Not finished! But I'm giving you guys something new to read at midnight.
Xander Harris looked at the area around his former high school. And town. And the forest around the town was looking dead too. He looked at the creature beside him, who he had summoned. "We lost," he said quietly. "Even though we won."
"You also stopped a worse problem going on."
Xander nodded. "Yes, but before he died, his last spell loosed a lot of demons that humans can't handle and the only slayer alive now is in a coma and kinda evil." He blinked at the area then at the wish demon again. "Was it enough?"
"No," she admitted, shaking her head. "No. Within three years, this whole continent would be down to survivors." He nodded once. "But that's why you summoned me." He nodded once again. "How do you think I can help?"
He looked at the demon over lost childhoods. "Plenty of yours got evaporated, Halfrek, and that wasn't our intention. We just wanted to stop the Mayor. He did the spell that made all the destruction."
"I know. It's sad."
"Can I make a wish to stop that last few spells of his?"
"One of them was cast about six months ago. It's the reason the town was destroyed, Xander." He slumped, grimacing as he contemplated his options. "You can wish for the battle to have only taken him out."
"I know any battle means we can lose fighters. We lost at least twelve before he got blown up and the spells went off." He looked away from the destruction to stare at her. "I want to wish to make it so the spells didn't go off. That all that happened was the battle. I know that'll cause later problems from what you said. Can it help that?"
She shook her head. "The government is doing bad things down there. That would take an even higher problem to fix."
He considered it. Then he slumped. "I'll become a messenger for anyone but the Powers That Be to warn them."
"That would mean you're sacrificing your life, kid."
Xander stared at her. "Mine for over three thousand here and over eighty million later?"
She sighed. "They'll need you to defeat that group."
"Or I could be a messenger and go warn others so they don't have to fight the military. We've had a strange amount of military guys at the mall recently," he said sarcastically when she stared at him. "I figured it was their fault."
"It is," she agreed. "And it's a really horrible thing."
He grimaced. "Yeah. That figures around here, huh." He rubbed his forehead. "I want Willow to have a wish one year after I become a messenger to stop all this shit going on," he said, staring at her. "In return, I'll do my best to end those problems and the Mayor's problem. I'll go after the battle and she has one year to wait."
"Your body will be dead by then. They've tried to dose you with something and those who're on the Mayor's side want you out of their way and out of the hunting."
He grinned. "I heard," he said quietly. "I've had a ton of headaches, Halfrek. I actually went to see someone." She slumped. "And I'm probably not the only one they got and if I die from this, that's ...well it's better that it's me than someone like Giles probably."
"You're not in the way, Harris."
"I know. Even if they don't know I know." He grinned. "There's a few ways I can become a messenger. I found a book for some reason." She winced, shaking her head with a sigh. "Can we do that?"
"You won't survive."
He grinned. "Then I'll stay a messenger and annoying those who need to hear that something's going to kill them."
"Whoever you go toward will limit you."
He leaned closer with an insane grin. "Halfrek, that book was on Ascension," he said very quietly, staring into her eyes. Then he grinned. "Which I've already started on." Her eyes went wide. "All I need is her to be able to make a wish in a year. Willow's mind works in weird ways but she can handle that."
"I..." She licked her lips. All the destruction was calling out to her. "We can rewind it so the battle is won and the other spells don't get out. Then you have one year, Harris, and you have to try to end that program."
"Agreed." He rubbed his forehead. "Let me go handle this. I kind of expected to die in that battle to be honest." She sighed, shaking her head. "I know, some chaos god's own luck," he quipped with a hand wave in the air. "I'm just beloved that way, dear."
"You're touched in the head."
"No, they don't know about the tumor." She groaned again. "Please?" She nodded and cast the wish. It was complicated but it would save humanity. And keep her employed.
Six months after the battle, Xander was in semi-ascended form. The brain tumor was getting out of hand and they had knocked him into a medical coma, and didn't expect him to come out of it. Perfect release from his body. So he was now looking around. He spotted some other beings but ignored them screaming at him. He went to find someone and stared at them, fading into view. "Hi."
"Hi. Which ascended are you?"
"The one that just released his body but it's a bit complicated. I'm also a messenger."
"What happened to non-interference?" Daniel Jackson asked, frowning a bit.
"I don't play by their rules. Their rules suck and I'm not a playbook sorta guy. Not sporty at all." He grinned. "I'm here to warn you that my town has a huge problem that even Nazis would get sick at. The military is doing it to non-native species."
"Some are plant based, but they're also sentient." He held out a hand. "I can bring you."
Xander laughed. "I'm not like them, Doctor Jackson. I'm a Knight in a very *old* war." He smiled. "C'mon." He wiggled his fingers. Daniel hesitated so he pulled him out of his body and pointed. He wrote a note saying he had Daniel out of his body to show him a huge problem going on. Then he took Daniel with him. Daniel taught him how to phase out of view before they got caught and they wandered around that base.
"I grew up in this town," he said. "At sixteen I found out that there really were demons, and vampires, and only about fifteen percent of all demon species and most vampires were evil." He looked at him. "My friends hunted the bad ones. Most of the beings here are not only sentient but peaceful. And that one's a really, truly evil thing but it's a child." He pointed. "And your military is doing this."
"I'm a civilian but this is wrong," he agreed. "We need to stop this."
Xander nodded. "Yes we do. It's really super important that we stop this." He stared at him. "Which is why you're here with me. They won't believe me." He took him back to his body, helping him climb back in around the medical team. Daniel gasped and sat up. Xander reappeared. "I left you a note," he told the woman glaring at him. "He was fine."
Daniel held his head, staring at him. 'I'm going to tell people about that."
"The base's higher up knows. You guys got files in the lab marked biology from them."
"Hell no," he said, struggling to stand up. "Get me O'Neill," he ordered. "He found some truly bad things going on." Xander grinned. "Why aren't you the normal ascended?"
"Because I'm still technically alive, Doctor Jackson. They knocked me into a medical coma thanks to the brain tumor that group gave me. And is presently giving Buffy's mother. Which will destroy her. She's the reason that you guys are still here after our graduation." Xander faded out. "I'm going to get your buddy some help."
"Please do." He looked around. "I need to speak to O'Neill *now*." One of the guards ran off to find the base's general. "Not you," he told Landry when he came running up the hall toward them. They were taking him to the infirmary. "I need Jack. The ascended one found something horrifying." He got free of the hands. "Leave me alone. Carter!" he bellowed when he saw her. "Get me Jack now! An ascended just showed up to show me something horrifying that the military's doing."
She nodded, pulling out a hallway phone to call his cellphone. Daniel got taken to the infirmary and put into a CT scan. He came out and the doctors were conferring. "I know I'm fine. He found the drugs that somehow got into my system and wore them out for me." He sat up. O'Neill stomped in and Daniel pulled him closer. Daniel knew how to pull himself out of his body again and take Jack with him. He took him there to show him. "He came to tell me about this."
Jack wandered around and came back green and steaming mad. "No. Not on my watch. We're not Ori."
Daniel smiled. "Exactly!"
"Let's get back so I can go stomp on someone." Daniel got them back to their bodies and they woke up, Jack grabbing the desk phone as soon as he could move to call a general he *knew* wouldn't be involved.
"Xander said he's getting you some help and I saw an older white male in a Gunny Sergeant's uniform in his mind," Daniel said. "He researched who to tell."
"Not that many of those," Jack decided. "Did he show you anything else?"
"The last name started with GI. I couldn't see the rest."
"Reserves. He had a reserves patch."
"That narrows it down." He called his assistant. "Find me a ....Army, Danny?"
"Oh, no, Marine."
"Marine Reserve Gunny. Name starts with GI....actually that may be him," he admitted. "I'll talk to him as soon as I get back but if he or someone shows up wanting to talk to me, call. I'm at Cheyenne." He hung up, looking at Landry. Then at Daniel. "If you see him again, tell him I said thanks."
"Look into who he is, Jack. He said he's out of his body and ascended right now because that group gave him a brain tumor. He's in a medically induced coma."
Jack grimaced. "That's horrible."
"He also said something about his graduation."
"Even worse." He nodded. "Let me go stomp on them like I'm making grape juice." He stomped out, calling his teammates to come help. He brought Mitchell with him too. He'd need Carter for her science skills. Mitchell was his backup soldier. Teal'c was off-world and Daniel would kill them before he could so he could rest for now and figure out that new ascended helpful person.
Landry looked at him. "What is going on?" he demanded.
"A new ascended showed up to get some help to stop a project that's killing sentient beings for fun like they're Ori," he said bluntly. He slid off the bed, looking at the doctors. "I'm good?" They nodded. "Then I'm going back to my office to note all this down for future study." He left, still scowling.
Landry looked at the doctors. "He's sane?"
"He reads as normal, General," one of them said. "Nothing out of the ordinary."
"Great. Do we think it's the Ori?"
"No idea. I have no idea what they saw," the other doctor said. He nodded, stomping off to find Jackson. Who was off base by the time he got to his office, with his journals that he had worked out his former ascended issues in.
Xander faded into view, staring at the young woman who was giving him a horrified look. "I'm not here for you."
"Good!" she said. She patted her phone until it rang out loud. "McGee, I have a ghost down here."
"I'm technically not dead enough for that. I'm just out of my body and I need your linked friend to talk to about a huge problem we tripped into." He grinned. "It's so bad the president should probably commit suicide for authorizing it."
She winced. "McGee, get Gibbs." She hung up. "You're not a ghost?"
"I'm out of my body. I'm kind of mostly ascended. So I'm basically a messenger of doom." He grinned at the two men stomping in. "You're not the one I came to talk to. Where's the older guy?"
"He's on his way," one said. "You're a ghost."
"I'm out of my body. The ones I need to talk to him about gave me a brain tumor." He looked at Abby. "By any chance are you like my Willow friend and a hacker?" he asked hopefully.
"McGee and I both are. Why?"
He came over, brushing a hand over her forehead. "He'll need to see there, pretty one. It's *that* important."
She nodded, looking up that town and various video cameras. "They don't have any cameras in town. How backwards that is."
"College. UC Hellmouth has their base underneath it." She grimaced, but found that and looked into the available cameras listed. She found one. Then she found a hidden server and went into it with McGee's help. She gagged at what she saw. "Yeah, them," he said. He stared at the guy coming in. "The only way I could find you was to find her. She's got a huge spike on this plane." He pointed. "Most of them aren't evil and even then it's not ethical for the US Army to do that, is it? Or to give my friend's mom a brain tumor like mine?"
Gibbs stomped over to look and stared, turning pale. "Where?" he demanded.
"I'm from Sunnydale," he said, smiling slightly when Abby flinched. "I used to help Buffy, pretty one. She's dating one of them and is about to lose her mom to the same reason I'm out of my body." He looked at him. "I told someone in Cheyenne who is *very* righteous and will stomp them flat so he could talk to his linked person I couldn't find directly. Daniel Jackson's not a bad guy and he's more than mad enough to help his general buddy with that stomping. But they'll need help." He stared at Gibbs. "Can I trust you to help him?"
"Yes. How long?"
"At least a year. They started my brain tumor and it's been eight months since they found it."
Gibbs blinked, but nodded. "You sure?"
"Yeah. And my friend Buffy's mom got the same shot so she's growing one right now. Our town's hospital is more a food source than not but still."
Gibbs grimaced. "I'll let Abby tell me about that town, kid." Xander smiled. "Are you going to survive?"
"Don't know," he admitted. "But being a messenger of doom is not too bad. No chocolate or caffeine but I can still steal a twinkie now and then."
Gibbs winced. "Nothing more important?"
Xander stared at him. "I did that for years, Gibbs. This is like a vacation from hunting the bad things that live in my former town. I spent four years hunting those things. Now, I'm telling you so you can handle the problem before a group of teenagers have to. That way it can't be reused and the soldiers can't be recycled into even worse areas. Because knowledge of this is all the way to the top of the shitpile of assholes."
Gibbs grimaced. "Figures. I'll help whoever handle it." Xander smiled and faded out. He looked at Abby. "Decrypt it."
She pulled up a site on her other monitor. "That's his town, Gibbs. And that's the truth." She pointed. "That's him during the battle that his graduation ceremony turned into." They all watched it and Gibbs walked off shuddering. "Be safe and watch your throat," she called after him. "And go see O'Neill!" The two male agents followed their boss while she removed all those searches and went to hide in the morgue for a bit. The head ME Ducky looked at her as she stomped in. "We just had a guy out of his body warning us that the government is doing really evil shit. So I'm hiding." She skipped into his office. "I'll start tea, Ducky."
"Thank you, Abigail." He went back to his present autopsy. When agents stomped in to find her, he sent them to look elsewhere. He could take the dear one home with him to protect her more while Gibbs was out of the area.
O'Neill looked at the hard looking man who met him at the airport. "You're Gibbs," he said. "O'Neill."
"General," he said, shaking his hand. "Did you talk to Harris?"
"He talked to Danny boy." He looked at the two silent people behind him. "We've got others helping too."
"Good," one of them said. "We'll need more than we probably have. According to our sources, there's a lot of people there, General."
"I've got friends coming to help."
"Decent." They left, avoiding the two grab teams in the airport. One of them tried to stop them at the car rental area but Gibbs and his team got them down. "Don't touch a general," Gibbs told him. "Anyone we can trust out here?"
Xander faded in. "Epps. FBI. Uptight jackass but he has morals and wouldn't stand for this shit. And he's on his way." He waved at the general. "It's going to get worse soon. They captured something really powerful and really evil. And a human chaos sorcerer that will need help getting back to somewhere in the UK probably." He waved and disappeared again.
"Okay," Gibbs decided. "DiNozzo, go find that agent."
"On it, boss." He went to stop the agents showing up. "We were told to handle this with Agent Epps, boys." He held up his ID. "We're out here stopping some really bad shit."
One of the agents nodded. "Epps is on my team."
"Great. Gibbs is waiting on him. We were referred to him for a local help."
That one called that agent. "Ten minutes."
"That's fine. We can hold them down for that long." He walked off. "Boss, ten minutes."
"Thank you. There's only four. Look for any other members."
McGee pointed. "I'm watching him, boss. He's calling someone to report in." O'Neill pointed and his people got that person down.
"General, found his ID," one called, walking it over. He looked at Gibbs. "Many of them?" He showed him the US Army Rangers ID.
"From what we heard, yup," McGee said. "Mostly."
"I'm better than they are," he said. "It'll be good to handle that sort of disgrace to their uniforms." He went back to haul up that agent and bring him back to the others. "A pretty package, General."
"Thank you, Mitchell." Another agent showed up and stomped over. "Epps?" He nodded once. McGee handed over the notes they had made from hacking on the way out there. Jack looked at him, smirking some. "Hacked?"
"Necessary but yes. As part of the investigation." He smiled slightly. "I'm Agent McGee, this is Agent DiNozzo, and that's Agent Gibbs, NCIS. We got informed of a problem out this way that had to have very strong stopping."
Epps read it, then grimaced. "I want to be sick."
"Me too," O'Neill said. "We got told so we could help them. My people won't flinch at anything up in Sunnydale."
Epps stared at him. "We hate that town and tend to ignore it exists."
"Is that why no one questioned anything about the battle at a recent graduation?" DiNozzo asked. "It's on film captured by the local ATF office but there was no investigation other than the film."
Epps blinked. "There was? We were told it was a gas explosion."
McGee pulled up the file he had saved down. "ATF tried to remove it when they found someone looking." He let Epps see it. "By the profiles I could find, that's the former Mayor. And that one," he said with a point. "Is the guy who came to get our help."
Epps finished watching it. "Hell no. David!" He came over. "Get someone to find me that file and file a real report on what happened." He let him see that file. "We might like to ignore it but not that much."
"Who had the film?" he asked the other agents.
"ATF." McGee smiled. "They tried to remove it once they found out someone had watched it."
"We heard it was a gas explosion. That figures with that town. Need us?" he asked the general.
"We have lots of friends but if you want to come help, go for it. The more the merrier this time."
"David, stay with Megan to start that. I'll bring Colby. He's recently discharged, General."
"That's fine." They looked around. "Let's gather and head. Before we bring more attention and news crews." They split up and headed toward that town. Someone tried to stop Gibbs but they ended up in the trunk of their sedan.
A young blonde girl met them on the campus. "Guys." They stared at her. "I'm here to help you."
"Miss Summers," McGee said, walking over. "We had a visit from your former back up," he finished more quietly. "Telling us how bad this really is. Also, he had a note about your mother being given the same serum that gave him the brain tumor." She went pale. "Agent Epps would probably be able to help you find an excellent doctor."
"It's my duty to deal with the bad among those that got captured. Then my mom's going to an ER in LA." She pushed her hair back, pulling it into a ponytail. "They've heard rumors that you're coming so my friend sleep spelled the base."
"Good," he agreed, smiling at her. "That will hopefully help and mean less trying to cover up things by killing others." She nodded, following him back. "Her duty is to handle bad things, boss."
"Abby said so." He stared at her. "You need to help your mother."
"You'll need me to get help for those who've been hurt," she said. "Then my mom and I are going to an ER in LA. The hospital here is horrible at keeping people alive when they have anything tiny happen to them. Much less worse things." She looked at the obvious military guys. "Why you?"
"Miss Summers, we deal with things from other areas that want to kill us all," O'Neill said. "I may not know your duty very well but I kind of have the same job."
"I guess that's fine. We don't really trust any of them. Well, I kind of trust Riley but not totally. He's, um, not exactly one of them anymore."
"We can work with that," Gibbs assured her. "How do we get in?"
"Two entries. Forest," she said with a point. "And we know one's on campus, we think at a frat house."
"McGee, take two soldiers and guard that exit," Gibbs ordered. "Be damned if I want any of them to get away with this." They found the forest entry and went in with Buffy's help. They came out to total silence. He looked at her.
"Willow helped," she said quietly. "They're napping."
"That's helpful," he agreed.
O'Neill gave some silent hand orders and his teams moved out to gather the problems and release any hostages. It took about five minutes before a light sleeper got up and tried to alert everyone. He got a gun butt to the head. Within an hour all the soldiers and scientists were gathered and cuffed. O'Neill was helping someone who was keening in pain.
Buffy looked around. "There's healers in town. I can run and get them."
"Mitchell, send someone to drive Summers," O'Neill ordered. "They're getting docs."
"Got it," he said, pointing at one. "You got the keys." He took Buffy back with him.
She gave him directions to the local demon healer's office, rushing inside. "The base was raided by people who want to end them. All the injured ones are up there and need help."
The demon nurse stared at her. "The military?"
"Stopped them," she said with a grin. "Xander told someone from being out of his body."
The nurse nodded. "We may not trust them."
"O'Neill came to help. He's a general."
"We know of him, Slayer. We trust that one. He is much like you only less sane and fashionable." She went to get the healers. "O'Neill is here freeing that base. They need healers." She called others and came out, going with Buffy and that soldier. The nurse would tell the local demon community in case it was a trap.
Buffy came back into the base with the healer. "O'Neill?" He waved her over.
The healer looked and whined. "I hope the Dark Ones eat them cell by cell for eternity for doing this." She called in more help. The soldiers there were helping them release victims.
Buffy pointed at one. "Not him yet. He's highly powerful and evil. I'd hate for him to attack any of the other victims." She stared at him. "Would you stay peaceful if we release you now?" He shook his head. "Then we'll release you before we go. They need and deserve to be healed before we have to deal with you."
"Slayer," it sneered.
"Yes and my people were working on getting them down when we heard about O'Neill."
The demon looked at him. "We have heard of you and your mission to rid the universe of evil. We respect that but you would still make a good toy."
"Not really. My ex-wife thought I sucked at it," O'Neill shot back. The demon backed down. He looked at Buffy. "How many are dangerous if released right now?"
"A few. Willow's on her way to help me with Giles. He's my...well, long story, ask him." She looked around. "We need to find the human sorcerer guy that Giles got pissed at and let Riley have for turning him into a demon."
O'Neill blinked at her. "That's not really ethical."
"No but Giles was messed up after being a Fyral for a day." She looked around. "Middle aged British guy?" she called. One of the soldiers pointed. She jogged over to look and released that one. "Go," she told him. "I know you're a Watcher, go." He stomped off, letting the soldiers get him to a medic. She found Ethan and released his cage forcefield, staring at him. "Giles is probably really sorry but can you two fight after we clean up this mess?"
Ethan sneered at her. "He'll be paying."
"He's already paying, Ethan." She helped him up. "And he's on his way here but we need his help to get all these victims home. Can you two fight later? Because I don't want to have to witness it. I'll help him when he's in traction." Ethan stared at her. "Giles was messed up by his day of being demony," she said quietly. "It's not an excuse but please beat him later?"
"I can do that, chit. Thank you for the rescue."
"Thank Xander. He's in the hospital with a brain tumor these guys gave him." She choked back a sob, shaking her head. "There's time for that later." He stared down at her. "Apparently they were getting my mom too."
"I hope she gets treated. It's a serum they slipped into a drink. They were telling me about it before they tried to dose me but my magic rejected it."
"Thank you for that. Go. Be safe." He nodded, letting a soldier escort him out to a medic and then let him disappear before he and Giles came to blows. He needed to be stronger for that.
Buffy looked at the soldier with her. "He used to play magical games with Giles in the bad old days." She walked off, releasing more harmless, minimally injured demons. "There's healers by the infirmary, people. We got Healer Martkit from town to come help us free you." They stumbled that way with help. "How many more halls?" she asked the soldier.
"Ten and these are the least injured. We warned the healers and one already went down there. Most of them are too injured to put up a threat even if they're evil like that one."
"Okay. Let me know if I have to go defend a healer. I only hunt the bad ones and this is super wrong on a scale I can't even make up." She got another demon out and to the healers. More helpers from the local community came in with Willow. "Willow." She gave her a hug. "Giles. We already released Ethan. He's getting healed and then headed home. You two can talk about all this later." She walked off. A few of the demons were so bad it made her start to cry. She still got them helped and sent to safety with the healers.
It was her duty to protect the peaceful ones and the humans.
O'Neill came out with the last of the hostages, nodding at the agents waiting there. "Let the healers head home. They need to rest." One of the agents pulled up a gun and O'Neill shot him in the thigh for it. "I said let the healers go rest."
Epps stomped out and got into the lead agent's face. "I'll be damned if the government or the FBI or the ATF is going to condone torture. Especially not on this scale. If you don't like it, move to somewhere they like that."
"We were told to ignore it."
"I wasn't and I don't take orders like that. I'm not a Nazi." The agent stepped away from him. "You'd better bring someone bigger and badder than you are, Stipling. I'll have you arrested with the ones who did this." He waved and his team came forward to arrest those agents. Including the ATF's bureau director for LA. He found his boss waiting on the campus. "Sir, are we taking you with these hopefully former agents?"
"No. I'm here to see how much more support we need. Megan showed me what was going on. They hacked into the local security cameras."
"We know the ATF ignored a battle at that graduation, sir. They had film from it and agreed it was a gas explosion," Colby Granger said as he joined his team leader. Don was in a fiery bitch mood right now and needed backed up. "We came in with NCIS and some military people under the command of a general."
The FBI supervising agent stared over then at him. "I've heard the President was mad it got busted but we don't condone torture and I told him that when he tried to get me to stop all of you." He saw the blonde girl go jogging past. "She looks familiar."
"It's her duty to handle the bad ones. We saved her from having to take down this group with her helpers," Epps told him. "She's taking her mother to an ER because we found evidence that this group was giving her something that was causing brain tumors. She wasn't the first." His supervising agent winced. "So she's taking her to get help. She's already got one helper in a coma from his, sir."
"Wonderful. Can it be fixed?" Epps shrugged. "Does she have the information on it?" He nodded. "The full file?" He nodded again. "Good, she should share it before someone tries to shut everything up."
"I can suggest the President commit suicide if he liked this thing," O'Neill said with a smug look. "I'm on an eyes-only project." He walked off. "Boys, let's disappear once everyone's in Gibbs' custody. We need to see if anyone's into this on our own project."
"Permission to beat them to death if they are?" Mitchell asked with a smile. "Because if they do this and knew this was what was going on, they deserve it."
"As long as they can stand trial," O'Neill said, turning back to Epps. "Gibbs said he's taking lead in the arrests so he has to do more paperwork."
"Not like we'll be sleeping for weeks," DiNozzo said as he walked someone past them in cuffs. "I see many nights getting drunk to forget that in my future."
The supervising agent blinked then looked at Epps. "That is Gibbs' second-in-command," he said quietly. Epps pointed at where Gibbs was yelling at one of the soldiers. "Oh, that is him. His director's having a fit."
"Maybe they and the president can share a gun," Epps said, walking off. "Let me go help, sir."
"Rest, Epps. I brought up agents to help with the arrests." He pointed and his people moved to help Gibbs. He called his boss. "Sir, that project is ended. Arrested. The victims are being helped. One's on her way to talk to a doctor about the brain tumor the group gave her. We have over three hundred people being arrested by ours and NCIS, sir. Yes, you can tell them that. Gibbs just looks sickened, sir, and DiNozzo said he'd never sleep again. Yes, sir, I saw a few of the victims being removed and I've never seen such horrible injuries even on mostly fully burned bodies. Exactly, sir. You can ask. Gibbs!" He looked over. "Director of the FBI wants a verbal report." Gibbs came over to get the phone, walking off talking to him. He looked at Epps. "If something backlashes, you tell me," he said quietly. "Be damned if I want this to happen." Epps nodded, walking off to help.
Xander smiled at the good work that had happened. He looked at the nurse who he knew could see him. "Buffy's mom is coming in with the information on how they did it to us," he told her. She blinked then called someone. "She'll be in the ER in about forty minutes." He went to talk to someone else who needed his help. He blinked at the pretty, tired feeling city. "Huh, beautiful and deadly. If she was human I'd flirt." He patted a wall, making her shiver. He smiled at the staring soldiers. "Talk to O'Neill soon, dude," he told one of them. "You've got a problem person up here somewhere. He's been doing slightly stupid, evil things to the natives. And some fully evil things that should get him shoved into space for doing it." He looked at the new one appearing. "You need to go to the place where the rising sun is a mark on the gate." He looked up then frowned. "It's not on there."
"I know which glyph that is," another person said as he huffed over. "You're an ascended."
"More just out of my body. They can't really nag me about shit since I'm not one of them." He smiled. "Neither can the higher powers." He looked at the gate then scratched the wall to get some dust so he could draw in it. "Those three," he said, feeling himself being pulled. "Dangerous but they have that power thingy you need. And talk to O'Neill. You have an evil one up here on your staff. He's been busting them all night and getting way sick." He felt himself being pulled more. "Huh, they're trying to be nosy." He mumbled and the pulling feeling stopped but everyone apparently heard the screaming in rage.
He grinned. "I'm not the standard guy and they really hate magic." He smiled brightly. "I'm so going to pull Willow some day so she can talk to them about reality." He faded out then came back for a minute. "Don't forget to ask about the evil one. He's done things that should get him spaced." He disappeared, going to talk to a woman who could make a lot of difference. He settled beside her. "Shit sucks," he said. She blinked at him. "You have more to do than to stab yourself. People will someday depend on you. You won't want it, and it'll be long after you expect it to happen, but they will. You're too important for this."
"The Elders said I was evil."
"No, evil is the people who worship the wraith. The ones who give over people to them on purpose. Are you one of them?"
"Then you're not evil." They heard someone stomping toward them and he stared, smiling at the idiot Elder. "She's not evil. You're evil. You give people to the wraith for greed. That's evil. She's not. She has a great destiny." The man was staring in awe. "You're an asshole and should give yourself to the wraith to spare innocents." The man went running off screaming. "Go see people. The more peoples you know the better it'll be when you're an older woman. Stupid things that give you notice is for the young. That makes you a better leader when you're older. Just survive." He patted her on the arm. "Go, be safe." She got up and ran off away from the village. Xander faded out, going to make all the babies in the village scream - babies hated ascended ones. It would divert the idiots for a while.
Willow looked at the wish demon that appeared. "What?" she demanded. "I'm trying to be better."
"Someone asked for you to have a single wish today."
She blinked. "Why?"
"It's a long story, Willow. It started before the graduation battle."
Willow frowned. "Why? Is it that important?"
"Yes." She smiled. "That request meant that the Mayor couldn't destroy everyone with some of his spellwork. Before that was started, the Mayor destroyed the whole town down to dust while releasing a lot of higher demons."
She shuddered. "So my wish now would work to seal that?"
"That's sealed. That was the price they asked for to stop that destruction."
"It was Xander, wasn't it?" she demanded. Halfrek stared at her. "How dare he!"
"He saved everyone, Rosenburg," she said bluntly. "By letting that tumor take him." She slumped. "He had been protected. He and a few others survived the destruction that went on for twenty-eight miles around the hellmouth." Willow whined, staring at her. Buffy walked in. "How's your mother?"
"They've removed it and they think they've countered it. We won't know for weeks." She sat down. "You're like Anya."
"I'm Halfrek, over Lost Childhoods, Slayer." She smiled. "The price to stop the massive destruction that would have happened during your graduation was giving Rosenburg a wish today."
Halfrek walked over to the magic books and pulled one down, putting it onto the table and opening it to the right spell. "This was cast six months before the battle. Though he did it wrong. He had assumed taking blood from Faith after he spelled her was good enough and she wasn't pure." She let Willow see it. "His letting go of his protections and casting the wish to stop the Mayor's other spells, plus giving this one a wish today, was the price he asked for saving all those other people."
Buffy sighed. "That sounds like Xander." She looked at Willow then at the vengeance demon. "Will he ever be okay?"
"No. Your mother's balanced right now. She has an equal change either way." Buffy slumped but nodded. "That was one of the first things he warned about. He warned people when he was getting you help to bust that base. It was something we asked of him but he would've done it without being asked."
"Yeah, he was a helpful dork that way," she agreed. "How many others got that stuff?" Buffy asked her.
"Not that many. A few of their soldiers and a few others. They're doing some pretty experimental stuff on your mother so she has a good chance, but no one can tell right now. His is too far along to have the same treatments. Most of the others who got given that have already died."
She and Buffy shared a look. Buffy shrugged. "Then I wish that Xander would survive at his healthiest so he could find a soulmate sort that would take care of him and protect him. He really needs someone like a soulmate sort who will adore him and protect him."
"That would mean he definitely couldn't come back here," Halfrek warned.
Willow stared at her. "He deserves to be happy. Hunting won't do that."
"Besides, he'll probably need physical therapy to get back to full Xander form," Buffy said. "The docs said that Mom might for all the time she'll be in the hospital."
"Good point. Sure, I can do that. Wish granted." She felt something going on and looked up, mouth open in awe. She stared at Willow. "You turned on soulmates."
Willow looked confused. "Is that bad? I'm trying not to be bad with my magic."
"No. Not necessarily." She went to tell D'Hoffryn that. "We were both wrong. She didn't make a wish for vampires to disappear from the earth or most demon species. Slayer Summers reminded her of her friend so she wished health and happiness on him with a soulmate sort."
"Is that the surge of magic I felt?"
"Yes. Somehow it turned on soulmates for others. She stressed he needed a soulmate sort to make him happy and protect him."
"I'm sure they would but I don't think he's got one." He pulled up Harris' aura reading, staring at it. "No, he's not linked to anyone."
"Is that because he hasn't met them yet?"
"Probably. Hopefully. The wish would warp if it's impossible." He checked. "There's many that it could be but he's talked to some of them. It should have still linked to him even in his ghostly state."
"He wasn't a ghost, he was a living spirit but not quite ascended. It's how he got around all the restrictions on ascended not interfering."
"Only Harris," D'Hoffryn complained. He looked at other nearby realms' Xanders to see who they were linked with. Most of the gave him a headache. "Could the boy be gay?"
"Never asked him," she admitted. She looked over his arm into the scrying pool. "He talked to that one and the other two it shows." Her boss huffed off to consider things. She scried other nearby realms but the boy had talked to most of them. "Of course, ours has to be the hardest job ever." She found a few possibles, looking at their lives. That was going to suck huge.
Xander appeared, smiling at her. "I actually expected her to wish all the demons away."
"Us too," Halfrek said. "Why are you still out of your body?"
"Not like they've fixed the tumor." He smiled. "It won't be fixed until the wish is fully enacted." She groaned. "But anyway. I'm not into settling down yet. And really, I think we need to move to a slightly higher issue." He swirled his hand through the fountain and made another thing appear. "I think we can move around this one."
She watched, then moaned. "How?"
"Welll....." He grinned. "It'll happen." He winked and disappeared. His first target he had already met. He pulled him out of his body, waving at Gibbs before they both disappeared. "I'm fixing another huge problem coming up." He pointed around. "What you see you'll never forget." He looked under their feet. "The web connects you to all the people you'll ever be connected with."
"Why tell me this?" Tony DiNozzo asked.
"Because there's a lot of shit coming up and some needs to be warned about and some needs to be handled. You can't change everything but you can at least prepare yourself."
"I don't want this gift."
"Yeah but this time you need to have it because if not, worse things will happen. This way you can find a way to prevent a lot of problems. Like when O'Neill's people come out of the closet." He pointed at that section. "That has you in a riot. Unintentionally but in a riot. Do you want that collapsed lung and three gunshots or would you rather know that they're coming out and you can help by subtly releasing a bit of pressure on that?"
"How would I do that?"
"What we're technically doing is called ascending. A lot of things have happened due to others who have fully done this screwing up the universe in ancient history." He pointed at one point. "Letting others know what it's like about there could help ease some of the stress and shouting. So much future shouting."
"Can I change that?"
"You can ease it. You'd be like a bit of WD-40 applied. The same as I will be. Also, it'll give you a network of people you know you can trust when horrible things happen. Like if a teammate dies."
Tony stared then looked around, losing all his breath at one point that was shown. "Oh, God." He closed his eyes. "How?"
"Touch it." Tony did and let it go while shaking. "I don't know if you can change that. You may be able to change it. You may not be able to. He could find out and change his plans totally. It's up to you how you use this knowledge. Like the knowledge that some day you'll have a family." He shrugged. "Do you want that knowledge and of who, why, all that?"
"No. If it'll happen yes, how, no." Tony looked around, staring at a few things. "Gibbs gets what?"
Xander looked then pointed. "That one?" Tony nodded. "Head injury."
"Oh, great." He looked at a few then at Xander. "This is mean and evil to me."
"If someone who has morals doesn't get added and help, then we'll be screwed as a humanity. His project is going to bust open at the seams after an attack on the earth."
"He does what?" Tony demanded. Xander showed him. "Oh my fucking God," he muttered. "Wow." Tony ran a hand through his hair. "Yeah, there's going to be a lot of screaming. And this really does look familiar."
Xander grinned. "You had the plague. You drifted here somewhat during that. It's easier to ascend when you're out of your body. I'm out of my body due to the medical coma. You got to do the same thing then."
Tony looked at him. "How many others are you visiting?"
"At least four more. Two have been here before. Two haven't fully gotten here but nearly did." He shifted his stance. "I figure that when they get blown open by that attack, demons will too. Double the screaming from the religious sort who're going to try to destroy everyone. The lube from people who do help humanity will stop some of that hatred coming out on innocents. Because some of them will be trying to take out Jack O'Neill's people by bombing them."
"That way they can't spread anything," Tony agreed. "All right, I can accept that. How do I know if I can change things?"
"You work at it." He shrugged. "I don't have all the answers, just some of them."
"Yeah, I get that. It's a good plan." He looked at him. "If I find one that can probably do that?"
"You'll know how to pull them out and you can pull yourself out for a bit. It'll make being tortured a bit easier."
"I get tortured?"
"Yeah." He nodded. "Sorry."
"No, forewarned is armed against it." He sighed. "Thanks, Xander."
"Welcome." He grinned. "Also, a huge wish got enacted that will someday soon bring up soulmate connections among humanity." He smirked. "She tried to give me one and I don't have one so it spread." He brought Tony back. "Climb back in. Like backflopping into your own body." Tony did that and woke up shaking his head. Xander disappeared to go talk to a few others. One was slightly injured so he could talk to him easier.
Tony looked at the others. "Xander." Gibbs scowled. "He foresaw a future huge issue and I'm some lube to ease it past." He sat up with a sigh. "We gotta talk, Boss."
"Fine. Now? You all right?"
"I'm good. Feel like I had a nap." He got helped off the floor by Ducky and looked at him. "You should probably hear too. Let's go use your office, Ducky." He walked that way with a stop for coffee. Ducky only had tea down there. Gibbs would need a coffee refill too. Tony poured it for him and then hiked off down the stairs. He flopped down, letting Gibbs set up the signal blocker and Ducky sat behind his desk. "First, Xander's still out of his body. Someone tried to make a wish but it hasn't been enacted yet. One of the huge problems coming up is his. She tried to wish him to have a soulmate. He doesn't have one. He said the wish is going to spread to everyone." He sipped his coffee while Ducky moaned. "We also talked about how when O'Neill's people come out of the closet, there's going to be multiple screamings, riots, attacks, and other issues. He said I'd be trapped in one riot and end up with a collapsed lung and three gunshot wounds."
Gibbs stared at him. "That's bad. I don't have a clue what he does."
"I do," Ducky said. "The screaming from the religious sorts will know no end."
Tony nodded. "Yeah, and it looks like it'll come out after an attack."
"Oh, dear," Ducky sighed. He looked at Gibbs. "Jethro, it will be worse than many wars have been. Actually it's a few wars that're going to come out." He looked at Tony. "Any other good news?" he asked sarcastically.
"Yeah. There's a terrorist who's going to shoot Kate."
Gibbs stiffened. "Excuse me?"
Tony put down his cup and took Gibbs' to put down too. "Xander wasn't sure if I could mitigate it or change it any. It's wrapped up in our future new director and a few other issues." He stared at him. "We were on a scene and she got shot in the head, Gibbs. We were all around her."
"Did we kill the asshole?"
"Yeah, he got shot but not by someone who was officially on the team."
Gibbs swallowed but nodded. "Can we change it?"
"I can sure try but if he hears he could change his plans. Or he could change targets. Since I saw him taking Ducky and Palmer hostage once...."
Gibbs took his coffee to gulp to calm down his nausea. "That's something I wanted to know. Anything else?"
"Some day I'll have a kid. I didn't look at that. I didn't look at too many things. Me being partially ascended means that I can help control some of the screaming that's going to start some year soon."
"Because you're not on that project and you're the sort that people can stare at while saying you're a good boy," Ducky said. Tony nodded. "That may help," he agreed. "It would give external points of reference to their experiences."
"Also, I was nearly there when I had the plague but I was a bit too attached to my body. That's why it was easier for him to grab me for that."
"Plenty of people a year probably reach that state," Gibbs said. "Why specifically you?"
"Because I'm a federal agent who's not attached to O'Neill. I'm like an outside source to a scandal, Gibbs. The military won't let their people talk and that'll cause more stress."
"So you'd be one they could talk to about that," Gibbs finished. Tony nodded. "Which will probably reduce some of the yelling about that subject."
"Probably some attacks on them too," Ducky agreed. Tony nodded. "Are there others?"
"He was thinking about four of them. Oh, that soulmate thing? It'll come out as patterns on your body somewhere. You match patterns."
"So a matching tattoo that proves the universe is setting you up," Gibbs said dryly. "That's going to cause some hell."
"Willow Rosenburg's wish to heal his brain tumor included him having a protective soulmate sort," Tony quipped with a grin. "Xander said he doesn't have one. So it'll spread."
"Just great," Gibbs muttered.
"Compatible doesn't mean true love," Ducky said. "Though I can see divorces and other problems when that starts." Tony nodded. "I foresee many years of strife over those."
"And some will have more than one," Tony quipped, grinning at him. "The one I saw was someone talking about a guy in Africa who had three marks and only one was from one of his wives."
"I suppose certain religious groups will enjoy that," Ducky snorted, shaking his head. "Others will scream even more about that part."
"I can just see one of my ex-wives showing back up to look at my mark," Gibbs complained. He finished his coffee. "Any other huge ideas?"
"Some day I'll have a kid."
"Good. Maybe you'll quit goofing around so often in the office."
Tony looked at him. "Gibbs, I get a kid, and I'm leaving before I get killed in the line of duty. You can't raise a kid with a perpetual concussion and gunshot wounds." Gibbs moaned. "But it was in a lot of years."
"Good. Let me know when you do and I'll help you fill out the retirement paperwork so you can change somewhere more sane."
"Gladly." He looked at Ducky, who smiled at him. "All right, that's all I remember. Let me know if you hear about it starting first, guys." They nodded. "Let me get back to work." He left them to talk. Gibbs would need the calming down talk from Ducky.
Xander surveyed his other choices and decided against one. He was presently in a good place to be drawn out but doing this while he was captured by enemy forces...probably not the best time. He'd come back to him. He went to talk to his next choice. Who was upset. He was angry and sad and Xander didn't blame him. He appeared in front of him, staring down at the guy staring back at him. "It sucks. I imagine being divorced sucks a lot."
"You've been here?" he asked dryly, staring at the ghostly figure.
"No. The last one I dated was a former vengeance demon. You saw some of her work while you were on patrol. She did that guy with the intestines...." The guy held up a hand and shook his head with a sigh. "I'm not here about that. As sad as it is, you can always follow her when she remarries."
"She will be?" he asked impatiently.
"Yeah but he'll be good to your daughter. It won't be *easy* but it'll be good enough and you'll be there."
"How do you know and why did you come?"
"Unfortunately it's a huge problem coming in about two or three years and we need people who can take the attention from a group of military people saving all our asses."
"And that has to do with me how?" he demanded, sitting up.
Xander waved a hand. "C'mon, I'll show you." Danny stared at him, shaking his head. Xander leaned over and grabbed his arm, hauling him with him. "This is not quite the astral plane but this is where people who have visions get hit." He stared at him. "These guys," he said with a point at a picture of Jack O'Neill. "They're saving all our asses from things that I couldn't even read in comic books."
"Great. Why me again?"
"Because their good deeds are going to start off *huge* screaming by *everyone." Xander grinned. "But if others know they can point out that it's not evil. Also, there's a huge problem coming in a few years and you'll be safe where you're going to follow your daughter but the rest of the US is pretty well boned. My group solved a problem and that'll take out a future problem, but that one would've led to a hugely big issue that would've given us the people to fight that last bad thing." Danny looked confused and was shaking his head again so Xander pointed.
"Touch there." Danny huffed but touched that and flinched, backing away. "My group, I used to help backup the blonde." He looked at him again. "Then I got a brain tumor thanks to a group of unethical douchebags in the Army. All this will take out the problem that would lead to more like the blonde lady so they could fight that easier. Instead, we'll have to rely on others who have no idea and will get mad." He looked at him. "You'll be safe. Grace will be safe," he said quietly. "Because you'll be there," he said with a point at one portal. Danny squatted down to touch that and ended up smiling.
"I was going to talk to that guy first but he's kinda busy right now doing good things in a painful way. He's about to be rescued though." He shifted, blinking at the older man. "When those things happen, someone's going to scream. O'Neill's things are going to make them scream even worse. We're talking the whole world screaming and arguing about evil and military things and huge amounts of screaming. And that's about when the soulmate thing will start to happen thanks to a friend's wish." He grinned at him. "By the way, it's a tattoo looking mark. They'll match your mate."
"Because Willow's wish I gifted her with was to heal me and give me a protective soulmate sort. And I don't have one. So it got spread to the rest of humanity while searching for mine." He shrugged but grinned. "It might make some things easier but religious sorts are going to have seizures about all that and him and all this."
"Faulty thinking point. They'll come after me and my kid."
"They won't. You'll be where one of the few that's done this without help is. He's a bishop. He got there about the same way I have, by being in a coma." He gave him a pointed look. "He can tell others some of this and you and others who have traveled here, naturally and not, can back him up. Which will mean humanity won't die because some religious nut blows up the general's people. Which would mean no one was there to protect us all when the shit gets hard."
"Jesus. Just...fucking Jesus, kid." He stared at him. "I'd rather not have to endanger myself and others with this."
Xander nodded. "But you can also tell people before the invasion happens how to help," he said slowly and clearly. "Because a cop saying that a multinational law firm is evil will get someone listening to them. Agents even, who might get to stop them from doing the sacrifices to open that portal to the people eating demons. Thereby saving LA and the rest of the US."
Danny rubbed his head. "Yeah, I can see that. Can we look at them now?"
"They might take you out. They've killed seven judges this year, and about a dozen jury members." Danny stared at him oddly. "Some of the senior people in the LA office and a few foreign nationals are going to be part of the Black Thorn group. They're the ones doing that. The law firm doesn't really care about their lower members. They sign soul contracts, the same as they're in every other agreement Wolfram and Hart put out." Danny stiffened, staring at him. "Who?"
"My ex. That's who she hired to do her divorce."
Xander winced. "Talk to Black, Brown, and Red. It's a law firm on the other side. They're fairly honest. Will she believe?"
"I'll have her read the contract. She's not stupid, she can do that."
"Okay. I hope you get her safe. There's a good thing though. They can't use her as a sacrifice. That soul contract prevents her from being ritually killed."
"Yeah, that's something."
"I gotta find a happy point or else I spend my time wandering around depressed." Danny nodded at that, staring at him. "Seriously. I'm out of my body until they cure that brain tumor I got given."
"Anyone investigate that?"
Xander grinned. "I told O'Neill about their other evil shit. They showed up to stomp them. Hard. Very, very hard." Danny shivered. "The righteous and necessary ass kicking was beautiful. Him, NCIS, an FBI agent in LA I can't touch or else I'd tell him about that law firm and the invasion..."
"Can I tell 'im?"
"I'm not sure if he'd believe you. You can try."
"I'll make it subtle." He looked at all the portals. "That's my daughter, but she's older."
Xander looked then at him. "That's her prom. I don't know why that's a portal." Danny walked over to touch it and grimaced but looked pleased. "She okay?"
"Yeah, she kicked ass better than I can."
"Girls are strong that way," Xander quipped. "Buffy sure is."
Danny looked at him. "So you're going to let others in on this big conspiracy?"
"Yeah, a few others. That'll help in a lot of places. One you'll know. You'll get to work with him."
"Why no women?"
"They're more tied to their bodies. That whole uterus thing really stops them from ascending. Which we technically aren't. That comes after death and all that." He shrugged. "Those assholes have *rules* that no one can interfere. But hey, I'm not dead yet so they can't get to me as more than nagging and the queen of nagging bitches I grew up with." He took Danny back to his body. "Fall back into it." Danny did and moaned as he woke up. "You can get back there if you want. It'll take some meditation things."
"Not sure I'd want to," Danny admitted.
"It can help when you're being tortured."
"I didn't see that."
"I'm not sure if that's you or the other guy." He grinned. "Be happy. You're a good dad and she understands that. Even if she thinks things are weird and wrong and hard. Just be chill about her. She has your temper and her mom's sense."
Danny grinned. "Yeah, I've noticed." He stared at him. "How long for you?"
"No clue," Xander admitted. "Sometime this year maybe. Maybe next year. Not real sure." He shrugged and grinned, fading out. "Thanks for the asking. Have a happy life."
"Yeah, you too, kid." He made notes on what he saw and sealed them, putting them into his gun safe with a letter for his ex-wife. He did not want his daughter anywhere near LA at any time in her life. That invasion thing might be a few years away but still, not into that stuff and his daughter should be safe.
Xander looked at his last guy, finally. It had been a few weeks. The guy woke up to him being yanked out of his body. "I would've appeared a few weeks back but it'll make your body pass out and I didn't think you wanted that to happen in front of the terrorists who had you hostage."
"No, not really. Who're you?"
"I'm Xander." He grinned, waving a hand around. "You're a method of saving lives later. Because stupid shit that's going to start mass screaming and ranting will get some *good* military people blown up."
"Most military people are good." He knew he was scowling but it was a common misconception at times.
"My town had a project that had to be shut down and higher ups all the way to the white house had to hide from it. They were torturing beings just to find out how they were put together and what they could do." Steve blinked, shaking his head. "Yeah. I had to get the group that you'll be helping save later to stop them. They had killed over three thousand beings by torture. Under my hometown's college. They're the reason I'm out of my body and helping grease some future problems. They gave me a brain tumor."
Steve coughed, holding his side. He looked down. "It doesn't hurt."
"Your spirit self doesn't have ribs, Steve." He grinned. "This isn't quite the astral plane. This is where you go when you meditate and get out of your body. Like if you're tortured again. Takes some meditation and willpower."
"Good to know. Why are we here?"
"Three things. Introducing you to someone else who I had to tell. To a future problem. And to the problem that will end up screwing most of the US because us taking out that problem that way meant that a later problem didn't happen, and that one would've led to a lot of destruction but a group that could've fought when LA gets invaded by another plane of people eating things." Steve blinked at him. Xander pointed. "That portal."
Steve looked and touched it, wincing at what he saw. "Damn it!"
Steve looked at him. "Those were demons. I've seen a few enclave areas in hiding."
"The blonde is the current slayer. Well, a slayer, the actual last slayer called is in a coma. She got spelled and turned slightly evil." He stared at him. "I backed up Buffy in Sunnydale until that group of Rangers and scientists started. In a few years, LA's going to be invaded by a law firm's senior members and a few others. That's their way of trying to take over the world. They can't get to Hawaii very easily though. But LA won't have enough fighters."
"I can gladly go help if I know when."
"Yeah, they'll probably call. They'll be calling the military group that helped my town too. They saved the universe a few times. And one scientist blew up a solar system but it saved the earth." Steve blinked. He grinned back. "The general is really great. He stomped on those idiots in my town so hard even the president nearly committed suicide for that shit."
"Damn." He rubbed his forehead. "I've heard rumors."
"They gave me a brain tumor and a few others too. They tortured a lot of beings. Buffy and I are not against anything peaceful. She went in with the general to help him and got healers for the victims that were still alive," Xander said quietly, moving closer. "But they're going to be blown open soon after someone attacks us all. Then people are going to scream. You being you and being here means that you can go 'hey, not evil'," he said with a wave and a grin. "And help protect them. They're important."
Steve nodded. "Yeah, I can do that, kid."
"I'm Xander." He smiled. "I'll be like this for at least the rest of this year probably."
"What about if you get out of there?"
"Well, I get to ignore the soulmate thing Willow's wish created," he said dryly. He took him back to his body. "Fall back into it." Steve did and woke up with a wince, holding his side. "If I was fully ascended I could heal those but doing that would mean higher beings could try to rule me and would try to keep me from helping anyone." He waved, going to check on his body. The nurse gave him an odd look. "I was off helping problems, Nurse Patty."
"They were thinking you were dying."
Xander looked at himself then shook his head. "No. The thing in my lung is a blood clot, not another tumor." He grimaced. "If I find those army idiots are out and about I'm going to kill them all."
"We heard about how you and Mrs. Summers got hers," she said quietly, coming in there. "Her treatment didn't work on yours."
"I know. It's too advanced. I heard." He looked at himself then at her. "Willow's wish won't be enacted soon because they're arguing over the second clause of it. It'd start soulmates in the world. You can find them by the matching tattoo like marks." He grinned at her arm. "Like that one."
She looked and moaned. "Oh, hell."
"As someone said, compatible isn't the same as love."
"Yeah, I get that, kid. Hang around here more often, all right? They're moving me off this floor soon." Xander hugged her and settled in to watch tv. She went to make more private notes in his file. A few doctors had seen Xander wandering around the hospital to visit with the Summers women. They'd understand.
Xander looked at the healing demon who appeared in his room, smiling at him. "Hey."
"Knight," he said. "A wish demon asked that I intervene for the services you've done to us."
"Thank you. The military jackholes gave me brain cancer. The same as they did to Buffy's mom."
The healer demon winced. "Why?"
"Because they knew we'd bust them. As soon as I got out of my body and saw what was going on, I *so* went and told O'Neill."
"We wondered how he heard," the demon said quietly. "One here will have fits."
"She'll consider it a religious miracle since she's been praying over me. And spraying me with holy water."
The demon smiled. "That could be. What else called me here?"
"You saw graduation?" The demon shuddered but nodded. "I made a wish to stop a lot of his earlier spell work that stopped him opening the Deeper Well at the same time. It saved twenty-eight miles of people. And I knew I'd give up the protections that would have let me live through it, and land me here, but it saved them. Part of the price was Rosenburg's wish that brought soulmates."
The demon glared. "We do not like that."
"I thought she'd wish all the vampires off the hellmouth," he said dryly. "Or something to help Buffy. Hell, I was pretty sure she would've ignored I ever existed the way she did others who died." He gave him a pointed look. "That was her thing. Buffy prompted her to remember me and her mom."
"Oh, dear. We are vowed to stop whoever did that."
"You do that and we'll definitely lose when Black Thorn has LA invaded by people eaters in a few years."
The demon moaned. "I will tell others." He took the tumor out and healed the injuries. "Someone stabbed you in the side."
"Yeah, that was also that religious nut." Xander got up and climbed back into his body, waking it up. He blinked at the demon. "Thank you," he said quietly. The demon nodded and disappeared. Xander laid there, regaining his strength. Maybe he'd leave the area before the vampires came for him. Angel was in town and was in a hell of a problem. Though he had Cordelia with him and that was ample punishment in his mind. The nurse that liked to pray over him came in and he blinked at her. "Thank you anyway." She shrieked and ran out. He sat up, holding his side when the doctor stomped in. "Can you not let her get near me to stab me again?" he asked, pointing at his side. "I was out of my body so I was sitting here watching my tv. The news really, seriously sucks. And that brunette everyone was wondering about is my ex-girlfriend Cordelia."
The doctor stared at him. "Do you know who you are?"
"Alexander Lavelle Harris," he said bluntly. "It's the fifth of May. I've been in this bed now for a year and ten months." The doctor shivered. "Like I said, out of my body and sitting here watching my tv. It's kinda boring." He changed the channel. "That news lady on the eleven-o-clock is hideous and horribly biased against poor people." He blinked at the doctor. "Can we get me an antibiotic for the stab wound?"
"I..." He came closer to look at it. "You could use one, Mr. Harris." He stepped back. "I don't know what to do about this."
Xander grinned. "Doc, I'm almost twenty. I'm not that scary. Really. Just keep that one away from me please?"
"Nurse Patty," that nurse sneered.
"Yeah, she could see me. She was really nice and changed channels for me now and then when I got bored. It meant I got cartoon network until you got up here." She shrieked and came at him. He rolled off the bed, letting her hit it. "I don't think you should do that to a patient."
"God saved you and you're profaning him!" she shouted.
Xander stared at her. "Wow. Wrong but wow." He looked at the doctor. The guy got security to remove her. "I don't mind the nurses or anyone else. But her. Please?"
"I can see that with her recent attitude. We need to scan you."
"Okay. Please. That way I know if the brain tumor's going to come back." He looked at the doctor's hand. "Huh. That new soulmate mark." He pointed at it. "I heard someone say that they matched patterns."
The doctor rubbed it. "People have been wondering."
"Not my doing, Doc." He grinned. "I just overheard."
"That's fine I suppose. Let's get a CT tonight. It'll be the fastest done. I'll get you an antibiotic too."
"Thank you. I love all the nurses up here who have helped me. And I'm sorry if I sleep farted in front of them."
The doctor smiled. "You wouldn't have been the first, Mr. Harris." He made a note and went to order the tests and the antibiotic. The nurse was screaming and ranting into her phone. She got taken by security again. He looked at the other nurse. "He was out of his body," he said quietly.
"We noticed a few odd things. Channels would change. Some nutrient shakes would get rejected and the tube crimped."
Xander leaned out with a grin. "That red one gave me horrible heartburn. Sorry if I made you more work, Nurse Rachel."
"No, Mr. Harris, it wasn't too much more work." He grinned. "We quit trying to give those to you after a while. What was the purple one's problem that time?"
"It was rancid."
"Ah!" She smiled. "Be a good boy." He went back to bed. She smiled at the doctor. "He seems very nice."
"He apologized if he sleep farted."
She giggled. "Most good boys would." She went in to do his vitals check and went with him to the CT then brought him back. He did try very hard not to make her any extra work. It was nice of him.
Xander looked up as someone walked in, nodding at them. "Do I know you?"
"Sir, we were told to bring you in for questioning about interfering with a military project."
"Jackass, that same project gave me the brain tumor I've been in a coma with for the last damn year and ten months. Fuck you." The military guy flinched and blinked at him. "Nurse Patty, I'm about to go on a swearing rant," he called. "Sorry." He got up and closed the door then faced him. "If I had been in my body I would've helped the ones that took down that project, Major. I would've bombed them back so hard even the cavemen would've wondered at their backwards natures. Bluntly, if the military in this country wants to torture people that way, they can go through me next time. Because I'll be damned and I did spy on people who build bombs. Now, do you still need a statement?"
"Sir, what torturing group?" he asked calmly. "I'm here because you appeared to Doctor Jackson."
"Yeah, that's how I told O'Neill about that torturing group that gave me the brain tumor. Is someone actually going to yell about that being solved?"
"I...I hope not. What happened then?"
"What did O'Neill tell you or report?"
"Yeah. Of course it is." Xander grinned. "I found a group of Rangers and assorted science bad ideas under my town's UC branch. They were torturing beings. Had killed over three thousand of them with torture." The Major shuddered. "I'll be damned if I let that go on. So I talked to Jackson because his spike on the astral plane showed he could handle it and knew others who could help him. I pulled him up to show him. He showed his general buddy. I showed someone else to get him some help that could do the formal arrests. Then I stood there and cheered while holding some of them alive as the general and his buddies took down the base so hard it should've just fallen into dust."
The Major stared at him. "The US military..."
"Riley Finn is one I know was there. My female friend was dating him," he said dryly. "My mentor gave an enemy to them because he was having an unethical moment." The Major looked up that name and stared then let him see it. Xander took the tablet to type a passcode into it and handed it back. "We kinda all agreed the president should've committed suicide for authorizing it."
The Major licked his lips and stared at him. "Thank you for getting them help."
"I helped Summers handle the bad ones. We protect the peaceful, the weak, the helpless, and the ones being picked on. I'll be damned if they restart it in Virginia and Texas like they have. Though I hope they really like rattlesnakes in Texas," he said with a smug grin. "They have a lot of them down there around that base."
"I'll let people know when we go in to bust them." He made that note and looked at him. "You were here."
"I was out of my body. They put me into a medical coma to try to treat the brain tumor those idiots gave me. Though I wasn't the only one."
"I... Understood. So you told others."
"You bet." He smiled. "Also, you might let that general know that he's going to have a press problem after an attack in about a year but others who have been on the astral plane can step up to ease some of it."
The Major winced. "Publicity?"
"Yeah. Sorry but yeah. And hey, it'll cause screaming and things but the invasion in LA in a few years will be worse."
The Major blinked at him. "Damn."
"Yup." He grinned. "Not their job, or even their sort of being, but yeah. And solving that problem that way led to us not having enough people who could help then because it took out a later battle." He shrugged. "I mitigated."
"Sure. I get that. I...we need to get you somewhere safer."
Xander stared at him. "Major, I'm usually able to protect myself. I may be a bit weak right now but not totally. Thank you though. Unless you want to give me money so I can buy a house somewhere safer?"
"Alaska," he joked weakly.
"No. After that invasion, they're going to have fire demons showing up. I don't really want to be there then. They're going to be protesting the way their lands have been mistreated." The Major winced. "Sorry but saw it on the astral plane."
"Fuck," he muttered, making that note. "All right. I'll go talk to the general for you."
"If you're talking about that other general, Landry, he had files from those assholes. They were using them on his base."
"Understood. When are you getting out?"
"Few days. Then I'll figure a few things out since I doubt I have a bank account anymore."
"Thank you, sir, and I'll be back tomorrow." He nodded and left, leaving the door open.
Xander leaned out. "I thought he wanted to talk about the idiots that I told someone about so they could break really hard," he told the staring nurse, and doctor as it turned out. "Being out of my body was really kinda handy. I saw a lot of things that are looking really nasty. Nurse Patty, maybe you should move out of LA in a few years? Please? We'd hate to miss you."
She swallowed. "I can do that. I love the midwest." He grinned and went back to his bed.
The doctor nodded. "It's not a bad idea. I could do a lot in Texas or somewhere." He made another note in the kid's chart and walked off considering things. He'd tell someone about the kid but that would bring crazy kooks out of the woodwork and his patient didn't need that. Even if he probably would need money to cover the bills.
Xander woke up that night, staring at the man who had snuck in. "I know who you are, Finn. I was out of my body and protected her a few times."
The man stared at him. "You're the one that told that general."
"You bet, Skippy." He sat up, staring at him. He noticed someone else in the room. "Your buddy should probably go too. You can't kill me. I'm not that easy." The other guy shot a dart at him and Xander blocked it with his pillow. "Really?" He stared at him. Then at Finn again. "Go."
"We need to talk, Harris."
"You did the same job."
"No, I helped handle things that were killing people. You didn't care if they were harmful, children, or anything. Even the Germans in the last world war would've hated what you did. So just go." The other soldier lunged at him and Xander hit him with that dart as he moved off the bed. He sighed, hitting the nurse call button. No answer. "Did you take out the nurse too?" he demanded.
"The other patients might need them."
"They'll be fine and this is the long term coma ward, kid. They don't need much," Finn said.
Xander nodded. "There's a lot of taking care of patients." He pointed. "Also, cameras." He grinned. "Say hi and wave?"
"We can block it."
"Sure, you do that." He stared at him. "It tapes." Finn glared. Xander stared back. Xander could hear someone outside sneaking. "Just go, Finn. You're not wanted here. You're not going to make me pay for telling on you. I'm not like you. You have nothing you can offer me that won't make me laugh in your face. So go." He pointed.
"Freeze," a guard said.
"They woke me up," Xander said, holding up his wrist with the ID bracelet. "That one got the dart he threw at me back." He stared at him, bending down to check him. "Sedative." He stepped back and sat on the window ledge, turning to close the window. "Are the nurses all right?"
"Knocked out, sir."
"I'm Harris." He grinned and waved. "I turned them in for being torturing fuckers."
"Were you part of their unit?"
"No. They're the ones that gave me the brain tumor." He looked at him. "Pity you were that proactive. I mean, I could've let the graduation thing stand." Finn backed up, eyes wide. He grinned. "I know, you were one of the ones who would've survived. Twenty eight miles of destruction. And you would've let it go on. So go. Now." He pointed again.
"We'll still talk, Harris."
"I'm sure you'll try." He stared at him. "I've seen worse than you. You don't impress anyone. Go." He waved a hand. "Now." Finn reached for his friend but the guard got in his way and slammed Finn into the wall. "He's a former Ranger."
"I'm still a Ranger. They won't take me out for following orders," he sneered.
"I'm sure they'll love the black eye your service would give them." Xander gave him a grim smile. "After all, you guys took film."
"The president blocked that."
Xander laughed. "And yet, I was in a coma, Finn. I didn't get that memo."
"They'll stop you. We have high level backers, Harris."
"Big whoop, Finn. They don't scare me either. I already accepted I could die from the tumor you guys gave me."
"I was more than happy to slip that into your drink," he sneered as he was led off.
"I'll tell my lawyer that," Xander said with a smile and a wave, getting a horrified look. "I'm just a guy from lower Cali. Of course I know what a lawyer is for. It's for winning the lottery." He grinned. The guard had to haul Finn off. Another few guards got the other guy. "He tried to hit me with the dart so I let it hit a pillow then I got him when he lunged at me," he said quietly. "Can you guys go get the nurses okay? Before a patient on the ward dies?" They nodded, calling in for an emergency team and nurses.
Xander settled at the desk, pointing at the board. "We have a red light," he called. "Room 2213." The nurse stared at him. He held up his ID bracelet. "I'm just helping, ma'am. I only woke up the other day. That red light's probably a problem though." She went to look and got help to adjust the air circulation machine. Xander looked at his doc. "The military showed up to nag me about turning in their fun torture experiment," he said quietly. "I can sit here and watch for red lights and answer the phone until you can get a nurse up here."
"Please. Don't look at anyone's files."
"I won't. I talked to a few of them." The doctor grimaced but nodded. Xander looked at one who was out of their body, shrugging some. "We can try again." The guy went to try to get back into his body. Xander got up to watch, pulling his IV on him and his breathing tube. A nurse yelled and came in but he stopped her and the guy woke up, coughing some. "He was out of his body like I was," he told her. "Something in his meds was keeping him out." She got free and checked him over. "He's not fully hooked in though. C'mon, Brad. Let's get up." Brad was losing consciousness again so Xander poked him on the leg stump. That woke him up. "Stay up and reconnect yourself. That wire, Brad." He pointed at it. "Or you'll go again." Brad grunted but concentrated and locked himself back in. Then he passed back out but he was going to survive without machines. Xander frowned. "He wanted to wake up a lot."
The doctor came in and pulled him back to his desk. "Next time, tell me."
"Brad's been out of the hospital for weeks, Doc. He just showed up. There's two others out of their bodies but I haven't seen them in weeks."
"Okay. We'll work on his condition. Is he back in there?"
"It looks like he's solid."
"Good. Just....let me do the medical stuff in the future, Harris. It looked like you were going to kill him."
"The only one on this floor I'd think about that with is on the other end and he's actually a former assassin. His ID says Sid but that's not his actual name. He's also not in his body but there's just a huge sucking portal there now. Not sure what that means." He frowned. "There's one down on pediatric long term that has the same thing. I heard a kid crying and went down to check on her."
"Damn it. Is she back?"
"No, she had an airway blockage," Xander said quietly. "That's why she was crying. I took her to the caf so she didn't have to see that."
The doctor nodded, patting him on the arm. "Good idea. Very nice of you as well. Who else?"
"Her name, or she said her name was Brenda. The other one is in the doorway. Which one are you?"
"Sybil. My mother named me after the book."
"She said her name's Sybil, her mom named her after the book."
"She's on another floor and we can work on that. What's stopping her?"
"Something in my meds keeps me out," she said.
"Another med thing," Xander told him. "I had that for a while when I first went down."
"I can look into that. Hang near your body please, Sybil." She nodded and floated off. Xander nodded. "The other? Brenda?" Xander took him out and pointed at a bar on the alarm board. "Her. That may be her middle name." He went to check and then on the other two patients. They had a few things in common so hopefully he could figure it out. Xander went back to manning the phone and alarm board.
Xander finally got released from the hospital and went to find Buffy's ex, Angel. He knew where he was. He had popped in to stare at Cordelia and nag Angel behind their backs a few times. He walked into the office, staring at his ex. She blinked a few times. "And I'm even in my body this time." He grinned. "Being out of my body was weird but helpful." He looked behind him as Angel stomped in. "Hey. Did you know that you see cobwebs on the astral plane with portals?"
Angel stared. "What? You're in a coma."
"I was out of my body." He stared at him. "I'm the one that told O'Neill so they got there." Angel glared. Xander stared back. "That way it was stopped. It took me a bit to be able to do that but I got there as soon as I could."
"So you're here looking for sanctuary?" Angel sneered.
"No. I'd never live near you, Angel. You're a jealous prick." He shrugged but grinned. "But I can and will give you information on Wolfram and Hart, who is the major bad guy in town. Especially since in three years, LA's going to have an invasion."
"What?" Angel demanded, starting to laugh. "How do you know that?"
"Astral. Plane. I was out of my body."
"No you weren't," he sneered.
Xander sighed then looked at Cordelia then at Angel again. "Dru's in Brazil. With a slime demon. She actually thought she was pregnant last week." Angel flinched back. "Spike's down there trying to get her back. Or at least his spirit is. The chip thingy knocked him down and he's living in a culvert outside of Sunnydale at the moment. He's picked up Harmony," he told Cordelia.
"She's going to drive him nuts. The chip thingy split his demon somehow. Not sure how. All I know is he tried to bite Buffy after following her and figured out that it keeps him from eating so he had to deal with the migraine and fell into the culvert system. Someone else dragged him outside of town and muttered something about a favor to his sire." He looked at Angel again. "Joyce's brain tumor came back because they missed a tiny bit that was hidden behind and below the original. She should go in sooner for a new scan. This one's aggressive. I checked on her a few hours before I finally got put back into my body by the healing demon fixing the tumor thanks to Willow's wish."
"How do you know any of this?" Cordelia demanded, standing up.
"I was out of my body, Cordelia. I got to float around and talk to people who were out of their bodies plus watch over people. By the way, Dennis is a really nice guy. Kinda sad about his mom but really happy that he's not alone. He thinks you're beautiful like an old screen goddess." She blushed, collapsing back into her chair. "Not that I disagree. You were the only one with class outside of Buffy's mom in all of Sunnydale." He looked at Angel again. "Wolfram and Hart are not only lawyers but evil lawyers. They have all sorts of plans to get their demon clients some power. Including soul buying and releasing things and some of them are forming a cult called Black Thorn so they can have LA invaded by people eaters in three years."
"Why?" he demanded.
"Demon Lords Wolf, Ram, and Hart," Xander said bluntly, staring at him. "Plus some of their cronies. They want power. Why else would they try to remove humanity? And that'll cause a lot of other problems because you can't hide a six hours invasion battle."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"So you don't lose," Xander said bluntly, staring at him. "You'll need a lot more people than you'll have handy for the invasion, Angel. Why do you think I'm telling you? I'm not going to be here. I've got to recover and retrain. It can take me years. Also I have to hide from the military guys that now know I'm the one that turned them in to a good general who stomped them like they're olives." Cordelia squeaked. He grinned at her. "I talked to O'Neill's friend. He was like me and out of his body at one time."
"They didn't say anything about demons," she said, staring at him.
"Because they've dealt with weirder. But they're good people who handle it and protect us all. Like the Scoobies but formally military and getting paid."
"That's weird," she said.
"Yeah and in a few months they're going to be blown open in the press after an attack." He grimaced. "I hope they'll be able to manage it. I've gotten some people to get them some help but I'm not sure how it'll go. Beyond screaming. A lot of screaming and some riots." The door opened and someone walked in. "Hey, Doyle."
He stared. "Xander. I saw you out wandering."
Xander grinned. "Vision or did you see me when I was wandering?"
"Vision. The Powers aren't pleased."
"They haven't liked me since I dragged someone out of his apartment while he was sulking and taking prophecies as the final word on what would happen." Xander grinned. "So fuck them. Bluntly."
Doyle grinned. "I like that idea. It might help the bad moods."
Xander shook his head. "Not even Anya's vibrating friends would help them enough. After all, they want *balance*. It keeps them in power."
Doyle nodded. "We've noticed."
"Have you guys met Lorne yet?"
"Who?" Cordelia asked.
Xander grinned. "He's a friend. Weird but a friend." He looked at Doyle again. "I came to warn about Wolfram and Hart and the future invasion in a few years."
Doyle moaned. "How do we handle that?"
Xander patted him on the arm. "I didn't see you there, Doyle." He stiffened. "Something about a bomb and a last kiss." He gave him a pointed look. "Get someone else to handle the Scourge," he said quietly. "Someone's still radiating Sunnydale and they can use her for things."
"Hey!" Cordelia complained, standing up.
Xander grinned at her. "I saw you giving birth to a demon baby. It took about a week of pregnancy." Her eyes went wide and she stared at him. He nodded. "Even I still carry some Sunnydale taint, Cordy. Out here among the normal sorts, you draw like I did in town." She flopped down again, whining. "You can ask Rosenburg."
"Have you seen her?" Angel demanded.
"No. Because I didn't want that sort of pain. I went to watch over Joyce a few times. Saw Buffy there a few times and Giles. They just kind of stared silently. Buffy cleaned some." Angel slumped. "I'm guessing she's with her girlfriend?" Angel nodded. "I love her girlfriend. She's a sweet, pure soul. We really should get them out of Sunnydale before something happens to her to pay Willow back for being on the team." He stared at Angel. "Something I recall reading in high school was an Arithax ritual...." Angel stiffened again then called Buffy. "Tell her I said hi. I'm heading out to hide from the Initiative bastards in a few. Finn tried to come intimidate me in my hospital room, if not take me out completely. But you learn things on the astral plane." He looked at Doyle again. "There's a purple flower serum. It's slightly addicting but it helps the pain. You should ask someone like Poster Harins about it."
"I know of him."
"Ask him. He knows how to make it. He might let you buy some cheaply. Not sure about that part but I know he knows how to make it and he can see those out of their bodies. He stared at me a few times but I told him I was foreseeing problems and figuring out if I could send them to talk to him. He said to try it, and he might."
"I can ask," Doyle agreed. "Thanks."
"Welcome. A few people from Sunnydale have the latent seer genes." He looked at Cordelia, who squeaked. "They suck."
"I've seen some of Doyle's."
"They're worse in humans."
She slumped. "Worse?"
"Yeah." He looked at Doyle again. "I'm a carrier myself. Which is why I was trying to find a solution." He looked at Angel then at Doyle. "Wolfram and Hart, with very few part time exceptions, are all evil. They have ways to negate the soul spell. They have all sorts of bad ideas. Including bringing permanent night to LA. And, oh, this is great. They have some sort of crypt that can bring Darla back because I saw your son," he said with a grin for Angel. "He was kick ass when he got back from being kidnaped to a demon realm." Angel growled, going to game face. "Holder, Holdin, something like that took him from Wes." He leaned around Doyle, grinning and waving. "Did you know there's portals on the astral plane?"
"Yes, I've seen it due to a very bad fever once," Wesley said dryly, coming in. He was wearing motorcycle leathers and had a crossbow in hand. "You're in a coma."
"Was. A healing demon took the tumor out. Joyce's is regrowing. She needs to go be scanned tonight."
"I'll let her know," Doyle promised. He looked. "I've seen you in a few visions."
Xander grinned. "He was there our senior year." He looked at Angel. "The crypt's in storage but will be in the basement in a few months. They're missing a few pieces and have to reassemble it."
"I know of that thing. It's for resurrections," Wesley said.
"Yeah, they'll get Darla and somehow two vamps have a baby." Xander grimaced. "He's kinda kick ass. I totally respected Conor's level of badass."
Wesley blinked. "You were on the astral plane most of the time?"
"On and off. I wasn't fully ascended so I got to give some warnings. Including to a certain general."
Wesley smiled. "I had heard you had something to do with that."
Xander nodded with a grin. "As soon as I could. Took me a bit to figure out how to find someone who could and would help. It was an extra month but I couldn't get it sooner. I know some blame me for that. Tell them I tried," he told Doyle.
"I can do that."
"Thanks." He looked at Wesley. "Did you hear the wish?"
"Wish?" Wesley said stiffly. "Willow's?"
"Yeah. Part of the wish was that I have a protective soulmate sort." Wesley stiffened. Xander looked at the mark on his arm. Then at Doyle's matching one. He grinned. "Congrats." He walked over to hug Cordelia. "I'll send you my address so you can write." He winked and left before the two demon hunters got over their shock and horror or Angel got over his.
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