Xander looked around him in glee. A large chunk of his first two paychecks had gone into this, but as far as he was concerned he was in heaven. A 36” flat panel TV was on the wall, underneath it was an X-box 360, and a decent speaker system, hooked up to the TV and stereo. He had decided not to waste his money on high-end speakers, because here he could never crank it up all the way, anyhow, so that was a waste of money. They had passed the security checks, so they could have lived off base, but both Faith and he decided it was not worth the hassle, and this way they had more money to save and spend.
Unknown to anyone but Giles, Xander was still sending back about five hundred a month to Cleveland to help with expenses. Council money was still locked up and a bunch of teenage girls had limited understanding of the reality of bills, so Xander was again quietly helping. Though part of the exchange of this was that Giles had reluctantly agreed to meet with Daniel and Xander some evening at Daniel’s house off base and answer questions. Xander did not know if he was looking forward to or dreading that meeting. But that was neither here nor there; tonight he was going to introduce Teal’c to the wonder that was video games. He checked the microwave popcorn, chips, and dip, as well as the secret Twinkie stash, and decided it was ready to go, and looked at the clock just as there was a knock on the door.
Shaking his head he opened the door “Right on time Teal’c to the second almost. Come on in.”
Teal’c nodded his head slightly as he walked in “You did say to be here at 6 o’clock did you not?”
Xander snickered a bit. “That I did, come in, junk food is at the ready and games are to be played.”
“You have spoken often of this X-box and Video game that you would like me to try. My curiosity has been awoken.” Replied Teal’c solemnly looking around the room.
“Oh yeah.. just wait until you try Halo, it rocks!” replied Xander letting the door swing shut.
“Very well, let us see if Halo rocks as you say.” Teal’c responded as he settled into one of the two game rockers on the floor in front of the TV. Xander handed him a controller and settled down in the other with his controller in his hands.
"There will be a tutorial first to show you how to use the controller, k?”
“Indeed Xander that sounds wise, you should always understand your weapons before you use them.” Pointing the controller at the TV like a weapon.
“Uh… you do know that is not a weapon right? It just makes your person do what you want them to do.” Replied Xander frowning a bit.
Teal’c thought for a moment “Ah.. it is one of your remotes, similar to that which they use with the MALP. I understand.” He leaned back holding the controller in a more relaxed manner.
Xander nodded “Exactly… so here we go.” Hitting start on the X-box and letting the intro story come up.
Teal’c watched the intro with bemused interest. “Xander why are we not using those ships against the Goa’uld?”
“huh?… oh those don’t really exist, they are.. um.. story ships.”
“That is too bad, they would be excellent weapons against the Ori and the Goa’uld.”
When they got to the character part Teal’c was the green MasterChief and Xander was the red. Teal’c followed Xanders' instructions for navigating through the game with confusion. Teal’c jumped when the control first vibrated in his hand.
“This is not a good training tool, weapons do not work like this, a staff is much more convenient and easier to aim.”
“Training? Nah this is just for fun.” Replied Xander nailing a few attackers.
“Fun… I see.” As they ran through the ship in the opening sequence Teal’c was fighting to shoot the Covenant monsters, eyes narrowed in focus, when suddenly there was this crack, and Xander looked over to see both of the thumb sticks had snapped.
Xander looked at the broken controller and sighed mournfully. “Okay, obviously no first persons for you.. and I guess I have to buy extra controllers if I am going to have a chance to play with anyone… how about Hockey?”
Xander was walking down the hall when Dr. Lam caught up with him. “Xander, how are you? I have been wanting to talk to you.”
Xander grinned at the pretty doctor. “Sure Doc, what is up? Need to get more blood from me?” With a wry smile at the doctor's penchant for tests.
Dr. Lam laughed a little. “No not this time, but before you leave for you next trip, you know I will.”
“Yeesh and I called the guys I fought vampires, they got nothing on you.” Grinning at her in a teasing manner.
Dr. Lam rolled her eyes. Since Xander had proved vampires were real, she had gotten more than a little bit of teasing in regards to her penchant for getting blood samples. “That maybe.” She replied with good grace. “But actually I wanted to talk to you about some options you have available.”
Xander frowned not really sure what she was talking about. “Options?”
“Well yes, there is more than the basic glass anymore, you can get some inserts that will record information for you, we may even be able to regenerate some of the nerves and some technology might give you some level of vision again.”
Xander stopped and looked at her. “Doc… are you talking about my eye?”
She paused, stopping with him. “Well.. yes or your lack thereof.”
A sad smile crossed Xanders’ face. “Doc, have you ever had a tattoo or something?”
Dr. Lam frowned “No never saw the reason for it, why?”
“Most people get tattoos to memorialize someone, something, a feeling, a moment in time. This scar.” Pointing to his eye. “This lack of an appendage is that for me.”
She shook her head. “I don’t understand, most tattoos you can remove, or are attractive in some way, this is a liability even a disfigurement.” Meaning no insult, just being herself.
“Maybe.” Nodded Xander, as he started walking again slowly. “But it is a representation of something. When I got this, we were in a fight that gone on for days. I lost an eye in that fight, others lost more. We lost people, my ex-fiancée died fighting to save everything. For me it is a reminder of the price I paid and the people who died so that this was all I lost. I don’t regard it as disfigurement but instead a badge of honor, for surviving and for the people who died so that others could live. I have no desire to ever ‘fix’ this.” He looked at her for a long moment, and Dr. Lam shivered. His dark brown eye saw through everything and for a long strange moment she felt like she should apologize for ever wanting to remove that mark from him. Then he smiled and the feeling faded. “But thanks, I know it makes it harder to pick up chicks, but got my eye on one that I think might not mind.” Flashing a final smile at her he turned down a hall and disappeared.
Carolyn stood there for a long moment mulling over what she said. Frowning a bit she headed back to her office. Once there she looked for a long time at the file for one Alexander Lavelle Harris. Then she calmly took out all the brochures and research on prosthetic eyes and dumped them in the trash and put the file away, a small smile on her face.
“Well its nice to see you back here Sam, always though this place suited you best.” Drawled a voice from the doorway of Sam’s lab.
Sam looked up with a grin. “Jack! I mean sir, how are you?”
“Oh gawd, quit with the sir'ing, not here as that, just a friend.” Sniped Jack as he entered the room, coming over to give Sam a fierce hug, which she returned.
“So what brings you here?” Asked Sam leaning back and looking at him.
“Eh…” Shrugged Jack. “Just a nagging feeling that I should show up and I suspect Thor will pop in while I am here. But I figured it was a good excuse to see you, Danny, and Teal’c. That and check out your new ‘victims’ you have recruited.” He stated with a grin.
“Victims my ass.” Sam snorted. “Those two are deadly, smart, and have more tricks up their sleeves than a stage magician. Though I do have to tell you about what one of Xanders’ friends did to Anise …. Well how ‘bout I show you.” Sam turned to her computer and with a few clicks on the computer pulled up one of most popular video clips the SGC had, Willow making Anise be quiet. She showed it to Jack who within minutes was rolling on the floor laughing so hard tears were streaking his face. When the clip was over, he sat there holding his stomach.
“That was hilarious, so did you find out what device she used to do that? I could use it at some of the meetings I get roped into.” Jack a bit surprised when Sam’s face darkened.
“Believe me sir, I wish there was one. Per her and everyone who Xander has introduced us to, it was…” she sighed. “Magic sir.”
Jack started laughing again, “Oh please Sam, like I am going to fall for that.”
An exasperated shrug from her. “That is what they call it, and from what I saw she has no device, no limit to what she can do, so who knows.”
Sam shrugged and gave Jack a push out the door. “I have decided to not think about it, because if I do my evil scientist side might come out and Xander and his friends would find themselves strapped to a table with me cackling over them.” Herding Jack down the hall.
“Okay, that I can understand. I don’t like your evil scientist side. So … um.. where are we going?”
“Well you asked about Teal’c and I think he’s with Xander and his new toy.”
“Toy what toy?”
“An X-box and something about NHL hockey.” Shrugged Sam heading down the hall.
“Hockey! All right. What’s an X-box?”
Sam rolled her eyes at him. “A video game system.”
“Oh.. so what does that have to do with hockey?”
Sam shrugged “You’re asking me?” She stopped before a door and knocked. “Ask them.”
A voice yelled out “COME IN!” and Sam pushed open the door to reveal three people. A young girl on the bed sharpening some knives while watching Teal’c and another young man with shaggy black hair, sitting in front of a TV obviously playing some sort of hockey game.
“Teal’c you have a visitor.” Sam announced.
“Yeah, yeah give us a minute, it is third period and 45 seconds left to go… and we are bloody well tied. Damn I am sounding like Giles again.” Responded the young man, fiercely focused on the TV and game.
The woman looked up flashing a smile at Sam, who returned it, and frowned a bit looking at Jack for a long moment, then shrugged and returned to watching and sharpening her many knives.
“I see.. damn you have Mario on your team.. hell and Gretsky, kiddo you are dead.” Stated Jack, quickly seeing the gist of the game, his voice distracted Teal’c and he looked up at Jack.
“General O’Neill?!” In the moment Teal’c looked away Xander scored.
“YES!!! And you lose.” Grinned Xander. Teal’c looked back at the screen confused, then sighed.
“Indeed my distraction was your assistance, congratulations Xander.” Teal’c intoned standing up to shake Jack’s hand. “It is good to see you O’Neill.”
“I see having youngsters around has corrupted you, but at least you have good taste in hockey players.” Teased Jack, smiling at the other two.
“Xander allowed me to pick first and I chose the names you have mentioned often in the past.” Replied Teal’c nodding his head slightly.
“Hey I have to be a little nice, but he is getting the hang of the game.” Xander stuck his hand out. “I’m Xander.”
Jack took the hand and shook it, noting the firm grip and calluses. “Jack, so how’d you lose the eye?” in a matter of fact tone. Sam flinched a little and Faith just rolled her eyes.
“Evil Preacher put his thumb in it in one of those I am going to destroy the world rants. You know how it goes.” Deadpanned back Xander not even cracking a smile.
“Yeah, why do they always have to describe all their plans in detail, only good point is it gives you time to shoot them before you die of boredom.” Replied Jack, then both he and Xander grinned.
Teal’c turned to the girl on the bed. “O’Neill this is SlayerFaith.”
The girl sighed “I swear I have told him at least a thousand times, just Faith, but he just smiles and keeps up with it. Nice ta’metcha.” Not setting down the knives.
Jack blinked at her for a moment, then nodded. “Good to meet you too kiddo. So I hear you two are going off world soon?”
Faith had frozen looking at him, mind racing furiously while she chewed on her lip. “Jack…. Jack O’Neill?” Jack had turned to look at her, a puzzled look on his face.
Jack, a newly promoted Major was out at various colleges doing talks about being pilot in today’s air force, rather than staying at icky hotels while he was in Boston he was crashing with his cousin Holly for the two week stay.
Holly was a volunteer at the local women’s shelter and her project this summer was a young girl with an eight-year-old daughter. Jack had of course been talked into child-sitting while Holly was taking the mom to AA meetings and job interviews.
“Jack, we are going out, please don’t lose yourself to the hockey game, Faith is a bit too active to do that. Jack do you hear me?”
“5x5 Holly, I got it, baby sitting duties. 5x5.” Jack turned and looked at the little girl, long dark hair and big eyes. “What say you and I go to the park kiddo? You want to do that?”
The little girl grinned. “5x5 Jacky, 5x5.”
Jack laughed picking her up. “You are going to be quite the spitfire when you grow up aren’t you?”
“5x5! 5x5!” She said happy and grinning at having someone actually pay attention to her.
~end flash back~
“You were Holly’s friend, I called you Jacky, and you.. YOU taught me 5x5.” Exclaimed Faith standing up.
Jack looked stunned. “You.. you are little Faith, the one I watched? Wow… did you ever grow up.
Faith launched herself at Jack, who found a slayer in his arms, and not knowing what else to really do, he hugged her back. Faith whispered in his ear softly “Thank you, you made the years that came after much easier, remembering that a stranger took the time to care, let me not follow my mom down into the hell she created. Thank you.”
Then she pulled back and was grinning at Xander. “Well the mystery of 5x5 is solved, and for once it was not a bad thing.”
Xander sighed “Figures, secret military operation and one of the people there is a long lost uncle… yeesh our lives and destiny.. if Anya was still around I would be worried about now.” Walking over to hug Faith quickly.
Jack shook his head “Well now all we need is the announcement that Thor is…”
Overhead a voice squawked, “General O’Neil, Colonel Carter, Xander Harris, Faith Revere, Daniel Jackson and Teal’c are requested to meet General Landry in the briefing room.”
Xander glared at him, “You had to say it didn’t you.. you just had to say it.”
General Landry was standing in the conference room looking rather unsure of himself, a strange look on the normally self-confident general. A small grayish alien was standing next to him, blinking slowly looking at pictures of the various SGC teams.
Jack wandered towards the conference room, not in a great hurry; Sam and Teal’c followed, with Xander and Faith following, talking and joking a bit. Jack shook his head as he walked in the room and saw the uncomfortable General and Thor.
“Thor, how are ya doing buddy?”
Thor nodded his head. “I am well O’Neill. I had hoped I mi...” Thor trailed off, and began to blink rapidly as he looked at Xander who had just walked in the room.
“Hmm.. what do you know the Roswell aliens exist, damn, and here I thought Dannyboy was kidding.” Remarked Faith staring at Thor with fascination.
“Uh.. guys, general like people, why is the little grey guy standing there blinking at me?” Xander looked at himself then back at the alien, who was blinking even faster.
Jack and Hank both looked at each other, then Thor, and Jack asked “Thor buddy, what’s up with all the excitement?”
Faith snickered whispering to Sam, “That is excitement?”
Sam whispered back, watching just as curious as everyone else “For him it is the equivalent of yelling and running around the room.”
Thor beamed out of the room, then back in holding a device that he pointed at Xander, it beeped and burbled for a moment then stopped and Thor looked at him, blinking even faster. “You have a perceiver, one of Grimnirs line.” Thor spoke in a hushed voice, and all of them looked at him confused.
Everyone in the room looked confused, Daniel, who might have understood, had not shown up yet, so Jack looked at a very confused Xander and glared at Thor. “Okay Thor explain.”
Thor paused for a moment then spoke, “Back when my people were here Loki, I, and Hemindall were all active on the earth while Odin was here too. There was a human named Grimnir who associated with us on a regular basis, especially Odin, helping him research and attempting to learn all he could to help his people. Loki in a display of his normal twisted sense of humor encouraged him to sacrifice his eye for wisdom, ancients knowledge. Grimnir became a little insane, and we were not happy with Loki, as usual. In recompense he attached the knowledge to Grimnirs genes, so it would be passed onto his children. What we did not realize until many generations had passed was that for the majority of the descendants unless they also paid the price of the loss of an eye that knowledge would not awaken. He has paid it and has Grimnirs blood in his past. He has the knowledge in him and can see truth in all forms. We had not realized any with his blood still remained, Grimnir was not very prolific while he was on earth.”
That was by far one of the longest speeches anyone in the room had heard an Asgard make. Xander was looking at Thor with a look of wry acceptance. “So you’re telling me, that I have knowledge because my eye got poked out, and some ancestor of mine fell prey to a bad practical joke?”
Thor took a moment to process what Xander had said, then nodded. “Yes. You will find more and more things you just know and will be able to see what others cannot. You may find an affinity with ravens, Grimnir always claimed he could see through their eyes, and knew what they knew, and could prove it, but it was a long time ago.”
Xander just shook his head looking at all this. “And to think I was tired of vampires, next time I complain about being bored, just remind me of who I am.” He sat down in a chair with a wry smile. Faith sat down next to him, and underneath the table where no one could see gave his hand a quick squeeze.
Jack sighed “And people wonder why my hair turned grey, Hank so glad this is your mess not mine. Thor what did you actually need?”
Thor blinked then looked at Jack. “Ah yes, I have come to ask if …” The conversation quickly devolved into a request for some personnel in regards to an experiment slash expedition they wanted to carry out, but needed some help with, both Jack and Hank looked at each other, sighing and started to figure out who they could lose or use. One of the requests involved getting Heimdall back, and substituting Thavsir on the Daedaules, all of which took time. Everyone else quickly drifted out of the room, with Sam and Teal’c intercepting Daniel who had been translating with headphones on and had not heard the announcement. Xander and Faith headed back to his room, Xander’s mind still whirling with the consequences.
As they reached his door Xander stopped. “Faith…wanna come in for a little bit, I want to talk to you about something.”
A lightening grin “Talk hmm? That’s what they all say.” As she headed in the door, curling up on one of the rockers.
Xander followed her in with an attempt at humor “Oh I might try something, if I wasn’t sure you would snap me in half.”
Faith stopped for a moment and her smile faded, looking at Xander earnestly. “Try sometime, you might be surprised.”
Xander closed his eye for a moment trying to fight down hope, and forced a smile. “Maybe.. but.. um.. wanted to talk to you about Hyena and Solider.”
Faith sighed, she had kinda hoped he might make a move, but…”Who?”
“Hyena and Solider.” Xander repeated laying on his stomach on the bed, looking at her.
“Who are they?” Faith asked shrugging a little.
“The spirits that live inside me.”
Authors Note: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who reviewed and reviews. Often finding the review in my mailbox is what gets me to write the next part, so thank you. I hope everyone enjoys.
Added Note: I fixed the hockey error ghostworks pointed out (thank you). ianquest pointed out that Teal'c knew about video games and has played hockey on them before... well.. short of pulling the chapter and completely re-writing it... it is staying.. enjoy it for the idea? Sorry... and btw if you watch Atlantis they make mention of the Asgard being off somewhere doing something, they had to pull Heimdall to do it... that is what Thor is there in relation to.
Thanks again to everyone.