It was not an auspicious start to a briefing. Sam was pretending to read through the folder in front of her but was actually obsessing over the hickey on her neck. Drat Pete anyway. She kept hiking her collar up and resisting the temptation to actually touch her neck and test that the concealer makeup was still in place.
Teal'c was staring straight ahead of him, absolutely no expression on his face. Daniel, fiddling with a paper clip, was wondering if Teal'c had low blood sugar or something. Did Jaffa actually have a blood sugar thing to worry about? Daniel put the paper clip on the end of his pencil and started whipping it around. In short order, the paper clip few off the end of the pencil and hit one of their visitors in the neck.
*Oh crap,* Daniel thought. Sam and Teal'c didn't notice but the paperclip victim did. He looked at Daniel with an arched eyebrow and then returned to studying Sam. Daniel saw a tiny spot of blood well up on his neck. The paperclip must have nicked him. The victim ran a finger over the blood, wiping it off, and then sucked it off his finger. A blissful expression briefly flickered across his face.
By this time, Sam had noticed the almost unwavering scrutiny of the stranger. He was very attractive with wonderful bone structure but he had this Billy Idol thing going on with bleached blonde hair with dark roots, a black t-shirt, black leather duster, and, my lord who could believe it on a military base, chipped black nail polish.
*Who is this weird, but admittedly sexy, guy? He walked in with that captain but they don't really seem to belong together,* Sam wondered curiously. She tried to get a look at the name on the captain's pocket. She really should have been paying better attention. Fink maybe?
*I swear to God,* Sam thought. *He is staring directly at my neck. I'll have to find an excuse to go to the lady's room and put on more makeup.*
Teal'c wasn't interested in either of their visitors. At the moment, there was one thought on his mind, *Daniel if you don't stop fidgeting I'm going to have to go over there and slap you.* Daniel was now shredding up a post it note into tiny pieces and sticking them on his briefing folder.
Daniel decided to make conversation. "So where are you guys from?"
The military guy said, "That's classified."
The civilian in the black leather coat said, "Get over yourself," to the military guy and then looked at Daniel and said, "Lately, LA."
Conversation with military guy wasn't going anywhere so Daniel decided to focus on black leather guy. "Oh really. I don't know if I've ever really been there. Do you like it?"
"Food's good," was the answer. For some reason, this provoked a really dirty look from military guy.
Sam noticed that he had a nice voice with an intriguing English accent. Not something that sounded like Masterpiece Theatre but more like Alfie. Seductive really. As a linguist, Daniel was fascinated by the traces of other accents that appeared to flirt with the basic English dialect. Teal'c was thinking, *By all the gods, if they are not hard enough to understand already? Why cannot they all talk the same?*
Suddenly, black leather guy asked Sam with great interest, "Something bite you on the neck?"
Fortunately, General Jack O'Neill made an appearance at that point. "Good morning, campers. I trust we've all gotten to know one another."
Everyone but Daniel and black leather guy straightened up into correct military alertness in the presence of a superior. Daniel accidentally knocked his pencil on the floor and black leather guy tilted his chair back.
"Okee dokee," Jack said taking his chair. "Captain Finn and Mr. Atherton have joined us today because we have been asked to undertake a special assignment. SG-1 will escort them to P4K929 where they will conduct a classified experiment. We have scheduled your departure through the gate at 0900 hours and expect a return 24 hours later.
Sam said, "Sir, it would help if we knew something about the experiment."
Captain Finn appeared to take a moment to steel himself and then said, "Mr. Atherton has a rare condition that makes sunlight extremely dangerous for him."
"Porphyria," Daniel supplied.
Jack muttered, "Why did I know you'd come up with that?"
Finn bit his lip and continued, "Actually it's only related. We call it neoporphyria. Government research has indicated that it may be the unique signature of our sunlight that triggers the condition. The hypothesis of the experiment is that under an alien sun, Mr. Atherton will suffer no ill effects."
Daniel was flabbergasted. He sputtered for a moment and then blurted out, "Our government isn't really funding AIDS research as well as it might and they're going to use the stargate to try to cure a disease that afflicts a tiny percentage of the population?" Kind hearted as he was, he immediately felt bad about the insensitivity he had displayed to Atherton's plight. He awkwardly tried to apologize, "Look it's not that I want you to suffer. It just is really surprising."
"No offense taken," Atherton said. "You see the thing is, the syndrome comes with some other symptoms that the government thinks could be useful to them if blokes like me can operate freely on other worlds."
"The government is exploiting your illness?" Daniel was clearly disgusted.
"Hey, we're not used to anybody takin' a positive interest in us. It's usually all torches and pitchforks and wooden stakes,"
"Spike!" Finn exploded.
"Well, we're planning on breakin' out the stakes right? They're gonna have to know soon enough."
"Stakes?" Sam said bewildered. She was going to have to try much harder to get her head in the game and off how annoyed she was with her boyfriend.
The reference to stakes was lost on Teal'c although they did seem like an oddly primitive weapon. "What characteristics?"
"The Initiative, my project, which has recently been reactivated, has measured the ability of those with neoporphyria to see clearly up to twice as far as the human norm, acute hear roughly 50% better than average, and possess strength at least triple the average person of the same size. And they recover from almost every wound or disease very rapidly."
Atherton, or was it Spike, broke in. "My stats are better than that. Four times normal strength," he told Sam.
Finn said, "Correlated to the fact that you are a lot older than both the median and the mean."
"He took a class in statistics once," Spike observed to the room in general.
Finn pulled a sports bag up from the floor and unzipped it. Evidently it didn't have his dirty sweats in it after all. He pulled out three wooden stakes with wickedly tapered points and distributed them to Sam, Teal'c, and Daniel.
Jack said, "Hey Teal'c let me see that." He turned it over in his hands and said, "Nice wood grain. What is that, maple?" He gave it back reluctantly to Teal'c.
Daniel was holding the stake out at arm's length and simply said, "Whaaaat?"
Finn explained their party favors. "Spike's been playing for our team for awhile as has his grandsire, Angel, and a couple of others with the condition we have managed to turn," he paused.
Spike giggled and said, "from the dark side."
Finn looked like he was wanted to hit him but continued, "Anyway no one is really sure what the effect of a different sun might be. It's even possible that Spike might revert and if he does, the only way to kill him is a wooden stake."
Spike added, "Through the heart" and he pantomimed the act with his briefing pen. He added, not too modestly, "The four of you together just might be able to take me. Riley here just wet his knickers trying to take me out repeatedly and never got anywhere, at least before they put the bloody chip in my head."
"Wait just a minute," Daniel said. "You are describing the classic Vampire myth."
"Your point being..." Spike asked.
Jack cleared his throat. "Actually, that appears to be what the government believes, Mr. Atherton to be," he paused and looked at Spike, "or maybe you prefer Spike?"
Spike shrugged, "Spike, William the Bloody, whatever rings your chimes."
Jack stated matter of factly, "If Spike can get over the sunlight thing, he would make a supersoldier for us fighting the Goa'uld or anyone else we run into out there."
Everyone took that in for a minute or two. There was total silence in the briefing room until Daniel started tapping a pencil on the table. In an uncharacteristic outburst, Teal'c reached over, grabbed the pencil, and snapped it in half.
"Hey," protested Daniel, "that had my name printed on it."
"You aren't serious?" Spike looked at Daniel with some concern.
"No, I'm not."
"Because that would have been just too..." Words failed Spike.
Jack took charge of the situation again by glaring at Daniel and Spike and then making eye contact with everyone else in the room. "That pretty much sums up the mission. Does anyone else have any questions before we break up?"
Spike asked Sam, "Are you seeing anybody? I happen to have a thing for blonde birds who like to kick ass. My ex was like that. Kicked mine a few times." He looked a little wistful.
Finn made a strangled sound and an aborted gesture toward Spike. "She was his ex before she was mine. It kills him." Spike appeared to take great pleasure in this.
Jack said with an unusual dose of spit and polish, "Mr. Atherton, we will maintain appropriate military decorum at all times, whether you are military personnel or not." His tone was completely no-nonsense and deadly serious.
Spike seemed unintimidated but he bowed slightly toward Jack and said "Righto guv." He actually subsided to relatively normal behavior.
The rest is history. The Initiative's hypothesis was indeed vindicated and Spike ultimately filled the long vacant slot once held by Jack on SG-1. He and Daniel formed an improbable friendship, at first due to Spike's ability to pass on fascinating historical tidbits gleaned from other, even older vampires. Spike's initial interest in Sam quickly waned when he realized how brilliant she was. Evidently, none of his previous girl friends were particularly intellectual and he preferred it that way. Instead, he started pushing Daniel to make a move on Sam. Once Teal'c got over being annoyed at Spike's accent, he appreciated the man's Jaffa-like strength and resilience. One day he put his seal of approval on Spike by saying, "If you had been part of Apothis' forces I might have had a hard time competing with you to be First Prime."
After awhile, Spike fit in so well that most of the time they all forgot he was a vampire. His true nature remained classified and there was a supply sergeant miles away who went crazy trying to figure out why black nail polish has been added to the routine list of requisitioned supplies for Cheyenne Mountain.