Prologue: The Final Days
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.Spoilers:
BTVS; up until Season 5 Episode Blood Ties then AU (there is an alternate S5 ending. Angel; Season 2 finale then AU. Stargate; Everything is canon up until Season 5 episode the Last Stand. Pairings:
Mainly a friendship fic (see author's note in chapter 2 for clarification). Author's Note:
Flashbacks are in italics. Story Note:
This is not
a new story. This is simply a story I haven't posted here for whatever reason. I'm reworking some of the chapters so, for those who have already read this story, there will be additions (mainly flashback scenes). The overall plot won't change. Laney (ps - I'm working on FE so hopefully the wait won't be too much longer).
“You back with me?”
“I’m awake,” the kid mumbled sleepily.
“You sure?” he tightened the grip on her arm in an attempt to inflict pain. The responding hiss was all the answer he needed. She was awake and he could now tell his heart to stop pounding.
Sleeping always made him nervous, okay, it scared the crap out of him. It was one of the things that they needed to do in this place and, Colonel Jack O’Neill, was pretty sure it was one of the things that could actually kill them. They didn’t have to eat, they didn’t have to drink, they didn’t get sick, they didn’t age… but they had to sleep.
And every time they went to sleep, waking was that much harder.
“Sorry.” Willow leaned against him, her eyes still closed. “Didn’t mean to scare you.”
He smoothed down her hair and planted a kiss on the top of her head. “How many times have I heard that before?”
She smiled. “Was I asleep long?”
He had no idea. Time didn’t seem to mean anything here. No matter how many times they had tried to keep track of it, they couldn’t. This place was perpetually overcast. You couldn’t track the time by day and nights or by seasons. It was like time had stopped here all together. “A while. You feel all right? Strong?”
Yeah, right. He wouldn’t believe that until he saw her standing and walking around. Jack had no idea it was possible but, along with freezing time, this world seemed to suck the life out of them. Sitting in the one place for too long drained them, sleeping too long almost killed them, being attacked by the locals…
That kept them alive.
The attacks from the locals were few and far between but they were always vicious and brutal attacks – and whenever it was over they actually felt alive. Most of the time they felt drained, lethargic, but when they fought – and to a lesser extent, when they worked out, argued, or did anything physical – they felt alive.
Jack honestly didn’t know how the hell they had survived here so long. Jack had been to a lot of planets, but he had never seen a place like this…
It felt like hell.
Not fire and brimstone hell, but the kind of hell that sent you around the twist. It was a never ending fight for survival. They were constantly fighting, constantly struggling to stay alive – with no real prospect of ever getting free.
It was the same thing day after week after month after year.
There was next to no hope of freedom or rescue. They had waited for what felt like a hundred years for either Will’s friends or his team to find them but none of them had. Jack hated to admit it, and he never would out loud, but he suspected the only way they would ever get out of here would be if they died.
“You ready to go?” He got to his feet and held out his hand to her. It was a routine they went through. Whenever one of them slept, they’d work out for an hour afterwards. It helped them fight the desire to fall back asleep and, after that, they explored the planet, dimension, wherever the hell they were.
Jack had no idea how long they had been here, but it felt like an eternity. The only real reason he knew he had been here a long time was Willow. At the beginning of this hell she had been a stranger and now…
Jack couldn’t imagine existing without her.
If she died here, he’d let the locals have their way with him. He and Willow… they were a team, and a hell of a one at that. Actually, they were more than that. She knew more about him than anyone – even Daniel. Hey, after an eternity, it was hard to keep secrets. Their friendship wasn’t perfect, hell, Jack wanted to throttle her half the time, but it was the one thing that kept them both going.
That and their determination to one day find a way home.
Which, if Jack’s theory was right, and they were trapped on another planet, they would. If Willow was right, and they were trapped in another dimension, then there was a good chance they wouldn’t.
Either way, Jack was still determined they would escape – regardless of how unlikely it seemed. It was why they explored the planet or dimension every chance they got. Though, it was slightly disheartening that after an eternity they still hadn’t explored the whole damn thing.
Still, he mused as he pulled Willow to her feet, it didn’t stop them from trying.
“I’m ready,” she told him as she dusted off her clothes.
“After we work out, did you want to have a look at those ruins we saw yesterday? They looked interesting.” He would deny this conversation if Daniel ever found out about it. “You never know, there might be a way out through there.”
Jack mentally kicked himself at the expression on Willow’s face.
Everytime he mentioned finding a way out, she was overcome with guilt because she was the reason he was here. She was the target those sons of bitches had been after.
Jack had just been a guy who decided to play hero.
“Don’t even try it, kid,” he told her firmly, his tone brooked no room for argument. “We’ve been over this a million times, this is not your fault.”
And like the million times before this one, she didn’t believe him. “But you wouldn’t be here –”
“If those bastards hadn’t kidnapped you,” he finished for her. “Will…” He cupped her face between his hands and placed a kiss on the tip of her nose. “Honey, this isn’t your fault, and I don’t blame you at all.” Actually, Jack blamed his cousin. His wedding had been the reason he had been in LA.
Why oh why would a man want to get married five times?
“We’ll run first, then fight and after we’re finished, we’ll head to the ruins.” He found himself smiling as a thought came to him. “Daniel would kill me if I didn’t check out the ruins while we were here.”
That earned him a smile. “So would Giles.” The smile fell, as it always did, whenever they thought of their friends.
That’s why Jack refused to think about them longer than a few seconds.
This planet wasn’t the only thing that could suck the life out of them – hopelessness could as well.
“Come on, Will.” He began packing up their small ‘camp’. “Get your ass moving. I was serious before, there could be a way out of here through those ruins. They seem old enough.”
Stranger things had happened.