Note: Major character death past page 200.

Brothers, Babies, and Daddies.

Xander walked up to the supposedly abandoned warehouse and managed to get inside without anyone realizing.  His minder was stuck doing some paperwork so he had snuck away from him.  Some people, even military trained, forgot that there were alternative entrances beyond doors and windows.  He found his target and walked up to him, seeing the horrified look on his face right before he hit him.  "I'm *so* going to kill your ass.  How *dare* you leave me there!"

"Whoa!" the oldest man of the team said, jumping up to stop him.  Unfortunately this target hit back, and managed a lucky shot to a recent injury, taking him to his knee.  Then he laid back into the blond hacker, who was still unable to defend himself for some reason.

"I didn't know Jensen was gay," Roque complained, trying to grab the kid but he was at least a bit trained, though not professionally like they were.  The sniper got between them and the new one just kicked him in the knee and then pushed him out of the way.

"Don't get between me and my god damned brother again, asshole."  He stomped after his brother, who was backing away looking scared.  "You'd better have a *damn* good explanation for that shit since someone military had to tell me you were still fucking alive."

"They told us that a cult had taken you and killed you!" he defended.  "Neither of us knew, Xander.  I promise!  Please, God, I would've been there if I had known."

"You fucking didn't check?  Some hacker you are," he sneered.  "Hell, even Dad figured that shit out."

"Yeah, well, Dad's an ass in case you didn't know," he shot back, starting to glare now.  "What're you doing here?"

He smirked.  "I'm here to fuck up your life, Jensen.  Why else would I suddenly reappear?  I mean, it's not like you guys might watch the news or anything, right?  So when the end of the world comes and some government sort tells me both my siblings are alive, then I just decided to pop in and beat the shit outta you for the hell of it."  He sneered.  "I'm *so* going to rip your ass to molecules."

"I deserve it," he agreed, stepping closer.  "Why is the world going to end?"  The other member of the team squeaked and looked, then groaned.

Xander turned because he knew that sound.  "Oh, great, it's one of you assholes.  Didn't I shoot at you once?"  He glared at him.  "Back the fuck down, sparky, because not in a good mood."  He glared at his twin again.  "How's your stomach doing?"

"Um...  I've had the flu...  She's not pregnant, I didn't get her morning sickness last time, Xander."

"Duh, not the leap of logic you were to make."  He glared at him.  "I'm still highly pissed off."

"How should I have known?" he demanded.

"Let's see, was on the news when the town fell in.  Was on the news when I got a medal of honor for saving one of your sort of teams in Africa, twice," he said bitterly.  "And wasn't that a mistake."  He stared at him.  "Was actually on the news during the last bad thing not three months ago, and then there was the missing persons reports for the last three months."  Jensen swallowed.  "So I take it you don't watch the news, ever?  No newspapers, nothing?  Nothing prompted you to maybe get a *hint* that your fucking twin brother was actually alive?  Because I knew you were but apparently you were too fucked up to come save my damn ass so I had to do it my own goddamn self!"

"Shit, Xander.  We ended up with Dad and a whole new level of fucked up ness!"

"The hell with that!  I saw Dad more than once in Sunnydale!"

"Oh, shit," that other guy said.  "Um, can we maybe calm down?"  A gun was pulled and pointed at him by that guy.

"That's enough," the one getting off the ground ordered.  The gun got pointed at him.  "You won't, you're not that cold."

"Yeah, I actually would.  I actually ended up taking out that team that I saved those times for killing little kids."  He stared at him.  "Butt out.  There's one of your sort showing up to ruin your life for good too.  Go be good soldiers *somewhere else* while I finish killing my damn brother."  He glared at Jensen.  The guy moved and Xander did graze him then hit him with the gun.  "I'm not the nice fairy.  I gave up being the nice fairy when I had to kill someone at sixteen to protect others," he growled.  "Back the fuck down."

"All of you back down," a male voice ordered.  "Harris!"

"Bite me."

Jensen took the gun and put it down.  "It's not my fault, Xander!  Dad told us you were dead!  Jess and I thought he had sold you or something with how fucked up he is."

"No, he didn't.  He left me with *her* and her new husband."

"Who in the hell sunk down that low to marry her?" Jensen asked, grimacing.

"Remember Tony?"

"Guy with the shitty camaro up the street?"  Xander nodded.  "Eww."

"Very."  He glared.  "I'm not going to be forgiving you even if the world does end."

The other guy stepped forward.  "I knew I should've recognized Jensen's level of fucked upness when I met him thanks to seeing you in action, Harris, but Jensen's our teammate and only we get to kill him."

Xander stared at him.  "Go.  The.  Hell.  Away," he growled.  Everyone around them shivered at the feeling coming off him.

Jensen sighed and hugged his brother, even if he did struggle.  "Hey, it's me.  I'm not going to hurt you."

"Corporal, let your brother go," the higher up demanded.  "We barely rescued him from three months of torture."

"Who in the hell had my brother?" he demanded, easing up some.  "Are they dead yet?"

"No, we can't kill them all.  Unfortunately."  He stared.  "Harris, stand down.  You have months before the world could end to beat the hell out of him.  I only have a few hours to explain things to his teammates and then ruin their lives for good."  He glared at the team leader.  "You especially don't growl at the kid."  He gave him a visual order and Clay realized what half the problem was.  The kid was in pain and had PTSD or something like it from the torture.  "For right now, Corporal, take your brother and sit in a corner.  Do not move, do not fight, even if you don't talk he needs to stay calm because of his condition."  That calmed the kid down again and he took a deep breath.  "Thank you, Harris.  Sit."

"I'm not feeble."

"I don't care, sit anyway," Jensen ordered.  He did something on his computer then pulled a crate over to sit next to him.  The others were being pulled a bit away.  "You know, I need to know too."

"I'll brief you specially in a few minutes, Corporal.  Just keep your brother calmer.  I need him to stay calm and healthy."

"Fuck, just keep the girls from feeding me tofu again," he muttered.

"Not a problem.  I doubt any of these guys know what tofu is."  He led them to the other side of the warehouse.  "You're being pulled off your present assignment."

"We're halfway done," Clay said.

"Good, make sure you can hand it over because his life is more important right now.  He wasn't joking about the world possibly ending in about six months."   He looked at Pooch.  "Yes, your team is being assigned this task because of your history and his.  It was down to two others and yours until someone doing some DNA testing found that they're twins.  Fraternal but still twins."

"We've met Jess, his sister," Clay said.  "She never mentioned a brother."

The higher up sighed.  "That's because they were apparently told he died when he was about six."  They all nodded at that.  "Their parents split.   Their father took them and left him with his mother for some reason.  I'm not sure why but I believe there's going to be some hell to pay for it.  You may be needing a new tech guy because if he wants to kick his ass, Harris is to remain calm and healthy but he's allowed.  We're going to allow him pretty much anything at the moment as long as he stays perfectly healthy.  Am I clear?"  They all grimaced but nodded.  "Good."  He looked at that one.  "Pooch, what do you remember of Harris?"

"The same problem that leads back to Jensen's 'this can only happen to him' issues," he said dryly.  The others were staring so he cleared his throat.  "My assignment before this team was a super classified suckfest of the NSA fucking up," he said bluntly.  "All the way to torture.  Capturing natives and torture.  Experimenting on their own people sort of torture.  And one really bright, scary woman who was making a super soldier out of parts.  It killed her shortly after it got woken up."

Clay shuddered.  "I managed to get enough of those records to know it was the Island of FUBAR in a town."

"That whole town is the Nation of FUBAR," Pooch corrected.  "We were just adding a psycho twist to it."  He looked at the higher up.  "Which agency are you?"

He smirked.  "Secret Service."  He pulled out his ID case to show them then put it back.  "For the next seven or eight months, until we're sure everything's all right, you are guarding Harris and his ...extra passenger.  Because if you don't, your team will be dying along with the rest of us in about a year."  He smirked.  "Because if he doesn't stay healthy and it doesn't stay healthy, then a whole lot of people who protect us all from things we'd never want to think about are dying."  Pooch stiffened.  "That's right, if he doesn't come out of this alive, that child is your responsibility to train, raise, and make sure she starts a new line of slayers," he told him.  "And yeah, there's going to be some problems.  His father knew.  His father warped it so his son was the only thing stopping humanity from dying.  We're pretty sure it's a girl."

"Um... he's what?" Clay demanded quietly.

"I've seen weirder," Pooch noted.  "Who?"

"Wolfram and Hart's latest attempt to end the world.  Two step plan.  Torture the one that the girls all lean on, making them weaker because they're angry, confused, and scared, and then destroy the lines by having him bear some sort of prophesied shit of a child that his father warped when he found out.  I'll have the whole information file to you later on.  By the way, he is not to go to Sunnydale for this year's remembrance.

"He is not to go to Cleveland *at all*.  He can anywhere in the world you think is safe enough but about ten places.  That will be in the information file I'm going to give you in about an hour.  I figured it'd take that long for him to finally quit trying to kill his twin brother."  He looked over.  Xander was ignoring his twin's attempt to talk to him.

He looked at Clay.  "Secondary objective, if possible, he's got burnout very badly," he said quietly.  "He's at the stage of 'fuck it, I'll sacrifice myself' and has been for years.  If you can talk him down off that point, good.  Later on, since you'll all be honorary uncles thanks to his brother, you can even work on his training if you want.  He could probably use some."  He stared at him.

"There's over a thousand young women who can literally rip you to pieces by hand who will kill you if he gets so much as a bump and they hear.  They're all panicking, they're all frantic, and they're all worried.  We're trying to keep them calm but some may show up to check on him.  If so, don't dent them either if possible.  Some don't have tact and some are like his sisters."

"I'm not sure what we're totally talking about, sir.  Men can't have kids," Clay said.

"Unless something weird like my last posting is involved," Pooch added.  "Wolfram and Hart's problem nature?"

"Everyone is working on it.  If those two want to, go for it.  Rosenburg can hack and can help Jensen with whatever he needs for access.  They had full access in the LA office for a while and she rigged something I'm sure.  If you can make them suffer for this, go for it."

Clay nodded.  "I'd like that information file."  He went to get it.  Clay looked at Pooch.  "I don't know much about your last posting."

"We were stationed in Sunnydale, out by LA.  Small town, tried really hard to be perfect to draw people for the really high death rate thanks to the things my project was having fun taking apart."  He grimaced, shrugging a bit.  "I didn't participate.  I didn't want to be there.  Hell, I even turned them in to the Pentagon's tip line.  It got ignored.  I managed to get myself sent out before I lost my soul.  Literally in a few cases."  He sighed, looking back there.  "That boy is *exactly* like Jensen and I should've realized that when the weird things started to happen around him.  They're scarily alike, Clay."  He looked at him again.  "Harris was helping with a protection group at sixteen."

"Criminal?" Roque demanded.

"No.  Necessary.  They had a thirty-five percent homicide rate that year."  The whole team shuddered.  "Mostly, supposedly, due to animal attacks, barbeque forks eating people, and PCP gangs who went around biting."

"There's no way that's not a coverup," Roque complained.

"A really bad one but the reason for it died on his graduation day.  When he and the team, plus half their high school class, blew him up in the school to save everyone.  I'm sure we can get some highlight reels or something from the town."  He glanced back there then at them.  "He dates like Clay.  He babbles like Jensen, or used to.  He has low self esteem because his friends I'd have tossed aside long ago and went somewhere more sane.  Even if I was called to the duty I wouldn't have done it with them."  They all nodded at that.

Pooch glanced back there then at his team again.  "When I was there, he was dating a girl.  Didn't try to kill him, which everyone joked was abnormal.  She was a money grubbing bitch who criticized everything in public.  There was talk about them possibly marrying some day on her side."  He looked at his team again.  "He's way too quiet.  The eye patch is new.  There's a lot we need to know and I know who to contact but not where they are."  He walked off, going over there.  "Where's your girlfriend?  Do we need to contact her, give her any info?"

Xander glared at him.  "She died in the battle that sank Sunnydale."

"I...  I didn't know about that.  Sorry."  Xander shrugged.  "Do you need medical right now?"

"I'm not going to trust you to do a damn thing around me," he said bluntly.

"I nearly got myself dishonorably discharged to get out of there."  He stared at the kid.

Xander snorted.  "And yet, there was a rebellion in place and you didn't help it a bit."

"No, I didn't.  I was newly married and they had blackmail on me.  And my wife's mother in custody."

"Damn that sucks," Xander said.  "I'm sorry you did that."

Pooch sighed.  "I'm not like them, kid.  Jensen can tell you that when you two start to talk.  I've never been like that, I tried from my second day there to get the hell out of Sunnydale.  I'm the reason that person you guys turned over got free since it was wrong of him to do that."

"Well, convenient ethics on Giles' part," he said dryly.  "They've tortured and tormented each other for years."

"Figured it was something like that.  I can find us an underground doc."

"I can find a true healer."

Pooch stared at him.  "Let's not go the demonic route?" he asked quietly.  "They'll all freak."

"Demons?" Jensen demanded, looking at Xander.

"Yeah, you guys left me on a nice, sweet, pretty hellmouth.  Which I got to help protect until the slayer I was working with and the rest of the crew sank it a few years ago.  It was all over the news."

Jensen shuddered.  "I...  I don't tend to watch the news.  I read the _Enquirer_ and things."

"Unless we're on an op, he never does," Pooch agreed.  "We have six to seven months together.  Can we maybe work some of this shit out?"  He stared at him.  "We need Jensen in top form and there's a chance he can help get the bastards back for what they did to you.  We got permission to do that as long as you're not injured."

"I'll be fine.  I could've stayed...."

"Hell no!" Jensen said firmly.  "I was there when Jess had our niece.  And hell, if I had known you were alive, I would've come to get you when we got free of Dad."

"I saw him when we were sixteen.  He got me possessed that night."  He shook his head.

"Yeah, well, the man's a pain in the ass in many forms," Jensen sighed.  He stared at him.  "Can we talk?  Maybe?"

"No.  I'm not into that touchy-feelly crap.  I get enough of that from the slayers.  I'm not a girl, even if I'm always surrounded by them."

Jensen stared at him.  Then he hugged him.  Xander tried to get free but he held on.  "I missed you," he said quietly.  "If I had known, Xander....  Dad said you were dead."

Xander slowly relaxed.  "This doesn't mean I won't kill your ass."

"Sure, you can do that."  He pulled back to look at him.  "Does Jess know?"

"I'm pretty sure she tried to check into things.  Willow said someone was."

"I'll kill her myself for not telling me."  He got up and stomped over to his computer, sending a very pissed off email to his sister.

"Family drama later," Roque ordered.  "Pack up so we can move since we're handing this op off."

Jensen looked up.  "I'm in their system.  If we can go tonight we can finish it."  The higher up pointed at his twin brother.  "I don't have to go in.  Cougar can run comms if we have to."  Clay nodded that was doable.  "I'll be the backup force and watch Xander.  I need to let him beat me half to death anyway."  He stared at them.  "You're all taking this very calmly."

"We're freaking out mentally," Clay assured him, sounding sarcastic.  He looked at the thick information folder.  "Who got most of his dossier?  It's sloppy."

"Some of it probably came from my last posting," Pooch said.  "So yeah, sloppy as hell."

Xander snorted.  "Half of it probably came from Wolfram and Hart.  At least they used multiple sources instead of the 'but you're normal' that I hear all too often."

Jensen looked at him.  "There is not a one of us that is normal, Xander."

"Tell that to Willow," he said dryly.  "According to her I'll always be normal."

"Willow?  Redheaded, shy, babble patrol Willow?"  Xander nodded.  "Like Jesse and Willow Willow?"


"Where's Jesse?" Jensen asked.  Xander shook his head.  "No what, Xander?"

"He died when we were sixteen, Jensen.  Something ate him.  Then there was an apocalypse fight.  My first one," he said dryly, staring at him.  "I saved the Bitch Queen's life by accident."

Jensen swallowed, then nodded once.  "I should go kill people for making you do that."

Xander shrugged.  "The guy who turned him is dead.  Buffy ground him into itty bitty pieces."

Jensen stared at him.  "We need to talk."

"Fuck, you're back in touchy-feelly land," Xander muttered.  He stood up.  "Let me get a burger."

"Sit," Clay ordered.  Xander barked but walked off.  He looked at the higher up.

"Yeah, we know.  And he's been surrounded by girls for much too long."  He noticed Jensen following.  "That's a better sign.  Don't fight in public," he called.  Xander flipped him off before walking out the other door.  Jensen jogged to catch up.  He looked at Clay.  "I'd suggest GPS.  The boy has had a bad habit of walking off when things get too emotional.  He was grieving so he went to Africa to train some of the slayers.  A few died and he went to China to beat up on a few of their thugs and train some of their slayers.

"The slayers all decided, thanks to Buffy, he was their mascot, and Xander kicked her ass, then walked off and went to the jungles in Africa again.  No one heard from him for six months until he showed up at the last apocalypse and then promptly got kidnaped."  Clay moaned.  "By the law firm for Hell."  He smirked.  "You'd be doing the government a great favor taking them down for him.  His father might even reward you."

"Who is their father?" Roque asked.  "You're acting like he's a higher up in the government."

"No, Ethan's a really big name in the strange circles that boy lives in."  Pooch gaped, staring at him.  Then he glared at the doorway.  "Oh, yeah.  He's not all that decent.  I have no idea if his friends know that or not actually.  If they did, they'd probably shun him because the head of the group, Mr. Giles, hates his father for a lot of reasons."  He smirked.  "Apparently Xander got left with his mother, while Jensen and his sister got taken by their father.  Then whatever happened to them to cause those two to leave him did.  Xander's mother died when Sunnydale sank along with her second husband."  He looked at Clay.

"The boy is a *classic* white knight.  If he hears someone shouting 'help me' he'll beat you there, solve the issue, and then stomp off when you tell him he should've waited two seconds for some help.  That is because of his friends.  You can get your tech support kid to download any and all files on him that you find if you want.  I know there's some from battles and some where the girls conveniently forgot to recall him to help.  They said it was like leaving one Cabinet member out of the State of the Union Address just in case something happened there."

"How long ago on his eye?" Clay asked quietly.

"2004.  Spring of."

"Medical beyond the obvious?"

"He'll probably shy away from doctors.  He tried to escape the ones working on him six times.  Made it five of them but Rosenburg handed him back.  With motherish nagging and girlish swears at him for being so stupid and macho.  The first time he was barely out of surgery, still groggy from the anesthesia, and only made it halfway down the stairs before someone found him on their way out for a smoke break.  We think that was a lucky coincidence."

"How much crap is in the dossier?" Clay asked.

"Probably about eighty percent," he admitted.  "We can't be sure.  We don't have the resources to ask.  If I had that truth serum from the Harry Potter books, I'd use it on the kid."

"Anything from mine, we had observation that went to the profiler.  They were looking for a weak spot in his group.  They had one they wanted to join them and they started the group breaking with him.  He was considered an accessory to the group," he finished quietly.  "Then he helped save all our asses.  Half the time those girls treated him like he was their puppy."

"They still do about half the time," the Secret Service agent assured him with a grin.  "That's a secondary reason for not letting them watch him.  Our profiler who was working on his healing said there's a really good chance he'll snap and kill most of them sometime soon.  Xander shot back that he hadn't yet and had been avoiding that thought for ten years."

"Were they a group or a team?" Cougar asked.

"Group most of the time.  Even if they're in the midst of the worst personal fights, they'll still fight whatever's going on and then start in on each other while healing," he told him.  "Which would be a pretty good third reason we wanted him guarded by a team.  I'm hoping, since I'm sure you've all been in that same battle weary, yet too uptight to relax state, that you can help him snap out of his before it breaks him.  Because then the girls will try something and he'll fight back, probably unintentionally killing some of them.  None of *his* girls, but some of them.  Especially in his condition."

"How did that happen?" Roque asked.  "Just to make sure it can't happen to his brother."

"Actually, the law firm did it, and then his father warped it.  Which... I'm not sure his twin isn't mirroring it or having his own thanks to his father.  Ethan doesn't often consider some things more than fun.  Things like this may be considered necessary to save his son's life but he wouldn't take into account his twin.  I have no idea if they're the linked sort."

"Practical things?" Clay asked.  "Passport?"  The file was pointed at.  "Funds?"

"He has some money.  He's not a Gates by any means, but he's not totally poor.  They paid him back pay and severance pay right after the last time he left the hospital.  They decided he couldn't come back with his daughter.  It'd be too dangerous.  The head guy joked they couldn't afford all the stuff the girls would buy for the baby.  Oh, don't let us catch him selling his weapons stash.  Half the government wanted to cover him up by making him miscarry and/or killing him, even if it meant we all died.  The head of the ATF and the president both thought it was too unnatural to keep going and hate the slayers anyway.

"The Council offered to let them do all the apocalypse battles but the last time they jumped in, they mostly died.  They didn't follow directions, they didn't use what they were told would work, and the Council's people that had briefed them had it on tape that they told them how to kill things.  At Xander's orders."  He smirked.  "The ATF really hates him a lot beyond that because he seems to be able to find an underground river of weapons that they can't even touch and he's not inclined to hand it over."

"Is the UK safer?" Pooch asked.

"Possibly.  They know more about the Council but hated their guts.  Though the Queen loves Xander.  He saved one of her dogs from being hit by a bike messenger and berated the guy while holding the little dog under his arm for nearly running over an innocent animal.  She found him yelling at the poor guy.  He looked stunned then kissed the dog on the head and handed him back with a goofy, sweet boy grin after saying he was just fine, he had made sure the stupid human hadn't touched him.  Then he had went back to yelling at him."

"Anywhere off limits?" Clay asked dryly.

"No.  Wherever you need to go, you go.  He lived rough before but I wouldn't suggest getting too far from a hospital.  They're not sure if he's going to *adapt* or not."

"Eww," Roque said, shuddering.

"Quite.  That thought made the whole White House go get drunk."  He grinned.  "The president needed it though, he was tense and uptight."  He looked at Clay.  "Any other questions?"

"Anything he needs to pick up or pack for?"

"Not yet.  They have his stuff in storage.  Rosenburg said she could arrange to have it moved wherever or you can do it instead so they don't know.  You can meet with Summers, Summers, Rosenburg, and Lehane tonight.  Mr. Giles will try to be there but no promises."

"Do Jensen and his sister loom more like their mother?" Pooch asked.

"Yeah.  Xander looks a lot like his father.  If you should see his father, watch out for him.  He only follows the ethics of chaos and has touched Xander's life more than once.  He's not above things."

"I'll let the twins hit him," Clay assured him.

"Jensen will stab him," Cougar said quietly.  "His training?"

"He's scarily self taught according to him.  He jumped in.  Of course, he can't spar right now, but if you guys wanted to teach him, it might save his life later on."  He looked at them.  "All the slayers will say he's normal but he's theirs and their mascot, their normal guy.  They consider him too important to risk.  He's fought against that for years by jumping in when they told him to fetch things instead."

"So, basically, if we work on all the battle trauma, it'd help," Clay said.  He got a nod.  "If we can work a bit farther, it'd help even more."

"Yup.  We could all use a guy like him in our lives.  I would've left the girls ages ago.  He's loyal to a fault.  If I could have ten guys like Xander was six or even five years ago, I'd sell my soul.  If I could have two like him now I might.  He's very much the guy to pull a plan out of somewhere south of his beltline, have it work, and then expect to be yelled at for it.  There's some really unbelievable reports out of Africa of him handling issues that I'd want a team for.  No one's certain if they're truth or not and the boy won't tell you."

"We can work with that and protect him," Clay said after looking at his team.  Cougar was glaring at him from underneath his hat.  He'd talk to him about it in a minute.  "Anything else to drop on us?"

"Yeah, ask him where his secondary accounts are.  We know there are some somewhere.  We don't know why."  He smirked.  "Have fun.  Keep in touch with me," he said, handing over his card.  "I'm pretty sure everyone's going to forget about this stuff if they weren't directly involved.  Rosenburg threatened to even if it was a bit dark as she said."  He left them alone.

Clay looked at Cougar.  "I know you're freaked out, but he is Jensen's brother.  You'd do it for his sister," he said quietly.  Cougar said something in Spanish.  "I know that.  It's not our fault he does things that go against everything in your soul, Cougar.  He's just like us only his battles are a bit less sanctioned apparently.  Let us look things over and if we have to, we can sit you off-site to watch our backs."  Cougar nodded.  "Get Jensen to do a real work up on him," he told Pooch.  "I'll talk to the kid about his choice of hiding location.  We'll do that op before the meeting tonight or right afterward."  They broke apart and he went to find the brothers.  Roque was following.  "You might upset him," he warned.

"I'm not going to beat the kid's ass for getting captured.  Even if it was because he was in the wrong spot."

"Thank you."  They found one brother at the pretzel shop, dunking his pretzel sticks into something greenish.  Clay sat down, staring at him.  "That's got to be a craving."

Xander looked then at him.  "It's jalapeno cheese.  I'm from near LA."  He ate another bite.  "So the verdict is?"

"Where do you want to hide?"

Xander shrugged.  "I'd like to go somewhere without phones and email but my brother would freak out.  It probably wouldn't stop Willow either."  He ate another bite.  "I'm not rich or anything so somewhere low rent but safe.  Not Germany or Siberia?  I had a few too many run ins with the Russian mob when I was there training one of the girls."  He ate another bite.

"Where have you been that you liked?" Roque asked, stealing a chair from another table and sitting down.

"I found a lot of peace in Africa but it's highly unlikely that I wouldn't have problems.  The ultra conservative sorts would dearly hate me and try to kill me for this not being my choice.  I can't see going to many of the Catholic countries either.  Nowhere too well known or too touristy, which will suck since I'd like things to do beyond DVD's and netflix."  He ate another bite.  "I don't know," he decided, looking at him.  "Not too hot because I'm told I'm going to be sweating to death anyway in a few months?  Right before summer."

"So a city but not a major place that can draw trouble and is mostly safe," Clay said.  "I can agree on those points.  Are there any cities to avoid due to high...activity for lack of a better word?"

Xander nodded.  "There's a whole list.  Which is one reason why I hated Germany and Rome.  Buffy loves Rome.  Switzerland has a neutrality clause in that manner as well.  So does the upper north countries the last I heard.  I can plug into the community and see where the top bets are being placed so we don't go there."  He finished his last stick.

"Let's not have you do it.  Can someone else do it?"

"Faith might be able to get that information but they'll talk to me where they won't the girls.  They're rightfully scared of the girls if they're doing bad sh...stuff."  He glanced around, there were kids.  He looked at them again.  "I can hide and you guys just keep tabs on me.  I know this'll freak you guys out."

"No can do," Clay noted.  "Tough."

Xander slumped.  "It'd be nice to have some peace and quiet.  Ya know?"

"Definitely.  Been there, done that," Roque assured him.  "All of us, including your brother.  Speaking of, where did he go?"

"He's off yelling at Jess."  He pointed.  "I don't rightly care now."  He looked at them.  "I can get you a list of the Council's houses too.  That way we're not too close.  It's like a vortex with them being the eye."

"Good to know," Clay agreed.  "Do you have any plans set up yet?"

"Hiding like hell from everyone I've ever met so I don't have to hear the snide comments about this being something only I could do.  But I got overruled," he said sarcastically.  "They sedated me to get me from the clinic to the plane.  Agent Craig promised to deliver me sedated if I gave him any shit."  He slumped, leaning his elbows on the table.  "That's not what I'm worried about.  I know I can slink into the shadows nearly anywhere and hide.  I can find a healer to help me when I need them to.  I've pinpointed a few who won't be too freaked out after hearing why it happened."  Jensen walked back to them.  "They wanted to pick a spot."

"New Hampshire?" he offered.

"No," Clay said.  "Outside the US.  Some of them wouldn't mind the outcome if he got injured or killed."

Jensen sat down, staring at his brother then at Clay.  "Jolene's going to bitch."

"There's kids," Xander said quietly.

"Sorry.  I didn't mean to swear," he said to the table and Xander's stomach.  Xander hit him on the arm.  "Ow!"  Xander pointed at the kids staring at them.  "Oh, those sort.  Sorry for swearing."  He looked at Clay again.  "All I know is that I'm freaked out, I really want to get drunk until my mind can process that he's still alive, and then we can talk."  He looked at him.  "Jess said she saw you when Sunnydale fell in."

"Yeah, they covered the natural disaster and us being on busses was seen."  He shrugged slightly.  "I know I got pictured at least twice.  Dawn framed one for my birthday one year."  He looked at Clay.  "All my stuff's been in storage for years.  I'll need to be able to get bigger shirts and pants in a few months," he sighed.  "But otherwise, just not too hot please."

"We can work on that," he agreed.  He looked at Jensen.  "Not Germany, Siberia, or anywhere with a Council House."

"Dad has a house in the UK."

"He's living in it," Xander said dryly.  "It's bad form to burn him and the house down together."

"Good point."  He thought.  "He has that beach house."

"Hurricane two years ago.  I was healing from a broken leg and pelvis when the hurricane hit."

Jensen stared at him.  "I want to hear more about that."  Xander shrugged slightly.  "Please?  Not like I'm not used to the strange stuff too, Xander."

"Yay.  I think I beat even Dad's standards too often."  He finished his ice water.  "We should head before someone else spots us."  He used his cup to point behind them.  "That's Agent Brice, ATF.  He likes to stalk me because he thinks I'm a naughty boy for liking guns."

"We were warned about that," Roque admitted.  "Canada?  Plenty of wilderness.  It's nearly summer so not too cold for Cougar."

Clay nodded.  "We can pause there and make plans.  That way we're sure nothing's on our trail."  Xander nodded at that, getting up.  Jensen was next to him.  Clay gave him a pointed look to ease off.  They walked back together.  "We're going to hit Vancouver for a week, make plans, then go," he said as they walked in.

"We're all packed.  Cougar got your room, Jensen."

Jensen nodded, checking his bags.  "Where's my clothes?"   He checked the other bag of stuff and finished the packing Cougar hadn't.  Cougar hated his shirts sometimes.  He looked at his brother.  "Clothes, gear?"

"Storage place?" he guessed. "I probably have a bag somewhere in Kazakstan.  I was near Alma-Ata training one of the girls.  I'm not sure if she sent it on or gave it to her brother since they're a poor family."

"Some of the Council people will be in town tonight.  We can ask them," Clay said.   Xander shook his head.  "You don't have to go," he said quietly.

"Thank you.  Did they give you my passport?"  Clay found it in the folder and held it up.  Xander looked at the folder.  "That's not mine.  Mine's not UK.  And that file is awfully thick."

"It's got the profiles from the Initiative and other dossiers included," Roque said.  "You can read it on the plane."  Xander nodded.  "That way you can refute the bullshit."

"That's probably a good two-thirds at the very least."  He sighed.  He took his passport, looking at it.  "That's not mine.  That's my father's backup ID."  He looked up then shook his head.  "You'll have to get it from Willow probably."

"I'll see if they have it.  If not, we can get you a fake."

"If not, we can find a way to hit my storage area in Chicago," he said quietly.  "I have a fake one in there somewhere."  Clay smirked at him.  "Sometimes I had to sneak into places.  A lot of them hated the Council.  We do things they like to deny exist."

"I can understand that.  We've had to do the same on missions where everyone ignored we had ever been born," Pooch said.  He looked at him.  "My wife wants to know if you'll let her come.  She's pregnant too, about six months."

Xander shrugged.  "I don't care.  Will it be safe?"

"I hope so.  You probably shouldn't be too stressed."

"Yeah but there's nothing like the smell of napalm in the morning," Xander quipped, staring at him.  Roque choked, shaking his head.  Clay just groaned.

Jensen snickered.  "Good one, Xander."

"Thank you."

"How did you get to Kazakstan?"

"I went from the one in China over.  She's in the northern part."

"So you're well traveled at least," Jensen said.  "No troubles with Customs?"

"Yeah, the full body scanners probably aren't a good idea," he sighed.  "We had to have that fight on the way here apparently.  Touching would probably be a bad idea too in case it was someone with a gift who meant harm.  It's not that hard to replace one as a sub from another office for a few days."

"We can get you a medical card stating you have an implant of some kind," Clay said.  "That'll get you hand wanded."

Xander nodded.  "I do have one.  I have a screw in my hip.  It's embedded thanks to a battle where someone slammed the board that contained it into me."

"They couldn't take it out?" Roque asked.

"No.  It's embedded in the bone.  They didn't want to bother and I didn't want eight weeks in Cleveland healing the broken pelvis.  Unfortunately my other side broke that last time," he said at Jensen's stare his way.

"We'll do a full medical history for whichever doc we decide on," Clay said.  Xander nodded.  "Anything we should know right away?"

"Do not let anyone take my blood," Xander said.  "There's no telling what they'll do with it."

"All right.  You hear stuff about magic using blood," he decided.  He called an underground doc, who could get him that card for the airport within an hour.  "Pooch, we move after the meeting.  Make plans."

"Already on it."  He was calling someone they knew up there.  "Kid, want your own room?"

"Please."  Jensen was still staring at him.  "I can't sleep with other people around anymore.  I haven't been able to do that in years."

"I get that," Jensen promised.  "I usually room with Cougar.  Clay and Roque room and Pooch gets his own."  He grinned.  "C'mon.  We'll buy you some t-shirts to tide you over."

"You two hit Chicago today to pick up anything necessary," Clay ordered.

"Half the stuff's by Cleveland," Xander said.

"They said you weren't to go," Clay said.  "Did you absolutely need something there?"

"Not unless they found my storage area and had it moved.  It's a very Willow thing to do."  He found his phone in his pocket and walked off calling someone.  He came back a few minutes later.  "Spike had them all moved to somewhere safer in the UK.  So I need to hit a Sears or something for some clothes."

"That's fine," Clay promised.  "Go ahead."  Jensen nodded, taking Roque with them.  Clay found the note for the meeting and went to stake it out.  The file had a picture of the girls in his life.  He found one already there and looking upset.  "Miss Lehane," he said quietly, making her jump and grab for a weapon.  "I'm Colonel Franklin Clay."

She sighed.  "I got briefed about your team when X escaped the last time and they decided who'd get him."  She stared at him.  "Is he all right?"

"He threw a fit at his brother, though now I'd expect it to be worse.  He's grabbing some clothes."

"Red packed him a bag but she admitted it might not be his favorite things.  Just stuff she thought he'd like."

"I can add that bag to his," he assured her, making her relax.  "The others?"

"On a later flight.  I had to come up from Atlanta.  Dawn's coming from LA in about an hour.  The others will be in from Cleveland at ten."

"That's late for a meeting."

"We tend to work the night shift," she said dryly.  "I can get them here sooner.  They're flying Wicca air."

"Please."  She nodded, setting it for six.  That would give Dawn an hour to stress and unwind again.  "He'll be okay with us."

"Good!  He'd better!  I may've treated him like shit at one point in time but he's like a brother to me now, Colonel.  I will destroy anyone who hurts him and it wouldn't be my first one."

He smiled.  "His brother's looking forward to catching up on all the stuff he missed thanks to his father telling him he was dead."

"Only Dawn and I know," she warned.

"Good.  From what they said, it might not be welcome news."  She smirked and nodded.  "So give me your take on the boy."

"I've got the room prepped for the meeting," she offered.

"That'll work."  He followed her up there to talk to her about the boy.  He needed a good grasp of him.  There was something...subtly off about the boy.  It wasn't the torture or the being pregnant part.  It was something different.  Which she knew about and explained the hyena possession.  Then the other issues she knew about.  It built a picture in his mind that looked like a more dark version of his hacker.


Clay walked up to the boy later, walking him off.  "DNA taint?"

"Mermaid," he said with a smirk.  "Are we playing word association?"  He looked around them since they were in the airport.

Clay stared.  "Is that why you don't want people taking your blood?"


"You wanna tell me why?  The redhead told me there was one."

"Yup, there is, and no, I'm not.  Ever.  Especially not in public. Not even with a Cone of Silence.  Because there's people who will listen in magically.  That's how they spotted me at the battle."

"Can we trust the Council?"

"Depends on the person.  A lot of them are loyal to it because they're family.  That doesn't mean they'll help me.  They'll help it, not me."

"That's what I figured.  Anything else to declare?"

"Vitamins taste gross."  He walked off to get back in line.  His brother looked at him and he shrugged.  "No comment."

"Fine.  For now."   They got scanned.

Xander got hand-wanded because of his card.  The metal detector beeped over his hip, his eye, which he had warned had some metal pieces in the eyepatch from debris.  They made him take it off, the TSA guard wincing at the sight of the hole.  They let him put it back on after seeing the injury.  They doubted he was hiding anything in the empty socket.  They found another beeping spot and Xander looked, pulling up his pantsleg.  "Oh, piece of the IV line broke," he said.  "That'll come out later."  He let them see the tiny needle piece in his leg.  "Cheap shit they used at Bethesda."

The guard made note of it but his supervisor said it was clearly part of a needle and not a threat.  Like shrapnel.  They let him go through.  The others produced military ID and claimed shrapnel.  They got hand-wanded too.  It went much faster.

"Harris!" someone shouted, running for him.

Xander paused, stared, then shrugged.  "Don't touch."  She stopped to stare at him.  "You good?"

"I'm fine.  Why are you in an airport alone?"

"I'm not alone."

"Yes you are!" she said, looking around.  "I knew we should've demanded the right to guard you."

"I would've killed you all," Xander said dryly.  She nodded that was true.  He pointed behind him.  "There's a whole group of me not being alone, Sam."  He heard the cleared throat.  "Samantha Finn... this is the team guarding me."

"Any relation to Riley?" Pooch asked, staring at her.

"His wife."  She smirked.  "You were with him?"

"Against my will."

"Good."  She looked at Xander.  "You can still go recuperate with Riley in Mali."

"No thanks.  If you want to be a widow that badly, use a local poisonous spider.  They're all over there."

She snickered.  "Figured you'd never let him go."  She smiled.  "Where are you heading?"

"To his storage area and then somewhere safe," Pooch said dryly.  "It's very need to know."

"We can help protect him."

"No," Clay said, shaking his head.  "The less that know the better, ma'am."

"Captain," she corrected.

"Colonel," he said with a smug look.

"Fine, sir."  She smirked at Xander.  "They're rabid.  That's good.  Are they going to let you date?"

"No clue, not sure if I want to," he admitted.  "I'm not really in the mood right now, Finn."

"Sorry, Xander, I forgot how we found you."

Xander shrugged.  "It's fine.  Anything else I need to hear?"

"The higher ups were here."

"I heard.  I was resting."

"Oh."  She nodded.  "Fine.  Want me to give any messages?"

"I'm fine.  Thanks."

She nodded and left them alone.  "I'll tell Riley you said hi, Xander.  Let him know that he's not the only miserable one with healing injuries.  He turned into a big baby, but I know you wouldn't."  She gave him a pointed look.  "They look mean."

Xander nodded.  "They probably are."  She smirked as she strolled off.  He waited until she had disappeared into the crowd.  "Let's not do that again," he said quietly.  "I don't like her, her husband, or their people."

"No doubt that's ever going to be a problem," Pooch said quietly.  "We don't like them either."

Xander looked at him.  "Are you royal?"

"The Pooch is many things, but not real royalty to anyone but his wife."  He gave him a smug look.  "C'mon.  We'll handle things."  Xander nodded, heading to get a milkshake before they boarded.  It ended up with Clay next to the kid.  Jensen was on his other side.  Xander was squirmy so Clay and Jensen switched places and Xander got the aisle seat after all.  That meant Clay had to sit in the middle seat but neither of them were hefty and squishing him.  The stewardess came back and said something to Xander, who stared at her.

"You can't do that, ma'am, because you have to take the last passengers off first," he said bluntly.  "Beyond that, the Air Marshals probably won't mind me being on here."  He looked at him.  "Hey, Howdy."

"Xander?  They finally found you?"  He nodded, then head nodded at Clay.  He looked. Then nodded once.  "No, he stays and gets wherever he's going, Miss," he ordered quietly.  "We need him in a safe spot somewhere unknown because we just rescued him from a sacrificial cult."  He smiled.  "We all like the boy."

"That's fine, Air Marshal."  She went to talk to the last few boarding.  They fussed but got free upgrades on the flight leaving in an hour and didn't have connections.

Howdy the Air Marshal looked at Clay.  "Protect him, okay?  The kid finds some of the weirdest people to have pizza with."   He went to his new seat.

Xander shrugged when he saw the others staring at him.  "It was a date and she wanted to assassinate a mayor."  Jensen moaned, shaking his head.

Roque leaned over to look at Jensen.  "He might break your record, Jensen."

"Bite me, Roque."

"Fine."  He smirked as he leaned back.

Xander shrugged a bit when he saw a normal person staring at him.  "What?"  She turned back around quickly.  Xander settled in.  Once they were in the air, the light above him dinged.  He looked up then shrugged at the air hostess.  He pointed behind him.  He nodded for her to step off and watch.  She scowled but did that.  Sure enough, the kid behind him did it again.  The stewardess said something to the mother, who scowled at her son.  She turned off the light and moved back to her seat.

Ten minutes later it happened again.  She caught Xander catching one this time and scowled at him.  He turned it off for her with a sheepish grin.  The kid hit it again.  The stewardess scowled harder at the kid.  She walked off and heard it bing again.  Now others were looking.  They saw him turn it off and the jawbreaker candy go flying again.  It missed and hit the person in front of Xander, who turned to scowl, but Xander pointed at the kid behind him who hit the call button again.

The stewardess took his home-made slingshot from the giftshop at the airport by what it was made of.  She flicked off the call button and turned off the button in the front, putting the slingshot down.  "There's a kid behind the row of scary looking men," she told her fellow stewardess.  "He's being delightful."

Roque looked over at the next one, then got up and towered over them, his dog tags out.  "I'm going back overseas," he growled.  "I need to rest, kid.  You're such a good shot, I'll have someone come recruit to take my place."  He smirked.  The kid shrank down and handed his mother the box of candy.  "Wise idea."  He sat back down.  Surprisingly enough, the kid was well behaved the rest of the flight.

Clay shook his head at that move.  It was effective and worthy of a laugh.

Xander looked over at him.  "I don't take you for that scary," he quipped with a grin.

"I'll prove it to you sometime later, kid."

Xander snickered.  "Sure, if you're sure."  He leaned back slightly, all the seat would allow him.  The kid kicked Clay's seat so he glared back at them.  He didn't have to resort to a threat.  Drinks came around and they all got theirs.  Xander got a glare from Pooch about his soda.  "I need caffeine to calm down the bounciness."

"Fine.  Regulate it so you don't bounce."  The air marshal laughed at that, shaking his head.  He looked at the kid.

"He saw me on a two-pound candy bar."  He grinned and sipped his drink.  The rest of them got comfortable and settled in to do their usual flight rituals.  Jensen was tapping away at some game that didn't require internet access.  Xander was meditating.  Not too deeply because he didn't want to affect his body, but deeply enough that it was mimicking sleep.   He'd never be able to sleep with people around him but he could mimic the rest he needed.  It'd help some.  He was exhausted.


Clay checked them into the hotel and came out to hand out keys.  "Pooch."  He tossed him his.  "Jensen, Cougar."  He tossed that over.

"He can go with his brother if he wants," Cougar said.

"I can't sleep with other people around," Xander said quietly.  "Besides he said he usually rooms with you."  He walked off after being handed his.

"Your rooms adjoin," Clay told Cougar.  "That way they can talk and you can be on guard."  Cougar nodded, not liking it by the look on his face but oh well.  "So does mine."  He handed Roque their key and grabbed the bags.  The kid had his.  That left one and he checked.  "Jensen, you forgot one."

"Coming."  He came down to get it and went back up there.  He opened his door.  Xander hadn't opened his yet so he sat down and stared at it.

"Do the profile," Cougar said quietly.  "That way you know what to talk about."

Jensen nodded at that wisdom, pulling out his computer and getting online.  The motel was cheap but had wi-fi.  He went trolling for all the information he could gather on his brother.  What he saw did not amuse him.  He was scowling by the time he started to find videos.  Someone knocked and Cougar got them extra towels.  The housekeeping woman walked on, knocking on Xander's door.  "He might be asleep," he called.

She moved onto Clay and Roque's room.  They got a few extra towels too.  Xander came out to get one from her and went back to bed.  Jensen kept searching, getting more and more pissed.  He wasn't sure if he was mad at his brother, at his brother's friends who had dragged him into that world, or his father for abandoning his other son for some reason.

He wrote him a nasty email demanding to know why he had been lied to.  He went back to searching, finding all sorts of things he didn't want to believe or think about.  He finally got up and went to Clay's room, knocking until Roque let him in.  "Clay."  He let him see what he had.  "Either my brother is like Roque but hides it better, or he's some sort of scary other sort."

Clay read it over, skipping the videos for now.  He found the more reliable the source, the more respecting they were.  "The demons respect him more than his friends," he said quietly.  He kept going, ending with the videos.  He blanched, letting Roque and Jensen watch with him.  "Why no guns?"

"Wouldn't have worked," Xander called.  "The walls are thin and it'll explode around minute twenty."

"Good to know.  Thanks."  They kept watching.  Yup, it did explode in minute twenty-two.  They kept going and it was worse.  It kept getting worse.  The news report about Sunnydale had been found.

"That's what my sister saw and didn't tell me," Jensen said quietly.  "He apparently lost the eye a few months at the most before then."  Clay nodded once at that.

"Jesus," Roque muttered during the next one.  "He's not there."

"They never recalled him for that one and the next one," Clay said quietly.  "The girls said it was so he was protected."  Roque growled, shaking his head once.  Jensen was tense and stiff.  "Relax," he ordered.  Jensen and them watched.  "We were in LA not three weeks later.  They cleaned it up very well."

Jensen sighed, flipping to another screen.  "The same day as that one he was doing that."

Clay read, grimacing.  That was on an underground network the covert commando teams used to pass intel about areas.  He did make a note to one team wondering that he wasn't in Africa.  So they were safe.  The tech support guy on that team opened a private chat room to tell him what they had heard since Clay said they had spotted him.  Just a friendly warning that made Xander look like the 'godzilla of that ain't right' as the tech support guy put it.  His team leader typed in his own message and put his name after it.  Clay nodded, making a note of that and thanking them.  He signed off, letting Jensen have it back.  "Now we know what to ask," he offered.

Jensen looked at him.  "He's seen more combat than I have," he said.  Clay nodded.  "And we've seen shitloads."

"We have," Roque agreed, sitting on his bed.  "He'll expect you to shy away from him over this."

"No, he's my *twin*, Roque."  He got up and went back to his own room.  He picked the lock on the other door and walked in, shutting them both before he sat down next to Xander.  "A commando compared you to Godzilla."

"Tell Barry I said hi."  He blinked at his twin.  "I don't want to talk about it.  I did what was necessary."

"That's how I feel usually too.  Even during those moments when it all catches up to you and you have to think.  Then I remember I'm protecting Jess.  I never knew I was protecting you too.  I missed you like hell," he nearly whispered.  "They even put me in therapy, Xander."

Xander looked up at him.  "Willow's parents tried a few times."

"Did you know we were alive?"  Xander nodded.  "What did mom tell you?"

"That Dad was a shithead and had left me there on purpose because I wasn't any use to him."

"I sent a nasty, swearing email at him to demand answers."

"He's in Omaha this week.  The Council keeps track of him."

"Yeah, I saw where your head guy handed him to Pooch's former unit.  That whole issue was fucked up."  Xander nodded, relaxing again.  "Are... are you good?  I mean, mostly good?  No usual issues that make you flinch?  No phobias?"

"I got rid of the clown phobia a few years back."

"That's good."  He slid down to lay down and face him.  Like they had when they were kids.  It felt safer and more comfortable.  "How did you get into that mess?" he asked quietly.

"Jesse got taken.  I demanded Buffy take me to help find him."

Jensen swallowed.  "Damn, Xander.  I know Jesse was closer than I was most of the time."  He reached out and hesitated then brushed some of his hair off his forehead.  "Jess wanted to cry on you."  Xander shook his head.  "You sure?"

"She knew.  She didn't send one single letter, card, email, phone call.   I'm... not for a good, long time, Jake."

He nodded.  "I understand.  I wouldn't want to either.  Actually, I told her I didn't want to talk to her at all at the moment.  We have a niece.  She's wonderful."  He pulled out his wallet to show him a picture.  "That was her last birthday."  Xander grinned, touching it.  "She does look so much like Jess, she's almost a clone."  He grinned, putting it between them.  "I spoil her rotten.  I told her about you last year."  He looked at Xander.  "She was so sad.  She said you sounded neat and nice."

"I probably was back then."

"We were both little hell raisers, Xander."

"True.  I eventually grew out of that."

Jensen shifted closer but Xander looked uneasy so he just shifted his position.  "Want to talk about any of it?"


"Okay.  When you're ready, I want to hear."  Xander nodded.  "Got any plans for him or her?"

"No.  Not yet."  He shrugged a bit.  "I'll figure it out eventually."

"We, Xander.  We.  Now that I know you're alive, you're not getting that far out of my sight for a while, even if I have to stalk you."  Xander snorted, shaking his head.  "I will.  I'm a good stalker.  The army taught me well how to stalk and capture and then make you feel miserable for trying to get away."

"Relax, Jake."

"I am.  You're not."

"I'm fine."

Jake stared at him.  "I say that all too often," he admitted.  "Pain?"  Xander shrugged.  "Too much pain?"

"I took some advil."

"Good.  You have to let us know these things.  That way we can make plans for them in case something happens."

"If I can hide, nothing should unless they're mystically tracking me.  Which I wouldn't put past Willow."

"I'm pretty sure Clay told her it'd make you less safe."  He shifted again, stretching out this time.  "Can I...  Just a hug?  Then you can beat my ass later?"  Xander shrugged again so he hugged him.  Xander slowly hugged back.  "I missed you so much," he whispered.

"Don't make me emo, Jake.  We'll have many months of that coming up."

Jensen laughed, pinching him on the arm.  "If you're sure."  He stared at him.  "Need anything specific for eye care?"  Xander shook his head.  "No rinse or anything?"

"No.  It's good."

"Okay.  All you have to do is let us know."  He stroked his cheek underneath the patch.  "If it wasn't dead I'd go kill it for you."

Xander grimaced.  "It got fully dead."

"Good."  He moved his hand and grinned.  "We should get a pizza tonight."

"Let me rest first?"

"Of course."  He hopped up, leaving the picture there.  "I'll find the other pictures of her I have hidden in my kit and on my computer.  I even have a birthday video I think," he offered.

"Yeah, I might like that."  Jensen grinned and went back to his own room.  Xander looked at the picture of his niece.  Things were getting back to scary, emo range again.  He put the picture on the other pillow and drifted off, resting as much as he could.  He wouldn't get much sleep for the next few years and he knew that he needed it to finish healing too.


Jensen walked in with a pizza.  "Xander?" he called quietly.


"Cool."  He sat on the bed, smiling at the picture.  He put the box down in front of him, waiting on his brother.  When Xander came out he was only wearing a towel around his waist.  Jensen gasped, pulling him closer.

"Jake, let go," Xander ordered.

"Hell, Xander!  You still need to be covering those."

"They're fine.  Let.  Go."  Jensen let him go.  "Thank you."

"Sorry, I didn't even think about the grabbing stuff."  He gave him a hug.  "Any others?"

"Few others," he admitted.  "I'm fine.  They're mostly healed."

"Xander, you have more scars than Roque does."  He stared at him.  "Want me to get the first aid kit so I can put neosporin on them?"

"Nah, they're almost gone."  He put on clothes quickly.  "What'd you get us?"

"Cheese because I don't know if you like anything on yours."  He grinned.  "But we can order a second one later."

"Cheese is always good, especially since I'm told I'll have cravings later on."  He sat down and handed the picture back.  Jake looked hurt.  "That's yours."

"You can have that one.  I have another."  Xander grinned and put it into his wallet. Jake smiled at him and they dug in, talking about sports.  Neither was great but they had both come to appreciate soccer.  They could get closer again.  Slowly but carefully.  Jensen wasn't going to pry about Xander's hunting stuff.  If his brother wanted to talk to him he'd talk.


Clay spotted the kid sneaking off, grabbing a jacket to follow him.  "What is he thinking?" he muttered.  He glanced over the kid for weapons, not finding any obvious ones.  Maybe a knife holster.  Xander checked before breaking into a place and heading to a back area they could hear music from.  Clay followed, staying in the shadows.

The kid wasn't really worried about being followed, which was stupid of him, but he was being very careful not to be seen.  The music got louder when a storage area's door opened.  Then he saw the blow gun tube come out of the boy's jacket.  He timed it well.  Two of them disappeared before their buddies were aware of it.  They went to dust, which was a bit freak worthy but otherwise not bad of the kid.

"Man, they must've already left on that beer run," one of the other vamps said.  "I was going to ask them to get me a twinkie too."  He grimaced.  "It's a good thing the local slayer's in Regina this week for her sister's wedding."  The other vamp belched as he put down his empty can, nodding.  "Think they're still pissy over losing Harris?"

"I heard they found him but strange things happened," his buddy said.  "Something about chaos sorts and if he came back he'd be bringing an apocalypse with him.  So they retired him."

"Aww, that's so sweet of them," Xander said, stepping into the light.  "Yeah, the whole 'last of the slayer line' child thing is killing my kidneys right now."  He stared at them.

"Shit, Harris!" the one with the beer can yelped, backing up.  "Dude, it's our stuff.  We're not stealing!"

Xander stared at him.  "I gave Merissa that tape."  The vampire whimpered.  "And while I know you're her ex, didn't I warn you not to piss her off?"

"Yeah," he said cautiously.  "I didn't."

"You tried to nibble."

"Oops?  It's instinct but I didn't get more than a sip.  I can see why Angel and Spike dated Buffy.  They were strong enough to not get addicted to her taste and put up with her."  His fellow vampire rushed the kid and got staked very casually.  "Man!" he whined.  "He's my sire."

Xander stared at him.  "Go learn how to do it the non-drinking way."

"That's not fun."

"If you don't, Merissa's going to be single."

"Oh."  He considered that option.  "Butcher shop blood tastes nasty."

"Yeah, Spike would agree with you on that," he said dryly.  "Get out of Merissa's shit."

"But...."  He vamped out.  "You brought backup for a change?"

Xander sniffed then shook his head.  "He followed for my brother."  He stared at him.  "Well?"

The vampire whimpered.  "It's gross."

"Hey, go to LA.  Maybe Connor can find you some nice cons or something."  The vampire moaned, nodding happily.  "Shoo."  He walked past him.  Xander pulled down the door and locked it.  The vampire came rushing back to eat him and Xander staked him.  "I warned you."  He walked off.  "I can do that, Clay."

"It's too dangerous in your condition," he said impatiently, stepping into the hallway.  "You're not supposed to do that while you're that way.  It could kill you both."

"That's why I did it long distance.  I know what I'm doing."

"Go clubbing to relieve the stress," Clay ordered, staring at him.  "It's safer and your brother or someone can go with you."

"I'm not really interested in that stuff right now."

Clay nodded.  "I can understand why, kid, but you still need to not do dangerous things.  Otherwise there's no real reason for you to need guarded."

Xander huffed.  "Fine.  Whatever."

"Thank you."  He led him back to the motel.  Pooch was giving them a long stare.  "He went for some stress relief."

"Merissa asked me to check on her stuff because she thought her boyfriend might try to jack some of it."

"How did she know you'd be local?" Pooch asked.

"Willow told her," he said dryly.

"I'll get onto her about that," Clay assured him.  "That's not safe."  He walked the boy into his room, sitting down at the small table to look at him.  "How much of that profile your brother pulled up was fact?" he asked quietly.

"I didn't really go over it."  Clay went to get the computer and brought it back so he could read it over.  Xander huffed as he read.  "They were watching when no one else was apparently.  Though I've seen two inaccurate things, mostly who I didn't sleep with."  He kept reading, sighing at a few things.  "I wasn't there.  They assumed I was."  He showed him.  "I was in the hospital with malaria.  The girls assumed I was there because they knew I'd be there if I could.  None of them really paid any attention when I got sick."

"You need better friends."

"It's a calling, not a game, Colonel."

He nodded.  "I figured it'd have to be."  He looked at him, watching him read the rest.  "I'm going to have a doc *I* trust do a full workup.  That way we make sure you're healthy and that nothing like that could damage either of you."

"Bethesda did a good job," he said quietly, looking up at him.

"I saw their records.  They barely did any bloodwork after that one test result came back positive."

"That's because we had to block some things being looked at," Xander told him.  "Because they could have leaks or hackers might find things."

"Mine won't.  He's underground, has his own lab.  He can run his own tests.  He will not tell because he's seen about everything.  He knows enough people with strange things that can get them killed to make a fortune and he doesn't.  Plus we need to check the health of the newest little hellion in there."

Xander swallowed.  "I don't want him running certain tests on my blood.  Yes he can check me for the routine problems but that'll come with more issues.  There's people like Willow on the other side too."

"I get that," he said, thinking about it.  "What else did you have beyond malaria, kid?"

Xander smirked.  "That's a whole different matter.  I wasn't sick for that long."

"Something like super measles?  Ebola?"

"No, they ruled out ebola when I got really sick once.  That was right before that thing in Antigua.  I was recovering down there actually when that happened."  He sighed.  "I...  Got exposed to some long dead viruses."

"Dangerous ones?" he guessed.  Xander nodded.  "Jensen, is there a hunt order on your brother's blood?" he called.  The walls were thin enough that he didn't have to shout.  If Jensen wasn't awake, Cougar would wake him and tell him to look.

Jensen walked in and sat down, taking his computer back to look it up.  He stared then at his brother.  "How did that happen?"

Xander looked over his arm.  "DNA taint.  Swim coach."  He looked at him.  "Look at that rebellion group down in the eastern, middle part of Africa."  Jensen knew who he was talking about.  So did Clay by the way he was staring at him.  Xander shrugged slightly, ducking his head.

"Aramon," Clay said bluntly.

"Kinda," he hissed.  He shrugged a bit.  "They had my slayer?"

Jensen glared at him then went back to looking.  "Shit," he muttered.

"They ruled out ebola."

"We're lucky no one bigger has heard about that," he said, staring at his brother.  Xander looked then shrugged.  He let Clay see it.  "You're a virologist's wet dream, Xander.  How did you do that?"

"I fell into a burial chamber while I was working."

Jensen groaned, leaning forward to cover his face with his hands.  Then he looked at his brother.  "We're going to make you disappear.  It'll be a complete wipe of all the online traces."

"If you do that you'll compromise the slayer network."

Jensen considered that.  "We can work around that and make sure there's no obvious information about you."

"The Council has some and they knew that before the majority of them got killed, Jensen.  That happened back before we took down a special ops group in Sunnydale."  Clay nearly dropped the computer.  "They were torturing people!"

"Fuck," Clay said.  "I know someone who was out there beyond Pooch."  He went to talk to him.  He came back ten minutes later, staring at the kid.  "The weapons?"

"Were in Chicago," he said dryly.  "They're in the UK now.  Mystical transport company thanks to Spike."

Clay blinked a few times then nodded.  "Jensen, someone in the government did get some of his blood to test, thanks to that bastard vampire they were sheltering and using."  Xander huffed.  "Find any and all reports and delete them.  Wipe him as clean as you can without compromising the slayer network.  We'll work on the whole new identity thing tomorrow, kid."  He went back to his room.  The brothers needed to talk.

Jensen stared at him.  "At least you'll be able to retire.  No one should come looking for you in that special way."

"It sucks ass.  I'm scary so people don't attack me.  It's not like almost every demon can't tell I'm a hellmouth born child."

"Why didn't I get that same sort of problem?" Jensen asked.

Xander shrugged.  "You got evacuated soon enough maybe?  That's something to ask someone like Dad since Giles claims he knows nothing about that."

"When I beat the hell out of him, I'll leave him living enough to answer then."  He gave his brother a hug.  "Why are you in street clothes?"

"One of the slayers wanted me to check on her stuff because she's at her sister's wedding this week.  Her ex was a douche who was turned."

"That sucks."

"I gave him the chance, he attacked."  He shrugged.  "They do that."  Jensen hugged him harder.  Xander wiggled free.  "No clinging."

"Shut up, Xander.  You're my brother and I need to cling and stalk right now since I finally got you back."  He stared at him.  "You've been alone a long time, and I get that, but it's making me feel highly overprotective and even Jess gets this treatment sometimes after bad missions."  He hugged him again.  "We should rest."

"I can't sleep with people."

"I'm not a people."

"You're a human that makes you a people."

"Do you kick your girls out of your bed?"

Xander nodded.  "It's been a long damn time since I let anyone screw me and stay over.  Since before I walked away from Anya actually."

Jensen swallowed, nodding.  "We need to find you a nice girlfriend."


"Or boyfriend," he offered.

"Ehh, no.  Not even thinking about that stuff right now."

"Okay.  I get that."  He helped Xander back into bed and went back to his own.  Tomorrow he'd obsessively stalk his brother again and see what was wrong with Cougar.  Because he was acting stranger than normal.


Jensen and Cougar were off getting breakfast stuff.  "Okay, spill," Jensen said once they were in the car and headed for the store.  Cougar grunted.  "I know something's wrong.  You've been giving me dirty looks.  Is it because you didn't know I was born a twin?"

"He is wrong," Cougar said in Spanish.  "You can feel the wrongness."

Jensen sighed, slinking down some in his seat.  "The town we were born in, the one he grew up in, was on a hellmouth.  That's a spot of thinness between realms and dimensions, Cougs.  It's a lot like space radiation.  That's why all the bad things were drawn to Sunnydale.  Apparently I didn't get as much as he did.  He thinks he's still got some stored somewhere in him."  He looked at his best friend.  "Or are you talking about how they tortured him and did spells on him?"

"That is a further wrong."

"Would you rather he had miscarried and all the slayers died?  Because apparently the line dies out with the one he's carrying if she's not healthy."  Cougar shuddered, shaking his head.  "Then you wanna talk about this?"

"It's against God's laws."

"Yeah, well, the ones who did it to him are demons," he said dryly.  "Wolfram and Hart are like that.  That's why they keep trying to end the world."  Cougar shot him a look when he had to pause at a stop sign.  "They've been behind some of the major apocalypses in the last few years.  They're also government contractors," he said with a smirk.  "The same people that pay us to stop the hell pay them to start the road to hell."

"What does he plan on doing with the child?" Cougar asked as he pulled into the parking lot.

"He said he's not sure but I'm sure he's not giving it up for adoption.  He's been lonely and needs the time off anyway.  I have *no* idea what our father is going to do since he changed the curse on him apparently."  He unbuckled and got out, looking at Cougar across the roof of the car.   "If a british guy who looks a *lot* like Xander shows up, wing him.  We both need to kick his ass and he's evil.  I'll show the picture I have of him later.  There's no telling what sort of complications we'll have from him."  He walked inside.  "Twinkies.  Xander always liked twinkies."  He headed for that area.

Cougar went to get real food, not Jensen food.  He had a lot to think about.  How could God let something like that happen?

A priest in the store looked at him.  "My son, sometimes God has plans that are not ours.  Including needing oranges ripened during a festival to one of his saints where they're presented in honor."  He picked a few that were mostly ripe and walked off.

Cougar stared at the priest for a minute.  If that was his answer, it was too cryptic for him but maybe he understood.  Not like the kid could've protested.  He was being tortured.


Jensen sat down next to Xander on the bed, staring over his shoulder at what his brother was doing.  "Not that I mind but nothing I've seen shows that you can hack," he said quietly.

"I'm not hacking.  I'm chatting to set some things up."  He looked at him.  "Tell him we're going to Malaysia if we can.  That way we have a house waiting near a beach?"

"That's not a bad idea.  Anything on the area?"

"Yeah, actually, it used to belong to the Council.  Giles suggested it by telling Willow to turn the deed over to me.  She said she's sending Spike to get my stuff there."  Jensen nodded, going to tell Clay that.  Xander got back to chatting with a few underground friends.  He was having visions of grandeur that he shouldn't have.  Clay and Jensen came back so he typed in a 'brb' and switched windows.  "That's the old Council house.  It's got ten bedrooms, seven bathrooms, is mostly private, about a mile from a town.  There's a tiny hospital about thirty minutes away and half the docs are listed on the underground as knowing something, or there's some really good underground surgeons nearby.  It's warm, it's soothing with the ocean, it's fairly well protected, and Giles gave it to me."

He nodded.  "That'll solve a lot of issues.  Security system?"

"Wards against demons.  Willow went to do that and Dawn promised to do a memory spell so she won't remember where it is.  Giles told her to."  He smirked.  "Dawn has always protected me and Giles said it was the least he could do since I'd have to train her or him in how to be a slayer.  Also, our fucking father isn't allowed in the country.  Wolfram and Hart only have two allies in the area, and one of them owes me majorly so we probably won't see him.  The other I can take artillery to if it shows up.  Plus, very low cost of living so cheap to hide there.  And hey, when I'm hugely fat and round I can wear a sarong or Indian pants with ties."

"That's not a bad plan, kid.  Are you going to keep it?"

"Depends on what they try after I give birth."  He looked at his brother then back at Clay.  "Also, it'll let what's-his-name bring his wife if he wants because that area's not in turmoil like some areas."

"That'll work," he decided.  "Airport?"

"Within forty miles of the house.  Roads might be a bit bumpy, not totally sure by google earth."

Jensen looked.  "Cougar?"  He came in.  "You had a mission over there, how's the local atmosphere and roads?"

Cougar looked then shrugged.  "Roads are like South American roads.  I was on another island but the locals were nice.  The cities are their problem."

"Then we can do that," Clay decided.  "If we have to, we can head from there."  Xander nodded at that.  "Do you have a backup spot?"

"Yes, but I don't really want to go back to Russia.  I technically own the apartment a slayer is living in, but she's sick right now.  She has a version of demon pox and they're not sure if she'll make it."

"Which would be covering your rear but still in your name," Clay warned.

"No, it's in my backup ID.  Which no one at the Council knows outside of Faith and Dawn.  So is this house.  Dawn made sure of it.  Giles had her handle the paperwork so he could sit with Mya."

"That's even better," Clay agreed, smiling at him.  "Any other plots?"

"Yeah, I'm thinking about becoming the Lex Luthor sort against Wolfram and Hart.  Someone has to now that Angel's passed on."

"We need you to lay low," Jensen reminded him.

Xander grinned.  "If I give you three names can you make them miserable?"  Jensen nodded.  He wrote them out and handed them over.  "Let me finish my chat and I'll give you your laptop back."

"Sure.  Who are you chatting with?" Jensen asked.

"Some guys I met in Africa.  One I met in Hong Kong when I was getting free of his asshole cousin."  He grinned.  "Because I want the baby's birthday present to have fireworks."  He got back to it.  "Oh, if we're going into my storage area, yeah I hold the backup armory for the Council.  I'm the only one who likes things beyond the sharp and pointy sort.  The girls like to pet them when it's necessary but don't like maintenance work on them."

"Okay," Clay said, walking off to consider that.  He told Pooch that information, letting him call some people he knew in that part of the world.  A few hours later, Clay came back to find Jensen hacking in Xander's room and Xander asleep.  He nudged the kid, staring at him.  "You have a what sort of nuclear weapon in storage?"

Xander blinked at him.  "No, it's not in storage."  He tapped the earring he wore.  "It's embedded mystically so I can pull it out if it's ever that bad.  Since I've been pulled to a few demon realms over the years and they seem to like me a lot."  He shifted.  "It's my third one."

Clay stared at him.  "You used...."

"Yeah, the demon realm wanted to gang rape me.  Hell yes!"

Clay stared at him.  "Anything that way I want and need to know about, before they're pulled out, kid."

Xander looked at him.  "Some are embedded in scars?" he said sheepishly.  "I have one in my scalp I can never find?"

Clay stared.  "Why didn't the hand wand pick those up?"

"Hellmouth taint?"

"Uh-huh.  I think we need to do a better debrief."

"I'm immune to truth serum," he said quickly.

"I wasn't even going to think about it.  It might kill the baby."  He stared at him.  "We're not that sort of team usually."

"Sure you're not.  That's not what Barry and Chris said."

Jensen looked up.  "Chris hates me because he cheats at poker and Cougar beats him by cheating better."

"Why does that make him hate you?"

"Because I taunt him about it," Jensen said with a grin.  "Like your rep, don't believe everything you read, Xander."

"They got most of mine right."  Jensen stopped typing to stare at him, mouth open.  "They listed two people I didn't sleep with that they thought I had, and a battle I was sick during but the girls were certain I was there and had disappeared too fast afterward so no one could bitch me out."

Jensen swallowed.  "You were in Guarnja?"

"Yeah, for about two weeks and that was an accident.  I was on vacation, Jensen.  They just happened to show up and try that temple while I was in the marketplace buying souvenirs."  They both stared at him oddly.  "There were only three of them to stake!" he defended.  "I get plenty of that 'you're normal, quit doing that' from the girls," he said firmly.

"We're just fucking amazed, Xander," Jensen assured him.  "We're normal guys with training too.  Really.  I'd never lecture anyone who did anything unless it was totally stupid and risked their lives without any training or reason.  Though there was that time some kid picked up a fallen gun and shot someone who was trying to stab me.  I did remind him that doing such things lead to a bad life like that guy's or mine."  He stared at his twin.  "Weird things happen around me too.  Clay dates really dangerous women who want to kill him."

Xander looked at him.  "At least mine quit trying to kill me?" he offered.  "Mostly?  Outside of Ellenna Beth?"

"Mitcherson?" Clay asked.  Xander grinned and nodded.  "You need better taste in women and that says something coming from me, kid," he said dryly.  "Not even I'd date that."

"I was really lonely and she just happened to be where I was the last time.  Well, the last three times."  He cleared his throat.  "She's really good in bed.  Even if she did threaten to sell me to someone if I didn't get back to the oral sex and I did kinda free her supply line," he babbled.  "Because selling people is *bad* and wrong and all that good stuff.  So yeah, I had to break in and get those people out of there.  And well, the guards were very amused when I beat one.  They told her when she got better and she still came back for more sex but she quit selling people for a while because I upset them by freeing her captives and they don't like her as much anymore."

Roque leaned in through the adjoining door.  "Kid, you babble worse than your brother.  If you're going to date while we're around, we'll pick you up someone nice and hopefully sane."  He went back to talking to Cougar.  He was clearly uneasy and something had to be done about that before he hesitated.

Jensen stared at his brother.  "I'll teach my niece or nephew how to pick up better women and men," Jensen decided, getting back to work.  "Why do we want them destroyed, Xander?"

"Two of them were there during the ritual that knocked me up and the other wants to sacrifice Dawn.  I promised to kill him really hard but then I got captured."

"Huh.  Sure, that's a good reason."  He added his own devious twist to the destruction.  They needed to be miserable and suffer first.  And hey, the baby needed a college and shoe shopping fund.  All the slayers apparently shopped like teenage girls.  Even if they weren't.


Xander found his storage area was now in the garage of the house.  Which was nice since Dawn had expanded it and put up overhead signs to show where things were.  Xander closed the garage door and went to get the car keys.  "Groceries?"

"Might be a good idea," Clay agreed.  "Pooch?"  He nodded, taking the kid with him.  "Jensen, any problems for comms or tech gear?"

"No.  We have a good backup generator and a supply of gas.  We might want to add some more because we only have seven five-gallon containers.  All the rooms have electricity and cable.  There's a cable modem already set up, and cable tv.  All the beds somehow have fresh linen too."

"Dawn left a note saying she had cleaned up the place," Clay said.  "Cougar, security?"

"Good.  Plenty of areas."

Roque nodded.  "The gate is good and sturdy.  It'd take a tank to break through it.  The house looks solid enough.  There's gear down by the beach, balance beams and exercise stuff.  The kitchen looks like it works.  The bathrooms are nice enough."

"Good," Clay said.  "Set up a rotation and, Jensen, do cameras on the roads and things."  He nodded.  "Then with your brother go through his storage area so we know what he has that we can count on.  It'll give you two some time to talk alone."

"I can do that.  I also notice we have five brand spanking new toss away phones in the kitchen.  All with various serial numbers and local sim cards."  He smirked.  "I can reup the minutes on them online or in person at most every store locally."

"Good.  Whoever did that plan helped a lot."

"Xander asked Dawn since she'd never betray him."

"It's good to know he has an ally."  Clay went to check his room.  Roque had tossed his bag into one.  It was nice.  Full size bed was going to be a bit short but he'd handle it.  The bathroom nearest his room was nicely set up.  Shower and tub, toilet, bidet, sink on a pedestal in a clamshell shape.  It was sand and really light pink but he'd deal with that.


Xander slid away that night, going to his storage area's side door.  He snuck in and closed the door again.  He locked it and put on the chain, then went looking for specific things.  He needed some things to get some people back for doing this to him.  Though when he had called Dawn earlier she was upset because it was apparently apocalypse time and annoyed at her sister so she had taken it out on him.  He had said a nice thank you and let her go back to her stuff.  He found the box of documents he needed and it was better.  She hadn't bothered to repack anything, just moved it.  He felt the magic shift and winced.  Something had happened.  He felt it start to undo the stretching spell and did something stupid.  He had ignored that for so long it hurt to do but he was fine.  The crunch was a minimal one and then it went back.  He smiled, getting back into his digging.  The main door rattled.  "It's nothing."

It was opened by Roque.  "I heard a crunch."

"Yeah, the stretching spell wasn't fully anchored so it undid for a second.  Sorry to wake you."  He got back into the box, pulling out what he needed.

Roque walked between things, looking at what he was pulling out.  "Your fake ID files?"  Xander nodded.  "That's going to be a good thing to have."

"Also the bribe money for when someone tries something."  He pointed.  "It's over there somewhere.  I'll get it in a few minutes."

"Okay.  Anything break?"

"I hope not."  He looked around.  "Anything on the bottom is heavier and probably in a padded case if it's a weapon so probably not."  Roque looked at him oddly.  "What?"

"Never mind."  He left, closing the door after himself.  He heard the twang of a crossbow and reopened it.  "What was that?"

"Rat."  He pointed.

Roque got the carcass free and tossed it into the bush, handing him the bolt back, getting a grin.  Roque went back to his room deciding that Xander was the scary twin of the two of them.  Jensen could be cold and mean when necessary but Xander was downright strange and probably really dangerous.  He'd have to tell Clay about the overhead signs.  The whole 'weapons' section was probably a good thing to go over.


Jensen walked into the garage th next morning, handing Xander a cup of coffee.  "Iced."  Xander grinned, sipping it before putting it aside.  "What are you looking at?"

"Slayer related documents to see if I need to shred anything.  I haven't done a shredding job in a while.  And I still need to talk to her in Kazakstan, see if anything of mine is still around."

"I can email her," Jensen offered.

"She's computer phobic.  I'll call if I can find my spare cellphone."  Jensen looked and went to a likely looking section, finding one.  "That's it.  Thanks."

"That's older."

"It's nearly indestructible."  He called.  "It's Xander."  She squealed and he pulled the phone away from his ear.  "Hey."  He smiled.  "Demon lawyers.  Yes, the ones I warned you about.  How are we?"  He listened.  "You can stake those usually.... oh, in heat.  Yeah, that'll take silver but I left you the silver stakes in that little case."  He grinned.  "Yup, the other are cold iron."  He listened to her give a report.

"No, I can't go back right now.  Because the lawyers tried to use me to end the slayer line," he said bluntly.  "No, I'm pregnant."  She gasped then babbled something in her native language, mostly praying he was joking.  "I wish.  No, I'm safe.  I had to retire of course, and they're still hunting me so I'm hiding really good.  That's why I was calling, yeah.  Please?  I can give you a local address and pick it up.  Thank you, dear.  I know you wouldn't.  Otherwise I would've had Faith call.  No, they had me for almost three months.  No, I hate food."

She giggled and said something.  "I know.  I helped a few of you through your own."  He sighed.  "But some day she or he will be part of the slayer line.  You call me if you need me.  I can at least give advice and that stuff.  Yup, I'm certain.  There's no way anyone can trace this line.  That's why we set it up that way.  Thank you, dear.  You be careful and make sure I hear how you're doing.

"Spread it to the others of my girls you talk to.  I'm okay and it'll be fine.  I just had to retire.  No, Buffy didn't force me to but I can't really be in a battle this way, right?"  He grinned.  "Exactly.  Thanks.  Be safe, make me a great uncle some year, Ella.  I mean it."  She laughed and promised she would get to work on that, her mother would like that too.  "I know.  Be safe, dear."  He hung up.  "I had someone very clever set up an untraceable email and phone system among us."

"That's always a helpful thing," Jensen said, taking the phone to look over.  "Magic?"


Jensen looked up.  "I felt magic last night?"

"For some reason the anchoring spell came undone."


"I just held it.  I don't practice or anything."

"Good!"  Jensen stared at him.  "Are you okay?" he asked quietly.

"No, I'm still freaking out."

"I can understand that."  He patted him on the shoulder.  "Let's get the rest of the stuff you need inside there and then we'll come look over the weapons?"

"Sure."  He got the clothes and papers, plus some money in there, then they came back to do some weapons petting.  Jensen found something and took a picture, sending it to Clay's phone.  Clay came in a few minutes later to look that over.  Xander looked up.  "It crunched a bit but it looks all right."

"Why hasn't someone arrested you for that?"

"What else are you supposed to use to take down demons when they're as big as a trailer or larger?  Everyone may hate the Council but they hate it when we don't show up in time even more or when we make a mess fighting something.  They'd much rather we once off it and then fade to the shadows again."

"Good point I suppose."  He helped them go through the weapons.   "Is this all your gear?"

"No, Spike didn't move the one in Chicago or the one I keep in Fez.  He didn't know about the one in Fez and the one in Chicago is mostly slayer related stuff.   I need to sneak and look them over."

"I thought Spike moved the stuff in Chicago," Jensen said.

"So did I.  All this was in my main storage area in Cleveland though."  He called Spike.  It was dinner time, he might be up.  "Spike, me, didn't you say you moved the Chicago stuff?"  He listened to the complaining.  "Well, yeah, I'd like my weapons since a huge demon just appeared outside."  He opened something and shot the demon, making it crack into little pieces and crumble.  He listened to him again.  "So, what's the huge problem?"  He listened, then snorted.  "Spike, put me on a really loud speaker.  Please."  He mumbled something rude but had Dawn amplify it.

Xander said something, sounding perfectly reasonable, in a demon language.  He could hear Spike cackling.  Yay.  He finished up with a spat phrase.  "I've had enough, people.  Don't make me come back there right now.  I'm not really in a great mood thanks to Wolfram and Hart.  You're taking me away from their destruction.  Now, are there other problems?"  Spike said something else.  "Well, yay.  I tell you what.  Dawn can do a mimicking charm so *everyone* can feel how it is to be knocked up," he snarled.  "That way you can all have morning fucking sickness with me."  Buffy yelled about his language.

"Yay, Buffster.  You can show how very well it works."  She walked off shuddering, he could hear it.  "Now, is there really an apocalypse battle?  Because right now I'm in a *charming* mood," he said with a smile.  "I've just met up with my twin brother again after quite a while.  I'm having to consolidate things from everywhere back to where I am.  I'm not a happy Xander and I'm coming up there to prove it!"  The demons fled.  "Thank you for your cooperation!" he called.

"Very sweet of you.  Tell Hubert I'm fine and if he sends another guard down I'm going to freeze them next time just to switch things up.  Spike, can you please talk to Barry and what's-his-name in Fez that's a fucking idiot who I wanted to bury in the sand?"  He listened.  "No, the other one, Spike.  Yes, him.  He has the emergency keys to my storage area there.  Thank you.  Sorting out the stuff from Cleveland and making my brother give me very worried looks.  Yes, Willow, Jensen.  I'll have him send you a picture," he said dryly.  He hung up.  Then he threw the phone.   "I'm so glad I picked the unfragile ones."

"Xander," Jensen asked quietly.  "Want a hug?"

"No.  Don't touch."  He walked off, going into the woods and down toward the beach.  Roque gave hm an odd look.  "My friends are judgmental bitches.  Even the male ones."

"We were told that."

"It's a good thing they don't know who our father is."  He went to play in the surf, hoping the sound would calm the anger and the nausea.  He had to run to a bush to puke but that was something he expected.  He went back to playing in the surf, getting comfortable.  He decided to get naked and frolic.  It was time to frolic and play.  And if some water sprites showed up to play and pat his stomach, that was fine.

Jensen followed after a few minutes, giving his twin time to calm down.  He watched him play with the water sprites.  He took off his shirt, pants, and boots and socks, heading down to join him.  "Is it safe?"

"They're water sprites.  As long as you respect them they're friendly."  He grinned.  "This is my twin brother, Great Ones."  They floated over to look at Jensen and poke him, getting a grin and some frolicking from him too.

Roque watched, then looked behind him when he heard a footstep.  "Clay!" he called over the comm.   He stared at the redhead.  "What do you want, Rosenburg?"

"Why is he naked?"

"He's having fun."  Clay walked up behind her.  Roque nodded at her.

"Rosenburg," Clay growled.  "Didn't we point out how dangerous it was to pinpoint him?"

"Why is he naked?" she asked.

"The baby apparently wanted out."  She shuddered.  "They did it to him, not like he did the spell to do it to himself," Clay said dryly.  He stared her down.  "Is there a problem?"

"He's naked and playing with water sprites?" she demanded.

Xander got out with a sigh, walking over to them.  "Why yes, I am.  It's keeping down the anger issues I have right now."  He smiled.  "Before I work on destroying more people."  She gaped.  He stared.  "I felt you pinpoint me three times," he said dryly.

"You were working!  I thought you had tripped or something!"

He stared at her then pointed at the tiny tattoo every single member of the Council wore.  "Really?"  She blanched.  "Are you working with them, Willow?"  She glared.  He stared back.  "I'm really not in a good mood," he said calmly.  "And you're being a grumpy bitch because I handled something that you didn't want to.  Again.  The same as I did in Vladina's house."  He stared at her until she huffed.  "Now, since nothing can be *done* about this, or else all the slayers die, I have to accept this and so do all of you."

"You didn't have to," she sneered.

"You're right, let me grab a knife," he said, getting one off Roque.  He looked at his stomach, pressing the tip into the flesh.  "I can stop all the morning sickness really quickly.  And then no more stress in my life."

"You'll kill Buffy!" she shouted.

"Make up your damn mind, woman, you can't have it both ways," Roque said, taking the knife back.  "Kid, go play in the water."

"I'm not happy anymore."

Jensen walked up and walked Xander back down there.  "C'mon, we'll do some swimming.  Jess spent half the last two months in a pool."  He glared at Rosenburg.  "Unlike him, I'll torture your ass until you beg Janus for mercy," he vowed.  "Leave my brother alone."

"Jensen," she said, staring in awe.  "He did find you?"

"Yeah, my commando team got assigned to protect him."  He smirked, still staring her down.  She shrank back.  "Just because our father told us he was dead doesn't mean he's not still my twin."  She squeaked.  "Now, anything else?  You're upsetting him and that's not good for him."

Dawn appeared with a sigh, blanking Willow's mind out.  She did the memory charm and sent her home.  "Fucking bitch sometimes," she said dryly.

"Dawn, I reanchored that spell," Xander called.

"I felt; sorry, Xander.  I'll anchor it permanently later."  She smiled at Clay.  "Giles just found out.  I think this is his bitchy mood.  Fez, Xander?"

"Yeah.  And Chicago.  Plus the bags in the safe houses if you could have them shipped."

"I can do that.  That's not that hard.  UPS is good."  She looked at Clay again.  "He's in pain," she said bluntly.  "He'll never tell you.  I've seen him in that same mood because of broken ribs, when his pelvic bone broke, and on and on.  So yeah, he's bitchy and in pain."  She disappeared, going to chew Giles a new one.  He found Buffy shouting about 'how it figured'.

"Oh, yeah, because his father left him in Sunnydale to fucking die," she shouted over her sister, making her flinch.  "His twin brother said that their father told him Xander was dead."  She stared at her sister.  "It's not like it mattered before.  His father plagued him before and did this time by changing the damn baby to be the end of the slayer line.  He.  Does.  Not.  Need.  This!" she shouted.  She glared at all three of them.  "Fuck yourselves if you think he *wants* this.  He nearly stabbed himself in the stomach."

"How could he do that to us!" Buffy shouted.

"Because all his friends are bitches," Dawn said bluntly.  "As you proved yet again, sister dear.  Are you going for wicked stepmother?  Maybe feeling some lusties for him because you're going slightly evil?"  Faith cackled at that.  "You wanted him gone and now that you got it, you're hating it.  Deal with it.  It's your damn choice."

"It's not safe," Giles said quietly.

Dawn stared at him.  "Oh and you're *so* much better because of his father?"  Giles flinched.  "Grow the hell up.  I'm younger than all of you and more mature."  Faith nodded.  "I'm going to arrange for all his stuff to get to him so he can sort out anything Council related to send back.  He might need something he had stored to protect himself -and the future slayer he's bearing."  She stared around the group.  "It sucks when I'm the adult here."  She walked off to start that calling circle, getting Spike's help.  "I'm going to college in another country to get away from all of you!" she yelled as she walked.

"Whatever," Buffy sighed.  She looked at Giles.  "It has to...."

"No, his father abandoned him," Willow sighed.  "I forget that I had seen his father before. Maybe it's a memory spell, not totally sure."  She sat down.  "I remember him and Jensen and his little sister, being around for about eight months before he walked off with the other two."  She looked up.  "Ethan never tried anything but his mom remarried his stepfather.  I don't remember him trying anything that I'd think now was mystical."

Giles finished polishing his glasses and put them back on.  "It might not have been noticeable."

"Would that be why Xander attracts such trouble?" Buffy asked.

"No, that's the hellmouth," Willow said dryly.  "Where he sucked up so much more than I did."  She looked at Giles again.  "Are we being bad to him because of that?  He thinks I found him a few times."

"You had," he told her.  "You always said he got hurt helping train."  He stared at her.  She slowly shook her head.  "Yes, you did.  I even watched you do it once.  I don't know why.  We need to figure that out."

"Well, they were high demons," Faith said.  "Or her magic addiction shit is coming back to bite her now."  She looked at them.  "Let's cut him some slack.  If it was one of the girls we'd be 'poor babying' her to death."  Buffy nodded.  They did do that to the girl that got attacked.  "It's not his choice.  Xander was tortured for months before they did that.  It's no wonder he didn't want to talk to you three."  She glared at Giles.  "Quit blocking things."

"I'm not... oh.  Well perhaps I am."

Dawn walked back in, dropping a bag.  She lit a candle and undid all the magic in the house.  Willow shrieked and went limp.  Giles passed out.  Buffy flinched.  Dawn smiled at Faith.  "I think we found the problem."  She walked around to repeat the spell.  Someone knocked on the door while she was doing it.  She opened it then slammed it in his face.  "You're not going to cause your happies here today."  She walked off to finish her task.

Outside Ethan sighed, walking off.  He'd try to talk to Ripper later about how his son was doing.  He felt what the little bit was doing and finished unraveling everything for her.  She clearly needed some chocolate and a nap.


Xander looked out from his staring at the ceiling, feeling the magic going off.  He went to check the garage.  Everything was there.  He stared at the blond vampire.  "Got fed up?" he asked quietly.

"Definitely.  Red managed to magic everyone without realizing it."

Xander pointed.  "Devon's that way," he said dryly.

"She's already there."  He walked closer, sniffing him.  "You even smell up the duff," he taunted.

Xander nodded.  "I should.  Can you tell if it's a girl?"

"She'll be a slayer," he said dryly.

"Ethan fixed it."

"Point," he admitted.  Ethan did sow chaos.  He shrugged.  "Ask me in a few months.  Too  early for it to choose."

"I know.  This is seriously going to suck ass."

"Could do that instead," Spike said with a smirk.  "Heard there's a time when it's like being a succuba."

"Yay," Xander said sarcastically, cracking Spike up.  "Anyway...."

"All the safehouse stuff, all the stuff from both warehouses and that one in LA no one ever talked about."  He smirked.  "Gonna stay retired?"

"I'm not sure I want my future hellspawn to know some of them."

"I get that.  Some drive me battier than Dru."  He lit up.  "Beyond that, you good?"

"Mostly?"  He shrugged, shifting some.  "I'm told I'll survive."

"You hope," Spike countered with an evil smirk.  "Could turn you."

"Yeah, you could but my brother might stake you.  He's a bit possessive right now."  He pointed over his shoulder.

Spike looked.  "He looks more like your mum."

"We're fraternal twins.  Any other notes I need to hear?"

"Not yet.  Oh, yeah.  Saw your sperm donor in Cleveland."

"Yay.  Let him and Giles thump each other.  If I see Dad I'm going to kill his ass for doing this to me.  They were going to kill me until Dad knocked me up.  Then changed it.  I think being a blood sacrifice might be easier."

"Probably.  Over sooner.  No eighteen years of whining," Spike said.  "If you really wanna...."  He went to game face.

Jensen growled and pulled up a knife.

"Jensen," Xander sighed.  "He's the guy who killed the asshole who got my eye.  We worked together for years.  Even if he'd love to torture me."

"Hey, no more slayers are good for the community."  Spike smirked, licking his lips.  "You're a bit nummy too.  I could have two new fun toys."  Jensen moved closer to his twin.

Xander swatted him on the head.  "Even if you turned me, Spike, I'm not going to bottom for you.  Your demon's demented from taking care of Dru."  Spike laughed, going back to human face with a grin.  "Your demon's defective."

"Probably, yeah.  Between Angelus and Dru...."

"Yeah, they'd drive me nuts too.  Anyway...  You sure it's all of it?"  Spike nodded, rolling his eyes.   "My stuff from Kazakhstan?"

"There," he said with a point.  "Including your computer.  Giles wanted any reports you haven't filed.  He said to shred anything Council related or dangerous."  Xander nodded.  "Should take you a month or something."

"Probably, yeah.  At least to sort out the weapons."  He grinned.  "Let me know if they need some."

"I will.  Nibblet's going to school in Brazil."

"Good!  I hope she'll be safe.  Or else I'll go destroy some gangs, but good!"

Spike snickered.  "She said the same thing.  Took Faith with her for some bikini time."  He sniffed him again, taking big, deep sniffs this time.  "You smell even more nummy."

"I only get better with age," Xander quipped smugly.  "Thanks."

"Welcome.  Let me disappear before someone tracks me."  He walked off smoking and happy.

Jensen turned Xander around, checking him over.  "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine.  I roomed with Spike for a while, Jensen.  We have an understanding."

Jensen stared at him.  "You're insane."

"Yeah, the girls did it to me."

"Clearly."  He locked the garage and took Xander back to his room, crawling in the bed with him.  He put him on his back and an arm over his brother's chest.  He snuggled in.  "He's not going to hurt you."

"He hasn't hurt me.  He nagged me, he taunted me, he tried to rip my self esteem further, but he never hurt me."

"Shh."  He nuzzled him on the shoulder.  "I'm going to protect you."

"He won't hurt me."

Jensen stared at him.  "So?  It's making me feel better."

"Fine."  He let Jensen 'protect him' all he wanted.

"What's in pain?" Jensen asked quietly.

"It's the stomach stretching stuff.  I'm guessing it's normal."

"Probably.  We can make sure.  I'll make sure Clay makes an appointment."  He nuzzled him again.  "Sleep, Xander.  You need to sleep."


"I know.  Try anyway?  Please?"

"Fine."  He shifted onto his side facing away from his brother.  Jensen curled up against his back, one arm over his side.  Xander moved it.  "Not there."

"Sure."  He snuggled up better to hold him however he wanted.  He stayed still, making himself relax and rest, but not fall asleep.  He saw Roque peek in and shook his head slightly, letting him go on his rounds.

Roque went to Clay's room, which woke him up.  "The rest of his stuff is here.  He's in some funky stomach pain but he thinks he's probably being normal.  The blond guy with the strange face left up the road toward town."

Clay blinked.  "We'll call our chosen doc in the morning.  We can sort stuff tomorrow.  Blond guy?"

"The kid called him Spike."

"He's Council."  Roque shuddered.  "Bad?"

"I don't think he's normal."

"No, he's not."

"He's a bit ...evil sounding."

"We'll talk to him tomorrow."  Roque nodded and left him to go back to sleep.  Cougar switched with him at two, letting Roque go to bed and hope he never ran into something like Spike again.

Cougar glanced in the overcrowded garage, grimacing.  The boy had too much stuff.  He knew whole, extended families that didn't have that much stuff.  He checked the rest of the grounds and it was quiet.  Peaceful.  It gave him time to think about that boy.  He seemed a bit...spoiled.  He'd have to talk to Jensen in the morning about him.  Something wasn't right beyond what was done to him.


Jensen watched Xander run to puke and looked at Cougar, who was silent.  "What?"

"All this is his?"

"A lot of it was stuff that he had to file or hold for the Council.  That's where the books came from."  He pointed.  "He also holds their backup armory.  Plus it appears my brother has a comic collection."  He smiled.

Xander came out with a glass of ice water.  "I also have some of Anya's stuff.  A quarter of this isn't mine; it's Anya's former stuff.  Which is mostly sex toys probably.  Or stuff from her millennia of life."  Cougar gaped.  "She was a former vengeance demon.  She put her stuff in my storage area before Sunnydale fell in and she died.  Other things are souvenirs of my travels that I meant to hand over and didn't get around to or things I wanted to remember them by.  There's also a few pictures of the girls I've trained and a few other things I'd hate to lose."

"I understand," Cougar said.  So maybe he wasn't such a magpie about collecting.  "The rest?"

"We're going to weed down the reports and things," Xander said.  "The books I might keep packed for now.  The comics need to go to a better storage area that won't have humidity."

"I know a few of those," Jensen said.  "How many do you have?"

"They're not all pristine but a few are.  I have about a thousand I think."

"That's cool."  Jensen smiled.  Xander grinned but sipped his water.  "Your stomach is really upset?"

"Morning sickness happens.  I need a t-shirt with that saying."

"We can see if we can find one."  They got back to the weapons boxes.  He opened a trunk and whistled.  "Cougar, can you take this to Clay?"  Cougar looked and blinked then went to get Clay.  He wasn't going to be able to lift that.

Clay came out, handing the boy some buttered toast.  He nearly dropped it on his head when he saw the contents of the trunk.  "Jesus," he said in awe.  He sat down to go through the guns, checking each one.  Each one was in a slim plastic case that kept the dirt and dust out of it.  Underneath the pile of guns was more guns.  And a few take-apart rifles.  Cougar got those to look over.

Xander grinned at his twin.  "I love weapons."

"I can tell."  He grinned back.  "Nibble."  Xander nodded, trying to soothe his savage stomach monster.  He was hating this sickness stuff.  Jensen looked back then at him.  "Bullets?"  Xander looked then pointed.  Jensen nudged Clay, pointing.  "Bullets?"

Cougar got into that one to check them over.  "Small company made."  The boy had decent taste.  Most of them were good bullets.   They found the rest of the higher weapons so he looked them over with Roque's help when he finally got up.  Pooch was napping right now.  Jensen started to moan when they ran into Anya's stuff.  Cougar looked then shook his head.  That was just insane.

Roque looked over at one loud moan, blinking a few times.  "Kid?"

"Anya.  My former fiancee."

"She didn't want them back?" Clay asked.

"She died in the battle that took Sunnydale," Xander said quietly.  Jensen smiled at him.   "It's been years, I'm okay."  He looked.  "That was some of her favorite things.  She put some clothes in another one I'm sure."

"Can we donate most of that to a thrift store?" Clay asked.

"I was going to but I never got around to it.  The last time I planned on sitting down to do that, I ended up in China."

"We have time now," Clay told him.  "At least until ten, then the doc gets here."  He stared at him.  "We need to know about problems."

"I'd expect a lot of adjustment pains.  It's not like my body's used to being pregnant or having a uterus.  There's going to be some pain.  Even women get pain."

"We need to make sure it's that and not something wrong," Clay told him.  "He's only going to check the normal things.  He's not going to take blood beyond that."

"I guess that's fine.  He won't tell anyone?"

"No.  He heard through the underground.  He called me."  Xander gave him a funny look.  "We trust the guy with everything, kid."

"He's the only person I like around me when I'm unconscious," Roque said.

Xander nodded.  "Fine."

"Thank you," Jensen said.  "I like him.  He gives me lollipops."  Xander grinned at that.  They got back to work in the small area they were sitting in.  "Xander, did you want to keep anything of hers?"  Xander looked and nodded.  He found a few favorite things and put them aside.  "Okay.  Jewelry too?"  Xander nodded.  Jensen found the ring and stared, looking at it.  "You have really pretty taste," he said quietly, holding it out.  Cougar looked at him, gasping at that.  Xander took it with a sad smile, staring at it before it went into his pocket.  "Were you two happy?"

"Mostly.  But we would've been miserable so I walked."  He looked at his brother.  "Her friends showed me how miserable she'd be.  So it let her get her job back until her conscience got the better of her."

"What was her job?" Cougar asked quietly.

"She was Vengeance over Women Scorned."  Cougar gaped.  Xander nodded with a grin.  "We broke her power center so she kinda decided we had to help her.  I took her to the prom but she left for graduation.  Then she came back after my road trip.  It was nice, she didn't try to kill me.  It was a turning point for me.  After that most of my girlfriends or easy times didn't.  Before then it was almost all of them."

"Are you sure you're not related to Clay?" Roque joked.

Xander shrugged, looking at Clay.  "Not as far as I know.  It's the mark of a special man."  He smirked.   Xander laughed then hopped up and went to puke again.  He tipped over his water but Jensen got it cleaned up with his own t-shirt.  Xander trudged back out, flopping down again.  Clay smiled.  "It'll go away."

"You hope.  If not, with a good hospital she or he will be viable at 26 or 30 weeks."

"I'll keep that in mind."  He heard the honk and got up to check.  "Doc's here."  He hauled the boy up and out there.  "Doctor Witherspoon, Xander Harris."

"Hey, Doc Neil."

"Xander."  He hugged him.  "I saw him when he had malaria."  He smiled at Clay.  "I love this boy.  He made Gretchen laugh just like Jensen does.  I should've known."  He pushed him back to look at him.  "Pregnant?"

"Yeah, between Wolfram and Hart and Ethan Fucking Rayne."

"He's having some pains," Clay said.  "He's been puking all morning.  I saw him do it yesterday."

"That's about normal."  He walked him into his bedroom to look him over, including checking for an opening.  He came out an hour later making notes.  "All right, three issues.  Clay, he needs vitamins and to try to eat.  If he eats a little bit now and then it'll be easier."

"Like Joyce when she had chemo?" Xander asked, joining them and flopping down.

"That's a good idea.  Calcium and iron over everything else."  Xander sighed but nodded.  "Second, sleep, Xander."

"I'm trying."

"I know.  Who did the treatment on the wounds?"


"Fucking idiots," he muttered.  "They should've stitched them shut."

"It was too old," Xander said.

The doctor grimaced.  "I can understand that but it'll scar a whole lot."  Xander shrugged.  "And on the topic of your scars, get all the little things we found by accident out of them.  And any other things on you that are magic.  There's no telling what it might do to you or them."

"Them?  A litter?" Jensen asked as he joined them.

"The baby's too young to be either yet," the doctor said patiently.  "Third, Xander," he sighed.  "We have no idea how it's getting out."

"No one was sure if I'd adapt."

"We'll keep in touch with that.  I'm actually over here doing some foreign treatment for the next eight months."  He smirked.  "So I'll be doing your prenatal."  Xander nodded, relaxing.  "You have a whole list of things you can't take."

"I figured I did."

"Including some herbal stuff."  He smiled.  "I've got a list in the car."  He went to get it and came back.  "All right, here's your list of stuff you may not take.  If you do start to adaptation, no swimming in the ocean.  We'll talk about baths if you do."  Xander grimaced again but nodded.  "Try some flexibility work.  No jogging, no lifting a lot of weight.  I know you're very strong but it's pressure on your back."  Xander nodded.

"And watch for swelling or any other odd symptoms.  At which time I want to hear immediately.  With the way the baby's laying, it might rest on his kidneys or bladder more than usual, meaning he can't pee.  It might crimp his colon or press too much on his lungs.  Watch his blood sugar but don't be paranoid.  I know Xander lives on sugar sometimes.  No more than four cups of coffee a day right now and at the seventh month it's two or less."  Xander whimpered.

"Sorry.  Unless you're breastfeeding you can go back once she's born."  He smiled.  "On the topic of breasts, no idea."  Xander curled up around his stomach.  "Lastly, I want you to *rest*.  No hunting, no fighting, nothing.  I'm going to make that clear to Mr. Giles as well."

"I got forcefully retired."

"Even better.  You're going to be too fragile to risk in a few months.  She'll still have that big ball of water protecting her but you don't want to rely on that.  No poisons, no fighting, nothing like it.  You let them take all the challenges and all the bullshit that comes into your life.  If and when you get that neediness, they can pick you up someone or something.  Use Anya's stuff since you babbled about her when you had the fever."  He smiled.  "If you do, be careful not to get rips.  Just take it easy for the next six months."

"He's three months along?" Clay asked.  "Did they torture him after knocking him up?"

"Only for two weeks and it wasn't the bad part," Xander admitted.  "Then it got changed right before I got rescued."

"I don't think he'll make it to nine months," Doctor Witherspoon said, running a hand through his dark hair with a few gray strands sprinkled through it.  "I'm anticipating about the middle of his eighth month.  I also heard that he was in Bethesda for almost a month."  Xander nodded.

"He still has some scabbed over wounds," Jensen said.  Xander nodded. "Damn it!"

"Calm down," Xander told him.  "I'm going to destroy them even if I have to turn evil."  He looked at the doctor.

"As long as you can do it from the couch," the doctor said with a smile.  "Understand?"  Xander sighed but nodded.  "Thank you.  Daily multivitamin and however extra calcium and iron, Clay.  A sensible diet is fine.  He can do mild exercise but nothing jarring.  Very low impact.  If an ...adaptation should grow no ocean."

"Are we going to call it that?"

"Well, I hope it goes away again," the doctor said dryly.  "Or else we might have to close it for him."  He smirked at the boy, who shuddered.  "And if he does grow one and wants to try it out, he'd better be gentle.  Sex can set off contractions.  If he starts some of them, call me immediately.  Get him laying down and get a tape on lamaze."

"I can meditate away the pain," Xander assured him.

"That's good.  You still might want to learn that and yoga.  It'll help your temper and patience.  Plus make you more limber for the delivery."  Xander shuddered.  "Boys, bone up on a c-section and delivery just in case I'm too far away."  Clay nodded.  "Whichever is best and a backup.  Just in case."  Jensen nodded.  "Good.  Do whatever you have to do to keep him calm and resting.  No pinching clothing, though I'd doubt I'd have that problem with you."

"Sarongs," Xander said dryly.  "And if I suddenly grow breasts I'm going to go with saris."

The doctor grinned.  "That'd be cute."  He leaned over to hug him.  "Don't worry about things like money or anything else."  He stared at him.  "Got it?"  Xander nodded.  "Good."  He kissed him on the head.  "Be a good boy and I'll see you in a month."  He left, going back to his current post.

Xander shrugged at their stares.  "No one's sure if I'll suddenly grow one of those."

"If you do, we'll find you someone decent to date," Clay offered.  Xander grinned at him for that.  "For now, go back to sorting out stuff we can send to a thrift store in the US."  Xander and Jensen went back to it.


Clay came out with dinner.  The boys hadn't reappeared.  He had heard Xander vomiting in the bushes once but he hadn't come in.  He took Jensen's watch to set the alarm on it.  "When this goes off, you eat with him," he ordered.  He handed it back, getting a sheepish look.  "Did we find new things?"

"A lot of new things and we've been talking about some of the places we've been."  He looked at Xander, who was actually napping on top of an artillery case.  He took the plates.  "Thanks, Clay."

"Welcome."  He went back inside.  Pooch was talking to his wife online.  Roque was sharpening a knife he had found in the stored stuff.  It was a large, scary looking knife.  It was also very sharp now.  "The kid's napping."

"So does Jolene," Pooch said, looking up.  "I haven't told her."

"That's fine.  Is she coming over?"

"She said we might have a problem with citizenship," Pooch sighed.

"Not with two legal parents," Jensen said as he walked out.  "Xander turned green so I'm getting ice water."  He got some for both of them and went back out there.  "Oh, my god, is that a dragon skeleton?" he yelled a few minutes later.  Xander's cackle got heard and they all grinned at that happy sound.  "You do insane shit, bro."


They went to check.  It looked like a small dragon's skeleton, including horns.   So Xander was the more insane member of that family.


Roque looked at the kid the next morning when he was trying to meditate and failing.  "Which one is the real last name?"

"I have no idea where Jensen came from.  We were both born Raynes.  The my stepfather took custody of me."  He opened his eyes.   "You'll have to ask Jake where Jensen came from."

Jensen stumbled out rubbing his eyes.  "He changed our names when we left so they couldn't get us too supposedly," he mumbled, heading for the coffee pot.

"So you're keeping your present last names?" Roque asked.  Xander shrugged.  "Jensen?"

"It's been mine so long you guys would get confused and so would I," he muttered.

"Besides, that would mean we'd have to acknowledge the shithead donor," Xander quipped.  "I think I'm ready to give him the sharp and pointy treatment and in a few months I'll be more than ready to torture him.  And hey, if I do grow an adaptment, then I'm definitely finding him and torturing the hell out of him until he begs everyone for mercy and Janus tells me I have to stop."  He went back to meditating, liking that thought.  It was a good thought.

Jensen snorted.  "I'll supply the ropes and car battery."  He sipped his coffee.  Xander sniffed and moaned.  "He said four cups," Jensen reminded him.

"That's why I'm complaining.  Beyond that it's turning my stomach and giving me heartburn."

Jensen grinned and finished his first cup, drinking a second one to drain the pot so Xander wasn't tempted.   He went to shower and put on clothes then came out to look at the food situation.  "Xander, food?"  Xander gagged and ran to get sick once Roque helped him up off the floor.  "Want some eggs?" he called after him.

"Hell no!"

Pooch came out of his room, grimacing.  "I'm glad we were out of the country for Jolene doing that."  He started breakfast.  "Slightly salty stuff and easy to digest stuff that'll melt in his stomach quickly."

Jensen nodded, making some scrambled eggs and toast, plus some bacon.  He found something in the cabinet and added it to Xander's single egg, two pieces of toast, and piece of bacon.  He carried it in there.  "I found orange marmalade in a cabinet."

Xander blinked at him.  "Who found that?"

"I guess Pooch did since he shops.  It tasted good."  He waved the plate.  "Rinse and spit."  Xander got up with a groan, doing that once the toilet was flushed.  Xander brought his plate out to eat.  Jensen grinned at Pooch, slugging him on the arm.  "Are we going to do more sorting later, Xander?"

"Sure."  He ate the bacon and toast, staring at the eggs.  He tried a bite and gagged, drinking Clay's juice to keep it down.  Clay took his eggs for him and let him keep the juice.  "Thanks, Jensen."

"Welcome."  He grinned at him.  "We'll do that and let Roque and Pooch do the food run later."

"We can pull out some of the emergency cash," Xander offered.  "All of the emergency bags should have some unless the girls stole it."

"We can check," Clay said.  "You had other money stashes too."  Xander nodded and finished the juice.  He got more and went out to the garage area.  Where he yelled.  "What happened?" he called.

"The moving elves came back."  He came in to get his phone and walked off calling someone.  "Put.  It.  Back," he ordered.  "Sure, I can miscarry too, Buffy.  Put it back now!" he shouted.  The things suddenly reappeared.  "All of it.  That's what I'm doing, dear.  That's supposedly keeping me calm.  Because I'm under orders not to stress myself out by showing up to shoot your ass."  He hung up on her complaining.

He looked up and called someone else.  "Please go steal all my things from the wenches.  Yes, I'm calling in that damn favor.  Because right now, I have those three curses and I'm about to use them.  Well, I'm not supposed to be stressed," he said dryly.  "Yet I am.  And I'm going to throw really big fits.  Then I'm going to sell all my artillery and guns to renegade demon clans."  He grinned at the doorway.  "Yeah, exactly.  Well, there is the Ba'dan clan...."  Suddenly everything that was ever his reappeared.

"Thank you, dear.  Yeah, the doc said I'm mostly healthy but I need to avoid stress.  You know what?  Maybe someone should tell Buffy about Africa or even Bangladesh."  He cackled.  "That would be very cool.  Thank you!  And for getting my stuff back for me, dear."  He blew a kiss.  "My twin brother said thank you too.  It's keeping me happy telling him about Anya and things."  He hung up and went to put his phone back on the charger cord.  "Everything's back."

"Bangladesh?" Jensen asked.  "Seriously?  That won't make you look good."

"Yup."  He walked off happier.

Jensen found that file and sent it to Willow's email address.  When Xander's phone rang, he stared at it.  "Xander, it's them."

"I'm puking on them."

Jensen answered it.  "Xander's phone."  He smirked.  "No, he's presently vomiting up breakfast, Buffy.  He can't come to the phone.  Because pregnant people do that."  He hung up and sent another file that made Xander look very heroic.  He even labeled it 'what Xander was doing while you guys had a battle'.  He got back a shriek and a babble.  "Aww, Willow didn't like that."  He shut down her email account a few minutes later on her and then went to help his brother.

"Do we think Xander or Jensen is more vindictive?" Pooch asked.

"I think it might depend on why," Clay said, looking amused.  "Right now they're being evil together."

"It's bonding," Roque agreed with a smirk of his own.

"Eww, Xander, that's buffalo!"

"If he can eat it and it's not spoiled, let him," Pooch called.

"Thank you," Xander called.

Jensen came out to get himself something to soothe his stomach.  "It's goat and water buffalo teriyaki jerky."  He walked back out there.  "Let me find the other food stuffs so we can inventory it."

"Please, something smells bad."

"Yup."  He got into those boxes, sending what was still good to the kitchen.  It'd be less things they'd have to buy.  Halfway through the last box of food he ran into a stash of Thai money.  He stared and then at his brother.  "Thai money stash?"

"Huh?"  He got up with a groan, looking in the box.  "I don't take money for others.  I haven't been in Thailand for eight months either."  He considered his only two trips there.  "I have no idea."  He went to get his laptop and do a search for it.  "No, I have no idea."

"Found a card," Jensen called.  "It's from Ba'ta?  For thinking about his clan and for a happy and healthy baby present for her future dowry."

"Awww."  He grinned.  "That's really nice of her."  Jensen grinned, going to hand it to Roque.  They came out to go through more boxes.  There was a lot of stuff that was scary out here.

"Um..." Roque said, staring in a box.  "I don't know how to disarm that."

Xander looked over and flipped it off.  "I thought I disarmed that.  Must've turned itself back on during the moving."  He went back to searching.

"Let's focus on the weapons so we can make sure of what we have," Clay said.  Before they found something else that was running.

"I disconnected that," Xander said.

"Yes but we still need to know what we have and what we need to get bullets for, Xander."

"I guess.  But I get cleaning time later on."

"Fine."  They got into the weapons section, finding a lot of things that they didn't expect.  Including actual *swords*.

"Wicked," Jensen said, taking one to look over.  "Is that rust?"

Xander looked.  "No, it's ink."  He wiped it off.  "The wrapping around it must've gotten damp."  He checked in there, making sure nothing else was in bad condition.   Then the box underneath it and one other that had water stains.  He checked.  "Jensen, check that one," he said with a point.  "It's got water stains too."  Jensen got into it.  "Pictures?"

"No.  Tapes but old ones."  Xander pouted.  "It might be okay.  We can check and maybe find them on DVD now."

"Maybe but I had some obscure stuff."

"Half of that you can find on youtube."  He carried them inside to look over them.   The others were busy playing and fondling the weapons.

"Where did the water damaged stuff come from?" Clay asked.

"The one that had my comic collection but I had that up off the floor.  I thought I had them all off the floor."  He looked at those boxes, none showed any water stains.  They probably thought he had his priorities out of whack but he knew what was important and he had other weapons around him.

Clay coughed.  "Those...hidden things on you?"

Xander paused, staring at him.  "What about them?"

"The doctor wanted them off you?"

Xander sighed.  "I have no idea where they all are."

"Can a scanner detect them?" Roque asked casually.

Xander went to dig into another box.  "We need some batteries."  Pooch took it to look at and put them on his list for shopping.  They finished with the smaller weapons and let Cougar handle the larger things, they'd need more going over and he could do it outside in the shade if he wanted since he was still avoiding getting too near Xander.  Xander had noticed and went outside, helping him carry something.  "You know, it's not contagious."

"I'm still wrapping my mind around it," Cougar said in Spanish.

Xander stared at him.  "I have no idea why Jensen is getting my morning sickness since we're not that sort of twins."  He walked off.

Cougar went inside to tell that to Clay.  Pooch got that added to his list too.  He went to the store immediately.  He could go back for other things later.  They had to know if Jensen was going to need medical attention.  Pooch got back with those two items and handed one to Jensen.

"Why do I need a pee stick?" he asked.

"Because Xander thinks you're mimicking his morning sickness."

"I did with Jess," Jensen admitted dryly.

"There's no telling what he was thinking," Xander called.  "Or if he was considering that it might hit you too."

Jensen went to take it.  Then they called the doctor to show up and check him over.  The doctor got there and came out twenty minutes later with a smile.  "His is a fictitious pregnancy.  It is mirroring Xander's but there's no baby.  So basically he's like a mirror image of what he's going through."

"So that's why I've had heartburn and gas pains," Jensen muttered.  "Will this happen during labor?"

"Yes, probably."  He left, going back to work much happier.

Jensen looked at his team.  "Does anyone mind if I play with the patricide idea?" he asked dryly.  "Just for a few weeks?"

"Only if I get to stab him too," Xander said from where he was looking at a comic.

"Sure, you can stab him a few times, Xander.  And then I'll rip him to fucking pieces for doing this to his own family."  He walked off, going to his laptop to see if he could find the asshole sperm donor.  He *really* wanted to talk to him now.

Xander looked over and shrugged.  "I'm not having mood swings yet," he said proudly.

"Jensen has plenty of his own," Clay promised.  "We'll deal with it."  So maybe Xander was the scary one after all.


Roque woke up to the sound of Xander running halfway across the house and outside then puking.  He got up to check on him.  "Kid?"  Xander waved a hand.  "Need help?"  He nodded, still throwing up.

Jensen came jogging out with a needle.  "We had a poisonous spider," he said in a sing-song manner.  He got Xander with the general antidote.  Xander calmed down, slowly, but did eventually quit puking.  "You biting it was probably worse for you than you being bitten by it."  He walked him back inside and put him in a shower.

"He *bit* a poisonous spider?" Cougar demanded.

"As long as he spit the poison it wouldn't infect him," Jensen said.  "Him being bitten would send him to the ER.  I gave him the general antidote just in case.  They're safe for pregnant women as far as I know."  He went to help his brother.  Xander was probably at the weakest point any of his friends had ever seen him hit.  He had to take care of his brother.  They were twins and even if Xander fussed he had to take care of him.  He told him stories about how amazing their niece was to keep him calm and make sure nothing too bad happened.

Clay walked in, staring at them.  "The doctor said it was stupid to bite it but better than being bitten, yes the anti-venom is safe.  He knows what Xander carries when I read off the name.  You did a good job, you can calm down.  It won't hurt the baby at all, Xander."  Xander nodded, rinsing and spitting again.  "When you're ready to get out, we'll get you something to settle your stomach, he said to give you some pepto."  He went to pour a small cup out for him.  That would definitely take the taste out of his mouth.

Jensen got Xander out and handed him the pepto, smiling at his grossed out face.  He helped Xander dry off, staring at his stomach.  "You're starting to show," he said, sounding awed.  "I wasn't with Jess when she was this far along."  He put a hand over it and grinned at his brother.  "I am a spectacular uncle."

"I'm going to be the world's worst parent," Xander sighed.

Jensen kissed him.  "No you won't.  I'll help.  Jess will help if you decide to talk to her again."

"She'd never let the baby see me like this."

"I doubt we'll tell her."  He gave him a hug.  "You're my brother."

"I am."  He hugged him back.  "Even if you are still bossy."

"Of course I am.  And don't forget handsome, really smart, and highly overprotective."

"I wondered where my half of those traits went," Xander joked weakly.

Jensen pinched him.  "You're very handsome.  You're fairly smart.  I mean I'm a genius and we can't all be but you're still very smart, especially in your areas.  You were reading *Sanskrit* earlier!  That takes a whole lot more brains than hacking does."  Xander slowly shook his head.  "Yeah, it does."  He kissed him on the forehead.  "You got more than your fair share but you never got the option of polishing those skills.  We can do that now."  He tucked him into his bed and sat beside him with his laptop.  "I'm going to e-call Jess if you want to stay awake."

"I..."  He flipped over to face the other way.

"Okay."  He called. "Hi, Jess.  Hi, beany baby!"

"Hi, Uncle Jensen.  Where are you?" his niece asked, bouncing some.  "Mommy said you had great big news for us."

Jensen tipped the computer to look at Xander then grinned at her when he put it back in his lap.  "That is your uncle Xander.  The one I told you about?  It turns out your grandfather is a moron who needs to be paddled and put in time out somewhere with straight jackets."

"OOOH!" she said, starting to bounce up and down faster.  "He's alive?  Can you wake him up?  Please?"

"He's a bit sick right now so let him rest.  I'll try to get him home when I come home next time."

"For my birthday?"

He considered it.  Xander quickly shook his head.  "I don't think he'll be able to travel then but by next summer I can bring him home."

"Is he under arrest?" she demanded.  "Because Uncle Cougar could probably break him out of jail.  I heard him say that he did that for you."

"No, but he's working on an important project and when I do bring him home, we'll have a cousin for you."  She let out an awesome squeal that probably woke the neighborhood.  It woke Cougar, he leaned in.  "Cougar's here."

"Hi, Uncle Cougar!" she called, getting closer to the camera.  He walked around and waved with a grin for her.  "Did you know I have another uncle?  It's *so* cool!"

"It's very cool," Jensen agreed with a smile.

"It is," Cougar agreed.  He watched the girl bounce and cheer.  Cougar went to make coffee, bringing Jensen back some.  He pulled over a chair to talk to her as well.  He noticed how Xander was laying stiffly not facing the computer and wondered.

Finally, the niece had to go to school so they were left with Jess.  "I'm not sure this is such a good idea, Jake.  What happens if he gets sick with all this?"

Xander looked at her.  "Why would it matter to you now?"  He flipped back over.  Cougar stared, mouth slightly open.

"She knew.  She never said anything but she's known since Sunnydale fell in."  He looked at his sister again.  "There's nothing that's going to happen to Xander, Jess.   He's faced down multiple demon attacks and won.  He blew one up the other day."

"I don't want her to know about that."

Jensen stared at her.  "She's already seen it on tv probably."  She slumped.  "It's not like he's some raging psycho.  He's not going to teach her how to hunt, even if he does have to teach his own child."

"It could still get her hurt by association."

"So could knowing me," Jensen said bluntly.  His sister blanched, shaking her head.  "Yeah, it's not often we leave an enemy alive but now and then one does pop up.  Beyond that, more demons respect and fear him than not, Jess.  He's handled a lot of things since he was sixteen."  She shuddered.  "Including invasions and all sorts of attempts.  He's so well respected for protecting them and us, some of them are sending baby presents."

"Oh," she said weakly.  "Xander, I'm sorry," she said.  "I'm a worried mother."

Jensen looked then grinned.  "He's finally asleep," he said more quietly.  "Earlier he bit the poisonous spider that nearly got him."

"Poor guy.  Shots?"

"Just the one and some pepto.  He threw up anything in his mouth."  He sighed.  "We'll work it out.  I'll try to be back for her birthday.  He'll be showing by then, pretty obviously showing by then.  He's due somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  So by Easter we can be back.  We should get some time off to hang out.  They told us to stay with him until he's able to protect himself again.  Then we might get some time off and then a new assignment.  Not that this isn't so cherry it's like pie."  He grinned.  "We've been going through his stored stuff.  I learned about the woman he nearly married over the last few days."

"He did?" she asked.  Jensen nodded.  "That sucks."

"Yup, it does."

"Did he know?"  Jensen nodded.  "So Dad didn't tell him the pretty lie?"

"No.  Not in the least."

"Damn it."

"So yeah, you hurt him a lot more.  I'll let you guys talk in a few days or so when he starts having mood swings."

"That'll be good.  I want to be here for this.  Even if I don't want to expose my daughter to that very brain warping thought."

"You did get told that Dad had a hand in this?"

"Oh, I heard.  I heard it from Dad actually.  He said he did it to save Xander's life.  Otherwise having the baby would've killed him."

Jensen snorted.  "They might've killed him for having the baby," he countered.  "But otherwise, no."

"Does he need anything?"

"Not right now.  Maybe later on he'll have questions or something."  He reached over to rub the stiff shoulder.  Xander drifted off again.  "I've been stalking him all over the house."

She smiled.  "You did it to me when every time you come home from a bad assignment."  She smiled at Cougar.  "Are you okay with this?"

"It's not my baby."

"True."  She smiled at Jake.  "Hug him for me?"

"Of course."

"Thank you.  I'll expect you both to call in a few days."  He nodded and hung up, putting his laptop aside.  She had a lot to think about.

Jensen looked at Cougar, staring at him.  Cougar shrugged back.  He had taken a bedroom as far away from Xander's as he could on purpose.  This was bothering him quite a lot and he wasn't sure how to deal with things.  Even though it wasn't his choice.  Xander moaned and they both stared at him.  He suddenly sat up panting.  "Shit," Xander muttered, grabbing his phone and calling.

"Meribeth, Xander.  Got a head's up.  You're about to be attacked, sweetheart.  Yeah, like at home or wherever you are.  I saw your boyfriend and you together."  He listened.  "No, that clan we mostly wiped out but they ran?  One of them survived, hired some people.  You've got three Gavros, him, and two of the rhino looking ones.  Maybe a few others stalking them."  He listened.  "Yeah, that'll take them all out.  Remember to use a silencer or warn the locals.  Looked like tonight.  Are you wearing the santa jammies?"  He grinned.

"Are you with the dirtbag?"  He nodded.   "Then it'll be soon.  The clock said two."  She looked and said it was past that but she's tell the local officers in case they panicked at her firing on them.  "All right, you let me know if you need stuff.  I can find stuff to ship to you, dear.  You be safe and be careful.  Remember not to end up like me."  She giggled, the other guys could hear it.  "Be safe."  He hung up and laid back down with a sigh.

"What was that?" Cougar asked.

"Vision," Xander said, looking at him.  "They got activated when my eye got popped."  Jensen shuddered.  "Basically, yeah.  It's like a preview that I can't always change."  He snuggled in again.  "Are we having a party?  I'm not really up to party standards right now.  I feel like crap and I'm not really feeling sexy."

"Nah.  We were just talking to the sprout and Jess," Jensen said with a grin.  "She adores Cougar.  Keeps trying to steal his hat."  Xander grinned.  "Rest.  I'm going to go back to bed."  Xander nodded, covering himself up.  Jensen walked out with Cougar, looking at him once they were back in their room.  "Are you still that freaked out by all this?" he asked quietly.  Cougar nodded.  "You know, I can ask Dad to mimic it so you can know what it feels like."  Cougar glared in that 'I'll kill you' way he usually only gave to drug dealers.  Jensen grinned.  "I know it's not usual.  I know it's not our usual team job, but if it was Jess, wouldn't you do the same?"

"Si," he admitted.

"Then why not for my brother?  Because he's a guy?  That might be partially changing, we're not real sure yet."  Cougar shuddered, going to take a hot shower to wash that thought off his skin.  "Think how he feels."  Jensen got ready for bed and laid down.  Cougar finally came out and laid down, his hat on the lamp beside him.  "You know, I have a hard time thinking about it too," he said quietly.  "But I've seen worse happen."  He looked at his best friend.  "If you can't handle it, maybe Clay can let you help some of the slayers or something."


Jensen grinned.  "I wasn't there when she was first born.  I didn't get leave until she was six weeks old.  This time, I'll get to do the first week stuff."

Cougar stared at him.  "It's just as messy and loud."

"Yeah but I missed that.  It's not like I'm going to have any of my own."  He flipped onto his side and let himself go to sleep.

Cougar thought about all that.  Jensen was excited.  Roque was creeped out a bit but he knew the kid was a victim.  Clay too mostly, he was ignoring the pregnancy part whenever he could.  Pooch had just shrugged it off as something only Xander could do.  Apparently he was well known for the strange things to happen.  Cougar considered what he knew of the young man.  He was half-trained at best but apparently as stubborn as his twin.  He was a good fighter when he needed to be even if he was unorthodox.

He had taken all this situation in without screaming at God somehow.  They had never said anything about bad reactions to the news.  Apparently he loved weapons, comics, chocolate, and salty things.  He was goofy and trying to be understanding that others were freaking out.  He had heard Pooch say he had threatened to stab himself in the stomach when his friend had shown up.  Apparently all his friends were bitches and worthless in any supportive measurement.  He wasn't sure what to make of the boy.  Then again, it had taken him nearly a month to get used to Jensen.

"Ow," Xander hissed, limping past his room to the kitchen.

Cougar listened to him get something to drink and go back to bed.  Why did the boy not sleep?  He looked at Jensen, who got up to check on him.  Perhaps the boy was deeper than they all thought.  Clay thought he was goofy and nice.  Roque wasn't seeing anything darker in the boy.  But earlier, after that vision, there had been those same shadows that lived in all their eyes.  The boy had seen combat.  Apparently a lot of combat from what they knew about him.

Jensen came back and went back to sleep.  Cougar heard Xander get up again an hour later and followed him outside. The kid had disappeared into the trees but he could follow him easily enough.  He didn't leave much of a trail but some.  He found him staring down at the ocean from the little four-foot drop off they had next to the beach.  He watched him from the trees, leaning on one.  The boy was seeming to breathe and think.  He knew the boy sensed him somehow.  He had no idea how but he knew he did.  He was very much a predator in disguise right now.  Cougar was seeing hints of death in his body.  "Did you rant at people when you found out?" he asked quietly.

"They told me when I was trying to escape Wolfram and Hart," he said dryly.  "And yeah, I killed seven people in about ten minutes.  They had to tranq dart me."  He looked back at him.  "Two with my teeth."  Cougar gave him an odd look.  "My hands were bound, dude."  He went back to looking at the ocean.  "I nearly activated the bomb in my earring.   I came within two minutes of letting it out and setting it off.  I was perfectly ready to.

"Then I heard them saying that they were going to try to pick up Dawn as leverage so I'd cooperate.  So instead I opened a scar with a thumbnail and dug out the little box in it.  Then I used it to destroy three levels of the building I was standing in."  Cougar shuddered, he could hear him moving.  "They decided that was a very bad idea.  They knocked me out again.  That next time I woke up in Bethesda just out of surgery and I snuck off.  One of the people trying to corral me told me I was pregnant and I bitterly replied I knew that fact.  That's why I had killed some of them.  They congratulated me."

He looked at him again.  "I may appear to be calm but I'm not.  Things like this only happen to me.  Not to Jess, not to Jake, me.  I have never known why.  And then to have my own goddamn father help the issue?  That just sealed it.  I very nearly used one of the three curses someone owes me so that *everyone* had the same problem suddenly.  That way I wasn't suffering alone.

"Because I knew the moment I heard that my friends were going to shun me because they're judgmental asses sometimes.  I was going to lose most everything I held dear.  Everything I've worked for over a decade to keep.  All because someone wanted to sacrifice me and had to do it the hard way.  If they had just killed me, everything would've been just fine.  I could've accepted that.  I did accept that I was more likely to die in an attack of some sort than in a car accident or of old age.

"Hell, as far as I know, I wasn't fertile anyway.  And now... now things are suckstastic and I'm going to go bitch on the world if I don't keep my temper.  Because if my father hadn't intervened, then the baby would've been a threat to the slayer line, which would mean I'd have to hunt and kill my own infant.  Because the slayers couldn't ever do something like that."  He shrugged.  "Slaying is a hard life to lead, Cougar.  Harder than yours.  I've had a whole bunch of people die at the end of my stake or sword or any other weapon that I used to know."  Cougar shuddered again.

"People I talked to, people I was liked by, all that."  He shrugged. "And then I went into the wider world to learn and teach at the same time and realized that slaying and demon hunting is less ethical than lion packs hunting gazelles.  We're tougher on each other, we're tougher on ourselves, and we're pretty well all fucked up because of those issues we were gifted with.  Out of all the Council, I'm the only one that actually jumped in and volunteered before I knew I had a reason," he said quietly.  "I found out about Jesse afterward."

"He was close to you?"

"He was my fucking life and life saver.  In some ways my soul."  He grimaced.  "Jesse, Jensen, and I knew each other before we could talk in more than babbled nonsense.  He was the first one I ended up killing because I had to.  It was a demon taking over his body. We had no idea we could rip a soul from heaven and stick it in one or else I might've asked.  This issue of mine?  Compared to all the hell I've been through this is the biggest cursed blessing I'll ever have.  If I survive.  If not, I'll make sure the baby goes to whoever Jensen likes best.  That way he doesn't have to give up what he does with you guys, or you."

He stared at him.  "You had better take excellent care of my baby brother, Cougar, because I am not the person to fuck with.  I have no compunction about blowing you up from afar.  From your car seat.  In a plane if I must.  Because if you *ever* hurt my brother I'll make your last few minutes something that will make all the higher powers puke.  And you're not the first I've done that to."  He stared at him.  "Am I clear?"

"I'd never do it."

"I don't give a damn."

"Thank you."

"Not a problem.  I'm still not contagious though.  Feel damn lucky our father didn't slip and get him too."  He went back to looking at the ocean.  "Yeah, if it wasn't so important, I'd be somewhere recuperating with scantily clad girls.  Unfortunately I can't even pull up the energy to think about that now."  He looked back but he was gone.  Xander went down to the beach to walk.  There was a cliff on each side preventing him from going over a mile away so he'd be safe enough.  Not like he was James Bond and someone was going to drive a boat by and shoot him.  He had actually walked the full mile up and back to the other cliff face, and was starting back again when Roque found him.

"Are you done being fucked up?" he asked.

"No, I'm still pregnant for at least another five damn months," he quipped back bitterly, staring at him.  "I'm thinking.  I'm being safe."

"You're worrying your brother sick."

"I think it's more that his friends are freaking out than me.  On the scale of fucked up things, I barely rate a seven right now, Roque.  You'd think people like my friends who fought the strangest shit would've been used to it and not turned bitchy.  But no, not them."  He walked off again.  "I'll come in later, when I'm tired."

"Fine."  He sat down, watching him walk.  It was a pretty clear line of sight all the way to each cliff.  Clay brought him coffee, watching the kid walk.  "He's mentally fighting with himself," he said quietly.

"Cougar said he threatened to blow him up if he ever hurt Jensen, even with civilians around."

"With some of the stuff he's done that was necessary, are we shocked?" Roque asked dryly.

"No.  Cougar was."  He sat down after checking the grassy area for spiders and scorpions.  It was a long ingrained habit. "I think Jensen would be."

"I think Jensen realizes his big brother is seriously screwed up."  He sipped his coffee.  "Anything other than the boyfriend talk happen?"

"He said Xander nearly cursed all guys into being able to get pregnant."  Roque choked, shaking his head.  Clay took his coffee before he spilled it.  "Apparently he decided that was a bad thing."

Roque got up and stormed down to where Xander was doing the long pace.  "You nearly did what to all of mankind?"

"Misery loves company," Xander quipped.  "That way I'm not the only guy in existence that got the dead bunny test.  All the gay guys would have to be more careful.  All the girls could laugh their asses off.  I figure it's ample payback for when hell tries its next thing and I'm down there to beat their asses in person."

A ghost faded in, her dark hair pulled back into a pony tail, her jeans and t-shirt blowing in a wind only she could feel.  "You need laid, Xander."

He turned to look at her.  "Well, gee, Anya.  I'm not really in the mood right now, dear."

"You're always in the mood."

"Nope, not right now.  Haven't been for months.  It might even be years with the way the hormones are fucking with my body."

"You can't go that long.  I trained you better than that," she said smugly.

"Do you know many girls who're going to date a pregnant guy?" he asked, staying sarcastic so it hurt less.

She considered it.  "A few.  I can see if they're still alive.  It'd be a novelty for them but they wouldn't want to be a stepmommy."  She smirked.  "I'm sure you'll be fine.  Women have gone through it or years.  They have that nice spot in the second trimester and everything."

"The hormones are natural to their body, Anya.  You give a guy estrogen and he quits working."  She slumped.  "Not to mention all the fucked up things in my head."

She stared at him.  "I can't be a therapist."

"Gee, what a shock?" he asked dryly.  "I knew that when I met you and you told me how you had tortured people then demanded sex."

"It was good sex."

"Yeah, it was pretty good sex," he agreed with a grin.  "Doesn't mean it can happen now."

"There's a woman somewhere missing your tongue."

"They're going to keep missing it too.  Especially since it doesn't do a whole lot for me if that's all I can do."  She slumped, shaking her head.  "It's not my fault!" he said firmly.

"I know.  We're thinking up plenty of mean things for your father.  Hallie and I are brainstorming."

"At least there's no mall there," he said dryly.  "Hell, if you want to be mean, have Janus hand him over for some special touchy-feelly event by one of the lightness and happiness patrol higher ups.  Watch him get hives, try hard not to react in a way that makes Janus look bad, all that."

She smiled.  "You always did have some very good ideas about torture, sweetie."  She blew a kiss.  "Just stick two fingers in yourself and play with your dick."

"No hole there, dear."

"You do so."

"Doesn't do a damn thing when the hormones are blocking you being able to get it up."

"Viagra?" she offered.

"Hormones?  Baby.  Keep it up, watch me curse them all.  I'm owed three curses and that would be suitably double edged."

She considered it.  "That would be really mean.  Almost as mean as making Buffy a mother."  She shook her head quickly.  "That'd be the biggest, gayest son ever.  Always in pink.  Wanting to wear heels.  He'd be more gay than Prince."

Xander snickered.  "Only if I could make Willow the daddy."

She cooed.  "That's the spirit!"  She smirked.   "You could use it against them."

Xander nodded.  "Yes, I will be."  She gasped, having heard that thought.  He smirked. "I'm working on the wording and need to find that box.  But hey, now I know why women go evil when you have PMS."  He grinned.  "How's things over there?"

"Not great.  Ethan's freaked a lot of the higher ups out because of how he helped you."

"Hmm.  I can include them in that wish."

She looked up then at him.  "D'Hoffryn said if you made it so male demons could get pregnant too he'd torture you in the most unfun way possible and would make what you went there though look like a cakewalk."

"If I die from this, I'm going to come up there and I'm going to take over," Xander said with a smug look.  "Hell will have a whole new boss and we'll have a better bureaucracy too.  I'll make sure it's run *real* well."  She shivered, rubbing her hands up her arms.  He smiled sweetly, making her float back a few feet.  "Thank you for trying to cheer me up.  I miss you and I told my baby brother all about you."

She sniffled.  "I hate being emotional, Xander.  You know that."  She disappeared after patting his belly.  "Ethan did more than screw things up."

"Yay me."  He looked at Roque.  "Anya."

He nodded slowly.  "She was dead, right?"

"Yeah.  Died a few years back."  He shrugged.  "Ghosts aren't that unusual."  He walked around him and went back to his walk.  He figured by now Anya had spread the warning that he was going to destroy everyone for all this happening to him.  And he'd have fun doing it, which was the important thing.  Taking over hell was a big job and you didn't want to do it unless you were having fun with it.  If you weren't, the paperwork would kill you.

Clay watched the boy's face and how what he was thinking was showing.  "Don't include me in that wish thing, Xander," he ordered.

"You're probably about menopause age anyway, Clay," he quipped as he walked past him.  "Sucks to be your boyfriend though."  He kept walking and thinking.

"You try it, I'm siccing Cougar on you," Roque called after him.

"He thinks I'm contagious, won't get within shotgun range of me in case I make his gun pregnant."

"I guess that explains why he spent most of yesterday up a tree watching the road," Clay said dryly.

"He does look a good game of tag and one good 'you're it' will catch him," Roque agreed, sitting down again.  "That was Anya's ghost."

"She looked like she was a pretty girl," Clay said quietly.

"She ordered him to get laid but he complained the hormones were stopping that.  We still need to disarm his scars too.  We forgot."

"We'll do that later since Doc's coming back."  They watched Xander walk back past them.  "Why don't you go eat?"

"Not hungry, thanks."

Jensen walked out onto the back stoop.  "Breakfast."

"Not hungry," Xander called.

"Yes you are.  I made super special Jake pancakes," he said smugly.  Xander whimpered, turning to look at him.  "With chocolate chips."

"Shit."  He walked up there to get a few.  Jake had always made good pancakes.  Xander could barely cook.

Roque and Clay followed him up to the house and to breakfast.  "Thanks, Jensen," Clay said.

"Not a problem.  I put little dried out strawberries in yours after I soaked them in rum."  He sat down with his own plate.  "So, what happened to put you in a bad mood?" he asked quietly.  Pooch was staring at them.  Xander shrugged.

"Anya just showed up to nag from beyond the grave," Roque said, moaning as he ate a bite.  "Those are damn good."

"Thank you," Jensen said with a grin.  He looked at his brother.  "What was she nagging about?"

"Sex.  My lacking of sex."  He stuffed his mouth.  "I agree, you're still really good with pancakes.  Even though it's been decades since Grandmother taught you."

Jensen grinned.  "Yes I am."  He dug in and ate.

"Did you know that your brother nearly killed everyone in the building?" Cougar asked him.

"Is this really a breakfast conversation?" Xander asked him.  "Because I've talked about many fucked up things over meals thanks to hunting and being surrounded by girls, but usually the only torture we talk about is their periods."  Clay choked, shaking his head as he sipped his juice to clear his throat.

"I'm tattooing a warning sticker on your forehead since that's the second time today you've made someone choke," Roque told him, looking totally serious.

Xander shrugged.  "You're welcome to try but that means I get to cut off your balls."  He smiled.  "I have some *delightful* recipes I learned in Africa."

"Eww," Jensen said then stuffed his mouth.  "If you had I still would've been proud," Jensen said quietly, earning a slight smile, nearly a grimace from Xander.  He hugged him.  "Jess sent that."

"You're getting emo.  Am I having a mood swing since you're mirroring me?"

Jensen considered that.  "No, this is just me pre-coffee.  I get a bit grabby."  All the guys nodded with a smirk for him.  "If I'm half asleep, I'll grab someone to cuddle too."

"I don't really cuddle all that often anymore, unless my girls are watching movies and pull me onto the couch."

"Girls tend to do that," Pooch agreed.  "My wife does sometimes."  They finished breakfast and went back to sorting stuff.  It was highly amusing what they found.  A few were newly given as happy baby presents, but most were just Xander's warped sense of collecting nice things to remember areas by.  And yeah, some of the strangest things were the baby gifts.  "Why did someone give you a gold snake with tiny gemstone eyes?" he asked, holding it up.

"Putting that in with the baby will probably protect it from snake bites," Xander said.  They all gave him odd looks but shrugged and put that with the other baby presents.  When the doctor got there, Clay handed him the scanner Jensen had gotten to work.  They found a whole bunch of little things on Xander's body that he had to pull out, including some debris.  The one on his scalp got a long look but it was easily cut out too.  Then they did his exam.

Clay looked at the kid once the doctor had given him a sit rep.  "How do you expand them?"

"Open both the locks.  The second shrinks it."

Clay had to get a magnifying glass to do that but got it open and suddenly he had a rather large artillery case in front of him smashing down a chair.  He opened it and whimpered.  "Did you use this one?"

Xander looked, taking off the stuff that looked like cobwebs with a grin.  The artillery was hidden underneath.  "An extra layer of protection if they get it open."

Clay was staring at it.  "Roque?  Cougar?" he called.  They came walking in and stared at the piece of artillery.  "The second lock is the shrinking thing."  They got the others outside and wiped the blood off them before opening the locks.  What they found, they hoped no one was watching the house via satellite or surveillance gear.  Cougar locked it all back up and put it away in a box.  Which he addressed and mailed off to someone he trusted.  On the inside flap he wrote the instruction about the locks.  Then he went back to sorting out things the kid probably didn't need.

Clay decided it was his duty to talk to the kid about his weapons collection.  He was the team leader and his brother was probably just going to agree he could probably use it during an apocalypse.  Clay wasn't that forgiving.   He might even spank the kid for some of that stuff.  He walked Xander off to talk to him outside.  They needed to check for surveillance gear and a watch on the house.  Jensen could check the satellites.


Two days later in DC, an agent got a box and stared at it.  He knew the sender's fake name.  He walked it down to the lab.  "I have no idea what this is, Abby.  Can you scan it for me?"

She did that and looked at the image.  "Tiny little boxes?"  She shrugged.  "They look like tiny building blocks maybe?"

He nodded.  "That's too strange for that sender."  She opened the box and spotted the instruction.  She pulled out a box to look at, pulling on her magnifying headset.  She jimmied the lock and had to move it off her table as it grew.  The agent stared at it.  "Shit," he said in awe.

"That's stranger than what I'm used to," Abby admitted.  "That's Council stuff."  He shuddered.  "So whoever sent it to you got it off someone Council."

He nodded.  "You can give that to Gibbs if you might?  Tell him a commando I know personally, I was trained with, sent it to me please?"

"Of course I can."  She smiled.  "Thank him for us.  I always wanted to test some of the spellwork against science."  He nodded and left her to it.  She called one-handed.  "Come see me, Gibbs.  I got given presents for you."  She hung up and pulled out a nice looking box to put on top of the first one.  He walked in and stared at the box.  She held up a hand and got that lock open, watching it grow on top of the first one.  She smiled.  "A commando Perkins knows sent it to him.  With that sort of work on it, that means it's Council."

"They need that sort of equipment?"

"Maybe.  With some of the stuff they handle?  Possibly.  I have a whole box to log in," she said happily.

He looked in the box, groaning.  "Let's get it down to the bigger work area."  She nodded, helping him move things.  He opened one.  "It's empty."  His team walked in due to his page.  "Abby got sent some stuff from the Council but this one's empty."

Tony DiNozzo looked and lifted off the cobweb.  "I'm immune to most magic thanks to something I had when I was younger, boss."  He grinned, looking in the box.  "How?"

"The second lock," she said.  "I'm guessing if you break it, it stays tiny."  He nodded, coming over to help her.  She looked.  "I don't know why this one has blood on the hinges."  She looked at the others.  "So do they."

"Maybe, with how small they were, they were smuggled on a body?" Ziva guessed.  She snapped her fingers, remembering.  "Harris.  He showed up to teach the girl who was Mossad for six weeks before she moved back to Cleveland to get jungle experience.  She said she saw him do that.  He pulled one out of an old scar when something attacked them.  It was beyond swords and guns both."  They all stared at her.  "He was their roaming trainer.  Their arms master as well."

"Most of the Council people do prefer low tech," Abby agreed.  "Crossbows, swords, the special scythe.  Stakes.  Artillery is for apocalypses."

"Where did he collect all that?" McGee asked.

"Well, this one I just opened is showing a German writing," Tony said dryly.  They all stared.

"This one's US," Gibbs said, considering it.  "So is that one.  Ziva, would he have bought overseas?"

"Quite possibly, according to her stories, he could have raided and kept."  She got onto Abby's PDA to look up the Mossad file, using her password and user name.  She let him see it.  "That is all we have on him and half is probably incorrect.  They all thought he was older and the analysts thought there was no way it was possible for one man to do that."

"So why didn't he send it back now?" Tony asked.

"A commando Perkins know sent it to him," Abby said.  "Is it possible that team ran into him and he's injured or something?"  Gibbs was groaning so she looked over the information.  "Half of that is crap.  The Sunnydale team makes up most of the upper Council and he was born on the old hellmouth, Ziva."  She got into another site.  "This is a demon hunter's site."  She looked at it.  "No, he's not dead.  Fuck."  They all stared at her, she did not swear, hardly ever.  She looked up.  "According to the demon hunters sites, Wolfram and Hart got him to torture him and tried to make him bear a child that would destroy the slayer line until a chaos sort changed it to a slayer that has to grow up or else they all die.  He's somewhere hiding."

"He's...pregnant?" Ziva asked to make sure.

"I'm betting there's a follower of Janus around in that story somewhere, because only them, of all the chaos sorts, would like that idea."  Tony shuddered.  He looked at Ziva.  "It's a really hard spell but yeah, he can be.  Especially with as tainted as he'd have to be from the hellmouth he was born and raised on."  Gibbs was giving him a pointed look.  "One of my cousins is Council.  Survived the explosion and the First Evil by being in a coma."

He walked off calling them.  His cousin had lasting damage that meant he blurted things out no matter who could hear the secrets.  He came back ten minutes later.  "My cousin said he is pregnant so whoever probably made him disarm.  All his stuff went to his new residence, which is hidden, and there's a team guarding him from the people who'd love to see that child die.  Also, the chaos sort is his father, who is the high priest to Janus."

"Who, beyond demons, is hunting him?" Ziva asked.

"Our president hates the Council has to exist," Gibbs said, looking at Tony, who nodded.

"The French government's stance is that demons don't exist, even when they were rioting in Paris.  The slayer assigned to France had to flee to save her life after stopping that riot.  French agents were going to kill her and have tried to kill the top two slayers a few times.  Then Rosenburg nearly sank Paris under a tidal wave that moved up the river without hurting anywhere else somehow."

"So there's higher ups who're pushing to have him killed," McGee said bluntly.  "Including ours.  What sort of team is guarding him?"

Tony grinned at Gibbs.  "You remember training an Army sniper, boss?  Quiet guy, Mexican?"

"Cougar, yeah."

"Jensen's his twin brother."

Gibbs considered that.  "They're a good team.  They can protect him and Jensen's scary in his own right.  What about whoever had him hostage?"

"Secret Service had that I'm told."


"He healed from the injuries in Bethesda."  He pulled Gibbs closer, hissing in his ear.  "I'm not sure if they know that or not, boss.  They've been keeping that absolutely silent.  Plus whatever sickness he had twice in Africa."

Gibbs nodded, going to find a way to contact them.  He had liked and respected Cougar.  He had to know what sort of problems the kid was going to have to deal with.  That way they could make concrete plans.


Clay looked at the information that had gotten passed to Cougar.  "Xander?" he called, bringing him out.  "I know you had malaria and I know you got exposed to something deadly in Africa."

"Yeah, that's what they ruled wasn't ebola."

"The smallpox?"

"Thanksgiving a few years before Sunnydale fell in.  I fell onto some native remains and ghosts can affect me.  I'm better shielded now thankfully.  I didn't get hardly any sickness from it outside of when they were active.  That, syphilis, and probably a strain of influenza possibly.  We never wanted to do the tests, just in case."

Clay stared at him.  "I'm having someone *I* trust, absolutely trust, do the tests."

Xander stared at him.  "If it gets out, my usual target gets a lot bigger and from badder sources," he pointed out.

"I know that.  If I could run it myself I would."  He stared at him.  He let him read the letter.  Xander grimaced.  "His cousin is Council.  She's well known to the teams as being someone who can help if we need it in DC.  She has connections all over the city."

"We know about Abby.  And I've met his teammate Ziva.  I was training one who ended up in the Mossad.  She had to retire."  He handed it back.  "As long as it's kept totally quiet, including from your own people higher up."

"Granted," he said.  "Cougar, draw some of his blood for testing."  He nodded, grabbing the medical kit the kid carried to pull out what he needed.  When he got the vials he packed them in styrofoam and an ice pack, then inside a double layer box.  He went to send it through the hospital by pretending to be a doc sending the blood for an identification of a patient.  They knew how to ship it fastest and best.

That hadn't been in the information file.  For a good reason, which he appreciated, but it meant there were still gaps related to Sunnydale.


Abby came in the next morning to the blood work.  The box said 'for identification purposes' and 'medical products' so she handled it carefully.  Inside the styrofoam was a note from him.  She smiled.  She had met Clay and crushed on him a bit.  She ran the tests, calling Tony and Gibbs only down.  What came up amused the hell out of her.  "When did he get a rabies shot?"

"He got bitten by a hyena in Africa and they made him take a half-series as a precaution," Tony said.  He pointed at the results.  "Sunnydale Thanksgiving.  Africa, Africa.  No clue," he admitted at the last two.

She looked then shrugged.  "I have no idea how he would've gotten dead strains."

"He fell into a Native burial chamber," Tony said with a grin.  "The spirits gave it to him.  According to my cousin the old head of the Council, Travers, cackled and all but danced around when he heard that report.  He hated the kid so much for jumping in he tried to have him killed.  That was before he was legal to drink.  Or vote."

"I'm running the sample against the one left at Bethesda for identification purposes but under a made up case number and name, Gibbs," she said.  "That way we're certain."  He nodded once.  She got to work on the other antigen test.  There was antigens from vaccinations, from minor things, and one screwed up DNA test when she ran that because she had heard he had screwed up DNA.  "What is that?" she muttered, looking it over.  Gibbs looked up from the reports Tony had pulled for him.  "Fish DNA?"

"Mermaid," Tony said bluntly.  "Back in high school."

She shook her head.  "He's stranger than I am.  That says something."  She got back to work and it was definitely not good news.  She bundled up the reports for Gibbs to look over and hand back.

"Can we get this to him subtly without anyone knowing?" Tony asked.  "Outside having someone magic it to him?"

"Did I hear someone say magic?" a redhead asked as she appeared.  "Why are you looking at Xander's blood sample, Miss Scuito?"

She smiled.  "Because the team guarding him heard there might be blood hunters.  He wanted to make sure which ones might be coming if they heard.  Because being pregnant and having some of these is probably a bad idea."

"He's not on any treatment."

"Pregnancy wears out a body," Gibbs said quietly.  "Runs down your immune system.  Which means he might have a relapse."  She shuddered.  "Therefore they have to know to prepare for a worst case scenario.  Those weapons?" he asked.

"What weapons?"

"Tiny shrunken boxes that Xander used to carry," Tony said dryly.

"I don't like weapons," she said, looking clueless.  "Xander did weapons and Paul does weapons.  We stole him from the FBI.  We had to teach him how to handle a crossbow but otherwise it went well."

"So Xander was probably carrying a spare apocalypse closet?" Gibbs asked dryly.

"Who know with him?" she said dryly.  "Ever since he went to Africa he's been strange."

Abby gave her an odd look.  "I think it's more he became a soldier instead of a hunter.  We see plenty of them here."  Willow huffed but disappeared.  Abby added a nice note to the reports and got into a hacker's chat room.  She found Jensen logged in but idle so she poked him until he answered her summons.


Jensen looked at his laptop as it beeped, putting back on his glasses and sitting down on the bed even though he was damp from his shower.  He smiled at who was reaching out to poke him.  "I love Abby."   He saw the coded message and made a single use secure email account.  She sent it all over with a note saying she wanted to crush more on Clay and Jensen so to not get dead.  Then she signed off and cleared off her system.  Jensen got into that file and printed it then deleted it, and hacked the company to make sure it was deleted properly and no copy was stored anywhere in cyberspace.  Including at NCIS.  He took the printed things out to Clay.  "Abby said she wants to crush on you some more so we can't get dead."

Clay read the information over, eyebrows going up.  "Huh.  Xander, it's probably a good thing you never tested your blood."  Xander looked over his arm, whimpering at what was there.  "I'll make sure with Doc that you being worn down won't make anything pop back up."  He called him to ask that question.  If so they had to set up a quarantine room.  Fortunately the doctor knew some of Xander's past and said it wasn't likely.  But to set up a surgical room just in case.  He hung up and looked at Cougar and Pooch.  "He wants us to set up the surgical suite soon.  A totally sterile room, boys.  If they have to do a c-section it'll have to be done within minutes so drape the doorway."

"What if we have to move?" Jensen asked.

"Then we'll figure it out," Clay assured him.  He looked at Xander.  He was asleep sitting up, with people in the room so clearly they were making some progress on his burnout.  He suddenly jolted away and looked around.  "Easy, kid.  Just a short nap," he said quietly.

Xander shook his head.  "Someone's nearby.  The wards woke me."  He got up to grab his wallet and Council ID case, heading out to figure out who was at the gate.  He walked up to it, staring at the young woman.  "Yes, miss, do I know you?"

"I'm here to talk to the new owner," she said with a smile.  "I'm with the local film bureau."

Xander stared at her.  "Ma'am, this is a private residence and I'm fairly sick right now," he said dryly.  "I'll be in treatments for months."

"Oh, I didn't know.  The locals said there were soldier types out here?"

"That would be my brother's friends."  He stared at her.  "What did you want to see me about?"

"We wanted to shoot some footage from your beach.  It's a perfectly secluded beach for a nice romp in a movie."

He considered it then pointed.  "That way three miles.  The owner's ...not really normal but I heard he's having tax problems and he has a cove sort of beach, much smaller than mine yet some caves and things."  She beamed at him for that.  "Just ask to talk to Juan, his assistant, not him."

"I can do that.  Thank you, sir."  She smiled.  "Are you moving here permanently, Mr. Harris?"

"How did you know who I was?"  She blinked and then backed the car up but Pooch shot the engine as a warning.  Xander grinned.  "So who are you really?"

"I'm Estravella Marquez."

Xander stared at her.  "The hitwoman out of Spain?  I was going to ask you out when I was over there the last time," he said dryly.  She gaped.  "Only dangerous women like me, ma'am."  He grinned.  "Why are you in Malaysia?"

"My government is very interested in what's going on with you."

"You can tell them the high priest of Janus made sure we'd both live, be healthy, and it'll be a slayer."

"Oh.  We didn't hear that part."

"You shouldn't have heard any of it," he assured her, staring her down.  "Just because I had to slightly retire for a bit doesn't mean I'm not the same badass little shit that showed up to handle that spirit while everyone was on pilgrimage."

"I heard," she sneered.

"Hey, I could've let it eat people," he offered.  "I was actually on vacation for once when that showed up."  She swallowed and nodded.  "Your orders?"

"Make sure that the child did not come to be if it was going to endanger the slayers."

Xander snorted.  "At least your people recognize that the girls couldn't do it on their own. No, the high priest that tweaked it on them decided I'm having a slayer."

"Fine.  May I go?"

"That's up to the big guy," he said with a point behind him.  Roque let out a growl of happiness.  "And his boss."  He walked off.  "Also you might tell them that I did remove the stuff from the scars so it can be used."

She blinked a few times.  "Is that what happened to the bomb you took off that idiot?"


"Oh, dear."  She looked at Roque.  "May I report that?  That way no one else comes after him?"

"We'll consider it."

Clay walked out.  "Estravella."  She spat his feet.  "Now now, no being so touchy."  He smirked.  "The kid's a lot like my son would be."

"I heard," she said dryly.  "So your team guards him?"

"He's Jensen's twin."  He smirked.  She looked alarmed, shaking her head.  He nodded.  "They weren't raised together but yeah."

"No.  Is not possible," she said quickly.

Jensen bounced out, grinning at her.  "Aww, did you nearly get hit on by my brother?" he teased.  "Dad would be *so* proud."  He beamed.  She swallowed, starting to make small whimpering noises.  He beamed.  "We're doing great things together even if Xander has promised to become Lex Luthor at some point."  She let out a weak sounding snort but was still looking horrified.  "So, boss, are we letting her go?"

"I don't know yet," he admitted.

"I will report it will be a slayer," she promised.  "That he has competent guards who are quite mean and willing to go toward evil for him.  I might even let the boy hit on me."  Xander walked back out and kissed her, making her moan and go weak in the knees, her hands going to his shoulders to hold herself up.  By the time he pulled back, one of her hands was in his hair and she was feeling suspiciously floaty.  He grinned and kissed her again.  She moaned and moved closer.  "I should not.  I will dent you and clearly the father must be yours," she whimpered, backing up.

He kissed the back of her hands.  "As far as I know the baby doesn't have one.  I need an exciting mate who knows how dangerous I am to her and to others.  One who likes oral sex and perhaps even long massages?"  She kissed him again.  He nibbled on her ear.  "See me in six months?" he whispered.

"Si, I will do so."  She got back into her car and drove off, taking the time to enjoy the lustful feelings he had created.

Xander grinned.  "She's cute.  Did you date her?"

"Went out once, but she had orders to kill me."

"Huh.  I might like that."  He walked off happier.

Jensen looked at his brother then at Clay.  "Did you somehow swap spit or sperm and infect him with your bad girl powers, Clay?"  Roque burst out cackling, walking into the woods to laugh himself sick against a tree.  Jensen followed his brother.  His poor demented twin brother who clearly needed better taste in women.  Anyone Clay had dated should automatically be off limits to the general breeding pool of sane people.  Jensen looked back at Clay.  "Did you sleep with our dad to make him?" he asked.  "I've been wondering if his bad taste in women just missed me."  He went inside to hear his brother laughing in the bathroom.

"I'd never fuck something as evil as your father, Jensen.  I prefer mine prettier and slutty with tits, not evil."

"That'd be a nice change," Pooch said dryly.  "Jolene's going to cackle about that."  He went to write her an email, making her day.  He stared at the one he got back.  "Jensen, make me some cheap flight reservations please?" he called.

"She in labor?" Jensen called.

"Having practice contractions and the doc said within two weeks."

"Go," Clay agreed with a smile.  "It'll be fine."  Pooch nodded, going to pack so he could head home and greet his first child.  Jensen handed him flight information on his way out the door.  He even got a taxi from the local town to meet him on the road.  That would help protect the boy enough.


to part 2

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