War of the Twinkies
Here I am again. I know, I was gone for ages and I'm really sorry. I tried to rewrite this chapter as quick as I could but my inner muse just didn't want to cooperate. We finally came to an agreement and here is the end result.
Special thanks to my betas Vanea Taur and Victoria Plenti Wilde, for all they have done for this story and for teaching me new things to make my story even better.
I would also like to take this opportunity to address a particular issue that was mentioned in a few comments I got. Some of you mentioned the lack of a slayer in DC. It is something that will be addressed on a few occasions during the story. So no need to worry that it's just something that escaped my mind while writing this story.
I would like to add that anybody that died in BtVS is dead, so no Spike, no Tara, no Anya et cetera.
For the record, I don't own BtVS or NCIS, so no funny businesses.
Now I think it's time to see what the new chapter brings.
I hope you like it.Chapter 6: War of the Twinkies
There are many things in life that you can never be prepared for. A snow blizzard in an instant, falling in love or death of a loved one.
And the Summers sisters.
There is nothing that could prepare you for the incredible experience when meeting the two women. At least that was what McGee was thinking, when Gibbs brought the two to the bullpen. They were like a whirlwind, loud and hypnotizing and just so radiant that you had to pay attention to them.
Gibbs didn’t like them, that much he could see right away. It made Tim wonder if they had any connection to the case they were currently trying to solve. He wasn’t surprised when Gibbs informed the team that the two sisters worked for Sineya’s Circle of Guardians and came to DC to take over the case. What surprised him was the reactions they elicited from the rest of the team.
He saw Ziva react to them immediately. It was subtle, you wouldn’t notice if you weren’t paying attention. She tensed and her stance shifted just a little bit. She was prepared for a confrontation, a violent at that, he realized. The blond one glanced her way, obviously noting the change too, but not really concerned about it. A clear dismissal, if he ever saw one.
Tony was, of course, distracted by the beauty of the two new arrivals and didn't really register the silent exchange. He was, after all, in his core still a ladies man, even if he did pin for only one woman right now. Plus, the DiNozzo charm was meant to be shared by many, not just one.
Tim, on the other hand, only observed. They were here for Harris and he wouldn’t aggravate any side in this if it meant that they could find the missing Agent. Plus he thought them really intriguing. Maybe he could include them in his next book?
Their dynamic was one of a kind, especially considering that they were apparently very influential people. It was almost unimaginable to think that the two women fighting over which color clashed with orange were able to call secretary of defense and discuss this case with him.
"So, what exactly are we dealing with? We read the initial report but I'm guessing that you got more intel by now," Dawn asked the team after she finished the fight she had with Buffy.
"Yeah, what have you got on Xander?" Buffy looked towards Gibbs with her big, innocent eyes.
You could see by his sour expression that Gibbs didn't really want to share anything with her, but he nodded to his team nonetheless. The girl just rubbed him the wrong way.
Taking the nod as permission to talk about the investigation, Tony started telling the facts that they knew by now.
"Alexander Lavelle Harris, born in Sunnydale, California, on…"
He was interrupted by Buffy. "I know where Xander was born, gorgeous. Why don't we skip that part and go straight to his time in DC?" She then sat down at Xander's desk and started to browse through his drawers. With a soft exclamation of glee she pulled out the stash of Twinkies Xander had hidden in the last drawer.
It wasn't that she particularly liked Twinkies. Buffy actually hated them, but she ate Xander's secret stash every chance she got. It really bugged him when Buffy did that. That was actually the whole fun in eating that horrible stuff.
"Ok, I'm all set. Let's start." She bit into her Twinkie and made a face. "Dawn, do you want one? Xander has a bigger stash of these horrible little things than last time and I'm going to get sick if I try to eat them all alone."
Dawn sighed and reached for the offered treat. Xander and Buffy had played their little eat-my-candy game since high school and it was pointless to try to stop them now. Plus Dawn actually liked Twinkies. And it made her feel at least a little better to worry less by making sure that Xander would be properly punished when he came back. Because he had to come back. Even if she would have to resurrect his sorry ass.
Served Xander right for being taken and worrying everybody. If he wanted to be a stubborn idiot that refused to have a slayer making sure he was ok every once in a while, then Dawn had no problem with eating his candy.
Tony watched the two women, imagining how high their maintenance must be. "Ok, the last four years Harris lived and worked in DC. We checked his credit cards. There was nothing indicating that he dealt with any shady business. His phone records showed that he kept in contact with people all over the world…"
Buffy raised her hand. "Yeah, that'd be us." She smiled sweetly at the NCIS agents and bit in the Twinkie, making a disgusted face again.
"Why is it that he called so often?" asked Ziva curiously. The phone calls happened on a daily basis and they weren't exactly cheap.
This time it was Dawn that answered. "Well, Xander and I watch Ranch of Secret Love together over the phone almost every day." She got a horrified expression on her face and covered her mouth with her hand. "Oh I missed today's episode, too. Anne told me that yesterday Enrique came back and that he and Maria had a big fight, but then they had lots of sex at the end. And Martin found out that Alejandro stole his money. I bet he is going to kill that little rat."
Buffy rolled her eyes and covered Dawn's mouth to stop her from talking. "Dawn, can you think about your soup operas later? We're trying to find Xander right now."
"Oh yeah. Sorry. Carry on," apologized the small brunette sheepishly.
"You and Harris are friends," inquired Tim. He started to question how much of what the team found strange about Xander's life could be explained with such simple answers from someone who obviously knew him very well.
"Well, he was Buffy's classmate in high school and I had a big crush on him a while back, but yeah, he is a friend. A close one at that too." Dawn smiled and reached for another Twinkie on the table. She had missed breakfast that morning and was getting a little hungry.
"So, why exactly did Harris want to be a cop?" Tony didn't really get why Harris would want to leave his previous job and work lousy hours for not much better salary. The one-eyed agent was well paid for his previous job, he was able to travel a lot and
he had lots of women around him. Who in their right mind would exchange that for being a cop?
Dawn looked thoughtfully at Tony before she answered, "Well, he said that he would go nuts if he remained in our organization. I must confess that we do have a rather stressful environment at our work place."
"You sound like Giles," Buffy laughed at her sister.
Dawn crossed her arms and glared at the blonde. "I spend a lot of time with Giles, I'll have you know. There is a lot of paperwork to do and it's lonely to be doing it alone all the time."
"What exactly do you do at SCG?" Gibbs wanted to know. He listened to the sisters till now, but they didn't give him any useful information.
“Oh this and that, but mainly I do the research. I’m not really supposed to tell you. National Security and all that. Not that I signed anything. Riley would have kittens if I told anyone though.” Dawn shrugged and looked at her sister.
“He got worse since little Alisha came along. He called if we could ward his home against hormonal teenagers with no good on their minds. I told him that old fashioned guns worked better.” They shared a look of understanding. Poor Riley.
“And what did Harris do for you while he was still with the SCG,” asked Ziva.
“Recruitment mainly. Well, besides building an organization from. We had a hard few months at the beginning and Xander decided that he needed a time out.” Buffy gave the team a friendly smile that turned into a grimace when she bit into the Twinkie again.
“He was one of the founders of the SCG?” Tim thought that very interesting. Xander never even hinted about being that important. What else was hidden in the Agent’s past that he would have never even guessed?
“Well, more the rebuilder than the founder. We started SCG from the remains of another organization that unfortunately met its end with a big boom back in 2003,” shared Dawn.
“It’s all really interesting and what not, but could we get finished with the debriefing first? I would like to send out my people as soon as I can and I need facts before that,” interrupted Buffy. She was getting antsy. And she could feel Dawns anxiety. They were both masters at hiding their turmoil from others, but not from each other.
It was Tim who returned the conversation back to the details of the investigation. "Yeah, sure. We looked over his apartment and we found a few interesting things. These..."
"We know what these are," said Dawn, interrupting him, when McGee brought pictures of the entire collection of swords, knives and other weapons they found in Xander's apartment on the screen. She really didn't want him to go into details what every piece of that was.
"You know weapons?" Ziva looked doubtfully at the little brunette.
"Part of our 101 lessons about weaponry. Like I said, we are a bit different from other alphabetic agencies," answered Buffy in her sister's stead.
"We also found a lot of water with the weapons," continued Tim. "We traced it back to the Holy Rosary church. A nun there talked with us, but she couldn't tell us much. We found out that he had a guilty conscience about a girl dying..."
The sisters knew exactly about whom he was talking. "Anya."
"She was something special," added Buffy.
"Bunnies." It was a simple word, uttered by Dawn, but it made both, Buffy and Dawn, giggle at the memories of their friend and her fear of the little creatures.
"Could someone have taken Harris because she died," asked Tony.
"If any of her friends really thought that it was Xander that was responsible for her death, they would have dealt with him years ago," said Buffy. If any of the vengeance demons blamed Xander for Anya's fate they would have acted promptly.
"That's a no," clarified Dawn in case they didn't understand what Buffy wanted to say.
"What about Cordelia Chase?" asked Tim. The two sisters seemed to know an awful lot about Xander's personal life after all.
"Cordy. Now see, that's better," answered Buffy, sounding really amused. "Cordelia would be entirely capable of kidnapping and torturing Xander." She paused for a second to make things more dramatic.
"Unfortunately for you they parted as friends despite what happened between them and my sources tell me that she is currently in a coma."
"Anyone else that dislikes Harris," Ziva questioned further.
Dawn shook her head. She smiled gloomily at the team. "Not that I know. Harris has this annoying ability to make everybody like him. But sometimes we unintentionally piss off some people with our actions." She gave everyone a look that said what can we do?
"So that's a dead end too," sighed Tony in frustration.
"Didn't say that," chipped Buffy in. She eyed the last Twinkie on the table, mentally debating if she should eat it or not. Dawn saved her by taking the offensive thing and starting to eat it. "I'm gonna visit some people and then we will see if Xander pissed off another wacko." She then gave a pointed look to McGee, prompting him to continue with the information exchange.
"Ok. Harris' apartment. Yes, we found his computer but our people are still trying to decode it." It was actually getting annoying that he, Abby and Maurice from cyber unit couldn't decode a simple computer.
But the sisters just smiled at his frustrated expression. Buffy then tried to comfort him. "You won't be able to decode that thing. I'd bet all my shopping money on that." Of course her attempt didn't really work.
"Why is that? We have some really capable people working on this." Tim was almost offended that the blond didn't believe that they could crack the code.
Dawn proudly told them the reason. "Because we have a genius of all geniuses in our folds. She wrote all the programs on that computer. The only way you will get into that computer is with a code or if Willow hacks in."
Tim made a note to ask about that later and continued to report. "There was also a box we can't open. Abby and I tried everything. The box just stayed locked and unharmed. "
"Ah, that's one of Xander's special boxes," guessed Buffy. "He made them for Christmas a few years back. All his friends have one. It's a good place to hide things from other people. It has a secret lock that only the owner and of course Xander know about." The Scoobys would probably be able to open it too, considering that they had to open some boxes a few years ago. The locations of the triggers that opened the boxes were sometimes forgotten.
"Could you open it?" Tony asked hopefully. He itched to know what Xander was hiding in that box of his.
Buffy shrugged before answering. "I could try. What else have you got?"
"We found a stack of business cards of various bars in the area." Tim brought up the photos of the cards in question.
Before anybody could say anything else, loud music started to play, making the team look around trying find the source of the annoying music while Dawn made a face at Buffy. "I thought that you got fed up with that song already."
Buffy just gave her a rebellious look, a theatric replay that hinted that this was an ongoing argument. "Never." Diverting her attention to the agents she apologized quickly," If you would excuse me, I have to take this." She went to the windows to achieve a little privacy and answered the phone.
The team looked at the two sisters and wondered what exactly was going on. The sisters acted relaxed, like they had no worries in the world, but at the same time they urged everyone around them to work harder to find Harris.
Tony, trying to start a conversation with the younger Summers sister, said the first thing that came to mind. "So, SCG."
Seeing the agent's intention, Dawn decided that it couldn't hurt to play along. "Xander calls it Society for Crazy Girls. Of course, he calls it like that only if Buffy or Willow aren't within hearing range. Half the stuff he renamed would get him killed if the two of them found out."
"That sounds… dangerous," commented Tim.
"Hey, its women's world, that kind of mocking is punished by death," half joked Dawn. The slayers were nice and cuddly until you pissed them off. Then there was hell to pay. The witches were even worse. They tended to hold grudges.
"They left Harris alive," added Ziva. She knew first hand that Xander often lacked the filter between his brain and his mouth.
"Xander is special. You just can't be mad at Xander for too long. You start to feel guilty."
Ziva just made a face. That was something she knew first hand, too.
"That was Willow," said Buffy, walking back in the bullpen and interrupting the conversation.
"Did we get any more tips?" asked Dawn, wishing that the bad guys would surrender now rather than later. The end result was going to be the same either way.
"Tips? You get tips about missing people?" Tony was amazed and baffled.
"Not exactly." Buffy smiled a predatory smile. "Usually we make
them talk. But on rare occasions people tend to give information willingly to us. Especially when some of the more important members get hurt or disappear. Nobody wants the sla… SCG on high alert. When it's one of the five founding members missing? Let's just say that we have a policy that says that we tend to turn a blind eye to things. A lot. And no. No new tips for us. But Willow is on her way here right now." That told Dawn all she needed to know.
Before she and Buffy left for Washington the heads of SCG had a meeting and it was decided that Willow would come in DC when she got all the information she could on the demon that could have taken Xander. There couldn't be a lot of them that have black blood or goo after all.
"Oh goody. What about Satsu and the rest of your girls?" That was a part of the things they discussed at the meeting too. They came to an agreement that the slayers stationed in America would stay in their territories and that Buffy's squad would take care of this situation.
"The plane should have landed an hour ago so I'm guessing that they are making themselves comfortable at the apartment." Buffy didn't even want to think in what state the apartment would be when she returned back.
"You are bringing more people into this?" asked Gibbs suspiciously.
"My squad. It's Xander we are talking about. We want to bust him out of wherever he is soon. Plus, you never know what kind of mess he got himself into this time," answered Buffy. Xander was a real demon magnet and all the usual demons wanted to sacrifice him for one reason or another.
"So what were you saying about the bars," asked Dawn, wanting to finish with this briefing.
"We visited all of them. People usually remembered Harris, but nobody had anything useful to tell us. We had a lead about the strange phone calls…" Tony was interrupted before he could say anything else.
"Strange phone calls? Strange how?" Strange was usually the thing that got them in trouble, thought Dawn.
"Harris was acting out of character before getting a phone call. After that, he usually left the bar. It happened a few times," clarified McGee.
Buffy was a little disappointed. That wouldn't help either. "Ah. No worries. That was probably when he was playing host for any of the SCG people. We have an apartment in DC, but most prefer bunking with Xander." He was a legend after all among the slayers. And he acted as some kind of a therapist to those who needed talking. Buffy found it really funny that he never figured out that all the Slayers came to him so that he could help them deal with their problems.
"The last bar we visited is the most suspicious, but there isn't any evidence that they had anything to do with Harris's abduction," continued Tony.
"Again, suspicious how?" sighed Buffy. It seemed that the agents couldn't just explain things without being asked to.
"When we visited the place they threw us out even after we showed our badges. And after we looked a little deeper we found some strange things. But we were ordered to leave it alone, by higher ups," Ziva answered, a disgruntled look on her face.
Buffy perked up and gave her sister a brilliant smile. "Well that settles it then. We could have Xander back before the evening." She picked all the papers that were left from the Twinkie-feast and put them into the trash bin.
"Oh Buffy, you just jinxed it," complained Dawn and started to tell her sister of all the times things went south because people said stuff like that.
Together they left the bullpen and headed to the bathroom.
When they were out of the hearing range of the agents, both got serious again and Buffy informed Dawn of everything Willow told her. "She said that there are only five possible demons that took Xander based on the black goo we found. Two of them are really nasty demons that like killing for fun and the other three are demons that live with normal people and are generally peaceful."
"So those are out," asked Dawn. Peaceful demons didn't kidnap people after all.
"Not really. Willow said that they shouldn't be dangerous, but one of them started WWI, because some idiot killed a mate of the leader." Buffy looked at her watch and sighed.
"So we classify them as potential danger if provoked then," clarified Dawn.
"Something like that. Willow also said that she would be teleporting here soon. She said she would call me when she arrived." She didn't need a lot of time to pack her lab in her purse. Kennedy would probably come with her too. The girl hated to leave Willow alone even though they were both perfectly capable to defend themselves if anything happened.
Opening the bathroom door Buffy continued, "I'll pick Willow up when she calls. We are going to stop somewhere for food and then we will come here for whatever Willow needs to find Xander. Do you want anything special to eat?"
Dawn just shrugged. "Anything is fine."
“Don’t worry Dawnie. We’ll find him and then you can hit him on the head for making us worry.” Buffy hugged her little sister, knowing that Dawn would have taken Xander’s kidnaping the hardest.
“I know. I just wish he wasn’t so stubborn and actually let us in.” It wasn’t fair that he made her fall in love with him and then left. Especially because she was only allowed daily phone calls.
They talked for a few more minutes about the things that needed to be done before they left the bathroom and joined the NCIS agents again.So? What do you think? I would like to hear what were your favorite parts... What made you laugh? I wanna know, I wanna know :P
Next chapter on its way. Should be posted very soonish. I hope.
Elza. C. Boe