Title: Making It All Go Away, part 4
Author/pseudonym:  Voracity
Email address: boookwrecker@yahoo.com
Rating: pg13
Pairings: jim/blair, derek/nick
Fandom: sen/ptl xover
Other website: Voracity.tripod.com
Disclaimers: if I owned them, I wouldn't be at this school, now would i.
Warnings:   angst!
Notes: Started many, many years (about 3) ago, but not in a galaxy so far away, after all college is college for the most part.<G> This is a sentinel/ptl xover story that starts after the last Sentinel ep ::gag:: happened.   It is also a prequel to Coincidence? Not!, which is in the PtL index.

Summary: Blair's lie is fixed but now he has to find a new path in life.

Derek looked up, his pen dropping out of his hand as a man he knew very well walked through
the door.  "Philip," he whispered, standing up.  He walked over, standing in front of him for a
moment before pulling him into a hug.  "Oh, got, you're all right."

"I'm fine," Philip said, pulling back.  "And I'm sorry I'm such a stubborn ass."

Derek smiled.  "I'm not the one you need to apologize too, though I do believe he's out in the city
right now running errands."  He waved at the sitting area.  "Sit, please."

Philip nodded, walking over to the couch.  "Actually, I'm here because I need some help of my
own."  He cleared his throat, looking down at his clenched hands.  "I have a parishioner that
needs your special brand of help.  Her parents decided it's a mental illness and have had her
committed.  Even her doctors are saying she's got the sight and that she shouldn't be there."

Derek coughed.  "What do her parents say to that?"

"Not much.  They died last night in a car wreck.  And I think the girl did it.  Or at least she does."
Philip shifted slightly.  "She called me this morning after she had been told and said she'd been
thinkin' about it too hard."

Derek frowned.  "Who's to be her guardian?"

"She doesn't have one."  Philip looked up.  "Derek, I'm sorry, it's Kat's cousin.  Rachel's not been
helpful at all either.  Since she left, she's been keepin' Kat from doin' anything."

Derek relaxed back into the well-padded leather of the couch.  "We could file for temporary
custody.  If Rachel doesn't."

"That's another problem."  Philip reached behind himself and pulled out his wallet, handing over a picture he pulled out.  "That's Kat's new step-da."

Derek burst out laughing.  "She married a former member from Seattle?"

Philip nodded.  "He's been keepin' Kat sane and in touch with me."  He stopped as the door
opened, standing up when he saw it was Nick.  "I came ta apologize," he said softly, looking at
the man he had once considered his brother.

"Did you?" Nick asked coldly.  "Derek, the receipts are upstairs.  I'm going to go help Jim."

"Actually," Derek said, "I need you to help Philip.  It seems he's got a parishioner who's got the
sight and may have caused her parents death last night."  He pulled Philip back down.  "I would
like you two to talk also.  We don't need the stress in the house at the moment."

Nick shrugged, crossing his arms over his chest.  "What's up with the kid?"

"She's Kat's cousin.  Rachel's said she wants her to stay in the hospital until she's cured of her
delusions of power, as she put it.  The kid called me this morning, swearing she had caused the
accident because she had been thinkin' too hard about hatin' them for puttin' her in the hospital."

Nick nodded.  "Okay, I'll take lead investigation.  You want me to pull Jim and Blair in?"

"Yes, I do believe this would be a goot example of how Jim could use his natural abilities to help
the house, he would feel more comfortable with this sort of case."

Nick nodded.  "Okay.  I'll call Blair back and tell him to meet us at the hospital."  He turned and
walked back out of the office.  "Later," he called over his shoulder.

"He'll never forgive me," Philip said.

"Nick takes any betrayal seriously," Derek reminded him.  "You two have had this problem
before.  Something's going to have to give soon, the house doesn't need this sort of stress.  We
have enough built in already."

"Ya have new members?  Gifted ones?"

"Yes and no," Derek said with a small shrug.  "It's very complicated at the moment.  It's a
destined pairing but one of them's fighting it with all he has in him."  He smiled as Alex walked in.  "Philip has a case for us, I'm giving it to Nick and Jim since you're still ill."

"So do I," she said softly, sitting down in a chair.  "I'm pregnant."

Derek smiled.  "That's hardly..."

"I haven't had sex recently.  As in for over sixteen months."

Philip's mouth hung open.  "You are?"

She nodded.  "I feel like a bad movie plotline."   She sighed, looking at her boss.  "What do I do?"

"I'd say that you're going to go to the doctor's to make sure," Derek said as he stood up and
walked over to the desk, pulling out the phone book.  "What's your ususal doctor's name?"

"Emry's.  She's in General's Medical Center."

Derek flipped through the phone book, stopping to run his finger down it.  He picked up the
phone.  "I'll make an appointment for you, until then I want you to do what feels natural to you."
He looked at Philip, who was staring at Alex.  "Would you like Philip to look for a taint?" he
asked quietly, dialing.

Alex looked at Philip and smiled.  "I wouldn't trust anyone else."  She stood up.  "Come on, you
can do it up in my room since it apparently happened there or at my Grandmother's house."  She
led her friend out of the room, leaving Derek alone.

Derek sat down behind his desk, pasting a fake smile on his face as a voice answered.  "Yes, hello. I'm calling to make an appointment for a patient.  Alex Moreau.  Yes, she is, of Doctor Emry's."  He nodded, picking up a pen and pulling some paper over.  "No, she thinks that she's pregnant and needs confirmation.  Yes, this is her boyfriend.  Tuesday would be fine.  Nine am?  Fine, thank you.  Is there anything special she should..."  He nodded and wrote something down.
"Thank you.  Yes, I will be attending with her."  He hung up, leaning back and closing his eyes.
"Why does this happen to this house?" he asked the room.  He got up, taking the paper upstairs.


Derek looked up from his position on the bed at his husband, who was supposed to be preparing
him.  "What?" he asked when he saw the worried look.

"Your prostate's a little bigger than usual," Nick said, working his finger over it.  "And you're
usually begging by now."  He withdrew his finger, laying down on top of Derek's chest so he
could listen to his heartbeat.  "I want you to go see someone.  This could be serious."

"Or it could just be where we've been making love more than usual," Derek pointed out.  Nick
looked up and glared at him, while his bottom lip started to extend in the slightest of pouts.  "Oh,
all right, don't ever give me that look again, please."  Nick nodded, putting his head back down
and Derek rubbed his back.  "I'm sure it's nothing," he whispered.  "It's not cancerous, I'm sure of
it.  There's no history of it in my family."

"There doesn't have to be," Nick said, hugging his love to him as tightly as he could.  "You're
making an appointment in the morning and I'm going in with you."

"If you'd like," Derek said, squeezing Nick back.

They fell asleep, comforted by each other's presence.


Blair looked up as Derek and Nick walked into the kitchen, holding up his glass of juice.  "I just
made some, it's in the fridge."

Derek shook his head.  "No, I best not.  The doctor said to drink water."  He patted Nick's hand.
"You and Jim are going to mostly be on your own today.  Alex has a doctor's appointment this
morning and I have one after hers."

Jim looked up. "What's wrong?  You don't seem sick."  He started to turn up his senses but Blair
kicked him under the table so he gave him a look.

"Please don't," Derek said quietly.  "That would be an invasion of privacy."  He smiled at Blair,
patting his shoulder.  "I want you and Jim to work with Philip today on that child's case.  What's
her name anyway?"

"Melissa.  She's Kat's paternal cousin."  Blair finished his juice.  "Nick, get you something?"

"No thanks, I'm too upset to eat."  He rubbed over the back of Derek's hand.  "I'll eat after we're
out of the doctor's."

Jim coughed lightly.  "I have the report from the mechanic that looked over the car.  He called a
few minutes ago."  He pushed his chair back.  "He said there was nothing physically wrong with
the car but from the scene of the accident, it could have been that they saw something and went
off the road."

"So we need to know if she can project?" Blair asked.

Jim shrugged.  "Not my area.  I'm doing the normal stuff."

"It's all normal stuff," Blair said firmly.  "Trust me, we need to see if she can project and if not, we need to find out what they skidded away from."  He came back over to the table with a plate of sandwiches.  "The butler left them for you.  Frederick said that you'd need them today."  He sat back down next to Jim.  "How do we get in touch with Philip?"

"I'm sure he's at Saint Luke's again," Derek said.  "If not, you might ask Alex before she leaves.
I'm sure she's kept in touch."  Blair nodded, taking a bite of his eggs.  "Where is Frederick
anyway?" he asked, looking around.

"His wife had to be taken to the hospital, she slipped and fell in the kitchen with some crystal in
her hands.  He's going to meet her there."  He glanced at Jim.  "If we need me to, I can cook
tonight.  I'm actually decent at it."

Jim nodded.  "Very decent.  Even I couldn't complain about it, except for the ostrich chili."

Nick snickered.  "Ostrich?  As in big chickens?"

"Yes, and it was very good too," Blair said, giving him a hurt look.  "Even if most cops do have
ruined taste buds."

"It's from all the bad coffee they drink," Jim said, pushing back from the table.  "I'll go check on
Alex and get Philip's number."  He stood up, walking out of the room.

"He seems much more comfortable here," Nick said, looking at Blair.

"It's the case, he's trying to prove that it wasn't her."  He nibbled on his turkey bacon.  "He's a
born skeptic so he's going at this from the disproving it angle."

Derek sighed.  "As if Rachel weren't bad enough."  Nick rolled his eyes.  "The girl you're going to see today's aunt is one of our former house members who we've had a falling out with.  She's
another skeptic but when it started to manifest in her daughter, she pulled away from us."  Derek
got up and got himself a glass of water from the pitcher in the refrigerator, sipping it as he leaned
against the counter.  "Even she had to believe sometimes, especially when her own daughter
started to use magic."

"Oh, and if you see Kat today, tell her I said hi," Nick said with a small grin.  "And that I did get
her letter.  Just don't let her mother hear you say it.  She'll throw a fit and have your tossed out of
the hospital."

Blair nodded.  "Will I have problems with her?"

"Not until she finds out that you're from here," Derek said lightly.  "Then, yes, I do believe you'd
best be wearing armor."  He finished his water, pouring some more and coming back over to sit
down beside his husband.  "She was also not fond of mine and Nick's relationship.  Though she
hated Philip on sight because she thought he was throwing away his calling."

"Not to mention that Kat doted on Philip when they were together."

"Goot point," Derek sighed, reaching over to pull Nick into his side for a hug.  "From all
reports," he said once he had released Nick, "she's not been there to visit.  As a matter of fact,
she's also not claiming a relationship with the child, though she has made her opinion known
about keeping the child in the hospital unnecessarily."

Alex walked into the kitchen followed by Jim.  "I just got off the phone with Philip.  Rachel's
signed paperwork to keep him away from her."  She sat down next to Blair, stealing a piece of his
bacon.  "Turkey?" she asked.

"Can't eat ham," he reminded her, pushing over his plate. "Is she assuming custody?"

Alex shook her head. "I talked with the social worker on her case, Rachel's refused to take
custody when they asked her.  She's not signed the forms yet to give up her position but she's not
taking it."

"So we're stuck in the middle?"

"Not really," Alex said with a small smile.  "The social worker is going to go remove the order.
She knows that if I'm involved then something strange is going on and she'd rather we handle it
than her."

"Less paperwork," Jim said wisely.  Blair nodded.

"Exactly," Alex said with a small smile.  "Paperwork makes all civil positions go 'round."  She
looked at Derek.  "You don't have to come with me, really."

"Yes he does," Nick said quietly.  "He has one later today."

Alex opened her mouth then shook her head and closed it.  "You'll tell us if it's actually
something?"  Nick nodded.  "Okay."  She stole another piece of bacon from Blair's plate.
"Where's Fred?"

"His wife fell with crystal in her hand," Jim said.  "Blair's filling in for right now."

"Just, please, make dinner, and lunch if we're back, something soothing," Alex pleaded.  "I don't
think I could handle non-comfort food tonight."

"Fuzzy comfort food or not?" Blair asked.  She smiled and patted his hand.  "Okay, fuzzy comfort food it is."

"That doesn't mean it's going to have fur, right?" Nick asked carefully.

"No," Blair said with a small smile and a chuckle.  "It means it's going to be fried.  It's called fuzzy comfort food because it gives you the warm-fuzzies, or so I had a student tell me."

Alex grinned.  "It's things like fried chicken.  Real homey food that gives you comfort."

"Okay, I could handle that," Nick said, relaxing.  "Just so long as it doesn't have anything to do
with fur."

"No fur," Jim said. "I'll get him if it does."

"You seem much more comfortable," Alex remarked, and Jim stiffened.

"It's my post-hypnotic suggestion," Blair joked.  "It was working until he realized it was

"Sort of like not thinking about the pink elephant?" Nick joked.  He reached over to pat Jim's
hand.  "It's okay, you can let down your guard here.  We won't hurt Blair."

Jim nodded.  "I know.  I didn't realize I had become that comfortable until Alex mentioned it."
He picked up another bite of egg, eating it quickly.  "It just felt so natural there for a minute."

"You could forget I said anything," Alex suggested.  "I'm sure we wouldn't mind."

Nick snorted. "He could forget the whole morning and it'd be okay with us."

"At least you guys weren't being noisy last night," Blair said, looking at Derek, who went pale.
"There's a great guy here in town, I met him while he was in school.  If you need something on
that end, he works over at Mercy.  He's a specialist in that area."

Nick shook his head.  "It's not necessary yet. We're going to go in for preliminary tests this
morning."  He patted Derek's hand, entwining their fingers.  "We're still hoping it's nothing."  He
looked at Jim's confused expression and shook his head.  "Don't worry about it, it's nothing, Jim."

Jim nodded.  "If you say so."  He scraped his plate and picked it and Blair's empty one up, taking
them over to the sink.  "Anyone need anything since I'm up?"

"Just some water please," Alex said.  "I have to give samples this morning."

Jim grinned at her as he handed over a bottle of water.  "Thought I heard that."

Derek choked. "You checked?"

Jim shook his head.  "I was paying attention to Blair's heartbeat when I get up like usual, it's how
I center myself, and I heard an extra heartbeat.  There aren't too many causes of that without

Alex sipped her water, nodding.  Nick looked at her.  "You are?"  She nodded again.  "How?
You haven't dated since the last time I did."  Derek slapped the back of his hand.  "Oh, Alex," he
said, getting up and going to give her a hug.  "You okay?"

"No," she said, squeezing the arm that was around her chest.  "I still haven't been with a man since then."  Nick stepped away from her in shock.  "Which is why I'm going to the doctors.  You

"Nick thinks my prostate's enlarged," Derek said quietly, twiddling his glass on the table.  "We're
going to make sure it's nothing."

Alex reached over to hug him.  "I'm sure it's not that, Derek," she said, squeezing him.  "It's
probably all the stress we've given you."

"Jim's been giving him," Nick corrected.

"Both of us," Blair amended, finishing his milk.  "I'm not any less stressful than Jim is.  We're kind of a package deal of stress."

Derek looked up and frowned at Blair.  "Don't ever think that this is your fault.  This has nothing
to do with the stress you've caused.  We've had worse weeks of stress during normal case loads."
He finished off his water, standing up.  "Now that we've all shared, I think we should head out for our day.  Jim, when are you meeting Philip?"

"We'll meet him at the hospital," Jim said calmly.  "In Melissa's room."  He looked at Blair.  "Do
you have what you need?"

"Yeah, just need to stop and get something to make notes on," Blair said, standing up and
brushing the crumbs off his shirt.  "Meet you at the front of the house?"

"We're going to have to, I don't have a vehicle here," Jim reminded him.

"We could fix that," Blair said as he headed up the back stairs.

"Not likely," Jim called after him.  He turned to find Derek and Nick staring at him.  "What?  My
truck's about broken anyway.  I was going to authorize Simon to sell it or give it to his son."

Nick shrugged.  "It's probably safe enough for a teen and he seemed level-headed."  He tugged on
Derek's arm.  "Come on, we have to make the next ferry to get Alex there on time."

Derek nodded, waiting until he was alone with Jim.  "Is this a statement that you're staying?"

"At the least in the city," Jim amended, holding up a finger.  "Here is still a touchy subject in my

Derek smiled kindly.  "Don't worry, I feel that you'll make the perfect choice for you both."  He
walked out with a wave.  "We'll see you for supper definitely."

Jim waited until he was alone to lean against the table.  "Why did I say that?" he muttered, closing his eyes.

"Because it's what you want?" Blair suggested from the stairs, leaning against the framing at the
bottom.  Jim looked up and nodded.  "So stay.  No one's going to yell unless you try to leave

Jim walked over to him, holding out a hand.  "I'm going to need help becoming comfortable here," he said quietly.

"Hey, you've got it," Blair said gently, patting his hand.  "Now come on, we need to go meet
Philip and the ferry after this one is in another hour."  He walked off the stairs, heading for the
front of the house, jingling his keys.


Alex smiled at Derek and clutched his hand as her doctor sat down across from her.  "Well?" she

"Alex," her doctor said calmly.  "I have to tell you, you are pregnant, but it seems that the child is
abnormally large for your proposed term."  She frowned, looking down at the chart she was
holding.  "You're not just a month or so, it appears as though you're almost second trimester."
She looked up in alarm as she saw Derek catch Alex from the corner of her eye.  "Lay her down," she said, getting up to come make her comfortable.  "Alex, relax, this isn't bad news.  Both of you are extremely healthy.  You shouldn't have any problems having this child."

Derek leaned down, kissing her forehead.  "Never fear about the child or yourself," he whispered
against her hair.  "You'll both be well-taken care of."

The doctor smiled at him.  "That's good to know.  Many fathers-to-be today are less than
enthusiastic over becoming a parent."  She closed the folder.  "I do want you to start taking some
vitamins, though it's too late to prevent many of the birth defects that could have been started due
to malnutrition."   She looked at Derek.  "Doesn't she work beside you?"  He nodded.  "I want her
to cut back on her stress level.  No more midnight calls to help you do something."  She smiled
and stepped back.  "As soon as she's steady, her prescription is at the front desk and they'll make
her an appointment."

Alex sat up.  "Thanks.  I was thinking about a midwife..."  She smiled at the nod.  "You think it'd
be okay?"

"Alex, if I lived out in that castle, I'd want to have it out there too.  And no, I'm not seeing a
problem with you going to a midwife.  Have her refer to me for problems and we'll be fine."  Se
smiled and headed out of the room.

Derek kissed Alex's temple.  "We'll figure it out later," he whispered.

"Yeah, we will," she said, rubbing over her still-flat abdomen.  "We'll have to figure a few things
out later, won't we?"

Derek walked out of the room to give her privacy, smiling at the nurse.  "She's dressing," he
explained.  "She wanted privacy."


Nick looked at the doctor as he walked back into the exam room.  "So?" he asked, body coiled to
jump and attack.

"Relax, Mr. Boyle," he said with a small smile.  "It's not his prostate, but I did find something else that worries me greatly.  Derek, I'd like to set up an appointment for you to be 'scoped."  He saw the confused looks.  "I found what felt like some abnormal tissue.  Now, this could be from a tear earlier in your relationship, but I do want to be safe.  What they'll do is they'll use a camera to look up your colon."

Derek shuddered.  "Is it necessary?"

"I'm afraid so," the doctor said calmly.

"Yes!" Nick said harshly.  "And I'm going to be sitting there talking to you the whole time."  He
squeezed Derek's hand.  "How soon?"

"I checked, there's a cancellation this afternoon at the hospital.  You could go there."

Nick nodded.  "He'll be there.  When?"

"Nick," Derek started to protest, but his husband simply looked at him, his eyes showing how
scared he was.  "All right, I'll be there.  When?"

"Three-thirty," their doctor said, handing over a slip.  "Just water, Derek, and you'll need to be
clean before hand."

"We'll go rent a motel room for the day since we won't have time to get back to the castle."  Nick
took the slip, glancing at it before putting it in his pocket.  "Food?"

"I wouldn't, just in case.  Water may be fine but not that much.  Depending on what they find,
they may want to run more tests tonight."  Nick nodded.  "Just give him an enema before he goes
in.  We'll need him clean to see the tissue."  Nick nodded again and the doctor shut the chart he
held.  "I wish I had better news for you both," he said gently.  "But at least it wasn't prostate

Derek shuddered, clutching Nick's hand.  "Thank Got for that," he whispered.  "Thank you."

"You're welcome, Derek, just take care of Nick.  He deserves it.  Same as you do him."  He got
up and walked out.

Nick looked at Derek.  "I'll call home while you change."

"Call Blair's cellphone, they can come pick Alex up," Derek said as he slid off the table and
grabbed his clothes.  "We'll stop at the drug store on the way to the nice hotel you like."

Nick smiled, standing up and hugging his husband.  "I love you, Derek, no matter what's going
on.  Remember that."  He walked out of the room, giving his love the time alone he needed.

Derek pulled on his pants.  "I know, Nick, but I wanted to be healthy for you for many years to


Philip knocked on Derek's door, walking in at the irritated grunt.  "I heard," he said quietly,
walking over to sit on the foot of the bed.  "Are ya all right, Derek?"

"It's a shock," he admitted.  "A bad one."  He held a hand out to Nick as he walked in, accepting
him against his side.  "I do want you two to talk while I'm in surgery."  Nick started to shake his
head but Derek kissed his cheek gently.  "Yes, love, I need you to not be mad at Philip any longer.  I need your attention now, not having it split is important."

Nick nodded, looking at Philip.  "I'll talk to him," he agreed quietly.  "And I won't yell."

Philip smiled weakly.  "Thanks, though I deserve it."

Nick reached over, pulling Philip into a hug.  "I do understand why you had to go back, but you
didn't even leave me a note."

"It was too hard," Philip admitted against Nick's shoulder.  "I couldn't look into your eyes and tell
ya I was goin' back to them.  Not after what had happened between us."  He relaxed into the
squeeze he got from the younger man.  "Thank ya."

"Hey, your calling is as important to you as Derek is to me," Nick said lightly, pulling back.  His
eyes spoke more about what he wasn't saying and Philip felt his heart sink as he felt it rise.  "Just
don't disappear like that again."

"I won't," Philip promised.  "I couldn't do that again."

Nick nodded.  "As long as I know."

"Ya will."

"Good," Derek said, rubbing down both their backs.  "Now then, I do believe I could use a hug
also?"  Nick sank into his arms, clinging to him.  "Shh, love, it's not that big of a deal."

"Derek, they're cutting three inches out of your intestine!" Nick yelled, sitting up to glare at his
husband.  "Yeah, that's a big deal."  Philip nodded.  "I know you want to be strong, but I need
you to be *honest* with me."  He took his love's hand, being careful of the IV.  "I need you to be
honest so I can be.  I don't want to have to lie to you and tell you I'm not worried."

"Nick, be worried enough for both of ya," Philip said gently.  "Derek won't admit he's worried
until they're sure it's a cancerous tumor."  He touched his friend's shoulder.  "Just be there for him, don't worry about lying.  You'll do what you have to to get him better."  He stood up.  "I'll let ya cuddle until he has to go down."  He kissed the top of Nick's head.  "I'll go wait beside Alex."

"Please," Derek said gently, looking up from Nick's arms.  "She could use someone steady to be
with her right now."  Philip nodded, walking out.  "Nick, I need you to relax, this isn't the worst
that could happen," he said quietly, playing in the younger man's light brown hair.  "It could be
much worse, love.  Be thankful that it's just this."

Nick nodded, lying down in Derek's arms to hold and be held.  "I know, but I'm still worried."

"Me too," Derek admitted, giving the comfort he needed.  "Me too, love."


Jim tapped on Derek's room door, walking in at Nick's grunt.  "Philip said we should have Derek
sign this now," he said, handing the manila folder over.  Nick took the papers out to read then put
them back in and laid them on the bedside table.  "How's he doing?"

"One of the five were cancerous," Nick said, standing up and walking over to the window.  "They
want him to take Chemotherapy."

"One of the newer ones or the old standby that made people wish to not live?" Jim asked, sitting
in the chair and looking at his colleague.

"The newer ones.  Though when Blair heard, he said there may be an herbal supplement that
might help too."  He snorted.  "It's hard to believe that Derek's that sick, much less that he's going
to need major treatments."  He turned to look at Jim.  "What would you do if Blair was lying

Jim looked over at the bed, considering it.  "I would trust Blair's judgement.  Even if he was in
denial, he'd still be working himself up to doing what was needed.  And Blair also knows more
about natural remedies than most of the herbalists he knows.  Maybe he does have something that
will at least lessen the effects of the treatment."  He looked back at Nick, gauging his reactions.
"What do you think Derek wants?"

"Besides some sleep?" Derek asked sleepily from the bed as he sat up.  "Maybe something that
won't sap all my strength and will."  He held out a hand and Nick walked immediately into his
arms.  "All I really need is here with me right now," he said as he looked up into the deep eyes of
his husband.

Nick grinned.  "You say such sweet things, bossman."  He leaned down, kissing the damp
forehead.  "Want some water?"

"No thank you, maybe a beer though."  Jim shook his head.  "No?"

"No, alcohol will decrease the effectiveness of the treatment, you'll have to go a second round."
He stood up at the shudders.  "Do you want me to come back for the paperwork?"  Derek looked
up at him, frowning.  "Stuff Philip said you should sign."

"Your will," Nick said gently.  "You've amended it and not signed a new one.  Though, it's a
depressing thought.  You should have plenty of time to sign it, years even."

Derek patted Nick's back gently, turning it into a rub. "It's better to be safe than sorry, love.  Our
lives tend to fragment so quickly."  He picked up the paperwork, and a pen that was in the
bedside table, signing them quickly as Nick watched, then handed them over for other signatures.

Jim signed his name as a witness, checking the papers over, handing one back for a missed
signature, then stuffed the mass into the envelope again.  "I'll tell Blair he can come bother you
about that supplement sometime in the next few days."  He smiled at Nick.  "Relax, we're not
breaking in the house that badly."

Nick snorted.  "If I know Blair, he's probably asleep on the meeting table again."

"Nope, the kitchen table.  He and Alex had a food fest."  Jim shrugged.  "I wasn't needed to
participate so I helped Philip straighten up Derek's office and filed a lot of things without

Derek chuckled.  "Thank you.  I knew it needed it.  Did he call London?"

"I did," Nick said quietly.  "They temporarily readmitted Philip to watch over Blair and Jim, and I
told them about Alex, which got us put under a watch."  Derek nodded slowly.  "Seems they think it's William trying to come back."

"It may well be," Derek sighed, rubbing his forehead.  "We couldn't retrieve him any other way,
and he did threaten to come haunt us a few times when he was ill."

Jim nodded once and started for the door.  "I'll tell them you're looking okay and that you're in
good spirits and to come visit soon."

"Please," Derek called after him, then looked at Nick.  "We're under watch?"

"We weren't until I mentioned Alex's condition.  Then I called and told her.  That's why she and
Blair went on the eating binge.  Oh, and London was very impressed that you were able to land
both Jim and Blair.  Said it was a stroke of genius from the master of ego stroking."  He looked
smug.  "I told them I had nothing to do with it."

Derek shook his head but he was laughing.  "Nick, please, do me a favor and never change."   He
hugged his husband to his chest.  "Please don't change."

"I never change, Derek," Nick said simply, hugging him back.  "Not even for you."


Alex opened the door to the Legacy Guardian, frowning at her.  "Gee, I'm not even that
dangerous," she said, letting the muscular woman in.  "Why are you really here?"

"Because the child you're carrying may be dangerous to us all," she said, her voice husky, her
body looking very much like she was the victim of a bad sex-change operation that didn't quite
bring her totally across.  Her lank brown hair hung straight down her back in a ponytail.  "We just need to make sure you're not going to become dangerous."

"You're not taking the child," Philip said as he walked down the stairs.  "Not even the Legacy can
make that decision for someone."  He stood at the bottom, behind Alex, arms crossed.  "I'm
making sure the child is fine."

"Father, you're not going to be here the full pregnancy," she reminded him.  "The London house
only permitted you back until Doctor Rayne was able to return."

"What's going on?" Jim asked as he walked down the hall toward them.  "Who's she?" he asked,
pointing his thumb at the new woman.

"This is called a Legacy Guardian," Alex told him.

"Great bloody thugs of the Legacy," Philip muttered.  "Out, or I'm breakin' my promise to work on God's will."

She looked at him in shock.  "Father, you can't, it's not allowed!" she protested.

"And?" Blair asked as he walked out.  "Out.  You're upsetting Alex, which will harm her during the pregnancy."  He looked her over.  "Jim, escort her to the gate."

"If you want to keep your membership in the Legacy, you won't touch me," she hissed, her hand going to her gun.

Jim looked her over then nodded once.  He lunged, pushing her back against the door and holding her there.  "You will leave," he told her.  "I'm not a member yet and I have *nothing* to lose if you turn me in.  Leave or I'm going to remove you."

"Oh, let me," Philip said as he walked down the last few steps.  "I've got a good way of doin' it."  The Guardian walked off in a huff.  "Tell them I've already checked the child," he called after her.  "After all, I'd know better'n you what's dangerous in that way."  He slammed the door and walked Alex off.  "You should be resting."  He put her onto a couch and helped her put her feet up, then smiled and walked off again.  He was running a bit of his own research.  It was too convenient of timing for all this to be happening together.  "Boys, Melissa's case?" he asked as he walked.

"I found indication of deer tracks," Jim said, following behind him.

"I ran the usual field test for projection and it came up negative but she's in puberty so it could be cutting in and out on her," Blair offered from where he was researching in a book.  "It's possible she convinced herself she did it.  Then again, it could be her aunt as well."  He turned a page.  "She showed up while we were there. I told her I was a grad student doing some cognitive research on pediatric mental illness.  She tried to have a nurse remove me but the new orders had her fuming."  He looked up when Philip came back out of the control room to look at him.  "By the way, saw Kat.  She's adorable.  Told her Nick's message.  Handed her my cell number with a note saying you're here too.  I don't think it was the girl.  I think it was someone and they're trying to convince the girl she's evil for having a gift."

"Do we think Kat's involved?" Philip asked, looking very serious.

"She's seen manifestations of it?"

"Repeatedly and had her own," Philip admitted.

"Then she probably won't be swayed unless she somehow decides everyone in the house is evil.  Which, at her age, can be forced onto her by parental pressure and coercion.  How's her father?"

"A lot more tolerant than her Ma," Philip admitted heading back into the control room.  Thinking about it, he wasn't sure the guy hadn't married Rachel to be closer to Kat for the Legacy.  He was the sort to do that.