Epilogue – Two Months Later
A/N: See chapter 1 for disclaimer, spoilers, notes on AU, and why Xander has his eye back.
A/N2: Enjoy the awesome artwork Methos made for this story. Go look at his other artwork. Now. I'll wait patiently.
Newly promoted Brigadier General Samantha Carter looked over the stack of paperwork in her inbox and wondered if the increase in paperwork with promotion was quadratic, or possibly even exponential. It certainly felt like it this week. She needed to get through all of the paperwork on her desk before she returned to Atlantis. Fortunately, this time it was a simple three week stint getting the fingie* ready to be the replacement head of the Atlantis expedition, before Sam moved on to the next phase of SGC extended operations.
It had been two months since Xander Harris had fallen into their lives, and they still weren’t fully recovered. They had needed to institute a special SGC program to prepare staff for supernatural threats, even if they had yet to meet one off-world. They had needed to get clearance for two ‘Slayers’ Xander had moved into the Colorado Springs area to protect the SGC and its connections. And Sam had been forced to admit that demons were also real. Particularly when she had gone to the Slayer house and found out that they had a demon named Clem as a helper. And Clem invited her to come back for poker night. Fortunately, she had been able to get out of that, particularly after one of the Slayers had cheerfully explained that the stakes were kittens. And what would happen to the kittens that Clem won. The main consequence to her programs was apparently that Hailey was asking for more off-world missions and might move to Atlantis, despite the issue of dealing constantly with Rodney.
On top of that, they had learned that Xander Harris could keep his mouth shut. Certain segments of the NSAWC now knew alien threats were real, but the other people in the call center were still calling her ‘the evil colonel’ when she contacted their call center.
Then there were the Slayers. She still didn’t know how many Slayers were really out there, but she had run a few simulations, and the numbers were unnervingly high. There were probably between three hundred and twelve hundred Slayers out there. And she had zero Slayers in the SGC. She had tried talking to Harris about it. General Landry had tried. They had gone all the way up to the President, and had finally been told to keep their hands off unless the Slayers came to them first, and that the official rule was that keeping the planet safe from nightly threats all over the world came before keeping the planet safe from threats that were light years away.
The biggest change for the SGC was that Anise wanted to come back to Earth roughly two to three times a week to get more Xander. Sam had needed to call the NSAWC call center almost twenty times about visits from Anise, and it seemed to her that the call center staff did little besides tease Xander constantly. Now Andrew was calling him ‘Captain James T. Kirk’. Not that that reference was hard to figure out. She was a little concerned about Andrew slipping up around someone who hadn’t signed an NDA.
She picked up the phone when it rang. “Carter here.”
A young woman’s voice answered. “Hi, this is General Sam Carter of the Air Force, right?”
Her stomach clenched. Who would be calling this number and getting through the SGC switchboard, and yet not be sure who Sam was? “How did you get this number?” she asked carefully.
“Oh, Xander got it for me.”
Sam winced slightly. It looked like they were going to have to deal once again with Xander Harris and his Slayers.
“Umm, maybe I should introduce myself first. I’m Buffy Summers.”
Sam gulped. Buffy Summers? THE Buffy Summers? The woman whose presence caused crime rates to plummet across the planet, because she was secretly killing untold numbers of vampires and demons? “Miss Summers, it’s a pleasure.”
“Please, call me Buffy. No one calls me Miss Summers. Not even Giles.”
“And call me Sam.”
Buffy said, “I’m sorry to bother you, but something came up, and Xander insisted we call you with the intel. Oh, and he says congrats on the big promotion. We have… girls, all over the world, having… umm… dreams. Okay, I know Xander told you the stuff, but I’d rather not say the words over a phone line, if you know what I mean, even if it is secured. So far, nine girls. Every one of ‘em has seen a big stone ring set on its side, but with a surface like a pool of blue water. A woman is stepping through. A blonde woman wearing a military uniform. Xander showed four of the girls a dozen pictures, and every one of them picked your photo out of the pile. Then there’s a planet with two moons, a futuristic city in the middle of an ocean, and big blue vampire-things that suck out your lifeforce instead of your blood… and I’m assuming from the dead silence that you know exactly what I’m talking about.”
Sam said, “I can neither confirm nor deny the-”
Buffy just cut her off, “The existence of weird blue lifesucky badguys on other planets. Blah, blah, blah. I know the routine. Believe me, I live it. But if these girls are all getting these dreams right now, then it means you need our help. Wherever you’re going, you need these girls to come with. And you need the full down-low on what we really are and what we can really do.”
Sam suddenly had a vivid mental image of the reaction if – no, when – she brought nearly a dozen teenaged hok’tar to Atlantis as warriors against the Wraith. She could see Sheppard’s face. She could see McKay’s explosive ranting – okay, that would be hilarious. She would have to stick around to see a couple episodes of that. Maybe she could get them recorded to show Jack and Daniel and Teal’c. Wait, the entire SGC scientific staff would want to see that too. And McKay’s sister. And the entire medical staff. And the gate crew. And… okay, maybe she should just plan to have an all-hands meeting and show it to everyone in the SGC who had enough clearance.
She could see Ronon’s reaction when he found real sparring partners who just happened to be the size of Jennifer Hailey, but could beat him and
Teyla simultaneously. She said, “Let me talk to my commanding officer and set this up, Buffy. If you can give me a number, I’ll call you as soon as I have his okay and we’ll set up a meeting. We’ll probably need you and your young women to sign NDAs, but we have lots of civilian consultants who do that. And, as I’m sure Xander told you, you don’t sign them in blood. Then I’m going to have to talk my soldiers and security staffers into believing your women can do what we both know they can.”
“Sounds like it’s of the awesome. Let me give you some extra contact info…”
Lt. Colonel Paul Davis concentrated on his work. He really needed to get all this finished in the next half hour so he could get out of the Pentagon and home, before he got buried in the D.C. rush hour. He always tried to spend quality time with his wife and daughters, but he had been more focused on that since little Erica had started having those nightmares. He knew his wife wanted to talk to him about what the child psychologist had told her in their meeting today. Hell, he was dying to hear it. He was really worried about Eri. She was only just turned thirteen, and since the first tentative diagnosis was hebephrenic schizophrenia, he and his wife were terrified about what the shrink might say.
The phone rang. “Colonel? It’s your wife.”
Oh shit. He snatched the phone off its cradle. “Honey? Is everything all right?”
“No!” his wife whimpered. “A guy showed up at our door, and he wants to talk to us about Erica! Why’s a complete stranger showing up at our door, asking about Eri?”
Paul tried to stay calm. “I’ll leave as soon as I can. Who is this guy?”
His wife said, “He says his name is Xander Harris, and he’s with the-”
Oh God. “The NSAWC,” Paul interrupted. Suddenly his heart felt like it was dropping through his stomach and in freefall toward his feet.
“How did you know?”
Paul said, “Get a card from him. No wait, I’ve got their number on file somewhere…” He rushed through his PDA’s databases until he found it. He read off the number for the call center. “Call them. Try to get either Andrew or Rona, if you can. Or Emily, or… umm… Kristal. They’ll know my name. Verify that this really is Xander Harris.” Wait, what were the rules Rona had talked about? “If it is him, let him walk in. Don’t invite him in, but let him walk in, if he can.” If only Rona had been allowed to tell him why those rules existed, and what they really meant. “I think he’s going to invite Eri to go to a private school in Cleveland.”
“Paul, this doesn’t make any sense!”
He sighed, “I know, honey. It’s going to sound completely insane when he starts telling you about things. I can’t tell you more, because it’s classified, and not by us. A lot of it’s so classified I’m not allowed to know about it. I’ll be there ASAP, okay?”
“Okay… I guess…” she said nervously.
He carefully waited until she hung up. Then he called his adjutant and said he had to leave for a family emergency, but he’d probably be back tomorrow at the regular time. He hoped. It looked like he was finally going to learn everything there was to know about the NSAWC, whether he wanted to or not. It looked like their secret was going to pull his Erica into whatever they really did, whether he liked it or not. Still, turning into some kind of hok’tar had to be better than a lifetime with a crippling psychosis. At least, he hoped so.
He grabbed his coat and ran for his car.finis
A/N: fingie == FNG == F**king New Guy, military slang. Way more fun to call people than ‘noob’. Try it!
A/N2: Yes, it’s a secure line, but still Buffy is far more concerned about protecting NSAWC secrets over the phone than she is about protecting SGC secrets over the phone. Did you really expect otherwise?
A/N3: Right now, I have no plan for a true sequel to this, although I left four sequel hooks in the epilogue, and more sequel hooks elsewhere. (I may have a non-sequel someday of missing scenes from this story.) Sometimes my muse comes along well after the fact and beats me about the head and shoulders with a half-brick in a sock. It’s certainly happened enough times in the Whateley Universe.
A/N4: I would also like to thank everyone who read or reviewed or rec'ed. The response was more than I expected. I definitely didn't expect so many reviews that this story is now in the Top Ten in terms of review count on the entire site. Feel free to read my other stuff. All the reviews and comments have encouraged me to work on a not-sequel-or-prequel that would be made up of missing scenes from this tale - but there is no timeline on getting anything like that done. I prefer not to post stories until I am so far along that I *know* I can maintain a regular publishing rate and still have the story written before it's time to post the last chapter.