We Behave, We Promise.
Alex answered the door, staring at the agent. It had to be an agent with how she was dressed in a dark blue skirt suit and button up shirt that was too uptight for even the Mormon missionaries. "Huge problems?" he asked.
"Testimony, sir." She handed over the summons. "Three days, ten in the morning. It should only last two days at the most. It'll be you, Mr. Giles, and Miss Summers." She nodded and left.
"Thanks," he said sarcastically, closing the door. "Xander, the people at the top of the bad guy chain wanted us to come testify again," he yelled.
"Go pull out our suits," he called back from the office.
Ray Vecchio came out of the kitchen. "I can help you two pick out something decent. They won't listen to you in anything less than nice, Alex."
"Last time we were in jeans and nicer shirts the agents bringing us back let us borrow."
"That won't work this time. You've been back here too long." He went with Alex to their suite. The boys still shared a dressing area. They had separate bedrooms but a shared dressing and bathroom between the bedrooms instead of a sitting area. He didn't know why they bothered since half the time they slept in the same bed. He walked into the dressing area, gulping his coffee to keep his stomach down. It was a hideous mess. He sighed, getting to work sorting out things so they hung right. The pants on one side, the shirts on the other. All sorted by type so all the really ugly hawaiian shirts were together in a darker corner. They had one suit each. It was cheap, wool, and ugly. Then again, most of their wardrobe was cheap and/or ugly. He sighed in disgust.
"I'm getting the flashback to girls shopping," Alex said, walking off. "Sorry."
"You need to shop, kid. It's horrible. I don't know how you get dates dressing like that."
"Leather pants," Alex called back from the bathroom. He was blatantly hiding but Ray had sisters, he had to understand why.
Ray smirked, finishing his coffee. "There's better things than leather pants to pick up women. Maybe you'd pick up better dates if you dressed nicer."
Xander strolled in. "We used to have one really nice suit. It got ruined when we had to get away from that brother/sister pairing that were so evil even the evil ones were scared of them. It's sad when even local hell gods were scared of them."
Ray stared at him. "Why were they scared?"
"They were kinda genocidal and happy with it. Among other issues." He grimaced. "That's one of the visual memories. The one Barrings went to throw up over for the third time." Ray just nodded. He had given up before then. The first few memories had been bad enough that Ray had nightmares about seeing it. Xander shrugged. "We survived. Barely in that case." He looked around. Ray pointed toward the bathroom. "I'm about to join him. We hate shopping."
"We can go one place and get you something nice. Even those heathen girls of yours won't be able to say something."
Xander snorted. "Willow will complain a lot that we're being uppity or trying to look better than we are, Ray."
"Hey!" a female voice called. "I'm not like that."
Xander looked up as he pulled out his phone to text someone. Then Willow yelped and the scrying stopped. "See?" he asked dryly with a grin.
Ray stared at him. "Unlike bitchy girls, guys are gonna judge. There's little boys who look up ta ya because you're like a real life comic hero." Xander started to look sick. "Therefore you need to look like one that they can aspire to."
"That means we're gonna go evil," he said. "Alex, we're becoming comic book heros," he called, heading for the bathroom.
"You're not evil," Ray called as he followed Xander. "Even if you can be a bit dark, you're not evil. You're not that sort of comic book hero." Both boys shuddered. "Benny's more that sort than you two are." He stared at them. "You still need a new suit so you look like you can be taken seriously."
"We look okay in ours," Alex defended.
"It's me or girls, boys. You know they won't let you go in there looking that bad. It'll look bad on the Council. I've already had to warn Frannie from turning into Buffy about you two." Both boys heaved but kept from throwing up. Ray grinned. "Exactly. Now, c'mon. We'll go to my suit shop. Make sure you're wearing clean underwear." The boys huffed but went to put some on. Ray shook his head but waited, taking them to show them how to dress like a man instead of being boys. He would've expected someone like Giles to have done that job since he was like their dad, but nope apparently not.
The twins got out of Ray's car, staring at the giant robot menacing the shopping area. Alex called Buffy while Xander was being kept from going over to it by Ray. "Where's Andrew?" Alex asked casually. "Left because Willow was picking on him," he said dryly, nodding at his twin. "Okay, if you see him, have him call us please. We could use a geek of his skills and it'll mean he doesn't go bad again." He hung up. "She thinks he's pouting in Cancun with slutty college girls."
Xander got free of Ray. "I know they're not the only geeks in the world." He walked up to the robot, staring up at it. "Hey, do I know you?" he called. The robot turned to stare at him, leaning down some. "Hi, I'm Xander Harris, I'm with the Council. We need guys with skills like this. Wanna come out to talk to us please?"
"I'm not going to be arrested by some menial civil servant," the robot said in a human-projected voice.
"Dude, I'm not with the cops. I work with the slayers. We've worked with geeks who can do this stuff before but Willow got crunchy minded about him. They need new geeks to help with stuff like weapons and tech stuff around the Council." The robot leaned down and the head opened to show the young guy. "Hi." Xander climbed up to talk to him. He warned the kid that the girls could be snippy and slightly evil but he told him about Andrew. Andrew had been a lot of help to the slayers while they were setting up. The teen nodded that might be nice. He agreed to give up for today and meet them in DC in three days so they could talk to Giles. Xander gave him a hug and hopped down, letting him walk his robot off.
Ray looked at Xander then shook his head with a sigh. He pointed. "Suit shop, boys." They trudged that way but Ray called in that Xander had handled the problem by getting the boy a job interview with their boss at the Council. Welsh called him back to offer liquor. Ray nearly took him up on it. He walked into the suit shop after the boys. "It's their second time testifying. Unfortunately someone got them a Sears suit." He grimaced. "It's ugly, wool, and probably doesn't fit right."
"We can fit them into something nice, Mr. Vecchio," the shop clerk said. The guy had been doing suits since Ray was a kid. Ray had gotten his first communion suit from this guy. "How high up did they need to go?"
"They need it for dates too but they're going to Congress to testify in three days. I know that's too soon. They just found out today and I got traumatized by their closets."
"Hey!" Xander complained. "I like our hawaiian shirts!"
"It's time to look like men, not boys," Ray assured them. "That way maybe you can sell the new designs so you make a lot more money for your protectees to internet shop away."
"We're not Red. We can't wear the snazzy suits all the time."
"Not askin' ya to," Ray assured them. "Just to look like real men for the hearings." They sighed but the old guy got them fitted into something nice enough. The boys paid and then they went home.
Alex sent Dembe an email about Andrew, warning him not to take in Andrew. He could do evil but if he was pouty about Willow he'd do something to take over humanity and even Red would be upset with that. Then he shared about Jonathan's book. He got back an email saying Red didn't get into that sort of business but he'd keep an eye on Andrew just in case. He also sent back Andrew's cellphone number.
Xander took the number to go outside to talk to Andrew. The poor guy got what Xander used to get from Willow. He knew how he was feeling right now.
The twins got separated once they got to DC. Barrings wanted a report so he took Xander. Alex was left in the hotel room to handle anything with the Council. Most of DC didn't want to deal with the Council people. Buffy had already caused a few headaches when agents had caught her talking to the local slayer about fashionable clothes. She wasn't what they were used to in people who protected humanity. None of them talked about booty skirts or heels. Thankfully Alex could handle the insane young women with the unfortunate duty while they talked to the other twin for a bit.
Xander spotted Giles first the next morning. "Did that young guy find you yet, Giles?" he asked in greeting as he walked up the stairs to Congress.
"Yes, he got a bit anxious and met us yesterday in Cleveland." He adjusted his glasses, looking at his troubleshooter/creator. "While I still don't understand why we need a technology center, he had good ideas. He can also do most of it from his home as he's still in high school and living with his mother."
"So were we when we started," Xander quipped with a grin, giving him a hug.
"Yes, you were. I'm hoping he'll be able to handle some of the higher ups being a bit uncomfortable with computers."
"I'm hoping Willow doesn't drive him off like he did Andrew," Alex said as he walked up the stairs. "Who I have talked to. He'll be coming to work for us so he doesn't have to take over the world right now. He'll learn from some of our dates how to do it more subtly." He got his own hug from Giles.
"Since when are you two evil?" Willow demanded.
The twins smirked at her. "Since you're a bitch," Xander said bluntly. She flinched and backed up.
"Andrew can even make our designs look prettier instead of having duct tape," Alex said with a smirk for Buffy.
"Oooh," Xander said with a bounce and a grin. "Red brought over Angelica last night. We hired her to help us with stuff. She's an engineer. Her daddy was doing something so she can't get hired the normal way but she's this sort of engineer."
"Cool! Andrew will love talking to her!" They shared a grin. "Andrew's getting a house across the street from us."
"She's got one downtown so she can slightly commute."
"Even better." They high-fived and walked around the staring slayers. They ran into waiting agents.
"We were good boys," the twins said in unison then grinned.
"I doubt that," one said dryly. "Which one of you was hunting and took out the local master vampire?" They shrugged and looked at the girls, who raised their hands. The agents huffed. "They're vowing retribution."
Buffy snorted. "Oh, please!" she said dryly, flapping a hand at them. "We hear that nightly." They walked inside. "Who dressed you two? You look like you're in the mob."
"Ray. He's kinda our oversight guy," Alex said, looking at himself then at his twin. "You're wearing mine?"
"Oops," he said then shrugged. "We can go change."
"You're fine, boys," Giles complained as he walked past them. "Though I do want to meet this Ray person."
"Come to Chicago," Alex quipped. "You could use a vacation anyway, Giles."
"I may take you up on that," he sighed when he spotted the girls gossiping. He ran into a few other agents. "Hello, is there a problem?" he asked with a charming smile.
"We're here to make sure nothing comes to harm you or your people, Mr. Giles," Agent Ressler said. "It's not our usual job but we've interacted with the twins before so it was thought we'd do all right."
"That's fine, though I don't know why we'd need it."
Alex snorted. "The local demon cocksuckers?" he suggested. All the agents winced. "Yeah, saw it in a tabloid," he quipped with a grin.
"Don't remind me. She was awfully fugly to everyone and not that pretty. Definitely not up to our level of evil chick," Xander said dryly.
Agent Ressler looked at them. "Vecchio did a good job with you two's clothes." They smirked at him. "What did Reddington want?"
"To introduce us to an engineer type person who could help us with the stuff we're still learning," Xander said with a smile. "She's already hired on."
"That's fine. It can only make the weapons you guys design better not to have duct tape on them." They nodded. "Can you talk to us about Andrew?"
"Did you get our copy of Jonathan's book?" Alex asked with a smile, fussing with his hair.
"We did. Where might he be?"
"The First Evil tricked Andrew into taking him out."
"Oh, damn," Ressler muttered. "We got the plans from one Warren Meers as well?"
"The other former member of the geek trio from Sunnydale," Xander agreed.
"Was that robot that good?"
"We often couldn't tell if she was standing next to Buffy," Xander said.
"Hey!" Buffy complained. "The Buffybot was good but not that good. She talked about her programming like Anya talked about sex and money."
"And like you talked about shoes and clothes," Xander shot back with a grin.
"That's how we told you two apart," Alex quipped.
"That's a good way," she agreed.
"What happened to Mr. Meers?" Agent Ressler asked before he got a headache. Buffy pointed at Willow. "Oh, all right. We heard about that incident." Buffy nodded quickly then walked Willow off. He looked at the boys again. "That engineer, was she one of Reddington's people?"
"Her daddy's in a similar line of work," Xander said.
"So she couldn't get hired because of that but you guys don't care about that so it's all right," Ressler said. They grinned and nodded. "Have you two dated since that germ doc?"
"Twice," Alex said dryly. "Ray was not amused."
"But it was nice he stopped one of them from taking us to Vegas," Xander said. "He even let us keep the stuff she had in the hotel suite when she ran off the top of the hotel to not be arrested."
Ressler blinked a few times. "She did what?"
"Yeah," Alex sighed, putting his hands in his pockets while looking at his feet. "Ray brought Stan and the Mountie, she ran from them and decided it'd be better if she jumped off the hotel. She was not happy but she really wanted to see us in a long term way. She was going to marry us both."
"You need to date before you get married," Ressler said, sounding cautious.
"Yeah but she actually wanted to date us, not just screw us for fun," Xander said. "That's really rare. We would've liked to be dated and wooed."
Ressler nodded, patting them on the shoulders. "We're still looking for someone nice, boys. Let's get you to where you're going to have to wait." They walked that way with him. Keen was with the bouncy, uptight slayers. She settled in to talk to the boys about their latest design work. It sounded promising to be more normal than some of their things. Xander showed her the testing tape of the original version, which made Buffy moan like she had gotten off. Giles moaned in a whole different key, sounding like he was in pain.
Alex put a hand on Agent Ressler's hand before they left the Congress building. "Now you know why we'd drink if our parents hadn't been alcoholics," he said quietly, glancing around. He grinned. "We're going back to the hotel and don't plan on doing anything tonight so you guys have an easy night?"
"We can do that. There's another team watching both hotels, Alex."
"Thanks." He left.
Willow walked up to him. "We're not that bad," she hissed.
"You floated and then accidentally magiced two senators," Alex said quietly, staring at her. "You're damn lucky we're not waving at your plane taking you to Cuba."
She grimaced. "It was an accident."
"Yeah, we know. They know. It was nice the Devon coven showed up to apologize for you." She winced but looked down, nodding. "Apologize first thing tomorrow, Willow. And if your parents try to contact you because of this, let us know. We know a few slightly evil lawyers who'd *love* to talk to them for you."
"You're not too bad at that already," she sighed. They walked off together. Buffy gave her a hug. "I'm going to apologize first thing tomorrow."
"That's a good idea," she praised with a grin. "We all know it was an accident." Willow nodded. They got into the van together. The twins were in the rented car since they were staying somewhere else. Which sucked but it meant that even if their hotel had a demon invasion the twins could show up to handle it. Like a designated survivor thingy.
"Alex told the uptight agent guy that they'd drink because of us if they didn't have alchie parents," she told Buffy in a near-hiss.
Buffy grimaced. "Some guys can't take bouncy girls. The girls were extra bouncy because they were nervous. They're not used to it because of all that time in Africa. I doubt the slayers down there get bouncy or nervous."
"Maybe," she agreed. She relaxed against Buffy's side, getting a hug. It really had been an accident to turn that sneering senator into a blue unicorn pony.
Agent Ressler walked off the elevator into their unit at the Post Office. Cooper held up a box. "It got dropped off for you both. The other agents got beers sent to them."
"Thank you," Agent Keen said, taking the package to unwrap. She handed one of the bottles of scotch to Ressler and took hers to do a short report then go home with it. "The girls were nervous so extremely bouncy. One was going to play hopscotch with the tiles," she said when her boss came to her doorway. "Buffy settled her down to talk about boys and clothes. She really likes very fashionable things that I don't think you can fight in."
"I think that's why someone nice sent you both scotch," Cooper said.
"Harris said he'd drink but they had alcoholic parents," Ressler said, handing over the short report. "I'll do a longer one on the ...incident with the unicorn tomorrow once they're gone." He walked off with his scotch cradled gently in his arms.
"Unicorn?" Cooper asked. Keen groaned, shaking her head. "Another witch?"
"Rosenburg got nervous and the Representative was snide," Keen said dryly, leaning back in her chair. "A few people floated but she got them calmed down when she calmed down. Then the snide one started on her and suddenly there was a pretty light blue unicorn." Cooper sighed, walking off shaking his head. "I agree with the twins. I need a drink," she muttered. She finished up and went home to have that nice, old bottle of scotch. She found a familiar car outside her house and stared at Dembe. "I have a huge headache."
He nodded. "I got ordered to pick you up dinner." He held up the bag. She smiled and took it, going inside. He went back to Reddington to tell him she had a headache from the bouncy slayers. He could understand that. Reddington's security teams were watching both hotels over the shoulders of the agents, just in case something happened. So when someone came for one of the younger slayers, the twins didn't have to react. The security teams swooped in to take her from the agents' grasp and got her back to Buffy's side. Buffy was in jeans, had stuff on her face to clean her skin, and had her hair pulled back. Then she made the agent sorry he had ever been born. The other agents decided to respect her a lot for that.
When the twins heard, they showed up the next day with extra weapons. The slayers all cooed over their knives, and their suits. The agents around them all backed off slowly and carefully, most with their hands up and clearly seen. The twins smirked as they walked the slayers off. The non-agent teams showed up to help the twins guard the vulnerable young women.
One of the Representatives there to question them stared at the twins. "Mr's. Harris, do you believe you should be threatening agents that way?" she asked. "With that many weapons?"
Alex smiled at her. "Considering Miss Summers had to get one of the younger slayers away from an agent last night? Yes. I believe it's the right action." She winced. "I also believe that if that agent who had kidnaped her had managed to get her out of that hotel, there'd be a smoking crater somewhere. We're not the nice fairy to people who snatch a slayer, or really any young person to torture. It's a bad holdover habit I'm told we really need to calm down."
Xander nodded. "Yes it is. Also, we have permission to carry weapons everywhere, ma'am, due to things that were told to some of you during our last talk with Congress."
"I've seen those transcripts," one of the others said. "That sounded bad." The twins nodded. "How much wasn't shared?"
"We shared what they wanted to know. There were other incidents," Xander said. "Which our oversight person with Homeland has seen. He got all our notes and the memories that the Devon coven saved down for us so we could kindly forget them."
"How did they do that?" that female representative asked.
"We're not magical, how would we know?" Alex asked. "It's their version of a memory pensieve from what we understood."
"Can we access those?" the male senator asked.
"Do you really want to vomit?" Xander asked. "I'm being blunt because not only did the federal prosecutor that showed up to deal with me having to take out a child seller that had momentarily kidnaped me but also our Homeland oversight person spent a long time doing just that."
"Is that why you didn't tell us?" the female asked with a smug look.
"No one asked," Alex said. "No one wanted to know about when we ran into the same child stealing and selling...." He sighed. "There's no animal I'd consider bad enough to compare them to and I'd probably get swatted by at least Willow for calling them a name they deserve."
"How bad were they?" she demanded.
"Willow, laptop?" Xander sighed. One of the agents handed one over, already on that page. Xander looked back, getting a grin from Barrings. "Thank you, Senior Agent Barrings." He got into that file and handed the computer to the bailiff or whatever he was called. It got handed to the panel, who watched it with full sound. Buffy shuddered and covered her ear at the first gunshots. So did the other slayers. "Ladies, go outside," he said quietly.
"It's going to get worse." They left together, Giles and Willow guarding them for now. The twins stared at the congress members watching it. A few looked green. One was dry heaving. "In about two minutes, it's going to get worse," Xander said just loudly enough. Just under two minutes later, most of the panel at least dry heaved and the one that didn't was crying. "It goes on for another two hours," he noted quietly and calmly. "Which is why I wasn't charged when I took them out because they had just kidnaped me to get our protectees."
The laptop got shut and handed back. "We're going to take a few to get something to settle our stomachs," the panel chair said. They walked out together.
The twins got the laptop back and Alex handed it back. The slayers came back at one of the guards waving them inside. Buffy sat down, looking at them. "I'm glad you managed it but I hate that you had to," she said quietly. "Can you quit doing that so you go back to being normal guys like the colonel is?"
"We're a lot like them, we're just also warped by Sunnydale," Alex said dryly, smiling at her. "That wasn't the worst we handled, Buffy, but we know you consider us normal guys."
She nodded. "It's a foundation we lean on. You're our normal support because it's good for us to have. Otherwise we get swelled heads like I had our senior year and the year the base was going on."
The twins nodded and hugged her for admitting that. It was good for her.
The panel came back in. The chair sat down and visually checked everyone before banging his gavel. "We're back in session." He cleared his throat, looking at them. "Is that the worst that you didn't tell that prior hearing?"
"No," Alex said.
"About sixth out of over twenty-five incidences. They heard about seven larger battles because that's what they wanted to know about."
"Is that seven included in the twenty-five?" the female asked. The twins nodded together. "That's good," she sighed. "I was hoping that Africa wasn't that bad."
"It was very small scale, regional problems for the most part," Xander said. He grinned slightly. "We had a lot of positive things happen too, ma'am."
"I get that," she agreed. "Something like that changes one."
"It's also where we met a lot of people that have helped us," Alex said. "Including Colonel Clay's team. They were the ones helping us at St. Louis."
She nodded, smiling slightly. "It's good that you can get along with some military people."
"We get along with most military people, just not some of them who used to have a project in our town that tortured people," Buffy said. "We're polite but we don't trust that much most of the time. Them, some agents, and others have proven we shouldn't. Just like last night."
"Thankfully whoever sent that private security team has good people," Xander said. Buffy looked at him. "We don't have minions. It wasn't us. I'm really happy someone did and I'll thank the one I think did it later."
She nodded. "Thank them for us too. I didn't want to have to kill a human. Breaking the slayer spirit is bad but if they've got one of my girls then I'm all for it. She would be too."
"We understand why, and we do appreciate someone did save that young slayer," the head of the panel said. "There's things that have not been put into notes but you know. We need to know about them so we can figure out how to help you protect us all, Miss Summers." She nodded. "How many hellmouths are there in the US?"
"Sunnydale's closed but it radiates slightly," Willow said. "The one in Cleveland." She pulled up that information on her phone. "This is the list of all the hellmouths in the world." She handed it over. "Including a list of spots that we think may someday rip into one."
They read it over, grimacing at a few. "Do the people near these know?" The twins nodded. "Including the one in Turkey?"
"We talked to them," Giles said. "When we moved to Cleveland to set back up, we did go to the various embassies to inform them of those sort of things so we could work out how to handle the girls that were in their countries plus any known mystical or problematic places." He pulled up his notes. "These are my notes on who we talked to about what. The one in Turkey," he said, finding it. "Were not amused as I wrote but we told them that the old Council was no more. We were reforming it so we could make it more modern, more humane, and let them handle some of their own problems as we don't have as many people to do so." He handed over the notes. "A few refused to talk to us."
"We talked to one at their embassy in Ethiopia," Alex said. "They screamed at us for telling them that they had a slayer in country and we'd more than happily train her at home. Their whole security force showed up to try to shoot us for that. He finally told them to leave us alone while arranging for her to be found and shipped to Cleveland because it wasn't their way. Hearing they had two ancient temples that had probable demons sleeping in them...."
"He nearly had a stroke," Xander agreed. "We called Giles to tell him how to figure out where they were hiding and how to make them go away."
"Faith had a lot of fun going to some of those to find the demons and then talk to them," Buffy quipped. "She helped them take down a few of them that were emptied out. She only had to fight three of them."
"They went to live with their relatives in a less populated area," Giles said.
Xander nodded. "Yes, they did. There's a nice enclave that the locals aren't quite scared of but they don't want to bother them. Their human, hired, minions are treated well and quickly to let them get back to their bosses."
"The other enclave was started further south by one showing up with a huff of irritation at Faith leading other humans to wake him up. He looked at the female higher demon living there then huffed and said he guessed he'd finally get around to marrying her. Huge celebration. The local slayers near there all attended the wedding and reception. The reception took nearly a month." Alex grinned. "We had a lot of fun there. The local villages worked out peace treaties. Both enclaves shop in the local markets and have pledged protection if something huge happens. It's stopped an attempted civil war by a rebel group."
"It stopped a cult that wanted to open a portal to bring other demons there so their goddess was served. They did not like that goddess or want her there so they took her out then told us so we could note it," Alex said with a smile.
"The local peaceful communities do the same for us," Buffy agreed. "They handle things and let us know. It's meant a lot fewer problems in Cleveland and LA."
"The locals in Chicago know to call us for huge problems, and some of the humans there know to call us if something like the peaceful community is attacked," Xander said.
"Why didn't the old Council do that?" the chair of the panel asked.
"Because they were dicks," Willow said bluntly. "They considered the girls disposable tools. They kidnaped or bought the girls that weren't voluntarily handed over to be trained from near birth by their future watcher."
"We met one who had been raised by them and got really sad about her lack of a real life," Buffy agreed.
"Unfortunately the old Council's methods were not kind to the girls or anything not in their view of normality," Giles said.
"Including taking out whole clans of very helpful, peaceful demons," Xander said. "Ones who helped things like air quality and who lived on smog."
"Twice," Giles added.
The chair of the panel stared at him. "How did they get away with that?"
"They were there when all this was founded," Giles said with a wave around. "For all governments. They've been handling things in quiet since before writing started." The chair grimaced, sitting back.
"They also took out people who learned about any demons or vampires," Xander said. "Including a few towns during the middle ages."
Giles nodded. "More than a few times actually. If the locals learned about the slayers then they were taken out."
The female representative stared at him. "We let them do that?"
"It's not like they stood up and started shouting 'woo-hoo, we took out this town because there had been vampires but they saw the slayer hunting," Xander said with a wave. He shrugged. "The last noted one I heard about was in the eighteen hundreds."
"A small town in Scotland in the last decade of the eighteen hundreds," Giles agreed. "They nearly got lynched by their own people, and the UK government. Half the Council at the time lost their titles and their lives when the Queen ordered them to commit suicide so their titles could be passed on to someone more reasonable, modern, and better to humans."
"Unfortunately not Travers," Buffy said with a grimace. "He was the last head of the Council. He brought back that neat test that had us without our powers on our 18th birthday if we survived so we could fight a vampire to prove we should keep going." The whole panel stared at her. She nodded. Xander rubbed her arm. "Which is when I told the old Council to bite me and fired them."
"Which led to other problems," Willow said. "They finally came back to talk to us when a hell goddess came to Sunnydale."
The female representative stared at the twins. "Did they like you?"
"They had a few mil contract on our lives," Xander said with a shrug. "Only one attempt that we know of to take us out. They tried to take out Buffy and Faith both at other times."
"Damn," the head of the panel said. He looked at Giles. "The new one?"
"Does none of that," he said with a smile. "I learned better methods while being Buffy's watcher in Sunnydale. We use those methods now."
"The girls are encouraged to stay at home, to have a normal life for their people, and they're trained to handle the protection of their own peoples," Buffy said. "That's what the twins were doing in Africa." The panel smiled at her. "We learn a lot from each other, even though I can't see how some of them like living in their ways. The girl from Dubai is kinda weird about her clothes. I couldn't hunt in what she wears. Or the long pajama looking clothes that the girls from Pakistan wear." She shrugged. "I learned how to slay in LA teenage girl clothes and they can't do that, plus they give me horrified looks for showing my knees."
"The girls are taught what they need to know and encouraged to find a full, enjoyable life," Xander agreed. "We trained many of them then attended their weddings after threatening their future husbands." He grinned. "A few have went on to college. A few had to leave their local groups due to their beliefs. One we had to send to the US to heal the burns since her family thought she had turned into a witch."
"I had a talk with her father," Alex said smugly. "All her uncles. Her future husband that was horrified that his wife would be able to fight to protect herself...." He grinned. "We had one hell of a talk. Then they tried to burn my twin for being a one-eyed evil white guy who was probably the witch that had turned their daughter. We had another talk then too."
The panel chair nodded. "I can see why. Is that young woman all right?"
"She was until the apocalypse battle before last," Willow said. "Then she got really injured. Her shoulder got broken. She's healed and all but went to college instead. We do provide college funds. A lot of the younger slayers do their few years of patrol during their college years then fall back to apocalypse battle support because their real jobs are too tough to go on patrols with. We make darn sure that the girls have what they need to be good young women who have nicer futures. We honor the slayers of the past that didn't have that choice. We tell them about the one we knew personally so they know." Everyone on their side nodded. "We hold yearly remembrances for their sacrifices on the same day we remember all our fallen slayers."
"That's a good thing," the panel chair said. "What happens if something pops up somewhere the girls aren't?"
"When we were in Africa, we trained the locals as well as the girls," Xander said. "We gave them ideas about any problems in their areas. We gave them identification manuals that we give the girls. They know to call if something huge happens. They did that plenty while we were down there. The girls are still getting called for bigger things. The local militaries might not want to admit they've had a demon problem but they sure fix it fast so they can deny it happened, and they don't harm the slayers because they know it means they have to handle it themselves from now on. Just like Iraq does because they tried to kill their slayer."
The panel chair shuddered. "If something happens there?"
"We had a talk with the Saudi Arabian ambassador in South Africa after my twin had to go rescue the girl in Iraq with a bit of higher demon help," Alex said. "We pointed out that they had done the bad thing, and that we weren't really comfortable going to save their butts. We suggested a regional 'we'll come help you' pact for those things. They hadn't wanted to hear about the problems in their region but I did point out that they had a hellmouth nearby and they didn't like the slayers either."
"A few of their soldiers have come over to talk about how we train slayers or those two," Buffy said with a point at the twins. "I had to admit they trained themselves but they did watch us train some of the younger slayers. They've decided they can make specialty soldiers."
"I can see why," the female representative said. "I know they have problems with liberated females." Buffy nodded. "You've been?"
"They asked politely for someone to come see the local hellmouth when it acted up one week," she said. "So I went. I was in Rome at the time." She smiled. "They were nice about it. I had a driver so I didn't have to try to drive myself, because I suck at it. They were very respectful. They kept me away from everyone else. I felt like I was being smuggled but they were nice enough about it and even humored me wanting iced tea instead of brewed."
"That's sweet of them," she said with a smile. "Though women there aren't allowed to drive at all. They can be fined for trying."
"Really? That sucks," Buffy said, looking at the twins.
"They have a lot of rules about what women can and can't do, Buffy," Giles said. "That's why I cautioned you to be polite but not talk to anyone before you left."
"Oh, yeah. That talk." She shrugged and smiled at the panel. "It was still nice of them to treat me so politely. They even let me keep the overrobe thingy I had to wear. It's in the closet for the next time one of us has to go over there."
"That's very nice of them," the chair of the panel said. He looked at the twins.
"The last time we were there, my twin showed up with a higher demon hit squad to save a young slayer," Alex said dryly. "They ran from him and it was a good idea with how badly they hurt that six-year-old."
"Damn," the chair of the panel muttered. "Did you run into any US troops?"
"No," Xander said. "Not in the least. I wouldn't have expected them to help if I had."
"Point. That closed project?"
Willow sighed. "It was sealed after they got shut down. I got warned if I told anyone I'd end up in prison. Apparently the old president was embarrassed."
"And yet, there was something like this that happened. Some of them went to the UN, some went to Homeland, some went to jail," Xander said dryly. "I was also told not to tell anyone after I had told someone that their person was into genocide." Senior Agent Barrings cleared his throat. Xander pointed back at him. "See?"
"Did they have a congressional hearing?" the senator in the back asked.
"No clue how that works," Buffy said.
"The soldiers were Army Rangers," Xander said. "I'd guess probably a military tribunal but I'm pretty sure at least some of you at the time heard about it."
"Homeland Security doesn't have a file on it," Senior Agent Barrings said. "It was closed to the President's Eyes Only."
"Could they be doing it again?" the female representative asked. The twins nodded. Giles shrugged.
"I'd hope not," Buffy said. "I'd hate to have to go in to stomp on them like we did last time."
Xander grinned at her. "You don't have to worry about your manicure. We can ask for Clay's help."
"They were good at it and cute," Buffy said with a smile. "Thanks, Xander."
"Welcome." They smiled at the panel. "If they were and we hear, they won't be for long."
"If we hear, you won't have to," the panel chair said dryly. "We wouldn't like that from what little we've heard." He cleared his throat. "Are there files on it in any agency?" Everyone on the slayers side nodded. "Which agency?"
"Homeland has some of them in residence," Willow said.
"The FBI has a partial file," Xander said. "We got asked about it."
"The NSA helped sponsor them, I'd assume they had files still," Alex quipped.
"We can ask," the senator in the back said. "My grandparents would be horrified if I let someone do genocide."
Willow nodded. "Mine too," she said quietly.
"Where are your parents?" the head of the panel asked. "It was noted in a news story that they're missing?"
She shrugged. "I haven't heard from them since the demon took them over so they tried to burn me, Buffy, and Amy at the stake." The whole panel gaped in horror. She shrugged. "The Hansel and Gretel demon had most of the town. Buffy's mom organized it." Buffy nodded. "Frankly, I have no idea where they are now and mostly didn't when I was a little kid and they'd take off to go to conferences for weeks on end." She shrugged. "I did pretty good raising myself and the twins."
"Not bad," Xander agreed.
The female member stood up, staring at her. "They did what?"
"Wrote psychology books," Alex said dryly with a grin. "They always considered me the bad influence on her or Jesse."
"Jesse?" she asked. "Not here?"
"Died," Xander said simply.
"Oh, I'm sorry." The twins both nodded. She sat down. "Your parents were absent that often?"
Willow looked at her phone, looking up her parents' books. "Ah, they have a website now!" She got into their speaking schedule. "Here, this is their present speaking schedule." She let them have the phone again.
She read it then looked at her. "Do you have siblings?"
"Not that I know of."
She handed back the phone. "Do you think that was normal?"
"I think Sunnydale was so cranked by the former Mayor that no one cared," she said. "I did good enough. I learned a lot from her medical textbooks. I nearly took out Xander's appendix for him but they came home suddenly." Xander nodded. "So he had to go to the really horrible hospital. But he survived," she quipped with a grin at the end.
"I learned from the same textbooks," Xander agreed. "We're great field medics."
"We go through a few medical texts a year to keep up on things," Alex said.
"Including one on delivering babies because one of our slayers needed us to suddenly," Xander finished.
The panel chair whimpered. "Damn."
"Yeah, that's Sunnydale's other name," Buffy quipped. "That's why our former mayor turned into a giant snake demon. Just like the one here a while back."
"Only bigger," Willow said. "He did the biggest version."
"I saw that," the senator in the back said dryly. "That was nasty."
"We had one during our graduation," Buffy said. She smiled. "They called it a gas explosion." He slapped the table, staring at her. "Not our fault the dirty ones said it was."
"Crap," he said. "Agents?"
"Didn't come into Sunnydale," Xander said. "Never." That senator groaned but nodded, leaning back again to thump his head on the back of his chair.
"One of the other initiative guys came for Riley to help him with whatever Walsh did to him," Buffy corrected. "But he wasn't really more than them being told to be an agent. They weren't there to do agent things."
"They tested on their own people?" the panel chair asked. Buffy nodded. So did Willow. "Why?"
"She was also working on creating a Frankenstein's monster thingy to take the place of soldiers. She was using demon and human parts for it. It was really hard to beat." The panel groaned again. She grinned. "Sunnydale was just like that. Xander fell into a burial chamber...." He covered her mouth. She stared at him. "What?" she complained behind it.
"No. We've had enough problems thanks to that issue." He stared at her. "Including people who showed up to take us for that reason instead of dating."
"Oops. Didn't think about that. Sorry, Xander."
"Why?" the panel chair asked. Xander looked back so Barrings stepped up to hiss in his ear. "Oh! Oh, dear. We don't need to know." He looked at them. "Handled?"
They shrugged. "In our own special way," Alex said dryly.
"Fine. I'm sure you can handle it?" They nodded. "Is that why you have weapons?"
"One of multiple reasons, including six prices on our heads from regional militias down there," Xander said. "Making some regional militias help us handle demon things did not make them happy."
"So...people like Boko Haram?" the female member demanded. They nodded. "Why?"
"It was needed to defeat that battle," Alex said with a shrug. "They didn't want to die from a demon problem but it freaked them out. It's not really what their religion thinks about. It made them *really* mad."
"Six different times," Xander sighed, shaking his head. "Two of them were solved by that militia dying off."
Buffy stared at them. "What now?" She smiled. "We didn't hear about that."
"The girls down there did," Alex said dryly. "They know not to tell you so we don't have to hear about it."
"Uh-huh. I should ask so we can talk."
"Sure, you can talk to whoever we're dating next," Xander said, staring at her. She shuddered. "I don't think the next one will be the making you over type like the last one you talked to was but you never know."
"Eww. They put me in paisley and tried to have my hair undyed. They had no fashion sense. And he was mean about it. Called me slutty."
Giles groaned, shaking his head. "I believe the time to discuss this is somewhere else." Buffy nodded, giving the twins a dirty look before turning back to the panel. Giles sighed. "Sometimes they're like my own children."
"I can see why," the female member said. "Are the twins dating someone nicer now?"
"Only the seriously naughty or the truly evil like them," Willow said. "They don't date normal people."
The twins shrugged. "The seriously naughty aren't usually interested in us. A lot of them have been on the slightly evil but not fully psychopathic scale. But some were really good to us and we still like a lot."
"We'd really like to talk to the ex that's taking out some of our other ex's," Alex said dryly. "To make them stop it." Xander nodded he agreed.
"We'll come back to this tomorrow," the chair of the panel said.
"We only brought stuff for two days," Buffy said. "We didn't expect to be here longer so we didn't make arrangements for the hotel rooms either."
"They'll agree to you staying, dear. You can do laundry." He banged the gavel and they left together to get a drink.
Buffy looked at Giles. "The hotel has a laundry, Buffy. You and the girls won't need to shop. We'll go make arrangements later." He looked at the twins. Who shrugged. "You two can arrange yours?" They nodded. "Good." They left together, going back to their hotels to rest, eat dinner, and make plans for the next day.
A young trainee agent walked into the hearing room the next morning tugging on her jacket. "I'm sorry, Senators and Representatives, but the Harris twins will not be in attendance today. We're still trying to rescue them."
Buffy groaned, shaking her head. "Did they date?" she demanded.
"That's who kidnaped them last night."
"Bad girls in DC?" Willow quipped. "Who would've thought."
"I thought the agents would've handled them," Buffy complained.
"They have, and it's their former dates that're going for them," the agent told her. "We're hoping we don't have to rescue them from that source later on. Right now, we think the one that took them last night started off with a 'daddy, I want one' request. We're hoping we'll get them back by tonight." She shrugged at the panel. "Sorry. We've been trying since eleven last night." She left, going back to the surveillance duties.
Buffy looked at Willow, handing her five dollars. "I'll pay you the other five next week."
"Ladies, please be more couth," Giles ordered firmly. "This is not how good ladies act."
"Sorry," they mumbled together.
"I apologize for their behavior," Giles told the panel.
"What were they betting on?" the female representative asked.
"That a bad girl would see this and want them, like usual," Willow said. Buffy nodded with a sigh at the end.
"What if it was a bad boy instead?" the representative asked dryly.
Willow shrugged. "I think there's been one of those too." They all stared. "We don't ask. The last time we wanted to know about their dating lives, he was seeing Anya so we heard *way* too much. We're not that sort of friends anymore."
"They don't ask about ours," Buffy agreed. "We don't ask about theirs. They might do freaky things that would give the younger slayers bad ideas." She shifted. "We want the young slayers to find good honeys to date later on, serious ones that love them in spite of their calling so they're supportive but not nagging about stuff. Ones who don't mind the girls are stronger than their guys are."
"We'd like them to have the fairytale," Willow said. "Instead of the reality of guys who hate being weaker than their girlfriends or who hate us for training them."
"There's not a lot of guys who want to date slayers. They consider us too tough to be girly," Buffy said.
Giles rolled his eyes. "Femininity is a spectrum, ladies, and some of the slayers are very 'girly' while some others are tougher. Many of the slayers have no problem finding nice enough people to see, even if they're not looking for the true love of their lives. That's true about most people as well." He gave them pointed looks. "I apologize for this taking up valuable time of the panel," he said.
"Slayers are supposed to be like the rest of us," the panel chair said dryly. "It's good to know that they have the same sort of concerns most normal young women have." He smiled. "I hope you find the true love ideal as well, ladies. The same as I do for my own daughter."
Buffy nodded. "It'd be great. I can't keep a date."
"We won't go into that," Giles said firmly. She blushed but ducked her head and nodded. Giles smiled at the head of the panel. "It's really best not to discuss such things in polite company. I've heard more than enough about some people's dates."
"I have the same feeling about my own daughter," the panel chair assured him with a smile. "Being a parent can be that way, Mr. Giles."
"I've become aware of that since I met Buffy at her first day of school in Sunnydale. Through pep squad, to dating, to the prom."
Agent Barrings stomped in, handing Giles a note. "The Harris twins will be released as of later. Their rescue team is presently babying them greatly. Will they need to reappear tomorrow?" The chair of the panel shook his head. "I'll let them know they can go home to Chicago."
"Need help knocking them out?" Willow asked. "I can help rescue them. They usually need it."
Barrings looked at her. "Their ex rescued them and is presently babying them but isn't wanting to give them up. I can get that one to take them home. Thank you anyway, Miss Rosenburg. If I needed to knock them out, I have knockout gas." He walked off shaking his head.
"The twins must drive him nuts," Willow told Giles. "He has that same tired of the bad girls look we used to have."
"I didn't have it. You had that problem," he corrected, shooting a glare at her. "This is not the forum for that discussion either, Willow."
"Sorry." She ducked her head back down, glancing at Buffy. Buffy shrugged back.
"You two have solo patrols when we get home," Giles said quietly, glaring at them. "For the next two weeks." They pouted but nodded. He smiled at the panel. "Sorry."
"Grounding works for many parents," the senator in the back row said. "Thankfully I have sons." He smiled when Giles covered Buffy's mouth before she could offer to bring them home to introduce them to the slayers.
Ray was at the airport waiting impatiently when the boys got let off the private plane. Red walked them over to him. "Vecchio," he said with a nod.
"How long did you know about me?" Ray demanded quietly.
Red smiled. "The whole time, Vecchio. It wasn't in anyone's good interest to spill that information. Really, Lagostini was an annoying zit of a human. That's how I knew, you didn't try to drug me." He handed over the twins. "We've rescued them from their rescuers." The twins both shrugged but sighed. "The agent that had them was most happy you had dressed them better. The things from the hotel will be here tomorrow." He looked at them. "Are you two going to be good?"
"We're always good," Alex said with a smirk. "It wasn't our fault."
"I know it wasn't. That agent's a bit cranky but their boss can calm them down." He patted them on the cheeks. Then he smiled at Ray. "They need to set up an emergency plan in case since Miss Summers nearly spilled about their little cell problem."
"We have one," Xander said quietly, glancing around. "We have a house in Africa."
Red nodded. "Not a bad idea. How will you get there?" Alex held up a pendant he was wearing. "Good planning." They smiled. "I'll be in town so we can meet tomorrow about that little pissant bothering your girl in Kenya." Xander groaned, heading for the rest of the airport.
"He can go to her. We were going to go from DC," Alex said. He grinned at Ray. "I'm the lover in the family."
"Uh-huh. Is that why you got kidnaped again?"
"Yup," Alex said with a happy grin. "They fed us lunch too. It was really appreciated since most of ours don't take our physical comfort into account. We've had people keep us for a whole week and forget to feed us until we pouted them into it. Then they claimed they forgot. They only want us for our dicks," he sighed. "Anya called us a viking in the sack but even they needed rest." He walked off. "Red, did you get whatever she wanted to give us for our birthday?"
"She's sending it, Alex." He shook his head but he was smiling. "Whole teams of the FBI are drinking tonight," he said quietly. "Let me go to my hotel before my meeting later." He walked off, getting into the rental car his bodyguard Dembe had already picked up.
Ray followed the twin, heading to their car to take them home. "I met Andrew earlier. We straightened out his ideas of being the evil overlord sort."
"He can do it," Alex said. "He'd be great at it."
Ray looked at him. "That would mean giving me and Stan more work, Alex. He can do that later." That got a nod and a sigh. "Don't you try it either."
"If I wanted to take over the world, I would've stayed in Dumara, Ray."
"I can't see you as the warlord sort."
Alex looked at him. "You'd be shocked since that wasn't the first time we got mixed up as one. That's how we knew we'd need help out of Dumara."
Ray looked at him for a moment then shook his head. "Why?"
"We were there and it needed to be done. Especially when you show up to lead a battle and you've managed to get the local militias into it to help. We had to fight that rumor many times. That's why people came to us to help them with other problems."
"I guess that makes sense."
"Thankfully I didn't like having minions." They went home, where Alex went over to talk to Andrew. That new geek wasn't half as good as Andrew but he'd do fine when he blushed at the girls. Being off-site would help a lot too. Hopefully Willow wouldn't feel like her brainy title was being challenged by this one.
Xander showed up two days later looking tired, limping a bit on his right side, but grinning. Andrew stared at him, blinking a few times. "Bad date?" Andrew guessed.
"Helping Tammi with a local problem," he said, giving him a hug with a back slap. "Though yes, the problem is a former date so I got babied when we fixed the problem that former date had come to see Tammi about."
"She told Buffy to quit calling her that."
Xander grinned. "She likes us more." He limped off. "My beloved evil one, the problem is now solved so Gloriana can go back to her usual rebel movement."
"Is it on YouTube again?" Ray yelled from somewhere.
"No. Comment. But I don't think so." He leaned into their bedroom, making Alex grin. "So bad," he mouthed, making his twin laugh. "Let me shower, change, and then handle stuff. Did the suit get back here?" Alex pointed at the suit bag. "Thanks. " Xander limped in there to shower. "How's the newest thing going?" he called.
"Andrew's figured out how to fix the cases on things so they still work but are prettier. Angelica is in lust over our explosive compound but the few she knows are very nice too. We built a few new My Little Friends to test with the various methods. Barrings said it looked much more handy this way."
"Have we started on any of the others yet?"
"Barrings wanted us to forget a few of them ever existed. Andrew was giggling over our old car designs."
Xander came out of the bathroom naked, staring at his twin. "Do you like our car?"
"Not really but it's a lease so we can get something new soon." He grinned. Xander smiled back, going back to his shower. "Ray would probably want us to get something classy."
"We could bring up the three cars we inherited. We do have a garage," Xander called. "I had a lot of that stuff that's not practical for down there sent up."
"That's cool," Alex agreed. "How soon?"
"Within days as long as UPS isn't going to have problems. You never know, they could lose stuff then we'd be mad."
"How much of it did you send up?" Alex complained.
"Everything that wasn't practical. That way we can get it appraised, see if we want to keep it, and then send it to there or Quebec."
"Are we moving in with Brenda?" Alex asked dryly, walking into the bedroom. Xander leaned out. "Quebec?"
"Toddy's house he left us."
"I thought we gave that to his mother when she demanded."
"She wanted the other house, not the ski house."
"Oh, yeah." He went to look that up in the office. Sure enough, they did own that ski house in northern Quebec. He got into their UPS account to see the shipment progress, sighing at the 'six boxes' notice. He frowned at the one that had a different delivery date. "As Seen On TV dot com," he read. "Someone was shopping again. We need to start making millions soon to cover that stuff." He checked the other ones. All from Africa so that was nice. He checked his email, finding the confirmation of moving two cars and a stack of boxes through a different moving service.
"Probably the weapons," he muttered. "That means we can probably look over that one thing we made that we don't remember how because we were drunk." He got into the other confirmation email. "Awww, the bank account we forgot about. Shit. How did we forget...." He got into that bank's webpage, looking at it. "Oh, it was a *fee*." He nodded once then groaned. "At least someone paid us for something." He got up and went to get a cookie before going back to the lab with Andrew and Angelica. Xander followed a few minutes later. "What was that fee for?"
"A reward for taking out that doucherod that thought he was so hot. He showed up with a Xena-yell and tried to stab me so I had to get him." The twins shared a look then shrugged. "The douche-hotrod was really dumb and he wanted to take us out for daring to grin at the girls."
Andrew groaned, shaking his head. "I've heard about you dating."
"We have taste," Alex and Xander said in unison. "He was well below it."
"He was a walking case of herpes plus half of every other disease and that's why he hated women," Alex finished blandly. "He thought we'd like to join him in being diseased and selling drugs. He was wrong then."
"Now he's really dead wrong," Xander finished. "I'm hoping no one raises him."
"Not even that one sorcerer making zombies would want him," Alex assured him, getting into the files they had open. "Hell, even the desperate hell goddess that *really* wanted minions wouldn't have accepted him."
Alex looked at him. "Did you remember that thing we made while drunk?"
Xander moaned, shaking his head. "I didn't get into that closet at all. I can have them sent. I hired a housekeeper for it." Alex stared at him oddly. "It needed it. She came highly recommended by Abigail."
"Hmm." He nodded but let it drop for now. Alex didn't trust or like Abigail. "Did you clear her references with anyone else?"
"Remember the old lady that snuck us stuff when she tried to feed us porridge?"
"Oh. She was nice." He considered it. "She's going to steal stuff."
"Everything expensive is locked up." They shared a look and he sighed. "I can use the emergency removal option to go back down there."
"I can," Alex said with a grin. Xander shivered but nodded so Alex went to find his so he could go down there to ship everything else that was important back. It meant he took Abigail's people out of their house the hard way, by gassing them and then driving them to the local town to drop them in the middle of it, but that was fine with him. He had needed something to do.
Back in Chicago, Xander grinned at their new employees. "Are we starting with the kiddy tinkering plans, the drunken tinkering plans, or the stuff we had to create because there were issues?"
Andrew looked at him. "The last. That way I don't want to become the evil Tony Stark of this universe."
Xander grinned at him. "As long as you don't look bad on us or the girls, 'Drew." Andrew laughed but shook his head. "Then that's fine." They got back to work. Angelica would get used to Andrew pretty easily.
Alex smiled as he walked into Agent Barring's unit office, smiling as he put the plant on his desk. He handed over the envelope from his back pocket. Then he kissed him on the forehead. "For the headache since some people were being naughty." He walked off humming.
Barrings stared at the ivy plant. It was real, had good water levels, and looked pretty. The present was a really bad sign. The envelope looked normal. He opened it, staring at it. "Oh. Fuck," he said. "Roberts!" His new supervisor hopped up and came out of his office. Henders had been moved up so Roberts had gotten appointed last week. He held up the envelope. "One of the Harris twins just visited his slayer having problems in Africa and probably the house they inherited down there. I knew it was bad when he looked a bit too happy."
The supervising agent took the envelope, looking at the front picture. "Who is that?"
Barrings pointed. "You know that special unit on the third basement level? Their kind." His supervisor winced, going through the rest of the pictures. Barrings held up a hand. "I don't need to know. That's above my classified level," he said when a picture was held up.
"I was wondering if they were fighting the demon or summoning it."
Barrings looked then at his boss. "Summoning it. That's not a protection circle as I know it." The rest of the pictures got flipped through. Barrings paused one to look at. "Never seen that in their armory." He took at it to look at it better.
His deskmate looked over. "On the back is written 'drunken tinkering object number 3," she said.
"Ah. That explains it." He looked at it then looked at the back of the pictures. "He identified who most of them were. Including the demon. Who was pouting?"
"A lot it appears. I'll talk to the director." He walked off with those pictures shaking his head. The director was out so he went to meet him at his golf course instead. They let him in and let him hike out to the third hole, where his boss was presently not managing to make par against the director of the FBI. "Sir." His boss moaned. "Just got a delivery from one of the Harris twins who was helping their slayer in Africa." A hand was held out to the FBI boss. "Sir, I'm sorry, but he caught some of our people doing the bad things that will probably become news fodder." The director stared at him. Barrings handed them to his boss and stepped back out of hitting range.
The director of Homeland Security flipped through them twice. "Is that a protection circle?"
"Not that Barrings recognized, sir. I can call them to ask. On the back of some, people are identified." He looked, grimacing. "I recognized one of the names as coming from that project Congress asked the Council people about."
"So do I," he muttered. He looked at him. "Are they back?"
"I didn't look, sir. I'm not Internal Affairs." He grimaced. "Alex Harris walked in to give my agent that envelope and an ivy plant. Then he walked off humming."
"Damn it," the director muttered, looking through them again. "The demon doesn't look amused."
"I can call to ask him to debrief, sir."
He dialed Barrings. "Put me on with that Harris." He waited. "Mr. Harris, this is Supervisory Senior Agent Roberts, over Senior Agent Barrings. He handed me that envelope. I need to know what happened and what they were doing with that demon." He put him on speaker and stepped closer to his boss. Alex sounded amused but it wasn't a pretty story. "Any idea where they are?" The answer of 'the locals arrested them for daring to call a demon and cause them problems' amused him. "Why were you so amused?" Alex told him bluntly why and he sighed but said a quiet 'thank you' and hung up. He looked at his boss, who tucked the envelope into his golf bag. "Sir? Orders?"
"You're not Internal Affairs, Roberts. I'll see them once I get back."
"Yes, sir. I'll let SA Barrings know, sir. Have a better golf game." He walked off, going back to the office. Behind him, he heard a golf ball be smacked too hard and someone muttering as he hiked off after it. Everyone was apparently happy today.
Alex got let into the meeting room at the not-supposed-to-be-known-about office, smiling at the two agents. He handed over the other two envelopes he had. "One is yours," he told them with a smile. "It's the rest of the series of the ones I gave to Barrings, which only had his people. This has other people who were summoning a demon to try to take out all the slayers. It's why a former lover who runs a small arms dealing tribe went to upset our slayer. Xander handled it and I went to handle the new housekeeper stealing stuff from our house down there." He pushed the second over. "That's on the people who wanted to take out the slayers. You guys have fun with that."
Agent Keen opened that one first. "How were they going to do this? This star-marked one...." She looked up. "Any idea?"
"Higher power caused. It's Angel brought back from the dead." She groaned. "And he's got Warren Meers, who is a semi-zombie, as his second-in-command. The Finns are involved in it but weren't involved in the summoning of a demon to eat the slayers." He smiled. "You guys deserve to have some fun."
"Can you prove this?" Ressler asked.
Alex pointed with a smile. "I begged a hacker we know to look at them. Warren's mind isn't fully there. Jonathan was the hacker of the trio so Warren's not all that great. Angel hates computers. The Homeland agents working with them, and the others working with them, all thought we weren't into tech stuff. They conveniently forgot Andrew was anything but the housemom." Agent Ressler shuddered. "Yeah. It's been a long time coming. We've put out an all points to all the slayers and the covens we know about. Their whole crackhead idea is that more than one slayer is too overpowering and it'll cause the hellmouth to open or spew."
"The hellmouth has to be opened by magic," Keen said. Alex smiled and nodded. "Are they that stupid?"
"The higher ups, the PTB over the slayers, would like to have the girls go back to their plans instead of things that work." He smirked at Ressler. "Last year they sent a warning vision to some of us, me included, about a battle we'd have in six months time. In it, they had the important stuff being done by slayers that had died in LA and Sunnydale." He groaned, shaking his head. "Now, Willow summoned one of their messengers to point that out, so she could ask who could substitute. Apparently they didn't think it was necessary.
"The way they wanted it solved would've killed at least six slayers doing the special stuff plus however many during the battle. You guys saw it as the one in New York, where we got three injured and none dead, but the demons sure as shit were." They nodded. "They *hate* us for having self will and making plans that work. They'd really like to weed down the lines to about a tenth of what they are. They'd also really love to deep six Buffy because she's the source of the 'you have a choice to make' theology the girls learn." Both agents nodded.
Alex grinned at them. "Which is why their crackhead plan resurrected three people and gathered others to help. But, on the good side, none of the chaos mages are even pleased that this could bring chaos to humanity. We have ones that'd like to see things go to pure anarchy for a few weeks so they could gather the chaos energy spilled. They're the ones that helped me with that one battle."
"What sort of chaos mage fights?" Agent Keen asked.
"The living embodiment of Coyote was there, Agent Keen. The mage volunteered to host him to help with that. In the last week I've seen a walking Janus, twice. I've seen Loki's living embodiment. I've seen Coyote, and Fox but for a different reason, and I've seen two African deities walking in living bodies to show up to help with that battle. They freed that demon from those agents so she could get out of there."
"I'm pretty sure if a God is showing up in a person to tell people to stop it, they probably should," Ressler said. "Even if it's not a deity they worship."
Alex grinned and nodded. "Probably, yup. That's not even counting the higher level demons, the ones that people might think are fallen angel sorts, showing up to yell at those agents. Which is why I had the weapon. One was going to open up something to prove they didn't want what they thought they wanted."
Ressler nodded. "We can gladly look into the people trying to end the world."
"Want me to get Willow to help you? Amy's one of them. She was a black magic addict and got Willow into it."
"We might ask her about them," Agent Keen agreed.
"Willow!" Alex yelled. She appeared in jammies. "Get cleaned up. I'm letting them handle the plan to screw up humanity on us. Before I have to see another walking god. But Janus's walking body did say hi."
She gaped. "What?" He nodded with a grin. "You saw what?" she demanded. He handed over the report. She sat down to read it, whimpering. "Oh, Goddess," she moaned. She looked at him. Alex pointed at the nice, normal, sane agents. She looked at them. "However I can help, I'll help. Including dealing with the magic they'll try." She looked at him. "They saved us?"
"Even the anarchy chaos people thought these ones were cranked," he said with a grin. "The walking form of Fox hit on me." She took him home then came back. "I'm back, beloved twin'o mine," he called. "I'm letting them handle the huge problems."
"Cool! We got all the stuff you sent and the flowers from Coyote."
Alex walked back there, taking Andrew with him to the office. "Did Xander tell you anything?"
He nodded, grimacing. "How zombie is Warren?"
"At least half. They had to raise him right before he died or right afterward. From what I've heard he's still skinless."
Andrew nodded. "I can make something against zombies."
"Cool. I didn't want to ask, Andrew. I know he was a friend."
"He shoved me aside because I wasn't evil enough, like Buffy and Willow did you to two because you weren't powerful." He shrugged. Alex hugged him. "Thanks."
"You're welcome. Remember, we're here and we can talk about it." Andrew smiled and nodded. "And hey, I got flirted with by some living embodiments."
Andrew patted him on the arm. "You need a real date, or at least a better blow up doll, Alex." They went back to the design lab to work on things.
In DC, Willow pulled up her files on the ones she knew personally so they could have them. This was going to be really nasty for the slayers.
In DC that night, Agent Keen walked into a meeting in Homeland, smiling at them. "We saw Alex Harris after you guys did. We know why and we have more information. We've been working with Willow all day." She laid down the files, the full report from Alex, and the rest of the pictures. They went over it, the director growling. "Alex Harris reported talking to living, possessed beings. Mostly identifying as deities, though not all good ones."
The director for Homeland Security and the one for the FBI looked at her. "We're stopping it," her boss assured her.
"How can we help? Miss Rosenburg has been showing how she hacked us to wiki the files as they put it. Our computer tech was very amused but did figure out how to stop that loophole."
"Good," her director said. "Any other cheery news?"
"Alex Harris said even the most anarchy is good chaos sort did not want this to happen. They were going to help the twins and the slayers."
The director of Homeland nodded. "That's fine," he agreed. "We'd appreciate that help." He looked over the new files, shaking his head. "No wonder he didn't tell Barrings all this."
"He said he did like Barrings, he didn't want him to worry or have to deal with his coworkers. Deputy Director Cooper called him to get a full statement on tape since Miss Rosenburg had him sent home." She pointed at the bagged cassette.
The directors nodded. "We'll handle this," the director for the FBI assured her. She smiled and nodded. "We have a lot of agents we expect will hate this." She pushed a folder over. He looked at it. "Involved?"
"Names listed in their files as being part of it."
He nodded. "Good. Thank your team for us and her. We'll be fixing this as soon as humanly possible." She nodded and left. He shared that list while going to get a drink.
"Which agency do you want to bring in first?"
"Secret Service." He took a drink. "They'll have to know to guard some higher ups. I only recognized two agents from there."
"I'll call the other directors to meet us here." He had them paged while they went over this new information so it was in a better order.
The Chief of Staff at the White House showed up first. "We didn't have this sort of meeting over the senator that was going to turn into a huge demon. Is it that bad?" he asked. They handed him the information to go over. He read it and nodded. "The president is going to be livid. Give us updates as soon as you can. Keep it quiet if you can. We can announce it after they're down." He handed it back and left to tell his boss. "Sir," he said as he walked into the Oval Office. He nodded at the man in there. "I need to see you privately to brief you, sir."
"Agreed. Give me a minute."
"Sir, it's that important."
"Another ascension?" he asked with a grin.
"Worse. Much worse." He nodded, going with him to his office. "Sir, that on has made a known demonic deal," he said quietly. He wrote out the notes for him, letting him read them. The president moaned, shaking his head. "Exactly. Which is why I didn't want him to know, in case he was with them."
"Homeland and the FBI, they had summoned all the other agency directors. They also had a list of names."
"Good." He growled, handing it back. "Any good news?"
"Apparently one of the Harris twins tripped over it. One of the reports was signed by Alex Harris. It noted he had gotten help from some possessed people. They were carrying various chaos gods who thought this was a very bad idea."
The president stared at him. "That's...." He walked off nodding. "I want reports first thing in the morning. I'll make that clear to them. Good work hearing that rumor."
"Thank you, sir." He called the Council's main house. "Rupert Giles please. We have some questions for him. The Chief of Staff for the White House, Miss Summers. Thank you, I'll wait." Buffy started to yell for Giles to come answer the phone.
The twins looked at their drunken tinkering pile then sighed. There was some really great stuff in there. If only they could remember. Alex went to get a drink, thinking it'd help. Xander could stay sober to help him figure things out. By the morning they had ideas. Many wicked and happy making ideas. Alex was tipsy enough that he went to his room to masturbate to the happy things. Xander grinned, bundling up the plans and putting them into the specially coded safe. No one could get into it but them. Not Willow, not someone with some of their DNA and a fingerprint. No one. Then he went to bed to dream about happy weapons dancing with twinkies. It was that sort of happy night for them.
When Andrew showed up to work that late morning, the protectees were still giggling over the noisy bedroom. Andrew made some coffee, flirted with the women, then went to the design lab. He could hear that one was having dirty twinkies dreams so that was a good reason for the giggling. He paused when he heard what the twinkies were doing, blushing hard. Xander had a lot more vivid dreams than he did. Especially about dirty snack cakes. No wonder they designed weapons instead of robots.
We Behave, We Promise.