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FIC: The Sap Chronicles: Choose (4/5) (A Fragile Existence Companion).
by Laney (laney_1974)
at May 18th, 2008 (11:26 am)

current mood: tired

Fic:The Sap Chronciles
Series:Fragile Existence
Author: laney_1974
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Buffy and Angel people belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. The Stargate people belong to Gekko Productions, Double Secret Productions, MGM/UA, Showtime/Viacom.
Authors Note: This is a series of short ficlets set in the Fragile Existence 'Verse. They're set after FE and contain insane levels of Sap (hence the title). This is actually complete, I just haven't had the opportunity to go through the last four ficlets due to uni. I will post one ficlet/chapter every couple of days.
Authors Note II: On a completely unrelated note, once I've finished posting the Sap Chronicles, it's highly unlikely there will be any updates for any stories until after June 18 (my last exam of the semester - wish me luck!)
Dedication: To the lovely zephyrrs for the beta and brilliant feedback.

"You're trying to kill me," Kit declared as she collapsed onto the grass, grasping for breath. "I know you are."

Jack rolled his eyes. "I'm not trying to kill you, Kit."

She gave him an incredulous look. "Then why do I feel like I'm dying?"

Carlos snorted, and then suddenly coughed trying to catch his breath.

"You're not dying," he told her, taking a seat on the grass next to her. She and Carlos had worked hard, they deserved a break. "It might feel like I am, but in a month or so you'll be able to do this without losing your breath."

The reply earned Jack a glare which he dutifully ignored. "You agreed to this, Kit. If you don't want to do this anymore…" Jack pretended his heart didn't leap in fear that Kit would change her mind. Convincing Kit to train with him and Carlos had taken them both the better part of a month and he knew she hated every single second, especially since…

"It's just not fair Dawn doesn't have to do 'PT' and I do."

… Dawn wasn't a part of this. "She's training with Buffy and Giles." She joined them a couple of times a week on their morning run, but she never stayed for the main part of the training.

"Why can't we train with Buffy and Giles?" Kit grumbled. "They don't make Dawn run ten miles."

Jack laid down at the grass. "Giles is training Dawn in magic." Even though this wasn't news to either of them, Jack felt the weight of their stares. "And Buffy… Buffy's the Slayer. She's the best teacher for what Dawn wants to learn."

Neither of them spoke, all Jack could hear was their slowing breaths.

"Wouldn't it make sense for us to train with Buffy, then?" Kit asked finally, rolling over to lie on her stomach. She rested her chin on her hands and regarded him thoughtfully. "I mean, not with magic. I know you…"

Jack shook his head, effectively ending her line of thought. He was not going to have another discussion about his opinion of magic. Not with Dawn, not with Willow or Buffy and especially not with these two.

"…I mean, she can teach us how to fight vampires. I know you've been trained…"

"Buffy's experience is with the supernatural," he agreed, "but I can teach you more than that." Buffy was stronger, faster and more powerful than he could ever be, but there were lines that she would never cross.

There weren't any lines Jack wouldn't cross.

He could teach them -- when they both turned eighteen -- how to fire a gun, how to break into houses, into cars, how to fly, he could teach them how to make a bomb from scratch.... and the fact that he was even contemplating this made him die a little bit inside. The two of them were kids. They were his kids, but…

There weren't any lines Jack wouldn't cross to keep his friends alive.

Kit frowned. "If you can teach us more than that, then Dawn should be here." A note of concern -- fear -- reached her voice. "Why isn't she here?"

Jack sighed and glanced towards Carlos, who was watching him with interest. He should never have let them take a break. "Buffy's her sister. Giles is practically her father." He shrugged. "They've chosen to train her and it's their right. They know more about magic and the supernatural than I ever will. Besides, Dawn wants to focus in that field."

And, well, at least one of them should specialise in the supernatural and Jack knew that it was unlikely he, Kit or Carlos would ever have the opportunity.

Dawn was the only Scooby among them.

Jack had no doubt that if he hadn't entered Dawn's life, both Carlos and Kit would be Scoobies by now. They had already made a start towards it when Jack met the two of them, but after the Creeps… things changed.

Jack had given them keys to his apartment and they had become his.


Dawn was his too, but not like Kit and Carlos were. The friendship between the three of them had grown in ways he never anticipated, especially in the last twelve months. It was different from his friendship with Dawn. There was a connection between him, Kit and Carlos that he didn't share with Dawn (and he wasn't quite ready to discover why that was).

Jack sometimes wondered if the connection, in the end, wasn't going to get them all killed

"This isn't just about who can teach who what." Jack already had Kit and Carlos' 'vampire training' arranged. In a month they were going to LA. "It's about staying alive. I… I need to know that if the shit hits the fan you two will survive." Kit and Carlos were the weakest out of all of them, and they all knew it.

"Dawn needs to know how to stay alive, too," Kit pointed out.

Jack found himself sighing once more. "Dawn will have magic and the skills Buffy teaches her to survive." Although, Jack did plan to fill in any gaps in her education. "Dawn also has Buffy."

Something none of them had.


"If the four of us get captured," he began, hating himself for articulating the thoughts that often kept him up at night, "and Buffy had to choose who to save… She would choose Dawn, as she should. They're sisters. Buffy'd come back for us, I don't doubt that, but she would save Dawn first. I want to teach the two of you how to survive until help arrives."

Kit tilted her head to the side and studied him. "If you had to choose, who…"

"All of you." It was something he'd thought about more than one. Hell, it was something he'd experienced more than once. It was why he was going to teach them everything he knew.

Jack wouldn't choose.

He couldn't.

Last one will be posted tonight.