The Incidences of The Blippy Dohickey 22: Renewal and Revenge.
Xander sat down in front of Rodney's secondary backup computer and finished uploading from his stick drive. All the files unzipped easily and installed themselves. He beamed at his good work. Radek came in and gave him a pointed look. "Daniel said Keller told him Rodney has to have a day off or else."
"I would hide," he ordered.
Xander smiled at Radek. "We will be." Radek gave him a pointed look. "She reamed me a good one for moving without my chair again too." Rodney walked in reading. "Good morning."
"It's not a teaching day," he said.
"No, I'm following orders."
"What orders on whose authority?" he asked dryly.
"The highest on high." He grabbed the laptop, his backpack that he had made earlier and made Rodney walk beside him. "C'mon."
"Where are we going?"
"To sit somewhere."
"Why?" he asked impatiently.
"Because Keller said your blood pressure was in orbit and told Daniel to make you take a day off." He grinned. "I got designated as your annoyance monitor of the day to make sure of it."
"What did you do?" he demanded.
"Well, I put up a tent," he said, walking them into the gate room and up to the gate. He pushed him through then went after him. He came out the other side and it shut down. "I set up a nice cabinish area for today. I have to make that damn phone call too."
"You don't have to."
"Yeah I do. But I picked someone nice enough who won't ask me dumb questions."
"Are you sure?"
"Quite." He walked him off. He pulled out his phone. "Damn, no signal." They moved back closer to the gateway and Xander added some magic strength to the antenna. That worked. He handed over the laptop. "All the work things are locked with a new password. As ordered. I did give you a few games."
"Games!" he demanded. "I can beat games with an algorithm!"
"Not some of these." He pointed. "You can look. That way you can rant before I have to make the dreaded, life ending phone call."
Rodney huffed but sat down on a log to look at the games. "Saqqarah?" He got into it, snorting at the back story. "This is too damn easy."
Xander smiled. "You do four on each temple to unlock the next one. The second one is logic puzzles and the fifth puzzle was hard enough that I couldn't ever get it. The others are different types of puzzles. Spot the chain, make the chain, switch it to create the triangle, those sort." Rodney glared but he did the first four and moved to the logic puzzles. He got the first four easily then the fifth stumped him. He tried it a few times then glared at him. Xander grinned. "Still think you can write an algorithm?"
"Yes," he muttered, going back to it. The other temples weren't *bad* but fairly simplistic. Though he wasn't doing very well on the rotate one. Or the moving it temple. He hated some of these he decided. "Can I play just each temple?"
"Yes. At the end there's no prize. After you complete all of the first ones you get an annoying screensaver that Daniel hates. It's a long walkway of pillars with symbols that show up now and then. He hated it when he got it." Rodney moaned, doing the temple he liked. "There's a few others. Luxor is a shooting game to make chains with cheezy graphics." He grinned. "I almost put JoJo's Fashion show on it but I doubted you'd like it. I did put three hidden object ones: both Samantha Swift games and Margrove Manor. I put Turbo Pizza on there too. That's a time management one. That way you're not totally bored on your day off."
"I could be sleeping."
"We will once we get to the camp." He winked and dialed the number he had been given. "Hi, it's Xander Harris." He smiled. "No, not really ready." He put her on speaker. "There, that way the guy who I was told to take on an enforced vacation can tell me to stay calm."
"Sure, if that's what's needed," the female said. "Let me start the recording on this end. This is really good reception. Where are you?"
"Classified but out of the US. I'm on my cell."
"Like a satellite phone?"
"Something like that."
"Hmm." He could almost hear the smile. "Still good reception. Okay, I've got the recording stuff started and my editor is listening in to make sure the quality is good. That's all that's on this side, okay?"
"Good. Now let's start with the harder questions. Are you military?"
"I'm a civilian specialist on a classified project. A linguist."
"So not military?"
"No, just pretend military."
She laughed. "That's good to know. I know you did not want to do an interview."
"No, I don't. I'm being forced to do an interview by the higher ups who have confiscated my money and my stuff in storage."
"Ah, I see. So why come to me?"
"You won't ask me dumb questions, you won't mind if I talk a bit about my boyfriend, and you're nicer from what I've seen."
"I do try. So you're gay?"
"Wonderful. How do you feel about the current rules about us?"
"I think it was a last minute compromise and it kinda sucks, but some day people will actually not give a damn where you stick it except when it's a kid or a dog. I hope I live that long."
She was smiling. "How do you feel about gay marriage?"
"If you want to be married, go for it. I don't think it's my thing and I don't think anyone I'm involved in would be more than wary of the idea."
"So, just a boyfriend?"
Xander looked at Rodney. "He said it was okay."
"Two boyfriends actually. We kinda suit each other. One's a bit snarky, I'm a smartass, the other's very sweet and nice to us."
"Hmm. I'm going to guess one is real military?"
"Yes, the other's a scientist."
"Okay, I won't ask more about them so it can't get them in trouble. I wouldn't want to out anyone." She shifted. "What are you doing today?"
"I have a friend who I jokingly call a mean uncle that got told to take a day off so I'm making him go with me to a relaxing spot that I've set a tent up on and put up food for the day. I even downloaded games on his computer. I might've done porn but I don't think he'd like that."
"I would've killed you," Rodney assured him. "I may still for these games."
"I told you it was harder than you thought."
She laughed. "It's good you have friends. I understand you're a California boy?"
"Yes, a few hours from LA."
"Okay. Anyone you want to shout out to?"
"Nah. My might-as-well-be little sister is in Cardiff going to school. She's going to follow me into the languages and the school system we were in sucks ass. Badly. Sorry about the swearing but it's the only way to really describe Sunnydale's school."
"I've heard about that town," she said. She coughed. "Is she liking Wales? That's Wales, right?"
"Yeah. She's not liking too many of the boys at school. She said half the ones who hit on her are emo. We think she should date more geeks but they're apparently in awe of her beauty. She's interning over there and has some very fussy big brothers who keep wanting to put her in granny skirts and long sleeved sweaters with turtlenecks." Rodney laughed at that. "They do."
"They do," he agreed.
"That's a good age to be nagged about that stuff," she agreed. "So, languages? How many do you speak?"
"Um... last count was something like forty something I think? I mostly read, I only speak about six of them fluently."
"Wow. I know you didn't learn that in that school system."
"Actually I learned a few off our high school librarian. He's the one who taught us Latin, Summerian, and ancient Greek."
"We were kinda like that."
"I can tell. So, my editor wants me to move onto the harder question again. That battle? You okay? It looked like you were bleeding."
"I had a hundred ninety something stitches in my hip joint to keep it on."
"Hundred ninety-eight or nine," Rodney said.
"What he said."
"Ow," she said with a hiss. "Are you going to be able to walk?"
"I'm breaking rules a lot to stand right now. I can kinda shuffle but the doc wants me in the chair for another few weeks. I've been swimming to keep up muscle tone and things."
"Wonderful. I hope it's a stress-free recovery and you get full function back."
"I'm a bit stubborn," he admitted with a smile at the phone.
"So I've been told. How did you get involved?"
"A friend asked for help. I showed up to help him."
"Just like that?"
"For that friend, yup. He was there through some bad points of my past and he needed help. It's the sort of guy I am."
"But that's a rare and special thing in today's world. Today you're lucky if you can get your friends to help you move across town."
"Yeah, I know a few of those but they'd be at my back if it was a serious thing like that."
"That is how you tell true friends," she agreed. "I know we were told we lost someone."
"We lost one fully and kinda lost the other but he's not dead. We'll miss her and him."
"Okay." She shifted again, you could hear the chair squeak. "It sounds like they were good friends?"
"Yeah, some of the best I've had."
"Then I'm sorry for your loss. So, anything else that you do?"
"I tinker with weapons."
"I guess that came in handy then."
"Around us too," Rodney said loudly.
She laughed. "I'm sure it would on a military base. Make the guys respect the geeks."
"Some of our geeks are pretty tough," Xander told her. "We beat them all the time at soccer and X-Box."
She giggled. "Those are tough geeks. Do you play games?"
"Yeah, it used to be just my X-Box until I bought one for the rec room. And a tv so they wouldn't have to carry mine down ten flights of stairs."
"Ah. That's generous."
"I like most of the guys on base and they spoil my pets very well." A whoosh went off and he looked. "Speaking of, I think they were upset we didn't bring them, Rodney." He looked and whistled. They came running over and the gateway cut off. "Sorry, our pets just got sent."
"I heard the airlock sound." She heard a cheep. "What is it?"
"It's a lizard. Some people have looked at Armand and called him a mutant iguana but I think of him like a baby dragon." He petted him. Armand nuzzled and stared at the phone. "Behave, Armand. Hi, Mira. She's Rodney's pet."
"Aww. It's good they let you have pets wherever you are in the world." Armand purred at her. "He sounds very friendly."
"He is." Xander moved him away from the phone, petting him with his free hand. There was an awkward pause. "You'll be able to edit the stupid stuff, right?"
"Yeah, we'll be able to do that. If we get about an hour's worth we can edit it down to the forty minutes or so. If we do less time I'll add in another guest."
"Thanks, I'm not used to this. Really, I just want my personal space. I consider them making me do this like personal space rape."
"I can understand that fully. Not everyone thrives in the limelight."
"I never wanted it."
"Even when you were younger?"
"I used to fantasize about being a guitar god without groupies."
"Ah. So no wanting to be the leading man on a movie?"
"Nope. I can't act." Armand nuzzled him so he petted him better.
"I can fully understand that and I'm really gratified that you chose me for your first one."
"Like I said, you wouldn't ask the totally dumb stuff. I heard someone put forth a petition to put me in for a Nobel."
"I heard that it got quashed."
"Cool. Thank you whoever did that."
"What did you do before joining that project?"
"Construction. I like working with wood and my hands. It was really satisfying. Plus kept me in great shape."
"I bet. You guys have good arm and back muscles. So, I heard rumors about a sword?"
"I can use a sword. And a battle axe. Some people on the project have seen me use one."
"That's probably where that came from. What are you going to do if they get pushy to reward you?"
"Hide for my life. I don't want medals, awards, none of it. Just let me fade into obscurity. Please?"
"I know it's disconcerting."
"Thankfully I won't be anywhere people can see me for months."
"That may help," she agreed. "So you're a homebody?"
"Can you cook?"
"Somewhat. I had some fast food jobs before finding construction. One at a Hibachi. I did dishes at a strip club so I learned how to make wings."
"They have food at those?"
"Some of them."
"I did not know that. Huh. I'll have to go check that out with the wife."
"She is pretty but she looks like she spanks hard."
Ellen laughed. "Yes she can. Yours?"
"They pout if I'm that bad. But they did get me calmed down when this got sprung on me. Kept me from leaving, all that."
"I know it's tough. What are you going to do after this project?"
"That depends on what we do when we get back to a more normal locale. Then we'll decide that. I don't know. I know I have a cabin on a perfect little beach with beautiful white sand. I can move all my books there and hide for a bit. Other than that, I don't know."
"I heard you have an apartment in London?"
"Yeah, I bought one recently and one in Cardiff for my little sister to live in while at school."
"That's really a nice thing to do."
"She needed it. I didn't want her to live somewhere scummy or dangerous. Somewhere she'd get tempted to be a bad girl."
"I can understand that. It's hard to have a teenager."
"She's not bad. A bit squealy but she wouldn't be her any other way."
"True. You have to enjoy those years."
"Otherwise you end up twenty-three and looking back going 'damn, I didn't do that, why'," he agreed.
"Didn't get to do all the wild stuff you wanted to do?" she asked.
"I think going to Disney Word and all those places would've been more cool as a teenager than it would be now."
"Possibly but you can get into all the exhibits now without anyone complaining about your age," Rodney said.
"I could've then."
"Good point," she agreed. "You two sound like close friends."
"That's my mean uncle." Armand cheeped and Mira cheeped louder. "And the pets."
"They sound very smart. I'd like to see them some day."
Xander smiled. "Maybe I'll send a picture."
"Sure. So, college?"
"I hated school. I had like a 1.3 GPA in school."
"So why do they want you to be the new poster boy for the military?"
"I have no clue and when I pointed out that I was loudly bi, I flirt, I had a horrible school record, and a bunch of other things, including that I do not follow stupid orders, they still thought I'd be perfect. Apparently we want different things in a military these days," he said dryly.
"Clearly they want more like you who jump in, but more obedient," Rodney asked. "Put a general on after this. Try for O'Neill. He's supposedly hip," he told the phone. He beat another level and found the next overall level was the same but there were more challenges. "A blocking one!" he complained.
"I put saqqarah on his computer," Xander said happily.
"It's frustrating," Rodney complained. "Not relaxing."
"So later on you can make the minions solve it too."
"I may at that. It'll help me weed out the lesser minds easier. Before I have to yell."
"What does Rodney do?" she asked.
"I'm the head of the science department."
"Oh, so you have real minions."
"Incredibly dumb ones sometimes," he agreed. "I get to yell all too often."
"We like watching it. It's like a soap opera. What was that one guy doing?"
"Trying to make a hallucinogenic steam from some local plants that are mildly mind relaxing," he said dryly. "Which is why I nearly killed my vocal chords."
"I would too," she agreed. "Are they high schoolers? Still in college?"
"No, though you can't prove it by the yelling sometimes," Xander admitted.
"Isn't dumb but sometimes gets it," he admitted. "When Mean Uncle Rodney wants to yell at others for littler things."
"Ah, he's that sort. That's cool sometimes. Everyone needs to vent." Xander snickered. "So, seriously, how are you doing?"
"I'm okay. Mostly. My hip hurts a bit." He saw people come out of the gate. "Um, I'm going to have to put you on hold for a second. Someone who's not supposed to be here just showed up." He put them on hold. "Can't hear me, right?" he asked. No answer. "Guys, what are you doing here?"
"We were told you were here and wanted to ask you a few questions," Cata said. He sat on the log, looking at the screen. "Is that a puzzle of the ancients?"
"Game, meant for relaxation," he said, looking at him. "He's doing a vile interview so you'll have to quietly wait about thirty minutes."
Xander put it back on. "Still hear me?"
"Yeah, I can."
"Cool. Guys, sit," he ordered. "Sorry, some people we've worked with before just showed up."
"I know that's got to be odd since it's your day off. Do you think O'Neill would show up?"
"I think the same people who wanted me to do this interview will want him to do an interview." He smirked at the phone.
"What is that?" one hissed to another.
"It's a phone," Xander said. "I'm talking to someone by where I'm from."
"Oh!" He nodded.
"Sorry. Rodney, you can probably access the 'net too."
Rodney paused the game and got into that feature to send one to the base. It'd get the mountain but they could call or something, right? Or let them know somehow? He got onto another site and decided to watch a tv episode. It was good to distract the Genii too.
"So anyway," Xander said.
"Anyway," she agreed, sounding happy. "Anything big in your project since it's got science and languages?"
"Sometime soon. Maybe. That's up to people like O'Neill."
"I'll ask him that then." She shifted again. "I'll end this one here. We'll have plenty to use for your interview, and then we'll talk to General O'Neill if I can get him, or one of the more uptight ones if I can't. Thank you."
"Just kinda make sure that they leave me alone?" Xander pleaded. "I really don't want to be the subject of anyone's attention. Ever. I really hate this."
"I get that and I understand. This will hopefully stop all that. You have a good day off with your mean Uncle."
"Thank you, you too." He hung up and put it into his bag. "So, guys, we were going to have a day off. What's up?"
Rodney looked up when Mira and Armand both migrated to one of the Genii's new dreadlocks. "They're still fascinated by those things." Mira cheeped at him and he let her play with them.
"They're very gentle," the youth said with a smile. "They're just pawing and nosing them. Not pulling."
"They've both chewed off one of Ronon's," Xander told him. "So, what's up? We were going to go where I set up a tent for his day off."
"We needed to ask a technical question," Cata said. "How are you running that chair?"
"It's not hard."
"Those mystical poles of energy, the ZPM?" he asked.
"No. It's run on a rechargeable battery. I can plug it in and recharge it in a few hours. It can run the levitating function for a few days."
"Interesting. So not a ZPM?" They both shook their heads. "Can you make new ZPM's?"
Rodney looked at him. "The Assurans could but no, we can't," he lied. He went back to his show. "Can we do this on the city?"
"Someone would kill and beg for this feature," he pointed out. "You'd have your choice of chocolates for you three."
"Maybe." He smiled at the Genii. "Sorry, guys. I'm a weapons guy, not an energy flow person."
"You could make a gun that would help us keep power from the wraith," the one with the dreadlocks said. "We would be willing to trade for it."
Xander stared at him. "In our society is a theory called the prime directive. It states that you do not give any technology to a society that is not ready for it yet. Some of the stuff I have done in the past is beyond even McKay's understanding." They all slumped. "I cannot and will not give that over. I'm sorry but even if I could, I can't because of that. It's one of the laws I live by."
"We would probably be able to have something lesser?"
Xander considered how to put it because if he refused outright they'd be taken hostage. Which was just his luck. "Would you give a society that only found fire recently guns?" They shook their heads. "Would you give a society that barely had guns something bigger, something that could ruin whole cities?"
"No, not if you're an honest man," Cata said. "But you know how to make things in between."
"No, actually I don't. When and where I learned it was weapons far beyond our present understanding. I traveled through space and time." Cata gasped. "What I know I cannot share with anyone. I can't even share most of it with McKay and his people. I can't even tell my boyfriend these things. I can't give you weapons because I can't make the things that would be useful to you without making it too futuristic. I don't know how."
Rodney looked up at him. "I only know how to make laser weapons and other higher ones. They aren't something to carry around. Some of them are too big even for a jumper."
"I see," Cata said.
"That and with the way the wraith took out Sateda for being so technological, it's a danger," Xander added.
"But you're going to end the wraith," Cata pointed out.
"Yes but it'll be a while," Rodney pointed out. He closed the laptop and put it into the bag. "We can't do it immediately and we're still trying to find the best way to do more than take out single wraith hive ships."
"The air vine is a good start," Xander said. "But planting it is dangerous."
"Air vine?" Cata asked.
"On my trip, I found a vine that will suck all the air out of a spaceship. It's very dangerous."
Cata licked his lips. "It sounds it. What if it's on a planet?"
"If it could be planted safely, it's safe. I don't think it would take over a whole planet. I know it took over a lab within minutes." They all shuddered. "It's killed by fire. Nothing else works on it."
"So very dangerous," he decided. Xander nodded. "You have samples?"
"A few but they're safely stored in crystal so they can't broken into," Xander told him. "We're looking for a way to transplant it so we can plant it on a few worlds as self defense if we can't get all the wraith or some are hibernating in a place we don't find. That's a real possibility since they've got many worlds they're working on. Plus the worshipers."
"They are not normal," Cata agreed. He considered it. "Would you give us a single sample to try to plant?"
"Only if we can make sure it won't be used on us," Rodney said. "We don't want anyone going toward Koyla's ways. There's others who would if they could get hold of things. None of the other planets need someone like that. Even now, you probably have people who would support it. Even if you yourself don't or your council doesn't."
Cata nodded. "That is true. A few of the council miss him actually." He considered it. "Would you still give us an idea of it? Let us look at a sample?"
"That may be arranged," Rodney agreed. "We're all for planets being able to help themselves if the wraith come."
They beamed at their leader. "But that would help," one of the young ones said.
"It has," Rodney agreed. "We can arrange for you guys to look at the air vine and what we've found out about it."
"That would be very helpful. Could it be shot into a dart?" Cata asked.
"With a special capsule that would break apart once it was inside the ship," Xander said.
"So possible. What about better hand weapons?"
"Not my area," Xander said.
"Or mine," Rodney said.
"Darn," the young one the dragons were playing with said. "I would really like it if I could have a version of Ronon's gun."
"So would Sheppard," Xander said with a grin. The boy grinned back. "Sorry, guys. Not our fields."
"Have you examined it?"
"We scanned it once, but we still can't fully recreate its power source," Rodney said.
The Genii nodded at that knowledge. "What of other things we could carry. Like his shrunken weapons."
"That's something only people like him to do," Rodney said dryly. "I can't."
"That takes magic," Xander said.
"Magic?" the youngest one asked. Xander lit a ball of fire in his hand, making them all scream and back away. He made it go away. "Is that magic?" Xander nodded. "How does creating fire from air shrink things?"
Xander smiled and pulled off a sword. "You have to know the thing that you're working on, have it in your hand. You have to feel the energy in it and warp it to your will." He let the young one feel the sword as he shrank it. "Did you feel a difference?"
"Maybe a small tingle."
"That was the spell working on it. For me I can feel the metal warming up as it moves. It's a rare skill. Even more rare than having the genes to activate ancient things." Rodney gave him a look. "Some people can't."
"Some people can't," he agreed.
"Can you make it so more can?" Cata asked. Rodney shook his head. "Why not?"
"Genetics is what makes each person different. It's part bloodline and part what makes you different than anyone else you know," Xander told him. "Your genes identify which family lines you come from. You share genes with them. Even your great-great-great grandparents, but the further you go, the less you share." That got a slow nod. "The same as they're what gave you brown hair, your height, your green eyes, all that comes from genes as well. It's also why some children are born with certain problems."
"We haven't found too many incidences of things like Down's Syndrome," Rodney admitted.
Rodney nodded. "We can't even theorize why. Maybe the culling is weeding out those who have the gene. We aren't sure."
"Interesting." He looked at Cata. "We can compare genes. We can compare you to your parents and grandparents, or any children they had. They can compare yours to mine and find differences and similarities that we all share. We can't yet input genes into you from someone else. It would kill you."
"So no bringing it to someone who hasn't had it."
"Like when you breed animals, bloodlines weaken the longer from the main source," Rodney said. "Your people are so far from the original bloodline that it's basically been bred out of your people."
"So like a meat beast that's been given to a different breed, after a while the offspring will not look like either of them," the young one with the dreads said.
"Exactly," Rodney agreed. "That's how you make a new breed."
"So that's why none of us show it," he said. Rodney nodded. "And it can't be given to us?"
"No," Rodney said. "It's very dangerous to even attempt."
"That is a pity," Cata said. "Is there any chance?"
"Doctor Beckett was working on that."
"Pity." He sighed and stood up. "We would like to talk to you more."
Xander stared at him. "It's our day off, Cata. We both need to relax. I've been pissed at our higher ups recently."
"Higher ups who make stupid decisions that hurt their people?" he guessed. Xander nodded. "Those that make more reports necessary and the ones who are dumb?"
"Exactly. Which is why I had to talk to someone earlier."
"Hmm. I know of those very well." He patted him on the shoulder. "We would still like to talk to you." The one with the dreads opened the vial and threw it at them. They both succumbed very quickly, before they could protest. "Make sure you take the things. Two of you go check that camp, see if anything shouldn't be left here." They did that and the one with the dreadlocks kept the dragons occupied. They knew Armand would destroy them for this. Mira was probably just as protective even though she was young. They respected and feared Xander too much to ever upset him by hurting his pet or leaving his things somewhere they could be destroyed. Especially things they didn't understand.
"We will not hurt you two. We're taking you with the parents so they can rest," he crooned, walking toward the gate. They brought the others. Xander's chair rolled nicely even when it wasn't floating. They needed those for the people who had injuries. The ones going to the camp got there a few minutes later and they went through. Traveling woke Rodney up slightly and he saw the symbols on the gate. He woke up once they were in a cell. He had no idea where Mira and Armand were. He noticed the bag was with them and pulled out the laptop to send that message as well. Then he went back to watching tv until Xander woke up. He was not happy and he had to calm down. Before he built another bomb and blew them all to hell. Xander might pout for not being able to help. Xander woke with a groan. "No idea where the pets are. Told them by email."
Xander shifted with a grimace and sighed. "I ache like shit. Couldn't they sit me up?"
"Apparently not." He looked over. "Seinfeld?" he asked when he saw him staring at the computer.
"Sure." He leaned closer then moved the chair closer and set it down. He looked at his bag, finding the thing he wanted. He handed it to Rodney, who smirked. "I only have the necklace." He patted himself. "Still there."
"They're not being too pushy," Rodney said. "Yet."
"Good." The door opened and they stared at the man there, who put the pets down and gave them a back pet to make them run to them. "What? They crap on someone?" he snarked.
"They were quite pissed that we wanted to keep them from you."
Xander smirked. "I have had Armand in wars."
"Mira has been learning much from him then. She killed five people." He left, closing the door behind himself and locking it.
"Good girl, Mira," Rodney said, getting a coo back. "You need a bath. You have their blood on you." Armand leaned over to lick her. "No, that's disgusting." He took them to the sink in the corner to wash them. They loved that. They came back to sit on the bed with Rodney while Armand cooed at the daddy until he got petted. They settled in to send emails and watch tv until then. Xander sent a text message as well. Rodney put in the code from the gate and it was better. "Sheppard will get that," he assured him.
"I'm sure he will." He petted the dragon. They brought in food. "Get that out of here," he ordered. "McKay's deathly allergic to that yellow thing. If he inhales it or it touches him, he'll die." The man backed out quickly. He sighed, looking at him. It came back without those things. "Not touched that plate or anything?" he asked.
"No, Xander," he said quietly. "We did not know," he told McKay, leaving his on the bed and two more for the dragons. He left in a hurry.
Xander looked at the food. "I haven't seen those roots fried before."
"Me either." He nibbled on one. "Not bad. I do have a pen on me."
"Yes, I'm sure." He patted it. Then the other pockets. He found it and waved it. Then it got put back into the usual pocket. "They searched us."
"Clearly." He patted himself down. "I have my wallet and things." They dug in. It wasn't bad food. "Go ahead, guys." They ate the other ones, tray and all since it wasn't metal. Mira belched. "Stop that. Have some manners," he said dryly. She purred at her daddy when he did the same thing. "And they call me a barbarian?" he joked.
"You're not a barbarian. Neither am I." He finished up and put the tray down. Xander's got put down. The dragons ate them too and settled in to keep the daddies calm. Rodney tried to restart the video and it wasn't working. Xander added to the antenna's signal and it got the signal back. He switched shows and it was fun for a while. Then someone came in from the capture team. Xander shot him with the taser. He screamed and thrashed on the ground. He tried to retract them but one stuck. Rodney got it free and came back to watch some more tv. "It was very rude to knock us out and kidnap us. Though, this is probably the nicest kidnaping I've ever been in."
"Me too. No women trying to sleep with me or kill me." He shook his head. "Or demented men who think they own me." They smirked at the absolutely scared men as they drug the poor guy out. "Touch our pets again," Xander offered. "Really." He smiled. They locked the door and hurried off. Xander handed Rodney the taser. Rodney checked it and handed it back. He put it on the recharging spot he had built into the chair.
Rodney looked at it. "That is a good accessory."
"I thought it might be handy," he admitted with a smile. "I can do the laptop too."
"Good!" They looked over at a familiar whirring. "Really?" he asked.
"Apparently." He repacked the bags and got the dragons. "Hi, Doc."
"Xander, Rodney, I showed up to check on Xander and got told there's people who want to own him again?"
"No they want us to make weapons," Rodney admitted with a grimace.
"Ah. Well, come on then." They headed for the door. Rodney made it in. Xander's chair wouldn't. He stood up and shrank the chair, wincing at the twang. "I think it broke a mag lev pad." He handed it off and made his way inside. "Got the pets?"
"And your bag," Rodney said, grabbing it. They checked and closed the door. The doctor smiled.
Xander looked him over. "Thank you."
"You needed it." He got them back to the city. Xander gave him a hug. "What are you doing?"
"You're not eating," Xander said quietly, staring at him.
"Want me to make you a sandwich?"
"No. I'm fine."
Xander stared at him. "Uh-huh." He looked at Rodney then around. "Kids?" he called. They came out belching, dragging a vine out. "Ah, grapes of headache wrath." Rodney snickered. "They are."
"We need to get Radek some of those." He looked at the Doctor. "Xander, he doesn't look comfortable being held."
"I'm fine," he promised. "It's awkward sometime."
Xander looked at Rodney. "Can you?"
"Of course." He opened the door, staring at the Marines, Evan, Rodney, Kissen, and Faith. "Faith, Kissen, he regenerated."
"I know that." He came in to get his own hug. "Hi, Doctor."
"Joel." He smiled. "Good to see you again."
"It's good to see you at all." He stared at him. "Good, the limpet has you. He's sensitive that way. Let me know if you need me for anything, all right? You know I can go or help or anything." The Doctor smiled and nodded. "Good." He left. Radek and Evan came in then Rodney dragged John in. The tardis decided to take off without them prompting.
"Not again," he complained, looking at the center crystal. "Why must you do that?"
"She's alive and knows you." Xander took him back to the bigger bed. The Doctor started to open his mouth. "You need it, Doc. You're disassociated again," he said quietly. They all laid down. They piled around him and he sighed but slowly relaxed. Xander wiggled closer, making the Doctor hold him.
Evan moved, holding Xander from behind this time. Radek got the back of the Doctor. Evan looked over at him. "Xander needed this too," he said quietly. The Doctor smiled. "It'll be okay. I promise."
"This is a lot of 'I've been doing this a long time'," Xander told him quietly. "I know that feeling." He wiggled and pulled Faith in to get between them while John got whatever he could. He decided to have Radek's back. The guys all smiled at that. The Doctor cuddled and it was better.
Faith petted him. "It's all good. I know you're not staring down my shirt so you go right ahead. They're not getting any other use anyway." He laughed, giving her a squeeze.
Xander looked at him and concentrated, starting a spell. He ran a hand over the black hair, making the Doctor look at him in an odd way. "Asha was causing some of this." He did it again and smiled. "It's only going to mute her for three days. That way you can find yourself without her nagging."
The Doctor smiled. "I do feel better without dual nagging sources."
"Donna could nag when she had a head of steam," he agreed. He smiled. "In three days she'll be back nagging." He nodded, snuggling in again. He watched over him, letting Evan and Radek switch off to cuddle him. It was nice. Xander even got the Doctor's back for a while. It was good for them. When it got too late he got up and made food.
"It's odd to see him in clothes," the Doctor said when he brought in food. "Half the time he wore these little shorts that used to drive Jack nuts."
"Why do you think I did it?" he joked weakly. They ate and he got pulled down, while Faith took his back and Radek got Xander's back.
The Doctor looked over. "You're good for him, Radek. You and Evan both." He leaned over to kiss him on the forehead. "My naughty padawan that makes me want to beat him sometimes and cuddle him the rest needs someone like you." He smiled and relaxed again. He was much more centered and finding it easier to be himself again. They reappeared on Atlantis and none of them moved but it was comfortable. Armand and Mira came running in and jumped, wiggling their way into the cuddles. He laughed. "Hello, Armand." The dragon roared and patted him. "You're a wonderful friend to both of us." He petted him gently on the head and the dragon belched into Daddy's shoulder before falling asleep. "I wondered why I had kept some of those grapes," he said dryly.
"I didn't dig them up," Xander quipped. "That way you could have a few days when you needed it."
"They are good but they're overtaking your garden." Xander sniffed but smiled and nodded. "I'm not making you take all the demented plants but perhaps Nila could use some?"
"I can't until we move her back to earth. It might get exposed in space."
"Good point." He took a gentle kiss. "You are wonderful to me."
"I know." He grinned. The Doctor pinched him. "It's cool, Obi."
"Hmm. Maybe. Sometimes I'm too odd to be cool or hip." Xander pinched him and he laughed. He sighed and snuggled in again. It was definitely better. Someone knocked. "Armand, go shoo them off?"
Mira raced out to do that. She grew and roared at the rude person who interrupted the cuddles going on. The marine pulled back, giving her a horrified look. She had the door close and went back to her rightful cuddles. Daddy loved her and he proved it with cuddles.
Xander pulled his head up, hearing something. "I swear I'm going to kill them," he noted. "Go the fuck away!" he yelled. "Before I come out there!"
"Yes, sir!" he shouted back and ran. He got his partner too. They knew Harris' voice of doom. They knew what sparring meant. Even injured he could beat their asses somehow. He might even pull out a light saber since the Doctor called him a padawan.
Xander shook his head. "They need kitty tails."
"No magic, Xander," John ordered.
"Because it's been three weeks and you're starting to go odd."
"Oops. Sorry about her but yay. She tried to cuddle me."
"He upped the antenna on his laptop so we could watch tv," Rodney offered.
"Don't let that get out. They'll steal it to watch soaps."
The Doctor snickered. "It's clear he's made a good family." He petted Xander's head. "That blue plant is mean."
"It's a function bush," he said with a grin.
"I noticed that. It's still rude and mean."
"Jack likes it."
"That makes it worse. Give it to Dawn. Gwen could use it since she's so far along."
"Dawn would freak out and kill it," Xander complained.
"I'm sure Jack wouldn't let her." He petted him gently. "You've been upset. I can tell." Xander broke into another language to tell him why. He grimaced. Xander finished up and he groaned. "You're right, he's a moron," he said in English. Faith looked over. "They tried to threaten you to make him do things."
"No way," she said. "X, you can't let them...."
Xander held up a hand. "They threatened the program too." She growled. "Exactly. So, no, I'm not a happy Xander. I'm about to show some of them why I'm known as the First Destroyer, not like Angel's son."
"How did Deadboy have a son?" she asked, grimacing.
"Long ass story," he sighed. "I heard it from Dawn and I'll show you the email." She nodded at that. "Yeah, it was that bad. But I gave my first and last interview."
"Now I get to go torture people with my presence if my funds and things aren't back."
"I can find B's cheerleader costume," Faith offered.
John looked at her. "No more smutty thoughts, please?" She just smirked.
"You are a very pretty girl but even my mind went places I felt wrong about since I see you like a little sister," Radek said, kissing her on the head. She blushed but they soothed her too. It was a good cuddle session.
Xander appeared in the corner of the building, smiling at the shocked and horrified receptionist. He rolled over. He couldn't fix the mag lift pad. He had no idea how he had done it since he was drunk when he made it. He smiled at the woman behind the counter, pulling out his phone to find who he needed. "This person illegally locked my bank accounts on the order of a putz in a high spot that wants to use my gay ass. Can I speak to him please? I promise I won't do more than scare him because I'm a gay man."
She smiled at him. "I don't find you that threatening, sir." She looked at the name and looked him up. "I see he's listed as being in. Sign in please?" He signed in and she gasped. "It's you." He smirked. "Why...."
"The putz on high wants me to use my ass for him and I disagreed. I'm about to destroy a lot of people's reputations for that. Just like someone's mistress coming out did." He rolled off. "Which floor?"
"Three, sir." She watched him go. He was a hero and someone was doing that to him? He got through the metal detector with a hand wand. They hesitated over his necklace but they were cute little miniatures of swords and things. No harm with it.
Xander came off the elevator and went to the right area, finding a receptionist. "Hi."
"Sir. I got called and told you were on your way up. Why did you want to talk to him?"
"Because he illegally locked my accounts on the order of a pig cocksucker's mouth." He smiled sweetly. "And someone found the tape before you ask. Hell week will haunt you," he quipped with a smirk. "I want it back."
"Oh, dear. Why did they do that?"
He smirked. "Because I'm not in a good mood and I wasn't going to be used as a poster boy. I promise, he'll only be scared of me because I'm gay." She nodded and let him in there. "Good morning," he said loudly and slammed the door. The man gave him a look. He pulled out his ID, letting him see it. Then the phone's display. "I believe that was you?"
"We think you'd want recruited."
"I think you guys tried when I was in high school and I told you to blow yourself then. Look at the town's name." He looked and shuddered, backing away. Xander just smiled. "No, you can't have me. I don't want to work for you. I will never work for you and even if someone, by some option of blackmail, manages it, I'd destroy it from the inside. Because that would be fun to me. Now, can I have my money back before I decide to leave the US and go make weapons and translate things somewhere else? I'm assured that I'd have an open invitation to nearly any country but France or Iran."
"Umm..... With your history..."
"You guys trying to blackmail me means that even if I do walk again, I'll never show up for another apocalypse. I don't give a damn. And once I've reached my point of 'I'll be damned', bad things are known to occur because people want to own me." He grinned. "Now, can I have my shit back? And who is the other one?"
"Let me work on that," he said, getting into his computer to reverse that. "The higher ups...."
"Are in for deep shit. Did you know that someone kept Hell Week photos? And that a drunk president is a bad thing, even when he's twenty-two?"
"Ummmm....." He stared at him. "How bad?"
"See Inside Edition later." He smirked. "Or, well, maybe TMZ has it up now." He noticed the guy got into that site and he laughed but he looked horrified. "So yeah, I'm not through yet."
"Were you behind Senator Kinsey's mistress, sir?"
"Then he was an annoying side note. Now, you're fucking with me." Someone came in. "Graham."
"Xander," he said respectfully, closing the door gently. "Our boss has the other one and I had no idea until this guy sent the email. He sent me over to apologize and if he had any idea he would've stuck up for them not using you."
"It won't save the higher ups."
"I know." He sighed. "I saw the TMZ video. The boss's secretary sent it over." He stared at him. "How many more?" Xander just chuckled. "Oh, god," he moaned.
"You might want to warn your people that I no longer care about apocalypses going on. Unless it's my ass on the line, do it yourself. I don't care," he said quietly.
Graham looked at him, and nodded quickly. "I understand, Xander. They were wrong. They were horribly wrong. I'm sorry."
"S'okay, yours was one of the few that didn't want to screw with me."
"My boss was told to by the higher ups."
"I'm aware of that. Wonder how he's liking that video."
"He's probably hiding in his office." He moved closer. "Are you going to be okay?"
"A hundred-nighty-eight stitches, Graham. The doctor is telling me I have to stay in the chair for a few more weeks before I work my way back up to walking. I'm kinda frustrated because she told my boyfriend no sex at all until I'm able to fully move. It's making my magic go funny as well as other things. So, no, not having a happy day."
"I get that." He hesitantly reached over and patted him on the arm. "Buffy's in town."
"I'll see if I can get Faith sprung so we can have lunch then."
Graham smiled. "She's been moping. Dawn too."
"Dawn has something coming from my personal pokemon plant collection." He smiled at the other guy. "Who knew that tentacle plants and man eating ones liked me."
The guy moaned. "Are you going to turn into an evil genius?"
"Rodney McKay told me that was his later job, not mine."
"You know him?" the other agent asked.
"Mean Uncle Rodney? Yeah, he's helping Radek teach me physics."
"Oh, god no," he muttered. "You're *there*?"
Xander beamed. "Chief linguist."
"Oh, shit." He finished up. "I've removed the locks on your storage areas, and the ones on your account, Mr. Harris. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, sir, and I hope you have a very stress free rest of your long life." Xander smiled and rolled out with Graham. He leaned back, wiping off the sweat. He filed a report for the higher ups. That guy was not one you screwed with. Anyone who had survived Sunnydale, had fought with the slayer, and was now one of O'Neill's crazy bastards deserved respect. A lot of respect. Especially since his file said he could create weapons.
Xander and Faith came back from lunch, smiling at the waiting people. "Did someone try to invade without us? You all look unhappy."
"The botany creation lab had to do the grapes instead of any other part. The rest were nice but just grapes. We have both now," Daniel said. "How was lunch?"
"Good. What happened to make the long faces?" Faith asked.
Xander beamed. "Aww, did he see TMZ too?" He rolled off. "I hope he has fun with the rest of the interview too."
"That's why he wasn't happy," Daniel said. "What's on TMZ?" It was probably a bad sign that Faith walked off moaning and going 'wrong, just so wrong'. He went to find Rodney, who still had Xander's laptop in punishment for loading his with games of all things. Not that he didn't play them every lunchtime but still. He got onto the TMZ site and stared. "Oh please let that be a manipulation," he begged.
"It's not," Radek said. "I saw the original footage and checked." He looked up. "He's not happy."
"I know that but that's so bad."
"It's a good example of why you shouldn't drink," Rodney said dryly, smirking at him. "There's worse."
"Worse than doing a pig?"
"Let me warn Jack. Is it all going here?"
"Yup. Probably. Or to the one he interviewed with."
"Let me warn Jack." He went back to the command center and wrote out a short email to Landry and Jack. Then he had the data burst sent early.
General Landry heard his computer beep when the stargate opened from Midway so he went to look at the email he had been sent. A few were administrative ones he had been waiting on. One was a personal one. He read it and groaned, going to the site. What he saw made him sick. He turned it off and went to have that site blocked from the servers. He knew Jackson had sent it to O'Neill. It was probably viral around the Pentagon.
He didn't want to see the VP in charge either. This was going to suck.
Landry looked over the newspaper two days later and choked. The VP's polygamous spouses had been introduced to each other and were fighting about both of them wanting specific things as all four divorced him. He had just stepped down. The President was hiding at Camp David after that video and two others that had shown him drunk and cross dressing. The whole of congress was trying to hide in case any more videos came out. He made a sign to put on his office wall so everyone would remember. "DO NOT PISS OFF HARRIS, HE BITES."
He looked up at his tv as Walter came in to turn it on for him. "I am here to tell you all today," the First Lady said. "I have reformed my husband from his wild youth. From his past stupidity has come the man that he is today thanks to my loving and firm hand on our family." She looked around the press. "He has not had a drink since his third year of college, outside of that one incident that the press made so much of during the election, and he will continue to stay sober. There is no way those sort of incidences can happen again because I won't allow them." The press people clapped.
"It is too bad that whoever started these malicious attacks couldn't do so in person. I would like to know what he did to deserve this sort of retribution." Her face turned cold then she let it relax again. "I can assure you all that it will not and has not happened since then and I do hope that you will not hold this against the other fine members of our country." She walked off.
Landry called on the red phone, smiling when she picked it up. "Ma'am, General Landry. How serious are you in wanting to know why the young man did this?" She said she wanted to know and needed to know. So he ran down the entire situation. She was growling at the end. "He is safely on Atlantis but he considered this like raping him, ma'am. No, ma'am, he said if they had left him alone he wouldn't have done a single thing. Your husband brought this on himself and we're about to lose him too because we ended up breaking his trust by having to stick up for your husband. I'm not sure yet. He's still trying to decide since he doesn't want to hurt his boyfriend who is military."
He smiled. "Exactly. Yes, that Harris. The one in the battle, yes, ma'am. Well, you took his personal space and ability to hide from him, ma'am. Of course he paid it back in kind." He nodded. "I have been trying. Unfortunately I had a mission that I needed him to go on as a pleasure slave to get information." She moaned. "So, no. He doesn't give a damn as he puts it and he's ready to jump countries with the way your spouse and others tried to make him. I'll have a word with his boyfriend to see if he'll try to calm him down further but I'm not sure anyone can right now.
"I have no idea how he got it, ma'am. I'll ask him but I'm not expecting much luck considering how he spent the next two days so angry that they couldn't calm him down. He doesn't want that. He's a construction worker and attention means that he can't do what he has to do. Beyond that, he hates attention. We rewarded him for something and those medals are on some socks. No, it's not ungrateful, it's the fact that he hates people noting him, ma'am. Ask the guards, they did a nice background check on him. Or Jack O'Neill. Yes, him." She hung up on him and he relaxed, hanging up his end.
Someone had to stop that boy.
John Sheppard walked into the caf and looked at his target. "The First Lady asks that you please quit ruining politicians. Or at least switch to the other party. She also said to man up and take your rewards like a real soldier."
"Fuck her and the bitch she screwed to get into office," he said bluntly, stuffing his mouth with some pudding. "She ripped my privacy away; I replied in kind."
John nodded, biting his lip so he wouldn't retort. "We'd like to have some sort of government though."
"If they retire, they clearly can't and don't want the attention either," he said snidely. "Now they know how I feel."
John reached over to pet his hair. "I agree, they should be screwed in public for this," he said quietly. "But you're destroying too many people. We'll end up with a hardass who'll close the program."
"We'll be back on earth by then. And hey, maybe those old guard changing will lead to a better working congress."
John nodded. "Possibly. Want me to send a message back to Landry?"
"Remind him I'm not only a bitch; I'm a vindictive bitch. And that since she had taken mine, I did the same. How does she like it?" He nodded, going to tell him that. Landry would put it more politely. The First Lady was apparently not one you screwed with.
Doctor Keller looked over. "Have more than pudding, Xander. You usually eat better."
"You need to eat better or you're going to be healing for longer." He glared and she backed down at that. "Fine. One more day and then eat some vegetables."
"Whatever." He went back to his pudding until Evan came over and took his spoon. "I can have pudding."
Evan stared. "You've had nothing but sweets for the last few days," he said quietly. "Want to talk?"
Evan sighed, staring him down. "Please?"
"Fine, then we can't break rules tonight," he said quietly.
Xander slumped. "I hate them."
"But I can't..."
"I know you can't actually follow through on all those threats. Moving countries would put pressure on us and you won't. Not handling apocalypses is dangerous to everyone and you'd never do that." He reached over to touch his hand, seeing the flinch. "Hey, it's me."
"I know, it's just... I don't want to put you guys in the middle of this. They can use things to hurt you."
"That's our decision," he said. "Not yours." Xander stared at him. "Real men and real lovers, make their own decisions about when they think a relationship is too hard, Xander. Unlike what you've had in the past, real lovers, real men, and real friends don't run when it gets to be too hard. Only when you've screwed up something too majorly and you're going to jail for it."
"So what do real fishes do?" he asked to break some of the tension.
"I guess they flop around and make fish faces at each other to make the other one laugh." He smiled. "That's our decision, not yours. As a matter of fact, Radek is up cleaning the room. He said all of us were slobs this week."
Xander relaxed, nodding. "A bit. I've been tired."
"It's all the pudding you've inhaled instead of regular food and the sulking without doing anything else. You're going to make yourself sick. Then we'll have to fuss in our off time instead of doing anything more fun."
"She said I can't have fun until all the stitches have healed and a few haven't."
"That's her opinion. I think you're just fine to curl up around us." Xander stared at him. "Aren't you?"
"So eat a real dinner. It'll give Radek time to finish the laundry."
"Yeah. I think that shows a lot of love with how sweaty I was the other day from sparring." He grinned. "The guys miss you. They said Teyla was mean."
"Wow. They never spar with me."
Evan leaned closer. "That's because they do what I do and watch you in motion." Xander blushed. "Now, go get real food and maybe Miko can fix that lev panel tonight?"
"Maybe I can go down to a cane?" he countered.
"Possibly. I can't wait until you're back to normal though." He smirked. "Then we'll all get a chance to help you work your way back up to your usual Conan self in the gym." He winked. "Go get real food."
"Yes, Evan. Thank you. You didn't have to go mushy but thank you."
"It's the truth. That's why I stare. Remember, I paint."
"Yeah, you do." He smiled a shy, good grin and went to get more real food. The ladies were all very nice about it too. Gave him soft stuff and some nice meat. He rolled back and got comfy again so they could talk until Radek joined them.
"I know it is more than friendship when I deal with sweaty underwear that is not mine," he said in Xander's ear, making him blush but smile at him. "But it is all clean and put up. Though some of the things in your closet are very strange. Why do you have blue harem pants and should I make a way to go back and kick their rearends?" He sat down with his tray.
"Those were a gift from Dawn. Jack helped her pick them out. Ianto growled at him about not getting him a pair or else." He ate a bite and smiled at them. "Where is Armand?"
"He's staring at the stargate for some reason," Evan said.
"I'll check on him then we'll go up in a bit?"
"Yes we will," Radek assured him, getting a grin. "Find out what is bothering him." Rodney came in with Mira fussing. "Is she staring at the gate too?"
"Yes and I'm wondering why." He got food and sat down with them. He stared at Xander. "That was so evil."
"They took my privacy."
"Yes they did." He fed Mira a bite but she hopped down and went to stare at the gate. "Do you think the Genii had them long enough to extract eggs?"
Xander considered it. "I don't know enough about dragon reproduction to know."
"We can check. That grape is fascinating and frustrating me," Radek admitted.
Xander smiled. "You can press it into wine or you can use it to flavor other things, like your stuff."
"I've pressed some into a wine. With some aging it will be perfect. The lesser juice isn't too bad but has an aftertaste from the alcohol."
"Filtering?" Evan suggested.
"I need to, yes. What else came out of the garden with you?"
"The pecan like things." Radek moaned. He smiled. "A few other things. You know, you can press those nuts and it makes a really creamy oil for things."
"I suppose you could." He scratched the back of Xander's hand lightly, earning a shiver. "Eat."
"I am." He ate another bite, trying not to blush at the stares he was getting.
John walked in with both dragons. "That's it, we're going back there to see if they did something to them."
"They had them for a few minutes but they said that they killed some soldiers," Rodney said, taking Mira. Armand curled up next to Xander and cheeped pitifully. "Fine, we'll ask." They cheered up. "Tonight, Colonel?"
"Tonight's fine." He patted Xander on the back. "That was really mean."
Xander smiled. "At least she looked cute in the hippie gear."
"She was prettier when she was younger." He left, going back to the gate room to call them. He got Cata as soon as he asked. "Why have the dragons been moping at the gateway since they came back?"
"I do not know." He looked behind him. "Why would they?"
"Did you guys take eggs or anything?"
John stared at him. "I'm sending Xander. Tomorrow. With Armand."
"Okay, fine! We did but they are not doing well! They are very hard!"
"They all start that way and you have to keep them warm."
"I... They are much work."
"Yes they are, for about 2 years." He stared at him. "Bring them to a neutral planet. Tomorrow. By noon. Or else I will unleash Xander and Armand and he's been in a bad mood with our leaders. He's shown photos of them with farm animals and a lot of other mean things."
"Yes, Colonel." He shuddered. "I will take them to where he had the camp so he can get his tent."
"Thank you!" He hung up and went back to the cafeteria. "There are eggs. They're going to the tent you set up, Xander."
"Thank you," he said quietly.
He looked at them. "You guys go hide tonight. You need to cuddle and that stuff. We'll go get the eggs tomorrow." He left, going to eat in his office. He hated paperwork. So of course he had tons of it. Evan strolled in. "Didn't I say to go hide?"
Evan opened the door to the storage area and got something then the bottom most desk drawer and pulled out a tube of lube. "I am." John blushed. "I don't even want to know, sir, but we were out. I'll replace your stash when we get some more." He left, hiding the tube inside the extra t-shirt he had picked up.
John shook his head and asked God who had put that in his drawer. He decided it was probably someone who wanted him with McKay again. Lord help them all. Though, if Xander ever got single, he was going to push them together even if he had to use handcuffs. Faith strolled in. "Hiding from someone or here to put me out of my paperwork induced misery?" he asked.
"Wondering why Evie found lube in your desk. Are you really that kinky?"
"Hell no. I didn't put it in there." She smirked. "I didn't. Evan might have. Radek might have. Xander might have. Or maybe it was one of the people who wanted me with McKay. You maybe?"
"Nope. Some of us are going skinny dipping into the ocean. Wanna come with?"
He stared at her. "Do you know what sort of creatures are down there?"
"X introduced me to the merpeople."
"Who kept untying him because they weren't sure he wasn't bait."
"They try to steal us and I'll smack 'em around. C'mon, you could use the break."
"I could but I own a swimsuit."
"So do I now. So?"
He groaned. "Maybe later."
"Uh-huh." She hauled him up. "If you're begging for death instead of doing paperwork, it's time for some funsies." She walked him out and grabbed Rodney on the way. "C'mon, Mira can play lifeguard."
"Where are we going?" he demanded.
"Skinny dipping." He gasped. She smirked. "You need the funsies too." She shoved them both outside, letting their helpers deal with them. Xander was clearly having fun by the needy sounds so it was good and he didn't need swimming time. She strolled out there, taking off clothes as she went. She noticed Rodney had on boxers but that might change later. She slid into the water and got splashed, laughing and splashing back. It was a good water fight.
Of course it got interrupted by someone.
Faith got out without any clothes on and grabbed a gun, shooting the idiots. The marines were staring. "What? Not like you haven't seen it before, perverts." They all looked away and went back to it. That ended it and those who had been unfortunately drugged were taken to the infirmary. Those Genii who had drugged them... well, the brig was comfy. She shook her head all the way back out there.
John looked up from his restrained position. "This isn't a gun mag," he said dryly.
"Stupid people drugged a few to bring them back home to daddy. Pity." She dropped the gun and dove back in. She was underwater so didn't get to hear the group moan for that. John glared and they all ran back inside.
Rodney stomped back out. "Those stupid fucking morons!" he shouted. One of the chemistry department pulled him back in, making him splutter. "Are you trying to make me drown?"
"No, getting information so I can figure out what they did and how. That way I can work on an antidote." Rodney glared but she smiled. "Besides, it'll make you happier. Like it does Xander."
"X was having happy people noises," Faith offered. The group mostly cheered for that. Maybe it would make Xander quit moping and relax again. He was a lot more fun before the injury.
Upstairs, Evan walked in and locked the door. He kicked off his boots. "There, all found." He put the spoils of his hunt on the bed, earning a pleased look from Xander. "I had to tell two of the linguists that they couldn't steal books because you weren't leaving right now. If you are, that'll still keep them out of your collection." He stripped off his t-shirt and then his pants, folding them onto the dresser. Then his boxers and his socks. "Better." He stared down at Xander. "You're still dressed?" he pouted.
"It's going to be an ugly scar."
"So?" He leaned down to kiss him. "That's fine with us, Xander. We respect the injury and why you got it. It won't make us not look at you. Just be a bit more careful for now." He laid down, pulling him closer to kiss and cuddle. He ran a hand down his back. "Has Radek been distracting you?" he teased when he felt the slickness.
"Yup. He was very distracting." He took another kiss, moving his hands over Evan's body. He leaned down to kiss a scar but Evan stopped him. "Bad memory?"
"No. I want you to like all of me, not just the indications that I wasn't Superman." He let Xander go back to playing while he shifted so he could help with some of Xander's stretching. Radek always took his fun. He played and teased, making Xander whimper and shift. "Legs together, Xander. Flip over." Xander did it and it was good. He slid into him with an easy, slow push. This position worked well with his injury and gave them all what they wanted. Radek slowly teased Xander's front and it was good. Xander tried to shift and spread a few times but Evan had to stop it. It definitely made it tighter for him.
Xander was groaning and it was good noise. Radek was stroking himself against Xander's front so they were all happy. So happy Evan got off and Xander didn't. He moaned but nibbled on his throat, letting Radek and him switch positions. Xander was clearly close and Radek was insane. He sat up and pulled Xander on top of him. "No, same position," Radek ordered, letting Xander lean back against Radek's chest. It kept him deep and only left him a little room for movement but it was fine with them. Xander finally got off with a muttered swear. Radek laughed, letting himself go. Xander was limp in his lap. Evan was against their sides. It was good. Xander finally moved and shifted, wincing at his hip's movement. "I don't know why she didn't use the healing wand," Evan complained.
"I don't think she can use it," Radek admitted. "Not much gene in her if at all. I can't remember if she does have it." He stretched and stroked over Xander's back. "Oil?" Evan got the special oil out for him, letting them relax Xander with that. He couldn't take a hot bath with the stitches. Probably not for another month. No matter how much they'd like that.
Xander winced and shifted again so Evan threw on sweats and went down to the infirmary. He knew they hadn't hurt him. He walked in and went to the cabinet of ancient tech. "Doc, this'll heal the incision some?" he asked, pulling it out. "It's basically idiot proof, right?"
"Watch the incision to make sure it closes well." She handed him the scanner. "He all right?" He stared at her. "It's obvious, Major. You smell like lust." She glanced around. "I was going to ask one of you or Sheppard to help him later this week. I know it's not good on serious vein injuries and that had to heal first."
He nodded. "I'll do my best, doc. Fully charged?" She nodded. "Thanks." He walked out, getting a few things to nibble on from the caf. He went back up there. "Radek." He smiled. Xander gave a sleepy grunt. Evan sat beside Xander, letting Radek help him move a bit. He ran the scanner over it and slowly worked the wand over it. "It's not healing the vein injury at all. The incision is closing though. So it'll be a deep injury, Xander." Xander purred. He smiled. "Vibrating?" Xander nodded. "Figures." He poked him on the side with it. "Behave and I'll help you take a hot bath."
"I'd love a hot bath." He watched as the incision slowly mostly closed. It was a lot nicer to look at now. He relaxed and let his hip spread. It didn't hurt nearly as much. Evan stole a kiss and Radek stole his own from them. Xander moaned and stretched. "I can move."
"You sure can," Evan agreed, winking at him. "Let me give this back." He watched Radek take it back. "Sure, you can do that. I'll go start the bath." He went to do that.
"I feel like a spoiled princess."
"You're not a princess unless you're wearing the hat and a pair of falsies," Evan called. "Spoiled is normal when you're being doted on by your lovers." He came out to look at him, taking off the sweats. "But you know that." Xander raised a hand. Evan leaned down to kiss him, then looked in the bathroom before kissing him again. Xander hummed and tried to pull him down. "Tub," he reminded him. He helped Xander up. "How's your range of motion?"
"Better. Tomorrow I think I can go down to a cane."
"Good." He took them in there to check the water. Xander tipped in bubbles and he smiled at it. He had that look of boyish glee again. He almost wanted to hand him some toy boats and things. Radek came back. "You don't look happy."
"Ellis just announced the Apollo's engines broke," he said quietly. "They're on their way here so it'll be late."
"Should we go find them?" Xander asked.
"No. They're closer to Midway and they have help there. I'm not being asked to go. Rodney probably will be."
"Then you'll be the brilliant and mostly nicer head of science," Xander said with a smile. "I'll bring lunch."
Radek kissed him. "I'd like that."
"In about an hour. For now I can soak." They all got in and got arranged. Xander was happily lounging and batting at the bubbles. Evan and Radek's hands ran into each other while they were teasing Xander's chest. They kissed over top of him, earning a pout. "You'll get yours," he promised with a smirk. "We do not want to strain that wound any more than we have to so we have to be gentle."
"Gentle is very nice."
"Hmm, we do require your pleasure as well as ours," Evan agreed, stroking over Xander's stomach. He found a ticklish spot and Xander wiggled to get him away from it. He grinned. "Ah, ammunition for later," he teased, stealing another kiss. He pulled Xander into his lap, letting him rub against him. "How is it?"
"Better. Stretchy but not too sore."
"So we'll be gentle. Because I can wait for a few more weeks until you can willingly stretch yourself across my lap and ride me until you're tired," he soothed, running a hand up the warm cock.
"I'm glad it's working," Xander admitted quietly.
"Xander, even if you were so limp and tiny you couldn't do anything to a fish, we'd still like you," Radek said. Xander sniffled and hugged them. It wasn't glamorous or mushy but it had been what he needed to hear. He watched while Xander and Evan teased each other then stole him. "My turn before I get jealous and have to pounce you both for being pretty together."
"You'd pounce us both?" Evan teased.
"Definitely." Evan smirked at that. "And spank you for being so cocky." He indulged in his Xander feeling and rubbing time and it was good. The boy was warm and there, which was what he needed. He shivered but Xander hugged him and it was better. Evan was there too. That helped a lot. His comm beeped so he put it into his ear. "Is not time yet," he said firmly. Rodney snarked it was. "Give me twenty. Am getting cuddles." He hung up and went back to it. He needed this. They all needed this. Xander gave him a kiss and so did Evan so he got up and got dressed, heading down there. He walked into the lab. "You have horrible timing."
"I heard you were in the infirmary?" Rodney asked dryly.
"It was far enough along that we could heal some of the opening. Still bruised veins that need to finish healing and slight incision. Much better."
"I'm guessing that's why you have a few bubbles in your hair," he said.
Radek ran a hand through them and smiled when he felt them pop. "Xander wanted bubbles. Looked adorable in them." The rest of the department came in. "Why are you damp?" he asked Rodney.
"Swimming off the pier by force."
One of the chemists smiled. "We made him."
"Thank you. He needed the uncranky time." They all saw the grumpy look. "Why did they break down?"
"We're not sure yet. Ellis hasn't sent a reason." He went over what they knew and picked out his team to go with him. They went to pack, change, and gate to Midway, where they could get a shuttle to the ship. Radek was in charge and he could deal with the drugged people and the chemist that had been causing him problems. Or have Xander scare them straight maybe.
Xander walked in the next morning on his new cane. A few people clapped. He smiled at them. "Six more weeks according to the doc. Then I get to rebuild up to sparring." They all hooted. He got food and sat down at the usual table, nodding at Ronon and Teyla. "Are you guys coming to help us pick up the eggs the Genii took?"
"They did?" Ronon asked. Xander nodded. "Are they near hatching?"
"No. Dragons take about a year and a half to hatch."
"Good, then I have time to find a hat before they all decide I'm their best friend and chew off the rest of my hair."
Xander patted him on the wrist. "That's how the Genii got them to cooperate."
Ronon grunted. "We'll train them off it. Mine and only mine." Xander grinned at that. "You aren't going."
"You're still injured," Teyla pointed out. "If they fight...."
"I have weapons."
"Good point," she said, looking at Ronon.
"I would go too if they were mine."
"Fine. I'm sure John will disagree."
"We'll tell him that later," Xander said dryly. He dug in. "Anyway, the incision's healed most of the way. Evan got the ancient healing beam thingy to work."
"That is nice for smaller cuts," Ronon agreed. "Fully closed?"
"Not yet. Few more weeks. Then I can work back up to sparring."
"Then it's better than it could have been."
"Yup, I could be one-legged Xander," he agreed. "And impotent Xander too."
"That sort of injury would cause a problem for a while, but your men would make due and still stay," Ronon told him firmly.
Xander smiled. "They said that too." He dug in and grimaced. "Oatmeal masquerading as sausage?"
"They were making it stretch by putting oats in the meat," Ronon said.
"Hmm. Well, full meal right there." He finished up because he'd had worse. Then he got some soda to bring with him to the meeting area. John had just called both prime teams and his. John smirked at him. "I'm going because they're my grandkids."
"I know but you're getting an honor guard of your team." Xander sat down beside Jon. "That good with you, O'Neill?"
"Fine with me. Tilla's back to walking too. Fischer and Xander can look over the eggs." He looked him over. "Fully sealed?"
"Mostly." He took another drink and put his soda on his thigh, holding it in place. "The tent is about 2 klicks from the gate. It's in a clearing so it's safer. I doubt it's blown over unless they've had a massive storm. It's a long ago culled world so no people and no threat of wraith. By the way, did Rodney tell you they asked about seeing the life vine?"
"He did. Both reports were very comprehensive. How did they get the dragons?" He pointed at Ronon's hair. "They had one do dreads?"
"Yeah and when they knocked us out that one had it. One of the really young ones we hadn't seen before."
"No wonder they destroyed others then," Ronon said, petting Mira. "He did not take you?"
"He's going to be stuck in the engine tubes for days," John said. "I'm formally dragon sitting but we all know she'll go wherever she wants." They all nodded at that. "Jon, your team is Xander's guard. Nothing else today. Cam, they're not scared of you yet. Make sure they leave with the impression you're the bitch of the universe right behind Xander."
"Got it," he agreed. Xander took off his necklace and handed him two things that grew then put it back on. "Thanks, Xander." He grinned at the weapons. "Will they work?"
"Those two I had to fix. I'm hoping so. If not, the armory has some that're just as big."
"That's good," he decided. He handed one to Teal'c, who had only gotten there the other day, and kept one for himself. "Jackson?"
"I'm going," he promised. "I'll be damned and you'll need help getting them back. There's no telling how many there are."
"We need a scanner," Xander said. "So we can do the ultrasound thing." That got a note made. "If they're not healthy we should probably bury them there so neither one will be in a rage over it."
"Agreed, "John said. "So they're staying?"
"Yup. Amrand's still sleeping in. Mira, go sun on Nila." She ran out, cheeping happily. He looked at them. "Nila, can you keep an eye on the dragons?" he called.
"Of course. I will see you once you get back with the eggs," she said from Daniel's laptop speakers.
"Thank you," John said. "Xander, when we get back, go dust your office and play with your plants? They're looking droopy again. Even though I know you fed them yesterday."
"I can do that and steal all my books back too," he agreed.
"They might pout if you did," Cam told him. "I had to stop some that wanted to ransack and loot in case you were leaving."
"Evan said the same thing."
"Probably the same group," John decided. "We can point that out later."
Xander shrugged. "I'm not under contract." John stared at him. "I'm not."
"I know. You good to go today?"
Xander sighed. "I can walk, I'll just be slow."
"You can use the chair today," Daniel offered.
"Huh. Okay. Never mind." He looked at John. "When's the next databurst? Tonight?" John nodded. "Anything shocking coming?"
"Not that I know of." He looked at the kid. Xander was like a lost little kid who was pretending to be brave all to often. "You can sit out."
"I didn't know you had a lot of experience with eggs."
"No, I don't," he admitted. "Okay." Faith walked in with Kissen. "What's up, guys?"
"Going with," Faith said. "That way I can make sure none of the eggs like me."
"If they do, it might be good for you," John offered.
"No thanks. I'm not exactly able to pay that much attention to anyone or anything right now."
Xander patted her on the hip, all he could reach. "They pick their owners based on what they feel from them as I was told. Mira's a smartass who likes coffee so she went to Rodney." The rest of the group laughed. "And they're very cuddly when you need one."
"I can rent one for an hour," she reminded him. She moved the hand. "No petting either."
Xander grinned. "You're just as exotic and rare as a dragon, Faith." She blushed but walked off shaking her head. He stared at Kissen, getting a grin back and him following. He'd do her good he decided. Jon poked him so he looked at him. "What?"
"That was nice," he said quietly.
"She is. She's a smart, in-touch, strong woman. Those are rare."
"They are." He looked at John again, who was staring at them. "What?"
He smiled. "We all know that you two look at Faith like a sister."
"Yeah, we do," Jon agreed. "Though, the next one who tries to set me up with Dawn, stop it before you even start. She's jail bait."
"Only part of the time," Xander said. "Ianto said she came out with wisdom of the ages the other day that made Jack cackle." He took a sip of his soda. "So, when do we go, boss?"
"An hour." Xander nodded. "Cam, do what you can to appear as caveman, 'shooting fun' as you can." He nodded at that with an evil smirk. "Teal'c, you can be as impressive as you want. It took them this long to think that Xander isn't scary."
"They still treated us very well while they had us," Xander said. "Both Rodney and I agreed it was the nicest kidnaping. I had my pack with me. He got to watch tv on my laptop. They handed back the pets when they killed people. They kindly took the food back when I noted Rodney's allergy to citrus. Gave us whole new trays and full trays to the dragons. Didn't scream at us when I tazed one. They still know I'm scary and I'm betting they were hoping for some more cooperation."
"Possibly. Be mean today, okay?"
"Gladly. They stole my grandkids." He gave him a dirty look. "I wonder if I can change my cane for an axe today." He went to look at his axes. A few might do but they might bend under the pressure of his full weight for a long hike. He tested another one he didn't like as much. Even weaker. He looked at the last one. It was a heavy ass axe. Cold iron. Ancient as anything. That might do. He pulled it down and shined it, making sure it was sharp too. Then he gathered guns. He walked down there doing up his tac vest as he waited for the others. John gave the axe a look. He smiled and used it as a cane. John smirked back. "It'll work and it'll hold me."
"Sure." They walked through the gate and headed out to the site. John looked around. "This is a good site for off-days," he decided. "Xander, can we bum the site?"
"Sure, but there's no fishing."
"That's cool. If we want fishing we can do it off the north pier since your friends have migrated." He looked around, nodding. "Nice set up." He spotted the tent, which was still standing. "Very nicely done, Xander." He beamed back at him. "Yeah, definitely stealing this for a vacation day." They arranged themselves. Xander had brought his whet stone so he sat down to sharpen the axe.
Teyla looked at it. "Aren't those ancient symbols?"
"Yup." He pointed at each one and told her what they meant then went back to his sharpening job. Finally they heard the gate open. He gave it one last stroke and stood up, leaning casually on his axe. Cata gave him a horrified look. "They're my grandchildren, Cata. Not like I can have kids." The Genii leader shuddered. "Hand 'em all over."
"We can't keep even one?"
"No. You stole them. They'll pick someone who they like to bond to so even if it was a present it doesn't mean they'll go to them."
"Oh." He called and the other three were brought. "Ancient technology?"
Xander stared at him. "No, pissed off."
"I'm sorry but the higher ups wanted them."
"So your higher ups were like our higher ups?" Cam asked, cocking the huge gun he had in his hands. They all swallowed. "Good to know. John?"
"They have a lot of innocents," he admitted. "But we did have a treaty." Cata looked horrified. He stared back. "I remember General O'Neill made that one, right?"
Cata swallowed. "We will honor it. Those higher ups will be exposed." He bowed and they ran for it. The Genii didn't flee but they knew their lives were about to end. Xander was going to lose his temper by the look on his face. The others with weapons would give them a merciful death. Xander would chop them into pieces before they died. Then after they died.
John looked at Xander. "Calm down."
"They aren't warm or protected." He sat down with a sigh, pulling over the scanner to look each egg over. Jon took a second look to verify his views. "The three they wanted were duds," he announced. He put the others into the carriers they had brought. The last one was a dud too but Jon shook his head. "You sure?"
"Yeah, I'm seeing something."
John took them for a last look. All three showed up as having something in them to him. "Stronger gene, stronger equipment, but I don't think these three are dragons unless they start out looking like tadpoles." He let them see it. They went into a separate carrier and were marked. Xander had already marked the 'saw wings' group. They went back to the city, where Atlantis set them up a nice nesting area in the lanar. It was warm, sunny, and someone had put some faux fur down in the bed. They marked the ones with wings with stickers and the four others with another color sticker then arranged them. "Turn them daily?"
"Yup, turn them daily, keep them warm. They'll slowly soften as time goes on."
"We can do that," he agreed. He gave one a last pet and they left. When they were softer they'd drop bug netting around them to keep any pegasus insects off them. They went back to Xander's office, which was missing books. Xander did something and all his books flew back in and reshelved themselves. A few were more stubborn. Xander patted one spot. "You're good." Daniel's current book quit struggling. A few others had to be released from drawers or rooms. They restored themselves and he smirked, doing a cleaning spell as well. It dumped the dust off the balcony. The plants perked up for some petting. He had a few meatballs in the mini-fridge so they played catch with them then got sat outside for some sun and bug time. It was a pretty good afternoon.
John shook his head, looking around. "I'm going to miss this once we're on earth."
Xander smiled. "You can visit. They might even make Rodney the chief scientist since so many of the labs are probably broken."
"No, I'm told Radek is getting it and Miko is getting whichever one she wants. Unless Cam and his team want to switch off. Then we'd see." He patted the boy on the back. "Not like we're not close. It's just a beam away," he joked.
Xander grinned. "Some day I'm going to have to build a personal teleporter using that stuff."
"You get it working and people will kiss your ass," he promised with a smile. The boy blushed. "For that they'd get beaten by Radek and Evan, Xander. They're possessive."
"Yeah, they are." He grinned and tossed another meatball out there. Gomez caught it and smoked a bit. He looked at him. "If you need a day off you can borrow the tent too."
"I'm going to do that this weekend."
"You can borrow the laser pistol too."
"Thanks, Xander." He gave him a pat on the arm. "Rest. It's a big day." He left, going back to his dreaded paperwork. He found the wormhole from Midway closing. "Data burst early?" Chuck nodded. "He set up another politician?"
"No, sir, the IOA just got blown open." He let him see the base-wide announcement. John sighed. "Not through his meanness to those who upset him but because of the slow leak someone went looking and ran into them."
"Okay. Warn anyone heading back for a break. Do not take anything with a patch. That's standard but put out a reminder. Anything else come from the leaking?"
"They said they thought the footage was a hoax but they had proved it with another government's tape that it wasn't," Chuck said, looking at him. "The semi-legitimate press is having a field day."
"World Weekly News?" he guessed.
"Them too. We're not sure what's going on yet. Landry is in a snit."
"Yay. Deny until you can't deny anymore is the military's motto. He knows it too." He went to his office to finish up on that paperwork. If Landry was in a snit he needed to get it done now instead of in a few days. He sent it all back with the data burst going back and it was better for him. They had gotten one from McKay saying the ship was limping their way and what he needed Radek to do so he called him up. "An official request from Ellis and McKay, Radek."
He read it over then printed it. "I'll try." He left, going to do that. He went up to Xander's office. "Xander, do you know anything about spaceships not named Enterprise?"
"A few. Why?" he asked cautiously.
"Would that be forbidden for anyone to know?"
"Don't know. Why?"
"Because we have problems with the Apollo."
"I know that. What's wrong?" Radek let him look at it. Xander sighed and grabbed his bracelet, taking Radek to his storage area. "Look for a blue box."
"Blue. Ensign blue."
Radek smiled and looked. He found a few boxes and they were all on space travel and ships. He found a few with a blue sticker and they were the same. He gathered them together to look through. Xander got a few other things to go back with him. Including one very pretty thing. Radek came over to look. "Formal collar?"
"My one from Octi. I was going to offer it to John so he could give it to the planet where they wear that sort of thing."
Radek stroked his cheek. "Sell it and make Octi sorry he wasn't better to you," he said quietly. The door opened. "I thought you got that straightened out."
"I did. Hi, guys."
"Sir, who are you?" the obvious agent asked.
"This is my shit. Who in the hell are you?"
The man in the lead coughed. "ID, sir?" Xander called his wallet and held up his Sunnydale ID. The agent winced. "Then this is your storage area, yes, sir, and the one next to it has some art and other books I think. Plus some furniture that wouldn't fit in here. We're adding to our area from a local office, sir. Just being cautious." They left, closing and locking the door behind themselves.
Xander grinned, taking a kiss. "See?"
"I like you being scary and he man." He went back to his books, finding what he needed and wanted. "Can we take all these?"
"No. Not all of them can get out, Radek."
"I know." He found what he wanted and looked up. "Specific boxing?"
"Usually. Spare boxes in the back probably." Radek got one and put them in there and got two more since they'd fit. Xander pointed at one, shaking his head.
"It's the Asgard part of the engine," he said quietly.
"Crap. You need the brown and blue book then," he sighed, finding it for him and handing it over. Radek smiled and they gathered up what Xander wanted and took it back with them. Radek went to the lab. Xander walked the small bag down to the office, nodding before walking in. "Got ten?"
"Gladly." He walked with him. He knew Xander needed to walk to work on his hip. "Want to go to your office?" He looked tired.
"No. I don't really want these up there." They ended up sitting on a public balcony and he handed the bag over. "You can use those if you need to."
John poured the bag out, gasping at them. "Xander?"
He pointed. "My collar from Octi. I know one planet wears them for status." He pointed at another. "Two other gifts from bastard boyfriends." He pointed at the last one. "Asha gave me that pin."
John looked at him then shifted closer. "You're not depressed, right?"
Xander shook his head. "No, I shouldn't have them when I have someone better now. Or even two someone's better."
"True, but they might let you talk about it."
"I don't need the therapy, John."
"You sure?" Xander nodded. "These are expensive, Xander."
"I know, but I have prettier in there. Even a prettier bastard boyfriend set of presents and collars." He gave him a look. "That one's fairly simple but it was for everyday wear."
"Then thank you. We could use it." He gave him a hug before putting things up. "You sure you're okay? You look tired."
"I'm fine. I took Radek to get into my books on ship design," he said quietly.
"Uh-huh. Figures such a sci-fi geek would have some," he teased with a grin.
Xander smirked and nodded. "Definitely. Some even Rodney can't see yet."
"Ah." He patted him on the knee, feeling the tremor. "Leg tired?"
"I'll go swim and it'll be fine."
"Build slowly, Xander. Even if we have an attack, you're going to either be in the chair or helping. Remember, you're a geek now, not a Marine." He stood up and helped him up. "Got it?" Xander nodded. "Good. Now go rest. You could use the rest. It's your first full day back at work." Xander smiled and walked off slowly. "Take some tylenol," he called after him.
"I will once I'm up there."
"Good." He watched him go all the way to the transporter, then it was only a matter of ten steps to the office and wherever he wanted to lay down in there. John went to talk to the diplomats. The collar wearing people were upset with them because they didn't hold to their version of status. Maybe a gift would help. They were happy with it. One of the diplomats nearly danced with pleasure. They had uses for the other two too. They were pretty and not highly valuable but things that weren't available in this galaxy.
Evan walked into the office just after John got back with two cups of coffee. "They're already reusing grounds," he warned.
"Hmm, dishwater coffee," he complained, taking a sip. He moaned in pleasure. "You stole from McKay's personal stash from Christmas?"
"No. Xander's stash." He smirked. "He is a hedonist." He stretched then sat down again. "He's also napping on his couch."
"He was shaky earlier but he decided he was fine. I sent him up to rest."
"He's resting curled around Armand. It was so cute I had to take a picture."
"You have it so bad," John taunted with an evil smirk.
"Yeah, I kinda do. So, what was he doing today?"
"He took Radek to get into some of his future engineering books for stuff to help McKay and got a few things we could use as trade." He tossed over the last one. "I want to have that one examined more. It's from Asha."
Evan looked it over. "Looks like a normal broach." He put it on the desk and it lit up. "Ah, it's tech."
"I think so. I'm not sure why though." They stared as it went out. "So we'll look it over. We are going back to the collared people's place. See if Xander can watch the tapes and figure out their social structure?"
"I can do that." He grinned. "One was his?"
"Another bastard I'd like to beat." He took a drink of his coffee. "Paperwork?"
"Done. Landry was in a snit over someone finding the IOA."
"Pity." He took another drink and palmed the broach. "I'll see if Miko can look at it for us." He got up and took it down to her. "Miko, are you busy for McKay's project?"
"No, not yet. I'm looking things up. Why?" He put down the broach and it glowed then went out. "What is that?"
"Asha gave it to Xander," Radek said, looking over. "It glowed?" Evan nodded. "Not for carriers of the gene?"
"Tables so far," he admitted.
He sighed and nodded. "Very well then. We will put it on list."
"Since Xander gave it over, we wanted to make sure it didn't mean anything." He took another drink then handed Radek his cup.
Radek moaned, getting attention. "Breaking into sacred stash of coffee will get us both beaten. He will know," he said with a smile.
"It's from Xander's sacred stash. Not Mean Uncle Rodney's." He took his cup back and walked out, leaving the broach there.
Radek looked at Miko. "We may have to break into our hoarded supply as well."
"I got us better coffee," she offered. "Last time I was on leave."
He beamed. "I do adore your mind. You would make us beg for it." She laughed and nodded. They found what they needed and had no idea how to make it. He sent that to Rodney's computer, which had somehow popped up with an IM that worked like Xander's, nearly anywhere. He loved it when Xander spoiled them. He'd have to spoil him back once they got things fixed on the Apollo. Xander did a lot of little things that no one seemed to realize. He smiled as he typed in that remark, and got back a snide one from Rodney that he had put it on at the same time he had infected his hard drive with frivolous games. Radek pointed out they helped his concentration to take a break finally. Rodney didn't know how to machine that part either. Radek sighed and said he'd be back, going up to wake up Xander. He looked so adorable cuddling Armand he had to take a picture. The noise roused him enough to grunt. "Xander, by any chance you don't have a space ship sitting around, do you?" he asked.
"Why would you think I would?"
"Because you always want a way to escape." Xander held up his wrist with his bracelet. "Beyond that."
Xander blinked at him. "I don't own a tardis of my own," he said with a pout. "They hate me too."
Radek took a quick kiss to erase that pout. "Are you certain?"
"We have no idea how to make necessary part."
Xander sighed, getting up to come down with him. "What blew?" He sat down with Armand on his lap. Armand cheeped at them but was sleepy and cuddly right now. Miko gave him a pet and Xander one too. He grinned at her. "He thinks I have a secretly hidden space ship somewhere, Miko."
"I wouldn't doubt it about you, Xander. Nothing would surprise me sometimes." She smiled and went back to work. "Do you have any idea how or why this broach glows whenever it touches the table?"
"He told me once it was so I could find my way to him."
"Hmm." She put it on a wall and it lit up on one side. "Ah!" She traced it all over Atlantis, finally finding his part of the city with a bit of help from the AI herself. The broach also keyed the entry when she got close so she got to step inside. She looked and gasped. Furniture! She called Radek babbling and then Daniel babbling the same thing. They came up with Xander in tow to look.
Xander pointed. "You sat on those and you slept on those," he said bluntly. He yawned again. Armand sniffed and grimaced. "It's stale air, I know." He petted him. He walked off, going to lay down after being amused about them thinking he had a hidden spaceship. Not like he owned a space cruise ship or something. He had lost that poker bet. And had to sleep with someone nasty because of it. He laid down with a yawn, going back to sleep on his couch in his office. This healing stuff sucked. Armand yawned in his face so he grumbled about dragon breath but it was okay.
Daniel walked around the room. "Toss it to me, Miko?" She did and it opened a drawer in the desk. He looked, a letter in a sealed package. Some other things. He smiled. "We'll keep these for Xander." She nodded, coming over to look. She went to look at the other things. The clothes were all but crumbling. The linens too but it did give them enough to establish a pattern on the fabric. They filmed it and then had that AI preserve everything she could in a stasis field for now. The anthropologists were going to adore this find. Daniel got the AI to open the other rooms near there. Most of them were empty. They hadn't done more than check this tower for livability since it was so far from the command center.
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