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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-CenteredEnergyBeingFR133964,81428442,4362 Sep 123 Feb 13Yes

Chapter Three

Hammond, loosely holding an Atanik bracelet, led Willow into a room containing the human three-quarters of SG-1, each of whom were peering interestedly at their own armbands placed before them. Well, Sam was looking at a little monitor that was no doubt checking the device for radioactivity or some such, and Daniel was inspecting the minute inscription on the side. Jack was staring absently off into space. The Tok'ra was nowhere to be seen, and neither was Teal'c.

Willow took a seat between Daniel and Jack, who respectively ignored her and gave her a dazzling smile. Hammond placed her armband in front of her before saying "Team, you can now put on the armbands. Please report to Dr Frasier when their effect kicks in." and leaving.

Daniel started slightly - he'd been really involved in making no headway whatsoever - but Jack, who had been champing at the bit to be the first to put it on, firmly fastened his band in place. Willow followed suit, then Sam. Daniel, loath to cover the inscription with his wrist, was the last to put it on.

They sat there for a while, wondering if they'd feel strong - Willow expected they wouldn't, because, due to an interesting conversation with Buffy she'd once had, she knew that the Slayer felt no stronger than she had before being called. Which had been good for Buffy, as she didn't accidentally rip doors off hinges or anything like that.

Jack, being constitutionally incapable of sitting still, was the first to break the silence. "Does anyone feel a little dizzy?"

Sam and Willow both shook their heads, and Daniel looked thoughtful for a few seconds before saying "No."

Jack sighed, standing up. Well, it had been too much to ask that they take immediate effect. "No, me neither."

They went their separate ways: Jack to the gym to spar with Teal'c (who knows, maybe he might land a blow this time, if the armbands did work) Daniel to the library to find everything he possibly could about the Atanik (which he expected to be little, if any) and Sam to her lab (she wanted to examine her armband more closely).

Willow caught Sam before she got that far, though. "Sam, d'you mind if I ask you a question?"

"Fire away." Sam replied, still walking, Willow nearly having to jog to keep up with the much taller woman's brisk pace.

"Why were you so set against me coming to work here?" she asked, and overshot Sam as the Major suddenly stopped.

Sam had expected that Willow would ask that, she'd just hoped she wouldn't ask so soon. She had nothing against the redhead, it was just... "My dad was - well, still is, I suppose - an Airforce General. He wasn't really around much, and I resented that." Sam paused, not wanting to reveal too much. But Willow had a right to know. "Anyway, I joined the Airforce because of him. I was a model cadet, a model officer because I wanted to impress him. I lost my childhood because he was never around, and then I spent my adulthood doing something to make him stick around."

Sam realised she was driving off topic slightly. "Yeah, I wanted you to have a normal life, at least for a bit. Go to university, and all that."

Willow took a deep breath. She had been expecting - she didn't know what she had been expecting - but it hadn't been that. "You know, if I hadn't been fighting demons and vampires regularly since I was fifteen, I might agree with you. But I have, and, if I were still in Sunnydale, I wouldn't have stopped. So, this is about as normal as my life is going to get."

Sam started walking again, slower this time. "That must've been tough." she empathized. Then she sighed, remembering that a fair amount of equipment was in her quarters - why did Jack keep insisting she go to bed even when he knew she wouldn't? It meant that she was always bringing her work home with her. - and she needed to move it. "Hey, Willow, would you mind helping me move some equipment?"

Willow, thinking that physical activity might speed up the bracelets, was happy to do so - it was better than going halfway across Sunnydale, at night, to pick up donuts, a dangerous feat none of the Scoobies had thanked Xander for.

~*~

A few minutes later, as Willow carried the last bundle of wires to Sam's lab - how did the woman manage to fit so many gadgets in her room? - she was absently wondering what Buffy was doing - she would probably be in Psychology now. Willow wondered if Riley had worked up the nerve to ask her out yet - when a wire struggled loose from her hold, snaking down to trip her.

Naturally, she went sprawling, wires going everywhere. However, just as she too was about to land in the tangled heap, she suddenly stopped, floating in mid-air.

Willow knew what she was doing, of course - she had levitated pencils often enough - but it took all her concentration just to do that, and she had never managed to do something heavier than that, let alone herself. Yet here she was, easily holding herself aloft.

Now she just had to figure out how to lift herself upright.

~*~

Sam heard a crash in the corridor outside her laboratory and dashed out, hoping it wasn't anything major.

It wasn't. Unless you counted seeing Willow floating a few inches above the ground major, which Sam, unaware of Willow's magical limits, didn't. For all she knew, it was perfectly normal.

Sam was by her side in a second, easily hauling Willow upright, scooping up the wires - thankfully Willow hadn't dropped anything breakable - and quickly steered the redhead to her lab.

It was only a couple of seconds later that Sam realized she had walked the distance from her lab to Willow, a good thirty or so yards, in about a second, that she realised that something major had in fact happened.

~*~

Daniel, as he'd rather suspected, was getting nowhere. Given that it was possible that the Atanik's had never visited Earth, it was hardly surprising he hadn't found any reference to them.

However, that didn't mean that he'd give up just yet. He got up to retrieve a reference book from a shelf. It must've been wedged in fairly tight, because when he have it a tug, three books to either side of the one he had wanted slid out too.

He caught them, one by one, putting them back on the shelf before catching the next. None of them hit the ground. Then he flicked through the reference book for a couple of seconds, but didn't find anything useful, so he put it back.

It was only when Daniel saw another researcher staring at him open-mouthed that he realised what he had just done.

~*~

Jack, as was usual when he sparred with Teal'c, was losing. The big alien had been gracious enough not to trounce him in seconds, but Jack had yet to land a blow, whereas Teal'c had already snaked past his defence several times.

Teal'c let loose a powerful punch aimed at Jack's torso, and for Jack, time slowed down. He crouched, one hand seizing Teal'c's wrist, the other just behind his elbow. He pulled slightly, using Teal'c's momentum to pull him into his hip. Then he straightened from his crouch, pulling Teal'c up and over his shoulder.

To Teal'c, it seemed as though he had been about to score another point when suddenly, and all too abruptly, he found himself airborne. At least the walls were padded.
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