A/N: I would like to think my prereaders and BETA for all your wonderful help!
“Dr Frasier and members of the Council to Isolation Room One, Dr Frasier and Council Representatives to Isolation One immediately!” The slightly hysterical voice issuing from the P.A yanked Daniel out the stupor in which he had fallen and into the harsh reality he had created in the conference room.
“Dr Giles, Nancy, if you don’t tell me what’s wrong, I can’t fix it.” The tense voice of Janet Frasier cut through the remaining fog that the memory of Heaven had caused. ‘It had to be so much worse for her, to have been there, and now be here.’
Daniel shook his head trying to clear it and to think.
He was sure that Janet had left standing orders for the medical personnel to summon her immediately in case Buffy woke up early. Daniel didn’t know what it might mean that she was waking up nearly three hours before they expected her to; he just knew that he had to shake off the effects of his vision. He clinched his hands into fists and then relaxed them in an effort to regain control.
“Who else in the American military knows about Buffy?” Dr. Giles’ demand broke the silence filling the conference room. He looked just as shaky on his feet as Daniel felt.
“No one!” Daniel shouted, interrupting the Watcher’s next accusation.
“Was this the plan, then? To offer help just so you could get the two top members of the Council here and in custody?” The Watcher’s eyes were darting around the room, searching for a way to escape.
“No!” Daniel moved one shaky step away from the table and all eyes shifted from Janet and Dr. Kenize to him. ‘Good, look at me, and you’ll see the truth,’
he thought, hopefully. They didn’t have time for this…. mess. She wasn’t completely awake—yet. They had time, if they could get to her, if he could get to her, before the Slayer woke up in a locked room on a military base and all sorts of Hell broke loose.
“What?” Dr Giles questioned him. “You expect me to believe you? How could you have known about her?”
“I was there! I was, I was dying, I ascended and….” The tension in the room increased as the two Slayers present pushed Dr Giles further behind them and took another step back towards the wall. It was as if they were fully expecting Daniel to sprout horns and tail. Then he realized that the things these women fought horns and tail would be common.
“Nancy -- doctor,” Janet stepped forward. “We aren’t trying to hurt you or Buffy, we do want to help. Daniel did die and he changed into pure energy. We call it having ascended what does that term mean to you?”
Janet was trying to engage them in conversation, to use reason, and it might work except they simply didn’t have the time, Daniel realized. No, Dr Giles was exhausted, worried about Buffy’s health, and frightened about betraying her at the same. The Slayers were simply confused and following his lead.
“I don’t believe you!” The man shouted back, he was standing against the wall, using it as support. And all Daniel could see was Jack standing by his child’s grave. Dr Giles had clearly done the same for Buffy, and he was terrified of it happening again. ‘We don’t have time, they just don’t have time to talk.’
It was like a mantra playing over and over in Daniel’s head.
“You don’t have to believe us, just look at me!” he whispered, as when he caught Dr Giles eyes. “Just look at me.”
Daniel opened himself up to Dr Giles. “I wasn’t on the same level, or anywhere close to the right plane, but one day we got to see, to visit, I guess you could call it, all the champions.”
Daniel let the wonder wash over his face; he just basked for a moment in the beauty he’d experienced then. The words he’d thought earlier in the day came back to him.
“Even among the special, she was considered special.”
He made his eyes focus on Dr Giles and the man looked as if he’d been slapped.
Good. ‘If he helped pull her back here…’
he thought to himself.
“Dr Giles, ask your Slayers, what do they feel coming from me? Do I feel like ….?” Daniel stopped talking because the man was utterly and completely defeated as he fell more than sat back into his chair.
“I think I can help her, and I think I need your Slayers’ help to do it,” Daniel let some of the urgency he felt seep into his voice. “We don’t have much time -- she’s waking up alone, and the smells are ….”
“Go! Go now!” Giles whispered, his voice gone. “All of you just go.”
The youngest Slayer balked, “Xander said...”
“Xander is not here, nor is he Buffy’s Watcher! Now go!”
The two Slayers were around the table with their swords sheathed before Daniel could blink. The thought of the slaughter that could have happened passed quickly through Daniel’s mind when he saw just how fast they were. Then the mantra from earlier came back and he was racing out the door towards Buffy Summers. ‘Let there be time, let there be time….’
Daniel raced down the halls with the Slayers. It wasn’t far from the conference room to Iso-One. That was the reason that particular conference room was chosen to hold all the briefings between SGC and the Council.
It amazed Daniel how the Slayer ahead of him led them directly to her Slayer Prime through the twists and turns of the mountain. It had taken him months to learn just his little corner of the complex and these women had been there less than a day. HE also noted how the Slayers kept him between them for the entire way. Nancy was exactly five feet in front of him and Tracy five feet behind him, step for step, weaving through the personnel that got in their way.
He used his pass to open the door and it was clear that Buffy Summers was waking up fighting. She hadn’t quite thrown off the effects of the potion and that was the only thing keeping her down. The Slayer was awake and it was enraged. BtVS*****Stargate SG-1*****BtVS*****Stargate SG-1
“Buffy, you need to wake up now.” Willow’s voice jarred her and started the slow climb to consciousness.
Something was different.
There was the noise of people whispering, and the rustle of their clothes brushing against arms and legs as they stomped around. There were many people around her -- more people than should be in her apartment. There was beeping and buzzing and dripping, but no car horns honking or birds or snow falling and sliding across the roof and hitting her window.
Everything smelled all-wrong too. There were hospital smells like alcohol and other hospitally type stuff, however, underneath it, there was the smell of grease and oil. There were so many people around her and none of them smelled like Dawn or Xander, though Spring was standing next to her. The smell of oil and grease reminded her of some place.
The air wasn’t moving right; it was stagnant. Like she was underground. The oil and grease, underground, everything smelled like her dream. Was she dreaming? She had to wake up, she had to get up, she had to fight.
“Miss Buffy, stay still.” That was Spring’s voice. The Slayer reached out for their connection and there was a wall instead.
“You’re safe, stay still.” It sounded like Spring, it smelled like Spring, so their Slayer connection should be there. Her eyes wouldn’t open, so she couldn’t see if it was Spring. The southern Slayer had a stronger link to Buffy; she should be able to feel one of her squad leaders.
Buffy tried to move, to reach a hand out to where she thought Spring was standing. Maybe if they touched she would know one way or the other if something was wrong. If the squad leader was relaxed then maybe she could relax and stop trying to struggle to move.
She knew she was waking up from Willow’s potion, only something about it was wrong. She was always able to move immediately, so hence the tasers and the Slayer guard.
And she would always have the dream before she came awake.
She was more than confused that she couldn’t move, or open her eyes -- she felt trapped within her own body. She felt trapped with strangers around her. Trapped under tons of earth and dirt like when she woke in her coffin.
She could feel her heart start pounding in her chest and she struggled to breathe. The people were using up all the air! She heard the beeping of a machine go crazy and excited, urgent whispers. She should have been able to understand what the people were saying.
Fight or flight. She couldn’t move, she couldn’t see, there were no Slayers near by or she would have been able to feel them! Adrenaline poured into her system.
Fight. Fight. Fight. The Slayer woke.
Whatever caused the paralysis released at once, and her eyes flew open, only to be blinded by a harsh light. Small strong hands grabbed her shoulders, trying to hold her down and she threw a fist at the person in reflex. Her arm was caught and held by the same strong small hands.
“Miss Buffy! Stay still, you’re safe!” She heard the panicked voice and tried to wrench her arm away.
The sound of automatic doors opening and boot clad feet clomping close to her at a run, along with the nearly silent pad of two other people. There were more people in a room full of them; they were under ground, and she started gasping for air. She thought her heart was going to pound out of her chest.
Fight. The Slayer came roaring to the forefront, blinking against the light. Coughing at the stench of stale air that was suffocating her.
Another pair of strong hands grabbed her other arm. Then her legs were held down firmly with strength matching her own.
She had to escape.
“There’s no connection!” a young girl cried. It sounded like Tracy, the youngest of the Slayers, and she smelled like Tracy.
She sounded like Tracy and she smelled like Tracy, and then she caught Nancy’s scent.
The Slayer paused, tasting the air with her open mouth.
Three familiar scents and still she couldn’t feel them.
‘No, it’s trick! If they were Slayers, then she would know. She could felt them all on some level and they knew her.’
She renewed her struggled to escape to claw her way to the surface.
“Touch her! No! Her skin!” a man yelled. The man she felt and he was familiar -- only at the moment, all was forgotten as three distinct Slayer essences blazed a trail of fire through her. All three combined into one huge battering ram as they shattered the wall keeping them separate and Buffy was finally able to break through and she flowed out into the three around her and they fused together as their link flared to life once more.
Nancy, Spring, and little Tracy were saying the same thing.
Safe. No need to fight. Safety.
Her breath caught in her throat and then she took another and found out that she was able to breathe after all. There was enough air.
Safe. Don’t fight. You’re safe.
The unused adrenaline was causing her shake. She was becoming so cold that it almost felt like she was going into shock.
“Miss Buffy? Its ok, you’re ok. You didn’t hurt anyone,” Spring said, and Buffy knew it was Spring because she felt like her Slayer.
Buffy blinked to clear her eyes and now that she was calming down from full survival mode the light wasn’t so bright.
The blanket covering her started to heat up and the warmth started to leech away the coldness. She felt the bed move slightly and her feet were raised.
And that was ok, too, because Tracy was holding on to her wrist like there was no tomorrow, and the girl was feeling a fierce pride that she helped her Slayer Prime calm down from a full-out freak. Spring had her other wrist and Nancy had uncovered her ankles and legs.
Buffy looked around and saw all the machines and tubes and IVs and thought ‘hospital.’ Then she saw the cement walls and the observation window and knew she was on a military base some of kind. Her slowing heart rate sped up again at the thought of the army being involved.
“Miss Buffy, we’re here,” Spring whispered and this time she was able to understand. She didn’t need to glance at Tracy or Nancy, because she knew what they felt.
She needed to get her clouded mind working. She was most likely at Stargate Command since they were underground and the—only—people Giles would even remotely think about trusting. She vaguely remembered that Giles had been at the Cleveland House with her this morning.
She took a deep breath, trying to overcome the reaction and stop the shaking. The blanket on her was now quite warm.
She took another deep breath doing everything she could think of to stop the shaking and it wasn’t working.
“Miss Summers,” the familiar-feeling man, with an Army type hair cut, caught her attention. “You are in part of the infirmary at Cheyenne Mountain, at Stargate Command.” The man paused, clearly trying to gauge how much she was following what he was saying. She could clearly read his expressions as if she’d known him for a long time.
She had to clear her head. It didn’t matter if she knew him or not. She remembered the commander of the Stargate Command otherwise known as the SGC.
“Give my regards to General O’Neill, with two Ls, now how do I get out of here?”
The Slayers laughed because they knew Buffy’s aversion to hospitals. Buffy could tell that they, too, were going through the let down of gearing up for a fight and then having nothing to hit. Buffy pitied the people who paid the bills because the ice cream and pizza bill was going to be through the roof.
A woman stepped up next to the bed. “Miss Summers, I’m Dr. Janet Frasier. We will release you at any time; you are free to walk out the door.”
When Buffy tried to move, she found she had three Slayer attachments that wouldn’t let her.
The doctor looked for all the world like she wanted to smile at the Slayer Prime’s problem.
“However, I would recommend against you leaving,” the doctor continued her spiel. “Your body is extremely malnourished, among other things. The tube in your nose extends all the way to your stomach and right now, it’s feeding you about 100 calories per hour of the blandest diet you could imagine. Dr Meadows said that the normal Slayer ingests about 6000 calories a day. So we have a few days of slowly increasing your intake ahead if us until you’re getting just the normal amount of nourishment for a Slayer.” ‘Dr Meadows! About time someone gave her the respect she’d earned.’
Buffy thought, and nodded at Nancy. She was rewarded a fierce smile from the oldest of the recently Called.
Buffy moved her hand to feel the tube in her nose, only Tracy still had a hold of her wrist and instead of letting go the young Slayer just slid her hands up Buffy’s arm. That’s when Buffy saw the IV line in her hand.
“The yellow bag has vitamins and other things your body needs, the clear one is just replacing the fluids you’ve lost over the past few weeks. You were very dehydrated,” the doctor said, watching her.
“So that’s -- ” she had to cough, her throat was dry. Spring reached behind her and immediately to hand her a cup of water.
The problem was, Spring didn’t want to release her wrist either, to hold the cup and the straw. It was as if her Slayers’ were so touch hungry, they were afraid that their connection would dissolve if they stopped holding on to Buffy.
The Slayer Prime was stunned and humbled by their reactions. She had been so caught up the dreams, the nightmares, and simply being so tired all the time that she’d forgotten that she was apart of the something bigger. That what happened to her mattered so much to other people.
The doctor rescued them by taking the cup from Spring and holding the straw for Buffy to drink. She only took enough water to wet her mouth. The adrenaline was wearing off and she was beginning to fade. And frankly the bed was comfortable and warm and she felt like she could sleep for month.
“Miss Summers?” the doctor prompted. “Will you let us try to help you? You will have complete control over your treatments. You will be able to leave at any time.”
A surge of hope shot through the connection from her three Slayers and caused Buffy to go momentary rigid. She could tell that the doctor was caught off guard and nearly panicked.
“It’s ok,” Buffy coughed out. “Just getting other opinions on the topic,” she smiled at her Slayers.
“Miss Summers, there are two more Slayers on the way here, so that you will be able to have a guard 24 hours a day. Also, you will have final say over all your treatments and Dr Meadows or Dr Giles will also be consulted.”
“Giles is here!” She had missed him so much of these past few years and since he wasn’t in the room, she thought he’d probably had to go back to London.
“Yes, I’m sure he’ll be along soon,” the doctor said. “Will you let us help?”
“Will you let us treat you?” the doctor insisted. Buffy could feel the hope through the connection and the trust Nancy already had in the small doctor.
“Yes, as long I can leave or say no,” Buffy hedged. This room maybe large, and may look like a missile silo, but it was still underground and a hospital!
“Ok then,” the doctor seemed genuinely relieved. “We have treated other stronger than human patients in the past and we have found out that if we give them muscle relaxants, then it slows them down physically, yet it doesn’t effect their mental abilities.”
The doctor paused, expecting Buffy to object. “Since you have been acting out some of your flash-backs, we would like to use that therapy on you for the next few days, if that is ok with you?”
Buffy really didn’t want to be pumped full of drugs. However, she really did want to see if these people could help her and she didn’t want to hurt any body else.
“So, Doc Janet,” the doctor’s mouth twitched, as if she was trying hard not to smile at what Buffy called her. “About the drugs?”
“Do I have your permission to use the muscle relaxants?” Janet asked.
“And if I say no?” Buffy hedged again. It was hard for her to say yes. It meant she would be weak like she was during the Cruciamentum. Then she realized it was really a matter of, did she trust her Slayers.
“Yes, you have my permission.” Buffy said, almost formally. And she got a small burst of pride through the link. The link seemed to be growing to be more than it was before her illness.
“One last thing, Miss Summers, and then I’ll let you alone for a little while. There are some medications we’ve had success with, in treating nightmares. Since you know what we fight, I’m sure you understand that half our job is helping our people stay mentally healthy. While this medication won’t stop the dreams, it has made the dreams easier to handle?”
Buffy glanced around at her the Slayers and knew she had to try everything, not for her, for them.
Buffy caught Nancy’s eyes. “Do you know what she’s talking about it?” Buffy asked.
“Yes. Its safe and unlike other medications, you can stop it cold instead of going through a lengthy weaning process,” Nancy said.
“I’ll try it, I guess.”
Tracy looked almost giddy, though that could be from the adrenaline let down. That was when she finally noticed the man who was still standing next to the foot of her bed just quietly watching her. He felt differently to her than anyone else around her.
She couldn’t place the feeling he was giving off because everything was just too close and too new. Buffy just knew that she’d met him before, she just couldn’t place where.
She felt the muscle relaxant hit her system and she had a moment of panic that the bond with her sisters would fade. Both Spring and Tracy tightened their hold, though, and the link was still there and strong.
The man moved and then she remembered why he felt so familiar—
“You’re an Alteran.”
Thank you for reading my story.