Willow looked down at the various books that littered Daniel’s coffee table. It half made her smile, half made her heart ache. Daniel was reading up on telekinesis. Was this why he asked her over for dinner? To discuss her abilities? Or was it to talk about her decision about SG-1?
Why were things so scary with Daniel?
Scary was the word for it because she spent the last four hours terrified of what might happen tonight. Funnily enough, none of the fear had to do with her career. She hadn’t been lying back on 697, when she told him she trusted him implicitly. The more time she spent with Daniel, the more she trusted him. God, the man bought books to understand her better. How could she not trust him?
Her fear, though, was of Daniel.
Not Dr Jackson, superior officer, but Daniel the man.
He was a mixture of things to Willow. In one way he was a rock, someone she knew she could trust to support her when things went bad, in another way he was someone who had the potential to destroy her world. The fact that they barely knew each other frightened her.
More than, actually. Seriously, whatever connection they had with each other was pretty scary. It formed that night when she had broken down in this very apartment… seven months later it was ten times as strong. She wasn’t ready for this. She didn’t want to admit to him that she care for him. She was having a little trouble admitting it to herself. She didn’t understand her feelings and he confused her.
Everything about Daniel was scary, confusing, and intense.
How was she going to explain to him the reasons she refused SG-1?
Her ‘telekinesis’ hadn’t even figured into her decision. As soon as the Colonel explained he was retiring she knew what he was asking. Willow knew half a dozen guys who would give their right arm to be a member of SG-1, she’d be lying if she didn’t say that a part of her wanted to say yes.
A part of her did want to say yes.
But she couldn’t… because of Daniel.
Idly she picked up one of the books while she wait for Daniel to check on their dinner and bring in her drink. Telekinesis. God! Yet another lie her powers were forcing her to commit. Damn it. If only she hadn’t used magic… if only Daniel hadn’t seen her. So many if only’s.
“I, um, left it out of my mission report,” Daniel said from behind her. “I didn’t tell anyone you were telekinetic.”
God! This was so awkward! It was so much harder being here than it was on the base. It was amazing the difference a pair of jeans and a blue shirt made. It threw her off and she didn’t like it. Things were so strange now, even out in the field discussing this had been easier.
But Daniel wanted to discuss it – she owned him that.
She just didn’t know what to tell him.
“I’m, um, not really,” Willow said finally. “I can do things but I’m not what you call Telekinetic. The P90 was the largest thing I’ve moved… I think in ever. I don’t even think I could do it now if I wanted to. It only works when I’m feeling extreme emotions.”
For someone who didn’t know what to say she did pretty good.
“So you don’t have any actual control over it?” Daniel handed her a beer and motioned for her to sit down on the lounge opposite him.
“I haven’t tried to control it in a long time and I really don’t want to,” she told him. “It’s something I can do, that’s all. The names… they only confuse it. I’m not telekinetic or psychic.”
Daniel frowned. “You don’t want to control it? Or at least try to?”
Willow shook her head. “That was the first time I’ve ever done it on a mission and I wouldn’t have done it if I had a choice.”
“How long have you been able to do it? If it’s something that’s only developed over the last few months, Willow, we’ll have to go to Janet. You might have been…”
Compromised? She was compromised the second she met Buffy Summers… not that Willow regretted it. Meeting Buffy was one of the defining moments in her life, as loving Oz had been. Xander was the most defining person in her life. She didn’t regret it any of it.
She hated parts of it though, she couldn’t deny that.
“I started experimenting at the end of my junior year, that’s when I noticed I could do thing. In my senior year I could levitate pencils, then we graduated. I kind of buried it after everything that happened. My other ability only started when I was at the Academy.”
When she had been terrified of failing.
“Can you do anything else?” Daniel wanted to know. “Telepathy? Do you have a precognitive ability?”
Just how much had he been reading? “No to both. All I can do is move guns, daggers, and pencils. I find people too, of course.”
Willow was fairly sure she hadn’t been responsible for any lightening on the planet.
“697,” she explained. “I lost my dagger and I kind of tried to get it to come to me but it went to the bad guy instead. He caught it in his chest.”
Daniel paled considerably.
That was how she felt about it.
“Willow, if that’s the reason why you turned down SG-1… you didn’t have to. Unless you see it becoming a problem, I won’t tell anyone. I talked to Jack this afternoon, he’s not giving up on you yet. Teal’c is kind of upset that you said no, so they’re going to give you some time to think about it. If you’re scared you’ll be exposed if you join SG-1, I’ll protect you as much as I can.”
Willow’s heart skipped a beat.
He was offering to cover for her… more than he already had.
That wasn’t the only thing in his comment that caught her attention. Colonel O’Neill wasn’t giving up? Shit. He could have ordered her to join SG-1… why give her the option? Because at least a dozen people would be pissed if she was taken of S&R, at least that was what Kawalsky told her.
Kawalsky who was taking the entire team to dinner tomorrow night, at the most expensive restaurant in Colorado Springs, because she had decided to stay with SR-1.
To say he was happy with her decision would be an understatement.
“Was that the reason you turned Jack down, the telekinesis I mean?”
Willow shook her head.
He looked at her expectantly.
When she wasn’t forthcoming he pressed, “Jack said you could make Captain faster if you joined SG-1, I agree. I know you’re career means a lot to you, Willow. I don’t understand why you said no.”
O’Neill said the same thing to her, well, except the ‘I don’t understand why you said no’ part. “There isn’t a single reason, a combination really. I didn’t want to leave SR-1 and…” she faltered. “And I can’t work with you.”
Daniel gaped at her.
“You can’t work… Willow, I … um… if I’ve done anything that has made you uncomfortable, I’m sorry. It was never my intention…”
She couldn’t let him think this was his fault.
This was Daniel. He deserved so much more than that.
“I care for you, Sir,” she blurted out before she talk herself out of it.
Oh for the love of god! She confessed that she cared for him and she called him SIR!?! How messed up was that?
It was having the exact effect Willow had hoped it wouldn’t. Daniel was staring at her, mouth open, lost for words.
“I can’t join SG-1 because of my feelings for you,” she hurried on to explain. “I’m not saying that I’m in love with you, because I’m not. I don’t even know how I feel about you, we really don’t know each other so I can’t say that there is anything between us or any chance but I care for you more than a teammate should.” Breathe, she had to breathe, “Back on 697 we were being watched and I missed it because I was distracted by you. I let my emotions get in the way and both of us could have been hurt because it. I could have compromised the entire mission, I can’t risk that happening again.”
And here she thought she had gotten over her babbling.
She couldn’t stand the silence. “I don’t expect you to reciprocate, Sir and I apologise if I’ve made things awkward between us, nevertheless, you deserved the truth. I appreciate the effort you’ve gone to but I can’t be assigned to the same unit as you. I don’t trust that I could keep my feelings from influencing any decisions. Not when it’s you,” shut up, Rosenberg, SHUT UP! “You don’t have to worry, Sir, they are my feelings and my problem, I’ll be able to keep them under control. It won’t be a problem.”
Please say something!
I do? I do what? I do want to report the insane Lieutenant to the General? I do feel awkward? I do worry? What? He couldn’t just say that and not follow it up with, say… something like an explanation? “You do what, Sir?”
The entire world stopped.
That’s what it felt like.
That one word had blown everything out of the water. He reciprocated. Why was she surprised? He held her on 697 because he wanted to, they had their connection. So why did this feel like this was a bad thing? She suddenly wanted him to say he didn’t reciprocate.
It would be a lot easier if he did.
Daniel cleared his throat, his eyes unable to meet hers. “I care for you too.”
Oh… oh… oh shit! “Sir, when I say I care for you…”
“I know,” he reached over the table and tried to take her hand.
Willow flinched, moving her hand away before he could touch it. “What do you know?”
Was it too late to take this all back? She hadn’t meant to start anything… she didn’t want to. She just wanted to tell him why she said no. Why she was staying in S&R.
“You haven’t called me Daniel once in the last ten minutes so I know. You care for me but you’re not ready. I understand,” he stood up. “Dinner is just about done. Did you want wine with dinner?”
He just can’t change subjects like that!
“Willow, I care for you and that means I will never do anything to hurt you if I can help it. Anyone can see you’re not ready for whatever is happening between us. The terror in your eyes is dead give away,” Daniel gave her a warm smile. “It’s all right. I don’t mind waiting.”
He doesn’t mind waiting?
“We’ll take this as slowly as you want to or we don’t have to pursue it at all. It’s up to you.”
Snail pace too slow? No, that was too fast. How about micro-snail pace?
“Thank you, Sir…” she cringed. “Daniel. Thank you, Daniel.”
Silence, then, “Wine would be nice.”
“I have scotch too.”
She smiled. “A man after my own heart.”
** ** **
“Yo! Angel!” Charles Gunn walked into the hotel, scanning the room for the vampire.
Send him out on a private job and the man isn’t even here when he gets back! Gunn threw his jacket onto the lounge and walked into Angel’s office. He picked up the photo of the woman who was the cause for his trouble.
He wondered if she had any idea what a spin she had Angel in.
The vampire was obsessed with her and, when you look at his history, it wasn’t really a good thing. Gunn wouldn’t have even touched this job if Giles hadn’t assured him that Angel wasn’t obsessed with Willow in a stalker kind of way.
He was obsessed with her in a ‘have to protect her at all costs’ kind of way.
Which was understandable.
Gunn would be protecting his people too if they had been through half the shit the five of them had been. Still, he was beginning to wonder if Angel’s obsession was going to land him in trouble. The girl worked for a classified project… trying to dig up the dirt on it was hard. It was almost impossi…
“Gunn?” Angel greeted him. “Did you find anything?”
Nice. “I’m fine, Angel, how are you?”
Guy really needed to loosen up. “Not much. She works at the Cheyenne Mountain base, top secret project. Deep Space Telemetry, she told you that right?”
“Either no one knows about this or they’re not talking. Human or otherwise. I used every contact that I could rely on and everyone was coming up blank. I got no facts, Angel. Nothing concrete. The most I’ve got is a guy who works at a local bar in Colorado, even he’s doesn’t know anything, just what he’s seen.”
“What has he seen?”
“Some of his regulars are Marines and Air Force officers based at the mountain.”
“Yep. None of them are the talking type so whatever they do at the mountain, they don’t talk about it off base,” Gunn told him. “What he did tell me was that your friend is a regular there as well. She doesn’t go there much any more but she used to when she was in training. There’s been a couple of fights in the bar and the soldiers pretty much wiped out the opposition. They’re all combat trained.”
“That’s it? That’s all you’ve got?”
He rolled his eyes. “Think about it. Deep Space Telemetry… why would they need combat trained soldiers? You’d need scientists, not people who could beat the shit out of you without breaking a sweat. Angel, you’re talking about a top secret project… getting people to talk about it won’t be easy. Not if you don’t want to get caught,” Gunn pointed out. “You know she’s going to be angry if she ever hears about this, she likes the Air Force. She can leave any time she wants to, man. You don’t know that’s she’s into something bad.”
“Gunn, you don’t wake up screaming if it’s not something bad. You didn’t see her… she was terrified. Keep looking, but be careful and take Faith with you. Giles is working on the language Willow was yelling out in her nightmare, so you two are on your own.”
Gunn nodded. “Cordy find out if that name she said belonged to a demon?”
“She came up blank, so whatever a Jaffa is, I don’t think it’s a demon.”
Click below for the next instalment of the Search And Rescue Series:Innocence Lost - a one part companion fic
Summary: An act of heroics lands Willow in hot water with the people she least expects.