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A kiss before dying

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This story is No. 1 in the series "A kiss before dying". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: The main story in the A kiss before dying universe. Kennedy and Hailey, Slayers and Bondmates and aliens and Demons, treacherous Watchers oh my... Rating increased for adult subject matter

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Other BtVS/AtS Characters(Current Donor)vidiconFR21767,64711688,52723 Jul 1228 Jun 14No

NOTE: This story is rated FR21 which is above your chosen filter level. You can set your preferred maximum rating using the drop-down list in the top right corner of every page.

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Chapter One

Author’s Note:

Thanks very much to my Beta, Letomo. The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that.

Speech: “Who’s on first.”

Thought: *What’s on second.*

Vision: #I-don’t-know’s on third.#

This is the first part of the prequel to PDA’s. They haven’t quite gotten there…

A kiss before dying

When her eyes fluttered open the first thing Kennedy saw was a ceiling. The ceiling was not very interesting, Kennedy noted. It was painted a strange institutional grey-green that took on an additional grey-green tinge due to the presence of the green clad medical personal and the white and green room screens. The place smelled of bleach and other disinfectants, with an undertone of cordite. Weapons grade cordite, and gun oil. That and the colours suggested the military. That wasn’t good. Buffy would not be pleased if Kennedy had managed to be caught by the military. Buffy had really not liked the Initiative. She didn’t like doctors. So she would flip once she knew Kennedy was in the hands of Army Doctors.

Kennedy yawned and winced as the movement pulled on her stitches. She could feel where they had stitched her wounds. Many of them. She should have been dead. Would have been dead if Buffy hadn’t dragged her away, out of the scrum of demons that were intent to kill the self-proclaimed ‘best Slayer in the world.’ Even if she’d only done it as a distraction.

That was not really the thing you should say when being overheard by big, strong, very nasty demons. It tended to go bad.

Kennedy wasn’t quite sure how she’d gotten into this hospital. At the moment she didn’t really care. A soft hand lay in hers and it felt familiar. Good. Safe. Kennedy hurt, and felt tired. She closed her eyes and went back to sleep.

BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 2003

Buffy was pacing up and down in the room, gesturing and muttering. “Stupid, idiotic moronic self-centered bitch!”

Willow was looking at a map that sat on the ground surrounded by bowls of smoking incense. She raised her head tiredly. “She wanted to impress you, Buffy.”

“She was stupid!” Buffy countered harshly. “I thought you told me she’d changed!”

“She has. There has to be a reason why she acted the way she did. She should have held back, she knew the plan, agreed with it,” Willow replied softly. “Now hush, I’m concentrating here.”

Buffy glared at the witch but kept silent. Xander, seated on a leather couch in the corner, smiled at the interaction. Giles’ expression could not be seen as he was bent over a book, but there was a soft cough. 

Willow took a deep breath and then let it out. Wisps of white energy flew from the palms of her hands and coalesced over the map. And then fizzled.

Willow blinked and her shoulders slumped. “Well, that sucks. She’s nowhere near here.”

Xander shrugged. “So we try again.”

Buffy glared at Xander and gestured at the exhausted looking Willow. “Look at her, Xander! She’s exhausted. First she spent a lot of power getting all of us here, plus extra trained Slayers, then she helped fight those Anus demons-”

Giles winced. “Unas Demons, please, Buffy.”

Xander sniggered as Buffy flushed slightly. “Freudian slip there, Buff? And I wasn't saying right now, I meant once Will had recovered a bit.”

“Right, Unas demons,” Buffy corrected herself, mollified and trying to hide her embarrassment at her slip. “You’re sure they’re famous for making gates and portals Dawn?”

Dawn looked up from her own book, the bandage around her head giving her a rakish look. “Yeah, they and something called Goold or Guld or Goald demons are famous for them, it says here. They worked together.”

“Right. So there must have been at least one of them inside that building where I stashed Kennedy and it took her,” Buffy looked momentarily guilty, then quickly hid it behind a bland expression.

“It wasn’t your fault, Buff. She challenged them, you saved her and then we were all too busy fighting to keep an eye on her, if anyone messed up, we all did,” Xander assured her.

Buffy nodded and looked at Willow from under her lashes. Willow groaned, rose, grabbed Buffy’s hand and dragged her off to the next room, muttering apologies to the others. She closed the door and crossed her arms glaring at Buffy. “This isn’t your fault, Buffy. I don’t know why Kennedy did what she did, but she did it. And you saved her and did all you could to make sure she survived. And then she was gone. Nobody blames you, Buffy; nobody thinks you did it on purpose!”

Buffy looked at her feet. “You don’t? Really?”

Willow rolled her eyes. “Buffy, you and Kennedy don’t get along, we all know that. But she got a lot better once she had to fight on a nightly basis, without much support. After her first mauling, she realised there was a lot more to you surviving this long than just luck. She respects your abilities and you hers, you told her she was good. You didn’t see how happy she was about that.”

“I saw what she was like when you broke up…” Buffy mumbled.

Willow sighed. “I think that was more fear than anger, Buffy. Kennedy tries to come on strong but inside she’s a girl who likes, and needs, to be hugged.”

Buffy raised an eyebrow. “What?”

“She was afraid she’d be lonely. And she has been, I think, but that has been a lesson too,” Willow explained.

Buffy looked at her blood bespattered designer boots. “And when we…” She made a gesture between her and Willow.

Willow lightly took Buffy’s face in her hands and kissed her lips. “She dealt with it.  Oh, she wasn't happy, there's a lot of jealousy in slayers, you're all quite possessive and territorial. But she knew it was over between me and her long before there was a me and you.”

Buffy smiled a little. “I'm still jealous.”

“And you're a bit jealous of Tara too, and even of Oz,” Willow retorted, rolling her eyes. “It’s the Slayer growling. That doesn't mean you go around letting people die.”

“Then where is Kennedy? I put her in that house.” Buffy asked in a small voice.

“And she was wounded and we were in the middle of battle and it was empty when we put her in there, you couldn't sense a demon. nor could Dimity or Laura. So sometime between then and the end of the battle something went in there and found her. And she must have woken up, because we did find three dead Unas and no Kennedy and no trace of more Unas leaving on foot. And there was that flash of light. So she is somewhere and we'll find her,” Willow assured Buffy while giving her a light hug.

“And when we do she and I will have a little word about strategic withdrawal. As well as why she felt the need to tell them she was the greatest slayer in the world,” Buffy scowled.

Willow grinned. “You know, you're kinda cute when you get all jealous and bossy.” 

Buffy raised an eyebrow. “Do I? You like it when I'm bossy?”

Willow's grin widened. “Within reason...”

Buffy smirked. “I think I can work with that. Come on, lets get you some food, and then you need to take a nap and then we go find Kennedy.”

BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS

SGC, Colorado, November 1st 2003

“Well Captain? Care to explain your actions?” General Hammond asked his eyes severe and his voice hard as he looked at Jennifer Hailey.

“She saved our lives, sir.” Jennifer replied, while standing rigidly at attention.

“Well, that’s wonderful. You compromised the secrecy of this operation because she saved your lives?” Hammond’s voice was scathing.

“Yes, Sir.” Jennifer affirmed.

Hammond sighed. “What was she doing in the middle of the jungle wearing designer jeans and boots, Captain?”

Jennifer looked over Hammond's shoulder. “Funny sir, that’s just what she said about us.”

“She said about us?” Hammond echoed.

“About the team, sir. She was cutting an Unas up with a sword, bleeding all over the place, keeping it from eviscerating Major Monson, and she wanted to know what the hell we thought we were doing there, Sir.”

Hammond blinked. “She was what?”

“Killing an Unas, sir. As a matter of fact she killed several and from the noise, there were even more outside. That was when I requested beam out, sir. I wasn't going to just leave her, sir,” Jennifer asserted to the wall.

“I see. No, I suppose you wouldn't have. I want your team's full reports on my desk tonight by 2300, debrief is tomorrow at 0900.” Hammond ordered. “Tell Major Monson, if he's up to it.”

Jennifer saluted. “Yes sir!” turned about smartly and left.

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SGC General Hammond's room, 0900 the next morning

George Hammond read the report from Captain Hailey. And those from Lieutenants Robart and Finchley. And then the short one from Major Monson. All were quite similar, except that one detail was missing in Captain Hailey's. A tiny detail. But that it was missing, that was what worrying Hammond. Worrying him greatly. Worrying enough to pick up his phone and call the infirmary. “Dr. Fraiser? Was SG-8 given a check for Goa'uld?”

Fraiser was brisk. “Good morning, to you too, sir. Yes, they were. All clear”

Hammond grinned. Some days the good Doctor reminded him of his mother. “Good morning Doctor. And our guest?” Hammond inquired.

“As well. Considering her injuries I think I could have seen the thing with my bare eyes. It's miracle she’s alive,” Fraiser replied. “Except...”

“Except what, Major?” Hammond asked wearily.

“Except that she seems to be recovering far more quickly than she should,” Fraiser admitted. “I noticed it yesterday, but the progress is so marked today...” she shrugged helplessly.

“I see. When were you going to report this?”

“It's in my medical report sir. But yesterday the recovery was much less immediately noticeable. But I took the liberty of requesting a Level 2 watch over her, sir.” Fraiser replied evenly.

“Right. Medical report. Major, has Captain Hailey been to visit your patient?” Hammond asked, hoping the answer would be 'no'.

“Yes, sir. Three times,” Fraiser reported.

“Wonderful. Just plain wonderful,” Hammond muttered and rang off.

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SGC debriefing room,

“Your reports are clear, right up to the point of the collapse of our guest,” Hammond eyed the group with a stern eye. “Captain Hailey.”

Jennifer cringed. “Yes sir.”

“What were you thinking?” Hammond asked.

“I thought she was dying, sir,” Hailey looked at her folded hands. “So did she.”

“So you kissed her?” Hammond referred to her report. “What did she say to you, Captain? All the other reports say she said something. You do not mention it.”

Hailey flinched and looked at her team mates. Then at the General. “I didn't think it was important sir.”

Hammond glared and Hailey barely managed to suppress a shiver at his icy look. Then her shoulders sagged. “Heya, Beautiful. How's about a kiss before dying. Sir.” she nearly whispered.

Hammond blinked. He had been expecting threats, or hypnosis. A lot of things. Not quite this. “I see. So you did. Why?”

Hailey straightened again and gestured at the pale and bandaged Monson, the wounds on Robart and Finchley and herself. “She saved our lives sir. And... I thought it might be her last request, sir. I was thinking of Hardy, sir.”

“Her last request?” Hammond repeated, incredulously. “Hardy?”

“Yes, sir. I could see her spine through her stomach sir. That is not something most of us survive,” Hailey replied. “I thought she was dying and I wanted to... thank her. I know it was stupid sir, but it felt right.” She looked him straight in the eye, Hammond noted, unafraid to take responsibility for her actions. She had grown, had Jennifer Hailey, and learned.

“I see. You realize that she might have been Goa’uld? Or Tok’ra? That right now you could be carrying a larvae or parasite? How much your actions might have endangered your team, the ship you were beamed to, this base, the world and the human race?” Hammond looked at her severely.

“Yes sir.” Hailey admitted. “I know.”

Hammond looked at the young captain and shook his head. “SG-8, dismissed. Major Monson? Get back to the Infirmary before Doctor Fraiser comes after me for aiding and abetting the escape of one of her patients. Captain Hailey, you are confined to quarters until further notice.”

Monson winced and headed out, supported by Robart. Hailey rose and saluted, and was given a supporting squeeze on the shoulder by Finchley as she left.

Hammond sighed and returned to his office, where he lifted a report from the pile in his inbox laid it in front of him and scowled at it, wondering what he should do about his guest. They’d run her finger prints through the system and had come up with an identity. Depending on what emerged from that he'd decided what to do with his wayward Captain.

“Kennedy Maria Asunción de Villarosa y Santa Anna,” he mused. “What were you doing in the jungle of Brazil? And what are you that you defeated an Unas as if it was an,” he referred to Robart's report. “Nonagenarian chimp on roller skates.” Hammond smiled in spite of the situation.

Robart had an interesting turn of phrase in what Jack O'Neill called the 'Essay' part of the report. Daniel Jackson had insisted that it be added to all reports, to record not just facts, but impressions and gut feelings. Hammond had to admit the essays had saved lives. They also showed that his people had the ability to write interesting stories. He'd drawn the line at the haikus O'Neill had tried to get away with. 

The door opened and a rather flustered looking orderly came in. “Sir? Major Davis is on the line, he says it is exceptionally urgent.”

Hammond sighed. He liked Paul Davis. The man worked hard at a thankless job and did it in a stellar way. Nonetheless the nickname 'Disaster Davis' that had been given him by the lower ranks, *O'Neill is your junior*, Hammond thought piously, seemed very fitting some days.

“Put him through, Caskill.” Hammond picked up the phone. “Major Davis? You said it was urgent?”

“General Hammond, sir. Yes, sir it is. Do you have anyone on base called Kennedy Maria Asunción de Villarosa y Santa Anna? You ran a search for her fingerprints?” Davis sounded anxious.

“Yes, we do. Why?” Hammond asked, cautiously. 

“You must release her immediately, sir. Presidential orders, he'll send the written ones by fax, but just get her to sign an NDA and-”

“Major, Miss De Villarosa is not going anywhere. She was brought in here near death with enough of her innards hanging out that SG-8 could make a visual confirmation that she did not carry a Goa'uld,” Hammond rubbed his forehead. “She is in no condition to be released.”

“Ah. That complicates matters,” Davis noted. “Might I ask why she was brought on base?”

Hammond snorted. “Captain Hailey felt that she could not allow someone who had rescued an SG team to bleed out if she had another option. She requested beam out.”

“That sounds like an SG thing to do,” Davis replied dryly. “I'll inform the President. Thank you, sir.”

“Please do,” Hammond sighed and hung up. It rang again immediately. He looked at the phone and sighed and picked it up. “Hammond.”

“Dr. Fraiser, sir. Sir, there's a situation in the Infirmary,” Fraiser sounded frazzled. That was rare.

“What sort of situation?” Hammond at this point was expecting an invasion of the entire Mexican army to liberate the descendant of Santa Anna that was residing the Infirmary.

“Miss Villarosa is... acting strangely,” Fraiser replied.

“Acting strangely? I thought you had her drugged up to the gills?” Hammond responded.

“I do sir. But she seems to be shaking them off and is fighting the restraints. I needn't tell you that anyone with her type of injuries oughtn’t to be moving, sir. It really is amazing she can. She might do herself considerable damage.” Frazier sounded worried now. 

 Hammond swore silently to himself. A young woman the President wanted out of his command as soon as possible was doing herself serious harm and might die. “I’m on my way.”

BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1

The Infirmary was mercifully quiet. Just Miss Villarosa and Major Monson. Fraiser was by the girl’s bed and frowning.

“Doctor? Can you tell what’s wrong?” Hammond asked quietly. 

“No. sir. I can’t tell you what’s right either. The patient just isn’t responding to the sedatives I’ve administered like she should.”

“How should she be responding?” Hammond asked.

Fraiser pointed at the curtain that concealed Major Monson. “Like him, out like a light. There is no way a girl this size could handle this much anesthetic, unless she was carrying a Goa’uld or a larva, which she isn’t.”

Hammond resisted the need to swear. “Anything different in her treatment?”

Fraiser shook her head. “Not a thing.”

Kennedy made a moaning noise and her flailing hands grasped feebly, as if looking for something. Hammond noted it. “Was something taken from her?”

“Captain Hailey has her sword. Her clothes had to be destroyed,” Janet replied. “We could ask her, but I think she might have lost interest, yesterday and the day before she was here at 12.00 and its ten minutes past now,” her voice was slightly disapproving.

Hammond looked at the clock. Then he walked over to the communications panel and activated the PA. “Captain Hailey, report to the Infirmary, on the double,” General Hammond’s ordered.

A few minutes later Hailey stormed in, rather less neatly attired than usual. Her eyes were red rimmed, as if she’d been crying. They went to Hammond who jerked his head towards the bed. Hailey’s eyes followed his, widened, and then she was moving, taking the weakly thrashing girl’s hand. Dark brown eyes fluttered open, pale lips made tiny grin and then Kennedy sighed and fell back asleep. 

Hammond looked at the young woman under his command and sighed. “Captain, you’re hereby ordered to visit the patient at the times you did so previously. You will stay as long as you did then.”

Hailey looked at him, then the girl who held her hand. “Yes, sir.”

Hammond nodded and left, leaving Fraiser to fuss over her patient. He wasn't quite sure, but he could have sworn that Captain Hailey whispered “Thank you, sir.”

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Cleveland, Ohio, Joyce Summers School for gifted girls

“Okay, so Kennedy is currently in an Air Force facility under NORAD. I've called Riley and he swears that there's no one except him and his group dealing with demons right now. And the only thing they do is hunt them when they're harming humans. He knows of no Government program that has access to teleportation, and we’re sure there are ” Buffy summarized as she looked around the battered oval table Xander had salvaged.

Xander scowled. “This isn't good. As a matter of fact, this is very bad. We can't deal with the bloody government again, we need to be elsewhere, doing stuff. There's girls in Africa dying because the stupid idiots think they can use demons and magic as weapons of war.”

Giles nodded ruefully. “Quite. If we allow the US to take one of our Slayers, other Governments will soon follow suit. That cannot and must not be allowed.”

Buffy sighed. “And they won't return her or give information on how they got her there or her condition. Our contact with the Pentagon said he was very sorry but his hands were tied. So we go in.”

Willow shivered. “Buffy, if we go in there, it may mean war. War with the United States.”

“Yes,” Buffy admitted. “But unless we act now, we send the wrong signal. Whoever took Kennedy thinks we are weak and in disarray after our Battle with the First, that we cannot keep track of and protect our Slayers. If we do not act now, none of us are safe. I call for a vote of the Executive Council. ”

Faith, opposite Buffy nodded. “I agree. I don't wanna be some lab rat.”

Xander and Buffy raised their hands, as did Giles. Willow followed after a slight hesitation.

Robin Wood raised his, his eyes troubled. Robson did the same. Chao Ahn and Vi, representatives of the younger generation, conferred for a few minutes before raising theirs.

Buffy looked at the single empty chair. “The executive council votes for action against the US Air Force unanimously, in the absence of Member at large Kennedy de Villarosa.”

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Washington D.C.

“We need to gain control of this Slayer. Considering the way the Summers girl dealt with Project 314, it is imperative that we know more about her kind. All those in favour of doing so?  All? Excellent, motion carried. I shall instruct our agents to continue their work and gain custody of this Miss de Villarosa as soon as possible.”

BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1

SGC, General Hammond's office

“Doctor, you wished to see me?” Hammond gestured his visitor to a chair.

“Yes, Sir. I came to ask...” Fraiser took a deep breath. “Sir, Miss de Villarosa is a lot more peaceful when Captain Hailey is near by.”

Hammond looked at the doctor and nodded. “Then I'll order Captain Hailey to stay nearby. She’s relieved of duty anyway. Taking care of her mistake might be a good way for her to learn her responsibilities.”

Janet thanked him and saluted and very carefully refrained from saying that she did not believe that the young Captain minded being with the other girl, even if she was sleeping. What the General did not suspect, he could not report. And if he did... he wasn’t asking either.

BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 

SGC Infirmary

Jack O'Neill was looking at the two girls, his face pensive. Hailey was reading to the brunette, her voice quiet, Jack didn't think that string theory was all that interesting, but the warrior-girl, as the personnel had taken to calling their guest, seemed to enjoy the sound of Jennifer's voice. She was sleeping deeply and peacefully.

Jack scratched at the needle mark that had just been made and turned back to Monson, hoping to avoid Janet’s eye and the rest of the obligatory needles. “So tell me what happened? I read the report but I like to get my news straight from, the horse’s mouth,” He asked quietly, gesturing with his head towards the other bed.

Monson chuckled. “Well, we had just arrived at our destination when we were jumped by a group of Unas, at least twenty of them. They were closing fast and our weapons had little effect. I got hit by one and Hailey led a strategic retreat into an old house that might have been the Unas’ base. The Unas followed and I’m not entirely sure of what was happening, morphine does that to me. Then there was this girl, with a sword, yelling at the Unas and they all attacked her.”

Monson looked at the slim form on the bed. “She eviscerated several Unas, buying us time to get out. We retreated up the stairs and got ready to make a stand while she was covering our sixes. I don't know how much of what I saw was the drugs or the shock, but I've never seen anyone fight like that girl, not even Teal'c.”

Jack looked at the girl skeptically. Monson shrugged. “My team bears me out on this, sir. Hailey says she saw the girl go down, outside, as she went up. Then there were noises like battle and Hailey went down to check. She saw at least thirty dead Unas outside, a lot more alive, a few of which noticed her and moved in. The girl, Villarosa, was unconscious, downstairs, in a back room, but when the Unas came in she woke up and cut down three of them, then collapsed again. There was a pick up window then and Hailey called for it, and she wasn't going to leave the girl behind. And the rest, as they say, is history.”

“And the kiss?” Jack asked, as he saw Hailey laboriously turn a page without releasing the brunette's hand.

“Happened. Hailey says her asking reminded her of Nelson and Hardy,” Monson stated.

O'Neill looked at the two young women. *Nelson and Hardy. Yeah, sure. Ya betcha.* But out loud he merely nodded and changed the subject to the young woman's fighting style.

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Cheyenne Mountain National Park, Colorado Springs

The group was ready. Their numbers might not be large for the sort of invasion they were planning, but they had some of the world's greatest warriors with them. Not to mention the Red Witch. Willow took deep breaths as she tapped into the power of the earth through her left hand, her other hand on the Scythe that Buffy held out and Buffy's left hand on her shoulder.

“Get ready. And we do need to leave quickly. I can only hold off a limited number of bullets, so keep close together,” Willow repeated her earlier injunctions. “It will take me a few minutes to gather enough energy to teleport out again.”

*And she'll be near catatonic with fatigue afterwards,* Buffy thought worriedly, but she smiled encouragingly at her girlfriend and waited for the strange feeling that meant they were popping out of one place and into another.

****  

SGC Infirmary

That a group of people suddenly appeared in the Infirmary should have shocked the guards on duty. Instead they had their weapons aimed in seconds, but it was still too late to prevent themselves being taken out by the young women who jumped at them faster than any human had a right to do.

Hailey threw herself over Kennedy, going for the sidearm she wasn't carrying, she was still relieved of duty. She saw a blonde with a strange axe push down Doc Fraiser with one hand. Jennifer frantically looked around to find a weapon. All she could see was a water glass standing on the nightstand, ready to be used when the patient woke up.

Hailey smashed the glass, creating an improvised weapon that with luck would not injure herself, and moved to stand between the invaders and Kennedy.
She snarled when the red head at the center of the group came closer, followed by a beautiful, curvy brunette. The sort of curves and face Hailey always wished she had, deep in the most secret part of her mind.

“How did you get in here?” Hailey demanded, trying to buy time for back up to arrive.

“Easy, girl. We don't want to hurt you. We just want Kennedy,” the brunette replied, ignoring her question.

“You're not getting anywhere near her,” Hailey warned, swinging her glass threateningly, knowing full well that it was futile.

“Kennedy is ours. We take care of our own,” the blonde said, coldly. “I don't know what sick experiments you people want her for, but she's not staying here.”

Hailey blinked. “You're her. The woman in Brazil. You were killing the Unas like they were Muppets!” 

The blonde's eyes narrowed. “You were there?”

 “We heard about an incursion, a foothold, we went in to check it out. There were far more opponents then we had expected,” Hailey nodded at Kennedy. “She saved us, distracted them.” 

“And in return you kidnapped her and are going to see what makes her tick? What did you do to her?” the Blonde demanded.

“The doctor you just knocked down put most of her innards back in, sewed her up, keeps her sedated so she can heal and removes stitches and sutures when needed,” Hailey answered sharply. “And nobody is going to experiment on her! Not on my watch!”

Buffy was about to speak again when Faith intervened. “She saved your life,” the second longest living Slayer said quietly. “But there’s more.”

Buffy looked at Faith sharply, then quickly stepped by Hailey and laid a hand on Kennedy and her eyes widened and her mouth crinkled. “Ah. You’re so much better at sensing those things, Faith.”

“What? What’s going on?” Hailey demanded to know. “What are you doing to her?”

Buffy grinned. “Nothing. Look, the people down here, do you trust them?”

“…yes” Hailey replied slowly.

“Okay. Get the highest ranking officer you trust and tell him Kennedy’s people are here to see him, and we won’t harm anyone,” Buffy answered. Suddenly she brightened. “OooHoooh! We’ll offer him Parley, like in the movie! And we’ll even help with your wounded,” she added excitedly. 

Hailey opened her mouth to protest but the blonde’s green-eyed stare made her shut it with a snap, put the broken glass down with careful movements and head to find the General or the Colonel.

Happily enough they were both outside the Infirmary. “Captain Hailey. What’s the situation?”

Hailey opened her mouth then closed it again. “Kenne- Miss Villarosa’s people are in there. They took down the guards as if they were nothing. Seven women. I didn’t know they were her colleagues so I tried to defend her. Then the leader sent me out here and told me to get you for a p-parley.”

Hammond gave the young woman a look. “A parley?”

Hailey shrugged helplessly. “Like in the movie, sir. Pirates-”

“I saw it with my granddaughters, Captain. What’s your impression of these people?” Hammond changed the subject.

“We could all have been dead in seconds, sir. They’re that good. I don’t think anyone is more than a bit roughed up. And all they had were swords, axes and truncheons,” Hailey looked thoughtful. “They seemed to think that if I trusted you, they could trust you.”

Hammond’s eyebrow lifted. “And you trust them?”

“They took out those Unas, sir. Did we ever get a final count on them?” Hailey pointed out.

Hammond nodded and strode towards the door. Behind him he heard the hiss of O’Neill’s indrawn breath. He grinned slightly. It wasn’t often he could disconcert his 2IC by his actions. Sometimes it was nice to turn the tables.

“My name is George Hammond. I understand you wished to speak with me?” He said as he walked into the Infirmary.

A tiny blonde looked at him. It was a gaze so tired and weary that Hammond was sure this was a warrior who had been tested to her limits, and beyond. And she was younger than Captain Hailey.

“Yeah, I did, didn't I? You can call me Buffy!” The girl's eyes suddenly went wide and empty and her face took on a classic California Ditz expression.

In spite of the situation Hammond chuckled. “Perhaps, ah… Buffy, I should tell you I raised a daughter and have two lovely conniving little minxes of granddaughters?” *And if that is your real name I’ll eat my cap.*

Buffy shot a look at Willow and Faith. “Do you now? Darn it.”

Hammond looked around the Infirmary. Seven rather sheepish looking guards were sitting by the wall. One was being scolded by Janet Fraiser and treated for an abrasion. An amused looking girl was looking on. No one seemed to be injured. On the bed Kennedy was frowning slightly in her sleep.

Hammond hesitated. “Your friend is getting restless. We've noticed that-”

“Yeah, she'd be happier with the Captain here,” Buffy smiled. “So call her in.”

Hammond went to the door and called out. Hailey, after giving the blackly scowling O'Neill a look, scurried in. One look at the bed and she hurried over, taking Kennedy's hand.

Hammond studied his blonde visitor. She looked at the scene with amused tolerance, relief and a slight 'Awww aren't they cute' expression.

“So might I inquire why you didn't just ask at the gate?” Hammond asked mildly.

The girl shrugged. “We did, the gate being the Pentagon. For the last two days the Pentagon has denied any knowledge of Kennedy. Considering the previous history we have with the US armed forces and various oversight commissions, at that time we decided to act. You were very lucky we decided to a limited strike.”

Hammond frowned. “Doctor Fraiser has sent a report on Miss de Villarosa's medical condition to the Pentagon since your request for her to be released was conveyed to us,” his mouth twisted slightly. “With lots of veiled threats not to move her and increasingly sulky questions about how she heals so fast edited out by a senior officer who need not be named.”

Fraiser looked up, flashed him a smile and went back to scolding her patients.

The blonde nodded uncomfortably. “Yeah, look, no offense, but we had a pretty clear agreement with the Government that they would stop messing on our turf. They lack the mindset and the expertise to deal with it successfully. We tolerate Riley and his people, but we can't just accept an entire base.”

Hammond's eyes narrowed. “You were impressive against the Unas by all accounts, but I doubt that your axes and clubs are useful in this sort of fight.”

“You'd be surprised,” the blonde told him bluntly. “Many of the things we fight are highly resistant to a few lead slugs.”

Hammond gave her a look. “What exactly do you fight?”

Buffy's eyes narrowed. “Demons. Extra dimensional beings if you want to be exact. What about you then?”  

Hammond was barely able to suppress a snort at her assertion they fought demons. “I see.”

Buffy tapped the Scythe on the ground as she looked at him. “You don't believe in demons, you're not hunting them and yet you fight Unas. What do you call them then?”

“I'm afraid that's classified,” Hammond told her.

Buffy snorted and rolled her eyes “Right. Look, Unas are dangerous. If they join up with Goold, it could get even more dangerous. The last thing we need is some idiot to open a Hellmouth.”

“Hellmouth?” Hammond repeated.

Buffy rolled her eyes. “Okay, I’ve had enough of this. We’re taking this to the President. There was a clear agreement that there would not be any interference from the US armed forces unless we gave permission. This is a clear breach of that agreement.”

Hammond’s eyebrows rose. “You have a direct line to the President?”

Buffy snorted. “Nope, don’t want any Government agency to have any of our numbers.”

Hammond shook his head. “Miss… Buffy, you realize that your opinion of the Government is not likely to make them respect you?”

Buffy laughed. It was a cold, hard laugh. “General, the last time I had dealings with a Government agency they tried to capture and dissect me, then to kill me. They tortured one of my friends. They threatened others. Their attempt to mess with things they didn’t understand led to dozens of ‘non-viable non-combat personnel,’” her voice was scathing “The loss of eighty percent of the personnel of their operation and the permanent disabling of a further seven percent. It would have been worse if we hadn’t saved them. And then they told us to shut up about it and never mention it again. Can you give me any reason why I should trust the Government?”

Hammond prided himself on his ability to tell if people were lying. This young woman wasn’t. He knew it, felt it in his gut. And that was the worst thing. “Ah. I see.”

“Do you? If you do, you’ll call the President and tell him Buffy will withdraw all her personnel, active and ancillary, from US soil and let him and his idiotic programs rot in their own filth,” Buffy turned towards the bed.

Hammond hesitated. The atmosphere in the room had changed. Where his reception at first had been polite, even friendly, now it was clear he was no longer welcome. He nodded politely and left.

Outside O’Neill was waiting and seething. “Colonel, you’re in charge here, I’m calling the President. Don’t do anything to antagonize these people. They don’t like us as it is.”

O’Neill snorted. “They invaded our base, Sir!”

Hammond nodded. “What would you do if Major Carter was wounded and taken by a group of people who you had reason to mistrust, allegedly to give her medical treatment, but they gave you no information about her?”

O’Neill opened his mouth to protest, then nodded grudgingly. “I see your point, Sir.”

“Good. I’ll be back as soon as possible,” Hammond left, leaving O’Neill to glare at the door of the Infirmary.

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The Infirmary

“You weren’t very polite to the General, I notice,” Janet remarked to Buffy as she was standing by Kennedy’s bed, noting that her heart rate had lowered again as soon as Hailey had taken her hand.

“I’ve no reason to be. He lied, or at least lied by omission,” Buffy looked at the sleeping girl on the bed. “I’ve had enough of being lied to.”

“He can’t tell you everything. He’s sworn oaths; he’s an officer in the US Air Force. One of the people sworn to protect people like you,” Janet told the younger woman firmly.

Buffy very slowly turned to face the doctor. Her eyes narrowed. “Protect me? What part about attempting to kill, torture, experiment upon did you not understand? As far as I am concerned you can take your United States Armed Forces and stuff them! And you’re stupid Government as well!” She hissed.

A redhead about the same age as Buffy stepped between her and Janet. “Buffy, calm down. Deep breaths. I told you it was a bad idea for you to come here!”

Buffy glared at the redhead and then growled. “What?”

“You’re underground, in a Military facility, in a hospital, in an enclosed space without windows, while one of your friends lies wounded and may or may not have been experimented upon or have been tortured. How many boxes does that tick?” The redhead asked, firmly but gently.

The blonde was about to deny it, Janet could see. But then she closed her eyes. The redhead stepped closer and put her arms around Buffy. “I’ve got you, babe. Don’t worry.”

Janet cleared her throat. “I do not torture my patients. Let me make that abundantly clear. I don’t know exactly what I’m doing, I admit that. Miss De Villarosa is recovering far more quickly than I’ve ever seen. But I’m doing my best and I take my Hippocratic Oath very seriously.”   

Willow nodded. “I understand. But you’re still messing with things you shouldn’t.”

Janet sighed. “Right. Demons.”

Willow shook her head in disbelief. “You really don’t… what do you think you’re dealing with?”

“I’m afraid that’s classified,” Janet apologized. “I really can’t tell you.”

“So when will you release Kennedy?” Willow asked.   

Janet shrugged. “I was sure she was going to die. Now I’m just trying to keep up with getting fluids into her, making sure she sleeps, and removing stitches. A few days? A week?”

Willow hmm’d. “Can you show me her chart?”

Janet bit her lip. “I can only officially discuss her case with next of kin. But since I’ve been sending you medical reports on her anyway, whether you got them or not…”

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General Hammond’s Office

“Mr. President, thank you for taking my call. Sir, there is a group of young women here, who appeared in the Infirmary, took out some of my people and want to take Miss de Villarosa. They claim they haven’t had the reports we sent. I believe them,” Hammond quickly got through the basics.

There was a sigh. “Shit. How’s their mood?”

“Bad, sir. A young woman who calls herself Buffy told me to tell you she’s going to withdraw all her people from US territory, whatever that may mean,” Hammond replied.

“What? She can’t do that!” the President yelled.

“Mr. President? Who are these people? They keep referring to the Unas as demons and telling us not to get involved in matters we do not understand. What do they do?” Hammond inquired delicately as he heard the President’s Chief of Staff yell to get to the bottom of this.

“Unas? What the hell do Unas have to do with this?” The President demanded.

“It was in the report, sir. Miss De Villarosa rescued SG-8 from getting slaughtered by Unas. Captain Hailey swears she saw young women fighting them as if they were nothing more than humans,” Hammond explained patiently.

“Damn it!” The President swore. “I never saw that in the report, wait up!” There was a rustling of paper. “George, this Captain Hailey, does she hint in the margin?”

“No, Sir. She tends to be quite blunt,” Hammond got a cold feeling in the pit of his stomach.

“Then someone messed with these reports,” The President’s voice was very quiet and very angry.

Hammond coughed. “Sir, if I might ask, how did you think Miss De Villarosa was brought here?”

“The report I got was that SG-8 was attacked by vampires while in Brazil and Miss De Villarosa was injured and shipped to the SGC for ‘questioning about the unknown aliens,’” came the grim reply.

“Ah. No, sir she was taken here because she was wounded and Captain Hailey didn’t want to leave her,” Hammond supplied. *Vampires?*

“Well, that should work in our favor. They appreciate things like that. Someone is playing us, George. And I don’t like it. Take your cellphone, get back to the Infirmary. I need to talk to Miss Summers. Give her a quick brief and send a text when you’re ready. Oh, and George? Her name really is Buffy.”   

“Well, darn. That means I’ll have to eat my cap,” Hammond replied without thinking.

There was a startled laugh. “Thanks, I needed that. Oh, and tell her that George. She probably needs a laugh as well. Oh, and better get Dr. Jackson to prepare a briefing, if they know about Unas they may have information and the only way we’ll get it is by being open with them.”

Hammond’s eyebrows went up. “Yes, sir. I’ll tell Dr. Jackson to get ready.”

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The Infirmary

“Now as you can see the stitches did have the effect of speeding the healing. I think the blood plasma and the whole blood helped as well, even if all traces of them were gone within hours. The intravenous drip, both for fluids and food, are absorbed much faster than normal. The amount of anti-inflammatories and antibiotics I’m administering has been dropping steadily since she came in. Her immune system took over again after a few hours, when the worst of her injuries were gone. I think that rinsing her wounds did help,” Janet explained.

Willow was nodding thoughtfully, occasionally looking at Buffy who was lying on the bed next to Kennedy, glaring at Willow and Janet. “You alright Buff?”

“I slipped, okay? I stumbled. I did not faint!” Buffy protested.

Janet looked between the two young women, her expression neutral. “How long have you been fighting, Buffy?”

“I’m not fighting! Willow and I are just having a disagreement!” Buffy sulked.

“No, not like that. I can see this is just a lover’s tiff,” Janet grinned at the slight blushes on the two young women’s faces. “No, I meant as a soldier.”

Buffy opened her mouth but Willow raised a hand, her eyes on Janet. “Since she was fourteen. More than eight years.”

Janet looked worried. “And let me guess, in all that time, has anyone ever talked to you about Post Traumatic Stress?”

Buffy looked at the Scythe, next to her on the bed. “I talked to Mom… But she died. I took some psych classes, you know, for self-help? But I had to drop out when she died…” 

Willow swallowed at the forlorn tone of voice. “Oh, baby…”

Janet shook her head. “We need to get you some help. I’m sorry to say it, but it’s no wonder you react the way you do.”

“Why are you being nice to me?” Buffy demanded.

Janet looked thoughtful. “I really have no idea. But you need help, and giving help is what I do,” she finished briskly as she stepped towards the bed. “If you were my patient I’d want to give you a full physical. You’re far too thin. And seeing as you’re here, I might as well start.”

Buffy was about to protest when Willow gave her a pleading look. Buffy sighed and lay back again. “This had better not hurt!”

Janet smiled. “I’d need to draw blood for a full screen, but I don’t think we have time for that,” she closed the curtains and Willow heard Buffy squeak as she was given the order to strip.   

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When George Hammond returned to the Infirmary it was to see two young woman standing by a closed set of curtains around a bed, as if guarding it, the older redhead pacing up and down beside it, and the other three guarding the amused looking guards. Captain Hailey had a slight smile on her too serious face as she held onto the hand of Kennedy.

“Where is Miss Summers?” Hammond asked. “I’ve got to get the President on the phone for her…”

A snort of laughter came from the redhead. “In there. Your doctor is quite insistent. And how do you know her name?”

 Hammond shrugged, dialing. “The President told me. Sir? Miss Summers is in the cla- capable hands of Dr. Fraiser.”

“I heard that General! How is your diet going?” Came Janet’s crisp voice from behind the curtain.

Hammond smiled. “Miss Summers? The President wants to talk to you. He’s waiting for me to call you.”

A bare arm came out from the gap in the curtains, the edge of a medical gown just visible. “Gimme! Hey! Get away with that needle!”

Hammond coughed, suppressing his amusement and handed over the phone. “He did request that I update you on certain matters first. Full disclosure.”

“You had better have a good story, General,” Buffy’s voice was low and threatening.

“Would you believe aliens, Miss Summers?” Hammond spoke before things could escalate.

The curtain was torn open and Buffy was revealed in the shortest model medical gown. It was still rather long. Janet was behind her and rather guiltily hid a syringe behind her back.   

“Aliens?” Buffy and Willow asked in chorus.

“Yes. Aliens. Errr… The President mentioned vampires…” Hammond looked at the two women. “So I assume that unless this is the most elaborate joke ever played your enemies tend to be supernatural?”

“Yes. And yours aren’t?” Buffy looked stunned.

“Well, we think the Unas are natural, if alien. You know them as demons?” Hammond was interested in spite of him self.

“Yes, some of our oldest records state they and the Goold created gates to, hmm the translation might be other worlds as well as other dimensions…” Willow’s voice trailed off thoughtfully.

Hammond nodded. *Daniel is going to want copies of those records.* “Well, they do. They use devices called Stargates, large rings, made of-”

“Stone, that create portals that look like a whirlpool?” Willow interrupted, coming out of her momentary abstraction. “You have one? You got it to work?” her voice was filled with excitement.

Hammond smiled. “Yes, we did,” he hesitated. “Miss Summers, the information on Miss Villarosa was intercepted and altered, what you received was incomplete. We can give you the full reports.”

Willow shook her head. “Dr. Fraiser talked us through what she did. And Jennifer confirmed it. Whatever is happening, we don’t think you’re involved.”

Hammond sent a sharp glance at the Captain. She met his gaze defiantly, her hand still holding Kennedy’s. He gave her an approving nod. “Miss Summers, considering the enemies we fight, even one person able to take on an Unas or similar being on an equal footing would be a godsend…”

He saw the gaze of Buffy go to Kennedy. “Miss Summers, Miss…?” He looked his question at Willow.

The redhead looked at Buffy, who nodded. “Rosenberg. Willow Rosenberg.”

“Can we talk?” He gestured at Janet’s office.

Buffy gave him a look. “I’ll just get dressed again and-”

“We’ll continue this right after your talk, I’ll get you a robe,” Janet interrupted, bustled into her office, got a warm robe and closed the curtain to help Buffy into it. “General, don’t forget your physical, it’s next week,” then she turned to the bed with Kennedy.

Hammond smiled at Buffy’s bemused expression and led them into the doctor’s office. “You must excuse Doctor Fraiser. “She’s like a small force of nature.”

“I HEARD THAT, SIR!” Janet called out.

Buffy crossed her arms and glared.

Willow giggled. “General, please be warned Buffy does not take kindly to jokes about her size either.”

The General smiled. “I’ll remember that. Please, sit.”

Once they were all seated the General gave the two young women a serious look. “We’ve got a Star Gate here, and we’re fighting a dangerous war against vastly technologically superior enemies. I’ll go into that later. Now, what’s important to me is that I want to know what the Sam Blazes is going on with Captain Hailey?”

Buffy smiled. “You know, I think I do like you,” she tapped her lip. “General, I’d like to tell you, but first you need some foundation. What you’re going to hear is all true, unbelievable as it may sound. Once we’ve told you, we can explain what’s going on with Captain Hailey. Agreed?”

Hammond nodded. “Very well. Doctor Jackson is preparing a briefing for you. He tends to take some time to get ready for them, because he always wants to be as thorough as possible.”

Willow giggled. “He sounds like Giles.”

Buffy nodded. “We may need to get him here, and some of the other Executives,” she gave Willow an apologetic look.

Willow sighed, and pouted. “Buffy! You promised when I mastered Teleportation that I was not going to be transport girl!”

Buffy leaned over and took the redhead’s hand. “I’m sorry Will. But this is important.”

Willow nodded. “I know, I know. I still don’t have to like it. It tires me out.”

Hammond cleared his throat. *Teleportation? Without technology? Are they joking?*

Willow smiled. “Sorry, just drawing some lines in our working relationship. Anyway, the world is different than you know…”

*****

Buffy had taken over from Willow again and was explaining “So we found out about Bonding from some old Council files. What happened to Jennifer was not by design. Every Slayer, that is what Kennedy is, that is what I am, has one or more people in the world with whom they can bond. The Bond is a tie to normality, an anchor. It is not something that can be activated, and it’s something that both parties must want, unconsciously or not.”

“So my captain is now bonded to Miss De Villarosa? What does that mean for her?” Hammond asked sharply. 

“It might have very little effect. Much of it is choice. Kennedy is not in control of Jennifer, though Jennifer would likely be very unhappy if they were kept apart,” Willow smiled. “I know I would be if I were kept from my Slayer.”

Hammond looked at the hands the young women had been holding through most of their exposition. “I see. So the bond will not force her to do anything against her will?”

“No, it won’t,” Willow emphasized. “It goes both ways. Oh, I’ll admit that when your Slayer is angry or upset it takes a bit of courage to stand up to her, but they need us as much as we do them.”

“More,” Buffy whispered. “Without you, I’d never have made it this far, Will.”

Hammond pursed his lips. “Very well. I suggest we head for the briefing room, so you can be fully informed on the SGC. After Major Fraiser finishes her examination.”

Buffy winced. “Can’t you order her to leave it?”

Hammond smiled. “I could. But I value my peace and quiet.”

Willow sniggered. “She reminds me of someone… oh,” she looked at Buffy. “Your Mom.”

Buffy looked at her hands and smiled wistfully. “Yeah. You noticed too?”

“I wondered why you gave in so quickly,” Willow smiled gently. “Considering the way you normally deal with doctors.”

Hammond rose. “Well, I’ll call the President again and tell him you’re getting a physical and that the rest of your group will receive a briefing as well.”

Hammond left. Buffy sighed and rose, then looked back. “We don’t tell him about the strong physical attraction that’s part of the Bond?”

Willow shook her head, amused. “I think he guessed Buff. Be he won’t ask. And we won’t tell.”

 

 

 

 
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