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Adjustment Phase

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Scoobies & Stargates". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: When Willow joins the SGC, you might think they'd ease her in a little. But no, she's pushed into the deep end with an Atanik bracelet. And it's not until after that that things start getting really strange.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Willow-CenteredEnergyBeingFR133964,81428545,0522 Sep 123 Feb 13Yes

Chapter Twelve

Daniel didn't really take much time to prepare - after all, it would only be a trip to an uninhabited planet (they'd found a surprising amount of those over the years) and back. If Willow wasn't with him after that, then his idea was wrong, and he hadn't a clue as to why not-Willow wasn't leaving by wormhole.

Because of this, it only took him a minute or so to prepare. Hammond and Jack came to see him off - Teal'c was still glued to the security footage of not-Willow's cell, determined that a repeat of the Caelus fiasco wouldn't occur, and Sam wasn't ready to face Jack yet. She didn't know what to say to him about his declaration of love.

Now, even if Teal'c hadn't momentarily taken his eyes from the footage, to watch Daniel leave, we wouldn't have seen the infinitesimally small tensing of muscles of the prisoner the moment the 'gate activated.

~*~

Not-Willow sensed a wormhole being formed, and one person - Daniel - stepping through it. They wondered if it was just a routine operation, or if he'd somehow figured out what they'd been hiding from him.

They knew that Daniel, of all the available people, was the most likely that Willow would trust enough to share a body with - and unlike not-Willow, Willow didn't have the problem of only being able to be in the body of a magic user. Whilst not-Willow being present increased magical temperature, Willow herself would decrease it, allowing her to share with anyone.

Not-Willow regretted the moment of panic that had resulted in them exiling Willow back to their home dimension. The Darkness had been so close, and there was a similar darkness eating away at Willow. Fortunately, that should have been banished alongside Willow, returning to whichever plane it had originated from.

However, it was too late now. Willow would never trust them, not now that they had forced her out of her own body. Not-Willow had no choice but to wait to see if Daniel returned with Willow or not. If not, all well and good. If so - well, they'd have to make an escape.

~*~

When Daniel emerged from the wormhole onto the uninhabited planet, he felt a little different. It was hard to explain, but it seemed that he thought in a slightly different way - but then again, another part of him thought that he was thinking the same way he always had.

Still, Willow wasn't around. Hopefully she'd materialize after he'd returned home? Daniel dialled the DHD, noting as he did so that his left hand seemed take longer to do what he wanted it to do than usual. His right arm seemed fine, though.

After he had dialled home and sent through his identification code (Daniel thought it faintly ludicrous that he still had to do that, even though everyone knew he would be back in a couple of minutes.) Daniel limped through the 'gate, his left leg trailing behind his right one. Well, if his plan didn't work, he would most certainly be paying a visit to Janet when he got back.

However, when he stepped through the 'gate and into the ramp he'd walked down (and rolled down, fallen down, and on one memorable occasion, tripped over) he felt exactly the same as he always had.

That feeling lasted until he tried to walk forwards, and nearly fell over.

~*~

It was clear to everyone in the 'gate room and the overlooking observation room that Daniel wasn't quite himself. For starters, his right leg would take a step, and the left leg wouldn't follow suit, or vice versa. Then there were his arms, that looked like they were acting independently of each other - one groping like a blind man, the other wildly wind milling to help his balance.

However, it wasn't until both of Daniel's legs decided to take a step forward at the same time (a manoeuvre that had Jack in stitches, and even Teal'c watching in amusement) and promptly collapsed, to be helped up by a couple of Airmen that the most salient difference was revealed.

Daniel's right eye was the same pale blue it had always been, but the left eye belonged to someone else. The glittering green orb belonged to Willow.

The Airmen hauled Daniel upright in front of Hammond, who enquired solicitously "Doctor Jackson?"

Daniel answered using only the right side of his mouth, reminding Hammond of nothing so much as a person who had suffered a stroke of some kind. "Yes."

However, the other side of his mouth had a different idea. "Who are you calling Doctor Jackson? We look nothing alike. I'm Willow." And the oddest thing was, it was her voice, not Daniel’s, which spoke.

~*~

Had Teal'c not been involved with the appearance of the Daniel-Willow hybrid, he would've seen not-Willow open a wormhole and step through it.

Not-Willow had formulated a plan during the handful of minutes Daniel had been gone - an advantage of being an organism formed of countless minds is that multitasking is easy, and as many minds could work on each individual plan and just as easily discard them.

They knew that, if they stayed here, it was only a matter of time before Daniel-Willow made their way down here and sent not-Willow back to their home dimension, to die. However, their knowledge of this universe was limited, Willow having spent all her life on the small town of Sunnydale. Which meant that their choices of places to run to was limited as well.

However, should they go to Sunnydale, they might be able to convince Buffy to protect them - no, that they were really Willow, and the SGC members were the ones possessed. Of course, that meant that they'd have to stop speaking in the plural. They could also tell Buffy what little they'd learned about the government and demons.

As not-Willow took a wormhole to Willow's room to get dressed (they - she, she reminded herself, not they - couldn't go to Sunnydale dressed as she was, she would be even more conspicuous than the commandos) and to pick up Willow's cell (dropping in on Buffy wouldn't be good - best to call ahead.) and then opened a wormhole to Angel's old mansion - the most abandoned place in Sunnydale she knew - she wondered idly how Buffy and Riley were getting on.

~*~

If truth be told, Buffy and Riley weren't getting on. That is what tends to happen when both members of a relationship, even as slow as they were taking it, find out that the other member had been keeping secrets from them. And in this case, learning that both of them hunted demons and vampires was kind of a big secret to find out.

They'd both met in the Gentlemen's (the creepy floating demons who stole voices and hearts) tower to try and stop them before they got the hearts they needed, and returned the voices to everyone in the town.

They had managed to do so, but, as they sat opposite each other in Buffy's dorm - which had been empty since Willow had moved out. Which reminded Buffy that Riley didn't actually know where Willow had gone. - it seemed as though there voices were still stolen. What do you say in such circumstances?

Fortunately, Buffy was rescued from the awkward silence by her cell ringing - she was lucky she had it with her, and on too. The Hellmouth seemed to wreak havoc with technology. Or maybe that was just remnants of Moloch floating around. She checked to see who was calling, and wasn't unduly surprised to see it was Willow. If it was anyone else, even Xander, they'd feel no qualms in just dropping in to see her.

"You'd better take that." said Riley, a note of relief tingling his voice. He wanted to have this conversation about as much as Buffy did - which was to say, not at all.

"Thanks." Buffy said gratefully, stepping outside into the corridor - leaving Riley no chance to escape. Once outside, Buffy said into her cell. "Hiya Willow, how are you doing? You'll never guess what just happened -"

"Buffy, do you mind if w- I speak to you? In person? I've kind of got a problem, and I need to speak to you about it." Willow cut her off. Buffy, even as caught up in Riley-problems as she was, could hear the note of urgency in Willow's voice.

"Yes, of course, but aren't you in Colorado?" Buffy asked, bemused.

"No. Can you meet me at Giles' in, say, 20 minutes? Bring Xander if you can. Oh, and Spike." Willow replied flatly. Buffy was about to say more, but Willow had cut the line. Which meant she must really be nervous about something - Buffy had never known Willow not to babble when she was scared about something, so she didn't want to know what was so scary that had gotten Willow acting so terse.

Buffy popped her head back into her room, saying to Riley "Something's come up, I've got to go." she only had time to see Riley nod gratefully and murmur something before she dashed off to Xander's - she'd have to hurry if she wanted to get to Giles' on time. As for Spike, she had to hope he was there, or with Giles. Since he had volunteered to help with that Carlos thing (Buffy loved getting names wrong, the face Giles made whenever she did was totally worth it) and hadn't even tried to kill anyone, they had given Spike some leeway. Of course, he still had to check in (and to everyone's great surprise, he did) but what he did with his nights was his affair. It's not like he was hurting anyone.

Anyway, that didn't matter, Willow needed her. And if it got her out of an uncomfortable conversation with Riley, so much the better.
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