Clay looked up from his time in the apartment complex's pool to find the local liaison agent standing there. "Agent Fielders."
"Colonel." He smiled. "Some higher ups are on their way down to talk to you about your next assignment. They wanted to make sure you hadn't been sucked into Xander's web of dangerous women since yours tend to be...."
"Volatile," he offered with a smirk. "No, we're doing PT and scouting locally for the boys to move."
"An excellent choice and probably less expensive, even if Xander does have to mow a lawn." He smiled.
"You have the boys bugged?"
"Hell. Yes." Clay snickered. "They've handled a lot of stuff they never told us about." Clay followed him back to the apartment to change and then he gave him a ride to the federal building. "Here you go, sirs," he said then disappeared.
The head of the Secret Service and the FBI were both waiting, as well as the head of the Army, who was the current Joint Chief chairman.
Clay saluted him, getting waved at. O'Neill was also there looking smug and pleased. "Sir, this looks like a bad thing in the making," he noted.
"Yes and no," Jack admitted with a smug look. "Sit, Colonel." He sat down, facing them.
"How many more threats to sanity are going to happen like in Arkansas?" the head of the Army asked.
"Xander said there's one about every spring, sometimes worse than others, sir. There's occasionally a manmade one in the fall."
They all considered that, looking at each other. "We know about Cordelia's...edicts for lack of a better phrase for her information sharing method," Jack said. Clay nodded. "Do you think the three of them, and any pack members that can get time off, can handle such things?"
"I think.... in the past some of them have taken more than a full unit of people from what happened in Xander's world. I also think that the two pack members that I have on my crew are aware of some ...let's say less than polite entities that might cause some problems in the future. We've been looking into them when we haven't been on a mission. As a matter of fact, our last one was nearly complicated by one of them. We destroyed them as a bit of fun and stress relief."
"Good job," Jack said with a grin. "I heard about Wolfram and Hart."
"Sir, the invasion?"
"Oh, I heard, had heartburn, and vowed if it happened here I'd zat all the mother fuckers until I was satisfied they were sorry," Jack said bluntly, staring at him. Clay snickered, nodding he liked that answer. "We have three major threats to the US. One, my people take care of."
"Yes, sir," Clay agreed. "We're told you're all highly competent most of the time, outside of the vampire attack."
"I heard. Landry wanted to kill himself after that night by alcohol poisoning. A few on the base nearly did it, which is bad considering what we deal with usually."
"Yes it is," the head of the Army said dryly. "There was a what?"
"Something about the ring was drawing demons and vampires to the city," Clay told him. "So said Xander. It was apparently pulling at his energy taint as well. So a lot of them tried to get to the motherland."
The head of the army shook his head quickly. "Okay. Now I want to drink. It was handled, O'Neill?"
"Yes, sir. They called in Jon and Harris, who brought the colonel's team with him." He smiled. "They handled it very effectively and mostly low tech."
"Excellent news." He looked at him. "There's two other major threats. There's the terrorist threat. And there's apparently the demon threat. How often do you believe we'll see them cross over?"
"I believe that the religious cranks that start organizations would probably never knowingly work with that sort, sir, but some of the people they have working for them are human."
"That's what I thought you'd say," he sighed. He stared at him. "You have two choices, Colonel. We're going to need a team to track down these links and end them, of both sorts. You'll be getting the boys once they graduate to train and make into a secondary team." He stared at him. "And get them any personnel they might need to form an effective team. I know about the hunter network. They're single hunters who we can't acknowledge due to things like felony funding issues."
"John did say he had to use credit card fraud sometimes," he agreed.
"Exactly. So what we have in mind," Jack said. "Is to make you a multi-problem system. No more jobs spotting. No more jobs waiting on someone to do a political assassination. I know they're easier at times but we need to clear the US first."
"Which would mean we'd be disavowed," Clay noted. "It's treason to work within the US, sirs."
"It is," the head of the FBI agreed with an evil smirk. "But there's ways around that, Colonel. Including some agent support."
Clay looked at him. "Would I be expected to take out the politicians that have made deals as well?" he asked dryly.
"Only if they're causing problems or else DC might shut down," Jack quipped. "Though the thought has occurred to some of us before." He smirked. Clay smirked back. They understood each other very well. "This will be a permanent project, not capable of being shut down for the next decade. By then hopefully we'll have all the evil things out of the US."
"We're told England has some sort of organization that helps with that," the head of the Secret Service noted.
"The Watchers Council," Clay said. "When we had slayers they were over them. Right now they're hoarding research and things."
"Good to know," the Secret Service head said, making that note. "We couldn't find out who."
"The boys' principal was one."
"I'll talk to him later," he said with a smile.
"Daniel said that they mistranslated a lot of books," Jack warned him. "The local office has gotten Daniel to retranslate a lot. Apparently most are in an ancient demon trading language and latin."
"There's some in Summerian, Greek, Arabic, Egyptian, and a few other demon languages in Xander's collection, which came from their rebuilt council," Clay said. "Most of which Xander reads."
Jack stared at him. "He learned on the job?"
"Yes, though Jon O'Neill was asking Sam if there was a language spell so he could read them without spending years learning."
"Yeah, not our strong suit," Jack admitted. "Speaking of, he'll want flight training," he told the head of the army.
"I agree knowing who he is, Jack." He looked at Clay. "So, do you feel comfortable doing that for us or nominating a team?"
Clay considered it. "I need to talk to my team. I'm not sure they would be. I would have no problem with it. Frankly, taking down a law firm with a bio-terrorism lab would be easier than taking down drug dealers in South America. They don't shoot back as often."
"They try to ruin things in other ways," the head of the Secret Service agreed. "But you would feel comfortable?"
"I need to talk to my men."
"Do that and come talk to us again in three hours," Jack ordered. Clay nodded and saluted before leaving. He looked at them. "If he won't, do we have any other options?"
"Taking a few of yours," the head of the army said. "There's a few other teams who have been in the field and work well who might not freak out at this. They don't at Jensen so they might not freak out at demons."
Jack looked at him. "Hackers aren't demons. Even if I don't personally understand, they're just weird, not demons, sir." He grinned. "Also, we need a few more teams."
"I heard," he admitted. "We're talking about it, O'Neill. The city?" Jack moaned, shaking his head. "That bad?"
"Major Lorne finally managed to finish weeding Harris's stash down to something close to reasonable for their use. We didn't have to add too much to the ship."
"So they're having another one?"
"Yup. Sheppard was moaning about deja vu."
"Interesting. Let me know. Maybe you can bring them back once that threat is over with and let them help?"
Jack stared at him. "Half of them would bite you for that suggestion, sir, and with the ropes they can bite pretty hard."
"I heard. That's a damn handy gift to have."
"There's very few and Xander doesn't know how to make more."
"Pity." He sighed. "I can see that team getting a set." He leaned back in his chair. "If we could get someone to make some...."
"That would take something powerful and she's not human yet," Jack said smugly. The others stared at him. "There's an artifact Winchester's father and older brother guard because in a few years a hell goddess is going to want it. She basically gets changed whenever the hell goddess shows up to protect her, and then when she dies she moves to another realm." They all nodded once. "She's an interdimensional access port. Who giggles and teases them a lot by purring."
They all shook their heads quickly. That was stranger than they ever wanted to know about.
The head of the Secret Service paused. "Is that Dawn? I heard DiNozzo telling Gibbs about her."
"Yup," Jack said with a grin. "Right now they're hoping she doesn't have to change but she's a ball of green glow. It's one reason why the senior Winchester has to go to Mexico every now and then. Apparently Dean makes her happy by letting her rest on his porn stash. John lets her hide in his glove box. The monks who help guard her are freaked out by them."
"Yeah, I am too," the head of the army decided. "A whole lot." They all nodded and went to lunch. Jack could have lunch with his people and his anthropologist. Everyone was certain they were together but no one could ask. It was just as certain as the Gibbs/DiNozzo one in DC that no one wanted to ask about in case it meant they had to leave the service.
Clay walked into the apartment, staring. "Where's Pooch?"
"Home. He flew back this morning," Roque said. "Why? You have a weird look on your face."
"Get him on the line, Jensen." Jensen fired up the video conferencing software, getting Pooch on after texting him. Clay looked at them. "I just met with two agency heads, the head of the army, and O'Neill." They all gave him weird looks. Even Pooch. Jolene was over his shoulder. "They want us to move to US threat elimination, both terrorist and demonic. Probably more demonic than terrorists. As a later point they'd want us to train the boys and make them an effective team." He looked at each of them. "It's lower risk but more weird things."
"When the higher ups want to stress you out, they start big," Jensen said. "So we'd be starting on Wolfram and Hart now?" Clay nodded. "And all the other apocalypses probably."
"Plus we're the prototype so we can set however we need it done," Clay said. "They're giving us a decade to make it safe." Roque shuddered. "I said I'd have to talk to you guys first."
"So we'd be like those Council guys for the US?" Pooch asked. "Only military?"
"Something like that, yeah," Clay agreed. He sat down. "I have two and a half hours to tell them. If we say no I'm not sure what we'd be doing and who would do it before the boys are ready. They might conscript, I'm not real sure."
"We'd definitely end up in the ass end of the universe," Jensen said dryly. "Which agencies?"
"Secret Service, FBI, our Joint Chief, and O'Neill."
"So we'd be like the US version of the mountain's program," Jensen said.
"Something like that, yeah."
"Damn," he muttered, leaning back. "We'd still get shot at plenty of times because not all of them are against guns."
"We'd be weirded out all the time," Pooch complained.
"That means we'd be starting on Wolfram and Hart's operations first," Jensen pointed out. "They have bio-terrorism links, links to arms dealers, all sorts of neat things that could still try to kill us."
"We'd be on call for apocalypse battles," Cougar said in Spanish.
Roque looked at him. Then at Clay. "How bad was the last one?"
"Minor," Jensen said. "Very minor. John showed up to help because Cordelia said so."
"That would definitely lead to more quiet work," Roque said. "Which means I wouldn't have as much work, or Cougar."
"It would include elimination of the higher demons causing problems," Clay said. "Including anything tainted too high that was causing problems that couldn't get done by an exorcism."
"So more geek work, more field work, and the occasional battle," Pooch said. Clay nodded. He looked at his wife, who hugged him around the neck.
"It'd mean you'd get to be home more often," Jensen said. "And you could stay in constant contact unless you were undercover."
"What, exactly, does the mountain do?" Roque asked.
"Deal with stuff stranger than demons," Jensen said bluntly. "Otherwise, they'll conscript us." He smiled. "They have a few hackers on their crews that make me look like the last one you guys had." They all shuddered. "Exactly. They have a lot of higher science brains." He looked at Clay. "I'm good either way. Though I will note a bias against chaos sorcerers. A very heavy one."
Clay nodded. "Pooch?"
He hung up with a shrug. He came back a few minutes later. "Jolene likes it," he admitted. "Because I might be home more often."
"We'd be around the US unless we had to track sources outside," Jensen said. "Which could mean we'd be gone about half as often." Pooch said something to his wife, who agreed. He shrugged. "Guys?"
Cougar shifted. "I would not have as much work."
"Bet me. We'd still need you a lot, especially during battles. And there's always elimination needs," Jensen told him. "Xander did about seven of them this summer." Cougar gaped. "Another thing he didn't tell Sam or the pack members he visited. There was a suspicious two week gap before he got to New York where he wasn't here. He wasn't driving....." Cougar smirked.
Jensen shifted to get more comfortable. "The underground community said that he took them out. Also, we have to spank him over Miami. Ryan let on that there were a lot more than 'a few' demons he described to Sam." Jensen sighed. "Another point to consider. Cas's coworkers still have plans. That will be stopped but still plans. So that's the Last Year shit if they manage it."
"Still?" Clay demanded. Jensen nodded. "How certain?"
"Cas is ignoring them by walking off with his fingers in his ears and humming from what he said."
"Charming," Clay sneered. "Higher ups with plans. Just what angels need to be doing."
Roque snorted. "Angels?"
"Castiel, the guy who looks like an accountant?" Jensen said. Roque nodded slowly. "He's an angel, Roque. Lower level warrior angel actually. Has a huge crush on Dean. In Xander's original world, they tried one there using the Winchester brothers. Here that can't happen thanks to Xander. There, Dawn solved it." Roque shuddered. "Oh, yeah. Total Revelation event too." He looked at Clay. "So...."
"As long as I am needed, I don't care," Cougar said.
Roque sighed. "It'd be nice not to be in the middle of a jungle sometimes." They all nodded at that. "How many people are going to die if we don't?"
"Most of them," Jensen said. "Because some day Xander will fall during a battle."
"Then I guess I can go along with their plans."
Clay looked at the others, who still shrugged. "Any votes against it?" he asked dryly.
"The boys may hate training," Jensen quipped.
"Yup, probably," Clay agreed with a smug look. "Last call to spout a doubt." No one said anything. "Let me get back there. Even though they have the place bugged." Jensen pointed at it with a grin. "Good to know." He left, going back there. Agent Fielders met him at the door. "They still on lunch?"
"Yup." He let him call O'Neill. Who was busy and hung up on them. So they waited in the conference room going over what might be needed beyond weapons and what sort of training would be needed. John Winchester could give them some of it. The Council could give them more. Xander had learned on the job so he could use upped on those skills. They might be able to talk Jackson into translating the rest of the library for them. Though he wasn't sure why half of it was prophecies. Those sounded crappy to him as an information source. When his boss came back, he stood and saluted. "Sir."
"At ease, Colonel." Clay sat down again. "So, the decision was?"
"Most of us didn't care one way or another but Roque decided more people would die if we didn't and it'd be nice not to be in a jungle as often."
"Probably true." He smiled. "So you're on?"
"Yes, sir, but there has to be some training and some information hand overs."
"I agree." He sat down to go over the things Clay thought he needed, which all made sense to him. "I'd ask O'Neill but he's not answering his phone."
"He hung up on us an hour ago," Fielders admitted. "Sir, is this going to include agents?"
"Some of you. Yes, you've already been tapped since you know." He smiled. Then at Clay. "That boy's blood problems?"
"With our last job we managed to take out three of them but one spread it before he died to his germ doc buddies."
"Wonderful." He shook his head. "Is he protected?"
"Harris? Mostly, sir."
"Good!" He sighed, adding some to the list. "We need to get you up to date on O'Neill's projects' special weapons. They could help. Then we need to build you a slight support staff. Because I know some things take magic and I doubt any of yours can since they have sense."
"I have no idea if Jensen could or not, sir. I've never felt the need to ask." He texted that and Jensen quipped back that he couldn't but Xander had a slight bit. But Cougar had an aunt who knew. "Apparently one of my teammates has an aunt who's a bruja."
"Is that what's wrong with your captain?" he asked.
"No, it's a relation to Cougar, sir."
"Oh, odd. He didn't seem to know."
"He's a full fledged pack member with Jensen. Apparently there Xander had saved him when he was shot." He scratched the back of his neck. "That's how we learned."
"Figures." He added onto the support staff mentions.
"We need a home base, sir," Clay noted. "Jolene has their house by Bragg. The boys might move after school. Sam might also want to go to college instead."
"If he'd go for medical training, I'd find a way to pay for it," he decided, making that note. They kept going. What they needed and what they'd get were two different things. Xander was let in after school let out, staring at them. "Mr. Harris."
"Sir." He sat down with a sigh. "Can one of you please tell Sam to quit nagging me about college shit?"
"I'll talk to him later," Clay said. "Think he might like medical school?"
"Probably." He took the list to look over, crossing out some things and adding others. He handed it over then pulled up a site online to show them. "We'd need to be close together. We'd need to be about neighbors but not quiet. We'd need some privacy for training."
"That would be perfect," the general said, taking it to look over. "Back to back, few neighbors. The current construction was stalled?" Xander nodded. "Where is it?"
"Up the road. We'd have to fight to stay in the same school."
"We can set up plans to start you boys then."
"We're going to be moving soon one way or another," Xander admitted. "I prepaid the rent for a year and that runs out in two months. We've been looking but nothing was popping at us. Clay suggested renting a house."
"That makes good sense to me too." He let Clay see it. "That would give each of you about a half acre of your own plus you could run across easily enough in case of problems or hold training in the woods."
"Later teams could build on," Xander agreed. "Or even Mountain teams. It's within fifteen of the mountain. They wouldn't have to hide weird shit from us. Or the other pack members could build one too."
"That's actually a reasonable plan. Why hasn't someone done that before?" he asked.
"Because Hammond couldn't get it granted probably," Xander said with a small shrug. "He was their first general and John told me once he had made the base the way it was." The general gave him a dirty look. "John was in a drunk and mopey mood over all those they had lost with a few of his people and the pack. He had brought them over before and wanted them to be safe while they slightly remembered. One of them mentioned Hammond since John never worked with him."
"That's fine I suppose. Did they tell you anything classified?"
Xander smirked. "No but I do get visions that impact John's job," he said dryly.
"Good point. Thank you for keeping that to yourself, Harris."
"I try really hard."
"There's also a plan to train you three to be an effective team later on," Clay told him.
"Which'll suck if Sam's in college," Xander quipped back. "I know I could use some training. All mine was from the memories after a possession and on-the-job training to not die."
"The person your team worked with before?" the general asked.
"Giles didn't want me there to begin with. By the time they thought some training might help, I was already six months into patrols and the girls were turning into girlish bitches." He shrugged. "They kept trying to say I was normal too." He grinned.
"Keeping memories is normal?" Clay asked.
"Some. Most primal ones yes according to the Council. The others that got the rest of the pack didn't ever show one way or another that they remembered eating a principal. And the pig."
"You did?" Fielders asked, looking disgusted.
"No, I just ate the pig. Buffy knocked my ass out and had me confined when they ate the principal. I had tried to establish dominance on her."
"So she thought you had tried to rape her and knocked you out," Clay said dryly. Xander nodded. "Still, you're not exactly what I'd peg as normal."
"No. But they were special girls with special gifts," he said dryly. "Sam attributes that to my attitude of doing half of everything myself."
"It probably is," Clay agreed. "Any other ways they warped you?"
Xander stared at him. "We were basically raising each other, Clay. Me, Willow, and Jesse. Then Jesse got vamped. Which I ended up fixing for him." Clay shuddered. "Yeah, so I have my screwed up moments. I know very well I'm not normal. I have no idea what I might've become if I didn't start hunting. I might've ended up in the army and become like Roque. I don't know. If I had survived anyway."
"That sucks," Clay decided. Xander nodded. "At least you're realistic."
"Yeah, usually. I had my flaws pointed out to me often enough I can't ignore them. Including that I hate growth spurts because I trip over my feet and used to fall into graves."
"We all did that," Clay said.
"Apparently not Miss High Heels on Patrol." He smirked. "I kindly laughed when she did it and she yelled and screamed at me for it. I pointed out she did the same thing to me, welcome to the growth spurt generation, and walked off. They didn't talk to me for four days until something broke."
"We're going to train you in how to be part of a team, Xander. Truly a team, like our team." Xander hugged him. "Get off," he said, grimacing at him. "Men like me don't hug, Kid."
"Bullshit. You give nice hugs." He grinned. "Oh, and weird thing," he told Fielders. "There's a damn chaos mage in town. Jensen's going to rip his head off." He smiled. "Hopefully before he pulls anything. Though I'm hoping to save him so I can get him to do some stuff for me." He got up and left.
Clay looked at them. They both shrugged. They had no idea how to calm that boy down. Clay would figure it out like he had figured out how to calm Jensen down. Or he'd make Jensen calm him down.
Xander found the chaos mage and stalked him back to his room, knocking him out with a sedative dart as he walked into the door of his hotel room. He carried him inside and shut them in, staring at him. "Hi, Ethan." He put him on the bed and sat down to make a list and make notes about the ropes John had. When Ethan moaned and started to wake up, Xander stared at him. "Hi, Ethan."
He blinked at him. "Ripper warned me about you," he whimpered.
"Hmm, yeah. Well, I'm saving your ass from Jensen right now. The pack hates you in that special way but I wanted something created." He smiled. "So can we talk?"
"If we must. He sent me to bring you to him."
"It's the school year, Ethan. I can't just take off."
"He said something bad is going to happen."
Xander nodded. "And I'll probably date it. Yay." He smirked. "We can talk to him later." He handed over the notes. Ethan snorted, glaring at him. "I know there are some."
"They're very difficult."
"Dawn's not alive here."
"She's in John's glovebox." Ethan gaped, staring at him. Xander smirked back. "What did Ripper want?"
"He said that we had to move you out of the way of harm. Something about drawing something large here."
"Yeah, we used to call them my cocksucking club. They all wanted to do me so badly."
"Ethan smirked. "Did you let them?"
"No. I didn't do more than let them buy me drinks. I'm not that sort of boy." He smirked. "Three of them Rupert even introduced me to."
"I believe he was going to nominate you for training."
Xander shook his head. "No thanks. I'd hate to have to kill myself if I became one of Travers' whores." He leaned forward, smirking again. "You know what happened because Janus loves my ass. I know he told you." Ethan nodded slowly, looking confused. "What orders did he give you in relation to me?"
"To keep you from going dark."
"I'm going to be hunting again. Actually, I'm already hunting again." He grinned. "Did he tell you about the rest of the pack?" That got a shudder but a nod. "Because Cougar's in town with Jensen and their whole team. They're making dinner so I'll have to call them soon if I'm not going to make it home on time."
"Does he know...." He waved a hand.
"Uh-huh." He grinned. "They all did an imprint before that last battle."
"Oh, Dear Lord Janus," he sighed. "Is that all you want to let me go?"
Xander nodded. "Just those two sets." He grinned. "I saw the Godly created ones. A pack member retrieved them."
Ethan stared at him. "Did you touch them?"
"I wore one for the last minor apocalypse. I managed two forms." He beamed.
"You're a spirit walker," he said bluntly. Xander nodded. "Bloody hell," he muttered, looking at the notes.
"Well, I did have to thank you because the thing on Halloween gave me some really necessary memories that helped tons. Which is why I trust someone like you to make these and do them right."
"They would not be as strong or as good as theirs. Chaos energy making them could make them unpredictable."
"You do know what the Old Ones were, right?"
"What some of them were? Yeah." He smirked. "I have known since one tried to flirt with me and make me a clone. When I told the other version of Loki that during the Winchester apocalypse he went on a swearing rant. Which means I actually won that bet. I could do something that could make Gods, Angels, and demons swear just by existing." He grinned again.
"You're certainly enough to make me do so," Ethan said dryly.
Uriel appeared. "Xander, why are you with this filth?"
"Because he can do something that will help me hunt later on, Uriel." He grinned. "Also, he's here because Giles wanted to kidnap me."
Uriel growled. "You cannot do this."
"I'm talking to him about the ropes John found." The angel looked confused. Xander stared back. "Not like I'm going to give up hunting." Uriel disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
"Yes, I see you can make angels swear." He looked over the notes again. "I would need something higher powered to make them and it would drain them." Xander tossed over the little ball. "What's this?"
"Azreal. He tried to get Sam." He handed over three other balls. Then he sat down again. "They complain when they're shaken."
"You...captured them?" he asked, looking confused.
"You can't kill something that high without a special weapon. Therefore containment is better because they can't pop back up at convenient points to screw with things." The balls all started to complain. "Shut up or I'm sinking you in the lake." They quit. He grinned at Ethan again. "I can start a prayer to Loki, see if he'll repay that bet that way." Loki appeared, staring at him oddly. "You do owe me one."
"I owe you about four because you keep me powered," he said dryly.
Xander blew a kiss. "You're welcome. As long as the little one who took your name doesn't try to clone my ass again we're good."
"No, I believe that would be a bad thing." He looked at the list then at Xander. "Why?" He heard his thoughts and shivered. "That.... Well, that may take the place of the slayers," he admitted, giving him an awed look.
"They talked to Clay about it earlier." He noticed the little red beam. "Hi, Cougar," he said, waving at him. "We're working on him doing something for us. Ripper wanted him to capture me." He looked at Loki again, seeing the grin. "It'd be really helpful for us. At least my team and Clay's team? I have no idea how many will end up on my team."
Loki tipped his head to the side. "I can feel the mischief."
"No one says I won't sneak into the locker room to practice being a kitty." He grinned.
"Good point. You are going to drive me nuts." Xander got up and kissed him, making him moan. "In that way as well." He helped the boy back into his seat. "Pain in my ever loving ass, dear." He looked at Ethan. "Yes, we will make them. Janus has some hidden and prepared. I think you'll be two light. See if the metal smith by their shaman trainer can help with the others. And no, tell Ripper he may not be a Watcher either. Unless he wants them to be socially progressive suddenly?"
"I'd never take control," Xander said.
"Good point." Loki kissed him again. "Let me go make plans for that. I like that idea and it will help some later battles that would destroy us too." He disappeared. He came back. "I'm not considered part of that disgusting club, correct?"
"They're mostly evil things. I know you don't want to blow me, Loki. You want to pounce me and fuck me but not blow me."
"True." He disappeared again.
Ethan took a deep breath, staring at the boy. "I can do so."
"Thank you." He stood up. "Tell Giles I said hi, I hope he's well. Sam and I are doing pretty decent and this school is actually good." He left him alone. Cougar could read lips and had seen everything. He ran into Jon downstairs. "Hi."
"You know chaos sorts?"
"He's the one that did the spell to give me the soldier's memories."
"Huh. Why is he here now?"
"Giles wanted him to kidnap me. That way he could turn me over to the Council to be trained. Instead he'll find the missing sets of ropes like John's." Jon groaned, shaking his head. "Then Cougar and he can talk later on about his sudden bout of girlishness." He got into the car.
Cougar got into the back. "Who was that other one?"
Xander looked back. "Loki. Why?"
"Why would he make you a clone?"
"Because the little guy just loves me, like his bigger human self does." He smiled. Jon gave him the most horrified look, bordering on starting to cry. "He couldn't and that was there."
"Yay," he said weakly. "So you know....."
"Yeah. I figured it had to be done by him since he was all for the fun terror prospects." He patted him on the arm. "It'll be okay."
"You knew all along," Jon realized.
"Yeah." He grinned. "I ended up helping Jensen hack into the systems there once because we were certain you guys were starting to turn evil. The IOA proved it."
"Shit." He started the car and drove them to Jack's house to talk to him. He got out when Jack walked out. "They know, have known."
"Apparently there, Loki liked Xander too."
Xander leaned out the window. "He flirted *so* poorly. It's that whole 'no dick' thing coming back to haunt him. He thought the hellmouth taint and the blood taint I carry might help them defeat something."
Jack shuddered. "Go home." He walked inside to get drunk.
"Sure," Xander agreed. He looked at Cougar. "Who's cooking?"
"Huh. I didn't know he could."
"Now and then. Clay doesn't."
"Yeah, those two, serious UST," he sighed, shaking his head. Cougar cackled, shaking his head, tipping his hat lower to hide the smile.
"I don't want to know," Jon demanded. He drove them back and got invited to dinner, even if he didn't want to. Clay made him stay so they could talk.
"Is Ethan still alive?" Jensen asked.
"Yup, he's getting the rest of the set of ropes John has."
Cougar shrugged. "If he tried something...."
"Good! I was freaked out when you became a girl, Cougs. A pretty but mean girl."
Roque looked at him. Then up. "Thank you for not letting me have that memory!"
Clay nodded. "Amen." He said a silent prayer. Then they got to work eating and outlining plans. Sam was pouty. "It was suggested you'd be perfect to go to medical school, Sam."
Sam considered it. "I'd hate to have to interrupt it again though."
"We can work you into whatever battles you can get to," Xander reminded him. "You're taking AP classes now so less to take then. Do some summer classes too when you want to."
Sam nodded. "I can I guess. That's a lot of work after medical school though."
"Yeah but it'll mean you can do a lot with and for us," Clay said. "Be a real credit and get to have a mostly normal life part of the time."
"Which is what you want about half the time," Xander agreed.
"Are you going with me?"
"I hate school. I don't like lectures, Sam. Beyond that, I have a lot of medic training."
"I know. It sucks that I'll be alone."
"So go here," Xander offered. "That way you're still with us." Sam nodded that was possible. "Colorado College has a biology and chemistry department and they do some in block classes, which are three and a half week classes. I was looking at that on the way to the hotel stalking Ethan and they do offer for pre-med."
"Here in town." Jon ate a bite. "It's not that far from here. I was thinking about there or UCCS, which does have a pre-med program. Then there's a medical school in Denver, which is only an hour away." He stuffed his mouth again. "I've got the stuff at home for that and a few other programs because I was going to suggest Xander go pre-med."
Xander gave him an odd look. "That would take me really getting lecture classes suddenly, right? I'd have to have Sammy level grades?" Jon nodded that was true. "Which I can't even do in high school, Jon."
"It's not as hard at college. A lot more notes, a lot more doing it on your own, some papers. Some lectures but you passed biology very well this time. Plus you already know some."
"We can get him medic classes through your former people," Clay said. "Since we're going to be like a hidden pocket program to them, I'm sure you three can use their college stuff." They all sighed but nodded. "Which could mean Xander could go for computer or weapons engineering." Xander perked up at that. Clay smirked. "Which would also be pretty handy but math."
"A lot of math," Jensen agreed. "That's part of what Rodney does, Xander."
"I'll talk to him the next time he's down here."
Sam nodded. "I could like medical school I guess. Not like I'm not trained in medic things."
"We can see if we can test your relative skills," Clay said. "That way they might be able to give you credit and we can start that sooner, while we train the hell out of you three and find you a good few teammates who can help." He considered his team then them. "You guys will need tech support definitely."
"Then I'd have to get more into the magic books," Xander said.
"No, we're arranging for a support staff," Clay said. "That way we can call and ask them those sort of questions." They all grinned. Xander doing magic would freak most of them out.
"I do have that small gift," Xander reminded them. They all shrugged. That was more than enough from Xander. "Fine." He dug in. "Thanks, Roque."
"Welcome," he said gruffly. "Think Pooch'll move Jolene?"
"Probably. She wants a family," Clay said. "If we can go with Xander's plan we can have adjoining lots with them and those three can have a pack house on the other side of the woods." Xander grinned. "They're looking into that. Would others in the pack want one?"
"John and/or Rodney might build one just to have off-base for them," Sam said. Xander nodded since he was chewing.
"So that'd be good then," Clay decided. "They can set up a playground/training area for the big kids." They all smirked or snorted at that, Jon shaking his head. "Are you moving to pack housing, Jon?"
"I might. Not real sure since I don't cuddle."
Jensen looked at him. "We noticed." He smirked. Jon shivered and ducked his head. He looked at Clay. "How long before we know about housing?"
"Two days. The manager asked that too."
"I already told her we'd be moving when the prepaid rent ran out," Xander told him, stuffing his mouth. "Where did we have mushrooms, Roque? Beyond the shower?"
"No, I hosed that down," Jensen said smugly. "Both of them." Sam and Xander both hugged him since he was between them. "We did some grocery shopping while you guys and Clay were gone." They got back to dinner and it was nice. They made plans that the generals would appreciate. They had a lot of ideas that would help.
"If we confiscate money, do we get to use it for team things?" Xander asked.
"Xander!" Sam complained.
"What? I'm used to looting the bad guys."
"Me too," Jensen admitted quietly, ducking his head at Clay's odd look his way. "By the way, Max did a lot of good charity work after his death, boss." He ate another bite.
Clay shrugged. "I'll ask." Xander grinned, sharing one wicked one with Jensen. "Don't get too happy. The big score of that law firm would be on our team since you guys aren't ready yet." He smirked at them.
"Then we can use it to set up that neighborhood idea," Jensen said with a small shrug. "If they don't like it, we can use it to rent a house."
"Is everyone going to accept this idea of us being that hidden program?" Roque asked.
"They asked us," Clay reminded him. "I'm pretty sure they can make the lower ones like it."
"Plus the mountain could probably use some safe housing areas. You can't really carve more levels out of the mountain," Sam said.
"I can't imagine living inside a mountain like a hobbit," Roque said with a shudder.
"Dwarf," Xander and Jensen corrected. Roque rolled his eyes.
"There's been plenty of guys who wash out for being claustrophobic," Jon told him. "We have air vents and things but depending on your job you don't see sunlight too often."
"If we have to live there, I'd rather be in a jungle being shot, Clay," Roque said.
"They'd never make us live there," he assured him. "Then they'd have to admit we were part of them instead of a hidden pocket project."
"What about other hunters?" Sam asked. Everyone stared at him. "There's a lot of kids of hunters."
"Their parents usually train them," Clay said, not looking like he got it.
"Which would be the level of what Dean and I have."
"John can set up his own training area if he wants," Clay said. Sam nodded he'd talk to him about that. It would only help if they needed hunter backup for something huge.
Jack flopped behind his old desk, sighing in appreciation. "Thank God that's over," he mumbled, rubbing his face. General Landry walked in. "Sit. We gotta talk." Hank groaned as he sat down. Jack looked at him. "The chairman decided something with a few other agency heads."
"Of the Joint Chiefs, Hank. They all agreed with him. I checked with our head earlier." Hank nodded slowly. Jack smiled. "It's not a bad thing."
"Am I being reassigned?"
"No, but the trio of boys and Colonel Clay's team are." Hank relaxed. Jack smiled. "But they're coming here, sort of." That got a shudder. Jack was enjoying this. He was grinning. "They're going to be a project hidden among us. They're going to be handling the demon menaces in the US." He pulled the plans out of his pocket. They were highly wrinkled and had a few blood spots on it but it was still whole. He handed it over.
Hank Landry looked it over then at him. "So they're going to be my personal demon hunting squads?"
"Yes and no. They're not under SG control. They're to identify threats and handle it. The may need to request help for things like apocalypse battles but we're hoping they manage to stall most of those." He stared at him. "That plan for the neighborhood would also be welcome and open to off-duty SG personnel and those from Atlantis."
He went over that part again, nodding slowly. "I was told there wasn't money."
"The president is doing something about that. You see, they recently stopped a major attack on the US." He leaned forward on the desk. "Because of Harris' pre-knowledge, we stopped a major terrorist attack on the US."
Landry shuddered. "Normal?"
"That killed thousands."
"Understood." He handed it back. "Is it a done deal?"
"Yes. The remaining details are being worked out over the next few days. Clay worked with us on what gear they'd need. Harris offered that neighborhood idea."
"Good to know he can plan."
"He does a lot of it. That's why he's taken on a lot of things that he probably never told anyone." He smirked. "He's so much like me and Jon at times."
"Will I have oversight?"
"Barely. They can file reports through you basically. You won't have to deal with things unless they ask for some help. Clay's very good at handling things on his own with the big target and no lesser orders on how. Because he did a great job not letting anyone know he was over there for six months solving issues."
"All right. When do I get o talk to him about his goals?"
"You can come tomorrow if you want."
"I'd like that. Are you sure it won't stretch out budget any more?"
"No. It shouldn't." Landry smiled and nodded. "So... they actually picked a neighborhood that would work well. It's got a lot of open areas. It's got areas for them to train in. It can be for family housing if you want. I'm sure they wouldn't mind."
"Okay. That would solve a need we have here." He considered it. "Where is it?" Jack found it online and let him see. "I drove past there a few times to go fishing." Jack grinned. "It's near your place?"
"Few miles off."
"That's not a bad solution. I could even build an apartment building for the single people and foreign scientists." He sketched out the neighborhood and a few plans. "Eighteen lots?"
"Yup," Jack agreed. "For right now, though you might talk to Sheppard to see if some of his might want to take a few away."
"That's not a bad idea either." He backed the map out and looked around. "There's a few surrounding neighborhoods that would work well." He let Jack see. "If we can expand it out to here, I could definitely move a whole group of people off base that would like it, and it might help us get some that we needed but who couldn't stand being underground all the time."
"I can suggest that." Jack added that to the notes. "I think they're going to be relatively cheap for the most part. They're self contained, they'll be training the boys to join them. I know they're all talking tonight to work out any flaws they're finding."
"We'll see a few I'm sure." He stood up. "Are you staying tonight?"
"Probably to brief Danny boy about his part in this insanity. There's a whole library in England that needs to be translated again because they did a crappy job the first time." He smirked. "Plus a lot in dead languages." He got up and went to find his anthropologist. "Danny, we're finding you a third job, buddy," he said with an evil grin.
"Should I run and hide?" he asked dryly.
Mitchell looked at him. "Will it mean we're off field trips, General? Because I might miss arguing with him on other planets for a while."
"No. Probably not." He smiled. "How would you like the Council's library to work through?"
"I probably can't do it all by myself."
"You can pick helpers. As long as they're good."
"Interesting. Tell us more," he said, staring at him. Jack sat down to tell them how things were going to happen. By the end, Daniel was nearly hard and panting and Mitchell agreed to help with the training.
Xander looked at the houses already in their chosen neighborhood. They were for sale. The other one was on the other side of the development. Which would work out for them. They walked around the outside then walked the other lots. It had a very narrow backyard. They walked over to the other ones, which were within jogging distance. They found ones they liked better. They wouldn't be able to join yards with Clay's team's house but there was a nice bit of woods between them.
He took pictures and had Sam send them to Jensen, who would tell Clay. Clay liked that idea. Or the other one. They took pictures of those houses. Xander found a few problems with one but it was something that was fairly easily fixed. They walked around the other one, taking more pictures for the generals, as ordered. They were nice free lots. There weren't any guards but it could be fenced off fairly easily and a guard shack put up in three places.
There were five roads that could be joined to the different neighborhoods. They went to the meeting, letting them see the pictures. "There's a few details for security reasons," Sam said, smiling at Clay. "Not too hard. A guard shack and fences mostly."
"The grounds look all right, no obvious drainage issues, no obvious issues with the woods or the roads, and it'd take maybe seven thousand feet of road work to join to the various other roads around there." He drew out the map. "There's roads in these spots," he said. "Near enough to hear." He looked up. "This one will take the most work to link to, it's got a small hill. About as high as a kid's playground set."
Jack nodded. "What about the ones on these sides?" he asked.
"Those have active construction going on," Sam said. "So we didn't do more than take some general pictures." He let him see them.
"All right, I wasn't aware of that."
"Those guys aren't union workers," Xander said dryly. "Because none of them spoke English and they were yelling in Russian." Jack stiffened. "No clue why but they're not union. I worked on a union site. They were all about hiring legal immigrants. Plus, not working on a Sunday."
"It looks more like they're building two large houses," Sam said.
"Okay," Jack said. "What about the two you showed me?"
Xander grimaced. "One's got a really narrow backyard. It's the width of the house." He let them see that. "This is the other one. There's a few obvious problems but they look like they're easily fixed." He looked at Clay.
"We fixed up the place by Bragg and helped with Pooch's remodel when they moved in."
"But this house," Sam said. "Is across this tooth of woods and is a bigger play area for adults." Jack nodded at that. "And we'd have a better yard to do things in but less to mow."
Jon looked over. "That is the better yard. The other looks like an hourglass."
"Possibly," Jack decided. "Bedrooms?"
"Didn't check," Xander admitted. "That second one is bigger though. And it has a basement. Plus a garage apartment it looked like for the semi-pack member who's afraid to cuddle."
"I'm not like that," Jon said.
Jack looked at him. "That's a new thing then," he said dryly.
"They don't have the breasts to make me want to cuddle," he said dryly.
"Well, Ethan's in town," Xander offered. Cougar growled and slumped down in his seat. "Not you. For him." He smiled sweetly.
"No tormenting your teammates, kid," Clay ordered. "Even if you consider it bonding."
"Fine. I won't plan any bonding exercises."
"Most teams bond by going fishing, hunting, camping," Jon said dryly, smirking at him. "Not talking to chaos sorts, Xander."
"Hey, we're talking about demon hunting," he said dryly. "We don't do things the normal way."
"Dean plays bad pranks," Sam said. "Dad would beat him if he had thoughts like that." He patted Xander on the back. "Have some more caffeine, Xander." Xander sighed but got himself a can out of the cooler he had brought in.
"Don't think about it, Jensen," Clay ordered. "You'll bounce."
"Fine," he complained. Xander tossed him a diet soda, earning a smirk. He tapped the top and opened it, taking a sip. Clay glared at Xander. Then at Jensen. "It's diet." Clay shook his head, making Jack laugh.
"Cougar's probably the only pack member that doesn't really like caffeine," Xander said with a grin. Cougar nodded.
Uriel appeared, scowling at him. "Why are you not stopping the one who is at your house?"
"Because I wasn't aware someone was at my house." He stood up. "Bring me there?"
"I'm not a human taxi."
Xander kissed him and Uriel moaned, bringing him back there. "Thank you, Uriel." He pounced the people in his apartment and made them scream.
"CSPD!" he shouted.
"I so doubt that," Xander said dryly. He hauled him up, staring at him. "If there's another of you, you're going to be shot," he called. He hit the alarm button and waited. The manager showed up. "Intruders."
"I'll get officers, Xander." She called that in. The apartment security showed up to help him. Xander handed him over and went to check the other rooms. He shoved someone out of the bedroom and they started to scream and rant. Xander came out a minute later. She looked at him. He shrugged. The guard was trying to get him but that guy got free and rushed at Xander, who kicked him in the stomach. He screamed in pain. Xander slugged him on the jaw, knocking him down. "Huh," she said, staring at Xander.
Xander smiled. "I hate intruders." He went back into the bedroom to finish putting things up. He came out calling. "Sam, me. The intruders were trying to play with the guns." He hung up, looking at the conscious one. "You are?"
"I'm a police officer," he said.
The guard patted him down. "No ID case."
Officers came to the door. "Sir," the first one asked. "Harris?"
"Yeah. He was in the gun closet." He pointed. "That one was out here and claims to be one of you but he doesn't have ID and his accent is a bit suspicious." He smiled at him. "How is Helena?" The man spat something in German. "Ah, you know Sascha." The man struggled to get up and kicked the guards, trying to ram Xander with his shoulder. Xander made him scream in pain and fall back to his knees. Xander stared at him.
"Really? Are you happier now?" He kicked the other one over and patted him down, finding a few things he put into his own pockets. Then he grabbed something and came out with it. He checked it then fired it into the unconscious one. He screamed and quit pretending to be out. "Hi." Xander let it go. "How are you now?" The man spat something in German. "I did not! All I did was sleep with her." He smirked.
"Apparently there's a good thing with that." The man spat something else. "No," he said dryly. "I didn't do anything but give her information. Did *you* want to stop the terrorists?" The man sneered and said something else. "Well, some of us do since a lot of them are moving to Germany over the next few years." He stared at him. "Then you'd have to deal with all those unsatisfied terrorist sorts too. Isn't it better to stop it before it gets started for anyone?"
"You still have illegal things," one sneered.
"Sir, we know Harris has weapons we shouldn't know about," the lead officer said. "It's because he does insane stuff that we don't want to know about. For all we know, he's some sort of secret agent. Especially with that blood problem of his." Xander shook his head quickly. "I'm pretty sure that the military sorts who show up keep track of it." Xander nodded. "So we don't rightly pay any attention to that stuff. Unless he goes postal."
Xander shook his head. "The guys would take me out if I even thought about it." The manager was giving him an odd look. Xander held up a box with a grin. She whimpered. "Quit stressing."
"I thought you hunted."
"Yeah, but I hunt bad things."
"Ah!" She nodded. "So you're still moving?"
"I'm trying really hard to find a good place right now," Xander admitted.
"That's fine then, Xander. You boys never give us any trouble."
He shook his head. "We try very hard not to."
"They're an army combat team," he said with a grin. "I'm friends with the guy in the hat and the blond guy."
"Ah! So they brought their team for some downtime?"
"They're being transferred out here they think so we're helping each other look." She nodded, leaving them alone. He looked at the officers. Then down. He called Jon's phone. "Can you hand the phone to Clay, Jon?" He did that. "I have two German agents here who think I compromised Sascha. CSPD. No, I got mean. That's what they said. Thanks." He hung up. "He'll tell the agent they've been working with about their next assignment and send him down to you guys."
The officers smiled. "Thank you, Harris." They hauled him out and down to the station. By the time they got there, an agent was waiting and talking to a higher up.
Xander cleaned things up again and shrunk the closets then used the thing in the closet to send something to Sascha. If she couldn't use it right then the time delayed one would help her in about an hour. He hoped. If not, he might have to go ...talk to someone. He took a cab back to the meeting and got a few sodas on the way. They got handed to Sam, Jon, and Jensen, then he sat down with his slurpee. Clay switched the slurpee and Jensen's soda. "That has caffeine too. That's an Abby slurpee." Jensen switched them back. Xander grinned. "So, anyway."
Jack stared at him. "Everything good?"
"Yeah but I sent Sascha some lock picks and a gun in case she needed them."
"That'll work," Clay decided. "You can't go help."
"Thank you. You're not trained yet. Until you are, let the older version of badasses help." Xander nodded. "Or Helena."
"I have no idea if she's nearby." He texted her. She sent back that Sascha was getting herself free and to quit worrying, but to please stay there. Xander shrugged and put it back. "She thinks she's getting herself free." He put his phone back. Ten minutes later, while they were going over ideas for tech support and magic support, his phone rang. He looked at it and grinned. "Huh. She's fine." He got back to it.
"How fine?" Jack asked.
"She's free. Her bosses are not happy but they knew why now. Apparently she pointed out how bad it was going to be when half of Germany starts speaking in another language in a few years." He and Jensen shared a look.
Clay snickered. "They're moving that way?"
"France, England, some up to Sweden," Jensen told him with a grin.
Clay snickered. "I'm sure the other governments will fuss."
"Some," Xander agreed. They kept going. The plans were set, Jack and Landry went to look over those areas. The budget spending was passed, and the president was pleased. Because he hated to be underground as well. So things were good. The boys went back and started to pack some things. Within a week they got to move. Xander even got his deposit back since there wasn't any damage they could find.
Xander leaned out to smile at the new neighbors. Their neighborhood had a few more houses. "Hi."
The guy stared at him. "You're really young."
"I'm Harris. We're a special project."
He waved. "This is my wife and our daughter Emma."
"Hi," he said with a grin and a wave. "I'd bring over food but we can barely cook." His wife giggled. "Some of us are going to put up a play area sometime soon for the kids and one for the bigger kids in the woods. If you need stuff let us know." He ducked back in.
Jon came out of his apartment and strolled over. "Hey, Emma."
"JON!" she squealed, hugging him. "You live here too?"
"I do live here too. I live up above Xander's garage." He gave her a hug and handed her back with a grin. "We're usually decent sorts."
"Thank you, Jon. Special projects?" he asked.
"Weren't there during the last invasion?" he asked dryly.
"Oh, that's you guys."
"And Clay's team. He's over there," he said with a point. "They live on the backside of the loop over there. We have a few others moving in and some places being built. One small twitch, that area over there is going to be two huge houses," he said with a point. "Not ours."
"Good to know." Emma came running back out. "Inside. It's chilly," her father ordered. "The truck will be here soon."
"My room is pink!" she shouted.
"I thought girls liked pink," Jon said with a grin.
"No, I like blue and purple and green."
"Paint's easy to fix," he said with a wink. She grinned and stared at her father.
"We can paint next weekend." She nodded, running back inside. He looked at Jon. "You need help moving in?"
"No, we're all done. Xander has a few boxes that can shrink things you put in them. Makes it much easier to pack." He grinned.
"I needed those. We have two U-Haul loads." He walked off. "The other houses are being built within the next month according to Landry."
"And an apartment building. Plus a fence."
"Wonderful." He sighed when he saw the truck. "There's my brother-in-law."
"You guys need help let us know. We have a first aid kit too." He walked off. He found Clay over to go over training schedules. "We need to put the play area up first."
"We have that planned for next weekend," Clay said with a smile. "I saw the sprout."
"Her name's Emma and she's very opinionated for four." Jon sat on a stool. "When did we get these?"
"Last night," Xander said.
"Cool." He looked in the living room. There were more pillows and there was a different couch. Mostly because their old one was in Clay's house. This one was a sectional and a lot more seats. Plus some bigger chairs, a few bean bags, and a bigger tv. The kitchen had more things, including a large knife block. A container of shiny spoons was on a counter by the stove. The dish strainer was already in place and had dishes placed in it. Jon gave it a confused look.
Sam noticed and ducked his head but he was grinning. "We'd never find anything if it wasn't in the dish dryer."
"Me either," Roque admitted. The boys grinned and they planned out the training stuff they'd need to build or find. Climbing gear, rope walls, all that.
Someone knocked and Xander went to open it. "Hi, Rodney." He let him in and walked back to the kitchen. "Guys, this is Rodney McKay. He works with John."
"Hey," Jensen said with a grin and a wave. "We're planning stuff."
"That's fine." He looked around then at Xander. "Special projects?" he asked dryly.
"Did John tell you?" Jon asked dryly.
"Yes." He sat down, looking at them. "Did we buy this house?" Xander nodded. "Good." He looked at Clay then at Xander. "Someone told our fearless colonel about some extra ropes?"
"Made by Janus," Jensen said happily, showing off his. It was black and silver. It didn't meet at the front and had rounded ends instead. "Xander had Ethan finish them for us."
"It kept him in play for later issues," Xander admitted. "Before Cougar killed him."
"He needs it," Cougar assured him.
"Well, yeah, since he was planning on kidnaping me so Giles could hand me to the Council."
Clay stared at him. "Is he still in town?"
"No, he fled earlier."
"Good." He looked at McKay. "In on leave?"
"Yes," he complained. "I'm picking new scientists. Hopefully non stupid ones this time." He looked around. "I was told we could pick a house and use it for off-base times. Or one or two for the city's personnel."
"There's a nice lot next door," Xander offered with a point and a grin. "That way we can seduce John with offers of playing in the woods or soccer in the backyard."
"Or teaching us how to cook more things," Sam said.
Rodney smirked. "I can work on that a bit, Sam." He looked at Xander, touching his throat. "Did you manage the second form again?"
"I managed three, I haven't tried a fishy one."
"Just being me."
He nodded and compared the two sorts. "Fine." He looked around. "Who are those two houses going up?"
"No clue but they're non-union sites," Xander said. "That speak a lot of Russian."
"Interesting. I'll wander later to see where we might like one." They shrugged. "What are we doing?"
"Planning training areas and a playground."
Rodney looked and picked up a pen to correct some things. "If you do that, it won't be steady." He went over the playground too, making it easier to put up and maintain. "What are we putting underneath it?"
"Sand," Xander said.
"I suppose that's good for now. No stray cats in the neighborhood?"
"Good." He added a few things to help the kids with their own training and to appeal to the older children. He handed it back with a smirk and moved to make some more coffee.
"There's an extra Abby slushy in the freezer," Xander offered. "It's caffeinated," he said at Rodney's odd look in his direction. Rodney found a spoon to test it and decided on that, sitting back down. "Do you think we can set up a range?" he asked Clay.
"I think the children would be a problem," Rodney said. "So set up a shed." They all nodded they could do that. "Preferably soundproofed so no one gets panicky." He took a sip. "I can see why she likes these." He went back to drinking. Xander got him something to nibble too, earning a smirk. "Thank you."
"You're accessory pack, like Jon." He grinned. "That means we get to fuss."
"What does it take to become pack?" Roque asked.
"Cuddling," Jon said dryly. Xander blew a kiss at him. He shook his head. "Not my thing."
Rodney snickered. "I'm sure you'll live, Jon." He gave him a pointed look.
"The same thing nearly happened to Xander. They thought the taint would help them." Rodney choked. Xander patted him on the back until he could breathe. Jon smirked. "Thankfully it was there."
"That's a really bad idea." He took his snack and drink with him to look over the neighborhoods. He looked at the various lots, liking the lots around Xander's house. They were larger corner lots and had a good bit of woods behind them. Plus they were on a hill so any water would run downhill during mud season, er spring. With the planned roads they'd have an easy access. Only ten minutes to a grocery store. Plus it was on the other side from the planned apartment building.
It was near the playground area but they wouldn't be there often enough for it to bother them. He called the general to tell him and went to snoop on the other houses. There was something weird there. What he found made him ecstatic he was nosy, even if Xander did have to come save him. The 'bodyguards' were not supposed to be that armed. Since they were constantly bugged by agents they showed up very quickly and the nice mafia sorts were arrested. The FBI was more than happy to know what he was doing with his money.
Jensen even handed them a DVD with information with a wink as he walked around them. "That would be really big for just you, Rodney."
"I have no doubt the good colonel and others would be lounging in my living room," he said dryly. He looked at them. The other was a family member's house and they weren't looking happy. He walked off humming and drinking the odd, high octane slushie. They needed this on Atlantis for those who needed coffee since it was running out.
General Landry looked over the proposed lots. He had six more people than he had lots. "We can't expand," he complained.
Rodney looked and pointed. "I believe that one will be coming open soon. It has a very nice gourmet kitchen." He smirked. "If not, I want that one. I may even be talked into sharing with someone from the city." He slurped his slushie.
Landry looked at the cup then at him. "No coffee in the mess?" he asked.
"Of course but this has better caffeine." He smiled. "It's also a different taste. Cleanses the palate." He took another drink.
Landry shook his head. "I don't want to know. Why are you sure that one will come up?"
"The FBI arrested him for it." The general looked at him. "Something about mafia sorts." He smirked as he walked off. He had people he had to berate and make feel sorry for inhaling the same air he was.
An hour later, Doctor Lam showed up and walked him off by pulling on his arm. "Come along, Doctor McKay. You're clearly suffering some sort of head injury." He gave her a disbelieving look. "You've been avoiding coffee?" He let her taste the slushie and she moaned. "Oh, dear, that's higher." He smirked and nodded. "Where did you get that?"
"The gas station up the road." She sighed. "I have been very sedate today." He walked off again to yell at the one who had turned that in. He had already arranged the emails to talk to Sheppard about the house. It wasn't like he wouldn't decorate it any way he wanted to but he thought John deserved a tiny bit of say since he'd be staying there now and then. Though the master bedroom was *his*. Even if he was in another galaxy.
Xander came back to school on Monday, stopping in the office. He handed over his new address. "I know it's outside the district. We'll settle that this afternoon because we're not switching."
The principal walked out. "You got moved?" Xander nodded, letting him see it. "Interesting. So is that necklace, young man." Xander barked and grinned. He blinked a few times. "I see."
Xander walked off cackling. "We'll go tell the school board we're not switching later and do whatever they want us to."
"We'll put it on as a secondary address so it's not a problem." He let the secretary do that. "I'm assuming O'Neill moved to. You might ask him." She nodded, sending a note to his home room to pop in and see her. Then she did that change.
Sam walked up to the college that afternoon. He had cut his last class since it was a sub and they were watching some stupid movie he hated. He was at the college he liked better's biology department. "Hi, I'm a senior." The secretary smiled. "I'm thinking pre-med. I'm not sure what invaded my mind to make me think that thought, but ..." He sighed.
"Heaven forbid since I'm trained to deal with hunting injuries." She was giggling and called someone to talk to him. The nice, older teacher came out and shook his head. "Sam Winchester, ma'am." She took him to her office to talk to him. She knew his training from her own father teaching her for deer hunting. He told her some of the ones he had helped take care of, making her moan.
She gave him what he needed and wanted. She even helped him with the application needs. His grades were excellent. His skills were great. He could get a good set of recommendations. He had a good chance of getting in. He went to hand that part in and then get the recommendations ready. She was happy, he could probably test out of some classes and his AP hours took half of his freshman year already.
Clay cornered Xander that afternoon, handing him the college course book that the guys at the mountain had to use. Xander grimaced. "Not lecture based, they're mostly on your own. Some have audio lectures you play while you drive and things." He stared at him. "I marked six pages of things that would be good to know. Including medic classes." He stared at him. "It will make Sam quit complaining."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm certain." He stared at him for a moment. "Unlike the girls, I want you to be the best you can be."
"Is that because it's the army motto?" Xander asked dryly.
"Possibly. If you're going to pack bond or whatever shit happens with Jensen, do it soon. He's bouncy again and it's driving Roque nuts." He walked off. "Pick out two, we'll get you the stuff for the holidays."
"I don't get holidays off?"
Clay looked at him. "Do you during hunts?"
"Almost none of them act on yule? It's a Sunnydale rule to take some time for fun. Before it drags us onto their level."
"Uh-huh. One then." He smirked. "Men have standards where girls bitch." He left him to pout and pick something. He sent Jensen over to play or whatever those two did.
Jensen bounced in and pounced Xander on the couch, looking over his shoulder. "Take a medic class." Xander looked at him. "Not that much work and maybe you'll learn something helpful."
"I might. That's one of the longer classes." He let him see it. "I have to take this one to take those."
"So take that one." He nuzzled his cheek. "You can help Sam stitch us up." He smiled. "And I can work on your hacking skills."
"I'm certain. You guys will need tech support." He nuzzled him again. Xander dropped the book and turned over to nuzzle him back. Jensen grinned and they ended up in a tickle fight.
Jon walked in and paused then walked off. He shook his head. He didn't need to know that. He went to help work on the playground area. Clay gave him a pointed look. "Tickle fight."
"I suggested he calm him down." They got to work putting up the equipment. Emma and the other kid in the neighborhood were watching from a stump. Clay looked at them then at Jon.
"Hi, Emma, hi, Gretchen."
"Hi, Jonny!" they called in unison and waved with a grin.
"Jon, not Jonny please. Johnny is Colonel Sheppard." They giggled. He and Clay got the climbing system up and moved to the swings. The girls ran over to climb up the new stuff. They put up a new piece every few days for them. Jon added the playground sand and it was happy for them. By the time the parents showed up the girls were worn out playing with the new stuff. The mothers smiled and walked the girls off to feed them. Clay went home. Jon went to see if there was dinner fixed. Sam was cooking. "Good afternoon?"
"The lady at the college helped a lot. She even helped me with the application." He smiled. "I'll get the recommendations sent tomorrow."
"That's cool. Are they done tickling each other?"
"They're in the basement putting up gun racks."
"Okay." He moved closer to wash his hands and help with food. He heard a cackle from downstairs. "We don't want to know."
Sam shook his head. "Jensen's good for Xander." Cougar walked in and paused. "Putting up gun racks."
Cougar nodded, walking down there. He found them rolling around and giggling again, shaking his head. Xander flipped and pounced him, knocking him down to play with them. Jensen grinned. "You need to play too, Cougar." They shared a look and attacked Xander so he had to shriek and wiggle.
"No fair!" He got Cougar back, making him try to get away but Jensen helped him this time. They made Cougar laugh and nearly escape. "Ha!" He looked down at Cougar, grinning. "Hi."
"Heavy," he complained.
Xander leaned down to nuzzle him. "Sorry."
Cougar tipped his head back slightly. Xander nipped him and got off. Cougar saw Jensen grinning and pounced him, doing the same to him. Jensen moaned. "Calm down. Dinner."
"We can eat," Jensen agreed, wiggling free. Xander pounced him, making him yelp, wiggle, and then pant when he got kissed hard. "Of course I'm still yours," he moaned. The rubbing was great and he got off quickly. "Xander," he moaned.
Xander kissed him. "We're going to have a pack movie night this weekend," he said, looking at Cougar, who nodded. Xander kissed him too. "Go eat like good boys." He got off Jensen, helping him up. He winked. Jensen pulled him closer to kiss him. "Jensen, you don't have to."
"I thought we settled this last time." He stumbled but Cougar held him still while Jensen made him happy and moan. "Thank you."
"Welcome." Jensen grinned and kissed him again. "I call Fantasia."
"Cool." They headed off together. Xander cleaned himself up and went up to check on dinner. "Food?" he asked, looking at the stove. "No food? Sam?" he called.
"Table," Sam called. Xander walked out there and fell into his seat. Sam had already filled his plate so he kissed him. "You're welcome. Eat." Xander dug in, nodding. "Do we have plans?"
"Movie night this weekend. Jensen called Fantasia."
"Wonderful. We all like that movie." Sam ate another bite.
Jon looked at them. "Isn't that the music to animation thing?" They nodded. "Huh." He ate a bite. "I've only seen a part."
"You can show up for pack movie night," Xander promised.
"I'll sit on a chair."
Xander stared at him. "We won't cuddle you against your will, Jon."
"Thanks." He got up to answer the door. "You're still down here?"
"For another two weeks. Things are not going as I hoped. It's impossible to find good scientists."
"Check outside the US?" Sam asked.
"Three of them and they're still limited."
"Is that a problem that could be helped by releasing some info?" Jon asked. "Giving them a taste?"
"IOA," Rodney said dryly.
Xander looked at him. "Can they really say you can't publish simpler stuff?"
"Yes. They say so."
"Have you asked Jack?" Jon asked. "Technically he's over all that and on the IOA."
"He doesn't have the pull to make it happen." They shared a look. "Landry has to give in."
"So he doesn't want to help," Jon said dryly.
"I think he would like us to have better scientists than the sort who want to kill people for a hobby, but he thinks his hands are tied."
Jon sighed, shaking his head. "What about taking some who're undergrads but promising and training them up?" Sam asked. Rodney shuddered. "Not those sort but the good ones who'll eventually go on to do decent enough things with the field. Use it as an internship slash PhD program?"
"We're not accredited."
"You could probably make a deal with a few decent schools," Jon pointed out. He ate a bite. "There's more already stored in the fridge." Rodney went to get it and came back. "No citrus."
"Thank you." He sat down and dug in. "Not bad. What is that tang?"
"Horseradish powder," Sam sighed. "I knocked the bottle off the shelf by accident."
"It's not bad." He went back to eating, looking at Xander. "You have the look that means Sheppard is going to try something stupid."
"What about teaching a class for a semester, Rodney?" He gaped, dropping his fork. "Just one semester. Special topic, tell your favorite teachers to send their people. It'd be sixteen weeks but it'd let you evaluate students to see if you have any who're going to go your way."
"I'd have to go through a major college."
"Not really," Jon said. "You can run a seminar from anywhere, even online." Xander and Sam both nodded. "Some colleges are holding online classes and the military classes are all audio and books."
"That's a good point." He considered it. "I'd have to write a textbook."
"Or cover a lot of basic topics but expect them to build upon it," Xander said. "A lot of theoretical work. Which you could technically do from the city but you'd have to have email runs more often. That way you wouldn't have to berate them in person."
Rodney considered it, nodding slightly. "Radek could do the same. So could Miko and Sam." He shoved a bite in his mouth and chewed then swallowed. "I'll think about that idea. That's not technically presenting and if I want geniuses I'll have to train them or breed them."
"John and I are both infertile," Xander said. They all stared at him. "Ethan threatened to fix that problem on me."
"If you end up pregnant thanks to a chaos sorcerer, I will kill them for you," Sam promised. "And let you cry on Dean and Dad all you want, Xander. I'll brush up on c-sections to deliver the little hell beast so no one else has to know." He grinned. "We'll spoil them horribly."
"I'm foreseeing guns as a birthday present," Rodney said, shaking his head quickly.
"A mobile made of dull daggers," Sam said with a grin.
Xander nodded. "Teaching her how to break locks and play pranks."
Jon shuddered, letting out a whimper. "Please no more?" he begged. "I'd have to run from that one."
"You wouldn't," Sam said with a grin. "We'd teach her how to pick on Dean. You'd be a favored uncle."
"You'd teach her how to pick on Sheppard's hair?" Rodney asked with a grin. They both grinned at him for that. "Good. I do but it doesn't seem to change it." He stuffed his mouth again. "Sam, what is that green thing?"
Sam looked then shrugged. "Cilantro?" Rodney tasted it and nodded, eating again. "What're you allergic to?"
"Okay, I can remember that. Not that we have much in the house outside the pitcher of faux lemonade in the fridge."
"I'll avoid that," Rodney assured them. They finished up and cleaned the kitchen for him while he loaded the dishwasher. Then they went to play on their computers/watch tv/subtly cuddle so Jon wouldn't have any gay panic when he realized he was cuddling again. Jon was even nice enough to fall asleep on Sam's shoulder. So maybe it was Xander that scared him into thinking gay thoughts. They ended up leaving Jon there and setting the tv alarm for him before going to their own rooms.
Xander found a surprise waiting. "You two were extra sneaky?" he guessed, smiling at them. "I need a shower." They shrugged and let him do that then come back. They were waiting and naked when he showed back up, all damp and still having a few drips of water from his hair, but only in a towel.
"Thanks for saving me some warm water," Sam called after his yelp.
"Sorry!" Xander called. He shrugged and laid down between his two pack mates. "So, are we cuddling?"
Jensen kissed him. "No, we need to pack bond. Clay's growling that we're bouncy and edgy."
"You know that you guys are welcome to come visit whenever you need to." He kissed them both, earning a smile from Cougar and a stroke over his chest. Xander stared at Jensen, who grinned. So he turned to tease Cougar instead. Cougar groaned and went limp, letting him do whatever he wanted. Jensen stroked up Xander's back, earning a look. "Yes?" Xander teased, taking a kiss.
"Just helping." He grinned. "You know I'm not going to try to climb on top." He let Xander get back to his teasing and taunting. Cougar was very happy by the noises he was making and then Xander moved lower to play with his stomach. Cougar flinched but Xander licked and moved lower. Cougar was growling but Xander lapped him slowly from the tip down and made him relax again. Xander knew Cougar was just as alpha as he was and that was part of the thrill of marking him. He sucked a gentle mark on the inside of his thigh, earning a light swear and a shift away but Xander followed and it got better.
"Xander," Cougar growled. Xander stared at him. He blinked a few times then gave a little kitten lick. Cougar slumped and let him do whatever he wanted, which was how he showed that Xander was his alpha at the moment. He got to enjoy it and he didn't protest anything. Which really did work for him.
He unwound beautifully to the blow job of his life. It was slow, it was warm, it was wet, it was perfect for the most part. Xander even teased his balls a bit, making him happier. He started to move with it, making Xander grip his hips and hold on as hard as he could. Xander had control and he knew that. He was comfortable with it. Xander swallowed better than all the whores he had known and it was better for him too. He could enjoy that a lot.
He finally came and Xander swallowed then moved up, licking at various spots until he could nip him on the shoulder, and nuzzle his ear. "Yours," he agreed happily. He was limp and it was nice. He was relaxed. Xander grinned. Cougar kissed him. "Someday we will do the same for you," he said.
Jensen purred against Xander's hip. "You're more than good." He nuzzled him and moved up slowly, teasing him. Xander stared at him. "It's not right that we don't get to make you just as happy."
"If we were in the wild, I'd be making myself happier another way," Xander teased. "Aren't you glad we're not?"
Jensen nodded. "Slightly. You'd make it fun and less about biting me on the throat." He kissed him. "Hmm, he tastes nice." He moved down to tease his alpha. Xander rolled them over and pinned Jensen to tease him. "But... I want to," he moaned. He let Xander do what he wanted until he started to get close. Xander always made it quick for him. He flipped them over then turned them around so he could tease his mate at the same time. "John has great ideas," he said into the hard, damp skin. Xander moaned. Jensen grinned. "I know you're my alpha, Xander." He and Xander teased each other, Cougar holding Xander so he couldn't get away. Jensen was starting to whimper and shift, trying to get Xander to quit teasing. He worked more frantically and tried to go deeper.
"Calm down," Cougar ordered, reaching over to tease Jensen with Xander, who blinked at him. He grinned.
Xander smiled because in the field, Jensen was Cougar's. They teased, they taunted, Xander even teased a fingernail over Jensen's hole a few times until Jensen finally shivered and went limp as he spewed. Xander licked him clean and moved up him. "You do not have to," he whispered before kissing him.
"Yes I do. You never get any of it unless you mark us." He reached down to stroke him, kissing him at the same time. The combined tastes were very good to him. Finally Xander groaned and came, going limp. "That's our alpha." Xander purred, nuzzling him, then bit him hard on the front of his shoulder. "Ow!" He swatted. Xander stared then did it again. Jensen went limp and let him. "I know but you needed it a lot." He kissed him again. "Maybe we should let you rut sometimes."
"None of you guys would let that happen. John and you two would probably bite me if I tried."
"Maybe," Jensen said, cuddling him. Xander was still on top, which was fine with him. Xander was lighter. Cougar was laying against their back, having shifted around so they were all facing the same direction. Jensen smiled when he felt Xander get hard in the middle of the night, stroking him until he could shift and tease him better. Xander moaned, clutching onto Cougar since he was up there. Which woke the other man. Jensen stared at him, getting a nod. So he got Xander off quickly, not even waking him. It must've been a great dream. He snuggled in again, nuzzling Xander's shoulder. Xander hummed and wrapped himself around Jensen's body, pulling Cougar over him to cuddle too. They smiled and fell asleep again.
Xander needed more cuddles and it was up to the pack to do it until he found someone.
Jon walked in the next morning then backed out. "Geeze, more gay stuff," he complained as he headed for the kitchen, making Rodney cackle. "Naked cuddling the wrong way in the bed."
"I'm sure you'll find some use for that," Rodney said dryly. "Samuel, are you going to class today?" He shuddered. "I had the mental image of me in an apron and pearls."
"Heels too?" Jon quipped, sitting down.
"Thankfully not or I'd have to shoot the me in whatever realm that might exist in." He walked up the hall, pounding on doors. "If you make me waste the excellent breakfast I'm making, I will have someone spank you all." Sam moaned and got up, stumbling out. "Xander?" He opened the door, ducking the thrown pillow. "Breakfast!" he yelled loudly. Cougar flinched. "I did try to call from the hallway." Cougar made 'go away' motions so he left them alone. He went back to cooking pancakes and bacon. Sam was yawning but staring in awe. Cougar walked out, tipping his hat. "Breakfast?" He shrugged and sat down. Jensen and Xander walked out yawning. "Long night?" he asked dryly.
"I had some really nice dreams," Xander said with a grin. Jensen grinned at him. "You're a great cuddle and pack mate, Jensen." He kissed him then Cougar. "You are too. You lay there and let us use you as a pillow." He sat down, staring. "Pancakes?" he asked, sounding awed.
"Yes, and bacon." Xander beamed at him. "I made the frozen supposed apple juice." The boys got some and handed some to the other two then Rodney handed over plates. They fixed their own and inhaled. Rodney smiled, eating his own pancakes. "You have thirty minutes before you have to leave for school." They inhaled theirs like teenage boys and went to get ready.
"Can I get a ride," Jon called. "My car won't start."
"Sure," Sam said. "I'm driving."
"My car," Xander complained.
"Let Sam drive," Cougar called. "He has to stay in practice." They all heard the groan but Xander would accept that advice. Jon came back with his backpack. The other two trooped out and Xander paused to kiss Rodney.
"For breakfast. It was great." He smiled and walked off.
"I am too old for you," he noted.
Xander winked. "Have you seen my pack of beautiful alpha sorts?" He let Sam drive and it was all right.
Jensen giggled once they were outside. "It's good he's in a happy mood today."
Rodney looked at him. "Yes, we all know why." Jensen just grinned. "Is he good?"
"He's excellent and he never pushes us. He asserts himself in other ways." Cougar nodded, sipping his juice and looking for seconds. Rodney put a few more on, making them both happy commandos. They went to check in and do their daily PT runs since Clay was still scowling. Rodney cleaned up and went to the mountain to check in, go over that idea the boys had come up with, and deal with things going wrong. Because they would be.
He found Landry in the mess and got some coffee, sitting across from him. "Xander had an interesting idea." Landry's fork paused on the way to his mouth. "It's more like a superior student seminar instead of me teaching but it would allow me to impart my genius and pre-sort some exceptional students before they get ruined by inferior minded teachers." He sipped his coffee. "We can do it mostly by email or like we do the courses when we're gone."
General Landry ate that bite and considered it. "That wouldn't break the ban on publishing without passing it through the IOA," he said.
"Yes, which is why it was slightly inventive."
"How are they settling in?"
"They've got everything unpacked; Xander's bought some bar stools for the kitchen counter-slash-breakfast bar. And a better table. They were putting up gun racks yesterday. Jon is settled in and the other houses are being built. Mine is nearly finished," he said smugly.
"Are you going to invite them to help you decorate yours?" he taunted.
"No. They decorated in early twenty-something." He finished his coffee and got more then came back to sit down again. "Between some of us we could run a fairly interesting seminar and it would give us a chance to slip some information, hypothetically of course, to some students to help them. That way we have someone who can follow our genius."
"I don't mind that idea," Landry said. "Can you arrange it or would you need anything?"
"More frequent email service. Some lessons from some of the people here. Carter could do some from wherever she's hiding."
"Area 51. They got the last of the taint out of her finally." He ate another bite, nodding. "We can talk about it at a meeting later. Call one and let me know."
"I can do that."
"When are you due back?"
"The IOA hasn't wanted to let me."
"Ah." He smirked. "We'll work on that and maybe you can make them a bit miserable."
"Of course I can. Do they have oversight over that other project?"
"No. The president said no. They aren't to know, they aren't to guess, they aren't to hear." Rodney smirked and nodded. "How are they really?"
"They've been working on the playground area for the future children and the two spawns we already have, who seem to have a crush on Jon O'Neill. The big boy training playground is going up slowly but surely. I redesigned some of that on them." He smirked. "It's going in the woods. They're putting up a target range in the woods as well."
"Wonderful. Six more weeks and we'll have the first new houses built."
"The teams are very efficient and the modular nature is making it very easy. They're looking like decent floor plans as well." He sipped from his new coffee. "The boys nearly worshiped me because I made pancakes."
Landry smirked. "Are you considered pack now?"
"Accessory. Though it's strange that O'Neill is refusing to cuddle and that's keeping him from the full benefits. He seemed easy enough around Sam but Xander seems to twitch him now and then."
"That might be the alpha on alpha thing," Landry offered.
"It could be, yes. Though Jack seems able to get along well with Xander."
"He's not living with him."
"Technically Jon's in the garage apartment." Landry shook his head, finishing his breakfast. "I'll call that meeting for two." He nodded and they went their separate ways. "Radek, what are you doing here?"
"IOA summoned me," he said. "Came back last night." He stared at him. "You have look of unholy glee. Why?"
"Because I'm going to get around some decisions that suck." He smirked. Radek laughed and nodded. "Anyone else get recalled?"
"Colonel but he has not come because there is danger and he needs to stay in the chair. We are not sure why."
"I am," Rodney said dryly. "Only one reason really makes sense. Tell the others we're having a meeting at two with the general over an idea to get around the ultimately stupid publishing ban." He nodded, going to spread that. Which left Rodney to do some creative work. He brought it to the general at lunchtime, handing it over as he walked past him for more coffee. "That should solve some issues."
The general looked it over, nodding. "Hopefully." He went to tell O'Neill so he could browbeat and actually beat a few of them. He had a thought about telling Jon O'Neill too but that was just evil of him. So maybe McKay had done it for him already.
Jensen finished his hacking and smiled. "Colonel, that nasty oversight authority issue the base is having is now ...solved." He hit the enter key and suddenly things started to make more sense. "Because half of them are demons." He smiled. "We so need to bring Xander with us."
"He's not fully trained yet," Clay reminded him. He took the notes, nodding. "Yeah, that sounds like it's on our caseload. Dig into that law firm too."
"Wilkins," Cougar said.
"And him," Clay said. "Is he first?" Cougar nodded. "Then we'll solve it."
"His last hundred days he'll be invincible," Jensen warned. Though he did start digging into those matters. He had a lot he wanted to deal with this week, none of it being bad guys. Pity for the bad guys.
Clay sent that information to the general, who would have a headache because of it.
Walter brought in the fax, looking pale. "I hope I didn't ever read that, sir." He fled.
Landry read it over, handing it to McKay. Who smirked at him. "You knew?"
"I guessed. I also guessed that it was against the Atlantis pack." He looked at his second, who was looking smug. "Half the IOA are demonic."
"Figures they made deals to gain power due to lacking brains," he said.
"No, I mean born that way." He handed down the information. Radek moaned, shaking his head. He knew a secret about Radek that he knew the other man didn't know he knew. Someday he'd let him know that. The 'Atlantis email' call went out and he waited while his got unzipped and forwarded. John did have an opinion on decorating and painting, though he wanted his own bathroom. Rodney's reply said the secondary suite would have one.
The rest of it made him snicker. "Colonel Sheppard said if the IOA did not lay off he was going to drown Woolsey and deny them access to the city." He looked up. "Because apparently one of them tried to force his retirement over the whole pack issue." He let the general read that. "I believe we're about to see a rare bout of Sheppard's temper." He smiled. Radek and the others who had been on Atlantis shuddered. "So much worse than the last one I'm certain."
"Can he do that?" the general asked.
Radek nodded. "City adores him. He can lock out other gene carriers outside of emergencies."
Rodney nodded. "Yes he can. So can I." He smiled. "For that matter, so can Miko and she's back there." Landry moaned. "We can either protect you from the wraith or we be political. We can't do both."
"Would not want to be political. Is bad for soul," Radek said.
"It is, yes," another one of the scientists agreed. "What are they trying to do?"
"Replace the upper echelon of Atlantis with green people who don't have the skills to run her, and won't be able to do anything but toe the line," Rodney said, letting her see that email. She moaned, shaking her head. "Exactly." He smiled at the general. "I believe that information is enough to get me started on something ...practical. You tell them of the idea, Radek." He gathered things and walked off to call up Jensen so they could work together.
Daniel Jackson was in England. The people he was meeting with were under orders of their government to work with him. Or else they'd be shut down. Daniel smiled. "I have noticed a lot of the translations were done by someone who had a very rudimentary grasp of grammar," he said casually. "Was that translated word-for-word from the original sources?"
"It's possible. Most of us don't read those, Doctor Jackson."
He smiled. "I know a great many dead languages. I may know someone who reads it flawlessly. If I could see an example?"
"Of course. We were told to cooperate."
Daniel smiled. "I was told it was my duty to see your whole library translated properly." The man gaped. "Every single source." He smiled. "Because the wrong information could hurt people. Like one source that said that there's no way for virus induced shape shifters to control their shifting but there's a temple in Tibet that can help teach that."
"You know of this in person?"
"Yes. I do." The man stared at him oddly. "We recently found one on the project I work on. He went there as a child. His whole family changes. They taught him control and how to make sure he doesn't change due to the moon phase."
"Oh. I did not know that. Is he causing you problems?"
"No. He's actually very handy on one of our combat mission teams. One of the calmest we have when things start to go wrong. I've worked with him in the past and never realized he was any different." He smiled. "I've been told there's other packs that have embraced the same methods."
"I was not aware of that." He led him to talk to their head archivist. The man was ancient. He might've seen the beginning of the Council first hand with how old he was. He also smiled at Daniel like he was a raspberry torte. "You two know each other?"
"I taught that young scamp Linear B," he said, coming over to shake his hand. "I had hopes I could recruit you but the placement spot was filled by someone's idiot son."
"That's all right. I've used what you taught me many times over the years in other ways." He smiled. "I was ordered to retranslate your entire collection."
"Thank you, Goddess," he said, looking up. "Someone with sense." He walked him off talking about things. They had all heard about the Harris issue and had heard that he had made contact with Daniel's people. So it made sense that the new information came from the hunting community the US had. Daniel got a good look at the sources and called a specialist in it. He could help him a lot. Plus it would give the US a nicely correct copy. It might take the translation team a year to do it all but it'd be worth it.
Daniel looked at his phone, staring at the message. "Interesting." He showed his old professor that information, getting an odd look. "The oversight committee for my present project."
"Those idiots," he muttered. "They opened a ring?"
Daniel smiled. "No comment."
He stared at him. "No wonder you use your lessons so often, boy." He walked off to tell the head people that. Demons in high places was against the Council's will. They'd have to solve that. Travers was throwing an ungodly fit at Rupert Giles. "It's not his fault he underestimated the boy. He probably did it there too," he said, stopping Travers cold. "Hell, if he's going to hunt, let 'im." He stared at Rupert. "Go do something useful and help the translation team." He nodded and left. He looked at Travers. "One of them got information that there's a few demons in high places. That they're overseeing some US military project that deals with the Ring of Myths." Travers sat down heavily, staring at him in a horrified way. "Exactly. Called the IOA. International Oversight Authority."
"Oh, dear," he said. "We'll handle that. Give me members?"
"There's at least sixty people involved and not all are demons."
"We can handle that," he decided. "I'll have people look into that group. That US group?"
"Probably saved all our butts a few times, Quentin. That's why they're translating our library for us." He left. He'd warn Daniel to be on his toes but those military linguists were tougher than his were. He pitied the poor idiots if they tried to go against Jackson. He hadn't met many more stubborn people in his life.
The boy had been hell to teach when he got a wrong idea in his head but he made up for it in other areas. Daniel was already settled down with the others to work on something. No fussing or whining over assignments like he got. Maybe he'd let Daniel have the library when he finally passed on. He went back to researching how to easiest talk to his brethren who had the same problem that had befallen him. Poor Castiel was so confused sometimes.
Dean pulled up into the parking area his father was waiting in, taking the ball of glow, which giggled at him. "Behave, Dawn."
"Why are you laughing now?" John asked.
"Because the Council just put themselves in the sites of the Losers by helping the SGC. Pity them," she said in a sing-song manner.
"What is that?" some nosy woman demanded.
Dean looked at her. "It's a virtual pet. It's Japanese and can interact with others over the internet." She gave him a strange look. "Her name is Dawn." He smiled and held her up. "So much better than the little keychain things." She walked off shaking her head.
"If I'm that sort of pet, I need a dish of cream," Dawn said.
Dean could only imagine her leering. He looked at her. "You become an adult this time and we'll see." She giggled and floated into the impala. Dean shook his head. "Hide yourself. There's a cop." He looked at his father. "Long trip?"
"Very long trip. She stranded the truck outside a porn shop all night. Then she mystically disappeared."
"At least she didn't shoplift."
"Sir," the officer said, walking over with one hand on his gun. "We were told there was a suspicious device here that was glowing in a nuclear way?"
"Hey!" Dawn complained. "I'm not suspicious. I'm a nice girl. So butt off, asshole."
"Language," John ordered. She spit at him. "I will paddle you, young lady."
"You're getting the pouty face," she complained.
Dean pointed with a grin. "That one, Officer?"
He looked then at him. "What is it?"
"Virtual pet that interacts."
"Oh. The glow?"
"It's like that. It's meant to make you feel happy," John said. "Frankly I think my son warped it."
"It's a prototype," Dean said with a grin.
"Can we examine it, sir?"
"You can look at it but I'm not sure how it'd do with x-rays and things." He picked it up and held her up. "You can touch it. It's safe. She doesn't bite all that often."
"I'm not a biter. Blood tastes nasty," she told him.
"It's a talking ball," he said. He called the local department to see what he should do. They called someone from New York, which was closest to them with a bomb squad department. That tech got there within an hour. He walked over, staring at the ball. "She talks, a lot," he said, getting out of the way. The thing was stranger than he wanted to know existed, even if it was Japanese. They always created strange toys and cartoons.
He ran a monitor over it. "No radiation signature." He used the probe to poke her.
"Hey, Mr. Pokey, stop it! I'm not sleeping with you and I don't appreciate being poked. I will zap your ass into a bunny rabbit if you do it again," she complained.
"Dawn, temper," Dean ordered. He looked at the officers. "She's a prototype."
"Clearly. Is she...electronic?"
"Oh." He nodded, moving closer again. He put a finger on her, making her giggle.
"Ticklish spot." She floated up and back into the car. "I'm not playing with you anymore."
"Behave," Dean said.
"No porn?" she asked. "I'm giving you a pouty face too."
Dean looked. "It's all in the trunk. You can watch it later when I rent a movie." She squealed and snuggled into his front seat. Dean looked at them. "No, she's kinda strange." He smiled. "But we like her that way."
"If you're sure, sir. I can't find any reason why she's a danger."
"Only to sanity if you're too uptight," Dawn quipped.
Dean nodded. "Even mine when I get too uptight." The officers shuddered. "We just met up so I could take my turn guarding her, guys. There's no threat from Dawn."
"I'd like to take another reading if I could," the bomb squad guy said. Dean shrugged. When the bomb squad officer pulled out another probe, he became a bunny with a probe. Dean stared in the car.
John cleared his throat. "Change him back, Dawn."
"Hell no! I'm not in the mood for pokey games! If I was, I'd be a real girl that Dean could play pokey games with." The other officer laughed, sounding nervous.
Dean scooped up the bunny, staring at it. "He's from New York, right?"
"Ummmmm. Yes. Why?"
"We have some friends in the NYPD. They can get him changed back. Sorry you had to see that, dude." He got into the car, letting Dawn and her bunny snuggle together. "Do not act out like that again," he said as he drove off. "They can throw my ass in jail and try to dismantle you." He found his phone and dialed by feel. "Don, Dean Winchester. Heading your way with an issue. No, Dawn turned one of your bomb techs into a bunny for poking her."
"I warned him," Dawn said.
Dean grinned. "Yeah, that Dawn. Thanks. Hour." He hung up and turned up the radio, which made the bunny flinch but she cooed until it calmed down.
Don hung up and went to the lab. He found Danny and Mac glaring. "We gotta Xander issue." They both stared at him. "Dawn changed someone into a bunny."
Mac snorted. "That's not possible."
"Bet me, she changed me into a cat once," Danny said dryly. Mac gave him a strange look. Danny nodded. "How soon?"
"Let me call around, see if there's someone who can counter her." He walked off to do that, shaking his head the whole way to his desk. They might have to reason with Dawn and she was more stubborn than even Xander was. That wasn't a good way to attempt.
Don shrugged. "This way we can make sure he's fine."
"I want to see proof," Mac ordered.
"Come with us then." He walked off, picking a nice, quiet place to meet with Dean, Dawn, and the bunny. He texted that to Mac, Danny, and Dean. Dean pulled in a while later and parked, getting out with the rabbit under his arm and Dawn floating above his shoulder. Mac gaped, staring at the ball. "That's Dawn, presently."
"Hi, Don!" she squealed, floating over to snuggle him.
"Hi, Dawn." He petted her. "Quit floating. You'll tire yourself out."
Dean stared at the ball. "If you're wearing yourself out again I will have dad spank you, Dawn."
"I'm not. I'm fine."
"Uh-huh. Quit being so flashy, young lady."
"Yes, big brother," she sighed. She turned to look at Don. "He tried to poke me. I warned him he'd be a bunny because I'm *so* not into pokey games with him."
Mac stifled a laugh. "All right, that's a cute trick. How is it talking?"
"It's not hard. Most things have some form of communication," Dawn said dryly. "I'm just mystically delicious and cute."
"Uh-huh," Dean said dryly. "Change him back, Dawn."
"Nope. I warned him."
Don looked at her. "I mean it."
"But..." She sighed. "I'm *so* giving you the pouty face and the begging look."
"I know you are, sprout. Do it anyway." She turned to the bunny and it changed, making Dean put him down. He was shivering and naked. "Thank you." He cuddled her. "Let me tell Danny." He texted him one handed. Mac came closer to look at her, hesitantly touching her edge. "She's probably up for being petted, Mac."
"We explain her as a new Japanese virtual pet," Dean quipped.
"I still don't see my spoiled kitty daily dose of cream," she quipped.
Mac blushed, backing off. "What were you before you were this ball?"
"Twenty-three," Dean said dryly. "The sister of one of Xander's friends so she was like his too."
"So I take it this is another imprint thing?" Mac asked.
"No, she can only exist in one dimension at a time," Don said, smiling at her. "She transferred over." He petted her. "Quit showing off. We hated you being that tired before," he said quietly.
Dean took her to look at. "You're not glowing as hard." She upped it so he patted her hard on the ball. She dimmed it again. "Quit."
"Thank you." He tucked it back into his glovebox, which had porn. She got happy scanning it and humming. He came back, looking at the guy. He pointed. Don and Mac both nodded they had him so Dean left them alone.
Don walked over, squatting in front of him. "Want a ride home?" he asked.
"Please. Can you call me off? I'm not sure if I can calm myself down enough to disarm anything."
"Your boss knows about strange things," Mac promised. They helped him up, got him a blanket to wrap himself in, and took him home. Don stopped in on the commander to talk to him quietly, which made him send someone to get the truck as well. They'd quietly arrange counseling as well with someone who knew about that stuff. Don and Mac got back to work, Mac having bad thoughts about how weird things could be. It wasn't every day you saw a rabbit turn into an NYPD officer. Though that may explain some of the higher ups if they weren't changed into a rabbit first.
Xander landed on his ass with a groan, making himself get back up. "Shit, that sucks," he told Roque, who only smirked at him.
"Whine, boy. Come on, let's try that again. Without your anger issues. I have no idea how you've survived all ths time. Maybe that's why you lost the leg?" Xander got him this time and pinned him to the tree with an impromptu stake before he realized it.
Xander stared at him. "No, that was because I got jumped after I had to set off a small scale device to save people." He looked. "How'd you get the scar?"
"I guess that sucks worse than the torture of being the shopping committee." He let him go free and stepped back. "Before you try to piss me off, I went missing that eye because the insane preacher got me instead of a little girl."
Roque gaped. "How bad is being a shopping helper?"
"I'll sign you up," he offered with a smirk, making him shudder.
Clay moved from where he was watching. He tossed over dull bladed knives. "Try those. The kid's a weapons sort of fighter like you are, Roque. That's why I stuck you two together." Roque shrugged and lunged but Xander did better. He lasted longer, he even managed to scratch him pretty hard on the arm to block him and then kicked him on the kidney before moving behind him and trying to stab him. "Hold," he ordered. "Roque, are you not trying?"
"Trying to see what the little punk has."
Xander stared at him. "I'm more used to swords, axes, and stakes. It's how Sunnydale rolled." He waved him on, letting him come at him this time. He dodged, he kicked, he tried to trip him and ended up tripping them both, but he rolled to his feet just as fast and attacked again. That impromptu stake ended up back in his hand without him realizing it and it was nice. It was sweet. He nearly staked him again.
"Drop the stake," Clay ordered. Xander looked then dropped it with a head shake. He watched them keep going. Cougar joined him then walked out and tagged in. Xander actually reacted a bit faster and better. Cougar wasn't the best at hand-to-hand but he was pretty decent and Xander was still going to lose but it was going to take him longer.
Jensen bounced down, staring at Xander as he bounced on the balls of his feet. "Xander, you're over-thinking."
"I want him to think instead of purely react," Clay said. "I want to see what he's trained to do, not what he does instinctively."
"Oh, okay." He watched. Then he pounced when they came near. Xander ducked him, kicking him down then growled and moved back in. Jensen grinned at Clay. It was going to be a really good showing.
Clay watched. "Stop," he called finally. No go. "Boys!" They kept going. "Hey, Losers," he snapped. Roque and Cougar jumped at that, staring at him. Cougar and Jensen pinned Xander between them to stop him. He walked over. "How close to losing your temper were you?"
"I wasn't," Xander admitted. "I was focusing. If I lose my temper I can use accidental magic." He shrugged slightly, hunching down a little. "Was I that bad?"
"No. You have problems. You need some training because of those problems. Especially in basic hand-to-hand. We'll work on weapons so you're smoother and you don't have to focus all the attention on that one fight and nothing else. I also realize that in a real fight you're going to fall back on your former training and what you know how to do." Xander nodded at that. "But, not bad. Better than you'd get in basic training. Not as good as you'd get in special ops training. Somewhere in the first two weeks though. So we'll work on it."
Xander nodded. "I understand. I know I had problems; I was self taught."
"A lot of kids are if they grew up rough," Roque agreed. "I was and the Army refined it. Not bad, though your temper is clearly warming up."
Xander shrugged. "Pick on me about the leg and I'll still point out I made six major apocalypse battles with the fake one." Roque gaped. "And kicked ass." He smirked. "Because the girls needed me to."
"Now, you gotta be as good as the girls ever could be," Roque reminded him.
"Yeah, which sucks. I cannot flip and flash people like Buffy used to. She wore skirts on patrol and favored high kicks and things."
Clay snickered. "That had to be fun to watch."
"I wasn't allowed. Jensen, he thinks slayer shopping wasn't torture."
Jensen let out a bitter snort. "The one time I got sucked into going, I had literal nightmares for *weeks* that kept waking you and Pooch up screaming about bras."
Cougar shuddered all over. "I went one Christmas." Xander hugged him. "I only took four."
Clay looked at him. "It was that bad?" Both his people nodded. So did Xander. "Damn." He looked at the kid. "This holiday, you're training."
"I know. But I'm also decorating and I'm going to try to make a ham."
"Good. We can work that into the plans." He walked him off talking to him. He forgot to warn Jensen not to sign anyone up for any shopping trips.
Pooch got back to Colorado Springs with Jolene. They had a house waiting next to the team's. There were a few trees between them but otherwise they adjoined yards. He grinned as he carried her inside, making her squeal and swat him but laugh. "Here you go, baby." He kissed her. "All yours." She was let down and walked off to check out her domain. "Three bedrooms. A whole lot of kitchen. I bought the lot from the military so it's ours even if they try to close the base and housing area." She smiled at him, running a hand over the brand new refrigerator.
"It's all modular but they told me they could add on later on if we needed another level of bedrooms." She came back to kiss him. He hummed, taking a second one. "Your washer and dryer is in that closet next to the bathroom. You have a huge pantry, a nice linen closet, and a walk-in in our master suite. With a killer tub." He walked her to look at them. All their furniture had been sent ahead and the guys had put it in place for them. He'd have to pay them back soon. She moaned when she saw the tub. He checked. "I apparently forgot to have the water turned on."
She swatted him. "We can do that."
He walked her over to the team's house. "Guys, thank you for unpacking."
"Welcome," Clay called.
"Water company's coming out in two hours," Jensen called from his room with Cougar. They had split the full basement. "Electric got here earlier today. Cable's coming tomorrow with the phone company. Gas company came out day before yesterday to make sure all of everything worked. All you need to do to light your hot water heater is hit the button, it's self starting."
"Thank you, Jensen," she called.
He walked up the stairs to stare at her. "You're welcome. Someday we want little heathen Pooch babies to babysit." He grinned. "Xander's back from school, Pooch."
Pooch opened the back door. "Xander, we're back!" he yelled.
"I'll tell him!" Jon called back.
Pooch shut the door. "Let me put a note on the door." He jogged back to do that then came back. "There. Hopefully we'll hear him." Clay walked in from outside. "Training?"
"Working on the new training walls system with Cougar. Jensen." He came back up. "Go finish the wall. It apparently takes math to put together." He got his boots and coat, heading out to help Cougar. The boys trooped in. "Boys, this is Jolene, Pooch's wife."
"Hi," Sam said, smiling at her. "I'm Sam, this is Xander, and that's Jon."
"Hi, boys." She hugged them all, noticing Jon didn't stiffen as much as Xander but they both made themselves relax. She stared at them. "Who's staying with you three?"
"We're perfectly able to do that," Xander complained mildly, pouting slightly too. "I was thirty before. Jon was nearly fifty."
"Wow," she said. "Pooch told me but that's a big gap." They nodded. "Fine. Can you boys cook?"
"We're learning," Jon admitted. "Before I ate at the mess when I was single. Or grilled steaks."
"I learned how to pit cook and things but not kitchen cook," Xander said. He paused. "Heavy car." They looked and Pooch went to let the water guy do his stuff. He looked at Jolene. "I'm planning on doing a pack dinner for Yule if you want to advise." He knew how to handle picky women. He had handled plenty of them. "And only advise; I won't ask you to cook or anything. Or even help with the dishes."
She pinched him on the cheek. "You're sweet, kid. We'll see. I'll be doing one for his mother and my parents too." He grinned. "Hold on, Yule? You're one of those new age sorts?"
"Moderately so. Is that a huge problem that'll make you hate me?"
"No, sweetie." She smiled at Clay. "I'm not cooking for your ginmormous stomachs."
"We can eat with the boys since the full pack won't be in."
Xander looked at him. "I'll get two hams." Clay snickered, nodding it was a good idea.
"And a whole bushel of potatoes," she said. He nodded at that. "Sweet potatoes?"
"I have no idea other than they're orange," Xander said. Sam moaned, shaking his head. "What? I'm from Cali! We only eat sweet potatoes as things like fries."
"We can work on that stuff so you boys don't starve or live on microwave crap."
"I like microwave crap," Jon complained. She swatted him.
Clay backed off. "You're on your own, boys."
Pooch came back. "Water's all on, it's all tested, and you, my beautiful and perfect wife, have a tub waiting on you with bubbles." She smiled and let him walk her back there.
"Run," Clay said quietly. "Now. Before she remembers to come teach you more things." They ran off.
Sam paused on the back porch. "Jensen, do you know calculus? I'm stuck."
"Sure." He followed to help him.
Clay shook his head. "I'm almost feeling domestic." Cougar came in from out back. "Pooch and Jolene are here."
"I heard. Set's up." Clay went to look, giving it a good test run. Cougar made himself a sandwich and sat down to watch some news. He hated the snow but he'd learn to live with it he guessed.
Xander came over that Sunday with a pick-axe and a shovel. Sam was pushing a wheelbarrow then disappeared onto the training course. Xander looked at Cougar, who was giving him a confused look. "C'mon. We're working on your room." He led him down there, looking things over. He had concrete walls, a concrete floor, a concrete ceiling, and they could do something about that. He measured out a good spot that wasn't in a corner and used the axe on it. The floor split.
"Que?" Cougar asked.
Xander looked at him. "We're fixing things so you're not shivering all the time. Jensen said your teeth chattering is keeping him up." He smiled and hit it again, then cleared the rubble and chipped out a bit more. "Get this outside. Then grab the stuff in my closet in the huge box." Cougar nodded, carrying it out to dump it and then heading to get the stuff in the closet. Xander measured and cleaned up a few more inches. Jensen leaned in, looking confused. "It's cool."
"Okay." He left them to their thing.
Cougar came back with the box, looking very confused. Xander fixed it so the new 'outdoor' burner plate and hood was in the floor. He hammed iron spikes into the holes in the legs to make sure it wouldn't be able to be moved. Then he added the stabilizing pretty rocks. He put the hood on and attached it then took out the few pieces of wood and lit them on fire, looking at Cougar as he walked around it. "That should not burn anything down as long as you keep the fire minimal. We use them on patios to cook marshmallows and things after dark or during parties." He grinned and patted him on the arm. "You can even add some plants in here so it looks more like home."
Cougar smiled. "Thank you. That is warm."
"You're welcome." He winked. "It's a good thing. Just keep it small." Cougar nodded and arranged the smaller logs to burn easier. "If you want, you can put a vent on the wall but that'll take more than a day's worth of work to drill it out and put on the vent hood and cover so squirrels can't get in."
"I have a window I can crack," he admitted, doing that slightly. It was almost behind the burner so the smoke should flow out. It did. They shared a smile. Jensen brought over a few plants, with little signs on stakes to tell him what they needed for health and well being.
Clay came pounding down the stairs. "What smells like smoke?" He paused, staring at the burner. "That's different."
"It'll keep him very warm," Xander said with a grin. "It's safe as long as he keeps it small. It's not next to the foundation so it won't cause a melting and leaking problem. It's perfectly stable as well. Sometime later on we may want to think about a vent but otherwise it should be fine."
Clay stared at him. "That's ..practical I guess."
Xander shrugged. "He likes tropical places. I could create a beach in here but he might not like that." Cougar shook his head. "So now he's warm. He's got dull light instead of the bright things overhead. He has plants now for fresh air and to remind him of all the jungles he's stalked and hunted through."
"Okay," Clay said quietly. "Will the fire be a problem if he forgets to put it out?"
"That's made for patio fires."
"Good. That's sensible at least. The rocks aren't going to burn." He looked. "Let's stick with a very tiny fire, Cougar. Just for now?" He nodded and they left him to arrange things. The box even had a few plant stands so he could put them around the burner and make it more like a pit in the jungle. Plus a camp chair so he could sit next to it on the really cold nights. It was sweet of the boys. Once they were outside, Clay gave Xander a look. "Is that really safe?"
"It's a good distance from the foundation. He's got good clearance and all concrete. He should be fine as long as he doesn't build a bonfire."
"I guess that's fine then. I know he was cold last night."
"We need to get him longjohns," Sam said as he walked over. "That third beam is still wobbly, Clay."
"We can check." Xander followed. He did know a lot about fastening wood things together so it might help. Then he'd run them through it repeatedly until they knew the course blindfolded. A few of the older soldiers came over to test out the training areas and they liked it too. They talked about adding in some other areas, which Clay didn't mind. If it'd help them he was all for it. Xander was also working on their range building later on so it was good. A whole community project really.
to part 12
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