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.
“XANDER!” Spike and Blair yelled at the same time. The dark haired young man jumped and nearly spilled his cereal.
“What!?” It was a high-pitched yelp. Xander startled and look at the pair. “Geez, scare a guy much?”
Spike was vigorously rubbing Xander’s arm. “You just zoned, Pet.” Spike cupped Xander’s chin and tilted his head up making eye contact and evaluating the level of awareness he saw there. The chocolate colored orbs met his. Xander was all the way back with them, thank the gods.
“No, I didn’t,” Xander said, pushing Spike’s hand away from his chin. “I was just looking at the bubbles in my coffee. I never noticed all the colors they have and the way the light plays on them when I stir…
“Oh, shit, I just zoned didn’t I?” He looked shocked and then embarrassed, pushing the cup away from himself he made as if to stand. Jim’s big hand stopped him, coming to rest on his shoulder; it felt both firm and caring.
“You’re okay Xanman,” Jim said, reassuringly. “All sentinels will zone at some time. This was just the first time for you.”
“Yeah, but why? I have two guides, I shouldn’t be zoning,” Xander said, hearing the guilt in his own voice. He knew how to guide a sentinel. He thought it would be an easy matter to apply it to himself.
“I have to teach you how to use your dials first,” Blair said. “After that the zone outs will stop as long as you renew your bond.”
“I’m a guide too, Blair, I know the exercises,” Xander protested. “It’s not like all this is new to me.” He felt the flush rising in his cheeks.
“Knowing the exercises and achieving control are two different things,” Blair said. “Besides you can’t be your own guide. Don’t worry. You’ll do fine.”
“It’s going to make it hard to keep it a secret that my sentinel abilities have triggered if I zone out in public.”
“Don’t worry about it, Pet,” Spike said. We’ll stay in until we’re sure you have control. No reason we can’t give you enough time to get the hang of it. You’ve only been a sentinel for a few days.”
Xander buried his head in his hands. “Oh gods, this is hard,” he moaned. When he looked up at Spike his eyes were full of pain. “You know what will happen if the wrong people find out I’ve triggered, they’ll come after me and they’ll kill you or anyone else that gets in their way.”
“That’s not going to happen, Pet,” Spike said with a melancholy smile. His eyes were filled with understanding. He knew what it was like to be persona non grata. Maybe not so much in this life, but in the last one he’d played the role often enough. He’d been hunted, captured and made into a lab rat. He was going to make damn sure that it never again, happened to Xander. He tried to offer what comfort he could. “You still have your hazard detection and with Jim and I protecting you… We’ll keep you safe; I promise.”
“You’re both police detectives, you shouldn’t have to be distracted from your work to care for me.” Xander pointed out. “What if you get hurt because you’re thinking about me? It will be my fault.”
“A sentinel’s first duty is to protect his guide, always has been,” Jim said. “I don’t want you feeling guilty about any of this. It will keep you from doing what needs to be done.” Jim walked over and took Xander’s chin in his hand and tilted his head up so that he could look into Xander’s eyes. “None of this is your fault. You should have been protected and cherished and you weren’t. You were tortured and used by greedy men that wanted to profit from you. It was wrong for you and it is wrong for our society. We could run, disappear in the jungles of Peru, and if it comes to that, we will, but only as a last resort. For now we are going to fight these new laws, we’re not going to become slaves to our government, so that a few men can have power and wealth at sentinels and guides expense.”
“So, we’re at war with our government,” Xander said quietly, “with an army of eight.” He felt ill, riddled with doubts, and more than a little fear. But under all of that he felt strangely exhilarated, as if he was a part of something important, something that was bigger than all of them. This was larger then individual sentinels and guides and bigger than the pack.
Jim saw the look in Xander’s eyes change from pain and despair to hope and determination and he let go of Xander’s chin. His fingers trailed over the soft skin… “I know,” he said as a diabolical smile lit up his face. “They are hopelessly outnumbered, but that’s their problem.”
Xander wasn’t so sure that their tiny two-pack hive of two sentinels, three guides and three combination sentinel-guides outnumbered their enemies but he could feel Jim’s cold hard rage through his bond and he almost felt sorry for the people trying to enslave sentinels and guides, almost.
Graham and Peter’s heads popped up from their breakfast and their eyes locked. Their ears would have been erect and quivering if it were at all possible.
“Xander just zoned,” Peter whispered.
Graham pushed his chin forward and nodded. “I know,” he answered. He looked down at his guide who had shifted against his leg.
Riley, who was sitting on the floor at Graham’s feet, being fed his breakfast, squinted up at his sentinel. “How do you know that?”
“We can feel it through our link. You didn’t feel anything?” Graham asked.
“No, nothing. How about you Wesley?” Riley asked.
“Yeah,” Wesley said, “It felt like something was wrong, maybe dangerous.”
“Great,” Riley said, with an edge of anger. “I’m the only one left out of your expanded bond.” He didn’t like being the only one out of the loop.
“It’s because I haven’t claimed you,” Peter said with certainty. Riley gave Peter a wanton gaze.
“Wait a minute,” Graham growled, not liking the look Riley was giving his second. “Cross bonding with Riley was never part of this deal. I’ve only claimed Wesley to keep him safe. Riley’s not in any danger.”
Peter was calm as he spoke to Graham. “I never thought it was, Riley is yours and yours alone, Sentinel. But it seems that we’ve inadvertently started a hive, and it would go far in making our pack stronger…” He shut his mouth with a snap when Graham glared at him.
“Sorry,” Peter said as he went back to eating his breakfast. “Your Guide, your decision.”
Satisfied with Peter’s answer Graham reached down and took a handful of Riley’s hair in his fist and pulled his guide’s head back until he was looking up into his master’s face. “As for you, I better not hear anymore complaints about being left out, or wanting to roll onto your back for anyone but me. As punishment, no hot water for a week and that includes coffee and tea as well as showers. You understand me, slave?”
“Yes, Master, thank you Master.”
Graham let go of Riley’s hair. “Go get the lube. The sentinel needs to see me renew my claim on you.”
Peter had no trouble smelling the spurt of heat and pheromones coming off of Riley as the Guide scampered off to obey. Riley wanted this and was excited by it.
Peter glanced over at Wesley. His beautiful Wesley was no longer his alone. Graham had claimed him this morning while Peter held him in his arms. Today Wesley wore Graham’s scent and Graham’s alone and so did Peter. The appropriate papers would be filed, as soon as they got to The Agency, declaring the forming of a new pack and the cross bonding of Wesley. Now Riley would also carry Graham’s scent. Every Sentinel they passed by today would know that a sentinel and two guides now belonged to Captain Miller. They wouldn’t need to read the papers.
When Riley returned the claiming was hard, fast and without any release for the slave guide. It was the first time that Peter and Wesley had witnessed the Master/slave relationship in regards to punishment, but they had promised not to judge Riley so they simply watched without comment. Not that there was much to comment on. Any sentinel would have reclaimed their guide after the look of longing that Riley had given to Peter, but it would have been done it in private with only the scent marking declaring the sentinel’s claim. Reclaiming in front of a sentinel that witnessed a guide’s disobedience was not unheard of but having another guide present was enough off kilter to make Peter want to say something. Of course, he couldn’t, it wasn’t as if he hadn’t known about the Master/slave relationship; and Graham had even indicated that Wesley would be a witness to all of it. They had both come into the pack willingly. Now wasn’t the time to try a renegotiation of terms.
They were a pack now and apparently they had also started hive, two or more packs that are affiliated and have a bond connection. Peter had expected that his psychic connection to Spike would continue. Somehow he knew it would but he was surprised that the connection had spread to Wesley and Graham. Riley, being left out of the connection could cause some adjustment problems, but their pack bond was new and even Jim resisted letting Spike claim Blair. He knew that in time Graham might relent, but only if Riley were in danger. Graham was the head of their pack, it was his call, and Peter was strangely content with it. It was not something he would have thought possible for himself before his bond with Spike. He just hoped the sentinels at The Agency would be as accepting when they caught Graham’s scent on him.
Byron Harris looked at the Sentinel and Guide Reports. The number of newly triggered sentinels was stable at three to six per month. The report covered a four state area of Idaho, Oregon, Alaska and Washington. The number rarely fluctuated, except during wartime.
It was the Guide Report that had him concerned. The Guide school at Rainer University trained one third of the guides in the country. The numbers had been steadily declining since world war one. And this month was no exception. The new laws requiring Sentinels to breed their guides would pass by the end of the week, none too soon as far as he was concerned.
He picked up the report of newly bonded Sentinels and guides, but it was a boring list of names he did not recognize. Luck was with Graham’s newly formed pack. The Alpha Prime didn’t notice the name Miller half way down the page. They were safe for now.
Graham sat behind his desk glaring at Sentinel James Rohgah.
The walk to his office this morning had been relatively uneventful. The sentinels that his new-formed pack passed in the hall did turn and look but with a warning growl from Graham they quickly went about their business. Now this. Sentinel Rohgah was an ambitious man and wanted very much to be promoted to Sentinel Prime. There was however one problem, no one liked him. Graham knew that he was not the kind of sentinel that could command the loyalty of the men that served under him and what he was doing now was a perfect example of why that was. “Request denied,” Graham barked
“Sir,” Rohgah said unwilling to give up. “Sentinel Wall has voluntarily surrendered his Alpha status by allowing another Alpha Sentinel to claim him. I am within my rights to challenge him for his rank.”
“You would be a fool to do so,” Graham said. “And I would be a murderer to let you.”
“Sir,” Rohgah continued, bringing himself to attention, “with all due respect, it’s your scent he carries, I do not believe that you have the right to refuse me, Sir.”
“Are you challenging me now, Rohgah?” Graham growled.
“Sir, that is not my intent, Sir.”
“Give it up, Rohgah,” Graham warned. “Issuing a challenge to Sentinel Wall is not your fast track to a promotion. This type of challenge is one of personal pride, you would have to kill him to win his rank; Peter will not let that happen.”
“Sir, it is my fervent belief that Sentinel Wall no longer deserves his rank. He has surrendered himself and his guide to another sentinel. It is an admission that he cannot protect his guide. A sentinel that cannot protect his guide should not be entrusted with the protection of the public. I therefore wish to serve notice of intent to challenge Sentinel Peter Wall for his rank of Sentinel Prime, Sir.”
Graham sighed. There was no point in arguing with Rohgah. “Make sure your will is in order before you make the challenge and say good-bye to your family.” Graham stood up and offered Rohgah his hand. “I am sorry it had to end this way Sentinel.”
Rohgah looked down at Graham’s hand. “Sir, you are not going to psyche me out by acting as if I have already lost. I won the gold metal in hand to hand combat at the last Sentinel Games.”
Graham dropped his hand, “I’m aware of your abilities, but you still don’t have a snowball’s chance in boiling water to win this challenge. Dismissed.”
A very arrogant Sentinel James Rohgah left the Captain’s office, convinced the captain was running scared. He and Peter had been sparing partners more then once while he was preparing for The Games. He knew he could win, he was a split second faster, bigger and stronger than Wall and he knew Wall’s fighting style; besides, right was on his side.