Note: plays off the end of Journey's End (the one where the Dalek's kidnap the earth to use their reality bomb/where we get the human doctor being made for Rose).
The Incidences of The Blippy Dohickey 2: Strategic Maneuvers.
Jack looked around. "What we need is a power source to counter it," he said. The other companions stared at him. They were trying to find a way to stop the reality bomb. They were all gathered, had just been stolen.
"Xander," Sarah Jane breathed.
"He's got to be off-planet doing something," Jack agreed. "Otherwise we would've already seen him killing them."
The Doctor looked at him. "Nila may still be there. She and Atlantis are both space capable and protected. So he's probably throwing a fit."
"Ya think?" Jack asked dryly. "Anyone got a cellphone?"
"We wouldn't have service," Rose complained. "And what will Xander do? He's never been much of a fighter. He's been too hurt."
Sarah Jane looked at her. "You must've met him early in his trip because now, he's tougher than Jack is."
Jack nodded. "Yeah, and he's got an anger issue. The boy puts the bad in badass." He took Donna's cellphone to call. "Xander? Could use some help."
The head Dalek said something and the insane one Davros laughed.
Jack smirked. "Thank you." He hung up. "He's a bit pissed. The whole base went into panic mode. They tried to lock him in a room to keep him from doing stupid things. Radek is not happy with him."
The Doctor smirked. "I can imagine why."
Xander appeared in a flash of light, handing Mickey his bracelet. "Daleks," he said dryly, staring at one.
"You cannot stop us. We will destroy all of time and space!"
Xander snorted. "Yeah, right. Because, you know, been to the future more than once."
"You are not a Time Lord," Davros sneered.
"No, I'm Tias Diamalan." The Dalek gasped. He stared. "You're boring the shit out of me. Do you mind? I have most of it the way I want it right now."
"Xander!" the Doctor complained.
Xander looked at him. "Stop the damn thing then." He shot the Dalek with his laser pistol. "Idiot." Around them Daleks started to go insane. Xander went to destroy some more things, and loot. He did so love to loot. Radek would be very happy and quit scowling at him like he had caused the current problem. He came back with a few things.
"No." The Doctor smirked. "You know better."
"Radek was giving me a look like I did it. This is to make him happier." He got into the Tardis with his new loot, putting it in his bedroom then coming back. "You need three tethers, not two."
"We don't have another point."
"You have Sunnydale. Have Ianto link the rift into ours with Dawn." He gave him a look. He touched his earphone. "Atlantis, this is Harris."
"You'd better have a very good explanation for what's going on," John called.
"I'm just helping fix the shit, John. Don't blame me for the Dalek's having a master plan." He sighed. "I need Rodney's little storage building linked into us. We need a tether and you're holding home plate."
"How?" Rodney demanded.
"Through the house, Rodney. Get Dawn through it."
"Sending to her, and Nila," John said, sounding tired. "What the hell happened?"
"Floating, flying, homicidal trash cans," Xander said dryly. "Who hate humanity. They've tried before. This time, they're .... well, messy."
"Your messy or my messy?"
"Explosion. They're machines."
"Even better. All right, Dawn, can you link the power system that way?"
"Yes, I can," she said over the speaker. "Doing so now." Rodney made squeaky noises so she got his help. "Ianto?"
"I have the power flowing this way, Dawn."
"Nila, please pinpoint exactly where earth should be at the time we get there," Xander ordered. "Atlantis, you're a lighthouse."
"Gotcha," John said. "Powering shields up to glowy and high."
"We have the rope established," Ianto said.
"Got it, thank you," the Doctor said. "And away we go." The Tardis had to struggle a bit but it worked.
"Atlantis, move when we get closer," Xander said. "We'll be reappearing in spot. Both you and Nila need to be hovering."
"Am," John said. "Already thought of that." A few more minutes. "Holy shit," he said.
Xander snickered. "Yeah, kinda guess those that think they're holy do." John snickered. Jack snickered too, shaking his head. They popped back into place and he sighed. "Nila, are we in the right spot? Need a nudge?"
"No, you are within microns of the right orbit," she said. "It will be self correcting by Radek's computations within the day. Mostly it's orbital tilt that's a bit less than it should be."
"That's fine. Release us, let's do what we gotta do to clean up." He hung up, looking at the Doctor. "So."
Mickey held up the bracelet. "What is this thing?"
"His version of my bracelet," Jack said. "Is it tired? You flashed a lot."
"Yeah, that's the N-space powered one. It does that. It's a bit warm if I keep wearing it." He shrugged and took it back. The Doctors snatched it to look over. "Fine. Baby, can we please land?" he called. She did. "Thank you, dear." He went to get his loot and grinned at them. "Pleasure as always."
"I have to clear even your boys from having that," the Doctor said.
Xander looked at him then smirked. "He's been swearing at you all day. You really want it in person?"
"No," he admitted.
"Then let me go soothe the cranky scientists." His headset went off. "I'm coming. Damn. He's trying to get me to not bring home things." He waved. "Don't break the bracelet when you take them home please. It's a bitch to make a new one." He disappeared.
"I'm going to spank him," one Doctor said to the other.
"I remember you liked it a lot the last time."
"You have no idea," he said dryly, smirking at him. "There's been a few since then as well." He looked at Jack.
"Not my doing!"
"Calm him down?"
"He has boyfriends."
"Good point. I'll talk with Evan later then." He took the bracelet to scan. "This will definitely help get the ones that need it home."
Sarah Jane looked around. "We're home."
"We are," the original Doctor agreed with a smile. He followed her outside. He could use some fresh air.
Xander reappeared, handing those things to Radek with a grin. "Fixed. I helped."
"I want a report," Landry yelled.
Xander looked back at him. "Daleks. The floating trash cans. They had some sort of super bomb to destroy all of reality."
"Why take the earth?"
"They said something about a planetary power source." He shrugged. "Ask the Doctor. Or Jack, he was there."
"I will. Why call you?"
"Weapons." Landry walked off holding his head. He shrugged. Then he looked at his boyfriends. "I told him I was looting so you'd have a happier night not complaining that something happened, even though you thought I knew what was going on." He disappeared, heading back to Nila's command center. "Nila, status report?"
"We are presently floating inches above our usual spot. My docking area is secure. All labs are secured and in lockdown. All our people are on me," she said, appearing with a smile. "Thank you."
"Not a problem. Are we clear to land and redock?" She looked toward Colorado then nodded. "Go ahead and let's check the labs for any damage. Usual emergency procedures apply," he told the people staring at him. "Head scientist for each lab, military backing them up with open comm so we can evacuate you. One lab at a time, people. Start with the independent ones off to the side. The tower might've added more stability and best to get the possible worst out of the way." The military guys nodded. "I just saw Radek and Evan. They're on the main base." He sat down. "Cam was too." They all nodded. "Good. General Landry," he called over the comm. "This is Nila. Permission to do a lab check for safety reason. We are docked and ready."
"Go for it," he called. "Let me know what needs damaged. Senior staff will be back in a few minutes, Specialist Harris."
"Thank you, General. Let's start with engineering," he told the present top military guy. He nodded, gathering a team and the head scientist to check. "Team 3, gather yours for chem. You guys have spent the most time there. Team 1, do the evac if something happens." They nodded, gathering what they'd need for that. "Nila, fully docked?"
"Yes, Xander," she chirped. "All four pipes are reestablished and the power core reads fine when I checked."
"Good. Let me and them know if you sense anything."
"I'll go with them." She beamed and flashed to where they were going into the lab. "Just in case so I can check my labs over," she said cheerfully.
"That's fine. You won't get in the way," one of the soldiers told her. She beamed at him and they went in.
Radek reappeared with the new stuff, putting it carefully on a chair then went to find his mate. Evan was already in the command center. "Where are we?"
"Safety check," Evan said. "One by one."
"Agreed." He glared at Xander. Who only gave him a dirty look back. "What will they do next time?"
"Nothing. They're in exploded bits and pieces."
"Oh. Good!" Xander grinned at that. "I did not need presents."
"Yes you did. You've been scowling at me the whole time like I had the lab accident that caused this."
"Guys, we can hear you," John complained from Atlantis. "Fight on your own time."
"Yes, big brother," Xander quipped.
"And don't you forget it either. Atlantis is reporting fully reseated and invisible, back in our assigned spot, General."
"Good," Landry said. "Tell me if anything got damaged, Atlantis."
"No, sir, we checked that when the earth disappeared."
"Even better. Harris, no fighting on Nila."
"Thank you." A few people laughed over the open link. "How is the lab check going?"
"So far, engineering has some overturned tables, but nothing damaged," the head scientist reported. "We're moving to Chem."
"Chem has their own team ready," Xander said. "Go to botany next. With the AI it'll be the easiest and you can work your way down."
"That's reasonable," she decided, switching off for the head of botany. They went up there and she came in to upload the film for Radek to view.
"Many things are banged up but only one machine is reading wrong," he said with a point.
"I checked, the power cord was yanked out by the tremors of the move. It's restarting right now. I had Nila put a shield around it in case it overheated."
"Good thinking." He went to help check on the others with Evan. Cam got beamed back. "We're doing a lab check."
"I heard. Let's go help." They went to do that. They'd talk to Xander later.
Landry looked up as Dawn appeared in a flash of light with Jack Harkness. "Captain, Miss Summers."
"Good morning, General," she said with a happy smile.
"What happened? I got referred to you."
Jack handed over a copy of his report for Torchwood. "Daleks."
"I got told that." He read it over, grimacing. "That explains a lot." He looked up. "The outcome?"
"We needed Xander as a diversion. They're all in tiny pieces."
"Ianto and I included how we got back since I know Rodney and others will want to know," Dawn said with a smile.
"Even better. Thank you, Miss Summers." She smirked. "Is your sister all right?"
"Freaked out about deadly flying art deco trash cans that couldn't get into Sunnydale. Something was protecting it."
"Any idea what?" Jack asked her.
"She's asking around. We think it was something the Master did or the old mayor did during his time in office."
"I want to know when you do," Jack told her. "We'll of course share it," Jack said with a smile.
"That would be appreciated. Does the president know? Or your Prime Minister?"
"I haven't gotten a call yet," Jack admitted. "I have copies of the report for my own people's higher ups. You can pass that on if you want."
"Thank you." He smirked. "Have fun with the meetings."
"I send Dawn. She's perky, cute, they know she's an intern. They don't try to hit on her. She appears to be non-threatening." Dawn snorted. He smirked at his little girl then at the General. "They like her a lot more than me."
"Even better. Wish I could do the same but they hate Harris."
"Just think, there's an election coming up," Dawn said with a cheery, nearly high looking grin. Landry shuddered. "Martha has one for UNIT being done. They also did the Osterhagen thingy. I'm guessing that's like a planetary, 'we won't be enslaved' destructo thingy. So.... If they need to know, you can make her do paperwork too."
The general gave her a look. "That's almost mean, Miss Summers."
"Martha said I looked trashy last week," she quipped, pushing her hair back. "Did you bring the other copy?"
"It's on the desk," Jack told her.
"Cool. Let me do that. Then I'll go check on Mom and Buffy." She disappeared.
"The perkiness has to come from her mother," Jack said, cracking the general up. "Anyway, you can tell Radek to quit scowling at Xander. He only shot one and then looted as the distraction we needed."
"I'll do that. Thank you."
"Let us know if you need to have more help that way." He sent himself home. The Doctor still couldn't undo his bracelet.
Dawn appeared in a high security area, holding up his ID card in her hand. "Torchwood," she said happily. "I have a report for them."
"They're in a meeting," one guard said.
"I can explain what happened." They let her in. She smiled at the secretary, who huffed. "I have our report. Captain Harkness is getting one from UNIT as well."
"Please go explain that, Miss Summers."
"That's what I'm here for," she quipped, heading in there. "It's a good day when you save the universe and live to tell about it," she told all the scowling people. "If you're unhappy that you're still alive, don't blame us." The Prime Minister started to cough. "Aww. Sorry." She put the papers down next to him and walked to the end of the table again. "Torchwood's report."
"What the effin' hell happened!" one of the people in the room shouted. He was wearing a military uniform.
"Daleks. Those floating, nasty things were Dalek's. They needed the planet to help power some reality bomb according to Captain Harkness. They got it stopped with the Doctor's help and then got us back into place."
"Was that one who was at both problems here in London there?" the Prime Minister asked.
"No, Xander was on Nila. Jack told me that he called Xander to be a distraction while they destroyed the bomb that was going to end all space, time, and everything everywhere."
"That's good to know," he decided, reading over the report. He scowled at her. "Isn't the Tardis the size of a phone box?"
"Yes but like a tug boat, sir."
"Ah." He handed it off. "Are there any others coming?"
"Doctor Jones from UNIT may have one sometime today."
"I heard about those cities," he said bluntly.
"With what they are, they stayed in place. They're not exactly tied to us fully, sir. They helped, I was on the hidden one to help link in their power system for that tether rope. Along with linking into the rift in Sunnydale."
"Even better," he decided. "Why does he send you?"
She smiled. "Because you grump less at me and you'd rather have perky people telling you bad news than him. Or so he said."
"Quite possibly," he agreed dryly. "Anything that needs to be known about?"
"As far as we know, everything should be fine. The hub is fine and we're all good. I'm going to check on Xander's estate later on because of his plant samples." The Prime Minister gaped at her. She smiled. "He's been gardening since he went on that unusual trip. We have some wonderful samples I'm helping tend."
"We'd like a report on those," one of them said.
She looked at him. "Xander is SG personnel," she said bluntly. "If you don't know what that is, your clearance isn't that high so you can't and if you do know what it is, you know who to ask." She looked at the Prime Minister again. "If you must, you can ask Jack about anything. Xander gave him an inventory list."
"That's wonderful of him. How many are dangerous?"
"A few have tentacles," she offered with a smile. "Some eat bunny rabbits. They're very protective of whoever's there when it's me, my coworkers for the most part, or him."
"Wonderful. I heard about spores....."
"We have samples of two different plants. They are in quarantine," she said bluntly. "Those are not releaseable without orders from the proper people and my boss, Prime Minister, because they can be dangerous in the wrong hands."
"I agree fully. I was going to ask that you burn them."
She smirked. "They do have great medical hopes. And would thoroughly fund that project."
He snickered. "Yes, I can see why."
She beamed at him. "Is there anything else I can tell you about today, gentlemen?"
One coughed. "Young lady, you look familiar."
She looked at him. "I'm Torchwood's intern. Captain Harkness sends me with all missives because I'm perky and don't take shit from anyone." The others laughed. "Where do you think you know me from?"
"I believe I know your sister."
She glared at him. "Is that an admission that you're a soulless man twat from the Council who wants to treat young women who had no choice when they were called to be warriors against their will like shit?" He gaped. "Yes, I do know of the Council, and their *stunning* plan to have my sister, myself, and Faith all knocked up to see if we bred true. No thank you, my boyfriend wouldn't like that." She stared at him. "We know too much about the Council to ever respect them. As a matter of fact, Xander would like to come visit and show his displeasure at the last plan you guys had to hurt Faith."
The Prime Minister coughed. "You know of them?"
"My sister's Buffy, sir."
"Oh!" He stared at her in horrified awe. "So you do know."
"Oh, yes." She smirked. "And want to destroy them too since one of them tried to poison me last year. Thank the Goddess Xander's wonderful at herbology." She glared at the idiot. "I'd say leave the Sunnydale team alone but you should've learned that by now." She smiled at the others. "Anything else I can help you guys with?" They shook their heads. "Then we're going to be cleaning up the rubble from the tremors during moving. Have a better day, gentlemen." She disappeared from right there.
The men, once they had picked themselves up off the floor, looked at the guy from the Council. "I'd say that their present people are not pleased with you."
"I have heard nothing about that poisoning. Though that may be when Captain Harkness and Mr. Harris paid us a visit." He stiffened. "That Xander, is it Harris?" he asked the Prime Minister.
"Yes, at both those battles we've had. He's also the one that got so very upset with the American president for the aftermath of that last battle that he found those disgusting pictures." They all shuddered. "He's now Canadian." The Watcher moaned. "I'd suggest you leave them all alone. Including her sister and the other one. They are protected by the same people Mr. Harris is. And Mr. Harris. Who I'm told has tight ties to Torchwood as well."
Xander appeared with a sigh, looking at him. "Sir, Dawn said you wanted a talk?"
"Mr. Harris. We were talking about you. This young man wanted to make sure you were one and the same."
Xander glared at the Watcher. "Don't go near Dawn. I'll kill the entire Council for that." The man gasped. "I'm not the nice one. I haven't been the nice one. I won't be the nice one. Hell, I earned a medal for losing my temper and taking a battle axe to a few units of Ori a while back. I chopped them all into tiny, bloody pieces right after holding that disease shield." He sneered a little bit. "Those of us in my program don't respect the Council because they know what you did to Faith, and they don't respect you because they've helped in Sunnydale a few times as well. So let's just forget we had to have this talk and leave all of the Sunnydale team alone. It's better for everyone." He smiled at the others. "We don't care about the rest of you unless you're Council morons as well." He looked at the Prime Minister. "Contrary to popular yelling I wasn't part of this one." He disappeared again.
"I'm told he has some wonderful futuristic weapons from his travels," the Prime Minister told him. "I believe it was sane, competent advice."
"The Council really does loathe that boy. We have a memo that he is to be killed on sight thanks to Travers."
"I heard a lot of that from their president when Mr. Harris was ready to deal with those threats he was sent. That program likes him quite a lot for the translator and problem solver he is. I'm told he's on that new city of the Ancients. The liaison between the military guards and the scientists." The Council guy shuddered in horror. "Exactly." He smirked. "The Queen adores him for helping save us both of those times."
The man from the Council grimaced. "He dates evil things I'm told."
"I'm told he has a scientist and a military major," the Prime Minister said smugly. "Plus the Doctor dotes on him. Calls him a padawan." They all cracked up and relaxed at that.
The situation was over and they could brief the press and others soon so they could all quit worrying.
Xander appeared via beam next to Landry, who was not pleased to be called to this meeting. "I wasn't even part of this one," he said when the President opened his mouth. "I got called in as a momentary distraction. I spent most of it locked in a room on Nila because everyone was worried that something bad would happen again." He handed over the reports he had gathered earlier. "UNIT's and Torchwood's report. They were both in attendance." He stepped back.
The president read them over then looked at Landry. "You wouldn't allow him out?"
"The other senior staff on Nila wanted to make sure he stayed there in case of problems, sir."
"I see." He looked at him. "You could have been."
"Nila and Atlantis were both still here. I have no idea what was going on beyond having heard a bit about it in later years."
The president huffed. "Fine." He reread them then looked at Landry. "How can we stop this from happening again?"
"They blew up the Daleks, sir. They're no more as far as we know."
"Good!" He leaned back. "As you know, later this year is an election." They both nodded. "Don't seem so cheerful, Harris."
Xander smirked. "I hope the next person in office will appreciate the program, and all that we do, Sir. I'm told the two candidates are both using assholes, but they won't be scared of what we can do."
"That's putting it mildly. They'll like you too."
"I'm Canadian now," he said with a look.
The President snorted. "I never got that paperwork."
"I got a letter of acknowledgment from the Secretary of State, sir," Landry said.
"I see. What would you say to a new General in O'Neill's spot?"
"I'd say they'd better have done the job at least once," Xander said. "Or else they'll make stupid decisions that'll hurt the program and therefore the security of the planet. Not like you can understand the Ori unless you're a fundamentalist and that dumb yourself."
"Xander," Landry ordered calmly.
"It's true. Hell, they're as bad as that church in Kansas that goes around making asses of themselves."
"I think the Ori are worse. They kill those who don't want to join them."
Xander snorted. "I'm sure that church would if they could get away with it." He crossed his arms over his chest and shifted his weight some. "If O'Neill is retiring, is Landry moving up and therefore someone's getting a promotion or do I have to introduce another general to Sunnydale stuff first? Since we have ties and we found demons on a recent mission."
"You did?" the president demanded. Xander nodded. "Bad ones?"
"Whole native council, not bad though. They had enemies that were and we helped fix them. We're now on friendly terms. They do know about Sunnydale and sympathized that I grew up there. When the team ran into demons, they called really fast."
"I'm sure they did." He stared at Landry. "The next ones won't like O'Neill."
"There's days I don't like Jack, sir. But I respect the man for what he's done."
"Nice answer," he said dryly. "You'll need to brief them."
"We have the recruiting video for the scientists worked out," Xander said. "Rodney and Radek did that for us. It lists the labs, some views of the city here and in Pegasus. Some of the staff's pictures of other places. It goes into a short overview of the Wraith and Ori."
"Good," he decided. "You planned on needing that to hire scientists?"
"Some day, Atlantis will need some or the main base will. We can edit and cut it down for each program. The program as a whole needs to recruit some more people as well, that's a good show and tell for them as an opening."
"Did you work with someone who knows marketing?" the president asked.
"No, sir," Landry said. "We haven't really needed to look at advertising the program. I can if you wish and will let us."
"I know someone online that may be able to advise us," Xander said. "She works for some engineers. They do public works stuff."
"That's not a bad idea," Landry decided, nodding. "Run the presentation past her, see if she has any doubts. None of it's the fully classified things, right?"
"We can use that version."
"That'll work," he decided. "Let us know her suggestions for the presentation and we'll gladly run it for the new president then show him around the cities and the base, sir."
"Good." He grimaced. "When is our next problem coming, Harris?"
"I'm not an oracle. I think the next one's in a few years and it's back in England."
"Excellent." He smirked. "I like that answer better than it being here."
"Unless the Ori make it here first."
The president sighed. "You had to ruin my happy thought?"
Xander stared at him. "Want me to answer that?"
"No. Go away." Xander left. "Landry, are you sure you want to keep him? UNIT needs to do some rebuilding. Torchwood probably does."
"Yes, sir, I'm certain. We love having Harris with us. He solves a lot of problems, keeps the scientists motivated and working at times. We'd like to keep him."
"Fine. Try to keep him away from the next guy? I've already told them who he was."
"If you want, sir. Xander hates attention."
"Good!" He waved a hand. "Dismissed." Landry got beamed back. He groaned, faxing those reports to the office they needed to go to so they could be shard.
Xander reappeared on Nila. "Radek, the General wants to see the full presentation. The President wants us to have someone who knows marketing look it over. I got approval for that." He nodded, making that note on his computer. "He wanted to talk about who might be replacing O'Neill and him after the election as well."
Radek muttered something as he typed. "I'm sure it will be fine."
"If not, want to travel for a bit?" he asked with a grin.
Radek smiled back. "Is not a bad idea." He heard a splash. It was nice Nila broadcast whenever she did that. "Nila, please make sure that one does not drown," he called. "Military, please go retrieve that person."
"Sir, she got into the plants on the atoll," the deck guard called back. "She jumped in to get away from the plants."
"They're not that mean," Xander said patiently. "Only five or six are poisonous."
"I don't think it mattered to her, Harris. She was trying to get away from a tentacle plant." Xander moaned and went to the atoll to fuss over his plants some more.
Radek went to talk to that scientist. It was one he didn't like but it was still mean of the plant. Kavanagh was cackling in his corner, his 'mother' giving him fond looks. "Enough," he said quietly. "Which plant was attacking you?" he asked as she got helped back up.
"One of the tentacle plants wanted to play anime with me!" she complained loudly. "Why do we even have them!"
"Because they spent much time trying to eat the teams in the Pegasus galaxy," Radek told her. "They are under study. They would be safely contained in a lab if not for a selfish woman who threw them out there for being angry that she was not top botanist and could not see that Xander is smart even without a degree."
She snorted. "He's a smartass."
"He is very smart," one of the guards told her. "He taught us a few different languages when we asked. The other linguists wouldn't."
She huffed off to dry herself off. "I know he's useful but those plants are still a menace."
"I will see if Xander will move most of them to Cardiff," Radek called after her, activating his headset. "Xander, can any be relocated?"
"No," he said. "Not easily." He hung up cooing at something.
Radek sighed, shaking his head. "Remind Major Lorne to add mice for them to eat." The guard shuddered but made that note to his boss. Radek went back to checking on his people. They were all going insane. He walked as close as he could to the atoll, finding Xander near-by. "Do not speak to us as you do them?" he asked.
Xander smiled. "Of course I won't coo at you, Radek. You're not cute and spiny." Radek walked off groaning and shaking his head.
Cam looked out at his morning meeting. "Last order of business. There's a list of people whose contracts are about to expire. They need to talk to the Generals soon. Radek, that does include yours. Major Lorne, yours as well. Xander, yours too."
"I know," he agreed.
"We'll miss you, Xander," one of the chemists said.
He looked at them. "I can sign on for another eighteen months." They pouted. He sighed, looking at Radek. "I'll find a grill later?"
"That'll work," Cam agreed. "Invite me as long as we're not on the atoll. Xander, can you clear off a free area?"
"I'm working on it. I did not plant those out there."
"I know. McKay yelled at her about that too."
Xander nodded, making notes. "I've cleared a good beach party sized area. I'm clearing it back to the trellis I put up yesterday. That leaves a walkway and a good, clear party area. I'll be putting up a small fence to designate the area later on with some help." He looked at Lorne. "All your guys woosed out."
"They know your plants only love you," he said dryly, earning a few laughs. "I'll help you plant a fence line as long as you make it a clear area."
"It has grass."
"Good! How many mice am I getting them?"
"Twenty is good for the next two months. They've caught a few birds and insects."
"And I fed them the last of the meatloaf from the other night. They all loved it. Even with the cayenne in it." He belched. "Sorry."
"I had those same stomach flashbacks," Cam said dryly. "I'll come help with the fence to make sure the area's big enough."
"Some I can't transplant," Xander told him. "They're deeply rooted and it'll kill 'em, or us since a few are the life vines." They all groaned. "Also, garden weeding is a good punishment, Evan."
"I've already got it on the list for the vegetable garden, Xander. Not the other plants but the garden." The military guys all whimpered. A few of the tentacle plants were really close to it.
Xander smirked. "I can't move those, guys. A few are interwoven down into the foundation of the island." They all sighed but nodded. "If we wanted to, we could build up the free end of it to make it a bit bigger."
"No," Cam said. "Not right now. We have enough construction going on. Beyond that, it's not a Captain Morgan's commercial." The guys all laughed at that and a few of the women too. "Let's get back to it." They left, going to work. Cam got some gloves and went to help install the fence. He looked around the clear area. "It's not a bad size but I could hope it'd be larger."
"I can clear out this far," Xander said, walking that way. He finally stopped. "The next plants are some I can't remove without killing them. I'm working on cuttings but I can't promise."
Cam nodded. "Well, it's not a huge area but it's a lot."
"I can pare back to within feet of the garden in one direction. Make a pit there for cooking maybe?" He showed him his plans by drawing with a stick in the dirt. "That gives us about a baseball field sized area. This atoll isn't that large."
"That'll work," Cam decided. They got to work on the fence. Xander got two of the Marines out to dig the cooking pit and put up the stakes to hold anything they were cooking. When they were done, the head of the construction crew came out. "Think this'll do?" Cam asked him.
He nodded. "It will be a good place. Most of the touching plants are moved?"
"Most of them are replanted somewhere else," Xander said with a small grin. "They're guarding the vegetable garden and things."
"That's fine. My men don't want to touch that anyway, Harris." He looked around. "Good fencing job as well, boys." He went to tell his crew chiefs so they could pass it on for the every Saturday relaxation event they had. Sometimes the soldiers joined, sometimes not. It was good enough for them for now.
Cam looked around their party area then at Xander. "They can use the lanar and the rec room," he said.
Xander smirked. "They often do." They went to hose off for lunch and then got back to the other jobs around the city and docks. There was always something that needed fixed.
Xander woke up with a moan, holding his head. "Ow."
"Xander?" Nila asked quietly. "Are you all right?"
"Did I get shot again?"
"No." She moved closer. "No, don't move. You're okay but you've got to be sore."
He blinked at her. "What happened?"
"A machine exploded. Botany felt it and told me before I could get here."
"Shit. Everyone else?"
"They're fine. You were rushing them out and were at the doorway when it went off." She frowned. "It knocked out our communications."
"Go to the house and yell across? Or tell Atlantis?"
"I didn't think about that!" She disappeared, appearing in John's office. "Xander's awake."
"Why wouldn't he be?" he asked, looking up form his paperwork.
"He was clearing people before an explosion. It knocked out our communication gear."
"I'm coming with the doctor. Is he the only injury?" She nodded. He called her on the way to the pass-through at Xander's place. They walked out and she led them to him. "Where is everyone?"
"Back on my city. Just in case. I can't get back there. One of them did something and locked me on the dock."
"I'll have Rodney fix it," he promised, calling him. Nothing, no radio. He looked at her and she left. He and the doctor got the door to chemistry open, finding Xander trying hard to sit up. "What happened?"
"No clue. I don't remember how I got down here." The backup doc for Atlantis helped him to stand and got him outside. He groaned at the sunlight. "Where's everyone?"
"Someone locked them on Nila."
Xander looked at him. "You can't lock a doorway that's open. Her forcefields are down because they're working on the sanitation systems."
"I'm having Rodney check." The doctors got them beamed back to the city's infirmary while John went to check on the people. He found them milling around but looking bored. "Major Lorne," he snapped. Evan jumped, giving him a dirty look. "McKay is coming to look at your radio since it's down."
"Yes, sir. The contamination alarm was set off and then we lost radios. I called the main base."
"No one told us." He grimaced. "Harris is fine." Evan stiffened, glaring at him. "A bit banged up. No memory of the explosion in chemistry."
"The contam alarm wasn't for chemistry. It was for biology."
"No, biology looked fine when we walked past it."
"I see." He looked around. "Nila?" She didn't appear. "Why?" he asked the colonel.
"She's locked to the dock somehow."
"Radek!" He came jogging over. "It was the wrong lab that set off the alarm. Nila's unable to get back here? Our radios are still down?"
"I cannot get through the radio problem. What happened?"
"Something exploded in chem," John told him.
"I was told Xander was on the atoll and in the garden."
"No, he's in the infirmary. He's a bit banged up. Possibly a small head injury. Nila can't get back either."
"I will look into it."
"Rodney's coming. That's his job."
"I agree," he said firmly, nodding some. Cam pushed his way over. "We have problems."
"I'm betting it's bad?" he asked John. Who told him everything. "Huh." He nodded. "When McKay finds all the little conspirators, I want them first. Then the generals can have them."
"Agreed," John said. Rodney huffed in, looking pissed off. "He good?"
"He's fine. Small head injury. Atlantis is linked to my tablet PC, she'll call if there's news." He handed Radek something. "Let's figure this one out. I haven't had to yell in days."
Radek nodded. "Us first." He followed him to the command panel. "Calvin, find what is wrong with the shields."
"Sure, Radek." He looked worried. Harry wasn't happy laying on his feet. "What happened?"
Radek said something in Chinese. "Do not worry. I doubt you were part of it."
Kavanagh nodded. "No, probably not. I'd never... not knowingly." He went to work on the shields. Someone was clearly in trouble.
Radek and Evan walked into the infirmary. "We have ferreted out a few more in the conspiracy to make you leave. They wanted the city shut down and figured you'd be a good start on that." He leaned down to kiss Xander on the forehead, something Evan couldn't do. Xander was still sulking. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah. I put up the friend/foe warning on the house from here and it went off a minute ago. John went to see who it was."
"That's fine. Whoever did it this morning is in much trouble for endangering lives, especially yours," Evan said. He patted him on the knee, getting a look. "Who was it?"
"I'm pretty sure it was female but otherwise I have no idea how they got there."
"Hmm. Could be that Dawn's doorway was not blocking them?" Radek suggested.
"I specified only her coworkers in case they had to evacuate."
"Then it's probably one of them," Evan agreed. "The rest keep everyone but family and friends out." He patted him again and sat on the edge of the bed to look at his boy. "Are you all right?"
"Small concussion. Bit banged up. Did it do a lot of damage?"
"One machine exploded. We found it was tampered with. The one who did it is begging for mercy. We beat her for you." Radek smiled. "She was not happy. Wanted to be on Atlantis instead. Thought we were a lesser city. So I let Nila yell as well. She was used by the rest, who wanted program shut down for good of their religious views." Xander grinned at that. "Will you be going back tonight?"
"If they'd let me out of the bed."
"We will make sure so you can have dinner," Evan said with a grin.
"That's right, we're supposed to be having dinner with the generals about the contract stuff."
"That was yesterday," Radek said, looking at the nearest nurse. "How much is he missing?"
"Just today, Radek. He'll be fine and the doctor wanted to keep him overnight, also to protect him just in case." She went off to see to the new cut hand that was coming in.
"Then we will hover," Radek decided.
"If you want," Xander said, giving him a slight grin.
"Yes, we want," Evan assured him. He got them some chairs and pulled them over while Radek got the curtains around the bed.
John walked into the house, seeing Ianto in the kitchen. "Who else was here with you?"
"As far as I know, no on was. Why?" he asked, looking up from his sandwich making. "Dawn hasn't eaten in days and we have no food in any of our apartments thanks to cases."
"Xander wouldn't mind." He leaned on the counter. "Someone attacked him earlier. He did a friend/foe thing with magic and saw someone he was fairly certain was female in the upper level of the library."
"I did not see anyone else here. I know Dawn didn't come in."
"No, it was clearly someone who didn't like him."
"I can help you search."
"Please." John and Ianto went into the library and Ianto gasped, looking around. John smiled. "Never been in here?"
"No. Dawn's kept it to herself." He followed up the stairs to the second level. They each took a side to meet in the back of the balcony. Ianto ran into something, pausing to look at it. "All the books reshelve themselves, right?"
"Yes." He came jogging over. "That's not one of Xander's. It's too new." He checked, no wires. Inside... it was a mess. "Can you maybe get through our portal and get someone?"
"Of course." He went to summon him some help and took the sandwich to Dawn, getting Tosh to come help as well. If it was electronic, she could deal with it. Jack came too. "I have no idea who it was."
"I didn't see anyone." He went to help too. "John?"
"Jack. Book bomb."
He looked then shook his head. "No idea." The bomb tech for Atlantis appeared and Cadman got it undone fairly easily. "Can we find fingerprints?" he asked her.
"I can try." She put it into a containment box and walked it back to the base. "Give me an hour, Colonel."
"Thank you." He looked around then at Ianto. "You didn't see anyone?"
"No. I'd hate to think of my coworkers that way. Jack, did you see anyone?"
"No. Not that did that. I saw Gwen peeking in but she's not capable of that."
John nodded. "Ask her if she saw anyone please. We had Xander hurt earlier on purpose." Ianto glared. "Not my doing. They sabotaged a lab and the radio system. He's got a concussion."
"I can let Dawn come fuss," Jack offered.
"People think her showing up is favoritism since they can't get their families to Atlantis."
"Dawn's not exactly normal at times."
"No, and we've pointed out she's Daniel's geek protégée."
"He wasn't happy with her grades recently," Jack said with a smug look.
"Which we all blame on Owen. Daniel suggested he just buy her a ring and get it over with, but it made Owen have fits, which caused Dawn angst, and I nearly shot Owen again," Ianto finished dryly. "It's nice, I've got a daughter who is nearly as good of a dresser as I am."
"Now if only she wore longer skirts," Jack said dryly.
"She looks adorable and that's all that really matters to her. We did get her out of her habit of flashing navel to everyone."
Jack smiled. "Thank you for that. Even if she did make you go shopping with her."
"It's fine. It took two days to no longer see women's clothes when I tried to rest, but it's fine now." John snickered. "She did vow to steal Faith."
"Faith can hide," John said dryly. "So can the others." They nodded and John checked the rest of the house. Nothing. So he left, closing all the doors behind him. That way they would know if someone opened one. The alarm system would tell Xander and who it was if it knew them.
"Well, gosh, this is a quandary," a male voice said, frowning. "How on earth did anyone do this?"
Xander blinked awake, staring at the man. "I know damn well you got killed. There's no way you turned back from the giant snake." The man smirked at him. "So why take his form just to piss me off?"
"I'm sure it won't."
"Oh, yeah, it will." He sat up, glaring at him. He glanced around. Still in the infirmary. "Faith to the Infirmary, please Atlantis," he murmured. The former Mayor of Sunnydale smirked at that.
"Which one, Xander?" she asked, appearing.
"Both. Have her team escort her and someone get the other one." She nodded, going to order that. He looked at him. "Reality rip?"
"Something of the sort. It was so gosh darn interesting too."
Xander snorted. "No it's not."
"This place is unusual. I had no idea we had things like this in the military."
"We don't." He heard a gun be cocked and looked. "John, this is Mayor Richard Wilkins."
"Graduation?" he asked.
"Yup. There's two Faith's."
"That might explain that book bomb." Faith got walked in by Kissen. "Is she ours or the other one?"
"Ours. She's been with me for hours." Faith nodded, looking pissed. Xander pointed and she stared, then backed away slowly. "So there's two?" Kissen asked.
"Apparently," Xander said. He got out of the bed and checked himself. "Who put socks on me?"
"You were cold," John told him.
"Oh." He grinned. "Thanks."
"Welcome." He smirked back. The other Faith was led in kicking and screaming. The soldiers saw the first one and winced. "Realm rip, guys. She's a juvie Faith."
Faith looked at her younger self. "Thank god I learned better." Xander beamed at her. "The Doctor was good at getting his point across when I needed it." She walked over to herself, staring at her. "We were in jail for years because we followed him," she told her quietly. "We lost all the respect we didn't realize we had. We got saved to come here to this project and help but otherwise we might've died there. He's evil. He's not a good man even if he does like us. That's why he likes us."
"Every hunter and slayer has darkness in them," Xander pointed out. "Or else we'd be on the floor crying in a little huddled ball every night after patrol." The other Faith sneered at him. He stared back. "I'm not like I was then either, Faith. We were all bad back then and had no idea that the fighting inside the group was hurting you because we thought Giles was handling some of it. When we realized it, we tried. We tried harder after you woke up and had problems." He moved closer. "The me there wants to help you. He wants to help you regain some solid footing. If you'd let him, Faith and I are much better friends now that we've talked and things. She gets what my parents were like and I get yours."
"How?" she sneered. "Yours are around."
"Not always conscious," he quipped, giving her a look. "There's a reason I don't drink much, Faith. They're it." She looked startled. "Willow's left her alone all the time and hyped how smart she was. It created the geek queen she was. She was recently killed for trying to kill others via magic. She got addicted to it. The Powers had to bring her back." The mayor yawned so Xander lashed out, knocking him down and out. He looked at her again. "Will he still like you when he's the giant demon worm? When he's got to eat all of humanity to survive?"
She swallowed. "He cares."
"He's a user, Faith. The same as those pimps your mom had were." She winced at that, looking down. "The same as any dealer can be. He's dealing to you. It's affection instead of a drug but it's just as strong." He tipped her face up. "Buffy's spoiled. She's had her mom forever. She's a former princess before being called. Joyce did a good job letting Buffy know that there were people like us out there but she didn't know or see it personally as more than a few homeless people now and then. Dawn, when she gets there, will be the same way. Angel's still a vampire. He's nearly two centuries old. Spike's a hundred-twenty-something."
She shuddered. He smiled. "Not my thing either. I have my boys. I'm content." She stared in his eyes. He smiled. "You have to be stronger because of who you are. Faith Lehane is more than the slayer parts." The girl nodded at that. "At the time before graduation, we were too young ourselves to see." He patted her on the cheek and stepped back. "You'll make it, no matter what choices you make today or tomorrow, Faith. Time isn't a thread or a destiny. It's what use you make of it."
"Look at me," Faith ordered, making her look at her. "I chose to come here. They're good people. They've taught me things, helped me heal, gotten my head on straight. Going to prison started that but being here finished it. I got a whole lot of people to care for because I made my own family. Boytoy's a fine brother at times. Even lets me steal popcorn during movies."
Faith swallowed. "But... He's ...."
"Evil," Faith said. "Like the one that took our Linda. Only he's made deals to get more evil and soon he'll turn into a huge ass evil demon worm. It'll be our first apocalypse and I spent it in a coma after tangling with Buffy. I had no idea she was so hard from our few training times."
"There's people around you that you can always trust, Faith," Xander told her. "Even if it's not me, you can always trust Oz to give you an honest answer. Spike, which is strange to say, will too. He might taunt you with it, but he'll be honest. Dru... she's cracked but she'll try to claim you as like her. Angel will try to evade. Buffy's ... well, not seeing at the moment due to her personal life going to hell with the running away thing. Still. They're still mending that fence and she's overly hot due to the upcoming apocalypse. Willow.... back then she wasn't *bad* but she was tied up in her new magic thing because it fleshed out her personal identity. It made her be someone. You saw them push me away because I wasn't fitting in with their views of what a special person was." She nodded. "If you came up to me one night and just said 'hey, I need to talk' I might quip something stupid but I'd know if you were serious. I'm a lot deeper than I appeared," he finished dryly. "Or go ask Oz. Or even Mrs. Summers. She's not an airhead and she never knew, Faith. At all."
"Her first letter to me said she thought I was staying with Wes," Faith agreed. She shrugged. "No one thought to tell her anything. She was just learning about stuff too."
Faith nodded, looking down again. "Are we in trouble?"
"Well, you crossed realities," Xander said. "We'll have to fix that. Get you home. There can't be two of you in one reality for very long, even if there is such an age and experience gap."
"What happened to you?" Faith asked, staring at him. "You're not the same X as at home."
"I grew up, did some traveling. Had a lot of pain and a lot of good. I learned not to dwell and became a scary sort in my own right."
"He can kick my ass," Faith admitted. "Repeatedly and look hot doing it." The younger her gaped. She nodded. "He's very good at it. He teaches too. I've been leaning some from him." She smiled. "It'll work out but be your own woman and make your own choices. If you wanna stay with him, take the consequences of your actions. Only we can screw ourselves up anymore."
Xander patted her on the back. "You've healed."
"You're too touchy feely," she snorted. He hugged her. "Hey! Get off!" She got free and glared. "Pain in the ass." He grinned and laughed. "Bastard," she said but she was grinning. "See? He's like a pesky brother."
"I even threaten her dates for her," Xander said with a grin. "She threatened my boys."
"Huh," the younger Faith said with a stare. "So maybe I'll go think tonight."
"Do that," Faith agreed. "Maybe you won't be prison bound later. It's not good." She nodded, and the guards let her go. Faith walked over. "We'll get you home as soon as we can. Even if I have to call in a favor or two."
"No need," Xander said. "I can reopen the rip and send them back through." The guards got the mayor. Xander got them to the house and the rip was easily found. He sent them back through then upped the security system. He escaped back to Nila since no one was watching.
John shook his head. "That's just bad of him," he decided, but he smiled at Faith. "You were cute."
"Adorable but still soft," she quipped with a smirk back. "It's time for me to prove I'm better now."
"Have fun with Ronon and sparring." He left, closing the door behind himself. He came back to check but the wall's rip was closed. He hoped. He had seen the memories of graduation and he did not want that on Atlantis.
Radek found Xander at dinner time, hauling him up and away from the spiny tentacle plants that were protecting him from the nurses. "We will eat and go to bed." He stared at him. "At home."
Xander grinned. "That's a brilliant idea."
"I am brilliant. Of course it was." He walked Xander off. "You have three to break bad on tomorrow."
"Yes. Pranking the sensitive military sorts. Made one cry."
Xander huffed. "Snakes?"
"Tentacles from a plant."
"They did what to a plant?" he demanded.
"I do not know." Xander got free and walked in there, going to grab the three he knew were in trouble. "What the fucking HELL did you do to my plant to prank the military guys?" he shouted. They all flinched and so did one other. "Well?" he demanded.
"It was a trimming of a bad tentacle," one of them defended. "We didn't know it'd make them cry!"
"They probably got eaten by the one in Pegasus, which are all *larger* and hungrier." She shrank back. "I know damn well we saved at least ten soldiers, plus a jumper from the bigger, unchecked cousin of the ones on the atoll. Not to mention a few *teams* from one of the ones like my Morticia. Quit picking on them for being human!" They all nodded, shrinking back away from him. "No more pranks, people. If you make someone cry, you get to hold them and sob with them when I do a transference so you understand and feel the same way. That includes if we get someone who's pregnant."
They all nodded at that, looking down. He glared at the three scientists. "I don't care if you didn't mean to be that mean but that cutting was probably poisonous as well. They do keep their poison even when dried." They all shuddered. "That single tentacle has enough poison in it to cook down to a pint bottle. In the natural, uncooked state it can kill about half a platoon of wraith. Cooked down, it can kill most of us. It loses effectiveness when cooked." That got a wince. "You could have killed someone. Did you even think to read the fact sheet on it?" They shook their heads. "Then you'll be doing that tonight and apologizing in private. I don't care if you guys have fun and pull harmless pranks. This wasn't. This would be like me poking at someone's phobia. Which you would call me a bully for."
"Yes, Xander," they all agreed.
"Go. Take the food and go do that." They ran off with their trays. "Anyone else?" No one said anything. "We certain?" Everyone nodded. "The person who got the tentacle, did it touch you with the sap? If so, did you hit the infirmary? You don't have to out yourself. I'm not that sort of mean. Just be aware of these things. I do not feel like going to a funeral." The whole team nodded. "Good. Eat." They got back to eating and talking. Xander sat down with his boys. "I was too mean, wasn't I," he said, noticing the wary looks.
"Perhaps but was needed," Radek assured him. "With how many of us nearly got killed by those things it is not something we want to relive the thought of."
"Like the day I woke up to a very lifelike cardboard cutout of a wraith in my room," Evan agreed. Xander stared at him impatiently. "In Pegasus, Xander."
"John. He's mean when he wants to be and he was twitting me over something." He ate a bit. "So I kindly let him do his own paperwork for a few weeks. After all, there were always other things that needed to be done."
"Didn't you shoot that?" Radek asked him.
"Yeah, which was how the whole base knew why John was smirking evilly at me. He said once he would've pranked Xander but if he had woken in the wrong state he might've blown us all up by accident."
"I'm not that bad. Not like I sleep with artillery. Just a little knife," Xander complained.
Evan stared at him. "I noticed that." Xander grinned. "Thank you for bandaging it the night I took a nap on the bed and got stabbed."
"You're welcome." He beamed. "We have to visit the other plant repository later on this week for Dawn."
"I still like how all the tentacles protect you but they'll attack most everyone else," Evan complained, giving him a dirty look.
"They were getting friendly at first but none tried to eat me. Morticia petted you a lot."
"I remember." He stuffed his mouth again. "How are they doing?"
"Wonderful." He smiled. "They've bred a whole bunch of little Addam's kids." Radek smiled at that, shaking his head slightly. "You don't like my plants?"
"I like the plants. They remind me of you when you are playful." Xander beamed at that compliment.
"Does he grow a tentacle too?" one of the women up the table asked with a grin.
"He doesn't need to," Evan assured her. "He can tickle without an extra hand."
"You know, there's lots of species of demons that have tentacles and most of them are really nice," Xander told her with a smile. "A few aliens too. I had one explain how those things worked during my travels." She gaped. He smirked. "They liked the plants too." She whimpered and walked off to bang her head on a wall outside in the hallway.
Nila appeared. "Dear, you're going to hurt yourself. Go take a nap or do something to clear your mind instead." She nodded, walking off rubbing her poor head.
"I saw that one in the memory review," Radek told him. "He did seem quite sweet and very understanding at why you freaked out." He smiled. "It was good of him to teach you a new thing." Xander smirked back.
Cam walked in. "Harris, no more traumatizing people tonight," he ordered with a small smirk of his own. "We need them able to sleep tonight so they can slave away in their labs tomorrow because we get new people then." He sat down. "Also, General Landry and the new guy over something else is showing up. He's being read into the program in case O'Neill or Landry get too hurt."
"That's fine," Xander agreed. "Is he mean?"
"Maybe. I don't know." He dug in. "What made her nearly cry that way?"
"We were talking about the alien who sat Xander down and explained what living being with tentacles do with them. We were talking about how his tentacle plants were very protective of him and a lot like him when he's goofy and playing around."
Cam dropped his fork, staring at them. "Don't be evil to me, guys!" he complained, taking his tray to his room so he could try to clear his mind. He wanted all thoughts of Tentacle Master Xander out of his head. He banged it on a wall to try since nothing else was.
Nila showed up to gently nag him as well. She got one of the nurses to sedate him when it was starting to look like he was getting hysterical. It was the kindest thing she could do. Clearly the poor boy had overworked himself again. That was a mean way for the trio to get a night off.
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