Learned Whores
by Am-Chau Yarkona
Rating: NC-17
Summary: A Harry Potter/ Stargate SG-1 crossover, written for Raven, whose madness inspires me.
(To give you a flavour, she said of this story: "I don't want to read it, I want to roll it up and smoke it.")
Archive: if you really want to. Feedback always welcomed.
Pairings: Meant to be a surprise, but here if you really want to know.


"There are ways of earning money, you know," Remus said to the blue-eyed young man whom he'd only just met and was already buying drinks for. Drinks that he couldn't really afford.

"Yeah," he replied, "But they all involve getting a job, which involves giving your real name, and that's not something I'm happy to do right now."

"Ah," Remus said, and carefully didn't wonder if this man was a young criminal or an old runaway. An image of Sirius swam before his eyes—I'd pay for sex with you. "There are jobs that don't. Rather the opposite, in fact."

Suddenly the blue eyes were fixed on him, and for once in his life Remus was aware that he was facing an intellect greater than his own. "How?"

Well, maybe at least equal to his own. "There's always selling your body."

"Organ transplants?" the man said, and then his mind clearly caught up. "Sex!?"

Remus raised his eyebrows, pushed himself away from the bar, and gave the young man who called himself Daniel Ziggurat a long, appraising look.

Daniel returned it, shocked to find that his body responded approvingly to this idea. "Are you offering, Remus…"

"Areson, and no, I'm not. I'm nearly as broke as you are, remember?"

Nodding, Daniel turned back to his drink. "I don't suppose this wonderful idea of yours extends to a method of procuring custom, does it?"

"It doesn't yet," Remus admitted, "but let me work on that."

* * *

In the end, he gave up on the small town where they'd met and hitched them a lift to New York, where at least he knew the wizarding world.

On the corner of Eight and Bonkwiggle, New York's answer to Knockturn Alley, he met Mr. Gorgon. "A Muggle? A male Muggle?"

Remus nodded. "And me."

Mr. Gorgon considered him—strapping young man. "Come inside," he said. "I'm sure we can come to some sort of… arrangement."

* * *

Three hours later they were 'arranged': Remus and Daniel had been found hotel rooms in a seedy establishment called "The Gentleman's Rest", presided over by an old woman with a huge red mouth like a bloody wound; Mr. Gorgon was off make their existence known to certain people who knew other people who might be interested in such; and Daniel was trying to work out what was happening to him.

"You brought me here blindfolded, though you could just have taken my glasses off," he said observed. "That has to be suspicious. What's going on? Are you with a secret service?" Remus didn't answer, but Daniel went on talking to the room at large. "Why am I letting this happen?"

"Because you need the money, dear," the mirror replied.

"Okay," Daniel said. "I wish I knew what I've taken, because it's the good shit and no mistake."

"You'll get used to it," Remus told him,  and went to search the bathroom cabinets. He was going to have to find some Muggle lube before Daniel's first customer arrived, or there would be even more explaining to do.

* * *

The first man came, and came, and left satisfied. Another arrived for Daniel, who pocketed the money with a sneer of disgust; and another, and another, and another.

Nobody knocked on Remus' door.

After a week of this, Daniel was considerably better off, though not quite making enough to consider stopping, and Remus was three dollars poorer. He'd had one customer, but she'd been so ugly he'd felt the need to drink himself stupid with his cut of the money she'd paid.

He also suspected that the exchange rate was not quite what he'd been told it was, but since he didn't feel ready to explain Knuts and Sickles to Daniel, he let it lie.

While Daniel went on laying, and getting rich on it.

Remus gritted his teeth. "Listen—the deal was that we both got customers. What happened?"

Mr. Gorgon shrugged. "You're not what's in demand at the moment. Be patient. I'm paying your food and board, aren't I?"

Sighing, Remus nodded. He was. "Look, what is in demand at the moment?"

"The exotic, like always," Gorgon told him, voice sour with cynicism. "Muggles, monsters, madmen."

"Werewolves?" Remus enquired.

Gorgon turned a penetrating stare on him. "Yeah. You happen to know one?"

Taking a deep breath, Remus nodded. "I happen to be one."

"Why didn't you say so… oh." Gorgon broke off, still staring. "It's full moon next Saturday, isn't it?"

Remus nodded.


Remus nodded again. "Yeah. Think anyone would be interested in paying for one?"

"To fuck a fucking werewolf?"

Remus—beginning to feel like a Churchill advert—nodded once more.

"They'd have to be fucking insane or something."

"I'd say you've hit the nail on the head. I'd also venture that they ought to be rich. If they like, I normally wear manacles at the full moon anyway, so that's not a problem."

This time, it was Gorgon's turn to nod dumbly. "I'll… ask around," he said, and fled the room.

* * *

"I've stumbled into some sort of anthropological heaven, haven't I?" Daniel said, musingly. He knew he was annoying Remus, but he didn't really care. "I mean, bed has to be the best place to study people's habits, even if you don't get long to look at their clothes."

"Uh-huh," Remus replied, picking at the loose threads on the arm of his chair. He itched to reach for the copy of Four Hundred Useful Spells in his bag and see if there was a silencing charm, but didn't dare risk it. Daniel would read anything in sight. "Don't you have any clients?"

"Finished for today," Daniel said smugly, stretching out on one side of Remus' double bed. "One guy came in yesterday with a whole list of Latin verbs he wanted me to read. And there's a woman out there somewhere who has ineo tattooed just over her asshole."

"Over her arse?" Remus said, fascinated despite himself.

Daniel nodded. "Apparently that's where she liked it—she was very enthusiastic, anyway. She paid for twice, and tipped as well. You're a real Brit, aren't you?"

"Um, yes," Remus said. "You've been drinking coffee all evening, haven't you?"

"Am I talking that much faster?"

"Yes," Remus said.

"You didn't answer my question."

"Yes, I'm genuinely British. Now will you go away and let me have some peace and quiet?" 

"You have nothing but peace and quiet all day," Daniel said, choosing to ignore the fact that mostly Remus got to listen to the bangs and moans from next door.

"I've got a customer coming tomorrow, I want to be ready," Remus told him acidly, and immediately wished he hadn't.

"Ooh! At last! Lucky you, Remus," Daniel said. Remus imagined that he could hear the splash of sarcasm hitting the floor. "Make sure to note down whether they were these weird medieval robes, will you? I don't know where Gorgon drags them up from, but unless we're camp followers to a band of historical recreationists, something very strange is going on." 

* * *

The next afternoon, Remus had been planning to shove Daniel out of the hotel and make sure he stayed away for the rest of the night. And possibly the next three nights, and maybe even forever.

Unfortunately, there wasn't a break in Daniel's stream of customers until sunset was ten minutes away; and Daniel took advantage of that gap to promptly fall asleep.

Remus cursed.

All he could do was make himself as safe a possible and pray that the woman—for no real reason, he imagined it would be a woman—would lock the door.

* * *

"A muzzle," Daniel said, lifting same from the floor. "Handcuffs… chains… muzzle. Cuts and bruises. Remus, what on earth did you let him do to you?"

Remus huddled further down under the quilt and prayed that Daniel would leave soon. "Nothing he didn't pay for," he muttered.

"There's something I'm missing here," Daniel said softly. "Care to explain?"

"No," Remus said. "Leave me alone."

Thankfully, Daniel left. Remus dropped into an uneasy sleep.

* * *

Some semblance of tact must have been installed in Daniel at some point, because he didn't comment on Remus' condition the next two nights, or the next month.

The month after that, though, he cracked.

"I've seen a lot of strange things since I met you," he said to Remus over dinner on the night before the full moon. "People who could move things with a word, a man who could turn into a bat, and women who paid for my time and then didn't want sex, only a sample of my semen—not to mention people who called me "darling Muggle" and fed me as if I was an animal. But you're the strangest of all—if I didn't know better, I'd say you were a werewolf."

Remus stood up. "You're also a lot richer," he said. "I think it's time you left."

Reasonably calmly, Daniel allowed Remus to put the blindfold on once more and lead him out of the hotel.

They said goodbye in the bar where they'd met. This time, Daniel paid.

It seemed like the end. Daniel assumed it would be; Remus, who knew a little more about the ways of these things, hoped it would be.


* * * * *


"SG-1, good to see you," General Hammond said. "We've had a call, routed through the Pentagon, from the RAF. They think they may have alien activity in Scotland."

"And this concerns us how?" Jack asked, taking his place at the briefing room table.

"I want you to fly over there and see if they're right," Hammond replied. "People have died, Colonel O'Neill—it could be a Goa’uld experiment, or a lone Asgard, or something else. I want you to stop it."

Jack looked around his team—Daniel rubbing his eyes, having been living on coffee for a couple of days; Teal'c as serene as always even though he'd be summoned as hurriedly as the rest of them; and Sam seemingly disappointed at being dragged out of her lab. There wasn't a lot to say except, "Yes, sir."

Six hours later, they were over the Atlantic.

Officially, Jack liked flying; in practice, it was a lot more fun when he was in charge. Sitting on a civilian passenger flight (why oh why? There was a reason, he supposed, and probably a good one, to do with politics and staying friends and being advising experts not invaders, but General Hammond hadn't told him what it was) with Daniel throwing up on one side of him and a huge lady carrying a Bible blocking his view out of the window on the other, it was basically miserable.

"Carter," he asked for the third time, "are we nearly there yet?"

* * *

The man who met them at Edinburgh airport didn't look military.

"Simon Beaufort, and my partner is Karen Cheney. We're MI5," he explained once they were in the privacy of the car, having caught Jack's doubtful looks. "I've been acting through RAF Kinloss so that I didn't have to explain all my details to the USAF, but now you're here you ought to know, I'm what you could loosely term Secret Service."

"Licensed to kill?" Jack asked, raising an eyebrow.

His partner—a tall dark-haired women with heavy wrinkles and a slightly deformed lip, shook her head. "We're not that sort of agent, Colonel O'Neill. We investigate strange domestic occurrences, just in case they turn out to be attacks."

"We've never had something this big before," Beaufort went on as if confiding in them. "It's not anything we can explain with reference to military technology—unless you lot have developed something we don't know about—but it is genuine, and it is dangerous."

"Could you tell us exactly what has been happening?" Daniel asked.

"We're only really guessing at the big picture, Doctor Jackson. Perhaps it's for the best if we show you the evidence…" Cheney suggested.

"Okay," Daniel nodded. "What have you got?"

"Well, I thought we'd stop by the morgue first—it's not in the village itself, but we'll be going past…"

* * *

Eventually, Beaufort and Cheney departed to give their superiors a full report, and left SG-1 alone for a while in the place's sole hotel.

"What have we got, really?" Jack asked them.

"Not much that makes sense," Daniel replied. "Two bodies, dead but apparently unmarked; several remarkably similar eyewitness accounts of lights in the sky and strange noises; and a village that's…"

"Spooky?" Jack suggested. "I feel like Scully."

"I guess that makes me Mulder," Sam put in. "Something's going on here—I swear that this village isn't exactly what it seems. When I got to the edge, and looked along the river, I thought I could see more houses just half a mile or so up, but Beaufort swore there wasn't anything there."

"And when we were coming in, I saw that castle," Daniel said. "He swore that wasn't there, either, but I know a castle when I see one."

"He may be unable to see it," Teal'c suggested. "Brainwashing has been known."

"True," Sam said, "but I think there's something more going on than just brainwashing—or if that's what it is, it's not all that effective. Those people were just dead—no marks or anything; and the lights in the sky don't sound like any spaceship we've come across before."

"They describe a cloud, of smoke possibly, shaped like a skull and serpent," Daniel said. "It's vaguely reminiscent of some Greek myths, but not exact."

"It's a lot reminiscent of Harry Potter," Jack said.

Daniel shrugged. "J.K. Rowling used a lot of mythology from some very eclectic sources. I think we've got to follow up the castle and Sam's other village, and meanwhile I'd like to poke around in the local library and see if there are any previous reports of this sort of thing."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Jack said. "We'll put that to our hosts when they come back, and see if we can get that through."

* * *

"There have been deaths in the Muggle village, Headmaster," Snape reported. "And one Death Eater was talking about Muggles coming to investigate. We have to take action, or He Who Must Not Be Named will kill or enslave them all."

Dumbledore nodded. "Someone must find out who these investigating Muggles are, and scare them away: if they keep their noses out of magical business, they will be safe for the time being. Voldemort must surely still fear all-out-attack."

There was silence among the members of the Order of the Phoenix who had gathered in his office. Eventually, Remus Lupin stood. "I'll go," he offered. "I have research to do in the Muggle library there anyway—the librarian is Madam Pince's sister, and she might be able to tell me what's been happening."

"Good luck, Remus," Minerva said. "Find out what you can, but don't risk being discovered or blamed for the deaths."

* * *

Beaufort was very accommodating. "Doctor Jackson, Karen can stay and help you—she's made a start on some of the local history material all ready. Colonel, I know for a fact that there's nothing there, but if you want to check it with your own eyes, I'll help you." 

"I'd like to check it," Jack said, fervently hoping that he was right to put his trust in the team's instincts this way. "Beaufort, you're with me, we'll go and look for this castle; Carter, Murray, head upriver. Radio contact every hour."

Teal'c nodded under his stylish low-brimmed hat. "We will be sure of it, O'Neill."

* * *

Daniel and Karen buried themselves in local folklore, with the aid of a very helpful librarian called Miss Pince.

"There are masses of these stories," Daniel said, after an hour or so. "Odd things must happen here every week. Last year, for example, there are sixteen cases of objects mysteriously disappearing, eight sightings of 'ghost children' who are never seen again, and twenty-nine reports of noises, lights, and UFOs."

"I know," Karen agreed. "It makes me wonder what's so different about this case. It starts to look like business as usual."

"It makes me wonder why nobody's investigated before," Daniel said, hearing Jack's voice in the words even as he said them. "Sorry. I must be getting cynical in my old age."

Karen smiled at him, and turned back to her pile of local newspapers. "It's a good question, actually."

* * *

Out on the moor, Jack and Simon Beaufort were struggling through the rain.

"We ought to turn back!" Simon shouted.

"Nah," Jack called over his shoulder. "We'll be alright. I want to get to the top of that hill." He pointed away into the distance.

"There's a lake between here and there, and the whole place is covered in trees, Colonel!" Simon replied. "This is stupid. Let's come back another day."

"No, Agent Beaufort. I say we're going on." Jack turned away determinedly and started marching across the moor again.

Behind him and luckily unheard, Simon sighed. "Typical bloody American, thinks he knows it all."

* * *

Finding out about the bizarre Muggles may have been a noble aim; recognising one of them as part of one's wild youth was not in the game plan.

Daniel looked up as the door opened and found himself caught in a sudden rush of recollection.

"Mr Lupin," the librarian said, hurrying over to the newcomer. "Did you want those books on local history? I'm afraid some of them are in use…"

"Yes, yes," Remus nodded, staring into blue eyes. "I, um… hello."

"Hi," Daniel said, awkward—had she said "Lupin"? That wasn't what he remembered, he was sure of that.

"Sorry," Miss Celandine Pince buzzed, "I should introduce you I suppose—Mr Lupin, this is Dr Daniel Jackson, he's researching the area with Miss Karen Cheney here; Dr Jackson, Miss Cheney, this is Mr Remus Lupin, he teaches at a local school."

Remus swallowed and recovered himself. "Good to meet you again, Daniel—or should I call you Doctor Jackson now?"

Daniel shook the offered hand. "Daniel is fine—if I can call you Remus?"

"Of course," Remus said, smiling at him briefly before turning to Karen. "And Miss Cheney, pleased to meet you."

"Karen, please," she replied. Daniel thought he could see her going weak at the knees.

"Have you found anything of interest?" Remus asked, politely.

"A lot of strange things go on around here," Daniel said. "I don't suppose you could throw any light on the hundreds of apparently supernatural occurrences?"

Remus and Celandine exchanged a glance—as a Squib, she knew quite well that he could explain most of it perfectly if he chose to. "Many of them are probably superstition," he said. "Were there specific examples you were interested in?"

"Well, it's the more recent ones that I've been asked to look at," Daniel explained. "Specifically, it's the deaths that are attracting notice."

"Deaths?" Remus said. He hadn't been aware of any deaths that might have come to Muggle notice.

Daniel nodded. "Haven't you read the local paper?"

* * *

"We have to go back," Simon moaned. "I have to phone my wife. I'm missing a dentist's appointment. My feet ache."

He'd been keeping up a stream of similar complaints ever since they set out. Jack was starting to wonder if the man was just a wimp, or if there was something making him invent reasons to go back.

"Shhh," Jack said. "Don't you hear anything?"

They froze, still surrounded by trees on every side.

Somewhere in the distance, a child's voice called, "Give it back! Give it back! I have Quidditch practice in an hour!"

"There!" Jack said, triumphant. "Someone's there."

They trudged on, slipping from time to time in the damp leaf mould.

* * *

The voices came and went, ahead of them; they trudged on.

Simon tripped and fell, twisting his ankle. He tried to persuade Jack that it was time to turn around, but Jack handed him a bandage and walked on.

After another half hour, they stopped to listen again: when a voice rang out in the distance, it was clearly behind them. Jack swung around, then checked his compass. "We must have managed to turn in a circle—that's still to the north-east. Come on."

Simon followed, cursing the day he decided to ask for 'expert' help in this case, suspected aliens or not.

* * *

"Come back to the hotel with us—Sam Carter has all the details," Karen offered, unexpectedly.

"Um…" Daniel said. He was fairly sure that Jack at least would ask question about when he'd first met Remus, and that wasn't something he was going to tell in a hurry.

"And I'm sure Mr Beaufort would be interested in some of the things you've told us," Karen went on, oblivious.

Remus started to panic. He'd ended up invented story after story to provide semi-scientific explanations of some of the incidents, and he was fairly sure that Daniel was getting suspicious. "Are you sure? I mean…"

"Of course I'm sure—a little local knowledge is just what we need," Karen told him. Her large, damp eyes were drinking him in, which he found deeply unattractive.

That time, Remus was sure he caught a sneer from Daniel. Damn, but things had changed. "Well, I suppose…" Let the man suffer.

"You could even join us for supper if you like," Karen burbled on.

Daniel cleared his throat. "That's all very fine," he said, "but we really do need to keep going through these newspapers."

"Workaholic," Remus said.

"Just earning my money," Daniel replied, grinned, and bent his head down over the table once more.

* * *

By some freak chance, Daniel, Karen, and Remus arrived in the hotel's main room just as Simon and Jack limped in through the other door. Sam and Teal'c were already sitting snugly by the open fire. 

"Cheney!" Simon said, the instant she was in sight. "We have to report to Glasgow tonight, the chief thinks he's got a lead on the MacMillian case. Colonel O'Neill, I'm sorry to have dragged you all the way over here for nothing. Someone will arrive in the morning to give you a lift back to the airport."

Looking nervous, he and Karen hurried away, Simon with rather more difficulty than he would have liked.

"Well, that's charming," Jack said, and called after them. "Nice to meet you guys! Drop by next time you're on the other side of the pond!"

They didn’t so much as glance back. After a couple minutes, he turned back towards his team—which had mysteriously acquired an extra member.

Remus had a sudden and insane urge to hide behind Daniel.

"Daniel, who's you're friend?" Jack enquired.

"Um… Colonel O'Neill, Remus Lupin; Remus, Colonel Jack O'Neill," Daniel said, and added on a wicked impulse, "Don't worry, he doesn't bite."

"Pleased to meet you," Remus said, smiling up at Jack.

"And these are Major Samantha Carter—"

"Sam, please," she said, standing up to shake hands.

"And, err…" They didn't exactly have a cover story prepared for Teal'c, not having expected to deal with civilians much. He caught Jack's eye, pleading for help. Jack gave him a on-your-own-head-be-it shrug. "Teal'c."

"Unusual name," Remus said, shaking the big man's hand.

"As is yours, Remus Lupin," Teal'c returned. Remus had an unsettling feeling that he might be the object of mockery.

"So this is your team now, Daniel?" Remus said, trying to rescue something of the air of teasing their earlier interactions had been tinged with.

"Technically speaking, it's my team," Jack put in. 

"Yes. Err—Karen invited Remus to join us for dinner—he's something of an expert on local history," Daniel said. "If that's okay."

"I'm sure that's fine," Jack agreed. Daniel suspected he knew exactly how uncomfortable the whole situation was and took a certain sort of pleasure in it. "It's a legitimate thing to put on our expenses request."

* * *

"That was the most awkward meal I've ever sat through," Remus said.

"I could hardly tell them that you introduced me to my first—and, for your information, last—pimp, could I?" Daniel snorted into the chilly spring air. "You didn't help much with the atmosphere, either, and I'm going to have a lot of explaining to do tonight. 'Come back to the library and look at my notes'! You might just as well have asked me to look at your etchings."

"You said yes," Remus replied softly. They reached the library before Daniel could reply. "Only me and Daniel, Celandine," he called, pushing the door open.

She came scuttling through the book stacks. "Oh, Remus, I was just about to lock up and go home."

"Don't worry—I can lock up, if you like," he offered.

Wow, Daniel thought, he really had turned into a gentleman.

"Would you?" She looked doubtful for a minute, but then home and bed apparently won out, and she handed him the keys. "I'll trust you. Drop them through my letterbox when you're done?"

"Of course." Remus smiled sweetly at her. She swept her handbag up from the desk and strolled away into the darkness—Daniel wondered if all the inhabitants were so carefree, and if that related to their deaths at all. "She'll be alright," Remus muttered in his ear. "It's only the ones who stray outside the boundaries that are in danger."

Daniel swung round to face him, letting the door slam behind them. "So you do know what's going on?"

Remus shrugged. "A little, not all the details." He paused, weighing up how much to tell Daniel.

"I remember everything that happened when we last met, by the way," Daniel said. "You're an alien, aren't you?"

The accusation came out of the blue—nobody had previously mentioned aliens, on the strict basis of keeping civilians ignorant—and it was a moment before Remus could react. When he did, he found himself laughing hysterically, scarcely able to breathe.

"Oh, Daniel," he gasped when he could. "You really have no idea…"

"So tell me the truth," Daniel said, coldly. In that maturity of tone Remus heard every second of the years that had passed, and he remembered his responsibilities—to the dead of the Muggle world as well as the wizarding world, and to those who yet lived.

"I can't," he said, suddenly calm. "Daniel—you have to trust me. I can't tell you what's going on. You have to ask the villagers to stay within their bounds—another two narrowly escaped in the forest today—"

"Jack and Beaufort were in danger?" Daniel asked.

"If they went into the forest," Remus replied. The dark of the unlit library seemed oppressive. He moved, reaching for the light switch, but Daniel caught his arm and held him.

"What's in the forest, Remus?"

Remus searched for an answer. "An ancient place of learning," he said, knowing that Daniel could not understand but hoping against hope that he would accept it.

Daniel nodded. "Why are the villagers in danger?"

"We have to protect ourselves," Remus said, before he realised that it would reveal too much. "Please, Daniel. Let us be, tell the villagers to lock their children in at night, and leave. There will be no more deaths."

He couldn't, of course, really be sure of that. The fighting against Voldemort was hanging in the balance.

Daniel didn't need to know—couldn't know—that.

Remus tugged at the grip on his arm, and Daniel released him.

"Okay," Daniel said. "I trust you. I'll explain to Sam what she's probably figured out already, that the bodies were killed in the forest before they were moved into the streets, and get Jack to let the British Army know to put a military fence around the place. That'll keep people out for a while—some RAF people will want to know what's in there, but we can put a very high security rating on it, and General Hammond will accept my vague notion for a while. But it won't last forever."

"I know," Remus nodded, and flicked the lights on. "Give me your address. I'll send word as soon as I think it's safe to take the fence down."

Daniel scribbled 'Dr. Daniel Jackson, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado' on a corner of Remus' notebook.

"I hope it won't be too long," Remus said.

Daniel's blue eyes looked deep into his, and he replied, "So do I. For your sake and mine."

For an instant, Remus considered kissing him, but then just smiled.

"Hopefully, I'll never see you again," Daniel added, for good measure. "Have a nice life, Mr Lupin."

The door slammed shut behind him with an air of finality that Remus could only aspire to.



* * * * * *



The sharp light of the full moon sliced the world into stripes of black and white. Behind Daniel, the dusty road swept back to the town, a poor ex-Communist place that was trying desperately to stave off ruin; ahead, it ran upwards towards the forest and mountains—and, most importantly, the buried sarcophagus. He strode on, hoping to get there, find it, and be able to tell the SGC whether they had a Goa’uld artefact on their hands before daybreak.

Somewhere in the distance, a dog howled. It was probably a dog, at any rate: wolves, he remembered reading somewhere, must be extinct now, even in the remotest of East European forests.

Just in case, he checked the gun at his side. He didn't like carrying it, but Jack had insisted, and it was starting to have a certain comfort.

* * *

"Digging up Goa’uld," Daniel grunted. "Just great." He threw the shovel-full of earth onto his rapidly-growing spoil heap and bent to scoop up the next one. "Just what I always…" a pause for breath as the next load went flying "… wanted to do."

A few last shafts of moonlight slanted through the trees, and in the east the sky was lightening. It would be dawn soon. People—small towns were highly observant—would wonder where he was. Of course, plan A was going to be an abject failure. Jack had dreamed it up, so that was pretty much a given.

Daniel sighed and was about to bend down for another shovelful when the dog howled again, about hundred yards away.

He dropped the shovel with a clang. "Damn," he said, and then—peering out into the darkness—"Nice doggie?"

* * *

Drawn to the smell of warm flesh—human flesh—the wolf stalked through the undergrowth, then leapt.

The human screamed. The wolf took pleasure in the sound, and bent his head to bite… and dawn broke.

* * *

Remus landed on Daniel with a bump.

"Oww," Daniel moaned, his eyes shut.

"Um," Remus said, and added, "Sorry."

Daniel, who had been feeling for that handy gun Jack had insisted he carry, looked up. Remus scrambled quickly off him.

"Remus?" Daniel said. "Just a minute ago, there was a dog…"

"Um," Remus repeated. "Yes. What are you doing here?"

Looking for aliens, Daniel nearly replied. "Err… digging a hole."

Remus nodded, unable to deny that fact. "Can I ask why?"

"You can ask," Daniel told him, "but since it's technically classified information, the US government forbids me to tell you unless you've got a security clearance on you. Which brings me to: why are you here?"

"As a matter of fact," Remus said, though it was nothing of the sort, "I'm on a classified mission for the British Government." He just hoped they weren't both after stray Death Eaters. If the US government had sent a Muggle after a magical trace…

"Ah," Daniel said, hoping fervently that they weren't both after the Goa’uld. If the British Government had sent a civilian out to find an alien…

"I, err, suppose I ought to be going now," Remus said, awkwardly.

"Sorry," Daniel replied. "I sort of need to get on…"

"We could, err, get together," Remus suggested. "For… a meal or something." Daniel looked doubtful. "If you want to."

"It would be nice," Daniel agreed, unexpectedly. "You're staying in the town? In, err…"

"The only hotel in the place," Remus nodded.

"Tonight?" Daniel suggested. That was, of course, assuming that either there wasn't a  Goa’uld two inches under his trowel, or that he survived if there was.

"Okay," Remus said, doing a quick mental count to make sure that last night really had been the third night of the full moon. "That sounds good." He nodded again, sharply, and then turned and hurried away into the rapidly rising sun.

* * *

The meal, served to only the two of them in the hotel's "restaurant" was disgusting: badly cooked fake-British fish and chips, clearly invented specifically in case any tourist wandered past and had to be got rid of quickly. It both looked and tasted like cardboard. Halfway through, Remus looked at his next forkful and gave in. "Dammit," he said, pushing the plate away, "I'm not hungry. Thanks, Daniel, but I think it's time I turned in."

Daniel stared at his plate for a moment, and then said, "Good plan." He waved a hand over the food and said, "Sorry, Remus."

"What's to be sorry for?" Remus asked rhetorically.

They left money on the table and wandered along the corridors to their rooms. Daniel followed Remus to his door, as if reluctant to be parted.

"Well," Remus said. "Goodnight, I guess."

Daniel nodded. "I suppose. Unless…" He left it hanging there, blushing.

"If you want…" Remus began. "Err… on the house, so to speak. Just this once."

"Um," Daniel replied, and then a flash of something new was in his face, something dangerous that Remus was sure had never been there before. "Okay," he said. "It's been a while—why not?"

Remus pulled him inside the door, not wanting to begin a physical encounter in a public space.

* * *

When Daniel came, his eyes shut tight with carefully guided pleasure, the unheard name on his lips began with J and ended CK; and when Remus came, ten minutes later, the name he hissed into the knee hooked over his shoulder was addressed to a ghost—and the name of the ghost was "Sirius".