A/N: NEXT! Chapter two. ENJOY!


Chapter 2: Briefing

Xander and Natasha shuffled into the room as Xander shut the door behind them as they both turned to see a table and Gibbons on the other end of it, waiting patiently.

"Here's the happy couple," he smiled, jokingly and the two glared at him as they stepped away from each other. "Have a seat."

The two glared at each then stepped to either side of the table and sat in front of each other as Gibbons pulled two file folders from the table and handed one each to them which they both took.

"The place is Tokyo, Japan," Gibbons began, sitting at the head of the table. "Two of our best agents were sent there to infiltrate a motorcycle gang that was somehow supplied with high-tech weapons but before they could get close to the supplier, they were killed by the gang. Somebody tipped them off that they were NSA."

"A motorcycle gang with bee-bee guns?" Natasha summarized, giving Gibbons a glare as she sat back in her chair, pushing the file away. "That's why I was dragged off the street by force and brought here?"

"They've got a little more than bee-bee guns," Xander replied for Gibbons, looking through his file. "If you'd quit complaining and read your file, you'd know that."

"Heat seeking rockets," Gibbons began to list as Natasha pulled her file back toward her, her glare sent to Xander, "Bazookas, armor piercing rounds for machine guns, sniper rifles, anything you can think of that'll shoot bullets. Mostly military issue, but how these whack jobs got a hold of them, we don't know."

"Obviously," Natasha scoffed, flipping through the file.

"This gang call themselves the Blue Tigers," Gibbons continued, ignoring her remark. "They all ride motorcycles painted some shade of blue and their helmets have tigers on them, they also have tattoos of a blue tiger somewhere on their bodies. They won't be hard to find, or run into. They think they own most of Tokyo."

"Live up to their name, do they?" Xander smirked in amusement.

"They take their name very seriously," Gibbons confirmed then leaned back in his chair and looking at Xander. "I'm sending the two of you in. Think you can hack it with the new kid?"

"Kid?" Natasha wondered if she'd heard right and Xander only smirked at her glare.

"I think I can handle her," he assured Gibbons, sitting back and Natasha stared at him in wide-eyed disbelief before standing and leaning forward slightly on the table.

"Listen here, Mr. Clean," she started through clenched teeth. "I can 'handle' myself. I fought off a few biker bar flies for my test, or didn't you hear?"

"Oh, I heard," Xander replied, ignoring the fact that she'd called him a name. "But hearin' ain't seein'. You wanna prove yourself to me? I'll let you fight off a few of those Hot Rodders yourself, no problem. But don't come crying back to me if you break a nail, Princess."

"I don't need to prove myself to you!" Natasha spat back. "I've spent my whole life keeping guys like you from feeling me up thinking I won't do a thing because we were in a public place. Weren't they surprised when I knocked them on their asses in front of all their buddies? Like I said, I can 'handle' myself." She looked at Gibbons and asked, "Are we done now?"

"Yeah," Gibbons nodded, carelessly and pushed her file a little closer to her. "Your plane ticket's in there. You leave tomorrow morning so you both should get a good night's sleep. One of my guys will pick you up. Your equipment will be sent to the hotel you'll both be staying in. The reservations are with your ticket."

"Fine," Natasha replied, taking the file off the desk and heading for the door. "I'm going home."

With that she marched out the door and shut it behind her. Xander couldn't help but chuckle as he stood and took his file with him as well.

"Hold it, Triple X," Gibbons ordered and Xander turned around with a glare as Gibbons stood and walked toward him. "I don't think you understood what I said when I asked if you could hack it with her. I didn't want to have to explain myself in front of her, though."

"So, what're you talkin' about then?" Xander asked, not sure if he cared or not.

"You two seem to hate each other," Gibbons observed and Xander gave a scoff before the agent continued. "That could change in a heart beat. You two better be careful with your covers out there. If something goes wrong they'll try to use one of you to get the other to back down. Like I told you before…there's always a girl."

"You think I'd fall for that scrawny little mood-swinger?!" Xander chuckled, pointing his file at the door. "What are you on and where can I get some of it?"

"Just be careful, Xander," Gibbons insisted. "I don't need two more dead bodies on my watch, got it?"

Xander scoffed and waved him off as he walked toward the door and left the room. Shutting the door behind him he turned to walk down the hall but ran into an obstacle…Natasha. She was sprawled on the ground, a few papers scattered out of the file folder she had taken with her and Xander could see the plane tickets in her other hand, though she was facing away from him.

"Oh, great," he grumbled and rolled his file into a tube to stuff it into the inside pocket of his leather jacket then stepped over the unconscious Natasha to gather her papers. He stuck them in her purse, sealed it then went to work trying to pull her up and carry her.

"Damn, for a scrawny bitch you sure are heavy," he strained, pulling her up enough to sit her up then pulling her into his arms to finally stand. She gave a groan but didn't wake up, much to his disappointment. He didn't want to have to carry her all the way to the parking lot. He knew she didn't have her own car here if these guys did anything to her like they'd done to him. He suddenly felt a small pang of pity for her at the thought of the agents doing to her what they'd done to him.

"Probably didn't even see it coming, did you, Pierce?" he muttered, knowing she couldn't hear him, but saying it anyway as he started down the hall to the exit. Passing agents gave him frowns and stares on the way to the elevator but he didn't care. Why should he? She had just passed out and he was going to take her home. What was the big deal? Coming to the elevator he used his foot to tap the down button, being careful that he didn't topple over in the process. After he did this, he suddenly frowned at himself.

"What the hell am I doing?" he asked himself, as no one else was around. "I'm no baby sitter! She can take herself home!"

He looked around and saw a bench on the other end of the hall and set her down on it. He sat her sitting up but she immediately fell so that she was laying on the bench. He shrugged and turned to the elevator to wait for it to open. It took a while. A long while. Long enough for him to glance at her several times only to see her still passed out. He looked at her one last time, strands of her bleach blonde hair lying across her face, one arm around her waist as the other fell, limply over the bench, her hand dangling out at the end of her arm.

Xander sighed and rolled his eyes in exasperation as he felt guilty enough to walk toward her and lift her into his arms again as he grumbled, "She's your partner now. You can't just leave her lying unconscious on a bench in NSA."

The elevator doors finally opened and he was somewhat relieved that no one was in it as he stepped in and hit the button for the parking garage once again with his foot. He looked down at her when she stirred and groaned again and watched her eyes flutter open and gaze around, tiredly.

"Morning, sunshine," he smirked and her eyes shot wide as she looked at him in disbelief.

"What the hell---?!" she growled then realized he was carrying her. "Put me down! What the hell do you think you're doing?!"

"Keeping you from being trampled on in the hall," Xander retorted, setting her on the floor again. "You passed out outside the briefing room."

"Where's the---?"

"I put it in your purse," Xander answered her question before she finished it. She didn't bother saying thank you as she started rummaging through her purse to look at the file again. He glanced up at the top of the elevator door as the numbers of the floors changed as they went down then leaned back on the wall closest to him.

"So, what happened?" he asked her and Natasha glanced at him for a second but back at the file in her hands.

"You don't have to make small talk," she replied, flipping a page of the file. "You don't like me, and I don't like you, so let's ignore each other until we go away."

"That'll be hard, considering you're gonna be riding with me to your place," Xander replied and Natasha shot a wide-eyed look of disbelief at him, shutting the file closed.

"What?!" she squeaked. "Why?!"

"You didn't drive yourself here, did you?" he smirked and realization dawned on her that she hadn't.

"Aw, dammit!" she growled, slapping the heel of her hand to her forehead.

"That's what I thought," Xander nodded and Natasha only gave him a glare. "Looks like I'm taking you home."

"I'd rather walk," she grumbled, shoving the file back into her purse as the elevator stopped and the doors opened to the parking garage.

"Suit yourself," Xander shrugged, walking out and Natasha followed him then stopped outside the elevator. "Hope you know your way home."

She stared at him as he walked away, rummaging through a pocket to get his keys and she groaned, realizing she didn't know the way home.

"Wait!" she called and he stopped to look at her as she hurried toward him. "Alright, fine. You can take me home, but it doesn't mean I like you any better."

"Same here," Xander replied as they headed toward his GTO and got in. She sighed as she sat her purse in her lap then stared out her window as he started the car and asked, "Where do you live?"

"Just leave me at a bus stop somewhere," she mumbled. "I'll find my way home."

"A bus stop?" he echoed and she looked at him as he frowned at her.

"Yeah," she replied. "What's the issue here?"

"Let me ask the question differently," he said. "What city do you live in?"

Natasha glared at him then looked away from him again and mumbled something he didn't quite catch.

"What was that?" he urged and she sighed, rolling her eyes and turning back to him.

"Pasadena," she retorted and quickly turned back to the window as Xander stared wide eyes at her.

"California?!" he wondered if he'd heard right and when she said nothing he sighed and shifted gears to start driving then said, "You're staying with me tonight, then."

Natasha whipped her head around and stared at him with wide eyes as she chirped, "What?!"

"It's either that, or stay in a hotel," he shrugged. "We're gonna see each other again in the morning anyway, and we'll be staying together when we get to Tokyo."

"That doesn't mean we have to start living together now," she retorted as they pulled out of the parking structure. "We're not under cover yet."

"Wouldn't hurt to start practicing," Xander replied. "We'll have to fake that we like each other anyway. We'll need practice for that."

Natasha sneered at him and let out a breath that was more like a raspberry that made Xander chuckle. She glared him again but he didn't pay attention to her as he continued driving and she leaned an elbow on the window frame to lean her cheek on her hand. She didn't argue any more about living with him. She figured she really had no choice, considering she had no car, no home here and only a little bit of money. She could afford a hotel room, but how would she get to the airport the next morning? She figured this was the best solution, the only downside was being around Xander and, oh, yeah, saving the world.

"So, you leave behind some little whipped bastard behind who'll be pining away for you till you get back, Pierce?" Xander suddenly asked, jolting her from her thoughts and she glared at him.

"It's Pierson," she corrected. "And no. I don't have a boyfriend, if that's what you're asking." She turned back to the window, gritting her teeth when she saw him smirk at her mood but turned back to ask, "What about you? Leaving behind a thin little model like girl that'll cheat on you while you're gone? You look like the type to go for a model."

"No," he replied, stopping at a light. "I had a girl from the last mission but she left me."

"I feel for you," Natasha lied, flatly and turned back to the window.

"She was great at first but she got to be a pain in the ass later," he continued, making a turn at the light when it turned green. "Or maybe it was me."

"It was you," Natasha guessed, examining her nails and Xander gave her a sideways glare which she ignored.

"And Gibbons honestly thought I could fall for her?" he thought to himself, but said instead said, "So, Gibbons wasn't specific about our covers."

"No, he wasn't," Natasha agreed. "Why do you say that?"

"I'm just wondering how we're gonna pass ourselves off when we get to Tokyo," Xander replied.

"We could be siblings," she shrugged. "We hate each other enough to be brother and sister."

"They'll see right through that," Xander replied, shaking his head, slightly.

"Well, we can't be boyfriend and girlfriend," Natasha scoffed. "They'll truly see through that."

"Well, we have to pick something," he insisted. "Being a couple just seems like the natural fit."

"There has to be something else," she argued. "We'll rip each other to shreds in front of the gang and they'll know we're agents."

"Maybe," he shrugged, "or we could make it real performance and just suck it up and act like we're madly in love."

"Why are you pushing that?" she wondered, looking at him with a frown and he didn't look at her as he only continued driving. Why was he pushing it?

"Fine, never mind," he snapped. "Let's do what you wanna do."

"Well, don't sound so enthused," she retorted, looking back out the window. "Brother and sister could work."

"Fine, Princess," Xander nearly hissed and she glared at him.

"But being a couple would probably work better!" Natasha snapped. "Maybe a married couple since we almost sound like one!"

"You're sleeping on my couch tonight!" Xander spat. "I was gonna give you the spare room but you're really bein' a pain in the ass!"

"I need a bed for my back!" she shouted.

"Forget it!" he shot back. "I don't care! Couch!"

Natasha growled and crossed her arms over her chest with a pout. This was gonna be a "fun" mission. She hated it already.


A/N: ah, good ol' Xander is so nice, huh? YES I GOT RID OF YELENA! i don't know why, but she kinda irritated me. i like her and all, but...eh. anywho, reviews?