Show and Tell
The alarm went off and Xanders eyes sprang open. ~we passed we are in… now just it’s show and tell time~ He bounced out of bed, ignoring everything to dance around the room in sheer unadulterated joy. Slowly the joy faded remembering his talk to come with Giles and his own residual guilt. ~okay maybe I won’t kill him, but damn am I going to heap a shit load of guilt on his head, he was the adult she should have protected her.~ He firmly ignored the small voice that whispered in his ear ~I loved her, I should have protected her~
Washing, dressing, and walking to the cafeteria were all done humming with on again off again joy, bouncing back and forth between being ecstatic to be here, and worry about how to apologize enough to Faith. The only option he had been able to come up with was to never let her get hurt because of his inaction again, and pray that was enough.
Walking into the cafeteria he saw here there, working her way through a breakfast that would make most football players stuffed. She looked up and saw him and grinned, a smile that let him know he was truly forgiven.
~I am still going to hurt Giles though~ was his he thought as he grabbed food and sat down.
“Hiya gorgeous, got room for me?” Grinning at her as he sat down, eating, but mostly he watched her and thought about what was ahead.
“Always boytoy, what would I do with out you around to keep me honest.” Faith winked at him, as she finished off the last piece of sausage on her plate.
He shrugged “Rule the world?” Snickering a bit as she thought about it.
“Nah.. too much work, would rather be waited on, working is too much effort, after all I might break a nail or something.” They both laughed; Faith had never shied away from any hard work, at least any work requiring physical effort.
“So wanna talk about what to say to the suits in our show and tell? I think they are going to tell the truth, but…. While I might be beginning to trust them, I don’t trust their superiors, and I don’t want to tell them about the other slayers. How about we don’t mention the whole potentials no more thing, and just leave it with you, Buffy, and Spike to close the Hellmouth. They will live without knowing the exact details. Giles can fend for himself, and we never mention what Dawn use to be. Anya is fine, I just don’t want other groups hunting down the girls for their abilities.” He talked quickly and low, making sure no one was around to hear them
Faith looked at her plate for a long moment, chewing, then looked up. “Yeah.. best bet, everything but the other active girls. How we going to prove this whole vamp thingy, you know they don’t really wanna believe.”
He nodded eating also, but he had been thinking about this aspect. “And Willow, I really don’t even want to mention the whole destroy the world thing. I was thinking about this before we left, and asked Willow to keep one on had for a while about a week or so after three weeks were up, so she should be ready to bring one to us? Sides’ I kinda also want her to have a contact number if something does happen, that way she might not go psycho.”
“K, you got it boytoy, we keep mum on others, just tell them about B. No last names right?”
“Hell no… except for Giles, still annoyed at him.” Xander growled down at his food, aware at least some of his anger at Giles was actually anger at himself.
“Eh… works for me.” She polished off the rest of the food on her plate then stood, arching her back and exposing her taunt stomach for all to see. The noise level dropped as various people watched her stretch appreciatively.
“Exhibitionist.” Muttered Xander, trying to not grin, even as he was trying even harder to not to want to touch that taunt stomach.
“Yep… that me.” Completely unconcerned, dropping off her tray and waiting for him, then they headed down the corridor together.
Teal’c was waiting for them but the rest had not gotten there yet, so Xander took advantage of the opportunity. “Teal’c I never got a chance to say thank you for not explaining the odd ability to call me you have, and you really haven’t met Faith. Faith this is the man who I was talking with prior to showing up in your shower.”
Teal’c and Faith looked at each other weighing and focusing. “You are indeed fortunate, Xander, if you were in a shower with such a fine warrior female.”
Xander choked and Faith started to laugh. Teal’c just looked at them confused, for she was a fine warrior and a good choice for another warrior like Xander. “She would make a strong mate Xander.”
That set Faith off onto another set peel of giggles that had her on the floor. Xander was torn between agreeing with Teal’c and laughing his ass off at the idea of Faith wanting him, so he settled for just looking at Teal’c with a dumbfounded look.
This is how the others found them, Faith on the floor giggling and Xander sitting in a chair looking at Teal’c with a look that all of them recognized from when Teal’c was first there and said something imminently logical to him, but that totally confounded everyone else.
Daniel looked at the three of them and sighed, “So what exactly did Teal’c say?”
Xander just blushed and turned red, Faith giggled all the harder, so Daniel turned to Teal’c with a look, that told him to spill it.
Teal’c shrugged. “I simply pointed out the Faith would be a good mate for Xander as she is a warrior of great skill.”
Sam’s mouth twitched at the phrasing and she glanced at Faith who was trying hard to stop giggling. “At least you are a ‘warrior of great skill’; usually I get the ‘soft pretty blonde suitable for breeding’ comment from the aliens I meet.”
That comment made Faith laugh more, turn to look at Sam and then really start laughing. “Colonel Carter, no offense, but you would never strike me as soft. I might call you brilliant, stubborn, and stunning maybe. But I just can’t see you as a broodmare under any circumstances.”
That made Sam smile, then they were both laughing while all the men stood there with uncomfortable looks on their faces
Landry cleared his throat “If we could all sit down.” Gesturing to the table. Everyone took a seat, Faith wiping the tears from her eyes.
“We will go first, as you already know about the Gou’ald. Nine years ago, Dr. Jackson here discovered how to make something called a Chappi’a work to travel from this planet to other planets. We call it the StarGate. Currently our mission is to explore, meet other cultures, and provide the first line of defense for any race with unfriendly intentions towards us.” He firmly ignored the snickers and muttered comments of “unfriendly my ass, try genocidal intents” and continued on with this explanation. “In our exploration we ran into a race called the Gou’ald, they are snake like parasites that can take over and control a human, and as far as we know the human can not resist.” Both Faith and Xander winced at that, looking at each other, and Xander made another mental note to talk to Willow. “A few months ago, they were mostly defeated, and now are only scattered and much less powerful than they were, though they are still a threat as we know there are some currently living on earth, and we have not found them all yet. In addition we have run into another race that is just as worrisome.”
Daniel and Teal’c both nodded. And Daniel spoke up. “What do you know about ascended beings?”
Faith looked blank, but Xander frowned (assuming he has general knowledge of what went on in the Angel series) “I have an ex girlfriend who ascended, if by that you mean died and became a Powers that Be.”
Faith looked at him, then grinned, “Oh you mean Cordy? Yeah well she came back to life too.”
Now it was Daniels turn to look blank but Sam snickered “Well now you know you weren’t the only person to ascend and come back.”
“Well obviously, after all we have met Orlin, but what is a Powers that Be?” Faith gave Sam a dirty look, which Sam only chuckled at, before looking at Xander.
Mitchell interrupted “Wait you have one ex who ascended, another who was a demon?”
Xander shook his head “That is nothing; I had one try to eat me, another try to suck the life out of me… I really don’t do well with demon females.” The annoyance level in his voice made most of the men snicker, even though they were still confused by the idea of demons.
“As to what a PTB is, hell if I know, glowly swirly beings with power that meddle in people lives.” He shrugged. “Not like I ever was one to be able to tell you.”
“Oh no that would be Daniel.” snarked Sam grinning at Daniel.
“Ah.. I see…no not really, you went all glowly and came back? Ummm.. why?” Asked Xander, confused by it. “I mean I know Cordy came back, but I thought that was because she couldn’t not help, but then she died again.”
Landry saw Daniel and Sam getting ready to get into the discussion about ascension and broke in “This is a topic for another time, for now Daniel please continue.”
Daniel shook off the questions he wanted to ask, noting them down to pursue at a later point, and continued his explanation. “I know I explained some of this previously, but we have recently found out there are two groups of ascended, one which has a policy of non-interference and one that thrives on having people under its sway. This second group is called the Ori and they are rabid in their attempts to convert. They are willing to destroy people, cities, and even planets if everyone does not accept their gods. The Ori. They send out ‘missionaries’ called priors who are not of the live and let live agenda belief. We are trying to come up with a viable response to them right now.”
Faith and Xander exchanged looks “So we are talking priests with a real bad attitude problem correct?”
Daniel looked at the others and shrugged “Essentially.”
Xander just sighed “What is it with me and priests? No offense Teal’c but I had really hoped you had exaggerated this part.”
Everyone on the SGC side looked a little confused, staring at Xander. He sighed and pointed to the patch covering his eye. “A priest working for the First Evil was the one who put his thumb through my eye.” There were various winces in reaction to that image.
Daniel frowned looking down “Mostly we travel to stars different planets and try to find new technology to help protect earth… maybe you should tell us your story, as it seems like we are missing an awful lot of the subtext.”
Everyone focused on Xander, and he swallowed and resolutely not looking at Faith, he started out with the edited version of the truth they were willing to tell. “The town I grew up in always had a high death rate, people disappeared all the time, but no one noticed, you just moved on. My sophomore year this blonde came to school, she was beautiful, and like any other hormonal 15 year old, I fell head over heels.” Smiling wryly to himself, lost in the memories for a moment. “Being said stupid teenager, I followed her and overheard her in the library talking to the librarian about vampires. Come to find out they were real and she was the Slayer. The Slayer is a girl chosen once in every generation to be gifted with mystical power to slay vampires. I found out the hard way how to do it, when one of my best friends from kindergarten was turned, and I was the one who put the stake through his chest and watched him turn to dust. Willow and I decided that one girl she could not fight alone, so breaking all the rules, this tradition the Slayer had help. Over time Willow became a powerful witch, and I helped out where ever I could. I was just me.” Xander shrugged again, not looking at the people listening to his story, but aware of Faith’s hand on his leg, under the table, touching, giving him support.
“When she was 16 the girl died, I did CPR and resurrected her, but she was dead for long enough to call a new Slayer. When that Slayer died Faith was called.” Nodding at Faith absently. “We kept fighting, a werewolf worked with us for a while, and we fought. Demons, vampires, robots, all the things drawn to the Hellmouth we lived on top of. My senior year at graduation we blew up the high school to destroy a demon that would have …” Xander paused looking at them “Lets just say it would not have been of the good.” He took another deep breath. “We kept fighting, a Hell God showed up in town and did damage, extreme amounts of damage both physical and emotional. To stop her The Slayer jumped into a dimensional vortex and died. We did not know how to function with out her and believing” he stopped and shuddered taking another deep breath. “Believing her to be in hell we cast a spell and resurrected her again, this time after she had been dead for three months. We were wrong, she had not been in hell, but heaven and we ripped her out. It was rocky road for a long time, but still we fought. Then the First Evil came… “ Finally focusing on the people listening he saw all the levels of disbelief and confusion. “Imagine the embodiment of evil, you know that that little voice that makes you want to hurt people, to do something cruel just because? Well imagine that incarnate. It showed up to try and open the hell mouth. We fought, and fought, and eventually at great sacrifice including my ex-fiancée’s life, we won. The Hellmouth closed and took with it the town of Sunnydale. Since then we’ve relocated and still we fight. But since there were two slayers, Faith chose to come with me, and the other stayed to fight.”
Xander sighed, he had not lied, but still there was so much he had not told. He focused on the look of disbelief on the faces and waited for the barrage of questions.
Sam was first out of the gate “That is not possible magic, demons, vampires, none of it is real, I read about Sunnydale, it was a freak natural sink hole that appeared.” Frowning at them confused, how could such intelligent people believe in such nonsense?
A twist to his lips “Abracadabra. Showtime Willow. Could you please bring a vampire to where I am?” Xander spoke out loud, and Mitchell paled.
“Ah shit is she coming here?” The general and Sam looking confused. But Teal’c stood up against the wall, wishing he could carry weapons while on base.
“Yeah I set this up with her prior to leaving, I thought you might need real proof even after Riley spoke to you, but if you can see about getting the records on a program called The Initiative and the experiments Maggie Walsh did, that should give you the proof you need. Most of the records were destroyed but some should still be there.” Xander shrugged, scientific types always needed hard proof, and a reminder of powerful friends was not a bad thing either, he really did not want to ‘disappear’ on some unknown planet.
There was a soft pop and a red headed woman they all recognized from last time appeared with a terrified young man bound at her feet, all of the SGCs members rose outraged, Xander and Faith just sat there unmoved, though Faith wrinkled her nose as the demon presence.
“What the hell is going on around here? One I am REALLY tired of having people pop into my secure base, two why the hell do you have that young man tied up like that release him at ONCE!” General Landry was all but screaming.
“I brought a vamp, Xander said you might need proof so I brought one.” Piped up Willow brightly. “Good thing too I was starting to get worried and was thinking about coming looking for him.” With a warning tone in her voice, looking at the General, eyes starting to bleed grey. Landry blanched. But then her eyes were green again; she all but skipped over to Xander, put a stake in his hand and kissed his cheek. “I am glad you are okay. You too Faith.” With another quick smile at the Slayer.
“Glad to see you Wills, General, I wanted her to have a contact number that she could call, so she doesn’t have to um.. pop in if she is worried about us?”
The General visibly fumed, but pulled out a business card and wrote a number on it. “If they go too long with out contact call this number and we can give you an update.”
“Coolies, thanks Gen. Well I was in the middle of something, so toodles.” She waved and then disappeared, leaving a room of outraged, confused military personnel looking at the young man weeping piteously on the floor, bound tightly hand and foot.
Xander listened to the uproar for a moment sharing a rolling eye look with Faith then spoke up. “Guys.. hey GUYS!!”
Sam and Daniel quit arguing about who was going to release the poor lad, Teal’c was still against the wall looking like he wanted a weapon badly, Cameron was just trying to decide whether to crack up laughing or strangle them, but the General looked like he was on the edge of having a stroke.
Landry turned and glared at Xander, who actually flinched. “Please tell your ‘friends’ they are NOT allowed to pop in unannounced onto secure military bases, and WHAT is the meaning of bringing this young man here!!!”
Clearing his throat a little uncomfortably Xander responded. “Who in here knows how to take a pulse or check for a heart beat?” Completely ignoring the General’s question. Carter, Mitchell, and Jackson all raised their hands, and Xander shrugged. “Would one of you carefully go check his pulse?”
Looking at each other now really confused, Mitchell walked over to the young man. “Please don’t hurt me, I’ll do what ever you want, just let me go, please?” The man begged, looking at everyone in the room beseechingly, Xander and Faith the only ones completely unmoved.
“I’m sure it is just a misunderstanding, you will be let go soon.” Mitchell soothed getting near the young man and placing his hand on his neck, and then froze. The skin was cold and there was no pulse beating in that neck, he turned to look at the others, when the vampire lunged forward, face shifting to fangs and ridged brow, aiming for Mitchell’s neck. Faster than anyone could react Faith was there, the stake Willow had handed Xander in her hand, and she had the vamp by the hair, holding him back, restraining him from attacking.
“HOLY SHIT!” Mitchell swore, leaping backwards, looking at the creature in front of him with horror.
“I’ll kill you all, I will drink you dry you will fill me with food, then I will kill everyone here.” The vampire hissed out, struggling against Faith’s hold, all of his attention on the food he could smell so close.
“Knock, knock, ya forgettin’ somthin?” Faith inquired, rapping the stake on his head. The vampire turned looking up at her then hissed in horror.
“Slayer…” and he began to fight even all the harder. Being newly turned, and tied up very efficiently Faith held him without much effort waiting for orders, watching the others in the room.
The room was silent except for the vampire and slowly they turned to look at Xander still sitting in the chair waiting. “Only Teal’c took me seriously when I said she would come with a vamp. I have not lied to you about the existence of anything. Vampires replicate easily and so finding one for you was not difficult. They are real, deadly, and have no drop of humanity in them. When Faith shoves that stake into its heart, it will crumble to dust. The person they were is dead. Demons are real magic is real vampires are REAL.”
Xander stood up during that last sentence looking all of them dead on. “I have fought these things since I was 15 years old and lived, most don’t. Faith is a Slayer, she is made to kill these, but now you have impressed upon us that you have greater need of our skills, and for now there is someone else to protect us against what goes bump in the night. I speak only from experience when I say there are creatures out there that mean us harm. So decide now, do we stay or do you not want to accept these facts about us. It is your choice.”
Only Faith knew Xander well enough to recognize how tense he was, and she worried, ~I really don’t wanna leave, but if they kick us out, I go with him~
The SGC personnel were silent, stunned, looking at the vampire Faith held easily, and Sam inched forward, touching his neck, and drawing back with a soft hiss of surprise as what Mitchell had felt was confirmed. “I… I never believed, I thought they were just stories, or maybe.” glancing at Daniel “corruptions of events involving aliens, it never occurred to me that they might be true.” Backing away from the vampire slowly, never taking her eyes off of it.
Daniel swallowed slowly. “So all of the stories and tales are true?”
Xander snorted “From what I have learned and had explained to me, repeatedly, most fairy tales have literal historical bases. We personally have run into one or two of the original catalysts for some of those stories.”
Daniel’s eyes lit up as he nodded from Daniel “You personally have met the? Then I assume you will be able to help me figure out which stories are based on the magical world, and which are based on alien intervention, and perhaps we can cross reference with alien stories and writings.” His mind slowly taking over and overriding the atavistic fear the vampire caused in all of them.
“Sure, just remember what Agent K said ‘A *person* is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.’, most people don’t want to know and can’t handle knowing this is real.” With a wry smile arching a brow at them he added. “Including people who deal with aliens on a daily basis.”
Only Landry got the joke, and he started to laugh “Very well Harris, point taken. What do we do with that though?” Pointing at the vampire who was still fighting Faiths' hold on him.
Xander shrugged. “Faith?” Before he finished saying her name, the stake was in the heart, and you hear the room start to protest, then the stake was out and dust was drifting to the floor. “Call facilities maintenance?”
Everyone was shocked silent, they had heard but not really comprehended. Teal’c was the one to break the silence “Xander and SlayerFaith you are indeed great warriors, and it would be my extreme pleasure to fight by your side.”
Sam and Daniel looked surprised and looked at Teal’c who just stood there and smiled with a very satisfied look smile.
Authors notes: this should be better, sorry for the wrong version earlier.