that actually have votes. Even with the amendments, they can be removed. Do we want that? No. Do we think the same racist people would've went after the peaceful community the same way? Yeah, probably. Not like they haven't been here longer than humanity."

"You can't prove that!" she shouted, standing up. She looked like she was about to throw the bible in her hand at them.

"Actually, we can. We do have written evidence," Giles said pleasantly. "In the opening notes it's stated that it's the written account of the verbal accounts of how slayers got started." He handed over the photocopied pages. "The slayers spirit was made to combat the demons that were preying on humans.

"That is a copy of the translated version. Which was first written in Linear B and the earlier version of hieroglyphics. We have original papyri with the account that was finally written down instead of given from watcher to watcher. We're all taught to memorize it and if we can't recite it in our sleep a few years later, we were removed from the Council."

The woman was spluttering but oh well.

Buffy nodded. "I've meditated to talk to the spirit of the first slayer, Sineya, many times. She's connected to each slayer. When we're called, a part of our spirit joins hers so later slayers can learn from all of us." She smiled a bit. "Sineya was most amused that we have pants. Thought it was handy for hunting. She had a forehead ridge and Native-style face paint designs."

The head of the panel stared at her. "You can do that?"

"Yes. She's in each slayer. What we know she knows and can pass on if we ask. If one of my slayers is in trouble, she can meditate with the spirit and get some ideas. If we're all meditating around the same time sometimes we can connect slightly." She grinned. "It's actually very comforting that we have that support of all the slayers that came before us. Though now and then we do get dreams from them about corsets."

Xander nodded. "The babies I'm training are all amused by that. They had to ask what a corset was after one of those dreams. Their mothers just groaned. I told them about how women used to wear those."

"Can you talk to her too?" the religious one sneered.

"Actually, yes. Because of an incident where Buffy had to call up Sineya's strengths to help her with a battle we were all in, there was a slight magical connection created. I can meditate and find her to talk to her to help some of the girls." He smiled. "She thinks it's neat there's finally people helping with the duty."

"I wasn't part of that spell. There were only four parts to fill and I was extra. Went in to help anyway."

"I didn't even think about that," Buffy admitted, looking at him. "Or I wouldn't have let you."

"I would've kicked you on the butt and went anyway," he told her firmly. She huffed but quit staring at him. "I retired right after that raid."

"Raid?" the head of the panel said.

"Going to save the victims," Alex said. "They abandoned everything there so we had to go back to check for more victims and took the bodies of the soldiers to the local reserve base to drop off."

The head of the panel looked at the others then at them. "Can you prove any of that?" Alex sighed and handed over a USB keydrive. "What's this?"

"Evidence from their own film. That particular being is the same as a six-year-old and he eats dead leaves. His whole family was killed. He was the last one they killed so he could watch them all die first." They watched it and the religious one flinched first but only looked horrified.

"Please turn that off," another one said quietly. They did. "The government did that?"

Xander nodded. "Yes. With Rangers going to gather specimens, or as they called them Hostiles, to hand to the science teams." That one heaved again. "That's why we went in to save them."

"That and the head person was making a hybrid human/demon parts monster," Buffy said. "It was my job to stop that. Which is why we did that connecting spell. They handled the soldiers and got the pens free."

"Then I went back a few days later to check for more victims because some were still missing," Xander said. "I found all the bodies just laying there. Most had been injured then died by their own hands. I had the not-so-nice duty to drag them to the reserve base and put them against the gate because they refused to take them back. Then the PD made them put them in a morgue."

"So we're looking at two distinct groups of failures," the head of the panel said then nodded once. "Rangers, you're sure?"

"It was the patches they were wearing," Buffy said. "The one I dated was. He turned on them at the end." She looked at Alex. "Is he in town?"

"Jail. He was part of the new hunting group that had to be stopped."

She grimaced but nodded with a sigh. "That's good then. He went back." She looked at Giles then at the panel. "What did you want us to do? Not fight to save humanity? I've been doing it since I was fifteen. Xander's been helping since he was sixteen. Willow too." She waved a hand at them. "We save people a whole lot. It's the duty."

"Sometimes it's smaller, sometimes it's larger," Xander agreed.

"So you're saying there's going to be more?" the head of the panel demanded.

"Yeah." Alex nodded with a wince. "Next year, on some eclipse, you'll have someone locally doing an ascension rite. Which means they'll go from a human that made deals to a huge demon worm. I've heard the sixty foot version instead of the bigger ones." Buffy shuddered. "When you see it, blow the head off." The others nodded at that.

"Have someone make sure how many they ate," Buffy said. "The one we saw could probably eat about ten people an hour at least." The head of the panel looked horrified. She shrugged. "They're rare and usually caught because there's a lot of sacrificing to get there."

"That version had the least amount of human sacrifices," Giles said. "Only two sacrificial rites if I remember right. The biggest version took three different sacrificial rites, one of them of at least twelve newborns. The former mayor of Sunnydale stole the hospital's nursery." The panel shuddered at that plain tone of voice. "We did not manage to stop him. Which eclipse next year?" he asked, looking down at the twins. Alex shrugged. "Hmm. How many eclipses next year?"

"I think two," Willow said quietly. "I'll look it up later to warn the local slayer."

"If he hears he can take it outside town to a field," Xander said. "It'd be strategic. Do we know which one?" he asked his twin, who shook his head. "Poker?"

"No. Actually the news board out of London."

"May I use my phone?" Xander asked, getting a nod. He looked that up and sighed. "Oh, no. It's a judge." He let the panel see that. "Immortal for the last hundred days. So capture and hold him then blow off the head." He took his phone back and turned it off.

"Changing him back?" the religious one demanded. They all shook their heads. "But someone...."

"You have to do those rites yourself," Giles told her. "You have to want that power, you have to do the rites yourself, you have to do the ones to yourself by yourself. Nothing can change them back since they'd protest and fight against it even if it were possible. It'd ruin their power grab. Some people do very extreme things for power. Like running for office."

"That one just sacrificed a lot for it in other ways," Buffy added. "I have no idea why people want that sort of power but I never got beyond head cheerleader before I got called to being a slayer. You guys sacrificed some of your privacy and stuff for your power."

The religious one sneered. "It's not like that."

"It is like that," another said. "We had privacy before we ran for office. Now we don't have as much and we have people who judge us on everything." He looked at them. "Though we've never had massed protests outside our homes."

Buffy nodded. "We tried to drive them off to protect the minis."

"Surely you can get rid of that *calling*," the religious one sneered.

"No, we can't. It's with us until we die. In fact, I have died. Twice now." The woman shuddered at that. "Still have the calling," Buffy said dryly. "Once I drowned and Xander did CPR. The other one, Willow intervened." She shrugged. "Still a slayer. Still have the active calling. Though that's how we found out that there can be multiple slayers at once. My drowning led to another being called."

"Before it was one was called, fought, died to call another," Giles agreed. "Now they're presently all activated and future ones will probably be activated at a reasonable teenage age so they can train then and make decisions if they want to patrol or do the duty, or to fade back to a perfectly normal life. We support both choices. Including paying for college for our girls."

"Why is she the senior one?" another member asked.

"I'm the oldest," Buffy said. "The last called individually. We consider Faith the Mother Slayer because she was the last before the mass sending so it came from her to the others through the slayer spirit. Me, Kendra, who died and called Faith, then the whole group to fight the First Evil."

"Is that something that can come back?" the head of the panel asked.

"She's loosened when someone's not fully brought back from the dead. We hope not but I realize what grief is. Just before I died the second time I lost my mother." Xander patted her on the arm. She grinned at him. Then at them. "She was the strength I leaned on for years after being called, even when she didn't know."

"How did she not know?" the religious one demanded. "Good mothers would."

"Because I didn't tell her. My first watcher didn't tell her. Giles didn't tell her and he was my second." She waved a hand at him. "She thought I was sneaking out to go club and meet a guy. Instead I was sneaking off to go patrol cemeteries for vampires with Willow and the Xanders." She waved a hand at them. "When she found out, because I blurted during a moment of great stress, she freaked out a bit then understood."

"In the old days of the *old* Council, the girls were often removed from their families so they were raised with the training," Giles said. "As soon as I took control to rebuild things, I ordered that stopped and their families found so they could find them if they wanted. Some we can't find one so they're our family. It really is like a large sorority of young women."

"No older women were called?"

"There's a few. They've mostly retired and are doing support things," Giles said. "They're the wiser, older female voices of reason and advice. One is our Counselor for the slayers that want to talk to her. One of our doctors is the sister of one who is presently in college. The ones who are agents are still doing their duties, just now they have a second job to attend to if it happens around them."

"Looking it up, the two agents that appeared in LA's battle, one had an aunt who had been so it probably got talked about in the family," Xander said. "The other I couldn't find a connection but plenty of people don't want to let humanity fall." He looked at the panel again. "We do what we have to do so you guys don't have to mourn a teenager or young adult being turned. Were you going to help us do that?"

"Why do you do it?" the head of the panel asked.

"The vampires took the one guy I'd known since before I could talk," Xander said firmly. "The one I could always count on. The one who was always with me." The head of the panel nodded at that. "We got the ones that got him then I realized that it meant one little girl had to do the duty by herself if I wasn't there helping. Seems like the wrong thing to let go on to me."

"No, it's not right that all of humanity hangs on the back of one young woman. Or even a group of young women." He looked at Buffy then at Giles. "How many are there now?"

"Sixty fully patrol cleared and farmed out to various international locations. Sixteen in the US to cover the whole country and hellmouth. Under the age of patrol clearable there's over two hundred world wide. I will not be specific in case they're attacked again."

Xander nodded. "I sure hated to blow up the people that came for one of my minis I'm training since she's four. I did, and the locals hated it, but she's four and can't protect herself yet. That makes it my duty as her training watcher." Alex rubbed his arm, calming him down. "Thanks," he said quietly.

"Not a problem." He looked at the panel. "I don't see what the point of this is. You guys saw it the same as the rest of the world that was paying attention did. Many of them have convinced themselves it was something else. You aren't finding out what made it happen, because that's been on the news a lot. You're not here finding out how you can help it not happen again, because no one's asked that."

"You don't think we should have a hearing on how wrong things are handling big problems in this country?" the woman sneered.

"No. Because the Council's been around for thousands of years. This government and all the other ones grew up with them whispering in ears to not worry about those boogey monsters under your bed." She snorted at that. "Hasn't it?" he asked Giles.

"Yes. We first started to call ourselves the Council of Watchers back in Ancient Mesopotamia. It rather stuck as the group's name," he said blandly, looking at him. "Though he is correct. We're not going to give you anything that will help you harm the young slayers. Or any slayer actually. We are very protective over the young ones, making sure they get a normal life. Which should not include death threats."

"The only thing this panel could reasonably find out is how to help make sure it doesn't happen again and why there were only two agents in all of the ones in LA and the surrounding area, no military people, nothing like that, in over three hours. Or that night," Alex added.

"We're not amused that you're wasting our time, our very precious free time when we're not on duty or working, to ask us about this instead of asking them why they failed so hard. I mean, you pulled my twin from Africa and he wasn't even there. His girls are probably in danger without him being nearby."

"They're guarding each other," he admitted. "With some people I trust. If I'm wrong and they're hurt, someone's going to die. A lot."

"A lot?" the woman sneered.

"Yes. There's a whole lot of difference between a nice, clean head shot and what I'd do when I took a few hours to kill them for harming little girls who had no choice in being born this way. The calling is gifted before birth." She shuddered again. "They have no choice in that and it's not like we can remove it. Unless you think going around to kill them for daring to be born is good?"

"God would hate you all," she sneered.

"Then let them come down and tell us that," Xander quipped back. "I've spoken to three different god beings and they didn't. They appreciated that the slayers kept down chaos and problems among the community so they could all live in peace and quiet harmony." She went on a rant about that. Xander leaned back to watch her have her fit. "Oh well, dear. A lot of the community came from other realms. Their higher ups came with them."

"We should burn them down!" she shouted.

"Why? Two were teaching english at my college back in Sunnydale," Buffy said dryly. "The only wrong thing they did was really like boring books to teach us. I still have no idea what I was supposed to learn from Jane Austen."

"Manners," Giles told her firmly. "The greatest majority of the peaceful community are other dimensional natives. The rest were here already and bred down from the original demonic courts." The woman went on another fit about that. "Dear, do calm yourself. We can prove it with some archeological digs. Three ancient demon cities have been found in the last ten years. We can pull up the papers on them if you wish." She went on another swearing rant.

Buffy stood up. "Sorry, but I need to take a trip to the little girls' room."

"Not ladies?" the woman sneered.

Buffy stared at her coldly. "No, because many of us aren't ladies. I don't have that sort of manners sometimes, even though my mother was great and tried. Bitches may fit as an accurate label but shouldn't probably be used in this sort of situation and while some of us are women, some of us aren't worthy of that title."

She gave her a pointed look. "I'd rather go take a break than to air the thoughts your little ranting about your problems are giving me. So please excuse me for a minute while *I* act like a lady." She walked off. It was the better, wiser, more adult choice.

"She's right and she's also not noting that you misquoted over ten passages you just tried to shout about," Willow said. "Should I pull them up so you can read them? I can do it in Latin, in English, or in the new translation that fixed some of King James' problems if you want, ma'am." The woman stomped off. Willow smiled and waved at her back. "Have a great week and remember the Three Fold Rule!" She put her hand down at Giles' glare. "I didn't breech the rule."

"No you did not but be more polite, Willow."

"Yes, Giles. Sorry, I let my temper get the better of me instead of going for a potty break." They heard yelling and then Buffy came back in wiping at her hands with a paper towel.

Giles stared at her. "Did you have to defend yourself?"

"No. The yelling was someone worried that they'd make the agents deal with our duty. I pointed out calmly that no one was expecting it because no one was asking why they hadn't." She sat down. "Sorry, I needed a short break." She put the paper towel into her purse.

"You don't expect us to ask the agents why they didn't help?"

"No," she said bluntly. "You haven't. You've had three weeks and you didn't. The president hasn't. No one has. Which is fine. We're used to working in the shadows. But I will not allow anyone to threaten my minis. Or my older slayers. I am the head slayer. It is my duty to protect them too. If I have to against people, well, Faith said jail was hard but I can survive I guess." She shrugged. "I won't let their lives be hurt by anyone." The panel shifted at that.

"Amen. And I'm the rabid bitch of protectors over the girls," Xander added.

"Language," Giles snapped.

"It's a quote and one of my official titles in the Underground," Xander quipped with a grin for him. He looked at the panel again. "For people who've sworn to help the people of this country, you're sure looking at the wrong people for helping the people of this country be alive today." He stood up. "Anything else? I haven't seen my twin in over a year and I'm going to take him to lunch." Alex got up with him and walked off. Buffy and Willow followed.

Giles cleared his throat. "I believe they're correct though I do apologize for some of the language used here today. We await the panel telling us how others are going to help us do our duty or if it's still just ours to handle." He got up and left after the younger ones so he could nag them. The twins had been stopped by a reporter so Alex was giving a good comment while Xander stood there looking awkward. It showed he was going to law school to be a paralegal. Giles would chew on them all over lunch in the park.

In the hearing room, an agent stood up. "Sir, most of us who are senior agents agree with that. That's our job to protect people, not a bunch of young women. When are we to appear here to answer why no agents showed up?"

"You're stationed in DC, DiNozzo."

"I know that and when that ascension next year happens I expect agents to be there and maybe one slayer."

"Do you know what that is?" another one asked.

"Yes, the FBI has film from the younger peoples' graduation where their mayor did that. They watched it once, ignored it afterwards, and forgot that the town existed again." He came up to show them the video. "That is from the dropped video camera."

He let them play it on the room's tv, all of them looking horrified. "We have one of *those* here?"

"Apparently, sir. Should I deliver a summons to my director for you? Or both since they were mid-transition?"

"No, we have one ready for all the agency directors," another one said, turning that off. "That's...fantastic but nasty."

"He did the biggest version I'm told."

The whole panel nodded. "We'll be talking to agency directors tomorrow, DiNozzo. You can spread that for us?"

"Of course, sir." He left to go do that. His director was still having a fit. "You testify tomorrow," he called into the office to avoid having her throw something at him.

"We are not going to do that!" she yelled, glaring at him.

"None of the Marines or the Navy people will *ever* let an eighteen-year-old girl protect them instead of doing it on their own. That's not who soldiers are," he shot back. "Maybe some fainting agents in the FBI or Homeland but we are a military agency." He walked off. "You testify tomorrow. They'll send the summons later."

She slammed the door and went back to her fit.

Tony went down to his desk, staring at Gibbs.

"If I had been closer I'd have jumped in too," McGee said. "I couldn't have done much but I could've helped with evacs of injured or civilians." He looked at Tony. "Didn't Abby hide you and her with one of those twins?"

"Yeah, the one with both eyes." He nodded, sitting down again. "He was pretty nice. Bit goofy. Happy enough to host us. Let us bum the kitchen whenever we wanted. The couches were comfy."

Gibbs stared at him. "I still don't believe any of that."

"Not my fault," DiNozzo said dryly. "That's all on you, Gibbs." He stared at him. "Though I doubt you'd let the girls do it on their own."

"No, that's not the Marine way." He went back to work, listening the bits of gossip going around in the section behind his desk. He had a lot to think about. This was not something he was expecting to happen or something he was used to but those kids were right. That was the military's job, not some girls' job to do.

***

Alex and Xander were out at a club that night when they ran into DiNozzo. Who was having an argument with someone. Someone who tried to hit him with a gun. Alex strolled over, Xander right behind him. Xander handled the bad guy, Alex removed DiNozzo. The bouncer came over to break it up. Xander was staring at the guy, making him back away.

"I don't think this is a good idea," Xander said bluntly. "Head injuries suck. I've had a few concussions." The man tried to hit him so Xander punched him back and made him scream in pain since he had broke his ribs with his. "Yeah, I have some muscles," he said dryly. "No assaulting nice guys my twin knows." He looked at the bouncer then at his twin. "He good?"

"Light concussion." Alex looked over then at him. "Want helped to an ER?"

"I'm good," he said quietly. "Thanks, Alex."

"Welcome. Didn't think you wanted to be beaten that way." He patted him on the cheek, letting the bouncer handle him. "Guys, be more gentle. Concussions suck." They got him to an ambulance and the other guy expelled. The twins went back onto the floor. They could handle it if someone yelled because Tony had been at work instead of at play.

***
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