Sorry about the delay. I did have half of this written well before January, I just didn’t have the time to finish it. Blame it on Uni. Not to mention I’ve been sick for the last three weeks. This chapter contains, well, the big reveal in a way and I hope it doesn’t disappoint you guys. That’s been one of the reasons as well to the delayed posting of it. At heart, you see, I’m a scaredy cat. LOL. I haven’t been this frazzled since I first started posting this thing.
With that said, thanks for all the great reviews! You guys rock! Chapter 11:
Buffy started to breathe again when they reached the parking lot. It took them 11 minutes and 45 seconds to do so, but when they finally did she felt as if the fresh air gave her back her sanity. They were almost safe. Almost away. Just a bit further and she wouldn’t have to risk facing Jacob. Or Sam. Undoubtedly Jacob would’ve met up with his oldest daughter to ask why she was there. And when he did, the cat would be out of the bag and questions would be raised.
Questions that she couldn’t answer. Or rather wouldn’t.
“What’s going on Buffy?” Giles asked as they were almost by their cars.
“The people that came through the gate,” She hesitated for a second before continuing, throwing a quick glance at Riley and Graham that were looking at her with worry in their eyes. ”one of them was Jacob.”
Her reply made Giles come to an abrupt halt as he turned and stared at her with a shocked expression.
“Are you sure?”
“Did he see you?”
“He even recognized me.” Buffy murmured. “This is bad Giles. He’ll ask Sam questions without a doubt and then she’ll know too.”
“And they will wonder how you could gain access, and why.”
They both knew what would happen. The investigation that was sure to follow would gain the interest of the wrong people. Who in turn would start an investigation of their own. And then it wouldn’t be long before they knew of the relation between Buffy and Sam. Between the Slayer and the star scientist.
Then the power game would begin.
“You have to tell them.” Giles finally said, meeting her eyes without hesitation.
“If you tell them now, then they’ll understand what consequences asking questions would bring. I know it’s hard Buffy but the girls’ safety must come first.”
“I know that!” She exclaimed. “But we don’t know them Giles. I may be related by blood to them but I haven’t had contact with them in years. I don’t know which side they’re on. If they’ll sell us out? Sure Hammond seemed like a good guy, but that doesn’t mean all of the people in that mountain are!”
“Then don’t tell them all of it. Just enough to make sure they won’t do anything rash.”
Buffy looked away.
“He’s right Buffy.” Riley stated softly. “It’s the best option we have.”
“And what if it turns out they aren’t the good guys? What then?” The sadness was evident in her voice. “What kind of fate will I have given my girls then?”
But neither in the group answered. Giles took a step towards her, his hand reaching out to grasp Buffy’s shoulder.
“It’s a cruel world we live in.” He didn’t look at her as he spoke; instead he looked over her shoulder at the group of people dressed in military fatigues that were approaching them quickly. “It’s not easy being a leader; it forces you to make decisions that no person ever should have to make. But all the same you have to make them... Whether you approve or not, you are that leader. And as such you have responsibilities.”
And in her mind, Buffy did understand. But what made it worse was the guilt she felt. She’d acted too soon when the risks of failure had been too high.
“I should have let you guys go alone. I should have stayed behind.” Buffy whispered as she met her mentor’s gaze. “I knew I could be discovered and I went anyway. God, I was so stupid
The last part came out in a hiss and she closed her eyes for a frustrated second, only to open them again as she heard footsteps coming closer.
“All actions have consequences Buffy. The key is to adjust to them, and act thereafter.”
His words made her look at him one last time. Whether it was for reassurance or something else, she didn’t know for certain.
She took a breath.
And then she turned around.
If there was one thing Major Samantha Carter never expected it was to have her estranged little sister show up at the top secret base where she worked. It was even worse to find out that one’s boss didn’t even know the visitors’ names, only that he was ordered to disclose all about the project to them from people way higher up in the chain of command.
And as if that wasn’t enough, one’s own father decided to pay a visit in the middle of it all. To say the least Jacob was angry. And she could understand that. She’d known Buffy was in Colorado Springs, but she hadn’t contacted him to tell him that.
Only, she couldn’t really force herself to worry about that particular problem. All she could focus on was catching her sister before she left the base, because she had the peculiar feeling that if her sister did manage to leave, then they probably wouldn’t see her again.
Sam didn’t want that. No, she wanted answers and she wanted to know what had happened to her sister to make them end up like this. So much time had passed. So many missed opportunities.
She didn’t want this to be another of those.
General Hammond had ordered the gate stationed soldiers to stop the visitors from leaving, but he could have been too slow to do so. As she hurried along the corridors with her team not far behind to get to the surface, she hoped she wouldn’t be too late.
Sam’s worries didn’t lessen when she, exiting the elevator, caught sight of her sister and her three companions being lead towards them. None of them looking particularly happy. But what disturbed her the most, was her sister.
Buffy didn’t look like a civilian anymore. She looked like a leader. She looked lethal.
“Hello Sam.” She looked wryly at her, then glanced at the others. “And friends.”
“What were…are you doing here?” The moment the words came out of Sam’s mouth, she knew it was a stupid question.
“Do you really want to have that conversation here?” Buffy countered, glancing and the guards nearby. “’Cause if you do I’m surprised, what with this being a top secret project and all.”
It took all of Buffy’s strength to walk into the conference room once more instead of running away. She didn’t want to have the conversation that was sure to follow. Didn’t want to face her sister or her father. But as she looked at the faces of the people already in the room, she knew it was her only option.The girls’ safety must come first.
That was the mantra she kept telling herself. As if the words somehow would make the situation better. Easier.
She took a breath, forced the anxiety and worry away. And then she focused on the shocked look that was clearly visible on her father’s face. He was looking at her as if she was a stranger. For just a moment that thought made something clench in her chest. But only for a moment.
Then she gracefully sat down by the table, at an angle which allowed her a view of the whole room. She didn’t move as Giles, Riley and Graham sat down next to her.
Instead she let her eyes wander across the other occupants in the room. She recognized all of them. Well, all but one she amended. Though she knew without a doubt who he was. Teal’c. The General had been very clear on just who, and what, Teal’c was. Their gazes met for a second, neither looked away despite the minor scuffle that was caused as the rest of the room’s inhabitants sat down.
A slight cough pulled Buffy back from the staring contest and she focused, once again, on General Hammond. He was even tenser than he’d been at the beginning of the meeting. A quick look at Giles told her he’d noticed that too.
“Perhaps we should get started,” The General said. “After all it would appear some worrying questions have been raised.”
He spoke the last line looking directly at Buffy and company.
“Worrying for who General?” Buffy retorted calmly. “All my fears have been laid to rest. And they were the ones needing answers. Not yours.”
“Now wait just a minute here…” The grey haired man, Jack, protested but Buffy ignored him.
“You were ordered not to ask us any questions. And you were ordered not to cause any kind of trouble for us as well. The only reason to why I’m still here is politeness. Which, I might add, I’m quickly running out of.”
“Buffy…” Giles spoke her name softly, but the warning was there.
“That may be miss… Summers, however that was before I knew of your connection to certain people in this room.” Hammond countered.
Buffy flinched slightly when she heard him call her by her name. She shouldn’t be surprised she thought.
But she was.
“So you know my name. Woopdidoo.” She snorted. “I’m really shaking in my boots.”
This time it was Jacob who interrupted and he no longer looked weary, he looked anguished and there was a pleading look in his eyes.
“That’s not my name, you know that Jacob.” Buffy said quietly, almost regretfully as she watched her father flinch at her use of his name.
For a moment there was silence in the room. And it was a relief to Buffy. She felt Giles grip her hand underneath the table and squeeze it softly. The touch was calming, and as she met his look she sighed.
“I’m sorry.” She said tiredly to the room. “I’m sorry. But this is… a very difficult situation for me. And I’m not quite sure as to how to handle it.”
“Start at the beginning.” The words had come from Sam. And when Buffy looked at her sister, she saw something aching to understanding in the blonde’s eyes.
She nodded slightly, looked down at the table. And made her decision.
“Due to certain events, in lack of a better word, I’ve come to find myself as a guardian to a group of teenage girls in the last few years. Well, me and a group of friends.” She paused a moment before continuing. “Unfortunately these girls possess certain talents that the wrong kind of people would be after, were they to learn of their existence.”
She shook her head when she saw her sister begin to open her mouth to speak.
“Before you ask, I’m not gonna tell you any of the details. Nor any names. You have to understand, all of you, that you were never supposed to find out any of this. The fact that you now do, pose a very real threat to my girls. The only reason as to why I’ve managed to keep them safe is because I’ve kept it quiet. Because we all have.”
“We?” Daniel questioned, glancing at the others next to her, clearly wanting to know who they were as well.
“I’m not gonna give you their names.” Buffy said calmly. “You know mine, that’s enough.”
“Then why are you here now?” Jack asked, distrust evident in his eyes. “You’d planned to keep us in the dark. What changed?”
“Because if we’d left before you intercepted us, you would have been left with all the questions I know you’re dying to ask right now. But instead of asking us, of asking me, you would have started researching them. You would have started to ask around. And by doing so you would catch the interest of others. Who in turn would start their own research.” She looked at him. “And it wouldn’t have taken long before that interest reached the very same people that I’m trying to protect my people from.”
“The NID…” Daniel breathed, making Buffy frown.
“If these NID like to experiment on people, then yeah, them. And more.” She snorted humorlessly. “I know of one project for certain, that conducted experiments on… similar individuals. And while we managed to shut down that project, lives were lost in the process. It’d be logical to assume that something similar would happen if another project was started up. Which it undoubtedly would be if my girls were to be exposed. And in the end, were these people to find out, I’d have to watch them take girl after girl. It wouldn’t matter how much I tried to protect them because I can’t protect them all. Not 24/7. I can’t fight them all. I can’t win against them all.”
“For cryin’ out loud! You want us to believe that?” Jack exploded. “Why’d you come here to begin with if this is the case?”
“Because I was told that it was a very real chance that you people were one of these organizations.” Sadness shone through her eyes as she spoke. “And I had to find out if you were.”
“Because of me?” Sam asked.
“I didn’t know you worked here Sam.” Buffy said. “Not in the beginning. But once I knew, yeah. Because of you. My name’s already known in certain circles, and if people were to connect you and me then you could have been used against me.”
“Or I could have been one of the people you wanted to hide the girls from.” Sam said.
“Yeah.” Buffy shrugged. “Either way I had to know.”
“If I had been one of them...” Sam hesitated briefly before continuing. “What would you have done?”
Her words made Buffy look away for a second, before looking at her again.
“What was necessary to eliminate the threat.”
“Just like that?”
The words were spoken in disbelief.
“I saw the after-effects of the experiments Sam. I was there. And I nearly died trying to put an end to it. People I consider family nearly died.” With every word, her voice turned colder. “And if anything even remotely similar to it happened to my girls, or threatened to, I’d go to hell and back to stop it. We all would.”
Daniel watched as the door closed behind Hammond as he escorted Buffy and company back to the surface. A million questions ran through his head but for the time being he pushed them down, focusing on his female friend instead.
“You alright Sam?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you think she’s telling the truth?” Jacob asked after a moment, still reeling after the meeting.
“I don’t know Dad.” Sam repeated, closing her eyes wearily as she ran a hand through her hair once. “She’s obviously trying to protect people but…”
“What would government agencies possibly want with teenage girls? Talented or not, they’d still be American citizens. They’d still have their rights.”
“Rights didn’t stop the NID Sam.” Daniel said quietly.
“Whether she told the truth or not Danny, mini-Sam still held things back.” Jack stated. “How can we trust what they’re saying if they don’t trust us enough to disclose all?”
It was a question neither of them could answer.TBC…A/N 2:
I thought long and hard on how I should write this part and well, this is what I came up with. Some of you will probably think I’ve gone insane, and that I should’ve had Buffy spill all or follow the path of other stories out there dealing with the Buffy/Sam sister thing. But in truth, at this point, the SGC have no knowledge of the supernatural. All they know is that Buffy is moving around in high places. Nothing more.
Keep in mind I’m no real writer, I do this for fun. Without a doubt the story has its weak points. That’s why I need constructive criticism, not flames or angry notes on how I ruined it by writing in a certain way. I’m a regular human, just like any of you, I have feelings too.