Title: Practical Linguistics
Summary: A series of ficlets about Xander and SG-1. It is slowly becoming Xander/Jack. Takes place post-Chosen, but not spoilerific so far.
Disclaimer: I don't even own my car outright, how could I own these guys? They belong to their creators and the production companies, not to this humble little fangirl.
Phoneme: The units of a phonetic system that are percieved to be distinctive sounds in a language. In other words, the sounds that matter in a language.
At first Xander had put his homesickness down to the language differences in Africa. I mean, he couldn't expect to feel at home when everyone around him was speaking French mixed with Swahili, or doing that clicking thing (which should only occur when Giles was really mad, and not as part of a language). Even when people spoke English, like some of the Watchers he'd met up with, the accent was so strong that Xander never forgot where he was. But after he'd returned to the States, he'd still felt out of place. Lost. Conversations swirled around him, but they just didn't sound right.
He didn't think it was the Scooby slang he missed so much. He could get that on long, trans-oceanic phone calls. It was fun to talk to Buffy and Willow, trading pop culture references along with tales of demons as they had long distance ice cream fests, but it didn't fill the gap. He didn't think it was just the lack of face time with his girls, either. He needed to be a grown up, meet new people, and all that jazz. But the new people he met, whether in Africa, Cleveland, or LA, still felt like they were speaking a different language.
He'd become pretty much inured to his feelings of detachment, so he hadn't expected anything different when Giles asked him to liaise with a linguist and archeologist about some artifacts that had been unearthed in the Council vaults. He had argued about going onto a military installation to meet the guy, but he'd gone anyway. Waiting at the guard station while his credentials were verified, Xander had listened absently to the sharp military cadences, shivering over old Initiative memories and feeling more alone than ever.
That's when he heard them. That excited academic babble he knew from years of listening to Willow and, occasionally, Giles was coming from a sandy haired man walking toward him. His glasses couldn't hide the enthusiasm in his blue eyes. The taller man with him listened with amused tolerance, piercing the flow of words with occasional sarcastic quips. Xander straightened up, letting the sounds of their conversation flow over him. Everyone here was speaking English, but these two men were speaking his language. Xander smiled. He felt like he'd finally come home.