One Destiny

As the Phone Rings (2/2)

As the Phone Rings, part two
By Susan Anthony



And then Xander was back on the phone.  “Sorry about that, JD.  But you know the power of the puppy eyes.”

“Yeah, yeah,” JD did know, after all, the power of Dawn’s puppy eyes.  “That’s okay.  But Xander, why is Giles mad at me?”

“Dawn said Giles is mad at you?” Xander asked unhappily.  “No wonder she high-tailed it out of here.”

“Xander.”

“Don’t you worry about it, JD,” Xander continued in a jovial tone that sounded rather forced.  “You’re in Denver and Giles is in England.”  There was a hesitation.  “I think.”

“Xander!” JD growled.  “Why. Is. Giles. Mad at me?”

There was a heavy sigh on the other end of the line.  “Really, JD.  Giles isn’t mad at you, per say.  It’s the Master of the Evil Eye that has him so pissed off and since you’re on his team, well...Giles is sharing the wrath.”

JD froze at Xander’s nickname for Chris Larabee.  He’d always laughed with Xander about it before (‘before’ being whenever Chris wasn’t in hearing distance).  His dark-haired friend had seen JD’s boss the last time he had been in Denver and bestowed the moniker on Chris with the gleeful abandon of one who didn’t have to live in the same country as Chris Larabee.

“Er...I don’t know who you mean, Xander,” he said in a serious tone, praying to whatever deity might be listening that Xander’s usually astute perception would give him the message to Shut. Up. 

No such luck.

“You know.  Glarabee, Master of the Evil Eye,” Harris continued in a heavy, looming tone.  “He Who Must Be Obeyed.”

The young IT expert was still silently sending up prayers as he carefully raised his eyes to the man sitting across the conference room table and wondered if the table was wide enough to give him a head start if Larabee lunged.

His leader, however, was just glaring at the phone as if he could ignite it with his gaze alone.

“So...er....” JD began with a hesitant tone and Larabee transfer his Glare of Doom (as Xander called it, always with capitals) to his youngest agent.  JD barely managed to keep himself from flinching.  “What did Chris do to make Giles mad?”

“Wellllll,” Xander began and the group could hear him getting comfortable.  “Giles was all excited because he’d finally tracked down the spawn of one of the old family Watchers.  And I mean excited.  He bought a new tweed jacket and everything!  I could have done without the tie he bought though.  A bow tie, JD!  A BOW tie.  Could he BE more without style?”

JD blinked at his friend’s sudden change of topic.  “Xander.  Giles is mad at me, why?”

“Hold your horses, JED, I’m getting there,” the man on the other end of the line huffed. 

Buck immediately looked alert at Harris’ use of a nickname for JD he hadn’t heard before and JD just looked resigned.

“ANYway.  So Giles packed up his tweed and bow ties and flew over to the US, because that’s where he’d tracked the guy down to.  He wanted to do everything right because this guy was from a really old family – like old family that can trace their ancestors back to Watchers on Arthur’s Round Table old and before that, back to Rome.” 

The agents around the conference table exchanged glances and Josiah was looking stunned again before they all turned questioning gazes to JD. The youngest agent was staring at the phone, wondering when his friend would get to the point.

“So Giles was excited,” Xander continued, now munching something crunchy.  “And he even went to speak to the President and his Chief of Staff guys because he didn’t want to blatantly poach a US Government employee but he had every intention of convincing this guy to join the Watchers and apparently, he was with an alphabet agency.”

Josiah’s eyes widened suddenly and darted sideways towards one of the team members though everyone else was looking as bemused as JD.

“So then....”

“Wait...Xander, you said the President,” JD interrupted.  “Giles went to see the President?  Like in the President of the United States?  That President?”

“Unless they have one of those in England,” Xander said wryly, “and I don’t think they do because all the money still shows the Queen.”

“Xander!”

“Okay, okay, don’t get your knickers in a bunch,” the man said, his tone obviously amused.  “Yeah, Giles went to see the President.  You know those government guys bend over backwards to make sure Giles is happy because you know, if Giles ain’t happy....”

“...Nobody’s happy, I know,” JD continued the obviously well used quote.

“Exactly.  So, the President made time in his busy schedule to meet with Giles and once Giles had made his intentions known, the President okayed the issue and hurried him out of the White House and on his way before something happened like the last time.”

Across the table, Nathan was looking curious.  ‘The last time?’ he mouthed at JD.  The younger man didn’t notice.

“Wow...” the young agent murmured in awe.  “The President.”

“It’s not THAT great, JD,” Xander sighed in a long-suffering tone.  “If you want, next time I’m in the US, we can pop up to Washington and meet him.  He’s kinda boring, but he’s a lot easier to deal with than that last guy.”

“Really?  That’s be great, Xan!” JD squeaked, looking quite excited until a thump on the table directed his attention across the room where his boss was glaring at him meaningfully.  “I mean, that would be great, Xander,” he continued, trying to calm his tone.  “But what’s this all got to do with why Giles is mad at my boss?”

“Oh, well, so Giles left Washington and flew off to try and poach - I mean entice into the Watcher employment - this long lost Watchling.  So he’s all excited as the limo pulls up to the building and as he is getting out, he sees the guy he is so fired up about hiring walking out of the front doorway with none other than *your* boss.  Not only that, the guy is carrying a large box and is *obviously* leaving with Mr. Glarabee himself.”

JD eeped as his eyes shot over to where their newest team member was sitting.  Ezra Standish’s expression, for once, showed not the blandness that was his trademark but absolute shock.

“Ezra?” the young man asked in a high, disbelieving tone.  “Giles is mad at me because Chris hired Ezra?”

“Yep,” Xander answered succinctly.  “Pissed him right off.”

“But...” JD began as he looked over at the Agent In Charge who was looking worriedly at his barely four-month-hired undercover agent.  “But...are you sure?”

“Oh yeah,” his friend assured him.  “Giles, though, wasn’t truly angry until he went into the building to verify that his Watcher-To-Be had actually been snatched out from under his nose.”  Xander sighed long and loud.  “I have to tell you, JD.  Those guys at the FBI in Atlanta have the survival instincts of really slow lemmings.  I mean, I realize they were probably put off by Giles’ bow tie and didn’t realize that it was not a Good Idea to make Giles any more upset that he already was but really, they took stupid to a whole new level.”

JD’s eyes flew to Chris who was now beginning to look a little angry himself as he studied the stuffed folder on the table in front of him.  The folder forwarded to them from the FBI in Atlanta.

“What did they do?”

“Giles asked to speak with the Agent In Charge and though the guy had to have been expecting Giles’ visit – a little call from the President having verified that – they made him wait almost an hour.”

JD covered his eyes and groaned. 

“Yeah,” Xander agreed.  “So picture Giles, fuming for an hour, JD, just getting madder and madder.”  Xander chuckled wickedly.  “He thinks most Americans are crude and rude to begin with and now here’s this guy in charge making him wait while he had coffee in his office.”

JD didn’t really want to think about that.

“So, they finally allow Giles in to see the guy and when the agent finds out why Giles is there – to speak with Standish – well, the man couldn’t say enough about what an incompetent traitor and back stabber Standish was and how he’s been ‘on the take’ but they didn’t have enough evidence to prove it and the idiots at the ATF were welcome to the man already.”

JD reached out to hit the mute button a moment before several unhappy growls echoed around the room, the loudest of which came from their ATF-to-the-bone boss.  Ezra now had his icy bland expression on and Vin didn’t hesitate to clap him on the shoulder.

“Don’t let it worry you, none, Ez,” he said.  “Like the man said, they’re stupid.  We’re not.”

The undercover agent met Vin’s eyes for a long moment and nodded ever so slightly.

“That was just the *wrong* thing to say to Giles,” Xander continued, oblivious to the fact that he’d been muted on JD’s end.  “I mean Giles had idolized this guy’s Dad, JD.  I think he’d been Giles’ mentor for several years when Ripper first became a Watcher.” 

Ezra was now looking at the phone with an odd expression.  He wasn’t the only one.  Ezra rarely spoke of his family and only about his rather avaricious mother, Maude.  He’d *never* spoken of his father.

Then the team heard Xander’s chair hit the floor and a low, wicked chuckle.

“So after Giles expressed his opinion of the Agent in Charge’s habits, breeding and ancestors – in quite eloquent terms if his ranting later is to be believed - he stomped back out to his limo and headed for the airport.  However, shortly after Giles left, I understand they had to evacuate the entire building.”

JD quickly un-muted the phone. 

“What?” he asked in a surprised tone.  “What do you mean they had to evacuate the building?”

“It seems that the entire fourth through seventh floors were suddenly overrun with a freakish plague of toads, frogs and locusts coming out of the toilets.”

“What?” JD demanded and Xander laughed outright while Ezra quietly noted to his fellow agents that those floors in the building were only occupied by the Atlanta FBI.

“Giles was right properly pissed off enough to bring out the chaos mage and leave a little vengeful pandemonium behind.”  The men around the table didn’t know quite what to think about what they had heard.  “And not only that, Giles made a point to stop by Washington on his way out of the country and have another ‘chat’ with the President.  Needless to say, the man was *not* happy to see Ripper visiting again so soon.”

“Oh my god,” JD muttered as he looked at Ezra.  Ezra still hadn’t quite decided what expression should be on his face.

“Uh huh.  And *then* I heard that branch of the FBI got socked with a massive Internal Audit.”  Xander snorted and then huffed unhappily.  “It took Willow about five minutes to hack into their systems and sort out what was *really* going on with Standish.  It then took another five minutes for her to forward her findings to the IWSC liaison at the White House and thus the Internal Audit.  Heh.”

“Wow, Giles did all that for Ezra?” JD asked a bit hesitantly.  Ezra was looking rather unsteady.
 
“Oh yeah.  You know we look after our own, JD,” Xander said in a firm, serious tone.  “Even if they don’t yet know they’re ours.” 

After another few seconds, the man on the other end of the line continued, his voice soft and reverent. 

“Standish Senior was, from what Giles has said, a man you could truly trust.  A man who would stand up for what he knew was right.  And in the Watchers back then, that was somewhat unique.”  A long sighed echoed out from the phone. 

“John, there aren’t many people who we can say, without a doubt, were responsible for saving the world.  But we can say that Edmund Standish and his Slayer, Marian Waverly, did exactly that.”

“What?” JD stammered.  He felt like he’d been saying that a lot but that was actually par for the course in conversations with Xander.  “Xander, explain.”

“They died saving the world, JD,” Xander repeated quietly.  “It was rare that a Watcher would get involved in the slaying but Standish did *not* let his Slayer go out alone.”

JD cleared his throat as he glanced over at the now stunned looking Ezra Standish.  The man had slumped back in his chair and was looking off into the distance.  His lips moved as though he was saying the name ‘Marian’. 

The other agents around the table didn’t look much better though most looked as if they couldn’t believe, much less understand, what they were hearing. 

Josiah, though, had a look like he knew and understood what Xander was saying.  JD made a mental note to speak with him about that later. 

“What did they do?” JD finally asked in a hushed voice.

Xander paused to clear his throat before he continued.  JD thought he might be remembering his own fallen friends. 

“There was a Master, over a thousand years old, trying to raise a major demon at Stonehenge,” Xander said in a sad voice.  “In the end Marian took down the demon and Edmund took down the Master.”  The man took a long breath.  “We came very close to World Endage that night and the only reason the world didn’t end was because of that Watcher and Slayer team.”

“Wow,” was all JD could think to say.

Xander took another deep breath before he slowly let it out. 

“Yeah,” Xander agreed.  “So, after Standish’s death, Giles said Lady Standish took off with their six-year-old kid to keep him from falling into the Watcher’s hands and being raised by them.  She was a real Witch, that one.”

The young agent saw Ezra’s face fill with anger he rarely showed and JD hurriedly said, “Xander, that’s not nice!”

“No, JD, I didn’t mean it like that,” the man stated calmly.  “Madeline Maude Malfoy Standish was a card-carrying, wand waving, kick-ass witch,” he said with no doubt in his tone.  “She was so powerful that she used a spell to keep the Watchers, and her own family for that matter, from finding her or her son for two decades.  From what Giles said, both parties were wild to get their hands on the kid.  He was already showing accidental magic and the Watchers were vying for who would raise him ‘properly’.”  Xander snorted at the thought.  “And from what I know of the Malfoys, let’s just say Lady Standish was right on the money to hide herself and the child away.”

JD sputtered for a few moments as he tried to comprehend what Xander had just said.  “That’s...just...unbelievable.”

“Yeah, the spell only recently wore off, hence Giles finally tracking the guy down and trying to get him back into the Watchers.”  Xander took another sip of whatever he was drinking.  When he next spoke, his voice had been forced into a lighter tone.  “That reminds me, I need to track him down myself because if I have to listen to the goblins whining about locating the heir of the Ancient and Beloved House of Standish one more time, I’ll go nuts and probably start wearing a bow tie or something.”

A hand slammed down hard on the table causing all the agents to flinch as Ezra jumped to his feet.

“That is quite enough!” he shouted at the phone in front of JD.  “I don’t know who you think you are but you’ve said quite enough!”

“Ezra....” JD began but the undercover agent just waved him off.

“I don’t know what sort of foolishness this man has been feeding you, JD, but there is no such thing as magic!  There are no mystics or demons or...or slayers!  And my mother is *not* and certainly *never has been* a witch!” he thundered as he slammed his hand down on the table again.

“But, Ezra, I’ve *seen*...” JD began only to be cut off again.

“You’ve seen cons, JD,” the man insisted.  “I *know*.  I’m a *con* man.  It’s all a bunch of mirrors and misdirection!”

“No it’s not,” another voice entered the argument and all eyes turned in surprise to Josiah as he stood from his own seat.  He laid a gentle hand on Ezra’s shoulder.  “Much of what Harris has referenced on this call is true.  I don’t know about the business with your father but I can say with certainty that there are witches and wizards, mystics and demons, Watchers and Slayers.”

Ezra just stared at him with wide eyes.  “Mr. Sanchez...Josiah, how can you agree with this?  Magic is not real!”

“It is real, Ezra,” the man replied firmly.  “I’ve seen it myself.  Magic is real.”  He squeezed Ezra’s shoulder for a long moment before he sat back down and looked around the table.  “You know a lot of my military records are top secret even from Chris,” he said.  “Those records are from a time I was assigned directly to a team that the Vatican fielded to hunt demons and rouge witches.”

“Oh my god!” the voice on the phone suddenly intruded again.  “You’re *that* Josiah Sanchez?  From the Vatican Team Destroyer?” Xander practically squealed.  “Really?  JD, you didn’t tell me Mr. Sanchez was a Hunter!  I should have figured out who he was a long time ago!”

“Uhhhh,” JD tried to get his mind to keep up with this ever-changing conversation.  “I didn’t know.”

“I’ve read the journals from a lot of those Hunts!” Xander continued, his voice taking on a tone of hero worship.  “The Vatican finally coughed them up in exchange for a few Slayers to add to their Hunter teams.  Did you know there are entire clans of demons who send their hatchlings to bed with admonishments of ‘the Sanchez will get you if you don’t watch out!’.”  Xander chuckled wickedly.  “I can’t wait to tell Willow.  She’ll have to update your web page.  You might actually overtake Larabee’s fan club when that information leaks out.”

“And you’re on Larabee team?”  Xander’s voice changed to one of thoughtful wariness.  “Larabee hired you *too*?  Oh goddess!  Giles was trying to track you down and offer a job when the Vatican informed him you were already hired and not likely to appreciate a call back into Hunting."

As Xander babbled on, Josiah looked somewhere between extremely proud and extremely horrified.  Ezra still looked extremely skeptical and Chris was definitely about to blow a gasket. 

Xander didn’t help that when he suddenly piped up, “Mr. Sanchez, are you looking for a job?  I bet Giles would hire you in a second!”

“Now, wait one damn minute!” Chris thundered before Josiah could even consider responding.  “You just shut up right now!  You are not to poach any member of my team!  They are all off limits!  Is that understood, Harris?”

There was a long silence from the phone until a small voice spoke again.

“JD, is your entire team listening to this call?”

“Er...yeah, Xander.”

Another silence.

“Well, you get to explain to Buffy why I am not coming anywhere near Denver to look around for a school.”

“What?”  JD blinked along with the rest of his team.  “Why?”

“JD, if I come to Denver, your boss will shoot me and I am *not* going to get shot by the Master of the Evil Eye.  It would be really bad luck and I don’t think Buffy would save me.”

JD stared at the phone while several of the men around the table started snickering again.

“I’m sure he wouldn’t shoot you, Xander.”

“Yeah he would.  Especially when he finds out that the Council’s standard offer to Watchers and Hunters usually starts in the six figure range.”

Josiah looked surprised.  Ezra suddenly looked interested and Chris looked fit to be tied.  JD just prayed Chris wouldn’t shoot him as a proxy for Xander.

“Hey, can anybody get in on this Hunting gig?” Vin suddenly asked with a smirk in Chris’ direction.  “Sounds like it might be excitin’.”

“Tanner!” Chris shouted as Xander hummed thoughtfully. 

“We’re always looking for good Hunters,” he said from the safety of his phone on another continent.

“Harris!” Team Seven’s leader hissed at the phone.

“However, you’d have to discuss that with your current boss before you could talk to me about it,” Xander said hastily.  It suddenly didn’t matter that he was on another continent.  Chris Larabee was scary.

“Hey Xander,” another voice echoed out from the phone line.  “Dawn said you were on the phone with JD.  I need to speak with him.”

“Ummm, Willow, now wouldn’t be a good time,” Xander hedged.

“Oh, come on, Xander,” Willow coaxed.  “It’ll just take a minute.”

“But Willow....”

There was an audible sigh.  “Just give me the phone, Xan, and I won’t tell Dawn that you ate her Rocky Road ice cream that she smuggled down here and kept hidden in her spelled freezer for the plane trip home.”

There was silences for a few seconds and then Xander said in a casual tone, “Sure, Willow.  JD, Willow wants to chat with you.”

“But Xander...” JD called and then another voice was speaking.

“Hi JD,” Willow said brightly into the phone.  The young agent sighed and then held up the same picture he’d help up before and pointed to the red head.

“Hi Willow,” he replied.

"You haven't been shot, have you?" she asked bluntly.  "Dawn didn't mention it but...."

"No, I haven't been shot!" JD said his tone exasperated.  "Why do you all keep asking me that?"

"The first time you went to Denver for that interview with Mr. Glarabee, you got shot!" Willow replied in a tone that indicated she felt she was justified in asking about bullets flying at JD.  "And we worry, ya know?"

JD sighed as he rubbed his forehead.  He tried to ignore his fellow team members' smirks and his boss's incensed glare at Willow's name for him.

“Anyway, so Dawn said you were going to look at her new network,” the girl continued, her tone perking back up again.  “Have you had a chance to break it yet?  I have every confidence that you will.”

“Willow,” JD sighed over the line.  “I’m at work.  I probably won’t get a chance to even open her email until tonight.”

“Oh.”  Willow’s disappointment was practically visible in her tone.  “But you think you can break into it, right?”

“I won’t know until I look it over.”

“Oh,” echoed the red-head and in the background they heard Xander chuckling. 

“You made a bet with Dawn, didn’t you?” he asked.

“No!” Willow replied defensively.  “I don’t gamble, you know that.”

“Willow,” Xander said in an expectant tone.”

After a moment of silence she continued, “Maybe.  Just a little bet.”

“Hah! I knew it!” Xander said triumphantly.  “What’s the bet?”

A delicate snort echoed over the line.  “It doesn’t matter because JD will break her little network.”

“What’s the bet?” came the cajoling question.

Another little huff and Willow relented.  “She wants me to put JD’s picture on the front of the M7 website for a month.  She says they need more fans in his club.”

“WHAT?” JD exploded while the others around the table tried not to burst into laughter.  “My picture?  Why would Dawn want my picture on a web site?”

“JD,” Willow said in a maternal tone.  “I hate to be the one to tell you this but Dawn has a little crush on you.”

“Willow,” Xander’s voice held a warning but the girl on the phone ignored it. 

“And she thinks you should be the main picture on the web site this month so you’d get more fan girls.”

“I don’t want fan girls, Willow,” JD stated in a strangled voice.  “And what web site?  The one you put up with all the guys’ pictures?”

“Oh you know about it?” Willow asked happily.  “It’s so popular with everyone in the company.  We try to keep it as updated as possible.  All the slayers check it practically every day.  You know, there’s even been a suggestion that we should rotate Team Seven’s pictures daily just to let everyone get equal coverage.”

“Willow....” JD tried to speak but Willow continued speaking right over him. 

“I mean your team is just soooo yummy, JD.  You have a guy for every occasion!”  Her voice became dreamy.  “That Vin Tanner is just so gorgeous with those sweet blue eyes and that soft, curly blond hair.”

Vin immediately blushed hotly as Chris smirked at him and Buck snickered.

“And that Nathan Jackson is quite handsome as well.  All the healers have his page bookmarked.”

Nathan looked surprised and rather embarrassed.

“Ummm, Willow?” Xander tried to interrupt in the background but the girl just kept talking happily about her favorite web site.

“And JD, you know that I really prefer the ladies but that Buck Wilmington is just one long cool drink of water.”  The young woman sighed happily.  “Maybe I’ll put his picture on the main page.”

“Willow,” they all heard Xander’s voice ask nonchalantly in the background.  “Did I mention JD’s on a speaker phone with his team?”

Willow squeaked a word that might have been 'What?'

“Yeah, they’re having a team meeting.  The entire team.”

There was a long, dark silence.

“NicetalkingtoyouJDIhavetogokillmyselfnowBYE!”

Followed shortly by, “OWWWW!  Willow!”

There were chuckles all around the table as Xander grumbled.

“So Willow has run off to have a coronary,” the man finally addressed the team again.  “JD, you mind telling me why I’m on a speaker phone with your team?”

JD hesitated as he looked at his boss.  Chris just sighed and pushed the folder away from him.  He nodded at his tech.

And JD explained what had happened this morning.  He explained that the FBI in Atlanta had sent files of Xander and his friends to the ATF in Denver because they were supposedly running guns and drugs and girls across the US and into other countries.

Finally, after JD finished his explanation, there was another dark silence on the other end of the line.

“Oh my god.  They really are lemmings,” Xander finally stated.  After another second, he exploded.  “Those idiots!  Those bloody assholes!”

The cursing went on for a couple of minutes and JD thought there were quite a few words that he’d never heard before.  He suspected they were British. 

“They did this six months ago,” Xander finally calmed down enough to say.  “It was the FBI in LA and at the time, we thought it was just a mistake but now with this....”

“The FBI has targeted you before?” Chris’ hard voice asked.

“Yeah,” came the tired answer.  “They sicced a DEA team on us.  They tracked us while we were taking out a clan of demons that were trying to open a portal for their human-eating brethren to come through as the demons had found LA to be such an easy grazing spot.”  The disgust in words was easy to hear.  “So there we are, trying to stop this portal from opening and admitting a couple of thousand man-eating monsters into the outskirts of LA and a DEA team tries to arrest us.  It was a fiasco!”

“What happened?” JD demanded.  “Was everyone okay?”

Xander sighed heavily.  “We didn’t have time to explain because as soon as they said “Nobody move! DEA!” the portal opened and we all had to fight, even the DEA guys.”  The man groaned again as he remembered.  “Fortunately, we had enough slayers with us that they were able to protect those guys but afterwards, it was a political nightmare!

"And now, three guys from that team are still in therapy, two outright retired from the service after therapy and one...”  JD could hear the sudden grin in Xander’s voice as he continued.  “One decided to take a job offer from the Council.  He's currently being trained as a Watcher in England."
 
JD had no doubt that Xander could hear Chris Larabee’s teeth grinding across the room.

“If, as I suspect, this is another set up by the FBI against the Council, we’ll have to take more drastic action this time,” Xander continued in a more serious tone.  “JD, if you didn’t know us, this really could have destroyed your team.  As if was, two of those DEA guys were almost crippled by the injuries they suffered and would have been if we hadn’t had Healers with us.”

“What are you going to do?” Chris demanded.  “What can you do?  This came from the top of our department.”

“I’m going to tell Giles,” Xander said casually and JD blanched.

“I suppose you have to,” JD said in an unhappy tone. 

“Yep, and he’ll probably get in touch with our government liaison, Major Paul Davis, who will move things from there.”

“Giles won’t come over her to the States again, will he?” JD asked.  “I mean if he’s mad at the team....” 

The other agents looked at their youngest with worried eyes.  JD blows off mention of demons and slayers and witches but is wary of Xander’s friend Giles?

“I wouldn’t worry about it, JD,’ Xander’s tone was reassuring.  “You are family, after all.  Once he finds out what the FBI tried to do to you and your team, he’ll forget all about the Standish fiasco.”  JD looked extremely relieved until Xander continued.  “At least, until he finds out about Sanchez.”

“Xander!”

“I gotta go.  People to call, governments to harass,” Xander said in a hurried tone.  “Sit on this issue until tomorrow, Larabee.  By then, I’m sure you’ll have a visitor from Washington to discuss what’s going on.”

“Harris!” Chris demanded.  “What do you mean a visitor from Washington?”

“JD, great to hear from you!” Xander continued determinedly.  “Mr. Standish, I’ll be in contact.”

“Very well, Mr. Harris,” Ezra replied at the same time that his boss shouted, “No you will not!”

“Mr. Sanchaez, can I have your autograph?”

“Er...” That came from Josiah this time so JD didn’t feel quite so stupid for saying it so many times during this call.

“Later, JD!”

There was a click and a dial tone for a few seconds before JD reached up and disconnected the line.

No one spoke for a few minutes in the room.

“That was quite entertaining,” Ezra finally ventured, his bland expression back on his face, but JD could tell that he was disturbed about the conversation from his very expressive green eyes.  “How much of that was true, Josiah?”

The big agent sighed as he met Ezra’s wary gaze.  “As I said, I don’t know about the specifics of the organization but the overall information – about demon hunting and witches – that was all true.”

“I just can’t believe it!” Nathan finally spoke.  He’d been silent during most for the conversation and was having a hard time accepting what he’d heard.  “My mama used to tell me stories about demons and the like but I thought they were just...stories!”

“So, JD,” Buck leaned over the table to look in his roommate’s eyes, “Are you involved in this demon hunting business?”

The youngest agent in the room leaned back in his chair and shook his head.  “No, I’m not.” He stated firmly.  “But...my mother was a Potential and Giles was her Watcher for a time.”

“What does all that stuff mean, JD?  Yer Ma was a Potential?” Vin asked.  He was obviously very curious about all this new information.  “Potential what?”

JD sighed and rubbed his face wearily.  “I don’t know how much I can tell,” he finally said.  “I wasn’t kidding when I said this information was classified.  I only know because I became friends with Xander and Willow when I was visiting Giles after my mother passed away.”

“Well then, if you cannot tell us information about this Council, Mr. Dunn, then our best method of investigation would be for me to get into the Council undercover and verify this information,” Ezra said suddenly as he glanced at Chris.  “I think the best way to do so would be to accept Mr. Giles’ offer of employment with the Watcher’s Council.”

Chris gaped at him.

“Perhaps Mr. Sanchez could accept their offer as well?” Ezra continued, his expression decidedly not smirking openly at his boss.  “We could find the information twice as quickly.”

“ABSOLUTELY NOT!” Chris thundered as he slammed his hands down on the table.  His folder of information about the Council went flying and the pictures fluttered everywhere.  The last picture settled in front of him of a dark haired, one-eyed young man smirking up at him.  Chris snatched it up and displayed it to his men.  “In fact, if Harris contacts ANY of you, you just transfer that bastard directly to me, you all understand?”

“Yes sir!” came the chorus of voices and Chris glared at them for a long moment, just to be sure none of them were thinking of covertly contacting the employee-poaching bastard. Then he stood and stalked from the room, muttering under his breath.

The rest of the team kindly waited until Chris’ office door slammed before they started laughing at their boss.


The End


Challenge from Calia

Somehow Xander becomes the focus of the FBI, ATF, and BAU as a suspect kidnaper/gun runner/white slaver, who is also a serial killer.  Don, Hotch's group, and the Mag & group have all set upa task force to capture Xander only to be stunned when he shows up wondering why they are looking for him and has the President personally calling to find out what is going on.  To add more confusion, the teens and women he was supposed to have killed or kidnapped come in worried that Xander is going to prison.  Chaos, shock, death threats, and flirting follow. 

How insane would the group be after dealing with a sarcastic Xander and hyper worried women and maybe even a serial killer showing up insulted over them saying Xander is one of them?



Re: As the Phone Rings
Thank you for this wonderful story. A fresh view of the core Scoobies and Larabee's crew. I love the Potter touch, and was that a hint of Van Hellsing with Sanchez' work with the Vatican? Also, what was the challenge number at TTH that this story answers? I'd like to see if there are other answers and if they reach the bar you set up so high.
Re: As the Phone Rings
Thanks very much! Different fandoms just kept popping up in this story but I had a ball writing it! I tracked down the challenge on TTH (I got it off a email) and it was "4356: Chaos, Confusion, and their Arresting Who?" by Caliadragon. I'm glad you enjoyed the story!
(Anonymous)
I love it all. The mix of fandoms and the fun of it all. I hope you'll continue...? A really fun challenge and a great answer.
Thanks very much, I'm glad you enjoyed it! I have some ideas for a sequel though I'm going to try and finish up my standing WIPs first. :)
(Anonymous)
I really love this cross. Very funny and I can imagine what will happen with the new Denver school and a suspicious case for the atf. Very nice and I hope that you will (someday) write the sequel.
Thanks very much! I really enjoyed writing that story. I do have some ideas which are slowly putting themselves into a story. Someday I'll probably sit down and write it out.
(Anonymous)
Poor Chris, not an easy situation. Do you know if there are any other fic written from this challenge? Have tried to seach, but haven't had any luck at all. Haven't even found the original challgenge.
I have to say Chris hasn't begun to suffer. I don't know if I'll ever be able to write more stories in this verse but headcannon indicates that the poor guy and his team is just beginning his acquaintance with Xander and the Council.

I haven't seen any other fics written for this challenge. The original challenge was on a yahoo email list, I think, it might have been caliadragondp. I know it was at least a couple of years ago that she issued it.

I tracked down the challenge on TTH (I got it off a email) and it was "4356: Chaos, Confusion, and their Arresting Who?" by Caliadragon. I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

I tracked down the challenge on TTH (I got it off a email) and it was "4356: Chaos, Confusion, and their Arresting Who?" by Caliadragon. I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

Edited at 2012-02-09 02:02 am (UTC)