NC-17, very NC-17 for rougher than usual Clay/Roque and earlier Xander/Roque.

The Old Ones Keep Going.

Anya woke up in the ER with Buffy standing over her.  "What happened?"

"Someone invaded the shop," she said.  "Do you remember anything, Anya?"

"Little people?"  She moaned and held her head.  "I remember Xander getting a scary look on his face and his axe showing up somehow from the closet and then he went off like a troll."  She closed her eyes.  "Concussion?"

"Yeah, you got the research table thrown on you."  Xander walked in with his shiny new stitches and staples.  "Any idea?"

"Her little fucking minions," he said bluntly.  "Though it's nice our medical kit survived being kicked."  He looked at Anya.  Then at Buffy.  "She swears up and down that since you're the slayer you have her Key," he mouthed.  Buffy growled.  He nodded.  "And she was wearing really ugly Gucci."

"Do we know where she is yet?"

"Not yet.  I'll put word out we want her addy for you though."

"So not just me."

"No," Xander said.  "We found some stuff, Buffy.  She's...   We'll be right back, Anya."  He walked her off to where Tara was babying Willow, gathering her as well to talk outside where it was more private.  He told them what he had found out, making Buffy seethe.  "So we're not going to be able to go mundane and just fight," he finished.

She considered it.  "I'm so talking to someone."  She walked off.  "Get them back to our house.  We have some wards.  Tara, can you?"  Tara nodded quickly.  "Xander, no patrol tonight."

"I'll be cleaning up the store."  She smiled and nodded.  He looked at Tara.  "Let me drive you three over."  She nodded, going to get Willow while he got Anya.  Tara could ward Buffy's house.  Then Xander went to make sure the store was still standing and what could be salvaged.  Cops were looking at the doorway so he coughed.  "Someone tried to rob the store.  Got a bit forceful when I said no."

The cops walked off muttering.  He found one inside in his med kit and charmed him.  He walked out looking like he had just eaten a huge meal and gotten a blow job under the table at the same time, but he wouldn't remember being there.  He got everything cleaned up and hidden.  Then he came back to go over the weapons and make plans.  There was no way some jumped up hell goddess was going to upset him.

"You know, you are the weaker being in your relationship," a male voice said with a fond, amused tone.

"No, not really, Father."  Xander looked at him.  "I see you escaped again."

"It's not that hard."  He smirked at his son.  "He was a better warrior."

"Now he's scary with knives and I'm scary in many other ways," he said dryly.  "He didn't respect me."

"I worked long and hard on that alliance."

"Yay.  That was his shit. Not mine."  He stared at him.  "Why did you show up?  We already have one insane hell god running around."

"I came to talk to you.  Your grandfather noted he had seen you both."

"Roque asked me to protect his former team."

"I see.  Are they...useful?"

"No, they're called friends, Father.  Not useful."  His father grimaced.  "Want me to ask again why you're here nagging?" he asked sarcastically.  "Because I'm in the middle of some battle plans."

"I could've sworn you were a protector, Son."

"Yeah, well, that was ages ago, Father.  Bite me."  He stared at him.  "Any other issues?"

"No, I mainly came to check on you.  I felt you be injured earlier.  I also felt you nearly break out in something you shouldn't be able to access."

Xander snickered.  "Father, welcome to the Hellmouth," he said dryly.  "And yeah, when Glory attacked...."  Loki gave him an odd look.  "By the way did you even think before you popped around to nag?" he asked dryly, smirking at him.

"Well, no, I just thought you might like to see me.  Perhaps ask for a favor?"

"Sure, give me Mjöllnir for a bit," he said dryly.  Loki gaped in horror.  "We have a hell goddess running loose.  That's what attacked me earlier."

"Oh, dear."

"Yeah.  And more insane than you made my stepmother."

"She has her uses, son."

"I don't give a damn.  You treat your women like shit.  You probably always will."

"Son, they're not...."

"Shut up.  I don't want to hear your sexist ideology since women are stronger.  If men had to give birth, humanity would've died *centuries* ago."  He smirked.  "Anything else you wanted to whine about, Father?"  Loki glared at him.  He called someone.  "It's Xander.  My father's here in Sunnydale.  Yeah, that means he can't leave on his own.  Thought you might wanna tell someone to see if he wanted to visit."  He hung up, smirking at his father.  Loki was trying to travel or even ease into the shadows and couldn't.  "Welcome to the Hellmouth, Dad."  He walked off.  "If you want, you can give me advice on how to take on an insane hell goddess without mead, porn, or sexy music.  Then again, she might be your type but I'd hate to have her as a stepmother."

Loki growled.  "How are you doing this?"

"It's the town, not me."  He smirked.  He slapped the cuffs on him.


Coulson hung up and went to find his charge.  "Thor."  He looked up.  "Your brother's visiting your nephew."

Thor snorted.  "I'm sure he's not amused."

"They're in Sunnydale so he can't leave.  Xander thought you might like to visit."

Thor stared at him.  "Beating Loki might be nice," he admitted.  He considered it.  "Huh."  They got him there and his nephew somehow knew, bringing his father out to see him that night before walking off.  "Nephew, may we speak?"

"Later.  I just spotted the insane hell goddess out trolling."  He snuck off, dipping into the shadows to follow her as stealthily as he could.

Thor took a swing, knocking his brother down.  "Good day, Loki."

"Brother," he said dryly.  He was still trying to cleanse his powers of the foulness of this town but it'd take a few minutes.  He'd have to distract Thor.  The silly little agent human had followed his son so that was helpful as well.  Though someone else was showing up.  In a metal suit.  "Is he a knight?"

"No.  Stark," he growled.

"Coulson called for help?"

"He's in town following my nephew."


"There's an insane hell goddess," Loki said smugly.

Ironman shook his head quickly.  "Figures with this town of oddness and stupid things."  He took off and flew down to try to track one of them.  Coulson had activated a tracking chip in his phone on purpose.  Let Thor beat the crap out of his brother all he wanted.  What he saw amused the hell out of him.  "JARVIS, take video of her for later analysis."

"I am, sir," the AI reported.  "That is quite an unusual feeding style."

"Yes, it is."  He landed next to her.  "Lady, should you be doing that?"  She shrieked and hit him, knocking him back.  "Huh.  Stronger than I guessed."  He got up out of the rubble and stomped back.

"She's a hell goddess," Coulson called.  "She has a host body that can be killed, Stark."

"Thanks for the warning."  He shot his repulser at her.  Nothing.  She laughed and complained about her hair being staticky.  This was a bad thing then.  Then he saw Alexander step out with his axe to take on the charging minions.  That helped a bit.  He kept blasting her with heavier and heavier things.  Until he was using missiles that usually took out tanks.  That one pissed her off, it burned her outfit.

He heard a female shriek and saw lightening come down to hit her.  Stark looked.  Tiny redheaded late teenager by his estimates.  Earth shoes, frumpy clothes.  Must be Rosenburg.  "Miss," he greeted.  He blasted her and Willow did her thing again.  The form wavered.  "JARVIS, hit her with something when she goes male the next time," he ordered as he attacked again.  The AI fired the nanosecond she started to waver.  The body burned up.  Stark relaxed.  He blasted the remaining minions.  "Worse than Taliban," he muttered, cracking the boy up.  "Alexander."

"Mr. Stark.  Thank you."

"Welcome.  I was told something was after Dawn."  Xander pointed at the messy spot.  "Good to know I could help."  Xander moved closer, waving him to bend down so they could talk.  Tony lifted his visor and Xander hissed at him, getting a nod.  "I got briefed on that."

"One's a fireling," he said quietly.

"And that as well."

"They're looking to dismantle but I'm guessing he's got his finger in many pies."

"Oh, he does," Coulson agreed as he walked over.  "Thank you, Stark."

"It's easier to stop it here before it gets out in the rest of the world."  He looked at the kid.   "If he wants to ask, I'll let him use a corner of the processor."

"One thing they found was he was part of the Initiative mess.  Which means...."

"Rhodey might know," he realized.  Xander nodded.  "I know he's not."

"I know he's not, but who else is around him?  By a photo recently at least one was."

"Good point.  I'll talk to him later, kid.  Thanks for the head's up."

"Repayment for taking out the psycho bitch."  He grinned.  "I'd bake cookies but I suck at it.  I'll ask Tara if you want."

"Nah, Pepper's on a diet.  She'd steal them all from me."  He smirked and took off, lowering his visor.  "Later, kids."

"Thank you," Coulson said, looking at the boy.  "And for bringing that other one to our attention."

"Not like I wanted to listen to him bitch that his arranged marriage plot fell through," Xander said dryly in Spanish.  Coulson snickered, patting him on the arm.  "Speaking of...."


"Good!  He can stay on that side of the world."  Coulson nodded.  "Let's get you back to safety," he said, spotting the vampires.  "Willow, gang."  She looked and swore, following them.  "So, how's things?"

"Not bad.  Dawn nagged him earlier about doing good things for humanity.  Used her sister as an example.  He considers her mouthy and tragically young but spankable."

"Dawn would probably break his hand and if not, I would," Xander assured him.  Coulson grinned.  "You might see if Pepper or someone with Mom sense can help her figure out what she wants to be if she gets to grow up."

"That's not a bad point.  I'll see if Miss Potts would mentor her while her mother's in the hospital."  He grinned.  Xander grinned back.  He liked the kid, he was smart and a smartass without causing him too many problems.  "Have you met Stark's new assistant?"

"No.  Is she single and dangerous?"

"Dangerous yes.  Single.... I think."  He smirked.  "Definitely up your alley."


"Anya," Willow said.

"Well, yeah, I'm dating Anya.  But Anya might like to meet her.  She might not be so demanding if she met other women who like me."

Coulson patted him on the shoulder as they came to where Thor and Loki were fighting.  "I looked her up.  She's.... loud."

"Very.  Got a concussion right now."  They shared a smirk and he pounced his father, knocking him down.  Thor smirked and kicked Loki on the side.  "Welcome.  That's for trying to make me a wife."  He got up and stepped back.  "So, anyway, since it'll probably be at the very least hours before he can fade out...."

"We'll take this talk somewhere else," Thor said smugly.  "Your friend's sister is mouthy."

Xander stared at him.  "And you're still spoiled."  He smirked.  "If I can do this...."  He waved a hand around.  Thor shuddered.  "She's right to nag you."

"Fine," he muttered.  "Coulson, can we?"

"Definitely."  He helped Loki up.  "Thanks, Harris."

"Hey, I'll warn if more big things show up.  We're good but not hell goddess good."  They smiled and left together.  Xander looked at Willow.  "I'll walk you back to Joyce's."

"Who was that?" she asked.

"Thor.  Agent Coulson is one of Fury's people."

"Oh," she said weakly.  "Like horned hat, big hammer.... prophecy of Ragnarok Thor?"  Xander nodded, walking her off.  "How did you meet them?"

"I briefly dated a valkyrie."


"She's the one who taught me to use a battle axe."

"Huh," she said even more weakly.  "Did you meet Anya then?"

"No and she has no idea."  He grinned.  "Loki showed up to nag.  I spotted Glory when I was dragging him to talk to Coulson since the hellmouth meant that his powers were corrupted so he couldn't blip out."

"Cool I guess," she said, sounding exhausted.  Xander got her onto Joyce's couch as soon as he could and it was nice.  She could nap right there and forget that had happened.

Xander settled in to call Buffy from the front porch, Tara joining him a minute later.  "It's me and Tara with an update.  Even a happy one."  Buffy said that was good.  "I ran into Loki, who showed up to nag."  Tara shuddered, sitting next to him.  "So I called Coulson to see if he wanted to get the brothers together to nag.  I spotted Glory and he followed to get a better look at her for Fury, which meant Ironman got called.  He and Willow turned her into a charred spot after about an hour of fighting."  Tara relaxed.

"Also, I heard Dawn nagged Thor."  Buffy cackled, telling her mother that.  "I suggested someone like Miss Potts might be able to give her a good educational role model and ideas about safe things to do in the future.  That way she has a good female role model among the more normal people who know as well.  Plus Pepper probably knows some of the best colleges in the universe.  So how's your mom?"

He grinned at Tara.  "First treatment earlier and they're very hopeful."  Tara grinned.  "Tara's nearly hugging me in joy over that, Buffy.  No, the store's trashed after she showed up earlier.  I got it cleaned up but not a lot of salvageable stuff.  The books are dented.  The candles and stuff are ruined.  The weapons were a mess.  I've got it stored and locked up for later fixing.  Yup, it's all good.  Stay with your mom, we've got Sunnydale for now.  Laters, give her a hug from us."  He hung up and looked at Tara, who smiled.  "It's good news tonight."

"Very good news."  She hugged his arm.  "You should talk to your half-brother."


"Because I keep seeing him in a dream."

"Huh."  He considered it.  He had no doubt Tara knew who he really was.  Tara and he were a lot alike.  "He's off in the middle of nowhere."  He shrugged.  "I'll send him an email."  She grinned.  "So.... what shall we do tonight?"

"Make Joyce cookies?"

"I could like some cookie making.  I'm a good cookie making helper."  He got up and helped her up, taking her into the kitchen to help her.  He was a sucky baker but he had stronger arms so he could mix the batter better than she could.


Dawn looked up from her pouting when a woman walked into her room.  "Who're you?"

"Xander said you might like to meet me because I can help you decide what areas you want to study, Dawn."  She sat on the edge of the bed, looking at the young girl.  "I'm Pepper Potts."  Dawn gaped in awe.  She smiled.  "He thought you might need a good female role model while your mother's sick and you're being overprotected by the cro-magnon blond."

"He so needs my mom's foot up his butthole."

"He probably could use it, yeah."  She held out a hand.   "Let's go outside.  It's stuffy down here."  Dawn nodded, letting her help her up and outside.  "I've heard about your sister's work.  Mostly when the agents found out and had a temper tantrum," she admitted.  "They consider her very...strange."

"The whole group is a bit strange."

"Yes, but usually good."  She smiled.  They ran into Coulson, who looked messed up.  "Problems?"

"Loki's in a foul mood."

Dawn snorted.  "Bigger spoiled brat man?"  Pepper laughed.  "Seriously, Xander is *so* much a better man.  Even Agent Stuffy here is."

"Those with power often think they're more special," Pepper said dryly.  "It's up to normal people like me, Agent Coulson, and Xander to show them differently."  She smiled.  "We're going outside."

"It's safe.  It's a bit breezy though."  He looked at Dawn.  "They fired up the insane blonde in Gucci last night."

"Not my sister, right?" she asked.  "Not that she favors Gucci but you never know."

"No, not that one and she's in D&G today," Coulson quipped back with a smirk.  "The one after you, Dawn."  The girl hugged him and beamed at Pepper.  "Go ahead.  Stark's pouty."

"Usually," Pepper agreed.  They went topside to talk and get to know each other.  Dawn really did have her mother's backbone and strength but she needed to focus it in a way that would get her where she wanted to go.  Whether that be helping the cause or not.  Pepper read the girl easily enough; she was a nice, mostly normal teenage girl with something inside her.  They'd figure out a good place for her to help.  Maybe someday she'd be her successor.

She saw her boss watching and waved him off, getting a nod and a smirk.  Dawn looked at him.  "You look nicer in the armor and less uptight too.  Maybe you should go hide or something?"

"It's the wind," he admitted.

Dawn looked up and the wind eased.  He gaped.  She smirked and walked Pepper off.   "I do not want to turn into Willow."

"Then you won't.  As long as you're aware of your actions and the consequences, you'll never be addicted to your skills.  There are some that are addicted to the adrenaline of the fight and battles, but not like that."  Dawn relaxed and grinned again.  "Even if you don't nurture that gift, there's always other duties that need to be done.  Tony would've died *long* before he finished college if it wasn't for me.  Probably from a bad girlfriend's hand."

"Is he related to Xander?"

"No."  She smiled.  "We did wonder when we met Xander but he's not."  Dawn grinned at her.

"How do you not get used as the heroine in distress?  I'm feeling like there's probably going to be more kidnapings to get back at Buffy or because of who and what I am," she said quietly.

"That's harder to arrange.  Even I get threatened sometimes," Pepper admitted.  "You have to be stronger than they are and find ways of getting free."  She talked to her about her own experiences and the girl got some good suggestions.  When Loki got free and came for her, Dawn and Pepper just glared until he backed off.

"I can see why my son likes you like his own sister," Loki said, staring at the young thing.

Dawn tipped her head.  "Xander's not Godly.  He's a normal guy with a knight complex who jumped in."

Loki snorted.  "Not hardly."  He smirked and disappeared.  "Finally!"

"I'm asking Ethan to sic Janus on you," she called.  Then she looked at Pepper.  "Really?"

"Hmm.  That's a question to ask him."  Dawn raised an eyebrow.  "Technically he's only immortal."

"Huh.  I'm not going to tell my sister.  She'll be pouty that he's special too.  Think he's been possessed or something."

"Yeah, she does have that blind spot.  Tony does sometimes too."  They heard the sound of jet boots and looked.  "Rhodey's here."

"He's cute and all but not my type," Dawn quipped.  "Too old and uptight."  Pepper giggled, patting her on the arm.  "Some day I'll have to date, even if my sister does whine."

"Big sisters can be that way.  Don't date someone like her ex though."

"Eww, I have better taste than an Initiative weenie."  Rhodey looked at them oddly.  She stared back.  "Private convo, dude.  Take the special iron underwear somewhere else."  He walked off shaking his head.  "Boys," she huffed.

"You'll learn how to finesse them so they're on better behavior," Pepper assured her happily.  "It's how I get Tony to do what he needs to do too."

"Oooh, can you teach me how to be good for boys to pick up?"

"No.  I can teach you how to be hot and wanted but picky.  Real women are always picky."  She walked her off to the sandy areas to talk about boys.  Dawn was a teenager.  Boys played a big part in her thinking right now.

"Does everyone but us know about Xander?"

"Pretty much.  He ran into something that Tony was working on and Tony did a background.  Which got back to Agent Fury, who threw a fit of epic proportions I'm told, and talked to Xander, but didn't let on when your sister butted in.  So yeah, most of us know about Xander but it's not anywhere Willow might find if she took up hacking again, or their former cohort Oz."

"Huh."  She nodded.  "I'm so picking on him later.  Does Spike know?"

"Not that I know of.  Do you like Spike?"

"He's a really great sitter and he loves my mom.  Mommy feeds him cocoa to talk about his girlfriends, including when he mopes over Dru.  He thinks he loves my sister too."

Pepper shook her head.  "As long as he doesn't try to hurt you I guess he's a good friend to know."  Dawn grinned at her.  "I don't have many friends that could kill me."

Dawn shrugged.  "Things are weird in Sunnydale."

"I know.  There's plenty of days that Agent Fury wants to bomb your town."

"Xander has plans for that," Dawn quipped with a grin.  Pepper giggled.  "Seriously."

"I'm sure he does.  I'm surprised he didn't during graduation."  They walked off again.  She could really like Dawn.  She was a neat girl.


Xander's head lifted from his current poker hand when whispers started to go through the bar.  He looked over.  "What's up?" he called, going back to his hand.

Agent Fury sat down, sprawling in his chair while he petted the meowing bet on the table.

"No petting the bets," one of the demons complained.

"Guys, that's Nick Fury," Xander said dryly.  "He gets to pet the meowing thing since I'll win it anyway."  He put down his cards.  They all moaned and tossed down theirs.  Xander smirked as he gathered his winnings.  "We can take the kitty and drop her off outside of town."  He walked off with the agent.  "What's up?"

"Three things," he said, leaning against his car.  "First, you have plans to bomb the town?"  The cat curled up in his arms.

Xander nodded.  "Have since eleventh grade."

"Can I get a copy to compare with ours for emergency overruns?"

"Sure."  He grinned.  "Since that's something you could have called in, what's the huge bad thing?"

"Two huge bad things.  Why did you send an email to someone on a classified military project?  One of their people hacked and found out that we had a connection so he had me ask."

"Tara started having prophetic dreams that I should talk to my half-brother."

Fury stared at him.  "Sheppard?"  Xander nodded.  "Huh.  Okay."

"Same mother, different fathers."

"Interesting."  He nodded once.  "Okay.  Secondly, they could use you."

"Um.... no.  I'm not really military oriented.  I hate following orders."

"I know, kid.  We'd be amazed if you did follow some," he said dryly.

"Yeah, me too."

Fury snickered, petting the cat he'd be dropping off later.  He growled when some tiny demon walked up pouting at him.  "Private conversation."  Xander petted it and it ran off wailing.  "You clearly have the touch."

"They think I'm unholy."

"Because of your parents?"

"No, because I know girls.  They're a very segregated society."

"Ah.  Gotcha."  He looked at him.  "They could really use some help."

"They could .... move here as a training area," Xander offered.  "Because if they can handle the weird here, the weird there is nothing."

"That's actually not a bad idea.  They're only in Colorado and the base here is less underground than theirs is."  He nodded.  "Other than that, they've got some massive problems with a people eating species."

"Do we have research on them?"

"Probably not unless it's in a demonic library.  Something ancient created it."

Xander considered it.  "I can ask Hel.  She does owe me a few kittens from our last poker game."  He called her assistant.  "Hey, it's Alexander.  I was wondering about something for my half-brother.  Other one.  John, yeah.  He's somewhere with a people eating species?"

Nick took the phone.  "Ma'am, Nick Fury.  He's dealing with a species called Wraith?"  He listened.  "Please do.  I can have his half-brother send it to him.  It could only help.  Do you have anything on their city?  Yes, they are."  He smiled at the boy.  "That's very helpful and he's been begging for any help he could find.  Thank you, ma'am."  He handed the phone back.

Xander put it against his ear.  "Can you call his Dad's people?  Well, I can get in touch with Mom's assistant then.  Thanks, Auntie.  No, he was holding Dad hostage for a few days though.  Thanks."  He hung up and called his mother's assistant.  "Gladriel.... you know I still think it's great Tolkien named an Elf Goddess after you," he quipped when she growled.  "Small issue for John.  A coworker of his has heard he's dealing with a species called Wraith where he is on his mystically nuts city."  His mother snatched the phone.

"Hi, Mom."  He grinned.  "Not me, John, but Agent Fury wanted me to go help him for a bit.  Yeah, they're on Atlantis and he has wraith.  Do we know anything and can you ask his daddy's people? I asked Aunt Hel's assistant if they had anything."  He beamed.  "That'd be really cool.  Thank you.  I'll see if I can do that.  Yeah, they might appreciate anything on the city as well.  Thanks, Mom.  No, we just had to get Agent Fury's help to destroy a hell goddess named Glorificus."  He hung up on her spluttering.  "She's not real happy to hear that part."  He put his phone back.  "You know... that team I was helping..."

"I already had that idea, kid."  He smirked.  "Plus seeing if Stark wants read into it.  By the way, Pepper adores Dawn.  Thinks she's neat, and might even get her to follow in her shiny pumps some day."

"Dawn will hate being taken hostage."

"Pepper's too good for that."  He got into his car and drove off.  There were some things to arrange.

Xander went back on patrol.  Since he had money for a pizza now and the kitty was on her way to LA.


Nick Fury smiled at the men who walked into the diner, waving them over.  "I had it cleared for this talk, boys.  Want some pie and coffee?"

"Please," Clay agreed, sitting down.  The others pulled over chairs and got their own pie and coffees.  "What's going on, Agent Fury?  Has someone made a determination of what we're doing for now?"

"I'm here to offer you an option," he said.  "I have knowledge and just enough pull to make some suggestions with a top secret quiet project that is more insane than Sunnydale.  Some of the skills you saw the kids there use would do you good there."  He stared at them.  "I'm not asking you to be our spy or anything but they could use some more help.  The Marines are good, so are the Air Force guys, but you guys are supposed to be better."

"We are," Clay assured him.  "Where?  Afghanistan?  Iraq?"

"Off world."

Clay gaped.  "Excuse me?"

"The SGC is hiring?" Jensen asked.  "I thought about applying there but they're a bit too crazy for me usually."

"That's a bad thing," Clay said dryly.

"They could use your team somewhere that has a people eating species to fight," Fury told them.  He smirked at Jensen.  "With Sheppard if you ran into mentions of him."

"Oh, hell yes, I want to go to Atlantis some year."

"As in lost city of?" Pooch asked.  Fury and Jensen both nodded, Jensen grinning at him.  "That's certainly going to cut down on my leave time with the son.  Didn't it sink or something?"

"It was but in a whole other galaxy."

"That'll be a long trip," Pooch quipped.

"Few minutes via their method in, two weeks by ship out," Fury said smugly.  They all gaped.  He nodded.  "They could use your brand of insane craziness and I can use you to quietly funnel some information up there.  Even Stark wants his foot on it to help."

"So we'd be going up as contractors but we'd report to you?" Clay asked.

"You'd be SHIELD agents, yes."

Clay looked at his team.

"The wife of Pooch will kill the Pooch if he's gone too long," Pooch told him.

"Year.  You'll have regular email service and video mail."  Pooch nodded at that.  "It's insane but we'll lose if we don't get some good people up there soon to help those crazy motherfuckers."  A new man walked in.  "General O'Neill."  The guys all saluted.

"At ease, guys."  He sat down next to Fury, looking at them.  "Delta forces huh?"  They nodded.  "We all heard about the fuck up that happened because of that wannabe."  Clay nodded once.  "Family issues?"

"I have a wife and a new son," Pooch said.  "But if I can keep in contact she won't complain too much."

"I have a sister and a niece," Jensen said.  "They're fully protected though."

The general smiled.  "That's good to know."  He looked at Fury.  "You have some really strange contacts."

"Yeah, but it helps."  He smirked.  "I also have some information on Atlantis and the wraith for you from a few very...old sources."

"Interesting," he said casually.

"This team was usually given minimal orders and had to make their own plans.  They're not duffers."

"I read their uncensored jackets."  He nodded.  "We could use you guys definitely."  He smiled.  "If you want to go."

"Have I asked anyone?" Jensen asked Fury.

"No, but we asked your priestess."  He smirked.  "She went on a two week swearing rant stronger than Sheppard's real mother did.  That one nearly flooded my flying office."

"I've read Sheppard's jacket," O'Neill said.

"He was adopted," Jensen said with a grin.  "I know his half-brother."

"Xander's a nice guy," Fury agreed.  "He's the one who told Sheppard's mother to get that info for him when he heard he needed it."

"Huh," O'Neill said.  "Can we recruit this half-brother?"

"Maybe but I doubt it.  He's a smartass who doesn't usually follow orders and he's on the Sunnydale team.  Speaking of, he suggested you move your training areas to the old Initiative base since anything that freaked them out there would be so much worse than it would on your project."

O'Neill nodded.  "I heard about that town."

Fury smirked.  "We adore them for handling it without us most of the time but we had to help them take down a hell goddess recently."  Clay shuddered.  "Oh, no, she had her ugly little minions steal her Gucci and she complained at Ironman when he burned it firing on her," Fury told him.  "It needed our special touch since it took them an hour to kill her."

"Jesus," Clay muttered.  Cougar crossed himself.  O'Neill just shuddered lightly.  "Your group is that insane?"

"Depends on the day," he admitted.  "And if we've recently hit another parallel universe."  Fury cackled.  "Yeah, some days we do that too."  He looked at them.  "I won't lie, Atlantis is very dangerous.  They have native species that want to kill them.  Plants and humanoid.  Plus the wraith.  It's a combat posting that has sent a good third of the original staff home in a box.  That's with our best people."  He looked at Clay.  "You may have more time in uniform then Sheppard but he is in command."

"I do better with a group of misfits than a whole battle troupe anyway, General."

"That might help.  How do you feel about nutsoid scientists?"

"Protect them from themselves like we do Jensen," Pooch quipped.  Jensen slugged him on the arm, eating more of his pie.  He looked at Cougar.  "You got issues?"

"Will these ones turn to dust?"

"No, but they can kill you by touching you and sucking out your life force," Fury offered.

Cougar shuddered.  "Then it is best if we kill them."

"Please, kill them hard," O'Neill agreed.  He looked at Clay again.  "So you're becoming SHIELD agents?"

"I guess we can try that for the year he wanted us for," Clay agreed.  Fury pulled out folders for them.  O'Neill had his own.  "How much training do we need to do before we go?"

"They have specialized boot camp for newbies," O'Neill said with a smirk.  "That way you know all the things that can eat you and not to spar with Ronon."

"We can do that."  He looked at Fury.  "You can keep Roque off their families?" he asked quietly.

"He's still in Thailand."

"That's fine."  He got back to his paperwork.  They were watching the traitor.  "Why ask Xander to help us if he was betraying us?"

"This way he got free but you guys were helped.  You were his family," Fury said simply.  "But you drove him batshit insane with Aisha the dangerous wench.  He needed out and expected to be taken out.  When that fell through, he asked Xander for a favor."

Clay nodded.  "He's a good guy to know."  He got back to it.  "He's not coming?"

"Nope," O'Neill said dryly.

"Cool."  They finished up and handed over the forms; Jensen's had a few pie fingerprints already on it.

Fury looked at O'Neill.  "Stark wants to help too."

"Hey, if Stark can figure out how to make a suit for Sheppard, I'm sure he'd blow him for it.  Or even for Lorne since he's less insane."

"I'll see if he can.  Can you pop around to brief him?"

"I can do that.  If he can make us something cool, it could help."

"He does major in it."  They shared a smirk and let the team get their gear so they could go to Colorado.  Cougar got handed the information package from the families.  That way Jensen wouldn't bounce it around.  Some of those books were ancient.


A few days later, Clay raised his hand during the briefing.  "How many of them don't want to kill us?  That might be a shorter list and we'd assume anything not on it was dangerous."

"There's about six hundred down here and about ten in Pegasus," Colonel Mitchell said with a smirk.  "You'll get that next to compare, Colonel."

"That's fine, sir."  He settled in to learn all about dangerous peoples he hadn't dated yet.  It was charming of them to introduce him to new crazy women.

"Did Xander date her?" Jensen asked at one point.  "She looks a lot like Anya."  Pooch moaned, shaking his head.  "Well, she was a vengeance demon for over a millennia."

"Demons exist?" Colonel Mitchell snorted.

"You'll find out when the training gets moved to Sunnydale," O'Neill said as he walked past the door.  "I've got a specialist coming in to teach that.  He's like a cousin of Jackson's."

"Okay," he decided.  "No, as far as I know they're not vengeance demons.  They're from some dark ages like society, Corporal."

"Wonderful."  He grinned. "Maybe we can introduce them."  Clay gave Cougar a pointed look, getting Jensen swatted.  "Hey!  It might make them nicer."

"Around here we have others who date like that," Mitchell said with a smirk.  "You guys scarily fit in around here."

"We're Army," Clay said dryly.  "If we had been Marines we'd probably have been picked sooner."

"Probably, yeah.  They send all their insane ones to us."  He got back to the lecture.  He'd be telling Sheppard later.  They'd enjoy Atlantis a whole lot.


The time came for them to go through the wormhole to Midway.  They had been on short trips, and gotten into a battle or six.  The whole SGC loved those guys now.  Even the babbling Jensen did.  "Have fun," Mitchell called.  "Tell Sheppard McKay's sister is sending stuff on the ship."

"Can do," Clay said.  "Let's go, Losers."  They walked through the gateway with the other new staff.  Then they got to wait for an hour of quarantine, which gave Cougar time to clean his rifle again.  They got passed through to Atlantis and saluted.  "Colonel Clay and his team reporting as ordered, Colonel Sheppard."

"Colonel Clay."  He came down to shake his hand.  "Welcome to Atlantis."

Cougar held up the sack.  "From your brother."  Sheppard gave him an odd look.

Jensen coughed.  "From Xander."

"Ohhh-kay," he said, taking it.  "Huh.  Getting an email from him was really strange."

"Mitchell said to tell you that McKay's sister was sending things on the next ship."

"Good to know as well.  Come to my office, guys.  We'll get you situated with newbie camp and rooms.  Lorne?"  He walked them that way.  The others got handled by Major Lorne.  "You guys know my half-brother?" he asked once he had closed the doors.

"Yup, he saved our lives," Jensen said with a grin.   "We really like Xander."

"Goofy, dark hair, dates really bad girls, kinda violent, and uses an axe Alexander?" John asked to make sure.  They all nodded.  "Why?"

"Roque was our teammate but he turned on us," Clay said quietly.  "He asked Xander to help us.  So we got to go to a nice town called Sunnydale to heal in for a week.  The hellmouth was kinda strange."

John sat down, shaking his head quickly.  "Why in the hells is he on the hellmouth?"

"Helping," Jensen said.  "He said he called his daddy's aunt, your mother, and she called your father's people to get you that info."

"That's very handy.  I haven't had the time to ask."  He got into it.  "That's really very handy," he decided, smiling at them.  "Almost better than chocolate around here."

"I brought my own," Jensen quipped.  "And coffee."

"Good."  John smirked.  "All right.  We're going to get you guys set up with newbie camp so you learn all the dangerous stuff out here."

"We just got done with SGC boot camp," Clay told him.  John gave him a look.  "We're Delta Force, Colonel.  We were rescue, quiet ops, all that, until someone tried to use us.  Now we're temporarily SHIELD."


"Fury said to tell you that Stark is being read in to see if he wants to help," Pooch said.

"Very cool."  He grinned.  "I could use a suit."  The door was knocked on and opened.  "Major Lorne.  Guys, this is my second-in-command Major Evan Lorne.  This is Colonel Franklin Clay...."

"Pooch, Cougar, Jensen," Jensen introduced with a grin.  "Hi, Major."

"Special contractors we heard about?"  Clay nodded.  "All right.  You guys scientists or anything else like that?"

"Jensen's a massive hacker and our comm/tech support.  Cougar's our sniper.  Pooch is our transport person and can make it run if it doesn't, no matter what," Clay said.

"Even better."  He grinned.  "I'll have Radek teach you about the jumpers, Pooch.  Any ATA carriers?"  Jensen and Pooch both raised their hands.  "Good.  Let's put you guys on Six East," he decided.  "We have four rooms together down a tiny hallway no one likes because there's no balcony.  But there's a nice roof above you guys if you wanted to climb up to it."  They all nodded.  He handed them maps.  "Colonel, is that stuff for us?" he asked with a point at the books.

"It's stuff a relative found on Atlantis and the wraith.  I'm going to call McKay up to look it over in a bit."

"The DVD has the photocopies of anything that couldn't travel and a summary of the books," Jensen told him.  "Doctor Jackson translated anything that needed to be done, and he said some of it was very interesting.  He also told me how to hack into the mainframe for the AI in hopes I can get something more found out while I'm here."  Colonel Sheppard and Major Lorne both smiled.  "And I brought a limited supply present from Jackson to McKay for his birthday."  He pulled it out and held up the bag.

"McKay, come to the office," Sheppard called, turning off his comm.  "I'll let you guys settle in once you guys have met him.  He's head scientist.  He's snarky, mean, and yells.  He's allergic to anything citrus and nuts," he said firmly.  They all nodded they knew that.  "Warned on base?"

"Mitchell," Cougar told him.  He got out of the way when he heard someone walking their way.

"What is so important?" he complained.

"I have information from some very ancient sources on the wraith and Atlantis?" Sheppard asked.  "Corporal Jensen there has a birthday present from Jackson for you?  And he's a hacker."

McKay looked at him.  "The same Jensen that got into our mainframe a few years ago?" he asked dryly.

"Yup, sure am," he said cheerfully.  "Jackson said he translated all of those for you and he asked me to help you with the AI here as well as bring you a birthday present."  He held it up.  "He did say I could hold it hostage for about six days though."  It got snatched with an evil smirk.

Rodney moaned.  "Blue Hawaiian."  He smiled.  "Thank you."

"We're here to do what we can to help," Clay assured him.

"Have Radek get with Pooch tomorrow," Sheppard ordered.  "He's their transport guy and he's got the ATA gene so he can fly a jumper."

"I did a hundred hours of sim on the base," Pooch assured him.  They all smiled at that.  "Based on your flying patterns, Colonel."

"Hey, you survived," Lorne said, getting a punch on the arm from Sheppard, smirking back at him.  "He did."

"Whatever.  Rest tonight.  Let us look this over.  McKay, they said Stark Enterprises is being read into the program."  McKay moaned, nodding.  "I'm hoping for a suit."  He smirked.  "Let's go over this?"  They nodded and Lorne led the team off to their rooms telling them about the mandatory areas they'd need in the first few days.  Jensen had gotten them maps and briefing sheets so that was really handy and they could hit newbie camp in the morning.  He went back to the office to help with the research work.  "Anything good?"

"All the notes on the wraith that the Ancients left," Rodney said quietly.  "A few other things about the city, including her name."  He smirked.  "How did they get these?"

"They asked someone in SHIELD to find it," John said simply.  "They're SHIELD's team to us."

That got a nod and they got to work.  They had plenty of work for a new team and could ask Teyla to go with them sometimes.  Or Ronon.  He'd like them.


Clay looked up from his briefing.  "Six whole things that aren't dangerous?"

"Even the worms are against us out here," Evan said smugly.  "The plants, the natives for the most part....  Don't make us lose any trade agreements, Colonel."

"I'd hope we were better behaved than that, Major."  He smirked.  "We'll try really hard."  That got a nod.  "Or we'll let Jensen babble at them until they like us again."

"I haven't tried that yet but it might work."  He got back to the briefing.  He wasn't sure how much work this team was going to get.  They were rescue specialists though so that would take some work from Lorne's team when Sheppard got into trouble.


Later that night, Jensen looked up.  He remembered some teaching nursery rhymes that mentioned star patterns he was now seeing.  "Huh."  He looked around before going down to his room to try to change.  It fully worked.  His bigger form was nearly as big as the room but that was fine.  He shrank down and stretched fully for the first time in years.  The he went back to human when he smelled someone walking up his hallway.  He opened the door, smiling.  "You must be Ronon.  We were warned not to spar with you," he quipped.  "Jensen."

"I came to get you for physical testing."

"Cool beans."  He got the others and they went to do their physical testing.  Ronon was scarily good.  So was Teyla.  So was John.  But they all had their own skills.  As a team they were impressive.  Sheppard grinned at them for it even.  It made Jensen feel even more bouncy.  He adored it here.

"Calm down," Clay ordered, cuffing him on the back of the head.

"Yes, boss."

"You guys met NCIS agents?" one of the other guys quipped.

"Yup, over the fallout from the asshole who tried to use our team and declare us as evil," Jensen said with a grin.  "He got taken down pretty hard and a lot of people in the higher ups committed suicide instead of going to jail."

John shuddered.  "I heard.  There was an executive memo that O'Neill sent, guys."  They all smirked.  "No wonder."  He got back to work with Cougar, who was really good.  Jensen against Ronon was Jensen being bouncy and happy while Ronon tried to pin him down.  That was a unique tactic and then Jensen hit him a few times before bouncing off.

Cougar looked over.  "Calm down," he ordered in Spanish.  Jensen shrugged and fought more properly.

Sheppard grinned.  "It's clear you guys are a tight team."  Cougar nodded.  "Do you always wear the hat?"  Cougar nodded again, smirking some.   "Okay.  If that works for you."  Cougar tried to hit him again and it was good.  He could appreciate that.


Jensen waved the others to gather in one room and they went to Clay's for now.  Jensen changed down to his smaller form.  "See, I'm adorable.  I have scale itch too.  I really need someone to help me oil and brush them, guys."

Pooch stared.  "Is that your smaller one, hopefully?" Jensen grinned and nodded.  "How big do you get?"

"Room sized."

"Let's not try that yet," Clay said, touching a part of his spinal ridge carefully.  "Huh.  Can you fly in that form?"  Jensen flapped and floated then landed.  "Interesting.  And the tattoos show."  Cougar was giving him a strange look then pulled him over to look at.  "There you go, he can help you brush them and oil your scales."  Jensen beamed at his best friend.

"Does that mean you're from somewhere around here?" Pooch asked.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure."  He looked at Cougar.  "I have a special brush and oil....."

"Later," he said, letting him go.  Jensen changed back, still dressed.  Clay was giving him an odd look.  Cougar pointed outside.  They all nodded they had heard.

Jensen opened the door, grinning at the standing, staring scientist.  "Hi.  Which one are you?"

"Doctor Zelenka."  He said something in his native Czech.  Jensen answered back since he was a dragon too.  "Oh!" he nodded.  "We have the city blocked."

"Cool."  He let him inside.  "Guys, this is McKay's second, Doctor Zelenka."

"Pleasure.  I'm told you'll be teaching me to fix a jumper soon," Pooch said, making the scientist look confused.  "I'm their transpo expert.  If it moves I can make sure of it."

"Is good," he decided.  "I could use help."  Pooch followed him down to learn this new machine.

Clay looked at Jensen.  "One of you?" he asked quietly.  Jensen grinned and nodded.  "That's fine.  Go do maintenance, guys."  They went back to Jensen's room to work on his scales while Clay laid down to stop his headache.  He hated the strange things at times.  This whole year was going to be a fucking trip.


McKay walked into the briefing room/bootcamp session the next morning.  "Who found those books?" he demanded.

"Xander asked some people he knew," Jensen said.

"Who did he ask?"

"Some people who aren't real normal?"  He shrugged.  "Long story, Doctor McKay.  We had a wonderful chat when he was protecting our team from idiots in Sunnydale."

McKay stared at him.  "Where they had that crackpot program?" he demanded loudly.

"Xander's on the team that helped stop it," Clay said dryly.

Rodney checked his forehead.  "There's no way."

"Go to Sunnydale and ask him," Jensen offered.  "We were only asked to deliver, Doctor McKay.  When did you want to go over the tech needs to see if I can help you with the databases?"

"Next week, when you're done here."  He stomped off to yell at Sheppard for knowing anything about that crackpot town.  "You knew about that Initiative Program mess?" he demanded.

"What's an Initiative Program?" Sheppard asked.

"They said that someone who helped stop it in the town of crackpot hells got us that information."

"Xander's a relative of mine," he admitted.  "He's a nice young guy who dates really bad girls."  He shrugged.  "Why does it matter where it comes from?"

"Because they look much too new to have been in an Ancient's library," he said dryly.

"Well, since Xander has dealt with other realities a few times, maybe they came from there?"

"They have a quantum mirror going?" he asked dryly.

"No, but their town is a thin spot between worlds.  It's a natural one with a pretty bad leak.  What's an Initiative?"

"Crackpots torturing beings."

"Then I'm glad he helped shut it down.  Should we look for any to be here to send back in tiny pieces?"

"I've made sure none of them got into the SGC," he said bluntly.  He stared at him.  "You're not telling me something."

"I'm not telling you a lot of stuff about Xander, McKay.  If you want to know Xander that much you have to go talk to him.  I haven't seen him in years.  Not since I nagged him to quit dating and he stomped off in a huff to pet his battle axe."

"Who uses a battle axe in today's world!" he shouted.

"Him."  He grinned.  "Talk to O'Neill.  I'm sure he can set up a meeting.  Mitchell's last email said that someone suggested moving our training camp there."

"That place has a very high death rate," he complained.

"Maybe we'll be able to help with that."

"Uh-huh.  What else aren't you telling me?"  John shrugged.  "So now you're stupid?"

"I have no idea why you're fussing."

"We can't authenticate that.  Any of it."

"Is this a problem we could solve with more power?"

"No.  The gate addresses I tried have been blocked out under your authority."

That was rather vague.  There were nineteen worlds he had blocked out for being demon or changer worlds.  "Yeah.  It's dangerous from what I understand."

"One said it's not," he said smugly.

"And yet we have intel saying that a lot of the people from there died in a coup a few years back.  So no, that'll stay locked.  Go to one of the other ones."  He got back to his paperwork.  He'd pay for that sidestep later but oh well.

"No, I believe we need to visit one of those."

"No.  They're dangerous.  Go ask Ronon."   McKay huffed off.  John shuddered.  He couldn't imagine the snotty dragons ever liking them.


Ronon walked up to Jensen later, staring at him.  "You clearly know about Pirlax."

"Um, no, my family came from somewhere else."  He grinned.  "Why?"

"You know of the shiny things?"

"Yeah.  My grandparents left during the coup."

"Interesting.  There's a few of you we have caught around here."

"Do we know each other?"

"That I do not know but perhaps you should since McKay wants to go there."

"I can't imagine the purists having a good reaction," he muttered since others were walking up the hall around them.  Ronon smirked.  "I've only met one."

"I'll tell the others."

"Please.  If he wants to, how about the closed one?"

Ronon nodded.  "That is not a bad idea.  Though very dangerous."

"Yup."  He walked off, going to find that doctor.  "Doctor Z?  Do we have search terms we need to focus on?" he asked.  "I'm going to interface tonight to get used to the AI from the room I found earlier."

Doctor Zelenka looked over from being yelled at by Rodney.  "Which room did you find?"

"The fantasy room."  He smiled.  "I can show you so you can check it out first if Doctor McKay doesn't need to keep screaming at you."

"Please.  He is just huffy and needs girlfriend or chocolate like a woman does."  He gathered his gear and followed.  "Why did you show up?" he asked quietly.  Jensen told him in their native language.  Radek moaned.  "Is bad idea."

"It's your boss's."

"That one is listed as very dangerous."


"But a good idea, perhaps.  Is hopefully uninhabited."  Radek looked around the room Jensen had gotten them into.  "Hmm.  I sit in here sometimes.  Is nice."

"It's very nice and the AI appeared to chat earlier."

"Yes, might be for the best then."  He smiled.  "You look very soft."

Jensen grinned.  "Cougar helped me condition myself."

"Wonderful.  Is nice to have friends who do such things."  He let him get into the AI mode and watched what he was doing.  She was much happier with him.  "Remember, we have little power sometimes."  Jensen nodded, grinning at him.  "If you could find ZPM notes or research, would be best for us."

"I'll try."  Radek nodded and left him alone to talk with her.  She was only a shadow but she had linked into his computer.  So it was like an IM with the person in front of you.  "I don't know how to do that, ma'am.  I was never taught."  She pouted about that but gave him other ideas.  They could handle some things.


"Something strange with those new people," Evan said quietly as he walked up to where John was watching the sunset.

"That's why SHIELD coopted them," he agreed with a smirk.

"Makes sense.  What else are they doing up here?"

"Mostly they're here to see what other help we could use.  They're not spying or anything but Fury can be told if they need something.  Or my relative."

Evan looked at him.  "He pissed you off?"

"No, it makes me sad that he's going to die some day soon doing even more stupidly heroic stuff than I manage."

"Is he actively suicidal or just mildly so?" Evan joked.

John looked at him.  "He moved to the most dangerous place on earth to help fight the reason.  Without being military.  No training.  And jumped in at sixteen."  He walked off.

"You know Xander Harris?" he demanded.  John stopped to look at him, mouth slightly open until it snapped shut.  "One of my former teammates was out there, barely, when it got shut down.  As soon as I heard, I put in his transfer papers for him but he died in a battle before that could go through.  By the way, Landry knew about it.  They took over the scientific stuff at Area 51 when it got shut down."  He stared at him.  "How do you know Harris?"

"He's my half-brother.  Is that all you know about him?"

"The guy nearly wrote epic poetry about him, sir.  You two are a lot alike."

John shook his head.  "Not really."

"Yeah, really.   A whole lot of really, sir."  He gave him a pointed look, getting a scowl back.

"How did you recognize him from that?"

"I have a copy of the three hymns my former teammate wrote about them in case they might ever apply to people I work with.  That way I can compare and then run like hell."

"I'd like to see those," he admitted, grinning slightly.  "He's not fully trained the way I am."

"Uh-huh.  And yet he helped blow up his high school when a huge ass demon snake tried to take over the world during his graduation ceremony," Jensen said as he joined them.   "Fury's file on him is *very* amusing reading, Colonel."

"Do you have a copy, Jensen?"

"Yup.  Of your half-brother's whole team."  He gave him a smug look.  "I thought you might want them since Xander said you guys haven't talked in a while."

"Yeah, I could. And those...hymns, Lorne."

"Fine.  Let me raid my desk."  He walked around them.  This was getting way too strange, even for Atlantis.  Sunnydale colliding with Atlantis was probably the end of the universe or something.  They might have to get Summers up to fight the wraith.

Jensen looked at him.  "Your brother helped me find a priestess too," he said quietly.

"Shit," he said, staring at him.  Jensen smirked.  "Seriously?"  Jensen nodded.  "Are you the only one?"

"On my team?"

"Here?"  Jensen stayed silent.  "Fuck!"

"Yup.  By the way, she won't let him dial those areas and that closed one, I'm hoping it's still closed."

"Good!"  He walked off to find Evan.  "Get me those files please, Jensen."

"Already slid under your doorway, Colonel."

"Thanks."  He went to grab that before anyone else found it and got those hymns from Evan.  Then he went to his office to read them all.  The hymn to the booty skirt and backless shirt wearing goddess made him cackle but yeah, he could spot his half brother.  The idiot.  He needed to paddle Xander for that stuff.  He read the files and moaned, shaking his head.

Chuck, the gate tech, turned in his chair to look in there.  "Bad news from home, sir?"

"Information on a distant relative, Chuck.  He's going insane.  More than I am out here."

Chuck smiled.  "Remember, on earth there's medicine for that, Colonel."  He turned back around.

"If I could drug him, I certainly would."  He called Ronon up, letting him have the hymns.  "Someone Evan served with ran into my half-brother's team."

Ronon read them.  "I might like to meet that Goddess."

"She's not a literal one but if things start going the way their town does, I'll gladly call her up so you can flirt," John quipped.  He showed him her picture.  "That's her file."

"She's pretty but short."

"Yes she is."  He got back to it.  "My half-brother is a fucking moron," he muttered.  The files had hacked copies of federal files on the kids.  The one from the Initiative was clearly wrong.  His one from the FBI was a warning about chocolate and sugar being given to him.  And if he was dating, they were evil at some time in their lives.  The NSA file listed him as 'do not go near and kill yourself if he finds you watching him'.  That was not making him happy.  He was so unhappy he had to go find Rodney's stash of Tums.  Maybe they needed some time back there to kick his ass.  He took the roll of antacids with him as he went back to his office.

"I need some of those," Rodney complained.

"I need them more.  My idiot relative has an NSA file with a 'leave alone at all costs' rating."

"How in the hell?  Mine only says to not annoy me."  He followed to read them.  Sheppard tried to shut them down but he simply took the disk to read on his own system.

"That's classified."

"My rating's higher than yours."  He saw the hymn and tipped his head to read, snickering.  "Who is that about?"

"Harris and his team."

Rodney read the others and got into the file, shaking his head at the flight of fancy in them.  "There's no way."  He got into the file marked 'graduation' and stole the rest of his Tums back while he watched.  "Who in the fuck is that person?" he demanded.


"The snake!"

"He's dead."

Rodney looked up.  "Excuse me?"

"He's dead.  They're about to blow him up in the school."  Rodney went back to watching, shuddering when the school went up.  "That dark haired guy is Xander, who got us the intel."  He smirked.

Rodney stared at him.  "How do you know someone like that?"

"Distant relative."

Rodney shook his head.  "It's clearly an inherited sort of insanity in your family's case."

"He's from my mother's side."  He smirked.  "He moved there on purpose too."

"Huh.  Can we recruit him?  He'd be happy with the more sane environment we can give him."


"Are you certain?"

"Yes.  Evan would leave.  I'd miss him doing all my paperwork."


"This spring they'll have another really bad thing.  Just like usual.  And the SGC wants to move there."  He took the disc back and broke it, tossing it out.  "Can I have my ulcer and migraine in peace?"  Rodney walked out to bang his head against a wall.  "Think how I feel," he called after him.  John went to lie down.  He really needed a nap.  Before he went insane thanks to hearing what Xander did.  Then John realized he was starting to follow in his footsteps.  Atlantis was something Xander would've done a few years ago.  In a few years, John might have to move to Sunnydale.  He'd have to kill himself first, or go to a real hospital with the shiny buckle jackets and the nice pills if he ever got that urge.


Xander looked at his fiancee, then sighed.  "I..."  She glared.  He pointed at her friends.  She glared at them.  "I think someone wants you single," he said quietly.  "Because what I saw meant you'd be miserable, we'd be poor, and you'd never be happy."

"That is what I foresaw," a female said, appearing.

Anya gaped then slowly sank to her knees.  "Freya?"

She stared at Xander.  "Did I give you permission for this after I agreed to your last one, which you walked away from?" she asked smugly.

"That was arranged without my consent, he wasn't going to work with me over my *fated* duties, and yay?"  He shrugged.

"I can have the All Father make you mortal," she said in their special language.  Xander shrugged and held up something from his pocket.  "How did you get that?" she demanded.

"It's to give to my spouse.  Each of my siblings has one as well," he said bluntly, staring at her.  He put it back into his protected pocket.  "Did you make that up to piss her off so she'd get her powers back?"

"We did appreciate her when she had them," Freya said smugly, sneering at him.  "You've ruined many plans, Alexander."

"Hey, tell him he has to share and we have to both compromise on our duties.  After all, I chose to make her my mate.  I did not choose him.  You and my father chose him.  We are not suited and I would've killed him long before now."  Freya laughed.  "Sure, you laugh now but what did I do to the serpent that came after me that once?"  She stopped laughing and glared at him.  He stared back.  "Or when his people were attacked?  Or even during that nice supposed *game* with the Celts?"

"Enough," she sneered.  "You are going to be rendered mortal."

"Okay.  So be it."  He shrugged.  "Won't change much."  Odin appeared and he nodded politely.  "Did she tell you she's trying to ruin a daughter of the lineage's fate?"

"You are impudent," Odin warned him.

Xander stared at him.  "Only when I have reason, All Father.  The same as you can see if you'd ever look."  He pointed at Anya.  Odin looked and growled at Freya, who knelt.  "She arranged to have me shown a fate where Anya would not be happy if we wed.  As of this moment, I have to make my say.  Are you going to give me some wedding night advice, Grandfather?"

Odin stared at him then at her then back at him.  "Your line is presently muddy, Alexander."

"Why?" he demanded.  "I've been being good!"

"You only postponed a major problem that may manifest where your brother is."

"John or my sister that's taken a male name and attitude?"

"Him, not her."  He rolled his eye then stared at him.  "If you do not marry her, she'll get her powers back," he said in standard Norse so she'd understand.  "And then she'd find that she has human feelings, including guilt."  He looked at her, making her sob.  Then back at Xander.  "Your influence is great at times, Alexander."  Xander shrugged, rolling his eyes.  Odin smacked him on the head.   He went back to the Asgardian language.  "You have destroyed what she once was."

"It was not our fault her power center got broken.  That was an accident and she chose to come back.  Now she's happy," Xander said more quietly, staring at him.  "I might be happy with her.  I even have a golden apple for her if we make a good match."

Odin nodded.  "How did you get one of those?"

"I was owed a few and I gathered one for each of my siblings if they should find a good mate."  He tipped his chin up slightly.  "It's my duty as the family's protector."

"It is," he agreed.  He smiled.  "I have no qualm with that statement but your marriage wasn't really your idea, Grandson."  He stared at her.  "Anyanka."  She blinked up at him.  "I see influence in your aura, daughter."  He glared at Freya, who disappeared.  He looked at her.  "For right now, you shall talk and make a true choice.  If he was in a circle of fire, would you brave it for him?  Or would you brave one for her?" he asked his grandson.

"I don't know," Xander admitted.  The spells were removed and he swallowed.  "Can you put back on the shield?" he asked quietly in English.  Odin shook his head.  "I need that here and it took an awfully long time to put it on, All Father.  Please?"  It was put back but the others were removed.  Odin gave him an odd look.  He waved a hand around.  "The hellmouth, All Father."

"Good point."  He stared at him.   "I swear he's more trouble than he was worth some days."

Xander shrugged.  "Without him you would be bored and still in wars."

"True."  He stared at them.  "You two must talk."  She burst out crying and fled.  Xander gave him a pointed look.  "That is between you two and if this is what you want, make sure it's what you truly want.  That could still happen."  He disappeared.

Xander followed her, finding her outside swatting at a vampire trying to cuddle her to eat her.  Xander staked him and pulled her closer to hold, tucking her under his chin.  "He said it's up to us without any influence, Anya."

She looked at him.  "Would you come for me?"

"I don't know," he said honestly.  "Probably.  Can you say the same?" he asked quietly.  She sniffled.  "Because if you lie he'll do it."

"How do you know Odin?"

"My real father is technically Norse."  He shrugged then smiled.  He hugged her again.  "Think, Anya.  We can wait a few weeks for the wedding."

She sniffled.  "Tara's seeing bad things coming."

"There's always bad things coming," he reminded her.  "We're in Sunnydale, it's almost stereotypical."  He cuddled her.  "Do you want to go back inside?"

"No.  Not yet."  She looked at him.  "Why do you have a golden apple?  Each of us eating half would only make us more healthy."

"Why would I need to eat any?" he asked.

"So you'd curse me like that?"

He stared at her.  "Wrong tall leap of logic, Ahn."

She gasped.  "You're...."  He nodded.  "How?"

"Real father."

"Are you one of the upper ones?"

"Sorta."  He smirked.  "Relax, it just means I'm the way I am.  We're each due one if we find a true mate."  She swallowed and nodded.  "It's the rule that I wait five years after the marriage to make sure it's happy."

"I agree," she said quietly.  She considered it then backed away from him.  "I can't imagine taking that trip with you, Xander."

He nodded.  "Then it's best if we tell the priest he can go home."  She sniffled.  "I'll kick her around for you?"

"I can do that myself."  She wiped her cheeks off.  "That means we have to give back the presents."

"Yeah, probably until we're ready to do this for real."  He looked over at their friends, who were staring hard.  "Freya was trying to force this and with the removal of the spells on us, we were ordered to think."  Anya nodded, hugging him again.

"Why did you have the freaky, special apple?" Buffy asked.

"Because it's a gift to my true mate when I find them, Buffy."


"My real father stuff."

"Oh!"  She nodded more quickly.  "Who is your real father?"

"A guardian.  Just a really decent warrior who protects Valhalla."  Giles moaned, giving him a look.  Xander shrugged and grinned.  "That's how I dated a Valkyrie once."  Anya elbowed him.  He kissed her on the temple.  "We'll rebuild or figure it out, Anya."

"I can agree to that but I'm not sure if I can marry you, Xander.  Ever."

"I know.  Still, we can work things out down to a friendship or more if you want."  She nodded, swallowing.  "This sort of thing is why I wouldn't let you put up a shrine to any of the love gods in the apartment," he said in her ear.  "They're all for screwing you up."

"I know that now."  She elbowed him more gently.  "Let's have that dinner anyway."  They nodded, following.  "You should plant that, Xander."

"Not here, Anya.  It'd get sick and probably be opposite."

"Probably," she sighed.  "It would be wonderful to sell the seeds.  Even one would make us rich enough for years of shopping."

He shook his head.  "It's a special gift, Anya.  You know that."

"I know.  It's a pity."  She looked at Giles, who was still looking upset.  "It's not his fault his father knocked his mother up."

"There was mead involved," Xander assured him with a grin.  "She never lets me forget it."

"He was a warrior?" Giles asked.


"Have we met him?" Giles asked casually.

"No, you were out of town the last time he showed up."  He walked off with Anya and Tara.

Giles and Buffy shared a look.  "So he's not quite as normal as we thought?"

"Buffy, no one normal kept memories from halloween," Xander called back.  Willow groaned.  He grinned back at her.  "Or has mermaid taint."  He put his arm through Tara's and grinned at her, getting one back.  "They always think I'm too normal, even after I do something that Buffy has to drink because of."

"They do the same to me," she admitted.  "Especially Willow."

Xander nodded.  "Yeah, I think they seem to start with her too."  He looked at Anya.

"You know I think that she's spoiled," Anya said dryly.  Xander sighed.  "I'm not going to argue about it."

"You're right, we're not," Xander agreed.

Tara smiled.   "It was a good and sweet thing until the demons stepped in."

"It was and now I get to get them back," Anya said.  She smiled.  "I'll take suggestions."

"I'm sure we have some."  Tara patted her.  "It'll be okay and maybe you'll get married soon."

"We have to think," Anya said.  "The All Father had a point.  I'm not sure I'd brave a circle of fire around him to save him and have him."

Tara nodded.  "Love comes in many forms.  True love is beautiful but not always reality.  And there's nothing that says that lesser loves aren't as valid."

"I know.  So we're thinking," Xander assured her with a smile.  He looked back at the staring trio.  "Dinner?" he reminded them.  They nodded, catching up.

"Xander, what does a warrior do?" Willow asked.

"Drink, defend Valhalla from attack, drink some more, and harass the valkyries who have to serve them," Anya quipped.

"Sometimes they're in the field in a command spot or something," Xander added.  "Mine tends to be sent to guard some others."

"Huh," Buffy said.  "Mead?"

"The alcohol of the viking nation," Anya said.  "It's part beer, part fermented honey."

"I have a bottle in the fridge at home," Xander told her.  "It's real strong though.  So you can't have much, Buffy."

"Okay," she decided.  She looked around.  "Did we forget Dawn?"

"No, she's at super assistant camp this weekend," Willow said.  "I texted her to let her know it was off.  That way she'd quit pouting."

"It is really nice of Miss Potts to take a personal interest in Dawn's future, plus it's a lot safer.  No one really tries to kidnap her," Buffy said with a smile.  "Mom would want to hear too."  She called her room to tell her.  Somehow her mother knew that Xander wasn't really normal.  Buffy wasn't sure what sort of parent psychic skills that was but she hoped she never grew it when she was a mother.  If she became a mother.

There was a good chance she'd never get that chance, especially if she kept sleeping with vampires because they were infertile and kinky.  Her mother said something about kinky sex being fine, it was the vampire part that was bad for her so apparently she was still telepathic.  She said they were at the restaurant and hung up quickly.  She'd have to do the shielding exercises later on so she could visit her mother again without letting her have the headache from being telepathic.


Dawn hung up with a sigh and walked off, kicking Thor on the ankle.  "For your father being a dickhead."  She stomped off again.  "Next time, don't let your love goddess interfere with them and don't let your daddy butt in to make them doubt each other."

Thor rubbed his ankle.   "She's turning mean."

Tony Stark looked over with a smirk.  "He messed with her big brother's wedding?"

"He might have stopped Freya if she was involved and gave them advice," he admitted with a grimace.  "She should kick him, not me."

"I'm sure she expected you to pass that on," Pepper said with a smile.  "Dawn?"  She came back in.  "What happened?"  Dawn told them the whole complicated thing, including that Buffy now knew that Xander wasn't really *normal* like she had thought.  "Does she know the real truth?"

"No, he said a warrior, not anything else.  Said it happened with mead."

Thor nodded.  "Yes, it was.  His mother is loud as well."

"Mr. Fury said she nearly flooded his flying office," Dawn quipped.  "Pass those on for him, goldilocks."  She ruffled his hair with a smirk.  Then left again.  She came back to stare at him.  "I thought golden apples were Greek."

"They are but Alexander and John served to save their favorite temples at one time so Hera owed them.  She thought it was a good idea because a spouse was disposable with their lives if not gifted."

She considered that.  "So he would've made Anya immortal?"  Thor nodded. "Immediately?"

"Within five years probably."

"Huh.  Interesting."  She walked off again.  "I'm trying to sort out the stuff Buffy packed for me since I have gogo boots for some reason.  That's her style, not mine."

Pepper shuddered.  "No, you need better dressing style, Dawn."  She followed to help her.  She came back ten minutes later.  "Her sister packed her a *horrible* wardrobe," she told Tony quietly.  Thor laughed.  "She looks like a club girl."

"So does Buffy sometimes," he reminded her.

"Clearly since all those barely there tops got passed on.  Including one with glitter and nearly see-through fabric."

"You have a wonderful salary," he said dryly with a smirk.

"She's helping me."

"Put her on the payroll?"

"I can't let her walk around wearing that.  The guards might stare or something.  They might traumatize her.  Then she'd date men like you."

Dawn walked in.  "It'll be fine, Miss Potts.  Really.  I promise I'll verbally spank anyone staring."  She looked at herself then at Tony.  "This is probably the only thing I have that's work ready."

He stared then handed Pepper his wallet.  "I'm having stripper thoughts, Dawn, so let's let Pepper fix that without telling your sister.  All right?"

Dawn squealed and hugged him.  "Thanks, boss!"  She walked off with Pepper talking about clothes.

Thor shook his head quickly.  "Alexander would probably spank if he's a good big brother."

Tony found a picture online and pulled it up to show the semi-god.  Thor stared and moaned.  "I think he's been made immune since that's during a patrol."

Thor shook his head quickly.  "I suppose that's one way to bait creatures who want lively young women to eat."

"Yup."  He changed it to another one.  "That was your nephew during his aborted road trip when he ended up stripping."  Thor shuddered.  "He did fairly well."

Agent Coulson walked in and looked at the picture, shaking his head and finding another one.  "Black Widow took that one for his file."  Even Tony moaned at that.  Thor banged his head on the table a few times.  "He only likes dangerous lovers."

"He always has," Thor mumbled.  "Roque is very dangerous.  Why can't they work things out?" he moaned.  He looked up.  "This is clearly from his father's side.  His mother is beautiful and alluring, but the leather has to come from his father."  The agent snickered as he walked off.  Tony walked off too, leaving Thor to bang his head some more.  His nephew was so screwed up!  He had to tell John that.  John would stop him somehow.  Coulson said he knew how to get in touch with his other nephew so he'd ask him to write him.


Jensen got the email from Coulson, staring at it.  He walked his computer to John's office.  "Your email is bouncing."

"Did you hack it?" he asked dryly.

"No.  Agent Coulson sent me some pictures for you from Xander's uncle so you might know how bad he is.  He said it's bouncing."

"Oh."  He took the laptop with a sigh, staring at them.  He blinked a few times.  "When...."

"The index is on the bottom."

John paged down to read and then back up to look at the pictures.   "We really have got to marry the little asshole off sometime."

"His grandfather stepped in to stop his last wedding."  Jensen got into another email to let him see that.  "Dawn said she kicked his uncle for it."

"Which uncle?" John asked cautiously.

"Something about big, blond, and not real talkative or smart?"

"Thor," John sighed, shaking his head.  "Why are they hanging out?"

"He's in exile."  John moaned, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands.  "Basically."

John looked at him.  "Are you trying to ruin my happy mood?" he asked sarcastically.

Jensen grinned.  "If I say yes will you let us go rescue Lorne's team later?" he quipped.

"Sure, if they need it you guys can do that instead of going on the trade mission.  Even though the people there would love to hit on you."

"Clay dates like Xander."

"Oh!"  He nodded.  "Got it.  Just dangerous?"

"Bat shit insane according to Roque before he turned on us.  His last one was Aisha."

John stiffened, staring at him.  "Is she still sniffing around him?"

"No.  Xander halved her head and then beheaded her to finish it.  A dark thing floated up out of her."

"That's good.  It's good someone finally got her."  He sighed, staring at him.  "Think he needs to talk about her?"

"No idea."

"I'll give him some info."  He looked at him.  "Let me clean out my email and send mine to me?"

"Gladly."  He grinned and walked off.  "Major, if you get into trouble, we'll come running," he quipped as he walked past Lorne.

"Thanks," he said dryly.  "We're not usually the ones that need saved though."

Jensen turned to grin at him.  "It was you guys or going to meet the nice people who threaten everyone but Ronon from what we're told.  Clay might really like that."

"Jensen!" Clay complained loudly from up the hall.

"John said to talk to him about Aisha, Clay."

"Uh-huh."  He went to talk to him.  "My idiot tech support moron said you wanted to talk about Aisha, Sheppard?"

John closed the doors with a thought.  "Way back when, about two hundred years ago," he said quietly.  "I dated the psycho bitch."  He stared at him.  Clay moaned, sitting down.  "Are you all right with her being dead?"

"She told us the drug dealer we took out that got us into all that was her father."

"She probably called him daddy a few times," John offered.

"Xander said she had killed something like seven thousand people."

"I was nearly one of them," John told him.

"She said after we got Max, she'd be killing me."

John nodded.  "Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.  She still flexible in bed?"  Clay coughed but nodded.  John grinned and found a picture on his computer, letting him see.  "Aruba before it was named Aruba."

Clay moaned.  "We were in Central America."

"I heard."  He grinned.  "Jensen did ask to move you guys off your mission today because a lot of the women there threaten to kill us in bed after mating with us.  That way you're not taken."

"There's days I miss Roque growling at him for shit like that."

John grinned.  "I met him over six centuries ago," he said quietly.  Clay gaped.  "He and Xander are both over two millennia.  I think Roque's slightly older but I'm not sure.  I'm actually slightly older than Xander but he never treats me like I'm an older brother."

"I still can't see why he turned on us."

John nodded.  "Roque's not real... attached at times."

"Bullshit.  We were like a family until I started to fuck Aisha."

John stared at him.  "If he was to marry Xander, do you think he would've minded?" John asked bluntly.

Clay opened his mouth then shut it.  "You think?"

"I'm pretty damn sure.  The problem he and Xander have is that Xander has a sworn and fated duty and so does he in some ways.  He wanted Xander to give up his so he could be a full alpha asshole and Xander refused.  Offered to split it so they could both serve their duties.  Roque said no.  Repeatedly.  So Xander told him the wedding was off because he wasn't the wife."  Clay nodded once.  "That was the worst marriage combination we have ever thought of.  His father was using it as a plan.  It'd give Loki more allies."

"His father's Loki?"

"Yeah.  He didn't tell you that?"  He smirked.  "Our mother is a Hindu Goddess of a major river."  He shrugged.  "Not that it matters.  I think... and I'm probably right, that he may have found a reason to let the old fighting with Xander go."

"With me," Clay said flatly.  "Which means I screwed all this up."

"No, Aisha screwed it up.  It's her favorite thing to do.  She got me right before I nearly married a young woman.  Killed her two weeks before the wedding.  Tried to have it pinned on me," he said dryly.  "They had figured out I was me but not that I couldn't be in two places at once.  Until one of their people showed up to disprove that I had done it and named her.  I hunted her pretty, nasty ass down for years until she trapped me once and ruined me for nearly eight months.  I stabbed her a few times but it just didn't work."

Clay considered that.  "That sounds like something Roque would do."

"We've all gotten a lot more civilized over the years, Clay.  We were a lot more heathen way back when."  He stared at him.  "If I have to remember, I do."

"I understand that."  He got up.  "Are there any safe women to date?"

"Not on this city or in this galaxy unless you like Teyla or Keller."

"Sadly, nicer than my usual one."  He left, going to think.  If that's why Roque had turned on them but gotten them help, he owed Roque a brawl.  And then they'd talk.

Pooch stared at him.  "What's creeped you out?"

"John thinks Roque left us because of Aisha."

Pooch stared him down.  "How fucking dumb are you?" he demanded, cracking Jensen and Cougar up.  "Of course he got tired of your ass going after every single psychotic chick in the world.  What?  You couldn't fuck him even though he's definitely your type?"  He walked off shaking his head.  "Jolene was right, you're dense."

"Maybe," Clay admitted, looking at them.  "We think?"

"Yup," Jensen said with a grin.  "We're pretty sure.  From my last update email, he's in China this month."  Clay walked off shaking his head.  "I got us moved to rescue duty today so Clay can't pick up some sort of alien VD from some crazy chick."  Cougar nodded at that.  "Major Lorne's team is going and so is team 15."  Pooch moaned and Cougar followed to pick up more ammo and heavier gear.  Jensen let Cougar check his pack, like usual, while he packed his other stuff.  They waited an hour for the first check in.  Lorne's team did but they sounded stressed.  Chuck asked if they needed someone special to come help negotiate but he refused.  With the code word that said they were being listened to.

"Have fun storming the village, boys," John said with a smirk and a wave.  They left, Pooch and Cougar shaking their heads, Jensen snickering.

Rodney swatted him.  "No channeling _The Princess Bride_."

John shrugged.  "You're no fun today."

Rodney stared at him.  "That's because I'm piecing together things that are killing my huge brain."

John looked at him.  "Such as...."

"Who is your father, Colonel?"

"You sound like those birthers on earth."  He walked off.

"Is it a God of war or one of the others?" Rodney called after him.

"Nope, far off!" he quipped back with a wave.  "I'm not a god of war, I'm just really good at it."  He smirked before turning a corner.  "I dare you to ask Ronon that."

Rodney glared at his back.  "I'm going to find out."  He felt something odd and looked around.  "What is that humming?"

Xander stepped out of a shadow with a backpack.  "Sorry, transport method hums, dude."

"Who are you and how did you get here?" Rodney demanded.  Though he knew.  The kid hadn't aged that much.

"If you're that mean, I'm taking me three germy friends home and they can kill things down there instead," he said dryly.  Then he smiled sweetly.  "I lost a bet and have to come deliver this shit though.  But, hey, I can say I tried and you didn't want them if you want."

"Freeze," Rodney ordered.

Xander blew a kiss.  "I don't play Simon Says, Doctor McKay.  Not my thing."  He stared at him.  "Should I take my germy friends home?"

"No."  He called over the comm.  "Sheppard, you have a visitor in the gateroom."  He waved off the guns.  "I doubt it'd do much beyond piss him off."

"Well, maybe," Xander admitted.  He blew a kiss at John.  "I lost a poker bet with someone and had to deliver these germy, anti-wraith friends to you."

"How did you do that?" John asked quietly.

"Shadow shifting."  He beamed and held out the backpack.  John took it to look inside.  "They packed it, not me."

"They look like they're properly packed.  Med team to the gateroom for pickup."  He hung up and looked at him.  "Shoo.  Before people start to wonder."

"Awww.  Mom sent that by the way."


"Yup.  Her assistant's boyfriend got a *massive* good boy pat for making those for her."  He waved and grinned.  "She said you're to use them, or else she's finding a way to come up here.  Then we're all in deep shit.  Because I can just see Mom throwing a damn fit and sinking your pretty city of mayhem and havoc."  He stepped back into the shadows and disappeared.

"How did he do that!" McKay demanded, turning on John.

"I don't know.  I can't."  He walked down to the medical team walking in.  "Someone sent me anti-wraith germs."

"Gimme," she said, taking it to walk off with.  "How did they get up here?  The ship's not here."

"Just... don't ask," John said dryly.  "It's strange even for Atlantis."

"Whatever," she decided, taking it back to examine and test.

Rodney shoved John into his office, following him.  "I want answers," he snarled.

"Of course you do."

"Where did he come from?"

"Sunnydale probably."

"How did he get another galaxy away?"

"Shadow shifting.  It's a gift that's only his due to his duty.  I can't.  I never could even when he tried to teach me once."

"And that's....."

"Basically like teleporting between the different shadows as long as you know where you're going and it's dark somewhere on each end," Xander said as he stepped out, handing over a small brown paper bag.  "I forgot Mom's mint chip and walnut brownies."  He sighed.  "She's not a happy woman."

"I figure she's not.  She made me brownies?"

"It's your birthday in two months, dickhead."

John grinned.  "Yeah but that's early for brownies."

"If we're all lucky, Mom won't be up here to help plan your party."  He smirked at McKay.   "Secondly, it's not going to happen.  I can't teach it to you.  I can't teach it to anyone.  It's because of the job I'm fated to do."

"Who's your parents?" Rodney demanded.

"Loki and a River Goddess."

"So you share a ... a what?" he demanded, looking at his leader.

John sighed and sat down, nodding.  "She's not real strong or powerful.  When she was younger she liked to party."

"She keeps blaming the mead," Xander agreed with a smirk.  "Speaking of mead, if I had a vision and I sent it to your email address, did you get it?"

"Not yet."  He checked.  "No, not in the last two days.  We're getting another email session in about a thirty-six hours."

Xander considered back.  "You should've had it by now," he sighed, pulling out his netbook to get into it and find the file so John could read it.  "Prompted by Mom showing up when I had a migraine.  Her present assistant is one and activated mine."

"Shit," John muttered.  He looked at him.  "Are you all right?"

"Beyond a worse migraine?"  He shrugged.  "I already had one from talking to Anya."  He looked at Rodney then shrugged.  "What?  You thought he was more than normal?"

"Are you killable?"

"Yeah but I'm also part of the Ragnarok prophecy so you can't do it."

"Those aren't real."

"Dude, I so deal with them daily," Xander said dryly.  "And warp them.  They may not be real in your world but I deal with demons and shit."  He smirked.  "Speaking of, Fury wants me to send you my former best friend Willow to boot camp her ass, John."

"Why?  She's very anti-military the last you told me."

"Her magic addiction led to a neat little memory charm."  He smirked.

"Have O'Neill do it."

"They don't want her anywhere near the planet in case she sneezes and accidentally opens our hellmouth.  Stark even offered to drop her on another planet."

"I'll email him?"

"Please."  His watch beeped.  "Shit, Star Trek Voyager is coming on and I promised to watch it to explain it to Anya."  He disappeared again.

John shrugged.  "We'll figure it out and I'll send his netbook back to him in a few hours."  He stared at Rodney.  "I'm still very much mortal.  I'm not that hard to kill.  It's just been a while since anyone got real close to it."

Rodney stared at him.  "A river goddess I did not expect."

"Well, my father's a healer."  He smirked.  "I'm the family disappointment."

"Do not talk about yourself that way," a female voice said from outside.

"Mom, go away," he called.  "Please?  We're Marines and they'll try to shoot you."

"Dear, I'll fuck them all and make them happy sorts who sing around campfires," she said dryly, stepping onto a pier from the ocean.  She smiled at the nearest two.  "Such cute boys."  She pinched them on the cheek and walked past them.  "I'm finding my son John."  They just nodded and clutched their guns harder.  Clearly she wasn't the sort they'd have to shoot even if she was *really* scary.

"I'm so going to need someone to memory charm the city," John muttered.  He walked out to meet her, letting her kiss him on the cheek.  "You should not be here.  I'll have to make everyone forget today."

She stared at him then smirked.  "As long as they don't forget my presents, dear.  Now, tell Mommy all about the cute people."

"Mother, I'm out here fighting a war with the wraith, not picking up boy and girlfriends."

"Shoot.  It'd be nice if you did settle down."  She smiled.  "It can even help my other boy settle down."

"I'm told Freya and Odin stepped into that."

"Pooh."  She patted his hair down.  "You need to let it grow just a tiny bit longer, dear."

"It's fine, Mom," he sighed.  The Marines were all trying hard not to laugh.  "Mom, there's no liquor on the base."

"Bull, dear.  I can smell it from here."

"I don't need to call one of them stepdaddy."  He stared at her.  "Please?  You're making it so they can't respect me."  The gate opened and he moaned.  "And Lorne's resistant," he muttered.

Jensen came jogging back.  "Sorry."  He smiled at John's mom.   "Huge ass issue.  We just had a hive park."  He got something and ran back there.  "Here, artillery," he called.

"Go help them," John ordered.  The Marines fled to help.  Anything to get away from Sheppard's mom.  McKay came down and she cooed over him but yay.  "Mom, I'm not dating him."

"I don't care, dear.  He's adorable and clearly needs the help."

"Mom, you're channeling 'Dite," John quipped with a smirk.

"I know and she's such a sweetheart to help me be miserable about missing our babies."  She straightened out Rodney's hair, even though he tried to duck.  She smiled at him.  "I know you're the one who keeps helping my poor baby get into all sorts of trouble.  If you'd just kill them already, I could find someone nice to set him up with and not pick on your poor, gentle, timid Marines."  She beamed at him.  "Don't you want me to be a happy grandmother?"

"Him having children is a terrifying thought that is going to kill my nerves," Rodney said bluntly.

She giggled and hugged him.  "I like the way you think, Rodney.  I think we can work together to help my baby find someone nice, right?"

"No, him being a slut has led to some very interesting challenges and even a few minorly pleasant matters."

John looked at the gate.  "Why me?" he muttered.  "Chuck, call Jensen to make sure they don't need more help."

"Already did, I'm monitoring it."  He watched as the gate flashed out.  "I didn't do that."  It started to dial.  "That's not them.  The shield won't go up!"

"No, it's not.  Radek!" he shouted.  The gate whooshed open and a snotty looking male walked through.  "Who're you?" John demanded.  "I'm Colonel Sheppard, military commander of Atlantis."

"I am Tarva."

Radek walked in and stared at him.  "Imposters are not welcome here," he sneered.

John's mother looked.  "Yes, he is a dragon, isn't he?"  She looked him over.  "Hmm.  The young thing that just ran past was cuter.  So is this one.  Why are you bothering my son when I just found him?"

"We wish to set up an alliance."

John stared.  "No."  The man gave him a dirty look.  "Because I heard what you did the last time you tried. When you used it to try to hunt down your group and kill them."

"They ran," he sneered.  "They are cowards."

"No, we simply did not want to bother for a world that would be dead within years," Radek said smugly.  "None of us were that willing to die for something so weak."  He said something and the shield went up.  "You are not welcome here.  It was your people that led to the near destruction that meant we were willing to leave.  If you had not been such idiots, things would have been more peaceful."

"In other words, reap what you sow," John said bluntly, glaring at him.  The man stepped back.  "I will let the systems on Atlantis fry you and send you home in a box.  Am I clear?"

"You align yourself with such weak things?" the emissary asked Radek.

"Pookie!" John's mother shouted.  "I need some help, dear."

Xander reappeared with a sigh, dragging two people.  "Here, have some help, Mom."  He glared at the dragon.  "Watch me show up and take the fuck over."

"Alexander," he said, staring in awe.

Xander smiled and hugged his brother.  "He's my big brother."  He beamed.  "Mom wanted a family reunion.  Buffy, Tony, this is a dragon asshole who wants to kill all the people who ran from his party of pitiful communist-like idiots."

"Huh," she said, staring at him.  "He looks dumb and vain.  Like a male version of Cordy's cheerleaders."  She attacked and he tried to throw some magic at her but she had some neat anti-magic spells going.  She kicked his ass and handed him to Tony with a grin.  "All yours so you can find out what's going on for the big guys."  She smiled at Xander.  "He's cute."

"He's my big brother."

John looked at him.  "I'm not dating your friends.  They might dent my prettiness."

"Maybe," Buffy admitted.  She beamed.  "I've dented a few that weren't worthy."

"I'm so setting you up with Ronon the next time we're on earth," John told her.

"Wonderful!"  She beamed.  "Can I kick some more butt?  I have PMS."

"TMI," Tony complained.  "Please?  Before you warp Pepper into being like you?"  He looked her outfit over.  "If people saw Pepper in a skirt like that, they'd drool and I'd have to beat someone."

She pouted.  "I look good in it."

"For a tart," John's mother said.

Buffy glared.  "Lady, I'm the Slayer Buffy."

"That does explain things.  Were you baiting, dear?"  Xander hid his snicker's in John's shoulder.

"No, Mom, she's a fashionable girl from near LA," John said patiently.  "They're like that."  Xander nodded.  "Here, fuss over him.  Freya screwed up his attempted marriage."

She sighed and hugged both her boys.  "You both need to come home."

"Sorry, Mom.  Hellmouth issues await," Xander said dryly.  "Almost every night."

Buffy nodded.  "I'm good but I can't take them all out yet."

"I'm working on something that would disintegrate a vampire," Tony offered.

"Holy water grenade?" Xander asked.

"No, something more practical and less holy, Xander.  I'm thinking thermal instead?  Or maybe radon?"

"Thermal might work but it's mostly behead or stake sort of stuff.  Shrapnel can work.  I've built a few of those."

"When?" Buffy snorted.

"Last month, when we used them on a nest you couldn't get to because your mom needed you."  He grinned.  "And a holy water one."

She rolled her eyes and looked up.  "Why me?"

"Because you need him, dear," the city said.

Xander looked up then at John.  Who shrugged.  "She never talks to me that way.  I'm jealous."  Rodney moaned.  "Mom, we need stuff on ZPM making or to find a few full ones.  Got any ideas?" John asked.

"Well, there's the earth repository but I'm not sure what they left," she admitted.  "And there's got to be the emergency beacon stash here too."

"It is on a sealed planet due to ecological disaster," the AI told her.  "Unfortunately."

"This earth stash?" John asked.  "Can we get to it?"

"It is hidden but I can provide a map."  A printer went off in the office.  "Thank you."

"No, thank you," John said, smiling at the walls.  "We want you to be as strong as we can make you, Atlantis.  We hate it when you're sore or tired."  He ran up to get the print out and came back down.  "Huh.  Three spots."

Tony took it to look at.  "This one is right next to an active undersea volcano," he said with a point.  "The other two are in a deep trench.  What's a ZPM?"

"The funky power source that's void powered," Xander said.  "Ask Rodney."  He nodded at him.

"I've read Doctor McKay's dossier."  Tony smiled.  "I have an offer waiting if you ever want to go private service instead."

Rodney stared at him.  "They're dangerous.  I nearly destroyed a whole solar system trying to make a new one."

"Tell me what you have and I'll see if I can help fabricating one.  After all, I am a genius as well."  He smiled.  "And I'm providing you guys with some repulsor based weapons."

"Can I have a suit?" John asked.

"No.  I was told no suits."

Chuck removed the shield and John walked the ambassador back over before coming back.  "Dial Jensen, they're probably waiting to come back, Chuck."

He did that and nodded.  "Coming through, need medical, sir."  He summoned them and everyone else got out of the way.

Clay walked through last.  "Xander?"

"Mom," he said with a point.  He grabbed Buffy and left.

"I really must dress that girl better," their mother decided, smiling at John.  "He's adorable."

"We dated the same killer bitch."

"Hmm.  Pity.  You know, one of Shiva's daughters is single."

"No, Mother."  The Marines were trying not to laugh.  "Radek, my mother may not drink or I'll have a new stepfather and sibling."

"That is fine," he assured him, walking off shaking his head.

Jensen sniffed then looked at him oddly.  "Ambassador," John said.

"I'll warn someone," he decided, walking off to write an email.

Clay shook his head.  "I don't wanna know."

"Probably true," John agreed.  "Major, are you injured?"

"Just pissed off, sir."  He looked over.  "She's cute, sir."  He grinned.

"She's my mother, Major."  Evan gave her a sheepish look.

"Every woman should be thought of as beautiful sometime in her life," she said, pinching him on the cheek from across the room.  "I'm sure your mother is very proud of you, dear."  She looked at her son again.  "Get your brownies and let's talk somewhere less crowded.  You know I don't like the sight of blood, dear."

"Um, yeah.  Guys, we'll be on the west pier."  They all nodded.  "Major, come debrief after medical.  Or you, Colonel.  Or both."  He got tossed the brownies by Chuck, who was grinning, and walked her off before she could do any more damage to his reputation.

"She's worse than Rosenburg," Clay muttered, cracking Tony Stark up.  "Major?"

"Give them a bit to talk, Colonel."  He smirked.  "It's not often someone's mother shows up.  We've only had McKay's sister and his doppleganger from another reality show up."

"That's gotta be weird."  He helped the medics lift people and take them to the infirmary.  He came back to find Radek pouting.  "Got anything to drink, Doctor Z?"

Radek smiled.  "I should not while she is here.  Was a direct order not to get into bunker."

"Thanks," he said quietly, going to get himself and his team some.  They'd invite the Major's team over later.

Jensen walked into the infirmary ten minutes later with his netbook, file open.  "Major, was it one of these sort of things that bit you?" he asked.

Evan looked and pointed.  "Looked like that only yellowish fur?"

Jensen grimaced.  "That's a changer, Major."

"Like werewolf?" he asked quietly.

"Less moon oriented, more oh shit oriented.  Neural response to change sort."


"Feral the first few times?  Yeah."

"Am I ...contagious?"

"Oh yeah."

He walked over to tell the doctors that and that one other had been bitten.  Cougar had gotten it on the leg and they were treating the bite now.  "Any way to rinse it out, Jensen?"

"Not that I'm aware of.  Let me ask John."  He jogged out to find John.  "John, yellow furs bit Evan and Cougar."

John stared at him.  "They're here?"

"They're originally from here.  Is there any way to rinse them out?"

"No.  The virus is full blown within seconds."  He considered it.  "All right, we'll provoke the first change later.  Then sedate the hell out of them.   If I remember right, it takes an average of ten changes to get used to it and not go feral."

"Got it."  He went back in there.  "Major, we're going to be making you go grr and then tranqing you until you're used to it.  John said it'll take about ten times."

"Shit," he muttered.  "I hate medical solitary."

"Huh?" Doctor Keller asked.  Jensen let her see that file.  "That's not realistic."  Jensen manifested a few scales, making her go pale.  "I've never seen that."

"You won't see it again," he assured her.  He looked at Cougar, who nodded once.  "You can get control.  Usually it's the pain the first few shifts that drives you feral."

"How much will it hurt?" Evan asked.

Jensen stared at him.  "You don't want to know."  Evan nodded.  "We can do it later.  You'll need more food than usual.   You'll be burning energy for the next few days."

"I'll have meals sent up," one of the nurses said.

John walked in.  "Guys, I've got the wraith cells set up.  It's going to be real tough that first time.  I'm really sorry but it has to be done so you guys gain control."  They both nodded.  "I'm really not liking this," he told Evan.

"I got bitten when they threw us in the cell and the thing attacked," Evan admitted quietly.  "I thought we killed it but it leapt out to get Cougar as he was helping Steve up."  He sat on the bed.  "What sort of trigger?"

"Fear, rage, or Hulk reasons," Jensen told him.  That got a nod.  "John, can your mother do things like a priestess would?"

"Yes."  He went to talk to her.  She agreed to help, knowing it was important.  They got them stitched up and down there, in their boxers only.  The cells were chilly but they wouldn't mind in a few minutes.  She stared at Evan, tripping his.  John tranqed him as soon as he finished changing and tried to lunge at them.  She had to stare longer at Cougar, who shuddered a few times.  Jensen got hit by one of the Marines thanks to Clay and Cougar growled, changing and lunging at the same time.  John shot him too.

"Now I know how to ease that next time."  She stroked them both over the head.  "They'll be fine, boys.  It won't take either very long to get used to it enough to stop going feral."  She smiled at Jensen.  "You're a very good fireling, dear."

"Thank you, ma'am."

She patted him on the cheek.  "Go eat.  They'll be out for an hour or so."  They left them alone.  She sat her boy down to talk to him.  She even offered to ask some of their war gods for tips.  She wanted her elder son *home*.


Tony Stark walked out of the stargate and looked back at it then at the ogling generals.  "Hi."  He walked up there.  "I have some really good ideas, O'Neill.  I also have an eyes only report from Sheppard for you only."

"I'm in charge," Landry said.

"This goes outside military matters, General Landry.  It's personal issues and you're not cleared by SHIELD to know about them.  I can ask if you can be read in."  He looked at O'Neill, handing over the sealed envelope.  "Also, I have six good plans going.  We talked about the ZPM issue and I think I know what the problem he had was.   I heard how you managed to cobble one together by accident and I'm pretty sure I figured out how to do it on purpose instead."  He smiled.  "If I'm right, we can use something like my Arc Reactor core to make a new one."

"Seriously?" Jack asked, staring at him.

"Yeah, this newly improved model...  Yeah.  I'm fairly certain and it'll be easy and safe enough to test.  Won't do more than blow up a building."  Jack smiled.   "Someone nicely made the Marines forget things.  And McKay."

"How did you get up there, Mr. Stark?" General Landry asked.

"I had some supernatural help."

"That doesn't exist."

"Then you go to Sunnydale," Jack quipped.  "Yes it does."

"And you know it does because your former posting got all the open projects from a group called the Initiative, who were in Sunnydale, General," Tony said dryly.  "I'm well aware of the people who shut them down and why."  Landry stepped back, looking pale.  Tony stared at him.  "Something like that got me there to help with an issue that was partially diplomatic in origin."  He looked at Jack again.  "Want me to mock up tester models or want in from the get go?"

"I'd like to look over the plans but I'm not going to change anything until we see some tests.  You'll fix things if they don't work automatically."

"I would, yes."  He smiled.  "By the way, she's home now."

"Good!  Them?"

"In control."

"Even better."  He tucked it into his shirt pocket.  "I'll see if there's something we need to do about it."

"Actually, they're in a good area to train that new gift.  A lot of open spaces to roam."

"Good point.  I'm sending someone to do a full work up though."

"I think that was expected, General."  He stood up.  "Let me go make people quit panicking."

"Dawn thought you had been taken to Thor's people."

"No, they drink too much and if I drink too much I get stupid."  He smirked.  "I know better.  Pepper will kick my butt, suit or not."  He walked around them and left.  "See me next week, Generals."

"Beam him back to Stark Enterprises," Jack said quietly.  Landry called to have that done.  He looked at his successor.  "There's a species up there that relates back to the werewolf mythology we have down here."

"Are they dangerous?"

"Yes and feral at times.  Apparently the ones who had captured Major Lorne's team had one in captivity that was starving.  The major and one of the new team got bitten.  They've worked out enough so they're back on stable ground.  They can change at will without going feral themselves.  This is not going in any file anywhere because the NID will want to dissect them.  That would get a lot of people destroyed."

He stared at him.  "The other information in the report is higher than my clearance level.  I only know because some things got slipped to me by Sheppard and a few others.  This is all personal information and I doubt it'll be getting any further than I am."  He took out the letter and burned it in the coffee tray.  It was metal, it'd hold it well enough.  "I'll arrange for someone decent to look the two over, just to make sure they're healthy and it's not hurting them.  For now, leave them alone."

"If they're dangerous...."

"They're not.  They have full control now.  They do need to train it and there's a lot of empty worlds with woods up there for them to work in.  It'll be easier than doing it down here in a national park where anyone could see them."

"I ... that makes sense," he decided.

"I'm calling one of Janet's people.  She knew all about the weird we get into."  He walked off to make that call from the main office.  SHIELD probably already knew from Stark.  So they'd handle it.  And hide it.  Landry could fume and fuss but there was no way they were getting free.


Clay watched as Jensen changed down and Cougar changed down to track him through the woods.  They faded too, letting Cougar learn how to track in his new furry form.  Cougar was having problems with Jensen but not humans so they had to get him used to tracking non-human things.  Wraith tracking was a necessary skill up here.

Jensen heard the gate whoosh and snorted when he smelled other team.  Lorne was there.  He looked down from his hiding spot, staring at Cougar.  Who padded off to pounce Clay into some mud.  It was a legitimate torment for being a dumbass last night.  Jensen flew off, finding a pretty nice perch in the sun.   He stretched out and basked, belly up, for a while.  He felt a cold nose and looked, patting Evan on the nose with a wing.  Then he went back to basking.  Evan barked a keening sounding wail of a bark and ran off.  Cougar followed.  Jensen sighed in pleasure.

Pooch walked over, drizzling some oil over him.  "So no one has to oil your tiny ass later."

Jensen stretched and purred, then flipped over and went to full size with a smirk for him.  "What?  I'm not just tiny."

"Damn," he said, staring at him.  "I know you said room sized...."  Clay and the others walked over.

Jensen stared at the other team.  "What?"

"Figured," one said then shrugged.  "This is Pegasus.  If you got infected with something that changes you into a dragon, I'm not all that shocked.  Does the colonel know?"

"I found out when we got up here," Clay said dryly.  "He can't do it on earth."

Jensen nodded.  "True, it's really hard to manifest more than a few scales on earth."

"So... you guys are on earth?" that one asked.

"Kinda.  We're kinda refugees since the dark ages.  That ambassador that showed up?  His kind created a political coup so we all left them to the world they were trying to destroy."

"Wow.  Okay, so you're a dragon naturally."  Jensen grinned and nodded.  "Are there others on the city?"

"I haven't really been invited to any 'come oil our scales together' events," Jensen said dryly.  "We're social beings but I think if there are they're desperately hiding it."

"You guys need oiled?"

"Yes, otherwise we get itchy spots.  Colonel, there's one just behind where my knee's resting.  Please?" he begged.

Clay took the oil and poured some on the scratched looking spot.  "Better?"  Jensen sighed in pleasure and put his head back down.  "How did you get scratched?"

"No clue."

"You need to do some scale maintenance anyway," Pooch said.  "You have a few bent ones."

"Cougar didn't lose the bet," he complained.

"Hell, I'll try," one of the others on Lorne's team offered.  Jensen grinned.  "Just oiling you?"

"Scale brushing with the oil," Cougar said.  "Clipping bent pieces."  He looked.  It had clearly been a while.

Jensen sniffed.  "Shit."  He changed back suddenly.  "Hi, Doctor McKay, hi, Colonel."

"Boys," John said with a grin for him.  "You're too pale."

"I know.  But we have gross food."

"Good point.  Have something shipped, Jensen."

He nodded.  "There's some on the ship."  He smirked.  "Including a pint of ice cream.  I had them all cryo frozen before being shipped up."

"I don't want to know," Rodney sighed, shaking his head.  "What was that?"  Jensen looked clueless.  "I saw you change back."

"I'm not a furry," he said dryly.  "Did you get bitten by something?  Pooch and Cougar are really decent field medics, Doctor McKay.  They'd probably check it for you and radio for one of the mean ass docs we have."  John was snickering into a tree shaking his head.  "I'm sure we would."

"No, I'm quite sure I wasn't bitten or poisoned by anything and nothing strange made me see a huge lizard-like being."

"Hey!  I'm not a lizard!"

"Change," Clay ordered.  Jensen sighed but did down to his smaller form.  It was less intimidating and Rodney couldn't poke him as much.

Rodney stared then hit John as hard as he could on the arm.  "You knew about them!"

"Yeah, I've worked with a lot of the refugees.  Jensen, you really need some red meat soon."

"Ship's coming in a few days."

"Uh-huh.  Colonel, try to get him some red meat tonight?  Even if something has to hunt and kill it for spit cooking."  He looked at Cougar, who everyone had noticed was highly overprotective of the young hacker.

"Hunting sounds nice," Evan admitted.  "I could use some meat too."  He changed.  Cougar followed and Clay followed to make sure they saved Jensen some.

"Wait for me," Jensen called, flying after them.

Rodney's mouth flopped open, staring at the flying dragon thing that the hacker had become.  He was even making little squeaky noises.

"I think his brain broke, sir," one of Lorne's team said, hurrying after the others.  "If we bring down something like a deer, we'll bring the rest back."

"Please do."  He smiled, turning to watch Rodney's brain adjust.  When the squeaking noises stopped he cleared his throat.  Rodney stared at him.  "Are you back?"


"Yeah, he's a dragon."  He shrugged.  "They can all fly as long as their wings aren't damaged."

"Does... do our doctors know?"

"No clue."

"How many are on earth?"

"A good nine-tenths of their people fled the coup but only half ended up on earth.  That was about six hundred when they first showed up and that was two generations ago."  Rodney finally got to close his mouth and swallow his drool.  "Before you ask, you can't ride on them.  They're not strong enough."  Rodney nodded once.  "They can carry you though."

"No thank you."   His brain was still rebooting.  "They're native of this galaxy?"

"Yes.  That's who that ambassador was."

"Do they want to go home?"

"Not that I've ever heard."

"Is that one of the gate addresses that's locked out for being dangerous?"



"There's one with other sorts of shape changers as well."

Rodney moaned, turning to kick a tree a few times.  "Do Ronon and Teyla know about them?"

"I know Ronon knew about the shape changers."

Rodney slumped, shaking his head.  "So this is where those myths started."

"No.  There's some native werewolf species on earth," John said with a grin.  "Some find control, some don't want it."  Rodney stared at him.  "There's also pelt hunters and things to kill them."

Rodney shuddered.  "Are vampires real or just wraith distorted?"

"Real.  Over sixteen species the last I heard.  You'd have to ask Xander about that."  Rodney shuddered harder.  "Not my fault."

"Uh-huh.   How is he part Norse when the Asgard are really aliens?"

"Who said that they're the only ones that took those names?  Or that his relatives weren't there first and the Asgard took on their names?"

"Oh, damn.  Do they know that?"

"No clue.  Didn't ask Hermoid."

Rodney rubbed his forehead.  "I have a migraine."

"I know."  He patted him on the back.  "Hopefully we'll have some deer to bring home tonight.  Then you can do all the tissue testing for germs you want so we can have a decent dinner."  He was keeping a light tether to check on the teams.  They had just run into a group of deer-like things.  "I say we take some of these unpopulated planets and put some of our animals on them.  Maybe a few deer and a few higher predators to keep them in check.  One with cows and chickens."

"I'll talk to O'Neill about your Farmer John delusions," he sighed.

John held up a hand, concentrating on them.  The sound of guns went off.  Rodney winced.  One started to get away but Evan pounced on it.  Cougar followed.  They both killed it and then stared at it for a minute.  They shared a look and apparently decided it was fine.  "We have meat."  Rodney huffed but walked that way.  John followed to guide him.  "Good work, guys."  He smiled at Evan and Cougar.  "Missed a few spots cleaning."  Jensen changed and poured from a canteen into a spot for them to wash their muzzles off with.  "Let's get all but that one back to the city for testing."  They nodded, blooding them there.  "Colonel Clay, are you guys going to camp tonight?"

"We were," he agreed.  "Give them time to roam and learn how to track Jensen.  I figured it could help with wraith tracking."

"Wraith stink," Cougar said bluntly.

"A lot," Evan agreed.  "It's hard to distinguish *one* out of the group but they stink a lot more than a troop stuck in a desert tent for a week would."

"Good," John said with a grin.  "Have fun, boys."  They got a jumper sent for the deers.  Rodney was already taking tissue samples so they could test them for diseases.  John flew them back and let the deers be taken down to the kitchen to be dressed until they could finish the sample testing.  A few hours later, John came over the loudspeaker.  "People, Colonel Clay and Major Lorne's team ran into some deer so we have fresh meat for dinner tonight," he announced.  Everyone, even the vegetarians, ran to get dinner.  That would mean the vegetables were done better than simply mashed for a change.

Back on the planet, Clay and Pooch had set up a nice large fire and a spit system.  They had done this before on ops.   The other team was pulling larger logs out to set on fire around them so nothing would get near them for the food or to kill them.  The area was cleaned up so the fire wouldn't spread and then started.  Cougar and Evan finished field dressing that deer and spitted it.  Jensen started the spit turning and it was decent.  They could camp and romp tonight in peace and quiet.

"Almost makes you miss Central America," Pooch said quietly.  Clay smirked at him.  "Trees, quiet, less bugs are nice though."  He took his turn rotating the spit.

"Definitely less bugs," Clay agreed.  They got to work on the tents.  It was a pretty night but you never knew when rain or anything like that would come out of nowhere.  Especially around here.

Jensen took one of the cooked to 'rare' legs off to eat in dragon form.  He really had needed a good feeding.  Now he could nap off the meat and bones.  Not like any predators were going to attack him in his larger form and all the poisonous stuff wasn't dangerous to him.  Outside this one ant that kept trying to get under his scale and that one he had to fight to get but ate it too.  It was tasty.


Evan and Cougar looked at each other, shrugging a bit.  Cougar nodded.  Evan grimaced but nodded then shrugged again.  They moved to talk to the group.  "Guys?" Evan asked.  They all stared at him.  "Our furrier sides are pushing to bite you guys for some reason."

"Of course Cougar would when he got steady enough," Clay said simply, shrugging some.  "Pooch wanted to put some sperm up first."

"Wouldn't matter," Jensen called.

"You sure?" Pooch called.  "The baby won't come out furry?  Jolene would freak out."

"No, the baby has a half chance," he admitted.

"So I'll store some first," Pooch told Cougar, who nodded that was reasonable.  "If Roque...."  He shut his mouth.

"Yes, he could be," Jensen called.  "I'm not sure about Xander though.  Or John.  Totally different peoples."

"Where did Roque come from?"  Jensen looked over at him.  "Never mind.  Lower, upper?"

"Mid down to the tip."

"That makes more sense than him being Norse."  Cougar smirked at that.

"John's mother is a pisser," Evan said dryly.  The others all smiled and nodded.  "But sweet."

"Very," Clay agreed.  "Not quite insane enough for me though."  Pooch cackled, shaking his head.  "She's not."  He took over spit turning duties.  "Whenever you're centered enough, Cougar, so we can make plans.  Unless it'll keep us from being killed in the field.  Cougar nodded and settled in.

"I'm giving you guys that option," Evan told his team.   "We're not like that team."

"You're more sane," Clay agreed, cracking Jensen up.  He pointed at the dragon, giving Cougar a pointed look.  Cougar shrugged.  " Jensen, can he turn you?"

"No clue."

"Okay.  Find that out."

"Yup, sure can.  I already sent an email back."

"Thank you.  Just in case one of us has to try to save one of the ones on base."  He looked at them, getting shrugs back.  "Just think about it, guys."  They all nodded.  Evan sat down to nibble some of the meat that was done, taking the spit.  "Jensen, can you breathe fire?"

"Yup, sure can," he said smugly.  "Meat's nearly done though."  They got it down and onto the tarp Clay had pulled out.  That would keep it off the ground and they could use it to cover any leftovers from any bugs.  "Damn ants!" he complained, digging at another spot.  "Pooch, did you have to use cooking oil?"

"All we have, Jensen."

"Damn it."  He changed and came back over to sit near them.  "I've got some on the ship."  He grimaced.  "My sister was more than happy to hear that I needed some.  She thinks I'll never get a nice nest mate otherwise."

"Are any of you on the city female?" Evan asked, looking at him.  Jensen shrugged.  "Seriously?"

"I haven't met everyone on the city, Major."

Evan considered that.  "Have you smelled any of them?  Because I heard you guys go into heat."

"Only the females and I...  I think there's one but I'm not sure.  I have smelled a female but I think she's older."

"Cooking staff?"

"No.  Not that old.  I think she's in one of the sciences we haven't had to talk to."

"So botany, the greenhouses, or oceanography," Clay said.

"Or crypto-zoology.  I've only meet two of them over the yellow furs," Jensen said.

"One male is," Cougar said quietly.  "I smelled him, he came to check on us."

"Pierson," Evan agreed.  "That sweet smelling...."

Jensen smirked.  "That's not one of us.  That's another sort of changer.  If it's sweet smelling to you, it's an earth were of some sort."

"Shit," he muttered.

"Eggbert," another of his team sighed, shaking his head.

"Probably.  Or he's reacting that way because of it," Clay agreed.  "Guys?"  He looked at his two special ones.

"Eggbert," Jensen agreed.  "He's young but he's in control.  I talked to him when I found him watching you two during your feral times."

"If you find that female, let us know," Evan told him.  "Just in case she goes into heat."

Jensen nodded.  "Birth control shots work on us too, guys."

"Really?"  Jensen nodded.  "So she can hold it off for a few years?"

"Yeah.  My sister's done that for a while now."

"Huh," Evan said.  "Good to know."  He considered it.  "So Keller or Biro wouldn't even have to know."

"Nope."  He snatched a piece to nibble on.  "Nicely cooked, guys."  They all smirked at him.  "Thanks."

"The stalking was really a good workout," Evan said.  Cougar nodded and rubbed his shoulder, getting a grin from Evan.  "Wrenched?"

"Just sore."  Jensen shifted closer to check the range of motion, getting a wince.

"You stretched wrong during the shift?"  Cougar nodded.  "It looks like you almost dislocated it during the change.  Rest it for now."  He pulled out an instant cold pack and opened it, putting it on his shoulder for him.  "You should be fine later."  He got another small piece of meat to nibble.  Jensen's head popped up when they heard the roar.  "That's not a dragon," he said calmly.  He got up and walked out of the ring.  "Stay," he said firmly.  "The thing's fucking huge."  He changed to his bigger size and went to investigate.

He found it and it was combative too.  It was a huge bear.  Jensen had learned how to fight as a dragon youth but he didn't get to practice much.  Still, a bear wasn't that bad.  He did get a scratch on his wing membrane but that was easily healed.  The bear lost his eyes for that.  And then his head.   Jensen flew that back and dropped it then came back for the rest.   He didn't smell any cubs so that was fine.  It was a male.  He landed with the rest of the corpse and changed once it was on the ground.  "Huge ass sucker trying to screw a plant."

"Change back," Cougar ordered, staring at him.  Jensen sighed but did that, letting Cougar look at his wing.  "Hurts?"

"Tiny bit.  It'll heal just fine, Cougar.  It wasn't in a bad spot.  As long as it heals I'll be fine."  Cougar swatted him and got their first aid kit to put something over the hole.

"Shut up, Corporal," Clay called.   "Or I'm telling Keller."

"She wants to dissect me."

"It's not just you two then," one of Evan's guys quipped.

"Nope," Evan sighed.  "That's why I started to let Biro do mine."

Clay nodded.  "I hate the woman for being a mean hack but something seems wrong to me about Keller."

"Maybe she's possessed," Jensen quipped.  "Ow!"  He batted Cougar with his wing.  "Quit pulling."  Cougar glared and went back to taping down the bandage.  Jensen resorted to something he knew Cougar hated.  He licked him.  Cougar jumped back swearing in Spanish.  It let Jensen change and grin at him.  "I told you to quit pulling."  He sat down.  "So anyway, think they want some bear meat?"

"Crypto-zoology might," Evan said dryly.  They got up to field dress it away from the camping area.  They didn't want the dripping blood to bring bugs or anything.

Clay spotted a bug and shot it.  "Bugs."

Evan looked.  "Iratus."  They packed up and put out the fires.  The bear got carried back by Jensen.  Everyone else headed at a run for the gate.  They came through and Jensen threw the bear through before changing and following.  "Found an iratus."

"We'll mark it, Major," Chuck said, looking cheerful.  No one had gotten bitten so it was a good day.  "I've called biology and cryto-zoology to come get the bear."  He counted and shut down the gate.  "We all here?"  They nodded.  "Put your stuff down so I can put a shield around it."  They did that and he put one down.  They'd have to have guys in hazmat suits go over everything to make sure the bugs couldn't bite anyone.  John jogged in with the biologists.  "Bear, sir."

"Huge bear," he said, staring at it.  "Damn."  Clay snickered.  "Why the early return?"

"Spotted an iratus," Evan said.

"Good job not getting bitten, guys."  He smiled.  "Do a full work up," John ordered.  The biologist got it beamed to the lab for dissection and notating.  "Go shower and check for any bites."  Jensen was scratching.  "Bug?"


"Shower," he ordered with a point.  They went to do that.  John looked over the pile of packs, spotting something moving.  "We have at least one."

"The rest of dinner's in there," Clay called back.  "It's in a purple tarp."

"We can check there for them first," he decided.  The threat assessment team showed up to clear their gear with the stuff they found could gas an iratus bug.  "There's some meat on a purple tarp."

"Good."  They gassed that area first and moved it to a separate part of the quarantine field. More bugs came to get at it.  "They're very lucky they didn't get bitten."

"Yeah, they are," John agreed.  "Which would suck a whole lot."  He walked off, leaving them to their jobs.  "Chuck, mark it."

"Already have, Colonel."

"Thank you."


Colonel Ellis showed up with his shiny space battle cruiser.  He looked at the waiting people.  "Which one of you is Jensen?"  Jensen beamed at him, bouncing forward.  "How did you get them that frozen?"

"Cryo frozen."  He beamed. "They'll last until I unfreeze them here.  Were they a problem?"

"No," he admitted.  "We might have to try that for later shipments so tell McKay how it goes."

"Of course.  He'd have to help me set the machine."  He took his three boxes of stuff, walking off.  Rodney got his own things and followed once they were in his room.  Jensen was waiting on him with the box of frozen things.  He let him see.  "I can even give you a pint," he said quietly, glancing around.

"Yes, you will be."  They brought the box down to the cryo room and set one of the empty pods to unfreeze it.  Now it was normally frozen and Rodney did take some of the Ben and Jerry's.  It didn't take too much energy, barely more than a few seconds was easy enough to handle.  Rodney took two of the steaks too.  Jensen got the rest back to his room and the mini fridge he had been assigned.  They could cook out later and once they were out of the boxes, things were tightly packed in that little freezer area.  The other two boxes had sodas and coffee stores.  His sister sent pictures and a letter too.  She understood fully why he wanted a lifetime supply of coffee if they didn't have any up there for weeks on end.

Clay knocked then walked in.  "Coffee?  She sent you a full box of Folgers?"

"Have you noticed we run out an awful lot up here?" he asked dryly.  "Everyone who drinks coffee has their own personal stash.  And it's not a full box."  He pointed at the two boxes of candy bars with a grin.  "My niece was selling them for the soccer team."  He opened up the other box and it was full of things he might need.  Scale polish and a new brush.  Nail polish for scale dying.  A lot of neat things between three cases of super caffeinated soda and more candy.  "Hey, she raided the really late holiday candy tables.  I got a shitload of candy canes."

He put them aside.  Clay took one to suck on as he walked off shaking his head.  Jensen sat down to look over the scale polish.  It was the brand he had asked for.  Some of them were fish oil ones and they stunk or there was one that was coconut oil that made him itch and twitch for days.  She had gotten him the good kind.  Her letter said she had blown a paycheck on all this so he had better be happy.  She had gotten it out of his account already so don't worry about paying her back.  He wrote back a letter to go on the ship and took pictures of the guys for her, against a wall so nothing classified could be shown.

Ellis saw them and approved the letter, letting him pack it away for shipment back.  "Candy canes?" he asked, spotting Clay.

"Yeah, my sister bought out the really leftover candy table."  He grinned.

"At least they won't go stale."  He shook his head.  The kid was just freaky at times.


Jensen was sitting on a pier painting some of his leg scales with the nail polish stuff when Laura Cadman sat next to him.  "I'm seeing if I like this pattern for a future tattoo," he said at her staring.  She was one who knew about the scaled ones on the city.  He wasn't sure how or why but she was a normal who knew and helped with things like scale grooming.

"Huh."  She took the bottle to look over, doing her nails with it.  "How hard is this stuff?"

"Very.  It has to live up to scale movement and use."  He grinned.  "I have purple."

"Nah, green goes better with the BDU's."  She smirked and he grinned back.  "Who does explosives on your team?"

"Roque did but he kinda turned on us," he said absently.  "Clay misses him like hell though because he was our S-I-C and they argued like lovers at times."

"Sad to hear that."  She checked.  "It dries really fast."  Jensen nodded.  "Some starlets would kill to have some of this stuff.  They'd be able to go a full week without having to retouch."

"It's a bitch to get off," Jensen admitted.  He grinned.  "It won't chip off either.  It may peel but it'll come off in one large chunk."

"Good to know.  How do you get it off?"  He nodded at the bottle.  She looked it over.  "I've seen some of the cheaper polish removers this strong."  She put some on a cotton ball from the bag and cleaned up around one nail.  She had to really scrub.  That stuff did not come off at all.  If it lasted that good, she might tell a Mary Kay salesman she knew from school about it to see if she wanted to sell that instead.  She watched him finish his temporary tattoo.  "Bit messy."

"Yeah, I'm doing it upside down."  He shrugged.  "It's cool though.  I do it this way to see if I want to see something there every day."

"Makes sense to me.  I know ones who do henna for the same reason."  She got up and helped him clean up his small mess.  "C'mon, it's time for dinner."

Jensen grinned.  "Deer stew I heard."

"Yeah.  How many deer did they get?"

"Five, six."

"Damn.  Well, at least we had plenty."  They put the mess into his room and then went to dinner.  Radek looked at the polish then gave Jensen an odd look.  "He said it's pretty strong."

Radek nodded.  "Has survived combat on scales," he agreed quietly.

"Then it definitely won't chip on mine," she said happily.  They settled in to eat the nice stew.  The vegetarians, and a lot had switched after their first month up here, got the sauteed veggies instead.  They liked that and it was a happy night.


Xander looked around the area he was standing in.  He was back 'home' for a bit to check on his people.  They had told him to go play on earth while he was still young, that they didn't need him yet.  He stared at the clan chieftain.  "Elignor."

"Alexander."  He shook his hand.  "Have you found a better mate yet?"

"I nearly married one but Freya was involved."

"Pity."  He walked him back to show him around.  They were prospering well enough and things were going well.  "As you can see, we're not being attacked yet."

"That's good.  You know you only have to get me and I'll be here."

"I know, lad."  He patted him on the back.  "We'll do what we can."  Xander grinned.  "It might be years yet."

"I hope so.  I've been working with a slayer."

"One of those girls who goes after the misborn?" he demanded.  Xander nodded.  "Well, at least you're getting some exercise in.  Can't be many battles."

"We have yearly apocalypse battles."

"I have a few young I could send.  They could use the excitement."

"There's a military program that could use them.  If you send them at Thor, who is in exile with some of them, he can talk to the people helping him and they can get them into it."

"I'll talk to them about that.  It could only help."

"The tiny Supposed Ones had that ring."

"I heard."

"The humans have the ring now."  The chieftain moaned, shaking his head.  "The humans have managed to protect us all from the Snaked Ones, but there's other enemies out there."

"Then I shall definitely tell them to talk to the ones keeping Thor out of people's hair."

Xander grinned.  "They won't even let him get into real battles or flirt with multiple women.  Or drink."

"Hmm, a good punishment I heard the All Father used then."  He clapped him on the back.  "Come drink with us.  It has been long since you've had a proper meal I'd bet."

"All too long," he agreed, sitting down with the ones he knew to share stories and eat with them.


Two days later, Xander showed up at Valhalla, glaring at the sneers.  "Their village was attacked," he told the door guard.  "Let us in."

"This is for warriors...."  He choked when Xander kicked him in the head and it snapped his neck back.

Xander opened the doors.  "Inside, children."  They walked in.  "All Father!" he shouted.  Valkyries came running.  "The village was attacked by Giants.  There's some hiding but their hiding area got found and trashed," he told the head one.  She nodded and led them to the kitchen to warm them up and get them something to eat and drink.  Xander turned and found Odin waiting.  "The Frost Giants attacked them."

"Damn," he muttered.  "Are they alive?"

"Some.  Some are still able to hide.  There's only three giants left and I'm about out of arrows.  If I could have some?"

"I'll send some warriors with you, Alexander."  He patted him on the head.  "We'll watch over the children for you."  Xander nodded, going to the armory.  Odin dispatched some warriors to go with him.  He went to check on the children, who were tired and a few had some injuries being treated.  "They can go into the dormitory," he said quietly.

"Nay, the warriors would be asses to them," the head Valkyrie told him.  "They can bed with the other orphans we have.  Alexander set up a house for them."  Odin smiled and nodded.  "I'll make sure they're fit myself before I hand them over."

"Good plan, daughter."  He patted her on the arm.  The children were staring at him.  "You're safe now.  Rest for now and we'll get you somewhere later."  They all nodded and curled up together near one of the fireplaces, the older kids in the front with the younger behind them.  It was sad that they knew to do that but good to know that they were wary of attack even here.  It made them stronger.


Xander reappeared in Sunnydale a week later, looking up.  Then around.  Buffy was staring at him.  "Don't ask.  There was a battle."

"A battle?" she demanded.

"Yeah.  As in a village got trashed because someone wanted to attack them."  She shuddered.  "Huge ass battle with giants."  He stared at her.  "I'm going to go home unless it's *real* important and we need me tonight."

"No.  It's just a normal patrol," she said carefully.  He had been the same way after graduation.  "Go, Xander.  Shower, whatever, just calm down."  He nodded, walking that way.  "I don't want to know if it was the start of another apocalypse."

Willow shook her head.  "I doubt Ragnarok would bother us too much here, Buffy."

"I only heard little things about it, Willow.  How would I know?"  They saw a few demons running past them screaming that 'Alexander was back and has battle nerves'.  "Huh," she said.  She stopped one.  "He's going to calm down."

"Two vampires jumped him, Slayer.  His axe is blessed!"

"He didn't have his axe on him.  It's at the shop," Willow said.

The demon gave her a strange look then stared at Buffy.  "Has a brain sucking creature gotten her?"  Buffy snickered, shaking her head.  "What made him so mad?"

"He said a battle wherever he was guarding."

"I pity them.  They must be gone."  He walked off to warn Willie's if the others hadn't.

Buffy watched more run away from where Xander was heading for home.  They knew he got there when Spike and Anya were the last ones to run.  "He good?" she asked dryly.

"Hell no I'm not going near him in that mood," Anya said dryly.  "The last time, he took out a whorehouse working out his bad mood.  I'd be bruised and sore!"

Spike nodded.  "Not gonna happen," he agreed.  "Pity whoever was fighting against him."

"He said something about giants," Willow said.  "Attacking a village."

"Xander's hereditary duty is to guard a region of villages," Anya said.  "But giants mean Frost or Fire Giants are active and that might be a bad thing.  We should warn his uncle."  She and Spike walked off.  There was a room in the store's basement for Spike and the office couch for her to sleep on tonight.

"Huh, you learn a lot more now about him than we used to know," Buffy said, calling the number she had for Coulson.  "Hi, Agent Coulson.  It's Buffy.  No, oooh, need my help?"  She smiled.  "Well, Xander's in a really foul mood because some giants took out a village he was guarding.  You can call him.  Cool!  Thanks."  She hung up.  "He's going to call Xander."

"Maybe he'll work out his bad mood that way," Willow agreed.


Xander appeared without a shirt on.  He was barely out of the shower.  He stared at the huge thing and pulled something out of his pocket, using the key to open a mid-air doorway that hadn't been there before.  "The things you win from poker games with chaos mages," he said at the strange looks he was getting.  He looked up and then selected something, closing it again and pocketing the key.  He opened it and fired at the creature, making it fall back.  Which gave Thor the chance to move ahead.

"Fuck it," he muttered, running forward to jump in.  He bounded over an Agent ducking a blow, using him as a springboard to get higher.  His axe came at his call and it was a pretty mess he was creating.  "You just had to show up when I'm in a bad, pissy mood, didn't you?" he sneered.  "Frost Giants aren't bad enough?"  He took another swing into the giant cyborg's neck.  More sparks.  The giant batted at him and his axe went flying.  Xander summoned it back, letting it rip through the hand on the way.  He shifted and took another hit.

"Get down here!" Thor ordered.

Xander looked down at him.  "I don't take orders from you even in battle, Uncle."  He summoned something else and used it.  That made him jump off before the lightening crashed into it.  Thor was giving him a horrified look.  Xander stared.  Then up and brought down more lightening.  The creature bellowed and shrieked as it fried from the power surge.

Xander used the hammer he had summoned to knock it down.  Thor had his axe, he felt it be picked up, but that was fine.  It wouldn't stay with him.  He summoned his axe back, letting the war hammer hang from his wrist as he swung down into the chest cavity.  "Now blow the hell out of it."  He got out of the way, staring at the man behind Thor.  He dropped the hammer.  "I needed the lightening calling, All Father."

"You need a woman to wear that mood out," Odin countered bitterly.

"Mine ran!"  He shrugged.  "Some daughter of the lineage if she's scared of being worn out!"  He walked around the hammer.  "You two can argue."  He summoned his axe back and put it up.  The agents finished blowing the inside of the robot up.  He looked at the All Father.  Then he shrugged at the dirty look the single eye was giving him.  "It was necessary and I didn't breach your edict by giving it to him."

"No, you did not.  Next time warn us?"  Xander pointed.  "I understand why."

Xander looked around then at him.  "No crows or ravens?" he asked.  Odin swatted him.  Xander grinned.  "You used to have one follow me."

"Yes and they kept reporting all the women you slept with."

"All of them willing," he reminded him.  "Unlike some's."

"True.  This one who thinks that the young warriors could be used down here?"

Xander looked then pointed.  "Talk to him, All Father.  Agent Fury?"  He looked over, glaring at him.  "You guys called."

"That cabinet thing?" Fury demanded as he walked over.

"I won it in a poker game against a chaos sorcerer."  He shrugged.  "All Father, this is Agent Nick Fury and he works with a General who works with a project that has an Supposed One's ring."

"Those things are dangerous," Odin told him.

"They've managed it so far," Fury said, glaring at the kid again.

"We have a lot of young warriors who could use the training."

Fury stared at him.  "Really?"  Odin nodded.  "I can ask the general if he'd make room to train them.  They won't get much sword or bow work."

"We know there's better weapons for human battles.  They're not honorable on the field of battle but they'll do for human things."

"Send someone to talk to me in two days.  I have to clean up this mess and I can call him to meet me then.  Our higher ups are worried that we're an alliance that could bring the bad ones down."

"The evil shits who suck demon cock are worried about me just as much," Xander said dryly.  "Sent more people to Sunnydale that weren't SGC too."  He shook his head.  "Pity they ran off."

"Who were they?" Nick Fury asked.

"Area 51 hiding NID weenies and someone who was NSA in charge.  We kindly had their operations trailer moved outside the town and let the demons threaten the hell out of them."  He grinned.  "Now if you'll excuse me, I was calming down from a battle.  Half the demons I ran into ran screaming from me on my way to a shower so I know I stink."  He looked at Odin, who nodded for him to go.  Xander went back to his shower and then a long night with himself and his hand.

Thor shook his head.  "He needs a proper wife.  We should send his mate to him, Father."

"His mate has a chosen one in mind," Odin corrected, glaring at him.  "Leave, Thor.  Let the smart ones talk."

"Yes, Father."  He eyed his hammer but Odin took it before he could touch it.  Thor walked off mumbling something unkind.

"I heard such and if your mother should, she will remind you how a good warrior acts, son."

"We have a young girl helping some of us who call him pouty and spoiled," Fury said with a smirk.

"Aye.  A lot.  Tell me of this ring?"

Fury called.  "O'Neill, beam to where I am.  I'm hearing an offer of warriors for your program."  He hung up.  "Give him a minute, All Father."  Odin smirked and it was barely a minute before O'Neill was there.  "This is General Jack O'Neill.  I work with him on some things."

"I met the little version of Thor, Loki, and you, sir," Jack said.  "Their Loki made me a clone."

Odin burst out laughing.  "Ours might do the same!"  He patted him on the back and walked off talking about the ring and what had come through.  He was impressed with them, and that they had John working on the wraith issue, and said he would send a few who wanted to train that way to him in a few days time.  That one had sense.  It was good for humanity and the other eight realms as well.  He left, going home to report that.

Fury smirked at O'Neill.  "Harris was pissed off."

"I saw the mess."  He stared then at him.  "No weapons?"

"Hell, the kid called lightening.  He somehow had Thor's hammer."

"He probably borrowed it since I'm told his battle axe is his blessed weapon."

"Yup, from what I saw it was."  They shared a look.  "Think he even knows guns?"

"Yeah, I've seen him at the range," Jack said.

"He said there were NID and NSA assholes."

"Oh, I heard," he said dryly, smirking at him.  "That's who was just chewing on me."  He got sent back to tell them that the situation was solved and that they had some beings who wanted to train with them.


Xander looked up from his self-relief to find someone staring at him.  "Damn, I could've sworn I locked that."

"You did but it's a shittastic door, Xander."  He moved closer.  "I got sent."

"Figures.  I'm calming down from a battle."  He kept stroking himself.  If Roque wanted to watch him, it would show him what he had missed out on.  "My girlfriend ran because I might make her sore."

"You did the last few times."  He leaned down to kiss him.  "How is my team doing?"

"They're with John."  He moaned and shifted his hips some.  "Jensen said that Cougar got bitten by a yellow fur but he's in full control."  Roque moaned, shivering.  Xander smirked. "Jensen found out he could fully change up there so he's been making people oil him."

"Good," he growled, taking a kiss and climbing down next to him.  "It's been a bad year."

"I'm not your surrogate."

"You're like his son," he said snidely, "but I know that."  He stripped off and helped Xander wear himself out.  They fought for who got on top but Roque clearly was going to win.  Without weapons, Xander wasn't as good as he was.  Plus he needed it.  A lot.  Xander yelped when he bit him on the shoulder to calm him down but oh well.  He breached that tight ass, moaning in pleasure.

"This is nearly as good as our first night together," he praised, riding him hard.  They were both sweaty, hard, needy, angry, and it was the best comfort in the world.  At least until they found real mates.  Roque made Xander come so he could and went limp across the wet, sticky back.  Xander was panting hard.  He pulled out gently and moved to lay beside him.  Xander finally calmed himself and went limp.

"You're on the bottom next time," he said with a yawn.

"You can't beat me, Xander."

"Bull shit."

Roque laughed but let Xander rest against him.  Xander used to cuddle but he had lost that right.  Maybe he had been wrong but Xander needed someone better than him.  He wasn't fucked up enough to need someone like him as a mate.  Roque woke up to find a woman standing at the foot of the bed.  "I got sent to calm him down."

"I know who you are," she assured him.  "You can't keep him."

"We'd never work anyway.  It'd have been a fight to the death on our wedding night, woman."

"Yes, him riding you hard can be just as energetic as a battle."  She smirked.  "Change the sheets when you get out of our bed."  She got her clothes and went to shower.

Roque shook his head.  "I heard his woman was Clay's sort," he muttered.  She left again and he let himself drift back to sleep.  He didn't wake up when Xander tied him down, which was sneaky of his almost-mate.  He woke up to Xander stretching him.  "You still won't win so you might as well get on top," he said dryly.

Xander smirked.  "Shut up, Roque."  He slid in and Roque shifted, wincing some as he adjusted.  "What?  Too big for you?"

"Hell no."  He was working on the ropes.  His former fiancee was going to pay for riding him.  Mostly by riding him a whole different way.  Xander was going heavy and it was fun, it was great, Roque nearly didn't want free by the end, but he had to prove he was on top.  Xander groaned and came, making Roque growl and finally get free.  He hauled Xander up to kiss him and then flipped them both over, pinning Xander underneath him to ride him again.  "Bastard.  Don't leave me hanging.  You'll pay for that."

Xander snickered so he rode him until he wanted a new asshole - the old one was limp, open, and unable to flex.  He pulled out a few times to tease him, taunt him, play with him with other things.  His girlfriend apparently never got all of Xander since she had a lot of sex toys in various sizes, ranges, and vibrators.  Xander howled a few times but otherwise it was just good.  They were both calmed down afterward.  Xander was limp and making soft noises.  Roque kindly turned his head for him so he could breathe easier.  Xander mumbled a 'thank you'.  "You need a good husband," he said in his ear.  "Someone who can ride you hard and put you away wet anytime they want to."

"Still not a wife."

"No, you're a slob and you can't have kids.  But you'd make a pretty consort."  He used his fingers to tease the limp, open hole.  "I would've made sure you'd never take anyone else on our wedding night.  Maybe even brand my sigil on you here," he said, touching his perineum.

Xander looked back at him.  "I know some people get tattoos there but you wouldn't have survived."

"You couldn't stop me," he said smugly.  Xander summoned his axe.  Roque quit playing with him.  "Fine."  He blew a kiss.  "Get some rest, Princess.  You clearly need it."

Xander groaned and sneered.  "You'll get yours.  Remember, I can find you and get there easier."  Roque shivered but didn't look displeased at the idea.  He disappeared.  Xander flipped onto his back, hissing at how sore his ass was. He got up to strip off the bed on his way to a bath.  He needed to soak all the Roque sweat off him.  And out of him.  It might even help him plan how to get him and Clay together so they could talk.  Roque had only slipped once and called him that but then he had punished himself for doing it.  So maybe he'd make sure they were found together.


John got sent back to Earth for 'meetings' and mentally swore the whole way.  He ran into Landry in the gateroom.  "Sir, reporting as ordered," he said with a snappy salute and a forced smile.

"At ease, Colonel.  It's not even a lot of meetings this time.  Mostly new personnel choosing and the like."

"That's fine, sir."  He got assigned a room by Walter, the wonder gate tech and the guy who did half of everything non-scientific on base.  He came back to the general's office.  "Sir, new personnel?"

"A few new ones want to join.  Also, O'Neill wanted your opinion on a few who volunteered from a strange area."  He looked at him.  "I wasn't informed from where."

"How would I know then?"

"He'll be here later to talk about them."

"Sure, before or after dinner?  So I know to hold off or not, sir?"

"Before probably."  He smirked, handing over the stack of files.  "They want to transfer over."

"I'll look them over and meet with them if they're on base.  Though I do have to note that we could use a few more medical personnel.  Oh, and the biologists and I worked out an idea.  It's in your email, sir."

"I saw about the species mining."  He stared at him.  "Why?"

"Sir, have you seen the reports on how the native food is disgusting and doesn't always settle well?  We've had to send back six people for not being able to eat anything native.  Even when put through an NG tube it made them puke."

"I had, yes.  And it might help.  We'll consider it."  John nodded and took the files with him.  Landry shook his head.  Farming?  Really?  That was that important to Atlantis?  And how were they supposed to ship herd animals up there?


John walked up to Xander the next night and hit him on the arm.  "Ow!  What was that for?" Xander demanded, rubbing it.

"For sending me warriors."  He stared at him.

"You could use 'em."

"I know I could."  He gave him a pointed look.

"They know we use guns."

"Fine.  Thank you."

Xander smiled.  "Welcome."  He moved closer.  "Want to help me get Roque and Clay together?" he hissed.

John shivered.  "Very much so Clay quits picking up the insane women.  Even Jensen hissed at one."

"Roque is definitely his sort."

"Hmm.  How?"  Xander whispered his idea and John smirked.  "He's due back in March.  I'll make sure you have an exact date so you can tempt him that way.  Or simply have him snatched."  He looked around, zatting a vampire staring at them.  "Where's your slayer; I was sent to look over the base here."

"Oh, Buffalonia!" he called sarcastically.

"Quit calling me names, Xander!" she yelled.  She stomped over, staring at the guy next to him.  "Boyfriend?  Anya said she found you in bed with a guy.  Which, by the way, eww."

"That was Roque, who I nearly got married off to.  It was good to work off the post-battle stress with."  He smirked.  "This is my big brother and they're moving his warped, strange, protects us all project, which Fury likes and appreciates, here.  Or at least the training areas.  They want to look over the base."

"I can do that," she decided.  "You're his big brother?  Didn't I meet you where he pulled me that time?"

"We share a mother."  He smiled, walking off with her.  "Heel, Xander."

"Coming."  He followed, shifting to John's side.  "So, how's your Rodney?"

"He's not mine and he's fine.  Huffy again today because Jensen picked on him and wouldn't let him steal a candy cane."  Buffy snickered.  "We're so far out of the way we don't get candy and things, Buffy.  We can't run out to a store or anything.  We get shipments every few months like submarines do."

"I'm so sorry."

"Us too," John agreed.  "We keep running out of chocolate and coffee."

She smiled.  "It could be worse.   You could run out of hamburger."

He looked at her.  "We don't often get hamburger."  She shuddered.  "We get native foods that you *really* have to get used to."

"Eww," she said, looking at Xander.

"What?  I eat plenty well."  He smirked.  "Speaking of, I'm going deer hunting this year."

"Deer are cute and cuddly, Xander.  We don't eat deer."

"It's very low in fat," Xander told her.  "A lot lower than turkey."

"Really?"  He nodded.  "But it can't taste like cow."

"No, not fully but it's red meat.  You had some the other night and didn't know."  She shuddered and gagged.  "That stew you wanted fourths on?  That was deer."

"Wow.  I thought that difference was the seasoning stuff."  She shrugged.  "I'll ask Mom if she wants any."  They walked onto the college campus.  "There's two entries.  One at the frathouse they were using and one in the woods."

"Let's start here if we can get in."  Xander nodded.  John got let in and they went to search the underground base.  "We'll clearly have to change the cells to bedrooms for the grunts," he decided.  "Putting up a door won't be that hard though."  He was taking film as they went.  They checked the other entry.  It had a road and a garage.  That was better.  The command center needed some work, it had old equipment.  It had more than enough room for new team training and was closer to above ground for those that needed eased into underground living.  He looked at Xander, who took him to another area.  "Even Medical."  He nodded and they went back out through the garage.  Buffy got a demon.

Xander cleared his throat.  "This is my big brother John."  The demons stared at him.  "His current project needs a new team training area and I suggested here."

"You're on the mystical city of being eaten," one said.  John nodded.  "You are muchly brave yet very stupid, John."

John smirked.  "I have a lot of good people and we're winning."  The demons all gaped and a few bowed to him.  "We'll be moving some personnel here to train.  That way they don't freak out there."

"Here is much more sane than there," that one agreed.  "We will not bother the base if your kind use it.  As long as the others don't come back."

"I'd so kill them," Xander assured him, mimicked by Buffy.  "See?" he said with a grin.  The demons left them alone.  He grinned at John.  "So?"

"Not bad.  Needs some cleaning and some fixing up.  We can use that."  He smiled at Buffy.  "We'd like an index list of some sort to train our guys in case something does try to attack us or if you need our help for something huge.  We won't patrol or anything but we'll keep ourselves safe."

"Giles should have those books."  She took his arm to walk him off.  She gave Xander a pointed 'get lost' look.  Xander smirked and walked off to get into trouble probably.  "So you're his big brother.  We didn't know a thing about that stuff until recently."

He smiled.  "You guys probably shouldn't have known then, Buffy.  If others hear they can come here to attack him, like they do you."

"Good point."  She pointed out the major areas on the walk back so he knew where they were.  It might give a nice boost to the town and a few more eating-resistant people would be nice too.  She wouldn't have to worry about them.

Plus, hotty guys to hit on who knew about fighting all the time.  That was always the biggest plus in her life.


John came back with the new people, finding some older ones a bit more strange.  He stared at Clay.  "Bad day, dear?" he asked dryly.

"Your people would drive me nuts if I had to do your paperwork for much longer, Sheppard.  I always thought Jensen was as strange as the military allowed until I met your scientists and some of the Marines."  He handed him the stack of incident reports.  "Them narking on each other like they're on a playground, for which they all got told to grow the fuck up and settle it like men.  And if the doctors didn't like it, she could suck me because I could use the stress relief."  He handed over another stack.  "Mission reports.  Two actually went *right* and those ones found God for some reason I'm not sure about."  He smirked and handed over the last one.  "The actual 'fucking moron' reports that you need to do something about."

"Thanks for pre-sorting those for me," John quipped.  "Why were they fighting?"

"Radek wouldn't let them in the hooch.  Radek wouldn't let them take a jumper out for a casual dive in the ocean to fish with the shields.  McKay scarred two for life by kissing one of them to prove a point and the other figured out he was human and couldn't take that knowledge.  Keller sedated him for four fucking days; the pussy Marine is no longer on duty and is locked in his room until you can kick his ass.

"Two were because they wanted to hit on the same village girl and got told no by her so they're fighting over who would try to sweettalk her into a blowjob.  Cougar whipped them both for you.  They're really very sorry they're such fuckups.  Six others started a team-on-team brawl for a basketball game," he said dryly.  "As of yesterday they were still fighting so I decided to mix the teams up on an assigned paint job touch up over the side of the piers.

"I told them I didn't care if they gave each other handjobs down there but they were to work that shit out or I'd be cutting the ropes so they had to work together to get back up onto the city.  She giggled."  He smirked.  "Four of the scientists got into a hair-pulling, might as well be a girl fight.  I stood them in corners after the 'grow the fuck up' speech.  Then I let McKay have them after four hours in a corner in the gate room."

He waved a hand.  "Your desk is clear except one *real* discipline report.  The fucking morons in that third section are waiting on you in a room on the west pier, cleaning the building for their meeting with you.  I kindly put an armed guard out there with an energy whip.  Ronon pouted I didn't let him correct any by sparring.  So I told him to work on Cougar and Jensen's hand to hand to see if anything's different."

"Good.  Plans from Cougar and Evan?"

Clay gave him a smug look.  "We did that before you left, Sheppard."  He walked around him, nodding at the new people.  "I'm part of the rescue team.  You'll see a lot of us.  Hope you survive, people."

John snickered.  "It's gotten a lot better since we started," he told them.  "Let me handle this.  Lorne?"  He came down.  "Take them to newbie briefing and orientation."  He nodded, doing that.  John went to look at that one disciplinary report.  Then at the 'fucking moron' section.  Some of those got to go home too.  The 'grow up' section was a lot of stress brawling but it looked like Clay had handled it without tact.  Which he expected.

It gave the guys a thing to look forward to when he got back.  He sentenced them to extra sparring work and the ones not going home in the other section.  He went to talk to Ronon.  He was more than happy to get some new sparring partners.  The ones on the paint jobs were arguing, he could hear them.  He walked out there to look down at them.  "I can cut those ropes just as easily, guys."

"No, Colonel.  We love that you're back!" one said frantically.  He swatted at something.  "We have something with tentacles down here and it really loves me.  Help, please?"

"Come up, get a shower, finish the touch ups on the other piers as ordered."  They all whined.  He smirked.  "Or spar with Ronon."

"Fuck it, I'll take it like an anime character," one whimpered.  "Let me find some lube."

"Wear a diving suit," John ordered.  "I don't want to hear Keller complaining about tentacle injuries and it'll keep you guys from getting too chilly."  He went to find Clay.  "Did you know there was a creature with tentacles?"

"Yup.  He tried to sneak some under Jensen's tail.  He yelped like it was fun and nearly climbed without using his hands."

"Let them wear diving suits."  He walked off grinning.  That was so mean!  He adored that punishment!  He'd have to use it again.

Clay gave Cougar a smug look.  Cougar walked off snickering.  Jake wasn't going anywhere near the water ever again while on the city.

John got summoned into the infirmary an hour later, staring at the huffy, young doctor.  "What happened?"

"He wanted medical lubricant for a *tentacle*!"

"There's a creature helping them do a paint retouch," he said with a smirk.  "I said you could use a diving suit."

"The damn thing thought that it was a full body condom.  Instead of the two little tentacles, I got six huge ass ones petting me, Colonel.  If it's going to get that friendly I want lube!"

"Switch sides."  He hugged him, nearly crying on his way to tell the others.  John walked her out there, letting her climb down.  The tentacles liked her too.  The guys decided heroically saving her would get them back in John's good graces so they all got to move sides of the city.  Keller went to shudder and cry in her office.  She was not an anime girl!  Though it was nice Jensen handed her a candy cane wreath.

"It tried me too," he comforted, patting her on the head.  "It'll be okay."  He walked off.  He found two scientists arguing and cleared his throat.  "The paint touch up crew could use some help guys and Clay offered to let scientists help paint too."  They huffed off.  Later on they'd find out what that really meant and got with biology to find and kill that tentacle creature before it liked them too.

They also signed Clay up to every kink dating website for being so mean to them.  He was clearly warped and needed *something* to help that situation.  Maybe he'd get an idea or some fun out of it.  Or make one of his team role play with him, something!


Xander had planned this fun time very well.  He had everything set up.  Clay was back on earth.  He knew where everyone was and where Clay was going on his downtime.  Now he had to get a few things into place.  He shifted into the shadows, going to where Clay was sleeping.  That whole time zone difference came in handy when you were kidnaping people on the other coast.  He used a light sleeping gas he had in his pocket to make sure Clay stayed down and touched him, shifting them both into the shadows and to the room he had set up.  He left a note on Clay's old bed and one on the nightstand under his gun in the new room.

Then he went to get the other one.  Clay would snap awake in about two hours.  So Xander had some time to get Roque back.  He gassed him and snatched him from the marketplace he was in.  He was heavier but it was easy enough.  The room he had rented in the 'play house' in San Francisco was sealed for right now.  Plenty of shadow for him to work in.  He got Roque tied up and chained into the sling.  He made sure he had everything.  He checked on Clay, who was coming around sooner.   So he went back to make Roque happy.

Roque growled when he woke up to fingers in his ass.  "Usually I kill people who try that."

"Payback's a bitch," Xander quipped, smirking at him.  He turned up the lights.  "A whole lot of bitches."  He kept stretching him, making Roque try to shift.  He was well tied down.  "Relax.  It'll make you happier if you relax."

"Xander, I'm going to kill your stupid ass."

Xander stared at him.  "No you won't."  He winked.  "Now, be a good boy and I'll even let you have a lollipop later."  Roque growled.  "Not mine, you might bite me."  Roque gave him a horrified look.  Xander stared at him and hit his prostate, making him swear and growl for a new reason.  "Remember, I am a wonderful planner."  He kept going, paying him back for how hard he had ridden him before.  It wasn't too long before someone picked the lock, walked in, and shut the door.

Clay looked around.  Tied up Roque.  Xander.  A whole bowl full of condoms.  A whorehouse sized pump jar of lube.  A few sex toys and a paddle.  He cleared his throat.

Xander smirked.  "I thought about fisting him for the way he treated me the last time," he said dryly.  "But I thought you might not like that during your talk."  He pulled back and took off his gloves with a snap, smirking at Roque, who was giving him a scared look.   He looked at Clay.  "You two need a real talk."

"Yeah, but this isn't how I imagined it going," Clay admitted.

Xander smirked.  "Up to you what happens, big guy.  By the way, loved the tentacle torture for the idiots."  He blew a kiss and faded out.  He came back.  "You have this room for another eight hours.  Your motel room is yours for the next three days."  He faded again, going back to Sunnydale to congratulate himself for a good job by making Anya squeal in many delightful ways.

Clay locked the door and moved over, staring at Roque.  He was shivering lightly in the chilly room but hard.  A few goosebumps but some drying sweat.  Clay stared at him.  He noticed Roque was still hard.  Maybe John had been right about things.  He shrugged off his jacket.  "Some people noted some things to me," he said, looking him over.  Cockring was a simple snap style.  A nicely wide silver band.  The hole glistened with lube.  Not too much but enough for some good, long fun.  "Especially about why you did something so fucking dumb, Roque."  He stared at him, moving between his feet.  "Were they right?"

"I don't know what someone told you," he started.

Clay yanked on his cock, a hard stroke that made Roque jump and moan, thrusting up to get another one.  "Really?  You sure?"  He stared his second-in-command down.

"I'm not the wife in my relationship," Roque said dryly.

"I think you'll be the wife tonight and then we'll argue over it."  He smirked as he undid his belt and pants, letting them fall.  He stepped out of them, his sneakers, and stood there.  Roque was staring.  He couldn't see much but he was trying very hard.  And speaking of hard, his cock was bobbing.   Clay smirked.  "I'm not really the sort to suck any man's cock."

"As Jensen says 'don't start none, won't get none'," Roque growled.

"I can get any cheap whore to blow me, Roque.  I could walk outside and get six or seven offers I'm sure.  I did on the way in."  That got a more threatening growl.  Yup, that proved it to him.  Clay slid in hard and fast, making Roque try to arch up and push back.  "But I doubt that'll be good on our first night.  Asshole.  You should've told me."

Roque stared at him.  "I'm still not the fucking wife."  Clay pulled back and pushed in even harder, making him moan.  "It's real rare and he had to gas me to get me in here."

"I'll let you go when you beg."  He stared at him.  "For everything."  He rode him hard, fast, and long, making Roque try to come a few times before Clay finally gave in and opened the snap.

"Shit!" Roque shouted, coming hard.

Clay rode him through it, and kept going even though he was more sensitive.

Roque tried to squirm.  "I couldn't take that," he said finally.

"If you had told me what she was, I would've listened.  Don't I always?"  He paused, staring at him.

Roque stared at him.  "It was the last one."

"Yeah, she was."  He slammed in again.  "How many times has Xander had your pretty ass?"

"Twice," he moaned, tipping his head back.  "That wasn't my idea."  He shifted his hips.  "You'd better be wearing a condom."

"Why?  Can I get you pregnant?" he taunted with a smirk.

"My mother's a fertility goddess, Clay."  Clay pulled out and went to get a condom.  "Thank you."

"I knew I didn't have to compete with half the navy," he said dryly as he slid back in. Roque shivered.  "Liking it, dear?" he asked smugly.

"This is going to be *real* rare and you're going to have to make me submit, mother fucker."

"If you're sure you can take me to flip me over," Clay shot back then pounded him for a few minutes before slowing down again.  Roque had his mouth hanging open, he was nearly drooling.  It was a pretty look for him.  "I'm going to have to move up on this topic to the guys."  He pulled out completely.

"Cougar sent me an email telling me if I hurt you he was going to find out how to finish me," he moaned.   "C'mon, it's mean to leave us both hanging."

Clay stared at him.  "What're you thinking, Roque?"  Roque snorted, staring at him.  "A playing thing, a permanent thing?  You gotta let me know.  Because I'm not going to just fuck."

"No," he said quietly.  "You won't ever again.  Let me free and I'll show you."

"I like you like this," he said smugly.  "You make a pretty ugly wife but a damn good one.  Just the right amount of loud."  He slammed back in again, letting his control go.  He gave it to him hard and soft, long and slow and fast, until Roque could only grunt and so could Clay.  Then Clay went over and Roque got a few softer strokes until he followed.  Roque went limp.  Clay pulled out and sat down in the chair in there.  It was conveniently placed near his head.  He caught his breath, staring at him.  "Am I buying you a ring?"

"I have one in mind, it's a family heirloom I'm meant to give to my mate," he said quietly, looking at him.  "We're both fucked up."

"You get pregnant before I retire from the army and you'll see fucked up."  Roque sneered.  Clay smirked back.  "You're going to be taking it a lot.  You have a sweet, tight ass."  He got up to spank it and let the chest strap go.  Then one of the ankle ones so he could get more comfortable.  He sat down again, sprawled out.  He finally took off his sweaty t-shirt and tossed it at his pants and sneakers.  That left his socks but that was fine.  The room was cold and who knew what was on the floor.

Roque looked at the locks.  "Wish I had me some magic," he mumbled, calling just enough to get them open.  When he was free, he stared at Clay.  Who was looking smug.  Like he hadn't seen him undo them.  Roque rolled off the sling and picked up Clay to toss him into it.  It was a struggle but he got one ankle in a strap so that made the rest easier.  A wrist.  Finally the other wrist, even though he was now bruised from a few punches and had a few scratches.  He left that other foot free and got the lube.

"So, wife."  He smirked as he moved closer to get Clay ready for him.  "This is one hell of a wedding night."  He dodged a kick.  That little bit of spice was thrilling to him.  Him putting his feet together just made him tighter too.  Which was sweet.  Clay was nearly virginal so that was good.  Roque got him just enough stretched and slammed in, making Clay moan and tense up.  "My bitch."

"Fuck you."

Roque smirked and rode him hard, making him get loud, try to kick him a few times, but that was what he wanted.  His Clay was volatile.  It was how they worked best.  Clay finally shouted as he came but Roque was having a lot of fun.  He paused in the center, spotting something that had appeared.  He picked them up and came back, putting them on Clay's stomach while he slid back in.  More gently now.  "I'm going to fuck you so hard you go back to Atlantis bowlegged and grinning a silly smile when you have to lean against a wall, boy."  Clay moaned, trying to push him off since he was so sensitive right now, but that was good for Roque.  He bit him on the ankle.  "What the fuck is that taste?"

"Cougar got bitten."

Roque growled.  "You're a yellow fur?"

"Now."  He smirked.  Roque's growl changed, got deeper, more thrilling.  That meant he could ride Clay as hard as he wanted.  His bitch was finally his.  Clay knew that look.  He braced himself but it wasn't enough.  The bar holding the sling still got released so Roque could use the extra swing to get deeper and farther in him.  "Shit!"

"No, you won't be for *days*," Roque promised with a smug look.  "You put that on and I'll let you come."  He kept going, giving him the hardest, nastiest, dirtiest ride in his life.  Clay was whimpering for mercy when he finally put on the ring.  Roque held his hand up, letting Clay put his on him.  The rings lit for a second and the small bond between them snapped into being.  Clay felt the satisfaction, the love, the twisted desires, and knew Roque could feel his.  He came hard.  The ceiling, his chest.  Roque's chest.  Then he went limp and just breathed while his new mate stared at him.

Roque licked over a spot of come.  "You taste good."  He bit him on the stomach, marking him.  Then he pushed in one last time, as hard as he could, getting as far up his mate as he could, and let loose.  Clay whimpered but it felt so good.  Roque pulled out and let him go, flopping into the chair.  Clay took a few tries to get up but he managed it and Roque pulled him onto his lap.  "No more women."

"For either of us.  Or Xander."

Roque shook his head.  "We've only played when it was post battle stress.  Honestly."

Clay nodded.  "I get that need."

Roque stroked the open hole with his fingers.  "Now you have a way to get it out.  Even if you do end up riding my hand some day if you're that bad."  Clay shivered, shaking his head.  Roque smirked, stroking him some more.  "We need a shower.  We stink."

"We do," he agreed.  He looked at them.  They were messy as hell.  Roque pulled him over to kiss him.  "I didn't think you'd do that."

"It's our wedding night.  It has to be sealed with a kiss.  I'm told it's traditional," he said smugly.  He spanked Clay, earning a moan.  Roque got them up and dressed then he went to talk to the house's owner.  He bought that sling and had them pack it with the condoms and lube.  Then they went back to Clay's motel room.  It was a cheap little hole in the wall.  If they broke everything in there on their honeymoon, it'd cost less than two hundred bucks to fix it and later kinky people would praise the new bed.


Cougar sniffed Clay when he came back, giving him a pointed look.  Clay stared back.  He looked at the others.  Jensen subtly shrugged while hacking something he shouldn't.  Pooch sighed but stared back.  "I can go."

"Sit and shut the fuck up," Pooch ordered, looking at Cougar.  Cougar growled but let it go.  "Jensen?"

"I can sit on him and squish him or light him on fire," he quipped with a smirk at his monitor.  "Your wife can help him get used to waiting at home with a butt plug and making cookies for us I'm sure."

"That's a bad image the Pooch *never* wanted to see," Pooch complained.  Cougar nodded and swatted Jensen.  "When are you two going to hook up?"

"We're dangerous to each other," Cougar told him.


"The bite of the other can drive us insane," Jensen explained.  "The only time it happened, the dragon went so insane they had to put the poor thing down and it was a kid."  He looked at him.  "Her playmate drooled in a cut.  She went feral and they couldn't get her out of it.  They tried for two weeks and they ended up sedating her."

Pooch shuddered.  "That's bad."  Jensen nodded.  "Are you guys enemies or anything?"

"No.  We lived in peace before.  We do when there's any down here. We just have to be really careful not to mix our bloods or anything."

"Good to know," Clay decided.  "What about your thing?"

"The others who've come back for long visits said that after a month it starts to lock back down.  There's the wrong things down here that block most everything."

"So are you going back?" Clay asked.

"If the team does.  If they break up the team I'll be volunteering to go back by myself whenever that happens."

Cougar cleared his throat.  "I'd go as well."

Pooch sighed.  "I've been having a lot of fun with a cup for the last few days," he said dryly.  "Jolene's not sure why but I've put enough up that we can do fifty rounds of in vitro.  I'm going to put up a bit more later this week."  Clay nodded that was reasonable.  "Then we'll have to talk."

"How about you do that sooner?" Jolene demanded.  "What the hell is going on?"  Cougar changed down and stared at her.  She stared.  "Oh, *God*, that's not right!"

Clay nodded.  "He got bitten by something on our last assignment, Jolene.  Calm down."  Pooch pulled her into his lap.  "Thank you, Cougar."  He was sniffing and giving him a pointed look.  "He's in the car taking a nap.  Xander set things up."  Cougar changed back, tipping his hat down some.  "He turned on us because of Aisha."

"Tell the truth, Clay.  He couldn't take seeing you dipping your dick into every evil girl anymore," Jensen said dryly, looking at him.  "So he went off to do something heroically stupid but decided to let Xander save us.  That's why Xander was only expecting to save *three* people."  Clay nodded he was right.  "And now you're the wife?"

"He's the wife," he growled, glaring at Jensen, who grinned back.

"Unless his ring's identical, you're the wife," Jensen said with a point.

"Ring?" Jolene demanded.  "Did I miss something else?"  Clay held up his hand.  "Did you marry some insane bitch I'll have to take out?" she demanded, glaring at him.  "I will gut the bitch before I let her anywhere near my man or our son if she's crazy, Clay."

"Her name is Roque," Jensen told her.  She made a high-pitch squeaky noise and stared at Clay.  Who nodded.  "So, was Xander's present good?  He told me in advance so I wouldn't worry when I felt him showing up."

Clay leaned over to swat him as hard as he could.  Jensen grinned.  "A bit too dramatic but it was nice he was tied down for our talk."  Cougar blushed and slunk down in his seat.  Jensen shivered.  "I can give you the house's address if you want," Clay said snidely.

"After being on this team, I'm not really into bondage anymore," Jensen quipped back, going back to his hacking.  "Maybe some light spanking games but nothing like being tied down."  He shrugged.  "Thanks though."

He rolled his eyes.  "He turned on us because of Aisha.  I pointed out if he had told me I would've dealt with her."

Jolene snorted.  "Then you'd have picked up another one.  No wonder he turned on you and arranged to get the other three free."  She got up and looked at her husband.  "Can you do that?"  He shook his head.  "Is that a yet?"  He nodded.  "Is that why we're paying a sperm bank?"  He smirked and nodded.  "Good!  I'd freak the fuck out if the next baby came out furry."  She walked back inside to get drinks and one for her.  She brought them out, slamming her shot and pouring a new one.  "To Clay's new wife."  They all saluted him and drank.  "Will it hurt him?" she asked Cougar.


"The bite hurts like a bitch," Clay told her.  "And it's a herald of an even greater pain the first few times.  You change, go feral from the pain, get sedated.  But after a few you get control and can do it consciously."

She stared at him.  "If he accidentally bites me during sex or something, would that change the future babies?"

"No idea," Jensen admitted.  He changed screens to send that to the temple that had helped him.  He got back a pretty fast answer.  "It'd mean a fifty/fifty for the baby having it.  Definitely a carrier though," he said when he got an answer.  She stared at him.  "Which is the same reason he's storing sperm."

"If I had eggs stored?"

"They'd be getting your blood," Jensen reminded her gently.

She considered it.  "If it happens to both of us and we use him the natural way?"

"Almost certain," Jensen said.

She looked at her husband, who kissed her.  She leaned against his chest.  "Then if it's fated by God that I'll change too, so be it."  He hugged her, nibbling on her throat.  She swatted him.  "You're not trying for a next child with others watching."  She stiffened.  "You see stuff about wolf packs," she said bluntly, staring at Cougar.

"The pack alpha would have to agree to him having you but he wouldn't necessarily try to get overlord's rights," Jensen told her.  "That would depend on the pack alpha."

"I'd never do that," Clay said.

"Me either," Cougar assured her.  She relaxed and let her man cuddle her again.

Jensen looked at her.  "All cubs are honored and protected, Jolene.  Among both of our species.  Cubs don't happen at the drop of a hat usually."  She stared at him.  He grinned.  "I don't change like them."

"What bit you?" she demanded.

"I was born this way."  He smirked and let some of his scales out.  She gave him the strangest look.

Clay laughed.  "We did the same damn thing the first time he changed," he assured her.  "Quit showing off, Jensen."  He went back to hacking.  "Do I want to know what you're doing?"

"Helping Willow."

"Fine."  He looked at Pooch and Jolene again.  "We go back in two weeks."

"I've got audio files ready to help force him to change that first time," Jensen said.

Pooch looked at his wife, who kissed him.  "I..."

"I'm scared for you, baby, and I hate to see you in pain, but if it'll help protect you, I'll learn how to put up with you going furry sometimes and needing a doggy bath."

He kissed her hard.  "Only if I wanted to."  He kissed her again.  He stared at her then he pulled out his pocket knife and cut into his arm.  He walked over to Cougar, who lapped it then spit into it.  He winced as the pain shot up his arm.  "That does hurt even without the bite."  He shook but they got him sitting down.  "How long?"

"About an hour before we can change you."

Jolene took him into the bedroom to take his mind off things and get her original husband one last time.  Well, maybe two if she was good at it.

Jensen looked at Clay.  "Is he rejoining?"

"I don't know.  I know he can't hurt me."

"That means he can hurt us if you're not with us," Cougar said.  Clay nodded he knew that.

"We'll talk to him before we go back," Jensen said, looking at Cougar, who nodded that was good for him too.  They heard Jolene shriek in pleasure but ignored it.  Beyond Jensen going to get the baby so he could go back to sleep.  When it was time, Jensen downloaded the file to his phone and Cougar got the tranq rifle from the car.  They got Pooch into a different room.  Jensen played the audio file of a baby screaming in pain and anger.  The things you found online horrified him sometimes.  Pooch changed right then and there, making Cougar shoot him.  Cougar had some fur sprouting too when Jensen turned it off.  "Sorry," he said quietly.

Cougar stared at him.  "Was a good idea."  Jensen grinned, leaving them to watch him.

Jolene walked in and stared at her husband.  "My poor pookie," she sighed, petting his head.  "He's a huge thing."

Cougar smiled.  "We all are."

"I want to see Jensen's real form later."  Cougar nodded.  "Can I...."  He stepped outside.  She sat down to sit next to her boy.  Her baby was not normal but he had always been perfect to her before.  Now he could just drool more and barely fit his head in her lap.  He sniffled her.  "It's just me, baby.  The wife of Pooch."  He growled lightly and sniffed her again.  Cougar came in to redart him.  Pooch had tried to protect her but that was just the man Pooch had always been.  It made her happy.  Even if he was drooling on her lap.


Clay walked out the next morning with Pooch.  "He's in control.  I taught him how to do it consciously."

"I still go a bit protective," he admitted.  Jolene kissed him and he moaned, kissing her deeper.  "Pancakes?" he asked with a grin when he let her mouth go.

"Hmm, in the oven keeping warm for you.  Now I know why you have your name," she teased.  "Though, baby, no drooling on me.  I am not into doggy style."  He laughed and hugged her, making her moan and hug him back.  "Stronger arms."  He eased up.  "I didn't ask you to let me go!"  He hugged her tighter.  The others let them have the mushy moment.  "Don't make me paper train you either."

"Never a thought in my mind, baby."  He kissed her again.  He smelled something.  "Roque's still around," he complained.

"He's still in the car."  She led him inside and let him have breakfast.  "How much control do you have?"

"I'm still finding reasons to let some fur sprout.  I'm in conscious control, not full control."

"Took me a month before I could masturbate without furring up some," Clay told her.

"What you and Roque do I do not need to know," she said firmly.

"I wasn't his then."

She snorted.  "You've been his for years, Clay.  Even if you were too dumb to realize it.  I ought to thank Xander for whatever kinky way he got you two together too."  She fed her baby more.  "Are you going to eat more now?"  They all nodded.  "Good!  It means I can start making proper dinners again."

"I love you," he whispered, pulling her closer to hold.  None of this had freaked her out and he was so damn lucky to have a woman like her.  She yanked on the hair that was coming out.  "Baby, that's not making it want to go back in," he growled.  "The same as you being in my lap isn't."

She laughed and kissed him then fed him some breakfast.  "Then you'd better learn control faster before I adopt and name some little latex boys."  He growled and forced it back down, kissing her again.  Fuck breakfast, he had a wife to prove himself to.

Jensen went to get the baby so he could sleep.  Jolene got really loud.  Especially complaining his arms weren't the only stronger thing and he had gotten longer too.


Jensen saw the strange message and shrugged, making plans for that before they had to make a decision to go back or not.  'Come see my ass' was not the usual message Xander would send to him based on his last few.  He told Clay, who nodded for him to go but not take too long.   He flew out that night and landed the next morning, getting a rental car on the way up.   He drove to Xander's apartment, finding a note on the door for him in the precise handwriting.  So he followed the directions up to the construction site.

Xander came out and signed out, getting into the car before he could do more than stop.  "First, if Roque suggests again that I take your ass as my wife, ignore the man."

"I am even though he hasn't said anything to me because I'm not talking to him.  What's wrong, Xander?"

Xander grinned.  "I got told an interesting fact, Jensen.  We're going to try it out and then I'm going to give you a great favor to ask."

"Okay.  Why?"

"Because if I'm right, the blockage on your abilities is something that magical taint can fix."  He smirked.  "Let's go out by the cliffs."  Jensen nodded and let him steer them.  When they got there, Xander had him park and they got out.  "Now, shift."

"I'm told if we do, we can get stuck."

"You won't get stuck.  We're in a fully tainted, fully magic soaked area."  Jensen looked confused but did that.  Xander watched.  "Now, feel that wall feeling?"  Jensen nodded.  "Break it."


"Individual.  I'd say will it broken but it's a magic in taint problem."

Jensen concentrated and it chipped.  He concentrated harder and felt it smash.  He felt a moment of panic because he felt stuck but then things flowed through him like dark water and suddenly he felt free.  He changed down then back up then to his smaller size and back to human, staring at Xander.  "How?"

"I'm told that magical taint of another nature can fill in the void.  It's not the same feeling and I'm told it can't make you evil or anything, but there were two draglets born in Cleveland, very near that hellmouth.  They can both change all the time and the priestesses were worried that meant something was wrong with them but it turns out all it was was taint from the hellmouth's radiation and magic."

"So... if I let it soak into me...."

"Then it's not exactly the right sort of energy for you to fully be healthy but it'll be enough to let you change for the next year.  They had them move to the big caves in Germany and after a year their abilities went back down but as soon as they got near a magical area, they absorbed more and it came back.  That last absorption was white magic, in a blessed area, but they said it just felt like cleaner power/watery stuff."

"Yeah, it felt like darker water to me just now.  So... that's more than the month we'd get after being at home."

"Also," he said with a smirk.  "I asked Stark via Dawn.  He and Pepper think it might be a bit dietary.  You guys might be missing something that's making it harder for you to shift."

"Hmm.  I have no idea about the diet up there.  My grandparents were the ones that moved us.  Have you asked a priestess that?"

"Yes, and she said she's pretty sure it's a combination of both.  Now, with the old homeworld being in environmental decay you guys might've had that same problem then.  That may have been what really started off the exodus."

"I don't know who to ask."

"She said those records weren't brought.  But there's worlds with the same sort of energy.  Especially where you are if what I'm told is correct."  He nodded.  "So....."

"So... if I can do this and anything in the diet up there helps....  That'd be really helpful for the rest of us.  How many hellmouths are there?"

"Seven according to Giles.  Two in the US."

"So we might be able to move to the safer ones and help there."

"Hell, you guys can hide in plain sight here but you need to be pretty careful about all the vampires."

"I get that totally.  I'd never let my sister or niece move here because of that."  He shifted again.  It felt just as natural as it did on Atlantis.  He grinned.  "This is an incredible gift.  What if I had gotten stuck?"

Xander stared at him.  "You could still change size and I would've gotten you to Atlantis quietly."

"That'd be marvelous.  Thanks, Xander."  He hugged him.  "Now what's the huge favor?"

Xander pulled out his golden apple.  "There's a world up there that is locked off totally.  It still exists, I made sure first, but it is a place where this would grow properly.  Which would mean that you guys wouldn't have him missing Clay."

"Cougar got bitten by a yellow fur," he said quietly.

Xander stared at him.  "That's not the same as immortal, like Roque is," he said quietly.

"No, it's not.  A long lifetime but not immortal.  Huh.  I can see if it's still able to be gotten to and see if John would let me."

"Please.  Because I'm seeing some decay in ours.  Even though they've been in stasis and are still in stasis."

"I can do that," he promised, getting a grin back.  He hugged him.  "That is the best gift ever, Xander.  Thank you."  He kissed him.  "Hmm, you taste good."

"Syrup for breakfast.  I was running late so I took a swallow on the way out the door."  He grinned.  "Giles has maps of all the hellmouths and other spatial rips out there."

"Even better."  They went back to town and Xander got the map for him to copy down.  Then he went back to Jolene's house.  That was a fantastic bit of news.  While he waited between planes he texted the temple that had helped him.  Which was the one Xander had probably talked to.  They were interested in what had happened and said they'd send someone to test it somewhere safer.  He sent the list of hellmouths to her and she said they could pick one and let him know.  And test him if they had to.


John Sheppard looked at the men returning.  "Colonel," he said with a smirk.  "Back again?"

"Yup.  We thought it'd be for the best."  He smirked back.  "We never get a good mission on Earth."

"That's true, they were using you for piddling things," John joked.  He smiled at the bouncy Jensen.  "Happy to be back?"

"I have huge news and a letter for Radek if he's here."

"He's in the lab."  Jensen ran off to tell him and give him the letter.  John got them assigned to their old rooms and let them handle things.  They knew how to do things.

Jensen came back an hour later, after babbling at Radek for a bit.  "We have huge news."

"What sort of huge news?  Beyond the fact I saw the shiny thing Clay was wearing."

"Roque.  Xander set it up."  He smirked.

"He told me so I could let him know when Clay was back."  Jensen cackled.  "What news?"  Jensen leaned over to hiss in his ear, getting a moan.  "That's wonderful news.  And yeah, I know that place.  I looked it up.  It's a peaceful garden area that's got really bad air."

"He said there's some decay even in stasis."

"There is," John agreed.  "I noticed it in mine.  We did promise not to plant them."

"I think he may have asked permission but I'm not sure.  Xander?"  He showed up in a shadow, standing in it.  "Will that get you in trouble?"

"Shouldn't but I can ask."  He shrugged.  "Your dad could ask for us."

"True.  Or the decay could be proof that they're weakening again."  Xander nodded, disappearing.  "That is very happy news," he told Jensen with a grin.  "Go celebrate."  Jensen jogged off, going back to his room to unpack then up to their roof to sun.  No one could see them up there and no one ever came up to sit with them.  John considered things.  If they could plant them, his could use it too.  His was more decayed than Xander's was and he wasn't sure why.


Xander bowed to the elderly woman in front of him.  "Lady Hera, is there something I can do to help you?" he asked.

She stared at him.  "Why did you show up, Alexander?"

"I noticed my apple given by you had some decay even in stasis.  I thought I would check with you and ask a question as well."

"The tree ails as I do," she admitted.

"Can I help with that in some way?"

She shook her head.   "I am an old Goddess, young man."

He grinned.  "You weren't that much older than me when you gifted us those apples."  She cackled, shaking her head.  "Not like I'm a spring chicken either."

"Yes, but we have problems."

"Would getting down to earth again help any?"

"No, our ambrosia supply is drying up."

He frowned.  "How did that happen?"

"We are not sure."

"Ask John to see if any of his people can help?" he suggested.  "They're on Atlantis."  She quirked an eyebrow up.  He nodded.  "Fighting the wraith.  Our mom, so very pissed off."

"I'm sure she was."  She smiled.  He did cheer her up greatly.  "The health of them is related to the health of the tree but if they get too damaged nothing can be done to save it.  Have you not married?"

"No.  I nearly married someone but Freya butted in and caused problems."

"Ah.  That makes much sense.  I'm not sure what I can do to help solve that issue."

"There's a place in Pegasus that may let us transplant one."

She considered it.  "That might be a good idea.  A healthy tree would be good."

"A healthy Tree of Life would be good too," he said, looking around.  "Yours isn't."  She gaped.  "I can feel it from here, Lady Hera.  Was my father here?"

"No.  That is not the cause."

He held up a hand and closed his eyes, searching.  He found the cause and brought it to him, holding it up.  "Poison."

She took it to sniff.  "No wonder Gaia has been so ill.  Sister?"  She appeared.  "Alexander found this on our heritage tree."

She sniffed the bark, grimacing.  "That is foul."

"Yes, it is," Xander agreed.  "I can see if anyone among my own know how to help."

"Gaia should be able to cure it," Hestia assured him, taking it to her.

Hera looked at him.  "Does Jonathan have many who garden?"

"He has botanists, who study plants.  He has all sorts of scientists, including a few firelings."

"Interesting.  I'll contact him later tonight."

"I can...." he offered, waving a hand.  She nodded and he went to snatch John, bringing him back.  "She needs you now," he said bluntly when they landed.

"Lady Hera.  Are you ill?" he demanded.  "Do we need to thump some idiot again?"

She smiled.  "You were always such a sweet child, Jonathan.  No, the ambrosia has been slowly drying up.  I wish you to take cuttings of our most important garden dwellers and plant them."

He nodded.  "I can do that.  There's a few worlds that are ideal and one that's a made garden by the Ancients."

She smiled.  "That would be perfect as long as it was blessed."

"I can and I have a few firelings on my station so I can get their help.  Also a few new yellow furs."

She grimaced.  "Why?"

"One bit two people."

"I pity them."

Xander beamed.  "We found out hellmouth energy can take the place of some of the energy within them so they can change on earth."

"That is excellent news," she said with a smile.  She moaned and held her head.  Xander rushed up to push power into her, helping her not fade.  "Dear, that can kill you."

"Hell has been trying for years," he said, staring at her.  "John, can you check the ambrosia?"

"I can do that."  He hurried to it.  It was dried up.  It wasn't flowing like it should.  He concentrated and nothing happened.  He tested it and found the cause.  Then he blasted it into no longer being.  Suddenly the fountain that it flowed from started to run again.  He brought Hera a cup.  "The flowers were ancient and dried up but their new ones weren't being given enough room in the fountain.  I tore up the old so they could fertilize the new."  He made her drink it, which let Xander let go before he faded out.  He stared at Xander then smacked him on the head.  Hera laughed.  "He was protecting you and I know he's like that, but he can't endanger himself that way."

"Or what?  I'll miss Ragnarok?"  He shrugged.  "Yay!"

"Children, do not fight," Hera ordered.  She got the others fed with their help and went to look at their heritage tree.  Xander helped with the problem and it was easier.   Gaia was certainly more lively.  He even brought one of Gaia's and Hecate's handmaidens up to help them.  Within an hour, the pruning was done and it was healthy again.  So were most of the Gods.  A few weren't as healthy.  Xander went to nag them.  They got their ambrosia and things were more healthy again.  John went back to Atlantis while Tara fussed.

A few scowled at her for it but Xander scowled back and they quit.  They had seen him in a battle and were too tired to fight.  He got her home and came back to help some more then talked to Hera about the plans and what she wanted cuttings from.  He also asked what might happen if he planted a single seed in Sunnydale.  Her answer of 'the whomping willow' didn't do more than make him giggle.

She did give him permission though and that was the important thing.


Willow walked up to where Xander was planting something.  "What are you doing?"

"I'm planting something for a follower of Hera who found some special flowers."  He looked up at her.  "They asked Tara for help and she's in class."

"Why?  And special how?"

"Blessed flowers.  They're said to bring luck to whoever wears even a petal during their weddings."  He smiled.  "So I'm canceling a favor I owe Tara."

"That's dumb and the hellmouth will warp it, Xander.  Unplant it."

He stared at her.  "You're not my mother, Willow."  She tried to push him out of the way to do it herself but he knocked her back and stood up, dusting off his hands.   "Go away.  Just... go the fuck away.  Become normal and come back."

"That's dangerous!" she shouted.

"If I really gave a damn what your clouded little mind thought it'd be different."

"Hey!" Buffy complained, joining them.  "Why the yellies?"

"A follower of Hera has some very good omen flowers that she wanted Tara to plant here.  The sort that even a petal worn during a wedding can bring the family luck."

"That's a good thing.  The hellmouth could use more good things."

"Willow doesn't like it.  The last I knew, Willow wasn't the mayor."

"No, she's not, and we're on private property," Buffy realized.  Xander nodded.  "Do you know them?"

"Yeah.  I asked."  He grinned.  "They said it'd be fine.  I'm planting them as a favor to Tara because she had to go to class.  Willow's trying to force me to undo them."

"If they're not going to cause any harm why would it matter?" Buffy asked her.

"Hera isn't real!" she shouted.

"Shut up," Xander said dryly.  "I've met Hera during a battle."  Willow went pale.  "Yeah, Xander's been in a few," he said dryly.  "That's how I got the apple for my future mate."  She shrank back some more.  "Are you done with your crackhead fit?"

"I am not," she growled, pulling up power.

"You try that shit and I'm so telling Hecate on you."  She blasted him and he shielded, collecting it instead of letting it flow back.  He pulled something out of his pocket and put the ball of power into it, then resealed it.  He stared at her.  "You gonna try that again?"  She was pale and shaking her head.  He nodded.  "Yeah, I did ask.  I asked specifically about magic addictions and all that, Willow.  I even gave Giles three new books."  She backed off.  "I believe he's been reading all day to talk to you tonight while Buffy and I patrol.  Maybe you should go talk now?"

"I'm not a magic addict!"  She tried to hit him but Buffy grabbed her to hold her off.

"You've been one for over a year," Buffy complained.  Xander took her to restrain and put cuffs on her.  "Is that necessary?"

"Yes.  Though it won't stop all magic it'll stop most attacks.  Give us a bit of warning if she tries."  He heard a growl and looked around.  "Hmm.  Interesting.  Buffy, take her to Giles."  She nodded, looking around.  "That's not a hellhound."  She took Willow with her.  Xander manifested his axe.  "Here, kitty kitty kitty.  Nice hell kitty.  Come to Xander, hellkitty."  The thing appeared as it attacked, making him smack it with the flat of the blade.  It went invisible but he attacked it again and it died this time.  He stared at the now solid remains.  "You know better."  He sent it home and put his axe back.  "All right, we'll go talk to them later."  He found the girls watching.  "What?"

"Your axe appeared."

"Yes.  Why?"

"Is that the axe in the closet?"

"No."  He smirked.  "Not by a long shot.  Why?"

"What is it?"

"It's my specially gifted weapon.  It won't hurt me if someone else uses it but I'm real possessive of her."  He smirked.  "Like you are of Mr. Pointy that Kendra gave you."

"I can understand that.  Can I see it later?"

"Sure.  Let's deal with the problem of the moment and then we'll deal with that?"  She nodded, walking Willow off.  He looked behind him once they were out of sight.  "Hi, Auntie Hel."  He gave her a quick hug and a kiss on the cheek.  "Did I plant it right?"

She looked.  "It needs a bit of power to nurture it and make it bloom."  He breathed some onto it and the flower bloomed a pretty lilac looking bloom.  "Very nicely hidden as well."  He smirked and obscured the whole garden.  "Even better.  Who was attacking them?"

"I'm not totally sure but she knows if she wants me to help all she has to do is ask, the same as you guys do."

Hel smirked.  "We should.  We are your natal family."

"Who drive me fucking nuts sometimes."

"Good point.  They do the same to me," she sighed.  She patted him on the cheek.  "Find a spouse?"

"I tried."

"I know, dear.  It's better than the last two."  He shrugged, looking down.  "I hope you find a good spouse some day soon."

"Me too," he admitted, looking up at her.  "Because it sucks when you're alone and can't share things."

"Yes, it does," she agreed.  She helped lay protections on the garden against Willow's tampering.  And hellmouth tampering.  "She's pulling up power."

Xander ran off to stop her.  "Knock her out!" he shouted.  Buffy looked back and then at Willow, who was glowing.  She hadn't noticed that.

Then the street exploded.


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