The Incidences of The Blippy Dohickey 9: Hosting.
Jack walked up to Buffy later one night, shooting one of the things trying to eat her. "Are the boys falling down on the job?"
"They're both injured," she said, pushing her hair back. "I could use about ten more right now but not permanently."
"I'll see what I can do." She beamed at him. "I got handed a file."
"Mine?" she asked, looking amused. "I'd look sucky in a uniform."
"No, your other half's."
"Faith's?" she asked. He nodded. "Well...." She sighed. "I don't know. I don't know if she'd want to, if she could even." She walked him off. "Flesh eaters are going to be getting him soon." Jack shuddered. "Why her?"
"There's been some attempts on her life in jail. They want to offer her something like what Xander has."
She considered it. "I don't know," she admitted. "I have no idea if she'd take it." She looked at him. "She's been doing a lot of therapy and stuff."
"That's fine. We've seen kids with worse backgrounds."
She nodded. "I can see why. I can introduce you, tell her you're cool, tell her about Xander, but in return I want a favor."
"She's what, fifteen?"
"She's gifted in research stuff. It's way too dangerous here. We're looking at a fall apocalypse soon."
"Xander's not on base right now. He's off on another project."
"I know. That nice Colonel Mitchell called to make sure we knew he was okay after I left a semi-frantic voicemail about the shield thingy."
"He's barely conscious most of the time," he admitted. "But it looks like he wore himself down too far. Apparently he nearly died."
She nodded. "That's what we figured that bright light was." He nodded. "I can get Mom to go to LA or something but Dawnie gets in trouble. She gets kidnaped, she gets stalked, all sorts of stuff, and I can't spare anyone to watch her."
"I have an archeologist like that," he said dryly.
"Doesn't it drive you nuts?"
"Often when he ran at problems." He sighed. "I'll see if we can find a volunteer to maybe be a safe haven."
"Thank you." She gave his arm a hug. "I didn't want to ask Riley or them."
"I can understand fully. Actually, we're getting a few of them, not them personally, but a few of his lieutenants in."
"We're getting Graham and two others I think."
"Graham's not bad. He was decent when he was here. Stuck up for Riley when he went rogue to stop that shit."
"Good. I like to hear that." He smiled. "I can call about it but can you and I meet about Faith tomorrow?"
"Will they let us visit?"
"Yes. I can make sure of it."
"That's wonderful. I'll see if Mom wants to write her a letter, or Willow or even Tara or Giles." She beamed. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. I'll get on that and some more temporary help for you from the hotel outside the town." She beamed. "Go home." She jogged off. He headed back to his rental car and to the motel. He had some calls to make.
Jack met the people in LA at the spot Buffy said she had to pick up some letters to Faith at. "Soldiers." They saluted him. He smiled. "How many of you know who I am by reputation?" A few looked confused.
"He's General Jack and he took Xander in," Dawn told them.
They all raised their hands then, a few even smirked.
"Good. All of you are coming to my project in a few weeks. Until then this is Tillick. He's helping Miss Summers. She's about to have an apocalypse so you'll be helping her and then come to us. She'll be giving me an evaluation of your strengths and what annoyed her during it so be yourselves." They all nodded. "Good." He looked at Dawn. "You packed reasonable things?"
"Of course. Can I see Xander?"
"He's off on another project or I'd let you."
"He might be better by the time it's done."
"Good." She beamed. Buffy came out of the Hyperion. "We ready?"
"Fully. I got letters from Wes and Angel." She smiled at Jack. "Thank you. This is a huge weight off me."
"I understand fully. I've wanted that myself in the past." She beamed and they got into the car. "Miss Summers will be back in about three hours. All of you gear up and be ready to head up there by then." They nodded. "She'll set you with my former people who're already up there." He slid in to drive them to the jail. Dawn would be with him until he could hand her to Daniel to see where her gifts really were. He met the warden, shaking his hand. "Thank you."
"It's irregular but I understand why she's being promoted to a special program after those death threats." He looked at the two women.
"I worked with Faith before," Buffy said. "Jack's evacuating my sister for a bit."
"I suppose that's normal." He led them inside and through security. The younger one had to take out earrings but she didn't seem to mind. She was a bit bouncy and happy, looking at everything. He walked into his office. "Please get prisoner Lehane," he ordered his head guard. "They're here to talk to her." He nodded, going to retrieve her.
Jack stood up when she walked in, looking her over. She was quiet, almost subdued. "Miss Lehane." She stared at him and he could see the energy and the fire in her eyes. It was good that this hadn't broken her, just forged her into a different shape. "I'm General Jack O'Neill."
"Why did you want to see me. B? And I take it this is Dawn?"
"It is," Buffy said with a smile, handing over letters. "From me, Mom, Willow, Tara, Wes, Giles, and Angel."
"Wow. It's not my birthday." She looked at her. "The military dude?"
"You heard what happened with Xander?" She nodded slowly, Buffy and shared that story. "He's over that. They heard about the Council's crud."
"The death threats or the actual attempts?" she asked.
"The attempts. We can stop the threats too though," Jack promised. She stared at him. "We can offer you the same deal we give Xander. Training in any area you're lacking in, team status, no one caring about all this." She continued to stare. "I won't lie, it's not easy work but it's damn helpful."
"I saw X on tv. He's not here?"
"He's still recovering from that," he admitted. "On an associated project where he's very safe and they like him a lot. You'd have that option if that's where your skills lay."
"So you want me to do what? X wrote me a letter about the amazing things but didn't describe anything."
"He's not allowed, it's classified," Dawn admitted. "But his baby dragon is so *cute*!"
"You have your egg, right?" Buffy asked her.
"Of course. Right where he always is."
Faith shook her head. "He has a pet?"
"Armand is very useful on diplomatic missions," Jack admitted. "So is Xander." She gave him an odd look. "Everyone likes him."
"Yeah, they do," Buffy agreed. "Even when I wanted to be mad at him, I liked him."
Faith sat down. "So what's the real deal here? I get out, go into a lifetime sentence of your program? What about the stuff with B here?"
"We've given her some help in return for Xander."
"That's good," she agreed. "And I'd be doing what?"
"That depends on where your skills lay," Jack admitted. "Personally, I can see you on a team like he is." She gaped, shaking her head slowly. "We're protecting everyone, Miss Lehane." He handed over a folder. She read through it then gave him the oddest look. He smiled. "You'd be safe. No one could touch you. Especially not them. Xander nearly took their heads off for them trying him."
"Uh-huh. Are you sure you're normal? B, he's straight, right?"
"Yeah, he is. Xander said his project does amazing things. He even talks math with people once they helped him learn it."
Faith blinked a few times. "I'd be there how long?"
"Your sentence is five more years," he said. "I can see that being your enlistment and if you want you can reup. I won't lie, it's a strange, threatening, wonderful job. Someone needs to do it and you do have the skills. If you show other skills in the sciences or languages," Faith laughed. He smiled. "Xander actually has quite a bent for botany. Somehow he has some deadly, fun plants." She gaped again. "He also is our linguistics expert outside of the person who used to be on my team."
"You were in the field?" Buffy asked. Jack nodded. "Wow. So then they promoted you?"
"I have bad knees," he said dryly. "Thankfully they promoted be me beyond the main program's base to DC. It was driving me nuts dealing with teams' paperwork." Faith let out a small snort. "Half of us seem insane but we're good at what we do, Miss Lehane. I think, even if you can't be the best at it, you'll be good and we can find you a spot that fits you best. If you want."
"No chains, no cells, no bars?"
"On-base quarters are a small suite. Basically a hotel room sort of place with a locking door you control. Your own bathroom. Work areas are labs. I will tell you our part of the program is all underground. If you go to an associated project, we have one in Antarctica." She shuddered. "I know you're from Boston and you've seen snow."
"I like warm."
"We also have another one that's farther away, mostly warm, on the ocean, and they like Xander a lot there. He jokes that the head scientist is his mean uncle." She cracked a smile. "He's used to threaten and train the newbies too."
She sighed, looking at Buffy. "He's really happy?"
"Oh, so happy. He's being a book nerd sometimes, he's got deadly plants, he's got weapons he gets to play with all the time, he's got his pet, and his pet plants. There's a few threats he said. One who's apparently a bad, wicked, evil girl who keeps trying to kill him instead of sleep with him." Faith grimaced. "You did?" She nodded. "Wow. Was he good?"
"Very for his first time. Why? Gonna try?"
"He's very bi now. Flirting and everything bi. Pouty ex's bi too."
"Some of his ex's have been the poutiest things ever," Jack agreed. "They all want him back but none of them respected him as a person."
Faith nodded. "I've seen that happen." She looked at Dawn. "Why did you come?"
"It's that time of year and Buffy wants me safer. I'm going back with him tonight to see if I might want to join some year too. Maybe take Xander's place some year."
"Ah." She looked at the folder again. "You guys are insane," she pointed out.
Jack nodded. "Sometimes. Yeah. But it works." He smirked. "Want to help us make sure everyone's protected, be safe, and we can even let you wear leather pants now and then? Xander does."
She cracked, bursting out laughing. "Sure, I could use less chains. Just to try it out."
"You're more than welcome to tell us you can't handle it," he assured her. She nodded. "Then we'll move you somewhere more mundane."
"I can handle that." Jack handed over the official paperwork transferring her and they took the chains off. He drove Buffy back to LA so she could be driven up by her temporary helpers. Then he, Dawn, and Faith went to the airport.
Jack walked onto base, letting Faith stare around. "Dawn, you know the rules, right?" he asked. Again.
"Of course," she sighed. "Really! I'm not two."
Faith looked at her. "I heard."
"Riley's people got her."
"Good!" Dawn smiled so she gave her a shoulder nudge once they were in the elevator. "Where will she be?"
"My former teammate is taking her in. He's an archeologist and linguist. He's actually Xander's boss. He's also taking care of Armand while Xander's recovering."
"That looked like it was hard," Dawn admitted.
Jack nodded. "He was basically unconscious after that and then a battle." They got off the elevator and were met by Daniel, Landry, and Mitchell. "Daniel, this is Dawn Summers."
"Hi," he said, smiling and shaking her hand. Armand jumped over to nuzzle her. "Aww, you met?"
"Yup, he likes me." She petted him, cooing.
Faith stared. "What is that? It's wiggy."
"It's Xander's baby dragon Armand. He introduced us when Mom was in the hospital," Dawn said, letting Faith be sniffed and pet his head. "He's very nice and very protective."
"I'm sure he is." She nodded. "Okay. That's strange."
Daniel smiled. "Just wait until you go through the gate, Faith." She blinked a few times. "Come on, we can use Xander's office. I wanted to test Dawn on her language skills."
"I sucked ass in school," Faith told him.
"But, being what she is means a higher level of hand-eye coordination and weapons skills," Dawn quipped happily. She bounced behind them. Armand was happy too. "How is Xander?"
"He's still responding to cues but he's still in the water most of the time sucking up the native energy to heal what he burned out," Cam told her.
"Shoot, I was hoping to see him."
"Maybe. We're not sure when he'll wake up," Daniel offered. "If he hadn't run into that battle with his team afterward, he might be here, making dirty jokes and telling the other linguists to do their own work." She smirked at that. He let them into Xander's office. Faith whistled. "He did it."
"X can do this?" she asked, looking around.
"Clearly," Dawn said, sitting at the work table. Faith glared at her. "It feels like Xander to me. I can feel magical currents."
"Because of the thing?"
"Yeah, and the hellmouth," she admitted. "I've also gotten in some practice that was approved by the coven Xander trained with."
"Your sister knows and didn't freak?" Faith asked.
Dawn sighed. "Buffy's had to be a lot more open about the magic stuff since Willow went magic addiction. It got so bad she even broke in here to tell Xander he couldn't be gay, he had to come home, and they were only humoring him. Or that's what she wrote in her journal that Tara was reading through to see what she had done."
Mitchell nodded. "He dragged her off to hand to someone too. He can be very protective of some of us on both bases."
"He said you guys were neat and kept wanting to burn the teenage Buffy and Willow at a stake. Do I get to meet Mean Uncle Rodney and his big brother, Sheppard?"
"They're on the project where Xander is, watching over him. Same as Ronon and Teyla are if he mentioned them," Daniel said.
"Ah!" She nodded. "Okay." She looked at Armand. "I know you like them." He meeped and nuzzled her. "You're a good boy dragon," she cooed. "Very loving. I'm sure you miss the daddy and you'll get to see him soon."
"I'm bringing him up in about a week so you'd be sat by Sam Carter that two days," Daniel told her. "I know you might not need one but just to be safe."
"Sure, I get that. Do you guys get NID freaks around here too?"
"Sometimes but we call them targets," Mitchell said with a smirk. Jack and Daniel both laughed. Landry shook his head. "Why? Are they bothering your sister?"
"They kinda found out about Glory's crap and why, and decided I was the reason. We have no idea who in Riley's unit told them but he's threatened to eviscerate whoever it was. Buffy tied two to a tree the other day and left them there at dusk. She was not happy they woke her up by breaking into her room by accident."
"I might've slayed," Faith admitted quietly.
Cam left and came back with something, which made Faith back away and grab one of the swords Xander had on the walls. "Our main enemy and they take over people. The other one are major cultists who want to convert everyone in their paths or they kill them. The other project has these things," he said, putting a jar with the blood of a wraith on the table. She growled and swung at it but he saved it. "Plus insane people who want nuclear weapons that you only have to shoot at if they bother you but you can wound instead of kill if you can get to that level with a gun." He stared at her.
"No hurting people?" she asked, staring at the generals. They both shook their heads. "You're sure?"
"If they invade the base, and you can shoot to wound, do so," Landry told her. "We will be testing you to see if you have any academic skills or interests outside of what you've known so far. We've had to learn a lot watching Xander learn new things that weren't given in a lecture format. That program actually has a physicist who's been working on Xander's teaching in a more practical manner. He's gotten him rather far in theoretical physics."
"Can he help me get my GED?" Faith asked.
"It sounds like you'd fit better on that project," Landry admitted. "So I'll definitely ask him." She beamed.
"How fast is your hand-eye coordination?" Cam asked her.
"Fairly. Why? I'm out of practice."
"I want to try her in the flight simulator," he told the generals, getting a smile and a smirk back. "They could use more pilots."
"Also with the mandatory training rules now in place, we'll have to do her medical training," Daniel pointed out. "Faith, will you be squeamish at the sight of blood or injuries? It's now mandatory to take some field medic classes."
"I can see how helpful it'd be. I've had plenty of my own that needed it. X did some of them himself."
"He's the one who raised the need, plus it looks good on diplomatic things," Cam agreed. "Xander got us a whole new peace treaty with the Genii, the one with the splinter faction up there, by helping tend injuries at a meeting then pulling out weapons to defend the group when they were attacked by the wraith. They consider him good, but too scary to cross. The same as Armand there has made us a lot of friends."
"So I should be subtle?" she asked. "'Cause I'm not really."
"Tilla!" Jack yelled. She came jogging up the hall. "This is Faith Lehane. She worked with Xander. Faith, this is Major Amanda Tilla. She's on Xander's team." They shook hands. "Tilla is our answer to Xena." Faith beamed at that. "She beats up on the Marines, makes them cry, all that."
"Later on you can spar with her then with Teal'c," Landry told her. "That way we know where your physical limitations are. Then we'll test you on the basics of physical boot camp training. Tomorrow we can do educational and skill testing that way." Both girls nodded. "Dawn, if you wanted, you can join in on the boot camp tests."
"Buffy won't let me train or learn self defense, General. She's a bit panicky about that or me dating."
"Bullcrap," Faith said, looking at her. "Every girl should learn how to defend herself from those leaches called men."
"I pointed that out. She talked to Mom about a chastity belt and an all girls school."
"While you're here, I'll work with you. It might help your Tuesday luck," Faith promised with a smile. Dawn squealed and hugged her. "Thanks, little bit."
She pulled back. "Spike calls me that too." Faith shuddered. "So I shouldn't mention Buffy's current boyfriend?" she guessed.
"Eww! Again! Fang was bad enough!"
"Riley's people put a chip in Spike so he can't hunt. He's been getting his chaos and carnage fix by helping her."
"Still gross. I'm going to toss my cookies." Cam kicked over a pretty trash can. "Thanks." He just grinned back. "Did you guys know about this?"
"Unless she's ours, we can't complain," Jack told her.
"Damn! That's still gross."
Tilla coughed. "Who is Spike?"
"A vamp," Dawn said. She shuddered too. "He's helpful. He thinks he loves her."
"Just stop," Faith begged, holding her stomach.
Dawn went back to petting Armand.
Daniel smiled. "Why don't you guys take Faith to the flight simulator. I'll see if Dawn knows any of the languages we use around here?"
"Can I try it?" Dawn asked, begging with puppy eyes. She had learned that off Xander.
"I hate it when the kid does that to me," Landry sighed. "Fine, we should see if your interests lie in that direction so we can talk to you about the Air Force." She beamed and wiggled. Armand meeped and they led them down to the flight simulator. They set it for helicopter flights and Dawn had a great time missing birds, telephone wires, and houses. She was a bit rough on the landing but she was having a ball. When Faith got in there they had to explain some extra things to her but she got it and it was nice. She had to restart after hitting a wire, but then she got the hang of the controls.
"Ever play video games?" Cam asked, lounging in the opening.
"Nope. Never had a system. Why?" She glanced back then went back to flying. This was pretty cool.
"Most kids who do so well usually grow up playing video games." He reached around. "Okay, it's going to get faster. This is a combat simulator. Still in helicopter mode." She nodded. "Listen to the verbal cues. Ask if you don't understand the code," he said, realizing she wouldn't get it. He plugged in his own headset. She lifted them off, flinching at the first explosion but she got that determined look on her face. She asked about a few but he told her a few more, giving simpler directions. She nodded and kept going. It was one of the longest logged flight times. He got them some food and set her up in the jet simulator. This one was harder and faster. She did fantastic and remembered the codes from earlier. She got put into the puddle jumper and X-302 simulator and was whooping up in joy when she got into space. When he finally shut it down he found a post-it from Landry with a room number for her. He stuck her in Xander's room. She looked around. "Xander's since he's not using it tonight."
"That's cool. I won't touch his stuff. Nice tv."
"He got that the same time he imported porn," he said dryly, cracking her up. "He didn't have any fun for about two months and got jumpy. Then he hit a brothel for a week and a half. He came back with that stuff." He smiled. "Shower's through there. Rest, we'll come get you at 0700?" She nodded. He left, hearing her lock the door behind him. He went to report to Landry. "Can Sheppard teach flying? I know he has been helping Xander so he understands drones and the chair."
"I'm fairly certain he can," Jack admitted. "He taught the kid hands-on in a puddle jumper. Then with a drone."
"She can do all the way up. Whooped like she was riding a bull in the X-302 sim."
"Excellent," Jack agreed. "They have one up there so the pilots can keep sharp with things they don't have locally." He beamed. "I'll let him know. How was Dawn's?"
"I didn't get past helicopter but she did good. Steady, not real fast, but then again she doesn't drive yet."
"How were her languages?"
"Danny quizzed her over dinner," Jack admitted. "She knew Latin like Harris does. She knows some Greek, some Summerian, like him that's what the books are in. She knew some Ancient somehow. Recognized some of the words. He said at her age she's very trainable. She needs more background in sciences. Then again, McKay wanted to bomb their school. Again."
Cam snickered. "I can agree with that. So we can get Faith taught all the flying she wants?" Jack nodded. "Good. I think she'll do good there. Can she do off-site academy classes?"
"Yes," Jack said. "We have an arrangement thanks to Jon."
"So she needs her GED, then that," Landry said, making notes. "Let's see where she tests tomorrow. With her background I'm not expecting she was a straight A student. Probably a more practical hands-on learner like Xander is." He looked up. "Dawn's education?"
"Air Force," they both said. Landry smiled at that.
"We can definitely teach her to fly," Cam said casually. "Maybe she'll be the next cross between Jackson and me or Sheppard."
"Maybe," Jack agreed. "She settled in?"
"Yup. She's in Jon's rooms. Faith's in Xander's rooms. Jon does know, right?"
"Yeah, he knows. He headed home last night for a break." He looked at Landry. "If they're that good we're going to end up fixing that school or letting her home school."
"If she's home schooled I can have Carter looking over her shoulder."
Rodney leaned in. "We can just bomb their pathetic excuse for a feeding barn until harvest."
"Did you use that bracelet again?" Jack demanded.
"Yes. I need two books from Xander's collection because he's been panicking about something and we don't know what." He went in there to get them and then went back to Atlantis. They had no idea what was making Xander panic. He was about to find the Doctor and ask him.
Jack looked at Landry. "I'm going to ban all time traveling devices from the scientists."
"He's powering his with bits of naqquadah," Cam said dryly. "It doesn't last for more than two or three jumps at a time."
"Good! It's freaky that Rodney McKay is becoming Doctor Who!" Landry said impatiently. "Jack, confiscate it."
"I'll tell Sheppard. He did say that he and Xander were conspiring on the power problem and Rodney wanted to know what the tardis was powered on. Xander asked him very bluntly if he was going to turn Atlantis into one." Everyone else in the room shuddered. "Exactly. Sheppard can confiscate it when I bring them to Atlantis. Are we letting Summers go there?"
"No, not yet," Landry said. "She's too young to take in if she talks. Since she's a teenage girl, she'll talk."
"She keeps other secrets," Mitchell pointed out. "About her sister and things."
"Good point, but no. Not this time."
"Okay." Jack went to make plans to move Faith to Atlantis after the testing.
Faith came out of the ring. "Shiny," she said, blinking at all the sudden sunlight. "Will that thing do the freaky and make a third?" she asked Jack, turning to look at him.
"No. We checked. One of the IOA idiots is a watcher. He knows and is sworn not to blab to Travers that you're with us. If he does blab, I'm letting Xander have him since he's mean."
"If you're sure."
"I am." He smirked, looking down at Armand. "Watch the tail, Armand." She scooped him up and Chuck shut down the gate. "We're here." Sheppard came jogging down the stairs. "First, confiscate the bracelet. It's creepy."
"His is working?"
"Yup. He popped in for books."
"It's going to be sunk then. The Doctor is here."
"Good. We can go ask him when Xander will be better. This is Faith Lehane. She is gifted in the same way Summers is." They walked off, her carrying Armand until he spotted Ronon and leaped at him.
"He loves Ronon's hair," John said with a smile, holding out a hand. "Colonel John Sheppard."
"Hi, Faith." She shook it. "You guys really are on an ocean." He grinned. "So, how're we going to work this thing, O'Neill?"
"That's what we're going to talk about outside." He walked out with him. "Doctor." He flinched then smiled at him, shaking his hand. "This is Faith."
"He told me," he said, shaking her hand. "You're wiser than he said." She gave him an odd look. "I think the problem is that there's a storm coming. Storms would upset the water and the denizens, which are apparently still talking to him."
"The mermaid stuff?" Faith asked. "B told me about that."
"Indeed," Doctor number nine said with a smile. "I told you you were wise." He led her over. "He's still mostly out of it, absorbing to replace some of the energy he burned out."
"I get that," she agreed. "Dawn really wanted to see him. Xander, I brought your pet," she called quietly. He snorted and blinked up at her, waving one hand then falling back asleep.
"That's the most we've gotten out of him in days," John admitted, smiling at her.
"He usually hates to sleep around people."
"I understand why," the Doctor promised. "Been there myself a few dozen times. Xander. Armand!" he shouted. He came loping out and grew, leaning down to nuzzle his father. Xander cooed back and petted him. "Come on, time to get up and hit your bed, young man." He helped Doctor Keller pull him up. Xander blinked at them. "Good morning. It's been three weeks since you collapsed." Xander hmmed and leaned on Rodney's shoulder. "Get him to bed."
"We should rinse him off. There's no telling what's in the water," Rodney complained. Armand stole him to lick him clean, carrying him back inside like he would a cub.
"That's so cute I wanna puke," Faith said, cracking John up. She looked at the Doctor, who was staring at her. "What?"
He smiled. "I remember the whole thing he told me about you, including that he saw you later on in life when he was blipping around as he put it." He winked. "You'll be fine." He got back into his tardis and left. They had it again. He did come back and looked at Sheppard. "Bracelets."
"His or McKay's?"
"McKay's. His if you can manage it but he gets into the damndest trouble. I'd rather have him have an escape route than have to do this again when he teleports." He ducked back in and left. Then he came back to look at Faith. "Would you like to see Wales with me? I have to go check on Jack and Ianto. Then Gwen." She shrugged and looked at Jack.
"Within two days, please."
"That's fine." He took her and she squealed when he shoved her inside. Then they left.
Jack handed Sheppard the list. Then he took McKay's bracelet from him and handed it over too. "McKay, Dawn Summers will end up linguistics or chemistry. She's a decent flier in the simulator on helicopters. Unfortunately she's in Sunnydale." He growled at that name. "You, Carter, Jackson, are home schooling the girl. Am I understood?"
"Greatly. Are we sure chemistry?"
"She's fourteen, nearly fifteen, and has a good hand at mixing weird foods and seemed to get the chemistry parts better. If you can warp her to physics and she likes it, go for it. Those are her proficiency scores along with Lehane's. I want her to sign up under Radek's teaching schedule. She's another hands-on learner and she's got to get her GED first. Sheppard, her natural slayer ability showed up in her sim test. All the way through 302's. She squealed in space."
"Okay, I can work on that." He smiled. "Any other areas?"
"She's not bad in the field. Turn her into a mini you, but she doesn't want to shoot people."
"I heard why from Xander's memories."
"Good. She does react to wraith and gou'ald. Strongly to both." They both nodded. "She seemed to get a lot of the basics of the medical training Doctor Lam gave her earlier today." He helped Doctor Keller up. "Thank you, Doc."
"Welcome. Am I getting her?"
"Give her as much as she wants, it can only help her. Harris as well when he's better." She nodded at that, walking off trying not to pull the wet suit out of the crack of her butt. He smiled at the two heads of Atlantis. "Harris can continue to soak up whatever he wants. It might help him in the future. If possible I want him here the whole time he's healing. His team will be up in two weeks." They nodded. "Jon wanted to kick some gou'ald butt again." John chuckled. "Yeah, I know. Like original, like clone," he joked dryly. "McKay, do you think you can help with her lesser education without scarring her? I know you and Harris can work that way. If you can, then I won't complain if you help."
"Of course I can."
"Good. GED, then whatever you can of military theory, Sheppard. We have an off-site agreement with the Academy."
"I can do that, General."
"Good." He shook their hands. "Let me take a picture of him for Summers. She's a bit...squealy but nice. She has oh my God syndrome right now but they'll train it out of her." He left, going back to take that picture then home. Dawn pounced him for it and hugged him until he begged then bounced off to call her sister and tell her. He told Sam and Daniel that McKay would help with her education. It was all good to them. Things could get back to normal.
Later that night, the tardis landed on the same pier in the rain. He smiled and brushed her hair back behind her ears. "You have a great destiny beyond slaying, Faith," he said gently. "Now, go run it down, pounce it, and make it beg for mercy."
She smiled. "Thanks, Doc."
"You're welcome." He kissed her on the forehead. "Go inside. Someone's bound to be up." She nodded and headed that way. He watched until she got inside then he left again. Rose was going to be very pissed at being left alone that long.
Faith walked in, smiling at the guard. "Faith Lehane, reporting for duty again. Colonel Sheppard was supposed to assign me tutoring time earlier."
"Colonel Sheppard to the west pier for a visitor," the guard said over the comm. "We can't be too cautious, ma'am, even with who dropped you off."
"I get that." John walked out yawning. "Sorry. Is it that late?"
He shrugged. "I was reading in bed anyway." He walked her off. "Thanks, Grady, Sterling."
"Welcome, sir," they said in unison.
John led her to the science labs first. "Radek?" He looked up, nearly jumping. "This is Faith. Did Rodney show you her scores?"
"Yes, he did," he said, shaking her hand and saying something in Czech. She blushed and responded. He beamed and kissed her on the cheek. "It is good to hear my native language." He looked at her. "You will do just fine and mean Colonel will teach you how to fly." She beamed at that. "I will have you in here in the mornings to go over things. Rodney may interrupt to complain and give you more information than you'll ever need." She grinned and nodded. "Then lunch, then he can assign you military homework or flying time. Good?" She nodded. "Excellent. Get her a room, Colonel, and clothes. Women cannot have only one outfit. Makes them go mad."
"I'm used to it," she said quietly.
"You hush. You are not there. Now you are here and will prove yourself." She nodded at that. "Good. Now go rest. Must be tired." She let the Colonel walk her off. He sighed in pleasure. He did like teaching sometimes. Xander was getting better. This one was getting a good education from them. It would be fine. The others were staring at him. "That is Faith. She's a special admit due to other skills we can use. She has the makings of a good Air Force person. Very quick reflexes as well." He got back to work happier. Maybe she would pick on him like Xander picked on Rodney.
Xander woke up in a bed being stared at. "Huh?" he asked Teyla.
"You were having a nightmare."
"Sorry. Have those."
"I know and I understand why." She smoothed over his hair. "You were sweaty too." He groaned and got up to take a shower. She smiled. "Should I tell people you're up?"
"It's the middle of the night, Teyla."
"Fine, I'll wait until tomorrow. Your team will be here then."
"Are they mad?"
"No, they're not mad. They understand."
He came out. "How can they when I don't."
"It was explained to them." She didn't look at his nakedness. "Go bathe." He nodded, going to do that, moaning at the feel of the water. She blushed but let him come out in his own time. She tucked him in, smiling when he yawned. "Sleep again, Xander. No nightmares." He nodded, curling up around Armand, who had snuck into bed with him. She petted his hair until he started to snore then left him alone. It was nearly dawn so she ran into Ronon. "I woke him up when he started to have a nightmare."
"That's a good sign. It means he's getting closer to normal."
"I made him take a shower because he was sweaty. He was up to complaining."
"Even better." They went to the mess for breakfast. Faith was in there, staring in the direction of the sunrise. They sat down next to her. He grunted. She passed the sugar without looking. "I'm training you well," he joked.
She looked at him. "I'm not the dragon." She went back to watching the sun rise. It was comforting in many ways.
"The sun always rises," Teyla pointed out.
"Not always and not forever." She shifted to look at her. "If girls like me don't win, some day it won't."
"I have heard of such from Xander, but I did not understand why."
"It's a lot like what you were made to do against the wraith," Jon said as he joined them. "Yeah, we're early. Adria really wanted Xander but she was upset that he was sick." Faith snorted. "Exactly." He smiled at her. "Jon Tyler-O'Neill."
She shook his hand. "Faith Lehane."
"I saw Dawn."
"She still squealing over Teal'c to try to make him blush?"
"Yup." He dug in. "Xander?"
"I woke him from a nightmare and made him take a shower. He complained a bit," Teyla admitted.
"That's great news." He looked at Faith. "I can work on the flight simulator with you if you want."
She stared at him. "Why do I get that strange feeling from you?"
"'Cause I'm not exactly normal. Cloning is strange."
"Huh. Well, no stranger than D," she decided. She stuffed her mouth. "Ronon, when do I get to spar?"
"Today," he decided. "I will tell Radek to let you out a bit early."
"I can do it after lunch if there's a training group," she offered. "I'm out of practice."
"You can start with me then," Teyla told her. "I'll work on that then the bantos sticks." Faith nodded at that. "Then Jon can work on your flying skills if John doesn't mind." She ate another bite. "What is this sauce?"
"Yogurt," Faith said.
"It's odd." She ate it anyway.
Radek sat down next to Faith, smiling at her. "Good morning."
"You worked all night, didn't you?" she asked.
"Was unfortunate but a window burst in one underwater tower." He stuffed his mouth. "Still, you have a test today."
She grimaced. "Do I have to?" He nodded. "Fine."
"You'll do well and I'll be proud enough to sneak some of Rodney's power bars for you." She beamed at that.
"Didn't Xander make you guys cocoa plants?" Jon asked.
"Yes, is very good. But locked up for the mean cafeteria ladies."
Jon smirked. "Good thing I brought up some, huh?" Faith hugged him. "Thanks." She beamed and got back to her breakfast. "Okay, so test, who's going to grade it?"
"Rodney will," he assured him. "Then sparring then flight simulator?" Jon and Teyla both nodded. "That's a good, long day. How is Xander doing?"
"Closer to waking up fully," Teyla said, smiling at him. "He's back to having nightmares."
"I wouldn't wish those on anyone but I know it is a good sign in his case." He stuffed his mouth again. Rodney came in and got food, sitting down at the end of the table. "You will grade Faith's test for me?"
"Of course I will. Come in and give it to me. Even if you have to break me out of whatever I'm doing."
"Are you going to yell this time?"
"I'll try not to."
"Thanks. Last time I nearly punched you."
He smirked. "You can try if you want to. Just don't hit me in the face."
"I won't. That might make you too unpretty for the colonel."
Rodney choked. "Not here even two weeks and you've already heard that rumor," Ronon said, smiling but shaking his head. "Gossip is too heavy. They need more porn." Teyla hit him on the arm. "Then they wouldn't have time for gossip."
"You guys have porn?" she asked dryly.
"The IOA decided they didn't want the soldiers diddling the locals," Rodney said dryly. "Xander even got to pick some out."
"Anything warped like demon porn?"
"No, the worst we got was one hermaphrodite and a lot of two on one action," Ronon told her. "That way the secretly gay could have their own fun. He brought up a lot of fake dicks too."
"That's wonderful," she said dryly, cracking Ronon up. "I'm wearing looser pants."
"If they touch you, you beat their asses," Rodney said firmly. "Then tell someone where you left them bleeding. Unless you want it."
She nodded. "I'll remember that."
"Good." He stuffed his mouth again. "Which subject is your test on?"
"Well, I'm Canadian and we do speak it," he decided dryly. He finished up his plate like a vacuum. "See me when you're done." He left, going back to the lab.
"I'm so glad they took the bracelet from him," Jon said dryly.
"Bracelet?" Faith asked.
"He made his own version of Xander's time blipping bracelet," Jon said.
"I know the Doctor said that he had traveled with him and seen him trying to get home," Faith said dryly. "Did he warp the great mind that eats like a horse?"
"He gives him lofty ideas of new power systems," Radek said with a smile for her. "To power all that we do here more safely."
"Ah." She nodded slowly. "Okay then."
"Is helpful," Radek promised. "But very strange."
"Yeah, I can see that being a problem," she agreed. He smiled. "It's freaky, even when he did it."
"True. Man is not meant to travel back and view our mistakes in more than books." He patted her hand. "Eat more." He got up and tossed out his trash then went to bed.
Faith finished her breakfast and looked around. "Did they throw the ugly ones overboard?" she asked quietly to Teyla, but it made Ronon laugh loudly. "Hey!" she complained.
"There are many good soldiers, them being easy to look at is oddly the fault of the main base."
Jon nodded. "Definitely. I have no idea why we hired pretty geeks." Faith pinched him hard, making him yelp. "Hey!"
"You deserved it. Xander clearly warped you."
"Yup. He did." He listened as his comm came on. "Speaking of, he's sleep wandering and he's naked." He took one last bite, tossed out his trash, and headed off at a jog. John Sheppard and Rodney were there too. "Hey, Xander, why are you naked?" he asked calmly.
"Bad people coming," he muttered into Armand's side. He was cuddling him like a teddybear and getting purred at in response. "Bad, mean things. Have to slay."
"No, we can do it for you," Rodney said patiently. "Come on, before you scare anyone into thinking they should run around naked too." He tried to lead him but Xander shook his head, looking out a window.
"He did have that vision up here before," John said quietly. "Xander, is this a vision?" Xander blinked at him. "C'mon, tell me which bad people are coming."
"Buggies. Mean roaches."
"Replicators," Jon sighed. "Okay, we can handle them, Xander. C'mon. You're naked and giving people ideas. They might try to pounce."
"Armand will save me," he pouted.
"I know he will. You're still naked." Xander growled but Rodney at least got him laying down and covered with a blanket one of the marines gave him. He curled up, purring back at Armand until he fell asleep. Then they moved him back to his room. Jon looked at John once they had detangled from the octopus Xander and were back in the hallway. "Can we defeat one?"
"I need another half an hour to get that power source online and then however long it takes to calibrate just the shields to it."
"Will it endanger anyone?" John asked quietly.
"Not unless they walk into the black hole." He left to deal with that. Miko and Radek both got recalled to help him.
Jon nodded. "Plans?"
"I don't know yet. Give me ten." He went upstairs to the command center. "Team leaders now." Lorne called them and joined him in the office. He told them what Xander had said, which could take place anywhere from today to a month from now. They settled on who would get which section. Jon came up with Faith. "Faith, I want you.... How are your weapons skills?"
"I can shoot. It's part of the gifts."
"Jon, know where the range is?"
"I can find it."
"Good. Make sure of her proficiencies. Faith, I want you guarding the geek squad."
"Sure, I can do that. Last line of defense?" He nodded. "Decent." She followed him down to take that test. "I'm used to crossbows, knives, that sort of thing."
"Replicators are little leggo bugs," Jon told her. "That destroy everything." She nodded at that. "Not human, not made by a human, want to wipe us out."
"I can handle that. Humans I might be squeamish at," she admitted quietly.
He looked at her. "I saw your folder, we'll work on your skills so you wound on purpose." She relaxed at that, nodding slightly. "I know it's a hard bar to hit, but you can do as good as Xander without the pulling out futuristic weapons of mass destruction." She snickered, shaking her head. "He has a few times. Shrank down so he could carry more then pulled one, used it, and then grinned. He's going to drive me nuts some day."
"He was warping B that way anyway."
"I heard." He got them into the armory, nodding at the armory master. "This is Lehane."
"Pleasure," he said, shaking her hand. "I heard you were a special admit for raw skills."
"She is. We need to test weapons. Sheppard wants her in front of the geeks. Harris had a vision of a possible replicator invasion."
"I'll check our weapons stores," he promised. He got her the standard issue gun, watching Jon go over it with her. He had it well in hand so he left them alone. She wasn't bad, but she could do better. Jon ran her through the same exercises until she could hit the center of the target.
"I'm better in hands-on," she told him. "Knives especially."
"Won't work on these unfortunately. Also, wraith can feed on you if you're that close." She grimaced. "We'll work on it, Faith. We don't expect you to be perfect or really great right at the start. You'll grow into your skills." He patted her on the back. "Let's do it again." She nodded and went back to the practice rounds. Bullets weren't wasted on targets up here.
John saw the replicator ship on the telemetry system. "McKay, they're here." The shield went up, strongly blue. "Nice color effect," he said dryly.
"That's its choice, not mine," he said from where he was working. He tapped his earpiece. "Radek, pay attention to the output and make sure it shakes down safely." He got a response over his comm. "He said it's holding inside established safety parameters."
"Good! I like that." They watched as the ship slowed down and scanned many planets. It passed over them. They had evacuated the Athosians on the mainland to the city for their safety. The ship turned slightly to head to another planet. "Is that new disruptor working?"
"Send it," John ordered. "The life vine too. It won't matter to them but it will destroy the ship." Xander purred from his seat. He was still asleep, naked, and every time they put him to bed he came back. So they had covered him with a blanket and gave him a corner, which was fine with him. Faith was giving him funny looks but oh well. They were used to Xander being a bit odd. "Attack." The teams ready left the city to attack. John went down to the chair to work on the city's defense. Xander stumbled after him. "Xander, bed," he said firmly. "Or wake up!"
Xander blinked at him. "Bad roaches."
"Go back to bed, Xander. We don't have time for this."
Xander put a hand on him then grinned. "Bad roachies be gone." He walked off, trailing the blanket. Faith got him back to his room and locked him in with the dragon. Armand settled them down and cuddled. His daddy was still sick.
John looked at his glow. "I have no idea what this is." He got into the chair and turned it on. Yeah, that's what he needed. Rodney had hooked the chair into the same power grid as the shields. He found something marked manufacturing center and turned it on as well. "Hey, more drones," he said dryly, asking the city mentally to connect those two areas to the new power grid.
"Did you connect something?" McKay called over the comm.
"The thing that's marked manufacturing center."
"That's fine. We're still within safety limits. Warn me please!"
"Fine." The chair swung and he watched the battle. He sent drones out to help out. The life vine was beamed over. The display showed the ship in trouble, going into the red slowly. Then it shattered. "Clean up the little roaches," he muttered. They fired on any that may move and destroyed the whole cloud of replicators. Lorne's ship had the disruptor beam and it got fired. They were listed as red and he muttered a command to his people.
They gave them the equivalent of a shove, which put them into an orbit toward the sun instead of a planet. That way if they could fix themselves it wouldn't do them any good. He relaxed and the chair powered down to standby mode. He watched the last few clean up blasts and nodded. "Good job," he called over the comm. "Is that the Daedalus behind you, Lorne? It's not marked."
He got an affirmative from the ship itself. "Welcome back." He got up and let the remaining drones hit their bays. The manufacturing center was something McKay was going to stare at for weeks on end. He went to check. Xander had defeated the lock and was sleeping on a couch in the atrium. "I've got to staple at least boxers on him," he decided. "McKay, how did the power source do?" he asked as he walked into the gateroom.
"Good enough. I definitely need to move it further away since it does hum."
"Good. Then can someone please work on Harris' sleepwalking problem?"
"Can't get him to wear clothes yet?" Rodney taunted with a smirk.
"No, not yet. He's in the atrium by your lab." Caldwell beamed down. "Morning!"
Colonel Caldwell stared at him. "How are you doing the shields?" John pointed at Rodney, getting himself some coffee. "Okay. McKay, how are you powering the shields? They look different." McKay launched into an explanation that even his geeks wouldn't understand. A few of the other scientists were staring at him strangely too. "Isn't using a void or black hole to power things science fiction?" he asked.
"Indeed but it can be made to work."
"Sure. Is it dangerous?"
"No. It's fully contained." He smiled proudly. "We do have to move it. It hums."
"Sure, you do that," he agreed. "Don't put it underwater. Water conducts sounds." He shook his head. It suddenly hurt for some reason. He saw Harris wandering in with a blanket around his shoulders and Armand in his arms like a teddy bear, but naked. "Harris!" he snapped, waking him slightly. "You're naked in public, kid. I don't want anyone to get any ideas about your bedroom. Go put on clothes!" Xander hummed, going to do that.
"I tried that a few days ago and he didn't," John complained.
"I'm more commanding and you're more friendly," Caldwell said dryly. "Where's Woolsey?"
"Due back soon. The IOA wanted him at the meeting to chew General O'Neill a new one. That way if they got into Xander's abilities he could tell them to screw themselves."
Caldwell nodded. "Wonderful. So the replicators?"
"Hopefully dead and gone," John said.
"That's what we showed too. That beam?"
"As they said, a replicator be gone gun."
"That makes even more sense." Xander came wandering back in sweatpants and clearly nothing else. He sighed but the kid found a corner out of the way and curled up. "Is this part of his recovery?"
"I'm guessing so. He's sleepwalking," John said. "He had a vision about the attack."
"Then I'll hope this stage will be ending soon. Let me beam down supplies? If the shield will go down." Rodney flicked it off. "Thanks."
Xander belched. "Pretty ocean." Armand licked him. "Nice fishies too."
John looked at him. "They say to never wake a sleepwalker, right?"
"Yes," Rodney said. "XANDER!" He flinched but woke up. "You're mumbling. You're sleep walking. Thank you for finally putting on clothes though," he finished more gently.
"Why'm I in here?" he mumbled.
"You were sleepwalking," John said. He pulled him up. "How do you feel?"
"Sucky. Like I have the flu." He stared at Faith. "Am I hallucinating?" he asked her. She shook her head. "You're on Atlantis?"
"Yeah, I am from now on, boytoy."
Xander hugged her and held up Armand. "Armand, this is Faith. We like Faith." He licked her on the cheek. "Aww, he likes you." He wobbled off.
"Hit the infirmary, kid," John ordered.
"Yes, big brother John."
"Thank you." Faith smiled, walking him that way. He shook his head. "It's not boring anymore."
"No it's not," Rodney agreed. "But was it ever really?"
"No, not most of the time," he decided. He watched the beaming down of supplies.
Caldwell came over once the beaming started. His head was hurting less so he could ask the more detailed questions now. "How did we come up with this new, futuristic power source?"
"Harris gave McKay the idea for it. So far it works well. The only problem we have is that it hums."
"How bad is the hum?"
"Constantly," John said. "The east pier is now the punishment spot."
"How big is it and what does it run on? I didn't get more than 'black hole' last time."
"It's a triple source power source based on a black hole," Rodney said from where he was scanning it. "We get turbine power for lower powered needs from the sucking. We get energy capturing from the hole itself, and then we have a breakdown system being caught by placing certain types of materials in front of it."
"A lot of the future textbooks Xander had used crystal resonance source." He smirked. "I tried to merge them and came up with this one."
"No. Very safe," he said, looking proud. "Even making the black hole."
"How big is this black hole?" Caldwell asked.
"Pinpoint. The material we're breaking down is a fluorite crystal that we hit with a zat a few dozen times."
"Interesting. I'd like to carry a report back to Carter if I can."
Rodney held up a USB keydrive. "Copy it."
"Agreed." He took it so he could copy it into his personal computer. "Anything else new?"
"All the replicators gone?" John asked.
"A few were in space but stranded. As far as I can tell they were dead."
"Good," John decided. Xander came wandering back, wearing sweatpants still. "Bed, Xander."
"Figured something out," he said through a yawn. He pulled up something in the database, pointing. "The Ori." He blinked. "Hi, Caldwell."
"Xander. You okay? I know you were asleep for a long time."
"I feel like I have the flu." Caldwell smiled. "How long was I asleep?"
"Two and a half weeks," John said, staring at him. He rolled over to look at that information. "Hmm, that is the Ori. It's their home world. Someone questioned one of the pre-Ori during that war."
Xander nodded. "I remembered them capturing him." He yawned. "I feel like crap."
"You spent two weeks lounging in water to help you," Rodney pointed out. "You barely woke up the other day. You can go sleep, Xander. Really."
"I will later." He yawned again, looking at Caldwell, who waved a hand in front of his face when he caught the end of the yawn. "Sorry. Armand fed me stuff last. I think it was that toxic bunny again." He gave him a sheepish look.
"Scope, kid. Really." He clapped him on the shoulder. "Is that helpful?"
John smirked as he pointed. "Their home world?"
"That could help most likely."
"Also cultural notes. They haven't changed a whole lot since then," Xander told him. He shifted and ended up leaning on Caldwell's shoulder. It got him a dirty look but oh well. He yawned again and fell asleep slowly on him.
"Sheppard?" He waved a hand at Xander.
"We know. He's spent a lot of time sleeping in corners." He pulled Xander over, letting him curl up next to Rodney again. Xander mumbled something and snored.
Rodney gave his head an indulgent look. "Of course we'll celebrate tonight," he said dryly. "We always celebrate wins." He got back to what he was doing. Faith came bouncing up the stairs. He pointed.
"Sure, I'll be a boytoy wrangler again," she said dryly.
"You'll find, super geeks need wrangling more often," John said dryly. "Jackson runs at trouble, gets lost in rocks and pictures on walls. McKay can have his face glued to a scanner so badly he might fall off a cliff," he said dryly. "And the allies like Xander *so* much that they'd like to keep him for many reasons."
"Of course they do. He draws bad girls."
"You have *no* idea," Rodney assured her. "He helped fix a village's main building while we were visiting. It was kind of him, they were working on it so he stepped in while the team negotiated. They claimed him doing that meant that he had betrothed himself to *seven* young women in the village. Xander had to tell them he was infertile. Again. This was the second time they tried to claim him and they still want to have him."
She nodded. "You guys heard about the mummy girl, right?" They both nodded. Caldwell groaned, shaking his head. "The weird and dangerous *loves* him."
"Most of his former boyfriends are just pouty," John told her.
"He's got boyfriends?" she asked.
"He slept with an emperor of Rome," Rodney told her with a smirk.
"He kept him from having an empire of Xander."
"Thank you, Goddess," she muttered. She lifted Xander up and carried him off. His dragon was pouting when she dropped him on the bed but he fussed over his human so it was okay. She went back there. "Hey, Kissen."
"Faith." He smiled at her. "I saw you carting our super geek off."
"He fell asleep in a corner of the command center."
"Ah. Wonderful." He walked back with her. "Sheppard, do I have anything to do today?"
"Yup, we do. Faith needs the standard bootcamp. I got sent her physical tests," he said, earning a smirk from her. "So let's concentrate on the 'this is how you handle this' situation. You and Jon. You're used to working with Xander. She probably thinks along the same lines thanks to Sunnydale."
"I can do that," he agreed. "Any geeks or soldiers who need it?"
"One new geek. Geek bootcamp is less intense. It's basically 'this is how you follow orders and don't get shot in the field'." He called up their file. "Good?"
Kissen nodded. "Decent." He walked Faith off chatting about California and the Doctor.
Caldwell pointed. John nodded. "For a few hours."
"Okay then," he decided. Rodney snickered. "Faith is...."
"Like Miss Summers," John said.
"I heard something about that. We should be done unloading in a few hours."
"That's fine. You guys take as long as you need to," John assured him. "I know you usually give your guys a night on base so they get to sniff fresh air. That's fine with us." Caldwell smiled and went to tell his crew that. Xander was found wandering around later but Tilla got sent his way and she just walked him off telling him a joke. He smiled. You had to like the kid. He was likeable and adorable like that.
To Part 10
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