Title: Lost and Found
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things Stargate SG1 belong to MGM, et al.
Distribution: The normal places.
Summary: She was lost. . .and he found her.
Notes: This is my Secret Santa fic for Laney. It is also my very first (perhaps only) Stargate SG1 crossover. I have very limited knowledge of the Stargate universe, having as of this moment only seen the movie and the first season of SG1 (yes, I ran out and got Season 1 on DVD).
She didn’t know how long she’d been there. The days had lost meaning after a while, blending together in a haze of desert sands and gusty winds. It was a simple life, so much simpler than that which she’d lost. And, at first, she’d found it to be stifling. Get up, toil until the chores were done, and then retire to her tent. There were holy days, or days that were holy to the people she’d found to live among. And those were without work. Days of celebrating and dancing.
Yet, it still wasn’t home.
Willow sighed, shutting her eyes tight against the bright morning sunlight. The chances were good that there would be a sandstorm today. Better than she would have liked them to be. She could feel the ebb and flow of the weather around her, just as she’d once felt the tides of magic. There was no magic here, outside of the easy weather working she was able to do. But even she couldn’t stem the flow of a sandstorm. It would come, and they would take shelter. And then it would pass.
Such was life here, wherever she was.
The red head glanced around, noting that none of her neighbors had yet to awaken. It was a holy day, after all. One of many that had happened recently. She wasn’t sure on the nuances of this people’s religion or what today was supposed to be in celebration of. The language they spoke was a Phoenician derivative – one of the very few lucky cards she’d been dealt in this entire mess, considering she knew a smattering of Phoenician. But not enough to figure out all the little details of things – like why today was to be a day of dancing and merry-making.
She stretched out her arms, high towards the sun, feeling her muscles ease from the cramps of sleeping. Sleeping on the ground, with only a few thin blankets to grant reprieve from that hardness, was something of an acquired taste. And she still had yet to acquire it, it seemed. After how long, she once again mused. It had to have been. . . Well, at least a year. Probably more. There was no way of knowing now. She’d stopped keeping tally once the marks filled one of the water jugs she had first been given, amongst taking her place with the tribe. Now she had more than one, yet only the first remained covered in the marks. And mostly because it had become. . . .depressing. After the first ‘month’ had passed and no one had found her, she’d tried to remain hopeful. It was months after that when she found herself losing hope. Her friends couldn’t find her. There was no way for them to, since they hadn’t initiated the portal that brought her here in the first place.
And, with that, she’d stopped keeping track of the days. What point was there to it? Best to settle in and live her life rather than dwell on the maybes, might have beens and could have beens.
She sighed, shaking her head. Silliness, that’s what this was. Why linger on these thoughts today? Just because she had time to? Because there was no work to be done? No flour to be ground? She still had embroidery that she could be doing. A bit of finery that she traded off for dried fruit and meat from those women that had men to do the hunting for them. Yes, men. A woman wasn’t allowed to hunt. Oh, she had autonomy in all other things, the run of the tent, even a prominent place in the law making body. For that, Willow was okay with the hunting thing. She could embroider if she needed to, to get meat. Venturing outside of the city gates wasn’t something she liked to do, anyway. The world was bleak. Sparse trees, lots of sand. Not much to look at.
Nothing she –wanted- to look at, anyway.
Daniel shook his head, looking with curiosity up and down the streets. “A cultural ceremony of some kind. Perhaps religious? The full connotation of what they’re saying. . .I’m not really sure. It’s Phoenician, but a very convoluted derivative –“
”So, you really don’t have a clue what they’re taking us to?” Jack cut in with a shake of his head.
The blonde haired researcher shrugged. “A party?”
“A party sounds good to me,” Sam smiled broadly from next to Jack. “What about you Teal’c?”
The dark skinned warrior raised an eyebrow at the woman next to him, causing Daniel to just grin. They really needed to get that guy a sense of humor.
“Carter, Daniel, you two keep following them to wherever it is they’re going. Teal’c and I will go this way. We’ll meet back here in two hours. Radio if you come across anything of interest. But –“
“It looks like just another dusty, ancient planet?” Sam offered with a wry smirk, her eyes going between her three teammates.
“Looks like it.”
The rumors were abounding by the time she made her way from her tent for the early afternoon celebration. Her fingers were cramped from the fine needlework she’d been doing, and she found herself flexing them almost convulsively until the last of the aches were massaged away. It was during this time that she heard the whispers.
In all of her time in the village, there had been visitors only twice before. Both from other villages, far away. And neither with any information that was useful to her. Like, oh, say, a mystical glowing light that could suck her back up and take her home. Asking such questions usually just got her blank stares or fearful looks. Magic wasn’t heard of in this world. To speak of it was nothing more than madness.
But another group of visitors? Today of all days? Even though she had long since given up hope that she’d find anyone with useful information, it was still interesting to meet someone from another village. Perhaps there’d be something useful to trade for. Or just something pretty for her tent. Another of those mineral statues that she kept next to her pallet, perhaps?
She fingered the small pouch that held the small, polished stones that were used for currency in the village. Yes, there was enough in there to purchase something nice for herself, should the opportunity arise.
The streets were crowded, as others made their way to and from the great square where the festival was being held. Mothers out with their children, fathers getting supplies for their families, and others just enjoying this day of rest and peace. She smiled at some, friends and neighbors, nodded her head in greeting to others that she knew by association only.
Now – where would the visitors be?
It was the rumblings of the crowd that gave her the first clue.
And then a voice, like something from a dream. Someone speaking in a language she hadn’t heard in so long that she thought she’d never hear it again.
“. . .saying that you have lovely eyes. . .”
Willow felt her heart skip a thousand beats as she turned, frantically. It was her imagination, right? No one could be –here-, speaking English. She wasn’t even sure English existed in this reality. There was no sign of it. And certainly, even if it did, not English of that quality. It would be middle English. Or some derivative. Not pure, unbroken, good old US English.
She paused, listening with all her ability for some more of that entrancing sound.
“. . .they appear to be friendly enough. Just another desert world. . .roughly the same culture as Abydos. . .”
She was scrambling now, pushing her way through the streets for any sign of whoever was speaking. She could hear more now. They were just exploring, or something. For what purpose or where they came from, she couldn’t tell. If only the streets weren’t so flat, a small hill, anything to let her see above this sea of people.
“Oh!” She cried out, falling backwards as she ran full into one of the people she was trying to run through. “I’m sorry!”
She wondered, half-heartedly, why she had slipped into her native tongue, after using her best attempt at the village’s language for month on month. Perhaps it was because she’d just heard it, and had it running through her heart and soul.
Or maybe it was because of the person she ran into. Because she caught a glimpse, as she was falling down, of fatigues that looked so familiar. Not the dusty sack-like clothing that permeated this village. It was –real- clothing. Real boots, military issue, she guessed in that one brief moment before she looked up into the face of the person she’d bumped into. Only a few seconds could have passed since she fell; yet no one had moved. Not her – not him.
He had pretty eyes, she thought belatedly. Odd that it was her first thought upon looking into his decidedly friendly, if not confused, face.
She couldn’t tell if he was just repeating what she’d said, or asking a question of his own. And, at that moment, it didn’t matter.
“Daniel – what -- ?”
Willow scrambled to her feet, brushing her hands absently on the front of her dress. “Are you. . . I mean, oh Goddess.”
“You’re not from here, are you?” the newcomer spoke, a blonde haired woman that looked at Willow with that same, wide-eyed curiosity. She was already reaching for something at her belt, a radio Willow guessed. Not her gun, she was thrilled to note.
“No,” Willow shook her head. Her heart was pounding painfully in her chest. “I don’t know how to ask this without sounding crazy –“
“We’re from Earth,” the one that the woman had referred to as Daniel spoke up suddenly, seeming to shake from his daze. He gave her a small, tentative smile.
“Earth,” the red head whispered to herself. She nodded, things snapping into place in some ways, though not all. “So this isn’t an alternate reality. It’s . . .what? Another planet? Can you take me home? Please? I’d appreciate it. Going home, that is. I’ve been here so long -”
She was babbling, and it sounded so strange. Babbling was difficult in the language of the village, especially since she barely knew any words with which to babble.
“Yes, another planet,” the woman was frowning. “How did you get here?”
“Um. . .portal. Weird magic energy portal. Yeah, sounds nuts, but here I am and here you are, too. Can you take me home?”
“It doesn’t sound. . .nuts,” Daniel shook his head. “Except, there’s only one of those portals on Earth that we know of. Was it a large circular shaped portal, black in design?”
Willow frowned. “No, it was a bright pink swirling energy vortex.”
“Ah. Yes, well,” he looked confused, but covered for it with another kind smile, the type that made her tingle all the way to her toes. “We can get you home. I’m Dr. Daniel Jackson, by the way. And this is –“
“Captain Sam Carter,” the woman offered her hand.
”Willow Rosenberg, from Sunnydale, California.”
The Captain’s eyes widened just a touch, as if those words meant something to her. She nodded once, sharply.
“I’m going to radio Jack,” she murmured, stepping away. She stopped halfway across the dusty street, glancing over her shoulder. Willow met her blue eyes, and felt her heart rise a little at her next words. “I’m aware of the Sunnydale situation, Ms. Rosenberg.”
“Thank the Goddess,” Willow whispered, nodding her head in acknowledgement. It was going to be okay. She was going home.
“Hey, don’t cry.”
The red head glanced up at Daniel. “Sorry, Doctor – I’m just. . happy.”
“Call me Daniel,” he smiled sheepishly.
He couldn’t believe it. She was human. From Earth. And she was here, on PSC-545. She stuck out like a sore thumb, with her red hair and fair coloring, amongst people that looked like they belonged in a Middle Eastern city. He had to believe that if she hadn’t run right into them, they would have noticed her eventually anyway.
“Daniel,” she smiled, shaking her head. The tears were still flowing over her cheeks, and he could only imagine what was going through her mind. Her smile, even with her eyes beginning to get red and tears flowing down her cheeks, was beautiful. Like a warm ray of sun. “It’s been so long since I heard a name like that. It’s usually Sakar or Tiuri or. . .Well, I mean –“
“I get the point,” he grinned. This was amazing. And he couldn’t wait to figure out how she’d gotten here. Sam seemed to know, but from the look on the Captain’s face . . . it wasn’t something she wanted to talk about. Not right now. She’d looked almost, haunted. Which made him all the more curious. “You’ve been here a while?”
“Too long,” she whispered. “Far too long.”
He felt his heart go out to her, then, as her voice took on a whispery quality, like a child that had been given the most wonderful shock of her life.
She had so many questions, about how they got there and about how they could guarantee her passage home. But none of that seemed so. . . important right now. She was –going home-. That was the important thing. Back to Sunnydale, where there were trees and green grass, flowers and animals that didn’t look like refugees from a sci-fi movie.
“What did Sam mean, about knowing about Sunnydale? That’s where you said you’re from, right?” he seemed to snap out of some sort of internal thought process.
”I’ll tell you about that if you tell me how you guys got here,” she giggled.
“That’s. . .classified,” he frowned. “Though, I am wondering how that’s going to work since obviously you’re coming back with us.”
“And everything about Sunnydale is classified, too, I’m sure,” she shrugged. “At least, it was last time I heard.”
”We should wait, then,” he offered with a shrug. “I’d love to hear all about it some time, though. When all this is over. If I can get clearance.”
She blushed, glancing around. The world was moving around her, this world where she’d lived for however long, and now it was all coming to an end. . .and it sounded like he was asking her to dinner or something. She nodded.
“Sure, if you can get the clearance,” she teased lightly, not caring if he got the clearance or not. She’d tell him all about Sunnydale once they were back – but for now she didn’t want to risk her trip out of here by giving away classified information on Sunnydale and making someone mad at her.
The blonde turned, glancing across the street to where the Captain waited. And two more fatigued men that were looking at her with curiosity. She felt the sobs welling up again, but of pure happiness.
She was going home. There’d be questions for her, questions for them. And she didn’t really care if it was classified and she never heard a thing about how she got home. All that mattered was the getting there.
And maybe a dinner date with a handsome Doctor?
“C’mon, let’s see about getting you back to Earth.”
Willow smiled, and took the hand that he held out to her.
~*~End. No Prequel.~*~
A/N: This episode was written prior to me watching Season 1, Episode 18 “Solitudes”, in which we all find out about the Antarctic Stargate. So. . . please no emails telling me about it, I am now aware, but this was written days before I saw that episode.
Read the Sequel: Let's Do Lunch