Date:Fri, 21 Mar 2008 01:46:49 -0000
I'm not sure if anyone saw it. It's in my folder in the big plotbunny list I have there. I'm reposting it this way to see if anyone comments.
BtVS/CSI/NCIS/SPN/?: Don Gibbs Plotbunny
*whimpers and pounds head on computer desk* Damnit! I knew I shouldn't have been watching "Boondock Saints" again while I'm so vulnerable to plotbunnies at the moment.
Alright enough complaining, here goes:
I was trying to go to sleep and I got bit by this idea of Gibbs as a sort of Mafia Don, with Tony, Mac, Stella, and Horatio as his lieutenants. Abby as his daughter, and Danny as his son. If you want to go a step further have the Winchesters and Xander & Faith as enforcers. The rest of their crews are either officers or various members of their families (for instance I can see Alexx as Speed's actual mom & maybe Xander. Ray Jr. maybe as Horatio's son?). Although other fandoms can be easily added.
Trying to make the bunny go away made it warp and turned them into a _demon_ mafia that wasn't really interested in much outside their territory (I was thinking a subdimension kinda like the idea I put out of Xander making a kingdom in the "grey land" or even weirder and cross it with Stargate and have it having been a planet that Gibbs owned), though that they ruled with an iron fist that other demon clans envied. Partially because their people adored them, and therefore were very unlikely to assist an outsider trying to takeover.
I was thinking whatever kind of demon they are, are rather scary when pissed, as well as being highly territorial and pack orientated (which when you think about it actually fit's all those characters personalities). Other demons tend to have a hands off and a "for gods sake, just stay out of their territory" approach to handling them except when they absolutely have to. Somehow I have this mental image of some demon saying they're "Just not _sane_."
So you have minor demons jealous and envious that want to take over or destroy them, but conversely you have higher demons that are just thankful that they're happy and they're content with what they have.
Anyway someone got smart and found a way to take out the entire power structure in a single move and essentially had them all reborn as humans so they would have an easier time taking them out. However do to something having gone wrong because of someone owing one of them a debt the spell got warped and they got scattered and hidden from their hunters so they have to find them the hard way. Thus giving them a chance to regroup and retaliate.
Also as an added note I had this thought that made me giggle of Tony having been female and Gibbs' wife. Can't you just see him as Abby and Danny's mom?
*groan* I just had this thought of what starts them getting their memories back (or even reverting to their previous forms and powers) was Xander going to Miami either on an enforced vacation or to get something and running into Alexx on a crime scene with Speed there and it coming back to her when she sees both her 'babies' at once. She would have a screaming/crying fit to end all screaming/crying fits and have both Speed and Xander in death hugs while babbling at them in the demon language that had spoken.
There's also the thought of the Yellow Eyed Demon having an "Oh Shit!" reaction when it finds out who the Winchesters were/had been. Or even the Buffy crew's reaction.
*snorts* Of course now I'm having this thought of Xander back then having adopted a slayer that got called really young from a time that some Watchers had a stupid attack and tried to invade with her, and him and his spouse (whoever that is) having raised her, and _she_ rather than Buffy was the longest active Slayer. I was thinking she died a grandmother. That there would have really sent the Watchers, PTB, and demons outside their world into a tizzy trying to figure out what happened to the Slayers 'cause none are being called. Hell maybe even have it where Faith had been one of her descendants, like a daughter or granddaughter.
*headdesk* Hell. Additional thought. Maybe rather than demon's they're Sidhe? *pause* Why am I stuck on them anyway? *shrugs* I'm just adding to this as I'm thinking of it.
Note: Danyella gave me the idea. Blame her. It taunted me for months before I wrote it.
The demon in the high chair looked at the young one coming in. "What did you do this time? You look too happy to have stayed out of trouble, as I ordered."
"Someone was trying to incite an uprising on the edge of Core," he said, beaming at his lord. "They all turned them in. No one was going to help them. They said they'd never do that to you. And then they decided you were scarier than even I am." He skipped off. "They're being brought in and my mate is waiting on me."
"Uh-huh," he said. "What were they trying to incite with?"
"A new overlord would be more gentle. On and on and on," he said as he walked through the back doorway.
His spouse leaned closer. "He's young and impetuous."
"He is but he gets the job done. Like I did way back when I was that young." He smirked at his mate. "It could be worse. He could be insane. His father seems to be insane now and then."
"Mac would be pissed that you said that."
"Mac can pout all he wants," he shot back with an evil smirk.
"Why?" Horatio asked as he walked in, bowing before his lord. "The new demon wanting to take over is in custody and wailing for mercy."
Jethro looked at him. "Why is he wailing for mercy?"
Horatio smirked. "Xander was talking about spawning again." Jethro groaned. "Exactly. He's very disturbed that there could be eggs from that grouping." He looked around then giggled so hard his head fin bobbled. "Faith was with him. She was complaining about the same thing. She went to complain to their father about him. Again."
"She and her mate need to settle down too," Mac said as he walked in. "Xander and Dean having spawn is fairly scary as a general thought. The kids will be insane. Or very good guards."
Jethro looked at him. "Let's hope for good guards so we don't have to handle anything and drive the parents insane with grief?"
"I'm trying. You know very well I tried to set them up with the opposite mate but Xander was stubborn. He and Dean took off to play with the weapons. His father got insulted and decided that was how it was meant to be." Faith stormed in. "Is your brother going at it already?"
"My mate is an idiot."
"He's very smart and wise," Jethro's mate said patiently. "Just because he teaches caution and learning when you want to act doesn't make him an idiot, niece."
She pouted at him. "He wants spawn now too."
"He can have spawn but he'd have to stay home to take care of it," Jethro reminded her. "Both of you are blessed by our Goddess Mirath."
She shuddered. "I'd rather not be."
"Has your brother decided which one of them is going to have eggs?" Jethro asked.
"No. They said whichever gets knocked up while playing does."
"Xander!" Jethro bellowed. He came jogging back, Dean behind him. "Only *one* of you may get with egg. I can't afford to have both of you off for that long."
Dean bowed. "Yes, Overlord."
Xander looked at his mate then at his boss. "Which would you rather have? We can't decide."
"You can," Dean said.
"I'll take forever to get back in shape. You'd carry easier."
"Can you two please quit giving *my* mate bad ideas?" Faith demanded.
"No," they said in unison then smirked evilly.
"Sammy would look good with egg," Dean assured her. "Since he wants to stay home, go do him."
"I tried, he didn't get caught." She pouted at her father. "Please?"
"Go knock up your mate if he wants you to, Faith. Children are a blessing on the clan." He looked at the boys then pulled a knife, tossing it up. "Call it."
"Blade," they both said after watching it come down. Sure enough it landed that way.
"You two are too alike," Horatio said impatiently. He looked at both of them. "We can ask a priest." They both shuddered. "How long have you been trying?"
"Two months," Dean said.
Jethro groaned. "Make sure it hasn't happened yet, boys." They both looked clueless. "You can be with egg for over six months and not know!" He looked around. "Don!" He came jogging out. "Check them for eggs?"
He laid a hand on each one then nodded. "Dean is." Xander beamed and bounced around his mate chanting. Don looked at the happy spouse then the pouting spouse. "He can have twins the next time. His body is preparing for twins."
Xander quit bouncing. "Is that because Faith and I are twins?" Don beamed and nodded.
"We are *not* having twins," Dean said firmly. "One egg is enough." Xander pouted, using his big, squishy puppy eyes. He even let his head fin droop. "No, Xander. No twins."
Don checked Xander again then Dean again. He sighed, shaking his head. "I cannot tell if the mating you've done since yesterday may have taken or not. We'll need to wait a few days to see." He bowed to Jethro. "Let me check on Sam." He went to do that. The twins' mates were going to drive him insane wanting mates. Blessing a set of twins from Xander and Dean, then helping raise them to be moral, strong, and less insane than their fathers was going to finish him off. Faith's wouldn't be much better with Sam. He tapped on their apartment's door, getting let in. "Jethro wanted me to check."
"Of course." He let him inside and took off his shirt, letting Don have access to his egg pouch. "We haven't been trying very hard. Faith's wary of an egg."
"You're about to be an uncle anyway," he assured him. He checked then smiled. "They'll be born around the same time." He looked at the happy young man. "Do watch out for Xander. Since those two are twins, there's a good chance they'll have twins."
Sam beamed. "I'll remember that." He gave him a hug. "Thank you. Let me tell Jethro and Faith. Then Father." He pulled his shirt back on as he walked toward the meeting chamber, running into his nibbling mate on the way. He pushed her against the wall to kiss her deeply, making her forget her food. He pulled back to beam at her. "The priest agreed."
Faith moaned. "Already?"
He nodded, kissing her again.
Tony walked past them, shaking his head. "Children, you have an apartment the same as we do."
"We have news to announce and celebrate," Sam said, pulling back to pant. He grinned at the first mate then pulled Faith with him. "Lord Jethro, Father?" They looked over from their planning the new border's defenses. "It is good news."
Mac smiled. "Already?"
"Yes." Sam beamed at Faith then at them. "Dean too? Don said he was."
"He is," Jethro agreed. "You two may not be with egg at the same time."
"Of course not. That would leave you without enough higher level guards." He bowed. "Thank you for indulging our desires, Lord Jethro." He kissed Faith again, then smiled at his father-in-law. "Did you want to plan the blessing ceremony when it's time or should we?"
"I will," Mac promised.
"Yes, Father." He leered at Faith, making her give him an odd look back. "I think we should celebrate. We'll be here if you need us." Someone in another hallway yelped then moaned. "Sounds like Xander's happy too." He walked off, picking up Faith to carry her off to their apartment.
"They're going to drive me nuts," Jethro complained quietly.
Tony stopped to give him a hug around the breeder Jethro had married first. "Quit complaining. They're adorable together. The same as you and Alelea are when she's with spawn." He looked at her. "What type is it this time?" She blushed when everyone stared at her. "When do we need to plan the celebration?"
"Next month." She put a hand on her pouch. "I was going to tell you tonight, Jethro." He took a kiss and smirked at her. "I'm going to rest. Let Tony help." She walked off to go hide before the news got around. Then she wrote a letter to a very...good friend. She had news to share.
Jethro heard the commotion outside and groaned. A few quiet weeks since Xander had brought in the last problem hadn't been enough of a rest. "What now?" He grabbed a weapon as he summoned his ruling guards. "There's a problem."
"The problem is that your first mate's family is coming to take over," Horatio said as he joined him. "They have something bigger than we've seen recently to help them."
"I've got a cure for that," Xander and Faith said as they walked out together with a case between them. They fell in line behind Horatio and Jethro, going out to the walls of the castle. They opened it and Faith kicked it open. A quick contest to see who'd fire it and they were quickly facing off with the evil things trying to storm their nice, peaceful little country.
"Eat this," Faith shouted. Xander fired it off with her holding it steady and the higher demon shattered into a lot of messy pieces. She smirked.
Xander grinned. "That was so cool. We have to do that again." He pulled out his usual weapons and she pulled hers, then they jumped down to go attack them.
Horatio and Jethro shared a look. "They need more to do," Horatio said.
"They're spawning. That will take some of that energy soon enough." Tony ran out panting. "What's wrong?"
"Alelea is gone."
"Gone? Like dead?" Jethro demanded.
"Like she's packed and left," Tony told him. He pointed. "She's there I'd guess."
They looked then Jethro growled. "How dare she."
Tony stopped him from pulling a weapon. "That is my job, Jethro. There's a new egg on your bed that needs your attention. I put a guard with it." He grabbed his own weapons, heading down with Mac, who had just gotten there, and Horatio. Jethro watched but it went their way fairly quickly. The twins were demons when fighting. "I want her alive," he called. The crowd booed. "My mate." That got some horrified looks.
Horatio slayed the beast pulling her carriage. Mac pulled her out and handed her to Tony. Then they went to help the twins while Tony dragged her back to Jethro's side. The rest of her family's forces were easily beaten within an hour. The matriarch and patriarch were found by Faith, who knocked them out and had them brought back to Jethro's throne room for judgement.
Xander got one last thing then followed, glaring at the people. "This is not a show, people. Next time, stay inside or get yourselves to safety, do not stand and watch." They ducked away. His word was law in this matter. He was of the ruling clan. He stopped at the steps. "There will be blessings soon. Prepare for happier news than this. Give us any reports of damages or injuries." He walked inside.
"Did you have to tell them that?" Tony demanded.
"Yes. Dean'll be spawning in weeks," he said dryly. "I'm going to celebrate my new egg to the fullest extent Father and Jethro let me. Plus people need to celebrate happy news."
"They do," Jethro agreed, stroking the egg he had been brought. "It's healthy?" he asked Stella. She was their only priestess in the castle. She had been training his son Don for years.
"She?" he asked, smiling at the egg. "I haven't had any girls."
"Now you do." She patted him on the back. "It will be well, Jethro. She has no idea what she has unleashed." She and Don stepped back. They were not allowed to interfere in politics.
Jethro looked up from petting his daughter, looking at his wife and her parents. "What bright idea was that?"
"It should be ours," her father said.
Tony snorted. "Just because she's given him children? The country will go to them. Not to you."
"Tony," Jethro warned.
"It's the truth and she knows it. The same as I do if I bear you an heir. That would make us the parent of the heir, not the future leader."
"She can do better and she does most of the deciding anyway," her mother said firmly.
Faith snickered. "Sorry. No. Jethro is very much in control. Your daughter's only function is to be on his arm, look pretty, and bear him heirs."
"Enough," Jethro ordered. He looked at them, then looked away from his wife, back to his daughter's shell. "I cannot allow such incidences to go unpunished."
"The people want her punished," Horatio said as he walked in. "They're gathering to hear. I tried to have them dispersed but they would not go." Xander and Faith sighed, heading that way. Mac stopped them. "Let them," Horatio ordered. "They need news. The same as they need good things to celebrate." He looked at his overlord and brother. "It must be done. Even if you did once love her."
Jethro nodded. "So be it," he agreed. He stared at his wife, then at her parents. "I cannot save you. You tried to overthrow me and have our child killed, plus all the others."
"He's not worthy because of you!" she spat.
"I think he's very worthy. The Goddess obviously thought so," Jethro countered calmly. "It's not my choice but so be it." He looked at the twins. "Take them. I cannot save them." He looked at the two priests. "Don, I would not ask this of you." His son nodded his thanks. "You don't have to be there. You can watch your sister if you want." Don took the pillow with the egg, walking off to protect her. He could like having a little sister. Jethro followed the prisoners out to the walls of the castle. They'd either jump or be killed. It was up to them. A boo went up when they saw the parents but a few very loud gasps went up when his wife was dragged out too. He stepped up. "She wanted to rule in place of our children. I cannot allow that, no matter how much I like her." He walked off again. Horatio and Mac would see to it.
Horatio looked at them, sword in hand. "Your choice. Jump or be beheaded."
The father jumped with a sneer. The mother started to but couldn't so Stella took over her duties. The wife stepped up to the parapet. "I curse you, Jethro, and all your clan. You will not know peace in this life or the next one you'll be sent to. If I can't rule it, no one will." She jumped, sealing the curse with her blood.
"That's going to suck," Faith said.
Xander nodded. He looked at Stella. "Can she do that?"
Stella nodded. "Maybe. I'll look at the portents later." She looked at the crowds. "As the Goddess dictates, they are punished. Let only those who we missed bear the rest of the punishment of the Goddess for not being honorable enough to die for what they believe in. Even when it is wrong." She turned, letting them escort her back to the throne room. Tony and Don were both cooing at the egg. "She tried to lay a curse."
Don stared at her. "Did it work?"
"I don't know yet. It was a this world and next sort. To not know peace."
Jethro grunted. "I don't believe in those things."
"I've seen some bad ones," Stella warned.
Xander looked at her. "But if she does, we can find wherever she's reborn to try to torment us and kick her fin?"
Stella nodded. "We can do that."
"Good." He looked at the egg. "We do see the crack?" They all looked at the end then Stella and Don carefully finished bringing her out. "Aww, so adorable and slimy. A tiny little fin! Sam! Dean! Come see!" he bellowed. They came out to see the new baby. "What's her name, Jethro?"
He looked then at Tony. "Abigail?"
"I like it. It's a strong name."
Jethro walked out with her to the front steps, holding her up. "My wife laid one last egg before departing. She just cracked." The crowd cheered and surged to see her. "Her name is Abigail." They chanted it and cheered louder, going to throw a party. He walked her back inside to let the priests bless her. "With Jeris gone and Don a priest, she'll rule," he realized. His brothers both smiled. "That's a lot for such a little body."
"She'll do fine," Horatio assured him. "We'll nag her if she goes as wild as the nephew or niece." They both snorted and gave him dirty looks. "You are."
"We'll have one of those soon," Sam said in awe.
Don nodded. "Within months." Faith went pale and wobbled. "Your uncles will make sure they don't go as wild as your twin," he promised with a grin for her. She had been his favorite for a very long time.
"Hey!" Xander complained. "Dean's wilder than I am."
"That child will get extra nagging," Horatio said patiently. Stella laughed. "Just to make sure it's more reasonable than its fathers."
Dean snorted, giving him a dirty look. "He'll be just like us."
"Just think, if it had been me, it'd be twins," Xander said with a manic grin.
Jethro looked at Dean. "It's a mate's job to ensure sanity. Especially of my guards."
"Going," Dean agreed, dragging his mate off by his head fin. Xander 'oww'ed all the way back to their apartment but oh well. They didn't need Jethro or the new egg going insane. Xander could cause it when he got too bouncy. Especially in the older generation.
Jethro woke up to a hand shaking him. "It had better be an emergency," he mumbled.
"There's a strange current," Don said quietly. Tony grunted and flipped over to look at him too. "I don't know what but Xander felt it and woke me, Jethro."
"I cannot tell. Stella won't waken. I can't get the others up either. Only us and Xander."
"Faith?" Tony asked.
"I'm headed there next."
"I'm coming," Jethro promised. He stood up and took the baby with him. If something was going on, he was the best to protect her. Tony got up and dressed to follow him. They walked outside, looking at the town around them. Their lands extended closer to the horizon but right now they had to worry about here.
"Was Xander meant to be a priest?" Don asked quietly.
"His spirt was too raw. Otherwise he would have." He shifted Abigail to his other side, looking around. "I can't tell. I know I wasn't meant to be a priest."
Xander jogged out, pausing to look then point. "It's coming from that direction. It's power but it's not a threat. Well, a threat but not a takeover threat. Something like that," he moaned. "I can't explain it," he said when the adults looked at him. He kissed Abby on the head. "You need to be protected inside, away from this." Stella came rushing out and looked in the same direction. "What is it, Stella?"
"Power. I don't know from what."
"Her curse?" Jethro asked quietly.
She looked at him. "It could have started this off but I'm not sure. I won't be able to tell until it's closer."
Sam came running out, looking in the same direction. "That can't be good." He looked at Jethro. "Something's trying to take us over."
"The curse?" Stella asked.
"No. Something bigger and more powerful. Something that wants us out of the way."
"Being with egg is making you sensitive?" Tony asked.
"I always was. That's why Father tried to match me with Xander. Because he is."
Xander shrugged. "Funny things come to me." Dean walked out. "No, inside. We're about to be attacked again."
"Shut up," Dean ordered. "I can help. I'm not that far along yet."
Xander looked at him. "I won't have you hurt."
Dean growled. "It's my decision. Shut up."
"Boys," Jethro ordered. "Stop it. We may need Dean. Even if I don't want to put him or the egg into danger, Xander. His or Sam's eggs." Xander slumped but nodded. "Can we get the rest up?"
"They won't wake," Sam said. "I tried with Faith. She won't even snore at me."
"Wore her out?" Dean teased.
"No, not tonight."
Stella frowned, looking that way. "It's magical, Jethro. I cannot fight that. I'm not strong enough."
"Let me go hug Faith," Sam said quietly, going to do that. A magical battle was a bad thing. He wanted a last hug.
Xander hugged Dean and kissed him. "If we be parted, I'll find you."
"If we're parted, we'll find each other."
Xander smiled. "Sure, you can hunt this time." He took another kiss as the magic washed across them.
Xander woke up screaming. He panted, looking around the room. "What the fuck?" he demanded. The room didn't answer back thankfully. He checked his head. Hair? That was different. No fin. He got up to look in the mirror. He wasn't light brown. Why not? He calmed himself down, willing himself to think. Something was going very wrong at the moment. He wasn't sure what. He had no idea what was going on. All he knew was that he hadn't woken up from a *dream*. That was a memory. He grabbed clothes and headed out, going to the local motel. He knew someone who he needed to talk to. Even if she was a bad girl. He knocked until Faith opened the door with a glare. "Do you feel odd not to have a head fin?"
She blinked. "What?"
He pushed her in then followed, kicking the door shut. "Jethro, Tony, Sam Dean, Abigail? Any of that ringing a bell, Faith?"
"A few weird ass dreams. Head fins too. Bark looking skin?" He nodded, staring at her. "No way we shared one."
"Faith, not a dream. A memory. Something weird is going on and it's weirder than Sunnydale weird." He stared at her. "We were twins, Faith. Does that mean what we did last night was incest?"
Faith gagged. "Eww. Only you could think that, Xander."
He tipped her face up when she tried to look away, staring into her eyes. "We have to find Dean and Sam, then Jethro."
She swallowed. "I can't stand kids."
"Me either. I still want my mate back." She smirked at that. "Okay, and well, he's hot, yours is hot. We'll figure that part out. Because I don't think I'm gay but hey." He smirked back. "So, can we work on this? Do we ask Willow?"
"Nope. Can't stand Red."
Xander sighed, sitting next to her. "I'm not sure I want to either." They shared a look. "Giles?"
"He doesn't like me that much."
"He still thinks I'm useless, Faith. That's why he drove me away from the sitch in the library last night and I ended up with the zombies and the bomb. He said I should be fray adjacent."
She snorted. "You're better and more than they think, Xan."
"I know that. You realized it. Why can't they?"
"I don't know but I'm not doing emo crap tonight. I'm too tired."
"We need to find a way to find them."
"She might, but you don't trust her and I'm not sure I want to hear her go on about this stuff." He considered it. "Oz hacks too." She looked at him. "I know he won't say anything."
"He never does. He's more quiet than some teddy bears."
"He also knows the value of a secret."
She considered it. "We'll talk to him tomorrow?"
"Sure." He stood up, looking at her. "Are you okay?"
"The only problem with me is that I'm tired, Xander."
He grinned. "No back pain, soreness?"
"I heal quickly," she said dryly.
"So is that incest if we were twins in another life or whatever?"
"Get out," she said with a fond smirk.
He rolled his eyes but left. He went to walk around a safer area for the last hour of night. All the good vamps were heading for their beds/crypts/wherever so they could withstand another day. A few tried to jump him but he got them. He ran into Angel and grimaced. "If you have a vision of a past life and you slept with someone who was your sister in it, is that incest?"
Angel gave him a disgusted look. "Probably not. Have you actually slept with someone?"
He rolled his eyes. "I'm sure."
"She felt really good too. Kinda sweaty but nice. Tight, wiggling. She had some great muscles." The vampire stomped off. Xander waved at his back with a smirk. "Thanks for the opinion." He kept walking, going to the school since Oz was locked in there until he changed back. He had to sneak past Willow but that was fine. Oz changed back and Xander unlocked the cage, nodding for him to follow. Oz finished dressing on his way to the bathroom with Xander. "Can I ask a huge favor?"
"Want to be bitten?"
"No. Last night I woke up from what had to be a past life memory but it's not that far past. We know a curse hit the place where I was with some others. I need to find them. I need help finding them."
"What do we know about them?"
"I know my mate's name was Dean. His brother was Sam. They were warriors like I was and Sam's wife was." Oz nodded slowly, leaning against a sink. "We had an overlord named Jethro. He had a first husband named Tony and a new daughter named Abigail. His brothers were Mac and Horatio. He had a son named Don but he was a priest studying under a priestess named Stella."
"How old? Can you give me descriptions?"
"Would a head fin and bark colored and looking skin help?"
"No," Oz said. "Probably not now. Curse?" Xander nodded. "Can you give me relative ages?"
"I was about my present age. Maybe a bit older. Jethro was nearer to forty or fifty maybe? Don was grown up, in his thirties but Jethro had him early. Horatio and Mac were about the same age as Jethro. Mac was slightly older but not fit to rule for whatever reason. We hatched from eggs."
"I can start a search but there's some common names in there."
Xander considered it. "Dean and Sam would be doing something like what we do. Dean and I were a lot alike. Weapons nuts, tough fighters who kept going even when our friends tried to do stuff to make us not want to."
"Don't ask." He sighed. "They'd be involved in this or weapons somehow. Him at least. His brother Sam was slightly younger in ours. Probably still is."
"Who was his wife?"
"I know her and we've talked already."
"Nope. I don't want her to know because I don't want to hear the laughter. It was bad enough after halloween."
"Agreed." He patted him on the arm. "Why do you stink?"
"Had to stop something last night." He grinned. "Thanks, Oz."
"Welcome." He left, going to wake up Willow. Xander went home to eat then come back like nothing had happened. Faith caught him later so he grinned and nodded. She relaxed and nodded back. "We'll figure it out."
"We can do that." She walked inside.
"Why are you talking to her?" Cordelia demanded.
Xander looked at her. "Because I wanted to." He walked off. Cordelia groaned, not chasing after him to get the answers she wanted this time. Something weird was going on. There were rumors all over the school. She went to find him after a suitable length of time so no one thought she was chasing after him, pinning him against his locker. "Bomb?" she asked quietly, staring into his eyes.
"I stopped it," he said in a near whisper, staring back. She moaned. "Jack set it." He grinned. "Good me." He ducked and got free, heading to home room. The girls tried to ignore him so he settled in to not listen to the teacher take roll. He had some heavy planning to do. At least until one of the lieutenants took over or they found Jethro.
Ten days later, Oz stopped Xander and Faith before patrol. "Dean and Sam Winchester. Demon hunters. Their father is John." He handed over the note. "Horatio Caine, Miami Florida, CSI." He handed over that note. "The others were too common."
"But they'd have a clue?" Faith asked.
Oz nodded. "Probably a better one since Xander got more of a feel for the one he was connected to."
"How did you know about me?"
"It had to be a female. He said wife of Sam. He said husband of others. Willow and Buffy are ignoring him." He shrugged and walked off. "Happy patrol."
"You too, thank you," Xander called, opening them to read. "They're traveling. They don't have a set circuit."
"This is insane," Faith complained.
Xander looked at her. "So is living here, Faith. Do you want to do some insane things or do you want to stay here and be vamped some night?"
"I'm a slayer, Xander."
"And I'm pretty damn good for having to teach myself," he countered, moving closer. "They're in the same business. They could probably use a slayer and we could probably use the help here too."
She slumped, nodding. "Where?"
"Right now, Alabama. He found the phone number for John." He handed it over. "Do you want to travel that way and casually run into them or call?"
"I'm not sure...."
"Faith, I'm going even if you're not." He looked around then at her. "Why do I want to stay with this shit going on here?" he hissed. "It's better and we might find a life we like. With people who understand because they do the same thing. Hell, John might be able to be a pretty decent watcher."
She stared at him. "There were scary things, Xan."
"No one said you had to spawn. I'm sure we won't be."
"True." She looked around then at him. "How?"
"I've been doing some planning and picking up stuff."
"We'll be kosher?"
"No pickles but yeah. For at least a month." He swallowed. "Help me tonight and I can ensure longer."
She nodded. "While we patrol?"
"After. So let's kick booty then head?"
She nodded. "Let's kick ass then head." They walked off, going to do their nightly patrol rotation. After Xander stopped to pick up a few things at Willie's they were on the road. He had left a note. She had left a note for Wesley. And they were history. Even if she couldn't stand his music.
John Winchester looked around. Something was not right. They were in one place for too long again and something bad was about to happen. He wasn't sure who the leggy brunette was but she was obviously a problem heading for his son. He intercepted her. "Ma'am?"
"I'm sixteen, do not ma'am me."
John looked at her. "What are you?"
"A slayer." He went pale and backed up. "I need to talk to the boys. They here?"
"You know my boys?"
"Yup. Long story. They'll know like I did." She looked around, spotting Dean. She walked over to him and stared. "Damn, you're cuter now than you were then."
"Do I know you, miss?"
She smirked. "Faith."
He frowned. "I know that name from somewhere." A young guy walked in and he nearly choked. He knew him. He didn't know how but he knew him. "Who are you?"
"The slayer Faith," she said quietly, glancing around. "We gotta talk to you and Sam."
"Sam's doing homework."
"Not my forte," Xander said as he sat on Dean's other side. "Dean."
"Yup." They stared at each other. "You remembering?"
"Yeah and I'm weirded out. Very weirded out."
"Think how I felt. I woke up screaming after that curse hit."
Dean groaned. "We need to be somewhere more private."
"Pick a spot since Papa Winchester looks really upset."
"Park, one hour, by the fountain?"
"Sure," Xander agreed. He wrote down a number. "In case you get lost or handcuffed." He stood up and walked over to John, staring at him for a moment. "Past life stuff, John."
"Do we know you?"
"They did." He walked off, going out to the car. Faith could stare. They'd work out the Faith-Sam/Dean-Xander thing later. Maybe. He hoped. He was so tired of being alone. She came out and got in, letting him drive them off. "Think his father will complain?"
"Yup, he was."
"I know, it's complicating things. They'll hear."
Xander nodded. "I hope. If John doesn't try to run off with them."
"They'll heal, boytoy. I said so." They shared a smirk and hid, following them back to their hotel subtly. All those action movies had paid off.
John looked at his son once they were in the motel room. "What is going on?"
"Damned if I know but I got flashes of a past life. With a head fin, no hair...."
"Faith?" Sam said, lifting his head. "Why do I know that name?"
"I met her and Xander earlier."
Sam frowned. "I know that name too."
"We're going to see them in the park. See what's going on."
Sam nodded, closing his books so he could grab his sneakers and jacket.
"No, we're not," John said.
"Yeah, I am," Dean told him. "It's something major and it's not a bad thing."
"They talked about a curse."
"Like we don't know about those," he snorted. He walked Sam off, taking the car keys from his father's jacket on the way out. John tried to stop them but yay. Dean saw the car and pulled Sam over, sliding into the back. "This is not a classy ride."
"It was cheap and it runs," Xander countered. "Plus, hey, legal and not stolen."
"Always a benefit," Faith agreed. "Park?"
"Yeah." He drove them off, glancing back in the mirror.
"There's deer here, pay more attention," Dean ordered. Xander went back to just driving. He looked at Faith. She felt so familiar, yet so wrong. Sam was staring at her too. "What do we know?"
"Remember Jethro?" Xander asked.
Sam grabbed his head with a groan then looked at him. "I dreamed about Jethro and Tony. Alelea."
"Yeah," Xander agreed. "And us."
"And us," Sam agreed. "That's where I know... Ooh, sorry, Faith."
"No spawning," she ordered. "Eggs or not."
"No, no kids," he promised with a grin.
"Huh?" Dean asked. Xander pulled over then undid his seatbelt so he could kneel on the seat and face Dean. He stared then pulled Dean closer to kiss. Dean pulled back, blinking at him. "Dude, so not gay." Xander bopped him on the side of the head. "Shit."
"Sore?" Xander asked with a grin. "Remembering swords, castles, head fins?"
Dean looked at him. "Head fins."
"Bark looking skin?" Faith asked. "Being my brother-in-law?"
Dean frowned. "Huh?"
"Since he was out of it, it may be harder," Sam said quietly, looking at Xander. "Do I know you in this life too?"
"Only if you've been paying attention to Sunnydale." He looked at Dean again, staring into the familiar eyes. He coughed then said something in the language that had filled his head after the dream. Sam and Faith both blushed. Dean just stared, mouth slightly open. "Dean."
"Xander," he said quietly. "Still not gay."
Xander grinned. "I don't think I am either but we've got to figure some stuff out. Tonight. Plus find the others."
Sam nodded. "Mac's ... Mac's probably a cop."
"We have a hacker who found Horatio," Xander told them. He saw the Impala go blasting past and groaned. "He's not happy."
"He's going to stay not happy," Dean assured him. "Let's hit the park?" Xander turned back around and drove them off, taking them to the park.
"Is it safe?" Faith asked as they parked. "No vampy vamps? No demons?"
"No. We had a werewolf trying to eat cows recently but he was off in the woods," Dean told her.
"We have a friend who is. He locks himself up," Xander said, turning off the engine. He looked back at Dean. "You can't hurt Oz. He helped."
"As long as he's not hurting others, I don't care. I'm only in it to take out evil bastards until we can get the one that killed our mother."
"That's no stranger than ours with a vamp with a soul helping us slayers," Faith decided. She got out and let Sam out. She had learned Xander had funny locks on the back that didn't let people out from the inside. Xander got Dean out and locked the car, walking off as a group.
After a few minutes, Dean looked at Faith. "Vampire with a soul?"
"Angel," Xander told him. "He has it again. Which is nice I guess." He grimaced. "Kinda."
She pinched him on the arm. "You did what you had to do, X. No questions asked. She should've put it aside to slay him when he lost it."
Xander nodded. "Yeah, but she didn't and someone died. Nearly Giles too." He sighed. "I'm tired of hunting for the moment. Can we figure this stuff out? Please?"
"Sure," Sam agreed.
"What're we doing about the not gay stuff?" Dean asked.
Xander shrugged. "No one said we were soulmates, Dean, just mated."
"Good." He leered at Faith. "You're more my type. Slightly naughty and kinky."
She laughed. "I doubt you could handle all of me, Dean. Down boy." He grinned. Sam rolled his eyes. "Kinda uptight, Sam."
"It happens." He saw his father and poked Dean, nodding that way. "At least he doesn't have a shotgun."
"That's how we got married in the last life," Dean quipped.
John walked in front of them. "What is going on?"
Dean looked at his father. Xander opened his mouth but Dean stopped him. "We share a last life together. In it, I was married to Xander. Sammy and Faith were hitched." John glared at her.
"Not my doing. There was a curse that made us have another go round. Xander woke up remembering suddenly after making the zombie not blow up the school."
"We were on Efrietz," Xander said calmly. "That's a demon realm. There was a strong clan that was holding the majority of the main continent safe and steady. Then Jethro's, the leader, wife betrayed us and cursed us." John shuddered. "To not know peace in that life or this one."
Faith nodded. "We promise not to knock them up like we did in that life, John. Though, Sam was way too happy to be with egg."
Sam grinned at her. "I always wanted a family." She shook her head and made gagging noises. "Not yet. Maybe when I'm older."
She looked at him. "Sam, I'm a vampire slayer. I'm already over my expiration date because it's been nearly a year since I was called." He shuddered. "We left Sunnydale to B and Red."
"Thank god," Dean muttered. "That place is supposed to be bad."
Xander nodded. "Nightly patrols bad." Dean shuddered. So did John. "I was on the team there. Faith recently joined. Though, the girls aren't giving her a fair shake because she's not perky, blonde, and doesn't come from a middle class household like Willow and Buffy do."
She looked at him. "You have two parents."
"When they're both aware," he shot back dryly. She groaned. "That's why I used to camp at Willow's."
"Yeah, exactly." He looked at John again. "I woke up with them. I don't know why. I don't know if it was something to do with the zombies who tried to bomb the school. I don't know if it was something to do with the hellmouth opening and them working on it. I don't know if it had to do with my first time or if it had to do with them sending me away for being normal. All I know is that we need to find each other and figure out how to end this stupid curse before it gets us all killed. Jethro was firm, but fair. A decent guy who gave a damn about us, who were his niece and nephew, and his people."
"Uncle Horatio wasn't too bad but he was a bit distant," Faith said quietly, looking around. "Guys, incoming."
Xander looked then pointed. "Werewolf." He pulled out something and slid it into his mini crossbow. The werewolf lunged so he shot at it. It fell down with a whimper. "Sedative dart."
"We kill their kind," John said.
Xander knocked him down and glared at him. "Not all werewolves are bad. My friend is one and he's good. He locks himself up. Sometimes he gets out. A dart fixes that." He walked over to check him. Her as it turned out. "Female. Faith, can we do the tying thing?" She jogged back to the car to get rope, coming back to tie her to a tree. When she changed back she'd be smaller and able to get free from the ropes. He looked at Dean. "We see worse than this weekly." They walked off with Sam again.
Dean hauled his father up. "We don't know that that one is bad."
"She's running free."
"She may have gotten free if she locks herself up. They are stronger than most humans. We'll watch and see if the cattle mutilations ended. If so, we got the rogue. If not, we know her lands now." He walked off to catch up to them. "So, how do we find them?"
"Horatio's in Miami," Faith told him. "The others we're not sure about."
"I don't think it was coincidence that you got picked," Xander said after some thought. "Or that you ended up in Sunnydale." He looked at her. "How strange is it that they're brothers in both lives when we were split and used to be twins?"
"You think someone intervened and there's a grouping?" Faith asked. Xander nodded. "So they might be clumped."
"They could be. I have the feeling, and I don't know why, that Abigail is near Jethro. Tony maybe too."
She nodded. "Then we'll see, huh?" She nudged Sam on the shoulder. "At least we're hot as hell and know what we're doing."
He grinned. "You've got to. Xander hunts?"
"He does what he can on the nightly patrols to stake vamps."
Dean gaped at Xander, who shrugged. "I jumped in after they took a friend. Buffy doesn't really want to be a slayer most of the time." Faith looked back at him. "She came in saying she had retired. She's called off for dates and things. Now that Joyce knows it's easier but not that much."
"Still wears on a soul," Faith agreed. Sam nodded at that.
Dean looked at Xander. "Were you looking to retire?"
"I loathe vampires," he admitted quietly. "We have yearly apocalypses." Dean shuddered. "I help where I can after we got the bastard that killed my best friend. Doesn't mean the girls want me to."
"So maybe a bit more supportive of an environment?" he suggested, moving closer.
Xander nodded. "Could help, yeah. I got to handle the zombies making the bomb to blow up the school while they were fighting the hellmouth because they decided I'm too normal after over two years."
"They wanted you safe, Xander," Faith pointed out.
"Then they should hand out body armor and something stronger than a stake, Faith." She nodded at that. "Not like Miss Float a Branch helps all that much."
"You, no magic," Faith ordered.
"Maybe this is why it goes screwy around me."
"Could be," Dean agreed. "Who knows. How screwy?" Xander grinned. "That bad?"
"I set a book on fire by reading from it in Latin." Dean snickered. "Willow claims she can't work around me. I screw up her magic field."
"I think maybe she's got a problem beyond that. I think Little Miss Float a Branch's problem is that she's attracted to you like other bad girls and wannabe bad girls."
Xander shrugged. "Could be. Does that make me the cool thing to do?"
"Nah, never hung with the cool kids," she teased. She looked at Sam. "When he remembered, he came over to wake me up. Asked if us doing the nasty earlier in the night was incest since we were twins there." Sam paused then broke out in cackles. "I should've done that."
"I would've pouted, Faith." He looked at Dean again. "We'll work out the whole not gay thing sometime?"
"Sure," he agreed. "You did? She's a beautiful woman." Faith blushed, walking off with Sam.
"Post slaying stress got to her. I was there after hitting a demon with the old car to save her life. My first time." He grinned. "Then I went to handle the zombies."
"Very." He nodded. "Coming?" He nodded, walking off with him. Faith had found the lone vamp in town and was fighting with it. "Gut shot it," he called quietly. She did then staked it. Dean and Sam both gaped. "Welcome to our world," Xander quipped. "Hot and cold running vamps." He looked back at John since he was chaperoning quite effectively by following them. "That's what she's made to do." He looked at Dean. "I have suckier form."
"Form can be taught," he assured him. "Sanity can't. What about long distance weapons?"
"Slayers don't use guns," he said in a falsetto. "Eww! I'll never use one of those! It's not right, Wesley! I don't want to touch those things." He looked at him. "Buffy."
Dean moaned. "We handle a lot of spirits but we use shotguns."
"Shotguns are nice," Xander agreed. "I could blow a vamp's head clear off with one." Dean nodded at that. "Huh." His phone rang. He pulled it out to look at. "Hey, Faith. It's the library."
"Crap," she muttered, coming back with Sam following.
Xander answered it. "Yeah?" He sighed. "I'm off with Faith finding out why we have past life memories," he said. He put her on speaker. "She's here too, Willow."
"I'm not concerned about her. I'm concerned that you left!" she said hotly.
"Why? Not like you wanted him," Faith quipped. "I'm hurt, Red. I thought we were buds."
"Not like that, Faith. I mean... I like you and all but Xander's my best friend and he suddenly runs away. What did you want me to think? We weren't sure if you were vamped or not."
"Didn't get the letter I put in your mailbox?" Xander asked dryly.
"Then why think I was vamped since I wrote down what was going on, kinda?"
"Because you don't get things like that."
"Apparently he does," Dean said. "Xander?"
"Willow," he said in explanation. "Willow, this is Dean and his brother Sam."
"Hi," Sam said.
"And their father's around here somewhere. We're fine. Unfortunately I got jumped by the memories and we had to handle it or go nuts. There was a curse that sent us out of our last life. We have to find the others and figure out what the crap is that...." He trailed off, looking at something.
Faith and Sam looked. "If I had a book," Sam admitted.
Dean looked. "Hey, Dad, got any idea?"
He shook his head. "Not a clue."
"Hey, Willow, can you ask Angel if the hairy thing with one eye is a bad thing?"
"He's not here," she said impatiently. "Make it go away."
"We're in a town's park, Willow. We don't want it to go hurt others," Faith said impatiently. "Well, can you speak and are you harmful?"
It bowed slowly to her, laying something down. "Yours, Guardian Faith. The realm needs the true heirs to come save us."
Xander hung up and moved closer. The demon gaped then swallowed hard. "If you're peaceful I won't be attacking. You knew us before the curse?"
He nodded. "You were Jethro's clan guardians. His problem solvers. The ones who patrolled and hunted for him when the borders were breached and the normal soldiers weren't enough. Do you remember?"
"Starting to," Xander agreed. "I started to remember a month ago. Can you tell us which town?"
"Elatz, on Efrietz."
"Fins, brownish red skin, normal eye colors," Faith said, looking at Xander.
"With a name we can ask something higher how to get there," he pointed out.
"True." She looked at the demon again then picked up her sword. She moaned as the memories finished unlocking. She let Xander hold it but nothing like that happened. "Where's his scythes?"
"I have no idea. We need the priests and the clan back before they destroy us."
"We'll do what we can," Dean promised. "We're just now remembering tonight. We need to find the others."
"Jethro is a soldier. As is Mac. Horatio is a soldier of a different sort."
"I know where Horatio is," Xander told him. "Where's Mac, Jethro, Abigail, Tony, and the others?"
"Mac lords over his own cadre in a huge city by the sea that is cold yet special. The heir is with him."
"New York?" Sam asked. The demon nodded. "Jethro?"
"A bland city that has nothing but power from those who claim they know the average sort's problems."
"DC," Faith said. She got a smile and a nod. "We'll find them. Have someone come to us when we do. Then we'll see what we can do."
"Yes, Guardian Faith. This new calling makes you stronger than your twin. It might keep him sane this time."
"I was sane last time," Xander complained.
"But pained and overactive. You bounced."
"He still does, that's why I take the chocolate from him," Faith said dryly. "Before it was the Groots berries." The demon nodded, disappearing. She took her sword back. She looked at them. "We have targets."
Xander called Oz. "My man. It's us. Jethro's in DC. He's a soldier. Mac's in New York with some of us and he's a former soldier but right now he has a cadre. It could be a cop. Mac was way uptight. Thanks, Oz." He hung up. "He'll look." They shared a look. "Which order?"
"Horatio's closet," Dean said. "Then Jethro on the way up? If the rest are up there, Mac can protect them."
"If one found us, the bad guys can," Sam countered. "If they know the heir's with Mac, they could go for him."
"Bad point of breaking up is that I couldn't waken the memories, guys," Faith said.
Dean nodded. "It did take Xander."
"I remembered but not why I remembered if that makes sense."
"That won't be enough for a cop or a soldier," Dean said. That got a nod from Sam. Xander's phone rang and he stepped off to write down information. He said something quietly then hung up. "Anything good?"
"Jethro's a Fed." They all shuddered. "He has Tony and Abigail." They smiled. "Mac has Stella, Don, and Jeris I think. Or possibly another of the lesser family members."
"We need Stella," Faith said. "She can probably waken memories very well. Horatio, New York, then Jethro?"
Dean considered it then nodded. "We can do that."
"Then let's head," Xander said to Faith, who kissed both boys. "Hey!"
"Shut up, boytoy," she said with an evil smirk. "We fought last time." Sam blushed. "Besides, they're cuter now."
"Still can't have them both. It's rude." He looked at Dean. "Following?" he asked quietly. "Or being a diversion?"
"We have plans to shift to another hunt. We'll meet you in New York," John said. They nodded. Xander wrote down his number for Dean, who tucked it into his pocket. "Have a good trip, kids."
"You too." Xander gave them both hugs then stared at John. "Protect them. We might need them to stay sane." He left with Faith, going back to the car. They could drive for a few more hours then find their way to Miami.
John looked at his boys. "This is insane."
Sam looked at him. "Yeah, but it makes a lot of sense if that curse radiated." Dean nodded, turning around to walk back to their car. He slugged his brother on the arm. "I should be mad you kissed Faith."
"She kissed me, dude. Test driving the merch," he said smugly.
Sam glared. "What're we going to do about you being gay, Dean?"
"I am not," he growled.
"Uh-huh. Xander was right, we can't both have Faith." He jogged ahead to get the front seat since he was taller.
John sighed, shaking his head. "This is going to complicate the hunt for that demon."
"Faith and Xander might be able to help," he pointed out. "A slayer could help, Dad."
"Could," he agreed. "Not if you're on another realm though."
"Maybe we can use it to get more intel on that demon," Dean said.
"That might help even more, son." He got in to drive. Dean got into the back seat. John had a lot to think about. Including the pseudo-spouses being insane. Stakes?
Xander found Horatio, stopping just out of sight to watch what was going on. Red hair. He hadn't expected that. The rest of them had dark hair. Horatio always had been the different one of the brothers so a bit of a strange thing wasn't going to throw him off. He saw a familiar feeling woman. "Who was she?" he muttered. Then he hit himself on the head. "Taylis." He turned and found someone standing there. He smirked. "Rial."
He frowned. "What?"
Xander stared at him. "Good morning."
"At least that's in English. Why are you watching us, sir?" He pulled out his badge.
"Because I need to talk to Horatio about something."
The guy stared at him then at the redhead, who was watching them. He shrugged and motioned Horatio over.
The woman looked then her eyes went wide behind her sunglasses. "Xander!" She ran over to hug him. "Oh, baby. We missed you." She pulled back to look at him. Then she looked at Speed, pulling him closer. "Rial and Xander."
Xander grinned. "Faith's at the motel sleeping off the trip." He looked at Horatio. "Uncle."
He frowned. "Do I know you?"
Xander got free and moved closer, staring at him. He took off his sunglasses and Horatio did the same. He continued to stare. "You should with as many times as you tried to beat manners into me for my father."
"I..." He heard Alexx start babbling in a language he didn't know but apparently Speed did. Then it clicked. "Xander." He looked at the boy. "You're younger."
"And more brash. Faith is back at the motel. I woke up a little over a month ago remembering." He grinned back at the mother and son. Then at his uncle. "It's nice that so many of us are grouped together."
"You and Faith?"
"No. They split us. Dean and Sam are brothers again. Dad's in New York."
"I know Mac." He frowned. "Why not?"
"No clue but apparently the curse that did it is resonating. We got asked for some help."
Horatio slid back into his sunglasses. "I have no idea what to do."
Xander nodded. "Us either. We've been going around to wake memories. It was easier to find you, Dean, and Sam. And boy, is their dad freaked."
"As I am slightly." His hands drifted to his hips and he scowled. "We'll just have to try. Where is Jethro?"
"DC. He's a Fed of some sort. Tony and Abigail are near him."
He smiled. "Excellent."
"We think Jeris is alive in New York."
Horatio looked at him over the top of his sunglasses. "How?"
Xander shrugged. "How and why did Faith, Dean, Sam, and I end up being demon hunters, Uncle Horatio?" he asked quietly. "How did you end up with the mother hen of the castle with her son, my best friend, here, when they died a few years back there?"
"Good point." He slowly reached over to brush some of the hair off the boy's face. "We will figure it out. I can get Mac to talk to me."
"I'm not sure if talking over the phone will wake the memories. It took Taylis to wake up Rial's."
"He was always stubborn," Horatio said dryly.
"Not cute," Speed said. "Eric's here with Frank." He looked at the boy. "Where are you two?"
"The Garden of Delights. Faith nearly broke the guy's hand when he asked her how much she charged."
"That's a downside of that sort of place," Alexx said grimly.
"It's cheap," Xander pointed out. He looked at him. "We have to wake up Dad's memories then Jethro's. The one that brought Faith her sword said the curse is coming and they need help."
"Which means we're being hunted," Horatio said.
"Possibly since one's over there," Xander said with a point. "And silly me, I left the silver bullets at home."
"Eric," Horatio said. He came over. "Do you see that man with the bandage on his head?" he asked quietly. Eric glanced around, looking like he was checking his camera for light exposure, nodding slightly. "We think he is a threat to us. Do it subtly."
"Yes, H." He went to look at the crowd. "Does anyone have any cellphones or video equipment they used to tape things? If so, we need to download the film. We can do it in the hummers so we don't have to confiscate it." The demon attacked and the boy growled, but dove in to help him by blocking his blow from the sword.
"Not very bright," Xander jeered with a smirk. The demon gave him a horrified look, trying to back up. Eric was there. "Pity." The man lunged at him and Xander fought back, ducking the sword's blows. "You know, if I had one, it'd be easier to do this. Yay me." He ducked another blow then got him from behind, giving him a shove with his foot. The demon went stumbling forward and Xander followed, beating the crap out of him. He panted, but got him down and took his sword. "Who are you and who sent you?" he sneered.
"There's a bounty for each clan member's head. Three thousand Gouldits."
Xander stared at him. "Not a bad price but fairly stupid of you to try for it. Did you think some of us weren't warriors?"
"Xander," Horatio said. "Let me have him."
The demon looked then broke out crying. "Please, no!"
"Have him," Xander said, keeping the sword. "Look, video cameras," he told Eric with a point. He went to confiscate them while Alexx looked him over. "I'm fine. Quit fussing."
He smiled. "But Mom!"
She laughed. "Fine. You will be bringing Faith over tonight so I can fuss over her."
"If you want to try, go ahead, but I doubt it'll work all that well. She won't let me do it."
"She *will* let me." She let him go. "Not even a scratch."
"You learn things fighting the things with huge claws." He looked at Horatio. "When and where?"
"We'll come see you. Go out for dinner," he decided. That got a nod and the boy walked off. "Xander, you were near the crime scene, we need to check your clothes and shoes."
Xander groaned, taking them off and dropping them there then hiking to his car in his shiny briefs. It was Miami, they'd think it was a bathing suit.
Alexx shook her head. "That boy is still insane."
"Yup," Horatio said, cracking her up.
"H, can I have an explanation?" Eric asked.
"No. Not yet, Eric."
"Okay. Let me know when I can."
Horatio looked at him. "Of course I will." He clapped him on the back. "There you go." He walked the demon off to talk to him, ignoring his crying and pleading for mercy. "I can't kill you here. Too many have video cameras." He looked at the demon. "I want to know everything, demon. Now." The demon nodded, blabbering while crying. "Can you try it without the tears and sniffs?" He went back over it while Horatio made mental notes. Then he let his people arrest the man. He had attacked someone at his crime scene. That was not allowed in Miami.
Faith looked up as Xander walked in. "Why are you nearly naked?"
"There's a bounty on us. One of them tried to attack me and Horatio at the crime scene he was working. By the way, he's a redhead and Taylis is here with her son Rial."
"We're going to dinner and she said she's going to fuss."
"I warned her. You can duck it too." He got into his bag to get new clothes. "Anything from anyone else?"
"B called to whine."
"Demon slime mess up her hair or she's overrun?"
"Pouting because this means she can't have a night off for some date time."
"Sorry but more important. Especially since there's a three thousand Gouldit bounty on us. Each." She gave him an odd look. He nodded. "He attacked with a sword in front of people watching the cops work the crime scene."
"You're not armed."
"I can duck. I did learn that skill too," he quipped, sitting down to put on socks. "They said they'd be here later to take us to dinner."
"That's cool. I could eat."
"Horatio's a redhead."
"Really? Why? We're all brunettes."
"No idea. Then again, Horatio was the maverick of the family."
"Good point." She flopped back down again. "Let me sleep, X."
"Go ahead. I can watch." She nodded, curling around her sword. He smiled at her back once she was out. He used his new digital camera he had gotten off a vamp in Louisiana to take a picture of her. Then he took the same vamp's laptop to mail it to Sam's email account. It was a cute picture. A sword teddy bear. How very Faith. He scanned his own email, finding one from Dean. He was still freaked over the gay stuff. Xander was too but hey, sometime they had to deal with it. He wrote him back then went back to looking for his scythes. They had to be somewhere. Faith's sword had been. His had been in his room. Maybe they were still there. He'd find out when they went back.
Horatio looked at the two children. They were so young. "Kids."
Faith snorted. "Been a while since I was one of those."
"We all said that at your age," Speed assured her. "Even being a slayer and having a destiny." She spit at that. "Fine. Now what?"
"We have to wake Mac's memories," Xander said. "If we're right and Jeris is up there too, we'll figure it out." That got a nod. "I know Don is from what Oz found. Stella too."
"Don and Stella work with Mac," Horatio agreed. "Jeris I'm not sure about."
"He was dead when the curse happened," Faith said. "He probably didn't keep his name since the other two didn't and they died a few years before the sitch happened."
"There's a number of people in his lab if he's gathered him," Horatio said. But he knew. "Messer. It has to be."
Speed nodded. "Could be." He looked at them. "So hi, remember me, then leave?"
"We'll be back. Where else am I going to be able to look a bikinis all day?" Xander quipped. "Especially since Dean and I aren't gay in this life." Horatio moaned. "And they both like Faith."
"Not my fault I'm hot," she teased.
"Good point. Your hotness is something I appreciate too," he quipped. "I still say it's incest even though we're not related here."
"Not this again," she complained while Speed laughed.
"Kids," Horatio said.
"That's how he woke my memories, Horatio."
Horatio looked at Xander. "I agree. Especially with Dean and Sam being brothers again. Why split up you two?"
"People were scared of us," Faith said. "We were more visible than our mates."
"Good point." He shifted in his seat. "When are you leaving for New York?"
"Two days," Xander said. "There's a museum I want to look at," he said when Faith gave him an odd look. "They have a scythe here."
"It's probably still in your room," Faith complained.
Xander shrugged. "I still want them back."
Horatio coughed. "The scythe isn't yours, Xander. It's blued steel and leather."
"Damn. Any idea where mine is?"
"No. It could be in a private collector's hands."
Xander pouted. "My scythe."
Speed patted him on the back. "You'll figure it out."
Xander nodded. Faith smirked. "Maybe with luck it's with a vamp and we can take it back."
"Hopefully," Xander agreed. He sat up. "Who knows everything that goes on?"
"You think the Watchers have it?"
"Yeah. Or I think they'd know." He called Giles. "It's us. I am looking for a pair of scythes that are about twelve inches long with handle. Handle's tapered to a point in the back. Silver mixed blades. Last time I knew they had blue leather grips. Because they used to be mine, Giles. Does that sound like something the Council might have or might know where it is? Yes, from there. Giles, look up the name Jethro. He was an overlord of a realm. One that kept a lot of peace but they probably hated us for being firm yet fair." Giles stuttered something. "What were his guardian's names?" He looked it up then breathed. "Exactly. Actually, I'm looking at Horatio, Giles, and there's a bounty. The ones that kicked us with that curse are now hunting us. I'm not safe to be around Buffy for a bit. Faith and I are fine. She got back her sword and I'd like my scythes if you hear of where they are. Thanks, man." He hung up when Giles said Willow wanted to speak to him. "Willow was going to help."
She patted him on the arm. "The weirdness is going to continue as long as she keeps pushing it."
Xander looked at her. "No it won't. I won't let it." She nodded at that. "Even if Dean and I aren't gay this life."
"Maybe Sam is and we'll switch?" she teased.
"Maybe a quad," he taunted back with an evil smirk.
"That would be incest on their parts," Horatio pointed out.
"Damn," Xander muttered. Faith giggled. "We'll figure that out. Stop the bounty first then move on."
Horatio nodded. "I called Mac earlier. He said they've been having a lot of problems with cases." He paused. "I think you should talk to Stella or Don first, kids. If they need a key, one of them is probably it. Or it'll be Jethro himself."
"They were both Marines," Xander said dryly.
Horatio stared. "You're kidding."
"No. Both with sniper qualifications."
Horatio moaned, shaking his head. "Wonderful."
"I'm still wondering why you're the only redhead," Xander said with a grin.
Horatio smirked back. "Just lucky."
Faith shook her head. "He's making a lot of little connections." Speed smiled at that. "I got the rest of mine when I got my sword."
"Which means it's no fair if I don't get my scythes," he pointed out, giving her a look. "Beyond the fact that Stella gave them to me." She nodded at that. He looked at Horatio. "Can you protect yourself and Rial?"
"I can. We're pretty decent with it. We can do a weapons check."
"Sam said they'd be here to handle something in another week," Faith offered. "Have John help, Xan?"
"Could help." He shifted to cure the numbness he was getting. "I have no idea what we'll do after that. How would we even get there?"
Faith shrugged. "There's others who can get us there I'm sure."
Xander looked at her. "Good point." He grinned. "Thanks for being the smarter half today."
Horatio smiled. "You two can have my guest room. It'd save you money."
"We found a techie vamp," Xander told him. "It wasn't that great of a fight."
"I do not like that income generation method," Horatio noted calmly.
"They've got to go," Faith told him. "It's my calling and his training. They create problems and they're dangerous to leave littering around."
"Most of them don't know what tact is either," Xander agreed. "You've had three recently in one of the barrios." Speed moaned. "We hunted them down last night. That's why Faith was napping while I came to find you."
"Welcome," Faith said.
Horatio looked at them. "Did anyone see you?"
"In the vamp bar?" she asked dryly. "Not if they value their remaining dusty lives."
"Good." He looked at the twins. They were so young. "We'll handle it. Wake up Mac and then we'll gather in DC." That got a nod. "Jethro should want to make plans."
Xander nodded, standing up. "I can fly up," he told Faith.
"We're safer together."
"Horatio can't use a sword. Neither can Rial."
"Good point." She looked up at him. "I don't like this splitting."
"We'll be in DC soon enough. Within a month." He kissed her on the head. "Protect the uncle and near family." He left, going to the motel to pack his bag and head. Her stuff was there in the car. He left it with her. She could use it. Not like he could carry the weapons on the plane anyway.
Horatio looked at her. "He'll be fine. Mac is very protective once Xander wakes his memories. He won't even let the boy go out alone if I read Mac right."
She smiled. "That's going to suck for me when I want to have some fun."
"Better to have fun down here," Speed teased.
"Good point." She grinned back. "Can we?"
"Sure. Eric clubs. We can go find one." She nodded and they took her back to the motel. She got changed and they went out for the night. It was good to relax.
Xander found Stella's precinct. He also found Don and Jeris. "Huh. He was right." He looked around then walked over. There were a few officers. "Beautiful priestess of the goddess, can I have a moment?"
She stared at him. "I'm flattered but you're too young, Xander. Hold on, do I know you?"
"Do you?" he asked with a smirk.
She gasped, pulling him closer. "Xander!"
"Yeah. Welcome to us." He grinned at Don. "Cousin."
She swatted him on the head and he blinked then shook his head. "Remembering Xander now?"
"Yeah, I am." He stared at him. "What the hell?"
"Kinda." He looked at Danny. "Jeris."
"No, I'm Danny. Is this some sort of strange contact contamination? Maybe a drug?"
Stella pulled Danny off to the side of the building, staring at him then she kissed him on the forehead. He stiffened. Then he pouted. "No fair." He looked at Xander. "You were younger when I died."
"I was. Faith's in Miami protecting Uncle Horatio, Rial, and Taylis." He looked at Don. "Mac's here. Jethro's in DC. There's a bounty on us. Three thousand Gouldits."
"Crap," he muttered.
"The curse is coming. The one that sent us here." He waved a hand around, running into a body. He stared. Then at Stella. "He's pissed."
"He's had a grumpy day." She popped him on the head. "Quit scowling at Xander, Mac."
Mac looked at him. "Do we know you?"
"You used to."
Mac frowned. "When?" Xander turned to look at him, arms crossed over his chest, his weight canted. "You're ruining your posture." He shook his head. "Why did that come out?"
"You were a great dad, Mac," Xander said quietly. "You nagged me for months about my posture until Uncle Jethro made you stop."
"Jethro?" He rubbed his forehead. "I have a headache." Xander pulled out a picture, letting him see it. "Faith? How do I know this?" he demanded.
"Repressed memories," Xander said with a dry smirk. "It'll come." He stepped closer, letting his arms down, staring into his eyes. "You are the most fussy father ever," he said quietly. Mac stiffened then shook his head. "Remembering fins?"
Stella backed Xander off then got to work on him. She had her memories. "Why make you the key?" she asked him.
"No idea. Maybe because I was in such a dangerous area. I'm damn lucky I survived this long. Faith too. Horatio's a redhead for some reason. I almost think they did it so they could mark him. He was better at hiding in plain sight than the rest of us were. Oh, and Dean says he's not gay this time, but Faith likes them both."
Mac moaned, resting against the building. "Enough, Xander. Let me have a headache in peace?"
"Let's get you to your office," Stella ordered.
"Good." She walked him off, the three boys following her. She ran into Hawkes. "Headache."
"I think he has something in his desk." He followed to check him over. "He should be fine. It doesn't look like a migraine."
"Some repressed memories," Xander said with a grin. "We can handle it." Hawkes looked at him. Xander grinned brighter. "I'm the key to the memories."
"I don't know why they did that to me. That's what I'm trying to figure out. That and to warn them that there's a bounty on us." Hawkes moaned. "Sorry. Can we have a few before you go into super fuss mode?"
"I don't fuss like that, kid. I'm a doctor."
Xander nodded. "That's a great thing but you guys scare me." He walked out snickering.
"That's because you wouldn't let anyone bandage your injuries when you got them," Mac complained from the couch.
"They'd fuss. Taylis did plenty of that."
"Yes, Alexx does," Stella said. Xander grinned. "I can't believe Speed was one of us."
"Yup. Confused the hell outta him. Alexx was the key to the group down there once I got there." He looked at Mac, then got something off the wall, handing it to him. "Faith needed hers. I'm still trying to find mine."
Mac looked at his Corps sword then at him. "I remember, Xander. It just gave me a headache."
"I woke up wondering if sleeping with Faith in this life was incest."
Mac frowned. "Yes."
"Fine." He sat near his feet. "Now what?"
"Who's left?" Stella asked.
"Jethro, Tony, and Abigail are in DC. Jethro's a Fed," Xander told her. "We're going to gather there. If we can get John to release his boys. He's a bit freaked out about Dean and Sam."
"If they were my kids I'd be freaked too," Don admitted, sitting down. "Sit, Danny." He sat down too. "Who's after us?"
"I guess whoever cursed us to start over this way so they could take over. I know it's three thousand Gouldits. They admitted as much to us in Miami when one tried to attack us." That got a nod. "Faith's with them. She's a called slayer."
Mac frowned. "What?"
"Dean, Sam, me, and Faith are demon hunters," Xander said dryly. "Faith's a called vampire slayer. Destined and all that. I jumped in after a friend died. I was living somewhere called a hellmouth. It's a buffet for demons and vamps."
Mac moaned. "That's not helping the headache any."
"Sorry." He looked at Stella. "We're going to gather after we wake up Jethro. The one who gave Faith her sword back begged for help for our realm. They need us."
She nodded. "I can see why." She stroked over his cheek. "Relax, Xander. No one will attack us here. New York's a big city but we're safe within the PD."
"Unless one of them is one of you." He pointed. "He was from a rival clan."
She looked. "That doesn't really surprise me. Don, your boss."
He looked then waved at Gerrard. "Doesn't surprise me either with as hostile as he is to you guys." His boss stomped in. "Sir."
He looked at him. "Suspect?"
"Old friend," Stella said with a smile. "Mac has a headache. Keep the growling down."
He glared at the boy. "I know you from somewhere."
"Really? Are you demonic?" he asked dryly. The man growled and pulled cuffs. "Find a warrant, dude. I know damn well you can't."
"I can arrest you while we look. Get you lost in Rikers."
"Maybe," Xander agreed. "But I'm not the average guy." He stood up. "Looking for a bounty?"
"No. Just to take out little pissants." He undid one of the cuffs. "C'mon, boy. Try it."
"Sit," Stella snapped. Xander sat. "Gerrard, leave the kid alone."
"He probably drugged Taylor."
"Never touch the stuff. Life is strange enough without it," Xander quipped. Don glared at him. "It is."
"Uh-huh." He looked at Gerrard. "Hey, boss, I'm being called to LA for a bit to help an old friend. I'll have papers on your desk tomorrow." Gerrard stomped off. "Not wise, Xander."
"He started it!"
"I don't care," Don said dryly. "Don't."
"Thank you." He looked at Stella then at Mac. "DC?"
"DC," she agreed.
"I don't have that much leave time," Danny pointed out.
Xander nodded. "That happens. It might not take that long." He looked at her. "I can fly down tonight. See if I can wake up anyone." He called Dean's phone. "It's me. I'm in New York; we need to hit DC. Why are you in Arkansas?" He rolled his eyes. "Steal the car and your brother?" He smirked. "There probably are higher blocks on him but Abby knows what we do. She's goth." He laughed. "Thanks, Dean. Tonight or tomorrow. Sure, see you then." He called Miami. "We're ready to head to DC soon. Tonight, tomorrow, sometime around then, Faith. Sure. I called Dean. They're in Arkansas." He laughed. "Yup. I suggested he take the car. Sure, see you there." He hung up and looked at her. "She'll be there in about two days she thinks. Horatio's arranging it."
"He does good with that," Mac said quietly. "We can't just take off."
Xander looked at him. "You'd rather stay here and die?"
"Then figure it out and get down there as soon as you can. With any luck it'll only take a few days." He stood up. "After all, if I as a teenager can help save this world, we may be able to go save that one." He left, going to make plans on how to get to DC. He still had some room on that vamp's wallet. Not a lot though. A bus it was. He grabbed his bag from the motel and headed down there on the next Greyhound. Don could fight very well. Mac had been a master of it. Those skills had to come through now. Stella could guard them very well he was sure.
Don looked at Mac. "We'll do it, Mac. Then we'll figure out if this is going to impact the job." Mac nodded. "What do I do about the boss?"
"He clearly wants to kill some of us," Danny said dryly.
"I'll put in the paperwork," Stella said, moving to the desk to do that. An emergency helping a friend in a bad situation happened to people like cops. They were the first to jump in usually. Don filled out his own for her. They went around Gerrard. By the time he heard they were gone, they'd be in DC. If Mac ever got over his headache.
Danny leaned down. "At least your son's partially sane," he said with a grin.
Mac looked at him. "Then why does he hunt demons?"
"Don't know. Ask him."
"I will once we're all back together again." He made himself sit up and take something for the headache the memories had given him. Being a father was harder than he had expected. He moved to look up what a vampire slayer was. That didn't sound like a healthy career path to him.
Abby looked at the guy trying hard not to watch her. "Do I know you?" she asked finally, walking over to look at him.
"You were pretty young the last time I saw you."
"I'm older than you."
"Here." He grinned. "It'll come back, Abby. I need to see Tony or Jethro. Tony preferably."
"Tony's at the office."
"I can't find him at the office." He looked at her. "Xander Harris." She gaped then hugged him. He gave her a squeeze. "It's our sort of thing. Others are converging to help them with something but there's some locked memory stuff going on."
"How do you know?"
"Because apparently I'm a key to it."
"Oh." She pouted. "Let me get Tony."
"If he's working I don't want to endanger him but there's been a few problems, like a hunt for us with the memories."
"Ooooh. Gibbs won't like that." She dialed Tony's phone. "Where are you?" She smiled. "I am looking at one Xander Harris, who said he needs to see you about some repressed memories. You or Gibbs, you preferably." Xander nodded. "We're at lunch. I can do that. Is it about a case, Xander?"
"No, not yet."
"He said not yet. Which is a very odd answer. Sure, I can do that." She hung up. "After work, seven, on the Mall."
"With the Smithsonians or the regular mall?"
"With the museums."
"Okay, I can be there. I'll be by the Air and Space."
"Good." She gathered her stuff. "See you then." She jogged off.
Xander sat down and went back to his lunch. He looked over when he felt Faith get closer. "Hey. Burger?" She stole it from him. "Hungry?" he teased.
"Yup." She looked at him. "That's not a bad place."
"We might even get some sightseeing," he teased.
"Maybe. Dean and Sam will be here tonight. Dean hates flying."
"Don't much blame him," Xander admitted. "How active is the town?"
"Six or seven clubs. About what you'd expect in a real city." She finished his burger. "You're sure about Tony?"
"Would you guard us more heavily or him?"
"Abby has no idea about it."
"She was little." That got a nod. "Okay. Horatio's back at the hotel." They cleaned up their mess then went to make plans. Mac, Stella, Don, and Danny were there too. Horatio had coordinated all that. They walked in.
"Seven, at the mall outside the Air and Space," Xander said.
Horatio nodded. "Open, good plans. That'll work." He found that map to look it over. "Here's a nice bench." Xander nodded, sitting down to go over it with him. "We'll need to scout some."
"We can do that," Mac agreed. "Don, Danny, Stella, you three take perimeter. Move in when they show up." That got a nod. "Watch for an attack. We're vulnerable then." He looked at Horatio. "Did you get a headache?"
"No but they're not my children," he quipped dryly.
"We're angels," Xander shot back with an evil smirk.
"Yeah, could be Buffy," Faith quipped.
"That's a horrible thought. Mac having a fashionable daughter who wears short skirts and heels on patrol."
Faith spit at her twin. "Leather pants are much more practical."
"Kids," Mac said. They went back to planning. "Did Abby know anything?"
"Me," Xander said with a grin. "I got hug. She hugs nice."
"That's good." He patted him on the head. "If she found what I did, I'm going to scream, son."
Xander pouted. "I had to."
"No you didn't."
"They took my best friend. Yes I did. Besides, why let one tiny, blonde, former cheerleader do it all by herself?"
"That's a point," Don agreed.
"Still dangerous," Stella said.
"That's probably half the point," Faith said. "I'm a slayer. That comes with a really short life span once you're called. He's a demon magnet born on a convergence point."
"Take out the keys so we'd never get the memories back," Horatio said, looking at Mac. "Then we could be hunted down easier." Mac nodded. "Xander wondered why I'm a redhead."
"Because you hid in plain sight better than us. It makes you more noticeable," Xander said.
"Could be," Horatio admitted. "You do use tactics out there?"
"Now and then when it comes in handy. It doesn't always. Patrol is patrol. Stake and move on."
"I do not like that career," Mac said.
"John's been hunting demons with his kids since Sam was a baby," Xander said dryly.
"At least you two will understand your mates," Stella taunted with an evil smirk.
"Dean says he's still not gay and neither am I," Xander shot back. "Plus Faith likes them both."
She sighed. "You'll work it out, Xander."
"They could claim this broke the link. That would negate the mating," Xander pouted. "Then I'd have to find another weapons nut who loved me and was a girl. Those are harder to find."
"We work with one," Horatio told him.
Xander looked at him. "She's a bit too squealy for me, Horatio. I stared in awe and lust at her but she's too preppy for me. She'd never get dirty with me."
"She's not that preppy, Xander. She's a very complex woman."
"Who squeals," Faith told him.
"As bad as Willow?"
"Huh." He shook his head. "Less preppy, more gun nut." That got a mass of smiles but he could ignore them. "Did we give Rial and Taylis a way to protect themselves?"
"After cleaning Speed's gun on him," Horatio said dryly. Xander gave him an odd look. "He doesn't like carrying a weapon."
"I will spank."
"So did I." Xander grinned then went back to the plans. He and Mac shared a look. The kids needed some normal people time after this was over with. Mac shrugged subtly. They'd handle it together if Jethro didn't.
Tony DiNozzo walked into a the appointed area, looking around. He saw a boy and a girl, walking that way since they were staring at him. "Faith?" he asked. She smirked and nodded. He looked at the other one. "Xander." The memories hit and he groaned, holding his head.
"The memories hurt," Xander agreed. "Mac got a horrible headache."
"He's your father, he should with how wild you two ran." He looked at them, blinking away the tears. "Why now?"
"The curse is back. I remembered," Xander said. "Someone's put a bounty on us."
Tony sat down between them. "Who else knows?"
"We got you three last."
Tony sighed, nodding. "That's probably wisest. Where are the others?" Xander pointed at the ones coming out of the light gloom of dusk. They all gathered, Mac watching around them. Tony smiled. "Mac Taylor."
"DiNozzo. Good to work with you again."
Tony looked at Horatio. "Why are all of us brunettes except you?"
"Xander thinks it's because I hid better. It makes me more noticeable."
"Oh." He looked at the twins. "Now what?"
"We got asked for help," Faith said. She held up her sword. "One of them brought it to me. Once we got to Miami someone tried to attack Horatio and his crew."
Tony nodded. "We've got to wake the other's memories."
Xander nodded. "Yeah." He stood up, pulling Tony up. "We have no idea if they buried them further on Uncle."
"It'd make sense if they did. Who did it anyway?"
"Still finding out," Xander said. "Faith and I hunt demons. We're using some contacts." Dean and Sam walked over. "Them too."
"Still not gay, Xander," Dean said.
"You'll work it out," Tony assured him. "Feel lucky you're not a breeder here." They both shuddered. So did Faith and Xander. "Why now?"
"We're old enough," Faith said. "We're in danger constantly. We don't know what woke X's memories up. Could be any number of things."
"I got that lecture from Abby."
"She didn't remember."
"She was newly hatched," Tony sighed. "She wouldn't." He thought for a minute. "Okay." He tapped in a code on his phone. Jethro came walking out. "Boss."
"DiNozzo. Strange gathering." The young man walked over to stare at him. "Who're you?"
"Xander. That's Faith."
He stared. "I don't know you two."
Stella moved closer then touched his head. Jethro groaned, holding it. "Mac had the same sort of reaction." They got him onto the bench, letting him calm himself down. He looked up at her. "Hi, boss."
"Stella." He looked around, spotting one familiar face. "Jeris?"
"Why now? Why not earlier?"
"Someone or something woke up X's memories," Faith told him. "We went looking. There's a bounty on us all. Three grand of gouldits each." Gibbs growled at that.
"They gave Faith back her sword when they asked for help," Xander said more quietly. "Apparently the ones who did this aren't that kind."
Jethro looked at him. "Where's your scythes?"
"No clue. I'm still looking. I'm also looking for what happened, who did it, and how do we get back there."
"Perhaps I can help with that?" an older, genteel, British voice said.
"Why am I not surprised you know about this, Ducky?" Tony asked.
"Do you think it was an accident I found and befriended Jethro?" he countered with a smirk.
Xander gaped then went to his knees. "High Priest."
"Lad. Get up." He pulled him up. "I'm not the only one here. Many of us escaped." He patted his priests on the back. "You two have done excellent helping each other. She would be proud." He looked at the children. "There is a gateway. You can gather information there. There's also a celebration of ten years of tyranny that's about to happen. Jeris or Abigail need to go back there."
Jethro looked at him. "Why now?"
"Apparently the right conditions were met to wake Xander's memories up. He always was nearly one of us. Too wild but one of us."
"Are my scythes there?" Xander asked.
"No, lad. The Council has them."
"Figures," Faith snorted. "I got the rest of my memories when I got my sword."
"I believe he'll get his once he steps back across the barrier. It would be slightly safer as well since they've integrated some of their hunters into federal service." He looked at her. "And the Watchers Council."
"Yay them," she said. "Not like I have one."
"So I've heard. Quite impressive, Faith." She smiled at that. "As I expect to continue." He stroked her cheek. "You have such a muddy future but you can clarify it if you wish." She nodded. "This will keep you from the darkness that can come from the hunting."
"Depression or other darkness?" Xander asked.
"The one that drives you," Ducky said, staring at him. "Leave the life, Xander."
"They need me."
"After this, go study for a year then come back."
Xander nodded. "Yes, High Priest."
"Good lad." He smiled. "At the end of this year you'll be needed back there to help in Sunnydale. I'm afraid they'll have a major problem that will need a more militaristic approach to defend the town from an ascension." Xander groaned, calling that back to them so they could start looking it up now. "Come, Jethro. Mother won't mind in the least if you use it." They gathered in their cars, heading back to Ducky's house with him. He got them into the house and down to the basement.
"A closet?" Tony asked with a slight grin. "How typical."
"Well, it is traditional but it's also a good way to hide the nasty portal mirrors."
Xander nodded. "Better than in a stone demon." Faith gave him an odd look. "Alcaltha."
Ducky looked at him, laying a hand on the boy's head again, then sighed. "Xander."
"Someone has to."
"I know, lad. When the time comes, jump in. They may not trust but do so anyway. Use the time to get a bit more steady with your mate."
"I'm not gay. Why does everyone want me to be gay?" Dean complained. "Make the bitchy little brother gay, dude."
Ducky stared at him. Then he shook his head. "There are more important matters than whether or not you can enjoy your mate, Dean."
"Yes, sir," he said, slumping some. "Still not fair if I'm going to die without getting some next."
"I'm not the neighborhood bicycle," Faith said dryly, giving him a dirty look.
He grinned. "I'm more fun than Sammy."
"I'm having flashbacks," Mac moaned.
"I'm not smart enough for Sam," Xander told him. He opened the doors, looking at the mirror. "Where does it lead to?"
"The old temple. It's been shut for a long time but there's a tavern nearby. You should be able to find information there." Xander nodded, walking through first. Horatio followed quickly. "Always so brash."
Mac looked at him. "It shows in his current hunting. Thank you." He followed. It felt like walking through a waterfall but he came out the other side as a human. He looked at himself to make sure. "No fin."
"We'll stand out," Xander said. He found a few robes and handed one over, then put on his own. "Gylicka won't mind. Much." They also put on theirs as they came through. Jethro last with Abby. He handed her one. "Gylicka's servants can be human or human looking." That got a nod. "We can say we're heading past this land to go to Voras." He turned and threw a knife at the demon coming in. It fell with a thump. "Still have it." He pulled up his hood. "Talk quietly, walk slowly. Hide the weapons underneath the robe. They're allowed to carry them for defense." That got a nod and they headed out together. Faith found the tavern and went in to get them rooms. They had to share but it was safer that way. Faith took Abby, Jethro, Tony, and Sam. Xander got the others so they could plan. Though he went down to listen to gossip and ask some careful questions. One of them stared at him. He stared back. "I'm very pretty but pure. As He demands. Sorry to ruin your thoughts."
"Do I know of you?"
"No." He smiled. "Not yet. Some day maybe I'll be High Priest if He calls." That got a laugh. Xander bought him a round of beer, watching him get drunk so he could talk to him. A village elder's son was a precious thing to have on your side. When the son had wandered home he went back upstairs, going to report to them. Jethro made plans with Mac. Horatio added input. Then they went to sleep for the night. In the morning they walked off, heading out as a traveling group. That didn't look too odd.
The guards in the capitol city stopped them. "No priests in the city," one said.
Abby looked at them. "We were told to pay our respects at each and every temple."
"Ours was destroyed years ago. Are you new?" he demanded.
"I'm from farther away," she protested. "I never get news in my village." She tried not to fidget in her robes. They didn't fit very well over her outfit or collar.
Xander looked at him. "We wish to witness the celebration so we can tell the temple how it went," he said calmly.
Tony nodded. "We wish no harm. We're a peaceful sect as you know. Gylicka says only fighting in self defense."
The guards looked at each other then called their captain. He came out. "No priests."
"We wish to give a report on how the celebration went," Xander told him. "You know Gylicka's people are not the rough sort. The temple never hears of happy news."
The captain shook his head. "No. Not allowed by order of the King." They walked inside and closed the gate.
Xander looked at them. "There was an inn about a mile back." They nodded, heading back there to regroup and plan. Faith pointed at a wall. Xander looked then they smirked at each other. "If it's still there."
"Why would they have closed the children's tunnel?"
"For security reasons," a new voice said. They looked at him. "Jethro."
He looked at him. "Horest." He shook his hand. "Tell us?"
"Of course." He settled in to tell them what was going on and how they could still sneak in. It wasn't nice but it'd work. Xander and Faith got sent to go in that way then open another way during the early part of the celebration. He gave them a long history of what was going on. How the new overlord was overconfident but paranoid and very stupid to harm the people the way he did. They remembered and would fight with him most likely.
Xander and Faith walked in with the slaves carrying things. Xander winced when he was hit. "I'm moving as fast as I can," he sneered back. The guy with the whip pulled back to hit him again.
"Move," Faith ordered. One came nearer to her. She ducked the hand to her hair. "Leave it alone. Not yours."
"You're here, you're ours. That is the deal for sending you to deliver things."
She stared at him. "No it wasn't. We're traveling back, as ordered." They tried to grab them but they escaped. Without making too much of a fuss, as ordered. They relaxed once they were in the old stables and under them in the hiding area. "You good?" she hissed.
Xander nodded. "Fine." She looked at his back but he brushed her off. Someone was up there looking for them. He counted, listening hard to what was going on. A sniffing. "A pig?" he mouthed. She nodded it wasn't a demon. It squealed and fought. Xander concentrated, lowering his heartrate so he wasn't sweating too much. She had to be reacting to the mermaid or hyena taint. The pig got calmed down and they moved on. Xander waited, shaking his head with a point at the floor above them. She nodded, settling in again. Finally the one waiting moved. They smirked at each other. They knew the back way out but it'd be better if they weren't being looked for near the old well.
They managed to make it out and headed to the old temple. There was a back door in there. They bowed at the altar then rushed past to find the doorway the former priest had told them about. It was locked and sealed over. Faith broke the lock while he pried off the boards. They heard a noise and faded into the shadows. A guard was searching in here for them. Xander got him knocked out and took everything on him, including his uniform. It was a weak ploy but it might help. They got the door open, letting Jethro in. They went to make a grander than usual entrance. The new 'king' walked out and symbolically opened the portal that created his reign.
Jethro was in the lead as they came up the stairs to the balcony for announcements. "Good morning." He smirked.
"Who are you?" he demanded.
Jethro stepped out, Tony right beside him. "Don't recognize me? That's strange since you sent me to live on the human's world." The 'king' backed up, trying to get away. "Oh, no." He stabbed him and he fell. The crowd went nuts. The guards showed up. Faith, Xander, Dean, Sam, and Mac guarded while Horatio stepped forward to announce this.
"All hail the Overlord Jethro!" he shouted. The crowd went nuts in happiness. "Even if they did send us to be human!" The crowd slammed against the guards. They weren't going to win this one.
Tony fought the one that got past Sam, taking him out. "Not today, cranky." Abby squeaked. He looked at her. "What? I was his spouse before."
"Wife," Jethro taunted.
"Boss, didn't know you liked it like that," he shot back with an evil smirk of his own.
"Quit being gay around me please? I'm having enough of an identity crisis," Xander complained.
Sam laughed. "You'll figure it out, Xander." He got another one and they fell. Dean got his last two. Faith got hers. Xander was slightly injured. "Xander!"
"I'm fine. Fuss over Faith!" He got the last one coming up the stairs then kicked him back down it. The crowd sent up another cheer. He walked that way, giving his sword to Jethro. "All yours, Overlord."
The crowd quieted, staring at him. "Their reign is stopped. I have no idea, yet, about what is going to happen in the future." That got a few sniffles from the crowd. "He made us human and gave us human lives. Some of us have responsibilities to protect them as well."
"They have more. We only have you," a female voice called.
Tony smiled. "We're figuring it out later. For now, have a feast in honor of the battle." They cheered and went to do that. He looked at Abby and Danny. "You two have got to figure some stuff out. Technically it's you two who're heirs."
"Xander!" Dean snapped, catching him where he had snuck off and was trying to hide in the shadows. "Sure you're not hurt. Idiot." Xander didn't hear, he was unconscious.
"He does this at home too," Faith said dryly. They got him to a couch and Mac worked to stop the bleeding. She got Horatio out of the way since he was useless in this sort of situation. She went to look out over the crowd. "We need a healer. Xander took a sword to the side," she told a guard. One of theirs who had been hiding. He nodded, going to find one for them.
She ran up the back stairs, coming over to help, shoving Stella and Jethro out of her way. "I don't know much about human's build but I should be able to staunch the flow and stitch him anyway." She got to work on that. "He's still reckless."
"And younger," Mac said grimly. He looked at Faith, who shrugged. "He does this at home?"
"The night he remembered, he was working to stop zombies that had been using him because he had a car. He escaped from them when they went into the hardware store. He ran into the demon that was trying to kill me. Then we had sex and he went to stop their bomb in the basement of the school since the girls had told him he was too normal and couldn't help when the hellmouth opened. From the rumors I heard, it got down near under a minute before it was stopped." Mac shuddered. "He wasn't going to run. The zombie did after disarming it. Then the girls got pissed because he was there."
"He was reborn on a hellmouth?" the healer demanded.
"Yeah, on Sunnydale's. That's Buffy's Xander. Now mine." She smirked. "They didn't appreciate him."
"No wonder he attracts trouble."
"I'd like to hear more about that," Mac and Jethro said.
"No you don't," Dean said dryly. "Really, guys, you don't. My bitch there is pretty bad at things."
"He never got trained, Dean. Not like Tweedy would. He jumped into the research. Had to teach himself Latin and whatever. He learned to stake watching Buffy and doing it. B thinks he's too normal."
"Bet me," Dean said. He stroked his hair. Xander moaned and shifted. "Pain in my ass," he complained quietly.
"Still not gay."
"Neither am I," he said. "Still worried me sick, dude."
Xander blinked up at him. "It's a little cut."
"It's a finger joint deep!" the healer snapped. "Not a little anything, Guardian Xander. That's why you lost consciousness. That always indicates a bad injury."
Xander looked at her. "Get off."
"No." Jethro smacked him on the head and he quit struggling to get free. "Thank you, Overlord. It's clear you learned suitable correction methods."
"Head smacks are going to become the new universal standard," Tony teased. Gibbs gave him one of his own. "Hey! I'm being good. Though I do have to join the not gay club they have going, boss. As much as I like and respect you."
Jethro smirked. "Uh-huh."
"You'd look really hot underneath him," Abby teased. "Then I can call you Mom and all sorts of things." The healer stared at her, mouth slightly open. She wiggled her fingers with a grin. "I'm all grown up and Danny's here too." She pointed.
She looked at him. "Lord Jeris," she said in awe.
"Mac adopted me," he said with an evil smirk.
"How do you do that head smack?" Mac asked Jethro. He showed him on Abby. Mac did it to Danny. "Behave."
Stella giggled on Don's shoulder. "They're so cute." She pointed. "Xander escaped that way while Abby distracted you." She groaned, going to find the young idiot.
Jethro shook his head. "Did you have to spawn twins, Mac?" he asked dryly.
"Not my choice. I didn't bear the egg."
"Hey!" Faith complained. "I'm pretty decent as long as I have what I need." She cleaned off her sword. "See, shiny."
Sam kissed her gently. "Calm down and do something to relax, Faith."
She gave him a shove. "I'm not one of those mushy girl sorts," she said dryly.
"Sammy is *the* most stubborn, mushy girl type in existence," Dean said dryly. "He can make up for your lack of it. Or you can have me, who is all hunter."
She smirked at him. "Xander would be mad if I stole his wife."
Dean pouted. "Not gay, Faith."
"Uh-huh. The more you protest..."
"Dad would freak," Sam told her.
"Probably. Mine too if I knew him." She looked at Mac. "I'm not going to call you Daddy."
"I don't expect you to. I can help if you want me to guide you." She nodded at that. "Is there a way to pass on being a slayer?"
"Die and call a third girl but I'll still be one. B sure is."
He grimaced. "That doesn't sound good." The healer dragged Xander back by his ear. "I'm sure he's glad he doesn't have a fin anymore," he joked.
"I would have grabbed it since he's acting like a child." She shoved him back down and went back to stitching him. "Hold still." Jethro came over to hold him down with Horatio's help.
"Xander, we need you working if we're attacked again," Mac snapped. "Stop it."
"I've fought with worse."
"I don't care. You won't be doing it here," Jethro told him. "We have people who can stitch you. Like this one. Your name?"
"Carson," she said. She finished up and stood up, dusting off her hands. "It shouldn't infect. Watch for that anyway. Try to keep him out of the fight or sweating into it." They all nodded. "Pull the stitches in two weeks or so, when it's sealed. I don't know how fast humans heal."
"We can do that," Horatio assured her. "Thank you, Healer Carson. I'm sorry he annoyed you."
"I've seen worse and better." She left, going back to the celebration. The humans had smelled very interesting and were clearly a different species. Maybe she would go to their world to see if she could learn more about them. It'd be an adventure and a good learning trip. Plus it looked like their time ran differently since that one had been younger. Maybe she could find one culture of theirs that had a nice accent. She had always wanted an accent.
Jethro looked at him. "If you need medical treatment, you will get treated, Xander. I don't care if you wouldn't have at home. Here you will because we might need your skills and knowledge."
"Giles tells us how to kill things."
"You still have more experience with a sword than most of us," Tony said. "Someone has to guard Abby and Danny."
"Thank you," Jethro said. He looked at his brothers. "Let's find some food then rest for a while in shifts. We'll take intel reports and make plans tomorrow?" They nodded. They were all tired after the battle. He watched the younger quartet walk off. Then he looked at Tony. "Stay with Abby, DiNozzo."
"I think she's going to hit on Mac," he said dryly. He walked off to follow her. She pouted. "Gibbs' orders, Abby."
"I'll be fine. I know how to fence." He gave her an odd look. "What sort of self-respecting goth hasn't picked up a blade?" she quipped with a grin.
"We'll make sure in the morning," Faith called back.
"Sure." She looked at Tony again. "Go jump the bossman."
"Not his type. I'm not a redhead, cranky woman." Horatio gave him an odd look. "All three of his exes."
Horatio shook his head. "Poor man. Three marriages." He went to his former rooms. They were decorated in a way that he could only call Home Interior gaudy. He started by taking down the multiple, packed together pictures of flowers and fairies to stack in the overcrowded closet. Someone knocked so he let Sam in. "Sam."
He looked around. "It wasn't just our room then. Good to know." Horatio smiled. "Faith and Xander want to go scouting. Dean too. I said I'd come ask permission."
"Not until tomorrow."
"It'd be easier for them to sneak in tonight."
"True. They still need rest."
"It's what we do, Horatio," he said quietly. He sighed at that, nodding a bit. "They're probably already gone."
"I'll let the others know. Thank you, Sam. Go to bed. You can take first watch shift in a few hours. When we're ready to sleep." He nodded, going to rest so he could take his turn. He went to find Mac and Jethro, who were watching the kids merge into the crowd. "They're looking for payback."
"Of course they are. It's easier for any loyal elements to raise up tonight, when things are in chaos," Mac said quietly.
"They sent Sam to ask for permission while they snuck out. I told Sam to take first watch."
Jethro nodded. "We can do that." He looked at him. "Miami?"
"Miami. Mac's in New York. Faith and Xander are in California. Dean and Sam travel with their father to hunt."
"This is going to be a mess," Jethro complained.
"We'll figure it out tomorrow," Mac said. Jethro nodded, heading to his room. He looked at him. "How's Miami?"
"Fairly decent. A lot of homicides recently thanks to drug wars."
Mac grimaced. "Our mobs have slowed down but we're not finding as many junkie deaths recently. I don't know why. A lot more 's/he did me wrong' deaths." Horatio nodded, understanding that. "How's the team?"
"I'm going to beat Speed."
"Some of us aren't comfortable with guns."
"He was Rial here. Alexx was Taylis."
"That makes some sense with the mother hen she is," Mac said with a smile.
"She got to baby Speed after I cleaned his gun on him then paddled him."
"We'll figure it out," Mac promised. He clapped him on the back. "Want dawn or earlier watch?"
"Dawn. Sam wakes you, you wake me." That got a nod and he went to tell Sam that. Horatio stayed up for another hour to watch the celebration from the window then he went to sleep in the gaudy, velvet covered bed. He would have to change this around if he was staying. It was squishy and furry. He felt like he was sleeping on a teletubby.
Mac caught Xander coming in, pushing him against a wall to check his side. "At least you didn't tear any." He looked at the boy. "It could've waited."
"No it couldn't have," Dean told him. "We found a small move to attack the palace and ended it." Xander nodded with a point. "Let him go, Mac. He's in pain." Mac let him go and Xander let out the breath he was holding. "Go to bed, Xander." He went. "Who's got watch?"
"I do. Horatio's got dawn. Sleep so you can take the throne room tomorrow." Dean nodded. "It still could've been handled."
"Now it is. Faith's behind us somewhere." He waved over his shoulder. "Night."
Mac shook his head, checking Faith over when she came in. "You okay?"
"I'm fine. It was fine." She smirked. "Two demons think I'm hotter than B." She went to her apartment, finding Sam on the couch. She stared at him. "Way too honorable." She checked, the bed was gross. "No wonder." She went to curl up on top of Sam's chest. He grunted when she slid onto him. "The bed's disgusting." He moved to give her the back, protected position while he held onto her. "No cuddling, Sam." He nuzzled her cheek then went back to sleep. She huffed but couldn't get free without hurting him. He finally wiggled so she got free and sat on the back of the couch. He patted around then went back to his back. She slid down to rest on top. That was better. He held on but not as tightly and she wasn't smooshed between a bad smelling couch and him, who smelled pretty good. She'd have to do some deep thinking soon.
Dean walked into their room, finding Xander staring at the bed. "Is it useable?"
"Yeah, it's comfy. Just the only one." He looked around then grabbed a pillow and blanket. "I'll be on the chaise."
"You need the bed, Xander. You're injured."
Xander looked at him. "I've camped with worse, Dean. A lounging chair is better than that." He settled himself down, getting comfortable. He had to pull over a table to rest his feet on. "Still can't find my scythes."
"We'll find 'em, dude. Relax." He stripped down to his boxers and climbed onto the bed. The bed was a bit squishy but he could handle that. He'd slept on worse in some motels. He heard Xander shift. "It's a king. I can share."
"I cuddle. No we can't," Xander shot back.
Dean rolled his eyes. "I'm not that afraid of boys, Xander. Get over here." Xander shook his head, flipping onto his uninjured side to nap that way instead. It'd ease the pain in his bad side. Dean waited until Xander was fully out then went to look at him. He picked him up and put him onto the bed. The pillow and blanket from the chaise got put on as a barrier between them then he laid down to sleep. Xander was stubborn. Too stubborn. Even worse than his father was. And wouldn't John laugh at this situation? He fell asleep finally. Xander was still shifting around on his side of the bed but he could handle that. Sammy wiggled all night too. When he woke up with a warmth plastered against his back, he was shocked but he could handle this without freaking out. He patted the hand over his waist. "Have to use the can." Xander let him go. Dean went to clean up in the bathroom, coming out to find Xander hiding under the huge, fluffy quilt. He lowered it to look at him. "You'll suffocate." Xander was still asleep so he left him there. He went in search of coffee. Stella was making some. He kissed her before taking her cup. "Thanks, Stella."
She looked at him. "I'm too old for you, Dean."
"More experience to make it better," he quipped with a grin. He added what he remembered was sugar then went to check on Xander again. He was back to trying to suffocate himself. Dean pulled the curtains to block out the light then uncovered him fully. He walked off shaking his head.
Faith came out an hour later. "Why is Xander suffocating himself in that ugly quilt?"
"No idea. I tried twice."
"I put it in the bathroom."
"I tried to uncover him. Apparently he wanted it back."
"He's chilly," Sam said as he joined them. "He went searching for it so I got him a regular blanket. He's better now."
"Sunnydale is in the hot part of the state," she said. She took her coffee from Stella. "Thanks, Stella."
"Not the cook, you three." Sam came over to help. Stella finally got her own coffee. Jethro walked in and stole Sam's coffee before walking off. She laughed. "I guess it's hereditary."
"Apparently," Sam said dryly, pouring himself a new cup. "Did anyone else get the bed from hell?"
"Ours was a bit squishy, like that motel in Nebraska," Dean told him.
"Ours was like a wet sponge," Faith complained. "Sammy's a good one though." Sam blushed. "Even if he does cuddle."
"Xander too. I had to move him back when he tried to sleep on a chair. I put a barrier up and he still moved to cuddle." He heard movement, looking out there. "Faith said Sammy cuddled too since their bed was crap," he told his former mate.
Xander walked in, looking at Faith. "So do I. I warned him."
"It was fine, Xander," Dean promised.
"Horatio's room looked like the Home Interior catalog puked," Sam said. "Flowered pictures in gold frames. Fairies picking flowers in silver frames. Fairies having tea in fabric frames. Mirrors with swirly gold frames. Gold tassels."
"We weren't happy about that sneaking off," Jethro called.
"We found a group gathering to overthrow you again," Dean called back. "They're gone now." He got more coffee and headed that way. "Sammy, bring me breakfast later?"
Dean went to take up his protective spot by the throne. "Sixteen of them gathering to attack today."
"Any alive to question?"
"All but six. Faith and I got those."
He nodded. "It has to happen sometimes. From now on, try to wound."
He looked at him. "You good?"
"Fine. My bed wasn't too bad. Xander cuddling wasn't too bad even if he was trying to suffocate himself. Still trying to figure out how to work the shower." He yawned. "We'll deal later."
Horatio walked in. "There's half the city outside the doors, Jethro."
"Let them in slowly. Have the guards there to make sure they don't cause problems."
"On it," Faith and Xander said, heading that way. They opened the doors.
"You will be orderly," Xander noted. "Or else Faith and I get to set punishments." They nodded, coming in quietly and lining up to listen and be heard.
"Still got the scary gene, Xander," she quipped.
He smirked back. "Of course I do. Look at what I do at home." Someone smaller poked him. He looked down, then squatted down. "What's wrong?"
"My parents are in the jail."
He nodded. "We'll let you talk to Jethro, let him find out what's going on." She smiled. "C'mon. I'll make sure you don't get trampled." He walked her into the throne room. "Horatio?" He looked over. "Her parents are in jail. She wanted to ask Jethro to look into it."
"I'll make sure she gets a turn," Horatio promised, taking her hand. "You can wait with me, young lady."
"Thank you, Lord Horatio." A pushy, scowling person walked in. She averted her face.
Horatio looked at her. "Problems, ma'am?"
"I demand an immediate interview with Jethro."
"He'll be talking to everyone who needs him to but he'll be doing it in order of appearance," he said firmly. She gaped. "Even other leaders until he gets things straightened out." Not that he remembered her being one. She huffed. "I'm sorry but within days the meetings will be more settled." He walked her off. "You'll go after this one and before him," he said with a point. The child nodded. Jethro gave him a look. "Her parents are in jail. I'm setting her place in the first come-first served hierarchy."
"That's fine. It'll give someone time to pull up records if we have any." A guard went to do that. He sipped his coffee, finishing it. Tony brought him more. "Thank you, DiNozzo."
"Welcome, boss. We all know you're a bear without your coffee." He put the pot aside then sat down. "I can hear some too. More minor things?"
"Get the records from the jail and look them over. I'm sure we'll be hearing a few that were falsely imprisoned."
"Sure, I can do that." The guard handed them over. He settled in to read them over. "A lot of treason at the start."
"That's usual when dictators take over," Gibbs assured him. He pointed at the first one. "What do you need to talk about?"
"Many of us want to hear what we are going to do for an heir and if you're staying."
"We're working that out. As for heirs I've got two again. Abby and Danny." He pointed at them. "They brought Jeris with us. Mac's been watching over him." That got a smile and a nod. "For a formal announcement of who's staying, who's going, and all that, I'll be making it in a few weeks. Once we get things running smoothly again."
"Thank you, Overlord Jethro. Your wisdom is very deep." He and a few others fell back to be witnesses and hear the others complain. It was always fun to listen to others complain to Jethro and him smart back.
The next one stepped up. "Overlord, my wife is in prison."
"Name?" Tony asked.
He found the name, nodding. "Looks like she was in there for ... breaking and entering?"
"We were part of the resistance and broke into the guards' barracks to look for evidence of what they had done with you."
Tony looked at him. Then at Jethro. "New trials for all of them?" he asked quietly.
Jethro nodded. "New trials seem appropriate. I'll be appointing a judge to go over that. Tony will be looking over all the evidence. We do that on Earth too."
"In the humans' realm," Faith said at a few confused looks. "They, Mac, and Horatio are police officers." That got some pleased noises. A second line formed in front of Tony so he could make note of the new trials needed and what they had actually done.
Jethro looked at the woman who pushed her way forward. "You cut in line."
"I demand an immediate audience in private."
"Do I know you?" he asked.
"Yes. You should."
He stared at her. "It's not coming back to me. They did lock some of the memories up but I thought I had most of them. Faith, show her to a private area she can wait in." Faith nodded, grabbing her to do that. She'd be waiting most of the day for being so rude. Someone came in with a yell. Sam and Dean moved to stop that one. "You are?" Jethro asked.
"You are not our Overlord!" he sobbed. "He was one of us!"
"The last one cast a curse that sent us to the humans' realm to relive life until they could hunt us," Xander said, stepping out of the shadows to look at him. "I know you." He stared then whimpered. "They made me the key to the memories." He grinned.
"You are exactly like you were," he said in awe. Faith cackled as she came back. He looked then swallowed. "Slayer." A few gasped and babbled at that, but quietly so as to not attract attention.
"What can I say? They wanted us broken up as a team," she said dryly. "Put us in dangerous areas on different sides of the country." The demon burst out crying. "I think you need a time out." She punched him to knock him out. "Boys, set him somewhere until we can figure something out. I doubt he's the only one." The guards nodded, doing that for them. "Anyone else doubt?"
"Priestess Stella's hair is very fetching," one told her.
"Hit on her, not on me," Faith said dryly. "I don't decide who she snuggles with." The demon blushed and ducked his head.
Xander looked at her. "Why are we the only one with a good bed?"
"The other ones needed softer things I guess," she said. "Maybe yours had a bad back, Xan." She smirked. "He comfy?"
"No comment." They gasped. "No, in this form I don't touch other men. We're still working on that." He looked at the child then at Horatio, who nodded he had her. He walked over, looking at something on the back of her neck. "You have a neck worm." She gasped, turning to look at him. He looked at her. "I haven't seen one of those in nearly forever. Do we need to call a healer?"
"No, I'm fine. One's treating it." He nodded, standing up and going back to his spot by the doors. She turned back around. When it was her turn, she stepped up and gave a name. Tony got to looking. Jethro was involved with the one who was complaining that the last overlord had torn up his fields for sport. She changed, knocking Horatio out and down. She lunged for Jethro but Tony blew a hole in her stomach. She screamed. Dean pounced and she was done for.
"Huh," Tony said, sliding his gun back into the holster. "Hey, Horatio, you need help?" he called. Sam and Xander were working to revive him. "Guys?"
"We'll be fine," Sam said with a grin. They got him into the kitchen and Stella came out to help tell any threats with them. Don as well. A few slipped out and Faith trailed them. Xander was watching one group. They didn't look happy with what had just happened. Sam spotted them to. "Xander?"
"Emissaries," he said.
Jethro looked up. "Take them to a private room as well." That got a nod and Xander walked them to a private chamber to wait. "Sorry about that one. It will not happen again. Nice shot, DiNozzo."
"Thanks, boss," he said with a grin. He got the next one in line up to give the affected's name and what had happened.
Jethro walked into the last audience chamber. "Sorry, the loud one was claiming she had created a marriage bond between herself and Jeris." He flopped down. "Sit. Please. I'm not that formal, as I'm sure you know." The two in the lead changed forms. "Cute. Hiding at the FBI?"
"Of course," the lead one said. "They need us sometimes."
"What better way to learn," the other said with a smile. "Jethro Gibbs."
"Don and Charlie Epps." He shook their hands. "What can we do for you?"
"If I had known you were this Jethro we would've helped."
"I had no memories of it until Xander and everyone woke them up."
"Interesting." He nodded. "Our people want to forge an alliance. They hated the last one and we were here to give an ultimatum to stop raiding our borders or else." The elf moved his hair back over his ear. "We know you won't be."
"I won't be but I have no idea how I'm doing this right now. As for an alliance, I'm not against it."
"Good," Don agreed with a smile. "Do you need help?"
"Can you change the beds so they're useable by people?"
"Probably not that strong," he admitted, looking at Charlie. "My brother is our court sorcerer. He might be able to."
Charlie shrugged. "I'd have to see what they were made of."
"We can do that." He stood up. "All of your court or just your province?"
"Our province to start. Our court is wary and watching what's going on. I told them you were back and they're taking it oddly. The King said he knew you were strange and Horatio was even stranger."
"He should meet Xander."
"He knows what he does and hates him for it," he said dryly.
"I'm not too fond of demon hunting either."
"I'm more talking about artillery in the mall to solve something. Bomb in the school he stopped. That stuff."
"Xander!" he bellowed. His nephew leaned in. "Artillery in a mall?"
"Angelus put together the Judge. No weapon made by man during his time would work so I raided the local National Guard base to get Buffy a rocket." He grimaced. "It worked but it was a hell of a mess." He looked at the emissaries. "Elves in the FBI?" he quipped. "That's new."
"We don't like your town."
"Hey, get with me and we'll bomb it together," he said with a grin. "Then you guys can guard the hellmouth once it's down."
"I've suggested that. I'm only in LA."
Xander smirked. "You're not even tanned. That's mean of you." He disappeared again.
Jethro moaned, shaking his head. "I have no idea what I'm going to do with him and Faith."
"Faith is a what?" Charlie asked.
"But Buffy's still alive."
"X did CPR," Faith called as she walked past the doorway. "She's too perfect to stand. Makes me itch from the perfectness."
Don groaned. "I'll let our people know." He looked at Jethro. "You'll figure it out and if you need us, we can stay for a few days."
"If you want but I can't guarantee you guys a place to sleep either. Only Xander seems to have a bed that's human shaped."
Charlie smiled. "We may be able to help there." They went to look at the bedrooms. "No wonder, sponge." He tested it. "Spelled against changing unfortunately."
"I'm going to steal Xander's bed. Find a place, guys." They nodded, going to do that. He went down to Xander's apartment, knocking before walking in. "I'm commandeering your bed."
Dean gave his side up. "Xander's somewhere. He cuddles. Watch out." He left, going to find a less comfortable spot to lay on.
Jethro laid down, wiggling some. "Still too soft but not as bad." He got ready for bed then came back to lay down again. A few hours later he was woken by a slow creeping. "Xander, I'm not Dean. I commandeered it."
The voice huffed. "How can I kill Xander if he's not here?" Jethro punched at the voice, making her shriek and guards rush in.
Xander leaned in. "Hey," he said, pulling her out by her hair then taking her up to the parapet. He tied up to the flagpole then went back inside. "Vamp," he told the worried looking people. "She'll greet the sun."
"I know who sent me!" she sailed. "I can tell you if you don't dust me!"
"I don't care," Xander called. "All vamps are bad. You don't even suck in the right ways." Mac joined the guards. "Vamp tried to get me but Jethro stole my bed." He went to find a slightly less soft spot to sleep. The stairs in the throne room looked comfy and wide enough.
Mac went up there to talk to her with the guards and Horatio since he was now up too. "Who sent you after the twins?"
"Just Xander! He messes up things! The Mayor doesn't want him to mess up his ascension! Trick sent me! Really!" She was struggling to get free.
Faith came hopping up the last few stairs, looking at her. "Hey." The vamp wailed. "Who sent you?"
"The mayor had Trick send me. Xander messes up plans so he had me stop him before he could mess up his ascension plans."
"I gotta tell Red that." She walked off. "Have a good sunrise."
"You two are a bit brutal," Horatio said quietly, stopping her to look at her.
"It's my calling and his duty, Horatio. Vamps ruin things and eat people. No one wants that. She's a minion, cannon fodder. They can make ten of those a night." Horatio shuddered. "There's more vamps than people in Sunnydale. We get about five, six a night and they keep growing in number. What did you want us to do? Have tea? Most girls like me are taken from their parents so the Watchers can raise them as brutal little soldiers to salute as they slay."
"I understand. Are some perhaps different?"
"Angel has a soul thanks to a gypsy curse."
He blinked. "The rest?"
"Evil bitches who need to go poof."
He let her go. "Is there a less torturous way of doing that? None of us are comfortable with torture."
"Stake, behead, or she goes poof in the sunlight. She'll light, burn up within a minute, be ashes. Stake her and she fades right then. Beheading too."
"I see." He looked around. "Could we perhaps stake her instead before she draws attention?"
"Sure." She walked back up there, pulling her stake out of her back pocket. She staked her and she went poof. The dust tinkled down and Faith yawned. "I'm going to go back to bed. Night, guys." She walked off, putting her stake back in her pocket. She had found a comfortable enough spot in the kitchen.
Horatio and Mac looked at each other. "We need to find out more about this," Mac said.
"Indeed," Horatio agreed. They went to see if the library had anything on vampires, slayers, or Sunnydale. That was not hunting, that was assassination. They all hoped the twins weren't being warped by that lifestyle. Horatio looked in the throne room, nudging Mac to look before they made it to the library. Mac smiled at the image of Xander curled up on a wide stair in front of the throne. Mac went to get him a pillow and blanket, dropping the pillow close to his head. Xander snuffled, pulling it closer. He put the blanket over him and walked out as silently as he could. Faith waved from her spot in the kitchen on the table. Sam had a few of the chairs lined up to stretch across. Dean was in the library on one of the chaise loungers. Mac and Horatio moved to the research section to find vampires. They found Charlie Epps in there. "Vampires?" Horatio asked quietly. Charlie looked then pointed. "Thank you." They took the book and went back to Mac's room to read.
They had to save their niece and nephew. Before they crossed the line to people.
Jethro walked in to start his next day of people complaining and telling him what had happened. He stopped and sipped his coffee when he saw Tony petting a familiar dark head. "He okay?" he asked quietly.
"Fine. Won't wake up." He went back to petting Xander until he got a grunt of displeasure. Some of the people were already filing in, watching it too. "He's sleeping, let him." Faith wobbled out, looking at him. She kicked the next step down from Xander, making him gasp and sit up. "Shh, Xander. You're safe," Tony said quietly, going back to petting him. "Faith woke you up. Want to go back to sleep?"
"No, I'm fine," he mumbled, going to his knees, rubbing his eyes. "Thanks for waking me up. Tony?" Tony quit petting him. He looked at him. "I'm not the family pet."
"No, but you looked so cute." He grinned. "I couldn't resist. Messy hair and all." He smoothed it down. "Go shower, Xander." He nodded, getting up and stumbling that way with Faith following. He smiled at Jethro. "You make some pretty relatives, boss."
"I do. Abby's very beautiful." He stepped over the blanket, sitting down in his chair. "Okay. What today?"
"You wanted a map of the destroyed area around the city. Especially farming land," one said, presenting Tony with the map since he was sitting on the stairs.
"Is it going to be a problem for harvest?"
"No, Lord Jethro. We'll be good enough for that as long as the winter isn't early."
"Can planting some now make up for it? Even with some immature plants?" Tony asked.
"No, First Spouse."
"What about a greenhouse?" Sam asked as he came out of the kitchen. He refilled their coffee cups then sat down beside Tony. "That's a heck of a lot of land."
Tony nodded. "It is."
"Greenhouses are good ideas," Jethro said. "That way you can grow the most popular and most needed things all year round. It might even bring down the price." He took another drink and put his cup down on the arm of his throne. "How hard is it to build?"
"A glass building with boxes to grow and a way to water it," Sam said. "At the easiest levels. At the higher levels they have water-grown plants and things."
"We do have that huge moat that doesn't do much more than look pretty," Tony offered.
"If they could make it grow there, I'm not against it," Jethro agreed. "How much can you grow inside one?"
"About the same as you'd grow in a plot of land by foot," Sam said, looking up at him. "I'm not sure if they wouldn't end up shorter. They might be."
"That only matters if it's grain," Tony said. "Things like lettuce and vegetables it shouldn't matter." The farmers looked at each other. "How hard is it to set up?"
"Not very. If I could get online I could look that up. Do we have a dataport or know if it's possible?"
"The local library is wired," one said.
Sam beamed. "I'll go look it up this afternoon." They all smiled at that. "And write my father. He's going to be worried." Dean walked out with a plate of toast, letting him take some. "Thanks, Dean. I'm going to log online later. Any other topics I need to look up?"
"No, I think we're good. Say hi to Dad for me." He handed them to Jethro, who took a few pieces. "Where's the other guards?"
"Faith walked Xander off when she woke him up," Jethro said. "Mac and Horatio apparently aren't up yet."
"Their snoring in the library woke me," Dean admitted. He sat down beside Sam, looking at the notes he was making. "Greenhouses?"
"Destroyed farmland." He looked at his big brother. "There's a lot of destroyed farmland." He showed him the map. "Destroyed farms and homes."
"He was clearly bad for the people." Dean nibbled on a piece of toast while looking. "Why this area so much? There's a deeper bit there."
"He was trying to mine for Aurbrelis stones," one said.
Jethro frowned. "The pink ones?" They nodded. "Why?"
"For use in magic," Faith said as she came back. "Red uses them now and then." She stole a piece of toast, looking at the map. "That really does suck. Are we going to do greenhouses, extra farm land outside the city? Is it too late to plant more?"
"I can let the people farm on some of the land we hold," Jethro agreed. "Is it too late to plant more?"
"Relatively, Lord Jethro," one said. "About a month later than usual."
"Can we plant some anyway?" Tony asked. "It'll be shorter but if you plant things that grow and mature first, it might give a higher harvest right before the snows."
"We can check. It's not that hard to try." That got some nods. "When do you think we can have those greenhouse plans?"
Sam smiled. "Come back in a week and I should have them." That got a nod and they left. He handed the map back to Jethro. "The guy was a bastard."
"He was," Tony agreed. He took another piece of toast to nibble. "Xander showering?"
"Probably asleep in it," she said. She stole Dean's current piece. "Thanks, Dean."
He smirked. "Keep it up, Faith." A few people gasped. "Yes, we're having that discussion again," he said dryly. "Since neither of us are gay. She's not the one we're all going to have and I'm still related to Sammy in this life." One of the women moaned. "Just like last time we're all arguing about who's doing who."
"Especially since we're not breeders anymore," Sam said with a grin.
"Red could probably fix that," Faith quipped. That got a louder gasp. "You guys have heard of Rosenburg too I'm sure. She's Xander's best friend. She might do it anyway. As long as I don't have to give birth, we'll hold hands all they want. Pat tummies. Help them through labor pains."
Sam looked at her. "I was ready to go through it last time. This time I'm going to think first."
Mac walked in. "That's fine, Sam. You can think all you want. I'm not looking forward to being a grandfather."
"Me either," Jethro said. He looked at Abby and Danny before they came in. "You two don't want kids yet, right?"
"Some day," Abby said.
"Maybe sometime," Danny added.
"Good." He looked at the remaining people. "What sort of problems do we have?" He took another drink of his coffee.
"Lord Jethro, would you allow us to hold the yearly blessing of the unions?"
"I don't like that ceremony," he reminded her. "But I know it's a ritual. Only let those who want to participate. Do not do it inside the city. Do not foul a field with the blood spilled."
She bowed, smiling at him. "Thank you."
"No forcing them," Jethro reminded her. She nodded, rushing out. "Next?"
"Why don't you like that one?" Tony asked.
"It's a bloodletting ritual," Jethro told him. "They bind the unions by making deep cuts on their arms and praying until the two kids panic and join their blood. I'd rather that be voluntary."
Faith shuddered. "Eww." Xander wobbled in and sat down next to Sam, leaning over to rest against his shoulder before falling asleep again. She tested his forehead. "Fever."
Sam shifted to hold Xander while Dean looked at the cut. "Not infected," Dean reported. "When was the last time he ate?"
"Don't know," Faith admitted. "He had coffee earlier."
Tony groaned, standing up and hauling Xander up. He got some complaining noises but walked him into the kitchen to feed him. Stress made him do the same thing now and then.
Faith shook her head. "I don't understand him sometimes." She heard Xander complain. "Eat. Something," she shouted. "Do not make me kick your ass, Xander!"
The complaining stopped. Jethro reached down to pat her on the head. She smirked back. Mac walked in there to help. Xander was his son, he should do that.
Tony smiled. "He's fine. It's stress, Mac."
Mac sat down across from Xander. "I remember sitting near here while shoveling food into your mouth. You were always a picky eater."
"You were." He got him something, holding it up. "Food?" Xander groaned, taking it to nibble. "Thank you."
"Does anyone believe it when you say that?"
"Does anyone listen when you say that?" Tony asked at the shrug Mac got.
"We listen," Mac told him.
Xander looked at him. "You hardly know me. I'm not the same Xander."
"No, you're not," Tony agreed. "The same as I'm not the same Tony. We've got to get it into better focus so we can work together." He patted him on the back. "We're a clan, Xander. We need to get used to this wacky, strange clan we have."
Xander nodded. "I am. I just wasn't hungry."
"It's a battle and stress reaction," Mac told him. "A lot of soldiers in the field get it, but you can't let it happen. It's wearing you down and keeping you from being at your peak. Like not taking care of injuries."
Xander looked at him. "I've seen worse than this."
"Yes, but we're surrounded by people we don't know. Anyone could be a threat to all of our safety. We're in a strike team situation like we're undercover."
Xander shrugged a bit. "I've only been undercover on the swim team to find out what was making them into fish monsters."
"Same thing," Tony said, smiling at him. "I'm excellent at them." Xander relaxed, going back to eating. "Even at home you should still have injuries taken care of."
"How many times have you been to the ER in the last year?" Tony asked.
"We don't go. They're really sucky."
"Oh, damn," Mac sighed. "Who does the stitching?"
"I do. Willow does if I want to get her to do them. I don't usually need them. Sometimes get pieces of stake taken out when one breaks. Some dirt or scrapes."
"Want to move to the east coast?" Tony asked. "We have good hospitals. People who'll care about you needing stitches. All sorts of people like that."
"We'll see." He finished up. "There, better?"
"No," Mac said. "Let me see your side." Xander sighed, sitting on the table instead of the chair so he could check his stitches. "No waterproof bandages?"
"No. Not that I could find. They're fine. Not infected."
"Then why are you running a fever?"
"It's time for the usual spring cold. It's nothing."
"Don't make me call the healer," Faith said as she walked in to start some new coffee.
"Add more if that's for Gibbs. He likes his with an extra scoop." He looked at Xander. "Should I?"
"No. It's just a cold."
"Xander, we need you to be healthy. None of us but Faith know about demons if one attacks." He heard a yelp. "We good or do we need help, boss?" he yelled.
"We're fine. I got attacked by a cold nose."
Tony went to look, smiling at the dog. "You look good with a dog, boss." Abby came in and squealed, making the dog look around frantically. She cooed, settling in at his feet to pet the dog. Tony took a picture then went back to checking on Xander.
Faith walked out with the pot to refill hers, Dean's, and Jethro's cups. She looked at the dog. "Do not even think about licking me, dog." Abby pouted. "I don't like dogs." She put the pot down and walked off. "I'm going to see if there's any cold medicine since Xander has a cold."
"I'm fine!" Xander called.
"Shut up," Abby called. "No more yelling. It's impolite."
"We expect that from him," one of the locals told her. "Xander and Faith were always loud, bouncy, and mean when necessary."
Abby shook her head. "Bouncy is fine. I'm bouncy."
"You are," Jethro agreed. He smiled at her. "Why don't you and the dog move off to the side, Abs?"
"Fine." She moved over some and the dog attacked Dean to lick, making him move to defend himself from the dripping tongue. "Aww, did he taste good?" she cooed, letting the dog play with her all it wanted to.
Dean went to wash his face off then came back. Faith was walking Healer Carson back into the throne room and back to the kitchen. Then off to find Xander since he had escaped Mac and Tony by handcuffing them. "Abby, have the pet there track Xander for the healer?"
"Can you do that?" The dog barked, his tail wagging. She let it sniff the blanket. "Find him." The dog took off running. Faith chased it. They found where Xander was hiding. "Good dog," Faith praised, giving it a pet. "Him," she told the healer.
Healer Carson walked over with a sigh. "Some day I'll have patients I have to handcuff to a bed. I know I will. You're good training for even more stubborn patients."
"I'm still fine."
"I hate that word."
"Healers hear that a lot I'm sure," Faith said. "They do from me."
Carson sighed, shaking her head. "We'll figure it out when you're mated again I'm sure."
"Still not gay," Xander mumbled. She swatted him. "I'm not. We're not ready to have that argument yet."
Carson sighed. "You'll figure it out I'm sure." She checked the stitches then the rest of him. "It does look like a virus."
"I told them it was a cold. I get one each and every march."
"Sounds more like an allergy," Carson said.
"The medicine doesn't help."
"Ah." She patted him on the head. "Go rest."
"I can't. They might be attacked. That's my job."
"Take some medicine, Xander. Get more sleep." She looked at Faith, pulling her down to look her over too. "Might as well since I'm here." She huffed but oh well. Yes, humans were fascinating creatures. She'd have to go learn from them and a few new languages too. She went to check the others. Mac gave her an odd look. "I'm checking all of you to make sure his cold isn't spreading." They groaned but let her. Jethro wouldn't but Tony told her he'd call if Jethro got sick. She went back to her office to make notes. Humans were fascinating. So many accents and stubborn people.
Horatio let the people back in once she had left. Jethro went back to hearing people tell him how bad things had been. Horatio went to check on the twins, finding them looking in some closets. "What are we doing?"
"Looking for our old stuff," Faith said. "Xander wants his scythes. We're not sure if the Watchers Council has one or both of them." Horatio nodded, digging in to help.
"Hey, my bed," Xander said, hugging the mattress.
"I hated that mattress," Dean called up the hall. "Give it to Faith and Sammy."
"Sure," she said. "We'll put it on top of the other one." Xander helped her pull them out. Horatio got them moved back to the rooms in use. Even for the FBI elves. They found their stuff in the basement. Xander found one of his scythes. He settled in to hug it. Faith took a picture with Tony's camera then they put their clothes back in their rooms. Faith came out wearing an outfit she had loved last life. It fit, she hadn't gained any weight or height in her new life. She strolled in and Sam's mouth fell open. "It fits. We put your stuff in your room, Jethro. Xander's still hugging his scythe."
"Thank you, Faith. Clothes?"
"Clothes, weapons, our old beds, your egg pillow." Abby beamed at that. "Your bed's on top of the old one. If you want to change it around it's all on you, bossman."
"Thank you, Faith. That was very helpful."
Sam swallowed his spit. "That looks fantastic, Faith."
"Thank you, Sam." She smiled at Dean when he came in. Dean stopped, stared, and drooled too. "Found our stuff. Xander's got one of his scythes."
"Good," he agreed. "He's happier with it I'm sure." He sat down next to his brother. "Lookin' good."
"Thank you." She looked at the people, getting a few long looks back. "Yes, I found my clothes. I needed to change. We left the stuff in DC."
"Ducky took it to his place," Jethro assured her.
"Even the weapons?"
"Probably." He looked at them. "What's the problem you three wanted to talk about?"
The female looked at him. "We wish to have some stability in the land, Overlord."
"As would I. We're still working on that once we get things working again."
"We think you need to marry another breeder since the one you had married is no longer one."
Faith looked at her. "We're not compatible in this form." She slumped. "We'll make sure it happens sometime but right now we're working on other things. Jethro is a federal agent at home. Tony's on his team and Abby is his forensic tech. Mac and Horatio both run labs in major cities."
The woman sighed. "It's not good to have such ill-timed future problems for the heirs."
"If we could change back, I'd do it," Faith told her. "Right now, let us handle things then make that decision."
Jethro nodded. "She's right. I have two heirs. I've been divorced three times in this current life. Right now I'm not looking for another spouse to give me kids. I have two. That's enough. We'll deal with succession and all that later on. Once the farm lands are all set. Once the houses are all safe. Once the people are safe."
"I yield to your wisdom, Overlord, but it does worry some of us."
"I understand that," he said. "That's a later thought, like how we're going to handle our lives and here."
She nodded, bowing to him. "Thank you for the time to explain that to me. Are we thinking within a month for that announcement?"
"Hopefully. Do we know how time runs back at home?" Tony asked. "Longer, shorter?"
"No idea," she admitted. "You might ask a priest or a traveler."
"We'll do that," Abby said. "Thank you for worrying about that. It means you're committed to a brighter future, like we are."
"I do try, Abigail." They left together. It wasn't an answer they wanted but it was an answer. They'd have to present some extra ideas. Including that witch Guardian Faith had mentioned. Perhaps she had some ideas. It was easy enough to get a message to her email account.
to part 2