Xander, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer
, and all other characters and imprimatura are property of Joss Whedon, 20th Century Fox, and Mutant Enemy. Stargate and its characters are property of its creators, producers, and distributers. No infringement is intended. No profit will be made.Not-the-Author’s Note:
I did not write this. My brother did. At this point, I’ve posted more of his stories than my own. *sigh* This is the tenth installment of his Xander series. Previous chapters are:
1. Don’t Lose Your Head (Xander/Highlander)
2. Medium-Sized Trouble in Little China (Xander/Big Trouble in Little China)
3. Loose Dead Ends (Xander/Dead Last)
4. Car Shopping (Xander/Herbie)
5. An unCharmed Life (Xander/Charmed)
6. Vegas Vacation (Xander/CSI)
7. From Beneath You, It Devours (Xander/Tremors)
8. Slayer Development (Xander/Arrested Development)
9. Buy Hard (Xander/Evil Dead)Gate Crossing
Xander flipped open his cell phone and dialed a number.
“Hey, Riley. It's Xander. How you been, man?” Xander said.
“Oh, nothing much. Just thought it had been awhile since I called. Wanted to see how things are.... No, I'm not in trouble. You don't have to assume I need your help every time I call.”
Xander turned and smiled at the nervous girl next to him.
“Although, there is this situation that if you put a word in, could maybe help me out.... Yeah, it's no big deal. If you could contact, wait a minute here. Cassie, what's the name of the guy in charge?”
Xander listened to Cassandra Fraiser as she answered.
Xander turned back to his phone. “Brigadier General Jack O'Neill. With two L's. But I'm sure it's nothing big. I just wanted to give you a heads up so... Wait a sec.”
Xander glanced out the window, as he heard several cars blow up.
“Cassie, those guys are on our side, right?”
Cassie looked at him nervously. “I think so. Sam said they'd be right here.”
“Great.” He turned back to his phone. “So anyway. I'm sure I can clear everything up eventually. But a word from you could speed things up. Whatever you think is -”
Xander looked up as five heavily armed men stormed into the room.
“PUT YOUR HANDS UP AND SET AWAY FROM THE GIRL!” the lead soldier shouted.
Xander turned. “It's okay. Cassandra and I just -”ZAP!
Xander's body twitched violently, then fell to the ground.Eight hours earlier…
Xander sighed as he walked through the high school courtyard. He was on the trail of a possible Slayer.
A few days ago, he had gotten word from Giles that the Council was trying a new way to track Slayers down. A spell would be cast that identified humans with energy signatures that strayed from the normal baseline. The spell was then made more specific, narrowing it down to females of the right age and other characteristics. It gave a 90% probability that the identified person was a Slayer.There's got to be a way to scope out a possible Slayer without doing the whole creepy older guy hanging around the school. I have to find this Cassandra Fraiser, and all I have is a name right now. I really hope that when the day's over, I'm not arrested.
Xander turned and entered the administrative office. Just as he entered he saw an older man yelling at a student aide.
“You lost the files? They were plainly labeled. How could you lose them?” the man yelled.
“I'm sorry. They were in the same pile as the files you wanted mailed out.” the girl explained.
“No. I gave you two piles. One to go back to the records, one to be sent to the district office. It was very simple. How could you screw it up?”
“I'm sorry, sir. I'll call the office and see if they can return it.” the girl offered.
“Forget it. I'll call them. You stick to making copies, if it's not too difficult.” And with that, the man turned and exited the office.Got it. Thank god for abusive school officials.
Xander walked up to the desk the girl sat at. Xander saw her eyes were red and she was sniffling.
“Wow. The bug up that guy's ass must have a bug up its ass.”
The girl stifled a small laugh and looked up at Xander.
“So what was his drama about?” Xander asked.
“Vice Principal Andrews gave me a bunch of files. Some had to go back in the records room. A bunch of others had to be sent to the main district office. He says I sent the wrong one out. But even if I did, we can get them back easy enough. I'm not even supposed to handling postage duties. That has to be done by an administrator.” the girl explained.
Xander glanced down at her ID badge.
“So, April. Let me guess. He shoves all his extra paperwork onto the unpaid office aides, then brags about how well run he keeps the office. But goes ballistic if even one scrap of paper isn't where he expects it.”
April allowed herself a small smile.
“Reminds me of my old high school principal. Total control freak. I think he actually got physical pleasure in punishing students. Your vice principal reminds me of him. He's probably just frustrated. I doubt he's gotten laid since the Reagan administration.”
April smiled at that. She quickly stopped and looked around to see if anyone noticed her expression.
Xander looked around . “Look, I was really hoping you could help me out. I'm Alexander Harris with the London School for Gifted Women. I'm here for a meeting with one of the students and her family.”
As Xander spoke, he pulled out his ID and some official looking papers.
“Like an interview?” April asked.
“Exactly. This time of year, I'm traveling ninety percent of the time. But when I got into town, I realized that I left all the meeting information at the hotel I was at last night. I called the hotel, and they can send me my stuff, but that won't be for a week. I'd call back at the admissions office, but the person there... well let's say he can be very reminiscent of Vice Principal Andrews.”
“So you have a meeting, but don't know where to go?”
Xander nodded. “Yeah. All I have is the student's name and the high school.”
“You want contact information on a student?”
“Her name is Cassandra Fraiser.”
April looked nervous. “We're really not supposed to give out any personal information on the students.”
Xander let his face fall briefly, then gave April a sad smile. “I understand. I'd hate to get you into anymore trouble with the vice principal. I guess I can call my boss and take the lumps. I just hope he can get me the info on the meeting in time. I fly out this evening. Hate to mess up Cassandra's college plans over this.”
Xander gathered his belongings, and turned to leave.
“Mr. Harris?” April called out.
“Call me Xander.”
“Um... I was just wondering... if it's not too rude... Could you tell me...” April mumbled.
“How I lost the eye?” Xander finished for her.
“I guess people ask you that a lot.”
“Pretty often.” Xander said.
“What do you tell them?”
“It depends. If it bugs me, I give a smart ass joke. If I'm trying to impress them, I'll make up a wild story. And on very rare occasions, I might even tell them the truth.” Xander explained.
April fidgeted under his gaze. “So...?”
Xander leaned in closer, and put on a sad smile. “I was rescuing a group of innocent girls. I just got them to safety, when a dangerous lunatic got the drop on me.”
“Nice to see where I fall.” April grinned. She stopped and looked around the office, then turned back to Xander. “I really shouldn't do this. But give me five minutes and I can get you Cassandra's phone, address, and guardian information.”
“Thanks. And I promise not to be a creepy stalker type and put this to bad use.”
A few minutes later April returned and discreetly handed Xander a piece of paper.
“Thanks again.” Xander said. “And if your vice principal gets on your case again, just look on the bright side. He could get eaten by a giant snake.”
As Xander left the office, April's laughter echoed down the hall.
Xander waited in his truck outside the address he had been given. Xander had arrived a few minutes earlier, but found no one home.Glad I brought something to read.
Xander grabbed a paperback, and cracked it open. As he read, he kept a watch on cars driving down the street. Hope someone gets here soon. That black van has passed by here three times. They're probably wondering what I'm doing here. Hope they don't call the police.
Xander read on. Just as he finished the first chapter, he spotted a young woman walking down the sidewalk. Looks like our girl. Time for the Meet and Greet.
Xander closed his book and put it down on the passenger seat. He glanced in the rearview mirror and quickly checked his hair. Lastly he popped a breath mint into his mouth.Time to let loose the old Harris charm. She won't stand a - What the hell?
In front of Cassandra's house, the black van Xander had spotted earlier had pulled up. Xander saw two men grab Cassandra and begin to pull her into the van. Cassandra was fighting back, but Xander could tell she was losing the struggle.
Xander turned the key in his truck, starting the ignition. He stomped down on the accelerator, shooting the truck forward. His truck rammed into the back of the van. One of the men was just getting into the van when the truck hit. The impact threw him out of the van, his head colliding with the road.
Xander reached into the back seat, grabbing a baseball bat, the first weapon he could get his hands on. He jumped out of the truck and ran around to Cassandra and the other man.
“Hey! Let go of her, asshole!” Xander shouted.
The man turned towards Xander. His eyes glowed as he raised his hand up. On his hand was some kind of ornament. Before he could do anymore, Xander swung the bat, striking the man on the side of the head.
“Okay, glowing eyes. Not a good sign.” Xander turned to Cassandra. “You hurt?”
Cassandra looked up at him. After a second, she responded. “No... we have to get out of here. They're dangerous.”
Xander nodded. “Get in the truck.”
Xander climbed into the driver's seat as Cassandra scrambled into the seat next to him.
“Did Sam send you?” Cassandra asked.
Xander glanced at her as he drove off. “Who's Sam?”
“Samantha Carter? Air force officer? You are from the base, right?”
Xander shook his head. “I'm with the London School for Gifted Women. I was coming to talk to you, when those guys in the van jumped you. You did see their eyes glowing, right?”
Cassandra's eyes widened in fear. “You're not with the Air Force? Oh god. Look, just let me out here.”
Xander turned to face her. “Look, I'm not here to hurt you. I just want to talk to you. Now I can let you out where ever you want. Just...” Xander glanced in the rear view mirror. “Crap. Another black van just pulled up behind us.”
Cassandra glanced behind her.
Xander sped the truck up. “You mentioned a base. Can we get to it?”
“Yeah. Cheyenne Mountain. Head towards the interstate.”
Xander turned at the next block. “My name's Xander Harris, by the way. Nice to meet you.”
Xander kept his eye on the rear view mirror. “Can you call someone at the base? Let them know we're being chased.”
Cassie pulled her cell phone and opened it. She quickly dialed a number. “I'm not getting a signal. There are cell phone towers everywhere in this area. What's wrong?”
“They must be jamming us somehow. Don't worry, as long as we get to the base we'll be -” Xander slammed on the brakes.
Cassie looked up and saw another black van blocking the road.
“We need another out. Glad I got the four wheel drive.”
Xander shifted gears then pulled off the road into the woods.
As the truck jostled them around, Cassie looked behind them. “They're still after us.”
In Cheyenne Mountain, Jack O'Neill was walking down to his office, quickly losing his patience.
“I don' see what the problem is.”
Jack looked at the speaker.
“The problem, Daniel, is that for some reason every soldier in the SGC above basic airman is sending me reports. And I'm expected to read every single one.” Jack explained.
“Well, you are the head of the program. You should be aware of what's going on.” Daniel said.
“Yeah? Do you read every article on archeology and ancient Egypt?”
“Well, yes. I find it very relaxing. In fact there was a very interesting article in the latest Journal of-”
“Daniel?” Jack asked.
Just as they arrived at Jack's office, Sam Carter hurried up them.
“Sir, have you heard anything from Cassie?” Sam asked.
Jack looked at her. “No. What's up?”
“Cassie was supposed to call me when she got home. I tried her cell phone, but she didn't answer.” Sam explained.
“Is it possible she just forgot? And she left her cell turned off?” Daniel asked.
Sam shook her head. “No, never. She's always kept in contact when I'm planetside. Ever since Janet died. And considering what's happened in the past, she's made sure to always keep her cell with her.”
“Do you think she may be in trouble?”
“Considering what's happened in the past...” Jack trailed off.
“Sir, I may be overreacting here, but -”
“I'll get Walter to contact the local police and her school. I can assign a few airmen to you. Whatever you need them for. Can you figure out how to track her down?” Jack said.
“I don't know. Maybe I can rig something up. She has a unique genetic code. We still have some samples. I'll get to work on it.”
Sam turned, but stopped as Jack called out to her.
“Sam. We'll get her back. Safely. I promise.”
Cassandra stood back as she watched Xander peek into the windows of the camp cabin, clutching his baseball bat. He pulled back.
“It's clear.” he said. “You get a signal yet?”
Cassandra shook her head. “I tried yours also. I grabbed your bag from the truck.”
Xander nodded. “All right. Here's the plan. You hide out here. I'll take the truck back down the path we came. I'll draw the vans out after me. You keep trying to call for help. Okay?”
“All right. Look, once this is all over, I can give you the whole 'You're not like other girls' speech. Until then, just stay safe and everything will-”
Xander's truck exploded in a fireball. The blast knocked both off their feet.
Xander quickly got up and stared at the twisted blackened wreck.
“MY TRUCK! YOU ASSWIPES BLEW UP MY TRUCK!”
As the two black vans pulled up, Cassandra tugged on Xander's arm. “We have to leave.”
Xander followed Cassandra into the cabin.
“That's where I kept all my stuff.” Xander muttered.
Jack entered the lab looking for Sam. Just as he passed the doors, he spied Sam hunched over a table. She looked up and spotted Jack.
“Have you found out anything?” she asked.
Jack looked grim. “Walter just told me. Local police found a black van with two men knocked out right outside your house.”
“Any sign of Cassie?”
Jack shook his head. “It gets worse. I sent a couple of men out there with one of the doctors. They got IDs on them. Both are connected to the Trust.”
“And they had Go'aulds in them.”
Sam turned back to the equipment on the table.
“We'll find her.”
Just as Jack turned to leave, Daniel entered.
“Have you heard?” he asked.
“We know about the Trust agents found outside Sam's place.” Jack answered.
“Not about them. I talked to Cassie's school. Apparently there was a man there earlier. He was asking about her. He managed to get her address.” Daniel explained.
“The Trust wouldn't need to find out her address from the school.” Sam said.
“And someone knocked out those Trust agents. I don't think Cassie could have done that by herself. There's someone else involved in all this. And if the Trust doesn't have her, he probably does.”
“Then god help him if he tries to keep us from Cassie.” Sam vowed.
Xander ducked back into the doorway of the cabin. Of the three men from the vans, one was unconscious on the floor. He had just entered the cabin when Xander struck him in the face with his bat. The other two began shooting at Xander, but stopped once he dove through doorway. Probably don't want to risk shooting Cassie. I guess they want her alive.
Xander glanced around the cabin. Cassandra was down on the floor by a window, daring to peek out every few seconds. A solid oak table sat at the center of the room. There were some empty bookshelves alongside one wall. At the far wall was a door to the bedroom, the sole other room in the cabin. The back wall had a fireplace with a poker beside it.
Xander tipped over the oak table, erecting a barricade and pulled Cassie behind it. He grabbed the poker and hefted it in his hand.
“Okay, Cassie. Just two of them left. Don't worry. I've got a plan.” Xander said.
“What is it?” Cassandra asked.
“Um... they'll come in and then I'll... wing it.”
“Wing it? You're risking our lives on your ability to wing -”
The men from the van rushed into the room. Xander pivoted and flung his baseball bat. The bat sailed through the air, striking the lead man in the forehead, knocking him out. The second man tripped over his colleague, stumbling. A glass jar the man had been holding slipped from his grip, shattering as it hit the hardwood floor.
Xander jumped over the table towards the man, driving him into the wall. The man pushed Xander back, knocking him to the floor. He ran up to kick Xander in the face, but Xander caught the man's foot. With his other hand, Xander reached up and grabbed the man's shirt and pulled him down and forward. The pull brought the man's head down directly on the top edge of the oak table. The force of the blow knocked the man out.
Xander slowly got up and brushed himself off.
“See. It was a great plan. I just winged it and everything turned out -”
A hideous, shrieking worm/snake hybrid shot forward along the floor towards Cassandra.
“AGGHH! EVIL WORM!” Xander shouted.
Cassandra crawled back, away from the creature, until her back hit the wall behind her. Xander grabbed up the fireplace poker. He swung it down onto the creature as it neared Cassandra. The blow stunned the creature, stopping it mere inches away from Cassandra.
Xander immediately took advantage of this pause. He swung the poker down again and again. After a few tries, he threw it aside and stomped his boot down on the creature’s remains.
“DIE! DIE! FILTHY DISGUSTING WORM THING!” Xander screamed as his stomped on it.
“Um, you can stop now. It's dead.” Cassandra said after a few minutes.
Xander paused and looked down at the smear on the floor.
“Oh.... yeah. Sorry. I have issues about evil worms.”
Cassandra got up from the floor and walked over to the two unconscious men. She carefully rolled one over onto his back and began going through his pockets. After a moment, she pulled out an electronic device.
“What'd you find?” Xander asked.
“I think this may be blocking our cell phones.” She flipped a switch on it and pulled out her phone. She quickly dialed a number and waited. A moment later, the call went through.
“Sam? It's Cassie.”
Xander grinned as he heard the voice shouting from the other end. He stepped back to give Cassandra some privacy. As he did so, he opened his bag and began to go through it.
When Cassandra finished her call, she turned back to Xander. “I gave her a general location of where we are. She said they're going to try to track me down through me cell phone signal. A few soldiers are on their way.”
Xander nodded. “Okay, so we should have a few moments. Look, I really wanted to do this at a more leisurely pace, but I'm not sure I'll be able to talk to you alone for awhile. Cassie, the truth is that you're not like other girls.”
“You know about that?” Cassandra's eyes went wide.
“Yeah. I do. I know how you're stronger, faster, more resilient that normal people.”
Cassandra looked at Xander with an odd expression. “What are you talking about?”
“Cassie, it's okay. I know how in the spring of 2003, things changed for you. Before that you were perfectly normal. Then one moment in late May, everything changed.”
“Um, no, it didn't.”
“Yes, it did.”
“No, I think I would have noticed something like that.”
Xander sighed. “Look, you just got attacked by guys with glowing eyes, carrying some kind of worm demon. Try to keep an open mind. Here, I'll prove it.”
Xander picked up a small rock from the ground, then hurled it at Cassandra. The stone struck her squarely at her forehead.
“OW! What the hell was that for?”
“You were supposed to block it.” Xander explained.
“Not if you throw it that fast. Jesus, that really hurt.” Cassandra said as he rubbed her forehead.
“Look, you weren't paying attention. It's all in the reflexes.” Xander picked up another stone and threw it at her. Again the stone struck her.
“Cut it out, dick! What is your problem?”
“Um... so, no reflexes then?”
“NO!” Cassandra yelled.
“Oh.... Yeah, I think there's been a mistake. You didn't go through any changes in Late May of 2003?”
“I already told you. No, I didn't.” Cassandra began to sniffle at this.
Xander grimaced at this turn of events.Aw crap. There's something different about her, but it's not a Slayer issue. And now she's crying.
Xander walked up and put his hand on Cassandra's shoulder.
“I'm sorry. I'm a jerk for doing that. Look on the bright side. Your friend Sam will be here soon. You'll be back with your family in no time.”
Cassandra glanced up at Xander and began crying even harder.
“My mom's dead.” she said.
Xander absorbed this. He gently hugged Cassandra and rocked her back and forth.
“C'mon, sit down.” he said.
Cassandra sat down with him. After a few moments, her sobs subsided.
“It's just been a really crappy time. Mother's Day is Sunday, and it'll be the first one without her. Then through in this whole kidnapping attempt, and I go all emo girl in front of some guy I don't even know.”
“I think you get a free pass with every attempted kidnapping.” Xander said. He sighed in relief as Cassandra chuckled at his comment. “So, how did she die? If you don't mind me asking.”
Cassandra dried her eyes. “She was a doctor in the Air Force. She got called out to treat some wounded at a battle site. A stray shot hit her. I got the news later that day. I've been staying with a friend of hers until I'm off to college.”
“Doctor. What was she like?”
Cassandra thought for a moment. “She was really smart. And kind. She wasn't really related to me. She adopted me when I was younger. But I always felt safe with her, no matter what happened.”
Xander nodded. After a moment, he spoke. “There was this woman. Her name was Joyce. She was like a model for the perfect mom. She doted on her kids. Made these huge meals for the holidays. Even ruffled my hair a few times. Funny too. But the thing I remember most about her was the way she could make you feel loved with just the tone of her voice.”
Cassandra heard the tremor in Xander's voice as he spoke. “What happened?”
“She had a tumor. She went in for surgery and we thought everything went okay. But a couple of weeks later, she died. It was quick, and I hope painless. It happened years ago, but I still miss her.”
“Was she your mom?” Cassandra asked.
Xander closed his eye and took a slow breath. After a moment, he opened his eye and answered. “She was the woman I wish my mother could be.”
Xander straightened up and looked at Cassandra. “Just from the way you talk about her, there is not a doubt in my mind that your mom loved you. And it's okay to miss her. Even if it means you get a little emo at times.”
“How do you get through it?” Cassandra asked.
Xander thought for a moment. “I just remember that I'll carry a part of her with me wherever I go. Part of my job is that I deal with a lot of young people. Some children, some kids, some older. But almost all of them are going through a rough time when I meet them. So when I try to figure out what to say and how to handle them, I just think to myself 'What would Joyce do?'”
Cassandra gave Xander a sad smile. “I like that. I'll remember it.”
Xander got up off the floor. “Say, this Sam person. Is she the one looking out for you now?”
“And I'm guessing that she's going to go all out to protect you if she thinks you're in danger, right?”
“Yeah, she's like that. Why?” Cassandra asked.
“I may need a good word put in for me.” Xander replied.
Xander flipped open his cell phone and dialed a number.
“Hey, Riley. It's Xander. How you been, man?” Xander said.
Xander groaned as he slowly woke up.
“You're awake. That's good.”
Xander slowly opened his eye. As the sight before him swam in into focus, Xander ran through his memory for how he got here.
“I was... in a cabin.”
“That's right.” answered the man sitting before him. The man was in Air Force BDUs, with salt and pepper hair cut short. Xander couldn't see the rank insignia from his current angle.
“I was talking to a girl. Cassie. Is she okay?”
The man nodded. “She's fine. Sam is with her now. But from what I saw Cassie was in good shape.”
“The soldiers came in. I got shot by something.”
“The Zat'nik'tel. Not a pleasant experience. But no lasting effects. I'm Jack O'Neill, by the way.”
“With two L's?”
Xander glanced around. He was lying on a cot in what looked like an infirmary. Xander was pleased to note the decided lack of armed guards.
“So...am I in trouble?” Xander asked.
“Well, Sam was ready to shoot first and ask questions later when we got to the cabin. She's the one that zapped you, by the way. But when we got back to the base, I got a very interesting phone call from my old CO General Hammond. He's in a branch of Homeland Security now. It seems he was contacted by one Riley Finn.”
“Ah, Riley. One of these days I'm going to have to pay him back.”
“Yeah. Agent Finn explained on how you with an independent but closely allied group dealing with...” Jack glanced down at a paper, “HSTs. Said you were tracking a possible lead and managed to stumble onto the kidnapping attempt.”
“It happens more often than you'd think.” Xander explained.
“That along with Cassie's version of events, plus the remains of the Go'auld we scrapped of the bottom of your shoe tell me that you're not one of the bad guys.”
Xander let out a sigh of relief. “Okay, glad we don't have to do the whole Men in Black scenario.”
Jack studied Xander. “So why did you approach Cassie?”
Xander stopped and thought.I don't want to reveal more than I have to about the Council's search for Slayers. But if he's high up enough to hear about HSTs, I can give him some facts.
“You know how there are some government teams set up to fight HSTs?”
Jack nodded. “Yeah, I didn't get any details, but I have a vague picture.”
“The group I work for is interested in investigating people who are outside the gamut of regular people. Mainly hoping to find people with exceptional fighting skill. They managed a way to identify people who are outside normal human parameters. Cassie showed up on their search.”
Xander saw Jack stiffen as he talked.
“But when I talked to her, I figured out she didn't have any fighting skills.”
“So, you're just going to move on? No questions?”
Xander shrugged. “I know something's different about her. But she seems to have people taking care of her here.”
Jack relaxed. “Good to hear.”
Xander got up off the cot and stretched his muscles. As he stretched, a younger man with brown hair and glasses entered the room.
“Ah, you're up. No lingering pain, I hope?”
“He's fine, Daniel.” Jack said.
Xander nodded. “Yeah, I was just squaring things away with the general here. Guess I'll be on my way and.... aw crap! My truck!”
Jack glanced at Daniel.
“I assume the wreckage we hound outside the cabin used to by your vehicle?” Daniel asked.
“Yeah. Oh, man! All my stuff was in there. My clothes. Food. Maps and equipment. Everything!”
Jack winced at this. “Look, Harris. Fact is you lost your stuff protecting one of my group. That means something to me. We have a pretty well stocked commissary at the base here. You go through it and take what you need.”
Xander looked up. “You serious?”
“Yup. Just grab Walter and he'll get you what you need.”
Jack smiled. “I was just wondering. How did you lose the eye?”
Xander smiled. “That's classified. If I told you I'd have to kill you.”
As Xander walked out the room, Daniel began laughing. Seeing Jack's unamused expression, set Daniel off even more.
“Come on, Jack. That was pretty funny.”
“No, it wasn't.”
“Yeah, it was. See you're a general. So a civilian telling you something is classified is just -”
Jack was talking to Daniel just as Chief Master Sergeant Walter Harriman entered the office.
Walter handed Jack a clipboard with several forms on it.
“What's this?” Jack asked.
Walter looked up, “In order to issue supplies to a civilian, we have to fill out a separate form for each item. Now these are the first few -”
“Oh, for crying out loud! What's with all the paperwork?”
Walter sighed. “Well, we need to keep track of inventory. Each supply has a separate invoice. And each one needs your signed approval.”
Daniel smiled as he watched the exchange. “You know, Jack. You really should keep up with your paperwork. No shortcuts here.”
Jack glared at Daniel. “There are always shortcuts.”
Jack grabbed a blank form from his desk. “I give full authorization for the deployment of Air Force equipment to the bearer of this document. Signed Brigadier General John O'Neill.”
Jack handed the form to Walter. “Give this to Harris. Let him grab whatever he wants. At the end list it all on the sheet, and put the form in records. It's all approved, so you don't have to bug me for anything else.”
Walter took the sheet and retreated from the office.
“Kind of hard on him, weren't you?” Daniel asked. “Can't you be a little more pleasant about the paperwork?”
“If I am, it'll just encourage him to bring me more.” Jack growled. “This way, I get it all out of the way. No problems.”
“I don't think it'll be that simple.”
“Shut up, Daniel.”
Xander walked through the commissary pushing the shopping cart before him.
“Okay. I got all enough clothes to last me for awhile. Food is taken care of. What else?”
He turned to the clerk at the front. “Excuse me. Can I get a compass and some camping gear?”
The clerk looked up. “All military grade equipment is down in the armory.”
Xander strolled down the corridor with his cart, until he came to the armory.
“Um, hey. I need to get some equipment here. That cool?” he asked.
The sentry studied Xander. “I have to have authorization before I release anything. And since you're a civilian, I doubt you have it.”
“Oh. All I have is this form.” Xander handed the sentry the signed form.
The sentry read it, then quickly looked back up. “Sorry, sir. I didn't realize the General vouched for you. We're slightly understocked right now. Several teams are out, and the monthly armament shipment is next week. So we may not have everything you want. I assume you'll want to start off with the light arms?”
Xander blinked slowly. “....okay. Sure. Let's start there. Um, what's the standard issue?”
“The FN P90.” the sentry answered.
“Can I get incendiary rounds with that?”
The sentry nodded.
Xander nodded his head. “Okay, then. I'll take three of those. Stock up on half regular ammunition and half incendiary. I'll also need a dozen LAW's, a dozen phosphorous grenades, and um... one of those zat..zatty tacky...”
“Yeah, that too.”
The sentry wrote down the requests. “This will take a few minutes. Where do you want us to load it up?”
Xander paused. Damn, forgot I don't have a truck anymore. But O'Neill did vouch for me.
“Which way is the motor pool?”
Daniel caught up with Jack, just as he was getting in the elevator.
“Heading home?” Daniel asked, grinning.
“Yep. Simpsons is new tonight. Don't want to miss it.”
“Great.... So.... did you see Harris off?”
Jack shook his head. “No. Why? And what are you grinning about?”
“Oh nothing. I just happened to come across the final invoice you approved.”
With that Daniel handed Jack a lengthy list. Jack grabbed it, and began to scan the list.
“Standard clothing, compass, night vision goggles? FN P90s?”
Daniel smiled. “Keep reading.”
“Zat'nik'tel? Oh god..... HE TOOK A HUMVEE? I'LL KILL HIM! WHAT IDIOT JUST LET HIM WALK OUT WITH ALL THIS?”
“You did. He had a signed authorization letting him take any equipment he wanted.” Daniel explained.
The elevator stopped and the doors opened. Walter saw Jack and quickly approached.
“General! I've been looking for you. The civilian Harris just left. I think that he used the blanket authorization you gave -”
“Walter!” Jack interrupted.
“Just... Just file the necessary paperwork, and never mention this to me again.”
Walter turned away, and the doors closed.
Jack looked back to Daniel, who was now barely restraining his laughter.
“Shut up, Daniel.”
Xander smiled as he drove his new Humvee down the interstate. Really nice of O'Neill to give me all this stuff. Can't wait to try out the Zatty guns. Guess he's really glad Cassandra was safe. She's had it rough. Especially with her mom dead. Glad I could talk to her. It seems to make Mother's Day a little less painful for her. So seemed really torn up over....
Xander stopped his train of thought as he came to a realization. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. Flipping it open, he dialed a familiar number. After a moment, a voice came over the line.
“Hey, Giles. It's Xander checking in. Look, the lead on the Fraiser girl fizzled out. I did the spot test, and she's not a Slayer....yes, I double checked. There's something different about her. That's for sure. Otherwise she wouldn't have shown up on the long range spell. But whatever it is, she's got people protecting her. I say we just keep away from the whole thing.”
Xander took a breath before continuing. “Look, Giles. Can you do me a favor? Call Buffy.... It's... it's just important that someone call her up and see how she's doing today.... There are too many issues between us for me to call her. Besides, I have to call someone else..... Okay, thanks. Talk to you later.”
Xander ended the call, then dialed another number. After a few rings, the call went through.
“Dawn? It's Xander. How are you?”
Xander listened to the other end as he drove.
“I just wanted to check up on you. It's been awhile since we talked. And I missed you.... Yeah, sounds like fun.... Uh-huh.... Yeah, I know what day tomorrow is. I figured you could use a friendly voice.... Yeah hold on a sec.”
Xander slowed the Humvee and pulled over into a rest stop. He parked and turned the engine off.
“Yeah, still here.... No, I got plenty of time to talk.... Yeah, I miss her too.”