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.
An: If you have not read Runaway Guide 1 or you missed any chapters, you can read it on WWOMB. Just scroll down until you come to it.
All my fics are archived here
The three judges entered the courtroom in full dress uniform and took their seats. Sentinel General Robert Eldred, as slim as when he served
in the field fifty years ago, sat in the right hand chair. Sentinel
General Sebastian Rigby, shorter than the first man,
but wider, sat in the left hand chair.
The last of the men who entered sat in the middle chair, indicating he
was the highest ranked of the judges though he was ten years younger
than Eldred. He was Sentinel General Jethro Gibbs. His uniform jacket
sparkled with medals and ribbons for service, valor and honor. A
hush fell over the court. Everyone in attendance knew exactly who General Gibbs was.
"You may be seated," the bailiff barked smartly, before taking up his parade rest stance and gazing at the far wall.
General Gibbs gave everyone in the room the benefit of his stern gaze
as he waited for them to settle back in their seats, his eye contact
transferring from face to face, holding the look for long enough to
freeze them where they sat. "Who authorized the TV cameras at the tribunal proceeding?" he asked as his eyes continued to sweep the room. The question was delivered with deceptive quiet.
Tony sat with an amused look on his face. He knew the true feeling behind the General’s question, he waited for the order he knew would follow.
Byron Harris closed his hands into fists so tight that his perfectly
manicured fingernails bit into the palms of his hands. Something had
gone wrong; he could feel it in his bones. Jethro Gibbs was not one of
the sentinels he was told would be a tribunal judge.
The Alpha Prime stood up, willing himself not to show hesitation or
fear. He could not afford to appear intimidated. "I authorized them," he said, his voice held a challenge that was not lost on General Gibbs.
Gibbs looked at Harris with disdain, his head tilted very slightly as
he examined the man. "And you are?" he asked with chilling indifference.
Harris fixed Gibbs with an equally hard stare. "Sentinel Alpha Prime
Byron Mcfae Harris." Harris was used to sentinels backing down when
faced with his stare, even sentinels that outranked him, but Gibbs
didn't back down. Harris watched as Gibbs’ eyes dilated and the muscles
in his face moved, he felt his sphincter contract involuntarily.
Imperceptible to anyone but a sentinel, Gibbs’ disdain deepened as the
silent laugh crossed his face. The Alpha Prime's face turned scarlet
Every guide in the courtroom above a level 6 felt the tension and gave
a soft moan; every guide except Tony, who was used to his boss'
presence causing stress and distress alike. Tony simply reached
forward, and with his bright, indomitable smile, rubbed both Wesley's
shoulders as he whispered into his ear. "It's all right, everything is
under control." He rubbed over the fine tremor until he felt it fade.
The courtroom filled with the sound of soft purring as the Sentinels
offered comfort to their guides, Jim and Spike among them.
Byron Harris felt his hackles rise. He bit his lip to keep the
scathing words inside. Here they were, sentinels, conducting a serious
case, and they chose to stroke their whores instead of keeping them
decently locked away from such proceedings.
Jethro Gibbs fixed his look at the camera crews. There was a thump as one of the cameramen, focused on a tight close-up of Gibbs' face jumped back and hit the wall. "Turn off the cameras and the sound equipment,” he barked. ”Put on the lens covers and leave the courtroom. I will not have these proceedings turned into a media circus."
The camera crew simply stood frozen in place by Gibbs' stare. "Now!"
Gibbs ordered, his voice snapping like a whip around the room. The order startled them into action and he watched in silence as the crews scrambled to comply and hastily leave the courtroom.
"Tony," Gibbs said, his voice returned to its normal tone, "check and make sure everything is turned off. If there is any equipment still running I want it confiscated." Tony stood and strode over to the few remaining men holding recording equipment. They eyed him like a mouse being stalked by a particularly hungry tabby. They rushed to stuff their things into carry bags and leave the courtroom.
Gibbs' attention returned to the Alpha Prime. "You're the sentinel that brought the accusations of Guide Pryce's incompetence before this tribunal. State your case and present your evidence." No nonsense. Gibbs conveyed the threat of dire consequences if his time was being wasted.
Byron Harris cleared his throat and began his prepared speech. "Upon
his promotion to Sentinel Prime, Peter Wall was given a long term
covert assignment. He failed in every aspect of that assignment. When
debriefed on his failure the only conclusion that could be made was
that he was continuously distracted from his duties. It is a guide's duty to keep his sentinel in top functioning shape. Wesley Pryce not only failed in his duty, he caused the failure of his sentinel and the failure of the covert operation. This cannot be tolerated. Guide Pryce needs to be replaced and I ask this tribunal for an order of sundering." Byron remained standing, his chin lifted proudly. This was it, his chance to convince them of his case. He was not going to let the cold
stare of the General take that chance away from him. His stood his ground with shoulders rock hard and rigid.
"Do you have any hard evidence that Guide Pryce was at fault?" General
Eldred asked smoothly. His lined face was intent. Listening to every
word spoken. This was the question he was told to ask and he would not divert from the plan, General Gibbs be dammed.
"None that can be presented before the tribunal. The assignment was covert and therefore it cannot become public record." Byron reminded them, pleased at the tingle of satisfaction that filled him. Eldred was keeping to the script, as long as Rigby did the same they could still win this thing and make an example of Guide Pryce.
"A covert assignment,” Gibbs said. “A fact that goes far in preventing Guide Pryce from presenting his own defense. I don't like witch hunts, so you better
have something more to convince me of the validity of your case."
And there it was…exactly what he needed to insure that he would win this case. No sentinel would take the word of a guide over an Alpha Prime. "You have my word as Alpha Prime that Guide Wesley Pryce needs to be replaced,” he said with smug assurance. And now for his killing blow. “There is a mind walker with the ability to sunder the bond with minimum risk to Guide Pryce. I wish to call Guide 915 to testify to her abilities." "The short speech was delivered with smug arrogance.
Gibbs smiled; it was a predatory smile that made most of the sentinels
in the room shiver. Sentinel Byron Harris smiled back with his own
predatory smile. The smell of testosterone in the courtroom became stronger. Harris was sure that Guide 915 was in his pocket; his co-conspirators had assured him that she was owned by The Agency and would do as ordered.
The bailiff called Guide 915. A slim, redheaded woman, approximately
5'6", walked into the courtroom. She was slender, perhaps a bit too
thin, and frail looking. Her skin was pale as milk. She walked
carefully up to face the judges before she lifted huge green eyes. She
stared right back at them, her face serene.
Xander gasped. "That's Willow," he whispered directly into Spike's ear.
Spike looked at Xander his eyes full of questions.
"Willow, from Sunnydale," Xander whispered when he saw Spike didn't recognize her. "What the hell is she doing here?" His anxiety level rose, a thing Spike couldn't miss.
Spike's eyes flashed yellow as he accessed his Sunnydale past life memories.
The bailiff swore Guide 915 in and she took the stand.
"Please relax, Guide 915," the sentinel Alpha Prime said, silkily. "I
will only be asking yes or no questions."
To most people the sentinel's voice sounded calm and reassuring but
Red could feel the emotion behind the voice. Sentinel Harris was a viper ready to strike. His anger, arrogance and disdain for her worth as a human being made him blind to his impending court defeat. The guide knew this was one person she would not be able to find any compassion for. She nodded her head.
"Now, Guide, you are registered as a level 9.9 and carry the guide
gene on both X chromosomes. Is that correct?
"And you have the ability to break a sentinel/guide bond?"
"Guide!" the Alpha Prime interrupted. "This tribunal does not want to
waste time with long answers a simple yes or no is all that is needed.
Do you have the ability to break a sentinel/guide bond?"
"Tribunal," Byron Harris interrupted again. "Please instruct the
witness to answer the questions yes or no."
"You are deliberately asking misleading questions," the redhead said,
her voice soothing and utterly reasonable, making Harris sound like a
frenzied madman. "I can not answer yes or no and keep my oath of
telling the whole truth." She blinked up at him with her incredible
Sentinel General Robert Eldred spoke. "It is not your place, Guide, to
decide if the questions are misleading. You will answer the questions
as asked. If the tribunal needs more information we will ask for it."
"Have I been released from my oath of telling the whole truth?" the guide asked.
"Guide," General Gibbs said. "The Alpha Prime has a right to question
you as he sees fit. I would hate to hold you in contempt. Please
answer the questions as Sentinel Harris has instructed you and trust that this tribunal will ask for any additional information if we feel it is needed."
"Yes General," Red said with a knowing smile directed at Gibbs. When she looked back at the Alpha Prime her smile vanished. “Would you repeat the question please.”
“Do you have the ability to break a sentinel/guide bond?”
“Yes,” she answered in a deadpan voice.
“And you recently preformed a successful sundering of a sentinel with a guide rated 8.1, is that true?”
“The report states that there was no mental damage to the guide. Is that correct?”
“Thank you guide, you may step down now,” Byron Harris said, quite pleased with how the proceeding was going.
“Hold,” Gibbs voice broke through the courtroom. “I wish to cross-examine this witness.”
General Rigby spoke up. “I do not see the point in cross-examining this guide. She has already stated she has successfully preformed a sundering on a guide with an 8.1 rating. By law that is all the information we need from her.”
“General Rigby,” Gibbs said. “Are you questioning my right as head of this tribunal to cross-examine a witness?”
The General glared at Gibbs. “Do you doubt the Alpha Prime’s word, General?”
“It’s not the Alpha Prime I’m going to cross examine,” Gibbs said.