Laney has been under a lot of stress lately, so to cheer her up I wrote this ficlet. It's a response to a tth100 drabble she wrote entitled Oops
SG-1/BtVS crossover taking place in season three of BtVS (just prior to Lover's Walk, during the whole "clothes fluke" thing).
Summary: A find-your-soulmate spell goes wrong.
Archiving: Laney's site, TTH, crossoverfic, ff.net, Wormhole Crossing. Anyone else please ask.
Nothing belongs to me. The characters belong to their respective studios; the story belongs to Laney.
Daniel froze, mid-sentence. He had been in the middle of a briefing at the SGC regarding the fascinating implications of Phoenician influence on the largely Slavic culture of P3X-229. Now he was … somewhere else. It was not unheard of for members of the SGC to be beamed elsewhere by aliens such as the Asgard (well, okay, it had happened once), but somehow Daniel didn’t think that most aliens advanced enough to use such beaming technology would use it to transport him into what appeared to be a young girl’s bedroom. With the young girl still in it.
“Ah, hello?” he said.
The girl squeezed her eyes shut and began frantically muttering under her breath. If she were some kind of alien mastermind, she was doing a great job of hiding it. She cracked an eye open, apparently to check if he was still there. Upon finding he was, she went back to the wide-eyed stare she’d had when he first … appeared. “Um, Hi,” she said at last. “I’m Willow.”
“Daniel,” he replied, frowning. First names were a start, but he was going to need more to find out why he was here and how he got here. “Ah … how did I get here?”
Willow smiled weakly. “Oops?”
“Then you do know how I got here?”
She winced. “Well … not exactly.”
“Oookay.” Daniel thought for a second. If he hadn’t been transported by aliens of one variety or another (and he wasn’t ruling that out) it was always possible he’d somehow changed to an alternate universe of some kind. After all, when Supreme Commander Thor had transported Jack up to his ship a few weeks ago, there had been a flash of bright light accompanying it, a flash Daniel didn’t remember seeing. And there had certainly been no rings. However, when he’d gone to the alternate universe, he hadn’t even known anything had changed until he was back through the gate and there were weapons pointing at him. Well, there was an easy way to check that one out. He glanced at the phone. “Do you mind if I make a call?”
The young red-head shook her head frantically. “No! No, go right ahead.” She scooted away from it.
“Thank you,” he said absently as he took the phone and dialed Sam’s number from memory. She always had her cell phone on. He’d asked her once how come cells worked twenty-eight levels under a mountain, and gotten a long complicated answer to the effect that they were routed through the base’s telephone network and wireless system.
The phone didn’t even finish a single ring. “Hello?”
“Hey, Sam, it’s me.”
“Daniel? What happened? Where did you go
“I’m fine,” Daniel said. “I have no idea what happened. One minute I was giving the briefing, and the next, I was … here. Wherever ‘here’ is.”
“Sunnydale,” the redhead said. “Sunnydale, California.”
“Apparently, Sunnydale, California,” Daniel repeated into the phone.
“Is someone else there with you?”
“Yes,” Daniel eyed the girl. “A young girl named Willow. It looks like we’re in her bedroom.”
“I’m eighteen!” Willow blurted out. “Not young! Well, I suppose, younger than you … oh, sorry.” She blushed. “I’ll be quiet now.”
“You got transported half way across the country to some kid’s bedroom?” Sam asked. “Any idea why or how?”
“She claims to be eighteen,” Daniel said. “I have no idea; I was actually just checking to see if I’d been transported into an alternate reality somehow.”
“Ah, Daniel? I’m pretty sure an eighteen year old California girl wouldn’t have clearance to know about alternate realities.”
“I know that, Sam, but I appeared in her bedroom out of nowhere. I somehow doubt she’s going to take ‘deep space radar telemetry’ for an answer. Besides, I think she might know something.”
“Really?” Sam sounded skeptical. “Well, see what you can find out. There’s an army base just outside of Sunnydale; I’ll give them a call and tell them to send someone to pick you up. What’s the address?”
Daniel covered the mouthpiece. “Address?” he asked Willow.
She rattled it off. “But, why do you need to know?” she asked.
“Because they’re going to send someone from the local base to pick me up,” Daniel replied patiently.
“Pick you up? No! That would be of the bad! I mean, my mom would kill me if she found out I sneaked an older military man into my bedroom!” She bit her lip. “You can use the patio door and wait for them outside.”
“All right,” Daniel said, bemused. He didn’t think he’d ever had a girl try to sneak him past her mother before, even when he was a teenager himself. The combination of shy geekiness and constant moves from foster home to foster home had pretty much guaranteed his lack of girlfriends. He repeated the address to Sam. “I’ll be out front in fifteen minutes. Look, I’m going to talk with Willow some more, see if she knows anything. I’ll call you back if I find anything out.”
After hanging up the phone, he turned to Willow and waited expectantly.
“So,” she said nervously. “You’re right, I do have a pretty darn good idea of why you’re here, or at least, what brought you here, although I have absolutely no idea of how it worked or what made it go all kablooie like this. Um, I’m a witch, or at least I’m trying to learn to be one, and I was trying to do a spell to show me who my soul mate is since I’m kind of having troubles with that, well, I have a boyfriend and I love him but I’ve also got a best friend who’s really cute and I’ve had a crush on him since I can remember and now he’s noticed me and I’m not sure what to do so I did a spell to help me figure out which one I’m supposed to be with and what my destiny is (although Buffy says destiny is a load of … uh … horse puckey) and that’s all it was supposed to do except instead of, say, showing me a picture of my soul-mate or giving me a vision or sign or something, you just kind of appeared out of nowhere, and I’m babbling again, aren’t I?” She gave him kind of a sickly smile.
“I’d call that babbling, yes,” Daniel said, slightly bemused. It was a shame Jack hadn’t been there to hear that; next time the colonel gave him a hard time about talking too much he could have pointed to this performance. “So, you’re a pagan?”
“No, nu-uh, not me.” Willow shook her head. “I’m Jewish. It’s just, Sunnydale was built on a Hellmouth, so the dimensional boundaries are really weak here and there are lots of demons and vampires and things around, and magic is easier to do here and that’s how I got into it. My best girl friend is the Slayer, so …” She shrugged. “Most people don’t notice the weird stuff, they blame it on ‘gangs high on PCP’ or ‘exploding gas lines’ or stuff like that.”
“You’re a Jewish witch who practices real magic?” Daniel said skeptically. When he’d first come up with his theory about aliens (however carefully he’d worded it to avoid saying it directly) a lot of people would have said it was just as improbable as the idea of magic. But he’d at least had proof to back his claims.
“U-huh!” She pulled a pencil out of a desk drawer and set it on top of the desk. “Watch!” She stared at it. After a few seconds, it rose and began spinning like a top.
Daniel stared at it before reaching out and grabbing it. He had to tug it for a second to get it to move from its spot in mid-air. There were no strings, and it appeared to be an ordinary pencil. Okay, so she had some proof to back her claims.
“Like I said, I’m a witch.” Willow gave him a proud smile, looking more adult than she had the whole time he had been there. “Anyway, really, really improbable things happen on and near the Hellmouth, which might have something to do with why the spell brought you here instead of showing me my soul-mate.” She brightened. “I’ll bet Giles would know what happened and how to fix it! I’ll call him and he can come over and help us out.” She dove for the phone.
Daniel checked his watch. “Actually, my ride should be here in a few minutes. Maybe I should go out front and wait for them.”
“Oh.” Willow paused in the act of dialing. “And then I wouldn’t have to tell Giles how badly I messed up. That sounds good, too. You just take those doors,” she pointed to a set of French doors across from her, “and turn right. That’ll get you out to the front of the house, where your guys can pick you up.” She gave him a tense smile. “It was nice to meet you, Daniel.”
“It’s been … interesting,” Daniel replied. He opened the door and stepped out. Or, at least, tried to; there seemed to be some kind of invisible barrier holding him in. He poked out a hand uncertainly. “Ah, Willow?” he said. “Is there some reason I can’t leave the room?” It was the weirdest sensation. It didn’t feel at all like a forcefield; there didn’t look like there was anything there, and he couldn’t feel anything. But once he passed a certain point, his hand stopped and would go no further out the door.
Willow stared, wide-eyed. “Ooooh, boy. We have
to call Giles.” She began frantically punching numbers on the phone. “Please be there, please be there …”
As she called her friend, Daniel walked over to the door into the rest of the house. It opened easily, but trying to leave had the same result. He closed it again and sat at Willow’s desk.
“Hi! Giles? I’m so glad you’re home. I was trying to do a spell, and it sort of didn’t do what I wanted it to do.” She winced. “Yeah, I know. Anyway, it was supposed to show me my soul-mate, and instead this older guy in military fatigues appeared in my bedroom, and now he can’t leave. What do I do now?” She winced again. “No, he’s human. I think.” She covered the receiver. “Are you human?” she asked Daniel seriously.
“As far as I know,” Daniel replied, bemused. That was the first time he’d ever been seriously asked that question on Earth.
“Yes, he’s human,” Willow said into the phone. “And he seems really nice.” She brightened. “Thanks! If you could use the back door to my bedroom? Mom and Dad don’t know about this and I’d really rather not have to try to explain this to them.” Pause. “Thanks, Giles, you’re the best!” She hung up and began dialing another number.
“Uh, could I use it next?” Daniel asked, wishing he’d thought to put his cell in his pocket that morning.
“Sure,” Willow said, handing it over.
Daniel dialed Sam’s number by heart. “Sam, there’s a bit of a problem,” he said when she answered.
Giles turned out to be, not another high school student, but a British academic a few years older than Daniel. “Rupert Giles,” he identified himself, holding out a hand.
“Daniel Jackson,” Daniel replied, shaking it.
“And, ah, what branch and rank are you, if you don’t mind my asking?” Mister Giles said, pushing his glasses up his nose.
“Rank? Oh, uh, I’m not actually in the military, I’m a civilian consultant. A linguist. I just wear fatigues on base because they’re comfortable and it helps me blend in.” Daniel shrugged. It was true, as far as it went. “I was giving a briefing when I got brought … here.”
“A briefing?” Mister Giles raised an eyebrow. “At eight o’clock in the evening?”
Daniel shrugged again. “We work odd hours, sometimes.”
“I see,” the other man replied. He turned to Willow. “Now, Willow, what text were you using?”
Willow handed him a thick tome, open to a page at the end, and hung her head. Mister Giles glanced at the text and sighed. “Willow, you know this is a very advanced book of spells. And you are hardly fluent in ancient Greek. Why on earth would you try to use a spell you knew you would have trouble reading?” He shook his head. “May I?” He nodded at the desk behind Daniel.
“Oh! Uh, sure.” Daniel stepped aside to let the Englishman use the desk. “Do you mind if I look? I know Greek.”
Mister Giles gave him an appraising look. “No, not at all.” He edged the book closer to Daniel.
The manuscript was written in ancient Greek; if Daniel had to guess, he’d have said that the manuscript itself was at least five hundred years old. He certainly wouldn’t have given such a priceless antique to an eighteen year old. The dialect was obscure; there were a lot of words that he recognized only vaguely, presumably magical terminology.
He’d read through it once and was trying to puzzle out some of the more difficult words in context when Mister Giles straightened up and took off his glasses. “Willow, the spell did exactly what it was supposed to do. It was designed to get old maids married off. It brings a virgin’s fated companion to him or her for one hour, in which time the couple exchanges personal information and forms some sort of mystical marriage bond—”
“Marriage bond?” Daniel asked.
“Yes, well, that’s one thing the two of you don’t have to worry about …” He frowned. “At least, I hope
you don’t have to worry about it. Am I right in assuming that you did not, in fact, have sex before I arrived?”
Willow turned a deep red that, oddly enough, didn’t clash with her hair. “No! No sex for us!”
“I am glad to hear it,” Mister Giles said dryly. “At any rate, the boundaries are clearly set to ensure that the couple can’t escape each other, and once the hour is up, the soul-mate goes back to wherever (in this case) he came from.” He raised an eyebrow at Daniel.
“Colorado Springs, Colorado,” Daniel said. “I work at Cheyenne Mountain.”
“Ah. In any case, all we must do is wait for the hour to be up, at which point—”
Daniel blinked as he found himself back in the briefing room under the Mountain.
“General Hammond!” called the airman stationed at the desk in the corner. “Doctor Jackson’s back!”
“Doctor Jackson,” the General said, barreling out of his office. “It’s good to have you back. We were starting to get worried. Your team’s already left for California.”
“Yeah, Sam told me they were heading out there,” Daniel said.
“What the hell happened?” Hammond asked.
Daniel paused. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”