To Go Again
TITLE: To Go Again
AUTHOR: Siege (firstname.lastname@example.org)
GROUP INFO: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Fevered-Imaginings/
DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere, Just let me know ‘K
DISCLAIMER: All things BtVS related belong to Joss Wheadon and M.E. Star trek and all that belong to someone else, not me. Big Sigh.
DEDICATION: To Vincent, my son. May Gene Roddenberry’s vision come true so that you may see humanity the way it could be.
SUMMARY: Part 9 Of the Prometheus-Verse. AAAANNDDD We're Off again.
FEEDBACK: All Feedback is gratefully received and I listen, please check the wall, available at the URL above, because I add those who send me feedback there as a thank you.
KEYWORDS: BtVS, Star Trek TNG, Voyager, DS9
DATE: Begun (10/10/2004), Ended ()
WORD COUNT: 70,000+
BETA READ: Graham Hands, but this is only a proper preview of things to come and I will repost when it comes back from second beta.
WARNINGS: Spoiler's from All Seasons Buffy, Voy, TNG and DS9, plus Track I of Prometheus-Verse.
AUTHORS NOTES: Part three of Track II.
Star Fleet Head Quarters, January 2376
Xander stood like an island in a sea of people, his trademark black clothing standing out against the fleet uniforms like white on black. His collar was adorned by pips, shining gold and drawing several strange looks. His status in the fleet had been a point of much discussion, after all his rank was ratified by an admiral from the future. This was a strange occurrence for sure. For one thing, he had no clear chain of command above him; he'd been placed under autonomous control. In other words, he was his own boss for a unit that was as yet undisclosed. A data capsule had been delivered to Fleet command with orders from Admiral Janeway. Not to be opened for one month. After that time, his status would be clearer to everyone, but himself.
So, the fleet admiralty had decided to honour the Admiral's request. In honour of her defeat of the Borg and for a while at least ensuring that the Borg would be unable to enter sector 001.
That did mean, however, that he was a bit of an oddity, a curio to the fleet and all within and without. His 'powers' for want of a better word had been heavily curtailed. They didn't want him ordering people around until his status was more clear. He'd been run through the test, which he'd ace'd. When asked how, he had answered that the Admiral had trained him and taught him several things before they left on the mission. Since the Admiral wasn't around to ask, they'd had to take him at his word. Captain Janeway had vouched for him, which had also helped.
None of this bothered Xander at that precise time. Not the odd looks or outright inquisitiveness. What was bothering him was watching Chakotay talking to a distinguished man, a man who held Chakotay's interest fully. Chakotay was nodding along and was looking grim.
Finally Chakotay nodded with a sigh and Xander moved through the crowd, ignoring everyone, his eyes fixed on Chakotay.
Chakotay turned as his name was called and turned to face Xander with a frown, "I don't have time Xander." he said shortly. He wasn't in the mood for the young man's sharp quips at his expense at that moment, he had to get going.
"You will Listen Chakotay" Xander said his tone flat, "Or I will make you" he said with a dark eyed glare.
Chakotay narrowed his eyes, "Are you threatening me, Lieutenant? That's a very serious offence in the fleet."
"I know, but what you are about to do; is an offence to Seven." Xander said, "You have to at least say goodbye."
Chakotay's eyes widened, "What?" he stammered in shock, not in character but he'd just found out himself, how had Xander found out so quickly.
"If you can't tell her where you are going and what you're doing. You DO, in fact you MUST, at least tell her goodbye." Xander said stabbing his finger into Chakotay's chest with his eyes aflame.
Chakotay looked down at the finger, "That's assault" he commented, almost wryly.
Xander, to Chakotay's surprise, removed his finger, "Sorry, but I don't want to see Seven hurt."
"She's got friends, the captain..."
"...No, you idiot, you are the reason she had her operation, so she could explore the full range of her emotion with YOU." Xander said, his gaze almost hypnotic. "How do you think she'll react to you taking a mission and dumping her here alone, when she needs you most?"
Chakotay got angry, "Well, she's got YOU to pick her back up again hasn't she?"
"I'm her friend Chakotay. It's you she wants." Xander said, the pain in his eyes hidden behind a curtain of fire.
Chakotay glared for a moment, before taking a breath, "This is important..."
"... I know, better than you would imagine, hell I respect you for what you're trying to do. What I don't respect is disregarding Seven's feelings like this." Xander said palms upwards in supplication he continued, "I don't like you Chakotay, and you don't like me. We have one thing in common and that is Seven, we both want her to be happy, truth be told; it's more likely that she'll be happy with you. Be the man she thinks you are Chakotay and say goodbye at least."
Chakotay looked at Xander in shock, thinking that it was a shame they just didn't seem to get on, because that took class. Finally Chakotay nodded and Xander smiled, "Thank you" he said slinking back into the crowds and somehow managing to disappear out of sight.
"Damn" Chakotay said, his voice soft. Then his eyes sort out Seven and set off to say goodbye.
Xander stepped out into the cool San Francisco night air, breathing in the clean freshness. His heart hammering, only the calming words of Q were stopping him from hitting the wall in anger. It would seem strange to any that knew the super being that he would, know any calming words, let alone want to use them. But Xander and Q had now bonded on a level of friendship that went beyond race boundaries. Q was privy to nearly all of Xander's inner thoughts, and Xander knew Q better than anyone in the universe.
Long nights had been spent talking. Xander did not sleep so very well any more, nightmares and too many thoughts plagued him into the small hours. He had learned to cope with less time asleep. Q was even teaching him some meditative techniques to combat the rest issues. So, with that in mind, it's almost obvious why Q was now the only person who could calm Xander down.
For Xander was in a towering rage, not just at Chakotay for taking the mission but at the creator himself and Lucifer in particular. Some might think that time travelling back and being given a second chance would be cool, or fun. That would be true only of a person with no sense of honour. Xander honoured his friends over himself, and as such he would do just about anything to keep them from being hurt.
As such, he knew that in his heart of hearts he had just more than likely, stopped the rift forming between Chakotay and Seven that he had slipped into in the original time line. Seven and he had been very much in love in the original time line. She had been one of the, if not the, most important things in his life at that stage and he had just personally sabotaged his own chances.
Understandably, he was kinda pissed off about that. So as a scream rent the silken quiet of night he smiled wolfishly and started running. If it was show time, then he was going to do some therapy.
He arrived to find a blonde haired woman being attacked by a large male vampire, it's fangs flashing under the street lamps. So hungry that it was trying to feed there and then, not even waiting to drag the hapless victim off into the darker, more secluded area's of the grounds.
Xander lifted off his foot leading the way as he leapt at the Vampire. His boot connected with demonic face and sent spittle and blood flying in a fine spray into the air. Then as his feet hit the ground Xander was already twisting round his foot sweeping to Vampire.
The vampire landed on it's back and managed to roll backwards, avoiding Xander's axe kick by a matter of centimetres. Moving quickly the vampire reached out for Xander's throat grabbing the young dark haired man and picking him up into the air. It's fangs bearing, ready to tear into Xander's throat.
Xander's foot lashed out, nailing the vampire in the groin, forcing the male creature to drop him. Then with a classic one, two Xander's fist clashed with the plans of bones on the vampire's face, disorientating it and sending it flying backwards onto it's backside. Xander's hand went inside his jacket and a sword that was actually too long to fit there appeared to be drawn out of the very material itself.
The vampire had time to glare up at Xander before there was a quicksilver flash of reflected light and it exploded into dust.
Xander turned back to help the blonde back to her feet and gasped when he saw who it was.
"I know, he's here somewhere" Guinan said, as Picard led her through the crowds, her and resting in the crook of his elbow in a familiar fashion.
"I'm sure we'll find him Guinan" Picard said calmly. The Enterprise had come back to Star Fleet central to drop off their prisoner's to a research team.
They had found nothing for themselves. If not for Guinan's information, there would more than likely have been a disaster. They had a cloaking technology that seemed to be utterly flawless on a personal level. The alien's themselves had been fascinating with their horns and glowing eyes they were very demonic in appearance. At least, that is what Picard HAD thought until Guinan had explained that you've not seen a demon until you've seen a vampiric Klingon.
Guinan let out a sigh, "I'm sure he was here, now?"
Picard patted her hand, "Then I'm sure he will be. What does he look like again?"
Guinan smiled, "Tall, dark; good looking. Always wears black, and usually has more weapons on him than a Klingon going to war."
"Not in here he won't have" Picard commented nodding at the security devices in the room.
"Wood and holy water; do you think those will show up? Besides, from what I was told he has a sword on him all the time, whether you can see it or not. And you can bet we have no technology to rival the creator's will" Guinan said with a sardonic lilt to her voice.
Xander blinked, who it was, wasn't Jacinta, "Miss, are you okay miss"
The confused and scared woman looked at him, her eyes fixing onto his sword before she let out a scream and ran for it.
Xander ran a hand through his hair, stashing his sword back to where it had come from. "What the Fuck is going on now?" he asked the heavens.
#The Timeline has been changed# Q pointed out, #A small change could have caused Jacinta to be elsewhere tonight#
#But it will be her that's called right?# Xander asked with a frown.
#Oh yes, that's a certainty, at least it should be# Q told him, his voice holding a laugh.
#Oh thanks!# Xander replied before cracking a smile. "I suppose I should go back to the party then" he said out loud. "I wonder if Jo is about yet?"
#You just can't do without some form of female companionship, can you?#
Xander laughed, #Truthfully?# he asked
#Yes, of course# Q said, interested in the reply.
#No, not really. I like women, always have, my best friend since kindergarten was a girl, or had you forgotten. Guys, bore me, women are always interesting to be around#
#Now THAT is both an understatement and the ONLY universal constant# Q replied making Xander bark out in laughter as he walked down the path.
Guinan's eyes suddenly alighted on the patio door as a man dressed in black slipped back into the party. A very familiar face and with an aura of almost tangible humour around him as he walked into the midst of the party, his eyes casting around for someone. She noticed his eyes rested on a blonde and a dark haired man, off in one corner where the woman was looking upset and the man was trying to calm her down. Xander caught the dark man's eye and nodded at him before taking what looked to be a heavy sigh and looking around the party.
Then his eyes met Guinan and he smiled. A large, lopsided smile that was full of secrets and humour. Guinan smiled back, her grip increasing slightly on Picards arm he looked over and she heard him chuckle.
"Well, I see what you mean" Picard commented as the shard of night walked through the crowd towards him.
"Watch him walk towards us, notice anything about him?" Guinan said to her friend of sometime, longer than he'd been alive in fact.
Picard nodded, "He walks with military bearing, and a little like some of the warrior races we've come across. That state of readiness, like a hunter. Interesting" he commented his voice just about a whisper.
"He IS a hunter, he hunts preditors," Guinan said, "He's a very dangerous man Jean-Luc, but also very important. Don't be put off by the way he acts. It's all a cover."
Jean-Luc Picard just nodded as the man he had been told was called Xander Harris came to a stop in front of them and gave Guinan a warm smile, "I am SO happy to see you here, thank you." he said with a tone that matched his expression.
Guinan separated herself from Picard and to Picards surprise, hugged the young man, "It's good to see you too Xander. I'm sorry for all that's happened."
Xander shrugged and looked at Picard, "Xander Harris, pleased to meet you Captain" he said offering his hand.
"I've heard a lot about you Mr Harris."
Xander smiled in response but Guinan elbowed the Captain lightly and nodded at Xander's collar.
Picard looked a little surprised but covered quickly, "I'm sorry, Lieutenant Harris"
Xander let out a good natured sigh, "I got kinda shanghaied into the pips. Xander's fine, sir"
"You can call me Jean-Luc" Picard said, Guinan was the one person, outside of his command staff, that he trusted absolutely. If Guinan reacted so well to Xander, he could loosen up slightly.
"Thank you Captain" Xander said with that lopsided grin. "But I don't want to be court-martialed, again"
Picard looked at him a little askance, "Again?"
"Long story. So, has Guinan been telling you stories?" he asked with a smile at Guinan.
"I'm aware of your somewhat unique status and I trust Guinan" Picard said.
Xander didn't miss the subtle clue that Picard didn't, yet, trust him. "That's a wise choice sir. Guinan is a very wise woman."
"Shucks" Guinan said a little tongue in cheek.
Xander chuckled slightly, "So, perhaps later on, we could get together, talk?" Xander suggested, "Say in a couple of days, if you're both available?"
Guinan answered for them both, "Of course, you go party. I hear you had a big hand in saving Voyager. Seems to be a habit for every ship you're on."
Xander laughed, "Talking of which... The Por'aan?"
"Dealt with." Guinan told him watching as he smiled in relief.
"Good, they are more trouble than I need" Xander told them, then smiled his goodbyes.
Picard watched him go with wry humour, "That's a very singular young man."
"Oh he certainly is that. Oh by the way" Guinan said with a smile, "He's carrying Q"
"What?" Picard asked.
"Q is bound to a sword that he “Guinan pointed at Xander’s retreated back,” is carrying. Guess why?"
Picard looked at her dancing eyes, "I have no idea. But from the look in your eye I'd say I'm going to enjoy the story."
Seven let out a sigh, her heart felt like it was going to explode, her eyes were filled with tears and she couldn't get her vastly improved mind around what had just happened to her.
Chakotay had gone, gone right there and then on a dangerous mission and he'd done what he had said he would not. He had left her alone. She was all alone on a strange planet without him to guide her through, as he had promised.
Oh, he'd explained his reasoning's, told her that he would be back as soon as he could be and that it was something that he just HAD to do. She could understand that, respect it even. But, at the end of the day, he'd left her on her own.
"Hello" a voice made her jump out of her thoughts and spin in place like a cat, "Are you well?"
Seven smiled, "I am not; but perhaps I will be Icheb" she said to her surrogate son with a smile. Perhaps she wasn't exactly on her own, there were other's that cared for her. Icheb was due to be admitted to Starfleet, working in Physics. Which just reminded her that she wasn't the only one alone on a strange planet?
Then her almost ice blue eyes spotted the dark hair and suit of another that was in a similar boat to herself and she smiled, she did have a friend that she could depend upon, even if her so called boyfriend wasn't around.
"I am glad to hear it" Icheb told her with a slightly stiff smile.
"So, tell me about you future with Starfleet" Seven said, turning her attention on her young protégée.
Xander looked up at the main entranceway and his face split into a smile. Finally, it seemed that Jo had arrived. He watched her walk to the foot of the stairs and look around her face beamed at him and she dashed over to him, jumping up into his arms with an excited look on her face.
"Hey Jo" Xander said setting her down on her feet.
She looked up at him with that infectious smile of hers, "I just had the most amazing news!" she said.
"What's that?" Xander asked enjoying the feel of her slender body pressed against his. Perhaps, this wouldn't be quiet that bad, if he had someone.
"I'm going to Vulcan!" Jo said excitedly, "They read my paper on that amoeba and they really liked it. Not that it's easy to tell with a Vulcan, but they did say 'fascinating' with that eyebrow thing they do. I'm to be a sort of exchange for one of their scientists.... What's the matter?" Jo trailed off from her mini babble. Almost worthy of the red haired babbler herself. She looked into Xander's dark eyes for a long moment, wondering if she had just done something wrong. Shouldn't he be happy for her? She asked herself.
Xander swallowed his pain, again, and the disappointment he felt and smiled happily at her, "I'm so happy for you Jo. Those Vulcan's, they won't know what hit them" he told her. "When do you leave?" he asked, managing to bury his own feelings and be happy for his friend.
Jo looked up into his eyes, "They wanted me to go tonight, but I..." she trailed off with a sexy edge in her smile, "... told them I had something I had to do tonight."
Xander cocked his eyebrow at her. Jo stood on tip toe and kissed him fairly chastely but there was the promise of a greater passion in its depths.
Xander forced a smile at her once the kiss was broken, "I'm going to miss you. You do know that right?"
Jo smiled back and nodded, "Me to, but I'll try to visit" she told him, but Xander knew her and he had a feeling that once she got her teeth into a problem that would be it for a few years. He suddenly felt very, very alone.
"Come on" Jo said pulling at his arm, "I want to say goodbye."
Xander looked down at her and saw the lust lurking in the depths of her dark brown eyes and knew that he'd do it. Frankly, he needed a little human closeness himself at that point. "Okay" he said, "Let's go"
Marshall smiled, his eyes flashing yellow as he did so, "I wonder where he is, hey SLAYER?" he said.
"Because, you know there's this guy I know. He'd want to be here for this, he'd want to make sure that nothing happened to you Slayer. He's the patron saint of your kind and my boss..." Marshall growled moving downwards his fangs growing, "... Really doesn't like the guy, personally I'd think he was great but he kinda FUCKED MY GIRL!" he roared the last few words.
The rolled up bundle increased the tightness of the ball in which they had put themselves. "See, I KNOW he'd want to save you from me. But you know what? I'm not going to kill you, hell I CAN'T kill you. If I did that, he'd win, be default, but he'd win."
The ball loosened slightly, "Mind you, Vinny can, can't ya Vinny?"
"Yes boss" a cockney accent answered.
"Vinny, can do anything he wants to you, ain't that right Vinny?"
"Yeah Boss!" Vinny said, leaning against the wall he was just glaring at the small form on the dirty floor.
The ball, balled up again.
"Of course, I'm not going to let him do anything to you. Not yet, I want lover boy to get here first, then I might let him have a play."
The ball uncurled as a fiery spirit finally showed itself, "Get lost you FREAK! I'm gunna be missed, I don't know what you want from me, but I don't know this guy you're talking about!" the blonde haired woman said, her deep blue eyes flashing with ire.
"Chill Slayer, you'll understand soon enough," Marshall said with a dark chuckle. "In the meantime, you’re my guest. So get comfortable, he's good in a fight but he's not so bright, you could be here for some time."
"STOP CALLING ME THAT, MY NAME IS JACINTA!" The woman screamed at him.
Marshall stood up and looked down at her, "And?"
Xander walked into his apartment his shoulders a little slumped. He had spent the night with Jo, and enjoyable as it had been he still felt very empty, the love making he had partaken in had done nothing to lift his spirits, the tearful goodbye as he had seen her off had actually managed to make them slump to an even greater level of just plain empty.
"How did it all turn to shit so quickly?" he asked the room.
The room of course was not very forth coming. This was his apartment, the very same apartment that he'd been given in the first time line. The large window he had always loved and then eventually smashed was there. That wall, in the corner was where the room clearance device had landed, and yet, there was of course no sign of it. Because, none of that had happened yet, nor was it likely to. If he had any say in the matter.
He'd not bumped into Jacinta the night before as he thought he was supposed to. He had no idea what to do next and on top of that, he'd nailed any chance he had with seven the night before.
With a slight groan Xander walked fully into the room and slumped into the chair.
"Oh well, here goes" he said then forced himself to smile. He brought a small gleaming device out of his pocket, a small transponder from an entirely different time. In truth, if most theories were correct it should not even have been able exist in the current time track. Yet, there it was nestling in his palm.
Xander jerked his hand up, launching the coin sized device into the air and snagging it back out again with a sharp movement of his hand. Then he twirled it over his fingers for a moment before finally holding it between thumb and fore finger.
#What do you think?# he asked his ever present friend and guide.
#I think you're insane, but...# Q trailed off letting Xander draw his own conclusions to what he meant, knowing the young man would pick the right one.
"What the fuck" Xander finished, perhaps not the exact words that Q would've used but they were essentially correct. Xander depressed his finger and triggered the transponder.
Nothing happened for several moments and Xander let out a tired chuckle.
"Well, so much for that idea!" Xander commented wryly, just as his body was rendered down at a quantum level and pulled from his apartment in Bay towers.