Disclaimer: Don't own or claim rights to Buffy or Stargate SG1~~~~~
Jack sat perched on the edge of Daniel's desk, watching the younger man potter around among his rocks and dusty papers. He had nothing else to do, or so he said, so here he sat, waiting for his friend and team-mate to stop so they could go to lunch. When the phone rang, he, being closest, picked it up.
“Dr Jackson's phone.”
“Uh, hey,” a young male voice greeted. “I'm looking for Dr Jackson, if he's available.”
Jack looked over at where Danny was still immersed in his work. “He's unavailable at the moment. Can I take a message?”
“Well, I'm here for a book swap for him. Dr Giles sent me with a book for him, and I have to pick up something for Dr Giles. He's supposed to know about it.”
“Just a sec,” Jack instructed. Resting the phone, he called to his friend. “Hey, Danny. Do you know anything about a book swap with a Dr Giles?”
“Uh, yeah,” Danny murmured distractedly. “Dr Giles' guy is supposed to be here on Thursday to do the swap.” He looked up at Jack. “Let me guess: it's Thursday?”
Jack grinned, and handed over the phone. “It's Thursday.”
“Hi, Dr Jackson here. I understand you have the book from Dr Giles?”
“Yep. Call me Xan, Xan, the Courier Man,” the younger man chirped. “So I'm here in Colorado Springs, but I have absolutely no idea where to go to do this swap.”
“Um,” Daniel hesitated as he thought quickly. “I'm at work at the moment, and the book's at home. It will take me about an hour to get there and we can do the swap.”
“Okay, that's fine. I've got to check into my hotel and then find something to eat. How about you recommend somewhere, er, not too expensive, and quick, of course?”
Danny smiled. “Sure. Um, how about Kelly's?” He gave directions to the diner, and to his apartment, and confirmed that Xander had his cell number in case he got lost. Agreeing once more to meet at his apartment in one hour, he hung up, then turned to Jack. “So. Are you coming?”
“We getting something on the way?” Jack asked.
“Um, probably? You've been waiting to go to lunch, haven't you?” he asked with a slight smile.
Jack rolled his eyes. “Only for the last half hour.”
Danny gave a slight, guilty smile. “Okay. We'll get some lunch on the way.”~~~~~
Jack opened the door to a dark-haired kid holding something book-like, wrapped in brown paper, and tied with string. With a sudden image of nuns singing about Danny's favourite things, he welcomed the boy inside. He noted an odd flicker of concern that ran across the young man's face, but dismissed the thought. “Danny,” he called. “Your toy's here.” He turned back to the boy, and offered his hand. “Name's Jack.”
The young man grinned, and shook his hand. “Your book guy's like that, too, huh, sir? Name's Xander.”
“Yeah. I got a science geek, too. She geeks out over sciency stuff,” Jack nodded.
Xander shuddered. “She into computers, too, or is that just mine?”
“Nope. Sam does the whole computer … hacking … thing. Legal, though,” he added. Then, conscientiously, he continued, “Mostly.”
Xander seemed to be trying to hold in his laughter. “I think we got matched sets, sir,” he offered, eyes twinkling. “So what do you think about comic books?”
“Meh,” Jack grunted. “More Simpsons and computer games.”
“Oh, definitely go the games, sir. And Simpsons are cool,” Xander nodded.
“Name's Jack,” he clarified, considering the young man.
“Sorry, sir,” Xander apologised with a slight smile. “Jack. It's just the uniform. Kind of hits a button in my head. Air Force Colonels are an automatic sir.”
“Air Force family?” Jack asked with an understanding nod.
Xander snorted. “That would be a no. I doubt my dad would even be allowed to mop what's left of the floors at Mount Hebo. And our nearest base is Army,” he shrugged absently as he wandered over to the bookshelves.
“Ever considered signing up?” Jack pursued.
“Nope. Well, maybe for a few seconds, here and there. On the whole, sir? No,” he answered as he squatted to look at some books.
Daniel came out of his room at that moment, to find Jack frowning at a young man who was pulling out one of his books. “Find something you like?”
“Oh, more something we already have,” the young man grinned.
Danny walked over, and looked at the book in the boy's hands. “Hendersons,” he nodded. “Dr Giles was bidding against me, but let me have it since he already had one. He didn't say why he wanted another one, just that he thought I might benefit from it instead.”
Xander frowned thoughtfully at the book, and flipped carefully through it. Suddenly, he grinned. “Miss Scarlet, in the Library, with the Mocha Latte,” he announced.
Danny and Jack both stared at him, puzzled.
He looked at them, still grinning, and ticked off his explanation. “Willow, who has red hair, was sitting in the school library, where we did a lot our study stuff, when she spilled her – you guessed it – mocha latte all over the page. To say Giles was pissed is kind of putting it mildly. I'm just glad it was her, not me. She's the favourite, kind of. When it's not Buffy. I'm never the favourite,” he grinned.
“She... She spilled a drink over Henderson's 'Historia'?”
“Uh huh. Nearly got herself banned from the library. As it was, she was off book privileges for a week. Which is okay, since she got to play with The Abomination. AKA, the computer.”
“That's your science geek?” Jack asked, amused.
“Yep,” Xander nodded.
Danny shook his head. “Look, you can have it. Just take it, it's fine.”
Xander laughed. “Nah, it's good. She cleaned it up, and it's workable. I think Giles was just feeling a little lost at the non-pristineness of his book.”
Danny shook his head, and sported a mournful face. “I'm not surprised.” He stood there, lost in thought for a moment, then announced, “I need a coffee.”
Xander cocked his head as he watched the archaeologist wander off to the kitchen. “So is that coffee, or is that code?”
“No,” Jack shook his head. “It's coffee. So you're into old books?” he asked.
“Kind of,” Xander shrugged. “Mythology club. Goes with the comics,” he added, in explanation.
“Oh, yeah. Comics are full of mythic themes. Outright plundering of some of the stories, actually,” Xander nodded.
“Uh huh,” Jack grunted doubtfully. “So you read all those old languages? And before you answer, let me remind you that Danny's the acquisitive sort. He might just try to steal you if he thinks he can get away with it.”
Xander's eyes widened briefly, and Jack noted the sudden quirk to his lips. “No, not a word of them,” he shook his head earnestly.
“That's in Latin,” Jack observed.
“Well, everyone reads Latin, don't they,” Xander responded with another quirk.
Jack grinned. “Yeah, not so much.”
Daniel returned then, with his mug half-full of coffee. “Okay, so, do you think Dr Giles wants the Henderson?” he asked.
“It's fine, honestly,” Xander assured.
Danny nodded, and picked up his own package. “So here's the book Dr Giles wanted, and,” he looked around before sighting another package, “that's my book?”
“A bound facsimile of the Babylonian codex,” Xander nodded.
Danny approached the package with a reverent look. “I can't believe he's willing to part with it,” he murmured.
“We already had a couple of copies,” Xander shrugged. “Giles tends to pick things up when he finds them, just in case. And he really, really wanted this,” he grinned, picking up the wrapped book. He gave a final, amused look at the other man, now sinking into the new book, before turning to Jack with a wry smile. “So I guess you'll have to pass on my thanks and farewells.”
“Not a problem. We both know how geeks get,” Jack nodded. He walked the younger man to the door, then stopped and pulled out a business card. “You ever think, seriously, about joining up, you give me a call, okay?”
Xander took the card, then gave Jack an ancient look. “I doubt I'll get the chance to join up. But I'll keep the card. Just in case.”
Jack frowned, and watched the younger man walk off. Something about his look, his words, chilled him. He nodded. He knew what to do.