WOW! You guys are amazing. I posted the first chapter, went
to bed, and woke up with reviews. Lots of reviews. Also, I'm
very new to TTH, but being able to comment on your reviews is an
awesome feature. If you have any questions, comments, etc, fire
away and I'll try to answer everything that's not going to be
addressed specifically in the upcoming plot.
************** Trick-or-Treat: Chapter Two *****************
Xander felt like hell. He really needed to stand up, get the girls
out of whatever dangerous situation they had managed to stumble into
because military guys, so NOT a good thing, but all he could manage
was a fairly pathetic groan. Lindsay crouched next to him, careful
to stay on his good side, and touched one already bruising shoulder.
"Xand... you okay?"
"Sure," he replied with a wheeze, "just peachy. Remind me to thank
Wills later..." His reaction headache arrived right on time, a
lovely sledgehammer to his already battered head, and he groaned
again, resting his forehead on his knees to try to ward off the pain.
"Remind me to kill Wills later cause this royally sucks..."
"Better than having whatever that was eating your brains, right?"
Lindsay asked with a short nod towards the dismembered, well,
whatever it was.
He winced. "Ask me when the world stops spinning."
And then came the military.
Xander wasn't faring too well between the attempted possession and
backlash reaction to his protection spell. He was aware enough to
notice the blonde woman, the only female on the four person team,
crouch next to him, asking questions he really wasn't coherent enough
to lie believably for. So he picked the easy course and sat on the
cement as he was poked and prodded- eyes, ears, mouth. Probably the
usual welcome mats for well, whatever the HELL had crawled down his
very raw throat.
Something told him that the gross snake creature wasn't unique.
Mostly because military people did not like surprises. They
seemed grim, but not too terribly surprised by the snake, worm,
whatever it was. Unfortunately, something also told him that
spiting the damn thing back out had been a surprise. Hence the fact
that he was now being poked and prodded. Better him than the girls
Linday was strung tight as a bowstring next to him, stubbornly
refusing to be intimidated by the very real and frightening authority
the military represented. She would behave though, bless her, if only
because Xander had spent the last three years drilling stories and
possible scenarios developed from their bad, bad Initiative experiences
into her. He only hoped that the rest of the girls, most a lot less
level-headed, remembered their lessons as well as Lindsay did. Take
Ashley for example- all he could hope for on that front was that she
kept her damn sword sheathed the rest of the time.
Bloody hell- the spinning just got faster.
Xander moaned louder and tried to tuck his head further between his
knees. Hey- if it worked when airplanes crashed in an explosion of
twisted steel and fire then it could work when it felt like his own
head was exploding, right?
"Sir, I think he's going into shock from, well..."
"Yeah, yeah, Carter, I know. What do you suggest?" That question
came from the big honcho. A Colonel if Xander's bleary, none too
focused eyesight could be trusted. Which was doubtful.
Cool fingers patted his cheek and Xander flinched from the touch.
People near his face, anything near his face, were never a good idea.
"I don't think it would hurt to transfer him to a military hospital,
perhaps for observation, at least for a day or two."
Shit. Shit, shit, shit in a bucket.
Jack shifted on the balls of his feet as he considered his 2IC's
suggestion. The evening had already gone to hell in a hand basket.
There had already been so many security breaches that he didn't even
want to BEGIN to think about the paperwork that would follow this
particular fiasco. He could already image how his conversation with
the General would go.
'Yes, General Hammond, we've retrieved the snake. No, it's no longer
living, or, err, in one piece. Why not sir? Because a twelve year
old pirate with pigtails sliced Katar in half with her sword. Well,
you see sir, she was protecting a bigger pirate who Katar tried to
take as a host. The boy coughed ol' snakey up like a wet hairball
after Katar slithered down his throat, sir. Oh, also, there were
fifteen other preteens who witnessed all this after they tackled
Teal'c to the ground. Could we bring the boy home, by the way?
Carter wants to perform tests. Oh please, General Hammond, can
Another night like tonight and Hammond would like force Jack to retire
Jack glanced around and scowled as he noticed an elderly
woman peering through the curtains of the townhome this whole
incident had taken place in front of. Just great.
'Sorry sir, make that sixteen teenagers, one young man, and a
grandmother as witnesses.'
"Jack," Daniel implored softly and Jack sighed in response.
He knew what Daniel and Carter couldn't say in front of so many
civilians. That it was their duty to make sure the boy didn't
suffer any ill effects from Katar's near possession. That there
might be a reason the kid was immune to the Goa'uld. That maybe,
just maybe, their holy grail, a way to buck Goa'uld control, might
have been under their proverbial noses this entire time here, on
Jack glanced at Teal'c, who stood surrounded by some very determined
looking children. The Jaffa inclined his head in silent communication,
clearly echoing his agreement with Sam and Daniel's unspoken thoughts.
Jack sighed and ran a frustrated hand through short, steel colored
"All right," he barked, "we'll take him under surveillance for a day
or two, make sure he recovers sufficiently from his shock. Teal'c,
Carter, you take care of containment. Daniel, go get the truck.
We'll load..." Jack trailed off. He couldn't keep calling the kid
'boy'. "What's his name?" he asked the protective teenage hovering
at the young man's side, one thumb pointing at the boy who was curled
up miserably on the pavement, shaggy black head between his knees as
Daniel trotted off to get their abandoned transportation.
The girl stared at him for a long moment, chin tilted at a stubborn
angle Jack had learned to recognize from his resident archaeologist.
"Xander," she finally responded stiffly, "his name is Xander."
What the hell kind of name was Xander? "We'll load Xander up, get
him to a facility where we can monitor him for awhile." Run some
tests maybe, try not to spill the beans on the largest secret the
U.S. Government had...
The girl stood slowly, chin still jutting out as one hand drifted
down to the sword by her side. A sword that was probably all too
real, if the little blonde's was any indication. "You can't take him
Jack raised one brow as Carter reached up and hesitantly patted the
girl's side from Sam's kneeling position next to Xander. "Hey, he'll
be okay. We just want to make sure that there's no bad effects from
"You can't take him away."
And suddenly Jack O'Neill, Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, had little
doubt that this child and her friends meant it. And were willing to
cement their meaning with pirate swords. Funny, when you thought
about it, after the heat of the moment, how none of them had
batted an eye at the dead body sprawled on the ground at their feet.
Funny how none of them were asking prying questions about the neatly
severed Goa'uld either.
Jack hadn't spent much time with any teenage girls aside from
Cassandra but, something fishy was definitely going on.
Xander raised his head and grasped one of the girl's hands.
"Lindsay, it's okay. I'll go. Be good as new in a day or two, just
like they say."
Lindsay obviously wanted to protest as she glared at SG-1 with
mutinous dislike. The young man closed his bloodshot eyes in obvious
pain and gathered himself to speak again. "Call... call Faith.
She'll take care of things."
"But, Xand, we can't leave you..."
Jack knew a command when he heard one and the girl, Lindsay, nodded
woodenly before pulling herself together before their eyes. She met
Jack's even gaze. "Can, will he be able to call, let us know he's doing
okay and when," the girl took a deep breath, "when we can expect him
"Of course," Sam replied for her Commander, tone forcefully bright and
optimistic, "Xander's not going to be a prisoner. Just a temporary
The scowl Lindsay sent the Major's way made a small smile twitch at
the corner of Jack's lips. "Do you need us to call anyone, drive you
all home?" he finally asked. Pirate swords or not, sixteen preteens
should not be wandering the streets of downtown Cleveland at night by
Lindsay shook her head firmly. "We live just around the block."
She lied well, especially for a kid.
Jack readjusted his gun against one hip again. "Really," he drawled,
"all of you?"
Watched as Lindsay and her friends stiffen. "Yeah," Lindsay replied,
"it's a Home for girls emancipated girls who aren't old enough to live
on their own yet. Xander is one of the counselors in charge of us."
That lie was more believable and partially explained the odd vibes he
was getting from the group as a whole. It was still a lie. Jack
would have bet some Abydos moonshine on it and that was saying
something. The stuff really grew on you after awhile. It was better
than Rogaine for putting hair on your chest. But he wasn't going to
force the issue, at least not yet.
SG-1 had more problems at the moment than puzzling out a gaggle of
odd girls. Besides, it wasn't like they would be going anywhere-
lies or no, they obviously cared a lot about Xander...
"What the hell is his last name?"
Lindsay's scowl transferred over to Jack but she answered, voice softer
than before. "Harris. Alexander Harris."
Oh. Well, the Xander made more sense with the Alex in front of it.
"All right then, why don't you girls head on home before it gets any
later?" Or before they decided to play twenty questions. "We'll make
sure Xander keeps you posted and you'll be seeing him real soon anyway."
They lingered, obviously unhappy with the situation, before Lindsay
herded them all together, and, despite fiercely whispered protestations,
set them marching off into the night. Jack was thoroughly convinced
that he had never met an odder group of humans, real humans, in his
When they were well and truly gone Teal'c pulled a convenient body
bag from his pack and began bagging up Katar's previous and less
fortunate host. Jack eyed the stake that had done the human in and
resolved not to ask. At least not when Xander was curled up in a fetal
position and groaning from some sort of combination of head pain and
shock. The poor kid probably wasn't even aware that the girls he had
been in charge of had left.
On the subject of Xander though, swords were bad enough but who the
hell carried a STAKE?
Carter used a smaller bag to clean up Katar's remains with equal
efficiency and Jack really, really hoped that Daniel came back soon
because the events of the evening were quickly making the night out as
the most memorable Halloween ever. Considering that the previous record
holder had been the Halloween Jack was five and his next door neighbor,
Sally Struthers, convinced him to wear her pink ballerina outfit, having
a record breaker on his hands was NOT a good thing.