Title : Bad For Your Elf
Author : Booster
Rating : PG-13
Summary : Christmas is coming in the SGC. Time for some very special visitors to deck the halls….
Disclaimer : Buffy and the gang belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. The Stargate people belong to Gekko Productions, Double Secret Productions, MGM/UA, Showtime/Viacom.
Setting : Fourth in the Neighbours From Hell(mouth) series.
Distribution: Twisting the Hellmouth, FanFiction.Net, if anyone else wants it, just email and ask.
Feedback: Yes, please.
Special Thanks : Laney, a very special beta reader and encourager.
Spoilers : All seven seasons of both Buffy and Stargate should cover it.Author's Note
Don’t worry, Neighbours From Hell(mouth) 3 will be finished in the New Year – it was just that this episode was always planned, but had a particular time setting, and thus HAD to be out now.
Sorry for the delay in finishing NFHM 3, but hopefully you'll enjoy this twisted Christmas tale.
“No,” said General Hammond.
Just for added emphasis, he repeated himself “No. No. And most definitely no.”
The message still
did not seem to be getting across.
He tried again. “There is no way in God’s name that I am going to allow you people to do anything
with our Stargate.”
Buffy looked across the briefing room table at him, and fluttered her eyelashes at him. “Pretty please?”
Colonel Jack O’Neill drove his car onto the area surrounding Stargate Command, whistling happily. It was December 24th, and he was going on leave in just two hours. Just enough time to get in, mess around with the mound of paperwork on his desk and depart hopefully early before anything could stop him from getting to Big Bob’s Steakhouse and Grill for his Christmas chow-down.
There were only two teams off-world right now, so chances were good for a nice relaxing Christmas – no interruptions or off-world emergencies. Ain’t nothing going to ruin this day, no sir. He locked the car door and strode off jauntily.
“How the heck did you manage to persuade the General to let you go along with this?” panted Major Samantha Carter, as she hauled on one of the ropes gently lowering the Stargate to a horizontal position. Buffy, not sweating at all, just scowled at her. Faith, on the other side of Major Carter, just sniggered.
The answer came from behind her : the red headed witch. “We gave him a blank check,” Willow Rosenberg looked up from the two pairs of matched laptops she was currently playing with. “One favour from us. To be cashed in at any time.”
Sam whistled. She knew the General was a hard bargainer, but a blank check favour? Nicely done! She paused for a moment, suddenly re-considering. A blank check was all well and good, but what the hell was so important that this group had a) come to a separate universe, and b) be willing to pay almost anything?
Suddenly Sam had a bad feeling about just what they were doing, or preparing for. “Um…. What exactly are you going to be doing with our Stargate?”
Xander Harris, the eye-patch wearing visitor, laughed and held a finger to his lips. “Shhh… be werry werry quiet… we’re hunting elves”.
Colonel O’Neill signed in at the topmost checkpoint with a particularly Christmas type of flourish. He was proud of that. He’d recently spent a few long and particularly painful lectures from Carter perfecting it. Especially the way he’d managed to make the two l’s resemble a Christmas tree. Now he just had to work on what to do with the dot.
His mind a thousand miles away from any danger, and happily occupied with the Christmas menu at Big Bob’s, he headed over to the first lift. Even the airman’s comment that General Hammond would like to see him as soon as he arrived, failed to dent his serene confidence.
The word just hung in the air for a moment, as all personnel in the gateroom found themselves turning to look at Major Carter and their visitors. All were quickly brought back to reality as the Stargate continued to fall slowly and controlled downwards. Several of the soldiers on the ropes lost their grip, and the gate continued to fall. Then it slowed, and stopped, before resuming its previous slow descent. Somehow, Sam wasn’t surprised when she looked around to see the two Slayers (and Teal’c to a lesser extent) holding their ropes tightly and basically taking the entire strain upon themselves. Now was not a good time to distract them.
When the final positioning of the gate was done, and all the ropes removed and coiled safely to one side, Buffy jumped up on top of the crate they’d brought though their portal, and gestured for everyone to come closer. Sam noticed all the Scoobies (as they called themselves) almost silently groan, but still also come closer. Faith and Dawn stood behind Buffy’s box, while Xander leaned on the box gazing upwards. Willow just snorted and continued with whatever she was doing to the laptops.
“Ok, boys and girls,” Buffy began, looking around at the 15 or 20 troops now gathered around the box. “Cards on the table time. Yes, you heard right. We’re after a bunch of elves.”
She paused and looked at the disbelieving faces of the group of soldiers in front of her. “Come on! You must have heard the rumours about us guys, right? From another Earth? Hell, most of you were probably beaten up by us the first time we came through here.” Buffy dropped to one knee and looked the troops closely into their eyes. “There’s a reason why we’re so strong and talented. Demons and monsters and vampires all exist in our little corner of the universe. Just ask Major Carter, if you don’t believe me. She’s been here. Well, there. Anyhow, she’s seen them too.”
Dammit. Now everyone was looking at her. Sam just folded her arms tighter, and nodded briefly. Then she re-considered slightly and spoke. “Well, it’s true about the vampires anyway. Didn’t see any of the others myself.”
Buffy tilted her head slightly in a way that just reminded Sam of Teal’c’s way with his eyebrows. That was definitely a ‘picky, picky, picky’ one. “Anyway…” Buffy drawled, getting everyone’s attention back. “Anything that you might think isn’t real, anything that you might think is just a nasty fairy tale… they’re real. They exist. And they bite.”
Buffy straightened up to her full height on the box. Suddenly she didn’t seem quite as small or as powerless as before. There was nothing obvious, but the seasoned troops around her stiffened slightly. There was something there now. Something dark and dangerous. Something powerful. Those that had been there for the first visit when the six visitors fought their way through an entire army base grimly remembered. And those newcomers who’d only heard the tales suddenly started putting the pieces together.
Suddenly having everyone’s full and undivided attention, Buffy continued. “Here’s the situation. Santa Claus exists. So do his elves or helpers. And those are what we’re after.” Her eyes flashed over each soldier in front of her. “We have only one chance each year to get them, and that’s tonight on Christmas Eve. That much of legend is correct. What we never realized is the sheer size of the operation.”
She gestured towards the Stargate. “Their little mini-portals open all across our world on Christmas Eve and they flood out searching. Searching for small unattended children. Each year four kids disappear – taken by these elves. What we need is the biggest and strongest portal we can get our hands on and divert these little bastards into our hands.”
Buffy hopped down off the crate, and pulled the top couple of boards off with no effort at all. Reaching inside, she pulled several things out. “And here’s the weapon you’ll be using to get them.” She paused, and looked at her hand. “Damn it! There goes that nail.”
Sam blinked, and her fellow soldiers murmured somewhat at the sight in front of them. Those were some of the most unlikeliest weapons she’d ever seen. Just exactly how were they meant to do this?
Colonel Jack O’Neill had just about decided on the entrée’s when the lift arrived at the midway point, and he exited the first lift. Signing in once more at the second security desk, he showed his identification and headed for the second main lift.
Corporal West quickly opened the lift door for him, and let him in. “Excuse me, Sir,” he said, “but the base has visitors again, and General Hammond wishes to see you as soon as you get in.”
Jack thought about this for a moment, as the long descent started. He hadn’t been notified of any expected visitors, and there were no new cars in the parking lot upstairs. He shrugged mentally. Probably just a couple of Washington brass doing a budget check just before Christmas. Still, he’d find out in a little while. Not to worry.
As Dawn Summers stood at the head of the ring, and concentrated, Sam Carter wondered whether she had actually woken up this morning. She was going after Santa’s elves, though their Stargate, and clutching this…this thing.
As the chanting from Dawn and Willow continued, the blue sheen of the Stargate energy shifted towards green, before finally settling down onto a particular shade of green that Sam somehow associated with both Dawn and the dimension they’d visited a month or two back. Dawn was somehow tuning it into their dimension, while Willow was going to draw all the mini-portals through to this one.
Sam risked a glimpse behind her at the control room. There was Willow sitting cross-legged, starting to chant now that Dawn had finished her part. There was General Hammond standing beside her, hands clasped behind his back, face set. An odd noise started coming from the Stargate, and Sam returned her attention to it. Now, that was getting interesting. Some kind of turmoil in the subspace field, creating a wash of energy forming in it. Also, what looked like bubbles were forming on the surface. They’d grow, then pop without anything happening. They were getting larger and larger each time, mind you. Sam’s mind wandered for a moment, calculating the efforts of opening a portal within a portal. At least they hadn’t actually dialed out anywhere, just pumped in enough energy via one of Willow’s mystic talismans to access the subspace field.
“Any time now!” Buffy shouted, as the bubbles started popping more and more often. Sam held her weapon carefully, and got herself ready. Should be about 20 or 30 elves all told they thought, and with all the troops around the gate, those elves shouldn’t know what hit them.
Something like a misshapen, hairy, green two foot high hobbit jumped out of a bubble and towards Faith. One swing by her, and that elf was no longer a problem.
And now the rest would start coming….
POP! POP! POP! POP!
They were coming pretty darn fast …. Sam swung at the nearest one to her and missed. It bounced off Sergeant Blake’s helmet and sprang to the wall behind them. This wasn’t going well.
POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP! POP!
Something was definitely not right. Sam risked looking at the main gate, while Blake and Banner besides her had a couple of swings at the 3 or 4 bouncing around near them. “Oh, hell…” she exclaimed. There was one massive bubble almost the size of the entire gate ring, lurking just under the event horizon.
There was a sudden disturbance at the right hand side of the gateroom. Sam automatically glanced over and groaned. Somehow, Xander had managed to hit the door release with his net. The door slid back automatically. “Sorry!” called Xander, “Still getting used to my new depth perception.”
Three of the elves made a break for the open doorway before more of the troops could get round to help cover the gap. Suddenly, Buffy came flashing across Sam’s vision, diving over the head of the soldiers running that way, and rolling along the ground. Her flailing weapon managed to catch one of the elves, but the other two avoided Xander’s swings and vanished down the corridor at high speed.
Buffy quickly jumped up, and shot an apologetic look at the control room, before running off down the corridor in pursuit. Sam yelled at Sergeant Doyle and Sergeant West to get their attention, and gestured for them to follow her. West blinked once, then quickly understood and took off after them, Doyle following quickly behind.
Up in the control room, Willow paused in her fierce concentration on the portal, and looked at General Hammond. His hand was paused over the alarm button. “Don’t worry, General – Buffy will make sure those two won’t get out of the base.”
It was slight, but Willow noticed a relaxing in General Hammond’s stance. He turned his head towards where Willow was sitting cross-legged on the floor. “Frankly, Miss Rosenberg,” he said grimly, “If I hadn’t seen that jump for myself, this base would be under lock-down right now.”
His hand moved back towards the alarm button. “I’ve given you all a lot of leeway, but if anything else goes wrong, I will take all necessary action.”
Jack’s lift finally arrived at his floor and dinged cheerfully. The doors slid back and Jack looked out onto a scene he could only describe as absolute chaos. To an accompanying sound of sirens, two 2 foot high green hairy things
were bouncing around from wall to wall or off people, causing as much trouble and mischief as possible. Lieutenant Knight’s glasses were snatched off by one and flipped to the side, just as Sergeant Fielding’s paperwork was tossed all over the place by the other’s scrabbling feet.
And right behind them, chasing the things obviously were two of his troops swinging what could only be butterfly nets
. What the hell was going on here? And who was that just behind Knight, swinging her net like a veteran butterfly collector? As the blonde civilian got nearer and nearer, realization dawned on Jack like a sack of anvils.
The blonde who broke his arm the very first time they met.
The blonde with whom he could only associate failure and abject humiliation.
All of it his.
Jack put his hand across his face wearily and just said quietly and simply “Crap.”
He removed his hand from his eyes, offered a brief prayer of “Why me?” to the universe, and looked up. The two greenies were headed straight for him, but worse – so was Buffy and her butterfly net. The impact of the first one hit him back a step into the lift, while he did manage to knock the other one into a wall.
Buffy’s net flashed out and over that one. The net flashed, and the green thing turned transparent and disappeared. The one behind him jumped up and clung to the back of his head. Just his damn luck where this woman was concerned ran through Jack’s mind as he tried to pull it off.
Buffy stepped in and lunged with the net towards him. “Hey, Colonel! Great to see you guys again, huh?” Jack grimaced and tried bashing his head backwards into the wall to dislodge whatever it was.
At this point, a rapid series of events occurred. The thing let go of Jack’s head rapidly, fell backwards and bounced off the rear wall. Buffy’s net went over Jack’s head. And Jack’s head, with net, jerked backwards and hit the wall. Buffy, not wanting to let go of her weapon, stumbled forward into the lift. And the thing hit all the lift buttons before bouncing out of the closing lift doors.
Back in the gateroom, Sam stared at the large bubble swelling higher and higher from the Stargate. This could not be good in any way at all.
The backlash from that bubble popping knocked most people back for a moment. Sam swallowed, as she looked up. At least 50 elves had emerged from the bubble and now practically covered the room. Faith and Dawn were working together now back to back, she noticed, easily clearing their section of the room. But the open side door was just too easy a target for the elves. Before she could do anything or warn anyone, the majority of the elves got past the defenders of the door in a large horde and headed out into the corridors, pursued by the troops.
And up in the control room, alarm button already depressed, General Hammond was on the telephone. “This is a Code 3. This is NOT a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill. Foothold conditions have been declared. Seal the base at once.”
The lift started moving, before suddenly stopping dead violently, throwing Buffy and the net wearing Colonel O’Neill to the floor. A light on the panel started flashing the word “Foothold” and the lighting dimmed to emergency lights. Jack carefully sat up and removed the net from his head. He turned his head and looked at Buffy, who was picking herself up off the floor. “This is another fine mess you’ve got me into” he sighed.
Buffy sat herself up against a lift wall too, and carefully put down the butterfly net. “Ah… sorry about the net there, Colonel.”
Jack waved it aside. “All things considered… not the worse thing that’s happened to me around you. So, what exactly was that thing?”
“An elf” came the surprising answer. “And frankly I’m disappointed somewhat too. I was hoping for a gang of Orlando Bloom look-alikes.”
“O-kaaay. Not entirely sure I want to know what you’re talking about, but then I did ask.” said Jack, settling himself carefully against the wall. “Might as well make yourself comfortable – we’re gonna be here for a while.” He pointed at the flashing panel. “Anyone trying to use the lift during a Code 3 situation gets automatically slammed into a high security storage section, and then you wait until someone can get to you. Eventually.”
Buffy raised her eyebrows. “Reinforced walls I assume? Worth me trying to bust through?”
Jack laughed humourlessly. “Funny story there…. Remember your first visit and the way you ripped the vault door off? When we re-built everything, all the tolerances went way up. Way, way up. And all this new detain whoever tries to use the lift crap too.”
Buffy made a slight grimace, just barely visible in the dim lighting. “Ah. Too bad.” She paused and looked around the lift. “Still, this isn’t too bad as potential apocalypses go. All told, I rate it a five.”
Jack blinked. “Wait, wait…. you have a scale? And why only a five?”
Jack could just hear the smile in her tone. “We’re not exactly familiar with the normal lives ourselves, you know? Besides, this ain’t so bad. Nothing’s trying to bite our head off, all my friends are outside, and there’s a whole bunch of friendly army guys running around too. Thus, a five rating.”
Jack just looked at her. “That’s Air Force, if you don’t mind, And besides, I bet we have weirder stuff happening to us.”
Buffy’s turn to blink. Then snort. “Oh yeah? Sounds like a challenge there. Wanna trade war stories then, gramps?”
Faith swore loudly, then took off at a high pace down the corridor after the elves. Teal’c and Dawn quickly followed her. The few remaining elves in the gateroom seemed to be under the control of the soldiers there, so Sam and some of the spare soldiers followed them.
Running down the corridor, Sam managed to get her net over her first elf. The elf went transparent and then disappeared. Sam looked at the net in her hand, then decided to think more about the actual physics involved later. Right now, she and her team had a job to do.
Jack smiled and proceeded to recap. “Ok then, so you destroyed your high school gym when you were 15, your high school at age 18 and then last year, you destroyed the entire town. Not bad at all, but I can beat that.”
Her reply came smug and confident. “Bring it on, Colonel.”
Oh, he was going to enjoy this, “We dropped a spare Stargate into a sun, and set off a super-nova. Destroyed an entire solar system AND several annoying Goa’uld motherships.”
Buffy blinked. “Guess you’re gonna get that one just on the quantity involved. Nice.”
Dr Janet Fraiser was not happy.
Nobody, and she meant nobody, was allowed to mess up her medical section. These green bouncing things were NOT going to affect her patients in the slightest way. Throwing whatever came to hand, she kept them away from the section of room with her patients in.
As Sam and the troops with her entered the infirmary in a rush, Janet snatched a net off one of the soldiers and took an angry swing at the things. The battered, bedraggled and somewhat wet elf jumped as high as it could, only to run into another thrown specimen jar. Sam noticed at the back of her mind that the elf almost had a relieved look on its face as the net closed over it.
Dr Fraiser tackled the last one, then threw the net at the soldier she’d taken it from. “You may inform General Hammond that I will be having words with him later,” she practically snarled, before spinning around and heading towards her wide-eyed patients.
Sam just smiled weakly and gestured for everyone to get out – fast.
“Hmmm….” Buffy paused thoughtfully. “How about robot doubles?”
“Oh yeeeeeah,” Jack drawled. “Going with the quantity theme again, we had the entire SG-1 team duplicated. Turned up here, thinking they were the original team. Confused everyone until they went back and found us.”
“Not bad. It was just me that got duplicated. But… it was by a love-crazed vampire and used as a sexbot.”
“A…. sexbot?” Jack repeated, after a moment’s reflection.
“Oh yeah. Exactly what it says on the label. Fun all round when it escaped during a day that I was out of town. Still can’t believe none of my friends couldn’t work out it wasn’t me. Those shoes were soooo last year,” Buffy fumed.
Jack shook his head and tried to get rid of the mental images. “You get that one then. Just on the general ickness.”
“Apparently Xander and Anya caught it bouncing up and down on top of Spike in a graveyard.”
“Stop it! You got the point – there are no bonus points here. And once again, ewww.”
Faith and Teal’c stood back to back in the main corridor intersection. Whenever one of the elves came bouncing down the passages, flushed out by Dawn, Xander or the soldiers, they would quickly move and capture the elf.
Faith was quite enjoying this. Rubbing herself up against an absolute mountain of a man, not running around chasing these annoying elves, and everyone else doing the hard work for her. Perfect. Even better, her new partner didn’t seem to be the type to comment on everything. Speaking of which… Her net flicked out and took one that was just about to land on Xander’s head. He shot her a glance of thanks and continued running down the corridor.
At the far end of the corridor, Dawn took careful aim and kicked out with all her strength. The elf flew through the air straight towards Teal’c, who just coolly moved his net the minimum amount needed and captured the elf before it could hit him. Cool. As Dawn ran past Teal’c and Faith for what must have been the ninth time, she panted out “Anyone seen Buffy recently?”
“Been turned invisible?”
“Nope. Point to you. Been super-powered?”
“Bad example. And that didn’t last. Hmmm… I did have an alien spaceship named after me, though.”
“Okay, now that’s a good one. Big spaceship? Small spaceship?”
“Very large flagship, if you don’t mind. Well, it was.”
“Was? As in no longer around?”
“Slight problem with some Replicator robots. Don’t ask. Time travel?”
“No! How’d you manage that?”
“No real idea. Ask Carter if you want your brain to hurt too. Ended up in 1969, and then the future at some point.”
“Cool. Definite point there. Alternative earth versions of people you know turning up?”
“We had two Carters round here for a while, before the time limit thing kicked in. You guys?”
“A vampire version of Willow turned up at one point from a world where the vamps had won. Sent her back eventually.”
Xander leaned against the gateroom wall and half sighed, half panted in relief. He and Dawn shared a look. Any moment now and the last elf-thing over there would be netted. “Well, can’t say I didn’t get my exercise for the day,” he joked, drawing a half smile from Dawn.
Eventually, the last elf (who Xander had started to refer to in his brain as Lucky) was finally netted by Faith. Xander straightened himself up, and walked over towards Faith. On his way, he happened to glance at the Stargate. The energy field had been still. Right up to the point when Lucky had been gotten. Now, it was almost quaking… the water-like substance shaking.
Suddenly, the energy leapt upwards in what looked like a waterspout, before falling down and going back to as it was before. However, it left behind a figure. Almost 10 feet high, and 4 foot wide, it crouched over the Stargate. Its reddish and white fur showed up clearly under the gateroom lights. The large pointy teeth and the slowly unfurling large claws also showed up very well under them too. And the large yellow staring mad eyes. Xander’s brain picked this point to go off on a mad tangent about how Claws had obviously got misspelled over the years, and just how ironic it was that all his schoolyard jokes had turned out right in this particular case.
“Uh-oh,” he said, slowly backing away. “Santa Claus has come to town, and I’m not really expecting a ho ho ho here.” His brain then flipped back to a thanksgiving meal some years ago, and Anya. Tara had said “There's a Santa Claus? “
Anya in her best off-hand manner “Mm-hmm. Been around since, like, the 1500s. He wasn't always called Santa, but you know, Christmas night, flying reindeer, coming down the chimney -- all true.”
Dawn, smiling hopefully, chirped up “All true?”
And Anya had replied matter of factly “Well, he doesn't traditionally bring presents so much as, you know, disemboweled children.”
Typical really. Life had a way of doing making you remember that sort of thing, at exactly the worst possible times. Just when you wanted to forget.
“Amnesia? Magic spell went wrong and we all lost our memories from a while.”
“Ha! We found a whole planet full of people suffering from amnesia. And cured them all.”
“Darn. Um…. I died. And came back.”
“You already used that one. Fairly impressive, but no repeats please.”
“I died twice. And came back twice. Therefore, two points. Possibly three, as we’re still debating whether I flatlined the time I was shot.”
“Right. So, you’re sure about coming back from the dead two times. What? After the second time you come back, they tend to get all blurry? Sheesh. Two points, but definitely no using it again.”
Faith swore, as another net was torn apart by Santa Claus. And no, she still couldn’t believe she’d just thought that. The trouble was, nobody but her had the necessary speed to even get close to Santa, but one person alone just didn’t have the time to get a net over any important parts.
She ducked quickly, as his claws lashed out ripping through the concrete where her head would have been. Dammit – they should have brought more Slayers with them, but they’d decided that only the ones with previous parallel world experience should go. Besides, her and Buffy alone should have been enough for anything. So, where was B?
She ducked and rolled to the left, swung her hand up and caught the next net thrown at her by the soldier-boys. Time to try again. She feinted left, then jumped up in the air aiming at its head.
Shit! It was smarter than it looked! A gleam of intelligence shone in the crazed eyes, and the claws shot out towards her fast. Desperately, she jerked her body in mid-air, and avoided the claws. Unfortunately, the fist part of the arm caught her and knocked her flying. The claws kept going, and smashed into the glass around the control room, sending shards flying across the room and making General Hammond throw an arm up to protect himself.
How the hell were they going to beat this? She was just going round in circles.
“Three geeks from High School decided to mess me around one day. One of the things they did was dump me in a time loop thing that kept me repeatedly working in a shop. I tried to leave... I came straight back to the start. I tried not working… came straight back. And that’s not even worth mentioning the animated mummy hand.”
“Teal’c and I got stuck in one for about three months once. Lasted for about 6 hours at a time, but we weren’t confined to one area. We at least got to go off and do other things.”
“Actually I’d give it to Teal’c. Every time the loop started someone hit him in the face with a door.”
“Ouch! Every 6 hours? For three months? Oooooo….That’s got to hurt.”
Faith crouched beneath the broken control room windows, panting. She was tired, cut and bleeding, and this damned Santa was not being polite enough to just die quietly. She hated to admit it, but it was looking somewhat out of her league. The room lay in quite a bit of rubble. Claw marks all over the walls and floor. Chunks missing and underfoot. She thrown just about everything at it, and nothing. Not good.
Suddenly, there was what sounded like a short bark. A hint of red appeared on the white fur on the creature’s face. A faintly puzzled look crossed the eyes, before the yellow tint faded away and it dropped to the floor unmoving. Faith studied it in puzzlement, before turning her gaze upwards.
Standing in the middle of the broken control room windows, revolver pointing out before him, was General Hammond, his face stern. Slowly, he rose from his firing stance and put the gun away. He looked down at Faith, then at the battered Dawn and Xander rising from their places on the floor. When he spoke, it was with a sense of exasperation, “Sometimes, you can get too wrapped in a complex plan, when you just can’t beat a straight forward shot to the head. Now, get your stuff and get off my damn base!”
He turned and walked off into the control room. His voice floated back to the assembly in the gateroom, still somewhat irate, “Now, where the hell is Colonel O’Neill?”
There was a loud banging on the other side of the doors. Jack straightened up and slowly got to his feet. “Well, looks like they finally found the giant tin opener. We‘ll be out of here in one minute.”
Buffy smiled, and clambered to her feet too. After a moment, she spoke “Thanks for the talk, Col... Jack. It’s always…. nice to share things. Especially with someone who knows.”
She blushed, and then leaned forward. “There’s no mistletoe, but thanks for being so understanding, and not making any judgements.” She tilted her head upwards and kissed Jack firmly. As the lift doors opened, that was the sight that the repair crew looked upon. In a state of mild shock, Jack just stood there for a moment. He just knew
that this was going to go straight round the base. Just knew it. He stepped back, breaking the kiss, then strode out of the lift and past the gaping airmen.
Half an hour later, after the inevitable Scooby reunion and questioning, everyone was ready to go home. No one had actually come straight out and said anything to him yet, but from the looks and raised eyebrows, Jack could tell that the story was spreading through the base like wildfire. And judging from the looks, her sister was shooting at him, Jack had the sinking feeling it had already reached their guests.
Ten minutes later, the green glow of the now vertical Stargate portal back to their dimension finally faded away. It was over. All the Scoobies, remaining butterfly nets, one of the two now dimensionally connected laptops and one large Santa corpse stuffed in a wooden crate had been happily carted through the gate. Frankly, all Jack wanted right now was to get out and finally, finally get his damn meal at Big Bob’s. Either that, or rip off Teal’c’s damn expressive eyebrows. Obviously word had reached him by now.
He stalked out of the gateroom and headed straight for the lift up. “Hold up, sir!” came the cry, as Sam Carter just managed to squeeze herself into the lift before the doors closed. She smiled sweetly at him. “I could just do with some food myself, sir. If, of course, you don’t mind having an older person in the lift with you?”
“Carter!” he snapped. “Nothing happened! Nothing! Zip! Zilch! Nada! What is it with everyone? Thank God Daniel’s not in today.”
Suddenly the lift stopped dead violently, jerking Jack and Sam to the floor once again. A light on the panel started flashing the word “Foothold” and the lighting dimmed to emergency lights.
Jack put his head in his hands. “…………Crap. Really, really should have waited for the system to be reset, shouldn’t I?”
“Don’t worry, sir, I’m sure someone from the repair crew will be along pretty soon.” Sam tried to cheer him up. Then re-considered. “Well, after they get round to all the other repairs. And the cables that got cut. And the structural reinforcements.”
Jack groaned inwardly and resigned himself to a long wait. If he’d thought the talk was bad enough after the first incident, then being found stuck in here with Carter was going to be ten times worse. Why him? God had given him a nemesis alright, in the form of one Buffy ‘bad-luck-bringer’ Summers.
He smiled slightly in the dark, as Carter continued detailing the damage to the SGC. At least he was sure of one thing; there was some one else out there in the universe, dealing with as much weird shit as he and the rest of SG-1 had come across.
They weren’t alone.
And all told, that was probably the best Christmas present he could have got.
Smiling inwardly, he made himself comfortable, and settled in for the long haul.