Chapter Six: The Secret is in the Stars

 

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Chapter Six: The Secret is in the Stars

 

 

It was later the same day, and Tony was sitting in the library once more saying goodnight to his Aunt Olivia who was excusing herself to go up to her bedroom to read. She knew that they wanted to talk business that she didn’t have the clearance for, and Tony couldn’t help but wonder what that meant. His Aunt had a pretty high clearance herself as she’d helped her husband a time or two over the years. She was an asset when they met, and as George progressed up the ranks through the years, her security clearance was increased along with his. It definitely made things easier for them not having to keep so many secrets, but more than that his Aunt had a keen insight that had helped catch more than one target.

Tony had been mostly quiet since dinner was over and had spent most of the time they’d been in the library observing the others. He’d noticed that since they left MI6 Ashcroft, Stephen, and Marcus had spent time in various combinations separating from the rest of them and whispering about things. It was hard to keep secrets in a house with Sentinels in it, even one the size of Paddington Castle. However, there had always been a house rule that the Sentinels in residence were to keep their hearing lowered to that of an ordinary person as much as possible.

Tony noticed that quite often after these talks, Ashcroft came back red-eyed and emotional. At the moment, he was sitting on the couch with Sam, and no one had mentioned the way the two were holding hands and had been ever since they’d left London. There had been quite a lively discussion about James when they first returned, and Tony was still more than a little miffed at his Cousin’s insistence on defending the man. He’d overheard Edward tell George that he’d be moving into one of the family townhomes in London and moving in there with James so as not to upset the family. Tony had been upset that he was separating himself from the family for James’ sake, and while he’d tried to hold back most of his ire, a conversation followed that Tony still was sure he hadn’t gotten the full truth in.

It was what began the whispered conversations between the trio, and Tony’s mind had been trying to process what was going on ever since. While Tony knew that James had been Edward’s friend for quite some time, nothing had ever been more critical to his Cousin and friend than his family. So, he didn’t understand what could possibly be so important about James to draw him away from…. Oh.

As the lightbulb clicked on inside Tony’s head, he didn’t realize that he’d stood up from where he was seated in the chair and a half with Spencer again. “Tony?” George queried, but Tony didn’t respond. Instead, he headed straight for Edward who was watching in a little wide-eyed.

“Fuck, Eddie,” Tony said just before he threw his arms around his slightly startled older Cousin. “Why the fuck didn’t you tell me? I wouldn’t have said anything if you didn’t want me to. Jesus!”

“You figured it out,” Edward sighed, and Tony felt the man almost deflate as he returned the hug. “I just, I didn’t want to upset Ash. He’s had an infatuation with him for years. I didn’t want to upset him.”

“So instead you tortured yourself by keeping yourself separated from your Guide all these years? God, Eddie. Is there anything that I can do?” Tony asked as he pulled back slightly and was worried at how exhausted his Cousin looked. “The last thing I wanted this morning was to separate you from the family!”

“No,” Edward returned immediately as he looked his way. “I know that. It never crossed my mind that you’d want such a thing. It was a good idea nonetheless to keep him away. Everyone needs some time to heal from what he did. James has a lot of things that he needs to address. I think all of these years he’s pushed a lot of things down and just suppressed the pain instead of addressing them. Starting with his parents’ deaths. I think it’s part of the reason why he does most of what he does. I just hope that he hasn’t permanently damaged himself.”

“Well, if you need Blair just say the word,” Tony demanded as he took a deep breath. “I know that he’ll come help if I ask him to, and he’s had the security clearance for years so that you both could be open and not have to talk around things. It wouldn’t be the first time that he helped a Sentinel or Guide who held a sensitive position.”

“Thank you,” Edward agreed, and Tony watched his eyes travel to Ash and back. “Promise that you’ll take care of him? I know that Sam will be good for him, but I worry. He’s never been so far from the family before.”

“You have my word,” Tony swore before he crossed back to the chair and got settled again. Looking at Stephen, he decided it was time that he nudged this thing along. “So, can you tell us what you’ve been whispering about, yet? I know it wasn’t all about James.”

He watched as Stephen turned his head and looked to Marcus before nodding and setting down his drink on the side table. “Yes, I suppose that I should get things out in the open. I am rather running out of time and cannot put off my leave much longer. Since I am hoping to take quite a few of you back with me, it would seem prudent to explain to you what is going on. I know that you’ve been aware that something was going on since almost the start, Anthony, and I do appreciate your patience. I know it is not your strong point.”

Tony gave a playful huff at his Uncle’s teasing and gave the appropriate grouching. Quickly though, Stephen grew serious again and began his tale. “You see, some number of years ago, I agreed to do an excavation in Egypt of the big pyramids with a Dr. Daniel Jackson and a Dr. Catherine Langford. They’d been trying to unravel a puzzle for quite some time and were hoping that my expertise could help them. I, unfortunately, am not able to be completely honest with you. That will come if you accept the offer I have for the lot of you. I can tell you though that it led to a larger discovery that I have been mostly on the outskirts of ever since. Because I felt like my family commitments were more important, I have to this point, not been able to get as involved as I would like. We’ve also taken in a number of children over the years temporarily, other than Spencer, but we recently decided that we didn’t want to do that any longer. This is something that Marcus and I both wish to do and need to make the time before we are too old to qualify.”

“This have something to do with why the fucking Air Force would have a base under a mountain that houses NORAD?” Dean asked making it clear how much sense whatever story he’d uncovered didn’t make. “Deep space telemetry my ass.”

Next, to Tony, Spencer just snickered, and Tony couldn’t help but flash a smile at his Guide and give him a quick peck on the cheek.

“I do believe that it has been said that it is the worse cover story in history,” Stephen conceded with a smile, “but yes.”

“That is what this is about. My superior there told me that they had something one of our charges had been looking for but refused to say anything more than that. It never even crossed my mind that it could be Alec until Spencer revealed that he’s truly alive. Even then, it was just a possibility added to a list of other possibilities. Spencer, I never would have withheld that information from you.”

“I know,” Spencer offered back, and Tony could feel through their bond that he meant it.

“As soon as M mentioned Alec’s name I knew that he was whom Jack has been referring to, the bloody arse,” Stephen gripped and got a peck of his own from Marcus. “As soon as we got back here, I made some calls. I’ve never used my influence on the project until now, but I decided that now was the time. Especially considering the fact that all of you fit roles that they desperately need filled.”

“By the Air Force in a base underneath a mountain doing Deep Space Telemetry,” Dean pointed out sarcastically, and everyone chuckled as Stephen gave him a playful sigh.

“Yes, Elder Winchester, I know. It’s a bloody horrible cover story. I get it, but it’s what I have, at the moment. So, do be a dear and shut the hell up.”

Dean gave a snort along with a playful salute before Stephen turned back to the conversation at hand. “They are holding our arrival for whenever we wrap things up here, which I do believe that we have done. I would like to get out of England before Olivia decides to do something rather rash.”

George sighed and spoke after taking a drink of his scotch. “I would like to say that it is not something that she would do. However, the woman has always been rather bloodthirsty when crossed. Edward, do we need to worry about James doing something rash?”

Edward quickly shook his head as he stood. “No, because I am going to get him out of the country for a while. Father, can you let whoever know who will be taking over until they can put Clyde in place that we will be on leave until things are settled between us, and James is somewhat better?”

George smiled playfully at his son. “Consider him told. The Queen asked that I oversee things for a month or two. Clyde needed time to wrap up a few things. Stay in touch while you are gone, and that goes for all of you. I may not be related to you all, but I do expect regular correspondence from every one of you. You may not have Paddington blood in your veins, but you are all Paddingtons at heart and are expected to be treated as such. I may be in my eighties, but I will not hesitate to come and kick someone’s arse if you are not being handled appropriately.”

George then said his good nights before retiring, and the rest of them decided to settle in the game room for some pool or video games to work off some of their lingering frustrations, minus Edward who headed off to wrangle James. The rest of them would be departing the next day to begin the next phase of their lives.

They were sitting on Tony’s first and hopefully, last Military Transport flight headed toward Peterson Air Force Base since obviously, they couldn’t fly into Cheyenne directly. One thing that he knew for sure was that hopefully, he would never have to do this again. It was loud. It was uncomfortable. It was mostly hell, and he had detested every minute of it so far. He was bored out of his skull. It was too loud to sleep. It was really too loud to do anything, and seriously… It was uncomfortable.

Feeling Spencer’s shoulder touch his, he turned his head to see his Mate watching him with a sympathetic smile. Glad that he at least had Spencer with him, Tony leaned over and gave his Guide a kiss on the cheek before closing his eyes to try and get some more rest, or at least calm his thoughts. He found himself thinking about Spencer and from there his thoughts slid into his 18th birthday. Everything had truly changed at that point, but at the same time in some ways, it hadn’t.

Right from the start, Tony was completely attached to the young genius, and helpless to do anything other than precisely what his Guide wanted and needed. When Spencer first came online and pulled Tony into the Spirit Plane, the Sentinel found himself wanting to protect his Guide as he would a child in pain. It wasn’t so much a physical injury that you could put a cast on or stitch back together and slap a bandage on though. While that would have been bad, in some ways, it would have been much easier if that was the only injury they’d had to hear.

No, instead, there had been mental injuries that had been inflicted on his Mate and not just any psychological injury. No, it had to be one that Tony himself was intimately familiar with. There weren’t many things in life that could leave the permanent scars that the betrayal of a parent could. While his mother could be forgiven for her part in the young boy’s neglect and inadequate upbringing, it was really his father’s abandonment that had done the most damage. How he could leave a young boy like Spencer alone to care for a mentally ill mother, was beyond Tony, and he had a scoundrel father of his own that left deep scars on Tony’s psyche.

So, the minute he laid eyes on the youth, he swore to himself that as his Sentinel he would always do everything he could to protect his Mate. Leaving Spencer that first day had been hard, but Tony was determined not to take any more of Spencer’s control away from him. His life had been in enough of an upheaval than to have to deal with someone forcing themselves into his life when it wasn’t wanted. As he’d walked out of that room, Tony knew things were going to go badly for him, but even if he could change things he wouldn’t make a single alteration.

When Alec was reported as dead, there was no question in Tony’s mind that he’d go to Spencer. If his Guide was calling for him, after refusing to even speak his name for nearly two years, then he was going to get there. Dean’s presence in Tony’s life had been hard for the young boy to understand at first, but Spencer was a lot smarter than most and unfortunately been taught to grasp grownup concepts long before he should have. By the time the visit ended, and they’d needed to go back to Columbus, things between himself and Spencer had settled more into what Tony had hoped for when he realized he was going to have an underaged Mate.

There were daily calls and letters were exchanged. Spencer found that he liked writing letters, and Tony did his best to reply to every one of them. Marcus and Stephen would often bring pictures for him when they came to visit, but Tony had still been surprised by the change in his Mate when he finally laid eyes on him that day of his 18th birthday.

At the time, Tony and Dean were working for Boston PD. Spencer and Sam wanted to switch to MIT, and the older boys had no real opinion on where they went next. They just wanted the four of them to be together once they could be. The whole connection between the four of them was unique and not one that they’d ever been able to explain to anyone. Tony remembered being completely anxious over the idea of how Spencer would take Dean’s place in his life. The oldest Winchester brother had become so ingrained in Tony’s wellbeing that he knew there was no way he could let him go.

Relationships with multiple people were tricky for people more mature than any of them had been at the time, or at least that was what those much older than the four of them kept saying. Tony just knew that he had to try. He couldn’t live without Spencer any longer, and he wasn’t sure he could survive without that connection to Dean that he’d come to depend on.

He remembered sitting in a fancy hotel suite that he’d booked for the weekend waiting for his Guide to arrive. Despite the fact that he knew Spencer and knew what the younger boy looked like, it somehow still felt like a blind date or some weird arranged marriage. The young man that walked into the room stole his breath, and Tony found himself struggling with the reality that the kid that he’d been holding himself back from for 8 long years was now a man. He’d expected that…. Well, he wasn’t sure what he expected.

Maybe that some magical switch would flip in his head that signaled Spencer had become a grownup and it was ok to have an adult relationship with him. Unfortunately, it hadn’t worked that way, and there had been about 12 hours of tears and frustration on both of their parts as they tried to get Tony past his mental block that his Mate was a child.

Spencer knew why Tony had such an aversion. Tony made sure that Marcus told him after he left that visit when Alec was reported dead. He’d never heard it from Tony though, and somehow it seemed that hearing the words in combination with feeling Tony’s fear and self-loathing at just the idea of what could have happened made all the difference.

In a similar vein, Tony knew that Spencer was mad at him for having to leave, but knowing and feeling how betrayed his Mate had felt were two different things. By the time they’d reached a 12-hour mark, Tony had cried. Spencer had cried, and they’d somehow managed to agree that maybe they still needed to take things slow. As much as they knew about each other, they were still strangers in many other ways. So, while they managed to move their bond from the Platonic one they’d lived with for so long into something more traditional by the end of the weekend, it still had been almost a year before Tony felt comfortable with the idea of penetrative sex with his Guide.

When the subject of Dean came up though, Tony had been flabbergasted by how accepting Spencer was of the notion. In fact, it had been he who initiated the conversation by saying that he’d been in something of a relationship with Sam for a few years and didn’t want to give it up. Eventually, an agreement was worked out where Tony and Dean could continue on as they had been, and the same for Spencer and Sam. Both Winchester brothers had already determined that any Mates they would find someday would have to be willing to accept their existing relationships with Tony and Spencer.

It wasn’t an open relationship, and it certainly wasn’t a foursome. Tony never saw Sam as anything but a little brother. Spencer never had any kind of longing for Dean, and eventually saw him as a pseudo-brother type person. Dean and Sam certainly didn’t ever have anything beyond a brother type bond. It was just that in addition to it being Tony & Spencer there was a Tony & Dean and a Spencer & Sam. It worked for them and continued to work despite how everyone insisted that someday it would all blow up in their faces.

It was a little amusing to Tony that Sam seemed to have found a Mate in his Cousin Ashcroft and couldn’t help but wonder why now and not any of the other times the two had met. It also amused him that Ashcroft immediately informed Sam that he was more than open to having Spencer in their bed because he wasn’t nearly the stick in the mud some of his other family members thought he should be. While some of the family had been worried, Marcus had spoken up quickly and made it clear that there was nothing unhealthy going on with the arrangement.

“They’re all mature adults who know what they want and need,” his Uncle who was a psychologist had declared. “Relationships come in all kinds of sizes and forms. There are no power imbalances there. There are no manipulation or other negative tactics being used. While Ashcroft is, in my opinion, upset about recent events, he isn’t in an emotionally compromised state. Stephen and I are going to be around almost every day if something changes or someone just needs space to think. In my professional opinion, the rest of us need to butt the fuck out and let them be.”

While a part of Tony had to wonder how much the pain of James’ actions was affecting Ashcroft’s decision to leave everything he knew, he and Spencer agreed not to judge. If something changed in the future, then they’d deal with it at that time. He couldn’t help but feel a little bad for Dean, who was the only one left without a mate of his own, and Tony sincerely hoped that his friend wouldn’t have to be alone much longer. He did have a talk with Ash who insisted that the bond with Sam was real and while he didn’t understand why it hadn’t come up before, he was wholly invested in it. As far as Tony was concerned that was all he needed to hear.

While their lives were going to be chaotic for a while as they all got resettled into their new arrangements, Tony found that he was looking forward to the new arrangement and finding out who Dean’s Sentinel would be.

Tony was walking next to their escort listening to the young airman talked about the base with Spencer at his other side, and the rest scattered somewhere behind them. They were headed toward a set of elevators that were to take them up to the conference rooms where they’d meet the two men in charge of the base. They would also meet another new base member who had just come out of bonding and still needed to go through orientation.

They were standing near the elevators and joking around with Tony trying to figure out why he was feeling someone familiar. He was finding it hard to acclimate his senses to the new environment and wasn’t trusting anything he was sensing at the moment. Spencer had, thus far, been forced to keep in physical contact with him, because the layers of mountain, concrete, and steel were causing a weird muting sensation that he wasn’t used to. Because of this, his attention was less on the conversations around him, and more focused on continually scanning the surrounding area for threats. It was because of this, he figured, that he was the first to see the trio coming around the corner to join them at the elevator.

When Aaron Hotchner left, Spencer had been devastated, and Tony had only barely resisted the urge to hunt the traumatized Sentinel down and beat some sense into him. While he had sympathy over what the older man must have gone through at his ex-wife’s death, he didn’t think that isolating yourself from the rest of the people who loved you was the answer. He certainly didn’t appreciate Aaron adding to Spencer’s abandonment issues.

Maybe, had his anger not been burning so close to the surface for so many days, Tony would have reacted differently. Perhaps, had it just been Aaron and his Guide things also would have been different. However, the sight of Aaron unexpectedly there in Cheyenne Mountain with Alec Trevelyan was enough to send Tony’s temper spiking again. Then when you add Spencer’s burst of surprise and pain through the bond, there was very little chance that things were going to be settled without Tony getting in at least one good punch.

“Spencer?” He heard Hotch question just after Alec muttered a “fuck me” from his spot behind Aaron and a man Tony didn’t know.

He was pretty sure that if the situation was different that he’d never be able to sneak up on Aaron. But, in the chaos of the moment, no one realized just how volatile the moment had become quickly enough. Later, Tony would find out that everyone’s first sign that something was off was Sampson’s low grumble being directed toward Harrison who echoed it with a warning growl of his own at the larger Spirit Animal. Tony had never gone feral and didn’t quite get there in that moment. It was close enough though that he hoped he never got pushed that far again.

All he could see in that moment was a haze of red and the sight of someone who had hurt his Mate within his sights. “You fucking bastard!” Tony snarled before winding up and throwing a punch that caught Aaron just underneath his chin.

Before he could go further though, both Dean and the airman were on him holding his arms and pulling him away before he could attack again. As he found himself pressed against the cement wall of the base, chaos broke out behind him with everyone seemingly yelling at everyone else. Sampson was roaring loudly at Harrison who was snarling angrily standing over his Sentinel.

When Tony finally calmed down enough that he could think, Stephen was talking quietly to him in an attempt to help him settle. However, the lack of Reid at his side was only hindering that process. “Spencer,” Tony ground out and struggled to try to turn and see something other than the concrete wall.

“No, you don’t,” the airman spat fighting to hold him in place.

“That’s not helping!” Stephen insisted, and Tony guessed that he was directing the comment toward the airman, although it seemed that there were other people who had joined them. “He needs to see his Mate and what’s going on. He was only trying to protect his Guide!”

“His Guide wasn’t in danger,” the airman argued back, and Tony could feel the man’s arm pressed into the back of his neck. “He attacked Doc’s Sentinel first! No way is he getting a chance at doing that again.”

“It’s not quite that simple, airman,” Tony heard Aaron mutter, and once more he struggled to turn not liking having his back open to attack, and not being able to finish calming until he felt safe again. And where was his Guide!

“Spencer!” Tony called out, growing anxious that his Mate wasn’t at his side.

“Let him go, airman,” he heard a voice order just as he finally heard Spencer’s voice.

“I’m here, Tony,” Spencer promised, and as soon as the airman let him go, Tony turned around. Seeing his Mate close, he pulled him into his arms and then behind him until he could determine what was going on. “It’s ok, my Forever. I’m not in danger. Aaron’s sorry he was an asshole. I was just…. Tony, it’s Alec.”

Tony’s eyes scanned the narrow corridor and found the older brother in question standing nearby and looking somehow pleased. Tony wasn’t sure if he was pleased with the punch or the fact that his little brother’s Mate was so protective of him, but at least he didn’t seem to be mad. Dean was standing close by with Sam. Q and Marcus just a bit beyond where the eldest Winchester was.

Aaron was on the floor being looked at by what appeared to be a petite dark-haired doctor with a blond man with glasses hovering protectively next to him. There seemed to be two Air Force commanding officers and another short blond man that had joined the crowd.

“I promise, I’m fine, Doctor Frasier,” Aaron insisted from the floor, and Tony’s eyes immediately flew to him, and he couldn’t help but tense slightly. “Jack, General Hammond, please. This is…. Well, let’s just say I deserved it. Even so, I’m guessing that something else must have happened. Tony has always been extremely protective of Spencer, but even for him, there has to be an extenuating circumstance. I am sure that seeing me with Spencer’s older brother that they both though dead didn’t help. I didn’t black out. Just… Just give me an ice pack for my jaw and let’s get to the meeting. Tony won’t lash out again. I trust him.”

As Tony watched the two men, who appeared to be in charge turned and came his way. “Is he right, son? Can we trust you to not lash out again? Or is there some deeper situation with you and Sentinel Hotchner that we need to be made aware of?”

Tony tried to calm down enough to reply, but Samson’s agitated prowling was a sign of how much he was still struggling. He felt Spencer rest his forehead against the bare skin of Tony’s neck as his hands slipped underneath his shirt to curl around and relax on his chest. Closing his eyes, he tried to sift through the many layers of emotions he was feeling at the moment to find the one that was preventing him from settling down. It took longer than he’d like, but eventually, he realized that it was Spencer’s emotional state overseeing his brother that was hindering things.

“I think Spencer and I need a few moments with Alec, sir,” Tony offered, trying to keep as much of the growl out of his voice as possible. “I think once they’re settled then I’ll be able to do so as well. Maybe in the meantime, Aaron should go to whatever clinic you have here on base and get checked out. He could have hit his head on the floor when he fell.”

“Jesus you’re a brat,” Aaron murmured, but Tony didn’t feel even a little bit bad. An unwanted exam was the least of what he owed them for just disappearing on Spencer. “I agree, General Hammond. Tony’s incredibly tuned into his Guide’s emotional state at all times. My guess is until Spencer can have a proper reunion with his brother, that Tony won’t be able to fully calm down. While they’re doing that, I’ll let Dr. Frasier check me out, so Daniel can relax, and then in say half an hour we can all try this again?”

Tony watched as the shorter and balder of the two Air Force Commanders seemed to judge the situation before nodding. “That sounds reasonable. I know from what Dr. Paddington told us they’ve been having some problems, which is what delayed their arrival. I am willing to trust that this won’t be a regular occurrence this time. Let’s take a 30-minute break. Airman Connor, you’re excused. Alec can get them to the conference room. 30 minutes, people!”

When the airman walked off after shooting him one last dirty look, Tony took a deep breath, and after giving Stephen a promise to behave, headed off with Spencer after Alec for some privacy. The two brothers deserved a private reunion, and they were going to get it.

 

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

 

As Spencer followed Alec down the hallway away from the elevators, he was glad to have the weight of Tony’s touch on the bare skin on the back of his neck. He wasn’t entirely confident that without it that he wouldn’t completely fall apart. He was embarrassed at having ignored the needs of his Sentinel and was going to have to apologize to his Forever later when they were alone. He knew that Tony would say they were extenuating circumstances, but as far as Spencer was concerned, his Sentinel and Mate should always be his top priority.

As they headed into what appeared to be an empty office that Alec ducked into, Spencer felt Tony place a kiss on his left temple before he moved around where Spencer and Alec had stopped to seemingly stare at each other. Spencer watched his Sentinel settle himself behind a desk that had been abandoned in the room, and then turn the chair so that his back was to them. Spencer guessed it was to give the brothers as much privacy as he could.

Appreciating the thought, he turned his attention to his brother who was watching him like a hawk. There had been a long hug in the hall while Tony was being restrained from going at Aaron again, but Spencer felt the need for another. If being with Tony had helped Spencer do anything, it was to get over his aversion to being touched. It still wasn’t his favorite thing from a stranger, but with those he loved and knew loved him in return, he was much more open to hugging and cuddling and other various signs of affection. So, without thinking further, he gave into his impulse and headed to Alec happy when the older man wrapped his arms around him.

“I have missed you Gattino,” Alec said with his voice thick with emotion. “Waking up and finding out that I had to leave you behind was the worst thing I have ever had to do. The only thing that made it bearable was to know that your Forever had done his best for you and that his Uncles would continue to keep you safe. I never would have left you behind given the option. I swear on my favorite lighter.”

Spencer felt a bark of laughter escape between the tears that he was pretending he wasn’t crying and used Alec’s shirt to wipe them from his face getting a huff of annoyance from his big brother. “You and that lighter.”

“I cherish that lighter,” Alec insisted and pulled back slightly. Although he wasn’t quite ready to let go. Spencer allowed it and was somewhat amazed to see his brother pull the object in question out of his pocket. “You got me this lighter. I have not been without it at any time since we have been separated. Even when I shower, it sits within my sight so I can see it if I need. I promised myself that I would find a way for us to be reunited. When I got here to Stargate Command, I knew that this was the perfect place for us to come together again. I’ve been bugging Colonel Jack non-stop to get you and your Forever into the program so that I could see you again.”

“I wish I knew,” Spencer moaned softly as he reached out and took his brother’s hand needing some kind of contact. “I would have come so much sooner had I known that you were here. Had I even known that you were alive. I mean, I did know mostly, but we were so afraid of putting you in danger. Or at least, Tony was. He recognized what must have happened right away and told me to put you in a box and not speak of what I knew again. He was so angry when he found out my old boss had tried to find you.”

“Jason Gideon,” Alec sneered angrily, and Spencer watched him run a hand through his blond locks that were slicked back in the way Spencer remembered him wearing as a child. “I disliked that man before he tried to find me, and I dislike him even more now. As much as I wish otherwise, the danger has not passed. My enemies will search for me until the day they die. All he accomplished by trying to find me was to renew their belief that James did not actually kill me.”

Spencer heard a growl at the sound of Bond’s name and was surprised when he realized that it came from him. When he felt the weight of Sampson pressing against his leg, he dropped a hand to the Spirit Animals mane getting a chuff of pleasure in return. “Bond,” Spencer spat angrily and huffed again at Alec’s smirk.

“As much as I have always thought you just a Little Bit of a Kitten my brother, I am guessing that this beast is not yours. I am glad to see him come to your aid nonetheless. It is a good sign of the strength of your relationship with your Sentinel. I would tell you not to be too hard on James, but I admit I am still somewhat irked at his actions. It is my hope that someday I am able to give him a good punch in retaliation. There are hundreds of things I would like to say to you right now, Bit, but I cannot think of a single one at the moment.”

For his part, Spencer wasn’t sure what to say either. He was just happy to have his brother back in his life. When combined with his relationship with both his Forever and Sam and then his new job on top of it, things seemed to be turning out just perfectly. “Just say that you’ll never go away again,” Spencer begged, searching his brother’s face. “Tell me that you’ll always be here from now on and I will put it all behind us. I love Tony, and I have this equally strong and satisfying relationship with Sam Winchester that I’m a little worried about explaining to you. Stephen and Marcus are as much my Uncles as Tony’s, and the Paddington family as a whole has never treated me as anything but one of their own.”

Spencer paused to look in Tony’s direction before turning back. If his vision was somewhat blurrier than it had been before, he wasn’t going to pay it any attention. “You’re the only one who knows the me before I came online. You’re the only one who remembers mom before she got bad and she had to be put in the hospital. You’re the only one with good happy stories of her to share, and who understands the stories I tell and won’t wince at how some of them aren’t really as great as I remember. I love my life, but I need you to be a part of it, again. I need you to not go away again because I don’t think I could handle it if I lost you before we’re too old to remember being young anymore. Just tell me that you’ll stay.”

“I will do my best, Bit,” Alec promised as Spencer was pulled into another massive hug. “You have my word. I will do my best to never leave you again. If it should happen though, know it was no more my choice than the prior time was. I will never leave you of my own will. I love you, Spencer.”

“I love you, too,” Spencer whispered as he pressed his face into Alec’s neck and let his tears flow mixing the happy ones with the sad that he’d held in so long.

There were so many things to work out. Spencer had to find out what they were all doing there. He had to find out why the Air Force had a base underneath a mountain. He had to find out why Sam and Ashcroft had been looking at Alec so intently earlier. He had to find a place to live in that could hold all of his family members underneath one roof.

Right then though, all he wanted was to enjoy the feel of his brother’s arms around him and to know that finally, he’d come home, again.

 

The End!

 

 

One thought on “Chapter Six: The Secret is in the Stars

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