The martial arts club instructor, and he was a real instructor not a teacher pretending, watched the new kids. He stepped between them. Sam moved to face him instead and Xander just kicked at him, letting him block it and a blow at his chest. "You two are both used to brawling I take it?"
"Something like that," Xander agreed, stepping back. The teacher stared at him. "I've also been in some ground level protection sort of battles when I was Africa and the village I was in got attacked by supposed freedom forces."
"You know we have a rifle team, right?" he asked with a smile. They both smirked and nodded. "Good, they could use a few good wins." He showed them what they needed to learn to block shots better. That was probably the best place to start with them. Then they'd start the real martial arts methods. "Xander, can you calm yourself down?"
"I can meditate," he offered. "But no, I'm bouncy. Caffeine helps but I'm still bouncy. And sometime slightly distracted." He jogged over to get his cellphone since it was tweeting at him. "Hi," he said happily. "School. Martial arts club. Sure. 12b. Sam, Speed's in."
"We'll be home in two hours, see if he'll make dinner since he can actually cook."
"Sam wanted to know if you'd grace us with dinner," Xander said with a grin. "Yup, and he'll teach us too." Sam beamed back. "Sam's happy and bouncy now too. Hi, Saul. Yup, he's a friend of the family from Miami's crime lab. He won't rob us of our ancient dusty books or the movies. He's even going to cook dinner for us." He grinned. "Thanks, man. I thought I paid that. I paid ahead. I'll do that on the way home then. Thanks." He hung up. "Sam, didn't I pay the rent ahead?" He walked back over.
"It's been four months, you paid six months so that was probably the deposit."
"Oh, okay. Remind me to stop at the bank?" Sam nodded, smiling at him. "The guards are letting him in." He got back into position, staring at the teacher. Who was grinning at him. "Sorry?"
"It's good you have people watching over your shoulders." He got them back into the practice. They were good at it. Xander tripped a few times but he understood why and rebalanced himself easily enough. He'd work through that growth spurt and keep going. Jon got paired with them since he had started in the same place and moved on. It helped all three of them. He went to help the girls in the group, who were doing the more rigid forms to learn them for the calming and safety benefits.
Xander stopped in the office on the way in, looking at the manager. "You should've told me. I didn't realize, I thought I was due next month." He handed over the cashier's check with a grin. "How's that?"
"That's..." She looked then at him. "Wonderful actually. Thank you, Xander." She smiled. "I'll take off the late fee charge." He beamed. "That new friend?"
"He's an officer in Miami I met a few years back. He just got injured so he's going to teach us how to cook stuff. That way we can start bringing lunch to school because they feed us disgusting things. Even slimy things. We had okra today." He shuddered. "I'd rather eat snake again." He smiled. "Anyway. Just remind me and I'll hit the bank. I don't always remember the littlest details. Chemistry and math is killing my brain." He left, going to pounce Speed.
She shook her head. "They are certainly more lively than most of our residents," she said, marking it down in the book. She stamped it for deposit and carefully put it into the bag. "Thankfully they don't party like kids their age." She took the deposit in now so nothing could happen to that check. It was a very nice one.
The next Thursday, the smug kicker of the high school team sat down at Xander and Jon's table, staring at her. "So I hear that you have *special friends* that help you make the rent?" he asked smugly.
"No." Xander ate a bite of is imported cold fries. "Is that the current rumor from the brain dead hairdye patrol?"
"There's no way you can afford that apartment in *that* complex without it."
Xander snorted, shaking his head. "Trust fund."
"You aren't rich, Harris. There's no way with the way you dress." He looked over his current outfit of ragged jeans and a loose t-shirt. Pretty much what he wore all the time as far as they could tell.
"My ex left it to me when she died."
"What about her family? Shouldn't they have gotten it?" he asked dryly.
"Oh," he said flatly. "Orphan." Xander nodded. "Is that even legal?"
"Yeah. At one point in time we were even vowing to get married. She died, left me with some so I could hit college and start off a new life in a good way." He shrugged. "Sam takes up one of the other bedrooms so I don't go nuts living by myself." He ate another fry.
"All those older friends?"
"Friends of the family and others checking on us."
"How did you meet guys like that? I heard the last one in was a cop. Another was a Fed or something."
"Some of them I saved their lives by being stupid," Xander said honestly. "Some are just friends." He shrugged. "Friendship doesn't have an age, Rory. Or a gender. All I had for *years* were female friends. I didn't have a guy friend outside of the long distance ones that show up now and then until I moved here and they popped around more often to make sure we weren't getting into trouble. And then I met this lunkhead," he said, nodding at Jon with a grin. "Who makes it even worse."
Rory stared at him. "So you're not a male escort?"
Xander snorted. "I like sex, a lot, as proven by my last outing being with triplets, but I've never charged for it or bought it. Sorry." He shrugged with a smirk. "I've been offered money for it but I turned it down."
"You did triplets?"
"Yeah, college co-eds." He ate another fry.
"I know you did not get that disgusting bunch of grease here," a teacher snapped.
Xander glared at her. "I'm still in better shape than you. If you want to be that disparaging about things, go look in a mirror, woman. That outfit does not match and my former female friends would be *horrified* that you're trying to teach anyone *anything* about nutrition or clothing." She stomped off. "Why can't I take a GED and get away from the bitch patrol again?" he asked Jon.
"Can't get into a good college with one?" he guessed.
"Sam's the college sort. He's meant to do great things. I'm...not."
"You'd have to go back to construction work," Jon said.
"So? I liked construction work. It was very satisfying and I liked it a lot." Jon stared at him. He stared back. "It's not like it's beneath me or something. I like working with my hands."
"I agree," Jon said. "But Sam will pout and throw a tantrum if we don't try college with him."
"Fuck," Xander muttered. "Yeah, he will, and claim I'm putting myself down again." He shook his head. Then he remembered Rory was there. "I find it better and more satisfying when I'm working with my hands."
"Some of those guys make good paychecks," Rory agreed. "My uncle's a contractor." He shrugged. "So, does Sam..." He waved a hand.
"No. Sam's taking cooking lessons." Xander grinned. "That way we eat."
"Harris!" the principal called. Xander looked over, eating a fry. He glared.
"I brought it from home. She keeps attacking me and I'm in *much* better shape than she is. I can beat boot camp field tests, thank you. If I want fries, it's a vegetable. If you keep the oil the right temperature, it doesn't soak into the fry or anything else. I am in *fantastic* shape and my diet is just fine. She has no right to nag me," he shot back. "I hate nagging. It makes me react and attack. I think we've all proven this."
"She's crying," he said, walking over.
"Then she should learn not to attack if she can't take it back," Xander said simply. "Frankly, her nagging me about my diet is like a leper nagging me about my lotion regime."
The principal scowled. "I let you get away with a lot, Harris...." he started.
"She's not supposed to nag me about things that aren't bad for me."
"That is bad for you."
"They're organic, cooked in the right temperature oil so they're not greasy, and they were mostly baked first. You can do fries that way, even fries of other vegetables. It's amazing and it has *taste*."
"You still can't verbally assault the teachers."
"They can't do it to me either and I consider the unrequested nagging to be like stalking." He stared at him. "Fucking kick me out if you want. Yay me," he said dryly. "I can easily go do other things all day." The principal shuddered. "As a matter of fact, let me do that now."
"Shooting match," Jon said with a wince. "Or I'd let you go."
"He might not be going," the Principal told him.
Xander stared at him. "She has no right to nag me."
"She's an adult."
Xander stared at him. "That doesn't give her the right to walk up to people and nag them. Or try to break into my locker." He looked at his phone. "Someone's trying to cut my lock." He looked at him. Then he hit the button. "Thankfully it's from a security company."
"You did what?" he demanded.
"Knocked her out. Tiny vial of sleeping gas. It's the same sort I have on my gun cabinet at home." He ate his last fry. "You guys might be hyper bitchy about that grant that made you feed us shit that has no taste and really no health benefit, because hey, soy has estrogen and guys get plenty. I hope all you guys eating the tofu stuff like having low sperm counts." A few shuddered and dropped their forks.
He looked at the teacher again. "Soy isn't totally healthy, especially in the level you shove it at us. If we had a *sensible* diet with *decent* food, we could probably stomach the low fat and salt content. Unfortunately we don't. She has no right to say a word about food I bring from home."
"Other children are taking your bad example."
"Good! That means they know what they're eating. They're making a conscious choice. If you wanted us to be healthier, we'd have more PE. We wouldn't have a pound of food shoved at us during lunch. We'd have milk, since that's good for us and we all need the calcium and it's been proven to be part of a healthy diet. I know teenage girls who don't go this extreme and they're anorexic."
"You can't stop people from bringing a lunch unless it's something someone's allergic to," Jon agreed calmly. "He's right about something else. She's stalking him."
"Which is probably not a good indication since some of my ex's have been... nasty."
"How did you date that assassin?" Jon asked him.
Xander shrugged. "She's my usual taste in women?" He looked a the principal again. "I've dated badder and bigger badasses than her," he quipped. The older man stomped off. Xander waved. "Let me get ready for the shooting match. Before I break out in snark some more." He gathered things and went to get an extra soda from his cases in his locker.
He walked over the teacher, undoing his lock. He grabbed one and a canister, spraying it at her. Then he put the canister back and shut the lock again. He looked at her as she woke up, opening his soda. "So, what sort of evil, torturing bitch are you?" he asked dryly, taking a sip. "Since I only attract evil things."
Rory walked past. "You weren't kidding."
"No. It's safer. That's why I keep one on my gun cabinet." He took another drink.
"What was your ex that left you the money?" Rory asked.
Xander smiled a bit sadly. "She liked to torture unfaithful guys who upset their women. It was her favorite thing in the whole world. I made her stop if we were going to be together." Rory gaped in horror. "Dude, my almost first time was a teacher that was a virgin hunter to deflower and then kill. My next one killed three people and then I dated a cheerleader."
Rory whimpered. "Then what's wrong with her?"
"I don't know. Unless she's got 'adopt the Xander' pity I have no clue." He stared at her. "Should I ask again?"
"You need... you have to protect others," she said.
"Ah, you're one of those. I'm in *fantastic* shape. Even better than I was *then*." He stared at her. "I'm just as good I was before. Even with the growth spurt problem again. Now, anything else? Because such nagging is horrible torture to some of us. Reminds me
of Willow." She blanched, shaking her head quickly. He stared at her. "Then help them make *real* food that's good for us."
He walked over her. "Leave my soda alone. Without caffeine I get bouncier and homicidal." He walked past Rory. "I'm going to get ready for the shooting match, Principal MacNash. Have a better afternoon." He waved. "Then I'm skipping until my math test so I can find a real woman again."
Sam walked past him, taking the soda for himself. "You can't. You have a chemistry test on Monday and the math test is Thursday." He smirked at the demon. "Hi." She flinched. "Shoo. I do have Xander's back with his dating habits." She got up and stomped off sniffling. He stared at the principal. "It could be worse. He was worse."
"I heard." He walked off after her to see what had happened. He had missed a clue somewhere. He caught her in her native look and stared. "No wonder."
"We need the guardians to be in the best shape they can be to stop Wilkins," she told him.
"Not a problem," he assured her. "Quit nagging the kid. Don't steal his soda. He's about to break out in mean."
"Fine." She reapplied her glamour earring and huffed back to her classroom. The Knight was just as bad as ever in many ways.
The Principal went back to his office to have a headache. Sam walked in and dropped something on him then left. He stared at the nutrition magazine, flipping through the recipes. They weren't anything like his school's diet. He called in the head cook, who was still huffy over Xander's slight to her favored tofu. He showed her some of them to try. It might get the kids to eat the lunch again. Even the kids on free lunch didn't want to eat it anymore. That was a bad thing.
Jorge looked at Xander. "Don't get suspended."
"I didn't ask her to nag."
"Fine. Can you do handguns?"
"Yeah. Jon and I both can. Sam can but I'm not sure about his rating. Why?"
"This one has a handgun section and I forgot to ask earlier. I know you carry."
Xander nodded. "This isn't a target gun though. At least we're local. How long do we have?"
"Sam?" he called. Sam looked over from checking his rifle. "There's a handgun option."
Sam grinned. "Dean's at the house. He texted a few minutes ago. Broke his foot."
Xander texted Dean which guns to bring please and which ammo too. "Want anything specific?"
"We're used to forty-fives. Auto or revolver, doesn't matter," he said, looking over his arm. He took it to finish off quicker and sent it. Dean sent back a 'in twenty'. "Cool." He sent that back and handed the phone back with a grin. "Where is yours?"
"Should have been in the closet." He looked at Jorge, who pointed with an eye roll. Xander went to check it over. Jon's was being looked over. Xander disassembled then reassembled to check everything and that it was clean. "Jorge, running out of ammo."
"What size?" Xander held up the box so he went to check. "None," he called.
Xander called Dean and read off the box. Dean said they were out but he'd stop and pick some up. There was a gun shop on the way. Xander said a quiet 'thank you' and hung up. "Dean will." Jorge smiled and nodded. Xander looked at the other two teams. Almost all clean cut, uptight sorts. "Boss, which ones are we doing?"
"You, Sam, and John are doing handguns. There's three classes." Xander nodded. "You're all doing standing rifle at three range markings. You and Jon are doing sniper." They nodded and got things arranged. Dean got there just as they were about to start, handing Xander the bag of guns and the bag with the new boxes of ammo. Xander paid him back with a grin. Jorge smiled at Dean. "So you're Sam's brother?"
"Big brother. I wish my high schools had a team. I would've kicked ass." Sam grinned at him. "Nice glasses, Sammy."
"Regulation," he said with a shrug. Xander nodded, putting his up on his head. He was checking and sorting guns. "Xander?" Xander handed him three to get approved then pulled out another two. The bag got handed back to Dean, who settled in to watch. The Range Master from Fort Carson was judging the contest today and he cleared all of them for use. Xander's too, though he did give his rifle a long look over.
"I got it in Romania," Xander said with a grin.
"It's sweet, kid." He handed it back. "Handgun are two calibers and one distance in one."
"Nine or otherwise?"
"Lesser up to nines, higher powered nines and above for the upper. The lower class has two range levels." Xander nodded. He got the bag from Dean, putting one back and bringing out another one. He checked it over then handed it over once it was reassembled. "You're a gun freak, aren't you?" he asked with a smirk
"Yes I am. They're beautiful." He grinned back.
"That'll pass." Xander nodded, changing out one of his ammo boxes for the other. The Range Master went to the other teams to check their weapons. One didn't pass and he asked Xander if the kid could borrow. Xander found one in the same caliber and let him check it before handing it over. "Give it back to Harris on the Cheyenne Mountain team. It's his." The kid nodded, taking it to run some target ammo tests to see how it fired while the referee checked the last team's guns.
Then they got called to the first match. Sam did good. Jon did very good. Xander did very good. They moved to the farther distance and it was still pretty good, Jon and Xander having had a lot of experience with it in their pasts. They moved to the higher caliber and only Xander was on for their team. He concentrated, shooting perfect. All clustered so tightly their boundaries overlapped. The others did good. Center mass but not grouped so tightly. Next came the rifle class. Sam was really good and Xander was pretty decent. Jon was still a bit iffy on the lighter, non assault rifle. It had been a while since he hadn't used an assault rifle of some sort. So they took first and third place for him and Sam.
The other teams were starting to give them really dirty looks. The sniper test was at six hundred yards. Xander and Jon got ready. They had a steady and a moving target. They were allowed one single test shot to gauge wind. Jon and Xander didn't really need it but took it anyway to check things. The military academy's kid was up first and he hit the bull's-eye pretty much center. The next guy did a bit worse but not bad. Jon took his shot and got it spot on.
Xander calmed himself, moving back into his good frame of mind even though he knew there was a problem nearby. He shot the bull's-eye. Dead center. The moving target came out and Jon got it first. It was in his line of sight. He didn't shift, just took the shot when it came into his scope. Xander watched it, it wasn't coming near his end of the field. He looked at the referee. "Permission to shoot off side?" he called.
"Granted since it's not going that way, Harris."
Xander watched it move, how it was jerking now and then. He calmed himself back down, knowing Sam was watching his back. Xander stared, feeling his pulse quicken. Yup, something was coming. He closed his eyes to clear his mind, then opened them to watch the thing move and shot it, a simple head shot in the right spot. It looked like a deer. It had a target there, just a smaller one. "Brain shot."
The referee looked at him. "Hunter?" he guessed. Xander grinned and nodded. "Nice shot, Harris." He went to gather the results. He was halfway across the field when someone screamed something obscene in Arabic with a Turkish accent and ran at the kids. Harris calmly flipped over and got him on the leg before anyone but O'Neill flinched. O'Neill got him in the shoulder with his rifle. Harris had pulled a mystical gun out of somewhere. He walked over to check him. "Disarm, you two." They did that and sat there, watching the guy. "Extra guns, Harris?"
Xander nodded. "We're only allowed so many shots and I'm always armed. I have a death threat on me." He looked at Jon. "But he was after you."
"He was," he agreed. "The whole 'O'Neill is a pig fucker' shout gave it away." He looked at Xander's guns. "Sweet." He took it to look over. "Very sweet." Xander just grinned.
Sam came jogging over. "You guys good?"
"Yup," Xander agreed. "He was after Jon." The Range Master was staring at him. "His uncle is Special Forces. I just have a death threat."
He shook his head. "That's good to know." Cop cars were showing up. He pointed. "He was running up on a student with a knife," he said. "There's his knife. With the rest of his arm."
One of the officers looked over. "Harris?"
"Got his leg. He was after Jon." He pointed. "He had his rifle so he blew off his shoulder for him."
"Good job, kids." They got him loaded into an ambulance and sent with an officer to ask for a death bed confession. They got film of the event so they could see what happened. The kids were damn good. He'd push the higher ups to go recruit some for their local Rapid Response unit.
"Well, now that the tension's broken," Sam quipped, making a few groan and a few more laugh and relax.
The Range Master looked at him. "Hunter?"
"Yes, sir." He grinned. "But I'm no good at sniper shooting."
"That's fine then." He went to gather the papers to check for closeness. "O'Neill wins the stationary. Harris wins the moving." Jorge crowed, bouncing over to hug them. He shook his head and let the principals hand out the awards. He looked at the winners. "I can talk to a recruiter for you all."
Xander shook his head. "I'm probably going to travel again after I get out of here."
Jon nodded. "Might go with him. Been a while since I traveled." The guy smirked and shook their hands. The others asked for the recruiter to visit them and it was good. They'd be good soldiers. They could use more like Harris and O'Neill but he guessed with a death threat that wasn't a great idea. Uncle Sam frowned on random people trying to kill his soldiers without his permission.
Xander and Sam finished cleaning all their weapons and Dean took the bags to the car. "Ice cream?" Sam offered.
Jon nodded. "I could use some."
"We need to get some more. I had it for breakfast," Xander admitted. "See you at the apartment, Jon." He nodded, following them. Dean told Sam to drive the duo but that was just their thing. He was a big brother who nagged.
Jensen got film of the shooting match and saved it for Cougar, showing him later that night when he came off surveillance. "Shooting match." He went back to hacking what he needed to be doing.
Cougar paused it. "O'Neill is dangerous?" he asked.
"Yeah, kinda." He scooted over to look, snickering at what the guy was yelling. "Idiot." Jon and Xander got him. "Nice form. Easily saved for later questioning. Nice job, boys." He got back to hacking.
Clay came over to watch it over Cougar's shoulder. Roque did too. "They're good," Clay agreed. "They should go military."
"They can't. It'll leave them unable to handle things," Jensen reminded him. "Otherwise, Jon would have an automatic in with his uncle's program. Which is more insane than I can handle and more classified than I could find. I can't even hack their records, that's saying something."
Clay looked at him. "Are they evil shits out to destroy the world?"
"No, they're just insane." He smiled. "They're very protective though."
"Define insane," Roque ordered.
"One of Xander's visions when we were there was about a woman who blew up a sun."
"Like the big ball of gas in the sky?" Roque asked to make sure.
"Not ours but yeah." He grinned. "They're Air Force and *major* science geek heavy. Like you have to have two doctorates to get in major science geeks."
"Figures they're Air Force," Clay quipped.
"With Marines," Cougar added. Everyone stared at him so he explained. "I spotted Marines coming out of Cheyenne."
"NORAD?" Clay asked. They both nodded, Jensen grinning. "What the hell? It got moved!"
"No one's really sure," Jensen admitted. "If the rumors are right, some hackers I know owe me *extremely major* money. Especially since a lot of their people have Area 51 and McMurdo listed in their pasts."
"Antarctica and the alien lab," Roque said then shuddered. "That's weirder than you are, Jensen. Shut up before my head explodes."
Jensen pulled up an anime graphic that was cuteness and showed it to him with a smirk. Clay swatted him for egging Roque on. "Do we need to know about them?" Clay asked.
"Only if they're trying to stop the same evil bitches we are," Jensen quipped. "Which is pretty unlikely."
"Fine. Then I don't need to know, you don't need to know, and leave the nice covert ops people alone before they make us part of them." He walked off rubbing his forehead. A few hours later he got a message on his phone. //While we adore Jensen and how he calms down Harris, the generals said that you can't do anything less or more insane than our own people, Colonel Clay, and don't you worry about being recruited. You're doing better work out there.//
Clay stared at it. "They knew you were hacking them, Jensen."
"Yeah, probably everyone on that base can hack, Clay. Even down to their genius toddlers they push out to continue their project." He looked at him. "We're helping Jon O'Neill, who is sort of one of theirs. Also, every hacker on earth has tried to get into their files. It's the biggest bragging rights ever to do it, even to get in a little sliver of your little toenail. They're very anti NID so they're good people most of the time."
"Blowing up a sun is good people?" Roque demanded.
"She was protecting us from something huge. That's all I know." He shrugged and turned bak around. "Their project has borrowed units in the past and those guys come back a lot different but calm and able to stand in the middle of a field, without cover, and just laugh as they fire on the enemy shooting at them. They go in normal Special Forces and come out Super Special Forces."
Clay's phone beeped. "Whoever this is said it's all fun and games until you stare down the barrel of an improbable weapon that can atomize you."
"It's called a zat. First is stun, second is dead. Third is atomized," Jensen quipped. "Tell Rodney I said to quit. I just ran into him hacking Max too. He apparently has an eye on them."
Clay replied to that message to tell him that. Whoever Rodney was sent back to leave him to them. "He thinks they have him."
"No they don't," Jensen muttered. He found something and sent it to the address he had for them. Rodney sent back a 'damn it' and he was siccing higher things on him. Jensen grinned and opened up the server he was on like a flower for him. They worked it together and soon Max was going to be very sorry. "Hey, I found Wade."
"The fucker who promised to turn Pooch into his bitch?" Roque asked. "And said he'd enjoy it, eventually?"
"Yup. He's working for Max." He turned. "We're now on backup to protect their strike team if necessary. Max is in the next town. They're sending us satellite specs." He turned and put them up with the order that came through from the President himself. "He always seemed so polite, I didn't know the president knew what the words mother fucker meant."
Clay and Roque shuddered. When the President of the US started to swear, things were in the shitter and down the sewer pipes. Heading to the recycler. They got their intel in order and went to stake out the place. When they were ordered to plant a tracer round, Cougar did. Then they waited.
Jack O'Neill and his unit of Marines appeared in a beam of light. Jack motioned the Marines to go. He had a single target to take care of. The man wanted his clone, was trying to get hold of Stargate materials, and was pissing the president off. Any of those would get him dead. All three got him destroyed. He found him by the pool with his floosy and bimbo girls. "Max," he said, pointing his gun at him.
He stared. "How did you get in here?"
"Not all that hard. Scram, ladies." They ran. The man serving drinks slowly backed off and Jack nodded him to flee too. The Marines would gather them.
Max stood up, staring at him. "Did you beam in?"
Jack shot him in the chest. "None of your business. None of it is." The man died with a gasp and a slump to the ground. Jack checked then hit him three times with a zat to make sure. He radioed he was done and for their techs to be sent. The Marines had reported they had the bimbos and household staff contained a minute earlier. Jack looked around. "Evil really does pay better than the good guys," he sighed, walking off. Their techs were tearing apart Max's empire, pointed in the right direction by Jensen's hacking trails. He was making things more visible for them. Jack went to talk to that team, staring at the colonel. "At ease, Colonel."
Clay stared at him. "You're a general, aren't you?"
"O'Neill," he said, shaking his hand. "Jensen, quit." He nodded, shutting down his system.
"How did you get him to obey without barking?" Roque asked. "We can't."
"I have a better carrot," he said smugly. Jensen nodded, smirking back. "He's gone, whatever was going to happen won't. And yeah, I heard." Jensen nodded. "Good work and don't worry, if we need Army guys, we'll call." He smiled. "Right now we've got Marines."
"Jarheads can't match the Army Delta forces," Clay said dryly.
"Maybe but we broke some of them last year." Jack gave him a smug look. "Don't talk yourself into it, Colonel. You'll have nothing but migraines."
"You do shit like we would only you're all insane from what I understand," Jensen said. "Is Andrew right?"
"No comment unless it comes with conscription or a confidentiality agreement, kid." He looked at Roque then at Clay. "We could use some good men but you're too straight. We need *creative* people most of the time."
"That's not us," Clay assured him.
"I know. I considered recruiting you guys two years ago. Roque has a record we like. We could trust you handle insane things, Marines, and to not dent our geeks too badly, and Cougar's skills were wanted by someone else." He stared at him. "Be good, Colonel. If we need you for something...mundane we'll call." He walked back into the compound.
Ten minutes later it was silent. It took two minutes of silence for the cops to show up. By then, the Losers had vanished into their car. They knew that silence, it meant everyone was dead or out of there. Their job was finished. Fire trucks started to pull up with the police cars and they could see the start of smoke. Then suddenly a real fire broke out before they could wonder. Yup, that was covert ops and they did not want to know.
"Don't ever hack them again," Clay ordered, not looking at Jensen.
"I won't. Unless they turn into evil bitches."
Jon got the email and sat down across from Xander at lunch. "Max is out of the picture," he said quietly.
"Go home team," Jon corrected. "But Jack said they're neat." He smirked.
"Hey, one less one is happy making for me." He nibbled on something that the cafeteria had actually cooked. It seemed safe enough. It was a pasta salad with real vegetables and *dressing*. Which was amazing for their school. Most of the kids agreed it was pretty decent.
Sam flopped down and stole a piece from Xander's plate. "I quit physics. I'm taking home ec next semester."
Xander grinned. "Home ec?"
"Yeah, it's offered in ninth but the principal agreed I could take it. You can take it with me if you want." Sam grinned. "That way we can both make nutritious stuff that will keep us in top form. It can take the place of your elective this time."
"I don't have an elective, Sam."
"Yeah you do. You're taking german."
Xander shuddered. "I pseudo dropped that."
"Never went back?" Sam guessed. Xander nodded. "It's at the same time."
"I might then. I could learn how to use the stove better. Or get ours fixed. What is wrong with ours?"
"It only goes to one heat and it's at four-fifty I think. I've talked to the maintenance people and they said they could only replace it but it'd be months."
Xander stared at him. "I don't think I know how to replace one. Ours is gas."
"Yeah, it is. Isn't that hard. We can figure it out. Oh, and I got an after school job on the weekends. Jorge knows and said it was good that I was stopping the rumors about sleeping with you for my bed."
"You are cuddly but not that way." Jon snickered, snorting his water up his nose and choking. Xander looked at him. "You can come cuddle and watch movies too. We don't mind."
"I might," he said, wiping his face off. "Damn that's a bad image though. You two...cuddle?"
"Natural couch drift," Sam told him. "There's always that spot in the center that you end up leaning toward."
Xander nodded. "There is. We can put you there if you want." He grinned.
"No thanks. We'll put you there. You're a good pillow from what I've heard. By the way, the psycho chick who decided she wanted to play with me because you were too busy to pay attention to her? Keep your women to yourself please?"
"I didn't send her but sure. Send her over later."
Sam looked at him. "I'll hide. Maybe I'll take Dean out clubbing if she comes over."
"If not we can all go," Xander offered. "I haven't gotten to get down and funky recently." He sipped his milk, which was nice to have back as well. Maybe this lunch thing would work out without him learning how to cook. Sam, who apparently could read minds without ingesting any more demon blood gave him a pointed look, earning a grin back.
Sam rolled his eyes. "No leather pants. Dean found them in the cabinet and he worried you were going to pull them out."
"Those are for hunting."
Sam gave him a dirty look. "Try hunting a different way around us?"
"Is there a better way of drawing evil bitches to me?"
Sam considered it then sighed. "You may be right."
Jon shook his head. "You're both insane." He stuffed his mouth.
"Oh my god!" a cheerleader complained. "The crazy woman dressed like a whore has a gun! And eww, those shoes! She really must be a cheap hooker."
Xander saw her staring at him. "What? Most of my evil or crazy bitches have taste." That woman stomped in. "No, I believe she's your family's friend, Sam. Isn't that Jo Harvelle?"
Sam looked then got up and went to walk her off. "Is there a problem, Jo? And why did you bring a gun into a school?" He waved off the guard. "I know her, I'm going to tell her mother," he muttered as he walked her past him. He stared at her once they were outside. "Problems?"
"What are you doing, Sam?"
"I'm on lunch at the moment and then I have a class in about ten minutes."
"This isn't hunting."
"No, this is high school. Dean and Dad are still hunting. I got tapped for a higher destiny." He shrugged. "Why are you complaining? You're not even hunting. Your mother won't let you." She tried to hit him so he pinned her and kicked the shotgun out of the way. The guard took it to make it safe. "I'm *so* calling someone to come pick your ass up." He patted his pockets down. "I need holy water," he complained. Xander brought out a vial. "How did you know?"
"I texted Dean and he said she had to have something wrong with her." He grinned. "Hi, Xander Harris." She shrieked and tried to get away. Sam splashed her with the holy water, getting less of a reaction than Xander did. Xander held her down, watching as she smoked. Sam did the exorcism and the demon fled. Xander stared at her. "So, why was it scared of me?"
She struggled. "Let me go!"
"Shut up, Jo," Dean said as he walked over. He helped Sam up then Xander. She climbed up slowly. "What the fuck?" he sneered.
"She was possessed," Sam said.
"Figured she had to be. Ellen doesn't know where she is. I called her on the way over." He stared at her. "Let's go."
"I don't...." Xander grabbed her by the back of the neck, making her shriek. Sam handcuffed her. She sneered. "The demon said you can't win. They aren't here."
"I don't need slayer backup, Jo. I never have outside of apocalypses. I handled plenty on my own." She started to struggle again. "Sammy, go finish it." He took the shotgun, looking at the shells. "Silver."
"Fucking changer," she sneered.
"No, not in the least," Xander said smugly.
"I heard about *her*."
"I'm a medium, Jo Harvelle. The hyena possessed me," he said with a smirk. "I'm a shaman." She went limp, staring at him in horror. He smirked. "So is Sammy."
"Sam," Sam complained.
Xander patted him on the back. "My second queen rider." He walked off, tossing the guard the unloaded gun and the bullets. "They're friends of the Winchester clan."
"Was she...possessed?" the guard asked.
"You're really a shaman, like native shaman?"
"I learned in Africa. I learned from a few actually. I don't have a set focus like a specific way."
"Oh. That's interesting," he said weakly. "That long sickness you had?"
"Dream quest. Resettling myself." He looked at the principal. "A hunter, possessed." He shook his head, going back inside. "Dean's dragging her home to beat her ass. Her mother's going to kill her."
"Are there others? And you are an official shaman?"
"Yeah. I need to keep in practice. I don't do near enough work on it some weeks. Sam's learning." He grinned then took off his shirt, turning around. "Protections."
The principal looked them over, sighing. "That's a good thing." Xander put back on his shirt. "No gun or big knife?"
"Locker and hip." He unhid it. "I need to do more work." He rehid it and walked off again.
The guard looked at the principal. "At least they're protective weird sorts."
"They'd better keep being protective weird sorts," he said dryly, getting a grin back. "Hand that over. You can tell the locals she's being handled."
"I can do that," calling the local station. They went to talk to Dean to get her. They weren't going to let her go for that.
John Winchester walked into the police station. He looked at the desk sergeant, who pointed with a smile. "Her mother is going to kill her." He walked that way, and Jo jumped up and moved away from him. "You'd better run," he ordered. He handed over the form from her mother. "Is she being given bail or bond?"
"The DA decided it was extenuating and weird circumstances since she was supposedly possessed. He wanted to put her in the hospital for 72 hours."
"I'm sure my boys got it out of her." John glared at her. "If not, I will be."
The local commander smiled. "That's why I like you, Mr. Winchester, your response to any stupidity is to growl and fix it."
John looked at him. "My boys done something?"
"No," he said with a smile. "Mr. Harris has countered all the rumors as well. They've mostly been good boys. Though I have heard that Xander made some teachers cry for trying to nag him."
"He would react badly. I heard and told him to quit. Next time he's getting my foot up his ass."
The commander smiled. "Thank you. Have her, let her mother beat her. Make sure it's not where someone who would have to report it can see."
"That won't be a problem. Her mother has a few acres." He grabbed Jo by the arm and walked her off. "Let's go talk, Jo." He shoved her at the truck. "Get in," he growled. She climbed in and buckled herself in, making sure she stayed against the door. It was an eight hour drive back to the Roadhouse. By the time they got there, Jo was shaking and nearly crying. John got out and walked around, opening the door. She paused, staring at him.
"It won't save you." She unbuckled and let him walk her inside. "The commander said they aren't going to charge her stupid ass but she almost ended up in psych for a few days since she was possessed. The lawyers didn't want to deal with it. The commander said not to let anyone hear that you beat her to death when you do. I promised you had some woods."
Ellen Harvelle nodded. "I do." She walked her daughter off by her hair, making her whine the whole way.
John got a beer and sat down. Three minutes later, Jo started to wail. John smirked, drinking some of his beer. Yup, her mother could handle it. Ellen came back cleaning her hands off. "I got a beer."
"Fine." She took the few dollars for it. "She's very sorry."
"I know." He smirked. "Need some rock salt shells?"
"No. I'm going to sell her off to some other hunter to deal with her ass." She stared at him. "How's Sammy doing?"
"Good grades, no trouble. Xander's been making the people who nag him cry. He knows I'll beat his ass if he doesn't stop. They did very good with their last rifle team match." She nodded at that. "They have a good friend up there who's used to weird stuff. They're doing all right enough. I'd like Xander to be more serious. He's going to lead Sam astray. Or share his dangerous women and things." He sipped his beer. "Dean checks in all the time. They've fought the rumors that they're boy pros and that's how they afford the apartment." Ellen laughed, shaking her head. "Basically," he agreed dryly. Jo wandered out, clutching the wall. "I still owe you for pointing a shotgun at my son, Jo." She ran off again. "What about Ash for her new husband?"
"I don't want someone who drinks that much," she admitted. "Otherwise, maybe. Dean?"
"Not for years," he sighed. "He's having fun playing the field. Thankfully he has better taste than Xander." He took another drink. Ash, the hunter who lived behind the bar came out to join them. "Jo hiding at your place?"
"What did she do?"
"She got possessed and took a shotgun to the school where Sammy's going," Ellen said. Ash laughed. "She should stay hidden until I'm not mad."
"You'll be a grandmother by then and so will I," John said dryly, earning a cackle from Ash. "Probably from Sammy sharing one of Xander's dangerous women." He shook his head, finishing his beer. "Let me hit the motel. I was coming this way anyway. I'll let Dave check on the boys next time since I was going South." Ellen nodded, letting him go.
Ash looked at her. "You going to let her live?"
"I'm considering an arranged marriage, like the Rom do."
He smirked. "You'd hate for her to follow in your footsteps and be the wife of a hunter."
"I'll get grandkids to raise better."
He walked off laughing. "I'll let her know she should find a boy to hide behind."
"Make sure I'm not related to a Winchester." She cleaned the spot John had been sitting and fussed behind the rest of the bar until more people came in. It was a dead night, no pun intended.
Sam and Dean decided, since Xander's last crazy woman had been captured by the complex's security, that they should be clubbing. They were all young, hot, and needy. Xander had stress that needed to be solved. Sam had made Xander put on something other than leather. He looked like he was for rent in it. So instead he was in a suede overshirt, because it was a bit chilly, and a tank top inside a pair of very tight jeans. Plus his boots. He had even done his hair, which was a miracle for Xander. Dean stared at him, shaking his head.
"If you get paid tonight, I'm so ragging on you and telling Dad," Dean said.
"I'm not going to get paid." He stretched and warmed himself up against a wall. Then he walked off. "I'm driving."
"I'm driving," Dean corrected.
"We're cabbing," Sam said. "So none of us have to worry if we get drunk or have to leave the car."
"That's not practical," Dean and Xander said. They stared at each other. "Fine, we'll both drive."
Xander shrugged. "Okay. Sam, pick a car." He plucked up his keys and wallet, walking out.
Dean looked at Sam. "C'mon, you can have the front seat. Dad finally gave me the damn car."
"About time. I knew it was yours all along." Sam followed. "Think we'll get laid with him there working his voodoo?"
"Yes, I am hotter than Xander Harris. Plus I like saner women." He and Sam walked out, Sam locking the door behind himself. They had agreed to which club to hit and which one to go to if that one ended up being lame. So they knew where Xander would be. It was just a matter of getting into the club. Dean was old enough. Sam had a fake ID. Xander had gotten in with some girl apparently since she was rubbing against his front. The bouncer was staring at him. "He's not going to drink. He doesn't drink," Dean told him. "He just wants some cheap pussy. He's my little brother's friend."
The bouncer nodded. "She's on the banned list for fighting."
"Figures," Dean sighed. "He only likes 'em dangerous." He and Sam went to pick their separate sides of the floor. Xander's 'girlfriend' got taken out of the club. Xander got pulled in by a few girls, and he apparently had a good game. They were giggling and working over his muscles. They didn't pan out for sex so when they moved on so did he. Dean looked around about an hour later to check. Sam was chatting at some girl at the bar, who was giggling. His geek streak was going to ruin his chances of getting laid later. Dean's girl was giggling. "Checking on my baby brother." He nodded at him with a grin. "Making sure he's not with the whore patrol." She laughed and kissed him. He forgot about Xander totally. She was that good.
Xander decided to dump the second lame club. Apparently Colorado Springs had craptastic clubs. He went to a different sort of club. It had good music. It was a bit darker but he could handle that. The bouncer gave him a long look. "Not drinking, just need laid."
"You know this is a gay club, right?"
Xander shrugged. "Well, maybe I'll find someone cuddly." He grinned. The guard let him in with a snort. This club was hotter. He started to sweat. He liked the suede shirt so he wouldn't take it off but he could be sweaty. Sweaty often looked good on him. He found a likely partner and walked out to dance with him. He smiled and let him. It was good.
"You here for a reason?" his partner teased.
"The other clubs were lame and dancing with the stupid patrol is rotting my brain. In here is *much* better for it." His partner smiled and moved closer. Xander wasn't against gay sex by any means. He didn't do it *well* but he wasn't bad. The guy passed him onto someone who was more a bottom. Which was better for Xander. He definitely preferred to be on top. This was a good club. He could learn to like it here sometimes.
Xander walked in the next morning still in clubbing clothes, stretching up to pop his shoulders. "Morning, Principal MacNash. I even set my alarm this time."
MacNash stared at him. "Triplets, again?"
"Nice boy. Very nice boy." MacNash gaped in awe. He shrugged. "You take what you can get. He was so sweet." He grinned. "And so was his big sister when she came in to pout that he got all the cute guys. He laughed that I made her squeal louder than him." He strolled on. "Morning, Sam," he quipped as he walked up to his locker. "How was your night?"
Sam glared at him. "Where did you go? You look more smug than Dean."
"Isn't that a gay club?" he asked more quietly.
"Yeah." He grinned. "He was very sweet. His sister was very sweet."
"At once?" he asked dryly. "Eww!"
"No, she came in to complain." He shrugged and got into his locker, getting his morning soda. He grabbed his things for his first few classes and relocked it before strolling off.
"Harris, button it," the teacher for home room ordered. He set his things on his desk and did that. "What did you do? You stink."
"Made people squeal." He grinned. She gaped in awe. "Xander does have some allure to the naughty and wanton." He finished his soda and tossed the can in the recycling bin. Then he sat back down. "How was *your* night, ma'am?"
"Not half as fun since I've grown out of my wild years. Some day you will too."
"Work hard, play hard." The others trailed in looking tired. It was barely eight. They were teenagers. They wanted to be asleep again. Xander was the only awake one. He was a bit hyper too but that was fine. He got kicked out of chemistry for being bouncy. They were playing with acids today and the teacher didn't want an accident. Xander went to the library to look up stuff he shouldn't be getting into. Then he realized he didn't have a shooting match coming up, he didn't have a test coming up, so he could probably sneak out. He went to his locker to grab another soda on his way to his next class, dropping all but his notebook because it'd be too telling if he didn't have at least that with him. He spotted the principal watching and smiled with a wave. "Problems?"
"Why don't you go run some laps?"
"I need my sneakers and they're at home. I can go get them if you want," he offered.
"You sneak out and you'll be suspended, which means off the rifle team for the next month."
"I was going to be pretty and bouncy with someone who would appreciate it more than the teachers, sir."
"No," he said smugly. "I'm calling Winchester's father if you sneak off again."
Xander shrugged. "Fine. After lunch?"
"No. You'll still be suspended." He pointed. "You should be on the second floor by now." Xander sighed but went up there. One of the cheerleaders hit on him and it was good enough he supposed. He had condoms. She could give blow jobs. It was all good.
Jon looked around at lunch, staring at the empty spot. Sam sat down with his tray. "Are we missing someone?"
"The last I heard, he and one of the cheerleaders were *visiting* in the third floor closet," he said quietly.
Jon groaned, shaking his head. "Damn."
Sam nodded. "I think we might be, yeah." He grinned. Jon hit him on the arm. "Dean got some. I got some. Xander apparently went slutty." He sighed, digging into his lunch. He spit it out. "Eww. Tofu came back." John looked then they went to get a different lunch of chips and some milk. That was much better than tofu whatever. Sam saw someone new, he didn't recognize them, starting to choke. "She's having an allergic reaction, get the nurse," he shouted, moving to help her.
"Calm down. Do you have a pen?" he asked. She shook her head, gripping her throat. "I know. Nurse is coming. Can you breathe at all?" She whimpered. "Okay, calm down. Focus, c'mon, it'll help." The nurse ran in. "Epi pen!" She pulled one out and fumbled so he took it and hit her on the thigh with it. "Now, calm down. Try to breathe. Do we have a second?" The nurse injected her with it. Paramedics came in. "Guys, she's eating the tofu shit that's really bad," he said.
"With peanut sauce," Jon called. She nodded and pointed.
"Okay, we can handle that. Two pens?" he asked the nurse, who nodded. "Sir?" He moved, helping them lift her onto the gurney.
"Good luck," Sam said, handing her the backpack at her table. She gave him a weak smile as they put an air mask. Sam helped the nurse up, smiling at her. "Thank you."
"No, thank you." She dusted herself off. "Ladies, if she left anything, make sure it makes it to the office." They nodded, looking scared.
"It was an allergy," Sam told them with a grin. "She was allergic to peanuts."
"Oh! You hear about those poor kids," one sighed.
The nurse smiled. "Exactly." She went to talk to the watching cooks. There were four other kids in the school that had peanut allergies.
Sam went back to his seat, looking at Jon. "She'll be okay."
"Good. You're medic trained?"
"We had to learn how to handle most everything not needing the ICU or major surgery. Up to gunshot wounds or something. Xander can do most of that too."
"Wonderful." He smiled. "I need some of those lessons." He got back into his food. Sam too. The nurse came over to hug Sam and walked off. Jon grinned. "She doesn't hate you anymore."
"Nope." He saw Xander walk past the door of the caf and sighed. "He's got Dean's walk down pat now."
Jon snickered. "I wonder how he's getting lunch."
"I'd probably say he'd think she wasn't really nutritious." Jon choked, letting Sam thump him on the back. "Yeah, that's a very Xander thing to do too." Jon moaned, clearing his throat with some milk. He got up to get another glass of it and came back to go back to his eating.
Xander was headed for the door when the principal stopped him. "What did I say about leaving school property?"
"I wasn't. I was in the school all day," he said with a grin.
"I meant for you to go to class." He stared at him. "Not debauch the girls."
Xander raised an eyebrow. "They asked," he said with a small shrug.
"Not the point, Harris. Detention. Now." He pointed.
"Yes, sir." He went that way.
"All week, Harris. And don't do it again!"
"Yup, sure won't. Next time I'll use somewhere better." He walked into detention with a sigh. The teacher glared at him. "That's why I'm here." He sat down.
"You were with my daughter earlier?"
Xander considered that. He had heard rumors. "No. Not that I know of. I think she was on the other side of the third floor. With the cheerleaders. I was helping a few geeks with stuff. Including a role playing session."
The teacher glared. "Shut up." Xander nodded. "Homework."
"I don't have any homework. That I know of." Sam leaned in and handed over a few sheets. "Nark," he said dryly.
"Math teacher said to hand that to you," he quipped with a grin. "I'll start dinner."
"Fine. You can clean the bathroom too, Sam."
"Dean said he did." He walked off.
Xander sighed, looking at the math sheets. He could probably do these before he got to go home.
One of the other guys leaned over next to him. "Role playing? Like kink games?" he hissed.
Xander looked at him. "While I can and I'm fantastic," he said with a grin. "Not this time. That was last night." The guy moaned, sitting up again.
"Harris, I don't want to know what deviant things you get up to with Winchester."
"I've never done more than fall asleep during a movie on his shoulder," he said in a sing-song voice. "I can pick up all the bad girls I want without him."
The teacher glared. "My daughter isn't."
"That's why she was on the other side of the floor."
"She's getting her ass beaten later and so will you."
"No, I was a good boy. Everyone said so."
The teacher glared. "If you were, you wouldn't be in here for the next two weeks."
"MacNash said one."
Xander sighed. But oh well. It was the rest for the wicked he could use. He hadn't been to bed yet.
Dean watched Xander walk in. "What did you do, dude?"
"About four cheerleaders if I heard right," Sam quipped from the kitchen sink.
"Three but we were role playing." He grinned.
"Like kinky shit?" Dean asked.
"The other sort. The kinky kind was last night." He beamed and went to his room then into the bathroom to take a shower. He had enough sweat from other people that it was bad for him.
Sam looked at Dean. "Last night he ended up with a guy and then the guy's sister when she pouted."
Dean nodded. "I'd do that too but it'd have to be two girls. I couldn't handle another guy, even being on top."
Xander leaned out of the bathroom. "Not that much different, Dean." He went back to his shower.
"I didn't need to know that, Xander." Dean sighed, looking at his brother. "You won't do that, right?"
"No, I have sense."
"And condoms?" Dean asked hopefully.
"Whole new box."
"I stole some from the nurse's stash she can't admit to," Xander called. "I ran out."
Sam and Dean shared a look. "He hasn't slept," Sam realized. "That's what that mood means." Dean nodded, finding the tranq darts and loading one up for when Xander got out. They carried him to bed, dumping him in it, and then went to eat dinner. Xander clearly needed the nap to clear his dirty mind.
A few days later, Jon looked at his buddies. Sam was glowing, healthy, looked good. Xander looked pale, wasted, and like crap. "Did you ingest something poisonous?" Jon asked bluntly.
Xander stared at him. "Huh?"
"You're pale. You've lost weight. You're not bouncy. Are you sick?"
"Yeah, I have the flu."
"Huh. Why aren't you home?" Xander pointed at their gun coach. "You can't shoot like this."
"Like hell. I've been in fights like this, I can shoot like this."
Sam reached over to rest his wrist against Xander's forehead, no matter how much he tried to duck. Jon helped him. "I have some aleeve."
"I'm fine. I took some advil." He yawned. Jorge looked at him, scowling. "I'm fine, it's the flu."
"You make the rest of us sick before the next match and I'll hang you by your balls myself."
Xander yawned again. "You're welcome to try if you want to touch them that much," he quipped dryly, staring at him. "I'm fine."
"Fine. Whatever. Don't make the rest of us sick." He went back to his lecture on the range they were going to be shooting at.
"No sniper?" Jon asked.
"No, not this time, boys. Handgun and standing rifle only." They nodded, making notes of the distance. "No scopes."
Xander nodded. "Rough but doable at that distance." The others glared at him. "You don't have a scope with a handgun or in the field and you're usually shooting about that distance." They sighed and looked at Jorge again.
Jon was playing with his hair. His head itched and if he scratched it like he wanted to he'd look like he had lice so he was 'straightening the mess out'. A lot. Sam looked over. "When did you get a gray hair?" he asked quietly, plucking it to hand over.
Jon stared. It was his hair. It was Jack's shade, not his. The Mountain must be doing something because anything weird going on in town was them. After practice he called someone, meeting them at the base's gates. He had Sam pull some of Xander's blood and held it up. "What are you guys doing?"
"We're not doing anything, Jon," Carolyn Lam said. "Why?" John pointed at the gray hairs. "You're very young."
"I didn't get my first gray hair until five years after I met Daniel," he said dryly. "Harris is exhausted for no reason and looks gray. You're doing something."
She considered it. "Sam's running a new shield test." She took him to the infirmary to test his blood and the blood he had pulled for her. "I will not test it for anything else," she told him.
He grinned. "I know."
She ran them both through the system. "Your red blood cells are breaking down incredibly fast. That's not a good thing." She looked at the other sample. Same thing. "Get the other of you three up here. Let's test against his."
"Sam's healthy as an ox." He paged him to call. Sam called and he relayed that order and why. It was only ten minutes from the house to the base. She went up to draw the blood from him and make him wait where he was supposed to. She came back to run it and sure enough his was too. She took it to Sam Carter's lab. "What are you doing that's breaking down red blood cells?"
"I'm not doing anything," she complained.
Doctor Lee, an asshole of epic failure proportions, cleared his throat. "The shield may be miscalibrated and vibrating. That could cause that problem." Carter glared at him.
"I'm sure it's nothing," Carter said.
"Except it's killing Jon O'Neill," Lam told her. "He's having rapid cellular aging." Sam wobbled, sitting down. "His whole group is having it. Shut it down so we can see if that's it?"
"It's nearly done. It'll only take another day and I'm sure it's not that."
Carolyn Lam went over Carter's head, going to the general. She presented her findings and he ordered it shut down when she tested some others' blood and came up with the same problem. Sam went to get Xander for her. She could treat them upstairs. She felt the vibrating restart and looked up. "I'll be damned," she said, calling down there. "General, it's restarted. I can feel it, sir. Shut it off." He hung up and went to do that. "I swear I'm going to beat her." Jack walked in. "I didn't know you were on base, General."
"I got beamed when Landry said there was a problem with Jon. Kid, you okay?" he asked, looking at Xander.
"No. Though I think this is more than the flu." He looked at her. "If this is breaking down red blood cells, would it matter to my hybrid fish DNA taint?" She gasped and checked, nodding. "Okay then I'm going to find a pool. Before I grow gills." He looked at Sam.
"We have an indoor pool at the building, Sam." He stood up and wobbled. He took a deep breath and steadied himself. "Okay, let me do that."
"I'll drive, kid," Jack ordered.
"Fine, I'm getting used to not driving," he said dryly, handing over his keys. Jack took him home and he did dive into the pool, which made him feel better and look healthier. Jack called that in to the doctor. He settled in to watch him in case he did grow gills. That was just freaky and they might have to intervene in this DNA taint problem.
Carolyn Lam walked into the lab an hour later. "Doctor Lee, by order of General O'Neill break the damn thing, now." He nodded and crashed the system then pulled out a critical bit of wiring. "Thank you. Since it nearly killed his clone and others. There's a reported run of anemia at the local hospitals," she told the general who had been arguing with Carter. "I don't care what it is, don't turn it back on. We've already caused a few civilian deaths." She glared at Sam before stomping off.
General Landry looked at her. "I agree. It stays shut off. Permanently until we can figure out what caused that problem and stop it."
"They're just being whiny," she complained.
Doctor Lee zatted her. "Sir, apparently whatever problem was affecting her before is still relevant. She's not usually this evil."
"I agree. Teal'c," he called, knowing he was nearby. Cam stepped in. "Good enough. Get her to the infirmary. She's still infected or whatever."
"Got it, sir." He picked her up and carried her off. A few gave him worried looks but he shook it off. He got into the infirmary and put her on a free bed. "Landry said lock her down, she's still infested." The nurse nodded, getting the restraints to attach her. She woke up enough to struggle but Jon kept her down, glaring at her.
"I'm going to kill your damn ass," he assured her. "No matter how many times you saved mine and Jack's I don't care." She gasped. The nurse and Cam got her strapped down. Jon fell over, being caught by Cam. Who put him back into bed.
"He's definitely the mini general," Cam sighed. He looked over, spotting Sam. "That's a bad sign. Where's your third?"
"In the pool. He was starting to grow gills because his blood count was so low," Sam said bitterly. "I'm not sure we can reverse it."
"We can," Carolyn assured him. "I know some brilliant geneticists. We won't search for whatever else is in there, Sam. Calm down."
"I should call Dad or Dean. If they hear they're going to worry it's demonic," he said, rubbing his forehead. "What is that?"
Cam listened. "Um, special things you can't know but it's technology."
"It's chaotic," Sam corrected. "And it's wobbling. Like sine waves." Jon nerve pinched him, which he'd thank him for later. The vision was much easier to bear, even if he did wake up with a gasp. Cam got him debriefed about it and sent it on. John was having a hell of a year on Atlantis.
One of the other residents walked into the pool house. "Bad date, dear?"
"Something like that," he said, shifting some in the pool. "I can float in a corner if you're doing laps."
"No, I came to check for a towel I'm missing in the locker." She smiled, going in there and coming back out. "Did you get a tattoo on your neck?"
"No, it's from a fight earlier," he sighed. "Just bruising." He smiled. "Some bully picking on a girl."
"That's sweet of you, Xander." She left him and his older friend alone. He clearly had it well in hand.
Jack looked at him. "Doctor Lam said they can remove some of that," he offered.
"Probably. She's doing the preliminary work now." Someone knocked and was let in. "Do we know you?" he asked. All the others in the apartment complex were older, at least in their thirties. This kid was Xander's age.
Jorge looked at him. "Are you going to be too sick for the match?"
Xander shook his head. "I'll manage."
"Jorge, I've been in real battles. Being a bit sick with the flu is nothing to having to guard some villagers while shot. I'll be there."
"Okay. It's tomorrow, you know that, right?" Xander nodded. "And that you'll have to make up the math test?"
"Okay." He left. Xander looked like hell but maybe the water therapy was helping settle his stomach or something.
"Those are not the battles to be in," Jack said quietly. The room echoed a bit.
"Yeah," he sighed. "But it happens." Jack nodded. He kept floating until the doctor got there to take some more blood. "Am I better yet?"
"Slightly." She smiled, using the scanner over him. "You don't see this. You either, General."
"I'm not seeing a single Star Trek thing," Xander assured her. "Or the gills."
She smiled. "They'll probably sink back as soon as your blood count goes up. We can try an infusion."
"With the stuff in my blood, won't that counteract?" Xander asked. "Last one I got hellishly sick."
She read the reading, giving him a horrified look. "How?" He glared. "The scanner read it. Um, no, we probably shouldn't. At least not all at once. We might have to take some of yours to mix and then add it back." She sat down on the bench the general was on. Xander swam over to that side. "We can at least detox some of the taint out."
"I have a team match tomorrow."
"There's no way." He snorted. "It'll take hours."
"I've done it before on no sleep. I can sleep through that, right?" She nodded. "Then there, problem solved. Can we do it now?"
"I have someone getting it ready for me," she promised. "Can you make it that long without the water?"
"I should be fine," he assured her. "I have really good breath control from swimming and this." He gave her a weak smile. She nodded and they helped him out, taking him to the car. She let the general drive while she monitored his readouts. No wonder he never let anyone take his blood. She was worried someone might find out from her. The got him into a chamber filled with yellowish fluid, letting him sink in. They rigged up air masks for over his gills and his face. She ran a dialysis unit into his arm to help and added a pint of blood to mix with it in the machine. Then they started the sedative. Xander gave Sam one look then closed his eyes and let the fluid support him. He felt very X-Men but oh well.
Doctor Lam watched what was going on. It was helping. It was weeding some of that out of his body but the scans said that his liver was putting out more enzymes and antibodies. It wouldn't weed it all out. Thankfully he was breathing through both sources right now. It was helping a lot. She added a vitamin shot to his IV and then some extra protein. He was too skinny. She'd have to talk to him about his diet. The generals stayed to talk about what was going on and why. Landry was amazed at mermaid taint but the reading on it said it was Ancient in design.
Xander wobbled into his shooting match the next day, Sam and Jon behind him.
"You're late," Jorge said.
"I spent all night with a doctor," Jon sighed. "So did Xander. He's still royally anemic." He wouldn't mention the gills if Xander didn't. He had to feel like he was partially suffocating.
"Xander," Jorge said, staring at him. "You can back out."
"I'm fine. It won't take that long." Jorge glared. Xander glared back. "I've had worse. Can we get on with this? I want to go first so I can go home."
"Fine," he agreed. They got them checked in, their weapons checked, and then they did their individual scores. It was a station set up. Each one of them did three stations and then if they were doing handguns they did those. He saw Sam handing Xander some damp papertowels for his neck and sighed mentally. He was in no shape. His shooting was going to be crap today.
Xander narrowed his focus and stared at the target. It was wobbly but he concentrated, squeezing his eyes shut before opening them and taking his shot quickly. He did the same with the other ones. He felt like he was suffocating even though he could breathe. He left once he was done and headed back to the base. Jack was waiting on him to escort him down. He went back into the tank. It was helping a lot. And he could finally really breathe again. He took a deep one and coughed. The gills weren't as effective but he could still breathe. That was better. Even if he was in plastic panties in a glass cube. "I need to get claws for this," he muttered.
Jack O'Neill laughed, shaking his head. "They were Canadian. Ask McKay if you really want some."
"Maybe a new tattoo. I need to get a line fixed anyway," he sighed, letting them put the mask back over his face and put him back down into a nap.
Jon wandered in a few hours later. "Even sick as he was, he still managed to place second."
Jack nodded. "He's not bad." He smiled at him. "It's good to have friends."
"It's real good. Especially ones that take all the crazy women." Jack snickered, shaking his head. "Speaking of?"
"Whatever was infecting her before still is," Doctor Lam said.
"Can we infect her with his taint?" Jon asked. "It seems to make him stronger."
"I'm wondering if he can have her possessed and if that would fight it," Jack admitted.
Carolyn Lam stared at them. "Neither are very sound scientifically." She got back to monitoring Xander. She liked the goofy kid. Especially since he flirted but was nicer than the soldiers about it. She checked, th gills weren't as strong. They were starting to be absorbed. That was a good sign.
Sam opened the door when it was pounded on. "Hi, Dad. Hi, Dean."
"Vampire epidemic?" Dean guessed.
"Something the Mountain did was killing them. They've stopped it." John Winchester relaxed, hugging his son. Dean did the same.
"No Xander?" John asked. "Out on a date, hopefully with someone sane this time?"
"Up at the mountain. With so much anemia, his taint came out."
John stared at him. "Are they detoxing him more?"
"They are and at the same time they're building back up his blood protein level. I don't know why he's been losing weight again. She scowled at me when I told her I've seen him eat almost every single meal."
"Could that be some sort of psychic drain from the transfer?" Dean asked.
Cordelia appeared. "Close. I just figured that part out myself and told her. That doctor has something that will shut down mental abilities damn quick. That way it can break the last link of him to home, which was part of why he was unsettled."
"Dawn?" John asked.
"Willow. She was using him as a safety net, hoping he'd stop her before she went too far." She smiled at Dean, who shrugged. He had heard. "Anyway, that'll cut that link and it'll help him. It was keeping her comatose."
"One of the demons at the school said Wilkins was still trying?" Sam asked. "We haven't had a vision. Is there one coming? Because I'm guessing he's going to have some PTSD nightmares," he said at her dirty look.
"I'm not the All Knowing Oz, Sam. I'm just the messenger."
"Yeah but you usually set off visions and I was hoping you knew if one was coming."
She shrugged. "Could be. No idea." She looked up and nodded then at him. "Jensen has it. Apparently your cousin hates evil bitches as much as you do and Xander loves them." She smiled and left. That had been a neat trick, Xander letting so much of the pack handle things for him. It left him open for the bigger, more heroic things that would get him dead. Again. She walked into Xander's mind to talk to him. "How you doing?" she asked.
"I feel like I nearly turned into a fish," he muttered. "I know that smirk. What's wrong?"
"Have you been paying attention to your trust fund?"
"Not like we've been spending a lot."
"You've been spending way a lot. You used to have more sense."
He stared. "We don't have a lot of extravagant spending, Cordy. Rent, food, car insurance. Cable. And Sam's been buying the food from his paycheck. I checked it last month. I've barely used one percent of it."
She stared at him. "Are you sure?"
"Are you sure you're looking at mine? There probably are other Harris's on this planet."
"No, you never got born here."
"It's a pretty common last name."
She considered that, checking on that. "It's not at the demon bank, where we arranged it."
"That's because I had it moved somewhere more tamper proof and less asking for a small percentage of your soul to write a check."
"Oh! I didn't know you could transfer it that way." He grinned at her. "Did Anya teach you that?"
"No, I knew that before. I taught Anya about money stuff."
"But you never had money."
Xander snickered. "Cordy, honey, I've had a part time job since I was twelve." She gaped. "Not like my parents bought stuff for me."
She sighed, staring at him. "That sucks."
"Yeah, well, I'm better now. Speaking of, when you sent me here, you forgot my storage places in Alameda and Switzerland. And the one in Mozambique."
She gaped. "What was in there?"
"More books mostly. The one in Cali was my comic collection and a few things I managed to salvage from the wreckage. What was that drain?"
"Willow hoping you'd stop her again." He nodded once, looking down. "Dean stopped her, Xander."
"I know. I trusted him to if I died. That's why I told him and Sam about what happened when Tara died."
She smiled. "Here, she's perfectly happy and still a witch."
"I'll make sure John doesn't go near her." She grinned. "Any other words of wisdom?"
Whistler appeared. "I didn't forget anything. They weren't in your name, kid."
"Um, they were in the name I took when I took my first real vision quest, Whistler. The one you wanted me to go on." Whistler gaped then groaned. "Alameda and Switzerland were in my name and the one in Switzerland was in both names. The one in Mozambique was in that name."
Whistler looked and groaned. "We broke the deal." Xander grinned and nodded. "We can revert it."
"The imprint will stay." He stared at him. "I know you're used to dealing with Buffy and Angel, who have one track minds most of the time, but I don't. Give me a little bit of credit, please?"
Whistler looked. "They still exist, for now." He went to grab them and the other stuff the kid would probably ask for since they broke the deal. He put them all in Miami. That way the pack members down there had to oversee it. He checked for other things tainted by Xander's touch and found a lot. He had meddled so much they hadn't been aware of what he had marked as 'his' by psychic print. "Mother fucker," Whistler said, swearing for the first time in a century.
Doyle, Angel's old seer, appeared. "Not quite." He smiled. "The boy has some planning skills, Whistler. They always ignored him for that," he said in his mild Irish accent. "He deserves it with the hell he's been through. So said the Higher Ups. Or else they're mating you with Buffy."
"No way," he complained. "They already bred me once and got a kid."
"A Chaos Childe will cause chaos. What did you expect when one broke the ban on learning about demons?"
"Not this." He let him see all the things. Doyle hummed and smiled at him. "We can't send all this. He'll get into trouble."
Doyle pulled Xander to see. "Which is really yours?"
Xander pointed. "Those. That's why I marked them. Or else I'd have marked the Council's entire library, the armory, and a bunch of other things." He looked at Whistler. "I want the scythe if they're all dead."
Whistler stared at him. "It won't matter."
"I'm giving it to Faith. It's hers anyway. If they won't ever need it again, it should go to her."
Whistler considered it then nodded. "The rest is going to a pack member."
Xander snickered. "If you're sure."
"Some of that will cause hell and havoc."
Xander shrugged. "I don't need artwork." He blew a kiss. "Neat trick with the mermaid taint. Thanks." Doyle shuddered. "Someone had to activate it." He hugged Doyle. "Pass that onto Tara."
"How did you know?" he asked.
"Who do you think led me on my first real quest?"
"That figures," Whistler sighed.
"Would you like a hug?" Xander asked.
"NO!" He banished all that stuff to Xander's new warehouse and then sent Xander back to his body, no matter how much Cordelia cackled.
Doyle smiled. "It's the right choice. Don't forget the scythe. It can't activate her." He disappeared.
Whistler sent it to Xander. He'd find it when he woke up. Then he went to get drunk. His world was ending, so was his job, and he had to deal with a cranky chaos childe. Sometimes his existence sucked.
Xander blinked at the people staring at him. "What?" he mouthed. Jack held up the scythe. "Special mystical weapon. It's going to the rightful owner once I get out of here." He closed his eyes again. It was a good time to work on his guided centering techniques. He kept forgetting to do his meditation. It would help he was sure.
Jack looked it over. "It's a very sweet weapon but very old school." He got a sudden feeling and looked up then at it. He put it on Sam's body. They had her sedated for another brain scan. She started to shriek, fight, and flail as much as she could within the restraints. A dark gray/yellow cloud flowed out of her skin, merging and disappearing into the air. Jack moved the weapon closer to that spot and more came out.
He was sorry she was in pain but if it helped, he'd take it. He missed Carter. Finally, she was sweating, awake, and not struggling. He put it against her forehead, nothing. Against her arm, nothing. One of her hands had to be freed. He ran it all over her, letting the doctor help him. She was finally able to go back to sleep and her scans looked more like they had a few years back. He looked at the kid. "He can do miracles," he said quietly.
"I think that's called surviving what he's been through sometimes," Doctor Lam said quietly.
"Maybe," he agreed. They let them rest for now. Jack found a pretty box for the scythe. He had no idea what it was for but it was a damn good thing in his book. They scanned it for energy residue. Nothing out of the ordinary. So a very odd looking mystical weapon. Whoever was getting it would be very lucky.
Four days later, Faith got a package at the bar she hung out at. She had no idea how they knew she'd be there. She saw the carefully written address. "Xander," she murmured, touching it. She opened the box, looking at the wooden box inside. She pulled it out, then opened it, staring in awe. "The scythe." She ran a hand over it, feeling the tingle. Here she wasn't a slayer, she was a warrior for the Light, but this was still hers and her destiny. She pulled it out to look over.
One of the men around her looked. "That's a bit fancy," he teased with a smile.
She smiled back. "It's special. It used to belong to a group of female warriors. Mystically blessed ones." She kissed the blade and put it back into the box. She got up and took it home. She loved her goofball, idiot Xander. She knew Dean and Sam were out there around him, because they were pack and it felt right, but she couldn't. Not this time. This time, she was clear to find a better reason before she tainted Sam with her old darkness. Maybe if she got released some day but not now. For now, she had to stop the evil shits in the world.
The twins shared a look and saluted each other with their drinks. Finding the lost little one fighting for her life had been the best thing they had eve accomplished. She was wicked and helped them in their God-given quest like it was her own.
Xander stopped his running, leaning down to pant, looking around. Someone was watching him. He could feel it. Had for the last few blocks. He scanned the area, finding his pack mate. He walked over to them. "You were the one Whistler sent my stuff to?"
"How did you get some of that?" Don Flack asked.
"Presents from dates."
"Some of it is now a duplicate," he said dryly.
"I don't need art, Don." Don relaxed and grinned. "You can send it to a museum or something. Say it got left to me and I'm only sixteen. You're handling that for me. I'm sure Sam cam draw up some good papers." He gave him a hug. "How have you been?"
"Good. We switched with Miami for a bit to keep the drama down. Danny said hi, sent a hug." Xander grinned. "Are you supposed to be out alone?"
"I'm perfectly fine, Don. You know I can handle myself."
"I know but you've just been sick. Sam kept us informed."
"I'm fine. It's all good again." Don nodded and they walked off together. Don drove him back to the complex and they went to go talk about what was in the new warehouse. Xander gave a girlish squeal when his comics were found. Dean shook his head but he'd get over the geek love. They figured out what to do with the rest, so Don called Horatio and faxed down those new fake papers.
Horatio knew art people and he could hand those over for him. Donating them to a local museum. Who would probably say they were very good fakes and market them that way. Though one might actually be the original that was stolen and a fake left in its place. If any were stolen, the museum would be contacted and could hand it back. It would lead to less of a paper trail because if they were stolen there was no way Xander could have done it.
The important stuff, like the comics, got shipped up to a place Xander found in DC that had dry documents storage. Humidity controlled and all that. Xander had it stored properly but Miami just didn't have a document capable storage area. The rest was clothes, money, mystical things, books, and some more weapons. Thankfully the real weapons were hidden among the other things so Horatio couldn't find them and take them.
The stuff that needed to come out would get shipped the next day. The other stuff went to the rented place in DC. That was better and kept Horatio from having a headache. At least until Danny asked the weapons question. Xander pretended very well not to know what he was talking about. They all stared at him but John gave his son a visual order to sort them out on Xander and hand them to the rest of the pack. Before the idiot got in trouble.
Don showed Sam and Xander a bit more about cooking. He had been doing his own for years. He could do more than fry things and make pasta. So it was a good dinner and pack bonding moment. Don got the center spot on the couch between Xander and Sam. The pack was starting to pull back together and they were happier that way. Xander could start to fuss over his pack. Though Don was going to tell Danny Xander was skinny again. Danny could fuss like any good Italian mother could, and he had the drama queen tendencies to pull off the drag too if he wanted.
Sam looked at the new clothes that had appeared in Xander's room thanks to the stuff in Miami. Then at Xander. "Do you not own single colored shirts?"
Xander stared at him. "You've known me for how long, Sam?"
"Over ten years." Dean gave him an odd look. "I met him when he was post grad on his road trip the first time. He saved me from the succuba and I saved him from the truck driver." He looked at Xander, who was snickering. "I didn't recognize you the next time I saw you. Took me almost three weeks."
"You were kinda drunk, Sam."
"Good point." He smiled. "You need single color shirts. Not the ungodly eyesores."
"Are you possessed by Cordelia?" He stared at him, looking into his eyes. "Get out of him before you turn him from Sam into you." Sam swatted him with a scowl. "Are you sure? I can pull her out, Sam."
"I'm positive. I don't know how you got women with those ugly shirts." Xander held up the leather pants with a grin. Sam stared at him. "No, those got you stalked."
"Stalked, dating, same thing with some of my women," Xander quipped, hanging them up.
Sam kept unpacking the clothes. He knew that the weapons were hidden somewhere. He just couldn't find them. Dean came in and stared then whimpered. "Dad, we need to make Xander go guy shopping."
"Men don't shop, Dean," Jon called from the living room. John Winchester laughed. He came in to look and stared. He looked at Xander. "You still managed to get laid in those?" Xander held up the leather pants again with a smirk. "So that's why the evil women came for you." Sam and Dean both nodded. Jon walked off shaking his head. "His closet is worse than some tropical birds."
"Doesn't surprise me," John sighed. "Sammy, you can drag him shopping if you want." He was girly enough to like the mall. Sam came out glaring at him. "What?"
"Holiday shopping season is starting." John shuddered. Jon walked off muttering about bell ringers.
Dean nodded. "I'm with him. There's no way I want to hit a mall right now."
Xander looked at them. "I only need some more underwear. Really." He got into the other box of clothes, which was patrol clothes. They'd fit. They were mostly tighter and darker. And a few more pairs of leather pants since it tempted vampires to bite him.
Dean reached into the box for another pair of jeans to be hung up and found a box had been included. He held it up with a smirk. "Nice try, Xander."
"I think that's the only one in there. Horatio would've sorted out any I had stored there."
"Yeah, because he would've paddled you," Sam quipped. He took it to look over. "Let me send this to Jensen." He looked up where he was this time, finding him off in the Middle East. He went to the local UPS store and sent it off with a note. Then he went home with a stop for a few pizzas. Neither of them wanted to cook tonight and John was starting to nag about Xander's weight too. That would fix that.
Four days later, Jensen was in the bar when the bartender handed him the package with a dirty look. "I didn't ask for this," he said, looking it over. The name in the sender's spot and town was all he needed to know. It went into his pocket. It was a very small whatever it was, which meant he knew what it probably was. When his shift of watching the idiot ended in favor of Pooch's, he went back to the safe house, opening the package to look inside. "Sweet and pretty. Thank you, Sam."
Clay looked over. "You got something shipped here?"
"No, Sam found it in Xander's stuff and sent it." He pulled it out, letting him see it.
"It's a miniature of an artillery case?" Clay looked confused. "Are you doing some sort of army dollhouse for your niece?" Jensen put it down and opened it with a wicked smirk. Clay gaped as it grew into a full sized one. He stared then at Jensen. "Put that shit away."
"It'll be in my pack if we ever need it." He closed it and locked it, making it shrink again. "This is how Xander used to travel with enough for a battle troupe." He put it in with his spare glasses.
"Who has his now?" Clay asked. "I can't say he might not get pissed at high school."
"John Sheppard. He's part of O'Neill's thing and a pack member." He grinned. "He made Xander hand it over." Cougar walked in so he held up the little box. Cougar smiled a bit, nodding some. "Sam found it. They forgot some of Xander's stuff at home and got it sent. So his comics are probably somewhere." Cougar nodded that was probably true.
"Geeks with major artillery, we're all doomed," Clay muttered.
"Hey!" Jensen complained. "I'm a bigger geek than Xander or Sam ever will be." He went back to his computer to check on the status of things he had been searching before. When Roque came in, Clay told him about the miniature artillery case but he didn't seem to get it. Roque stared when Clay made Jensen show him. Then it got put back and Roque went to get a bottle to drain. That had killed his brain. They might need that some day when taking down some really big evil bastard. So Clay would let it stay with them for now.
He did remind Jensen to remind the kid they were not allowed to have that in Colorado Springs.
Now, if they ran into Aisha again, and she needed something huge to save them, it was on hand.
John Sheppard got called back for a yearly evaluation of their mission, not really liking it. As soon as he got back, had his phone turned on, and he was comfortably sitting a message rang in. That has to be one of the boys. There was no way a cellphone signal got forty stories underground without magic. He read it. "Sam," he sighed. He answered back too. He couldn't do dinner tonight but he didn't need a soft sleeping spot either. He had on-base housing for the next week. He'd see them in a few days. Sam sent a smiley face back and left him alone. The general stared at him. "Sam making sure he didn't have to clean up their spare room for me."
"You can go off base if you want, Colonel," Landry assured them.
"I know, sir. I said I'd show up later this week. They didn't want to cook tonight." Landry snorted, but was smiling slightly. "You guys have worked out all the problems?"
"Mostly. Especially when he was in our infirmary for a shield mishap that brought forward his DNA taint."
John stared. "That's behind super encryption, even from our geeks, right, sir?"
"It is, Sheppard. No notes were made beyond the DNA taint, which was apparently Ancient in design. I had her send some to Doctor Keller to look over."
"So that's what she was swearing at."
"Quite probably." He got into the notes they had to go over and things they had to talk about in the next two weeks. It sucked but Atlantis needed stuff and it was getting expensive out there.
Xander walked into the gym, watching John Sheppard and Dean spar. John Winchester had went home again after nothing had happened on Halloween, beyond his migraine at Sam and Xander going out in Rocky Horror outfits - Sam had lost the bet. "It's nice to see Athena's boys at play," he quipped.
John stopped to stare at him then at Dean, who translated that remark. "Would that be why I was a bit better before all that happened?" he asked.
Xander nodded with a smirk. "Yeah. You're like the male version of Buffy and Faith."
"So, Buffy," John quipped at Dean.
"I'm not that short," Dean complained. "Or an airhead." Xander cackled. They shared a look and pounced Xander, who could probably use the work. He and Sammy hadn't been sparring as much recently. Xander was still good but John was better. That was to be expected though because Xander excelled in weapons and John was a weapon. For a normal guy Xander was really great. That thought made him drop the comparison because he was not going to start thinking like her. Xander hugged him. "What did I do to get that?" he complained, getting free.
"You had that 'he's normal' look," he said with a sad grin.
"I did and then I banished it because so am I really." He shrugged. "No hugging, Xander. Guys don't hug."
"Shut up," John complained, letting Xander hug him. "There's plenty of manly reasons for hugs."
"Yeah but I wasn't injured, we weren't just in a battle, and he didn't save my life or me his," Dean quipped back.
"No, I think this is the 'thank you for cooking tonight' hug," John teased, getting a grin and a nod back from Xander. They went back upstairs, John indeed starting dinner. "Xander, when did you get the other leather pants?"
"Had them for a while," Xander said. "Why?" John stared at him with a smirk. So he knew some of his artillery was now gone. He shrugged. "Horatio and Danny packed it so I can have those."
"No. Hell no."
"I might need them. They're saying we're going to have a problem within two years," Dean sighed. John glared at him. "We might need them. You can leave them down here."
"I don't know anyone down here who wouldn't turn them in. Including the pack members."
"They're all too far away anyway," Xander said. "If something happens here, we'll need it *then* not the next day."
John stared. "No," he said slowly and clearly.
"Tough," Xander said with a smirk. "Hand 'em back."
"They're already on base," he said smugly. "I checked each and every pocket before you go looking." Xander sighed and found a book, using his small magical gift to summon them. "What the hell!" John complained. "When did you start doing that?"
"When I got here." He smirked. "Some of us don't trust the military to be there for demon things in a *good* way so therefore they're going back in the closet."
"You can't have those. They're bad for you," John said firmly.
"By Sam's last vision, we'll need some in six months," Xander said.
"Yes, he will, let him keep them, he's got them hidden," Whistler yelled. "And quit arguing. Just screw already."
Xander looked up. "They don't like me that way, Whistler. Sorry. We aren't that sort of pack." He waved with a grin. He went to put those back and checked on his other hidden things. John hadn't looked for those. So those were still secure and his books with hollowed out secret spots were still good too. So he'd be fine in case of any apocalypse. He went back out there. "We should have the next one covered," he said, spotting Sam.
"We'll need some ground burning."
Xander nodded. "I'm in chemistry and I can probably snatch some stuff to make some ground burner." Sam grinned.
"If not, we could," John said dryly. "We can help."
"You guys are going to be busy with your own thing," Sam said with a small shrug. "We definitely don't want to encourage anyone to start an Initiative mess again so we'll handle it as quietly as we ever could."
John nodded. "Sounds like normal, yeah," he sighed, cracking up Dean. "What about Cas?" he asked Dean. He went back to chopping.
"I haven't seen him."
"I saw him once," Sam admitted. "He was across the street staring at me oddly. You remember that look where he was upset that you had managed to sidestep a plot and he didn't know how?" Dean nodded, smirking some. "That look. Plus a bit pouty."
Xander looked up. "You could tell him that since they remember he could just show up," he offered. "We let him hang with the pack before." He waved a hand in the air. He looked at John. "Pasta salad stuff?" John nodded. "Is that like the one they fed us at school the other day?"
"Not quite." He pulled him over to show him what he was doing. Sam sat down at the counter to watch too. He grinned, letting them help where they could. They were learning pretty well so far. Someone knocked. "That's probably McKay by that rapid beat."
Dean got it. "Hey, Cas." He let him and McKay in. "Yours too, John."
"Hey, guys." He waved the knife. "Castiel, long time no see," he said dryly.
Castiel looked at Xander. "How did you warp them?"
"My pack in my world did a psychic imprint when they missed me and heard," he said, grinning at his pack members.
"This is definitely not in the plans."
"The demon's dead," Dean said. "So no Sammy going to hell or me."
Castiel smiled at him. "Thank you."
"We got warned there were other plots," Sam said. John growled. Sam grinned at him. "We'll Xander them."
"I'm a verb now?" Xander asked. "I thought I was an adjective or something." John laughed, shoulder nudging him, getting one and a grin back. Jon O'Neill shook his head quickly. "It was one of my best talents back in Sunnydale. I warped prophecies all the time."
"Yes, he did," Dean said dryly.
Castiel sighed, looking at Xander. "This has overbalanced our realm."
Xander smirked. "My Powers gave me to yours as a present after they killed me."
Castiel blinked a few times. "They do not like each other," he agreed. "I'm not totally surprised they would do that. How is your realm?"
Xander gave a one-sided shrug. "I heard Willow stopped the apocalypse and Dean stopped her," he said simply, staring at him. "I can't help there any more."
Castiel stared at him. "We can find you a destiny."
"I've already got visions, Cas. I'm helping Sam with his training. I'm training to handle things since you guys don't have slayers." Castiel moaned, shaking his head. "Or Dawn at the moment." Castiel stared at him, mouth slightly open. "She's still going to awaken here."
Castiel nodded. "Is she coming to you?"
"Their dad." He grinned. "Or Rodney as a backup protective spot."
"No way in hell," John said dryly.
"Can't stop them if they do move the Key there," Xander reminded him. "It'll mostly seem normal to you."
John stared at him. "War zone. She'd be a kid."
"They could make her a refugee that you guys have to take in," Xander quipped. He stared at him. "You're the backup after Dean and Sam's dad. That John and then you."
"Then we'll have to make sure his father is ready to handle that," Rodney decided. "Because I couldn't. One sister is enough." They all smiled at him. "Please?" he asked.
"If at all possible," Castiel said.
"Are you over that mess?" Rodney asked.
"No, he's an angel," Sam said with a grin. One who had a serious crush on his brother but he was okay with that. Cas glared at him. He just smiled back. "You do."
"I do not."
Rodney was spluttering. Jon O'Neill led him into the bathroom and shut him in. That way he could throw a fit in peace and quiet, for all of them. Xander handed Jon a beer to hand to him too. They shared a grin and got back to their cooking lesson.
Castiel looked at Dean. "Be more careful?"
"Hey, all the evil chicks can be drawn to Xander now," he said dryly. "And his evil leather pants."
"Leather pants aren't evil unless your name is Angelus," Xander said dryly.
"He's in DC," Castiel said. "Though he has his soul still," he said when Xander stared him down, knife in hand. "We do not believe the curse will be broken."
"If so he's mine."
"Of course," Castiel agreed. He knew not to get in between Xander and a fight. The last time he had gotten broken ribs and a cracked pelvic bone when the demon tried to hide behind him.
John nuzzled Xander's temple with his chin. "Calm down. He goes psycho vampire here, you'll handle it," he said quietly. Xander nodded, relaxing again and helping chop up things. "I think they're tiny enough, Xander." He took the knife. "Fill the biggest pot you have with water so I can do pasta."
"Do we have that much pasta?"
"I got some last week," Sam said.
"I had some last night."
"Dude, do you have tapeworms?" Jon complained. "And now I'm sounding like Sam," he sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. Sam and Dean cackled.
"I didn't say fuck nearly as often before I met them either," Xander said. He looked. "Jon, go get pasta," he said, tossing him his keys. Jon nodded, going to do that.
"Get rotini or penne," John called. "And good oil or real butter please." He got back to the dressing. It was a simple oil and vinegar salad dressing. The boys were still fascinated.
Rodney opened the door, drinking his beer. "If you're an angel, prove it."
Castiel looked at him. "The next apocalypse battle you'll be in down here won't end you but you'll have a few days in the hospital where you wish it was so from the broken leg and arm. Like the last time something tried to hide behind me and got me injured, so shall you when something's hiding from Xander. He'll pick you up and use you as a shield but he'll bang you around a bit."
Rodney gaped. "Well, damn it!" he complained, closing the door again. "That doesn't prove it, just that you have visions. I know Sam and Xander aren't angelic."
"Not by any means," Sam agreed smugly. "Especially not Xander." Xander just blinked his big brown eyes at him with a smug grin. "Did you really do triplets?"
Castiel shook his head. "You should try celibacy, Xander. The Lord likes it in his warriors."
"Then he gets more edgy and bouncy," Dean and John complained.
Dean smirked at him. "How did you find out?"
Xander shrugged. "It had been two weeks. I was at the twitchy stage of needing to get it out of me. That's why apocalypse sex is always the best sex there is. Even better than makeup sex or sorry I nearly killed you sex."
John covered Xander's mouth. "Don't share." He let him go and got back to work, making Sam snicker.
"He'd have to compare," Rodney said, coming out to stare at them. "Are you sure he's not a Sheppard?" he asked his teammate.
"There's days I'm not sure I'm not a Winchester since they attract all the evil ones," John quipped with a grin. Jon came back, handing over the bag of stuff. "Thanks, O'Neill." He checked, the water was almost boiling so he put the two boxes aside for a few minutes. He got everything else into the saute pan and worked it over until the water boiled. "Toss in some salt, a bit of oil, and then the pasta," John ordered. The boys did that and Sam came closer to see what sauteing was. "It's a higher heat, like stir frying." The smoke detector went off and Xander went to wave a towel below it. John looked at the pan. "It's not smoking."
"The thing goes off with the toaster," Xander said dryly. "I like the amenities but otherwise there's problems with that and the stove."
"It only goes to one temperature," Sam told them.
"You have maintenance, have them fix it," Rodney said.
"We asked, they said it'll take months," Xander said. The smoke detector went off again so he went to turn it off. Still going off so battery backup. He pulled that and put the battery on the counter. "I'll reinsert that later." They got back to making dinner. "Cas, staying? I think we have enough bowls but you might have to have a cool whip bowl."
"No, I'll head back to tell them that you're handling things well and making the local areas safe."
Xander smiled. "I still have visions too."
"Just don't lose your leg this time," Sam said quietly. "That scared the hell out of us, Xander."
Xander gave him a hug. "I don't plan on losing it or my eye this time, Sam. Calm down about it." Sam nodded, giving him a cuddle back.
"Aww," Dean sighed. "You two could hook up."
"Never had gay sex, Dean. Don't think it'd be all that fun."
"Well, I can make it fun," Xander said dryly. "But he's not evil, Dean."
"Good point." He considered it.
Castiel looked at him. "No." Dean shrugged. The angel smiled. "I'll see if we have a nice girlfriend for both of them somewhere. Some of the other angels are very good at matchmaking." He disappeared. Once back in heaven he shook his head quickly until he made himself dizzy. Xander drove him insane at times. He needed a guardian angel, all of them felt that pull, but chaos children didn't get them. It was forbidden. He went to the other angels to warn them that their plans were already lost and to get help finding Xander someone decent to sleep with. Before he got ...twitchy again.
Dean looked at Sam. "Jensen could probably hack you a good copy of the Joy of Gay Sex," he offered.
"I read that back in fifth grade, didn't appeal then," Sam quipped back. "I like how women taste and feel." Xander sighed and nodded. "He's less discriminating, talk to him about that, Dean."
"I've only slept with about five guys, Sam."
"And how many women?" Jon asked.
Xander mentally counted. "Fifteen? Something like that?"
"So a quarter," Dean said. He could do that math. "We'll try to find you a nice, slightly evil gay guy, Xander. One the pack would appreciate you being with."
John shrugged. "As long as he's happy and whoever doesn't try to screw things up." The brothers nodded that was good with them too.
"I'm still learning the whole way of the pack," Jon said. "I know we have protective sorts, geek sorts, and Xander, who's both and then some."
"Even our geeks are protective sorts," John said with a smile for him. "Jensen can kick some ass. So can Sam. So can Xander. The least able to protect themselves are actually the CSI among us."
"Speed doesn't even like guns," Xander agreed. "Danny's not perfectly fond of his either."
"Don can probably brawl pretty well," Dean offered. "Danny too with where he grew up." They all nodded. "No clue on Ryan or Speed."
"I don't imagine either one got more than bullied in school," Sam sighed. "But we protect the more geeky members anyway. Ryan, Speed, Danny, and Don are more support staff if we have a problem. Gather information, scout the locations sort. Make sure things are handled around the base camp usually falls to them too."
"Don can use a sword if he has to," Xander said. "Speed too. Ryan took a few lessons but then we had that damn apocalypse of yours so I didn't get too much time with him. Or Danny. Or Speed really."
"They can take lessons on their own," John said, looking at him. "Quit stressing."
"Yes, dear." He blew a kiss with a grin. "You make a good bronze flier."
John smirked back. "Thanks." O'Neill looked so confused. "Heard of the Pern series?"
"Slightly from a geek on the hockey team. Dragons and riders, fighting some nasty, acidic parasite from a comet?" They all nodded, most smiling.
"We decided the pack really does seem more like a weyr," John told him with a smile. "With Xander and Sam as our queen riders since they fuss at things."
"Hey," Sam complained.
"You are," Dean assured him with a pat on the shoulder. "I'd be a brown rider. So would Jon probably." John nodded.
"David in Las Vegas would probably ride a blue since we never really see him and he never gets sex," Xander sighed. "Greens go into heat because they're female too. So that would be a good spot for Danny and Speed and Ryan. Or browns. Don would definitely be a bronze or a brown rider." John nodded. "Which would leave you and Tony, who do the most organizing and leading stuff with me, as bronze."
John smirked and nodded. "That's about how we figured it out too. We each come with our own fighting wing of helpers and all that too."
"Yeah, most of you do." Dean grinned. He looked at Jon. "I have some of the books if you want."
"I might not mind." Sam got him one and handed it over.
Rodney shook his head. "That was my idea for the record."
"It was. He used his giant brain when I was stressing over things from the first visit," John agreed. Xander gave him a hug. "Stir the pasta and taste test it." Xander did and nodded, letting Sam set their colander out so they could drain the pasta. Then John added the butter, the dressing, the vegetables, and stirred the pasta back into the mixture. Xander got the sprinkle cheese out. "You won't need that," John assured him. He got down bowls and sure enough, one of them had to use a cool whip bowl but that was fine with them. They didn't expect formal china at Xander's house. It'd get broken too fast.
The house was full so the pack was on the floor on the pillows. Jon's house had a water leak. He was in the guest room. Rodney had collapsed on the couch after a movie. He had fallen asleep sitting up but they were nice enough to help him lay down and take off his loafers for him. Dean wasn't sharing his bed with *anyone*, even the pack. The 'pack bedroom' smelled funny so they were on the pillows. John was watching the youngest two cuddle and snore on each other, with a bit of drooling from Sam.
He smiled, shifting. The boys pounced him to use him as a pillow to snore and drool on instead. It was...comforting. Nice in a lot of ways. He felt safe. Because he knew anything that might come here would wake Xander up and he'd be in a *very* cranky mood. John was still thinking about that whole 'pack/weyr leader' thing but it was in the back of his head. He wasn't around often enough. He was farther away than everyone else in the group.
At least Dean popped around a lot to check on the boys. Tony did when he could get away from Gibbs. The Miami/New York group was all together, hopefully they got pack bonding time too. David was a few hours away in Las Vegas but they had only gotten emails and phone calls from him. He had called earlier to bitch about his coworkers being nosy and things being political of all things in his lab. The boys promised to show up one weekend to scare his coworkers straight, which made him cackle. Probably a bad sign but oh well.
John was listing all the things that they could still use in the pack. Standardized medical care instead of field work came to mind. Sam was smart, maybe he'd go to medical school? They could use a legal fund but they had plenty of officers and CSI in the group. And Alexx, who could make any judge cry and then them if they had to visit a judge. Xander moaned in his sleep so John stroked a hand over his hair, getting a nuzzle back for it. Xander fell back into a deeper sleep, without the nightmare.
They really did need to give the boys some more support. It was good for them. It would keep Xander from nagging the teachers back when they started on his soda intake again. There was a letter from the school board reminding Xander that sodas were not welcome in their schools. Xander and Rodney had drafted one back about the benefits of caffeine in his system, including that he was less evil when he had some. The principal could probably attest to that. Though he had no idea about the sleeping gas incident it mentioned. John yawned, letting himself drift off again. Yeah, this was nice. They just had to work out those last few things....
to part 5
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