For Your Entertainment
AN: In which you all get a glimpse of Willow, Ashley cries, and
Xander... Xander is entertained.
Disclaimer: Buffy and Stargate are out of my league. I don't own
them and am making no money off of them.
P.S.: Thank you all SO much for your reviews and support!
**************** Trick-Or-Treat: Chapter Ten *****************
Willow slipped out of the First Year's classroom and into the front
hall of the atrociously named White Fortress. She was still
upholding her vow of no more alcohol thanks to the little drunken
fiasco which resulted in the embarrassingly pompous naming of her
school. Besides, at twenty-four she should really know better than
to still let Xander and Buffy play Vodka Truth and Dare with her.
It always ended badly.
Speaking of Xander...
Willow picked up the phone that sat on the little desk by the
entrance and dialed the Booty House's number, a number she knew by
heart. It rang once, then twice, before a breathless Ashley picked
up, sounding eager and, and almost apprehensive.
"Xander?" the blonde Slayer demanded.
Willow frowned. "Umm, nooo... It's me Ash, Willow."
There was a heartbeat of frantic, almost guilty silence before,
"Oh... Willow. Willow! Umm... hi?"
The frown deepened. Willow didn't have Buff's spidey sense, but
something fishy was definitely going on. "I take it Xander's not
there? Is something wrong? Do I need to come over?"
"No! No..." Ashley giggled nervously, "I... we, me and Xander were
helping Francine plan Lindsay's birthday party and we were trying to
be sneaky. Everything's fine, really."
"And Xander is...?" Willow asked delicately, trying to figure out
how to catch the bright pixie up in her words.
"He's out... out shopping. For a... a Justin Timberlake cake."
The witch tried not to drop the phone she was holding. "A Justin
Timberlake cake?" she asked incredulously.
"Umm, yes," Ashley finally confirmed, sounding more tentative than
Willow had ever heard the vivacious girl. "Lindsay just adores
Okay, Willow wasn't even going to address the bizarreness of that
concept. Twenty-four was just old enough that she was starting to
feel that generation gap Giles always complained about so. Granted,
Willow had never been very in on the current pop culture references
but with Buffy's help in high school she had managed her fair share
of current witty repartee... Instead of addressing her seemingly
outdated boyband knowledge, she went in for the kill. "Isn't it a
little early for cake shopping? Lindsay's birthday isn't for about
another four weeks..."
"Right," Ashley squeaked, "of course. But, well, Xander wants to
find the right place to make it. Lindsay is very particular about
her... icing ingredients. So... Xander is hitting all the local
bakeries to find the right one."
Willow would have been even more suspicious if she couldn't see her
lovable friend going through just that much trouble for one of his
girls, especially Lindsay, who had been with him the longest. "All
right, well, tell him I called. I'm really busy with the First Years
but if has the chance..."
Right about then a dim explosion sounded from the classroom Willow
had left unattended. Damnit! A noxious looking green smoke began
to billow out from beneath the door and she sighed as frantic
screaming echoed down the hallway.
"I have to go Ash, be safe, be good, tell Xan hi for me."
Willow hung up the phone, rolled up her sleeves, and strode down the
hallway, conversation momentarily forgotten.
Ashley was shaking as she hung up the phone and looked at the
sixteen expectant and worried faces gathered around her. Dawn spoke
first. "It wasn't Xander, was it?" she asked slowly.
Ashley shook her head 'no' as tears began to fill baby blue eyes.
Lindsay stepped forward. "Ash, are you all right?"
Morgan sighed and ran a hand through dark hair. "Was it Willow?"
came the glum question. The rest of the girls glared at her and she
held her hands up to ward them off. "Hey, someone had to ask it!"
Sixteen pairs of eyes swung back to Ashley as she miserably nodded
'yes' and burst into tears. "I don't want to be in charge of the phone
Teal'c pulled his Air Force cap lower on his forehead with a slight
frown as he ignored the men stationed outside Xander Harris's door
in Isolation Level 22 and knocked formally. He waited a moment after
he heard the faint 'come in' before he motioned for the door to be
Xander Harris was sprawled on his back in the middle of the rug of in
the room he was occupying but scrambled up to a sitting position as
Teal'c entered. Teal'c noticed the seemingly absent minded way the
man turned so that his good side was facing him and inwardly approved.
"I have brought you lunch, Xander Harris."
The man grinned disarmingly at him and rose to his feet before
drifting over to the table where Teal'c set the tray. The Jaffa was
equally pleased to note the careful distance Xander Harris maintained
between their bodies, a precise amount of maneuvering room that would
be necessary should they come to blows.
Xander Harris, despite what his blacked out file eventually said- and
Teal'c had no doubt Major Carter and O'Neill would both find the
answers they sought- was a soldier, a warrior. The way the man
moved, more than even his scars, proclaimed that fact.
"Thanks, Murray," the human said before visibly brightening. "Hey,
A hint of a smile flickered at Teal'c impassive features. He felt
compelled to imperiously add, "I too am fond of the gelatin dessert."
Xander Harris nodded enthusiastically. "Especially when..."
"The whipped topping is added to it." Teal'c interrupted, finishing
out the thought smoothly.
The two men shared a moment of perfect agreement and accord.
"So... umm, not that I'm a big needle and test fan but you folks do
remember that I can only stay three weeks, right? It's just that
it's been two days now and all I've done is sample a variety of
cafeteria delights. Unless the food is part of the testing... I
was just expecting more poking and prodding."
Teal'c inclined his head slightly. "Such tests are planned but
Major Carter and Dr. Frasier and currently occupied." Major Carter
with trying to break into the information in Xander Harris's file
before O'Neill heard back from Riley Finn, and Dr. Frasier with
trying to cure SG-3 of a particularly virulent variation of the
Tau'ri disease 'chicken pox' they had picked up off-world which
made her too busy to oversee Xander Harris's testing by herself.
Xander Harris nodded, accepting the explanation, but flinched and
ducked instinctively as sirens began to flash and the intercom blazed
to life with the usual, "Off-world Activation. Medics standby!"
"Okay..." the human said shakily, "what's with the whole 'off-world'
thing? Can I just assume that's an everyday code because every time I
hear it I start expecting bad things to start breaking down my door?"
"It is indeed a common code for this base. Do not trouble yourself.
The likelihood of such an event as you have described occurring, is
small." Teal'c pulled himself into attention and inclined his head,
this time slightly deeper, in Xander Harris's direction. "If your
meal is satisfactory I must depart."
"No... I mean yes..."
Teal'c studied the human patiently.
Xander Harris fidgeted before his gaze. "The food, its fine, I mean
we established the 'yay jello' club, right? And like I said, I'm REALLY
fine with the lack of needles and my blood being spilled, and the
room, its nice, not a bad deal at all but..."
Teal'c maintained his silence. Xander Harris never stood a chance.
"I'm bored out of my mind! Do you know that I would kill for
something to read? Never thought I'd say that but seriously, give
me a dictionary and I'll keep myself entertained for hours, days...
three weeks if needed, just don't leave me in this room with NOTHING
Teal'c continued to stare as the human grew more and more agitated.
Xander Harris waved at the ceiling. "Do you know that there are two
hundred and twenty-one ceiling tiles in this room? I do! Do you
know how? Because I counted them, three times, just to make sure!"
The Jaffa let another smile flicker briefly across his lips and Xander
Harris, noticing the change, paused and waited expectantly, breathing
heavily. "Murder will not be necessary. I will bring you reading
materials with dinner."
The man's sincere thanks followed Teal'c into the hallway.
Xander just had to hold out until dinner. Then there would be
vaguely promised entertainment, probably in the form of a dictionary
or training manual, but, he really didn't care at this point. He
had been battling impending apocalypses on a nightly basis for eleven
years. Spending two days locked up, literally, with nothing to do
was driving him insane. Add in his ever-present military freakage
and Xander was going to be a basket case by the time three weeks were
He paused in the determined pacing of his room and watched warily as
something began to materialize in the middle of said room. Something
that looked very human and rather like a small time crook. The guy,
whatever he was, was several inches shorter than Xander as he slowly
wavered into solidity. He was wearing plaid pants and a striped vest
over a checkered button down shirt. Hands were shoved deep into his
pants' pockets and the man's thin shoulders were hunched over, making
him appear even smaller. The man blinked somewhat owlishly and sent
Xander a one sided grin.
Stupid moron. You'd think demons and other supernatural beasties
would have learned to read the whole, 'beware of the Government'
signs the Initiative's very messy end had all but posted for the
"Hey Harris, good to finally meet you."
Xander glanced up at the security cameras and hissed, "Who the hell
The guy blinked again and jerked one shoulder upwards. "Don't worry
about those. They won't see nothing the whole time I'm here. Just
you pacing and worryin' your pretty little head some more. Mind if
The man pulled a cigarette from his pocket and lit it nonchalantly
before taking a long drag. Xander's mouth pursed as the man blew out
and smoke filled his room. Xander coughed and tried to sound
threatening as he said, "Name. Now."
The guy's grin grew and he flashed uneven, slightly stained teeth
through the smoke. "So impatient, you humans are. Its always now,
now, now, me, me, me..."
Xander pulled himself straight as things clicked into place. "You
The demon before him laughed roughly. "Close but no cigar." He
flicked cigarette ashes at Xander and leered. "Name's Bruce, but
the idea's the same. I'm a Balance Demon, just like your Slayer's
"Whistler isn't a friend."
Bruce snorted. "Yeah, everyone always wants to shoot the messenger."
Xander had the demon slammed up against the nearest concrete wall in
a heartbeat, one hand wrapped around his immortal throat. "Well,
when the messenger is an obnoxious little toad, I don't see a problem
with that, do you?" Xander's free hand plucked the cigarette from
the demon's mouth and dropped it disdainfully to the floor before
grinding it down under one booted foot.
He was seriously starting to consider the idea that he might be
having a bad day. They didn't happen very often, mostly whenever
Buffy ended up dying, but today, today was not of the fun variety,
first with the boredom, then with Doom and Gloom Man.
"You're tougher than you look Harris, ya know that?"
Xander sighed and let go of the demon. Bruce backed away a step of
two and paused to rub his already bruising throat. "Why are you
The demon watched him with sad, pitying eyes, and Xander swallowed
as comprehension dawned bright and painful, like sunlight on a
shattered mirror. He swallowed and this time the human was the one
backing away. "No."
Bruce shrugged. "What did you expect Harris? You've had eleven
years to change your mind. You've made your choice, more than once."
"I've stuck by my friends!"
"You've walked away from whatever chance of normalcy you had. Of
course we're going to take interest in you. The Slayer and the
Witch, they were Destined. Fated. You chose Destiny. You chose
Xander crossed his arms over his chest and glared, trying to ignore
the words because they were bullshit. "I chose my friends."
Bruce laughed and the sound made Xander want to hit him. "What about
the Slayer's kid sister? She was the Key to the Universe and she
walked away. Is going to grow old and have 2.5 children, white
picket fence, the whole shebang. She chose that. What have you
chosen for yourself Harris?" Too human eyes raked the near perfect
fit of Xander's B.D.U.s.
"There's more than one Slayer now you know," he sulked, ignoring the
question, not wanting to consider the implications inherent in it.
The demon raised a single brow. "We both know they'll only ever be
one Slayer." And that was true. For all that Faith and the rest of
the girls were Chosen, Slayers, Buffy would always be the first
Slayer. The Slayer. It's just the way it was. "What have you
"I don't know!" Xander snarled, "Why don't you tell me? Tell me
what the fucking hell the Powers to Be want me to do? Who they've
DESTINED me to be since I'm such a willing pawn." Sarcasm dripped
from his voice.
And suddenly the Balance Demon was all brusque business. "This is
important, ya know," he said, waving around the concrete room, "these
people do important things here."
Xander was wary. "Well, we tend to save the world. I think that
would rank significantly higher than whatever power games the
military is playing here."
Bruce stared at him, hard, and Xander started to get a sinking
sensation in his gut. "There's some things that not even you and
yours are privy too yet, man." The demons' eyes held Xander pinned.
"You been wondering what 'Off-world Activation' means yet? You
wonder about good ol' Murray? Think any about that snake that
wiggled down your throat? Have you begun to piece things together
"No," was Xander's cold and final reply.
Bruce sighed and ran a pale hand through thinning sandy colored
hair. "You should, this is your future."
Xander's mouth tightened. Like hell it was. "My future is..."
"Is what?" the demon demanded, "The Booty House? A gaggle of teenage
girls? Is that what you're going to limit yourself to Harris, devote
yourself to- playing Den Mother to a bunch of super powerful, hormonal
children? You think Halloween was a mistake all those years ago?"
"Fuck you!" Xander spat viciously, enraged.
Bruce smiled triumphantly, sensing a hit. "The Dudes Up There have
been planning this for years. You've been heading this way for over
a decade now Harris. Been plodding down this path. You could have
left any time. Could have walked away but you didn't. And here you
"And just where is here, Bruce? What's my future with the Air
The Balance Demon retrieved another cigarette from his pocket and
lit up unconcernedly. "That," he replied through a cloud of smoke,
"remains to be seen. See, now that you're here, things get a little
murky. You can do this the easy way, or the hard way."
"How about I do this NO way," Xander snapped, voice deadly.
Bruce shrugged again. "No such luck bucko. You've run out of exit
ramps. Whether you're ready to accept it or not you're stuck here.
The Air Force is going to be in your future some way or another.
Don't fight it, Harris. The hard way isn't pretty for you."
Xander's fist flew through empty air- the exact position Bruce had
occupied just seconds before. He cursed, vividly, and began to pace
again, considering the demon's words all the while. Looked like the
entertainment had begun earlier than expected.