Title: Protection Detail
Fandom: Buffy:tVS, A:tS
Cast: Xander, Spike, Angel, Oz, Willow
Pairing(s): Xander/Spike/Angel, implied Oz/Willow
Warnings: m/m, m/m/m, a little violence
Rating: R (eventually)
Disclaimer: I do not own anything except the computer I'm typing this on and am making no money. Buffy and Angel belongs to their respective creators and owners who *are* making money off them. I'm just doing this for my own fun and entertainment; in general, if you recognize something, I don't own it.
Beta: NONE! Any mistakes are my own
Spoilers: Pretty much just names of people and places from both shows
Prompt: From my Lucky 13 – AU Prompt Meme (I'm still taking prompt requests btw, go check it out), requested by spike_1790 Military AU starring Xander/Spike/Angel
A/N: I had the hardest time with this one, mainly because I thought of two primary scenarios and couldn’t make up my mind. For now, this one’s won out, but don’t be surprised if another story pops up later. Damn bunnies. I estimate this to have 2-3 chapters, with most of the next chapter consisting mainly of smut, be warned…or excited lol.
Summary: Angel has just been given orders to have his team protect an innocent young man, but as he’ll find out, Xander Harris can throw a wrench in the best laid plansAngel sat back at his desk looking over the file he’d been given earlier in the day. The job was an odd one, not his team’s usual fare for sure, but when you’re essentially a soldier for hire, you do whatever it is you’re hired for. The basics of the job were simple – escort a young man carrying a priceless book of some sort half way around the world. He really didn’t see why his team’s expertise was needed as couriers regularly flew around the world carrying important documents or items, but once again, a job was a job and if somebody wanted to pay the exorbitant fee the firm charged, that was their problem.
Flipping through the file, past the pickup and drop off locations, he found the information on the man in question. Alexander Harris, aged 24, unimpressive school records, no real college education aside from a few pickup classes here and there in seemingly unrelated topics, no steady job, and no love interest found; the guy was completely unremarkable so why pick him to be the courier for this oh so important book? Or maybe it was because he was so completely ordinary he wouldn’t draw attention? The picture he found attached made him start to rethink that assumption, the man had the worst fashion taste possible and if he decided to wear any more shirts like the absolutely hideous one he was sporting in the picture, he was going to stick out like a sore thumb unless their destination was a tropical island and he was planning to look like a tourist. Aside from the questionable taste in clothing, he was looking at a young man in the prime of life, relatively fit from what he could tell with the oversized clothes, and a bright friendly smile. He looked like a complete goof, to be honest.
Sighing, he started tapping at the keys on his keyboard, he’d never be computer savvy whether he was 30 or 130, and started searching through the operatives he had available for the mission. All the men and women gathered were people he’d personally served with in some capacity during his stint in the military, all from differing branches of different military organizations and all with their own specific set of talents. It made life easy that way. First would be William “Spike” Pratt, his general go-to guy and as close to a best friend as anybody he’d ever met. Next…he looked over the case file again, trying to think if they’d really need that much firepower for the operation and dismissed the next couple people in line. Hmm, Daniel “Oz” Osbourne, the best tracker he’d ever met; the man had the uncanny ability to find anyone given enough physical means and if he couldn’t find them that way then…Willow “Red” Rosenburg, a veritable magician with a computer, able to track everything from accounts, to travel plans, to what porn the person watched the night before, the two made a formidable team on their own. Plus, unlike Spike with the larger than life vibe that seemed to cling to him no matter what, the other two were so low key and ordinary, they were easily able to blend into the crowd, even with their bright red hair…though in Oz’s case it was as often as not green or blue or purple instead. It worked well with a distract-and-redirect ploy if things got touchy and they couldn’t fight their way out.
Satisfied with his choices, he started making calls, arranging for the group of them to meet up to discuss the mission before actually meeting up with their “package.” He’d wait until Red was with them before making travel arrangements, she was much better at it and could maneuver things so they’d not only be able to board the plane with weapons on each of their persons, but be able to get off the flight to a waiting rental car that would carry all of them and their gear with a hotel room waiting in an easily defensible location. If they managed everything right, they should be able to pick up Harris and be on a plane to New York that same day. An overnight layover to make sure they were all well rested before suffering through an overseas flight and to solidify their plans on the handover and they should be good to go for the next day…assuming nothing happened. And really, they were escorting a book, what was going to happen - they’d be attacked by an angry librarian?
.oOo.Angel felt like growling, punching something, and, taking a page from Spike’s book, shoving something sharp and pointy through someone’s chest. At the moment, that person was looking a lot like the one they were supposed to be escorting safely to his destination, but the runner up was the demon-spawned woman smiling evilly at them from behind the reception desk of the International Watcher’s Council, LA Branch. Alright, so she wasn’t smiling evilly per se, she appeared to be perfectly sincere in her apology for their prolonged wait, but it was something in her eyes that just let him know she was laughing at them on the inside. And what the hell were they watching anyway?
Looking at his watch, yet again, he saw it was almost past noon, much later in the day than he had expected to be starting. As it was, Oz was apparently asleep in his chair, Red was tapping away on her laptop doing God knows what, and Spike had gone outside to smoke and burn off some of the over-abundance of energy he apparently acquired if left bored for more than ten minutes. Too much longer and Red was going to have to adjust all their travel arrangements; if there were fees involved, they were soooo getting billed for this. Glancing at the nameplate on the woman’s desk, he dredged up his most charming smile, and tried to reason with her once again. “Look, Ms. Chase, Cordelia…may I call you Cordelia? My team was hired to escort Mr. Harris to your office in Scotland. Now, we will get paid regardless of when we get there, but we’ve made certain arrangements to ensure Mr. Harris’ safety…”
About that time, an office door that had previously been shut opened and the object of their conversation stood on the other side, arguing with someone Angel couldn’t see. “You hear that Wes? They’re trying to arrange my safety. Really? It’s a book, Wes. I can’t believe you hired them in the first place. We’re taking the company plane and staying at the usual places and have the usual drivers, why do I need babysitters? It’s not like I haven’t done this before. What’s so Earth shattering this time?”
Angel couldn’t hear the answer, though apparently it didn’t make Harris happy as he simply spun on his heel and slammed the door behind him. Angel could only wince as he got a look at Harris’ outfit, another obnoxiously loud Hawaiian shirt and some overly baggy jeans, a beat up bookbag slung over one shoulder that he was assuming the mysterious book was being transported in and that just made him wonder how important that book was or how stupid Harris was.
“Xander, seriously, you have got to chill. Now I have to listen to Wes whine about you whining. Again.”
Angel watched as Harris leaned down and brushed an affectionate kiss over the woman’s cheek.
“Sorry, Queen C, it’s just so pointless, you know.” Looking up, he seemed to realize all of a sudden that he had an audience and flashed an apologetic smile. “Not that you guys are pointless, just the escort mission in itself. This is not my first rodeo, or even twelfth. Hell, if we didn’t use our own plane, I’d probably have enough frequent flier miles for like a year’s worth of free flights. Oh, speaking of, the Brits did think to tell you guys that we’re taking the company plane, right? And that we have a set hotel that we use that’s been vetted with our normal primary security guys? Oh, and we have hired drivers and access to large SUVs if you have a lot of junk you’re going to be carrying.” At the blank, though still somewhat aggravated look he received, Xander took a step back from the large brunette in front of him. “Riiiight. I’m going with a fail on that one. Umm, I should probably introduce myself. I’m Alexander, but just call me Xander. And you guys with the very military-ish look to you would be my babysitters.” Hearing what he would swear was a growl coming from the brunette, he hastily rephrased that. “Bodyguards! Totally meant bodyguards! And you guys are…”
Sensing that Angel was going to be a minute regaining control of himself - and wasn’t that an interesting reaction to the stranger, he was normally so calm - Red tucked away her laptop and stood, offering a friendly smile. “Hi, Xander, you can call me Red, I’ll be handling anything tech related. This handsome fellow next to me is Oz; he’s kind of our advanced scout on things. You’ve, uh, met Angel, he’s the head of the operation and will be primarily responsible for your, and the book’s, safety. And, oh there he is!” She paused as a slender blonde man entered the room. “This’s Spike, he’s our second in command and will also be looking out for you and the book.”
Xander looked over the four, starting with the two redheads that appeared to be about his age, Oz looking pretty much like a stoner with the mellow vibe he was giving out and Red looking sweet and bubbly. Moving on to the other two males, he felt parts of him definitely stand up and take interest, first was Spike, small and lithe with spiky platinum hair and gorgeous blue eyes, and then Angel, bigger than Xander himself and totally pulling off the whole tall, dark and sexy thing. Smiling brightly, he shrugged the reinforced backpack more comfortably on his shoulder. “Well, at least I’ll have some eye candy on this trip. Come on; I’ll show you to my office and get all the paperwork for traveling. Cordy, can you call the airport? I’ll give you a call when I get there and settled.” Bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet, he waited for the others to pull themselves together and headed out of the reception area and down the hall towards a room two doors down.
“Oi, what’s up with the whole hotel thing?”
Xander looked over his shoulder at the blonde, surprised to hear the English accent. “Oh, you’re a Brit too, though I’m totally digging your accent over Wes and G-man’s; they’re so freaking stuffy sometimes. Cute and an accent, always a winner.” Turning back forwards, totally missing the stunned look on all four faces and one that quickly turned considering, he shrugged and waved absently to indicate the building they were in. “Welcome to the Hyperion, used to be some grand hotel back in the day apparently, but somebody got the bright idea to remodel some of the floors into office space, so the IWO took advantage and claimed the top two. We have our big conference room and lodging for special visitors up in the penthouse level and we use this floor for the offices. Here we are - my little home away from home. Though really, I should just call this my home, period, as much time as I actually spend here and on the road. I think I see my actual apartment maybe one weekend a month. Oh well.”
“Do you even have to breathe?” Angel stared at the young man who seemed able to talk non-stop with no problem and wondered if he was going to be subjected to the babbling the entire trip.
Xander leaned against the door, gaze growing intent and gave Angel and Spike a very obvious once over, making both of the men fidget. “I’m a swimmer; I can hold my breath for a long time.”
Red covered her mouth and buried her face in Oz’s shoulder to stifle a laugh at the shocked look on her two C.O.s’ faces. Oh, this was going to be a great mission.
Pulling out a keycard, Xander swiped it through the reader next to the door, waiting for the green light and click of the lock before opening the door. He waved to some chairs and a couch scattered around the well-appointed office, indeed the size of an actual hotel room. “Make yourselves comfortable, I just gotta grab my bag and take care of some stuff and we can go. Oh! Red? Oz? Here, I assume you take care of the travel stuff being the techno-wiz and scout? Here’s the file with all the travel info - plane specs and call signs, hotel layouts, authorized vehicle types and specific passwords for the drivers and security.” Xander dug an apparently random file out of a pile of other files on his overcrowded desk and handed it off to the two redheads as he passed by to dig a suitcase out of a closet.
Angel watched as the other man tossed the suitcase carelessly on top of a pile of papers on a side table and started rifling through it. He felt on edge, off balance with the strange personality the other man had, one minute angry and yelling and then friendly and bubbly like a puppy and then blatantly hitting on both him and Spike. Not to mention the casual disregard of all the plans his team had already gone through the effort of making, though apparently that wasn’t Harris’ fault. It left him feeling agitated and that translated to anger at the situation that was rapidly slipping through his fingers. “And you’re just assuming we’re the protection detail assigned to you without checking our credentials? Sounds like you need protection more than you think.”
Harris froze in his movements before very carefully shutting the lid of the suitcase. Leaning against the table, arms crossed defensively over his chest, a surprisingly dark look was cast his way making Angel have to reevaluate the man once again.
“I’m assuming you checked in with Cordy. She was an annoying bitch and asked a ton of questions, asked to see your contract which contained the company’s watermark and the copies of correspondence with our company that we requested you bring. She also fingerprinted all of you while still images of each of you were taken which would then have been run through all available databases to verify your identities. If you’ve managed to manipulate all of that, then the book deserves to be stolen. Why do you think you had to wait so long? As I said, not my first rodeo.”
The man had the audacity to smirk and bat his eyelashes at him, causing Angel to grind his teeth. “For your information, while your security cameras may have caught our images, we weren’t fingerprinted.” He vaguely heard Red start to say something and Oz hush her, but his attention was firmly on the annoying young man that had turned his back on them and headed back to rummage through the closet.
A short laugh came from the closet. “Oh yeah, smart ass? Bet she specifically handed each of you the clip board to sign in on. News flash, it’s a separate clip board each time. She’s good at her job, too.” Xander backed out of the closet holding some clothes in his hand. Winking boldly at Spike as he passed him, just to see the equally amused and curious look on the blonde’s face, he bypassed Angel as he stepped inside his bathroom, rethinking if the man’s beauty was really worth putting up with his attitude. Then again, he had just totally upset whatever plans the man had probably made thanks to Wes and Giles’ slipup. Maybe he’d relax some once they were on their way. Changing out of his comfortable meet-the-customer clothes, he started pulling on his, admittedly, just as comfortable work clothes – form fitting green t-shirt, a subtle brown and green patterned flannel over shirt and khaki cargos with plenty of pockets for whatever he wanted to keep in them, already pre-loaded with stuff as part of his regular travel clothes, and brown hiking boots. Grabbing the bag with his toiletries in it, he flipped the light and stepped back into his office to see the others looking curiously around the room, at the strange assortment of books on his bookshelves, the world map that was taking up almost one whole wall on its own with various color pins sticking into it in various locations, and the precariously leaning stacks of files he hadn’t managed to file away since his last trip back. He didn’t miss Spike and Angel both looking his way as he entered the room or the brief flare of interest in both their eyes and let a pleased smile tilt his lips for a moment…which quickly disappeared at Angel’s next words.
“So you do have some kind of fashion sense.”
Xander stared at him in shock for a moment before turning on his heel to go retrieve his suitcase and the bookbag. “Hey, I like my meet-the-customer clothes, they’re comfy. Luckily, so are my travel clothes.”
Spike seemed to choke on a breath. “Those are the clothes you wear t’ meet clients?”
Xander paused at the door, eyes sweeping the room to make sure he didn’t forget anything before stopping on the blonde. “Sure, makes people underestimate me. If you met half our clients, you’d understand.” Opening the door, he started out, not even bothering to wait for the others after Angel’s continuous bad attitude. As the door was closing, he called out over his shoulder, “Worked on you guys after all, didn’t it.”
He vaguely heard Angel swearing and what sounded like Spike laughing and Red trying to maybe chew them both out considering he was almost back to the main office and they were still inside his. The sound of heavy footsteps caught up with him and he had to fight back an amused smile as he was suddenly flanked by the two solid bodies as they waited for the elevator to arrive. Nobody said anything and he snorted at the absurdity of it all, glancing over to see a smirk on Spike’s face, his smile growing as the blonde winked at him. Maybe this protection detail wouldn’t be so pointless after all.