In fact, I debated about posting it all, but then decided you guys were more likely to hit me for no story at all as opposed to a bad one. And I'm afraid of you -- you're all crazy. ;P
Beam Me Up, Scotty
A "Life at the Lair" Story
"I'll see your M&M's, and raise you a Tootsie roll."
Eyes locked on his competition's, Mulder reached for his cards and slowly flipped them over.
"Oh, for cryin' out loud!" Jack sighed, throwing his three queens on the table after losing to Mulder's flush of clubs. "I've always hated this game."
Spike watched the FBI agent rake in his pot of junk food. He'd been forced to fold early in the hand, unable to meet the ante after Methos threw in the pack of Doritos. "It's a lot more fun when you're bettin' with kittens," he grumbled.
The others groaned on mass.
"We know, Spike! So you've told us. Repeatedly, I might add."
"Oh, sod off, Rupert," Spike glowered, sulking in his chair.
Giles tidied his neat little pile of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and munched on a piece of black licorice. "No, thank you, Spike. I think I'm quite all right just as I am." He turned the man getting to his feet beside him. "Will you get me another as well, Adam?"
Adam Pierson, Methos to his closest friends, raised his empty beer bottle in answer. He was back a minute later, laden down with more bottle of assorted varieties. Hands quickly reached out from all sides to kindly lighten his load for him.
Methos smiled sardonically at their generosity. "Thanks," he quipped, slapping at Spike's fingers when he tried to take one particular bottle.
"Oy, what'd you do that for?" Spike asked, settling for a bottle of Kokanee instead. Being a Canadian brew, it was at least better than that weak American piss most of the others were drinking.
"This one's mine," Methos warned, draining half in one swallow. "Moon has it imported from Wales specifically for me. Anybody goes near my Brains, vampire, they'll wind up a foot shorter. Or in your case, a pile of dust." He tapped the broadsword leaning against his chair in emphasis.
Spike snorted. "Like anybody'd want your stupid brains, you bleedin' Immie."
"Brains, with a capital 'B'," Giles explained, rolling his eyes in exasperation. "As in Brains Dark, a lovely local brew from Cardiff, Wales. It's not bad," he toasted Methos with his own bottle of Guiness, "but I prefer the classics." He took a swig to illustrate.
Daniel ignored the conversation, huddled possessively over his mocha latte expresso. His eyes almost glazed over in bliss as he sipped the blessed caffeine.
"Yes, well.... while I'm terribly sure that is all splendid, might we return to the evening's entertainment, gentleman? I do feel that Lady Luck may be smiling down upon me tonight," Ezra flashed his gold tooth in a grin, expertly shuffling the deck of cards between his dexstrous fingers.
"Deal me in," Jack said, shaking off his previous loss with a cocky grin. "Foxy-boy here owe's me one, and this time he's gonna pay up."
Mulder chuckled and accepted his cards. "You're on, fly-boy! And don't call me Fox."
Riddick scraped his chair back from the table. "I'm out," he said, reaching for his goggles. Before he put the protective eyewear on, he turned his glittering silvered eyes on the Southern dealer. "Can't figure out how, but I know you must be cheating."
Ezra affected a shocked expression. "Sir, I am insulted! That you could think such of thing of a man of my sterling character...!"
Riddick stared, letting his silent disbelief speak for him.
But before Ezra could come up with a suitable means of obfuscating himself out of this little accusation, a bright light flashed beside the poker table. Riddick flinched, turning his head away sharply and yanking his goggles over his eyes before any further surprises blinded his sensitive vision.
When the bright greenish light died down, a small grey alien with abnormally large black eyes stood blinking curiously at the table full of men.
Mulder's jaw dropped open and he instinctively reached for a gun that wasn't there. He was even more startled when Jack grinned broadly and waved the little alien over.
"Thor! Hey, buddy! Nice to see ya! Have you met my friends? The shifty-looking one dealing is Ezra Standish, the guy with the big nose is Adam Pierson, the guy glaring at you through the funny glasses is Richard Riddick, the dorky-looking Brit beside him is Rupert Giles, and that's Spike sulking beside him. You know Danny here, of course, and this other fool," he pointed at the still stunned Fed, "is Fox Mulder."
"You, you're... you're a...! You...!" Mulder stuttered, unable to think of a thing to say.
Thor blinked and titled his head to peer at him. "I am Thor, Supreme Commander of the Asgard Fleet."
"You... you.... Roswell!" Mulder finally managed to get out, staring wide-eyed at the little grey alien.
"Yeah, yeah... he's one of the Roswell greys," Jack dismissed Mulder's mumblings with a careless wave. "Aliens are real, we're not alone in the universe, blah, blah, blah."
"Jaaack," Daniel glared at him reproachfully.
Jack turned a look of patent little-boy innocence on his teammate. "What?"
Daniel didn't even deign that with a response, just kept staring steadily at his best friend. "Don't make me turn Gumnut loose on you again."
Jack gulped, discreetly looked around for the nutty Australian, and coughed once. "Right. Er... Thor, old buddy!," he quickly changed the topic. "What can I help you for?"
"I seek nothing from you, O'Neill," Thor said in his soft, bluntly honest way. "I have not come for you, but to extend an invitation to the one called Methos. His venerable presence is requested by the Federation Council to speak on behalf of this Reality at the Continuum Conference."
As the men digested this improbable piece of information with varying levels of befuddlement and confusion, Methos casually stood up (with his Brains) and strolled over to the Asgard.
"Hello again, Thor. It's been a long time."
"Yes, old friend. It has been nearly two thousand of your years." Thor looked up at the tall Immortal. "You argued quite favorably on behalf of humanity's continued existence the last time you went before the Q, it is hoped you might do so again."
Methos smirked. "Is Q threatening to destroy the Universe again?" he asked, ignoring the background noise of choking and horrified exclamations. "I thought that Captain, the French one who talks with a British accent, had already dealt with Q on that?"
"Captain Picard, yes," Thor nodded, "but that was a different Q. This Q has not been so convinced, but has agreed to the Federation's pleas to listen to a representative. You were elected based on your previous success. I am to transport you to meet with the Enterprise, where you will join Picard for the Conference."
Unnoticed during all the commotion, the strange sounds coming from the Games Room had caught the attention of a spectator. She'd watched quietly from the shadows of the entrance, chuckling away to herself, until her keen ears had heard mention of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. She didn't even think before she was moving.
Rushing into the room, sparing only a moment to unobtrusively goose Mulder as she passed, Shady fell to her knees beside the waist-high alien. "Take me with you!" she begged.
Thor blinked again, deciding once and for all that as much potential as this primitive race had, they were still awfully strange creatures. He looked questioningly up at Methos, leaving the decision to the chosen Human representative.
Methos shrugged. "Sure, why not? She's cute enough, and it could be handy to have an author with us at the Conference. They have a way of making things work out."
"In that case, I want to come too!" Janeway yelled, dashing in from the other side. She looked pleadingly at the ancient Immortal, batting her eyelashes earnestly. "I can help, really!"
Thor nodded. "Very well. Gather closer, and I shall transport us to the Beliskner II."
"Whoo!" Shady giggled. "Beam me up, Scotty!"
Thor paused, casting her a puzzled look. "I am Thor, not Scotty," he said seriously.
Shady shrugged, blushing faintly as Methos started snickering. "It's just an expression. I've always wanted to say to it."
And they disappeared in another brilliant flash of light.
"Bugger," Spike announced into the resultant silence. "There's something you don't see every day."
"Actually," Daniel sighed, "we do."
"Yep," Jack agreed. "It's pretty normal modus operandi for us." He threw a disgruntled look up toward the unseen sky. "Except that usually Thor's beaming me around, not some crazy swordsmen and a couple of eavesdropping authors."
Riddick looked at them like they were all crazy. "You guys need to get out more," he said and left the room.
The remaining men glanced at each other and grinned.
"Nah, that's what we have fic authors for!"
Alright, be brutally honest with me now. It sucked, didn't it? C'mon, you can tell me the truth. I'm tough, I can take it. ;)