As usual with this series, this one carries a m/m/f warning, but no sex happens in this one. This is
just the morning after piece I know I needed to write, with a twist, before anyone asked to see it.
The next part will resolve, and possible end, the series, but I'll leave that up to you good folks.
Have fun with this, it's short.

Reality is Strange: or who let her into the medicine chest?

Nick woke up, and his first thought of the day was: What went up me? He had now given
a whole new meaning to the word 'sore'. He couldn't remember what happened last night, but
apparently he liked it, a lot, and it happened at least once. He rolled over, trying to ignore the pain and go back to sleep, but not even the nice soft spot he found on Philip's chest could lure him back into the forgiving blankness. "Damn," he whispered.

Philip rolled some at the sound, but didn't wake up. Alex pulled her head up, setting it on
Philip's chest and kissing him. "I know just what you mean. I still say it tastes nasty, though."
She made a face and licked around her teeth, trying to erase some of the tastes from the night

"Huh?" He blinked. //Do you remember what happened?//

"Oh, you might say that." She sent him pictures: him in Philip, resting his head on his
lover's shoulder while Philip pleasured her orally; Nick being ridden on both sides, him giving
into the feelings and throwing his head back, blacking out as he came.

"I guess it was good then." He shrugged and moved some, bringing him closer to her face.
"And what did you do last night love?"

She smiled. "Joined in." She sunk her head back down, grinning all the way and closed
her eyes to go back to sleep. "Just be thankful that I'm not male too."

He laughed and Philip's arm came up around his shoulders, holding him close, so he
couldn't move. He took the hint and settled back down, finding the comfortable spot again and
fell back asleep, sinking into the place where his hole didn't hurt.


Philip woke up, feeling sore and achy. He looked over at the weight on his chest, Nick's
head and one arm, and sighed. He really wanted a bath right now, long and hot, maybe even with
bubbles. He remembered most of what had happened last night and moved his tongue around to
produce some saliva so he could swallow the taste of Alex out of his mouth. He looked down at
Nick, watching the faint light coming through the window put highlights into his hair. He was
going to be extremely sore when he got up.

He chuckled. "But I be' he'll nev'r figh' the bond again," he told himself.

Nick looked up at him, blinking a few times. "Touch me again today and I'll show you
how many ways there are to kill a man with his own little finger." He put his head back down and
sighed into the tight flesh on his chest. "Don't think I won't do it either." Philip started to laugh
harder, setting Alex off enough to hit his shoulder.

"Sshh. And leave him alone, he's gotta be sore."

"Sore would have been just a nice, normal, hard telephone pole going up me. I feel like I
was split by Mars."

Philip laughed. "Well, you didn' wan' to wait long enough to be stretched the first time."
He leaned up and got a kiss for his troubles from his sore man. //I promise next time to try and
hold you off long enough to get you stretched some more. But you did take the lube from me
when I tried and slicked it on me, sitting down unstretched on my body. What did you expect?//

//Do you think there's going to be a next time? I don't.// He sent and bit the edge of a rib.
//And I meant what I said a minute ago.//

//Love, we all felt like that our first time,// Alex sent. //And if we had a working hot water
heater, we'd be giving you a hot bath, rubbing the stiff muscles in your chest, massaging your tight

//Alex, no offense, but I don't want to be touched anywhere. Not for a long time. And
women take bathes, men take showers and Tylenol.//

//Not true, after my first time, I took a four hour long bath, bubbles, salts, and all. It was
heavenly and soothing. My lover came in with me and we talked and cuddled. It was almost as
good as the sex part.//

//Philip, I thought the other night would have been your first time with a man, knowing
how your country feels about gay men and the Church and all.//

//Nope,// Nick sent for him, //it was a friend in Seminary. He was lonely.//

//Aahh, now I see.// Alex nodded, laying back down on his shoulder before moving again.
//Guys, no offense, but would you do something for me?//

//Maybe, what?// Nick sent back.

//Trim your armpit hairs. They're gross.//

Philip laughed. //I don't know if I can do that, it's written in Nick's book of manly behavior
that men are supposed to let it grow.//

//Ha, ha, very funny. Not shave, trim?// He felt Alex nod near the back of his head.
//Okay, but you gotta help, otherwise it'll be all uneven.//

//Would that matter, Nick,// Philip asked him.

//To me.// He yawned and closed his eyes. //Later.// He fell asleep, not really caring what
the others did, as long at they didn't move him to do it.


Alex opened the medicine cabinet, searching for a nice bottle of painkillers. Nick wasn't
the only sore one in the cabin this morning. She was still sleepy enough to take a few of the pills,
not reading the label first to see if it had anything she was allergic to, and brought the bottle to
Nick and Philip who decided together that Nick wouldn't get out of bed until it was time to leave
tomorrow. She handed Philip the bottle, sitting down behind Nick and starting to rub the tense
and sore spots on his back. Philip poured some out for Nick, handing them off, and got his own
out. He closed the bottle, trying to put it on the bedside table, but it fell off, rolling under the bed.
Alex handed off her glass of juice to her men, making sure they each took the painkillers before
setting it beside the bed and laying against Nick's back as half of a living, warm, all over his body
heating pad.

He let them snuggle closer, trapping him between their warm bodies, and he fell back
asleep, still trying to work out his place in all this mess.


Philip opened his eyes to intense colors. They were shifting and swirling and plunging
around him in some intricate dance to some music he thought he might be able to hear. He tried
to reach out to one of his partners, both physically and when that didn't work mentally, but he was
cut off from them by the lights. He started to panic, his hyperventilating waking Nick. He didn't
know how he knew Nick was up, but he knew he was safe now because whatever it was that was
attacking him, Nick would save him from it like usual.

Nick woke, sensing something was wrong, but he couldn't see. He tried to open his eyes,
but he either couldn't or he had went blind. He reached out a hand for one of the others, not
finding them and got scared. He was alone in the dark, no anchor, nothing to ground him, no way
to get out of it. "Hey," he cried, hearing it echo around inside his head. "Come on guys, I need
you." The echoes got deeper, seeming to tell him he was in some sort of wide well, but when he
tried to look up, there was nothing, just more blankness. He knew the others were awake, he
could feel them even if he couldn't see or touch them. So why weren't they answering.

Alex opened an eye, looking around at the nasty manifestations floating in the air.
//Damn, I should have looked at the ingredients. Sorry, guys,// She realized she couldn't hear
them. //Guys?// "Oh, no, not this too. I was joking about them being close enough to get my
PMS, but my allergic reactions to Aspirin? This is starting to get ridiculous." She fought her way
through the ugly monsters floating around her, trying to scratch her into ribbon, finding her bag on the floor. She searched, coming up with her Benadryl, and swallowed a pill dry, hoping it would work fast enough to free them from her nightmare of reaction.


Alex sat on the edge of the bed, watching her men slowly come down off her high and
sighed, everything would be okay now.

"So, Alex, what was that?" Nick asked. He had clutched onto Philip's hand over the last
hour and a half, holding it tight enough to break, while he came down. Philip was right behind,
swatting with his free hand at some lights that were attacking him, or so he kept talking about.

"I'm sorry." She shifted, rubbing her leg against his. "I should have checked the bottle
before taking the painkiller. It must have had aspirin." She handed him her glass of juice,
watching him drain most of it and hand it back. "I've got the pitcher on the dresser. I figured we'd need it."

"Alex," Philip moaned. She got up and filled the glass, bringing it to him. He drank it and
gave her a dirty look. "Don' do tha' again."

"I'm sorry, it was an accident, really." She patted his hair, making him sigh in relief.

He felt better now, the music was gone, and most of the lights were too. He had to brush
off the occasional stray but it was okay he was safe, he could hear the others clearly. Philip tried
to move his hand, but found it squeezed painfully by Nick. "Bad one was it?" Nick just nodded,
so he let him hold onto him until he was ready to let go. "An' I though' demons were hard ta get
used ta," he muttered.


"He said this link is going to turn out to be the strangest and hardest case we've ever
investigated. The paranormal angles alone make dealing with demons pleasurable," Nick
translated. "And I agree. When I talked to Sloan yesterday, when I ran out on you both, he said it was supposed to be like this for a month. That's how long it took the Egyptian quad to get so they could be separated by as much as a city."

"Well, there goes my callin'," Philip said, rolling out of bed. Nick let his hand go, and he
went to hide in the bathroom, locking the door for the illusion of privacy it offered.

They watched him go, sad for pain and loss of most of his life's work, but some little part
of them sung louder, happy that he was going to be there with them forever and no one could take him away.

(To be continued, soon as I finish typing it, in Fighting to end it - which is the longest yet.)