NC-17 Clay/Roque

Old Ones' Mates and Mothers.

The soldiers nodded at John's understatement, one checking Xander while they made sure all the wraith were gone.  The other groups reported all their wraith had vanished in a bright, warm light that made them all get suntans.  Evan Lorne had a radiation meter but it wasn't registering anything except next to Xander.  They got him loaded into a jumper with the other injured ones and took him back to the city.

"Again?" Keller demanded when she spotted him.

"He destroyed all the wraith on the planet, Doc," Jensen chided with a scowl.  "It was probably his first major power surge."  He helped transfer Xander onto a gurney and followed.  "And hey, no axe this time."

"Did he use something nuclear?" Keller asked.  "He's glowing."

Jensen shrugged.  "We didn't see any radiation.  Ask McKay?"  She glared at him.  "Not like I'm like him."  She huffed and let Carolyn Lam have them.  Jensen shrugged.  "He appeared in a bright flash, which ate the wraith, then passed out, Doc.  Not even his axe this time."

"Interesting.  I'm not reading any radiation."  She rescanned him.  "Looks like exhaustion."  A tall, bearded, dark haired man in leather pants and no shirt showed up holding a dog.  The dog wiggled and barked until it leapt onto Xander's bed and settled down on his chest.  She looked at the new guy, scanning him too.  "Huh.  The Ancient scanners read you as a God, Ares."

"I am a god," he said smugly.  "It's nice they realized that too.  What happened?" he asked John.  "We were sparring and then suddenly he yelped you needed help and disappeared."

"He showed up in a really bright, warm light that killed all the wraith," John said.  "You can scan my memories, Lord Ares."

Ares did then nodded.  "I taught him that yesterday as a way to be imposing and make a grand entrance.  Interesting usage."   He looked at the doctor still scanning him.  He smirked.  "You're the one he's dating."

"I am."

"That's Hellion," he said with a point at the dog.  "He's his war puppy.  Don't break his training."  He disappeared.

"Xander said Hellion's the best present he got," John quipped with a grin.

"Like his axe, you can walk his dog until he gets up," Carolyn quipped back with a smile.  John laughed but nodded.  "He's less exhausted this time.  It should only be a few days."

"Okay.  We can handle that but I'm so yelling at him for passing out at my feet again."

"Yes you can," she said, patting him on the arm to check on the other injuries.  "How many wraith, Sheppard?"

"That whole hive that landed as far as we could tell."  He tried his radio.  "Clay's still there?" he called.

"Yeah, they're reconning the hive," Evan called back from across the infirmary.  "Jensen thinks he can slip a computer virus into their systems so the next one who gets it can pass it to other hives."  Jensen slipped out to join his team again.

"Decent."  He relaxed.  Hellion looked at him and whimpered.  "It's all right, little guy.  Xander's just napping."  He let the dog sniff him then petted him.  But he wouldn't allow himself to be gotten off his human's bed.  "Want to go outside?" he offered.  "Maybe some dinner?"  The dog sniffed Xander.  John stroked over Xander's hair, getting a moan.  "Tell your dog to let me walk and feed him, Xander.  Then you can nap."  Xander mumbled something, getting doggy kisses.  John smiled, letting the dog be petted by the tired being before being pushed away.  "C'mon, Hellion, let's visit outside and then food."  The dog lapped the human again and leapt down, sniffing everyone as he walked beside this human packmate.

"Why do we have a dog?" one of the soldiers demanded.

"He's Xander's puppy of war," John quipped.  "He's passed out after killing all the wraith."

"Did he change his axe into a dog?" the soldier moaned.

John looked at him, shaking his head.  "No.  His axe is still with him.  Hellion was a present from my father's people."  He walked him outside.  Hellion got real excited at the trees and went to mark one without having to be told to.  He marked a few more then they went inside to get some dinner.  The cooks stared over the line at the bark, giving John an odd look.  "He's Xander's puppy of war."

They just nodded and gave the dog some meatloaf they had leftover in the fridge.  The dog adored that and sat down beside John to inhale it without doing much chewing.

Ronon walked in and stared at the dog.  "Hunting hound?"

"War god's puppy."

"Ah."  He nodded and sat down, letting the dog stare at him before sniffing him.  "You're going to be very tough when you finish growing, dog."  It lapped his hand then went back to dinner, watching what the big human did.  Ronon was watching him back, that's why he missed Dawn coming in and squealing loudly.  Ronon flinched.  The dog flinched and bayed, bristling up as he studied who had just given the war cry.

"Awww!  Don't be scared of me," Dawn cooed, going to her knees next to the dog.  "I'm Dawnie.  You must be Hellion, Xander's puppy."  She let it sniff her hand, getting odd looks.  She grinned.  "I'm like your human's little sister so I'm your aunt.  Get used to me."

"I think he thought it was a war cry," John joked, grinning at them.  Dawn swatted him on the leg and got back to petting the beast.

Buffy waddled in.  "Dawn, why are you on the floor?" she complained.  "You're getting all dirty."  She saw the dog and paused.  "We have dogs up here?"

"Xander's," Dawn and John told her.

She just nodded.  "The vampires must love it."  She got her own dinner and came over to sit down.  She had to move the dog's head when it came to sniff her.  "That's not for puppies," she said firmly.  Dawn pulled him away gently and stole some of John's hamburger for him.

"Hey," John complained.  "Feed him yours, Dawn."  She went to get her dinner, the cooks giving her another plate of the cold meatloaf for the dog.  By the time she got back, Clay was walking in to give a report.

"Where did you get twinkies?" Buffy asked, nearly drooling at his snack.

"The ammo fairy dropped it off with a new laser sight for someone's birthday," Clay quipped with a grin.

"He spoiled Cougar with a laser sight and twinkies?" John asked with a grin.

"No, the twinkies are for Jensen because Roque's an asshole," he admitted.  "He wanted to see him go on another sugar rush."

"Please not tonight," Evan said as he walked in.  "Any left?"

"Lots of piles of dust.  Two really ancient ones that we ended with mercy because they were too weak to fight anyway.  Jensen uploaded that virus into their system so any other hive that gets into it to see what happened, they'll get whammied too he said.  He's calling it wraith drive flu."

John grinned.  "That's fine.  Any other cheery news?"

Clay looked at the staring dog.  "I heard he got one of Ares' puppies."  John nodded.  The dog sniffed him then Buffy.  "No, she's not carrying my litter, dog.  Leave the scary pregnant slayer alone."  Dawn called and the dog came back.  "Roque said to remind Xander that he had to pay the rent too.  He went to ask him something and found the landlord looking.  So he owes Roque."

"That's fine.  I'm wondering what he's doing since the store was burned down," John said.

Buffy sniffled.  "They couldn't save it?"  John shook his head.  "Giles has to be really upset."

"I emailed the team in LA to tell him you're okay," Dawn said with a slight smile.  "That way Giles doesn't have to admit computers exist again."

"Okay."  She dug in, eating quietly.

Clay and John shared a look and a smirk.  "How long is he down for this time?" Clay asked.

"Doctor Lam said a few days.  No axe though."

"Jensen will be heartbroken he can't babysit it," Clay snorted.  He went to get his own dinner and bring it to the infirmary since he knew he had to appear for post-battle medical after his report.  He looked back at the sound of clicking claws, staring at the dog.  "Fine.  You can come stare at your human or whatever."

"Why do we have a dog?" someone shouted.

"It's Xander's!" Clay shouted back.  "Touch it and he'll bring the axe too!"  That person squeaked and fled.  Clay walked in nibbling on the pasta dish for dinner.  He sat on a bed, letting Peter check him over.  "Sheppard's in the mess.  Dog's behind you, Jennings."

Peter smiled at the dog.  "I heard Ares had given him a puppy from his last bitch's batch.  Go ahead, Hellion.  You can snuggle him."  The dog hopped up and snuggled in with the human.  Xander moaned but petted him.  Peter got back to checking Clay over.  "Well, you seem fine."

"I'm fine," he agreed.  "Everyone else was?"  Peter nodded.  Clay sniffed, looking around.  "What's that smell?"  Cougar looked at him, giving him a dirty look.  "What?"  Cougar said something in Spanish.  "No fucking way," he muttered.  "There's no females on the city."  Cougar shrugged.

"Boys?" Peter asked patiently.

"Someone's in heat," Clay said, staring at him.

He considered it.  "There's no female yellow furs up here though."  Clay nodded.  "That could be bad.  Is the scent driving you to distraction yet?"

"No, I don't want to pounce whoever," Clay said.  Cougar shook his head and let out a small shudder.  He tapped his earpiece twice.  "Evan Lorne."  Evan answered.  "We have a female yellow fur in heat on the base, Major."  Evan said that wasn't possible.  "I can smell her by the infirmary.  Is it something we can fight?" Clay asked him.  Peter shook his head.  "No, Doctor Jennings said you can't fight the urge."

"No, you can't," Jensen said from his bed, typing on his computer.  "It's a biological imperative to get the one in heat, and most of the time yellow furs won't fight about it.  Unless they're aggressive alphas fighting for their pack's rights."  He looked over.  Then looked at Carolyn Lam.

"It's not me," she assured him.

"She's been near you though.  Your scent has hers on it."

She sniffed her jacket then looked at it.  She took it off.  "Oh, dear.  That's Keller's jacket.  Colonel?"  He sniffed and nodded.   "Let me...go shower off that scent, boys.  Have the other Colonel confine her.  I have no idea what she did."  She hurried off.  She did not want to be pounced by either pack of yellow furs.

Jensen looked at Peter.  "Do birth control shots work on them like they do on us?"

"Yes, thank the Gods," he muttered, going to find one and make sure Doctor Keller took it.

Clay hung up and finished his dinner.  "Report to the mess, Losers, then to our quarters.  No one is to go after her unless you absolutely can't help yourself.  You know the only pack bitch we have is Jolene and she'll rip us to shreds."  They grinned and Pooch nodded he was right, his wife would rip him a new one.  They got their dinners and went to hide from the female in heat.


Evan hung up and looked at Sheppard.  "Somehow Keller is scented like a yellow fur in heat," he said calmly.  John dropped his fork, staring at him.  "Colonel Clay found it."

"It's biological.  You can try to fight it, Evan, but you won't get too far," he said quietly.  "Your team is on downtime until we can get her slotted somewhere else.  Out of scent range."  Evan nodded, getting his team to warn them.

Dawn looked at him.  "I say we send her to them.  We're not sure why she's scented like one or if she's even changed once."

John winced.  "I'm going to have a foot up her ass talk with her if she did that to herself."  He got up and went to find her.  There was scientific discovery and there was blatant stupidity.  "Doctor Keller," he said when he spotted her, walking her off by her elbow.  "Come have a discussion with me."

"But...  I'm needed in the infirmary.  Doctor Jennings said so."

"He can join us."  He told him to do that.  They met at John's office and he shut them in to find out what had happened.  Keller claimed she had an accident with a used needle.  John wasn't sure if he was buying it or not but Peter gave her some hard truths that had her looking pretty shaky.  So John did what he had to do and sent her on a field mission.   With Ronon.  He'd be able to protect her most likely.  They hoped.  Ronon got told why and nodded at that knowledge.  No one wanted to see Evan and Clay's teams fight for dominance of the new bitch.  They'd end up losing both teams.  John sent a message back to Jack O'Neill and then went to talk to Carolyn Lam.  She was in charge.  She was winding her wet hair up as she walked back to the infirmary.  "Doc?"

"I heard.  I was wearing her jacket.  That's why Clay scented it."  She fastened the last bobby pin and looked at him.  "I'd hate to be in her shoes, John."

"I'm sending her and Ronon off on a mission."

"That's fine."  She smiled.  "Clay ordered his people confined to quarters."

"Evan's too."  They shared a look.  "Ronon can make her change too, get her past that psychotic time."  She nodded.  "How's Xander?" he asked more quietly.

"Much more awake.  Not as bad of a headache I think.  He was petting his puppy while asleep when I went to take a shower."

John smiled.  "If we need to guard people, we will, Doc."  She nodded and they went to check on Xander together.  Xander was curled around his dog.  Carolyn petted them both on the head and let John hover for a bit.

John stared at Xander.  "You really need to quit passing out at my feet, baby brother.  Before I start taking out the reasons for it."  He petted the dog.  "Want to use a tree?"  The dog snuggled in.  "Fine.  Go outside when you need to."  He left, going to put someone on dog detail in case he couldn't get there.  Or Dawn couldn't.  Buffy was still pouting in the mess.  "You get to go home in another two weeks."

"I'm not sure if I'm mad or not."

"I know.  The city's amazing and no one really wants to leave it."  She nodded he was right.  "But back on earth they have specialists for the birth, who'll have better drugs than we do up here."

"That'd be nice, yeah."  She ate another bite.  "I really don't want to face him down, ya know?"

"Yeah but it was done with a needle and he knows that."

"But the night before we had funsies."

He patted her on the shoulder.  "It'll be fine, Buffy.  I promise it'll be fine."  She nodded, eating another bite of jell-o.  He got himself some coffee and went back to his office to make sure things were going to go all right on his city.  The extra people were very helpful.  Buffy had taught Ronon more about axes, swords, and staff fighting.  She and Teyla created a training regime for the Athosian girls who wanted to learn how to fight.

Dawn had done all his paperwork and some ahead.  He only had to fill in a few parts.  He could even copy it and just change dates and things.  She had even organized his files on him.  She was the quiet wonder assistant sort.  Joyce had mothered a lot of the soldiers who were missing their own.  So had Tara.  The guys respected them and didn't even try to flirt with Tara.  Or Joyce.  They had both blushed and the guys had treated them like proper ladies.  Though Joyce did hit a few with a pillow for being too uptight.

It had been great having them.  But they had to go home soon.  Before Buffy's child had dual-galaxy citizenship.


Pepper walked up to Tony and took his bottle of iced tea from him.  "She's going to be just as upset seeing you again," she said bluntly.

He grinned.  "I'm not upset."

"No, but you're not exactly calm either.  Dawn's last email said she was worrying about that and Buffy had nearly cried at the passport joke the captain used."  He nodded at that.  "Right now she's worried, Tony."

"I understand that.  Did you tell Dawn that we'd like custody?"

"I did and she said that Buffy agreed to all that but she wasn't wearing ugly maternity clothes."

"Some of them are pretty bad," he agreed.  "Xander?  I haven't seen him recently."

"There.  He killed a bunch of wraith."  He just shook his head.  "With his present from Ares."  He grinned, they had been sent pictures of the dog.  "He'll be back soon I'm sure.  Just calm down.  It'll be a little over a week before she's back."

"I know.  Thank you."

She handed back the bottle of iced tea.  "You're welcome," she said with a smile.  "And you have a nanny as of when she delivers."  She walked off after leaving that file on his desk.

He read it over.  Former National Guard service to get through college, doctorate in early childhood education, recently divorced, her husband won custody because she had left him due to his problems.  That sounded strange.  He called Pepper back in to ask her to fill in the glaring stop signs in her file.  She told him what she had learned and it was better, though Tony would be watching her a lot.

Not just anyone could be trusted to raise his future spawn after all.  They had to wear the suit some year.


Buffy got led off the ship and smiled at the people there.  "We're back.  And the woods smell worse than they do there."

Jack O'Neill laughed.  "It's all the exhaust fumes, Buffy.  How are you feeling?"


"I've heard that happens."  She nodded, shaking his hand.  "Your town has been extremely quiet."


"They're worried."  She nodded she understood that.  "Xander got yelled at for visiting Faith after hours.  He didn't get caught but she mentioned it to someone who yelled at him.  So he's pouty today too."

"That's fine."  She walked beside him, smiling at Pepper.  "I'm sorry you had to wait so long.  I really had to go," she said more quietly.

"Of course you did.  The baby's sitting right on your bladder, Buffy.  Thank you, General."

"Welcome, Pepper.  John sent back a request to steal Dawn if you didn't want to keep her."  He grinned as he walked back to the ship, letting it bring him back to the SGC.

Pepper looked at Buffy.  "C'mon.  We have a hotel room tonight and then we'll talk tomorrow."

"Can we... maybe get the hard stuff out of the way?  I don't want to have nightmares all night because I'm nervous."

"I can understand that.  Tony's been pacing all day."  She led her to the car and got her inside and to the hotel.  She got her checked in and led her up to Tony's suite.  "Here, we'll let him tell you you're not fat.  I coached him very well."  Buffy beamed at her for that.  Even though Buffy looked like she had eaten an inflated beach ball, no one was going to tell the petite young woman that.  She knocked and let them in.  "Tony."

"Buffy," he said, standing up with a grin.  "How are you feeling?"

"Fat and like I'll waddle forever."  She sat down with a sigh.  "I don't see how bigger women do it."

"Remember, it goes away again in a few months," Pepper assured her with a grin.

"I hope so.  I need to get back into slayer shape."  She looked at Tony.  "Sunnydale is dangerous."

"It is," he agreed.

"So is being you though."

"I have a nanny set up who has former military experience.  We'll be drilling emergency procedures into her."  Buffy relaxed.  "I don't want him or her to be hurt any more than you do."

"Her," Buffy corrected, patting her stomach.  "Even though it looks like triplets it's just one girl in there and a whole lot of water."

Tony smiled.  "She'll drive me nuts."

"Yeah, I think that's the purpose of all teenage girls.  Dawn does it to me too," she quipped with a grin.  "Isn't she back yet?"

"She's getting your mom settled in the apartment in LA," Tony told her.  Buffy relaxed and nodded with a smile, then grimaced and struggled to get up.  He helped her and watched her head for the bathroom.  He pointed.  Pepper nodded quickly.  "The books mentioned that," he admitted.  Pepper grinned and handed him some ice water.  Buffy came out making sure her hands were dry.  "So," he said, taking a sip.

Buffy grinned.  "It's an experience I wouldn't have had an opportunity to have otherwise," she admitted.  "But I can't see how or why women have more than one."  He grinned, nodding at that.  "Do we have a doctor we like in LA?"

"Two or three," he admitted.  "I haven't even thought about hiring one for you because that's a personal choice."  She nodded.  "Nick Fury said to tell you to rest.  The town's been uneasy but anxious because they're not sure Xander won't go down Willow's path.  Even when he pointed out he'd only blow up the town to save everyone."

"I can see him doing that.  There's been a few times I wondered why he didn't during graduation's battle."  She accepted the ice water.  "Thanks, Miss Potts."

"It's not a problem, Buffy."  She sat down.  "Do you need anything right now?"

"A new spleen.  She keeps kicking mine."  She looked down.  "Do you mind?  I know it's the daddy person but don't show off?"  Tony reached over and laid a careful hand on her stomach, making her blush.  The baby kicked him and he beamed at Pepper.  "Trade ya," she offered to Pepper.

"No, I'd make a horrible mother," she said with a smile.  "I'm much too busy most of the time."  Buffy nodded she understood that.  "Let's let you rest.  You order dinner in tonight, we've got it covered, and we'll go over the custody agreement tomorrow?"

"I could use a nap," Buffy admitted with a smile for Tony.  "She's exhausting."

"I'm sure all that growing she's doing is."  Buffy grinned and let Pepper take her to her room.  Tony relaxed and sipped his water, wishing it was something harder.  He hoped his father didn't hear about this in whatever afterlife he was in.  He'd laugh his butt off if he had and Tony didn't need laughed at today.  Pepper came back.  "She settled in?"

"Yup.  Settled in for a nap.  Dawn made sure Buffy's room at her mother's was ready for her and got a mattress topper to help her sleep better.  It's a bit more firm."  She sat down.  "So, a daughter."

"A future fashion plate I'll have to shoo boys off of," he agreed dryly.  "Guys just like me only more stupid."

She smiled.  "Definitely."  He mock-glared but she smiled.  "I'm sure you can start on self-defense from men like you very early."

"Yup," he agreed, finishing his water.  "She'll probably need it.  Buffy's pretty, I'm handsome, so the baby's going to at least be cute."  She pinched him on the arm.  "Did you get that dossier on the chemist John wanted me to look at when she came back?"

"I did."  She handed it over from the coffee table.  "I like how she said her PhD is in blowing things up."

He read it, nodding.  "She sounds like Xander."

"She's adopted but a powerful witch," Pepper said.  He nodded at that.  "She's been able to do some dual-powered things and has been helping McKay."

"I like that idea."  He put it aside.  "After she's done on the city and is free, let me know so I can go charm her with ideas of putting out bigger things."

"We can do that."  She smiled and handed him another one.  "New guard."

He read it, grimacing.  "Why?"

"To put on Dawn.  Howdy got information from Rhodey that someone else wants to own Dawn in that bad way."

Tony looked at her.  "Why would I trust him with her?  With his records?"

She shrugged.  "He picked him.  He wanted your permission."

"I'll talk to him," he said, moving to the desk to call his personal guard.   Something was weird about that.


Roque reappeared on Atlantis.  He was getting a lot of intergalactic frequent flier miles this year.  He stared at the AI that came out.  "My consort is here."

"I know that.  I have witnessed you visiting him in the past, DemiGod Roque."  Roque nodded.  "I will not harm you unless you do harm to my people."

"I respect the hell out of John.  He's a lot like Xander and I learned to respect them both."

She considered her history.  "He is the DemiGod Jonathan?"  Roque nodded.  "I had thought him as such but it was not a faulty program."  She smiled.  "That would mean the young one that visits him is Alexander."


"Interesting.  They have many interesting battles they have been in, even against your people."

"That's why there was almost an alignment marriage," Roque said dryly with a smirk.  "But we're cool?  I won't hurt your people this time.  Not unless they're being evil shits and trying to hurt my people or those I protect."

"I can agree to a truce with you.  It is important to stay connected with a consort."  She smiled.  "Is it a recent matter?  He was not infected with your power when he first showed up."

He nodded.  "After he got bitten.  Xander did it to us."  She beamed at him.  "Thank you."

"The young need to be protected.  Especially the young fireling on your team.  He does get into so much trouble."

"My team is now Xander's honor guards."

"I noticed the extra energy around him during this last trip to my infirmary."  She beamed.  "Will we see him taking a consort?"

"Not that I'm aware of.  They're just dating according to her."

She tipped her head to the side.  "Carolyn Lam is a sweet woman but Alexander needs someone who is stronger and immortal.  She is not."

"He's got a golden apple."

"Ah."  She nodded.  "That garden world is very nicely planted."  She smiled at him.  "Your consort is alone in his room and is starting on another nightmare about Bolivia.  You should attend to him, Roque.  It is a consort's duty."

"I wanted to get this worked out first," he told her.  He shadow shifted into Clay's room, stripping down and climbing in next to him.  That shocked Clay's system enough that he woke up slightly.  Roque bit him on the shoulder and then kissed him.  Clay woke up with a hum and blinked at him.  Roque smirked.  "Sleep, Clay."

"I can't sleep with you leering at me."

"We'll make sure you get back to sleep then," he promised, pulling out a knife to cut Clay's boxers off him.  Clay shivered at the touch of warm metal to his skin.  Roque smirked and put the knife down on the free pillow, moving to tease his consort.

"Jensen said something about a consort versus a mate."

"A consort is like an official spouse," Roque said, staring down at him.  This was a serious talk.  "Xander would've been a consort to me, but not a mate.  A mate is...  A mate is one you've captured, wooed, all that yourself.  There's nothing official about it.  A mate can also be a consort but a consort is hardly ever a mate."

"I get that."  He stared at him.  "Jensen wanted to know which one I was."

Roque considered it.  "Well, right now, you're a consort because I haven't claimed you in public and the pack hasn't watched you claim me in public, or me claiming you in public," he said with a smirk."  Clay shivered.  "I...  That's heavier than I wanted to think about tonight, Clay."

"I get that."  He kissed him and Roque stroked over his side, making him flinch.  Roque hit the ticklish spot again on purpose and Clay kicked him.  Roque laughed and it turned into a game for who was on top that night.  "Why is it," he panted.  "That you're on a three-day schedule?"

"Because when I infuse you with myself, it transfers over some of my power, which protects you," he said with a smug look.  "If I go longer than a week, it'll weaken and leave you less protected.  Other things can feel it on you and in you."  He kissed him.  "So I'm enjoying the hell out of you but not often enough to make you too sore."

Clay flipped them over, staring down at him.  "Fuck sore, Roque.   Tell me these things."

Roque spanked Clay's ass, smirking at him.  "Other questions you had?"

"Your mother doesn't really expect me to carry, right?"

"Yup, she does."  He grinned.  "Better you than me."  Clay growled.  Roque shivered when some hairs sprouted down Clay's spine.  "We'll talk about that in a few centuries.  It's not time now."  Clay took a hard, deep kiss.  Roque didn't fight against that.  Clay clearly wanted to be dominant tonight.  Roque pulled back when he heard a thump.  "What was that?"

"Probably Cougar.  He's been balcony drifting for hours."  He went back to what he was doing.  Which was making them both too insane to care who was on top tonight.  Though he was going to be on top.  Then he'd let Roque beg.

Roque tried to flip them over but Clay was being demanding and holding him down just right so he couldn't shift enough.  So Roque went into the shadows and reappeared on Clay's back, biting him hard on the shoulder.  Clay groaned and tipped his head back.  "I'm not taking it tonight, Clay, even if the whole pack was in here you're still taking it up the ass."  He bit him again and then grabbed the lube to work on Clay's ass.  Two fingers was good.  Clay growled and shifted but Roque had him in a good hold.  Then Clay shifted form totally and flipped around to pounce Roque, driving him onto his back with his head hanging off the bed.  Clay shifted back slowly, staring at him with an evil smirk.  "That's cute.  When did you learn that?" he quipped.

"Just now."  He grabbed the lube and slicked himself up then Roque got two fingers of lube into him.  Roque shifted but the lights got a bit brighter.  "Thanks, Atlantis."  He plunged himself in, making Roque yelp.  "Good bitch," he growled in Roque's ear, getting smacked on the side of the head for it.  He gave Roque a good, hard, long ride.  Roque was scratching up his back and arching up to meet each and every thrust.  Finally Clay sat back and pulled the thighs off his waist to hold up and drive into him harder.  Roque was moaning and making pleading noises but no actual begging.  "Beg me," he panted.  "Beg me now."

"Clay!" he growled back.  The door opened and they stared at Pooch and Jensen.  "Close that shit!" Roque demanded.  They closed the door but stayed inside.  He stared at Clay.

"They already knew," he said, driving back into Roque's wet hole.  "You're still my mate."

Roque moaned.  "Damn it!"

"Not planned," Clay promised, staring at him.  Roque smirked at him.  "It wasn't."

"Cougar did," Jensen quipped happily, changing forms and settling on the bookshelf.  Pooch sat against the door and watched.  Cougar was on the balcony in canine form.

Roque groaned and struggled but Clay moved slower, staring at him.  "Move, damn it!" Roque ordered finally.  Clay smirked and went back to the hard, good, long ride.  Roque liked it best that way and if that's what his husband wanted....  He'd be sore in the morning from it.  Clay finally had to come and groaned.  He knew what that meant since Roque hadn't.  The white smile in the darker room showed Roque knew too.  Clay moaned, leaning down to kiss him.

Roque flipped them over and found the hole without his hands.  He stabbed until he slid into it and Clay shivered.  "If you wanted to be my mate, all you had to do was ask," he growled in Clay's ear.

"Not my plan."

"Fine.  We'll still have to get caught by my mother."  Clay whimpered, shaking his head.  "Oh, yes.  That's the rules."  He drove him hard, making the bed rock with each thrust.  He was holding down Clay's wrists and only using his hips to thrust.  They were both sweaty but Clay looked good with the sweat Roque was dripping down onto him.  "Wrap 'em around me, wife."

"Not the wife," Clay growled.  He tried to flip them over.

"You do that and you're going to be proving you're the wife by riding me so prettily," he smirked.  Clay quit.  Roque grabbed one of Clay's legs and put it around him.  "Around me, *mate*."  Clay groaned but did it and Roque went back to thrusting.  He kissed him too.  More tender than earlier but it was nice.  Clay moaned and the ride got harder again but it was good.  Clay was more than willing and it was always great between them.  Clay finally came again and Roque stared at him.  "Say it."

"What?" Clay panted.

"Say you're mine."

"I guess I'm yours."  Clay hissed as his neck was bitten again.  "Damn it, I'm the one that's supposed to bite."

"Real matings are sealed with blood shared," Roque said in his ear, getting a shiver.  "You can't turn me, Clay."  Clay snapped his teeth onto Roque's shoulder, making him hiss and wince but it was good.  "That's it."  Roque lapped at the blood and felt the finish of their bond.  Clay tipped his head back and howled.  Roque smirked and drove into him again, letting go of his control.  He came and made himself slowly lower his full weight onto Clay's body.  Clay moaned, getting his wrists free.  He smacked Roque on the head.  "What was that for?"

"No condom."

"Matings don't get condoms."

"I'm not going to be pregnant this century," Clay complained.

"Hell no you won't.  I'd have to get really pissed at my mother and I'd hate that."  Roque smirked.  "Not an issue yet."  He kissed him.  Clay whimpered but kissed back.  It was good between them.  Very volatile and yet touching and slightly sweet.  Though neither would ever admit that part.

Cougar strolled over in canine form and sniffed them both then changed back.  "Fine, he's your mate," he decided then looked at Pooch, who gave him a dirty look.  "We already knew about yours."  Jensen chirped.  Cougar stared at him.  "We'll see."  He went back to the balcony and climbed back over to his room.  Jensen flew out and went home.  Pooch got up and left through the door.

Clay looked at Roque.  "Cougar accepted you back I think."

"With as much as he just said, yup."  He took another kiss.  "No more nightmares except about me being a bad motherfucker, Clay."  He yawned.

"Of course not."  He smirked and watched his mate fall asleep.  That was different.  He felt different.  More connected, more centered.  Though for some reason he could get hard again.  Maybe Roque's godhood was the source of viagra?  He let himself drift off being held.  It was nice to have someone there to drive off the nightmares.  They were scared of Roque's knives like every other smart thing was.


Roque had disappeared for breakfast but had come back that night.  "How would your mother catch us?" he asked.

Roque smirked and stripped Clay for him.  "We'd be in her garden probably."

"You're not going to have your dick up my ass all day, Roque.  I'm not into that tantric shit."

Roque kissed him.  "Wouldn't be needed.  She'd feel and come check.  Wouldn't be more than an hour, tops."  He got a growl back.  Roque smirked.  "Need belly rubs as foreplay?" he taunted with an evil smirk.

"Hell no."

"You know, good bitches get on their knees."

Clay gave him a dirty look.  "Sure, I can bite you there," he agreed smugly.

Roque laughed and pounced.  He had set up the sling before he had left.  Clay had spent all day ignoring it.  Now, he was going back into their consummation device.  They wrestled for top again but Clay looked so pretty under him so he ended up on his back, hitched down, and Roque found the lube again.  "I give fantastic blow jobs," he taunted.  "But only if I get them in return."

"We'll see."  He shifted to get comfortable.  "You were going to make sure I couldn't sit later?" he quipped uneasily.

"I can do that," he promised.  "Or I could use that small healing spell I learned to ease it."

"That's why your massages were better than the others'," Clay said, staring at him.  Roque smirked and nodded, blowing across his dick.  Clay shivered.  "That's pretty.  I'd like to see that."

"Only if it's returned."

"I've never...."

"You'll do just fine."  He licked up it and teased Clay's hole with a slicked up finger.  "How sore do you want me to cure later, Clay?"

"Don't you dare fist me," he groaned.

"Wasn't on my agenda tonight."  Clay and he shared a look.  Roque adjusted the sling down so he was at the better height but his head was still tipped up.  "Want to be tight and ridden or loose and ridden?"

Clay moaned as the finger sank into him.  "I'm still sore from last night."

"Good.  Means you're more sensitive."  He switched up to two fingers.  "Want three or want it here?  You're so tight at just two fingers."  Clay shivered.  Roque kissed him, a bit more tenderly than usual.  Clay was giving him a look.  "You're my mate now, Clay.  My bitch.  My wife."  That got another growl and Roque slicked himself up.  "If you want stretched more, tell me now."

"More," he said quietly.  Roque grinned and added a third slicked up finger.  Clay moaned and shifted his hips to open his legs more.  "There's another part of the claiming isn't there."

"Some day you'll climb on and ride me.  I can wait."  Clay nodded he'd be waiting a while.  "When you're ready you'll crawl over and kiss me then climb on top of me all by yourself."  He slid in and moved the sling to let it do all the work while he held still.  Clay shifted in his bonds.   "That's my mate.  Take it all," he praised, moving the sling harder.  Clay was liking it.  He was making such pretty noises.  Then the alarm went off.  Roque looked up and growled something.  Suddenly the alarm stopped and they heard an explosion outside.  "Huh, that does work."  He got back to it.

The AI appeared in the room.  "Roque, did we perhaps break past the demigod state?" she asked politely.  Clay groaned.  "I don't mean to interrupt you gentling your mate."

Roque smirked.  "No comment."  She beamed and left.  He pushed in harder and Clay yelped.  "No comment work for you?"

"Definitely.  Just don't make others show up to ask."

"They wouldn't dare.  Even John's not that brainless."

"John's smart.  He's very smart."

"Yeah but he's not street smart.  He's book smart."  He smirked evilly and pushed in harder.  Then went back to the gentler ride.  "How sore are you?"

"Still sore."  Roque smirked and locked the sling in place then went to work making his mate very sore so he could cure it tomorrow.  It'd make him more sensitive to his touch.  "Gentling?" he panted, gripping the straps around the top of the sling.

"Yup.  Gentling.  Moving you to the point of mushy stuff occasionally."  They shared a look.  "Something else I'm not ready for yet."  Clay smirked at him for it.  Roque went back to riding him harder.  It was great fun.  Clay made such pretty sounds.

"You're getting in here later," Clay growled.

"Yup, if you can put me in there."

"I'm sure I can."  Roque smirked evilly at him.  Clay let it go for now.  But once they were both tired, and back in bed, Clay let Roque rest while he worked on his plans to get Roque into the sling again.  He had such a sweet ass.   He looked over as the sling fell from the ceiling.  Clay slid out on his way to the bathroom to clean up.  Roque snuffled but didn't wake up.  On the way back he got the sling and came back to bed.  He worked it around Roque's exhausted body.  The straps got hung up on the hooks above the bed he had put up there.  Just barely off the bed.  Roque woke up when Clay bit him on the thigh.  Clay smirked at his mate.  "Problems?"  He got to work stretching the extremely tight hole.  Roque shifted and growled back.  "Do *you* need belly rubs?" he taunted.

"Could use a blow job to get me fully into it."

Clay licked over the head of his cock then sucked hard just the once.  "Sorry, all I know how to do," he said with an evil grin.  He went up to two fingers, watching Roque get harder as he worked.  Clay got to stay on his knees.  Roque got to get his ankles tied tighter when one came free to kick at him.  "Just for that," he said, sliding into the still tight hole.  "Oh, god, now I see why you like doing that to me so much," he moaned.  "You're damn near virgin tight."  Roque was shifting and trying hard not to growl about it.

Clay moaned and leaned over to kiss him.  "Such a pretty bitch my wife is."  Roque shook his head.  Clay smirked and nodded.  "Yes you are.  Whoever's on the bottom is the wife of the day."  He slid out and then smoothly back in, working his way up to a good, hard ride.  Roque was shifting and muttering but Clay kept his mind focused and his dick hard.  Roque was making begging noises before too much longer.  Clay was even nice enough to palm his cock and stroke it for him since Roque's hands were tied down.  Roque went limp and came.  Clay smirked, coming after a few strokes.

"Condom?" he asked.

"Is it easier to get you pregnant than it would be for you to get me?"  Roque nodded.  "Huh.  Well, I have an enema kit," he offered.  Roque whimpered.  "If I could float you in there in this position, I would," he said smugly.  A beam hit Roque and then he disappeared to reappear in the bathroom from the ceiling over the shower.  "Hey, that's handy.  Thanks, Atlantis."  He patted the city's wall on his way into the bathroom.  He got the enema kit warmed up under running water and then stuck the plastic nozzle into the open hole.  Squeezing the bottle slowly, watching him clamp down it, watching Roque's face as water filled him.  Now Clay leaned down to lick over his cock again.  Roque twitched but went limp.  "Like that?  New kink?"

"Don't mind that," he admitted.  "Better than a Summers Eve any day."  Clay bit him on the inner thigh again.  "Hey!"

Clay smirked and licked over it.  When the bottle was empty he tossed it out.  "In here?" Clay asked him.

"I wouldn't want to clean it," Roque complained.

"You'll only be shitting water and cum anyway," Clay teased.  Roque glared at him.  Clay spanked him until the muscles twitched and he let some out.  "See?  I knew I was right.  Let it go, wife."  Roque glared again.  Clay kissed him and stroked Roque's cock.  "The longer it's in there, the longer the sperm are," he teased with an evil smirk.

"I get knocked up and you're going to be on my dick in my mother's garden tonight.  Begging for it."

"Of course I would."  Roque let it out and the shower automatically started, hosing them both off.  The leather got wet too but it was waterproofed.  He had checked.  Finally Roque was limp with the strain of letting it all out.  "Good wife."  Roque snapped at the fingers Clay was teasing his cheek with.  "Ah!  Naughty.  I'll have to punish you for that."   Clay got a sex toy he had stolen off Jolene and licked it then inserted it into himself.  He let Roque watch it be moved a few times.  Roque shivered.   "You want?"

"No, I don't like the fake dicks."

"Fine."  Clay pulled it out and put it into the sink then looked at his damp, tied down, hard mate.  Clay walked back into the shower and licked over the hard cock again.  "Better?"

"Much.  Do more of that," he said with a smirk.

"Some day I'll learn how to suck cock.  Not today though."  He gave Roque a wicked look and drove himself back into his open hole.  He added some more lube that had appeared on Roque's stomach when he pulled out, then slid back in.  Roque shifted.  "Too much friction?"

"Yup.  Just a bit more?"  Clay squirted a bit more lube on his dick when he pulled back then slid it back inside.  Roque shivered and nodded.  Clay rode him in there, making the sling rock as the occasional bit of cold water hit them both.  Roque wanted to scream in pleasure but he knew he couldn't.

"Let it out," Clay ordered.  Roque gave him a dirty look.  "Only the other Losers in this hallway.  No one upstairs or downstairs."  Roque let out more of the noises.  Clay slammed himself into Roque's ass, holding his hips still while he ground himself into it.  Roque let out a yelp.  "Pretty."  He gave him the ride of his life, making Roque squeal at one point.   Roque finally came and Clay caught some on his tongue with a smirk.  He swallowed it then pulled out to shoot off all over Roque's stomach.  Roque moaned, liking that.  "Better, wife?"

"So not the wife."

"Today you are."

"Tomorrow you're going to be back on my dick and begging," Roque countered.

"Maybe I'll keep you tied down then," he taunted with a smirk.  He turned the shower back on, warmer this time, to scrub them both down.  They were both really sore.  Clay let Roque free and helped him out to the bed.  He didn't tie him down, this time, but he did get held.  Which was nice in its own way.  And neither one had nightmares.  Which was even better.


John brought in breakfast the next morning.  The whole team's doors wouldn't open on his orders until he brought them breakfast.  He found them coming into their common area and set down the tray, including carafe of coffee.  He stared at Roque.  "Interesting technique."

"I was busy."

"Clearly."  He stared at him.  Roque shrugged a bit but smirked.  "Uh-huh.  If you make your mother pounce my city, you get to ride herd on all the wet pantied botanists, Roque."

"Fine."  He smacked Jensen on the back of the head.  "I'm sure someone can."

"They scare me," Jensen told him.  "I've never met anyone who could create a sex toy plant.  Or one that was a blow up doll plant."  John snickered, shaking his head.  "Didn't you tell them no?"

"Multiple times.  Let me guess, it's in Lab two's back room?"  Jensen shook his head.  "No?  They go in there to hide a lot."

"I think that's some sort of captive plant that they enjoy.  No, she's in room seven's lab."  John grimaced.  "A few feed her every day."

"I'll check on that captive plant."  He looked at Clay's throat, watching him move his t-shirt to cover it.  "At least I know it won't infect."  Roque shook his head.  "Do not get my city invaded, Roque."

"I won't.  Calm down!"

"My mother's here."

"Never mind, mine and yours getting together equals both getting knocked up," he complained.  John nodded.  "She is?"

"Yeah, she and Lord Apollo flirted."  Roque whimpered.  "I heard your mom was offering womb space for a few of the rain forest ones to seal an alignment?"  Roque nodded.  "Cool.  Oh, Xander's back with the dog to woo Lam with a picnic."  He left with that warning.

"What's the big deal if Xander's mother gets pregnant?" Pooch asked.

"She's a major river Goddess."  Roque sat down and poured himself some coffee.  There were five cups so John had expected him to stay and eat.  "They found out, back when she was married, that her getting pregnant swelled her river.  They had a horrible monsoon season with a minor bit of flooding that year but it was good for crops for the next few."  They all nodded they understood that.  "She's miscarried a few daughters.  You can always tell daughters because they make the storms worse and the rivers swell more as her ankles do."  He sipped his coffee.

"She was married?" Jensen asked.

"Yeah, some ethereal night being.  He nearly burned to death coming to the daylight to claim her and she crossed back to protect him, because rivers don't really care about day or night.  She was doing her duty on their honeymoon and giving him some when he came.  And that created a hole that leaked into her.  So he basically came to death."  Pooch shuddered.  "Which is the first time they realized her being pregnant swelled her river.  Apparently Krishna told her to do what was needed when her river needed it to help the people.  So now she's the Gods' biggest flirt."  He took another sip.  "After Xander, a lot of people conspired to get her to never have another kid.  A few attacks by other pantheons, a few by the Celtic pantheon to try to bring their pantheon to its knees during the Brit invasion.  She miscarried three daughters over the centuries I believe."  They all nodded.

"John said he wished a daughter on her this time," Pooch said.

"He wanted someone to fuss over and who'd give Xander someone to fuss over instead of jumping into battles," Roque said dryly.  Clay got them both food.  He grinned for that.  "Thank you."

"Welcome."  He sipped his own coffee.  "He stole the good stuff from the labs for us."  He sipped again and put it down beside him.  "Any other news we should hear?"

Jensen looked at him then at Roque.  "Healing spell?"

"Yup," he said smugly.

"I used to love that whenever I wrenched my back."  Cougar stared at him.  "That massage thing that always felt better than everyone else's was because he knows a small healing spell or has a small talent for it."

"Spell," Roque assured him.  He looked over at the sound of clicking.  "Hellion, what are you doing down here?"  The dog dropped something and stared.  "Sure, I'll read that.  Thank your father for me.  Good boy."  The dog barked and ran off with his tail wagging.  Roque picked it up to read it, smirking.  "Peter's teaching him how to be a messenger dog."  He put it into his jeans pocket and dug into breakfast.  He was starved this morning.  He looked at Jensen, the kid was awfully quiet this morning.  "Your sister having problems again?" he demanded finally.

Jensen looked up and shook his head.  "I'm just tired."  Pooch and Cougar stared at him.  "I'm allowed to be tired!"

"Change," Clay ordered.  Jensen huffed but did and ate his breakfast.  Jensen's usually tan color was now a very palely glowing white.  "Is that anemia?" he asked Roque.

"Yeah, that is.  And a few other things.  Like lack of sun."

Jensen looked up from eating his eggs.  "I sunned yesterday.  I'm just tired."

"Bullshit.  You're white."

Jensen looked at himself then shrugged.  "I have no idea.  I'm not sick.  I'm getting plenty of protein and I hunted the last time we were off the city.  I got a squirrel-like thing."

Cougar pulled Jensen over to test his ear tips, which was how he had figured out to test for a fever.  "Not warm."  He ran a hand over his scales.  "Not scratched or dry but it's been a week since you were oiled."

"By now he should feel a bit dry," Roque said.  He considered it.  If Xander and John's mother was here....  He called her.  She strolled in with John.  He pointed at Jensen.

She frowned, running a hand over him.  "Hmm.  You're healthy but that's not a good color, young one."  She tested him again.  "In females that means you're going into heat."

Xander walked in with the dog.  "Hey, Jensen?"  Jensen looked up.  "Want to go see a healer?"

"Maybe I should.  I feel fine," he promised.  "I've made sure I hunted, got some sun.  All that."

"It could be something funky you're reacting to from the local food sources," John said.  "Some vitamin deficiency?"

"Maybe," Xander said.  He cuddled Jensen and took him, and his puppy, to the temple he knew was around up there.  He walked into it.  "Hola, my former fellow warriors."

"Alexander!" one squealed, coming to hug him.  "Oh, who's this?"

"This is Jensen.  We have no idea why he's that color."

"A male?"  She took him to look over.  "He is."  She took him to the healer with Xander and his dog following.  "What are you doing in this galaxy?"

"John's on Atlantis."  He grinned.  "They're going to bring her home for a bit after destroying more wraith."

"Ah."  She nodded.  "We had heard they woke up early and have culled too many this time."  Xander nodded.  The healer looked up.  "This is a male, Healer Jacobar."  She put Jensen down.

He hummed.  "What did you eat?"  He checked him over.  "Go to full size."

"Sure," Jensen said.  "I haven't been as chatty as usual today and I'm a bit tired but I sunned yesterday and I had meat this week.  I've been keeping up on my protein too."

The healer nodded.  "That's good."  He checked his chest, smiling at something.  "The last battle with a wraith, you were touched?"

"Yeah and I kicked him back then killed them," Jensen said.  "He got me from behind."

"Is this their feeding thingy they inject them with?" Xander asked.

"Yes.  That's a reaction to that.  It's slow to work out of his system."  Xander held up a finger and disappeared, without the dog, coming back a second later with Peter Jennings.  "A healer?"

"Aye."  He smiled.  "I'm like Alexander but I'm from another lineage.  I've been a healer and doctor for many years."  They shook hands and went over how to help Jensen.  Xander turned and stomped something.  "Xander?" Peter asked patiently.  "That could've been a pet."

"That's an iratus bug, like the one that bit John."

Peter looked and shuddered.  "Those things are dangerous."

"They cannot bite us," the healer said.

"Bet me," Jensen complained.  "One bit my tail a few months back."

"Oh, dear."  They read that.  That was what it was.  "You cleared most of it," the dragon healer said.

"I thought I got all of it."

"No, not hardly."

"But it would explain why we've had a rash of it in the underage populace," the healer said.  His helper ran off to tell the elders they had to kill those bugs.  He looked at Jensen.  "Fortunately we have some treatment for it."  Xander leaned on the table and with Peter shot some energy into Jensen, which made him grow and change color to a darker version of his own.  "Awww, they even moved you past majority," the healer said.  "Alexander?"

"This is Peter.  He's one of the few docs I let fuss over me."  He grinned.  "And Jensen's my buddy and honor guard member."

"Ah!  That's wonderful you picked one of us."  He patted Jensen on the neck.  "Go tell the others."  Jensen nodded, changing back to human.  He shivered but it sank in and it was better.  "Good boy."

"Grandmother always talked about these berries," Jensen said.  "Are they up here?"

"No, we could not bring any.  They wouldn't transplant."

"John, my brother, works with botanists on Atlantis," Xander offered.  "I can bring some seeds back if you'd like them to try."

He got a few dried berries.  "They might not help all that much."  He smiled and watched Alexander take all of them and his dog.

Jensen walked into Botany with Radek.  He looked at one of them and nodded her over to their meeting.  "I recently turned pale, glowing white," he said quietly.  Radek gave him a confused look.  "Remember when I got bitten and had to be cleared?"  Radek moaned.  "Exactly.  Oh, berries?" he asked, handing them over.  The botanist moaned and hugged him.  "The healer on that refugee planet said they've had a lot of cases of it too among the littler ones."

"They had some?" the botanist asked.  Jensen nodded.  "Huh.  That's good to know.  Softer, smaller scales would leave gaps for them to bite."

"One got under one of mine," Jensen told her.  "Completely wiggled while I tried to get it off.  It didn't help that a wraith hit me with enzyme during that battle either, but I killed it really hard."

"Is good to know," Radek said.  "We will nurture those.  My parents said much about them."

"So did my grandparents."  Jensen grinned.  The botanist grinned back.  "Spread the other news?"  Radek nodded so he left them to plot science things.  He went back to his team's meeting area.  "It was the bug thing."  He sat down.  Clay stared at him.  "They had some there.  Peter and Xander cleared it."  The dog came running and hopped into his lap, hiding under his shirt.  "What?  Did you crap in the infirmary or something?" he asked, petting it.  Xander came jogging their way.  "What happened?"

"Keller lost it and changed.  She tried to get Carolyn and Peter but Peter tranq'd her."  He picked up his puppy to coo over.  He calmed down.  "That was very smart, Hellion.  You couldn't have fought that doggy.  She was big and mean."  He walked off petting him.

"At least she's not in heat now," Clay complained.  Roque gave him an odd look.  "She had an accident with a dirty needle, or so she said."

Roque nodded.   "I'd kill the bitch."  If she touched his mate, he'd kill her hard and it'd be epic.  Jensen might even write poetry about the kill again.

"At least I can fight mine," Jensen said with a grin.

"You hope," Roque said sarcastically.  "You don't get laid near enough to be able to fight off the need when it hits."

Jensen stuck his tongue out at him.  "How would you know?  The last time I knew I wasn't making you beg for my dick."

Roque looked at Clay.  "You let him break his training.  Now I'll really have to take out his tongue and then kill his stupid ass."

Clay shook his head.  "You can't.  The city adores Jensen.  She plays virtual checkers with him."  He looked over.  "You can spank him if you want.  Just don't maim him.  We're due to attack another hive any day now when we find one."

Roque started to move but Jensen changed and snorted some fire at him.  "That's new," he said, staring at him.  "You're darker too.  What did they do?"

"Xander and Peter weeded out the bad stuff."

"That means they moved you to that last stage of maturity," Roque said with an evil smirk. "Now you'll have to go when another goes into heat around you."

"Nope," Jensen quipped with a dragon grin.  "Because I'm good and I don't have to follow those.  It's a need but you can fight it.  After all, I fought turning you pink more than once."  He flew back to his room.

"What the hell is that?" a female voice snapped.

Clay looked at her.  "Who in the fuck are you, lady?"  She flinched.  He tapped his earpiece.  "McKay, I have one of your whining pets here in our common area.  She just asked what Jensen was.  I think she's stupid."

"Stupid can be cured," Roque growled, pulling a knife out of nowhere.

"That's not normal!" she shouted, pointing at Jensen's door.  "We don't have those on this city."

McKay walked up behind her and slapped her hard across the back of the head.  "Jensen has always been like that.  Leave Jensen alone.  Jensen?"  He stuck his head out of his room in human form.  "Come here."  He came out pulling on a clean shirt.  "What did you give Radek that's making him babble?"

"Some really nice berries they hadn't been able to transplant?"

"Fine."  He stared at him.  "Tell her to mind her own business."

"I already did."  He looked at her.  "Don't worry about it.  It's just your mind cracking, dear," he said sarcastically.

"I saw you!  You're some other form of alien!"  She tapped her earpiece.  "I'm telling the Colonel on you."

"What makes you think Sheppard doesn't know?" McKay snorted.  "I was the last in the need to know chain and I found out months ago.  Also, no testing him either.  Like the dog, you can't run tests on them."

"Xander would fuck her up," Roque said dryly.  "In many creative ways."

"Xander and his dog are still growling over the NID burning down his place of employment," McKay said with a smirk.  "How did you get up here?"

"I came to see my pack," he said smugly.  "The same way Xander comes up to pass out at John's feet."

John walked up to them, taking the scientist's earpiece with a snatch and turning it off.  "We don't mind.  He made peace with the city and his consort is here."

"Mate," Cougar corrected.

"Aww," John said with a smirk for Roque.  "That's so good.  Does your mom know?  She's in Botany."  Clay shook his head quickly.  "Huh.  Maybe it'll make them quit trying to set my cute ass up."  He glared at her.  "Leave Jensen alone."

"He's an alien!"

"No, he's from Earth.  His people moved there years ago."  He smirked.  "No matter how cute his little dragon form is."  She made squeaky noises as her mouth worked.  "So we leave Jensen the fuck alone."  She passed out.  "It was me swearing, wasn't it?  I only swear during emergencies."  He looked at McKay, who was rolling his eyes.  "I do."

"I was a bad influence on him.  I'm the one who taught him and Xander both how to swear."  Roque beamed at them.

"When I joined the team, you swore to me that you weren't a corrupter of innocence," Jensen said.  "Did you lie?"

"You were so green and young, I knew you were a virgin and hadn't ever gotten drunk.  Then I realized you already had a filthy mouth and clearly got off with it," Roque shot back with an evil smirk.  "I didn't need to corrupt you, just straighten your weird ass out."

"Weird is relative," Jensen quipped.  "You're just too straight.  Oops, my bad, maybe you're not."  Clay tried to grab Jensen this time but he moved out of the way and behind John, then outside and up onto the roof to sun.

"I'm sure by now you two have handcuffs so you can strap him to a table for a spanking," John quipped as he walked her off.   "Maybe it's the reverse of what a queen gou'ald does?  Making all the women act stupid?" John asked Rodney since he was following.

"Perhaps.  Who knows with some of them."

"If so it'll want Xander," Roque reminded them.

"Don't remind me, please.  Did you get to meet Anya?"  They shared a look before John walked around the corner.  He still wanted to kick Anya's ass for hurting his little brother that way.

Rodney walked her into the infirmary.  "She just started shouting about aliens being part of Colonel Clay's team," he said, handing her to Carolyn.  "She thinks Jensen's not normal."

"I find him refreshingly nice," she complained, putting that scientist on a bed and getting some medicine for her.  "I don't know what her problem is."

"He's cute," Xander said with a shrug.  "Maybe it rotted her mind."

She nodded.  "Could be."  She walked back into the office to chat with him.  "Xander?"  He looked up at her, grinning some.  She closed the door.  "As a question, are you bi?"

"Um..."  He considered that.  "Why?"

"I think it's something we should discuss," she said.  She sat down.  "I'm not mad but I've heard that you and Roque had a few moments."

He shrugged.  "Mostly it's been post-battle stress relief for me and him.  A few times when there was that arranged marriage plot."  He shifted.  "See, before the wedding you get handfasted for a year.  To see if it'll be a fertile union and to make sure you won't kill each other.  We lasted about eight months before I walked off because he was an unreasonable asshole."

"So you're not really bi but sometimes?"

"Post battle stress relief; I usually need to wear out the remaining aggression and adrenaline," he said calmly.  "Which means a long, hard, dirty ride most of the time."  She blushed.  "The person I'm with at that time, because it's never happened when I was dating, knew and was usually in the same screwed up state.  Some guys can meditate it out.  I'm not that sort.  And if I'm dating I'd go to whoever I was dating and have them."  He grinned.  "I'd try to be more gentle than I was with him.  Because he ended up with bruises and nail cuts.  So did I."  She nodded she understood that.  "But I'd never cheat on whoever I was with.  My natal paternal family might not appreciate women's liberation but I know how special having the right one will be."

She smiled.  "That's good to know."

"Should I ask if you dabbled?"

"Twice in college but it wasn't really something I liked," she admitted.  He beamed.  "Does he... is it usually bondage style stuff?"

"No, usually we have a dominance fight over who's on top.  Without weapons.  Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't.  The last time I winced for six damn days because I couldn't sit.  I will admit I was with Anya that time, because I'm trying to forget her, but she was also stepping out on me with a vampire we worked with.  And her only comment was to change the sheets."

"She did?"

"Yeah.  She's a former demon so she's probably had more than one, Carolyn.  Her and Spike getting it on, I didn't like it and I made my feelings known.  She swore up and down that it'd stop."  He shook his head.  "It's better that she ran off when she saw the eye patch."

She patted him on the wrist, getting lapped by the dog.  "She wasn't good enough for you, Xander."

He grinned.  "I try really hard to be a good boy."

"I know you do."  She grinned.  "Do you have anything ...kink wise I should be warned about?"

"Anya taught me to do oral sex for *hours*.  Before it was maybe forty minutes but it helped with her super neediness."

She blushed.  "Seriously?"  He nodded.  "Huh."  He grinned.  "What else did she train you in?"

"She was a toy girl too.  She was real blunt about sex, no matter who was around.  It's why I don't blush much anymore.  Though I don't really like her need for public sex.  I understand the public claiming and why it's done but it's not something I really like.  Especially since she kept wanting it in a park."

She shook her head.  "No, I'm not like that.  Mood music and candles aren't usually out in public."  He beamed and kissed her.  "What're you going to do about the job thing?"

"I have some money saved back."  He grinned.  "And I bought a house instead of the apartment.  I even remembered to pay Roque back."  She grinned.  "As for the shop, I'm not sure what he's doing but I did have insurance on the building since I bought it.  It was a fairly good investment and I could've put apartments in overtop of the store some year.  And it would've kept the store there so I had an easy job.  I can go back to construction.  The construction company changed hands recently and the new guy who owns it offered me a job again but I'd have to start down at the bottom and work my way up.  So I'm weighing options.  It also depends on if this spring's upcoming problem is going to be huge or not.  I've been hearing new rumors of huge apocalypse battle stuff."


"Someone at Wolfram and Hart moved up their plans for a few years from now."

"How bad?"

"All I've heard was 'bad' and 'we'll be visiting our relatives on another plane' rumors."

"So really probably bad.  Otherwise they'd go visit another state?"

"Probably as bad as graduation.  They said that about that battle too."  She nodded.  "But I can't be sure and I'm not certain it's in Sunnydale.  Hopefully we'll know by March."

"You can let us know too.  Maybe the generals can help."

He grinned.  "I will but your dad's growled at me that he'll find a way to kill my pretty butt with torture if I ever got you near a battle."

She snorted.  "My father's being a petty asshole, Xander."

He grinned.  "I know but he's your dad.  I'm told they're supposed to do those sort of things."

Mari knocked and opened the door to lean in.  "Your mother's crying?"

"She and Apollo had some nice wine drinking times."

"Oh!  Mood swings.  Fun," she said sarcastically.  "Roque's mother is obviously showing as well."

"Yeah, it cemented an alliance with the rain forest ones from South America.  I'm told they gave her twins to break and make her love slaves."  He grinned.

"I'd never be able to do that.  Is Roque up here?  I can't find him."

"Find Clay and ask him?  That's his mate."

"Good point."  She walked off calling him over the comm.  They both came to calm the mothers down.  Roque loved his mother and she was good to him.  John and Xander's mother....  She loved to fuss over Roque.  So Clay could back him up this time.  They'd get to sob over their mating.


Xander reappeared in Sunnydale, looking at the demons in the bar.  "People, why am I hearing major apocalypse rumors?" he asked the room in general.  "I need to know if I have to ask Fury for weapons."

The bartender looked at him.  "Why would we know?  It's in LA."

"That's good to know."  He grinned.  "I heard some of the local ones saying they'd visit relatives on other planes?"  His phone rang.  "Hold on.  Hi, Agent Fury."  He listened.  "I'll come pick him up in a second.  Dawn wanted to pet him for a few minutes and I'm asking about this spring."  He hung up and smiled at the room.  "I let Dawn pet my war puppy."

"Your dog's a what?" the vampire next to him asked.  "Beyond a cute little snack?"

"One of the dogs of war Ares' keeps was her mama."  He grinned.  "He's trained to help me."

"But... you're Harris.  You're goofy, normal, all that."  Xander let his glow out.  The vampire whimpered.  "NO!" he whined.  "Let me finish this drink first?"

"I don't care about you right now.  Once you're outside you're toast," Xander said.  "In here you can't eat innocents."  He pulled in his glow again.  "So, spring, LA?"

"Black Thorn," a demon in the corner said.  "What the hell sort of demon are you?"

Xander grinned.  "Norse.  As in Aesir."  The bar stopped and stared at him.  He grinned.  "Loki's my dad."  That got a mass shudder.  "Yeah, I'm that Alexander.  So spring, LA?  Black Thorn?"  That demon let out a whimper but nodded.  "Sure.  Thanks."  He grinned and disappeared, setting a trap for any vampires that walked out of the bar, outside of Spike.  He reappeared in Fury's office, taking his dog from Dawn.  "Did the Auntie Dawn spoil you with doggy biscuits?" he cooed since he was chewing.

"Jerky."  She patted him on the arm.  "He's still an adorable puppy."

"Why do you have a dog on my hell carrier?" Fury demanded.

"I let Dawn pet him while I went to one of our local snitches about the upcoming spring apocalypse.  I'm hearing LA, Black Thorn, and a lot of demons who want to leave the plane totally."

Fury gave him an odd look.  "What?"   Xander nodded.  "Your graduation wasn't that bad."

"A few wanted to," Xander said.  "That's why I asked.  I know that whoever Black Thorn is moved their plans up.  It was in a few years."

"Hell no, not in a major city," he muttered, looking them up.  He stared.  "What the fuck?"  He pushed a button.  "Pepper?"  He let it go.  You summoned Pepper Potts nicely or she took your head off.  She walked in.  "Black Thorn?"

"Someone in our legal department heard a rumor about someone from his native country, a general."  She cooed and petted Hellion.  "Such a good puppy, Hellion.  I wondered why Dawn stole the jerky from Tony's desk."  She smiled at Xander.  "How's Carolyn?"

"She's still very nice to me."  He grinned.  She grinned back.  "So, Fury?"

"We have almost nothing.  What we have is from a compromised source."

Tony Stark walked in.  "Where is my jerky, Dawn?"  She pointed at the dog.  He stared.  "Hi, Hellion."  The dog barked and wiggled so he could get down and pounce Tony for petting.  "You're a very good war puppy, yes."  He got his pets and went back to sit beside the daddy.  He was a big dog of war, he didn't need carried all the time.

Xander smiled at him.  "Good boy, Hellion.  Sorry, Tony."

"Not a problem.  Why are we meeting?"

"This spring's problem in LA," Dawn quipped.  "Which means it might be safer to be in Sunnydale."

Stark looked at them then at Fury and his assistant, who let him see what they had.  "Pepper, do you need your assistant for a few days?" he asked dryly.

"I can spare her and keep Dawn."  Dawn beamed.

"That's not a bad idea," Fury said, summoning her.  She walked in and stared at him.  He let her see what little they had.

"That will be a mess."  She got him into the site she had been lurking on for information.

"Holy fucking God!" Fury shouted.  "An invasion!"  He looked at Xander.

"Yeah, I might want to move to another plane for that," he decided.

"Sunnydale would definitely be safer than being in LA that week," Dawn said.  They shared a look.  "I'll get with Giles?"

"Please.  I have no idea where he is.  And remind your sister she'll still be waddling so make an evac plan that includes her for her mom."  She nodded, making that call as she walked off.  "Okay, so what do we know for sure?" Xander asked.

Fury looked at him.  "You let us handle that, kid.  This is a bit big for your team."

Xander shrugged.  "I'm the new God Protector of this plane, Fury."  Stark gaped, staring at him.  "That's why Hellion was a present from Ares."  He grinned.  "My honor guard is presently the Losers and a few of the other demis who tend to jump into things.  So I'm doing what?"

"Getting your uncle ready for an invasion," Black Widow said.  "When it happens, we'll need you protecting the normals while we fight the demons."

Xander nodded.  "I can do both.  LA is tied tight enough to Sunnydale that they have good scatter plans."  She nodded at that.  He grinned.  "Worse than grad?"

"With their plans to open a portal and vomit a plane here to eat all of humanity, maybe," Pepper admitted.

"Huh."  He nodded and summoned Thor, making him blink a few times.  "Uncle, we're having an apocalypse this spring.  Did you want to help me guard or help us all fight?"

"I'll fight, nephew."  He looked at him.  "You wear your position well."  Xander grinned.  "Is this battle close to Ragnarok?"

"No," Xander said.  He winced, holding his head.  "I hate those fucking things," he mumbled.  Thor helped him into a chair and Hellion guarded the daddy, like Ares had said.  When he finally groaned and blinked, Hellion climbed up him to lap him to make sure the daddy was all right.  Xander hugged him and looked at Thor.  "Well, Ragnarok won't be that fun."  Thor stiffened.  "It's going to be a real bitch but it won't be fun."  He accepted the paper and pen from Pepper, writing it down.  In Norse.  Thor read it and nodded one, then shuddered.  "Copy it for them please, Pepper?"  She ran a photocopy for them.  He handed the original to Thor.  "To Frigg."  He nodded and left.  "I'm sure the Pissed Off Goddess Tea Society will hear soon as well."  He relaxed.  "By the way, they're going over how women's lib can help the Goddesses."

Fury shuddered.  "Those goddesses were fucking scary."

"Yes, they are," Xander said with a grin.  "Wise men know to flee, even in pantheons where women aren't celebrated."  His father appeared, holding the paper.  "That was supposed to go to Grandma."

"It did.  She mirrored your vision and had one about your mate."

"I have a mate?  Is it Carolyn?"

"She couldn't see that much detail.  It'll be started when someone attacks your mate and you lose your temper."

"I've lost my temper many times.  It never called frost giants before, Father," he said dryly.  A new demigod appeared.  "Hey, Herc."

"Xander."  He shook his hand and petted the dog.  "Hello, Hellion."  The dog barked.  "Problems?"

"I just had Ragarok updated."  Hercules looked at it, nodding at it.  "I doubt me losing my temper will call frost giants."

"It says they'd see you as weak and therefore it'd ben a great time to attack," Hercules said, letting him see it.  Xander grimaced.  "Later on it says your mate and you will destroy a good bit of things."

"Sure, I can get behind that plan."  He handed it back.  "Thanks.  Father, we're having an invasion of demons this spring.  Did you want to help by chaosing some of their plans into submission?"

Loki stared at him.  "What did you want me to do?" he asked with an evil smirk.  Xander pulled him down to whisper in his ear.  "I see.  That is very ...tactical but not nearly as much fun, my son."

"Yes, but think about what hell an invasion of demons in LA will do, Dad.  Especially with Faith in jail and Buffy pregnant."  Loki moaned and shook his head as he disappeared.

"If you need me, call on me," Hercules said.  "I'll come help."  Xander grinned.  "Fury, is that why Thor called me?"

"Probably."  He let him see what they had.

Hercules nodded.  "That general may be able to be taken out."

"If we can get Clay's team back," Xander offered.  "They might've ran into him before."

"Roque?" Fury called.

He stepped out of the shadows.  "You're lucky.  Ten more minutes and I would've been busy with my mate."  He saw the gathered people and winced.  "New attack on the planet?"

"There's a demon invasion this spring in LA," Xander said cheerfully.

"You need laid, kid.  Badly.  Before those bad mental places take over your brain like they have Jensen's."  He looked at that information.  "I thought we killed him."

"Apparently not hard enough," Fury said.

Roque nodded.  "Once they get back here, we'll go help fix that shit."  He disappeared to tell Clay the bastard had survived.  It'd be a disappointment for the whole team.  They had been proud of killing him.  He came back.  "Is he human or demon?"

"Or clone?" Xander asked.  "Because if that team killed him I'm doubting he's still really alive."

"He's listed as human, maybe part-demon," he told them.  "Due to the resurrection."

"Sure, we can go kill him again," Clay decided, stepping out of the shadows.  Roque beamed at him.  "Yes, I figured out how to do that."  Xander beamed.  "Thanks for teaching him, kid.  You let the pros handle this, all right?"

"It's my job."

"Yay.  You're still young."

"I'm fucking seventy-nine centuries old, Clay.  I'm older than you are!"

Clay looked at Roque.  "I thought you were older than him."

"I am by a few years.  I'm the same age John is."  Clay nodded at that information.  "We'll supposedly be back on earth in six months."

"Too late then," Fury said.

"I'll go," Roque said.  "I'll tell O'Neill?"

"I'll tell O'Neill that you've volunteered for that mission," Fury said.  "Go guard that city."  They nodded and went back.  "Huh.  How?" he asked Xander more quietly.

"Mate bonds," he said with a grin.  "It's so sweet!  I wonder if Roque told him that he's naturally fertile thanks to his mom but she has to bless Clay's stomach to knock him up?"

Hercules shuddered.  "Roque with mood swings would kill everyone."

"Could be," Xander agreed.  "But I'm told it's a husband's duty to fix those."  He grinned.

"Poor Colonel Clay," Stark said dryly, cracking Pepper up.  The Black Widow cracked a smile and shook her head.

"The last time I sat and talked with Roque, he needed some attitude calming down," Hercules said.

"Yeah, he needed to yank the knife blade out of his ass and turn it around to sit on the handle instead," Xander agreed.  "Wasn't that when we were handfasted?"  Hercules nodded.  "I probably wasn't much nicer then."

"You were angry but it was reasonable.  Everyone else knew it was a bad relationship, Xander."  Xander nodded.  "Are you seeing someone?  Aphrodite said she was watching over you again."

"I'm seeing someone but we're taking it very slowly."

"She's a very nice doctor with huge needles," Stark told him.

"They seem to all have huge needles."  Hercules went back over the intel they had, adding in some about the area.  Black Widow was asking some of her contacts for more.  What they were getting was really evil looking.  "Looks like you'll have to prove your position," Hercules quipped, looking at Xander, who was asleep cuddling his dog.  "Aww," he said quietly.

"He had a vision," Pepper said, taking a picture.  "For Dawn."  She smiled and put her phone back.   Hercules smirked at her.  "You haven't met Dawn?"

"I have met Dawn.  She's very...energetic."

"She needs a real guard," Tony said.  The puppy lifted his head to look at him.  "Not you.  For the Dawn."  The dog put his head down.  "You're doing a great job guarding your human, Hellion."  He handed over another piece of jerky, which the dog adored apparently.  He looked at them.  "What am I doing?"

"Being ready this May," Fury said.  He nodded, leaving them to plot.  Black Widow went to pay a few contacts a personal visit.  Hercules too.  Fury looked at the young god out cold in his chair.  He sighed and lowered the lights but left him to sleep it off.  He clearly needed the nap if he could sleep through a meeting.

Xander wouldn't touch anything and if that dog of his could hack, he'd hire him.

You never discounted anything that came out of Sunnydale being able to do something.


Giles walked into Angel's headquarters looking pissed off.  "What's happened now?"  He stared at Buffy, who was unable to stand.  "What the hell?" he demanded.

"NID.  It's Ironman's."  He gaped.  She nodded.  "He's getting custody."

Giles blinked a few times.  "That's good I suppose, Buffy.  It's probably safer if his assistant raised the child."  She shrugged, swallowing hard.  "All right.  Is that the news I needed to drink about?  We'll have to make a plan for when you're in labor so you don't lash out at someone and accidentally hurt a nurse."

"No," Gunn said.

Wesley smiled, handing over the file Xander had dropped off on his way to Sunnydale.  "We found this as well."

Giles read it and blinked at them.  "Why?"

"It had been in a few years," Gunn said.  "They're hoping to catch everyone off guard."

"I see.  What are we doing about it?"

"We're having a battle," Buffy quipped.  "While I'm somewhere safe with Mom and Dawn."

"Yes, I dare say you won't be able to hold a stake," Giles said, staring at her.

"I can't hold one now."

"We'll see if we can get Faith out," he decided.  He called someone.  "Mirna, Rupert Giles.  I need to send something to Travers.  We need the other slayer out of jail immediately.  No, a new one won't work.  It'll take experience and especially battle experience, which she has.  No, Buffy's rather...pregnant thanks to a government agency losing their mind."

"Roque and them destroyed them," Buffy said with a happy grin.

"I'm glad.  That way they can't do it again."  He let Wesley fax things for him since he didn't understand those machines.  "Yes, we would need details on how best to stop it as well, Mirna.  Thank you.  Yes, tell him it's imperative that we have Faith, not another one.  She's had battle experience and we'll need it."  He hung up and looked at them.  "Dear Lord, can't it end for a year?"

"No," Buffy sighed.  "Sorry?"

"No, that's fine.  We should warn Faith."

"Visiting hours are tomorrow.  I was going to go.  You can drive," Buffy said with a grin.

Giles looked at her.  "There's no way I let you behind the wheel of my car when you're not having mood swings, Buffy."  She laughed.  "Much less like this.  How is your mother?"

"She wanted to see you for lunch."  She walked him and the folder off, taking him home so her mom could fuss over him.  It was good of her mom to fuss since Buffy didn't like being fussed over right now.

Gunn and Wes shared a look.  "It was Sunnydale that did it to them.  Thankfully I only had a year there," Wesley said.

Gunn nodded.  "Did you some damage too, English."  He walked off to let the others know that Giles was back in town.  They had no idea what Xander was doing beyond decorating today.


Faith was let into the visitation area, spotting Giles first.  He was taller.  She walked over to the table and sat down.  "G, B.  No X?"

"He'll come next time," Buffy said, sitting up.

Faith stared, giving her a horrified look.  "How in the hell?"

"Government needle program," she said dryly.  She patted her stomach.  "So far she's a nice little girl."

"Future one?" Faith asked.

"No clue," Buffy admitted.  "But her daddy's a good guy and he's taking full custody."

"Probably safer," Faith decided, nodding slightly.  "So why the visit?"

"It's apocalypse season this spring," she said with a grin.  "And I can't be there.  I'll be eight months and a few days."

Faith moaned.  "Already?"

Giles handed her the folder.  "Yes, unfortunately."

Faith read it over, feeling her blood chill.  "It'll take more than just me.  I'm not that good."

"It'll be you, Xander, the LA team, whoever else we can get," Buffy said.  "Including maybe some military guys Xander knows and trusts, like his big brother."

Faith nodded at that.  "Could help, yeah."  She shut the folder.  "So this is fair warning?"

"I was going to pop around and check on you anyway," Buffy said with a slight pout.  "You never get to hear happy news these days and you need happy news in case they pull in dementors."

Faith smirked.  "It's not all that horrible.  No torture."  Buffy sniffled.  "But I like the visits," she said so her fellow slayer didn't have a mood swing on her.  Buffy beamed and shared all the group news with her.  Faith didn't tell her Xander had spilled some of that and introduced her to his puppy dog but that was fine.  It made Buffy happy.  Keeping Buffy happy would keep people from trying to hurt her when she had a mood swing and destroyed stuff.  Xander strolled in with dog and house pictures to cheer her up too.  So it was a good day.


Xander was pouting when he heard his name called and went to save Carolyn.  He appeared and stared at the woman.  "Mom, quit nagging her.  We're taking it slowly because we've both had bad relationships in the past."  He stared at her.  "You nag her one more time and I'm *so* dumping mercury into your river."  She gasped.  He stared back.  "You already helped ruin one, Mom.  Leave Carolyn alone."

"But...  She's mortal and won't last, my son."

"And I have a golden apple due to me," he shot back.  She sniffled.  "Oh no!  You want to hormone swing, go do it on John.  Real men don't get with the sniffling."  Carolyn gave him a dirty look and hugged his mother.  "If you do that, she'll keep nagging," he said quietly, pulling her away.  "We're dating, Mom.  That means we're learning about each other and if we can stand each other.  You nagging about grandchildren or things won't help that."

"You're cruel.  Like your father."

Xander stared at her.  "Huh, and yet you always said I was the best thing my father ever did."  He glared.  "Go home, Mother.  Now please.  Before you piss both of us off."  She stomped off.  He took a deep breath.  Then let it out again.  "In two days she's going to come apologize to you," he told her.  "And act like it never happened."

"She's done that before?"

"Yes.  Which is why I actually lost someone I thought I could've spent centuries with.  She drove her to suicide."  Carolyn shuddered.  "Yeah."  John stomped in.  "She was doing it again."

"You had to threaten her?"

"Yes.  She was doing it *again*."

"Damn it," he muttered.

"She also told me I'm just like my father."

John looked at him.  "I doubt it. You're not a skinny chaos god of dorks."  He sighed and went to calm her down.

"Maybe she should go home," Xander called after him.  "War zones aren't good for pregnant women."  He looked at her.  "Sorry."

"Sometimes women on extreme hormone swings do and say bad things, Xander."

He shook his head.  "No she does it when she's drunk too."  He sighed and kissed her on the forehead.  "Just hide from her until she apologizes.  She only usually does it once or twice during each time she's pregnant."  She nodded at that advice.  "If she starts again, John can distract her or I can piss her off.  That's all I seem to do."  He kissed her again and left to mope at home.  There were days he hated his family.  About an hour later, his father showed up, looking like he had been punched.  "Mom still on her hormone rip?"

"Yes.  What did you say?"

"I had to pry her off Carolyn.  She was trying what she did with 'Mina again.  I told her if she didn't stop I'd dump mercury in her river this time."  Loki sat down.  "She also tried to play the 'you're just like him' card."

"She told me that when she hit me.  Fortunately your uncle was there and got her calmed down and crying."

"Good.  Maybe it'll stop sooner this time."  He sipped his tea.  "You do remember this is Sunnydale, right?" he asked after a few minutes.  Loki moaned but couldn't phase out.  Xander took pity on him and dropped him off with Thor then went to hide some more because he heard his mother screaming.  Then the prayers started from Thor's girlfriend.  He showed up with chains and went to stop her the hard way.  "Mother!" he snapped.  She flinched.  "Quit picking on her!  He doesn't need you to kill her like you killed mine once!"  She started to cry.

"That got old *years* ago."  He stared at her.  He grabbed her, handing Thor the chains subtly, and took her home, handing her to her assistant.  "We've all had enough of her."  She gaped.  "Ask her about 'Mina sometime."  He disappeared, going to find something to slay.  Something big, something strong, something that took a fight.  Because he really wanted a fight.  Maybe some wraith?  That would even be helpful.  He grabbed his axe and went to find a battle.  Fuck if he wanted to deal with his mother.

Her assistant got Xander's mother calmed down and into bed, going to look in her diary for that name.  What she saw horrified her.  No wonder her own son had disowned her for a bit.  She took it to the other higher ups, who told her to endure.  It'd only last a few days they hoped.  Then she'd be more normal again.  Of course, her sons might not talk to her for a bit, like the last time, but perhaps they'd grown wiser.


Rodney looked up from the reports.  "Why is that wraith hive going but empty?"

"No clue.  Looks like they all died while in flight," Evan Lorne said.  He rubbed a hand through his hair.  "We couldn't find a single one there and had to shoot the engines to get it to stop."

John considered it.  "Xander?" he called.  No answer.  "Xander?" he called more loudly.  Roque showed up sipping a milkshake.  John stared at him.  "Not the one I called."

"He's off taking your mother's bad mood out on the wraith."

"Is that why we found a dead hive driving itself?" Evan asked.

"Not totally sure," Roque admitted.  "All I know is I tried to ask him a question yesterday and he didn't seem to see I was there."  He left.

John sighed.  "Yeah, he lost his temper and that is probably the reason.  He probably threw the pieces out an airlock or something."  Evan nodded at that.  "Maybe there's a few missing people."

"Could be, sir," Evan said.  "Should we tell his girlfriend?"

"I doubt he'd like that.  His mother's already trying to hurt them."  Evan gave him a confused look.  "She's pregnant.  She does this each time she gets pregnant.  She lets it all go on Xander and me and we just fight back and put her into her room because she's acting like a toddler.  She's actually driven one of the few good women Xander dated to jump off a castle."  Evan shuddered.  Rodney whimpered.  "So yeah, he pissed her off.  She pissed him off.  He's working out his bad mood and she's probably still crying."  He leaned back.  "These sort of moods are why I don't really enjoy going home."

"I can understand that," Evan said.  "Are you... should we guard her harder?"

"If she shows up, Carolyn knows to call me and we'll evacuate her somehow."  Evan nodded, going to talk to her.  He looked at Rodney.  "If she shows up to nag me, have an emergency?"

"Gladly.  How many do you think he'll take out?"

"I don't know.  Could be weeks.  When he lost Mina due to it, he threw a ton of salt in her river to make her sick for it and then went to kill idiots and pirates for a few years.  I'm expecting he's having a few flashbacks."

"Probably."  Rodney stood up.  "We thought you had a happier family than some of us."

"We do, when Mom's not pregnant.  Xander and I aren't truly close brothers.  Xander's got too much emotional shit from his father's people and Odin especially.  We were older when we first met, and we first met across a battle.  It was Ares who realized we were fighting each other and that was a bad thing.  He and Tyr pulled us off each other and told us we were related and how.  Mom hadn't told me at all and I was too young to remember her being pregnant.  Of course, I spent a really long time with my father that year."  Rodney grimaced but nodded.  "Since then....  I don't know if it's the miscarriages.  I have no idea what's causing it beyond the hormones.  All I know is neither of us want to be around it."

"If she shows back up, we'll figure something out."  He went to check on her.  He liked Doctor Lam a lot.

John sat back to send a prayer at Xander, which he would surely get.  He got back a warm, fuzzy feeling and Xander showed up a few minutes later looking sweaty, tired, and covered in wraith blood.  "Hey."

"Hey."  He flopped down.  "Sorry."

"No, don't be.  It's damn helpful even if it did confuse some of us.  How many?"  Xander shrugged.   John tipped his face up.  "How many hives?" he asked more quietly.

"Maybe five?  Not real sure.  I kinda lost track and 'ported between hallways so it might've been parts of others.  Not totally sure."

"She'll calm down soon."

Xander looked at him.  "She accused me of being like my father again."

"She's cranked right now."

Xander nodded.  "I can't go through this again."  He stood up.  "Let me know when she's normal."

"I can do that.  I'm hiding myself and Carolyn."  Xander gave him a weak grin and disappeared.  John got up and went to talk to the pretty young doctor himself.  "Xander got so pissed at her and the flashbacks, he went to destroy some wraith," he said in greeting.  She shuddered.  "He's off taking a shower at home."

"I don't want to break the family...." she started.

John snorted.  "Carolyn, no one is going to blame him for that.  Not only is it helpful, our mother drives both of us to it."  She gaped.  "Any damn time she's pregnant.  I'm hoping this is her final time because, like my baby brother, we can't take this anymore."  Mari and Peter walked in.  "You look stressed, Mom back?"  They nodded.  "Mari, take Carolyn to Xander's.  He's got to have protections up."  She nodded and took the doctor with her.  "Peter, is there anything we can give her?"

"A good, swift kick?"


"Please," Peter said.  "I've already given my opinion on her hormone swing."  He was still scowling.

"Xander just said he didn't want to go near her until she's had this one."  He walked off.  She was crying on Evan about him being mean.  He stared at her then grabbed her and sent them both home.  He handed her to the assistants and Krishna's wife.  "Keep her here.  Neither of us are able to deal with the nagging, bitchy thing she becomes when she's pregnant.  We'll see her when she's had it."

Krishna's wife stared at him.  "Why?" she asked calmly.

"Because she drove Xander's temper so hard he went to kill wraith with his axe.  A few hives worth of wraith."  She nodded once.  "I agree.  We've done this every few centuries and neither of us can do it again.  Even Peter asked for her to be confined to her bed."  He left, going back to his city.

"It's best she rest anyway."  They put her down for a rest and it was nicer.  She quit crying while she slept.  "Clearly a daughter."

"With how she rages, it might be two daughters," Krishna's wife murmured, patting her on the stomach.  She went to tell their healer Gods and her husband.  They could watch out for her and her sons.  John's temper had looked frayed and if Xander was off killing bad things his was probably still too warm.


Carolyn looked around the house.  "It's really dark."  She turned on a light and found out that all the windows were presently boarded over and there were curtains overtop of it.  She looked out through a crack and grimaced.   "Not a happy view, no."   She heard a shower come on and went up to check on her boyfriend.  Xander was leaning against a wall in his shower.  She considered what to do for a second then stripped down and climbed in with him.  He flinched.  "Just me, Xander."  He turned and cuddled her.  She soothed him and helped wash off the wraith blood.  "Shh.  It doesn't scare me."

"Does me," he mumbled.

"That's fine.  That means you want control of it."  He nodded against her shoulder.  "Then we'll figure it out."  He relaxed and nodded again.  "Let's get you cleaned up.  You've got stuff in your hair."  He huffed but nodded.  "Then we can cuddle on the couch?"

"I have movies, but they're geek movies," he offered quietly, staring at her.

"I work with a whole bunch of geeks, Xander.  I don't mind geek movies."  He grinned and let her help him clean up.  It wasn't arousing but it was comforting.  He gave her some of his sweats and a comfy t-shirt, plus socks, taking her down to the tv room.  "I agree with boarding up that view.  A cemetery that close is a bit creepy."

"That's why the house was so cheap.  I mostly did it because that nearest headstone has a mirror finish and it causes a whole lot of glare."  She gave him an odd look.  "You get used to cemeteries here in Sunnydale.  There's thirteen of them.  The only houses not near one are in the millions."  She nodded she got that and they sat down to watch _Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band_, which was funny and campy.  She laughed at the same stuff he did.  It was great and comforting.  They fell asleep together to the next movie and it was nice.


Peter and Mari were in the infirmary talking about something over a game of chess when Xander brought Carolyn back.  "Hold it," Mari ordered.  Xander froze, staring at her.  "Carolyn, did you do anything last night?"

Peter looked her over and grinned.  "Congratulations, you two."

"We napped on the couch next to each other," Xander said.  "Nothing else.  Unless I had an unplanned god explosion again?  Did it hurt her?"  He checked her over and tipped his head to the side.  "Um, John!" he bellowed.  John came jogging in.  "You have my golden apple, right?"

"Yeah, I do.  Why?"  He looked at Carolyn, blinking a few times.  "Mine's safe, yours is safe.  How in the hell did you become immortal?"

Carolyn Lam stared at him.  "Excuse me?  I'm what?"


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