While Buffy was off picking up Xander, Spike was busy at Giles' house. Now, although all the Scoobies who hadn't either gone off to LA or joined a top secret military organization (and Xander would contest whether it not Angel could even be counted as a Scooby in the first place) would be surprised that Spike was sticking around, now that they were no longer keeping him tied up, there was a simple reason for it.
Firstly, Spike hadn't gone because those blasted demons stole his voice, and he wanted to get it back. If he left, who knew when that might happen? However, he didn't actually try to get it back, he left Buffy to do that. No, Spike was off on a quest of his own. And that was all tied into the second reason he hadn't left.
The first part of Spike's quest was to get a mobile (he refused to Americanize himself and call it a cell), which was a lot harder than it sounded. He'd tried to steal one, but either the Gentlemen had stolen the voice of the dogs guarding the phone shop, or they were just silent dogs, but they'd savaged him a little before he could escape. So, the next day, Spike had broken down and actually bought one.
The second part was to actually figure out how it worked. Now, Spike, unlike his grand-sire, was no technophobe. He knew how to work a computer well enough, but he'd never needed
a mobile before - everyone he'd ever wanted to contact he'd usually be living with, and if he wanted minions, he'd just walk into the nearest demon bar and pick them.
Which boiled down to why he was in Giles' house in the first place. Now that Spike had gotten his voice back, he was trying to get Giles to tell him how his mobile worked - he thought Giles was simply being obtuse, because how could anyone who wasn't dead (or undead) not know how to use a mobile in this day and age?
The question was, why did Spike need a mobile now? The answer, surprisingly enough, was Samantha Carter. There was something about her that appealed to him, somehow - and not as a meal. Spike wondered if that was how Drusilla felt before she sired him. And, apparently, she felt attracted to him too, hence the need for a mobile, which led him to be in Giles house when Willow arrived, Buffy and Xander close at her heels.
Now, Willow hadn't said anything to her two teenage friends yet (and Buffy hadn't mentioned Riley) so it was understandable when the moment the group was together that Buffy would turn to get friend and give the order "So, dish." Buffy wasn't renowned for patience.
Spike fought the urge to say "Plate." in response - bloody colonials butchering the language - and settled for saying "Red? Why're you here?", mainly because he was too shy to ask "Is Sam here?" because, after all, he barely knew the woman.
Buffy and Xander both glared at him (Giles seemed distracted, no doubt by Willow's sudden arrival that everyone had forgotten to warn him about, and Willow - well, Willow just seemed a little nervous).
Xander, catching Giles' bemused look, quickly filled him in with the little they'd garnered from Willow since they'd bumped into her coming here. "She's got something to tell us, Giles. No, we don't know what it is."
Willow seemed ready to speak. "Okay, guys, a couple of things. Firstly, the SGC seems to be under the control of some kind of alien - I seem to be immune, probably because of my magic - and they're hunting me down. I don't know what they're planning on doing to me, but when they come, they'll say I'm possessed, not them. Buffy, don't interrupt. Secondly, those commandos who captured Spike? Government. Guess who's involved? Senator Kinsey."
Buffy, having been told not to interrupt to ask for more details, settled for asking "Who's Kinsey?", a question which both Xander and Giles echoed.
Willow rolled her eyes. "Am I the only one who keeps up with politics here? Kinsey is the Senator for California. I don't like him, I think he's shady."
Spike quite agreed. He didn't want to go into detail about all the rumours he'd heard about the lengths the man had gone to win his campaign - he'd even heard that he'd been supported by Wolfram & Hart, which he rather doubted.
But, anyway, that wasn't the only thing that interested Spike (well, it didn't interest him exactly, but it did give more credence to the rumours he had heard) because, when Willow had mentioned the SGC being possessed, he'd taken an instinctive breath, the first for a while now. And he was smelling something odd.
"You're sure you’re not possessed?" Spike asked Willow bluntly.
" Buffy said indignantly, glaring at him again.
Spike ignored her, and carried on addressing Willow. "It's just that you don't smell entirely human, you see."
Now, Spike had better hearing than the average vampire, and he had done ever since he was sired. He suspected it came from being a close relation to the Master, whose bat-like ears had to have been good for something. Anyway, he heard Willow's heart beat suddenly speed up, as might be the case when someone's about to be discovered - but then, just as suddenly, slowed down again to its normal rate.
Unbeknownst to him, the pluralistic entity currently in control of Willow's body had a far greater grasp of how to consciously operate it than Willow herself did. That's not to say that it didn't still do things automatically - she didn't need to think to blink, for example - but it was a simple matter to slow down the heart again to avoid suspicion, whilst cursing herself for forgetting Spike's vampiric senses.
However, fortunately for her, Spike was interrupted from revealing this by a knock on the door, which Giles, it being his house, got up to answer.
Upon opening the door, Giles was welcomed by the sight of someone he'd rather hoped never to see again.
"Hello, Ripper old boy, mind if I come in?" said Ethan Rayne jollily.
Hammond and the members of SG-1 who were all staring at Daniel (even Daniel was staring at Daniel, courtesy of the mirror someone had thoughtfully provided him with. He looked strange - although he thought he looked rather distinguished with heterochromia).
Willow, upon seeing herself (well, Daniel's face, but with her eye in it) had taken it calmly, which inspired the others to take in their stride to (or try to, they still couldn't stop staring).
The first thing Willow said upon seeing her new situation was "Okay, not in my own body then. Shame." then she giggled, watching only half of Daniel's mouth move. She still felt like she was in her own body, rather than sharing Daniel's, which was odd. Especially given the several fundamental differences between the two bodies.
Daniel also still felt like himself, he just couldn't control half of his body. Although having someone else's eye in his face was very odd - Willow's eyesight was far better than his, so with his glasses on he couldn't see through it, but without them he couldn't see through his. He wondered how it was that they could see through both eyes but only use half a mouth.
Sam finally managed to speak. "So, are you Daniel or are you Willow?" she asked, aflame with curiosity.
They finally managed to act in synchronization - the pair hadn't even managed to walk into the room by themselves, Airmen had had to help them - and hearing two voices emerge from one mouth was extremely disconcerting. "Yes." they answered.
"You walked right into that one, Sam." Jack said, smiling. Then he turned serious again, turning to the pair. "Willow, do you know what's been happening?" he asked. Willow nodded (or tried to - moving only half a neck didn’t really work out. Jack got the idea though) Daniel having mentally sent to her all the pertinent information already (it seemed as though their minds weren't wholly separate). "So, do you have any idea where she - they might have gone?"
Daniel had no idea, but Willow did. "If she's thinking like me, she would've gone to Sunnydale, tried to get my friends to help her. Probably she - or is it they? Blast it, I'm sticking with she - would most likely have lied to them - told them that we were possessed, not her."
"If she's gone to Sunnydale, I'm calling in the military." Hammond declared.
"Why?" asked Jack "We didn't need them before when we went there."
"Because it's their jurisdiction, Colonel." Hammond replied.
"It's those commandos we keep seeing around, isn't it? The ones that kidnapped Spike." Willow surmised.
"Wait, Spike's been kidnapped?" Sam said, surprised.
"Remember, I told you this. He got kidnapped and had a chip put in his head to stop him hurting people." Willow answered.
"Anyway, I'm going to put in some calls, let them know about the situation over there. Meanwhile, get there as soon as you can." Hammond said.
Jack leaned forward eagerly. "Does that mean I get to fly us there? It would probably take too long to go commercially anyway, sir." he said.
"Very well. I'll organize a plane for you too. Now, go and get ready - I suggest civilian clothes, you'll want to stand out as little as possible." Hammond agreed.
Obviously dismissed, the group got up and left, Willow and Daniel already arguing - although they were managing to walk. It seemed they could do that as long as they didn't pay attention to doing so.
"Close your eyes while I get changed, alright?" Daniel said.
"I can't, they're your eyes too. Unless you can change with your eyes closed. And one handed." Willow replied, her half of Daniel's mouth curving up into a smile. "We'll just have to work it out while we go along."
Jack had just finished getting ready when there was a knock on his door. "Come in!" he called.
Sam came in, eyes roving, looking everywhere but at him. "Umm... Sir, about what you said..." she trailed off, stuck for words.
"Forget about it." Jack said roughly.
"No, I wanted to tell you... I love you too. But we can't, you know, regulations and all that, and what if we get captured? And I won't have you dying for me, Jack. So, umm, we can't do anything about it." Sam mumbled incoherently.
"Just so we're clear."
Jack loved flying, but since he had joined the Stargate program, he hadn't done it near as much as he would like - and being held captive on a spaceship didn't count. Which was why he had probably flown a little faster, and with a few more aerial manoeuvres, than were strictly necessary.
Teal'c and Sam hadn't minded, both being veterans of their own kind of aircraft, but Daniel would probably have been horribly sick had it not been for Willow, who, to her great surprise, enjoyed the trip immensely.
As it was, when the plane landed in a little airstrip just outside of Sunnydale (who knew that had been there?) it was all Daniel could do not to collapse and kiss the ground. In fact, he probably would've had Willow not been keeping half his body upright.
Daniel's queasiness wasn't helped when he saw the three-person welcoming committee. He didn't know two thirds of it, but he wasn't unduly surprised at the third member. After all, this was a top secret military operation, what possible reason could there be for Colonel Harry Maybourne not
to be involved?
Willow, however, did know the other two people, and they did surprise her. She would never have expected her psychology professor to be a part of the commandos that kept popping up all over Sunnydale. Nor, for that matter, Riley Finn.
Willow wondered if Buffy knew.