Note: A big thank you to Inachis and Hawklan for helping out with this chapter.
(Initiative Base, seven and a half hours later)
Xander looked up as the base elevator activated and he knew the general had finally arrived. He woke Tara, who had been using him as a pillow while she slept. He smiled as she slowly woke up. He couldn't help but notice how lovely she looked right at that moment and he leaned down and kissed her before they both stood up and joined the others as the elevator finally arrived and the general walked out alongside the man Xander and Graham had seen him with on the screen, as well as seven guards. More came from the location of the stairs and back entrance.
"No need for weapons general, we are not looking to fight you," Xander said, raising his hands in a symbol of peace.
"I like to be careful," the general responded as he looked around and returned the salute Graham and his men gave him. "So this is the Initiative. You know, we didn't know they existed until you called," he said. "It would seem an old enemy of mine, who had tried to take control of the unit from me, decided to set up his own, but it seems, if what you've reported is correct, all he's done is give me the ammo to finally remove him from his position," he stated with a smile.
"We have hard evidence that Walsh has violated her orders and even more than that," Xander replied.
"How so?" the general asked as his men secured the base.
"Walsh has been drugging her soldiers without their permission to enhance their strength, speed and stamina, all in preparation for turning them into super soldiers under her control through the use of some control chips she has been experimenting with on vampires and demons," Xander explained. "We've found her personal notes and files on what she was planning, as well as something code named project Adam, which was to create a special type of super soldier combining human, demon and technology. Her plan was to use it to gain more power for herself. We've found the half completed monstrosity in one of the labs," he went on.
"I see," the general said, not liking anything he was being told as it was clear to him Walsh was completely power mad. "Is there anything else I need to know?" he asked.
"Both Walsh and one of her soldiers, a corporal Riley Finn, have shot a civilian, namely me, without due cause or authorization. The first time Finn shot me, while he tried to capture me. The slug imbedded itself in my upper back," Xander answered. "Tara, my girlfriend, removed it and closed the wound. The bullet is back at my flat, hidden. I can retrieve it, if you want?" he asked.
"Colonel Williams will go with you and get that bullet to make sure it is not contaminated. Now, what about this second illegal shooting?" the general responded.
"It was during the fight to take the base. After we had basically won, Walsh pulled her pistol and fired at me. Had I not tried to dodge the shot, it most likely would have killed me. As it was, it lodged itself in my shoulder and the doctor there removed it. The bullet is still in the infirmary," Xander explained.
"Colonel, check that bullet first, then go and get the first one. Now, show me these files you found," the general ordered.
Xander nodded and led the general to the computer room where he was shown the evidence, as well as the files they had found in Walsh's office, which clearly showed how far she had gone in violating her orders. The general grew angrier as he continued to read the information and then when the colonel returned with the two bullets, he confirmed they had both been fired from a military issue side arm.
"Is this Walsh awake?" the general asked.
"She woke up a few minutes ago and tried to order the soldiers to release her," a nearby sergeant replied. "When they refused her orders, she threatened them," he added to which the general nodded his head.
The general began to interrogate the people who had followed Walsh, only having trouble when he came to Forest and Finn, who showed great arrogance and contempt, which did not impress the general, and Walsh proved just as resistant, even though it no longer mattered due to the evidence Xander and the others had found.
Two hours later, after a very long talk with Xander, Graham and his friends, the general agreed to take Graham and his people under his command and absolving them of the crime of mutiny considering the situation. He also agreed to lend support to both Angel's and Buffy's groups, the latter of which was represented by Giles, as Buffy was still sulking at what she had been forced to agree to. Walsh and Riley were arrested for attempted murder and violation of their orders as well as treason, as were those soldiers who refused to denounce Walsh, Xander was able to get Faith's status sorted out as well after the general questioned the whole group about what had happened during the fight against the mayor with some help from a polygraph machine, which had been used in all of the interrogations.
Xander had also managed to convince the general he did not have any more secrets that he had learned from Major Jackson thanks to Tara's magic and so he had not been arrested, and the last bit of business that was discussed was about leaving Graham his team and some of the general's own base to help hold down the Hellmouth, which was finally agreed on. Graham was promoted to the rank of sergeant and Colonel Williams was given command of the new until now renamed the Guardians, who were to work with Buffy and her team to keep the Hellmouth shut. It was also agreed that both groups would work with the general's team in the case of world ending threat and in return, they would receive supplies and pay.
By the end of the night everything had been worked out and the general had contacted the Joint Chief of Staff to report on what had happened. After half an hour he had reappeared and told them everything had been agreed to and they were to leave with their prisoners for their trials, as well as the half completed project Adam, which was to be destroyed. The general, who had ordered the formation of the Initiative Base, had been arrested too and stripped of his rank for his actions.
"Thank you for your help general. I can see why Major Jackson considered you a friend," Xander said as he shook the man's hand.
"Thank you for your help in taking down these traitors and I wish I could talk to Ryan one last time. I guess this is the last bit of help I will get from him," the general said in reply, not knowing the fact that Xander carried the soul of the major inside him.
"Sadly I'm afraid so, but he will be remembered general, for all the good he has done," Xander said as he listened to the spirit of Jackson within him.
"That he will," the general agreed before turning to his second in command. "Colonel, I will have the doctors here in a day or two to start help you to combat the effects of these drugs Walsh has been feeding Miller and his men. Until then, do not use them for any patrols. I want them at their best when they go out there, new weapons and supplies will be sent at the same time. Good luck with your new posting," he informed the colonel before shaking the man's hand and leaving, followed by his men and the prisoners.
"Well colonel, until you need us, we'll be heading home as we still have some things to discuss. I thank you for your help and Graham, I owe you a favor," Xander said before leading the others out of the base, leaving the new military unit behind to sort themselves out.
Tara narrowed her eyes as she glared at Willow as she tried to apologize for not believing them about the Initiative. She was in no mood to accept any attempts at reconciliation after seeing Xander almost killed by Walsh, something that still caused a shiver to run up her spine.
Buffy remained silent, having already been ripped apart by Xander, Cordelia and Tara for her stupidity, and she was still hating the fact she had lost her boyfriend even as she struggled to come to terms with how wrong she had been about him and the Initiative. Xander also kept outwardly quiet, but talked to Tara over the bond about what they should do now that everything had been sorted out and finally coming to a decision.
"Enough Willow. It's going to take time for us to trust you again, okay? I'm sorry if that hurts, but it's the way things stand," Xander said, interrupting Willow's renewed attempts at apologizing. "Me and Tara are leaving Sunnydale and moving to L.A for a while," he announced. "Angel, I don't supposed you could use some more help up there?" he asked, facing the souled vampire who was surprised by the question.
Angel looked between Cordelia, Wesley and Faith and noted none of them objected to the idea of Xander and Tara coming to L.A to help them with their duties.
"We could Xander, and I would be pleased to have you join us, both of you," he said, having spoken to Xander and Buffy during the wait for the general and buried his past in Sunnydale as he had promised to, and whilst it had caused Buffy to cry at some of the things he had said, he felt better for having done it, knowing it might finally wake his former girlfriend up to her own flaws.
Xander nodded and smiled, as Tara sat in his lap and curled up against him, placing her head against his heart and listening to it beat as plans were put together for their move to L.A, as well as plans to bring the two groups closer together so that they could help each other should the need arise.
(L.A, Angel and Chase Hotel five years later)
Xander sat with his wife Tara snuggled up against him as he listened to Angel tell them about his latest trip to Sunnydale with Wesley and how things were going with the Scooby gang. Xander and Tara had been prevented from going due to Tara being almost ready to give birth to their first child.
He sometimes still found it hard to believe how much things had changed. They had originally had intended only to stay in L.A for a year, but instead they had chosen to stay permanently, having become more comfortable there than in Sunnydale. They still visited their friends there, having patched up their problems in the five years since the Initiative had tried to capture him. They had helped contain multiple problems in Sunnydale and L.A alongside both main groups and the Guardians, until now led by Graham, who had become one of Xander's best friends.
Angel and Cordelia were now also a couple, thanks to Tara finding a way to lock the vampire's soul in place and so they could explore their love with no barriers. They had bought a hotel with some help from the general as a new base of operations and finally helped bring Wolfram and Hart to its knees, again with some help from the general and his own unit as well as the Guardians. Faith was finally back to her full potential, having put her past far behind her; she was now in a relationship with Graham, who visited quite often. Wesley had also found someone who had joined them in their fight and was now engaged to the former watcher. Angel was just telling them that Giles had proposed to Joyce, who had accepted, much to Buffy's annoyance and her sister Dawn's enjoyment.
Although the truth about Dawn's origin had thrown all of them for a loop, they had quickly accepted it and dealt with the hell goddess called Glory, who was hunting her. Xander had been forced to put a bullet through the head of her human host to stop her from capturing Dawn and killing Buffy in the process. That had caused some major problems with Buffy for the first in two years, but they had been dealt with thanks to Joyce and Giles, who had made Buffy realize that sometimes to protect your loved ones, you had to kill.
"So, Joyce is to become the new Mrs. Giles, huh?" he finally asked, breaking his train of thought.
"Yeah and we are all invited to the wedding, which thankfully will take place after Tara gives birth," Angel responded as Cordelia leaned against him.
"I wouldn't miss that if you paid me. It's about time, they've been dating for three years," Xander shot back with a smile. "Buffy can complain all she wants, but I think she secretly likes the idea as much as the rest of us do," he added.
"I agree," Tara said with a smile. "I think she complains just to annoy Joyce and Giles," she continued as she felt her unborn daughter kick her. "Did you feel that?" she asked Xander, whose hand rested on her abdomen.
"Yes I did, she's getting very strong," Xander said with a smile at his wife, whom he had married at the beginning of that year, just after Tara had told him they would be having a girl, although she still hadn't told him how she knew that.
"Have you thought of her name yet?" Cordelia asked. "You've been very secretive about it," she added. "I mean, I am her godmother. How can you keep it from me?" she said, trying to act wounded.
"Her name will be Jessica Jen Harris," Tara said with a smile, in honor of both Jessie McNally and Jenny Calendar.
"I think that's a very nice thing to do and I am sure Jessie and Miss Calendar would be pleased to know you've named your child after them," Cordelia said, liking the name completely.
"We'll let the others know when Tara gives birth, which should be in a few days. I'm beginning to get very nervous," Xander said with laugh.
"I can't say I blame you Xander," Wesley said from beside his own girlfriend Carla. "But I am sure there will be no problems when Jessica is born," he assured the young man.
"Oh we know there won't be. Tara has been praying to her goddess for the last two weeks for a quick clean birth and I'm sure she will grant us that," Xander said back, grasping the amulet Tara had given him that represented the goddess she believed in.
The others all nodded their heads and began to discuss other things until Tara fell asleep against her husband with a large smile on her face as she dreamed of the family she and Xander would have in the future, because she knew Jessica would not be the last child they'd have together. Xander just smiled at the look on her face before covering her with a blanket and continuing to talk to his friends, knowing the future was looking brighter from this point on and, once Jessica arrived, more exciting. At the back of his mind he could hear the hyena and the soldier, who had made all of this possible, give exultant cries of victory and success.