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Summary: Coming back isn't always the hardest part. It's letting someone catch you first.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Willow-Centered > Pairing: Other(Moderator)acsFR1835,29005112,0823 Nov 076 May 11No


Disclaimer: This is a derivative work. All BtVS characters belong to or were created by Joss Whedon, and Mutant Enemy. Anything from the Stargate universe belongs to someone else (MGM?). I don't. I'm just responsible for the plot and words gluing my story together.
Spoilers: Buffy Seasons 1-6. Stargate Seasons 1-5 (then very AU - Daniel's ascended but they think he's dead. Janet's not dead.)
Summary: Willow searches for peace in the aftermath of Tara's death. And a slayer hunts for her.
Warnings: It's very possible that there will be at least one f/f pairing by the end of this story. And a character death or two.
Author's Note: Feedback always welcome. No idea where this is going to wander (other than a broad outline and an ending). Or how long it'll be. Or when it will finish. (And I've taken some liberties with Jack's cabin and its surroundings for plot purposes.)
Word count: 1,168

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Pulling up to the cabin in his truck, the gravel crunching under its wheels, Jack rolled down the window and grinned in delight, breathing in the fresh air for a moment before he turned it off. There was something special about the combination of the breeze coming off the lake and the smell of the nearby leaves roasting in the autumn sun. Sure, when he wasn't off planet on some mission, he lived in the Colorado mountains, but this was different. This was fresh and soothing. And his alone for the next few days.

Teal'c was off on some mission with Master Bra'tac and Carter, Cassie, and Dr. Fraiser would be joining him at the end of the week but until then he planned to just sit back, drink beer, and fish. And enjoy the quiet. No screaming congressmen, no annoyed generals, no aliens of any sort to disturb the peace and quiet. Something he felt he deserved after the things he'd gone through since his last real vacation.

Reaching into the back, he grabbed a paper bag full of groceries he'd gotten at the small mom-n-pop store down at the Junction. He could feel the still cold beer through the bag. It took almost no effort to imagine how it would taste, washing down the thick steak he planned to grill out on the deck for dinner. Juggling the bag, his phone, and keys, he unlocked the back door and let himself into the cabin, instinctively taking a quick look around to see if anything was out of place after his long absence.

It wasn't a huge place. With two bedrooms and a decent sized kitchen it was just big enough for himself and a fishing buddy or two. The living room contained a small couch bed, a couple comfortable chairs, and a compact entertainment system for those rainy days when he couldn't go outside. How Carter and Fraiser worked out the sleeping arrangements with Cassie was sure to be amusing but he had no plans to give up his own bed.

Stepping into the kitchen, Jack put the bag down on the island separating the kitchen from the rest of the cabin. Returning to his truck, he grabbed the remaining groceries. His other bags could wait until the food was put away.

Reaching into one of the bags, Jack grabbed a carton of eggs and turned to put them away. For the first time since arriving he found himself looking out at the lake and his small dock through the kitchen window. The sight of someone sitting at the end of his dock almost caused him to drop the carton. They were too far away for him to see any distinguishing details, other than short red hair, but it was definitely someone he hadn't invited over. And if his eyes didn't deceive him it was a female someone.

Grumbling under his breath, he finished putting the groceries away, hoping they would leave before he finished. Folding up the bags, he put them away in the small closet near the door that contained his meager cleaning supplies. He then, as quietly as possible, brought in his other things from the truck.

Walking out into the living room, Jack stood for a moment staring out through the large windows, across the small deck. She was still there. In the half hour it had taken him to put everything away, she hadn't moved.

Heading back out to his truck he carefully looked around for signs of another vehicle. Not seeing anything he headed around the cabin towards the dock. There were no "No Trespassing" or "Private Property" signs but he expected anyone wandering by to respect his desire for privacy. He really didn't want to start out his vacation by chasing some squatter away but he felt a need to assert his ownership of the cabin, dock, and surrounding area to the interloper.

Reaching the near end of the dock, Jack cautiously approached the young woman. It was too obvious to be a trap. Anyone wanting to kill him or get him out of the way would have had plenty of opportunities during his trip up to the cabin.

There was a small breeze coming off of the lake. Stopping to her left, just out of arm's reach, the faint smells of pine and some kind of scorched meat reached him. It wasn't a horrible smell but it reminded him of one too many missions involving high explosives, fire, and trees. Her hair moved faintly as if caught in some invisible breeze blowing in the opposite direction. Up close he could see several very dark, almost black, stripes running through her hair.

She ignored him as he examined her. Her clothes weren't ragged but they were well worn and hung loosely on her emaciated figure. Her short leather jacket might have once been a much darker blue, her jeans some kind of pink. Her skinny ankles seemed to protrude from sneakers so worn that what he could see of the soles had no tread. The occasional shiver ran across her slight frame. He'd seen healthier looking refugees.

"This is private property," Jack said bluntly, hoping to get her attention. "I can call you a cab if you need a way back into town," he said.

Responding to his voice, she silently turned to look at him, her eyes a solid black.

"Okay..." he mumbled, cautiously inching away from her, wishing he'd brought his pistol down from the cabin. Scary, inhuman eyes were a bad sign, in his experience, even if they weren't glowing, Goa'uld eyes. Before he'd moved back more than a foot there was the sound of a large bird crying out over the lake and some primitive instinct caused him to duck as a dark object appeared suddenly in his peripheral vision.

Stepping back quickly, Jack made room for the large crow that landed in front of him, facing the woman. The bird appeared to nod several times before hopping several times until it was facing him, its head tilted slightly to one side.

"Nice bird," Jack said, using the same soft tone he used when facing a dangerous animal. "Just saying hello to your friend."

The crow made a 'cawing' sound before taking to the air and flying away, Jack's eyes automatically followed it until it disappeared. Looking back down at the woman, he noticed she was gone.

Puzzled, he turned in a circle, looking for any signs of her. She couldn't possibly have gotten away in the few seconds his attention was elsewhere, he thought. "Where'd she go?" he muttered to himself before shaking his head and heading back to the cabin. She'd been a little too solid to be a ghost. Maybe an alien? There didn't seem to be any urgency but he should probably give Carter a call and have her bring some of her geek toys and find out. And with that thought, the strange encounter slipped from his mind.
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