AN: So... yeah. An update.
**************** Trick or Treat: Chapter Thirty-Nine ********************
Faith strode out from the hospital room, determined to find the X-Man, only to
almost run literally into him outside in the hallway. He clearly hadn’t heard
her exit, as he was dancing in full Snoopy glory, face upturned to the
fluorescent lighting. He looked light shit, all dark circles under his eyes
and unshaved, a haggard caveman in military fatigues that, even from here,
Faith could tell her were far past overripe.
She smiled, dark lips curling up slowly at the corners, as she leaned against
the hospital wall and let him go. It was relaxing to watch Xander. He was
always so free in his movements and thoughts, an open book to anyone who knew
him well. It was refreshing to see after dealing with Slayers all day- girls
who were born to hunt, and their prey. There were no calculated movements and
subterfuge, just Xander in all his honest emotion.
Not all of it was pretty, or painless, the Snoopy Dance sure as hell wasn’t,
but it was real. That meant a lot to a kid who had grown up on the streets
“Was it a boy?”
Xander jumped a bit, probably because Faith was on his blind side, and she felt
a pang at that, but he relaxed a bit as he whirled and matched the sarcastic
question to her, and not some other brunette bitch who was giving him a hard
time for the hell of it. He sent a crooked smile her way before it stretched
into a true grin that cracked his face like the mask it had become. “Better,”
Xander exclaimed as he stretched his arms high enough for his knuckles to brush
the ceiling. “It’s a boy, and a girl, and every holiday you can imagine!”
Faith smiled despite herself, caught up in his enthusiasm. “Yeah?”
“Care to share?”
Her heart lurched for a moment as he paused, and she could see old differences
yawning before them, like the jagged edge of a raw chasm, but even as he paused,
Faith could see him making up his mind to move on, to remember the things that
made her better than the Faith of old. All the times she came through instead
of fucked up.
It was more than she had ever managed, even when dealing with herself. More
than she deserved. But it was what Xander did. When he could.
“Yeah, let’s go back to the others. We can do a proper show and tell, and give
everyone their presents.”
Faith’s eyes gleamed, both with unspoken thanks, and with a curiosity that put
fear into the hearts of everyone who had to put up with her at the Big House.
“Do I get a present?”
Xander laughed, open and raw, but without the jagged edges she would have
expected. “Always so impatient.”
Faith punched him on the arm. “You’ve never complained.”
“I’ve always been out of breath.”
Faith paused, and laughed herself. “Good one, Harris.”
“You couldn’t find any better.”
You know, in the SGC box of crayons, Jack O’Neill was by no means the
brightest. He wasn’t the sharpest tool in the governmental shed. Was always
a few fries short of a genius Happy Meal, but he wasn’t stupid. Too many
civilizations had made that mistake and suffered because of it and hell, the
Asgard couldn’t be THAT wrong about him.
Now the situation he and his team were in was weird, even for them. Especially
since he still felt at a distinct disadvantage standing in the hospital room
with four of Sunnydale’s finest who could match wits with him any day of the
week. That was disconcerting. Jack was used to being dumber than the people
he was talking to, not nicer. But he was definitely nicer than Buffy Summers,
Slayer extraordinaire, who was regarding Teal’c with the sort of intense
concentration Jack normally reserved for steak, beer, and hockey.
Teal’s was regarding the Slayer with a wary reserve that spoke wonders for his
bravery, though Jack could read from the tense line of the Jaffa’s shoulders
that he was far from pleased with being regarded as Buffy’s newest plaything.
“Summers…” Jack murmured in a warning voice as the petite blonde suddenly
stepped up next to Teal’c. She ignored him, of course, and Jack stepped up to
her other side. He flicked a gaze to her fellows, and while the three were
regarding the exchange with interest, none of them looked particularly inclined
to intercede. “Summers…”
She cocked her head to one side as she studied the bigger man, still ignoring
Jack. Teal’c in the meantime had gone rigid, and Jack suppressed annoyed
muttering. If this mission kept going the way it had been, Jack was going to
have to buy tickets to the next ten jello wrestling matches in the state of
Colorado, and sit through the Star Wars trilogies, twice, easy, just to make
up for things. Summers’ finger shot out too fast for him, or hell, even
Teal’c, to intercept, and the entire room paused in their collective breaths as
Buffy raised a golden brow at the alien, one fingertip pressed against his
“So, do I make the big bad snake go, grrrr?”
Teal’c blinked once, twice, and slowly shook his head. “No Buffy Summers. My
symbiote displays no reaction to physical contact with you.”
“Oh goody,” Xander replied as the room’s door swung open, “I love it when I get
to be right.” A brunette woman about Buffy’s age, perhaps a few years younger,
slunk in after Harris and, if it took Jack a bit longer than it should have to
tear his eyes away from the calculated sway of her hips, it took him no time
past that to mark the predatory reckoning of her dark eyes.
Oh goody, another Slayer.
“Hey Faith, want to go over there and give Teal’c a squeeze for me along with
The blonde’s eyes bulged. “I am not squeezing!” Dawn snickered convincingly
in the background. “There is no squeezing going on here. A definite LACK of
squeezing in fact!” This time it was Willow who started snorting with
The so called Faith merely smirked as the predatory glint turned into a
different kind of hunger all together as she looked Teal’c up and down and
licked her lips. “Is this my prezzie?” she drawled, voice raspy and full
Xander choked. “Let’s keep the squeezing above the belt until you and he
reach some sort of agreement.”
Faith pouted and smirked at the same time as she flowed over to Jaffa, her
every movement exuding sex, and Jack rapidly recalculated how much penance
he was going to actually have to make up. Even if the squeezing stayed above
the belt, he should be able to knock off at least one watching of Star Wars
off, easy. Jack wasn’t sure how the brunette managed it with Teal’c standing
rigid as a board, but in seconds the second Slayer was comfortably ensorcelled
in the alien’s arms, nibbling on one ear.
“O’Neill!” Yup, Teal’c was definitely squeaking.
And Xander was definitely hiding a laugh behind a hand as he, ahem, coughed.
“Teal’c, buddy, anything?”
Teal’c still hadn’t moved a muscle, though he was rapidly turning purple.
There was a moment’s pause, and then, “No reaction Xander Harris.”
Faith’s pout was MUCH more pronounced this time. “Nothing?” she sulked.
Buffy rolled her eyes in disgust as Faith gave her the bird and slid off Teal’c
with all the liquid grace she had shown in plastering herself to him in the
first place. The brunette Slayer wandered over to Xander, hips twitching, and
smacked him upside the head. “Your presents suck.”
Xander grinned. “How would you feel if I just told you we’ve managed to screw
over the Powers That Blow in so many ways they’re going to be unable to meddle
THAT got the attention of all the Sunnydale crew. Dawn’s eyes were positively
gleaming as she went, “Really?” with the kind of saccharine sweetness usually
reserved for Jack’s worst nightmares.
Xander was smug. “Really, really.”
Buffy still wasn’t sure she wanted to play nice with the military
extravaganza. They seemed too… nice, to be the cold blooded ruthless scum
bags she knew they had to be. Too nice and…. snarky. Maggie Walsh had never
been big on either personality or humor, and Jack O’Neill had both in spades.
Jack O’Neill had too much of everything in spades. It made Buffy annoyed, in a
both- she wanted to kill him sort of way, and in the sort of way that had
gotten her into too much trouble with Spike. That could prove problematic.
Her eyes narrowed as she glared at the stupid Colonel, but swung her attention
back to Xander. Xander, her Xander, who seemed to be the only one to really,
truly, know what in the HELL was going on.
“Xander, Xander shaped friend, please, please, please tell me why Faith and I,
who have both been with the biting and munching by evil undead…”
“Or the hot, brooding undead,” Faith deadpanned with a wickedness that set
Buffy’s teeth on edge.
“OR, with ANGEL,” Buffy ground out, “and despite being graveyard munchies, we
don’t set off Teal’c snakey sense?”
Xander snorted. “Let me ask you this, who would win in a battle, the First
Slayer or some fledgling looking for a midnight snack?”
Buffy snorted in reply. “Duh. The First Slayer would be washing their dust
out of her hair in five minutes flat. Or, err, if she washed her hair, which
I don’t think she does.”
It was her sister Slayer’s turn to roll her eyes. “B- focus.”
Right, focusing, focusing NOT on hair care. “So, Slayers aren’t affected by
being ‘semi-possessed’ or claimed by Vampires when it comes to the Goa’uld
because the First Slayer keeps the taint off?”
Xander shrugged. “As near as I can figure.”
She frowned. “So, bottom line, what in the hell does all of this MEAN?”
Xander rocked back on his heels, dragged a hand through unruly hair, and
looked remarkably sheepish. “This means that Earth has discovered a whole
new reservoir for the fight against the Goa’uld. Any, and I mean ANY person
who has been bitten by a Vampire or held in their thrall is unable to be taken
over by a Goa’uld. No more worries about snakey intruders crashing the super
secret government agency party, not to mention what that could do for field
“Slayers can’t be pressed into service of course, not only because they belong
here on Earth, but because they may be just as susceptible to being taken as a
Goa’uld host as any normal person. Now, I don’t know, maybe the First Slayer’s
essence would dust any symbiote as fast as it would Vampire taint, but
personally, I wouldn’t want to test it out. A Goa’uld with a Slayer host would
be one scary walking disaster.
“And since we’ve cracked the whole ‘what makes Xander special’ code, it’s clear
that I’m not nearly as special as the Powers wanted me to believe, just more
expendable. And this is where things get really fun, and the presents start
getting opened cause, let’s get this clear right now folks, my feet are
staying firmly planted on Earth soil, thank you very much. I am Xander, and I
am an Earth Man. End of story. But…” he glanced at his watch.
“First off, we have a few special ops trained men in the room next door who
have been Vampire bait before, and would likely be able to be pressed into
combat service against the Goa’uld.”
Buffy’s eyes widened as her mouth murmured, “Riley, Graham…”
Xander bowed his head, and gestured to Willow, who was also staring at him in
bright-eyed wonderment. “Wills here not only can level your mountain, I bet
she could make short work of any super baddies without you having to worry
about her getting taken over.
“And now I bring you to my biggest and best present,” Xander glanced at his
watch and sighed. “Come on, don’t let me down you drama queen.”
Almost on cue there was an authoritative knock on the hospital door before it
swung open to reveal an extremely annoyed Dorothy. She had a cowering man by
the elbow whose face was covered with a blanket. “This one,” the head nurse
thumbed with exasperation in the man’s direction, “says he’s with you. He was
also smoking in my parking lot.”
Buffy swallowed as she suddenly realized that smoking probably didn’t mean what
all the signs in the lobby referred to. Dorothy shoved the man into the room.
“If that’s all out of you lot, I’m going to bed.”
Xander grinned, and the expression was positively toothy. “Thanks Dorothy.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me present the newest and best fight in the war
against the Goa’uld, the King of Brood himself…” Xander ripped the blanket
away to reveal a rather disheveled Vampire. “Angel.”