Notes: The last season I watched of Stargate was season 3, so this is set maybe two years after that, but nothing after that is applicable to me except for the Tokrah thing. The last I saw, Daniel was starting to get peeved at the military for being the military. Xander joined the military as soon as the hellmouth exploded, so I'm screwing with the timeline. 2 years in.
Your Will Be Done.
Daniel noticed the guard was frowning at the goa'uld they were carrying down the hallway. "Problems?" he asked snidely.
The guard looked at him and shook his head. "No, sir, but I've seen worse. He looks really wimpy without his armor," he said firmly, giving him a look.
"Seen many have you?" Daniel snapped.
"No, I've seen worse," he corrected quietly. "Much worse." He saluted and went back to his post once the door was closed.
Daniel walked past him, looking at the general. "Who is that guard? He's cocky."
"He's had worse," the general told him dryly. "His recruiter had his file sealed." Daniel gave him a look. "Seriously. I don't know why. I never bothered looking when they sent him here straight out of basic." He went to check the restraints, then nodded at the doctor to bring him around.
Daniel looked at the doorway again. He wanted to know. Something was not right with that guy. That could be dangerous for them.
Daniel found the guy a few nights later at a bar, watching him for a few minutes before approaching him. "We need to talk, kid."
"I'm the same age you are," Xander retorted.
"I'm nearly thirty."
Xander shrugged. "Sorry, then I guess I am younger by a few years." He took his beer and went to a back corner. "What'd'ya need, Doctor Jackson?" He pasted an interested look on his face.
"I want to know why you made that comment."
Xander snorted and pulled out his wallet, handing it over open to a picture taken with a special camera. "That's my former life. I know things that can tear those things apart and sneer at their remains." He took another sip of is beer. "You're actually interrupting me on the anniversary of the blond's death."
Daniel looked at the picture, then at him. "Makeup?" he asked, handing it back. Xander shook his head as he put it away. "No?"
"Nope, sorry." He shrugged and grinned. "By the way, before you think of it, don't follow me tonight, okay? I'll tell you some day if you're one of the few I might trust." He slid out of the booth, heading for the door.
Daniel glared at the doorway. Something was definitely wrong with that boy. He walked out with a nod for the bartender. He saw the kid's jeep driving away and got into his small car to follow. He hated puzzles like this and it could jeopardize the project. He couldn't let it jeopardize him finding his lost wife. He trailed the guy using everything Jack had told him, frowning when they came to a park. Hadn't they been warned to stay away from this park because of some recent murders? He parked a little way away and hiked after the boy, watching from the cover of a few scrub trees as the boy walked up to a group of men tormenting a bound woman. He winced and started to pull his cellphone but the boy pulled something else, something he couldn't see, and stabbed at one of the males. Daniel reared back in surprise as the guy turned to dust. He turned to dust! The woman started to babble something so the kid took on more of the men, destroying most of them. One of them ran off. The boy dropped the weapon he had pulled onto the ground and undid her, helping her to her feet. She lunged at him and he got her too, then dropped that one beside it on the ground. Then he calmly walked back to his jeep and took off again. Daniel looked at his watch. It had only been a half hour? He walked out there slowly, watching for more trouble as he made it to where the two weapons had been dropped. Two wooden stakes, carved in a pattern he didn't recognize. He didn't touch them, only looked at the carvings. Then he heard another car and hurried back to his own, hoping he hadn't been seen. He'd get into some major trouble for this. He went back to his apartment to look for the pattern. It had almost seemed familiar when he had stared at it long enough. He drew it out, a bad rendition but as good as he could do from memory. Then he pulled down his first book to look through it. It wasn't Egyptian, but it was closer to some of the older carvings.
He would figure this out. He had to figure this out. People didn't turn into dust. People didn't fight with wooden stakes either, but apparently this strange infantry soldier did. And he wanted to know why!
He walked into General Hammond's office two days later, putting an open book down on his desk. "I've got a problem," he admitted quietly. The general looked at him, nodding for him to go on. "I decided to look into that one guy's past and followed him to where he killed ten people by turning them into dust with wooden stakes marked with this mark," he said, pointing at the mark under his bookmark. "There were no bodies, nothing left of them except a small pile of dust."
"So either vampire movies are real or we've got some strange talent?" he guessed. Daniel nodded and he sighed. "Sit, Doctor Jackson. I looked in the boy's file. It's not pretty." The other man sat so he pulled over a file. "I wanted to know about that comment too. The kid's been like a ghost since he's been here. He's done his job, stayed at his post, never does anything wrong. Even his commanding officer doesn't really remember him most of the time. It's like he's there, but not quite there. The fact that he broke his silence was bothering me so I did some discrete checking." He pulled a photo out and put it in front of him. "That's Sunnydale, California. His hometown."
"What happened to it? Bomb?" he asked, looking at the peculiar patterns on the ground. "It looks like it was being pulled into something."
"That's because his recruiter said it was," he said grimly. "And PFC Harris helped." Daniel dropped it, looking at him in shock. "You need to read this before you do anything and I want you to stay away from the boy." He handed it over. "That's still classified by the way," he said bitterly.
Daniel got comfortable while he read the files from a group called the Initiative. "Who were they?"
"Sub-military, the same way we are, only they went after the things like the boy was fighting last night." Daniel gaped at him. "Keep going, there are pictures."
Daniel continued to skim the file, wincing at some of the pictures. "I've seen this one," he announced, holding one picture up. "I thought that was makeup."
"It's not. He's dead?" Daniel nodded. "Good." He crossed his hands in his lap. "These things are apparently wandering around down here. The boy helped deal with them."
Daniel put the file down once he came to the boy's recruiting file, wincing at his scores on the range. "So he's a hunter," he said flatly.
"No, he's not a hunter. He's been forced to be a hunter," the General corrected. "For right now, he's one of ours. I think others have started to notice him though. The goa'uld in custody noticed him last night when he came back early. He was howling about the thing upstairs coming for him. The only person who had come in was that young man." Daniel swallowed. "I don't know what this kid is. I'm not sure I want to know what this kid is," he admitted. "For right now, he's somewhere he can help. I'm really thankful for it."
"Do we need to know?" Daniel asked.
"If he's got some special skill that makes the enemy go off like that, I'd like to have it working for us," he said dryly. "Wouldn't you?"
"So what do you want me to do, sir?"
"I'd like to leave him alone because I don't like the implications of his past, but for now I want you to become the kid's friend. He's as alone as you were when you first got here," the general said calmly. "I want to know what's going on."
"You could try asking him," Jack said from the doorway. "We're talking about inviso- boy? That PFC?" Hammond nodded. "I agree, he's odd. Why?"
"We don't know yet," Hammond admitted. "But he's the reason the captive was howling about mercy."
"Goodie." He smirked at Daniel. "Let's ask the kid."
"It could make him run," Daniel pointed out.
"He's a private in the Army. He can't run," Jack pointed out. "Even though no one seems to notice him most of the time, I doubt he could make it off the base unscheduled."
"Fine," Hammond agreed. "If he's useful, will you train him?"
Jack shrugged. "If I have to, I guess. What does he do?"
"I don't know yet," Hammond admitted. He picked up his inter-office phone. "Someone tell PFC Harris I want to see him," he ordered, then hung up. "If he's some sort of natural weapon, I want him field trained as soon as possible. I want to use him on the next ambush." Jack nodded.
Xander walked in and saluted as soon as the door was closed. "PFC Harris reporting as ordered, sir!"
"At ease, son," Hammond said with a small smile. He patted the file. "I've been reading up on you." The boy groaned and shook his head while mumbling something about his mouth and trouble. "We'd like an explanation."
"Yeah, I'd like to know why they've heard of me too," Xander admitted dryly, taking off his hat. "Sir, all I know is that it's somehow tied up in my past. It could have been where I traveled into hell's waiting room, or not. I don't know. I'm more than happy to go make them cry and commit suicide though."
"Hell's waiting room?" Jack asked.
Xander looked at him, wincing. "Um, how to explain that," he said, glancing up. He took a deep breath and looked at him finally. "I worked with a supernatural defense contractor, called a Slayer. Our last job together was going in to stop a really big bad thing that opened a portal to hell, literally. So we went in to get her. One of us got suffused with power. One of us went to Cleveland. One of us joined the military. Most of the rest of us died," he admitted. "I still don't know if there was anything about that which could have changed me, Colonel. Why did you need to know that badly?"
"Did you ask to come here?" the general butted in.
"Do the words 'hell' and 'no' mean anything to you, sir?" he asked dryly. "Permission to be frank?" Hammond waved a hand. "I'd almost rather be somewhere in the middle of nowhere with only my rifle to kill myself with than to be across that gateway. I've faced enough shit in my life, thank you."
"The problem becomes, if you're that adamant, one of them screaming that you were going to kill it," Hammond said, standing up. The boy tensed. "Relax, son. I'm not going to hurt you. I want to solve this mystery more than anything. If you're useful, I can't transfer you."
"You can't transfer me anyway, sir. I've tried in the past and it's been turned down. I volunteered to go to one of our many peacekeeping missions and I was turned down." Hammond groaned. I'd still rather shoot myself than go across that gateway. I *know* the minute I do something bad will happen. That's how my life goes."
"Odd things have happened in the past around here," Jack agreed dryly, looking the boy over. "Why were you working with this person?"
"I volunteered, sir. It proves the old adage." He gave a little shrug. "Because of that, I lost nearly everything important in my life. This was a method of last resort."
"I understand," Hammond soothed. This boy was making him feel odd. "Sit, son." Xander shook his head. "That was an order." The boy sighed as he sat in the other desk chair. "I don't know what you can do, but apparently you can do something. We'd like to know what. To that end, you're going to be put in a room with Teal'c."
"Only if you can capture him and make him come near me," Xander pointed out. "He avoids me like the plague too, sir."
"I've seen him suddenly decide to take a different route, I didn't know it was because of you," Daniel offered. "What do you do to them?" Xander shrugged. "You don't know at all?"
"With all due respect, Doctor, I've had so much shit happen to me I can't pinpoint an exact cause. It could have been a possession, it could have been an influence, it could have been any number of fights, an injury, where I was split into two people, or the fight in hell, or even a magical backwash from my best friend. Feel free to pick, sir." Hammond snickered. "Truth, sir. Sorry, but unfortunately the truth."
"I understand. Jack, go get Teal'c. Let's see if we can get to the bottom of this."
"He's back across the gate, sir. He has been since we came back during this last mission," he reminded.
"That's fine. Go get him anyway." Jack nodded, going to do that. "Doctor Jackson, I want you to debrief this young man. See if you can pinpoint a cause."
Xander groaned and pulled something out of his pocket, tossing it to him. "No need, my dairy is on a USB storage keychain."
"Thank you, son. I know this bothers you."
"Yes, sir, but I'm only two years into a five-year contract." He stood up. "Permission to leave and cower in the bathroom, sir?"
"Dismissed. Go back to your assigned spot." Xander sighed and nodded, saluting halfheartedly before leaving. He handed it to Daniel. "Read that, give me a report, figure this out."
"Yes, General," Daniel said, getting up to go do that. This mystery was going to drive him insane if he didn't solve it.
Daniel found the guard at his post the next night and nodded him to follow. "Now," he ordered when he didn't hear footsteps.
"I can't, sir. There's no one to take my spot."
Daniel turned to look at him. "Fine, let me call someone." He went to the nearest phone, calling the guard commander. "This is Doctor Jackson. I need to debrief Harris but he's on duty. Would you send someone to cover for him for two hours?" He smiled. "Thanks." He hung up and went back to look the young man over. As soon as the other guard got there, he walked the boy off. "Code?" he asked.
"Nope, sorry, sir."
"Doctor or Daniel is fine, Harris."
"Fine, Doctor. No code was used in that document."
"How did you get some of those names?"
"Out of the classifications manual." Daniel stopped to look at him. "It's a system that's been around for centuries, Doctor. I only stepped into it."
"Fine. Understandable even. Who?"
"The Watchers, Doctor."
"Them I've heard of," he admitted dryly, opening his office door. "Inside." He walked in there and noticed Teal'c backed away from him. "That's why he's here, Teal'c, so we can figure this out."
"I'm no threat to you," Xander told him, standing against the wall. This thing was making his skin crawl. He always knew when the guy was around, it was always like this.
"Good, now that we've got established, Hammond wants to know if he can harness it and have it be used against a mass force," Daniel announced. "Teal'c, what's going on?"
"He is a Bane. All symbiots are scared of him."
"Yeah, well, you guys make my skin crawl anyway," Xander told him. "Sorry 'bout this, but they won't let me transfer." He shrugged. "I've tried, I've even volunteered for combat."
Teal'c relaxed a little. "I am sure they know you belong here." He took a step out into the room again but stepped back almost immediately because his symbiot was screaming at him not to go closer to that thing. "It is not something he does, it is who he is," he told Daniel.
"So it's a taint," Xander said firmly. "Not from a possession?" Teal'c gave him a funny look. "Long story. I worked with a slayer."
"Those are known to our kind," he admitted. "One of them forced one of the higher goa'ulds to change bodies." He looked at Daniel. "It is more like he radiates if it helps any."
"Let him go before he goes insane," Xander said firmly, noticing the big guy was sweating. "Sorry, big guy, this was not my idea." Teal'c nodded as he walked past him so he could escape. "So, now we know it's not from a possession, it's something I soaked up sometime. I guess that narrows it down to hell, possession, or magical pollution."
Daniel looked at him. "Maybe. What about that Toth thing?"
"I'm guessing that wouldn't leave me different. Too much happened after that. I'd say it was either magical pollution from where Willow went bad, or from hell." He shrugged. "Take your pick."
"You're very comfortable with this," Daniel noted.
"That's because it happened to me. It's my history. I should be comfortable with it." He crossed his arms and walked out a few steps. "What's the next test you wanted to perform?"
"I wanted to take an EEG from you and then do a small skin sample, maybe it's something that's like an allergy for them."
"Fine. Let's go. I've still got duty tonight."
"You're mine until I say otherwise," Daniel told him.
Xander gave him a look. "I'm the Army's until they get tired of me, Doctor. Not yours." He walked out, heading for the infirmary. "Hi," he said with a gentle grin. "Doctor Jackson's following behind me once he finishes throwing his fit. He said something about an EEG and a skin sample?"
"He's already arranged it with us," Doctor Frazier said, coming over to lead him to the spot she wanted him. "Sit there." The boy sat on the bed, getting comfortable. She put the electrodes on his head, hooking him to the right machine. "Now sit there and do nothing for a few minutes, then we'll switch to other emotional outputs."
"Sure." He forced himself to stay calm and normal for now. He smiled as a pretty nurse walked past but she ignored him like the lower being he was. Another thing he was used to.
Daniel had the reluctant PFC drug into the Stargate room by the guards with the handcuffs. "I know nothing will happen, Harris, quit," he ordered.
"Sir, you don't know what you're dealing with," Xander reminded him. "I've caused other machines around here to go wacky. That's why I'm not allowed near the computers anymore." He was let free of the handcuffs and handed his rifle. "Like I'm going to need this?" he asked his commanding officer. "You know what happened the last time I got near the computers."
"So? They said you're going through. Consider it an honor."
"I'd rather be shot! It'd be healthier for everyone involved." The gate opened and he flinched but nothing bad had happened so far. He sighed and followed Daniel up the ramp and across the gateway, wincing as it started to twist him sideways. This is not how the others had described it. He landed in a jungle and looked around with a sigh. "Fine. I'm here." He stood up, glancing around. "And alone. Joy!" He looked back but the gate on this side was broken, the top of the ring was missing. "Even better." He shook his head as he headed for the nearest source of water. He had paid attention in wilderness survival class. He marked his path with an arrow on the ground, then headed off. He got there and saw a few animals grazing, and winced. "Aliens, and the things just get better." He looked up. "You happy now?" he muttered, then he shook his head and drank from upstream of the animals. Someone came through the brush so he looked back at them. "Hey." He shrugged. "I got dropped off here." He got another drink as the older man came closer. The man pointed at his arm and Xander realized he was pointing at his badge. He let him see it and the man frowned at him. "I'm Xander," he said slowly, pointing at himself like the old movies had done. "Xander." The man laughed and hugged him, dragging him off by the arm. He started to yell as he walked, bringing others. They ended up in a small village square with everyone looking at him. "Hey," he said, waving with an odd look on his face. "What did I do?"
"Xandair!" the crowd yelled, bowing to him.
"Okay then." He looked at the dragging man. "Does anyone speak my language? Or anything similar?" Someone babbled at him and he sat down, looking at her. "What?" It had sounded like something he had heard before. She babbled it again, giving him the brightest smile. "Did you just ask me if I had a wife? A woman?" She squealed and hugged him. "Thanks." He patted her on the head and smiled. "Let me get settled in first," he said slowly and clearly. "I'm not ready for a woman yet." She nodded, running out of the village. "Oh, shit," he said, sitting on the edge of the platform he had been standing on. "Why me?"
The woman came back with a man on a floating platform. The man looked him over and Xander waved. "Who are you?" he asked in English.
"Xander Harris. PFC, American Army. You? And please tell me others can translate. I think she just asked me if I wanted a wife."
He snorted. "Concubine actually. Get on. I will take you to our leader." Xander gave him a look. "He also speaks your crude language. He also came through the broken gate."
"Cool!" He hopped up and walked over, climbing on the back. He waved at the villagers. "Thanks, guys. Maybe I'll see you again sometime." The guard laughed and said something before taking off, getting more cheers. "Did you just tell them I'd be back?"
"They've adopted you as their guardian. Your name means guardian in their tongue."
"Goody. I guess I am, but I have no idea what's going on."
"Neither did our leader. He will explain things to you. Are more coming?"
"I was traveling with someone but apparently we got separated in the gateway."
"As has happened in the past," he admitted. "That is how our leader got here." He gained altitude, flying above the trees. "It was lucky for you I was about. That is my section to guard. The others don't speak it as well as I do." He took a sharp right turn and headed off following the river. "The Leader will know."
Xander looked around as he was walked into the palace. "Wow. Lots of pictures of naked people." He liked that in a decorating scheme he guessed. He was led through a set of bronze doors and stopped, then glared. "Ethan!" he spat. "I should have known."
Ethan Rayne smirked at him. "I am merely a stranded traveler, just as you are."
"I should still kick your ass."
"You know each other?" the guard hissed.
"Yeah, I know him," Xander said bitterly. "He kept trying to fuck up my life at one point in time."
"Yes, but I enjoyed it immensely," he said with a smirk. "You were good entertainment." He came down off the throne and walked closer. "Xander. What a pleasant expected outcome. I knew if any of us would end up here it would be you. Janus loves you as he does me."
"Yay. Whine. Yawn. And?"
"He has given us this paradise to guard for his pleasure. This is his planet," he shared, taking the boy's arm to lead him away. "Come, see my nest."
"You sleep in a nest?"
"Yes, and so shall you," he said firmly. "That is why your name is that of a guard." He led him into a private room. "How did you get here?"
"Alien technology. You?"
"Bad portal," he said grimly. "And we are trapped here."
"Not if I can get that stargate working."
"You're working with them?" he asked, letting the boy go so he could look at them. Xander nodded. "Why?"
"Not my choice, the Army said so." He crossed his arms. "Truth, full truth. I want details."
"We're the guardians of this paradise for Janus. His temple was already here. We're above it actually. I'll take you down there tonight before services."
"I was in the fold with someone."
"Then he's probably made it to his original destination," Ethan assured him. "Janus only took you." He led him off again, taking him back to an opulent bedroom. "We share these quarters as his high priests."
"The last I knew, I wasn't."
"You are now," Ethan said firmly. He gave him a shove. "Get changed."
"Now, boy! Services are in two hours and you must be bathed before then." Xander's mouth fell open and he started to make whimpering and protesting noises. "As long as you are here, you will be one of us. No matter what your personal beliefs are."
"I'm about to pull a Ripper," Xander warned.
"Be that as it may, you are still trapped here, as am I," he said firmly. "I'm sure Ripper would have already hit me."
"The thought crossed my mind. The urge is getting stronger though."
"Fine. Strip anyway and we'll get you presentable." He turned his back. "Now. Before I call in the temple's other guardians to help you as they did me." He relaxed when he heard the removal of clothing. "You really joined the Army?"
"I was supposed to do something else after I lost nearly everything in Sunnydale and no one wanted me in Cleveland?"
"Probably not," Ethan sighed. "Did Ripper not make plans for you?"
"Nope. He's in Cleveland too. Buffy and he both said they didn't really need me so I couldn't go with them."
"Stupid plonker," Ethan groaned. "You were his good luck. He should have kept you with him." He turned back around, finding the boy in issued boxers. "Good. Close enough for now." He led the way to the baths, clapping his hands. "In you get," he said as soon as the maidens had run the bath for them. He stripped down and climbed into his own. "We must be meticulously clean at services."
"I'm still not...."
Ethan cast a small spell, stunning him for a few moments. "You are now, Alexander. Until you leave you are." Xander gave him a look. "It is necessary. He brought you here as he did me. You'll see soon enough. For now, shut up and bathe. I'll try to explain things later."
"You'd better. I'm presently considered AWOL."
"I'm sure they'll forgive him," he said dryly. "After all, this wasn't your fault." He ducked down to wet his hair. "Wash!"
"Fine," he sighed, starting his own bath, swatting at the helping hands. "I've bathed myself since I was three. I don't need help now."
"Leave him," Ethan ordered. "He is still disoriented by his travels here." They nodded and gave him sympathetic pats before leaving the room to lay out their raiments.
Daniel looked around the empty field, then groaned and dialed home, heading back. He stepped out the other side and looked up at the General. "Where did Harris land?"
"He's not with you?" the General called. He looked at the graphing computer, then shrugged. "It shows he spun off with you then went off the screen." He looked down at Daniel again. "Come up to my office. I'll get the others while they try to figure this out."
Daniel groaned. "This is worse than Star Trek's transporter problems in the first series," he complained as he trudged up to the office. "How do you lose someone in the fold?"
Xander looked up at the giant heads, then at Ethan. "Wonderful workmanship." Ethan glared at him. "Oh, whine," he said snidely. "I still don't like you."
"Yet, you do," one of the heads said, looking down at him. Xander's mouth fell open. "My other half has come," he announced. "As Ethan is one of my sides, this one is the other. Xander!" The gathered supplicants let out a cheer. "Boy, step closer." Xander stood still until Ethan gave him a nudge and made him stumble forward. The head moved, looking more directly in the boy's face. "As you are mine, so have you always been. One of mine asked for luck, I gave you them. One of mine asked for companionship, I gave you them. Now you shall be both."
"I'm in the Army," Xander complained.
"Not any longer," the head said smugly. "Step closer, commune with your side." The other head turned to look at him. "See him. He is you."
Xander felt himself compelled to walk closer and touch the big nose. "Hey," he said weakly. "Please let me go home?"
The head smirked and breathed on him, changing him. Xander now had longer hair and was glowing. "You are me," he agreed. "My side, my avatar, my body." He blew again and the boy shivered and backed up. "Here you shall be until you are needed." The head turned away again. "Avail yourself of your perks. They will kill the time."
Xander stumbled backwards, looking at Ethan, who was smiling at him. "Huh?"
"I'll explain later, Xander," he said quietly, taking his arm. He forced the boy to bow. "I thank you, Janus. May your name always be exalted and praised." He backed them out of the way, letting the plebeians get at them for their prayers. "Now we can talk," he soothed, leading Xander away. He noticed the confused look and silently said another prayer in thanks that they had fixed the boy's mind. "As you were once Ripper's charm and good luck, you are now mine," he said gently. "My counterpart. My yang. My other half."
Xander stopped to look at him. "I'm not like that."
"No one said you had to sleep with me, yet," he said smugly. "That's a later festival." He took the boy's arms again, leading him back to their quarters. "Janus had need of a representation of his other side. You are it. As you have been. Ripper started out as it against me, but then we couldn't keep it together when he went *good*," he said bitterly. "You are here to take his place. You are mine and we will fix all those nasty things you doubt about soon enough." He stopped and gave him a gentle kiss. "Welcome to the temple of Janus, Xander. You will be happy here." He turned him around and gave him a little shove toward a door opposite his. "Go in there. It is yours." He went to his own and closed the door, lounging on his bed until the boy's innate curiosity got out of hand and he sought him out. It was much later that night when Xander barged into his room. "Have a nice nap?" he teased lightly.
"No!" Xander ran his hands through his hair, then looked at it with disgust. "This is just nasty. I look like a girl."
"Janus was a Greek and Roman God, boy. All men back then wore their hair long. Besides, it suits you." He sat up, looking at the boy. "What did you have questions about, Xander?" he asked gently. He held out a hand. "Come, sit next to me." Xander gave him a look like he was insane. "The others do not know," he admitted. "All they know is that Janus sent for us and we appeared." Xander flopped down onto the bed in front of him, laying on his stomach. "Thank you." He stroked a hand up and down the boy's back. "Now, what questions do you have?"
"I'm not magical."
"Ah, but that is part of being m opposite. I am." Xander looked at him. "You are my direct opposite, Xander. My yang. My other half. In all meanings of the words."
"I'm also straight."
"Except that one." He leaned down and kissed the boy on the forehead. "I doubt you've thought much about it."
"I did actually. One can't live with Anya or Spike and not think about it."
"Hmm. I never met Anya."
"Anyanka, Vengeance demon?" he suggested dryly. "She was mine while she was human."
"Oh." His eyes lit up. "No wonder." He shifted until he was laying next to the boy, weathering his dirty look. "I would not make a move on your virginity at this point, young one."
"Who said I was one," Xander said dryly.
"Ah." He smirked. "Then you've tested the waters?"
"And found them lacking."
"I think you'll find it's different now," he soothed. "We are meant to be together. I knew from the first time I saw you and I marked you. That is probably what drew you to the Military," he admitted. "It was the only way for you to get here." He gave him a gentle kiss but the boy pulled back and shook his head, putting it down again. "I can wait. I have been patient this long. Between us it will be wonderful once you are fully aware of all that you are." He snuggled closer but Xander shifted away. "Fine, I won't push you." He went back to stroking his back but the boy moved his back so he removed it. "Fine. You are the purity against my corruption. That will change as well," he assured him gently.
"Ethan, I'm not the innocent you think. I've stripped for a living. I've slept with others for a living." Ethan gaped at him. "It paid for the car to get fixed faster," he admitted dryly. "I want to know everything."
"Fine. I can tell you as much as I know." He waved a hand around. "This is the temple of Janus, moved from Greece by a very selfish race of peoples. His priests ran them off once they figured out they were on a different planet. Then they prayed long and hard. Since this temple was the living space of Janus, he heard and answered, as he does us now. He provided for people to come up and become his representations. One for each side. I've been here for a very long year waiting on you." He stroked down the boy's cheek. "He thought you'd be up last fall."
"I ducked out of the mission by getting sick on my cooking."
"Ah." He smiled. "Very wise of you but it would have been much easier if you hadn't." He gave him another gentle kiss. "As you are one head, the smiling one, I am the other, the frowning one. In me is the magic, in you is the energy and the spirit. In me is the corruption and in you is the last sense of purity. The last set was a follower of Crowley and a nun. Feel lucky," he said dryly. "As I do." Xander nodded at that, he knew the meaning of that. "This time it is you and I. When we are needed back on our home planet, we will be released after turning it over to the next set. Until such a time, you are here to be yourself. You can be as libidinous as you want. We are not forbidden anything, including the local maidens. It strengthens their bloodlines anyway," he noted. Xander gave him a look. "What happened to you?" he asked, touching above his glass eye. "I sense that something is missing."
"It's glass. A minion of the First popped it." Ethan hissed. "So leave it alone, okay?"
"Fine. Another way you are my opposite. You are youth, where I am old, but you are injured, where I am still whole." He gave him another kiss. "This is part of our ceremonial duties." Xander gave him a look. "Seriously. I can show you the books if you want. There are teaching manuals." He moved closer again, giving him another kiss. "Perhaps it is more a naivety than a true innocence," he admitted. "You can still see the good in people where I don't even try to look for it anymore most of the time." He leaned in for a third kiss but the boy pinched his lips. "Fine." He pulled back with a sigh. "You will have to get accustomed to me, Alexander. We will have to get together ceremonially at least."
"Not if I don't say so."
"I'm sure Janus will compel you if you have doubts. He did to me when the last set left." He stole one last kiss then stood up. "Come, let us feast."
"Ethan, you can't make the locals serve you," he said in disgust.
"I'm not. They leave offerings here for the temple before services. The lower priests and priestesses feed us all. You can meet the rest of them. Expect at least one to come to your bedroom tonight," he told him, leading the way to the dining area. He loosened his skirt but Xander turned around. "We eat reclined and naked," he instructed. "The first is a Greek custom and the second is more of the atmosphere that Janus encourages. Come, strip." Xander gave him a look. "Now," he said coolly. He watched as the boy's eyes glazed over and he did it himself. "Thank you, Lord Janus. Please make him more amenable?" he prayed. A laugh came out of Xander's mouth and the boy shook his head. "Ready?" he asked, finishing his own stripping before walking in. The other priests and priestesses bowed to them as they took their cushions at the head of the table. "Here," he said, helping Xander get comfortable. "Eat with your right hand." He laid down and held the boy's left briefly. "Eat," he ordered, smiling at them. "Another night of libations in honor of our new high one." They clapped and cheered, passing around wine and food. Ethan let his hand go so he could eat and drink, chatting with him through the meal to keep his mind off his nudity and so whatever compulsions Janus had laid had time to finish integrating.
Daniel looked at the computer reading in disgust. "How did he get there? There's not even a working stargate there!"
"I don't know," Sam, one of their coworkers told him. She ran a hand through her short blonde hair. "All I know is that's where the tracer in his pack went. If he's with his pack, he's there." She shrugged and looked back at him. "There is no gate there that we have the coordinates to." She stood up. "It's outside the Tokrah's system too." Daniel groaned and sat down. "I'm sure he's fine."
"He knew something was going to happen. We had to drag him in there this morning in chains. Even his commanding officer knew something bad was going to happen." He looked at her. "Now what?"
"Now, we probably have to wait," she admitted. "We're not even sure his pack went wherever he did. I guess we can send a message and ask if the Tokrah know anything about this planet. Or ask Teal'c."
"Teal'c!" Daniel yelled, knowing he was just up the hall. He was too weary to move. This was seriously depressing him. Teal'c walked in, giving them a look.
"Do you know anything about this planet?" Sam asked, pointing it out.
Teal'c came over then held his stomach. "A great battle was lost there and we were driven away. It is one of twin planets they imported people to."
"So Harris is probably safe?" Sam prompted.
"Not necessarily. The people there were from your land of Oil."
"Greece?" Daniel suggested. Teal'c nodded, giving him a faint smile. "Okay. Anything else you know about them?"
"They belong to the Two-Heads." He looked at Sam again. "Is Harris there?"
"Probably. His pack went there."
"Ah." He nodded. "Maybe they wanted him as their own savior." He walked off again.
Daniel sat up. "Janus!" he said suddenly. "Roman God of doorways and travels." Sam gave him a look. "Two-headed God. Guarded doorways. The month of January was named after." She nodded, getting that. "If they tried to take Janus's temple then that would explain that. But why take the kid?"
"Maybe Janus knew him? Maybe it's like the Asgardians."
"Maybe," she admitted. "Unless they were conjoined Goa'uld twins."
"How would they know about Harris?" He got up to go back to his office, reloading the kid's diary and doing a word search for 'Janus', finding it quickly in the earlier portions. He sat down with a thump as he read. "Shit." Everyone in hearing flinched. Daniel *never* swore. "Sam!" She came jogging up the hall to read over his shoulder. "He knew him. He seems to have wanted him. We've got to get the poor guy free."
"What?" she asked as she read. "That's not real."
"It is real. I saw him dusting some vampires," Daniel said bitterly. "I didn't believe until then either."
She gave him a look before feeling his forehead. "Are you feeling all right?"
"Yes, just fine," he said, moving her hand. He picked up the phone, calling the general's office. "We've found something else, sir." He hung up when the general said he was on his way. As soon as he walked in, he got out of his way. "Read, sir. It'll make a bit more sense in a minute."
"Teal'c said the planet his pack is on belonged to a two-headed God from Greece," Sam told him. "That doesn't mean that this fake stuff is involved."
"Sam, it's real," Daniel told her.
"Fine," he agreed, going over to the things he had taken out of Harris' locker. He held up a locket and then snapped it shut like the instructions in case he died had said to. A small, redheaded woman appeared, giving him a bitter and angry look. "Hi. Harris worked with us. He's missing in action." He handed over the locket.
"Xander joined the Army?" she asked.
"How did you get in here?" Sam asked.
"Magic." She glanced around, then sighed and shook her head. "What happened?"
"He's on a planet that belongs to a two-headed alien pretending to be a God," Daniel told her.
"Janus?" she suggested dryly. Daniel nodded. "Well, Xander is chaos incorporated sometimes." She rolled her eyes. "Let me see the evidence, maybe I can get him back before he gets into trouble." The general looked at her. "Hey." She grinned. "Strange and unusual department of the government?"
"No, we get that anyway," Daniel told her. "You?"
"I'm a witch," she told him. "I teleported here from Ohio and a hellmouth. What do you think?"
"You're the Willow in his diary?" the general asked flatly. She nodded. "I see." He stood up. "Are you back to being good again?"
"I have been since he saved me." She held up a finger, then pulled out her cellphone, magically charged to always get a signal, and dialed home. "Buff, it's me. I'm gonna be home late tonight. Xan just ran into Janus sized problems. No, I haven't seen Ethan. Run him through the search function, see if you can find him for me. Yeah, that sort. No of the missing variety. No, I don't think you'll be much help this time. He's in the Army." She hung up, looking at the general. "Okay, from step one, report, mister. This'll only get worse and I'll be sure to block your memories once I get him back."
The General gave her a long look. "Let's go to my office," he suggested. "Ever think of joining the service?"
"I'm a lesbian."
"Some of us don't care. Only the stuffy bureaucrats care about that stuff," he promised. "The US could use you."
She laughed. "I'm sure they could, but I've got a higher calling than just the US."
"We're at war with aliens," Sam told her. "Higher still?"
She considered it. "Well, I'm presently helping the slayers train against magic, so probably even in the end."
Xander woke up the next morning to Ethan shoving him. He grabbed him and gave him a strong pull across the bed, making him fall over and then roll off the other side. "Go away."
"It's time to get up," he said tiredly. "You can go back to sleep in a few hours, Xander."
Xander sat up, looking down at him. "Why?"
"I'm not devoted to him!"
"You are now." Ethan got himself to his feet, looking at the younger man. "Trust me, you'll end up doing it anyway." The boy's eyes went blank and he did stand up and start moving but then he tensed and shook his head. "Fighting it leads to a headache. I tried too." He sat on the edge of the bed. "The gold and cream is appropriate this morning."
Xander looked back at him. "I'm already tired of this and you."
"Wonderful," Ethan said dryly. "Any other statements of discontent before we go appear before the masses?" He stood up and walked over to the closet, pulling down the outfit and handing it over. "Do you remember the way to the bathing chambers?" Xander stomped out, still glaring. Ethan sighed and looked down. "Janus, I have not the patience for this other side of you," he whispered. "Please, fix him! Before I go insane and kill him." He went to grab his own outfit and go bathe as well. He found Xander under the water and resisted the urge to hold him down. The boy used to swim, he probably had very good lung capacity. He climbed into his own bathtub with a sigh of relief. It always made him feel good. He washed his hair then sat up again, running his hands through it. He glanced at Xander. "Finish washing."
"Fine," Xander agreed, grabbing the brush so he could do his legs and feet. "And then?"
"Then morning devotions, breakfast, a nap if you want. Then the noon meal, whatever studies you want until this evening's devotions, then dinner and sleep. Then we do it again tomorrow," he said quietly. He looked at Xander, who was frowning. "We can have you tour the city if you want," he offered.
"I want information on the stargate so we can fix the stupid thing."
"If you wish. I think there's a little on it in the city's library." Ethan mentally sighed. The boy hated him. "Xander, I know this was not your choice, but you could be very happy here if you put your mind to it."
"I might be, but I left everyone I give a damn about back there and my career."
"Your career would have ended soon," Ethan said firmly. "Janus was getting impatient. Why do you think you were *forced* through the gateway?" Xander's mouth fell open as he looked at him. "Yes, I do know. Janus showed me yesterday, that's why I sent the guards out to find you." He reached over, touching the other man's shoulder. "It is hard, but I know you can survive. We are very well taken care of here. The others do not need you any longer."
"You said I was Giles' good luck charm."
"Yes, you are. Then he lost you of his own free will when he made you stay behind. I can only imagine how much praying he's had to do recently," he said dryly. "Ripper was never very people smart." He gave him a faint smile. "Hurry up, we'll be late and services can't start until we get there and take the morning libations." Xander nodded, working harder on his feet. "We'll get you some lotion to counteract the pallor from wearing boots all the time," he said, going back to his own bathing. "Most people around here are either barefoot or wearing sandals." He worked on his back but groaned. "Ow." He gave it another swipe but Xander reached over with his own brush, helping him. "Thank you. I slept funny last night," he said dryly, giving him a look.
"It happens to the best of us. I wished I had someone after all those fights I got into." He finished up and went back to scrubbing his own. Then he rinsed off with the silver cup sitting on the edge of his tub. Ethan gasped. "What? Wrong thing?" he asked, looking at the cup.
"That's a challis. We've been looking for that!" Ethan said, taking it to look at. "Janus!" He heard light laughter. "We're really in for it now. Get out and get dressed." He quickly finished up his own bath and rinsed out the cup once he was done, then got into his own clothes and headed down to the temple with Xander right behind him. He bowed to the statue, then put the cup in front of it. "Thank you, Lord Janus, for finding it for us." He saw Xander bow to his head and smiled at his innate response. "Please, Lord," he whispered. "Just that last boon?" The head looked down at him and winked. "Fine, as you will it," he agreed, bowing before walking over to the altar and taking the bread laying there. "Xander?" Xander walked over, taking the bread. "Tug," he instructed quietly. Xander nodded and they ripped the bread between them, then each ate a small bite from the center before laying it out for the masses to take a piece from. Then they sat down in the twin thrones and let the others come to them for special prayers and special requests.
Xander only had to glance over once when a mother wanted her young son trained by the priests. "What sort of special skills does he show?" he asked quietly, looking at the young boy. "What can you do?"
The boy looked at the bread, then floated it up with a giggle.
Ethan leaned forward. "Not that." The boy put it back into place. "Thank you. The teacher will be starting a new set of lessons next week on the second day. Bring him back then." The mother nodded and bowed to them before backing out. "We do train any who have the skills," he noted gently.
"What if he doesn't do chaos?"
"Then we can still give him enough of the basics for him to find his own way and the library has books and manuals from the other temples." Xander nodded, going back to listening to his next petitioner. Ethan looked up at the statue and smiled, then listened to the one in front of him. "What sort of healing was it again?" he asked.
"My heart, High Priest. It is beating funny according to the healers."
"I see." He laid a hand on her head and concentrated. "Is your healer a true healer or just a simple one?"
"A simple one, High Priest. I can't afford the other sort." She looked up at him. "You're my last hope."
He smiled down at her. "I may be able to help. Stay afterwards and I shall look it up for you." She nodded, going to the back of the temple to pray in quiet until he was ready for her. Ethan looked at the other petitioners, noticing there were more for Xander than for him. He waved one of them forward, noticing her scared look. "I will send you to him if it more his area," he promised. This would take some getting used to; Xander was taking his attention. The woman whispered to him and he smiled. "It is possible," he admitted. "There is a meeting for that tonight." She nodded and backed out, going to ask one of the others about that. She said something to those in the line and three-quarters of them left with her.
"What's going on?" Xander asked.
"They want to bear your children," Ethan hissed. Xander went pale and started to stammer. "Relax. You are not obligated, nor are you pushed toward it. If it occurs to you, it does." He smiled at the next woman in line. "Yes, my dear?" he asked with his most charming smile for the old woman.
"I came to ask about a position as a caretaker," she told him. "For any children in training. I heard you needed one."
Ethan smiled. "We are in need of one and you are the first I've heard who's asked. Wait for me and I will hand you to our keeper. She makes those decisions." She nodded, going back to wait for him. Xander gave him another look. "It's fine. We do need one."
Xander leaned closer. "I know you had him screw with my head," he whispered. "I'm going to hurt you later."
Ethan gave him a kiss, making the others in line sigh with pleasure. "We'll see." He stood up. "Do no others need my help?" Two of the males came over to kneel in front of him and babbled quickly. "Ah." He smiled and pulled them up. "That I can do without any study. Come with me. You as well, and get the other woman," he ordered. The woman wanting the job went to gather the other, coming back shaking her head. "She's dead?"
"Yes, sire. She appears to have fallen asleep praying and won't wake up." She sighed and looked at him. "Weak hearts are like that."
"That's fine. I'll send one of the lower priests to gather her body and return it to her family," he assured everyone, going to do that on his way to his workroom. Since he had to talk to the keeper, he made it her task. "We had a supplicant die of her heart condition she wanted help with," he said gently. "She's in a private prayer room."
"I'll have her body wrapped and brought to her family, sire," she agreed, bowing to him. She looked at the other woman. "Not your usual sort."
"She wants to watch the younglings and we had another come for training today. I told her the second day of next week?" She nodded. "Good. Interview her." He led the boys on, going to make them a love potion. He was very good at them.
Daniel was pacing up and down the meeting room when Jack finally got back from his vacation.
"Morning, campers," he said happily. He stopped when Daniel glared at him so he looked behind him. "What? I'm just back and I've earned that look?"
"We had a small glitch with the gate," Daniel explained. Sam groaned. "We did. You can't explain it either."
"Okay, start from the top," Jack suggested, crossing his arms as he looked at half of his team. "What happed first?"
"First, have you ever met PFC Harris?" Sam asked.
"Harris?" He grimaced. "Um, nope. Can't say as I have. Hold on, is he that ghostly guy? Dark hair, never says a word, no one really realizes he's there until they see him or nearly run over him?" Sam nodded. "Okay, so what's the weirdo got to do with this?"
"He made a comment, I followed him, I found evidence of the paranormal existing down here, talked to him, found out the Goa'uld are scared to death of the boy, tried to take him on a scouting mission to see if it crossed over, and he disappeared while we were traveling together. I got there, he didn't."
Jack blinked a few times and looked at Sam. "Gate malfunction?" he asked hopefully.
"Not according to the woman who teleported in here without the aid of a device," she said bitterly. "Just appeared, Jack."
"Okay then," Jack said, nodding. "How?"
"Magic," Daniel said.
"Unknown, sir," Sam said at the same time. She glared at Daniel. "You still can't prove it."
"And you can't disprove it," he pointed out. "That leaves it a viable possibility considering we're dealing with Janus!"
Sam noticed Jack looked confused. "A two-headed Roman god, over doorways. Apparently his main temple was taken by the Goa'uld some time ago and sent to a separate planet. One in a twin planet system with a broken stargate."
"Then how did the kid get there?" Jack asked patiently.
"That's a really good question," Daniel said dryly. "One we've been trying to figure out now for three days, Jack. We were traveling together to Abydios. I got there, he didn't. I came back, we checked on the computer, and he's there. Or at least his pack is there and he's somewhere."
"How?" Jack asked again.
"No clue, Colonel. Not a single clue."
He looked stunned. "Can someone hijack a wormhole?"
"No," Sam said firmly.
"Then how did he get taken?" Jack asked. "Did that woman who suddenly appeared have a clue?"
"She said Janus took him," Daniel told him. "She came when we called her using something of Harris'." He sat down, giving him a long look. "Now you see the problem."
"Could the kid just be hiding?"
"No. I'm the only one who came out of the stargate on that end."
"The tracking feature on the computer literally said they split up about a third of the way there and went opposite directions, Jack," Sam explained, pushing over the printouts. "He exited a broken stargate on a planet the Tokrah don't go to because it scares them." Jack gave her a long look. "Really." She shrugged. "I can't explain it and I don't believe in magic."
"Okay, now what do we do?" Jack asked.
"Now, we either find a way to go retrieve the guy who scares all the symbiots, or leave him there to rot," Daniel told him. "The General's waiting to hear your opinion on the matter."
"I'm firmly for going," Sam told him. "If we can find a way."
"I'd like to, but I can't make this a priority," Daniel pointed out. "He can't take on an army, Sam."
"No, but he might be able to hold off a full scale assault. We don't know what's wrong with the kid."
"Huh?" Jack asked. "In English?"
"We're not sure why the kid scares the symbiots, Jack," Daniel said tiredly. "Teal'c can't figure it out, all he will say is that the symbiot is scared. It curls up in fear and disengages whenever the kid is in the room with him. The kid has a similar reaction to them though. Even if I knew why, I don't know enough to know that it'll work on a System Lord."
"We know it works through rock," Sam reminded him.
"Again, huh?" Jack asked.
"When PFC Harris came back from his authorized weekend off, the higher guard we have in custody started to scream for mercy from his God," Sam told him.
"All Harris did was walk back onto the base," Daniel noted. "We still can't be sure that a fully mature larva will react that way. They might have an immunity or something similar."
"How would we check with the kid *there*?" Jack asked.
"Which is why I'm not against it, Jack, but the gate's still broken there. The history the Tokrah have heard said it was broken, the top taken off by Janus' high priests personally."
"No, not his priests," Daniel corrected. "His avatars. He apparently picks two priests to represent his sides. The histories do say that he calls priests that are from farther away but they never say how or from where. We do know that they're not Goa'uld themselves. The histories say that they're fully human, elevated by the choice of the Gods' heads. One smiling, one frowning. One seeing the future, one the past. The interesting thing was that we've seen Harris' diary while trying to figure out this thing he does."
"It has things that I can't believe," Sam interrupted.
"Sam, there's no other explanation of what happened to his town."
"There was a research lab there, it could have exploded or something," she pointed out critically.
"Sam, the ground looks like it was pulled, not pushed," Daniel said patiently. "I've seen the file on them, you won't like it any more than this. They were studying the paranormal there." He looked at Jack again. "Harris, while in Sunnydale, dealt with a follower of Janus repeatedly. Or actually his group did. Some guy named Ethan Rayne, who's been missing now for a little over a year."
"Why is Sunnydale familiar?" Jack asked, frowning at them. "I know I know the name."
"That town that was leveled supposedly by an earthquake that didn't touch anywhere else," Sam said in disgust. "I still say that smacks of a coverup."
"It might, but the General has the file," Daniel told her. "It was sub-military, dealing with the non-human things that go bump in the night. Their remaining members branched out and got sent on supposed retrieval missions that resulted in lots of loss of life and land to the natives." He looked at Jack again. "Frankly, I don't believe in this stuff. I don't know how else to explain it, but I know there's got to be a rational, provable explanation for all of this."
Willow appeared. "Hey." She put down a book, flipping it open. "Okay, here's what we've found on our version of the wormhole phenomenon," she said. "It's been documented back to the Ancient times, back to Summer actually. I had to get someone to translate quickly." She smiled at Jack. "Hey. New to the group?"
"This is Willow Rosenburg, sir," Sam said dryly. "She does that." She took the book to look over. "This is incredible for the time period."
"The Ancients did have science and particularly physics," Daniel reminded her. "It wouldn't surprise me if they'd found a way to create a stargate of their own."
"Actually, just a doorway portal," Willow told him. "No technology involved. This came from a tomb a few centuries back and someone thoughtfully researched and added to the original notions. Including asking Newton." She sat down, giving him a look. "You should know how smart the Ancients really were. They had micro physics before the rest of us knew there were atoms, but the Church censored it because they couldn't believe that their God would put such things out of their sight and influence." She shrugged. "It happened to a lot of information. We're lucky any of it stayed through the purges."
"How did you get in here?" Jack asked.
She smiled at him. "Teleported. It's a skill I picked up before our town was sucked into hell." She looked at Sam again. "If I take that right, we can build another gateway, even using the old stargate terminus, but do it in a different way, on a different power wavelength."
"We might be able to build a negative one," Sam admitted, continuing to read. "Wouldn't that cause an explosion though?"
"No, it's not antimatter, just opposite energy. In this case, your stargate has a strong power flux to it. It's what creates the shaking phenomenon you probably get now and then." Sam looked at her. "An opposite force would act like a magnet to steel; instead of a gateway building a connection, it would pull the old connection back to it. You might get two wormholes if they splintered but you could conceivably shut one down with an energy zap."
"As interesting as this is," Jack said firmly. "This is still a secret military base."
She grinned at him again. "Really? Are you sure of that? 'Cause I mean, most of us have known you've been mucking around with stuff now for months. It was kinda obvious when the alien got free a few months back and everyone said it was hollywood stunt. They haven't been that creative since the sixties when everyone took drugs." She stood up. "But if it bothers you that much, I can always go back to helping train the younger slayers."
"No, stay," Jack said calmly. He reached for the phone. "General, would you please come to the conference room?"
"He knows, Jack," Daniel told him. "She did it in front of him the last time." He got comfortable. "Sit, Willow." She sat down and put her feet up, creating a glass of water for herself. "So, Jack, how do *you* like Sam's unknown phenomenon?"
"I, ah," he started, but was spared coming up with something witty to say by the General appearing. All the military people stood and Daniel nodded at Willow. "Her, sir. She found a theory on negative portalling."
"It's still pretty theoretical but it should act like a magnet to a former portal, as long as it was the last portal."
"We haven't used the gate since this happened," he admitted. "I don't want it happening again." He took the book to look at, grimacing. "What language is this in?"
"Oh, sorry. I cast a translation charm with some help for Sam and Danny, but not you, sir." She did it again, letting it be more open to the general. She shrugged at Jack's look. "It's handy. I deal in old and ancient knowledge."
The General sat down, reading the theory. "Could this work, Major?"
"Yes, sir," Sam said promptly. "I think so."
"That's the important thing in these matters, belief," Willow shared. Sam gave her a look. "Seriously. Belief makes the world move."
"If you say so, I thought it was physics," Sam told her.
Willow shrugged. "There are people who say that physics works because you believe in it." She grinned. "I have seen things that have not fallen to the ground." She looked at Jack again. "Maybe someone should help him sit down. He looks like he's gonna pass out."
Daniel walked over, sitting Jack back into his usual seat. "Stay there, Jack. It only gets more strange." Jack gave him a dirty look. "Seriously."
Jack looked at his boss. "Permission to go through the gate on a suicide mission, sir?"
"Denied, Colonel, but we won't make you deal with it." General Hammond gave him a pat on the arm. "There's two new teams that need their first trip across. Teal'c is doing the same thing. Go join him."
"Yes, sir, thank you, sir," he said wholeheartedly as he headed up to the training area. This was normal. It was right. It was something he didn't have to think about too hard. If scientists set him on edge, this was going to push him over.
Xander walked into the temple's library, giving the bowing librarian a look. "Don't do that." She sent a short, shocked look his way. "I don't want to be bowed to. Really. Just don't." She nodded, standing up again. "I need anything you have on the stargate near where I was found."
"We have a historical account of what happened to it," she offered, "but we don't have much on the technology." She led him through to help him pick out books, including some magical ones on the theory of portals. "Here you are, High Priest. If you need anything else, tell me and I shall get it for you." She bowed again and hurried off to share the news with the other priests and priestesses. He was going to take on those monstrosities! He was truly named!
Xander sighed and shook his head as he settled back into his former role of researcher. Not his favorite job but one he had been decent enough at. He picked up the historical account first, getting past the flowery language with a bit of trial and error. He looked up and found a young girl there with paper and quills for him. "Thank you," he said with a small smile. "Are you here to serve or to learn?"
"I am here to serve you, High Priest," she said softly. "To make your stay comfortable."
He grimaced. "It's really not needed," he promised. "I got called away from my duty and I have to get back."
She smiled. "As Janus wills it, so shall it be done." She bowed deeply to him. "If you need more, I am your assistant and Hetarae. My name is Shamira."
"What's a Hetarae?"
She laughed. "Look it up, wise one." She went to pull the book for him, handing it over. "On temple protocol." She bowed and left him to it.
Xander opened it, glancing at the glossary first. He read the definition, then whimpered. "It's really not needed," he called after her. "I don't need such services." Her laughter floated back to him. "I'm going to kill Ethan for this," he muttered, closing it and going back to his research. He really needed to get out of here now. He didn't need a courtesan for his personal assistant. He didn't have those sort of urges anymore.
Ethan smiled as Shamira came to where he was lounging in the garden, holding up a hand so she would join him. "How did our young one take the news?" he asked gently, stroking across the back of her neck.
"He was most flustered. Said he did not need it as he had none of those urges anymore," she said sadly, pouting at him.
"I'll have him checked out tonight," he promised, giving her a gentle kiss. "You will be very good for him, Shamira. I know you will. Does he have the portal research?"
"Yes, High Priest Ethan." She looked at her hands. "He thinks to himself about his duties and how he must get back before he is in trouble or worse happens."
"Hmm. As Janus wills," he reminded her.
She smiled at him. "That was what I told him. He did not seem too impressed. Are you sure Janus picked truly this time?"
"Xander has always been a stubborn child, dear one." He gave her a light kiss. "It's what makes him an excellent warrior but a horrible lover. He will come around when he realizes there is no easy way for him to get back home." Xander came out of the doorway, holding a book. "Did you find something?"
"Yeah," he admitted, holding out the book. "This appeared in mine." He watched as Ethan read it. "So I guess I should put the gateway back together again?"
"Or at least connect the frame," he sighed, handing it back. "It is nice to know that the person who follows me has already been chosen."
Xander gave him a look. "That means we won't have anyone with magical gifts."
Ethan gave him a long look. "Have you never done anything like that, boy?"
"No. That was a Willow activity." He crossed his arms, the book tucked against his chest. "Why would I have?"
"Fuck," Ethan sighed, standing up and dragging the boy with him to the temple. He bowed to the heads. "He's *never* done magic?"
"Consciously," Ethan's head offered. "He will be trained."
"If I get the gate reactivated, I have to go back," Xander pointed out. "I'm part of the Army, they won't like it otherwise."
His own head looked down at him. "They have to stand in line. We are a higher power." He sent thoughts into Xander's head, making him crumble and fall to his knees. "As you can see, they will come to you, eventually. Until then, study how to help them in their quest. By that time, young Ethan will have found a reason to want to go home as well. We can do the switching ceremony then." Ethan nodded and bowed to him. The head tipped down, looking at his avatar. "You are here. You will be staying. No pitiful army, not even those of Mars or Ares, can take you from us. You are mine and only mine. As I will it, your life is here now. This way you will live past the upcoming attacks." He went back to watching the future. "Now, go rest and study again tomorrow, young Xander. We have over a year before they could come up here. The stars are not right yet."
"Thank you," Xander groaned, standing up. "Do I have to partake of...." He stopped as the thoughts hit him again, this time from Ethan's head. "That really isn't my way."
"While here, it will help you," Ethan's head said firmly. "It will acclimate you and give you a stronger reason to protect those that we protect."
"Which isn't really reasonable. I protect all innocents," Xander pointed out.
The head smiled at him. "I know. This way, you find pleasurable alternatives to worrying. You'll have a year before they can even attempt to try and rescue you, boy. Learn to enjoy it here."
"If I do that, I won't want to go back," Xander pointed out dryly.
The head smirked at him. "What makes you think you aren't going to be needed here more?"
Xander groaned. "Fine. You want me here. I have no idea why you want me here but you do. I can play along with that as long as I don't get into trouble for it. Right now, I'm a deserter. Do you know what Leavenworth prison is like?" The heads nodded. "If I end up there, then I'm not much good to you."
"You won't," he said smugly. "They will not be able to doubt that you have been trying to go back this whole year. For now, go rest. Let your new hetarae soothe you." Xander grimaced. The head moved closer, reading him. "And you said you had no power?"
"No, I have no time for such things," Xander pointed out.
"Not any longer." He nodded and Xander felt the spell he had a wizard put on him leave. "There, now go and enjoy yourself. You are young, you should be happy and laughing. Let Ethan soothe you into your new duties. He will if you let him." He blew a kiss and went back to his prior position. "We are bored, go make merry for our benefit."
"Yes, Lord Janus," Ethan said, grabbing Xander and dragging him away. "There, you see? A year. That and you got us ordered to fool around with the priestesses and priests. You do good work for not wanting to be here." Xander pulled himself away so he stopped to look at him. "You heard him, Xander. There is a year. Not even you can absorb all the knowledge in that much time. The books on what you want to do are very technical and you'll need help. If you will allow it, I can help you. In return, you must take up the other duties of the priesthood. Including those that say you should be training with the guards and those that note that you should be having fun in Janus' name. Janus and Bacchus were very good friends from what I understand. If you'll let yourself, you could soothe the ache of being abandoned here."
"And do what, Ethan? Have to leave someone behind?"
"No, Xander, you won't have anyone to leave behind," Ethan sighed. "They do not expect marriage from you. Just sex and some happiness."
"Ethan, I was pulled away from everything that was my life. Don't you miss torturing Rupert?"
"Yes, but I have the time and pleasure to use the library to think up some very intense punishments for him for setting me onto this path," he said with a small, bitter smirk. "When I'm done with him, he'll be quite sorry he ever screwed with me. Until I can get back there however, I am here. You must learn to make the best of the situation."
"I'm good at that, but I still don't want to have to leave someone behind."
"Then don't. Disappoint our Lords. Make them mad at you. See how far you get with your project." He turned and walked off, heading for the garden again. "I'll be outside. Come out when you quit sulking."
"I'm not sulking!" Xander yelled after him. "This has totally destroyed what had been the life I created for myself!"
"They'd only use you like Buffy had," Ethan called back. He slammed a door.
Xander slumped against the wall, holding his aching head. "I'm used to that, you big prick," he muttered. He felt a cool hand touch him and looked up. "Yeah?" he asked tiredly.
"Do you need helped back to your room? It is often hard when the priests first come into the service of our Lord," Shamira told him gently. "There is often worries about such things as their families and what they can do around here." She helped him up. "Come, I will set you into your bed and get you comfortable." She led him back to his room. "I've taken the liberty of having those books set aside for you," she said quietly. "They'll be there whenever you have enough free time to do your research." She opened his door and looked up at him. "If you reactivate the gate, they'll come back."
He groaned, shaking his head. "If I don't, then the military where I am will continue to think I have deserted them."
"Will they not understand the call of a higher being?" He shook his head. "Pity. Then perhaps they should not reign your land, Xander." She gave him a kiss on the cheek. "It will work out. You are smart enough to get this done and protect us all." She left, going to tidy up the center rooms.
"Thank you, Shamira. I needed to hear that," he admitted, going in to lie down. Janus had given him one hell of a headache. He laid down on the softly scented sheets, closing his eyes so he could rest. "Maybe this is all some funny dream and I'll eventually wake up and wonder why it was so real to me," he muttered, pulling the sheets up over his head. He finally got up and stripped out of the uncomfortably loose garment and laid down again.
Ethan snuck into Xander's room with a tray of lunch, sitting it just out of reach of the bed. He picked up the clothes and hung them over the back of a chair, then sat beside the young man. It was clear he was naked; the sheet had fallen down around his hips and one bare leg stuck out from under it. He stroked the firm back, making Xander mutter something. "Xander?" he called softly.
"What?" He opened his eyes and looked back at Ethan. He noticed the tray. "Lunch?" Ethan nodded. "Thanks. Still have a headache."
"There are oils that will help with that if you allow me to use them on you," he offered. "Only a backrub," he said at the opening mouth. "I would not impinge on you until you were ready and willing for me to. At least not until the Summer Solstice celebration. Fortunately you missed the Spring Planting. Then we would have both had to plant seed into a fertile young woman." He gave him a small smirk. "She was quite pretty this year."
"Hmm. Good." He yawned. "I'm not really hungry, just sleepy."
"Let me get the oil, that will help you more than more sleep. I know what that headache feels like. I've had it a few times myself." He went to grab the oil from his room, coming back to find the young man on his stomach, head pillowed on his crossed arms. "We'll move the sheet down a little more," he said soothingly, moving it down below the globes of the young man's cheeks. Then he straddled his legs and poured some of the warm oil out into his hands, rubbing them together before attacking the tense muscles. Xander moaned under him, shifting his legs apart some. "This is a recipe I found in the library," he said quietly. "It works very well on all forms of muscle strain and cramps. Nearly as good as aspirin." He worked a tense knot harder, making the young man go limp beneath him. It made him smile. "What would we do if Ripper and the girls could see you now?" he teased. "You're much more self confident than you were when you were back in that hellish town. You are no longer their lapdog, now you're a force in your own right." He bent down to get the boy's shoulders, making him arch back some. "You are a magnificent presence that surely makes all your opponents run away screaming."
Xander snorted. "Not really. When I do my anniversary hunt, they always come for me." He turned his head in the other direction. "Is this stuff addictive?"
"No, not in the least. It has no poppy in it at all." He moved back some, relaxing as he worked on the young man's lower back. "You are well built, Xander."
"Thanks. I have to do PT at least twice a week."
"Hmm. It shows. Are you happy in your role?"
"No, but I do good work."
"You could be doing much for humanity."
"Instead I'm keeping the aliens from destroying it."
"Hmm. Perhaps. Do they know who you are?"
"Well, no. I've managed to do my impersonation of Invisible Girl so far. They're always surprised when they actually notice me. I'm sure my disappearance is flummoxing Dr. Jackson greatly."
"Yet, you are so much more than they could ever hope to have on their side," Ethan pointed out. "They don't appreciate you."
"No, they don't," Xander admitted. "But I've still got another year and a half on my tour. If I haven't earned life in the brig for this."
"It's not like you could have helped it."
"True, but I don't think the military is going to listen to Janus' explanation very calmly," he pointed out bitterly. "That'll get me discharged for being wacko."
"Possibly," Ethan agreed, smiling down at him. "Do they know of your past?"
"Yup, sure do. I gave Dr. Jackson my newly started diary. That way he could figure out why I scare the Goa'uld to death. They're probably fighting over magic being real, unless someone found the locket I have that Willow charmed so I could call her if I ever needed her."
"Interesting." He kissed the young man on the back of the head, moving down further. "I'm only working on the muscles unless you want me to do more," he reminded him, shifting to work on the tight, flatish globes of Xander's rear.
"Ethan, it's pretty clear you want me to bottom for you."
"True," he admitted. "I am patient most of the time. It will happen by the middle of July." He let one of his thumbs trace over the small pucker. He noticed the shiver the boy did, not a shudder of revulsion. "Has anyone ever breeched that, Xander? Or will I be the first?"
"Not the first," Xander sighed, looking back at him. "I didn't like it."
"It will be different," he noted. "We are meant to be together. I won't be someone fixing your car." He gave him a small smile as his thumbs brushed the entrance to his body again. "It will be better between us."
Xander shrugged. "If you say so."
"I do." He leaned down and kissed the back of his head again. "I can still be patient however. You will come to me."
"Ethan, I haven't had sex in over a year. What makes you think you're going to get me to breach that?"
"Easy. We become more Godlike during the ceremonies where penetration is required. He will enhance my size and you'll be very sore if you don't get in some practice beforehand." He brushed it again, pushing slightly. Xander shifted. "I can prepare you for now if you wish."
"Maybe later," Xander said, putting his head back down. "I'm not some sex slave, Ethan."
"I never said you were. You are my equal, Xander. You are my opposite while we are both here." He let his thumb sink inside, carrying oil with it. "Even though I want you like this, it is unfair of me to think that you won't want the same." Xander looked back at him again, tensing up slightly. "That is right, there is every chance that I will be on the bottom during the ceremony. So I'll need some preparation then as well." He smiled and went back to oiling the boy's insides. "There are certain protocols." He reached under the bed and pulled out a long box. "This one is yours. I have an opposite one in my room." He opened it and showed it to the young man. "Only use your side. Use it for four or five thrusts then you can set it aside." He pulled it out so the boy could look at it. "If you are taking me, you would use your half on me. Then you could withdraw it and put it aside to take me fully."
"Wow. Holy dildos?"
"A channeling device I believe," Ethan offered. He leaned down and gave the boy a kiss on the temple. "If you wish, I can show you."
"I know. You are still assimilating all the new information. I will get to use mine on you soon, as you will get to use yours on me soon."
"What about the others?"
"No, these are only for use on each other, Xander. Not on anyone else. That would profane them and the headache would be greater than you've ever imagined. I made that mistake, trust me on this." He grimaced in remembrance, but the boy shifted underneath him, making him slide against the crack of his ass. "Hmm. Very firm and tight." He spread the globes, getting some more oil to tease the area. "Xander, I must know. I did not bring mine."
"You can't use mine?"
"Theoretically, we can share a single one," he admitted. He took it and kissed the face on his end, then oiled it up and slowly slid it into the small opening. Xander winced. "Relax. I know it's cool." He moved it a few times, noticing his face was smiling at him. "Like that?"
"Kinda," Xander admitted. "As much as anything else I guess."
Ethan withdrew it and used his fingers again. He found the boy's prostate and wiggled it a bit, making him wiggle underneath him. The whole time he was opening him wider. "Xander, may I pierce you?" he whispered in the boy's ear. "It will feel this good."
"Fine," Xander agreed, getting to his knees for this. He felt Ethan's fingers withdraw and the blunt head nudge him and tried to relax. He winced as the other man slid into him, but didn't resist. It was a bit different. He was fuller than he remembered. "I guess you're bigger."
"Probably," Ethan agreed, smiling and going back to his backrub, only this time using it to inflame him. "Hold on." He pulled back and did a small thrust, making his lover moan. "It gets better," he promised, going a bit deeper now. He felt the small nub rub against his head and groaned as the younger man did. "That is how it is supposed to feel," he said, going a little smoother and faster. The young man gripped the sheets and he sped up a little more, finding a rhythm that was comfortable for him. Xander squeaked and he leaned down, kissing the back of his neck. "Do you like that?"
"It wasn't like this before," he panted, holding on for dear life now. Ethan chuckled and pushed in harder, making him groan and shiver as he got off. "Damn it."
"Shh, it is a great compliment," Ethan soothed, working himself harder in the spasming hole. He came quickly. "It has been too long for both of us," he said as he laid down, dragging the boy to cuddle against his chest. "How do you feel?"
Ethan chuckled. "Do you want something to help ease you back down?" Xander shook his head. "Are you sure?"
"I'll be fine. Maybe a hot bath later though."
"That is more than acceptable. You can soak before services tonight." He kissed him on the back of the neck again. "You rest. You were quite good for not having had any for over a year."
"You too. I always thought old guys got done faster."
Ethan gave him a light squeeze. "It depends on our motivation and our level of excellence. I get practice now and then," he admitted. "Unlike Ripper." Xander winced. "Did he come after you?" he demanded.
"No," Xander snorted. "Why would he want me?" He flipped over. "Do not mention him in my bed, Ethan. If I'm going to get on with a life here, I don't want to have to think about them."
"Very well. If you wish it so," he agreed, giving him a real kiss. "I'll put you in a bath," he said, helping him up and into the bathing room. He was even nice enough to run the warm bath for him.
Willow looked up and snorted. "Well, gee, that's real handy, Xander," she said bitterly.
"What? Did you get more feedback from him?" Daniel asked.
She frowned at him. "Either he's with someone he likes or he's found a compatible alien race," she said dryly. "All I got was intense pleasure."
Daniel grimaced. "Could that mean he's with that Ethan guy?"
"Anything's possible," she noted. "I never knew he wanted Ethan though." She went back to reading Xander's diary, taking the opportunity presented to her. She was finding all sorts of stuff out about her best friend, stuff she had never dreamed of. She paged down with a hearty sigh of disgust. The things her friend did to get back to their side. She shuddered.
"Sometimes life makes you do bad things to survive," he said quietly.
She looked at him. "I realize that, but it still sucks. He could have called us, we would have helped him."
"I'm sure but it doesn't seem like he wanted to trouble you," Daniel noted, looking back at her. "It gets a bit more depressing around the end of Sunnydale. He has about a meg on his lost eye." She winced. "I had some trouble sleeping after that one, but I'm sure it'll be easier for you since you were there."
"Hopefully. I still have nightmares about that fight," she admitted, turning back to her browsing of the selected memories. She did a word search and frowned. "He didn't put it in there," she said in awe.
"I had...an incident about a year after the whole Glory thing. He didn't put it in here."
"No, he didn't," Daniel admitted, turning to look at her. "Maybe he was going back and filling it in."
"More than likely he was keeping me out of it," she said, going back to her former spot and starting to read again. "I had no idea."
"We often don't if we're not telepathic."
"No, that was Buffy," she reminded him. "Xander freaked her out badly."
"I saw," he said dryly. "I doubt I would have let her in the same room as me after that, just in case. The embarrassment must have been bad."
"Probably," she agreed, more happy now. Xander hadn't outed her darkest secret but she had done Buffy's. Most of them anyway.
The next year went quickly enough. Xander put the top on the stargate a mere month before it would be able to be used. He had learned to appreciate his place on this planet, even in Ethan's bed. He liked the locals. He liked being their protector and the one they turned to for the answers to tough problems. He even liked training with the young guards. They were a pretty interesting group and had introduced him around to some of the local women, who always blushed furiously when they realized who he was. He stepped back to look at his handiwork, then nodded. "I've still got it," he said happily.
A woman coughed. "Xandair?" she asked gently.
He smiled back at her. "Yes?" He turned to look at her. "What's wrong?"
"Will the bad people come back? You reset their portal device."
He shook his head. "I only put the circle back together. The power lines aren't linked," he assured her. "Besides, if they wanted to, they could fly across the stars here and try us."
She relaxed and nodded. "Thank you. Will you be guarding us directly?"
"Myself and those I've trained with," he promised. "Only the best will get this area. Not that I don't like the current guard, but he wanted a vacation anyway," he said with a small shrug. "That way he can go home and watch and back up the guard who'll be taking over for him while he's on holiday."
She smiled. "I thank you, Xandair. High Priest Ethan does not explain things like you do."
"Yeah, well, Ethan can be a bit smug sometimes," he agreed, giving her a kiss on the cheek. "You stay here. One of the guards will be coming by shortly." She nodded, sitting down to watch the gate while he went to contact the temple and get the guards out there on their new paths. He wanted to know as soon as Dr. Jackson stepped across the boundary. Especially if he came with MP's.
Daniel looked up as the stargate opened without the computer programming in any symbols and grimaced. "Sir?" he called, pointing. "The computer's reading it as dead. Someone take down which symbols these are," he ordered. Someone rushed to do that while the computer people looked over their stations to see what was wrong with them. General Hammond came down to the computer room, watching as the stargate whooshed open and guards trooped in to cover the opening. Something came flying out then it closed again. He looked at his boss. "Harris?" he suggested dryly.
"Possibly," Hammond agreed. He grabbed the microphone. "Someone do a geiger counter reading on that and bring it here," he ordered over the intercom. A person with a radiation counter scanned it then brought the rock to him once it was seen to be clear. He read the note, then handed it over with a groan. "I'm no longer wanting to know." He turned and left them to it.
Daniel read the short note. "Sir, if it's an invasion, we could go help," Daniel called after him, following him up to his office. "Do you have any orders?"
"Go find our missing person and then stop them," he ordered, looking back at him. "Find an explanation while you're at it so it doesn't happen again." He walked into his office and shut the door firmly.
Daniel went jogging down the hall to get everyone else. He leaned in the office. "We just got a tossed rock from Harris," he announced. "They're under attack. He's barely gotten the stargate active before they landed." Everyone grimaced. "Hammond said to go get an explanation and handle the invasion."
"Of course he did," Jack said dryly, gathering up his things. "Ten minutes." Everyone scrambled to get their things. "Danny, only *one* notebook. Travel light this time. I'm sure they've got paper if they sent a rock-gram." He went to get his vest and weapons, shaking his head.
Sam looked at the note, reading it as she walked out to the women's dressing room. "Bastard," she said firmly. "That doesn't make any sense."
"We can grill him later," Jack called. "Change now, PMS later, Captain Carter," he said when he felt her glaring at his back.
"Yes, sir," she said bitterly, going to do as she had been ordered.
Xander looked at the leaders of the landing force, all having been put kneeling in front of him in the town's common square. He was glaring hard at them. He knew there were more around, whatever thing that made them shy away from him was warning him one of the bigger, badder ones was around as well. He looked up as someone came running. "Yes?" he asked the guard. She whispered in his ear. "They're my friends, even the guard. He's their ally. Treat him like you would a guardian. He gave up his people to help fight these ones and I want him respected for it," he ordered. She gave him a surprised look. "Sorry," he said, modulating his tone so he was more gentle with her. "I liked the guy. He was very scared of me," he said smugly. She nodded and hurried off. "Send them to Ethan. Maybe Daniel can help him some." He kicked the one who had blinded Ethan, making him moan in pain as his already broken rib broke more. "Bastard." He looked up as the supposed God walked into the square, crossing his arms, which conveniently put his hands nearer to his weapons. "You're not wanted here. This planet is Janus'."
"I am Set," he said, sneering at him. "Bow, mortal."
"Not a mere mortal," he noted dryly, starting to laugh. "And you're not Set. I've seen Set. Janus showed me him, he was much prettier." The system lord raised a weapon and Xander threw one of his knives at him, followed by a rock he picked up, which broke the guy's nose as he fell with the dagger in his throat. "Feel better yet?" he asked bitterly, walking over to finish him off.
"Harris!" Jack yelled.
"Let me kill him, Colonel, I'll be right there. Did they separate Teal'c from you guys?" He picked up the guy's weapon and fired it into his chest at point blank range, making him die with a large burn through his chest. "There, I feel better now." He looked at the remaining guards. "Round up the rest, except the one who came with these new people," he ordered. "Bring them here. We will sacrifice them to Janus!" They cheered and went to hunt the evil beings who had kidnaped their ancestors. Xander looked at the guards holding the hostages. "Take them to the external holding cell. Janus will decide their punishment." They nodded and got the line moving, taking them where he had ordered. Xander looked at his commander, then snapped off a salute. "About time. I only set up the gate a month ago." He nodded at the temple. "Come on. We need to get back to Ethan's side."
"Is he the older, blind guy?" Daniel asked as he met them at the door. Xander nodded. "He was asking for you."
"Of course he was," Xander agreed, heading that way. "Teal'c, stay with the group," he ordered as he walked past him. "I've ordered them to leave you alone." He headed into their rooms, finding Ethan stumbling around the shared living room. "What part of stay in bed didn't you understand!" he yelled. "Put your slimy, bad-guy ass on that couch you're in front of and lay there!" He helped him down, making sure he was comfortable. "The gateway opened. They're here."
"I figured as much," Ethan said dryly. "Do you think I might have some pain medicine?"
"I think I can arrange that. Shamira!" he yelled. "Please bring Ethan something for the pain!" She came running with a small vial. "Is that pain medicine?" She nodded. "Not something to kill him?"
"No, Janus said to heal him," she said quietly. "That he would be staying here with you and the other." She helped him drink the potion. "That one, High Priest. Are you sure?"
He tipped her chin up. "He abandoned his people to fight them. He had to leave his family to do so. He is protected by me for such courage. He helps us fight the others." She nodded. "After we've talked, we're taking out the ship. Get the other priests together. They can help." She nodded, going to tell them that. Xander tucked Ethan in then turned and found everyone staring at him. "Sorry, they landed late last night and got Ethan in the garden. He's not taking to blindness very well. Welcome to one of Janus' two planets and his temple, formerly of Rome." They gaped. "They stole the whole thing plus some other villages. Hence this planet. Yes, he brought me here," he told Daniel. "He decided to have me as one of his priests. Don't ask me how, that's not my area, that's Ethan's." He looked at Jack. "Also, there's no way in hell I can abandon them. Janus has us set up as their link to him and their protectors. If I have to leave, that leaves them defenseless against this sort of thing. Daniel, I need to take you guys down to the temple for a moment, then we'll be going to destroy the ship. You guys can bitch once I've done my usual splendid job with the technology."
Jack held up a hand. "Whoa." Xander gave him an impatient look. "You don't give orders."
"Colonel, you're here now. I am the head of the local guards. I am also the highest person you're going to find around here. If you guys want to follow us into the ship, feel free to. We'd welcome the help. This is the third time these people have been invaded in their history, counting the kidnaping. They want to destroy it and I'm going to let them." He walked past him, grabbing Daniel by the arm. "Don't ask, the big talking heads wanted to talk to you too and I need more orders." He drug him down there, bowing when he walked in. "Yo. He's here. I need orders. Do I turn the ship into a show piece, give it to Daniel's people, or destroy it?"
"Give it to them," one of the heads said, looking down at them. The other members of SG- 1 gaped at him. "Yes, I do live," he said, smirking at them. Then he looked at Daniel. "I know what is in your soul. You will be joining us here for a while." Daniel looked startled. "With Ethan in such pain, we will need you." He stood there. "Is he unconscious, yet standing?" he asked.
Xander nudged Daniel, then nodded. "Yup, looks like it." He shrugged and bowed as his head turned to look at him. "Morning. The overlord is dead or dying. Any others are toast. Do you have any further orders?"
"No. You did good, Xander. We thank you for protecting them." He looked at Jack. "He is ours," he said firmly. "Your claim is much weaker." He turned again and went back to staring in his direction.
"Excuse him, he hates it when his people are upset," the first head said genially, smiling at them. "We will speak later, Dr. Jackson." He looked at Teal'c. "You are to be commended, but do not come into this sanctuary again."
"Sorry, I didn't want him hurt," Xander admitted.
"That is fine. Have him wait in your quarters then." He looked down at him. "You have done well. Quit getting upset." Then he looked in his direction and froze.
Xander took a deep breath. "Okay. I'll make sure the other priests don't break *everything*. Maybe you guys can dismantle it because I doubt it'll fly. The first thing I did was dismantle the pyramid so it had to land on the ground." He strode off, then turned back. "I had the prisoners put into the outer cell for your decision on their fate, Janus. If you want me for any part of that, yell for me." He walked off again, heading up to meet with the other priests and priestesses. "Shamira, I want you with Ethan," he ordered.
"I'll stay," Daniel told him.
"Okay." He nodded. "The library is that way," he said, pointing at it. "The books on healing are in the back, on the left side, in medium blue. The healers are really busy." He looked at them, then back at Teal'c. "He left his people to fight them. These are my people. They came to help us fight any remaining dog warriors," he announced. They all nodded. "Including Teal'c. Don't bother him." Some of them looked hurt. "Hey, we've got prisoners, ask Janus to grant you a boon," he told them, giving them a look. "I'm sure High Priest Ethan will be as well." They all nodded. "For now, my people want the ship to study so they can fight these idiots better. That means we can do some damage but do not damage anything that looks important." They groaned. "Sorry. Pain in the ass, I know, but it has to be. They'll be figuring out how to get it back to Sol in a few hours. For now, we hunt the rest of the dog warriors, we go onto the ship and eliminate any remaining goa'uld, we do *major* damage to the possessions and *minor* damage to the ship itself. Any questions?" One brave priest raised his hand. "Yes?" he asked patiently.
"What about them?"
"They're following. If you have a doubt if it's breakable, ask the blonde woman." He nodded, smiling at her. "She's not like that. Her people don't engage in courting rituals outside of marriage." The smile faded a bit. "Sorry, but they're rather stiff like that. They don't like much fun either. There for a while they wouldn't even allow music and dancing. Fortunately most of them have learned to appreciate it again." He clapped his hands. "Let's go." They grabbed weapons and headed out, following him. They gathered a few of the guards on the way, going in as a full invasion force. Xander raised a hand before they entered. "We only kill those who resist," he announced. "Any who give themselves up will be judged by Janus personally." They he waved a hand. "Go. Destroy." They ran in with a battle yell and he grinned at Jack. "They're a bit miffed. This interrupted our holy orgy last night to promote crop fertility." He headed inside, going right for the control room. If there were any higher ranking goa'uld, they'd be up there. He found one trying to get the other into a sarcophagus but he shot her with his service weapon, blowing apart the back of her skull. "I don't think so." He moved the dead body onto the floor and shot the symbiots as they came out as well. "There, I feel better now." He waved a hand. "All yours, Doctor Carter. Please feel free to help my people destroy and pillage." He went to check on his people, looking at Jack as he passed him. "After this, meet me in my quarters and you can scream and rant, sir. I'm sure we'll all enjoy it. Right now, I have a higher duty." He broke into a jog when he heard a scream, going to fix that. He found Ethan and Shamira beating up on a few of the warriors. "Hmm. Feel better?" he asked, giving him a gentle kiss.
Ethan brushed his hair back off his forehead, then nodded. "I do," he admitted genially. "You?"
"Yeah, surprisingly enough I do. The rest are in the outer cell waiting to be judged. I told the others to plead Janus for a boon if they wanted to hurt them." Ethan smiled at that. "Now, you should be resting. Go back to the bed."
"I need to be here, Xander. Injured or not, I am your co-High Priest and it is important that the people see me moving on."
"Had a lot of pain killer?" Sam asked.
"Very good ones I might add," Ethan agreed. "Purely herbal, non addictive, and very strong. Shamira will guard me."
"Fine," Xander agreed, nodding. "I like that idea. Shamira?" She nodded. "Good. Help him destroy some things. Maybe he can find the closet." He grinned and gave Ethan a hug. "I'm going to help the guards. At least go back to the square and hear scouting reports."
"Fine. That would be useful I suppose." He let his guard walk him outside and set him up a place to sit. "I will hear scouting reports," he ordered. "Xander is busy destroying what they can of the ship before it's taken by the other warriors."
"Great One, why do they want it?" one young girl asked. Her mother looked horrified.
Ethan smiled. "Leave it to a child to ask such an important question. They are truly joyous to us and to Janus." He held out a hand and she came closer. "Those new warriors in green, like the clothes Xander was wearing when he showed up, they fight these beasts. They're in a very big war against them. Xander was fighting with them originally but he came here to guard you, little one." She nodded, biting her lip, he knew she was by the sounds she was making as she sucked the blood off it. "They came to help us with these pitiful beings. They want the ship to help them fight the beasts better. That way they can't go hurt more people."
The child hugged him. "I'm sorry you were hurt, Great One."
"So am I," he promised, giving her a sad smile. "I will still be here. Janus has said so. For now, Xander will be my eyes and Shamira my helper." She nodded against his chest. "Go now, little one, I can hear someone stomping this way and I'm not sure it's one of ours. It rattles." She nodded and hurried off to her mother's side. Ethan turned his head in the direction of the noise. "Shamira?"
"It is one of them," she hissed. She guided his head in the proper direction.
"Janus grant me the sight I need to destroy them," he prayed, getting it because he had asked. He cast his most powerful destruction spell aimed at any loose warriors. That one stopped then screamed as fire erupted under his armor. It spewed out from under his hood. Ethan smirked. "Good. It's no less than you deserve." He glanced around, noticing a few people had been taken over. He cast a discerning spell and lit them up for all to see. "Hear me!" he said loudly, drawing attention. "Those who are bright and shining have been taken over by the aliens. Bring them to the temple in chains."
"Except me," Xander said as he walked out. "Some of us got sprayed with glowing paint just now." They bowed and did as they had commanded, gathering up their friends to hopefully be healed. "Any news?"
"There seems to have been an outbreak of fire among them," Ethan said, smirking at him.
"Congrats. I like that idea." He looked up. "Any found bodies we want here. We need an accurate count," he ordered. At least bring their headgear if you don't drag the bodies here. We'll do a mass grave later." The remaining people nodded and went to spread the order. He hugged Ethan. "Has it ever been figured out why I bother the symbiots?"
"No. It's probably the same reason that you glow," Ethan said dryly. "Are you all right?"
"Just fine. This isn't much different than dealing with the Hellmouth." He shrugged. "Only they're kinda human but not." He headed out to talk to a few of the guards, canceling the glowing on himself so they wouldn't try to capture him. He had to save Teal'c from an overzealous grieving mother but she calmed down and quit beating him when she found out he was fighting his own people and he apologized for his species' stupidity and her loss. As soon as the ship was cleaned and partially destroyed, Xander dispatched priests to each village to help with the burials and prayer ceremonies. It was only right in his mind. He finally made it back to his room long after evening services but Janus probably wouldn't mind. This was an emergency and he had given thanks while he had helped clean up some of the bodies in the local village. He found an open seat when he got there and flopped down. "Damn, I'm exhausted. Ethan, I sent out some of the priests to do prayers for the newly dead and to help with the burials. I've done some of the ones here, helping some families get their members ready." Ethan nodded. "Was Janus pissed that we didn't make it to evening services?"
"No, Xander, he understood and was gratified that you remembered him while you were working." He smiled at him. "He sentenced the remaining guards to hard labor and has taken over their minds to make it so. They'll be rebuilding any destroyed buildings, like the schoolhouse." Xander smiled and he realized he could see it. "Janus be praised," he said softly, looking toward the temple. "Thank you, Lord Janus." He heard a soft chuckle in his head and said a longer, silent prayer for however he had sight. Then he looked at Xander. "I have Othersight and I can see you."
"Good." Xander beamed. "Janus be praised for his generosity. He knows I needed the help with my wardrobe. I still don't know what to wear when." Ethan snickered and shook his head. "Sorry, I joke to ease the tension. Sorry, Janus."
"It is normal, young one," his head's voice floated out. "You did good. We will hold off ceremonies tomorrow for burials. There are a few left but they are past the lakes."
"I'll send guards out that way," Xander agreed. "We had a few but I haven't heard from them. There's only one village that way, right? Them and the hunters?" Ethan nodded. "Then it should be easy enough to protect the people." He picked up a bell and rang it, bringing Shamira running. "Janus said a few warriors have survived. They're past the lakes. Tell one of the guards to send some of the rested people out that way to help protect the village and the hunters?" She nodded and bowed, hurrying to do that. "Thank you, Shamira. We'd be miserable without you."
"You suck up," Daniel said dryly.
Xander grinned at him. "She's our assistant. Without her help, the stargate wouldn't be open at all."
"Then she's good," Jack said. "So are you, Private."
Xander snorted. "I know. I argued long and hard about getting back there, sir. Ask anyone, I complained for *months*. I tried, that's why I put the top of the stargate back on. It's not hooked up to anything but it is on there now." Sam looked stunned. He shrugged. "You guys got here the same way I did. As long as we can power it, then you guys can even get home."
"You're not coming?" Jack asked.
Xander leaned forward. "And leave them without any senior guards? Most of the senior guards were taken out earlier in the day. We're 'lead from the front' people around here."
"You're not injured," Daniel pointed out.
"Said who?" Ethan said dryly. "I had to spread a lot of salve earlier on his thigh for a burn. Other senior commanders were saved, but they're not in any shape to run things for now. Xander is the backbone of this world, as I am, Doctor Jackson. Janus picks us to help him and to spread his will."
"And your thighs?" Sam asked.
"No, that is ceremonial. Xander had to be talked into that very heavily, but it is his duty as the avatar of the second head." He stroked the long, dark hair. "He does it very well as my opposite."
"His diary mentioned you," Daniel noted. "Sam thought you were a metaphor."
"Of course she did. She thinks logically and there's not much of that in chaos." Ethan gave her a smug look. "It happens. The world is bigger than you can explain."
"Maybe we should send her to Giles?" Xander suggested, looking at him. He winced as he moved. "I need a soak."
"Not with those burns, Xander."
"I'll be fine, Ethan. I'll put some more healing salve on once I get out." He stood up with a moan. "I need a bath. You guys can call Hammond if you want. I know you guys brought a MALP with you and the robot has a camera." He popped his neck. "I'm for a bath. I've got a busy day tomorrow."
"I didn't know you practiced this faith," Daniel said quietly.
"I didn't, it simply ruled my life," Xander said dryly, grinning at him. "Give me an hour. We only have big copper tubs, no showers." He headed that way, finding a bath already waiting on him. "Thank you," he called, hoping someone was listening. "Rest, the night is young and there's more to be done tomorrow." He climbed in with a groan, sinking into the steaming water with delight. "Janus bless and keep you, whoever drew this," he moaned. "You were right, this is what I needed." He tipped his head back and closed his eyes while he soaked his sore muscles. Then he fell asleep.
Jack looked at Ethan. "We'll have to bring him back."
"That might not be possible," Ethan told him, getting comfortable. "Janus is very protective of his protectors and avatars. Long before Xander came here, the people knew his name as that of a protector. Janus sees many paths, Colonel O'Neill. He foresaw you coming here, which is why he allowed Xander to put the stargate back together again. He foresaw Dr. Jackson getting lost in our library as well," he said smugly. "For now, Xander needs to finish his nap in the bathtub. You need to call your commander tomorrow. I've arranged for you to have rooms across from us. They're a guest suite. I don't know how you usually sleep and anything is fine here in the temple." He stood up as he felt a sense of disquiet flow across him. "I'll be back." He hurried down to the temple, finding a man dressed in black standing there. "Hades," he said, shocked beyond belief. "Did you need our help?"
The other God looked at him, shaking his head. "No, I simply wondered why so many new souls came to me after all this time," he said quietly. "We had all wondered what had happened to these people."
"The aliens kidnaped them," Ethan said, moving closer. "Should we expect many more deaths?"
"Six or seven from what I've seen. Mostly from those already injured and one who is surprised by one of the aliens. By your leave?" he asked, waving a hand.
"Anything you want, Lord Hades," he said respectfully.
"Thank you," he said with a grim smile. "Ares!" A flash of sullen red light went off next to him. "These people need your presence if Janus doesn't mind. It's his planet," he said calmly. "Those aliens are coming for them again."
"Again? We destroyed them the first time!" Ares said angrily, looking up at the statue. "You couldn't yell?"
"I couldn't reach you," the head facing them admitted. "I did try."
"Fine. By your leave?" Ares asked, waving a hand.
"Please. My High Priest is very tired," the second head said, not looking at them.
"Gee, I wonder why?" Xander asked as he walked in. He stopped, looking at the other Gods, jiggling slightly as his nerves started in. "Hey. Could have used you both earlier today," he noted, moving closer to Ethan.
"Wonderful, a *hyper* warrior," Ares said, giving him a long look. "You'll do."
"Thanks. I've had a lot of on-the-job training," Xander said, staying sarcastic. "We've got prisoners who were charged with hard labor. They can help you build whatever you need once they've rebuilt the houses and school they destroyed."
"That's fine," Ares agreed, waving a hand. "Name?"
"Harris, PFC, US Army. Now High Priest to the head facing the West."
Ares glanced at it, then at him. "Interesting." He looked over as more of his people walked in. "Hey. What is he doing here?"
"He gave up his people to fight against them," Jack said. "Leave him alone."
"Ares, God of War, and Hades, God of the Underworld, may I present Colonel Jack O'Neill, Captain Samantha Carter, Dr. Daniel Jackson, and Teal'c," Xander said formally. It seemed like the right thing to do and his head was smirking at him. "All working on the same project I was before I got pulled here."
Ares looked at them, then finally grunted and nodded. "They'll do as well." He looked at Xander. "Anyplace you want the temple? Somewhere out of the way? I don't think we need the warriors getting too happy in town."
"There's some unclaimed area to the East of the city, between here and the lakes," Ethan offered. "If you head that way and then turn to your left, there's a beautiful rise and a nice valley beyond that. I would personally pick the valley. It's large, defensible, and very pleasant to walk through or to jog through while training."
Ares laughed, shaking his head. "I'll look at that area. Thank you, High Priests. Let me check on the guards."
"Most of them are tired, Lord Ares," Xander told him. "We've been fighting since last night. We were taken mostly unaware when the ship landed. My former coworkers have our permission to take the ship for study however they can get it there. I let some of the priests and the guards destroy part of the interior."
Ares nodded. "Good strategy. It wears out some of the anger. Anything else?"
"There are a few warriors left," Ethan noted. "Out by the lakes. We sent warning and any fresh guards that way."
Ares nodded. "Then you've got it well in hand. I'll look at that valley on the way, just in case they need a boost of energy." He disappeared.
Hades looked at them, then shrugged. "I wouldn't mind a shrine. The others probably wouldn't either."
"We'll get on that after the building projects," Xander said firmly. "The school has to come first, Lord Hades. We've got a bunch of half-trained wizards." Hades shuddered. "Exactly, it was their school."
"That's fine, young man. As long as I get something."
"If you'd leave a priest, we can easily have them help us with the burials," Xander offered. "As is, I spent the last few hours helping the local families get bodies together and ready. I've sent out lesser priests to the outlying areas since I can't be everywhere at once and Ethan is more seriously injured."
"You're doing fine, young man. Calm down. We're here to help, not criticize." He smiled at them. "You'll do fine and I do have a few people who could come up and help." He nodded and left, heading to gather them.
Xander looked back at everyone. "Sorry, that was rather unusual," he noted, still bouncing.
"Xander, go wear that out," Ethan ordered, pointing at the doorway. "Do not bounce in the temple. Or don't you remember your last bout of sickness from that?" Xander bowed to the statues and hurried out to participate in the stress-relief going on upstairs. "Sorry, training the boy to be still has been hit or miss," Ethan noted. "How did your people do it?"
"With a lot of KP probably," Sam told him.
"I looked at his record, there's a large note in there about Harris' hyperactivity," Daniel said delicately. "Basic training was rather odd for him."
"Of course it was, he's Xander," Ethan said dryly, heading back to their rooms. "Come, I'll show you where you'll be staying tonight and I'll have someone escort you to the gate tomorrow so you can call or whatever." They followed, looking at each other. Ethan figured they'd be talking to each other once they thought everyone else was asleep.
Daniel woke up with a hand over his mouth and Xander standing over him. "Shh," he whispered. "The gate just activated itself and Hammond came across. He wants to talk to you." Daniel nodded so Xander removed his hand and handed over his glasses. He walked out, giving him privacy to put on clothes.
Daniel pulled back on his pants over his boxers and t-shirt, then his boots, following Xander outside and through the garden. "Where are we going?"
"Flying skid," Xander told him. "It'll be faster and he didn't look that patient. That's how I got here when I came across." He found the skid and got on, letting Daniel get on. "It's like riding a motorcycle standing up. Grab on." Daniel did so and he took off, heading out to the gateway. They were there soon enough and sure enough, Hammond was looking at the gateway. "Sir, reporting as ordered," he reported, snapping off a salute.
"General," Daniel said, straightening out his hair. "Is something wrong, sir?"
"How does this thing power up when it's not connected to even the DHD?"
"Sir, as Janus wills," Xander reported. "The same as we all got here, sir."
"I see. Stand down, Harris." Xander stood at ease, staring over his shoulder. "Thank you. Now, I'd like some full answers, son."
"Me too," Xander admitted wryly. "All I know is that Janus wanted me as a High Priest so he called me to come. He's the one who warped the portal. Some of us come from home, some of us come from here, but we're all called about the same way." He looked at him. "Sir, if I may ask, why did your team come today?"
"You wrote a note."
"Um, no I didn't," Xander admitted. "I was rather busy since the invasion." He looked at Daniel, who nodded.
"A very nice note wrapped around a rock," Daniel told him.
Xander sighed. "As Janus wills," he repeated. He looked up. "Thank you, Lord Janus." He heard the quiet laughter and sighed. "Do you have more tasks, Lord Janus?"
"No. Be at ease. You are mine." The voice faded.
Hammond looked around. "Who said that?"
Xander looked at him. "The big two-headed statue back at the temple," he admitted. "It talked to the others too," he said at the instant sound of rebuttal.
Daniel nodded again. "It did. It invited me to wander around the library while we figured out how to get the ship back home, General."
Ares appeared, looking at them. "Another interesting meeting." He looked at Xander. "When I come up, you will be taking lessons?" he demanded.
Xander beamed and hugged him. "Thank you, Lord Ares. I'd like nothing better than to take strategy lessons by your hand or from your teachers." He realized he was hugging the God of War and pulled back with a strong blush. "Sorry, Lord Ares, got carried away. I'm still uptight from the battles."
"Understood," he said, straightening out his vest. "You're forgiven, this time." Xander nodded, staring at the ground. "Hell, Janus always did call the odd ones. At least you don't pray to Bacchus too."
"No, Lord Ares, I fought against Lord Bacchus' minions," Xander said honestly. Ares looked at him. "Sorry, sir, but it was necessary for my survival. High Priest Ethan was there, you can ask him if you want."
"I may do that," Ares agreed, looking at Hammond. "How did he do under you?"
"He was like a ghost. We only saw him when we nearly ran into him," Hammond admitted. "You're Ares? I expected someone bigger."
Ares burst out laughing. "Thank you, I needed that laugh." He lit a fireball in his hand. "Yes, I am. It's the power in the muscles, not the size of them." He looked at Daniel. "You're staying," he ordered. "Janus said he needs you for at least a year."
Xander leaned closer. "Don't argue," he whispered. "They'll mess with your mind until you agree. Janus had to make me agree to many things because I was quite upset with how I got here and that I was stranded here." Daniel swallowed. Xander went back to his at ease stance. "Sirs, what orders do I have remaining?"
"Nothing much," Ares promised. "Most of the dog warriors are captured or killed. There's two missing. We'll be using the gateway to move my personal army up here from my temple in Greece. They can bivouac in that valley. Tell the other one I did like it. It's a good choice. It doesn't flood?"
"Not that I've heard of in the year I've been here, Lord Ares," Xander said respectfully. "You might ask the older woman who lives near there. It's her job to take care of the road and report any problems to us."
"Thank you. You're damn helpful." He looked at Hammond. "You gave him up?"
"No, we have not," Hammond countered. "All we knew was that he disappeared in the fold."
Ares looked at the stargate, then at Hammond. "You actually use that system?" He nodded, scowling now. "Are we fighting them?" He nodded again. "Good," Ares said happily. "I can help with that too. We beat them the first time you know." He looked at Daniel. "You'll be here, where I can find you, Doctor. I mean it." He disappeared again.
Xander looked at Daniel. "We've known since about my second day here that you'd be up here sometime, Doctor Jackson. Welcome to the temple for your stay here. It's not a hard job, but you'll probably enjoy it."
"I'm still on the project."
"We have the diaries of a few warriors who fought in the war to get them to leave the first time," Xander told him.
"I'd like to look at those," Daniel admitted. He looked at the General. "With your permission, we'll be here for a few days while we go over the ship and figure out how to get it back home."
"Done. It's sitting outside your base, under a large tarp," Ares voice called from the air.
Hammond looked startled as the gate activated behind him. "I take it you want to stay, Private?"
"I'm a High Priest, sir, the people need me. Even though I won't be one of a few warriors anymore, I still serve a purpose. I'd like to retire my commission, sir, since I believe my time's about up."
"Perfectly understandable," Hammond sighed. "We really could use you."
"You know where I am and the gateway will be active soon," Xander promised. "That way Doctor Jackson can make it home." Jack came out of the woods, along with the guard who had brought him. "Vectora, this is my former commander, General Hammond. He rules over Jack and the others." The guard clapped his left hand to his chest and did a half-bow. "Ares said his warriors will be coming through the gateway sometime soon. They're to be shown to the valley just beyond that where we did the sunrise service for Solstice Day." The guard nodded. "They'll be setting up a temple," he said with a smile. "We'll work on arrangements for you guards to take lessons and work out there as well as ours." The guard smiled at him and Xander nudged him. "I got ordered to take lessons too," he said proudly.
The guard hugged him. "I am very proud, Xandair."
"Thanks." He beamed at Jack. Then at Hammond. "Sorry, sir, but I am needed here. We'll send Doctor Jackson back with as much information as he can handle in about eight or nine months, and of course you can come steal us whenever you need us, sir."
"Fine." He waved a hand and shook his head. "Jack?"
"The ship is at the base supposedly," Hammond told him. "Mop up here and then come home. Doctor Jackson will apparently be staying for a few months." He walked through the gateway and disappeared.
Jack looked at Xander. "I didn't do it," Xander said, holding up a hand. "I'm a good boy. I do not mess with minds. That's a higher power's job." He went back to his skid and climbed on. "Which one of you am I taking back?"
"Xandair, the guards are having a quiet celebration tomorrow night to destress. Would you bless us by coming?"
Xander grinned at him. "Sure. Should I bring anything?"
"No, we should have everything we need," he said, smirking at him. "Of course, you could always bless the masses with your presence and seed."
Xander winked. "Of course I will. Over and over again." The guard laughed. "Daniel, Jack?"
"Coming." Daniel climbed on behind him and they flew off together, heading back to the temple. "Is he all right?" they asked as they flew.
"Just fine. Janus probably put a small bit of information into his mind. Either that or Ares did. I don't know how he works." They landed and he let Daniel climb off then headed back inside. "This way, guys. I'll drop you off before I go back to bed. We might not have services tomorrow but I've got to preside over a few burials." He pointed at their door once he came to it. "There you go." They nodded and headed inside, and the guard took up a position outside their door. "Relax," he ordered, giving him a short, passionate kiss. "They're nice guys for the most part. Only prone to yelling." He went into his quarters and headed into Ethan's bedroom to take care of his own stress levels. "Ethan?" he called quietly. "I need to destress. Can I bother you?"
Ethan held up a hand. "Come here, Xander. I need comforting myself." Xander hurried over and climbed in with him, stripping them both as fast as he could. The local clothes were quickly tossed aside and Xander laid across the firm, older body. Ethan settled himself in for some gentle stroking and attention. Xander needed such physical assurances often and he seemed to like them. This time though, the boy bit him on the nipple and then sucked it hard, letting him know that all tenderness was probably going to be wasted. "Did you need something harder?" he teased, stroking down the boy's back to grab his cheeks. Xander nuzzled his chest and moved down, slipping free of the grabbing hands to suck a trail of wetness down to the dragging, dripping organ. "Hmm, I see you do. What will you do when you are the more experienced one, Xander?"
"Whine," he said smartly, grinning up at his mentor. "You?"
"With any luck, I'll not have to see that." He pulled the boy up before he could start to suck on his cock, forcing him onto his back. "I'd prefer to wait on that. I could use some activity myself." He moved closer, teasing the boy's chest. Xander wiggled and then smacked him on the back. "Xander!" he said sharply. "No hitting in the bedroom unless you want to be spanked. You know that rule." He went back to his teasing, making Xander lay back and take it by the simple expedient of holding his arms against the bed while he played. The boy was giggling underneath him but he knew he was enjoying it by the way his cock was starting to stand up. He finally made it to his goal and took a long taste of it before the boy struggled free and flipped him onto his back. "Ah, for the strength of youth," he quipped as Xander gave as good as he had gotten.
"You're not that old, Ethan. Quit whining at me," Xander snorted, taking his pleasure of the firm, tanned, older body. At first he hadn't wanted to think about this sort of thing with Ethan but now he realized Ethan had been correct. He looked up at him, pausing. "You were right, sex with you is different because we are so opposite." He shrugged and went back to his teasing, making the older man groan and try to buck him off. "Quit or you're on the bottom tonight."
"If you want," he agreed dryly. "It wouldn't be the first time you'd fucked me into the mattress. We both know that." He finally got the boy off him and onto his stomach, grabbing the pot of lubricating oil just in case. "You know how much this sight inflames me however," he said into the younger man's ear as he prepared him. Once he was ready, he pulled up their special tool, kissing the face on his side before using it to open his pleasure this evening, saying a quick prayer to Janus to not let him die this night. He knew that someone had just snuck in and he had a good idea who it was. Xander squealed as the firm tool was pushed into his body, arching up into the heavy weight. Ethan gave him a smug look. "I said you inflame me this way," he reminded him, stroking it in and out. "I could just do this."
"The last time you only used the Janus cock, you got a headache," Xander taunted. "He wanted to see you do me correctly."
"True," Ethan admitted, withdrawing it and respectfully tossing it onto the pillows. "Then I shall." He shoved his way in, making the younger man moan and push back against him. "After only a year of this I find you rather addicting, Xander. What will I do when one of us is sent back?"
"Pray," Xander groaned, wiggling his hips. Ethan smacked him on the cheek and then started to move, giving him what he wanted. "Finally!"
"Hush, Xander, or else I'll gag you again," Ethan said playfully, working to get them both sweaty and over the edge of insanity. He craved that state from inside Xander. He had never told the boy why, but he often got visions when he came while inside his body. Janus blessed him with the sight of many things, including how to get Ripper back and how to share him with Xander if the opportunity should ever arise. He had also shown him what the key to both of his new priests had been, and how to get the young Daniel Jackson into his bed as well. He glanced back toward the doorway, then smirked and worked Xander's body harder. The boy liked it that way, no mushiness this time. He would show their watcher exactly what he could expect when he joined them. He reached under his younger lover, touching him gently.
"Ethan!" Xander said, pushing back against him. "No mush. Not this time!" he panted.
"Shh, let me do it my way this time," he pleaded. "There is a reason." He started going gentler, making the boy calm down some. He did finally let him off, once he heard the door open and someone peek in. It had been an eternity, but the good doctor had succumbed, as he knew he had to some time. He gently laid Xander down and looked back, waving that one inside. "Come in. You know you need to be in here with us."
Daniel shook his head. "No, I don't think so."
Xander smirked at him. "Got funny mental images?" Daniel grimaced and nodded. "Welcome to the Temple of Janus, Daniel. You'll enjoy it. The Gods like to mind fuck us sometimes." He waved a hand. "Come on, I'll keep Ethan from jumping you until you're ready. We were practicing for an upcoming renewal ritual."
Daniel gave him a funny look. "You're odder now than you were."
"Maybe, but this is closer to who I was before I joined the Army," Xander admitted, sitting up. "Come on. We can talk."
Daniel walked in and pulled a chair over. "I know some things are different but this isn't how most people envisioned the Temple of Janus back in Rome."
"Yes, well, they've spent a long time alone," Ethan pointed out. "The people basically went from a pantheon who was very active in answering their prayers to having one who had to answer them all, no matter who they were aimed at. The people got used to coming to Janus for everything around here. Including crop and fertility rites." He smirked at Xander. "You'll find he's researched all of them. He's even brought back one that Janus had been missing." He smirked at Daniel. "There's always two. Direct opposites in as many ways as possible. Hence Xander and I." Daniel grimaced but nodded. "Sometimes though, a third is appointed for special things and events. In this case, to signify the return of the others. *You* are here to teach the priests how to teach the people about the old Gods again." Daniel's mouth opened. "As such, you'll be sharing my position with me. Xander is still Janus's hot-blooded side and it shows sometimes." He had noticed the boy getting hard and the look in his eyes that said Janus was giving him an intense message. "Did your head speak, Xander?" he asked gently.
Xander smirked at him. "It did. We're wanted in the temple. Demeter just showed up." He slid out of the bed and grabbed Ethan's outfit, handing it to him. Then he jogged over to his room, coming back with his skirt wrapped around his waist. "Come, Daniel." He took his hand and walked him down the quiet halls. "Don't worry. She's not mad. Janus is loving this. Plus, we've got to celebrate you being here, my young one." He walked into the temple first, bowing to the Goddess and the statue. "Lady Demeter, it's an honor. Welcome to the Temple of Janus. How can we assist you today?"
She looked him over, then Ethan. Then she gave him a smug look. "You're not exactly my sort," she noted.
"No, we're not, but we're about the only ones here. Lord Hades said he was sending one of his priests up but we haven't seen him here yet," Ethan told her gently. "Lord Ares is also sending others up, but I'm not sure if they're here yet either."
"I see." She looked them all over again, then looked at Janus. "The third?"
"A scholar," Xander told her. "A student of the old ways. As such, he'll be teaching the priests how to honor the rest of you since they may have forgotten some of the little things over the centuries."
"Very well." She nodded. "I'll need a shrine. Soon if you wouldn't mind."
"We have prisoners who aren't doing much but building," Xander quipped with a grin. "Would that suit you or should we ask some farmers or farmer's daughters to build it for you?"
She gave him a long look. "Obviously Janus chose you for other attributes than your brain," she noted dryly.
He shrugged. "True, but then again, I'm also a protector. Do you require virginal constructionists?"
"No," she said, waving a hand. "Just not convicts and not warriors."
"We have Goa'uld prisoners, no convicts," Ethan informed her. "We were invaded yesterday."
"Hmm. No, I'd rather not have them near my shrine. We'll go with regular people if you wouldn't mind," she said, rolling her eyes. She looked up at Janus. "The others aren't coming yet. A few may be up in the next few weeks however. When two of the strongest come up and say you've been found, the others can't be far behind."
"Then we'll hold celebrations in everyone's honor," Daniel told her. "If they could send us some warning, we'd make each one special to them. We can hold a teaching session early in the day, then the celebration at night if that's fine with them."
"With most of them it probably would be," she agreed, giving him a long look. "Good, you even that one out," she said, nodding at Xander. "Do that. Please make mine on a sunny day and have wheat and flowers."
"There's no wheat planted up here, Lady Demeter. None got transferred," Xander told her. "But we do have many flowers, and some cotton crops, plus some other grains. Would oats be all right?"
She considered him. "That would be fine. I'm sure we can find some wheat to bring to you." She looked up at the statue again then left to walk among the farms.
"Young one," the statue said, looking down at him. Daniel blanched. He laughed. "Do not worry, I'm not chastising him. I often rub her the wrong way as well. He was honest and trying not to cause offense. That's all she usually expects from my priests, especially my high priests. That was a good idea however." He smiled at Daniel. "You will be an asset to us, young one. We will like having you here. Xander?" Xander bowed again, going to his knees. "You were not part of the promising ceremony before because your counterpart had died. We will do one now with young Daniel. Ethan, I'm sure you remember the way?"
Ethan blushed and nodded. "Yes, Lord Janus. To your inner chambers?" The statue nodded and went back to its watching, looking straight ahead like the life had gone out of it. "Come," he ordered, clearing his throat to help him lose the blush. He walked them up onto the statue's platform and pushed on a hidden switch inside an ear. "Janus was once imprisoned in this statue. That is why this one is so animated," he informed them as they walked through the open doorway and he shut it behind them. He said a few quiet words and the corridor lit up from the glowing ball in his hand. "Janus lives inside this statue, it is his essence now. For certain, special occasions, he is manifest. Usually the changeover from one set of high priests to the next set, and of course during the night when time ends and begins again." He led them back to the other doorway, letting them inside what would be the brain area of the statue. "The changeover is one of the new ceremonies that had to be created. In it, the old set anoint the new set with the sacred oils and welcome them...symbolically. In doing so, their futures are locked with that of Janus because he comes to help, spreading his seed inside them. It is said to help them later with the fertility rites and such that we've had to take over the pleasure of." He bowed to a doorway. He looked at Xander. "If the old one hadn't already died, you would have done that as well. Since we're adding Daniel, he's decided to do a welcoming ceremony and anoint you both personally, with my help if necessary," he said with a small smirk. "It is like nothing you will ever have again and all humans pale by comparison to his magnificence. It will be something you will remember and smile about on your death bed."
"That's not really my thing," Daniel noted.
Xander looked at him. "Relax, Dr. Jackson. Really, no one here's going to rape you or anything." He looked at Ethan, then bowed as the door opened and their patron walked out. "Lord Janus," he said respectfully, going to his knees. "You honor us with your physical presence."
"Hmm," he hummed, walking around his young side's priest, nodding at what he saw. "Sometimes the eyes of stone deceive but this time I think they saw clearly. A strong warrior with a heart of love. Rise, young one. You need not stay on your knees if you don't want to."
"As Lord Janus wishes," Xander said formally.
Janus laughed, pulling him up and making him look at him. "I wish to look at your big brown eyes and smile at your face, young Xander. That is what I wish. Later I may wish you to do more. Is that acceptable?" Xander nodded quickly, looking stunned. "Good. Ethan, get the bowl and phials." Ethan bowed and went to grab the waiting tray of herbs, oils, and mixing bowls of the purest gold and silver. "Good boy, Ethan." He stroked his face gently. "Through all the ones who have served me, you are still one of my favorites. Such audacity and cunning is admired and honored in this temple." He set the bowl down on a small table and crushed the first handful of herbs he'd had someone gather earlier in the day for his use tonight. "Daniel, you are being anointed tonight as my teacher, not as my priest, unless you so desire. As such, you will be welcomed, just not in the same way." He looked at him. "Unless you ask for it." He poured the first oil over the crushed herbs and went to the next bowl to do another set. Three sets of herbs and oil were mixed, then he carefully strained the first, taking a fingertip full of the fragrant oil to mark on Xander's chest. "You are my second side's chosen priest," he intoned, and a high, sweet bell rang in the quiet room. He kissed the boy, giving him a dazed and dreamy look. He strained the second and dipped his other index finger into it, making another, larger mark on the boy's stomach. "You are our protector, our young and fiery side," he intoned, and the bell rang again. Xander moaned and leaned into his finger. He smiled at the boy, then at Ethan. "Did you prepare him correctly?"
"Slightly, Lord Janus, though had I known I would have cleaned him first and not let myself go into his body."
"Ethan, you are precious and your seed is as my seed," he reminded him. He strained the third oil and nodded at Ethan to help the young boy to a comfortable spot. He turned, letting Xander's side come forward now. He brought the bowl of oil to where Ethan had laid Xander out for him, letting Ethan hold it as he got the boy undressed from his ceremonial clothing. Xander was wiggling and moaning in the absence of touch. Janus smirked and scooped out some of the thicker oil, using it to coat the pathway between the boy's cheeks. "You are mine, Xander?"
"I am yours, Janus. All of me! Anything you want of me! No matter what, I am yours!"
"Good," he agreed, smirking at the boy as he coated his sphincter with the oil. "And you will not fight my desires?"
"No, Lord Janus. I am yours," Xander said, pushing back but the finger didn't dip inside him. Instead it was withdrawn and more oil was added to it. "Please, Lord Janus, I don't care if I'm dry and I tear!" he pleaded.
"Shh. Patience, young one. You will have me soon enough." He went back to his preparation, anointing the inside of him, using his fingertip to draw a small design inside the boy's body. Finally he was done and he stood up, removing his robes with a flash of power. Ethan moaned and fell to his knees, kissing his erect and hard cock. "I know you remember yours, Ethan. Tell him how he will enjoy it."
"You will," Ethan groaned. "It is like nothing ever felt before, Xander. It is pure and hard and will make you ache and beg for more at every turn. You would do anything for another taste of it."
Xander looked up then leaned over, licking across the taut head. Janus moaned and Xander's eyes rolled back in his head. "That's how I imagined magic made you feel," he told Ethan quietly. "That pleasure."
"Do more," Janus ordered, shifting closer. Xander shifted, taking him in while looking up at him. He mentally prayed for as long as he could hold a thought, then the taste of the godly flesh overwhelmed him and made him lose his mind. He went further down than he thought he could. The God was truly bigger and broader than any human male he'd ever touched. Even the smooth alabaster channeling device wasn't this big. He made it all the way down and all of them moaned, even Daniel. Xander pulled back and licked his spit off. "That was excellent. Ethan only managed a third of it." He patted the boy on the head and leaned down, giving him a real kiss. "Are you prepared to take my seed and anoint yourself?"
Xander nodded, getting back into the position Ethan had put him into: head down, rear high, legs spread, hands on the arm of the lounging couch. "Please, Lord Janus. I need it so."
"I know you do," he soothed, slicking himself up from the oil Ethan's shaking hands were holding. "Calm yourself, Ethan, and I may just share more with you," he noted lightly. He approached the tender hole gently, lining himself up and shoving in as fast as he could. The boy screamed in mixed pain and pleasure, he had never been this open in his life, but he soon calmed himself and his body relaxed around his body. "From now on, young Xander, you will use only this special oil to prepare yourself." Xander nodded firmly, pushing back some. He didn't want to appear demanding but he was ready for more. Janus chuckled and started to move, giving him what he wanted. "From now on, your seed is my seed, Xander. You are my body when I can't be present. You are my equipment when one prays to me for such attention. You are the one who will give me someone to honor in my own name, as a son or a daughter. Your seed is mine."
"No more little Xanders," Xander panted. "Only little Janus's."
Janus laughed louder, pulling the boy up to sit on his lap. "That is correct. From now on, it will be the mixing of both sides' seed that will honor all ceremonies. You are mine!" He growled and pushed up harder, then let the boy do whatever he wanted. It took Xander a moment to get the clue but once he had it he was off and going hard, bracing himself against the God's thighs to steady himself as he rode the large cock in him. "Good, Xander, you do me proud," he purred, stroking the boy's cock for him. Xander whimpered so he enacted the last part of the magic, making him truly his. "There, now you are truly mine," he whispered in the boy's ear. "No more will you ever have to worry and wonder about who will hold you during the bad nights." Xander groaned and shook his head. "From now on, you will always be held. You will be held and honored and loved for being yourself. All of yourself, Xander. Even those parts that you know others don't like to see come out, they will love you for now." Xander came with a loud moan, going limp in the strong arms. "Are you mine? Do you vow to me and only to me?"
"I'm yours," Xander panted. "All yours. Body, mind, and soul yours, Janus. Use me as you would your own body or your own tools." He closed his eyes and relaxed. "Wow."
"From now on, it will feel better with Ethan," Janus whispered in his ear. "I had been letting him have you himself, but from now on it will be you two taking the other in my name and with my body made flesh. Do you understand?"
"I do, Lord Janus," Xander whispered. "I honor and praise you."
"Good boy, Xander. You rest. You'll need it." He laid the boy down after withdrawing, taking the oil from Ethan's hands. "Soothe him only, Ethan. He is still on a mystic high and won't be down for hours. Then you may have him."
"Yes, Lord Janus." Ethan curled up with the boy, holding him tightly. "Now you are my equal and opposite," he said quietly, stroking Xander's stomach. "We are one in two bodies, flip sides of the same coin." Xander snuggled back into his arms. "If you were back to normal, I would lick his seed from you, making you both of ours, but I dare not yet."
"In the morning," Janus reminded him. "Not before dawn." Ethan nodded, giving him a trusting look. "Good boy, Ethan." He looked at Daniel, who was sweating and shivering. "That is not for you unless you want it," he offered with a small smile. He turned around, letting his other side, the one Daniel would share, face him. "We can easily accommodate you if you so desire, young Daniel. You are going to become one of my favored to speak with about what happened to my people. I would not mind in the least if you asked that boon of me."
"It would protect him more from the aliens, Lord?" Ethan asked.
"It would," Janus agreed. "The taint that made them run from Xander is now gone, but he is left being able to feel them approaching and they cannot bother him. No symbiot will ever hurt him and none of them would dare touch him because touching him will destroy them immediately."
Daniel shook his head to clear it of the vision of Xander walking onto a battlefield and touching each Goa'uld and having them be burned to a crisp from that touch.
"Not quite like that," Janus said with a wink. "Though he could if he asked it of me. From now on, he will be both my high priest and Ethan's student." Ethan moaned in pleasure. "He will learn battle magic from both of us and Ares' own people." He walked closer to Daniel. "I could give you so much information," he soothed, stroking the side of the young man's face. "You could do great things with what I can give you. You could rescue your wife and make her human before her death. You could save your people. You could ascend to a higher plane as an immortal if you so wished. What boon would you like, Daniel?"
"I...." He swallowed. "I'm good," he squeaked
Janus laughed and leaned down, kissing him. "I know you are," he praised. He kissed him again and pulled him closer, starting on the first two parts of the ritual. When he looked at the third bowl, then at the young man, he saw the fear. "Would you be my true instrument?" he asked as seductively as he could. "Take my knowledge and use it in my name? Use it to save those who need it among my people?"
"Your people?" he asked, stunned nearly stupid.
"All your people are my people," Janus promised. "The same as all mine would become yours. Yours to teach, to help, to save." Daniel leaned closer, taking another kiss. "All you have to do is tell me yes."
"Yes," he moaned, and he found himself stripped with a touch of the God's power. He shivered in the suddenly chilly air and looked behind himself as the God followed the same ritual on his body. "Will it hurt?"
"Only for a moment, Daniel. You'll be fine," Xander promised in a dreamy voice. "There is nothing like it in the world." Daniel nodded and let the God lean him against a chair. "Even being virginal, you'll enjoy it."
"I'm not exactly," Daniel told him. "I don't remember it. It was fooling around in my undergrad."
"He never pierced you, you took his purity," Janus assured him gently. He finished marking the inside of the boy and stepped closer. "Relax," he whispered, sliding inside. Daniel shouted and he had to hold him up. "Breathe. Relax. It will be fine." Daniel whimpered and relaxed. As soon as the God felt him relax internally, he started to move. "Chant my name," he ordered.
"Janus," Daniel moaned, clutching the back of the chair. "Janus, please."
"Of course, Daniel." He sped up, making the young priest shiver and arch back against him. He let himself go, enjoying this one's body. As soon as the boy had released all hold on his control, Janus pushed him over the back of the chair, taking him that way instead. The boy shouted and grabbed on as best he could, letting him take full control of his body. While he was doing so, he laid certain information and pathways into his mind. Daniel would be his permanently, the same as Xander now was. All that Xander had to learn the hard way, Daniel would now accept as the correct way to act inside the temple. He glanced back at Xander, finding him trying to force Ethan into letting him suck him off. "Let him, Ethan," he ordered. Ethan nodded and relented, letting Xander suck on him. "Good boy, Ethan. You and Xander are some of my favorite priests. You fit so well. Even the one who forgot me would not cherish him like you do." He gave Daniel's body one last shove and let himself go inside him, watching as the boy flushed and then got off. His seed now marked the boy as his. No false God would ever touch him and none of their warriors would be able to harm him in a physical manner. He licked the sweat off Daniel's back. "When you are ready to take a mate, bring them to me," he whispered in his ear. "I will release your seed back to you for them alone. Until then, your seed is my seed. All of you is mine, Daniel. You are my instrument of justice, knowledge, and of beauty. Revel in that knowledge." He locked in the commands he had laid earlier and then let him go. He brought the boy over to where Ethan and Xander were lying, letting them have him. He expanded the couch and sat at the end while those two soothed and teased his new priest.
Xander licked over Daniel's throat. "May I, Danny?"
"Xander," he moaned, reaching for him. "I feel like I'm high."
"You are. Godly seed is addicting to us mortals," Ethan told him. "The myths have all said that people beg for a taste. You have inside you enough to addict a harem of women to Janus' orders." He licked the boy's sweaty chest. "You are his, and he is ours," Ethan noted. "We share with each other." He looked at Janus, who waved a hand. He bent to lick at Daniel's messy cock, making him moan and shift in Xander's embrace. "Let me taste, Daniel. You will enjoy it from either of us." Daniel let him suck on him, kissing Xander at the same time. Finally he came down a bit more and forced Xander back so he could taste him as well.
Janus released them from his direct power and watched as they pleased each other. Daniel was much better at oral sex than he had imagined. Xander was keening in need. Ethan's sphincter was flexing and wiggling as he licked the younger priest clear of his seed. He smirked as Daniel moved to his knees and presented himself for Ethan's pleasure, still sucking Xander's cock. He reached over and stroked up Ethan's crack, making him howl and plunge into Daniel's tired body. "Do well with them and I will bring the forgetter to you," he promised. "You may have him as a reward."
Ethan looked back at him. "I don't need him, Lord Janus. I need Xander."
"You need them both," he retorted gently, smiling at him. "You are not complete without Ripper, Ethan. We both know this." He kissed him, and Ethan's body started to move as if Janus was fucking him as well. "You will treat them well and they will be yours. Xander will be yours forever, Ethan," he promised quietly. "He will take your place and his will be taken by another priest." Xander groaned and shifted his butt backward so Janus could reach him if he wanted. Janus chuckled and inserted thick fingers into each of them, playing with his precious priests. They both howled with need and attacked their new partner, making him plead and beg for release. "Get him off, precious ones. He'll need to sneak back to his bed. His friends are already searching for him."
Xander got off first, and they both moaned. Xander slid off the couch and knelt in front of Janus' lap, giving him a pleading look. "May I, Lord Janus? You have not had another round of pleasure."
"Soon, Xander. This new year." He wiped off some of his spent cum and let the boy lick it off his finger. He understood how addictive his seed and his taste could become and he didn't want to ruin the boy for Ethan's pleasure. "Taste Ethan later today. We will have you at morning services." He stood up, kissing each of them, and each of them kissed him on the head of his cock in reverence. "Thank you, boys. Behave and be prepared for morning services."
"Skyclad?" Ethan asked.
"If you wish," Janus said tolerantly. Daniel looked shocked. "You may wear Xander's clothes, young one. Don't worry, we won't make you do that yet." He left, going back to reanimate his outer form. He looked down at the people searching his sanctuary. "He's fine, Captain Carter." Sam squeaked and looked up at him so he gave her a smug look. "We have been talking. I have set him a high goal, to reteach those pledges forgotten since we were taken from our homes. You will see him after morning services. Now take the stunned Colonel and go back to your rest."
"W...wh....what?" Jack asked finally, staring at him. "What did you do to Danny?" he demanded.
"Well, right now, he's presently resting from a small headache," he admitted. He knew that the marking and anointing often gave ones new to the art of male sex headaches. "You will see him after morning services. Go back to your rest. There is much to do tomorrow." Jack scowled. "I can enforce it if I so choose," he offered. He yawned. "Even I need rest."
"No, we'll go," Sam said, pulling on Jack's arm. "Come on, sir." She pulled him back to their room, looking at him. "Do you think he did something to Daniel? He looked really smug when he appeared. I heard him saying something about an anointing when I near the ear."
"I'm sure he's fine," Jack said firmly. "Probably just some religious crap." He sat down, staring at the door. "Should we go to this service?"
"Sir, I'm not sure they'd let us observe their native ceremonies," she pointed out. "It'd be better if we went to look at the armor and things, just in case something new shows up." She shook her head, not sure where that had come from, but it was a good idea. "Daniel will probably be in the library after the service."
"Fine, Carter," Jack agreed, grabbing his gun and heading out with her. He knew their guard was following them so he turned to look at him. "Where were the suits of armor tossed? We'd like to look at them."
"We had them gathered so we could do a full count. They're in the village square," he said, leading the way. They were piled next to the well so anyone could spit on them. Someone had even peed on one of the helmets. He noticed the others' looks of disgust and shrugged. "We do not appreciate their presence. They have already disrupted our lives and have taken us away from those Gods who used to look over us."
Sam blinked a few times, then looked at him. "A few have shown up. Mars, Ceres, and Hades." He broke out in a smile. "They lost touch with all of you and are now coming back. Daniel's job is to teach you how things were done so you don't have to struggle."
"Thank you, priestess. Thank you, Lord Janus!" he called, heading to spread the news.
Jack looked at her, looking confused. "How did you know that?"
"The little voice in my head said so," she told him, shrugging. "I don't know."
Ares appeared, buffing his nails on his chest. "You're welcome." He looked at Jack. "You'll get Jackson back in a year. At that time, you'll have to be prepared to claim him as yours. He'll need to be gentled back into the present time frame." He looked at the stunned officers. "What? You expected him to live like he did back at home here? Here he'll be a priest. He'll have to act like a priest. He'll have to attend the daily ceremonies and uphold the faiths. Once you have him back, you'll have to help him return to the man he wants to be. Or possibly you'll have to claim him in front of your General as under your protection."
"Of course he is, he's my best friend," Jack said angrily.
Ares chuckled. "Good. It'll make everything simpler." He looked at Sam. "You okay?"
She swallowed and shook her head. "No, sir."
"Don't sir him, he's not an officer," Jack snapped.
"He's Ares, God of War, he's a multi-star general and then some, sir," she countered. "I'm not disrespecting him. I've heard of what he can do from my father. Some of the Gods weren't Goa'uld. They were Gods!"
"Thank you, Captain," Ares said smugly, looking at Jack. "I can change you into something if you don't believe me," he said dryly.
"No, thanks, I'll pass," he said bitterly. "We will get Daniel back?"
"In a year. After you go home, you'll forget about the coordinates for this gateway until he comes back." Ares moved closer to him, looking into his eyes and making sure the man remembered it. "The moment he steps off the ramp to your gate, you will take him into your arms," he ordered quietly. "You will lead him up to the office. You will claim him as yours, doing whatever he wants and needs to return to his normal life. After that, he will be your responsibility." Jack nodded, swallowing hard. "Even that," he agreed, reading the thoughts in the tired mind. "For now, you really should rest. You'll be going back tomorrow and have a lot of debriefings. I've already fixed Hammond for your ease and comfort," he said dryly. Jack nodded, turning and heading back to bed. "You as well, Captain Carter. You'll need your rest." She nodded, heading after Jack. "Good," he purred, looking at the suits of armor. He pulled out his own dick and pissed on them as well. He hated those creatures. He wished it had been a live one. He smirked and headed for the enclosure holding the prisoners, pissing down on them. It made his day.
Xander came out of his happy daze in the temple during the morning service and blushed as he noticed he was naked, and so was Ethan. He gave him a look and got a lusty one in return, so he blushed brighter. They finished leading the prayer and went to their thrones to take petitions, joining hands across the smaller-than-usual gap. Xander held up a hand and Ethan smiled at him. "Hear me," he said quietly. Everyone looked at him. "Because of the invasion, we have been found." The crowd gasped and gave him adoring looks. "We have already had visitors. Ones who have come to help us all."
Ethan cleared his throat. "As such, we have named a temporary third High Priest to serve with us. He serves on my side of Janus. Daniel is here to teach the things that have been forgotten." The priests in the group gave him awed looks. "Also, there will be more visitors soon. We will not only have many celebrations for each deity we have been missing but also lessons to teach you what they were for."
Xander smiled at them. "We know that the anger and loss is still around, we do not wish to intrude on any grief or loss. The celebrations are to welcome them back into our lives. During the day there will be short lessons about each one that will be coming that night. Any and all are free to attend, from children to the oldest of the honored elders. The first will be in a week. We will be honoring Hades first since it was the deaths that drew them back to our lives. He was also the first here and helped the others to find us." He paused while the crowd chatted. "We have other news," he called. They all stopped to look at him. "Lord Hades called Lord Ares. He will be bringing a troop here to train and put up a temple. The guards in Janus' service will be allowed to do some training with them. Exactly how we're not sure yet." Ares appeared beside them. "Lord Ares. We were just announcing your presence. If that is all right?"
"It is," he agreed, smirking at the crowd. "Starting next week, the day after the celebration, I will be moving a troop here through the gateway. We will not be living in the town, but I will set up a time for anyone who wants lessons to interview. It may take a few months, but I will honor the present system in place."
Ethan nodded at him. "Thank you, Lord Ares. We honor and praise you. We could never hope to pray for success in battle without you." Ares smirked at him. "As such," he called to the crowd. "There will be some changes. Some of the ceremonies we have filled in for are going back to their original holders' shrines. Some will stay within our temple. The prisoners and anyone who wants will be building any shrines and Ares' temple."
"Also, a priest of Hades' is either here or nearly here," Xander added. "He will be helping with any funeral procedures." The crowd smiled at him for that kindness. "It cannot bring the lost ones back, but you were not forgotten. Many people wondered what had happened to your ancestors. Now, they know and you can choose what you want and need."
One brave priestess stepped forward. "If we want, we can change service?" she asked Ethan.
He smirked at her. "I have known for years that you should be Athena's. Should she come up and you petition her, Janus will set you free of your vows to him." She smiled at him. His eyes rolled back in his head. Then he shook his head. "Janus has also said that, if any of you want after one year he will take you back. He said that some of the ceremonies are not totally correct but done because of the energy that was needed to be generated here. As such, he does understand if you have problems getting used to the stiffer old ways. That is Daniel's other purpose."
She bowed to him. "Thank you, Lord Ares, Lord Janus, and High Priests." She stepped back into the crowd.
"Which ones have come up so far?" one young boy called.
"Just the three of us so far," Ares told him. "Myself, Hades, and Ceres. Jupiter and Juno have been told, but they haven't appeared here yet. Some of the younger, lesser Gods may have problems getting all the way up here, but they are not abandoning you. Juno has said that they can combine under one aegis or have one of the stronger ones help them with their areas." The boy beamed at him. "Also, since the temple will be out of town, we will have it reported if the warriors get into trouble," he said firmly. "It is not allowed." Everyone nodded. "Good." He looked at the priests. "I sent the others home since they managed to pounce Daniel before the service," he said quietly.
Xander nodded. "Thank you, Lord Ares. Once you're firmly established, I'll have the Commander for the guards come to you to arrange for time for our own lessons and training."
"That's fine. You've done very well on your own so far," he said, speaking to the room in general. "Even Jupiter said so." He disappeared in a sparkle of red lights. The crowd 'ooh'ed and sent prayers to the Gods that they remembered.
Daniel coughed. "I'll need a few of the more scholarly priests in the archives today," he noted. "I know some but not all of the intimate details and I'm assuming that we do have at least a book somewhere."
Ethan nodded. "It's back in the restricted section. Inside the blue-painted cabinet. Anything coded blue is ancient knowledge. Feel free to grab the scribes and things."
Daniel nodded and bowed to the statue. "Thank you. I think I'll go change."
"Keep it," Xander told him. "I've got two more." Daniel gave him a look. "Really. You'll need it for other ceremonies. We'll come pull you free of the archives tonight." Daniel nodded and left. Xander crossed his legs. "Now then, who has a problem that Janus can help with?" he asked gently, smiling at one young woman who was practically dancing in eagerness.
She rushed up to him and bowed in front of him, babbling quickly about her dream of having a child of Janus'.
Xander tipped her chin up. "If it happens, it will," he said lightly. "As such, we should talk privately." She nodded and went to pray in the private rooms for aid in having her dream come true. The next stepped forward, asking for the usual help to win his life's dream.
Xander looked up as a ship landed, grimacing when he felt the agitation that meant it was a goa'uld. The door opened and Captain Carter stepped off. "Hey," he said, nodding. "You one of them now?"
"No, but there's something you don't know about," Sam admitted as she turned to look in the ship. "Dad?" He came down the ramp. "There are Tokrah. They're good guys, resistance fighters and the like. They're on our side."
Xander shrugged. "Okay. Yay. Ares!" he called. "There's a hitch in that goa'uld thing!"
Ares appeared, looking at the man on the ship's ramp. "Huh. Captain?"
"Sir," she said, saluting him. "This is my father. He came to liaise with you, sir."
"Apparently there's a resistence beyond what Teal'c is doing," Xander said with a shrug. "I don't know, I only got called here because of the early warning system." He backed off. "With that said, I'm off to bless a berry field." He went to do that, leaving them to talk among themselves. He knew what, theoretically, the Tokrah were, but this was well beyond him. He prayed to Lord Ares to tell the people about this; he was confused. He heard a gentle chuckle and grinned, going to spread the news that was whispered in his ear by the God of War. He ran into the local priest and shrugged. "It was and it wasn't," he admitted at the harsh look the older man was giving him. "There's a sort of resistence within their own people that went beyond what I knew. That was one of them. They wanted to talk to Lord Ares. He's handling it." He grinned at the gathered people and their weapons. "It's not necessary. This one was part of the resistence. He's helping Daniel's people."
"Aren't you one of them too?" the priest asked.
Xander looked at him. "I was. Now I'm not. I have no reason to go back there." The priest looked upset. "I'm sorry, but I don't. My job there is done and here I'm still learning things. I'm needed here." He gave him a gentle pat on the arm, and dodged the knife he pulled to try and stab him. "Hey!" He kicked him, disarming him and getting him onto the ground. "Not nice!" He looked at the people, who all looked concerned. "I'm thinking he's having a bad headache," he noted. "I'll bring him back and bring up a new priest for you." The people all nodded and Xander got the priest tied up with their help. "Okay, berry field?" he asked, pointing in one direction. A little girl tugged on his hand and pointed in the other direction. "Cool. Then let's go bless the berry field," he said with a smile. "I love going to the market and all three of us adore berries from your lands. We even pay the full price for them at the market."
A few of the elders chatted with him about market prices as they walked. They liked this one. He was nice and decent about things. He didn't demand a tribute or a tithe. Maybe there'd be more like him coming.
Ares appeared and looked at the priest, shaking his head. "The boy is a protector. What part of his name didn't you get?"
The older priest groaned. "He is warping us! He is not one of us!"
"He is now. Janus blessed his seed and all that good stuff. Now he bleeds the blood of Janus and cums the seed of Janus. I'd be nicer in the future. He's just as strong as Ethan is, only nicer." He walked off, going to look at this berry field. He had tasted some of the preserved ones and they had been really good. He'd never tasted blueberries that had the taste of honey inside them. The people welcomed him and he saw why now. There were honey hives next to the field. They intermixed. "We like these," he told one elder, earning a shocked look. "Someone tithed some of the preserved ones. You tell me personally if my warriors cause you any troubles." He disappeared, knowing the people were liking him a lot more now. Xander had suggested he make small comments like that, that the people would worship him harder and longer because of it, and the boy had been right. He'd have to get him into a senior strategy class soon.
Xander looked up from his studies as a scroll was put in front of him, then looked it over. "There's a name for that!" he demanded, looking up at the God of War. "I thought it was just a 'you go there and get them in the crossfire' thing! I didn't know there was a name!"
"That's why you're to take the strategy lessons, boy," he noted dryly. He handed over a second scroll. "I want to know what of those you've personally done." He crossed his arms, waiting while the boy looked them over.
Xander laughed at the second one. "Hey, it's 'Xander's the bait' and it has a real name too," he said happily. "We've used this a few times. That and the third one, the 'run and ambush from the trap' one." He looked up and grinned. "I wish you had been in Sunnydale when I was."
"I don't. Bacchus gets pissed when we intrude on his domain," he said smugly. "He's very not fond of you by the way."
"Cool. Yay me. Can he take the thing that makes demons pant after my dick off now?"
Ares burst out in a loud, pleased laugh. "No, he said that was your punishment for taunting his greatest of childer, Spike and Angelus." He disappeared. "Tomorrow, four hours after morning services."
"Yes, sir," he called after him, putting up his other work to study this new scroll. He knew most of these already. He could see the battles in his head where they had used them. This was so cool! Wait until Ethan heard about this! He ran off to tell him, letting his other scroll close and smear slightly. He'd recopy it later.
Daniel came out of the back bookshelves already shaking his head. "That boy!" he said in disgust, coming over to clean up after him. "No respect for libraries. Considering how much time he spent in one, I'm shocked he isn't treating it like holy ground." A few of the lesser priests laughed and he looked at them. "He trained in a library. When he worked with Slayers, they lived in their library. He should be more respectful."
One of the lesser priests came over and helped him into a chair, getting him something to drink. "It will be fine, High Priest. Xandair is always like that. It is what makes him chosen of the second head." He went back to his work, untroubled by the outburst. Ceres had blessed High Priest Daniel with fertility and they all assumed he was pregnant because of it. It was normal when one was with child. Or possibly he wasn't, but they'd still forgive him for it because he taught interesting lessons.
Xander rushed into his and Ethan's room, hugging him and showing off the scroll. "Ares gave it to me. All those neat battle plans I used to use have *names*," he said happily, stealing a kiss. "I'm to take strategy lessons from his priests." He kissed him again and Ethan smirked at him, pushing him lower. "Mmm, treat time," he agreed.
The man sitting in the corner looked shocked and blinked at Ethan. "Him as well?"
"He is the chosen of the other side," Ethan said smugly. He pulled Xander off and turned him around. "Look at the boon we just received, precious one."
"Giles," Xander said, looking confused. He looked back at Ethan. "Are you switching off or am I?"
"Neither. He is an underpriest, Xander. He is here to help us." He kissed the boy and stroked down his stomach. "Ripper, the boy is my opposite and equal. He is Janus' high priest and my student. Do you appreciate him now?"
"I do," Giles groaned, watching how they glowed. He had woken up on this strange world this morning and wasn't sure of anything but he knew that Xander would protect him. Xander leaned back into Ethan's touch and kissed him gently. Or perhaps he was here to serve Janus and them in a more personal way. That would be something that would amuse Ethan to no end he supposed. He stood up and walked over, kissing Xander gently, then Ethan. "I'm at your service while I'm here," he said tiredly. He had no will to fight this one. Xander gave him a real kiss, using a finger to stroke himself and let him lick it off. He groaned at the taste. "Janus," he pleaded.
"Yes, we are his flesh made real," Xander said smugly. "Kneel, Giles." Giles fell to his knees, licking them both while they kissed. "Your idea?" he asked Ethan. Ethan gave him a smug look. "That's fine, I'll play with Danny." He winked and went to find him for some quick sex. Danny needed to relax more often anyway.
Ethan stroked through the thinning hair on his friend's head. "You will be happy here, Ripper. Just as Xander is. He took over what had been your place when we were younger." Ripper nodded, looking down. "He is very good. I'm surprised you didn't try him at least once back in Sunnydale. The boy is hot and wanton when you get him started." He pushed Ripper onto the bed and went to pleasure himself with him. It was his job after all. Not that Ripper would complain. He knew what was going on and how he would have to be to not find displeasure at their hands. It was a heady thing to finally get one over on his old friend.
Daniel gave his fellow priests one last kiss then walked through the open stargate, heading back to his own world. As soon as he stepped off, he saw Jack stiffen and walked up to him, giving him a smile. "Hi, Jack."
"Hi, Danny." He walked him up to the office and cleared his throat as he closed the door. "General, Ares told me I was to claim him as mine." Daniel gave him a startled look. "He said you'd need help getting used to this life instead of the hedonistic one you'd been living," he said dryly.
Daniel kissed him hard, then smirked at him. "I think you'll do just fine. Want to go to dinner?"
"Sure," Jack agreed, still stunned. "Sir?"
"Go," General Hammond said, waving a hand, giving Daniel a long look. "Come back in real clothes, Dr. Jackson."
Daniel looked down at his ceremonial skirt. "Sorry, sir, I came right after morning observances. It's formal wear there." He grinned and followed Jack out, taking him to picnic in the park. It was as close as he'd probably get around there.
Xander looked at Ethan, then shrugged. "I guess we're down to just us two again?"
"I believe we are," Ethan agreed, pulling him closer to kiss him gently. "I'll let you borrow Ripper."
"No thanks. He flinches each time he tastes me," he noted. Then he grinned. "I think he's missing what he gave up in his youth." He licked the other man's lips. "I guess I'll have to find a mate if I'm staying."
"You're staying," Janus' voice called. "Forever. You are my choice for the job. My sons, you are mine for eternity."
"Wow." Xander grinned in the direction of the temple. "Does that mean we can be anointed again?"
"Tonight, in the dead of the night," Janus agreed smugly. "Bring your toy with you, Ethan. He needs to see how good it can be so he can do the same."
"Yes, Lord," Ethan agreed eagerly. They went back to the temple together, getting ready for his pleasure that night by pleasuring each other in the baths. A good end to a rewarding day.