Elizabeth felt like she had just run into a wall. As much as she wanted to deny it, the steady look in the witch’s eyes told her who she
thought Buffy’s mate was going to be, but she had to be sure. “What are you saying?”
“A little while ago, I told Buffy that at some point, all of her senses might possibly focus on a specific person, especially when she’s in the middle of slayer lust. At the time, I didn’t think too much about it beyond the initial findings, because I’d never really seen her affected by slayer lust. Or at least I didn’t think so. I told her that when that happens, it would most likely be her Slayer side picking a mate.”
Elizabeth looked down at her desk as unease slid down her spine. Finally, Dawn had enough of Willow beating around the bush. “For God’s sake, Willow, just spit it out!”
Willow glanced over at Dawn for a moment before refocusing on Elizabeth again. She took deep breath and dropped the bombshell. “We think those instincts have focused on Elizabeth.”
Elizabeth refused to look up even though she felt the others’ eyes on her in shock. She had suspected that was what Willow was leading up to, but hearing it said aloud made it unavoidably real. “What am I looking at here?” She asked quietly.
Willow took her chair around the desk to sit next to the Atlantis Commander, and took her hand in a gesture of comfort. “Like any predator, the Slayer will want to claim you, possibly even mark you in some way. I know Buffy, though. She won’t do it if it isn’t what you want. If you decide that you don’t want this, she will find a way around it, but if you do, you have to be sure. There would be no turning back or changing your mind. It’s the Slayer side of her that picked you as ‘Mate’, so I’m sure that there will be a mystical aspect to it.”
After a moment, Elizabeth took a deep breath and said softly, “I need to think about this.”
Willow nodded. “That’s a wise idea. Be careful though. This is new to Buffy and it’s hitting her kinda suddenly. She’s normally got really good self control, but this instinct may push her into doing something that she normally wouldn’t.”
Elizabeth frowned, “Is she dangerous?”
Willow smiled, “Of course she is, just not to you.”
~~~ BtVS ~~ SG-1 ~~ SG:A ~~~
Elizabeth looked out over the sparkling blue water. She was in a room high in one of the towers that she and Buffy had discovered on one of their late night forays. At the present, Buffy was orbiting the planet, probably thinking about the same thing she was. An hour ago, an incident in Buffy’s quarters had led to a discussion with Willow, Xander and Dawn that revealed a little more of what Buffy Summers was.
She realized that Willow had been describing a ‘thinking predator’. The instincts of a wild animal with the sentient understanding of man. Buffy was probably more dangerous than the Wraith.
According to Willow, however, Buffy wasn’t a danger to her. When Elizabeth thought about it, she probably wasn’t much of a danger to any of them. Willow had said that Buffy would protect her home, and that was obviously the city. She had taken them out when she first awoke, but she hadn’t killed anyone.
However, Willow had also hinted at what Buffy was capable of if pushed too far. Immediately, Rodney came to mind. After the first time they had crossed words, he had been treading lightly around the small blonde, but Elizabeth could hear the comments getting increasingly condescending when they spoke. She might have to take him aside and press on him that Buffy is not someone to sharpen his tongue on. So far, she was getting along well with the military men and women, despite her initial feeling and misgivings. She had demonstrated quite clearly that she was more than able to hold her own against the military mindset that insisted they charge headlong into battle, even if they were at a disadvantage.
Taking a deep breath to steady herself, she finally turned her mind to the current issue at hand. Thinking or not, Buffy’s predator instincts have seemingly decided on her as a mate. From what she knew of wild predators, they mated for life and were extremely possessive. Since they didn’t know when, or if, they would ever reach Earth again, she had told her fiancé that it was all right to move on, but she hadn’t expected to find another relationship herself, no so soon and especially since she would never consider pursing a relationship with someone under her command. ‘But she’s not under your command, is she?’
Her inner voice asked. ‘It’s not like we’re breaking any rules, even our own. And we were attracted to her from the beginning, weren’t we?’ “Hey, Elizabeth, want to go for a ride?”
Buffy’s voice suddenly came through her commlink. “I think we should talk, don’t you? I’ll put a failsafe to transport you back to the city if you need it.”
Elizabeth thought about it. They really did need to talk about this, and privately, without anyone else’s opinions crowding in. She knew, and she suspected Buffy did as well, that the Scoobies would do whatever possible to keep them apart until Buffy had herself under control. Finally, she touched her earpiece. “All right. Beam me up when you have the failsafe in place.”
After a few minutes, Elizabeth found herself looking at the interior of the Mystery Machine
. Buffy was seated at the pilot’s chair and had it turned to face her. She smiled at Elizabeth, then pointed to a console. “Enter in your passcode there, and you’ll be all set. I sent a message down to the control room so nobody panicked when they notice that you’re gone. Do you want to fly around the water, or go out into orbit?”
“How about you make the ship visible and we just sit on the water outside the Gateroom?” Elizabeth suggested.
“Whatever you want.” Buffy issued the commands and soon her were bouncing lightly on the gentle ocean waves. Buffy turned in her chair an indicated the co-pilot’s station. “Have a seat.” Buffy waited until Elizabeth sat down. “Did Willow talk to you?”
Elizabeth nodded. “She told me a great deal, in fact.”
“I’m sorry that this happened.” Buffy said, resting her head in her hands. “I didn’t mean for any of this. I don’t even know how it happened.”
Elizabeth placed a comforting hand on the younger girl’s shoulder. “From what I understand, it wasn’t really something you could control. Instincts aren’t something that can be regulated or turned on and off like a switch. The problem we have is that it is an instinct for you, but not for me. I am the Commander of this base, and I have to weigh the pros and cons of any decision I make.”
Buffy nodded. “I know that. This is strictly your choice. If you become my mate, then that would be beyond fantastic. If not, then I’ll think of something.”
Neither of them knew just when Elizabeth’s hand moved up to caress Buffy’s cheek, or when Buffy moved from her seat to kneel at Elizabeth’s feet. All they knew was that one moment, they were talking, and the next, Buffy hands were gripping her waist as she kissed Elizabeth with all the pent up desire inside her. Elizabeth whimpered in the back of her throat as her hands tangled in blonde hair at the sudden heat engulfing her body. At the sound, Buffy realized what she was doing and it took everything she had to draw back from the kiss, growling lightly as Elizabeth’s hands unconsciously tightening in her hair to bring her back.
“Elizabeth, what’s your passcode?” Buffy asked hoarsely, feeling her control slipping. She ran her tongue teasingly over Elizabeth’s ear. “Quickly, honey, tell me what it is.”
Elizabeth told her and instantly she found herself back on the balcony where she had been previously. “Oh, God.” She groaned as she came out of the daze she found herself in. “This is not good.”
“Willow, I’m spending the night on the mainland.” Buffy informed her friend as the Machine
lifted gracefully from the water. “This thing with Elizabeth is getting out of hand, and I don’t want to do anything we’ll all regret. I need you to look to check her over with your magical sense. She’s on the balcony at the top of the east tower. I think something more than primal urges are drawing us together.”
“No problem.” Willow answered. “Where is she? Do you want us to spend the night with you?”
“That would be great, Will.” Buffy said gratefully. “It’ll be like old times.”
“Dr. Weir?” Willow said, stepping out onto the balcony. “Buffy asked me to come and check on you.”
Elizabeth looked up. She was huddled against the wall with her knees tucked under her chin, looking lost and overwhelmed. Willow’s heart went out to the obviously confused woman.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Willow asked softly.
“I don’t think I can.” Elizabeth replied. “Everything is happening so fast, I can barely wrap my head around it.”
Willow sat down next to the Commander as she considered what to say. “I was 16 when I found out that monsters really existed. That all those reports of gangs on PCP and deaths by accidental barbecue forks stabbings were all lies.” She began, staring out over the water. “A week later, I found out that our school library, my haven against a world I never really felt welcome in, was sitting on top of a doorway to hell, and that the doorway was going to be opened if my new friend didn’t stop it.”
Willow shook her head in bemusement, “I remember thinking, how could something like this happen to us. We were just this small town that the rest of California barely knew existed. It was a long time before I realized that big things like that usually happened in smaller places where it would most likely be ignored by the majority of the population, and it’s a lot easier to hide in a group that easily recognizes outsiders.”
Elizabeth found herself setting her own problem aside as she listened.
“That was nothing compared to what Buffy went through, though. It was almost a year before she trusted me enough to tell me everything. Here was this pretty, Class-A type girl, someone who could get instant access to the popular group, and she befriends me without needing me to do her homework. Then, I find out that her life is something out of a horror movie. She was being forced, against her will, to fight the monsters and guard the doorway. Worse, she finds out that she’s going to die doing it. Not she might die, but was destined to die. Needless to say, she quit right then and there. She had already been through so
much. She saw her first Watcher killed, the people she saved all denied what she saw when they were questioned and so she was expelled and arrested. Her parents didn’t believe her and she was institutionalized. When she recanted and was let out, her parents divorced. Now, she’s told that she going to die on her birthday on her sixteenth birthday.”
“What happened?” Elizabeth asked almost breathlessly.
“A body was found in the gym locker. Not a very unusual event, mind you, but then a group of vamps attacked the local hangout and bragged that his master, ironically named The Master, was going to break free and open the Hellmouth. Needless to say, we all freaked. So Buffy decided that she had to at least try.” Willow finally looked directly at Elizabeth. “I’m not telling you this to say that we understand what you’re going through, because we don’t. I’m telling you to show you that we do
understand how things like this can happen so fast that it seems like you can’t make sense of it, especially Buffy. That we can help you with, even if it’s just to lend an ear. We know how it feels, so let us help you.”
“Buffy wanted me to take a look at you.” Willow changed the subject. “She wanted to know if there was more to this mating thing than just instincts.”
“If that’s the case, shouldn’t Carson be examining me?” Elizabeth asked.
The corners of Willow’s lips curled up in amusement. “Different kind of exam. I can see if there is anything mystical involved.”
Elizabeth’s eyes widened at the thought. “And if there was?”
“Then I’m sure someone’s going to be REALLY sorry when Buffy finds out who.” Willow grinned mischievously. “She absolutely hates being manipulated, and won’t tolerate it if someone else is also used in the attempt.”
Elizabeth thought about that, and understood. “All right. What do I do?”
“Nothing, just relax.” Taking a deep breath, Willow closed her eyes reached inside herself so that she could look at Elizabeth with her mystical senses. What she saw and sensed shocked her so much that her eyes popped open and her jaw dropped.
“What is it?” Elizabeth said, unsettled by the response.
“You… You… and Buffy…” Willow couldn’t get it out. Finally, taking a breath to calm herself, she pressed her earpiece. “Buffy, you need to get back here right now.”
“Willow, you know why I’m out here…” Buffy began.
“Buffy!” Willow interrupted. “You have to get back here NOW! Separation will only cause problems for you, and it definitely won’t be comfortable for Elizabeth. I’ll tell you why as soon as you get here.”