Daniel looked from Buffy to Garshaw, knowing that anything they did would be an act of war. The Tok’ra defended their own with their life, and right now they saw Buffy, and SG-1 by association, as the enemy.
Buffy’s eyes glowed and she began to speak with the layered tones of a Goa’uld. “I go where I please, Garshaw. My Queen has promised me a host and she is taking me to her.” Selmak’s voice was stronger than it was when she was in Saroosh, but still a little weak.
“She is not your Queen. Just by saying that you are placing your life in the hands of a lier and an impostor. Relinquish your host and come back to us.” Garshaw’s order went unheeded when Buffy took back control.
“Lantash, have you spoken to those still loyal to me?” Buffy asked. None of the others had noticed him enter from behind the party led by Garshaw.
“Yes, my Queen. You have ten behind you, not including Selmak.”
“Good.” Buffy turned to Garshaw. “I have done what I came to do. They will defend the Key and have the gratitude of their Queen and the rest of the universe.”
“You don’t have the right or the authority to do as you are.” Garshaw spat.
“Need I repeat what I have been saying? Queen!” Buffy insisted, throwing off the BDUs Jack has asked her to wear, revealing the dress, or lack of one, that she had worn as Queen, The blue-green skirt reached the floor and the top fell to the top of her belly button, revealing the new pouch she had given herself.
Buffy’s eyes glowed green and she took off her gloves. “Believe me now?” Her voice rippled with power.
Garshaw’s eyes widened and she bowed her head. “Yes. You and yours are free to go.”
“Lantash, is there another symbiote that requires a host?” Buffy asked. Daniel had roused Jack, Sam and Teal’c and was trying to push them out the door.
“Yes, my lady. He is one of yours and is awaiting you.” Lantash said.
“What is his name?”
“Adad. You remember him?”
“Yes, Lantash. His domain was the first to align with mine and his original host was one of the first to ask for a symbiote. He is worthy and I’ll be glad to see him again.
Within the hour, SG-1, Buffy and her Tok’ra were ready to leave. Buffy was satisfied that the Tok’ra wouldn’t hold her actions against the rest of the world. “You have done well, Garshaw, and you passed your test. Stay wise and true. I will take care of both Adad and Selmak. They will eventually make their way back to you, but let them take their time. The others will come back when I’m sure that the threats to the Key by the True God is gone. Thanks for the supplies.” Buffy bowed her head to Garshaw and lifted a hand.
The gate activated and Jack entered his code before walking through to let the general know what was going on. The rest of SG-1 followed within the hour and soon Buffy, Daniel and Sam were on their way to the hospital where Jacob Carter lay in wait.
Jacob was easier to convince than Buffy had thought, Jack noted when she walked into the conference room a few hours later, flanked by Daniel and Jacob.
“I take it went well,” asked Methos, who was sitting at Jack’s right, next to Dawn.
“It went better than expected. It’s time to go to Sunnydale. We’ve got a job to do,” Buffy said.
“What about me?” Dawn asked.
“You need not worry. You are coming with us. We’re meeting those loyal to me there. They are bringing a ship where you will wait for me. Selmak and Adad will be with you, as well as a few more of my children. They will keep you safe until Anne or I can defeat Glory.”
“I’m afraid that you can’t do that, Ma’am,” Hammond said, standing up.
“You have no say in the matter. I got what I came for. I have a small group coming to care for the Key until Glory is taken care of. Daniel and Jack no longer have to deal with me, if it is their wish, but let me remind you that we’re standing on the brink of annihilation. If Glory succeeds in what she’s trying to do, nothing will be the same in your precious universe again. Activating the Key brings down dimensional walls, all of them. Creatures that you’ve never heard of, let alone know how to fight, will come. The universe will come apart at the seams if she succeeds. You must let us go. Keep your team, if you can and must, but you will let mine go!” Buffy insisted, before turning and leaving.
“You haven’t lived a minute, let alone your entire life fighting what we do every day and night. You don’t understand,” Dawn whispered. She and Methos stood up and followed her grandmother.
Daniel found Buffy packing an hour later. “You’re leaving, just like that!” he hissed, grabbing her arm and tuning her to face him.
“Shaman, I have a sworn duty to uphold. Our children are going with me to uphold it. You will not stop me.”
“I don’t intend to. What I intend to do is stop you from destroying your relationship with Jack! I am one of the few that he had trusted with is deepest secrets, and he never got over you. He needs you. Don’t toss him aside, no matter what you think your duty is!” Daniel shouted.
“I was planning on taking him with me, no matter what the general wanted. I was planning on taking the whole team. Sam won’t want her father in the middle of a fight against things that she knows nothing about. Jack won’t let me go again, and he wouldn’t let Sam follow her father with out proper backup. Teal’c would go as backup and as a concerned friend.
“Which leaves you, Daniel. You would go as a protective father, and concerned friend and lover. Daniel, trust me. I know what I am doing.” Buffy threw her Queen dress into the suitcase, along with her jewelry and buckled the suitcase.
“I hope you’re right. Because if you’re not, the whole Earth is doomed.”
Buffy had slipped a note into Jack’s pocket before she had started packing. Jack pulled it out and reread it for a fifth time.Jack,
Methos and I are heading to Sunnydale to get rid of Glory. We’re taking Jacob and Dawn with us, as well as the 10 Tok’ra that came back with us. I implore you to meet us at my Joyce’s house, 1630 Revello Dr. if and when you get a chance.
I know that this doesn’t really put me in a good light with the USAF, but I pulled rank. I had to in order to take them with me, and President Johnson let me. I don’t want to do this by myself. I want you to learn of my world, like I learned of yours.
Feel free to bring your team. I believe that Daniel, at least will insist on coming with you. Please bring them with you. We will need as many people there as we can get.
Hoping to see you in California,
With all my love,
“When did they leave, sir?” Sam asked Hammond.
“About an hour ago. She called the President to get him to let her take her ‘people’ with her. I really don’t know if I believe her story. Do you?”
“Believe her story? I do. There were a few Tok’ra at the base that we went to that recognized her. But that’s not why I believe her. I believe that Daniel wouldn’t lie to us. And according to her tale, both of them were there. Daniel even took up a part of her story. If he trusts her and backs her up, then I think we should give her the benefit of the doubt.”
“You and the rest of SG-1 can follow her if you wish. Let Jack know, would you?” Hammond asked. “If none of you go, let me know and I’ll get you back on the mission list.”
“Yes, sir.” Sam turned and left. Her father had gone to California. She would follow.
Hammond wasn’t entirely surprised the next morning when he was informed that SG-1 had left for California. If he was in their place, he would’ve gone too.
Buffy, Methos, Jacob, and Dawn reached the house on Revello Drive three days after they left Colorado. Anne was frantic and had to be restrained by Spike to keep her from tackleing the help that Buffy brought with her.
“Calm down, Anne. Where’s your mother? I have someone that would like to meet her,” Buffy asked.
“She’s still in the hospital, recovering. Please tell me that you can help me defeat Glory! Please! I don’t know what to do! She keeps attacking people! She appeared in my house yesterday and. . .”
“Anne, calm down. Everything’s going to be fine. I got the help I said I would. I’d like to introduce you and yours to my friends, but can you get everyone here before I do?” Buffy interrupted.
“Okay. Getting everyone here. I can do that,” Anne took in a deep breath and looked helplessly at Spike.
Spike took her by the arm and gently pulled her into the living room to use the phone.
“You weren’t kidding. She looks a mess.”
Buffy turned around. “Adad, I worry about her more than I worry about anyone else. We need to get to the hospital. Lantash, you and the rest covertly secure the house. Try to stay out of the way until Methos, Adad and I come back with Selmak. You three are with me. Oh, and Lantash, keep a practiced eye on Dawn.” Buffy, Methos and Jacob were out of the house within the next breath.
Joyce looked paler than Buffy had ever seen her, including when she lost her little boy. Buffy gently shook her and Joyce opened her eyes. “I have what I promised I’d come back with. Do you want her?”
After three hours, the bonding still wasn’t going as well as Buffy had hoped. Joyce was very sick and Selmak was very weak. Buffy kept up her vigil with Adad and Lantash at her side.
“I was told I would find you here,” a voice said from the doorway behind Buffy.
“She isn’t waking up. Why isn’t she waking up?” Buffy asked, a sob hitching her voice.
“From what you told us, she was very sick. Selmak might need help.”
“I don’t have a healing device.” Buffy’s voice was dead.
“You were a queen, you don’t need one.” The voice was closer, right behind Buffy. She leaned into the tall, lean body and the body wrapped its arms around her waist.
“Daniel, I’m glad you came. Did the others?” Buffy asked.
“Jack’s right outside the door, waiting his turn. He thought this was a family affair,” Daniel answered, nuzzling her neck.
There was a moaning on the bed and Buffy directed her attention to the once sleeping woman. “Joyce?”
Joyce’s eyes flashed gold and the multilayered tones of a Goa’uld said, “Thank you, my Queen.”
Joyce was let out of the hospital as soon as the doctors gave her a physical. Buffy had tears of joy falling down her face and Jack was hugging her tight throughout the whole exam.
When Joyce was declared fit to leave, she had doctors shaking their heads in confusion. Almost all of her physical aliments that had bothered her before were almost non-existent. They didn’t understand it, but let it go.
Sam and Teal’c were at the Summers house. It was a chaotic mess there. The teens didn’t know who anyone else was, except Dawn. The one adult couldn’t control any of the teens, and Anne was waiting for he grandmother, who left three hours ago.
Anne suddenly perked up when the front door opened and a hush swept throughout the house. “She’s back,” she whispered, as Buffy walked through the door, followed by those that were at the hospital.
“Hey, sweetie. I’m all better now,” Joyce whispered, giving Anne a tight hug.
Buffy herded everyone but Joyce, Anne, and Dawn into the living room, which became rather crowded. The Sunnydale natives were on one side and everyone else was on the other, with Buffy, Spike, Daniel and Methos in the middle. Joyce and Anne came into the room after a few minutes and Buffy took that as her cue to begin the rather complicated explanation.
It was Anne, whoever, began the conversation. “What did you do to my mother?”
It was a question that made everyone in the Sunnydale group stare at her with accusation. “It was her choice. One that she made both before and after I left. Sit down and I will start from the beginning.”
Buffy started her story from the beginning, leaving nothing out, stopping when the Tok’ra left Earth. “My plan is to have Dawn, at the very least, taken aboard a ship and taken to the moon until Daniel and Methos help me complete the ritual to banish her again.”
“When you say the moon,” Xander started.
Everyone in the room stared at him, expressions varying from disturbed to amused. “I meant the moon. Literally.” Buffy crossed her arms.
“Having Dawn off world will keep Glory from using her to destroy the world. We won’t need the Key to open the portal to where we’re sending her. All we need is a test tube of her blood. That’s where you come in,” Buffy continued, glancing at both Spike and Sam. “You will be doing the actual blood-letting while Sam will be collecting it. Between the two of you, Dawn will be in the best hands she could be in. As soon as that is done, the Tok’ra will take care of Dawn while she waits in orbit for this to blow over.”
“What about the rest of us?” Willow asked.
“You and Tara will be joining my group. Spike, Methos, Daniel and I will be taking care of getting everything set up. SG-1 will be acting as bait. The more people that are here and around Anne, the more people Glory thinks is the Key. She will try to go after the strongest, which will be Jack,” Buffy explained.
“Not Teal’c?” Jack asked.
“No. Teal’c isn’t fully human, he carries a child of the false gods, and Sam’s a previous host. A symbiote won’t blend with anyone who’s not a pure blooded specimen. The Key is housed by a pure blooded human, but the energy that it gives off changes the basic structure enough to make Dawn unsuitable for a symbiote.”
Jack nodded his head in understanding.
“This means that everyone’s got to keep an eye on Jack. Glory’s gonna try to take him from us, and we can’t allow that. Keep your eyes open and let someone know where you are going at all times. We’re going to come up with a pass phrase to let each other know we are who we will say we are. Let the games begin.” Buffy said.