Buffy looked at the pictures of who she had where. "I take it the fairies are all out in their part of the country," she said dryly.
"Buffy!" John Winchester complained. "They did not choose it."
"For being straight guys forced together, they have a hell of a lot of sex," she shot back.
"Still, that's a word that you should have grown out of in sixth grade," he said firmly. "Before they start shooting back about your diva personality and hair dye." She shrank back. "Set a better example for the younger ones. They'll do whatever you do, including discriminate and it's not right."
"Fine!" she said, stomping off. "I'll be more politically correct about them."
"Boys were so much easier," he complained quietly. "They didn't have snit fits, they didn't have PMS and zits only got popped, not complained about over breakfast." Buffy screamed so he ran to check on her. It had to be something bad if she had screamed in that tone of voice. More than a mouse like the last time.
Evan Lorne looked up when he felt something off. There was a breeze. Something tapping. He looked. The tapping was coming from a pair of small, rounded wings that looked...glittery. "That's new," he said.
"What?" John asked, not looking up from the stuff he had to get done so people could get their yearly raises.
"Sir, do you maybe feel different?"
"No, why?" he asked, looking over at him. "Why would I feel different?"
"Um...." He pointed. John gave him a confused look so maybe he was hallucinating. "Have you maybe gotten a few extra appendages, Sheppard?" he asked.
John gave him a look like he was insane. "Are you running a fever or just trying to get out of the paperwork?" he demanded. He moved over when Lorne didn't say anything else, just stared over his shoulder. And that's when he realized what he was talking about. When his wing bent painfully as it collided with a filing cabinet. He yelped and moved, staring at the small thing over his arm. He checked the other side. He had two sets. "Doctor Keller to my office ASAP," he said calmly over the comm. "And bring a scanner please?" He looked at Lorne. "When did they show up?"
"I looked up when I felt a breeze and there they were." He was not going to laugh at his commanding officer's gold, twinkly, fairy wings. He wasn't. He hoped. "Maybe, um, you should check with your spouses? See if they're doing anything?"
"Not even Xander could be doing something that would give me wings, Evan," he complained, but he did call them. Xander was still in bed. Tony was staring in horror at his. He poked Xander, who woke up and mumbled at the dog to leave his wings alone. Then he started to snore again. "Xander's asleep but told Muffin to quit sniffing them. Tony's staring at his." He sighed. "Things were easier in Pegasus." Evan burst out laughing. "Keep it up, I'll find whatever did this to me and wish you up a pair too!"
"I'm sorry but at least they're not *pink*!" he howled, falling out of his chair and onto the floor.
"Is he the medical emergency?" Doctor Keller asked as she came in.
"No, I think we have a different sort than him going hysterical and earning a bright, shiny, hour with Ronon in sparring practice."
"That's evil," Lorne complained.
"It came with the wings," he shot back.
"Wings?" she asked, looking confused. He had said it was an emergency. He turned and she saw why. "Are those fairy wings?" she asked, looking confused. "Like on that fairy cartoon that's so girl power?" She moved closer, touching the edge of one with a gloved hand. "They're real!" she said, moving back. She pulled up the scanner. "They're embedded."
"I noticed," he said dryly.
Evan pouted. "McKay to the command office," he called over the Comm. "Hopefully you have an explanation."
"He'd better," John said dryly. Rodney came jogging up the stairs and paused, staring at them, head tipped slightly to the side. "I think the dog is giving Xander's wings that same look," he said sarcastically.
"How did that happen!" he demanded. He wasn't going in there until they were sure it wouldn't happen to him too!
"I don't know," he said bluntly. "Have we had any energy differences on the shields or anything?"
"No," he said, considering it. "They're not a bad color for you. Don't clash or anything." John glared over his shoulder at him. He scurried off to find a reason. There had to be a reason. Before somehow he got wings too.
John looked at the doctor, teeth gritted together so he didn't start to lose his mind and laugh hysterically as they walked him off in that special jacket they had waiting on him. "Anything?"
"No. It looks totally natural for you to have them, Colonel."
"Well, it's not," he said, trying to be calm. "I think I would have noticed *wings* before now." His computer beeped with an incoming call. "Oh, just fucking wonderful timing," he said as the picture showed up.
"Is this a bad time?" General Landry asked sarcastically.
"Yes, sir, apparently I've grown fairy wings," he said, moving the doctor so the general could see them.
"They're fully natural, embedded into the muscle and bone structure of his back," she said. "He doesn't know when, they just showed up, General."
General Landry stared at them. "Didn't you leave all that insanity back in the Pegasus galaxy, Colonel?"
"I thought so, sir, but apparently I was mistaken." He turned to look at him. "We have no idea but we're figuring it out. What did you need to talk about, General? I nearly have all that paperwork done for you."
The general nodded once. "You suddenly grow wings and you want to talk about paperwork?"
"I'm trying very hard not to need a straightjacket," he said dryly. "So far I'm losing."
"I can see why. Your spouses?"
"Yes, them too. Xander's asleep so it wasn't magical."
"Ah." He nodded. "Why don't you go to the infirmary and let your XO finish the paperwork, son?"
"Because he's got an hour sparring with Ronon today, sir, because he fell on the ground and cackled."
"Oh. Okay. Well.... why don't you go to the infirmary anyway? I'll let him finish it and then go spar. Doctor Keller, check everyone else for wings please?" She nodded quickly. "Thank you." He hung up and went to his bar, calling his infirmary. "Get DiNozzo down to see you," he said once she answered, while he was pouring himself a stiff drink. "Find out why he has wings and how it spread to his husbands."
"Wings?" she asked him.
"Yes, wings. Now."
"Yes, General. Do you need some time resting, sir?"
"No, I need a stiff drink. Just do that." He gulped it down and had another. That was going to save his sanity today.
"Yes, sir," she sighed, hanging up. "Doctor Lam, the general just said to check on Agent DiNozzo's new wings and find a reason because they spread to his other husbands."
"Wings?" she asked. The nurse who had answered nodded. "Was he sounding ill?"
"He sounded like he was hitting the scotch pretty hard, but no. Not yet. I suggested a rest, he said to just do it."
"Sure," she sighed, grabbing a kit and heading up to their office. It was in the NORAD part so it was under less secrecy. She walked in and paused, staring at a shirtless DiNozzo staring at his back in a hand mirror. "What the hell?"
"We have no clue," Gibbs told her. "What are you guys doing down there now!"
"We aren't doing anything like that. I'm told your husbands have it as well?" Tony nodded, staying silent. She came over to put on gloves so she could probe around them. The gold and light green went well with his complexion and eyes. They were real. She touched an edge and they twitched. She stared at him. "Magic?"
"Has to be," he admitted quietly. "Xander's asleep and keeps batting Muffin so she tries to lick his."
"We can beam him over," she decided. "Come on." He grabbed his shirt and she noticed it had professional looking holes. Like buttonholes only on the back. Someone had been nice to him and hadn't torn the pretty silk shirt. Gibbs followed, glaring at the others to get back to work. The infirmary was near the elevator and only a few of the people on base had seen him. That might keep rumors down. She called the office. "General, permission to beam Harris to one of the infirmaries?" She got it and smiled. "Remember the dog in case it's environmental and spilling over." She hung up and sat him down to look over the scanner. This was too weird, even for the SGC. Even for Atlantis.
Woolsey looked out as a beam went off. "What is.... Why do you have wings, Harris?" he asked. Xander grumbled sleepily at him and batted. "Doctor Keller?" he called over the comm. "Did you call for Mr. Harris, his dog, and his wings?" She came jogging up to get him and walk him off. Woolsey followed, he wanted to know what was going on. He walked into the infirmary, finding John leaning forward holding his head, and wings on his back too. "How on earth?" he asked.
"No clue," John said, straightening up. He looked at him. "All three of us. Doctor Lam has Tony." He kissed Xander, getting a sleepy smile. "Wake up," he said loudly. Xander frowned. "Xander, you're in the infirmary. Wake up." That woke him more and he blinked around, eyes half open. He spotted John's wings and pointed with a curious grunt. "You have some too." Xander shook his head. John reached out to touch one and Xander flinched, looking at his back then at him, looking confused. "We don't know. Crawl up onto a bed and go back to sleep." Xander nodded, laying down on his stomach behind John's back. "We'll finish that paperwork in a bit, Woolsey."
"Sure," he agreed. "Well, his wings have nice gold and some brown and blue tinges in them. Yours are just gold. Why?"
"Tony's have some light green so no clue."
"Oh. Okay." He walked off nodding. One of the nurses handed him something for his headache, earning a smile. "Thank you."
"Welcome," she said with a smile. She moved toward the bed but Muffin growled and stood up. "Down, puppy. Please? I need to look him over to make sure they're healthy wings." Muffin kept growling. "Okay. Teyla to the infirmary," she called. She had taken John's comm from him in case he panicked. The city was bad enough without everyone hearing him crack up. Teyla walked in and gave them both an odd look. Xander's wings were between John's flapping idly, one of them patting John's bare back every few minutes. "Can you take Muffin since she's not afflicted?"
"Will it give me wings as well?"
"No, we don't think so," Doctor Keller said with a smile.
"Then of course I will. Come, Muffin, we'll find Ronon and make him pet you." She bounced out with her. She had toys for her too.
"If I didn't consider her family, Muffin wouldn't leave with her," John told the nurse.
"I'm sure she wouldn't." She held up leads. "I'm going to see if we can get a pulse and any energy off them. It might tickle."
"Put it on the edge. The center looks flimsy and I'm sure a rip would hurt like hell."
"Sure," she agreed, putting it over a bone crossing that looked to have a vein with it. Then on Xander's even though he growled and shook his wing until it came off. "Can you...." She waved a hand. John took it back and whispered in his ear before putting it back on the wing. It got shaken off again. John did it mentally and Xander still growled and shook it off. "Never mind. We'll take yours until we can wake him up. Coffee help him?"
"He prefers cold caffeine." He shrugged and winced as his wing pulled. "Ow."
"I'm going to get a full scan of the back where it's attached," Doctor Keller said, coming over with the portable MRI. John got onto his own bed and Xander snarled and patted until he came back. "Fine." She did Xander's, making him whine and whimper. Muffin came running back and barked at her until she moved the machine. "It wasn't hurting him, Muffin, I promise!" She backed off with the machine.
"Muffin," John called. She whined at him. "I know you're protecting the daddy. You do it very well. Heel." She sat beside his leg, letting him pet her. "Good girl." Ronon walked in and slowed down to stare. "We know."
"Is it contagious?"
"We don't think so." John smirked at him. "Lorne cackled so you get him for an hour."
"I can do that," he agreed, because it would keep his mind off him possibly getting wings too. "Muffin, come." She barked and wagged her tail. "All right."
"She's guarding the daddy from the mean machines."
"Ah." He nodded, leaving to get Lorne for his ass kicking. Before he somehow got wings too. He might have nightmares from that sight. Probably for months on end.
John petted the dog. "It's all right. She's a good doctor. She won't hurt us."
"I might try to remove a set," she offered. "If they're becoming problems." John's twitched back and Xander's beat more firmly. Xander actually hovered for a second before thumping back on the bed. Muffin climbed up to lay on daddy's lower back and between the wings. She sighed, shaking her head. "Okay."
"You can do mine as long as it doesn't take too long," John offered.
"We can configure it for standing," she promised, doing that. He stood up and she ran it over him, even if the dog did snarl and bark at her. Then John sat back down to pet her. "That came out very nice." She took it to look at and send to the main lab. They had the same thing with DiNozzo. So they sent Doctor Lam and Tony over. Muffin barked a greeting at Tony, who leaned down to pet her and coo at her. He pulled a bed over so he could sit on it. "Do you have any idea?" she asked her head of medical services.
"Not a single one. Can one of you contact the others involved in this thing and make sure they don't have wings?"
John pulled out his phone to text Winchester, who growled back. "Buffy's a boy right after he said she'd be easier to handle as one. Lost all slayer power too." He saw the next message. "Yeah, she called us fairies."
"Fucking bitch," Xander mumbled. "Ogre too. Meanie."
John texted that back to Winchester, who said she had changed into a male ogre with dog ears and a dog nose. "Xander, no more saying those things," he said firmly, enforcing it mentally. "You're changing people." Xander flipped onto his side, curling his back around John's butt.
"We know why, do we know the cause?" Tony asked impatiently.
"Wonderful." He sighed, laying down. Muffin sniffled at him. "I wouldn't mind if I got doggy cuddles." He patted the mattress and she stood up, hopping over to cuddle next to him. "Thanks, Muffin. I needed love."
John smirked at him. "If things keep up with the wings....."
"Don't even start," Tony complained. "Though I guess we can find a way."
"Not in front of me please," Doctor Lam complained.
"What?" John said with a smirk. "Too good to hear spouses teasing each other?"
"Yes, I am. I don't want to know anything that goes on in anyone's relationship except my own. Since I'm presently single, seeing you three go all cooing and lovey over each other is gross at the moment. I feel like I'm ten again." She went back to the scans. She winced as she started to shrink. "Damn it!" She huffed and stomped a foot. "I wish I were my adult self again." Nothing. "Oh, come on," she complained.
Doctor Keller kept her lips shut for a moment. "I wish she were her normal self so I didn't have to do all the work." Nothing. She let out a moan. "I tried."
"I know." She sat down in the desk chair and pouted, arms crossed over her chest. John took a picture so she glared. "Why is your hair growing?"
He looked up then sighed. "Have you ever seen a picture of a fairy without long hair?" he asked. She cackled, shaking her head. He got up and called the main base. "Sir, we have a small problem," he said, pointing at the diminutive doctor, who happened to be the general's daughter. "We know it's wish based. We're looking to see what it is." He smirked.
"Why are your ears getting pointy?"
"Apparently Miss Summers decided we were fairies, sir. He's presently half dog, half ogre."
"Ah." He looked at his daughter. "Send her home?"
"I don't need to come home," she complained. "I'm still a doctor."
"Carolyn, don't argue. I already have a headache," he said calmly. Just like he used to. "Now, beam back to the base. That way hopefully we can find a way to fix this. We can go through Doctor Jackson's book collection." She glared. He stared back. "Now."
"Fine!" She stood up. "Beam me to the office then."
"Thank you. Colonel, try to do something about the hair?" He hung up and had her beamed to his office. She clearly needed a hug, and possibly paddled for throwing a temper tantrum at her age. Even if she was ten again that wasn't acceptable then either.
John looked at his hair and ears in the mirror, Tony coming over to help. "We need hair things," Tony decided. "I look older with my hair down like this." He pulled it back. "That helps some but it shows the ears."
"I think the wings are a dead giveaway," Doctor Keller told him. "You're very cute like that, DiNozzo."
"Thanks, Doc," he said with a grin. "Wanna....."
"You finish that suggestion and I'll make Ducky collect little bits and pieces."
"Yes, Doctor Keller."
Xander woke up with a snort, looking around confused. "Am I sick?"
"No," John said. "Buffy made us into fairies."
"More than the aunts wanted?" he asked, blinking a few times. Tony spanked him hard. "Ow!" He looked at him. "Why do you have wings?"
"For the same reason you do, Fairy Xander," he said sarcastically. "And pointy ears and longer hair."
Xander stood up, pushing his hair back. He looked in the mirror, braiding the parts in front of his ears easily enough then pushing the rest back over his shoulders. He grimaced down at himself. He looked at his wings and flapped them, then grinned as he took off. "Better." He landed and nuzzled his dog. "Let's get caffeine, Muffin. Daddy's still half asleep and the other daddies are mean to wake me up that way. Not even cuddles to wake up. They should know better huh?" He walked the dog out, going to the caf.
"They'll never respect me now," John sighed, shaking his head.
"Yes they will. You can kick their asses," Tony pointed out.
"Yes I can. Doc, bring you back some caffeine or something?"
"Donut if they have one, coffee if not, plain, no sugar." They nodded, going to get her a treat. She deserved one. After today, she truly deserved a good treat. She looked at the twinkling as a man-shaped and sized chocolate statue appeared, smiling at it. "Aww, that's a wonderful treat. Thank you," she called into the air in case whatever had given it to her was still around.
"Oh, crap, it's worse," Woolsey said as Xander walked into the caf. Xander blew a kiss at him and headed for the soda. "What are you doing?"
"Indulging so I wake up fully and can figure out what's making us this way. And Doctor Lam is ten from what Tony's head just told me." He got some soda, standing there sipping it before getting more in the glass and draining it. The third one he walked off with. Muffin made whining noises so Xander grabbed a bottle of water. John and Tony completed their errands and went back to the infirmary too. Muffin was happier once she had her water in a bedpan. Xander hopped up on a bed, sipping the glassful of his personal deity. "Okay," he said finally. "Any idea?"
"No. Not yet. Do you have any idea?"
"Slightly where to look." He called the main building. "John, look in the red book called _Spirits, Saints, and Heavenly Bodies_. I do believe it's in there." He listened. "No, wish oriented." He took another drink. "Past the brownies, in the same section." He found it and groaned. "Read it to me or email it to John please? Thank you, that'll work." He hung up. "John, you're getting it faxed."
"That's fine." He stole his comm earpiece and put it in. "Major Lorne, expect a fax on what caused this change from Cleveland. Thank you." He hung up and handed it back, giving her the coffee and the last coconut donut. She beamed at them for it. He pointed at her new decoration. "Someone really likes you?"
"It showed up when I said I deserved a treat. I think the being who did it is very nice as long as that wasn't really a person before."
"Could be," he agreed.
Woolsey walked in. "We're going to have a problem."
John gave him a look. "Of course we are. I'm going to have to kick ass for weeks to get respect back."
"Worse. The IOA is coming. What remains of them. They're doing an inspection."
John took his comm back. "Attention all base personnel. IOA reps will be on base within..."
"Two hours," he finished. "They are doing an inspection; I do not know if that includes personal areas. If you're not doing something critical, I would make sure your areas are clean. That does include the labs, Doctor McKay." He clicked off and handed it back. "Xander, can we do an illusion?"
"No, but we can definitely use it to go visiting." He looked over, sending him that idea. John nodded it was a decent one. Tony shrugged. "So, are the non-demonic ones coming or just the ones that weren't caught?"
"The human ones, Harris. They shouldn't see you."
"They'll be fine seeing me. We do have spousal visiting rights. I am a spouse and they couldn't say a damn thing about the aunts drugging them either."
"Good point. I know they're disappointed."
"I'll let Tony and John father spawn someday soon. Tell them we're doing this to go visiting a peaceful species," he said quietly. That got a nod and he left. Xander looked at John then at Tony. "The one who granted it was really trying to help. It's like a wish fulfillment fairy."
"A literal one?" Tony guessed. Xander nodded. "Why was she in Cleveland?"
"Because there's a lot of energy and emotion there. They'll naturally hang places where there's a lot of energy." Lorne walked in the papers. "Thanks, Evan."
"Welcome, Xander." He grinned. "Ears and hair too?"
"Yuppers. If anyone asks, we're going to visit. It's temporary to conform to their ways."
"Got it." He went to spread that around. Most everyone on base had taken the wings and shrugged it off after a minute. They had fought space vampires, were wings really that weird? Then he went to clean up his own rooms. He needed to do laundry again.
John took them to read through, sighing. "Any idea if she's still out here?"
"No clue and no idea how to tell," Xander admitted. "Maybe if you could find a way to see her being invisible?"
"Good point." He looked back when his wings fluttered. "Stop that." He reread it and handed it to Tony so he could go over it too. The doctor took it from him and sent it to the general with the note about the cover story.
When the IOA got there, Woolsey smiled and shook their hands. "Good morning."
"Richard," the mostly female group's head said with a smile. "How are things going?"
"Fairly decent. It's about lunch time, would you like to go to the cafeteria?"
"No, thank you." She smiled. "We want to look over the records for conjugal visits."
"Ah." He took them up to his office, pulling those out. "We haven't had too many. Most have decided it's easier to see theirs off-base."
"I see they're using the unholy union to get Sheppard more off-base time?" one asked, looking up at him.
"He had no choice in that matter, he was drugged."
"I saw that report, but it can't be well liked by the higher ups."
"Actually, Mr. Harris has been instrumental in getting us some things to help us settle in out here without problems, including talking to the local demon council about not letting anyone travel out here because they consider it a holy city. He's protected the city and given his spouse quite a lot of weapons to hold for him in case of an apocalypse."
"He handed over his apocalypse vault?" one asked.
"Yes, I believe he worked it out with General O'Neill that if he needed it, he could have it back. Especially with the ongoing problems we're seeing right now." John walked in. "Ah, you're still preparing for that visit."
"I am." He smirked at them. "We're going to see some locals later and had to conform a bit. It's a temporary spell." He hoped.
"That is odd," one said, blinking at him. "I didn't know there were fulfillers out here."
"Yes, and apparently in Cleveland."
"Ah." She nodded and just shrugged. "New?"
"This morning. That's why we're going to go visiting."
"Understandable really. Though you do look indecently cutesy with the wings."
He shrugged. "Even with them I'm still a colonel in the Air Force." He crossed his arms over his chest. "Now, you guys wanted to do an inspection. What did you want to see today?"
"We were wondering about a few things. How is your...husband?" the leader asked.
"Just fine. Down in the infirmary making sure his wings are all right. So's the dog." He shrugged one shoulder. "He's also being checked on after the last battle we had in town last night." They all stared. He stared back. "Let's not pretend we don't know, shall we?" he asked dryly. "Why are we here today? I have paperwork to do for yearly file maintenance to make sure people get paid."
"Your arrangement is going well?"
"Yes, our marriage is just fine," he said blandly. "As it has been for months."
"So you do consider it a full marriage?"
"Thanks to the way the aunts started it, there's a slightly telepathic link," he said dryly. "That's why Gibbs and DiNozzo's team was moved to the main base as our NCIS team and Xander has found us a lot of ancient references in the demon libraries."
"Oh, that's helpful."
"It's let Doctor McKay repair a few systems we had no idea about." He shifted his weight some when he heard someone coming up behind them. "Doctor Zalenka, is that the science report?"
"Most of it. Doctor McKay is fixing one section that he had to complete on someone." He handed it to Woolsey with a nod at the council members. He was trying hard not to stare at John's back. "He said it will be done in two hours."
"That's fine," Woolsey agreed. I know he has more important things to do than a report. What was that shield incursion late last night? It was mentioned but not clarified for me."
"Huge bird. It's nesting on a pier." He left before he had to stare at the wings again.
John looked back at swearing. "Did a wall bite you again?" he asked dryly.
"Yes! Damn cannibal walls! Have the doc take blood instead!" He rubbed his arm. He walked up behind him. "Hi." He grinned. Muffin barked cordially. "How are we today?"
"Mr. Harris," one said with a faint smile. "Your mutt?"
"My dog is trained to hunt with me. I don't go too many places without her and the whole base loves to play fetch with her now and then. Though the next time someone throws a ball off a pier, they're going to get it instead of my dog."
"Definitely," John agreed. "He said it was an accident."
"That's fine. I can just as accidentally throw him off." He smiled sweetly. "Let me pet the babies before we go." He went into John's office.
"You've spawned?" one asked politely.
"Not yet but Xander did say that if I or Tony wanted to, he'd be a favorite stepparent to them. At the moment we've both decided that the current apocalypses take precedence."
"Plural?" one asked.
He nodded. "We're pretty sure, yeah."
"Basically, yes," he agreed. "Xander, did they ever get through to Cleveland's city council about making evacuation plans?"
"They wouldn't listen to them."
"I'll get General Landry to talk to Homeland Security so they can force them or make some of their own," Woolsey said. "Do we think that hellmouth is going to be that bad?"
"No clue," John said. "But I don't want to have to evacuate them at a moment's notice. Would you?"
"No, I wouldn't. We saw how bad things could get with the invasion as well."
"They're being blind and forgetting. It's normal people syndrome," Xander said as he came back petting something. "You cracked it."
"It was already cracked," he shot back, giving him a dirty look. Xander went to put it back. "Thank Evan Lorne for that arrangement."
"I will. He'll need a nice hug after his sparring time today," he said dryly. John smirked at him. Tony jogged up the stairs. "Tony, was this one already cracked?"
He looked. "I think so, Xander." Xander pouted. "No, you can't keep them."
"I know, I'm petting them."
"Fine." He walked into the office. "Woolsey, any NCIS related files while I'm here?"
"I sent an email to Gibbs that you were here, he said to pick up something on someone's punishment?" John got it for him. "What happened?"
"Our little food thief," he said dryly. "I gave him manual punishments and counseling." He handed it to Tony. "I didn't do more than make a note in his file that when he's distressed he tends to end up inside a freezer."
"I sent you guys extra ice cream, right?" Xander asked, coming up behind them.
"You did," John said, giving him a grin. "Thank you."
"Welcome. You guys needed it." He smiled at the members.
Chuck turned around in his chair. "Xander, incoming problem from the city." He turned up the tv for him. Xander came out to stare at it. John and Tony grimacing.
"Coming with you," he assured him. "Woolsey, we're having a small demon uprising in town."
"Go. I know you have to handle that by family duty." They nodded and headed out once Xander had a good selection of weapons. He came out to see it. "Is it important?"
"It looks like a protest that got out of hand."
"It might be. We are a city that does protest a lot of things," Woolsey sighed. They appeared there about ten minutes after landing the jumper. A few spotted them and ran. A few more ran at them. Xander yelled and those ones calmed down and one quit bouncing. He grabbed one's bullhorn and started to yell at them for the petty annoyances. Woolsey snickered. "I take it it's not that important after all." The crowd dispersed. Xander handed one the bullhorn, scowling at te rest. They slowly slunk off. The cops were able to step in to shoo the rest off. "Good, peaceful job," he decided.
"It was," Chuck agreed. "I knew they respected Xander after all the years he fought."
"He has earned it." He smiled at the watching representatives. "Xander's a very dynamic man. I don't personally like him because he's bouncy, impulsive, and a bit wired sometimes because he lives on caffeine and sugar, but I can see the appeal one might have for him."
"Many would like to curse their aunts for that marriage," the head IOA person said.
Woolsey shrugged. "It's done and we can't undo it. They've learned to live with it in a healthy manner."
"That's good of them," she said. "Now, let's talk about a few other things. I'm told an ancient room opened recently?"
"At General O'Neill's command."
She stared at him. "General O'Neill?" He nodded. "Why?"
"Because he said so. So did the rest of his council."
"We did not want them form one," another member said.
"I'd rather not have us all destroyed and they think doing so will help us in the upcoming situations. I'm not going to argue with them doing something insane to save our lives. I've seen things like that work too many times over the years."
"We still did not like that they formed a council."
Rodney walked up the stairs with his report. "Why? Are the demon councils wary of what they'd do?" He handed it over. "On the shields, again." He watched on the tv. "I see the hair grew," he complained.
"And pointy ears," Woolsey agreed. He glanced it over. "Can't we shoo the bird off?"
"It's nesting. It's a protected species."
"Oh." He grimaced and went over the rest, handing it over with a smile.
"We do not like this relationship that has grown around this base," one told Woolsey.
Rodney snorted. "Even if you don't like it, people took it out of your control."
"We can have him moved," one pointed out. "Back to DC."
"Which would mean you'd have Harris in DC, around all those lovely politicians who've sold part of themselves and the ones who want to, plus getting into every little thing. Isn't that why NCIS moved their team to the mountain?" Rodney asked Woolsey, who tried not to mutter but nodded instead. "I believe the politicians would rather keep demon hunting *out* of DC."
The three of them returned and John strolled up. "Apparently the points give us extra special hearing, ma'am," he said, staring that one down. "You can't have me removed without a damn good reason and this is not one. The highest of the high know that we were drugged and married, and therefore linked, that way. Even the president has gotten that report and signed off to divert frat regs for me." She gasped. "Also, you should know that they all think we'll calm Xander down since he's a good link in the hunter's weapons pipeline." She stomped off and they beamed out.
"You remember that fairy from Bugs Bunny with the tattoo and the cigar?" Xander asked Tony.
"Vaguely, yeah. He does remind me of him only without the smoke."
John smirked at them. "I can assign you both PT."
"Nope, you can't," Xander said with a grin. Muffin huffed up the stairs. "Why are you sore? We didn't get hit." He squatted down to check her over. "John, her knee's swollen."
"I am not a vet," Keller said before anyone could suggest the infirmary. "But has she jumped?"
"Only on and off the beds." He checked her over again. "Okay, get me home so I can take her to the vet."
"Done," Woolsey agreed. John walked off with Xander, who was now carrying the dog. "DiNozzo?"
"No, I'm pretty well here for a day to go over things." He held up the text message. "Gibbs said since I'm here anyway."
"That's fine. Sheppard is very creative when he needs to assign punishments. In the early days, when we couldn't ship anyone back, they got assigned to teams and watched heavily."
"I can understand that need." He followed him in to look that over. He kept a light tether on Xander's mind all the way to the mainland and to the vet's. The vet thought it was simple inflamation and gave her a shot and an ice pack. He sighed in relief. They went home for now. Apparently San Francisco just shrugged off guys with pointy ears and wings.
John talked the wish fulfillment fairy out of their wings and pointy ears, finally, later that day. The thing pouted because it had hurt them but that was normal. Xander gave it a hug and promised that there were ways of doing it without hurting people. The little thing went to talk to Gunn about that. Gunn had a good sense of ethics and wouldn't freak. That's why Xander had suggested him to talk to. Xander was kicked back on John's bed, watching him fuss his laundry back into place when his phone rang. "Harris," he answered, sitting up. "When and how bad? Is the kraken out?" He nodded. "Give us ten to get there. Get military and the local agents gathered." He hung up. "The hellmouth in Cleveland just opened and spilled out half of hell." He hopped up, magically summoning something he could hunt in. "John, I need the weapons back now."
"Got it," he agreed, jogging to his office pulling on a t-shirt on the way. "Lorne, get Landry on the phone and have him check Cleveland. The hellmouth just opened and vomited." He grabbed everything he had, including in the desk. Xander came in with a bag. "You sure?"
"Yeah." He piled things into it. He looked over his guns. "We'll need more bullets sometime. Can I do the beaming thing?"
"Yes we can." He got his own gear and made sure he was comfortable. Xander handed him a sword, attached his axe to his back, and then holstered a few guns. "Muffin?"
"Still inflamed." Tony jogged in and they went together. They landed and it was quiet. People were fleeing but not screaming. Xander stopped one. "Where is it?" he asked. She panted and pointed. "We'll have evacuation spots set up. Get people inside so they can be evacuated easily." She nodded and he let her go. "Tony, liaise on that shit. Get points set up. Get one set up for the demons who're peaceful."
"Got it." He plugged in his earwhig. "This is NCIS Special Agent DiNozzo, where are the other agents meeting?" he asked. He took off for that. "Guys, hunters are gathering in the park." He pointed. "Thirty feet that way around the bushes and down the hill." He jogged off.
Tony and Xander jogged off to meet them. "Guys," Xander said, getting a sigh of relief. "John, your job is the younger slayers. I want you with them." He got a glare. "I don't care!" he shouted. "They need you more because even if you stuffed them somewhere, they'll come out. They're drawn to it." He looked at the others. "Also, set up slayers at each of the evac points and make sure the peaceful demons have one." He nodded, heading to give those orders. "Give me a sitrep please?" he asked the others, who were only staring at them. "Hi, Xander Harris, I fought with the slayers in Sunnydale. This is John Sheppard. The family hunts." They nodded and one smiled at him. He nodded back. "What happened?"
"We had no warning. The hellmouth popped open suddenly and just spilled, Xander." He gave him a map of the city. "The hellmouth is in this park."
Xander put a pin on the larger map. "It tried to hug me the last time I was here. Okay, we've got to evacuate the city."
"Tony's arguing with them about that," John said, touching his earpiece.
Xander took it to listen then logged in. "Listen, idiots, do you really want to have a moment or sixteen of burying everyone in town? Get them out of the city. Each of the points will have a junior or injured slayer with you to make sure nothing harmful gets to the people. The peaceful demons locally will have their own so no one has to freak out. Kapsmeir, you were Initiative, set that up. We'll warn the local demon clubs that you're not going to capture them but where it is."
"Finn's doing that, Xander."
"Good, call and use my name liberally." He found the numbers and called. "People, I'm not sure if we'll have a city after this. So evacuate the normals. Now. That's your only job. Those of you with combat experience, use flare rounds. Everything will most likely burn. Just set up the evac points and make sure people leave. One way or another." He hung up and handed it back. "Get Landry to get us some military to help?"
The solider handed Xander the phone. "It's Harris." He listened. "No, they're helping evac the peacefuls, not capturing them. Tell them where it is and warn them of it. Because they know what's harmful most of the time and can keep the harmful things out of there. Yeah, but half of the peaceful demons are just as tasty to these things as people. Get them out of the city, now. I'm not sure if we can hold the city." He hung up and tossed the phone back. "Okay, people, how far have they gotten?" They pointed.
"Let's start in this neighborhood. Each of you pick a place about as distant and move in. We'll have to kill them all." They nodded and took off. He and John got a ride from the distant cousin. They hopped off when they saw a huge man-looking thing. Xander looked up at him. "Yo, we're hunters!" he called up to it. It sneered down at him. He pulled out something and opened the case, firing at him. It went sploosh. "We warned you."
He called Buffy's phone. "We're working concentric circles, pushing inward. Jump in where necessary. John and I are on ...eighteenth," he said, reading from the local sign. "So we'll move in from here. The other hunters are doing the same thing. Send any injured but moving to the evac points to help out. I know we missed some already." He hung up and they moved in, shooting demons on the way. A bright light happened near them and John nearly swooned.
"Bullets!" They both reloaded and stuffed the rest in Xander's bag. John noticed a hole in it when something clicked on the pavement. "Xander, you're losing artillery boxes." Xander shifted things so the hole was up again and picked up the last few he had dropped. They kept going, running into worse and worse things. They waved at Sam and Dean, who had just taken out something evilly floating like a sheet of fog. "Forty-fives flare rounds," he called, waving his own gun. They came over to get some extra rounds. "How many have made it this far?"
"Six," Sam said, looking around. "Military guys just got here and started to evacuate the locals. We've lost whole buildings," he said, looking at Xander.
"I realize that but I'd rather have people waiting inside than getting in the way and possibly being shot, or making themselves a target," Xander pointed out. He pulled out a new piece of artillery then put it back and dug out something else. This one was bigger than he wanted but it'd work. He fired it off at the thing bothering the military guys. "Let's go. Tell any other hunters we'll hit the hellmouth itself, blowing up merrily as we go, and they can back up the other teams?" Dean nodded, sending that on. They rushed on together and it was bad. Xander was going to have nightmares about the moment he saw the hellmouth and what was standing there. He dropped the bag and started to pull out things, tossing them over.
"Hey, my only time using real artillery," Dean said dryly. "Damn too bad it'll be my last." He fired.
Sam fired off his. They got more from the bag. "Not today it won't. Dad'll kill you if you die today, Dean, right after he has you brought back."
Xander snorted. "I reminded him that he should be with the mini slayers keeping them from jumping in." He grabbed blindly, dumping some onto the ground for easier grabbing. John was needing more too. Tony was on the other side, fighting toward the hole. "Tony!" he shouted. He banished a few to him. Tony nodded and they all fired together. The mass of demons exploded and less were coming. Xander wired a few things and lobbed them instead of firing them. The kraken screamed as some tentacles were killed. Less demons were coming. They kept going until they were all gone and the kraken was back inside. Xander got up and walked forward, gun in hand. He shot the demon trying to come out. He centered himself and felt the hellmouth answer. He sneered and pushed the taint out. It closed with a whine of noise and sound. He panted, squeezing his eyes shut. "This sucks." He looked around, shooting a few more demons as they tried to run at the agents. He hadn't noticed it was now dark. It had been midmorning when they had landed. They had left Atlantis at nine local time, so noon on the east coast. Xander looked around. "Guys, get a power bar, and let's head to mop up," he said. They nodded and grabbed energy bars and waters, John tossing Xander a few for him to eat. He gave Tony one of his with a grin, getting a grin back. "Your boss call?"
"He told me where they're setting up an accessory evac point. We've lost whole neighborhoods."
"Should I have told them to run faster?" he asked quietly.
"No, he agreed with the orders you gave, Xander." Xander nodded, relaxing some. They cleaned up and sorted out things that were still able to be used and Xander got a place to find the slayers, going to join up with them. The other hunters were handling one other area that was overrun. They had agents helping and military guys. The slayers were overloaded. They got there in the Impala in time to see Buffy get knocked out. There were a few female bodies on the ground, bleeding. "I'll get the people out," Tony said. He jogged over to get with the military guys "We need to get the fallen out of the way," he ordered. "They don't deserve to lay there and the hunters don't want to look down at them."
"We've tried. Who're you?"
"Agent DiNozzo. Ask him to float them," he said with a nod. "Andrew!" He looked over. "Float out the bodies so we can get anyone help!" He nodded, turning to do that instead of patching up injuries. Then they dove in to help the girls. This was harder than he wanted to remember. His arm was tired since these ones needed dismembered. Xander was panting too. He had his axe and a few spare swords on him in case someone needed to grab one. John slipped and fell but it let him miss being clawed in the chest. Xander got that one and then threw a knife at the one going for Tony. He moved on and it was bad. It was real bad. They had backup after an hour. They were still going. A helicopter flew overhead and the demon tried to bring it down but it fired.
"They need dismembered!" Xander yelled. John relayed that over the military line. The agreed and focused on limbs and heads. The slayers got the last two and Xander hacked one last one's body into smaller pieces. They looked around, then at the girls. "The hellmouth's closed," he told them. "How many?" he asked Rona.
"Sixteen dead of the slayers. Andrew!"
"Buffy's alive," he called. "We saved six." They all nodded. "The other place is reporting it's moving but all the hunters fell back to that one. They got it down about an hour ago."
Xander leaned his axe against his leg, wiping his hands off on the back of his t-shirt. It was more goo and blood free. He looked around as he shrank the weapons to put back into his bag. "How?" he asked.
"We have no idea," Rona admitted. "Faith called up with a screaming slayer vision about two minutes before the thing opened. She's still on the west coast. We shut down all magic because we knew some of the demons might go for it to get here."
"The slayer Faith came with the second wave of the military," one of the agents told her. "Along with the South and Central American teams, ma'am." He looked at Xander. "How did you get that sort of ordinance?"
"That's Xander. He was Buffy's backup in Sunnydale," Rona told him. Xander nodded. "He lets John hold it for him since he's military." John waved from where he was bending down panting.
"John?" Tony asked. He moved over to check him. "Andrew, he's got a good cut on his side that's really deep."
Xander came over, laying a hand on it. "I can halve it with you," he offered.
"Shut up, Xander. No sucking injuries into yourself," John said, looking at him. "They don't need both of us to be whiny. Tony, check him."
"I'm fine." He looked around then at the girls. "Call the others, see if they need help evacuating. We can get a burger on the way, ladies." They nodded, getting food from the military MASH unit people. Tony made them check Xander when he was watching the girls be treated. Tony had John but Xander was back into his 'general' persona. The doctors nearly screamed in frustration when he fought but oh well. Doctor Lam was brought to handle him and John's injuries. He calmed down at that. He had a good few cuts and one really nasty one that needed to be cleaned.
They got taken to the other site where things were going bad. Xander walked off the helicopter, whistling. "All you peaceful ones, move!" he shouted. "We don't care about you! You're free citizens!" The military people herding them gaped in horror at him. "Ninety percent of all species are peaceful," he told them. "Stop it!" He walked around, freeing Finn and his group. "Get them out of here." He nodded, going to round up those that he could to get them out of Cleveland.
"Who in the hell are you, boy?" someone yelled, coming up on him.
"He's with me," John said. "Colonel John Sheppard, out of Cheyenne." That got the man to stand down. "General," he said, saluting the guy stomping over after being flown in even though he was army.
Xander nodded at him. "The peaceful ones aren't going to be hurt, right?"
"No, we have nothing against peaceful beings," he assured him. "They were misinformed."
"Make sure it doesn't happen again. They can riot and be less peaceful," Xander pointed out. "We saw plenty of that in Sunnydale." The general flinched. "Exactly." He looked at them. "Are the orders to leave Cleveland?"
Xander whistled. "People, we're evacuating everyone in the city for right now. That includes you guys. We set up a separate checkpoint for you guys so you wouldn't have to deal with normals freaking out." That got a few nods. "The others were misinformed and are now being corrected. For right now, Cleveland is being shut down. If you have a family somewhere else, go visiting." Most of them headed off. He looked at the few, who were giving him sad looks. "Did they take some of yours?" Most of them nodded. He looked at the general.
"Those that're unharmed will be brought back. The rest there's a doctor looking after them." They waited and their people were brought back. They got escorted out with the rest of the refugees. He looked at Xander. "You should not have ordinance."
"General O'Neill lets John keep it for me on his base, General. I'm just borrowing it back for the emergency."
"Who are you?"
"Harris. I helped the slayers in Sunnydale."
"You were on the team that shut the hellmouth."
"What did you do to it?"
"I made it whine. The damn thing likes me." He walked off, handing John the bag. "The other evacuation points, Tony?"
"Going well and peacefully, Xander. Fortunately Homeland had a few ideas and had started to draft them out for getting people out of the area in case of apocalypse." They looked over the ruins of the city. "CGI ruined cities in movies aren't this bad," he said quietly.
Xander patted him on the back. "It could be worse. It could be a graveyard."
"I know." They stared. John came over after calling in a report. He still had the bag. He handed it to O'Neill when he showed up. "Sir," they all said together.
"At ease, boys." He stared then at them. "Good job. Xander, good ordering at the front to sort things out." He clapped him on the back. "The last bits of fighting were stopped. We're doing a door-to-door tonight." That got a nod from all three. "We know there's some left."
"Some of the peaceful will be underground," Xander said quietly.
"We know." He smiled. "Good job with the hellmouth."
"I feel like shit and like we didn't do enough."
"I felt like that after the LA invasion," John admitted. He gave him a shoulder nudge. "We'll have nightmares together."
"Sure, I could handle that." He looked at Jack. "Need us to stay for the clean up?"
"No. I want you three back on the base, now."
"Main?" John asked.
"No. The president wants to talk to you guys and the Winchesters, plus the slayers tomorrow. Now it's regular military and agents who need to do the work. The other hunters were given aid, food, and time to clean up at a cleared hotel then told thanks and that they should fade like scared citizens." That got a nod. "Thank god we got here when we did," Jack said quietly. "Let's get you guys back to base."
"Sir, some of the slayers fell," Xander said.
"We'll be burying them with honors, Xander. They earned it. Same as the agents who fell did." That got another nod from them. "Head home."
"Sheppard to base. Bring us three home please. We're together next to O'Neill." He heard the agreement and they got brought home to Atlantis.
Rodney stared at them from the control center. "Sonic cleaners are ready for you in the main shower," he said calmly. "Xander, let Lorne take the weapons so he can do an inventory." John handed it over and walked them that way. "Do we need medical?" John shook his head. "Okay." They got watched while in the showers, they knew people were. The sonic cleaners got most of the goo out and then hot water and a lot of soap got the rest. When Xander broke first, and they gave him a hug, everyone ignored it. He had lost friends today. Rodney got them back to their room without running into anyone. He sent up dinner. There was no way they wanted to be surrounded by people right now. He set guards on their hallway to make sure no one bothered them.
Xander looked up from the graveside service for the slayers, letting Faith under his arm. Buffy was still in the hospital, her skull was cracked open and it was taking a long time to heal. They were burying nineteen slayers. They looked over as the ambulance pulled up and Buffy was wheeled over, making room for her. He stroked over her shoulder, getting a tired look back. "It won't happen without warning again. Jack's people know how to monitor it," he said quietly. She nodded at that. They went back to staring at the graves until the minister walked up.
It was non-religious but they were being buried on holy ground by a military chaplain. Half the girls hadn't had family that survived the Bringers. The other slayers were gathered around too. It was a solemn group. This was the first time they had lost anyone since Sunnydale. At the end, the coffins were lowered and they flinched at the twenty-one gun salute. Xander had dropped something into each of the graves for them.
Sam and Dean had already salted them all and there was a fuse in there that would go off and burn the body if anything tried to disturb the grave. Xander had helped him with that with everyone's full knowledge and agreement. The chaplain stepped back and let them all stare as the first dirt was sent down. Buffy was rolled over by Xander to each of them for her own dropping in of things. Then she got handed back to the paramedics. The girls all stared at Faith.
"I don't know," she admitted. "We did what slayers do. All of us. Even the mini ones that John couldn't keep safe."
"We did the best we could," Xander agreed. "All of us. Even those who were supposed to be hiding and didn't quite make it there. Even though they're too young." He stared at that group. "It's not your time yet. You may be slayers but we don't want to do this for you guys yet. You're too young. Wait until you've at least lusted after Angel once, okay?" They all nodded, clinging to John. He looked at the others. "We did what we had to do. It sucks ass," he told them, getting a few nods.
He cleared his throat to banish the large lump. "I won't tell you that anything coming up will be any better. Thank you for being slayers and taking on your callings, ladies." Most of them sniffled. "You're banes of hell and all that, but you're still my girls. Remember that." They broke and cried, piling on him, Faith, and Dean. Sam didn't like to be touched even though he did pull a few who didn't get hugged into his arms.
They got calmed down and John took them back to the house. It was inside the evacuation area but they knew they had to be there. And now so did the military and the agents.
Dean looked at Xander, who shrugged. "I don't know."
"Us either." He clapped him on the back, seeing the wince. "Stitches?"
"Too many this time. We're getting old for this game."
"I know that feeling," he said dryly, cracking Sam up, but he only sniffled. "Okay," Xander said, pulling himself back together. John and Tony had been behind him. "I'm told we have to see higher ups for some reason today."
John pointed. The president's limo was there and he had watched the whole thing. The five of them walked that way together. They found Gibbs and Jack O'Neill there with him, going over things. Xander nodded at the guards who stiffened as they approached. "Relax. We're the good guys. Really. Even if we do look a bit scruffy around the edges."
The president came out and John saluted, so did Dean and Sam. "At ease, boys." He smiled sadly at them. "You guys did hellishly good work this time. In all the fighting, all the support you guys gave, and the orders that came from your team," he told John. Who pointed at Xander. "I'm aware of that, Colonel." He looked at Dean and Sam. "You two, I've been briefed on. I've also told the FBI to lay off you. That you had a reason to lie about that so you were in that prison. That agent's notes were released to me and the head of the FBI." They nodded in unison. "Relax, boys. I'm not going to chew you a new one." He looked at the other three. "Sheppard, are these two your spouses?"
"Pleasure to finally meet them both." He shook Tony's hand then stared at Xander before shaking his. "You made DiNozzo quit quoting movies, thank you, son." Xander smiled but sniffled. He handed him a handkerchief. "I'd be upset too. They're like your family." He clapped him on the arm. "As of right now, we're going to close Cleveland until we can make sure it's safe. I know Sunnydale's shut, and we had a talk with Mr. Giles about the other possible hellmouths, warning some very worried allies about theirs." He stared at them. "The Winchester family is hereby under no more threat of federal charges. Even over how you guys funded things. Your father said you'd be with the slayers for right now?"
"They need us to be there," Sam agreed quietly.
"Good. They're all too damn young to be doing this." He sighed, looking at the new graves then at them. "I had been briefed that we're going to have some more issues. Thankfully I didn't wake up from my nap to this one or I would've freaked out." He looked at them again. "O'Neill, from now on, Harris is allowed to stockpile any weapons he wants to stockpile. However he does it. We're setting up apocalypse vaults in most major areas. Most of those will be military or Watcher run. His is watcher run since Mr. Giles said he is one." Xander gave him a shy grin. "That means your husband can quit keeping it for you, son." Xander smiled at John, who moaned. "You two can move all that back later." He looked at Tony. "Do you like Cheyenne mountain?"
"Yes, sir, my team's there."
"Good. Then I'll leave you with Gibbs. I was thinking about moving you out to Atlantis."
"We get spousal visiting rights and we're over that project too," Tony said with a smile.
"Good idea." He smiled at Xander. "You get to visit more too. I'll make sure the IOA knows that you're not to be bothered again. Even for turning in most of them for being disgusting people eaters." He looked at Gibbs. "Make sure no one bothers him about his weapons, Gibbs." Gibbs nodded but grimaced. "I know you think it's dangerous but his husbands can make sure he stocks the things that'll be helpful."
"I'll quit hiding stuff from them," Xander offered, looking at John. Who patted his shoulder, making him wince. "Ow."
"Sorry," John said quietly. He looked at the president. "Any other orders, sir?"
"Not yet. How is the shield going?"
"As far as I know it's fine."
"Good. Keep it up for now. That would be too big of a shock at the moment. I don't think we can take that on top of this one. People might panic." He looked at Sam and Dean. "You two hike out to your pretty car. I've got to give medals and I was told hunters hate to be put into the limelight."
"Yes, sir, it brings us more trouble," Dean said. He shook his and Gibbs' hand then waved at O'Neill before they walked off.
The president smiled. "I'm sure the slayers all like them for being in the same business and cute."
"They are pinups to them," Xander agreed quietly. "Can I....um...."
"No. You're a watcher according to Giles. You don't get to flee things, Xander." He handed John something. "Formal announcements are being done in a week. Be pressed and look pretty."
"Yes, sir," he said, looking at the envelope. "Am I being reassigned?" he asked O'Neill.
Jack snorted. "Hell no. No one else will put up with McKay but you. Besides, the city loves you," he said dryly, giving him a smirk. "General."
John saluted. "General. Sir. Thank you."
"Celebrate later, boys. DiNozzo, needless to say you and the other agents involved are getting awards too. If I could medal you, I would." He looked at Xander. "We can medal you," he said, smirking at the groan. "Tough." He patted him on the cheek. "The husband of a general has to merit his attention, young man. You clearly do." He smiled at John. "Go make Woolsey moan in pain at the happy noises, boys. It's time to move on and think about the next one."
"Sir, what about LA?" John asked Jack.
"We know things may happen there, we've put the national guard base there on alert so they can handle it and call in bigger troupes if they need it. We've also quietly upped their gear stash in case something happens." That got a nod. "Go home, boys."
"Yes, sir," John said, saluting again. Xander did the same.
They all smiled and they were beamed out. "Thank you," Jack told him.
"I don't want this shit to happen again, O'Neill. If I have to make the whole country more military so be it." He looked at him. "How many more?"
"We're not sure if it's related or not, sir. We have no idea."
"Good to know. They back on the city?" He nodded. "Decent. Gibbs, you can have DiNozzo back after the awards."
"That's fine, sir. He probably needs calming down time."
"I certainly do," Jack admitted. "This was bad." They all nodded. "Sir, are we going to talk to the slayers?"
"Yup." He got into the car and they got in with him. The girls knew Gibbs so they'd let him in.
They landed and Xander looked at John. "That means I get to move the rest of the babies back, right?"
"It does." He smirked, giving his head a small nudge. "Behave."
"He gets them back?" Woolsey demanded.
"Yes, the President said so." Woolsey moaned. "C'mon, let's check on Muffin."
"Teyla has her, letting her paddle around in the water," Chuck told them with a smile. "She jumped in and Teyla sat down to watch her for you. She found a small spine just above her knee and apparently the water is helping. Doctor Keller gave her an anti-toxin for it." They all beamed. "Are you three okay?"
"We're good," John promised. "Let's get Muffin and go rest." Xander nodded, letting John lead them to the place where most people swam. They walked up behind Teyla. "Hey, Muffin, you done?" he called. She climbed out and barked, coming to love on the daddy. He hugged her and petted her, making her a happy dog. "Thanks, Teyla."
"It was no problem. She's a very good pet." She smiled at them. "You look all right."
"The president is forcing medals on them and a rank raise on me," John said with a smile.
"I get my weapons back," Xander said with a smirk.
"I look forward to you teasing John with them," she decided, walking off. Muffin barked. She came back to pet her. "You play with the daddy." Muffin lapped him and he settled in to play ball with her. The suit would clean she was sure. Muffin finally just collapsed in daddy's lap, getting cuddled and petted again. He had missed her.
Rodney came out. "It's all over the news that Cleveland is no longer open," he said quietly.
"Good. What's that?" he asked, nodding at the envelope.
John opened it to glance at it then let him see it. Rodney's eyes went big. "I'm staying. The president said no one else would fit out here."
"Congratulations. Doctor Keller wanted to check your injuries."
"We're fine," Xander assured him, looking up from cuddling his dog. "Really."
"I'm sure you are but she said so and she's scarier than I am." He smirked. "Now, get up, bring your wet dog with you. Then you can change so a good dry cleaner can have that suit." He walked off.
"He's very fussy," Tony said. "You need to give him a nice boyfriend."
John shrugged. "I'm not sure what his type is but I'm pretty sure he's straight, just fussy."
"Metrosexual," Xander said with a grin.
Rodney glared back at him. "No, I'm firmly heterosexual, thank you. Or else I'd have cured my temper while we were in Pegasus." They all grinned back. He smirked and walked off shaking his head. Those three were going to drive him insane. He heard the dog bark and looked out there, finding a black, slimy person on the pier. He got soldiers out there and watched. He was not equipped to deal with merpeople that didn't look more like Disney's version. Or really any version. He heard a single gunshot and screaming at the soldier who had done it. Oh, well, there went his free time.
Xander laid down next to John that night, running a hand over his chest. "Hi."
"Hi." He pulled him in closer. Tony was already asleep on his other side. Tony was having nightmares and had taken something tonight on the doctor's orders. He and Xander had neglected to mention theirs after that. He took a kiss. "Are you okay?"
"I'm pissed. I should've been with them."
"We needed you more, Xander. We needed the gear and your planning, plus knowledge. We would've been dead and there's no telling if you would have been able to keep those girls from dying." Xander sighed, nodding. "I know, it sucks. They were like family." He shifted to hold him better. "It's all right. I understand." Xander snuggled in, letting John hold him. It wasn't something that he often let them do but tonight Xander needed the comfort. "Shh, we're here. You did the right thing." He soothed Xander into sleep, smiling at his goofy look when he slept. It made going to sleep easier for him too. Muffin was on top of the birthday present, having puppy dreams by the way her feet and tail were moving and she was letting out happy yips. They all slept that night. Thankfully.
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