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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-CenteredEnergyBeingFR133964,81428545,7872 Sep 123 Feb 13Yes

Chapter Nineteen

After the chaos had settled down somewhat, and everyone was assured that Oz wouldn't suddenly wake and try to savage them (Giles said that he should wake up unharmed and with no memory of what had happened) they noticed that Willow's body was lying on the floor. Without a pulse.

Xander noticed it first. Not being nearly as preoccupied with Oz's prone form as the rest of them (or, in Spike's case, with Sam), he looked round and saw Willow's seemingly dead body. Being cautious - and not wanting to interrupt the general babbling and Giles' explanation on werewolves - he slowly bent down to check if it was breathing or had a heartbeat. He didn't want to do it too quickly in case it suddenly moved and bit him, or something. Xander wasn't exactly sure what. However, upon finding the bodies lifelessness, he knew that he had to interrupt.

"Umm, guys? Willow's dead here. Well, not Willow, but her body. You know, the one that she was born in? Anyway, it’s dead." Xander said, loudly enough to cut across the din. Sudden silence ensued.

"Can you get back?" asked Giles, suddenly concerned. He had assumed that Willow would be able to, but he had no guarantees on that. And the troubled look on Daniel's face - although seeing two different but equally anxious expressions on each half of his face was extremely disconcerting - it looked as though the answer might well be "I don't know."

"I don't know." said Willow, hesitatingly. When Daniel had gone through the wormhole, her mind had just... latched onto his. But she couldn't do that, here - for one thing, it was another dimension, for another, her body was dead, and there was no mind to latch onto. "But I can try." And try Willow did. She tried casting herself out of Daniel's body and into her own, which only succeeded in giving them both a headache. Then she dove into the source of her magic, depleted as it was, and tried to link her mind with her body that way, but got nowhere, unless making Daniel nauseous counted. Which it didn't.

"Maybe you should touch it. I mean you." said Sam, thinking that contact seemed to be necessary, in some form or another, for such magic to work. She didn't have much proof to support this, just watching Willow cast the misdirection spell on Maybourne, but she felt it nonetheless. It was a good idea as any, in any case.

No one answered, but Daniel's body - Daniel and Willow seemed to be having trouble remembering to walk properly - shambled nearer Willow's body. Both of them seized one of Willow's hands, getting mildly tangled up in the process. Willow could feel her body now, like a house with no one inside, but just a little too far away for her to actually get inside. An idea occurred to her, and she acted on it before she had a chance to convince herself not to.

Suddenly, Daniel's head plummeted down towards Willow's, lips firmly forced together - despite an "Eep" from Daniel and trying to force his own head away. Because this was technically necrophilia, and damn weird. Not to mention embarrassing. Then - something he couldn't really explain happened. It was almost, but not entirely, unlike the sensation of having left his stomach behind when Jack had done one his more ludicrous stunts in his plane. At that point, he unconsciously decided to just go with it.

It took him several seconds to realise it wasn't necrophilia anymore. It happened right about the time he saw Willow's eyes - back to their normal vivid green and no longer showing impossible colours - twinkling at him. At that point, he pulled back rather sharply, much to the amusement of everyone watching. Well, the entire scenario had been much to the amusement of the people watching. Daniel guessed he'd be getting teased about this for years. Willow too, if he had anything to do with it.

The crimson flood of embarrassment that had been threatening to wash over Daniel fell away when he saw Willow getting up and staggering dizzily as she did so. He caught Willow's arm to stop her falling over again, asking solicitously "Are you alright?"

"Ye-es." Willow replied slowly, rubbing her neck. And then looking at mild fascination at her hand moving. It felt like ages since she had moved her own hand, not someone else's. "It's just disorientating." then she winced and let out a groan as the memories from her brief possession came rushing back to her. "No, I'm okay." she said to forestall the questions that the various concerned faces watching her closely seemed about to ask. "I've just remembered what it's like to have thousands of minds all thinking the same thing. And also, the Darkness it told you about - it's real. And terrifying."

"You have that things memories too?" Jack asked, surprised.

"Yes. Please don't ask me to describe it to you. There aren't any words that suffice." Willow answered. That didn't mean she wouldn't peruse them later, at her leisure. Hmm, and those new memories she recently acquired too, of course. One in particular... She blushed, and Daniel, correctly guessing what she was thinking, followed suit. Everyone laughed at the matching pair of tomato red faces.

Buffy sobered first, which rather surprised her. But then, she did have a question to ask, so she asked it. "What are you going to do now?" she asked Willow, trying to hide the tenseness in her voice. She'd missed her best friend, a lot, even though she hadn't been away all that long. She knew the other Scoobies felt the same - except for possibly Anya, who, in Buffy's opinion, wasn't really a Scooby anyway.

It was a difficult question. Willow didn't know how to answer - so she went for a stalling tactic. "Honestly? I don't know. I need - time to think about things." she turned to the SG team. "Can I have - what's it called? - leave, or something, for a few days?"

They answered "Of course" "Yes" and two cases of "Indeed", which resulted in Jack and Teal'c exchanging glances. Jack shrugged with a slight smirk. Then he turned back to the redhead. "Well, we're all agreed. You can have leave, as much as you need. Although, I have to say, on behalf of all of us, we would like you to come back. Especially Daniel." he added with a mischievous grin, to his friend's renewal of his fading red cheeks.

Willow smiled gratefully. That meant a lot to her. Although, of course, it didn't make her decision any easier.

However, Jack wasn't finished. "In fact, I'm sure we could all do with some leave. I'm sure Daniel doesn't want to leave you alone - ouch, Danny, when did your elbows get so sharp? - and we would like to take every chance we can get to convince you to come back with us." Spike, who had begun to feel a little dejected that Sam would be leaving again so soon, and convincing himself that what he really needed to do was bite the bullet and ask her out, perked up at that.

Willow, to her surprise, felt close to tears. "You'd do that?" she asked, fighting hard to keep the tremble from her voice.

Sam answered. "Yes. Yes, we would. We like you, you see."

This time, it was Daniel and Teal'c who both said "Indeed", and gave each other mutual stares. Daniel grinned cheekily. Willow, perhaps because of the stress of the past few days, perhaps because of what was being said, perhaps because of being both magically and physically exhausted and ridiculously hungry, burst out crying. But there were laughs mixed in with the sobs. The males shuffled around anxiously, not knowing what to do. Sam sidled up to Buffy, asking in a whisper "Where d'you keep the ice cream?"

Buffy, feeling more than a little overwhelmed herself, smiled. "This is Giles' house. I doubt he has any ice cream in the entire house."

"Do you know where I can get any, then?" Sam asked.

"I know the town. I'll get it." Buffy said, despite not wanting to leave Willow.

"No, you stay with Willow. She needs you. Tell me where to go." Sam said firmly.

Buffy realised then that, even if Willow didn't stay (which wouldn't stop Buffy from doing her utmost to convince Willow to stay) she'd be in good hands.
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