Author's Note: Thank you to the kind person that nominated this story for a CoA. Now, let the chaos resume.
The first round of coffee served and the next one brewing, Buffy and Dawn returned to the dining room. With only six available chairs, which were already occupied by uninvited guests plus invited boyfriends, the sisters exchanged a look that said what the hell and went to sit on the laps of their respective boyfriends.
Daniel glowered at both young men but stayed silent.
“So, who would like to start?” Buffy asked.
“Start what?” Vala shot back in confusion.
“Start with the explaining. Like why and how did you get here?” Buffy looked straight at Mitchell.
“It's...uh...classified,” he said weakly.
“That's it? Just...classified? Not even an attempt at a lame cover story. You must be new at this,” Buffy sighed. “Dawn, want to give him a starting point?”
Dawn positively beamed. “Well Daniel works for the Air Force doing something with Deep Space Radar Telemetry. We know that Daniel has a background in both archeology and languages, ancient and modern. I'm guessing that the Air Force isn't sponsoring many archaeological digs, so that leaves him doing translations, maybe some cultural analysis which really doesn't quite make a whole lot of sense with radar telemetry but let's pretend it's true.”
Buffy nodded approvingly at her sister as most of the men in the room look uneasy. She noticed with interest that Jay's legs had tensed beneath her as if he knew more about this than a cadet should. “And his friends?”
“Mitchell, obviously military but not used to the really fun classified stuff. Looks to be pretty much out of his element so I'm thinking newbie. Actually, kind of reminds me of Riley.” Dawn stopped as her sister glared at her. “Moving right along, I'd peg Teal'c for a Marine as he has the whole warrior vibe going on but not with that tat. Looks like it could be Egyptian, of the ancient variety, so not local military issue. Vala looks like she works nights. If she's military, Tailhook would have played out way differently.”
Buffy snickered as Mitchell and her father started looking worried. Interestingly, Dawn's Will looked a bit shell shocked as well.
“I'll take that as a confirmation that Dawn was somewhere in the ballpark. So, a not quite military team connected with Deep Space Radar Telemetry shows up in the middle of the night with the only explanation being it's classified. That's okay, Dawn and I get the classified thingie but you guys really need to work on a semi-believable cover otherwise you will just create more conspiracy theories. So, what can you say that's not classified?”
“Well, there was this sword stuck in a stone,” Vala began.
“A sword in a stone?” Dawn turned to her sister. “Buffy, you don't think?”
“And it's not even Tuesday.” Buffy groaned. “Okay, my turn. Dad, you and your friends were poking around somewhere in the land of tweed. You find a sword stuck in a stone and one of you just has to try to play Arthur.”
“Well, uh...” Mitchell mumbled.
“We'll take that as a yes,” Buffy said. “So, Dad, instead of being stuck in your mountain, you and your buddies do a little unauthorized excavation.”
“We had permission,” Daniel said defensively.
“Hardly,” Dawn snorted, “because there's no way the U.S. military was going to be allowed anywhere near that site.”
“Woah, now. Wait as sec,” Mitchell interrupted. “How do you know about the site?”
“Sword in a stone? Classic Arthurian stuff which generally means Merry Olde England. Besides, I spoke to the general's errand boy earlier today. He wanted to talk to Buffy about getting permission for the Air Force to do some digging in, surprise, England.”
“Why would anyone want to talk to Buffy about permission for digging in England?” Daniel asked.
“I've got contacts. I said I'd start making calls on Monday.”
“He wouldn't tell me why, just that the Air Force really needed access to some unspecified site. It's not like it was actually going to do any good anyway. Dawn was right, there was no way they were going to say yes.” Buffy leaned back on Jay. “Besides, Jay had a weekend pass.”
Daniel choked on his coffee.
“You're telling me that you basically told a general that you'd get back to him on Monday because you had a date?” Mitchell shook his head in disbelief.
“Technically I told a colonel. Got a problem with that?” Buffy retorted.
Jay shifted Buffy so that he could see her face but before he could ask his question, the group heard a car pull into the driveway.
- - -
Paul Davis counted his blessings as he walked, briefcase in hand, towards the front door of the Summers home. From the lights blazing on the first floor, there was a good chance that not only was someone home but that they were up and about despite the late hour. He just hoped it was Buffy Summers and not the younger sister.
He rang the doorbell.
- - -
“This night just keeps getting better and better,” Buffy griped as she slid off of Jay's lap. “Dawn, you're in charge until I get back. Make sure no one disappears or gets hurt.”
Buffy exited the dining room.
Jay watched his girlfriend leave the room before turning his attention to Daniel.
“So, anyone bother to let the base know where you are?”
Will stared at the boy. The kid was pretty cocky for a cadet in the presence of superior officers. He reminded him of somebody but he couldn't quite figure out who.
Daniel glared at Jay. “Jac..Jay.”
Jac..Jack? Will finally put it together. Jay was none other than the clone of Jack O'Neill. He valiantly fought the urge to start laughing.
Dawn was startled when Will began to shake behind her. “Will?”
“What is your relationship to Dr. Jackson?” he asked quietly.
“He's Buffy's biological father.”
“He's going to kill her boyfriend.”
- - -
“Colonel Davis,” Buffy greeted her guest. “Why am I not surprised?”
“May I come in?”
He looked at her, puzzled as to what she meant.
“I don't invite
anybody in after
dark.” She stepped back to allow him to enter.
“Oh, yes of course,” he said as he walked into the house.
“So, what can I do for you? Maybe help you find a wayward archaeologist?” Buffy asked as she closed the door behind him.
“How did you,” his voice trailed off as he looked at the remains of her living room. His eyes took in the kindling that was once a coffee table and the scattering of ceramic shards on the floor. He looked upward to see bullet holes in one of the walls.
Davis swallowed hard. This was not good.