More Than Eyes Can See
Disclaimer: I own neither SG1 or BtVS.
Author's Note: This follows at a later time in my "Of Slayers and Stargates" series. There are more scenes I'm working on in it, which will eventually come between this one and "More Things."
Daniel packed the broken pieces carefully. The dig mission had gone well; no surprise Goa'Uld popping up, not even a twitch from the Replicators. SG-1 had been sent to join SG-11 and SG-23 when Ancient writing had been discovered.
Daniel shook his head as he carefully filled in the rest of the crate with packing material and closed the lid. He really did need to get more of the archeological people at least functional in Ancient. Granted, the military teams needed to be able to identify "danger, do not touch" a little more than the science and survey teams, but still.
And it didn't help matters that Daniel had recently realized why it was so difficult to learn to read Ancient writing.
The door to his office banged open as a figure walked in. Daniel twitched away to conceal the reflexive flinch. And here was the biggest headache – well, to be fair, it was any of them, but this one took the cake – of current life in the SGC.
Buffy Summers. Five feet, four inches of deceptively ill-educated bottle-blonde migraine-inducing Slayer.
"What can I do for you, Ms. Summers?" Daniel asked, determined to be polite as possible, given his determination not to actually look at his visitor.
"You can make with the 'splainy, Doc," came the reply. "I've got several of the baby-slayers commenting on how difficult it is to work with you in the hand to hand training – that Henry managed to con us into doing, and I'll give him grief for the later – when you won't even look at them." Her voice went ice cold. "Like you won't look at me right now."
Daniel pinched the bridge of his nose in a vain attempt to relieve the building pressure in his head. Deciding to leave aside the casual way Buffy had just promised revenge of a sort on the President of the United States, he motioned to a chair. "Sit, please. This will take a little time."
From the corner of his eye, Daniel saw Buffy moving to sit. Turning the other way to keep from seeing her, Daniel went to his door, closed and locked it securely. Then, still careful to avoid actually looking at his guest, he sat down across the table from her.
"I know you're a highly intelligent person, Buffy," he began, knowing that she was quirking her brows at the way he'd dropped the formality, "so please, don't try to dissemble during this discussion. Deal?"
Silence. It stretched for a few moments, then was broken by her answer. "Deal."
Daniel suppressed another flinch by sheer willpower. Buffy's voice had gotten only colder.
He took a breath. "How much do you know about what happened to me back in the middle of 2002?"
"You did some glowy-squid ascension deal, according to O'Neill. You stayed up there for a while before coming back and becoming human again."
Oh, and hadn't that been fun – learning about how the "Scoobies" had experience with the same thing. Willow had been the one to declare him possession-free, though there was still wariness whenever he had to work with anyone from the "Fang-Gang."
"Yes, I did end up as a higher being for a little while. Then I came back. The problem being that having had one's perceptions expanded … well, it doesn't really go away."
"Splainy." Buffy's voice was even colder. Daniel sighed, braced himself, and raised his head to look directly at her.
Pain immediately started at his temples. It wasn't debilitating, but neither was it something he wanted to live with all the time. Hence the reason he normally didn't look at the Slayers.
Buffy, for some reason, was the most painful to see. Daniel hadn't dared to ask why, given the way he normally acted around the Slayers.
Action that was starting to get a lot of attention, if Buffy's presence was anything to go by. Jack would probably be by later today to have it out with him all over again.
Daniel took a moment to just look at the woman across the table from him. Blonde, though from dye mostly. Slender, with a youthful face and eyes older than the pyramids.
"This will be a little roundabout, but I'll get there." Daniel shuffled a sheet of paper between them, and grabbed a pen. Quickly, he drew a cube on the paper, and wrote in a random time.
"Length, width, and depth," he said, running the pen across the relevant lines. "Anchored in time, these are the four primary dimensions of our existence, and also the only dimensions most humans can perceive. Do you know what a hypercube is?"
"No, I don't," Buffy answered evenly.
"A hypercube is a cube with more than the three dimensions. The four-dimensional version is called a tesseract. It has length, width, depth, and a fourth spatial dimension that instead of giving a single six-sided cube, turns it into eight cubical cells. But we can't draw a tesseract anymore than I can make this drawing a cube. We lack the extra dimension.
"Now, the fun part: having been "up there" as it were, and then re-embodied, I've kept some of the extra perceptions I once had. Which means, when I look at you, or any other slayer, I see
part of what it is that makes them a slayer."
Buffy was on her feet so fast Daniel nearly didn't track it. The pain that shot through his head slammed his eyes shut, and dropped his head into his hands. "And when you move like that," Daniel hissed through the pain, "I see how
you do it. Only since my eyes aren't really made for those extra perceptions I still retain, I get shooting headaches."
Buffy spoke after a few moments, her voice suddenly quiet and soft. "I'm sorry, Doctor. Is there anything I can get you for your head?"
"No," Daniel sighed. "The pain will fade shortly, as long as you don't do anything… 'slayery.'" Butchering his own language almost made the fading pain worth it when Buffy let out a strangled chuckle.
"In any case, you remember how we ended up meeting?"
Buffy grimaced, and went to Daniel's coffee-pot and poured some for him. The smell almost enticed her to get some for herself, but she was enough trouble without stealing his stash of whatever expensive coffee Daniel was importing for his office.
The doctor's head was still down but one hand dropped unerringly to the mug she placed on the table. Buffy stifled a snicker easily enough, recalling the question that had sent her to the coffeemaker.
The meeting had been highly memorable. Truly rogue government types that even the otherwise slimy VP Robert Kinsey had just about blown the covers off everything the NID and some idiots called the Trust were involved in as part of the effort to track down the fools stupid enough to kidnap not only a half-dozen slayers but Dawn as well.
Learning that the morons were trying to clone the slayers, and even had some Buffy DNA in a test tube in an effort to duplicate her, had sent the entire Slayers' Council very nearly into a berserk fury.
Storming that lab had been messy, and the aftermath was still making waves in some government arenas, Buffy was sure.
"Yeah, who could forget?" Buffy ground out.
Daniel shook his head. "The clones never had slayer abilities."
A wave of fury, barely controlled, swept her mind. They'd come across enough gruesome evidence that the tubes had been used for many cloning attempts before Buffy had led the charge into the facility. But this…
"You said you hadn't checked the data." Buffy barely recognized the voice as her own, filled with fury and betrayal as it was. "You said – no, O'Neill fucking said! – all data would be destroyed. He even melted that copy Sammy had made!" Buffy was standing again. "I'm going to…"
"Stop flying off the handle and listen?" Daniel cut in, exasperated.
Buffy stiffened. "Talk."
"We didn't have more than one copy – and you saw exactly what happened to it. Nothing else was saved, or salvaged. All the research data was lost, and I say good thing!"
Buffy blinked, fury abating slowly. She had enough experience with the geeky types that the satisfaction in Daniel's voice over the loss of information was a far cry from normal.
"Buffy, your Slayer abilities – the Slayer abilities of any of slayer – don't come from your DNA. Extra dimensions, remember? You are five-four, probably a hundred and ten pounds soaking wet, and you wouldn't be able to lift a barbell of the that same weight without what you call the slayer spirit. It's a part of you and all the other slayers, yet not. And not one of the clones in the tubes had that spirit.
Buffy settled into her chair. Daniel took a few moments to sip at his coffee.
Then, "how do you know they didn't have it?"
A sigh from the doctor across from her. "Because I did see them in the tubes. And they didn't have it." Daniel shrugged. "If I knew a way to safely pass that information up the chain I would, but all it would do is focus attention on the attempt, and encourage someone to try again. This time, probably with me in the guinea pig slot as well."
The honest grief at not being able to head off a repeat was clear to Buffy.
"I think Willow could work something out," she mused.
The hope in that one word was almost pity worthy. Buffy had seen a lot more of that facility than Daniel had, though. Pity had no place but for the innocent victims there.
And none of the scientists who'd been involved were innocent in her eyes.
Buffy still didn't know where the few survivors had been exiled to, only that the planets in question were otherwise devoid of human life. Lacking technology and Stargates, those dropped off would never leave.
"Really," Buffy murmured, reaching out to gently bump Daniel's shoulder.
For a couple of minutes, the two sat in silence, Daniel finishing his coffee while Buffy's mind turned over their discussion. Suddenly she frowned and reached out to poke Daniel hard.
The man jerked, meeting her eyes briefly with a startled, "Hey!"
Buffy glared. "We still need to figure out how you're going to do hand to hand with the baby-slayers. Especially if you can't even look at them without getting headaches."
Daniel sat back in his chair. "Oh for crying out loud…"End