By Xodarap

Disclaimer: Joss and co. own all things Buffy, and SFC owns Stargate. No copyright infringement is intended, so please don't sue. I don't have any money anyway.

Dedication: To Jordan and Jessica, my angels. May they rest in peace.

Summary: Three years after the end of the series (BtVS), a group of former Scoobies have a new mission. Kicking interplanetary undead ass.

Author's Note: Special thanks to DaBear, Sirius, Miss Kayl, Big G, Rob Clark, Darklight, Eykar, S.M., charmedfanatic3000, Alexandra, slbwhitewolf, Mytryk, Calia, and WBH21C for the feedback. It's much appreciated.

(BtVS/SG1, W/X)



August 13, 2006

Cheyenne Mountain

Colorado Springs, CO

Xander and Willow were sitting together eating lunch. Not an unusual occurrence in and of itself, but for the fact that they were eating lunch in the mess hall of a military facility inside Cheyenne Mountain.

A lot of things had changed since Sunnydale was destroyed three years prior. For one, the world was full of slayers now, giving the rebuilt Watcher's Council a virtual army to battle the forces of evil. It had taken a little over a year for what was left of the Council to organize again, and begin a program for recruiting slayers in the Eternal Battle. And thanks to Giles, many of the Council's older and more barbaric practices had been put to rest. Slayers were treated with respect now, as people instead of just as tools. The Council had things well in hand now, which left many of the Scooby gang asking themselves what they were going to do with their lives now.

Giles remained in England with the Council, spending his days in their immense library with his first love, books. Buffy and Dawn eventually settled down again in California. More than anything, Buffy wanted a normal life for her sister. She still kept in touch with the Council, and consulted with the local Watchers and slayers on the latest evils, but she kept her schedule light. Willow and Kennedy moved to New York, where they both enrolled in NYU. Willow also consulted with the Council on an as needed basis. Faith, despite her happiness at the end of the ordeal with the First Evil, became restless with all the downtime and decided that she wanted to be where the action was. She, along with Robin Wood, moved to Cleveland to safeguard the city against the forces that the Hellmouth drew to it. Xander for the most part felt like he didn't have anything left to cling to. He went to Cleveland with Faith and Robin for a while, but ended up setting out on his own. He was bitter, angry at the universe for all that it had taken from him. At the time, the loner lifestyle appealed to him, and he crisscrossed the country, killing any demons or vampires that happened across his path.

Until one day when Xander was approached by an Air Force Colonel named Jack O'Neill, and he was given an offer that he couldn't refuse. It was a chance to make a real difference again. With Xander's help, the same offer was extended to some of his friends, and a few of them accepted as well.

But then, some things never change. That's what Willow was thinking as she looked across the table at her oldest friend as he wolfed down a slice of lemon meringue pie. Xander's appetite was still rivaled by no one, and the two of them found themselves best friends again. Closer than they had been in years. They made new friends as well, Colonel O'Neill and the rest of his team among them. And Willow could see that light in Xander's eyes, or eye rather, slowly returning. He was a lot like his old self again, brave, loyal, with that same sense of humor in the face of danger, and that same lopsided grin. But there was an edge to his personality now too, a sadness and a seriousness sometimes. He would never be one hundred percent the same as he was, Willow surmised. Nor should he be. People change, they grow up. It's the natural order of things. She herself was a far cry from that shy, mousy girl she had once been. If someone had told her then, that someday she would one day be sitting in a military facility wearing fatigue pants and a black tee shirt, looking through a pair of wire-framed glasses at her oldest friend who was dressed exactly the same, save the eye patch and the dog tags hanging from his neck, and she would have said they were crazy. But here she was.

Xander peered up at her from where he was hunched over his dessert. "You're staring again," he said with a mouth full of pie.

"Sorry," Willow said, shaking her head. "I was just thinking."

"What about?"

"Just how much everything has changed. Sometimes I look around and I still can't quite believe where we are, what we're doing."

"I know what you mean," Xander agreed. He took the last bite of his pie and checked his watch. "SG-1 should be getting back soon. You think we'll get the call?"

"If Daniel translated those tablets accurately," Willow said. "It definitely looks like a job for us."

"I hope so."

"Are you really that eager for action again?" Willow asked. "It hasn't even been a week since we got back from PX-1109B2."

Xander grinned. "What can I say, action is my reward."

Willow couldn't help but smile back. She opened her mouth to respond but was interrupted by the PA.

"SG-13, please report to the briefing room, ASAP."

Xander smiled again as he stood and drained the last of his soda. "Looks like you get your wish, Spider-Man," Willow joked.

"To the Bat-poles!" Xander announced as he and Willow left the mess hall.

"I hate it when you mix your superhero metaphors."


When Willow and Xander got to the briefing room, General Hammond, Colonel O'Neill, Major Carter, and Dr. Jackson were already there. Jack had a bandage on his right forearm. "Where's Teal'c?" Xander asked immediately. "Is he okay?"

"He'll be fine," Samantha answered. "He's in the Infirmary now, he took quite a beating."

"If it wasn't for him we never would have gotten back to the gate," Daniel added.

"What happened?" Willow asked.

"Colonel O'Neill asked that SG-13 be included in this briefing," General Hammond said. "We should wait until the rest of your team gets here. Have a seat Captain Harris, Ms. Rosenberg." Xander and Willow sat at the other side of the table, across from SG-1.

They didn't have to wait long. A minute later Faith walked in with a towel around her neck, wearing track pants and a black sports bra. "Hey guys, what's up? Damn, you guys look like hell," she said, catching a look at SG-1. "Told you you should have let us come."

"I'll remember that next time," Jack said, rubbing his head. Faith took a seat next to Willow.

A moment later, the fourth and final member of SG-13 entered. He snapped to attention and saluted as he entered. "Reporting as ordered, Sir," he barked.

Hammond returned the salute. "At ease, Lieutenant Finn. Take a seat, SG-1 was just about to brief us on their latest mission." Riley nodded and took the last seat next to Faith. "Colonel," Hammond said, turning to Jack.

"Carter, why don't you start," Jack said.

"Yes, Sir. Well, as you know when we first sent a reconnaissance drone through the stargate to PX-201V8, we found a stone tablet with writing on it near the gate. Daniel translated it, and we discovered that it was a warning. It said that their world had been overrun by creatures of enormous strength, who could not be killed and seemed to live forever."

"Yeah, we know all of this already," Faith cut in. "Get to the part where you guys got your asses kicked." Jack shot her a glare. He was hardly a paragon of military discipline, and he understood the need to have civilians on SG teams, but the young slayer got on his nerves sometimes.

"The only other thing the drone saw were ruins, no signs of life," Jack continued. "We thought the tablet referred to vampires, nothing we couldn't handle. Two blasts from a zat and they're dust in the wind. That's why we decided that SG-1 could handle it alone."

"Not vampires then?" Xander asked.

"Bigger," Jack said.

"Slimier," Daniel added.

"With…antlers," Sam finished.

"Chaos demons," Xander and Willow said in unison.

Faith smirked. "Never send a man to do a slayer's job."

"That's enough Ms. Williams," General Hammond warned. "Continue Colonel."

"Teal'c and Daniel explored the ruins, while Carter and I scouted ahead a little further to see if we could find any signs of civilization. We found a couple of stone structures, but no people. We were heading back through the ruins to the temple where we left Teal'c and Daniel when we spotted movement in the distance."

"They were using the ruins to cover their approach," Carter continued. "They seemed to come out of nowhere. If we hadn't have had the little bit of warning that we did, we'd probably be dead. As it was we at least had time to draw our zats."

"I hit one of them with three shots," Jack said. "But they still kept coming."

"How many were there?" Xander asked.

"Three," Jack said.

"Were they wearing clothing? Did they speak at all?" Willow asked.

"No, no clothes," Jack said. "And all I heard were grunts. Does that really matter?"

"Demons evolve in much the same way that humans do," Willow said. "It's important to know where they are developmentally. These guys sound like primitives. What about the buildings you saw, how advanced do you think the people of this planet were?"

"Mostly stonework," Daniel answered. "From what little I saw of the writings in the temple, I'd guess they were middle to late Iron Age equivalent. I saw pictographs depicting swords and other metal tools."

"What about any Goa'uld influence?" Riley asked. "Did you see any reference to the Egyptian gods?"

"No, none," Daniel answered.

"Anyway, after they attacked we radioed Teal'c and Daniel and told them we were bugging out," Jack continued. "Teal'c's staff weapon did a little more damage on these guys, it slowed them down but it didn't stop them. One of them managed to gore Teal'c. He tried to block the antlers with his staff, but he was only partially successful. He still got stabbed. When they were on the ground, he fired his staff weapon again at close range. This time he took the thing's head off. We managed to hold off the other two with zats enough to get us back to the gate. They followed us until Carter dialed us home and the gate opened. I guess it must have spooked them, they took off."

"Thank you, Colonel." Hammond said with a nod when O'Neill was finished with his report.

"Sir, I recommend we send a couple UAV's up to scout as much of the surrounding area as possible and see if there are any humans left on this planet," Xander said. "I also recommend that my team be sent in to clean house and evac any refugees."

Hammond nodded. "Alright, you have a go Captain Harris," he said. "Just be careful."

"We always are, Sir."

The General nodded again. "You leave in one hour."


Ten minutes after the briefing, Willow found Xander in the base's gym, doing pull-ups on the bar in the corner. His shirt was off, and there was a thin sheen of sweat covering his skin. She took a moment to admire how much more toned he had become in the last year and a half. Serving in the SGC definitely agreed with him.

"I thought I might find you here," Willow said. "We're leaving on a mission in forty-seven minutes, don't you have anything better to do?"

"It takes me all of ten minutes to get dressed for duty," Xander replied between pull-ups. "You know how tense I get before a mission." Another pull-up. "I'm just trying to work off some of that nervous energy."

"Well, don't work off too much. You don't look that nervous to me." The fact was, Willow didn't appear to be nervous either. But Xander knew her well enough to read her, she was. She was just enough of a professional that she didn't let it show, and she didn't let it interfere with her work.

Her eyes locked onto the tattoo that now graced Xander's right bicep. It was the upside down V shape that had become the symbol for the SGC, the seventh chevron. Above it in block letters it read, 'USAF - SGC'. And below it in cursive script, it read 'Lucky 13'. Willow still wasn't used to seeing it on the body of her best friend, it just seemed so strange, so anti-Xander. It happened the night after they got back from PX-1109B2, five days previous. Xander and Riley went out and got drunk that night. They weren't falling down, sloppy drunk according to Xander. But they were buzzed. They showed up the next day at the base with identical tattoos on their arms. Faith thought they were great, but not exactly her style she said. She already had barbwire tattoos on both biceps, but she promised to get something in the near future to commemorate her service to SG-13 along with her teammates. Willow declined. Considering how dangerous their line of work was, and the possibility that someday her parents might get that phone call from General Hammond, well, she just wanted to make sure that they'd be able to bury her in a Jewish cemetery, as she knew would be their wish. And that meant no body art.

General Hammond on the other hand was not pleased at all. He was ready to march the pair down to the infirmary and have Dr. Fraiser laser them off, but Xander pointed out that the tattoos gave away no secret information that their uniforms didn't already. General Hammond finally agreed to let them keep them, though he still wasn't happy about it. Which prompted Faith to announce that if she did decide to get a similar tattoo, she would make sure that she put it someplace where the General had no business looking, which left most of the men in the room blushing. Riley hadn't been too happy about it at first either, blaming Xander for talking him into it while they were drunk. Xander offered to pay for the laser surgery, but whether it was the idea of the pain or that Riley secretly did like the tattoo, he declined. He tended to keep it covered up though whenever he could. Xander on the other hand was always proud to show it off, along with the body that he worked hard to maintain.

Xander let go of the bar and landed on the floor. He picked up a towel from a nearby stationary bike and wiped the sweat off his face. "You're staring again," he said. This time however, he knew why. "Does it really bother you that much?"

"It isn't the tattoo that bothers me, it's the reason you got it."

"You mean because I was drunk?" He almost sounded afraid when he said it, and he was. Afraid he had disappointed Willow.

"No, Xander, not that. I know you don't drink that often, and when you do you can handle it. You're not your father, and you'll never become him, no matter how much you drink. It's just not in you." Xander just smiled and nodded slightly, silently acknowledging the encouragement and thanking her for it. "I'm talking about what happened on PX-1109B2, and what almost happened. The reason you and Riley went out and got drunk. That tattoo will always be a reminder of that."

"Willow," Xander said softly. He held his arms open and Willow stepped into them and hugged him back. "It's meant to be a reminder of everything that's happened here in the last year and a half, the good and the bad. I had been thinking about getting it for a while, way before PX-1109B2. I just…I've lost so much over the years, we all have. I wanted something that I couldn't lose, something that I'll have for the rest of my life to remind me of what we're doing here."

Willow pulled back enough to look Xander in the eye. "You won't lose me, Xander. Not ever again, I promise."

Xander smiled. "I know, Wills." They both still had a lot of regrets over the way they had drifted apart those last few years in Sunnydale and afterwards. But they were working through it together.

"Good," Willow said. It was at that moment that she realized that she was hugging a shirtless Xander, and that her hand was resting on a rather well defined bicep. She coughed slightly and looked away as she stepped out of the embrace, fighting the blush that was creeping up her face.

Xander chuckled. "You're blushing. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that you were hot for my bod," he said jokingly, striking a pose. Willow laughed, her embarrassment forgotten. "Of course, we all know that you're a fan of the fairer sex. Especially Major Carter."

Willow's smiled turned into a glare. "You're not going to let me forget that, are you?"

Xander laughed. "Sorry Wills, I love you, but no."

"You get a little tipsy at one office Christmas party and start hitting on your female superior officer who doesn't know your gay, and your best friend just can't let you forget it." She was trying to sound indignant, but she could help but smile.

Xander smiled too. "You're right, I'm sorry. I won't mention it again."

"I appreciate that, thank you."

"Your welcome. We should probably get ready," Xander said, checking his watch. He pulled his tee shirt back on and walked toward the door with Willow. "I'm sure Major Carter will want to say goodbye before we go."

Willow smacked Xander on the arm. His laughter could be heard ringing through the halls of Cheyenne Mountain.


Forty some odd minutes later, Xander was standing in the gate room with the rest of his team, watching the disc on the stargate spin as it dialed out. Klaxons sounded, warning people to stay clear of the gate as it dialed, and a voice spoke over the intercom announcing every chevron that locked into place.

"Chevron six…encoded. Chevron seven…locked."

The gate lit up and flushed sideways as the wormhole was established. No matter how many times Xander saw it, it never failed to fill him with amazement. So beautiful, and yet at times so frightening. You never really knew what to expect on the other side, no matter how many precautions you took.

"Stand clear of the launch pad," the Sergeant's voice came over the PA again. Xander glanced at where the UAV sat on its pad, making sure that everyone was clear. After a second its rockets came to life, and the automated drone blasted into the air and through the stargate.

Willow looked down at the device in her hand, the link to the UAVs as a group of soldiers lifted the second one onto the launch pad. A few moments later it blasted through the gate as well.

"Second UAV away," the Sergeant announced.

"Receiving telemetry from both," Willow announced, looking down at her remote unit. "Commencing grid search."

"Good luck, SG-13," General Hammond said over the intercom.

Xander turned and nodded to his superior through the observation window before turned back to his team. Willow tucked the remote unit for the UAVs onto her belt and did a last minute equipment check. She carried most of their communications and surveillance gear, and a zat on her thigh for protection. Xander carried a zat as well, along with a MP5. Riley had a MP5 too, along with C4 and some other explosives in his pack. Faith traveled light, a broadsword tucked between her and her pack. They all carried emergency field rations and water, in case their stay ended up being longer than planned.

"Alright team, let's move out," Xander said, leading the way up the ramp. Watching the gate may have always filled him with amazement, but stepping through it still gave him chills. Something about the idea of his body being sent hurdling through the galaxy at untold speeds. He tried not to think about it though. He just held his breath, and stepped through. The rest of his team followed behind him.


February 9, 2005

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Xander pulled his jacket around himself tighter as he stepped out of the bar and into the bitter Philadelphia winter. He silently asked himself for what seemed like the hundredth time why he couldn't have picked Miami, or Dallas, or New Orleans, or one of the other hundred Southern cities where it wasn't currently thirty degrees outside. Of course, he never really picked where he went, he just sort of ended up there. Sometimes he was on the trail of something, sometimes he just followed his curiosity, and sometimes he just took the first bus or train that was leaving, regardless of where it was going. At the moment, he couldn't remember which had led him to Philly, and he didn't much care.

He pushed his hands into his pockets as he made his way down Delaware Avenue, the city's hotspot for nightlife of the human variety. It was after midnight, close to closing time for most of the bars judging by the throngs of people that clogged the sidewalk. A group of less than sober Eagles fans poured out of a sports bar ahead of him, hooting and hollering, celebrating the Superbowl victory from nearly a month before no doubt. Xander tried to pass them, but one heavyset man with a goatee blocked his path. "Eagles, Woooohoooo!" he yelled. Xander stepped around the drunken idiot without comment and continued on his way. "Must be a Raiders fan," the man said, covering his left eye with his hand, mimicking Xander's eye patch. "ARRRRRR!" His friends laughed.

"Jackass," Xander muttered to himself. Most of the people on the sidewalk were just milling around, waiting for cabs or friends. So when Xander heard footsteps keeping pace behind him, he noticed. And when the footsteps were still there after his detour with the Eagles fans, he started getting worried. He sped up and slowed down a few times, and each time the footsteps behind him matched his pace. He resisted the urge to look over his shoulder, he didn't want to tip off whomever, or whatever was following him. He ducked down a side street, keeping his pace casual.

He kept this up for nearly twenty minutes, taking smaller and smaller streets until he was far away from the crowds of drunken club goers, and the streets were practically deserted. Xander was getting ready to turn around and confront his pursuer, when a woman's scream cut through the night. Xander couldn't help but roll his eye. "This just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it," he mumbled to himself. His shadow temporarily forgotten, he took off at a full run down the alley where he heard the scream come from.

Xander saw two backlit silhouettes as he got to the front of the alley. The smaller of the two was cowering on the ground, while the bulkier one stood above her. The telltale growling noises he heard told him he wasn't dealing with just a mugger. He pulled a stake out of his pocket as he ran toward the demon. When facing a stronger enemy, the element of surprise was crucial. And nothing is more surprising when you're getting ready to eat than somebody jumping on your back and punching you in the face repeatedly. The vampire staggered around angrily for a few moments before backing into the alley wall, slamming Xander against it. He fell to the ground still clutching his stake as the vampire turned to face him.

"Stupid human, just for that I'm going to make your death especially painful," the creature said as it stepped into the light of the nearby streetlamp, giving Xander his first clear look at the demonic-visaged behemoth.

Xander just stood up silently. No pithy comeback, no witty banter, he just prepared himself for the attack to come. He didn't have to wait long before the vampire made a sloppy swipe at him with the back of his hand, leaving his chest unguarded. Xander easily ducked under the swing and drove his stake home. The vampire's face had just enough time to register surprise before it disintegrated into ash. The whole fight took less than ten seconds.

Xander brushed the dust off of his jacket and put the stake back in his pocket. He slowly walked over to the woman who was still cowering on the alley floor, looking up at him in shock. "Are you okay?" he asked her. She didn't respond, she just kept staring at him. "Do you need to go to the hospital?" Finally, she shook her head no.

"What…what was that thing?"

"A bad dream," Xander said, holding out his hand to help her up. She took it and he pulled her to her feet. "At least that's what you'll tell yourself tomorrow. Do you live near here?"

She nodded, still in shock. "Up the street."

"Go home, lock your doors, get a good night's sleep. Everything will seem better in the morning, I promise. And no more shortcuts through dark alleys at night, okay?"

"Okay," she said, moving numbly back toward the street. "Okay."

Xander watched her walk up the street until she got to her house and went inside. He knew she'd be okay, that by tomorrow she will have convinced herself that the whole thing never happened. It was the way the human mind worked, it rejected what it couldn't understand.

To the man creeping up behind Xander, he looked lost in thought. Like he wasn't paying any attention to the world around him. It wasn't until Xander whirled around and he found himself staring down the barrel of a .45 that he realized how wrong he was.

"Boy did you pick the wrong guy to mug," Xander snarled, adjusting his grip on the pistol.

The man raised his hands slowly. Xander noticed that he didn't look scared, only annoyed. "How do you know I'm not a vampire?" the man asked.

"I've heard you tailing me since I left the bar, not even newbies are that loud. Besides, a vamp wouldn't have flinched at the gun."

"I'm not a mugger. My name is Colonel Jack O'Neill, I'm with the Air Force."

Xander looked the man up and down. "Are you armed?" he asked after a moment.

Jack paused. "Yes," he said simply.

Xander just stared at the man, unmoving. After a few seconds he lowered his gun. "I appreciate your honesty. You want to tell me what you were doing following me?"

"I have a…proposal for you."

"Sorry, I don't swing that way."

Jack rolled his eyes. "The Air Force needs your help, Mr. Harris."

"My father is Mr. Harris, call me Xander."

"Let me be straight with you, Xander. The people I work with, we recently discovered the truth about the existence of demons. And we've discovered that they are far more dangerous to humankind than anyone one this planet realizes. We need intelligence. We need people who've dealt with this kind of thing before. In short, we need you."

Xander just stared at the Colonel for a moment before laughing bitterly. "I've had a rough night Colonel, I'm not really in the mood for jokes. So if you'll excuse me…" he drifted off as he turned to walk away.

"People are dying, this isn't a joke."

Xander whirled around. "People have been dying for thousands of years! Just because the Air Force has decided to take notice doesn't mean that's going to change! This is a losing battle, always has been, always will be. You want intelligence, I suggest to look up an old Army project called the Initiative. They'll have all the research you'll need. Just don't make the same mistakes they did." Xander turned away again.

"We already know about the Initiative," O'Neill said. "How do you think we got your name?"

That got his attention. "What?"

"They had extensive files on all the members of your group."

"So why come to me? If you want information, go to the Watchers. If you want muscle, get a slayer. If you want magic, find a witch. I'm none of those things."

"We're still new to all of this. Slayers, witches, vampires, they're all variables to us. My superiors are uncomfortable placing such an important mission in the hands of an unknown. As for the Watchers, they're based in England. And my superiors are also reluctant to ask a foreign power for help with something like this, even if they are an ally."

"Again, why me?"

"The difference between you and them is the difference between choosing and being chosen. You weren't born into this, you weren't destined for it, you don't have any special talents that make you suited for it. You saw what was happening and you chose to fight. That's something we respect."

"Everybody chooses. You can talk about destiny and serendipity until you're blue in the face, at the end of the day we all have free will. I'm not special just because I'm…not special."

"So is this the life you've chosen now? Alone, never staying any one place long enough to get attached to anything or anyone, fighting whatever evil you happen upon."

Xander shrugged. "It's a living."

"I know it might not seem like it right now, but the time will come when you're finished mourning, and you'll want to live your life again. When that happens, if you're interested, we could use your help." Jack pulled a business card out of his pocket and handed it to Xander. "Give us a call." Xander took the card and Jack turned to walk away.

"Wait," Xander said after a second. "What are you offering?"

Jack stopped and turned around. "An honorary commission in the Air Force, provided you pass the physical and an equivalency exam."

"What makes you think I can do that?"

"You have military experience."

Xander looked puzzled for a moment. "The solider memories? Those are long gone. Nothing left but shadows and bad dreams."

"We have…technology that can help you with that. If you want, that is."

"What else?"

"We want your help finding others, approaching them with similar offers."

"I thought you didn't trust slayers and witches."

"We trust you."

Xander paused. "Let's just assume for the moment that I'm interested. Where would I be working?"

"Well, you'll be doing a lot of traveling, but you'll always make it home for supper. Most of the time anyway."

"What part of the Air Force are we talking about here?"

"It's a top-secret program called the SGC. Let's just say when I told you humankind was in more danger than you realize, I wasn't exaggerating."