Disclaimer: Willow and the Buffy 'verse belongs to Joss Whedon; Daniel and Stargate SG1 belongs to Wright and Glassner, MGM- I'm just borrowing them.~"~
Ow. Ow. Ow…
The spot at the back of his head throbbed in time with his rapid heartbeat, he felt something hot and wet trickle down the back of his neck and under his blue shirt. The street around him whirled making him feel nauseous; he gulped and hoped he wouldn’t throw up.
Daniel doubted that throwing up on their attacker what deter him in any way- well, at least he’d gross the man out if nothing else- and this guy was pretty strong; Teal’c strong, actually. Weird, considering the man was of a smaller build than Daniel himself; he hadn’t anticipated that he’d get into this much of a situation.
Not that the knowledge would have stopped him from trying to help the woman who seemed to have been the man’s first target, the guy was obviously a little crazy; deformed face and insane strength aside, of course.
Was he on steroids?
The man growled and, before Daniel could even start to climb to his feet, strode the three metres between them in two steps; grabbing him by the collar and hurling him through the air. Wind whipped by his ears as he fell, finally landing on the sidewalk in a bruised heap.
The woman that he was in the process of ‘saving’ cried something unintelligible- maybe he had a concussion- and the assailant was suddenly bombarded with trash cans; bouncing off his head, his side; to clatter back down on the ground…
Come on, Jackson. Several years of being Jack’s best friend must have taught him something! Something besides snarky and sarcastic comments, which he didn’t think would help.
The world around him was still tipping from side to side, but the staggering antagonist seemed to fill his vision entirely- he had an opening. The man had a weakness. Distant sirens made themselves heard and he wondered how long the cops would take to get to them- and whether or not they’d get there in time.
Daniel pushed himself up using his hands, just as he’d climbed to his feet nausea reared its ugly head and dark spots appeared before his eyes. He paid them no attention, balled up his fists and wished for the third time that night that he’d brought his gun with him.
The dark blotches grew larger and larger, and he felt the strength leave his legs; anger pulsed within him as his knees buckled and hit the ground. He knew he was passing out and cursed himself for his weakness; it would mean the end for both he and the redhead he’d tried to help.
He wondered if they’d both survive; if Jack and the others would track that bastard down- and he knew that they would. They were the closest team within Stargate Command, they were friends; family, practically. The only family he’d known since his parents had died when he was eight.
If he was killed, it would be on Christmas Eve; two measly hours until Christmas Day- the one day he just had to be with his family.
What about the redhead? Did she have a family?
Daniel blinked slowly as he slumped forward, cheek brushing the rough surface underneath, and he frowned drowsily as the last thought of the night entered his mind.
He hadn’t caught her name.
Willow watched as the man flopped onto his front, resisting the urge to openly and recklessly reveal her magic and turn the vampire into a hundred dust bunnies; Giles would have had a fit if he’d known that she was magically throwing trash cans around in front of the stranger.
“Dang it,” she muttered to herself as the vampire’s yellow eyes met hers.
She, and the others, all knew of the military presence in Colorado Springs and what was the bet that that guy worked for them. Still, she wasn’t about to let someone become vamp food; especially not someone who had tried to help her.
Despite the hope that the man would be okay, she did feel a small amount of relief course through her when he appeared to have passed out cold; she scolded herself guiltily though, and glared at the offender.
This vamp was in for a world of pain.
“Merry Christmas,” she quipped darkly.
The vampire leered and took a step towards her, “Happy New Year, as my fledgling.”
Willow suppressed a snort, “I’ve met my vamp-self, buster. She takes the term ‘Mistress of Pain’ way too seriously.”
The vampire lunged.
What was that noise?
It was probably one of the apartments nearest him, which ever one that was; giving off that squeaking sound-
Was it a creaky door?
No, he doubted it.
He grimaced as a wave of pain clouded his brain, the noise was blocked momentarily and he waited for the ache to subside; it was one hell of a headache. What did he do, drink an entire gallon of alcohol?
Daniel knew the injury hadn’t been sustained off-world; it had to have been in Colorado Springs. He had been attending one of Jack’s ideas of a Christmas party where he’d forgone the idea of a risk-free night and had ordered a third pint before he’d even realised it.
Was this karma… a hangover from hell? Hell, yes!
God! Then what had Ferretti done to earn him his very last mission that morning?
Daniel forced the memories back into the corner of his addled mind; he wasn’t going there; no way, no how. That would only ser-
“How’re you feeling?”
The squeaking had ceased completely.
He froze, as did his train of thought, her voice rang within his mind over and over again, where had he heard that voice before? Did she know what had happened to him; did he get into a… a bar fight or something?
The one time he’d brawled with anyone in a bar was a few years, back when he and his team-mates had been given the Atanik armbands; he didn’t like to admit it, but he had felt kinda proud of himself for not turning the other cheek for once. He really hated being labelled a ‘geek’.
Daniel felt a hand on his arm and decided that he should have abandoned the fake-sleep deal a little earlier; he opened his eyes slowly to adjust to the lighting. Blinking, he looked up and saw a pretty redhead; she was sat by his hospital bed, eyeing him with concern. She had a scrape on curve of her chin; he wondered how she’d gotten it.
Then the memories came screaming back, he grimaced with the sudden knowledge and studied the young woman closely; she seemed fine, he guessed the cops had come right after he’d passed out.
He suddenly realised why she was staring at him, she had asked him a question and he
was ogling her like a complete ass. Way to go, Daniel, that didn’t make him look stupid at all.
Daniel opened his mouth, “Uh…I’m fine.” He winced and touched his fingers to his temples, “Just a headache.”
The Mother of All Headaches.
She smiled brightly at him; his stomach flipped a little, and he seriously doubted it was the concussion, “That guy didn’t…”
Willow’s eyes went wide, “Oh no, I’m great! Chipper, even.”
Chipper? He smiled involuntarily, “Good. I’m Daniel, by the way.”
“Willow,” she stated, tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear. She then eyed something behind him and through the window; he wondered what had caught her attention.
Daniel glanced carefully behind him, head still throbbing; he probably had a lump the size of Chulak on the back of his head. He saw that, in the corner of the corridor outside his room, a Christmas tree was sparkling cheerfully; tinsel glimmering in the florescent lighting. It looked similar to SG1’s own tree back at Jack’s house. Jack, who was probably wondering where the hell he’d got off to. That is, if he’d been gone for long enough.
“H-how long have I been unconscious?” He asked, trying to appear unconcerned. As if he wasn’t hoping against hope that it had only been a couple of hours.
Willow ducked her head, checking her watch briefly, “It’s about two-thirty in the morning.”
Daniel felt his eyes widen a little, “Four hours?” Jack was gonna be pissed, mostly because he’d gone AWOL on Christmas Eve. Hammond, of course, was probably ordering a search of Colorado Springs.
Either that or he’d already done it.
“Oh, your friends are gonna be here in a jiffy,” she informed him, hastily. “One of the nurses recognised you.”
Wait, that didn’t seem right. “And they aren’t here yet?”
He didn’t want to look self-centred or anything, especially in front of Willow, but after four hours how were they not already with him.
“You didn’t have any ID with you,” she stated, simply.
Daniel nodded, suddenly wanting to know where he was, “Which hospital is this?”
“Um…St. Francis medical center,” she replied, “you work around Cheyenne Mountain, they said they might transfer you to a hospital closer-
He looked up as the door to his room opened, a stern-looking nurse eyed his companion critically, “Visiting time is over, he needs to rest.”
Feeling more than a little dismayed, Daniel nodded; he wanted her to stay, but she probably had other plans- ones that did not involve waiting in a hospital room with a complete stranger.
Willow rose from her seat and gave him a smile, “Thanks, Daniel.”
Thanks for helping, she was trying to say. He nodded and smiled, “Don’t mention it, really.”
She moved past the nurse, who was now fussing over Daniel, and then stopped and said, “You…uh…didn’t see where that guy went, did you?”
Was it him, or did she sound a little wary?
Strange question to ask; he had been knocked out.
Daniel slowly shook his head, then stopped; wincing, “No, must have passed out. Didn’t…you see him?”
Willow blushed and shook her head, “He… um… ran off…”
The nursed cleared her throat pointedly.
The redhead seemed to gain some of her composure, “Police…wanted to ask questions. Just wondering if you knew anything I didn’t.”
Oh right…no, there was still something off.
Willow coughed, giving an uncanny impression of the nurse; he smiled in spite of himself and she grabbed her coat from the seat, “Get well soon, okay, mister?”
He nodded, still feeling a little perplexed by the sudden shift between them; he caught himself just before she was out of the room, “Thanks for…”
She blinked at him.
Willow nodded, almost knowingly, and then disappeared from his view.
Daniel turned away from the door, suddenly feeling a little deflated as he listened to the nurse’s suggestions. He sighed and lay back on the pillows, the room was a little too quiet; his team would be there soon, demanding to know what had happened and who’d attacked him.
He stared out of the same window that he and Willow had looked through only a few minutes before and studied the Christmas tree, he felt his eyes sting with exhaustion, he let his eyes drift shut with the outline of the tree, and the redhead’s smile, firmly in his mind.
Two questions nagged at him in his sleep.
Just what had Willow been shouting before he’d passed out?
And, had it really been the concussion- or had those trash cans been moving all on their own?~*~
A/N: I presume I've got my facts straight on all aspects of this ficlet, but if I've made any mistakes I have no problem in being told. :)
That said, if you liked it please R&R, I love feedback.
The sequel, for those interested, can be found at this link- http://www.tthfanfic.org/Story-25638/pezgirl+Debriefing+the+Close+Encounters.htm