Of all the things that Xander had faced before, this was the absolute worst. And, for friend and enemy alike, the most dangerous. Xander was...BORED! Sure, there'd been interrogations, which had been exciting in a not-so-fun way, and the alien invasion had been distracting for a whole half-hour, but other than that, NOTHING was happening. There was only so much Jell-O he could eat, and he could only work out so long before his arms fell off.
Kendra, on the other hand, was having a much better time of it. Having been raised by a Watcher, she was used to boredom. To her, this was almost a vacation. In fact, in some ways it was better than a vacation. Here was a place where there were no preconceived notions about her. No one would judge her on what she was SUPPOSED to be. As a bonus, she was no longer playing Junior Slayer to the blond former cheerleader. While they had gotten along as well as could be expected, given the circumstances, it had been incredibly difficult to work in the same place as the other Slayer. Like a wolf pack, there could only be one dominant Alpha, any more and there was friction. She needed her own place, her own territory where she could excel.
***Later that evening, General Hammond's conference room***
"It seems as though whatever kind of wormhole or dimensional rift brought our guests to this reality, it accidentally intersected with our own wormhole, diverting it off course. Theoretically, if we were to re-create that accident, except in reverse, that might be enough to send them home again." Major Carter gave her analysis of the situation. "We would need to have Xander attempt to re-create his wormhole while stepping through the gate after we dialed out to P3x-5738. Hopefully, the dimensional rift would re-open and allow them to transit back to their home."
General Hammond frowned. "Do you see any risks involved in the attempt, Major Carter?"
Sam sighed. "Well, sir, there are any number of variables to be considered. The experiment might fail, and they would simply materialize on P3X-5738. The experiment could succeed, only to strand them on an alien planet where the SG-C might or might not exist to allow them passage back to Earth. However, the only alternatives would be for them to remain here, or else flip through the quantum mirror and hope to get lucky."
Jack snorted."Yeah, right, like that'd work. As if we could tell by flipping through that thing if they belonged in a reality or not."
"Well, some chance is better than no chance," Xander said. "I'd rather give it a shot than give up on ever seeing home. The only problem is that I can't go back to the exact same place I left, since the pool got blown up with the school. Might be able to shoot for someplace nearby, though." He looked down for a minute. "I need to know if everyone made it."
Everyone nodded in understanding. They had been in similar situations before, trapped in a strange place with little hope of finding a way home. Even with the possibility of failure, it was better to take the chance.
After a moment, Kendra spoke up. “I've been t'inking about dis for a while now. I'm not really needed back home; dere's already one slayer dere. But you people, you could really use a Slayer here, if you t'ink DOSE snakes are a problem. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to join your fight here.”
Eyes widened slightly in surprise, General Hammond nodded. “It would be an honor to have you join us here, Kendra. You definitely have proven your skills, and the Pentagon has granted both of you resident alien status. I see no reason why you couldn't become part of the SGC.”
“Indeed,” Teal'c intoned, “It would be an honor to fight beside so worthy a fighter once again. However, speaking as one who has been separated from my family and my people, the separation can be very difficult. Are you prepared to stay in this reality, never to return?”
Kendra gave him a small smile. “I have no family dere, and only a few friends. While I will be missin' Xander, here, I t'ink dat dis would be a better place for me. De people of dis world need someone to protect dem, and dat's what a Slayer is for.” She turned to Xander. “I hope dat you make it back. If you do, tell de Watcher dat I found a calling here.”
Xander gave her a quick hug, tears in his eyes. Kendra had been a true friend, and he would be sad to leave her behind. Nevertheless, he knew that she was right. She would never be truly happy in Sunnydale; there was just too much friction between the Slayers. She deserved a better life, somewhere where she might be able to live out her life and retire. “I'll miss you too, Kendra. I hope that you'll be happy here.” He turned to the assembled officers. “And if you guys ever treat her wrong, I have a shovel with your name on it.”
Ignoring the smirks around the table, Hammond spoke. “I'm going to clear your experiment for 0800 tomorrow morning. Until then, I suggest you go over your plans with Major Carter, and try and get some rest. Dismissed.”
***0800, Gate room***
Xander was vibrating with nervous energy. Today he would attempt to return to his own universe, but he would be going alone. He pushed depressing thoughts aside. He was finally back in his own clothes, with Morgif in his bag. Funny how strange normal clothes seemed after a couple of weeks in BDU's. He stared up at the Stargate. The last few times he'd been in the Gate room, he'd had little opportunity to appreciate the immensity of the stone ring.
“How's it holding up, kid?” A voice came from behind Xander, startling him.
“Not too bad, could be worse. And damn, I just jinxed myself, didn't I?”
Jack laughed. “That you did, that you did. You'll get home somehow, though.”
The two of them stood in silence, waiting as Kendra and the other members of SG-1 filed into the room. Pretty soon, Xander was caught up in a wave of goodbyes from all sides. He even managed to get a hug out of Kendra. “Are you sure this is what you want to do?” he asked. “I may never find my way back here, so once I'm gone, you'll be stuck here.”
Kendra nodded. “I t'ink it's for de best. Besides, SOMEONE needs to look after dese guys, keep dem out of trouble.” She paused for a moment, a serious look in her eyes. “Take care of yourself Xander. Be safe.”
He nodded, then turned to the rest of the group. “Ok, I'm ready. Let's get this show on the road.”
“Remember, you need to begin to create your wormhole as you step into the Stargate; there won't be time once you're in transit. We'll reestablish the connection a few minutes later, just in case it didn't work.” Major Carter was quick to reassure him. “We won't leave you on a hostile planet.”
“Thanks, I appreciate it.” Xander smiled at the blond Major.
Just then, the Gate started to spin. “Chevron one, encoded...Chevron one, locked....” The count continued on until the final chevron had locked into place, energy spilling out in a fountain.
“Wow, now that's impressive. Kind of like flushing water, but in reverse.” Startled by the show, Xander resorted to sarcasm.
“Yeah, something like that.” Jack replied, ignoring the outraged look on Carter's face.
Suddenly, the loudspeaker blared to life. “Mr. Harris, you have a go. Good luck and Godspeed, son,” came General Hammond's voice.
Xander threw a little salute in the direction of the observation window, then walked up to the Gate. Half turning, he called out over his shoulder, “Just remember what I said about the shovel!” And with that, he walked through and was gone.
Author's note: So, do you think Xander made it home or not? Find out on the next episode of Xander the Maou! Thank you everyone who took the time to review!