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To Dust

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Summary: It didn't seem fair, how much work at the SGC was just like life on the Hellmouth. (TTH Summer Ficathon)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Dawn-Centered(Past Donor)MhalachaiFR1313,0445308,3606 Aug 066 Aug 06Yes

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR7

To Dust
BtVS/SG-1 crossover
TTH Summer Ficathon for setsuriko


by Mhalachai
Summary: It didn't seem fair, how much work at the SGC was just like life on the Hellmouth.
Characters: Dawn, Faith, Teal'c, Daniel, Jack.
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon et al. own all things Buffy the Vampire Slayer. MGM/UA, Gekko Productions et al. own all things Stargate SG-1. I am but borrowing the characters for a brief time and shall return them intact at the end.
Notes: setsuriko wanted a Stargate SG-1 crossover, with Dawn and Faith, with a bit of slash and some AU. Since I'm boxer shorts at writing AUs, this is only sort of AU. It's AU in terms of the SGC being aware of demons and the like. And the slash is very slight, too.
Words: 2,953

~~*~~

"You know, they're really hot together."

Dawn didn't bother to look up from the ancient text in front of her. "Who now?" she asked.

The resultant clatter told Dawn that her companion had just slid off her desk perch. "You totally know," Faith said as she headed to the coffee machine. "We were talking about them last night over pizza."

This time, Dawn did look up. "What are you going on about?" she demanded. "Last night we were talking about the insanity that must have gripped us to agree to come to an honest-to-god military base!"

Faith shrugged as she refilled her mug. "After that." She took a long sip of the coffee, and let out a sigh. "Damned good coffee."

"Faith!"

"What? You spend a couple of years as a guest of the state and you find out how many ways they can butcher a cup of coffee."

Dawn let her pen drop. She could feel the familiar headache developing behind her left eye, that only seemed to pop in on her when she spent prolonged periods of time in Faith's presence. "Why are you here?"

"Because you're here, D." Faith went back to her seat on the desk. "You realize how much I'm getting paid to keep an eye on your ass while you read old books in a military lab? And all I got to do is sit here and look pretty."

Dawn took a deep breath, and let it go. After ten years, she was almost used to Faith. She would just do her job and hope Faith did hers.

"Yup," Faith said after a few minutes. "Real hot."

Dawn rolled her eyes. "Who's hot?" she asked again.

Faith gave her a sideways glance. "The owner of this mug," she said, holding up the 'Archeology is Love' cup. "And a certain military officer."

"No way," Dawn disagreed. "No way Daniel Jackson and Major Carter are together like that, they're more like brother and sister--" Understanding hit Dawn. "Ohmigod, no way!"

"Way. Totally way." Faith snickered at Dawn's expression.

"But he's in the military!"

"So?" Faith downed the last of her coffee. "Dawn, I know you're young, but one day, you'll understand that when two men love each other very much--"

"Oh god," Dawn moaned, covering her ears. "Will you shut up? I can't know this!"

Faith laughed. "Why not?"

"I have to work with them! I can't know this about people I have to work with!"

"What about Willow and--"

Dawn pointed a threatening finger at Faith. "No! Don't say it!"

"But you have to know they're knocking boots," Faith pointed out, going for more coffee.

"Yes, I know they're doing that, but I don't picture it! I can live the rest of my life without those visuals, thank you very much."

Faith's eyebrow went up. "I didn't tell you to picture the Whisky Boys. Perv."

Sliding lower in her chair, Dawn wondered if she could 'accidentally' lose Faith somewhere in one of the lower levels of the underground base. "First off, I--" She stopped. No, it really wasn't worth trying to explain herself. "Why are you calling them the Whisky Boys?"

Faith gave her a look. "Oh, come on, kid." Dawn stared back blankly. "Jack? Daniel? Jack Daniels whisky? It's like their love was preordained!"

Dawn swore in Hungarian. "They're comrades! Friends who save the world a lot!"

"Like Buffy and Angel."

"I was thinking more like you and Buffy," Dawn shot back.

Faith almost choked on her coffee. "Nuh-uh!" she exclaimed as she mopped coffee of her shirt. "Me and B, we never-- You're a little brat, you know that, right?"

Dawn settled back in her chair and picked up her pen. "I have work to do," she said primly, and went back to the ancient book.

Faith paced around the office, muttering under her breath, but Dawn wasn't worried. She and Faith had been through a lot together, more than almost anyone knew. Somewhere between saving the world from various apocalypses, the two of them had actually become friends.

True, they'd had an interesting start to their friendship: the Monk-implanted memory that Faith had taken both Dawn and Joyce hostage during the little body swap incident was interesting to get over, but the good outweighed the bad these days.

So when the U.S. Military came around to Dawn's door as she was finishing her PhD in linguistics, Faith had been just as alarmed as Buffy. Willow's subsequent 'investigation' into the program revealed the existence of evil aliens and the U.S. Military's Stargate program.

Buffy had pretty much been freaking out until Xander said, "Hello? Queller demon, anyone? It's not like this is new."

After a lot more screeching and some magic from Willow, Dawn finished her thesis dissertation, packed her bags and shipped herself off to Colorado. Faith appearing on her doorstep wasn't part of the original plan, but Dawn hadn't been too inclined to argue. She was book girl, not fight-the-evil-aliens girl, and maybe it might not be too bad to have a Slayer around.

Staring down at the text, a dialect of Sanskrit that wasn't quite right, Dawn sighed. Some days, she wished that she'd never heard of the Stargate program. It wasn't fair, having evil aliens threatening the world, on top of the hordes of demons still oozing over the Earth.

She sighed again, just as Daniel Jackson blew into the office. He didn't even see Dawn and Faith, so intent on digging through papers on the bookshelf. Jack O'Neill came in after him and propped himself up against the doorframe. "Hey, Lehane," Jack said, nodding at Faith. "Summers." He always greeted Faith first, some kind of warrior bonding thing between two people who could be kind of scary and not all-together right in the head.

"Hey, O'Neill," Faith returned the greeting. "So what's Danny-boy up to today?"

"Huh?" Daniel asked, blinking owlishly at everyone when he finally registered the presence of the girls. "Oh, hello."

"We're going to listen to a bunch of government wack-jobs tell us we're not being efficient enough with taxpayers money," Jack said with a brittle-bright smile.

"Budget review," Daniel clarified.

Faith looked appropriately horrified. "Want me to come and keep the pencil pushers in line?" she offered.

Jack seemed to consider it. "Nah," he said after a minute of watching Daniel. "I got Hammond to close the meeting to non-military to let Teal'c off the hook."

"Daniel's not military," Dawn felt obliged to point out. Jack O'Neill was old enough to be her father, but to Dawn he always felt like an old, male version of Buffy. As such, calling him on the inconsistencies in his logic felt a little like home.

Jack smiled. "And yet."

Daniel glared at Jack as he pulled a sheaf of papers off the shelf. "How's the translation of the text coming?" Daniel asked Dawn.

"Translation?" Jack asked innocently. "He's letting you translate his precious papers?"

"I've got a lot to do," Daniel protested, looking over Dawn's shoulder.

Dawn moved aside to let him see. "There's something wrong with the language," Dawn said, pointing to the writing. "I'm working on it, but it's not a straight-forward translation."

"Of course not," Daniel muttered. "Have you tried to--"

"Yes, I have," Dawn interrupted. "Not new at this, you know."

"Uh-huh." Daniel didn't even seem to hear her as his eyes traced the lettering.

"What is this for?" Jack asked, sounding rather bored.

Faith dangled her legs off the side of the desk. "You guys brought back that clay statute thingy from Pizza-world, right?"

Jack's eyebrows shot up. "Pizza-world?"

Holding back a smile, Dawn explained. "P1Z-XA3."

"Right," Jack said slowly. "But yeah, we brought it back."

"So D here's working on the translation, right, and about an hour ago she was all 'uh-oh' and I was all, 'what?' and she keeps saying it's nothing, but really, anytime the person who reads scary languages gets weirded out, I get that Silent Hill feeling, you know?" Faith said. "Want some coffee?"

Warily, Jack shook his head. "No, I'm good." He gave Faith one last look, then said, "Come on, Daniel, time for us to head out."

So wrapped up in the text, Daniel didn't move until Dawn gently tapped his fingers with her pen. "Dr. Jackson? You have a meeting to get to."

"Oh, right," he said, shaking his head. "If you're still here when the meeting finishes, we'll go over this again."

Dawn noted that Daniel didn't ask her if she would still be around. He was like Willow in that way: when in research mode, he just assumed that everyone just work until the end.

Of course, Daniel was always in research mode.

"Daniel," Jack said again, and this time Daniel pulled himself away from the desk. Jack got him out the door with a wave to the girls and a muttered comment about herding cats.

Faith leaned out the door to watch them go. "I still say--"

"Shut up," Dawn said wearily. "Just stop talking."

There was a moment's hesitation. "Sure thing, sunshine," Faith said, slipping back into the room. "Not a word."

That was the only warning Dawn had before the light from the hallway was cut off, blocked by the large body filling the doorway.

"Dr. Summers," Teal'c said, nodding his head at her. "Ms. Lehane."

Faith waved at the man, grinning like a maniac, then gave Dawn a wink.

"Oh! Um, hi, Teal'c," Dawn stuttered, shooting to her feet and almost knocking the entire desk over. "Dr. Jackson and Colonel O'Neill just left."

"I know," Teal'c replied. "I come on behalf of Major Carter. She wishes to know if there has been any progress on the research."

"Right," Dawn said, feeling the heat rise to her face. "Nope, no progress. Just work and more work."

Teal'c nodded. "I will inform Major Carter. She is most eager to learn if the discovery brought back from P1Z-XA3 is information on a weapon."

"Yeah, it could be important," Dawn said in a rush, all the time wishing she could sink into the floor. She thought that being twenty-six would have helped her get the hell over being a total spaz, but no, she had to develop a crush on the SGC's alien. An alien with biceps the size of her head, true, but-- No, not going there, Dawn told herself sternly. "In fact, Faith and I are going to look at the--" Dawn's extensive vocabulary vanished under Teal'c's dark-eyed scrutiny. "Man thing."

A choking sound came from Faith's general direction.

"Indeed," Teal'c said blandly. "I will leave you to your work." With a tilt of his head, Teal'c left.

Don't say it, don't say it--

"Man thing?" Faith asked. "Gotta say, D, that was brilliant."

"I hate you."

~~

"See anything?" Faith asked as Dawn circled the long statue, laid flat on its back in a sleeping pose. "That thing gives me the creeps."

"There's something about the inscription, here," Dawn replied, pointing at the statue's forehead. "The writing is deliberate, but this isn't a word."

"Old-time graffiti?" Faith suggested. She rubbed her hands over her arms. "Really, Dawn, I think we've been in here enough."

"It's just a statue," Dawn said. She narrowed her eyes as something occurred to her. "Why are we so certain this is Sanskrit?"

"Because you said it was and you're the smart one?"

Dawn turned her head sideways. "I mean, the texts that SG-1 found with the statue were in Sanskrit, which is sort of weird because the Goa'uld left Earth before that language developed, but there have been instances of transplanted cultures from after the Goa'uld exodus--"

"Hey, sunshine," Faith snapped. "Are you going to get to the interesting part soon?"

Dawn pointed at the writing on the statue. "My point is, this isn't Sanskrit! It's stylized to look like Sanskrit but it's not!"

"So what is it?"

"It's a language even older," Dawn said, almost giddy at having solved the puzzle. "It's Hebrew. You know what that means?"

"Yet another language I can't read?"

"No! This isn't a statue at all!" Dawn straightened up. "This isn't a weapon, it's a golem!"

"Huh?"

Dawn let out her breath in a huff. "A golem is an object made from mud or clay, usually in the shape of a man, and it is animated by an external being."

"So this thing's a giant mud puppet?" Faith asked, drawing closer. "What would we need to make it stand up and dance?"

"I'm not sure," Dawn admitted. "But look here, see, if you examine it closely, you can read the Hebrew word for truth, Emet."

The golem's eyes flew open.

"Oops," Dawn breathed.

Faith grabbed Dawn's shirt and pulled her back. "Get out of here!" she shouted at Dawn as the golem sat up. Quicker than Dawn could move, the golem charged at Faith, knocking her back into the open doorway. Faith bounced as she hit the wall.

Dawn ran towards the wall and the intercom, one arm outstretched, but the golem grabbed her around the waist and lifted her into the air. It was like being held by solid rock. Dawn kicked and screamed and tried to free her arm, but the golem was unmoved as it began to squeeze. Dawn screamed again as she felt ribs break.

"Back off, dirt boy!" Faith shouted, jumping on the golem's back. She punched the thing in the face, and it was enough of a distraction for Dawn to wiggle free.

"Go for the forehead!" Dawn yelled, scrambling back on the ground as best she could. "Wipe the first letter off its forehead!"

Faith was already reaching up toward the creature's head when Dawn realized her mistake.

"No, wait!"

"Make up your mind!" Faith shouted, delivering a hefty punch to the golem.

"The last letter!" Dawn had forgotten that Faith didn't know that Hebrew was written right-to-left. "Go for the last letter!"

Faith kicked and punched at the golem, which seemed undisturbed by the violence being delivered upon it. The only sign that Faith was doing any damage was the soft blanket of dust falling from the creature.

The Slayer got into position, and was about to go for the forehead when the golem whipped around and kicked her right in the ribs, sending her flying down the hallway. Faith slammed into the exposed pipes on the far wall and fell, unmoving.

Dawn didn't have time to think, before the golem resumed its path to her. It stopped above her, dull eyes staring, then it reached down to grab Dawn's shirt.

Large hands appeared on the golem's shoulders, yanking it back. The golem didn't have time to let go of Dawn, and she was lifted up as the golem went up and back. In a world full of pain and haze, Dawn saw Teal'c's face, intent on the fight.

Suddenly, Dawn remembered she was the only one around with free hands. She managed to lift her arm to the golem's forehead and dug her fingernails into the hardened clay, obliterating the letter that made the word 'truth', leaving Met, 'death', in its place.

The golem collapsed in on itself, clay crumbling to nothing. Dawn fell to earth and landed in a pile of dusty dirt. Teal'c stood above her, his eyes wider than normal as he took in the scene, frozen for a moment.

Dust from the golem trickled into Dawn's throat. She wanted to make some Buffy-esque comment about 'Dust to dust', but then she started coughing and the pain from her broken ribs was too much.

Darkness took her.

~~~

The soft beeping of the monitor jarred with the pain pounding in Dawn's ribs. She considered asking for more painkillers, but that would require her to take a deep breath, or move. All bad things, considered.

I'm never going to learn, Dawn thought miserably. How long had she lived on the Hellmouth? How many times had she been reminded not to bring inanimate objects to life?

Okay, this wasn't really the same thing, but still.

"Dr. Summers."

Dawn looked up, pressing her lips together at the stabbing feeling. "Hi, Teal'c."

The man looked graver than usual. "I am told you will make a full recovery."

"Guess so," Dawn said. On the far side of the room, she heard Faith laughing with the doctors. Damned Slayers and their super-healing. "I'm good."

Teal'c raised an eyebrow to half-mast. "I have spoken with Colonel O'Neill regarding your actions."

Dawn closed her eyes for a moment. "I didn't mean to break the golem, it's--" A tickling at the back of her throat shut her up. Coughing right now was a very bad idea.

"On the contrary," Teal'c said to fill the silence. "He was most impressed with your quick thinking and your perseverance, in the face of injury."

If she'd had the energy, Dawn would have done a double-take. "He... huh?"

Teal'c's expression softened, his version of a smile. "I believe Dr. Jackson wishes to talk to you regarding your experience, when you are feeling better," he said, and bowed at Dawn before he walked away.

Dawn was still staring after Teal'c when Faith wheeled herself over. "Hey, D, nice," she said, nodding after Teal'c and giving Dawn the thumbs' up.

Dawn swallowed the pain enough to give Faith an all-together different hand gesture.

Faith laughed. "Hey, can I have your jell-o?" she asked, rolling her wheelchair over to Dawn's meal-tray.

"No."

"And how again are you going to stop me?"

Dawn sighed, then winced at the pain. It didn't seem fair, how much work at the SGC was just like life on the Hellmouth.

-end

The End

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