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Blood Is Thicker

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Summary: Rodney goes to comfort his niece after learning of some tragic news. *On hiatus until January*

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Buffy-Centered > Theme: Buffy's Real FamilyshellcFR131040,607210756,7958 Nov 0728 Aug 13No

Chapter Nine - Full Circle

TITLE: Chapter Nine - Full Circle
RATING: FR18
DISCLAIMER: Buffy and SGA belong to their respective owners.
SUMMARY: As the team fight to reach Buffy, she has her own demons to face.

Thanks to Cheri for the Beta.

“You must eat something child,” the Wraith held the plate out to Buffy but once again, she refused to acknowledge either him or the meal. Smothering a growl at her impudence, he tried to change tact, hoping to improve relations. “I know that you are…famished, I can hear the hunger pangs in your stomach little one. Surely you won’t make yourself ill just to prove a point.”

A snort and toss of her hair gave him his answer. With no other choice…well strictly speaking, that wasn’t true. Another solution was to rip her head from her shoulders silencing her arrogance for good. And while it would give him a moment‘s satisfaction, in the long term it wouldn’t work in anyone‘s benefit. So instead, he replaced the plate back onto the tray before situating himself opposite the girl, all the while trying to figure out how to get himself out of the bind that he had rather stupidly got himself into.

As soon as the earlier words of destruction had left his lips, he didn‘t need her look of horror to tell him that he had made an error. The uneasy rapport between the two of them had all but dried up in the blink of an eye. It had been far too premature, he knew that now but everything had, had to be set in motion if he wanted to stick to the plan. Time was of the essence. By now her rescuers would already be on their way if not already on the planet, yet he was still no nearer to gaining any favor with her.

He had forgotten that this was a human talking to him. A child that was all. She was not the warrior that brought demons to a quick death. Yes, she may have a surprisingly mature outlook for her age but she was nothing more than a baby, still so innocent in the world so of course it stood to reason that words like death and killing would scare her.

A glance out of the corner of his eye told him that she was studying him, looking for something that only she seemed to have awareness of. He returned the favor, taking in the scene before him, hoping to salvage something from the meeting.

At first glance there was nothing spectacular about her. Yes, she was a pretty young thing, her blonde hair and chubby cheeks probably made her popular among the humans who seemed to adore that kind of thing but to him it was neither here nor there.

It was something else that captured his attention - her eyes and the depth of knowledge that he gained just by looking at them. One minute you assumed they were an emerald green, the next a light hazel, either way, they portrayed so much. They told you that she wasn’t the youngster that she appeared to be. No, she was so much more.

Her behavior, this second being an example. She was sitting, with her knees up to her chest, her arms around them. She looked to be doing nothing but watching him but he knew otherwise. She was using the time to formulate a plan. Of this he was sure. He knew of her skills and what she was capable of. It wouldn’t surprise him if she already had something ready and was just waiting for him to make his move.

As if she knew exactly what he was thinking, her expression changed. One eyebrow rose as if she was daring him to say something. If he chose to, he could have, instead he looked away. Partly hoping to un-nerve her but mostly because he wasn’t comfortable with what he saw in those windows.

The eyes were one thing that you couldn’t change no matter how you tried to prove otherwise. Buffy’s showed far too much pain and destruction for a girl her age. It was something that unsettled him more than he cared to admit.

“You’ve probably put something in it!”

“I will sample some first; it will show you that I have not tampered with it. Would you be fine with that?” he looked over at her, masking his surprise at her statement. It wasn’t what he had been expecting her words to be but at least she was talking.

“I’m five, not stupid!” she looked at him with disdain. “We both know that even if there is something in it, it won’t do anything to you.”

“Wise beyond your years,” he sighed getting up and moving over to her. “If I am so intent on harming you as you claim Buffy, why did I go to such great lengths to keep you safe when you came on board?” he raised an eyebrow, or so she assumed.

His face was so frozen that he reminded her of one of her parent’s friends who had according to her mother, injected some kind of poison into herself to look better. No one had been too happy when she took it upon herself to tell Tiffany that it hadn’t worked and she had been sent up to her room for the rest of the night.

Thinking of it brought her back to the thing…monster…whatever in front of her. He unnerved her. It wasn’t even his face that freaked her because to be honest William’s had been scarier. No this was something else. It was as if he was capable of looking right into her soul. She had the feeling that he would cause himself harm just to prove a point to her and that scared her more than anything else he had done in the time they had been together.

“Except you didn’t,” she frowned at him, shaking her head to clear it of the image. “You hurt me and my u…” her voice trembled for just a second before the ice cold glare appeared. “If anything happened to him, I swear that you’re going to be sorry.”

He actually had to stop himself from taking a step back. His earlier observation of her being nothing more than an innocent would have to be re-examined because as their eyes met, he could see exactly what it was that sent demons to their deaths. The Slayer might not be in control right now but she was there, of that, there was no doubt and she would be keeping score of every wrong doing that he and his kind performed against her, waiting for a chance to make her appearance and even the score.

He knew without a doubt that the next words out of his mouth would either make or break their pact, as fragile as it was.

“That was unfortunate, I do agree….“ he nodded hesitantly. “My men tend to be very thorough…but I assure you that I meant neither of you no harm.” He added quickly when she started to interrupt.

“Why do you want to kill them?”

“Excuse me?” he was genuinely surprised by the change in conversation. This was something he had not been expecting.

“You said earlier you wanted to kill them. Why?” she moved positions until her legs were under her.

“Power!” he said simply. “They have it, I want it.”

“It can’t be that simple.” She shook her head, clearly not believing his words for a second.

“It isn’t. Not by a long shot but I don’t think we are friends enough for me to trust you with the rest….yet anyway.” He mentally rubbed his hands. He hadn’t expected this to happen but he wasn’t going to let it pass.

“We can’t be friends. To be friends, you have to trust people…except you’re not people are you?” she sighed, looking away, her words exactly what he hoped she would say.

“How can there be trust when you aren‘t willing to take a chance?” he deliberately ignored the last part of her statement, instead focusing on what he could use.

“I…” she honestly didn’t know what to say in answer to that. Could she trust him. Technically, it wasn’t him who had hurt Rodney and he had been civil to her ever since he appeared in the cell, even offering her food. At the end of the day even with her feelings of nervousness, that’s all they were - feelings. He hadn’t hurt a hair on her head.

What was the saying that Daddy was so fond of. Oh yeah, ‘better the devil you know’. At least with him, she knew what he was and for some reason, he was willing to help her. She would find out the reason for that later but right now it looked as if he was the only one who could help her. It wasn’t like she was going to invite him to tea afterwards or anything. As soon as Ronon and the others found her, they would deal with him. It’s what you did with monsters…wasn’t it?

He shook his head, his words bringing her back to the present. “We both know it. The only way to know if I am being honest is if I do not let any harm come to you, and to do that you must trust me.”

“Will you hurt me?” she glanced up at him.

As their eyes met, an epiphany came to him. He didn’t want to see her hurt. He wanted to protect this wisp of a girl in front of him. It was a terrifying thought yet at the same time, a strange feeling of contentment that he had never felt before, made itself known and he knew then and there he was doing the right thing.

“I give you my word Buffy that I will never willingly let anything happen to you.” He promised. “I will protect you until my dying breath.”

He was telling the truth. She didn’t know how she knew. But she knew. He wasn’t Rodney, Ronon or John but he would look after her until they turned up. Something deep in her gut was telling her that this…creature was to be her protector for the time being.

“How about we go and pay a visit to the ones who hurt your uncle. We’ll show them what happens when they get on the wrong side of us?”

“I…,” she wasn’t sure what to say. Normally, she hated any type of violence. It was wrong. Except, this voice in her head was telling her that the Wraith who did it couldn’t get away with hurting Rodney and there was no way she would let them. They had to pay and they would.

“I give you my word.” He offered her, his hand.

Not realizing it was his feeding hand, he wondered why she shied away until he took a look. Apologizing, he offered her his other palm, waiting hesitantly before she finally took it and stood.

As their hands touched, a feeling of power enfolded the pair of them, making its way from deep down. Both pairs of eyes closed as they felt the sensation slithering between them like a serpent, linking the couple until they were both enveloped in its cocoon. It felt powerful and potent. Most of all it felt…right.

“How will I know?” she eventually opened her eyes, looking up at him.

“I do not understand?” his own confusion was evident. He knelt in front of her until they were eye level.

“If it’s you I mean, how will I know I’m talking to you and not one of the…others?” She shrugged, a little embarrassed at what she was saying.

“I and only I have this on my face,” he pointed at the star shaped mark around his eye. “No one else on board has this symbol. So if you see it, you know it will be me. Do not under any circumstances trust anyone else…no matter what they say.”

“Okay.“ She nodded but it didn’t seem to be enough for him.

“Okay is not an answer little one. I need your word that you will try to be safe. Do I have it?” he took her hand with his, making sure it wasn’t his feeding limb.

She nodded once again, more sure this time. “I promise, I won’t trust any of the others or let them near me.”

“Good.” He stood back up, still holding her hand, the pair of them left the cell in search of the others, both content to walk along the corridors in silence, the only noise being Buffy uttering a few ‘ewws’ when she found out the contents of the pods.

“What’s your name?” she asked out of the blue.

“I do not understand.” He looked down at her, stopping when she did.

“Well, I’m Buffy,” she pointed at herself. “Actually I’m Elizabeth Anne Summers but everyone just calls me Buffy, what about you?”

“Not one of us have names, apart from the Queen and that is what we call her, that or the Primary.” he answered honestly.

“I can’t keep calling you…well you or Wraith; we need a name for you.” She looked him over as a smile came to her face.

“My daddy has a friend who has hair like yours…you kinda remind me of him.” She admitted. “Maybe I can call you that?”

“And what would the name be?” he gave his own impression of what she assumed was a reassuring smile.

“Todd!”

“Todd…I like it.” He nodded in agreement. To be honest, he really didn’t care but if it made her trust him even a little then she could call him Jesus for all that he cared.

Satisfied for the moment, she spent the rest of the journey coming up with names for the other Wraith, while he kept silent, happy to let her talk. It meant she was starting to trust him and that was what he needed right now.

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“You absolutely sure this is the right place?” John scratched his chin. Another glance at the sensors on the screen told him that there was nothing living to be seen on this planet apart from himself, his two companions on the jumper and the crew behind them on the other ship.

It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Ford, it was just…oh who the hell was he kidding. Ever since the whole enzyme business, he had lost any respect for the ex-soldier that he still had, which to be honest, wasn’t much to begin with. He was up to something, they all knew it. He had them over a barrel and all they could do was wait as he so obviously played them. He knew it, they knew it but what else could they do. They needed Buffy back and because of this, they needed to trust him or, at the very least, let him think that they did so right now. If he wanted them to jump they would just have to ask how high.

“They’re here, according to the Intel I got from the Powers, there are definitely Wraith on the planet but they have some sort of device to stop them from being seen.” Ford answered from his place behind Teyla, ignoring the obvious hostility from both men.

“A cloak, you mean?” Ronon gave him the usual glare, reserved only for the higher being.

“If it was a cloak, I’d say it was a cloak, this is something stronger,” he returned the venom. “ You know I’m getting sick of this, you have a problem then say so.”

“You wanna know what my problem is?” Ronon growled as he stood, not even willing to pretend anymore. If it was the last thing he did then he was going to send this son of a bitch to the hell he deserved to be in for doing this to the little one.

“Settle down Chewie,” John pushed him back down. “You two wanna go at it, then that’s fine but wait until we get everyone home first. If you’re serious, I might even put a book on, might earn me some money.”

“I still don’t know why he’s here, it’s not like he can help us,” Ronon grumbled but did as John asked. “What’s he going to do, spook them to death?”

“We have already been over this Ronon,” Teyla answered with her usual patience. “Aidan can find her a lot quicker than we can…he can see a lot more than any of us will be able too.”

“Yeah…” he tailed off when Ford held a hand up. “What?”

“Shut up.” Ford ordered him as he closed his eyes. He could feel her. She was close…real close.

“Please…I am begging you to say that again!” the Saetedan jumped up with a growl, just looking for an excuse to wipe the floor with him.

“She’s definitely somewhere on this planet,” Ford ignored him turning to the Athosian, hoping she would have better luck. “Teyla have a feel about. It’s faint but there is definitely something here.”

She closed her eyes and concentrated on the task. At first there was nothing out of the ordinary then, slowly but surely, the familiar and unwelcome feeling seemed to envelop over her. There was indeed Wraith in the vicinity.

“It is weak, but they are here John.” She turned to Sheppard, nodding as she confirmed their presence. I think it’s a hive ship but it’s not fully manned, maybe only twenty or so.”

“Land down there,” Ford pointed at the patch of wasteland. “It’s dense enough to hide the jumpers from them.”

“Alrighty,” The soldier radioed Lorne in the other Jumper then did as he was asked. “Armor up troops, it’s time to get our girl back.”

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Sometime later, the four of them were on the ground and making their way to where Ford assured them the Hive was docked. The back up team was staying with the jumpers just to be on the safe side. They needed the element of surprise and Lorne and the others were going to be that surprise if needed. So far they had been lucky and hadn’t bumped into anything…Wraith or otherwise but every one of them had a sinking suspicion that the luck was about to run out. Everything had been going far too smoothly. If Buffy was as valuable to the Wraith as Ford said she was, then there was no way they only had a handful of soldiers to stand guard.

Sheppard caught Ronon’s eye and the Saetedan’s expression was saying the same thing. They were walking into a trap, plain and simple. The real questions were why and how they were going to get out of it?

“Is it much further?” Teyla turned to Ford, hoping that he wasn’t seeing the distrust in her eyes.

She had always liked him. From the moment that they all arrived in Athos and both he and Colonel Sheppard looked on her as an equal, she had regarded him as someone who, although not instantly, in time she would come to see as a friend. As the months went on, she was glad to have been proven right and as Buffy said ‘everything was as right as rain.’

Then came the day he was fished out of the water with a Wraith hand still attached to him. She wasn’t that naïve as to believe he wouldn’t change because of it. Anybody would. But no part of her could ever comprehend the events that occurred post siege. The Aiden Ford who they had all come to know had disappeared and in his place was a man she didn’t want to know. The next meeting, and everything that happened after then, did nothing but prove her theory true. Aiden would never have done that. In the end he had redeemed himself with the sacrifice and she had thought it was enough but ever since his reappearance with Buffy, she was starting to doubt that.

Ronon openly doubted him. Rodney and John hadn’t said anything, but it was obvious neither of the men trusted him. He was up to something, the more time he spent in their company, it was obvious. She just hoped and prayed that they would get Buffy safely home before anything really bad happened.

“Another twenty minutes at the most. The Hive is at the far end, it’s cloaked but we should be able to sense it...well me and Teyla will anyway.” Ford answered, ignoring the threats of violence that Ronon was silently wishing on him. He knew he had burnt his bridges and that was fine with him, but he had a job to do and he needed their involvement for it to come together; so if he had to put up with the barbs and threats then so be it. His time would come then they would all see.

Ronon pushed past him and walked on ahead, his thoughts unknowingly echoing everyone else’s. He didn’t believe much but there were two things he always stood by. Never betray your family or brothers in arms. Aiden Ford had done both, multiple times. For that, he would never have any time or respect for the man.

So intent was he on his inner thoughts that everything else seemed to fade away until the only thing he could think of was Buffy. They had to get her back, they had to. It took a lot for him to trust and whether he wanted it to happen or not, the tiny blonde had burrowed her way in when he wasn’t looking and taken up residence in his heart. She had become the little sister that he never had, able to wrap him around her finger with nothing more than a pout. He had no doubt that even when she reverted back to her previous state, he would feel the same…only a slightly older, more sarcastic version would stand in her place if the girl in the video messages were anything to go by and that didn’t seem to matter much. She might be older but she would still be Buffy.


“Older….”

He stopped in his tracks as the rush of thoughts came to him. The whole point of her being shrunk down to miniature size was so they wouldn’t know about her…so how the hell had they found out not only who she was but where…..crap.

He whirled around, his stunner immediately trained on Ford, only to falter when he took the scene surrounding him in.

Ford was standing surrounded by at least a dozen of the Wraith and they had John and Teyla trapped.

“Son of a bitch!” he snarled, aiming his weapon and shooting the nearest Wraith.

He knew they had no chance. Not only were they outnumbered but Lorne and the others were too far away to do anything, but he as hell wasn’t going to make it easy for them.

With a nod from Ford, two of the soldiers grabbed him, one of them sucker punching him, sending him to his knees.

“Gotta say, I didn’t think you would be the one to figure it out.” The soldier turned ghost tutted. “You should be proud of yourself.”

His next movements surprised not only the Atlantis team but the Wraith as well.

With a smile, he bent down and picked up the stunner. “Surprise!” he smirked at all the shocked faces. “Bet you didn’t see that coming huh?”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Sheppard struggled but it was no good.

“Like you always say,” the ex soldier answered as he walked over. “I’m a lost cause.” As he finished the sentence, Ronon was blasted and unconscious before he even touched the ground.

“Aiden, please,” Teyla tried to reason with him even as the soldiers scooped Ronon‘s body up. “Think of Buffy.”

He walked over and stopped in front of her, giving Sheppard the same treatment before turning his attention back to the Athosian.

“I mean what I said Teyla. I’m sorry if you don’t believe anything else then please believe that.”

“You are not the man I thought you were Aiden Ford. You are nothing more than a coward.” She refused to look at him as the stunner was aimed and she was hit.

“Maybe,” he murmured as he bent down to pick her up. “Just maybe, you’ll be surprised.”

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“You are sure about this,” Todd stopped her as they reached the cell where the other Wraith were. “It is not too late to change your mind?”

The care that shone through his eyes wasn’t faked. He didn’t know what had happened but the plan that he had been so sure of just an hour ago, now didn’t sit right with him. Yes, it was something that she would have to do to prove herself worthy but it still didn‘t sit right. She didn’t deserve the consequences of the hell which was about to be unleashed. It was something she would have to live with the rest of her life.

He should stop it from happening and save her from the misery that was to follow. But he couldn’t.

He wasn’t strong enough to choose her well being over his own. He had seen the future clearly and he knew exactly what was going to happen. He wasn’t willing to put himself through all the pain even for this child. The plan had to stay, there was no other option.

She would come around to his way of thinking eventually and in the end she would thank him . With the Slayer demon inside her, as well as the extra ingredient that she was going to receive, no queen alive would be a match. She had the ability to rule the galaxy and he would make sure she would, with him by her side as her consort…her mate.

Yes, when you think of it that way. It was worth it.

“I‘m not sure this is the right thing to do.” The whisper was so low that even he had trouble hearing it.

“I…” his own words faltered as he tried to answer her.

A sound from the corridor caused them both to turn and see what the noise was. Another Wraith was making his way towards them, stopping and hissing down at Buffy when he reached them. With a shudder, she threw herself into Todd’s legs, hoping he would protect her.

“You as much as look at her again and I will end your existence,” a wave of fury enveloped Todd as he grabbed the other Wraith by the neck and pinned him to the wall. He knew without a doubt that if he hadn’t been here that the other soldier would rip her apart in seconds. He didn’t like to admit that it was something that didn’t fit well with him. “Do you understand me?”

Surprised by the fury, the other creature could do nothing but nod his acquiesce.

“You better,” he loosened his grip but still had him against the wall. “What do you want?”

“They are here; they’ve been brought onto the ship.” He croaked out refusing to look when he heard the child’s gasp.

With a growl, Todd pushed him away. “Get out of my sight now!”

“As you wish.” He bowed and made his way back along the corridor, not even giving Buffy a second glance.

Waiting until he had disappeared, Todd knelt down so they were eye level. “Just remember this,” his hand cupped her cheek with a softness that she didn‘t know he was capable of. “As long as I am with you, you won‘t be harmed by neither me nor anyone else.”

With a nod, she leaned forward and kissed his cheek. “It’s okay, you‘ll look after me, just like William.”

“William?” he tried not to appear too interested at the strange name.

She nodded before continuing. “He protects me too. He has a scary face too, but it’s kinda different.”

“How so?” this would have to be investigated. He had a sneaky suspicion that this was a Slayer memory she was reliving.

“Umm, well…he has a bumpy forehead and his eyes are really yellow….oh and he has really sharp teeth, sometimes he pretends to bite me when I make fun of him but he‘s just playing, he wouldn‘t hurt me…he protects me when the other man tries to take me away.”

“Other man?” his eyebrow raised in confusion.

Buffy nodded. “He has lumpies too but he’s not as nice. He keeps saying that I belong to him. That’s when William gets mad and kicks his bum all over the room. I don’t trust him not like I trust William or you.” She leant forward and put her arms around him.

And just like that the breath was taken from him. Not sure what he should say, he patted her cheek and stood back up, taking a second to open the barrier before ushering Buffy into it and shutting it behind them.

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As soon as she saw who else was in the room - at least five other Wraith - Buffy made a grab for Todd’s hand, gripping it as tightly as she could.

“I believe you have someone for me.” He walked them further into the room, looking around the group.

With a nod one of the Wraith pushed another to the front.

“This is him?” Todd asked as he brought a hunting knife out which reminded Buffy of Ronon’s.

“It is, the others have been dealt with but this is the one who hurt the…” the last words were strangled as the Wraith who had been condemned suddenly lunged up and ripped his throat open. Not even waiting until the body dropped, he made a dive for Buffy, grabbing her by the shoulder and his claws took a chunk out of her flesh before Todd could grab him.

Pushing her to the side, Todd pounced onto the other creature, sending them both smashing into the table, as they rolled around, each trying to get the upper hand.

“It hurts…” Buffy whimpered as she tried to stop the bleeding.

“Get out,” he yelled interrupting her. “Just get out now!” the end of the sentence was a roar as the other creature, managed to grab the knife from him and plunged the blade straight into his chest.

Doing as she was told, she ran for the door screaming… praying to whoever was listening that someone would help her, knowing even as she did it, it was useless. She was going to die in this room before she ever saw her mother or family ever again. She knew her time was up. As she reached the door, she made the mistake of looking back at Todd but he was already on the floor covered with blood as the other Wraith started feeding on him.

His head fell to the side, their eyes meeting as she stopped in her tracks. “I’m sorry…” he tried to speak but it was nothing more than a gargle, thanks to his throat being torn to shreds.

“I…,” she screamed, the tears streaming down her eyes now. “I don’t know what to do…please tell me what to do.”

“GO…” He roared one last time before his eyes shut.

With one last chew, the other Wraith whipped his head round, finally remembering Buffy. The sadistic grin that appeared on his face told her that, yeah, she was going to die but it would be a long time before it happened.

“Please don’t hurt me,” she begged but she knew it wouldn’t do much good. If he didn’t get her, her shoulder would if the pain was anything to go by. “If you let me go, I promise I won’t tell anyone.”

“And where would the fun be in that?” he snarled as she tried to evade him but there wasn‘t much point. The cell was tiny and he caught her within two steps. He brought her up to face him, careful not to get too close as he remembered what she was capable of. She struggled and shoved but it was no use. Even if she hadn’t lost that much blood, he had just fed so he was stronger than a normal Wraith.

“Please, feel free to keep on struggling, it makes you taste better.” He brought his hand out to place it on her chest. She closed her eyes, praying that someone would come and hear her. This couldn’t be how it ended.

A noise from the side of the room, caught the Wraith’s attention,. With a growl, he looked up. “What…”

She opened her eyes when she heard the gasp, only to be dropped as her attacker was sent across the room.

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“Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to play with your food?”

She looked up to see Aiden positioned over him, the Wraith held in place by Ford’s boot positioned across his neck.

“You okay Princess?” he looked over.

Not sure what she was seeing, all she could do was nod. How was this possible?

“I need you to do something for me,” he looked down at the Wraith who was struggling. “Do you see the knife that was dropped?”

She looked in the direction that he was nodding. She gave a out a small cry when she saw Todd lying there with his lifeless eyes looking at her.

“I need you to bring it over for me honey.” He patiently asked her.

She took so long to comply that he thought she was going to refuse. He glanced over, wincing when he saw how deep the wound in her shoulder was. Just as he was about to ask again, she wiped her nose on her sleeve and with a choked sob, she pulled herself up and crawled over to the weapon and picked it up.

When she finally reached them, she looked between Aiden and the Wraith who was snarling at her, her eyes widening when she realized what he was implying. “”Please…you can’t make me…I can‘t.” She started shaking her head, her arms wrapping around herself as she whimpered.

“I can’t do it honey,” he shook his head. “If I let him go, he’s going to come for you and I haven’t enough strength left to stop him.”

“How…”

“I’ve only got borrowed power baby, and not much. If you don’t do it now, he’ll get loose.” Aiden pleaded with her. “I promise I’ll explain it all later but you have to hurry Buffy, there’s not much time left.”

With a sob, she walked over and knelt down with the knife still in her hand. “I…I can’t,” she whimpered. “Please don’t make me do this.”

“What if I was to tell you,” he stalled, not sure if he could do this. He’d already had to do so much to the girl in the time that he’d know her. This was asking for too much. Even then, a voice seemed to appear telling him that he had known what to expect so get on with it. “If you do it, you can fix everything sweetheart. Your uncle will be well again…your mommy will come back for you.”

“Really?” she looked at him with so much hope that at that minute he hated himself.

“I promise baby.” He vowed

“Where…”

“Do you know where the heart is?” he asked.

She nodded as she wiped her nose.

“Do it as hard as you can…quickly,” he could feel his grip loosening. “Buffy, sweetheart we don’t have much time….” he almost yelled.

The Wraith got a burst of energy and pushed him off.

Before she could think of what she was doing, Buffy thrust the knife forward, as hard as she could into what she prayed was his heart. This was wrong, she knew it but if it helped her uncle and brought her mommy back, she had to do it.

The Wraith started to tremble, then with a snarl reached for her.

As he feared, all she had done was break the skin so Ford gave her a helping hand. “Try it again. “ He urged her.

Doing as she was told, she pushed the knife in further and held it there until he stopped convulsing.

As he lay on the floor, he started gasping, a wail coming from him that she had never heard before and hoped never to hear again.

“Is he?”

“In a sec…” before Ford could even finish the sentence, he stopped breathing.

He bent down to make sure he was really dead before turning to Buffy, who was shaking.

“I’m so sorry baby; you’ll never know how sorry I am!” He rushed over fell to his knees and pulled the now hysterical girl into his arms.

“What did I do…oh god…please Ford…make it stop hurting.” She begged as she huddled into him.

“Oh sweetheart, I wish I could.” He vowed, his own eyes tearing up.

With a shudder, she let her arms drop as she turned to Todd. “He said he would protect me with his last breath.” She said it so quietly that he wasn’t even sure that she was talking to him. With a sniff, she crawled over and collapsed onto the figure, sobbing her heart out, not even caring that she was covering herself with his blood.

Ford let her be, moving over beside them and rubbing her back every so often, telling her that he was still there.

“Ford…” Buffy suddenly stilled, minutes later. “Something’s…” she trailed off as she started to shake.

“Buffy!” he let her go, taking a step back. He knew exactly what was going to happen but, even so, a feeling of apprehension made itself known in his gut.

“I feel fu…” her eyes rolled up and closed. He caught her just before she fell.

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“I told you!” Ronon huffed from his seat against the wall.

“Yeah, Congratulations, you were right.” Sheppard stopped his pacing and glared at Ronon. “Happy. You want a present?”

He was pissed off at Ford and more importantly at himself. He had known the son of a bitch was going to stab them in the back but there was a small part of him…deep down who had still secretly hoped that they were going to be wrong.

Ignoring the sarcasm with a roll of the eyes, Ronon dusted himself off and stood up, making his way over to the others. “Anyone got any ideas what we do now?”

“I’m going with us finding out what the hell is going on,” Sheppard resumed the pacing, taking the same path that he’d been walking the last half hour. “Something isn’t right about any of this and I wanna know why.”

“You think it is Aiden who told them where she is?” Teyla followed their movements from her place on the bench, still unsure how they had got here.

All she remembered was waking up in the cell with no weapons. She guessed that they had been here at least two hours and she knew for a fact there were Wraith on board the Hive but they had yet to see a single creature since the ambush.

“I wouldn’t put money against it, put it that way,” the soldier nodded. “It’s not a question of him stabbing us in the back. I think it’s safe to say that ship’s already sailed. It’s more a question about how long he’s been doing it.”

“Does it really matter?” Ronon shrugged, not sure why they were even talking about it. “At least we’re on the Hive now, we know she’s here so we figure out how to get out then we get her.”

“Right,” Teyla nodded her assent. “It won’t be easy though, I think it’s safe to say that we all know that.”

“I’m so counting on that.” Sheppard’s expression made it clear that there would be blood running before the night was out. “We’ve got another thirty minutes before Lorne and the others start investigating so they get us out, or by some miracle, we find a way ourselves, either way, we need a plan boys and girls.”

Just as he finished talking, Ford appeared on the other side of the cell. He didn’t say anything, knowing no words would be enough, so he folded his arms knowing what was going to come next. Like he assumed, he didn’t have long to wait.

As soon as they saw the newcomer, the trio got into defensive positions, ready to rip him apart.

“Which one of us are you going to come after next?” Ronon growled. “Cause I gotta warn you, we can do much more damage than a five year old.”

Ignoring him, Ford looked to Sheppard. “She’s in a cell on the second tier.” John and Teyla’s P90s, Ronon’s stunner and their radio’s were dropped to the floor beside him. “If you’re quick, you’ll be in time for the surprise.”

“You wanna expla…” John trailed off as Ford opened the door, disappearing before anyone could reach him.

Ronon was the first out of the cell with Teyla behind him and Sheppard taking up the rear, nearly running into the others when they stopped.

“This is a little too easy!” Ronon bent over, grabbing his gun, while the other’s got theirs.

“We’ve got a saying on Earth,” Sheppard immediately checked the clip and was surprised to see it still loaded. “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.”

“Yeah, well I got another one. If it looks like it’s a trap…it’s a trap.” Ronon answered. “Come on, the sooner we get Buffy and get off of this thing, the better I’ll feel.”

“Ditto.” Sheppard agreed and the three of them set off.

An hour later, they finally found where they were looking for. A quick glance through the open door showed that a battle had obviously taken place. The floor was caked with blood and there were obvious signs of a struggle.

With weapons aimed, they walked into the room, immediately noticing two dead Wraith who looked as if they had been drained.

At the foot of one of them was what looked like a pile of rags, collected in the middle of the room.

Taking no chances, all three trained their weapons on it as Sheppard inched over. Never taking his eyes off the bundle, he used his foot to toe off the rags.

As soon as they saw who it was and the state that she appeared to be in, Sheppard dropped to his knees, immediately checking her pulse then the wound on her shoulder.

“Pulse isn’t great but it’s there,” he activated the radio. “Lorne come in.”

“Get ready to move out. We’ve found Buffy but she’s been hurt.” He answered after the other soldier acknowledged him. Without another word, he turned off the radio, picked her up as gently as he could, then stood. She seemed to be alive but the sooner they got her back to the city then the better he would feel.

“Any movement and don’t hesitate.” He ordered as they made their way out with Ronon leading and Teyla taking the rear.

“Read my mind!” Ronon’s answer was a growl as they made their way through the corridors.

“Think it worked?” Ford appeared behind them, making sure he was out of earshot. It wouldn’t do for things to be spoiled so late in the game.

“I think so.” Todd walked up behind him, looking the worse for wear. “I think we can safely say that the plan has been set in motion.”
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