Weirder Than Usual Horrors.
Steve and Danny rushed over to where Xander was whacking away at a higher level demon who was laughing. "Kid, can we blow this one up?" Steve called.
"I would adore it, but nope," he called between swings. He pulled back to glare at the thing. "I'm waiting on the local coven to destroy his healing amulet." He pointed at it. "I'm about to let the thing go eat them if they can't handle it though. I'm tired."
"Can't we blow the head off?" Danny demanded.
"Nope." The demon smirked and shook his head. "It takes blessed objects and I don't have any of those right now in the artillery class," he said dryly. "Though I'm about to find a priest to bless a few pieces the next time I get some."
A woman came jogging over. "I can fix it," she called.
Xander looked at her. "I asked the local coven to get his healing amulet, Miss."
She smirked. "I'm better than that, Xander. You know that." She raised her hands and magic came out to glow around the demon. It shrieked and exploded but started to reform. Xander grabbed the amulet and tossed it away then cut the head off the stump of neck and shoulders. The demon quit reforming. She grinned at Steve. "I'm mythical."
"Since you weren't born in this realm," Xander agreed. "Hi, Dawn."
She grinned back and gave him a careful hug. "Willow called my ass over from a realm where I was about to die instead of Buffy. Totally killed Glory that way."
"She's back in her body already? I'll have to go fix that," he said blandly.
She giggled, shaking her head. "No. She did it from the astral realm. Apparently someone's going to need some power."
He nodded. "Which means you're in danger, young lady, and without relatives. Does Buffy know?"
"I'd assume so since the coven had me." They shared a look and she shrugged. "I ran away to see if Ethan could take me in to protect and teach me without icky sex magic rites. Because he's daddy range and I'm not into daddy sex."
Xander grinned. "You and Anya both."
"At her age...that'd be weird to find unless we're going to suddenly import immortals from that show. Though I doubt Methos would put up with her."
"No clue." He leaned on his axe with a sigh, looking at the witches running over. "Thanks. This is Dawn. Rosenburg summoned her to this realm."
The witches stared at her and one backed up a step. "I heard about you."
Dawn grinned and waved. "Hi. I hope you guys are nicer than the Devon Coven was." They all nodded. "Cool. Then I won't have an urge to smite you like I do them." She flicked a hand and muttered, burning the demon's body. She frowned, picking up something. She held it up. "Since when do higher level demons swear to an order of assassins?"
Xander took it to look at, holding it a bit away. "That's an owing mark. So apparently they owed him something. Huh." He put it into his pocket. "If you need it, you can snatch it some year."
"I can do that," Dawn quipped. "So, why show up, ladies? Were you going to help Xander get the healing amulet so he could take out this icky thing?"
"He thought we should've," one sneered at Xander.
"Well, yeah, covens do that as far as I know. Unless said coven wants that demon to come eat magic users like them. That's why hunters call on covens," he said dryly, smirking at them. "Didn't your elders teach you that? It's community cooperation that keeps everyone healthy and uneaten you know." He smiled. "Because he was heading for your shop when I stopped him. He's the one that took us here to this charming bare area."
The witches shared a look. "Do covens actually do that?" one demanded.
"Um, yeah," Dawn said. "It's a responsibility of the power to help when there's huge problems to keep the whole community whole." She looked at the charred spot then at them again. "That guy would've went for the weaker witches first and then you guys as he got stronger." She looked at Xander. "He teleported you two." He nodded. "How many did he eat?"
"A coven in lower Florida from what the bulletin board was shouting about warnings." He pulled out his phone to show her. "Them." The witches came over to look. Steve had the healing amulet. "Steve, don't let the blood on you unless you want to answer about weird DNA warping things forever."
"I'm not getting any on me." He stared at Xander. "Do you have to do that about more than the mermaid taint?"
"Yup," he said dryly. "A few other ones that don't show up on most tests and only matter to one class of drugs that I've ever been warned about." He shifted and stretched his free arm. "That's better."
Danny stared at him. "You're injured again."
"Just sore," he quipped with a grin. A new demon appeared and glared at the charred spot. Xander stared down at him. "Sorry if he was your pet."
The little demon looked up at him. "He owed me favors, human."
Xander grinned. "Sorry. He was eating people."
"Pity. He needed to be in more control so he could fight the hell goddess coming this way next week. Humans could have willingly sacrificed themselves."
Dawn smiled and waved a hand. "What hell goddess please?" The demon blinked at her, frowning slowly. "A Rosenburgian plan to defeat a Glory in another realm," she said dryly. "Which hell goddess?"
"I doubt it's Glory," Xander said. They both looked at the demon, who was shaking his head slowly. "This is Dawn almost Summers."
"It's not Glory, right?" she asked politely.
"No," the tiny demon said quietly. "She's not in this realm." The girl beamed at the hunter. He groaned. "We have Miala showing up later today."
"Here?" Xander asked. "Or somewhere else?"
"She's against hunters. There's someone aiming her at them."
"Yeah, the PTB only want balance so they're trying to take us all out," Xander said dryly. "Guess I need to find where a few dates are hiding their stashes and a priest."
"We can raid a few places," Steve quipped.
Xander grinned. "I was going to lead her to one of them and let them help."
"Too much innocent damage," Danny said. "Or we'd let you." He grinned at Dawn.
"I'm not a priestess of anyone at this time. I'm unvowed." She looked at Xander. "Ours would have some."
"I'm out," he admitted. "There's almost no poker circuit here."
"I have some stuff but it's permanently shrunken thanks to the redheaded menace. And she probably broke it too,"
"The Empress of Sith?" Dawn joked. "How unusual of her."
Xander grinned at her. "She started off soulmates here because she's just *sure* that I have an owner somewhere."
"Yeah, I remember her from my home realm." She sighed and shook her head. She looked up then at him. "It's here."
"I felt the wave of magic," he admitted, checking his axe. "You're sharp enough." He looked at the demon. "Most of them take beheading or dismembering. Which is she?"
"Dismembering," he admitted. "And it'll be harder since she's at least eight feet tall, Hunter. Which are you?"
He grinned. "Harris."
"Oh my Dark Below," he moaned. He sniffed him. "Oh. Thank you, Hunter." He nodded at Dawn. "And you for attending."
"Tell Rosenburg. She's out of her body," she said dryly, pulling her hair back into a ponytail. "Let's go pretend it's Sunnydale."
"Steve, I'll need blessed by a priest or at least two other ministers, don't ask I don't know why it's different, weapons. A lot of weapons. Generally they have tougher skin and have some sort of protections inked on." He nodded, calling in that call. "And tell us where so we can get there." He looked at his phone then called. "Ahn, me. A hell goddess just appeared. Miala. The one I was just fighting was supposed to fight her but he was eating people. Yes, that one. Thanks. Let us know if you hear where. It's really hard to hide an eight foot goddess." He hung up and put the phone back into his pocket. He looked at the demon. "Water?"
"Yes. She does appreciate water."
"Sure, we're on an island, that makes sense," Xander agreed. "Thanks. Be safe and at peace." It fled. He and Dawn shared a look then Xander sighed. "Anya is not my heir," he told her. "But she can have the rest of my veggies in my garden if she wants."
"Okay. I'll remember that."
"His medical records are on a keychain key," Danny said. His phone rang. "Yeah, Chin?" He listened. "We've been looking for her. Thanks." He hung up. "The one by the fancy tourist hotels."
"Yeah, she'd want worshipers," Xander agreed dryly. "Sure, let's go take out the high level target." He strolled off, his axe over his shoulder. "Dawn, how weapons oriented are you?"
She snorted. "My sister wouldn't allow it, Xander. Not only am I normal but I'm helpless and defenseless according to her."
"The cure to that is learning self defense," Steve said. He was following the kids.
"Yeah, she won't allow that. She's the slayer, her word is law, and I'm to be protected like I'm in a tower with a lot of hair." She shot him a grin. "My Xander taught me a bit but I'm barely able to stake properly. Nothing on the sword front. I'm doing better at magic than she was though. Even if I did take the same books, I learned all of them, not just the happy making things. Tara made sure of it."
"We had a Tara too," Xander said with a nod. "I got to escort her to her final happy place while I was out of my body." Dawn hugged him around the arm. "We'll handle it. You help with the weapons firing."
"Yup. Don't be the bait all by yourself."
"If she's here for hunters, she's here for me. No others that I know of on the islands." He shrugged but grinned at her. "She'll find me."
"Sure. I get that. If you get injured I'm going to nag. Then call my sister."
He snorted, shaking his head. "We're not a team anymore, Dawn. That was her choice. Hers and the Sith Empress' choice."
"Oooh. Bad breakup?"
He looked at her before pulling out his truck keys. "Like some marriages, cancer came between us. They didn't even visit. So they can have a great life."
"Sure, I get that," she agreed. "Is my mother still here?"
"Yeah. Just out of the hospital again. With your sister."
"Great. I'll call her later." She got into the truck. Xander got in to drive them off. "Are we going to be okay?" she asked quietly. "You look exhausted and skinny."
"Yeah, I can handle it. It's been a bad few years but I've got it. As long as Steve can get us weapons."
"Sure, I can help. I hope." He grinned at her. They found the right beach. There was a police quarantine going on.
Xander pulled up next to the checkpoint. "I'm Hunter Xander Harris. Part of 5-0 is behind me to handle the hell goddess."
"Sir, we're not allowing any civilians. The Navy is going to handle her."
"Then they need a lot of blessed weapons," he said. "She's got to be dismembered by blessed weapons."
The officer stared at him then called that over his radio. "Park please, sir and miss?"
"Sure, we're used to it," Dawn quipped. They parked and got out. Xander had a sword instead of his axe this time. "You sure?"
"Yeah. The other's too soft for her skin. This is blessed but it's iron."
"Okay. You're the guy with the skills. I'm just the little sister sort." They walked over to where the demon queen was sneering at those who would not worship her.
"Ah, a hunter," she purred. "You come to challenge me."
"I come to kill you," Xander noted. "You're annoying and polluting the water. Why don't you let the people go?"
"They will learn to worship me properly, human."
"No we won't," Dawn quipped. "I don't worship anyone who's not my future lover." The demon sneered at her then flinched back. She grinned and waved a hand. "The redheaded one summoned me to defeat their Glory. Yay you."
The demon leaned down to look at her. "You are not native."
"No, I'm not." She smiled and shot a spell at her. "Let the humans go so we can chat, one higher being to another."
"You are not on my level, Key."
Xander grinned. "No, she's better. She's probably ethical and not out to be worshiped."
"No, I'll wait on a real lover to teach them proper worship," Dawn agreed. The demon queen snorted so Dawn threw a spell at her. "Out of the water so we can talk once the humans are running away screaming like usual, bitch." The demon queen stepped out. The officers got the civilians out of the way. Navy and other military people showed up. One of them fired on the demon queen, who snorted.
Xander looked back. "It needs to be priest blessed or two ministers of any other faith blessed," he yelled. "And she's got to be dismembered." He looked at the demon queen again, who was giving him funny looks. "What? You have a weakness to something like pewter? I can have them find some."
"I doubt I would tell you."
Dawn looked her up, shaking her head. "Not pewter. Or silver. Just blessed things and not blessed by someone Hindu for some reason." She looked up, putting her phone back into her pocket. "So Anya said."
"Great." An officer was reporting that to the higher ups. "So. Should we get this thing started now?"
"You are not worthy of me challenging to take out," she sneered. "You're weak."
Xander snorted, smirking at her. "I've been weak in the past. I'm not as strong as I could be but I'm pretty darn close. You won't win even if I die."
"I can claim your spirit as my warrior," she said smugly. She summoned them. Dawn blessed them and the spirits faded with smiles for her. "How dare you!" She tried to hit Dawn but a grenade got shot at her. Dawn ducked out of the way. The grenade didn't do much damage. "Bah! Weak and human weapons," she sneered.
Xander looked at Dawn. Then at Steve. He sighed. "I wish I had the Gratus weapon from that book," he yelled.
"Wish granted," a panting voice called. "Thank you for the easy one."
"Welcome." He waved and grabbed the weapon, firing it on her. The pretty, heavy light beam shot out and she screamed as it cut off her arm. Xander handed it to Dawn. "Takes five minutes to recharge but I never read anything as powerful," he noted.
"Makes sense to me." She took it to look over. "Okay, recharge meter," she said, finding it. "We can handle that." Steve and Danny came down with swords. "Wow, hotties with swords." She got out of the way. "Five minute recharge but it's the only one he knew about," she told the nearest officer. He just nodded. She watched the recharge bar. When it was nearly ready she lifted it to brace it against her shoulder. It beeped quietly.
"Move," she called. She fired it and the guys all got out of the way. A few more soldiers showed up to help. "We so need someone like that Ironman guy from the comics," she muttered, cracking up the officers around her. The demon queen bellowed when they used something appropriately blessed finally. The queen started to send out magic so Dawn dropped the weapon and stepped up to help, putting up a capturing shield around her.
The demon beat at it but Xander moved in and cut her knee. She screamed and the guys got the rest of that leg while Xander harassed her. Dawn turned the magic back on her. That was the end of her energy for a bit too. The queen was heading for the water to recharge so she grabbed the weapon. Not quite full. She fired it anyway. Nothing. "Damn it! Always when you need it!" She heard the beep and hit it, blowing her heart out this time. The guys ran in to pull her out of the water and chop her up. Dawn leaned on the weapon with a sigh, looking at them. "It needs to recharge faster."
"It's for use on space creatures," Xander quipped. "To blow up something like a space kraken." He leaned down to pant, breathing hard. "Wow." He stood up and winced as he stretched up. "Been a while since it was one that tough." He slumped, walking up to take the weapon from Dawn. "Thanks."
"Welcome." She followed him back to the truck. People got in the way. "Guys, I'm not too tired to turn you into mice," she warned with a smile. "Move. We need to go clean up. Xander's got icky things on him from her."
"We have a nice quarantine area for him to do that in, miss. Can we debrief you?"
She leered at him. "If you're good at it."
He cleared his throat. "Not that way, miss. You're underage."
"Which does suck for me with all the prettiness around," she shot back. "Xander?"
"I only really want a shower. I've got most of my bruises barking, guys. Can we go do that then debrief? Steve knows where I live."
"No, sir," one said, coming over. He was in a Navy uniform. "But you can come with us to shower and get a medic to check you over." Xander stared at him, shaking his head slowly. "We need to insist in case something of hers might become infectious."
"Most demon plagues are spread by more flimsy beings," Dawn told him. "All the books show that they're usually air like of some kind, or they blow long streams of air. Demon blood can be warping but that usually takes exposure into an already open injury. A few can do it by bleeding on bare skin but they're rare and there's a potion to take care of that. Beyond that, Xander doesn't go near medics."
"No he doesn't," Xander agreed. "Not since the Army gave me cancer. Twice."
The Navy guy winced. "We're not going to do that."
"Xander, I'm going with you," Danny called. "That way we know you're going to be all right and you don't have to be paranoid." He put his sword in the back of the truck. Steve's went with it. "Whisk us away to a shower please. That's nasty and I'm sweatier than I've ever been."
"I was about this sweaty after the invasion," Steve admitted. "But had less goo on me." He looked at himself then at the Navy person. "General." He saluted.
"At ease, Lieutenant Commander. We're going to the showers, medics, then debriefing. Bring them with you." He looked at the weapon. "We'd like to examine it."
"It came from a book and I'll probably need it later. I'm one of the last hunters on this realm thanks to the higher ups over the slayers."
"Human or otherwise?" the general demanded.
"Otherwise. They want *balance*. We hunters make sure that mostly the good side wins."
"Ah. That sort of higher up. Yeah, that'd suck. McGarrett, get them to the base's quarantine center."
"Thank you." He walked off to talk to the officers.
Xander groaned, looking at him. "This is going to get mean."
"No it won't," Steve said. He looked at Dawn.
"I'm going with Xander and I'm not leaving his side once he's redressed." Xander nodded that was a good idea. They got into their vehicles and drove that way with a police escort. Someone was paranoid. Dawn was almost pulled away but Xander glared and Dawn got her arm free. "No thank you anyway." She followed Xander. She waited outside the shower area while checking her nails and texting Anya about Willow but she was fine. The guys came out together and the other team got to use the showers. She let them get dressed and looked at Xander. "You look weird in camo."
"Yeah but no spare clothes in the car," he said dryly. "They're offering so I'll wash them and give them back tomorrow."
She nodded. "That'll work." She stood up and walked out with him, holding onto his arm. He looked down at her. "Feeding you energy," she said with a grin.
"Stop it. I'm fine. I can unblock the hellmouth taint and it'll grow to refill me with energy for a bit until I can get a nap." He yawned. "I could use a nap. And lunch."
"Hopefully they'll feed us since I could eat a whole cow myself," Danny said.
Steve nodded. "Definitely." They were taken to a medical bay. Xander stared at the nurse, who smiled. "He's not fond of us since a rogue project in his town gave him cancer," Steve warned.
"Sure, I can understand how that wouldn't make him trust us," a doctor said as she came over.
Xander smiled. He had seen her in a vision. "Hi, Doctor Keller."
She pinched his cheek. "Doctor Lam would've come but she's busy with her father's hearing. On the bed, Harris." He hopped up there. She looked at Dawn. "I'm SGC, Miss."
"I'm Dawn." She shook her hand. "I got pulled here to defeat a hell goddess in my home realm. The redheaded one," she said at the opening mouth.
"Is she a hell goddess?" Doctor Keller asked.
"No, she was stopping that one from using me to open portals. I'm a witch."
"Oh, that's fine. Sit and talk to him." She looked at the other two, who smiled and pretended to be good boys. "Thankfully I don't have to treat you like my whiny Marines, boys. They always fuss about things." She looked at Xander. "Bloodwork, scanning, physical," she said bluntly. He nodded once, letting her have his arm to draw blood. "Lots of scar tissue. Is this still the better side?"
"Yeah," he said quietly. "You can't dig deep enough on the other side. Butterflies are hit and miss with my veins." She checked his wrist and hand then got what she'd need for a butterfly needle draw. He looked away. She smiled slightly. "I still hate needles, Doctor."
"I would too after how many you've had to live through, Xander. Just relax." She stuck him and started to draw. He worked his hand a bit to help it go faster. Five tubes then she bandaged it for him. "All right. Let's scan you." She pulled that over, running it over him. "I'm seeing a slight infection," she said, looking at his side.
"The really high demon a few weeks back," he said, pulling up his shirt to show that healing cut. "It's nearly sealed."
She scanned it then Dawn. "Yeah, that's not the same goo signature." Dawn looked at herself then got a papertowel she wet down to wipe at her skirt. She checked his head again. "I'm not seeing anything beyond lesions, Xander."
He nodded. "I've got those from both tumors," he agreed with a slight second nod.
"Good to know." She checked his back. She looked at one cut then went to get something, coming back. "Antibiotic for that small infection. The one on your back is still slightly infecting too." He winced but leaned over for her to hit it with the needle. She got both sites for him. "That should help." He sat up. "I'm going to do something weird." She smiled. "I'm going to check your DNA against ours. That way we can see if anything demon related is in the databases already."
"They were there before the Ancients," Dawn said.
"We heard." Doctor Keller got another machine and put it onto his finger, letting the scanner read what it was. "Hmm. One of them is."
Xander looked. "That's from one of the ones that I was fighting in the park that scratched me so many times." He grinned at her. "It probably won't read mermaid since they were a project of someone."
She ran it again to find any new samples. "You're right, it's reading the project name. That's interesting." She patted him on the cheek and handed him a tootsie pop. "From Carolyn." She winked, going to check the other two. "I'm Doctor Keller from the SGC, boys." Danny stared at her. She pinched his cheek. "I'm used to stubborn Marines and Air Force colonels. Even your SEAL isn't that bad." Steve snorted but looked amused. "I have a large rubber mallet for my people, Commander." She grinned. "It's needed some days so they stay in a bed." She checked them both over. "I don't see any demon tainting." Danny sighed but smiled and nodded. She looked at him. "Kids?"
"One," he said. "Preteen girl."
"Aww. The fun years. Just wait until she's dating."
"Yeah, not looking forward to it," he assured her. At least this doc had some humor and knew how to handle McGarrett's stubborn nature. "We need to hire her at our usual hospital," he told Steve. "You listen to her. Unlike the usual one that sees us."
Steve scowled at him. She laughed. "I would but I'd miss our insanity in the mountain and on Atlantis, Detective. Maybe when I'm ready to retire." He grinned at her. "It'd be nice not to need my big rubber mallet." She looked over at Dawn and Xander, since she had just moved to help him lay down. "Sudden headache, Miss?"
"Vision," she said. "They suck monkey ass."
She came over to scan him while he had it. "That's interesting." She gave him something a nurse fetched for her. It eased the pain and he groaned as he came out. "Can you debrief or would you rather write it?" she asked quietly.
Xander blinked at Dawn. "The coven's going to try to kill you for being here."
"Fuck 'em," she said. "Not my choice and they're supposed to be handling Willow but didn't. Their own fault. I'm not paying for their mistakes. My mother would've been pissed beyond belief if they tried that at home."
"They had no idea what you were until the demon noted it, Dawn."
"Oh, well. Still, fuck them and their bitches." She shrugged. "I'll open that portal myself so they can go talk to Willow or whoever if they want." She smiled. He patted her on the arm. "But I'll take protections, dear. Don't worry." She kissed him on the head. He sighed but drifted off under the medicine. She smiled at the doctor. "I'm not the average girl."
"I figured that." She went back to the other two.
Steve grinned. "We'll help her be protected while she's here."
"Athena, grant me the power to make the weapons I need to handle those who pray at Hecate but not to her," Dawn said, looking up. "Before I have to do it the Sunnydale way." She sighed and patted Xander's hand. "I can help protect you too. I'll miss my Xander but you're pretty neat."
Danny leaned around the curtain to look at her. "You're into the old ways?"
"Yup. Most witches are in one way or another. Not like any modern church knows how to teach us ethics of magic usage."
"Point. That's cool, kiddo." She grinned. "My daughter's only a few years younger than you."
She winked. "I'm actually only fifteen but I'm very mature."
"Uh-huh. We'll figure it out." He sat on his bed again.
Dawn frowned, looking up. "What is that hum?" she muttered.
"Atlantis," Keller said. "She's reading through the scanner, Dawn."
"Oh, okay." She shrugged.
"Magic is the flipside of ATA," Xander said quietly. "It's the mutated version."
Doctor Keller came back to scan Dawn, frowning at her. "It is! Huh." She did a full body scan, nodding at what she saw. "That's very interesting."
Dawn grinned. "Thanks. Being interesting is better than being cute to a girl my age."
"To women my age too," Keller agreed. "Cute gets you stupid boys or men. Interesting gets you better dates." She went back to the other two again.
The general came in. "Doctor, are you one of ours?"
She smiled at him. "SGC. We're the ones who'd handle the weird diseases."
"All right. I wish someone had told me about that switch."
"Your people called, General." She went back to looking at Danny's few injuries. "At least this one didn't have claws like the one that got Harris a few weeks ago."
"He stitched and treated at home with some potions to take out puss and poisons," Danny told her. "I made him go to a healer for antibiotics."
She looked at him then leaned back. "You do what?"
"I've been able to stitch my own owwies since I was a kid, Doc," he quipped but had his eyes closed. "Docs and healers are expensive and I haven't had decent insurance since the first bout of cancer. I had some that covered the second bout's treatments but nothing else."
"That sucks, kiddo." She got back to treating injuries. "Let me check that other group for any sucked in demon blood taint." She smiled at them and stepped back. "You both look fine, boys." She looked at Steve. "You know have a weak ATA?" He nodded. "Good. We'll remember that for the future." She patted him on the cheek and handed them suckers. "Because food never comes soon enough after a battle for your blood sugar needs." She went to check the other team.
Danny unwrapped his sucker, sticking it in his mouth. "This is really helpful."
"I usually have gatorade and a power bar or something," Steve admitted, sucking on his own. "Are we debriefing here, General?"
"No, we have a sitting room, boys. Follow." Xander got up with a groan but Dawn helped him. "Are you injured, Harris?"
"Post-vision headache count?" he quipped. He followed them, Dawn wrapped around his arm. He popped his neck. He nodded at the two other people in there. "General, I'm not going to be around NID mother fuckers," he noted. "I don't want to be an experiment. They've already tried." One of those two sneered and pulled up a gun. Xander moved. Dawn shot a spell and that one fell down as he changed into a gerbil. It squeaked a lot but nothing else. Xander grinned at her. "Thanks."
"I sucked off your hellmouth taint," she quipped, sitting down and pulling him down with her. "So, General, why the talk?"
"Why were you there, miss?"
"Because I have family that hunts demons, General. I may not be old enough to know about more than a few things but I'm damn helpful with my inborn skills."
"The military doesn't accept that magic exists," he said firmly.
"Sorry, General, but my SEAL team escorted a young Marine back for a hearing because she made all the higher problems near her pregnant one night," Steve said. "It lost all those men their influence and power very quickly." The general stared at him in horrified awe.
"My Willow used to mutter about gang members and that but Tara stopped her from actually doing it," Dawn quipped.
"You know we can quarantine you indefinitely," the general said smugly.
Xander looked at him. "No you can't. I'm not military. I haven't been military. Got injured by the military but I'm not military and neither are Danny or Dawn. For that matter, I don't give a *damn* what you think you're going to do but you won't or I'll summon something to eat you myself." He stared at him. "Hunters are practical beings, General." He sneered at him, getting up to get into his face. "For that matter, you're not a local. Your patch has you from a unit out of DC and part of the same clusterfuck that I had to get help to stop under my town." The guy smirked and waved the other doctor forward. Xander pulled off his hellmouth hiding necklace, handing it to Danny. "Don't let Dawn touch that." She nodded, getting comfortable by crossing her legs. "Come at me, bro." The doctor sneered and moved closer. Xander put a hand on him and pushed some of the hellmouth taint out, making him scream. "I'll be damned. The US isn't going to fall to your demonic influence either." He looked at the MP's rushing in. "We're being illegally held here. I'm not military. Only one of us is."
"Sir, there's a public health matter," one said.
"No there's not," Dawn said. "The doc already cleared us."
"Guys," Steve warned. "They can quarantine civilians."
Xander smirked. "Only in a state of federal emergency, Steve. This is not one. This is more torturing sick fuckers."
"True," Keller said as she came in with two generals. "Admirals on deck," she announced. All the military people had to salute. "Xander, sit." He sat down. She checked him again. "Is that what that necklace does?"
He grinned at her. "It hides hellmouth taint, Doctor. My hometown had one and I soaked up more than my fair share."
"I heard about radiation sickness from it."
He smiled and nodded. "Yup."
"Huh." She handed him back the necklace, scanning him as he put it on. "Interesting. Magic?" He nodded. "Good idea. Without it you read as closer to Dawn's power level."
"Can't be used the same way," Dawn said. "But he can push it like a spell in a lot of ways. Now, a real magic user could channel it," she admitted. "And use it for various good uses." Xander nodded. "Which is why he wears the necklace. Otherwise the hellmouth forming up the island," she said with a point. "Would have been opened by someone sacrificing him."
Steve groaned. "I thought we stopped them." He found his phone. "Kono, me, Danny, Xander, and Dawn. That hellmouth wanting group is trying something right now. Yes, them. Or her, one of the two. Thank you. Dawn can feel it. West Oahu." He hung up. He looked at Dawn. "If they really open one can you stop it?"
"I have no training on it but if someone has the spell I can try," she admitted. "At the least it'll close it."
"Just don't tie yourself to it like Willow did," Xander complained. "I can walk into the middle of it and suck the spell into my hellmouth taint so it'll be stopped, Steve."
"Okay. We can go do that. Doctor Keller, are we released?"
"Yes. None of you show any contamination from the demon earlier. Xander's infections from the earlier ones is going to clear up quickly probably." Danny glared at Xander. "Two of the cuts infected, Detective. Calm down unless he's yours to baby."
"I never really played that way," he quipped. "But I can maybe find someone to baby him for a bit."
"If you're considering Anya she'd just try to kill him in bed again," Dawn quipped back with a smile. "She does that a lot." Xander nodded.
"We heard after they removed the second tumor and we had to save him from her," Steve said. He stood up. "Are we done, Admiral?"
"Mostly. Harris," he said, getting Xander's attention. "How many take blessed things?"
"About a third," he said. "I have no idea why there's a difference between priest and two other ministers though."
"I was going to ask."
"No clue. I didn't read it anywhere. You should ask someone like the Council."
"We would if they hadn't tried to blow themselves up."
"Awww, the assholes are suiciding," Dawn quipped. "Hopefully without taking out any potentials they have."
"No, the British government raided them for the girls," the admiral said with a smug look. "They insisted."
Xander moaned and held his head. "That's going to put a lot of artifacts out on the open market and a good half are dangerous and can summon or release something." He sat down with a sigh. The doctor got another scan of his brain. "If you find whoever sends those, please take them out for me, Doc?"
"If I can," she promised. "I'll ask Rodney to do it for me, Xander. He'd hate visions." He snorted but looked amused at least. Dawn was rubbing his scalp gently to help him.
Xander looked up at her. "Half those who raided the Council laid the spell to make them off themselves so they could get the artifacts. They're a rival group."
"Understood," the admiral said, calling that in.
"We need a group like those books about Librarians," Dawn said. "I have no idea if they're real on this realm or not."
"Not, we have them as books," Danny said. "My little girl likes them."
"Shoot." She shrugged. "I tried. Ask Giles if there's a better group."
"We'll do that later, Miss. Are you here as well?"
Dawn shook her head. "No, they sidestepped the hell goddess coming to shared life." They looked confused. "She has to be summoned and put into a body to possess it. She time shares the outside and inside. In mine, she was my mother's oncologist."
"You're related to Summers," the admiral said. Dawn smiled and nodded. "Naturally?"
"No, they made me to protect an artifact. Putting me with Buffy was to protect me. I'd rather not. The coven called them and she had fits at me for Willow pulling me here."
"She's got a lot on her plate," Xander told her.
"I realize that. I'm glad Mom lived here." She shrugged. "I'm in talks with a chaos sorcerer to be his apprentice hopefully. At least I know he won't sacrifice me."
"Where is Miss Rosenburg this time?" Doctor Keller asked.
Xander grinned. "Still out of her body. She pulled her from the astral plane."
"Charming." She smiled back. "The coven?"
"Has her body," Dawn said. "They tried to blame me too." She shook her head. "Not my fault she pulled me here to defeat that hell goddess on my natural realm."
"We'll figure that out later. Mr. Harris, can she have your couch?"
"I have a spare room. I wouldn't let anyone sleep on my junky old couch, Admiral."
"I used to have one of those too then I got married, son."
"I'm not thinking about that being an option," Xander admitted. "Only deadly ones like me and they're not the marrying kind."
"My you nearly married Anya," Dawn quipped.
Xander looked at her. "Nearly?"
"He was having a few thoughts."
"Ah." He nodded. "Great." He shuddered. "She'd kill me for the insurance money," he muttered. She hugged him. "Thanks."
"Should we pay attention if her current boyfriend or future husband dies?" Steve asked.
"Anya knows a lot of demons who'd eat the body," Dawn said dryly, smirking at him. "Why would she bother to hide one or to make up a heart problem? She's got enough magic that she could magic him into a purely natural heart attack or stroke."
"She was a vengeance demon for over a millennia," Xander agreed. Danny shuddered. "Yeah, if she *really* wanted to get rid of one, she could do that. Of course, if they scorn her she could ask to get her powers back," he said, looking at her.
"Humanity would've changed her but I'm not sure how much," Dawn agreed.
"Great, so he cheats on her, she finds out, she's back at work," Danny decided, nodding at the end. "Wow." Steve nodded quickly.
The admiral shook his head. "That's very weird. Who do we go to so we can learn how to handle things? Since somehow there's a lot fewer hunters now?"
"That was the PTB's thing," Xander said. "The higher powers that pick slayers and plays chess with all the warriors on this plane." He grinned. "They want *balance*." The admiral stared at him, shoulders starting to slump. "They still need me but that demon was probably thanks to them. Or the coven since they're part of the Council." He shifted. "Personally I'd go ask Wesley in LA if he's still alive or Giles."
"Wesley should still be in LA for at least another few months," Dawn said. "There's a push to get him out of the way since he's not considered a watcher anymore. He got fired for going with Buffy's plans and not the Council's."
"Giles got fired for giving too much of a damn," Xander said. Then he grinned. "We're really happy the UK saved the potentials."
The admiral nodded. "I'll pass that on, Mr. Harris and Miss Summers. You two can go home. Commander?" McGarrett stared at him. "I need you to work up a response criteria for when we need to add military to the local PD and Mr. Harris to handle something."
"I can do that," he agreed. "I'm doing it for the PD too since I've met him."
"Thank you." He shook his hand. "Be safe, go home. Let us know if you have physical problems from this." Doctor Keller handed out her phone number to those two. "Let us know if Harris has problems?" he asked more quietly. "He's just one man and he's still recovering from cancer treatments I'm told."
"Second time," Danny told him. "They redosed him." The admiral winced. He stood up. "Thank you, guys. Doctor Keller, nice meeting you." He shook her hand. "Let me go calm my daughter down. She's got to be having screaming fits about that." He walked off. Steve shook hands and followed. Danny turned on his phone in the car, staring at the message count. He had over sixty texts. He called. "I'm okay. We're out of quarantine already. The debrief was short and sweet," he told Rachel. "The attempt to keep us failed. We're all good. Heading back to the office for a few, Rachel. Yeah, I can see her tonight. Of course I can see her tonight! No, I'm calm. Just need food right now." He leaned his arm on the car door and held his head to rub it. "Nah, we're both okay. Yeah, it's all good. Sure, come on by with the munchkin." He hung up and put his phone back into his pocket. "Rachel's bringing us food."
"That's nice of her. Think we'll have more problems?"
"If they're like that one doc that tried to capture Xander I say we borrow that gun and blow the fuck outta them." He looked over.
Steve smiled. "I could like that plan." They shared a look and a smile then he had to stop at a red light. "What's your take on Dawn?"
"She's a bit worried but hiding it not too well."
"So he'll fix it you think?"
"Could be. Not real sure how that'll work out with the taking out the Council thing."
"True. I didn't factor in that." He drove on once the light changed and went back to the office. Rachel was there with Grace, who rushed over to hug them, clinging to her father. "It wasn't that bad, Grace."
"Shut up," she mumbled into her father's chest. He poked her for it but oh well.
Steve took his sandwich. "Thanks, Rachel. We had a lollipop there thanks to the SGC doctor that showed up to help."
She smiled. "You always need more food after a huge problem. Candy will only take care of the immediate need." She pushed Danny into a chair and put food next to his free hand. Kono got them coffee and waters. Chin was typing something. "Huge problem, Chin?"
"No," he said, looking up with a smile. "Logging the event for the governor before she loses her mind. She ordered me to and said to make Steve do one too." He looked at him. "About the debrief and what was said."
"We defeated a push by the NID," Danny said. "To capture us and Xander. An SGC doc showed up to check us over. An admiral showed up to solve the NID thing. One's a gerbil thanks to Dawn."
Chin typed that in and sent it. "There, now she knows what we know." He took his own bottle of water to drink. "Are we going to have more of those?"
"No," Danny said with a grin. "Probably not. We've only heard about three and there's been ten in the last four years."
"Xander's only been here about eight months," Kono said.
"Yup," Danny agreed, sipping his water. "He sure has."
Grace looked up. "You can't do that again!"
"I'll try not to, Gracie, but if I got to, I'll take lessons on how to use a sword." She snorted but cuddled again. He patted her. Girls got clingy when their fathers were in danger. It wasn't the first time.
Steve smiled. "We should have tomorrow off, people. It should be quiet all day. If not all week." They nodded and packed up, settling in to eat and relax. Rachel relaxed finally too.
The next morning Xander walked up to where the hellmouth spell was set to go off, walking over it and taking off his necklace. The spell tried to pull at his hellmouth taint but his radiation was stronger than the light amount that the spell had summoned to start the rip. So he sucked it up and walked off putting back on his necklace. He grinned at the women staring at him in horrified awe. "A real one will always take over a fake one. Though you should've put it over the weak spot." He walked off shaking his head. He had to apply for a job later. He really needed to get back to work. If only so he could pay the property taxes soon. Plus feed Dawn. For being a teenage girl she really hated vegetables.
"What did you do!" she yelled. "There's no natural one out here!"
"If you could actually use your skills and feel natural energy you'd know that there is. It's just not real convenient to get to, thankfully. So much nicer than under a high school's library." He really had to call someone about that. He found his phone in his truck and paused to call that in. "Doctor Keller, can you have the giant geek that wants to rant at me about the hellmouth being illogical come see me later this week? I found a new one starting. This way he can study it and rant at it instead of me." He grinned at her answer. "Sure, let me know so I can tell a few locals so they can be less than amused. Thanks, Doc. No, just ended the spell to start a new hellmouth. So I'm ignoring the whiny, pouty witch. Laters, Doc, and have an easy day." He hung up and got into his truck, wincing at the level of his gas tank. That was an expensive problem he'd have to fix later. He drove off, going to fill up the tank first.
Xander leaned into the team's office, smiling at the stares he was getting. "Oh, Steve? I'm going to make you mad."
"Why? Are you dating someone worse?" Danny quipped.
"No, I'm introducing you and another guy to the local actual, starting hellmouth." He grinned. "Coming?"
"Oh, damn," Danny complained.
"Not for a few years. And it's hard to get to."
"That's a benefit," Steve said, coming out to go with Xander. "I'll drive. Save your gas." Xander beamed at him. "I figured you were running low."
"Filled up yesterday for the last time before I find a job." He got into Steve's truck and he handed over the directions. "It's hard to get to. We're getting a geek to come look at it too."
"That could help. Maybe it'll get fixed."
Xander grinned at him. "The universe is getting a new stretch mark, Steve. How do you fix those?"
"I'm hoping the geek knows." He followed the directions to a rocky, unusable beach with a pretty high cliff face. He looked up then at the geek that stomped over. "Xander's getting a rope ready so we can put the science things nearer to it."
"That's fine," Radek Zelenka said with a sigh at the end. "How bad is it?"
"Nearly open," Xander called. "Dawn found it the other day." He came down from the top, pointing. "It's about here."
Steve looked. "That would be hard to get to."
"Hard to put markings around it or spell components to open it too," Xander agreed. "It's still a baby rip, just barely leaking." He came down and got the two meters, they could stick in the rocks for a bit. He went back up and found it with his necklace, which flew over to suck at the hellmouth's spot. Xander put both meters next to it then took his necklace back, going down to the ground.
Radek pulled up the reading from the meters. "That is universal energy. That's like the one in Sunnydale only lesser."
Xander grinned. "And it loves me already. And Dawn." He grinned at Steve. "See, it's important."
"It is," he agreed. "At least no one lives near here." He looked around. "That's near the lava fields too so maybe it'll be covered."
"The portal's inside the rocks. Melting it may create more problems than letting it heal," Radek told him. He looked at Xander. "Are there other such areas on these islands?"
"Two holy shrine places that hold magic for some reason?"
"No, not what we need to look at. Magic might like me and follow me back to the city. Would upset all the science and me when they beat it out of me." He grinned. "Step away, Xander?" He did and Radek nodded. "It likes you. Is coming out to greet you."
"Dawn came out to test it last night and it nearly cuddled her."
Steve stared at it. "We can arrange for people to watch this spot. That way if we see light or anything we can have it handled."
"I'm not sure if there's a kraken on top of this one like in Sunnydale or not," Xander admitted. "If so, watch for tentacles."
Steve looked at him. "Don't help. I'm getting a headache."
"Sorry." He grinned. "Dawn hates veggies so I need to find a way to sacrifice a cow."
Radek looked at him then at Steve. "We'll see what it can be handled by." Steve nodded. A jeep pulled up and two military people got out. "Did not call you on my way from Colorado," he called loudly.
"We're paying attention to what Mr. Harris rushes off to handle," the driver said with a small smile. "Is it a new demon emergency?"
"New hellmouth," Xander said with a smile. "You feel like Sunnydale."
"I grew up on the one in Cleveland, Mr. Harris."
"Wow, I'd hate to be them," Xander admitted. "If that thing opens it'll be much worse than in a high school library that almost no one visited."
"It's in a park and we've been subtly pushing to expanding it."
"Good luck with that." Xander smiled and pointed. "It's up there."
The other one looked up and nodded. "Very hard to use magic around it while hanging from a harness. You could probably do it from the top but as far as I've seen the opening spell has to be done overtop of it. You have to kneel in the circle."
"It can be done from a bit farther away depending on the doer. There's a few demon species that have tried," Xander said with a smile. "Magic user?"
"Very weakly but yes, sir." He nodded, grinning back. "Do you have anything on those?"
"Beyond seeing a few demons trying it and the online spell sites?"
"There's online spell sites?" Steve asked, looking confused.
"Yeah. There's a few sites that hold spell books. Some are scanned in copies. Some are personal journal sort of sites. One's set up like a mini wiki. It's even editable slightly but you can add comments at the end. The one under 'sleeping beauty curse' is really adorable with the teenage girls that tried to do it to their rivals for prom dates. And a few who wanted to do it to the really popular bitches in their schools."
"Because seventeen and eighteen-year-old girls don't really get true love feelings yet," the magic using soldier said then shuddered.
"There's also not that many soulmate sort of matches that would automatically release it," Xander said. "Unless someone screws up a spell because it was nearly set off by Rosenburg's soulmate curse too."
"Where is she?" the magic using soldier asked. "Just in case?"
"I hauled her out of her body and to the astral plane. She's stuck there until she can get back into her body on her own. And the body's in England somewhere. She's being watched over by the witches."
"The astral plane?" the other soldier asked.
"It's not so bad," Steve said.
"I saw a lot of interesting things when I was out of my body thanks to cancer treatments," Xander agreed. "Including helping a few others out so they could handle later things I might not be there for."
Steve nodded. "I saw a few very weird things."
The magic using one stared at Steve then at Xander. "It's an interesting thing." They climbed up to put the monitors into the rocks so they wouldn't be easily moved.
"That helps," Radek said. "Move other one to the left." They did that and he nodded. "Is reading easier now. Thank you." They anchored it for him. "We can pay remote attention to that."
"We can do that from the base," one of them offered. "That way you don't have to come back from Colorado, Sir."
"Is prettier than Atlantis's many broken wires," Radek admitted. The soldiers both groaned. Radek smiled. "I am second-in-command in sciences. Head one would still be ranting about this."
Xander frowned, looking up. "Guys, get away from it. It's flexing. Someone's trying something." He looked at his moving pendant. "It's getting happy." The soldiers climbed to the top, going to find that magic user. They found two, one of them being Dawn, and then pounced the other one. They brought them both back down there. "Hey, Dawn."
"Hey. I'm weaving a reporting alarm around it, people. That way people who'd have to respond will know." She did that, holding a hand against the bottom of the rock cliff face. The other sorceress was moaning on the rocks. Dawn got done so Xander walked over to the other one and hugged her. It sucked all her magic out to hype his protections. She whined as the beauty spells she used dropped. Then the one keeping the hair frizz down.
Dawn looked at her. "Wow, Rosenburg Light. The rest of us just use a hairbrush and some makeup. Maybe some conditioner. It's so much easier and less energy use." The girl was crying. Dawn looked at Radek, shrugging at him. "Most magic users don't waste energy that way because it wears us out so we still look horrible from exhaustion. It's like running a marathon just to get to a 7-11 for a bottle of water."
Xander nodded. "That is stupid." He let her go and some of the magic came back but he dropped his protection necklace on her head. It sucked the rest out and glowed happily when he picked it back up. "She'll have to rebuild everything again, guys."
"I'm sure she'll have fun doing that in jail," Steve said. "She'll have to do it when they leave her alone."
"Quiet means she can meditate," Dawn warned.
"So no solitary confinement," Steve agreed. He cuffed her and walked her back to his truck, cuffing her into the back. He came back. "Do you guys need me or Xander?"
"No, we can pull our hair out without him," Radek said, smirking at him. "Have fun with her. Shallow witches are a head pain."
"Yes they are," Dawn agreed, strolling off. "Let me go tend Xander's vegetables so we have dinner later." Steve let her into the truck and drove them back.
Radek looked at the two soldiers, who shook their heads. "It's demon hunting that does it to him."
"Clearly," the magic using one agreed. "Or dealing with teenage witches."
"Could be," his partner agreed. "My teenage sister drives me nuts. Her having a gift like magic would put me into a home."
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