AN: Happy Turkey Day! Hope you enjoy the update. I'll try to get another ToT
chapter up early next week. I've been in the mood for this story. I can
promise that the next chapter will be 1) big and 2) all revealing. Fun times. :)
NOTE: Yes, I am aware that a Kei Tree is posting this story at FF.Net. That is in fact me.
Thank you all for your concern though. Its nice to have readers worried on my behalf. I
am not taking advantage of myself... well, not in terms of reposting fanfiction.
*************** Twisting the Hellmouth: Chapter Thirty-Seven ****************
Xander took a deep breath as the last of the smaller group trouped into Willow’s
temporary hospital room and closed the door. They were all staring at him,
Scoobies, Colonel, and alien, and he had the distinct impression that if this
talk went as badly as he was afraid it would, things were going to get very
sticky on the planet Earth.
Nah, none at all. It’s not like he didn’t have a great track record on
personally avoiding apocalypses or anything.
Everyone was patient for all of thirty seconds as Xander had a mini emotional
meltdown in the privacy of his own brain before Buffy, obviously sensing his
quailing courage, or perhaps just bored, poked him in the ribs. Hard.
The diminutive Slayer glared at him. “Well you SAID there were going to be
explanations and mojo. Start with the spillage and the ordering of magic.
I’m tired of all the cloak and dagger nonsense.”
“Amen, sister,” Jack muttered, even as he shot Buffy a dark look.
Xander’s arm shot out automatically to restrain the blonde woman who, just as
automatically, had gone to strangle Jack O’Neill. He caught Willow smiling at
him, and, since she seemed to be in a less bloodthirsty mood herself, decided
to get the ball rolling so to speak.
Rolling, not exploding. Important differentiation to make.
“Okay, Wills, do you remember that nifty protection spell you cast one me after
one too many possessions?” And he could nearly see the wheels begin to turn as
Jack and Teal’c perked up at that tidbit. Well, Teal’c didn’t perk so much as
look slightly less reserved. But it was the same thing.
Willow pursed her lips in thought absently. “The one that you always complain
about giving you massive headaches?”
Oh yeah, the wheels were definitely clinking away in military land. Ah, tax
dollars at work. “Yeah, that one.”
The red haired witch rocked back on her heels, still in thought, before
brightening. “You want me to tweak it a bit and give uhh… Mr. Teal’c a quick
The wheels were starting to look concerned as Jack and Teal’c began to realize
that some of the magical nonsense was about to impact them directly. “A quick
cast?” Jack asked weakly. “Mr. Teal’c?!” Willow fluttered her hands, already
deep in the how tos of government protecting one jello bringing alien. “Would
this be the spell,” Jack asked, voice dipping into dangerous heat, “that had
you spitting up Goa’uld like lima beans and giving Teal’c and Anise fits?”
“Goa’uld?” Dawnie asked with innocent deadliness.
Willow, Buffy, Giles, and Dawn all swiveled to look at him. Xander swallowed
once, twice, and with a deep breath, answered. “No, that would be the spell
that’s repelled more accidental spiritual and physical possessions over the
years than I care to think about.”
Willow was starting to frown. “But then why…”
And here openths the can of worms. “The reason,” he continued as he made eye
contact with Jack, “the reason why Goa’uld treat me like the human plague is
because once, before Willow’s nifty spell, I WAS possessed and temporarily made
into a servant of Dracula with apparently some not so temporary side effects.”
“Oh shit,” Willow muttered.
“Dracula?” Buffy asked at the exact same time.
“Dracula?!” Jack hollered.
“Ahem!” Dawn cleared her throat loud enough to be a scream and stood, tapping
her left foot, hospital gown flapping in the breeze at mid-thigh. “Goa’uld?!”
Faith barely had time to open the hospital room door before Kiley, Paula,
Maggie, and Rebekkah were rushing past her, desperate after days of separation
to reunite with the rest of the Booty House. The older Slayer, Emily at her
side, gave Dorothy a wry smile. “Thanks D,” she said gruffly to their favorite
night nurse who was obviously just getting off of a bad shift if she was still
so late after dawn. The nurse had smudges under her eyes and the ever present
air of authority tinged with brimstone, but the formidable woman still graced
the two Slayers with a fierce smile before she left them to it.
“After you,” Emily muttered, shoulders slouched.
Faith’s lips pursed, but she didn’t call her ward on her obvious insolence.
They shared enough personality quirks that Faith recognized a defense mechanism
when she was being annoyed by one. She made a mental note to work Emily extra
hard during hand to hand tonight though. It’d serve the dual purpose of
letting Faith rough her up and let off some steam, and exhausting the younger
girl enough that she wouldn’t have nightmares.
Faith got the hating of hospitals. After having languished in one for the
better part of a year, she was all for wasting the least amount of time in
them as possible. Slayers had little enough time as it was. Best to burn out
the whole way. Plus, the smell, always got to her. A little too lab rat for
Faith entered the room, shoulders twitching from having Emily behind her at a
weak point, and walked in one of the more bizarre scenes of Scooby life.
Which, really, was saying something.
The Booty House girls were perched on every available flat surface of the
hospital room, eyes raptly on the center of the room, where Heidi and Valerie
were acting out what appeared to be Buffy’s showdown with Angelus, with
Angelique narrating. Riley and Graham were looking pretty damned miserable
huddled near the window, and two strangers, a brunette man and a blonde woman,
both clearly, from Faith’s assessing glare, military, sat watching raptly,
mouths slightly agape.
Damn Heidi. She even had Angelus’s flair for drama down.
Faith made another mental note to prepare a little humiliation with Heidi’s
help for Angel next time he visited. Last time she’d been in LA he’d set her
up with one of his lawyers and the night had ended in bloodshed.
Not the fun kind.
Andrew, the only Scooby certified adult in the room, was sitting ramrod
straight on the otherwise empty hospital bed, which was, according to Dorothy,
SUPPOSED to be occupied by Dawn. Andrew was glassy eyed and rocking back and
forth as Dillan patted his knee awkwardly and tried to coax the little toad out
of whatever funk his feeble little brain had trapped him in.
Some days, Faith really missed Sunny-D.
She watched the madness for a moment more, hands on hips, feet solidly apart in
what the girls of the Big House fondly called Faith’s “bitch stance.” Only
when they couldn’t be heard of course.
“Yo,Yo, YO!” she shouted suddenly, when she felt like she had a bit of a take
on the situation.
It was freakin’ hilarious how all movement, sound, even thought, in the room
ceased. The entire full house turned shocked faces towards hers and Faith,
feeling pleased with her apparent power, decided she was going to address one
issue at a time until the whole mess unraveled because, really, it was about
Issue first, finding the X-Man, giving him a hug for Ashley, and kicking his
ass properly for getting his scrawny butt kidnapped. Faith wasn’t cool with
the worrying shtick. Then… actually. Some things needed to be dealt with
“Anyone feel like telling me why in the hell Dork Boy here is all with the
shocked face and whimpering cause, like always, he’s getting on my nerves.”
Dillan gave said Dork Boy one last pat on the knee. “Don’t be too hard on him
Faith, he just met his first alien.”
And, believe it or not, that really DID explain it.
Faith blinked a few times, decided that Emily didn’t quite have enough leeway
to snicker at her so she gave the younger Slayer a firm kick to the shins, and
continued. “Fine, up next, Harris, Harris, anyone?”
“So the Goa’uld are these evil aliens who used to rule Earth…”
“And who built the pyramids…”
“And who exported humans as slaves thousands of years ago?”
“And they still exist all over the universe, and really hate us because you
guys have been sticking your noses in their business and blowing them up for
a couple of years…”
“And there’s this planet you guys found with Vampires too?”
“And Xander is the Scourge of the Goal?”
“Goa’uld,” Xander, Willow, Dawn, and Giles all corrected Buffy absently who
didn’t look at all guilty at her slip.
Well, when you put it like that… Jack’s mouth opened and closed a few times,
before he finally nodded. “Yeah kids, in a nutshell.”
Dawn’s eyes closed as she swayed. “That is too cool.”
“That is NOT cool,” he answered the young woman, a little sharper than he
intended true, though not sharp enough for Buffy to reach for whatever pointy
weapon she had in her sleeve and advance menacingly towards him. Jack stood
his ground, though he couldn’t quite help shifting towards Teal’c. He hadn’t
stayed alive as long as he had without having an instinctive sense of who could
kick his ass to Abydos and back.
Jack was starting to think that he’d take snakes any day to this crowd.
“It’s not cool!” he continued, irritated, “People die, everyday, trying to keep
this world safe. Do you have any idea of the sacrifices we make at the SGC?
How many friends we’ve all lost? Family? How much blood, and sweat, and tears
we’ve all donated to this cause? Don’t you DARE stand there and tell me that
it’s just… cool.”
Jack flushed when he realized that Teal’c was regarding him, faintly bemused,
in a way that was purely Teal’c at HIS most annoying. But damnit, what they
did WAS important, and dangerous, and a little gratitude now and again…
But the rest of the occupants of the room, Xander and his merry crew of magic
wielding, weapon toting miscreants, were all looking distinctly unimpressed.
Dawn finally snorted and glanced at Xander. “We doing a big reveal?”
The shaggy haired youth merely nodded.
Eye blazing, Dawn turned back to him, pinned his gaze with her own, and
promptly put him in his place. She pointed to Buffy, “She’s been saving the
world since she was fifteen, sent her soul mate to Hell, has died twice, was
ripped from Heaven, and has never ONCE had a normal relationship.”
The finger moved to Giles, “Has had to put up with the Clown Circus that is US
for the last decade or so of his golden years, found his last love murdered in
his bed by Buffy’s beau, and currently has to try to force Buffy into doing her
share of the chores.” At Jack’s disbelieving look, Dawn snorted. “Please,
little sister, I KNOW how lazy she can be.”
The finger of doom swung to Xander, who winced, but Dawn, unblinking,
continued, “Beyond crappy home life growing up, first Vampire he ever staked
was his best friend, has fallen in love with every she-demon on the planet
with room to grow apparently, got his eye poked out by a psychotic priest, and
now averts apocalypses on a weekly basis with a bunch of hormonal teenagers
who think he’s hung the moon.”
The red-haired witch merely sighed as the finger moved to her. “First big
crush was a demon let loose in the Internet, got addicted to black magic,
turned lesbian and found the love of her life who was shot to death in her
arms, skinned a man alive, tried to end the world, and still has self esteem
Even Teal’c mouth flapped open a little with that one.
And the finger, finally, ended pointed at herself. “And that leaves me, Dawn
Summers, Buffy’s little sister, also known as Big Ball of Green Energy, older
than time, used to be used to open universes like Pandora’s freaking Box, is
still dealing with that fact that I’ve only been human for a couple of years,
and that I may be a danger to all around me.”
“Dawn!” Buffy hissed, scandalized apparently with that last bit of
Dawn, as Jack might have predicted, ignored her big sister. “Welcome to OUR
version of Earth. Now Xand thinks we need to play nice, and we’re willing to
help, but give us a little credit. Sacrifice, pain, heartache, hello OUR
reality. Hello OUR lives. I’ll bet you a year’s supply of Grimlish saliva
that we’ve averted more apocalypses than you so, unless you’d like to continue
the misery pissing contest, can we get down to business?”
Jack rocked back on his heels, and cleared his throat as he thought. You’d
think that after a few weeks in Xander’s company, and that really embarrassing
incident with the fork, that he’d have learned not to underestimate these
people. Maybe Daniel was right. Maybe he really WAS stupid.
“So… uhh… how much does Grimlish saliva fetch on the market?”
Xander ran a frustrated hand through hair that, quite frankly, was going to
start thinning if he kept that particular nervous habit up. “For crying out
“What?!” he said defensively. “I was just asking.”