3 Key Secrets
A/n: sorry this is so late, I am trying to get stuff together before I post. As long as I'm reminded I should be posted a little regularly for a while.
Thanks to Vanessa and AetasLupus777 for acting as betas.
Also note that the first section is a fix of the last section of the previous chapters since I noticed a big discrepancy.
Standard disclaimer applies.
“Weiss,” the silhouette on the screen said to the three assassins in the basement. “This mission is not like the ones you are used to.”
“For once we aren’t killing?” Ken asked the screen sarcastically.
A picture of two teenagers, a redhead and a brunette, appeared on the screen. Yohji sat up from where he lounged in his favorite chair, staring at the picture of the boy from his dream. Oh great, now he had to go kill the kid without getting any answers.
“This is Alexander and Ayan Eppes, twins from California, and recently the targets of Takatori Reji’s attention.”
“So we really aren’t killing anyone?” Omi asked, surprised.
“Your mission is to ensure Takatori does not get his hands on these twins.” The silhouette appeared again, then the screen went black.
“Hey, I think I know a relative of theirs,” Omi said when the lights went on.
“Who cares?” Yohji said, lighting a cigarette. “We aren’t going to knock on their door and say, ‘hi, we're here to protect you, do you mind if we follow you around and check all the bushes and under the beds for a psycho looking to own you for his sick twisted pleasure.’”
“What’s so wrong with that?” Ken asked.
The two blonds looked at the other young man, then threw a pillow at him.
Graham woke to the very welcome sight of his husband crawling into bed with him after they'd spent weeks apart. “Hey,” he said, turning on his back, and wrapped an arm around Aya.
“I didn’t even know I missed you until I remembered why I missed you,” Aya murmured, laying his head on Graham chest.
“I’m glad you remember at least.” Graham said, closing his eyes to go back to sleep.
“We’re married right?” Aya asked.
“Yes, but if you want a bigger deal than we had before, that can be arranged,” Graham said knowing this conversation was going somewhere.
“But if we’re married, and we haven’t been together in weeks; why are you going back to sleep?” Aya asked, sitting up enough to hover over Graham.
Graham cracked an eye open, “Because I know you, and the last time you accidentally invaded my dreams, you called me a pervert and hit me with a pillow.”
“But we weren’t married then,” Aya pointed out, leaning down to kiss his husband gently. “And I’m not asking to do that.”
Graham snorted, “So, you want me to tickle you?” He rolled over until Aya was under him.
“Love me?” Aya asked, wrapping his arms around Graham’s neck.
The young god smiled. “I will always do that,” he promised, kissing Aya lovingly.
Aya opened his eyes, turning over to snuggle deeper into Graham’s arms. “I love you,” he said, closing his eyes again.
Graham cracked an eye open. “Wanna make our dreams a reality?” he asked.
“In the morning,” Aya said, “Enjoying the dream now.”
Graham snorted, but went back to sleep.
Evan Lorne was having a lot of problems adjusting to being human and a god. For one, he was having trouble not doing everything the easy way by using his powers. Then there was the sounds and sights and smells. Everything had been doubly intense the first week and still hadn’t tapered off much in the weeks since.
He wondered how Miller had adjusted when he was made a god.
Hopefully the off world assignment would be enough time outdoors to acclimate. If not, he was going to have to rethink this infiltrate and observe humans thing. These humans were too interesting and noble to just pass up this opportunity. They fought for the planet and all the people of all the lands, even the ones they didn't like. Lorne had been on his way to being another of those humans and Thor understood why the man respected these humans so much. Soon Lorne planned on telling O'Neill about himself and offering his services to further protect the planet. But for now, he planned to continue observing and getting used to being at least half human.
He looked up, startled, when the little redhead god sat down across from him with a tray of food and a notebook. He raised an eyebrow when Aya ignored him, then looked around to discover that the room was full and his was the only table relatively empty.
"Can you believe McKay gave me homework?" Aya asked, not looking up.
"Umm...that fiend?" Lorne asked, confused.
Aya looked up and smiled. "Exactly, its summer and I have homework."
"When you start working, you won't get summers off," Lorne pointed out, wondering where this conversation was going.
"But when I work, I don't have homework," Aya argued back.
"That’s true, but you’re stilling doing homework and its summer." Lorne pointed out.
"McKay thought homework would keep me out of trouble and help me understand his crap." Aya muttered pouting and set aside the notebook and started eating. "So, which pantheon do you follow?"
Lorne glanced up. "What?"
Aya reached over and picked up his dog tags. "Pagan."
Lorne looked down, "I follow a family tradition of Nordic Paganism."
Aya gave Lorne a curious look, "There's just something about you though. Like you’re more than a follower."
"In a bad way?" Lorne asked.
Aya snorted, "Would I be over here if you were? Don't answer that. I'm empathic, so I'd know if you were a bad guy."
"I know," Lorne said, "The others talk."
Aya stuck his tongue out at a random person. Luckily Walter was used to the twins and just rolled his eyes. "So if I guess, will you give me a cookie?"
"I'm sure if you stare long enough, everyone within ten feet of you will give you a cookie," Lorne said, shaking his head. Baby gods these days.
"You aren't going to start any whippersnapper stories, are you?" Aya asked, eying the man. "Like when you were my age, you had to walk thirty miles in the snow, uphill, to buy a condom?"
Behind the teen, his twin sat at another table with his hands clapped over his mouth as his shoulders shook. Lorne resisted the urge to bang his head against the table. "If I start one, will you run away screaming, or should I get a laser pen and just have you chase it out of the room?"
Aya really looked like he was thinking about it. "I could always follow you around and jump on you while you’re sleeping."
Lorne shook his head, "Good thing I'm off world for a few months starting tomorrow."
"I can wait," Aya promised.
"No, you won't," Xander called, "You'll have a soda and forget."
"And I can make you do differential equations," Aya said over his should.
"No fostering off your work," Rodney said as he passed the two on his way to get food.
"When did I say I'd make him do my work?" Aya asked, then glared at the notebook.
"About thirty seconds ago," Lorne informed him.
"Stop helping," Aya said, glaring half-heartedly. "Demigod?"
Lorne blinked. Oh yeah, he was guessing. "No."
Aya eyed him. "Full god?"
Lorne thought about it. "Not exactly."
Aya frowned. "That's slightly confusing. You're not like us."
"No," Lorne agreed, smiling.
"You’re being mean to me," Aya complained.
"Yes," Lorne agreed. His smile widened when Xander snickered.
"That wasn't a guess!" Aya exclaimed with a pout.
"So, how much have you gotten done?" Rodney asked, sitting down next to the teen, and set a plate of fruit on Aya's tray.
"I pouted at it for five minutes," Aya said, giving Rodney an 'I'm cute' smile.
"Really?" Rodney inquired, lifting up the edge of the notebook, and looked down at the first equation. "Was it over your head?"
"I haven't even gotten this far in classes and dad wouldn't let Uncle Charlie give me a head start in high school and Charlie wouldn't let us do what he did and skip grades. We took a lot of honors classes instead."
Rodney nodded, "At least you aren't like most of the incompetent people and can admit to your shortcomings."
"Eventually I'm going to get this far in school and be more of a brat because I can," Aya warned.
"How is that different from normal?" Rodney asked mildly.
"My vocabulary," Aya said.
"We could always get a fruit kabob and chase him around the base," Xander suggested as he sat down next to Lorne. He nodded to the man.
"I don’t really want to explain to dad why we killed someone," Aya said, shaking his head. "Half god?"
"Wouldn’t that make me like you?" Lorne asked.
"We're godlings," Xander pointed out, "Full gods who haven't grown fully into our powers."
"And we're still mortal," Aya said. "Will you tell us if I pout?"
"Don’t you want a cookie?" Lorne asked.
"Do you have delusions of grandeur like Rodney?" Aya asked.
"Hey!" Rodney protested, "It's not a delusion, if you are important."
"Right," the twins said sarcastically.
"What are you two talking about anyway?" Rodney said after a moment, "He looks like a normal grunt."
"Flyboy," Aya corrected. "But he's a god or god touched or something."
"But not from our Pantheon, so it’s hard to figure out," Xander continued, stealing a piece of fruit from Aya's tray.
"How many of you are here?" Rodney asked incredulously.
"Gods?" Aya asked, "A lot of demigods. But only a few gods in human form. Or mortal."
"How do you deal with the smells?" Lorne finally asked.
"We're mortal, so we don't know," Xander answered.
"Graham had marginal problems, but he got over it," Aya said dismissively. He turned to Rodney. "Does your brain always segue?"
"What?" Rodney asked, confused.
"You’re wondering how you're going to convince me to come with you to Antarctica," Aya elaborated. "Your thoughts are very loud and distracting. And no, I am not going with you to be your assistant. Maybe when I'm done with school."
Rodney frowned. "But you'd make a better assistant than any of those incompetents."
"Tell you what," Aya said seriously, "If you can convince Carter to have a serious relationship with you without insulting her, or bribing or blackmail her, I'll be your assistant for a year."
Rodney frowned, then got up and left the commissary. "I’ll hold you to it."
"Never gonna happen," Lorne said, turning to Aya, "He doesn't have the mentality to hold a woman's interest."
Aya smiled. "I know."
"That guy is destined for someone special," Xander said, shaking his head, "and probably a bit touched in the head."
"So you," Aya said, tucking his legs under himself so Xander couldn't kick him.
Xander rolled his eyes, "I'd forget to feed him."
Aya snorted, and turned his attention back to Lorne, "So, what are you?"
"I was born both human and god, but not as a god born human or a human turned god. Nor am I a reincarnate of a god. Nor a god taken human form or a vessel. Nor am I as I once was before I became what I am now," Lorne said cryptically.
Aya turned to his twin, "I bet he can divide by zero and confuse the black hole."
"I'm sorry, my brain imploded," Xander said, looking a little dazed.
"He said he was once two separate beings, then merged into one," Jack said from behind them. The three turned to look at the man who liked to play dumb. "What? Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with my team? You have to have mad decoding skills."
"Sir," Lorne began. This was not how he wanted them to find out.
"Maybe we should talk in my office," Jack suggested.
"You're not mad at me, are you?" Aya asked quietly.
Lorne shook his head. "Of course not."
Aya curled on Lorne's lap in kitten form, trying to be reassured and to reassure with kitty cuddles. His level of distress generally affected how cute of a being he turned into. Given that this kitten was abnormally cute, he was feeling extremely distressed.
"So," Jack said after a long moment of staring at the kitten, "A god?"
"They’re still guessing," Lorne said, ignoring the addition of a loud purr coming from his lap.
"You know this time last year I would have been blissfully unaware of real gods and we would not be having this conversation," Jack said tiredly. "Although, if we were having this conversation last year, I'd be a little more annoyed."
"Oh, but you do know us," Xander said cheerfully, "And we annoy you just fine."
Jack rolled his eyes. "Just promise me there'll be no plotting for world domination and I'll be happy."
"I wouldn't need to come here, if that was my intent," Lorne said.
"And Lorne?" Jack prompted.
"I was going to die," Lorne answered, turning his hand so the kitten could gnaw on his fingers and attack his hand while being tickled, "In a car accident."
"You’re Thor," Xander stated.
"And Evan Lorne," the god answered. "We merged."
"Interesting," Xander mused, making a laser pointer appear, and pointed the beam on Aya's nose. The kitten batted at the light, then started chasing it around the room while making little distressed sounds. Finally the kitten turned into the teenager who promptly whacked his twin upside the head.
Then to Jack and Lorne's surprise, both twins turned into kittens- one red, one black- and chased each other out of the room.
"So Xan finally figured out how to shift," Jack muttered.
Lorne shook his head. "I need to go finish packing, sir."
Jack nodded and waved a hand dismissively. "When you’re done observing, we'll talk again."
Lorne nodded and left the office.
First priority was to set up camp and unpack supplies. As the second highest ranking officer there, Lorne was given a tent to himself. It was small, with only room for a cot and a small work table, but it would do until more stable housing could be built. And he could always shield his tent and expand if he wanted.
Opening the footlocker doubling as a table, Lorne set his duffle on the bed and unfastened it. Carefully he started transferring clothes into the box, pausing only when he encountered something heavier than a stack of shirts mid-way down. Frowning, he set the bundle on the bed, remembering the pile of shirts had been strangely lumpy when he had scooped everything up and left in a hurry.
Filled with sudden dread, Lorne picked up the top shirt.
Two little fuzzy bodies laid on the white cloth, curled around each other in sleep. Lorne watched for a moment, sighing in relief when the babies sighed in their sleep and the little bodies twitched slightly.
Good. They would be grounded and he wouldn't have to explain why two baby gods were squished to death in his duffle.
Setting everything aside he put the twins on the cot and waved his hand over them, forcing them to be human gain. Aya and Xander curled around each other in sleep, molding to one another on the narrow cot.
Lorne became invisible just as the smallest twin stirred. Aya stretched lazily, then frowned a little in his sleep when he poked his twin in the face. Blinking, he looked around in confusion. Then in one comical instant he jumped, fell off the cot and sprang to his feet.
"Xanny, wake up! We fell asleep!" Aya exclaimed, hitting Xander over the head. "Dad's going to kill us!"
Xander groaned and rolled on his back. "I told you hiding under the shirts was a bad idea."
"Well, you wanted to hide under the pillow and I didn't want to be squished," Aya argued.
"Well, instead we get stuck here," Xander exclaimed. He looked around. "Ok, maybe we can get back before Lorne finds us."
"Right, because explaining the unauthorized off world activation is so conductive to not being shot," Aya said, glaring. "We didn't mean to, it was an accident."
"Yeah, tell that to Lorne," Xander muttered, sitting up, and got off the cot.
Ay turned to talk to a space on the wall. "It was an accident," he dutifully stated.
Lorne appeared with a roll if his eyes. "Empathy."
Ay pouted. "We were going to pounce on your boots, but we kinda fell asleep."
"So I heard," Lorne said dryly. He tilted his head toward the tent entrance. "Go help set up the rest of the camp."
Aya's pout deepened, but he quickly left the tent.
"You know, even if you don't specify that we can't use magic, he will assume you did," Xander said casually as he walked out of the tent.
"Good," Lone called, "Maybe you two will learn."
"Not gonna happen," Xander said over his shoulder.
Lorne signed and shook his head in exasperation. "Teenagers."