Part Twenty-nine & Thirty
Part Twenty Nine.
"You can't make me leave," Faith planted her hands on her hips.
If they thought it would be that easy to get rid of her they were deluding themselves. What did they think, that because she now had a symbiote inside her that she was going to play by their rules?
That she would leave Red to face the wolves on her own?
No fucking way!
Things were different now. She knew stuff she that blew her mind. In her mind were memories of a life that wasn't her own, yet she knew every detail of it, every emotion felt. It felt like she had lived it.
Faith wasn't sure where Ky ended and she began.
It still freaked her out a little, especially when Ky took over her body, but she was adjusting to it. Ky was adjusting to her too, especially her fierce protectiveness of Willow.
It was Ky who suggested they sneak around the base to see if they could find what the SGC and the Tok'ra's plans for Willow were. It was Faith's idea to steal the swords and the axe.
Which was why they were being asked to leave. General George really didn't appreciate being spied on. HA! How ironic was that? Wasn't that what they did to Red?
Oh yeah, she knew EVERYTHING they did to Red – thanks to the incredible hulk. During her recovery he had filled her in on everything that happened. She didn't get why they didn't see this coming? Did they think all Tok'ra thought they were top shit?
Ky certainly didn't.
But then, Ky had her memories of being shot by the zat and again by the guards. She also had the one of the way they followed Willow. Faith couldn't believe half the shit she learned from Ky. The SGC were held in high regard with the Tok'ra, but Faith wasn't overly impressed. The Tok'ra liked them because they hated the Goa'uld too.
Faith hated them because they shot first and asked questions later.
"I'm afraid you don't have a choice," the General told her. "In the interest of the Tok'ra and Earth alliance, I think it would be best if you and Kyanna left the base until we have a chance to discuss a potential alliance with Willow."
In the interest in the Tok'ra/Earth alliance? What a load of shit! They didn't want her to warn Red about what she heard. Both the Tok'ra and the SGC were going to work on Willow to try to get her to agree to work with them – and they were going to use Faith as their bargaining chip.
They were practically drooling over Red.
It was NOT going to happen. "General, you can take the Tok'ra and Earth alliance and shove it up your –"
God damn it Ky! Not now!
** " My host mean no disrespect, General Hammond. We were merely trying to discern the type of danger our friend may be in. You of all people should understand why my host fears for Willow's life. Are you not the leader of this facility? Therefore responsible for my host's predicament?" **
The General cleared his throat. "While I understand your position, Kyanna, Faith is not aware of everything involved in the situation with Willow. We regret what happened to both Faith and Willow, but that does not excuse spying and stealing."
Ky was not going to stop her from saying what needed to be said. Faith pushed herself to the surface – it was the only way she could describe how they switched. One was in the background, while the other was on the surface. "You regret what happened to me?"
Oh yeah, the General was pissed that she was back in control. Good. He deserved all the shit he got!
"You regret that you pissed Willow off so much that she threatened to level the mountain, not what you did to her. You don't give a damn about either one of us. All you care about is Willow's magic. You want her to teach the blonde bitch how to use magic…. NOT going to happen."
Jacob stepped forward. "Faith, we understand –"
"You understand nothing. You're just as bad as him." She pointed to the General. "We're supposed to be the good guys, since when did we trick people into alliances? I get that we need to find a way to take out the Goa'uld, god, I want them as dead as you do but not at Willow's expense. She has her own demons to deal with."
Were they so deluded that they thought Red would give in as soon as they took Faith away? God, if she wasn't here when Red got back, Red would lose it.
Faith really wouldn't mind seeing her kick their asses.
"Faith, Kyanna, we don't want to do Willow any harm –"
"No. I won't let you. There is no way you're going to blackmail Red into an alliance because you saved my life. They were the ones who endangered it in the first place. Besides, Ky would be dead if I wasn't here so it's kind of a fair trade."
Why the hell wouldn't they listen?
She wished Red and Jack would get back soon. They had been gone for hours and it didn't look like General George was going to back down any time soon. Were all military people so pig headed?
The General motioned to the guards standing just outside the briefing room. "I need you to take Kyanna and Faith to the Stargate, they'll be returning to the Tok'ra base."
Like hell. "I'm not leaving Red here alone with you sons of bi…"
** "My host and I refuse to leave go anywhere without Willow. I have no intention of returning to the Tok'ra base, I wish to aid Willow in her fight against her oppressors." **
"Kyanna!" Jacob was outraged.
Faith rose to the surface. "You do know they still know what I'm saying when you cut me off, don't you Ky?"
Everyone was staring at her.
Damn, she kept forgetting she didn't have to speak out loud when she was talking to Ky. Great now they thought she was an idiot! "Ky has made her decision, and so have I. We're leaving WITH Willow when she's finished with Colonel Jack Off O'Neill, and there is nothing any of you can do to stop us."
She heard a few sniggers from the Airmen behind her. Did they like Jack as much as she did?
Red would be here soon, and then they would be gone, well… she hoped they would be. She wasn't worried about Willow's reaction to her, she knew that Red wouldn't do anything to harm either her or Ky.
"I'm afraid there isn't a lot you can do to stop us from forcing you to leave. Faith, we're not asking you to leave forever, just until we've spoken to Willow. Then you are free to return as often as you like. We can't allow you to take place in the talks with Willow, just by spying on us, you violated the Tok'ra alliance, I don't think…" the General reasoned.
Faith knew her eyes flashed as Ky rose to the surface, and boy was she pissed.
** "I no longer pledge my allegiance to the Tok'ra, I will now serve Willow, therefore I am no longer bound by the Tok'ra alliance," Kyanna paused, listening. "My host wishes me to invite you to bite us." **
"General," Jack stepped into the room, followed by Willow. "I don't recommend sending Faith anywhere."
** ** **
Willow watched as Jack tried to convince the General not to send Faith back to the Tok'ra base. Jack was in damage control, trying to make up for everything the two of them had overheard.
Which was the entire conversation.
This was never going to end Willow realized. No matter what she said or did, they were going to keep on at her until she gave them what they wanted. Every time they helped her, it would be at a price.
And if she got in trouble, and REALLY needed their help, like she thought she would, then she'd be fucked.
They would have her right where they wanted her, and there was nothing she could do about it. They would be able to demand anything, and she'd have no hope of saying no.
She wasn't infallible, there was going to be a time when she was going to need help, and unless she took care of this mess right now, she'd be in deep trouble when she needed help the most.
She couldn't fight armies, and demons, with the Military and Tok'ra breathing down her neck. It just wasn't possible. Sooner or later, they'd be in a position to demand everything from her.
"Jack, take Faith to Daniel."
Both Jack and Faith regarded her with suspicion.
"General clear the room please, except for you and Jacob."
He looked a little nervous.
She was going to end this mess with them right now.
If they wanted an alliance, she would give them one.
On her terms. Part Thirty
God she was so tired. Not physically tired, but emotionally tired. Willow had never fully relaxed since she entered this reality. From the moment she arrived, she began waiting, and preparing, for the demons finding her. Now her worst nightmare had come true, and she found that along with her own enemies, she had gained a few more.
Not only was there some unknown demon in this reality but she had human, and alien, enemies.
Willow couldn't even remember what it was like not to live with this constant fear and pressure. She couldn't even remember what it was like to have Buffy watching out for all of them. It was why she liked having Faith around.
Sometimes, when she looked at her, she saw HER Faith.
Thinking of Faith as the Slayer gave her a few seconds of precious peace, where she could allow herself to believe she wasn't alone.
Willow wished she had died with Buffy and Tara.
"Ms Rosenberg?" Hammond looked slightly concerned. "Are you all right?"
Why did they even ask her that? They didn't care. "I'm fine," she wondered how Faith would feel if she knew what Willow was doing. She had deliberately kept it secret from Faith. If she had any idea what was going on in Willow's mind, she would have refused to leave the room.
Willow hadn't revealed to the General and Jacob what she wanted to talk to them about until they were alone, and all cameras were unplugged. They had been more than willing to comply to her need for privacy when she said the word alliance.
Who knew a little word would cause such a reaction?
"We're willing to offer you anything you need in order to protect Earth," the General began. "It goes without saying that keeping the world safe is our first priority."
It goes without saying? Really? Gee, she hoped they weren't the actions speak louder than words type of people. If that was the case, they wanted this reality to die.
"The Tok'ra are also willing to offer you anything you need," Jacob added. "Though we don't have the resources that are here on Earth we have access to crystals that could help you."
Crystals? Jacob was saying that like it was supposed to mean something. Willow never used crystals. Why were crystals important?
"You would have access to any weapons and technology you required, as well as any military personnel you believe would be suitable to fight demons."
That was very generous of them.
She didn't like it. "What's the catch?"
Hammond and Jacob exchanged a look. "We'd like your help fighting the Goa'uld, to become a part of the Stargate Command… We'd also like you to run some tests, with Major Carter, to see the extent of what you and Major Carter could be capable of."
No. Way. In. Hell.
"So, if I give you everything you want, you'll help me? You'll let Faith and I go."
Her heart dropped at their expressions. They had no intentions of letting either one of them go. Ever.
She felt so incredibly alone. What she wouldn't give to have Buffy or her own Faith here. She smiled slightly at the thought, neither of them would be stupid enough to get into this situation.
Why did she have to be the one to survive?
"We'd like for you and Faith to stay at the SGC, permanently. Willow," the General implored her. "We can protect you here more easily, than if you live outside the mountain."
Anger filled her. She was so fucking sick of this. It was too much, she couldn't fight everyone. "No."
"No. You will never have access to my magic, there will be no tests, Faith and I are not staying here. I don't think you understand the severity of the situation. I'm not asking you for an alliance for me," she let out a harsh laugh. "I don't give a fuck if I live or die."
Were they all so stupid?
"I want to form an alliance to save this sorry ass reality. If I die, MY reality is safe. It's yours that is in danger, not mine. I am not going to agree to anything you want, this is not an opportunity to use me to defeat the Goa'uld. I don't give a damn about them."
Neither man spoke.
"We do this my way. You WILL give me all the help I need to keep this reality safe. Faith and I are to have complete freedom both here, and on the outside. You will give me access to any information I require, and if you don't have it… you will give me the means to get it."
She went on. "No one is to EVER threaten Faith and I again. If I so much as hear of a Tok'ra, or human, threatening to use Faith as a bargaining chip to blackmail me into doing their bidding, then the Goa'uld will be the least of your problems."
She really meant to be a lot calmer than this.
"Have you any idea what its like to watch everyone you love die, one by one?" she pulled up her shirt to reveal her scarred arms. "These scars are nothing. If I had a choice between memories, and scars, I would take the scars. Do you have children General? Do you want to see them tortured by demons? Or maybe made into one?"
Her entire body was shaking.
"My only priority is to keep Faith and her family safe. If you don't agree to my terms then you will know what it is like to lose your loved ones to demons. I'm not living through that again."
She was NOT going to cry.
"I'll give you an hour, General. Make your decision. If you don't agree, then I will take Faith and her family to another reality and you will be responsible for the death of millions of people."
She walked out of the room.
** ** **
Willow waited until the doors to the elevator closed before pulling Faith into a tight embrace. Her entire body was shaking, probably from fatigue more than fear, but it felt good to be held.
Faith didn't say a word, instinctively guessing Willow didn't need words.
She had done it. The alliance was hers, for only a small price. She and Faith were free, not completely, but they were no longer under guard by the SGC. Right now they were heading to the surface, to Faith's brother's house, where they would spend the next three days relaxing and pretending that Willow wasn't a witch and Faith wasn't a Tok'ra.
When the three days were up, she and Faith would begin working with the SGC, trying to find a way to either stop the demons from entering this reality, or stopping them after they entered it. Willow had agreed to live, temporarily, on the base, so had Faith.
The General had given into almost every one of her terms. They would do everything they could to help her, but she had to give them something in return… She had agreed to fight the Goa'uld, if they ever attacked Earth directly.
Translation; if they tried to take over the earth from ships instead of by the Stargate, Willow would be called to active duty.
The thought thrilled, and frightened, her.
They agreed, however, that her main and only priority, was protecting this reality from beings from her own and to share any information that effected them.
She had help, and hadn't sold her soul to get it.
And to top it off, she would be spending time with Faith's family… The thought filled her with pure joy.
For three days, Willow was going to pretend that everything was all right, that there were no such things as demons, and aliens.
She was going to pretend that she wasn't in big trouble.
She had taken care of one threat, and now that just left the others. The trouble Faith mentioned in her dream was still coming.
Willow could feel it.Continued In World Without II