Author: Ann Valentine
Email: or
Rating: PG
Pairing: Snoddy/Dutchy, Specs/Dutchy
Status: Complete
Feedback: Yes, please!
Archive: My site, lumos et nox; StN; The NML Fanfic Archive; ff.n
Summary: AU.  When Alex joins Things That Go Bump Investigations, he gets a little more than he bargained for.
Disclaimer: Don't own them.  Don't own the girls used in the fic.  Don't own the songs used. 
Warnings: Random acts of vampirism.  EXTREME ANGSTING ACTION. 

Things That Go Bump
Welcome to the Neighborhood

The building was small and unimpressive. It blended in so well with the rest of the neighborhood that Alex had driven past it twice before realizing it was his destination. He pulled into the parking lot, got a space, and killed the engine. He climbed out, grabbed his jacket and his briefcase, and walked to the front door. As he reached for the doorknob, a semi-transparent hand shot out and grabbed his wrist. Alex cried out and jerked back, but the hand held tight.

"Password, please," a cold voice said.

"Uh . . . stop the world."


The door slowly creaked open, revealing the body belonging to the hand. It was a tall, slender, semi-transparent man with a fringe of grey hair and dark grey eyes.

"I am Kloppman," he said. "Who are you?"

"Alex. Uh, Alex Durecht."

"The new one," Kloppman said, nodding. He floated behind the desk and began paging through a book. "Mr. Kelly needs to see you."

"Right . . . thanks . . ."

Kloppman gestured to a closed door at the end of the hallway. Alex swallowed and made his way to the door, then knocked.

"Come in!" someone yelled from within. Alex reached for the doorknob, cringing in expectation for another cold hand to grab him. When none did, he cautiously opened the door and stepped in.

Five men were sitting around the office, talking and joking. Two were playing cards, while two others were throwing darts, and the last was reading a magazine.

"I'm looking for . . . Mr. Kelly?" Alex said hesitantly.

"That'd be me," said the one with the magazine, tossing it on the desk. "What can I do you for?"

"I'm Alex Durecht," Alex said, extending his hand. "I was just hired . . .?"

"Oh, yeah, you," Mr. Kelly said, shifting and shaking Alex's hand. "So what do you do?"

"Excuse me?"

"What do you *do?*" At Alex's blank look, Mr. Kelly sighed and pulled a cigarette from his breast pocket. "Light me, Mush."

One of the card-playing guys looked up. "You got it." He closed his eyes and suddenly Mr. Kelly's cigarette was lit.

/A pyrokinetic?/ Alex thought, amazed. /What kind of place is this?/

"Thanks much. Now," Mr. Kelly turned back to Alex, "what do you do?"

"I'm, uh, psychokinetic. I don't like to use it much, though, it gives me migraines."

"Don't worry. You won't use it much today. Can we have a bit of a demonstration?"

"Okay." Alex focused his eyes in the whiteboard behind Mr. Kelly's desk and concentrated. The red marker lifted, uncapped, and wrote in neat, flowing script, "Alexander Durecht." The pen began to shake and was barely recapped before it fell back to its original position. Alex's hand flew to his temple as a sharp, blinding pain shot through his head.

"Impressive," Mr. Kelly commented, turning and examining the work. "You're a powerful one. You could become great with some training."

"Thanks. I--"

"Ooh, he's a nice one. Where'd you get him, Jackie-boy?"

Alex's head shot up at the voice and he stared dumbfounded as a boy slowly came into view, perched on the edge of Mr. Kelly's desk. Mr. Kelly rolled his eyes.

"Spot, this is Alex. He's new here. Alex, this is Spot, our resident pain in the a--er, 'spirit world advisor.'"

"Funny, Jackie. Funny." Spot glared at Mr. Kelly then hopped off the desk, circling Alex and continuing to talk. "Pleased to meetcha, Alex. Why d'you look so scared? I don't bite." He paused. "Often."

"And these," Mr. Kelly said, gesturing expansively to the others, "are your co-workers. Introduce yourselves, boys."

"Miguel Cortes," said the curly-haired pyrokinetic. "Pyrokinesis, but I'm sure you figured that out."

"We call 'im Mush," Spot interjected, " 'cause he turns everything he touches to mush!"

"Eric Bennett," said the other card player, who had a patch over his left eye. "Telepathy."

"He's Blink, and he's telepathe~tic," Spot sang out. Eric smacked him.

"Benedict Rossi," said one of the dart-players, a handsome Italian. "Warlock."

"That's Bumlets," Spot added, " 'cause he has got one gorgeous bum!" He reached over and pinched said bum, causing Benedict to jump and blush.

"James Thatcher," said the final guy, turning and smiling at Alex. "ESP."

"Snoddy," Spot said, grinning. "He has allergies."

"And I'm Jack Kelly," Mr. Kelly said. "Resident necromancer."

"We call him Cowboy because he never shuts up about wanting to go West," Spot said, rolling his eyes. He looked at Alex again, seemingly taking the measure of him. "Durecht . . . that's Dutch, isn't it?"

"Um. Yeah."

"Then Dutchy it is!" Spot crowed, beaming at him and hopping back onto Mr. Kelly's desk. "Seeya, Jackie. Got places to go, things to see, people to do. You know how it goes." He waved and disappeared.

"Welcome to Things That Go Bump Investigations, Dutchy," Mr. Kelly said. "Hope you enjoy your stay."

~end part one~

Continue to part 2