A/N: Thanks to Sandra for BETAing and Grey .
A/N: This part has only been BETAed once. All mistakes are still mine.
A/N: Thanks to Von and Clark for prereading. Chapter 11
The smell told Buffy immediately that she was in the Initiative--again. She didn’t need to open her eyes to know, because nothing could ever smell like that dark, dank, place.
She’d heard people screaming before, she’d heard the groans of pain from the dying, just never in her life had she smelled spilled guts and sickness, all laced with cordite from the guns the soldiers were uselessly firing at everything.
The men appeared so panicked and seemed to be running just to be running. Only the men never knew that the demons were organized and had set traps for them. The demons had planned this little party for a very long time. The soldiers couldn’t see the traps, but Buffy could with her hyper senses and she also saw that the poor men never had a chance.
“Riley, call the soldier guys to order, or something, say something soldier-y to get them organized,” she yelled as loud as she could, at her boyfriend. He didn’t react, he just stared, and another man lost his life. Bent, she thought his name was Bent--he was nice to her during her short tenure in the ranks of the Initiative.
“Riley!” she used her strength to pull him around. “Snap out of it, and get your guys together! We need to make it to the stairs next to the elevators!”
Finally, he blinked, nodded, and ran off to the largest concentration of men still alive.
“Spike, you have the Scoobs, and so help me God, if one of them just gets so much as a scratch you will be meeting the sun after being dipped in Holy water!” She didn’t have to yell for him to hear her.
“No need to be so graphic, love,” Spike answered her, with his cocky grin. Then he casually ripped the head off a vampire trying to sneak up on Willow.
Buffy went first--like she always did and always would.
She knew she had gotten most of the men and her Scoobies out of Maggie’s Hell, so why was she back in it? Why was she being punished—again?
It had to be The Dream.
She blinked and the Scoobies were on one side of the main Initiative floor and the soldiers were fighting on the other side.
She didn’t want to be back in the darkness of the Initiative where everything was so crazy.
“Guys! Get over here!” Buffy yelled at the Scoobies and they ignored her. She waved at the soldiers and they just kept shooting and shooting and shooting until the smoke from their rifes filled the air. The smoke burned her lungs and she couldn’t catch her breath.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Riley’s boot camp buddy, George grabbed by a demon. She jumped on the demon’s back with her knife only to find out she’d dropped it.
“Buffy! How could you loose your one weapon? Tsk, tsk,” Giles admonished.
“Giles, help me!” she cried, “Help me save him!” The man had a wife and a one-year-old daughter. “Help me!”
She had to keep her head; she had to push her emotions down. She had to push the death away and down. She could feel for them later, or never feel for them at all. She had to keep moving, keep plowing forward. If she stopped, then everything would catch up to her! Good, bad, it didn’t matter anymore--she had to push all feeling, all emotion away.
Only Buffy had to stop. She had to simply stop moving. ‘This isn’t how it happened,’
She stood still; everything was so real, the smells, the screams. She put her hands over her ears to try to block out the noise, she closed her eyes to block out the sights; only how did she block the smell? ‘If this is a dream then I can wake up,”
she thought. ‘How do I wake up?’
“Buffy, please!” Riley wailed, as the Polgera demon jerked him around and…
“Riley, no!” she screamed, as the demon stabbed Riley through his heart. In the real battle she had saved him, barely. ‘It’s a dream, it’s a dream, it’s a dream. It already happened.’
She saw Giles; about to step on a snake-type-thing, and she dashed through the soldiers suddenly in her way, to tackle her Watcher. The snake thingy hissed, and spat, and then jumped, incredibly fast, at Xander. Buffy flew to her feet, as the thing was inches from Xander’s mouth.
As Buffy pulled it away from him, she sliced her hand on its sharp ridges and then she crushed it in her hand.
There were no snake demons during the Initiative fight. ‘I have to keep it together, push it down. Should I keep moving or stop?’
She didn’t know what to do.
One or two soldiers, outside of their little group, were firing their weapons at everything that moved. Couldn’t they see she was leading humans and not demons! When did the group form back up? How could she had missed the group coming back together—except Willow and Kennedy—they were down the tunnel.
“Willow! Come back! We have to stick together!” Buffy yelled for her best friend to stop before she rounded the corner.
“Buffy! Save me!” John shouted he was the guy who always had a joke for Buffy.
“Buffy, help me!” Greg cried, right before the demon snapped his neck.
To her right the demons grabbed four of the men she was trying to lead out of the place, and the screams of the men as they died tore through her heart. “
Wake-up, wake-up!” she yelled it like it was a mantra. “I have to wake-up!”
It felt like her heart was being ripped out of her chest. Each of the men’s screams was a lance through her because she was truly helpless to stop the killing. No one would listen to her and because of it everyone was dying this time.
Buffy slipped in the muck and crashed to the floor in a heap.
Buffy knew there was nothing she could do to help!
No matter how hard she tried, no matter how hard she fought, she couldn’t save even herself, so why did they expect her to save them?
Her hands closed into fists as she lay on her side, and she slammed the hard floor with her hand.
She could the smell cordite from the guns firing, the soldiers’ futile attempts to save each other. Her voice joined the chorus of agonized shouts.
“Stop! Stop! Stop!” she punctuated each word with a punch to the unforgiving floor. ‘No! No! No! I don’t want to be here! I don’t want to see all this again! Please let me wake up!’
She cried, uselessly, covering her ear with her hands.
She screamed until her voice was gone, or if she made a sound, the roars of the demons drowned it out.
“Miss Buffy!” she thought she heard Spring yelling. “Miss Buffy! Over here!”
She did hear it. It was like a bright white rope reaching out to her.
She looked over at the blast door and there stood the southern Slayer, hugging Tracy in her arms, trying to shield the girl from the sights of demons eating the humans, of the demons tearing the soldiers apart, and lastly, the sight of Buffy on her knees, lost. ‘How did they get here
This was her nightmare, how did they even get in here? They shouldn’t be here, she didn’t want them dreaming of this place!
“Hurry! We can’t hold the door open much longer,” Tracy said, her small arms braced against the blast door, forcing it open. Spring had tears streaming down her face as she reached her hand out in Buffy’s direction.
Buffy stumbled to her feet, then slipped in the muck and fell back down to the cold hard cement, twisting her knee, and banging her elbow. She pushed back up and forced her legs to hold her weight Tracy knew the way out, she was sure of it. She started to run to them.
“This way,” Spring was shouting, somehow her voice was louder than the rest of the noise. Spring was waving her arms at Buffy to hurry.
“Com’on, hurry, this way!” Tracy yelled at the top of her lungs. Her schoolgirl voice cracked and then it went silent.
Buffy ran as hard as could; she was hoping that she could finally escape the dream.
Then she heard another person’s cry. It was the one of the few people she couldn’t ignore.
“Buffy save us!” Willow shrieked. “Don’t leave us to die!”
“Will, it’s just a dream! Come with me!” Buffy cried, “Follow me!”
Buffy stopped and she knew that she couldn’t leave the nightmare without saving her friend. Buffy didn’t deserve to be rescued if she couldn’t save Willow.
She slowed down and stopped few steps from Spring and Tracy.
Willow’s eyes flashed again and redhead started to smile.
Buffy glanced one last time at Spring and Tracy but they were gone and all that was left were Willow and Kennedy and death all around her.
BVS*****Stargate SG-1*****BtVS*****Stargate SG-1
“Daniel stay out of the way!” Janet ordered as she stood over the bed.
Buffy was sitting up in the bed, her eyes wide open and unseeing. Despite the appearance that she was awake, Daniel knew that she was still trapped in the dream world. In a nightmare or night terror, it didn’t matter, she was in pain and it had to stop.
“Janet, do something!” Daniel pleaded, though even as he said the words he knew the doctor was doing everything she could do. Janet never, ever, let someone be in pain needlessly, not even Apophis.
Buffy’s heart monitor was going nuts and he could tell that her heart was beating far too fast. Along with her breathing, she was taking in great lungs full of air and it wasn’t helping because that machine was screaming, too.
He took an involuntary step forward and then was nearly run down by one of Janet’s nurses pushing a medicine cart into the room.
“What’s wrong with her?” he demanded. “The nightmare from Hell shouldn’t cause this reaction.”
“If I knew, Daniel, then I’d be doing something,” Janet snapped, as she tore off a strip of paper that some machine was spitting out.
“Dr Jackson,” Daniel glanced down into the ashen face of Tracy. How did she get from the other side of the room without him noticing?
“She’s stuck in the nightmare about the Initiative, only we,” she stopped to point at Spring and herself, “only we think it’s different.”
Daniel winced; the images off the computer screen came alive before his eyes as both the memory of what Buffy had told him while in Heaven and the video merged. Something didn’t make sense to him. He only vaguely remembered his time with the Slayer, yet something just didn’t ‘feel’ right.
“Tracy what did you feel from Buffy right before this started?” he asked urgently, acting on a sudden hunch. He didn’t know if the blonde Slayer’s weakened body could handle the physical pressure it was under. And apparently, neither did Janet since she ordered the resuscitation kitto be placed next to the bed.
Then he thought that it was Buffy’s mind that was fragile. He was so worried that her beautiful mind could fracture from the abuse. It had already been under two weeks of constant strain and stress.
He watched as the young Slayer stood thinking as her eyes roamed the room. She was glancing at him, at Buffy, at Spring and then back again.
“Tracy, what did you feel?” he asked as he grabbed her arms and pulled her to him. “What?” he demanded as he shook her. Daniel never hit a girl or was physical with one; it was his first rule in life, ever since he'd seen his foster father beat his wife. He would never hurt a woman.
“I’m sorry.” The apology was out of his mouth before he had finished with the last shake. Only the girl didn’t seem to have even noticed him.
“Like a door slammed shut,” Tracy said, almost like she tasted the words. “Yeah, like the door between us just slammed closed.” The young Slayer’s bright green eyes were begging him to make her hero better. Her face was stained from the tears that ran freely down her cheeks.
“Spring? What did you feel?” she shouted over the noise, only to cringe a second later as Janet turned off the alarms on the machines. The sudden silence was made worse because now they could hear the harsh breathing coming from Buffy.
“That’s right,” Spring confirmed, as she too, joined Daniel in the one corner of the room he was allowed to stay in. “When we touched her, like you had us do earlier, she was back for a minute.”
Tracy interrupted her. “Then it was like she got really frightened and threw us out!”
“What’s wrong?" Nancy slammed through the door and into the room with her sword drawn and her eyes so wide that the whites were showing.
“What’s wrong?” she demanded again, from the other two Slayers as she stood there in bare feet and her shirt hanging out of her jeans loose, not tucked in like it was earlier.
“I felt something from Buffy, like a cry, then, nothing!” Nancy was on the verge of tears, she was so frightened for her leader. And unlike Tracy or Spring who were in the room with their Slayer Prime, Nancy was wired for a fight and Daniel didn’t think she really cared who she fought.
Then a feeling of dread filled him.
How many other of the 500 hundred or so Slayers felt the same thing as Nancy? How many others were so wired, so afraid for their leader that they weren’t thinking clearly? If anyone Nancy trusted gave her a target she would take it out with no questions asked. She would kill it, joyfully, with the righteous knowledge that it had hurt Buffy.
Then Daniel cursed because he was thinking like Jack!
Another alarm screamed and this one caused a flurry of activity around the Slayer Prime as Buffy collapsed back into the bed. While she was pale before she appeared completely bloodless now. Her eyes were closed; the dark gold of her lashes was the only color in her face. She was breathing rapidly, not taking the huge gulps of air like before.
“Doctor, her temperature is dropping rapidly,” a nurse said, in the clipped way the medical personnel had to convey both urgency and information.
“Nancy, Dr Meadows, I could really use you about now, minus the sword.”
Janet didn’t so much shout, as she raised her voice. Daniel watched as the Slayer switched gears and became a doctor. She blinked her eyes as if she were waking up from a dream and handed her sword to Tracy. Daniel would have liked to say she did it calmly, but her hands were shaking.
“What can I do Dr. Frasier?” Nancy asked, walking over to the bed. And Daniel could tell the Slayer was still buzzed, was still just seconds away from the all out fight or flight reaction she displayed a few seconds ago.
“Her blood pressure is going down, her heart rate is sky high, and now her temp is dropping are these the same symptoms she displayed for the past two weeks? Because I have to tell you I’m extremely mystified about what could be causing this and I'm also afraid that her heart’s going to stop--not to mention that we can’t seem to wake her up,” Janet’s voice was as stressed as Daniel had ever heard it.
“I don’t know, Dr Frasier," Nancy replied. She would display mild shock like symptoms after the dream but she was always fully conscious within minutes.” Daniel had to admire the Slayer-Doctor because her voice only shook a little bit.
“I can’t give her any drugs until I know what’s happening to her,” Janet said, shaking her head in frustration. “I don’t know what to do. Anything I try could kill her right now.”
Daniel could tell by the little waver in the SGC Chief Medical Officer’s voice that she wasn’t as calm as she sounded.
Daniel searched his mind forcing his memories of Buffy to come to the forefront. It hurt-- it felt like a spike being driven in his head. He accepted the pain gladly because he knew there was an answer in his memories somewhere
“She’s afraid of being buried alive!” he abruptly exclaimed.
Everyone looked at him like he was the crazy one. He closed his eyes so he could think and turned his back on the others. ‘She was frightened, so she closed the door on her Slayers! What did it mean? She would never lock them out--unless she was protecting them from something. If she closed the door this time, then that took focus and conscious thought…’
“Janet, Nancy,” he spun back around. “Is there something you can give her that would break her focus? Or open her mind or--I don’t know--make her less in control?”
“Daniel, she’s unconscious now,” Janet, said the words softly. “We don’t want to kill her or put her into a coma.”
“No, Janet, she’s awake, I know it,” Daniel insisted, shaking his head in disagreement and taking a step forward. He closed his fists at his side and he knew he looked like a mad man.
“Daniel, I’m sorry, you’re wrong. She’s non-reactive, people only become that way when they are out cold,” Janet was talking to him like he was a child. And he saw her nod to one of the S.P.s. Even though Janet was his friend, his very close friend, she wouldn’t hesitate to kick him out of the room if she felt he was endangering her patient.
He whipped around to face Tracy.
“Tracy, fast, what do you feel from Buffy right now?” he demanded, making sure he kept his hands at his side.
The girl’s green eyes lost focus as she concentrated for a few moments.
“Nothing, Dr Jackson, it’s like she gets after she’s taken the potion, only we know she hasn’t,” Tracy answered him. trust shining on her face.
“I don’t know what that means?” Janet said glancing questioningly at Nancy.
“It means Miss Buffy is keeping us out, and the only way to do that is by either magic, or consciously shielding her mind.” Nancy explained. “We were being kept out by the magic of the potion before. Now there is no reasonfor her to do that.”
“I don’t…” Janet started, but Nancy interrupted her.
“If Miss Buffy were unconscious, we would be able to still feel her, still have our connection with her.” Nancy’s voice went up on each word until she was nearly shouting. She turned to face both Spring and Tracy. “You guys remember the apocalypse before last when she got that bad concussion and we still felt her just fine?”
Both younger Slayers nodded and Daniel watched as the both doctors tried to put it together. Nancy spun back around towards Janet.
“Do you already have a few feeds of the EEG connected for tomorrow?” she asked, her voice now projecting a calmness she didn’t have just a second earlier.
“Then turn it on,” Nancy ordered and when the nurse next to the machine didn’t move fast enough for the Slayer-Doctor, she picked the nurse up and moved her. Then switched the machine on herself.
“This won’t give us any kind of a real measurement of her brain function,” Janet said, shaking her head negatively, only this time Daniel could see hope in her brown eyes.
“Oh, God, Dr Frasier look at this! It’s impossible!” Nancy cried, as the paper fed out of the machine. Janet rushed over to the Slayer.
“What!” Spring demanded, her voice hoarse from tears. “Tell us, now!” The southern Slayer’s accent was made worse by her tears.
“Her brain waves are Beta waves, and they are cycling at 60 per second --most people in extremely stressful moments of concentration only reach 40,” Nancy explained to the younger Slayers and to Daniel.
Janet snatched the paper out of Nancy’s hands and studied it. The seconds ticked by as she grabbed another piece spat out by the machine.
“I don’t want to sedate, her temp is just too low, and I don’t like her breathing,” Janet said, quietly to Nancy. “Do you have any suggestions?”
Nancy whirled around to look at first Spring and then Tracy, and finally Daniel.
“Breaking her out of this will only be half the battle, Dr Jackson. Do you think if we give her a tiny electrical shock and then have us do what we did this morning it would work?” Dr Meadows asked, and she was all doctor right then.
“Doctor, what about her heart?” Dr Frasier inquired while. giving the Slayer-Doctor a new level of respect.
“We’ve been using the Taser all week,” Spring reminded her.
“Miss Buffy is the strongest of us all, her heart is the strongest,” Nancy proclaimed, then glanced quickly at Spring and Tracy who nodded. “However, I also want some kind of sedation ready, a hypnotic would be best for as soon as her vitals start to improve.”
“So you want to try break her out of the cycle and then make sure she can’t block you again?” Janet came to the same conclusion as Daniel did.
“Right, all Slayers process drugs quickly, so we'll shock her enough to break her concentration and let us in, and then you sedate her, and knock her out just long enough to stop the dream.” Nancy explained, and Daniel could tell that she was making the plan up as she went along.
Although, it really didn’t matter if she just thought of the plan on the fly, it was a good one.
“Alright, let’s do it…..”