General Hammond watched SG:1 clatter into his office. Sam looked slightly apologetic at the lack of professionalism the team was showing, since Jack understandably didn’t give a damn and Daniel wasn’t military enough to care.
“What’s going on?” Sam asked.
“Walter was able to clear up the visual feed on the device that Willow and Xander were taken through. He was able to clear the feed enough to determine the gate address of where they went.”
“We are to mount a rescue mission?” Teal’c asked.
Hammond nodded. “SG:2 and SG:10 will be accompanying you through the Stargate. You leave at 1500 hours.”
Jack nodded and the team left the office in order to prepare. Hammond watched their retreating backs. He hoped to God that they would succeed in rescuing Xander and Willow or it would appear that Xander and Willow had died almost immediately upon their arrival. It would destroy Jack O’Neill if they found the bodies of Xander and Willow, having only been killed recently or worse, for them to actually witness the deaths of the two teenagers. Of course, finding them healthy and safe would be the best outcome SG1 could hope for but realistically, when did the best outcome possible happen for the SGC, and SG:1 in particular?
Willow lay in silence, having rolled over as far as her bonds would allow so she was facing Xander. Xander was conscious and looking at her, although they both were not game enough to try and talk. They could hear the sounds of their guards moving around just outside the door. The cell door remained closed, having remained that way since their visitor earlier, who had simply looked down at them, snorted in disgust, and put a platter of what Willow guessed was food on the floor, before stalking out and slamming the door shut with a deafening bang. Neither of them had been game to touch the food. Instead, they just watched one another, trying to communicate through their eyes and small hand gestures. Both of them were trying to act calm and not scared, although inside they were both terrified.
Mentally Willow was punishing herself for not being alert. She knew Xander was, too. Just because it was daylight didn’t mean that they were safe from the supernatural. Many demons were quite comfortable in the sunlight. Neither she nor Xander had managed to get a punch in and they both knew that Buffy would have been disappointed.
Giles and Buffy had spent time and energy helping Xander and Willow train, so that they would be less reliant upon Buffy during patrols. It became even more important when Angelus had returned and begun to target the members of Buffy’s inner circle, not just the Slayer herself. Now, the first time that she and Xander really needed to look out for themselves, they’d gone down without much of a fight.
Xander was thinking much along the same line. He knew that at one point during his struggles, after he had been thrown down on the pavement, he’d somehow managed to get his elbow loose and had flung it back, connecting with something, but the worst damage his captor could have sustained was a broken nose… assuming that they were anatomically the same as humans. They sure had appeared to be ordinary humans but the little bit of the guards he could see indicated that they were larger than the average human. In fact, they reminded Xander unnervingly of Jack’s friend Teal’c.
Xander looked over at Willow, concern etched on his features. Her eyes were distant, obviously a million miles away. There was a bloody gash on her cheek from where she’d been thrown down and Xander suspected that he had a few similar gashes on his face and on his knees from where he had been attacked. Otherwise, they both seemed to be unharmed thus far.
Xander wasn’t overly optimistic of their chances of remaining that way. Given his own past experience of being captive in addition to the soldier possession from last Halloween and the knowledge Giles had passed on, Xander knew that captives were rarely let go without injury. Not for the first time Xander looked around, hoping to find an escape route or some form of weakness that he and Willow could exploit and use to get away.
Of course, once they had escaped, there was the small matter of knowing how to get back home. It would be alright if they’d been taken back to Sunnydale for whatever reason, since they would be able to go back to Giles or Joyce and then organize from there how to get back to Colorado Springs. What worried Xander was the incredibly high possibility of them being taken somewhere else. Neither he nor Willow were very familiar with the local area quite yet, so if they were trapped in a local warehouse and managed to escape, they’d be completely stuck.
Xander shuddered as he through about the possibility of he and Willow having been taken somewhere other the Colorado Springs or Sunnydale. If it were true… well, they would be in deep trouble. Xander found himself mentally going through his memories from the soldier possession to see what he should do, but since he was unarmed and it was highly likely their guards were armed and physically stronger than the two teenagers, it seemed to be a good idea to keep their heads down and wait for the situation to change in their favor.
Xander just hoped that it would do so soon.
Willow had dragged her thoughts from Buffy and instead focused on Jack. According to her watch, they’d been missing for almost 24 hours now. She was sure Jack would have been contacted by now, even though he was on some sort of mission. Jack had reassured her one time when he was leaving to go on a mission that he would always be contactable, even when he was on missions. He wouldn’t be able to talk to them directly but messages could be passed on when his team called in to report on their status.
Willow wondered how he was taking the news. She remembered how little her parents had cared when she’d been put into a coma that day at the library. Jack was similarly career-focused, you had to be to be in the military, so she was sure that he would be finishing his mission before bothering with Xander and Willow’s disappearance, especially since Willow wasn’t even really his. She could imagine Jack getting worried abut Xander but not about her. She was just Xander’s friend whom Jack had kindly taken in to ease the transition from Sunnydale to Colorado Springs for Xander, nothing more.
Willow frowned as she thought of Daniel and Sam, and Janet, and even Murray (even though she knew that Xander was convinced that the man had something to do with their kidnapping). They had all been so kind to her and Xander ever since their arrival, or even before that, considering Sam had gone out and bought the bed frames for them. Daniel had been such a great teacher, even better than Giles (except that wasn’t a fair judgment, considering that Giles had other things to do, like stopping the end of the world and training Buffy). Janet had been so kind, letting them stay with her while Jack was away. She kind of reminded Willow of her own mother in appearance but unlike Sheila Rosenberg Janet obviously gave a damn about the children in her care. Every morning she packed them a lunch and every evening when she came back home, despite being tired, she always took the time to sit and talk with the three teenagers. Willow couldn’t help but feel a tad jealous of Cassie for having such a devoted mother. It was the same jealousy that had struck Willow when she’d seen Buffy and Joyce together. Buffy had no appreciation of Joyce. Sure, she’d loved her mother, but Joyce had simply been just that… Buffy’s mother. Buffy hadn’t learned yet that not all mothers were like Joyce, although Willow thought that Buffy had started to come to the realization during the last few months.
Willow wondered how Joyce and Giles would take the news if she and Xander were killed. Giles would probably bring out Ripper on Jack, although who would win that fight Willow had no idea. The notorious Ripper versus an Air Force Colonel. It could go either way.
Joyce would be upset. Naturally, Xander and Willow’s deaths would upset her but Joyce’s grief would be pale in comparison to losing Buffy.
Buffy… If she came back and founded out that Xander and Willow had been sent away, it would have been tough but if she and Xander were killed, Willow knew it would be that much harder for the blond Slayer, who would doubtlessly blame herself. Cordelia and Oz, Willow feared, would be too lost in their own grief to be able to be appropriately support the Slayer during her grief and the new Slayer would be a stranger to Buffy. Angel would probably still be gone, leaving Buffy practically alone to deal with the aftermath of her absence.
Cassie… She was no longer a replacement for Buffy in Willow’s mind, but a friend in her own right. Willow could only imagine what was going through her head. She’d been so close to Xander and Willow when they’d been attacked and taken, Willow was sure that she would blame herself for leaving them to walk alone. Willow hoped the others… Jack and Janet, Sam, Daniel and Teal’c were being super nice to Cassie and weren’t blaming her for what had happened.
If Cassie had been there as well, then she would have been taken as well or killed on the spot if their captors were specifically after Xander and Willow because of their connections within the supernatural environment.
They were known amongst demons, word of the Slayer’s human sidekicks had spread like wildfire. Willow suspected that Spike was at least partially responsible for it, but then apparently word had gotten out before Spike even came to Sunnydale. Giles had suspected that it went back to the events of the previous year, when Buffy had defeated the Master after being brought back to life by Xander. Buffy might be gone but maybe the demons had assumed that the new Slayer would be loyal to the friends of her predecessor. Willow had a suspicion that somehow the Watcher’s Council were involved, probably being blackmailed into doing something in return for Xander and Willow’s release. Willow almost snorted aloud at the idea. Even when Buffy was alive and in Sunnydale, the Watcher’s Council would never have gone along with the demands of demons, leaving it to Buffy and Giles to rescue them. Now, with Buffy gone, Willow and Xander had even less of a chance of being rescued by the Watcher’s Council than they had of being rescued by Spike.
Willow snorted at the mental picture she had in her head of Spike being a hero. The only reason the blond vampire would save them was if he wanted to drain her and Xander of their blood himself and then leave their bodies for Giles to find, although that didn’t really make sense. Spike had never had a thing against Giles, it was Buffy that he was after. With Buffy gone… and Willow was pretty sure that Spike knew that Buffy was missing, Willow and Xander meant nothing to him. The same applied to many of the big bads that they had faced. Giles himself had admitted before they had left that it was very unlikely that Xander and Willow would ever encounter the supernatural once they moved. If they went looking for it then yes, they might encounter something otherworldly, but they should be fine if they kept their heads down.
Then why were they attacked like they were in broad daylight? Something wasn’t adding up and it was making Willow’s head hurt. She thought back to the attack, remembering what the men had said while trying to get her and Xander to get into the car. She hadn’t got the supernatural vibe off the men, more of a ‘men in black slash James Bond slash secret service’ kind of vibe off of them, not that she was an expert on such things. Willow frowned. What on earth would the government want with her and Xander?
Willow smelled a rat and it certainly wasn’t one that was in the cell with her and Xander. A.N. Here we are. Merry Christmas to all of the readers. If you don't do Christmas, then Happy holidays/Season's Greetings, and best wishes for everyone in 2012. I hope you've all enjoyed the new chapter.
Thanks to everyone who has reviewed, i appreciate all of your comments, and am so thankful that you all take the time out of your busy days to give feedback.
I'm sorry that some of you are finding the story is a bit slow. I promise that there will some action in the next chapter, which will be uploaded at some point in January.