A huge thank you to my new recommenders: egwolf and Lokilos for recommending my story. That really means a lot to me.
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Stargate SG1.
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/ Xander's thoughts /
% Jolinar's thoughts %
#“Tok'ra or Goa'uld voice”#
Thank you to my Beta Prometeus
. This story is so much better thanks to his efforts.
Jolinar recognized the stupid lieutenant from SG-2 and pointed his gun at him. “Lieutenant Turner. You had better have a good reason to be here.” In the light of the street lamps he could see the guns had no barrels. Which meant they were some type of energy weapon. Jolinar wondered idly how many hits from these weapons he could take.
Turner now, and we felt the explosion and came to investigate.” Turner replied.
Xander took control and ignored the answer. “Ford hand me a radio, please.” he said with tight control. Then talked into the radio while advancing on Turner. “Listen up you NID fucks! We know you're listening. And if we find out you planted this bomb nothing is going to stop me from blowing you all to hell. Now call off your soldiers before I put them down like the dogs they are!” With his last words Xander reached Turner, stepped on his foot, and pushed him backwards. Unable to move his foot, Turner fell down. Xander pounced on him and put the barrel of his gun to Turner's forehead. He ignored the sound of the man wetting himself and the motion of 11 soldiers aiming energy weapons at him.
The soldiers' radios crackled. “Captain Turner, please advise of the situation.”
Another soldier answered. “Captain Turner has a gun to his head sir, please advise.”
After a very tense pause, “All units, stand down and return to base.” came the order from the soldiers' vest radios.
Xander took his gun away and leaned close to the NID soldier. “Next time, wear a diaper.”
Rising, Xander turned his back on the soldiers in a show of contempt. He spoke into the radio again. “Good. We're also aware of the bugs you have in the library and our homes. You will get rid of them by tomorrow or face my wrath.” Maybe it was a little hokey but Xander meant it. He was done fucking around with these NID pukes.
Walking back to where Ford and Giles were still, he put his right arm under Giles' armpit and the left under his knee. Once Ford had imitated him they lifted the Watcher and carried him to the house.
When they got Giles back in the house, they found that Finch had moved himself to the couch in the sitting room. Xander had nodded to him and told him they'd be back. They carried Giles downstairs and placed him in the chair.
Jolinar took control again and started healing. He started with the wounds in the chest first, and worked his way down from there before starting on the eye. It was going to be a difficult operation. He could see that the eye had been mangled and there was no telling how bad the damage to the ocular nerves or the brain might be. Any of those three would be a delicate procedure, but together, they would be especially difficult.
First things first though. He strapped Giles' head down. He hadn't been exaggerating when he'd told Ford that moving during the procedure could kill him. Though the brain was fairly robust, brain damage because the patient had moved wasn't something he wanted to deal with, or be responsible for. He then sent Ford back upstairs to keep an eye out in case the NID decided to change their minds and attack.
Next he had to remove the shrapnel. Leaving it in the wound would just be asking for trouble later on. He used the healing device to maneuver the metal back into a position to be extracted. He tried to be careful but new damage did occur.
Next he stopped most of the bleeding before he went to work on the grey matter. To say healing brain tissue wasn't easy was an understatement. It was mainly neurons of course, but the difference between healing brain tissue and healing isolated nerves was a difference in complexity. Like the difference between a rope and a net. Fixing a single strand (rope or nerve) was easier than fixing many interconnected strands (net or brain). And healing cancer, even in the brain, was easier than healing actual brain damage. Healing brain cancer was like finding rotted pieces of netting and replacing them with new. The shape of the original was still there and that made it much simpler.
Healing brain damage was like reweaving a net that had been cut in half. Except that in this case, thousands of nets had been cut in half, thrown into a pile, and Jolinar had to match them back up as best he could. It was very hard to tell which nets went with which others. Jolinar went to work with the healing. He had never specialized as a healer and was going to have to muddle through the best he could. He comforted himself in the knowledge that odds were, whatever he did would be an improvement on what Giles would have faced otherwise.
After an hour, he took a break. Used the bathroom, washed some of the blood off his skin and face after he looked in the mirror, and got a drink of water. Then he relieved Ford so he could do the same. He talked with Allan for a while and found that the man had bruised his tailbone fairly badly when he fell and it now hurt for him to walk. Jolinar sent him downstairs with a promise to heal the bruise so Finch could help as a lookout and with moving the rest of the wounded to softer accommodations.
Ford returned after using the bathroom and washing the blood off his face. Jolinar took a break from healing Giles' brain to heal Finch's ass. Thankfully, they didn't need to move Giles out of the chair for that operation. It turned out to be a rather deep bone bruise. He wasn't surprised that Finch had trouble moving around with the amount of pain that must have caused.
With three people on their feet, it was time to put their patients to bed. Before they moved anyone, the blood that Finch had slipped on still needed to be cleaned up. The stairs were also covered in blood though it was starting to dry, which just made it sticky. Jolinar had Finch start cleaning the stairs by flashlight, while Jolinar himself finished healing Giles.
Finch had all the blood cleaned up as best he could with only flashlight as a light source and started moving the women to the few beds they had. The adults were moved to Xander's old hide-a-bed in the sitting room. The younger and lighter girls were moved to Willow's bed with instructions from Jolinar to keep their feet elevated. They had both lost more blood than he was comfortable with.
Jolinar kept healing. Bit by bit, neurons formed new (or hopefully old) connections. As morning broke hours later Jolinar was finishing up on the Watcher's brain. Finished with the hardest part, Jolinar took a short break again. He noticed that Finch had fallen asleep in the pile of bloody clothes the girls had been covered with the last night. Upstairs he found Ford struggling valiantly to stay awake. Ford's head jerked up when Jolinar approached. “Get some sleep.” he advised. “I doubt the NID will launch an attack in broad daylight.”
Ford looked at him with bleary eyes, nodded, and headed upstairs to his room.
Jolinar ate a quick bowl of cereal before returning to his healing. Compared to healing brain damage, healing the ocular nerve was a piece of cake. In fact, Xander insisted on taking it so Jolinar could take a quick nap.
A half hour later, Xander woke Jolinar so the symbiote could start healing Giles' eye. Eyes were not nearly as tricky as brain matter but Xander had never done one before. So, somewhat fed and rested, Jolinar continued healing.
A few hours later, Jolinar was finished and looked up, surprised to see Allan Finch standing there across from him.
“Amazing,” Allan said. Then looking closer, “It's actually comforting to know that it's not perfect, though. You got the eye color wrong.” Finch pointed to Giles' green right eye and his new blue one.
“It'll darken.” Xander assured the man as Jolinar dropped off to sleep. No one deserved it more. Xander turned off power to the device, restoring power to the house then looked around. “Man, what a mess. Give me a hand here.”
Together they lifted Giles from the chair and promptly encountered unexpected resistance from the dried blood that had glued Giles to it in the hours Jolinar had been healing him. They carried him upstairs and laid him in the hide-a-bed next to Jenny. It was a tight fit with the two women already there and there might be awkward feelings when they woke up but neither of the men who did the carrying felt like going up another set of stairs with the Watcher.
“Come on, let's get that chair cleaned up before the blood dries on it.” Xander motioned.
“I'll get it.” Finch offered. “You've been up all night healing people. You must be exhausted.”
“Yes and no.” Xander gave a small smile. “Don't worry about it.”
Together they cleaned the chair of the Healing Device and a few places that Finch had missed the first time through. A half hour later, the whole house smelled of bleach, which was an improvement on the coppery smell of blood that had been hanging in the air.
After that, Xander laid down on the carpet of the empty dining room. He stared at the ceiling for a second before breaking out in laughter.
“What's wrong?” Finch asked, afraid the young man had finally snapped under the pressure.
Xander's laughter slowly abated. “We survived. Everyone survived and I got tell off the NID in the process. Although,” he pointed at the ceiling. “I'm seriously considering blowing them up just in case they had something to do with this.”
Finch's eyes went wide with fear that he hadn't done the right thing by betraying the Mayor to these people until he realized that Xander was joking. Probably.
Major Rice was furious. His teams were supposed to have recruited the Slayer tonight. Or brought her back for testing. Instead they came home empty-handed and smelling of their own piss.
“Well sir, it appears that somebody targeted the Slayer with a bomb of some kind. There wasn't much left of the bomb, but Corporal Johnson was able to gather a few samples of shrapnel before we left.” Captain Turner explained. He wished he'd had time to change his clothes instead of having to stand at attention in sticky, smelly BDUs.
“And you're sure it was a bomb?” Rice questioned.
“Y'sir. There was blood everywhere and the three men we saw were covered in it. It's clear that there were more casualties than what we saw. From Harris' reaction, I'd say there weren't any fatalities at the time we met.” Turner reasoned.
“He had a gun to your head, Captain.” Rice noted.
“Yes sir. but he didn't pull the trigger.”
“Okay,” Xander said as he levered himself up on his feet. “That's enough resting for now; I need to check everyone for concussions.”
“Who do you want to start with?” Allan asked.
Xander thought for a moment. “Willow. She lost a lot of blood for her size. Plus she already had a concussion recently.”
They went up to retrieve the redhead and carried her down to the basement.
Willow woke up while they were strapping her in. “Wh- What's going on?” she began to panic.
“Shh. Sh, sh, sh. It's okay Wills.” Xander took her hand. “I'm right here. You got knocked out again last night. I'm going to take a look at your brain to make sure you're alright. Okay?”
Willow started to calm at his words and allowed herself to be secured to the chair. Xander gave her a kiss on the eye before turning on the device. Xander found the newest concussion and did his best to heal it. He had watched Jolinar heal Willow's last concussion and Giles' brain damage so was fairly confident that he had healed this well. That said, he still wanted to take her to the hospital for another CT scan to make sure. “Okay, you're done,” he said as he switched off the machine.
Finch loosened her straps and Willow jumped out of the chair and into Xander's arms while flinging off the blanket that had been covering her torso.
“Xander?” Willow asked. “What happened to my shirt?” she jumped to him and hugged him tightly to hide her mostly bare chest.
“You were dying Will. We had to cut it off you to heal you. Besides, Jolinar was in control then. It's nothing he hasn't seen before.” Xander defended.
“And why don't I have one on now?” Willow continued dangerously.
Xander groaned a little at the amount of pressure the girl was able to exert. “Well, we figured it would be awkward if you woke up while we were dressing you so we just used the blanket instead.” Xander sighed with relief when the pressure disappeared.
Willow stuck out her hand. “Blanket, please.” Finch produced said blanket and she wrapped it around herself again while keeping her eyes locked on Xander's to ensure there was no peeking. “Who are you going to heal next?” she asked.
“Well, there's only Buffy and Miss Calendar left, but Buffy's even more naked than you. Maybe you could go up and get her dressed while we get Miss Calendar down here?”
Willow agreed and ran upstairs. Xander waited a moment before he and Finch followed her up. They reached the first floor as they heard Willow's footsteps stop on the second. They walked over to the hide-a-bed where the three adults were sleeping. Unfortunately, Miss Calendar was sleeping in the middle of the group.
Xander tried shaking her feet first. “Miss Calendar.” he whispered loudly, hoping to not wake the others. “Jenny.” There was no reaction from the computer teacher so Xander went behind the couch and shook her shoulders. “Miss Calendar.” he spoke a little louder. This had an effect, just not the one he wanted; Mrs. Summers started to wake instead.
“Mmm. Xander? What's going on?” Joyce asked.
Xander replied in a soft voice, “Relax Mrs. Summers. Everyone's okay. You were all-”
“Buffy!” she interrupted and sprang from the bed. But she quickly lost her equilibrium. Xander and Allan were there to catch her. At least the noise and movement had finally woken Jenny.
“It's okay Mrs. S. Buffy's fine.” Xander tilted his head at the sound of water running upstairs. “And if I'm not mistaken, probably taking a shower. So relax and have some breakfast, Buffy should be down shortly. We just need to check Miss Calendar's head for a concussion.”
“No need to check.” Jenny announced as she held her head. “Definitely have a concussion.”
Xander nodded, “Then let's get you downstairs and get that treated.”
Jenny nodded glumly then stopped at the edge of the bed. “Wait! Rupert! What about him?”
“He's already been treated.” Finch answered. “He just needs to rest now.”
Xander couldn't bring himself to agree. There was really no telling if he would be okay or not until he woke up. All he knew was that Jolinar had done his best. They helped Jenny downstairs and into the chair. Xander was getting fairly proficient at treating concussions and Jenny was back up in a matter of minutes.
The three of them reached the first floor and the smell of cooking told them just how hungry they all were. Joyce was at the stove making french toast. All four of them started eating. After Joyce set some more toast on the pan, Xander pulled her aside.
“I just wanted to let you know in private, when Jolinar was healing your brain he found a tiny spot of cancer. It's already healed and like I said, it was tiny. 'Head of a pin' tiny. But he'd like to do a yearly checkup on you to make sure nothing comes back.” Xander calmly informed her.
Joyce's face went ashen. “Cancer?” she finally forced out.
“Don't worry about it. You should have seen the size of the cancer Jo had to heal in Ford; this was nothing. He just wants a precautionary checkup every couple years to make sure it doesn't come back.” Xander assured her. As she nodded dumbly, Xander guided her back to the kitchen and ran to the sitting room to get her the one stool they had. “We really need to get some chairs.” he said as he sat Joyce down.
Joyce sat for a few minutes, just staring numbly while Jenny took over the cooking detail. Joyce was knocked from her revery when Buffy came tromping down the stairs. “Buffy!”
After a tearful embrace, they backed away and looked at each other. Joyce was rather disheveled, still wearing the same clothes she had on yesterday, and had blood stains from where Jolinar and the others had carried her around. Buffy was clean with her hair still dripping from her shower onto the tile floor but she was wearing Willow's clothes and while they fit her fine, they certainly didn't fit her style.
After a touching reunion Xander broke in. “Okay, I have to check Buffy for concussions; you can continue to catch up once that's done.”
Buffy rolled her eyes and grabbed two pieces of french toast and a glass of milk before following Xander downstairs. She stuffed both pieces in her maw one after the other before washing them down with the milk. “Bleh. Milk's a little warm.” she complained.
“Power was off most of the night healing people; it was bound to happen.” Xander shrugged. Milk was not on his list of things to worry about today.
As they were strapping Buffy in she asked. “Xander, did you see me naked?”
Xander swallowed and decided to tighten the strap he was working on and back out of Buffy's range before answering. “Well, see, Jolinar technically saw you naked. Remember, she's had lots of female hosts? So nothing new for her. Plus you were dying. And we're like a doctor. We were a lot more interested in keeping you alive than in sneaking a peek.” Xander gulped.
Buffy narrowed her eyes. “We'll talk about this later.” she assured him.