Jack walked into Daniel’s office, having been asked to join the rest of the team there when Daniel had dropped Xander off back at the infirmary after lunch. Willow was asleep again and Janet had promised to keep an eye on Xander (who had been devastated that he hadn’t been there when his best friend had woken up and had resolved to not leave Willow’s side until she woke up again).
Sam, Daniel and Teal’c were all sitting in the office, waiting for him.
“Willow asleep again?” Sam asked gently and Jack nodded in reply.
“Xander’s decided to not leave her until she wakes up again, but Janet’s going to keep an eye on him. What’s up?”
“Everything... it’s all happened very quickly,” Sam explained, gesturing a little with her hands. Jack sighed and nodded, dropping into an empty chair. He honestly hadn’t had time to really think about what Xander and Willow had revealed to them, in between being angry at Willow, worrying about Xander, dealing with their former guest in the interrogation room, and the attack on Willow.
“It is highly plausible,” Daniel mused. “I mean, we did see the werewolf transform back into a person... and it was filmed on the security cameras as well.”
“Seeing it once was enough for me,” Jack shuddered. The transformation hadn’t looked overly pleasant, even though the werewolf had slept through it (thanks to the tranquilizer darts Willow had shot it with).
“The Jaffa have legends about beings that are like these monsters Alexander Harris and Willow Rosenberg described,” Teal’c said. “I always believed them to simply be children’s stories... or lies conjured up by the Goa’uld... but now I find myself doubting this belief.”
Daniel’s eyes went wide at the idea of Jaffa bedtime stories and he looked at Teal’c hopefully.
“Don’t even think about asking, Danny... We’ve kind of have a bigger issue at hand. Teal’c can tell you bedtime stories later.”
Daniel pouted but said nothing, his disappointment obvious. Sam tapped a couple of keys on her laptop, which she had obviously fetched from her office.
“Sir... I’ve done a bit of searching through military records. According to it, this ‘Watcher’s council’ the kids mentioned does exist but everything about on our database it is classified and I can’t access it.”
“Any reference to vampires or werewolves or demons on there?” Jack asked. Sam shook her head.
“Every time I get close, I hit a wall. It’s like everything relating to the supernatural has been classified. Even using high clearance codes, I can’t get in,” Sam explained. Jack could tell that Sam was frustrated by her inability to get answers.
“So, what exactly does that mean?” Daniel asked.
“Probably that there is another group within the military specializing in the supernatural... like we work for the SGC. It might even work with this Watcher’s Council that the kids mentioned. A kind of supernatural branch of the military, if you like. That’s what I think, anyway.”
“I’m actually inclined to agree with you,” Sam admitted. “As much as I can’t explain what we saw with the werewolf rationally... scientifically, the fact that there are files on the US Defense Force database that relate to... supernatural things but that can’t be accessed on my level of clearance indicates that maybe there is something out there... on Earth, I mean.”
“Great... something else to worry about,” Daniel huffed. “If the Goa’uld weren’t enough on their own, now there are all these supernatural things we’re going to have to worry about.”
“That’s just the point, Daniel... we can’t worry about them. We know nothing about them... how they work... which ones are dangerous and which ones are not,” Sam began.
“How to kill them,” Jack added.
“Using a normal bullet works against werewolves, doesn’t it?’ Daniel asked. Sam stiffened.
“I thought the myth was that it had to be a silver bullet.”
“Not if they’re in their human state. A normal bullet does the trick then, providing it’s a kill shot... according to Xander,” Jack reminded them.
“It would be safe to say, then, that our guest is almost certainly dead,” Teal’c surmised. Jack nodded and Sam relaxed a little in her seat.
“I’m looking forward to talking to Xander and Willow about this whole thing more,” Daniel commented. Jack shuddered in response to that, not liking the fact that the SGC was relying on his two teenagers as the only reliable source of information about the supernatural beings that they apparently shared Earth with.
“Let’s just let them get over this first before we interrogate them,” Sam suggested, seeing Jack’s shudder. “I mean, we definitely should talk to them about what they know. It might be very useful to the SGC in case we come up against something... supernatural but we should wait until they’re both out of the infirmary.”
Daniel nodded in agreement. “Of course,” he commented. “I hate to think how hard this has been for them. They’ve kept it a secret for so long and for it to come out like it did...” He faded off, leaving his sentence unfinished.
Jack knew what Daniel had left unsaid, and he felt guilt well up within him. He knew that he had overreacted at Willow firing the tranquilizer gun... although he understood why he had done it and he was pretty sure Willow knew why too. It was just like when the kids had been kidnapped by Ba’al and by extension had discovered the truth about what it was that Jack and his team did every day, only in reverse.. Now Jack and the rest of SG1 knew Xander and Willow’s biggest secret and nothing could be done about it.
Willow groaned as she regained consciousness, squinting her eyes against the lights of the infirmary. The first thing she saw was Xander, leaning forward anxiously in a chair at her bedside.
“Hey,” he greeted.
“Hey yourself,” Willow replied. “How long have I been asleep for?”
“A couple of hours,” Xander replied. “You woke up before when I wasn’t here.”
“I know. Jack was, though.”
Xander cringed. “Listen... we can run away, you know. I know he said some really nasty things to you and he shouldn’t have,” he whispered. “We can run away... go back to Sunnydale, live in Angel’s old mansion.”
“Even though he’s living there as well?” Willow asked, a small smirk breaking out on her face.
Xander sighed, having forgotten that the vampire was back from hell and that he was living in the mansion in question. “Okay, maybe not there,” he pouted, “but we’ll work something out. You shouldn’t have to live with the man who said all that to you.”
“Xander,” Willow soothed. “I don’t want to leave. Jack apologized and I did do the wrong thing. We talked when I first woke up. We’re good. I mean, yeah, there are still issues between us, but... but I think we’ll get over that. Besides... can you honestly say, disregarding what happened to me, that you want to leave Jack?”
Xander hesitated, thinking about it. “No,” he finally conceded. “I like it here...it’s just...”
Willow shook her head. “It’s in the past, water under the bridge. I’m over it and maybe, one day, Jack will be too.”
“Alright,” Xander relented, knowing that he needed to drop the subject. “So, onto the next thing we need to talk about. Why did you get between Tyson and me? He almost killed you. If Jack hadn’t been there, you would have been killed... or turned into a werewolf.”
Willow shrugged. “Jack’s already lost one son... he didn’t need to go through the pain of losing another. I’ve seen how much he cares about you, Xander... losing you like that would have destroyed him.”
“Losing you would have hurt him too,” Xander retorted, dimly realizing that they had somehow switched arguments with the change of conversation.
Willow quirked her eyebrow in a manner similar to Teal’c. “Xander,” she began. “Don’t even begin to think that Jack loves us equally. He might like me and kind of think of me as a kind of daughter figure but I’m not an O’Neill. I never have been and unless I marry you, I never will be. I’m not Jack’s biological daughter but you are his biological son and that means more to anyone than the papers Jack signed when he took me in, agreeing to look after me. The only chance I had of having a parent that cared about me like Jack cares about you died with Ira and Sheila Rosenberg.”
“That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you and care about you, you know, Willow,” Xander replied.
Willow nodded. “I know that and I know that Jack does care about me and he might even love me. But the point is, he cares about you and loves you more... and nothing I say or do or you say and do is going to stop that.”
Xander went to reply, arguing the issue, but the words died on his lips when he was the Resolve Face Willow was directing at him. It was then he knew that he was beaten... but he resolved that the argument wasn’t over... but for the moment he would let it slide.
“Onto other pressing issues, then?” he proposed.
“What Tyson said about the Mayor having a bounty out on Buffy’s head?”
“Exactly. We have to warn her. Obviously something big is going down in Sunnydale, or is about to, and the Mayor is behind it.”
“Do you think she and Giles already know?” Willow asked, coughing slightly. Xander shrugged.
“Possibly... but we should tell them.”
“Of course,” Willow agreed, “except that Jack and everyone else heard about it too, though.”
“Which brings up another problematic issue,” Xander said with a wince
“How screwed we are with Giles and Buffy?” Willow asked with a grimace.
Xander nodded. “Yep. We blew it... big time.”
“Buffy’s going to be so mad... and Giles is going to be so disappointed in both of us. It was never our secret to tell and we blurted the whole thing out... not to mention Oz.”
“If something happens to them because of this, I’m never going to forgive myself. We’ve been coming up with cover stories for years... you would think we would have an explanation up our sleeve just in case we got caught, but no... We got stuck and we blew our cover,” Xander said, frustrated at himself.
Willow nodded, angry at herself too. Admittedly, the cover stories for supernatural things back in Sunnydale had really just written themselves, especially the big things, but they had all lied to cover something up at some point... even if it was just to pass a late night research or slayage session as a sleepover.
“If we ever see any of them again I’m not going to be able to look at them in the face,” Willow admitted. “Especially Oz... I can’t believe I blurted out his whole story. What happens if some military organization finds out and traps Oz and does horrible experiments on him? It’ll be all my fault...” Willow sniffed, a few tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Maybe they’ll be able to keep it secret. I mean, they keep the alien thing secret,” Xander suggested.
“Jack shot a civilian, Xander,” Willow reminded Xander. “There would have to be a lot of paperwork involved in that and a lot of detailed reports. They’re going to have to include pretty much everything that happened and everything that was said.”
Xander cringed. He hadn’t thought of all the reports Jack and General Hammond would have to fill out in relation to this whole incident.
“Do you think anything will happen because of it?” Xander asked. Willow paused, thinking deeply
“I don’t know,” she admitted. “Ever since we found out about the Stargate and all that, I’ve kind of wondered if the military does know. I mean... some of the things we’ve done have been kind of... obvious and I know that Sunnydale Syndrome exists, but really. The military knows that aliens exist. Surely that would open their eyes a little to what’s happening in front of their own faces. Giles once told me that the Watcher’s Council has contacts within the government... as in the US government, and you would have to think one of those contacts would be in the military.”
“That would make sense,” Xander admitted, remembering how nothing had ever happened in response to his stealing of the rocket launcher to destroy the Judge. It was as if it never happened and a potential explanation could be that Giles called up the Watcher’s Council and told them about what happened. The Watcher’s Council then got into contact with the US government and any investigation into the missing rocket launcher was dropped.
“Er,” Xander said as he continued to think about that incident. “Perhaps we shouldn’t mention that thing with the Judge to Jack, though. I think it might, er, overreact again to that.”
Willow rapidly nodded. “Good point,” she agreed. Jack had been sensitive about her handling and using a tranquilizer gun. He might be a little oversensitive about Xander initiating a plot to steal a rocket launcher from a secure military base and then executing said plan. While Xander hadn’t been the one who had fired the weapon, Jack didn’t need to know about his son’s involvement in the theft.
The pair fell into a silence, both of them thinking about what had transpired in the last few days.
“Do you think things will go back to normal now... you know, we’ll actually be able to go to school and not have to worry about the supernatural... or aliens or anything? Do you think we’ll ever have a quiet life?” Xander mused aloud. Willow looked over at Xander and their eyes met.
“No,” they said in unison, agreeing that, for better or for worse, they would never have lives that could be considered to be normal.
And if they were honest with themselves, it was exactly how they wanted it. A.N. I actually seriously considered ending this story off here, but then I thought about it, and decided that there was still more I could explore dealing with the aftermath of what has happened. This story, however, is drawing to a close, although I do plan on doing a sequel, which will take place when Willow and Xander are older. It might be awhile away, as when i finish this story I have another couple of Stagate ideas I want to explore, and there is one i have already started to write.
Thanks to everyone who has been providing feedback. I really appreciate your input and encouragement, and I am pleased that so many of you are enjoying this story so far.
More will be up soon