Africa to Aw, Hell.
Tony was hanging around the dream plane so he could get a weekly update from Xander. The younger guy had agreed to give him one and anything that he found going on that Tony might need to hear. Instead of the boy, he heard some growling. Tony gave the place where Xander appeared from a long look. Yup, the growling was coming from there. He mentally touched that spot and a hyena appeared. "Nice hyena," he said quietly, trying to seem unthreatening. "Good boy. Did you eat my cousin?" He squatted down since it was sniffing him. "I'm not going to hurt you. Good boy." He was frantically poking at John's mental spot.
"Not now," John's voice called. "Kind of in the middle of a battle here."
"Xander just showed up as a hyena," he called.
"He was possessed by one back in tenth grade," John called.
"How do I calm him down?"
"He was the pack leader, she," John sent back.
Tony looked at the spot. "Huh?"
"She. Pack leaders are always female. I looked it up after he told me while he was drunk once."
"Okay. Good girl." He let her sniff his hand. "How do I get him back?"
"He's probably doing something with a shaman or talking to her mentally, Tony. Have him switch back." The voice went blank.
"How do I do that?" he asked the beast. "Can I have the boy? Please?" She started to growl again. "I know, he doesn't know me by scent. He never sniffed me that way. I'm sorry. It's all right. I promise. If you ask the boy, he knows me. I'm a nice cousin."
"Go astral, see if you can find Daniel Jackson or his ex Cordelia," John's voice called. "Then get him there. Or else I'll have to teach someone on the fly and send McKay to snark him back into being human."
"I've never done that," Tony complained. He looked at the hyena. "Good girl." She was carefully moving closer, chattering. "That's probably not a good sound. How do I go astral?" He had no idea. Then suddenly he was there. His leg hurt but he was there. "Now, how do I find people? Do I call out for them? Cordelia?" he called. "Or Daniel Jackson if you're here?" A young brunette woman with blonde streaks appeared, giving him a funny look. "Xander's hyena'd and I can't get him back."
"How would I know what to do?"
"Our cousin John thought you might or someone named Daniel Jackson? I met him briefly when he was helping the last battle in Sunnydale."
She pointed. "He's got a concussion."
"How do I get him into the dream state we talk in?"
She nodded once. "Smack Xander, he'll revert."
"We think he's doing something with shaman."
"Oh, that stuff. Yeah he was due to learn more about her soon." She considered it. "I have no clue. Let me see if I can find the spell that Giles used. Go wait on me."
He reappeared in the dream state, looking at the small bite on his leg. "That wasn't nice, Xander. You're not supposed to eat people." The hyena growled at him. He gave his best impression of Gibbs' glare. The hyena backed down. Soon a wobbly Daniel showed up. "John's in the middle of a battle and he said you might know something about animal spirits that are taking you over?" he asked with a point.
He stared at it. "That's John? I would've expected some goofy looking hunting dog."
"No, that's Xander."
"Xander?" He stared. The hyena stared back. He shrugged and leaned closer to it. "You're scaring him."
"He bit me."
Daniel looked at his leg then at the beast again. "That's not nice. He'll pout." The hyena sniffed him and chattered.
"He did that before he bit me."
"That's hunting noises." Suddenly John was there, flopping onto his butt. "Bad battle?"
"Yes. But we won." He looked at her, shifting closer and pulling her head around to pet her. "You're a damn fussy bitch without your pack, Xander." The beast groaned into his petting fingers. "See, this is Tony, he's part of your pack. That's Daniel, he's part of my pack." Xander sniffed them both. "Now, can I have the boy back?" The hyena sniffed at him and groaned as it curled up in his lap. He stared at the beast. "We need to get you laid, Xander. That way someone pets you more often. Change back." He was working on some semi-painful pressure points in the boy's neck. Suddenly he did change back but he kept petting him. "You need a new girlfriend."
"Can't find one," he muttered. "Why are you petting me?"
"Because she climbed into my lap." He gave him a small shove. "There. Apologize for biting Tony."
Xander looked at him. "Sorry. But hey, the rest of the pack ate our first principal." He looked at Daniel. "How did you get here?" He pointed at Tony with a grin. "Cool I guess. Welcome to the family." He shrugged. "Tony, that warlord is getting annoying. Thank you for reminding me how to make explosives." He grinned and disappeared to break up the argument about how to bring him back to human.
John looked at Tony. "Huh?"
"He's in Africa."
"That explains almost nothing."
"The tribe he's with right now has a problematic warlord who wants to take their village for warriors and to be used."
"So Xander gallantly defended them?" Daniel guessed.
"I'm thinking he snuck in and blew something up," Tony admitted. He stood up so he could pull up John. "Thanks. I didn't want him to eat me."
"That would suck, yeah," he agreed.
"Does Xander know a lot about spirit animals and possessions?"
"What he learned because that was his first of two," John told him. "He wandered into that one by accident. Literally."
"That doesn't surprise me about your cousin, John." John just smirked. "Battle?"
"Fixed. New ZPM's are at hand. I'm presently probably knocked out again." He smirked and disappeared, waking up moaning and holding his head. Rodney was checking him over. "Hey."
"Why did you pass out?"
"Tony had to call right then," he said dryly. "Because Xander's stuck in a problem."
"Are we going to be gating out?" he demanded dryly.
"No. We'll be there soon enough. He's in Africa anyway." He sat up, holding his head. "Are we back?"
"We are. You passed out here in the hall." He helped him stand up. "You should get that checked out."
"I'm fine. Thank you though. Oh, Jackson said hi." He walked off rubbing his forehead.
Woolsey, the new head of Atlantis stopped him in the hallways. "You passed out, you should be in the infirmary."
"I'm fine." He walked around him. "I'm going to take a nap since I haven't in a few days. I'll be fine when I wake up."
"There's irregularities in your file," he said, watching him walk off.
John stopped to look at him. "What sort?"
"You're listed as being in a battle while you were here."
"I was there. I gated back to help a cousin who needed it. Ronon went with me."
"I see. Who allowed that?"
"General O'Neill. He called me."
"I suppose that's reasonable since it's family."
"You're showing signs of severe PTSD, Colonel."
"No, I'm not."
"You're having nightmares."
"From my cousin's battle. Not from up here. If you want to know something about that, ask Jackson or O'Neill. They're in charge of the coverup of that battle."
"It happened in the US?" he demanded.
"Yup." He smirked. "It did. SGC was on hand to make sure it didn't spread." He walked off again. "I'm going to rest. I'll be up in about two hours if anyone needs me."
"I want you to get clearance from the base psychologist," Woolsey ordered.
John paused to look back at him. "She already knows. I talked to her about my cousin and how frustrated he made me because he's stubborn and went into that battle two weeks after losing an eye." Woolsey shuddered. "And fully expected to fight like normal. Without working on any compensation skills, no painkillers, nothing like that. She caught me screaming in frustration at him. That's why O'Neill calls him my nutjob, stubborn cousin. He agrees with Xander though, I'm a saner earlier prototype. Xander's the flawed beta version." He finished his trek back to his room.
Woolsey went to talk to the base's psychologist. "Is John Sheppard fit for duty?" he asked bluntly.
"Has his cousin called up again?"
"Not that I'm aware of."
"Then he's fine. Every time Xander steps into sight because he needs him, John tends to go a bit strange, then he calms down afterward and quits ranting about his cousin's friends, former girlfriend, and the insanity in his life."
"Highly classified. O'Neill sent me a personal message saying anything I heard about it was to be totally classified, even beyond doctor's privilege. He said even the president doesn't have a full report on it. Mostly because he didn't want to know. Other than that, Sheppard's fine, Woolsey. He's missing some sleep due to various mental intrusions he can't block out well enough at the moment. Teyla was working with him on that. Mostly to mediate deep enough to either mimic sleep or to shut down those thoughts long enough."
"I think it has to do with his cousin's last battle and the energy release at the end. I'm not totally sure. I know he was warned that his cousin Xander is probably going to be absent for the next one so he may have to step into his place if it gets as bad as they think. From what he muttered last time he thinks it'll be a foothold situation."
"Does his cousin work at the SGC?"
"No. He's in Africa right now having some heavy thoughts. I know nothing about his cousin beyond the fact that he's now grieving for an ex-fiancee that he lost in that battle. He's also worried about how Xander's going to be dealing with the thoughts he has. He did say he was having pretty standard post-battle lack of calming down in some ways. Basically he walked off from his current job, sort of, and went to Africa to wander, think, and find some missing people for the people he works for."
"I see. Is he military?"
"No clue," she admitted. "I know O'Neill wanted me to profile him in case he wanted to join. I know before the last battle his cousin's eye was destroyed and had to be removed. I know that O'Neill's been looking at Xander for recruiting purposes for a few years now. I'm not sure if the last battle he saw or the injury made him want him more or less. That was not shared with me."
"So he's a combat veteran?"
"He was in that same battle. It happened in his town. That's all I know about the boy, Woolsey." She shrugged. "I can't tell you what I don't know."
"Fine. Is there any reason to remove Sheppard from duty?"
"Better news at least. This cousin is dragging him down?"
"It's family. To some that's more important than duty." Woolsey snorted but left. He'd be talking to the Colonel later about his apparent split loyalties. She sent a message for John about the talk they'd just had. That way he was warned and could make up his own cover-up. There was no way she'd tell someone like Woolsey that Sheppard was having prophetic dreams.
John walked into the office later, putting down a picture. "If you're that concerned, that's a picture of my fifth cousin, Xander." He stared at him. "You have no need to look into him, Woolsey. He does what the family wants and I'm sorry if you don't like that. Yes, sometimes I have to help but that's only for emergencies. Like that battle."
"He's a civilian." He pushed it back.
"Yes he is."
"How was he in a battle?"
"It happened in his town. He was on the protection patrol there for years. It wasn't his first battle."
"His town didn't have officers? They went back to the Old West?"
"Their officers were so bad, they tried to arrest two marines for having dinner at a burger joint and talking about football right before the battle." Woolsey grimaced at that. "Were going to put them into the jail that no one survived, literally, and keep them there for 30 days."
"Why did no one survive it?"
"Because they didn't want them to." He walked off. "Leave my cousin alone or I'll let him warp you to the point where you think fairies are talking to McKay."
"They do?" he called after him.
"You'd have to ask him, sir. I'm going to warp him by introducing them sometime soon. Ronon's met him too."
"That's interesting to note. Wouldn't someone have stepped in to investigate that jail?" he muttered to himself. He decided to send an inquiring email to General Landry. What he got back surprised him.
//We leave Harris, Summers, Summers, Rosenburg, Giles, and Lehane the hell alone, Woolsey. Permanently. If they want to join, we applaud and bark. Until then they're taking some of our job from us and it's good they have it so we don't have to. As for that battle, it was bad enough that it destroyed the town it happened in down to the dirt. There's almost nothing left in the town. No heavier weapons were used but it was destroyed. Sheppard is allowed to jump into anything that they critically need them for because Harris is his cousin and helps handle things that give ME nightmares.
Also, if he's having problems sleeping, let me know so I can send up more of the sleeping pills he was using before the battle. O'Neill and Carter both said that they worked well. We know that the next problem will be in LA, Sheppard will be there and if Ronon Dex is around we'd like to borrow him too. Possibly Teyla as well if she's free. We'll call him suddenly like last time since Harris is out of the country at the moment doing whatever in Africa. I will say this final thing: Jackson said that Harris is amusing, scary, intelligent in field and people ways but not book smart, and he has a smart mouth that made O'Neill seem tame at times. He said if he had to fight with that group, he wanted him at his back. Leave Sheppard alone about all of his family, Woolsey. That is an order.//
"That tells me nothing," he complained to the monitor.
McKay walked in and looked at him. "You're pissing Sheppard off again and it's setting off machines we'd like to keep shut down. Do you mind not bothering him about that insane cousin who seems to do the impossible and dates very bad women that warp him even further from sanity?" He huffed off again.
"McKay." He glared but came back. "I was worried that Sheppard isn't sleeping due to what seems to be PTSD nightmares. That he's not fit for duty and putting people in danger. How close am I to what is going on?"
McKay started to laugh. "He's got some battle trauma. We all do. Nothing is going to stop him from being able to handle the daily problems and attacks we have around here. He came back from that last battle worn out and still jumped into the one that attacked here a bit earlier than we expected. The nightmares aren't about the battle."
"What are they about?"
"I can't tell you that. It's none of my business." He stared at him. "Beyond that, I doubt you could keep him and his cousin from talking. He probably settles the insane one down. He has said that some distant aunts want him to consider being married to him as well."
"So they're not close cousins."
"Fifth cousins I heard."
"Anything else you know?"
"We wouldn't be here if his type hadn't done what they had to do," he said simply. "None of us." He walked off again. He ran into John in the mess. "He's still prodding. I told him to leave Xander alone too. That none of us would be here if it wasn't for his type."
"None of my family took part in the really bad things until Xander jumped in." He sat down with his tray.
"I did tell him that the nightmares you suffer from aren't from that battle." John shrugged at that. "He's digging hard."
"He'll be burying himself in the dirt too. I doubt Tony will let him dig toward him or Xander." He smirked. "Or O'Neill."
"For some reason they like the insane one. Where is he now?"
"Still in Africa. I think near Nairobi."
"That's supposed to be very pretty country. Fairly hard to live in but a lot of people want to visit there. They say it's nearly spiritual getting back to their roots or some such."
"They do. I know he's been talking with a few shaman about his spirit animal. The thing's nearly vicious if it doesn't like you." He ate a bite. Rodney gave him a funny look. "I'll tell you after I introduce you two."
"Thank you for threatening my life yet again. I nearly missed it," McKay said dryly.
"It's not always like that and it's not Sunnydale, Rodney. Sunnydale was a constant threat to everyone's life, but the new place in Cleveland isn't too bad yet. Now, LA, when it goes up, yeah, I'll have to be there."
"Why?" he asked, staring at him. He glanced around then looked at him again. "Why you?"
"You said they never dealt with anything that hard."
"We didn't. Then Xander showed us how bad it could be. A lot of the family didn't believe him so he did some of it without backup outside of his team. I would've been there. No one deserves to spend their graduation ceremony in a battle for their lives."
"They did?" he asked quietly.
"Yup." He ate a bite of food. "I like Xander as a person and as a cousin. I respect him even if he does have the worst taste in women. We're all worried who's going to give him kids some year." He ate another bite. "Fortunately the arms dealer and person capturing people for that warlord where he is only wanted him for some fun."
"Who was his last one?" McKay asked. "Charles Manson?"
"I don't know if he'd go for guys. I know her name was Anya Emmerson. She used to go by the name Anyanka in her younger days." He ate another bite. Then he smirked. "She liked to torture men who cheated on their girlfriends and things like that. He said she shared a lot."
Rodney's fork dropped. "Someone in Languages ran into a mention of her. He was laughing about it until one soldier reminded him of the rules of Karma," he hissed.
John nodded. "Sounds like her, yeah. Things like that happen around Xander." He stared at him. "All the time." He finished his tray of food. "You know, O'Neill wanted to recruit him to join us. Said he'd have fun out here and get along very well."
"He'd be another soldier I suppose since he's not exactly a scientist."
"True but he has studied some weapons. He's also a sci-fi and comic geek. He's come up with some ideas that are more than a bit strange but they worked."
McKay moaned, shaking his head. "With our luck, he'd encourage Radek's strange ideas that he's trying to hide again." He finished his food and pushed the tray aside. "Please don't bring him up here?"
"The aunts are getting kind of pushy," he admitted.
"You couldn't have him on base and admit to it."
"Which is why neither of us have woken up in chains."
"How would that carry on the family?"
"A few of the female cousins would volunteer. There's some that're even more distantly related than I am. That way you'd have a bonded team helping things when necessary."
"I can see why. Your cousin's still very strange."
"Yes he is," John agreed. "He's still a nice, goofy, sweet guy most of the time."
"A lot like you then," he said dryly. "Does he have the same bad hair you do?"
"No, his was shaggy the last time I saw him. He doesn't really care about fashion, his hair, any of that. Oh, the new ascended that someone caught watching you? That's his ex-girlfriend Cordelia." He got up and took their trays to the window then went back to his quarters. Not like he had a lot to do today. He could do reports in there.
McKay considered that implication. That meant the boy had some sort of ascended knowledge probably.
Cordelia faded in next to him, poking him hard on the shoulder. "I gave him up back in high school." He gaped in horror at her. "Really, I did." She gave him a smug look. "Remind flyboy that we'll need him in LA in about four months? He'll need some stamina work. And then he'll have to duck the aunts who want to lock him in a room with seventeen women and pump in sex gas. That way there's someone to calm down the future generations and to be the family's chosen warrior." She faded out again.
"Who was that?" Woolsey asked from the doorway. "How did she get up here?"
"She's an ascended. The goofy haired bastard's cousin used to date her." He got up and went to find Sheppard, finding him in his room. "He warped an ascended too. She said you've got four months to get ready for whatever is going to happen in LA. She suggested some stamina work because your insane aunts want you to procreate with about seventeen women and aren't above drugging you after locking you in a room."
"Sounds like a few of the aunts," he said dryly. "Any other news?"
"What is going to happen in LA?"
"Something so changing that we're hoping the average person can ignore it."
"Because someone's going to come visiting and it's not a good thing. They're doing it to cause a panic. Therefore a bunch of us are going to converge and deal with it before it gets out of hand."
"It'll be a battle, Rodney. A real, bad, very long battle." McKay slumped. "If you can come up with a good weapon I can carry that'll take out something huge that will want to eat me, please do."
"Are they that tough?"
Rodney sighed but nodded. "I'll see what I come up with. Just you?"
"They said Ronon could come back."
"Fine." He went to think in his lab while he tinkered. A hand-held, easily carry-able weapon that could take out a problem the size of a semi that was rampaging wasn't an easy design. Most of what he could build would be too heavy and need a vehicle to mount it on.
Tony called a few contacts from his cellphone while sitting in the park outside work. "Guys, it's Tony DiNozzo."
"Problems with your cousin again?" one younger male voice asked.
"No, not this time. Head's up from him and others. LA is going to have a huge problem in about four months. We're talking on the news, military necessary huge problem." He spotted someone coming his way. "I thought you guys might want to hear so you could maybe be close enough to help. From what I understand, it'll take about six hours. Someone's coming. Later." He hung up. "Hey, Abby."
"Gibbs is looking for you."
"I'm on lunch. He could've tried calling."
"I needed outside anyway," she admitted, sitting next to him. "So, what big secret is going on? No one's telling me anything. I'm not in trouble, right?"
"No. Not in trouble. Right now, we're dealing with family things that're about to come to a head in LA sometime soon. I need to get a more exact date so I can take some time off." His phone rang with a text message in Latin. He answered back in the same language and got an instant one of 'holy shit'. He smiled as he put up his phone. "Acquaintance of the family."
"That's fine. So what's going on?"
"Just some family level drama. Some distant cousins and I are going to be gathering to diffuse it. We hope."
"Uh-huh. You've been talking to Air Force people, Tony. Are you planning on leaving NCIS?"
He stared at her then grinned. "No. Not at the moment. If She Who Barks gets in my way over this, maybe, but not right now."
"Good. We'd miss you." She gave him a hug and bounced off. She still didn't know anything but it was good it wasn't about her.
Tony glanced around before calling them again. "Okay, Abby's bouncing off for a Caf-Pow. Do we need to know who to talk to out in LA?"
"Please," the gruffer voice said.
"His name is Wesley Pryce. He's at the Hyperion. Look under investigations."
"I can call him. When? Do we have an estimate beyond four months?"
"Not that I've heard. I need a better date range myself for leave paperwork. If you hear, let me know." He smiled. "The people who realize what's going on said it's going to be a disaster level fight this time. Taking about six hours or so."
"That's something that'll make normals complain," the gruff voice said.
"Six hours?" a different younger male voice asked. This one was a bit higher.
"Yup. Six hours. Through downtown LA."
"That's going to bring news coverage," the other young male voice sighed. "We might have to handle it."
"That may be taken care of by some official sorts."
"They know about this stuff already?" the gruff voice asked.
"They were the fence to make sure Sunnydale didn't spread. Handled the evacuation," he said, spotting the director watching him. "I swear, NCIS is full of nosy people."
"It's because you're military cops," the gruff voice said. "I'll call him and see if we can pull up anything."
"Please do. I don't think the family library has anything. It didn't even have Xander's former town in it. They said it was a myth."
"It is to us too, but I know some have been to one," the gruff voice admitted.
"Our dad helped your cousin when he got hurt by that one woman," the higher pitched male voice said.
"I remember meeting him," Tony said with a smile. "He nagged very well to make sure she was safely out of harm's way."
"Yup, he did that to us too," Dean sighed. "Okay, so four months, be ready for how many?"
"I'm told it'll be like Niagra."
"That sounds like we need tanks," the higher pitched voice complained.
"We might," Tony agreed. "But we have to do what we have to do."
"Agreed," the lower male voice said. "Thanks for the head's up, man."
"Is your cousin going to be there?"
"We're not sure. He's in Africa at the moment hunting the missing girls."
"That's important," the gruff voice said. "Any other cheery news that makes me want to set myself on fire?"
"The team out there will have backup from the same people who were in the last battle," Tony said subtly since she was coming over.
"All of them?"
"That's better news at least," the gruff voice said. "Let me go bang my head against a wall before I find their number. Boys, call me later tonight." He hung up.
"Thanks for the warning," the higher pitched voice said. "We'll see what we can do about showing up." They hung up too.
Tony put his phone back in his pocket. "Yes, Director."
"What are you talking about?"
"Some of my family is going to be mediating an issue during someone's family reunion. Last time it was an all out war. This time we're hoping of less problems but it's not looking that nice. Gibbs already knows. I'm waiting to hear a final date so I can do leave paperwork. I was gathering some backup from people who understood the situation." He stood up. "Other than that, I'm taking lunch. Excuse me, I can hear the coffee bar calling my name." He walked off, mentally grumbling. He felt the mental poke meaning someone was trying to dream walk and talk to him. So maybe he'd take a short nap in Ducky's office. He walked in past the ME, shut the door, and laid down on the couch.
"Anthony?" Ducky called.
"Need a kitty nap, Ducky."
"Fine. Go ahead. I'll send Jethro off if need be." He shook his head, getting back to his current autopsy.
Tony let himself fall, coming in to find John and Xander waiting on him. "Tell me it's not a huge problem?" he asked, spotting Xander's bruises.
"For me, yes. For you, no. John has to know because there's a commando unit in the way and one of them wears his boss's patch. You need to know because the rest are supposedly not there."
"Wonderful. Can you email me?"
"Okay, tell me what you have." Xander told him all about the camp, drawing it out for him. He shared everything he knew about the team, the problem people, and what he was doing at the moment. Tony nodded, memorizing it. Then Xander left so he went back to his body. He woke up to find Ducky staring at him. "I need Gibbs."
"You need help," he said bluntly.
"I was talking to my cousin," he said quietly. "He's in Africa."
"Oh, that sort of thing. All right. I'll get Jethro."
Tony grinned, drawing things out and making notes for him. Gibbs stomped in. He held up the diagram. "Someone captured a commando unit. O'Neill needs to know. One of them looks like they're wearing his patch. The rest are disavowed."
Gibbs snatched it to look over. "Xander?"
"Yeah." He leaned back, staring at him. "He said it's very bad and he can't sneak in to help them get free. He said the guy's already killed one hostage he had taken last month. They weren't pretty when they found the body. Some of that was due to wild animals that didn't find him *after* they dropped him off, boss."
"Let me call someone in the know." He went to his desk to find their number then walked off dialing it. He even took the stairs, hitting send once he made it outside. "It's Jethro Gibbs at NCIS. DiNozzo just got a head's up from his cousin who's in Africa. He said there's a team over there that's on a disavowing mission that's been captured. Including one of O'Neill's pet people. I'm outside. Come get the notes." He hung up on the spluttering. Twenty minutes later a general stomped up to him. "Sir," he said, saluting him.
"Gibbs, what is going on?"
"DiNozzo's cousin Xander Harris is in Africa at the moment for work and personal reasons."
"One of them," he moaned.
"He contacted his cousin by...unusual means to get this information to you ASAP, General." He handed it over. "From him to Tony to me to you."
He read it over, nodding at the points. "I can let the right people know. Good work from DiNozzo, Gibbs. Thank you."
"He said he has no way of helping at the moment. Mentioned some wild animals he might be keeping as well."
"That's in here. I'll do what I can. Thank you." He walked off.
Gibbs sipped his newest coffee, calming himself down. He hated it when teams like that got called on to do something illegal. He turned to find his director staring at him. "What?"
"What is going on with DiNozzo? His family is mediating some other family's dispute in LA in a few months?"
"I've only heard minimal things about what's going to happen."
"Is there something special that should have been noted beforehand but got missed somehow?"
"His cousin in Africa is wildly insane but highly effective." He walked around her, heading back to his desk. "It hit the right ear, DiNozzo."
"Thanks, boss. I'm sure they'll appreciate that. By the way, the last guy who was bothering the tribe Xander was working with? He thanked me for reminding him how to build argument stoppers."
"Would that be the ultimate argument stopper?" McGee asked from his desk, looking over at Tony. "Because no one can argue with their brains on a wall?"
"That and all the other bits and pieces as well," Tony agreed.
"Why did he need that?" McGee asked.
"He's on working sabbatical in Africa."
"Never mind. Enough said," McGee told him. "We've heard how things are going in some parts due to wars and other problems."
"One tried to get him." He looked at Gibbs. "I'm finding a more conclusive date for the family squabble mine will have to stop, boss."
"Good. I don't want to have to transfer you out three for three weeks, DiNozzo. Your paperwork would back up."
"Want to come with me, boss? We might need some extra help pulling the parties apart."
"I don't think I'm ready for that sort of battle," Gibbs said, glaring at him. Tony shrugged. "If it gets that bad, I do want to hear. I can probably pass it on."
"Daniel and his people will be there, boss."
"Even better. Hopefully they'll bring you more backup?"
"No clue yet. I'll let you know when I know."
"Fine. Get back to work so you don't have to leave with a full desk."
"Sure, boss, just like always," he quipped. He pulled out a snack bar to eat while he worked. Gibbs gave him a dirty look. "My lunchtime calling kept getting interrupted."
John looked up from his staring at the Bay in San Francisco, where Atlantis was currently parked, when arguing came closer. "What are you three fighting about?" he demanded since it was his soldiers.
"We're here on earth and can't even get a tv that works," one complained.
"Digital conversion, guys. From what I've seen about it, we need a special box to get over-the-air antenna signals now."
"Who thought that up?" one complained.
"Congress. So they could make some money auctioning off those airwaves."
"Dirt. How do we get a box?"
"Any electronics store," he said with a shrug. "Ask the people in charge if they can send one maybe."
"Thanks, sir. I have a friend on base. Maybe she'll send one to us." He went to write her. It was definitely faster and easier to send emails since they were on the same planet.
The two remaining ones stared at him. "Are you all right, sir?"
"I'm good." He turned to look at him. "Wondering what a few cousins are up to at the moment and how soon we can get leave so I can go surfing." They smiled as they walked off. John went to the lab, finding Radek mumbling to himself in there. "Hey, Radek? Some of the guys were wondering about the digital conversion thing going on for tv signals. Can you make a box any cheaper than they can buy them?"
He looked at him. "What?"
"No more antenna signals without a way to convert analog to digital signals."
"Oh, that nastiness. Have heard it was bad," he said with a hand wave. "Boxes can be bought."
"Yeah but I doubt they'll work with some of the monitors we have converted to tv's around here," he said, leaning his hip against a table. "Some of the guys were fighting about it."
"I'll see if there are plans. If so, perhaps. Not like we're doing so much work right now."
John smiled and patted him on the back. "Thanks, Radek. It'll make the guys very happy."
Rodney stomped in. "We're on Atlantis. We can get satellite broadcasts. I just pointed that out to the idiots and retuned the tv's to do so. That way no one can complain about anything except fighting over what to watch." He came to get to work. "Any other mealy minded problems that have caught your attention?"
"I haven't heard from Xander in over a week. I'm not sure why." Rodney shuddered. "I'm due to hit LA for their problem in about two weeks." He shrugged. "I can go find or make a problem if you want."
"Please don't. I still have work I can finish."
"Fine." He walked off smirking. Rodney wasn't really worked up but having tv available would make some of the people more content. For a while. He finished some paperwork then went to his quarters to try to reach Xander again. He had no idea what he was doing but he wasn't really sure he wanted to know at the moment.
John got the email from Tony with the date and probable time of the invasion, sighing in displeasure. He went to talk to Woolsey, who was being bugged by Daniel. "One week and six days?"
"We've already got some people in place," he assured him. "Are you showing up?"
"It's the family's duty. Tony and I will both be there. So will Don and a few other cousins, plus whoever they've told who might be able to help. Any indication if we've blown this out of proportion?"
"No, not that we've seen," he admitted. "Sorry."
"That's not your fault. I'd like to throttle the idiots who're doing it, but unless we can find them soon that's probably not an option."
"Probably not," he agreed.
"I'll leave the day before so I get there in plenty of time if I have to drive."
"We'll be coming to get you the morning before. Jack said so and Landry got told why. He took a roll of tums and went to the infirmary." John smirked and nodded. "So you can travel with us."
"What is this situation?" Woolsey asked. "Why is he being called from his post?"
"It's his family's duty," Daniel told him. "They've handled these sort of issues for years." He looked at John again. "Anything you'll definitely need?"
"Jack's taking care of it."
"Backup in case of the worst coming?"
"If he has to he can mobilize out there."
John nodded. "I've been practicing. I hope I can last all six hours or however long it takes with the cleanup."
"By then we might be able to switch out some people for those who've been patched up," he offered.
"That might help. I'll pack the night before you guys show up. Find me in my rooms if I'm not out there." Daniel nodded so he left him alone, going to find Ronon. "Are you coming with me to LA?"
"Yes I am. That sounds like it will be worse than the last one."
"From what I hear, yes. Pack weapons. We're talking about six hours of fighting." Ronon grimaced but went to pick which weapons he was bringing. He wasn't sure all weapons were reasonable in this case.
Tony looked at the wave of demons coming toward where they were waiting. "Shit," he said. Which was what he was trying desperately not to do. Even a butt plug wouldn't keep him from shitting himself this time. He moved forward, his sword in his hand. His gun was in his other hand. He had some spare clips and some extra bullets in his pockets. "For this, I want Xander," he complained.
John looked over from where he and Ronon were fighting the first few demons. "I want some Marines. Preferably all of them."
"No doubt." Tony killed that one and moved up. He was not trained for this. He really wasn't. Within a few minutes his phone rang. "What?" he demanded since it was an unfamiliar number. The caller identified himself as the local NCIS branch chief and wanted to know if he knew why military units were mobilizing without orders. "Turn on the tv. It's probably all over the local news by now," he said then hung up. "We're getting military help," he called over.
"Thank you, God!" John yelled, then ducked a heavy swing by a paw to move and take that paw off before killing the beast. He got most of the way through the paw and had to settle for shooting it. "How do we plug the hole?" he called when he spotted Daniel.
"Kill the portal with a lot of force according to Fred," he called back. "Jack's got it."
"Even better." He kicked one and moved under its new swing and grab attempt to kill it and move on. They ran into the Winchester boys fighting something and took out the ones trying to help the demons, getting a nod of thanks and a panting wave from them. "C'mon, military's coming," John told them. They nodded, following them.
"Can I wish for a flamethrower?" Sam called over. "Please." He beheaded another demon while Dean shot one and stabbed another in the chest.
"Go right ahead. If the weapons fairy shows up, send her my way," John called, pausing to reload. "Thank god I did stamina work for the last four months." He felt the tickle of contact from one of the other cousins and groaned. "Not now," he muttered, pushing it away. His phone rang with a text message. He looked at it. "Daniel!" he called, tossing his phone at him. He had to run to get it but nodded at that information, passing it on. John got his first injury but he had to keep going. He had promised to help protect the US when he joined the Air Force and the world when he was told about the family's ideals. So he had to be here. Ronon staggered as something hit him. He shot his current one and went to check on him. Ronon was fine after a minute and they moved on. The slayers were a thing of beauty in battle, but they were also farther ahead.
"Harmless demons?" Ronon asked, pointing.
John looked then nodded. "Sam!" he shouted, pointing. "Helpful!" Sam and Dean looked and avoided hurting that demon. "Thanks, big guy. You ready to move on?" He nodded and they jumped back in by chasing one that was going to get away down an alley.
"I'm glad I'm not on cleanup," Daniel quipped as he killed his next one.
"They'll probably offer a deal. Bring us a demon part, get thirty bucks," Sam Winchester called back with a smirk. He pointed. "Military!"
"Hopefully friendly. Jack said he had mobilized some when he saw how bad it was." He jogged over. "Thanks for helping, guys. Don't hit any of the humans taking them out. Don't hit any of the demons helping us take them out. Take down the portal."
"General O'Neill said he has that, sir."
"Wonderful." He shot a demon trying to pounce one of the soldiers. "There are some of them helping us take down this menace. Take out anything that's being harmful. If in doubt, let us handle it if you have to." They nodded. "They're starting to break the group apart."
"Got it," the commander said. "Boys, go." They ran off to help. "Did we know this was going to happen?"
"We knew the ancient cult was going to do something. That's why my military unit is here."
"Even better." He went with him. The general had said to get with this one and guard him because they'd all be coming for him. "Who's that?" he asked with a point at Dean and Sam.
"Demon hunters. They do it for a life's calling."
"Never this bad."
"I guess." He moved to back up the linguist who was surprisingly tough for being a nerd. He didn't want to know what the guy's usual unit did if it made their geeks that tough. "I see agents," he reported.
Tony looked over. "I told them that on this date or around it, there were reports that the secret cult that did this was going to try to pull something major but we weren't sure what," he panted. "Not like I could tell them to prepare for a demon invasion."
"That's about what Jack did too," Daniel panted back. "I'm either out of shape or we're in deep."
"We're in deep," Tony said dryly. He waved at Ronon when John went down. Ronon came back to get him back up. "Captain, do you think we can take down the portal soon?"
"O'Neill's in charge of that, sir."
"It'll be going soon," Daniel assured him. "Let's go on." They kept going. Their line was pretty effective at stopping the things that got around the slayers.
"Still want a flamethrower, Sammy?" Dean quipped, pointing at a demon that was on fire.
"Yeah." He went to drive it back at the other demons. It roared and ran away from him once it spotted him. "Huh, okay."
"Scary rep is a bad thing," Dean reminded him, swatting him.
"Not my fault!"
"Can't be worse than Xander's," John called with a wicked smirk. "Really."
"Your cousin's insane."
"Kinda but he's been doing this sort of demon hunting for years."
"That's a good reason for insanity," Daniel agreed. He waved at a slayer. "Medics," he called with a point. There was an ambulance coming toward them carefully. They ran for it to get some bandages and things. The demons had thinned out a little bit. The building went down with a scream of noise, making them all flinch. Now it was a mop-up exercise. When Daniel couldn't find anymore, he looked at his watch, leaning against a building. "We heard estimates of six hours," he moaned, sliding down to sit.
Tony limped to where he was, hauling him up. "You'll cramp, Daniel." He walked him out. John and Ronon had to leave the battle in the fourth hour to get patched up but they had come back within thirty minutes. Dean and Sam were bruised, covered in pieces of slime, goo, and blood. Some of it theirs. They were checking each other over. "Guys, medics are waiting to take care of us so we can fade more easily," Tony ordered.
"Can we trust them?" Sam asked.
"They're my people," Daniel told him. They nodded and walked that way with them. Ronon was leaning on John while putting pressure on a bite mark that was bleeding. "Medic tent," he ordered. They nodded, trudging after them.
Jack came over to look them over. "I need the bounciness of the slayers," he told Daniel, looking him over. "They still have some energy left and I don't."
"They're younger and girls. Of course they do," Dean quipped. "I saw one slayer stop to pet a dog during the battle."
Jack smiled. "I did too. Buffy shrugged it off. Said she was like that and her room had too many stuffed animals already." He helped the medics clean up the injuries. His had already been taken care of. The slayers had made him sit still while the medics worked on him. "We all good?"
"I need a vacation," Tony said. "Far, far away from my director. Because damned if I'm talking about this with her."
"She's already tried to call once," Jack told him. "The agent she got hold of told her to butt out and it wasn't her business since it wasn't in DC. Then he hung up on her."
"She'll growl at Gibbs, who will tell her what we knew in advance, and she'll only rant and complain when I get back. At least it's a small reprieve," Tony decided. "If she annoys me too much I'll start traveling to handle demon things."
John snickered. "Woolsey," he said at Jack and Daniel's looks. They both snickered. "His head's probably about to pop off from the ranting and pressure."
"McKay did call," Jack admitted. "He called Carter, which is why she showed up. She's with the slayers helping them treat each other. Carter said he was swearing in Czech. So apparently he picked up some bad habits off Zalenka."
John snickered. "Figures." He patted himself down. "I lost my phone somewhere, General."
"Found it already. Someone turned it in. It was in the med tent." He tossed it over.
John dialed the one McKay had. "We're both a bit banged up but okay. We'll be back tomorrow after debriefing. No, I'm not going to listen to Woolsey bitch. I'm too tired to. Any points you want to make beyond this, McKay?" He listened for a second to the spluttering. "Good!" He hung up. "He's incoherent."
"That's a bad sign," Ronon said, grimacing.
"Yup. Want to take an extra day, Ronon?"
"You can come fill out reports at the base," Jack promised dryly.
"That'll work. Give them time to calm down. You can tell Woolsey whatever you want. I told him it was a family fight that had to be stopped during a reunion. That was Tony's cover story to his people."
"I'll tell him what he needs to know," Jack promised. "You two more than chewed on and clawed up?"
"Limping but able to move, sir. If you put us in the infirmary, McKay and Teyla will bitch and get thrown out many times before they calm down."
"We have tranquilizer darts," Daniel quipped. "Doctor Lam's already found them. Cam!" he called, spotting him. "Teal'c?"
"Good. Few cuts, one bad one. Already stitched and healing." He came over to look at them. "You?"
"Sore," he admitted.
"I'm all for finding a hotel that has a jacuzzi for tonight," Tony said. "Maybe a few hot tubs. Some nice showers." He laid back down, holding his head. "I hate head injuries."
Jack came over to look at him. "Gibbs called and said you had better not be ruined for duty."
"He nags, I'm going to pack my mustang and travel the way the Winchesters do."
"The pay sucks," Dean called over. "You'd hate it."
Jack smirked. "Don't worry about your rooms tonight, guys. We'll handle that." They grinned at him. "We're commandeering somewhere. The local agents already have." He hauled Tony up, watching him sway. "When did you get hit on the head?"
"About an hour ago. I kept going. I feel like I should put on one of Xander's ugly shirts and see if there's any evil girls around." He walked off holding his head. He ran into one of the ranting agents. "Shut up!" he shouted. "At least I sent on a warning that something was happening. Not like we could warn for a demon invasion and have you listen!" The agent shut up and shrank back. "I'm told we have places to clean up and cool down? Can I get a ride please?"
"This way, sir."
"Special Agent DiNozzo, NCIS."
"I heard my boss talked to yours and told her to watch the news if she wanted to know what was going on." He let him get into one of their SUV's, taking him to the hotel they had claimed for their use. They got him checked in and tucked in. He went back to the main medical tent, finding the general there. "Sir, will we have more problems?"
"From this? You already had a good sized population that was living peacefully, kid." He looked at him. "From this there'll be more people who know so some of the peaceful ones might get hunted down. I don't know."
"The group that did this?"
"Gone," Daniel told him.
The agent considered it. "Sir, the thing that happened to Sunnydale last year? Could it be related?"
"Different problem, same people fighting it. Winning meant that the portal closed and sucked," Daniel said bluntly. He slid off the table with a groan, letting Jack steady him. "Let me go clean up."
"We've got a nice hotel with a good pool and gym to set you guys in. We didn't know how some people wanted to calm down." That got a smile and a nod. "Anyone else need a ride?"
"We've got our own," Dean told him. "Black '67 Impala."
"Sir, we did find your car. She's safe but about a mile back. Let us give you a ride to her? Then you can follow us to the hotel."
"I can accept that," Sam admitted with a groan. "I'm starting to stiffen up already." Dean nodded he'd accept the lift back too. "How goes the clean up?"
"It's going to be a long few days," the agent admitted.
"Sam quipped earlier about having a hand over program," John said. "Give over a demon part, get twenty bucks or something."
"That's not a bad idea but we don't know if there's any sort of blood disease that might hurt people."
"Probably not but make sure everyone knows to wear gloves and masks around them," Jack ordered. "I'll put that in the next special broadcast." He saw Cam Mitchell texting that to someone. "Thanks, Cam."
"Least I can do so you don't break your phone," he said dryly. "Let me catch a ride too. The girls are at the Hyp...." He looked at the agent.
"We saw the girls going to the Hyperion. I thought it was a private business."
"Of people who do the same thing," Cam told him. "The girls told us and then a few gushed about trying to hit on Connor for some reason." He shrugged. "He's not my type," he said when Jack looked at him.
Jack snickered. "I wouldn't care if he was, Mitchell. Within the unit, most of us don't care anymore after what we've seen." He walked off with him. "That's why Sheppard gets all the evil women who wanted to kill him."
"Hey!" John complained.
"I dated good girls before then, sir. It was being there. Or the taint of Xander claiming I'm his older prototype."
"Jack, don't start unless you want me to tell him about some of them that wanted you," Daniel called back. "That's why you're both earlier Xander prototypes."
Cam snickered. "I'd like to meet that guy."
"He's Sheppard's nutjob, stubborn cousin who's in Africa." He let them be taken to the hotel. The bed was very nice and just what his old bones needed after a long, hot shower.
John walked back onto his base, staring at the people staring at him. "Carter's behind me with stuff," he reported. He watched Ronon walk down and wander off. Most everyone got out of his way. Teyla followed him to question him. He stared at Woolsey. "What?"
"What was that!" he demanded.
"An invasion of demons. It was some cult's plan to take over the planet." He helped Sam Carter with the three boxes she was carrying. "Some frivolous things," he called. People came to get it from him. And one box that twinkled into existence at his feet. He stared at it. "Huh."
Sam Carter looked. "It's addressed to you, John."
"It is." He squatted down to open it, smiling at the note inside. "He had Willow pack it. It's from Xander." He stood up and carried it to the mess since it probably had snack cakes. He opened the inner box and pulled out the first mini-keg. "I heard someone was making cans shaped like kegs." It grew in his hand until he had to put it down with a grunt of pain. "Damn." He tipped it. Full. He pulled out the other five, putting them onto the floor when they started to grow too. Underneath was bags of corn for popping, some shrunken bags of chips, and a good few shrunken boxes of hostess products. "It's a Xander party kit," he said at the funny looks he was getting. The rest got taken out and expanded.
"Your cousin is still insane," Ronon said as he came in. "What are the metal things?"
"Kegs of beer."
"Those might be helpful. Can we claim one?"
"They're full of beer, Ronon. Share them," John said dryly. He got a glass from the line and found the taps, installing it expertly. Then he got the first cup. It was good, cold beer. "Good beer." He walked off with a few boxes of snack cakes and a bag of chips to find his favorite spot to hide and watch the water. "Xander thought we needed a party!" he called as he walked past the main gathering of people. "Beer, chips, popping corn, and snack cakes." They ran because they hadn't had any of those in a while. He found a quiet spot and sat on it, opening his chips to nibble. Yeah, his cousin was insane for doing this nightly for seven years. John knew he was insane just from the two apocalypses so Xander had to be. Having Willow send them treats for a 'whoo hoo, we saved the US' party had been a sign that his cousin needed a good woman who would calm him down. He'd have to help Tony and Don find him one.
Sam Carter sat beside him. "Your cousin's insane." She handed him an extra large second glass of beer.
"It's seven years of doing that almost nightly and yearly apocalypses during it. I've got to find him someone nice to date. Someone supportive that'll help him pick out a normal identity to hide the hunting behind who'll stop him if he's too injured to go out."
"Someone who appreciates him because the girls didn't?" she suggested. She had heard some of the slayers talking about Xander.
"Yup." He took a drink of beer. "I'm thinking over all my exes because they could put up with him if they liked me. I think most of them are married now though." He took another drink and let her have a chip. "The general and Jackson hiding from the president?"
"Yup. They're fishing."
"Good. That'll help a lot. Gives him time to calm down. And everyone else."
"Some reporter did get wonderful shots of most of us. Looked us up. You were identified. I was. Tony was and so was Don. Ronon was wondered about but they guessed he was part of you guys with the way he was fighting beside you. They identified Jack and Daniel both. Some of the girls too."
"It'll calm down. People don't want to know about demons."
"There's a large undercurrent of supernatural belief at this time," she warned.
"I'm still here. I can't use it to pick up women." She laughed, shaking her head. "Or use it to get Ronon laid so he relaxes again. The girls were taunting and teasing him so much he wanted to spank. He wasn't sure in what way...." She cackled. "I know at least two of them hit on him."
"It's good for him even if it does confuse him a little bit." She rested against the building behind them. "Now what?"
"Now, I'm here. I'm going to find my cousin a better than average girlfriend so the aunts quit trying to get us together, and I'm not coming out unless we have another bad apocalypse."
"Good plan," she decided. She stood up, looking down at him. "Want company?"
"Not really but I'm guessing McKay will find me sometime and so will Ronon and Teyla."
"Probably," she agreed. She walked off happier. "Don't fall off. Drowning would suck after the win yesterday."
"Yeah it would. It'd mean no more easy girls too." She snickered as she walked off. He ate a chip. "Girls love action heros." He calmed himself down again. It was time to relax back into his normal duties.
"Where is Sheppard!" Woolsey demanded when he spotted Carter.
"Calming down. He's having a big think trying to set up his cousin with someone. He's fine and you'll be able to find him when you need to." She ran into McKay, who was complaining loudly about something. She put a hand over his mouth with an evil smirk. "People are wondering how they opened a portal to another dimension that had demons without a stargate malfunctioning.
"Someone's already asked me how they did it. They also asked me if I could quantify magic into real science. Since it came from someone in the Pentagon and Area 51, I delegated. Have fun with that. Think about it like a new project." She walked off with the most evil smirk ever seen from her on Atlantis.
"Thank you very much," he shouted after her. "Like I don't have enough work?"
"Nope, not really," she shot back. "He's thinking."
"I'll find him later."
"Find him now so I can get a report," Woolsey demanded.
McKay looked at him. "What did you need a report on? There was an invasion. His family handles demon things so they don't come to public notice. He was called in to help with that apocalypse and the last one some of them caused. If you want more than that, go watch the news!" He huffed off, making the others around him laugh. He didn't want to figure out how magic worked. It was not a field that interested him in the least.
It was totally illogical and rested on things like belief and special chanting. He ran into one of his scientists that was borderline competent, most of the time. "Figure out how to work that portal for someone in Area 51. Carter delegated and it's not my field." The poor man groaned and made whining noises. "Tough." He walked off again. "Radek, if you want you can help him," Rodney offered.
"No thank you." He sipped his own drink of beer. He didn't want his name attached to anything like that. He looked at that poor man. "We did notice that a few people were there doing about the same thing with fires and lightening, or so it looked like. You might ask her if she has any idea. I believe the newscaster identified her as Willow Rosenburg?"
"She's with the Council," Sam agreed from her seat. "With the slayers." The scientist huffed off in another direction to complain to his friends. "Not going to help, Radek?"
"I do not want to be associated with that. Thankfully McKay delegated before he figured out how to do the impossible to make us all swear more." He got more beer and went to find his own place to take that bad, evil thought out of his head.
Sam got another glass of beer to take the thought of McKay doing magic out of her head. Yeah, that was a bad one. He might try to stalk her again or something.
John looked up from his semi-drunken thoughts as Xander appeared on the dream plane. "Hey."
"Hey," Xander said, sitting next to him. "Thanks for being there for the girls."
"Not an issue. It had to be done. So, how was your day?"
"I was dealing with a Native American demon that somehow showed up in Africa." John snorted, shaking his head. "And two more parties that wanted to take the slayer I'm working with hostage. They went bye-bye, she cried about it but does know it's better if they don't capture her for fun and games. Then we handled the demon that wasn't supposed to be anywhere near there but was visiting a cousin demon so they could take over the same tribe."
"Interesting day for you then," John shot back dryly.
"Kinda. You okay?"
"I'm fine. A few new scars to add to the collection." He looked at him. "Now I know why you didn't want me asking about yours."
"Yup." He smirked a tiny bit. "The loud one bothering you?"
"He found me earlier to rant. I had a glass of beer while watching him rant. Then I told him to sit down, shut up, and calm down again. It was over with and we think the rest of them will be lesser."
"I haven't seen anything."
Xander gave him a shoulder nudge. "Could be worse. They could've wanted you for a concubine."
"Don't even suggest that! One of them might!"
"Yeah, a few want me that way too," Xander said with a grin. "Buffy went on an 'eww' fit the last time someone told her that."
John snickered. "I think her 'eww' fits and McKay's ranting fits would get along wonderfully."
"She likes dangerous guys. So if that big guy Ronon is free...." John swatted him. "Thanks."
"Welcome. You doing okay in Africa?"
"I'm good. There's no girls nagging me. The slayers I've worked with have tried and then I proved myself to them so they quit fairly quickly. That 'he's normal' thing cropped up a few times," he said at the look he got given.
"Well, you are. I am, you are, Tony and Don are."
"Yeah but us normal people have to do it sometime too and they have to accept that without nagging. I couldn't stand it when Buffy and Willow did it. They nearly killed what little self-esteem I had left. I think I got most of it back from my road trip."
"I found people who thought I was good for something, competent in what I could do, and pretty damn hot when I had to take those few turns on the stage that night."
John shook his head quickly. "I don't want to know."
"I'm not sharing it anyway," he assured him with a smirk. "Otherwise, how's San Fran?"
"Beautiful but we don't get out yet."
"Pity. The big music festival is soon."
John smirked. "I might see if we can be excused for some time off that way but we have to stay hidden."
"For now. Though I'm guessing that the city will uncloak eventually when something huge goes on."
"Nope, just a hunch. The huge storms that've been going on have been knocking out electricity."
"We don't run on electric, Xander."
Xander gave him another nudge. "There's still electrical conduits from your ZPM to the rest of Atlantis, John."
"Oh, yeah, those things. I'll remind McKay."
"Good." He smiled.
"You seem happier. Are you staying?"
"I don't think so. I miss civilization already. I miss tv and coffee really a whole lot." John snickered and nodded he understood that. "But I'm here for at least a few more months. Even if I do have another rumor and nickname started about me. The White Knight wasn't bad enough?" He faded out.
John shook his head, going back to his sleep. He needed to finish sleeping off the beer. Then he could make McKay complain in the morning about the electrical systems needing shielded from storms. He found himself back there a few hours later. "You took me from a dream with bikini-wearing women who wanted me as a prize stud," he said bluntly. "You mind?"
"Yes," the aunt said. "You must mate so we have a future warrior."
He shrugged. "I'm restricted to base. We all are. Beyond that, we're not sure if our last project warped any of that, Aunt. Go nag someone else like Tony?" He faded back into his own head. Hey, the bikini-wearing amazons were still there. Cool! They liked guns too, so even better.
Tony got pulled into a dream talk, glaring at the aunt. "I need that sleep!"
"Anthony, there is the other family duty."
"Which is wonderful, Auntie, but I've had the plague and right now I have a case that showed as soon as I made it back. I need this sleep I'm getting behind my desk. If I find a woman to knock up, I'll gladly do it and let Xander train them too." He disappeared.
She huffed and tried the next one.
Xander got pulled back, looking around the realm then his aunt. "Yes, Aunt Thelise?"
"Xander, you must honor the other family duty."
"The First Slayer said I'd never have children of my own," he said bluntly. She groaned. "If my future semi-evil girlfriend wants kids that badly, she can try to do it from a dish but I personally don't really want to breed. I might have girls who're just as spoiled as my friends were. I'll help teach any future cousins that come to be, but I doubt it'll happen with me. Beyond that, you'd throw fits if I had kids with any of my sort of girl anyway."
She glared at him. "You need to date better."
"Good girls don't like me." He shrugged. "I can't attract them and I'm not going to drive myself nuts or depressed trying to find an ideal girl who isn't slightly evil. Especially since most are sometimes. You want one from me that bad, hire a fertility specialist and ask for sperm. Though I'd have to take any kids from you to raise so they weren't spoiled little bitches like some slayers are." He disappeared. He had to wake up and go beat his current slayer back into better behavior. Somehow she was channeling Buffy again. It'd get her dead out here in Africa if she was that spoiled.
The Aunts got together to talk about who needed what within the family. They had all talked up Xander to their friends in the know. None of them wanted to deal with his wilder streak. So it looked like they'd have to set up someone to handle the personal issues for him. There was John but he was good and could probably have many children to fight in the future. Tony was cute but he might not be able to have children thanks to the plague and his boss. So that was a possible plan as well. Hmmm....
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