Xander and the Potty Break
A/N: See chapter 1 for disclaimer, spoilers, notes on AU, and why Xander has his eye back.
After Denise brought the nachos and mushrooms, Anise asked, “Is there a room with ‘toilet facilities’ here?”
Xander fought down an impulse to laugh at the way she phrased it. He said, “I can show you. Do you know how to use Tauri toilets?”
“Oh yes,” Anise insisted firmly. “I have used them when I have visited the Tau’ri before and stayed at Colonel Carter’s base.”
Which was of the good, because Xander was pretty sure things wouldn’t go well if he had to take Anise into the ladies’ room and show her how the plumbing worked. Come to think of it, did Anise even have the plumbing to use one of these things? It really bothered him that Colonel Carter, whoever he was, had let demons onto Earth, and had obviously done it multiple times. That sounded like extreme badness was happening. And how was some secret military base not completely over-run with demonic badness? Or was it over-run already, and Anise was just part one of the badness?
No, wait. Anise had said ‘Carter’ before. Samantha Carter. Could this ‘colonel’ be the same person? In which case he now knew one of the military problems was named Colonel Samantha Carter. Just how old and evil and insane did a woman have to be to make it all the way to colonel and be letting demons come through portals to earth for God only knew what? And if that was going on, why weren’t the Powers That Be Supreme Dickheads giving any of the Slayers a heads-up in one of those charming Slayer dreams? If he never again had to hold a teenaged girl who was crying in terror because of some monstrous Slayer dream, it would be too damn soon.
Xander played the polite host. He stood up and offered Anise an arm as she rose from the table. If he hadn’t been used to Slayer strength, he probably would have been pulled face-first into the table when she accepted his arm and pulled herself up. Damn, she was strong. He didn’t think she was anywhere near as strong as Vi or Rona, but she was way stronger than a normal human female. He really wasn’t looking forward to the ‘fight to the death’ part of the evening. But there was no way anybody in Cleveland could get a Slayer out to him before things got to that point. This was barely a Code Yellow, and there weren’t any Slayers any closer than Vi, who was probably five hours away by car and staying with her parents at a motel as she drove their U-Haul truck with all their furniture and stuff. Magical teleportation was a big no-no except in apocalypse-type emergencies, since the alternative to the teleporting-only-after-two-full-days-of-earth-magic-preptime spell was mostly black magic, and a black-haired, veiny Willow was not of the good. So no help. It was all up to Xander. But things had been that way plenty of times before, and he still had both arms and both legs and both eyeballs. Even if one of his eyeballs was over twenty years younger than his other one.
He pretended not to notice Anise’s inhuman strength, and walked her back to the restrooms. Then he made sure she went into the right one, since the cute little man/woman symbols on the doors didn’t mean anything to her. He dashed into the men’s room, used it as fast as he could, and dashed back out to wait for Anise. And to listen closely, just in case Anise decided to eat some poor woman whose only crime was needing to hit the john after a couple beers.
His phone vibrated in his pants pocket. He was alone, so he yanked it out. “Xan-Man here.” If he had been in danger or in a place where he was being overheard, he would have answered differently, so the call center now knew he was still safe, and that they could talk.
Andrew answered, “Xander, we’ve got some research back. Nothing on the name Anise. But the ‘Gou’a’uld’ thing she said? That’s probably the Egyptian Goua-uld demons that controlled most of northeast Africa for centuries while pretending to be Egyptian gods. It was thought they were driven off earth by a revolt led by Tejaya the Slayer, and they escaped through a portal into an unknown dimension, never to return. If they’re coming back now, this is bad. You’ve got to find out everything you can.”
“Anything else you got?” Xander checked. “What about ‘stargate program’ or ‘tauri’ or ‘Colonel Samantha Carter’ or ‘Sell-mack’ or ‘Daniel Jackson’?”
Andrew said, “We’re checking. Given what we heard and what we have so far, it looks like ‘tauri’ is from an ancient Egyptian dialect. We’ve got Dawn on it right now, but she’s up at Oxford and doesn’t have all her books with her. There’s a thousand Daniel Jackson guys, so not a lot of success there yet, but we got a big hit on Colonel Samantha Carter.”
“This is big. And I mean Death Star ‘that’s no moon’ big. U.S. Air Force full colonel, and according to our source in the Pentagon, they’re about to make her a brigadier general. She’s the daughter of a retired Air Force general who’s now a ‘special ambassador,’ whatever that really means, since we can’t find any country where he’s listed on the ambassadorial register. Plus, she has a Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics. Her doctoral thesis sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. Author of a grad school level textbook on wormhole physics. We sent Willow a copy of the book for review, and she says she’s going to need time to scan through it, so you know it’s serious physics. Plus, Carter has medals. I mean, she has medals out the wazoo! She’s got a couple medals for being a fighter pilot in the Gulf War. She’s got so many Purple Hearts and Presidential Citations and Air Force Medals and stuff, you’d think she saves the world more often than Buffy! And get this. She’s in a top-secret program called ‘Deep Space Radar Telemetry’. How do you get Air Force Medals and Purple Hearts sitting in a lab doing deep space radar telemetry?”
Xander closed his eyes for a second. “Let me guess. She’s based out of Colorado Springs.”
“Right! She’s in Cheyenne Mountain. That’s where NORAD is. You know, like in War Games
“Andrew, if you start imitating that computer again…”
“Okay, okay! I was just going to do it a little.”
“No!” You had to be firm with Andrew, unless you wanted a two hour talk on how today’s problem was just like something from the expanded Star Wars universe. Fortunately for Andrew, his girlfriend Emily was almost as big a Star Wars geek as he was. Otherwise, he would be probably sleeping on the couch in their apartment about 95% of the time.
“Okay, just find out what you can from Anise. You demon magnet, you.”
“When I tell Buffy, she’ll…”
“Well, Dawn already knows, and I had to alert Giles, who was really grouchy about the time over there, so it’s only fair I get to tell Buffy and Willow! If I don’t say anything, Dawn will get to, and she got to last time!”
“Oh… crud.” That made it officially hopeless, if Dawn already knew. “Okay, you have my permission to tell Buff, Will, and Faith. And then you can gloat to Dawn that you beat her to it.” That would probably earn him one of Dawnie’s most malicious revenge pranks.
“Thanks, Xander! You’re the best!”
Xander smiled malevolently, thinking that Andrew wouldn’t feel that way once Dawn Patrol sprung her practical joke on him. Dawn’s practical jokes tended to be pretty impractical. Like being turned green for a couple weeks, until the dyes wore off. Xander was pretty sure the last time Dawn pulled a major prank on Andrew, Andrew ended up stark naked and covered with mud in downtown Hoboken. He wrapped up, “And look for anyone named Daniel Jackson who’s connected to Deep Space Radar Telemetry, or to Colonel Carter.”
Xander snapped his phone closed, and re-connected with the call center by pushing a speed dial button as he shoved the phone back into his pants pocket. He muttered, “Andrew, I swear to…”
“Hello, Xander. Is there a problem?” Anise asked from behind him.
He managed not to leap into the air or yelp. He turned to face her, and he sighed, “You ever have a friend who you’ve known for years, but he’s really, really annoying? Sometimes Andrew’s okay, but sometimes I just want to whack him on the head with one of his Star Wars action figures.”
Anise paused. “I have friends like that, too. Even if I do not know what these ‘action figures’ are.”
Man, Anise was the weirdest demon he had ever met. He let her walk ahead of him back to the table. He had to admit it; she had the best ass of any demon he’d ever met. Even better than Anya or Halfrek. Not that he figured she’d look that good once she changed into her true form. Still, he couldn’t keep his eyes off her buns as she walked back to the table.