Sam was having breakfast on the porch a few days later when he saw a familiar figure get out of a rental car.  He smiled.  "He's still asleep," he called, nodding at him.  The man strolled over, staring at him.  "I didn't call."

"John called and then suddenly I remembered."  He stared at him.  "Is he all right?"

"Xander?  He's my age.  They sent him back after a lot of problems."  He smiled.  "He'll squeal though.  It's been a bad few days adjusting to being normal."

"I remember."  He climbed over the small railing and sat down at the small table.  "How did he get sent?"

"The higher ups wanted him out of the way," Sam said quietly, looking up.  Someone was moving up there.  He looked at his packmate again.   "He's still napping.  He's been touchy and worried I think."

"I'll talk to him.  It's hard starting over."

"Yeah, it can be," Sam agreed with a sad smile.  His pack member patted him on the arm.  "We're doing okay."  An older woman walked past.  "Morning, Margaret."

"Morning, Sam."  She smiled.  "Another older friend?"

"From DC."  He smiled.  "He's checking on us for my dad."

"That's fine, dear."  She left.  She had her doubts about them being *special* friends or normal ones but they were young and stupidity was the right of the young.

Sam and Tony shared a look then Tony smiled.  "Abby misses him."

"She could come out.  She's one of the few female pack members."

"We're going on the pack principle?"

"Yeah, for right now.  Also, with us being this age, we're going to have to do some credits at the high school."

Tony winced.  "Poor kid."

"I've been helping but I'm about to need some more learned help."

Xander wandered out yawning, staring at them.  "Tony?" he asked quietly.

Tony smiled, pulling him over to hug him.  "John told me you were here."  Xander smiled, giving him an extra squeeze before straightening up.  "So I brought a hug from Abby, which you got, and I came to check up on you."

Xander shrugged.  "We're doing okay."

"You're a lot more healthy looking than the last time I saw you."

"Yeah, the benefit of being sixteen."  He stared at him.  "Why else are you here?"

"Sam said you could use some looking over your shoulder."  He smiled.

"Sam!" Xander sighed.

"He might be able to help if we get stuck in classes."

"Then we need plans on our phones that can reach DC *real* cheaply," Xander said dryly.  He pulled a chair out and sat down.  "John wrote?"

"Yup.  He wrote all of us."  He patted him on the wrist, shifting some to look at him.  "It won't be as bad.  Nothing's going to attack your class this time."

"Outside of bullies.  We did have those before," Xander countered.

Tony smirked.  "Try to be more optimistic before I tell Abby?"  Xander whined.  "Exactly."  He grinned.  "You'll make it.  Maybe you'll swim again."

"That would be an unfair advantage."

"Then maybe soccer or something.  I looked it up and there's a hockey league for guys our age," Sam said.

"I've never been on skates, Sam."

"I haven't in years."  They shared a grin.  "Go get dressed before the rest of the ladies around here think we're pimping each other out."  Xander blushed, going to do that.

Tony smiled, following him inside to start breakfast.  "I'm impressed, Sam, you made him buy vegetables."

"How did you know it was me?" Sam asked, coming inside and shutting the patio door.

"Xander would never buy zucchini."

"I like it fried."  He shrugged and went to put on real clothes then come back.  "Since you're here and Dean won't be for about six weeks, do you think you can help us look at cheap used cars?  He sent me a few ads he found online to look over."

"Yup, I can do that.  I know cars."  Xander came out dressed and gave him another hug.  "What's wrong?" he asked quietly.

"Just feeling unsettled.  John made me give up most of the cabinets."

"Yeah, that's his job.  Same as it is mine."  He tipped Xander's face up.  "If it's that bad, I can get military support.  I think."  Xander relaxed, shaking his head.  "Even in this city of freakish stuff, there's a huge army base right next door to the mountain."  He gave him another cuddle.  "You're feeling vulnerable and unarmed.  There's ways around that."  He smiled.  "I already know you can kick a bit of butt when you want to.  Learn more of that."

"There is a martial arts club at the school," Sam said.  He settled in at the table.  "Are those eggs?  When did we get eggs?"

"They were in the fridge," Tony said.  "Looked like normal eggs."

"I bought eggs yesterday when I went out.  The cake mix we bought said it needed two," Xander said, sitting down as well.  Tony could actually cook, not single guy cook.  They might even get some leftovers out of it for the freezer.  Tony handed them food and they settled in to eat and catch up.  It had been years since Tony had seen Xander.  Or Sam.  It was long past time to catch up with his pack mates.  He had missed them being just a phone call away.


Dean finally got back and found someone he didn't know knocking on the door.  He stared at them.  "Who're you?"

"John sent me to talk to Xander," he said with a smile.  "I'm Daniel Jackson.  You are...."


"Sam's brother."  He held out a hand.  "I kind of work with John."


"He's a pack member he said?"

"Ah, that stuff.  Okay then."  He pulled out his spare key and opened the door.  "Guys?" he called.  "I'm back, bask in the magnificence."

"I'm in the bathroom doing stitches on Xander's back," Sam called.

"There's a guy here named Daniel Jackson?"

"John said he's trustworthy," Xander called.  "Ow, Sam!  Must you?"

"Yes, I must."

Dean went to look.  "What the fuck, guys?  Did we get into some trouble?"

"Just a bit," Sam said with a grin for him.  "But it saved the nice young woman running away from the demon in the park.  Unfortunately he decided to knock Xander into a tree when he attacked."

"I've been there.  Let me see it, Xander."  He moved closer, looking at the wound.  "Why do we need to stitch that?"

"Because this part," Sam said with a point, "is about four inches deep."  Dean winced.  "There used to be a branch there."

"Before, I got staked on the thigh or the stomach when someone got mine from me," Xander quipped.  "It's a bit different with it on my back.  Did it interrupt any of the lines?"

"Part of one but we can have it fixed once it's healed," Sam said, sounding patient.  "I'm fine, Dean.  I was the distraction."

"The blood on your thigh?"


"Okay."  Dean took over, doing more delicate stitches.  Practice and all that.  He finally let him go and Sam cleaned up the dripped blood and iodine.  "Looks good.  Nice enough job, Sammy."

"Thanks, Dean."  They walked out to find Daniel making coffee.  "How do you know John?"

"I'm a linguist and anthropologist on his project."  He smiled.  "I've worked on his part of the project a few times and here a lot more often."

"So why send you?" Xander asked casually.

"Check your email.  He sent one back."  Xander let Sam do that since he was faster and better with computer things.

"Xander."  Sam let him see it.  Xander read it and grimaced.  "There's more than the DNA taint, Daniel."

Daniel smiled.  "I figured there was.  Cam mentioned blood hunters and that usually means a lethal level disease?"  He sipped his cup of coffee.  "Sorry but I live on the stuff."

"I live on soda," Xander admitted.  "Two."



"That's odd.  How did you do that?"

"They really like me," Xander said dryly.

"Like an ascended?"

"You mean like Cordelia was?" Dean asked, looking at Xander.  "Wouldn't that be an ascended?"

"She did ascend to a higher plane but I have the feeling we're talking about different matters because I recognize you from somewhere thanks to my trip to Africa."  Daniel stiffened, staring at him.  "You're one of the Ghostly Ones."

"I was fora bit," Daniel admitted.  "Now I'm back."

"That has to suck ass," Sam said.  He looked at Xander.  "Like the Ghostly Ones like that one warrior guy we ran into during that battle?"

"Same sort of thing but not the same one.  He was like their version of Cordy."  Xander stared at him.  "I fell into a native burial chamber while my construction crew was doing something.  They rewarded me with always being paranoid."

"Are they dead versions?"  Xander nodded.  "I know a lot of people who would like a sample, including some doctors so they could make an anti-virus."

"I'm not against that use but if it gets out, I get terrorists and others hunting my blood."

"I would never let out the source.  Neither would Doctor Lam.  However, if it should get out or we find a close version of it somewhere, we might need that treatment."

"I saw John's reasons.  I'm not thrilled."

"I know."

"It feels like you guys are trying to strip everything from me here.  First some of my weapons, now my blood?"

"You trust John."

"You're not John; even though he said to trust you that's totally different.  Plus I don't trust your people."

"I understand perfectly but it would only go to us, our associated labs, and the CDC lab."

"There's no way in hell I want it in some government agency's hands, Daniel.  You guys leak like a colander.  The CDC isn't secure.  They get stolen from, samples get shipped off, and any information with it isn't secure."

"Plus, if you mean Area 51, no way in any hell," Sam said more quietly.  "They're tightly tied with NID idiots.  They leak too.  They have all sorts of counter agents in there.  Though, Xander, I did like Doctor Lam?"

Xander sighed.  "I don't like the idea.  I'm feeling really powerless here and it's a really bad idea because someone will find out.  You guys made me give most of my weapons to John so I can't defend myself when they come.  Which means I'll have to pull a plan out of my ass and hurt people without meaning to.  Which I hate."

"I'm not trying to put you over a barrel," Daniel said calmly.  "What if we only sent it to John's part of the project?  We have people up there who can do the essential work, even if they can't fully make a new treatment."

Xander stared at him.  "Him and only him?"

"He'd have to know what's in it but since you trust him, I can carry it to him the next time we go there."  Xander looked at the brothers.  "Think about it tonight, let me know tomorrow?"  He put down his card and smiled.  "I don't want to make you feel pressured.  I've been there myself for different reasons and I hated it.  You should feel safe here, Xander."  Xander nodded.  "Let me know by tomorrow night because the transport's going in about two days."

"You probably would have to not take it through the Ring of Worlds," Sam said.

"We can't go that way anyway."  Daniel smiled.  "How did you hear?"

"There's all sorts of mythology about the Ring of Worlds," Dean said.  "Plus I'm sure Xander heard from some lower echelon sources."

"Yup," Xander agreed.

"How much do you know about us?"

Xander shrugged.  "Enough to know that I can't trust half of you because of what you've done in the past."  Daniel opened his mouth.  "Like some, who intentionally committed genocide without going for other options."

"The other options would've taken too long and we couldn't have fought them."

"And yet, your boss had the cure to that and stopped the research."

Daniel sighed.  "We heard.  That's why we went with that plan.  That and they kept slaves."

Xander nodded.  "I'm really sorry for them.  I truly am.  But some of that solar system was inhabited by lesser beings," he said quietly.

Daniel shuddered.  "She didn't know, Xander."

"I don't care.  There were other ways."

"True.  We could have used it directly instead and all manner of other things.  She thought it was uninhabited.  We had very little choice."

Xander nodded.  "Which is why I don't trust her.  Or the one who cut lesser methods.  Not like the military needs to always use the biggest and baddest methods."

"No, they should try diplomacy.  I ranted for years about that, but I'm an anthropologist so no one listened to me."

"I had that same problem with the slayers."   He shook his head.

"I'd like to talk more about the myths when I get back?"

"Sure," Sam said with a grin.  "We can easily pull some up for you."

"Thank you.  Let me know, Xander.  One way or another?"  He nodded and Daniel left.

Dean looked at Xander.  "You got what?"  Xander leaned over to whisper it in his ear, making him shudder.  "Damn."

"The same way I get hit while I'm possessed and keep memories.  I really hated blood hunters when Willow let that slip one time.  She was using me as an *example* during a conversation."

"Women have little sense at times," Dean said.  "Or at least some don't.  Sammy still seems to have sense even though he's a big ol' girl."

Sam hit him on the arm.  "I'm fully male, Dean."  Dean smirked at him.  "Did we get him?"

"Yeah.  Dad got him and shot him extra hard for you too, Sammy."  He patted him on the head like he was a dog.  "That leaves about ten billion other threats that might like you and him."  Xander moaned, holding his head.  He crumpled to the floor before either Winchester could grab him.

"Help me get him into bed," Sam ordered.  Dean helped lift him and took him to the bedroom they used.  Xander got laid down.  Sam found the tape recorder and put it beside him.  Then some water and the packet of headache powder.   It was one of the last ones.  Xander hadn't found it made locally anywhere.  They went to wait and talk more quietly.  Xander would tell them about it when he got up.


Cordelia Chase stared at her ex.  "What part of normal guy didn't you get, Xander?"

"The part where I still have visions."

She gaped.  "You shouldn't."

"Well, I do, and you just sent me one of an apocalypse battle for a pack member."

"The Powers are mad."

"The Powers gave up their claim on me when they sent me here."

"Each plane has their own Powers," she countered.  "The ones here are mad at you.  It's been less than six months and you're already over-balancing things."

"First, yay.  Second, do these ones think that humanity's going to pull together to fight too?"

"We don't."

"She did."


"The one who prompted them to give me a new life.  The same higher being who had lost touch."

"Um...  Whistler?" she called.

Whistler appeared, staring at him.  "Too much good...." he started with a smart smirk.

"Doesn't happen in real warriors.  We see too much darkness and sometimes have to go there," Xander finished.  "None of my pack are fluffy little creatures, guys."

"You gave them your weapons," Cordelia snorted.

"Because Whistler made me," he defended, pointing at him.  "I was following the damn orders, woman!"

She looked at Whistler.  "That was the orders I got from the ones in our world," Whistler said with a small shrug and a slouch.  "Why are you two talking?"

"Because the ones here pulled me to talk to him," she said, slapping at him as hard as she could.

Whistler rubbed his cheek.  "Ours hate these ones," he admitted.

"So not only am I a present they can't return, I'm a punishment?" Xander quipped.  "Nice to know."  They stared at him.  "Cordelia, did you ever see the prophecy about why I was actually born?"

"No.  There's one?  Because that's just freaky."

"It actually fits most of the pack.  Once every decade, a Chaos Childe is born.  One with power to change things."  Xander stared at her.  "One who knows what will happen, one who can show others what will happen, and one who has powerful blood."  She shuddered.  "Sounding familiar?"

"So all the times you fucked up?" she said snidely.

He smirked.  "Wilkins had no idea.  He could've used me as a shortcut to his ascension."  Whistler gave him a horrified look and looked up, then shuddered.  "Since, you know, I'm on a world now that the angels still have plans, but can't use my pack to start them off....  Also, humanity won't pull together to fight.  Some yes.  Most will let them eat the peoples they hate until they come after them.  Same as they did when the Nazis came into power."

Whistler went pale.  "You're not supposed to know that."

"Well, duh, Whistler.  Someone just sent me an apocalypse battle for one of my pack members.  Did you think I didn't pay attention?  Or that you guys remembered to take all my battle memories?"  He stared at him.  "It amuses me greatly sometimes.  I mean, I took out three germ docs in Africa.  Did you guys hear about that?  Or the slayers?"

He stared.  "You may want me to be a normal guy, but like Buffy, that don't work.  I'm not normal.  I'm a hellmouth child.  I carry enough energy in me to open one," he said simply when Cordelia looked confused.  She shuddered.  He looked at Whistler again.  "I'm not a present."

"No, you never were," Cordelia assured him dryly.  "Especially not as a dorky teen."

Xander looked at her then smiled sadly.  "Don't try to make me less pissed, Cordy," he said quietly.  He kissed her on the cheek.  "Does Buffy become one of the Powers?"

"No, but it does seem like it," she realized.  "Huh."  She looked at Whistler.  "Ours have to live with it.  He's right, we gave up control.  The ones here think he might be a problem," she said, staring at him.

"I don't let anyone get my blood that I don't implicitly trust," he reminded her.  "You're the one who warned me about the blood hunters before."

"I did," she agreed.  She sighed.  "It so sucks, you have to go back to high school."  She smirked.

"Yay me," he said flatly.  "But hey, no more limp, no more eye patch, no more joint aches."

"No more weapons," she said dryly.

"No, I still have guns, stakes, swords, axes, and others," he said dryly.  She gaped.  He smirked.  "Not illegal to own, dear."  He blew a kiss, then looked at Whistler.  "Why do they hate these so much?"

"Long story, kid."  He sighed.  "The ones in your new realm are worried you'll overbalance things."

"Only if I'm attacked."  He smiled sweetly.  "Or I see it happening.  After all, you warned me not to join John's project."

"Good point."  He went to talk to those higher powers.  Before Cordelia or Xander pissed them off.  He had to have a deja vu conversation, like Xander had when he had died.  They decided he was harmless enough and a backup plan.

Cordelia got the heads up and smiled.  "You're free.  Run, Forrest, run."

Xander pulled her closer to kiss.  "I miss your heat," he whispered.  She whimpered.  "I was a dumb fuck back then."

"Yeah, you were."  She got free.  "Not yours to grope."

He smirked.  Then he winked.  "You never told him?" he mouthed then went home.

She blushed, going back to her boring duties.  The ones borrowing her sent her to warn John about that problem since Xander could only email.  She found him unreceptive.  His mind was strange like Xander's was and she couldn't incite a vision.  So she had to talk to someone else.  She found a very nice, huffy man who sounded a lot like her.  She appeared to him, staring at him.  "I was so much better at the snark than you are."

"Who the hell are you?" he demanded.

"Cordelia."  She smirked.  "The Messenger."

"Of....?" he asked, waving a hand.  "I don't have time for this."

"You and the pack member had better make time."  She smirked meanly.  "I'm the Messenger for the Powers That Be, in my realm.  I'm being borrowed."  She stared at him.

He touched his comm earpiece.  "Sheppard, get down here," he ordered.  "You, leave.  She's an ascended."  The other scientists fled.  Sheppard came jogging in.  "That pack member?"

"Yup."  She looked at him then smirked.  "Xander got given a vision I should have sent at you but you've got a strange mind, like he does.  That taint."

"Good to know my bug taint is like his mermaid taint," John said quietly.  He closed the lab with a thought.  "What's going on, Miss Chase?"

She gave him a mean smirk.  "You know me?"

"He talked about you a few times."

"I snarked so much better than your pack mate here."

"Do we have a point?" Rodney asked.  "We're rather busy with an upcoming attack."

She smirked.  "I know.  Including that it's not what you think."  He gaped.  She looked at John.  "You could...volunteer to have the vision."

"The only one?" he asked.  She shook her head.

"Hell with it, I will," Rodney said.

"No.  They can kill you," John said.  "They killed her."  She nodded.  "Why ask it of us?"

"Email's really slow getting out here.  By then, you'll already be gone when you go boom splat.  Well, the shield will make the splat wide and nasty, but still boom, splat, mega splat."

Someone walked in and shut the door.  "Show me," she ordered.

She stared.  "Hmm, a scion of chaos."  She ran a hand over her head.  "Not your generation's chaos child."

"No, that's Sheppard," she said dryly.  "Show me, I'll take the visions if I have to."  She nodded, giving it to her.  She groaned, squeezing her eyes shut.  "I can see why seers hate these things."  She breathed, staring at her.  "Is that the only one?"

"There's always a higher being with a plan, but not all are bad guys," she warned.  She looked at John.  "He was meant to be an annoyance present.  Like from that store Spensers?"  He nodded once.  "He pointed out a few flaws though and pissed people off.  They want him to be normal too."

"You can't be normal if you're us.  Especially not with what he carries."

"Yeah, someone needs to get that from him because someone's going to try to sneak some.  Then it'll be leaked, which is his greatest fear.  One he should fear."  She stared at him.  "It could fit in very well with some plans, John Sheppard, Chaos Childe of his generation."  She bowed then smirked at him.  "They still think humanity will pull together."  She faded out.  "Find her some of that headache powder the big dork uses.  It'll help those.  It's the only thing that does.  Morphine sure as hell didn't when I tried that.  Or meth, crank, or cocaine.  You get kinda desperate sometimes."  Her voice cut out.

John looked at Rodney.  "Get into my field kit, the little white envelope."  Rodney nodded, going to find it.  He helped the scientist sit down.  "Miko, what's going to happen?" he asked quietly.

She stared at him.  "The replicators have one last ship.  They'll get here first.  Then the wraith will find us like we had expected," she said quietly.  "They're our replicators, Colonel."

He gave her a hug.  "I want as much detail as you can.  Don't worry about making a formal report, just let me know as soon as you can think."  She nodded.  Rodney walked in and handed over the packet.  He tipped half of it into Rodney's cup of coffee.  "This is how the one I know does it.  He usually takes it directly afterward because it keeps him from throwing up," he offered with a slight smile.  "Thank you."

"When the Powers call, those of the lineage must react," she said quietly.  She drank it.

"Athena's?" he asked.  She nodded.  "I met one of them.  He's with my friend Xander.  I'll introduce you two.  He's not from around here but he's really nice and he frustrates Rodney."

"That would be nice to see," she agreed with a weak smile.  "Let me lay down and I will write it out."  He nodded, helping her up.  Rodney escorted her back to her room, thankfully staying silent.  Then he came back to stare at Sheppard.

"Xander used to date her back in high school."

"Is she an ascended?"

"Different from what he explained."  He stared at him.  "Replicators.  Ours.  Then the wraith."

"Fuck me," he muttered, going to look over their shield.  "The boom splat part?  You think a shield implosion?"

"Or the self destruct," he said.

"I'll deal with it," Rodney said, waving a hand.

"I know you will.  I'll get things ready for a quick email return to earth tomorrow."  Rodney nodded, settling in to figure things out.  John called the staff heads and team leaders together on his way back to his office.  They got up there before him.  "We had an ascended being, sort of, visit."

"Sort of?" Woolsey, the new civilian head of Atlantis asked.  "Why sort of?"

"I ascended for a different reason," she said as she appeared.  She stared at him.  "Listen, old guy Willow, just back the fuck off.  I'm a messenger, usually of doom and destruction."  She looked at John.  "Have him scan that, and the full packet.  You might be able to make a new batch.  If so, he could use it."  She faded out.

"Is it the shield imploding or the self destruct?" John called.

"The big explosion in another building that'll make it bow out then collapse like a balloon," she said, reappearing.  She smiled.  "Thank you for the intelligent question beyond 'when' and Xander's favorite, 'what weapons do we need'.  Any others?"

He smiled.  "Which building and is it because of something that's stored in there?"

"Yes.   It's kinda napping.  I don't get machines.  Xander did that better than I did but it looks like a spiny, pokey thing with blue lights and a red bulb over the 'do not push me' button?"

"That sounds like a mine we found somewhere," one of the team leaders asked.  "What's going to make it explode?"

"The shield's going to bow in when the replicators hit it," John said, staring at her.  She smirked and nodded.  "If we change the weak spot, will that help?"

"Don't know.  Not really into the whole physics thing," she said with a hand wave.  "But it's nice to work with intelligent people again."  She faded out.  "Make Mr. Huffy there calm down.  You do have five days until you all die and go boom, splat, mega splat.  Then the wraith can come eat any survivors a few days later."

John looked at everyone.  "She's a messenger from the other higher ascended.  Also known as the Powers That Be."  He shrugged.  "Not the first time she's shown up."

"I'll make sure the alpha site is secure and start sending non-essential personnel through in four days," Evan said, making notes.  "Can we scan for that mine?"

"If we have to, we can do a building-by-building," Woolsey said.

John looked at him.  "We haven't managed that yet in years."  He looked at his team leaders.  "The last time the wraith attacked, the weak spot that bowed was over the rec area we have for PT.  Search concentrically from there.  It is probably ATA reactive if it's got a light."  They all nodded they knew that.  "Drag a scientists with you.  Call and do not touch it for any reason."  They all nodded and left.  "Evan, make sure everything's downloaded since we have a few days of warning.  Leave Miko alone tonight.  Cordelia, the messenger, gave her a vision."  He nodded, going to order that.  John looked at Woolsey.  "I know others she's talked to for the same reason.  It's always bad, nearly an apocalypse."

"We believe in such things?"

"I've seen some," he said bluntly, walking around him.  "If not, the wraith are coming in three more days so we're still going to be prepared and maybe we can use that mine against them."  He went to talk to the city's AI.  She might know what it was and where it was.  She didn't want to be blown up.

Woolsey huffed and went back to his office to write a letter of complaint about such nonsense.  How had Sheppard gotten the head of Atlantis with that sort of kooky thing in his behavior?


Xander blinked, staring at the woman who was invading his head now.  "You're not nice," he told her.

"Not totally.  No higher being is."

Xander stared at her.  "Let me amend that, I know about you."  She smirked.  "Why call this chat?  I'm presently sleeping off a vision migraine."

"We need to make a peace pact, young man."

Xander nodded.  "Yes, we probably should.  Are you going to keep up the visions?"

"They are helpful."  She stared at him.  "We did not plan for them to send you."

"They didn't plan for me at all," he admitted, giving her a wry look.  "Yet I'm the one that made their plans work time after time, even when I did warp a prophecy or find something useful."

"May I read you?"  He nodded.  She read his history and what they thought he had done.  "Truly out of touch," she sighed, stepping back.  "You can over-balance our side here, young man."

"First, it's Xander."  He stared at her.  "Second, no real warrior is all sweetness and light if we've ever been in a battle.  We might fight for the good reasons but if we didn't have some darkness we'd never survive it."

"That is true.  It is what makes you strong enough to keep going."

"It has for years," he agreed.  He shifted to sit in midair, which was a nice thing.  "It wasn't really a choice."

"I know.  I heard that.  I also saw what you did to aid your slayers.  Thankfully we do not need them here."

"There's plans that will need some.  The line of hunters won't hold long enough.  The good guys and the bad guys both have plans from what I've seen recently."

She sighed.  "We know.  I do admire that your first act was to aid your pack mate."  She smiled.  "Your pack is very strong on your former world.  They are what will keep it going."

"If they're touching, will that hurt them here?"

"No.  The imprints were already done, Xander.  They chose to do them.  All but one and she wasn't given a choice because she was ill and couldn't."

"Faith or Dawn?"

"Dawn.  When the time comes for Glory to awaken here, you will be guarding her."

"Send her to John," he said quietly.  "He needs a reason."

"He does."  She frowned.  "What was that?"

"Apparently I'm talking in my sleep," he said dryly.  "One of the pack didn't like that."

"Fine."  She looked at him.  "You can jump into major events but you cannot change much here.  We are not that out of touch."

"Good.  I appreciate the hell out of not being the toy."  She smiled.  "But if it happens around me, I'm handling it.  The same as if they come for me, I'm going to handle it."

"I agree."  She stared at him.  "They could have meant for you to restart and have a happier life."

"Then they would've sent me as a child to a loving and great family."

"Good point.  You are tactical."

"Someone had to be able to plan more than a shopping raid on the mall," he said dryly.  "The girls couldn't.  Is Faith all right?"

"She's fine.  The ones who saved her made her stronger but protected.  She'll be fine."  Xander nodded at that.  "You should not talk to her.  She does know."

"Then she'll wonder."

"She knows all, including where you are.  Let her make the first move, Xander.  Otherwise her protectors could try to end you."

"Yeah, about the weapons thing?"

"You can become one."

"That doesn't really help when people come for my blood with tranq darts."

She considered it.  "That was their idea, not ours.  Among the pack, there needs to be some weapons."

"So I can collect again?"

"I would collect useful things, not for an apocalypse.  I will make sure you hear of any soon enough, if possible, to stop it or have someone stop it."  He nodded, staring at her.  "Though I know the visions are harmful to your kind and they are troublesome."

"Spare Sam his?"

She sighed.  "That is up to him.  I will offer it to him."  Xander nodded.  "In return, do not join your pack member's project."

"Humanity won't pull together fully."

"Some will."

"Some, but not a lot.  Then I'll have to step in."

"I know.  At that time, you can.  Until then, learn new things."

"I hate school."

"Sorry.  Not my call," she said with a smile.  She stared at him.  "Find a real mate this time, Xander.  It will balance you out so you're not as edgy.  Give you protection and a knight of your own."

"The pack would have to like them."

"Yes, they would.  Or they could be a member of the pack, I'm not real sure.  No one's written that volume yet."

"So I could be pack snuggly thing?" he asked dryly.

"Quite.  You do have a lot of alpha warriors around you."  She moved closer and touched him on the cheek.  "There are others who could use the pack, for the same reason you need it right now.  The originals miss you greatly.  So do your slayers."  He closed his eyes and nodded.  She kissed him on the cheek.  "Do not make war on us unless we deserve it."

"I don't unless you come after me," he reminded her.  She was gone though and he fell down, wincing and yelping when he hit his tailbone.  "Ow."  He woke up back in his body, rubbing the sore spot.  Dean was staring at him, poking him some more.  "What?" he asked weakly.

"Dad has a reason to go on."

"Dawn.  Some day they'll have to move her here too.  When Glory wakes, the Key will have to be hidden with someone who can protect her."

Dean stared.  "That's a prophecy?"

"No, it's a fact.  In my original world, her name was Dawn."

"What's the Key?" Dean asked.  Sam brought in a book for him.  "Geez, are you reference material man again?"  He read it and shuddered.  "It should be destroyed."

"Sure, go ahead if you want to open the portals between the worlds and rip them all apart," Xander offered.  He sat up with a moan, letting Sam help him.  "I talked to the local version of the one who talked to me when I died there," he said.  They both stared at him.  "She's a lot nicer and more in touch.  I am hereby allowed to collect special weapons, not for apocalypses.  I'll keep my visions."  Sam pinched him hard.  "Ow!  What was that for?"

"For asking her to take mine, dumbass.  You can't take all the world on your shoulders."  He walked off again.

"She said she'd ask."


Dean looked at him.  "He does it when I try to protect him too."  He went back to reading.  "So, we think...."

"Your dad has had one goal for a decade and a half, Dean.  He needs a new one."

Dean nodded.  "He could use some anchoring."  He stared at him.  "You're keeping yours?"

"She'll warn me of any apocalypse attempts."

"That's fine."  He looked out toward the kitchen then at him.  "What else was said?"

"I should find a mate.  The originals of my pack, back on my own world, are in trouble right now.  There's something going on," he said quietly.

Dean nodded.  "Will it hurt them?"

"She said no."

"Then it'll just be creepy I guess," Dean decided.  He sat on the foot of the bed.  "Anything else?"

"Cordelia and I talked, and Whistler too.  The local Powers borrowed her."

"What prophecy?"

Xander got up with a moan, going to find that book in the stacks of them.  He handed it over.  "The Chaos Childe one."

Dean found it by flipping pages.  He read it over then stared at Xander.  "Can there be two?"

"There's others that are nearly the same but not the official one.  More of a backup plan in case we die young."

"So Sammy's the next best thing to you on that scale," Dean said.  Xander nodded.  "Is that why Loki was helping him?"

"Yup, he likes Sam."  Sam smirked at him.  Dean shook his head with a moan.  "We need to be a bit on guard right now.  The thing I saw was on John's project.  Oh, and if they come for my blood, and they are coming because someone at the mountain said something about a DNA taint I carry, then it'll be spilled and we'll have to deal with people coming for it for real."

Dean nodded.  "We can talk to Tony about that," Sam offered.

"I might accept that.  Also, the local Power said that there's a need-to-be pack member here in town.  We'll apparently be running into him."  He swallowed.  "Faith got an imprint as well.  Whoever saved her will protect her."

"If she wants to, she can come out," Sam agreed.  Xander nodded, trudging back to bed.  "Have a good rest, Xander."

"You can still curl up, Sam.   It might help the stupid headache."

Sam grinned.  "I might."  He looked at his brother.  "Tell Dad that?"

"I'm not sure if he'll be happy or not."

Sam shrugged.  "She'll need the best to take care of her.  Who better than Dad?"

"Good point."  He pulled out his phone to text him.  He got a 'call, now' order back.  So he did that from the spare bathroom.  "Hey, Dad."  He listened.  Then he got the book and came back with it, sitting down to read to him about the Key.  John asked why this was relevant.  "Because in a few years, two years after Xander graduated before, Glory woke up and wanted the Key.  They had to make her human to protect her.  There, her name was Dawn."  John asked a question.

"Yeah, same one."  He listened.  "Because someone's going to have to guard her since there's no slayers, Dad.  They can't make her one here."  He smirked.  "Exactly.  Xander thought you might be looking for a new goal so that would give you one in four years.  Or you could prep a group to help you with it.  Yeah, I can bring this book probably.  Here with the chaos twins."  He got that book and came back, reading that prophecy to him.

"No, not Sammy.  Xander.  Apparently there's some close enough for government work types.  That's Sammy.  Yeah."  He smirked at the mirror across from him.  "Third thing, someone heard about the taint.  They're coming.  Yup, he got a head's up, Dad.  There's some coming.  Thanks.  Just listen for them.  I'm going to bounce out in a few days.  Sure, I can meet you at Bobby's.  Night, Dad.  Probably already curled up together.  Packs do that for warmth and comfort, or so said the Discovery Channel when I had that broken wrist."

He hung up on his father's newest groan.  "At least he's briefed so he can be on alert now," he said.   He went to make the spare bed for himself.  Sammy and Xander looked adorably cute and it was gagging him to watch them nap together.  Hopefully they both turned gay so bad girls would leave them alone.  But it was a long shot.  The bad girls would probably line up trying to make them straight and evil.  Or the more evil gay guys would show up.  Something like that.


Xander came out of testing at the local high school, giving his waiting pack mate a dirty look.  "What did you tell them?"

"That you control your bounciness with caffeine so I pity the teacher who tries to nag you about it and that they needed to do the other test again."

"I thought that looked familiar."  He sat down beside him.  "I so bombed."

"Do you have to go back grades?"


"Then you didn't bomb, Xander."

"I did.  She told me the only reason I didn't have to go back *years* was because I was fluent in four languages."

Sam gave him a shoulder nudge.  "That's a practical skill.  That guy Daniel seems to be able to use that to get a job."

"Maybe."  He winced when he heard the shouting.  "Team practice?" he muttered, getting up to follow it.

"Xander," Sam called, following.  They found some kids picking on a girl.  "Damn," he muttered.  "Our first day too."

Xander walked up behind one and punched him on the back of the neck.  "You don't pick on girls.  Unless you're not a man?  Or a man-to-be?  Because real men respect women in their many shapes, sizes, colors, and brain types."  Two of the guys sneered at him and one threw a punch so he kicked him then hit the other one.  "You still don't pick on girls, idiot!"  He looked at her, pushing his way around the scared stupid other ones.  "Miss, would you like walked inside?" he asked.

"Please," she said quietly, picking up her books.  Sam helped with a smile, holding them out so she could take them.  They walked her inside.

Xander looked at the scowling principal.  "Do I really want to go here if you allow bullies like that?"  He walked Sam off.  "Maybe a reform school would be better.  Less future convicts."

"I'm sure it wasn't a huge percentage of the school population, Xander.  They can't all be like that."

"We are not," the principal hissed.

Xander looked at her.  "I just stopped four of seven bullies from attacking one young woman.  You sure?"

"We have over a thousand students, Mr. Harris.  Even your low marks should fit in well here."

He smirked.  "I'm also a marksman."  She went pale.  "Do we have a club?" he asked the young woman.

"We do actually.  A lot of them are kids of military members or vets."  She smiled.  "Thank you.  They're not all like that."

"I hope not.  It's one reason why I hate school.  That and all the damn books."  He walked off sighing.

Sam grinned at her.  "Forgive him.  He learns better hands-on and he hates bullies.  Sam Winchester and he's Xander Harris.  We'll be starting this fall as juniors."

She laughed and shook his hand.  "Elenore McDonald.  Thank you."

"Not a problem.  If it happens and we're around, come tell us.  Even if you just hide behind me because I'm so tall."  He grinned.  She snickered, swatting him before walking off.  He stared at the principal.  "Does it help when you put students down?  Because that's not really a good education model.  I've seen and had some *wonderful* teachers over the years, and some that aren't."  He walked off to follow Xander.  "I say we get ice cream."

"I could like ice cream," Xander agreed.

"You two gay?" one of the bullies sneered.

Xander looked at him.  "No.  I know very well what to do with a woman to make her scream in pleasure in three octaves.  I've had exes that've broken that record but I'm modest."  He smirked.  He walked off.  "You think that redhead in the store was really checking me out?  I didn't get any evil vibes from her."

"Yeah, she was, and playing with the knife she had in her bra," Sam offered.  "Like your other girlfriends of doom past, she was slightly deadly, Xander."

"Yeah but they're more fun."

"I know."  He patted him on the arm.  "Ice cream."

"Ice cream," he agreed more happily.  "Maybe we'll run into her there."  He got into the car.  Sam got in to drive because he was worried that Xander was going to have visions suddenly too.  Which Xander hated but yay.  Better that than an accident.

Sam looked at him.  "Remember, they took you back to that point."

"Yay.  I can find a bad girl.  Or three.  I have my stamina still."

"I heard.  That's why there was no hot water for *hours*."  He started the car and backed out.


John, who was thankfully near by, got called to the police station in Colorado Springs.  "What did you do?" he demanded when he spotted Xander sitting there.  He had driven four hours for this talk.

"I dated."

John stared at him then at the desk sergeant.  "Why did I have to come get him for that?"

"Because he dated a retired agent who turned assassin, sir.  We wanted to make sure he had someone competent watching him for a bit until we were sure she couldn't get out of jail."

John raised an eyebrow at Xander.  "You dated a what?"

"I think a few of my ex's fall into that category," Xander admitted, thinking about it.  John hit him on the side of the head harder than he probably should have.  Xander yelped.  "Not my fault!  At least it wasn't a succuba or something!"

"I'd expect Sammy to beat the hell out of one if they showed up," John said dryly.  He looked at the officer.  "Is he free to go?"

"We're not charging him.  He was very helpful and had her nicely tied down on the bed when we got the call about her."

"She asked me to," Xander muttered.

"I think the call came from his roommate.  Your son?"  John nodded.  "Interesting.  You know they don't have an adult there, right?"

"He's emancipated and Sammy has sense."

"He even makes us eat vegetables," Xander told him.

The officer smiled.  "Good.  You need it.  That way you can escape from those bad girls you apparently like."

John rolled his eyes.  "We have a lot of family friends who routinely pop around to check on them."

"That's fine then.  As long as this one's emancipated."  He looked at him.  "Seventeen?"


"Hey, that adds another charge," the officer said, going to tell his boss that.

Xander got up and walked out with John.  "No more innocence," he offered.  John popped him one again.  "Ow!  I'm going to start hitting back soon!  It's not my fault she was an assassin!"

John looked at the boy.  "Go gay, Xander."

"Bite me, I can't give head.  I can't suck at all without biting."

"That's probably a matter of practice."

"No, the guy that had me in handcuffs supposedly playing a game while I was on my international road trip a while back," he said, using the code they had agreed on, "got bit a lot when he tried to make me practice."

"Maybe if it was willing?"

"No.  I didn't like the taste.  It's why I don't like beer.  Beer tastes like a guy who doesn't take a bath before asking for a blowjob."  John whimpered, shaking his head.  He saw a working girl watching.  "Doesn't it?"

"Kind of," she agreed with a smile.  "You in trouble, fishie?"

He smirked and let the dangerous nature come forward.  "No, my date tonight turned out to be a people killer."  She frowned.  He walked over, kissing her on the cheek.  "Thank you for the offer though.  You'd look very good sweaty."  He walked back to the truck and climbed in.

John got in and hit him again.  Xander swatted him back this time.  "Don't tease the hookers.  They expect you to follow through, kid."  He drove them off, shaking his head the entire fifteen miles back to the apartment.  Sam let them in.  "Did you call?"

"Yeah, after a quick background check."  He looked at Xander.  "You don't look tired."

"I barely got to do more than tie her down and make her squeal the once.  Hell, I made Anya squeal and squeak and moan for hours at a time because that's how she liked it."  He shrugged.  "I would've come back in the morning."

"She said she wanted to play blood games, Xander."

"I didn't know that but I would've nicely bitten her all she wanted."  He shrugged.  "I'm not much for that sort of kink."

"Go to bed, Xander," John ordered.

"I'm not tired."

"Sammy, put your pack mate to bed and cuddle him until he's sane," John ordered, heading for the spare room.  He almost got one of his son's beers but what Xander had said earlier made him shudder and decide maybe the wine coolers Xander had picked out were better.  That was a thought he did not need.


Their first day of school was uneventful.  It was a quick summer refresher that all new students had to take so they could make sure they were in the right classes.  It'd take two weeks.  Xander had impressed the latin teacher and the spanish teacher.  They didn't have one that spoke the Afrikaans language or swahili.

The math teacher was warned by his test results and figured it was the failing of the person who was 'home schooling' him not understanding math.  She arranged for some tutoring time.  The science teacher asked what something was and Xander told him how to combine it with sodium to make it smolder a blue color, which got him looked at oddly.

He had explained it as a 'science project at home for fun'.  The teacher looked at the notes on the new student, saw 'home schooled' and decided it was the fault of whoever had taught him.  The gym teacher hated them both.  Sam was tall and hated basketball.  Xander was strong and didn't want to play football or soccer.  Though they were both now on the rifle team and Sam had signed up for track try outs.  So that pleased him a tiny bit.  Even if he didn't consider them *real* sports.

It was when they got home that things were weird.  They found someone, two someones, waiting.

Xander stared.  "Cougar."  He walked over and hugged him, getting a pat back.  "When did you get back to the states?"

"On leave," he said, staring at him.  "How?"

"The imprint or the age?" Sam asked dryly.  "Hi, Cougar.  Hi, Jensen."

"Sam."  He gave him a tight hug.  "Have you been keeping up on your practice?"

"Not enough apparently."  He smiled.  "Xander dated an assassin the other day."

"Way to nark, Sam," Xander complained.

Cougar looked him over.  "No glasses, not blond, ugly shirt, but still not a Jensen."

"Funny," Jensen complained.  He and Sam walked off.  Sam told him that people were worried and what his current project was.

Xander rolled his eyes.  "He worries more than I do."  Cougar nodded.  "We made the rifle team," he said proudly.

"Good."  He stared.  "Cabinets?"

"Hiding.  John made me give the greater majority to him."

Cougar snorted, shaking his head.  "Idiot," he muttered in Spanish.  Xander took him to look at what he still had, which was quite a lot.  The other thems had worried that the kid would get caught with artillery too, especially by someone who would want to steal them.   It eased a bit of a worry.

They got back together to talk, or listen to Sam and Jensen talk about his hacking project of the moment.  Jensen also had the bad news that someone had heard about his blood.  Which meant Xander got to send a very nasty, crabby email to someone that John worked with.  Since they're the only ones who knew outside the pack on this plane, it had to come from them.


Cam got back from his latest mission to find that nasty email waiting that night.  He groaned, taking it to Carter.  "We do have leaks," he announced as he walked in.

"We have a small trickle back to Area 51."

"Then that small trickle somehow got Harris hunted."  She glared.  She still didn't like him.  He held up the email.  She snatched it then sighed.  He took it back.  "Great job, Carter, really.  He's just a damn kid."

"They won't hurt him or anything."

"Sure, the terrorists who want his blood won't hurt him a bit."  She went pale.  He went to tell Landry, who was already in a shitty mood by the way he growled 'come in' when he knocked.  "Science has a massive leak somewhere."


"Harris' blood."

"What about his blood?  I've heard about a DNA taint."

"And two lethal diseases," Cam said.  Landry went pale.  He handed over the email.

"How did he find this out?" Landry asked.

"Probably another of his pack members.  Want me to go ask?"

"Take Doctor Lam with you."

"Sir, he didn't want to give us blood before because of this possibility.  Daniel talked him into giving Sheppard some because he knew Sheppard wouldn't let it leak out and get him in danger."

"We'll need those antibodies faster than ever now.  He's a teenager.  He'll never be able to stop them."

"You might be surprised.  He is a combat veteran."

"He was a combat veteran."

"So they deaged him," Cam said.  "I say we see if he has a federal agent pack member or member of law enforcement, and let them handle most of it.  Because he won't trust us.  We screwed him."

Landry sighed.  "We'd still need the antibodies."

"No, the CDC would need the antibodies."  He called him.  "Harris, Cam Mitchell.  We have no idea.  I'm having Carter look.  I know you did, and Daniel carried them personally.  Do you have a member of law enforcement in your pack?"  He smiled.  "That's actually excellent.  Call him out, let him see all the information you have.  Hey, if he's in DC even better because he can probably alert other agencies that might be able to help."

He listened.  "Yeah, if they show up, you can't do anything but protect yourself.  I don't know if you can get an exemption for the gun rules on school campuses for a death threat.  Yeah, that's what we'd do and I will do my best to find that leak and tell you, kid.  Just stay safe and let him get whatever to whoever just in case.  Thanks."  He hung up.  "He'll talk to his NCIS agent packmate, who is in the DC office so they can hopefully stop this."

"Good.  That's at least a reasonable solution.  He still has guns?"

"It's not illegal to own guns, General."  He left, going to talk to the others.  He had no idea who leaked but he wanted to stomp them.  The kid had seemed pretty decent and normal to him.  He did send an email winging out to Pegasus to warn John so whoever could get to work faster on them.


Tony's cellphone rang, making him look at the readout.  It came up 'unknown number'.  "You'd better not be a telemarketer," he said in greeting.  He listened to Jensen.  "Excuse me?"  He stiffened.  "Yeah, I know that problem real well.  I'll be there by tonight.  Hold the fort, protect him.  I'll start once I get out there.  Yup, flight time.  Thanks, Jensen."  He hung up.  "Boss, heading to Colorado ASAP to handle something."  He grabbed his wallet and gun, checking the clip was full before sliding it into his holster.  "It'll be a day to a day-and-a-half and on the way back I'm going to be paranoid."  He left without another word.

That was enough warning to get things started.

The flight was uneventful and Cougar met him at the airport.  As a rule, their team didn't like to let Jensen drive.  He was worse at it than Gibbs was.  He followed the silent sniper to the car and got in to head off.  "How did they find out?"

"Local secret project leaked."

"Charming," he sneered.  Cougar nodded.  "I'll see what I can do about them too."

"They're John's people."

"Shit!"  He looked at him.  "Seriously?"  Cougar nodded.  "That does suck.  We need them around."  He considered things.  This could get really bad.  "I need stuff to draw blood to bring back.  I know a doctor *I* trust.  He took care of me when I had the plague."  Cougar nodded they had it.  "How is Xander?"


"So normal 'could be a fight coming' mood.  Good.  That's probably safer.  Is Jensen in too?"  Cougar nodded.  "Cool.  Maybe he can find who knows.  That'll make it even easier I hope."  They pulled into the compound and Tony smiled at the boy waiting on him in the doorway.  "John's people leaked it?"

"One of theirs was possessed and told someone else who leaked."

"Damn."  He walked in and settled in to talk to his pack leader and the other pack members.  Some plans had to be made.  Xander was good at it but Cougar was helping flesh out a few ideas.  Because they didn't want people trying to kidnap Xander for his blood.


Tony came back from the quick trip to Colorado Springs, and a longer talk with Jensen about what he knew about who was looking at them, because they were looking at Tony too as he found out.  He found his boss waiting for him to get off the plane.  He had written an email ahead.  "I do need an escort," he said firmly.  Gibbs nodded and took him to the car.  There was another car waiting to follow them.  "Good idea."  He got in and looked at the back seat.  "Doctor Pitt."

"Tony."  He shook his hand as they drove off.  "You said you had a problem with someone coming for your blood?"

"Not just my blood.  A guy I know, fairly young guy, fell into a native burial chamber during some construction work.  He fell onto some remains."  The doctor who had helped him when he had the plague nodded.  "For about three days, he showed enough symptoms that the very idiotic friends he had figured out what had probably killed the natives was a really strong form of syphilis and a strong form of something else."  He handed over the cooler with the biohazard stickers on it.  "Somehow, because he was very good at keeping this absolutely quiet but a friend of a friend in the military found out somehow, it got leaked."

"What was the other?"

"We think it was smallpox."  The doctor winced.  "He only showed symptoms for three days.  One of the idiot friends was apparently somewhat smart, her mother had medical texts she used to play nurse from, and she figured out you could cook it down."

"Damn," Gibbs muttered.

"As of three days ago, another friend, who is a hacker, found that a germ doc in Hammas had somehow found out.  Now, the boy is attracted to trouble," he said with a smirk.  "He dated an assassin recently."  Gibbs whimpered, shaking his head.  "But he can protect himself.  He's actually a very good shot.  The same hacker also got told about my blood.  I was apparently already on their want list."

"Okay, so we have a possible link to bio terrorism going after whatever is in this blood sample," the doctor said.  Tony nodded.  "I can test it and see if we can make antibodies.  This can be a very bad thing."

"Yeah," Tony agreed.  "Oh, and he did take a trip to Africa a few years back, got one of the native fevers."

"Even better.  I'll test it for everything I can.  I'll feed you a report back so you can let him know.  That way he can take better precautions."

"I'll talk with Fornell in a few hours," Gibbs said.  "How long will that test take?"

"Seven to do the full set."

"I can go about then.  Let me know immediately," Gibbs ordered.

"I can do that."  They paused and let him get out of the hospital, the other agents following him up to the lab just in case.

Gibbs looked at Tony.  "How does a young guy, because the person you went to see is only sixteen, do that?"

"Long story short, he's not sixteen.  He's not from this reality, and he did it in his."

"You believe in that stuff?"

"Boss, he saved my life there."  Gibbs moaned.  "I got transferred," he said dryly, fudging it a bit.  Gibbs would never believe in psychic imprints.  "When he got drop kicked here by a higher power wanting him out of the way of a battle, they deaged him from about my age to sixteen.  Before he got injured basically so he could start over and be normal this time."

"What did he do there?  Soldier?  Special Ops?"

Tony sighed.  "It's more complicated.  On that reality, magic worked.  He worked with someone who was protecting their reality from things taking it over."

"Things?" Gibbs asked dryly.

"Yeah, things.  He even has tape from a project they had to shut down that was torturing the things for testing purposes."


"Yup.  So.... he's a ten year combat veteran and he had to deal with this issue when he was in Africa there.  He shot three of them actually."

"So he's doing what?"

"Complaining about having to take two years of high school at the moment.  I'm hoping the blood sample will be enough.  He trusts me."


Tony called.  "Xander, that protection, is it still active?"  Xander winced and cut into it.  "I just remembered.  Thank you.  I know, I'm sorry you had to cut one of them."  He hung up.  "It was done there to protect it.  Lessened the seeming amount."  Doctor Pitt wrote to thank him for whatever had changed the test results.  They were now much worse and yeah, they needed to worry.  "Doctor Pitt said we needed to stress."

"Good to know.  Do you have information from the hacker?"

"Yes, who is Army actually."  He smiled.  He so wanted to set Jensen and Abby up.

Gibbs nodded.  "Decent enough and reliable source."  They went back to the office and found Fornell waiting on them.  Tony pulled them into a conference room to go over what he knew thanks to Jensen.

"He can't get into the US," Fornell said.

"How hard is it to hire someone to get the blood for him?" Gibbs countered.  "Or kidnap the kid overseas?"

"The kid's already paranoid that someone like NID is coming for him," Ton told him.

"How did the military find out?" Fornell asked.

"His friend was over for dinner and a few of his coworkers jumped to the wrong conclusion, which made them show up to 'save the colonel'."  Fornell rolled his eyes.  "Somehow during that shouting match, it came out he had a DNA taint.  They wanted to look at it and Xander said no.  Perfectly reasonable, didn't trust them, we all agreed it was a good idea.  The colonel works on a project with some scientists and offered to do a trial run of his blood.  Only he himself would know where it came from.  Somehow, either by leaps of logic or by someone who was at that conversation leaking it, someone at Area 51 found out and they told someone."

"Who got it into the wrong ear," Fornell finished.  "We have an Area 51?"

"Yes, and they're all geeks."

"This friend?"

"Working somewhere so classified it's presidential eyes only," Tony said.  "I've talked to John.  He would never hurt Xander.  We're all pack members with him.  The people on his project wouldn't either.  The associated project probably wouldn't."

"So whoever the idiot geek was," Fornell said.  "They need to be arrested."

"The local associated project that the colonel works with is looking for their leak.  Hopefully we can track it down."

"What sort of DNA taint?" Fornell asked.

"A former swim coach exposed him to some hybrid fish DNA.  He wanted his team to win really hard."

Fornell whimpered.  "I saw a file recently that just ...appeared."

"Xander's?" Tony asked with a grin.

"Yes.  Damn crackpots."

"Not on their world.  That's how I met Xander."

"Shit," Fornell muttered.  "So... we're thinking at least two deadly?"

"He was pretty sure it was syphilis and smallpox, plus he had a fever in Africa later in life."

"So we're possibly looking at three, but we've got enough that we can start looking for antibodies or however we make a treatment," Fornell said.

"Yup," Tony said.  "I took two pints myself.  I carried them myself."

"I heard.  Good job.  What does the kid need?"

"Permission to carry a loaded weapon on campus," Tony said dryly.  "He has a two year sentence there.  He's going to Cheyenne Mountain High if it matters."

"I can probably get him that, yes.  How long?"

"Seven hours for the testing," Gibbs said.

"Okay."  He stood up.  "Let me start some things rolling.  Maybe we can get someone who's already working over that way to spread that the kid died or was killed.  Or it's not as strong as they had hoped."  He left, going to liaison with others.  The information was very welcome.

Tony looked at Gibbs.  "Am I taking extra precautions?"

"You're not getting out of the office without a minder for a while.  You're also getting an implanted GPS chip, even if you don't like it."

"Fine."  Gibbs took him to the morgue for their friend and ME to implant it.  Ducky knew everyone and had heard rumors about Xander so he quickly understood why it was necessary.


The local lead agent of the Colorado Springs FBI office walked into Cheyenne Mountain High School's office a few days later, flashing his badge.  "I need to see the principal please."  She pointed at the open door.  "Thank you."  He walked in after a quick knock.  "Ma'am, Agent Fielders."  He showed his badge and ID.  "We need to have a talk about a student."  He closed the door and looked at her again.

"Did one of them hack or make threats?  I can have their files pulled easily enough."

"No, you have a student that had been exposed to a fatal level disease a few years back.  There is now someone who found out."  She stared at him, looking confused.  "A germ doc, to put it in layman's terms."  She shuddered.  "We're guarding this information heavily, we have talked to the student in question."  He handed over a letter.  "I have already talked to the governor, yesterday.  I have talked to the head of the police department here in town earlier.  Now I'm informing you."

"He cannot carry a gun on campus."

"He can, ma'am; that's a Presidential order allowing it.  We found more than we bargained for and there's a member of Hammas who wants to kill him and take all his blood.  All he needs is about three pints to start off a new culture big enough to infect others."  He stared at her.  "We are all complying with the order.  He can make it subtle, that does allow for concealed carry and it is probably the best option so no one freaks out."

"It's against the law."

"The governor allowed it, ma'am, and the President overrides such things."  He stared at her.  "Your opinion is not being asked for.  I'm here to inform you of this side-step of the laws until we can kill that bio terrorist."

"What if someone else gets it from him?  Or he gets mad and uses it on someone?"

The agent snorted.  "He likes to fight, ma'am.  Why would he want to shoot another kid?  He finds most of them pretty boring."

"Harris?" she demanded.

He nodded with a smile.  "The kid's got a good head on his shoulders.  He was taking a lot of precautions before.  His close friends didn't really know more than not to let anyone take his blood.  Then someone military found out," he finished dryly.  "And leaked it."

She scowled.  "He's very violent and I don't want him in my school with a gun."

"Ma'am, the president says he is to carry a gun.  No matter what."

"I'm not going to allow it."

"Then you'll be removed."  She stared.  He stared back.  He shrugged.  "We're not going to let your bad attitude possibly lead to a very bad bio terrorism action.  Your governor has agreed.  I'm sorry."  She started to call people.  He sat down to wait.  He had covered things very well so far.  Fornell's orders had been explicit.  So had the president's.  The president had been really pissed at whoever Doctor Carter was for not finding that leak yet and was chewing her a new one when he had shown up for his talk with him.  He didn't know the president knew how to say 'mother fucker' in nine different languages at the top of his lungs.  When she found out he was right, she stomped around packing things.  "Ma'am, you can go with the program," he offered quietly.

"I won't.  That boy is already a danger to people.  He's stupid and he's a danger."

"Actually, he has a really good head for some things.  Mostly hands-on fields.  I trust him more than I do some crackpot scientists in the military."  The new principal got called in and he knew why he got picked by the school board during an emergency closed session.  Agent Fielders handed over the notice of permission.

"I did some of their testing," he admitted.  "They both seemed a bit tough."

"Winchester's family is.  I met his father."

The new principal helped his former boss carry her things out and then came back.  "I don't like how this was done."

"She could have went along."

"I know.  She's very uptight."

"She also called the kids stupid."

"She does that now and then.  She wasn't an excellent educator but the kids were scared enough of her that we don't have problems."

Agent Fielders smiled.  "Use Winchester and Harris as threats."

"I might.  They found some bullies the first day and dealt with it easily enough."  He stared at him.  "One small handgun, it will be concealed, and I will be talking to him that first day."

"That's fine.  He might ask for the inclusion of a backup knife."

"Only if it can be hidden as well."  That got a nod.  "Fortunately he won't have PE since he's on the rifle team.  Shot very well."

"I know."  He smiled.  "He told us."

"Even better.  Does Winchester have the same permission?"

"Not at the moment but if you want to extend it, that's up to you."

"I can let him hide one in his locker," he decided.  He called in the security officer they had, handing over the letter.

"Why is someone threatening the kid?"

"Someone overseas wants his blood very badly," Agent Fielders said.

"The two new ones?"  Agent Fielders nodded.  "They seemed pretty badass.  That's fine."  He handed it back to his new boss.  "I was sorry to see her go."

"She refused a presidential order," the new one said.

"Pity.  I'll watch harder for bullies.  Are they going to bait them when they get here or just beat the crap out of them for the poor kids?"

"Probably both.  I'll remind him to be as little violent as he can on their first day."

"Yes, sir."  He left to make notes in case he had to have a substitute guard in.

The new principal looked at the agent.  "I'm going to have a lot of work to do today."

"The governor said your school had very good statistics, sir."  He stood up with a smile.  "He was quite proud of your school actually."  He shook his hand and left.

The principal sat down and sighed.  "I didn't want this job."

The receptionist came in.  "Problems?  Did she do something really bad I'll need to pull records for?"  He handed over that order.  She went pale, looking at him.  He nodded.  "Why?"


"Oh, dear."

"First day of school, I want to see them before home room.  Make sure they know that, got a copy of the dress code, and the other rules we have?"  She nodded, going to write a letter with all that information in it.  He went to pack his old office and move it to his new one. This was not going to be a pleasant meeting when he finally got around to calling one to stop the rumors.


Xander walked in his first day and waved at the guard.  "I know."  He headed for the office, the guard following him.  "For future reference, this is where they're carried, roughly," he told the guard.  He lifted his shirt.  "That leaves one concealed, and a pocket knife in the open.  I've seen a lot of kid with holders."

"That's technically not disallowed," the principal agreed.  "Those are more open than I'd hope."  Xander untucked his shirt and you couldn't see the outline.  "Better."  He stared at him.  "The minute they've been gotten...."

"With my luck, I'll date someone who'll think I'm tasty because of it," Xander said dryly.  "My one the other night thought I was tasty.  Speaking of, we're out of alcohol pads.  Do we have a school nurse so I can clean the stitches this morning?"

The principal stared at him.  "You have what?"  Xander showed up.  He shook his head.  "She bit you?"

"Yeah and I held her off long enough to knock her out," Xander admitted.  "By the way, I'm told there's a martial arts group and that it might be a good idea if I joined?"

"You have to keep your grades up but you do on the rifle team anyway," he sighed.  "Not a bad precaution though.  You and Winchester?"  Xander nodded.  "Is he carrying?"

"He has one tucked in his locker by now, as ordered."

"Good."  He stared at him.  "As concealed as humanly possible, Harris, and no arsenal.  I heard you had one."

Xander nodded, taking off his shirt.  "I'm carrying an obsidian blade on my ankle," he told the guard, showing it to him.

"How are you hiding that?" the guard asked.

Xander gave him a weak smile.  "It's a gift, kinda."  He put back on his shirt.

"I didn't even see the knife.  Good job.  That's as much as I ever want to see you armed."

"Yeah, I'm this way because someone tried to break in last night."  He got the principal out of the way by diving to knock him down.  The window shattered and there was a bit of yelling outside.  Xander looked at him.  "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine.  Thank you for that."  He looked.  "Were they firing at you?"

"Not at that angle."  He got up and helped him up, letting the guard check him over.  "That would've hit you, not me."

The guard nodded.  "That's where the bullet landed."  Officers rushed in.  "They were firing at the principal.  The student got him out of the way."

"I saw a twinkle on that building," Xander said with a point.  "See, there it is."

The officers looked and called that in.  The rest responding went to check that out.

The principal looked at Xander.  "Go to class."

Xander grinned.  "I'll try really hard."

"Please do."  The boy left and he looked at the officers.  "He has a death threat."

"No, this was against you, sir," one of the officer said, pulling out the bullet from the back of the principal's chair.  The report called that they had him.  "They have him, sir.  We'll let you know why someone fired on you."

"Should I put us in lock down?" the guard asked.

"Be extra cautious but they found the sniper," the officer ordered.  The guard nodded, going to order that.

Up the hall, Sam was getting a few things from his locker when he heard, "Geez, first day and already we're having problems.  Though it was probably the guy's mistress trying to kill him," from a sandy haired young guy about his age.  He was alone and Sam smiled, walking up to him.

"Hi, I'm new.  Which way is Room 125? I have home room there."

"That way," he said with a grin.  "Jon O'Neill."

"Sam Winchester and that's Xander, I'm his roommate."

"Hey," Xander said with a grin and a nod.  "Freaky stuff."

"Yeah, what was it?" Sam asked.

"Sniper."  He shrugged at the other guy's dirty look.  "I was in the office getting some last minute pep talk points."

"Jon O'Neill.  Share the same home room?"

"No, I'm in Room 128."

"Just up the hall past his."  The first bell rang.  "That's the warning bell."

Sam closed his locker.  "Thanks, Jon.  Maybe we have lunch together?"

Jon looked at his new schedule.  "I have second lunch."

"So do I," Xander said, staring at his.  "Why do I have Latin 1?  I tested out of that."  He walked off shaking his head.  "I'll come hide behind you when all the kids stare," Xander quipped with a grin for him.

Jon nodded.  "Yeah, sure youbetcha," he agreed.  Sam shook his hand and walked off.  Jon went to his own home room.  They seemed like nice guys, no matter what the rumors among the jocks said.  Though, something was twitching his spidey senses about Xander.  He wasn't sure why.


Xander walked into the lunch room for his first lunch, getting a tray and looking over all the nasty looking healthy stuff.  He shuddered and moved past the tofu stir fry and a few other things, ending up with a banana and a hamburger.  At least he could eat that.  He sat down, pulling his soda out of his jacket.  Jon sat across from him.  "Is it always that bad?"

"Yeah, and they'll nag that you imported a soda."

"It controls the bounciness," Xander told him.  He popped it and a few kids groaned him.  "Easier than ritalin," he quipped.  He took a sip.

"Young man, we do not allow those here," a teacher yelled, stomping his way.

Xander stared at her.  "Screw yourself, lady.  It takes care of that bouncing and twitching problem that got me glared at by you last period."  She gasped.  "Also, I'm in *fantastic* shape so it's not going to ruin my figure.  I can do a six minute mile, which is well beyond what half of your jocks can do.  It's nicer than ritalin and easier on my body.  Now, do you have anything else you want to discuss at the top of your lungs about my diet?  Because the last I knew, you weren't a parental unit to me."

"I'll call your parents."

"Have fun with the psychic hotline.   The last one I met who could actually talk to the dead was in New Orleans.  Want me to look up her number for you?"  She gasped.  He took a drink.  "I'm a lot more calm when I have caffeine, and nicer.   Wouldn't we all like me to be more nice?"

"We still don't allow those in this school."

"That's why I brought it from home," he said dryly.  "Because I heard about your uptightness."  He took another drink.  "See, calming down already."

"I'll still have to talk to your guardians."

"," he said slowly and clearly.  "You are talking to my guardian."  She went pale.  "Now, shoo.  You didn't give birth to me, I'm not screwing you, and you're not my friend so therefore you have no right to nag about my diet.  The ones that do like me on caffeine because I become a bitchy man without it."  She huffed off.  "Sorry," he announced with a shrug.  "It helps control the ADHD problems."  He finished his burger.  "Nice seeing you again," he said more quietly.  "Let me go head off the next call to the office to fix my schedule."

Jon smiled.  "They screwed it up?"

"I was supposed to be in Latin 3, got put in 1.  Was supposed to be in a lesser math, got put in with Sam.  Got put into girly english."  He shuddered.  "She suggested we watch soap operas for character development."  He got up and walked off finishing his soda.  He met the principal in the hall.  "She yelled across a room at me because oh, my god, I have a soda."

"They aren't really allowed in this school, Mr. Harris, or the insinuation you made."

"I said I wasn't screwing her so she had no right to nag me about anything, because eww.  I'm not desperate.  I'd hire first."  The principal gave him a funny look.  "I'm sixteen.  I've actually hired one in the past."  He tossed the can in the recycling bin.  "Beyond that, you have notes about my ADHD."

"I do.  Medicine?"

"Expensive, bad for me....  No?" he suggested.  "Caffeine works just fine and it's cheap.  It means I don't have to see a doctor every few months and therefore find a way to skip math class routinely.  Beyond that, you can't regulate what I bring from home as long as no one's allergic.  Since no one's allergic to soda, outside those people who can't eat anything because they get headaches from artificial sweeteners...."  He shrugged.  "Yay."

"Fine.  Make it more subtle?"

"Somehow her bat ears caught me from across the damn room, man.  That's not my fault she started the shouting match.  We all know I'll act just like you react toward me."

"I have seen that, yes."  He smirked.  "Are you missing something?"  He held up the knife.

Xander looked at his ankle, showing it off.  "No."

"Why does he have that?" another teacher asked.

"Because someone overseas wants to kill my ass," Xander said bluntly, staring at him.  "It was thought that might be a bad thing."

"Are you military?"

Xander smirked.  "No, I'm Batman."  He looked at the principal, who was groaning and shaking his head.  Xander grinned.  "I have been called a white knight...."

"Enough, Harris."

"Oh, you're him.  I don't have you."

"Who are you?" Xander asked.

"I'm the metal shop instructor."

"No, you don't have me.  You might have my roommate, Sam."

"I do have Sam.  I saw him earlier."  Xander grinned.  "Is that all you're carrying?"

"Can you see more?" Xander asked.


"Then yes, that's all I'm carrying."  He smiled.


"Often."  He looked at the principal.  "I didn't start the shouting match."

"I know.  How would someone get a blade like this?"

Xander took it to look over.  "It's cheap.  It didn't get chiseled into a point very well.  The edges are dull.  The silver's cheap.  So goth shop."  He handed it back and pulled his.  "Compare the two.  Mine's from a specialist in Hawaii.  He does work for Wiccas and other pagans."

The principal compared them.  "Yours is a better quality and sharper."  He handed it back and the boy put it back into the holster.  "Thank you."

"Welcome."  He smiled, then looked over his shoulder.  "Hey, Cougar.  Problems?"  Cougar nodded, motioning him to follow.  "Sure, I'm on lunch.  Friend of the family," he told the principal.

"He should wait in the office for you."  He caught sight of the dog tags.  "You're watching over his little problem?"  Cougar nodded, walking the boy off.  He looked at the teacher.  "Do we have goth kids?"

"Three wanna be goth kids.  No real goth kids."  He took it to look over.  "It's cheap, he's right.  We can figure it out."  He handed it back.  "Hopefully it isn't a cult thing."  He walked off.

Xander was checking something underneath Cougar's shirt when the principal spotted him.  "What are you doing?"

"Checking his injury for him."  He finished tightening the strap then looked at him, saying something quietly in Spanish, getting a nod.  "Thank you."  Cougar tipped his hat and winked then left.  "He got one of the people after me earlier."

"What does he do?"

"No comment."

"We have a few of those around here," he said dryly.  "Is it over with?"

"No.  That was just one threat."  He shrugged.  "The others are still coming.  It wasn't even about the other issue.  That one just wanted me to go away."  He walked off shaking his head.  Sam stopped him to punch him on the arm.  "Cougar talked to a higher."

"Charming.  He good?"

"Now.  I had to strap a rib," he said quietly.  "Jensen was already gone."  He shrugged.  "He got the higher to go away."

"Even better.  Is he staying over?  I can make dinner."

"He said he would."

"That's great.  Means we don't have to cook."  They shared a smirk.  "Go to class."

"Yay," he sighed.  "I hate school."  He walked off, trudging to his next one.  For some reason it was chemistry.  The teacher stared at him.  He shrugged but sat down where pointed to.

"What do you know about things you should not make in this school?" he asked him quietly.

"Trip to Africa stuff?"


"No.  Helping some villages protect themselves," he muttered.


"I know a few."  He noticed Jon was in there and giving him an odd look.  He shrugged slightly at him then looked at the teacher again.  "I can not share that."

"Please.  If you're having trouble, let me know, Harris."

"I'll try but the confused look usually shows pretty well."

"I saw."  He walked off to talk to the other new students.

Jon looked then shifted closer to Xander.  "You know what?"

"I spent some time in Africa helping some villages," he said quietly.  "I'm not great..."

"That's actually not a bad thing.  Helping is always better."  He heard the alarm and winced.  "Person after the principal again?" he guessed.

"I hope so."  He pulled out his phone to text Sam.  His class was at the front of the building.  "No, it's not."

"The doors are locked, Harris," the teacher said next to his ear.  "Do not try anything."

Xander looked at him.  "If it's for me, I should go somewhere less populated."

"Good point."  He looked out the doorway.  "Slink to the library?"

"Just like old times," he said.  He got up to pick the lock and slid out, sneaking up the halls.  The teacher was calling the library so he didn't have much time.  He ran into the two demons and pulled his knife off the back of his neck, getting them both by pulling them into the bathroom to deal with them.  Bathrooms didn't have video cameras.  It wasn't that long of a fight.  Few minutes.  Xander cleaned himself up quickly and slunk to the library.  The librarian gave him a long stare.  "Sorry?"

"Relax.  You're safer in here."

"Actually, I'm probably safer outside."

She smiled.  "We have a safe room."

"Cool.  I'll remember that for the future.  Got any graphic novels?"  She pointed with a sigh.  "I'm not a big reader, sorry.  I can research though."  He went to get one and sat down to read it.

The principal came in an hour later, staring at him.  "I keep seeing you today."

"That wasn't my fault."

"No, they were trying to get a young woman in the ninth grade."

Xander shrugged.  "Past life memories," he quipped.

"Uh-huh.  Thank you for being more subtle."

Xander looked at him.  "I usually am until someone gets into my face."

"Good."  He smirked.  "Why did you leave class?  That's not protocol."

"Because if they're here for me, then the other kids in the school wouldn't be more than fun and games," he said bluntly.

"That's a point I can appreciate.  Does Winchester...."

"His whole family."

"Huh.  Okay."  He shook his head.  "If they come for your classroom, you do what you have to do.  Breaking the lock means that a separate alarm goes off."

"That would traumatize them horribly."

"Each room has a secondary exit, Harris.  The teacher can do that."  He nodded at that order.  "At least you're reasonable."

"I try really hard most of the time but I was surrounded by girls for over a decade."  The principal walked off laughing.  "It's why I hug so nice," he told the graphic novel.  He heard the bell and went to his next class.  He ran into Sam there.  "Am I in here?"

"No, you're supposed to go to your next period class."  Xander nodded, heading down there.  Sam shook his head.  It figured Xander had handled it without backup.


Jon called his older self.  "I have an enigma in my school and I want to know that they aren't agents."  He listened to his older self tell someone something and walk away from them.  "Two new kids.  Too tough to be normal.  Real fighter sorts.  One of them got excused from a lock down because they might be coming for him."  He listened.

"Harris and Winchester, yeah.  How do you know them?"  He listened to what had went down with the Mountain.  "Huh.  So who leaked it?"  He shuddered.  "That's a very slight excuse.  So what am I worried about?  Really," he said flatly.  "Damn."  The kid was walking trouble.  "So, what do I do if it happens?  Well, yeah, I can handle that.  I know he's on the rifle team.  I caught them at practice earlier."  He listened to the clear orders.

"He's allowed to carry.  I caught the subtle sign of a back holster under his t-shirt.  Plus a knife."  He nodded at what his original self was saying.  "Gotcha.  I can do that.  They're nice guys.  He yelled back when a teacher said something about his soda for lunch."  He smirked.  "Yeah, just like we would.  That's fine.  Thanks, Jack."  He hung up and went to make himself a microwave dinner.  It was his skill level for cooking.  He'd have to think about what to do with those two.


Jon found someone and walked them up to Xander and Sam after school the next day.  "Guys, this is Paul.  He has a kinda unofficial neighborhood watch thing for the school."

Xander held out his hand.  "Xander Harris."

"Sam Winchester."  He shook his hand too.  "We didn't know there was one."

"There is."  He smiled at them.  "Nice move yesterday in the bathroom."

"I didn't think there'd be cameras."

"There weren't," Jon said.  "But you were the only one who managed to escape the lock down."

"Yeah, well, I date dangerous things," Xander quipped dryly.

Jon smirked.  "My higher up heard.  Jack said Daniel said hi, he did make it to John, and to thank you for whatever you did that uncovered things?"

Xander nodded.  "I totally forgot about those."

Sam smirked.  "Now we know."

"Yeah."  He looked at Paul again.  "If you need help, you can come to us.  We're supposed to be normal here and not as badass as we are," he quipped.

Paul laughed.  "Thanks.  A lot of us jocks look out for the bullies."

"I stopped some our first day," Sam said.  "He baited and we got her out of the way."

"She told me," Jon said.  "She said you guys were real slick too."  They both smiled.  "Be on the lookout for bullies.  Of any sort.  We don't want any baiting."

Xander nodded.  "I only bait the bullies."

"That's fine," Paul said.  "Only do it during them trying something."  They nodded.  "Second rule is don't fight for bad reasons.  We're supposedly the good guys."

"I don't fight unless they take a swing first," Xander said.  "Now, if they're annoying me enough I want to break that, I'll bait them into doing it."

"That's fine," Jon agreed.  "I cleared out a few of the football team the same way."

Xander smirked.  "I think you're neat."

"Still straight, kid.  Sorry."

"Yeah, me too.  I need a new girlfriend, Sam."

"Xander, there's not that many dangerous women around here.  I think you've already cleaned them out."

"If he wasn't jailbait, he could troll at the military bars," Jon said with a smirk.  "But you are."

"I know.  It let them break my last date when they were questioning her."  Paul gave him a confused look.  "Former agent turned assassin."

"Shit, I thought Daniel was bad," Jon muttered.  They both smirked at him.  "He is."

"John's just as bad."  Sam smiled at him.  "Not you, the one we know who told us to trust Daniel and Jack."

"I'm...related to Jack," Jon said with a smirk.

"Cool.  By any chance you don't know the way to the old bag in Literature's heart do you?  I know it's hidden deep in a treasure chest of something but she said if we could figure it out we'd get an A and I could really use all I could get since things like lit go way over my head usually."

Jon smirked.  "Chocolate."

"Seriously?  So she's like every other woman?"  Jon nodded.  "Huh.  You owe me five bucks, Sam."

"I thought it was metaphorical not Hershey's Treasures."

"Not if you're in angst lit with her, I mean Irish lit," Paul sighed.  "I nearly needed drugs after that class."  He shook his head.

Jon snickered.  "Thankfully I'm taking normal english and failing with the other old bag, Doctor Monroe."

"I wonder if his husband is as mean as he is," Sam sighed.  "I'm behind on an english credit so I have two this semester."  They all patted him on the arm.

"At least I'm in math for the stupid again," Xander said.  "Thankfully."

"I said I'd help."

"Sam, Willow used to cheat for me and I couldn't pass.  I sure as hell can't pass doing it on my own.  I'm not math talented.  I'm weapons and construction talented."

"Going military?" Jon asked.

"Nope.  I couldn't stand the rules.  I have no idea what I'm doing," Xander admitted.  "Sam's the bright and shiny future sort, I'm just kinda there doing what has to get done."  Sam reached over to smack Xander on the back of the head.  Xander hit him on the arm with a scowl.  "Quit," Xander growled.  "It's bad enough John nearly smacked me hard enough to give me a concussion when he had to pick me up."

Sam put an arm over Xander's shoulders.  "I'll remind him to apologize, Xander.  He often forgets.  He ran us ragged for years.  And quit putting yourself down.  Before I get mad and find a wish demon or something."  He stared at him.  Xander was still looking upset.  "I mean it.  We all hate it when you put yourself down."

"Fine, whatever," he muttered.

"He military?" Jon asked.

"Retired Marine."  Sam rolled his eyes.  "Treats us like his soldiers.  It was nice, I got self defense before I was seven and I could shoot a gun by my ninth birthday but still sucks ass when you need a father."

"Sam, we have peer counselors if you ever want to join us," Paul offered.

"Oh, god, I'm having flashbacks to Willow's parents," Xander said, holding his head.

"Since they're teenagers, they probably have more sense than Willow's parents," Sam soothed, patting him on the back.  He saw the curious look.  "One of the girls who used to be in his life.  Her parents were book writing shrinks."

"That sucks," Jon agreed.  Xander nodded quickly, still holding his head.  "Headache?"

"Yup," he mumbled, leaning against Sam.  "I wanted to drive tonight."

"You can drive tomorrow," Sam assured him.  He got him sitting down in the grass.  Then he looked at them.  "He gets these sometimes.  They'll go away pretty soon.  It's like a back spasm in his head."

"Tumor?" Paul mouthed.

"No.  Though now and then we joke about him having visions."  The other guys grinned at that.  "So, anyway.  Jon, are you in our year?"

"Sure am.  Plodding along, trying to avoid the whore patrol who like all the jocks.  I'm on the hockey team," he said with a smile.

"I haven't been on skates in years and that was on a frozen pond for ice skating, not games," Sam said.  "I don't think Xander ever has.  We're on the rifle team and I'm trying out for track."

"Wasn't that today?" Paul asked.

"Tomorrow.  I'm long distance, not sprint."  He grimaced.  "So I'll spend all night warming up.  Try outs are at six-thirty."

Jon shuddered.  "I'm so sorry, man."

"Yeah, me too."  Xander stood up, still holding his head.  "You better?"  Xander nodded letting his hand fall.

"Your eye is bleeding," Paul said.

"I'm going right home and ice packing it," Xander assured him.  "It'll clear up in a few days."  He smiled.  "We'll do what we can, guys, but I need a nap now.  I'll see you tomorrow?  Maybe try the lunch thing again, Jon?"

"That'd be cool."  They smiled and Sam took the keys back, leading Xander off.  "Visions?" he muttered.

Paul shrugged.  "I feel sorry for him, whatever it is.  Maybe that's why he yelled back at that teacher?"

"No, he was just pissed that he was being nagged.  I got told he was basically raised among girls for years on end."

"No guy friends?"


"Yeah, that would suck and he was probably snapping at the nagging."  Paul sighed.  "Thanks for letting me know we have another kid like you, Jon."

Jon smirked and hit him on the arm.  "I'm fantastic."

"In many ways in your own head," Paul said dryly.  He walked off.  "I'm headed off to track try-outs tonight.  I hate track."

"So don't."

"My dad wants me to.  You heard him."

"Play soccer, it'd be easier on you than the high jump."

"Yeah but high jumping might get me into a college."  He shrugged.  "Soccer usually has less open spots."  He went to the gym to talk to the coach.  Winchester might be spending part of the night in the ER.

Jon watched the other two drive off.  "Visions huh?  That's very interesting."  He left for his own place, calling Jack back to tell him what had happened.  Jack told him that he knew an ascended, Sheppard had sent that report, and she had started off a vision in someone.  She was apparently related to the 'pack' that Harris had built.  Which was interesting in it's own way.

They talked for a bit about what little they actually knew, but that Jack had been slipped information by McKay that those two and Jon were a lot more alike since Xander wasn't from around earth either.  Which made Jon realize what it was.  That wrongness in Harris was the taint of alien.  Not his sort of alien but another sort.  So that explained a lot.  He'd have to subtly work up to telling the kid he knew.


Cougar made it back for check-in before a mission and got stared at by everyone.  He gave them a pointed look back, a silent 'what' hanging in the air.

"How do you know a sixteen-year-old kid?" Clay asked.

"He found me bleeding and shot, saved me," he said.  "Xander's not normal though."

"Did they ever decide to fudge their shooting or not?" Jensen asked.  "I know they were worried about showing too much skill and getting into trouble for it."

"They're going to be about eighty percent," Cougar said.

"How did you meet them?" Clay asked Jensen.

"When I went to save Cougar from that something, I met them doing some really excellent field treatment of him and his fever.  They had also gotten the guys that had broken in to get Cougar really dead, and then moved and protected him."

Clay blinked.  "I don't remember that."

"You wouldn't."  He stared at him.  Then he grinned.  "Since Cougar's back, where are we going this time, boss?  I'm starting to feel like Carmen Sandiego."

"You might look good in the red overcoat," Pooch joked.  "I don't remember that either."

"You wouldn't."

"How long ago was that?" Clay asked.

"No comment."  He stared at him.  "Because you wouldn't believe me if I told you."

"We're used to strange things," Roque pointed out dryly.  "Especially since you joined the team."

Jensen and Cougar shared a look.  Cougar nodded.  They could trust them with this secret too.  "Xander's not sixteen.  Not naturally sixteen.  He's actually about thirty."  They all gaped.  "Whatever sent him from home, did that to him and sent him back to those he considers pack members.  Which includes me and Cougar.  And Sam.  And a colonel in the Air Force, an NCIS agent, a NYPD guy, and a CSI."  They all blinked.  He grinned.  "Also, since it hasn't exactly happened yet and won't *here*...."

"Hold on," Clay said.  "He's not from here?"

"This was some higher up's great plan to keep him from a huge ass battle," Jensen said.  He let them see the film he had gotten off Xander's laptop.  He was the only one who managed to copy anything off it.  "That's him when he was eighteen the first time around."  He let them see it.

"His world is real different since that's a giant snake thing," Pooch said, staring.  "That's just *wrong*.  I can feel the wrong."

Cougar nodded, saying something and crossing himself.  "His graduation."

"It only got worse from there."

"If it happened there, how do you know?" Roque asked, staring at them.  Maybe this was weirder than Jensen's usual version of weird.

"Because the us there, right before that battle they didn't want him in, called long distance and gave us the 411.  That way we'd remember Xander when his whole world got killed.  That way he wasn't starting over alone.  Which wasn't in the higher up's plans, they only told one person and that one would've tried to recruit Xander heavily and gotten him killed."  He smiled.  "Instead, he's like a pretty decent friend and we're pack members to Xander."

"Pack members," Pooch asked.  "Why?"  Jensen got into a dossier and let them read it.  Pooch shuddered and walked off hugging himself because he felt cold suddenly.

Jensen looked at Clay once he read it.  "We keep his secrets and he doesn't talk about ours.  All his pack there took his place in that battle.  All but one who was removing someone too valuable to risk dying out of the way.  Because her death would definitely end that plane."

Clay considered it.  "We could find him a good recruiter.  There has to be a team to follow us some year."

"I'm not sure if he would.  He's... " He got into another file to show him.  "These are being erased in another day."

Clay watched that video of a patrol.  It was clearly a patrol.  "Why no guns?" he asked.

"The blonde.  Xander has one for emergencies.  She hated it.  Keep watching."  Clay grimaced at what the girls were saying.  Jensen looked at Cougar.  "They did manage to get one of the assholes who wanted his blood.  That leaves three and henchmen."

Clay looked at him.  "His dossier had that blanked out."

Jensen got into that file and uncovered that part for him.  "That's because it's dangerous.  By the way, we are *never* to go to Bolivia, Clay.  Ever."  Clay stared at him.  "Forward knowledge.  There's a spook named Max.  Unless we want to mysteriously end up walking dead we don't go," he finished quietly.

"I want briefed on all that you two remember," Clay ordered.  "That can change things.  Will it matter if it does?"

"No.  It's like snapshots of the memories we had of him over there," Jensen explained.  "It's called an imprint.  Basically our minds got touchy-feely and swapped spit."

"Is the kid guarded?" Clay asked.

"Um... by himself and Sam.  There's a few others who know.  Including his NCIS pack member.  He told the FBI and some others who're working on it."

"Where is he living?  I know you two went to Colorado," he said quietly.

"By Fort Carson," Jensen said smugly.

"I know a guy out there who can listen for the kids.  He's got teenagers."

"They're going to Cheyenne Mountain High.  The strange and weird project out there, which we will never mention again in case they decide we'd like to work for them, knows some about him but not a lot.  The colonel is one of them but he's not exactly available."

"Xander makes sure they're safe," Cougar assured him.  "A good alpha."

"He is," Jensen agreed with a smile.  "Even we end up treating him like the pack mother."

Clay considered it.  "Who wants his blood?  We don't need those sort and if we casually run into them that way we might be able to help some."  Jensen showed him that file.  "He doesn't get lesser enemies, does he," he said bitterly.

"No, but Miranda, remember her?"

"Fondly," Clay said with a smug look.

"Xander slept with her.  Sam did a background check and turned her in.  They arrested her for doing him and being her."  Jensen smiled.  "I visited her and said you said hi."

"She looking good?"

"Very good.  Apparently he had her tied down and was making her squeal."

"That's a gift," Clay agreed.  He went back over that dossier.  "We're heading to Cancun for a hostage retrieval mission.  Our next one is over that way.  We'll see what we can do."  He handed the laptop back.  "Keep in closer contact."

"I will.  He needs that touch of normal.  Though I was upset they made him give John all his artillery."  He smiled.

"He kept some," Cougar said.

"Figured he did.  Xander's certain there's something out to get him and it usually wants to fuck him first."

"Sounds like he could be Clay's son," Roque joked.

"No, but he does look a *lot* like Sam's dad John."  He looked at him.  "Winchester?"

"Cousin," Clay admitted.  "Sam and Dean?"  Jensen nodded with a grin.  "They fell off the family map years ago."

"They're demon hunters.  Sam's staying with Xander to go to one high school instead of many high schools."

"Introduce me, Jensen.  I haven't seen my nephews since Sam was about four months old.  His wife?"

"Mary died, that's what drove them to hunt."

"Damn.  I liked her.  She had sense and could beat the crap out of John if he got stupid."  He shook his head.  "She kind of reminds me of Jolene.  I want to meet my nephews."

"I can arrange that."  He smiled.  "They might like having an uncle."  He looked at the others.  "So... Cancun?  Can we have a day on the beach afterward?"

"We hope.  If we're not on transport to the Middle East," Clay sighed.  "Gear up and let's move."  They went to make sure they had everything they'd need and got onto the plane a few hours later.  Jensen and Cougar made reports that did not get saved.  Clay read them and erased them.  Even the backup copy got erased.

Yeah, they had to change some things.  Starting with Max and whoever else wanted that kid's blood.


to part 3

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