Daniel and the Breakfast
A/N: See chapter 1 for disclaimer, spoilers, notes on AU, and why Xander has his eye back.
Daniel watched Xander operate. The guy was really young, and was acting like he didn’t have a care in the world. In fact, he was acting in a way that reminded Daniel rather disturbingly of Jack. That was when Daniel realized Xander was just play-acting. He was acting like some goofy guy who merely did construction jobs. The act was a cover for a more dangerous, more professional side. Considering that Jack had picked that routine up from years and years in Spec Ops, Daniel was really wondering just where the heck Xander had learned his business. The kid was only in his early to middle twenties. Unless there was some weird time loop deal that had given Harris years of experience while returning him to this body. Given what SG-1 had gone through over the years, that couldn’t be ruled out.
Xander said to Teal’c, “So, big guy, where around here’s good for food?”
Teal’c inclined his head in the way that meant Teal’c felt that he was dealing with another warrior. “I believe that there is a Denny’s just down the street. I am particularly fond of the Grand Slam Breakfast.”
“Hey, sounds good to me. My hotel has a decent breakfast bar, but I think they’d have a hissy if I invited my own army along for grub.”
Sam smiled, “Your own Air Force. Not Army.”
Xander grinned, “Well, as long as it’s not the gyrenes, we’re good.”
By then, Daniel was really curious about Xander. The man was just too good at blending in with the military types. Did he have some OCS in his background? Maybe some ROTC in college? If Xander had spent his time acquiring military experience, then where the heck did he get his language training? Nobody in the military went for ancient Egyptian or Latin. No, based on his experiences so far, Daniel would have figured a military type would most likely aim for training in Arabic or Farsi, with Swahili, Russian, Cantonese, Spanish, and Urdu as outside possibilities.
Daniel watched as Xander got dressed. The young man then drank three glasses of water and swallowed six ibuprofens. The guy probably had the hangover from hell, given all that he and Anise had drunk last night, and he didn’t have a symbiote curing his hangover and filtering congeners out of his blood, like Anise did.
Xander said, “I think I need to eat more than I need to shower. If everyone else doesn’t mind how bad I stink, maybe we could hit Denny’s first, and my hotel second. Anise? What do you think?”
Anise looked Xander over like she was evaluating him as a breeding animal. Daniel would have been fairly annoyed if she had ever looked at him that way. He knew Jack had been angry and disgusted when Anise gave him that treatment, a few years ago. Jack had complained about it a couple times over beers.
Anise said, “I too would like to see this ‘Denny’s’ that the Jaffa has mentioned.” Daniel managed not to wince as Xander obviously caught the new non-English word that Anise had just used. The guy was a lot smarter than he acted, just like Jack. Anise went on, apparently unaware that she was just adding to her security breach. “And then I would like to see you shower and change clothes. It is most unfortunate that Colonel Carter has intervened, because that is reducing the likelihood of getting to use your hotel bed or shower together to roughly zero. You did promise me that you would show me how to do the ‘lazy doggie’ in a shower.”
Daniel carefully watched Xander, looking for tells. Most men would react in some way to Anise’s superior attitude or her demanding nature. Xander just let it all slide off him like water off a duck’s back. Had he already met someone like Anise? Was it possible that he had already worked with one of the Tok’ra before, somewhere on Earth? Or could he have run into a Gou’a’uld and had to deal with the attitude? Either case was a critical situation for the SGC, and they would have to find some way to get Xander to talk about it. And then they would have to find some way to talk Xander and his organization into letting them help.
Daniel watched Teal’c take the door keys and leave to return them to the motel clerk. He tried to act casually, but he knew that if Xander was going to try anything, now would be the best time. Instead, Xander just rubbed his forehead and said to Sam, “So Colonel, are we walking to Denny’s, or riding in a big ol’ halftrack?”
Sam couldn’t repress her smile. “No, we have an SUV we’ll all fit into. You can even sit where you want, except the driver’s seat.”
Anise said, “I wish to sit in the rear seats with Xander.”
Xander just shrugged. “Fine with me. And we need to pick up my truck sometime. It’s still at O’Malley’s, I hope?”
Daniel said, “Still in their parking lot.”
Sam casually said, “Maybe we can swing by and let you get it on our way from Vi’s house to the base. Then you’ll be all set to drive home when we’re done with your medical and debriefing.”
Daniel watched as Xander nodded. Sam was getting really good at this. She was making it sound as if there was no problem at all, and Xander would have an easy trip in and out of the mountain. But Daniel didn’t think Xander was buying that, no matter how relaxed he appeared to be, or how gullible he acted. Daniel knew from years of experience that someone like Jack just got more dangerous when he went into the ‘dopey old me’ routine that Harris was using. In fact, thinking about what Jack might do in this situation was making Daniel really nervous.
Sam tossed the car keys to Daniel and said, “Go ahead and unlock it.” Then she turned to Xander and said, “Let’s take one more look around the room to make sure you didn’t leave anything you might want to keep.” Daniel noticed that Sam had pulled the memory out of the video camera and pocketed it, and he was pretty sure Xander had noticed that too.
So Daniel walked off to the SUV with Xander and Anise right behind him and Sam bringing up the rear. Sam had all of Xander’s weapons in a big baggie, tucked into an inner pocket of her coat.
As Daniel unlocked the SUV, he saw that Xander had put one arm over Anise’s shoulders, and she was letting him be just that familiar. Well, they had spent about four to six hours getting as familiar as was possible in a motel bed in front of a video camera, so maybe Anise was past her usual insularity.
Xander asked, “Can I have my gear back after the debriefing? Giles will kill me if I lose his knife.”
Daniel checked, “Umm, the second century dagger? That’s part of someone’s private collection?”
Xander said, “Sure. But I take care of it. It’s not like I use it to clean my fingernails like Faith does, you know.” Daniel had to wonder who this ‘Faith’ was, and why she would be cleaning under her fingernails with sharp knives, unless she was some sort of knife nut. Some of the Special Forces guys did things like that with their combat knives when they were on missions and bored.
Xander opened the side door and took Anise’s hand. “May I help milady into her seat?”
Anise nodded, “That would be most useful, Xander.”
Daniel noticed that Anise completely missed the silly tone in Xander’s voice. Jack would have been biting the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing. Daniel suddenly wondered if they could get Xander into the SGC, because he would be really useful even if he did nothing more than interact with the Tok’ra.
On the other hand, Xander would probably drive Sam’s father insane. Xander would probably enjoy
driving General Carter up the wall.
Sam drove straight to a Denny’s that was only about six blocks away, and they clambered out of the van. Daniel noticed how Sam and Teal’c bracketed Xander while making it look like they were being friendly. Daniel automatically moved to a position where he could cover Sam’s six, and he suddenly wondered just when he had slid from ‘clumsy linguist’ to ‘trained special ops fighter.’ It was probably all Jack’s fault.
They strolled in and let a perky waitress lead them to a table. Daniel watched as Xander ‘casually’ picked a chair that put his back close to a wall, while putting Anise to his right, away from the front door, where he could protect her more easily. He was sure Sam and Teal’c spotted it too. But it was exactly where Jack would have sat, if he was trying to guard someone. And Xander was way too young to have that kind of military training, unless he enlisted right out of high school.
Xander pored over the menu and finally burst out, “All right! Now this is what I’m looking for! Bananas Foster pancakes in a grand slam breakfast. Now if they only had Twinkie pancakes…”
Sam asked mischievously, “Is there such a thing as Twinkie pancakes?”
Xander grinned, “Nope, but I bet if I told Dawn it was impossible, she’d figure out how. Mmmm, Twinkie pancakes…”
Teal’c said, “I have tried the Twinkie, as well as several other snack foods, but I prefer the Little Debbie and the Ho-ho.”
Xander insisted, “When it comes to the snackage, there’s no beating that Twinkie goodness.”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “You’re both wrong. The Hostess Cupcake is the best one.”
Sam didn’t roll her eyes, but he was pretty sure she muttered, “Men” under her breath.
Daniel watched as Xander helped Anise pick out her breakfast, offering to let her have a taste of his pancakes if he could have a taste of her Belgian waffle.
Frankly, Daniel thought Anise looked like it wasn’t Xander’s pancakes she was aiming to get a taste of. They definitely had to find a way to make Xander the official SGC ambassador to the Tok’ra. Unless it meant that Anise would be traveling to Earth a couple times a year instead of a couple times a decade.