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Other Worlds

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Summary: There are even Prophecies that span the galaxy.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Willow-Centered > Theme: Friendship(Past Donor)HiltonKFR15116,1690163,61730 Aug 0730 Aug 07No
Other Worlds

Author: Hilton_K

Buffy/Angel/SG1 crossover

Pairing: W/S friendship for now, not entirely sure where this is going.

Spoilers: Post Buffy season 7. I’m picking and choosing whatever I need from season 5 Angel and Stargate that I’ve seen. However anything is game so Buffy season 7, Angel season 5 and SG1 season 8 to be safe.

A/N: I apologise for the dodgy science. You get the idea though :o)

Part 1

Willow sighed contentedly as she gazed out across the ocean. Night time in LA was so rarely peaceful but here alone on the beach she felt a sense of calm that otherwise eluded her.

After the destruction of Sunnydale the gang had split up. Xander had moved to Salt Lake City after the construction company he worked for offered him a foreman’s job with a full relocation package. Andrew had gone with him, the two of them had become friends after the loss of Anya. Faith, Robin, Giles and all the new Slayers were in San Francisco, the remnants of the council had provided some funding which had allowed the girls to set up a ‘prep’ school in exchange for a number of the council’s remaining members to act as teachers. Buffy and Dawn had moved to another Hellmouth just as a precaution.

Willow had come to LA with the hope of being able to help Angel Investigations. However Angel’s move to Wolfram and Hart had changed all that. Willow couldn’t spend more than an hour there before she felt either revulsion at the evil entrenched in the very walls of the building, and some of the staff, or the lure of dark powers reaching out sending whispers to her mind to join them. Not that she felt any real desire to go with what they were offering but the incessant murmur was enough to drive her mad and nobody liked a cranky Willow.

She visited Cordelia most days after she had convinced Angel that the risk of someone else knowing her location was outweighed the possible benefits. Willow told Cordy all of the news, massaged her limbs and ensured a good natural flow of energy through her system. Early trials had shown that Willows healing magic had no effect.

Angel had put her in contact with David Nabbitt, who’d given her a job working from her apartment allowing her the flexibility to help anyone out if necessary. She’d already been promoted to a problem solving group after solving a bug on her first programming gig that had eluded David’s team for months.

It was good to be out of the constant pressure of saving the world but sometimes she felt that her abilities were being wasted on the sidelines.

Giving herself a mental shake, she pulled herself together and turned to go back to her apartment.

“Hello, Pet.” Spike grinned at her, leaning casually against the boot of her car.

“You’d better not get ash on my paintwork, Spike.” Willow growled at him. “I just had it cleaned.” She was secretly pleased he was here, he’d kept her spirits up when she was feeling most unwanted.

“You know there are better places to hang out, bars, clubs and so on. Pretty little thing like you should be out having fun.”

“Oh quit it. I’ve had enough ‘fun’ to last me a lifetime.” She wandered over to him and made a point of brushing off the paintwork. “What brings you here?”

“Bored. Pops won’t play any more, when he’s not rushed off his feet accommodating the next evil fiend he’s moping about the compromises he’s made.” Spike snorted. “I’m more of a caped avenger now than he is. Did I tell ya about the girl I saved last night…” Spike climbed in and raved about his new role as protector of the innocent.

Willow had still hardly had a chance to say two words as they entered her apartment. She set about making herself a drink as she heated blood for Spike.

“Thanks, luv.” He settled down on the couch next to her. “So how was your day?”

“Same old, same old. Wanna watch a film?” Willow side stepped any further conversation not wanting to appear like she was whining. All she seemed to do with Spike was complain about how dull her life felt now.

“Providing it’s not some soppy crap, sure.” Spike looked appraisingly at the chit. She’d been withdrawing further into herself and it was getting harder to pull her out. Ever since she’d separated from Kennedy, who’d wanted to devote her self to Slayer studies, she’d been keeping to herself. He’d liked the new Willow who’d shown her mettle over the years, coming into her own. Strong and caring, a natural leader, people would follow her anywhere. Now she was out from the Slayers skirts she just needed a purpose to shine and every one else would see what an amazing woman she really was.

Spike stretched as the credits finally rolled on the movie, it had been good but he’d seen it in the cinema first time round with Dru and had found himself remembering their days together. Despite having a soul now he felt little remorse for their various rampages, the killing was part of who they were and a matter of survival although now he tried to limit it to the scum walking the streets or just taking enough to make them unconscious but not kill them. He’d tried to give up human blood completely but it just wasn’t in his nature.

He glanced across at the witch and found her sound asleep. He covered her with a blanket before heading off to his apartment. He just hoped that things got better for Red soon.

********

“Unauthorised off-world activation” The klaxons and lights alerting the base caused an organised chaos through the tunnels of Stargate command as staff made their way to their stations.

General Hammond stood behind the gate technicians waiting for further information.

“Receiving SG1’s IDC code, sir.”

“Open the Iris.” He couldn’t help but think ‘what now’ as the team wasn’t due back for another 36 hours. It should have been a routine mission recording and deciphering a promising set of ruins. The initial assessment had suggested that this race may have had means to defeat the Goa’uld.

Making his way to the gate room he waited for the team to step through the gate. At first assessment no one was missing or apparently injured.

“Report Colonel.”

Jack O’Neill shrugged and nodded over his shoulder, “Over to you Danny.”

Daniel looked uncomfortable at being put on the spot but began explaining his most recent findings. “The latest inscriptions we found at the site suggested that,” he glanced at Carter who nodded her encouragement, “an astronomical anomaly that caused widespread devastation to the planet is heading here. Now.”

Hammond could feel his brows rise in scepticism, but this was his most trusted team. “I expect a full briefing in half an hour.” was all he could say.

**********

“So what you’re telling me is that P3-689M was wiped out by an alien species that rained from the sky with the coming of a comet.” The General looked to the team for confirmation.

“Yes, Sir. That’s what my translations indicate. The few remaining survivors left the temple we found in memory of the dead and relocated to another planet through the Stargate” Daniel automatically glanced and his paperwork corroborating his translation.

“And that this comet is now heading for Earth.”

Sam nodded her affirmation. “The inhabitants of the planet left very detailed astronomical data of the path of the comet. When we plotted it on our computers the track intercepts Earth’s orbit within a few thousand miles, which corresponds with the distance of attack on P3-689M. I’ve asked Dr Fawkes to try and match the data with any known comets that observatories throughout the world have been tracking.”

“Is there any way we can stop this?”

Jack leant forward in his seat. “Daniel found references to a means of protection and we found a possible entrance to a secured room or complex. We were unable to access it before the storm was due to hit us. I felt it best we return and worked on the problem from this end.”

“Very well. Dr Jackson, please continue with the translation. Major Carter, I want reports on possible matches to this comet and when it’s due in 24 hours.”

“Yes Sir.” SG1 made their way out of the briefing room.

********

“It doesn’t make sense, I mean ‘power of the red tree’ and ‘souled of the souless’ it’s nonsense.” Jack growled at Daniel over his meal. The team had gathered in the mess to discuss Daniels translations.

Daniel tried to suppress his annoyance at Jacks disparaging tone. “Well that’s what it says, or at least the best translation I can make. It does seem strange that the scientific data is so clear and easily translatable and yet this passage on the sources of protection is much more open to interpretation.”

Sam threw a glance over her shoulder at one of the new recruits who appeared to be choking. His colleagues seemed to have it under control so she returned to the conversation. “If it’s ambiguous what are the other possible translations then?”

“Well, the power seems to have no relation to the scientific terms used. It’s almost like it’s referring to something,” Daniel paused looking sheepish, “well, magical. As for the soulless part, another wording could be demonic.” There was a loud scraping noise as the recruit who’d been choking got up and rushed from the room.

“Right, magic and demons.” Jack exclaimed disbelievingly.

“And of course wormholes and aliens are much less ridiculous.” Daniel defended himself. “It’s just the impression I’m getting from the inscriptions, I’m not suggesting that’s what it’s really saying.”

“Major Carter, have you found any success locating the comet.” Daniel felt relieved at the change in conversation and silently blessed Teal’c as Sam began to explain how the search was progressing.

********

The air in the briefing room was not happy after Daniel had finished trying to explain the ambiguities in the translations. Hammond finally decided to let it lie and move on to the next item.

“Major Carter, have you had any success?”

Carter looked uncomfortable. “Yes, Sir. The news is not good.” Jack and Daniel looked across at her surprised. The latest set of data had only just been handed to her and she hadn’t had a chance to inform anyone else yet.

“The comet that was linked with the attack on P3-689M has been identified by our observatories and is being tracked. However it passes on the outside the range of what’s considered to be a ‘near miss’ so one has made that much fuss about it.”

“Well, when’s it due.”

“3 months Sir.”

After the initial reactions died down Carter tried to explain further. “It intersects our path perpendicular to our orbit round the sun. It’s the reason that it’s not common knowledge, the tail that most people expect to see with a comet hasn’t had a chance to form yet. When it gets close enough to the sun the ice will begin to melt and for a few weeks it will be visible to the naked eye.”

“What can we do to stop it?”

“There’s nothing we currently have, Sir,” Carter’s explanation was interrupted by the arrival of Major Davies from the Pentagon.

“I believe I may have some information that can help.” He waved the soldier who’d come up the stairs behind him to join them. Carter noticed it was the new recruit who’d been choking in the mess hall. “I’d like to introduce Captain Graham Miller.”

********

Graham sat stiffly in his chair. These people around him were legends in this outfit. Throughout his training to join the SGC, their exploits were held up to them all as an example. He felt uncomfortable as his past history with the Initiative was revealed and Major Davies explained in vague terms how he might be of help.

“So basically Miller here has previous experience in top secret projects but with the army.” Jack looked appraisingly at the young man before him. There was something in his eyes that spoke volumes, he’d seen a lot. “And this experience hunting, sub-terrestrials,” there was a lot of scepticism in Jacks voice, “is going to help us with our latest problem you think.”

“Why don’t you just listen to what he has to say. If I think there’s any information that doesn’t need to be passed on I’ll just stop you Captain.” He nodded to him and indicated he should begin.

Graham swallowed before beginning his report. “I overheard your conversation in the mess hall about your translations for your latest mission Dr. Jackson. “ He shifted slight in his seat as Jack raised an eyebrow. “Umm, as soon as I realised I might have information that could help I contacted my previous command to ensure I could pass the classified information on.” He paused briefly. “I believe Dr Jackson’s translation is closer than you think, I know who it’s referring to.”

“Who! Don’t you mean what.” Jack interrupted before Daniel could get a word in.

“Jack, just let him finish.” Daniel couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“I was posted to Sunnydale, California,” Graham ignored Jacks snort, “where we fought, er, sub-terrestrials. There was a group of civilians there who also battled these hostiles.”

“Sub-terrestrials, hostiles, will you please speak plain English for us old folk.”

Graham glanced at Major Davies, seeing no support he continued. “Vampires. Demons.” The room went silent. Seeing as no-one was going to say anything he carried on.

“Vampires are humans who have been transformed, some say by the addition of a demon which expels their soul.” He cleared his throat again. “The civilians knew a vampire who’d fought with them in the past, one who’d got soul his back.”

“’Souled of the souless’” Daniel murmured under his breath.

Graham nodded.

“This has got to be a joke.” Jack looked around the room for support. A number of eyes simply looked pointedly at the Stargate.

“And the other, the ‘power of the red tree’” Sam asked quietly.

“Another of the civilians was a girl who was a witch.” Graham looked at the table top not wanting to face their stares. “She had red hair and her name was Willow.”

********

Willow wandered along the beach enjoying the sound of the sea and the feel of the waves lapping against her feet. Dawn was not far off, she could feel Spike tailing her Smiling softly to herself at his protectiveness she knew she should head back soon before he had to make a dash for cover.

She glanced up and noticed four people heading towards them. Something about them seemed oddly familiar and caution took over as she headed up the beach and out of the water.

“Miss Rosenberg.” A good looking guy with glasses called out to her one hand outstretched in a pacifying gesture.

Willow stopped and turned to face them full on. She began to call on the Goddess summoning forth power in readiness for anything, creating a protective circle about herself. She studied the group that approached.

The man who’d called out oddly reminded her of Giles with an academic air to him, but she had little doubt he could also handle himself well. Next to him was a blonde woman, a pretty face with intelligent eyes, battle ready was the impression Willow got. A tall African American guy took a guarding position to the rear, something about him was sending Willow’s senses wiggy. Finally she turned her attention to the apparent leader of the group, an older man whose bearing screamed out only one thing to Willow.

Military.

They may not be wearing uniforms but she knew instinctively. She felt Spike approach her from behind, noting that the older guy switched his attention to him almost as if he knew Spike could be a threat. Willow began to panic, it was the Initiative all over again probably here to recapture Spike, maybe herself too.
All she could think to do was to protect Spike, surely they wouldn’t hurt her she was human after all. Reaching out she grasped his arms calling down her protection on him with the grace of the Goddess.

Jack saw the approach of the bleached blonde and noted the dangerous air about him. Leaving Daniel to deal with the girl he concentrated on what he saw as the immediate threat.

Daniel didn’t pay much attention to the man that approached Willow Rosenberg but couldn’t hide his surprise as he saw her obvious signs of distress, as she looked them over. He remembered Graham’s descriptions of their experiences with the Initiative and realised that she had pegged them as being part of that group. Before he had a chance to explain to he watched in disbelief as she reached out to the blonde man with golden glowing hands.

Teal’c had stepped back uncomfortably from the woman, still on his guard his hand automatically reached for his sidearm. As he’d got closer to her he’d felt his stomach clench. It was an odd sensation reminiscent of when he’d still had his symbiote. Sam also seemed to be uncomfortable in the woman’s close proximity.

Spike groaned aloud as Willow’s hands clasped around his forearms and the glow moved up to encompass his whole body. It was not particularly painful but he was sure that she shouldn’t be showing her abilities to the group around them and her obvious distress usually led to disaster wherever her spells were concerned.

Willow realised something was wrong as the magical energies swirled around her and Spike but was unable to stop it. Whatever was happening felt benign but she was sure the last thing she should be doing in front of the military was such an obvious display of power.

Suddenly there was a burst of light causing SG1 to look away. Jack dropped to his knees and drew his weapon, calling out to Daniel to stop as he approached the dazed looking woman. The unknown man had been thrown several feet and was trying to get up.

Willow swayed slightly before staggering towards Spike.

“Bloody hell, Red. What the hell did you do now?” Spike shook his head trying to clear it, he fought his demon back not wanting to reveal himself to the blokes who had approached Willow. They screamed military and he’d been torn between running like hell and protecting the woman he’d come so much to admire.

Willow dropped to the sand beside him. “Goddess, Spike I’m so sorry. I was just trying to protect you, I don’t know what happened.” She reached out, pulling her hand back sharply as he growled. She couldn’t help but feel hurt before she realised his growl had been aimed at the approach of the others on the beach.

“What the hell was that!” Jack barked sharply.

Daniel watched Willow wince at Jack’s harsh tone. “Willow, we’re not who you think. We’re not the Initiative.”

He watched as Willow’s eyes widened and the blonde pulled her back behind him. “I don’t care who you are mate. Back off.”

*******

The situation had rapidly got out of hand, Jack realised and tried to think of a way to diffuse it. Despite the numerous briefing he sat in on, he still hadn’t quite been able to believe what they’d been telling him. Now he’d witnessed – something - with his own eyes. Daniel seemed relatively unperturbed but Sam and Teal’c were obviously in a similar position to him. Oddly Teal’c looked kinda pale.

“I’m sorry, we didn’t mean to scare you. We just need to talk,” he shot the blonde a glare “alone.”

“She’s not going anywhere with you.” Spike spat. Willow stiffened a little, she knew he was just trying to protect her but she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself. She stepped up beside Spike, who growled softly.

“Oh quit it.” She slapped him softly on the arm. “Why exactly do you want to talk with me?” She addressed the group before her. The older man may have been the leader but she could see the questions burning behind the glasses of the cute one.

“This is hardly the place,” the grey haired man began.

“But it’s the best you’re going to get until I know more.” Willow put on her resolved face, there was no reason not to talk but she wasn’t stupid. Seeing their resignation she dropped to the sand and sat cross legged. Spike settled beside her.

Daniel glanced at Jack before he shrugged and joined the two of them on the sand. Teal’c stepped further away and took up a defensive position watching beach while Jack and Sam backed up to have a discussion.

“My name’s Daniel Jackson, that’s Sam, Jack and Murray. We’ve heard you might be able to help us with a matter of,” Daniel squirmed in discomfort, “national security.”

Willow studied him, automatically reaching out with her senses to assess the man before her. “OK, fine. National security. Still not really enough to make me wanna trust you.” She smiled sweetly attempting to soften the atmosphere as Spike’s anger and distrust was rolling off him in waves.

“We’ve been informed that your abilities,” he couldn’t help glancing at her hands “may be of some use to us.”

“Yeah, in a bloody lab, I suppose,” Spike muttered darkly.

“I can assure you that is not the case, Mr?”

“Spike, that’s enough just let him talk, okay?” Willow placed a hand on Spikes knee, her eyes imploring him to go along with it before returning her attention to the man in front of her. “Carry on Mr Jackson.”

“Daniel, please. We understand that you’ve had some bad experiences in the past but I can only give you my word that we bear no relation to that group.” He smiled tentatively at her.

Willow couldn’t help but smile back, she couldn’t detect any dishonesty from the man in front of her but the past had often proved the truth in the adage ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’. “We’ll let that go for the moment. You said you wanted to talk to me Daniel.”

“We’re an exploratory branch of the air force. I’m a civilian archaeologist and linguist working as part of this team,” he waved to encompass the others on the beach. “here.”

Willow frowned, nothing he’d said was a lie exactly but she could tell that he’d been very economical with the truth. She put a hand softly up to Spikes lips preventing his outburst. “I know Spike. I am perfectly capable,” she stressed the words making eye contact with him, “of knowing that he’s not telling the whole truth. We are however dealing with National Security,” she added archly.

“Exactly, Miss Rosenberg.” Jack rejoined the conversation. “What we have to say concerns you, not your companion here.” Spike stood up and faced off with him.

“I am not letting you bloody sods go anywhere with her without back up. I don’t care if you aren’t with the other Soldier boys, I don’t trust you further than” Spike’s tirade was broken off by the sudden blaze of sunlight as the dawn broke over the cliffs that had been sheltering the beach.

Spike’s yell of terror and Willows fear filled scream of his name, threw the SG1 team momentarily as the two civilians dove towards the retreating shadows. Willow was the first to realise that their flight was apparently unnecessary noting Spike’s lack of smokiness. She reached out to him.

Unfortunately Spike’s survival instinct was in full flow and so he saw her attempt to slow him as a threat, he vamped out and threw her to the sand.

“Spike, wait.” Willow gasped out through the pain where she’d landed badly on her arm. “You’re fine! Just think for a damn moment.” Her voice held a note of command that managed to filter through his brain. He stood and stared at his body and arms in wonder as the sunlight bathed him without its usual scorching affects.

“Bloody hell, Willow.” He looked at her in wonder. Suddenly he laughed and grabbed her up from the floor swinging her round.

The sound of weapons being cocked brought them to a sudden stop. They turned to face the others on the beach. Willow glanced away from the weapons pointed at them towards Spike looking for support. Well, that explained half the problem she thought to herself.

“Spike, you’re still all ‘Grrr’” He looked at her uncomprehending for a moment before shaking himself and returning to his human features.

********

While it had all been explained to them no-one had really believed that vampires were real. The stunned silence lasted for only a few heartbeats before the team went on the defensive, only Daniel had not responded by drawing a weapon.

Daniel looked on in wonder. The er, being, before him did not appear to mean them any harm on the contrary he was, well, happy. OK he had ridges and, um, fangs but hadn’t really threatened them, well except for the verbal abuse, and Jack could be very irritating at times. Besides the beautiful young woman, er witch, seemed to have him under control. Daniel stepped forward between the two groups.

“Everyone, perhaps we should all take a moment to calm down.” He smiled at Willow, “We all seem to have something new to deal with right now.” Spike was grinning with his face turned up to the sun despite being the target of a number of weapons.

Willow smiled back at Daniel, Spike’s joy was infectious. She wasn’t quite sure how she’d achieved it but it was worth the throbbing arm and mild terror she was feeling of the armed officers.

“Sorry, we kinda overreacted a bit ourselves.” She moved up to Spike stepping in front of him. She was pretty sure they wouldn’t shoot her just to get Spike. All in all they seemed to be handling it pretty well.

Jack lowered his side arm and gave a nod to the others that they should stand down too. “So why isn’t he bursting into flames. I remember the briefing being very clear on that. Sun equals our safety.” He looked to Sam for an explanation.

“I don’t know sir.” She looked across to Willow and Spike. “I’m having a little trouble with all of this.”

“Well I think that’s my doing.” Willow interrupted. “Your information is basically sound but I called upon,”

“Pet, do you really think that’s a good idea. They’re the bad guys.” Spike was uncomfortable sharing anything to do with him with these people.

“We’re the,” Jack spluttered. “Do the words ‘blood sucking vampire’ mean anything to you?”

“Now there’s no need to yer knickers in a twist mate. All I’m saying is I don’t trust you, don’t have a reason to trust you and don’t want to get to know you. Come on pet, let’s get out of here. You and me need to have a serious talk.” Spike looked into Willow’s eyes and just knew he wouldn’t like what was coming next.

“Spike, I’m not leaving. Yet.” Willow drew her self straight. “It’s got to be pretty serious for them to be here, knowing what you are and not try to kill you. Although that is something I’m glad of.” She smiled softly at him.

Damn the chit. There was no way he could leave her now, besides the poof would stake him on sight if anything happened to her.

“Fine. But I’m trusting you to turn them into rats if they try anything.” Spike growled his acceptance.

“Rats.” Jack couldn’t keep the disbelief out of his voice. Daniel sniggered as the red head simply wiggled her fingers in Jack’s direction.

“Yep. Didn’t your briefing cover that.” Raising an eyebrow she turned and headed up the beach. “Are you coming or not?”

Spike smirked as the bemused team trailed after the bewitching red head. Maybe this could be fun after all.

*******

Not knowing where else to take them Willow led the way in her car to her apartment. Spike had repeatedly tried to talk her out of it but she had little doubt they knew where she lived anyway.

Urging them to find a seat she went to her small kitchen to make drinks. Turning to fill the kettle she found her self facing Spike’s chest. “Spike,” placing a hand on his chest she pushed him backwards to the kitchen doorway, “I know you’re uncomfortable but hovering about me like a mother hen,” she sniggered as he gasped in indignation, “is only going to piss me off. And I know you don’t want to meet pissed off Willow again.”

“I don’t know pet, you were kinda hot.” Willow shook her head in exasperation as she continued puttering round the kitchen. Shoving the tray in his hands she waved him towards the living room. “They’re really not happy about me being here, luv. They want to take you back to their base so you can help protect the planet or something.”

“Again!” she whispered. Willow closed her eyes. It served her right really, she had wished not to be on the sidelines. “Let’s go.”

********

“Not wanting to give too much away,” Willow glanced in Spike’s direction. “but did they mention vamp hearing?” Noting their blank looks she handed out the drinks then settled onto one end of the sofa. Spike sat protectively on the arm while Daniel joined her on the couch. Jack and Sam took the other seats in the room and the tall guy, Murray, stood stiffly by the door. “Are you OK? You look ill, can I get you something Mr Murray.”

“I will be fine Miss Rosenberg. Please continue.”

“Oh yeah right, me saving the planet. Just this dimension or several?” She sipped at her tea.

“How do you,” Daniel’s puzzled statement was interrupted by Jack.

“Vamp hearing, right?” Seeing her nod he went on. “So lets clarify. Vampire,” he pointed to Spike “drinks blood,” Sam shuddered, “strong, fast, heightened sense of smell and hearing.” He looked to Willow for confirmation.

“You’re doing great. I’ll stop you if you get anything wrong.” Willow grinned at him.

“Doesn’t like crosses. Can be killed by decapitation, sunlight,” he raised a brow in question, “and a wooden stake through the heart.

“Yep that’s pretty much it.”

“I’m sorry but putting aside the fact that you’re a, witch,” he shook his head slightly as she nodded encouragingly, “why exactly are you happily consorting with a soulless killer.”

“Oh but Spike’s not soulless.”

*********

The SG1 team was left sitting stunned into silence as Spike grabbed Willow’s arm and dragged her into the bedroom slamming the door loudly behind her.

“What the bloody hell did you do that for Witch!” Spike yelled into her face. She stood with her head bowed for a few minutes while Spike raged at her. Finally deciding she’d had enough she murmured a word under her breath, taking Spike’s voice away.

Recovering quickly from his shock he glared at her before eventually breaking into a grin. Seeing he’d calmed down Willow broke the spell with a wave of her hand.

“Nice one, pet.” Spike smirked. “Always knew you had it in you.”

“Yes, well I’ve had that one on standby for sometime. Every since I made friends with a rather mouthy vampire.” She flopped to the bed.

“Friends.” The muted tone made Willow look up at him and she was shocked at the look of hope in his eyes.

“Yes, Spike. You” she stood poking him in the chest “are my friend.” Smiling she looked slyly at him. “You gonna get all macho on me?”

“Nope. I’m going to give in gracefully.” Ignoring her snort he carried on, “But do you really have to keep telling them all my secrets! We don’t what they want with you.” He said softly. Suddenly uncomfortable with their closeness he snapped out, “Besides the poof would stake me if I let anything happen to you.”

Willow smiled inwardly, the knowledge that Spike was her friend and protector gave her a warm contented feeling inside. Of everyone from Sunnydale she felt closest to him, when she thought she’d lost him after they closed the Hellmouth she had realised how much he’d come to mean to her. And it was more than just Stockholm syndrome no matter what Xander said.

“I’m sorry Spike. I don’t want to get you staked, but strangely despite the fact they’re hiding stuff, major stuff I’m sure, from us I believe them. I think they need me, enough to keep me safe. Daniel is definitely trustworthy. Jack too, he wouldn’t break his word, unless someone threatened his team.”

“Right, pet. You sure you don’t just want to get in four-eyes pants.”

“No Spike,” looking thoughtful for a moment she blushed faintly. “Although he is cute.”

“Hey, I thought you were gay!”

“Bi. Anyway I think you’re attractive so unless there’s something you’re not telling me…”

“Thanks, pet. You want me to lead so you can check out my butt?”

“Lead?” Willow remembered they had company. “Oh right, I suppose I’d better go face the music.”

*********

Daniel breathed a sigh of relief as Willow exited the bedroom, apparently unharmed. The sounds of the argument had been loud but pretty much unintelligible but he’d been concerned for her safety.

“Sorry about that. So where were we?” Willow returned to the sofa. “Oh yeah, why I consort with a souled killer.” Spike groaned and rolled his eyes. “I trust him. He is my friend. That’s all you need to know.”

“You have a soul.”

“Yep.”

“But we were led to believe that the souled vampire was ‘tall, dark and broody’, I think were the exact words.”

“Oh you mean Peaches. Yeah, he’s got a soul too.”

“I thought you said,” Willow hissed at him.

Spike smirked. “It’s not like I’m giving new information is it. They got the poof’s description bang on.”

“Fine, Spike. Yes Angel has a soul as well. He was cursed, Spikes was earned.”

“Interesting way of putting it, luv. You make it sound like a good thing.” Spike looked down at her from his perch.

“Well you did. Torture and pain rather than hard labour but even so you had to work for it.” She stopped realising that everyone was staring with horror. Again.

“I’m not going to apologise.” Willow muttered as she squirmed uncomfortably. “Listen, I think we’ve established we live in a different world to you and so things that seem normal to me are going to weird you out. Can we agree to disagree on certain topics? I have spent years in the fight between good and evil, right and wrong and sometimes, well, sometimes even the right path involves doing or siding with the Big Bad.”

“You want to do me?” Spike whispered so only she could hear. Willow turned bright red before shoving Spike of the arm of the sofa.

“Any more of that *William* and I’ll take more than your voice next.” She looked pointedly at his crotch. Shielding himself with his hands Spike grinned unrepentantly.

“I thought his name was Spike.” Jack queried.

Damn. She was really going to have to start watching what she said in front of these guys.

“Both.” They said together. “But you call me Spike.” He added pointedly.

“Why don’t you like Willy?” Jack couldn’t help but tease the blond on the floor, even knowing he was dangerous.

“No mate, and you definitely wouldn’t like William the Bloody proving how much.” Spike snarled.

“William the Bloody, Childe of Angelus, Scourge of Europe?” Daniel whispered hoarsely.

“Hey, you have heard of me.” Spike stood puffing out his chest theatrically.

”I thought they were legends.” Daniel edged further back along the couch fear shining in his eyes.

“Well here I am. Living legend!” Spike crowed.

“You’re not helping Spike. Enough OK, I’ve been up most of the night and I’d like to get this all sorted out as soon as possible.” Spike looked at her sympathetically then turned his attention to Jack.

“So what do you gits want with my Willow?” Willow smiled as she settled back in the seat and leaned against Spikes hip.

Jack simply raised his eyebrow at the vampire’s use of the possessive towards the girl. “We have some information that led us to believe that Willow and another would be of assistance to us in our continuing fight against an enemy that wants to destroy the earth and her people.”

“Oh, an Apocalyptic prophecy. I wonder why Gi, um G-man, hasn’t said anything?” Seeing their uncomprehending looks she continued. “Er, usually a friend of mine is the focus of the prophecy and another friend researches them to give her, er them a heads up.”

“Willow, as we understand it the threat isn’t sub-terrestrial in origin.” Jack pulled back as Spike growled at the use of Initiative terminology.

“Let’s call it supernatural activity.” Willow tried to placate Spike. “So if it’s not supernatural what help can I be, that pretty much covers my area of expertise except computers.”

“Hang on. Angel, Angelus. Any connection?” Daniel had recovered a little from his shock and broke into the conversation again. Jack fixed a glare on Willow who was pulling Spike back down beside her.

“Wow. You’re good. Didn’t the briefing cover that if you were coming here for the souled vampire.” Spike sneered at him.

“No, they seemed to have missed that out.”

“Well Captain Miller, was heavily censored by Major Davies sir.” Carter’s interruption was met with a snarl. Willow paled

“Miller, as in Graham Miller?”

Willow stood while Spike continued to growl in anger. Willow felt her own anger rise. “You said you had nothing to do with the Initiative.” She sent a hurt look at Daniel. “I think I’d like you to leave.”

“Listen, please Willow.” Daniel tried to explain. “Captain Miller transferred to our unit. We knew nothing of it until we found a series of inscriptions on a mission. Miller overheard my translations and recognised you. That’s the first we knew. He was instructed to brief us as to some of the goings on in Sunnydale and then we came here to enlist your help.”

“Did he tell you about capturing and torturing demons? Did he tell you about implanting mind control chips to modify behaviour, preventing them from feeding, killing them slowly? Did he tell you about them creating a Frankenstein’s monster from demon body parts and machines?” Willow’s chest was heaving as she vented her fury.

Spike gazed at her, she was glorious when she was angry but he could tell that these idiots didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. Oddly he felt reassured by the look of disgust on Jack’s face.

“No. Miss Rosenberg they didn’t.” Jack turned to Carter. “I knew Davies was there for a reason. That worm was making sure Miller didn’t reveal the Initiative’s other operations.”

“Well it was classified, sir.”

“A- we’ve got pretty damn high clearance and B” he glanced at Spike “they put our lives in jeopardy sending us out here without all the info including that we were unlikely to meet with a positive response to our presence.”

“Too bloody right, you bastards made my life an unliving hell for over two years.”

“Forgive me if I don’t commiserate on your inability to kill.” Jack shot back

Willow sighed. “Can we please get back to the reason you want my help?”

Jack sighed and looked the closely at the pair on the sofa. It was pretty clear that whatever had happened in the past had left some permanent scars for both of them and the only way they were going to be able to enlist their aid was a show of trust. Oh Hammond was really going to hate this.

“I need to call my superiors for further instructions.” Jack watched the derision on the vampires face. “Is there someplace I can go?”

“Use my room,” Willow face remained fairly open but he hadn’t failed to notice the restraining hand on Spike’s leg.

“I don’t mean to be rude Miss Rosenberg but with his super hearing and the fact some of your discussion in there earlier was almost audible...”

“Oh.” Willow reddened. “Well I can fix that.”

Jack looked at her uncomprehendingly. Willow again wiggled her fingers at him. “If you trust me that is.”

Jack looked at her for a moment before nodding. “Fine Miss Rosenberg, work your mojo.”

********

The atmosphere in the room was uncomfortable but Daniel finally couldn’t hold back his curiosity any longer.

“So, Willow, you seem remarkably calm about all this.” He noticed her slightly quizzical look. “You know, demons, life on this planet under threat.”

“Non-specified threat.” Spike growled.

“Yes well, I have gained a number of demons,” she looked affectionately at Spike, “as friends, acquaintances and allies over the years. I used to help out researching the bad guys and finding ways to stop various threats.”

“Really, why on earth were you involved,” Daniel looked across as he was interrupted.

“Might I get a glass of water Miss Rosenberg.” The big guy, Murray, Willow noticed was looking even worse than earlier.

“Oh my God, of course. I’m so sorry, I never offered you anything. Let me get it for you now,” She was stopped by him holding out a warding hand and noticed that he almost flinched as she rose. Willow tried to hide her distress by the man’s apparent distaste for her but had never really gotten over negative reactions to her abilities.

“It’s alright luv, you keep chatting to Giles Junior here and I’ll make sure he finds what he needs.” He pushed her gently back into the chair and gave the bespectacled man a look that promised violence if he upset her further.

Daniel watched the retreating vampires back before returning his attention back to Willow. Sam headed towards the kitchen obviously ready to back Teal’c up.

“He’s very protective.” Willow didn’t bother to hide her pleasure.

“Yeah. We’ve been through a lot. Just so we’re clear it goes both ways and you really really don’t want to see what happens when people I care about get hurt.” He didn’t miss the look of sorrow that passed over her face, but chose not to push the issue.

“So you’ve been fighting these sub-, I mean supernatural creatures for a long time then?” Smiling at the distraction Willow quickly warmed to the subject.

********

Spike followed the big black guy out into Willow’s kitchen perfectly aware that the blonde had come up behind him.

“So what are you then mate?” He smirked at the indrawn breath from the woman but waited for a response from the being in front of him.

As the silence stretched Spike simply filled the gap with small talk waiting to see what hit a nerve. “Never met a demon like you before. What? Glare at me all you like but I can tell from here yer not human. It’s the scent mainly, sure the blood smells pretty appetising but it’s not anything I’ve tried before. What are we talking, different dimension? No, how about a world without shrimp.” Spike chuckled to himself. “Planet then?” He smothered his surprise at their reaction to that one, the pretty blonde’s heart rate had just shot up. “Well if you’re just gonna be rude and ignore me then I’ll head back to Red but remember,” Spike stepped up to stand toe to toe with him, “hurt her and I’ll tear you limb from limb big guy.”

Spike span and headed straight for the blonde causing her to step back quickly. “Don’t worry luv, I’m actually quite good a keeping secrets from those that don’t need to know.”

Spike headed straight back to Willow’s side, rolling his eyes as he realised she was once again giving away far too much information to the other bloke.

“Red, do you really think that telling him your entire past history is a good idea?” Willow sighed.

“Spike, I’m only telling him things about me and well,” she broke into a false whisper. “I kinda trust him.” Spike suppressed a growl at the flush of pleasure that her praise gave the other man.

“Fine, he might be OK but don’t forget these guys report to their superiors and we don’t know if we can trust them.” Willow looked suitably chastised by his words and he couldn’t believe that he was actually feeling bad. For satan’s sake he was right about this.

The moment was interrupted by the older bloke re-emerging from her bedroom. He wasn’t happy about that either, who knows what kind of pervert he might be!

“Well, for one my immediate superior I can assure you is trustworthy. And as a demonstration of such he has given me permission to reveal some classified information.”

“But Sir,”

“Enough Carter. While Mr ‘the Bloody’ here is an admitted unknown, Willow can’t be expected to commit herself to something without further information. We were given to understand that simply taking you into custody could lead to some unpleasant consequences. Besides, they’re already privileged to classified information regarding the Initiative, and seeing as this week was the first we’d heard of it I think we can safely say they can keep a secret.” Jack took a seat opposite Willow and Spike.

“What I’m about to tell you can not leave this room. People higher up than us have decided that the information would cause a widespread panic and would do more harm than good in the public forum. Other nations Heads of State are aware of this situation and at present are content to leave it that way. Are we clear?”

Spike sighed at the dramatics but Willow just nodded accepting the seriousness of Jack’s demeanour.

“We are part of the Stargate programme. In the 1930’s an artefact was found in the Egyptian desert and through years of testing and finally a few pretty smart conclusions from Daniel over there translating associated inscriptions, it was discovered to be a device that allows wormhole travel to other planets.” Jack paused waiting for the usual outcry.

Spike just looked at Jack disbelievingly. Right, interplanetary travel. Nope, the guy was dead-panning, bloody hell he really meant it! Although was it really more unbelievable than vampire, witches, magical portals and demon dimensions. He gave a slight shrug before checking Willow’s reaction.

“Um. Wow.” Willow was silent for a moment before her face lit up with curiosity. “So you’ve actually created a stable wormhole. How do you power it? I’m guessing not supernatural means as you were so surprised to see us and what we can do. And what about directions, how do you know where you’re going to end up? Is it two way travel? Well, I guess it must be coz you’re here, and I mean I guess you’ve been through, oh wow, you’ve visited other planets! Ooh what about temporal effects, are there time distortions due to the distance travelled and stuff? What about physical effects to travel, is there a limit to the number of times you can go through the, what did you call it, stargate?”

“Easy, luv. Breathe.” Spike grinned as the witch broke out into her trade mark babble.

“Man, I wish Fred were here she’d love this!” The comment broke the SG-1 team out of their shock from the reactions of the two of them and their lack of surprise.

“Miss Rosenberg, you can’t” Willow waved a hand.

“Oh don’t worry. I know, top secret and all that. It’s just that Fred’s our own expert on physics and inter-dimensional travel and the like. She just have a field day with this. Oh and my name’s Willow, just Willow OK?”

“Sure. Well I can see you and Carter are going to have plenty to talk about.” Jack couldn’t help but smile at the young woman’s enthusiasm. He could really get to like this kid.

“I’m sorry, Jack right?” At his nod Willow continued. “My babbling tendencies tend to be a bit,” she waved her hand vaguely.

“No don’t worry Willow. That was actually included in the briefing.” He softened his words with a smile. “So, fortunately, as you aren’t going to have a problem with the whole ‘we can travel to other planets’ let’s move on. Since our discovery of the stargate system, the wormholes link gate to gate by the way, we have come to the attention of a hostile alien race that requires hosts for its continued existence, the Goa’uld.”

“Goa’uld, that sounds oddly familiar. What kind of hosts, are we talking possession, external attachment of the parasitic being – that sounds like those demons from our parenthood training Spike. Do you remember under the school? Or were you still evil then?”

Spike rubbed his head in frustration. “Pet, will you please stop telling them,” He sighed in resignation “oh hell. Like anything could stop you, you’d trust a fregnar demon as it was attempting to eat your still warm spleen.”

“Nice, Spike great visuals, thanks. And I’m not that bad, not any more.” Willow pouted at him.

“Pack that up right now. Just ‘cause I have a soul doesn’t mean that you can get around me by being all cute and stuff.”

“You think I’m cute,” Willow exclaimed happily bouncing on the seat, knowing full well it was only going to wind him up further. Their play fighting was interrupted by Jack’s laughter.

“Can I continue?” Willow gave him a sheepish grin before settling back again. Spike just carried on frowning down at the red-head.

“The Goa’uld are a technologically advanced alien race, which we have been battling for the past 7 years, with some success I might add.”

“So what do you need us for then?” Spike was getting frustrated with all the talk and just wanted these guys out of their lives as soon as possible.

“I was getting to that, William.” Jack glared at him, it was worse than dealing with a kid. “Daniel, do you want to carry on from here.”

“A recent expedition revealed a planet which once, in the distant past, was inhabited by a race that was able to defeat the Goa’uld, at least in terms of protecting their world. We were researching the ruins further to try and gain knowledge of how we could fight the Goa’uld when the reason for their demise was discovered. The records they left behind describe an attacked by another race, alien to the planet that was brought there by a comet.” Daniel paused at Willow’s look of recognition.

“A few years back there was an attack by a quellar demon that was brought to my hometown by a meteorite.”

“Captain Miller, told us about that incursion and we have been able to rule it out.” Jack nodded to Daniel to continue.

“They managed to defeat the attackers but so much of the land was laid waste that they chose to migrate through the stargate to another planet. They did however leave a warning with some instructions and a possible weapon should they become a threat to other worlds.”

“And that I guess is where we come in.” Willow looked at the four people in the room. None of them seemed happy that they were involving her in their problem but whatever the threat she knew it must be serious to have approached them and reveal so much.

“That’s right Miss Rosenberg.”

“Please just call me Willow.” She looked thoughtful for a moment. “So Graham recognised me from the description left by this alien race? Are you sure it’s me cause, you know little ole Will here, I’m just the back up.” She looked to Jack for confirmation.

“I’ve gotta say you’re taking this a lot better than I was expecting, but yes Willow we’re sure it’s you. What was it Daniel?”

“My translation was ‘the power of the red tree’ and also there was a reference to ‘souled of the souless’.” Everyone looked at Spike.

“That’s enough of that. The ponce is the one you’re looking for, remember ‘tall, dark and broody’.” There was no way that he was going to just walk into some military experiment. There was nothing, no guarantee that he could be given, no way in hell.

“I’d protect you Spike.” Her softly spoken words broke through his internal tirade and he found himself captured by a green eyed gaze that were so full of concern and warmth that he realised it was a damn good job he didn’t have to breathe.

“Thanks, Red.” He could feel his resolve crumbling. Un-bloody-believable, he was whipped. Again. Straightening he forced his gaze away from hers. “If any one else said that I’d rip their head off just so we’re clear on that right.” He looked pointedly at the others in the room.

“Not a word. So you in?” Jack kept a straight face. Who knew that a bloody thirsty, infamous and vicious vampire could be tamed by a slip of a girl.

**********

Jack, Sam, Teal’c and Daniel had returned to their motel leaving Willow and Spike to discuss the situation further. They were meeting at a diner across from Willow’s apartment at dusk to give them their decision.

The remainder of the time that SG1 had been in Willow’s apartment had been spent describing more about the Goa’uld and the time scale of this latest threat. Jack had also told her that she’d have to go with them to a secure military installation and it was this that was causing her the most concern.

Spike stopped his pacing a looked at the red head. Her face was a mask of concentration as she considered her options. He sighed as he realised that what ever she decided he’d be right with her even if it mean going to this base and returning to his own personal kind of hell.

At his soft sigh Willow looked up at him. Seeing the worry and concern in her eyes for him he almost felt his heart beat. Sitting next to her he reached out and touched the side of her face.

“Talk to me luv.”

Willow took a moment to gather her thoughts before facing him fully. “I’ve got to go Spike. Even though the idea of voluntarily handing myself over to them terrifies me, I can’t not help. Not if I’m the only one who can do this. But I can’t, no I won’t ask you to come with me. It’s not worth the risk.” She dropped her head.

“I’m coming too.” His words were softly spoken but they caused her head to shoot up.

“Spike, you can’t.” He silenced her with a quick peck on her cheek.

“I’m a master bloody vampire and I can do what I like. Right now that means protecting my friend.”

Willows smile lit up the room and he basked in the feeling of knowing he’d made her happy.

“Thank you.” She threw her hands round his neck and hugged him. “My friend.”

*********

Willow and Spike arrived a little late to the diner but she’d spent the afternoon letting everyone know that she and Spike were going away for a while. The reactions from her friends had been amusing on the whole and mainly consisted of ‘Why Spike?’. Her eyes flashed as she remembered Angel’s overreaction and the way he put his Childe down. She’d lost her temper and felt her magic lash out. He’d be spending several hours putting his office back together. She grinned wickedly to herself.

Spike noticed her expression and again felt admiration for this woman. After he’d packed up his duffle he’d gone to inform the wanker that he’d be leaving. He’d been taken aback to see the state of his office and when he’d found out that Willow was responsible he’d practically glowed with pride. He’d bloody loved the expression on the pouf’s face. After making it perfectly clear to his Sire that he was going away with his *friend*, he’d sworn a blood oath that he’d take care of her.

They approached the table where the four of them sat, Willow slid in next to Daniel, gesturing that Spike should sit next to her.

“How’s the pie?” She grinned as she noted the empty plates.

“Not bad.” Jack looked between the two of them. “Have you made a decision?”

Willow looked at Spike to make absolutely sure he was still OK with this. She smiled at the trust in his eyes.

“Yes, we’ll come. When do we leave?” Daniel gave Jack an ‘I told you so look’ before warmly welcoming Willow.

“As soon as you’re ready. We’ve not got much time.”

“Lead the way, then.” She got Spike to slide out of the booth and stood before turning back to them with an expectant look. Seeing their confusion she picked up one of the duffels Spike had brought in.

“I’m packed, my apartment’s being looked after and my many over protective friends have been informed of our holiday.” She waited for them to move. “Are we going or what?”

Jack was the first to overcome his surprise. “You’re a remarkable young woman Miss Rosenberg.” He got up and the others joined him.

“It’s Willow and what can I say, we’ve saved the world a lot. I’ve learnt you only need to pack the essentials, if the end of the world is here then I won’t need the rest anyway.”

“Are you sure you haven’t had any military training.” Spike’s growl nearly covered her reply.

“Now there’s no need to be insulting.”

********

They’d been transported to an airbase and whisked across states in a basic but comfortable plane. Willow and Daniel had been in deep discussion for most of the flight. Spike had decided that he liked the big guy and had spent most of the flight trying to draw him into conversation. Having failed to get anything really going he opted to try and get more information instead.

“So is Murray a nickname or are other planets prone to giving to naff names to their offspring as well?”

“My name is Teal’c of Chulak.”

“Cool. So why don’t you like being around Willow.”

Teal’c looked at him appraisingly. He thought he’d managed to mask his discomfort especially as the other members of SG1 had ceased asking if he was OK.

“When I get in close proximity to her, something creates an uncomfortable sensation within me.”

“Yeah, she say’s she gets an odd feeling from you too.”

Jack had been listening in on their conversation. “Teal’c why didn’t you inform me of this? We’ll have the Doc check you out when we get back.”

“I do not believe that is necessary O’Neill. It is not a sickness. I suspect it may be a warning to ensure the protection of the symbiote.”

“Yeah but you don’t have Junior anymore.”

“Maybe it is part of why the Jaffa are selected to protect the symbiotes, we can sense her kind.”

“What’s a symbiote?”

Spike had been listening intently to their conversation trying to discover if this posed a threat to Willow.

Jack looked at him trying to assess how much to tell him. Spike resisted the urge to throttle the guy. They’d dragged his Red off to help them but still refused to tell them all the information.

“Look mate. I know you don’t like to share your information but if Willow doesn’t have all the facts how do you bloody well expect her to help you?” Hearing his voice raised in anger, made Willow turn.

“Are you OK Spike?” She glared at Jack while waiting for his answer.

Running a hand through his hair, he muttered to himself before answering her.

“Fine, Pet. It’s just that the Big Guy here is having a bad reaction to you.” Seeing her shoulders begin to drop he added quickly. “They think it’s some kind of warning alarm against magic users, to shield a ‘symbiote’ but the buggers won’t tell me what a ‘symbiote’ is.”

Daniel looked to Jack who nodded his assent for him to explain.

“The Goa’uld need hosts to survive but also use Jaffa, such as Teal’c, to carry their offspring, the symbiotes, to maturity before they can take over a host.”

“Oh.” Willow sat back in her seat a moment while she tried to take in what she’d been told. Murray, Teal’c, she mentally corrected had made her magical senses go haywire whenever he got too close. Knowing he was experiencing odd effects explained why he’d been looking ill and keeping well away from her. His being from another planet went some way to explaining it. However if they were meant to work together they were going to have to fix it.

She sighed. Aliens! As if her life wasn’t complicated enough with the demonic side of life now this.

Spike saw her drift off to consider this latest development and watched the others carefully. They all seemed to be falling under Willows ‘spell’, her open friendship and gentle manner had already begun to affect them. He could see Daniel’s admiration, Sam’s appreciation of her mind and Jack’s respect for her growing. He considered warning them off about getting over protective as he knew it would just annoy her but then reconsidered, the more people protecting her so much the better.

Willow shook herself out of her reverie and looked at Spike. Her eyes narrowed in annoyance as she realised he already knew about Teal’c not being human. She watched Spike squirm for a moment before looking across to the source of the latest problem.

Teal’c watched the young woman glare at the vampire before turning her consideration onto him. Finally she spoke.

“Could I ask you all to go to the other end of the plane so Teal’c and myself can try figure out how we can work with each other without getting the major wiggins.”

Jack was once more impressed by this young woman’s adaptability. She just seemed to take Teal’c alien status in her stride. He realised that he’d begun to follow her instructions without consciously meaning to. He frowned and shook his head. Spike sat next to him smirking. “Don’t worry she has that effect on everyone.”

**********

They landed shortly after and Willow, frustrated at not yet having solved the problem asked for Jack for some time to experiment.

“At least in this hanger no-one is going to be able to see anything they shouldn’t.” Willow ran a hand through her hair.

Jack looked at his watch for what seemed like the twentieth time.

Spike chuckled as he saw her ‘resolve face’ appear, he looked on expectantly to see how Jack would handle it.

“Mr O’Neill, your team mate is suffering and for the sake of a few precious minutes you’re hesitating. Why don’t you go ring for more orders while I try and fix the problem.” Turning away from him she took hold of Teal’c’s arm and led him away from the plane to an area of clear space.

Jack watched lost for words for a moment before grinning widely. He shrugged at the others before adding. “What! I don’t fancy being a rat.”

Willow placed Teal’c at one end of the hanger and started to walk away from him. “Tell me when you stop sensing me.”

After 100 yards or so he called for her to halt. “I can no longer sense you Miss Rosenberg.” Rolling her eyes she returned to his side.

“Willow. Will-ow. Why do you all seem to have so much of a problem with using my name.” Willow tried to calm herself knowing that she was taking out her frustration on a relatively innocent bystander. “I’m sorry Teal’c. Right I’m going away again but this time I want you to keep your eyes closed please.” He nodded his acquiescence before closing his eyes.

Willow went back to where he’d lost contact with her before. “Okay, how’s that.”

“I can still feel you.” Willow frowned before taking two large strides back. “You have passed beyond my senses.”

“OK” Willow moved further away and calmed herself before removing Spike’s lighter from her pocket. She grinned at his exclamation as he realised she’d swiped it from his pocket when she’d brushed past him earlier. Concentrating she levitated the lighter a few inches above her palm.

Teal’c’s exclamation of alarm broke her concentration sending the lighter clattering to the floor.

“Oh Goddess I’m so sorry.” She rushed to his side. “Did I hurt you?”

“I am unharmed, Willow.” He noted the smile the use of her name brought to her lips. “The sensation was strong and most unexpected.” The rest of the group had gathered around them.

“Are you OK Big Guy?” Jack looked worriedly between the red head and the warrior.

“I am fine, O’Neill”

“Well, I think we can safely say that it’s the magic that affects you.” Willow’s brow furrowed in concentration. After a while Spike stood and gently grasped her elbow.

“Don’t bite your lip luv. If you really want I can do it for you.” Willow rolled her eyes at him. “Now can I have my light back please.” Willow wandered over to get it while Spike continued to mutter to himself. “I’ll have to learn to hide it better.”

Everyone jumped a little at Willow’s squeal of excitement. She rushed back to the group and gave Spike a peck on the cheek. “You’re a genius!”

“Damn straight.” Spike looked as bemused as the rest of them.

Willow disappeared back into the plane before returning with her duffel. She settled down away from the others and sketched a circle of protection. She lit a candle and began an incantation whilst burning some herbs.

Spike moved instinctively towards her but the SG-1 team just looked on nervously. Jack wandered up to Spike’s side a few feet away from the red head. “What ya doing?”

“Shh mate. Now’s not a good time to distract the chit.” Jack looked over at the vampires face the back to the girl. Suddenly a breeze sprang up a centred swirling around Willow for a moment. As it died away she slumped a little.

“You alright luv?” Willow nodded and closed the ritual. She rose to her feet with a triumphant look on her face and walked over to Tea’lc.

“Did it work?” Teal’c’s eyebrow raised in acknowledgement as she came to stand next to him.

“I no longer feel the effects of your presence.” Willow broke into a huge smile and gave Tea’lc a hug.

*************

After things had settled down they’d gotten into a van and were taken to the base.

“Welcome to Cheyenne Mountain.” Willow smiled at the greeting from the portly balding figure. “I’m General Hammond and you must be Miss Rosenberg.”

Jack stepped in. “It’s Willow, Sir. Don’t want you turned into a toad.” Willow went red with embarrassment and started to stammer an apology. “You can do toads too, right?”

Willow finally got her self under control and growled at the Colonel. “Sure, do you want a demonstration?”

Spike was still laughing when she span round to confront him. “And don’t you forget that I haven’t worked out all the kinks when to comes to turning you back!” She folded her arms in annoyance.

Hammond simply raised his eyebrows at this display. It seemed that these people had adjusted well to the news given to them. Willow turned back to face him.

“I’m so sorry, Sir. I call you Sir right? I wouldn’t turn you into a toad. Well not unless I absolutely had to, like I don’t know you hurting Spike, or me of course. But well you seem like a nice man. Oh, is it OK to call a General a nice man.” Spike stepped up behind her and laid a gentle hand over her mouth.

“Shhhh pet. Don’t be nervous, Murray will protect you now you’ve put that spell on him.” Spike could barely hide his grin as he saw the look of fear on their faces but it quickly disappeared as they became the target for a number of weapons.

Willow couldn’t believe what Spike had just done, now she was probably going to get burned at the stake. Again. She kicked back hard into his shin causing him to howl in pain before spinning and slamming an elbow into the side of his head sending him crumpling to the ground. “Don’t forget you’re not the only one who dated a slayer.”

She returned her attention to the people around them. “That was another example of Spike’s sick and twisted sense of humour. I can only give my word that I have done nothing to Teal’c, the only person the spell I did in the hanger affected was myself. I can’t think of any way to prove it to you. I can assure you I’ve been down the path of manipulating others and it’s not a good place for me to go.” Willow wrapped her arms around herself and waited looking at the floor.

Jack was the first to lower his weapon and stepped up beside the clearly distressed woman. He laid a comforting hand on her arm causing her to look up. Seeing the pain in her eyes from whatever deed it was that she had in her past he felt reassured. “OK Willow.” Teal’c joined him.

“I too believe you Willow.”

“Are you a good person to have on my side right now? They might think it’s my magic talking.”

Daniel couldn’t hold back a laugh and the tension lessened. Spike groaned and levered himself up from the floor. He had a large welt on the side of his head already. Willow looked him right in the eye.

”If that’s your idea of protecting me you can go back to LA, right now.”

“I’m sorry luv. Please I’ll behave.” He winced as he reached up to touch the rapidly bruising area.

“Are you OK?” She couldn’t help but feel bad for the state of him.

“That was a great move Pet. Kennedy would be proud.” Willow grinned at the compliment. She raised her hand over the injured area. Incanting softly under her breath, a warm glow showed under her hand and when she stepped back Spike’s temple was unblemished.

“Next time I won’t back down and you’ll just have to suffer, understand.” Her words were softened by the twinkle in her eye.

“Wow.” Daniel’s soft exclamation broke the subtle trance they seemed to be under.

Willow coloured. “It’s nothing. I mean, oh goddess. This is all so,” she waved her hand vaguely.

“Shall we move this to the briefing room.” Hammond looked round at the people gathered, “I believe we have a tight schedule.”

*********

They were taken deep down into the complex via a plain elevator and when they stepped out Willow couldn’t suppress a shudder at the oppressiveness of the concrete.

“You OK, luv.” Spike had kept close to her during their trip down and had noticed that she wasn’t happy with their surroundings. Not that he was overly thrilled, still at least it wasn’t white.

“Sure,” Willow tried to perk herself up with a smile. It was after all a top secret military establishment what was she expecting, potted plants and gaily painted walls. She followed the rest of SG1 trying to shake off the sudden chill and agitation that raced through her.

As they progressed along the hall Spike began to growl softly. His head had begun to ache and something was setting his teeth on edge. The entered a room with a large table in the centre and Spike finally snapped.

“What the bloody hell is that! Some kind of sick torture device.” Spike eyes began to flick between blue and amber.

SG1 was at a loss but were concerned and Spike’s apparent loss of control. Jack looked to Willow to restrain the vampire. Willow however was pale and drawn and had begun to sway alarmingly. Daniel had finally dragged his fascinated gaze away from the vampire and noticed Jack’s attention to the woman next to him. He managed to grab Willow and lower her into a chair before she fell. Dropping to her side he tried to get her to look at him.

“What’s the matter. What can I do?” Daniel had taken her hands into his but she seemed completely out of it.

Jack becoming more worried about the agitated state of the vampire decided that from what he’d seen of the young woman so far there was one sure way of getting through to her. He headed round the table to her side.

“Willow, Spike’s in trouble.” Daniel shot him a glare at what he considered to be a low blow but was unsurprised to see it have the desired effect.

Willow looked round to find him, the throbbing in her head was making it hard to think but she immediately saw his distress and moved to get up. Had Jack not been there she doubted she would have made it but she reached the snarling vampire.

“Spike. It’s OK. I can feel it too.” Spike looked at her and saw his suffering reflected in her eyes. The two of them clung to each other for a moment before Willow roused herself enough to try and explain the problem to the others in the room. She saw a couple of white coated people rush up the stairs in the opposite corner of the room and made sure that she was between them and Spike.

“I don’t think an examination is the best thing right now.” She looked to Jack trying to convey her concern over their reaction to Spike’s condition. “Too many things to explain.”

Jack realised she was referring to Spike’s status as the living dead. He headed the medical personnel off. “OK. Thanks guys if you’d just wait here for a moment we’re trying to sort out the problem at the moment.” Willow nodded slightly in acknowledgement of his understanding.

“It’s been getting worse the closer I came to this room.” Spike grunted his agreement. He sunk into a chair and pulled the witch down onto his lap. She laid a comforting hand on his arm as he buried his head in her back and she felt his vampiric features emerge. “It’s like a buzzing in my head but so intense it’s painful. I can’t concentrate so I can’t use,” Jack’s cough made her realise that she’d nearly revealed too much in the current company. As she glanced round she saw a number of armed guards had entered the room too, “my talents.” She gasped a she recognised one of the newcomers.

“Hello, Willow.” Spike snarled from behind her as he recognised the voice, Jack barely had time to empty the room of non-essential personnel before the vampires head came up.

Graham swallowed at the sight of a vamped out Hostile 13 and not Angel as he’d expected. “Sir, that’s not,”

“It’s okay soldier. We know that this is not who your intel sent us to find but I’m assured that he meets the criteria.”

“He’s got a s..” Graham stopped realising that antagonising the no-longer chipped vampire was not a good idea. He stood stunned for a moment. He watched as Willow seemed to sag against the vampire again and remembered what he’d meant to say.

“General I think it might be a good idea to let them see what’s in the next room.”

Hammond paused for a moment before nodding his assent. “Raise the blast doors.”

As the huge grey doors made their way ponderously upwards, Willow took a few moments to study the ex-Initiative member. She remembered that Graham was generally a good guy just with secrets, much like herself. He’d certainly seemed to side with them at least a little philosophically it was just a shame that his obedience to his superiors overrode his ethics. Willow sighed slightly and rubbed her head, everyone deserved second chance she supposed. All she had to do now was convince Spike.

She felt Spike’s attention shift as he became completely still.

Spike knew that if it were not for the fact he’d had the witch on his lap he would have been half way across the room at the boys throat, well that and the pain in his head. He turned to check out the latest possible threat as the doors to the next room rose. He could hardly believe his eyes as the vast metal ring was revealed. Strangely once his eyes had taken it in the unpleasant sensation began to lessen. He realised the witch was still focused on Soldierboy. He raised his hand and gentle turned her head, unable to find the words to describe what he was seeing.

Willow gasped audibly at the sight of the machine in the next room. She barely noticed that the buzzing had receded.

“Is that it, the Stargate?”

“Yep, our pool room. Isn’t it great.” Jack grinned at Sam’s dismay of his description.

“How are you feeling Willow?” Daniel came up beside them.

“Um, fine.” Willow looked at him blankly for a moment. “Oh yeah, the buzzing. Great, it’s gone.” Willow gave him a huge smile. “What about you Spike? Are you OK?”

“Fine, luv. Took one look at the giant ring there and now I’m just peachy.” Spike turned round to glare at the newest addition to the room. “Is it your fault Willow’s got dragged into this?”

“I recognised the descriptions yes, however I assumed Angel would be the one they’d find. I’d heard about the chip being removed but not you getting a soul.” Graham shrugged slightly. “I just hope that our interpretation of the inscriptions is correct, otherwise we’re all in big trouble.”

“Yeah about that, what is it exactly that you want us to do.” Jack’s reply was cut off as the gate activation claxons went off.

Spike had instantly leapt to protect Willow but relaxed a little as he saw the lack of response from the others.

“Perfect timing. This is going to be much easier than trying to explain.” Jack pointed in the direction of the gate room. “If you folks want to stay here and watch with Daniel, we’ll head down to the control room.”

“Sure.” Willow turned to watch the spectacle. Graham stayed too and cautiously placed himself on the far side of Willow, away from the vampire.

Willow was fascinated as the ring, inscribed with symbols began to revolve. She flinched slightly as the first of the chevrons locked in place and it began to rotate back in the opposite direction. As the device continued to move a number of soldiers entered the room but stayed well back from the bottom of the ramp.

“I don’t recognise the symbols. Do you Spike?” Willow’s voice was hushed.

“Nah. Well I suppose they look kind of like Egyptian hieroglyphs but I never was too good at that stuff.” Spike noticed Daniel’s surprised look. “What! I may be a vampire but Dru loved that stuff. She had a real thing for that French fella that translated the Rosetta stone. She wouldn’t let me even have a nibble on him.”

“It’s the gate address system. The symbols act like co-ordinates, six to describe the destination and the final symbol is the point of origin.” Willow watched as the final chevron locked in place.

They both jumped back in shock as the silver liquid like substance rushed out towards them before swirling back to form a rippling barrier in the centre of the ring.

“What the hell was that!” Spike looked round for an explanation pausing after taking in the others calm demeanour.

“I guess it’s the event horizon to the wormhole, linking us with another gate. It must use an incredible amount of power.” Willow looked on in wonder. They watched as the team walked up the ramp and vanished into the shimmering surface. “What does it feel like?”

“Cold. Dizzying.”

“But it’s one hell of a ride!” O’Neill’s voice rang out from behind them.

Willow found she couldn’t tear her eyes away from the incredible spectacle before her. Finally the gate shut down and she couldn’t hide a sigh of disappointment.

“Glad you like it.” Jack had come over to join Willow at the window. She turned to him and gave a huge smile. Jack mentally made a note to watch out for this girl and everyone thought the vampire was going to be the dangerous one.

“Incredible! Where’s Sam I’ve got so many questions.” Her smile dimmed a little. “She will be able to talk to me about the science right?” Jack laid a hand on her shoulder pointedly ignoring the vampire’s growl.

“Sure, Willow, but later OK. First we need to talk a little more about the situation.”

Willow bit back a sigh of frustration and nodded her agreement. She reached out and grabbed Spike’s hand and pulled him along into a seat beside her.

The General and Sam rejoined them. Hammond took his seat at the head of the table before gesturing to Carter to begin the briefing.

**********

Spike was bored.

He looked across at his redheaded companion. Well at least someone was enjoying themselves. He couldn’t help but feel some good had come out of the situation. He hadn’t seen her so animated for a long time. Spike scowled as he caught O’Neill looking knowingly at him. The guy was far too smug for his own good. He sighed in relief as thing started to wrap up.

“Great. Glad that’s all sorted then. What’s a bloke got to do to get fed round here.” He leered at the blonde woman getting pleasure from her disgusted reaction.

Willow held back a grunt of frustration. She’d been fascinated by everything she’d learnt about the planet SG1 had discovered. If Daniel’s translations were correct they certainly seem to fit the prophecy on the temple. She’d just been discovering more about the stargate itself when Spike had interrupted. She glanced at the clock and immediately felt bad. She couldn’t believe the time, no wonder he was grumpy and hungry they’d been talking for ages. She was actually impressed that he’d kept quiet that long.

“Sir, can we go get something. We brought supplies with us,” she nodded over to their bags. “I’m kind of hungry too.”

“Of course Willow. Mr Jackson, please show them to the guest quarters then the mess whenever they’re ready.” Daniel smiled and rose.

“Follow me.” Willow jumped up and grabbed their bags. Spike took them from her when she drew level at the top of the stairs.

“I just hope that stasis spell of yours has kept the bags nice and fresh.” Willow saw Daniel grimace as he realised what they were talking about and nervously rub his neck. This was going to be harder than she thought.

********

They’d stopped long enough for Spike to feed in private in their rooms before following Daniel to the mess hall. Willow was surprised at the comfort of the guest quarters. Spike’s insistence that he was going to share a room with her had at first caused a problem but they’d accepted the terms pretty quickly. She was sure he was being overly cautious but couldn’t deny that the idea of him being close gave her an added sense of security.

When they arrived the other members of SG1 were all ready seated and eating. After collecting their food they joined them at the table.

“So you all settled in now?” Jack looked across at the pair. “I’m not going to have to come in during the night and separate you two kids now am I.” Willow blushed before returning her attention to her plate.

“She’d put a vengeance demon to shame if I tried anything with her.” Spike grinned back at him wincing slightly as Willow kicked his shins.

“Vengeance Demon. Know a lot of them do you?”

“Well there were a couple at my best friends wedding but being as the bride was an ex-demon herself it wasn’t that surprising.”

The SG1 team looked on in shock as she continued to eat unaware of the effect her comment had had. Spike just laughed.

“What?” Willow looked up. “Oh, it was a rhetorical question. Sorry.” Jack shook his head in wonder before joining in with Spike’s fading laughter. The atmosphere relaxed a little and the remainder of the meal was spent in small talk that avoided all supernatural and alien topics.

“Well folks. Might I suggest an early night. We’re due to leave at oh eight hundred.”

Spike fought back an urge to grab the man and tell him exactly how he felt about someone telling him what time to go to bed but he glanced across to Willow and saw how tired she looked.

“Sure mate. Come on Pet.”

Willow followed Spike without really paying attention to where they were going and was mildly surprised when she found herself outside the door.

After saying a quick goodnight she entered the room and collapsed onto the bed.

“Is it just me or has it been a really long day.” She rubbed her eyes tiredly before looking at Spike. He didn’t look happy and she followed his gaze to the cot they’d put in the room.

Sighing she kicked her shoes off and headed into the bathroom after grabbing her duffle. When she left she found Spike undressed and sitting on the edge of the cot. Climbing into bed she waved him over. “Come on there’s room enough for two. We’re both going to need a good nights sleep.” He smiled happily content enough just to be in a comfortable bed rather than make a sarcastic comment and climbed in next to her. “Just keep your cold feet to yourself.” She added sleepily.

********

Willow woke with a start and froze momentarily before her mind supplied the fact that the unexpected weight over her was Spike. She tried not to wake him as she got out of bed but his arm tightened and pulled her back against him. “Morning luv.”

“Hi Spike. It’s 6.30 I’ve got to get ready for our little trip.” She couldn’t disguise the excitement in her voice at the prospect of gate travel.

Spike groaned and let her go before burying his head under a pillow. “That’s an obscene hour pet. Do we really have to go?”

Willow collected the clothes to wear for the mission before heading towards the bathroom. “I can’t believe you’re not excited. OK so the idea of being demolecularised and transported through a wormhole is a little nerve wracking and the risks involved are I should imagine quite high actually. And, oh Goddess, what if my magic doesn’t work on another planet.” Spike threw one of her pillows at the door.

“Enough!” He yelled. He’d never admit it but the idea of being zapped across who knows how many million miles of space scared him. Just a little. “Just get dressed then go have breakfast or something. I’ll see you there later.”

Willow returned to the main room and looked at his huddled form under the blankets. “Don’t be late Spike. Please.” Willow practically bounced out the room. She hid her initial dismay at the guards that had been posted outside her room but acknowledged quickly to herself that it was understandable. She also was grateful that there was someone to guide her to the mess hall.

After eating, she swung back by their room to make sure Spike had actually gotten up before making her way towards the gateroom. She looked sheepishly at her guard as the sound of Spike’s voice raised in argument echoed down the hall as they approached.

As they entered a changing room Daniel moved quickly to her side and whispered in her ear. “They’ve been at this for nearly 10 minutes. Spike won’t attack him will he?” Willow shrugged and concentrated her attention on trying to find out what the argument was over.

“I am not bloody wearing anything that makes me look like one of you tossers.” He was standing toe to toe with O’Neill who had a finger poking at Spike’s chest in return.

“You’re on my team and if I say you’re going to wear camouflage fatigues then that’s what you do or you don’t go through the gate. Am I making myself clear!”

“Sod off you wanker. I’m in your damn prophecy so how far do you think you’re going to get without me.”

“You’re not so special. I hear the souled undead are everywhere now. We’ll just nip back to LA and pick us up another.”

Spike snarled ferally at the reference to his sire. Willow decided she’d better step in before things got too out of hand. Stepping away from Daniel to give herself some space, she whispered an incantation ending with a prayer of thanks to the Goddess.
The room went silent as Spikes clothes with a slight shimmer changed from black to khaki.

“Witch!” Spike yelled at the top of his voice as his gaze began sweeping the area for her. She joined the two of them in the centre of the room lifting a gentle finger to close Jack’s stunned expression. She put her hand to Spike’s mouth to forestall his tirade.

“Calm down Spike. It’s just a glamour. I’ll reverse it when we get back. It’s for my protection anyway. If you stand out then you’ll be a target and if I’m at your side so will I.” She turned to face the other man. “Colonel O’Neill I’d like to remind you we are volunteers not your new recruits. I understand you have our safety in mind but well we’ve had plenty of experience looking after ourselves in unusual situations some respect would be appreciated.” Willow suddenly swayed then collapsed.

Everyone in the room reacted instantly. Spike swept her into his arms and sat on the bench cradling her gently. Jack dropped to their side along with Daniel, both of them watching the redhead in concern. Carter radioed for a medical team and T’ealc took a defensive stance behind the vampire.

“What’s the matter luv.” Willow’s eyes rolled back in her head momentarily and Spike looked to the Colonel for help. “Do something!”

“Willow. Can you hear me?” Jack shook the woman’s shoulder gently and was rewarded with a moan.

Willow came round to see a swarm of faces. “What’s going on?”

“You passed out, love.” He clutched her closer. “Don’t do that to me again. What’s the matter with you?”

“Spike get off a minute.” She pushed herself away feebly. He released her just enough to allow her to sit up. “I don’t understand it was only a little spell. A glamour like this shouldn’t take that much out of me.” She picked softly at Spike’s T-shirt thoughtfully.

Sam ushered the medical team into the room. Spike growled as they reached for her. “Just let them do their job OK.” Jack looked into the flickering amber eyes not dropping contact as he removed Willow from his grasp and sat her beside him.

Willow sat in thought as she was subjected to a swift examination barely feeling them raise her arm to take her pulse and only flinching slightly as they shone a light in her eyes.

“Oh.” They all turned to look at her. “I think I understand.” Willow smiled her thanks as she removed the medic’s hands. “I’m OK really. It must be,” she paused looking at Jack and then back to the new people in the room. He got the message and asked them to wait outside. As they left General Hammond entered the room.

“Is everyone OK?”

“Miss Rosenberg fell ill General.” Hammond cast his eyes over the room pausing briefly over the vampire’s unusual attire.

“We’re not entirely sure yet Sir but I think Willow is going to explain.”

Willow gave them a tremulous smile before continuing. “When we, wicca that is, cast a spell the source of power varies. For a large spell we might draw it from around us or a mystical object or call upon a deity but a minor spell like a glamour draws on a our natural innate power.” She looked at them to make sure they were following and felt reassured by Spikes nod of understanding. “Normally I wouldn’t have any problem with what I just did to Spikes clothes but I think that the spell I did to help Teal’c might be affecting me more than I expected.”

“What exactly did you do luv?” Willow kept her head down refusing to look Spike in the eye.

“I bound my aura.” Everyone winced as Spike erupted in fury and began yelling at the witch.

The members of SG1 just looked on as Spike began to berate the witch but he was so irate and apparently using several different languages it was hard to tell what he was so angry about. Jack finally looked to Daniel to see if he understood any of it.

Daniel had paled at some of the more obscure curses Spike had used but was finally beginning to understand what he was so upset about. He allowed himself to be drawn to one side with Jack and the General.

“Many cultures believe that a person’s aura is very important reflecting their emotional and or physical state. As far as I can tell Spike is angry because magically altering an aura is extremely dangerous to the person who subjected to it. By altering her own aura Willow put herself at risk all to make Teal’c more comfortable. I think Spike is suggesting the longer she keeps it up the greater the danger to her.”

Teal’c had been close enough to hear the conversation and immediately turned to Willow. She sat slumped listening to Spike’s outburst and nodding occasionally. He approached them both barely taking notice of Spike’s glare of accusation.

“It is unnecessary to put yourself at risk Miss Rosenberg. Your presence before you performed your magic was not harmful to me. It was merely a distraction.” Willow smiled at his gesture of gallantry but would not back down.

“I won’t take it back. I’ll manage just fine thank you. I knew the risk when I performed the spell. There is as much danger in reversing the effects as there is continuing. Until I can find an alternative, the binding stands.” She looked at them all forestalling their protests with a raised hand. “Unless anyone else here professes to know more magic than I do,” she glowered at Spike “I will not change my mind. Now I’m aware of the effects I can take more care before I try anything else.”

Jack looked at her thoughtfully before nodding. “Very well, as you are our foremost authority at this time. Please keep me informed however if anything changes. OK?” Willow nodded her agreement, relaxing as the Colonel walked away. She looked at the blond.

“I’ll be fine Spike.”

The vampire tried to calm himself down. Knowing he’d over reacted but the longer they were in this strange situation the more chance there was of something going wrong. He didn’t want anything to happen to the witch or for that matter himself. He looked at her a moment longer before glancing back down at his clothes then turned an expectant look back at her.

“Nope. Not gonna do it. Did you listen to what I said about making yourself a target.” Willow ran her fingers along the line of his coat. “It doesn’t look too bad, honest.”

Spike sighed resignedly. “Fine. Are we going to leave this ball of rock or what.”

Jack looked to Hammond for confirmation that the mission was still going to go ahead.

The general looked thoughtfully at the two newest additions to the SG team. Willow practically held her breath and couldn’t resist squeezing Spikes arm when the General agreed.

When they arrived in the gate room, Willow spent a few moments just admiring the immense piece of machinery before her. She felt Spike edge a little closer as the outer ring began to spin and the huge mechanisms lock the chevrons into place.

Jack watched the young woman’s building excitement, unlike many who experience the gate she seemed more excited than nervous. He reached out and pulled her back a little.

“You don’t want to be too close for the splash.” He winked at her ignoring the glower from the vampire beside her.

As the wormhole opened Willow felt a sudden moment of apprehension but watching the members of SG1 stride confidently up the ramp gave the courage she needed. She grabbed Spike’s hand and headed up towards the event horizon. She paused briefly and looked at Spike squeezing his hand.

“Ready.” Spike looked at her eager face and sighed to himself. This woman was going to be the second death of him.

“Let’s go pet.”

As one they stepped into the shimmering surface.

********

The End?

You have reached the end of "Other Worlds" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 30 Aug 07.

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