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.
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Gibbs smiled at the red-headed guide. “Guide 915,” he said. “I would like to hear the complete answers to the questions that Alpha Prime Harris asked. You have stated that you have an ability to sunder a guide/sentinel bond. Why do you feel your yes answer to that question may be misleading?”
The young woman looked up at him with grateful eyes, beautiful eyes. Almost as beautiful at those of his own guide, Tony, but Tony held the edge.
“I can only sever a bond under a narrow parameter of circumstances,” 915 said. She was sitting tall in the witness chair, her attention focused on the man questioning her. He nodded as she spoke.
“And those circumstances are?” Gibbs asked, when she had stopped speaking.
“The guide must be rated below a 6.5 or…” She stated, her voice growing stronger with each word. This man was listening to her, to what she said, not dismissing her as a guide who knew nothing and should follow commands or undergo reeducation.
“Objection,” Eldred yelled, his face flushed. “The guide has already stated that she has successfully broken a bond with a level 8.1 guide.”
Gibbs looked at the General. He looked like a man about to loose his chance at a tidy bribe. Which suited Gibbs just fine. Gibbs managed to keep his satisfaction secret and his expression only faintly disapproving. “Overruled,” Gibbs said with an unmistakable warning in his voice. “The purpose of this cross examination is to hear her complete answer. Please continue, Guide.”
“I have only successfully severed a bond with a guide rated over 6.5 when either the Sentinel or the guide is suffering from a terminal injury or illness,” The thin redhead said. “That is the only circumstance in which I have ever been successful.”
“In reference to the recently preformed sundering of a sentinel with a guide rated 8.1, was one of the pair terminally injured?” Gibbs asked, pointedly seeking unambiguous clarification. He’d be damned if he’d let anyone misconstrue the guide’s words at a later date. What she meant would be crystal clear.
The young woman was eager now; her words tumbled out. “Yes, both had a living will with a pre-signed request for a sundering should either of them be terminally injured. The sentinel received a gunshot wound to the head in the line of duty and was being kept alive on life support. The guide, although uninjured physically, was also in a coma due to his bond with the sentinel. He would have died if the sundering had not been successful. ”
Gibbs eyes lifted for an instant, finding Tony’s. The reality of such a possibility hung over them each day, as it did with all sentinels and guides that worked in the field. He tore his attention away from his guide and back to guide 915.
“I have a question for this guide,” General Sebastian Rigby said. “Are you telling this court that the reason you were able to successfully break the bond between that Sentinel and his guide was because both the sentinel and his guide were in a coma?”
Gibbs could predict just where this was going and he wasn’t going to have it. He decided to let it play out these men were showing their true colors in an attempt to railroad Guide Pryce.
“That and the head injury to the sentinel were the factors that allowed the sundering to be successful.”
“Well that solves the problem,” the General said, feeling quite proud of himself for saving the day. “We simply induce a coma in the sentinel and his guide and 915 will be able to dissolve the bond with minimum risk of brain damage. This should have been documented as soon as it was discovered.”
Over my dead body Gibbs thought. “General, you are disregarding the testimony that stated the Sentinel’s head wound was also a contributing factor. Surely you’re not advocating shooting Sentinel Wall in the head?”
“Of course not,” the General said. “Comas can be induced chemically with medical supervision. We have no reason to believe it would not work.”
“And no evidence to show it would,” Gibbs said.
Guide 915 cleared her throat. “I wish to make a statement to the court,” she said with her chin held high and her eyes snapping with fire. “I will not perform an order of sundering on guide Wesley Pryce or any other healthy sentinel and guide bond.”
“That’s our girl,” Xander whispered to Spike.
Peter squeezed Wesley’s hand.
Alpha Prime Harris jumped out of his seat, livid with rage “It is not your place, Guide,” the word was spit out in disgust, “to refuse an order of this court or the agency you serve. You are the property of the Agency of Sentinel Affairs and you will obey or I will remove all the skin from your back. Do you hear me?”
“Sit down,” General Gibbs said, clearly pissed. He locked eyes with Harris. “This tribunal has not yet made a decision. Your outburst is out of order.”
The Alpha Prime found himself slumping back down into his seat. He sat there in absolute shock. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d backed away from a fight, verbal or physical. Now he had lost his temper and gave his anger vent in the tribunal. There were powerful people that would see it as a weakness.
When it was apparent that Harris was going to remain in his seat Gibbs speared the audience with his steely blue gaze. “I’ve had all the theatrics I will tolerate. It stops now! What is this, the dark ages? We don’t flog Guides and we don’t threaten them with it or anything like it in my courtroom.” Gibbs turned his sight on the Alpha Prime. “You are hereby warned, Alpha Prime Harris. Now, if you think you can regain control of yourself we will continue. If not, I am ready to dismiss this case with prejudice, which means you will not be able to bring these charges up against Guide Pryce again. It’s up to you.” Gibbs settled back in his chair, hands folded on his desk, watching the Alpha Prime, he waited. It wasn’t difficult to tell he was serious.
The Alpha Prime rose and deliberately turned his back on the tribunal judges, as if he intended to address the proceedings attendees. However, he looked over the heads of the sentinel’s and guides sitting in back of him and focused on the wall.
“I wish to apologize to the court for my inappropriate behavior. It was in my mind to remind the guide of her obligation to perform her duty as her superiors see fit. However it was not and is not proper for me to do so at this time. I give my word that my behavior for the remainder of this proceeding will confirm to the rules of the court.” The Alpha Prime turned back and sat in his chair, looked General Gibbs in the eye and with a flick of his had announced, “You may continue.” ‘There,’ AP Harris thought. ‘Let’s see what you do about that.’
General Gibbs understood exactly what Harris had done. He apologized for his behavior but not the content of his statement. By turning his back on the tribunal judges he was in essence baiting Gibbs. He decided to play Harris’s game. “General Eldred, do you find the Alpha Prime’s apology acceptable?” he asked, in a perfectly reasonable and calm voice.
Eldred turned white. To say Harris’s apology was anything but insulting to the court was unthinkable. But Harris was a staunch supporter of the new laws. He was a man strategically placed to be of service to their cause, to judge him in contempt was equally out of the question. Harris had put him in an untenable position. “I found his apology less then satisfying,” Eldred said. It was a weak answer but at least it would give Harris a chance to make it right.
“General Rigby,” Gibbs said. “Did you find the Alpha Prime’s apology acceptable?”
The general’s eyes darted from Harris to Eldred and back to Harris, he licked his lips nervously. “I have to agree with General Eldred. Alpha Prime’s apology was unsatisfactory.”
“I must agree with Generals Eldred and Rigby,” Gibbs said. “This is your last chance. Are you able to show this court the respect it deserves, Alpha Prime Harris, or shall I dismiss this proceeding?”
AP Harris clenched his jaw. He could not let the proceedings be dismissed. He decided that everything comes to those who wait and he could wait for Gibbs’ downfall. The bigger they are the harder they fall and he would be sure Gibbs fell very hard, in fact, he intended to be the one that pushed Gibbs over the cliff. His anger was replaced by a predatory smile and he stood up once more and this time facing the judges, in a calm voice, repeated his apology.
“Thank you A.P. Harris,” Gibbs said. “Do you have any more evidence to present?”
“I rest my case,” Harris said.
Gibbs turned to the defense table. “Do you have any questions of guide 915?” he asked.
Graham stood. “None, General,” he said.
“Guide 915 you may step down.” Gibbs turned to his guide. “Tony, I want you stay with guide 915 until this proceeding is over and then I would like to speak to her in chambers.”
Tony nodded and followed Red out of the courtroom.
“The defense may state its case now,” Gibbs said.
“There are four sentinels present that would like to make statements in support of Guide Pryce’s competency.” Graham began.
“Four Sentinels?” Gibbs interrupted. “It was my understanding he was cross bonded to two sentinels.”
“Yes General,” Graham said. “Guide Price is fully bonded to both Sentinel Wall and myself. Sentinel Ellison and Sentinel Spikeman are sentinel brothers to Sentinel Wall and ask the court to let them testify in Guide Pryce’s behalf.
“Objection!” both General Eldred and General Rigby shouted at the same time.
“General Eldred,” Gibbs said. “State your objection.”
“Sentinels Ellison and Spikeman are police detectives, they have no knowledge of how the guide has performed during Agency assignments.”
Jim stood up. “If it please the court, the General is mistaken. Both Sentinel Spikeman and I worked alongside Sentinel Wall and Guide Pryce when our guide was kidnapped a few months ago. We can testify to how well Guide Pryce and Sentinel Prime Wall work together.”
Gibbs looked at Sentinel Rigby. “And your objection, General Rigby?”
“I don’t believe the cross bonding is anything more than an attempt to force this tribunal into refusing an order of sundering. I believe this cross bonding nothing but a show for the court.”
“General Rigby,” Gibbs said. “Turn up your sense of smell, the guide wears the scent of both sentinels. I have a report that states there was a challenge to the death over this cross bonding issue. That hardly speaks to a false bond. Your objection is overruled.”
“General Eldred,” Gibbs continued. “I find that Sentinels Ellison and Spikeman do have pertinent information for this court. Your objection is also overruled.”
Gibbs looked at Sentinel Miller. “This tribunal is ready to hear your statements.”