World Without II: Parts 31-60
World Without II:
I own nothing. Buffy and Angel people belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. I’m just playing. Don’t sue. The Stargate people belong to Gekko Productions, Double Secret Productions, MGM/UA, Showtime/Viacom.. a hell of a lot of people, if you ask me! A/N:
Continues directly from World Without - the fic is huge so I split it up into sections. It will take me a few days to get the thirty parts updated here... sorry. It is still a WIP currently 63 parts... Feedback:
Yes please! I live for it.
Part Thirty One.
There was no way, Faith decided, that either one of them could go to the SGC the day after tomorrow with the way things were now. Faith didn't know what had caused Red to withdraw like she did, but she suspected it had something to do with the nightmares that had been plaguing the witch since they left the SGC.
Every scream, every cry for help, made Faith hate the SGC even more.
She was grateful – well, kind of – that they were going to help Red fight the army of demons. It was the price of that help that bugged Faith.
Kyanna had been a Tok'ra for a long time, a VERY long time, and she was scared for Willow. Really scared. Ky believed that, sooner or later, Willow would have to go above and beyond the terms of the alliance… One day, Willow would confront the Goa'uld and then all hell would break loose. Ky was pretty sure Red knew this as well, it would explain why Red was screaming THEIR names instead of the names of her friends back in her reality.
Kyanna knew what Red was going through, the pain of being separated from everything that was familiar. Sure, Ky had gone on countless of missions alone, but even that was different. Space, fighting the Goa'uld… it was what Ky knew. It was all Ky knew.
Now she was on a planet with a being that confused the shit out of her. Faith felt sorry for Ky. She was having more trouble understanding magic than Faith did. Ky had no idea how to prepare for an army of demons or how to handle the Powers. Not to mention that Ky was missing her Tok'ra friends, hell, she was even missing the Tok’ra home world. But at least Ky had her. Faith knew, from Ky’s thoughts, that she made the transition easy for the Tok'ra. It was still freaky for her, but it was okay.
Willow didn't have anyone.
This reality, although familiar at first glance, was nothing like hers. Was it any wonder Red was withdrawing? Faith wondered if maybe her taking on Ky had been the last straw for Red. The witch didn’t know anything about the Tok’ra and, even though Ky had given her a heads up, Red was withdrawing because of it.
Willow was scared and she felt alone. Not even the budding – and slightly messed up – relationship with Dr J was enough to snap her out of it. Willow missed, and needed, her friends. None of them in this reality knew what they were going to fight, they didn’t know shit about demons. All of them were relying on Red to tell them what to do… and Red needed someone to help her make those decisions.
Red needed someone to stand next to her.
Hence the knife in Faith’s hand.
Faith was going to show Red that she wasn't alone and she was going to prove to the witch that they were in this together. Kyanna, Willow, and herself.
Taking a deep breath Faith walked out of her brother’s house and into the back yard. She found Red, where she usually was this time of night, lying on the grass, looking at the stars. Probably wondering about her new enemy.
"Hey Red,” Faith greeted her as she sat down on the grass next to her.
Willow lifted her hand slightly in greeting. She wasn't the most talkative of people around this time. Red, despite Faith's arguments, felt guilty and responsible for everything. She was trying to take responsibility for things that were out of her control.
It annoyed the crap out of Faith.
"I should never have come here."
Faith was stunned. She hadn't expected Willow to say anything at all, let alone something like that. Not willing to waste the opportunity, she responded. "What else were you supposed to do, Red? Let your reality die?"
"No, that's not what I mean." She was still focused on the sky. "I mean this reality. I chose a world without the supernatural because I thought I would be safest here, I never thought to think why there was such a reality. I never thought about that the reason why there were no such things as supernatural beings."
Huh? "I'm not sure I follow you."
Damn it! Red just couldn't say something like that and expect her to drop it. "Red." She pulled the redhead so they were eye level. "Ky and I are with you all the way here. I know I'm not… it's not the same as having your friends from you reality, but…"
Willow looked worried. "Faith?"
"You're shutting us out. I don't know if it's some misguided attempt to protect us, but it's not necessary. Ky and I are with you until the end. This alliance isn't just between you and the SGC, it's between the three of us and the SGC. You, me, Ky – we're a team. You're gonna have to let go of whatever is bugging you and trust us. Ky won't tell the Tok'ra shit, I won't tell - well there isn't anyone I can tell who would believe me, but you know… We don't need your protection," Faith took a deep breath. "We are all we have in the SGC and we need to be able to trust each other. Demons may be your thing, but Ky and I know about the SGC, the Tok'ra, and the Goa'uld. We gotta work together."
"Ah! Wait ‘til I'm finished," she scolded gently. "This is not your fault. I did not take Kyanna because of you, I took Kyanna because I didn't want to die. I wanted to live and I don't regret taking her. It's like having a sister in my mind all the time. Sure, she's a bit up tight, but I'm working on her."
That got the response Faith was hoping for, a smile.
"It is not your fault, got it? None of this is. You didn't know what would happen if you came here, right? You didn't know, Red, no one could possibly know. I know you're some shit hot witch in your reality but you're not in control of this. And you're not alone. I may not be your friend Buffy, but I'm – we're – both with you. You have us now, so get your head out of your ass, stop protecting us, and work with us."
"Wait! I’m still not finished," she interrupted the witch. "The day after tomorrow we go into the SGC. They're our allies but they're we can’t trust them, not until we're both sure they’re not going to screw us over. If they can't be trusted, we have to rely on each other. Red, you need to tell me everything about your reality. Everything . The good, bad, and the stuff that gives you nightmares. I need to tell you everything Ky knows. There can't be any secrets between us. What you know, I know, what I know, you know. Got it?"
Damn! She made Red cry. "Got it."
Faith pulled the witch into her arms and held her until she was sure Willow had pulled herself together. "Now, what were you saying? About not coming here?"
The redhead leaned against her. "I'm scared Faith. I think I chose the wrong reality, I don't think I'm supposed to be here."
"I'm physical proof that supernatural beings have enough power to defy the laws of nature. Not all of them can, but a lot of us are powerful enough to break the fabric that protects realities and push through."
THAT she understood.
Willow's eyes were full of fear. "There are being back home more powerful than me, warlocks, witches…gods." She looked down. "God, Faith, I was so arrogant. I thought coming here would be the smartest move. A world without demons… it was supposed to be safe. I was supposed to be free here, the danger was supposed to be over."
Damn. "So they followed through, Red, you had to expect that right?"
"I did," she conceded. "But…"
"Spit it out, Red."
"Why isn't there anyone else here?"
Anyone else? "You mean any other witches and people like you?"
She nodded. "Some demons can travel through dimensions, and a lot of them aren't the nicest of beings. I don’t understand why I’m the only one here. This reality doesn't have a Hellmouth, but you have other things that could be used as a power source. This place is ripe for the picking and no one – thing – has touched it."
Red had told her about how she helped Sam use the healing device and how, after they finished, Sam blew up one of the machines in the infirmary. "You can use us as a power source."
"So we have a power source, it's a little hard to find, but it's here. Some demons aren't even restricted to worlds, they would be able to travel to a planet… anywhere. It would only be a matter of time before they find the power source. I mean, I can sense your symbiote and you can sense when I use magic, right?"
Faith nodded. Right now she could feel the slight tingle the wards Willow had erected around her brother's house.
"I could use you as a power source to do whatever I wanted. I could form an army, god, I could probably use it to move between multiple dimensions without draining my power. So why hasn’t anyone else done that yet? Even if they didn’t find a symbiote, the natural power – the elements – in this world is enough to do some serious damage."
Good point. "Maybe they haven't been lucky enough to find a symbiote or they just couldn't be bothered to go to the effort of finding it." No, that wasn’t it. Red just said they could use the Earth’s elements.
"Or maybe there is a reason why there is no supernatural beings here."
"What kind of reason?" Faith had a feeling Red knew.
“I’m not absolutely certain, but if what I think…” She struggled to find words. “I think the Powers are involving themselves in this reality, they’re trying to protect me. The demon language that Daniel found on the alien planet was sent to warn me."
Was she serious? Okay, maybe Red WAS losing it. "About what?"
"About whatever wiped out that planet. I'm thinking that the reason no supernatural beings exist here is because they can't survive." She let out a nervous laugh. “I don't think I have to worry about the alliance, I don't think I'm going to survive."
Willow grabbed her arm. "I can feel something, Faith. It's far away but I can feel it and it’s getting stronger. Sooner or later it's going to come for me. I'm so scared Faith. I don't know this reality, I don't have any help. I don't have Buffy, or Giles, or –"
"You have us. Look, Red, I don't know what you’re talking about and I don't need to. If you think something's coming, then we'll back you up. Ky and I will not let you die. Ever." She picked up the knife, she had brought from inside, and held it above her hand. "I know it's kind of corny, but I thought…"
Willow smiled. "You want to take a blood oath?"
She felt like a dork. "I thought, you know - that you'd see it as the three of us being one sort of… all right, I'm by far the corniest person alive."
The witch laughed. "No you're not. I used to make little protection pouches for Buffy when she went out on patrol," she shrugged. "I was only a budding witch at the time, but it was my way of helping."
Faith lowered the knife. "You're gonna tell me everything right? Not tonight, but soon?"
Faith took the blade and sliced the palm of her hand and Willow did the same.
"I feel like I'm in high school," Faith griped.
Willow giggled. "You did this in high school?"
"Hell no, I was the gay guy's sister," her smile faded. "I wasn't exactly miss popular."
Red reached over and pressed their palms together. "So isn't this where we say some corny thing like –"
A strange look crossed her face.
"Red? What's…" oh god.
It hurt! God, it hurt so much! Faith tried to pull her hand free of Willow's but she couldn't. The witch was holding on to her in panic, both of them feeling whatever the hell was happening to them.
Please, god! Make it stop.
Faith’s entire body felt as though an electric charge was going through her, it was so much… too much. It felt like she was being ripped apart, every cell in her body was screaming with the energy.
Somewhere, inside of her, she felt Kyanna scream in agony.
Oh god! Kyanna, NO!
Then it was gone, Willow's hand was no longer clutching her own in fear. Instead, the witch was lying on the grass unconscious. Faith tried to cry out for help but couldn't find her voice.
She couldn't do anything but let the darkness take her.
** ** **
"…on baby sis, wake up."
"Will's out cold."
"Damn it! Why didn't we check on them before we went to bed? They could have been like this all night!"
"Zack, her pulse is still strong, she just won't wake up. What about Faith?"
Faith felt a warm hand on her neck. "Still strong. We have to call 911, get them to a hospital."
A hospital? What happened? SHIT! A hospital… "No," her voice was raw.
Funny, she didn't remember screaming.
"Faith?" Zack sobbed. "She's awake Tyler, thank god. Faith, it's Zack, can you hear me?"
Unfortunately, yeah. Did he have to yell so loud? Her head was killing her, though the rest of her body felt like she was hit by a train. "I'm awake."
And she really regretted that too. Being unconscious was much better than the pain she was feeling from whatever the hell happened.
"What happened?" Tyler asked.
Faith tried to open her eyes but slammed them shut when the morning sun shone in them. Christ, they had been out cold all night. "Red, is she…"
"She's alive," Zack assured her. "We're going take you guys to the hospital."
No. That was NOT a good idea. "No." How was she going to explain to them she couldn't go to a hospital? That Willow couldn't either. The SGC would kill them. "Call Dr Jackson… he knows what's wrong with us."
It was a huge lie, but it was the only thing she could think of. If she went to a hospital, the entire world would know aliens existed.
"The number is in my purse… call it, ask for a Dr Daniel Jackson, or a Dr Janet Fraiser, tell them what happened… they'll help us."
And she could sleep until they got here. Part Thirty-Two
Daniel put his hand on Faith's, hoping to reassure the brunette. She was taking what happened to them badly, so much so, that the Faith was refusing to talk to anyone. Kyanna was talking on her behalf.
Daniel had a feeling Faith felt guilty that she was up and walking around, while Willow was still unconscious. At least the signs were good… well, at least Daniel thought they were good. There was nothing physically wrong with Willow, and Faith's full recovery was giving them all hope – even if it had been partly because of Kyanna.
Still, Daniel clung to the hope that Willow would wake up. Just because five hours had passed since Faith's brother called, didn't mean Willow wasn't going to recover. Janet was still running tests, but all signs were good. Willow's vitals were strong and there was nothing that was out of the ordinary.
Except the Naquadah in her blood.
The Naquadah had come from Kyanna, passed into Willow from Faith’s blood. Naquadah was an extremely power alien mineral – it was what the Stargate was made from – and it was responsible, Sam believed, for Willow and Faith passing out.
The first tests they had done on Willow, back when they were trying to find out who she was, had been wrong. Her reaction to her blood mixing with Faith's was proof of that. Willow wasn't human. Oh, she was physically human, but Daniel was beginning to believe that Willow was actually something else. There was something fundamentally different about the mystical make-up of the witch. Whatever gave Willow her power, was equally as powerful as the Naquadah mineral found in this reality.
When combined with the mystical element of Willow in the physical state it exploded. That was the current theory anyway.
Sam was going insane about the implications of this scientifically. Daniel was worried about what this implications of this with the Air Force. Willow was attracting even more interest now, from both the Tok'ra and the SGC. It made Daniel nervous, which was why he was here in the briefing, instead of at Willow's bedside.
Daniel felt the need to protect Willow, so did Kyanna. Both of them would have preferred to be with Willow right now, but this briefing was too important. All of SG-1, Faith, the General, Jacob, and Janet were present for it.
"Sam, did you find anything else out about what happened to Willow and Faith?" he asked the astrophysicist.
Her eyes lit up at the question.
That was a really bad sign.
"Actually, we found out a lot..."
"Here we go," Jack muttered.
Sam either didn't hear or ignored him. "Basically Daniel, when Willow's blood combined with Faith's, it caused a sort of short out. The power of both Willow and Faith combined was too much for either one of them to handle, so their bodies shut down like a computer would in like a power surge."
She was comparing them to computers?
More importantly - too powerful for Willow?
"Will Willow Rosenberg heal from her infliction?" Teal'c wanted to know.
Daniel knew the Jaffa was asking for his benefit. Ever since Teal'c found out Daniel had feelings for the witch, he had taken an interest in her well being. Daniel figured this was the Jaffa's way of trying to make amends for what happened to Daniel's first wife. Teal'c had been the one who had chosen her for a Goa'uld host, and he was the one that killed her in order to save Daniel's life.
Although he had forgiven Teal’c long ago, Daniel knew Teal'c still felt guilty about it.
"She'll be fine, eventually, Teal'c," Janet answered.
Eventually? Why was she saying eventually?
Kyanna looked just as startled by the reply.
"Kyanna, Faith," the MD addressed the Tok'ra and her host. "You have to remember that even before this, Willow had been through an extremely difficult time. You mentioned that Willow hadn't been sleeping very well during the down time?"
Janet turned to Daniel. "Daniel, I'm sorry if this seems personal, but how much sleep did Willow get the night she stayed at your apartment?"
"Um…" He really didn't want to answer that. "Not a lot. A few hours," he felt himself blush.
"How much sleep did she get while waiting for Faith to return from the Tok'ra?"
Daniel knew where she was going with this now. "Not much. We worked on the translation."
"That's what I thought," Janet turned to the General. "Sir, even if Willow woke up right now, I won't sign her off for active duty. She's running on empty and this incident with Faith has only worsened her condition."
"I would be surprised if she woke up in less than a week."
To everyone's surprised, Kyanna agreed. ** "I concur with Dr Fraiser's assessment," she bowed her head respectfully. "My host and I have been extremely concerned about Willow's health since we left the base. I fear if she was confronted by a demon now, she would not have the strength to fight it." **
"The last thing we need is Willow going up against an army of demons like she is," Jack had the same opinion.
"What about the other threat Willow mentioned when she took you to Dr Jackson's apartment?" the General asked.
The mysterious threat that related to the translation he and Willow were working on. Daniel didn't want to say it, but he really thought Willow was wrong. He had translated the texts and he really didn't believe they had defeated the Goa'uld. Magic aside, there was no evidence of weapons.
Then there was her theory of a demon. Jack had told him everything Willow had said to him during their talk. Daniel just couldn’t believe that a demon destroyed the people on the planet. There just wasn't any evidence of it.
"She didn't really go into details, Sir," Jack replied. "She seemed to think that there was a demon P25-876 that might make some problems for her…"
"But the civilization has been dead for millenniums," Daniel argued. "I know we didn't spend a lot of time there, but we would have found evidence of something large enough to destroy an entire civilization."
At least Daniel thought they would have.
Kyanna leaned forward on her seat. ** "Willow mentioned this to us also," she told them. "She is certain that there is some sort of threat originating from that planet." **
Daniel noticed a strange look on Faith's, or rather Kyanna's, face, like she was hiding something. Just what did they talk about?
Daniel had an idea. "It wouldn't hurt to go back for a second look, General. There isn't really a lot we can do until Willow wakes up. If we go to the planet and rule out a potential threat, then Willow will have one less thing to worry about. Janet said she had to rest for a few days, if we leave first thing in the morning for a three day mission, we'd be back before she woke up."
"He's got a point," Jack conceded. "When we spoke, Willow seemed more interested in this threat than she did with the army. I gotta say, I'm a LOT more worried about an army of slimy monsters taking over this reality than I am about a demon that may have existed on a planet ions ago."
"That's eons Jack," Daniel corrected him.
"And what if there is a threat on this planet?" Hammond countered.
** "Then Faith and I will assist. After Willow, we hold the most knowledge about demons. Willow informed Faith of the different types during the search for the first demon she and Faith encountered. Faith's knowledge, with my combat skills, would assist SG-1 if trouble arises," Kyanna said. "I also feel that, in light of the new alliance, it would be appropriate for either myself or Willow to accompany you on such a mission as it pertains directly to her. Since Willow is not conscious, we WILL go." **
All eyes were on the General to make his decision.
"SG-1, Kyanna, Faith; permission to go granted. Faith, I'd like Dr Fraiser to clear you before you go through the Stargate. You leave at 0600 hours tomorrow."
** ** **
The room was littered with candles.
It was a lot smaller than the new quarters Faith had been given, but she guessed Teal'c really didn't need that much space. She had a feeling he didn't spend too much time in this room, except to sleep… and watch DVD's?
"Faith, did you wish to speak to me?" Teal'c deep voice seemed to boom in the silent room.
She sat down on the edge of his bed. "Ah, yeah."
Kyanna may be willing to leave Willow to go on a mission to an alien world, but Faith had no intention of leaving Willow here alone and unconscious. After speaking to Hammond she realized that, aside from Daniel, there wasn't anyone who she could trust with Willow's welfare.
Except Teal'c - to a point.
She trusted Teal'c for a number of reasons. The first was because, at the Tok'ra base, he made sure that none of the Tok'ra had been up to anything too sinister. The second because she knew all about the guilt he felt about Daniel's deceased wife.
And since Daniel cared a lot about Willow, it made sense that he'd protect her. "I spoke with the General." What an experience THAT had been. "I need you to sit this mission, to P-whatever, out and stay with Red. I need someone to make sure nothing happens to her."
He didn't say anything.
Behold her surprise. "Daniel had been my first choice, but he understands the language and since it's unlikely we'll actually find any demons…"
Faith was fairly certain there were no demons. SG-1 had already been to the planet and they would have picked something up. This mission was purely to put Red's mind at rest - and to give Kyanna a field job to do. She knew the Tok'ra inside her was missing her old life.
"You took care of me when I was on the Tok'ra home world," she said. "I don't want any military scientists getting their hands on Red, especially now that she makes Naquadah more powerful. They'll cut her up and turn her into a lab rat."
Something flickered across his face.
Understanding maybe? He was, after all, an alien on this planet. Had he experienced something similar to that? If he had, it would work in her favour.
"I will remain here at the SGC for the duration of your mission."
Good. "Of course, if something happens to Red while I'm away, I'll kill you."
Faith felt it only fair to warn him.
** ** **
"SG-1," the General called to them over the PA. "You have three days to search the planet for any signs of the threat Willow described. Check in is every day at 1730 hours."
Jack gave him the thumbs up, though he didn't feel too thrilled about the mission. It was hotter than hell on that planet.
Boring as well.
"SG-1 you have a go."