Part Fifty-Nine and Part Sixty
"Where's Red and Daniel?" Faith asked, sitting down next to Giles.
Giles looked up from the book he was reading. "Sleeping. I think they're still recovering from the separation."
They separated? Sometimes Faith wasn't sure. Eight hours had passed since they woke up and Faith was half convinced that they hadn't separated at all. It scared the shit out of her. From a battle standpoint – this was REALLY bad news.
They had no idea what these changes to Daniel and Willow meant. They didn't know if what happened at Oxford would happen again, they didn't know what had triggered it, why it occurred in the first place. They were just guessing. Every thing was guesses.
All they knew was that Willow and Daniel were now at the mercy of that fucking spell.
Who knew what was going to happen! Would Danny and Red wake up and be worse? Better? Was a separation like before better? Would it distract them during the fight… the fight…
They hadn't done anything to prepare for the upcoming battle, they didn't know shit about the demon… they hadn't even left the fucking solar system. Red and Daniel were out for a day, another day had almost passed since they woke up…
876 was at least seven days away…
There was so much that needed to be done, to be planned, and that had been just with the demon to worry about. Now they had to work out what to do with this. Red and Daniel couldn't fight the demon.
What were they going to do? They needed a plan, they need to work out what to do next. How long did they have before the demon came after them? How long did they have before…
"Are you all right?" Giles asked, his eyes full of concern.
Faith sighed. "Just a lot on my mind," she told him honestly. "Any word on the spell front?"
He shook his head remorsefully. "I'm sorry, unless I have the book where the original spell came from, there's nothing I can do. I'm sorry, Faith."
She was too. Damn. This so wasn't what they needed. Christ, what the fuck were they going to do? Shit. She was scared. Really scared.
Ky was too.
Which only made her feel worse.
How were they going to survive this? God, Daniel and Red hardly MENTIONED the demon since they woke up. There had been no mention of making their way to 876.
"Will they be all right?" Faith was almost too scared to ask.
"To be honest, I'm not entirely sure. It doesn't appear to be affecting them adversely but until we're in a situation where we can test the changes, I'm afraid we won't know."
Great. "So, you're telling me that until we face either the SGC or the demon again, Red and Daniel won't know what will happen to them?" she let out a laugh. "What happens if they survive? What happens if their souls merge again like back at Oxford? Will they wake up even more different?"
Giles put a hand on her shoulder. "Faith…" he sighed, "I want to tell you everything will be all right but we both know that isn't true. And somehow I don't think you would appreciate being patronised."
Faith could see why Ky liked him so much. This was the first time they really talked since he arrived. Ky and Giles, or Rupert as Ky called him, spent hours talking and getting to know each other but it wasn't the same thing.
You feel kind of separate from everything when the symbiote takes control of your body. You saw everything but it was like a dream sometimes or a movie. A kind of surreal sensation.
So in effect, she didn't feel that connection to Rupert Ky felt. Faith felt Ky's connection, her affection, for him but Faith didn't feel the strength of it as Ky did. It was why she thought of, and called, him Giles. Rupert was much more personal and since Ky knew him much better… Faith didn't feel right calling him Rupert. Correction, and since RUPERT knew Ky better, Faith didn't think it was appropriate.
Well, at least she thought Giles didn't know her.
He was right, she wouldn't have appreciated being patronised.
"Thank you," she gave him a small smile. "Sorry I kind of went off on you there. I'm a little freaked, didn't mean to take out on you."
"It's quite all right. Both you and Kyanna have been through quite an ordeal in the last couple of days. Actually, I'd say your ordeal has been over a lot more than a few days…" he hesitated. "I hope you don't mind, Kyanna told me the circumstances of how you and her… you know."
When the Giles and Ky talked, Ky had kept the conversation mostly around herself and not Faith. She and Ky were close, bit hard not to be, but they never revealed anything about each other unless they had an ok from the other.
Faith had given the ok for her to tell him what happened but not to tell him everything. He knew she had been shot, by the SGC trying to save Willow, but he knew nothing about her life before that… or after actually. Faith hadn't wanted him to know. For one, Faith didn't know him from Adam, secondly, he was a little freaked out about the whole alien thing. It was a little rough finding out about aliens and demons so close together, so they gave him a very abridged version of the dynamics of host and Tok'ra.
All Ky told him was that they shared a body.
And Ky's entire life story, of course.
Faith was still trying to figure out that one. Ky NEVER opened up to anyone like that… but sitting here with Giles… she understood why. She felt comfortable with him.
"I know," Faith admitted. "When Ky's in control. I'm still there… just in the background. I hear everything."
He blushed slightly. "Oh, I see."
"We didn't tell you at first, I was a little worried you'd freak. Finding out about aliens and demons at the same time is a little rough," she studied him. "You're handling it all right, though."
He took off his classes and cleaned them. "Yes, I suppose I am."
Damn, he wasn't handling it all right. Shit! She felt bad now. She had been so freaked about Red and Danny that she missed it – Ky had missed it too and the Tok'ra in question was NOT happy.
Right now she was struggling to take control but Faith held on.
Out of the two of them, Faith had more experience here. She and Giles had a lot in common. Both of them were versions of Willow's friend's from the other reality, and they were both up to their necks in shit. Not only that…
They found out about demons and aliens in a shot space of time.
Faith kicked herself for not thinking about this sooner.
"I'm fine, really. Just… I'm fine until I look out the window," he admitted. "Though, Saturn was very pretty."
She liked him.
He was kind of cool.
"It happened pretty fast for me too. Red and I were captured by the SGC while hunting for a demon. God, seeing that demon scared the shit out of me… then everything else happened so fast, I didn't really have a chance to take it all in. If I didn't have Ky, I think I'd be a basket case by now." Faith confessed.
Giles shook his head. "Somehow I doubt that."
He was cool and sweet.
"I'm sure I'll adjust to all of this. Once things settle down."
Settle down? "Hate to break to you, Giles. I don't think things will settle down for a long time. If we survive fighting this demon, then we have to face an army of them. We're going to need a lot more than the five of us to battle them."
"Would any of Kyanna's Tok'ra friends help out?" Giles suggested.
Ky had been thinking about that too. There were only two, maybe three, Tok'ra rebels who would help them, but the chances of actually finding them were slim. Then, of course, the Tok'ra High Council would try to fuck them over…
Faith didn't want to risk it. "One or two. A lot of the Tok'ra are scattered across the Galaxy fighting the Goa'uld. We'd be lucky to get them."
She was beginning to feel hopeless.
How the fuck were they supposed to battle the demon army? Seriously! Think about it. If they failed EVERYONE would die. Not just this reality. It was a big decision to make. Red and Daniel didn't want to lose anyone here… but did they have the right to endanger everyone else?
"Faith?" he placed his hand on hers.
"We're so fucked," Faith couldn't stop the fear from overwhelming her. "We can't stop a demon army. One demon maybe… but not an army. Even if we do find that Willow in the middle Buffy was talking about…"
Oh damn. Ky forgot to mention that. Actually Ky left out a lot of details. Both of them didn't know a lot about demons and realities and they thought Willow and Daniel would explain everything once they got up.
Things got kind of crazy when they did wake up.
"Willow in the middle?"
"Yeah, Daniel had a visit from… a friend and she gave him some hints on how to defeat the armies. She said that Willow and Daniel were from different ends on the reality scale and that the Willow in the middle would help them."
That was how it went wasn't it?
Faith hadn't paid much attention to it when Daniel told them. She hadn't heard much past the every one would die if they didn't kill the demon.
"So, Willow and Daniel are from different ends of the spectrum?"
"Yeah, they know more about it than Ky and I do but I've heard Red explain it a few times. They're like at opposite ends. This world is science and her world is mystical… or something like that."
"That's fascinating. So, this Willow in the middle is from a world where both magic and science coexist?" Giles asked excitedly.
He had an enraptured look on his face. God, the man was almost bursting with excitement. "Makes sense," she conceded. "But it's a moot point anyway. Unless we kill this demon there is no battle."
He sighed. "You're right. I'll start researching my books. You saw the demon didn't you? If you could describe it too me and give me any other information you know… I'll be able to start now."
She could do that. "How long do you think you'll need to go through everything?"
Not only did they need time to go through everything, they had to work on a way of being able to combine energies between them to battle the demon. A week was cutting it thin…
It was more than cutting it thin, actually.
When she and Ky had done an inventory of the ship's supplied, they had enough rations and water to last the three of them a little over a week. It wasn't going to last them now.
"How long until we reach the planet?"
"A week, but we're going to have make a detour to one of the Tok'ra supply stations. We don't have enough food and water to make the trip. So, a week and a half tops." They may have made it to 876 on what they had if they hadn't been delayed for two days.
Still, the detour gave them more time.
"That should be enough, I hope."
Faith wanted to tell him it would be enough.
But they both knew it would be a lie. Part Sixty.
"Am I going to have to remortgage my house?" Jack asked as he handed over his credit card.
His head was still spinning from everything she told them. How the hell was he supposed to remember all of that? He had no idea there was so much to it. Crap. She hadn't even told them everything.
Just the basics.
Jack had wanted to ask her more questions but she seemed a little wary of Carter.
Or maybe Sam was making her nervous. Jack really didn't know what was wrong with Carter. He regretted not talking to Carter before they came here. He should have taken her aside and talked to her about what happened at Oxford. That was the only answer Jack had to Sam's reaction about Cassie.
Carter had been intimidating as hell during the discussion. When she asked questions it was always in an attempt to disprove something Jenny said.
Was it Jenny, Sam didn't like, or the subject matter?
There was no way Carter couldn't like Jenny. She was smart, funny, pretty, nice… and well, she didn't make things confusing. She spoke in English, not like Carter and Daniel, whenever they explained something Jack's head always felt like it was going to explode. He understood everything Jenny said.
There was just no way he'd remember it.
Jenny knew what she was talking about, he was pretty impressed. Jack was going to mention her to Daniel and Willow when they finally caught up to them.
Maybe she could help them in some way…
Like Rupert Giles was.
"A few weeks ago I would have said yes," Jenny replied. "But some guy came in here and practically bought all of my stock. I'm still waiting on some of the volumes to come in."
Some guy? Shit. Daniel had been here? Of course! This would have been one of the places he got Willow's books from. Jack now wished he had gone along.
"That must have made your day."
Jenny laughed. "Actually, it was my day off. Shocked the hell out of me when I came in here the next day, though."
Someone cleared their throat behind him.
Yeah! Yeah! They were going… unfortunately. Jenny had only given them the basics of witchcraft and the pagan religion. She explained all about the `magic' they used without going too in depth.
Jack still didn't get the difference between witch and pagan.
Or why they had three moons.
He wanted to though. Not for Cassie's sake, but for Daniel's. If Daniel knew he actually read about this stuff… the archaeologist would know he was sincere. It would also get he and Willow on the same side again.
Jack felt responsible for most of what happened over the last few weeks.
He knew it wasn't all his fault but he could have handled everything a lot differently. Especially the Faith thing. He was partly responsible for the situation she was in now… she had a snake in her because of them. Jack couldn't think of anything worse.
He didn't hold any insane notions that he and Faith would become friends but he could at least try to make it up to all of them.
Jack signed the credit card slip and took the bag she held out to him. "Thanks for everything. I hope we didn't keep you from anything too important."
The entire talk had only taken two hours.
With a final nod he walked out of shop.
"That was most interesting," Teal'c commended as they made his way to SUV. "She appears to be most knowledgeable. I believe she would be a great asset to our fight against the demons."
"She's a civilian Teal'c," Sam reminded him. "Besides, what help could she be? Magic isn't real in this reality. Except in Daniel and Willow."
AAHHH… subject matter.
Jacob disagreed. "We're going to need all the help we can get fighting the demons, Sam."
"We have to find Daniel and Willow first," Janet pointed out. "Then we're going to have to convince them we're on their side. It won't be easy."
"Indeed," Teal'c agreed. "It will take a great deal of time for us to regain their trust."
Carter was silent.
Crap. Daniel's attack must have really hurt her. He'd talk to her, as soon as they got back to the base. She looked tired… so did everyone actually. The last couple of days had been rough.
Things were only going to get worse.
Maybe he'd talk Hammond into giving them the night off… maybe even tomorrow too.
It would give him time to go over the books Jenny sold him. Maybe he'd even invite everyone over for a barbecue tomorrow night, they could make plans then. Sounded like a good idea actually… he'd buy some stakes and…
Jack handed Teal'c his bag. "I left my credit card inside… I'll be back in a sec."
God, what was wrong with him today? Guess he needed the time off as much as the others did. Ever since Willow walked into their lives things had been crazy.
Jack almost missed the Goa'uld. At least fighting them was easy. See snake, shoot snake, dead snake. Easy. Well, not that easy but less confusing.
"Jack?" Jenny was surprised to see him. "Did you think of something else you needed?"
She winced. "Sorry, didn't realise I still had it."
"No problem," he took the card and hesitated. "Jenny…there's a whole lot more to this thing than you told us, isn't there?"
She looked nervous for some reason. "Still worried about your niece?"
His niece? Oh Cassie. Right, cover story. "No, Cassie's a good kid. Doesn't sound like she could get into too much trouble with this."
Her eyes widened. "Cassie?"
"Fraiser." Recognition dawned on her face. "You know her?"
She nodded, more nervous now. What? Did she think he was going to freak out or something? "She's a regular here."
Wow. Now that was service. Most of the shops he was a regular to, still didn't know his name. "Yeah, we know. She gave us your name."
Was there something he was missing here? "Cassie hang out here a lot, does she? Hey, you seem pretty cool. There are worse places she could be hanging out."
The smile she gave him lit up the room. "Oh I thought… some parents get upset when they're kids… are learning about witchcraft. That's why I thought you came here, to ask me to leave her alone."
Really? "We were worried about her. That's all. We have a thing about worshipping false gods."
Her smile faded and was replaced by a slight frown. "Cassie mentioned something about that."
"Her mom is a little strict, she's in the Air Force," Jenny explained, then her eyes narrowed. "You're not…"
"Air Force? Yeah," he admitted. "Listen, I was wondering… I'd really like to talk some more about this. Would you like to have dinner with me, tonight?"
Maybe in a relaxed atmosphere he could learn more about witches.
"Dinner?" she thought about it for a moment. "Sure, why not, I was only going to do the books anyway."
It wasn't really a date. Well, he didn't think so. He really meant what he said. He wanted to talk more… hopefully this time he'd be able to remember some of it. Maybe he'd ask Janet to write down some questions they might have.
He needed to learn as much as he could and Jenny seemed the best, um, only person to explain it. So, they'd go out to dinner.
For the sake of the world.
He just didn't want to read all those books.World Without III