"Um, Dom…hypothetical question…."
So it was going to be one of those days. The last time Topher had accosted him by the elevator with that particular expression of exaggerated innocence, he'd somehow managed to imprint X-Ray with the brain of a howler monkey. Laurence still grimaced when he thought about the screeching active scaling the walls, biting security staff and generally behaving as any pissed off monkey would.
While shooting the actives was frowned upon, that occasion had warranted the use of a tranquilizer gun, which Laurence had put to good use, thankfully before Monkey X-Ray started flinging feces around to express his discontent.
Adelle DeWitt was a consummate professional and the sort of woman who remained calm throughout any crisis, but he doubted she'd frequent any place that had ever required someone remove fecal matter from the walls. If that was the case, she'd have made Dominic deal with Topher more often and everyone knew that was something that would not end well.
Then again, maybe she would have just razed the lab and rebuilt from scratch. She had enough style and flair to pull off a power move like that and could have probably even convinced Topher that the whole thing was his idea….
God he admired her…even as he was horrified by the business she oversaw. With each passing day, he hated having to deceive her a little more, even if he was doing both of his jobs to the best of his ability. The house never got less than 110% from him, despite the fact that he loathed what they did.
With a sigh, Laurence turned to Topher, silently wishing he'd had a second cup of coffee before leaving home this morning. "What?"
He imbued the word with a level of irritation and annoyance that should deter Topher unless it was a real crisis…or Topher was feeling particularly annoying. The visible, overturned furniture, groaning security people on the floor and startled actives and caretakers pointed to the former option, but not Alpha crisis levels.
"Okay, so say someone possibly had the idea that maybe it would be interesting to create an imprint of a fictional character…and say that fictional imprint accidentally got downloaded into an active…and say…."
"What did you do?" With all the pharmaceutical and medical advances Rossum had made over the years, you'd think they'd have found some pill that could fix whatever the hell was wrong with Topher. Cause seriously, the kid wasn't quite right in the head sometimes.
Topher frowned. "Now why do you always assume…Sierra thinks she's Buffy the Vampire Slayer!" he blurted when Dominic glared, then pointed off to one of the side rooms. Laurence turned in time to see one of his security team come flying out of the room as though he had been kicked.
"The good news, she's not trying to stake people anymore." Topher kept up a running commentary as he trotted across the floor in Laurence's wake. "And-- So awesome-- she thought Victor was Angel, yelled at him to go back to LA. Echo's in with Saunders', cause Sierra though she was Faith and called me Xander! Oh, oh and she thinks Boyd is Mr. Trick and Hearn is The Master, so there's no Handler/Active trust there now…"
" Topher," Dominic snarled, placing a hand on the tranquilizer gun under his jacket, even as he pondered a career change. Maybe, if he asked nicely, he could get assigned to the Intersect project. He got along pretty well with John Casey.
Or hell, he could leave the NSA all together. CTU was always hiring and he'd heard Jack Bauer had retired again, so the life expectancy of their average field agents was probably on the upswing. But knowing Bauer, he'd never stay out of the game and random agents would again become human cannon fodder.
Who was he trying to kid? He wasn't going anywhere. The main reason being a certain British accented superior with a sharp wit and great legs.
Approaching the room divider, he peered around it wit a sigh and called out, "Buffy?"
Sierra was tugging futilely at one of the decorative wooded structural elements, trying to pull it down, possibly to use as some sort of a weapon. At the sound of his voice, she stopped and turned to him with narrowed eyes before visibly relaxing.
"Spike!" she said, abandoning her attempted demolition. "What is this place. I think they drugged me, I feel so weak."
Laurence had no real response for that and was simply thankful she wasn't reacting to him with violence. "I don't know," he responded vaguely, then decided to try to resolve the situation. "Would you like to have a treatment?"
Sierra blinked. "That sounds nice," she agreed readily enough and crossed the room to his side, reaching up to finger his slate grey suit and cobalt blue shirt. "I'm liking the new look…but maybe ditch the blazer for the leather. Much more Big Bad."
"I'll take that under advisement," he said, ushering her into Topher's lab and trying not to twitch over the fact that she had called an Armani suit jacket a blazer. More than once during the walk, she had goosed him, something Topher found extremely amusing. Much to Laurence's relief, she laid in the chair with little fuss, only tossing out a few innuendo laden comments before Topher began the wipe.
Straightening his suit, Laurence glared at Topher, who was still snickering, before stalking out and to the elevator. He was behind schedule, late for a meeting with Ms. DeWitt.
Not that she wouldn't know exactly what had transpired . Very little happened in her house without her knowledge. Just another thing he admired about her.
Entering her office, he said, "Sorry for the delay, Ma'am."
"Quite all right, Mr. Dominic," she replied, then offered him a wry smile. "I saw much of the excitement on the security monitors. Mr. Brink has been feeling creative, I see."
"Yes. He made a Buffy the Vampire Slayer imprint. I really wish you'd reconsider letting me fit him with a shock collar," he said before refocusing. "I'm sure Topher's report will have details about the imprint, because I had no real clue what he'd done. It was dumb luck that "Buffy" thought I was someone she knew."
"Really?" One elegant brow arched and she said, "Tell me, who did she identify you as?"
"Someone named Spike."
She actually bit back a laugh and he was truck by how pretty she looked, smiling and tilting her head to the side to gaze at him with consideration. "Well, the hair and eyes are close, but you, Mr. Dominic, are significantly taller and better dressed."
"There was a comment made about leather," he told her with a shrug.
DeWitt made a speculative noise and said, "That…would work."
Maybe they were all going a little crazy. Insanity through osmosis. Hell, he wasn't even weirded out by the sci-fi stuff that happened around him every day. Less than five minutes ago, he'd been groped by an active who thought she was a vampire slayer and now he was in DeWitt's office prepared to offer his latest suggestion on how to deal with the Agent Ballard situation.
Laurence thought the most expedient thing would be to simply take the man out, but DeWitt thought it a bit of an overkill. Fortunately, the guy wasn't exactly an investigative genius and wasn't even close to getting near them.
DeWitt was still eyeing him, so he asked, "Ma'am?"
"You've honestly never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer?"
On this still? "Not really my cup of tea. I prefer police dramas, Homicide and the like."
She smiled. "I'll loan you a DVD. You don't know what you're missing."
Yeah, it was going to be one of those days…….