Title: In the Army Now 1/?
Author: Beach Engineer
Summary: First time author's attempt at a fic. Prompted by Asbjoern Grandt's Challenge from the Xanderzone Yahoo group to Pick 5 to 10 items from the "The 213 Things Skippy is No Longer Allowed to Do in the U.S. Army" list and Apply them to Xander in a Post Season 7 setting – Misc Movie crossovers –
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I'm using Xander without permission and I've blatantly borrowed quotes from several movies, but I'm not making any money from it, so hopefully the owners won't sue. On with the story:
Xander wrote in the small black journal, as he lay in his barracks bunk.
"What the hell am I doing? We closed the Hellmouth. Buffy was moving on to Cleveland & the Hellmouth there, & she made it abundantly clear that I wasn't welcome along.
"Xander, you don't need to come! We've got lots of Slayers now to help with the Cleveland Hellmouth, I just don't see what you could do to help. Not that I don't appreciate you wanting to come along, but I won't be able to watch out for you in Cleveland, I've got to concentrate on training the new Slayers. Why don't you take a long vacation instead."
I should have taken a vacation! I should have jumped on the first plane to Bora Bora & spent a month having scantily clad native girls serve me drinks w/ umbrellas. Instead, I went and did something stupid. I felt I had to prove Buffy & the others wrong. Show them I wasn't useless in a fight, that I could hold my own, just like I'd been doing for the past 7 years. So I decided to join the Army! Continue to fight the good fight. I figured that I still had a few of the residual soldier memories, so being in the Army would be a piece of cake! Yea, right! What a mistake that was! I should have known that I was in trouble the minute I showed up for basic training and…"
I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be, "SIR!" DO YOU MAGGOTS UNDERSTAND THAT?"
"Sir, yes, Sir!" the platoon shouted.
"Roll Call…Andersen…Sir, Present, Sir!…Goldman… Sir, Present, Sir!...Harris!" the Drill Sergeant bellowed.
"Sir, Present, Sir!"
"What is that in your mouth?!?"
"Sir, Gum, Sir!"
"YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO BREATHE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION, MUCH LESS CHEW GUM!" Sergeant Hartman screamed into Xander's face. "I'm sure you didn't bring enough for the platoon either! Drop and give me 50."
As Xander dropped to the pavement and began doing push-ups the Sergeant turned to address the others in the platoon and shouted,
"You maggots are a unit! You do everything together! You eat together, you sleep together, you shit together in order to make you better at killing together!" Private Harris, here, doesn't get that yet. He's one selfish bastard, not bringing enough for the platoon to share together. Because of that ya'll will be doin' an extra 5 miles on the run tonight before chow, TOGETHER!"
That night, I began this journal of my Army experience, and I started the infamous "Xander's List of Things No to do while in the Army" List
1.No chewing gum at formation...unless I brought enough for everybody.
The next morning didn't go as I'd expected it to either.
"Good morning, Ladies" the Sergeant Are we ready for another glorious day in the Army?"
"SIR, YES! SIR!" the platoon shouted!
"Private Harris!" Sgt. Hartman shouted as he walked up to Xander.
"Sir, Yes, Sir!" Xander replied.
"What is your major malfunction, Son! Did I not make myself clear yesterday?"
"Sir, yes, Sir! I brought enough for the platoon, Sir!" Xander replied with his typical smirk.
The sergeant slammed his fist into Xander's stomach, sending him to the ground. Squatting down, the Sergeant whispered threateningly to Xander, "You little scumbag. I got your name, I got your ass. You will not laugh, you will not cry, you will learn by the numbers I will teach you. Now get up, get on your feet. You had best un-fuck yourself or I will unscrew your head and shit down your neck."
Standing up, the Sergeant shouted, "Well ladies, thanks to Private Joker here, we'll be doing 10 extra miles before chow!"
The rest of the platoon wasn't too happy w/ the extra 10 miles they had to do, and I was introduced to my first "Blanket Party" that night. The rest of the platoon got together and while I was sleeping, they ambushed me, held me down and pounded my stomach w/ soap inside pillowcases.
Which brought me to add to Xander's List of Things No to do while in the Army –
2. Not allowed to chew gum at formation, even if I *did* bring enough for everybody.
My stomach hurt like a sonofabitch the next day, but it didn't keep me from training with the rest of the platoon. After taking gut shots from Vamps for 7 years, you learn how to take a blow to the stomach.
On the positive side, looks like I've got a nickname now, the Sergeant's Private Joker comment seems to have stuck & it appears the rest of the platoon has forgiven me for my earlier mistakes as long as I keep the joking around to outside the presence of the sergeant.
As Basic progressed, I was surprised at how much of the Soldiers memories I retained.
"DONE, DRILL SERGEANT!"
"Harris! Why did you put that weapon together so quickly?"
"Sir, Because you told me to, Sir!"
Outstanding, Harris! This is a new company record! If it weren't such a waste of a fine enlisted man I'd recommend you for OCS! You are gonna be a general someday, Harris!
Thank you, Soldier Boy! Xander thought.
I'm still getting used to this whole journal thing. Do I write "Dear Diary"? No. It's just to girly. I just can't do that. How about this. I know he wouldn't mind.
Basic training progressed along much like you'd expect. We wake up early. And when I say early, I mean, the time the Scoob's would normally heading off to bed after a night of patrol. You know how much I value sleeping in.. Well no more of that for me. I'm up before the sun. That took a bit of getting used to. At least it's nice to watch the sun rise every morning. It's something I used to do sometimes when we'd come back from patrol w/ Buffy and the gang. It helped me to remember just what we were fighting for. One more day for people to be safe.
Guess I'm kinda getting ready to do that again here in the Army. We're halfway though basic & I'm surviving but, it's hot here. I know it's the middle of summer, but it's like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot. It's made for some tough PT, but the Sergeant seems to be happy with the way the platoon is coming together, I guess. At leas that's what I think he meant when he said
"In the past twenty-one days, you boys have made some fine progress. You're not fighting soldiers yet, but I'd match you up against some Nazi cocktail waitresses anytime."
A few weeks later, Xander once again sat down at his journal…
I made it through Basic. The graduation ceremony is on Monday and we were given a 48 hr pass. A few of the guys from the platoon decided to hit a local bar to celebrate our survival & I got dragged along. Apparently we had a pretty good time, not that I remember much of it, from what I've been told by the others, it was a rather wild night.
Well,I'd just like to thank our squad leader, Private Harris. He didn't start out a leader, but he sure came through when it counted.
Several hours later, as Xander & another soldier exited the bar.
"Hey, Billy Ray, check out the GI Joes!"
"Yea, Zeke, they don't look like much. I bet they couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag."
"Ignore them." Xander said, "We can't be getting in trouble. Not this close to graduation."
The redneck persisted. "I'm talking to you, boy!" poking his finger into Xander's companion in the chest You think you're better than us because you wear a uniform?"
"Leave him alone" Xander said menacingly.
"What? You gonna' stop me, Soldier boy?" the one named Zeke said, stepping toward Xander leading with a clenched fist aimed at his face. The burly local appeared to come at Xander in slow motion, one of the advantages of fighting Vampires who moved four times faster than normal people. This gave Xander time to dodge the clumsily thrown fist by slipping to one side. Grabbing Zeke's wrist, Xander continued to pull him forward, executing a perfect akido throw. As Zeke went sailing toward a pile of trash stacked near the bar door, Billy Ray threw the empty bottle of Jack Daniels at the back of Xander's head. The bottle sailed through the air, connecting knocking Xander cold. As Billy Ray called out to his buddies in the back of his pickup, the other member's of the platoon came out of the bar and all hell broke loose. . .
"Man, I'm drunk and my head is killing me. . . What the hell happened?" Xander thought. "Oh, yea bar fight. I'm sure glad I'm not driving…Who is driving?
"Uh oh. Whoever's driving has an MP band on their arm, that can't be good. The hair's too long tho. I think it's a girl MP. I really hope I don't get thrown into the stockade, that wouldn't be good right before Graduation. Hey we're stopping at the gate…"
"Hey, Sarah. Who you got in the back?"
Sitting up Xander waved his fingers at the MP manning the gate, "You don't need to see my identification, these are not the droids you are looking for."
"A real comedian you got there."
"Hi Jeff, just a couple of drunk Privates we picked up over at that bar fight on 7th. Nothing to worry about, they weren't involved, we're just running them back so they don't get a chance to cause problems." The driver said.
"Alright, off you go. Hope they aren't too much trouble."
"Don't worry, we're both Army trained professionals, I think we can handle a couple of drunk privates."
"Hey! I resemble that remark." Xander replied as the Jeep passed through the checkpoint winding it's way past a row of tanks & coming to a stop in front of the barracks.
"All right you two, last stop, everyone out." The MP named Sarah said.
"Thanks for the ride." Eugene Goldman said. "It was a lot better than trying to hail a cab looking like we do. Xander, I'm going in."
"Sure Eugene, see you later. Thanks, you ladies are angels." Xander said, then whispering to the driver, "Any chance I could talk you into coming in with me?" Xander asked.
"As tempting as that is, I'm still on duty, consider yourself lucky that you're not in the stockade tonight. A couple of my friends saw you at the bar standing up to those jerks & told me about it." Sarah responded.
"You sure? You know, Chicks dig me because I rarely wear underwear and when I do it's usually something unusual."
"You are cute, funny too, but you know the policy about fraternization."
"You don't know what you're missing…", Xander said as he walked inside.
The next morning I woke up with a hell of a hangover. It was all I could do to keep the barracks from spinning. Thank god there was still another 24 hours on the platoons pass. With any luck and a few dozen Tylenol, I might be coherent enough to make it through the graduation ceremony on Monday.
"Oh shit, my head is killing me…"
Eugene leaned over the side of the bunk. "I told you not to drink those."
"But I only had two." Xander replied.
"There's a reason they call those drinks 'Zombies' Xander, you end up turning into one after having them."
"Trust me, Eugene, despite the drinks, I don't think I'll be turning into a Zombie anytime soon. Take my word for it."
"Sure, whatever you say. . . Hey, Xander. . . I admire what you did back there. You remind me of my brother, sometimes. He was always standing up for other people too. "
"Sometimes you've got to stand up for yourself too though."
"hen how do you know when is the right time?"
"You have to get involved. You don't get involved enough, Eugene. . . . You're a witness. You're always standing around watching what's happening. You have to get in the middle of it. You have to take sides. Make a contribution to the fight. That's why I joined up, to fight, to make a difference."
"I don't understand, Xander."
"It's ok Eugene, I hope you never do. There are things out there that are best left unknown, because once you know about them, it's impossible to turn your back on the fight."
Got a new one for the list.
Xander's List of Things No to do while in the Army -
3. A Two drink limit does not mean the drinks can be as large as I like.
Assignment day, Today. It's when the Army looks at what you accomplished in Basic, evaluates your skills and abilities & then assigns you to the posting that least fits what you're qualified to do. Now all we have to do is sit around & wait for the Sarge to read the duty postings. I'll let you know how it turns out.
"Gentleman, Today you people are no longer maggots. Today you are soldiers in the United States Army. You're part of a brotherhood. Be Proud. . . All Right, enough of that crap, Ladies, Gather round" Sergeant Hartman said glancing down at the list in his hand.
"Sir, yes, sir!"
"O-three-hundred, Infantry. Adams!"
"Sir, yes, sir!"
"Eighteen-hundred, Engineers. You go out and find mines. Goldman!"
"Sir, yes, sir!"
"Forty-two-twelve, Basic Military Journalism. You gotta be shitting me, Goldman! You think you're Mickey Spillane? Do you think you're some kind of fucking writer?"
"Sir, I wrote for my high school newspaper, sir!"
"Jesus H. Christ, Goldman, you're not a writer, you're a killer!
"Sir, yes, sir!" Xander said, answering to his nickname.
Fifty-one Fifty, Ranger school. Shit, Joker! Didn't think basic was tough enough for you?"
"Sir, No, Sir."
"Good Luck, Joker. You're going to need it."