A Whole New World
By Willowfan

Disclaimers: The characters from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Stargate:SG-1 are not mine. They belong to other people. They are the ones that make money off of them, not me. I just enjoy writing them. I'm not challenging their copyrights in any way, shape or form.

Feedback: Yes please! Send feedback to kindred69153@hotmail.com .

Pairing: W/T, B/R (only for a bit), X/A

Summery: Instead of aimlessly wandering the country in a broken down jalopy at the end of S3, Xander instead joins the US Marine Corps. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Buffy stared open mouthed at the wavy haired young man before her. She just couldn't believe what she was hearing. Had she heard correctly? Was he kidding, this another in his long carrier of practical jokes? She managed to ask him. "Huh?" the blonde slayer stammered.

"I am joining the marines." Xander said again. He knew the news would probably stun all of his friends into a confused and stammering silence, so he was patient.

Willow stared as well, still reeling from the shock. "The United States Marines?" she squeaked.

Xander only smiled. "Well, I'm not going to join the Canadians." He smiled. "I leave for San Diego next week. Everything is ready."

Willow looked around the room. It was her, Buffy, Giles and Joyce. Oz had left for a gig and wouldn't be back until next week. "Xander, are you sure?" she asked, standing and walking over to sit next to her best friend since kindergarten. "I mean, if this is just some macho guy thing..." she trailed off.

Xander offered her his best smile. "I've been thinking a lot about it, actually. They offered to pay for my college when I get out. We both know I'm not so good with the school. And we know my parents wouldn't pay for it. It's a good thing, Willow." He said softly, wrapping an arm around Willow's shoulder.

Buffy smiled. "We'll miss you. How long will you be gone?" she asked.

"Basic is eight weeks. Then it's on to specialist training which can take anywhere from another three to nine weeks. It all depends on what field I choose to go into." He said softly.

Buffy nodded and fell silent.

Xander looked over at the two who had yet to say anything. The two whose opinion mattered more to him than his own parents. "You guys haven't said anything." Xander said softly.

Giles was cleaning his glasses and looked up at the young man. "Ah, well. If you are certain that joining the military is the course you choose for yourself, then I wish you the best of luck." Giles said quietly. He smiled at the young man. "I believe the maturity will look good on you." He said.

Joyce also smiled. "I am very proud of you, Xander." The scoobies surrogate mother said finally, beaming at the young man. "You will make a fine member of our armed forces." She said reaching over to squeeze Xander's hand.

Xander gave his best 'aw shucks' smile and looked down, turning a little bit red. "Thank you Joyce." He said softly. Finally, Buffy stood up. "Well, since you are sure this is what you want, I say we have a going away party. Pizza, chips, sodas...mochas for me and Wills..." she looked over at the redhead who was nodding eagerly at the chocolaty comfort food. "We'll miss you Xander." The blonde said.

Xander stood and embraced Buffy. "I'll be back before I am stationed. And we can write, email, and phone. I'm not getting out of your lives so easily." He said. "Now, I believe pizza was mentioned?" ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Off world activation. Receiving SG-5 GDO signal." The sergeant said.

General Hammond checked the mission logs and frowned. "SG-5 isn't due back for another week. Open the iris." He barked. "Combat teams to the gateroom, prepare for hostile forces."

Several soldiers poured into the gateroom and took up positions along the ramp and in machine gun nests in front of the Stargate. The iris on the gate spiraled open and everyone waited.

Three forms came through the gate. Two were badly wounded; the third was carrying one of them. "Close the iris! Now!" he barked.

General Hammond nodded and the iris closed immediately. "Dr. Fraiser to the gateroom." General Hammond said quickly and he hurried down to the floor himself. "Colonel, what happened? Where is the rest of your team?" he asked. Seven members of SG-5 were gone. "Was it the Goa'uld?"

Colonel Mark Davies shook his head. "No sir, I don't know what it was. We were setting up base camp when I noticed that Feretti and Jones hadn't returned from perimeter check." He said, looking at his remaining team. "It was a slaughter sir. Nothing worked. P90's, zats, nothing killed them. They flinched them off like they were spitballs." He said, shaking his head. "I recommend we lock P74-887 out of the dialing computer sir." He said.

General Hammond looked at the colonial. "Agreed for now. Get to the infirmary, son. We'll see about rebuilding SG-5. I want a full report as soon as you are able." He said.

Colonel Davies nodded and began walking out of the gateroom.