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As the Phone Rings

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Summary: ATF Team Seven's new assignment stirs up some trouble with their youngest member. And his friend, Xander Harris.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Magnificent Seven, The(Current Donor)SusanAnthonyFR13110,58039457,69318 Jun 1118 Jun 11Yes
As the Phone Rings
By Susan Anthony

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Summary: ATF Team Seven's new assignment stirs up some trouble with their youngest member. And his friend, Xander Harris.

Disclaimer: these characters do not belong to me. They belong to the creators of the Old West Magnificent 7 (the ATF AU was first written of by fanfic writer, Mog) and BtVS

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This website gives a short summary on the general history of each main character in the Magnificent Seven. It explains their old west cannon and their fandom created ATF characters. The history of the characters in my story don't exactly match what is written but it gives a good idea of their modern histories.

http://www.e-fic.com/duo/The7.htm

Some of JD’s experiences in this story were inspired by “Dunne Deal” by Helen W.

http://www.murphnet.org/fanfic/dunnedeal.html

Author Notes: This was inspired from a challenge from Calia in April 2009. I didn't match it exactly because I don't watch some of the shows but this idea wouldn't go away. The description of the challenge follows the story.

Thanks to Maig for her multiple beta readings.

###


"Okay, ladies, we have a live one," Chris Larabee, current Agent in Charge of ATF Team Seven, announced flatly as he stalked into the large room that housed his unruly team. He was holding several folders stuffed with pictures and paperwork. "Everyone into the conference room in five minutes."

The tall blond disappeared into his office while his agents – supposedly some of the finest in the western division of the ATF – glanced curiously after him.

“About time,” Buck Wilmington stated cheerfully as he sent off the email he had been working on. “It was getting right boring around here.” It was the general opinion around the office that the explosives expert just wasn’t happy if things weren’t periodically going BOOM.

“I, for one, would have appreciated a few more peaceful days before being called upon to infiltrate another ring of idiotic, gunrunning miscreants,” the team’s undercover agent sighed as he absently locked his computer and took a sip from his tall cup of cooling white chocolate latte.

“I’ll just be glad to have something to do other than update everyone’s computer for the third time in two weeks,” JD Dunn, the youngest agent on the team, noted from behind the two computers and the laptop which covered his desk. “Besides, I think Nathan is getting antsy with no one getting hurt.”

The dark-skinned agent across the room snorted. “I just know the longer the team goes without someone getting injured, the worse it will be when it finally happens.”

“We can only pray that isn’t the case, Nathan,” the tallest man in the room noted as he stood and stretched. “Remember, we have gone months without someone on the team getting hurt.”

“Uh huh and then what happened?” the medic asked unhappily. “Ezra was tossed out a window by Baston’s psychotic girlfriend,” he noted, referring to the bust before last when the undercover agent had been injured by the head gunrunner’s fiancé.

“I must protest, Mr. Jackson,” Agent Standish retorted discontentedly. “The incensed banshee pushed me violently and I slid over a newly polished table and fell out the open window behind it. I was not “tossed out a window”, as you so crassly described.”

“Whatever, Ezra,” Nathan said. “The end result was the same. Dislocated shoulder, broken wrist, cracked ribs, broken leg. Need I go on?”

“Awww, that’s just because it was Ezra’s official first bust with us,” JD responded. “It was kinda like his initiation with Team Seven.” The other men in the room looked at JD with something between astonishment and horror. “What? Hasn’t everyone been hurt on their first bust?”

“JD,” Buck sighed as he shook his head at the younger agent. “Just because you were shot during your interview....”

“That wasn’t my fault,” the dark-haired young man interrupted heatedly. “Besides, it was *after* the interview.”

The conversation would have gone downhill after that but their boss suddenly reappeared from his office holding more folders and a steaming mug of black coffee from his own, carefully guarded coffee maker. He stalked towards the conference room but stopped beside the door. His hard gaze swept over his agents.

“What are you waiting for?” he snapped, “An engraved invitation?”

The five agents were suddenly picking up pens, paper and coffees and hustling towards the conference room. Chris just rolled his eyes.

“Where’s Vin?” he asked Buck as the large agent passed him.

“Break room,” was the reply. “He heard they’d replenished the snack machine.”

“If you don’t get there quick, you miss out on the HOHO’s,” their last agent explained as he sauntered through the door holding four packs of his preferred snack. “We got us a case?” Vin asked his waiting boss as he strolled over to his desk and opened a drawer. He dropped his snacks in and then closed and locked the drawer.

“Yes, Mr. Tanner, and we’d be grateful if you’d get your skinny ass into the conference room and join us,” Larabee said, sarcasm dripping from his words.

Vin just grinned as he moved to join his team in the conference room. “Sure, Cowboy.”

Larabee’s glare intensified and Vin, though he would never admit it, moved just a bit faster past his boss. Chris followed his sharpshooter into the conference room and slammed the door behind him. He set his coffee on the table and dropped a thick folder in front of each member of his team. Then he took his preferred seat at the head of the table.

“The Atlanta FBI forwarded this case to the ATF and Director Travis has passed it to us because it is possibly the biggest case we’ve ever had,” Chris began, his voice low and serious, as the agents around the table opened their folders and began going through the information. “The biggest part of the operation appears to be gun running which is why it’s fallen to us, but there are also possible issues with drug running and slavery.”

JD didn’t get past the first picture as he stared at it in horror. When he finally leafed through the other photos, he began shaking his head.

"No," JD said faintly as he turned back to stare at the picture sitting on top of the paperwork.

"The first picture is of Alexander LaVelle Harris. The FBI has pinpointed him as the mastermind behind a group which has operations in the US as well as all over the world."

"No!" JD said as he shook his head and looked up to meet his boss's startled gaze. "This is wrong, Chris. This guy...hell none of these people are involved in arms dealing much less drug dealing and..." JD snorted as he considered. “...slavery. There’s just no way.”

"You know these people?" Buck warily asked as he looked at his distressed roommate.

"Buck, you've *met* Xander and Dawn," the youngest team member stated flatly. "They helped me move into your apartment." JD turned back to his boss. Chris was glaring at him with a narrow green gaze. "Believe me when I say I *know* Xander is not an arms dealer. There's just no possible way."

"This came directly from the FBI in Atlanta, JD." Larabee glanced across the table at their undercover agent's snort but Ezra said nothing.

"Yeah, and they are so reliable," JD said sarcastically and then verbally backpedaled at Larabee's increased glare. "Look, I don't know why the FBI would try to pin this on Xander but pursuing this case would be completely wrong, not to mention incredibly dangerous.”

“JD, I understand that you think you know Harris but the evidence is hard enough for Travis to set aside this team for at least the next six months solely on this case,” Chris responded solemnly.

The other agents were surprised at Chris’ words. They were seldom devoted solely to one case. JD just groaned as he ran his fingers through his dark hair.

“Chris,” the young agent sighed. “I *know* that these people are not involved in anything illegal.” The blond at the head of the table looked completely skeptical. “Look, just let me call him and see what's going on."

“Absolutely not!” Larabee snarled. “You are not to make contact with Harris or any of these people! As it is, we may have to reassign the case because of this conflict and Travis is not going to be happy.”

“No!” JD was even unhappier about that possibility. “If you assign this case to another team and they walk into it like they’re going after gunrunners, they could all end up dead! Or worse!”

“What’s worse than dead?” Buck asked his roommate curiously. JD just gave him a harassed glance.

“But you say these folks ain’t guilty, JD?” Vin asked as he observed the younger agent.

“I said they weren’t doing anything illegal, Vin,” JD insisted as he looked from Chris to Vin and then back to his boss. “I didn’t say what they do isn’t dangerous. It is. Wicked dangerous. It’s not something we need to worry about or get involved in.”

“What exactly do they do?” Chris asked flatly.

JD opened his mouth and then closed it and looked pained. “I can’t say,” he finally stammered out and his boss looked like he was about to explode. “Chris, really. It’s classified – top secret stuff - and frankly I’m surprised the government is interfering with them at all. From what I understand, the last time that happened it wasn’t pretty.”

“The last time?” Nathan demanded.

JD just shrugged. “It was several years ago before Sunnydale sank into that sinkhole.”

“What’s Sunnydale got to do with this?” Chris asked his agent tensely. The man was obviously losing his patience and JD just wriggled in his seat and bit his lip.

“Xander and Buffy and Willow are all from Sunnydale and I can’t really say anything more than that.”

“JD....”

“Chris, please,” the computer expert looked his boss straight in the eye as he leaned forward. “I’ve been on your team for three years. I’ve done everything you’ve ever asked. Have I ever given you any reason not to trust my judgment?”

The blond leader of team seven blinked at his youngest agent and then sat back thoughtfully.

“No, you haven’t.”

JD took a deep breath and nodded.

“Just let me call him and see what is happening,” the young man asked. “I’ll call him from here and you all can listen in. I can’t explain what Xander and his friends do but I promise it’s not illegal and it’s definitely *not* something we should be interfering in.”

Chris stared at his youngest agent for a long time before he gave a sharp nod.

“All right. But don’t say anything about this case, JD,” the man said flatly. “I know you think he’s innocent but that doesn’t mean I’m not breaking a dozen rules in allowing this.”

“Thanks, Chris,” JD said and with a deep breath, he reached out to the speakerphone in the center of the conference table. He pulled it close enough to dial and unerringly typed in the phone number he was calling.

“How often are you in contact with this guy?” Nathan asked from across the table.

"I talk to him or Dawn or Willow at least once every couple of weeks," was the absent answer as JD's fingers danced over the numbers. “They are old friends of my Mama’s family. I grew up knowing Xander. I’ve even talked about them to you guys. Dawn and Willow visited several months ago.”

The other agents blinked thoughtfully and a few seconds later, they could all hear ringing which was answered by a smooth female voice.

"Thank you for calling the IWSC,” the pleasant tone said. “I’m not explaining what IWSC stands for because if you don't know, why the *hell* are you calling this number?"

Across the table, Chris had just taken a sip of his coffee which he then snorted through his nose. He reached quickly reached into his pocket for a handkerchief as he glared across the table.

"Dawn's been playing with the phone system again," JD shrugged sheepishly as the smooth voice continued.

"If you do know what that stands for, please enter your pass code. If you don't know what that stands for, please press 0 to hear a duck quack."

"What the hell?" Buck asked in confusion as JD grinned again and entered a five-digit number. "A duck quack?"

“Yeah, that was Xander’s idea. He thought it was funny. You’d be surprised how many people call this number and hit 0 without listening to the message.”

"Thank you for calling the new International Watchers and Slayers Council, now mostly wanker free."

At those words, the team’s expert profiler and the agent who had clocked the most years – actually decades - of experience in government service sucked in a deep breath and looked surprised.

And then worried.

“Josiah?” Chris asked but the man just shook his head and looked at JD with an appraising gaze. The young agent just returned his look with a steady gaze. The voice on the phone continued.

"If you've gotten this far, you obviously know what you're doing. Please enter the extension of the person you'd like to reach. If this is Buffy, Giles says you're in trouble if you don't call him immediately. He got your credit card bill and would like to have a chat. Really, who needs that many shoes?"

There was silence around the table as they all stared at the phone. JD just snickered and entered a ten-digit number. "I just love calling Xander. It's always so entertaining."

"This is their public phone line?" Ezra Standish asked, speaking for the first time since they entered the room. His tone conveyed his incredulity.

"Nope, this is the friends and family line," JD answered as he sat back and listened to more ringing.

"The friends and family line is an 800 number?"

JD wasn't surprised that Ezra had noticed it was an 800 number that he had dialed. All the agents on this team were keenly observant or they wouldn't be on Chris Larabee's team.

"They all move around so much, this is the best way to contact them," JD explained with a shrug.

The line finally picked up and a serious tenor voice answered causing the agents around the table to stiffen.

"This is Alexander Harris...." There was a pause and then in a rather whining tone, the voice continued, "Willow, who wrote this? Why do I have to redo my phone message, it was fine."

In the background, a feminine voice answered, "Buffy wrote it. She wanted us to sound more professional."

"Professional my ass," the recording muttered and then started again. "This is Alexander Harris. Please leave a damn message at the tone and I'll get back to you when I feel like it."

"Xander!" yelped the female in the background and then tone beeped. JD snickered and entered another three numbers and the phone started ringing again.

"Hell, JD, why do you have to go through so many hoops to get to the feller?" Vin asked as he shook his head. “Seems a bit much just to talk to the guy.”

"I could have gone straight through to Xander but I love his message," JD said as he grinned. "He changed it last month and Buffy has been harassing him about it."

A moment later and the phone picked up. "Harris here," a serious tenor voice answered.

"Hey Xander!" JD said and there was a happy laugh on the other end of the line.

"JD! How are you doing?" Xander replied, his tone obviously lightening. "I haven't talked to you in a couple of weeks. Since we were shipped out to Africa, I think." There was a worried pause and then Xander continued. "You haven't been shot or anything, have you?"

"No, Xander, I haven't been shot."

"That's always good to hear," was the relieved reply. "We were a bit worried when we saw in the Denver paper about that bust your team did a couple of weeks back. Willow said it was quite a haul your people pulled in."

"Yeah, it was," JD said as glanced warily at Chris who had narrowed his eyes at Xander's observation. "What are you doing in Africa?"

"Oh, the usual. Some petty little Warlord got it into his head to get one over on the other petty little Warlords in the area," Xander replied with a heavy sigh while the rest of JD's team stiffened at what they thought was coming. Was Harris down there to sell weapons?

"So what happened?" JD asked in a worried tone.

"The petty little Warlord got his petty little Shaman to summon something that he had no business trying to summon and that was in no way little. Said something promptly ate the Warlord, the shaman and several of the Warlord's Elite Circle of Terror. Then it wandered off to take a nap while the local community put out a call for help before it woke up."

JD tried to keep his expression neutral at the looks on his friends' faces. Gobsmacked would be a good description. Josiah was the only one who didn't look gobsmacked; he looked horrified.

"So did you track it down?" the computer expert asked.

"Yeah, I brought down a team and we finally tracked it down last night," Xander told him, his voice getting soft. "We almost lost a few girls, JD. It was awful. If that Warlord and his stupid shaman weren't already dead and eaten...well, we'd be having some rather violent conversations."

"Xander!" a female voice said in the background. It sounded quite familiar as it was the same one that had recorded the IWSC message. "Is that JD? I need to talk to him!"

There was a huff over the phone line. Xander’s voice changed from soft and worried straight to exasperated.

"Yes, its JD and no you can't talk to him. He called *my* phone. If he wanted to talk with you, he would have called *your* phone."

"But Xaaaander, I need to talk with him," the voice said, the whine coming through the phone line loud and clear.

JD grinned and picked up one of the pictures from his folder of two pretty women, a brunette and a red-head. He pointed to the brunette. Buck eyed the picture and then started pawing through his own file for his copy.

"Tough, I'm talking to him. And don't think the puppy eyes are going to make one bit of difference and neither will the pout." There was silence for a moment before Xander whimpered. "Dawwwwn."

"Please Xander," she sniffed, "It'll just take a minute.

The older man sighed heavily. "JD, Dawn wants to talk with you."

"But Xander," the young man looked panicked for a moment before the bright voice of Dawn spoke directly into the phone.

"Hi JD!" she chirped happily.

"Hi Dawn."

"How are you doing?" the perky voice asked and you could practically hear her bouncing over the phone line. Her voice became serious as she continued. "You haven't been shot have you?"

"No, I haven't been shot," JD said in an annoyed tone.

"Very Good. You can be taught,” Dawn noted and various Team Seven members had to contain their snickers while JD contented himself with a glare. “Anyway, I have something I want you to look over if you have time. Not a rush or anything. Maybe tonight. This afternoon?"

“I’m kinda working on something right now, Dawn,” JD began as the other agents looked on thoughtfully. “You know, being at work and all?”

“Oh, well then. Whenever you have time. Maybe tomorrow?” the girl asked hopefully and JD sighed as he rubbed his forehead.

“What did you need?”

"I created a secure network on the Council’s server that I can access from anywhere because I really need to access my work wherever I go - you never know when you might run into something and have to update right away, right? So yes, I need my stuff online. But those wankers up at Norad keep trying to break my code and read my files because they just can't wait until I publish my thesis at Oxford."

Eyebrows rose around the table as the girl continued to rant. Norad? Oxford?

"Do they listen when I tell them they have to wait? Noooo, they say they need it right now. The security of the planet is on the line and my information might help them understand that Stargate they dug up better, blah, blah, blah. And I said, 'well if you need it so bad, why didn't you go research it yourself before now?' and Captain Carter said that since I already had the information that I should share." Dawn gave a haughty sniff. "Yeah, like that's going to happen. If it were so important, the world would have already blown up by now. So she can just wait until I publish."

There was a deep, deep silence on the phone line.

"JD?"

"Dawn, what exactly did you need me to do?"

"I need you to try and break into my network, duh," the girl said as if it was the most obvious thing. "You're the best, JD. If *you* can't then no one can. Especially not those nimrods at Norad. I don't think you can break in but Willow thinks you can even if she can't." Another huff and a sniff. "It's just sour grapes on her part, I think. Just cause *she* can't break into it she's all huffy and meany-faced."

"If you emailed me the link I'll try my best, Dawn, but it might not be until tomorrow."

"Great!" Dawn was obviously happy with that answer. "Call me when you finish. I want to know right away." She hummed thoughtfully for a moment. "We'll hopefully be in a plane tomorrow morning but that'll be tonight for you anyway, right? Or is it the other way 'round?" Dawn paused for a moment. "I hate this time zone crap."

"Are you done, Dawn?" Xander's impatient voice came over the line.

"No, I'm still talking!" the girl snapped back and then yelped. "Xander!" What sounded like a struggle came clearly over the phone along with mutters and cursing.

"Give me the phone!"

"No, I want to ask JD something else." There were several more moments of struggle and several more curse words as Dawn and Xander wrestled for the phone.

"Xander, let go!" There was a loud thump.

"OW! Dawwwwwwwwnnnnn. Give it back! It's my phone!"

JD rolled his eyes and the other agents stared at the speakerphone in disbelief. The FBI thought *this* was a notorious gun runner?

And then Dawn's voice was back.

"Sorry about that, JD, Xander's being a big poopy head. I just wanted to know how that very fleeting and obviously temporary thing you had with that Keely girl is going," the young voice on the line asked in a completely innocent tone. "Are you still seeing her?"

JD blinked and blushed as Buck covered his sudden grin as the other men around the table smirked.

"You mean Casey?" he asked Dawn, who sighed heavily.

"Whatever her name is," was her clipped reply. "Are you still seeing her?"

"Errrrrr," JD replied after a moment's expectant silence on Dawn's part.

"I was just asking because we may be around the Denver area soonish and I thought we could go get burgers or something. Maybe a movie. Have you seen that new Avatar movie yet? It looks awesome but Goddess knows when I'll be able to get to a theater. So since Buffy is after Xander to scout the area for a possible school there, that means a couple of weeks that he'll be looking around. So I thought maybe we could go out."

"A school? In Denver?" JD practically squawked, completely ignoring Dawn's last statement though he could tell from Buck's evil grin that he'd be hearing about it later. "For the IWSC?"

"Oh yeah! Denver is such a strong area magically it would be perfect for a training school. Mostly for the mages and mystics but there'll be some of the SITs there too. That's what Buffy says anyway. She's all martyrey and saying she'd have to come and oversee the set up of the new school but we all know it's really because she has that massive boner for your boss."

Chris snorted his coffee again and Vin leaned over to gleefully thump him on the back. JD flushed and sank into his chair.

"Buffy has a crush on Chris?" he asked weakly, not daring to look at his team leader.

"Oh yeah!" Dawn replied enthusiastically. "Ever since that picture came out, the one that was on the front page of the Denver paper? The one where's he's wearing that black duster and glaring into the camera?”

JD did indeed know which picture she was referencing. And from the darkening expression Chris’s face, so did he.

“I mean really, he was one hot cookie.” Dawn continued. “And the headline was guaranteed to catch her attention. 'Bad Element of the ATF'. You might as well stamp "Slayer Bait" on his forehead and get it over with."

Buck stuck his fist in his mouth to keep from laughing out loud as the remaining agents at the table stared at anything that wasn't the rapidly reddening Chris Larabee.

"Uh...Dawn? You're kidding right? I mean, Buffy doesn't really have a crush on Chris, right?" JD tried to stop the girl's gushing as his boss's expression got darker and darker. Was that vein really throbbing on his forehead?

"Oh yes she does! Tall, Dark, Handsome and Angsty is how she likes 'em, you know, and he's got three out of those four." Dawn continued, heedless of JD's stuttering response. "As a matter of fact, if Xander did okay a school there, I bet every slayer in Larabee's fan club would want to transfer there. If we let them all come, it would clean out three fourths of the schools across the globe."

“Fan Club? JD's mouth dropped open and he squeaked. "Across the globe?"

"Oh yeah! He's rabidly popular, especially with the Spanish and Italian slayers. They're always going on about how he's a mucho macho manly man."

There was a rather strangled cough on JD's end of the line.

"JD?" Dawn asked worriedly.

"Yeah, you just caught me by surprise there," he stammered as he dared to glance up at his team leader. Larabee's mouth was hanging open as the other agents were nearly strangling themselves trying to keep quiet. Buck's face was red as a tomato as he tried to keep his laughter silent.

"Did I hear right when you said Chris has a fan club?" he asked weakly.

"Oh yeah!" Dawn replied happily. "They have a web page and everything. That cute glarey picture from the Denver paper is on the home page. You know all the slayers and the SITs go for dangerous, angsty lawmen. They sigh over every article that comes out of Denver about your team. You know Angel used to be the angsty tragic hero, all tall, dark, and mysterious. And then here comes Chris Larabee, all glarey and hot, tall, BLOND and mysterious. There just wasn't any competition. I mean how many blonds do you know who growl and look that good and are still human? Not many, I have to tell you."

“Um, I guess not,” JD stammered as Buck glanced at Chris and mouthed ‘still human’?

“Yeah, Giles was even getting a little worried about all the attention your team was getting from the slayers until Buffy suggested that if he interfered, she’d make sure *he* would be the next heart throb. Then Giles threw Mr. Larabee under the bus and allowed the computer group to continue as long as they encrypted the web site so only employees of the Council could get to it.” Dawn stopped to take a sip of something before she continued. “Hey, I bet Giles wouldn’t mind if I sent you the link. There’s a page for each of your team members too.”

At those words the other agents stopped silently laughing at their boss and glared at the phone.

“I mean there’s someone for everyone on Team Seven right? You're all so yummy!” Dawn continued, oblivious to the fact that JD was now being promised death by his team mates' intense glares except for Buck who looked completely thrilled.

“Now that I think about it though, Giles might not approve me sending you the link with him being mad at you and all. I think he mainly gave the go ahead on Larabee’s website cause he’s pissed off and a pissed off Ripper isn’t anyone’s friend.”

JD blinked and leaned forward warily. “Why is Giles mad at me?” he asked, worried that the man might have heard about Team Seven’s assignment. And as Dawn said, a pissed off Ripper...well JD had heard the stories.

“Oh, did I say Giles was mad at you?” Dawn asked in a suddenly shrill tone. “What I meant to say is I have to go now, here’s Xander. Bye!”

There was the sound of a phone being tossed and an “OWWW! Dawn, warn me next time.”

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?

The End

You have reached the end of "As the Phone Rings". This story is complete.

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