This isn't as long as I'd hoped, and the plot isn't nearly advanced as I'd planned, but here is the next chapter, which I think ends at a good point. *evil grin*
Title: It Ain't Kansas Either
Fandom: Pairing: Buffy/Stargate Atlantis: Spike/Xander, Sheppard/McKay.
Rating: R for graphic imagery
Concrit: Please. If you spot a typo or a grammar glitch, feel free to tell me in comments.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Warnings/Squicks: **Brief mention of torture; slightly graphic description of how Spike got the chip inserted into his brain without benefit of anaesthetic**
Summary: Spike and Xander get lost en route to Atlanta via a portal that really shouldn't have rippled like that...
Previous chapters: Part one.
Notes: Part two of my fall_for_sx story. Thanks to outsideth3box for the read through and the tweaking of my Britisms. ♥
It Ain't Kansas Either, pt 2
"He's not going to calm down unless you let him see I'm okay! Why won't you listen to me?"
Xander couldn't look away from the monitor displaying the 'holding cell' that was currently home to a furious, terrified vampire. Major Sheppard had turned the volume down after the first couple of minutes, but Xander could still hear the tinny screams - gruesome threats and inventive obscenities, and his name - Xander, Harris, pet - over and over, each repetition more frantic than the last.
"He's not going to stop until he knows I'm in one piece and unharmed. Just let me go down there and- You can question me in that room, can't you, outside the cell? So he can see you're not... hurting me."
Dr McKay made a disparaging noise and Xander turned on him furiously.
"He wasn't joking earlier, about vivisection. Those guys from the army - the Initiative - were trying to build a super-soldier, and they thought that using demon parts would be a great idea. And they weren't too bothered about whether or not the demons were dead or alive - or conscious - when they took the parts they wanted. They experimented on lots of species, some of them totally non-violent and peaceful, and they-" Xander glanced back at the monitor, at Spike. "They strapped him down so he couldn't fight back, clamped his head so tight he says he heard his skull creak, and then they used an electric saw to take the top of his head clean off so they could shove a behaviour-modification chip into his brain and wire it up to his nervous system. He was awake for all of it, and now every time he hurts a human being, even by accident or in self-defence, that thing fires and he collapses in agony."
There was a moment's silence as Xander turned to look each of them in the eye. Several, McKay included, looked vaguely nauseated, while Major Sheppard looked coldly furious. Xander was sure he'd made his point, that he was finally getting through to them. But then an unknown guy - another doctor, Xander assumed, from the white coat - spoke up, sounding personally affronted. And Scottish.
"That's quite an accusation, lad, but it has nothing to do with us. We just want to make sure you're alright, that that thing hasn't-"
Xander slammed a hand down on the desk in frustration.
"He vamped out when Doctor McKay started talking about genes and labs and doing tests on me! And then you-" Xander's gaze shifted to the major. "You pulled your gun and called in a whole heap of uniforms with even more guns, and ordered him to step away from me when all he was trying to do was protect me." He swallowed back the rage that threatened to erupt at the memory of seeing Spike shot by something that didn't look like any gun Xander had ever seen.
"I'm sorry about the guy who pulled the crucifix," he apologized, though he really didn't look it. "I hope his arm isn't too badly broken, but you can't really blame me for hitting out, seeing as Spike was already down and convulsing from whatever freaky weapon it was that your man shot him with, and he wasn't exactly a danger to anyone at that point."
Xander hadn't even blinked before striking out with a move that could only have come from his brief, possession-induced, military experience. From the blandly curious expression on Major Sheppard's face, he knew he'd probably be trying to explain that at some later date too. But first...
"Spike is freaking out," Xander said slowly, "because he thinks you're doing to me what the Initiative did to him." Just the idea of it made him sick, and his voice began to pick up speed and volume as he continued. "And the longer we stand here talking about it, the more he's driving himself crazy with images of me being sliced open without anaesthetic, and the more I'm starting to think you're not that much different from the Initiative, you're just smarter about letting the demon torture himself so you don't have to get your hands dirty."
Almost everyone in the room shot a brief, guilt-ridden glance at the monitor, where Spike was now throwing himself against the bars of the cell, still raging and threatening to destroy everyone who'd laid a finger on Xander.
"Of course we're not trying to torture the poor... demon," the Scottish doc assured him, looking not entirely convinced of his own words. "But you must understand, we've never seen anything like it before - not in real life, anyway - and, with what we've already experienced in this galaxy, you can't blame us for reacting the way we did."
The urge to start screaming was strong, but Xander had seen how that worked out for Spike. Instead, he pinched the bridge of his nose and took slow, deep breath, preparing to start round seventeen - or so it felt - of 'convince the armed and dangerous military people not to kill my vampire boyfriend'.
"He-" Xander lost track of what he had been about to say as the doc's words sank in. "Wait. This galaxy?" He paused, reran the sentence in his head, and then repeated it with shifted emphasis, just to make sure he got his point across. "This galaxy? As in, not the regular, everyday Milky Way galaxy?"
Two of the non-military people in the room had face-palmed and everyone else was now glaring at the idiot who'd just dropped the bombshell and spilled the secret that- huh, explained what Spike had been going on about earlier with all his 'tastes wrong, feels wrong, smells wrong' mutterings.
Which brought him back to Spike, and the fact that, whatever galaxy they were in, the military seemed to have the same attitude towards the not-exactly-human members of society.
"Please, he just wants to know I'm okay. If I'm there, he'll calm down enough so we can explain everything." He frowned. "Well, not everything, of course, because I'm not sure if Spike knows that much about vampires, except how to be one and how to make more. Oh, and all that family stuff he pretends not to care about when somebody mentions Angel or Dru or Darla, and I'm pretty sure he knows more about the Master than he's ever admitted, and I know he's corrected Giles at least once on a point of vampire lore..."
Babble. Xander's downfall. He always said too much when he got nervous. He knew it, but he never quite managed to stop himself in time. The glazed looks on several of the faces around him had clued him in this time, and he tried to remember what he'd said, whether he'd let any of Spike's many cats out of their bags. Maybe. Probably. Damn it.
The trek to the holding cell was fairly short and unmemorable - except for the bit where Xander realised he'd just stepped into an actual transporter, at which point he might have let out a tiny, undignified squeak of geeky glee which was swiftly muffled by an avalanche of guilt because - Spike.
Once they got close enough for Spike to catch Xander's scent - just outside the final set of doors - the content, if not the volume, of his yelling changed. The gruesomely detailed explanations of how he planned to eviscerate and disembowel anyone who got in his way disappeared, replaced by pleas for Xander to speak to him, to say something, anything, so that Spike would know he was okay.
"Spike. Spike! I'm fine, I promise. All in one piece, no bits missing, I'm not even cuffed, see?"
Spike froze at the first sound of Xander's voice, his gaze touching every inch of visible skin as he scented the air for even the faintest hint of the boy's blood.
"You're okay? They didn't... hurt you? Touch you? If they touched you, I'll make them pay, I swear. I'll find a way to rip their bloody hearts out for you, pet, you know I will."
"I know, I know. I'm fine, I promise."
Xander stepped closer, shrugging off the half-hearted grip Major Sheppard had on his shoulder. He didn't stop until he was close enough for Spike to grab him through the bars and reel him in even closer. Cool battered hands patted him down - arms, torso, back and hips - as Spike reassured himself of Xander's words.
"I came round in this bloody cell and you weren't here. Nobody'd tell me where you were or what they were doing to you, they just left me here and I couldn't stop thinking about-"
"Shhh. It's okay. I'm okay, Spike." Xander slid a hand around Spike's back and held on tight. "I told them they couldn't do any tests on me and they didn't. I- I did one of those cheek swab things so they could see I was human, and then they started in with the questions about what you were and where you came from and how dangerous you were and why wasn't I scared of you and-"
As discreetly as he knew how, Rodney McKay nudged John Sheppard away from the military contingent that had accompanied them down to the holding cell, and shot a warning glare in Carson's direction to make sure he stayed where he was in case they were suddenly in need of medical assistance. There was a vampire in the room, it could happen.
"A vampire, Sheppard!" he hissed, not particularly quietly, picking up the conversation they'd started back in the room originally assigned to their guests. "How did we not know this was possible? How did I not know this was possible?!" His hands flailed ineffectually at his sides, reaching for something they had no hope of grasping before dropping to hang limply at his sides. "This makes a mockery of everything! Science, history, biology, even the voodoo that passes for medicine! Did you see the way his face just changed? How is that even possible?"
John reached out to placate his incensed friend, but Rodney was on a roll.
"And you! Why did you let that idiot boy get close enough for that... demon to get a hold of him again? You heard him say he was willing to let himself be fed on to keep us in the dark about the true nature of his 'friend'." The quotation marks couldn't have been clearer if Rodney had actually air-quoted. John kind of wished he had, just so he could wind Rodney up about it later.
"How long would we have let them roam loose without realising we had a monster in our midst? We might have been picked off, one by one, and nobody any the wiser about what was going on until it was too late. Dammit, Elizabeth had them put in the room next to yours. We- You could have been the first to go!"
Realising that Rodney was way past rational argument and likely impervious to any of the usual forms of distraction, John reached out and plucked the ever-present life signs detector from Rodney's pocket. Nodding along to Rodney's continued diatribe, John poked and prodded the alien tech until it did his bidding, narrowing down its range to the room they were currently in, then he poked Rodney in the chest and held the unit up in front of his face.
The screen clearly showed seven life signs in the room, and, more importantly, none within the boundaries of the holding cell. Spike - vampire, demon, whatever - had no life sign.
Rodney stared. He blinked. He snatched the gadget away from John and promptly reset it, recalibrating and running a speedy diagnostic in the background, just in case.
The results were the same. It registered Harris, John, Rodney himself, Carson and three of John's men, but no vampire in the cell.
"That shouldn't be-"
"Possible?" John smirked at him. "Two hours ago vampires weren't possible, Rodney. Eight hours ago, magic wasn't possible-"
"And I'm still not convinced it is," Rodney pointed out - again. "I need more information. Did Carson manage to get a cell sample while the- Spike was incapacitated by the Wraith stunner?"
They were interrupted by a yell from the direction of the holding cell.
"Ow! Dammit, Spike, that hurt!"
Wide-eyed, open-mouthed, and, most crucially, in no pain whatsoever, Spike slowly relaxed the bruising grip on Xander's arm that had been triggered by McKay's careless words.
Xander and Spike stared at each other through the bars.
This was new.