Faith walked through the jungle with a very clear purpose. Anyone watching would think she knew every tree and leaf in the place and exactly where she was going. In truth, she had no idea, and was simply following the urgings of the geas the goddess had placed on her.
She ducked around a tree and found herself face to face (alright, more like his nose to her bellybutton) with a young child, a boy who didn’t look more than eight or nine. He looked her up and down and smiled. “Nefrayu,” he said, pointing to himself.
“Nefrayu,” Faith said slowly, sorting through what her senses were telling her about the boy. He wasn’t human, although some of the feelings she used to get around Red were pinging, he didn’t feel like a threat in any way. “Faith,” she told him, gesturing to herself
“Fa-aith,” said Nefrayu, drawing out the name as he looked at her, eyes huge. Faith rolled her eyes, but allowed the boy to take her hand and lead her, since he was going in the direction of the tug. He led her to a clearing that held several round huts, and adult sized members of his species.
“Fa-aith,” Nefrayu told one of them as he released her hand, a tiny female who smiled gently and held out a hand, flexing her fingers.
“Faith,” she said. “Lya,” she told her in her soft, gentle voice. “Come.” She led Faith to a long, moss covered moss, which Faith was surprised to find was both completely dry and extremely comfortable to sit on. “Why are you here?”
“I just followed the pull,” Faith told her.
The woman cocked her head to the side, then shook it, smiling gently as though Faith was a child who did not understand. “Why are you here?” she asked again.
Faith paused. Obviously this woman wasn’t asking the reason Faith had appeared here, specifically. Was it possible she knew how far Faith had come to be here? She decided to test that theory. “For love. For promises. For family,” she told the woman, who smiled broadly and nodded.
“Those are good reasons, Sineya’s get,” she told her, and Faith flinched. “It is agreed that we will assist you in completing your quest, as the Great Mother has requested.” She stood and moved away, leaving Faith sitting on the log, her long journey catching up with her all at once. She was just starting to nod when Nefreyu appeared in front of her, a cone made of leaves in his hands containing a creamy substance that resembled porridge, but didn’t smell anything like it. Her stomach decided to voice its vote and growled loudly, and she chuckled wearily before accepting the cone with a grateful nod and started eating the substance with a couple of fingers, rather like she had been known to eat yoghurt when there wasn’t a spoon available.
When the food was gone, her head was nodding lower and lower, and she ended up stretching out on the very comfortable log and falling asleep.
Daniel ran into the gate room and stopped looking around carefully. Standing on the ramp, in front of the closed iris, were Lya and Anteus, and Anteus was holding a limp body in his arms.
“Lya, Anteus,” he greeted them, happy but at the same time cautious.
“Daniel,” Lya smiled broadly. “It is good to see you. We have brought you Sineya’s Daughter to be reunited with her charge,” she told him, and Anteus stepped forward, startling the airmen into bringing their weapons up again.
“Stand down,” Jack ordered from the side door, clearly having just reached the gate room, probably from the mess. “Lya, Anteus,” he greeted their unexpected guests. “Who’s that?”
“This is Sineya’s Daughter,” Lya said again. “We have brought her to be reunited with the one she protects. Please, is there a place she can lie down? She is much fatigued with long travelling.”
“Oh, of course,” Daniel said before anyone else could say anything. “Bring her this way, Anteus, there are beds where she can be cared for.”
“She is not ill, nor injured,” said Lya quickly as she followed her mate and Daniel through the grey corridors, “simply exhausted.” Daniel nodded, but led the way to the infirmary regardless, showing Anteus where he could lay the body in his arms. Once she was on the bed, they could get a good look at her. Brunette, with whipcord muscles, she probably stood at around five foot four or five, Daniel estimated. There didn’t appear to be anything physical wrong with her, but the medical personnel swarmed the bed regardless, less than gently shunting the Nox and the two members of SG-1 back.
Daniel glanced around with a slight frown. “Where are the general and Sam?” he asked Jack, whose expression quickly became even more sober.
“A meeting. I was actually on my way to get you to come when this started,” he gestured around the room. “NID’s here.”
Daniel felt the blood drain from his face. “How did they know?” he demanded, eyes wide as he tried to figure out what this meant. Would they take Dawn? Could they? “What’s going to happen?” he demanded. “They can’t take her,” he added quickly, glancing down the hall towards the room where Dawn was waiting for him to come back.
“We won’t let anything happen to her, Daniel, you know that. We won’t let them take her, any more than we let them have Teal’c,” Jack said, with more conviction than he actually felt. “I’ve already told the General that I’ll apply for custody, I figured since I have the biggest house, and experience with kids, and you guys are all there all the time anyway it was probably the best idea.”
Daniel felt a surge of irrational jealousy, but he quickly quashed it, knowing that Jack was right, he probably was the best one of the four of them to be taking on a teenager. Yes, Sam was a woman, but she was also…Sam. Obsessed with everything science, all too likely to get caught up with an experiment and forget to go home for a whole weekend. And as much as Daniel would like to take her in, he lived in a one bedroom flat, and finding another house would take time, time they probably didn’t have. There was precedent for ‘gate children’ to be housed with SGC personnel, Cassie was just one case, but if they didn’t organise it all quickly the NID could try and use that as an excuse to take her and ‘place’ her themselves. Daniel growled, eyes flashing angrily.
“Daniel?” queried Jack, concerned.
“It’s fine, Jack, that’s a good idea,” Daniel told him absently, carefully tamping down his temper. “Lya, Anteus, can you tell us why you brought this woman here?”
“The Great Mother requested it,” Lya told him simply. “There were pacts and bargains to be fulfilled, and promises made that the balance could not afford to have broken. We have completed our task now, we must depart. Farewell, Daniel Jackson.” Lya smiled at him and raised a hand to cup his cheek for a moment before turning and gliding from the room in the direction of the ‘gate room, Anteus following close behind her. Daniel and Jack exchanged a glance, and on Jack’s side an eye-roll, before turning to follow them, only to be distracted by the girl on the bed coming upright with a sudden gasp.
Faith woke with a suddenness that was normal to her. What was not normal was the complete change of venue she seemed to have undergone while unconscious. The last thing she had known, she was in the forest, falling asleep where she sat on a large log. Now she found herself in a bunker-like room, all concrete walls and hospital equipment. And speaking of hospitals, there was a woman coming towards her with a syringe. Not thinking beyond getting out of reach, Faith flipped to her feet and launched herself over the heads of the surrounding personnel, landing with her back to a wall behind them all, eyes wide and darting as she tried to figure out the situation.
“What…the…hell?” she demanded, her voice ice cold.
“I’m sorry, miss?” asked a tall, rather good looking guy with dark hair and piercing blue eyes behind less than stylish glasses.
Faith opened her mouth to repeat her question when she felt it again. The pull, so much stronger, so much nearer…Dawnie was here somewhere!
“If you have done anything to hurt her…” her voice trailed off for a moment. “DAWNIE!” she bellowed. “Dawn Marie Summers! Where are you?”