The Incidences of The Blippy Dohickey 19: Revealing Lines.

Sheppared walked into the infirmary.  "Someone on the main base heard rumors that someone got into the spore lotion?" he asked Doctor Keller.

"Yes, they did try.  They were muttering about how they deserved a prize like a certain someone, and the person who overheard them beat them severely, which we didn't treat in the least since the ship was in orbit and Ellis took them immediately."

"They think they deserve Xander?" he asked.  She nodded.  "Does he know?"

"He's been made aware of it I think.  I know there's a few others who consider him worthy.  I doubt it'll happen."

"No, Xander will kill them," he agreed.  He sighed.  "Who?  I don't remember any sudden personnel changes."

"One of the scientists who believes he's Radek Zelenka's reward for putting up with Rodney McKay for so long."

John shook his head.  "No.  Not happening."

"The Marine who found out and beat him should have told him."

"I'll make sure of it and make sure they're going to be fixed too."  She smiled at that.  "It's still safely stored, right?"

"Still locked tight as of the inventory last night."  She got into the vault and stared, then opened the other boxes.  "No, I'm wrong.  Find it, Colonel."

"Got it."  He walked off.  "Team leader meeting, now!" he ordered over the comm.  "I'm by the infirmary, meet me."  They all came running along with those on guard duty.  "Someone has the lotion the botanists created.  It was stolen from the hazardous materials vault in the infirmary."

"The spore lotion?" one asked to make sure.  John nodded.  "What was it in?"

"A silver and white bottle with a label marked 'baby lotion'," Jon told him.  "Who would be that stupid?"

"Someone tried," another team leader told him.  "He got the hell beaten out of him for it, O'Neill."  Jon nodded at that.  "We'll do a search, sir.  Then start in the scientists' quarters after that."

"I'll have two teams assigned to help McKay with that," he said, pointing at two leaders, who nodded.  "I'll tell him, you guys help him search anything he wants to."  He walked off.  "Rodney," he said, walking into the lab a minute later.  "The lotion was stolen out of the infirmary."

"What lotion?" he asked, not looking up.

"THE lotion?" Radek demanded.  John nodded.

Rodney looked up.  "The spore lotion?"  John nodded.  "Where in the hell is it?"

"No idea yet.  These two teams are going to help you search anywhere you need them to.  If we have to move to personnel quarters searches, they'll be with your people."

"Agreed," he said firmly.  "Radek, go gather the minions."  He went to gather the other scientists.  This was horrible and keeping him from doing important things.


Xander looked up from his translating when someone squatted beside him.  "Major Peters, what's wrong?" he asked since the guy was staring at him.

"Harris, you were alerted that someone tried to steal that spore lotion because they thought they deserved you more than Zelenka right?"

"No, I wasn't."

"Okay," he sighed.  "Someone under Rodney was caught breaking in because he wrongly decided you were given to Zelenka for all his hard work."  Xander snorted, shaking his head.  "We know better, he was stupid.  He was beaten and sent on with Ellis.  They just checked; it's missing and that guy hadn't gotten that far."

"Oh, shit."

"Basically, yeah.  So be pretty careful.  All right?"

"Agreed.  Think they did something like dose my office?"

"I don't know.  Let's check it."  He got up and helped him check there and his room.  Not there or the transporter.  He was coming back down when he found it.  "Shit, it's on the pets," he said in awe.  That was nearly an evil move with how many of them petted the dragons.

Xander stared.  "Oh, damn it!  Atlantis, who put that on the pets?" he called.

"I could not see, Xander.  They did it out of my view."

"Okay.  Who's in charge of the search?"

"Who do you think?" he asked dryly.  "Two pissed off colonels."  He called it in.  "Sir, found the lotion on the dragons," he reported.  "Atlantis said she could not see who did it.  That it was blocked from her view."  He hung up and John got up there a few seconds later.  He pointed.  Armand was shiny with it.  Mira's coat was slicked back too.  "I can feel the itch starting and I haven't even touched them, sir."

"Good job," he said, patting him on the back.  "Put yourself off the schedule at least for tonight and go handle it."  He looked at Xander.  "They clearly wanted you."

"I was just told about the first one."

"They handled it without letting me know too," he said dryly.  "Can we get this off them?"

"Yeah, we can scrub.  We'd have to use the bigger shower."

"That would expose you," John pointed out.  "Or whoever was scrubbing."  Ronon came off the transporter.  "Someone got them with the spore lotion."

"Did they hope to make them breed?" he asked.

"No, they hoped to make Xander breed," he complained.  "Xander, can you check your things?"

"We just did."

"Good.  Okay, dragons, come on.  We're going to bathe the shit out of you today."  Xander ran up to get something and came back down in the wetsuit looking outfit.  "That'll work," he decided.  "C'mon. Let's take a shower."  He walked both pets down there, herding them after Ronon.  He also locked the transporter from going to Xander's office or rooms.  "Jon, make sure our path isn't spored," he ordered when they ran into him.  "And find out who oiled them down with it so we can beat someone."

"Sure," he agreed, going to talk to the mistress of the computer.  Miko was known to be able to find any sort of footage.  "Miko, someone put it on the dragons."  Rodney stiffened and stopped yelling.  "Xander's giving them a bath in the large group showers.  He's got a wetsuit on.  We need to check that transporter and their path."

"Good."  He snapped at someone, making them go do it.  "Miko, find who did it."

"I do not know who oiled them down," Atlantis said, appearing.  Miko bowed and she smiled, bowing back.  "They were out of any camera ranges."

"Where were they?" Miko asked, getting into that system.


She got into that camera.  "Nine people walked that way, the dragons were waddling on their walks," she told her.  She looked at him.  "Test them for it.  Even with mask and gloves I'm sure they got some on them."  Rodney send the Marines helping him to do that once she had made a list of names.  Apparently Xander cleared one because he had been with him.  She found a subroutine and got into that one, narrowing it down further.  She sent that update to the commanders.  Rodney came over to watch, then huffed off.  "Thank you, Atlantis."

"You are most welcome.  Nila is pouting a bit."

"We'll go out after the storm is over with," she assured her.  She beamed and went to tell Nila that.  Miko went into Rodney's office to throw a fit.  Xander was a nice man, he was not a present to be given for extraordinary work and she doubted any of them had done anything warranting him anyway!

Radek leaned in.  "That's my job."

"How dare they think he's a concubine to be won by good work!" she spat.  "He is a good man."

"He is."  He smiled.  "Thank you, Miko."

"You're welcome, Radek.  I like you with him, even if he did decide to decorate Rodney's throat."  She went back to her seat and he laughed all the way back to his workstation.  "It's still there."

"It'll probably be a week.  He does it to me now and then too.  He also wiggles a lot."  She smiled at that, shaking her head.  "He is not the only one though."

"I noticed," she said with a grin.  He gave her a dirty look.  "I kept it from general view but McKay deleted it on me."

"Good!  Is private."

"Is cute," she countered.

"Yes I am," he assured her with a smirk.  She threw something at him but was smiling.   "How many are conveniently nearby to stare at Xander in his swimming costume?"

She logged into that system.  "A quarter of the men and most of the women."

"Hmm."  He called Evan, who went to break that up.  They all pouted at him and a few called him overly possessive but he didn't care.  He came over to watch that feed.  "Why is that tighter than spandex," he muttered.

"It looks good on him.  It's clear he works out."

"It's clear he's naked underneath," he countered.

"That's why they're drooling."

"Eww.  Drool is nasty."  He went to help.  He had some of the good lab soap that could help.  It might dry them out but they could condition the scales and fur later.  "Xander."  Xander smiled at him.  "Lab soap?"  Xander took it with a blown kiss and got back to the scrubbing.  "I do not have waterproof things to help you do that."

"We have wetsuits," Jon said as he walked past with Cam.  "Xander, did that thing shrink?"

"No," he said impatiently.

Cam came back to look.  "Guys, get me a wet suit please," he called.  One was brought to him so he changed in the nearby changing area and came out to help scrub the dragons.

"You'll get it on you," Xander warned.  "Wear gloves."

"It's diluted, Xander.  Calm down.  Vent later."  He took Mira, who purred at her shampooer.  He smiled.  "Hedonist."

"Both of them are," Xander agreed.  "I'd hate to take them to a spa."

"A pet spa?"

"No, a real one.  They'd never get less than the best."  He finished a side on Armand, looking at him.  "Move to the end and get big."  He huffed but did it for his daddy.  "Thank you.  We need to get all that nasty stuff off you."

Cam smiled at Mira.  "Can you do that?"  She meeped quietly and expanded.  He had to wince and get her off his foot but okay.  "Good job!"   He got her scrubbed down and it was better.  Much easier even if it did take all the soap and shampoo.  Rodney tossed in something, making him look at the bottle.  "You want me to use conditioner too?" he asked dryly.

"She needs it."

"Get a wetsuit and get in here then."  Rodney huffed but went to put one on and come help since Mira was his.  "They get it?"

"Yes.  Thankfully before he spread it anywhere else."

John walked in holding his comm.  "General, he's not exactly dressed for it.  Giving Armand a bath since he got that spore lotion put on him.  I know what immediately means, yes, sir.  Xander, General O'Neill wants to see you ASAP."

"In this?"

"Yes.  Cam, can you take Armand?"

"Sure.  McKay can condition his own dragon."  He walked over to help scrub Armand.  It was easier with flat scales than hair.  Not as soft though and the scales might cut you.

Xander handed off his brush and rinsed off before blipping down there.  "Sir, you wanted to see me?"

The president blinked.  "Swimming?" he guessed.

"Someone put spore lotion on the dragons.  I was giving them a bath," he said.  "Sir."

"Harris, some disturbing things have come to me about people wanting you."

"I was just told today about the person who got carted off by Ellis for wanting to spore me into some sort of reward for themselves.  Of course I would have killed them."

"There was?" Jack asked.

"So I was told.  Today was apparently another episode of that.  That's why they soaked Armand and Mira."

"Not what we're talking about."

"What am I, the wanted ass of the universe?" he asked grimly.  He looked at Jack.  "I'm not taking on any sexpionage missions.  I don't care.  I've had enough of being used by my ex's."

"I agree and I chewed Hank a new one for sending you after Mitchell, kid.  Calm down.  Don't sit, you're damp."  Xander huffed, taking the folder to look over.  He saw the rage building and moved closer.  "We're handling it."

"Can't I kill them?"

"No.  Not until after we move those other labs."  Xander looked at him.  "Nila was right, we need to make her a good dock and move those there.  Especially the ones in unfriendly countries.  We're working on that."

Xander nodded.  "Okay.  Can we go back and move them then store them somewhere we can conveniently get to today?"



"We can move them easily enough.  We have a few ATA carriers to help us.  We need a good design for her city."

"I've been working on that."  He concentrated and his laptop came to him, his original one.  He got into that file and let him see.  Another two things popped into existence.  "Ah, I was trailing my headset and my other USB keychain."  He put that on the hinge and the headphones were plugged in.  "How does that look?  It mimics some of Atlantis but is more her own.  More graceful, more arching."

Jack looked it over.  "It's pretty.  What are those overhead arches?"

"Bridges to the upper spires and labs."  He let him see the fuller plans for it since he had liked it.  "This way we can do a sorted lab and put safety systems between them since a few of the machines are degraded so far they can only explode.  Possibly killing people.  This way they'd be safe and no one lab would be smooshed for space.  Each lab down here would have their own full floor to explore it on.  We could almost slit them into place since Nila said they were meant to be moved around."  He looked at him.  "Apparently these are the sort that were one whole and then got spread out."

"Good to know."  He considered it.  "So they'd be docking bays basically."

"Yes.  Plus safety gear in place in case of explosion or fire.  Rodney wrote a program to let Nila fly them out if the whole lab is going to be a danger to the others."

"May I?" the president asked.  Xander let him see it.  "Pretty.  It matches Atlantis?"

"Partially but it matches Nila better.  Her style of spire and tower."

"That's good then.  And she'll slit into this part here?" he guessed.

"Yes.  That way she connects to all the bridges.   They'll extend the last few feet or retract so they won't break.  They're built up to earthquake standards.  I know you'll need to talk to someone who has more experience in building on the water like they have in Dubai."

"That's not a bad idea.  Or even in Japan," Jack agreed.  "Built it to hurricane and typhoon standards too."  He patted the kid on the back.  "Excellent ideas, Xander."  He smiled at the boy, who beamed back.  "Now, back to the files?  We can't expose them until that's built."

"That'll take six months to nine months to build and then move the labs," he said.  "Or move the labs sooner and then build it around them.  There's a few larger islands that don't have people that you can borrow for a few months I'm sure."

"For military training, probably," the president said, handing it back.  "Jack, print those out.  The few people I trust with this project will want to see it."  He did that through the assistant.  "Harris, we want to handle them for you.  Right now, it's not the right time but it's coming closer.  We need to slowly peel them away."

"Sir, we have the possibility of wraith hitting here within two years.  That's why we're moving Atlantis and Nila here."

"I know.  Which is why I want to do this once the labs are safely removed from places we don't trust.  Frankly I'm not sure what the one in Africa is going to do but it's not safe there.  There's a lot of warfare up continent.  They could want to break it down."

"Nila said that's a botanical one."

"Hmm.  O'Neill, can we move them sooner?" he asked.

"I need at least one strong ATA carrier who has flight experience.  Xander doesn't."

"Jon does," Xander reminded him.  "And he's bored.  Tilla broke her ankle so we're off missions for the next three weeks unless we take in someone who's from another team or train a newbie and Jon nearly had hives at that thought."

"Good."  He smiled.  "I can get him and Sheppard.  Can we get it from the chair?"

"According to Nila no, but you can sneak in and activate it once you have a power source."

"So sneak in, lock it down, activate it, fly it off to somewhere safer for now."  Xander nodded.  "They'll fly like a brick, won't they?"

"Yeah and they might not all have cloaking."

"We can handle that from the ships."  He patted him again.  "I knew you were more than just a soldier."  Xander beamed at that compliment, hugging him.  "Let me keep this for now.  You go back to scrubbing them before they infect anyone else."  Xander left in a flash of light.  "His bracelet is getting tired I think."

"How does he do that?" one of the guards asked.

"That time, it was his special bracelet, which is a time transference device.  Or as he calls it, a blippy doohickey."

The agent moaned.  "No wonder he said he had spent more time than I had."  Jack smiled and nodded.  "Good job recruiting, sir."

"I appreciate the hell out of the kid."  He looked at the president.  "I don't know what to tell you, sir."

"Plan that series of raids.  Go on it personally if you need to.  Take whoever you need.  I'll authorize it.  Start with the lab in Africa and the one in the Middle East."

"Yes sir," he said, saluting him and walking off with the computer and a copy of the plans in case the computer decided to shut down.


John looked around the mission briefing he, Lorne, and Jon had been called to.  It was all the ATA carriers.  This wasn't looking good.

Jack walked in.  "Good morning," he said, standing at the podium.  "This is a mission briefing.  I know most of you were on critical parts.  Sheppard, I left Loudres in charge temporarily but we have removed Woolsey from his post citing treason.  Since Xander is now listed as an asset to the US and the world, what he was doing is now classified that way.  The IOA does not know that however and he is not getting emails out at the moment.  We are not sure if this is related to the drugging he took."  John nodded at that.  "I have sent up Doctor Jackson as the temporary head of Atlantis.  Because I know he draws trouble but if the shit hits the fan he can handle it."

"Yes he can, sir.  I trust him."

"Good.  Today, we're going to tell you your places in the moving of the outposts and labs that we have down here."  They all stared at him.  He saw a few looks around.  "Yes, everyone in this room is an ATA carrier.  We have seventeen labs and outposts.  Three we know we probably cannot move.  Thankfully one's in Boston, one's in Antarctica, and one's off England."  He smiled.  "And that one has a few very interesting guards thanks to a younger sister.  Tell him thank you for me, Sheppard."

"Dawn babbled that she felt it and it felt like talking to her, sir, but sure."

"We'll talk to her later then."  He clicked the projector control.  Walter had set it up for him.  "These are the outposts and labs we have to move.   From our scans from the ships, we can move them.  Jackson's last trip off-world to Atlantis got us the directions for how to fly them.  It will take a two ATA carriers per lab with power.  We have enough power to move them and then move them to their new dock once it's done.  It was only slightly improved from Harris' plans."

"He can plan buildings, sir?" one of the other Air Force men asked.  "I thought he was some super geek linguist and warrior."

"He used to work construction," Jon told him.  "It's always been something he likes."

"Good to know."

"But a decent question," Jack admitted.  "The new dock for Nila is being started in six weeks.  We are moving those labs this week."  They all nodded.  "All of you have flight experience.  We will put one experienced pilot on each team and then a less experienced one to back them up and watch their asses.   We are generously borrowing a base in Canada to put them on for now.  Canada are our allies and we have let them know about this already.  They're excited to be able to poke around in the labs once they're on their main docks.  Until then they agree that we need safety teams looking them over thanks to all the problems Atlantis has had looking at labs."

"Are there going to be safety protocols for explosions?" John asked.

"Built in to the docks."

"Thank you, sir."

"Welcome.  For now, don't worry about that.  Worry about getting in, getting it active, and flying it out.  We will be sending a trained scientist who has worked on the labs on Atlantis and other outposts.  Sheppard, I know you prefer McKay, he's going with Jon's team because we don't think his is going to be operational enough and he's going to Africa."  John nodded at that.  "You are getting Zelenka."

"That's fine.  Radek's good at the stuff too."

"Good.  I have selected each of you going overseas a strike team to help you get in and then hold it safe while you get it able to lift off.   Jon, you're going to take longer, you've got two teams."

"Thanks."  He shifted.  "How non operational?"

"We'll brief you on what we know about each lab before you go," he said.  He changed the projection to the base.  "You are to land here, people.  We'll give you coordinates.  At this point we do not have a specified landing order.  Just get it there as quietly as you can.  A few are in friendly countries that know about us, through the IOA, but don't know about this specifically.  Some of those know about the outposts but not the plan to move them."  They all nodded.  "They will be upset.  The president said he can tell them to blow him with the recent problems the IOA has been causing."  He changed pictures, looking back then smiling.  "The proposed docking center for Nila."

John smiled.  "He did an excellent job.  That'll match her well, sir."

"I know.  The president agrees.  She'll be in international waters.  She will not have full international access.  We'll be guarding it very closely and will be installing access controls so even if you're working in one lab you can't necessarily get to another without an emergency going on.  Any present questions?"  No one said anything.  He turned off the projector.  "Good.  Let's go meet your geek and then your teams."  They filed out with him and he introduced each one to them.  John knew his strike team and geek so it was fine.  He helped smooth things out with the other geeks since he had worked with most of them.  A few he gave Jack incredulous looks for picking.  Like Kavanagh.

"We were running short, Colonel."

"Him, sir?"

"No other option."

"I can get Miko.  Hell, I can get Xander."

"No.  Too valuable and you need someone up there who can handle it.  Otherwise I wouldn't use him or Seelen."  He shrugged.  "They're going places that are operational and they can't hurt.  One's going to Wales and I'll be going over to talk to Jack and Dawn myself," he said quietly.  "That way they have backup and Kavanagh can't cause them any problems.  The other is going to Norway.  Their teams were already introduced to their problems so they understand."

"If you're sure, sir."

"No other choice this time."

"More power to their teams' weapons then," he muttered.  Jack smiled at that.  "The last three we kicked off?"

"In the brig, waiting on trials."  He smirked as he walked off.  He briefed each team about their lab, their timing, their terrain, and anything they had about the area.   Then he left for Wales.  He got off the plane looking exhausted and found a familiar face waiting.  "Dawn."

"Hi, General Jack.  C'mon.  Our Jack said you can have dinner with us.  He knows you're tired."  She walked him off, taking his arm to walk properly and hold him up of necessary.

"You're not driving."

"Shut up.  You're too tired to drive and Ianto made sure I could drive.  Then he made Gwen take me over the police driving course."  She smirked.  "Get in."  He groaned but slid in and she got into the front.  Someone tapped so she sighed and got out.  "Hi, Rhys.  Were you out of town?"

"Jack sent me for you two.  He said you have to call your sister."

"Bad news?"

"Sunnydale's having issues.  Again."

"Damn it.  Always.  Every spring."  She got into the back and logged into the phone system to make the call while he drove.  She chatted for a bit, hearing the problem.  She got into the database the Watchers had and sent the information to her as well.  Buffy cheered up at that news and hung up happier.  She leaned back, rubbing her forehead.  She logged out of the computer system totally back there and let out a large sigh.

"Bad?" Jack asked.

"Angel's thing is sucking her in.  Another attempt to end the world by making it go dark forever and ever.   I gave her some new information she didn't have.  Graham's people are going to help her.  Riley's out of the country on a mission.  She'll still have backup and Angel's agreed it'll be handy."

He smiled.  "They manage it, Dawn.  You know that."

"Yeah, I do.  But I hate spring.  I have hated spring since I realized it's apocalypse season.  Why can't they have them in winter?"

"Spring brings new energy," he said dryly.

"I know.  Fuckers."  Rhys gave her a dirty look in the mirror.  "Gwen taught it to me."

"I don't care and I'll be making sure she doesn't teach the baby."

"Can I teach the baby how to be fashionable since she's not?"

"Sure, Dawn.  When she's older you can teach her how to be fashionable and find sales."  He pulled into the parking lot and got them all out, heading down to the new hub.  He liked this one a bit.  He stopped her.  "You okay?  You look a bit peaked."

"I'm fine.  It's just a cold."

He rested a wrist against her forehead.  "Take something.  You're warm."

"I'm hot, get it right," she quipped.

He swatted her.  "You're learning the wrong things from Jack."  He led her in.  "Ianto, she needs something for a light fever."  He handed her over.  She muttered but took what he gave her.  "Jack, what can I do to help?"

"They're going to be moving that shiny lights place," he told him.

"I am and the scientist I'm sending is a weapon of last resort," Jack told him.  "We almost spaced him."

"Good!" he agreed.  "I heard."  He smirked.  "UNIT is going to be hands-off on those though they do have guards on that one at my request.  Martha agreed she wanted it safely away from people."

"That's not the weapons lab.  That's the one we can't move in Boston and the other one in the Antarctic.  This one has a small chance of being able to move with the way it was grown into the sea floor."

"Eww.  Chilly service," Dawn sighed.  Ianto pulled her closer to look her over.  "I'm fine."

"You're not fine.  Go lay down."

"Yes, big brother," she sighed, taking her warm tea that way.  She grimaced but drank it anyway.  Ianto could fuss over her, Xander had said so.  She sneezed and groaned.  Jack came down to check on her too.  She felt her magic coming and looked around.  She knew what this was.  "Shit.  It's magical," she announced.  "I'm hiding because it's going to come out."  She disappeared with the last of her tea.  She instinctively went to the old hub.  It was safe to her.  Only the dead were still there.


Xander looked up as a telltale went off.  "What the hell?" he muttered.  "That was on Owen."

"Who's Owen?" Faith asked.

"He worked with Jack and Dawn but he got killed in the line of duty."  He scowled.  He called up the telltale on Dawn.  That wasn't good.  He groaned and finished his dinner.  "Armand, watch Faith.  I need to help Dawn.  She's sick."  Armand purred at Faith, who petted him.  He looked around.  "Loudres, I've got to help Dawn.  She's sick."  He waved a hand since his mouth was full.  He went to grab a few herbs and disappeared.  "Oh, Dawn," he sighed.  He handed the herbs to Tosh.  "Make a tea."  He helped her down onto the bed, stroking over her sweaty hair.  "How did that happen?"  She shrugged then coughed.  "Crap.  Owen, her blood?"

"There's some strange chemicals in it."

Xander looked at the printout, grimacing.  "Fucking people."  He summoned Jack O'Neill, who gave him a pointed look.  "Find out if it was the IOA or the Watchers?"  He handed it over.

Jack read it over, groaning.  "That's poisonous."

"Which set off a chain explosion of her magic.  Hence the dead coming back."  He waved a hand.  He sent him back, looking at Owen.  "So."

"So," he agreed, smiling at him.  "Taken?"

"Kinda, but casual.  I don't know," he sighed.

"It's cool, Xander.  We were the same way.  Not for real."

Xander relaxed.  "Thank you."

"Welcome.  Maybe I'll meet them and you'll find out I'm better."

Xander smiled.  "You'd fit in really well with us."  He took the tea and made her sit up to drink it.  "It'll be okay, Dawn.  This'll take down the poison you have."  She groaned.  "Drink."

"Eww.  Need's Ianto's touch."

"I can call him," Tosh said.  "Did we close?"

"You moved to Torchwood 4 after some issues," Xander said quietly.  "I had it set up for him."  Dawn turned and gagged.  Ianto appeared, looking confused.  "She got poisoned."

"From Clover?"

"No, it was either the bastard Watchers or the asshole IOA.  Take your pick," he said dryly.  "It's an ancient herb that demons can't use."  He made her sip more of it.

Ianto took the tea, grimacing.  "Cure?"

"Yes.  I know it tastes nasty."

"There's ways around that."  Tosh showed him what she had done to distill it.  He made a new one and it was better.  He looked over, then sighed.  "How?" he asked quietly.

"There was a huge flash of light.  No idea."

"It caused an explosive build up in her magic," Xander said.  "With what she can do, I'm glad it's only this breach in the worlds."

Ianto sighed, nodding.  "I'd pray but I'm not that sort of man."  He called Jack.  "I'm here in the old hub with Dawn, who had an explosion of skills."  He looked over.  "Because Tosh is being very helpful and so is Owen.  Xander's here helping as well."  He brought the tea back over.  Xander fed it to her and she didn't gag this time but it helped.  Her fever broke.  Owen helped him sponge her off.  "No, we'll be fine, Jack.  I think it's coming down now.  Clearly poisoned."   He nodded.  "Exactly.  So can you watch Clover?  I know he still freaks out Gwen.  Yes, that's where we are.  He's here too.  He's given her a cure but it's going to be a long night.  I know he told someone."

"O'Neill knows," Xander said.

"She told the other Jack.  Yes, it's going to be fine.  I can do that."  He hung up and sent the results to him.  Then he came over to help.  "Would Clover's poison help or hurt?"

"She's immune to Clover's poison by their bonding.  The same as if Armand gets some, I'll be immune."  He sponged her forehead again.  His phone beeped so he pulled it out to look at it.  "O'Neill said it's the Council."  He called Buffy.  "It's me and it's bad news.  No, the Council apparently tried to poison Dawn.  I'm helping, she'll be fine.  If the coven show up, tell them to call me."   He hung up and called them.  "Dawn is poisoned," he reported.  "Yes, that was her.  We think the Council.  No, she's massively sick.  I've given her the cure but ....  Yeah, it was that crap.  Who?"  He wrote that down.  "Council?  Rogue?"  He nodded.  "Both, cool.  I'll tell Buffy.  You tell them?"  He smirked evilly.  "Oh, they're getting my foot up their ass.  Thanks, Tiris.  Soon."  He hung up, calling her back.  "Mr. Tueet Voranelle.  Watcher and Rogue sorcerer."  He hung up.  "That one's going to pay badly.  She will or I will."  He patted her stomach.  "Hardness is normal."  She groaned.  He smiled at her.  "You're going to be all right."

"I'll kill him."

"Not with magic."

"No with my bare hands," she complained, curling up around her stomach.  He hugged her.  "Kill him really a whole lot?" she begged.

"Of course we will.  I'll even be creative," he assured her, making her whine.  He held her, letting her puke but it was normal.  She finally fell asleep and the magic floating around eased.  Xander looked up, grimacing.  "She was poisoned," he called.  "She's not ascending."  The energy feelings left.  "Fucking nosy people," he said dryly.

"Ascended?" Ianto said.

"Yeah.  I kinda dated one of them before they went up."  He shrugged and soothed her.   "We'll make the idiot so miserable he'll beg," he whispered.  He backed off.  "Owen, she'll keep puking if I'm right.  We need to set up a containment system so no other energy can get near her.  She's too weak to hold shields and mine won't hold her in.  They'll find her and some will want to come back one way or another.  I doubt she's going to want that."

"Possession?" he asked.

"Pregnancy.  Which I will kill," he assured him.  The others smiled.  "I will.  Fuck them and their desires.  They can go ask a normal person."  He smoothed a hand over her head.  "Okay, let's do something that'll get me yelled at by her and Jack."  He helped Owen set up a containment field and then added onto it.  Owen smirked at it.  Then he left to change and talk to someone.  He landed in a field, staring around at the markers.  "I can feel you.  You might as well appear."

The ball of light floated in front of him then spread into a person shape.  "You cannot interfere this time.  She should not be in that form."

"She was put into that form to protect her from Glorificus."

"She is gone."

"So?  Others still want her.  And you can't interfere with a human life since she's now human."  She snorted.  "I'll call justice on you."

"They already know and approve."

Xander sighed and pulled something off his keychain, holding it up.  "I don't.  She's under my protection.  I don't care who disagrees."

"She is not meant to be in human form."

"Really?  Neither are you."  She gasped.  "Leave her alone."

"The Others do not like it."

"The Others can kiss my ass."  He moved closer.  "You have no sway over us.  We are hellmouth children."  She whined.  "You can tell them I said that."  Another form came down.  "Elder."

"Xander," he said, moving closer.  "She is not like you."

"She was created there, made the sister of a slayer to protect her.  She is human now.  When and if she dies, that's up to her about going back to energy.  The Key is not of your control anyway."

"It's not our fault," he said.

Xander snorted.  "Really?  She wanted to take her over or kill her.  Or maybe just make her pregnant to bring someone back."

"Which we will get her for.  You have protected her."  He got a nod at that.  "Please be calmer.  You could destroy much with that."

Xander smirked.  "Which one was it?"

"The watcher is worried that she will bring power to the wrong side and give the other Ascended more power."

Xander snickered.  "No.  We're not aligned with the ascended of any form."  They both gasped.  He looked behind him.  "Asha."  He looked at the Elder again.  "Ain't no way.  Sorry, but no.  We are not going to give anyone in any ascended form any bit of help.   If anything, those of us with the real power are more aligned to the Time Lords."  They all groaned.  "I got saved and trained by the Doctor.  So did Jack, so did McKay."  He smirked.  "So did the current Slayer Called."  Asha whined.  He turned and blasted at him.  "Do not touch my sister."

"She is not yours."

"Actually, with the way the monks made her, it's possible she is.  Though I do know who her father is.  If he hasn't figured it out, someone's going to pop him upside the head soon."  He looked at the Elder again.  "I don't care who used my ass before.  I owe allegiance to my teachers and those who help me and love me.  No others."

"I agree."  He looked at him.  "She is to be protected until she makes her choice to ascend or not," he ordered.  The first ascended gasped.  He looked.  "Traveler."

"Jack," Xander said without looking.  "So?" he asked Asha.

"We were good."

"You used me for what my ass gave you.  If you loved me, you would have treated me better.  There wouldn't have been barbarian comments.  You wouldn't have turned me aside for freeing people and winning the war for you."

He nodded.  "We understand."

"Go.  I just...."

Asha nodded.  "I see now how bad I was to you."  He touched his cheek then left.  The first ascended went with him.

The elder looked at Xander.  "You can take that one out if you wish."

"I'm about to take out the whole council," he said dryly.  "Not just him.  You don't touch my pack."

"Agreed," he said calmly.  He looked at the other one.  "You are good for the child.  Your pack will be safe once you are back.  Soon," he promised quietly.  Xander nodded, slumping some.  "Those who like you are good for you.  Before, they weren't.  Asha was a horrible thing in your life with the others."  He touched him again.  "Some day you will join us?"

"The Powers don't want me to."

"They do not control everywhere."

"I'm still a born hellmouth baby," he said quietly.

"True.  Your pack will be strong for years, even when things happen and you have to rebuild."  He disappeared after bowing to Jack.

Xander turned to look at him.  "So."

"She's my daughter?" he asked.

"You didn't figure that out before now?  She had to be of a strong fighter and someone who could handle all that power exposure daily."

"I didn't even think of that."  He sighed, moving closer.  "How long have you known?"

"Since I met you.  You remind me so much of her only you don't squeal and bounce."

Jack smiled.  "She is like a mini me sometimes."  He shifted, shaking his head.  "Is she like us?"

"She's the physical embodiment of a powerful trans-dimensional key, Jack.  No one can be sure of that until she's hurt."

"She's been hurt."

"Not mildly hurt, Jack.  Majorly hurt.  When she got cut, it was bad.  She has scars."

"So do we."

"Her energy does read like yours.  Atlantis said so."

Jack considered that.  "So....  Probably?"

"Possibly.  More than likely.  Only the Doctor would know for sure unless you stole one of my screwdrivers I have hidden for a time when he needs one?"

"I can't fully read one yet.  Next time I see him I'll ask."  He shrugged.  "Who?"


"Grand.  Let's go."

Xander smirked.  "You sure?  I'm going to be creatively pissed."

"I hate it when you do that.  I always need a shower."  He shrugged and they left together.  They were not the ones to fuck with and the people who got in their way learned that.  Fast.  The one they were looking for begged prettily as soon as they blew in his office door.  He was a hiding ascended too so Xander got to use his nifty little disruptor weapon on it.  It screamed as it unformed and went to pure energy then dissipated.

Jack looked around.  "I do believe I need some of those," he said, taking Buffy, Faith, and Dawn's files.  He found one on Joyce and a few others, taking them too.  He handed Xander his and they walked out together.

"Who are you to come in here," someone started.  "We are the Watchers Council."

Xander lowered the folder he was reading.  "I know that.  The idiot we're here to see poisoned the sister of  a slayer, who happens to be a pretty powerful witch.  Thankfully her magical explosion only brought back some people from the dead."  He walked around him.  "Pity if the next one touches the Summers or Faith.  Because then I'll get pissed.  This time, I was only mildly peeved and creative.  Next time, I can make the world end."

"He'd hate that," Jack joked.

"I'd restart it for everyone else.  What do you think, a nice temporal fold?"

"That's very evil," Jack said dryly.  They walked out together and it was good.  Xander got the file on Faith too.  They blipped back to check on his people.  He walked in. "Tell me Suzie didn't come back," he said as he walked in.

"No, she's still dead," Tosh said.  "Jack."  She smiled.

"Of course."  He smirked at her.  Then at Owen.  "How is she?"

"Still sweating but I'm fairly certain she'll be fine."  Xander strolled in.  "Are they gone?"

"Yeah.  The ascended wanted her and I'm going to destroy a whole lot of them before I let them have her."  He leaned down to kiss her on the forehead, muttering the calming spell.  She flinched but fell asleep.  "Good girl."  He smiled, backing out of it.  "Jack, no magic for her for weeks."  One of the coven's witches appeared a bit away.  "Good evening, Clorisma."

"Xander.  How is she?"  He pointed.  She moved closer, checking over her.  "Sensitive to magic.  That's normal.  Her pet?"

"Being snake sat," Ianto said.  "Is there anything else we can do?"

"No, I think the cure got to her in time.  She'll be fine."  She smiled at them.  "So you're who they used," she said quietly.  "At least you're cute enough."  She pinched Jack on the cheek, getting an odd look.  She smirked.  "Relax.  We cannot blame being poisoned on her unless she did it to herself."

"No.  She didn't.  Did she bring back more than these two?"

"She could only bring back those who were haunting."  She looked over them.  "They'll be fine."  She smiled at Xander.  "Armand?"

"Very good now that we took the spores off him that someone used to try to get me to be their concubine."

"Release that temper.  You know it is your weakness."

"Sometimes it's the thing that's kept me going."

"True."  She patted him on the cheek.  "Dawn will be fine."

"We had a question," Jack asked.  "Is she more like me or her mother?"

She looked at him.  "She is quite a lot like you but I do not know.  That is beyond what I could tell.  I can only tell those who have broken out in their gifts."

"It's not always."

"No, but usually it is."  She smiled.  "Even during the darkness, there is a dawn."  She left.

Owen sponged her forehead and looked up.  "So, the hint?" he asked.  "We're pretty sure that she's yours, right, Jack?"

"Yes, apparently she is but I wasn't realizing it."

Xander snorted.  "It happens.  Once her fever fully breaks, she can go home," she told Ianto.  "Or go nap on the couch so you guys can hover."  He nodded, smiling at that.  "Let me get back there.  Tell me if she needs me, Jack.  She is my pack."

"Agreed."  He shook his hand.  "You bring such craziness into my life."

Xander smirked.  "You're welcome."  He disappeared.  He walked into his office, finding Faith where he usually did, watching the moons rise.  He tapped her with the folder.  "Yours from the Council.  One of them was a hiding ascended who tried to kill her."  He sat down.

She opened it, grimacing.  "They had plans of knocking me up in prison.  They think I'm still there."

"If you are, this is a pretty cool one," Xander said quietly.

"Yeah, it is."  She smiled at him.  "So, what're you doing without any of your boytoys?"

"The same thing I always do, try not to take over the world."  She cackled, hitting him with it.  He smirked.  "I could."

"Yeah, you could, X.  They're stupid to try you.  How is D?"

"She's going to be fine.  I got her the cure to the poison.   I got the ascended who wanted to fuck with her or maybe just fuck her to knock her up so someone could come back.  And well, then I went to be creative."

"Ooooh.  Pretty?"

He smirked.  "Only a few times."  She beamed.  "The new head demanded to know what we were doing.  I told him if he didn't quit fucking with the Summers and you I was going to lock them in a time loop."

"Whoa, that's going to be bad."

"Yeah," he agreed dryly.  "But easier."  He looked at the pets.  "C'mon, kids.  Let's go lounge in bed."  They followed him upstairs to nap with him.  He was good to them.

Faith went over her file again.  That really sucked.


Jack appeared on Buffy's doorstep, late for him, early for her.  "Mrs. Summers, Jack Harkness," he said with a smile.  He shook her hand.  "Dawn is just fine."

"Why wouldn't she be?" she asked.

Buffy came down the stairs.  "Dawnie?"

"Xander got the antidote down her easily enough.  The magical explosion wasn't too bad; we got back a few lost teammates."  She relaxed, sitting down across from him.  "During it, we found out that the Watchers who did it were higher beings who wanted to make her turn back to energy or do so after she gave one a new body."


"Very."  He handed over the files.  "We found those on his desk actually."

She looked through hers, then handed her mother's to her.  "Just us?"

"Yours, hers, Faith's, Xander's.  Xander took Faith's to her."

Buffy looked up.  "Can't we wipe them out?"

"No, that might be horrible for the later girls."

"Good point."  She closed hers before she got pissed.  "Who else had this idea?"

"I do not know."  He smiled at her.  "But I'm sure someone will be finding out."

"Yeah, I can ask someone to look.  Maybe that nice general."

"He's a bit busy right now moving some things that are in delicate places."

"Then I'll ask Graham to look."  She cleared her throat.  "Mom?"

"This isn't a huge surprise," she said, closing hers.  "How did they know?"

"I have no earthly idea since I didn't figure it out until earlier when Xander himself told me."

Buffy snickered.  "I've had bad revelations myself from him."

"No, this isn't bad," he assured her.  "Though a bit strange."

"The monks used him," Joyce said.  "Dawn is my daughter with him," she said, staring at him.

He nodded.  "I had no idea why.  I've never squealed in my life."  Joyce cackled at that.  "Though it is nice that she's being allowed to mature naturally now.  Ianto is certainly concerned about her flirting skills.  I had to improve them because she was dreadful."

Buffy closed her mouth.  "Why you?  We expected it was someone involved in fighting demons.  Possibly Xander because he has that sort of problem."

He cleared his throat.  "Buffy, I'm not exactly normal," he said gently.  "What I am means that I can withstand any power destruction from her energy."

"Demonic?" she guessed.

"Traveled like Xander did.  Exposed like he was."

"Oh, so immortal?"  He nodded once.  "So... they used you because of that?"

"Yes.  Because that would mean that they Key couldn't overpower her human body.  We're still not sure if she'll end up like me or like you and your mother.  She might have only gotten that small benefit and I only know of one person who could tell.  He's not here right now."

"The phone box guy?"


"Okay.  Well, if I see him, I'll tell him to come see you about that."

"Thank you."  He smiled.  "She used to shyly smile at men and ask if they liked them younger."

"She told me where Xander is working is full of hotties who spar shirtless who she wanted to lick the sweat off of."

"Yes he is," Jack said dryly.  "Anyway.  She's fine.  She's a bit pukey at the moment.  I left Ianto cleaning up.  He's going to spank me later."

"I'm sure you'll enjoy every minute of it," Joyce said with a smirk of her own.

"Probably," Jack agreed.  "I would like to let her come home sometime.  She has been homesick."

"She can pop home whenever she wants," Buffy assured him.  "After this current apocalypse."

"I agree."  He shook their hands.  "I'll let you start your day while I go get spanked."  He left, going back to the new hub.  "Anyone not okay?" he asked as he walked in.

"At least I'm not a zombie," Owen called.  "Though my medical area is for shit."

"Get the machines from the last hub, Owen.  I hadn't found someone I liked yet."  He looked at Tosh.  "Yours?"

"I love the new hub.  It's much cleaner."  He smiled.  "Where's Gwen?"

"At home with Rhys.  I have to tell her.  It's probably bad in her condition to be so shocked."  He looked at Ianto.  "Date night?"

"Later," he promised.  "And you're getting beaten."

"Of course and I'll pay for the dry cleaning too.  Her?"

"Your office couch for the night with Clover."

"Wonderful.  We can keep an ear out for her."  He skipped off.  He had to tell Gwen.  He found her apartment and walked up, knocking on it.  Rhys answered.  "She's going to be shocked and horrified."

"That's fine.  Better than a mood swing."  He let him in.

Jack walked over to stand in front of Gwen.  "Dawn got poisoned."

"Is she all right?" she demanded.

"Yeah.  The guy who did it is gone.  Xander made sure of it."  He stared at her.  "The poisoning made her vent some excess magic.  A lot of excess magic.  A shitload as she'd say."  She blinked at him.  "She hid at the old hub to protect us."

"Did something happen?  Something released?"

"Tosh and Owen."


"Alive and Owen is of course complaining."

She stared, mouth open slightly.  "Really?" she asked quietly.

"Yup."  She got up and he helped because it was pitiful watching her try to stand on her own.  "You can see them tomorrow."

"I can see them tonight!" she said firmly, finding her sneakers and stepping into them.  She hurried out to the SUV.  Jack waved as he followed.  He took her back there.  She walked in and stared then rushed at Tosh to hug her.  "Oh, you are back!"  She pulled Owen in too.  "You're really back."  She sniffled.

Owen looked down at the nudge he just felt.  "It's not mine."

She hit him on the shoulder.  "Of course it's not!"  He smirked.  "I missed you, asshole tendencies and all."  She hugged them again.

"How far?" Tosh asked, running a hand over the bulge.

"Six months," Jack said.  "Right in the middle of mood swings."  She threw something at him.  "See?"  He went to woo Ianto out of the hub for a few hours.  They needed dinner.  "I have had a lot of shocks today so I need some grounding."  Ianto smiled at him.  "Did you figure it out and not tell me?"

"Yes, a few weeks back.  She gave me that same look you do when you're peeved at me," he said quietly.  He grabbed his jacket.  "Dawn, we're going to dinner.  You rest and the others are here tonight."  She moaned and waved a hand.  They walked out together.  "It's good she brought you back, Owen.  I was worried about her delivering here and me having to birth it."  Jack snickered all the way to the curb.

Owen looked at her.  "Not a chance.  I do not deliver babies since I didn't make the babies."

Gwen hit him on the shoulder again.  "Hush before I make sure of it by demanding Jack bring you."

"I'll let you break my hand but I'm not catching it."  He saw the stomach move.  "It's a little footballer isn't it."

"Yes he is," she complained, rubbing her stomach.  "Is Dawn all right?"

"She'll be fine," Tosh assured her with a hug.  She got another belly pat in.  "I'm almost envious."

"You can have your own now," she said with a smile.

"Maybe some day."  She smiled.  "What else is new beyond Dawn's new pet?"  She pointed at it.

"Clover," she said, staring at it.  "I can't go near it.  It's poisonous.  It also hates me."  Clover hissed at her but let Owen pick it up.  "She's in the office I'm sure."

"It'll be fine," he promised.  "You just have to know how to talk to the things."

"It's strange and I do not like it," she said, backing away.  "Owen, it could make me miscarry and die," she complained when he held it out toward her.

"Fine."  He took it in to sleep with Dawn, letting it curl up in her hair.  "So that was the egg thing?"

Gwen nodded.  "Yes.  It eats a lot too.  Loves Myfwny."

"Of course, they can fly together," he said, shutting the door.   He came back down there.  "Rhys happy?"

"He wants us to move to somewhere bigger and to put up the nursery already, all that.  I'm waiting in case something happens.  But Xander did take my place during one thing."

"That's good," Tosh said, making her sit down.  Rhys walked in, grimacing at them.  "Good evening, Rhys."

"Evening, Tosh, Owen."  He looked at his wife.  "Come on.  Back to bed."

"I can catch up."

"You'll have weeks to catch up but you'll snap and eat them if you don't rest."  She pouted.  "That won't work and I made dinner.  What you've been craving."  He helped her up.  "She'll see you lot tomorrow?"

Owen nodded.  "Please get her a doctor so she doesn't want me to deliver it."

"She has one.  He's fairly decent but a bit strange."  He walked her out, taking her home.

Tosh smiled at Owen.  "She's glowing and he's fussing so badly."

"Babies turn people's mind to mush," he reminded her.  "I like mine not dribbling out of my ears."  He went to check on Dawn.  Clover hissed but he tapped it on the head.  He settled down and let him check her over.  Then he locked her back in there again.  He went back down to the medical area to make note of what he needed.  Tosh was cooing over her new computer.  They'd find apartments and things tomorrow.


Daniel stepped off the ramp and looked around.  "Good morning," he said, smiling.  "Chuck, I need a meeting called please."

"Scientists, Doctor Jackson?"

"General please."  He nodded, doing that.  Daniel walked up onto the stairs, waiting until everyone got there.  "I know things are strange right now," he said calmly.  They all stared at him.  He smiled again.  "The scientists and ATA carriers are off moving the labs on earth to a safer spot.  They'll be back in about a week."

Miko raised her hand.  "They had enough scientists?"

"Barely if they used ones we wanted to beat to death.   We would have taken you, but we needed someone competent in charge of science in case something happened."  He clapped his hands and grinned again.  "All right, who has heard that Woolsey is confined to quarters?"  Most of the people raised their hands but a few looked clueless.

"Unfortunately he was gathering a file that the president felt was treason.  So he has been removed from his position.  Until a new one is picked, I am taking his place."  A few people clapped.  He grinned at them.  "I'm happy to be back here myself.  I know the scientists and I can work well together.  The same as I know how the military people will work if something happens.  You learn pretty fast working with Jack O'Neill."  That got a few more laughs.  "So, for now I'm yours and Colonel Sheppard will be back in a few weeks."  Xander wandered in with a yawn.  "Sleepy," he teased.

"Nightmares all night."  He looked at him.  "They named you?"  Daniel nodded.  "Good.  I found a section that's in Furling I think.  I can't translate it."

"I'll gladly go over it for you, Xander.  Does anyone else have something I need to look at right now?  If not, I'll be doing administrative duties in the morning and my actual, beloved job in the afternoons."

"A week to move those labs, sir?" one Marine asked.

"Some of them aren't in good working order for moving.  That's why each team went with two pilots and a scientist who had experience."

"And Kavanagh," Xander said grimly.  "He's going to Wales though so Dawn can kick his butt or puke on him."

"I'd like film if she did," Miko told him.  "Are you sick?"

"Doctor Keller's had me in bed for the last few days.  I don't know why."  He shrugged.  "I'm fine.  Just sleepy."  He yawned again.  "Anything changing rule wise?"

"No, not right now.  If you think there's one that's unfair that Woolsey created, bring it to me this week," he said.  "I'll look it over and see if it's reasonable.  I'm one of you, guys and ladies.  So let's get along and it'll be fine."  He smiled.  "Any other questions?"

"Woolsey wanted me to bring down the anti-ascended shield," Xander said.

"No, let's leave it up for now."  Xander nodded.  "Is your office covered?"

"No, the shield hinders the spell that expands it.  It ends in the metal shop."

"Are they creating a problem?"

"One of them had Dawn poisoned.  He's now little motes of energy."

"Have Keller check that," he ordered.

"We found a slight herbal poison in his system but he had just went on a mission," Doctor Keller told him.  "He's healing but it's slow.  Let me scan you again in a minute, Xander."

"Yes, meany."

"Thank you."

Daniel laughed.  "He usually swats Doctor Lam."  He looked at the others.  "Any other questions?"

"The idiot who had the lotion?" Xander asked.

"First he got dangled off a tower and then he got locked in the brig until Ellis gets back, Harris."

"Cool.  Swim?"

"Not like that you're not," Keller told him.

He stared at her.  "Don't threaten me.  I'll spank you."  She huffed and moved toward him.  He teleported and swatted her, making her yelp.  "Told you so.  I'm fine."  He looked at the swim leader.  "When?"

"Tomorrow and you still need medical clearance.  You're a braver man than I am, Harris.  She's got huge needles."

"I'm feeling like the time they put me into a leach pit," he muttered.

"Xander, medical clearance," Daniel ordered.  "Swim team?"

"Endurance swimming, sir," the leader told him.

"Walter told me about that.  That's wonderful."  He dug something out and tossed it to him.  "The updated Special Ops requirements for each service branch."  The guy beamed.  "Anyone going from the program would get some consideration.  Landry can help you with that."  He clapped his hands.  "So, meeting over.  Let me know what's going on.  I'm going to be wandering around for a few hours.  I have a comm earpiece," he said, holding it up.  "We'll hear things from the moving in a few days.  Have a good day at work.  Any missions, Chuck?"

"Two to known trading partners, Doctor Jackson.  One's a known Genii trading partner."

Xander looked up.  "Which team is that?"

"Kissen's, Xander."

"Kissen's back?"

"His second is taking over."

Xander looked over.  "Want me?"  They all nodded, smirking at him.  "When?"

"10," Faith said.

"Okay.  Let me go change and stuff."  He looked at his pajama pants and slippers.  "Give me thirty."  He went to change, get a shower, and come out in better clothes.  The leather pants made him feel better.  His pack had the medical kits and other things.  So it was good.  Doctor Keller stood in his way on his way back to the gate room.  He stared at her.  "I'm fine."

"Shut up, Xander.  I hate that saying."  She scanned him.  "You're healthy enough I suppose.  Any dizziness or puking, come back immediately."

Xander snorted, walking around her.  "If I feel that bad, I'll let Faith bring me back."  He went to the armory.  "I'm going with 14."

"I heard."  He handed him his usual kit.  "Got the axe and things?"

Xander looked in his pack, nodding.  "Yup, and some higher weapons."  He put on his guns, then took last thing and put it over his head.  It was emergency weapons.  He put his pack on again.  "Armand?  Are you staying with Mira or going with me?  We're going through the gate!"  They both came.  "Mira, your daddy would kill me if you even got a bruise."

Daniel walked down.  "Mira, come help me today?  I need to get into things."  She growled.  He stared at her.  "That's why I want you with me, to keep me out of trouble."  He scooped her up.  "Let the Xander uncle go on a trip and come back.  You and I can hang.  I have power bars."  She cooed at him.  He walked off feeding her.

Armand looked at Daniel then back at Xander.  Then back at Daniel then back at him.  "We're going to possibly find the Genii."

Armand climbed up, perching around his neck.  The daddy would get into trouble and have to shoot people if he wasn't there.  They went to meet with the team.  Armand roared and nibbled on Faith's ear.

She looked at him.  "You're adorable but not exactly someone I can do more than cuddle," she teased, petting him.  He cooed and purred at her.

The temporary team leader shook his head.  "C'mon, let's go."  They walked through the gate.

Xander paused when he walked out.  "Go back!  Go back go back go back!" he ordered, pushing Faith back through.  Then the rest.  He stared around then backed away slowly.  Something came rushing up at him so he shot it.  A few more hurried and he dove back through.  "Iris!" he shouted as he came out.  It went up and a few things hit it.  One had made it through with him but it was half dead.  The guards shot it.   He sighed, looking at the team leader.  "That's bad."

"Fuck," he said bluntly.

"Yeah," Xander said.  "Daniel to the gate room," he called.  He held up the thing when Daniel and Mira walked in.

"That's a replicator."

"That's an Assuran.  Some survived."

"Damn it," he said.  "Okay, we'll handle it as good as we can.  The last planet?"

Xander looked at his watch.  "How long do they usually take?  Do we have a weapon to get them if we're on the same planet?  It's been a minute since we came back."

"No idea and no," the team leader said.

"Slightly," Daniel said, "but it's not out of testing.  I don't have it with me either."  He looked up.  "Can we open it just enough to scan it?"

"No," Chuck said.  "We can't open it in a minor wormhole without exposing ourselves."

"Puddle jumper," Xander said.  "Maybe?  Cloaked?"

"Not many pilots," Daniel countered.

"Faith and I have been taking training.  We've both logged more hours in the simulator than most of the pilots, and we do have Amandale.  With my ATA gene, we can improvise."

"Amandale to the gateroom immediately," Daniel called.  He limped in.  "You're on injury leave?"

"Slightly, sir.  I've been being a good lesson to some people in boot camp this week."  Xander held up the dead body and he shot it.  "I hate those things."

"Full planet being overrun," Xander offered.  "You, me.  Jumper?  It's been about five minutes."

"Get me one of the jumpers down, Chuck," he ordered.  He limped to get things.  "Make sure it has a cloak and full weapons."

"Jumper One ready to go," he reported a second later.

"Let's hope I pull some of Sheppard's luck out of it then," he said as they jogged to the bay.

They flew through the gate.  Two more Assurans got through but got shot quickly.  The jumper was easily cloaked and they went to find the attacks.  Amandale let Xander pilot while he did the weapons.  Xander upped their available power when they ran into a ship.  "Life signs," he offered.  "Not many."  He nodded and they shot at the ship.  It peeled off and they drove it off.  He fired something at the mass on the ground.  They scattered.  Xander growled.  He prepared something himself and shot it off.  "Tester of Radek's," he said happily.

"I love you being in goofy love, kid.  It's good for you."  He shot at the ship trying to come back and they moved the ship so they couldn't be tracked by the firing.  Xander even rolled them at one point and got them underneath the ship.  "Not the Death Star, Xander."

Xander concentrated and the ship opened when he pulled a panel out magically.  "You sure?  The force is with me.  Even the Doctor believes that."  Amandale laughed and fired off into their ship.  It crashed.  They set off a pulser bomb, killing the damn replicators of the Ancients.  A few were left when they landed but Xander had bombs.  He knew how to use bombs.  And guns.  He loved bombs and guns.  They checked.  Nothing else registered as a non-human life form.  Xander looked at the people.  "Good morning."

"Xander!" one shouted, coming for him.  "You came."

"You should have called," he told her.  "We would've been here sooner with more ships."

"We knew you would feel it and come."  She hugged him.  He patted down her hair, calming her down.  "We are going to be cleaning for days."

Xander smoothed her hair down again.  "Amandale?"

"Not Sheppard or Lorne?" she asked.

"No.  They're off moving some lab equipment.  I brought Amandale.  He got hurt last week in boot camp.  Someone who can't shoot got him in the foot."

"Oooh."  She went to hug him too.

Xander looked around.  "Any injuries, people?  Let me see what I can do.  Gather all the survivors here.  We'll see what's going on.  He'll call back for help."  He was taken by one of the older women in the village to a tent, staring.  "Please tell me she's alive," he begged.

"Her child is, I do not know how, Xander."

"I know some.  Amandale, we need Keller!" he yelled.  "I've got a post-death C-Section!"  He settled in to do it.  He said a gentle prayer to her god, making the old woman smile.  He felt, feeling the movement.  He cut above the baby this time.  There was no blood.  She was truly dead.  He pulled out the baby.  "Did her water break earlier?" he asked, not spotting much.

"Yes, her water broke when the attack happened."  She looked at him.  "I could not."

Xander nodded, finishing excising the baby.  He got it breathing and cuddled it a bit.  "There we go."  He checked.  "Baby girl."  She smiled.  "She'll hopefully be strong."  He handed her over.  Then he covered up the mother's body. He stood up.  "Let me see any more injuries.  The doctor will be here soon."  She nodded, leading him to the injured they had gathered.  Amandale had gotten a few more ferried back with the help of the girl.  Xander checked, making notes on a few.  Keller walked in.  "Those two, gut shots, this one's a chest shot, I can see muscles but he's still going.  He's slightly awake.  The baby she's holding was born after the mommy went."  He moved.  "I've got a few with stitches and broken bones.  Want me to prep to help you or do them?"

"Do those.  I can prep and I have a nurse coming with more supplies."  She grimaced, evaluating them. "This one first," she ordered.  The nurse came in.  "Him, then her, then him."  They got to work on them.  Xander was stitching and putting on removable casts.  She nodded at that.  At least until one was a compound fracture.  "Xander, that needs put in place."

"I'm holding it in place so I can straighten it, doc.  He doesn't have the strength to hold his arm up."  He felt gently, then hooked it.  He looked at him.  "It will hurt worse than women have when they give birth," he said quietly.  "Screaming alert," he warned.  The man nodded, turning his head.  Xander felt again then yanked and twisted.  The bones ground back into place.  He checked then did it a bit more.  The man started to cry.  He felt.  "That farther one is a bit off," he warned, pushing on the broken area.  "There, that feels right."  He hitched the cast tighter.  Then he wiped off the tears.  "Even I scream and cry when I have one of those fixed."  The man smiled.  "Now, can you help her with the baby?"

"Was the mother alive?"

"No," he said quietly.  "She was halfway through birth."

"It is a bad omen."

"No, it's not.  It's a miracle.  I wasn't supposed to be here today.  Just Faith's team."  He nodded, going to help her with the baby girl.  He went to help the nurses after wiping down his hands with the disinfectant wipes.  "What can I do?" he asked.  She pointed.  He worked the portable suction and helped by holding things for her.  She finished up and closed his wound.  They bandaged it and moved to help the other two surgeries going on.  Keller smiled at them.  They got finished and moved them to a better place.  This hut was about to fall in.

Keller came out wiping off her hands.  "They weren't badly injured but they'll live," she told the older ones.  She nodded at the Genii who had shown up.  She knew it was them by their clothes.  "Gentlemen."

Xander kicked a part.  "Them."

"I'm sorry to hear they were attacked," the leader said.  "Xander."

"Cata."  He shook his hand.  "Is this all that survived?" he asked the elders.  They nodded.  "On the planet?"

"We think so," he agreed.

Xander looked at Amandale.  "The other jumper went up to scan, Xander."

"Okay."  He looked around.  He looked at Keller.  "Most of them are injured."

"Yes, and those three I'd like to see in the infirmary."

"The Athosians?"

"I don't know," she admitted.  She moved to the jumper to call back and ask Teyla that.  She came out shaking her head.  "Their main village is full right now.  They don't think they can support anyone else at the moment."  She looked at the head Genii.  "What about your villages?"

"Our people may be able to absorb them," he agreed.  "How many injured?"

"Three we had to do surgery on.  Most everyone else has scratches or broken bones," Xander admitted.   He petted the baby's head.  "She was born just after the attack was won."

The genii leader nodded at that.  "Her parents?"

"Her father died in the fighting and her mother died while trying to deliver.  Xander got her out.  He's right, she is a blessing and a sign our people will go on."

"We have lands you can inhabit but I need to check before I make a formal offer," he said. She nodded, letting him go do that.  A few more stragglers were brought down by the jumper.  Xander checked them over because they knew him and fussed at the doctors.   They had been hiding so they were mostly fine, just some scratches he bandaged.  Cata came back.  "Our government agrees this would be acceptable.  We have villages that are falling in population so you can join them or make your own.  Those that need medical help can find them at the bigger villages."

"They only need post-surgical care," Keller told him.

"That's wonderful," he said, smiling at her.  "We have heard you are a great doctor.  Better even than Beckett was."

"He was more research oriented and I was a surgeon before I got up here."  She held out a hand and he hesitated but shook it.  "Can you move them or do you need help?"

"We can.  Thank you for your timely intervention.  What are these pieces?  I see Xander did a good job on them like he did on the wraith."  Xander smirked and pulled up the file on them so they could see the basics.  "They can change shape?"

"Yes, but they're all mechanical.  We call the ones that were made near us Replicators.  These call themselves Assurans."

The Genii nodded.  "I will bring this back to our people."

"You have to disrupt the electrical systems," Xander told him simply.  "Like any machine it has a power source and if you kill it, it dies."

He nodded.  "I will report that and take a few back as example."  The Lanteans left and he looked at his people.  "They go to the main village on planet 6.  They'll have plenty of room there if they want to form their own village and the head village has doctors."  They nodded, helping gather them.  He patted the baby on the head when it fussed.  "You can get milk there for her."  She smiled and nodded.  The people gathered a few things that were important to them and left with the soldiers.  He and a few others looked for whole ones to bring back.  Some pieces were good but Xander was very effective in destroying threats.

They found some father out toward the gate.  They got loaded in a locking box.  Just in case they tried to get out.  The people were taken and he went to the main council.  "We have a new threat," he said as he walked in.  The council stared at him.  He opened the box and put one on the table.  "They attacked the planet we were visiting to set up a harvest trade arrangement.  The Lanteans and Xander brought them down when they found them attacking the people.  They are machines."  He let them all look it over carefully.  "Xander said to destroy the power systems, to disrupt the electric."

"How prevalent are they?" one of the older men asked.  "I heard rumors of Assurans being bug monsters who were more machine then being."

"That is them.  Xander let me see their files.  They also go by the name Replicator in their galaxy."

They passed the creatures back.  "Bring us a way to defeat them if they come.  Do it quickly.  How many are left from that planet."

"Under thirty.  Mostly injured.  A few were hiding.  One newborn.  A girl."  He smiled.  "She is going to be fine.  Doctor Keller had to operate on three of them."

"Go make sure they'll be fine.  Get us those plans for them and what we're going to do about them," the head of the council said.  "We accept refugees."  He nodded, going to hand those to their best scientists on the secret base.  "I do not like these things," he told the others.

"Hopefully the Lanteans will destroy most of them for us.  After all, Xander would not like them attacking his people."

The head nodded.  "We will ask them about things we can do as well.  Xander has always treated us fairly.  Who is in charge?"

"Richard Woolsey.  Unless that has changed.  They do change civil heads often.  Military heads never seem to change.  Sheppard will deal with us."

"Good.  We will send a message later today.  Give Xander time to check in and calm down.  He is not good when he has battle nerves.  His pet must calm him down first."  They smiled and nodded, going to write out their request.


Xander walked into the office.  "The five minutes we had scrambling and arguing meant that there's not much more that could have been saved.  They were already on the ground.  They'll live and were taken in by some of the Genii."

"Any that we'll need to talk about?" Daniel asked.

"Not really.  Keller had three.  I fixed a few broken things.  Cut out a baby."  He shuddered.  Then grimaced.  "There's about fifty left overall."

"Good job of saving them," he said quietly.  "Are you okay?"

"One of them knew I was going to show up.  She was certain that I was going to show up."

"Isn't that why you went on the mission?" he asked.

"No, it was more to back Faith up since the Genii seem to want to marry her or beg for her."

"Good of you."  He smiled.  "Go cool down by doing katas or whatever."

"Shower first," Xander said.  He walked off.  He ran into Faith.  "We managed to save about fifty of them."

"Good work, X."  She patted him on the shoulder.  "Go shower, then calm down.  I can contain Armand for a bit."  He nodded, going to do that.  Keller tried to waylay him but he got warned by one of the Marines so he teleported to his room to shower.  He came down in sweats and sneakers, pulling on a t-shirt.  Keller got him coming off the transporter.  "What?" he asked.

"Post-mission check."

"I was there for all of thirty seconds?"

"Then you got out of the jumper," she pointed out.  She pointed.  He huffed.  "Don't task me, Xander.  I'm calming down too."  He trudged that way and she got him onto a table to look over.

"She needs to do your medical clearance for tomorrow's swim," Amandale offered from his seat.

"True.  Doc?"

"No way in hell, not with that poisoning."

"I'm fine."  She popped him on the shoulder, glaring at him.  "I've seen tougher vampires, doc."  He stared back.  "I can fake it."  He smirked.

"I'll kill you when you get back."

"I doubt that."  He pulled her closer to hug her.  She struggled but eventually sighed and let herself relax.  He let go.  "Thank you."  She swatted him again and ran all the checks she could.  Including pulling more blood.  She had to admit he was in good shape.  "Go run today and then I'll see."  He nodded, going to the gym to use the treadmill.

One of the other guys watched him.  "Try to run lighter, kid.  You kinda stomp.  Run lighter."

Xander looked at him.  "How do I do that?"  He showed him and Xander watched then mimicked his stride.

"Run less on your full foot, kid.  You've got to be killing your ankles."  Xander nodded, trying that.  He found a comfortable stride and went back to it, grinning at the other guy.  "Good job."  He got done and let himself get off.  "When's this sparring I heard about?"

"Ronon teaches today.  Teyla too.  I teach after them.  They start usually around 3."

"You teach self defense?"

Xander smiled.  "I'm the advanced 'get past me and call yourself the king' guy."  The other guy laughed.  "Usually I spar with Ronon and others after that."

"Good to know.  I'll see them first I guess."

"If you're any good, ask to be tested.  Ronon's tough though."

"I'll keep that in mind."  He left, smiling.  That kid was a good fighter?  When he couldn't run?  Later on that day he showed up for his first sparring practice.  He watched a few people, looking awed.  That woman was excellent.  Ronon was almost scary.  Then the kid came in.  He watched.  It was his turn and he walked up to Teyla.  "I've had some hand-to-hand training, ma'am."

"We will see how good you are and send you to an appropriate teacher," she promised, earning a smile.  "We also use bantos rods.  I can train you in that."

"I'd like that.  Any weapon is a good thing to learn."  He took off a defensive stance and she attacked.  He blocked a few and had to duck one and barely managed to score on her arm.

"Hold it," Xander called.  He walked down.  "Chief, your back foot is unsteady," he said, walking toward him.  "Take up your first position again."  He did and Xander kicked at his foot until he moved it in.  "You're throwing yourself off balance and making yourself lunge too far and overbalancing."  He moved out of the way.  "Go."  They did that and he nodded it was better.  Xander looked at the other guy then at Ronon.  He picked up a bantos stick and smacked each and every form flaw he saw, making him yelp.  "Do it better.  If you're taking on Ronon, you've got to be better than that.  He still kicks my ass sometimes."  Ronon laughed, smacking the boy on the head when he moved.  Xander blew a kiss.  "Keep it up, watch me help them steal more braids."

"I like my hair where it is."  The dragons came running in and he stopped his opponent/victim before he stepped on them.  "What do you two want?  We're sparring."  They tried to hide inside his vest, crying.

Xander took Armand carefully, getting snuggled.  "What happened?  Did someone hurt you guys?"  He calmed him down, looking around.  "Nila?"  She appeared.  "What scared them?"

"The person with the knife who threatened to cut them up."

"Were they doing something?" Ronon asked, petting Mira.

"No.  They were lounging on the pier.  He walked up to them and said they'd make good specimens."

"Who?" Xander asked.  She gave him an image.  He nodded.  "Go tell him to report to boot camp.  Today."

"Yes, Xander."  She disappeared to order that.

Xander took Mira to pet as well.  "I'm going to kick his ass for scaring you two.  You two are safe and protected.  Rodney will make him sorry when he gets back."  He petted them on the way out to where boot camp was held.  "He here yet?"


"The bastard new carver."

The guy stared at him.  "Not yet."  He watched him come out.  "Him?"  Xander nodded.  "I can hold them or give PT."

Xander smirked.  "Can you guys go glomp on Miko?"  They ran inside and the idiot watched, looking covetous.  "Yo, you," he said, pointing.  "Have you not gone through boot camp?"

"I'm a scientist."

"Atlantis personnel all have to go through boot camp," the Marine in charge said.  "Orders of Sheppard and our first head.  It has not been overturned.  So get in line."


Xander put him down, keeping hold of his wrist, one foot in his kidney.  "Really?  You do know that your life is in danger out here every day?  All scientists have to be able to protect themselves."

"I can shoot," he growled.

Xander let him up.  "I doubt that."  The man lunged at him.  Xander kindly made him choke when he got him by the throat and then kicked his feet out from under him.  "That had to hurt."  He stared at him.  "Still think you can handle it?  Wraith can kill you with a touch.  Assurans are replicators.  Do you really think you can handle that?  Or if the Genii decide to attack again?"  The guy got up and attacked Xander.  Who kindly kicked his ass then tossed him into the water.  He stared at him.  "Are you done thinking you're the hot shit on this base?  Because you're not.  The head of science may be on earth right now, but the third-in-command's name is Miko.  She's the deceptively delicate looking physicist.  She can kick your ass too.  Now, get your ass back up here and listen up.  You have a shitload of things to learn in this galaxy."

"Those mutant creatures caused this," he sneered as he climbed up.

"Yes, you going after my pet and the pet of the head of the science department did piss me off.  That's why I'm so hard on you.  Because I'm sure you're stupid."  He hauled him up the last few feet, staring at him.  "Do not touch the pets.  It will be your life that I take.  The rest, sit down, shut up, and listen to the Marines.  Before something out here kills your stupid ass."  He walked off.  "All yours.  Do I need to get any others?"

"Not that I'm aware of.  I'll make sure later," he said calmly.  "Thank you, Harris."

He nodded and went back to the sparring.  He walked in.  He spotted Miko.  "I usurped.  You can spank me later.  He's out in boot camp after I showed him the error of his stupidity for daring to touch the pets."

"He did what?" she demanded.

"Scared them so much by coming at them with a knife they came in and hid," he told her.  "I kicked his ass, called him stupid, and gave him to the Boot Camp leader.  You can spank me if you want, Miko."

"Radek would be more mean to me," she said quietly.  "I do not mind.  They might not listen to me because I'm female.  They will listen to you."

"Miko, sometimes you gotta wear the boots Dawn helped you buy and kick some ass.  Then they'd leave you alone and quit being so dumb when Rodney wasn't here to scream at 'em."

She smiled.  "I may do that tomorrow then."  He grinned.  She pointed.  "Daniel walked in."

He looked over.  "Am I being spanked?"

"No, I viewed the footage.  He's in the wrong and I told him that too.  Including that they were protected beings.  He huffed.  I also assured him that every scientist had to go through Atlantis boot camp."

Xander bowed with a smile.  "Thank you."  He went to join back in with the sparring.  "Mira, Armand, to Miko.  This is sparring."  They ran over to get cuddles and pets.  He looked around.  "All done?" he asked with a pout.

"Until you are ready to deal with us," Ronon said with a smirk.  Xander took off his shirt and sweat pants, showing his bike shorts.  He kicked off his sneakers too.  "Are you doing that on purpose?"

"I was going to swim around the city later."  He stretched then took his sticks.  He changed with Ronon.  Then he went to get the heavier ones.  "I need the heavy ass ones, Teyla.  It helps build up my endurance and arm muscles."

"Of course.  It does make you a bit clumsy."

"But that gets less as I get used to them."  He swung them and winced, putting those back.  He got a slightly lighter set, John's usual.  That was better.  He came back, wincing as he moved.  They stared.  "Nothing."  They nodded and Daniel shouted 'go' for them.  They started off slowly, him and Teyla against Ronon for now.  Then Xander ducked to the side and ended up on his knees, holding his side.  "Okay," he said, getting back up.

"You're hurt," Teyla said, looking at him.

"It's a cramp.  It's nothing.  Easily worked out."  He took a deep breath and started off again.  Ronon was trying to avoid the area so he got him on his last bruise.  "Like you were taught, Ronon.  It makes you tougher."  He nodded and they went for real.

The new guys all gasped and stared.

"He's not as good as usual," Miko told Daniel.  "That side is still bothering him."  Daniel nodded and quietly called the doctor.  He winced at one hit to the area Xander took then he growled and fought back stronger once Teyla was down.  He and Ronon were sweaty, bruised messes.  They kept going, and Ronon won by getting him on the side again.  "Enough," she called.  "Doctor?"

Keller walked out there, looking Ronon over.  "No blood.  Thank you, Ronon.  Go get something for the bruises."  She checked Xander over, seeing the big bruise.  "What happened?"  She touched it and he hissed, moving away.  "That's not a cramp."  She pulled out a scanner and sighed.  "Xander, appendix?"

"Burst when I was seven."

"Then it regrew sometime."  She led him off.  "Daniel, watch the pets or you, Miko.  Protect them."  She checked his forehead.  "You've got a fever again, Xander."  She made him sit on a bed and looked him over again.  "Your appendix is swollen and ready to burst. Why didn't the usual check catch this?"

"Is that like I killed an organ?" Ronon asked.

"The appendix is an unnecessary organ that's off the intestines," she said with a smile.  "In humans it breaks a lot.  We remove about a third of all people's appendixes' in their lives."

"Mine was removed when I was seven so I don't know why it's acting up now," Xander quipped, holding it with a grimace.  "Doc?  Any idea?"

"Sometimes some of the healing technology can regrow missing things," she offered.  "I've seen it start to regrow a toe on someone that had part of it missing."  She looked at him.  "Make sure the pets are all right if they're not with Daniel or Miko."

"Of course.  They still like my hair."  She smiled and knocked Xander out from behind.  "He's going to spank."  He slid off the bed and walked off.  "Miko, are you going to dine with them?"

"You can dine with me," she said graciously, petting Mira.  Armand was in Daniel's lap.  "What happened?"

"It regrew his appendix."

"Ah."  They got up and went to have dinner.

The dragons stayed with them and went to bed with Ronon that night.  He felt them leave and followed them to the infirmary, where they curled up with the daddy/uncle figure.  He sat down with a grunt.  The nurse smiled.  "Some idiot wanted to experiment," he said quietly.

"He'd come off that bed and kill if someone touched either one," she agreed.  "I can watch them, Ronon."

"I will.  We don't have a mission tomorrow."  She nodded, leaving it with him.  She got Xander an extra blanket to cover those two snuggly ones.  It made them happier.  It was better.  She saw the person walking in and walked over.  "Sore from sparring earlier?" she asked, noticing the bruises.

"No, I was here looking for the pets.  I was told to come retrieve them for the head of science."

"He's still on earth," she said.

"I got sent orders, ma'am."

"It's Nurse, and I doubt that.  McKay is presently fixing an outpost."  She stared at him.  "I think you should take this up with Doctor Jackson."

"I don't think it's necessary."  He shot something at her then at Ronon before he could move.  "Aliens," he sneered.  He moved to the bed, shooting the man on it with the same sort of dart.  Xander came up off that bed and kicked him around, snarling the whole time.


Security got an alarm.  He rolled to the view screen.  "Emergency in the infirmary, weapon discharge," he called, starting everyone running that way.  "Oh, shit, he darted Ronon and Harris, but Harris is primal!"  He got up to run and get Jackson.  Maybe he could help?  He hoped.  He got Faith up too.  They were tight.  "Harris got shot with a sedative dart and went primal," he panted.  "The idiot shot the nurse and Ronon."

"Damn it!" she shouted, running that way.  "Get Mitchell up!"  He went to do that.  She ran in and found Xander had another Marine up against the wall by the throat.  "X!" she shouted.  "Let him go!"  He did and attacked her.  She fought hard, but he was now better than she expected.  She decided to fight dirty.  She got him on the side that was hurt.  That only got a snarl from him. "Okay, didn't work.  Mitchell," she said, spotting him.  "Help!"

He came in and pinned Xander.  "Xander, it's your pack," he whispered in his ear.  "Calm down.  I'm here.  I'm pack and I'll protect you."  He petted him but got growled at.  He heard the light chuffing noise and leaned closer, letting him smell him.  "C'mon," he whispered.  "Its all right."  He petted him.  "What did they do?" he asked firmly but quietly.

"The fucking moron decided to dart the nurse, darted Ronon, and then darted him," one of the guards said, helping his fellow security detail marine.

"I saw it on the cameras as I was calling the alert, Colonel," that guy said.  "He got darted and then came off that bed like he was going to rip the guy's throat out."

"Xander doesn't react like normal people because of his DNA contamination."  He turned back.  "Shh, Xander.  Come on.  You know me.  I'm pack."

"He's dangerous," one of the Marines said, rubbing his throat.  "He could've killed someone."

Faith looked at him.  "He's fought in more wars than you've had years," she told him bluntly.  "He's special ops trained.  The only reason you're still alive is because he controlled himself."  He went pale.  "Xander's been a killing machine since he was sixteen.  That's why he's a *language geek* now.  If he hadn't controlled himself, none of you would've been alive or me either.  Feel lucky that even drugged he has some control."

"He worked hard on that," Mitchell said, walking Xander over to the bed.  He found the cowering dragons and sat Xander down, letting them crawl all over them.  He cooed and purred at them.  Cam got him laying down and covered back up, petting him some more.  "There you go.  They're safe.  I promise you're safe.  No one else is going to attack you," he said quietly.  Xander crooned at him too.  He smiled.  "It's cool, Xander.  I'm here.  You're safe.  I'll watch.  Someone get Ronon into a bed."  They moved him for him.  He sat down.  Xander snuffled so he ended up beside him with Xander petting him too.  "I am a dragon, yes," he said dryly.  He petted him back.  "Daniel, clear them."

"Doctor."  She pushed past and came to check Xander over.  "Faith?"

"I got woke up when you did."

"I know.  C'mon."  He led everyone else out.  "From the top.  Who started it?"  They all pointed at the scientist that Xander had been beating when they got there.  "Okay, why?"

"The tapes said he had orders," the video one said.

"Find it," he told him.  He left.  He looked at the others.  "You guys know better than to jump Xander.  Even if he's in the middle of hurting someone."

"He was snarling!" one said.

"Yeah, because he was possessed once by a hyena."  He shrugged.  "Those who have sparred with the group or watched him spar know that."

The rest nodded.  "Sir, I jumped in to get him off that one," he said with a point back at one guy who was still knocked out and being put into a bed. "I've seen him before but that was... that wasn't human."

"No, he does go into a battle rage," Daniel agreed.  "We've seen it before.  We've seen it in the gym up here as a matter of fact."  They groaned.  "Xander is not dangerous unless he's in that state.  You guys have seen it before.  Why did you jump him?"

"To save the scientist's life."

"Xander didn't kill anyone," he pointed out.  That one guard came back with something.  "What's that?"  He took it at the grim look.  "The IOA wants to dissect the dragons."  He handed it back.  "It's evidence."  The guy nodded.  "So that's the guy he got earlier for trying it?"  Daniel couldn't tell through the swelling and bruises.  They all groaned.  "I'm sorry you guys tried to intervene.  Usually Xander is not that far gone.  Even during sparring."

"I saw him the day that idiot shot him," the video guard said.  "He was more intense this time."

"Because more people jumped in," Daniel agreed.  "In the future, just let Xander have them.  He stopped himself, even though he's in an altered state from whatever that supposed sedative did to him.  He is not the normal reacting person due to that DNA contamination."

"I've worked with Harris," one of the guys who had jumped in said.  "I trust him in the field, all that.  I was trying to bring him down and get him off the others."

"Do like Cam did.  Talk quietly, being reasonable, treating him like he's just overly excited.  Xander didn't kill someone this time.  He's taken a lot of training to get out of that.  I'm damn sorry, guys.  Rotate out guards and have the day off."

They nodded.  "He's really not dangerous?" one of the new guys asked quietly to another one.

"Nah, Harris is one of the most cool people around here.  He spoils us.  He's there for us when we need stuff.  He's the sort to pull out a joke when we're tense or a weapon when we need it.  Faith was right, he's been in too many wars."  They walked in to get their bruises babied.  "He's cool with most of us."  He smiled at the doctor.  "He okay?"

"He won't let me near him."  She checked them, giving them something for the bruises.  She smiled at the new one.  "It's very rare, only when he's hurt, and you have to threaten someone he likes.  This time it was his pet."

"So he's like those old berserkers that would do it at the sight of blood?"

"His own.  Not always even then.  I've seen him come in covered from some injuries and he hadn't lost it."

"If you're sure."

"I'm sure.  He's got it under control most of the time.  This is the third incident in a bit over a year.  The other two, he had gotten shot."

"I heard rumors about a battle axe," he hissed.

"Yeah, that was him.  Then he took some calming down training.  If you heard about some army personnel shooting him?  That was him too."

"I did hear that, yeah.  I agreed with that."

"Next time, don't jump him.  Walk up slowly and calmly, if he growls look down so you look submissive.  Ask him if you can have the idiot yet.  Be calm, be quiet, don't seem threatening."

"Yes, Doctor."

"Good boy."  She pinched him on the cheek.  "You'll do fine and I'm pretty sure he's going to apologize."  Ronon woke up with a start.  She walked over to hold him down.  "Relax.  Xander went primal."

Ronon groaned.  "He drugged us?  He was complaining that he had been sent to gather the dragons for the head of science.  When it was pointed out he was working on earth he insisted and I started to get up but I felt the pinch in my shoulder."

"He shot you with a dart."

"I should kill him for that.  The nurse?"

"She's almost awake."  She patted him on the wrist.  "It'll be okay."  She walked over to check on her nurse then shooed the watching people out.  That idiot, he was in quarantine with another doctor.  Before she killed him.


Xander woke up with a gasp.  "Daniel!" he yelled.  The nurse came running. "I need Jackson."

"You're just fine, Harris."

He glared at her.  "NOW!"  She called him and tried to calm him down.  Both dragons cheeped at him.  He petted them.  "It's okay."  Daniel came jogging in.  "Daniel, the Assurans weren't."

"What?" he asked.

"They were in *bug* form.  They weren't Assurans."

"They were replicators from our galaxy," he groaned.  "Thank you, Xander.  I'll let them know in the report.  For now, you lay down and rest."  He soothed him until he laid back down.  Mira and Armand helped him.  "I'll make sure they know.  It could have been just a single ship.  We'll go back there to look it over."

"Take the gun," he said weakly.

"I am.  You rest.  I'll bring SG-1 with me.  Okay?"  Xander nodded, yawning.  "Good job figuring that out."  Xander smiled and fell asleep.  He looked at the nurse.  "That's important.  Thank you."  He walked out, calling Cam out of bed.  He got a sleepy, grumpy Colonel.  "Xander woke up and realized something."

"What?" he asked, sounding grumpy.

"The Assurans?  They were in bug form."

Cam stopped stretching to look at him.  "What?"

"The ones that came through were in *bug* form."

"Shit!" he muttered, stomping off.  "Get me who you can.  We're going now."  He jogged  back to his room.  He gathered with the team in the gate room, nodding.  "Slight issue," he said, getting full attention.  "Xander woke up and realized those weren't Assurans."  They all stared.  "They were our galaxy's replicators.  They were in bug form."  Amandale groaned, rubbing his face with his hands.  "So we're going to go back, we're going to search the wreckage.  We're going to get what we can to look it over.  I'm hoping like hell this is a lone ship that was exploring."  They all nodded and headed through.  They ran into scavenging Genii.  "People," he said loudly.  "Stop."  They looked at him.  "These weren't Assurans.  They were our galaxy's version and we need to find their data crystals so we can make sure they're the only one."

"How can you tell?" Cata asked, stepping forward.

"Assurans are bugs in human forms," Cam told him.  "Mechanical people most of the time.  Usually copies of others."  They groaned.  "Our galaxy's versions are bugs.  Xander woke up off a medical bed realizing it."

Cata nodded.  "You can look at what we've scavenged."

One of the scientists stepped forward.  "I've worked with their programming before."  Cata led her over to their stored things.  "No telespace information, Colonel, but..."  She held up something.  "That's a piece of weapon I think and this," she said, holding up something else, "is really not good.  It's alive."  They moved.  Cam took it to stomp.  It died with a whine of noise.  "Nice shot," she joked weakly.  She headed for the downed ship, looking at the main display.  "Colonel?"  He came in with Cata.  "Main display...."  She traced it with a hand.  "Corrupted crystals.  Here."  She pulled a panel off with a yank and found it.  "Telemetry crystal."  She interfaced with it.  "They were originally a paired ship but...  It looks like the other one got taken out by a flare, maybe."  She let him see.  Cam relayed that and relaxed.  "We have to look for that one."

"We can have the Apollo look for it."  He looked around.  "Anything we should look at more closely?"

She looked.  Then she nodded, taking them down to the 'replication bay'.  She looked at Cata.  "This is where they made more of them.  If this is activated, it will overrun any world they can get to."  He nodded at that.  "It needs to be destroyed.  Intact.  Or else they can make more."

"We can blow this ship without touching this room," he promised.  She smiled and shook  his hand.  "Are there records of how to fight them?"

Cam walked him out, looking at one mostly whole piece.  "This is their power supply.  They're fast little shits.  They're harder than hell to hit.  We created something, with Xander's help, that knocks out their power supply."  Cata nodded, taking notes.  He dropped it and picked up another one.  "This type, can shape shift."  He looked up.  "We have a human toy called Legos.  They're building blocks that you can put together in multiple ways to build things, whatever a child's imagination wants."  She pulled up a picture.  He grinned.  "She's building pirate ships with hers."  He showed him.  He did smile at that.  "These things are like that.  The nanites....."

"Nanites?" he interrupted.

She pulled up that information so he could see it.  "It's fairly advanced, even for us.  Even for Rodney and Xander."

"Interesting.  That requires things we won't be able to do for ages."

"The average scientist among us can't either," she admitted.  "Very few know how to harness them, make them, anything.  These things are made of them.  Lots and lots of them lego'd together to create a form."  He shuddered.  "In some humans, we use them to repair cells that have been damaged and to fight diseases inside the blood and body.  These ones, not so much."

"Can we have a copy of that report?"

"I can authorize you getting the bigger information file about them," Cam agreed.

"Are you in charge of the City now?" Cata asked.

"No, Colonel Sheppard still is.  He's off helping with some ancient labs.  I'm going to be in charge of the prototype city that Xander brought us.  I'm Colonel Mitchell."

Cata nodded.  "There is a prototype?"

The scientist smiled.  "Nila.  She's very nice.  She fusses over Xander when he's hurt and things."

"A city?"

"Her AI.  Artificial intelligence."

"Oh."  He nodded, not understanding that.  "Are there others?"

"Not that she knows of."  She patted him on the arm.  "She did say that your people managed to get into a lab the other day that has a failsafe that will destroy half that planet."  He stared at her.  "The one on the planet with the blue trees?"  He radioed that back to his people.  They would pass that on.  She smiled.  "We like the main force of your people."  She walked off.  "Colonel, let me download that for you."

"Please," he agreed.  He smirked.  "She's not bad for being about sixth in command."

"She is good at what she does.  McKay, Sheppard's pet, babbles."

"So does Xander when he hasn't had caffeine," Cam admitted.  "And he bounces."

"I have seen that," Cata admitted.  "It scared all our people for weeks."  She came back with the file and he nodded his thanks.  "How do we read this?"

"You put that disk into a computer and the computer will read it.  That's a disc.  That's all it'll do.  It has two files on it.  One has video of the attack we filmed of them when the earth project fought them last.  The other is the fact file on them and they're in the same format as the last one Rodney McKay gave you."

He smiled.  "I trust you.  You are too nice to double-cross anyone."

She smirked.  "Not totally but I'm nice enough if you're pleasant and since you guys like Xander you must have good points."  He beamed at that and went to gather the rest.  "Remember to blow up that room fully, Cata."

"Can you help?" he offered.

"Sure, I'm all for a good explosion to celebrate the sun coming up," Cam said dryly.  He waved his explosives people over to handle it.  They finished looting near the ship and the soldiers blew it up for them.

"What does that?" Cata's second asked in awe.

"A new chemical explosive Sam Carter worked up."  He smirked.  "It does work very well.  Better than the stuff she blew up a sun with."

"A son, as in someone's child?" one of the Genii asked.  "She did not seem that mean."

Cam pointed.  "No, a sun."   They looked, a few whimpered.  "It kept the gou'ald from taking over our planet."  He smiled.  "They're mostly in rubble now."  They all nodded at that.  "She'll be back on earth soon and it hasn't been necessary up here."  They all beamed at that.  "If your people have more questions, Sheppard and McKay will be back soon."

"You said Xander was on a medical bed," Cata realized.  "Was he hurt?"

"Humans have an organ that does about nothing called an appendix," the scientist said, pointing at her stomach.  "It's about here.  It likes to get infected and burst."

"We have the same," he agreed.  "We have many who need to have theirs taken out."

"Xander had his removed, then something in the city regrew it.  It burst during a sparring match with Ronon.  Of course, Xander ignored it in finest macho guy fashion during the match.  Doctor Keller had to yell at him for hours.  Had to sedate him from behind too."

Cam nodded.  "I still pity the guy who came in to try to hurt Armand and Mira.  Dumb idiot."

"Did he hurt Armand?" one of the younger soldiers asked.  "Armand is a wonderful creature who likes to nibble on my hair and lets me pet him," he said at his elder's odd look.

"They're both fine.  Xander came out of his sedation, nearly killed him, nearly killed a few Marines trying to get him off the idiot, and then nearly got Faith."  The Genii looked stunned.  "He's back asleep again."

"Who is Mira?" the young one asked.

"McKay recently got an egg of his own.  It hatched a young furry dragon he named Mira.  Xander's dragon sitting from the infirmary when Ronon isn't.  They like his hair."

The young one beamed.  "I can see why.  I hope he'll be okay."

"He'll be fine.  He's stubborn and back asleep.  He'll be in his own bed in a few days."  They all smiled at that.  "Then we'll find the thing that grew it back and turn it off."  They laughed and nodded, finishing the looting.  The soldiers helped and then they left since they had what they wanted and needed.  It was so much nicer dealing with the true Genii since they had decided to be scared shitless of Xander.  He came through last.  "Fixed," he announced, heading for his bed.  "Blew up the ship.  She has the crystal's information."

"Thank you," Daniel agreed.  "Have a good rest, Cam."

"Welcome."  He smiled as he walked.  They'd like McKay more for Mira than they would his brain.  It might make them more scared of them too.


Daniel looked at the video feed.  "General, I don't know why the IOA wants to dissect Armand and Mira.  I don't really care.  I care that the moron was a plant with orders and he decided to sedative dart some people in the infirmary to get them, and it made Xander go primal.  Some of the guys are a bit wary.  It's been three days and a few are still wary."

"This is the fifth one they've lost due to Xander."  He sent the file over.  "Oh, crap."

"It's not Xander's fault, it's the IOA's fault," Daniel pointed out.  "They're pushing their luck and Xander has had to defend himself.  In this case he was protecting his and McKay's pet from some horrible torture."

"I agree with the cause," he said.  "Why did the sedative make him go off?"

"It was the one that was used on Cadra."

"They have access to that file."  He grimaced. "Which means it's a backup plan."

"Possibly," Daniel agreed.  "I don't know, sir.  Oh, matter of record, something up here regrew Xander's appendix and it burst again.  He was only a few hours out of surgery when that happened.  He got that guy, four Marines, Faith, and didn't kill a one."

"He did on Cadra.  One of his captors."

"He didn't here.  Faith even tried to get him down by kicking him on the incision."

"Damn," he said, looking pleased.  "Serious injuries?"

"That one.  Faith had mild bruises.  One of the Marines got held up by his throat for a few seconds.  He had also jumped on Xander to get his fellow marine free."

"Reasonable then.  Want him to take a vacation?"

"I'd rather have him safer from the IOA."

"I can agree with that," he decided.  "Any other plants?"

"Not in the original crew.  Not in the people who came later.  This appears to only have started in the last half year."

"I'll look into it from this end, Doctor Jackson.  I'll scan the others coming up a bit more carefully too.  Since Sheppard will be back by tomorrow, I'll have him look into it."

"Thank you, sir.  Tell McKay Mira is fine."  She snuck into his lap, looking smug.  "See?"

"I do.  Hi, Mira."  She looked at the screen and snuffled then roared.  "I'm not a threat.  I'm the one getting daddy back to you in a few days."  She was happier about that.  "I'll let them know."  He hung up.  He left to look at the returned teams.  "O'Neill, is Sheppard or McKay back yet?"

"McKay just got back," he said with a point.  "He's sucking down coffee.  They only had caffeine pills.  Problems?"

"Some.  IOA plants."

Jon nodded.  "Can't we destroy them yet?"

"Soon, son.  Soon."  He went to find him in the mess.  "McKay."  He looked up.  He held up the memo.  McKay snatched it to look at then at him, still drinking.  "He was defeated by Xander, who was post surgery when the person used the drug they used on Cadra."

"Anyone else?"

"No deaths."

"Good for him."  He smirked.  "They all right?"

"I just saw Mira.  She snuck into Jackson's lap and roared at me."  McKay smiled at that.  John walked in and poured his own coffee.  "You two need to check for more plants."  He left it in their hands.

"Xander's?" John asked.  Rodney showed him the orders.  He snatched them to look at.  "He dead?"

"No, and it's surprising since they used the drug from Cadra."

John nodded.  "We'll start screening."  They walked off together.  "Yours in one piece?"

"Fortunately.  Barely but fortunately."

John smirked.  "I spoiled you."

"Perhaps."  They went to look over the personnel coming their way.  Rodney started his pile of morons that he wouldn't accept.   It was a much larger stack than the rest.  Landry walked in and noticed the piles.  "Here, these are acceptable.  We can check them for being IOA plants."

"You have twenty-eight spots to fill," he said patiently.

"Yes but I doubt I can fill them with people who had an undergrad GPA of 2.0.  Clearly their later degrees had some intervention like sleeping with their committee."  He found two.  "These two were fired, by me, from Antarctica for being incompetent and nearly ruining it."  He pulled out another one.  "Discredited.  Twice.  Do you know how hard that is to do?  It's nearly impossible.  It's so impossible I'd have to actually do the math on a calculator to figure it out!"

"Calm down," John complained.  He held up three.  "Tight ties to the IOA, General.  These two," he said, handing those over, "all served them as assistants or some other close employment status.  This short pile here may be clearable but I'm not sure."

He nodded.  "Thank you for reasonable sorting."  Rodney snorted.  "There's not that many coming out these days, Doctor McKay."

"They are but they're going straight to corporate hellholes that will pay off their loans."  He sipped his coffee, writing out a list.  "I've been tracking what these ones have published."  He starred four.  "These ones have ideas and may be acceptable if they haven't learned to toe the line too much and can still think.  The rest had innovative ideas."  He handed it over after ripping it off the pad.  "We need thinkers under fire and when it's calm, those who want to look ahead and behind.  Not those who can simply follow orders."  He pointed at his moron pile.  "Like most of them."

"I'll try.  That still leaves you botany poor."

"Xander's temping in there," John pointed out.  "We have three?" he asked Rodney.

"Four, ones's sick.  Plus Xander and a few Marines who like plants and are taking the opportunity to learn from some of the better minds.  For that matter, go ask them who to hire, General."

"All those were recommended by former Atlantis people.  None of the fired ones though."

"To be honest, I'd rather have a genius that went to Iowa State than I would a mediocre one from Harvard or MIT."

"I can agree with that," he said, walking those files off, turned so he knew which one was which.  Sheppard had post-its on top of each of his piles.  At least one of them was being reasonable.  He came back with two of the rejected folders.  "From your own mentors and on your list," he said, handing them back.

Rodney looked them over again.  "I thought I was reading his sister's."  Landry waked off moaning.  He looked his credentials over more closely then switched to the other.  "She's another dabbler," he complained.

"In her original field or a new one?" John asked.

"In her original field she might have a clue.  She was a computer specialist.  Now she's dabbling in mathematics."  He made notes and put them in each.  Including that the one was the son of an IOA member.  He went to hand them off and get some more coffee.  It was abysmal what they were limited to.  Maybe the CIA had people they might be able to steal.  He sat down with his laptop, doing a search using his very high criteria.  He came up with a list of people who were already being hidden by the government.  He weeded them out and came up with a better list to look at, going to hand that in as well.  "Already in government service.  Meets up to my criteria as someone who thinks and innovates or problem solves instead of just reverse engineers or tinkers.  Most of them are already on covert projects, a few are CIA, and we could use their various areas on the trip back especially."

"A quarter of these are from DARPA.  Do you know what sort of failure rate they have?"

"That's because the people usually realize what they're handing over and fudge things so they don't get something too spectacular."  He gave him a look.  "They're the sort who live for the work, not for the notoriety.  The ones in the CIA might welcome being saved.  Most of them have weapons experience that they're probably regretting signing up to do.  The ones in the other areas, we can probably steal faster.  The ones in DARPA have less than a year left on their contracts or are newly released."

"So they're used to secrecy."  He sighed.  "Any ties to the IOA?"

"I did not search for that," he admitted.  "Have a profiler in on the interviews."  He walked off sipping his coffee.  "Walter, you have gossip.  What's been going on?"  He reran the report from Jackson.  He smiled at his pet's sneaking.  "She's getting good at that."  He took another drink and kept watching.  Yeah, that was not going to work.

Walter looked up.  "I did hear that someone here got an email from someone up there complaining that your third-in-command turned into a dominatrix when they decided to piss her off."

He smirked.  "She may be quiet, meek, and gentle, but she will give someone hell when they deserve it."  He walked off smirking.  "Miko pulled out those boots Dawn had her buy."

John smirked.  "They piss her off again?"

"Apparently.  Mira snuck into Daniel's lap to roar at Landry.  Daniel didn't seem to realize it."

"Wonderful of her."  He went up to the PX on the base.  His phone rang with a text message and he sighed, responding.  "Yeah, I can pick you up that," he decided.  "If I can get off base."  He got what he wanted and went to pay people bribes to learn what had really been going on.  There had been an email exchange since he had been gone.  What he heard nearly made him swear but he could handle it.

"Radek, it's about time," Rodney complained from up the hallway.  "They're trying to give us morons who can't do more than tinker.  And you need to calm the AI down.  I'm sure Nila is pouting by now with Xander in the infirmary."

John joined them.  "Cam said she's been sitting vigil."

"Why is he in the infirmary?" Radek asked calmly.

"Something regrew his appendix," Rodney told him.

"Hmm.  Not good.  He lost it when he was seven."

"He lost it again after a sparring match popped it," Rodney told him dryly.  "Then someone from the IOA attacked him."

"Oh, dear.  I am sensing another thing with his axe?"

"Bare handed," John said quietly.  "Bad.  But no one died."

"Excellent.  That calming down training worked then."  He walked off shaking his head.  "Eat before you pass out so we can go back sooner."  John nudged him, showing him the text message.  "I may be able to do that," he admitted, blushing some.  "We will talk."  He left, going to calm himself down.  Xander was clearly better if he was thinking of such things like hohos.


Xander heard the notice of people coming back and looked at the dragons.  "The daddy is back, Mira."

She scrambled off the bed, down to the transporter, but Atlantis took pity on her and beamed her to the gate room.  She went running and leapt at her daddy, climbing up him to cuddle and nuzzle.

"Yes, I came back," he promised, petting her.  "Calm down."  He got her calmed and cuddly.  He smiled at her.  "Such a good girl.  Thank you for missing me."  She cooed.  He grinned.  "Good girl."  He petted her.  "Okay, what got destroyed while we were gone?"

"I have a full briefing for you," Miko said, smiling at him.  "She has been pouting for the last few days.  We told her a week."

"My outpost was barely operational even with a full ZPM."  He took the report to read, sitting down once they got to the lab.  He could still pet her and read.  She liked it when he did that.  He grimaced.  "The Assurans?"

"Milky Way replicators.  Defeated there.  The Genii took in the survivors."

"Excellent news."

"They have requested information on them and how to defeat them.  They were told the Colonel was handling an Ancient issue so it would be a few days.  We gave them the last fight's video and a few other things."

"Good."  He looked up as he kept going.  "Including the idiot?"  She nodded.  "Is he alive?"

"He is in the brig the last I knew.  He is under guard."

He nodded at that.  "Check on it."  She moved to do that.  He kept reading.  He would not put it past the IOA to have planted more people.  "Nila."  She appeared.  "Where is Xander?"

"He is resting in bed as ordered, Doctor McKay."  She smiled at him. "She has missed you."

He looked up.  "Someone changed Xander's gender?"

"Mira, not Xander.  He is pouty for many reasons."

"Good.  I'll go see him in a bit."  She beamed and left.  He kept going.  No one had blown anything up.  He was shocked.  Radek stomped in.  "Bad news?"

"They have grounded Xander."

"Nila said he's resting."

Mira popped her head up.  Radek petted her gently.  "He is not, Daniel grounded him because he found him swimming."

"Xander is like that."  He petted her.  "Do you want to show Radek where Xander is?"  She roared and leapt at him, nuzzling him and waving her tail.

"Thank you, Mira."  He walked her up there.  She pointed.  He went up to his room instead of the office.  She ran off once he was up there.  She had some daddy time to make up.  She got beamed into the lab and pounced him since he was standing up again.  She snuffled at Miko's cheek.  She adored the auntie.  Especially those cute boots that nearly stepped on her.

Teyla walked in.  "Welcome back."

"Thank you.  Are you here to report?"

"Xander is pouting."

"Radek went to check on him since he had surgery."

She smiled.  "That is a good idea.  He had a bad day a few before then too."  She petted Mira, getting a meep.  "She has been lonely."  She smiled at Miko.  "Or trying to cuddle up to her leather boots."

"She does like them," she agreed happily.

"Girls and shoes," Rodney complained, but it was light fussing so they ignored it.  He took Mira off to see John.  He and Daniel were meeting so he barged in.  "How is Harris?"

"He's upset with himself," Daniel admitted.  "He's upset with his body for regrowing such a useless stupid part, as he put it.  He's pouting but he wouldn't rest so I had to make him."

"That's sometimes a problem he has, taking care of himself," John said.  "He'll take care of everyone but himself.  Even during the spore thing, he ignored his own needs for over an hour so he could make sure everyone ate, got the stuff they needed for muscle aches, condoms.  Talked to Ellis a few times."  Rodney stared at him.  "Did you get an hour free and clear every day?"

"No, I didn't."

"And he did the same when he was younger.  He took care of the girls.  He took care of Anya, and he ignored it when they didn't reciprocate.  On the trip, all those boyfriends that were using bastards, he gave and they didn't.  Here, he's gotten us food and stuff.  We haven't paid him back for it."

"I don't think he's ever submitted receipts," Daniel said.  "Landry was confused about that."

"I don't think he's run into a nurturer before," Rodney admitted.  "Xander is, isn't he."

"Quite a lot and what's the one thing they all have in common beyond fussing over you?"

"Not taking care of themselves because ... it's that damnable self esteem issue," Rodney decided.

"Probably," Daniel agreed, looking out there.  "I don't really feel comfortable talking about him this way, guys.  You should talk to him."

"I will," Rodney said.

"No offense, but you're not exactly a people person," John said.  "And you might upset him more.  Or seem like you're attacking him."  Evan leaned in.  "Have you noticed Xander's a nurturer?"

"Yup.  I heard he was grounded.  Not taking care of himself?"  Rodney nodded.  "Radek?"

"Already up there."

"Thanks.  Permission?"

"You're not on shift until tomorrow," Daniel promised with a smile.  "None of you are once I get checked in with and any reports that might've been sent back."

"I'm going to treat the whole lab like the imbeciles they are until they tell me what I want to know," Rodney said, strolling that way.  Mira roared and waved her tail but she was happily being cuddled.  That's all she wanted right now.  Later she'd want food but the daddy usually did too.  Or maybe she'd eat another beaker again - they made great snacks.


Evan walked in on Radek letting Xander sleep on him.  "He okay?"

"He's fine," he said quietly.  "Just worn out."

"I'd expect that since he won't rest."  He took off his boots and jacket, laying down on Xander's other side.  He got a snuffle then he shifted back to press against him.  He rolled over carefully, holding them both.  "Let us take care of you," he said in his ear.  Xander mumbled something.  "No, I'm not Wonka," he sighed.  "I know you're feeling better now; you're thinking about candy."

"It's from the same sort of indigestion that led to the stripping hershey kisses," Radek said.  Even smiled and nodded.  "How was your lab?"

"So broken but we made it back.  O'Neill said the one in Africa was terrible and Rodney had to jury-rig systems the whole way back.  They kept blowing."  Radek shuddered.  "Yeah.  It was not good.  He said a few pirates tried to fire on them but they were too high at that point.  Their lab nearly hit the ocean at one point until he got one thing fixed good enough.  They're going to have to rewire that whole thing."

"I pity the poor scientist.  I do not think it will be me."

"Not going to the labs on Nila?"

"I think that will depend on if I want to make Rodney scream at a new helper.  He does enjoy it but he's been mellowing."

"Hmm."  Xander blinked at him so he smiled.  "Hi."

"Not grounded," he mumbled.

"You're not a kid, you can't be grounded," he agreed.  Xander beamed and put his head back down.

"Though you do need to rest," Radek added.  He gave him a gentle squeeze around the chest.  "If you rest, you do get rewards.  We even bought a new game."  Xander moaned, shifting back against him.  "Not for a few days, Xander.  We can only hold you.  The doctor left us an email that said so."

"Knew she was mean."  He pouted.  "Nothing?"

"Nope.  You're to be resting," Evan said.  "So let us take care of you.  We're here for more than the great sex, remember?"  Xander gave him a shy smile they hardly ever got to see.  They snuggled in better and it was good.  Even with brick-shaped flying labs.  "I say SG-1 gets Atlantis so Sheppard and McKay get Nila's labs, with his chosen geeks," he told Radek once Xander was asleep.  "That way you two won't get called over all the time."

"Perhaps we can work something out," he said with a smile.  "SG-1 is not ready to settle down yet.  There's many battles to be kicking butt in.  So maybe he will once we're back there."  He yawned.  "Moving them was tiring."

Evan nodded.  "Those are contagious."  He shifted, kicking the blanket up to cover them.  Radek snuggled in too and it was nice.

Nila appeared and smiled, adjusting the heat in the room then leaving them alone to sleep.  They were so adorable!  And they had very good ideas.  She didn't want to lose any of her family back on earth.

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