Title: Runaway Guide 2 – The Healing
Author: Joan Z and Neichen
Permission to archive: Yes
Fandoms: Sentinel/BtVS crossover
Pairing/Characters: Jim/Blair Spike/Xander Jim/Spike Jim/Xander Xander/Blair
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. I am only keeping the fandom alive in our hearts.
Summary: Xander has been rescued from his kidnappers, but an overdose of a memory-erasing drug has destroyed part of the mental pathways he used as a guide.
The group suspects that Xander is still in danger from who ever shot down the Generals plane.
Warnings: Group sex, a four-way relationship, Hurt/comfort, explicit M/M sex, angst, partner exchange, Possible character death, possible multi partner. If it can be imagined I may write it so be warned.
Acknowledgments: Thanks to my beta Kerensa and to Neichen for her encouragement.
An: If you have not read Runaway Guide 1 or you missed any chapters, you can read it on WWOMB.
Runaway Guide - The Healing
Xander sat curled up on the sofa with his nose nuzzled into Blair’s neck. In the two weeks since the four members of the Sentinel pack had moved into their new home Xander had been seeking out Blair whenever Spike wasn’t close by.
Blair was more than happy to give Spike a respite from Xander’s constant need to be touched. He could tell that it was beginning to take its toll on Spike. Of course, any other sentinel would have been burned out after only a few days. He was going to have to talk to Jim about doing a healing bond with Spike before things got critical.
Jim and Spike stood in the kitchen preparing dinner for themselves and their guides; they spoke to each other in a whisper so low only a sentinel could hear.
“The memories of the kidnapping don’t seem to be coming back,” Jim said.
“They’re not going to come back,” Spike said. “The doctor said any memories he hasn’t gotten back by now were erased not blocked. He just needs to lay down new mental pathways and that will take time,” Spike sighed.
“Are you doing okay?” Jim asked. His concern for his chosen second was clear, not only in his voice but in his eyes.
“I’m just tired out. Before this happened there was an abundance of energy between Xander and me. It seemed like the more we re-newed our bond the more energy we had. Now it’s just the opposite, the deeper we bond the more tired I get.”
“You’re healing him, and you’re unique. Blair hasn’t found any anthropological evidence that there has ever been a sentinel with healing abilities. Even the strongest healer guides can only spend a few hours a day healing and even then they need plenty of time to rest afterward. The only time you get away from Xan is when we cook supper.”
“It’s not just that I’m a healer,” Spike said. “He needs his sentinel too.”
“It wouldn’t hurt once and a while to let me share the burden,” Jim said with an edge to his voice.
“Are you angry at me, Jim?” Spike asked confused by Jim’s unusual show of emotion.
“Not at you, at this situation,” Jim said shaking his head. “I feel like I’m an outsider looking in. I watch you and Blair work on healing Xander. He goes to you and Blair but he never comes to me. It’s as if he doesn’t remember me.”
Spike cocked his head and evaluated Jim. “You need to renew your bond with Xan.” It was a statement not a question.
“It can wait,” Jim said with a dismissive tone.
“I don’t think it can,” Spike said unwilling to let it go. “This whole thing is taking a toll on both of us. You’re getting grouchy and I’m getting tired.”
“That’s not important, just let it lie, Spike.”
“Why are you trying so hard to avoid this? There’s no shame in needing to renew your bond with Xander. He’s your secondary guide, and a core pack member; you need to know on a deeper level that he is okay. I won’t stand in your way Jim, renew the bond.”
“Xander isn’t the only pack member that’s hurting,” Jim said, looking into Spike’s eyes.
“He isn’t the only one I need to know is okay.”
“Blair is doing fine,” Spike said.
“Jesus, Spike, what do I have to do spell it out for you?” Jim’s voice rose and Blair turned to the sound of Jim’s anger.
“Jim,” Spike said softly trying to worn their pack leader that his voice was now within the guides hearing range.
“Don’t Jim me!”
Xander’s head popped up and both guides looked toward the kitchen.
“Blair is the only one doing okay in this, he’s a healer guide and he’s helping to heal Xander. He’s not happy about what happened to Xan but he’d doing something about it and he is blooming. And then there is you. You’re killing yourself, you get weaker everyday.”
Blair and Xander got off the sofa and walked to the kitchen.
“I’m not dying, Jim,” Spike said. “I’m just a little tired.”
“I have no right to feel this need,” Jim said.
“Of course you do, Jim,” Spike said, “He’s your guide. Re-bond with him.”
“Aren’t you listening? It’s not Xander I need; I can wait. Every night I go to Blair and he takes away my need to re-bond with Xander. But he doesn’t take away my need for you.”
“We promised them we wouldn’t,” Spike whispered.
“I know,” Jim said as he pulled Spike into a hug. “That’s why…”
It was Blair, his hair pulled back into a ponytail, his eyes full of questions. Jim could hear his guide’s heartbeat, steady and strong, not agitated, as if it were in a holding pattern, wai…ting, wai…ting.
It was Spike that broke the hug and walked to Xander. “Come on Xan,” he said. “We need to give them some time alone.”
“No,” Xander said pulling his arm free from Spike. “This isn’t about Jim and Blair, this is about the four of us. Are we going to make it work or not?”
“Xan’s right,” Blair said. “This is about the four of us, we need to talk this out.”
“So why don’t we start with the easy one first,” Xander said as he walked up to Jim and got in his face. “Why didn’t you tell me you needed to re-bond with me?”
“You’re still healing, it can wait.”
Xander turned his head and look at his two pack mates. “See what we have here gentleman in one…POMPOUS ASS,” Xander said with two pokes of his finger into Jim’s chest.
Jim growled a waning, “Xanman.”
“You know that Blair blooms when he is in healing mode but you deny that same bloom to me. Why? Because… you are… a pompous… ass.”
Jim’s eyes were dark and his growl grew louder as he picked up Xander, put him over his shoulder and carried him toward their nesting room.
Xander lifted his head, his smile beamed and he raised one arm and waved at his pack mates, as he was carried from the kitchen to the nesting room.
Spike smiled and turned to continue with cooking supper. It was Blair that broke the silence.
“We need to talk,” Blair said in a firm, alpha guide voice.
Spike sighed. “Jim and I will keep the promise we made to you and Xander, we won’t renew our sentinel-to-sentinel bond; you don’t have to worry about it.”
“That’s not what I need to talk about but apparently it is what you need to talk about,” Blair said reaching out with his empathic sense to analyze Spike’s state of mind. “You’ll rebond with Jim…”
“Blair,” Spike interrupted. “It’s…”
“Don’t interrupt me,” Blair said letting an edge of anger creep into his voice. It was a tone that Spike had heard him use with Jim but it was the first time it was directed at him.
“I’m your guide and you will listen.”
Spike cocked his head and looked Blair in the eyes. For a microsecond Blair thought he saw amusement in the sentinel’s deep blue eyes, along with a flash of gold, but it was gone so fast he could not be sure.
Blair’s voice returned to his normal, alpha guide tone. “When you and Jim made those promises things were different. Xander hadn’t had a large chuck of his memories erased and neuro-pathways destroyed. There wasn’t some shadow figure stalking him, we thought we knew who it was, but now Ethan Rayne is dead and someone shot down the General’s plane, which seems to indicate that it’s not just some rich, sociopath or genetics company, that wants Xander. Considering that it was the army that came after Xander, some splinter of our government could be involved. Our pack is under attack. It is only a matter of time before they make their move. You and Jim need to be in top shape to protect Xander. And you are getting weaker. Not just tired, but weaker. You need a healing Spike, which is what I wanted to talk to you about. I think tonight would be good. After that you need to renew your bond with Jim, as soon as possible, after the healing or tomorrow morning at the latest. Jim is hurting and you’re the only one that can help with that particular pain.”
“Can I say something now, Guide?” Spike asked.
“Yes, Sentinel,” Blair said with a smile.
“I will submit to a healing bond but I have to talk to Xan about the re-bond with Jim. I won’t do it unless he releases me from the promise.”
“He’ll release you,” Blair said with out any doubt in his voice. “He’ll do what is best for his sentinels and it’s what is best for all of us. There is one more thing I need to tell you.
Xander has been suckling my guide gland at night. He does it in his sleep. I wake up and move his head away and he rolls back to you. He’s not aggressive about it, the way a sentinel would be, but still it’s not normal behavior for a guide.”
“How long has this been going on?”
“The last three nights. I’ve been waiting to get you alone to tell you about it.”
“Are you saying his sentinel gene has triggered?”
“I don’t know,” Blair said. “We are blind here. The sentinel gene doesn’t become active on a guide, but Xander has had some of his guide pathway destroyed by the drug overdose. Triggering the sentinel gene could be his brain’s way of compensating for the loss. Or suckling me could be a healing behavior. I would like to do a healing bond with Xander, the touch healing is helping but if I do a healing bond with him I’ll be able to tell if his sentinel gene is active.”
“You should do that first. I can wait.”
“No you can’t,” Blair said. “If Xander’s sentinel gene has triggered than he’ll need all of us in top shape, especially you.”
Sentinel Prime Peter Wall rolled off of his guide, Wesley, and pulled him into a hug. It was unusual for the sentinel to need to renew his bond with his guide in the middle of the day but these were stressful times. His superior had ordered a U.S. Army plane, carrying a General, who was the holder of a metal of honor, shot down and he hated to think what would happen if Jim or Spike ever found out that it was The Agency of Sentinel Affairs that had given the order. His superior was angry with him that his plans for Xander to be bonded to a sentinel that worked for Sentinel Affairs didn’t work out. Spike was supposed to come to him when he found out that Rayne was after his guide. Instead fate had conspired against him and Spike ended up in Jim’s pack and cross-bonded with Jim’s guide and chosen as Jim’s second. All he could do now was monitor the situation by building an active friendship with Jim and Spike. But they expected progress in finding out who was after Xander. Their focus, so far, was on healing their guide, but soon they would ask for his report. He was walking a knife’s edge and any loss of focus could, and most likely would, get him killed.
Sentinel Peter Wall walked into his superior’s offices and was invited to take a seat.
“I understand,” the Sentinel Alpha Prime said, “that you have a plan to bring Xander Harris into the Agency.”
“Yes sir,” Peter began. “I recently worked with an un-bonded sentinel William Spikeman, he is currently a police detective in Lake View, Washington. The man is looking for a guide. I have invited him to join the Agency as soon as he bonds. I would like to arrange a “chance” meeting of him and the Harris Guide. I am sure he would claim Harris if he picks up his scent."
“Why not just offer him Harris as an incentive to join the Agency?”
“If he thinks we’re trying to manipulate him we’ll lose this chance.”
“Arranging a chance meeting could be tricky.”
“We are in luck there, sir,” Peter said. “Xander Harris has accepted an invitation to a co-workers wedding and Sentinel Robert Wheaton, of the Lake View Police Department is retiring. I can arrange for him to have his retirement party at the same place and on the same day as the wedding reception. From there it would be a simple matter of making sure that Spikeman picks up Guide Harris’ scent.
“And how will you guarantee that Spikeman picks up the scent?”
“I’ll have someone in coat check make sure that Xander’s scent gets on Spike’s coat. From there all Spikeman will have to do is track him down in the wedding reception. It will be a simple matter for a sentinel like Spikeman. All I need is your okay, sir, and I can put this plan into motion. The wedding’s in a month. Spike will file an intent to bond certificate and a week later, if he doesn't contact me first, I will give him a call, congratulate him on his new guide and tell him I have an opening in the Agency that I would like him to fill.”
“And you’re sure he’ll take the job offer?”
“I’m sure sir. A sentinel's talent is wasted in a town like Lake View and Spike knows it.”
Peter startled as the ringing of the phone brought him out of his memories.
“Sentinel Wall,” he answered.
“I want you in my office in an hour with a full report on Guide Harris and your plan for getting the situation under our control.”
It was the Sentinel Alpha Prime and he sounded like he was loaded for bear. “Yes, sir,” Peter answered. The phone clicked dead and Peter sighed as he hung up.
“Do you have a plan?” Wesley asked.
“There is always a plan,” Peter said as he swung his legs over the side of the bed and headed for the shower.