Like The Quiet

Author: Laney <laney_1974[at]]>

Pairing: None. Just a ramble.

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Disclaimer: I own nothing. Buffy and Angel people belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. I'm just playing. Don't sue. The Stargate people belong to Gekko Productions, Double Secret Productions, MGM/UA, Showtime/Viacom

Rating: PG-13 or 16 - I don't know american ratings.

Notes/Warning: It's AU, set in the future a few years after grave. If you're expecting a kind of realistic fic… this isn't one. I know the events in this are about as far fetched as they're going to get but I'm feeling a little rebellious. You need to know a bit about Stargate (or at least be familiar with the SG verse). I'm not explaining anything because it's a quickie.

Spoilers: Buffy - say everything up until the Grave is fair game. Angel up to the end of S3 then AU. SG-1(S5) No particular spoilers actually.

Feedback: Yes please – this is my first Xander fic.

Summary: A dying Xander is given the opportunity of a new life.

(Xander's POV)

They've made me as comfortable as they can, but it's not enough. The constant pain I was in never seemed to fade. All the magics in the world weren't going to fix this, but that's ok. I've had a few months to think about it and well…

I was all right with it.

There wasn't anything I could do anyhow, even if I wasn't. I was dying. After years of fighting with the Slayer, I was being taken out by disease rather than a demon. Not the way I thought I'd go, but hey, I've done my part. It's time for me to step down. No more fighting, no more demons. Just pain and then, hopefully, peace.

I liked the quiet.

My life has been anything but quiet. A nice, busy life of constant fear and death. Not exactly what I thought it would be when I was six but it was better than anything I could have hoped for. I loved it. I loved helping and I hated giving it up.

But I had to, no choice.

Worst part of all of this, though, was saying goodbye. As soon as the doctors told us there was nothing more that could be done for me, Wills, Dawnie, and the Bufster called everyone I knew. Giles was on his way from England right this second, Angel, Spike, and the gang would be here by midnight, probably earlier if Cordy drove, Oz flew in from Seattle last night, and Ri and Sam Finn were coming back here too.

To say goodbye.

Anya already said her goodbye… she said it long ago when I was first diagnosed. I don't think she could stick around and watch me die.

I think she knew how hard this was for me.

Saying goodbye.

It sucked but I had to be strong, not for me but for them. I still made my dumb jokes and inopportune comments but it was mostly an act now. For months I've known this was happening and it's changed me. I've gone from sarcastic guy to that thinking statue guy.

Death changes you.

Buff and Wills were taking this the hardest but I was relying on Giles and Angel to make sure they survive this. Ri was going to help as well. I know he and Buff talked for hours when she called him, which was what Buff needed. She needed someone else to be strong for her.

Give her a demon to fight and she was the strongest, but when it came to stuff like this? She wasn't the Slayer. She was Buffy, my best friend. Wills on the other hand was busy being strong for me. She won't let me see her pain; she just smiles and babbles almost constantly. God, I was going to miss her babble.

I was going to miss everything.

I wasn't going to grow old with Wills, we weren't going to live in neighboring rest homes, but then were we ever? Was growing old on the cards for any of us? To be honest, I was surprised I lasted this long. I mean, I wasn't exactly superhero guy. Just plain human.

Xander Harris, no one special.

Still, the end could be a lot worse than this. I could have been turned and slaughtered all of my friends. I guess the pain I was in was far better than the alternative. Not that I wasn't offered to be turned. I was.

Angel has offered to turn me.

Even Spike offered to get Dru to turn me as long as I didn't annoy him for the rest of his undead life.

I won't lie and say that I wasn't tempted – I was for about ten seconds. What dying person wouldn't be? Hey, we're all allowed our moments of weakness. Living and not being in agony made being turned tempting but that was all. I don't think I seriously entertained the idea. It goes against everything I've fought. Still, if I were turned I would live forever and, thanks to Willow, would still be able to fight for good. Soul intact. But then, I would never see the sun, I'd watch my friends die, and I'd never be able to be really happy. I'd never be able to love without the fear of me torturing all of my friends as a result.

I wouldn't be free.

Nope, no fangs for me.

Besides, I think if Angel and I had to spend eternity together, we'd kill each other… or he'd kill me. I just can't imagine hanging around with someone that broody. Still, it would have been nice if there was a nice place in the middle; where I could live for a long time, wasn't evil, could still get happy, and fight for good.

Oh and NOT be on a liquid diet.

Not that I've been eating anything that constitutes as good. When people say hospital food sucks, they're not lying. I don't think I've tasted anything so bad in my life, but then I can't keep much down anymore so it doesn't really matter.

I can't eat, sleeping was all but impossible unaided and now my friends got to watch me die.

Sometimes, I wish it had been a demon that killed me.

"Xander?" A familiar voice pulled me from another bout of positive thinking.

I grinned. "Riley, my man, come in." I plastered on my happiest face as Ri, Sam, and another woman I've never seen before, walked into the room.

Riley reached out and clasped my hand. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm good," the lie came easily. I learned a LOT earlier on that it was better to tell them what they wanted to hear. It hurt them and me too much if they knew the truth. The only one I couldn't lie to was Willow, but we compromised on that by pretending I wasn't in pain.

Otherwise I think Willow would spend every minute crying.

I think she did spend every minute she wasn't here crying.

Good thing Oz was coming here. He had a way with Willow that no one else did, well aside from Tara – when she was alive. God, I really I hated this.

"Xander," Samantha Finn kissed me on the cheek.

"It's great to see you again, Sam," I said before she could say anything else. I didn't want our last time together to be marred with sad words. In fact, I was going to make it a rule as soon as everyone was here. No telling me sorry, no crying…

Just be happy.

That's all I wanted for them now.

"You too," she smiled sadly at me.

No sad smiling either. No sad anything! If I wasn't scared of clowns I would have asked Spike to hire one or maybe dressed up as one.

That would have been something to remember.

I could die happy seeing Spike with happy clown face and rainbow hair.

Angel would never let him live it down.

"Xander, I'd like you to meet someone," Riley moved to the left to let the mysterious woman move into my line of sight. "Major Samantha Carter of the USAF. Major Carter, I'd like you to meet Alexander Harris."

Major? Air Force?

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr Harris," Major Carter held her hand out to me.

"You too, Major," I shot a curious look to Riley, who just smiled enigmatically at me. "So, you work with Riley?" Death also had a way of making you less 'beat around the bush' like. It was a great motivator for cutting through the bullshit.

I was curious about her, sue me!

The Major shook her head.

Oh, that's um… why was she here?

"Major Carter works for another branch of the military, Xander," Riley explained. "A branch that we didn't know existed until a year ago."

"A secret secret branch?"

Riley's cough sounded suspiciously like laughter.

The Major nodded. "I work for a top secret project with the Air Force," she told me. "Like Riley said, we only found out about the former Initiative project and demons a year ago. Since then we've been working together; sharing information and technology to help fight demons and any other enemies we might come across."

It made me all warm inside knowing that all the secret projects were working together as one.

"They know about Buffy, the hellmouth, everything you guys have done," Riley supplied.

Yeah, well, I always figured they did. The military have helped out a couple of times over the last few years and we've helped them. It's a nice trade off. They don't try to interfere with us and we don't take out their entire operation.

Well, at least that's what Riley said they were worried about.

After we defeated Glory and brought Buffy back from the dead, they've pretty much looked at us with either awe or outright fear. Sorry, correction, they've looked at Buffy with awe and Willow with outright fear.

Me? I didn't do anything except help Buffy and stop the world from ending by saying I love you.

Riley sat down on the chair next to my bed. "Xander, when Buffy called and told me you were terminal, I went to my superiors and informed them. You guys have quite a reputation among us and the people Major Carter works for."

Normally right now would be where I made one of my stupid jokes but everyone was looking so serious that I couldn't bring myself to do it. They would probably see through it anyway and I didn't have the energy to pretend that what was going on here wasn't beginning to make me nervous.

"You guys fought a real god, that's enough to impress the hell out of anyone," Riley smiled at me. "It was the fight with Glory that brought these guys to attention."

Major Carter moved closer to the bed. "That's why I'm here. You've been given special clearance to be informed about the project I'm apart of."

Excuse me? "Ah, you do know I'm dying right? Why bother?"

"Yes, Mr Harris, we're well aware of your condition. You have a cancer," the Major stated needlessly. Like I needed to be reminded. "The same type of cancer my father had."

Her father had cancer? That was… ok, would someone please tell me what the hell was going on?

Riley took pity on me. "Xander, the people Major Carter work for want to recruit you. They've seen your file, what you can do and they want you, they think you could be a real asset to their fight."


Why the hell would the Air Force want a slayerette? Unless of course they were fighting demons but then why would they want me anyway? I was one hundred percent human AND dying!

What good was a dying Scooby? "I'm dying, remember? What's the use of recruiting me when I'm going to be dead in less than a week?"

Everyone looked at me.



"Xander!" Riley was waiting for me at the bottom of the ramp. "Man, it is good to see you."

I don't even care that there are a bunch of scary looking marines watching us when Ri and I hug. It's been a few months since the SGC took me from the hospital and Ri probably still remembered what I looked like on my deathbed.

We were having a moment.

"How are you, Ri?" I asked right before I pulled his wife in for a hug.

The grin Riley gave me was almost blinding. "I'm great. Christ, Xan, you look…"

Good, huh?


Never thought I'd see this day either. I still have to look in the mirror every so often to believe that I was really alive and that this wasn't some bizarre drug induced dream I was having. It's not. I was alive and best part was, I was still fighting.

Not the same fight I had been fighting before, but one as important.

"How's Buffy and the gang?" I don't think Riley was going to stop grinning at me anytime soon. He's happy to see me alive. I feel a hand touch the small of my back and turned to see Sam, Sam Carter, standing behind me.

Backing me up.

I was a little nervous about coming back to Earth.

"They're good," Riley replied. "Willow and Buffy are still having trouble believing that you're all right but once they see you, they'll be convinced."

Yeah, I would have trouble believing that I was going to be miraculously cured too. The only reason I believed it was because I was miraculously cured. Buffy and Willow don't, and won't, know how it came to be that I was no longer sick.

All they will know was that I underwent some experimental treatment and lived.

They won't know anything about this… which was fine with me.

In just the few months since I've been fighting the Goa'uld, I've seen enough to convince me Wills and Buff don't need to know that there are even more bad guys out there. They've got their hands full with the ones they have.

Though, if there does come a time for them to know, I'll make sure they do know.

And that they're protected.

"So, Ri, Sam, I want you to meet someone."

The grin faded and Ri was looking at me nervously now. I can't blame him. I was freaked the first time I felt her take over.

Yes, her.

It's true; I have a nagging woman in my brain.

The quiet I liked was gone forever.

I felt the slight sensation I now associate with my symbiote taking control. It's no where near as scary as the first time. It took me a little while to get used to but now it's second nature. It wasn't really that bad.

The next time my voice sounded, it wasn't human at all.

** "Greeting Riley, Samantha; I am Sy'lan of the Tok'ra." **