A/N: OK, I know this one is popular, but I wanted to give you my particular take on it. Anyway, opinions are welcome but no flames please! Also, if anyone wants to Beta me, I would be happy to have the help! I do not own BtVS or Stargate:Atlantis, but I wish I did! Hehehehehe Also anything else you think you recognise doesn't belong to me :)
Willow gazed around in wonder at the entrance tunnel to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, feeling hope for the first time in a long time. Since Sunnydale had sunk into the ground she had traveled the world, with her girlfriend for protection, collecting and helping new slayers.
Then Kennedy was killed, murdered by one of the girls they had been sent to help, one whose transformation had caused a psychotic break, and once again, Willow faced the loss of her love. The guilt was indescribable, knowing that one of the girls she had changed had killed the woman she loved. Willow's control was tested, but she held, and brought the girl in to the council for help, before leaving for good.
She went back to college, where she completed pre-med and computer sciences. She did not give up on her magical studies, however, and she now had a greater level of power and control than she ever had before. She was planning on applying to med school, when a phone call changed her life. The president of the United States rang and asked her to consider a job offer.
So, here she was, preparing to travel across the galaxies, with an exploration team called the Atlantis expedition. No one on the team had been briefed on Willow's 'special' abilities, as far as they knew she had only been hired for her knowledge, expertise and possession of a certain rare gene. The president had said he would feel better knowing that someone with her abilities would be there, although she would only be expected to use her abilities if they were absolutely necessary. The group unloaded from the jeep transport, and headed down into the mountain.
Standing the in the 'Gate room, Willow stared up at the huge ring. She couldn't seem to take her eyes off it, but not for the reason the people around her would suspect. She could feel the tamed power with the Stargate, could feel the boundless energy contained in such a simple object. It was almost intoxicating, just being in its presence. Suddenly, a hand dropped on her shoulder. She jumped slightly, and whirled, sweeping the hand away and coming up in a defensive posture, startling the man who had previously introduced himself as Doctor Beckett. "Sorry, you startled me," she said softly, dropping her hands to her sides self consciously.
"No, luv, that's quite all right, I shouldn't have come up quietly." The gentle doctor smiled at her. "It's incredible, isn't it?" He added, nodding at the 'Gate. She nodded, thinking that he had no idea. "So, has anyone spoken to you about your exact position on the team?" Asked Beckett then.
"No, not yet. I mean, they asked me because of my computer skills and also because I completed pre-med, but..." she trailed off. She couldn't exactly tell this man that the real reason she was being sent to Atlantis was because she was a witch, now could she?
"That's right," he nodded, not seeming to notice her hesitation. "You'll be working with me a lot, I'm the CMO, and you'll be working as my assistant while continuing your medical studies under my guidance, and helping out with tech support as required!" He smiled gently at her.
Willow's eyes widened. She hadn't really given much thought to finishing her studies now, but the idea was very exciting. "Thank you, Doctor Beckett," she whispered softly, refusing to allow her eyes to tear up. However, if she was going to be working in the infirmary, she was going to have to be careful. Since starting her medical studies, she had found it difficult not to heal using her magick, it was as though, as her knowledge of the human body grew, so did her ability to influence it.
"Anyway, that's not actually why I came to find you. I need to give you your pre-mission exam. You're actually the last; once we're done, everything else should be sorted. This way," he gestured down the hallway, leading her out of the gate room and down to the infirmary. He started by taking a medical history and baseline OBs, then handed her a gown and closed the curtain around the bed to give her some privacy. She quickly changed, then called him back. When Carson re-entered the cubical, he blinked. The girl had scars; and not just a few, I cut myself a bit scars, but the kind of scars he would have expected to see, and had seen on a spec ops soldier. He could tell from the expression on his face that he hadn't hidden his shock from her. She smiled softly, but failed to offer an explanation. Stepping closer, he carefully examined the scars that crisscrossed her body. They ranged in age, he guessed from nine years to about two months ago. He ran his hands over then gently, horrified at what he saw. Some looked as though they had come from animals, claws or teeth, while some seemed to come from sharp edged weapons.
"What happened to you?" He asked softly, leaning back to look into her eyes. Willow avoided his gaze, her expression closing. Carson took her chin in his hand and forced her to meet his eyes. She shook her head, unable to decide what to tell him. He took her hand, stroking it gently, and found more scars, a group of them, not deep looking, lining the roll of her palm at the base of her thumb. "Willow, these look self inflicted," he said, concerned.
"Those are old, and not what you think. I haven't done that...in a long time," Willow whispered.
"Was it a coping mechanism?" He asked, concerned. If it was something she did because of stress, then he couldn't allow her to come on this mission.
"No. No, at the time, it was part of my religion." She told him. Seeing his disbelieving look, she expounded on the topic. "I'm a Wicca. At the time, from my understanding, blood was supposed to lend strength to your supplications, or spells. I've since learned better." The fact was that Willow no longer needed to augment her spells with her own blood; as the most powerful Wicca alive, she had more strength on hand than she would, hopefully, ever need. Carson nodded slowly, then noticed something on the side of her neck.
"Willow, what on earth?" He asked, turning her head to inspect the nasty looking bite mark over her carotid artery.
"Angry puppy!" Exclaimed Willow, jerking back slightly from his touch.
"OK then" said Carson. He quickly set about examining her other injuries, most of which looked as though they had never been professionally treated. He shook his head, unsure what to think. If she was an abuse case, she was one of the stranger ones he'd ever seen.
Willow was terrified. She knew that Dr Beckett could put an end to her career here and now, if he so chose. She was glad, now, for the healing gift that allowed her to work even on herself, for it made wounds received a mere week ago from a particularly nasty porcupine type demon appear several months old, at least. Then Carson spoke again.
"Willow, these wounds, they look like war wounds. Can you explain that to me?" He was gentle, but firm. Willow, not wanting to antagonize him, shrugged, then replied.
"You could say that I grew up in hell, Doctor Beckett. Or at least on top of it." She met his eyes, which were filled with confusion. "I really can't tell you anything more than that, Doctor Beckett. Let's just say that I've been through some things in my life that are protected by a higher classification rating than the Stargate program." Looking at her, Beckett could tell she was speaking the truth. He nodded his acceptance of her explanation, turning his attention back to his duties, he quickly finished the physical exam, taking note of each and every one of her wounds, including the very human looking bite on her neck. He put those on the back burner to think on later. It explained, however, Willow's clothing choices. She wore long sleeved tops and full length pants, and her top had only a modest neckline. It also explained her reaction when he had slipped up on her; she had been through so much, he could tell. Just then, Willow stiffened under his hands, her eyes going wide.
"What's wrong, luv?" He asked gently, wondering if something hurt. She raised a hand, silencing him, then listened carefully to the sounds of the infirmary.
There was something non-human nearby. Willow couldn't, from her present position, tell any more than that, but there was definitely something non human. She sat up from where she had been lying on the couch, her eyes narrowed. She listened carefully, already calling up the power of the Earth that surrounded her inc case she needed to do something in a hurry. Then a deep, male voice spoke and she relaxed. It was Teal’c, the alien she had heard about and caught a glimpse or two of around the base. “Sorry, just…thought I heard someone I recognized,” she turned back to Carson, who was watching her closely.
“Well, we’re done here. Why don’t you get dressed and go and grab something to eat; I think we’ll be departing at 1400 hours.” Carson smiled gently at his young assistant and left the cubicle.
Several hours later, the Atlantis Mission headed out, through the Stargate to another galaxy.