The Gods are angry, she thinks, delighted at the prospect of that much power in the skies. She always loved watching their display, a performance so many people took for granted. One day she was sure the Gods would put them in their place and then all would be as reverent of storms as she was.

"Cassandra. It's time."

Cassandra turned to her mentor and lover. "Tonight?"

Wayne nodded, "The timing is perfect and this storm is powerful."

Cassandra threw her arms around him and kissed him hungrily. "Let's do this."

They changed into plainer clothes then headed down to the basement. Cassandra gripped Wayne's hand tightly, nervous but so excited because if this worked - and she knew it would - then she and Wayne would be so powerful.

The basement had already been prepared, the candles lit and the circle drawn. It was perfect, exactly as they'd been planning for months and Cassandra went to kneel in the center.

"Calm, my love," Wayne's voice was soothing as he walked around her and took his place before her.

But Cassandra couldn't keep her body from pulsing with excitement and arousal. Ever since Wayne had showed her the ritual and told her what it meant she'd been preparing. It had taken two years; Wayne had wanted to teach her all she needed to know first. She'd needed to learn control.


Cassandra looked up into Wayne's eyes and nodded. He took a deep breath and together they started chanting.


"Fuck Jimmy. Harder," Ianto growled.

Above him Jimmy chuckled and leaned down to whisper in Ianto's ear, "Only if you beg for it."

He evened out his thrusting just a little and was rewarded with a frustrated whine from Ianto. It was challenging to remain at the pace he'd set though. He wanted so badly to just let loose and pound into Ianto's tight, so fucking tight, ass with abandon but he wanted Ianto to come undone first.

As if sensing his thoughts Ianto clenched down around him and Jimmy's eyes rolled up.

God they were being so careless but the storm was loud and hopefully, if one of the kids woke they wouldn't be able to hear them. Usually they fucked when they were alone, but it had been almost a week since the last and Ianto had been toying with him all day. The storm had been such a blessing.

Ianto groaned again, fidgeting and tried to make Jimmy go deeper and faster. Jimmy guessed that he was close to begging, but he knew how stubborn his lover was. He probably wanted Jimmy to give up.

Jimmy adjusted his angle so that he was hitting Ianto prostate with every thrust.

"God, you son of a bitch, just fuck me," Ianto's nails dug into his back. "Please."

Jimmy grinned triumphantly and it wasn't long before he was coming so hard, all he could see what white.


He felt as if he was enfolded in some sort of ball of chocolate which was a weird feeling in and of itself but after sex? Where the hell was Jimmy?

"It hurts to know you forget what it's like to be surrounded by my Grace," an amused and very familiar voice said.

"Gabriel," Ianto breathed. It was the last voice he expected to hear, not after so long. And maybe the memory had dulled a bit but he would never forget what it was like to share his body with Gabriel. He didn't think it was possible.

"Where the hell have you been?" Ianto demanded. "It's been years!"

"I'm sorry," Gabriel's Grace tightened around Ianto. "Heaven might as well be Hell. Even with Father back there is so much chaos and disorder. I was almost at the point of leaving again."

"You could have visited," Ianto said, unable to keep all the bitterness out of his voice.

A manifestation of Gabriel appeared before him. The first time Gabriel had done this he'd looked like Ianto, but Ianto had found it to be too weird talking to himself like that. Gabriel took the form of his previous vessel, the one Lucifer had destroyed and Ianto could easily see how people could have been fooled by him.

"I couldn't take that chance," Gabriel whispered, pulling Ianto's taller frame towards him for a hug and then a kiss.

Kissing Gabriel was different. It wasn't about passion and desire or sex. It wasn't about kink or getting off or any of that. It was about love, Gabriel's love for his vessel and Ianto's love for his angel. He tasted like candy, sweet - almost overwhelmingly so - and with a hint of something like power.

"When dear old Dad opened up the Earth and shoved the demons back into hell, it wasn't all of them." Gabriel explained once they parted.

Ianto frowned, "I don't understand."

"Opening up Hell the way he did takes a lot of power and it's dangerous. Dad only opened up the United States which was fine, there were no consequences of the opening itself and most of the demons were sucked back in. I say most because not all Demons were in the States for the final battle."

"Okay. Why didn't God open up all the Earth then?"

"Not all of Earth might have closed back up," Gabriel said seriously. "And the majority of the Demon population was in the States anyway."

Ianto nodded, "This ties into why you haven't visited how, exactly?"

"The Demons that survived? They're smart, and crafty. They know how to stay under our radar and two steps ahead of us. They're after you and Jimmy, we're still not sure if it's just to kill you or more but we're not putting you or your children in danger with our presence.

"Children Ianto, really? I'm not saying that's a bad thing, they're adorable little munchkins but I actually kinda though you'd wait. I like them. They think I play tricks on them."

"Do you?"

Ianto can't believe how much he's missed this. Talking with Gabriel, being completely surrounded by Gabriel and never alone. Maybe he shouldn't be blaming Sam and Dean for everything he and Jimmy had been though. Some of it was Gabe's and Cas' fault.

Gabriel grinned widely, ignoring everything Ianto was thinking. "Of course. Who the hell do you think got Matthew and Evan to finally make a move?"

Ianto chuckled, "It was that teacher of his, wasn't it? An old Pagan friend of yours?"

"You know me too well." Gabriel snapped up two Mars Bars and Ianto took one with a resigned sigh. He might as well enjoy the sugar binge, there was no stopping it.

"I regret leaving you."

Ianto could feel the truth of that statement, could feel Gabriel's Grace swirling around him trying to make up for four years. He could hear what Gabriel wasn't saying.

"You've come back." Ianto frowned, "Why are you here?"

Gabriel scowled, "That's a long and complicated story."

"We have time Gabriel."

Gabriel grinned mischievously, "Yes we do."


"This is new."

"Is it to your satisfaction?"

Jimmy looked around. It was pretty sparse but he felt as if he was sitting on a leather couch covered in the softest blankets. He felt good here.

"I'm glad," Castiel said. "This should be similar to how Gabriel and his vessel existed."

Well that makes sense, Jimmy thought. It explained why he could feel Cas' emotions and even whispers of thoughts. He wondered if he would eventually be able to hear all of Castiel's thoughts. Ianto had implied that it had been that intimate with Gabriel.

Jimmy's thoughts reared to a stop. "Shit. Ianto and I were having sex."

"Yes," Castiel appeared in bodily form in front of him and Jimmy wanted to find it creepy but, while Castiel looked exactly like him, it was if he was a twin. It helped that he was wearing the trench coat and back to the weird head tilting thing. "Gabriel and I moved your bodies into a more comfortable position."

Jimmy winced. That was one way of putting it.

An awkward silence descended. Jimmy had never really talked with Castiel before. Cas had always been so entranced by Dean and with (almost) two human minds in the same head things had been chaotic. Jimmy had had a hard enough time fighting to exist.

"I didn't think Dean would leave you."

Fuck, Cas knew how to pick the worst topics. But Castiel had sounded so hurt, so apologetic, as if Dean had betrayed him too. Maybe that's what Cas felt, but Jimmy certainly didn't know. His relationship with Cas was nothing like Ianto and Gabriel's. He didn't know Cas like Ianto knew Gabriel.

"Yea well, he did."

Castiel shifted and Jimmy could feel his distress. Jimmy wanted it to end. They didn't talk, Cas was supposed to be emotionally unresponsive and Jimmy didn't have it in him to hash out old wounds.

Castiel's Grace pressed against him and Jimmy felt warmth seep through him. Cas understood, knew a little bit about what he was feeling. That was good enough for Jimmy because it mean they could stop talking about it.

"Your children are beautiful."

Jimmy beamed with pride. "Thank you. They're quite the handful too, but they've heard so much about you and Gabriel so I think the worst they'll do is demand stories."

Castiel blinked. "That does not sound difficult."

Jimmy smirked, "You say that now. How long will you be staying?"


"Morning Dad," Matthew greeted as he entered the kitchen and sat down at the table. "Yea, chocolate pancakes."

"Chocolate pancakes!" William yelled running in.

Gabriel smirked to himself as he watched them dig in. This was why he liked kids. They shared his enthusiasm for chocolate and candy more than adults.

Having heard William's yell Claire, Jesse and Sara joined soon after. Gabriel took his own seat and watched them, waiting for them to realize that Ianto never served them chocolate pancakes.

That didn't happen because Castiel swooped in first and it looked like he'd found Jimmy's trench coat. The damn thing. "We are bound by this town's borders."

"Whoa, what the fuck?" Jesse exclaimed and it was echoed by the others in less colourful language.

Castiel tilted his head, "You are not permitted to use that word."

"Oh get that stick out of your ass Castiel," Gabriel rolled his eyes. "Really, no one would ever know you almost became human if you keep talking like that."

"No wonder we get chocolate." Sara commented.

"This is so cool!" Jesse said.

"Where's Uncle John?" Claire looked around. "He'd love this."

"Are you both taking our dads away?" William asked.

Silence fell. There was fear on their faces.

"No," he told them. "We're stuck here till the curse is lifted."

"Curse? Are our dads okay?" Sara demanded.

"They are fine," Castiel assured. "The curse bounds Archangels to their vessels and apparently surrounding area. We cannot leave Auburn."

"That's awesome!" Jesse exclaimed. "You can so teach me stuff."

"No pranks," Matthew protested immediately. "Please no pranking."

Gabriel laughed, "No promises kiddo. I am the Trickster after all."

"Then John's on my side." Matthew snapped.

"Where is Uncle John?" Claire asked again.

She turned around intending to go and find him but stopped. He was there, standing at the bottom of the stairs and looking lost. Gabriel could see who was really standing there and he wondered when the Winchester line had merged with the Jones'. Hell that might not even be the truth. The pure lines of Cain and Abel had had died out years ago so Heaven had chosen a new line to inherit the brother's legacy.

"Hello Michael," Castiel spoke.

Gabriel observed the children's reactions, their surprise and the lack of enthusiasm. Yea, Michael got that from everyone. He wondered what Ianto and Jimmy had told them concerning the highest Archangel and the Apocalypse.

"You took a different vessel."

Gabriel waited until the kids had gone to school to ask him. He wasn't sure of the answer and he didn't want them to be a part of it in case Michael had done something stupid.

"I did not think Dean Winchester would accept, even if Father himself explained." Michael replied looking at the food interested.

"Not surprising," Castiel mumbled, finishing up his own plate of food, an unhealthy healthy mix of fruit and one pancake.

Michael glared at him, "I thought I was doing the right thing."

"You were hanging the human race out to dry in your feud with Lucifer," Castiel shot back easily.

Gabriel was use to Castiel seeming so flippant about the apocalypse. It had its own entirely different effect on Michael than Gabriel's antagonism. Michael gave Castiel a hurt look. It was brief, so brief that if Gabriel hadn't been watching and didn't know Michael he'd have missed it. Cas totally did.

"Just eat the food Michael," Gabriel snapped but made sure to keep any harshness out of his voice. "It'll wither if you stare at it any longer."

"I don't need to eat," Michael gave the typical angel response.

Gabriel rolled his eyes, "But you want to, and if Ianto knows anything about your vessel he wants to too."

"Yes. He's very persistent." Michael looked at the food again before tentatively taking a pancake and starting to eat. He looked comically surprised when found that it actually tasted good.

Gabriel laughed, "Have some syrup. Humans know how to make things awesome."

"Humans know how to sin."

Gabriel suppressed an angry growl and Castiel left before he did anything stupid. This was Michael's problem; he still didn't understand humans properly. He loved them, but he hated them as well. Probably because of Lucifer and human's tendency to make the wrong choice. Michael's continued belief that the apocalypse had been a good thing made him seem more human than angel.

"I'd keep those comments to yourself if I were you," Gabriel warned. "You know this place is heavily warded in Enochian and they won't hesitate to banish you."

"I'll be caught by the limits of the curse."

"Ooooo, double whammy!"

Michael was not impressed and Gabriel soon left to go see the Prophet and the Fangirl. Chuck apparently already knew about their arrival, having dreamt it overnight. He also said that he'd be getting nightly updates thanks to a message from God.

Becky asked those questions nonstop throughout the day and when they managed to drag Michael out she fixated on him. Gabriel and Castiel were glad to get the attention off of them and go about Ianto and Jimmy's normal day's work.

A week passed by like that. Gabriel spoiled the kids for every meal, Michael kept his distance and could usually be seen sitting on a roof and Chuck kept them updated. It turned out that the witches responsible for the curse had been killed by it, and then their apartment burned down. The angels doing the investigation were sifting through the wreckage while trying to avoid the police.

"Will you two let Jimmy and I have some alone time?"

Gabriel cringed. It wasn't that he wanted to monopolize Ianto's time; it was that Cas would be involved too. He loved his brother but not like that, never like that. There were only a handful of angels, which he could think of, that had been created for each other. The Archangel Sandalphon and Azrael though Sandalphon had died and Azrael disappeared. Vehael and Za'aphiel, Muriel and Hanael, Abriel and Rimel: all of whom had been living in a corner of Heaven because they disagreed with the Archangels but wouldn't speak out against them.

"It's awkward."

"You wouldn't be involved."

"But I'll be aware of it," Gabriel told him. He sighed, "No sex."

Before the weekend Matthew sat Gabe and Cas down and told them they had to act normal for when his friends came over.

"That means no trench coat," Matthew fixed Cas with a glare. "It's weird and Dad never wears it."

Gabriel laughed at the affronted look on Castiel's face.

"And you can't have anything sweet," Matthew rounded on him. "Nor can you serve it. Dad only lets us have junk food on special occasions."

No sweets? That was like…that was his personal hell. Even in Heaven he'd had his sweets though all the other angels had thought him crazy. He didn't know if he could handle it.

"I don't know if I can handle that."

Matthew scowled, "It's one day. Handle it." Satisfied that he'd delivered his demands he left.

"I need sugar," Gabriel moaned, sinking into his chair.

"Why is my coat weird?"

. . . . . .

Gabriel was annoyed. He was annoyed beyond comprehension and it didn't matter that Michael was the older son, it didn't matter if he was more powerful and just more, Gabriel was going to kick is ass. The bastard was not above some human interaction, and had no right refusing Gabriel's 'invitation' to eat with him, Cas, the children, the Prophet and his wife.

Gabriel flew out of the house once dinner was finished and the children were grilling Cas about what was going on in Heaven. Cas knew he was angry, knew what he was going to do and while he didn't necessarily agree, he let Gabriel handle it his way. Cas never got in the way when he was angry with Michael.

He found Michael on the Mitchell farm, sitting on top of the barn, wings out partly curled around him. Protecting him, though Gabriel couldn't figure out what he'd want to protect himself from. Maybe he knew Gabriel would come after him, though in all the times they'd fought it had never been physical. That kind of fighting led to Heavenly War and they were not going to go through another one of those.

He landed beside his brother, wings flared out and power crackling around him. What a sight the Mitchells would see if they looked out their window. Not since the Final Battle of the Apocalypse had a human had the opportunity to look upon the one part of an angel's true form that wouldn't burn their eyes out.

"I ask of you one thing, Michael and of all the times to be a petulant child you choose this," he snarled. "What's the matter? Can't stoop to eating with a bunch of humans?"

Gabriel expected words, not Michael's wings to flare out and hit him. It was like a punch to the gut, a pretty powerful one too and he fell, undignified. His ass hit the roof and he slid down the side a short distance before he was able to plant his fee and halt his fall.

"Oh that was nice," Gabriel snarked. "Did I hit a nerve?"

Michael's wings wrapped around him again and his head lowered. "I did as asked."

Gabriel tilted his head and he righted himself and walked back up to the top. "Come again? Cause I thought I heard you say you 'did as asked.'"

"I did as your children asked!" Michael snapped.

Gabriel was taken back. There was so much pain and self loathing in his voice. He'd never heard Michael speak like that before. He remembered the pain in Michael's eyes when Lucifer rebelled and the First War began, but Michael had always been strong. He'd been the one the Host looked to for guidance, the one they looked to for hope and to see him like this. Gabriel had forgotten Michael had feelings too.

"When? I've never seen you with them."

"You and Castiel were with the Prophet and asked me to watch over them. They made it abundantly clear to me that I was not welcome and that I should just stay out of the way."

Gabriel could feel Ianto's disappointment in his children and Gabriel's feeling weren't far off though he was angry and saddened as well. He could see that the rejection had hurt Michael deeply and despite not getting along with him, Gabriel hated seeing him like this.

"Was it Matthew?" As the oldest maybe he had been appointed to speak for all the children.

Michael shook his head, "Sara. The others nodded their agreement."

Michael turned to face him, and ah hell, Gabriel was forgiving him. Michael might be an idiot most of time, but he didn't deserve this. It explained why he'd been avoiding everyone.

"I'm sorry," Gabriel told him, though he doubted it would comfort Michael much. Then he smacked Michael on the back of the head, "You're an idiot."

Shock turned to pain then betrayal, flashed though Michael's eyes. That was okay though. Gabriel had a reason.

"You think that by avoiding them you're going to change the way they think about you?" Gabriel asked. "Real good way of winning them over big bro. Real good way."

Gabriel grabbed onto Michael's arm but his wings snapped at him again, hard enough to drop him on his ass painfully. It was going to heave a mark; not on him but the roof.

"You are such an idiot," he told his brother, annoyed at being put on his ass twice. If anyone found out he'd never live it down.

"Go back to them brother," Michael told him. "Leave me alone."

"In your dreams," Gabriel replied. He raised a hand and snapped his fingers.

. . . . . .

Everyone fell silent when Gabriel appeared with a sad looking Michael. Castiel wondered why they had their wings on full display, while Chuck wondered why Gabriel was sitting awkwardly. Becky wondered if she could finally convince the angels to let her tell her followers that she knew them.

William, who was the closest to where Michael had landed, scooted over to sit on Matthew's lap. Castiel caught the look of pain that flashed across Michael's face, which at least explained why Gabriel hadn't come back in a rage like he normally did after talking to Michael.

"Wow," Becky broke the silence. "Your wings are beautiful Michael. There are so many."

Michael smiled at her, but it was flat, "Thank you Rebecca."

Becky made a face but didn't argue with the use of her full name. She'd caught onto the angel's mood and the tension and obviously didn't want to make her usual fuss.

Gabriel gave Cas a look which prompted him to ask, "Would you like anything Michael?"

Michael shook his head. "I'm fine."

"Um, what's going on?" Chuck asked with a wince.

Gabriel rounded on the kids. "You five need to learn that actions have consequences. I know of your little anti-Michael pack and maybe my actions supported that but he's my brother. I can tell him he's being an idiot and I can ignore him all I want.

What you've been doing? It makes me ashamed! I expected better from you; you're Ianto's and Jimmy's kids for fuck's sakes. How could you do that to Michael? You know nothing of him, only stories. None of you are to leave until you've worked things out and I don't care how long it takes."

. . . . . .

The weekend arrived two days later and with it, so did Evan, Andy, Courtney and Katie. Cas and Gabriel put themselves on their best behaviour. Cas left the trench coat on the coat rack and Gabriel sneaked a sweet whenever he was alone. Michael remained in the house. The kids were starting to warm up to him, now that they'd been able to figure things out, to talk to him and show him what was reality for them. Gabe could see Michael becoming the Archangel he used to be.

Things got a little out of control though after Chuck came to tell them that the curse had been lifted. Curse lifted? That was good, excellent even. Gabriel's work in Heaven was nearing complete and when it was he was talking a vacation; a nice long one at that including a month long party with the Pagans. Michael had changed and that would make everyone else following that much easier.

Gabriel didn't know that it wasn't Michael who would change the opinion of the Host.

The doors to Angel House opened up and he could feel the change in the air instantly. He recognized it, remembered it. Pagans. Kali, leading the pack. Enki, grinning like a drunk. Isis, head held disdainfully high. Apophis, who looked the most intimidating of them all. Thor, hammer swinging from his belt and looking around with a seemingly casual interest. Forseti and Tyr, hands entwined and the last to enter. If Gabriel didn't know better he'd call this the party he wanted, but these Pagans were all heavy hitters. They had power and influence in not only their own religion but others as well.

"Please don't tell me there's another apocalypse." Gabriel smirked and sprawled.

"Oh Loki, if there's another apocalypse we certainly wouldn't be calling you," Kali's voice dripped with false venom.

Gabriel chuckled at them, "You know you'd miss me."

Apophis laughed, deep voice resounding around the restaurant, "Things are much quieter with you away. I don't think we miss that."

Gabriel liked Apophis for that reason. The Egyptian God had an odd sense of humour that emerged rarely but always made Gabriel feel like he'd found a kindred spirit.

"We have things to speak of Archangel," Forseti spoke. He had a soft voice and it was almost innocent. Gabriel knew that his innocence was merely a cover though, he'd heard the god deliver justice.

"How'd you know I was here?"

"Three Archangels in the same small town? You've lit it up like a beacon," Kali answered him; her tone telling him he'd asked a stupid question.

Gabriel sighed, "The demons are coming, aren't they?"

"Best estimate is about a hundred left in the entire world," Enki told him. "There's some here, already, but they're underlings. Information gatherers. The big wigs are hiding out somewhere in Russia."

Russia. The spirits that inhabited that country made it incredibly difficult for any supernatural creature on the "good" side. They wouldn't get into Russia, and it was too big of an area to keep a continued watch on.

"But they're coming here, aren't they?"

Michael had snuck in, or at least tried to but Gabe had felt the approach of his grace. The Pagans hadn't been so lucky and they looked surprised to see him in what was obviously not Dean Winchester's meat suit.

"Yes," Kali was the first to recover. "Maybe even within the next couple of months."


This was why he'd stayed away. Now Ianto and his kids were in danger and there was nothing he could do about it.

"We are mobilizing our forces," Thor told him, "My children have been tracking and killing any they come across. Fenrir has been released as well."

Gabriel grinned wickedly. Fenrir would ravage any demon he came across and it made him feel at least a little comforted. If only he could smite them all himself.

"Hey Mr. J."

Gabriel got mentally nudged to turn his head towards Courtney," Sup kiddo?"

Courtney's eyebrow rose and he was about to ask his question when he got distracted by the Pagans. "Whoa, dude I know you."

He pointed at Enki who laughed delighted, "I would hope so."

Courtney shook his head, "I don't even remember your name, but you're the evil-history-sub. And the reason Matt and Ev got together."

Enki's eyes glittered. Kali slapped a hand over his mouth and glared at Gabriel, "You played matchmaker?"

Courtney gaped in shock as Gabriel shrugged.

"I knew it!" Matthew ran in yelling. He pointed at Gabriel accusingly, "How many more pranks have you pulled?"

Gabriel chuckled, "You'll never know kiddo."

"You suck." Matthew turned to Enki, "let me guess, he recruited you? You suck too. You all suck!"

Gabriel broke out into laughter as Matthew gave them one final glare and went back into the house.

"Come on Courtney!" Matthew demanded.

Courtney hesitated, looking at them all. "What the hell?"


When he'd gone Gabriel sobered and looked at the Pagans. "We'll be returning to Heaven tonight. Will you be around or more abroad?"

"Alternating between postings," Isis answered.

"Don't worry Gabriel," Kali added. "Your vessel and his family will be safe."

"It better stay that way," Michael threatened before making a dramatic show of power with his exit.

Enki huffed, "Your brother's are a bunch of weirdoes."

. . . . . .

Gabriel, Castiel, and Michael left that evening after a round of introductions between the Pagans and the kids, a lot of drinking and some explanations. Ianto and Jimmy made up for a week of only being allowed to have a few kisses and the kids suffered it in silence. Actually, Jesse put up a sound bubble around them then tortured them about it later.

They started preparing for the inevitable. The wards were reinforced, the town borders were lined with proximity alarms and every Hunter they knew was notified of the oncoming storm. There was just one problem that worried them the most.

"I don't know how we can ensure their protection," Ianto said frustrated. "Not completely. We have no say over anything they do."

"Best we can do is ward their homes," Jimmy suggested.

Ianto shook his head. They knew the likelihood of that ever happening. No one just believed in demons, not without a lot of proof and none that they could give.

"We have to do something." Jimmy continued. "Anything."

"Matthew and Claire have contact with them every day. There might be nothing else we can do."

"That can't be it Ian," Jimmy protested softly. "That just can't be it. Why do we get to sit here protected with the people out there, the ones our kids love remain in danger?"

Ianto pulled Jimmy into his arms and shared in his pain. Whatever decision they made it would be a hard one. There was no one choice better than the others, no choice they felt absolutely secure in making.


Ianto and Jimmy turned to their oldest two, both of them looking like crap. Ianto wondered if they looked like that too. He didn't make a habit of look in mirrors or other reflective surfaces anymore. He didn't want to see what kind of effect this threat was having on him. He already felt it.

"You don't need to worry about special protection for Evan and Andy," Matthew told them and Claire nodded.

Ianto frowned and he knew Jimmy was just as confused, "Why?"

He felt a cold dread settle. They'd do anything to protect Evan and Andy, to protect their kid's friends. For Matthew and Claire to ask something like this? What had they done?

"They're no long our boyfriends."

Jimmy shook his head. No, Claire couldn't be saying that. This was not what they wanted. "Why would you do something like that? We were going to protect them."

"But you can't Dad," Matthew argued. "You were just arguing about it now. They won't believe us about the demons and we need all the angels and Pagans out there dealing with the demons before they get here. They Hunters need to be out there too, not sitting here babysitting."

"We've thought this through," Claire added, "and you're not going to change our minds. The less contact they have with us, the less of a target they are."

Neither Jimmy nor Ianto liked that, but they understood their reasoning all too well. They just hoped Claire and Matthew knew what they were doing.


Jesse blinked, aware of an awful sound coming from the end of his bed and then a sudden, rancid smell. He sat up. His door was open, a soft light streaming in and a form was hunched over. There was that awful sound again. Jesse's face screwed up in disgust.

"Matthew, what the hell are you doing?"

Matthew's head lifted.

"Jesse?" he asked tiredly. "What the hell are you doing in the bathroom?"

Oh hell, Matthew was an idiot.

Jesse commanded the table lamp on and scooted down to the end of his bed. Matthew was pitiful looking, blinking there in the sudden harsh light. Jesse commanded the vomit away and a bucket to materialize. He would deal with any smell later.

Matthew groaned, "Shit Jess. How the hell did I miss the bathroom?"

Jesse rolled his eyes, "You went the wrong way moron."

Matthew's shoulders slumped, "Yeah. That's me, always going the wrong way."

And then Matthew started crying.

"Really?" Jesse looked heavenward. Matthew didn't seem to hear him. "Really? You're making me deal with this? Come on."

He got no answer which wasn't surprising. Who up there wanted to deal with the Antichrist? Matthew continued to cry. Jesse sighed and slid off the bed.

"Hey," he prodded Matthew then cringed. "God, you smell like shit." You're such an idiot.

He prodded Matthew again, put some command behind it and the smell was gone. If he could sober Matthew up he would but he couldn't just make it happen if he didn't know how it was supposed to happen.

"You're an awesome brother, did you know that?" Matthew hiccupped.

"I better be," Jesse mumbled. "Do you feel like throwing up again?"

Matthew pushed the bucket away and made himself comfortable on the floor. "Do you ever wish you were normal Jesse?"

Jesse snorted, "Hello, Antichrist. I was never normal. Now get up."

Matthew blinked at him, "Why? I like it here."

"It's my floor," Jesse rolled his eyes. "I'm actually trying to be nice to you but if you'd rather be an idiot, then okay."

Matthew whined pitifully and covered his face. "I already am an idiot Jesse; you don't have to rub it in."

Oh, something was wrong with Matthew's head. The alcohol had made him emotional. Emo, of all things and that was horrible. If Matthew knew what he was doing he'd be ashamed of himself. Jesse was ashamed.

"Come on Matty, get up." Jesse grabbed his arm and tugged.

"Why Jesse? Why am I always such an idiot? I love him, I love him so much and I can't do anything about it. If he loves me, he can't love me Jesse! He can't, because if he does then he'll be a target. Why can't I just be normal?"

The tears started up again and Jesse felt as if this could go on all night. He just wanted to go back to sleep but he couldn't and leave Matthew in this state. He commanded the bucket away then commanded Matthew's body on his bed.

"Whoa," Matthew sat up. "Don't do that man, that's freaky."

Jesse grinned. His powers were awesome.

He crawled into bed beside Matthew and made his lie down. Then he pressed two fingers to his forehead and commanded him to sleep. Matthew dropped off, silence at last. Jesse felt sorry for him, he felt sorry for Claire too but Matthew was taking having to break things off with his boyfriend worse. He tried not to let it show but they could all see it. Matthew was headed towards an emotional breakdown.

Jesse pulled the blankets up, made his brother as comfortable as he could and settled down beside him. He wished he could just make everything better but he wasn't allowed to. Commanding something small was easy. The magic, or whatever it was, responded exactly as it should but with big, complicated commands the magic couldn't always follow properly. His own desires could get it in the way; his own feelings taint the commands so that it ended up all wrong. He didn't want to make their lives worse.

He didn't want Matthew to suffer anymore.

. . . . . .

Matthew's head was killing him. It wasn't the first time it had happened though. He'd been hung over before, like that time Claire conned John into giving them a couple of cases of beer and a few bottles of vodka for a party at Courtney's. The hangover had been well worth it.

Someone was in bed with him, stroking his hair softly. It was soothing, relaxing and comforting, all of the good stuff and more. It reminded him of Evan, who liked to play with his hair despite constantly telling him it needed to be cut. Evan's hands were magic in everything he did.

He knew it couldn't be Evan though, as much as he wanted it to be, but he couldn't remember what the hell had happened last night after the coolers. Was he even on a bed?

Yea, no that required too much thinking. This whole waking up thing required too much thinking. Matthew was going back to sleep.

. . . . . .

He head felt much better the second time around. There was still someone in bed with him but there wasn't a hand combing though his hair, just some papers rustling every few minutes.

"Feeling better this time?" Ianto's soft voice asked.

Matthew's eyes blinked open. They were in Jesse's room for some very odd reason. He could see Simon in his tank staring at them and he couldn't understand how Jesse liked having Simon all the time. It was creepy.

"Why am I in here?" Matthew asked confused, voice thick with sleep.

Ianto, who was going over some type of shipping information, closed the folder and set it on the bed beside him. "Jesse says you made a wrong turn. I'm sure he'll be delighted to tell you the whole story but I would like to talk to you about something else."

Matthew loved his dads. After his parents died he didn't think it was possible for there to ever be someone to fill those roles again. Jimmy and Ianto had been a surprise but he wouldn't trade them for a regular mom and dad.

They rarely talked feelings, expecting Matthew, Claire and Jesse to come to them if they were having problem working it out on their own. Things were serious when they started the talk.

"Jim and I have never talked to any of you about how we were before we adopted William. It wasn't a good time in our lives and to be honest we were a lot like how you are now. We wandered the states like lost sheep trying to get away from it all. We couldn't stay in one place for too long or else the pain became unbearable.

"Is it unbearable for you Matthew? Staying here?"

Matthew looked up at him, unsure at exactly what he was talking about.

His dad looked a little uncomfortable, "Do you want to remain here? We're not trying to get rid of you but Jim and I don't really know what we can do to help you. Sometimes a vacation helps."

Would getting away from Evan and the thread of a hoard of demons help? Matthew couldn't be so sure because he would still have to live with the fact that he didn't have Evan. But maybe…maybe he should get away. Auburn was too small, too much of a target that maybe, if he just got away from it all he would be able to clear his head.

"I don't know Dad," Matthew said softly.

"It's just an option kiddo," Ianto replied, running a hand through his hair. "Jim and I just thought that maybe you'd like a chance to get away since you've decided not to go to university or college in the fall."

Matthew nodded, "Thanks Dad, and I'm not a kid."

There was silence for a while. Matthew didn't know what to say so he just kept his mouth shut and relaxed in the comfort between them. His dad looked down on him. Matthew could feel the heat of his gaze but whatever his dad was thinking about he didn't want to interrupt.

"Come on," Ianto said after a while, sitting up straight. "It's almost noon and I'm sure Jesse would like his room back."

Nothing was said about the alcohol he'd consumed but he knew that if he did it again he'd be punished, probably with inventory followed by a re-cataloguing of the library. Throughout the rest of the day he had to defend his honour from Jesse's tales of him going emo and he thought about what his dads were offering.

It was a week before he came to any sort of conclusion but here were still a few questions he wanted cleared up.

"Where would I go?"

They were in Jimmy's office, the restaurant closed for the night, the others all in the main room watching some movie Matthew hadn't even pretended to hear the name of. Ianto and Jimmy were supposed to be in there too, but Matthew had cornered them and the movie had started without them.

"Where would you like to go?" Jimmy asked.

Matthew shrugged, "I don't know, and it's not like you guys are coming, right? I mean, you have to look after this place and the others."

He didn't think he'd be allowed to go anywhere alone, not with the way things were.

"Well, there's always Cardiff," Ianto began. "You could stay with my sister and her family or Torchwood, though if you choose that option I'm setting down some strict rules."

"My cousin Lindsey's stationed with the Air Force in Colorado," Jimmy added. "We get along well enough that I don't think she'll mind you there. I don't know how often you'll see her either. Her posting is classified."

"Those are the only options we can give you without any thought," Ianto took over. "But if you'd rather not get stuck with relatives then we can work something out."

Matthew nodded. The choice was up to him, he just had to figure out what that choice was, "How long would I be gone?"

"That's another question of what you think is best," Jimmy replied. "A month? Two? Maybe even three but however long, we want you to be able to get your footing again. We hate seeing you like this."

"Are you guys done now?" William stuck his head in the doorway and gave them an impatient look.

Matthew laughed, "For now squirt. What's this movie, vampires again?"

"Vampires are stupid," William said in disgust. "Dinosaurs are way cooler."


Three Months Later

Ianto stared at the computer in horror. Demonic omens were everywhere, all over the United States, some crossing the Canadian and Mexican borders. They were converging; circling around Kansas like it was the eye of a storm. God help him he was more scared of this than he had been of the apocalypse.

"I thought you said there were only about a hundred," Markus asked, a grim look on his face.

"That's what the angels and the Pagans thought," Ianto replied.

There was some uneasy shifting among the Hunters gathered. They had mixed feelings about the angels and Pagans, it was understandable and they were working on it. The Pagans were generally making obvious displays of being less antagonistic but the angels were still acting high and mighty despite the archangels.

"There must be at least five hundred," Christina said.

Or more, Ianto thought.

"I think it's time we set up a more defendable perimeter," John said. "Pull in all the Hunters we can, all the Pagans who will come and any angel we can get a hold of."

"I agree," Eli spoke. "If we don't protect this place well enough it'll become another Detroit and no one will survive."

"It has to be under the radar," John added. "The demons will attack prematurely if they know what we're doing."

They'll attack anyways, Ianto thought grimly. And we'll be ready for them.

Nothing, not a hoard of Demons or Lucifer himself was going to destroy everything he and Jimmy had worked for. The difference between this and the last time they fought against an army this large was that they had friends. It wasn't just four people against two armies. They had their own army, an army that they trusted to have their backs.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

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