AN: A re-post because stupid me didn't the "DO NOT POST" message.
My thanks to alanae, rath, Naitch, superbrutal, ueshiba, tals, unclerand,
captuniv, SusanAnthony, PaulineE, Dragonhulk and rob who reviewed the
first time around. If ya'll want me to reply to anything just repost and I'll
If you'd like to reply the second time around, my thanks to you all as well.
*************** Trick-or-Treat: Chapter Three ******************
The girls were silent for all of a minute when they finally got away
from the dampening presence of the military. Morgan spoke first; as
second oldest she and Linsday, out of the current crop of girls, had
been with Xander's Booty Gang the longest.
"How could you do that? Goddess, we don't even know what they're
going to do with him! Did you even SEE their faces when Xan spit
that worm thing up? Or are you stupid enough to believe whatever
lies some jerks in uniform say?"
Lindsay stopped, slim shoulders rigid as she stood, her back to the
fifteen belligerent preteens and teens. "I did what had to be done.
I did what Xander said to do."
"Yeah," Ashley demanded from the back, "and since when do Slayers
follow the rules?"
There were low mutterings of assent to that cheap shot.
"They're going to kill him, aren't they?" Emily asked tremulously as
she stood next to Paula, clutching the older girl's arm.
Francine, the youngest, began to cry and Lindsay whipped around to
face them, furious. "They aren't going to kill him! Don't you
understand anything? They won't kill him because he's human.
Normal. Average!" The last word came out as a snarl. "Xander went
with those stupid Army bozos because he knew it was the only way to
get them away from us!"
"We're human though, aren't we?" Angelique whispered, blue eyes wide
in her pale, heart-shaped face.
"Yeah," Morgan answered softly for Lindsay, "but we're not normal.
We're not average."
"Xander isn't average," Ashley muttered mutinously and there were
strained giggles in response.
Lindsay smiled tiredly. "No, Xander is anything but average. But
THEY don't know that and hopefully those Initiative wannabes don't
figure it out either. Now come on- we have to get home so we can
"Why not Willow?" Heidi demanded. "She could work her mojo and
Scotty Xan back to us."
"Because," Morgan snapped acidly, "anyone else remember hearing how
the world tends to get resurrected or blown up when bad things happen
to the people Willow loves?" It was a rhetorical question but fifteen
solemn hands were raised anyway and a collective shiver ran through
the group. The girls loved Willow; she baked cookies. She was also
kinda scary, being the most powerful witch in the world and all.
"Oh, and Heidi, lay off the Star Trek reruns some, okay?"
"I'd end the world if something happened to Xander," Maggie vowed
"Or at least the government," Ashley chirped, brightening, before she
drew her sword and swung it gleefully in an arc over her head, causing
most of the girls around her to duck with practiced ease. Sometimes
the smallest of their number was terribly easy to predict.
Lindsay rolled her eyes and shared a commiserating smile with a
much-subdued Morgan. "All right- Janey, Monique, Kiley and Lana take
point guard. Ashley, put your damn sword away."
Rebekkah snickered as Ashley glared.
"Yo, Faith, telephone!"
Faith rolled her shoulders and looked up, dark eyes narrowed at the
unwanted intrusion. She wiped sweat away from her face with the back
of one hand and took a swig of water from the bottle at her feet.
"What have I told you guys about bothering me when I'm working out?"
Brandy snorted and tried to look disdainful but backed a step or two
away from the basement stairs. She might have grown up on the bad
side of the Bronx, but Faith could still kick her ass to the West
coast and back. Some things were more important than covering your
Faith had taught her that.
"Not to interrupt unless it's an emergency."
Faith's body tensed at the younger Slayer's words. "Who is it?" she
snapped as she scaled the stairs in record time.
Brandy swallowed. "Its Lindsay."
Faith frowned. "Which one is Lindsay? Is she that little black
"Shit. Give me that!" Faith snapped as she snatched the phone out
of Brandy's startled hands. If Lindsay, Xander's technical second
in command, was calling about an emergency that meant Xander couldn't
call himself. Which meant all sorts of things Faith wasn't quite
ready to think about.
She listened grimly for a minute, her full lips tightening as the
story poured out of the Lindsay's mouth over the phone line. Listened
grimly and began to plan her last night on Earth because when Willow
heard the news shit wasn't going to just hit the fan- the world was.
"Is it bad?" Brandy whispered, looking very young and every one of her
Faith chuckled mercilessly as she mechanically hung up the phone. "It
Xander knew he wasn't dead. He wished he were dead because then his
head wouldn't HURT so damn much. Possession probably would have been
easier on his brain. Though that thing, whatever it was, must have
been a super snake or something because those Chinese Chigger Demons
last year had been little devils but the backlash of Will's protective
spell had just made him a little woozy then.
And there had been fifteen of them. Ugly as sin. Very unfriendly.
Fifteen demons. One snake. Snakes BAD.
One little snake tried to take over his body, or maybe have a little
Xander-shaped snack, and he was curled up in a little ball in the
back of a military truck thinking very depressing thoughts. Some
thoughts about how scared all the girls must feel- this wasn't the
first time he had been incapacitated since creating the Booty House,
but this was the first time he had been parted from them under these
kind of conditions. A few thoughts intruded on how seriously pissed
off Willow was going to be, not to mention the Buffster. Hopefully
Willow wouldn't try to end the world. Though, if she did, the world
was pretty much screwed because Xander had been about the only thing
stopping it the last time. Which was a scary thought all in itself.
But most of his thoughts were about how MUCH his head hurt. And how
he was really sorry he ate Valerie's Tuna Surprise for dinner.
Apparently attempted possession didn't settle very well with badly
burnt casserole because, apart from the blinding pain, Xander was
also feeling really queasy. He was half aware of someone touching
his arm, and the glint of a syringe, and managed a pathetic groan.
Magical backlash, nausea, AND now he was being drugged. This was
just turning out to be the best Halloween ever!
Carter joined Jack and Teal'c up in the front of the truck, leaving
Daniel back with their patient. "I gave Xander a sedative. I'll
probably knock him out for awhile. Definitely until we get back to
Cheyenne. Besides, it seemed like he wasn't feeling too well
Jack grinned lazily. "Plus, it saves us a whole lot of awkward
questions like 'hey, what tried to crawl down my throat,' though
speaking of Xander, if that is his real name..."
"Actually, sir, I was wondering about that too so I took the liberty
of borrowing his wallet.
Jack straightened from his comfortably sprawled position in the
passenger seat as he eyed his 2IC. Stealing? Carter? One
steel-gray brow rose fractionally. Man, he needed to stop spending
time with Teal'c. He was picking up facial expressions. Next he'd
have a little snake living in the pouch of his stomach all his own.
Like that hadn't happened already.
Damn man-eating Hathor. Bitch.
"Borrowing Major? I'm impressed by your lack of scruples. Well come
on Carter, share with the class."
She rolled her eyes at him, to used to his sardonic theatrics to take
him too seriously anymore, but opened the contested item to reveal
their patient's driver's license. "Well, unless this is a fake, and
I won't know THAT until I can run it through out computers at the SGC,
but out guest is indeed one Alexander Lavelle Harris..."
"Give me that," Jack said and leaned back to snatch the wallet from
her amused fingers. "Geeze, his middle name really IS Lavelle."
Teal'c, from the driver's seat, frowned. "Is there some significance
to Lavelle that I am currently unaware of Jack O'Neill?"
Carter stifled a laugh as a pained look suffused Jack's features.
"There's not anything WRONG with it, per se," he muttered slowly and
rather unconvincingly at that, "but if you were ranking manly names
Lavelle would probably sail in dead last. His parents must be
"There's a masculine standard many men on Earth try to uphold,
Teal'c, and this standard applies to names," Sam explained, taking
pity on the Jaffa.
Jack, who had lost interest in the conversation, was continuing to
study Xander's license, passing over the brief and mundane information
before lingering over the date of birth. "Wow, he's twenty-five.
Didn't think the kid was that old."
Jack studied it for a moment longer before another piece of
information caught hit attention. His face whitened and tightened as
he rose, oblivious to Carter's questioning and Teal'c's curiosity
laced silence as he headed towards the back of the truck with the
determination of a runaway train.
Hell no, it couldn't be true, could it?
"Jack..." Daniel said, making his name a inquisitive question that he
ignored. He stalked over to where Xander lay curled up on a cot,
oblivious to the world and soundly asleep, still decked out in a
ridiculous pirate costume. A ridiculous pirate costume with a rather
worn looking eye-patch.
Jack swallowed convulsively as he knelt next to the young man's side.
Daniel and Sam tentatively moved to stand behind him and Jack felt
more than saw Daniel sending Carter a searching look that she shrugged
helplessly at. He ignored them both as all of his fierce
concentration centered on Xander, the boy, the man who grew more and
more complex the longer they were with him.
The eye-patch had a tiny tear in one corner and was faded, as if it
had been washed multiple times. Looking back on their brief
confrontation in the street Jack could mentally picture Xander's
movements. How he compensated for his disability. How the girls,
none of whom had worn vision-impairing eye-patches themselves, had
been careful to stay on their leader's good side, so they wouldn't
"Jack?" Daniel tried again, softly, before placing a gentling hand on
his tense shoulder.
"Its real," he whispered, sounding shaken and furious with the
knowledge after a long moment of unbroken silence.
"Umm, okay, I'll bite. What's real?"
Jack handed Daniel the license stiffly. "His eye-patch, its real."
"How do you know?" the archaeologist asked, baffled and disturbed by
"Check out his driving restrictions," Jack said woodenly, "it can't
be anything else."
No wonder Xander had been dressed as a pirate. And the girls had
been too... as a show of solidarity, perhaps? How the HELL could a
twenty-five year old have injured an eye so badly that it couldn't be
repaired? That, in this day and age, he required an eye-patch?
"Sir, are you sure?"
"No, Carter," Jack snapped grimly, "but we're about to find out."
He reached out slowly, fingers hovering in a moment of indecision,
before gently peeling back the eye-patch from one pale cheek with
The three members of SG1, who had seen and experienced more than
their fair share of pain, grew silent at the scars they had revealed.
"What... HOW could that have happened?" Daniel finally asked hoarsely.
Jack O'Neill ignored that question as well before carefully putting
the eye-patch back in place and rising, ignoring the coldness curling
out from his clenched gut. He made his way silently to the front of
the truck, shoulders still locked in a rigid line of tension and
Daniel Jackson spoke in the void Jack's absence had left. "I'm not
a medical doctor, Sam, but I know that wasn't a clean wound."
She swallowed and wet dry lips nervously as she spared a sympathetic
look for their sleeping patient. "No," she replied quietly, "that
wasn't a clean wound at all."