: BTVS: Season 7 finale, ignores the comics completely; Stargate: Set after Fragile Balance but many many years in the future.A/N
: This was writting for LJ xover_exchange community. I was asked to write a Stargate/BTVS crossover fic for Faithburke - the prompt I chose is at the end of the fic. Disclaimer
: BTVS belongs to Joss & Mutant Enemy; The Stargate people belong to Gekko Productions, Double Secret Productions, MGM/UA, Showtime/Viacom.
Thanks to my beta Jo Anne Storm for looking at this fic on such short notice.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
There were a few times in the last decade when the clone, formerly known as Jack O'Neill, wished that he had decided to reclaim his glory days by re-joining the Air Force, instead of forming his own business. If he had joined the Air Force Academy when he'd finished high school (again!), he'd be a major by now, heading towards a lieutenant colonel.
While he was quite proud of the fact that he owned and ran a successful security firm, right now he wished like hell he was anywhere but here. Okay, sure, he was getting paid a shit load of money to babysit a bunch of college students traipsing through Africa, but it was the type
of college students and the reason they were in Africa that was making Jack rethink his career choice.
Jack normally didn't care who or what his clients did, but he was beginning to think he should have drawn the line at parapsychology students hiring him to protect them while they checked out a haunted village. The only reason he hadn't drawn the line was because the student heading the "expedition" was his business partner's girlfriend. Basically, he and his partner Mike, along with two other security personnel, had absolutely no choice in taking this job.
Hence, his lament of the mighty falling.
He was pretty sure if Carter could see him right now, she'd be laughing her ass off.
"So are we good?" Mike asked.
"Yeah, the perimeter is clear," Jack told him. "Todd and Jared are helping the geeks set up their equipment."
He actually wasn't surprised that the perimeter around the village was clear. Jack had done his research before coming here, and according to his contacts, aside from the odd ghost-nut, this entire area was pretty much a no-go-zone for the locals since the village had been mysteriously destroyed seven years ago.
American parapsychology students weren't the only ones who thought this village was haunted – pretty much everyone Jack had spoken to had told him the same thing.
It was haunted and creepy as hell.
Looking around, Jack conceded the point on the creepiness. ~*~*~
"You know you're going to owe me for the rest of your life, don't you?" Jack informed Mike.
The sun had set two hours ago, and Jack was bored as hell. The small village was littered with all kinds of electrical equipment. The students themselves were walking around the village with handheld cameras, filming any and everything they could.
"Christ, I feel like I'm watching an episode of Ghost Hunters
," Mike commented.
Jack had no idea what show Mike was talking about and he was pretty sure he didn't want to know.
Okay, so he was a clone of an Air Force (then) Colonel who travelled to alien worlds on a regular basis, so by all rights he should have an open mind, but Jack couldn't quite bring himself to believe that ghosts were real. That
was a line he was more than happy to draw.
"So what's the deal with this place?" Jack asked more out of boredom than anything.
"Apparently there was this big animal attack and the entire village was wiped out," Mike replied. "No one knows what kind of animal it was, they couldn't tell from the bodies. Rumour has it that some Americans were involved, but no one really knows for sure. The only thing for certain is that this place is now the most haunted spot in Africa."
Jack snorted, he couldn't help it.
"No, seriously, Beth was telling me that there have been over a thousand people who have witnessed the some sort of paranormal activity."
Jack rolled his eyes. Sometimes Jack worried about Mike's girlfriend. "Please, if a thousand people had seen ghosts hanging around this place, then why the hell hasn't it been on the news? Surely someone one would have been able to record something
"The way Beth explained it, you don't actually see full apparitions and have conversations with them," Mike explained. "Apparently it doesn't work like that. Other things happen, like noises, unexplained lights, or some shit like that."
Well, that was convenient. "I like your girlfriend, really I do, but you do know that she's nuts, right?"
Mike laughed. "Sometimes I wonder. Anyway, Beth thinks the university's state of the art equipment will be able to record what others haven't."
"I bet you a thousand dollars the only thing haunting this place is bullshit." ~*~*~
Jack's eyes snapped open as his body jerked awake. He didn't move to get up, in fact, he was careful to keep himself as still as he could while he tried to work out what the hell woke him up. It was pitch black, so he couldn't tell what time it was, but he was pretty sure whatever woke him up wasn't Mike telling him that it was his turn to take watch. No, if it were Mike, he'd be talking to him by now. Actually, Jack was pretty sure it wasn't the noise of his partner that woke him, but silence. When he had fallen asleep a few hours ago, it had been to the sound of nerds walking – and tripping – around the village while ranting about some sort of EVP crap and asking ghosts real nicely if they would just give them a sign that they were here.
Now, however, there was nothing; no walking, no tripping, no rambling nerds – and no animals. At all.
Call him paranoid, but Jack really
didn't like that.
He listened for another full minute before deciding to move. It made him uneasy that he couldn't hear his security team walking around. There were times when they all liked to goof off, but he knew Mike, Jared and Todd would never let their guard down. Slowly, Jack got to his feet, his gun in his hand before he was standing upright.
What his saw when he stood up, well, um, quite frankly it confused the shit out of him.
The nerds, Mike, Todd and even Jared were all sleeping at various parts of the camp. Some were sleeping alone, while others were sleeping in groups. The nerds' computers and other ghosty equipment was dead. Not a blinking light was in sight. But it wasn't that which was causing the confusion.
No, it was the teenage girl fighting something that looked to Jack like it came straight out of a horror movie.
teenage girl fighting something that looked to Jack like it came straight out of a horror movie.
Jack stared at the fight for a full minute. The girl fought like Teal'c. No, she fought better than Teal'c, like she was born to do it. A part of Jack wanted to believe that he was still asleep and that all the bullshit about ghosts had caused him to have one hell of an interesting dream. That was the only thing this could be, at least that was what he wanted to think. It was tempting to explain it as a dream or a trick of light, but he could see Mike on the other side of the village through
the girl, and there was also the fact that the girl – and the monster from the horror movie – were glowing.
This had to be a dream, a hallucination even.
"Sorry we woke you up."
Jack froze at the sound of the voice behind him. Slowly, and oh so reluctantly, he turned around. Behind him was a man... and not just any man. Oh no, this was a glowing, transparent one-eyed man who was watching the teenage girl with what Jack was assuming was sadness. Jack was really hoping that this was a dream
"I tried to convince her that we don't need to come back here, but she won't listen," the one-eyed man continued as though Jack wasn't standing there questioning his sanity. "She still feels guilty so she refuses to move on."
"Why does she feel guilty?" Jack asked. He didn't actually expect an answer. To be honest, he was hoping that by talking to this, er, man Jack would wake up.
"She couldn't kill it."
Jack's eyes immediately went back to the teenager who was still fighting, although she was slowing now, faltering.
"We didn't know what it was, where it came from or how to kill it," the man said. "We didn't care of course. We're part of team of hunters who go after these sorts of things, so it didn't matter that we had next to no information. We had to kill it or die trying. So we went after it with everything we had, but it made no difference. Nothing we did could kill it. After she died, it fed off her, me and then everyone in the village. She holds herself responsible for all our deaths and forces herself to relieve it again and again."
"Is it still out there?" As much as he hated, hated
to admit it, Jack was beginning to have doubts that this was all in his head. There was nothing Jack would like more than to dismiss what he was seeing and hearing, but, well, he'd seen weirder things than this. His best friend had ascended to a higher realm of existence for crying out loud! Actually, for a moment, Jack wondered if these two were ascended beings but... they didn't look
like the ascended beings he'd met, and it didn't make sense for any ascended being to approach him. Not like this, by reliving a battle with a monster over and over while humans tried to catch them on tape. Not without The Others punishing them. So, either the man was telling the truth and Jack was talking to a ghost, an ascended was playing a really big joke on him, or he was dreaming.
Although, the last theory was pretty much out because he'd been pinching himself since the one-eyed man started answering his questions.
"No, it went back to the hell it came from," he said matter-of-factly. "When we died, we found out what it was."
"What was it?" Jack couldn't help but ask.
"You can't pronounce its name with a tongue, but apparently it was unstoppable and hungry demon. It leaves its hell dimension every one hundred and fifty years to feed. We were just unlucky to be here when it did."
Jack had no idea what to say to that, hearing the words "demon" and "hell dimensions" rang so many alarms it wasn't funny.
"She's getting tired now," he remarked a few minutes later. "She'll die again, and then..."
Yeah, Jack already knew what happened after that. Although, that did beg the question, "where are the other villagers?"
"Some have moved on, some still hang about," he replied. "They're never here for this part, though. They're hiding at the moment. They'll show up after she's gone."
Christ, he really had no idea what to say now. He had a million questions, but ended up only asking one. "Why haven't you moved on?" If he was dead, of course.
The one-eyed man turned to look at him for the first time since he'd began talking. "I'm her Watcher, I was meant to guide her and I'm not gonna stop just because we're dead. Besides, she'll move on eventually. We all do."
Jack opened his mouth to ask another question, but a quiet voice sounded from beside him. "Xander?"
Both men turned to the teenage girl, staring at them with an expression of pure agony. Jack felt his throat tighten at the sight. One look at her and his gut knew that this was real, that it wasn't some Ancient messing with his head. It actually hurt to look at her. So much so, that Jack forced his attention back to the man, to Xander.
The look on his face wasn't much better than the kid's.
Suddenly, Jack was grateful no one else was awake to see this. This was not something that should be filmed and studied, although, more than anything he wanted to know why Xander was talking to him at all, especially since Mike told him that they didn't do that.
"Well, that's our cue to leave," Xander said. "It was nice talking to you..."
"It was nice talking to you, Jack, and if I was at all corporeal, I'd be shaking your hand right now."
Jack couldn't help it, he laughed.
"The villagers will be coming out soon, although they're really not ones for conversations. Neither am I, actually. You're the first person I've ever spoken to."
"Seriously?" Jack wondered why Xander had decided to talk to him, the biggest sceptic here.
"Yeah. Most people aren't really ready for ghosts, even if they think they are," Xander said. "But you, Jack, you're different."
His eyebrows shot up at his words, there was an inflection in his tone that made Jack believe that Xander knew exactly how different he was.
"Well, I'll see you around."
Oh, Jack really hoped not.
Xander stared at him for a moment, as though he was trying to make a decision. "There was another reason I wanted to talk to you, Jack. When you're next in the States, can you find a woman named Willow Rosenberg? When you do, can you tell her that if she doesn't stop mourning I'm going to start haunting her, right after we finish here."
Jack gave a small laugh as he nodded, his throat tightening once again. Xander sent him a haphazard salute, and then both he and the girl faded away.
When he got back to the states, Jack was going to do exactly as he asked and find his friend. Right after Jack found out everything he could about what happened here. And if this was real, and Xander and the teenager were really ghosts, then what he was thinking at the start of the night was actually true.
The mighty had fallen.-END-Prompt