Boundaries

Summary: After the events of "Revelations," Joe Kavanaugh finds himself secretly liaising with the Sanctuary as they attempt to prevent a war, avoid exposure, and retrieve one of their own at the same time.

Author's Note: sequel to "Jurisdiction" in which Detective Joe Kavanaugh realizes that Will's new job is a little stranger than he thought.

Author's Note 2: I've had this on my WiP pile for ages and I know it'll become completely AU once season 2 hits, but I put a lot of work and thought into it so I wanted to get it out there. Like most people inflicted with muses, my attention-span can be a little on the-- SHINY SQUIRREL!!!

Sorry. Where was I? *review notes* Right. So I've been working on this one and off for about five months but other projects kept side-tracking me. I've been writing all out to get this posted before season 2 hits in a few hours. It isn't as edited/polished as I usually like my fics to be, but it's been read through and marked up several times so there shouldn't be too many mistakes. Enjoy!

Chapter 1

"You wanted to see me, Commissioner Grayson?" Joe asked as he entered her spacious office.

"Yes, Joe. Please close and lock the door."

He did as directed before approaching her desk and dropping into the chair she indication.

"What can I do for you, Commissioner?"

"Well, you can start by calling me Amanda from now on."

He sighed. "You're asking me to call you Amanda. I'm just not going to enjoy hearing what you have to say, am I?"

"Afraid not," she answered, shaking her head. "Your job-description just changed, Joe."

"No!" he protested, shaking his head. "You cannot permanently reassign me to the Sanctuary. You may be Commissioner, but you're still accountable to City Hall."

"Relax, Joe," she advised. "I'm not trying to detach you to Helen. I just need a Victim's Advocate."

He frowned, confused. "I don't know the first thing about Advocacy."

"But you do know a thing or two about abnormals," she answered. "And, right now, I've got seventeen abnormals in the hospital after various Hate Crimes against them."

He stared. "Seventeen? Will said it wasn't uncommon, but I didn't realize it was that bad."

"This isn't normal at all, Joe," she sighed, taking off her glasses and rubbing her eyes. She didn't look like a woman who had been getting much sleep. "There was always a lot of harassment and threats, but we usually get maybe two or three physical attacks a year."

"What changed?" he asked, frowning.

"You obviously don't read tabloids," she answered, tossing a paper across the desk.

He picked it up, frowning at the cover-story. "A walrus-man killed a family in Alaska?"

"One attack of many in the past week," she sighed. "Helen believes this is as the result of some Cabal bio-weapon."

"Cabal?"

"They didn't explain to you about the Cabal?"

"Will said there were some secret societies out there who weren't so cool with the ideas of humans and abnormals coexisting. He didn't name names."

"Fair enough," she answered, putting her glasses back on and pulling a bottle of Excedrin out of a drawer and extracting two. Which she popped in her mouth and chewed. "The Cabal are the worst offenders and they've decided to up the ante. There have been several attacks in Alaska and Canada and they've been highly publicized in the tabloids and on the internet."

"Which, from what Will said, is bad for abnormals everywhere."

"Exactly. Now, these attacks started less than a week ago but, yesterday, a website went up similar to the ones that exist to Out known sex-offenders. Only this one offers a cash reward for information leading to actual abnormals. The ones who couldn't go into hiding fast enough started to get attacked. It's nationwide assuming it's that limited."

"Jesus…"

"I need you to liaise with Doctor Zimmerman on this, talk to the victims, assure them that, abnormal or not, Old City PD is in their corner. And I need you to figure out whether this is organized or not."

"I'll do my best."

"Thank you, Joe."

"My job, Commissioner," he answered, climbing to his feet.

"Joe, I need you to understand something."

He froze, her tone of voice telling him it was nothing he wanted to hear. "Shoot."

"The Cold War's turning hot. The old methodologies no longer apply. The Cabal started this, but the Sanctuary will end it."

"By any means necessary?"

She closed her eyes, spinning her chair until her back was to him. "I would imagine so, yes."

"Where's that leave us as cops?"

"In a precarious situation. For the time being, just keep your eyes open and your head down. I'll be in touch. Help our victims, but keep yourself safe."

"You okay, there, Commissioner?"

"I told you, it's Amanda. And, no, I'm not okay. Dismissed, Detective."

0101010

"You look like shit," Joe noted, entering Will's office.

The psychiatrist smiled bitterly, putting down the file he was reading. "Thanks, Joe."

"Sorry. You just…"

"Have had a total of just under ten hours of sleep in the past five days and just lost a close personal friend."

"I'm sorry. What happened?"

Will shook his head. "Doesn't matter. Talking's not going to change a thing that's just happened. This crap with the Cabal is to the abnormal community what September 11th was to the rest of us. The Cabal brought war to our doorstep and all we can do is cope with that fact."

Joe pushed back the images and sensations that comparison raised. Raw and bloodied knuckles, the smell of accelerant sharp in the air even weeks after the last flames burnt themselves out, oppressive chest-pain from the dust and chemicals still heavy in the air, shifting rubble and seeing that kid's hand, gray from the soot but otherwise completely unscathed.

He shook himself, needing to get his mind back on task. "What form's this 'coping' going to take?"

"For now? Digging in and taking the siege mentality to new heights." Will sighed and shook his head again, rubbing the back of his neck. "I'm not going to lie, Joe. They've got us on the run right now. We lost Watson and we've lost Ashley. Henry's damned-near catatonic between the guilt and the grief. Our whole world's pretty much on the brink of complete exposure. Magnus is running all-out on this weird combination of rage and heartbreak that I can't even bring myself to consider right now.

"Druitt's sane for the time being but that doesn't usually last. Tesla says he's with us but God knows whether that's going to hold once the Cabal launches its first wide-scale offensive against the Sanctuary. I've got about a dozen patients downstairs with varying degrees of Post-Traumatic Stress on top of their physical injuries.

"Without naming names, several of us are pushing ourselves completely off the deep end trying to make things right. The Cabal currently holds the key to directing human evolution. Everything this organization is working for is completely falling apart and that is all kinds of terrifying on all kinds of different levels." Sucking in a deep breath, he added, "It's also entirely possible that I've been completely overdoing it with the stimulants."

"Just a little," Joe answered, staring at him with wide eyes. "Not much of that made any sense at all, Will. I fall out of touch for two weeks and all this happens? What have I missed, man?"

"A lot," Will said, gesturing for him to have a seat.

Joe listened in silence. Interrupting wasn't remotely necessary; Will was completely wired and way more talkative than usual as a result.

The goddamned September 11th parallels kept coming back up, in different contexts. The fact that an underground, international entity had brought a war to the Sanctuary's doorstep. The fact that they had just been slapped in the face with how completely unsafe they actually were when they'd liked to think that they would be fine as long as they didn't bother anyone. Even the retaliatory Hate Crimes had Joe flashing uncomfortably to the aftermath of the attacks.

He remembered more than just digging through the rubble. He remembered the face of a Sikh man, beaten to death because some ignorant yahoos hadn't even realized the poor guy wasn't a Muslim. Not that it would have mattered if he had been, but the fact just compounded the fucking pointlessness of the attack. The man had had a wife and three month old twins. All three had been on a plane back to India within three days of the attack.

In those dark days, it hadn't been an isolated occurrence, either. No one had really given a shit about religion, either. People were pissed, terrified, and needed to lash out. If your skin was dark, you were fair game, end of story.

And if you actually were known to be an observant Muslim? Well, good luck there because, even if you could dodge the rednecks with baseball bats and tire-irons, there was no escaping the open derision and hostility that never would have been tolerated on September 10th. Three or four Muslim members of Old City's PD had gotten fed up and quit over the dirty looks and out-of-line comments.

"So what's the plan?" he asked when Will was done talking. Or maybe the shrink had just paused for breath.

"For now, damage control. Obviously my PsyD is getting a workout and I'm also handling a lot of the regular medical on the less seriously-injured victims." He sighed, looking momentarily reflective. They he shrugged and continued, "Henry's on disinformation and damage control, is deluding himself that we can still make the situation go away. Magnus bounces back and forth between taking care of the seriously injured and working with Druitt on a plan to recover Ashley."

"Recover her?" Joe asked. "So she's still alive? That's something, right?"

Will sighed. "What Ashley is right now is worse than dead, Joe. We think the Cabal did something to her. She's one of them now."

"Jesus," Joe whispered, considering the young girl he had met once or twice. "She always seemed so nice."

"We're pretty sure they're controlling her chemically or psychically but we're not even entirely clear on the mechanism. Blood drawn less than half an hour before her defection is negative for known drugs and for the kind of neurotransmitters that might indicate she was under some kind of psychic thrall."

He hated to say it, but homicide cops knew when it was time for the tough questions. "So there's a chance that this change of heart is genuine?"

"I hate to think it of her and, if you tell Henry I've got my doubts, I'll kill you myself. But, it's like Watson always said. When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

"Watson? I thought it was Holmes who said that?"

"Magnus' Second in Command, James Watson was the inspiration for the literary Sherlock Holmes. He only let his name be used for the sidekick, not for Holmes himself, because he really didn't need the publicity."

Joe frowned. "Watson was the inspiration for Holmes? But he'd have to be like a hundred and fifty years old!"

Will shrugged. "He was college-buddies with Magnus. Do the math."

"Oh." Joe brushed that aside in favor of the larger picture. Immortality, after all, was something he had seen before. "So I'm assuming her switching sides puts you guys in an even more precarious situation than you were already in?"

"More than you can know," Will agreed. "When she left, she took something with her that could potentially allow the Cabal to shape human evolution any damned way they see fit."

The Detective's eyes widened. "Christ, that's…"

"Not good at all, given what we know about the lengths they're willing to go to in order to get the control they want." Will sighed and shook his head. "Which isn't really your problem, so I won't bore you with the details."

"I'm not sure I'd call any of this boring, Will. I do need to talk to the victims, but Amanda seems to want me to help you guys on any front you need, so…"

"Amanda?" Will asked, frowning blankly.

Joe nodded. "The Commissioner."

His eyes narrowed. "Your boss is named Amanda Grayson?"

"Yeah. Why?"

"Never mind," Will answered, climbing to his feet. "I'll walk you downstairs."