Mundanes and most scientists believe that the brain is the creator of consciousness. Guides know that is not true, the brain is the receiver of consciousness. Guides may not know the true source or origin of consciousness but they are one hundred percent sure it is not the human brain.
Guide 915 drifted slowly up from sleep and back into consciousness. It is those few seconds between being asleep and awake, when all telepathic barriers are down, that Guides are vulnerable to mental invasion. It is a secret that is well kept by Guides. To a Sentinel, for a Guide to wake up beside his or her Sentinel and feel the love and protection; to feel the Sentinel’s need for them, is just the way Guides are.
Last night had been unexpected for Red, Tony was not only with Gibbs when he Claimed her. He held her and sent her his love and joy at the Claiming. She had expected Tony to wait outside the bedroom or perhaps in his own bedroom until Gibbs came to him. Two guides, two bedrooms. That may have been true before they bonded with Spike, but things were different now. To Gibbs it was a certainty that the three of them would be in the nest together. Tony couldn’t wait in the hall anymore than Gibbs’ left foot could decide to wait outside the bedroom door.
Now Red was waking, spooned between the two men. The essence of who they were, invaded her consciousness just as she invaded theirs. Her consciousness touched Tony’s mind and his reached back for her’s and embraced her. Suddenly she was in ‘The Dance’ with Tony, and Gibbs was with them. The bond reached out, first to Sweet then to Blair, Xander, and on it went; in less than the blink of an eye it reached every soul in the hive. Red gasped as she became fully awake and was welcomed into the hive mind. “I didn’t know,” she whispered as the profound emotions hit her and she was brought to tears.
Tony rolled over to face Gibbs and Red. Gibbs pulled Red into a hug. “Red, are you okay? What happened?” Gibbs asked. “Did you feel that, Tony?”
“She just got linked into the hive,” Tony said, rubbing Red’s arm. “It was unexpected, her shields were down.”
Red composed herself. “Wow! Wow! I just bonded with Tony... and the hive...I can feel the whole hive.”
Gibbs got to work right after breakfast. He didn’t have time to take a bond leave. He sent McGee out to arrest the current Alpha Prime and have him interrogated by a Mindwalker. Other NCSIA Agents got busy in the field tracking down any missing Agency Sentinels and brought them in for questioning. The amount of work that needed to be done was huge. Sweet and Red agreed to help with the interrogations so that the Agency could get back in working order quickly.
The Sentinels were busy trying to get their lives back together. Morgan and Reid were the first to leave the Mansion and get back to work with the Cascade FBI, promising to stay in touch.
Clint had a difficult task to undertake. He had to call Sam Gerard and tell him that he would not be coming back to Texas. He didn’t tell Gerard about the Tribunal’s order that Sweet must live with Spike, but he did tell him that they had joined a hive that accepted Sweet and that they had a place and a home in Cascade. Gerard was surprised that Clint and Sweet had been brought into a hive, it was more than his team had ever done. They had tolerated Sweet as a part of their team but never truly accepted her. In the end Gerard knew that staying in Cascade was what was right for Clint and his Guide. He wished them well and he meant it.
Graham Miller and Peter Wall had to go to Court to get back their rank and jobs as Alpha Prime and Sentinel Prime. They had been accused of deserting their jobs. General Gibbs went to testify on their behalf and after a week Graham’s rank was restored and he and Peter were once again working at the Agency. The Agency had lost a lot of men to the Initiative so Graham brought Clint in as a Sentinel Prime and Sweet as their assigned Mindwalker. No other agency in the States had a permanent Mindwalker. Sweet hoped that her example would serve to get other agencies to follow suit.
McGee was successful in convincing Oz to take a job as a Computer Consultant in the Cascade Office of the NCSIA. Jim also made him promise to come in and work for the Police Department when needed. “Are you kidding?” Oz asked. “Of course I promise. Just try and stop me.”
Jim wanted to get back to the nesting house and report to work at the Police Station, but it was decided they would wait an extra two days until after Gibbs tied up some loose ends in Cascade, before going back to the capital. Xander and Willow, as Xander insisted on calling her, spent a good deal of their time together talking about Xander’s memories of Sunnydale. To Willow they were wonderful, even if a bit like scary fairy tales. Being a witch intrigued her, but now that she had been Claimed by Gibbs her life had taken a major turn for the better. She knew that Gibbs and Tony wanted to have a child and she was looking forward to it too.
Going to the airport for goodbyes just seemed like it would be too hard. So everyone said goodbye at the Mansion with hugs and kisses and promises to visit. They promised that they would make time to attend a reunion.
Jim and the remaining members of the hive locked up the mansion and returned to the nesting house. It seemed smaller after the mansion, but it still felt like home.
Sunday Morning News
“Good morning viewers. This is Allen Hall and Casey Witt. We have a special show for you this morning coming from Washington D.C.. Our guests are Sentinel General Jethro Gibbs of NCSIA, Senator Elita Lopez, Democrat from Texas, and Director Henrietta Lang, of the Guide Guild joining us via Skype.”
“Good morning panel. My first question is for General Gibbs. I want to thank you General for joining us this morning. I know that it is rare for you to make a personal appearance on TV.”
“You’re welcome, Allen. The discussion you’re having this morning is vital to the legal and cultural health of our nation and to the physical health of the majority of our citizens. I want to thank you for continuing to follow this story.”
“That brings us to my question. It’s been just over a week since the incident at Washington Genetics and we still don’t know exactly what happened. We have photos of the foyer before the fire reached it. It was covered in blood and littered with dead bodies. NCSIA has sealed the autopsy records. Why are you hiding the cause of death from us?”
“The incident at the Department of Guide Proliferation, Washington Genetics Office is an ongoing investigation. In order to preserve our ability to bring charges against any perpetrators we need to keep any evidence we uncover sealed. There is no nefarious intent.”
“Can you at least tell us if it was a terrorist attack or sabotage?”
“All I can say is that at this time we are not ruling out anything.” The General said.
“General Gibbs?” Casey Witt asked. “I’ve heard rumors that the attack may have been metaphysical, is that also one of your areas of investigation?”
“As I said, Casey, we’re not ruling out anything at this time.”
“I do have one more question for you General. You have registered the claiming of Guide 915 two days after The Incident at W.G.. We have video of you, in disguise, carrying a Mindwalker out of Washington Genetics and what looks like you in a state of Blessed Protector Syndrome on the grass with the Guide. Were you secretly bonded to 915 before The Incident and why did you attend the march in disguise?”
“I’d like to answer that question,” Hetty broke in. She knew that Gibbs would not like to answer. “I’ve known both General Gibbs and Guide 915 for years. Guide 915 has worked with General Gibbs on cases several times including, most recently, a trial where Guide 915 was a witness and Sentinel General Gibbs was head judge. At the trial Guide 915 was threatened with being flogged and in fact the General’s Guide, Tony, was injured protecting Guide 915 from the Sentinel that threatened her. When such stressful things happen it creates an emotional and protective link between an unclaimed Guide and a Sentinel. I believe that that is what the video is showing. As for the claiming, I would testify under oath, if called on to do so, that Sentinel Gibbs and Guide 915 were not bonded to each other before or during her incarceration by the DGP.”
“And the reason for the disguise?” Casey asked.
“As you know I’ve had to go into hiding because of credible threats to my life.” Hetty cut in again. “Four members of the Generals hive were threatened with abduction. They were actually successful in taking two of them, but the hive got them back and relocated the whole group to a safe house. General Gibbs was simply protecting the location of his safe house and the members of his hive by using a disguise. I don’t understand this line of questioning. Are you attempting to infer that General Gibbs was somehow complicit in The Incident at Washington Genetics?”
“From your own words he had motive,” Casey said.
“Every Sentinel in the country, not a member of the Initiative, had reason to resist the Guide laws,” Senator Lopez said. “I am on the Classified Senate Committee to Investigate The DGP. While I can’t tell you what the witnesses have told us, I can certainly comment on the recent news. In Boston a secret lab was blown up. Dr. Shamus’ body was recently found. You may remember that Dr. Shamus was the doctor that testified before Congress that Sentinels were to blame for the Guide shortage. He was also in charge of the secret lab in Boston. The records that were recovered from the Boston lab led to more secret labs across the country including one in Southern California that was imprisoning genetically altered Guide children as young as eight years old. These labs have been uncovered and the abducted Guides have been rescued due to NCSIA and General Gibbs leadership. To attempt to infer that General Gibbs was in anyway involved in the black ops army, The Initiative, that he was instrumental in exposing; would be outrageous if it weren’t so incredibly absurd.”
“We’ll be right back after these messages,” Allen Hall said, he turned to his co-host. “Are you insane,” Allen whispered to Casey through clenched teeth.
“I have the right to question our guests the way I see fit. Just because you want to throw softball questions at them doesn’t mean I have to.”
“Then maybe you should stop asking ‘incredibly absurd’ questions. Keep your mouth shut for the rest of the segment.”
“I will not!” Casey said.
“Welcome back,” Allen said when the break ended. “Hetty, how are the Guides that were rescued from the Initiative coping now?”
“They have all been returned to their homes and are in counseling. They’ve been excused from Guide School and will not be required to return until their Counselors feel they are ready.”
“Were any of them raped?” Casey asked.
“Yes. Some of them were artificially inseminated against their will,” Hetty answered.
“I’m talking about rape,” Casey said. “Artificial insemination is not the same as rape.”
Hetty did not like this young woman at all. She apparently didn’t have any empathy for what happened to the Guides. “Tell me Miss Witt, if you were abducted, strapped down to a table, your legs forced open, an object full of sperm from a male you never met is inserted into your vagina and the sperm injected into your body; all against your will, what would you call it? I call it rape.”
“I feel it would be more accurate to call it forced artificial insemination.”
“Rape is defined as penetration of the vagina without the consent of the victim. If you had the misfortune of being one of them, I believe that like them you would call it rape.”
“And what about the Guides that did consent?” Casey asked.
“Are you attempting to blame the victims?” Senator Lopez asked.
The producer suddenly cut to an add and the camera light turned off. “Casey!” the producer said into her ear piece. “You will make a sincere apology to Hetty, the Senator, and the abducted Guides for your line of questioning or you will find that tomorrow you no longer have a job.”
“That’s censorship,” Casey complained. “I’ll do no such thing.”
“Casey you’re fired,” the producer told her. “Allen I’m sorry, but I’ll be putting up a technical difficulty sign for the remainder of the segment. Thank you Senator Lopez, General Gibbs, and Director Lang. I apologize for Casey Witt’s behavior. Her conduct does not reflect the beliefs of this program. We are dedicated to bringing the truth to the American people. We are not in the business of spreading conspiracy theories.”
Hetty sighed as she shut down Skype. There were always going to be conspiracy theorists, even in the wake of overwhelming evidence. Luckily Allen Hall and the producer knew better. The segment wasn’t a complete loss. They had made some very valid points that would have gone unsaid without Miss Witt. Hetty would keep working for her Guides. Right now Sam and Callen were being overly cautious. She allowed it, but soon she would be able to continue her work in the open. Her people would continue protesting outside their State Houses demanding the Repeal of the Guide Laws that took away a Guide’s reproductive rights. Hetty and her contacts around the country were still appearing on Talk shows and News programs as guests and in round table discussions. The population had been shown the evidence. A few small pockets of naysayers still existed. They always would. But as a rule the population no longer supported the ‘New’ Guide Laws.
First day back
It was hard to believe that Spike and Xander had not been back to work at the station since he had been abducted. Jim and Blair had been able to go back while Xander was recovering, but Xander just wasn’t up to it and Spike was busy healing him. Then the task force was formed and it became their full time job.
The mundane Detectives in the bullpen had gone to Captain Banks and asked about having a Welcome Back party for Jim, Spike, and their Guides. Nothing too big just a happy acknowledgment.
Everyone in the bullpen came in early. They set up in the break room with a Welcome Back cake and they talked the Captain into donating a pot of his special blend coffee for the occasion. Simon made sure that no one touched the coffee pot until the guests of honor got their cup. A lookout was posted to watch for Jim’s truck, he had retrieved the truck from impound the day they left the mansion, as soon as Jim was spotted word was sent to the bullpen. Everyone crowed into the break room and waited quietly. The elevator doors opened to a silent floor. Jim stopped one step out sniffing the air. He turned and looked at Xander who shook his head to indicate he felt no danger. At the same time Spike let his hearing expand he could hear all the heartbeats coming from the same place.
*They’re in the break room,* Spike said through the hive mind.
They all knew what was about to happen. You couldn’t really give a Sentinel a surprise party. So Jim and Spike turned their dials back to human normal and went to the break room.
“Surprise!” everyone yelled with a laugh, followed by “Welcome back we missed you.” with lots of pats on the back and hand shaking. The feeling was good, warm, a feeling of coming home. For Xander this was where it had all started. This place, these people were the first ones that gave him unconditional support and faith in his abilities to be a Guide.
Xander grabbed Simon and hugged him. “Gee, I’ve missed you,” he said barely holding back tears of joy.
“Missed you too, Xander,” Simon said patting the Guide on his back.
“Hey,” someone yelled, “Do you mind pouring yourselves a cup of coffee. The Captain won’t let us have any until you get yours.”
Jim turned his scent dial up. “Is that your special blend?” Jim asked.
“Damn straight it is,” Simon said. “Just don’t get used to it. It will be a cold day in August before it happens again.”
Spike leaned in and whispered in Simon's ear. “Don’t tell Jim I told you this, but we love you too.”
The sentiment surprised Simon, but what surprised him more was that he knew, deep in his soul, that Spike meant it.
Angel took the job that Hetty offered him. He got his private detective license and investigated Guide and domestic abuse as well as running The Hyperion as a safe house for the abused. Cordy got the well earned reputation of being a ‘Tiger Mother Guide’. She insisted that anyone staying at the hotel, three years old or above, take classes in Tai Chi. Teenagers and adults also took classes in self defense as well as money management.
“Money gives you options,” Cordy tells the residents. “Manage your money and you manage your life.”
Jack and Jarod were able to hitch a ride back to Colorado on a military jet. As soon as Jarod set foot on the tarmac he said he had never seen a view so beautiful. Jack showed Jarod around town. Jarod found a book store and wanted to purchase a cookbook as a housewarming gift to themselves. Jack couldn’t say no to his Guide. They spent close to an hour going through the cookbooks before settling on one that they both liked. They stopped at a grocery store to pick up what they needed before Jack took Jarod to their new home. Jack actually found it enjoyable shopping with his Guide. It felt good to finally have Jarod home.
The next morning Jarod showed off his his cooking skills with a breakfast that was every bit as delicious as Blair and Spike would make, then they headed for Cheyenne Mountain.
Jarod wasn’t allowed on the Stargate level so they were forced to wait one floor up for General Hammond to come and debrief them.
“Getting Clearance for Jarod isn’t going to be easy,” General Hammond said. “He has no records.”
“He’s my Guide, General. If he can’t get clearance, I’ll resign my commission,” Jack told him.
“Let’s not be hasty, Colonel. I said difficult not impossible.”
“Jarod can take Daniel’s place on SG-1. He already knows how to read Egyptian Hieroglyphics.”
Samantha Carter and Teal’c suddenly burst into the room.
“Colonel, why didn’t you tell us you were back?” Sam asked. “What are you doing up here?” She knew that the Colonel didn’t lose his security clearance.
“I just got in. I thought it was best to check in with the General first,” Jack told her. “Jarod, this is my team, Captain Samantha Carter and Teal’c.”
Jarod stood up with a huge smile and offered his hand. “Hi I’m Jarod,” he said shaking Sam and Teal’c’s hands.
Sam smiled back and Teal’c gave a bow of his head. “It’s good to meet you,” Sam said.
“Now that that’s over,” General Hammond said, “I need to get back to debriefing the Colonel.”
“I’m sorry General,” Sam said as she and Teal’c backed out of the room and closed the door.
“Have you heard from that Rat Bastard, Maybourne?” Jack asked.
“He was in here a few days ago, sticking his nose into everything,” Hammond told him.
“We got all their money. At least all they were using to fund the Initiative,” Jack told the General.
“That must have been what they were in a snit about. Did you find out anything about Spike’s blood?”
“Not much. There were no records of blood tests. He did tell me, his blood carries a symbiotic virus and stem cells. It enhances his immune system.”
“Is he willing to come in and let Dr. Frasier take a look?”
“No, I’m afraid not, General. He’s a nesting Sentinel, he doesn’t go anywhere without his Alpha and Guides. Plus he’s had a pretty bad experience with the Initiative in the past. He said something about not being turned into a lab rat and he feels that it would put everyone with blood like his in danger.”
“Blood like his?” Hammond asked. “I thought he was unique. You said there are others like him?”
“General, I have something to tell you. I bonded with Sentinel Spikeman. I’m one of the Sentinels with blood like his.”
“Jack, no offense, but we have your DNA and blood in our medical records. You don’t have any abnormalities in your blood.”
“I do now, General. I want to keep it secret. I’ll let Dr. Frasier give me a physical now that I’m back. But I want to return to duty as team leader of SG-1. I’m not interested in becoming a lab rat either.”
“I’ll talk to Dr. Frasier and let her know. I’ll make sure that she includes your blood in her ongoing research on the Goa'uld. I’ll have her keep your name out of it. If anyone asks I’ll have her say the blood is from an autopsy on one of our lost men.”
“Thank you General,” Jack said.
“If I’m going to get security clearance for Jarod I’ll need him to be up to speed in self defense and weapons use and safety. Also I want you to have Jarod read all of Daniel's published books and any other public material there is. Dismissed.”
“I’ll take care of it,” Jack said. He took Jarod’s hand as they walked to the elevator. “There’s a Gym and a shooting range on base. On the way home we’ll stop at the bookstore and pick up copies of Daniels books. I need to get you ready to join SG-1”
It had taken General Hammond nine long weeks to get security clearance for Jarod. After three weeks Jack had gotten very anxious. Jarod had no idea what to do about it so he called Blair through the hive mind and asked for his advice. Blair suggested they take leave and get a change of scenery. So Jarod told Jack that he would like to see Boston, Concord and Salem Massachusetts and if they had time he’d like to go to Pennsylvania to see the Liberty Bell.
Jack checked with General Hammond who also thought it was a good idea since it would get Jack off his back. The pair hitched a ride on an Air Force jet and rented a car. Jack had never been much of a touristy type person. His idea of a vacation was to go to a nice quiet lake and fish. But Jarod had never seen any place on the East Coast so Jack took him. Jack looked up every tourist trap possible for his Guide. They rode the Swan Boats in Boston Common, caught a game at Fenway Park, had lunch at Durgin Park, the oldest restaurant in America and visited the Paul Revere House and the Old North Church, they walked the Freedom Trail and toured Old Ironsides.
In Concord they walked the same roads as the Minutemen and stood where ‘the shot heard round the world’ was fired. They took the ferry from Boston to Salem and saw the House of Seven Gables. Jarod insisted on buying the book of the same name. They bought popcorn from the vendor on Salem Common and ate lobster bisque at the Lyceum. Jarod was like a kid in a candy store. After seeing everything Massachusetts had to offer they hitched another ride from the Air Force and went to Pennsylvania.
First stop was Pennsylvania Hall in Philadelphia. They saw the Liberty Bell and the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Jack thought it would be nice to go to Hershey. It fascinated Jarod that a whole town was based on a chocolate company. The whole time they were traveling Jack forgot about the pending clearance for Jarod and just enjoyed the time with his Guide. The days were filled with sightseeing and Jarod’s child like curiosity and delight filled laughter. The nights were spent in the comfort and warmth of each other's arms.
When they got back to Colorado, Jack told General Hammond that he was going up to his cabin by the lake to fish. General Hammond gave Jack Daniel’s Journals. He told him to have Jarod read them and learn as much as he could about Daniel’s Stargate work. It looked like it was going to come down to whether or not Jarod could fill Daniel’s roll in SG-1. If he could, he’d get his clearance. Reading wasn’t a chore for Jarod. His mind was a sponge. He soaked up Daniel’s work. Then it was time. Jack and Jarod were called back to the mountain. Jarod of course had no problem answering the questions put to him about Daniel’s work. He just pretended to be Daniel. A week later Jarod got his clearance and joined SG-1. Now five months later he was off on another adventure. The team stood by the Stargate waiting for the chevrons to lock into place. Teal’c was telling Jarod one of his Jaffa jokes which always made Jarod laugh and had Sam and Jack totally confused as to why. The shimmer appeared and the team walked through. Life was good.
When Abby saw Hetty on the news talking about abducted Guides that had been inseminated against their will she told McGee she wanted to adopt one of the babies.
“You don’t even know if any of them will go up for adoption,” Tim told her.
“I thought you wanted a family,” Abby said with a stamp of her food. “Why are you saying no?”
“I didn’t say no, Abbs. I just don’t want you to get your hopes up and then be devastated if it doesn’t happen. We’ll talk to Hetty and find out if it is possible. If we can’t adopt one of DPG babies we’ll look into adopting from an agency.”
“I want one of the DGP babies!” Abby said. “Don’t you see, they’re like me. Somebody did stuff to me when I was just a zygote. These babies deserve parents that will love them no matter what was done to them, just like you love me.”
“I’ll call Hetty tomorrow,” Tim said as he pulled Abby into a hug and kissed her forehead.
Hetty did help. She found good families for all the unwanted babies. Tim and Abby adopted a little girl and named her Sarah after Abby’s favorite nun.
Dr. Tu’s records were destroyed in the fire so they didn’t know what, if anything, may have been done to her. But it didn’t matter, just as Abby said they loved her anyway.
Making adjustments to living with a woman was sometimes a bit embarrassing. Tony saw the circle around the 15th and couldn’t remember what was supposed to happen that day. So of course he asked at the breakfast table.
“Hey, what’s happening on the 15th. I don’t remember making any plans?”
Red turned red. “That’s for me. I put a circle on the calendar every twenty eight days. I’m sorry if I confused you. If you take me to the mall after work I’ll get my own calendar.”
Now it was Tony’s turn to turn red. “No, not unless you want your own calendar. I just thought I forgot something.”
Gibbs sipped his coffee and watched his two Guides. “The circle’s not a problem. I hardly notice it.”
Gibbs knew if he was right Red wouldn’t need to put circles on the calendar. She was scenting as pregnant. He didn’t say anything, he was willing to wait. The fifteenth was tomorrow. She could take a pregnancy test on the sixteenth.
Gibbs was right. She tested positive. The trio celebrated by going out to dinner.
The first trimester was a nightmare for the Sentinel. Red had morning sickness. The sound and smell of Red vomiting was difficult for the Sentinel to bare. Tony sent Gibbs out for a morning run and he stayed to kneel by her side holding a cool cloth to her neck and forehead. At first Red refused to keep soda crackers by the nest knowing how sensitive Sentinels were to crumbs. But Tony insisted. He took the sheets off everyday and shook them out before putting them back on.
When Red entered her second trimester it was time to buy maternity clothes. They found a store and the three of them went shopping. The clerk was not used to dealing with men. Much less a pair of men who were so picky about everything. The younger man took the clothing off the rack and held it up, pronouncing most things frumpy. “Don’t they have a stylist for maternity clothes?” he said before moving onto another rack.
The older man felt everything, rubbing it between his thumb and forefinger and declaring everything too scratchy. “Do you have anything in Egyptian Cotton? Six-hundred thread count?” He asked.
“Sentinel,” Tony silently mouthed to the clerk over Gibbs shoulder.
“I’m sorry, sir,” the clerk said. “This is our most expensive line.”
“What about silk?” Gibbs asked.
Red couldn’t help it, she burst out laughing and that got Tony laughing.
“Silk maternity clothes, really Jethro?” Red said. “I’m only going to be wearing them for a few months. I think you can put up with a bit of rough clothing. You’ll just have to keep your touch dial turned down a little more than normal.”
In the end they settled for, what Tony and Red thought, was a wonderful and stylish maternity wardrobe.
All in all, Red couldn’t complain about her life. She wondered how she ever got the idea that she would be in the way. She was loved and so was the baby. This baby would have two fathers and a mother, it would be a Guide, as all the children of a double X Guide would be. Her only regret was that she couldn't give Gibbs a Sentinel son. But it was a small regret and one that neither Gibbs or Tony shared.
Tony and Red helped Gibbs to keep his sense of touch turned down for the last two trimesters of the the pregnancy. There was one exception, when the baby was kicking. Then Gibbs would turn up his sense of touch and lay his hand on Red’s naked belly. As soon as the doctor heard the baby’s heartbeat Gibbs would listen every night.
Tony was not just standing by either. He always made sure she had a pillow for her back and he would massage her feet with a Sentinel friendly lotion after every shower.
During the last of her third trimester Red found it difficult to get out of the nest at night to go pee. Gibbs would get up, pick up her, and put her on her feet. He never complained. In fact he was happy to do it. They considered changing from the nest to a bed but Red thought it would be too much of an adjustment and it was only going to be a few more weeks. So they stayed in the nest.
Tony and Gibbs both signed up for classes so that they could attend the delivery. Red understood pain control so the delivery went smoothly. In the delivery room the doctor handed the scissors to Gibbs and he cut the cord. They named their daughter Kaitlin. She was a joy to everyone.
It was Jim that asked Simon’s permission to let Tara carry a child for him. Simon, of course, gave his permission. Tara was very happy to say yes, under one condition. She wanted to move into the nesting house for the duration of the pregnancy. This child was to have four fathers and one mother and she wanted all of them to experience all that a pregnancy had to offer. There was extra room at the nesting house so that wasn’t a problem but Jim didn’t know how Simon would take the move.
Simon wasn’t happy. “Have them take you to your prenatal appointments and we can go to their home on weekends but sleep in our own beds in our home at night. Look Tara, I’m an Alpha Sentinel. I could probably cope with Jim’s nesting pack for a short time, but they have Clint living there and you know as well as I do that two strange Alpha’s don’t always play well together,”
“Jim can bring you into his hive,” Tara argued. “They all get along well together. What makes you think you wouldn’t?”
“Maybe I should have told Jim to find someone else. If I had known you’d come up with this cockamamie ultimatum I would have said no. Tara, I’m his boss! I’d have to … I couldn’t be Jim’s Alpha at work and not be his Alpha at home. It just won’t work. Damn it Tara, I’m going to have to tell him no, unless you change your mind on this.”
“Can’t you just think of it as us being their guest for the duration of the pregnancy?”
“Being a Sentinel is about territory. I can’t just go live in another Sentinel’s territory.”
“There has to be a solution,” Tara said.
“They could come here to live for the duration of the pregnancy. That’s the only other thing I can think of. I’ll talk to Jim.”
Jim listened quietly to everything Simon had to say. “There’s not enough room in your house for the six of us.”
“I was talking about you and Blair.”
“I nest with Spike and Xander, the bond we have is deeper than usual, I can’t abandon the nest for nine months, and Clint and Sweet have to live with us.” Jim paused to think for a moment. “But there may be a solution that works. I gave Clint his own territory in the house. I can’t enter without his permission and when I do I have to go barefoot. I could do the same for you and Tara. Outside your bedroom would remain my territory. You’d be a guest for the duration of the pregnancy. When the pregnancy is over you can give the territory back to me.”
“My own territory in your house. I wondered how you and Clint managed not challenging each other. Can I smoke my cigars in there?”
“Not my call, Simon, it’s your territory. You’d have to deal with all four guides about that, but from what I hear second hand smoke is not good for a pregnant woman so you would be up against a formidable group of opponents on that one.”
“Well you can’t blame a Sentinel for trying. But you owe me one and I know what I want.”
“If it’s in my power to do it, I will,”Jim said. “Just name it.”
“I want to be this kids Godfather.”
“I’m pretty sure that’ll be a no brainier.”
“We worked it out,” Jim told everyone at supper. “Simon’s bedroom will be his personal territory. Just like with Clint. He did have one demand.” He finished putting a worried look on his face.
“Please tell me it’s not the cigars?” Blair said.
“No, but I told him I would try my best to talk you into it,” .
Blair groaned, “So out with it.”
“It’s a deal killer, Chief. He wants to be the baby’s Godfather,” Jim said with a ‘got ya’ smile.
Everyone at the table but Blair, burst out laughing.
“You ass, you put me through that. You knew damn well we were going to ask Simon and Tara to be the Godparents.”
“I just had to see your face,” Jim said. “It was priceless.”
One month later Jim donated his sperm at the Clinic and two weeks later it was confirmed that Tara was pregnant. Everyone helped the Banks to bring their things to the nesting house. Tara didn’t want to sleep in a nest. She thought it would be too hard to get in and out of in the third trimester, plus they slept in a bed at home, so Simon chose the bedroom with the bed that they had bought for Gibbs. Tara and Sweet hit it off and became instant friends. They spent time together watching girly movies and talking about woman’s stuff. Tara had an easy first trimester. She had some nausea but no vomiting. She had had a child before, so she knew what to expect. Her maternity clothes were old and out of style so she had to go shopping, but she refused to let the Sentinel’s come into the store with her. Sweet accompanied her while Jim, Simon, and Clint sat on a bench in the mall, one where they could see anyone that walked into the store and also gave the Sentinels a good view through the store window. Jim felt like he was being treated like a naughty school boy, but Simon told him to get used to it and when a pregnant woman gets upset, NEVER NEVER say to her ‘its just your hormones that are out of balance, sweetheart.’
“I guess you made that mistake?” Jim asked.
“Oh yeah. My advice, if she gets upset put your arm around her and just purr. Let Blair take care of the rest. No, on second thought, she’s my Guide; I’ll do the hugging and purring.”
Tara insisted that Jim and Blair accompany her to all her prenatal appointments. Spike was willing to accept what Tara wanted but Xander was not happy. He was as much Jim’s Guide as Blair was. Tara was surprised when she found out. She had just thought of Blair as Jim’s Guide and Xander as Spike’s. She only saw them at work where the cross bond was much less noticeable. The first time Jim and both Guides showed up for an appointment the doctor objected.
“The father and his Guide are the only ones permitted in the exam room,” the doctor told them holding the door open as he stared at Xander.
“They’re both my Guides,” Jim told him.
“In that case you need to choose which one will stay. This room is too small for both Guides. I’m making an exception to have one in here.”
“We’ll both go then,” Blair said.
“No, I’ll leave,” Xander said. “I didn’t know the room was so small.”
“We’re both going,” Blair said grabbing Xander’s arm and tugging him out the door. “You’re right Xander, you are every bit as much Jim’s Guide as I am, I was being selfish. The four of us are going to be dads to this baby, not just Jim and me. Does Spike feel as if he is being cut out of this too?”
“No, he said that he’ll be happy to feel the baby kick and listen to it’s heartbeat. But he does want to be there for the birth.”
“You know we could switch off,” Blair said.
“Are you sure, Blair?”
“I’m sure,” Blair said. “There isn’t much that happens. Jim can tell us what the doctor says.”
Jim was a bit worried. He thought he may be forced into choosing between his Guides. He should have known that Blair and Xander would work it out.
The beginning of the Third trimester meant it was time to go to ‘Dad’ classes. When five men showed up for class with Tara she got a lot of stares. They all took turns helping her with her breathing exercises and trying on the ‘Sympathy Vest’, a vest with a fake pregnant belly. The men did learn what their mates were going through with the difficulty of keeping their balance when walking and not being able to bend at the waist when standing up and sitting down.
Everyone took the breathing exercises seriously. Jim practiced with both Tara and Blair.
Tara’s due date was circled on the calendar, but the days seemed to be creeping by. Every time Tara went for her checkup and the doctor said nothing was happening, it was a disappointment for Jim’s pack.
Then finally it happened. It was two AM when Simon knocked on the nesting room door. When they got to the hospital Tara was put into the Family Birthing Suite. Jim’s son was born at 7:22 AM. and Jim cut the cord. They named the baby Bill after Jim’s father.
Xander asked Jim to have a DNA test done to see if little Billy was a Sentinel or a Guide. Jim resisted, he said it didn’t matter he loves his son either way. Xander’s voice broke as he told Jim that he had been brought up to be a Sentinel and the sudden knowledge that he was not contributed to him feeling unworthy. It was as if he suddenly lost his place in the World. Jim hugged Xander and assured him that this child would never be abandoned either emotionally or physically.
“I know that,” Xander said, “but I want Bill to know who he is and be proud of it right from the beginning and not have to wonder how he’s going to fit in in life.”
Jim had a DNA test done. It wasn’t difficult or invasive. Just a cheek swab and they had their answer within hours. Jim was told that his son would become a Sentinel.
Eighteen Months After
Initiative Take Down
A tremendous amount of evidence poured into the Sentinel Department of Justice. It took months to put together cases and indict the accused. Sentinel law was different than mundane law. It was more military in style with a panel of five high ranging Sentinels to act as judges. Because there were so many high ranking Sentinels indicted NCSIA had to vet the the judicial panels. Everything took time. The wheels of justice move slowly but they did move and the cases were adjudicated.
Mundanes that were indicted in the conspiracy, mostly politicians and wealthy businessmen, were prosecuted in their own court system.
All the cases pertaining to the Initiative, the DPG, and conspiracy to abuse Guides; were found in favor of the prosecution. General Gibbs vouched for Angel and he got immunity for his testimony. Graham had a hard time accepting that Angel wouldn’t pay any price for the killing of his secretary but in the end Angel’s testimony was instrumental in bringing others to justice and Graham grudgingly admitted it was for the best.
It was mid summer and a perfect time for a Hive reunion. They asked Hetty if they could use the mansion, as now there were babies to contend with. She, of course, gave her consent.
The reunion was scheduled to last a week. Jim, Blair, and Clint went to the mansion two days early to make sure it was baby proofed. Jim scrubbed the floors and crawled around looking for any baby hazards. Blair dusted, checked the house for chipped paint, and cleaned the linens and got the bedrooms ready for occupancy. Clint was in charge of cleaning all horizontal surfaces above the floor as well at removing any breakables and putting baby gates in appropriate places. A sign was put in the foyer that all must remove their shoes to keep the floors clean for crawling babies.
The hive started arriving on time. The first to arrive were the Sentinels and Guides from Cascade. Then the NCSIA group. Gibbs was tempted to requisition a jet. Traveling with two babies was a chore. Gibbs swore they needed more paraphernalia than a Marine troop, but since the trip was personal he felt it would be unethical. After arriving they had to stop off and purchase two portable cribs, Gibbs refused to check them through the airline as luggage.
Seeing Gibbs greet Jim and Spike was an eye opener for Red. The usually reserved Sentinel, except in the nest, showed no hesitation at all to enthusiastically hug his hive brothers.
Blair ran up to Tony and jumped into his arms. “Hey, Blair bear,” Tony laughed, “I’ve missed you too.”
It was Xander who went to greet Willow. She was holding the baby so Xander could only put one arm around her. “Willow, she’s beautiful,” he told her.
Willow smiled. “Some of the memories of Sunnydale came to me in a dream,” she told him. “Was I in love with a werewolf?”
“That would be Oz,” Xander told her. “He’ll be here anytime now, but he doesn’t have the memories.”
Willow nodded. “Thanks for the heads up. It’ll still be nice to meet him.”
Spike went to McGee and Abby. “Sire,” McGee whispered.
Spike put his hand at the back of McGee’s neck and pulled him into a kiss. “Childe,” he whispered back before turning to Abby and giving her and the baby both a kiss on the cheek. The baby grabbed a hank of Spike’s hair and giggled as her parents pried her little fingers away.
Spike kissed the back of her hand, “You’ve got a good grip there little one,” he told her as he carded his finger through her hair.
Everyone helped carry their luggage into the mansion. The babies were fed and changed. Hetty sat quietly watching the goings on, this was, in everyway but blood, a family reunion, or what a family reunion should be. It definitely lacked the crazy uncle, no Sentinels jockeying for head Alpha. No subtle argument about personal territory. There was only warmth and joy and it felt damn good.
Jack requested time off to attend the reunion. The General couldn’t give him the full week but he did manage to rearrange the Stargate schedule and free up four days. Jack and Jarod were glad to have it. Once more they hitched a ride on an Air Force jet and made it in time for the last four days of the reunion. Graham and Riley picked them up at the Air Base and drove them to the mansion.
As soon as he could Jack got Spike alone. They walked around the grounds just as they had done during the war. “I want to tell you about the blood. I donated a pint for research. Hammond ordered Dr. Frasier to keep our names out of it. Everything is buried in her ongoing research. Anyone reading it will think she got the blood from a man we lost to the Goa'uld. She managed to separate out the virus, but it dies almost instantly when it’s removed from blood and she can’t establish it in anyone else's blood.”
“Tell her to get permission from the blood donors to use their blood for research, before she takes it. That may solve her problem. There’s a meta-physical component to all of this. I wasn’t kidding when I said it won’t work unless you want it.”
“I’ll tell her, but I didn’t come here for advice, I just wanted you to know you were all safe.” Jack told him.
“Didn’t think otherwise,” Spike said, “or you would’ve given me a warning.”
The last day of the reunion Jim and Blair went into Cascade and bought T-bone steaks, Idaho potatoes, corn on the cob and watermelon for a cookout. The Cascade sky was cloudless and it was a beautiful night under the stars. When Spike went into the house to refill the beer cooler Willow followed him.
“Is there something you need Willow?” Spike asked.
“This is the first chance I’ve had to talk to you alone.”
Spike tilted his head and looked at her.
“I’ve been having flashbacks of my past life in Sunnydale. Not the whole life like you and Xander but little vignettes of things it’s important for me to know.”
“Yeah, the Powers can do that,” Spike told her.
“I also had a vision of the future. It had to do with you and me. We’re going to have a child together. A girl Guide. You were sent here to bring Sentinels into their next level of evolution. She’ll be born to bring Guides into theirs. It’s not going to be for awhile. Maybe two or two and a half years before I get pregnant, but it is what the Powers want.”
“Do you want it, Willow?” Spike asked softly and once more looking at her with tilted head.
“You’re not the only one here for atonement. I have things to atone for too. But it’s more than that. I met her soul, Spike, and I very much want to give her life.”
“The Powers don’t make anything easy. They give me a daughter but I won’t be part of her life.”
“You’ll be part of her life,” Willow said placing a comforting hand on Spike’s arm. “Gibbs will move to the Cascade office. It makes sense since this is the main office for Sentinels and Guides.”
“Hey, what’s taking so long with the beer?” Morgan called from the kitchen doorway.
“Be right there.” Spike said. He turned to Willow. “Thanks for telling me. I think we’ll have a lot to talk about over the next two years.”
Willow smiled and leaned in and gave Spike a kiss on the cheek. Two years would go by very quickly.
It was late but no one wanted to go to bed. It was too hard for the reunion to end. But it had to end. It was Hetty who took things into her own hands. She stood up. “President George W. Bush said: ‘Even in the toughest times we lift our eyes to the broad horizon ahead.’ We have done that. In the face of overwhelming odds this hive stayed the course. Always looking ahead for a better life for our citizens. I want to make a toast. To the hive; to it’s Sentinel’s and it’s Guides. May we be forever together; forever vigilant; and forever strong,”
Please feed the muse. Comments get her to come back to work on my new stories. RG5 - The Aftermath is started but the muse needs some encouragement. Thank you.