Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I do not own Stargate. I am making no money from this.
Warning: There is an implied Xander/Rodney pairing in this fic. This is the fifth story in the series "Xander in Atlantis" and they are an established couple.
Dr. Weir eyed him from across her desk. Her laptop lay open next to a small pile of files and two personal photos facing away from him. He expected she’d steeple her fingers any moment now.
It was inevitable really. He wasn’t normal, but he’d thought he was good enough at pretending he was to stay off the radar. There wasn’t anywhere like Sunnydale, they’d all had to practice coming up with half-decent explanations for supernatural events since as they travelled the world, reforming the Council. He’d forgotten that the Atlantis Expedition was actively looking for things that didn’t make sense. They wanted
to see the unexplainable.
“Colonel Shappeard tells me you killed a wraith, Harris,” she said at last.
Xander looked blankly back. “Yay me?”
She steepled her fingers. Aha! He knew it. He knew there would be trouble over that wraith, but it wasn’t like he could just leave Rodney to fend for himself. The man could barely handle a gun, his saving grace being the miraculous ability to fail to hit anything when he fired one. Xander wasn’t much better since the soldier memories had faded from lack of use, but he didn’t need a gun to be dangerous. Which might be the problem, come to think of it. Soldiers got uneasy when a civilian suddenly turned out to be scarily competent in a fight. Sheppard’s glare was a big clue. He stood just a few feet behind Dr. Weir as her security during this little interview.
Sheppard. He was a nice, easygoing guy most of the time and could be relied on to get you back through the gate with all your bits still attached as long as you stayed out of his way. Since Xander never got in his way, believing the best place to be was where the bad guys weren’t pointing their weapons at him, they hadn’t had any problems. Only now he’d interfered in a battle, well, more of a skirmish to Xander - it wasn’t a battle until someone on your side died. Granted he’d only done so to save one of Sheppard’s team. It had left the Colonel deeply conflicted and feeling very unsympathetic to the poor guy sitting in front of Dr. Weir.
“You killed a wraith with a garrote, Harris, a garrote, and the wraith dissolved
,” Weir went on, steely gaze unwavering in the face of Xander’s cluelessness, “afterwards, Colonel Sheppard tells me, you said ‘there aren’t many things that can survive having their head cut off.’ Is this correct?”
Xander coughed, his throat having suddenly gone dry. “Well sort of.” Weir and Sheppard glared at him and he knew he’d be in a cell faster than you can say ‘spy’ if he implied Sheppard had misquoted him. “Mostly. Entirely.”
Weir sighed and Xander could practically feel the exasperation radiating outward. “Why did you have a garrote, Harris? How did you know it would work on a wraith? Why did you even try
to decapitate a wraith?” The question are you insane?!
went unspoken but was heavily implied.
“Uh, Lucky guess?” Xander suggested.
She flipped through a slim folder on the desk, her voice turned icy. “What do you do
Harris? It’s funny, but we have you on the list of staff but nothing for what your actual purpose here is. Anywhere. It’s not in the official files and no one here could tell me, but there must be something, how else would you have been recruited into the expedition team?”
That treacherous ground he’d been on had just turned to quicksand. He blinked, his expression going from clueless to polite confusion. It was intended to convince anyone who asked he was completely harmless, just got recruited into the program to do the odd task here and there. No danger here sir, no sir, just passing by sir.
“I’m a handyman, I do whatever needs doing. There was a government program run in my home town I did some work for, put me on the radar so to speak.”
“And that includes garroting wraith on a battlefield. Interesting set of skills.”
Xander already had an explanation ready for that
type of question. “Well, a handyman’s got
to be able to handle dangerous situations or else he wouldn’t be very handy, would he?” There. It answered the question without actually answering it, giving nothing away.
“I see. Do you have any other non-regulation weapons I should know about?”
“Uh, know about?” Xander was caught off-balance by the swift change of topic. “No.”
Weir’s lips were a thin line and Sheppard was shifting uncomfortably, itching to give Xander’s room a thorough search for what might be stashed away. He was welcome to look. Xander kept his weapons all over the place, including Rodney’s room, but none in his
Weir put the folder away and took her headset out of her ear. Sheppard copied her, looking relieved. Xander knew from Rodney that thing chafed after a few hours of wear.
“Who are you reporting to, Harris?” She asked once she was satisfied no one was listening in. Or rather, appeared to be listening in. Likely there were bugs all over this room she’d had Sheppard plant before she sent for Xander to conduct the interrogation. That’s what this was, he knew it, they knew it, and they knew he knew and knew he knew they knew, but it was all unofficial so they all just acted like this was a friendly chat while Rodney and the rest of SGA-1 waited outside.
“No one, Dr. Weir.”
She shook her head. “I know you’re not just a ‘handyman’ as you put it, Harris.”
“Hell yeah,” Sheppard spoke for the first time, “handymen don’t kill wraith like someone with black ops training. Sorry Dr. Weir,” he added off her look.
Weir continued after Sheppard was suitably subdued, “and the Colonel has some of this training. I trust him to recognize it others.”
It came to Xander that he had to give them some kind of explanation. If he could provide one that didn’t reveal the Council’s operations, and didn’t incriminate himself he could get out of this.
“Dr. Weir,” he began slowly, formulating his thoughts, “Hypothetically speaking, if I had been reporting to a group outside the Stargate program, they, hypothetically, already knew it existed and just wanted to make sure the military wouldn’t screw it up and the NID wouldn’t take it over like a previous program they encountered that went to straight to hell and were forced to mop up, and hypothetically, are very happy with the way things are being run and who’s in charge and offered to bring me home some time ago.”
Weir looked intently at him. “And, hypothetically, why did you stay?”
A loud knocking on the glass turned all their heads. Rodney waved his hand rapidly, in a gesture Xander translated as hurry up I have better things to do
. He pointed at Xander and jerked his thumb back towards the hall and the rest of Atlantis. Xander blushed, realizing what he really meant, and looked back to face Weir’s dropped jaw.
“Rodney?” She said, completely astonished.
“Hypothetically, Dr. Weir?” Xander answered, looking back at Rodney and smiling. “I stayed for me.”
“Well.” She turned to Sheppard who stood there nonplussed. “Well. You knew about this?”
She nodded. “Right. What do you think?”
“About Harris and McKay or Harris and the wraith?” Sheppard asked.
Sheppard relaxed against the wall, having come to a satisfying solution to the Xander-as-civilian/Xander-as-scary-wraith-killer situation. “He killed a wraith. That’s a job well done; I say we let him go.”
Weir waved to Xander in dismissal.
He stood up and headed for the door, but before he opened it he said, “Dr. Weir? Just one more thing. If Atlantis is ever in dire need of reinforcements, I can get you back-up, anytime. Hypothetically speaking.”
He swiftly exited the room even as she opened her mouth to reply. He grabbed Rodney and let him lead him off to the labs, which would be followed shortly by his bedroom. As he left he heard Dr. Weir strike up a conversation with Sheppard.
you think of Harris and McKay?”
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