The Incidences of The Blippy Dohickey 2: Allies and Friends.
Xander grabbed his ringing phone. "Yeah?" he answered.
//Xander, I think I need some help,// Jack said quietly. //Dawn's got a final so I can't call her and I'm not real certain she can do anything about it anyway.//
"Why?" He quit hammering in the post he was working on. The others working on the self-supporting garden gave him a dirty look. "What happened, Jack?"
"You work for us, not for Torchwood," Radek reminded him patiently.
//We seem to have a temporal disturbance,// Jack said. //I'm pretty sure anyway.//
Xander sighed. "Radek, he's got a temporal thing going. I'll be taking lunch in Cardiff apparently." He hung up and teleported to where Jack was. He stared at the same brash, loud redhead his buddy was staring at. "Huh."
"Xander?" she asked, looking confused.
"Yeah, Donna. It's me." He called and switched languages. "Radek, I have the one who was with me at the thing in London the last time. The one who went into the light," he said in Chinese. "So yeah, it's a major issue. I'll be back as soon as I can. Even if I have to bend a bit." He hung up.
"You're teaching Radek Chinese?" Jack asked with a smirk.
"I offered others but he wanted to learn Chinese. It might come in handy with some of the scientists." He smirked back. "He's learning very well."
"I'm sure he is." They looked at Donna again. "How did you get here?"
"You act like I'm not supposed to be here," she said. "Is it creating a paradox?"
"No," Xander said simply.
"But... That would mean I'm not here." They continued to stare. "I died?" she demanded, glaring at them. It was the only explanation for Jack's sad look and Xander being hesitant but a bit freaked out.
"Did you hear any stories about the Master?" Xander sighed. She nodded slowly. "He came back." She growled. "You, me, Doc. London a little over a year ago. He regenerated and you wouldn't let him go," he finished more quietly, moving closer. He cast a sensing spell. "Who sent you here?"
"One of the Ood." She frowned. "How long ago?"
"About fifteen months," Xander said, looking at her.
"Well, fuck him," she said. "Who brought him back!"
"His wife so I'm sure she was missing that particular act," he shot back, earning a groan. "What year were you on earth last? Or, never mind. What was the last thing you got into with Ten?"
"Hold on, he regenerated?"
"Yeah, he's a dork," Jack said bluntly but he was smiling. "More than Ten ever was. A bit more insane too."
She stifled a snicker. "I won't tell him you said that. One of the Ood said that I was needed here to create balance. That the Doctor would be coming eventually. What year is it?"
"2007," Xander told her. She slumped. He gave her a hug. "Where did you appear?"
"Haven't moved away, didn't go looking, nothing?" he checked. She shook her head slowly. He cast around. "They sealed that hole very tightly." A person got beamed down. "General Landry, this is one of the Companions for Ten, Donna Noble. Donna, my boss."
She smiled and shook his hand. "I've seen quite a lot of Xander over the years. Hopefully he doesn't drive you lot barmy." She looked at Xander. "So I'm really dead?"
"You wouldn't let Ten go when he regenerated," he said quietly. "I begged and you refused, woman."
She huffed. "Well!"
"We saved the world but he got injured."
"Does this happen to others?" she asked.
"How would I know? People don't always stay dead on my project," Xander said dryly. He looked around, then at Jack. "I can't reopen it. It's fully closed. She's pre-Dalek moving thingy by a long shot."
"If we wouldn't get the lines crossed, I'd call him somehow," Jack admitted. "Sorry, General, but Xander might have the only way of getting her back if necessary."
"I understand why, Harkness. Sometimes you need to call a specialist."
"He's as close to a time lord as we have down here," Jack told him with a smile. "Plus he's pretty handy to have around."
"I was working on our base's garden," Xander told him. "I'll be up half the night planting anyway." He looked at the woman. "I have no idea what to do about this. I should return you to your own time, before we create problems and change the time stream."
"That would be bad, yeah," she agreed, pushing her hair back.
He did a quick braiding charm, earning a pinch but a smirk. "Not like I have a scrunchie and Dawn's not here." He put an arm on her shoulders, pulling out his phone. He looked then called. "Hey, Eleven, it's Xander. Do you want to yell at the Ood for sending Donna from about six years ago to present day Cardiff?" He listened. "Yeah, standing here. She said an Ood did it to provide balance." He saw the confused look on his boss's face. "They're like Harry Potter divination teachers only they're aliens and have more cryptic in them." He listened to the complaining. "Well, she's not creating a paradox," he said dryly. "But she was traveling with Ten." He smirked at Jack. "He'll come pick her up."
"Brilliant of him," Donna said with a grin. "Maybe he can spank the Ood."
"Eww, I don't want to think about Ood sex games," Xander complained. Jack burst out laughing. "Well, I don't!" He hung up. "He's having disgusting thoughts now too." He shook his head as a police box appeared. "The Ood did it," he said when Ten walked out looking unamused.
"From Eleven?" Jack guessed.
"Yes." He stared at her. "What was the last thing we did so I can get you to the right spot? Or Xander can really."
"I'd like him in this time zone if possible," General Landry said.
"It's a hard and fast law, you can only be in one place so many times," Jack told him.
They all stared at Donna. She shrugged. "A vacation with a moon tour? The spa. You had something going on."
"Were you at the spa?" the Doctor asked. She smiled and nodded. "Before we had dinner?"
"Good. Xander, can you?"
Ten stared at him. "Something's not right," he said, moving closer, staring at the boy. "What did you do?"
"Eleven and I had one of those 'you're a fucking ass' fights," Xander told him. "He tried to say me calling the other companions down here to deal with that one special scientist that tried to turn Nila into a Tardis was usurping."
The Doctor shook his head quickly. "So I said things, you shot back....."
"We gave him some time to talk, we let him off at a temple for some meditation time, which you suggested," Jack told him with a smug look. "Even though I said it was a bad idea. It was an Or templei." The Doctor moaned, shaking his head. "Eleven is not amused how they love you now."
Xander smirked at her. "They thought it was absolutely brilliant." He looked at the general. "I'll be back on base in a few minutes if I hit the right target and I might even bring treats back."
"Come right back here, Xander," the Doctor ordered.
"Yes, mother." He and Donna disappeared. The people at the spa gaped in awe at him. He just smirked. "She got taken by someone. I'm returning her." He gave her a nudge and wiped the memory. She glared but he grinned. "No forward viewing," he said cheerfully. "You know he hates it." He let her go and disappeared. He stopped at one spot well before humans to pick up a few treats, then landed back in Cardiff. He handed Jack something. "Give it to Ianto."
"Why are you spoiling my boyfriend?" Jack complained.
"So you can bitch and he can be creative in calming you down," Xander shot back with his most evil smirk. "You're welcome."
"It is fun," he sighed, walking off shaking his head.
"Oh, no, I want to hear about this fight," Ten said, catching Jack to pull him and Xander with him into the Tardis. The general could glare all he wanted. Xander was sucking on something. "What did you get?" Xander held one up. "What is that?"
He took the current hard ball out of his mouth. "Seaweed and stuff." He popped it back in. "We're fine," he said around it.
"I'm sure you think you are but he did ask me to intervene when he sent me the message." He stared at Jack, then at Xander. "Well?"
"He said ...stuff. Brought up some bad things," Jack said quietly. "Some times you thought he could make a good new home."
"That is royally a bad idea of mine," he agreed with a sigh at the end, staring at his troublesome young one. Xander was still sucking on the ball. "What else was it about?"
"A lot of things I keep trying to ignore," Xander said around the treat.
The Doctor took it from him and handed it to Jack, who sucked on it instead. "Hmm, not bad," Jack decided. "Why does it have that fat taste?"
"It's their version of whale fat." He looked at the Doctor again. "We figured things out. Then he decided I needed some meditation time. Even tried to take my bracelet. Thank God I haven't had to use magic seriously in the last little while."
The Doctor sighed. "I should yell at him. I really should." He walked Xander back toward the more personal areas of the Tardis. She had already moved all of Xander's areas closer. "Jack, make some tea please? I think it's time we talked a bit."
"Sure, Doc." He went to make him something to calm the boy down with. Otherwise Xander would feel like they were ganging up on him again. That's what had happened the last time. Jack looked out as the door opened, frowning. "I thought we took off."
"You did, she came to get us," Evan said dryly, walking back that way. "'Scuse us." He took Xander and helped him up with a smile.
"He is ours to unkink now," Radek told him simply. "The new version of you is crap." He walked him off.
"I wanted to talk to him about what that version had done," the Doctor said patiently. "You know Xander and I get on best."
"Apparently," Jack said. "But we're off again." He handed Evan a tray. "Here, help me carry. Then we can all sit and talk." He looked at Xander. "He's said stupid shit to me too," he reminded him quietly. "Even great Time Lords don't always think." Xander nodded he knew that, taking the tea tray from him. "Thank you. Where did you get these balls?"
"Sevin makes them."
"Me?" the Doctor asked.
"No, the ex who had the axe."
"Oh, her." He coughed and shifted some. "That's those little balls?"
"You had some stored?"
"No, I visited in her old age." He smirked. "She still wants to own me. Offered me her mine and treasures if she could have me for a day. I only went to the shop." He sat down, Evan and Radek sitting around him.
"Which one was she?" Radek asked.
"Um...." He counted back. "About my fifth on the trip."
"Really?" Jack asked. "Hold on, she's... How far back did you go?" he demanded dryly.
"A few good leaps and bounds?" Xander suggested dryly. He smirked and waved a hand, summoning something. He held it up. Jack moaned, shifting some. He handed it to Radek. "She said that even if I wouldn't take it back, it is still mine."
"This was her version of your collar?" Evan asked.
"She was a cranky, opinionated, vicious woman who enjoyed the hell out of closets while others were around. If Rodney had a twin, it's her only she's a genius in the kitchen." Xander grinned. "I liked the old woman but I couldn't stay. She wouldn't let me get involved when civil unrest things started to happen for a very good reason. When we disagreed on that, I left."
The Doctor stared at him. "I should see some of the things you've done," he said quietly. The boy gave a one-sided shrug. "I would like to know."
"You'd probably disagree with some things since I did more than butt in."
"Perhaps," he agreed. "But someone would want to know."
"I have that history book," Xander offered. "It's about eighty percent right." The Doctor stared. "What?"
"I've seen a copy of that. It was in the Great Library." He took a sip of his tea and put the cup down. "It was....nerve wracking to read. It wasn't until I was through with a few wars that I realized it was you." Xander smirked at him. "You did do a lot of good for a great many people, Xander. I'm sure even my hide-bound next incarnation can see that."
"He kinda dresses like a Watcher. He was in tweed," Xander told him.
"Hmm. I have no idea why. I have fashion sense. Nine had fashion sense. Then again, the earlier ones, not so much fashion sense." He smiled at the boy. "I would like to know. It appears we have to settle a few different things. You're too thin."
"You nag like that's unusual," Evan pointed out. "He's been thin since that first apocalypse he stepped into, when you brought him back. He never regained some of that weight."
The Doctor looked at him then ran his screwdriver over Xander. "I can see why. What are you powering?"
"The lock on that time loop at the moment." He took another sip.
"His wife can't do so again," Radek pointed out.
"Yes she can," Jack told him. "The Time Lords would let her." The Doctor gave him a dirty look. "I had two of them in Cardiff the other day whining at Dawn about her skills and having closed the rift for a few days of peace and quiet. She said she could still feel the temporal key that got them brought back and was going to undo it on them. I made Owen take her out to lunch."
"With who and what Dawn is, it's not unexpected that she could," the Doctor said, considering it. "Though it may drain her."
"Not if she's on a hellmouth or rift," Xander corrected.
"She could?" Jack asked. Xander nodded. "She can draw from it?"
"Unconsciously." He shifted, leaning on Radek's shoulder a bit. "She's unconsciously recharging now and then when she's overly tired. Those days, the rift nearly closes and hums."
"I've heard that," Jack said, staring at him. "How does she stop that?"
"Not wear herself out that far?" Xander suggested. "It's unconscious but probably helpful for her. The Key would do that anyway. If she was traveling, any hole she ran into would be drawn to her to be fixed. It's the same thing I get from the hellmouth radiation." He shifted again and leaned on Evan's shoulder instead. "That side's numb," he told Evan, earning a smile. "Why are you wearing a bandage?"
"I slipped and fell."
"I'm putting deeper tread on your boots," Xander told him. Evan smirked at him. "You've fallen a few times."
"It's nothing. Slick stairs." Xander and Radek both stared at him. "It was."
"Uh-huh," Radek said. "We will be looking into that safety problem at home."
Evan smirked. "Thanks. Just a handrail would be nice." Xander gave him a hug. "Thank you too." He handed Xander his tea and a few cookies. "You missed lunch."
"I was going to nibble on the treats I got once I got back to the garden."
"The botanists said you were a slave-driver," Radek told him. "They all went to have a long lunch and swim." He handed Xander an extra cookie. "Because you missed dinner last night as well."
"I was tired. I had a few nibbles of stuff on the way to the bath."
Jack and the Doctor gave each other a look then the Doctor got up and grabbed Xander. "Let's check on your garden." He told the Tardis to keep them in there. He walked into the garden area, watching Xander moan and sit down to work on the plants. "My last companion wouldn't help me weed it at all. I think she was a bit jealous." He squatted down next to him. "Why aren't you happy?" he asked bluntly, getting a growl back. He reached over slowly, petting him. Xander sighed but leaned into his hand. "What did I say that was that bad?" Xander shrugged. "I know you can talk. I made sure you relearned english," he teased with a soft smile. Xander shook his head and went back to weeding things. "This isn't healthy."
"Is it being on Nila? Are they wearing on you again?"
"Is it that you're missing traveling?"
"I have my own," he pointed out.
"Don't tell me that. I'll have to sigh and go check it out. Make sure it won't cause problems when Rodney steals it from you." Xander snorted. "Remind them about the rules before you take them. Including John." Xander gave him a confused look. "Not like I know you wouldn't." He sat down, staring at him. "Tell me."
"Bull." He pulled the boy closer. He grabbed something off a plant and fed it to the boy by force.
"Damn it, I end up broadcasting," he complained, trying to spit it out.
"Exactly." He stared at him. "That way I know what's wrong and so do your boys."
"They wanted to go to Sunnydale."
"Really? Was it a bad attack?"
"Normal patrol." He shrugged. "It's nothing."
The Doctor was starting to feel the tickle of the broadcast. He stared at him. Xander was almost family to him. It was the most complicated relationship he'd ever had. Jack... well he was like a companion, sometimes more, and a lot of frustrating but mostly fun. Xander... Wasn't like that to him. With what he had seen, he wanted to protect the boy but he would never be allowed to do it. Evan and Radek wouldn't be allowed to either. Xander was too independent. He reached over to pet him. The boy flinched and squeezed his eyes shut. "It has been years since you did that," he said quietly. He shifted closer, petting the boy. Xander relaxed into his touch. "Tell me," he ordered.
Xander shrugged. "It's nothing. Just tired."
"That's because you don't take good care of yourself. You fuss over everyone else. It's like you're a house elf sometimes." Xander scowled at him. "It is. Do you deny you're not taking care of yourself?"
"There's a lot to get done."
"But you're not the only one doing it," he pointed out.
"When was the last time you took a bit off?"
"We went on vacation together."
The Doctor felt a tickle of thought about that topic. "So, which family did you meet?"
"Hmm. Which one was it?" Xander looked at him. He stared back. "I know you better than most, padawan."
Xander grimaced. "It's nothing."
"Did you talk to Radek?"
"He said his mother was just fussing."
"Hmm." He gave him a hug. "If Radek is yours, then he's yours. Is he your pack?" Xander nodded immediately. "Is he closer to you than Dawn is?"
"I'm fairly certain."
"Are you scared of being that close?" he asked gently. Xander scowled at him. "Way back when, Donna thought that you might have a problem connecting when you finally found someone worthy of you."
"Do you talk to them?"
"Yeah, all the time." The Doctor stared at him. "If they ask."
"Hmm. Do you bring up anything?"
"If they want to know."
The Doctor looked at him. "You are frustrating," he said gently, smiling at him. "I should do that thing at that temple to you three." Xander gave him a horrified look. "It may help."
"It'd bond us together forever."
The Doctor smiled. "Which is brilliant in some ways." He gave him another pet. The boy moaned, tipping his head a bit. A box plopped in front of him. He stared at it. "I think she's more psychic than usual. Wasn't that in your closet?"
"I thought I had brought it with me the last time and given it to Rodney."
"Apparently she took it back." He opened the box, looking inside. Xander was trying to get it from him but oh well. He smirked as he held up the two pendants. "You need another one."
Radek walked in. He stared at his boy, then took the necklaces from the Doctor. He handed them to Xander, who put the box back together. "If he does not want to let us in that deeply, that is his choice," he said bluntly. He stared at his boy. "What did my mother say?"
"A lot." He didn't look up, just concentrated on the box.
The Doctor leaned over to grab another berry. Xander took it from him but the Doctor took it back with a smile. "Here. You should try those."
"They do what?"
"They let you broadcast empathically for a few hours."
"Hmm." He ate it and hauled Xander up. "Is there somewhere we can lock ourselves to talk?"
"Thank you." He walked Xander off. Jack got Evan in there for him. Radek looked at the door. "Ma'am, may we please be locked in here for a bit? We need to talk." The door locked. "Thank you." He looked at Xander. Then at Evan. He held up the berry he had found on the bed. "Eat it." Evan nodded and did. They laid down around the boy, feeling the trickle from Xander's mind. "What did my mother say?"
"A few things."
"Hmm. The grandchild issue?" Evan asked. "Or that there's three of us?"
"Or just that you're men?" Radek asked quietly.
Xander nodded. "She did mention that a few times. Right before she went to church."
Radek huffed. "Mother needs beaten. You two are my choice." He kissed Xander. The trickle got deeper when Xander wasn't concentrating. He and Evan shared a look and decided to distract their boy. Evan got Xander shirtless and on his stomach, finding some oil to do a massage with. Radek was working on Xander's legs because they had been cramping recently. Xander sighed in pleasure but they both felt the unhappy thoughts.
Evan stared. "Want me to stop?"
"But you're not liking it."
"I think this comes back to my mother again," Radek told him. Xander flinched. "We are not going to leave you. No matter what she wants."
"You'll still leave me anyway," Xander said.
"Only if you make us," Evan corrected.
Xander looked at him. "And if there's another battle?"
"Then you'd better call," Radek told him. "So we can help."
"You'll still leave anyway," Xander told him.
Radek sighed, sitting next to his head. "Xander, no one will live as long as you will," he said. "That does not mean that we do not wish to." He stared at him. "There are not many with this problem."
Evan swallowed. "You're right." He gave him a cuddle. "I don't want to lose you and with some of your battles I'm more worried that we'll lose you."
"As you told Jack, life is pain. We will spend however much time we can with you, being happy and together." Xander looked at him. "If we die before you do, then you will grieve and eventually come out of hiding to find someone you like just as much." Xander glared at him. "I do not expect anything less. If you mope for the rest of your very long life, then there is nothing that would stop us from coming back to beat you to death."
Evan snickered. "Even if we do ascend," he agreed. He kissed him on the back of the neck. "We'd want you to be happy."
"I've been trying to fix that part," Xander said quietly.
Radek scowled. "If you do, you could be harmed. I will not allow it. There will not be any actions that could harm you in any way."
"I agree," Evan said. "It's sucky but you're immortal or nearly so. We will spend as much time with you as we can. But you've got to quit taking stupid chances." He gave him a squeeze. "No more battles without telling us. That way we can help or at least worry."
"I don't want you guys to worry."
"We have had this talk," Radek reminded them. "We would rather worry than wonder."
"I hate... I hate making you guys disappointed or worry," he admitted quietly.
"That too is life," Radek said, looking at Evan.
Evan smiled and nuzzled the back of Xander's head. "We worry because we care. There's been plenty of days I've been worried about you. Even before we started seeing each other. You seem to be this fantastic being. You do amazing things. You make McKay swear at things beyond his minions." Radek snickered. "Underneath, you're a man. One who has a past that makes me cringe because they might try to come get you back." Xander frowned at him. "If those vampires show up, I'm going to have McKay build me something to destroy them. Every last one on the planet." Xander rolled his eyes. "I am."
Radek nodded. "I have been thinking about how." Xander scowled at him. "They do not deserve you and will not have you unless I am gone and cannot help you." He took a kiss. "Also, we are going to make you let us protect you sometimes."
Evan moved over, kissing him. "Shut up, Xander. If you can protect us, we can protect you right back." He took another kiss. "You can't be our protector if we can't do the same."
"I'm better at protecting you two."
"So?" Radek asked. Xander stared at him in confusion. "We feel the same desire you do to protect us." Xander slowly shook his head. "Yes we do."
"That is part of being in love," Evan agreed. Xander stared at him. "Really. I feel the same need to be overprotective and make sure you're safe that you do for us. The next time you have to take off to handle something, I'm going to be beamed there to help if I can."
"And I'll bring more weapons," Radek agreed.
Xander gave them confused looks. "It's what lovers do," Evan pointed out. "If your others had been any good for you, they would feel the same way."
"This is different from the 'he's my property' thing that they all had," Radek added. "We don't own you, we just want to hold you and make you feel good."
"Though, if you insist, I'll buy you a necklace so you can have a half-step," Evan sighed.
"Good." He took another kiss. "Then we'll talk about exchanging jewelry some other time."
"Shut up, Xander. Some day I will want you to wear something I have bought you. Something expensive, exquisite, and tasteful."
"Hmm. I'd like to see him in something we picked out," Evan agreed. "When he's ready."
"But...." Xander started, blinking hard. "You guys are thinking rings?"
"Some day," Evan agreed.
"When we are all ready," Radek agreed. "You would not agree?"
"No, of course I would," he breathed, staring at them. He flipped onto his back, staring at Evan. Then at Radek, who nodded. "But your mother and uncle...."
Radek snorted, holding up a hand. "My family will accept my choice or not. You two are my choice. I do not care that my uncle would like to buy me a young wife to give him children to spoil. Or that my mother would adore little spoiled brats. I'm sure Evan's family may feel the same at times but you are our choice. Our families will learn to love you as we do or we will ignore their petty complaints."
Evan coughed. "Radek, your mother threatened me," he said quietly. Radek stared at him, mouth slightly open. "If I didn't leave this ungodly union so you could be free. That I could keep Xander, but I had better give you up."
"Your Uncle had catalogs from bridal magazines and one from a marriage broker," Xander sighed. Radek let out a swear and shifted away. "I didn't want to upset you."
"I understand that and I appreciate it," he assured them. He took kisses and smiled. "They will not win."
"His mother kinda hinted that she knew people who'd love to bring you home by force," Xander said quietly. He looked down, playing with the sheets. Evan gave him a cuddle. "I'm okay."
Radek cleared his throat, tipping Xander's face up. "My mother is not that mean, nor will she win. I will warn others. They will be rabid so I can be cuddly instead." Xander snorted. "I am."
"You're very cuddly," Xander agreed with a shy smile. "When you want to be."
"I do like to be cuddly. Especially when you are cuddly as well. Evan I can talk into it easier. You work too hard. Even though others do not see why." He cuddled them both. Xander made a good cuddle helper. They liked it when Xander was the filling in the cuddle sandwich. Evan looked at Xander's head. "What?" Radek asked.
"He hasn't been taking care of himself again, Radek. The Doctor said he missed meals."
"He is too skinny but has been a problem since that first battle with the shield."
"He used to miss meals all the time on Atlantis," Evan pointed out.
"Hmm. I do remember him working all day with only a soda." He looked at Xander. "I think that is a bigger problem. Like his need to protect us, I believe that was something that should be corrected."
"I eat enough."
"You missed dinner," Radek reminded him.
"I had some veggies on my way to the shower."
"That is not a meal," Evan said. "We're going to make you eat with us."
"I do eat when you guys do."
"We don't eat regularly either," Radek agreed. "I need to stop that. Will stop my stomach from complaining."
"It's been cramping?" Xander asked.
"No, it growls at me. Is disgusted with me sometimes." He took another kiss and cuddled in again.
"Bloody Hell!" the Doctor shouted from another room. "XANDER!"
Evan walked out there, staring at him. "What?" The Doctor pointed at the screen. He looked. "Xander, I think John broke into your closet," he called.
"You actually built one?" the Doctor demanded, looking at the two walking out holding hands.
"Awww," Jack said with a grin. He handed them plates. "Eat. Please. Even I can feel that you're hungry." He looked at the Doctor. "It came out of hiding and was in his closet. Or so Dawn said."
"How good is it?" the Doctor demanded, giving them a stare.
"Probably needs charged," Xander admitted. He looked at the plate. "Huh?"
"It's food. You eat it so you can stay alive and with us," Evan quipped. "Before I spank." Xander groaned but ate.
"Thank you," Radek told Jack. He ate his own lunch and Evan ate his.
"So you built your own Tardis," the Doctor checked, holding up his two index fingers. "And she's probably just like this one?"
"No AI or sentient being in it," Xander said.
"Uh-huh," Jack said. He sighed, looking at his friend. "Dawn's been redirected when I caught her studying the spells to do the same thing. I had a talk with Owen about her studies being bad for his sex life."
"Bloody hell, you guys are going to drive me insane," the Doctor complained.
"It's not like I wanted them to borrow it," Xander complained. He moved to the control panel and found what he needed with a small light shining on it. "Baby, can you merge with mine?" She let out a twang somewhere. "Please?"
"They can't merge in flight," the Doctor said, coming over to stop him before he broke something. "Did I teach you how to drive one?"
"No. Nine did when I ran into him during that trip back from the Ori temple."
The Doctor hugged him. "You drive me insane in all my incarnations, Xander. Never change." He input a few commands and made the other tardis land with his. He opened the door and walked over to the other one, pounding before walking in. Xander's wasn't a police box. It looked more like a wardrobe. "What are you two doing?" he asked calmly. He was even smirking.
"He insisted," John complained, pointing at Rodney.
"He said he can fly anything," Rodney said at the same time, pointing at John.
"I'm going to paddle you both until you beg the Universe for mercy."
Xander strolled in. "Did I let you two have the keys?" he asked dryly. "Or is this like when Radek won that ship and you guys got too curious and pushy?"
"Then," John sighed.
The Doctor swatted them both as hard as he could, enjoying their yelps. "I owe you more. Many more. Not even Jack can do things this badly."
"Hey!" Jack complained from the doorway. He looked around. "Sparkles. Very girlish, Xander." The tardis shut the door in his face.
Xander shrugged. "Okay."
Radek sighed, looking up. "Are you as sentient as the Doctor's tardis?" he asked. She flashed her lights. "Xander."
"I did not," he said.
"Uh-huh," the Doctor said, staring at him. "How did she gain sentience then?" He got shoved by the floor. "Ah! You took something from Nila."
Radek mumbled and a bubble got blown in his direction. "You do not have hands to wash my mouth out with soap." He looked at the two bosses. They both smirked at him. "What have you two screwed up?"
"We've only just begun," Rodney told him. "We've only hit one place."
"Oh hell no," the Doctor assured him. "Mine, now, boys." They stomped that way under Evan's poking and prodding. "Xander."
"Not my idea to do it this way," Xander said. "And I built her while drunk."
He looked around. "Was that before or after Seti?"
"Um, right after. Hence the sparkles." He looked at Radek. "My leash holder there decided I looked darling in purple sparkles. I was still recovering."
"We can repaint," he assured him, cracking the Doctor up, but he was shaking his head. "We can."
"Only if I let you keep her. My Tardis now, boys." They sighed but walked that way. Jack was ranting at John and Rodney. "We'll see, but for now, that's my job, Jack. Can you perhaps make some more food?" He glared at Xander's back. "Because *someone* is still hungry."
"Again, our job," Evan told him firmly, staring at him. The Doctor smirked at him for that. "How many of them gave him jewelry? We ask because some day we're going to be picking out something exquisite and meaningful. We don't want to duplicate or anything." Xander squeaked and blushed.
"Most of them only seemed to buy possessive things," Jack said with a grin. "Exquisite and meaningful?"
"Don't pick on my boys," Xander ordered.
"It's normal to tease friends," Jack countered.
Radek looked at him. "I have excellent taste. Of course it will be special and meaningful. Without being ownership-like." Rodney and John were gaping at them. "Is about time," he assured them.
"Definitely," Rodney agreed. "Don't make me do anything foolish for the wedding." Xander made squeaky noises. He smirked back. "Of course we'll be there. Along with the irritating blonde you used to hang around with."
"You do invite friends to those things," John agreed with a grin of his own.
"If I let you two live that long," the Doctor reminded them. Xander ducked behind Radek. "I'm not spanking you this time. Maybe." He walked the two idiots into another room to yell at them. Though he would be at the wedding himself.
General Landry heard his phone ring and moved over to the desk to answer it. "Landry."
//Hi, General,// Buffy said cheerfully.
"Miss Summers." He sat down. "Is there a problem?"
//No, I'm sharing some information I got last night.//
"What now?" he moaned, shaking his head. "Another apocalypse attempt?"
//No, but I can not tell you what I heard if you want,// she offered dryly.
"It's not that. It's Congressional season."
//Ah, the big, demon cocksucking dorks are trying to climb into your uniform with you. Gotcha. Well, I can give you something that might make you moan more.//
"Sure, what did you find out?" He was trying to block out the vision of what she had said. Eww.
//I got told last night by a demon, a peaceful one, that there is a warehouse in the middle of nowhere that holds mystical and non-mystical artifacts. Apparently he was complaining that his brother had tried to break in there. He said the Secret Service weren't happy to find him in there. That they apparently guard it and when I asked about the stuff Xander does, the demon admitted some stuff from you guys or the cities might be there.//
"Did Xander tell you...."
//No.// She was clearly happy. //Some of the demons did. They recognized the city and the one hiding. Some of them can see through those sort of illusions.//
"Good to know." He started to make notes. "Where is this warehouse?"
//All I heard was the middle of nowhere in the Midwest. It's guarded by two Secret Service people, ones that had been in DC and dealt with something about a disappearing sword..... The guy said someone named Micha was part of that, one of the new guardians. They have an overlording boss who's a bit mean and evil. They think she's demonic.// She coughed. //I can find him and put you two together.//
"No, I should be able to search from this information. Thank you, Miss Summers."
//Not a problem,// she said cheerfully. //Ooh! And Willow said that she accidentally ran into an uber-geek think tank run by the DOD looking for papers for a college paper.//
"One of our scientists?"
//No, apparently these guys do less practical things. Like create things? She looked up the guy's credentials since it didn't say he was teaching somewhere. Apparently there's a whole town or something of super geek brains doing weird stuff. She said their weird meter was up there with ours and they should have sent the Initiative boys there first so they wouldn't have freaked out here. But she said there's no demons. I had her email that stuff to you so she couldn't get into trouble and be recruited for life.//
He smiled. "I don't know what I'd do with her, Miss Summers, so that might be up to Miss Jones and UNIT. Thank her for me and thank you as well for giving me that information. Have a good night."
//You too and make the big dork write mom.//
"Earlier he went to help someone at Torchwood with something temporal and then the Doctor apparently stole him from Nila to yell at him for it. Then Radek, Evan, and a few others suspiciously left as well."
//Xander has more than two boys?//
"No. I think they're off doing something with something he found."
//Oh. Yeah, that can happen with Xander when he's in geek mode. Anyway, tell the big dork to write my mother please and to tell the phone box guy that he's been a good boy so he doesn't spank. The new one was here last night to recharge for a bit and got horrified by patrol. So... We'll see. Anyway, have a good day.// She hung up.
He smiled as he hung up, getting into his email to get those notes. What he saw amused him. They had the rest of the PhD's he'd been trying to get for the last six months. He sent an email to his boss in DC. Jack could ask about those two topics.
Jack O'Neill was let into the head of the Secret Service's office, nodding politely as he shook his hand. "Thank you for seeing me."
"I'm hoping this isn't informing us that you've heard we're going to have some major invasion problems again."
"Harris hasn't said anything about it, the wraith were defeated on the way here for one project, though we're on the lookout for any others that might show up, and the Ori are slowly being whittled down."
"That's wonderful news. We can relax a bit. So, why did you want to talk?"
"Someone that Mr. Harris knows passed along some information about a warehouse some of your people guard in the middle of nowhere that has supposedly mystical artifacts that may have pieces from our project."
"I don't think I've heard of such," he admitted, looking at his computer so he could call up a file. "Where is it?"
"All she said was in the midwest, in the middle of nowhere. That two of yours are the new guardians. That they had been in DC and something about a disappearing person, a sword..."
The Head of the Secret Service moaned, shaking his head. "I remember that incident." He looked up their names. "Hmm. That's an unusual code." He looked it up. "I'll be damned. How do they get their information?" he asked.
"Demons. She's the Council's girl." The man looked horrified so Jack grinned. "Harris used to hunt with her out in Sunnydale. When we got him, I gave her two newly retired people of mine. Every now and then I lend her more for the bigger problems. Like LA."
"I still have nightmares about that. Thankfully you sent along a message that it could happen during that month so we were a bit prepared to hide our people. You were on the ground?"
"Most of my program was on the ground. They still have nightmares too probably."
"Can it happen again?"
"No idea. She said that it took over a century to plan that one."
"Good to know. I've sealed a copy of the full report we got out of the people in LA who deal with such things plus video of the invasion for my successors."
"So did I," Jack agreed. "Because we clearly needed to be aware." They smiled at each other. "Also, I'm hearing rumors of another super geek think tank outside ours. We're still hiring geeks. Heard anything about that?"
"All I've heard about that goes back to your own people. They're Defense Department." He found what he needed. "Ah! Here's a small bit that they didn't clean up after." He printed it for the general. "That is where her paycheck is being sent."
Jack read it and smiled. "Thank you. Any idea who I contact to see if anything of our project is in there?"
"From what I'm seeing, they're the sort to contact you."
"Even better. I'll be in my office most of the day then." He shook his hand. "Let us know if anything is going on that we need to hear."
"Of course. I'd never want to deal with aliens. It might make my head throb." Jack walked out happier. He called someone to warn her and let her know that O'Neill wanted a meeting about possible artifacts he should have instead of the Warehouse.
A squat, unhappy, black woman in a severe business suit walked up to where Buffy was hanging out that night. "Miss Summers."
"Yup?" She turned to look at her. "What's wrong? You look like an agent."
"I am, Miss Summers. How did you find out about our Warehouse?"
"A new contact told me so I could pass it on to Xander." She threw a stake and dusted the vampire trying to sneak up on the woman. Since most Feds knew after the invasion, she could freak out or not. The woman didn't even react beyond glancing back. "They thought it might have some of his project."
"You are not the normal young woman. What are you?"
She smirked. "The Council's girl."
"Oh, I see." She considered the young woman. "You're above average age for them."
"That's because I had Xander and Willow."
"You could do good things helping handle the artifacts."
"Then who would patrol and handle apocalypses?"
"That is a good point. One I can accept. Where is this Xander working?"
"On that new lab city." She smirked. "He works for Generals O'Neill and Landry."
"Interesting. I've heard about their project."
"I don't get to but I understand why. The Underground is very happy to have them both back though. I know I told General Landry what I heard because that guy's brother had tried to break in but didn't get to, and he thought that parts of their project might be there. And about the geek-brain-city in Oregon."
"I've heard rumors about them," she admitted. "I'll talk with them then. Do not tell anyone about us," she said, glaring at her.
Buffy snickered. "I've seen worse scowls on the kitten demons." She pointed at one that was scowling. "See." The woman looked startled at that then at her. Buffy smirked. "What can I say? Anyway. Talk to the Generals." The two military guys Jack had sent her strolled past the kitten demons. "Bad game, guys?"
"Not bad," one admitted with a smile for the other woman. "Ma'am."
"She needs to talk to General Jack or Landry."
"Hmm. It's probably easier to find O'Neill since Landry's at Cheyenne all day," the other told her. "O'Neill's in DC."
"I'll find him tomorrow. Thank you. Please do not spread any more information about us, Miss Summers."
Buffy looked at her. "Only if you're keeping the bad things safely away from people. Because then it becomes my job with my team."
"Good point." She walked off, looking constipated.
Buffy shook her head. "Some people need to get on Anya's plan so they can lighten up." The guys snickered and they went to see what was wrong with the kitten demon. They only scowled like that when they were in heat.
Jack finally found the general over the other DOD think tank that afternoon. "General."
"I can say the same, O'Neill. Why did you track me down?" he asked.
"I've been trying to recruit for Nila, General Mansfield."
"You apparently have half the people I'd recruit somewhere in Oregon in a completely hidden small town."
The general blinked at him. "How did you hear about that? It's Presidential oversight only."
"So are we. How did you hear about us?" he asked dryly.
"Only the things about the new city."
"Ah." He smirked. "We need to share."
"I can get permission to read you in."
Jack called. "Ma'am, it's General O'Neill. I need a quick phone talk." He was put through. "Ma'am," he told the Secretary of State. "O'Neill. Yes. Because there's another program that has the same oversight we do but we need to talk about personnel matters. I'm trying to poach and tempt." She said something. He put her on speaker. "There you are, ma'am."
"General, why would you need them?"
"Ma'am," the Mansfield said.
"Oh, it's you," she said flatly. "You give us headaches like the other ones does."
"It appears that we need to borrow some of their personnel," Jack told her. "For the labs."
"I see. Give me a second." They were put on hold and she went to tell the president what was going on. He didn't want to hear about O'Neill so they had screened him to her desk. "Sir." He looked up from his paperwork. "General O'Neill found out about Eureka. He's asking for permission to talk to Mansfield about both projects."
"If they give us more trouble, I'm putting O'Neill under that think tank," he said blandly. "Maybe they can find a way to calm down Harris."
"Yes, sir, thank you." She went back to her office. "Generals, I have been told that if you keep giving us headaches, your two projects will end up underneath the auspices of Eureka's board," she said bluntly. "So for now you two may discuss things." She hung up.
Jack looked at the other general. "Not my fault he pissed off my second-top linguist."
The other general snickered. "He did? How?"
"You know all those scandals? That was Harris getting back at him for trying to treat him like a slave and a media darling since he didn't want attention at all."
The other general quit laughing. "You're serious?"
"Damn it!" He leaned back. "Where is he from?"
"Sunnydale. He was helping the Council's girl. Helped bring down a project out there that was special ops."
"I heard about that. I'd like to beat their asses."
"They just got moved from the UN's squads to Homeworld."
"Awww, that's so nice." He stared at him. "What project are you over?"
"The Stargate program."
"No, we've been there. A lot. Other galaxies. Two cities from the Ancients." The man gaped. "I heard you have geeks we can use."
"I have a great many geeks. What do you need them for?"
Jack handed over the folder he had been carrying under his arm. "That's Nila and her labs. Which is the known version. There's another city and we are on Homeworld Defense."
He read it over then gave him the most horrified look. "Seriously?"
"Yeah. We've been in operation for years now. Finally got it open about ten years ago. No, eleven now since the first trip." The other general moaned, shaking his head. "We're backward engineering some things, but we do have labs that can do things we can't. A lot that could use fixed. My geeks are going to be teaching all geeks for years to come about this stuff. Most of my geeks have been on or near combat stations at least a year. They're jumpy, some are downright twitchy. Some are very antisocial. I have McKay and Zelenka doing most of the teaching."
Mansfield shuddered. "I tried to recruit McKay once."
He smirked. "He's head over the other city but is often found fixing the things on Nila that need it since she was meant to be a temporary city to figure out which building methods they wanted to use." He pulled something out of his pocket and put it on the desk. "Nila?" She appeared, smiling at him. "This is General Mansfield. Underneath him is a super science think tank I'm trying to recruit from. Can you show him some of the labs on your docking bay please?"
"Can I get the medical center built sooner?"
"Why? Were there injuries today?"
"No, but the water's been a bit rough and nearly everyone's seasick."
"Do the docs know?"
"Oh, yes. She beamed over with a lot of medicine." She beamed at him. "They would still like some and I had to suspend work for the day because of the storm that's coming. My shields will hold some of it but the water's too choppy and someone might get hurt. Also, when do I get Xander back?"
"Where are they?"
"With the Doctor. He stole Xander after he went to help Captain Harkness with something temporal he said. Then the nice Tenth one came to get him. John and Rodney disappeared from Atlantis as well. She has no idea where they are and my child is worried."
"I'll find out in a minute." She beamed and squealed, giving him a hug. Not that he could feel it but it was good for her. "Can you show him some of our things, maybe some of the neater things on Atlantis so I can steal some of his geeks for Xander to confuse and lord over?"
"Of course, as long as they're nice." She put up pictures and went through the whole spiel Xander had worked up with Radek to recruit. The general was gaping in awe at it. So maybe she would get some new family she could stand.
Jack looked smug. The other general looked at him. "I need her to meet with my town's top geeks."
"That's fine," he agreed. "As long as they're cleared to know."
"I can clear them to know. That way we can switch teams. I have a lot of geeks who would love your city more." He smiled at the illusion. "Ma'am, are you a fully sentient AI or a person in a room with a projector?"
"You're so sweet," she cooed, patting him on the head. "I'm Nila, the City's AI. My child, Atlantis, has her own." She cycled through her images.
Jack frowned. "Nila, is one not working right?" She gave him a sheepish look. "What did you do?"
"I leant one to Xander's fancy wardrobe that has computer and mystical things in it so it can help him when he travels."
"He built his own?" Jack demanded.
"I believe that's where my child thinks John and Rodney went to."
"Uh-huh. I'm spanking them all."
"The Doctor has them. Radek and Evan went to get him back. I'm told that's romantic."
"It is," Jack said dryly. "Still. When the idiots get back, I want them in my office."
"Yes, General Child Jack." She beamed and disappeared.
Jack shook his head. "I love having Harris but he drives me nuts some days."
"Mystical and scientific things?"
"Harris time traveled." The other general whimpered. "He's not allowed to do it anymore without permission. Or McKay since he figured out his own version."
"My geeks might not be as advanced as yours," he said weakly.
"It's only those five that get into that sort of trouble. But if they're used to strange things, I can send them Kavanagh and his hellhound mother."
"He's a demon?"
"No, she adopted him. Through her he, and those five, have ties to Torchwood." He smirked. "I'm used to geeks driving me insane. They just do a better job than even Jackson did."
"My group is going to freak out but I can see why you need more sane geeks. I'll call mine to DC in a few days. We were thinking about putting in a new head."
"Put them under us. Harris will find a new way to jump in," Jack quipped.
"I may at that." They shook hands. "Let me call out there." Jack nodded and left with the image projector and the project files. That general sat there, his head throbbing, and wondered if this was the worst he could find for strange things in the government. If not, maybe that annoying sheriff of his town's would go there instead?
O'Neill looked up as his office was invaded by a blue police box. "About time," he complained when the door opened.
John Sheppard walked out. "It wasn't intentional, General."
"Uh-huh." The others got walked out. Xander and the Doctor were talking. He looked him over. Harris looked different. Less hard maybe. He stared at the boy. "Did you have to cause more problems?"
"It's not my fault they broke into it and took it for a joyride."
Jack stared at him then at Radek. "What's your part of this story? I already heard from Nila you went to retrieve him."
"I gathered Xander to talk to him because I noticed he was having some problems like he had when he was traveling," the Doctor told him firmly. "We've gotten a good bit of everything straightened out." He and Xander grinned at each other. Then he smiled at Evan and Radek, who smirked back. "I think this family unit is very strong. Even with the two pesky big brothers who took his tardis for a test drive." He glared at them and they just smirked and waved. He looked at the general. "I've already paddled those two and made sure they didn't screw anything up. I've made sure that Xander is happy where he is as well."
"Are you?" Jack asked him.
"There's been some stresses, sir," Evan said. "Some of the nerds that don't believe you're smart without a test score and papers from a college. Again."
"I'm going to paddle her to death," Radek assured him. "One of the new botanists."
"Technically Jack did need Xander to help him. It was the only way it could be solved without warping some of the time stream or changing history," the Doctor told him. "So he was wise to call him. Then I noticed someone had lost weight."
Jack sighed. "I'm supposed to be told these things, kids." He stared at the boy. "Do I need to put someone out there? Like another shrink?"
"No. I'm good. We're solid and all that, Jack," Xander said.
"It was more stuff that was leftover from the traveling and having to remind Xander of some things," Radek told him. "We have gotten him to take better care of himself and have only gotten closer."
"Good." He looked at the other two. Then back at Evan and Radek. "How long have you two been gone?"
"A few hours," Evan told him.
"Even better. Doctor McKay, Colonel Sheppard, your city is worried sick about you two disappearing."
"Wasn't intentional, sir," Sheppard said. "I let my curiosity get out of hand."
"Are you a cat?" Xander teased with a grin.
"You change me into one again and I'm going to beat your ass, Xander," John assured him.
Rodney coughed. "Please. It was quite odd having to rescue my cat from the priestess this time."
"Well, that's what he wanted to do, snuggle in her lap," Xander shot back with an evil smirk.
"Fercryin'outloud, stop it," Jack ordered. "Snark later." He rubbed his forehead. "For that, McKay, you and Sheppard are going to be called to a meeting in a few days to help talk to the other DOD geek think tank." Rodney shuddered. "Xander, report back to Nila. What were you doing that made the entire scientist corps complain?"
"Planting our garden so we have food supplies. They didn't know why it was necessary. I told them a few times, including that things happen to supply shipments and that the kitchen could do better things with food that wasn't ordered. Including that some were Pegasus plants. They all said they should be in Botany. I'm about ready to beat some of the new minions."
"Doctor Walters said the same thing but she did say you were a slavedriver."
"I didn't order her or Rebecca. I ordered the smartass new minions who think they're big shits. Be damned, Jack."
"I know. I've heard this problem before. How big is the garden?"
"About a third of the atoll."
"Even better." He looked at the two idiots then at the Doctor. "Can you make it so it doesn't happen again?"
"I'm still debating if that's a good idea. It could leave Xander somewhere dangerous, which would make him solve it in odd ways, which could destroy the universe."
"I only did that once," Xander complained. Everyone stared at him. "They wanted to sacrifice me to their God, people. All I did was call the bitch back." He looked at the Doctor again. "I'm not bad."
"I know." He patted him on the head. "I should give it to Jack."
"That's why I haven't. I'll give it to Sarah Jane," he decided with a smile.
"She thinks I'm really strange."
"Well...." he started, considering it. "I'll ask the others then; be right back." He left to go chat with his companions.
Jack glared at John and Rodney. "You two are in so deep."
"Sorry, sir, my fault," John told him, standing stiffer.
"I have no doubt who proposed the plan, Sheppard. Go back to your city. I'll yell at you two later." They got beamed back. He glared at the trio. "Major," he started.
"Sir, I'd quit," he said firmly. "Then rejoin as a civilian."
"I know." He sighed, looking at Xander. "You could have talked to me."
"I had it under control."
Radek snorted. "We have all been bad to ourselves. We haven't finished calming down since we're in safer surroundings. We have all worked ourselves too hard. We have our unit well in hand, General."
"Good!" He looked at the boy again. "These new geeks, I will make sure they know that you are not to be touched or screwed with."
"I'll throw 'em off the city like I'm about to do to some of the others," Xander assured him. "I'm not putting up with it, General."
"I understand that and I agree." He looked them over again. "Go back to work. I can't argue about you two saving him from his potential kidnaping for therapy." They nodded and got beamed back to the city. Jack got back to his paperwork until the Doctor showed back up. "Who has it?"
"They agreed that Xander should keep it. Jack has access to his house so it's locked in a room. One that requires a special key that only Xander and his boys have," he assured him with a smile. "Though, John and Rodney did help stop a civil war that I have been meaning to get into." He handed over something. "I've gotten to the root of a great many things. Xander and his boys will be just fine now," he said quietly, but he was smiling. "They're very tight and they've all figured out how to keep things from getting bad again. Plus they got to see some of Xander's memories. Also, I made him take some of the samples he has in my garden back. Radek has a list of those and some may be very useful to you and other projects." He smirked. "Now, I'll be off before the current incarnation has to show up on this planet the next time. Have a better day, General."
"Give me some warning if you can, Doctor. Even a phone call." He handed over his card. "On the back is my cellphone if you need me."
The Doctor beamed. "Thank you." He got back into his Tardis and went back to where he was supposed to be.
Jack was smiling but shaking his head once the box was gone. "I wonder if Harris was that big a goofball before they met," he muttered.
Xander walked into the dining hall, seeing his people lounging around. "Is it a free day, Evan?"
"No." He popped a pill and swallowed it with his current cup of coffee. "Radek, can you deal with the motion dampeners?"
"Nila, can you please make us quit swaying so much?" Xander asked.
"I've tried but I can't find the right counter balance, Xander," she reported, appearing in front of them. "The inertia dampeners will only do so much."
"So float just a bit higher in the water," Radek told her. She beamed at him and tried it. It worked. The decks quit swaying. "Thank you. Was stomach turning." He smiled at his people. "I did not call free day, people." They groaned but got back to work. "Xander, there's obviously going to be a storm."
"The gardens are shielded. I set up the shield generator myself," he promised.
"It's still working, I checked, Xander." Doctor Walters smiled. "It's a good planting. Though there's some I've never seen."
Radek looked at her. "Some are from his garden and travels. We have a few other cuttings as well. We put them in Botany already." She ran off to check them over. He looked at Nila. "I will work on how to dampen that for you." She nodded. "For now, use the shield to block some underneath you." She looked awed and tried it. It helped even more. She could quit floating and it was much smoother. "Thank you. Boys, go plant." They left to do that. Radek watched, looking happy. He went to check on Botany. Some of those he had never seen before. The garden in the Tardis was like a jungle at the moment thanks to Xander's tending. And another tentacle plant. He pointed. "We had that for dinner one night," he told them. They botanists scanned it and the AI in there was bouncing happily for the new samples to be logged in. He helped them plant the new things that didn't have pots already.
"These are hybrid tomatoes," one of them said, putting it aside.
"Yes, they were developed for Atlantis. Super producing, very tasty, very high in vitamins," Radek agreed. "Kept us healthy for years. Will go into garden if you would."
She glared at him. "We have supply runs."
"We are also on earth, will have invasions of petty people, will have governments who hate us, will have terrorists attacking sometime. Will have more apocalypses like the one in LA probably and more like we handle with the other city. If we have supplies, is better for us. Plus fresh food is always welcome." She huffed off. He looked at the head of botany. "General has found another think tank that has more scientists, many who are just geeks and strange that way."
She smirked. "I look forward to working with some of them. Will they be good?"
"They will know from the start." He heard a splash over the intercom and huffed, going to see who had been thrown off. He looked at his mate, who was staring at her. "Did you toss her?"
"No. I didn't." He looked at Evan, who smirked at them. "He did." He went to get the tomato plant and others. The botanists and the AI for botany came with him to help. Someone else could fish the spoiled one out.
Evan got one of the guards to go retrieve her. He looked at Radek. "She sneered that we're all stupid if we don't have a PhD."
"Hmm. Is not a welcome attitude here. I will send her to Rodney to annoy him." He went to process that change. She could be sent over that night. Since Xander was helping so much in Botany until the other scientists got there and he needed to translate. Or to translate things for him and Rodney.
Rodney followed General O'Neill into the conference room, shutting the door behind himself.
"Good morning," Jack said.
"General O'Neill," the dark haired man with the beard and mustache said. "I'm told you have a proposition for some of our people." He shook his hand. "I'm Doctor Nathan Stark. This is Doctor Allison Blake. I'm the former head of Global Dynamics. She's the current head. What can your project give our people?"
Jack looked at the other general. "Did you tell them anything, Mansfield?"
"I've briefed them a bit, but not fully. Your project gave me a headache, O'Neill."
"Let me," Rodney huffed. "Doctor Rodney McKay."
"I've been watching some of your energy research, Doctor McKay," Doctor Blake said with a smile, shaking his hand. "I was going to try to recruit you."
"I'm on a very good place right now dealing with futuristic weapons, machines, and beings." He put down the image projector. "Atlantis, would you please project the full recruiting film Radek and I made?" he asked it.
"Of course," she replied without showing up and a screen popped up with it all. The two scientists and the general sat and watched in awe. At the end she appeared, smiling at them. Jack looked at her outfit so she looked then changed it. "Sorry, we're having a free day today." She smiled at the newcomers. "My parental figure met you," she told the other general, bowing slightly to him. She looked at the other two. "Are you two of our new scientists?"
"These two run Global Dynamics, which is a Defense Department scientist think tank," Rodney told her. "They're hoarding some of our best and brightest."
"Hmm. Will they be better than some of our own who don't like Xander because he learned things outside a classroom?" she asked.
"We're not like that," Allison told her. "Most of us aren't."
"Most of ours have been and we do adore Xander. He was my parental figure's first friend in many centuries plus he helped me come out more. He can talk to us in our native language." Jack gave her a pointed look. "He is also a wonderful botanist."
"He's our geek-to-military liaison," Jack told them. "He's the sort to find a job that needs done and to do it without telling anyone."
"We have Fargo for that," Allison told him with a smile. "Plus a totally normal town sheriff for the bouts of common sense we need now and then."
"Xander can be that voice of common sense. He can also be the voice of 'because I said so' when some of our people slack," Jack admitted. "And if they're really idiots in disguise, well, he's thrown a few off the cities."
Rodney snickered. "That one botanist Radek sent me did get thrown off but not by Xander. Evan got her for her sneering ways." He looked at them. "The docks on Nila have these labs," he said, handing over the information he carried. "We have botany mostly covered but we would be agreeable to others taking some samples for study. Frankly, Xander is the king of our strange specimens in there."
"How many are on the atoll?" Jack asked him.
"A great many in the garden but the twit from botany threw a lot of others onto the atoll. With the rain we had right afterward, they've mostly self planted. Including an air vine she stomped into the ground. He can't move the remaining ones there but he's trying to foster new plants from them. I'm not sure how much can be cultivated or not. Fortunately we keep a sample of everything in a safe and Xander has most of them at home as well. If not, definitely in Cardiff."
"Wonderful." He looked at them. "As you can see, we need good people with good attitudes, who learned to get along with others. There's some risk. I'm sure you've heard jealous remarks and that some people don't want the US to have them."
"Some fundamentalists have been gathering to tell us we shouldn't have it at all," Rodney added. "We do have military units guarding the city. They're run by Major Evan Lorne. I included his bio. He's worked with us for years so he's used to geek wrangling as the military puts it."
"Not even you were worse than Danny," Jack assured him. "The guy got lost in a library for three fricken weeks once, and out of phase. Just reading. Didn't even realize it." Rodney snickered. "You nearly falling off a cliff while studying something, nothing on him. I taught all of them how to geek wrangle in the field."
"Field?" Doctor Stark asked.
"That's a further classified project and would be recruited for at some later date," Jack told him simply. "It's not hiring yet."
"That's because we sent back the ones who're unable to get along with others," Rodney said bluntly.
"Thankfully we didn't have to bring you back," Jack told him.
"I have no problems as long as no one's stupid around me."
"Boys," the other general complained.
"He's right," Jack told him. "He's not on Nila though." He looked at them. "He's the head geek. His minions get yelled at. A lot. He's in the more classified project but is our head geek for that one overall. Radek was his second-in-command."
"We've made wonderful progress fixing what the Ancients left broken," Rodney told them. "I won't swear it's totally safe. Yesterday was apparently a lot of turbulence. When we first landed her back on earth, we had to spend three weeks rewiring all the power conduits because they had used thinner, weaker wires since she was supposed to be temporary. We learn a lot going back to fix the broken things."
"We've been through all the labs so they're as safe as we can make them," Jack said. "Most of them are still ancient. Some have exploded in the more classified project. We had one that got two men pregnant. Does he have those spores?" he asked Rodney.
"Two different varieties of the same species, under glass, in Cardiff. Owen and Ianto are in charge of those. That way if they're sprayed, they can handle it with their significant others," Rodney reported. "Owen gets to study them with Doctor Banaca. She's working on how to mass market it to fund all of us better."
"If she could, I'm sure the Pentagon would adore it," Jack agreed dryly.
Allison coughed. "Spores?"
"Atlantis, if you would. Just the clinical report please," Rodney said. "I doubt they need to see any film that may have been taken." She put up the clinical reports and they moaned at it. "Having been under it by accident once and by malicious threat a second time," Rodney said dryly. "It is very fun while you're in that state. Later.... Well, I was horribly sore and we all agreed that what happened while spored stayed while spored."
"I can see why," Nathan said. "Can I get a sample of that?"
"I can talk to the people at Torchwood who are looking over that garden," Jack assured him. "It's not classified."
"Thank you. I know some people who would give up a major organ to study something like that."
Rodney coughed. "Atlantis, the air vine sheet please?" She put that up. Allison moaned. "It has come in *very* handy. It can be grafted onto other plants as well," he assured them with a smile. "Usually it will give them their root structure. We tried it with a watermelon plant since we had one brought up by someone. It did reproduce rapidly when the roots were exposed and cut off."
"Those were good watermelons," Jack agreed. "Did you ever figure out how to kill that plant?"
"Keep the roots on and it won't start to reproduce itself. That's how those that use the original plant in wedding crowns do so. Even one leaf being released can start growth."
"I'm definitely going to bring some botanists, even if you have no room for them. We have a biosphere that would love to do that sort of work," Nathan told him.
Rodney waved a hand. "That'd be acceptable as long as the General said so. We truly need engineers and scientists to start the information farming process. As you can tell, we're nearly a century or two ahead in most areas. With our overseeing body, we couldn't publish some of this. So we'll be teaching and learning at the same time."
Allison smiled and nodded. "I've found that's often the best way to do things. I know of at least twenty people off the top of my head who would kill to come work in the labs. Especially in biochemistry. Do you have need of geneticists?"
"We have a lot of those already," Jack told her. "Some of these things depend on a special gene sequence to operate. We can test whoever for it and offer the rest the artificial version. It works in about forty percent of the people. The rest ...."
"We do have a bypass being worked on. Most of the labs on Nila will still work without the gene. Those that don't, they have someone in there to help them."
"Those of us with it complain that we're like the light switch on the wall," Jack said dryly. Nathan snickered at that. "I've had many bouts of 'touch this and turn it on for me' demands."
"Yes, well, if it wasn't so strong in you, you wouldn't have that," Rodney said dryly. "We wouldn't have had near as many issues if you had been normal."
"Good point. God only knows who would've been sent instead of me at first." He looked at them. "We've been running now for over ten years. This is our more open branch but our project has protected humanity now for years. We're not evil, not wanting to take over the world, nothing like that. We treat our geeks very well. Nila's getting better accommodations soon. The preliminary ones are tiny and everyone has complained. That's the last thing being built. Our medical center will be next-to-last because we can send people to other hospitals easy enough right now."
"We have a full support staff," Rodney assured them. "Cafeteria, coffee makers, all that."
Nathan and Allison gave each other a look. "What's the downside?" Nathan asked.
"The fact that others don't really want us to know these things," Rodney told them. "Which of course is much too late. They don't know of this and won't for a bit. If we told them bluntly what we had, they'd ...freak out to use a Xanderism."
"All the backlash we've had so far would at least triple if they knew everything," Jack agreed. "The fundamentalists would be even worse to deal with. I don't foresee us being leaked that far. Some, but not that far. Even when we got leaked, it was mostly relayed back to Nila instead of the more classified things."
"Which was very smart work. We noticed the coverup," Allison said with a smile. "We had wondered."
"Nila can take off and get into space," Atlantis told her. "As I can but I'm not looking for more family on my base."
"There's two?" Nathan asked.
"She's highly classified," Jack said, glaring at her then at Rodney. "Why didn't you bring Nila?"
"She and the AI in Botany are helping Xander with the plants that got thrown and disorganized on the atoll. Plus she's helping the construction crew."
"Fine. Atlantis, they didn't know about you."
"They'll find out. If they're as smart as Radek or Rodney then they'd figure out there was more than one city." She smirked. "Miko is ranting, let me see what is wrong, Rodney." She disappeared then came back a minute later. "Miko has found someone doing something truly stupid, as she put it, General Child Jack. She needs someone higher than Child John because that one had him bitten by her poisonous snakes on purpose when she tried to take over the labs."
"Going," Jack said. He texted something to someone as he walked out. He got beamed there and went to the labs at a jog. He could hear the screaming by the time he got off the elevator. Of course, there were snakes all over the floor. He grabbed a fire extinguisher and got to work on them for now.
Rodney looked at her. "Which one am I going to beat?"
"Have her put in a cell. I'll deal with her when I get back, then they can have her," Rodney said firmly. "Is the colonel all right?"
"He's fine. They had the antivenom and the healing wands." She disappeared.
Rodney looked at them. "It's never a dull day on our city. Nila is much calmer."
Nila popped up, looking pissed. "Rodney, she destroyed some of Xander's plants. I want her beaten. She may not destroy those things of his. They're his! They're important and I won't have it!"
"I have to beat Persins later, I'll get her too," he assured her calmly. "Is Xander in a snit?"
"No! But I'm upset for him! She tried to get to his house too but Radek caught her trying and wanted to beat her but said he's not a violent man. He let Evan have her." She sniffed. "I will not have that on my city."
"Of course you won't. I'll handle her myself." She beamed at him and patted him on the head. "Nila, these are Doctors Allison Blake and Nathan Stark. We're going to hopefully be getting some of their scientists."
She stared at them. "If they treat my Xander like the others have I will have Rodney paddle them and scream at them. I will not have that on my city and I will banish anyone into the sea who is impolite to me or my staff. If you'll excuse me, I have to remind the boys to eat. They haven't been eating and the Doctor said it was very important I remind them." She disappeared.
"Mother henning artificial intelligences," the other general said with a grin. "Did the Ancients program them that way?"
"They've adopted Xander. Xander found Nila after she had been sunk for at least three millennia. Atlantis could only give out some information but not appear that way until he started to talk to her and got her image projectors fixed. Nila clung to Xander for a bit then slowly started to take in his friends as her new family. So she's very protective of him but we see no problem with that since she was alone for all that time. She's gotten much more calm and better at dealing with different personalities. At first she loathed female scientists because one cheated on her husband on her deck."
"I know someone who would love to work with her. He's a psychologist," Allison said. "They may be able to help each other."
"Nila has five, well now four because she leant one, independent AI's interwoven into her. Because of her long time alone, she managed to work them together. There's an independent one in Botany. Atlantis has her own as you saw. I'm on her most of the time unless Radek needs help fixing things. Earlier Botany was chewing people a new for being so childish yesterday." He smirked. "Someone taught Atlantis to swear in French about a year ago. She's very prolific." They all snickered at that. Jack came back looking mussed. "She's in a cell?"
"The AI put her in one as soon as I went to beat her ass." He sat down. "Sheppard will be fine. The snakes are all dead. Everyone's off their work tables and stools. She's going to be regretting things for the next twenty years for attempted manslaughter."
"I did want the opportunity to yell," Rodney told him.
"You still can. The MP's won't be able to move her for at least three hours. They know you get to rant first. Miko made sure of it, McKay."
"I'll thank her later." He smiled at the other two. "It is never dull, but it is not as dangerous as it first was. There's not as many here who'd like to attack us."
"Before we moved the cities, we lived at threat level orange," Jack told them. "We ran geek bootcamp, all that. Nila's bootcamp are emergency procedures, this is how you follow an order if given one during an emergency, and these are your CO's, talk back at your own risk sort of lessons."
"The still classified parts are more exciting but more dangerous," their general told them.
"I know a great many who would give a kidney to get onto either city," Allison told him. "Let us look over our people and meet with them, Doctor McKay. They've all cleared background checks, have security ratings in place, and we'll see who would like to come." He smiled and shook her hand. "Hopefully you won't have to yell at ours, but I'm sure you've known the average scientist."
"Oh, yes. As long as they're doing their work correctly and not slacking, I don't have to yell." He smirked. "The other sort I do have quite a bit of fun correcting."
"So do we," Nathan assured him, shaking his hand. "Let us gather our people to talk to." They left with their general. They saw the flash of light and looked. The other two were gone. With the image projector. "I want to work on that project," he said.
"That's part of the too classified project," their general told them. "Which... is mind bending, I won't lie. It's protecting us all but until someone puts them under us, we'll have to wait." They nodded and headed to the airport so they could go home and talk to their geeks. The general went to get a drink. If only so he didn't have to think about those spores ever again.
Faith got blipped by Dawn to Sunnydale. "Thanks, D."
"Welcome. I wanted to come see Mom too." She smirked at her, walking her off. Faith got a few vampires on the way to the house. Faith knocked and Joyce opened the door, pulling her in for a hug. Dawn too. "I even brought a long letter from Xander," she said proudly. Her mother took it to put on the couch then hugged her again. "It's okay, Mom. Not like I'm in trouble."
"I want to meet this boyfriend, young lady," she told her daughter. "Tomorrow."
"He's off blowing off stress tonight." She smirked. "But sometime soon. Jack's nagging him. He's a bit commitment phobic."
"Hmm. We'll see if he's worthy of a Summers woman." She hugged Faith again. "It's wonderful to see you too, Faith. How are things on the cities?" She pulled them into the living room. "Dawn, text your sister?"
"Sure." She did that and put her phone back up. Faith relaxed and told her how things were going. About Ronon and Teyla too. About how she had gotten to go up in a real X-302 the other day. Buffy came skipping in and hugged her then Dawn.
Willow walked in and shut the door. "Faith," she said.
"Red." She went back to telling a story about the last food fight, cracking Buffy and Joyce up. Dawn was snickering too.
It was good to relax again. Being back in Sunnydale was almost like a gift since things had gotten straightened out for everyone. Yeah, she could handle this new life, Faith decided.
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