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Re-post Fic: Father of Mine #5: Welcome to Headquarters

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  • Danielle Ducrest
    Hello, everyone! I changed a few things in here, but nothing extreme. The biggest change I made was Willow s proof of the existence of magic. It isn t
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27 2:12 PM
      Hello, everyone! I changed a few things in here, but nothing extreme. The biggest change I made was Willow's proof of the existence of magic. It isn't necessary to read this again if you don't want to. To those of you waiting for the next installment, don't worry; I should have that out by the 31st as promised.

      Part Five of 'Father of Mine', immediate sequel to 'Intruders in the Library'.

      Summary: Jack and Daniel meet the gang. Well, part of it.


      Footsteps pounded up the stairs, and a brilliant head of auburn hair appeared. The hair twirled and revealed green eyes in a confused face. Her gaze slid over me and Daniel and her entire body posture went from cautious to alert. I could have sworn her eyes turned black for a minute before returning to normal. Hopefully, it was a trick of the light.

      “Dawn, what...?” she asked.

      A man appeared behind the redhead. He was older than the women by quite a number of years, if the wrinkles in his face and the gray strands in his hair were any indication. “Who are you?” he asked, or rather demanded, his face just as stony as the red head's.

      “They said they’re with the Air Force,” Summers said, still grinning. She started to bounce again. “They got here through the door!” She pointed at the door behind Daniel and me. I backed up a step to avoid losing an eye à la fingernail.

      The redhead stared from Dawn to me to the door and back.

      “That door? Are you sure?” the older man asked.

      A smile to match Summers’ own spread out across the redhead’s face, and then she let out her own ear-piercing squeal. I was pleased to see that Danny and I weren’t the only men affected by it.

      “Could someone please tell me what the hell is going on here?” I asked as politely as I could manage, which wasn’t much. I got touchy when I was almost killed by rhinos with swords. “And could someone please explain how the hell we could be in Cleveland?"

      “Jack.” Daniel winced. Apparently, I wasn’t helping his ears any after hearing those shrieks. Sorry, Danny.

      He stepped around me and held out a hand. “Hi. I’m Dr. Daniel Jackson, and this is General Jack O’Neill. Could you please tell us what you know about how we got here?”

      I stared at his back, not for the first time wondering how the guy could have so much patience.

      “Oh." The man shook Daniel’s hand. “I’m Rupert Giles.”

      The redhead waved. “Willow Rosenburg.”

      Summers stared at me with jaw agape.

      “What now?” I asked.

      “Jack O’Neill?”

      Rosenburg and Giles’ eyes widened again. Wonderful. It’s so nice to know they found something about this situation so amazing as to be rendered speechless.

      “Yeah?” I hoped my voice conveyed just how angry I felt.

      “You’re Xander’s son,” Rosenburg said, “aren’t you?”

      "Oh, dear Lord," said Giles.

      “Okay, this is creepy,” Daniel muttered to me.

      “You’re telling me?” I muttered back. Not this again! Not that I was surprised, mind you. Of course this would have something to do with Harris.

      "You know Xander Harris?" asked Danny.

      "Yeah! We're his friends," Rosenburg replied. "This is really weird. Does Xander know you guys are here? Wait, did he tell you yet? I guess he did, since from the way you were both acting, it looked like you knew who we were talking about. Did he tell you?"

      "You mean, did he tell me that he was my father? Yeah, he did. I took it with a grain of salt. So, what's the deal here? I mean, your friend shows up at my house, claiming to be related to me. Then we're attacked by rhinos, and then we wind up here. Please enlighten us to the reasons why."

      “Oh, of course,” Giles said. “Though, perhaps we could take this discussion down to the living room?”

      I glanced at Daniel, who shrugged. With a sigh, I nodded. “Lead the way, Rupe.”

      As it turned out, we were in a house. A big house, but a house. How big? There were nine doors on the second floor. The door we'd come through was actually on the third floor, which was also known as 'the lower attic floor'. From what I could see, the entire place was fully furnished with inexpensive pieces. The living room on the first floor was a large room fitted out with three couches, two recliners, a table with ten chairs, a book case, and a television with - ooh, nice - both an X-Box and a Playstation 2.

      From what I could see, the entire house was empty except for Giles, Rosenburg and Summers. It seemed like an awful lot of house for such a small number of people. Maybe they liked listening to the echoes produced by all the open spaces.

      We all took our seats on various couches and chairs. I took one of the recliners, and Danny sat next to me on a couch. Summers and Rosenburg plopped down on the middle couch and Giles took a seat near them on the third couch.

      "So," Giles began. "We've established that you are both with the military, and that you arrived through the door upstairs."

      "Yes, we have," I agreed. "What we have yet to establish is how we're in Cleveland when we weren't even near here a half an hour ago."

      "And exactly where were you? Colorado Springs, correct?" asked Giles.

      “That's right,” Daniel replied.

      "Well...." The Englishman took his glasses off and cleaned them. "...from your method of arrival, I'd say that you stumbled into some sort of spatial portal that led from Colorado to this house."

      I asked, "Spatial portal? Would you mind explaining that one?"

      Rosenburg replied, "It's a type of spell that gets you from point a to point c without bothering to pass through point b. One minute, you could be walking out the front door of your house, and then you find yourself walking into the President's bathroom in the White House." Her eyes widened and she smiled nervously. "Not that that's ever happened to any of us, though it would be kind of funny...er, that is, if we were into practical jokes. Which we aren't. We wouldn't do it to hurt the President, either. We're the good guys."

      I exchanged a look with Danny. He asked, "Harris mentioned spells and all that, too. You wouldn't happen to have any proof, would you?”

      Giles, Summers and Rosenburg looked at each other. "You did get here through a spell," Summers pointed out. "And that could only have happened through magic."

      "Not necessarily," I said. I'd seen half a dozen technologies capable of transporting people over great distances in a matter of seconds. Just because these people thought it was magic didn't make it so. It could be an advanced piece of technology that only seemed to be magic.

      Rosenburg pointed at the table in the corner. "Lift." One of the chairs pulled itself away from the table, turned around and rose about a foot into the air. Daniel and I watched, jaws slack, as the chair floated across the room and landed in front of us.

      I leaned forward and ran a hand above and below the chair, checking for strings. As far as I could tell, it was solid wood. I leaned back.

      I folded my arms. "That all you got?" I was going to be stubborn about this. Yeah, the chair thing was cool, but it so did not prove that magic existed.

      Rosenburg gave me a look. "Okay."

      She waved a hand. "Incidere (Buffy vs. Dracula)."

      The chair caught on fire. One minute, it was a plain, ordinary wood chair; the next, red flames licked along its legs, seat and back. The flames were so close to my skin that I could feel the heat.

      "What the hell?" I exclaimed, and scooted over on the sofa.

      She smirked. Why, that little…

      "I do say, Willow, we could have used that chair," said Giles.

      He didn't look at all sorry that I was nearly burned to death. No one else looked concerned, either, not even Danny. Okay, so I wasn't that close to the chair, but geez, she could have given me a little warning.

      The fire burned the chair to a small pile of ash in a matter of seconds before the flames dyed out. That was a little worrying; no fire should have left ash in its stead that quickly. Another oddity was that the hardwood floor had been completely untouched by the flames.

      "How did you do that?" Daniel asked.

      Her smirked broadened. "Magic." She pointed a finger at the heap of gray ash. "____."

      The ash rose into the air and, somehow, don't ask me how, reformed into the chair. In two minutes, the same chair as before was placed before me.

      I stared at it and reached out to touch it. I felt solid wood beneath my fingers.

      It could have been an illusion produced by a hologram, and I'd only thought I'd felt the heat of flames. I'd only thought the chair was burned out and then repaired again…and…

      Ah, hell. I didn't know any aliens with holographic technology that good. Maybe the Ancients could have managed it, but I didn't know that for sure.

      "Wow." It seemed to be the only thing I could think of to say.

      "Well, that's something new," said Daniel.

      I glanced at him. "It is?"

      "Yeah, I do believe it is."

      "We've never come across it before?"

      "No, can't say we have."

      I nodded. "Yeah, that's what I'd thought." I turned back to stare at the chair. "Wow."

      "Wow," agreed Daniel.

      "Ditto," said Summers. "I didn't know you could do that, Willow!"

      Rosenburg shrugged and smiled shyly. "It's not dark," she said, looking at Giles. "It takes a fair amount of concentration, sure, and it's a lot harder to do on flesh, but…"

      They kept talking, but it started to sound like technobabble - spellbabble? - and I had other things on my mind.

      I was finally accepting it. Sure, that could have been caused by some sort of advanced hovering technology, but...magic wasn't all that farfetched after everything I'd seen. Still, it was mind blowing. And if magic was real, were vampires and all that stuff about Slayers real, too? How could all those things - demons, vampires, evil warlocks - have existed for so long on Earth without me noticing? I've seen a lot of sick things in my life, but I'd never seen any evidence that those creatures were real. At least, I didn't think so. If what these people said was true, the evidence had been buried beneath my nose my entire life. Just how much had I missed?

      That wasn't even the half of it. If demons and magic were real, did that mean that everything else Harris told me was true? My mother had seemed to think so, if the letter was anything to go by. But how could Xander Harris be my father? Screw time travel. He was just a kid! He was born only a few years before Charlie!

      Daniel asked many rapid-fired questions about magic, spells, demons and whatnot. I listened but didn't say anything. It would seem that Harris and his circle of friends fought demons and their circle of friends on a regular basis. And oh, yes, they all knew Kathleen Dresden, my mother. They didn't mention her much, though. Every time one of them did, they glanced at me before changing the subject.

      It wasn't long before the conversation returned to how Danny and I had gotten there.

      "Actually, we didn't come directly here. We passed through what looked like a library," Daniel said.

      "A library?" Giles leaned forward. "What sort of library? What did it look like?"

      "Marble, lots of bookshelves," I said. "Loved the welcoming committee. Five gray, ugly things. Guess they must have been demons, if what you say is true."

      "The Guardians!" Giles looked like Daniel when the space monkey had just discovered some all-important dig site. He turned to Rosenburg and Summers. "It's the Council Library! I'd thought it was a part of the old headquarters in London, but it must actually be in some sort of pocket universe. This is splendid news!"

      "You mean that door in the attic leads to the place where the Old Council kept all their books?" Summers had a gleam in her eye now. "Yes!"

      Rosenburg nodded. "It makes sense. I mean, when we cast that spell that made this the official site of the new Watcher Headquarters, we gained a new door in our attic. I wonder why we haven't been able to get in, though?"

      "We, ah, have to say the password," Giles said. "It changes fairly regularly. I'd have to check to see what it could be now. That should be simple enough."

      "But how did we get here?" Daniel asked. "I mean, Jack and I were in his attic, and then we left and found ourselves in the library, and then we came here. How?"

      "Yes, that is still a mystery," said Giles. "If you could tell us what the two of you were doing right before you arrived in the library, we might be able to pinpoint how it all happened."

      I raised an index finger. "While you're doing that, could I use your phone?" It would be a simple matter of getting a flight, and the sooner I was back on familiar territory, the better I would feel. Then I could find out what Carter and Teal'c had managed to dig up on Harris, and then I'd figure out where to go from there.

      Summers jumped up from her seat. "I'll show you." She smiled slightly at me as I got to my feet.

      I cast a warning glance at Daniel. He rolled his eyes at me. The nerve! He wasn't going to get anything from me for Christmas this year. I glared at him before turning and following the kid out of the room.

      She led me to the kitchen. It was large, big surprise there, with two fridges and two stoves, etc. The phone was corded and hung from the wall next to a door that led outside. Several framed pictures were arranged around the telephone. I wondered if I would find even more pictures of my mother. I wasn't disappointed.

      Twelve photos were arranged on the small space. She was in three of them. One photo placed just above the telephone showed a large group of people. Included in the group were Rosenburg, Giles, Summers, Harris and my mom. My mouth quirked a bit. She had a hand posed behind Summers' head in the classic bunny ears position. Harris, who stood to my mother's other side, was busy tickling a woman with a mane of blonde hair. Though the blonde was trying to get away from Harris, big grins were spread across both of their faces.

      The second picture showed Harris and my mom posing for the camera. The third featured my mom with Summers and the blonde, all with arms around each other's shoulders.

      "We all miss her," said Summers. She stood a few feet away. "She was here for three months."

      Three months? My mother was here for three whole months? I swallowed. "What'd she do? Did she help with the demon slaying or whatnot?"

      "Yeah, she did. She helped out a lot. All that Watcher training really paid off."

      I turned to her, puzzled. "Watcher training? Aren't those the guys that train the Slayers?" Didn't they say something about this house being the new Watcher Headquarters?

      Summers nodded. "Kathleen was being trained as a Watcher back in 1952. Guess you didn't know that, huh? I’m not surprised, really. She didn't seem like she liked it much, and we did some research after she went back to her time to see if she'd become a Watcher. We couldn't find any records of her having graduated from the Academy, so I guess she didn't become one after all."

      I blinked. "There's an academy?"

      She nodded. "Mm-hmm. Or at least, there was, before the old council got blown up."

      My eyebrows skyrocketed. "Blown up!?"

      Summers bit her lip. "Uh, it's really a long story. We didn't do it."

      "Right. Y'know, I think I'm going to make that phone call now."

      She smiled weakly. "Right. I'll just go." She hesitated. "Look, if you ever want to talk, you can trust us. Kath was my best friend."

      I shifted and glanced at the photos. "Uh…thanks."

      She smiled again and headed back to the living room.

      I lifted the phone off the receiver and dialed Carter's cell phone. I glanced at my watch and winced. It was one thirty in the morning.

      She answered on the third ring. "Hi, Carter, it's me," I said.

      "Oh, hi, sir.” She sounded wide awake, which meant she'd been working straight for the two hours after she'd left my house. "Teal'c and I have been running a few searches on Harris. We've found a few interesting things so far."


      "For one thing, Alexander LaVelle Harris was born in 1981 in Sunnydale, California."

      "Sunnydale?" The name rang a bell, though I couldn't quite remember where I'd heard it.

      "Yes, sir. Sunnydale was reduced to a crater by an earthquake a year ago."

      "Right. They had that on the news. Only a few people were killed because the townspeople got advanced warning."

      "Yes, sir. Only, we don't think they did."

      I glanced out the kitchen door to the hall. I could hear the others talking, and as far as I could tell, no one was listening in. "What do you mean, exactly?" I asked Carter.

      "Well, sir, the townspeople were evacuating the place for weeks before the earthquake. All of the hotels in surrounding areas were being overbooked by Sunnydale evacuees. No one was sure why they were leaving, either. Not even evacuees interviewed by local newspapers knew why they were leaving the town, but they didn't plan to go back any time soon."

      That was definitely weird. "What else have you found?"

      "Just the normal stuff so far, sir. Harris graduated with the Class of 1999 from Sunnydale High School, no college. In 2000, he was employed by one of the local construction companies until March of 2003 when the company closed down and left town with everyone else."

      "Any idea how he lost an eye?"

      "Not yet, sir, but we'll keep searching."

      "Great. Thanks, Carter. Get some sleep first."

      There was silence for a moment, then Carter said, "Sir, what do you think Harris is trying to get at? Do you think he's trying to get information about the Stargate Program?"

      I looked back up at the photos and sighed. "Actually, there's a good possibility that he's telling the truth."

      There was silence on the line for a moment. "Sir?” she asked.

      "A lot of things have happened. Daniel and I, er, we're not actually in Colorado Springs anymore."

      "What? Where are you, sir?"

      "Apparently, we're in Cleveland, and unless I've finally gone bonkers, we got here through magic."

      "You're in Cleveland?" she repeated. "But-it's only been a few hours, sir. How did you get there so quickly?"

      "Like I said, Carter: magic."

      She was frustrated now. I could just see her throwing her hands up in the air. "Sir-"

      "Trust me, Carter. We've gotten proof, both to support the whole magic thing and to suggest that Xander Harris could be my biological father. I'll tell you all about it as soon as Daniel and I get back to Colorado."

      "If you say so, sir," she said dubiously. She probably thought I'd lost it. Not that I blamed her; I did sound a bit loony.

      "See ya later, Carter. Get some sleep, and then I want you to look up whatever you can on Rupert Giles, Willow Rosenburg and Dawn Summers."

      “Yes, sir.”

      I called the operator and got the number for the airport. I booked two seats on the next available flight to Colorado Springs, and then I called a taxi.

      I walked back into the living room to find four smiling people. "We think we know how to get back to Colorado Springs." Rosenburg said, looking very smug.

      I gave Daniel a sideways look. "So do I. It's called modern transportation."

      She waved an arm. "This is way faster. We think that all you have to do is go back the way you came."

      I stared at them. "What? And face those demon things again? Hell, no!"

      "Oh, you don't have to worry about them,” Summers said. “They only attacked you because you were trespassing. But if Giles says the password, we'll be able to walk through the Library completely unhindered. We think."

      Uh-huh. I'd believe that when I saw it. "'We?'" She shrugged. "So we go to the library. Then what?"

      "We believe that the star pendant you found in your attic might be the key," responded Giles. "Your mother must have used it to assist with research into demons when she and her father worked with their Slayer. When you touched the pendant, you opened a doorway to the Council Library. If you're outside the library, the doorway leads into the library, but if you activate the door from within the library, you create a passageway to your original location. In your case, your original location would be your house in Colorado Springs."

      "If you touch the pendant while you're standing inside the library, a passageway will form that leads to your attic," translated Daniel.

      I pulled the little pendant in question out of my pocket. "This thing really activated a spell?"

      "Uh, I wouldn't hold it for long," Rosenburg said, jumping to her feet and walking over. "If you place it in your palm, you'll activate the doorway again, and then the closest door to you will become a portal to the Library.”

      "Oh." I dropped the pendant back in my pocket. "Daniel, can I talk to you for a second?"

      Daniel glanced up at me. "Oh, sure, Jack."

      He got to his feet and I lead the way to the kitchen. I stopped in the middle of the room, but he caught sight of the photos and walked past me for a better look. “Wow. Is that-?”

      “Yeah.” I ran a hand through my hair. “I've booked a flight in two hours. A cab'll pick us up any minute.” I held up a finger, stalling the words forming on his lips. “We don't know anything about these people, Daniel. I'm not about to take their word for it that we can get home with this star thing until after Carter has a look at it and gives the okay. We're leaving.”

      “Jack!” he said, breaking through my lecture. I glared, but he plowed on. He had his thoughtful face on. "What if there really is magic? How else do you explain how we got here? I know, it may not be, but what if we're wrong?"

      “It doesn't matter. We don't know enough about the situation here yet. I don't know about you, Danny, but I'm a little suspicious about how, because of magic, we're suddenly a third way across the country when we had no intention to be here.”

      Daniel sighed. “It is a little suspicious, I'll grant you that, but what if they really had nothing to do with us getting here? This is the perfect opportunity to find out more about when your mother was here.”

      “If they really are all innocent and everything, we'll come back or whatever. The point is, we don't know that-”

      A wide shadow fell across Daniel as someone came to stand in the doorway behind me. Daniel's eyes narrowed in puzzlement before sliding past me. They widened. “Oh, shit,” he said.

      I turned and caught a glimpse of who, or more accurately what, had arrived in the kitchen. “Ditto,” I said.

      Whatever it was, it put the rhino things to shame. Leather and metallic body armor covered heavily muscled, grayish-green limbs. A tattoo of a purple Greek cross consumed in red flames began at his chin and covered his left cheek, and yellow eyes stared at us out of a scaly face. He was six and a half feet tall and took up the entire doorway. He held a really huge, really sharp-looking axe that was half-rusted over with dried blood.

      “Hi, there,” I said. I wondered if we could make it to the back kitchen door.

      His mouth tightened into a snarl. He slapped me with his free arm. By slap, I meant he hit me with the equivalent force of a mallet pounding a gopher into the ground.

      I collided with Daniel, and we went down in a tangle of limbs.


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