Note: this is thanks to many different bunnies that about half the Imaginings list added to.
Lords of the Magic Traveling Society.
Xander was walking through the cemetery on a summer patrol. Buffy and Willow were off doing 'girl things'. He wasn't sure he wanted to know what that was anymore. Seriously, he was tired of the women in his life. Or really the girls, you couldn't really call Buffy a woman yet. Or Willow. Sometimes not even Joyce when she and Buffy went shopping as only a Summers woman could. Which was fine for Joyce, a bit of deaging for shopping did a woman good, but sometimes he did wish the girls in his life would grow the hell up. Really.
Why was he doing a solo patrol? Because Giles said someone had to keep track of who was rising since the paper had been shut down right after graduation by some outside force. No one was sure yet but here he was. Why not the girls? Because Buffy needed a night off and he was about to leave on his roadtrip. So Giles had told him to do one since it was probably going to be extremely quiet tonight. Which he'd do with only mental complaining because *someone* had to. He got a few vamps as they came up, using his crossbow on a few others that were in a group farther away. He wasn't a slayer, he wasn't going to take on a pack situation. He was not stupid, no matter what they thought.
Xander kept moving. He only had a few more sites to hit before he could grab his packed car and spend the night somewhere *safe*. Because Sunnydale sure as hell wasn't. He finished his turn and was on his way back to his car at Giles' when he ran into a small gold coin on the ground. He stopped to look at it then picked it up after glancing around. No one was watching so it probably wasn't a trap. It was pretty, a bit tarnished but nice. He put it into his pocket and walked off.
He had to make two stops before he left town. Someone owed him some money and the other he needed to check his storage area. You couldn't trust vampires not to break into storage areas but he couldn't leave it at home or it'd be sold on him. The money owing person paid him pretty quickly but Oz was like that anyway. The other the building was still standing. He checked the one with his clothes. Still all there. The other he'd had for a bit longer and he visited it. It ... well, he had been picking up bad habits from the patrol circuit recently. Why leave things for the next vampire to pick up?
That was when the problem started. He, the building, and everything around it, went off in a flash of light. Xander blinked the light out of his eyes, looking around. Still in his storage area. He walked to the door carefully, listening before he opened it. He stared at the being there. It was humanoid. He *really* had to lay off the sci-fi he decided. "Hi, did you call?" he quipped sarcastically.
"I did," she said. She pointed behind her. "We need the help of someone who is known to protect others."
"Then why not call the slayer?" He leaned on the doorway. He wasn't going anywhere with her.
"We can only call those who might fit in here. Those who are mixed races."
Xander stared at her. "Fish DNA?" he asked dryly. "Really?"
She shrugged. "If you say so. Can you help us?"
He sighed but nodded. "Yeah, probably." He closed things up after grabbing two things. His car was there as he found. So was the rest of the storage building. He mentally shrugged and followed her. "Am I the only one they called?"
"No, sir." She looked at him. "We tried for one first and he was not very...protective."
"He screamed like a girl and passed out?" Xander guessed.
"Yelled and complained he wasn't someone else." She grimaced. "He's a bit soft. You are not. Or the others that got called this time."
Xander looked at her. "Have they yelled yet?"
"I'm not picking them up. They have others who are doing so."
He smirked. "Thankfully I don't tend to scream like a girl would. My slayer would be throwing a massive fit." She nodded slightly, walking him up to the main building. Really the only building he could see. He walked in and looked at the yelling men. One about his height, dark, messy hair. A blond that was maybe his age or a bit younger. An older guy with some silver in his hair. He cleared his throat. "If we're all throwing girl fits, let's wait until we know why they called us?"
"Are you one of them?" the guy with the silver hair demanded.
"No. I was in my storage area and it came with me." He shrugged. "I was heading off on a roadtrip anyway." He looked at his guide. "So, enlighten us. Why call us?"
"The thing is going to kill the rest of our people," she said, looking down.
"The damned creature won't die whenever I try," the blond huffed, crossing his arms over his chest and sulking.
Xander stared at him. "What sort of creature is it? How did you try to kill it?"
"It didn't do a thing when I hit it with a killing curse," he huffed.
"What does it look like, kid?" the older guy asked impatiently.
Xander's guide pointed. "Her. She's demanding we feed her and pay her tribute."
Xander and the others looked. "Huh." He had something to solve that thing.
"If I had a jet," the other two muttered.
"A what?" the blond demanded. "What sort of spell is that?"
Xander stared at him. "Calm down. Your world is mostly magical? No weapons, things like that?"
"Swords," he snorted. "Proper wizarding weapons."
"We have higher things."
"It's impervious to bullets," one of the other guides said. "One tried that."
Xander nodded. "Swords? Battle axes? Explosives?"
She shrugged. "We know not how to make or use those."
Xander sighed, pulling out the one he had brought with him. "Fuck it. Let's go see this bitch, people." They stared at him. "Now. So we can all go back to what we were doing?" They led him out to where the thing was sunning itself. "Yo, scaley!" he demanded. "At least you're not as big as the ascension but damn, do you stink. You mind moving on?"
The creature stared at him. "I will not and no puny human can make me." She sniffed. "Or ones who've been crossbred."
"Yeah, well, had to figure out why the swim team was going black and monsterish. Yay me," he said dryly, swinging on her. She yelped and moved. He lunged and she batted at him but he ducked and kept attacking.
"What are you?" she demanded.
He stared at her then smirked evilly. "A slayer's backup on the hellmouth." She stared then bowed slightly. "Oh, no. Buffy wouldn't put up with this shit." He swung and she tried to get past him but he wasn't really happy at the moment. He still had some post-battle stress to deal with too. Pity for the dragonish thing. He split the skin. "Now try the spell," he called. The boy swished his wand and Xander got out of the way. The thing died with a scream of pain. Xander looked at it then at the boy, smirking. "Nice shot."
"Of course. I'm as proficient as I should be given my station," he sniffed.
Xander and the other two shared a look then the old guy batted him on the shoulder. "Don't brag, kid. No one likes to hear those things and they make women run from you for being boring." He looked at the other boy. "How did you know how to do that?"
Xander smirked. "Ever hear of a hellmouth?" The blond shuddered. The two older guys who wanted jets shook their heads slowly. "Then don't worry about it." He looked at their host. "So, anything else that needs the sharp and pointy treatment to begone?"
She stared at him. "You are most skilled."
"No, I self-trained." He put the sword on his shoulder. "Can we go now? They look military and someone's probably going to be freaking out soon."
"We're not sure how to do so, sir. The one who did the summoning died calling you three."
Xander stared at her. Then at the blond. "Show him, he knows magic." She nodded, hurrying off to get the information for the young, huffy one. Xander sighed, sitting down. "Okay," he decided. "We'll see if we can get you guys back to your posts soon." He looked at the other one. "And you to wherever you were."
"Potions class. My head of house has to be quite upset that I was stolen from there."
Xander looked at his clothes. "That's your school uniform?" he guessed.
"No, this is what they gave me when I needed to change clothes," he admitted, looking at himself then at the other young man. "It's fairly comfortable and soft."
"All my stuff's here," he sighed. He looked at the other two. "You're... Air Force by your patches." They nodded. "Anything notable we need to hear if we're here for a bit?"
"We're both pilots but have done ground combat," the younger one said, looking at the older one, who nodded. "What's a hellmouth?"
"Don't worry about it. I doubt it's here."
"It's a place that's a thin spot between realms," the blond said, looking at him. "Why are you there? They're supposed to be dangerous."
"I grew up on one and now I'm working with the slayer on one," Xander shot back.
"Oh, I see. So you know how to use a sword that way...." He waved a hand at the carcass.
"Basically only self taught."
"Interesting. We've heard of her as a myth."
"Which one did you hear about or was it just general?"
"That was over a century ago, kid."
"My name is Draco Malfoy."
"Cool. I'm Xander. The current ones' names are Buffy and Faith." Draco gave him an odd look. "I brought Buffy back with CPR. You can tell whoever there's two but one's not real nice."
"I see. A side-effect of there being two?"
"Oh." He nodded once. "That's fine then. How long has yours been going on? I know they usually last about a year or so."
"Three years, just over three years."
Draco gaped. "How?" he breathed. Xander smirked and wiggled his fingers. "Oh, I see, she has help." Xander nodded. "Just you?"
"Our witch. A few other friends who help when we're overrun. Her watcher."
"Ah." He nodded. "I'll have to tell someone that when I get back." He frowned when it suddenly went dark. "What the bloody hell?" he muttered.
The two pilots looked up. "It's not a jet."
"It's not Superman," the older one quipped.
Xander looked at it then shrugged. "I could use my crossbow," he said quietly. "Draco, can you summon a crossbow with arrows?" The boy nodded, doing that. Xander shot it and it screamed as it fell. Xander saw it nearly falling on top of him and sidestepped it, then stared at the slightly flattened body. "Huh. Thanks, Draco." He put the crossbow down on the garden wall and hopped up to sit on it. "So, anyway. Guys, you two have names?"
"I'm Jack, he's John," the older one said with a nod. "How did you learn to do that, kid?"
"Necessity." He smirked. "Bad things love me. Literally." He looked at Draco again. "How old are you?"
"I'm an adult by our standards," he huffed.
"Draco, I'm eighteen. How old are you?"
"Nearly at that milestone."
Xander grinned. "It's cool. Why did they bring you?"
"They said something about crossbreeds but I know I'm not. I'm the son of the most influential pureblood there is in our world."
Xander shrugged. "Ask them what infected you. It could've been done that way. Mine's mermaid DNA because I was helping stop a coach that was feeding it to his swim team, and then they changed."
Draco looked confused. "What's DNA?"
"Um.... that stuff that makes you you instead of someone else?"
John coughed. "DNA is the stuff that everything has but it makes humans human and plants plants, plus it's what makes each human different, Draco."
"Oh, I see. How did he get mermaid DNA then? We're not compatible species."
"Steam," Xander said.
"Steam?" Draco asked. "Like those Sweedish saunas?"
"Yup, exactly. Maybe a special meal too, not real sure." He shrugged as he looked at the older guys. "Are you guys halfie or do you know why they called you?"
"A bug bit me and kinda turned me into one for a bit," John said carefully.
Jack grimaced. "Classified."
"Sure, I get that," Xander said quickly. "The US would want super soldiers. As long as they're not trying to end the world, it's not really my business. So you and Spiderman there can hang together and get along?"
"Yeah, he's one of my colonels actually," Jack admitted.
"Not quite Spiderman. I can't climb walls," John said with a small smirk. "Just a bit faster, stronger, that stuff."
"That's cool." Xander shifted.
"What're we doing now?" Jack asked.
"They're getting the information on how they summoned us so Draco can look it over," Xander told them. "Hopefully he can reverse it for us. If not, my friend Willow will be looking for me sometime. Probably not for months though." They all nodded at that.
"I've never heard of magic like this," Draco admitted. "It's not taught to us."
Xander looked at him. "Do you guys make mistakes like she does when she goes off on a wild tangent?"
"No, that's why we go to school," Draco said dryly. "Doesn't she?"
"No. There's schools for magic?"
"Yes, I attend one of the top ones in Europe."
"Oh, that's cool. Any in the US?"
"I'd assume so. Didn't they find her when she went to buy a wand?"
"You guys use wands?" Xander asked, looking confused.
"Yes. Doesn't your friend?"
"No. Candles, herbs, prayers to the Goddess, some really old books, no wand that I've ever seen."
Draco considered that. "I don't think our people can do that. How powerful is she, relatively?"
"Well...." He tipped his head to the side slightly. "She's closed the hellmouth twice I think. She's staked a few vamps by floating things at them." Draco's mouth fell open and he was staring. "She's stuck a soul back in Angel."
"She put a soul in an angel?" Draco asked. Now he was really confused. "Why?"
"No, his name is Angel. Well, Angelus when he doesn't have his soul. Huge ass ancient story. Basically, Angelus ate the wrong person and the gypsy clan gave him a soul so now he's atoning by helping our slayer and kinda lusting after her. Since they had the sex and he lost his soul, Willow had to put it back."
Draco blinked a few times. "What is he?" he asked cautiously.
"A vamp." They all stared. "A vampire. It's the major threat in my hometown. Why I was on patrol earlier before leaving on my roadtrip."
Draco licked his lips. "How did she restore this soul?" Xander told him the whole story of Angelus. At the end Draco shuddered. "She seems quite powerful but I have no idea how magic like that works as mine doesn't work that way. It might be interesting to find out. Might help me in our upcoming war."
"Why are you guys at war?" Jack asked, shaking himself free of the thought of vampires and teenage girls. Somewhere there was an emo kid with too much eyeliner who was sighing over that sort of story.
"The purebloods want to maintain our way of life and the rest of the inferior blooded people don't," he said simply. "It's only correct for purebloods to be on top. Your friend, isn't she a blooded witch?" he asked Xander when he started to scowl.
"No, her parents are psychologists. They tell you why you're crazy," he said at Draco's new confused look. "Well, those two kinda lecture and travel to talk about their books telling you how not to be crazy and raise your kids so they're not crazy," he admitted. "As far as I know there's never been any witches in her family."
Draco's mouth flopped open. "But bloodlines will tell and lead to stronger wizards and witches."
"Not if you look at breeding like you would champion animals," John said quietly. "Breeding for a trait can mess up the bloodline and create all sorts of instabilities in other areas."
Xander nodded. "Like most of the mixed-blood human guys are built better than white guys," Xander said. They all stared at him. "Willow and Buffy said so," he defended. "They have the pictures to prove it."
"I think that would depend on the originating races," Jack admitted. "Some are smaller than the normal US guys, kid." He looked at the other kid. "Tell me you're not some snob?"
"I follow my family's lead."
"Think for yourself, not your family," Xander told him patiently. "Otherwise you end up like them and then no one likes you." Draco slumped. "And here, we don't have pureblooded anything." He looked at the two pilots. "So, anything else we should discuss? Because them getting that information is taking a while."
"Where is this hellmouth?" Jack asked.
"What town, kid? So we can make sure nothing's going to spread."
"Sunnydale. We're from by LA."
"Is that why LA's so freaky?" John asked.
"No. We're about three hours away. We have nothing to do with Hollywood or those artistic types." They all nodded at that. "Though there's a high demon population in both LA and San Francisco so maybe they have something to do with the underground weirdness. You'd have to ask a Watcher."
"Maybe when we get home if we're in the same realm," John decided, smiling at him. "Relax, kid."
"I am." He shrugged. "I was in a real battle a few days back and was calming down so I could enjoy my roadtrip."
"There was a battle," Jack said flatly.
Xander nodded, pulling his feet up so he could cross them and lean on his knees. "Yup. Our graduation was attacked."
"That didn't make the news."
Xander grinned. "It did, but the stupidest cover story of a gas leak and explosion probably hit instead."
Jack nodded. "I heard about that."
"Not what happened. The town likes to make up excuses like that. We have people killed by barbeque forks and wild animals and gangs on PCP....."
Jack shook his head. "No. That's dumb."
"That's Sunnydale," Xander quipped.
"Our Ministry does the same sort of thing," Draco admitted. "Usually at the instigation of the Minister, who is an idiot."
"Did he do rituals to turn into a pure demon?" Xander asked.
Draco considered it. "I don't think he's smart enough to figure out he might be able to do so," he admitted. "He's not that ...well, intelligent is mislabeling it in his case." He looked around. "They're a bit mean. I called someone a true name and they swatted me," he said quietly, looking outraged.
Xander shrugged. "If they do it again and I'm there, I'll protest," he said. Great, he had another 'girl' around him and this one was just as spoiled. Hopefully the two pilots weren't as girlish. He looked at the two guys. "Are you guys going to get into trouble?"
"Things like this happen to us," Jack sighed. "You?"
"No, usually I just date bad things," Xander said with a small shrug.
Draco shook his head. "Demons?"
"Well, my prom date was a former vengeance demon," Xander offered. "But she seemed nice. Kinda."
"What do vengeance demons do?" John asked casually.
"Grant wishes in their areas. She was over women scorned."
"So, nutty ex's call," Jack said. Xander grinned and nodded. "Then she does what?"
"Depends on what the wish says. She told me a few of the most memorable ones she's done over the last millennia and a bit."
John squeezed his eyes shut then nodded once. "Yeah, you date bad things, kid." He stood up. "General, did you want a briefing since we haven't been able to talk recently?"
"Sure, Sheppard. I was wondering about that bug thing actually."
John shrugged. "It loved me," he said sarcastically. They walked off to talk together somewhere the two young guys couldn't overhear.
The demon finally brought the information out, handing it to Draco. He nodded and she left.
Xander cleared his throat. "Is this going to take a while? If so I should move my car here so I have clothes and the others can bum if they must."
"We can provide for you," the demon assured him quietly. "We will have the car moved here so you can have access to your other weapons." Xander dug out his keys and tossed it over. "I will show you to your room." Xander nodded, following her. Draco went to his. They were all in the same hallway so they could talk easily enough.
Draco settled in to look over the information. He wasn't sure he liked it here. They didn't have pumpkin juice. They didn't use wands. They didn't do things like he was used to. It was disconcerting and upsetting his delicate balance.
Xander came out of his room that night, looking around. No one was up, or so it sounded to him. He snuck down to the main room. No one in there. He found the kitchen and no one in there. He finally found a few people in the basement. "Why are you scared of the dark?" he asked calmly. The demons flinched. He stared at them. "Is there another one?"
"The world is not safe," one said.
Xander nodded at that. "Okay. Anything else we should hear?" He sat down in front of them. "I know the others might not understand but I am who I am."
They nodded. "We had looked at you first but you were busy with your battle," the one who had gotten him said.
"Which realm is this?"
"We are one of the hell realms because of the creatures."
Xander grimaced. "How many others are there?"
Xander nodded. "Okay, I'll want a list." They smiled and nodded. "Why call us for that one?"
"It demanded our lives in tribute," that one told him. "We were more before it came."
Xander stared at them. "So it was an emergency." They nodded. "Why couldn't you get us back?"
"The only ones with those powers are gone. It ate most of them first," one of them said quietly.
"Good to know. Will Draco be able to do it?" They shrugged. He shifted. "Anything else I should know?"
"We can get minor communication back but I'm not sure how we would get to one's homeplace."
"If you're talking about John's people, he and Jack are serving in the same post, even if they're on different bases." They smiled. "Anything else I should hear?"
"There are specific things that must be done to kill the other creatures. Then our realm can be reborn. Even as a hell realm we are not evil."
"I know. Hell realms are that way because it's someone's definition. I got that lecture from Giles." They smiled. "Give me a list, including how they're killed. If we have to, maybe I can help." He got up. "Anything else I should hear?"
"We'll tell you if we should find something."
"Thank you." He walked up, going back to the kitchen he had found. He was hungry. He raided the fridge and went back to his room to nibble and think. So he was in a hell. Wonderful! It was clearly Sunnydale luck. He hoped the girls didn't hear about this. They'd rag on him for years and he'd never hear the end of it. He finished his sandwich and laid back down, thinking about what needed to be done. Well, it wasn't the roadtrip he had wanted but it was traveling and learning new things.
Rodney McKay walked out of the stargate, looking at the grim looking faces. "Were we attacked?" he demanded. "I'm gone for a week and we're attacked?"
"No," Elizabeth Weir said. "John was taken. It looked like he was beamed."
"Then the Asgard must have done it," he said bluntly, coming up there to look at the computer system.
"No, there weren't. As far as we can tell no ships were in orbit."
Rodney McKay was a genius. So there had to be a logical explanation. Of course there didn't seem to have one. "No ships," he said grimly. "So who beamed him out? Did the gate open?" They shook their hands. "At all between the two times?"
"No. The only times we let it open were incoming teams. We have one that we haven't been able to contact. We left you a message to call in as soon as you got within range of the gate," Weir complained.
Rodney dug out his earpiece to hold it up. "Swamp." She sighed. "Nothing went out?"
"We checked to make sure," the computer tech for the gate assured him. "No outgoing information packets at all, Dr. McKay. According to the security footage and reports, he just disappeared in a flash of light."
"That's impossible. He has to have went somewhere," he complained loudly. "What was he doing before then?"
"He was in the middle of a hallway, drinking some coffee," Weir said. "He ran into one of the botanists who had a question about an upcoming mission. They weren't touching, were about a foot apart. We've scanned the hallway and the botanist. He's not out of phase, out of time, or anything else that the SGC has run into."
Rodney stared at her. "Who evaluated the data?"
He sighed. Radek was usually suitable to do that. "Give it to me. I'll find the colonel." She handed over the tablet PC. "Is there anything else?"
"Not yet," she admitted. "We hope."
He nodded, walking off reading. It seemed impossible so he had to find an answer before any of the usual problems could crop up to cause them problems. Sheppard would be pissed that he missed an invasion or something like that.
Sam Carter sighed, looking at the higher ups staring at her. "Sirs, for all we know, Thor wanted to have a talk. We can't find any evidence that the general was taken by anything other than a beam-out. Which should be the Asgard." They all sighed at that. "Thor has taken him before. For that matter, Loki might have gotten loose and taken him again. At this point, he's probably in non-hostile hands. I wouldn't worry, sirs. If they are bad, the general is more than capable of making them sorry in many ways."
The head general was grimacing. "Are we sure it was the Asgard?"
"We don't know many races that have beaming technology, sir. And really, what else could it be, sir? Magic?" He snorted, shaking his head. "It's the only logical solution. He'll get a message to us when he can and if there's a problem we'll know."
"I want informed as soon as we do hear from him," the general said. "If he shows up having been fishing with Thor, or anyone else, he'll be filling out paperwork for *years* on septic tank cleanouts, including personally measuring the contents." He stood up and walked off. The other generals followed.
Carter shook her head, leaning back to rub over her face. "Mitchell, find him?" she said quietly.
"We're already searching, Sam."
"Good." She looked at him. "If it wasn't the Asgard, we have problems."
He nodded. "We'll find him. The general is a tough guy. He can handle it until we find him and blow the hell out of them." She nodded and left, going back to looking over the information. Mitchell went to talk to the other team leaders. They had to make plans to rescue him. The general got into the damdest places and situations sometimes but this time he hadn't gotten to bring Jackson. It was unusual.
Xander looked at the people the next morning, making breakfast for everyone. "We've got anything yet, Draco?"
"Not yet," he admitted quietly, sitting down in a free seat. He watched, then looked around. "No little demons?"
"No. No demons. They're still in the basement."
"Why were they in the basement?" John asked. "Did we take their rooms?"
"No, those two were part of the sixty or so here." Xander handed him the spatula once he had his plate. "Scrambled because I'm not going to deal with anything more complicated before caffeine." He sat down once he had some toast.
"Sixty?" Jack asked.
Xander looked at him. "We're not obligated but if they know we're here...."
"We're tasty," John finished with a sigh at the end.
"Or at least I am so I should probably hike out to see if I can get them before they get me."
"I don't think there's other buildings," Draco said calmly.
"The storage building my stuff is in came with me. I can camp there. I'm sure at least one of the bays has furniture."
"Won't someone notice it being gone?" Jack asked. "It's a building fercryin'outloud."
"They'll probably say it was burned down. Give people insurance stuff." Xander shrugged. "Sunnydale residents have a good case of denial going. We've walked down the street before with swords and no one saw anything. Including the cops."
John and Jack stared at each other then at the boy. "We need to move our project to your town," John sighed, digging in.
"Our town is dangerous and we have a thirty percent death/missing persons rate," Xander offered. "Teach the MP's to stake."
"It might come in handy, yeah," Jack decided. "Any idea what our people are thinking?"
"I remember a bright flash of light," John said.
"So they probably think it was... The little guys."
Xander looked at him. "So, are the Roswell Grays real?" They both choked. "Sorry, had to ask. Willow said something about you guys knowing about things from space but it was all very sci-fi and she's more a romance novel person. She decided the next morning it was the wine she had snuck and vowed to be sober from then on because it gave her nightmares."
"So you know something about our project?"
"Only what she babbled to the group." Xander looked at Jack. "Yeah, heard your name, realized it last night. I don't really care as long as you're saving the world, dude. That's all I care about. That and you won't destroy humanity with a mistake."
"We try really hard to live by that code, yeah," Jack sighed. "Where did she find that information?"
"Something about a tv show...."
"Oh, them," Jack muttered. "Yay."
John looked at him. "I saw that show," he offered with a grin.
"Don't tell Jackson, he'll have seizures."
"Sure, I can do that. I'm sure McKay twitted him about it a few times."
"Oh, more than. That's one reason why Carter wants to lock him in a closet." John snickered. "Permanently."
"I have that urge sometimes too." He ate another bite. "Xander, you shouldn't go. We have no way of getting in touch with you and you probably wouldn't have food stores out there."
Xander nodded. "But you guys could be in danger if I stay and it's drawn to me."
They all stared at him. "I think they can handle such things," Draco said quietly. "I, myself, loathe to fight unless I know I'm going to win, but I see no reason to remove the only person who knows how to protect us if they should come anyway."
"I need to look over what came anyway," Xander sighed. "Draco, any luck?"
"It's very confusing but I'm not sure. It seems to rely on the sort of magic your friend does instead of what I've been trained to do."
"Well, maybe we'll see if there's something in the storage building. I'm not sure if Giles' unit is in there or not. If so, half the library's contents are in there. I know he has books since he took them back from Willow." Draco nodded at that, eating delicately. "Eat like a real guy, Draco. We all are." He finished up and got up. "Let me grab something and I'm hiking back to the building. I have a cellphone." Jack pulled his out of his pocket. It was habit that he grabbed it that morning. "Cool." He showed him the number, letting him program it in. "Let me check those areas out. If I find any books on magic, I'll drive them back." He jogged up to his room, grabbed his sword and pocket knife then headed down to the front door. "I'm going now," he called as he walked out. It was a good hike but Draco was right that it was the only other building in the area. Thankfully it had been a small storage unit system. Two buildings so he had a good chance of having Giles' stuff with them. Maybe some other interesting things too. He hoped.
Xander parked the car and got out, opening the door. "Draco, come carry, dude." He opened the back door of his POS boat car, which it was but it had been cheap. Draco and the other two came out, hefting books inside. Xander got the three other things.
Jack paused when he saw what he was carrying. "That's artillery, kid."
"I know that. We might need it."
"Who had that?" John demanded.
Xander grinned. "One of the other areas." He got the other two and brought them in by himself. "In case we need it."
"You'll be showing me so I can report them," Jack ordered.
Xander stared at him. "There's a good chance they're demonic," he said dryly. "Are ATF agents *really* going to arrest a demon?"
"Probably not," he admitted. "We can confiscate it."
"Sure, once we get home, if it follows us back, you can confiscate it if you're in my realm." He grinned. Jack glared. Xander just pointed. "These are all the magic books I found, Draco. They range from chaos magic through beginning stuff to the soul sealing stuff." Draco nodded, settling in to find something to help them.
"Oh, geez," Jack complained when the sky went dark. "Again?"
Xander looked out there and waved with a grin. "You owe Willow ten kittens, Homer." The thing flew off as fast as he could. "Tell her we're stranded too!" he shouted after him. "That could help." They got back to sorting. Xander spotted one. "That is chaos magic," he warned. "Kinda dangerous."
Draco looked at him. "It's what you use it for that's dangerous."
"I knew that but it's also slightly addicting, or so Giles said. That's what he said was wrong with Ethan Rayne and why he did shit like turn us into our Halloween costumes one year. Or make the deaging candy that turned Giles and Buffy's mom into mental teenagers again." Draco stared at him so he told him about those. Jack and John both shuddered at the very thought of Halloween.
One of the demons came out to look at them. "Master Xander, we need permission to go to the farm."
Xander looked at him. "Why do you need permission? It's your farm."
"Because it could be dangerous."
Xander stared at him. "I still don't see why you need permission."
The demon swallowed. "It appears you are well feared by the lower courts."
Xander shrugged. "I know a few who I like and can get along with. I know a few I've killed. Like anyone else who hunts. If you need to do work stuff, go do work stuff, just be safe. We have no idea where this farm is. Or if the thing we killed yesterday is eatable."
"It spoke," John pointed out.
Xander stared at him. "All animals communicate, we still eat most of them."
"Yeah but it was more sentient than a cow," Jack said.
Xander shrugged. "If cows and lobsters talked, would you eat them? Most people wouldn't care. Humans have this thing about seeing only themselves as the sentient species, even if dolphins are smarter than half my classmates."
"I think every school has those sort of students," Jack admitted.
"Ours more than most," Xander agreed. "Because we're just a fattening barn for the demons and vamps in town."
"If we're in the same realm, your school is getting a good look-over, kid," Jack assured him with an evil smirk.
"McKay's been bored," John offered casually. "He's one of the smartest men on our planet and would probably *love* to make sure that some geniuses were going to be carrying on after he's gone."
Jack looked at him. "That's evil, Sheppard." John just smirked back and sipped his coffee. "I think he and Sam can do it together."
"You know he still drools on her, sir."
"I know, but it'll do her good. Get her annoyance levels up so she can chew people a new one in finest McKay fashion too." He sipped his own coffee.
Draco looked at them. "Why would they be yelling that way?"
"McKay yells at all idiots," John told him. "For many hours at a time." Jack nodded quickly. "Sam Carter is the head of science for the base and she's... well, she's also a soldier and she hates that McKay likes her. So she'd be annoyed and could yell just as well as he does I'm sure."
"Sam's not mean but if you annoy her too much she'll blow up your planet," Jack agreed. Xander stared at them. "What?"
"Was there sentient life on that planet?"
"We couldn't deal with that, kid. Sometimes...."
Xander held up a hand. "Trust me, I've been there more than once, but I'm not real comfy with the topic of genocide over breakfast. Enemies, sure, but anything else around there?"
"We didn't have a choice." Xander stared at them. "It would've meant losing our planet," Jack finished.
"Then create a black hole." Jack gaped. "If they're that sort of smart they should be able to. One of our geek trio made one for the science fair in ninth grade. The other one did a side-project to show what would happen if you created one within an artificial environment like a space ship or biodome." He smirked. "The other was an engineering geek so he went to a special school."
"We're so recruiting them," John muttered into his coffee.
"They want to be evil overlords," Xander warned. "Warren's cracked."
They both nodded. "We know scientists like that," they assured him.
Xander grinned. "Good. A few of them could use some good backbone work. Warren's overpowering them." That got an eviler smirk from John. "Have fun with them, guys."
Jack smirked at John. "Do you think they could help you?"
"I think McKay would shit bricks if you sent him non-PhD people, General."
"Possibly." He considered it then smirked. "But we can make sure they get them." He went on making happy plans. It'd give him something to do since he didn't do magic crap and they hadn't been attacked yet.
Xander looked outside as someone huge landed. The ground shook so they had to be huge. He walked out there. "Homer, when you go to pay Willow can you please tell her we're trapped here? Or maybe sooner if you're avoiding her?"
The demon stared at him. "Why are you here?" Xander pointed at the carcass. He looked and shuddered then sighed. "That makes much sense, Harris." Xander grinned. "Fine, I will pass that information back." He stared at him. "She is not having a good week."
"Her parents back?" he quipped. The demon nodded. "That's fine. She'll deal and head to the college soon." The demon smirked. "She is." He shrugged. "Anyway, can you please tell her so we can get back home? Two of the guys are military."
"I can do so." He sniffed him. "You still have the smell of the ascension battle."
Xander shrugged. "I'll soak later. I've only had a few showers since then." The demon nodded. "Anything else I should know?"
"If they mean you to take out the creatures, you'll need more than two confused military people and a wizardling."
Xander smirked. "They brought my *whole* storage building, Homer." The demon whined. Xander grinned. "Not much more than bullets in it but...." He waved a hand. "I'm inventive."
"Fine. I will leave you with that warning. The others usually nest in that area," he said with a point at the mountains off to the west. "It's about a two-day walk."
"My car's here."
"Then it'd only be a ten hour climb," he assured him. He took off. "I'll be going back there soon so I'll tell her."
"Thank you." He watched him fly off. "That was handy to know." He went back inside, walking around John and Jack. "Willow plays kitten poker with him."
"Kitten poker?" John asked, then shuddered.
"Yeah, it's their version. I'm not bad but she can play pretty good." He grinned at Draco. "We can teach you how to play regular poker if you need to. It sounds like we're going to have a few longer nights until we're back home."
"I'm still working on it," Draco sniffed.
Xander patted him on the arm. "Of course you are, Draco, but that's a backup plan. In case you can't."
"Oh, I see. Thank you for not doubting my skills then." He went to get the books so he could go back to his studying.
Jack and John grinned at the kid for the good job he had just done. "You still can't keep artillery, Xander," Jack ordered.
Xander smirked. "That's assuming you're in the same realm I am," he quipped. He strolled off. "Let's see what's for lunch."
"Fine," John agreed. He and Jack shared a look. Jack nodded him to get the boy to talk while he went to 'help' Draco and make him talk about what was going on in his people's war.
Xander came down to breakfast a week later, finding a large nose in the doorway and John staring at it. Xander walked between them, breaking his line of sight. John slumped down, passing out. "Huh." He looked at the nose. "That won't work on me."
"You pathetic human," he sneered.
Xander bowed. "Hellmouth baby too, dear." He blew a kiss then grabbed something he had put in there to kill the demons. It screamed and died. "I'll have to set you on fire so we don't have to climb over you," he decided, walking into the kitchen. "Jack, John passed out when the demon quit mesmerizing him." Jack jogged out to check on his colonel. It was so cute he was so gushy over his colonel! Xander and Draco had decided they were together in that special *flying each other* way after breakfast earlier in the week. Draco was reading a magic book while he nibbled so Xander sat down. "Any hope?"
"Some. Some of this is more complicated than our year was being taught." He looked up. "My parents had me learn some theory but our school has been dreadful since the hero was attending. We can't even keep defense teachers and that's the most important subject for him." He went back to reading. "Wandless magic is fairly frustrating and hard."
"I wouldn't know. Spells go oddly around me," Xander admitted. "Willow went from floating a branch to closing the hellmouth."
Draco looked at him. "Shouldn't there be a normal progression to other harder spells and the like?"
"Probably but the closing was an emergency."
"I see." He considered it. "She really should have a teacher."
"Giles is letting her borrow books."
"That's not a teacher. If she's powerful enough to pull us home, and that killed the demon who pulled us, then she's probably going to get into trouble."
Xander shrugged. "I guess it'd happen." Draco sighed but shook his head. The two military guys walked in together. "I'm going to set that thing on fire so we don't have to walk over it. Let me eat first."
"Let's all eat first," John agreed. "It might turn our stomachs." They settled in to eat and ask Draco questions about magic. John was pretty good at theoretical things, he had a degree in math, so maybe he could help. Or something. Cheerlead at the least.
Xander scouted the other creatures, finding a nice spot in a cave with a silvery mirror. Behind him he heard creatures bellowing 'food got delivered' and sighed. Of course, that was the way his luck went. He checked the silvery spot. It felt like a wind was coming through and he was wondering if he could get home through it. Of course, that was apparently enough for the spell to warp because it was him in front of it. Someone stumbled through, shooting at the portal. "If you break it, it can't send you home," Xander told him. The man glared at him. "Hi, I'm Xander. Did you see a portal on that side? I haven't even touched this side yet."
"Come on, Food, get out here, we're hungry!" a loud voice called.
Xander huffed. "Fuck off, I'll destroy you in a second!" he yelled back. He looked at the man with the shotgun. "May I borrow that? I stupidly only carried a handgun, a flare gun, and my battle axe."
The man stared at him. "Where is this?"
"No fucking clue, dude. All I know is that some lesser demons called me and a few others to beat the demons that were using them for food. We've killed a few. I was scouting the others."
"He brought more food!" the voice called, sounding happy.
Xander took the gun and walked out there, shooting it up the nose. The demon screamed, flailed a bit, then died.
The guy came out, handing over a few bullets. "That's only rock salt. Consecrated iron might work better, kid."
Xander looked at him then reloaded and shot the other three with them. "No, they're killed with iron. That one's killed by beheading." He handed off the shotgun, pulling out his axe, and lunged, catching it while it was flailing and fussing at its nose. Pity. The other three flew off before he could get them. "Yes, bitches, run before I fucking bring the hellmouth here!" he shouted after them. "Idiots!"
The older man looked at him. This was stranger than he was used to. "Who are you?" he asked calmly.
Xander looked at him with a grin. "Xander Harris. I help a slayer on my hellmouth."
"I've heard myths of hellmouths."
"Draco said the same thing," he said cheerfully. "We should see if you can get back through there. So you're not stuck." He heard a 'swoosh' noise and looked. "Hey, Draco. There's a silvery spot in that cave that brought him, thankfully with his shotgun. I need to carry bigger guns."
Draco landed, leaning his broom inside the cave, looking at the other man. "Is he fully human?"
Xander shrugged. "I guess. Why?"
"Because they called us due to the minuscule DNA taint as Jack explained to us," Draco said impatiently.
"See if it'll work then," Xander offered. He pointed. "It's in there." The boy stomped that way. "Sorry, he's missing being a badass wizard with a daddy who owns half the world, including part of his school," he said quietly. "We need him but he's cranky this morning."
"There's schools for magic?"
"I have no idea if they exist in other worlds or not. If so, I'm hoping the witch we work with can get some training." They walked back inside. Xander heard a noise and got the shotgun, coming out to get the demon. It died and he walked back in there. "There, now we're down five more."
Draco looked at him. "Jack was complaining that you weren't leaving them any."
"They can shoot, they're Air Force guys. I brought guns." The older guy looked at him. "So, got a name?"
"John Winchester. Demon hunter."
Xander beamed. "Cool." He found his copied notes on the demons. "We have these." He pulled out a pencil to cross some off. "Minus the ones I killed. Got any ideas?"
John looked them over then at him. "Explosives?"
"I can do that," he said with a happy smile. "I did it at our high school to kill the newly ascended demon."
John blinked a few times. "You're from my world then. I heard about the high school with an explosion recently during graduation."
"He turned into a ninety-foot, snakey style demon. We didn't have a handy volcano. It worked."
John nodded. "Good job then, Xander." He patted him on the back. "Anything I can do to help you guys get home if you can't use this? And what taint was he talking about?"
"In my case, the swim coach was exposing us to mermaid flesh and blood so I've got some minor fish DNA. Draco's ancestors apparently wanted Legolas way back when." John nodded at that. "The other two, one was a bug that bit him and the other's classified."
"Huh. Okay. Got names?" Draco charmed a spot of rock that was sprinkled with quartz to reflect then charmed it to call the study area they had made. "Hi," he said at the older guy that appeared.
Xander stepped into view. "I was staring at the spot, thinking about destroying the ones who called me food, and he got dropped through the portal, Jack. This is John Winchester. He's a demon hunter and he's from my realm at the very least."
"Is there anyone I can get info back to so they're only slightly worried about you?"
"Yeah, his friend Willow may be able to pull us back," Jack said. "Draco, can you get letters to him if we write them out?"
"Of course," he sighed.
"Thanks, kid." He and John wrote out short messages to their people. Draco summoned them and let John have them. They walked him closer and the portal sucked him through. Jack sighed. "Draco, will that work on us?"
Draco shook his head. "Pure humans, probably for food procuring." He canceled the other portal, looking at Xander. "We have to make it past them, don't we?"
Xander grinned. "Think of it this way, Draco. It's an adventure and you can prove you're a badass just like the others." He smirked. "C'mon. Fly for right now if it's safe." They checked. Two flying creatures. So Draco shrank his broom and put it in his pocket for now. Xander shot at them, Draco sent a few hexes. One of the demons fell from the sky, splatting on the rocks behind them. They ran off and Draco took out his broom to enlarge it so they could fly off together. They went back to the building and went inside.
Draco put up his broom and Xander went to get something to drink. "He's insane," he complained quietly.
"Warriors are like that," John quipped back. "I have one on my team and he's the same way."
"If you're sure he won't kill us too."
Jack shook his head. "No, he's frustrated and it needs to be done to protect the people here." Draco sighed but nodded. They'd get him used to protecting people and how guys like them thought before he had to throw a fit and try to sedate them for being too heroic sometime.
John Winchester reappeared in the cemetery, staring at the night sky. He looked at his son, who was staring at him oddly. "How long was it?"
"Thirty minutes. Where did you go?"
"A realm that's overrun with demons but a few hunters and military guys got summoned there." He scowled as he walked off. He had to get those letters to their people and find that witch. No one, especially a hunter, deserved that fate. Especially not kids and military guys. Air Force people weren't Marines, like he had been, so he doubted they could fight. That Xander kid needed taught better with a sword too. They'd all die if he left them there.
John stopped at the gate, picking up the letter from the seat beside him. "Sergeant, I got given this letter for someone on this base," he said, showing the instructions. "The person who gave it to me is trapped doing something and wanted his superiors to know."
The man took the letter. It was unsealed so he could tell it wasn't a bomb. The signature on the letter made him mentally swear. "Sir, where did you get this? Someone will want to know."
John looked at him. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you, Sergeant. I don't and I was there." He saluted. "Two Air Force guys were there."
"Thank you, sir. Can I have some contact information in case their coworkers want to know? One's our general," he said at the odd look he got.
"Sure, kid." He wrote down his cellphone number. "That's mine." He rolled up the window and turned around, driving back to Colorado Springs. He had no idea the shit storm he had just unleashed.
Sam Carter jogged out to the gate. "Someone gave you a letter from the general?" she demanded.
"Yes, ma'am." He handed it over. "That is his cellphone number in case you needed to talk to him, ma'am, and he said I wouldn't believe where he was. I also took down his license plate and truck's description in case you needed to find him again."
"Okay." She read over the note, then sighed. "Thank you." She took it back downstairs, finding the others waiting. "Jack sent a message. They have John Sheppard as well," she reported, handing it to Mitchell. "They're not on earth."
Mitchell read it, nodding some. "I read that file." He handed it back. "So how do we get them back here?"
"I don't know yet. We have the number of the person who delivered the letter. Let's debrief him, Cam." He nodded and followed her.
John found Willow two days later. The military was doing freakish things, but what else did he expect from the Air Force. He'd ignore that information, including what they *didn't* say, when he had time. Looking up that kid in the hunter's community and underground got him where the kid was from and who he worked with. He found the blonde, yappy thing fighting a demon and shot it. She jumped, turning to glare at him. "Miss Rosenburg?" he asked. The redhead raised her hand slowly. "I'm John Winchester, I hunt demons, and I got pulled to the realm where your friend Xander, two Air Force guys, and young teenage wizard are trapped."
She stared. "He's on a road trip."
"No, apparently they called him because he had some fish DNA and the minor demons were being eaten by the bigger demons. They thought he could help solve that issue."
"Fish DNA we know," the blonde admitted. She pushed her hair back and pulled it up into a ponytail. "Two Air Force guys and a teenage wizard?"
John shrugged. "I was only there for a few minutes. He took my gun to kill the demons who wanted to eat them. The wizard reset the portal I got pulled through." He looked at Willow again. "They seemed to think you could help them get home. Wanted you, specifically, told."
"Did they send you any information beyond that?" she asked.
"No. The portal that brought me and sent me home only works with pure human DNA. The wizard, your friend said something about a Legolas in his ancestors. I didn't get that. The two Air Force people had me deliver a message so they weren't AWOL. One had been bitten by some sort of bug that corrupted his DNA and the other your friend said was classified."
"Huh," Willow said. "Okay, that gives me a way to search. They're not on earth?"
"No, your friend Xander said it was a realm I think. That we were in the same world because I heard about your graduation and knew what a hellmouth was. The wizard, Draco, had been taught myths as well so he might be from here too. The two military people are from here, one was a general in Colorado as I found out from his people."
She nodded. "Okay, I can look that up. Thank you for that information." She smiled. "It's like Xander to get into really big trouble he needs help out of."
John stared at her. "Draco was muttering about why didn't the demon that pulled them use that instead to get someone who was a hero instead of them. Apparently whatever spell summoned them, killed the caster and I saw a storage building."
Buffy and Willow shared a look. "I knew it didn't burn down."
"I guess not," Willow sighed. "It gives us a better search method. Thank you, Mr. Winchester. Safe hunting."
"You as well. By the way, the boy didn't look that bad with the axe when he killed four demons or with my shotgun when he killed those." He nodded and went back to his truck. Clearly that team had some issues. He couldn't get in the middle of that but he hoped if the kid was going to hunt, they liked him more than it seemed.
Buffy and Willow shared another look. "I'll meet you at Giles'. Let me finish this cemetery," Buffy sighed.
"Sure. I have to pick up a few things anyway." She ran off, going to the store and then to the Watcher's house to see if he could help her. They would get to nag Xander for *years* for this.
Xander hummed while he fixed the explosive devices, then the fuses. Jack was staring at him. Xander beamed at him. "John suggested it."
"Wonderful. How can you do that?"
"Internet. Willow found the instructions while we were debating how to blow the library, and therefore the demon, up."
"Ah." He nodded once. "What do you do, kid?"
Xander beamed. "I'm on a post-grad roadtrip."
"Hunt demons who're trying to destroy the town or the world with my slayer."
"I see. Want to go to a normal job, kid? One where you can save the world from weirder things?" John asked.
Xander beamed. "No thanks. She needs me for apocalypses."
"Plural?" Jack asked. Xander nodded. "Huh. The military, your local police...." Xander burst out laughing. "I know you said they had a high case of denial, but that bad?"
Xander nodded. "The police are corrupt to the huge demon worm that used to be the Mayor. The citizens don't want to know anything, even if it's in their families. The military? I'm not sure you guys want to come to our town and with our luck, they'd decide every demon was bad and therefore had to be killed. A lot of them are like our hosts, pretty decent people who're just different."
"We've seen other beings like that," Jack sighed. "Maybe someone in my project then. You could do a lot of good in it though, kid."
Xander shrugged. "Until she doesn't need me or the town is totally gone, I'm her backup. Willow sure as hell can't really hunt. She floats stakes and walks with her to cheer her up." He looked up. "Though they've decided I'm about normal and useless at times too."
"They're girls, they do that sort of thing," John admitted. "Usually that's when you dump them and move on."
"Not really an option," Xander sighed. "She needs backup, guys."
Jack nodded. "I fully agree, Xander. She probably could use all the backup she can find or beg to help her." The boy relaxed and smiled. "How long before your friend thinks she can link with Draco or whatever?"
"No clue and it depends on how long it takes John to find her. Plus how long it takes her to quit snarking that it's just my luck to be snatched this way. That alone may take years," he said dryly. "So I might come join you if they get bad about it."
"Gotcha," Jack agreed with a smirk. "I'm sure we'll hear some of it too from our friends." John nodded quickly. "We could use Ronon and Teal'c here," he said as a dark cloud went across the windows by them.
Xander got up and lit the fuse then tossed the bomb at the demon who was opening his mouth. Fire breathing as it turned out, and that didn't go well with the bomb. Xander guessed that was why the whole nose was turned to hamburger. "Huh. It did work." He went inside, grabbing Jack's gun to put it out of its misery. It was mean to make it suffer or let the others eat it. When it fell, the others circling higher came down to eat it instead. "Eww! Cannibals." He shot them too. Others showed up. "We need a huge ass bonfire," he complained as he went to hand Jack his gun back. "The flying ones will eat their own friends if they're down." He handed it back with a grin. "You need to reload."
"Thanks," he said dryly. "We can help with that."
Xander stared at him. "Why?"
"Huh?" John asked.
"You're pilots, guys. This is hunting."
"I'm actually a hunter," Jack told him. "We do deer each year."
John nodded. "Plus we've also been special ops at times, Xander. We can fire on things."
"Yeah, but they're demons. Not the usual problems you guys get used to. Most people who run into things like demons tend to get headaches and walk off for a while. I'm waiting on you guys to reach all the way to 'fuck it, they messed up my nails' like Cordy did."
"We've seen weirder than demons," Jack assured him. "Trust us, if it wasn't classified we could blow your mind the same way." Xander shrugged and walked off. "Show us where their nesting area is?"
"Sure." He pointed. "Halfway up the second-highest peak. Huge ass set of caves."
"Decent." Jack and John pulled over the bomb making equipment to make some more. They shared a smirk about the kid trying to protect *them* instead of the other way around. If they could get the guy to switch to the military, he'd definitely be an asset on their projects.
Sam Carter met the returning huffy scientist. "We heard from O'Neill and Sheppard."
"So you said," he said quickly. "What's happened now? Space bimbos? Another enemy?"
"They're in another realm dealing with creatures they're calling demons," she said, handing over the letter. "We've found a portal of some sort that could bring people over but the one that came back said that anyone with any DNA contamination couldn't use it." Rodney stared at her, mouth slightly open. "So therefore they're not eligible."
"It says they're not alone," he huffed. "Magic?" he demanded.
"Apparently that's how they got there," she said with a small shrug. "Maybe in their realm it works instead of science. An infinite universe and all that stuff. I have people looking at the portal. We'll get reports tonight. We need to find a way to warp something so they can be called back or to make a quantum mirror of our own to get there."
Rodney shook his head. "I doubt it's that simple." They walked off to the lab together. "I can't believe they're dealing with magic."
"We deal with aliens," she pointed out. "Who said in other worlds or dimensions that magic isn't their version of science, McKay. They might not have had Ancients."
He grimaced. "It still makes no logical sense."
"Yeah but not every world goes by our rules of physics. We had one that water was floating without help," she reminded him.
"Yes, yes, I remember, it gave me a migraine," he said before she could continue. He'd do no one any good if he was confined to the infirmary with another migraine. She let him see all the information that had been sent back so far. With all the cross-realmal travel SG-1 had been through, they should be old hands at it. Even if someone on the other side did believe in magic of all things.
Willow walked past the people at the portal, laying a hand on the portal before they could stop her. "Huh." She nodded and set it off. She felt other magic and felt along it, finding the others. "Xander, you stupid idiot, they're military," she muttered. "And who're you, little witchling?" She sent a message then closed it and walked off shaking her head. She pulled out her cellphone to call home.
"I found them. They're fine so far. The Fadren have them, Buffy. Yeah, them. I found their little magic helper, he's not using my sort. No, that Winchester guy said about sixty demons but I only felt about forty of the flying kinds and two bigger ones left," she admitted. She disappeared through the portal Giles and some friends of his had set up for this trip. She hung up as she landed, looking at them. "They're not in bad shape. It's nighttime and I felt weapons. Their witch or whatever is using a different form of magic. It feels more... like a corset. It's in there but it's tightly controlled and uptight." The witches all nodded at that but one realized something by the look on her face. "You know about it?"
"My sister went to a school with wizards and witches. They use wands." She pulled something out of her bag, holding it out. "Is that the same form of magic, Miss Rosenburg?"
Willow tested it then beamed and nodded. "Yes, it is. Only his was male and younger feeling. Maybe our age."
The witches smiled. "We can get information back to their people so they don't have to worry," the head of the coven told her. "Was there anything else you sensed?"
"I sensed some post-explosion of magic. I think whoever pulled them had died. He was the only magic feeling being I could feel." They nodded at that. "Other than that, they're not starving, they're not having nightmares, it was night over there, and all four seemed to be okay so far. The portal won't work for them, they were right. It's set to normal human standards and Xander has that mermaid taint."
Giles cleared his throat. "We did try to get that out of his system."
"Yes but apparently we failed at least a bit," Willow said, sitting down. "Also, big thing, there were military guys in that cemetery." They all stared. She stared back. "I didn't recognize their patches but they were all military. I don't know how to tell them apart so I can't tell you what branch but I didn't get the same sort of feeling I got from the commandos we had."
Buffy grimaced. "That's another thing to worry about. Did you send on the information?"
"Yup, I sent it to their wizard or whatever he is. Also to Xander since we know that magic goes oddly around him." She shrugged. "With the way he read from that book and set it on fire, there's a chance being there might open him further to other non-hellmouth related magics."
"That's possible," the head of the coven agreed. She sighed, looking at Giles. "Let us head home and we'll do some power raising to see if we can summon the four of them back. There were only four?" she asked Willow.
"Four humans, about ten Fadren. Forty or so bigger demons."
"That's fine then, dear. Thank you." They smiled and left, going to the airport to go home. One of them would tell that other society of magic users about the boy being trapped there when they got home.
Sam Carter answered the phone. "What?" She listened. "What do you mean she made the portal glow by touching it, looked meditative, then walked off talking on her phone?" she demanded. McKay stared at her oddly. "Tape of it?" she demanded. "Thank you." She hung up. "Someone else may have gotten the portal to work slightly." She got into her email, finding the tape of what had happened. "One of the scientists thought it was odd she was walking toward them so started it in case she was a threat." He came over and they watched what she did. "That makes no damn sense!" she complained.
"Perhaps she's from that world?" Rodney suggested. "Or she's from somewhere related so it will answer to her? We should debrief her." He got into another system, uploading a photo capture from the film so they could search her out. Nothing in the DMV for the state the portal was in. He made the search larger. He got back to his math and theories. A few hours later it beeped and they looked at it. "Well, that's stupid," he decided.
Sam snorted and nodded. "Definitely." She called the pro-tem general. "General, we have a bit of information possibly." She hung up and read the file that came up. It was a dossier from a small town's police department and mentioned magic as well. He came stomping in. She showed him the tape before he could open his mouth. She and Rodney looked at each other. "We need to get her alone so we can talk to her," she said.
Rodney nodded. "Anything on their town?" They each searched in a different area. "Hell! NID is in their town with a special ops project," he said, glaring at his laptop.
She moved to look over his arm. "That's a bad thing, yeah," she decided. The general cleared his throat so they handed it to him.
Hank Landry read it over, then looked at them. "I'll have that project shut down once you show that they're evil." Rodney took it back and searched. Sam used her clearance to find other things. It was beyond their clearance levels but they could both hack. Pity for the NID that they had a backdoor into their systems thanks to all the times they had tried to screw with the Stargate Program. She handed it over with a mean smirk. He read it over, nodding. "Let me call the higher ups. This doesn't look good."
Rodney turned green. "Testing tapes." He backed away, letting him have them. He reran that one and walked off to get with his highest boss. He looked at Carter. "Is it safe to go before they're shut down?"
"Yes. We can snatch her and talk to her once she's secure." They made plans and walked out together. They were geniuses. Her dossier said she was mildly one. Plus a hacker. Who knows how this would turn out. On the commercial flight, Rodney got into the related dossiers linked to hers. He handed one to her. She read it over. "That's probably who's with Jack and John." She grimaced, handing it back after he had shut it down. "Wonderful. He's a weapons nut."
Rodney smirked. "That may come in handy."
"Maybe. Hopefully they can control him."
"One always hopes," he agreed quietly. The stewardess was bringing around drinks and he desperately needed one before the thought of *demons* killed all his brain cells for good.
The witch with the sister who was a Hogwart's alumni sent herself to the school. She walked up, smiling at the man working with the animals in the pens. "Is the headmaster here?" she asked. He flinched, looking at her. "I have information about a student who probably disappeared from here."
"He's in a meeting. I can get someone," Professor Snape said, grimacing as he walked off. She followed. She glanced around the entryway so clearly she hadn't went here herself. "How did you find us?"
"My sister went here, Professor. I'm with the Devon Coven." He stared in horror. She smiled. "It appears one of your students and a few others got snatched to a demon realm. The witch that needed help figuring out how to get them back had us help her do a searching."
"Mr. Malfoy probably," he decided, leading her up to the office. "Wait here, I'll bring him back." The phoenix would protect anything in the office and if she was a problem, Fawkes would kill her. He found the headmaster in McGonagall's classroom going over the next year's lists. "Headmaster, a member of the Devon Coven is here about the Malfoy boy's disappearance."
"Thank you, Severus. The head?"
"Not that I recognized. Her sister went here she said."
"Then perhaps she has some answers for us." He got up and walked up there, smiling when he caught her browsing some books while petting his phoenix. "Fawkes is a loving soul."
She smiled. "All of them are, or so we're told." She gave the bird one last pat and smiled at him. "A young wizard was snatched along with two Air Force people and a hunter on the hellmouth to a demon realm."
"We had one disappear from a classroom."
"That was probably him." She handed over the notes they had gotten from Willow's memory of the encounter. Giles had sent it for them by fax. "Does that sound like him?"
He read it, nodding some. "It does. Why take him?"
"That sort of demon can't really deal with full humans. We believe, based on the account of another hunter who got pulled a different way plus that searching, that there may have been some genetic tampering farther back in his history or some non-human lineage."
"Yes, we've heard rumors of true elves," he admitted, sitting down. "Please." She sat and smiled. "Do we know why he was summoned beyond that? I doubt he's the only one and it would have made more sense to take his parents."
"Apparently there was a problem. The Fadren demon race is fairly peaceful. A lot of them end up very good cooks in some restaurants around the world. The witch that did the searching, and the hunter as well, mentioned a lot of higher, more predatory demons. We believe with who they pulled, they pulled them to help them not be eaten."
"I see. He's not the one I'd choose for that," Dumbledore admitted. "He's ... fairly intolerant of anyone not pureblooded."
"He was probably the stronger one they could pull. We're working on getting them back but it may be at least another month. We'll need to raise a great bit of energy to warp that portal and summon them back. We're telling you so his parents won't worry as much. So far he's studying magic there. Apparently the hunter they took from the slayer's team in Sunnydale was inside a storage center and brought all that. It had some magic books so he's studying to see if he can get them back himself."
"I'll tell his parents." He smiled and she smiled back. "Please keep us informed?"
"Of course. We have no idea how those two military men got picked. They may be partial demons, she wasn't sure. She said something about bugs but I didn't understand her reference."
"That's fine. If they should show up here, we'll send you an owl to let you know so you can get that hunter."
She beamed. "Thank you, Headmaster. Tell his parents he was sleeping without nightmares when she did the searching. Apparently he's fine so far." She stood up. "Let me get back to the coven. We have a lot of work to do to raise that energy." She shook his hand and left.
He reread the notes and called the auror over the investigation. She came through and he handed over the notes. "A member of the Devon Coven told me he's fine and not having nightmares."
She nodded once. "Then it's not a bad thing and his father can quit fuming up the Ministry for a bit." She left again, going to find him and tell him. He'd be in his office this time of day. She walked in and waved the notes. "On where his son is."
"He's with Minister Fudge," the secretary said. "It may be a bit. He was looking a bit...flustered."
She snorted. "I can cure that." She walked in without knocking. "We got information from the Devon Coven about your son, Malfoy." The minister sneered. She stared back. "You mind? His son's missing thanks to some demons who snatched him." He spluttered and left. She shut the door, weathering the glare. "We think they wanted him to help protect them from higher things by the notes we have. One of their sort is missing a friend or something and went searching by the notes." She handed it over.
He read them over then looked at her. "Who heard this?"
"Headmaster gave it to me." She smiled. "He said that the coven witch said he was sleeping peacefully during that check, no nightmares."
"That's a slight relief." He put it down. "What are they planning?"
"No idea but they're probably going to try to bring them back. It could unbalance things and the notes say two are military and one's working with a slayer." She shrugged. "That's what he gave me, Malfoy. So apparently he didn't run away, he wasn't snatched by the side of the light, and he didn't run off to take his Dark Mark or hide from taking it. All of which are rumors going around," she finished.
"I'll inform his mother and talk to the coven myself later tonight."
"Let me know if there's something we can do to help get them back. Must be bad to be in a hell realm that way." She left him to seethe and plot in peace. Lucius had not been happy when his son had disappeared. Hopefully the reporters he leaked information to would be gentle with this story.
He reread it, getting up to find those other witches. He loathed them and thought them too weak, and dared them to call themselves witches in his presence because he would teach them that they were not, but apparently he had to rely on them this time. His Master would have to hear as well. He went there first, Voldemort might want to take advantage of this situation. He walked into the meeting room, going to his knees. "Lord Voldemort, I have news on my son's whereabouts."
The half-snake/half-man looked at him. "Is it good news?"
Lucius stood up to look at his chest. You didn't look Voldemort in the face. Doing so made one ill and he didn't want punished for throwing up in his presence. "It appears some demons in another realm took my son. One of the Devon coven reported that he was fine, sleeping without nightmares, when their associate found him and a few others that had been taken."
Voldemort considered that situation. "Who else?"
"According to the notes she handed over through the headmaster and the auror, two military people and a hunter from a slayer's team." He cleared his throat. "It's said that the current slayer on the hellmouth has some additional help due to the seriousness of what she's had to face. I've heard rumors of an ascension recently, Lord."
He nodded. "As have I. I heard she defeated it. That was pleasant of her to not make us take out that attempter to the power we can easily draw." He shifted and thought about it. "Did they say if they were close to getting him back?"
"I have not talked to the witches yet, Lord. I came here first to see if you wanted anything specific known. The notes do say that they are polluting my son with their magical theory in hopes it can get them home." He handed over the notes. "That is what the auror handed me."
Lord Voldemort read them over and huffed. "What sort of demon is *peaceful*?" he sneered.
"There are those lower demons, Lord. They just simply exist and are usually from other realms," Snape said as he walked in. He bowed. "I was listening in during her meeting with the Headmaster."
"Do you have other information?" Lord Voldemort asked.
"It will take a month for them to raise the power to warp the portal that is open to their world. She was worried about the military people there. The hunter with them is said to be odd but weapons proficient. His rumors in the magical world state that a chaos sort had warped him by having him possessed and that magic went decidedly wrong about him. Something about a love spell that turned everyone but that one to him."
Lucius smirked. "That's what you get for messing around with such things."
"From the rumors, it was in revenge for her deciding not to be his," Snape admitted with a smirk of his own. "It's also said that he took a de-powered vengeance demon to his senior ball."
"Is he insane?" Voldmort asked. Not even *he* would dare attempt to mess with vengeance demons, powered or not.
"It is said that he is the reason behind the warping of the slayer line, but I have not found out what sort of warping that is," Snape admitted. "It is also said that he planned the assault during their graduation that led to the defeat of an ascending one."
Voldemort nodded. "Interesting to note. Anything on these other two?"
"They are military. Beyond that I have not heard anything about them. I would guess that no witches or wizards are working on the same project or if they are it's totally uninteresting."
"So my son is the only magical person there and probably the only non-fighter," Lucius said. Snape nodded. "Very interesting. It makes sense that they're having him study that weaker magic to see if it might help them get home." He looked at their Lord. "I'm going to the coven to ask more pertinent questions."
"Tell me of what you learn," he ordered, handing back the notes. "I want to know more on that demon race as well. Perhaps they have something we can use if the boy is smart enough to bring back souvenirs."
"I shall, Lord." He bowed and left.
Snape looked at him. "Dumbledore is not amused, Lord. He is nearly fuming. It's said his phoenix let the witch pet him."
"Then she must be strong."
"She said her sister attended."
"Hmm. So nearing our levels then. I should look into this coven in case they cause us problems. I have heard they mostly deal with the Council and those weaklings."
Snape nodded. "I have heard such as well but I will ask for more concrete information and see if any of their sort would support us so we can silently send them at their own type."
"That isn't a bad first step, Severus. Thank you. Leave me." He nodded and left. Lord Voldemort thought about things. That coven could be inconvenient but he'd have to wait until Draco got brought back. Lucius would have to take attention from his duties to have a new heir come into being plus Draco was looking suitable to put under Severus so he would have a backup potions person. The boy couldn't follow in his father's footsteps but some were more knowledge sorts than physical sorts he supposed. He had places he could use a good mind.
Draco stomped into breakfast the next morning. "My father is going to destroy those sort of witches," he said. "He loathes the Devon Coven."
Xander looked at him. "Willow's strong enough to probably land a house on him if he bothers her. Especially if she's already stressed out." He smirked. "I dare him to go near her. Hell, she might just have him eaten." Draco gave him a horrified look. "We don't play nice, Draco. Enemies are handled because we can't let them come back to hurt us a second time. We have too much shit going on every day to deal with minor annoyances that way. You haven't lived until you've seen over a hundred vamps doing a feeding fest and there's only five of you with crossbows and stakes." He sipped his coffee. "Or helped hold a line against a ninety-foot snake demon."
"I didn't think they got that big," Draco complained, staring at him. Xander shrugged back. "Hold on." He pulled his wand. "This shouldn't hurt." He cast the legimens spell and almost immediately had to pull back and shudder. "It was that big. Damn, even Merlin would've sweated."
"I was too busy making sure the families got out of the way and distracting the damn thing." Xander went back to his eating. "Other than that, what did the witch send?"
"Which book to look in, which I don't seem to be able to find."
Xander looked up. "Willow, if you can hear me, Giles or you might have that book," he called.
"Do we think she left a scrying spell?" Draco asked impatiently.
Xander shrugged. "Who knows with Willow. I would have but that doesn't mean she used common sense."
"True, she is a female," Draco complained. He sat down, dishing himself out some food. "Did our hosts die? I haven't seen them in days."
"I've checked on them nightly. They seem to be sleeping in the basement." Xander shrugged. "No clue." He looked up as the two pilots came in. "Morning, guys. Willow scried us last night." They beamed. "No idea how long it'll take otherwise."
"That's fine. One of the sources will get us out of here soon, before we have to figure out what draws bad girls to you," John joked.
Xander smirked. "I've seen worse than the one that tried to coo at me while I was exploring."
"One of the books you brought back was your journal," Jack told him.
"We glanced but didn't read real in-depth," John assured him. "We did see about your prom date and the complaining."
"Eeh, that was pretty minor complaining. Did you read about graduation?"
"Yup," Jack said. "Next time, call in an anonymous tip to the FBI about a gang with serious weapons attacking the graduation as an initiation stunt. They'll probably show up, kid."
"Would they be able to handle what happened?"
"Our aurors would've shat themselves," Draco admitted with a sigh at the end. "Even Potter would've."
Xander looked at him. "I've heard that name. Kid who had relatives like mine only they locked him in a cabinet or something?" Draco stared at him, slowly shaking his head. Xander smirked and nodded. "Yeah."
"No. He's fairly spoiled."
"No, he's not. He's been talking to a few sources who told me. Including my prom date." He smirked evilly at him. "Trust me, Draco, he's not spoiled. Any more than I am."
Draco shuddered. "Are you certain? He always seems to get his way."
Xander snorted. "Getting his way about what?"
"He breaks rules all the time and only gets little punishments."
"If you save the world or at least a person, they usually let you slide on some rules," Jack told him. "We can talk about him if you want, Draco. It might help you sort out your feelings about him."
"I have no feelings for that thing outside of disdain."
"Uh-huh. That's why you're going mushy," John said dryly. "Xander, what else is in the storage area?"
"A few houses worth of stuff. Including a few tv's, a vcr, a dvd player, that stuff. Why? The other building had the PD confiscation locker. That I might like to have, it might come in handy. Or a handy wish demon." He looked up. "Damn it, I don't know which one would cover this." He considered it then called out a name. Nothing. "Well...."
"Let's get the tv today," Jack decided. "How much gas does your car have?"
"Half a tank." He took a piece of toast from the plate and nibbled. "Enough for at least a few more trips."
"Good. Let's get something for the rest of us to do before we turn to magic or start helping you make weapons." Xander nodded that was fine with him. "Then you can help scout the rest of the local area. We can't be the only building here."
"I've found a few that were burned out," Xander admitted.
"I found one of those too," John said. "You could barely tell the foundations and it was burned a while ago because it had weeds growing in the grout."
Jack nodded. "Did we map those?" Xander and John both nodded. "Then we might look those over, see if anything useful is in them." They both nodded again. "Good boys. Draco, let us know if we can help you study that stuff."
"I can't find the book she mentioned when she left her message however she did that."
"Damn." Xander sighed, leaning back. "I wish we had everything we needed to survive here for a bit longer in a better bit of comfort and style." A bright flash went off, changing the kitchen and filling the pantry. Suddenly there was a huge freezer, like one would see in a school or a hospital. Xander looked up at the ceiling. "You could've sent us home," he called. "Can we have cable?"
"You do," a male voice called. "Rosenburg's in deep crap. They found her hacking the general's program when they were checking on her." The demon appeared with a smirk. "I can tell you it'll only be a few months at home, guys." He patted Draco on the shoulder. "They can't warp the portal on that side so it'll have to be your work. Or I'll have to drop Rosenburg here but we can't do that because the slayer needs her to help with a military unit in their town."
Xander stared at him. "Helping or not?"
"Not. Not from our point of view since they've tortured some."
Xander thought about that for a second. "Which one is Buffy dating?"
The demon smirked at him. "None yet." He patted him on the head. "Once you get back you'll see it soon enough. For right now, you guys should be all right as long as you finish taking out the demons. Also, the Mayor had a special project that the demons do not want to see get into the open so I left it for you guys to destroy since it's to figure out how to attract demons like that one." He patted Xander again with a smirk. "Anya said hi. She begs very well."
"Yes she did after the prom," he agreed dryly. "We have cable?" The demon nodded. "Cool beans. Can we have email? That way they can talk to their people so they don't panic at Sunnydale?"
"I might think about that. It's really best if you guys finish those demons."
Xander looked at Draco. "Can you set that off for me please?" Draco swished his wand and muttered something. The demon looked horrified as the explosion went off in the mountains. They felt a small shock but nothing too bad. "You mean like that?"
"Well, yes," he admitted. He blinked a few times. "Huh. Anything else you might need for a few months' stay?"
"Gas for the car? Is the fridge and freezer self-filling?" Xander asked. The demon nodded. "With human food, not demon food? I doubt they'll eat tentacles."
"I did," he sighed. He checked to make sure. "I even put in some chocolate because I know you need it, Harris. Plus some extra cans of coffee." He stared at him. "Any other unreasonable demands?"
Xander smirked. The demon shivered. "The total weapons content of Sunnydale, all underground, above ground, and beyond. Plus all the pot. I know the methane demons are storing it and it's probably at the hazardous level by now. We can burn it so Buffy doesn't have to get high and have her mother bitch. Plus get Winchester to send her some help until I can get back?"
"He is," the demon admitted. "You're asking for a lot." Xander beamed. "What are you going to do with it?"
"Keep the sniping vampires without. And hey, could help the military unit problem too, huh?"
"True," he admitted. "Hmm. That would basically mean the other half of that storage building too....." He trailed off and snapped his fingers. "Done. Anything else?"
"A working gas pump for his car in case we need to keep using it," Jack said.
"It's already here. I put that up earlier." He smirked and disappeared. He came back to look at John. "We enjoy your coworker, the loud one, quite a lot. There's many who want to take him as a mate because of his loud, smart nature. They like him almost as much as the hunter." He disappeared again.
Xander grinned. "I think we need to scout, guys. Draco, that book should be around here somewhere." He got up and went to look for it. The other three went to look at the weapons and other storage areas. Even if they did give Xander funny looks for cooing 'toys' over a few higher weapons.
Willow woke up in a room, on a chair, but not tied to it. "What the frilly heck," she muttered, standing up to look around.
Sam Carter walked in with Rodney behind her. "We rescued you from the military unit that's not supposed to be here, Miss Rosenburg. We'll be dealing with them later. For right now, we need to talk about where our general and colonel are. We know you looked at them or something. Can you quantify that?"
Willow stared at them. "Somewhat. At the higher levels, magic is theoretical and self-theory building mostly."
Rodney stared at her. "We are scientists and that illogical magic crud isn't going to get them back."
"It might be the only way to get them back," she told him. A demon appeared, handing over a scroll before disappearing. She read it, nodding. "Yup, it's got to be magic. If you warp the portal that they have set up, it will close it and they'll be stuck there for good." She handed it over. "The wish demons got begged to give them some help so they have fresh food, some more weapons, and that stuff. Including the book the magical one there needs since apparently I had it and didn't realize it."
"What was that?" Rodney demanded with a point at the blank spot.
"What was what?" she asked.
"The thing! The thing that popped in and then disappeared!"
"A messenger demon sent by D'Hoffryn. He's over vengeance and wish demons. Xander's prom date had been one of his but she got fired." She smiled. "She's over a thousand years old. Used to be over women scorned."
Sam shook her head quickly. "Okay. We'll talk about demons later. Are they sure about this?" Willow nodded. "How?"
"No clue. They're stronger than I am. I can try to summon him, see if he'll come down to give you more information. It's been a while since I did anything like that." She smiled, bouncing some. "Summoning spells are kinda neat."
"No, not yet," Sam said. "Let us look over this information. We need to figure out how you interfaced with the portal so we can find a way to do it ourselves." Her phone 'bing'ed. She pulled it out to look at, frowning at it. "They have email."
Willow looked and beamed. "Xander's not very computer literate. He didn't listen a whole lot when I tried to teach him. He did the same thing in Algebra and French too. It's why he got bad grades."
Sam and Rodney shared a look then looked at her. "We've been watching you," Rodney told her. "We've heard how you've spoken of him and that is not our impression at all." She snorted, crossing her arms over her chest. "He's not as helpless as you seem to think considering we have information saying he's protected our people and kept the demons there from killing them. Both by use of a gun and a sword."
"Plus explosives," Sam said with a smile. "Jack's still in awe by the email."
"We had to teach him that," Willow snorted. "But guns aren't used for hunting."
"That hunter that got pulled, they use guns all the time," Sam said casually. "All their sort do from what we've learned." Willow gaped. "Even on the stuff you guys physically stake." She smirked. "Now, let's talk about what you've found out, all right?" She sighed but nodded, going over what she knew with them. Not that they weren't annoying but oh well. It was their friends too she guessed.
Buffy saw the military jeep and winced. "More commandos, great," she muttered. She staked the vampire trying to sneak up on her. "Just what I need." The jeep stopped in front of her. "Um, do you need directions?" she asked hopefully.
"No, Miss Summers, some of our people were taken with your friend Xander," the older man getting out of the passenger's seat said. He walked over to shake her hand, smiling at her. "Also, I need to know where the current commando teams are so we can shut them down."
"Huh?" she asked.
"What they're doing is called treason, young lady." Her mouth flopped open. "Do you know where they are?"
"They're usually found around the campus," she said carefully. "Why do you care?"
"Because I'll be damned if I want my military doing such things, young lady. I've fought long and hard to make sure the idiots like these aren't my military. Them or the NID." He smiled. "Any idea where under the campus?"
"Um, maybe." She pointed. "We see a lot of them coming out of the woods behind the campus and Lowell house. That's a frat," she told him.
"I see." He looked at the notes he had. "Do you recognize any of these names and might know which dorm they're in?"
She looked then whimpered. "My boyfriend Riley is one of them?" she whined. She looked at him. "Really?"
"Yes, ma'am. He's listed as a team leader. Do you know where he bunks?"
"Lowell House. There's a bunch of them there. I think I recognize a few other names."
"Thank you, Miss Summers. It's going to be a bit...messy while we shut them down. If they have any current captives, is there anyone like a physician who can check them over?"
She shrugged. "I can call Angel and see. He's kinda a big name around here but he just moved to LA."
"Please." She pulled out her phone to call him. What he heard made him mentally sigh. Her ex, which was making her pouty. How did this team save the world with a pouty super soldier, one genius with mental issues, and a weapons person? Plus an older librarian from England?
She hung up. "He said there's a clinic on Fourth. To talk to them. I can introduce you." He nodded, letting her get into the jeep so she could show them the way. She walked in and the demon behind the counter flinched. "Is this the clinic? These military people are here to shut down their own bad guys and wanted a doc to look over any prisoners."
He pointed. "Next door, slayer." She beamed and took him that way. The demon behind the counter prayed to all his dry cleaning gods that she wasn't pouty or angry tonight. His son wasn't ready to take over his business yet. He was barely hatched.
Jack heard the laptop they had beep and went to check. "Sheppard, our people have stopped the military project going wrong in the kid's town thanks to the NID, McKay is thoroughly disgusted with magic, and Carter said her brain hurts after talking to his friend Willow. We might be on our own to get out of here."
"Rodney would freak and bitch at magic," John said dryly, going back to his reading. "Xander, what project was this?" he called. "It looks like it's based on you."
Xander came out of the kitchen to look over his shoulder. "It looks like someone was trying to figure out what drew demons to me. The wish demon said something about the old Mayor having that as a project." He shrugged and walked off. "Let me know if you figure it out. I want half of the money you make."
"Sure," he agreed. He settled in to go over it. Since there weren't hardly any harmful demons left, they were basically guarding and waiting on Draco to figure something out. He had no idea why the wish demon couldn't just zap them home like he had created the fridge, but he supposed there were some rules somewhere about demon conduct.
Jack sent back an email and the map they had built so they knew what was going on around them.
Draco walked in reading a book but grimacing. "Xander, how do you ground and center?" he called as he walked.
"Basically, connecting yourself to the power of the earth." He came out to look at him. "It's a meditation thing."
Draco grimaced. "It's so much easier with a wand. All you have to do is pick it up and use it." He huffed. "How do I do that stuff?"
Xander grinned. "Let me put dinner in the oven. Then I'll help." He went to do that and came out to take Draco into the nursery area. It was full of plants and herbs. He got him settled down and talked into the meditative state. Xander had used it himself a few times to calm down his nerves before big things. And after big things. Not like he had a girlfriend for apocalypse sex or post-apocalypse stress relief.
Jack and John shared a look and Jack took the project to look over as well. It might help them with the bad guys that wanted to kill humanity. Maybe they'd make them more friendly or something.
Buffy looked up from her impromptu meeting for lunch between classes as a slimy demon that she shouldn't stake came up to her. "What, Robert?" she asked, taking a bite to stuff her mouth before she said something snarly and lost whatever information he wanted to sell.
"It's said your helper is now the ruler of a hell dimension," he said with an evil smirk. "You must be proud about how he's cleaned the evil ones out and has let the lower ones hibernate when they wanted to hide."
"Xander's Xander. They pulled him for that habit," she said dryly. "How many of the demons were gotten by the military guys?"
"None. All sixty-three, including the new nesting, were gotten by your helper, who you said was nothing more than a normal human." He walked off humming. "I'm told the higher ones are learning to respect him."
Buffy snorted, eating another bite. "They probably want to date him," she muttered. She looked at the military guy who had shut down the Initiative. He and Giles were going over different demon types so they could charge the people for hurting the harmless ones. Giles and he were both staring at her. "What?" she demanded. "Xander does strange, weird stuff. We all know he does. They probably wanted to date him too!"
"I doubt that," Giles said blandly. "He did learn quite a lot backing you up."
She huffed. "Maybe." She got up and walked off. She could trust Giles around this military guy.
"I'm sorry," Giles told the general. "Girl issues you know."
"I have an older daughter," he admitted. "She's a doctor." He smiled. "She's opinionated but she'd probably spank yours."
"Her mother may later," Giles admitted. Landry smirked at that. "Joyce is a wonderful mother."
"Of course she is. Miss Summers is still sane after all the trauma out here." He got back to the next picture. Giles told him what it was, if it ate people, and how old it was by the picture. That was very helpful information the prosecutors could use.
Xander was kicked back watching Sy-Fy while cleaning guns. John walked past, shaking his head. "That stuff'll rot your mind," he complained.
"Not really. It kept me from freaking out at the first mention of demons and things that like to eat people," he quipped back. He put that gun back together again, putting it beside him once he had wiped any fingerprints off the outside. He picked up the next one to disassemble then clean.
John watched him, nodding that he was doing a good job. He took his gun from the pile. "Next time, ask, Xander. I would've let you clean it if you had asked." He put it back into his holster, heading for Jack. "Your gun's about to be cleaned. It's on top of the pile."
Jack looked at his bedside table then at him. "That's interesting."
"He did mine too. Did a good job."
"That's nice. I can do my own."
John stopped him from moving. "He's thinking to it, General," he said quietly. "I'm guessing that's his meditation."
"Probably," he sighed. He relaxed again. "Any other big news?"
"Draco's able to create small lights and things. He's moving onto a harder spell today. He thinks if he can move ahead this way that it'll be a few more weeks at the least."
"Good. How certain is he?"
"Not very. He had to work for three days to create the little lights. Apparently the spell to send us back has a physically drawn symbol and things."
"Huh." He nodded. "We'll help where we can. I feel like I'm sponging off them."
"We'll handle whatever comes at us next time. Though, this is probably the nicest kidnaping I've ever had and a pretty decent vacation too."
"Could use a fishing hole," Jack said dryly.
"Yeah, a lake for water sports would be fun. Then we could let those two have a day off too."
"You mean make them?" Jack asked dryly.
"Probably," he agreed with a grin. "I'm going to check the email."
"Sure, go for it. Tell me if Carter's still huffy over demons and magic."
"Rodney's decided they're mostly other realm or dimension natives. That's why they look funny and the human psychosis, as he put it, of being the only sentient species got them named demons by the paranoid church people of the early ages falling back to the only explanation they had in those weak minded times."
"Sometimes it's amazing how he and Carter do the same thing with science."
"Sometimes it's amazing they come out of the science haze to see real people things." He went to their laptop to check for the daily mail. Updates from Carter that were labeled 'I'm going to join a convent to get away from magic' 1 and 2. Clearly all this was making her brain slip into weird places she wasn't comfortable with. One for Xander from Willow. One from someone named Joyce. None for Draco because his people didn't use email. One from Landry that started out with 'damn it' in the header. So about normal. "Jack, Carter wrote twice and Landry is swearing at us again. Xander, you got two from home." He came over to read them quickly, answering them while Jack walked out to get his own. Then Xander went back to his really cheesy sci-fi movie and gun cleaning.
Draco looked at what Xander was doing as he walked past him. "How can you stand to stare at that thing *and* clean weapons?"
Xander grinned. "I'm multi-talented." Draco rolled his eyes as he walked off. "It's not that hard. I've seen this movie before and only have to look down every few minutes while I clean." He got back to it. "I can teach you how if you want to learn, Draco."
"I don't think they'd be very useful in the wizarding world."
"If your bad guy is using spells, you can shoot him from farther away and kill him," John quipped. "Long before he can get a spell off."
Draco stared at him. "That's not honorable dueling."
"There's nothing honorable about a war, kid, except the combatants' actions," Jack told him. "War and honor are mutually exclusive."
"I...." He trailed off. "Besides, I'm usually counted on the bad side for wanting to keep my way of life." He pushed past the doubt of that statement.
"Draco, the world changes every day," Xander told him without looking up. "No one, ever, has been able to keep things at a set point in history. People move on, get new ideas, society grows from it. If it's not growing then it's a dead society and just fading out." He glanced up. "Is that yours?"
"We create many new things. I'd show you but I can't get mail."
Xander blinked at him. "Ask Willow to see if she can send a letter from home." Draco smiled at that, letting John write that for him since he had no idea about this sort of machine. He wasn't a machine person. It wasn't logical to magic. "Though, gotta say, Draco, that the whole pureblood thing only works if the people in charge are."
Draco stared at him. "What?"
"Willow's last letter? She did some spying since the Devon Coven got twinged by your people's scrying. Your supposed leader Volderon or whatever? He's not a pureblood."
Draco's mouth flopped open. "Excuse me?"
"He's not. Especially not since he looks like he's part snake now." Xander stared him down for a second then put the current gun back together again. "Scrying should work for you if it does for her."
He went to look up that spell. It was at his current level. They had water. He went to run some into a bowl so he could work on that spell. What he saw disgusted him. "What the bloody hell is that?" he complained quietly. He changed to his parents before he got sick. He found them at home. "I wonder if there's a way to open the portal..." He concentrated on the mirror spell, linking this basin to that. He beamed as the spell connected. "I'm bloody brilliant," he said, making his mother flinch. "Mum, Father." He smiled. "We're still all right."
"That's good," Lucius said. "How are you doing that?"
"I'm linking the scrying I'm doing to the mirror spell. We have ways of getting news but it's a muggle, electronic way. I'm working on the spells to get us home but it's frightfully hard and fairly complex. I'm still at the beginnings of the studies, working my way up to it so I understand what I'm doing. That way we don't end up somewhere else."
"That's a wise idea," his mother said, smiling at him. "You look so mature, my Draco."
He smiled back. "Thank you, Mother, though I could use a haircut I think." He smiled at her. "I miss our house elves, even if Xander and Jack can cook it's not the same." He looked around. "No company tonight?"
"No, not tonight," Lucius said. "Why?"
"Because I just scried to see what the witch that Xander works with was talking about. He said the Devon Coven was being watched so they watched us back and found a certain resurrected someone wasn't a pureblood? And not human?"
"That was the change," Lucius said with a grim look. "It gave him more power."
"I see." He nodded once. "She was apparently insistent that he wasn't one of us."
Lucius stared. "How would she know?"
"I don't know how Rosenburg does anything, Father, but apparently she's strong enough that she stuck a soul in a vampire." His parents both gaped in horror. It wasn't a pretty look for them. "According to Xander, a gypsy clan did it first but then she had to put one back from a sick bed in the hospital."
"How on earth?" his mother demanded, looking at her husband. He shuddered then shook his head. "We should check on that one before she causes problems."
Draco looked behind him then at them. "Xander said if you get his friend Willow attacked, he'll kill you both." He stared at them. "Apparently she's a bit mean and the current slayers, two now, aren't terribly nice either to enemies. They don't usually incapacitate."
"Two?" Lucius demanded. "How?"
"Xander said he knew something called CPR and brought Buffy, the original, back to life when she died the last time." He glanced back then at them again. "He said she drowned and he got her breathing right afterward. Still long enough to call another."
Lucius blinked a few times. "That's interesting to know. Buffy? What sort of name is that?"
"Xander said after some sort of singer that was liked by her mother. Apparently the military types that are out bothering the hellmouth about a secret project that just got stopped by Jack and John's people for torturing others are ignoring the name." His head moved. "Ow! Heathen!" He snorted. "If you say so, Xander."
"Did he strike you?" his mother demanded. "I will torture him if he did, Draco."
"It was a playful swat, Mother. I've had worse from Goyle." She grimaced. "It barely moved my hair. Beyond that, Xander might shoot you. Apparently he likes guns a bit too much. Also something called artillery. That's an enormous gun in a huge case that fires off a single, explosive round or something. He had to use some on a few demons here to protect us."
Lucius swallowed. "Are you learning such things?"
"He's offered. John said you could shoot someone from farther away than a spell would work. Faster as well. I'm not sure if I'm going to take them up on that offer between learning this new magic." The mirror wavered. Draco yawned. "This is harder than I thought. I love you both and I'll call again in about a week, Mother. Father." He nodded and cut the connection. Xander helped him up and to his bed, letting him rest. He mumbled his thanks and fell asleep.
Xander smiled as he walked off. "Draco got to scry his home by linking it to a mirror there. He's napping off the strain."
"That's fine," Jack agreed with a small smile. "Did he horrify them?"
"He did, with me." He smirked. "Can you warn Willow that Draco's parents are thinking she's evil because she's not their sort of witch and might be coming for her?"
Jack got into one of Xander's emails and did that. "Done, kid."
"Thanks. I'd hate to see wizards on the hellmouth. Buffy might fuss if they mess up her hair too much." He walked off again.
Jack went back to the reports she had sent him, signing off on some and sending them back. He was still mentally giggling about her complaints about Willow. It appeared the two groups didn't merge very well. She had apparently threatened Willow with Ronon spanking her and Willow shot back he'd only want her girlfriend so she'd kick his butt by turning him into a lizard or a bunny rabbit to give her girlfriend a pet. It was a cute empty threat. John's email popped up. "Sheppard, one from McKay that looks like a long, spluttering rant in typed form."
"What's the header?" he asked from where he was reading one of the magic books.
"Put that down." John put it down with a grin. "Before you get it to work. McKay would never forgive you." He let him have the laptop, watching him cackle at the email. He read it over his shoulder. "She did what? Harris!" Xander came out of the kitchen with the carrot he was peeling. "Rosenburg can turn people into things?"
"Willow doesn't like conflict unless she starts it or it's necessary. Cute, fluffy, and lap sized, or lizard since she has a frog phobia and can't turn Amy back from a rat?"
"She turned my teammate into a dog," John complained, looking at him. "A Yorkie."
Xander shrugged. "I am not Willow's behavior monitor, guys, even when I'm home. Have Buffy yell at her. She's the only one that Willow will listen to because they're 'special girls'." He went back to his cooking.
"I'm so killing someone," Jack muttered. "That's not right."
"McKay said he's fine, no lingering dog urges, but it's kinda funny to picture. I would've thought one of those yappy lap dogs like a Chihuahua."
"Don't give me that mental picture!" Jack complained, swatting him on the arm. "Damn it!" He walked off to find something to get that out of his head. Xander walked out and got him something, handing it over before going back to the kitchen. He looked at the cover. A 'playgirl' type of magazine featuring demons. "Eww!"
"Better mental pictures, sir?" John snickered. It got handed over. "Uh-huh. Well, it's nice that they're sexual beings but I never wondered." He put it aside, under the magic book. He answered McKay back, asked for a picture too to make him huff and find another topic to complain about, then asked for other general program news. That way he wasn't missing out on anything on Atlantis.
Draco came out for dinner, yawning a bit. He saw one of the magic books and picked it up, staring at what was underneath it. "What the bloody hell is that?" he asked. He picked it up to look at, going pale. "They do what?" he demanded.
Jack leaned out of the kitchen. "Dinner's nearly ready, kid." He saw the magazine. "Yeah, they have porn too."
"Porn? What's that?"
"Pornography? Sexual aides that show gratifying pictures, films, that stuff?"
Draco shook his head slowly. "We don't have those."
"Yes you do," Xander called. "Victorians had trading cards and started to write erotic stories. Even the Greeks had it, they put it in a lot of art."
"Oh, that stuff. That's a lot less blatant than this," he said, waving the book.
Jack shrugged. "Modern things, Draco. Xander gave it to me to get a bad mental image out of my head." Draco nodded, putting it back down. He came in to eat. Jack sat down too. "Trading cards?" he asked Xander.
"They barely had cameras."
"Good point I guess."
"Wait until he sees his first movie," Xander said with a smug look.
"Not on the tv while we're up," John begged. "Please?"
"Fine. I won't make you guys watch what they left for that." He dished out some and handed it to Draco. "Eat." Draco loaded up and passed it on. The others did the same. It was nice to be eating again. Xander wasn't a bad cook either.
Draco would think about that *erotic* stuff later. Alone. Without aid of any *modern* help. He wasn't that sort of wizard, thank you very much.
Draco looked up, confused because it sounded like knocking. He went to the door. The being on the other side was clearly a demon. He had short, orange fur with green stripes and a few small horns clustered around his forehead. "Yes? May we help you?"
The demon stared at him. "Is the Lord here?"
"Well, technically I am one, but not here," Draco said dryly. "Xander?" he called. It had to be him, the other two were more sane. Xander came walking out. "Are you a Lord?"
The demon stared at him, then bowed, keeping him in sight. "Lord Xander."
Xander gave him a confused look. "No, I'm a regular Xander, not a royal Xander. Did you need something?"
"Yes, Lord Xander. Our publishing company wanted to give you a copy of our best selling lines," he said, handing over the box with a smile. "We thought it was strange that you hadn't seen those yet." He nodded and left.
"Thank you," Xander called after him. He kicked the door shut and carried the box to the office area. John and Jack looked up from the reports that had been emailed to them. He opened the box, finding some books, as promised. It translated in his hand, making him grin. "That's handy magic." He settled down to read that one, giggling at something. "I didn't know that."
Draco looked over his shoulder. "Why are you listed as the most favored demon magnet and toy?"
Xander looked up at him. "Because they're drawn to me?" He pointed at the project on the table. "The old Sunnydale mayor had a project to give him that gift." He went back to reading. "Draco, think you can banish this back to the hellmouth?"
"Maybe," he hesitated. "Why?" Xander let him see that entry and Draco snorted. "I doubt I'll ever do that." He concentrated and tried the banishing spell. He felt it hit someone and banished a quickly written note after it. "Sent it at my mother." He smiled.
"Thanks." Xander picked out the earlier ones to look through them.
John looked at the boys. "Did someone sell them to us?"
"No, the publishing company gave us complimentary copies since I'm in them," Xander said with a grin.
"They called him a Lord," Draco said.
Xander shrugged. "I corrected him but I have no idea how that got started and I can't really go beat up someone to give me information."
They nodded at that, letting him have his delusion. They all knew why they considered Xander in charge around here. The kid hadn't let any of them help defend all of them. Jack and John shared a look.
"We need a day off," Jack said. "You two figure out what we're doing during it." They nodded, going to figure that out.
"No porn, Xander," John called.
"Not like I'm dating," he quipped back with a smirk. "Though you're adorable."
"Date Draco," Jack ordered. "That way you can both calm down."
"And we don't get hit with DADT regs," John added with a smirk.
"Sure, but I'm sure they wouldn't ask you two. It's kinda clear....."
"Oh, hell no!" Jack said, interrupting the kid. "We're not together. We both get all the chicks near our posts."
"If you're sure," Draco said dryly. "It seems fairly clear to us." He shrugged and walked off with Xander. "Though I'm not into him. Thank you anyway."
Xander smirked at him. "Uh-huh. Every bad guy loves me and wants my ass," Xander said with a wicked looking smirk.
"Clearly I'm being warped to the wrong side then since I'm still not going to shag you," Draco shot back with a smirk of his own.
"I'd be on top," Xander teased.
"You do the wifely things around here," Draco teased. "That would mean I'd be on top."
"I'm not the only one who can cook and plenty of tops can cook, Draco. Because if it was that way then you'd all three be in with me."
"What a truly dirty thought," Draco complained, rubbing his forehead.
"Again, we can't do that while in the military," Jack called. "Beyond that, not my type, Xander. You're too tough to be mine."
"Yeah, he likes squishier sorts," John called. Then he yelped. "Ow!"
The boys burst out cackling, going to the kitchen to work on the next spell in the attempt to send them home.
Narcissa looked at the note that landed on top of the boxes her son had sent. She pulled out one to look through it, going pale. "LUCIUS!" He came strolling in. "The demons want to adopt our son as a consort to that Xander boy." He snatched the book to read, growling. "We must get him free."
"I'm told that there's no way we can pull him back from this side so we'd have to go there and then come back." He sighed, grimacing at the note. "For that weak witch that he works with so they can know what sort of problems they've caused by pretending to powers."
"Severus said he's heard she is powerful. Quite powerful, but untrained and unencouraged."
He snorted. "I doubt that." The books suddenly disappeared and they both gasped. "Who did that!" One of the house elves popped in. "Did one of you move those boxes of books?"
The house elf shook his head. "Outside magic," he whispered then disappeared.
A note floated down with a simple 'thank you, Xander meant for us to have that'. "How dare she!" Narcissa complained.
Lucius looked then at his wife. "Let me check on this supposed witch," he sneered. He went to do that from his study. What he saw disturbed him quite a lot. He went to his Lord's side, showing him before he could say anything. They could be disturbed about this threat to the wizarding world together.
"Who is that?" Lord Voldemort asked casually.
"The supposed witch Rosenburg, who helps the slayer on the hellmouth, Lord. My son banished some books the demons sent them to us and she took them from our house. He has said that she's strong enough to resoul someone."
Voldemort looked at him. "Why did someone slip their soul?"
"I did not pay enough attention but apparently she did it from a hospital bed when it was needed."
Voldemort looked at her. "Scry other times with her using her skills, pathetic though they are." They ran it back. Some branch floating to stake vampires. Which showed a casual disregard for violence. A few other spells. One that made Voldemort sit up and pay a lot more attention. "The ascension we heard about."
Lucius pointed. "That is the slayer, Lord, and the dark haired boy giving orders is the one stranded with my son I believe."
Voldemort watched the battle, grimacing. Lucius went back farther and it caught the soul spell. He shuddered. That single spell could ruin a lot of his plans. "She seems dangerous."
Lucius nodded. "There is a tiny shred of other news. Apparently the demons have decided that my son will be her friend's future consort. It's already listing them as such. Though I know my son's proclivities do not turn that way."
Voldemort nodded once. "Interesting to note. How is he doing on getting back?"
"His last call by scrying and linking into the mirror spell in my study said he was about halfway there. He had to prepare some potions, study some other runes, then build power slowly to power it."
"Excellent of him." He considered things. "That witch will cause us problems."
"My son did warn us that she has no problem with taking out enemies, Lord."
Voldemort grimaced. "That would figure with her chosen duty to help a slayer on such an eventful place." He tapped his fingers a few times on the arm of the chair. "We need to know more about what she can do. She is clearly dangerous to our plans." Lucius nodded. "Send someone stealthy in your place so you can make sure your son gets back to a more suitable location."
"I shall," he promised, bowing and going home to figure out who to send to the hellmouth. They had to have good defense skills and the ability to blend in.
Voldemort considered that witch. A complication that may be easily cured by a killing curse but who might she have taught. That slayer perhaps? If so, another slayer would be called by her death. That boy trapped with Lucius' son? That was more likely. He'd have to deal with that issue as well apparently. Small glitches but they did get in the way of the larger plans.
Willow felt herself being scried again and grimaced. She'd have to do something about that sometime soon. But for now she was off for another meeting with the geeks who hated magic society. She really was tired of them trying to deny the existence of what they were seeing. Really! Couldn't they believe their own eyes?
Willow saw the stupid little wizard again a few days later. "Little poser," she muttered.
McKay and Carter both looked at her. "Excuse me?" McKay demanded.
Willow pointed with her fry. "Poser wizard. Like the one trapped with Xander. Uses a wand instead, which makes him weak. He thinks he's blending in but he's failing miserably, and I'm of the theory that he's probably here to try to take me out." She ate the fry, looking at them. "If so, we're going to have a fight. It won't be very long though." She ate another fry. "I'll make sure you two clear the field beforehand."
"That might be nice," Sam said dryly. "But we can shoot him."
Willow grimaced. "He leads back to a bigger bad in England. Apparently I'm considered a *threat* to his plans," she finished sarcastically. "Poser wizards." She saw him pull his wand and a light coming toward them. "Shit." She touched the table, which they were in contact with, and teleported out of the way. To the people like that wizard. She left and came back with him floating. "Is he yours?" she asked the old man they had appeared in front of. "Because if not, I'm damn tired of being stalked by your people's bad guy." She let him plummet to the floor, making him crunch, groan, and then start to cry. "Aww, poor babyman," she sneered. "Pathetic. My pet rat can do better than you."
"Wasn't your pet rat originally human until she had to turn to save herself?" Rodney asked dryly.
"Yes but she can still do better in rat form now." The old man cleared his throat. "Yes?"
"Who are you three?"
"I'm Willow Rosenburg, witch to the slayer Buffy. We work in Sunnydale."
"Oh, I see." He nodded once. "And your friends and table?"
"We were having dinner then Willow suddenly swore and moved us," Sam told him. "I'm Colonel Sam Carter. This is Dr. Rodney McKay. We're working with her on the problem of a few people being taken to another place."
"Like Mr. Malfoy?"
"If his first name is Draco, then yes. Xander's mentioned him," Willow assured him with a smile. "Apparently, your dark lord or whatever he wants to call himself, decided I was a threat to his power after scrying me a few times and the Devon Coven a few more. He tried to hex us or something."
"What did the light look like?"
"That was the killing curse," he told her. "It is almost always immediately fatal."
She snorted. "I have shields that even the demonic version can't get through." The man tried to move. "Make me treat you like a roach," she offered. He quit moving. "Thank you." She looked at him. "Sorry but I'm a bit upset about him trying to hurt us. I am not a member of the happy camper society today."
"Thank you for bringing him back so we can have him arrested, Miss Rosenburg."
She stared at the old man and knew there was a problem. "This dorky dark lord idiot? Do you need help?"
"We have a prophecy."
"Well, it's usually Xander's job to foil prophecies but I can help if you want."
"No, I believe we can stop him soon."
She snorted. "Yeah. Let's see." She opened a portal in mid-air, making McKay gasp. "Oh, hush. You're breaking my concentration." She finished opening the portal and then stepped through. "Yo, scaley mother humper!" she called. "The hellmouth wants to expel you like a kraken's kidney stone." He shot a hex at her. She blocked it. "Huh. Interesting." She grabbed him by the arm and stunned him lightly with her magic, hauling him back through the portal. Then she suspended him and took his wand. "There. How's that for help?" she asked with a smile.
"That was quite impressive," the old man said, blinking in awe. "How did you do that?"
"I'm not the average witch." Someone came running up the stairs. "Are you here to arrest the one who tried to kill us and the scaley bastard here who *clearly* messed up giving himself to a higher demon? Because humans have a nose."
The auror team stared at her. "Who're you?" the one in the lead demanded.
"Willow Rosenburg. I help the slayer Buffy on the hellmouth. That one," she said with a point at Voldemort, "sent that one," she said with a point at the moaning one, "to take me out. I'm a bit offended that your bad guys can't be caught sooner before they hurt others." She turned her back, looking at the old man. "Now, is there more I can do to help this stupid, poopey-headed, wrong-thinking idealistic excuse for a war?" They all gaped. "I'm Jewish. I've heard about Nazis all my life. Be damned if I want to leave any of them where they can hurt more people."
"Who?" one of the aurors asked.
She looked at him. "You *must* be joking, mister."
"The German blokes who killed everyone," the lead auror told him. "Excuse him, Miss Rosenburg, he's stupid."
"Clearly." She looked at Carter, then at McKay. "You two are shell shocked, huh? Let's get you guys home. So you can go crawl back to your science stuff and reassert your belief that that's the only power in the universe." She took them and the table with her. They landed behind where Buffy was fighting. Buffy broke the table then used it to stake the two vampires she was fighting. Willow sighed and dusted the other one running their way. "The stupid wizard stalking me is gone. I gave him back to his own people after treating him like the roach he was." She walked off. "That should get back to the Double Meat."
Buffy stared at Willow then at Sam and McKay. "You had to piss her off, didn't you?" she complained.
"The wizard thing shot something at us," McKay said hotly. "She did it all without asking us anything!"
"Uh-huh. Well, I guess it'll be a crying movie tonight then," Buffy sighed. She kicked the rest of the table apart. "There, the vamps can use it for staking games with the minions. You two go back where you belong. Shoo. Now. Before the vamps get you." They walked off under her guidance. She handed them to Landry. "Willow had to defend them and got a bit huffy about the magical stalker she had. They're in shock I guess." She jogged off before anyone could ask her anything else. Maybe a nice, long vamp baiting at the Bronze would keep her from having to sob over girl movies tonight. It might be nice, she wasn't in the mood to cry.
Landry looked at his people. "What happened?"
"We were discussing physics and where she warps it," Sam started.
"Then suddenly she announces a threat, points with her fry of all things, and then steals us to England!" McKay complained. "Where she deals with that threat, another threat she said was calling himself a dark lord, and then brought us back!"
"England?" Landry asked dryly.
"Everyone who appeared had British accents, sir," Sam agreed. "She apparently got a little bit mad."
"Why did she get mad?" Landry asked patiently.
"I don't know! I'm not that sort of girl!" she complained. "I shoot stalkers, sir, not take them halfway around the world to British people and an old guy that looked like he stepped out of a fantasy novel as a warlock or something. "He was even wearing ceremonial looking robes!" she finished in a huff. "What sort of real person does that?"
Landry looked at the two huffy scientists. "You know, you may have been spending too much time together. Carter, you're starting to sound like McKay."
"Eww, sir!" she said, stomping off. "That's a disgusting thought!"
McKay rolled his eyes. "Clearly it's a girl time for her as well." He glared at the other people in there. "I'll try to get her to make a report that makes a bit of sense but I doubt it won't be full that sort of problematic magic crap." He walked off in his own huff. How dare they compare Carter to him again! She was nothing like him.
Landry moaned, shaking his head. "Someone figure out what really happened. Maybe Rosenburg clouded their minds or something. Check the cameras around town." He went to take some tylenol because magic wasn't real, even if Rosenburg could get it to work slightly.
Xander made Draco sit and watch movies with him while Jack and John did 'military things' that they didn't want to tell them about. Which to the boys meant they were off having sex in the garden or something. So it was up to Xander to teach Draco some new things that would blow his little, purist mindset to make him more of a real boy. Xander put in a film noir movie he liked and relaxed.
Draco stared at the tv, looking confused. He could follow the story but he was wondering why people watched these things. He did get sucked in. At the end, Xander let him pick the next one and he put that one in. They watched it too. It was... still a bit mushy in places. The hero always got the girl, who was always pretty and sultry. Plus had a great voice. Women in the wizarding world weren't like that. He wasn't sure why they weren't though.
He put in another when that one was done, trying to figure out why his people weren't like this. Potter definitely wasn't that sort of hero. He wasn't muscular, had a squeaky, higher pitched voice than these heros, didn't get the girl - not even his mudblood, and wasn't anything like these guys. Also, these people's clothes looked more comfortable than a robe and their hats weren't pointy. No one had beards like Dumbledore. Even the ones in color dressed better than Dumbledore or his father. He looked at Jack as he walked past him. "Are these people real?"
"They're created ideals," Jack told him. "Like some fantasy warrior or hero that people want to emulate and look up to. Guys want to be like that. Some make it. A lot don't. Why?"
"Do people look up to men like that?" Jack nodded. "What about women like that?"
"A lot of women have tried but the women who act in those movies are an ideal that very few reach. It's one reason why women can be insecure about their bodies and looks." He glanced at Xander but he was asleep. He smiled at Draco. "It takes some work, some class, some dressing help." Draco smiled a bit. "If you want to talk about that, that's actually the stuff I was raised on. My generation built all that fantasy to show how everything should be. Xander's and John's generations built their own fantasies of what a man should be."
"If it wouldn't be a problem."
"Of course not. A guy your age has to think about things like that. Who they want to be, what they want to be, all that." Draco nodded. He patted him on the head. "Go to bed, Draco. It's late. Let Xander nap out here for now." He watched the kid leave looking thoughtful while he smiled at Xander. He could get behind that campaign to make Draco a better man. Before he turned into a bastard like his father was supposedly. He went to his own room to rest. They had to start helping Draco with the spell stuff soon. All this R&R was getting annoying. Maybe Thor would show up to rescue them or something. You never knew with beings like Thor.
Willow decided she'd had enough of the doubters. She charmed them to both work with her on something. A little slip magically but they'd understand. They came out of it while sitting down in the middle of a casting circle. "If you get up and stomp off, the thing out there can eat you," she said when Rodney started to make huffy noises. She handed him the paper. Then Sam. "There. That's how we banish it." She beamed and started the chant.
Carter felt foolish but she went along with it. McKay was grimacing but the same thing. Then Willow dropped out. Carter stopped. McKay stopped a minute later but the beast was gone. Carter stared at him, noticing how shocked he was looking. "You did...." She pointed.
McKay glared at Willow. "I did not want to know that about myself."
"You can't deny it either," she said smugly. She uncast the circle and let them free. "See, you can figure out how to quantify magic." She strolled off.
"That is trickery!" he called after her.
She beamed back at him. "Sometimes you need to trick someone out of their closet. It makes them happier once they're out, even if they do want to hide." She headed off to find Buffy for patrol.
McKay growled. Carter backed away slowly. "Just don't make me a pet too," she said quietly. He glared at her and she decided to retreat. It was the wiser course of action tonight. O'Neill would flip out when he heard about this.
"I will not participate in something as illogical as *magic*," he complained, stomping off in another direction. When he got pounced by a vampire, he reacted by instinct and the magic came out to float over a weapon so he could stake it. When he realized what he had done he decided he was desperately needed back on Atlantis. Sheppard could save himself this time since he couldn't really help. All it would do is confuse him further and finish rotting his mind. Since that would lead to everyone's destruction some day, it was best if he left and forgot about magic. He snarled at Landry when he ran into him. Landry just got out of his way. Apparently Carter had told him he was in a bad mood. It was much appreciated. He caught a flight back to Colorado as soon as he could and then went to Atlantis as soon as he heard the ship was in orbit but about to leave. He didn't need any leave time, to do any shopping to pick up sweets for himself, nothing like that. He needed back on Atlantis before he finished going insane.
Ronon would beat the magic out of him if he slipped.
Jack read the emails the next morning. "Carter's freaked out. Willow made them do magic by forcing them. McKay huffed off because he was the last one chanting and the banishing worked." John shuddered. "She said she heard he hit the ship as soon as he got back to Colorado. So he's headed back."
"Wish we could," John sighed. "I miss the ocean and my slightly sentient, cranky city."
"Go teach the boys self-defense. Carter's complained a lot about being attacked by vampires and things. Since Xander works with them, he could probably use the practice too."
"Probably." He went to grab Xander from the kitchen. He had spent a lot of time there recently. "C'mon, Jack said you could use a hand-to-hand refresher and so could I."
"Sure. Let me finish this potion."
"Why are you making potions?"
"It's to help me sleep." He pulled it off the heat and put the prepared cheesecloth over it. "There, it can sit for a few hours." He followed John out to the garden. "I'm mostly self-taught."
"Then it's definitely time to teach you," John assured him. "Especially if you're going home after this." He waved a hand. "Attack me." Xander did and John had to duck a wild blow. "Okay, let's start there." He got him back and showed him how to fight properly. It'd take all day to get him to the point where he could probably hold his own against Jack but John would work with both boys on this for the next few weeks, or however long they were here. It was a positive thing he could do beyond learning magic. He was starting to get creeped out by magic so he wasn't sure he wanted to keep learning anything from the books in Giles' collection.
Rodney traded some help for one of the Airmen's sons in Calculus for some homebrew liquor. The calculus would be mind clearing and the alcohol would help too. He found where the kid was at in the book and worked from there through the whole book. Including some notes that the book had screwed up some formulas. He added a few were parts of classical formulas if they changed a few things so the kid would learn more. The week-long trip back to Atlantis was quickly gone through. Rodney handed over the notebooks of calculus and the book itself before getting beamed down. He was much more soothed. Everyone stared at him. "He's still fine. They can get email out."
"We got one from him," Weir admitted. "Are you sure he's fine?"
"They're working on getting them back but it's relying on some very illogical, mentally warping things."
"So you left him there?" she demanded. "Alone?"
"He has O'Neill." She gaped. "Better to let Carter warp her mind instead of mine!" He walked off. "Carson, I need a sedative since Elizabeth kindly brought up things I'm trying to block out," he called when he saw him.
Their doctor shook his head. "I'll see you in a few minutes, Rodney. Do your check to make sure you didn't bring anything strange back."
"Please do. There's no telling what sort of mutated diseases are running around that town with everything else weird in it." He snapped his fingers and walked back to the control center, copying a file off his computer. "Personnel we never want to have in this project. Theirs was shut down for torture in the same town that Xander boy comes from." He walked off again.
She read it over. She recognized a few names as some SG personnel and Area 51 personnel that had changed. Pity about their careers.
Jack came out to watch self-defense class, nodding at what he was seeing. Both boys were sweaty and looked like they were having a hard time beating John. John was better than some people he knew but Teal'c could probably still kick his ass. Still, Xander was doing good. Draco was doing less good but he had been complaining for the last week that wizards didn't do things like this. Xander had introduced him to Tai-Chi, which seemed to help him. He had cleared a problematic spell after a few sessions of his meditative exercises.
So they were moving closer to when they could go home. They hoped. They were all missing their friends and near-family. Plus John was missing the ocean again. He guessed they'd handle it somehow but it was still a big thing to do. Draco was slowly inscribing the runes he learned in a room for the spell. He had to understand each one and what it meant and was for before he could inscribe it. They were about halfway to where they needed to be for that. Jack cleared his throat. "John, let Draco shower and go study."
"Sure. Go for it, Draco." He nodded, stretching as he had been taught, and seen the reason for when he had cramped the first time he ignored that order. Then he went to shower and get into the next rune. He was doing about one a day right now. That was better than he had hoped for.
Xander tripped John then danced around in happiness. "Whoo-hoo!"
John got up and patted him on the back. "Nice job, Xander. You've come a long way." He grinned. "Go shower. You stink," he teased.
Xander snorted. "Pot, kettle," he said dryly, but left those two alone together. Jack clearly wanted some colonel time.
Jack waited until the kid was out of hearing range. "They still think we're together?"
"Yup," John said with a grin.
Jack shook his head. "Not hardly." He looked at him. "You good? Injured?"
"Not really. A few bruises, nothing major. Xander pulls his punches instead of going all out like he would against a vampire." He wiped his face off with his shirt. "We should still have a day off soon."
"We can. Pick a movie binge." He walked off to check on dinner. Since he wasn't doing anything he could take over cooking duties tonight. He felt like the dad anyway. John and the boys were so young sometimes.
Draco finally got everything done. He made the last potion. Everyone ate and then Xander packed up the excess food they had. Jack gave him a patient look but agreed it was fine and might be necessary. As opposed to letting them rot here for their hosts if they ever woke up. Draco poured the potion in the correct spots as he walked around the large circle. He stepped in and poured the last little bit out, then got into position to cast his part. The focus was going to be Jack's mind because he knew a safe place they could land in without questions being demanded. Draco did his part, panting by the end. Jack did his part and the world flashed.
John looked around the warehouse. "Um, sir?"
Jack looked around too, frowning. "This isn't the same warehouse. We should've landed inside the SG storage area. The one next to motor pool."
Draco looked at him, then at Xander. "I know you said magic goes funny around you...."
"Not my doing," he said dryly. "I was concentrating on being bland and magicless."
Draco huffed. "Then where are we?"
"I think when are we is the better question," Xander said, pointing at a box. "Unless a lot of boxes get marked with an expiration date in the fifties?"
"Oh, fuck," Jack complained. Someone opened the door. "Draco, can we hide this?" he muttered. Magic symbols in the fifties were not acceptable things. Draco nodded and made it disappear. The person coming in to check on the noise was a soldier. "Marine."
"Who're you?" he demanded, pulling his gun up. Jack pulled out his Base ID card. The man snorted. "That's a fake, sir. It's not that year yet."
"I know, Marine. That's where our problems are coming from. Can you get the base commander?"
"I'll see if he wants to talk to you four strangers, sir." He called in over his radio.
Draco looked at Xander. "Any idea?" he asked quietly.
Xander shrugged. "I'll go over it later to see," he muttered. Draco nodded. Someone else stomped in with two MP's. "Oh, hey, you look just like Matherson."
"Who?" the base commander said.
"Neil Matherson. I went to school with him. He said his dad was a Marine from lower Cali, that's how they ended up in Sunnydale."
"That's my son's name," he said.
Xander pulled out his ID and a picture in his wallet. "Prom." He pointed to a guy in the background. "Him?"
He swallowed. "That's too young to be my son, I hope. So you must know my grandson," he sighed. "Which means that your preposterous story may be true." Jack showed him his ID. "General, do you have any idea how you got here?"
"Yes, but it's highly classified even in my time," he admitted. "Are the lower levels dug yet?" The base commander stiffened. "My current job, and my colonel's, is out of there."
"Oh, dear. We were warned that was going to be something scientifically implausible."
"Some days, yeah," John admitted, pulling his own ID. "Colonel John Sheppard." He presented it. "These are Mr. Harris and Mr. Malfoy. They were unfortunately helping us with the current issue that got us sent here."
"Not usually, just helping with something that made them travel a bit our way," Xander admitted. "Long damn story," he said with a sigh. "What year is it?"
"1952. What year was it when you left?"
"Oh, I see." He considered things. "How long before you think you can get home?"
They all looked at Draco. "About three weeks or so until I'm strong enough," he muttered in the language Xander had been teaching him.
"Three weeks until it's recharged," Xander translated. Draco shrugged. "Okay, so we need to find a rooming house and temporary jobs," he decided. Draco groaned. "Unless you want to call home?"
"No, I doubt my parents would be thrilled since they're pre-school aged," he said dryly. "My grandfather might be quite amused though."
Xander grinned. "That's one way to get treats from home."
"True." He looked at Jack and John.
"You can't tell them how," John ordered.
"Fine, I'll see if that can get us a bit of support." He grimaced, looking at Xander. "What about your friend's people?"
"They hate me because I helped her. It's supposed to be individual duty, without helpers."
"Ah, I see. Makes sense with some of the names you call them," Draco decided. He looked at Jack. "Motel?"
"Rooming house," he corrected. He looked at the base commander. "Is there one nearby that's reasonable? John and I can get something simple for a bit until it's recharged. Xander too."
"Mae's," one of the MP's said. "A few of us had to live there until some base housing got finished."
"Good deal," Jack decided. "Thank you for not having us arrested, Colonel." He shook his hand.
"I'm told that we'll see some pretty strange things from those underground layers in a few years."
Jack smirked. "If you were around in our time, you'd probably be right but for the next few years it's going to be science projects."
"Good, then I won't need tums as often." He walked them out. "Let me know when you're ready to go back so we can keep track of such things, general."
"I can do that." They got a ride down to the rooming house. Xander stopped at a pawn shop on the way to get money from this time period since it had changed a lot since then. He came out minus a necklace and a grin. "Go well?"
"Fairly well." He handed Jack the money. "We can rest tonight and find things tomorrow." Jack nodded and they pulled in at the rooming house. The MP told the house mistress that they were displaced due to an incident but they weren't fully military, just military families. She smiled and gave them the reduced rate. They went up to their rooms to rest and consider what they were doing for the next three weeks. Plus how Draco had screwed up.
Xander looked over Draco's diagram, pointing. "Did you add an extra dot?"
"I was very careful," he complained. "Why?"
"An extra dot would be a temporal change as well." He looked at him. "Or else Jack's mind was focused on something else."
"That's possible," Jack said from his seat beside the bed. John shrugged. "So, we're doing what?"
"Well, the two things he needs for that *cooking experiment* I can't find here in town. I asked the demon who was running the pawn shop. He recognized where I was from." They all groaned. "Other than that, he said we have to hit Denver for that." Jack nodded at that. "He'll call a person. He saw me, noticed the less than modern clothes, and put it together." He looked at Jack. "He'll send us a note here." That got another nod. "He did say there's a few construction projects, including one at the base."
"That might be weird," John said quietly.
"There's three downtown, including the new hospital. He suggested a bar I can bounce at. That gives me a night time job instead so we're not caught without a guard."
"Good point," John agreed. "Draco?"
"I've got to link into the calling system. I'm sure my grandfather will be unhappy with what happened but ..." He shrugged. "I could pop home," he said quietly. "I'm not sure if the wards are set differently or not. I'd doubt it though since my father is no genius at them."
"Will that strain you too much?" Jack asked.
"Not more than a day." They all nodded. "I'll do that tonight. After I call." He pointed at the doorway. Their landlord was clearly nosy. Xander grinned and nodded he knew. Jack shrugged and John just shifted. "Let me see what I can do to talk to him before then." He put up a privacy spell. The Americans had no Ministry and if they suddenly popped up with an auror, then they could only help them get home. He made the door soundproof.
"Walls too," Xander said quietly. Draco did that with a grin and went to the mirror in there. Jack gave him an odd look. "Plaster isn't as soundproof as fiberglass batting."
"No it's not," he agreed. "That's why old houses echo." He put his feet up on the edge of the bed. "Any other ideas, kid?"
"Two. But we'll see what's going on for now." He nodded at that.
Draco tuned into the mirror at the Manor, scaring the crap out of the old man at the desk. "Grandfather, you're younger than you were when you died."
He stared at him. "With that face and hair, you're clearly a Malfoy. Which one, boy?"
"Draco. Son of Lucius."
"Lucius is only seven," he said bluntly.
"We were trying to get home and botched it a bit, Grandfather. May I come speak with you?" The old man nodded. The wards would destroy him if he meant harm to the family. "Thank you. I'll be there in a few." He hung up and grabbed his wand. "Wish me luck." He disapparated to the manor. It was a long trip but oh well. He didn't have a portkey and the wards would send him somewhere else if it wasn't made by the family. He landed and walked inside, going to the study. He smirked at his father. "You should be in bed." Lucius ran off. "Huh, I am scary today. Must need another shower." He knocked then walked into the study. "Father ran to bed when I noted it was past his bedtime so he can't overhear." He closed the door.
"That proves you're a Malfoy, Draco. What happened?"
Draco sat down to tell him everything that had been going on, including how he had to use that other, weaker form of magic to get them home. His grandfather was growling. "Somehow, we ended up in this time zone instead of our correct one. I need about three weeks to recharge to get us all home."
"You could go without them," he pointed out. "They are muggles."
"Jack's project deals with the stone rings like was found in the Chronicles," he said quietly. "I snuck a look at some of their reports. It's reopened and they're keeping us from destruction."
"They did what!" he shouted.
Draco nodded, looking less than pleased. "Has been for years. He and John both work on that. Though I have seen a mention of Atlantis as well."
"Oh, bloody hell!"
"The other grew up on a hellmouth. Frankly, the witch he works with is much more scary than anything that Jack's people might run into. She had to redo a gypsy curse on a vampire."
"Angelus' curse?" he demanded.
Draco nodded. "Xander said he lost it a few years back. She restuck it from a hospital bed, right after coming out of a short coma, Grandfather. I don't want to get on her bad side, or their slayer friend's bad side."
"That's a good reason," he decided, calming himself down. "When did I die?"
"I was about six. Just turned six if I remember right."
"Oh." He considered it. "Then Lucius was at least an adult."
"Hmm, and we were out of the last war with the Dark Lord."
"Which one, Draco? We have had many in this country."
"Voldemort. My father joined his cause for pureblood supremacy."
His grandfather sneered. "I'll beat that out of him."
"If you change much, then things could shift radically and create a paradox," Draco pointed out.
"I'm aware of that." He stared at him. "You came for help. What do you need?"
"I wouldn't dare bring them here of course so funds to switch over for the next three weeks to a month of recharging so I can get us back to our own time. We're in a rooming house. The others are getting menial jobs but I have to brew two potions and then power the spell."
His grandfather considered it. "That's not a great amount of money."
"The rooming house is forty a week," he said quietly. "American. I know it's asking a lot but as I have to do this or regrow up again. Which would probably create a paradox."
"Which would get you thrown in Azkaban," he replied.
"Also true, but the Americans don't have a Ministry."
"Good point." He considered it. "I can let you have sixty galleons. That's about two hundred muggle American dollars based on the last exchange rate I saw." Draco beamed and nodded. "Will that see you through?"
"It will. Thank you, Grandfather." He stood up and shook his hand. "I do try to do the line proud."
"Are you joining your father's side?"
"I'm considering which would be the best for the family's name. The hero the dark lord created by enacting a prophecy is in my year at school and has managed to defeat him a few times. I support pureblood rights and responsibilities but I'm not sure I can support the way he goes about it. Especially not with a war coming and me being unmarried at this point in my life."
His grandfather smirked. "That is a good point to consider. There must be a Malfoy heir." Draco nodded. "Make sure this does not complicate that search."
"I shall. Thank you, Grandfather." His grandfather handed over the money and Draco went to Diagon to get it changed out. Then he went back to the rooming house. He handed Jack the money.
"Sweet, thank you, Draco."
"Enough for some food and the things I'll need for those cooking experiments."
"Even better." He put it into his wallet. "Xander?"
"I know where to go to ask. The pawn shop guy told me." That got a nod and they agreed it'd be fine. "Plus it'll let me keep track of any problems coming for us."
"Decent," John decided. He stood up. "Let's go have dinner since it's included." They went to have dinner and then went to sleep. They had to share rooms but that was fine. Well, Draco had to get used to sharing one so closely but he was strong, he'd survive Xander's snoring.
Xander walked into the bar the next night, looking around before going to the bartender. "I was told I could find a bouncer's job here?" he asked. "Is there someone I can beg?"
The bartender looked at him. "You're a bit cocky."
Xander smiled. "I've been helping on my hometown's protection society. Then I decided to go on a post-grad roadtrip and got stuck."
"Oh. So you're a tough guy?"
"Not bad. I don't brag though. That's a sure sign you have no idea what you're doing."
The bartender smiled. "Too true. Let me get the boss, kid." He went to talk to him and they both came out.
He looked at the boy. "You look strong. Farmboy?"
"Sunnydale actually." The man flinched. He grinned. "I come by it naturally for other reasons."
"We're ethical around here."
"I get that. Flashing weapons, causing problems, bothering any females in the bar beyond what they can brush off?"
"Most of the women can get rid of their own troubles," the bartender said.
"Yeah but they still appreciate it. My friend can do the same but she says it messes up her nails." The owner laughed but nodded. "When can I start?"
"Tonight's fine." He grinned and shook his hand. "Thank you."
"You got a name, kid?"
"Got any ID so I can note you?" Xander pulled out his school ID. "Oh, you did go there. Poor kid. How's the mayor?"
"Still plotting. As usual." That got a nod and he noted the kid in the pay book then handed back his ID. "Thank you."
"Where are you staying? We have a room upstairs."
"Me and a couple of people I met on the trip are at Mae's."
"That's a good place but she's nosy."
Xander nodded. "Yeah but Draco handles that." He grinned. "He's a Brit."
"Huh, I don't know too many from over there. He going to come in looking for a job?"
"No, his job is to rest and help us get home. He's...highborn," he said quietly. "Still trying to figure out if he wants to follow the family or not."
"Ah. That's a good reason to go on a trip." He pointed. "Go hit the doorway, kid." Xander went to do that. They'd watch how he did tonight. Theirs was an underground bar and the thugs might not like the kid. When the first rowdy one came in Xander just let him past. Since the other bouncer said they don't check ID's. Gave him a funny look for asking about it too. When the first fight broke out, the kid waded in and picked up one of them to toss out into the street. The other bouncers got the other two to toss out as well. Then the kid silently went back to his post. That worked for them. He clearly wasn't with the cops. He was too low brow and too underground himself being from Sunnydale.
Jack and John came back from their first day of construction work wincing at the pain in their arms. Draco handed over some massage oil he had found and needed for a spell component. They took it to the bathroom to shower and relax. They came back for supper and then went up for the night. Xander was gone at his job. Draco was going back over the runes.
"Could be worse, we could be in the disco era," John quipped quietly.
Jack snickered. "I'd hate to see what sort of problems the kids would have."
"Why would I?" Draco asked.
"Things were a lot different then," Jack told him. "Everything changed then."
"Oh." He nodded and went back to studying.
"Tomorrow, why don't you look around town," Jack suggested.
"I can do that." He smiled. "Maybe the movies?"
"You can do that if they're showing something decent. We won't mind, Draco." He nodded and got back to work. Finally they went to bed.
Xander came in from his second night of work, looking at the landlord. "Morning," he said quietly. "You're up early."
"What are you doing for work, Xander?"
"Bouncing at a bar. It's not hard work and I get to talk to people."
"That's interesting. Does it pay well?"
"Fairly decent," he admitted with a grin. "I'm told I get paid in two days so I can pay for next week then."
"That's fine, Xander." She handed him a cookie and let him go upstairs. She smirked at his back. Something was not right with those boys. She'd have to figure out what.
Jack plugged up the laptop to charge it, looking at what came up. "How in the hell," he muttered, noticing the new email icon. He got into it and tried to send a message. It went. "Huh."
Xander leaned over his arm. "Demon network, yay," he said quietly.
Jack shook his head with a groan, turning off the computer to let it recharge. It was stranger than he wanted to think about. The boys were playing cards on the bed. "How are things looking for the next week?" Jack asked.
"Same old same old," John admitted. "Draco?"
"Hmm, I need those two components then I can start on the primary one." He discarded a card and Xander gave him another one. "That really didn't help," he complained.
"Sorry but I don't pick the cards to deal," Xander quipped back. "Unless I'm playing poker for an important reason."
"I've had a few of those games," John admitted. "Please don't talk about kittens," he said when Xander opened his mouth. He hated that subject. No one he knew was insane enough to play kitten poker. Even Ronon.
"Fine." He gave John some for his discards, shrugging at the unhappy look.
Jack smirked. "Kid, are you dealing seconds?"
"Nope." He smirked. "It's all in the shuffle." John cuffed him on the head but oh well. He won that pile of matchsticks. He had been running low.
Jack shook his head. Sometimes the boys were strange, but he was with John agreeing that thanking god they weren't in the sixties or seventies was a good idea.
Draco came back from his bout of shopping for something for Xander to wear to work that was presentable to find the landlady in their room on the computer. He scowled. "Did you find something interesting?"
She flinched. "What is this thing?"
"Something Jack found. You'd have to ask him." He took it carefully from her and put it aside. When she huffed he cast a memory charm. It was necessary. Laptops weren't invented yet. She wandered out going to vacuum at his suggestion he had seen some tracked in dirt. He sat down with a sigh and considered things. Maybe a locking charm? No, she'd get suspicious if she couldn't get in. Maybe a hiding charm but that would mean the others couldn't find it either. He'd have to figure out how to hide the infernal machine better later on. He was very tired from his shopping. They had such neat clothes back here.
Jack walked in looking very tired. "You don't look happy," he sighed when Draco looked up at him. "Why?"
"Long day?" he asked dryly.
"Very long day. What happened?" Draco pointed at the laptop. "New one?"
"Landlady. I had to some twitching," he said, pointing at his wand.
Jack moaned. "I'll handle it later. Let me shower and eat."
"John just headed that way."
"I outrank him, I get first shower." He went to kick him out and take the shower over. John wisely got out of the way when he saw him coming. When they got out, they went down to dinner, as Mae demanded they eat it at the table like 'civilized beings'. Then they went up to talk about the problem. They'd tell Xander about it later. Draco would be up brewing the first potion then.
Xander walked in and smiled at Mae the next morning. "Is Jack off today?" She nodded. "Thanks." He went up to their shared rooms, knocking before walking into Jack's. He was sleeping and Xander was sorry about that. "Jack?" he asked quietly.
"Is it an emergency or an invasion?" he mumbled into his pillow.
"No, but I need some help getting away from a woman at the bar who thinks I'd be a nice pet kitty human for her."
Jack lifted his head, staring at him. "What?"
"Woman, Xander. Bad girl wants Xander. Xander ran for his damn life because she wanted to collar Xander and pet him nightly."
"How did you do that?" Jack asked, sounding really tired to himself.
"I don't know. I never talked to her. I never did more than open the door for her." He sat on John's bed. He heard a grunt and looked. "I didn't know he was off today."
"He's not. He wrenched his back," Jack said grimly. He sat up, looking at the boy. "You can't give her a polite 'no thanks'?"
"No. The boss said to suck up to her. It'd do me good."
"Aw, shit," Jack muttered. He glanced at the door. Mae would yell if she caught them swearing. She had when she had caught Draco swearing Britishly. Then he looked at the kid again. "Is that the whole problem? You still look antsy."
"Well, we kinda had a small invasion at the bar," he said quietly. "And I kinda jumped in since I'm a bouncer," he said more quickly to ease the frown. "And then the demon whore showed up with her overlord."
Jack rubbed his forehead, squeezing his eyes shut. "So you had to deal with it?"
"They shot it but it just screamed. I wiggled a finger in my ear and grabbed the for-show machete from behind the bar to take it out. Then I shoved her against a wall and threatened her life if she brought another one near me. But they knew I'm from Sunnydale so that's probably what they were expecting me to do."
Jack nodded once then cuffed him on the side of the head. "Quit?"
"May've been fired," he admitted sheepishly. "Not for the fight, but for turning the wench down. Because she was setting off all my bad girl radar senses and she knew about Sunnydale somehow too. I had the mental image of a kitty Xander that would never be able to get away from her. Or me sacrificed on an altar to whoever she's praying to."
"Probably with your luck," Jack admitted. "I'll go in with you tonight, get a drink. Make sure she's not going to keep you."
"If they think you're coming in for more than being a friend, like being a *friend*, I'll get my ass kicked, Jack."
"It'd never happen and no one would suggest it." He patted him on the head. "Go rest." Xander nodded, going to sleep in his own bed. Jack looked at Sheppard's bed, finding him having fallen off again. He got up to stare down at him. "Is that really helping you?" he asked since he was awake.
"Feels nice," John said dryly. "I can't seem to move to get up though." Jack helped him stand and got him against a wall to help his back unkink. John sighed in pleasure. "Thank you for fixing my back, O'Neill." He went back to bed. "We'll bring Draco to the bar later." He fell asleep again.
Jack shook his head, going to the bathroom. Mae stared at him. "John threw his back out. I just helped him pop it," he said at her horrified look.
"Oh! That's very nice of you then, Jack." She hurried off. She was glad he wasn't one of *those* sorts.
Jack shook his head once he was safely in the bathroom. He forgot how restrictive the pre-sixties were. He went back to bed. It was his day off and he needed a rest.
Jack was at the bar later that night, resting, having a beer, ignoring the people up the bar who were making out. He saw the woman try to flirt with Xander and him shake his head, give her a mindless smile, and let the door open for her. She walked out unhappy that he wasn't hers for the night but oh well.
Then apparently the problem woman was coming in. Xander was looking hesitant. Jack got another beer and went to stand near the kid. "You know I like you like a nephew, kid."
"I know, Jack."
"Good." He glared at the woman. "He's like my nephew and no one in my family sells it, lady." She huffed off. He went back to the bar. Xander was relaxed again so it was apparently her. The bartender gave him a dirty look. "We're going on with our trip in a few more days. She shouldn't get too attached," he said bluntly. The bartender sighed, going to tell the boss that. Jack went back to his beer. John and Draco walked in. A few people gave Draco a dirty look but he ignored them. Draco was really taking to the manners of this time. Which was about fifty years past his own people's ways so that was progressive for him. John got them both a drink and settled in to enjoy the night off.
The owner came back. "So you're the ones Xander's traveling with?" They all smirked and nodded. "Interesting. How soon are you moving on?"
"Six days," Draco told him.
"Ah." He nodded and looked at the boy in question then at them. "It really would give him a better reputation if he would play along with people like her."
Jack gave him a dirty look. "The kid's like my nephew. I'd rather not have him being a whore."
"Good point." He smiled. "How much longer is your trip?"
"Hopefully we'll be back at home the next stop," John admitted. "Then Draco and Xander can head home from there."
"I hope it won't take more than that," Draco agreed.
The owner looked Draco over. "He said you were highborn from overseas." Draco smirked and nodded, taking a drink. "How did you get over here?"
"Someone introduced me to Xander. He thought we'd get along well together to handle something that was causing a problem."
He nodded. "That's fine. I'll cut the kid's check in five days, boys." They all smiled. "He's a good worker. If you guys have to stay here, I want him back." He left them alone, going to tell that dame that the kid wouldn't be hers and she had actually pushed ahead them leaving on the next leg of their roadtrip. She'd pout but oh well.
Jack and John shared a look over Draco's drink then John took Draco to play some cards at a back table. Jack kept watch on the other boy. Xander getting into trouble with a woman would only complicate things too much right now.
Draco finished with the diagram in the field. Jack and John were keeping watch. They didn't want to sneak back onto the base and the figure there had been erased. Before someone panicked about satanists. Draco waved them over to take their spots. They left, landing somewhere nearer to home but still not home. "Damn it!" Draco complained, stomping a foot.
Jack sighed, looking at John. "You were the focus this time."
"I have no clue," he complained. "I'm sorry."
Xander sighed, shrugging a bit. "When are we?"
Jack looked around. This was still a field in the middle of nowhere behind the base. It would be in their time too. That's why they had picked it. Of course, it was also a popular spot for parties too. Jack pointed at the van in the field. "I'd say late sixties by that."
John looked, shaking his head. "No, General, those came out in 1973." Jack moaned. "My father had one." He looked at Draco. "Three weeks?" He nodded, sighing a bit. "Well, we're closer. It's much closer and it'll be easier to hide things, Draco. Just... don't go clubbing or anything, okay?"
Xander gave him an odd look. "Disco is horrible music." He sighed, walking off. "I have the cash stash, let's get it changed at the demon pawn shop. He's probably still there." They nodded, following him. It wasn't a long hike but a pretty good one. Jack had to make Draco follow along when he tried to stop and stare at the local fashions. "Don't, you'll be horrified; the rest of us were," Xander said dryly. He looked at his buddy. "It's all the drugs everyone took."
"Many drugs," Xander sighed.
Jack nodded. "Yeah, there were," he sighed, smiling slightly. John shuddered. "You're too young to remember that."
"I was a little kid," he defended. "I saw plenty of people high around me."
Jack smirked. "It was more fun if you were old enough to participate."
"Is that admitting something, sir?" John joked.
One of the people on the sidewalk with them sneered. "This isn't the gay masochist part of town."
Draco looked at him oddly. "Why would it be? They're military, not gay. They say so quite often." The man hurried off. Draco rolled his eyes.
Xander grinned. "Things changed in the seventies, Draco. A lot." They found the pawn shop, only now it had more businesses around it. Xander walked in, with the others behind him. The demon behind the counter stared, moaning slightly. "Closer."
"Clearly!" He took the money. "This is actually collectable. Thank you." He paid them for it and they left. He put his head down, shaking it slightly. Hellmouth babies were always troublesome. He'd have someone talk to the wizard boy to help him fix that problem.
Xander found a job in a bar and it was good enough for now. It definitely wasn't a disco so he was happy. Of course, John decided he needed to relax his uptight mannerisms and took him to a club that next night since he wasn't working. The disco music gave him a headache. The drugs going around were helping. The woman that took him into custody.... Well that was a different story. He felt sorry for John losing track of him. Jack was going to thump him good. Xander would remember that the next morning when she let him wake up.
Draco made it back to the family home, looking at his grandfather since it was teatime in the garden. He sat down next to him, glaring at his father until he huffed off. He handed back the money he had borrowed the last time.
"Didn't work as planned?" his grandfather guessed.
"No. For some reason both military gits think about strange things." He looked over the gardens. "My mother planted roses there," he said quietly with a point and a smile.
"That's wonderful of her. That area could use some color." The old man looked at his grandson. "Are you all right?"
"One of them got sucked into a club and some questionable dame's grasp," Draco said dryly. "He's thankfully fine and she's letting us use her apartment since she's gone right now." They shared a look. Then Draco smirked. "I take it Father is being annoying?"
Draco laughed. "He does it to me as well, Grandfather." He stood up. "I added two percent interest when I got it changed back. Thank you for helping with that emergency situation." He left, going back to Colorado Springs.
His grandfather thought about this grandson of his. He was clearly being influenced by things outside the wizarding world. He hoped he could be reformed into a worthy family member when he finally got home. Or else he'd have to manage things so the boy gave a suitable heir somehow.
Draco decided to try the clubbing thing Xander had done. It was... an interesting experience. The woman he had met and went to the motel with very interesting. She had done some interesting things too. He was definitely not as experienced as she was; his playmates at school had *no* idea what real sexual fun was apparently. He'd have to teach some when he got home. He hadn't really minded the funny smelling cigarette she had let him test, but it made his head spin so he didn't partake of more than a few 'hits' of it. Then she called in another couple to have some more fun with. By the time Draco managed to almost literally crawl home, he was a vastly different boy.
Jack and John glared at him. "It's bad enough Xander did it," Jack said quietly.
"I wanted to see what clubbing was about," he defended, sounding drowsy. "Is anyone in the tub?"
"No, go," John sighed. "How many joints did you smoke, Draco?"
"What's a joint?"
The thing that made you smell that way," Jack said dryly.
Draco sniffed himself. "They had three, I only took a few tokes. It makes my head feel strange." He shifted and winced, holding his lower back. "Are you sure Xander isn't soaking?"
"Go for it," Jack ordered with a point. "Wash those clothes before anyone else can smell them, kid."
"Yes, Jack." He wandered that way, going to run a very hot bath and soak. He fell asleep long before he turned into a prune.
John went to grab the clothes to get the pot smell out of them. Their host could show up at any time and they didn't want to upset her. She might take it out on Xander and make him sleep with her again. No one wanted that to happen with the way Xander had been sore the next day.
Jack used the laptop to write a letter to Carter complaining that he had been more sane the last time he had been in the seventies.
Carter opened her new email, staring at it. "Well, they're closer," she announced. Mitchell gave her a dirty look. "They're in the seventies and Draco decided to see what Disco was about."
Mitchell moaned and Daniel shook his head. "Poor Jack," Daniel said with a smirk. "Two young things and Draco to watch over and too old to enjoy the fun in the discos."
Mitchell swatted him. "I don't want that thought about Sheppard, O'Neill, or the other two in any sort of club, Jackson!"
"Sorry," he said, not meaning it at all. "Maybe Sam can give them some hints." She hit him on the arm, making him laugh. "You played with the hippies when we went to the sixties, Sam."
"Shut up, Daniel. I don't want to remember that!" She stomped off grumbling under her breath.
Mitchell looked at Daniel. "Thank you for doing all the f-ed up shit with O'Neill in charge of the team. I don't think I could take the sixties, the seventies, and probably not the eighties either." He walked off in the other direction.
Daniel laughed and sent an email to McKay. He'd enjoy that story too probably and complain or rant some more until John or someone could calm him down.
Jack sat down Draco the next day, once he was straight again. They had to talk about real life outside of the wizarding world and how things were different. Plus how to act responsibly as a man. Clearly his father had missed a few topics while raising him. Draco admitted he was having some doubts about what he wanted to do after he graduated. He knew what he was expected to do. He knew what his family would do if he didn't follow expectations. So he had some ideas of how to fix things so he was happy and they weren't embarrassed. Hopefully they'd let him live. Jack gave him the sympathy and ear he needed to explain what he wanted and was thinking.
John heard them talking and took Xander out to the grocery store. Before they ended up eating tofu since Draco had wanted to try it and did most of the shopping for the group. Jack had a good handle and he had been a dad so he knew how to answer questions without making Draco stress more. Plus it gave him a chance to make sure Xander was all right with their host's affections whenever she was around.
They finally made it back to their right time zone. Right into a bunch of weapons. "Put it down!" Xander ordered and a few followed the order before they realized.
"Boys, behave," Jack ordered, sounding tired again. The soldiers relaxed at his order. "Thank you." He walked the boys off to the conference room so they wouldn't be in the way or get exposed to anything too radical. It was only up the hallway and a flight of short stairs. He flopped down in his chair with a sigh. The MP's following stared at him. "Get Carter in here?" He nodded, making that call. "Who took over while I was gone?"
"Okay then." Landry came in scowling a few minutes later with Carter behind him. "We're back."
"Thank god," she said, staring at him. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine, Carter. We all are." He grinned. "We survived six weeks in the seventies because someone got sick." John shrugged a bit. "But we did make it back."
"How is that laptop working?" Landry asked.
"The vengeance demon made it work," Xander said with a shrug. "He wanted it to."
Landry stared at him. "Your friends upset many people, Mr. Harris."
Xander smirked. "That's because your mind is closed. Either that or you think women shouldn't be in combat."
"No, it was the magic," Sam told him.
Xander snorted. "Please! There's so much worse things than magic." He looked at Draco. "Speaking of?"
"I don't know," he said quietly. He shrugged a bit. "I don't know what I'm going to do."
Xander nodded, patting him on the wrist. "You'll figure it out and tell me if you end up back on this side of the ocean, Draco. We'll hang. I'll even leave so you don't have to come to Sunnydale."
"That might be nice," Draco agreed. Xander snapped his fingers and handed over the money stash to him. Draco smiled. "Thank you."
"It can only help if you decide to go to college or something." He smiled.
Draco smiled back. "I might at that. It can only help make sure I'm not dumb in the future." He looked at Carter since she was gaping. "Is there news from my people? How is the war going?"
"Um.... Well, Willow captured the Dark Lord person when he sent someone after her."
"Ah." He nodded. "I'll call later then." He looked at Jack. "If you should end up back there...."
"We'll see what we can do," he agreed. "Though, all that stuff, Xander?"
"Oh, it's safely coming home," Xander said casually. "I talked to him in the forties." That got a nod and another bat at his head but Xander just smirked. "Not like I'm going to let it go to waste. Unless I go back there to get away from them." He shrugged. "Anyway." He smiled. "Head," he told Draco. Who disapparated from that spot. "Let me do the same before some bad girl wants me in this time too," he joked, getting up and looking up. "Yo, Willow, I'm home!" She appeared, squealing and hugging him, taking him back home with her. "Thank you." He looked at Buffy and Joyce, who were staring at him. "What?"
"That is a super ugly shirt, Xander," Buffy complained. "It's giving me a migraine."
Xander took it off and tossed it at her. "We came back via the seventies." He walked off. Shirtless did feel better after all his time in the seventies for some reason.
Buffy squeezed her eyes shut, shaking her head. "Mom, were the seventies a bad time in history?"
Joyce patted her on the back. "It'll be okay. He'll be his usual Xander self in a few days," she assured him. She went to get the boy to talk to him about the seventies. She had been a teenager then so she knew very well what sort of naughtiness he might have gotten into.
Buffy looked at the nasty shirt. "Burn it?" she begged Willow, who did that. "Thank you for saving my sanity." They walked in the other direction. She did not want to deal with Xander until he was normal again.
Draco walked into the family home, staring at his father. "You did have a bad case of acne, didn't you?" he asked dryly.
His father stared at him. "The first time I realized that was you, you were ten," he said bluntly. "Father was very amused when he saw you born."
Draco smiled. "It was their mind as the focus, Father, not mine. Though, the seventies were educational. Things certainly did change from the forties."
"Both times?" he demanded dryly. Draco nodded. "What did you learn?"
"A lot about how normal muggles see what a man should be. I did attempt to figure out what disco was about. I came home dreadfully sore and with fuzzy memories." He shook his head quickly. "Father, I know you want me to go to the Ministry directly, but what would you think about a few years at University? That way I could finish thinking about the man I want to be as opposed to the persona I have to put forth to the world? I could also find a worthy woman there. One who wasn't vapid," he said at his father's opening mouth.
"We do have an arrangement in place, Draco," he said impatiently. "It's unseemly not to."
Draco nodded. "Then that is my duty but I would like a chance to study real history. I found it can be useful in other areas, like battle planning." His father gaped in horror. "Jack, General O'Neill, taught me that it was worthy to study and it could help you determine what might happen. No truer form of human thought exists because we know what they did when things happened before."
Lucius stared at his son. "That is a thoughtful area of study but it will look less than seemly to send you off like some bohemian, Draco."
Draco nodded. "That's fine. I can read in my off-hours or whenever I don't have work on my desk at the Ministry. Who did you engage me to?"
"Father, you do realize she's had half the school?"
His father sneered. "You were gone when all the better lines were available."
Draco raised an eyebrow. "It's not my fault that someone back in the family lineage liked true elves, Father. Or that they decided I was more suitably strong."
His father sneered. "You are not stronger than I am, son."
Draco stared back then shrugged. "By their scale apparently I was the better choice." His father pulled his wand but Draco used wandless magic to snatch it and his mother's since she was in the next room. He stared his father down. "Maybe they felt you couldn't be trusted to end the higher demons, Father. I don't know why. It was an interesting learning experience however and whatever reason behind my snatching."
"I see. Perhaps you learned the wrong things," Lucius said firmly.
"Perhaps," Draco agreed. "But I did learn the meaning of honor and strength." His mother came out to stare at him. "Mother."
"Son." She stared at him. "You will bear us a suitable heir."
Draco stared at her. "Some day, perhaps." He smiled. "Not until I'm the only Malfoy though. It wouldn't be seemly to risk my life in such a manner, would it?" He walked off. "I'll be gone later tonight, Father." He cast the spell at Lucius which knocked him out. He stared at his mother. "I will miss you, Mother." He went upstairs to pack and make the circle again. Jack had given him a good idea about when he needed to start off on his new career. He paused to stare in the mirror. He couldn't be a Malfoy if he did this so he changed his looks. Dark hair, a bit of height. Some dark magic spells but no one would mind. His mother came upstairs looking pissed off. "Goodbye, Mother." He stepped in and poured what he needed, going back to when he needed to start over again. He had even gotten some name research done. Draco was such a pretentious name. There were more subtle creatures than a dragon. Including Tony's.
Xander looked up from his patrol when he felt someone staring at him. He stared back, then grinned. "Draco."
"Tony," he said with a smirk.
"Sure, Tony then." He shook his hand and gave him a hug. "What are you doing here?"
He winked. "I'm NCIS now." He walked the boy off. "You said to look you up."
"I'm off for the night," he called. Buffy glared at him so he pointed. "Visitors." He walked him off to his motel room. It was good enough for right now. "So... NCIS?"
"Yeah. I decided being a PI payed very bad wages," Tony said, lounging on the bed with a grin. "Being a cop was just as much for me and then I went Fed after eight years of that."
"Cool. I'm still here." He waved a hand around. "Doing construction, patrolling, all that."
"You can come with me back to DC."
Xander stared at him. "Did you see that senator on the news two days ago?"
Tony snickered. "I recognized the old bat that wanted to own you too." Xander grinned. They settled in to talk. And maybe more. Xander was clearly going back to the tense guy he had been when he had appeared on that demon realm. Clearly they needed to help Xander calm down again.
John got beamed down and looked at everyone staring at him. "Yes, I'm back."
"Was it really your fault you four ended up in the seventies?" Rodney asked from his seat.
John smirked. "No comment or about what happened when we pulled the boys out of the club." He walked up there. "So, what's going on, Elizabeth?"
"Nothing much this week. Are you all right?"
"I'm perfectly fine. I threw out my back once doing construction stuff, but otherwise I'm perfectly fine." She smirked at him, crossing her arms over her chest. "Jack's mind sent us to the forties. I got the seventies for some reason. Probably hoping we wouldn't end up there." He shrugged. "Anyway, I'm back. Let's go see what I missed this time." She led him to her office to go over the things he had missed.
Later that night, Rodney looked up from working in his lab because something was tickling his attention, finding Sheppard focusing on a spare crystal he had floating in the air. He magically snatched it and put it down too hard, cracking it. "No magic on Atlantis," he hissed. "We'll warp the galaxy and end up with Rosenburg here." John just smirked at him. "I'm not studying it."
"That's fine. I only picked it up because I was bored and Draco needed help."
"Good. We'll never speak on this topic again."
"Sure, I can agree to that. Dinner?" He stood up. "That's why I came in."
"Food is a good idea," he decided, following him to the mess. "Make sure you can pick locks," he muttered as they walked next to each other.
"Already have," John assured him with a grin. "We won't tell the other two."
"Too late. I had Ronon making sure nothing like that warped me further. Before my mind quit working and I started to act like *her*."
John snickered. "I doubt you can, Rodney. You're too male for that."
"I can only hope I stay male." John nodded that was true and they merged into the food line.
Six months later, Xander tripped over a portal and landed back in a familiar building. Across the room from him, John and Rodney came through the glowing portal. "Back out," he called. John tried but it was closed. He and Rodney groaned. Xander stood up, sighing as he looked at the closed one behind him. "What now?" he demanded.
John shrugged. "I don't know." He looked Rodney over. "You okay?"
"I'm good. Where are we?"
"Welcome to the demon realm that they think Xander is the lord of," John said sarcastically.
"I tripped over a portal in a cemetery," Xander defended. "Not like it was there last night." Rodney huffed. "Who called us back!" he shouted.
One of the local demons came out to bow to him. "You won our freedom so we are yours, Lord Xander and Lord John. Lord Jack threatened to kill us all so we removed him." He scurried off. "Dinner is ready."
They shared a look and sighed, heading to the kitchen to get something to eat and talk them out of keeping them. People could die if John and Rodney weren't on their fabled city. Xander.... Well, he might be stuck. Until an apocalypse.
Buffy saw Xander disappear and huffed, going to find Willow. "They took him again!"
She groaned, shaking her head. "I don't know, Buffy. We'll do what we can. Call that John guy, see if he'll come help while I work on getting Xander back?" Buffy groaned but sat down on the bed to do that.
They'd handle it somehow. They always did whenever Xander got funny around them or did odd things that made them swear like bad girls.