The Incidences of The Blippy Dohickey 2 : The Tale of the Wires.

"Well, what about the Sentinel then?" Xander asked.  "It could happen."

"Not with all five senses," Rodney complained, giving him a dirty look.  "It'd be too much neural input unless they were nearly ascended."

"There's people with one or two heightened senses," Xander pointed out.

"Yes and a lot of them go insane," Rodney shot back, going back to trying to find the glitch in Nila's wiring.  This current one.  They had been working at this problem for hours and were talking about sci-fi things that might be reality.

"You don't know that for certain," Radek noted.  "Many of them are hired by companies where smell is more important.  Like cologne makers."

"Yes, well, those freaks of nature still don't end up being totally *normal*, now do they?" he asked dryly.

"Ha!  That's supposition, not fact," Xander crowed.  "You'd have to look it up to say for sure."  He ducked a zap over his head, which was why they were down there.

Rodney glared at him.  "I know there's been at least one."

"One case does not make a whole research paper," he crowed, beaming at him.  He ducked another zap.  "Okay, any idea?  Because I'm about to say that everyone can go without hot water for the next two days as well as all the other stuff until we can rewire this whole section."

"It's miles of wire, Xander, don't be ridiculous," Radek complained.  "Would take weeks."

"We've been down here for three hours and still can't find the problem," Xander complained.

Rodney smirked at Radek.  "You should tell him about the week and a half you spent looking for a single short in a tube on Atlantis our first year."

"You could have switched me out," he complained.

Xander looked at them.  "I knew it was that first year up there that caused your insanity, both of yours."  Another zap and this time Radek had to duck.  Xander felt the charge building too fast and put up a shield around them.

Radek cleared his throat.  "Xander, you are not that sort of immortal," he complained, pulling him into the shield.  "When you make one, you have to be *inside* to protect yourself as well.  Or else we will think you are suicidal and put you on drugs that make you goofy."

Rodney took the shortcut to the 'are you suicidal' talk and just smacked him with his tablet PC.  "Stop doing that before I have to give Radek grief leave."  He grumbled but the zapping was getting heavier.  He found the right plans again and looked it over, then hummed.  "This isn't right."

Xander looked and turned it upside down.  "Whoever put that in there did it upside down.  We've found that a few times."

Rodney sighed and they finally found the area.  "This is not a good split.  It could cut off the power supply to the inertia dampeners and the floatation engines as well as the hot water."

"Nila, please fire any thrusters needed to keep afloat," Xander ordered.  "It's going to take us a bit to fix this."  Another zap.  "And see if you can figure that problem out please?"

"My creator let that problem go on, Xander," she reported, appearing in the shield with them.  "I do not know what causes it but I did warn you it was going to happen."

"You did.  Thank you for that," Radek said with a smile.  "We have found the bad wire."

"Wonderful!"  She disappeared, making an announcement that the hot water was going to be going off for a few hours while a repair was made.  Everyone else groaned but oh well.  They'd hate sinking more she was sure.  She did fire her thrusters when her backside started to sink.  That helped.  Xander ordered her to fire the others and actually hover a bit.  That worked better and didn't hurt the dock any, though she had disconnected from them just in case.  It would be a shame to sink all those labs.

Radek and Rodney got the power diverted while Xander rewired that spot.  Which immediately blew.  "I think we need to hit Radio Shack for better wire."

Radek huffed.   "That should only be getting that much power," he complained.

Rodney checked.  "It's in overload, which is probably what's causing the zapping."  They walked up the corridor to find that problem's start.  They had to fix it first apparently.  They found where the static discharge was originating and shut it down.  All of Nila went dark.  "Hmm."  He and Radek got into it, rerouting the power through another node.  That helped and she came back up.  He and Xander got that node dismantled and Radek got the stuff they'd need to repair it sent over from Atlantis.  "I see another of my minions miscoded," Rodney said dryly.

"That was done by one of the Ancients," Radek reminded him.  "Not one of us."

Rodney looked at him.  "Even worse.  They were supposed to be smarter than this."

"Apparently they had brainless minions too?" Xander quipped.  He felt the air charging.  "Guys, we've got another one coming and it feels huge."  They backed off and Xander created a shield over all of them.  The discharge fried most of the wires.  "Well, I was right.  We'll have to rewire this whole section," he sighed.  Radek pinched him, hard.  "Ow!"

"Shut up, Xander."

Rodney looked around at the damage then shook his head.  "Radek, get Miko to get us wire.  Now.  Before she goes dark and we sink without a shield."  He nodded, jogging off to get her to do that.  He stared at the young man.  "If you had gotten hit by one of those discharges, he would've been devastated when you died," he said quietly.  "Quit being so noble.  There's nothing wrong with protecting your own ass when necessary."

"I didn't think about it."

"Clearly.  Next time, put yourself inside the shield until you know if you need to leave it and kick butt."

"Yes, Rodney."

"Thank you.  I don't want to lose Radek to something like grief."  He stared the boy down.  "And we'd probably miss you too."  A zap happened near him.  "Nila, are you still all right?"  Another zap.  "I'm guessing that's a no."

Xander sighed and took wire with him to start at the beginning and rewire the whole corridor.  "We need industrial wire, not pretty wire."

"He's getting us some."

"Power line wire?"

"I hope so."  Radek came down with two Marines that knew electronics, and all his current minions.  Miko followed with the soldering gear.  "That'll help.  Start up there and work our way down.  Radek and I will take the more delicate node."  They got to work and Xander kept shielding them from zaps.  Radek swatted him when he nearly got hit and didn't shield himself.  Xander gave him a confused look.  "This time it's unconscious, Radek.  We'll break that habit," Rodney assured him.  The boy blushed and got back to work but made shields around everyone's backs.  Within an hour the corridor was done down to the node and they were out of wire.  Miko radioed out to check on the rest.  That was coming.  She got to work on the node with them from the back side.  It was a tiny space and only she fit.

Evan came down with a flashlight.  "Guys, we're nearly fully dark," he complained.  "How much longer?"

"Depends, go get us more wire," Radek said.  "And a new node."

"The node just got beamed over with a few more of the minions, but I was sent to warn you that Kavanagh is somehow still employed," he said dryly.

"Good, he can wire further on," Xander said.  "I'll take that too."  Evan called and they brought it down.  "Solder?" he asked.  Someone held up those rolls.  "Good.  Guys, we need to finish rewiring from the node down.  They used highly too light wire.  It's been zapping on and off so be careful."  They nodded and got to work.  He smiled at Evan.  "Can we have a snack?"

"If you can keep us from sinking again, I'll make dinner," he offered.  Xander beamed.  "And I did get that new game."  Xander hugged him and bounced down to get to work.

Rodney looked over.  "Make it breakfast.  It's going to be hours."

"Nila's retreated to the docking station and she said she's got about an hour of thruster use left.  They're all starting to splutter."

"Crap!" he muttered.  "Work faster but better," he called. "We'll be flooded within an hour."  They got back to work.  "Radek, go check the thrusters."  He nodded, taking some supplies with him to do that.  "Usually, Nila isn't this sort of problem," he quipped. "Ow!"  Xander looked up.  "It just bit me."

"I'll bite it back."  He got back to work stringing wire.

"How do you know how to do that?" one of the minions asked.

Xander grinned.  "I worked construction before I went to the main base.  This is a lot more open and easier than wiring inside a wall you can't tear out."  That got a nod of understanding and they finished that section, moving down.  "Top section's in," he reported.  Kavanagh and a few others connected the parts.  Xander got back to it.  "Shit, zap coming," he announced and shielded them all.  It nearly hit Miko.  She gave him a weak smile and they got back to work.  "Okay," he decided.  He ran it through another space.  "These openings are too sharp to normally hold wire," he noted.

"They didn't originally," Rodney agreed.  "They had brackets that fell apart.  So we're making due.  We'll coat them with insulation later."

"Okay."  Xander kept going, laying the wire in another section so it could be completed.  "Make sure they're soldered together really good, guys.  This is not only our hot water but our floating abilities.  If we sink, I'm bringing you all back here."  They snorted.

Rodney looked over.  "Yes he will, at my authority," he promised.  They got back to work.  He came over to check the connection jobs.  "That's weak," he noted.  "It won't hold up to full power going through it."  He changed places with Xander and one of the Marines then let Kavanagh route wire while Xander soldered.  He knew how important it was.  That worked better.

"I could have," Kavanagh complained.

Xander grabbed him by his collar and pulled him over to look at something.  "That's fully connected, Kavanagh.  If you leave it the way you were, we'd be sinking at the first power surge.  It took us three hours to find the first break and then the zap took out the rest.  So no, you're not.  You might have been able to, but you're not.  Work up to your potential."  He let him go and got back to work.  Rodney was smirking at him but oh well.  So was Miko.  They'd probably let him spank the idiot later.  He got the next few connected and it was better.  "Rodney, will this hold?" he asked.

He looked.  "Yes.  Household merging techniques will work."  He nodded and got back to work.  "Kavanagh, we have half an hour to get the rest of this corridor going," he reminded him since he was pouting.  Unless you brought scuba gear?"  He shook his head and got to work faster.

"Rodney, he's actually tying the lines together so they're not being cut by the frames.  Let that go for now," Xander said quietly.  "That's not a bad idea and I'd have to go back to do it anyway."  Rodney grimaced but nodded.  "Kavanagh, go back to tie off.  For now just get it into place so we can solder."  He nodded, doing that.  He went back to connecting.  Radek came back grumbling.  "Radek, help."  He came over to get more of the connection points.  "Will we have enough?"

"For everything but the last section," one of the Marines estimated.  Miko called out and Xander had to shield her when her comm usage got her zapped.  "Shit," he said in awe.

"Yeah," Xander agreed.  "Miko?"

"I'm okay.  Thank you, Xander."

"Welcome."  He finished up on his last section and moved to the new one, looking it over.  "Rodney, how's the node?"


"Reroute that last part," he ordered Kavanagh.  "We'll never get it done in time and we need the thrusters and floating abilities back."  He nodded, moving to bridge around the undone section.  Radek looked then sighed and nodded, going back to working on the node.  Xander took over Radek's soldering position and it was better.  "Reroute this last section too," he ordered quietly. "Bridge or whatever."  They did that and Rodney got it done just as water started to flow in.  The node was restarted and the bridge around it removed.  The city lurched a bit then settled in at a slight angle.  "We need more wire to finish these last two parts," he called.

"Coming," Evan called.  He brought down more wire and they got it fixed.  As more got put together, the city slowly leveled out.  Rodney and Radek came down to recheck the connections, adding another layer of sealing to it.  Then they got insulation around them.   He stepped back to watch them work. "Nila?" he called.  She appeared, looking weaker than usual.  "Are you power drained?"

"The thrusters still aren't working right."

"If we're able to float, turn them off," Rodney ordered.  She sighed in pleasure as she did that.  "Are we steady?"  The city went back to fully level.  She nodded.  "Good.  Thank you.  We'll work on that problem next."

"Since they decided they probably weren't going to use her for long they put in the weaker wires," Xander told her.  "We're going to be wiring for weeks."  She patted him and left them alone.  He looked at Evan.  "Really."

"I know.  We've got more coming for the other sixteen conduits like this one."

"If all that's routed through here, what do the others do?" Kavanagh asked.

"Backup, and a few do power supply for the spires," Rodney told him.  "We'll start with the more important then do the backup ones."  They all nodded and finished up that corridor.  They checked the surrounding ones.  Not as bad as this one.  Rodney took readings at various points and went back with the crew, taking the used rolls and the empties with them.  The rest had been carted up by the Marines Evan had called.  Rodney flopped down, gratefully sipping at his military grade cup of caffeinated sludge.  Jack was staring at him.  He sent down his reports.  "If the others are that weak, we're going to be rewiring for months.  Atlantis has whole corridors like that but we could move around them."  He took another drink.  Xander flopped down next to him, Radek on his other side.

"Nila?" Radek asked.  She appeared, looking more solid again.  "Can you assess your own wiring?  How many are as strong as what we just put in?"

She did that self-check and printed out a report.  "Is that what you needed?"

Xander smiled when he nodded.  "Thank you," Radek agreed.  "It will help us know where to start with the rewiring."

She beamed at him.  "The hot water.  People are complaining."

Xander looked at the report and groaned, going to turn that section back on.  Radek pushed him into his chair and went to do it for him.  "Okay," he decided.  She beamed him a soda.  "Thanks, Nila."

"You're welcome.  You protected them very well, Xander."  She disappeared again, going to help Radek since he was staring oddly at something.  She pointed and he fixed that section's connector so it worked again.  She beamed and patted him too.  "Thank you.  Now the water will heat and they can be decadent in the showers."  She disappeared.

Radek walked back in during the discussion.  "Hot water is now on," he reported.  He heard the cheer over the comm.  "Meeting tomorrow of physics and anyone else who can wire."  He hung up and sat down, slumping some.  "How many?"

"Six parts that are desperately needed but they all appear to be backup tubes.  That one doesn't have a backup but we'll be making sure we can reroute power down one shortly."  Radek nodded.  Jack stared at them.  "We need a lot more wire and soldiering things."

"I can agree with that.  Want me to get some construction guys?"

"Would their work be up to snuff?" he asked.

"Most of us, yes," Xander said dryly.  "Especially if you point out how important they are."  He shifted.  "We can even let one of the countries that wants to send people now give us some help with that."

"That's not a bad idea," Jack decided.  He made that note on his own PDA.  "Okay, anything else break?"

"One of the bridges won't retract but it won't fully latch either," Xander said.  "Third floor, east bridge."  Jack made that note.  "It looks like the bridge section itself is the problem, not the latch or the rest of it."

"Okay.  Is it frozen?"

"No it's more bent," Xander said.  "I don't know what elephant we had on it, but apparently we had one that bent it."

Jack nodded at that.  "I'll see what happened and get someone to make a new section so we can put the latch on and change it out."  He looked up.  "Any concern about the rest of the infrastructure construction going on?"  They all shook their heads.

"They are menial construction workers," Kavanagh said.  "They should be overseen better."

Xander looked down at him.  "How hard is it to read a plan and put things in place?" he asked.  "That's what they're doing, Kavanagh, and as a former construction worker, I'd like to deck you for that.  Most of us aren't lazy shits."  Kavanagh sank down in his chair.  "As a matter of fact, we've only had two things go wrong.  One, a deck was slightly too narrow and getting the lab settled bent a support so they had to add a second one.  The other, was a cross support in an area that we didn't realize needed more load bearing capabilities because we weren't aware of the lab going there being so heavy once they put things into it."  He leaned back again.  "Cam and I check every week," he told Jack.  "It's going well."

"Good.  I like that.  Any of them having any problems with the geeks?"

"The geeks with the same opinion got to apologize," Xander said dryly.  "Because I reached my point of 'do it or swim to Hawaii'.  I won't have them disrespected for not having a Ph.D.  The same as I won't take it from them."

"Good to know," Jack agreed.  "Thank you for handling that, Xander."

"Not a problem.  That's part of the job really."  He yawned.  "I would like to know who gave my original room to someone else.  It means I had to shut down that doorway and move it to a new room."

"No clue," Jack admitted.

Rodney shrugged.  "I have no idea.  Who moved into it?"


He rolled his eyes.  "I think she had it switched since she'd desperately like to tumble Radek into her sheets."

"I'm possessive," Xander mumbled.  Radek smiled at that.  "I'll help you if you want."

"Please.  She annoyed me yesterday while we were rewiring chemistry."

"We could eventually do with bigger quarters, sir," Evan pointed out.

"That's during the last stage of construction, Major."  He looked around.  "We'll talk about that when you're not exhausted."  They all nodded.  "Dismissed.  Xander, stay for a second to tell me about that problem."  He waited until the others filed out.  "Are you getting much flak for not having a Ph.D.?" he asked quietly.

"Every now and then, then I point out that some of us do learn everything we need to know outside of a classroom.  If I needed pretty papers to justify my existence then college would have to be more hands-on and then I wouldn't be bored shitless by people like them.  I was real blunt the last time when I pointed out the ability to show up to listen to a lecture did not make you a better researcher, doing the work did.  She complained to Cam, who told her to suck it up."

"I heard about that from him, I haven't heard about those from you."

Xander shrugged.  "I got it on the main base when I was there too.  Then I suddenly got useful and could do everything for everyone while no one else did anything."

"That's fine.  I'll be here for a few days."

"Good luck finding a room but if you can't, use mine.  I'm going to sleep in my own bed tonight."  He stood up and stretched.  "If it gets that bad, you'll be hearing from them when I drop them in front of you."

"Good.  I want you to stick up for yourself.  You know more than most of them."

"That's clear since I know how to not wear too much perfume and bathe.  Half of them don't."  He walked off.  He found one of his idiots trying to talk to Radek.  "Doctor Sarvantha, do you know how to wire things?" he asked.  She glared at him.  He stared back.  "If you don't want to sink, and you do know, we'll be adding you to some of the rewiring project.  We have miles of wire to redo and some of it's in critical areas."  He walked around her.  "Radek, want me to work on that strained shoulder where you had to duck and hit the wall?"

"Please, Xander.  It's still a bit sore."  He looked at her.  "I do not believe that I will be getting leave anytime shortly," he told her.

"You could, you haven't had any in a while."

He stared at her.  "And when I feel the need to go on leave, I will.  I have to check in with the home and all that.  Plus visiting some friends on campuses.  For right now, there is too much to get done for me to take leave."  He walked off.  He went to tell Cam that then went to take Xander up on his offer of a backrub.  He was still achy.  Xander was lounging on his bed and he stripped gratefully, climbing in next to him.  Xander flipped over, grabbing some lotion so they wouldn't drip on the bed.  He sniffed and smiled, relaxing some.  "Those nuts?"

"Yup, pressed some myself," he soothed, working on his back for him.  Evan walked in.  "Did you lock yours and Radek's?" he asked.

"Yup."  He settled in to watch them.  "You guys are exhausted."

"We have miles more to go," Xander admitted.  Radek wiggled.  "What?  Did I hit a sore spot?"

"No, it's your turn," Radek said, letting Evan help him.  The boy never let them spoil him but it was better this way.  He was groaning and happy and relaxed.  He finally fell asleep under their hands and he looked at Evan.  "He kept forgetting to shield himself," he said quietly.

"I heard."  He took a kiss.  "It'll be fine, Radek.  It was unconscious and now that he realizes it, he's fixing it."  He nodded, laying down beside him.  Evan snuggled in too and it was good.  The oil smelled nice and their hands were now softer than they should be on men like them.  It was nice and a good night.


Kavanagh stopped McKay the next day.  "I know there's something going on," he said bluntly.

"In relation to?" he asked, patiently for him.

"The connections between this city and Atlantis.  The pets get there without being beamed.  Harris, Zelenka, and Lorne all disappeared from their rooms last night.  I wanted to check with Lorne about where I'd be on the duty roster and the AI said he was off the city."

"He was.  I can find that for you if you want."

"Is there something experimental going on?" he demanded quietly, glancing around.  "Because you have people who want to topple Zelenka and a few who just want him to be theirs.  Even *I* noticed the trio thing," he finished quietly.  "They aren't real subtle."

"Xander has an opening to his house," he said quietly.  "That's where they are after hours.  As for who the dragons get to Atlantis to check on the eggs, the same way."  The younger moron slumped and nodded.  "So no, you can't interfere and they can't either."

"Fine, just warning you that others want to know."

"I'm sure they do.  Tell them it's magic and watch them mutter as they stomp off.  I do."  He stared at him.  "Why do you care?"

"Sarvantha tried to get my help and I can't stand her," he admitted, glancing around again.  He looked at his former boss.  "I can't stand you but scientists like her make me sick.  Especially since she keeps going off on Harris about learning the old fashioned way."

"I'll be talking to her anyway about her unhealthy interest in things that don't concern her."  Kavanagh stepped back, nodding some.  "Thank you for letting me know."

"I may hate you but at least you're making it possible for us to up the rest of everyone's understanding."  He walked off.  He ran into the trio in the mess getting breakfast.  He thought about telling Zelenka about her but he'd let McKay warn him.  He got his own coffee.  "Harris, the rewiring, who's in charge of the schedule?"

"Radek I think.  Why?"  He sipped his coffee, staring at him.  "If you want put on the schedule, we'll gladly accept it as long as you're doing the job correctly and working up to your full potential."

"I will be."  He went to talk to him.  "Zelenka, I want to help with the rewiring."

He looked up.  "I have you scheduled for the second batch and the backup tubes.  We'll also need to make sure that they can be used to divert power from any of the main ones in case of an emergency.  That means some cross-wiring."  He ate a bite of egg.  "Will that suit you?"

"It'd be fine, thank you.  Let me know when."  Radek nodded so he got his own breakfast and went to sit and think.  Harris treated him like he acted.  If he was a pushy ass, he got it back.  If he was decent, then he got treated decently.  He had learned a lot on the Apollo.  Especially from the Asgard.  He should be better and he needed to work on that a bit.  He realized that orders weren't as important and neither was lab protocol.  Getting the job done so people were safe was more important than either one of those.  He had been young before but three years on a ship full of people who made him change or they wouldn't even talk to him had made him take a long look at himself.

Cam walked in.  "Good morning, my people," he called.  Various grunts, moans, waves, and 'hi's' came back.  He got food and coffee, sitting down across from Radek.  "Status?"

"We'll have to rewire most of the other tubes as well," he said.  "The general is working on that for us."

"Excellent.  We have a schedule?"

"Yes and he might be adding some wiring specialists to help us."

"Even better."  He dug in, nodding at Evan.  "Problems overnight?"

"One.  We have a sleep walker that nearly fell off a bridge.  The people who found her got her to the rec room and left her there.  They left a guard who talked to her when she woke up.  She was embarrassed.  He suggested she talk to Lam or Keller about it, sir."

"The infirmary is going on the west side of the rec room, in that open space," Cam said.  "We'll be appointing a CMO sometime soon."

"I've fixed a few construction related injuries," Xander said.  "Nothing too huge.  A few stitches, a broken toe, a jammed finger.  The minor electro shock from chemistry I sent on immediately since it came from a machine."

"Keller complained about that but she agreed since we only have you here as an EMT, she wanted to see anything too serious," Evan agreed.

"I'll see if we can get us at least a nurse and stuff sooner," Cam said, making notes.  "Any other concerns outside of the wires?"

"Thrusters need work," Radek said.  He pulled out his computer to look at his list.  "Here."  Cam looked and nodded, making his own notes.  "Those are in priority order before the wires last night."

"Even better."  He drew an arrow to move that to the top of the list on his paper.  He looked up.  "Any other big concerns?  Xander, I heard you doing a credible McKay impersonation?" he asked when he didn't say anything.

"Ragging on the construction guys for not being doctors."

"How many have you shot down about yourself?"

"Three, four, something like that," he mumbled.  "They're handled.  By the way, the construction guys get this weekend off.  They're switching out crews for their week off and they're having a beach party on the atoll."

"Okay," he said, making note of that.  "I like that for them.  They deserve a lot of happiness for the monumental tasks they have to accomplish under picky eyes."  He looked up.  "Yours?"

"I pointed out some of us didn't need a pretty piece of paper to show that we could get up on time, wear our jammies to listen to a lecture, and write papers," he said dryly.  "They were offended and I don't care in most of the cases."

Cam considered it.  "That's a good viewpoint but I need to know how many problems we'll have.  Like if we have an emergency and you're the one in command."

"I'll slap them in their rooms in quarantine," he said quietly.  "Blatantly."

"Good."  He made that note to talk about with his people.  "Any of the military guys?"

"They're all SG," Evan pointed out.  "They all know Xander and know he's not going to pull punches when he has to.  Though, I have heard Walters spreading stories about emergencies Xander helped handle."  Cam smirked at that.  Xander gave him an odd look.  "So the others know what you're capable of."

"That's probably why they hate me.  They think I usurped or something."

"Screw 'em.  We like you handling things because we don't often lose people," Cam said simply.  Xander relaxed at that.  "Good.  Radek, meeting?"

"Yes, after food."  He finished up and announced the meeting, going to head it and talk about the wiring problem, which had caused problems for the last few days, and was going to keep causing problems until they got them all fixed.

Cam finished up and went to join him to talk about some things that needed to be talked about.  He had given Evan a silent order to keep Xander out of it so he wouldn't have to hear them chew them a new one for thinking he's lesser because he wasn't a doctor of anything.

Evan took Xander to Nila to look over some changes from the original plans, having him explain them to him.  The head of the construction company jumped in to help with that.  It worked well and he understood how it'd be helpful to protecting Nila and also help increase crew efficiency.


Radek looked up as Kavanagh came into the lab he was working on.  He mentally groaned but let it go.  "What has happened now?" he asked calmly, going back to the control panel he had been redoing.

"A few things."  He looked around.  "They're making stew fresh," he called.  The rest of them left.  One hung back but he glared.  She huffed off.  Kavanagh sighed.  "Can we talk?"

"Rodney told me what you had told him," he said, coming out from under the panel.  "Why is it a concern?"

"Because I found her trying to get into your room a few minutes ago, she was found hacking the system to get Harris removed to the construction crew's quarters, and she's tried to get him fired by pointing out he was here to someone in the press.  She's also recruiting help."

Radek stared at him.  "To get me?"

"Yeah, to get you.  She knows you two are close, maybe not how close, but close."  He glanced around then looked at him again.  "I am not meant for this sort of stress, Zelenka.  The general is peeved from what I saw just a minute ago and asked me where Harris was."

Radek got up.  "Thank you, Calvin."  He left, going to find Xander.  He found him and Jack shouting at each other.  "Hush!" he ordered, getting glared at.  "Xander, have you checked the housing assignments?"

"He got himself transferred to the construction crew by screwing around," Jack said.

"That would be hard to do since I don't touch the computers," Xander said dryly.

"No, as I heard it, a certain Doctor Sarvantha is jealous," he said bluntly.  Jack moaned. "Was it under his log-in?"

"I have a log-in?" Xander asked.

"No, you don't," Jack admitted.  "Not that I've given you for Nila's systems.  It was under your name though."  He got into that file and nodded.  "It was done from the system in your old room."

"She had me moved to the tiny quarter room on deck three," Xander said dryly.

"She did?" Jack asked.  Xander nodded.  "Did you move everything okay?" he asked more quietly.

"Yeah, it's fine."

"Make sure she can't get there," he ordered.  Xander blanched and went to do that.  He looked at Radek.  "How many others?"

"Six complained this morning.  Cam talked to them."

"I'll talk to Mitchell then.  You'll be needing a new chief chemist."  He walked off.  "Give me a list later, Zelenka."

"I liked Hopster from the city."

"I'll try."


Xander walked into his house and found her there.  "Pretty isn't it?  I built it."  She turned, gaping in horror at him.  "What?"

"This isn't on earth."

"No, it's in a sub-realm."  He shrugged.  "Yay me."

"You can't do this!" she shouted.  "No one can do this!"

He stared at her.  "You'd be surprised, lady.  I can do pretty much anything I want to do most of the time this way."  He smirked.  "Including fuck whoever I want if they agree."  She ran at him and tried to scratch him but he punched her.  "Sorry, but the women I work with are tougher than that.  Pity you're not.  How shall we get you out of here?"

She fumbled with her purse and pulled out a revolver.  "It won't matter!  I'll make this my place!"  She shot him when he tried to move.  Then she screamed in horror as Armand and Mira came charging in to get her.  "No!"

Evan strolled in, then touched his comm.  "Keller to Xander's," he called.  "Someone shot him!"  He came over.  "Off!" he ordered the dragons.  "We want her more!"  Armand growled.  "Baby the daddy, Armand.  Mira, go get Rodney and some MP's please?"  She ran off.  "Armand."  He moved to daddy, who was panting and holding his bad thigh.  He stared at her, sneering some.  "You stupid bitch," he said quietly.

"He'll be mine!" she shouted.  "Or no one can have him!"

"Really?"  He smirked.  "Because I had him this morning before breakfast."  She got up and tried to hit him but Armand and Mira had bitten her pretty badly.  He smacked her back down.  Keller came trotting in.  "In his thigh, doc.  He hasn't lost his temper yet."

"I don't always," Xander said, teeth clenched.  "Evan, get her out of my house before I destroy her."

"Yup, going to."  Mira came back with McKay, Sheppard being carried, and two MP's hurrying to save their CO.  "This stupid bitch just shot Xander for daring to have someone she wanted."

"Let me go, Mira," John ordered.  She put him down.  "Thank you!"  He grabbed some cuffs and put them on her.  "Good.  She can go back to the main base.  MP's escort her for beaming with me."  He petted both dragons.  "He's fine and you guys helped a lot," he soothed.  They both calmed down.  "Armand, out of the doctor's way, like when his hip was hurt."  Armand was making whining noises.  Xander was still panting.  She knocked him out and Armand wailed.  "Hey!"

She looked up.  "I used the plant spray," she told him.  Armand sniffed then shrank and sat on the middle of daddy's chest, guarding him.  "Rodney, get me a gurney," she ordered.  He moved to do that from Atlantis and she got him moved.  The nurses didn't even wonder about the villa.

Rodney patted his shoulder.  Mira shrank and leapt at him, letting him pet her.  "Good job getting us, Mira.  Evan?"

"I'm just pissed," he admitted.  "Good job, Mira.  You and Armand did very good protecting the daddy."  He petted her.  "Let me go with Sheppard."  She let out a tiny roar.  She and her daddy went back to their city to check on the uncle.  Evan went to the main base.  Nila sent him directly there as soon as he stepped back into his room.  He heard the screaming and looked around, touching his comm.  "Nila, I need Radek please," he ordered quietly.  The guys in the gate room gave him odd looks.  She beamed him over and he waved.  "Let's go protect your chastity from that wench."

"How is Xander?  Nila said he was hurt."

"She shot him in the bad thigh."  Radek growled.  "Keller had to knock him out."  They walked into the office and he slammed the door.  "Sir, if you don't press charges, I will be since she decided to trespass and tried to sully the home."

"Where were you?" Landry asked.

"Xander has a home built with the coven."

"Ah.  And he has links to there," he said bluntly.

"Yes, sir, since the docking station's rooms are tiny beyond belief and we all needed a touch of home.  All of us in his made family have open invitations to that, his garden, his huge ass tub with the great views, all of it."

"That's good to know.  Where is he now?"

"Keller has him since this stupid bitch shot him."

"Language," he ordered.

"Sir, with all respect, calling it like I see it."

Radek stared at her.  "I would never have someone like you.  I may sometimes like women but none as selfish and damaged as you were before you shot Xander, and especially not now."  She tried to hit him but her arms were almost useless.  "I hope you have fun learning to please other women in jail," he said in Czech.

Evan coughed and smiled.  "She's going to need some surgeries before then, Radek."

"Probably," he agreed.  He came back over to stand next to Evan, making her swear and struggle.  He looked at Evan.   "What did you say to her?"

"I told her simply why she couldn't have you, that I was possessive of my made family," he said dryly.  Radek smirked at him.  They both glared at her and she shrank back.  "You know, we can let Xander finish losing his temper," he offered.  "I'm sure he has a sword he can show off the uses of."  She screamed and wailed for whole different reasons.

"Enough," Landry ordered.  "MP's, take her to the infirmary and stay with her.  She is going to be charged."  They walked her off, even if she did struggle.  He looked at the others.  "How bad is this problem, Doctor Zelenka?"

"I was warned she tried to get at least one other person involved in her demented plan to capture my hind end, General.  One of them warned me that she had also tried to get Xander changed to the construction crew and other vile issues."  Jack walked in.  "General."

"Where is she?"

"Infirmary with MP's," Landry said.  "The dragons did a number getting her back for shooting Harris."

"Good!" he said firmly.  Landry swallowed.  "Be damned if I want that to go on.  Half of the other scientists going off on the kid for not having a Ph.D. are because of her too."

"Kavanagh said she had tried to recruit him as well," Radek said.

"I'll get a statement from him to use in her trial," he promised.  "The kid okay?"

"Shot in the bad thigh," Evan complained.  "Armand did not want Keller to help him.  He's with him now."

"I'll make sure she's protected," Sheppard said, touching his comm.  "Major Kiester, how is my infirmary?"  He listened to the report.  "That's fine.  As long as they can handle it.  Yeah, McKay can help.  So can Ronon.  Thank you."  He hung up.  "Armand is wailing about it.  Xander's back awake and petting him but he's still wailing.  I'm not sure why."

"Check the bullet for poison since she seemed to go on movie logic?" Radek offered.

"She did, none.  Mira's getting him calmed down."

"Armand probably thinks he wasn't there to protect him," Evan sighed.  "So do I."  He looked at the generals.  "Permission, sirs?"

"Granted," Jack said.

"Denied for about ten minutes," Landry said.  Jack stared at him.  He looked back.  "Major, you've made some pretty damning comments in front of me today."

"Sir, I'm allowed to make a family of people who I care for," he said bluntly.

"You said it was *your* house."

Evan nodded.  "Xander has made it very clear to the five of us and Faith that we're allowed there whenever we want, sir.  It may be his house but we are his made family and allowed there whenever we want."

"She laid a claim that you stated you had slept with someone of your own gender this morning."

"Want me to lie, sir, or tell you I was baiting her since she was down and I wanted to inflict pain and incite her to do something stupid I could shoot her for?" he asked.

"Then you can go, Major.  Remember, you're back on earth now."

"Screw 'em, sir.  My friendships and other relationships aren't anyone's business, especially not my CO's."  Landry gave him a dirty look.  "For that matter, they wanted Xander to be a poster boy so apparently DADT is going down soon."  He walked off.  Radek followed.  John beamed back with them.  He jogged up to the infirmary.  "Hey," he said at the wailing noise when he walked in.  "You did so good getting the people who hurt daddy," he soothed, giving him a cuddle.  Armand relaxed.  "Shh, we're here.  Daddy's not badly hurt.  I promise."  Armand snuffled him and then Radek, calming himself down.

"He didn't trust me to protect him?" Keller asked.

"No, Doc, I think he was worried because none of the family was here."

"Faith got the same sort of wailing," she pointed out.

"Yeah, but she's his aunt, we're not."

"Good point."  She smiled.  "For that matter, this whole base is still on the opinion of 'who cares'."  She finished her stitching and Xander relaxed his grip on the bed rails.  "There you go, Xander."  Armand leapt over and sniffed then cuddled.  Xander petted him and smiled.  "It's not bad but you'll limp for a few weeks.  Go back to the cane."

"Yes, Doc."

"Good boy."  She petted them both and went to clean up so they could be mushy without her.

"They nearly destroyed her arms and one leg," John said quietly.

"Good!  Because I was going to fuck up her life for it!" Xander assured him.  Armand meeped and Xander went back to cuddling him to calm down.  They all settled around him with the curtain drawn.  Rodney came in with Mira again and the curtain was tied off.  Faith snuck in and got her own hug.  Armand licked her and cuddled her too.  "It's cool," Xander told her.  "Someone wanted Radek."

"The cheap ass bitch should go hire a hooker instead.  It'd make her feel better."  She petted Armand then handed him back.  "Can I go rough her up?"

"She's in the infirmary on the main base," John said.  "Probably not."

"Pity."  She patted him.  "Get better, X."  She walked off.  "Kissen, I need stuff.  You need anything?"

"You not to slip back to the dark side?" he offered quietly, staring at her.

She snorted.  "You learned that look off Doc."

"Yeah I did," he admitted, smiling at her.  "Please?"

"She shot him!"

"The dragons tore her arms and one leg up," he retorted.

"Not near enough!"

"Let O'Neill handle it.  He's sneakier than you."  He winked.  She gave him an evil smirk.  "Good."  They walked off to tell Jon.  Who was not going to be happy.  He had just gotten to bed too.


Doctor Lam looked up as Jon O'Neill walked in with a cut on his lip.  "Sparring?" she asked.

"Yup, Doc, lucky shot."  He licked it and she got him the wand device to fix it.  He looked around casually.  "Not busy today?"

"No, not really.  No missions today.  They're shifting personnel around for leave and things from the cities."  She fixed his lip and stared at him.  "She's already off-base at a military jail facility, Jon," she said quietly.  "I didn't even operate, I sent her on.  I couldn't trust my own professional demeanor."


"I know.  The dragons were very evil.  She's going to have a lot of healing on those limbs."  She finished up then grinned.  "There you go.  How is he?"

"He's fine.  Armand is still wrecked that he couldn't protect him.  Evan's got him calmed down a few times."

"Good.  Mira?"

"She's still pissed.  Her fur's standing up and all that."

"Maybe we can let them go hunt something else."

"Kavanagh actually acted with dignity and humanity."

"Wow.  That's...  are we having an apocalypse?"

"Maybe sometime soon," he said dryly.  "If so, you'll see us afterward.  Me, Faith, Harris..."

"Good."  She patted him on the head.  "Get the boy some chocolates.  You know how he likes snack cakes."

"I am."  He went up to the base shop and got some then came back down, running into both generals.  "Getting something sweet for Harris."

Jack smirked.  "She got moved almost immediately."

"So Lam told me."  He shrugged.  "Pity."  Landry shuddered.  "Anyway, how's Nila doing?"

"Better.  Someone needs to talk to her because she's panicking a bit."

"I can do that on the way home."  He went to the gate room to be beamed back.  "Nila?" he called when he appeared, walking toward Evan's room.  She appeared, giving him a look, wringing her hands.  "He's fine.  It's on his bad thigh.  It's already been cleaned, stitched up, and all that.  He'll need his cane for a few weeks while it heals."  She sighed and beamed at him.  "I'm going to go give him a treat.  Maybe it'll calm Armand down too."  She nodded.  "You can pop over, can't you?"

"Yes, but Atlantis said I can't hover in the infirmary.  It was bothering the nurses."

"Nah, you can check on him later.  I'll swat anyone who fusses."  She nodded and disappeared.  He got into Evan's room easily enough and through his doorway, then out the one to the old office.  He found Faith in there staring.  "You okay?"

"I'll be fine," she said, straightening up.  He stared at her until she slumped and gave up. "We're back here where it's supposedly safer and he gets shot."

"Because she wanted Radek.  She had been turned down for Atlantis three times."

"Glad we didn't have something up there when it was more critical."

"Or have her trying her shit when he was down," he agreed.  "He'll be fine.  He's probably already complaining about being in a bed."  She smiled and nodded.   He waved the box.  Faith stole one.  "Don't forget to update the Sunnydale team that you're back, kinda."

"I can do that.  Thanks, Jon."

"Welcome."  He walked down there, handing Xander the open box.  "Faith stole one."

"That's fine," he agreed, smiling weakly.  "She won't let me rest in my own bed."

"Of course not.  You'd get up and fuss at things," he assured him.  Radek nodded.  "You couldn't lay there and let yourself be babied like you should.  It's a spouse's job after all."  He smirked at Evan.  "Landry really doesn't care about that stuff, Lorne, but he's got rules he has to follow too."

"Which is why I said my family," he said quietly, glancing around.

"They are."  He shrugged and patted Xander's foot.  "If you let yourself be babied, they'll let you go home.  They always did to Jack."  He left, finding Jack stomping his way.  "What now?" he demanded.

"Someone on the IOA got told we were back and told the Watchers."

"She's calling Sunnydale later."

"They want her to stand trial in front of the Council."

"No way in hell.  Xander will blow them up first."

"Good point.  Where is she?"

"She was in Xander's former office.  You know, that room really is nice even without the stretching.  I might take it over."  He went back up there.  "Faith."  She looked up from staring at the phone she had been given by someone.  "Council heard."

"Shit."  She stared at him.  "And?"

"They want you to stand trial for something in front of the Council."

"No way.  They'll kill me," she said quietly.

"Jack's handling it."  She smirked and nodded, calling Sunnydale.  He got Atlantis to beam up a few couches and they were happier.  Still a nice view of the sunset when it came time.

"B, me," she said in greeting.  She winced at the squealing.  "Yeah, back stateside.  You saw the new city thing with the labs?  Working on an associated part of that, yeah.  No, I'm okay.  Some bitch shot X today to get what's his.  Yeah, but she was psycho and the dragons won.  He's fine, small caliber in his thigh.  Easily cleaned up.  They're making him be babied in the infirmary here.  No, we're good.  He's there, I'm here, yeah.  What's going on beyond the Council tempting fate?"  She listened.  "That's bad," she said.  "Huh.  Yeah, that's real bad."

She nodded.  "I can see if X can pull something out in case it does happen.  Sure, B.  I can get letters and emails faster," she said happily.  "Exactly.  Nope, saw little D the other night at X's.  Sure.  I can do that too.  Thanks, B.  Laters."  She hung up and handed it back.  "Kissen's."  She went to Xander's house and knocked on Dawn's door, getting a sleepy, grumpy young woman.  "Your sister wants a call.  It's going to be an invasion of demons in LA soonish."

"Fuck, it never stops," she groaned.

"Yeah, and we're gonna need weapons."

"Done deal," she agreed.  "I'll tell them after I call her.  What smells like gunpowder?"

"Radek had a stalker.  She shot X in the thigh, then she lost to the dragons."

"Ooooh.  Someone's gonna pay."

"The dragons ruined her arms and one leg from what I heard."

"GOOD!"  She grimaced.  "I'll call and get times and dates.  Thanks, Faith."

"Welcome."  She left, going back to her spot.  She found Jack in there with Jon.  "B said LA's gonna be invaded by demons soon."

"The biography of Xander from the future said that he'd have a weapon that would take out anyone with their portal signature," Jon quipped.

Dawn leaned out.  "What book?"

"Brown leather, biography of him from the future."

"Cool.  Thanks."  She walked into the library to find it, which was easy enough really.  He was trying to hide it.  She walked it back through and kicked her doorway shut, going over to Jack and Ianto's place.  Owen groaned but followed.  She found the entry.  "Hey, it's even this month," she said dryly.  She handed it over, pointing at it.  "Xander got shot in the thigh by some chick who wanted Radek."

"They've already landed," Jack complained.  "It didn't change though."

Owen took it to look at.  "Can we make a weapon like that?"

"Yes," Dawn and Jack said.  "It's in the closet."

"That's scary," Ianto said dryly.  "Go give it to John Sheppard?  Maybe he can handle it for them?"

"Sure," she agreed, going to get it and float it down to where John was.  Jack was complaining manfully so she cleared her throat.  "John, this is the weapon they talked about," she said, handing it over.  "It'll have to be set to the portal's resonance energy once it's open.  The future biography has Xander doing it from the city as it's landing but well...."  She shrugged.   "Dad said you could handle it."

"Cool, thanks, Dawn."  She beamed.  "It works?"

"I think so."

"Multi use?" Jack asked.

"Ask the guy who made it if he remembers.  It's got the sticker on it that meant he made it while drunk, like his chair."  She walked off, waving at a few people she knew.  She took Faith with her to visit with Buffy for a bit.  And Jon.  Buffy needed to hit on Jon.  He was a good fighter, intelligent, and was dangerous when threatened.  Just her type only nice.

"I want plans for that sucker," Jack decided.

John opened it and found them, looking at them before handing them over.  "Let McKay copy them for you, sir."

"Gladly."  He walked off.  "McKay, a drunken Xander weapon of destruction just got delivered.  I want copies of the plans."  He made a copy off his computer and sent him one digitally.  "Thank you.  It's in the office.  It's for the demon invasion of LA."

"Shit, I'll need to be there," Xander sighed.

"You'll still be limping," Radek assured him.


"No.  Not unless you can keep up and not get hurt, like you usually would when you were healthy."

"She'll need...." Xander stared.

Radek kissed him.  "We are in the employ of the US military," he pointed out when he pulled back and Xander had a goofy grin on his face.  "If they cannot help, then they're going to be sorry when they're overrun by demons too."  He looked at the general.  "Correct?"

"Yup.  We'll help."  He left, going to tell Landry that.  Xander wasn't going to be in any shape.  He took him to meet with Buffy.  "Ladies," he said in greeting.  "This is General Landry.   He's over the base where we all head from."

Buffy shook his hand.  "Thank you for taking in Dawnie when we needed you to, General."  She looked at Jack.  "Can I have all the marines?"

"At least some and a future weapon."

"Dawn said Xander made it while drunk."

"Yeah, he made a floating wheelchair at the same time," he told her.

She groaned.  "Figures.  Hold on, did he need it?"

"After that last battle in England, yeah.  His leg was nearly off," Dawn said with a grimace.   "He's fine outside of the new bullet hole in that side's thigh."

Buffy grimaced.  "We need him back here.  It was safer."

"It was someone who wanted his man," Dawn said with a hand wave.  "I was told the dragons ripped her a new one."

"Good!  I like that about the cuddly thing."  She frowned, chewing on her lip a bit.  "Well, we have an idea what's going on and maybe plans," she offered.

"Sweet," Jon said with a smirk.  "Let's look over them for you, Buffy."

"Please.  Xander used to do my battle plans.  I miss Xander."

"Xander was just saying he might be there," Jack offered.  "If he can walk.  They don't want to let him if he's not back up to normal standards."

"Yeah, that would be bad because he could die."

Dawn snorted.  "He'd probably pull another weapon out and blow them all up."  Buffy beamed and nodded that would be a Xander thing to do.  They went over the plans and Jack called in support for the range of times when it should happen.  There was a local base and San Diego could be more alert about that time as well.  That would be good.


John woke up a week later, moaning because Atlantis was in flight.  He stuck his comm in his ear as he headed for the chair room.  "What are we doing, people?"

"I am enacting a program that said I was to help during any apocalypse by the demonic," Atlantis informed him.  "We will be there shortly."

"Who wrote that one?" he asked.

"Asha.  He input it through Nila before that battle Xander had to help with."

"Oh, okay."  He walked out to where Rodney was.  "Shit," he said in awe when he saw the spill of demons.  "Fix the damn gun, Rodney.  Faster!"  He pointed it at the portal as instructed.  Then it clicked and he let John have it.  He shot it into the crowd of demons.  Any demons from the portal within three blocks of it were vaporized.  "Okay, that'll help.  I want landing teams," he ordered.  "Now!"  Kissen handed him his tac vest on the way past him.  He beamed down with the others and helped.  He saw Xander and moved closer to him.  "You're limping."

"Shut up," he muttered.  He set something and threw it.  It went off.  "Set to demons," he said dryly.  "We've already warned any demonic helpers."  They walked off.  Xander was limping but oh well.  He could handle a damn battle if he had to.  They ran into Buffy and Faith being surrounded and helped there.  They both hugged him and then John before moving on as a unit.  The San Diego military group showed up.  The rest of the SG troops showed up.  It was pitiful against the demons still coming.

"Rodney, take down the portal," John called over his comm.  "Now."  He looked up.  "Two minutes, people.  Big explosion if he can manage it."

"If we go here, it's a good cause," Faith panted back.

"There is no dying without permission," Xander reminded her, swinging on another being.  "Remember the scoobie rules, Faith."

"Yes, Xander."  She ducked a wild swing of his but it got the demon trying to kill her.  He summoned his axe back to him and went back to it while she backed up Buffy.

Ronon caught up to them.  "What the hell are they!" he demanded.

"Demons," Buffy said, not looking at him.  "Trying to invade here so they can eat us all.  Jump in, really."  He shot a few with his laser gun.  She moaned.  "I want," she begged.  "Xander?"

"Talk to Rodney, that's his project," he ordered.

"Fine.  Mean."

"Yes he is.  And snarky."  He smirked.  "Buffy, this is Ronon.  We adopted him."

She looked and had to wipe off drool.  "Are you single?  Like younger, cute women?"

"Your sister said almost the same thing to me," he admitted with a smirk.

"I'm prettier and not quite as young.  Plus not taken.  She's now taken."

"We'll see."

Faith smirked at him.  "B is the better slayer between us, Ronon."

"She'd still have to win me and woo me," he quipped back.

"Like chocolate?" she asked, staking the next demon then pulling out her sword and jumping into a knot of demons.  She saw people and grimaced.  "Tweeds," she warned Faith.

"Fuck 'em, we're a bit busy here."  She killed the demon they were hiding behind and glared.  "We're busy, it's an apocalypse.  Join in or get killed by the demons who want to eat us."  She moved on.

Xander moved her onto his other side.  "Fuck off," he told them.  "Before I get pissed and get creative *again*."  They backed off at that.  Buffy snickered.  "I take it you heard?"

"Yeah.  Messy."

"Good!"  They went back to it once they ran into a few more.  The explosion was nice and ruffled their hair from the blast.  "Wow, Rodney went for really pretty this time."  They moved to mop things up.  He was limping a lot and in pain but it had to be done.

Jack looked around.  "Sheppard, take your people," he ordered over the comm.  "And the city."

"Atlantis, beam up all SG personnel from our base, including Harris and his made family," he ordered.  They all reappeared.  He counted noses.  "Science squad?" he asked.

"Guarded, sir," Chuck said.  "Getting them now.  Please clear the area?"  They all moved.  He beamed up the rest.  The Apollo got the rest of the SG personnel back to base.  He looked.  "I think we got extra in our area beams."

Buffy waved.  "I'm Dawn's sister.  Co-slayer with Faith."

"It's cool.  I've got a good shower you can clean up with," Faith said, walking her off.  "Nice help, guys, thanks," she called.

"Eeh, more messy than aliens but less space battle," Jack sighed.  He watched.  Evan and Radek had cornered Xander against a wall and were complaining quietly.  "Guys, infirmary check for all personnel who were there."  They walked off.  He walked over to Evan and tapped him on the shoulder.  "That includes him."

"He's just messy, sir.  Plus limping heavily."

"I couldn't," he sighed.

"Next one, you can sit out," he said firmly.  "Even if we're right behind you, Xander."  He walked him off to go home so they could bathe all the goo off.  Radek was mumbling behind them.

Sheppard watched everyone go, looking at Rodney in the command center.  "Good timing."

"They were massing on the other side to come through in another huge wave," he said.  He linked into the feed from the news people.  "The regular military has the rest.  The helpful demons, because there were a few, have escaped."  He looked up.  "Go get checked and calm down."

John nodded.  "I need a shower."  He walked off.

Jack looked around.  "Chuck, put her back where she needs to be and make sure she's cloaked again."

"Cloak was reestablished after Colonel Sheppard fired, sir, and we're heading back right now under authority of one of our younger pilots who was injured recently."

"Thank you."  He went to get his own check over.  That had been bad.  Bullets hadn't done much against them.  He hated demons, he now had firmly decided he hated demons.  His comm beeped from Landry.  "Yeah, Hank?"  He listened.  "I'm going to calm down for the next hour, then later on I'm going to have a steak, a beer or three, and a hockey game.  If he wants to talk to me, he can do it after that.  I'll be at my fishing cabin."  He hung up as he walked into the infirmary.  "How's the base's infirmary doing?" he asked.

"Just about as crowded.  Mostly claw injuries, a few bites," Doctor Keller reported as she cleaned a bite.  "Are these poisonous in any way?"

"No clue," Jack offered.  He pulled out his cellphone and called his guys who were in Sunnydale.  "It's O'Neill.  Yes, the older one.  The bites?  Poisonous?  Anything we should worry about for the doc's?"  He listened, making notes.  "Thanks.  You guys good?"  He nodded.  "Decent.  Yup.  If they ask, tell them we're classified up the ass and I warned them anyway.  Thank you.  Good job."  He hung up.  "One of the blue things had poisoned claws."  He let her see what had been sent as a text message and she went to administer the antidote she had to those who had reported being clawed by it.  He got his own clearance and went to his cabin.  He had good water pressure.  He had no land line phone.  His cellphone went on 'no ring' and it was better.  He had a steak in the freezer, a grill to cook it on, and beer.  A new twelve-pack got beamed in with Daniel and it was good.  "You good?"

"I feel like we took on an army of demons," he admitted.  Teal'c appeared in the next beam.  He was apparently still calming down because he had that mon-feeling face on again.  "You?"

"Yeah, me too.  I'm too old for that shit."  He took the extra steaks from Teal'c and put them on the grill too.  It was good.  "Everyone else?"

"Cam's with the kids calming down but he might be here later if they can't include him the way they usually do Shep and McKay."

"That's fine.  Vala?"

"Screamed and ranted but they wouldn't let her go," Teal'c said.  "They knew by then that bullets would not work so she had no ability in that battle."  He yawned.  "That was hours of battle.  I have not been in such for years."

"It was," Daniel agreed.  Cam appeared and handed over the bag of potatoes and box of cookies.  "Thanks," he said with a grin.

"Sam sent the cookies.  She's ranting in her lab because demons aren't real and that was so wrong on all levels of physics again."

"It happens," Jack assured him.  "Vala?"

"Helping some guys calm down.  She's even helping cook dinner there.  You don't mind, right?"

"Nah.  We all need to calm down," Jack assured him with a smirk.  "Get a beer.  Take a cookie."  They got what they needed and sat down to watch a hockey match.  Yeah, they could calm down and ignore any news reports from LA.


John walked through his doorway to Xander's house, going back to the noisy area.  "Guys, can I calm down with you?"

"Sure," Xander said, pointing at the corner of the tub.  John stripped down.  "Move, Mira."  John picked her up and sat down, putting her on his lap.  Xander handed over a bottle of soap.  "Works wonders on goo."

"Thanks."  He let Mira help him but she swam around the center to check on her family.  When her daddy came in she cheeped but let him handle the daddy friend with the bad hair that wouldn't lay down for her.  Armand cheeped from the doorway, making her scurry over Radek to get out and help him in the garden.  They could unplant some things for the daddies.  They'd appreciate that.

"Don't pick too many things," Xander called.  "We're too tired to cook."  They both meeped back and he went back to scrubbing goo off him.  Radek and Evan finally attacked him with their brushes.  He sighed.  "Thanks, guys."

"Not a problem.  You'd do it for us," Evan said quietly.

"We are not mad," Radek promised.  "You needed to help.  We all needed to help.  Should have used bigger gun instead of a sword, but you needed to help."  He took a kiss, getting a grin back.  They went back to scrubbing him.  His clothes had been stuck on from all the goo and blood.  John's had looked the same way.  Evan had cut his off and left them in a pile.  Radek had been helping Rodney so his were on the chair in there.  Rodney finished stripping and got in to help John scrub, handing over something that might work better.  It foamed a bit but it ate the goo.  Evan took some for the three of them and it was easier.  Then the goo soap worked better.  Then a nice, calming soak once they had drained and rinsed the tub, running a nice, warm one with bubbles.  It was good to relax to.

Jon walked in and stopped to stare.  "Huh."

"We can scrunch and make room," Xander offered.

"Nah, came to check on you for the ladies.  Since you're limping and all that."

"I ache like fuck," Xander admitted quietly, looking at him.  "It's been a while since I went into a field battle."

Jon nodded.  "I get that.  Let me check on the pets and we'll watch the sunset from your old office since I took it over."  He went to do that.  "Guys, they've got bubbles."  The pets went back to digging up stuff after greeting noises.  He came out to look, carrying things into the kitchen for them.  "That should be good.  That and maybe a chicken or something."  They nosed the freezer.  He looked.  "Xander, you need meat."

"I have some coming from one of the witches," Xander called.  "She's taking some of the flowers with her.  I offered a spore plant but she gave me a dirty look."

"Uh-huh."  He left, going to sit with the ladies.  Armand followed to nuzzle them and then went back after leaving a rhubarb stalk with them.

Buffy looked at it.  "What's this?"

"The dragons love rhubarb sauce," Faith told her.  "It's really tart."  Buffy tried a bite and shrugged, eating it.  She liked tart and it was okay.  Faith grinned, taking her own bite.  "Jon?"

"No thanks."  He heard a goat and winced, closing the doorway so they wouldn't have to hear it be sacrificed to be eaten later.  The girls smiled and he smirked back.  It was good.


Dawn came out of the portal she had created, pushing her messy hair back.  She looked at Owen, who was so tired he was barely moving.  Then Jack.  "Dad?"

"I'm fine," he promised quietly.  "I'm going to take a shower, eat, and not move for a week."

"Okay.  Step-dad?"

Ianto smiled.  "We'll be fine, Dawn.  Go home."

She nodded.  "Cab.  We need a cab."  She got Owen out and called one on the hike up to the street.  Jack and Ianto shared with them, going to their shared building.  She got Owen into a shower and put on a soup to simmer, then went to join him.  He stiffened but let her hug him for now.  "That was bad," she whispered.  "Buffy does that every spring in lesser version."

He patted her.  "We've all had apocalypses."

She looked up.  "I know but that was bad even on that scale."

He nodded.  "It was."

She let him go, grabbing stuff.  "Turn around.  Goo never comes off unless you scrub."  He did and groaned when she attacked his back with the brush and special soap.  She had helped with weapons and witchly support, not the actual fighting.  Bullets hadn't killed them so she couldn't.  "I've got to learn how to fight better," she said as she scrubbed.

He turned to look at her.  "No, you don't."

"Yeah, I should."

"You can learn other things, and how to protect yourself better.  You're not your sister."

"A witch of my potential should help."

"Then learn that," he ordered, staring at her.

"We'll fight about this later," she told him.  "Turn back around."  He glared.  She made him and went back to scrubbing.  "I put on some soup."

"Please?" he asked quietly.

She gave him a hug from behind.  "I'll only jump in physically when I have to, Owen, but I still need to learn how to defend myself since I'll be working on SG projects from the hub."

He looked back at her.  "Staying?" he asked quietly.

"Until Dad kicks me out."  He smirked at that.  "Then maybe I'll go learn evil herbology from Xander.  Who knows."  He laughed and relaxed, letting her soothe him.  When he was finally clean he helped her wash down and get out.

"I'm damn glad you magicked the hot water tank," he teased.

"Yup."  She beamed.  "Cold water sucks when you're sore."  They put on bathrobes and went to eat.  Then she wanted to discover why post-apocalypse sex was wonderful.  She was sure she could talk Owen into it.  She went to get the bottle of special soap, taking it Ianto.  "Here, it removes goo without a wire brush."  She left them alone to calm down and do whatever they did after apocalypses.  They had been in enough of them to have the ritual down pat by now.


Xander woke up warm and clearly being held.  He blinked.  Radek and Evan were tangled together.  He looked back.  John and Rodney were behind him and it was John holding him.  He sighed and wiggled a bit.  John grunted.  "Flip over, hold him," he whispered.  John grunted at that and let him go.  He didn't flip over though so Xander hugged him for a bit.  Evan and Radek snuggled up against his back when he moved.  It was clear he had been having nightmares with the space they had given him, he tended to kick.  He heard a movement rom the living room area and got out of bed, limping out there.  He was naked, but so what.  It was his house.  He grabbed a gun before leaving his bedroom, carefully scanning around him.  He walked out, finding General Landry and Jack in there.  "What the hell are you two doing in my kitchen in the middle of the night?" he demanded.

"It's about six Atlantis time," Jack said.  "So a bit earlier on Nila."  He handed him some toast.  "Breakfast?"

"Too early."

"Yay."  He smirked at him.  "Nice move though."

"Thanks."  He went back to his bedroom.  "Generals are here," he announced.  John moaned.  Xander leaned down to give him a hug.  John woke up to blink.  "Landry and Jack are both here."


"Landry?  Really?" he teased.

"No, eww."  He got out of bed with a stretch.  "I have nothing to wear of course."

"I have a huge ass closet and you're only a bit taller."  John nodded, going to find something.  Xander pointed at a few things that were long on him.  He got Rodney something to wear and then Evan and Radek, who were both about two inches shorter than him.  He kissed his boys awake, letting John get Rodney.  "Generals are making breakfast."

"Fuck," Evan muttered, yawning through it.

"John said the same thing," he teased.  "I pulled out stuff to wear."  They nodded and got up, sharing the shower so they could get dressed.  Rodney got it after them and finally came out to join them at breakfast.  Xander was wearing light cotton pants that might've been pajama pants and no shirt.  Rodney gave him a dirty look.  "I'll shower after I eat and get dressed."  He grunted, taking the coffee Jack handed over.

"Thank you."  Rodney sipped and moaned.  "Nice coffee."  He sat down at the bar set.  It was big enough for the five of them.  "Food?"

"Yes," Jack sighed, handing over plates.  He looked at them.  "Watching tv like a team movie night?"

"It's happened before," John admitted.  "Usually Ronon and Teyla took the bench at the end of the bed, sir.  You've seen it happen."

"Yeah, and done the same thing.  We don't care.  Do we, Hank?"

"I wouldn't care if you guys were calming down as long as it's kept out of sight of the normal soldiers and out of obvious statement on the bases, guys."

"Sir, I'm still not going to take a DADT report," John assured him.  "I don't care who whines.  They can go to you or the general."  He buttered his toast and ate some.  "Hmm, nice job, Xander.  Thank you."

"Welcome."  He nibbled on a piece of bacon.  "Are they in trouble?" he asked.

"Nope," Jack said with a smirk.  "The president would like to tour Atlantis and Nila though."

"I'll be here," Xander told him.  "With the doors shut."

"You could do some of the wires," Rodney offered.

"If he's not there yet, we need to make it clear to the scientists that they don't have to be scared of me if they're not fucking up," Xander retorted.  "Because they usually are the next day."  He ate another bite and Radek gave him some of his eggs in return for his extra piece of bacon.  "Hey!" he said weakly.  Jack reloaded their plates, earning a grin from them all.  "So, he's thinking what?  Screaming, yelling, I need to find the other pictures from Hell Week sort of issue or otherwise?"

"There's more?" Landry moaned.

"Yeah, and the three senators he went to college with were pretty sometimes."  He ate a bite.

Evan poked Xander on the side.  "No planning revenge in advance," he ordered quietly. "Make it later."

"Yes, dear."

"Thank you," John said.  "I don't want to destroy congress unless they try to medal me."

"Yes, dear," Xander repeated.  Landry choked and walked off, heading back to Atlantis.

Rodney frowned, watching him go then looked at Xander.  "Remember, he's the big brother, I'm the mean uncle."

"I do."  He smirked.  "Can I be the bratty nephew today?"

"Of course," Radek agreed.  "As long as you do not look too bad on the project."

"Good, then I'll go screw with the thrusters again."  He finished up and got more coffee, pouring everyone some too.  He sat down again.  "So, General, can I hide?"

"I would if I could, kid.  Just relax.  The news caught some pretty shots of everyone.  They're freaking out.  The president announced that we do have our own group to handle invasions, like UNIT would, and we're calming down today.  Not who we are....."

"Which will work nicely with the newly released papers going out next month," Rodney said.

"Probably, yeah," he agreed.  "Xander, they called yours good for a non-doctor, and especially for someone who had learned it at home instead of in a college.  But they didn't like the idea that there is one."

"They're really going to hate it in a few months, huh?" Xander said dryly.  "Are they liking Daniel more?"

"Nope."  He sipped his own coffee.  "Why do you have a goat?"

"We were going to eat the sucker but we were too tired to blood it and gut it," Xander said.

"Oh. Okay."  He nodded.  "Appear soon.  It's going to be seven soon on Atlantis and about five on Nila, guys.  I haven't gotten that time zone down yet."  He left, going to Atlantis for now.

Xander finished up and went to get a shower, coming out in his bathing suit and tool belt.  He grinned at them.  "Since I'll be in the water most of the day."  They smirked at him and headed back to their assigned areas.  "Group meeting," he called over the comm as soon as he walked onto Nila.  They all came to the meeting area.  "Guys, remember, I'm a geek first," he told them, making most of them relax.  "Fair warning, we do have higher ups coming sometime soon.  The president kinda announced us but not fully.  Those of you wanting to publish before we get outed, do so soon," he ordered, looking around.  "Those who want to hide from the higher ups, go help Radek wire."  They all smirked at that.  "I'm going to be working on the underwater thrusters all day, hence the clothes, and if you need me I'll have my comm on but if any higher being asks, I'm invisible, got it?"  They all nodded.  "Good.  Any questions?"

"How's your thigh?" Kavanagh asked.  "You were clearly limping yesterday and Nila fretted all day that you're still too injured from that wound."

"I'm still exhausted but I'll be fine.  I'll have floaties on in case I get too tired.  Someone send me a soda now and then please."  They all grinned at that. "Any other concerns?"

"You really could use all those swords and axes that used to be in your office," one of the biologists said in awe.

Xander nodded.  "I started at sixteen hunting things like that.  Went through four yearly apocalypses, including a battle for graduation, and then came to the SG, guys.  Yeah, that wasn't my first.  Which is why I know to hide like hell from the higher ups.  They get pissed when demons come out.  Any other questions?"  No one said anything.  "Radek, any announcements?"

"We'll be working on two different corridors today.  Both are supposed to be in good shape and only need minimal work.  It's a fitting place to train anyone who doesn't know how to wire and solder things.  You'll be doing it in many labs to get them ready for outsiders coming in."  He pushed his glasses back up his nose and took a drink of coffee.  "Also, we need people who can publish papers because we'll be starting to take outside scientists in about six months."  They groaned.  "That means we want them able to be more than awed over what we have accomplished.  Right now, they know very little.  I have my hands full teaching Xander and Faith, which I adore doing, but we all have to put out information so they're lead down the garden path."  The scientists nodded.  "Any of you military boys and girls who know something are also welcome to publish."

"I have been leaking some information to a few paranoid people's sites," Xander said.  "They've had right information before, but weren't believed.  This way they have more right information.  They actually caught a picture of Jack O'Neill and Thor fishing."  The military guys laughed.  "Really.  The SG has been trying to suppress them for years."  He finished his newest cup of coffee.  "Anything, Evan?"

"For today, make sure things are tidy.  I'll warn the construction guys.  You guys calm down, do your jobs today.  Make sure the geeks are fine when they're working on something."

"Warn us when you see them so we can hide better," Xander quipped.

"Xander, did you have that pig photo?" Walters asked.

"Yup, I found it," he said with a smug look.  "They wanted me to be the new poster boy for the military."  The military guys whimpered en masse.  "Exactly, guys.  Though some of you would look wonderful with swords and leather pants."  He grinned.  Evan and Radek both poked him.  "Just picking, guys.  Not hitting on anyone so no one can panic."

"We know better than that, sir," one said dryly.  "You're already taken.  Not that we'd ever talk about it."  He shifted.  "Major, team assignments?"

"Five and three are on lab and geek duty.  Two is on tunnel and rewiring duty.  One is on guard and six is off," he said.

"Six got last Tuesday off," one of the members of team 4 said.

He checked. "Yup, sorry.  Six is on guard, four is standing down.  One is on tunnel too, moving to guard if you have to."  They all nodded at hat.  "Bring fire suppression gear if you can," he told the team leaders going with the geeks.  "And stuff to ground you.  There's been a lot of sparking."  They all nodded at that.  "Good, go for it."  They left, going to breakfast and then to duty.  Xander went to hop into the water and get to work on the thrusters.  Evan shook his head when a few of the guys watched him walk.  "Not as bad as the time he was wearing it while cleaning the dragons?" he taunted with an evil smirk.

"No, sir, it's less tight," one said.  "He's clearly lost some weight."  He looked at him.  "Someone should fuss more, sir."  He walked off smiling.

"Yeah, someone should," he agreed.  "I need stuff to do that though or I'll have to slaughter the new goat."  He left to plan that out with Radek for a bit in the tunnels.


The president walked off the jumper and onto the docking station, looking around.  "She's very fancy but she does fit Nila very well, General.  You were right about that."

"She does," Jack agreed, looking around.  "Stand down," he told the guards.  "We're not invading."

"Yes, sir," they agreed, going to parade rest.

"At ease," the president ordered.  He walked around with the general.  Nothing was too spacious.  "I've seen bigger bunk rooms on a cruiser," he joked at the sight of one of the staff bedrooms.

"They're temporary quarters, sir, until we can build proper ones.  Though they won't match the ones on Atlantis," Jack said.

"Those were nice, yes.  Including the washer units.  Thoughtful of the Ancients."  He saw the rec room and looked in the lanar.  "What is that?"

"That is the Ancient version of a meditation and relaxation room.  They called it a lanar."  Jack walked him in to look things over.  "They did a nice, destressing tea ceremony, they sat around and lounged, got comfortable without stress, that stuff."

"So it's this city's destressing point.  Nice.  Pretty plants."  He sniffed one.  "This one doesn't smell."

"No, they dried that and made their tea out of it," Jack said.  "Someone insisted all the lanar have some on it.  We're waiting to get fish for the three empty pools," he said with a point.  "I can't remember which one of the others are biting though."

"Are they native?"

"No, sir.  Pegasus galaxy pretty fish to stare at.  Half are biting and half aren't."  He looked around.  "Airman."  He came in and saluted.  "At ease.  Get the fish some food.  I know the biting ones usually eat a hotdog or two each tank.  I'm sure we were too tired to feed them last night."

"Yes, sir."  He went to do that and came back with the can of fish food too.  He looked at the diagram on the wall and went to feed them.  The biting fish were vicious when they got the sliced up hotdog.  The other ones acted like carp, coming up to inhale the fish flakes.  "Should I water things before the botanists get here, General?"

"No, it's fine.  Walters likes to come water them."  He nodded and saluted, getting waved off so he could escape.  Jack smiled.  "They're pretty to look at and slightly defensive.  No one's ever going to get anything in their tanks.  Also, that plant in there with them, if you drain some of the sap out, it's caffeinated and it's like a juice.  Harris found that for us."

The president looked at him.  "Interesting."

"It filters the water and air."

"Even better."  He walked off with him.  "Where is your genius linguist anyway?"

"Working on a critical problem we had the other day.  We found out that since this city was meant to be temporary and a means of testing things, they hadn't given Nila strong enough wires.  Some of them went out and she almost sank for a bit.  So they're all working on that today if they can wire in the least little bit.  I think Xander's also been working on the thrusters in case we start to go down as an emergency backup."  He led him down to where Radek was since the president seemed to want to go.  "Doctor Zelenka."

Radek stiffened and muttered something, looking over.  "Yes, General?"

"How's the rewiring going?"

Nila appeared.  "They're doing a lot of work to my insides," she told him with a grin.  "They're very good about it and they need music but they can't decide what they want to listen to."

"They could listen to individual players," the president offered.

"No we can't," Kavanagh said.  "There's static and electrical discharges, sir.  One person drinking a can of diet soda nearly died from one earlier."

"Oh, I see."  He looked around.  "Was Harris down here?"

"Not for a few hours," Radek said.  "I think he went to Atlantis to check against what we have here on those thrusters.  He thought they looked fine but a few wouldn't work."

"I see.  Is he avoiding me, Doctor Zelenka?"

Radek stared at him.  "Must you ask me questions you don't want answered?" he asked in Czech.  Jack coughed.  "I believe he made himself plain this morning at the meeting that he was going to be busy all day working on various necessary tasks."

"I see.  On purpose?"

"Possibly," he admitted.  The energy charged.  "Get him out of here, is a discharge."  Jack hustled the president out.  Someone yelped.  "Are we fine?" he called.

"Yes, Radek, just a wire discharge," someone called.

Radek sighed, shaking his head.  "Ground around it," he called back.  He looked back at the president, muttering under his breath about stupid politicians.  "As you can see, is dangerous."

"Was that Harris?"

"No, sir, that was Doctor Karva," Kavanagh told him.  "She's usually in biology and biometrics but she volunteered to learn how to wire and solder today."

"Wonderful of her," he decided, walking off.  "Doctor Zelenka, I would like to talk to your head of linguists," he ordered.

"If the general can find him, sir.  I am a bit busy here making sure we stay floating and everyone is happy that everything works."  He got back to his own work.  "Kavanagh, move that section down two more.  Is a junction node and can be used to switch things in times of danger."

"Sure, Radek."  He got to work on that.  They shared a look and Kavanagh shuddered.  Radek beamed.  It was nice that one had respect finally for bigger brains than him.  All it had taken was having his ass beaten a few times, who knew.

The president walked off with Jack, back into the sunlight.  "Find him, general.  I would like to talk to him."

"Nila, Xander's on Atlantis, right?" he called.

"Yes, he just went back there a few minutes ago, muttering that everything looked right but apparently wasn't.  He's made the trip three times today," she said, appearing in front of them.  "He's been underneath me the rest of the day.  Even during soda and lunch breaks.  I would've said something but he had a protein shake while working.  We need to make sure he has a good dinner, child Jack."

"I'm sure we will."  He smiled.  "Sorry, sir.  He's back on Atlantis."

"Do the beaming thing.  I wanted to speak to him, Jack."

He sighed and called.  "Harris to Nila's docks."  The retort he got back made him mentally cackle.  "No, please appear clothed, Harris."  He hung up and sighed.  "He's in the shower.  There was a leak and he got some on him.  He's cleaning up right now, sir."

Xander appeared in a towel, staring at them.  "Nila, that thruster is still sealed, right?"

"Yes, Xander."

"I'll fix it in a minute, let me find something else to put on first."

"I can wait.  The women on the base might giggle and try to pinch you.  That would upset others."

Xander grinned at her image.  "Me too."  She giggled and left.  He looked at the president, staring at him really.  "What?"

"You're injured?"  He could see the wound, the towel was tiny.

"Yes, some psycho bitch chemist wanted Doctor Zelenka and decided I was in her way," he said dryly.  "She shot me in the thigh so Armand and Mira nearly ripped her arms off for her."

The president blinked a few times.  "You're very blunt today."

"I'm always blunt.  I'm also chilled and I will tell Doctor Keller you're the cause of my sniffles, sir."  The president moaned.  "May I get dressed?  Not that I care personally about being out here in only a towel.  Nor will most on the station.  A few might get the wrong idea however."

"Do you have to go back down?" Jack asked.

"Yes.  Her thrusters have some frozen pistons.  Rodney thinks he knows why.  I need to put a new gasket in that one but you can't remove the thrusters so we've been working with a shield around the leak and me fixing it inside that."  Jack nodded at that.  "Then she'll banish the ancient sludge somewhere else so it can be studied and replicated.  Until then, we're using Quaker State.  I have six more to finish working on."

"That's a full day's work," one of the guards said.

Xander nodded.  "We all work a full day out here.  Especially with the wiring crisis.  Hell, me, Rodney, and Radek nearly died a few days back doing some of it due to constant discharges."

"Sir, your towel's slipping," one of the Secret Service guards noted.

Xander looked down, tightening it up again.  "Son, I don't care.  I'm not ashamed of my body, scars and all.  If he doesn't like looking at it, then he would've let me go put on a swim suit so I can go back to work."  He looked at the president again.

"You are the most abrasive person I know, Harris," the president said.

Xander shrugged.  "Happy to be notable," he said dryly.  "Personally, the only opinions I care about wouldn't do more than scowl that I'd be naked anyway."

"We want to award and medal those who were in that invasion."

"No thanks."  He walked off.  "Jack, we need more oil, about seven more bottles to be safe."

"I can send some over from the motor pool, Xander."  He mentally was cackling at that performance.  He looked at the president, ignoring his scowl.  "Sir, you know he hates being noted."

"Most people....."

"Aren't him," he said bluntly.  "And frankly, no one that has to deal with demons that way wants attention.  Attention gets them dead."

"I get enough of that from the Council," Xander called back before getting on the elevator.  "Hi, Briony."

"Xander," she said, looking him over.  "Swimsuit rip?"

"Lubricant leak from a thruster."  She giggled and patted him on the shoulder.  "He wanted me to appear ASAP, didn't care what I was wearing.  Pity."

She snickered, getting off on the botany floor.  "She misses you."

"I'll be in for a bit tonight but we've got the wires to be done.  That's important because we'll all sink and die if we don't get it fixed."

"I'll tell her that.  Go get dressed before women get a bad idea."

He looked at her.  "You're not evil, why would you?"  The doors closed on her cackling.  He went up to his room and through the doorway.  "Hi, Jack," he said since he was in the kitchen.  "Hi, Jon," he called into the library.  "President's on Nila.  Fair warning about medal talk."  Jon's muttering wasn't printable and Jack was cackling.  Xander came out in spandex shorts and no shirt.  He stretched.  "I've got to finish fixing the thrusters."  Jack held up a bite, letting him eat it.  "Thanks for lunch, Jack.  Problems?"

"Just getting away from wanting to spank Gwen and Tosh."

"Send them baby clothes shopping."

"They cut work to do that," he said dryly.

"Babies rot the mind.  We all know that.  Tell Rhys so he spanks her or knocks her up again."  He walked out, heading down the elevator again.  Jon came out the car after him.  "Sir, there you go, one person who was there and could use the career notice."  He walked past the group and dove into the water, then turned and swam under to get back to what he had been doing.  His floating tool kit was still tethered where he wanted it.  She had beamed a bottle of oil on top of it.  That would work.  "Okay, Nila, going to enter the shields," he noted.

"Shields may fail soon, Xander," she reported in a more computer voice than usual.

"Then beam the contents to the safe storage area on Atlantis."  She did that.  "Good job."  He clicked his comm.  "Radek, Nila's sounding worn down again.  Are you screwing with that?"  He got a complaint but he pulled off to see what was going on.  "There we go.  And let's add the oil," he said, talking to her.  He got it sealed in and then sealed the housing. "Nila, please fire this thruster at point-one percent for three seconds," he ordered.  She did that.  "Does it feel normal?"  No answer.  "Radek, she can't even answer now."  He said he was working on it and she appeared next to him in the water a few minutes later.  "You okay?"

"I'm fine but this wiring is making me do odd things I do not like," she said.

He grinned.  "It'll be over with soon."

"I know.  That one is now reading at seventy percent of optimal, as the others are."

"Rodney's looking at the sludge to see if he can recreate it."

"Wonderful."  She looked around.   "We don't have any more to do."  He winked and went to check the others.  One was still frozen and he had no idea why.  "Could it be a wire malfunction as well?"

"No, that checked out," he said.  He looked at her.  "Shield around it so I can open it."  She did and he opened the housing, looking at it.  "I swear that's a piston but they didn't use pistons."

"It was experimental," she pointed out.  "All different forms of powering them were used."

"Good point."  He checked.  Then he pulled over his tool kit to get something and bang on the thing that looked like a piston until it went down.  "Now, try to move that," he ordered.  "Slowly, at point-one percent please."

"It is frozen lower now, it will not stop firing."  Xander removed the power connector and she smiled at him.  "That is very wise."

He grinned.  "I think I know what it is."  He got into the interior housing, finding the piston arm was frozen.  And rusted, and it looked like fused together.  "Can you beam these three parts here," he said, removing them.  "To Rodney and let him find us a new one?"  She did that for him.  He called.  "Rodney, that is fused together, I need a new one for that one thruster.  Yeah, shocked me that it's got a piston too.  Please?"  He found one in the auto pool and sent it back.

"Thanks."  It landed next to him and he installed it.  "I need a hex key I don't have," he said dryly.  "Of course."  He tightened it as well as he could and then checked the motion.  It wasn't going to come off.  "Good enough.  Watch this one to make sure it doesn't come off," he said, looking at her.  She was frozen.  He touched his comm.  "Radek, blue screen of death?"  He smirked and finished up, then touched the illusion.  That made it crumble and disappear.  He grabbed his tools and went back to the dock he could climb up from.

"Watch for the fifth underwater east thruster," he ordered as he walked into the command center.  "I did what I could to tighten it but it needed a hex key I didn't have."  He settled himself in the chair and restarted Nila's AI from the boot system.  She appeared, looking startled.  Then she froze again.  "Okay."  He went over what was going on and fixed it on them.  Including something that was seriously wrong.

"Kavanagh, if I have to come down there and beat you for rerouting Nila's main power supply through a broken section, I will," he called.  Kavanagh spluttered and fixed it, explaining what he was doing.  "That's prepping it, not actually doing it, right?"  He groaned and did what he needed to do. "Thank you.  Rebooting the AI."  He did that and she reappeared, flashing through her forms a few times.  "Nila?"

"Xander.  Thank you.  Have I lost much time?"  She checked everything.  "I see it's only been a few minutes."

"Kavanagh was prepping things for an emergency power reroute and it sent you to the windows version of the blue screen of death."

"I do not understand that reference."  He pulled it up for her and she beamed and nodded.  "Exactly!  I should chastise him."  She went down there to gently chew him a new one.  They had all agreed not to teach her to swear the way Atlantis could when she was frustrated.  By the time she was done, Kavanagh was looking like he had been kicked so she patted him on the head.  "Now, do better, young man."  She disappeared.

Miko looked over.  "She can be like someone's grandmother.  She tells us to eat too."

Kavanagh blushed, nodding, and ducking his head.  "I can make sure it'll be fine."  He got back to work.  He didn't want to be given that look or lecture again.  He would do better from now on.  Radek was smiling at him.  "She chew on you too?"

"For not making Xander eat."  Kavanagh smiled slightly at that.  "She is very motherly.  She looks after us very well.  And when she's frustrated, she'll throw us into the water."  Miko snickered.  "Even her a few times."

"I forgot to eat."  She got back to work.  "Atlantis will swear back at Rodney when he's swearing at her for breaking down."

Kavanagh looked at her.  "The AI swears?"

"Like a French sailor since she only does it in French," another of the people said.  "We're not sure who taught her but she's very amusing to listen to when she's swearing at us minions because we broke something and it's making McKay grumpy.  Then he gets us."

Radek nodded.  "She is very prolific.  I think she looked up new ones."

Kavanagh stared at him.  "How did McKay warp an artificial intelligence program?"

"They are very human reactive and learning," Radek said simply.  "They learn from all interactions.  Faith taught her how to say 'kiss off' in fourteen languages."  Kavanagh groaned at that, shaking his head.  "It was helpful when things happen or people press the wrong button that she doesn't want to work."  He finished his section and moved down.  "We need to look at the machines and make sure that none are ascension machines or more asexual reproduction machines.  Neither Xander or Daniel will manage to miss getting hit this time if there are."  They all laughed at that.  Kavanagh gave him the dirtiest look.  "Rodney got hit by an ascension machine.  Two Marines got hit by the asexual reproduction machine.  They have beautiful daughters with another Marine."

"They had...." he started.  Everyone nodded.  "Why?"

"The day after they got hit, we got spored," Miko said dryly.

"Oh.  Eww."  He shuddered.  Then he got back to work.  Things had went insane after he had left Atlantis.  He would've went insane up there too if he had stayed.  The general came back.  "Sir."

"Jack," Radek said.  "Is he gone?"

"Fuming that Xander disrespected him enough to not put on clothes when he said to appear immediately as he was.  Xander pointed out the problem with that statement since I had told him he was in the shower."  He stared at him.  "How bad is it?"

"Bad," they all said.  They let him see the wires they were replacing. They were machine wires, not heavy duty wires.   Jack could only nod and make more wire available to them.  At dinner time he made sure the kid ate, as Nila ordered, and talked to a few of the guys.

The End.

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