Xander parked up the Humvee, and together, he and Cordelia got out, to be greeted by a Major.
Following his lead, the pair nodded respectfully to him. Xander spoke. “Major Davis.”
His nametag was visible.
“You must be Mr Harris.” Davis spoke.
“And Cordelia Chase. I hope Captain Carter made you aware that the offer extended to those who assisted me in Washington State...?”
“Yes, although I believe there was two others...?”
“They decided not to take up the offer, but I have their promise not to share classified information.” With that, Xander pulled out a basic Non-disclosure agreement. “I believe this is sufficient to enter on record?”
With a raised eyebrow, the Major took the proferred document, and replied, “We’ll have to see, but perhaps. Please, this way.”
He indicated, and the trio moved off, into a transport vehicle that would take them into the mountain.
Not everyone could park in the tunnel outside of the Big Door.
-- Stargate Command, Level 27
“And this is the Stargate.”
Xander looked out, and with a small smile, nodded. “Made almost entirely of Naquadah, what isn’t that substance designed to control it, of course. It creates a stable wormhole with another Stargate on another planet, one way for actual matter, but some things it acts both ways, such as radio transmissions and digital wireless transmissions.” At the look he received from both, he shrugged, “I do listen, Cordy.”
A chuckle got his attention, and he saw SG-1 at the door into the briefing room.
“Colonel, Captain, Doctor... Teal’c...”
Cordelia moved closer to him, a little intimidated, and asked, “Why’s he giving me the wiggins?”
“That’s his larval symbiont, right?”
Teal’c nodded. Xander turned back, and assured her, “Can’t survive outside of his pouch.” At her confused look, he said, “Like a Kangaroo.”
“You’re not going to start bouncing around, are you?”
Teal’c merely raised an eyebrow, but Jack grinned. Daniel respectfully coughed.
Sam took lead, and put out a hand, “Captain Carter.”
Cordelia took it. “Cordelia Chase.”
“I take it you’re here to take us up on that offer?”
Xander nodded, and looked at Cordelia, who shrugged a bit.
“Get us through BOT, and then assigned here? Get to kick alien butt, and be an all-around pain in the ass to the old False Gods? You betcha.”
“Oh god, not another one.” Daniel groaned.
Seeing the glance, Xander had to ask, “Are you pegging me for Colonel O’Neill’s next apprentice in sarcasm?”
Jack stepped forward, and together, they began to look like they were plotting a prank.
Off to the side, Major Davis was shuddering, while Cordelia merely walked over to the pair and slapped Xander on the back of the head.
“Hey doofus, no plotting!”
“What? Buffy hits you way harder.”
“Not on the back of the head she doesn’t.”
She just shrugged.
“You know you can’t do that anymore if you enter the service.” Daniel spoke up.
Xander began to smile, before Cordelia hit him again.
“Ow, what was that for?”
“Just getting them in while I can.”
SG-1 began to snigger at that, while Davis and Teal’c watched with frowns.
“Oh, yeah? Well how about-“
Suddenly panicked, Cordelia just put her hand on his mouth, shutting him up. “None of that.”
“Thmmm domnmmm imm mmmeee.”
“mmooouuumm mmamm mmemmmooomth morr mamm mmmowm.”
She pulled back her hand, wincing and then wiped her palm on his jacket, gaining more grins from SG-1, although Jack had to ask, “You understood that?”
In explanation, Xander shared, “Lessons from talking while eating.”
“Ugh. Disgusting.” Cordelia winced, in memory.
He burped, and more amused looks were shared.
Cordelia sighed, and said, “I’m in.”
-- Maxwell AFB
Driving as a civilian with military weapons, permitted at that, into Maxwell AFB to start their 13 weeks of BOT, was rather odd to say the least.
The guards were about to call the military police, when Xander handed them his weapons permit.
That got them waved in, but the MP’s were still waiting alongside the base commander.
Whom knew they were coming anyway, but still.
Getting out slowly, the pair approached the group, and Xander with a tight smile, nodded respectfully at them.
“Alexander Harris and Cordelia Chase reporting to start Basic Officers Training.”
“Yes, but I wasn’t aware you were going to be driving a military vehicle, with weapons, onto my base, Mr Harris.” The commander spoke.
“I have permits for them, sir. Authorised and cleared through channels.”
“You are trained for them?”
Xander rattled off something, that to Cordelia sounded like gibberish, but to this general dude, who paled but smiled slightly, she guessed it was impressive.
The MP’s began to shuffle nervously, making her shuffle about too.
“Impressive figures, for a boy.”
She felt Xander tense, and he ground out from clenched teeth, still somewhat respectfully, “Sir, Please do not call me a boy. Having seen what I have, even your most experienced candidate for Officer Training wouldn’t have been through half the typical equivalent.”
The general scowled at that, but Xander pressed on. “I was directly involved in bringing a mass murderer to justice, and lost many friends from my school that day. By no definition of the word, am I a ‘Boy’.”
The General glanced at Cordelia, who nodded with a fierce determination that actually shocked him, given the first impression he’d gotten from the pair.
Perhaps there was credence to the rumour of a black-ops unit having involved a civilian back west in bringing down some politician turned bad.
-- That Night, Barracks
Cordelia leaned over the edge of the top bunk, and looked at Xander, who was laid staring at the springs above him from the bottom bunk.
“This better be worth it, Xander.”
“It will be, Cordelia.”
“My hair was shaved.”
“And you still look gorgeous.”
“I’m not going to be all GI Jane.”
“I Don’t expect you to.”
“How did we get in for Officers training anyway? Don’t you need to be a college graduate?”
“I know. But I have that part solved.” He merely spoke.
Ever since they had arrived, he’d been like this, just as he had the first week after graduation, and the two days after being released by the ATF and SG-1 folks.
She knew it was to do with the near constant reminders of what happened at Graduation.
She just hoped that the training could help him.
She as she hoped it could her.
-- Just slightly over 3 months later; Cheyenne Mountain
General Hammond and Major Davis waited for the arrival of their next lot of recruits.
Because of SG-1’s personal investment in this batch, Hammond had too, gotten interested.
The now somewhat familiar registration plate on the Humvee that was at the lead of the convoy pulled up and to a stop outside of the Big Door within the Mountain access tunnel.
Out of the passenger side front door, a familiar woman, sans the long hair, got out, and was shortly joined by another familiar man.
After a minute, they were leading (not just being followed by, leading
) the group of recruits, some out of training, some simply transferring in, into the SGC with Hammond and Davis following.
Then they were lined up in the gate room, and Hammond nodded.
“Alright. Welcome to Stargate Command. I’m General Hammond, and this is SG-1’s Colonel Jack O’Neill, my 2nd. If you have any questions you may ask Colonel O’Neill, or any of SG-1. If you already have your team Assignments, you are dismissed. If you don’t, stay and Major Davis here will brief you.”
Hammond looked over them, and nodded, “Dismissed.”
They relaxed, and while a group of officers left, not one of them were fresh from training. The other 4 along with Xander and Cordelia, regrouped and waited for Major Davis.
It was those two whom were last, and Major Davis, looked to Jack, then left.
Xander gave him a curious glance, and Jack smirked at the lad. “We’ve been keeping a close eye on your training. We took a big gamble, putting you through Officers, rather than signing you up as Enlisted.”
Xander glanced at Cordelia, and nodded.
“A gamble that paid off. The pair of you did. Welcome to the team.”
Cordelia smiled slightly, and seeing Xander not reacting, poked him.
“You heard me, Xander.”
“Yessir... We’re on SG-1?”
He was confused, this was so out of the norm, surely it was, for the SGC anyway.
“On a trial basis. Seems some eggheads up at the pentagon want fresh eyes on our team, make sure we’re working by the regs.” Jack rolled his eyes.
Xander smiled, and asked, “Are you sure we’re the right ones for that job, sir?”
“Oh? Backing out on us, are we?”
“No sir.” He replied quickly. “But as is likely obvious, regulations haven’t exactly carried specific meaning in the mock operations at BOT.”
Jack nodded. “Gate travel tends to do that to regs. Now come on, lets get you two settled in and meeting your new family.”
Cordelia nodded, and pulled the still-shocked Xander along.
Wesley nodded along with Faith, as the pair were on hands-free talking with Xander and Cordelia at the SGC.
“And now we’re on SG-1.”
Cordelia spoke up, “He doesn’t get why. As if our luck would have us anywhere else.”
Faith smirked and nodded to Wes, in agreement, “Yeah X, Luck had us after that cult same time as those SG-1 folk. You impressed em then, so luck says SG-1 for you.”
“But Cordelia?” Xander asked. “Not that I’m belittling her abilities, she’s as good as me now, you wouldn’t think I’d had a certain advantage. But they didn’t get to see her performance.”
“It stands to reason,” Wesley began, “That they paid close attention to you both...?”
“Well, I did find it odd that we got assigned to the flight that had both men and women in the same barracks, rather than separately to different squadrons...”
Wes continued, “Therefore it stands to reason that they have indeed been able to assess her own capabilities. If as you say is true, and she is now as good as you are, Xander, then indeed it makes sense that they would assign you both to the same team. You already worked well together before, and with matching abilities now, you could only improve. You already worked with SG-1 in Washington also, quite well, so it is a safe bet to say they are adding you two to their team on a trial basis, a decision, which I need not remind you, is reasonable. Working with an experienced team will only improve yours, and can help you avoid certain mistakes before you may make them.”
“Yeah, I get that. I do. Damnit. Defeating me with Logic. Curses.”
Faith chuckled. “Hey Queen C, don’t let X get too down, yeah? Had enough of his broodiness on our roadtrip, and it’s been too long since we last talked.”
“You got it.”
“What do you mean, Broodiness? I’m not broody! That’s Angels gig!”
“Shut up Xand.”
“I’m not Broody!”
“Oh come on, Silent treatment? I’m not broody!”
“I must agree with the ladies, Alexander. You had been rather moody in the last few weeks we spent with you.”
“Oh come on, Wes... Not fair. Ganging up? Oh Woe is me.”
“Oh, I think that deserves punishment, eh, Queen C?”
“Oh.. Cor... Cooooor... oh... stt... stoooop.... nn... nooo... Don.t.... stop...”
Faith and Wes shared a look, wondering what was going on.
“... Yeah... right there...”
Wincing, they quickly ended the call.
“They weren’t...” Wesley almost prayed.
Faith looked at the phone, and picking up the handset, grinned. Covering the mouthpiece, she said, “You didn’t switch it off...”
“Stop Listening in.” He told her firmly.
She started to shrug, but then went wide-eyed, and almost blurted out what she’d heard.
“No. No Faith, I will not have you sharing too much information.”
S sighed, “Damn, should have taken that ride when I could.” And put the phone down.
Wesley had no idea what that was about.
In Colorado however, the pair whom were tickling (and making the entirely wrong set of noises to freak out the watcher and slayer) stopped upon hearing that, right before Faith hung up.
“Xander.” Cordelia began, with a warning tone.
“I told her no.”
“It was when we were on our off period.”
Growling, she leaned down, and said, “Xander...”
He froze, he recognised that tone. “Honest. It was that sisterhood of Jhe thing. Rammed one, took her to my apartment to get cleaned up, she thought I was offering, I said I wasn’t. Looked like she wanted to, but I...”
“But you... what?”
“Only have eyes for you. Come on, You can’t seriously think that back when Spike had me and Wills, we were kissing
“What do you expect me to think it was?”
“We should have talked about this ages ago...” Xander muttered, as the pair got up and moved over to their couch, in their temporary base quarters. “You know what Willow was, to me. But you also know what you were, to me. Honestly, do you think, even now, I could have...?”
“Cheated on me?... No.” She sighed. “You were just kissing her, nothing special. But why?”
“We thought we were going to die. The usual hero-rescuing-us timelimit had passed.”
“Okay, that sounds silly now...” He choked, “But you know what it was like back then. We’d gotten to Angel much quicker than Buffy did get to us.”
Cordelia sighed. “Okay... You were just, ‘i’m gonna die’ kissing?”
“Hey, she was like my... sister? No feelings on my part for her.”
She stared into his eyes, and saw the truth in them.
Nodding, she embraced him, and mumbled something.
Understanding, he nodded.
In a distant part of his mind, a seed of doubt that had been planted long ago, made him wonder at how different things would have been, if for one reason or another, he and Cordelia had never been as close as they had been then.
And he hoped that, now even after so long had passed since getting back together, that it could be put behind them, and be back to that level of closeness that the lessons with her hadn’t had ever since.