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Airman Harris

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Summary: After an alien attack drags Airman Xander into an battle when he only wants to deliver his peaches, Xander discovers a whole new world, and a new way of seeing the world and himself.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Xander-Centered > Pairing: Daniel JacksonlitgalFR2133122,35898473133,8693 Mar 1218 Jul 12Yes

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Chapter One

Disclaimer:
Other people own both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stargate SG-1



Xander pushed the handcart down the corridor toward the two big-ass metal blast doors. Considering that the military never had to fight anything more interesting than a terrorist, it seemed totally unfair that they got all the good toys and Buffy had to fight world-ending demons with a stake.

“Hold. Credentials.” An armed guard stepped out from behind a metal detector that started flashing madly the second Xander started pushing his cart through.

“Airman Harris, sir,” he offered, holding up his clipboard with orders and ID attached. “I’m delivering the peaches you guys ordered.” The senior airman stepped forward to claim the paperwork.

“Peaches?” A senior airman continued to eye Xander the way the less friendly vampire population might while the second lieutenant started running a very fancy hand-held scanner over the crates. The lieutenant must have pissed someone off pretty bad to get stuck doing shit guard duty, but then again, Xander didn’t have a whole lot of room to talk.

“Yes, sir. Airman Harris out of Peterson Air Force Base. Someone ordered peaches. You guys get all the good supplies over here because they stick us with the canned pears over at Peterson.” Xander offered the lieutenant a goofy grin. Most of the time, that worked. Since joining the service in a fit of Spike-inspired insecurity, Xander had figured out that the real world worked pretty much the way Sunnydale did, only with fewer demons. The first truth—people underestimated you if you had a goofy grin. The second rule was that Xander had an uncanny knack for attracting trouble. He’d gotten stuck doing this food run because two seconds after he’d shown up for an illegal poker game, officers had just happened to wander through the supply tent. Hopefully, Xander’s fellow airmen would forgive him some time before his four-year hitch was over. Otherwise, he was going to have a very uncomfortable tour at Peterson. An uncomfortable tour and a whole lot of time schlepping peaches over mountain roads.

“Rogers?” the lieutenant asked.

“The paperwork looks good,” the airman said. “It looks like someone finally remembered to fill out the right paperwork, sir.”

“I don’t know about that,” Xander offered. “I have five cases of peaches, ten of assorted meats and twelve cases of Jell-O. Either someone around here really likes Jell-O or your officers are worse than mine when it comes to the really important things, like food.” Xander gave the lieutenant another goofy grin.

Xander watched the odd look that passed between the two men. They shared the same sort of silent language he’d once shared with Willow and Buffy. All the military novels Xander had ever read suggested that people serving in the military developed this close relationship, this brotherhood that went beyond any friendship. So far, every military base Xander had served on looked more like high school with a different set of cliques. Military recruits could be real shits, and so far, Xander hadn’t seen a strong secret bond in sight. Oh, he’d seen drug use, alcoholism and a nasty habit of pulling practical jokes on the smallest man in the unit, but none of the tight comradeship Xander had wanted when he joined.

However, these two… they had it. Xander hadn’t expected that at a non-combat deep-space monitoring station. Maybe that’s why this silent language set off Hellmouthy alarms in Xander's head.

“They really like Jell-O around here, Harris. We’ll call for an escort to take you down to the commissary with those,” the lieutenant finally offered. For the first time, Xander noticed that the man wasn’t wearing a name tag or a unit patch, just his rank insignia on his shirt. Huge with the weirdage.

“No need. I haven’t gotten lost since I tried to find my way out of the parking lot at Lackland Air Force Base.”

“We’ll get you an escort,” the lieutenant said firmly, and Xander just nodded. He had a policy of not arguing with anyone who carried a gun. While the lieutenant made a call, Xander smiled at the other airman.

“Guard duty.” Xander made a sympathetic noise. “Not my favorite duty. Especially out here. Boredom city, huh?” The airman stared at him, and Xander shifted uncomfortably. Up until this point, he would have said that the worst part about the service was PT, but right now, he was starting to seriously hate whoever had ordered him to bring stuff up to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex because his every Hellmouthy instinct told him to run like a little girl. Potentially to run screaming like a little girl. But his orders meant that if he did that, he would be scrubbing a prison floor for the next couple of years. For a few seconds, Xander actually debated the merits of military prison versus ignoring a Hellmouth vibe. So not a good position to be in.

However, the lieutenant nodded at him. “You’re cleared, Airman Harris. Airman First Class Isaacs will meet you at the elevator with the key. Straight that way.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you,” Xander offered with a nod before he gave his cart full of food a big shove to get it rolling.

Heading through the doors, Xander swallowed at the sheer size of the things. “Holy zombie apocalypse,” Xander muttered. If the world came close to ending any time in the next three years, Xander knew where he wanted to be. No way could vampires or zombies or any other thing that went bump in the night get through those doors. Well, maybe Ethan Rayne could. Magic was big on the unpredictability scale. That was one reason why Xander was not so comfortable around it.

“Isaacs?” Xander asked when he saw a man waiting near an elevator control panel.

“Harris?”

“With the peaches, even.” This time when Xander smiled, he got a smile in return, which made him feel a little better. Maybe the two guys up there were just putting out weird vibes because they had a hot and steamy gay porn thing going in the guard booth and Xander had interrupted them. Xander frowned. Okay, even for him that was an oddly random thought.

“This way,” Isaacs said as he used a key to activate the elevator controls.

“You guys do like your security.”

“You have no idea,” Isaacs said, and then his dark skin got even darker with a blush. “It’s the computers. We have a lot of expensive computers in here.” He frowned, and Xander felt another of those Hellmouthy vibes sending little sparks of cold terror though his spine.

“Computers. Okay.”

“Yeah, computers.”

They both fell silent as the elevator took them down several floors before sliding to a stop. The sheer number of floors below them stunned Xander. This complex had to be huge. Either that or someone had dug a really deep elevator shaft for no reason other than to freak out the guests. And that would be an expensive joke. The doors slid open, and Xander blinked as something skittered across his skin.

“Is there something—”

“The commissary storeroom is that way,” Isaacs said, cutting Xander off before he almost dashed out of the elevator and ran the other way.

“Oh, nothing weird with that. Nope. No weirdness at all,” Xander muttered to himself as he pushed his cart out into the corridor. The place was silent. Demony-level silent, and Xander found himself eyeing the wooden pallet under his cardboard delivery, wondering if he had enough time to make himself a stake. More importantly, could he explain why he wanted one if he got caught?

Two airmen came running down the corridor, guns pulled, and Xander flattened himself against the wall just as a siren started wailing loudly. “Great. Why can’t I ever be irrationally paranoid? But no. Every time I get paranoid, it turns out there’s something to get paranoid about.” Xander abandoned peaches and headed back into the elevator, but when he pushed the buttons, nothing happened. The lock was turned to inactive, and he didn’t have a key.

“Seriously?” Xander demanded. Before he could make any other complaint, the elevator doors slid closed and he started heading down into the mountain. “If this is a dream, this would be a good time to wake up,” Xander muttered as he hit every button, including the emergency stop, to try and stop the elevator. He also came up with new and original insults for Spike—the stupid vampire who’d talked him into believing that the girls didn’t need him and that he should sign up for the military. He even found a few new ways to call himself stupid for falling for the bleached one’s stupidity. And then the elevator stopped on level 22.

The doors opened, and Xander braced himself for something big and slimy to attack. His heart pounded, and he mentally reviewed the placement of any and all demon genitalia as he prepared to fight for his life. Instead two airmen tumbled into the elevator. Well, one airman and one airwoman, and Xander was making some assumptions on rank because both of them had lost their shirts in some bizarre industrial accident that required them to manually check each other for skin lesions. Either that or they had ripped off each other’s clothes and were feeling each other up. One or the other.

“Hey, um, nice day for some completely against the regs kinds of fraternization, not that I have a problem with fraternization. I’m generally in favor of getting fraternized whenever possible, only possibly not in public. Usually. Except for this one time with this girl named Anya.” Xander backed away as he babbled, but the couple was way more interested in getting each other’s pants off to actually notice him.

“Okay. That’s a 5.7 on the weird-o-meter.” Xander looked around, not sure what he’d find but expecting it to be bad. Hugely Hellmouthishly bad.

“Who are you?”

Xander spun around at the angry words and found himself face to face with a huge Marine. Huge. Wooly mammoth sized with eyes so black they looked alien—which was how Xander figured out the guy was stoned off his ass.

“Hey. Ignore me. I’m just the lost guy delivering food. Peaches. Peaches and Jell-O. And hey, you are looking at me really weird.” Xander backed away, and the Marine followed him with his eyes. This was so not good. Worse, Xander’s little pants friend seemed to enjoy getting looked at like the last virgin in a vampire convention. Clearly Xander’s pants friend was an idiot. Then again, his cock always had been an idiot, so Xander shouldn’t be surprised at that.

“Anders?” Another marine came out of a room, and the big-ass man turned to face him. Before Xander could say boo, the two men had practically leaped at each other. The fear that they would fight vanished when Xander saw each struggling to open the other’s belt.

“Oh hey, okay. You guys are really enlightened around here, aren’t you? Good for you. Go gay rights.” Xander backed up, forcing his legs to move away when this little voice in his head told him to join the men. He felt this itchy hunger that definitely wasn’t all him. He’d been around magic long enough to know when someone was mojoing him.

“I’m just going to… completely freak out is an option, actually,” Xander complained softly as he looked around at the stark corridors. “Hiding is good. I can do hiding.” Xander tore his gaze away from the kissing Marines and headed in the opposite direction down the hall. Every military base had storage closets, and Xander knew from experience that they made great places to hide.

“Oh, hey. Hi.” Xander stopped when a man with a bewildered expression came wandering out of another door. His glasses were sliding down his nose and his hair was definitely a little too long to be called military. “I think something odd might be going on.” Xander gave the guy a smile.

“Fuck me.” The man looked at Xander with that same intensity as the Marine. The crazy was contagious.

“Uh. Is that you saying ‘Fuck me, this is weird in a cursing sort of way?’ Because if it is, I’m kinda right there with you.”

The man closed the distance between them, his hand coming up to touch Xander’s chest and Xander could feel the fever heat of this guy’s skin right through his uniform. “Take me hard. Oh god, I’ve avoided men for so long. Just fuck me.”

“Oh god. Okay, oddly this is not the first time I’ve gotten this speech, but from experience, it rarely ends well. It ends with regrets and recriminations and accusations of abandonment and threats of castration,” Xander tried explaining, but he could feel his cock harden painfully. The fact was that he wanted to have sex with this guy. Yep. That would be magic because Xander was not exactly a slam-bam thank you ma’am sort of man. He was more the sort to tumble into a relationship emotions first and then get tangled on his own feet. However, this guy with his light brown hair and blue eyes and very manly jaw was definitely making Xander consider changing his game plan.

“I promise to not castrate you,” the guy said with a crooked smile that made Xander’s cock harden almost painfully fast. When this guy smiled he was stunning. Absolutely stunning. Then he fisted Xander’s shirt and shoved Xander back into the wall. “Now fuck me.” Without waiting for an answer, he kissed Xander hard. The taste of coffee and male musk filled Xander’s senses, and he grabbed the guy’s shoulders and pulled him closer. Running hands over the stranger’s shoulders, Xander could feel the muscles—the strength. However, after years of fighting demons and basic training, Xander had more. And he proved that by grabbing his partner and spinning him around so he had the guy pinned against the wall. Then he kissed the guy back. Hard. And his partner didn’t seem to mind because he grabbed Xander’s shirt and pulled it out of Xander’s pants so his hot fingers could find the skin below.

Yeah. It was magic, but Xander wasn’t going to try and fight the inevitable, especially not when the inevitable smelled good enough to eat. “What’s your name?”

“Daniel.”

“Xander,” Xander offered. “Closet?”

“There.” Daniel pointed at a door and Xander nearly tripped as he turned, fisted Daniel’s shirt and pulled him toward the door as fast as he could. Daniel was right there with him, scrambling to get to the door. Xander clawed the door open and shoved Daniel up against a wall of the closet, knocking over a mop and sending several spray bottles tumbling off a shelf.

By the time Xander pulled the door closed and turned on the light, Daniel was already shimmying out of his pants. The man had one seriously fine ass—rounded and well-muscled and so beautifully pale. “Oh hell yes,” Xander breathed, and then he looked around desperately. He needed something slick. “Damn. Shit. Um, lotion, oil, something.”

Daniel spun around, a desperate look on his face. “You don’t have any?”

“Oddly, no. Usually I don’t… okay, I can’t say I don’t make out in closets because that’s not true, but I don’t have sex in closets.” Xander started pawing through the shelves looking for something.

When he came up with mineral oil, Daniel made a hungry little whine. “Yes. Now fuck me. Now.”

“Sir, yes sir,” Xander agreed. He closed in on Daniel, cupping either side of his face before leaning in for a kiss. Daniel gasped. Not willing to wait any longer, Xander put his hands on Daniel’s shoulders and flipped him around to face the wall. Daniel moaned and spread his legs, shaking one foot to get free of his pants and, when that failed, he just opened them as far as he could.

Xander kissed the back of Daniel’s neck as he opened his zipper and then fumbled with the oil, spilling a lot on the floor. Finally though, he got his finger slicked and slid it up inside Daniel’s hot hole.

“Fuck yes. Yes. More.” Daniel arched his back, and Xander struggled to slip a second finger up inside. Yeah, he’d read about this on the internet plenty, but doing it in real life took a little more skill than he’d realized. He had to squirm around and get his hand twisted around uncomfortably before he could get that second finger up into Daniel and start stretching him. Daniel grabbed a hook set into the wall, tossing a broom to the side when it got in his way. “Yes. More. Oh god. Yes. It’s been too long. Too long. Voydi v menya. Voydi v menya. Ti desidero disperatamente. En nagyon kivanlak teged.”

Daniel knew some really funky words, but Xander didn’t care because his fingers were sliding in and out easily and he couldn’t wait any more. Xander ran his slicked hand over his own cock and then moved close enough to line up with Daniel’s hole.

“Tu me rends fou.” Daniel was a real talker, but Xander didn’t understand any of it. However, from the tone, Daniel wasn’t asking him to stop. Xander pressed in carefully. His cock fit, but Daniel’s hole was almost painfully tight.

“More. Fuck me. I’m not going to break, Jack. Stop treating me like I’m going to break.”

“Xander,” Xander corrected him. He grunted as he finally got all the way in. “Oh god. Okay, this is good. This is very good. This might be over embarrassingly fast it’s so good.” Xander started rocking back and forth, and Daniel moved with him, the two of them moving in time. Daniel’s words finally failed him as he devolved into wordless groans. Xander speeded up, their bodies slapping together. As Xander’s orgasm approached, it occurred to him that he didn’t have the only cock, and both of Daniel’s hands were busy holding onto the wall to keep Xander’s thrusts from slamming him into the wall.

Reaching around, Xander grabbed Daniel’s cock with his oil-slicked hand, and Daniel went wild. Bucking violently, Daniel impaled himself on Xander’s cock and then threw himself forward. “Yes. Yes.” Xander held on while Daniel took over the thrusting, straining to not come before Daniel. Finally Daniel’s body spasmed, every muscle going tight before he came against the wall, and Xander let his own control slip as he drove in one more time and came himself.

“El donya gameela mesh kidah,” Daniel muttered between his heavy panting, and Xander was guessing from the tone that he was happy. He wasn’t happy in English, but happy in any language was good. Xander leaned against Daniel’s back and breathed in the warmth of his lover. Lover. Now that was unexpected. Now that the lust was sated, Xander’s big brain had come partially back online. Something was definitely off.

Before Xander could say anything, the door to the closet came open and the biggest black man he’d ever seen stood there pointing a weird-ass gun at him. Panic drove Xander into action, he dropped into a crouch and struck out with his boot at the man’s knee. Unfortunately, the man moved inhumanly fast, grabbing Xander’s foot and yanking him out of the closet.

“Teal’c! Stop. He was… um helping.” Daniel ran after them, hopping as he tried to get his pants up.

Xander was still flailing, his pants hanging open and one leg in the air because this Teal’c had a seriously strong grip.

“You have finished copulation?”

Xander watched Daniel blush a shade of red that most humans couldn’t achieve. “We… um… we should go see Janet. Something’s wrong,” Daniel stammered.

“I concur. Dr. Frasier has agreed to investigate once she has finished with Samantha Carter.”

“Sam?” Daniel nearly damaged something as he zipped up at record speed. “Oh god. Okay, we need to shut down ventilation.”

“I have already done so, but it has not altered the rate of copulation.”

“Seriously, Teal’c, stop saying that. Oh, Teal’c, this is Xander. Xander, Teal’c.”

“Hey,” Xander waved from the floor, and Teal’c dropped his foot so that Xander could finally scramble up off the ground.

“You do not belong here.” Suddenly Xander found himself staring down the end of that oddly shaped weapon again. He threw his hands up in the air.

“Hey, I was just delivering peaches from Peterson, so technically I belong several levels up there, but I couldn’t stop the elevator, and trust me I tried. So no shooting the random airman. I mean, I’ve been shot at, and I really don’t like it, so if we can avoid shooting me, that would be awesome.”

Daniel stepped to Teal’c’s side and put a hand on his arm. “He wasn’t the one pushing this, and he’s not immune to the effects, so I don’t think he’s the problem.”

“And if you do think I’m a problem, feel free to lock me in the closet rather than shoot me,” Xander offered.

Teal’c cocked his head to the side, but then he turned his attention to Daniel. “I was going to investigate the artifacts from P3X-462.”

“Good idea. We should do that,” Daniel agreed.

Narrowing his eyes, Xander looked from one of them to the other. This Teal’c guy pretty much set off all his demony warning bells, but P3X-462 was sounding a little too scientific to be a demon dimension. “Maybe it’s the crazy-making lust talking, but are you guys suggesting…” Xander stopped and looked from one to the other. Daniel’s blush grew even deeper.

“Let’s get to storage room three,” he said without answering Xander.

“Uh-huh,” Xander said. “That’s what I thought.”

Teal’c tilted his head. “Daniel Jackson confirmed nothing.”

“Sure he did. He said a lot by not saying anything,” Xander pointed out as he followed him. The rest of the day was almost anti-climactic. Something shot at them and hit Xander. With his hip charred by the blast of something that definitely looked either demony or alien, Xander found himself propped up in a doorway with a P-90 shoved into his hands. Every time the bad guys tried to come down the corridor, he shot off about a million rounds, giving Daniel and Teal’c a chance to do something with a back entrance.

A few flashes of light later, both bad guys collapsed, and Xander was, once again, fight adjacent to the winning side. The second the magic vanished, Xander could feel it. The heat—the fever heat that made him forget about everything but his cock eased up and his hip hurt a lot more. A whole lot. Whatever the bad guys were firing, it had some serious suckage on the penetration front, but it really left a nasty wound.

“Xander, are you okay?” Daniel came running down the hall, and Xander took his finger off the trigger. He was so tense, he had nearly shot Daniel, which wasn’t all that unreasonable considering the man had popped out from where Xander expected enemy. Whoever this guy was, he was not a frontline fighter. One near miss from a Buffy stake had taught Xander not to make that rookie move.

“Yeah. Just hurting. Hugely hurting actually, as long as it doesn’t hurt my manly image to admit it.” Xander put the weapon down and pressed his hand to his side above the wound. He had no idea if he was bleeding or if he needed to put pressure on the hip, but as bad as it hurt, he wasn’t touching it.

“No, your manly image is intact.” Daniel crouched down next to him.

“Good, because I thought delivering peaches would ruin my rep.”

“It’s safe with me.” Daniel gave him a brilliant grin.

Xander grinned up at him, but then grimaced when a slight shift made his hip burn with pain. Despite that, today was actually turning out to be one of Xander’s better first dates, which clearly didn’t say much about his romantic history.

“I’ll call Janet. Hang on.” Daniel got up and dashed over to an intercom system.

“Tell me you secured the bad guys or killed the bad guys or did something semi-permanent with the bad guys,” Xander yelled after him. He got a hand-wave from Daniel, which Xander could only hope meant agreement. Reaching out, he pulled the P-90 closer.

Teal’c stepped out from the door Xander had been covering, his eyes going to Daniel before he calmly strolled down the corridor to Xander. “Are your injuries sufficient to require immediate evacuation to the infirmary?”

“As opposed to what? Going out for beers first?” Xander thought the infirmary was probably better than a bar right now. Morphine over beer was his rule for huge charred holes in his body.

Teal’c tilted his head. “I can carry you there immediately. The infirmary is in disarray and corpsmen may not arrive for many minutes.”

“Ah.” Xander nodded. “Got it. I’ll survive many minutes as long as the bad guys aren’t going to pop back up and start shooting.”

“They are not,” Teal’c promised.

Xander eyed the guy. He was definitely on the demony side, but he reminded Xander more of Clem demony or maybe Drusilla demony. He had a little of that not-quite-connecting-to-the-same-reality vibe that Dru had. “If I asked what you were, would you take offense?” Xander asked.

Teal’c eyebrows went up. “I would not.”

“Would you answer?”

“I would not,” Teal’c repeated.

With a nod, Xander leaned back against the wall. “Fair enough. So, let me know when the guys with the good drugs get here, okay?”

Teal’c gave him another of those Dru-looks, the one that meant he wasn’t catching reality in its entirety. “I shall,” he agreed solemnly, and Xander had the feeling that the man would take it as a personal mission to fulfill his word, even if he wasn’t a man.



Xander stirred in his sleep, disturbed by the feeling of being watched. The machines were quietly chirping their reassurances that he wasn’t going to die, but Xander opened one eye to make sure that there wasn’t some ax-wielding serial killer out to prove the machines wrong. He had that kind of luck.

“Hey, you’re awake.” Daniel smiled at him and pushed his glasses up on his nose.

“Maybe. I’m still debating,” Xander said before he tried to push himself up a little. He groaned when his whole leg seemed to catch fire with hot little tingles.

“Take it easy.” Daniel rested his hand on Xander’s shoulder. “Janet says you’ll be fine, but that leg needs some time to heal.”

“I was shot. I was shot by something that looked suspiciously like an alien prop from a really cheap movie of the week.”

“Funny, Harris. What is it with you and comedians, Danny?” An older man stood at the end of Xander’s bed, and Xander had to squint to make him come into focus. The drugs in this place were really top notch.

“Jack, this is Airman Alexander Harris out of Peterson Air Force Base. Xander, this is Colonel Jack O’Neill.”

“Colonel.” Xander shifted uncomfortably. As far as he was concerned, any officer bigger than a lieutenant was trouble. Capital T trouble. Spike-level trouble, and he did not like Spike-level trouble. Actually, Spike-level trouble was to blame for him signing up in the first place.

“Airman Harris. I hear I have you to thank for helping to secure the base.”

“Um. Maybe. I pretty much just distracted the enemy by offering myself up as a target to shoot at, sir,” Xander offered. “Wait. Jack?” Xander looked over at Daniel, remembering how he’d cried out Jack’s name during sex.

“You have a problem with that, airman?” O’Neill’s gaze sharpened.

“No, sir. I just have a little too much morphine in me. It makes me less coherent than usual, and I’m not the most coherent to begin with, sir,” Xander hurried to explain. He really didn’t want to out Daniel. In fact, he was scared to even look at Daniel for fear of accidentally saying something even more stupid.

“That’s funny, Janet never seems to be able to find the good morphine when I’m in here,” the colonel joked. He really wasn’t as colonel-like as Xander expected.

“Jack, I figured since Xander has proven to have a level head, maybe we could find a place for him around here.”

“Around here?” The colonel sounded rather unimpressed with that suggestion.

“Hey, I’m good at pushing crates of peaches around, at least when no one hijacks the elevator and then tries to kill me.” Xander gave the colonel one of his patented Xander-looks, one that would even make Giles relent with a sigh. It didn’t work. Yeah, something was up.

As O’Neill studied him with that sharp gaze of his, Xander could see why Danny had a Jack fantasy or two rattling around in his brain. He was a striking man, way too fit to be one of those colonels who sat behind desks, which was weird since this place was supposed to be some giant telescope. “We could use some low-level support personnel in commissary, but Danny, Harris probably has other plans with his career.”

“Oh no. Do not say career. This is a four year thing, because me and the military are like a really bad marriage. I shoot off my mouth, they regret ever giving me a uniform. I trip over my feet, they assume it was an on-purpose. I figure after four years, we’re going to be to the really nasty, screaming, mutual blaming part of the relationship, and I’m going to run for the hills.” Xander glanced over at Daniel. “However, if you want someone to open cans and push crates for three years, I wouldn’t mind that.”

“So, you’re not career?” That seemed to make O’Neill unhappy, but tough shit, because Xander had no intention of making a career out of this. This was the price he had to pay for listening to Spike—this wasn’t his life’s dream.

“Nope,” Xander said firmly. Now that his eyes were focusing better, he could see that Daniel was working on a Sumerian scroll, and boy didn’t that bring back old memories. “And if you’re looking for someone to research water rights, you can count me out. Research was the thing I did in high school because I had to, not because I wanted to fall asleep over squiggly letters that ended up inked onto my cheek.”

Daniel’s head whipped around to look at Jack before coming back to focus on Xander. “You can read this?” He shoved the scroll at Xander.

Xander held up both hands, the IV line trailing over the white sheet. “Oh no. I can read bits with the water rights and the pissed tribesman and the god threatening other gods, but I am not the sort of person who can actually figure out the important stuff like….” Xander stopped. The important stuff was usually which demon was trying to use which spell to end the world on a particular day, but he didn’t feel like sounding like a nut case, even if he could technically blame it all on the morphine. “I had a friend who loved languages, and some of it rubbed off because she made it rub off. I either had to learn or she pouted. However, me and research remain unfriendlike.”

“Jack,” Daniel said, an odd tone in his voice.

“Daniel.”

“Come on.”

“He’s not career.”

“So? Hey, I planned to ditch you after the one… thing… and I’m still here.”

“It’s not the same.”

“Sure it is. He knows Sumerian.”

“He’s not career.”

“He didn’t pee his pants when Teal’c threatened him.”

“Danny,” O’Neill’s voice was sharp now, but Daniel had a look on his face that Xander normally associated with Willow, and he knew how Willow always got her way.

“He held position after being wounded.”

Jack threw up both hands. “We’ll discuss this later.” Turning his back, he walked out of the room.

Daniel looked over and gave Xander a conspiratorial wink. Yep, whatever weirdness these folks had, Xander suspected he was now ground zero. Well, at least the next three years wouldn’t be boring. Danny reached over and squeezed Xander’s shoulder. “Oh. I guess I should have asked you first.” Daniel pulled his hand back. “I mean, you probably didn’t plan for the closet and the…” His blush was back.

“No, because I don’t normally plan for anything that good to happen to me. My plans are more on the boring side, and that… that wasn’t boring.” Xander smiled and from the relief on Daniel’s face, the man had been worried. Xander wondered if he should point out that Daniel wasn’t the first person to essentially jump him. Actually, every person Xander ever had sex with—a grand total of three people—had all jumped him exactly the same way. Weird.

“Okay. I’ll tell you what. I’m going to get some Sumerian primers together to see how good you are. I don’t suppose you speak any other languages?”

Xander shook his head. “Not really. I mean, a little Latin and a few random words of Akkadian, but that’s it.”

“Akkadian? Really? You mean from Mesopotamia?”

“Seriously, do not get excited. I am not fluent in any of them. I recognize a few squiggles, and I have a bad habit of calling the squiggles things like the ‘double vampire stake cross’ and the ‘crooked airplane.’ I mean, a few times of calling Enlil the ‘sideways look, half-impaled archway god’ and you’ll be begging me to not read any more Akkadian.”

“No one is fluent in these, and if you can recognize the cuneiform for Enlil, I don’t care if you call him ‘Bob.’ Okay, wait here. I’ll be right back.” Xander might have pointed out that he was hooked to too many machines to go anywhere, but Daniel gathered up his scroll and dashed out like Buffy on the trail of a shoe sale. Xander closed his eyes, and wondered exactly what he’d landed in this time. Oh well, if worst came to worser, he’d just call up Buffy and the others and beg them for a rescue.

For now… for now Xander actually found himself looking forward to spending a little time with these guys. Now he just had to figure out what the SGC stood for on their command patch. He definitely hadn’t heard of a command that used those initials, but there was time to figure out that sort of detail later. Right now, he just wanted to fall back asleep before Daniel could show up with more books. Research. Sometimes the universe really didn’t like him. Xander thought back to the way Daniel felt with his strong body writhing his arms and mentally adjusted that thought. Sometimes the universe might not like him, but other times… Other times the universe down right adored him.
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