A/N: Hey all. I've been trying to work on this story lately, but every time I come to it, what I have so far is so two dimensional I can't seem to make it work, and I don't really like some of the turns the story ended up making. I'm thinking of reworking the whole thing, not necessarily changing it hugely but just making...run smoother and better. I'd like some opinions, to know if this would be well received or not. Also, I need to know - do I have to take down the other copy to post the rewrite? cos I can, I just don't know if I need to. If anyone could let me know, that would be great!
Legal jargon: As we are all perfectly well aware, I do not own any part of the Stargate or Buffy universes.
Hope you all enjoy! please review! love xx Shezzi
The sergeant stifled a grin as he watched the face of the newest arrival, another member of the Atlantis Project, who was entering the Cheyenne Mountain complex for the first time.
He kept a close eye on her face to observe her reaction as he led her through the last door and into the ultimate goal of the tour – the Gate Room. She gasped, staring at the huge metal circle, one hand rising in an unconscious gesture towards it.
He allowed her a few moments to get a really good look, then recaptured her attention and led her on to her quarters for the night, until the mission departed the next morning.
“Here you are, Doctor Rosenberg. You know where the mess hall is, and the locker rooms if you want to clean up. Medical will send someone down in about an hour to get you for your final checkup.”
“Thank you, sergeant,” the red head smiled at him, one hand unconsciously fiddling with the end of her long braid.
Willow sat down on the edge of ‘her’ bed, breathing hard. The amount of power in this place was phenomenal, greater than anything the Earth had ever provided her with. She could feel it pushing against her shields, and it more than the distance under the ground made her feel oddly stifled and euphoric at the same time.
She was leaving, getting away from all of the reminders that this planet held, the good and the bad…mostly the bad.
After Sunnydale fell, she and Kennedy had gone around the globe finding Slayers and getting them help in whatever way then needed, hooking them up with the council resources.
Then they came up against one, a girl who made Dana appear the picture of sanity and reason, who had been horribly abused before the spell and whose mind had broken under the pressure of her calling.
She had slaughtered Kennedy and had almost killed Willow before the witch had managed to take her down.
Willow had barely been able to keep herself under control, her rage, guilt and grief had been so great. She had contacted the local council representative and had them take the girl into custody. From there she went directly to Devon, where she spent six months working with the Coven before tendering her resignation to the Council and going back to school, cutting as many ties with the supernatural community as possible.
She had no choice but to continue to study and utilize her powers, which had continued to grow and expand, although now she applied herself rigorously to the rituals and laws that she had ignored in her youth. She also still fought, although she did so as little as was possible. With the number of Slayers now available, the nightlife was kept fairly well in hand and there wasn't really much for 'civilians' to do.
She had spent seven years at George Washington University, completing her undergraduate studies in two and going on to get a PhD in Computer Science as well as her medical degree.
She had been considering what to do next when the phone call she could never have predicted or expected came, not from one of the old friends who she now saw so rarely, but from a Major in the Air Force who wanted to speak to her about an opportunity that she may find interesting.
Now, six months later, here she was. About to embark upon a journey that would take her far beyond anything she had known before. She would not be telling anyone about her ‘special’ abilities, but they were the reason the President had put her onto the short list of people to be spoken with about the program.
He had arranged to meet with her after she was briefed on the program by a Major Davis, who didn’t know her history, and explained his other reasons for wanting her along. Basically, she was an added level of security, a fail-safe if things got really bad, she was to reveal herself and do what she could to help.
In order to be certain that she wouldn’t be called upon to handle the everyday problems that the team would doubtless encounter, no one had been briefed on Willow’s abilities. The team leaders knew she had experience in combat situations, although details were kept classified, and she knew that there was more than one odd rumour floating around the upper echelons of the Atlantis exhibition.
To everyone else, she was just Doctor Willow Rosenberg, medic and computer nerd, chosen for her oddly ranging skill set and her possession of the Ancient gene.
She was drawn out of her musings by a knock on the door, and rose quickly to answer it.
“Doctor Beckett,” she smiled, having expected him to send someone else to get her rather than coming himself. They had met several times now; he had interviewed her and explained her position on Atlantis as well as administering her initial physical.
“Willow, luv, how many times do I have to tell ye to call me Carson?” he asked, smiling gently as Willow blushed.
“Carson. How are you?”
“I’m fine, and you?”
“Excited, nervous, happy…I’m good,” she replied as she followed him down the hallway.
“Alright, well, let’s get this done then,” he said, directing her to an empty bed with a paper hospital gown lying on it and pulling the curtain shut to give her privacy to change.
Willow was nervous as she changed her clothes. While Carson had drawn blood, he had never given her a full exam; he had no idea of the extent of the damage she carried on her body.
She sat on the bed once she was changed, her bare feet hanging above the floor.
“Willow? Are you ready?”
“I’m ready,” she replied, and Carson slipped through the curtain. To his credit, he didn’t do much more than blink at the scars he could see. He took her right arm in gentle fingers and examined the three nasty, parallel scars that ran from her shoulder to her elbow.
“This was bad,” he commented, and Willow nodded. “One of those classified things you can’t actually tell me about?” he asked, and she nodded again. “Lets see the rest of them, then,” he said, his expression both sad and concerned as he continued to examine and document the scars that covered her body.
He carried on a light conversation, occasionally questioning if a particular wound ever gave her trouble, until he was finished. He started taking her blood pressure when he noticed the thin, silvery lines of scar tissue at the base of her thumb. The one thing that clearly stood out was that, unlike her other injuries, these had been self-inflicted.
“Willow, what are these?” he asked, shocked that he hadn’t noticed them before.
“Those are old, Carson. I…haven’t done that in a long time.”
“Why did ye do it in the first place? Was it because of stress?”
“What? Oh, no, Carson, it wasn’t like that. I’m not a cutter. It was…kind of part of my religion.”
“Your religion?” he asked, confused.
“I’m a Wicca. At the time, I was led to believe that blood was a necessary part of prayers, that, willingly given, the blood of a supplicant could greatly increase the effectiveness of a spell. I’ve since learnt better.” The truth of it was that she no longer needed blood to augment her power, which was so strong in its own right that she could accomplish anything she needed.
Her clear honesty convinced the doctor, who nodded and made another note in her file. He finished taking her blood pressure and was just about to tell her she could get dressed again when she stiffened.
“Willow? Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he asked, concerned. She raised a hand to quiet him, none of the stiffness leaving her body.
There was something non-human in the infirmary. Willow could feel it as it came closer, could feel the wrongness that surrounded it. She stiffened as it drew even with the privacy curtain, then moved past. Carson spoke, and she raised a hand to silence him, concentrating, then relaxed when a deep, distinctive voice spoke.
It was just Teal’c. She had met the alien once, but there was nothing significant about the way he ‘felt’ to her internal radar, nothing that made him easy to pick out of a crowd of non-humans, so she hadn’t recognized him right away.
“Sorry, Carson, I just thought I heard someone I knew,” she waved it off, and he accepted her explanation.
“Well, I’m all done, so you can get dressed and go and have some dinner, then I would recommend getting some rest. We’re going to have a full day tomorrow.”
“I’ll see you later,” Willow told him, smiling as he slipped back out of the cubicle for her to change.
At 1200 hours the next day, the Atlantis Expedition set out across the galaxies.