Title: Runaway Guide 2 – The Healing
Author: Joan Z and Neichen
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 four men struggle to make the cross bonding work while trying to heal Xander.
The group suspects that Xander is still in danger from who ever shot down the
Warnings: Group sex, a four-way relationship, Hurt/comfort, explicit M/M sex
Acknowledgments: Thanks to my beta Kerensa and to Neichen for her encouragement.
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.
The eight men sat in the living room. Jim occupied the chair he had taken at the first meeting. Spike, Xander and Blair sat on one sofa, with Graham and Peter on the other, eying each other with a degree of trepidation that hadn't been present last time. Riley and Wesley sat on the floor, Wes at Peter's feet. Riley at Graham's, knowing his Sentinel needed to touch him, and needed equally to have him firmly subordinate.
"So," Peter said when Jim and Blair were through bringing the visitors up to date on the prophetic dream Blair had had, "this shaman, Incacha, said I have to do this blood bond thing with Spike?"
"That's right," Blair said. "In order to make it work with Graham. To be Graham's second and protect Wes."
"Uh huh, I've got just one question. What the hell does it mean? Blood bond? Real blood? I couldn't possibly be lucky enough that you are talking metaphorical blood, could I?” Peter didn't like the idea of it; the concept of cross bonding at all and being a second to another sentinel was bad enough. But drinking blood for the privilege, not even the blood of a pack mate; Spike's blood… Yech! It went against all the instincts he had.
"Simple." Spike said, interrupting. "My blood will make you like me. Which is what has to happen. It's the whole point. Right?"
Xander snarled, and Spike immediately stroked a hand down his side. "No, pet, you promised to be good. I am yours. All yours. It is just a bit of blood. No dicks, no kissing. Just blood." Xander snarled again, but sounded more subdued and relaxed as Spike licked his hand, nuzzling his wrist and bit gently over the pulse there. Peter, watching, saw all the little hairs along Xander's arm stand to attention. He hid his smile. Yeah, Wes could do that to him with a little nibble in the right place, too. But there were larger issues to deal with now.
"I don't mind taking Spike as a sentinel brother, in fact I would welcome it, he is strong, a good ally, but this blood bond… It just seems… I mean why blood?" Peter again failed to keep the distaste out of his voice. Xander glared over at him, eyes heated.
Graham grunted his agreement. The blood thing...not good.
"Blood gives life," Spike said. It was like teaching kids, better keep it simple and impossible to misunderstand. "It's how the meta-physical part of me multiplies."
Graham and Peter stared at him, eyes narrowed, as if trying to figure out just how nuts he was. Spike fought the urge to roll his eyes. These sentinels were such literalists. Such concrete thinkers. If they couldn't see it, hear it, taste it, or smell it, or pound it into the
mattress...it didn't exist, wasn't real. He prayed for patience.
"Is this the only way?" Peter asked after several long minutes, considering what had been said.
"It's the only way to transfer the pull toward Spike that Graham is feeling," Jim said. "The only way, as far as we know, to make it possible for you and Graham to cross bond without challenging each other for supremacy.”
“So aside from this pull thing, I’ll be transferred into a Beta Sentinel?
“Spike’s no Beta,” Graham said.
“Graham’s right,” Jim said. You’ve seen Spike in the field. You know what he can do. He’s stronger for what he is.”
“I know you want it, Peter,” Spike said. “I felt it since I first met you, it’s different than what Jim and Graham feel. They need what I have to give but you want to be the giver.”
Peter stared at Spike. It was true. He was jealous of what Spike was. He wanted it. But he wanted the sentinel parts. He hadn’t seen the true, fullness of what Spike was. It was a bigger bite then he wanted to chew. He gave a small ironic laugh at his mental pun.
"You've been talking about this from a meta-physical point of view. I think we need to lay out all the more mundane benefits and problems this will cause before we decide," Blair offered. "We know that there is a faction of the government that supports taking procreative and genetic control away from the individual pair bonds. They want the gene that Xander has, the threat assessment gene, and they are willing to alter centuries of law to get control of it. So they can breed it into future generations at will. Use it, and the Guides and Sentinels who have it, as weapons of war."
"What do you mean?" Peter asked, grateful for the change of subject. "I've heard some of what you are saying. But...surely it won't get that out of control. It is just a few people like Byron Harris. Not a government conspiracy." A law? Not simply kidnapping a Guide or two, Which was unforgivable enough. But making Sentinels and Guides legally bend to the will of the Nation? That was a huge step up in escalation. Guides and Sentinels, all of them, would become property of the state.
"Ok, let’s start with our situation,” Blair said. “Your whole pack thing was kicked up a notch in urgency because of the threat that the Alpha Prime made against Wesley. So one of the immediate benefits of a cross bond will be that Wesley has a better chance of survival if the crazy bastard makes good on his threat. Any other benefits that you know of?"
Jim turned towards Graham. "I know you've heard of the proposed law, you have always had a talent for finding out these kinds of things."
"Rumors.” Graham admitted reluctantly. "Along the same lines Peter has heard. But nothing about making what they have been doing legal. There are labs, secret genetics labs, but that is a tiny part of what is happening. There aren't enough of them to make an impact. Making it nationwide? Jim are you sure? That sounds...well frankly, insane. No
one will vote it in even if it does get out of committee and to a congressional vote."
Jim thought about what Graham had said, and then he spoke. "I can only tell you what I've learned through sources, including you two, but not limited to you. The Agency has purchased the Washington Genetics Lab. They have enough confidence in their support that they are stepping out in the open. There is going to be a vote; the law will pass. They have managed to buy the votes, somehow. What it means is we can't afford to be weak. We can't afford to be only as strong as we were. We have to be stronger than last year, stronger than we are today. Or we have lost before we begin to fight. As far as the rest..." He shrugged. "My bond with Blair has gotten deeper since the cross bonding. I wouldn't have thought it possible but that is what has happened. It has enhanced all my senses and my control, my thinking. I have lost nothing, and gained...everything."
Xander raised his hand, his glowering look had faded once the serious business was being discussed and Spike was no longer the center of attention, half wedged under the larger guide. "Speaking as a guide here, my two sentinels are different, they give me what I need in different ways. Spike has been healing me and bonding with me, but it wasn't until I re-bonded with Jim that I started glowing again. So I would say that having two different sentinels has benefited me."
Xander took in a deep breath, frowned, and then continued. "I don't remember much about what happened during the kidnapping, fragments mostly, a few words, a face, but I do know this...you better believe it when Jim tells you there are people who will stop at
nothing to force you to do what they want to control you. They have the power, they have the will and they believe they have the right to own you, me, all of us. No one is making this up."
Peter and Graham were looking at him assessingly when he finished. His heartbeat was accelerated, but not erratic. He smelled like he believed what he was saying was true. The Sentinels turned their heads in unison, pinning Jim with their eyes.
"On the life of my Guides, it is true, Graham. Xander was kidnapped; the intent was to harvest his genes. Peter was there at the rescue. Whether Xander lived or died was not important to the people who had him. The attempt failed. But there are now even more people who believe they have the right. That Xander, and the Sentinels and Guides, who mutate and show new, desirable talents, should be harvested. Their genes used for the benefit of their projects." Jim's eyes fixed on Spike. "Get the letter." He said.
Spike rose and padded over to the locked desk against one wall. He spun the key in the lock and lowered the lid. Then he tapped in the code to open the small safe in the center of the desktop. He pulled out a letter. Looked over at Jim, who nodded. Then Spike walked over and handed the letter to Graham, careful that their fingers didn't
Graham wasted no time. He opened the letter and read it. Wordlessly he handed it off to Peter when he was done, his brow furrowed.
"Read it and weep." Spike muttered. "The bastards have the cheek to tell me to report to their facility and jerk off into a cup for them. Then to lay back like a good little sod and let them stick needles into me. No bloody way."
"Jesus," He said, shaking his head. "They can't...I mean...Jesus...." The first sentence blared in his brain. 'Under penalty of arrest and permanent loss of freedom, Sentinel William Spikeman is hereby compelled to report....'
“The bastard,” Peter said and handed the letter to Wesley. “I swear it’s not my doing, Spike. The Alpha Prime called today and ordered me to stand down on this. He said other things were in the works, but this…”
Xander made an unhappy sound and threw his long arms around Spike, clinging to him. He gave out a little whimper.
"Jesus." Graham whispered again.
“This letter didn’t come from the Agency,” Wesley said. “The paper doesn’t have our water mark and we have our own stamp machine. This letter was mailed from a public post office.”
Graham held out his hand and Wesley handed him back the letter. “You’re right, guide. This is a forgery and that’s not Byron Harris’ signature either.”
“So what does it mean?” Riley asked.
“It means someone else is in the game,” Graham said with a low growl. “And they are not waiting for the Agency to get the upper hand.”
“It means we’re in deep shit,” Peter said. “But who else could be doing this? Another wacko billionaire?”
“Probably another government,” Jim said. “Rayne put Xander up for auction on the international market. Our government just happened to be the high bidder. But that won’t stop another government from trying to steal what they couldn’t buy.”
“You are right, my brother,” Graham said. “We can’t allow this to happen. Jesus, I thought all I needed to deal with was an insane Alpha Prime. He’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
“So,” Jim asked. “Do you need any further convincing or have you made your decision?”
“I’ve made mine,” Graham said. “I think you’re right Jim, we don’t have a choice. We’re stronger together than we are apart.”
“I have a question before I give my answer,” Peter said and looked at Graham. He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. It was a question that needed to be asked. “Is Riley a slave guide?”
Riley startled and looked up at Graham, silently asking for permission to speak. Graham didn’t give it. “Riley is a beta guide. He is submissive. It’s what he is. Like any decent sentinel, I give my guide what he needs.”
“I’m more interested in what you need,” Peter said. “Specifically, what will you need from Wesley?”
“Wesley is not like Riley. If he’s true to himself and happy with the bond, if he continues to be as good a guide as he has been then there is only one thing more that I require, and that would be from both of you. If we’re going to nest together, you need to accept what happens between Riley and I. I can’t take you as my second if your distaste hurts my guide. If you can’t find it in you to accept it then you need to find another sentinel to cross bond with.”
Peter looked at Wesley. “Does that answer satisfy you, Wesley?” he asked. “Can you accept their relationship and be there when they renew their bond?”
“I’m an empath, Peter. If Graham is giving Riley what he needs I won’t pass judgment on them, Graham is a good man and a strong sentinel. He is the only sentinel that entered my mind when we discussed cross bonding. You have the final say, but I’m satisfied that Graham will treat me with respect.”
Peter looked at Spike, “When do we do this?”