Shiny, Semi-Helpful Sightings.

Two months later, John got a package on base.  He smiled at the familiar handwriting.  Xander had sent him something heavy.  He shook it lightly.  It shifted in the box.  He hoped it was chocolate.  He opened it slowly, looking inside.  What he saw was odd.  Black nylon?  He finished opening it and pulled out the knife.  It was heavy.  He looked it over.  Very heavy but well balanced in his hand.  Had a few marks carved into it.  Looked runes if he squinted.

He found the note inside.  //This is my first one.  It's not perfect but it's a good blade.  It was blessed to Hephaestus and Brigit both.  The marks are protections on whoever wears it.  It might be a bit long for you but see if you can carry it.  It should help protect you from the strange crap that loves your hair.  Lovies, Xander.  PS: working on guns now too.  All Tony's Abby's fault.//

John smiled, moving the knife around in his hand.  It was comfortable.  The grip wasn't something that was going to slip from his hand if he got sweaty.  It was sharp.  Being blessed might help him a lot too.  Teyla walked in and watched what he was doing.  "Tony's coworker talked to Xander about making blades and weapons.  This is his first one."  He let her see it.

She looked it over.  "It is a bit long for me but it seems well made."  She handed it back.  "What are the marks?"

"Protections on whoever carries it.  It's been blessed to some of the old gods."  He slid it back into the sheathe and put it into his back pocket for now.  He'd put it on his belt later.

"How is it going with him?"

"It's fine.  We're still comfy friends without the urge to go the way the nagging aunts want us to.  I haven't had any aunt telegrams in a while either."

"Perhaps they've given up?" she suggested.

"No, they're more stubborn than I am.  They won't be giving up anytime soon.  So, what's up?"

"Ronon and I wished to see this city we're near.  It's bigger than most that we have seen and looks interesting."

"I can get that cleared.  Want to go with McKay and me?"

"If you want."

"I'll clear that," he promised with a smile.

"Thank you."  She smiled and walked off.

John considered it and downloaded a tourist's guide to the city.  He doubted either would be squeamish about some parts of the city but better to let them know and pick places they wanted to see.  He wasn't going to take anyone to the transsexual fashion show going on next week if they didn't want to go.  Ronon might get that confused look that meant someone wanted to cuddle him.  He might freak if a trannie did it instead of some girl.  Best to avoid that situation.  He went to Woolsey.  "Teyla and Ronon want to do some sightseeing with me and McKay."

"They're alien."

"It's not like you can tell," he said dryly.  "No antennas, no tentacles.  We'll be with them the whole time so they won't be traumatized like that one newbie was when he went into a gay bar by accident."

Woolsey looked at him.  "That's cruel."

"Ronon might like the trannie fashion show," he said with a mean smirk.

"Don't do that to them.  You'd have to explain it."

"Fine.  Can they?"

"Fine."  He waved a hand.  "Be with them the whole time."

"Yes, Woolsey.  If worst comes to worst, we can stay overnight with Xander."  He walked off, going to find them and hand over the guide.  "Okay, we're cleared to take a team outing so you two can sightsee.  This is what most tourists want to see.  Tell us where you want to go."  He handed it to Ronon.  Teyla was beaming at him.

"Are you going to make us go to the same bar that made the young one wail in disgust?"

"If you two want to go to a gay bar, we'll hit a gay bar.  McKay can stay in the car."

Teyla looked the guide over.  "What is a transsexual?" she asked him.

"Someone who is changing their gender because they're not comfortable in the one they were born with.  Some think they were born wrong, some are just happier the other way."

"I do not understand."

"Many don't," John assured her.  "Some dress of the other gender for many reasons.  Some want to switch over."

"So they're like I would be if I wanted to be a girl?" Ronon asked.

"Yes, even though that's a really scary image.  If you do, I'm definitely setting you up with Xander."  He walked off.  "Let me know in a few days."

"Thank you," Teyla called after him.  "I do not think I want to see that one."

"Me either.  That is a scary thought," Ronon said.

She nodded.  "Quite.  You'd make an ugly woman, Ronon."

He glared at her but she just smiled.  "What else is there?"  She let him see it so they could figure out what they wanted to see.  The bay was pretty but there had to be other things to do in a city this size.


John got done showing them a mall, which had creeped Ronon out and Teyla had gotten a few new shirts that she liked.  Though she had questions about some of the people who had forked tongues, strange markings, and extra thick things in their ears, eyebrows, lips, chin, tongue, and apparently one girl had a spike in her belly button for some reason.  Couldn't these people not accept how they were born?  John smirked at her.  "The piercings were fashion things," he told them.  "The tattoos too.  It's a young person thing."

"Then why does Xander not have one?" she asked.

"He has sense.  Those things can be yanked on in a fight and pulled out painfully," Ronon pointed out.

"True," John agreed.  "I think he used to have one but he let it heal over when his ex didn't like it."  He heard a shout and groaned.  "No!" he whined.

"We should go see," Teyla ordered.

"I know.  It's probably a demon," he complained.  He walked them that way.  Sure enough it was a demon but it was one that was being taken care of.  He whistled and threw his dagger at Xander's back.  It skidded on the pavement by a few feet but he grabbed it and stabbed the thing, making it die.  He saw the looks around him.  "What?  It's killed by iron."  Xander walked something over to a child, handing it over and patting him on the head.  The mother said a quiet thank you and walked her child off.  Xander strolled over to them, looking amused.  "You're welcome."

"Thank you."  He handed the knife back.  "Hey, Ronon.  And this is?"

"Teyla.  My other teammate.  Rodney will be joining us in a few hours."

"That's cool.  I was getting something for the grill when the demon popped up and decided to eat teddybears that he stole from kids."  He shrugged.  He grinned.  "So, what's on your to-do list today, kids?"

"We were going to stop up for dinner," John offered.

"Then I really need that part for the grill," Xander decided.  "About when?"

"About fourish?"

"Sounds decent.  Muffin's usually up by then."

"Cool."  He grinned as his cousin walked off.  He smiled at Telya.  "That's Xander."

"I could tell.  He moves...unlike what our training is."

"A lot of it he trained himself to do," he admitted, walking them off again.  "He's still done it for something like ten years."

"I see his balance has improved since the last time we fought near him," Ronon said.

"He had just lost the eye then."

"I heard.  Still he has learned to compensate fairly well."

"Yes he has."  He walked them off to the next site.  They wanted to visit the chocolate makers, he could do that.  He could pick up some extras for himself too.  Maybe even more cheaply than at the store.  Chocolate bars were a thriving underground commodity for trades on Atlantis.


Xander looked up as Muffin growled.  "Stop that, they're friends," he said once he knew who it was.  "Get out here and grate wassabi," he called.

"Why are you feeding us Japanese horseradish?" John complained.  "Are you making sushi?"

"Just California rolls.  The rest is some fish, some potatoes, a good salad with chicken and bacon."

"Sounds protein heavy but good," he decided.  "Rodney McKay, this is my cousin Xander Harris."

Xander waved with a grin.  "I'd shake but I'm cooking."

"That's fine."  The dog came to sniff him, growling some.  "What's the matter with it?"

"Muffin, he's not a demon," he said bluntly.  "Pet him instead.  Make him play with you."  She bounced off to pounce Ronon and make him play with her.  "Okay then.  Her toys are in the basket," he called.  "Play with her please."

"I can do that.  She slobbers though."

"She's a dog, they do that."

"I see."  He did play with her.  He'd have to wash his hands later on.  He watched as Teyla looked over the sliding panels.  "That must be so he can open the house to feel more free."

"I would think so."  She smiled.  "Is that your design?"

"That panel is.  The others were here when I got it.  Unfortunately the NID idiots broke that one the day they broke in.  Muffin was very amused when I made them cry."  He went back to cooking.  "You can help if you like to cook, McKay."

"He's allergic to citrus," John said.

"Don't eat the salad dressing and I don't remember putting lemon juice in the rolls," he offered.  "I used a vinegar/oil/citrus mix for the dressing though."

"Is it already on?"

"No.  It's chilling beside the toppings."  He went to check it out.  Everything else might be fine.  "Oh, the fish.  The butter is lemon butter.  I'll make sure your piece doesn't have any."

"Thank you."

"Not a problem.  Any other allergies?" he asked John.

"Not that we've seen.  They should've had everything else already in another way.  Except maybe something in the rolls."

"Split one and make them eat it to make sure they're going to be fine?"  John nodded, taking one out to do that.  He had made extra to snack on anyway.  Xander finished the grinding and put it aside.  "That has lemon juice in it.  Sorry, Rodney.  I can make you some the normal way."

"That's fine.  I'm not fond of wassabi.  You make it like you do guacamole?"

"It's how I learned," he said with a smile.  "Go play."  He went to look around the house.

"He has quite the library of books in strange languages," Teyla said when she spotted him coming in.

"It's research for the fighting he does I'm sure."  He looked them over.  He could read the titles on some of them.  A lot of them were in latin.  He walked off to see the rest of the house.  The moving panels would not be his wall of choice but he knew how being cooped in felt like you were suffocating.  The outdoor table was set but there was bug netting around it.  He sniffed the candles.  Generic citronella wouldn't bother him.  It was only a scent, not true citrus oil.  The grill looked high tech.  John was fiddling with it.  "Are we doing the fish grilled?"

"Yup.  He said to start it and put it on low."  He finally got it started and went in to help.  "They said it's supposed to rain tonight."

"Yeah, we're supposed to get one of those coastal downpours."  He shrugged.  "If you have to, you can stay.  I have the guest suite, the double room, my room, and the couch."

"That's cool."  He went to tell the others.  "Guys, the weather's supposed to turn bad later on, hopefully after we're back on base."  They all nodded.  The dog nudged his hand.  "Hey, Muffin."  He petted her ears, making her a happy lab.  "Go play."  She went to investigate Teyla.  "If we have to, Xander said he has enough sleeping room for us.  Rodney, you and Ronon will probably have to share a room or have a couch."

"I can put up with him for one night," Ronon said.  "I do when we've been away and have to camp."

"There is room for me?" Teyla asked.

"The guest suite is pretty nice.  If I have to I can curl up next to Xander."  She nodded at that arrangement.

"Come get these before I drop them," Xander called suddenly.  John hurried in to help him.  "Sorry, my hand went numb."

John looked at his hand.  "When did you burn it?"

"My tool's handle was hotter than I expected.  It's fine.  It's clean, has a liquid bandaid over it."  McKay gave him a look.  He let him see it too.  "Liquid bandaid."

"Those are nice," he agreed.  "Plus it'll get air for it to heal properly."

"It's not that deep.  More of a scald."  He followed John out to the grill, checking the oil before spraying it.  The fish went on, some coconut leaves went overtop of it and were sprayed with water.  Then the lid was shut.  "Ten minutes," he announced.  John showed them the bathrooms.  Xander got everything else out.  Rodney got a bowl of salad without anything sprayed on it.  The rest got to add their own.  Ronon was carefully eating the spring rolls, staring after each bite.

John leaned over to tell him what each thing was, getting a nod.  When it was time he got up to get the fish, making sure Rodney's didn't get any of the special herbed butter.  It made for a good meal and the conversation was interesting.  No one talked about demons.  They talked about weapons instead.  Xander was happy explaining what he could already do.  It was a good dinner, even if it did start to rain about ten minutes before everyone was done.


Xander woke up being held, which was very nice.  He was also being nuzzled.  He looked back at John, who was awake.  "Nightmares?" he asked quietly.

"No.  Just thinking."

"You think very well."  John smiled.  "What's on your mind, beyond the obvious?"

John shrugged.  "Thinking some future strange thoughts."

Xander flipped over to cuddle him back.  John sighed in pleasure, just being held for now.  "Everyone needs a good cuddle now and then.  Maybe I'll start a local cuddle pile group."

"That's very strange, even for you."  He kissed him.   Xander hummed, doing it back.  It was nice.  It was easier this time.  He knew how Xander would respond.  He liked how Xander responded to him.  They didn't get any farther than a handjob but it was still comforting and helped them both get back to sleep.  And if Tony showed up in their dreams to complain about hearing them in his own dreams, well, they could blame the aunts.


Rodney woke up in the morning and found a monsoon going on outside.  "It was supposed to be clear today," he complained quietly, going to the bathroom.  He came out to the kitchen, finding Xander making coffee.  "Will it ever stop?"

Xander looked at him.  "Supposedly by tomorrow at noon.  John's already called you guy's supervisor and he was not amused.  Then he stepped outside and realized it was raining everywhere but his office.  Since it's emergency driving only right now he said he'd try to get someone named Apollo to pick you guys up but he might not be nearby.  John's getting the dog out of the shower so he can use it.  Coffee?"

"You speak the language of the gods," John said as he joined them with wet hair.  "Muffin's soaking wet.  She refused to move."

"She does that to me some mornings too."  He smiled, taking his coffee so he could take care of his poor, confused dog.  "Morning, Muffin.  Food bowl's full."  She ran off, going to shake off on the back porch, which sprayed McKay and made him splutter.  He heard John laugh so he wandered in to take his own shower.

"He said the Apollo might be able to pick us up," Rodney said, wiping at the new dog hairs on him.

"Maybe.  It's not in orbit right now."  He petted the dog.  "Go stare outside, girl.  Or go eat."  She ran to eat.  "He spoils you rotten," he told the dog.  He looked at his friend again.  "No one knows for sure.  Woolsey told me it wasn't raining four times before someone else told him it was raining and he went outside to see for himself.  Apparently he got drenched and came in saying that was fine.  No one could probably drive with as hard as it was coming down.  The others off base right now were given the same liberty."  Rodney nodded at that.  John got himself more coffee, sipping it.  "If you want sugar or honey they're in the cabinet behind you."

"All those weekends off, you've spent here?"

"I mostly have.  I went home once to be depressed.  Then I stopped in on my way home.  Xander gives a good hug."

"I'm sure he does."  He fixed his coffee.  "Should we make another pot for Ronon and Teyla?"

"Probably."  He set it up to brew a second pot and sat down at the table with the paper he had managed to save from the rain.  The dog came out, hopping up into a chair that had a towel on it to lay down and stare outside.  "Good girl," he said without looking over at her.  She barked.  "No, you nap.  You wore yourself out eating and showering."  She put her head back down.

"She clearly knows you."

"She loves to curl up with me at night too.  Xander wiggles.  I'm more still for her to curl up against."  He smirked.  "She gives a good cuddle too."

"I'd offer but you might like it," Rodney said dryly.  "Breakfast?"

"Might have to be made.  Xander's a fruit person in the mornings anymore.  Or there might be cereal."

Rodney looked for the necessary materials.  "Oat milk?" he said, reading the label.  "Who drinks that?  And what is it?"

"A naturalist product."

"It's off-colored.  Clearly soured," he complained.

"No, it's that color and tastes funny too," John assured him dryly.  "Real milk's in the glass bottle on the door if it's good."  He sniffed it and made himself some cocoa puffs.   Teyla came out to get her own food and coffee.  Ronon stumbled out to get his, his hair tie in his mouth while he gathered his braids back together.  He missed one and Teyla tugged on it, earning a grunt of displeasure as he redid it.

Xander came out in a pair of workout shorts, taking the hair thing and doing it for him.  "There.  Coffee, big guy."  He walked around him, moving to his exercise mat.  "Gotta stretch, guys.  Eat something and ignore me."  He settled in to stretch out.  It helped all the joints that ached after so many years of asking them to do things without knowing what he was doing.  Muffin watched him, leaning over to lick him a few times when his head came close enough.  "I'd take you for a run, Muffin, but it's wet out there."  She woofed and wagged her tail.  He sighed.  "Let me find something I can get wet in.  Give me a few more minutes."  She laid back down.  John was snickering.  "If something happens to me you're her new daddy."

"I could like that.  She sleeps next to me a lot," John reminded him.  He went back to his paper.  Xander got up and found some water shoes - sandals with waterproof, thicker bottoms, no padding inside, and netting on top and sides so you could wear them in the water to swim in.  "Those'll hurt your ankles and knees."

"It'll take forever to dry my regular jogging shoes."  He clipped her leash on her and took off with Muffin for a good, long run.  When he got back, John got him into a warm shower, some warm clothes, and made him eat something.  Xander grinned at the fussing.  "I'm okay."

"Bull."  He went back to his reading.  "Where did you find this one?"

Xander looked at it then shrugged.  "Egypt I think.  Some little back street stall in a market.  I thought it might be stolen from the house of the dead watcher down there."

"Interesting reading," John admitted.  "I didn't think about ice demons."

"You should've heard Anya tell us about Santa."

"I don't want to know," Rodney said quickly.  "Please?"

"Sure."  He ate a bite and looked at him.  "One of the aunts wrote me to ask if he was seriously with one of you two.  I told her to ask him."

"She did.  I told her I'm not with any of my team because it was bad for the team, and to butt out of my bedroom before I took something that would make me impotent.  Her answer was you wouldn't mind that too much and I could still have fun.  It'd make me the wife instead."

"True, you could," Xander agreed.  "I heard that from one of the guys down there that had one leg and most of his hip taken off by a lion attack.  Apparently he did."  John shuddered.  "She sent me that threat so I promised to look up which herbs would do it and for how long.  I think she walked off complaining while calling the others."  He ate another bite.

John looked at him.  "Tony said someone came up to him wanting to have baby hunters."

"I've had one of those.  I told her if she did, I'd have majority custody so I could train it.  She pouted.  I said I'd sex her up without it but I didn't think I could have kids anyway.  She decided not to play with me after all."  He finished his bowl of fruit salad and put it into the dishwasher so he could run it.  He heard the little-used doorbell, going to get his packages from the mailman.  "Thank you.  Have a happy boat trip."

"I try, Mr. Harris.  One bigger one from Cleveland's in my jeep but I can't lift it.  I think it's books."

"Probably."  He trudged out to get it as quickly as he could.  Muffin came over to sniff it, giving her woof of approval before going back to her seat.

"She's very smart," Teyla told him.

Xander grinned.  "Her original daddy hunted with her."  He opened the box, grimacing at the stuff inside.  "Why did I need a codex?"  He sat down to call Giles.  "Why did I need a codex?" he asked when he heard a familiar voice answer.  "Yes, me, Willow.  Whole box of books from you guys.  Fine, I've got guests."  He hung up.  "She'll pick it up in a minute."  Willow appeared.  He pointed at the box.

She saw the rest of the mail and casually looked through it.  "Is that a late notice on your electric?" she demanded.  "You know how to pay bills on time, Xander."

"It was on time, Willow.  I disputed something on it since it was nearly three hundred bucks for just me and I wasn't home for a week of it."  She groaned, taking the books with her.  He rolled his eyes, opening that one.  It said they had reread his meter and he was right, it was misread.  They had credited the overpayment to his account.  Xander looked at it, seeing it was there.  "Cool."  He put it aside with the water bill, going to putter since he couldn't do any work on his forge outside at the moment.  Not until it quit raining.  Muffin followed.  "Go nap, Muffin.  It's too wet to play outside."  She groaned but went to climb up on Ronon to nap on him.

He stared at the lump of dog on him.  "You're still damp, dog."

"She clearly knows another hunter," John teased.

"I am but she's still damp."

"You'll both dry," John assured him.  "Xander has a washer too."  Ronon nodded at that.

"If she's that annoying, try to scratch her chest," Xander called.  "She'll glare and leave you alone."

Ronon did that and she glared at him but shifted to lay beside him instead.  She used his thigh as a pillow.  "I've never met such a friendly beast."

"She's a pet," John told him.  "You guys don't have pets?"

"Yes but they tended not to be this friendly."

"Labradors are like that.  They're all very friendly dogs," John told him.  He went back to his reading.  McKay took the book from him, staring at him.  "He has fun reading but I've already been through most of them.  The tv's over there," he said with a point.  "Internet in the study."  Rodney went that way after asking permission.  John shook his head, going back to the book.  He wouldn't tell them it was a funny story that featured demons.  They probably wouldn't understand.

Teyla looked over the edge of it.  "What language is that in?"

"Latin."  He grinned at her.  "It's an ancient languages that's not really in use anymore.  The watchers had a lot of their libraries in it."

"Is that research?" she asked.

"No, it's fun reading.  He'd huff more then."

She smiled and went back to watching the view with the rain.  Within a few minutes she got a lapful of dog.  "You are very friendly," she assured the dog, petting her.  The dog groaned.  "Did I do something wrong?"

"No, that's a happy puppy sound," John assured her.  Xander came out to switch books on him, getting a smirk for the thriller off the newest action movie.  "Thanks, Xander."

"Welcome.  Less freaking out from science man when you start to giggle at the tentacle sex in a few pages."  He went to put that one back.  John was snickering.  He came out when he heard a crack of thunder, staring at the couch.  A box appeared there.  He saw the note on the top.  "Oh, someone mailed the wrong box."  He opened it, finding some of his things in there.  "Huh, stuff that got packed with everyone else's stuff."  He carried it into his room with a grunt.  He sniffed something and winced, taking it to wash.  "Ronon, if you want I can throw your clothes in so you don't smell like a wet dog," he called.  "I've got to wash off the perfume that's clinging to my stuff."

"I didn't bring anything to change into," he admitted.  Xander got him something, making him happier.  The shorts were comfortable enough and the tank top shirt was very revealing but felt soft and nice.  "Thank you."

"Not a problem.  John's adopted family is like in-laws."  He grabbed the washer as a vision hit him.  "Ow," he muttered.  "I don't have those sort."  He weathered through it.  Then he glared up at the ceiling.  "I'm not going to help a champion and I don't have anything to atone for," he hissed.

"John?" Ronon called.  "He grabbed his head and started to swear and mutter?"

"I thought you didn't have those sort of visions," he complained, coming in to help him out to the couch.  He made him lay down, watching as he had another one.  He rubbed his temples, trying to keep him calm.  He'd never seen visions hit that badly.  That one was barely done when he had a third and a fourth.  By then Xander was trying hard not to cry.  "Shh, I've got you," he soothed.  "What happened?"

"Fucking Powers," he mumbled. "Trying to guilt trip me.  Something about magic around me means that I have them more often."  He winced, turning onto his side.  "The ship that's supposed to come get you guys is seeing problems.  If you guys aren't ready they'll end up taking me and leaving McKay.  While I can work that sort of board thanks to many years of geekdom, I doubt they want me on a ship."

"No, not good," John said, getting his comm unit.  "Woolsey, it's Sheppard," he called.  He got a faint answer.  "Xander's having a vision that the Apollo might be in trouble.  We're all here and can go if they need us to.  I'll make sure Rodney has his comm on so they can't forget him."  He signed off and looked at him.  "What were the other three?"

He glared at him.  "Hubris.  Over confidence.  Refusing and being stubborn."

"Them or you?" he asked.

"Them," he moaned, trying to get comfortable.  "They clearly think I'm going to jump back in and I'm happier with what I'm doing for right now.  Plus I don't think I need to atone for anything.  Not like I killed a bunch of people for shits and giggles."

"No, you didn't," he promised.  He got the boy calmed down, calling Tony while he worked on his neck for him.  "It's me.  Xander's having PTB visions as he called them.  They want him back.  No, we're at his place.  A wonderfully heavy rain storm," he admitted.  "Yeah, you might want to call them and remind them of the principle of backup.  He said some of it was over confidence.  Yeah, we're fine but may have to leave in a few minutes.  Thanks, Tony."  He hung up.  "There, he'll call and make sure they don't need help."  Xander nodded, resting his head on his thigh.

"His dog did the same thing," Ronon said.

John smiled at that small joke.  "They're a lot alike."  He went back to petting his cousin until he fell asleep.  If he ever saw those powers, they were getting their asses shot.  He looked up and muttered a few good swears at them too.  His comm clicked on.  "Sheppard here.  No, I'm swearing at higher authorities, Woolsey.  Are they going to need us?"  He smirked.  "He said he could thanks to many years of geekdom but it might freak people out.  Nope, on the couch afterward."  He hung up and relaxed.  "He called them.  They did say they spotted a ship.  They probably won't need us for it."  Teyla nodded at that.  "So relax.  Ronon, go close the washer lid so it can run?"  He went to do that for him.  John stroked over Xander's hair.  He let his mind drift, drawing himself to the astral plane.  "Cordelia!" he bellowed once he was there.  Yay, summoning worked on the astral plane.  "Can you please tell them that he's not going to help a champion?  He's happy where he is and he doesn't need to atone."

"They said killing vampires is still killing."

"Then they should've gotten him out of the game sooner," he said bluntly.  "Unless one of the family is a champion, he's not going.  Also, they might want to look at what the aunts tried to do."  She blushed.  "Beyond that, Chase.  It's a *bonding*.  I doubt Tony and I need to have sudden splitting headaches and his visions with him."  She shook her head slowly.  He nodded.  "I had some bleedover and we're not fully bound.  I had bleedover before Sunnydale's battle.  Yes it will.  Probably in a battle that could mean the earth going to the aliens if we lose."

"Oh, dear."  She faded out, then came back.  "Wait there."   She went to tell her bosses that and that Xander was going to be ultimately stubborn about his own life.  They said he wasn't woven in some of the battles but he could help a champion since he wanted to help.  She pointed out he was making weapons for them now.  They decided it was good enough and released him.  She came back, finding him not happy.  "They said as long as he's helping, he'll go back to having the other type.  Unless he's urgently needed.  Not that you can do anything after you have one.  You might look into migraine medicine if they're going to get stronger."

"He said they come more frequently when magic is going on around him?"

"They do?"


"I have no clue.  I don't think mine did."  He nodded at that.  "Thanks for the warning though."

"They make me lose a battle and people get hurt because of them, I'll personally come up to deliver my own message."

She nodded.  "Hey, I'm a good cheerleader," she assured him. "I can even get Xander and Tony up here, put them in falsies and a push up bra for you.....  Maybe even heels on Xander."

John shuddered.  "Eww."  He went back to his body.  He looked down at Xander, who was staring up at him.  "They decided you didn't have to find a champion to work for."

"I heard.  That's a scary thought."

"Very.  Tony would look really bad as a girl."  Xander snickered, holding his head.  "I'll tell Rosenburg no magic around you too."  He called out there.  "Which slayer are you?"  He smirked.  "Rona, John Sheppard, one of Xander's cousins.  Can you please warn Rosenburg that each time she has magic going on around Xander it sets off more visions.  We'd like to keep him longer than we had Cordelia when hers started.  Thank you."  He hung up.  He looked down at his cousin.  "Want to hit your bed?"

"I'm fine.  I can pretend to be happy and cheerful while I look up how to block magic from the house."

"Wouldn't that former work room be a problem?" he asked.

"No, we removed all the power in it.  There's some minimal wards around still but they never bothered me.  I think chaos magic is what's setting them off."

"That's fine.  She doesn't need to pray to Janus anyway," he assured him.  "She causes enough without that."

Xander smiled.  "You're cute when you're in overprotective cousin mode."

"I'm always cute," he shot back with an evil smirk.  "You and Tony can only hope to be as cute as I am."

Xander snorted.  "I'm younger.  We're always cuter."

"Especially with your dog but most of the time I'm cuter because I look hotter with my guns."

"Maybe.  I don't have any pictures of me with mine."

"We can take some sometime."  Xander nodded, relaxing again.  Rodney was staring at him from the doorway.  "I am cuter."

"I have no idea what you took that put you into this mood, but please never do it again?"

"I'm teasing him, Rodney.  I'm sure you and your sister did the same thing?"

"Not like that."  He walked off shaking his head.  He checked the washer since it was beeping, redistributing the load.  When the Apollo did call, he was more than ready to disappear and by then Ronon's clothes were mostly dry.  John groaned but moved with them to head up there.  That way they wouldn't have to see how Xander did in ship-to-ship combat.

Xander curled up with his dog, cuddling her.  He needed the cuddle.  His head still hurt a lot.  He hated visions.


Tony winced, holding his head as the vision hit Xander.  "Damn it," he muttered.

"Sudden onset migraine?" Ziva guessed.

"Something like that.  Boss, going to be sick," he said, going to do that.  Finally they stopped and he stopped heaving in the bathroom.  He head and felt what John was doing and it made him happy but he still had a thundering headache.  He wandered back to his desk after rinsing his mouth out, sitting down with a groan, holding his forehead.  "Advil?" he asked when someone came nearer.

"I have some aleeve," Ducky offered quietly.  "When did you start having migraines?"

"When Rosenburg set off Xander having visions.  Thankfully John was there."  He blinked up at him, his eyes wet.  "It won't happen again unless it's an emergency."

"Good."  He handed him two pills.  "Take those and join me in my office, Anthony.  You can have my couch."  Tony swallowed them dry and wandered that way with the older man guiding him.

Gibbs sighed, watching him go.  He was going to have to kill someone so they left his agent alone.  He knew it was going to come down to this.  He walked outside.  "Rosenburg," he called quietly.  She was red-eyed and sniffling.  "Whatever you did that set off visions in Harris carried over to my agent.  Do not do that again."

"I have no idea what happened," she complained.

Cordelia appeared, staring at her.  "Chaos.  Magic."

"But I don't," she complained.

"I don't care.  That's what set off what the Powers had waiting."  The witch made a whining noise while shaking her head.  "Oh, grow up!" she snapped.  "You're putting it out somehow and hurting others!"  She looked at Gibbs.  "Tony should not have another of those because Xander should not have another of those unless he's in immediate danger.  The Powers decided him helping out his own way was good enough since he wasn't ready to hunt more than locally."  She stopped Willow from leaving.  "Oh, no you're not.  You're not going near Xander.  I won't let anyone have the same sort of brain ripping visions that killed me, Willow Rosenburg.  You leave Xander the hell alone.  If they need it, they can use a phone.  No magic around his house at all.  Am I clear?"

"But, I have to protect him, Cordelia."

"Listen, witch.  I'm not just Cordelia Chase.  I *am* the Messenger For The Powers That Be.  Hear me and listen well.  There is to be no more magic around Xander.  Remove all your spells, all that.  I'll warn the trio of aunts myself."  She glared at the girl.  "Every single spell back to what you first put on him to watch over him.  Am I clear on these orders?"

"Yes, Cordy," she said quietly.  "I'll find out why I'm leaking chaos magic too."

"Good!"  She looked at Gibbs.  "When she removes it, it might set off another one.  It shouldn't but it might.  Since he's almost asleep he might get his normal one and those don't affect Tony at all.  It's good that guys like him have someone who gives enough of a damn to threaten others."  She faded out to talk to the other witches.  "Hear me well," she said as she appeared.  It was cheezy but it worked.  "No more magic, especially not anything chaos based, around Xander.  It is setting off visions.  Brain ripping and destroying visions."  The aunt went pale but nodded quickly.  "No more magic around him at all.  Or Tony or John because it could bleed through.  They're better protected because the hellmouth disabled Xander being able to block against it.  So no more.  You, Rosenburg got warned, and all the others.  Am I clear?"

"Yes, miss."

She smiled.  "I'm Cordelia.  I used to date Xander."

"You're the Messenger."  She nodded.  "Do the Powers want him back?"

"They originally did.  They realized how much power and strength he brought to those he backed.  Now they think that him making weapons is good enough.  He's hunting if necessary.  Still, no more magic.  No stealing, no bonding, nothing."

"I'll make sure the others hear."  She nodded and disappeared.  The aunt slumped.  It was a clear warning and they would be hurt if they kept it up, plus Xander might die.  That wouldn't do their plans for the family any good.


Sam Winchester opened an email, smiling at it.  "Xander had a few of my type of visions.  He suggested a few things."

"Will they help?" Dean asked.

"Maybe."  He looked at his brother.  "He said chaos magic being around him set his off.  Willow was ordered no magic around him at all."

"Which means your creepy mind powers have to quit working," Dean pointed out.

Sam considered it.  "That could help.  I'm wondering if there's a way to stop them.  Or if that demon is prompting them."

"He might be," Dean agreed.  "We know he's drawing you closer to him, Sammy.  Which scares the shit outta me."

Sam nodded.  "I get that, Dean."  He read the rest of the message.  "Cordelia had a suggestion about what worked well with hers before hers killed her."  He groaned and shook his head.  He shouldn't have said that.  Dean would turn into a nagging, overprotective, locking-him-in-the-closet big brother again.

"Excuse me?" Dean asked.

"She got hers directly from the higher ups over the champions and slayers," he told him.  "Xander told me."

Dean considered it.  "So hers did what?"

"Hers caused pain because they were too powerful for humans."

"Again, hers did what?"  He was not going to ask again but he wouldn't demand too heavily if Sammy stalled again.  This had to be better than it had sounded.

"Basically the overload started to short circuit it," he said quietly.  "Mine aren't like that, Dean.  I'm not in nearly as much pain as she was."

Dean considered that information.  He licked his lips.  "How likely is it that yours are heading there?"

"As far as I know, unlikely."

"How unlikely, Sammy?" he asked calmly.

"The demon's not as powerful as those higher ups, Dean.  He can't make them that same way."

"To the demon you're a tool," he reminded him.  "Something to get rid of once you've fulfilled his plans.  What chance is there that it's doing other damage?"

"I don't know.  I haven't felt anything other than the migraines I get now and then."

Dean thought about it. "You're seeing someone."  Sam opened his mouth.  "And you're staying with Bobby until after the demon's gone, Sammy.  I can't let him destroy your brain."  He walked out of their motel room to call Bobby to get things started.  They were about three days away.  Bobby told them what to tell the ER so they could get a brain scan and who to send it to near Bobby.

"I'm fine," Sam called from the doorway.

Dean told him what he had learned about the Chase girl's visions.  Bobby agreed it was critical to know.  And that he'd watch Sammy if he had to.  Dean said a quiet thank you then hung up and headed for the car.  "Car, Sammy.  Now."  Sam huffed but went.  Dean got in to drive.  This was worrying the hell out of him.  They got to the ER and Dean forced Sam inside.  "He's having a lot of sudden onset migraines," he told the check-in nurse.  "They started in the last few months but they've gotten stronger and worse.  His last one knocked him out for a few days and then suddenly he's better once it's over with.  No slowly getting better, no other headaches, no allergies."

She nodded, putting that down.  "It's best to get those things checked.  Do you have a regular doctor?"

"One he'll be seeing after a long absence.  We've been on the road a bit."  She helped him fill out the forms and it was a short wait.  The middle of a Saturday morning wasn't too busy yet.


Six days later, Dean slammed his car's door in Xander's driveway.  "Hey, Muffin.  Where's daddy?" he asked, following her inside.  "Xander!"

"Kitchen," he called.  "Want lunch?"

"Did you foresee me coming?" he asked dryly.

"Sam called."  He pointed at the stack on the table.  "All that I have on visions.  Cleveland has three other references and LA has another that they're sending there for you."  He looked at him.  "Sam's are different."

"There's been a shadowy change according to his CT," Dean told him, staring at him.

"No one said that demons played fair."  Dean nodded.  "If you want help taking it out, I'll help.  There's no way I want that thing loose on this planet or planning another try in another twenty years."

"I might need it," Dean admitted.  He sat down to go through the books.  Xander put a plate with two sandwiches and some fries down, earning a smile.  He got some coffee too.  "Sammy fussing?"

"He's worried.  He told me the doctor said it's worrying but doesn't look like cancer, just like too many hits to the head sort of damage.  I told him I knew how that felt after all the concussions I've had."  He sat down across from him.  "We'll do what we can, Dean.  You know that."

"Dad would be throwing fits," Dean admitted, looking at him.

"Your dad was a bit uptight, Dean.  He would've had a go at the Powers."

"True.  He might still have a go at the Powers if he finds out in the afterlife."

Xander grinned.  "That would give him a good incentive to get away."

"Is there any information on that demon?"

"Interestingly enough, Tony caught something in one of the ones I had that weekend.  He said when it's time, there's a ghost town he's using.  Until then he's traveling."

"Do we know which ghost town?"

"He's doing some online picture hunting to see if he can figure it out.  He's knocked out a few states' worth.  By then I was swearing and trying to hold on, not paying absolute attention."

"I can understand that if they're like what Sammy gets."  He went back to reading.  "Any idea how to do it in beyond the Colt?"

"Yes.  You need a different weapon that can kill anything.  That one's good but Tony saw the gun being used to open the portal."

Dean looked up at him, staring him down.  "What?"  Xander nodded.  "So it's dangerous to have there."

"It is.  There are other weapons though.  Buffy's got her scythe that can supposedly kill any demon.  Their apocalypse just finished up so she's resting right now.  She might even go with you to make sure it dies.  Or Faith might."

Dean nodded.  "That's an option, yeah.  Any others you know about?"

"The bottom book is from the aunts recently on mystical weapons.  If I knew more about it, I'd make you something.  I've just barely started to study though.  I can bless things but I'm not sure how you make sure it can kill any demon beyond wishing up a wish demon and asking her."

"You know...." Dean said.

"The ones who might be over it, can't be totally sure, are Evada and Constansia.  Maybe Vyorkin."  Dean wrote that down.  "I can't be sure which one would.  They all kinda sound like they could."

"Hey, it's a place to start," Dean said.  "Would I get to do it or would Sammy?"

"Sam probably would have a better time of it with two of them.  One is for those hurt by demons so either might be effective.  I will remind you that most wishes are a curse and a blessing both."

Dean nodded.  "I understand that.  I'd pay any price to get Sammy out of this, Xander."

"I know."  He smiled.  "Remember, single wish, no connectors like 'and' to make it seem like two wishes, and no being too subtle.  The more blunt and straightforward the easier it is for them to curse them with something that won't backfire on someone."

"I can do that.  Do you have anything on them?"  Xander went to get it for him.  "Dude, you're nearly as good as Bobby."

Xander grinned.  "Someone's got to take over for him when he retires or dies."

"I almost expected that to be Sammy since he's such a research nerd."

"So we'll have two."  He grinned, going back to making his own lunch.  "Remember to eat.  You have to be strong enough to fight the thing."

"I am."  He nibbled while he read over each of the topics.  Yeah, those three demons could probably handle a plea.  It even had how to summon them specifically.  It also explained one guy that he hadn't been able to break a curse on.  Must've been from a vengeance demon.  He looked at Xander later that night, not realizing it had been that long until he realized the window beside Xander was showing stars and darkness.  "Can I send an email?"

"Yup, and your usual bed's free too."

Dean nodded, going to the office to send an email to Sam.  The notes he had were very helpful.  He gave him the name of the books too so he could find more like them and suggested Bobby needed the one on vengeance demons.  He came out and found Xander at an altar, looking at something in front of him.  Then the other boy sighed.  "I can disappear."

"No."  He turned, picking up the blade.  "I made one for John and Tony.  This one's for Sam."  He held it up so he could see it.  "My inscribing has gotten more clear.  That should keep magic from working on him."  He handed it over.  "Those are against demonic magic."

"So it might help him if the demon comes?" Dean asked.

Xander nodded.  "Or it could help him if the demon tries to snatch him like he has the others.  One of the seers at the Council had one.  He's snatching people to Cold Oak.  Tony agreed with the area when he saw the pictures.  You've got about a month, Dean, and Sam's in danger within weeks."

Dean nodded.  "I'll head back tomorrow.  I know your house is no magic."

"Remember, the demon is watching all Winchesters.  He's amused by you, Dean.  He thinks that you're unable to stop him but he's watching you and having fun with your frustration," he said quietly.  "He knew your father could end him, he doesn't think you have it in you.  He's going to try to psych you out."  Dean nodded once.  "Remember who you are, Dean.  Beyond John's son, beyond Sammy's brother.  You're a hunter that's saved a lot of lives and killed a bunch of evil bitches without either of them hearing," he finished quietly.  "If he gets Sammy, he's got you too."

"We're a package deal," Dean agreed.

"Beyond that, Dean.  If he uses Sammy up and has him disposed of, then he knows you'll follow.  He knows that you'll sell yourself for his well-being."  He stared at him.  "Don't make that mistake.  Even if it hurts.  Or you'll be the one hunted."

"Vision?" he asked, looking absolutely serious now.

Xander nodded.  "Not just mine.  If he gets Sammy there, there's a good chance he'll die when he fights back against the demon.  Some people are scared not to follow along and die."  He moved closer.  "If that happens, I saw you and a crossroads bitch, then a kiss."  Dean shivered, staring back into his eye.  "I also saw seals cracking and breaking after you're pulled back to life.  Unlike Buffy, it didn't feel like a happy place you were in.  She saw an end of days that not even Slayers, hundreds of them, could stop or hold back."

"I might go to hell for Sammy, Xander, but I can't let him die."

"Then don't let him be taken and don't let him die in Cold Oak if he is."

"I'll get the knife to him as soon as I can," he promised.

"Leave tomorrow.  You have some time.  He can't use him until a few weeks.  Sam's his favorite to win the Highlander games."

"There can be only one," Dean realized.  "Maybe a spare heir who can do whatever."

"Portal.  Standing hellgate."

"So....  Yeah that's bad."  He went to his room to think and rest.  He had a long fight ahead of him and this might be the last good sleep he got for a few weeks.  Muffin came in and hopped up next to him, letting him pet her to calm himself into sleep.  She was good at it.


Dean found where Sam was waiting for him.  He handed him the knife, watching as Sam glowed for a minute then smiled.  "You okay?"

"He laid a protection spell on it."  He tucked it into his back waistband.  "What's up?"

"There's big shit coming.  I need you safe, Sammy.  Unable to be stolen and perfectly safe.  Or else the whole world goes to hell.  One way or another."  Sam flinched at that.  "He wants you to open a hellgate."

"I know what those are.  I found mentions when I was looking up hellmouths."

"And Xander saw you possibly dying and me reacting," he said flatly.

Sam looked down then at him.  "If you resurrect me like they did Buffy I'd kick your ass and kill you, Dean."

"The best way to prevent it is to not go there."

"Then I won't."

"He can teleport you off."

"I'll ask Willow how to prevent it.  Are we going to do this?"

Dean nodded, moving into the figures Sammy had drawn on the ground.  If his father did this, so could he.  "I call upon Vyorkin, vengeance demon over those whose lives are ruined by demons."  He waited.

The young male with light blond hair showed up, staring at him.  "You're not exactly in my plans tonight, Dean Winchester.  You or your brother.  Why call upon me?"

"The demon after our family," Dean said.  "He's going to claim another member and start bringing hell's armies to earth.  Then you'll have a lot more work."

"I would.  Technically your brother could have called on me."  He moved around him.  "But I can see how the hunting has ruined your life partially.  It's taken you away from the light's path in many ways."  He stopped in front of him.  "I can't destroy him."

"You can help me find a way to destroy him that won't take the Colt," Dean said.  "I'm told the colt is part of the problem."

"It is.  He's amused that you have it for him.  He expects you to bring it to stop him so he can use it then."  He stared at him.  "You could've asked the blonde one."

"We'll willingly work with the slayers but I need to keep Sammy safe and they might do that better."

The demon considered it then smiled.  "Call the Slayer's Scythe, Dean.  Call a pure slayer to wield it.  One of innocent blood.  There's still some of those left, no matter how bad some of the girls are about picking up interesting stress relief.  Have the senior girls ward your brother with the reformed one.  Keep him from being taken if at all possible."  Dean nodded at that.  "Then make sure you don't end up at a crossroads."

"That was something I was warned about thanks to someone's vision."

"Good."  He stroked his cheek, seeing the flinch.  "I know.  Make the wish, baby."

"I wish you'd help me end the demon that took our mother, our father, and now wants to take my brother," he said quietly.  "Because I'm strong but not quite as good as he is."

Vyorkin nodded.  "You have a good plan.  You're strong enough.  You won't lose him if they are.  You have to trust this time though.  That's your weakness."  He left with that.

Dean slumped, looking at Sam.  "Okay, we've got a plan.  Call Buffy."

"She's on her way out.  I heard what he said and repeated it.  They'll be at Bobby's tomorrow morning.  Are you all right?"  He walked Dean out of the figure, watching as it faded.  "That was seriously strange."

Dean nodded.  "It was," he agreed.  "But helpful."  He walked his brother off.  It might be the last time he could spend some time with him until this was done with.  He knew that not trusting would lead to him making mistakes and not focusing.  That could mean they'd both die.


Tony found Dean a few weeks later, waving at him.  "You needed help and it's this or I'm going to beat Gibbs for watching me too closely for another vision attack.  Since I've been in the last two, I figure I might be of some help here."

"This is serious, Tony," Dean complained.

Tony stared at him.  "They always are, Dean.  You'll need more hands.  I even brought you some other help."  He pointed at Xander where he was walking over reading something.  "Is that *really* interesting?" he asked dryly.

"Yeah, it's how to use the gate to suck a soul out of hell."  He looked at Dean.  "Like I'd miss a real apocalypse?  When I'm in the country?"  Dean relaxed a bit.  "Where is he?  I left the other three slayers out there handling the massing of demons with your friend Bobby in charge.  They didn't take to any of the other hunters but one said he felt like a watcher to her."  He rolled up the papers and put them into his back pocket.  "So."

"So," Dean agreed.  "He's around here somewhere."  Xander smirked and held up something.  "That's the colt," he said, looking worried.  Xander winked.  So maybe it wasn't the colt.  Huh.  He looked it over.  Looked the same but the writing was off.  Xander's handwriting needed work.  He put it into his back waistband and they waited.  Dean stiffened.  "Its here."

"Cool," Tony said, checking his own weapons.  Xander was on Dean's other side.

The demon came toward them.  "You won't stop me.  I have other chosen ones."

"Hmm, pity about them too," Xander said dryly.

"Who are you?" he sneered.

"Apparently you fucked up and couldn't get into Sunnydale," he said dryly.  "You missed one."  He sneered.  "But that's okay, I'm here anyway."

"Xander," Tony chided.  "You've never seen the stories about the slayer's knight?" he asked dryly.  "Or his family?"

Dean snickered, looking at Xander.  "Some of those are really funny."

"Yeah, some are.  It's nice I'm dating advice and a boogeyman."

The demon sneered.  "You're nothing."  He waved a hand.  Nothing happened.  "What are you!" he snarled.

"Special," Xander said.  "You'd be surprised."  He shot the 'special child' the demon had with him.  The guy went down with a scream of pain.  Not dead but severely injured.  The demon attacked, calling more demons in to attack them.  The slayer waiting out of the way came running in to help get the main demon while he and Tony took on the others.  He noticed it when the colt got lost and the demon picked it up.  He silently cast the spell as the demon inserted it into a lock, kicking the ass of the demon in front of him at the time.  The demon howled as nothing happened.  Well, something happened but not what he wanted.

Tony jogged over to get the fake colt.  "Now, Tamara."  She lunged and killed the demon.  The slight portal sucked him in.  Tony removed the gun.

Dean stared at his father and the two other spirits that were fading.  "Dad," he said quietly.

"I'm proud," he said.  "Keep those girls from jumping Sam, son.  They might bruise him."

"Only if he wants it that way," Tamara quipped.  Xander popped her one on the back of the head.  "Hey!  You're not a watcher either, Xander.  You left!"

He glared at her.  "I had my reasons, Tamara.  After eight years of this, you'll understand that."  She slumped.  "Besides, I'm still hunting, just less often."  He smirked at John.  "Like the colt?"

"I do, Xander.  Are you feeling all right?"

"Hell no.  I'm trying really hard to hold off the screaming vision that I can feel coming."

"Fighting it makes it worse," Dean said  "It does Sammy's."

"His come out faster when there's more magic around," Tony told him.  "Let it go, Xander."  Xander shook his head.  "I've got you, let it go."  He knocked Xander out, letting him have it in his dream instead.  It was kinder.  He stared at the other two spirits then at John.  "Let's give them a minute alone, Tamara."

"You knocked him out," she complained, walking off.

"Which is one of the many reasons he left," Dean shot back.  "Because none of you would've respected him for what he's done."  He looked at his father once Tony had carried Xander off.  "So," he said.

"I'm very proud.  Your mother will be too.  And no deal.  That was a slick way around it."

"You're not pissed?"

"No.  It was necessary."  He faded out.  "Be safe, son.  Take a break too before you turn into that boy."

Dean swallowed, walking off, going to help with the mop-up out there.   "How did he cast that spell?" he asked Tony.

"Xander's got hellmouth taint.  He used that," he said.   "It's not a true gift but it's damn handy.  Like quickening being forced through a small point to raise a lowering ceiling."

"Is he immortal too?" Dean quipped.

"Damn I hope not.  The aunts are still hot to have me join him and John."  Dean snickered.  "C'mon.  Let's go rescue Sam from the senior slayers."

Bobby looked over.  "They're doing bad things?"

"Dad managed to escape.  He said they might bruise him some."

"If that's what Sammy wants," Bobby decided.  "It's good to take his mind off things I guess."  The slayers finished off and came over to check on Dean.  They ignored Xander.  "How did he get knocked out."

"He was fighting having a vision.  Him having dream ones are usually easier for him," Tony said.  "All the magic going on."

"His aren't like Sammy's right," Bobby asked.

Tony shrugged.  "No clue.  Usually he has dreaming ones."  Bobby nodded.  "Girls, let's get you back to the house so you can go home."

"Why did you bring Xander?" one asked him.  "He's injured and nearly worthless in a fight."

"He's a better fighter than I am," Tony told her.  "A decade of doing it proves that.  Just because he fell back because he didn't want to kill things anymore doesn't mean he didn't do it before, Katy."

"So shut your spoiled little bitch mouth," Dean added.  "He's a veteran at what you're still learning."

"It's the attitude thinking he's helpless because he's lost an eye that meant he needed to not come back," Tony finished.  "Because none of you would respect him, even after watching him save the girls he worked with."

They slumped.

"Sometimes growing up hurts," Bobby told them.  "You can think on it on the way home and ask Buffy and Faith."  He got them shooed back to the vehicles.  Tony drove the slayers.  Xander was put into the back of the Impala.  The protections on her might help ease the vision a bit.  Bobby drove home, hoping the girls hadn't messed up anything in his house.  Sammy knew better.  The senior slayers were still girls and there hadn't been any of those with him in a while.  Though he could see that the younger ones needed a firmer hand on their behinds again.


John got up to pace, knowing what was going on.  "Stupid fucking bastard," he muttered.  "He's not in shape for a battle!  He screwed up his ankle two days ago!"  He paced in the other direction, feeling it going.  He had to wince when the vision feeling started.  "C'mon, Xander, you know not to fight those.  They hurt more."  He rubbed his forehead.  Then it went blissfully quiet.  Which meant Xander was unconscious but the battle had been over with.  So lucky shot or a slayer?  He went back to pacing.  He could still feel the vision but it looked like it was in his dreams instead.  Which was a blessing really.  He groaned, rubbing his forehead as it hit.  He closed his eyes to see what he could.  Xander had layered ones.  Tony caught some things that Xander didn't and so did he.  Which was really strange.  Even after all he'd seen and done.  He flopped down, not liking that.  He squinted, taking it down in a new email to O'Neill.  He had to know about the ship thing.  It wasn't a good problem in the least.  Then he went to bed.


Teyla tried to get John up again and couldn't so she called McKay.  "I cannot get John up," she said when he stomped her way.  He paused to stare at her.  "I heard him pacing a bit ago."

McKay jimmied the door open, finding him on top of his covers, asleep or passed out.  He walked over to check him over.  He was breathing but he wasn't sleeping.  He was possibly meditating.  He looked around the room, seeing the open email up.  He read it over, grimacing, and sent it.  That had to be known about.  He looked at the man on the bed again.  "Yours or his?" he complained quietly.

"He won't wake," Teyla pointed out.

"Quit," John mumbled.

"John, wake up," she insisted.

He blinked at her.  "I was calming Xander down after he saw three cities destroyed."  He groaned as he sat up.

"So it was his vision?" McKay demanded.

John nodded, rubbing his forehead.  "Xander went to help Dean defeat the demon that had been after his family for years.  It was trying to open a hellgate.  Basically a single-dimension hellmouth," he said at Teyla's curious look.  "There was some magic there and it set off a hell of a one."  McKay tossed him a packet of pain killer.  "Thanks."  He blinked at him.  "What?  You're pissed?"

"Those can't be good for you.  Especially not with the pain they cause."

"If we could keep magic away from Xander, it'd be easier on all of us.  I have no idea why his visions have things that only Tony and I get when he has them."  He took the painkillers, grabbing his bottle of water off the bedside table.  "I was resting and suddenly there was a battle."

"You cannot shield from him?" she asked carefully.

He stared at her.  "No, I can't.  That's because of the aunts.  If they had gotten their way it'd be a more direct link.  Maybe then but not at the moment."  He took another drink.  "Why are you two in my room?"

"I heard you pacing and muttering but you wouldn't answer," she told him.

"Oh.  Sorry.  Woke up from a nap with a battle in the back of my head."  He blinked at his computer.

"I sent it," McKay assured him.  "How often is he having them?"

"Usually when he's asleep.  It's fairly rare for a daylight one and those seem to be brought on by magic going on around him."

"So if he didn't leave the house that often he wouldn't have them," McKay told him.

"Which is a sucky life," John countered.  "It's not his fault he ran into the one witch in the park that day."

"Whatever.  You need to be scanned to make sure it's not hurting your brain as well as his."  John gave him a confused look.  "They did it when Cadman and I were merged," he reminded him.

"Yeah, because you were going to warp her too badly."

"It's best to make sure that the pain isn't from a more serious problem the visions can be causing," Teyla insisted.

"Fine.  Whatever."  They backed off.  They knew that tone of voice.  "Not to be rude, guys, but I need a nap to get rid of the headache."

"You can do that in the infirmary."  John started to open his mouth.  "You'll go or I'll put it over the comm to bring a medic team to get you.  We can't have you down."

John groaned but got up and put on shoes so he could be walked down there.  "Hey, Doc."

"What happened?" she asked, seeing the pain on his face.  "Another headache?"

"Xander was in a battle, there was magic, he had a forced vision.  He shared."

"Can't you block him out?"

"Nope.  Not unless we fully go for the marriage thing."  He sat on a bed.  Teyla and Rodney left.  "They're worrying over nothing.  Rodney was worried about brain rotting problems."

"That might be happening with the amount of pain you've been getting."

"His usual ones don't hurt any of us.  It's the forced ones that suck."

"Of course they do.  Let's do a brain scan.  Just in case it's doing some damage."  She got him into the machine, watching what came up.  He came out and got put into a bed with a sedative.  She called Doctor Lam at the main base.  She only had the briefest knowledge of brain problems.  When she caught one starting she put him back into the machine so she could see what exactly was going on.  Doctor Lam would need that information and it wasn't like they could conjure one up on demand.


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