Old Ones Being Pissed Off.

Nick Fury, head of SHIELD, felt the flying fortress's inertia dampeners come on, which meant there was a problem.  He started to bark orders as he got up and went to figure out what had happened this time.  His assistant was already doing a section-by-section check for the malfunction.  Stark was helping.  "What the hell happened!" he shouted as he walked into the control room.

"There was a wave of power heading toward Rosenburg, she was trying to block it, and then the infirmary disappeared," Stark said as he typed.

"I've already dispatched agents to find out what that power surge was," his assistant told him. "Rosenburg is in lockdown but unconscious from it.  Whoever stole the infirmary section used the emergency jettison feature but I can't find it."

"Found the power source," Tony said.  "JARVIS spotted it recharging."  He put it up onto the main screen.  "I've already told my guard Howdy to get agents there."  He looked at Fury.  "I've also told the others you've gathered in New York."

"Good!  Any idea yet on who?"

"Not yet.  It's a rented storage warehouse area.  Rented through a couple of dummy corporations," Stark said.  He passed that to Fury's assistant.  Pepper stomped in and she took that job over.  "Someone fired on us, Pepper."

"I heard."  She got into the records, doing a quick search back.  "It's government related.  This is their style of money trail."  She kept going.  "I'm running into a wall.  Roque, I need Jensen," she called.  Roque showed up with him in tow.  "Thank God.  Someone fired on us."

"John was really amazed when your whole infirmary showed up on a pier.  So amazed he broke into my time with my consort, making him squeal when he suddenly broke in on us."

Fury and Stark both gaped.  "And then Xander passed out in his arms.  Which was bad enough that even Clay jumped and started to worry."  Jensen sat down in her seat to do the searching for him.  "Are we changing altitude up?" Jensen asked as he typed.  "It feels like we are."

"We need to compensate for the lighter frame," Stark sighed, getting into that control to correct the flight plan.  Not like his suit didn't do it.  "I'm making us hover about five thousand feet above where we normally sit and heading toward the more unoccupied areas of the midwest in case we have to make an emergency landing."

Fury nodded.  "That's fine, Stark.  We can land if we have to.  As long as it's safe we can land on water or land."  He watched Jensen.  "Why call for him?" he asked Pepper.

She smiled.  "Because he's been in every government agency's servers."  Jensen glanced up with a smug grin and a nod, then got back to it.  "Plus Roque could easily steal him.  It's also the only logical place that the infirmary could be with who was in it."

"Rosenburg had accused Harris of having more power than he should," Stark told him.  "That's when we found her wandering."

"How in the hell did that happen?" Fury complained.  "We had things in there to short out her magic."

"She was a hacker and Xander used to build RC cars with Jesse," Pepper said quietly.  Fury stared at her.  "Xander was depressed on the anniversary of his death so he showed up to hug Dawn, but she was asleep.  I asked why he was down and he let it out.  He needed to talk.  He also said I'm nicer than all his sisters or cousins and I'd make a great Valkyrie."

Tony grinned at her.  "Except for the fact that they're perpetual virgins and have to serve the warriors between battles, you would be."  She swatted him.

"Aww, these people even have a cutesy name for their plot of treason."  Jensen put it up onto a side screen and kept going.  He was finding a lot of plots and plans that made no sense.  Even if they were sucking up the remains of the plot against the SGC, they made no sense.  Which to him meant demons so he looked in a few other spots, sighing when he found their tentacles that way as well.  "Does anyone else wonder if Xander's going to grow extra arms?  I mean, it's got to be his Hindu side's powers coming out since it's not chaos magic, and a lot of them have extra limbs or animal heads."

Pepper petted him on the head.  "More weapons to hold in battle.  Or so he'd probably say, Jensen."

"Probably, yeah."  He got back into it, tipping his head to the side.  She scratched an itchy spot.  "Thanks.  Scales need oiled there."  He got back to it.

"What?" Stark asked, giving him a confused look.

Jensen smirked.  "You didn't hear anything about my people?"

"No.  Are you demonic?"

"Dragon actually.  We're refugees from a coup.  Been here for centuries."  He got back to work.  Pepper was giggling.  "Really.  I'll show you after I'm done with them.  I wonder if Roque would capture and bring a wraith to Wolfram and Hart's offices.  They ignore animals but not people, and demons should be close enough.  And they absolutely love to attack anyone with any sort of magical gift.  Apparently magic is like extra tasty sauce on top of life force for them.  Must be their version of chocolate with the way they went after that botanist from Roque's people.  And... there, all exposed," he said, putting that up instead of the prior information.

Fury looked then at him, giving him an odd look.  "Dragons?  Really?"  Jensen changed to his smaller form, staring at him.  "Cute."

"My other form is as big as my room on the city."  He smirked.  "It's great fun pouncing things to smash them flat sometimes."

"Uh-huh," Tony said, staring at him.  Jensen smirked at him.  "Fire breathing too?"

"Not at my age.  Some of the older ones, and the mean priestesses too."  He changed back and sat down again.  "Why would demons be against the SGC?  It shouldn't matter to most of their plans."  He called someone.  "Wesley, Jensen, friend of Xander's.  Got a question.  If demons found that a government program opened a mythical ring that went to other worlds.....  Yeah, the Ring of Myths...."  He opened another window and made notes.  "Seriously?"

He nodded, still typing.  "Okay, that makes a lot of sense.  Yes, they are.  No, one's in storage.  A program was looking over it and that's beyond the other problems but they were helping them.  Yeah, the one that made Sunnydale scatter.  NID.  Exactly, man.  Thanks, Wesley."  He hung up and let Pepper have those notes.  "If we need more help, let me know.  Roque, I found them and demons are involved."  He got snatched to the shadows to be talked to on his way back to the city.

Tony Stark looked at the new blank spot.  "I thought Xander was hyper."  Fury burst out cackling at that.

"A lot of hackers are hyper," one of the other agents said.

"Maybe that's why Rosenburg stunted Xander on computer things," he decided.  "So he wouldn't be more hyper."  He looked at Nick Fury.  "How is Joyce getting her treatments up there?"

"That infirmary pod had the pharmacy," Pepper said dryly.  "They put them closer in case she had a reaction.  It had two nurses and them, plus the pharmacy cabinet."  He nodded.  "By the designs, each pod has an emergency escape capability."

"It does," Fury agreed.  "In case we had to evacuate the fortress."  He looked at the new information.  "Get me on vid link with O'Neill."  She did that for him.  His assistant smiled at Pepper.  "I told her if she ever got tired of Stark, you two could share," he told his assistant.

"Pepper deserves her own spandex suit for all that she does," Fury's assistant quipped.

"I hate spandex, it makes me look chunky," Pepper assured her with a smile.  "Even Dawn agreed with me."  The video conference showed up and they sent information to him.

"On the plot against both our groups and on the ones that shot at us," Fury said.

Jack O'Neill nodded at that.  "Huh.  Demons too this time."  He glanced to the right then back at the computer screen and camera.  Pepper texted someone and then a minute later someone screamed very loudly about Sheppard and Roque.

"I don't like this new habit of my baby brother passing out at my feet," Sheppard snarled.  "Quit picking on him."

O'Neill looked.  "I didn't know you were that sort of big brother, Sheppard."

"Yes, sir, I'm all that and more because Xander never tells anyone he needs help until he passes out.  Which pisses me off."

"You?" Roque snorted.  "I tried for *centuries* to change that attitude Odin and the others forced on him!  That and his 'I'm fine' thing when he's obviously not and bleeding."

"That sounds familiar," Jack joked.  "I do the same thing, guys."

"Yes, sir, but you're aware of your limits.  You don't suddenly break out in godly powers," John said.  He kicked the idiot again, staring down at him.  "What the fuck did you think you're doing taking a general hostage?  Especially that one."

"I have notes from Jensen," Pepper offered.  "And he wondered if Xander was going to grow extra arms."

John gave the screen a very strange look.  Then he shook his head quickly.  "Bad mental place, sorry.  Mom would sob on all of us if he did."  He rubbed his forehead.  The idiots tried to get away during it but Roque cleared his bad mental images on them.

"That's even worse than my mother wanting him to take a position under a love god if we had gotten together," Roque complained.

"He is hell on the back from what Dawn said Anya complained about," Pepper quipped.  Both guys glared at the screen.  She smiled back.  "I can ask her to tell you after she's done with my paperwork tomorrow."

"Speaking of, when can I get my infirmary pod back?" Fury asked.

John shrugged.  "I have no idea how we'll get it back to you, Agent Fury.  I'm not sure if we can duplicate Xander's new power temper fit of desperation that moved it up there."

"What?" O'Neill asked.

"Someone fired on my flying office fortress," Fury told him.  O'Neill nodded.  "The Sunnydale team was mostly in my infirmary to protect them from earlier's things."  That got another nod.

"Xander had a massive power break out and brought them all to safety when someone fired on them," John said.  "Our docs are real confused right now but Joyce's notes were thankfully on her bed and so were Buffy's.  Xander's just got a migraine again.  When did he start to do that anyway?"

"It's probably why he only lost his eye in the explosion," Roque said more quietly.  "It had to be with the way he only had injuries there."

"I didn't notice it when he was healing on the city."

"I noticed it when he came back and so did Thor," Fury told him.  "He seemed and felt more powerful."

"Speaking of, security said he's stomping this way," his assistant told him.  They waited until Thor came in.

"Where is my nephew?" he demanded.

"With me," John said from the screen.  "He broke out during an emergency evacuation because someone fired on the city, Thor."  Thor stared at him, mouth slightly open.  "You can tell Odin I have him and he'll have to wait.  Xander's unconscious.  It'll probably be weeks before he's able to wake up fully with the way his head's got to hurt."

"Odin wanted to see him today."

John sighed.  "Roque?  Can we?"

"Definitely.  O'Neill, need more help?"

"No, I've got SG forces coming, guys.  Thank you.  Sheppard....."

John smirked.  "I'm Xander's big brother."

"I know what he told Landry."

"So do I.  No comment but he didn't lie about extra powers.  I don't."  He left with Roque.

Fury looked at O'Neill.  "Maybe Harris will sign on out there?"

"Maybe," Jack agreed.

"Would the wormhole hurt a pregnant woman?" Tony asked.  Pepper gaped at him.  "There's no way I'm letting my future spawn go to Sunnydale, even if they did it on us, Pepper.  So start interviewing a good nanny?  Please?"

"Definitely," she assured him dryly.  "And I'll have legal draw up a nice custody agreement with visitation for the mother's family."  He smiled.  "Plus trust fund documents."  She made that email out to send.  And sent a warning to their other close friends and helpers.

Thor looked at Stark.  "You have a child?"

"NID, the people who fired on us, knocked up Buffy on him," Fury said dryly.  "Even though he's sterilized and she's on medicine to prevent it."

"Warn your friend," Pepper told him, looking at Thor.   "They wanted Xander's kids to work with too."  Thor shuddered and nodded, calling her to tell her that information.  It took all concern about Odin's orders right out of Thor's head for a bit so that was good.  She and Tony shared a look and Fury and O'Neill smirked at that bit of work.


John walked into Valhalla like he belonged there, and he could belong there if he wanted to die.  He walked up to Odin and the rest of the seated, impatient council.  "Xander is on my city healing.  His traumatic break out was to remove those he considers family during an attack on their vulnerable position since most were under medical care."  Odin gaped.  "He's presently unconscious.  It'll be weeks.  It was not Norse magic, chaos magic, or Greek magic.  It was our shared mother's sort of magic that did the move as far as I can tell."

Odin stared at him.  "We must test him."

"Xander's not going to be able to get out of bed for *weeks*, Odin.  It set off a massive vision at the same time.  He passed out at my feet again and the next time someone attacks them and makes my little brother pass out next to me I'm killing them all.  We've already gotten a good start on this one."

"Excuse me?" Loki demanded with a smile.  "Who did what?"

"Even some demons are against the SG," Roque said with a smirk.  "They think the Ring is a bad thing still."

"It is," Freya agreed.  "But they seem to have it handled."

"Yes, but the bad ones who have plans want it shut down before humanity gets too powerful or learns things," John said smugly.  "They're going to be very sorry now.  I'm taking Xander's place in this battle."  A few shuddered.  Including Loki.  "No one touches my baby brother that way.  I tend to lose my temper."  He looked across them.  "Are there other concerns about Xander and his new migraine of doom?"

"Weeks?" Frigg asked more quietly.

"His power came out suddenly, all at once, and moved something metal the size of the drinking hall," Roque told her.  "Plus people."  She shuddered.  "That was bad enough but when he landed he had a vision on top of that brain ripping pain.  Fortunately they were already used to Xander showing up and passing out in John's arms so he's in a bed and so is most of his made family in Sunnydale."

"We are his family," Odin said.

Roque looked at him and snorted.  "That's why he made a better one.  They've never ignored him when he was bleeding to death after a battle.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to finish calming down from a mission with my new consort and he's conveniently on John's city as well."  He took them both off.  Valhalla had plenty of shadows since it was lit by torches and lanterns.

Odin looked at Loki.  "You gave me mouthy grandchildren."

"They appreciate you like I do," he said smugly.  He walked off.  "Let me go help with the destruction of those who wanted to torture my son and make him spawn so they'd have children to test, torture, and use."

"They did what?" Frigg demanded, standing up.  Loki looked at her and nodded.  "Why?"

"To take out John on his city.  That way they'd have control of the Pretender's things," he said smugly.  "Those that the warriors are with are under the same attack."  He disappeared.

She looked at Odin.  Who was looking worried.  "Well, do something!" she demanded, swatting him.

"I know of nothing to do, woman!"

"Then we'll do it," she said firmly.  The other goddesses nodded.  "Valkyries, to me," she ordered as she walked out, followed by Freya and the others.  The Valkyries went too.  Most of them doted on Xander.  She went to where Thor was, staring at him.  "Who dares touch a son of Valhalla," she sneered.

Thor, being a son of Valhalla himself, knew what scary women were in his family.  Them being in a mass rage...  He pointed at Fury's office.  "The ones who are leading the battles are talking in Agent Fury's office.  Alexander is safely with John."

Freya snorted.  "We won't need you boys."  They walked that way.

Thor nodded politely at his sisters and the rest of the Valkyries.  This was a really bad sign.  He wanted a hole like that one cartoon had that he could pull over himself.  Even Stark looked worried.  Even Pepper Potts looked worried about so many strong women taking control.   He went to see if any of the scientists had made that sort of hole.  "Coulson, do we have anything that I could hide in and pull over myself before my female relatives destroy your people?" he asked, staying polite.  There were women in the lab.

Agent Coulson stared at him.  "What?"  A lab geek coughed and showed him the security footage.  They had pulled O'Neill to talk in person with them.  "Are those your relatives, Thor?"

"All of my female relatives."

"No, we don't have the Road Runner's hole," one scientist said with a smile for him.  "But your girlfriend will protect you.  She'd understand and make sure they didn't do more than ask you to lift things or carry things."  Thor beamed and left.  "It's cute how he's scared of his aunts and sisters.  Thankfully human women make more sense."

Coulson looked at her.  "No comment."  He walked off shaking his head to save his boss.  When Tony Stark went jogging past him and Pepper followed more sedately he decided Thor might have a point.  By the time he got there, some of John's mother's people were there and so was a dark haired Goddess in leather.  He looked at Fury.  "Can I help?"

"No, we don't need any," one of the Indian Goddesses said, patting him on the cheek.  "You are quite adorable and my daughter needs a new concubine."

"Sorry, ma'am, but I'd have to date her first.  I'm respectful that way."

She beamed.  "That's wonderful.  I'll send her to introduce herself."

"Sure," he agreed, looking at his boss before going to find a portable hole for himself.   If Dawn was around she'd protect him, or Tara, but he had to find another woman to hide behind soon.  Before one of them took advantage of him.  He heard them greet more women to the meeting and decided he wanted to be on solid ground again so he got sent to the nearest city to hide somewhere that wouldn't collapse on top of him.  He could ...manage things from there.


John walked into the infirmary with Roque behind him.  "All of our female relatives went to pounce Agent Fury to see how they could help."  Doctor Lam snickered.  "I do mean all of Xander's relatives, most of mine on both sides, some of Roque's too.  There's a scary, powerful woman meeting in Fury's office."  He looked at Dawn.

"They'd never let me help because I'm not a goddess, John."  Her mother choked.  "They wouldn't."

"Probably," Buffy said.  "I could....."

"Nope.  Shadow shifting is not encouraged for pregnant people because we can't always wrap the child in safely," Roque said.

"Or wormholing back," he told her.  "So it's the ship and it'll be two months before it comes back, Buffy.  We'll find something for you to do."

She nodded.  "I'm used to fighting."

"Hell no," her mother ordered.  Echoed by Dawn.

"I'll go fight," Dawn assured her.

"Hell no," Jensen said, staring at her from next to Xander's bed.  "The wraith are drawn to magic like it's chocolate."

"Oh, really?"  John nodded.  "Huh.  Then I'll do what I can to help however, John."

"I have paperwork and Pepper said you're really good at it."  She beamed and nodded.  "We'll work on school stuff later this week."  He looked at Joyce, who was still looking weak.  "Doc, do you need Dawn or Tara?  If not, I'll have them put into rooms."

"Tara is still a bit woozy from being knocked on the head.  Xander also fought to wake up when she tried to leave a few minutes ago."

"He considers Tara like a sister," Roque told her with a smile.

"I knew that."

John walked over to Xander's bed, leaning down to stroke a hand over his forehead and get next to his ear.  "Tara is safe with me, Xander.  I'm taking her and Dawn to their rooms.  You sleep and rest.  You're in the infirmary on the city again," he whispered.  Xander moaned and reached.  John sighed and concentrated, joining minds with Xander, which came from their mother's side of the family.  He repeated it and Xander relaxed and let the power he was holding go.  That helped a lot but the headache got worse.  John nudged him into a deeper sleep and pulled back, looking at the docs.  "Mom taught me.  He's napping.  Ladies, let's get you to rooms."  They nodded, following him to Evan, who had all the room assignments.

Buffy looked at Xander then at Doctor Lam.  "You're the one he's seeing," she said.  Carolyn smiled and nodded.  "I guess all the big needles make you mean enough for him but remember the shovel axiom of friendship.  I may be waddling.  Mom may be weak, but we'll still get you."

"I know and I'd expect it, Buffy."  She tucked her in.  "Now, you need to rest.  It was a bad trip."  She nodded and slid down to rest.  She looked at Jensen, who protectively had Xander's axe.  "Jensen, he can cuddle it.  He doesn't need a guard."  Jensen handed it to her, making her hand tingle.  "Thank you."  He kissed her on the cheek and left.  She let Xander cuddle the axe for now.  One of the nurses gave her an odd look.  "It's his blessed weapon and he knows how to hold it and not cut himself I'm sure."

"Last time he had nightmares and pinned a nurse to the ceiling," Keller told her.  "And we don't allow anyone to keep sharp, pointy things in the infirmary.  Not even Ronon."

"How did you get them all off Ronon?" Carolyn asked with a smile.

"That's a good point but usually we've stripped him down for treatment."  She looked at Xander, who was still dressed in jeans and a sweaty, dirty t-shirt.  "We should check him for injuries."  Joyce snickered.  "I remember.  Doctor Lam?" she offered.

Carolyn blushed.  "We've only had a few dates.  He might feel uncomfortable."  John strolled back in with two cups of coffee, handing her one before putting the other one beside Xander.  Xander sniffled and patted the table.  John guided his hand to it, letting him sip it carefully.  "He needs coffee?"

"Caffeine helps with migraines according to excedrin," he quipped.  "It has caffeine and aspirin."

"It does," she admitted.  She sipped hers.  "Hmm, nice coffee, Colonel."  Xander snuffled John's stomach.  "That's John, Xander."  He mumbled something.

John grinned.  "I know you know it's me but we have to get you into jammies."  Xander moaned and nodded, handing off his axe.  "Want me to watch her for you?  I can make sure she's very safe since she won't hide right now."  Xander almost blinked at him.  His eyes opened a tiny fraction then squeezed shut.  "She'll be beside me in bed, Xander.  I promise to watch her for you."  Xander mumbled something else so he helped him out of his t-shirt.  "Jeans too."  The boy blushed and mumbled.  "No, your cartoon boxers won't make Carolyn laugh.  I promise.  She's seen Cam's and he's got Snoopy ones."

"I just think it's cute, Xander, and I'll be across the room so I don't embarrass you."  She moved off.  Xander let John help him down to his boxers and socks, which were sweaty so got taken too.  Xander mumbled something and started to snore.  "Good boy," she said, coming over to cover him up.  "Good boy and I'll see you when you wake up."  He snuffled her and his axe floated back to his hands.  "I'm safe.  We're on John's city.  All your family is safe, Xander."  He let John take it and snuggled in.  She put on an eye covering mask and it was better.  She petted him until he snored.  "There, you rest."

John grinned.  "Good job," he said quietly.  He looked at the axe then walked off with the empty cup Xander had gotten down.  Rodney stared at the axe oddly when he walked past him.  "Xander's."

"I figured that much.  It's the only one I know of in existence."

"No, there's plenty around," John quipped with a grin.  "I'm protecting it."

"You occasionally babysit Ronon's knives when he's in the infirmary as well," Rodney quipped back.  That was just too cute.  He took a picture of it to post on the Atlantis webserver.

Later that night someone captioned it 'everyone wants their own battle axe'.


O'Neill looked around the mess that the final clean up battle had created and nodded.  "All rigthy then.  Campers, looks like they're sorry as hell.  The Ori probably are going to be here any day now."

"I say we ask the scary Goddess contingent if they'd like to make them wish to worship them," Daniel offered with a smile for the one beside him.

"What are these Ori?"  Daniel explained where they had come from and she snorted, looking up to talk to the others.  "Puny ascended."  She flashed out.  They weren't that far away.  Well within their radius.  The most powerful goddesses appeared and taught them the true meaning of 'be scared of your god's wrath' and what worship should entail.  A few died but the rest, it'd be nice to have a power base in another galaxy if Jack's people blew up the earth by accident.  Having their people in Pegasus helped as well.  Maybe they'd take over that nice garden world and make it theirs.  Though they'd have to protect it and then weed out John's DNA taint.  His mother was still pissed off about that.

John's mother appeared on Atlantis' pier, walking past the Marines to find her son.  They called him to announce her she was sure.  She smiled at those she walked past.  Tracking her baby was still so easy.  She walked into the mess and stared down at him.  "John, what is this I hear that you have been tampered with?  Your grace marred by an insect?"

He finished the bite he was chewing.  "Actually, Mom, after it bit me I briefly turned into a big blue bug/human hybrid," he said, eating another bite.

"My son, you are not The Tick."  He choked.  "Amber and her boyfriend had me watch it," she sighed.  She put her hands on her hips, staring at him, one foot tapping.  "When were you going to tell me of this?"


"I do not believe that's a wise idea.  If any of us decide to build on that beautiful garden world where some of our holiest plants are, we'd have to put up a shield so no wraith could get through.  Which would mean you couldn't visit."

He stared at her.  "Why aren't you complaining at Xander about his mermaid taint?"

She gaped.  "Excuse me?" she demanded.  "I knew it was something."

"Sheppard, most people run from women when they're that pissed off," a female Marine called from across the room.

"She's my mother, she'd find me," John said.  He looked at her again. "I'm sure it'll be weeded out sometime, like when we go back.  Will his eye?"

Her eyes narrowed and she stared to glare.  "Do not try to distract me with your brother, John.  You will be quite sorry."  He ate some more so he couldn't say anything.  "Good boy, I wasn't going to mention your weight but you clearly do need to finish dinner so I can have someone like your father look over your DNA taint."  She looked up.  "Lord Apollo, may I please borrow my son's father?"  Apollo himself showed up, giving her a confused look.  "Thank you for handling this matter yourself, Lord Apollo."  She kissed him on the cheek then pointed.  "My idiot sons have seen fit to get taint in their grace and DNA.  John's is from a *bug* of all things and my other son has mermaid taint."

"Poseidon seen him yet?" he quipped.

"Not that sort," John said.

"Oh, them."  He stared at John.  "How did you do that?"

"Got bitten."  He finished dinner.

Apollo looked at John.  "There's a few things I can do.  Especially if you're keeping that enhancement they gave you."

"It's very helpful but I'd hate to be blue again."

"Only if you suddenly break into powers, my son," she said with a smirk.  "It's a high mark from Krishna."

"Jensen wanted to know if Xander would grow extra arms like Shiva, Mom."

She considered it.  "He would look wonderful with them."  Apollo shook his head.  "We can see later.  Quit trying to distract me with my other baby, John.  I'll go fuss over him soon."

John looked at the healing God.  "He had a power breakout."

"Dude, we heard.  All the goddesses on Earth heard.  They were so unhappy they destroyed *everything* that got in their way.  Even the war gods got out of their way."

"That's always a wise idea.  Women are naturally superior," John's mother said smugly.  "We give birth to cute things like you."  She pinched Apollo on the cheek.  He leered at her.  "Want to relax later by the vineyards I just put in, Lord Apollo?"

"Sure, I'd like that.  The muses are cranky right now.  They're synced."  He laid a hand on John's head, testing his energy.  John was glowing white.  He grimaced.  "All right, when you go back down, you'll lose the bug taint to your DNA but you're keeping all the strength and stuff."  He let him go.  "I can't remove it now without possibly screwing you up and turning you into a girl."

"I'd never hear the end of that," John assured him.

"I know, dude.  Should've seen it when Strife did it to Ares once when he was a baby."  He smirked evilly at the young godling.  "Also, headaches in your future, dude.  Get more pissed a few more times."  He looked around.  "Let me check on your whiny case of scraped knees and elbows, then we'll have a glass of your new wine."  She took his arm and walked him that way.  Behind them, John put his head on the table with a thump.

"Dear, if you get dented too much up here, I'm finding you a very pretty wife who will be protective to help you in battles and in life," she said as they walked out of the cafeteria.  "And give me many granddaughters to fuss over."

"Yes, Mom, I won't ever get hurt again," John called into the table.  He sent up a prayer to his father to save him.  And then Xander's father to save both of them.  Someone patted John on the back so he looked up at their new doc.  "Help," he mouthed.

"I will never tell your mother if you get injured, John.  I promise I won't unless you could die."

"Thank you, Peter."  He hugged him.  He put his head back down.

"Sit up and eat, lad.  You need it to stay strong in case Xander gets another vision during an attack."  John moaned, sitting up to eat.

"Oh, my God, it was one of the other positions that he was given that broke out!" a female voice complained loudly.

John winced, mentally summoning Roque.  He actually had tact with their mother.  That loud and Xander had to be growling so they'd need to hold him down anyway.

Jensen leaned in.  "He said he's already in there.  He did growl at them both for being so loud, and Carolyn Lam told them off."  He grinned.  "And it was his one from Tibet?"  He left again.

John sighed, looking at Peter.  "Can I hide?"

"In a few years, you can hide with your new sister."

"Good point.  She might like it.  I can turn her from a girly little girl into a real, strong woman."  He got seconds and sat down to eat.  "Nothing changed, people.  I'm still not a god or anything."  They quit staring at him.  Xander ran in and hid under the table against John's legs, going invisible.  John and Peter both looked down at him then nodded.  That was a wise idea when their mother was on a rip.  Peter made sure they were all invisible when she stomped back.  She huffed and left.  It didn't fool her any but she knew pressing the boys would make them more stubborn.  Apollo went too.

John sent up a prayer to Apollo for a strong sister if they got it on.  He needed someone else to teach how to fight.  And maybe set up with Ronon.  He petted Xander's head, making him fall back asleep.  "Good job, Xander.  Very nice hiding job."  They reappeared and so did Xander.

Doctor Keller walked in with a sigh.  "Xander, want to go back to your nap?" she asked the table.  He growled.  "Please?  Carolyn said you need to rest to make your head hurt less."  Still growling.  "Please?"

John shook his head.  "Let me finish, Doc."

"Thank you," she sighed.  She stomped off.

Peter looked down at Xander then at him.  "C'mon, Xander.  Let's go talk to Roque's new consort.  I'm sure we can make him blush prettily."  Xander mumbled something.  "You did?  Well, that was fancy and nice for a consummation event, yeah.  I'm sure he appreciated it."  He helped Xander up and to his bed in the infirmary.  "Where did you get the leather pants?"

"They appeared as he ran," Keller complained.

"Ah.  Must've been from his Da then."  He got him stripped down and back in bed.  "There now.  Carolyn, give him a sweet dreams kiss on the temple," he instructed with a smirk.  She glared but did that.  Xander blew one back, mumbled something sweet and gooey, then drifted off again.

Clay looked over from having his leg looked at, shaking his head.   "You're good, Doc."

"Yes I am," Carolyn said with a smirk.

"You too," Roque assured her.  "It's how we used to do it when he had measles, all ten times."

"Ten?" she demanded.

"He won't make antibodies for that, the plague, and two others," Peter said.  "Had the plague a few times now.  That's why he came back so young this time actually."  Roque nodded, then shuddered.  "You gotta admit, only a boy like Xander could find himself on the hellmouth of all of us, Roque."

"Yeah, that's true."  He looked at Clay, who was giving him an odd look.  "Xander does impossible shit.  He always has," he assured him.  "Faced down Ghengis Khan with his damn axe and nothing else.  Naked thank you because he had been with some local village girl the night before.  She had pounced him as a special blessing before her wedding."  Carolyn Lam whimpered.  Roque nodded.  "He needs a good lover who'll remind him about common sense."

"He's scarily starting to sound like he should sign onto the program," she shot back.

Roque smirked.  "I met Clay and the first thought I had was wondering if he was Xander's long lost son.  A few years later I met Jensen and decided he was too."  She giggled.  "I swear that boy never shuts up."

"Nope," Jensen said from his seat, smirking at him.  "Kept you sane-ish for years too, Roque."

"Ruined my sanity is more like it," he snorted.  "What're you doing in here anyway?"

"I'm kinda acting as his honor guard."

"Go sun!"  He pointed.  "Now!"

"I'm fine.  I sunned when we camped."

"Uh-huh.  You're pale.  Go sun your scaley ass on the pier."

"I can't do that on the city."  Clay gave him a pointed look.  "Fine, I'll go sit on the roof in human form."  He walked off.

"Thanks," Clay called after him.  He hit Roque on the arm.  "Be nicer to Jensen.  He helped protect the kid the last time he was in here too.  He had to defeat the evil rumor that he was holding Xander's axe for a reason."

Roque shuddered.  "I can't see those two.  Sorry.  Bad image."  Carolyn cackled, shaking her head.  "I've known Jensen now for six years, Doc.  Boy gets on your last nerve on purpose but he's wiggled too far under your skin by then so you can't kill 'im."  He helped Clay up.  "You done yet?"

"I don't know.  Doctor Biro?"

"You're fine, Colonel.  You're cleared for duty.  Pooch has about two more days so you're good by the time we resume missions."  Clay smiled at her.  "Make Jensen quit pouting.  Boys like him who pout bring people to solve it."

"Doc, I wouldn't care if he was doing half the base," Clay said bluntly.  "As long as there's no baby Jensens, no one wrecks him emotionally, and he can still do the work, I'm all for stress relief.  It's almost a team motto at times."  She blushed.  "Before Pooch married Jolene, he joined in with our bar crawling, whoring down times.  Hell, a few times girls asked Roque if he was pimping Cougar out and offered to pay major bucks for him.  We had to tie some steak to Jensen for a while but he got into it after that."  He smirked.  "Stress is bad for a soldier.  That's why most bases on earth have whores around them."  She was now bright red and ducking her head.  "Up here, we make due."  He shrugged and walked off.  "Let the boy date if he wants."

"Sure," she squeaked.

"Some of the Spec Ops teams on the main base have the same philosophy," Carolyn told her, patting her on the arm.  "We just made notes in their files if they came in with something and made sure they didn't need tetanus shots since most of them liked to be bitten for some reason."

"Were they bitten by the same thing that team was?" Keller asked.

"You never met Team 9?"

"No," Keller admitted.

Biro cackled.  "I met one of them.  Seven bite marks from a native and all he said was she thought he was tasty."

"Probably.  They seem to draw them."  The nurses giggled.  Most of them had seen that team over the years too.

"Don't you have to report that stuff?" Keller asked.

Lam shook her head.  "No.  I don't see anything in any oath I took that says I have to say a word about someone's personal habits unless they're harming themselves or others.  Frankly, I don't care who's screwing who unless I'm dating them."  She stared the younger doctor down.  "The SGC people work really hard and need the stress relief.  However they choose to do that is none of my business as long as they're safe when they do it."

"As Xander said, nothing's better than apocalypse sex," Buffy said from her bed.  "We do the same thing when we're dating someone.  I miss dating someone."  Carolyn smiled at her.

"I miss you dating someone decent," Joyce said.  "It's sad that Angel's the only one that qualifies with the way he stalked you and acted like an asshole before he lost his soul."  Buffy scowled at her.  "Dear, you need better taste.  Date a guy like on this base."  She smiled.  "I'd be very proud of that."

"I think it's a moot point for a year or so, Mom," she said dryly.

"Dear, be honest.  You're like a surrogate for that baby.  There's no way you can raise it and hunt."

"I know."  She looked at her stomach then at her mother.  "I was going to suggest that he take custody and give you and Dawnie visiting rights."  Joyce smiled at her for that sensible notion.  "But he has to buy me non-ugly maternity clothes."

"Fine, if he'll do it," she said.  "You can ask Dawn.  Where is Dawn?"

"Doing John's paperwork," Carolyn quipped.  "He's been very happy for her to do it."

"Well, it's probably safer up here anyway," Buffy said.  "No one up here wants to do more than eat her.  On earth it was always a demon somewhere with a plan to kidnap her for her blood."  Xander mumbled something and the lights went down again.  She looked up then at him.  "Head starting to hurt again?" she quipped.  He nodded.  The doctors gave him another dose of pain killer and the lights came up once he was asleep.  "It's weird thinking about Xander being the powerful one.  I still keep thinking of him as the normal one."

"I doubt he'll use it very often, Buffy," Joyce sighed.  "You heard what the one God said, it might go recessive and not come out again."

"At least he won't be scary like Willow became," she sighed.  She looked at the dinner tray then at the doctors.  "It's like school lunch only strangely colored."

"Quite," Carolyn agreed.  "They do good with the native food though."  Buffy nodded, taking little bites.  Some of it she could eat.  The rest her mother got.  Joyce scowled.  Carolyn scowled at both of them.

"Wow, you have the mom look down pat, Doc," Buffy said with a grin.  "Some day I want to be an auntie."

"It'll be a few years, young lady.  I plan on enjoying dating."  Buffy blushed and nodded that worked.  Joyce ate the vegetables, she needed them.  They were giving her another dose of chemo tonight.  Fortunately the SHIELD pharmacy cabinet had her next few doses in it.

Xander belched and mumbled something in his sleep, flipping over.  Everyone looked at their neon pink tutus and baby blue tank tops they were suddenly wearing instead of their clothes.  Buffy glared at Xander.  "I don't want to know what sort of funny dreams you have, Xander Harris.  Your mind is a warped, strange place and this is ugly."  She ended up with hippo ears too, making her sniffle.  "Mom!"

"He'll fix it when he gets up, dear."  She removed the tutu.  It wasn't comfortable to lay on.

The rest of them changed into scrubs for now.  They'd get Xander to change their clothes back later.  When he was awake.  None of them wanted hippo ears too.


Xander's mother appeared in front of the ornate doors of the ancient temple, pushing them open to walk in.  It was a breach of good manners and protocol to appear inside the temple so she had to hike.  She finally made it to their throne room and no one was there.  She knew they had felt her appear so she huffed.  "It's not like my son didn't break out in *your* powers," she called.  They appeared, staring at her.  She nodded.  "Xander, my son, had his power break out."  The head of their pantheon smiled at her.  "With your type of powers.  I know you guys gave him an official title due to his protecting you."  He nodded.  "So how do you want to deal with this?"

"We have no idea.  What is his will?"

"He broke out moving a large metal room with those he considers his mortal family to Atlantis *there*.  He's not saying much beyond a grunt for a few weeks I'm told."

He grimaced.  "That poor boy's headache."  He sat down on his throne, looking at the others.  "We are mostly hidden now, no worshipers or any others who kneel and pray to us."

"I know.  Krishna said to come talk to you about your plans for my son because he's not sure what we should do either since he's ours by birth.  Odin's all but ignoring it except to growl because this takes the one he hates to deal with from his protection."

"Hmm.  That is an interesting question.  Odin's love/hate relationship with his own son and the grandson he sired is frivolous and all in Odin's mind."  She nodded she knew that.  "Did you slap him again?" he asked with smile.

"Twice this time."  She smiled back.  "Then Freya said she'd beat him for me."  He laughed and nodded.  The Valhallan women were feisty.  "They also helped with the plans to take my son hostage as an experiment and make him breed so they could take over Atlantis."

"Hmm, very dumb of them but we watched with amusement," the top female assured her with a smile.  "If you had needed more help we would have joined."  Xander's mother smiled back.

"It might be best, since Xander has earned titles in almost every single pantheon, that we set him up as a protector."  He got up and went to a wall, tracing a few of the marks until he got to a section.  "Here, our last seer's insane rambles when the visions ruined her mind."  He let her see it.

She translated it mentally, frowning.  "Seriously?"  He nodded.  "May I have a copy of that so I can share it with Krishna and his father?  And possibly Hera?"

"Of course."  He copied it for her and let her have it.  She smiled and left.  He looked at the rest and nodded.  "He'll have to pick honor guards and his brother would do well with that."  He went back to talk to the others.  "There would probably be a banquet again soon."  They smiled and went to make sure they had the proper formal things.  It had been a long time since they had come out of their temple.


Xander's mother appeared in front of the goddesses having tea.  "Lady Hera."  She smiled.  "From the people that sponsored my son's break out."  She handed over the scroll and sat down beside Hestia.  She adored the older goddess, and had learned a lot from her.

She read it and paused, then stared at the other goddesses.  "When is this from?"

"Their last seer."

"Oh."  She handed it on to the other goddesses.  "We really should talk to Odin."

"He's being a hide-bound, pouty ass," Xander's mother assured her.  "I've already slapped him twice today.  I can get Freya.  Or Frigg, though she's scowling."

"They should be involved.  What did your higher ups want, dear?" Artemis asked, handing it on.

"Krishna said it's not a bad idea with as many ties as he has to the other pantheons.  My poor son can never seem to stay out of the stupid shit he does."  They all giggled.  Frigg appeared.  "They still arguing?"

"Odin just told Loki he had to sterilize himself.  He promised he'd go create three new granddaughters who hated us all in retaliation so they're fighting again."  She sat down and accepted a glass of wine.  "Thank you, Hestia.  I clearly need the calming down time in the sun."   She accepted the scroll and read it, grimacing some.  "Odin will have cows.  Multiple, horned, miniature cows."

"Well, that's one way to get fresh milk," one of the Japanese goddesses offered with a smile.

Frigg nodded.  "But then we'd have to clean up after them."  She passed it on.  "It would probably suit us if they did it that way but that would require a mass banquet and agreement from the pantheons.  Or it'd cause a war."

"Xander's presently on Atlantis recovering," his mother said dryly.  "John got a bit upset that his baby brother kept showing up and passing out at his feet.  It's the second time now."

"I heard he did when he got saved from that witch," Hera said dryly.

Xander's mother looked at her.  "Please don't get me started on that witch.  I wish to kill her myself."

"I think most of us who like your son would do the same," Hestia assured her with a pat on the hand.  "Is he feeling better?  I noticed the eyepatch."

"It's gone," Xander's mother told her.  "The explosion destroyed it and they had to take it.  Odin apparently told him it was for a better reason than his own."  They all shuddered.  "So I slapped him then too."  She sipped her wine.  They all giggled.

Frigg nodded.  "Freya had to walk her off and Xander had to get them to let her go.  That's how we found that Odin wasn't really him and someone had a plan to replace him.  Xander nearly blew up Valhalla."  Athena moaned, shaking her head.  "He was a bit upset with us."

"Just a tiny bit," his mother agreed dryly.  "Krishna made him meditate on how that would have meant his father could've taken over Valhalla's reins."  The ladies giggled.  They worked out plans for monthly meetings, because they had been bored.  Plus she got to remind them that both her boys were still single.  They also worked out what to do about Xander so they could send the ideas to their spouses and leaders.  Who wouldn't listen until it was pointed out how good it was for them and then they'd take credit for it.


John got the formal invitation and sighed.  "This is not a good timing thing," he told the scroll.  "We're due to be attacked soon."  It wiggled.  He snatched it from the air.  It went dead in his hand so he opened it, reading it.  "Absolutely not," he shouted.  "Mother!"  She appeared, giving him a dirty look.  "No.  Xander won't be out of bed by then.  I'm due to be attacked that week, no."  He handed it back.

"You and Xander aren't expected until the final dinner, dear.  They're working out how to deal with Xander's new breakout since half of everyone can claim him."  She patted him on the head.  "And if you get dead from the stupid bug people, I'm destroying them."

"No one would say a single thing if you wanted to destroy the wraith, Mother."

"Oh, well, wonderful."  She smiled.  "Shiva's daughter is coming up tomorrow to help you, John.  She's got many ideas and is an explosives expert."  She grinned as she disappeared.

He groaned, telling McKay that.  It was clearly matchmaking on some level.  He hated having his mother nag and try to be subtle.

A woman with long, black hair, deep brown eyes, flawless medium tan skin, and a regal bearing appeared.  She was wearing a red sari with a gold shirt, high heels that matched her top, and many bracelets.  "Quit whining, John.  It's getting me out of my father's arranged meeting with a boy I should like."

He stared, mouth slightly open.  "She said Shiva's daughter."

"Well, yes, I am.  She adopted me."  She smirked.  He smirked back.  "Besides, my father would hate if we hooked up.  Now, Xander...."

"He's still in the infirmary."

"I figured as much and brought you a treat."  She handed over the box.  "Those toffee almonds you used to eat compulsively."  She winked.  "So, who can I blow up this time?"

"The wraith.  They travel in hives."

"Oooh, cool!" she said with a beaming smile.  She looked behind her as someone walked in.  "Awww, cute people.  My father will be horrified if I flirt so you're mostly safe."

Evan Lorne looked at her then at John.  "She's an explosives expert on McKay's level," John told him.  "Adopted by Shiva.  Mom arranged for her to come blow up the wraith for us."  He ate an almond and moaned.  "Oh, you did an excellent job on these, Mari."

"You're welcome.  Share some with Xander.  The Goddess Tea Society are figuring out how to make sure their men agree with their plans."  She walked off.  "Introduce me to Doctor McKay, Major.  I wish to know if I need to bring the bombs I already have created or if I should find something larger."

"Sure," he decided, walking her that way.  "Are you related to John's mother?"

She smiled.  "Not in the least.  I was adopted."  He grinned.  "But my father would be appalled if I hit on him since he's not broken out in any powers or skills beyond fighting.  A warrior would be beneath his way of thinking."  She smiled at the people staring at them.  "I come to blow people up for you."  They grinned at her.  "It's nice to be among people who see me for myself and not my gender."

"Up here, everyone's a soldier in some way," he assured her.

"Excellent.  Then I can get real clothes up here so my father cannot complain in my closet."  She was led into the lab and pulled out pictures, handing them to Rodney.  "Do I need to retrieve any of the ones I've already built or should I concentrate on something higher?"

"Doctor Maribalhi Desal."  She bowed.  "Are you the reason John groaned?"

"Quite.  But not all of it.  The Goddess Tea Society has decided what to do about Xander's breaking out so there's a formal dinner coming up."  She smiled.  "They're presently rearranging their men's thoughts so they decide it was their ideas."  A few scientists giggled.   "I was told I was to come blow up things for you?"

He looked at the pictures, holding up one.  "This is the least that should take out a hive."

She looked and nodded.  "So beyond three megatons?"


"I can do that.  Let me get them from my storage area and grab a suitcase.  I'll be back in a few hours?"

"That'd be fine," he assured her.

She beamed.  "Don't worry.  My father would never accept me flirting with anyone normal.  He'd have the rest of the herd of miniature horned cows we heard Odin was having about his grandson."  She disappeared and came back an hour later with a lot of large shipping crates and two bags thanks to her adoptive mother's niceness.  Now she was wearing green pants and a practical shirt, her hair was braided and in a bun.  "There."  She smiled at the marines.  "These are bombs for Doctor McKay's pleasure."  They nodded and called him.  He and John came out to look and plot how to get them onto a wraith hive or six.

Yeah, they could handle that.


Xander blinked awake, staring at the guy staring down at him.  He moaned and pushed at Clay's head.  "I'm not doing you and your consort, Clay."

Clay snickered.  "Not why I'm here.  Do you realize you're hovering about six inches off the bed?"

Xander looked down and whimpered, then flopped down with a groan.  "Ow.  But hey, wasn't the nurse this time."  He made himself sit up, getting a bit of help.  "Thanks.  Am I going to live?"

"Probably for quite a while as long as you survive John complaining that you passed out on him again."  He stared at him.  "There's been some excitement and you missed the wraith going boom when they tried to attack."

"Cool."  He blinked a few times.  "I slept through an attack?"

"They never made it that close," Clay assured him.  "What is going on between you and Jensen?"

"Um....  Oh, the honor guard stuff.  I never asked but if he's applying he's a good one to have."  He blinked a few times.  "I had some really weird ass dreams thanks to Mom."

"Probably, yeah."  He looked over as someone came in.  "Our newest chemist."

"Mari," Xander said with a nod.  "I remember you getting a PhD in blowing shit up."

"Yes, I did," she said smugly.  She stared at him.  "Did your mother invade your dreams to nag?"


"Good.  The banquet is in two days."  Xander grimaced.  "And you're to stay up here.  They found a few others who want you more now."

"Roque told me to come be your honor guard," Clay agreed.

She pinched him on the arm.  "You're adorable at it, Colonel."

"It's payback for me arranging their consummation," Xander said with a smug grin.

"Aww, I had heard Roque married but not who.  Congratulations."  He gave her a pointed look.  "No one can hear a word I say, Colonel."

Xander nodded.  "I felt the privacy barrier go up."

"That's fine and thank you."

"Welcome."  She pinched him again.  "Is Jensen supposed to be teaching the AI how to swear in Chinese?"

"No but that doesn't surprise me."  He called him to tell him to stop it and behave.  Then he hung up.

Xander blinked at his friend.  "So what else is new?"

"You need clothes."


"Yay."  She smirked.  "They're working things out for now."

"Yay," he said weakly.  "Just what I wanted."  She patted him on the foot.  "How long was I out?"

"Four damn weeks," Clay told him.

"Sorry."  He shrugged, looking around.  "The others?"

"Buffy and Joyce are finally back in their rooms.  Joyce's tumor shrank enough that they could remove the remains.  So she's on the downward side of treating it.  Buffy's puking grandly most of the day but at night she's fine.  So she's quit sleeping and changed to living like a vampire according to her."

"Leather pants?" Xander guessed.

"Yup," Mari agreed.  "She's missing them in the future."  He nodded once then laid back down, holding his head.  "We know.  You've done this two other times."  She laid a hand on his head, doing a small spell.  "That's what that is."  She told John, who went to turn off that function again.  "It gives him one too, or so he's muttering."  Xander grinned weakly at her.  "Tara and Dawn are just fine.  Dawn's a pisser."  She grinned.  "Tara's very sweet and if I liked women I'd have snatched her as a consort.  We've both spent some time in botany working on the plants for them.  Dawn as well when she's not doing John's paperwork for him."  She patted him on the foot when the beam quit broadcasting.  "How's that?"

"Nicer," he agreed.  "So can I go nap in a room?"

"Tomorrow, kid," Clay said.

"And then we'll have to get you dressed."

"I have formal stuff somewhere in a closet."

"Your father said it's out of style and date.  Plus Odin said that you'd bring shame on them for wearing leather."

"He does!"

"He's Odin, Xander."

"And I'm a protector.  I'm supposed to be wearing weapons."

"We know, dear.  We'll figure it out.  Ares has even leant you his personal tailor."  Xander gave her an odd look.  "He has."

"Uh-huh.  Am I still down and this is another funky dream?"

"No.  Sorry."  She patted him again and grinned.  "Even John has to go to the banquet.  His bosses were very unhappy."

"Yeah, I can see that point," he decided.  "They can take days."

"It has been days," she assured him.  "People are still arriving and meeting to talk up the plans going on.  Even the Polynesian and South American ones showed up this time.  The heralds are using throat spray."  Xander grinned.  "They wanted us to give them warning before you showed up because you have titles nearly everywhere."  He nodded.  "Which has caused a lot of good natured picking on Odin that he hates."  She smirked.  "Clay, you have clothes coming from Roque I'm sure."

"Why do I have to go?"

"Because you're his consort," Xander said dryly.  "It's the rules, Clay.  The same as if I bring someone, they'll expect a wedding very shortly."

"I talked to that nice doctor you're seeing and she said it was much too soon to bring her with you."  Xander nodded once.  "But she seems very nice."

"She is very nice."

Clay nodded.  "We like Doctor Lam.  She's a nice doc who only threatens a few times before sticking you with the huge needles.  She even puts up with Jensen."

Xander grinned.  "Jensen's a really nice guy."

"He's mouthy, bouncy, and loud," Clay corrected.  "Nice guy is for lesser than Spec Ops."

Xander smirked.  "No, you can be a nice guy and do things like taking out evil shits.  I have. I'm still mostly a nice guy."  He heard a squeal and braced himself, letting Dawn hug him.  "Hi, Dawnie."

"Hi, Xander.  You're awake."

"I am."  He cuddled her.  "Having fun?"

"The Marines give me looks like I'm a baby and John thinks I'm amazing because I do his paperwork."

"You need a fun day," he told her with a poke to the side.

"I keep forgetting she's only fifteen," John said as he walked in.  "Though I did tell the Marines she's only fifteen so they can't hit on her."  He stared at him.  "You're getting a lot of flack for that."

Xander shrugged.  "Not like I chose it."

"I know.  They even sent someone up to make sure it was that pantheon's power and found you broke out in two pantheon's powers."

"So I'm screwed?" Xander asked.

"Yup."  John smirked at him.  "You have to go to the banquet and be stared at.  Though Mom did say you could ignore Odin growling."

"I do a lot of the time."  Xander smiled at Carolyn when she walked over.  "Can you sedate me so I don't have to be stared at?"

"Your mother said I couldn't," she admitted, smiling at him.  "Though I'm glad I don't have to be stared at by all the scary sorts."

"I was hoping I wouldn't have to be stared at by them," Xander admitted with a grin.

"Sorry.  Your mother is very scary."  John and Xander both nodded.  She checked Xander over then left them alone.

Mari looked at Xander.  "I will see you tomorrow.  John and I are charged with making sure you're dressed appropriately."

"That one time I was just off a battle and they summoned me," Xander complained.  "It wasn't my fault."

"Odin got nagged a few times about that."  She winked and walked off.  "Ronon.  Hi."

"Hi."  She patted him on the arm as she walked past him.  He stared at her then at John.

"She's making sure she knows your energy signature in case she has to summon you or something," he said quietly.

"She has powers like the blonde, shy one?" Ronon asked.

"That's why she was adopted.  She's very strong," Xander told him.  "Who has my axe?"  John waved a hand.  "Okay.  That's cool.  I can't feel it."

"Odin tried to summon it but I stopped him."  Xander grinned.  "So anyway."  He looked at Ronon.  Then at Xander.  "He wanted to learn how to use it?"

"I have four extra in my closet but two are light axes, suitable for someone Tara's size and strength or Dawn's."  He gave her a squeeze.  "The other two are more my size."

John nodded, going to get them.  He brought them and Roque back.  "He was sorting through things on his mother's orders."

"Why is everyone against me?" Xander asked Roque.

"You had the most showy break-out ever," Roque assured him with a smug look.  "Mom wanted to make sure that Aphrodite and your mom didn't make you wear a thong."

"Wouldn't that break protocol?"

"Yup."  He handed Ronon both axes.  "Both boy axes instead of the girly ones."   He hauled Dawn off the bed, groaning when she kicked him in the stomach.  "You need to work on that."

"I'm fifteen, I have at least one more year to work on kicking boys' asses before I have to practice it in real life," she quipped.  "And I'd never date you anyway, you're big and scary.  I'd like younger, sweeter, and geeky.  That's why I've had a crush on Xander.  So is Jensen free?" she finished with a grin.

"In another year, ask again," Clay quipped back.

"Okay."  She beamed at John.  Then at Ronon.  "I noticed you guys spar.  Can I join in?  I've been taking some lessons with Tony's bodyguard."

"Yes," Ronon agreed.  "It would be good for you."  She grinned and patted Xander before leaving.  He looked at the axes, then let Xander handle one.

Xander went over the axe and how you use it.  He wasn't allowed out of bed but he could show him the basics while sitting.  Ronon got it and took them both to spar with John.  John knew something probably.  It turned out John was pretty good and it was a decent, multi-use weapon.


Mari showed up in a formal sari, wearing a lot of jewelry, including a piece in her hair and multiple earrings.  Xander looked up from doing his boots up.  "How do you do that and not jingle when you walk?"

"They're tight enough not to do more than rub against each other."  She shifted.  "I wish I could wear less."

"Me too."  He stood up and shifted his pants back down then pulled on his jacket, getting a nod.  "Can't I wear a vest?  Like usual?"

"No," John said as he let himself into Xander's room.  He looked at him.  "You look like the Valhallan University English Professor."

Xander looked at himself then nodded.  "Yeah I do."  He took off the jacket, grabbed his usual vest from his mother's closet and changed his shirt. "Weapons?"

"No weapons," John ordered, looking amused.  He was comfortable.  Xander looked at him and shook his head.  John changed into the shirt he had brought in and a vest.  "Better.  Thanks."

Xander stared at him.  "They've plotted something."  John smirked and nodded.  So did Mari.  "What?"

"You broke out in *two* pantheon's powers, Xander," she said.  His eye twitched.  She smirked.  "They're making you the protectorate."

"Shit!  I saw that vision."

"Yup," John agreed.  "Which would let you bring me, her, possibly Dawn.  Roque if he wanted to."

Xander nodded, sighing some.  "Yeah, I can see that.  I don't like it though."

"Yay," they said in unison.  Mari made 'tiny violins playing sad songs' motions with her fingers.  Xander swatted her for it.  She smirked back.

He huffed.  "Fine.  John, if he comes back, Ronon can help?"

"I don't think he'd mind."

"Okay."  Xander made a few quick decisions.  "Then I'm adopting Dawn into it."  They nodded, she was smiling.  "And if I can't do it my way I'll sic Mom on someone."  He walked out, going to talk to Dawn and Joyce.  Joyce let him in and stared at him, then arranged his hair.  He grinned.  "If they're doing what they plan on doing, I'm bringing Dawn into my family officially.  Which will mean any of the other scary God sorts can't get any ideas.  Nothing like Glory will ever happen again but it'd give me the right to marry her off with your permission."

Joyce considered it then nodded.  "I can see that."

Xander beamed.  "Cool."  He walked off, taking his friends and family with him.  He looked at the heralds.  They both took a long drink of water and sighed.  "Is it protocol for me first or them?"

"You first, Sire."

Xander nodded.  "Take a second one, and a mint, guys.  There's a shitload of titles if I remember right."  They did and unrolled the scroll with his name on it.  The doors opened and Xander stood in the doorway.  The heralds alternated titles so they could sip water discreetly between them.  It took nearly forty minutes to say them all.  He walked in and to the table that had his new symbol on it.  John's were read off and it was shorter by a few minutes.  Mari only had one title so she followed John to his new table.  Everyone stared at them.  Xander looked at them.  "Wasn't I supposed to sit here?"  They all nodded with a smile.  "I got told, guys.  So tell me directly?"

"After dinner," Zeus ordered.  They all nodded and dug in.  The oldest gods thought all the younger ones were arrogant little pricks and they definitely thought that about Xander and John but appreciated their services.  Xander looked over as the doors opened, standing up.

"The Key, Dawn Summers," the heralds announced together.

Dawn walked in wearing something formally correct and bowed to each of the pantheons.  "One of you had me summoned.  I thank whoever for the new dress as well."  Hera smiled at her.  She bowed to her and sat down at the new chair at Xander's table.  She looked at him.  "Don't marry me off," she hissed.

"Probably not."

"Thank you."


"No clue," she admitted.

"Okay.  We can do that."  They ate being as formally correct as possible.  Xander got done and settled back in his seat, sharing a look with John.  That was clearly a plot waiting to happen too.  Xander looked across the room at Roque, catching Clay's eye.  Clay kicked Roque and nodded.  Roque looked at Xander and Xander quirked an eyebrow up.  He got a subtle nod back.  Xander looked at a few others who had done the same thing.  Including Kyra.  She smirked at him.

Zeus stood up, staring around the room.  "Alexander has always protected all pantheons, no matter who was fighting with either of his natal ones.  It makes sense that it fulfills prophecies in a few different pantheon's libraries.  It will also give some of our younger protectors a second set of people to call upon for the bad things."  He looked at the oldest Gods in the room.

The oldest Gods, all chaos gods, smirked at him.  "Alexander has had a special place in our cold hearts for centuries," the oldest one said.  He stood up.  "Though we find him bouncy, loud, and occasionally annoying, he has served us all well.  He has protected some things that you wouldn't normally expect to need a guardian."  He nodded at Dawn.  She smiled back.  "We find him worthy to continue that goal.  As shown, he's shown up whenever we need him.  I'm sure he will in the future."

"As I can," Xander agreed, standing up.  "Thank you for that compliment but half of that wasn't my doing directly.  It just happened around me."

"Yes, that is why you're a son of a chaos god," another of them said with a smirk on her face.

Xander nodded.  "As you all wish, so I must comply."  They all smirked and nodded.  "As such, my new temple will need an honor guard worthy of the goals.  Franklin Clay, consort to the Godling Roque, will you answer that call?"

Clay paused then nodded.  "We will."

Xander smiled and nodded.  "I expect you to bring your consort as well?"

"I will," Roque agreed.  "Like we have before, kid."

Xander nodded.  "I'm still older than you think," he said, cracking some people up.  He looked.  "My brother John?  You've been there with a lot of the protections and you still serve to this day."

"If you want me to, I'm yours," John agreed.

Xander smiled and nodded.  "And as such, I protect you and your city."  They gasped.  He looked.  "Ladies?"  They nodded.  "Dawn, you're in a special case because of what you are."

"You're still the best big brother ever," she reminded him.  He grinned.

"I also give my allegiance to your temple of protectors," Mari said.

"I welcome you openly.  You're a great help to me at times, and now to John."  He kissed her on the head.  Then he sat down.  "The others who have helped us in the past are welcome to join us."  They smiled and nodded.

Odin looked at him.  "We still desire your allegiance, Alexander."

"You are one of my natal houses.  Of course I have allegiance for you and my mother's people, Odin."  He nodded, accepting that.  "I can even plot how to get Father to help protect people."

"It would be a good thing for him to find," Odin said.

Xander smirked.  "Sometimes you need to chaos things so they're unable to do what they want."

"It was an inspired plan when Wolfram and Hart started on you," Loki said, saluting him with his glass.

"Thank you."  He sipped his own wine, nodding.  "Nice flavor, Mother."  She beamed at him.  They went back to dinner, people making plans to align and plot against Xander's new dynasty.


Xander appeared when someone yelled for him.  "Dawn will be back with the ship," he told Tony Stark.

Stark smirked at him.  "God?"

"Protector.  Huge ass number of prophecies," he said, waving a hand.  "You're missing all the puking."

"That's good.  Has she said anything about that subject?"

"Joyce and she came to some sort of agreement that Joyce would get a lot of visitation because Sunnydale is really dangerous."

"Thank God," he sighed, smiling again.  "The ship's going to be a few days later than they think."

"I'll let John know.  And then I have to find a house," he muttered.  "Oh, if Mari comes back, look at her skills."  He winked and disappeared.  "All right," he said, appearing to John and those in the office.  "Tony Stark said to tell you the ship's going to be a few days late."

"We can handle that," John assured him.

"He wanted to know about Buffy and her thought process."

"How did that happen?" John asked.


"I'm so glad they've been destroyed," John decided.  Xander grinned.  "So, are you going back soon?"

"Need me to stay?"

"No, not really," John admitted with a grin.

Xander hugged him.  "Then let me go home and find a house instead of a tiny apartment.  By now Sunnydale has to be about to explode with vamps."  He disappeared.

John shook his head.  "Xander's insane," he told the others in the meeting, getting a nod back.  "It's not hereditary.  It's from his dad."  They laughed and a few shook their heads.  "Let's make plans for the next few weeks of trading."


Xander appeared in Sunnydale, staring at the demons in the park.  "What?" he asked, grinning some.  "It's going to be months before Buffy's back."

"Why?" one asked.  "We've heard rumors."

"NID knocked her up."  A few of the demons whimpered.  "She's with my brother John for the next month and a half."  More whimpered.  "Oh, yeah.  So...."  He grinned.  "Do I need to do something?  Any problems?"  They shook their heads.  "Okay.  Then we'll figure things out."  He walked off.

One let out their held breath.  He went to gossip at Willie's that Xander was glowing with power.

They hoped he didn't turn into Rosenburg.

Xander walked into Willie's a bit later, staring around.  He put a card on the bar.  Willie gasped.  "I'm not Willow, people.  To me it's a natural thing."  He looked around the room.  "The Arthat prophecy, people.  Quit stressing.  If I blow up the town it'll be to save the rest of the world."  He walked off.  "Let me go talk to Giles."  They all nodded at that.


Pooch looked at Clay, who had finally told them what had happened with the dinner thing he had to go to.  "So what does an honor guard do?"

"A lot of protocol stuff," Jensen said.  "Basically if he has to do formal stuff and needs an honor guard, we're on for that.  Most of the time, we're just guys who Xander can spar with whenever he needs to and get nagged by."  He tossed over a book.  "I had someone send it to me a few months back because I was going to offer if we didn't stay military."

"So most of the time it's like being formal Mounties but we don't have to door guard a consulate?" Pooch asked, flipping through the book.  "What language is this in?"

"Sorry.  I can translate it for you."  Jensen grinned.  "It's a bit less involved than that.  Think of it like being fancy-named bodyguards."  That got a nod from Clay and Cougar.   "Plus we'd have all the temple, however and wherever he sets it up, to roam and practice in.  We'd get to spar with him and whoever was there.  We'd get to basically hang out and help with whatever he was dealing with if we could."  He grinned at Clay.  "Did he get presents?"

"A few presented him with boxes but he didn't open them there."

"That's cool.  I wonder if he's putting the temple up in Sunnydale."  He called John to ask that, getting back a choked snort of laughter.  He hung up.  "John's laughing at that question."

"We'd have to see if Sunnydale survived having him back," Pooch said.

"They should.  They have plenty of energy there.  Xander told me that his father showed up to nag and got stuck recently.  It took a few days to clear that energy."

John walked in and looked at the team.  "Being an honor guard is basically being his formal bodyguards and the rest of the time you can give ideas on things people are asking about."  They nodded at that.  He looked at Jensen.  "No, it's not going up in Sunnydale.  Because they'd get pissed when it gets destroyed in a few years.  He had a vision earlier about Sunnydale sinking."  He grinned.  "Ares gifted him with a war puppy."

"Awww," Jensen said with a grin.  "That's a wonderful gift!  How trained?"

"Just barely.  He said it was too keep Xander out of his usual level of mischief and trouble.  Apparently it's trained to growl at the sort he'd date.  Xander told him about Carolyn but the war puppy might not growl at her."  He smirked.  "He's trying to decide which area to put it in but he hasn't decided yet.  He came up to tell Buffy about that vision and how calm Sunnydale was at the moment.  Apparently the cops were staking some of the vamps for them."  He shrugged.  "Also, Rodney said your email is bouncing."

"Oops.  Must've been a big file from Jess."  He got into his email to look it over, finding one strange one.  "Why did I get one from General Coleman?"

"Is it team news or him begging you for help?" Clay asked.

Jensen got into it, tipping his head to the side.  "Team news.  The army wants us back."  He let Clay have it.  John smirked.  "Huh."

Clay grimaced and handed it on.  John got it too since it was ordering them reactivated for a mission.  "Let me tell O'Neill," John said, walking off.

"We'll see what happens now," Clay said.  The others nodded.


Jack O'Neill walked into the other general's office and tapped once before walking into the inner office.  "Coleman, I have the team you tried to reactivate."

"Excuse me?"

"Colonel Clay's team?  The Losers?  They're on my special project saving asses right now."

"They're not Air Force," he snorted.  "You guys get in over your head?"

"No, actually they're saving Marines most of the time."  The general glared.  O'Neill stared back.  "My project has direct presidential oversight.  After that screwed up mess you sent them into, they got handed to SHIELD, who handed them to my project and they're a great asset to it.  We love those guys.  They've given us names of others who can handle the fucked-up shit we do daily so we can recruit them too."

"They're still in my Army.  They're mine to command, not yours."

"Yeah, well, you sent them to die for a weapons dealer.  Listed them as dead, KIA actually, and called them traitors for trying to save a bunch of kids that Max was going to kill too."  Jack smirked.  "When all that got cleared up, you guys didn't want to fix your mistakes.  And by the way, the president knows.  Everyone knows all the way to the press corps officers who had to make some nice statements saying we were wrong.  Including the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs.

"They approved the move to my project.  So if you want them back, talk to the higher ups, not Jensen's email.  Because even if they agree with you it'd take them three weeks to get back here."  He walked off to pull the records on how effective Clay's team had been in Pegasus.  John had updated their files in case they had to be moved, which was an excellent bit of help.  Within an hour, he had been called to the Joint Chief's briefing room.  He handed them the folder.  "Their stats where they presently are serving."

The head of the Army gave him a dirty look.  "Why weren't we informed, O'Neill?"

"You were informed.  Your signature's on the transfer to SHIELD orders."  He looked and moaned.  "Same team, yeah."  He looked at his top general.  "They're doing fantastic work and the guys try to bribe them to get them first."  That general smirked.  "Plus they love it up there.  Not too many jungles and a lot of things that need to be handled."

"I've heard some interesting rumors from my aide, Jack," he said.


"Their missing team member?"

"Someone held a marriage counseling session," he said dryly.  "And fixed that but he's not been reinstated and has not asked me to join them.  They have talked a few times however."

"Huh.  Marriage counseling?"

"It's what every good team needs," the head of the Marines agreed.  "That's what we call team counseling."

"I picked it up from some of ours," Jack agreed.

"What are you doing that needs Marines?" Coleman demanded.

Jack gave him an odd look.  "You don't have the classified rating to tell you, General Coleman.  The only reason they know is because they have to help with staffing and supplies."

The head of the army nodded.  "The names Colonel Clay gave you are ones that are a lot like him and would probably do good up there, O'Neill.  I'll talk to them about that later this month."  Jack smiled.  "Is it getting any easier?"

"No.  Things just went to the crapper weeks ago.  We're seriously at an end stage of leave and come back to home base or doing something very bad to those attacking us."

"Is there a way to wipe out the wraith?" the head of the Air Force asked.

Jack shrugged.  "They tried a biological.  One of the allies was trying it and used some of our research to help it along."

"I saw that report.  How much did it knock the wraith down?"

"Thirty, maybe forty percent according to Sheppard.  But it caught humans too."

"Point.  Nuclear?"

"Has been done," Jack admitted with a smirk.  "We have a very nice chemist now who said her PhD is in blowing shit up."

"I know her," the head Marine said, laughing and shaking his head.  "Mari would bring a lot of life to your base."

"Yes she does, sir.  We all appreciate her. And all the others who've stepped a bit closer into the light who're like her."  The head guy stared at him.  "We've talked to Xander on a few occasions as well.  If I could recruit that guy, I would."

"I get that," he agreed.  They shared the file around.  He finally got it and nodded.  "They've done excellent work up there, O'Neill.  I'm glad Fury talked us into it."

"The guys adore having a personal rescue service.  The other teams could use the same.  Even if we bring them back, the main group could still use the same thing."

"Agreed," the head of the Air Force said.  "Because your reports give me headaches and the president too."  Jack smirked.  "What about scientific things?"

"We've done what we can on that level, sir, but with what was going on it sometimes fell by the wayside.  Even though Jackson and Carter threw fits about it at times and went behind Hammond's back at times too."

"Good for them," he said.  "Anything else you want to tell us?"

Jack shrugged.  "I have no idea, sir."

"Fine."  They considered it.

"Coleman, you can't have them back," the head of the Army said.  That general glared at him.  "You treated them poorly, you used them for plans that aided an international weapons dealer and psychotic fuck.  They're O'Neill's toys now."  Jack nodded at that.  "Jack, how much of an option is leaving the city?  Coleman, dismissed."

"Sir, if we have to leave the area, we're bringing the city back."

They shared a look and nodded.  "Do one last strike to weaken them as far as you can," the head of the Marines decided.  "Then bring her home.  They can keep doing insane shit on your base."  Jack nodded, saluted, and left.  They discussed what to do with Atlantis when it got back but for right now they needed it in case the wraith found them.


John had watched the message in private so he wasn't as shocked when the General's video orders were shown to everyone else.  He stared at them.  "We are keeping the city, people.  We're not evacuating."  They sighed.  "So...."

Mari stood up.  "Which method did they want us to use, Sheppard?  Biological, chemical, or just plain explosions?"

"Not stated," he told her.  She grinned.  "So we need to pinpoint some of them."

"If we can set a trap with a wraith worshiping cult," Clay said.  "That could bring some."  He shifted in his seat.  "Have some summon for a culling and then kill the worshipers, set up for the ambush."

John nodded.  "I like that idea, though it's a bit dangerous."

"We have plenty of dead worlds.  Use one to lure them with promises of a hidden city.  They used ancient tech and it failed after you guys visited?"

John nodded.  "We can do that.  And there's plenty of ruins of cities we can use."  He looked at Ronon.  Who nodded.  Then back at Clay.  "Get me a full plan for that option, Colonel."  Clay nodded.  "Rodney, I want to pinpoint where most of the hives are."

"Is there a way to ping through a space gate?" Jensen asked Rodney, who looked confused.  "Like x-ray ping for a specific metal?  Sonar sort of ping?"

"Not that I'm aware of but I can see if it's a viable idea.  Plus get us prepared to go home."  John nodded.  "We'll still be short on power."

"If we have to during the flight home, we'll shrink everyone back into the gateroom or something," John said.  "Only shield that building."  Rodney nodded that might have to happen.  "Work on that with Carter if you can."

"I'll try."  He got up and walked off, his people with him.  "Jensen, heel," he said with a snap.  Jensen got up and hurried after him.  Clay was smirking.

"By the way, Colonel," John said with a smirk of his own.  "General Coleman was told that he played badly with his toys and they were staying O'Neill's, even if we get home."

Clay smirked evilly.  "Does that mean we'll get to have the priestesses there hit on us instead?"

"Yup, sure does."  Pooch moaned, shaking his head.  "Dismissed, people.  Change your priority list to updated field goals so we can see what's really important."  They nodded and left.  He stopped Teyla, staring at her.

"I should stay," she said quietly.

"That is fully up to you.  You wouldn't be the first alien we'd brought home."  He grinned.  "His name was Teal'c and he worked with General O'Neill's team.  Still does on occasion."

"I will think on it."  He nodded.  She left to talk to her remaining people.

Ronon looked over from his seat and shrugged.  "I don't know," he admitted once everyone else was gone.  "I need to keep killing the wraith."  John nodded, moving closer to sit near him.  "But I don't think I can go back to doing it like I did as a runner."

"You're welcome too, you know that."

"I know."

"There's other bad species out there.  They may not eat us, but they're still bad.  Earth is fighting against ones who kill people that don't switch to their religion.  They've decimated a whole lot of planets that way."

"I've heard."  He grimaced.  "I'm still torn."

"I understand.  You kill them because they killed your people.  Before we go, we're taking out as many wraith as possible.  I don't want to leave a single one alive either.  They might show up and try to eat Jensen's sister, who sends him all that candy."  Ronon snickered, shaking his head.  "Or Xander might have to step in to help us."

"Can he?"

"He would if I asked but he's still getting a handle on his new powers.  Before, he just jumped in with his axe and started to whack at people."

"Sometimes that's what a battle takes," Ronon agreed.  John nodded.  "Let us see how many we can kill first and then I'll decide."

"Okay."  John got up.  "If you need to talk, my office is open.  And my desk is refreshingly clear since Dawn did all the paperwork."  He grinned.

Ronon chuckled.  "I like the mouthy thing.  She's cute but young."

"You know, you're only ten years older than she is, Ronon."  He walked off.

"Living here, that's a great span," he told himself.  He went to check on the mouthy thing.  She was fussing at her sister today instead of doing anyone's paperwork.  Buffy was still feeling sickly so he told her to talk to Teyla.  She had her son recently and could help her with that.  Buffy and Teyla had bonded anyway because of the female warrior thing they had going.  Dawn grinned at him for it.  Then she punched him on the arm before walking off.  He gave her back a confused look.

Buffy grinned.  "Dawn's a good girl."

"All girls should be good girls," Ronon told her.  "Until they find the right man to change that."  Buffy cackled as she strolled off.  Ronon didn't know why that was funny but it was probably an earth thing.


Xander appeared before Ares, staring at him.  The puppy he had been given was in his arms, lapping his ear for him.  "Hey."

Ares looked at him.  "You'll break his training."

"He just ate a vamp trying to break into my apartment."  Ares snickered, shaking his head.  "He's a good boy for that.  This is his treat.  He thinks my ear is tasty."  He grinned.  "So, Tyr said he can't teach me anything."

Ares smirked.  "I can beat Tyr in a good fight."

"I know that.  That's why I'm here.  I have until Buffy gets back or the next apocalypse to up my skills."

Ares nodded.  "It would be good to train.  Your eye?"

"I've learned how to compensate and I still have my battle senses."

"Even better.  Put the mutt down."  Xander did that and they went to Ares' personal sparring room together.  "What of the Key?"

"Dawn?  She's been taking some lessons while she's been working with Pepper.   She's taken more up there."

"Good for her."

"I thought so.  Especially since Buffy didn't like it."

Ares nodded.  "That happens sometimes.  How is she?"

"Pregnant," Xander said with a shudder.  "I'm so glad we're missing mood swinging slayers."

"I would be too," Ares agreed.  He took off his vest.  Xander took off his t-shirt, and Ares attacked.  The kid wasn't a stand and fight sort of fighter but his weapon skills were good.  Hand-to-hand, not as much.  He could definitely help him there.  And teach him to fight against women by wearing Discord out too.  "Why didn't you come to me earlier?"

"You were busy, I was busy," Xander quipped with an evil smirk.  "Always another battle going on."

"That's true, you've done more than your fair share."  He attacked again once the kid had a few drinks of water.  They were both sweating but the kid needed it.  "What about John?"

"John's been taking lessons up there from a native who had a two-stick method and another really good fighter."

"Wonderful."  They kept going until Discord strolled in.

"Hmm, sweaty boys," she said with an evil smirk.

"Sorry, I'm dating," Xander quipped.  "Not this trip, Discord."

"Fine."  She waved a hand.  Xander got showered with a bucket of cold water.

"Damn it!" he shouted, sending it at her.  She shrieked.  Wet leather, yuck.

Ares burst out cackling.  "You need to learn how to use the new powers too, kid."

"Yeah, I've been practicing hitting running targets with vamps."

"There's more to it than that."  Ares went over power flows and how to create various weapons, including fireballs and shields.  Xander could spend a few days learning from them and it'd be good for everyone.


John found himself in an end-time battle with the wraith.  It was going to be this hive's wraith or him and his people.  Which he hated.  Something had gotten fucked up somewhere and the wraith had found out they were going to ambush them.  He hated to do it but he needed a new tactic and heavier weapons.  He sent a silent burst of 'help me' at Xander.  Two minutes and nothing.  Maybe they were too far away?  Another five minutes of firing and one guy got shot in the leg.

And then suddenly there was light and sound and heat.  John blinked back the tears the heat wave was creating, staring at the thing creating it.  The light finally dimmed and Xander blinked a few times.  "Wow, I didn't know I could do that."  Then he passed out.

John let out a hysterical laugh.  "Okay, looking a bit familiar now."


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