Elizabeth took a deep breath and waved her hand over the sensor. After a moment, the door slid open to reveal Dawn. “I’d like to speak with Buffy please.”
“Sure.” Dawn smiled and stepped aside. Old habits were hard to break. “They’re in the training room.”
Dawn pointed and Elizabeth went to watch the training while Dawn went back to her schoolbooks. Standing in the doorway, Elizabeth was in amazement as Buffy defended herself against Xander’s attacks while simultaneously dodging fireballs being thrown by Willow. Buffy ended the exercise when she sensed Elizabeth’s presence. Xander’s hair was plastered to his forehead and was dripping sweat, but Buffy barely looked like she was breathing hard.
“Is it just me,” He panted at his friend. “or have you gotten faster?”
“I’ve gotten faster.” Buffy answered. “How are you doing, Will? Any drainage at all?”
“I feel great!” Willow chirped. “The energy here is so clean, and untapped. Drawing on it so easy.”
“How’s your control and your focus?” The Slayer asked.
“My control is getting much better. It’s also easier to focus without the overwhelming temptation.”
Elizabeth couldn’t take her eyes off the blonde. Buffy was wearing a black sports bra and tight black leggings that emphasized flexing muscles as the Slayer moved. The light sheen of sweat at Buffy’s throat made her skin shine, and suddenly Elizabeth wanted nothing more than to lick that glistening flesh. Elizabeth was shocked. She hadn’t been this attracted to another woman since college, and it unnerved her.
“Dr. Weir?” Vaguely, Elizabeth realized that someone was calling her name. “Elizabeth? Are you all right?”
“I’m sorry. I was just thinking.” Elizabeth forced herself to pay attention. “Buffy, may I speak with you for a moment?”
“Sure.” Grabbing a towel, Buffy wiped off the sweat and draped it over her shoulders before following Elizabeth out into the hall.
“I wanted to apologize for Rodney.” Elizabeth started off. “I know that he can be a little…”
“Obnoxious? Arrogant? Condescending?”
Elizabeth chuckled. “I was going to say tactless, but those work too.”
Buffy grinned back. “Don’t worry about it. We’ve got someone just like him. His intelligence makes him think he’s better than everyone else. With Cordy, it was her money and popularity. We put up with her, so I think we can manage him too.”
“He did bring something to mind, however.” Buffy’s grin faded and Elizabeth hurried on. “Not about taking orders. The President and Mr. Giles warned me about that. I was referring to your decision to simply travel to kill Wraith. You are not bound by the same constraints as you were back home. The people here don’t deny the existence of the monsters that we are fighting, so you and you’re friends don’t have to simply destroy and go.”
Elizabeth paused, but Buffy said nothing.
“You interacted with people on other worlds, didn’t you?” Buffy nodded. “Show them to your friends, and to us. Help us make contact. You don’t have to go through the gate just to slay.”
Elizabeth began to walk away, leaving Buffy with a thoughtful look on her face. “One more thing, Buffy.” The Slayer looked up. “You are surrounded by men and women trained to combat enemies that are ‘more than human’. You guys don’t have to do this alone anymore. Since we are most likely going to come up against the Wraith anyway, let us help you.”
Buffy leaned against the corridor wall as she thought about what Elizabeth had said. She had been fighting in the shadows for so long, that it hadn’t occurred to that she no longer had to. The people in this universe did not adhere to the belief that ignorance is bliss like humans did regarding the demons that went bump in the night. Maybe she needed to find out more about these people, instead of automatically dumping them into the same category as the Initiative, especially since they had done nothing to deserve it. Coming to a decision, she went back into her chambers.
“Hey, guys.” She said, getting their attention. “Tell me more about these Stargate people.”
Later that night, Buffy sat in her windowsill looking up at the night sky. She didn’t sleep much for the first few weeks of her awakening, usually preferring to take one of the ships to the surface to gaze at the stars and think about the family that she had left behind even though she knew that they hadn’t even been born yet. Now they were together again, just a few feet away, sound asleep on her bed. Now, she was thinking about what they had told her of the people they were working with.
Willow, Xander and Dawn all agreed that they were a good group. They were nothing like the Initiative. They weren’t trying to use the aliens to create super soldiers or anything like that. Although they were told that there was a faction, one that Willow had discovered had close ties to the Initiative, that were not above using the aliens to get what they wanted. While the Scoobies were fighting a war under the cover of the night, the Stargate people were fighting another war in space. While they were all that stood between the world ending or being overrun by demons, the SG teams were standing between humanity and enslavement. All this time, they had been fighting similar wars that neither had known about.
She was also thinking about the things Elizabeth Weir had said earlier. Buffy realized that although they had lived in Sunnydale, shopped and partied and went to school, the Scooby gang, from herself and Giles all the way down to Dawn and Tara, had held themselves apart from the people in their hometown. Those people ignored what happened after the sun set, and barely acknowledged, unless they had no choice, the people that sacrificed to keep them safe. Buffy strongly suspected that people here wouldn’t do that. They didn’t ignore the problem, although they had learned to live with it, and they would probably fight back if someone would only show them how.
Finally, she found herself thinking about Elizabeth Weir.
There was something about that woman that was making all of her instincts stand up and take notice. As they had walked together out into the corridor, she had caught the faint scent of something that had made her mouth water, but she had been distracted by what Elizabeth was saying. Thinking about Elizabeth brought her face to mind, then her body. Then images of what that body might look like without clothes, and Buffy realized something that shocked her. She was attracted to Elizabeth Weir. In a seriously, BIG way. She hadn’t felt like this since Angel, and never for a woman. She was going to have to talk to Willow about this.
Suddenly feeling restless, Buffy quietly left her chambers to wander the corridors. She took her time, allowing her senses to become accustomed to the scents and sounds of the city’s new inhabitants. She knew that it would take some time to get used to so many people after she had been alone for so long, but she found herself looking forward to it. She ended up perched on the railing of the balcony outside the gateroom, looking out over the water.
“Shouldn’t you be sleeping?” Buffy said to the figure moving up behind her.
Elizabeth paused for a moment, then moved to lean on the rail beside the Slayer. “Couldn’t sleep. What about you?”
“Coming out of stasis leaves me with too much pent-up energy to sleep more than a couple of hours for weeks.” Buffy shrugged.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“I have heard the President, Mr. Giles and now you speaking to Willow about controlling her magic. Is this something that I should be concerned about?”
Buffy looked at her for a moment, studying her as a potential threat. “Yes and no. When Willow first began using magic, Giles wouldn’t help her. He’d had his own problems and tried to steer her away from it. Unfortunately, the one thing Willow can’t resist, is something to learn. So she figured it out on her own, unfortunately with no one to guide her, she studied it all, including Dark Magic. Dark Magic is like a drug. The more you use, the more you have to use it, and like a drug, it’s habit-forming.”
“So you’re saying that Willow is addicted to her magic?” Elizabeth realized. “Then why does she still use it? Shouldn’t you be discouraging her?”
“It doesn’t work that way.” Buffy told her. “Once the magic is a part of you, it stays a part of you. She has to use her magic, or the build-up will kill her. The only thing she can do is learn to control it, because if she doesn’t control the power, then the power will control her. Anything else you want to know about it, you’ll have to ask her.”
“Okay, so that’s the ‘yes’ part. Want to tell me the ‘no’ part now?”
The Slayer smiled. “If she looses control of the Dark Magic, we’ll be the ones to deal with her. She’d kill you all before you got anywhere near her.”
They were silent for a while, simply looking over the water. Finally, Buffy spoke again. “I thought about what you said.”
“And what did you decide?”
Buffy was silent for so long that Elizabeth thought she wouldn’t answer, then the Slayer sighed. “That you’re right.”