John waited, watching his son walk into the bar he was waiting in. "Grades?" he demanded.
"Yes, I do have some," he said with a smug look. "Even with a week in-school suspension." His father grimaced. "I still kept my 4.0." He held it up with a smug look.
"Good job," he said quietly, taking it to look over. "Xander?"
"Three-five. He was amazed he got B's. He thought a few were pity grades."
"Who knows. It could be." He looked around. "He's not with you?"
"No. He's going to help Helena stop something."
John grimaced. "I wish he wouldn't."
"So do I but he'll stop in New York and Miami on the way."
"Tell the other pack members to talk him out of it?"
"I have but I'm hoping he doesn't change his plans."
"Who's watching the apartment?"
"Jon." John nodded at that. "That way he can move somewhere nicer too."
"Probably a good idea. How long is he going to be gone?"
"That depends on what he's sneaking off to do and how long she'll put up with him in her way." He sat down. "Dean?"
"Is he old enough to be in here?" the bartender called.
"I'm not drinking," Sam called back. "So yes." He looked over. "We're leaving shortly."
"Fine. That means he can't drink no more either." He walked off.
John paid his tab and left with his son. Who had Xander's car. "He didn't need it?"
"Then maybe Tony can stop him."
"Maybe. He might visit him too. I'm not real sure. I warned them all though."
"Good." He looked at his son across his hood. "Hotel's up the road."
"I've already got a room, Dad. You're predictable in some ways." He grinned and got in to drive there.
John rolled his eyes. His son was a geek and a pain in the ass. Mary would've wanted him spanked more. He drove back to the motel, settling in to talk to his young, strange son. Xander's warning about losing him was still very clear in his mind. He didn't want that.
Xander walked up to the crime scene, which was where he knew one of his pack was. "Aww, you're back in New York finally?" he teased when he saw Don.
Don stared then smirked. "Yup. Back where I belong with the scumbags doing bad things to people. You should not be here."
"You're on the way to my hotel." He pointed. "You're just a scenic attraction."
Don snorted. "Who told you?"
"The desk sergeant." He grinned. "Still, I'm up the street." He walked around the tape, spotting the watching CSI. He blew a kiss and winked at one then smirked at Don. "Pick up a pizza and I'll pay for half?"
"I can do that. Where?"
"Cool." Don made note of that, watching him walk off. He saw the nosy CSI staring at him. "That's Xander," he said quietly.
"Oh," Mac said, nodding slightly. "He seemed decent enough."
"Mostly." He smiled. "I'll be with him tonight to catch up."
"That's fine. Danny's on until nine if you wanted to bring him." He got back to work.
Don got back to his canvassing. It didn't take long for the usual 'I didn't see anything' from the New Yorkers to win the day so he got to go back to his desk fairly quickly. He started the preliminary paperwork on the new case and finished up some last paperwork waiting on him so he could go to dinner.
He did pick up something he knew Xander would like. He was a guy, he didn't eat froofy things on his pizza. Even if he was from lower California. Plus, if Don picked it up there wouldn't be a repeat of that shrimp and scallop 'pizza like creation' that they had sampled one night. He called Danny while he was waiting for the pizza to get done. "Xander's in town." He grinned. "Hilton. 2398. I'm picking up one now. Yup. I heard. Later." He hung up.
The waitress smiled and handed over his pizza, making him a happy detective. He carried it out to the car and finished the relatively short drive - traffic in New York could make a single block trip take thirty minutes. The hotel's security wasn't out so nothing bad was going on. He found Xander's room and was greeted by a black eyed young man. "You got mugged?" he asked dryly.
"Someone tried really hard," he said dryly, letting him in. "Didn't get any cash."
"Did they stab you?" Don asked. "They like to do that you know." Because Xander wouldn't say anything if they didn't ask.
"One tried. It's embedded in his arm." He shrugged, pulling out money to pay Don back before they sat down to talk. When Danny showed up, things got happier and he got to cuddle in too. Pack cuddles were always a great thing. Xander even ordered a movie and it was great. They relaxed, chatted, bad-talked Sam's nagging efforts with Jensen. What they usually did.
The next morning, Danny was in Mac's office, staring at him. Don joined him a few minutes later with a folder, making it look like it was work related. "Xander's ... we told you about him," Danny said.
"You did," Mac agreed. "Is this about something ahead he may know?"
"Yeah," Don agreed, handing over the folder and sitting down.
"As much as it forged you into a stronger, different man, Mac, we don't think anyone should go through something like that," Danny said quietly.
Mac read over the printed report. He swallowed. "Claire's office is talking about buying a new one there," he said.
"We know," Don agreed.
"You told me once you were on the phone with her when she was hurrying down the stairs, Mac," Danny said. Mac looked at him. "It changed you. A lot."
Mac closed the folder. "I have no idea how I can use this, guys."
"If she's got any pull, tell her to fight the move there. To go anywhere else," Don offered. "Or at least make her stay home that day."
Mac swallowed again, nodding. "Thank you." They nodded and left. He called his wife down for lunch, mentally debating things. It wasn't just his wife's life on the line. There were thousands of other lives affected, if not the whole world. She showed up for the early lunch, all smiles and happy. At least until he hugged her as hard as he could.
She looked at him. "What happened?"
"Your bosses need to not move to the Twin Towers buildings," he said quietly. "I've heard from a few agent friends who've said there's been some underground chatter of an attack." She gaped. He stared at her. "They're trying to stop it, trying very hard to stop it, but..."
She bit her lip then nodded. "All right. Is this a serious threat?"
"Not for this year but in a few years. The groundwork is being laid."
"There hasn't been an attack on US soil since World War II, Mac," she said.
He shook his head. "There was that small attack on the UN."
"I forgot." She sat down. "We have to tell people."
"If it gets out in general knowledge, they'll just switch targets and dates, Claire. Otherwise I would've been making a press conference an hour ago."
"I know you would. You've always protected the city."
He smiled sadly. "You're the only thing I'm protecting, Claire. The city has other heros to help them." She kissed him. He held her, just cuddling for now while they talked about what needed to be done with her bosses.
An hour later, Claire went back to work to talk to her bosses. "Sir," she said as she walked into the CEO's office. "May I have a moment? It's very important."
"About an account, Mrs. Taylor?"
"No, sir." She shut the door and walked over to his desk. "Due to my husband's former covert service, some agents have let him know about some talk that's been going on in the underground areas. Something they're trying very hard to stop." He nodded slowly. "Because he's a CSI, he's been told in case anything happens here. So they can be warned and he can tell the higher ups." She swallowed. "The chatter, and this is in complete privacy because I'm not supposed to know, is that there's a planned attack in a few years on the Twin Towers buildings."
He stared then burst out laughing. "There's not been an attack...."
"Since the bomb in the parking garage of the UN last year, sir. And the Towers are in the same complex."
He stopped laughing to stare at her. "How sure is he?"
"All he could tell me is that there has been some underground chatter. Agents are looking into it to stop it. He was worried enough that he spent all his lunch hour just holding me."
"So this may be a credible threat but they're working to stop it," he said. She nodded. "This year?"
"Few years," she admitted. "They were saying something about the next election." She put her hands behind her back, clasping them. "I don't know all the details, sir, but there's every chance that we'd be moved in by then. We'd be very high up and that's an awful lot of stairs if they try to bring down the building. Plus we do have three wheelchair bound workers."
He stared at her. "Thank you." She nodded and left. He had friends among the higher ups. He went to talk to them. They hadn't heard anything yet but it was easy enough to call Detective Taylor up to talk to them.
Mac walked into the meeting room. "I was going to show up after shift tonight, sirs."
"Do we have that sort of time to wait?" the mayor asked.
"Yes, sir. The information we have says it'll happen in 2001 if we can't stop it."
"What sort of information do we have?" the police commissioner asked.
"You know that small piece of Manhattan that no one wants to patrol in, sir?"
"Unfortunately. I did a stint down there."
"Something from that type of area ended up with information from...somewhere else."
"And we're trusting this?" he pressed.
"Yes, sir, because I'm told that agents have verified the start of a plan." His boss shuddered. "They've gotten enough on the terrorist organization to say that yes it's a likely threat and they're working on eliminating it."
"Terrorists like the IRA?" the mayor asked.
"No, sir, terrorists like in the Middle East," Mac admitted.
"Why tell someone else first?" the mayor asked.
"Because, sir, my wife works in a firm that's planning on buying office space there." He stared at him. "I have to protect my wife before I do everyone else. Also, coming to you after hours would've meant a quiet meeting that no one would've wondered about in someplace like Charlie's backroom."
"You told your wife before us?" the mayor demanded.
"Shut up," the commissioner said, staring at Mac. "I would too. A man takes care of his family and then the city." Mac nodded. "And it's a good idea to have this done more quietly. What information do we have exactly?" Mac handed over that folder. He read it, going pale and shuddering. "That's an interesting name attached." He looked at Mac. "Good job planning on doing this quietly. We do have time to work on this." Mac nodded. "Does anyone else know?"
"Don Flack and Danny Messer's friend was the courier between the quiet agents and me. They both know. They know not to go on a talk show, sir. We all know not to cause a panic."
"Agreed. Is there any chance it will be fully stopped?" he asked, handing the folder back.
"Yes. I'm told the team that got sent to gather intel and stop this is very good. They've done this sort of work before." The commissioner nodded, relaxing some. "There's others who may be joining in to help once their own critical assignments are done."
"Good." He looked at the mayor then at Mac. "We needed to make plans after last year anyway," he decided.
"Yes, sir, and if I have to that day, I'll call in a bomb threat," Mac admitted. "Just so we don't have that happen that badly."
"Agreed." He smiled. "For that, I wouldn't investigate too hard." Mac smiled slightly. "Are you all right?"
"I'm told my wife was on the stairs when the second plane hit, talking to me." He swallowed again. "I don't want that to happen to anyone's family, sir. Even if I have to reup and go over to help that team, I will do my best to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone's family."
"Good, Taylor." He smiled slightly. "We'll be setting a meeting in three weeks. I know you're barely settled into the lab dictatorship role. We'll need you there because your people have substantial training in certain areas."
"I was thinking that they should do some S&R training, sir."
"That's not a bad idea," he agreed. "Might help with casework too." He smiled. "Relax. The whole NYPD is going to stop this, Taylor. Even the bitter, old sorts who have enough PTSD to open fire in their precinct wouldn't want this."
"Thank you, sir." He left.
The commissioner looked at the mayor. "I didn't know you weren't running for reelection."
"I had planned on it," he said dryly.
"That I don't know." He leaned his elbows on the table. "How bad?"
"That was a newspaper clipping from 2004 in remembrance."
"Jesus," he muttered, crossing himself. "So what do we do?"
"Right now, we come up with an executive emergency plan. I talk to some people in a few years to make sure that the plot has been stopped."
"I know you wanted to retire."
"I do," he agreed. "But even if I'm on a beach in Hawaii, I'll be here that day." He stood up. "Let me start drafting out ideas. We'll meet in three weeks at two?"
The mayor nodded. "I can do that probably. Fire department?"
"Yes. They'll need to be part of it too. I can't make plans about fire stations." He left, going to drink himself into a dreamless sleep that night. He couldn't even imagine and apparently Taylor could. So he would stop this before his city got torn apart. He loved his city and all the idiots, weirdos, and mental patients who chose to live there. And the few sane people too of course.
The mayor went back to his office to start drafting plans for his reelection. He needed to keep his seat so things went more smoothly. Plus some other issues might need some help.
Xander showed up in Miami, watching Ryan be picked on by Eric. Terribly picked on. Ryan was wearing that 'gonna hit him soon' look on his face. "Why, Officer Wolfe, why don't you bite him?" he asked dryly from the police line.
Ryan's head popped up and he grinned. "Xander." Xander grinned back. "Don't tempt me, I might get rabies or something." Xander snickered. "Where are you tonight?"
"I'll be there after shift."
"Sure." He grinned. "The ones in New York said hi." He walked off.
Ryan took a deep breath. "It's good he could come down." He got back to work. "If you're going to call Horatio and nag him about something, tell him to tell Speedle Xander's down?" he said politely, then got back to work. Alexx stared at him across the dead body, getting a grin back. "It's good to see him again."
"The boy needs to eat," she said.
"Probably. He's at that age." She snickered, nodding a bit. They finished up and the body was taken so he and Eric could finish the scene check. Then they went back to the lab so he could check in and make sure Speed knew. He saw the grumpy face, the terrorized techs, and leaned into his lab. "Xander's in."
Speed smiled. "Where?"
"Raddison. Thirteenth floor somewhere."
"I can go see him in a few hours. You?"
"Yeah, he said to bring dinner. So did Alexx because she said he's too skinny."
"He probably is again." Ryan smirked at him. "Go do real work, Wolfe."
"He said I should bite Eric, but I said I might pick up rabies. No telling what his bitches gave him," he said more quietly, cracking Speed up. He walked off happier. Speed was cackling evilly and it was better. The other techs could relax. Speed *really* needed a vacation.
"What did you say to him?" Calleigh demanded, glaring at him. "He's cackling again, Ryan."
"I told him a friend is in town. They showed up to invite us to dinner while I was out on a scene."
"Uh-huh. How did that translate into Speed cackling?"
"Ask him." He walked around her, going to the lab. Eric was glaring at him but oh well. Eventually Speed would pick on him to get him into a better mood so he could pick up his easy sluts at the club later. Then maybe Eric would quit complaining for a few days about *everything*.
Speed walked into Xander's hotel room. They had called up so he had left the door slightly open. "Xander?" He heard the shower and leaned into the bathroom. "Am I early?" he called.
"Yup. But we still love you anyway. I just spilled stuff on my chest."
"Okay." He went to look around the living room then decided the hell with it and went to strip down and cuddle with Xander in the shower. "Alexx is right, you're too skinny," he said, sliding into the shower stall behind him.
Xander looked over his shoulder at him. "Bad day at work, sweetheart?" he joked lightly, turning to cuddle him.
"Yes. My temper's out of whack again." Xander cuddled harder and it was nice. He heard someone knock. "I closed the door. I didn't think Wolfe was going to be here so soon." He went to let them in. "Hey, H, Wolfe. He's in the shower." He went back to his cuddle. "H is here too."
"Cool." He snuggled in again, making Speed relax and sigh in pleasure. "You need a vacation," he said quietly.
"I do." He enjoyed being held and cuddled. Even when the water started to turn chilly. He reached over to turn it off and got them out, drying them off so they could dress. Xander was shirtless but that was fine. He grabbed one when he came out. "Sorry."
"If it helps the temper you were in earlier, I do not mind," Horatio said, staring at Xander. "Though I believe someone needs to eat."
Xander nodded. "Could yeah." He grinned. "We can order dinner." Horatio smiled at him. He looked around then at the guys. "No nagging stepmommy?"
"She had to see to her own family and sent an order to eat," Ryan said. He got his own cuddle and sighed in pleasure. Horatio got one too and it was nice for him. They settled in to talk and catch up. Xander ended up falling asleep between his pack members, making Horatio smile. They helped him to bed and decided to stay the night. The hotel was discreet and they could've slept on the couches but they were pack members and the pack cuddled. If Horatio was woken up in the middle of the night by the pack bonding moment.... well, it'd make Speed and Wolfe happier to work with. Horatio wouldn't mind in the least.
Jensen got the alert from Sam and grimaced. "Xander's thinking about tracking down Helena," he announced quietly.
Clay looked over at him. "Didn't we see her locally?"
"Yup." He got up. "Cougs, watch this for me. Since she hasn't answered Sascha I told him I'd brief her in case she can help. That way we don't have to see Xander's brand of insane over here." He left, going to find her. He found a few locals glaring at her for only having her hair covered and being a woman out alone. "There you are," he said, making her flinch and stare at him. He smiled and moved closer. "I tried your family's house first but they said you were finding something pretty." He kissed her on the cheek. "Play along," he whispered. She pressed into his side. He spotted someone huffy coming their way. "Yes?" he asked.
"She is not to be that uncovered! It is against the law!" he shouted.
Jensen looked at him then at her, letting her translate. He grinned at the man. "We're in to visit her relatives to tell them I proposed." The idiot gaped. "I was not aware visitors had to be so covered. Our region is not as ...tense about such things." He grinned. "I will make her wear a shroud." The officer glared. "Did you wish us to not tell her cousins the good news? They could use some."
He got stared at. "She was speaking Russian I am told."
"She moved that way to keep the army from harming her siblings. Her father fought and they captured him." The officer shuddered. "So she moved where it was safer. Where better than where the army was not? There's a whole community up in the lower parts of Russia that moved from here, Serbia, and Poland."
"I have heard. They do not make women properly cover themselves?"
Jensen shook his head. "As long as she is wearing the hijab, she is right with the eyes of our mosque. Though my family moved to the US for school reasons, I still honor her especially hard because we were a fated match." He grinned a silly grin. "I am sorry her not being covered enough made some men feel weak. I will make sure she is more appropriately covered."
"See that you do. Women here are required to wear a burqa."
"What if we went with the Saudi style of veil? I would miss her eyes." He grinned at her, getting a shy smile back. Then he grinned at the officer.
"That would be suitable enough since you are in on a short visit," he decided, huffing off to tell the higher ups.
"Thank you," Jensen called. He walked her off, taking her to a motel room he had rented as a backup plan. He blocked the doors and she started a white noise generator. He sat her down and told her what Xander had told them.
"There is no way," she said firmly.
"I remember it as well," he told her. He stared at her. "It did happen. That's why Sascha has been trying to get hold of you."
"My bosses probably blocked that." She considered it. "I will check."
He grinned. "We're here to deal with something."
"I'll put on a heavier covering," she said dryly.
"Xander was going to come looking if you didn't find Sascha. You know how important you were to him." He stared at her. She nodded once. "We've talked him out of it. I hope."
"Thank you, Jensen."
"You are quite welcome. Now, let's go shopping as proper pre-spouses." She swatted him but smirked. "I actually have one back at the camp in case we need to sneak someone out that way," he said in her ear, nodding at the doorway. She turned off her device, he got his and they unblocked the door. He smiled at the officer. "I am taking her to get a proper robe since I was not aware visitors had to be as covered as the local women."
The officer nodded. "That is fine. She is Russian?"
She looked at him, speaking in his native language. She wove a great story about being a war orphan and moving her siblings somewhere safer where she could get a job. He nodded he understood. They left and Jensen did get her the proper Saudi style veil and over-robe. She put it on so no one else would try to track them. There were a few women wearing them instead of the all covering burqas that the locals demanded. Then they went back to the safehouse.
"Why did you bring her here?" Roque demanded.
Helena took off the veil and headpiece, looking at him. "Because it's important that we stop that, yes?"
"Yes," Clay agreed. "Helena."
She smiled. "Clay." She shook his hand. "Let me contact Sascha."
"She's online," Jensen said, letting her bum his computer.
She ran a hand over it. "Xander's, yes?" she asked him.
"His spare." He grinned. "My birthday present from him."
"It is wonderful." She found Sascha online and invited her to chat. They made up spontaneous ID's and registered with AOL then logged onto a private chatroom to talk. What they knew horrified her and it would do well with her own job right now. She did include her boss, who was furious but agreed it had to be stopped before they became a world-wide threat. Even if she did have to work with an American and a German. She thanked him and finished up with Sascha then logged off and looked at Jensen. "This is bad."
"This is very bad," Clay agreed. "Are you working on something relative?"
She shook her head, laying out her target. It wasn't involved but it was an arms dealer that had worked with them in the past, especially during the war against the Russians. Clay worked her into their plans since they needed to end him too. It could only make the world safer. Jensen sent a text message to Speed to get him to tell Xander. That way he wouldn't show up over here.
Speed got he message and called him. "It's me. Helena and Jensen have hooked up so you're to stay in the US by orders of Clay. Who in the hell is Clay?" Xander explained that. "Okay. That makes more sense. So they're doing...." Xander said something more quietly. "Even better. Yup. That's fine. No, cancel your tickets going overseas and stay in Miami for a few days, Xander. You could use the vacation as much as I can." He hung up, going to talk to Horatio about that. "There's a large push to stop the 2001 incident," he said quietly.
"We just stopped Xander from going over to help stop it."
"I'm hoping he wasn't at the airport. It was awfully noisy where he was."
"We'll see." He called out there and told them to hold the young man, he'd come pick him up personally. "No, that was not a threat," he said as he walked off. "As a matter of fact, he was stopping that problem and it's being handled without him so he's complaining. No, he has many special skills. I'll be right there." He hung up and drove to the airport, shaking his head most of the way. Xander needed to learn how to speak in code sometimes. He got there and got led to the terminal security office, staring at him. Then at the guards. He produced his ID again, getting a nod. "That is something he has heard *may* happen so he was going to help stop something that he had knowledge of. As there's presently agents working on it, he doesn't have to," he said, staring at Xander.
"I didn't say a word, Horatio. They decided I was creepy."
"You were saying you were going to handle something, sir, which sounded like a threat," the guard said.
Xander looked at him. "You guys are paranoid today. Did someone put a bomb somewhere or something?" They all shuddered. "Then why pick on me when a lot of people probably say such things?"
"You have a knife in your bag," one said.
Xander pulled it out to show it off. "It's ceremonial."
"It's very pretty," he admitted, handing it back. Xander put it back into the bag and zipped it shut. "So you're an agent?"
"No," Xander said with a slight grin. "International problem solver." He shrugged a bit. "I was going to see if I could nudge some of that problem out of the way."
"You're awfully young for an assassin," the other guard said, looking confused.
Xander grinned. "Not that sort of problem solver. I'm not sure I could kill a human being. Maim them terribly," he offered dryly. "But maybe not kill." They relaxed. "So, can I cash out my ticket and go home?" They nodded, letting the Lieutenant take him. He stared at him once they got into the hummer. "Why are they so paranoid today?"
"Men your age should probably not act like trained combat veterans, Xander."
"Oh." He slumped down in his seat. "I'm sorry I made you worry, Horatio."
"It's all right. We'd appreciate having you local for a bit anyway." He patted him on the knee. "If only so Alexx could fuss over someone beyond us."
Xander grinned. "You hope."
"Yes, but I'm fairly certain she'll be feeding you soon." He smirked at him. They drove back to the station, letting Xander go work his magic to make Alexx relax some too.
He walked into the morgue. "I have found people who nag me about my diet more than you do, Alexx." He kissed her on the cheek, leading her away from the body. She was nearly crying over the child. He stared at her. "First day of real school. I was told that they had taken all the soda machines out because they won some 'getting the students to eat healthy crap' grant, which had us eating tofu stirfry allll too often," he said dryly.
"So I kindly bring my own. They can't really block what I bring from home as long as it's not an allergy problem, right?" She nodded slowly. "So I open the soda and oh my god, you would've thought the world was ending. The other students shot me pitying looks. A teacher stomped from across the room to yell at me for having a *soda*." She cracked a smile, shaking her head a bit.
"She started off on the 'threatening to call my parents' thing. So I told her I'd give her a real psychic's number so she could. I pointed out I was emancipated so she was talking to my legal guardian. The next few days were hell," he said dryly. "She kept nagging me about it and my health until I proved I was in better health and she tried to break into my damn locker to remove my sodas. I had put my gun lock on it so I activated the sleeping gas capsule."
He grinned. "That's about when the principal realized I wasn't the normal kid with a death threat on them. Turns out he was a watcher and that teacher was a harmless demon who wanted to make sure we could protect them all since there aren't any slayers here. Seriously freaky. I almost thought she was hitting on me, Alexx."
She gave him a kiss on the cheek. "You need a good woman."
"Yeah but that's not my lot in life to draw them," he quipped with an evil grin. "Helena even showed up in school to get me and Sam. We had that nice sparring foreplay in a classroom for lunch and everything. Though I gotta say, this high school is *so* much better than my former one. There's nothing attacking the students to eat them. I help handle the few bullies we have. When the football team stroked out over their blow job mascot saying no, we helped take them and the coach down for it. I stopped a few fuckers who were going to hurt some girls."
"That's the sort of sweet boy you are, dear."
"Yes I am. So, need a shoulder?" He stared at her.
She shook her head. "I'll be okay. You sit down and talk to me for a bit. It'll help me."
He nodded, pulling a chair close but not too close to chat with her. It kept her mind off the horrors of this being a child's body. When she had put the body into a drawer, he hugged her. "Kids like me are everywhere because the system has holes but a lot of us make it out the other side and do incredible things, Alexx," he said gently, getting a sniffle and a nod. "Do you need to talk?" He was holding onto her upper arms, staring into her eyes.
The person who stomped in behind them saw her sniffling and him holding her in a threatening manner and snapped. "Let her go!" Eric shouted.
Xander looked back at him. "Shut the fuck up, Delko. I'm soothing her after having to do a child's autopsy. Mind your own damn business, unless the whore patrol gave you something she needs to treat for you." She swatted him gently but was smiling and gave him a hug. He gave her a cuddle back. "It's all right."
"We should talk anyway, baby. Her last name is yours."
Xander pushed her back slightly to look at her. "What?"
"Her mother is Jessica Harris."
He considered that. "Huh." He looked at the file they had. "Yeah. Though with the blonde hair she had to come from my uncle's dick instead." They shared a look. "I don't know. I haven't done a whole lot of checking here."
"Can you talk to Horatio anyway?"
"I can. Of course I can." He grinned. "That's one fine, dangerous man who could make a lot of girls have wet panties." She swatted him but was actually smiling so it had worked. "Let's go talk to him?"
"I can do that." She finished filling out the paperwork and walked off with him, ignoring Eric for now. "Horatio?" He looked at her from talking to Frank. "Jessica Harris is her mother?" Horatio stiffened slightly, staring at Xander, who shrugged.
"We should talk about her."
"I haven't really looked up the distant family here," Xander admitted. "But I can see."
"Still, it might help," he offered, walking Xander off to his office. "We'll talk in a few moments, Frank."
"Sure, Horatio." He looked at Alexx. "Who is that?"
"That is Xander." She smiled. "He's a good friend of Speed and Ryan." He nodded at that. "Eric just tried to get him to quit calming me down after the poor baby's autopsy. He even gave a Speedy style assault." Frank snickered, grinning at her. "He's probably still standing there confused." She went to clean up the autopsy table before the next one came in. Eric was growling in her office looking at something. "That is not yours." She took it from him. "Go. Shoo! Now! Before I tell your mother she did a bad job with you." He stomped off. She warned Horatio about his snit fit by text then cleaned.
Sam smiled as he talked to Xander. "That's so freaky. Did you check up on her?" He listened, nodding, leaning against his hood while waiting on Dean to show up. "That's still really freaky. Did they get her for it? Really? Huh. So at least the divorce had a good reason, yeah. But hey, you didn't have to mourn," he offered more gently. "Yeah, it's a good thing. Some day you'll have your own kids, Xander. I promise it'll happen somehow, even if you do adopt a few orphans." He saw the Impala pull in. "Dean just got here. Yup. I'll talk to you in a few, Xander. Be safe and careful in Miami." He hung up and put his phone back into his pocket, staring at his big brother. "Are you possessed? You look funny."
"No. I just talked to Cas again," he sighed.
"Yeah, that's enough to put you in the funny mood. I just talked to Xander. It turns out his parents split soon after he would've been born. She eventually hooked up with another dirt bag who got her pregnant and that dirtbag killed their little girl. Xander and Horatio had to talk about his mother."
"Maybe it'll make her straighten her life up," Dean decided. "Though it sucks hard for their kids." He looked his brother over. "You look healthy."
"I try really hard," he quipped sarcastically, smirking at his brother, who smirked back. "Dad?"
"Back in Mexico. The priests wanted to cuddle Dawn I guess." He shrugged and put his hands in his pockets. "So I guess I'm Sammy-sitting again, huh."
"No, Dean. We can travel together and I don't need a sitter. Really."
"Uh-huh. Dad said I'm Sammy-sitting."
"Dad's got some sort of weird mental disease again," Sam quipped back. "Not like I get into trouble. Of the two of us, I'm the good brother."
Dean snorted. "That's because you're uptight, Sammy."
"Bite me, Dean."
"No thanks, that would be incest and then Cas would show up and complain about it with that look on his face again."
"Maybe." He shrugged, looking over his shoulder at Castiel. "Would that be incest?"
"Only if there was intent to go farther," he said.
Dean looked at him. "You're stalking me."
"I am not."
Sam stared at Castiel then at Dean, then casually shoved Dean with a foot to the ass into Cas's arms. "There, that's better." He walked back to his car. "I got the motel rooms, Dean. Join us when you two are ready." He got into the car and drove off.
Castiel looked at Dean, who was looking horrified. "Your brother has a very warped mind." He helped him stand up.
Dean stared at him. "You saw us there."
"And.... Suddenly you're my guardian angel?"
"Yes." He smirked. "That way no one can start another apocalypse using you."
"There's one planned?"
"Usually. I'm sure Xander has a book on it somewhere."
"Probably." He shook his head quickly. "We're hunting."
"I know. Xander's solving a problem in Miami right now." Dean groaned, shaking his head. "He is quite good and his pack mates are quite pleased that it is being stopped, even if he is not allowing them to help."
"Sounds like Xander, yeah."
"Let us go to the motel, Dean. That way you can quit blushing. Though it is a nice shade of pink on you." He walked over to the impala.
Dean snorted. "I don't blush, Cas. Real men don't."
"Then you put on makeup?" Dean growled. Castiel smiled. "You are quite a pretty man."
"You wanna walk to the motel?" Dean countered.
"If I must."
Dean huffed. "Whatever." He got in to drive. Castiel got in to ride along, enjoying his teasing Dean time. He had missed hanging out with him.
"So, Sammy said angels are asexual?"
"He is reading some very strange books these days. Though he is correct. Once we ascend we do not have such desires."
Dean looked at him. "Then you probably wouldn't have noticed I was pretty," he said dryly, starting the car and pulling out.
Castiel thought about that. "You may be correct. I'll have to do some reading of my own." He got comfortable. Dean's music was playing. Dean was in a slightly grumpy mood like he used to have in the mornings. It was good to be with Dean again. "We should ask one of the higher, warrior oriented angels, to guard Xander."
"I doubt they would."
"They may. There is all together too much work related to him."
Dean nodded. "Yeah but he's just like that."
"I know." He considered that. He'd have to talk to his brethren later. They all knew that the other higher ups, not the firmly evil ones but the rest, had some plans for the boys. Jon O'Neill could use a guardian angel as well really. So perhaps they could talk some into doing that before they managed to die before averting an apocalypse.
Xander was in a club. He was hunting in a club, which was familiar. He had done it around Colorado Springs plenty. For vampires and not if he was honest. Right now he was hunting a higher demon. Who may or may not know who he was. But the girls were pretty enough and slutty enough for his tastes and cover.
The demon lord showed up and was drawn to him. That damn taint made sure of it. So when the slutty girl got pushed aside, he stared at her, shrugging a bit. She huffed off to another guy who'd give her what she wanted. Xander kept dancing, the demon lord moving closer to him. The guy sniffed and groaned, pulling him off the floor. They went out back. "You know I'm not really going to blow you out here. It's nasty," he said dryly.
He stared at him. "You come from a near-rift."
"Yes I do." He stretched but he was nicely warmed up for the upcoming fight. "Why does that matter? I'm on vacation in Miami."
He sniffed him and moaned again. "You should come to my club. It is better than this trash."
Xander stared at him. "How many other horny girls are there?" he quipped.
"Quite a few." He moved closer. Xander let him. "You would be quite an asset to our fun tonight. Especially since you are still...pure-ish."
Xander shrugged. "I only top, baby." The demon moaned. Xander let him and wove the fascination around him. The guy took him back to his club. Which was a lot bigger than he had bargained for. With a lot more demons than he had considered. Miami didn't used to have such a demon problem. Well, maybe that was something else Kendra had taken care of. But he was here now.
He saw a few recognize him and leave quickly. The other demons tried to stun him but yup, not working. He got the one escorting him. He got the one that tried to stun him. Then he got to work on the others. Fortunately they were coming pretty singly into the back room area where the first one was supposed to be preparing him as a sacrifice. When the guards came he had just killed one and launched himself at one. The other one bellowed a warning and Xander sliced his throat.
He killed the other and moved out to handle the rest of the problems. He found one of the victims that could fight and got her free. They moved on to fight together. She wasn't great but she wasn't *bad*. Clearly hunter trained. By now most of the demons were fleeing and the ones who wanted the power were trying for them. They could put their bleeding bodies on the altar to finish the rite and call the Old One. He got injured. She got a few cuts too. Oh well. They got one last demon and moved to free the other humans. One the damp knife slipped on and got her wrist instead of the rope. He called Horatio while he helped her. "I found the demon lord. I was freeing one when the knife slipped and got her wrist pretty bad, Horatio. I am. I don't know... track my phone's GPS?" He put it down and got to work on her wrist to make sure she wouldn't bleed to death. "I'm really damn sorry I cut you instead of the rope," he offered.
She nodded, still out of it. "That's all right. They were going to cut me too." Then she giggled. "They promised."
"Yeah but they won't be mean now." Horatio came in ten minutes later. "Got a first aid kit?" Horatio handed his over. Xander finished binding her wrist and got her free, handing her over. "She's totally out of it, Horatio."
"I'll get her to the ER." He looked around. "The other victims?"
"I think what's-her-name is doing them." He pointed. Horatio nodded, heading that way with the girl to fix that. Xander went to look for hidden demons. He could still sense one here. It was drawing at his hellmouth taint. He paused, staring at the angel in his way. "Uriel. Move."
"Xander. How do you know me?"
Xander stared at him. "If you have to ask, dude...."
"Fine. I am here to help you."
Xander waved a hand around. "I need it?" The angel glared. "Whatever. Go help Horatio if you're here to help."
"Her lifeline may still end tonight. It may be meant to end tonight."
Xander stared at him. "Don't make me take you out, Uriel. I'm not in a great mood." The angel gaped in horror. Xander stared at him. "I remember what you did there, yeah." He walked around him, finding the really bad thing upstairs. "Shit," he said, but attacked. He was exhausted. The demon was really powerful. It was an archangel of hell sort of demon. "Why don't you just find a new body, dude? Really. Miami doesn't need you on top of the drug dealers and gangs."
The demon laughed. "I like this body, Harris. He's adorable and draws things like you."
"Yeah, I felt you trying to take the hellmouth taint I carry. Pity." He muttered something and started the exorcism rite as they fought. The demon was still laughing but Xander had a few extra tricks up his sleeve. Medium tricks. He could become a spirit vacuum, pulling them out of others and into him but he wouldn't need to go that far tonight. He got him loosened, making the demon and human scream in two different pitches. Then the exorcism got him out. Xander panted, looking at the ball of smoke. "Go home. Now."
"I don't have to," the smoke said. "I can always inhabit...." Xander shoved something into the smoke and it wailed then dissipated. "This is not over."
"I see you again, I'm coming down there to take over," Xander shouted after him. He knelt to check the body. He was alive, barely. "Horatio, this one needs an ambulance!" he called. Horatio and Uriel walked in. "I just depossessed him."
"That is an interesting job," Uriel said.
Xander and Horatio both stared at him. "Who are you?" Horatio asked.
"Uriel." He smiled. "I got asked to guard Xander for a while."
Xander snorted. "I'd rather have Loki, Uriel. At least he has fun." Uriel glared. Xander glared back. "Quit predicting doom." He nodded, backing off. "He'll start to seize soon probably," he told Horatio.
"That's fine. We can move them. I've got most of the victims outside. Unfortunately we cannot burn this building.
"I have stuff but it's in the pack at the motel room. Have Ryan bring it?"
"I can do that." He called him and let Xander carry the body downstairs to be picked up.
Xander looked at the young woman. "Hi, Xander Harris," he said, holding out a hand.
"Elizabeth Stanton. My mother's a hunter."
Xander grinned. "I'm one as well and I know the Winchester clan."
"Oh." She nodded. "My mother hates John."
"John's a hardass," he agreed, making her smile weakly. "We have to clean up this mess, normals are coming. I have some stuff coming that'll help."
"Why can't we burn it?"
"Because Miami's a city and the next building is inches away from this one and is an apartment building. It's that pesky ethics stuff." She glared. He grinned. "Can't hurt the normals."
"Fine. Whatever." Ryan slipped in with a bottle. "Thank you, Ryan." He hosed down the demon corpses. "How did we lose these three humans?" he asked.
"They collapsed," she said.
Xander glanced at her then nodded. " Ryan, can you check them?" He nodded, doing that. They got the rest of the bodies and left a mostly clean scene. Just some goo. He was out of remover though. "Sorry, Horatio. Still some slime."
"That's fine, Xander." He nodded at the young woman. "Mr. Wolfe found that those were alive, just in bad shape. The ambulance has already taken them off and I'm being asked impertinent questions by the Chief."
"Want me to conjure an imp?" he offered.
Horatio smiled. "No, that's probably not necessary." He looked at the other one. "If you want, we can help you call home."
"My mother's probably in the state looking for me. The demon snatched me."
He nodded, taking them back to the station to make that call. He agreed with Xander's instincts, there was something wrong with her. Speed and Ryan handled the scene to make sure nothing was going to remain. That way Eric and Calleigh wouldn't wonder at demon slime. Xander had texted Sam's phone. Sam called Horatio a few minutes later and put him on with Dean. Who had some very interesting things to tell him.
Xander looked over from his seat. "Tell them Uriel still has a stick up his ass?"
Horatio smiled and said something more polite. Dean agreed with that sentiment. "Dean agreed." He got back to the conversation about the ritual area being broken up. He took notes on how to do that. Elizabeth came back from cleaning up in the bathroom. Horatio hung up with a quiet 'thank you' and looked at her. "Your mother is on her way down, she said it'd take about a day."
Xander nodded. "It can, yeah. That's why I flew and let Sam have my car for the summer." He looked over as Eric stomped in. Then looked at Horatio again. "Is that one all right?"
"So far they're all fine, Xander. Thank you." Xander grinned. "You can check on them tomorrow." He looked at Eric. "Problems on your new case?"
"The Chief called the front desk to get you but yours was busy so she transferred it to me. He wants you in his office now. He did not sound happy, H."
"He never is," Horatio sighed. "Come along, kids." They got up and followed him. He found his boss waiting with the head DA. "Gentlemen."
"Are they under arrest?" the DA asked, glaring at them.
"For stopping our murders?" Xander quipped. "That's not really legal." He stared at him. "Want me to find some holy water, sir?" The man sneered until Xander threw some on him, making him shriek and smoke. "I don't think any higher demon should really be part of law enforcement. You tend to take victims." The man disappeared from the spot. He glared at the head officer. "Hi."
"How did you do that?" he asked quietly.
"I hunt the evil shits like he was." He looked at him. "Nice vowing mark, sir. How much?"
He touched it. "Three percent."
"Not enough to tip you then." He stared at him. "I was told there was a demon sacrificing ring. I baited until they took me there. Then I solved it. Is there a problem with that since I made sure all the human victims were helped out?"
"No," he admitted. "Though one has an injury I'm told?"
"To be honest, sir, my knife slipped. It was sticky and slick when I was cutting the rope on her wrist and got her, so I stayed until I could bandage it. Is she all right?"
"She'll be fine," he said. "Thank you."
"How do you know how to do that?"
"Long story," Xander admitted with a grin. "Very long, unreasonably bad story."
"Did you come down for that event?" he asked.
"No. I have people I consider pack members down here. I came to visit them and they told me."
"Ah." He smiled. "Are there more?"
"If so they're probably hiding like a mo-fo at the moment," Xander quipped. "Or fleeing. Fleeing is always nice." The Chief smirked at him. He grinned back. "Been doing this a while, sir."
"Good to know. You, miss?"
"My mother's a hunter and one had captured me. When he freed me I helped."
"That's wonderful of you. Thank you." He looked at Horatio. "The scene?"
"Cleaned up. Speedle and Wolfe are there to see if anything needs to be turned over for evidence or handled."
"They're there because they know?" he asked. Horatio nodded. "The demonic corpses?"
"I had some stuff that dissolved most of them," Xander said. "There's only some slime left."
"Excellent. Can you make another batch for the lab?"
"Sam made it but I can get him to do so, sir."
"Wonderful." He smiled. "Thank you, children. Go relax. Mr. Harris, she has no idea about anything. She doesn't remember a thing before the paramedics got her into the ER."
"I'd hate for her to only remember that I cut her, sir."
"I'm sure she won't," Horatio soothed, patting him on the shoulder. "Let's get you back to the hotel so you can clean up." Xander nodded and they left to wait outside. "Thank you for being reasonable, sir."
"I'd rather not have that sort here, Horatio."
"Me either," he agreed. He smiled as he walked out, taking Xander to his hotel and getting her a room for the night as a victim. Then he went to check on his people. Something was bothering him. Especially after Dean said that her mother had died over a year earlier from a werewolf attack and suicide so she wouldn't change. He found the angel glaring at the altar. "Angel Uriel," he said quietly, making him jump and turn to face him. "Was that young lady a human?"
He smiled. "Someone finally asks. Good work, Lieutenant. No, she's not."
"Will she be taking victims?"
"No. Nor is she infested with a demon." He bowed his head. "Sometimes the boy is too trusting."
"I'm pretty sure Xander realized it," Ryan said dryly. "After all, only evil bitches like him and she was clinging to his arm." He looked up. "There's three other demons here, right?" Uriel nodded. "Downstairs?" He nodded again, smiling. "Do we need silver or just iron?"
"Blessed instead of either," Uriel ordered. "That is another wise question. I can see why he made you two pack members." He faded out to talk to the boy. Who was in the shower. Xander looked out at him. "She was not human."
"I figured she was possessed and I could handle it tomorrow," he sighed.
"No. She's demonic. Whoever is coming for her may need to be handled. Though that would take subtlety I'm not sure you can achieve."
"I can be plenty subtle, Uriel." He looked again but he was gone. So Xander got to plan a bit. Yay! After his nap. Horatio would let him know when she was showing up and he had a day. He needed to finish cleaning up and take a nap. Then find a damn tattoo shop to redo his protections. Nearly every single one had a broken line now.
Xander was waiting and used a blow dart on them when they were leaving. That was fairly subtle since no one saw anything. He put it away before anyone could even think about looking at him. He smiled at Horatio. "Quick trip for them, huh?"
"Very." He walked him inside, taking him up to his office. Alexx wanted to look at his injuries. "She demanded."
"I know. Then I need to find a good tattoo shop and get my protections redone."
"That may not work with how injured you are, Xander."
"It's only a few cuts. I have stuff to help them heal faster and not scar." Horatio nodded. "Besides, it'll take *days* to finish it." He grinned at Ryan. Only he and Horatio had been outside when the demons had left. "They're off."
"Good. Dean said Sam's possessed."
"By Meg?" he asked.
"No, something more war oriented."
"North Dakota. Dean said he can't get near him."
Xander nodded. "I'll fly out today." Ryan grinned, handing over the directions. "Did he tell his dad?"
"Yeah but the demon nearly killed John until Dawn intervened. They're following him."
"Got it," Xander said, taking the notes and taking a cab back to the hotel. Ten minutes after he got there he was packed and on his way to the airport. This was going to be an expensive ticket, last minute flying and all, but that was fine. Sam was more important than money.
"Sir, what is that liquid?" one of the security screeners asked.
"Well, some's supposedly holy water I picked up locally." He smiled. "A few are vials of things I'm working on with a fellow chemistry student for a paper. We're trying to make a new goo dissolver and I'm taking my trials out to compare with his so we can work together."
"Are those in safe containers?" he asked.
Xander looked. "All but one. The cork needs to be wax sealed." He jogged to a nearby gift shop and got a novelty candle and lighter, then came back to seal it. "There, better?"
"Much. Thank you. Could you put this in checked baggage?"
"I'm not checking anything," Xander admitted. "You guys lose stuff. If I don't get this done I don't get to graduate or got to grad school. I'd hate to impose the fussing you'll get from my parents on the airline." The guard grinned and nodded. "It's going in the overhead bin."
"Can the stewardess secure it for you?"
"Of course." He grinned. "I'm all for reasonable things." The guard led him to talk to them. Since they weren't harmful chemicals there wasn't really a rule dealing with what to do but the boy was bending over backward to be nice to him. Even when the demonic stewardess gave him a heated look. Xander grinned. "On my way to North Dakota to liaise with a fellow student."
"Interesting." Xander got his novel and walkman supplies out then let her have the bag. She put it into the specially secured bin and let him go to his seat. Which was nearby. The flight was pretty routine. Even when an angel showed up. Then disappeared a few minutes later, after nagging the hunter. One of the other stewardesses had noticed that.
"Sir, is your seatmate in the bathroom?" she asked quietly.
"No, he's my guardian angel and he came to nag." He grinned. She whimpered. "Apparently I was a bad boy at the clubs last night and hit on a drug dealer or something dangerous that way."
The demonic one walked back, smiling. "It's great when one of the guarded is on a plane. Even if we have a problem it won't be a bad one," she said quietly. "You haven't seen them before?" She walked her coworker off to calm her down. She shot Xander a glare. He went back to reading.
Cas appeared in the back of the plane and walked forward to talk to him. "Xander, I have doubts," he said, sitting down and buckling himself in.
Xander looked at him. "I'm not a priest, Cas. I can't really help you with confession. I can only help you talk things out."
He nodded. "I know. I am hoping to work things out before I have to seek higher advice." He sighed. "Since the imprint I have felt...things. Things that one such as I am should not and actually cannot feel."
Xander smiled. "It's good that you're realizing this before your stalker thing gets out of hand, Cas." Castiel scowled. "It's cute, but a bit strange. But..." He leaned closer. "Just because it's not a gift that's been given to all does not mean it's not a gift." Castiel nodded at that. "Let's face it, they could've blocked the imprint from you."
"Yes, they could have. Do you think they enjoy watching me this confused?"
"Yes. Because half of your coworkers are assholes."
"True. Some more than others." He stared at him. "I do not know what I can do."
"I think that depends on your tolerance levels, Cas. Are you going to keep making Dean nervous about flirting?"
Castiel considered that. "That may make me fall though," he admitted.
"Yes, it may," Xander agreed. "Or you could work out a deal. I'm not sure what the big boss would say."
"I... that is not... I feel more that they are like family."
Xander nodded. "I feel the same way about my pack."
Castiel looked at him. "But you do not have the same sort of calling I do."
"No, I don't." He patted him on the hand. "I think perhaps a gentle talk with a higher up might help. See if you have options. Though I'm doubting he'll like it."
"No, not totally." He sighed, considering things. "I could be shot down just for telling him I have this problem. The others would wish me to deny it, make myself stronger."
"Denial doesn't make you stronger. It makes you weak when something comes against it and you have to make a choice."
Castiel considered that. "It would come to one. With his job it would definitely come to a choice." Xander pinched him. "What was that for?"
"Uriel being a nagging sort last night."
"Well, it was helpful."
"Yeah but Uriel? He hated me."
"He still does. He finds you an amusing toy mostly." He shrugged. "I suggested one of the higher ones but they all looked scared." Xander smirked at him. "I do not know where I can go."
"That's because you need to know your options, which may take some research. There's got to be others who have thought outside the box."
"Yes, perhaps." He looked. "This is not a good flight to be on," he mumbled.
Xander looked and cast something on the engine to keep it running for as long as possible. Then he looked at Castiel again. "Yeah, I figured that when Uriel showed up being the guardian angel of doom."
"Their lines," he said very quietly.
"If it's that damn important, they'll find another way. Just like in that movie."
"I remember that movie. I remember the reason you had me watch it as well. That is true." He looked around, seeing those that would have died but now wouldn't. He spotted the demon and shifted. "Did you...."
"Yeah. She's actually guarding my hunting supplies," he hissed and grinned at him. "It's very nice of her."
"Very." She was muttering while laying a hand on a wall to steady herself because they were having a bit of turbulence. Castiel also steadied things but made sure they made an emergency landing as soon as humanly possible. Xander grinned at him. "I would miss you."
"I know you would. Who else would help give you ideas of how to quit stalking?"
"True." He relaxed. "I should research tonight."
"I have two of the books on the shelves at home." Castiel summoned them to get into them. Xander went back to his own book.
"Oh, dear," he muttered. "The last who had this problem of mine was banished."
Xander looked at him. "Technically he can't fully banish you for something like that. It goes against his own creed. He can only take the wings, Cas."
Castiel considered that. "Perhaps." He got back to work researching. They made the emergency landing and it was a rough one. The engine quit as they hit the pavement. They spun and hit an embankment. Most everyone was shaken but no one was killed. Castiel sighed in relief and looked at Xander. "I will guard your closets for a few days."
"Sure. Tell Jon where I am. Tell him not to worry."
"I shall." He disappeared with the books.
Xander picked up his small mess into the smaller bag and looked at the stewardess, who was staring at him. He shrugged slightly. "Welcome," he mouthed. She smiled and checked the others while emergency crews were showing up.
"People, this is your captain. I won't lie and say we weren't lucky but we are safe and emergency crews are on their way to us to evacuate us. I need everyone to make sure they can get out of their seats and don't worry about your bags for now." She plopped Xander's in his lap, getting a nod of thanks. "For now, just relax and give us a minute to get the emergency slide deployed so we can get you out of here. Your bags will be brought to you in the terminal." They left, Xander just one of the masses. Most of them had grabbed their underseat bags too. A few wanted into their bags.
"It has my medicine," one woman complained.
Xander patted her on the shoulder. "They'll have to pry it open, ma'am. It's going to take them a few minutes but they'll bring it to us in the terminal. Just grab your purse or whatever you have under your seat. If you need medical attention they can get it to you in the terminal as well." She nodded, doing that. The stewardess gave him a thank you smile and he nodded. Xander cackled going down the slide. He wasn't the first and the firefighters were smiling. "That's a fun ride."
"It is," one agreed, helping him into the bus to carry them back to the terminal. "Ma'am, it's perfectly safe," he called. "Just slide down like when you were a kid." She was shaking but the stewardess gave her a helpful bit of shove and she came down. He caught her and helped her into the bus, putting her in a seat. Then he went back to helping.
The pilot was staring at the bus. "It was the damndest thing," he was telling the people grilling him. "We were having problems with it sputtering so I called in for the emergency landing then it cleared up mostly but I was still going to land her to have it checked." He ran a hand over his hair. "And then when I reversed them for the landing, it quit completely. It was like we had some very strong guardian angels today. We were damn lucky." One of the stewardesses later told him about the suddenly appearing angels. That made him go to church and believe again. It was a quiet story that never hit the press.
Xander finally showed up in North Dakota. "Damn," he said dryly, making Dean shiver. "The plane had a slight glitch."
"I saw on the news. You good, dude?"
"Shaky but not bad." He put his bag down on the hood. "Anyway, where?"
Dean pointed. "Taunting Dad."
Xander got something and put them into his pockets as he walked that way. He started with a simple test, throwing a dart at Sam. He caught it in midair, looking back at him. "Hi, Sam." He grinned. "Put your dad down. How pathetic and Grecian that is."
Sam let John thump to the ground. "Xander. I am not one who is pitiful like the ones in Miami."
"Cool." He grinned. "So?" He looked at John. "Out." He ran. He looked at Sam again. "All this to draw me here? You could've just called, dude."
"It's more fun to torment them." He smiled.
"Yeah, it can be. Of course, you made Castiel confused. I got to talk to him about thinking about human things."
The demon snorted. "He's a weak angel."
"No, emotions don't make you weak. Or else all the demons would be pathetic like you, Azreal."
"You remember," he said smugly.
"Yeah, I remember you showing up before the First to taunt me." He stared at him. "Being Jesse was real cold. Just pissed me off to no end." The demon stared at him. Xander stared back. "Why don't you get out of Sam? I like Sam. I don't want to kill Sam to get you. Inhabit someone other than a pack member or a Winchester. Okay? Then I'll beat your ass."
"Fine. But I'll just find an excellent fighter."
Xander nodded. "I'm sure you will." The demon came out of Sam, making him pass out and choke. Xander threw stuff on the cloud, sucking it in. "Not like I play any more fair than you do, dear." He blew a kiss at the rocking ball. "Shut up, Azreal. Before I come in there." He picked up, putting it into his pocket. He checked Sam. "You're still tainted, dear." He kissed him on the forehead and did a blessing then started the exorcism that was needed. The old style, not the modern Winchester version. The remains of the demon burned inside Sam but it was better than leaving them. The blood taint Sam had burned too but that soon quit. Xander picked Sam up, carrying him out. "He needs an ER. I burned the last of the taint out of him." He put him on the hood of the impala. "But he's living and fine."
"What if some was in his brain?" Dean demanded. "That was fucking dangerous, Xander!"
"Dean, since when did demons care about brains?" Dean paused in his rant to stare at him. "He needs an ER because they were in useful places to him." He pointed at the darkened spots. "None in his brain." John slumped at that. Xander put the ball down. "Azreal." He let Dean call while he made Sam comfortable. Sam blinked at him. "Hi, sweetheart, I'm home."
"Fuckhead," he mumbled. "I ache."
"I know. It'll be okay, Sam. I did the old version of an exorcism to make sure he left you alone."
"He wanted to see you, to taunt you into a rage again."
"I know. He did it right before the battle with the First. Showed up as Jesse."
"Jesus," he said then flinched. "Ow."
"It'll be okay, Sam. I'll do holy water blessings on the IV," John soothed. An ambulance showed up. "Something hit him with some sort of ray and it burned him some places," he said. "He was unconscious for a few minutes."
"I didn't know we had ray guns yet," the paramedic quipped. He saw the burned spots. "I'll be damned. Those are burned from the inside." Xander nodded, letting him have him. "We'll get him to the ER in about ten minutes, sir. Are you following?" They all nodded. Xander patted Sam down, taking his keys back. Sam grinned at him. "You'll be just fine, sir." They loaded Sam and took off with him.
Xander looked at the remaining Winchesters. And Castiel, who was sneaking over. "He'll be fine. Demon taint almost never resides in the brain."
"No, it does not," Castiel agreed. Dean jumped, glaring at him. "I did not mean to scare you."
"C'mon, let's go to the hospital," John ordered, giving Xander a dirty look. "You could've done a lesser one."
"Then Azreal would've had a hold on Samuel, John." Castiel stared at him. "That was the proper course of action, even if it did injure Sam slightly. Also, that probably burned off the other taint," he said, looking at Xander, who nodded, walking over to his car. "How did you know that?"
Xander grinned. "Who do you think had to tell me that?" Castiel gaped, mouth open.
Dean stared at him. "Dude, you made an angel speechless," Dean said in awe. "How?"
"One of my cocksucking buddies actually," Xander quipped with a grin. "Castiel is amazed that I remember him." He slid in and changed the station off grunge as he pulled away from the driveway of the old barn. Angels and demons had no taste in music.
"I don't want to know more than the facts behind it," John said.
"Yeah, me too because Xander's cocksucking society was really full of evil shits," Dean said.
Castiel nodded, swallowing hard. "Quite." He got into the impala and let Dean drive him that way. He would try to help Sam. He wasn't sure if he was allowed. But that meant that all the demon taint, everything that hadn't been able to be removed before, was now gone. "We must make sure the demon does not try to reinfect him."
"Oh, he's not getting near Sam," Dean said dryly. "Even if Xander does have to fuck him into leaving Sammy alone." Castiel looked at him. "Sammy's my brother, Cas. Everything comes after the family for a Winchester."
"I know. I remember." He patted him on the wrist. "Relax. Samuel will be fine." Dean nodded and they made it to the hospital just before Xander. Xander had obeyed the speed limits. Xander, somehow, found a gou'ald in the ER. So he was off taunting him while telling Jon. They got beamed back and Xander stunned her, then the symbiot when it crawled off. The general had Xander debriefed then sent back because he was insistent and really couldn't bother the boy by presidential order. The nurse would get to stay for a good, long time.
Sam blinked, staring at Xander. "I hate you for making me hurt."
Xander kissed him on the forehead. "I'm sorry, Sam."
"I know. Still sucks." He pouted. Xander handed him a new book. "Cool. Elves. Thank you." He gave him a weak smile. "How long am I in here?"
"Another few days." He shifted closer. "Dean and John are so glaring at me."
"That's because you got me really hurt."
"I know. But hey, no more taint."
"That's a good thing."
"We've stopped the demon trying to taint you a few times too. That's why you're not getting any blood."
"Good." He shifted and grimaced. "Eww, pee line." Xander grinned and nodded. "Bastard."
Xander gave him a hug. "I know I am."
"Get off," he whined. Xander let him go before the nurse could come in. "He's mean."
"I'm not mean. I got you a new book, I got you a diet soda. I got you candy." He grinned.
"Fine, you're not mean, even if you are in a huggy mood." Sam looked at the nurse. "Since I'm awake can I have the line removed?"
"We'll see," she said, glaring at Xander. "Don't upset our patients, sir."
"Lady, lay off Xander," Sam ordered. She flinched. "He's like family." She walked off. He looked down. "Why am I peeing blood?"
Xander looked. "Nurse!" he called. A different one came running. He pointed. "Blood and it's moving upward somehow."
She checked and looked at him. "We'll have to yank the line, sir."
"I know," he said, grabbing Xander's hand to hold and closing his eyes. She undid the air bubble holding it in place and then yanked it quickly after clamping it above the blood. She took it to the lab so they could test the blood and urine for anything strange. The blood wasn't human so that was very strange. They had no idea what was going on.
Xander helped Sam up and to the bathroom. He did pee out a bit of blood but it was probably his. Xander reblessed his IV once he was back in the bed and settled in again. John stomped in. "They pulled his catheter."
"Why?" John asked.
"Because it had blood moving up it," Sam said dryly.
"Damn. I didn't even think about that."
Xander waved a hand. "I reblessed his IV too."
"Thank you, Xander." He looked at his son. "Need anything?"
"Pain killers. I ache like fuck from the line." John grinned and patted him on the head. "Can I leave soon?"
"Two days," he promised. Sam sighed but nodded, pulling up his book to read and taking the box of candy to nibble on. John glared at Xander. Xander rolled his eyes.
"Stop it," Sam ordered without having to look up. "If I had been aware I'd have wanted Xander to do that exorcism, Dad." He looked at his father. "It's the only way to make sure I wasn't tainted at all. Even if it had given me brain damage I would've had him do it." He went back to his book. "How's Dean?"
"Ignoring Castiel again," he sighed.
"Cas is very tight with Dean," Xander said with a small shrug.
"I'd like one of my sons not to be gay, Xander."
"Dad, get it right, we're both easy," Sam said dryly. "And I don't like guys that way." He stared at him. "The only guy who's ever going to possess my ass is that one and if he marries a male alpha we'd have to talk a lot first." He smirked. "I do like women. Really. Someday you'll get grandkids from us." He went back to his reading. "Quit hovering." His father nodded, backing off. Xander sat down too. "It's six weeks until school."
Xander nodded. "It is." Sam grinned. Xander grinned back. "Are we staying or getting somewhere nicer?"
"Can we afford to move? You spent a lot this year, Xander."
Xander called the bank to check on things, getting told his balance in his account and his trust both. He said thank you and hung up. "I have eighty mil, Sam." Sam gaped. "I think I'm okay. And if not, well, I can sell some of the stuff I had in storage that's not weapons."
"Good point." He shifted and winced. "Ow."
"Not your fault. I would've wanted you to do it even if I did end up a vegetable." He stared at him. "So quit." Xander nodded. He looked at his father. "Is Dean hiding?"
"Yup. Mostly from Castiel."
"Figures." He shook his head. A doctor came in and glared at him. Sam looked at her and spat something in Latin, making her smoke. "Did we need something?" he asked with a smile.
"Why were you peeing demon blood, Mr. Winchester?"
"Because the demon taint that just got killed in me was trying to be put back. It wasn't mine."
"Oh," she said flatly, looking at Xander. "We heard about Miami." He shrugged.
"What about Miami?" Sam asked casually. "I'm his pack mate and I never hear about these things."
She laughed nervously. "Then get him to tell you. We can discharge you later tonight. You'll have some medicines but otherwise you'll be fine. Is our ER nurse done yet with wherever you took her? I know she wasn't possessed but she was."
Xander nodded. "They're making sure she'll stay fine after the symbiot in her died."
"Thank you for that. We have another one here I think." Xander wrote down a name and phone number. "Jon O'Neill?"
"It's round-about but he knows someone who's helping her," Sam said.
"Thank you. That'd be very helpful." She went to find that one and call him to talk about them. She knew it wasn't demonic, that didn't make your eyes glow like radioactive urine.
"Miami?" Sam asked casually.
"Yeah, I heard there was a planned sacrifice and stopped it. That's why I called Dean about that one girl who ended up being a demon."
"Oh. Should I call Speed to see how bad it was?"
"You can if you want," he offered with a smile.
"Sure, I'll do that." He looked at his father. "Do I have clothes?"
"You do. Are you two heading back to Colorado Springs?"
"I was thinking about Spain," Xander admitted. "I want some beach time."
"Go to Mexico. It's cheaper and safer," Sam quipped. "Then I can go too. We can drag Jon and all that."
"Maybe." He sighed and shifted. "It was only a few demons, Sam, and I took them out singly for all but a few."
"Huh." He stared at his father.
"I'll call Speedle for you, Sam." He glared at Xander. "Don't get him hurt again, Harris. I will make you regret it."
"I guard Sam's ass like it's mine," Xander quipped back, smirking at him. "Because he is my pack and it's my job to help save him." John walked off shuddering. He looked at Sam. "You sure? You could spend some time with Mr. Tailfeather. I got a letter from him a few days ago."
"We can stop in there." Xander grinned. "I know I need to work on things." He shifted. "Let me try to rest. You, go back to the motel and don't find a bad girl."
"Fine." He got up to kiss him on the forehead. "Call if you need anything." He put his phone in Sam's hand, getting a nod back. Xander left to get lunch and it was better. Now Sam could nap. He looked around his bed, noticing the salt lines and the protections done on tape around his sheet. So yeah he'd be okay to sleep.
Xander opened their apartment door. "Honey, I'm home." Jon jumped, staring at him. "Sam is too." He let Sam in. "Give him some napping spots, Jon. He's just out of the hospital."
"Sure." He looked them over. "What happened?"
"Higher demon possessed me and Xander burned all the taint in me," Sam admitted, sitting down. He pulled Jon down. "You're coming to Mexico with us, right?"
"Sam, I'm not eighteen."
"Yes you are," Xander corrected. "The same as I'm sixteen, soon to be seventeen. Even if we remember being older, we're still our present ages and we both need to relax. So therefore we're going beach hopping." He grinned. "If you try to argue, Sam's promised to tie you up in the trunk."
"Whatever." Xander dropped their things and went to unpack the car then came in to sit down. "How was wherever?"
"Miami was full of pretty, slutty, snotty people. So was New York. I didn't get to see many other places thanks to them nagging." He shifted to put his feet up. "I was going to check in on Helena but Jensen got her." Sam beamed at him. "Yes, because you nag like you're the wife, Sam."
Sam snickered. "Wife, beta, the only difference is the screwing."
"Eww," Jon complained. Xander leaned over to lick his cheek, making Jon hop up and sit in one of the new chairs. "You two are weird again."
"Well, yeah," Xander admitted. He looked at Sam, who let him cuddle. "Anyway, we're back but we're taking a few days on a beach somewhere."
"Sure, we can do that. Who's going to watch the apartment?"
"I predict...." Xander said, looking up. "Since *someone* gave me a damn vision last night of it, that Evan's going to be down here on leave for a bit of PTSD and a meeting to reup. So I'll let him artillery sit."
Jon nodded. "That'll probably work." They settled in to watch a movie. Jon went back to looking at new apartments. Sam helped him search later on and it was easier. There were some being listed online now. That was awesome.
Xander did drag Jon to Mexico. He needed the stress break. So he tricked him into drinking by pouring the shot into his beer. Then, when he was tipsy, he gave him to two sorority girls. They cooed at Jon and his tipsy mind quit fighting the age thing. Xander and Sam hung out with a few pretty girls, but not dangerous ones for a change. They all got happy by the time John Sheppard showed up. Xander grinned at him. "Did you drop Evan at my place?"
"I dropped Ronon there and told him not to let anyone inside without calling. I dropped Evan at the bar." He pointed. Then he smirked. "He needed the stress break."
"We did the same thing to Jon," Sam said with a grin. "This is... Holly and Wendy?" he said, making them giggle and point at each other. "Sorry, Holly and Wendy," he said, correcting which one was which.
"Hi, ladies. Colonel John Sheppard." He shook their hands with a grin. "On leave, finally!" They giggled and glomped onto him. A real life military guy was hotter than two boys on a road trip. Clearly John knew what to do with a woman so they were happy to tease him.
Xander and Sam went to pick up more girls. Maybe John would leave them some.
Major Lorne got out of the cab four days later, paying the driver. He flashed his ID at the guard and wandered inside holding his head. He went right to the infirmary. "Doc, Sheppard's really fucking mean," he complained in a hiss when he blindly ran into her.
She sat him down. "Hangover?" she taunted.
He looked up at her, his eyes so bloodshot you couldn't see any white anymore. "He gave me tequila before I realized it and four sorority chicks took advantage of me." He pouted. "I didn't want to get that drunk, Doc."
"Feel better, Major?"
"Yeah but I feel like shit, Doc."
"I know." She let him lay down and administered aspirin and water. Then she went to cackle in her office. She came back. "What did the colonel do?" she asked him.
"Probably half the sorority chicks in Mexico?" he guessed. He winced as he shrugged. "I don't know. They even made O'Neill loosen up and get laid, Doc. It was evil."
"I'm sure it was, Major." She patted him on the head, earning another hiss. "Did you get hit on the head?"
"I have no clue. I don't remember anything past the second shot, Doc. That was Tuesday."
"It's late Friday, you know that right?"
He blinked at her. "The same week so I wasn't AWOL?" he asked, sounding hopeful.
"Yes, the same week."
"Good, then I won't beat his ass after I have Ronon hold him down for me." He closed his eyes. "I kinda have a fuzzy memory of waking up sometime and having some girl breastfeeding me because I'm a poor baby."
She got needles and some tubing. Then she grabbed a few vials. "Let's do the bloodwork, Major, make sure you won't die from this."
"Can I die anyway? I'll never hear the end of this, Doc. The general will refuse to let me go back to Atlantis."
"No he won't. He'll blame Sheppard. He's your CO and he did it to you." He pouted but nodded slightly. He winced when she stuck the needle in but she walked off once she had him bandaged. The tests were very revealing and he had to get a VD swab too. Fortunately he slept through that with how red and abused his poor penis was. It even had a bruise on the underside. She stripped him down to make him comfortable, finding a new tattoo. She covered it and let him nap. It was the kindest thing she could do.
John showed up looking perky and well rested the next night. "Sir, reporting as ordered by the message you left with the sign in ghouls," he said, saluting him.
"Colonel, do you think it's a good idea to drop your emotionally vulnerable major in a bar in the midst of sorority girls?" he asked.
"Yes, sir, because he needed to get outside his head, which the alcohol I gave him did, and the girls took his mind off everything except his most base needs, which he needed to dwell in for a while to cure his battle nerves," he said bluntly. "The same as I did."
The general looked at him. "That's not really an approved method, Colonel."
"Sir, everyone in any combat zone does the same damn thing." The general sighed, shaking his head. "Not a one of us is a tea drinking, celibate person if we've been in hard combat. We may not drink that way, but it was Evan's choice to keep going. I knew where he was ninety-eight percent of the time and when I didn't, Jon O'Neill did."
"So this was a pack event?" he asked dryly.
"No, Xander and Sam went, dragging O'Neill because he was having problems relating to the old/younger mental split that he and Xander both have. I showed up because I knew we'd be safe with them and it'd let Evan quit stressing. If all you're worried about is 'do I have enough condoms' then you're probably not in battle mode. Which helped him a lot, even if he does have God's own hangover after making Kangaroos."
The general blinked at him. "Are you still drunk?"
"No, sir. I haven't had a thing to drink since last night. No, I take that back, I did have a beer with lunch but O'Neill was driving."
The general stared at him. "I never...."
"Sir, you were married," John said bluntly. "If he had a wife I would've told her to rock his world that way. Since we're not married...." He gave him a pointed look. "Not like I could pick up some girlfriend for him and just chain them together, sir. I let destiny pick who he slept with because I have no idea what his tastes in women actually are. Apparently it's leggy and giggly."
The general cleared his throat. "I did find release in my wife's attention at times, Colonel, but that's still not good for your Major."
"Sir, I only gave him the first drink. Apparently his soul needed the ease for a while. I'm sure he's much less tense now."
"Quite since he can't really make it out of a bed."
"I didn't think any of them were that mean."
"The doctor won't let him until she can scan his new tattoo."
"Oh, that. He went with Xander. It's a protection against someone trying to possess him." He grinned. "Because someone did try, sir."
The general stared at him. "Harris got inked as well?"
"Yes, sir. He got all his protections redone. A few were fading and a few had some lines cut."
"I see. What else happened, Colonel?"
"As far as I know, sir, he only got laid. A lot. The same as I did. The girls were most helpful and kept pushing some of their friends at him when they found out I was there watching his back while he destressed from a bad combat mission. I don't think he slept with a single native woman."
"Anything illegal to declare?" the general asked dryly. "Because I've seen his bloodwork, Colonel."
"The bruja who redid the marks had it burning, sir. That way they were relaxed."
"Uh-huh." He stared at him. "So he wasn't smoking it, it was in his proximity?"
"Yes, sir. To be honest I might have the same thing only in a lesser dose. I went in to get them for lunch."
"Major Lorne said he can't remember hardly anything."
"Yes, sir, that's why I chose tequila. It's well known for that benefit." He stared at him. Cam Mitchell knocked then walked in. "Evan up and around yet?"
"He's getting sympathy pats from the doctors. Sorority girls?"
"There was apparently a mass convention of them where we ended up." He shrugged. "He was ready to snap and start firing on anyone who came near him. He needed the release of his stress. Alcohol to loosen him and a few girls is the traditional cure. Yes?"
"That's the one I was taught to use by the drill instructors," Cam agreed. "Better than beating the crap out of everyone around you."
"I knew where he was."
"He'd like that information," Cam quipped.
"I even have pictures because they were cute and not deadly. Even Xander picked up girls that weren't deadly."
"Wow. Mexico was really good for you guys then." He looked at the general. "You wanted to know when Doctor Jackson got back? He just signed in, sir." He looked at John, grinning. "He apartment sat for the boys so he could get his hands on all the dusty, ancient books."
"That's cool. Xander wouldn't mind as long as he didn't touch his closet."
"No, Daniel doesn't like weapons that way." He left, going to tell Evan his CO was back. "Sheppard's back," he called into the infirmary.
"I'll gut him in a minute," Evan complained. He got released and walked up there, slugging him on the arm. "Sorority girls? You couldn't do better than the brainless ones?"
"We all watched you together. They were very kind and helpful when they found out why I was paying attention to you instead of their breasts. They sent you a lot of pretty ones."
"You nearly got possessed so Xander dragged you with him when he got his. It's to keep things from taking you over. No idea if it'll work on a gou'ald or not." Daniel walked in with a smile. "Would a protection against a spirit possession work on a gou'ald?"
"It might make it harder for them to take over his mind but it'd still be a physical infestation." He looked at the general. "You wanted to see me, General Landry?"
"Were you translating things that could help us, Doctor Jackson?"
"Yes, sir, because we've now run into two planets with demons on them and they weren't really peaceful. I'm sure SG-5 and 8 would like to know how to treat their bites in the future." The general gaped, making whimpering noises. "Fortunately neither type was the sort that could change you into their species. They did report running into a few of them. I have enough to brief them about those species in case we run into them again."
The general stared. "Go away. All of you. Sheppard, Lorne, your ship back goes tomorrow."
"Yes, sir. Permission to do some treat shopping and fill begging emails?" Evan asked with a grin.
"As long as you don't drive since I doubt you can fully see, Major," he said dryly.
"Xander can come pick us up," John assured him with a grin. They walked out together. "Any of them in Pegasus with us, Jackson?"
"A few but I want to try a rope."
"Sure," John agreed with a smirk. They traded information and Daniel got to be a bird for a bit. It made him happy and content. They took the rope back and gathered all the begging emails they had gotten. Then they went shopping. Their base was well out of the way and no one could just run out for twinkies and things.
The general put his head down on his desk, moaning as he thumped it a few times. He wasn't sure why he was cursed with this problem. It was enough to make him want to close Atlantis but then he'd have to have Sheppard on base with his pack more often.
to part 10
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