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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-CenteredEnergyBeingFR133964,81428544,8332 Sep 123 Feb 13Yes

Chapter Thirty-Six

Although the gang was rather tired, due to the day they had had and the late hour, they decided that there was no time like the present to break into the Initiative. If they were tired, there was a good chance that the people there would be too. And if the military people were off chasing vampires or something, and the scientists were asleep, now would probably be the best chance they had to get Riley. So they quickly hatched a plan and went.

Except for Giles. If it were a raid into some kind of demons nest, he'd be in like a shot, but as it was he felt that it would be best if someone remained behind.

So Giles was moderately surprised to find that he wasn't the only person to stay. Oz had, as well. After a few moments of awkward silence, Giles said "You're still here."

Oz shrugged. "Apparently." he answered, in his standard laconic manner.

"You planning on going at some point?" Giles enquired. He was somewhat uncomfortable being around Oz, given his previous abandonment of the Scoobies. Giles wasn't sure whether Willow had accepted him back or not, and he wasn't even sure if he himself wanted Oz back.

"I was just debating the issue." Oz answered.

"Come to any conclusions?"

"I was thinking it would be better if I went."

Giles, suddenly unsure as to whether they were both talking about the same thing, searched for something to say. However, he didn't quite manage in time, as Oz left before Giles could say a word.

Giles watched him go up the driveway for a moment, then shrugged and went to make himself some tea whilst he wondered what had just happened.

~*~

Buffy went alone to the room containing the secret lift into the Initiative. She thought if there was someone waiting there, like there had been before, then that would probably be the easiest way to get to Riley. Of course, then they'd have to get Riley out, which probably wouldn't be so easy.

As it turned out, there was someone there. Buffy didn't know him, but she could tell he was military from the way he sat, and the casual clothes weren't fooling her. "Hi there." Buffy said.

"Ms Summers." he said, with a nod. Buffy wondered who had told him about her.

"Please, call me Buffy. Can I see Riley?" Buffy asked.

"Of course, ma'a- Buffy. Just a moment." he said, reaching for some kind of walkie-talkie thing at his belt.

Buffy, not wanting more people to be around than strictly necessary, said "I don't suppose Riley has recovered enough to be moved from the infirmary yet?" she was gratified to see the man's hand stop moving as he frowned.

"I don't believe so. Should I contact the infirmary?" he asked solicitously. Then sagged as he was Zatted.

Buffy sighed. "I don't believe that will be necessary." she said to the unconscious body. The rest of the group filed into the room, Teal'c holding his Zat.

Thankfully, the lift door hadn't been fixed yet, so the group had no trouble descending into the depths of the Initiative.

Buffy, Willow and Xander headed to the infirmary, whilst Daniel took up a position near the corridor leading to the infirmary. Sam set up in front of the lift, whilst Spike and Teal'c stayed in the middle of the large, central room.

As soon as the three Scoobies were out of sight, Spike vamped out and began snarling and roaring at the few workers who were still there. He began hurling tables, chairs, papers, anything he could get his hands on. In their panic to avoid the crazed vampire in their midst, the scientists didn't notice how careful Spike was not to actually hit anyone with anything, or in fact come close to anyone. They were too busy setting off alarms.

As the soldiers began to trickle in, taking pot shots at Spike with their stun guns so as not to accidentally injure anyone else in the room, the vampire began to whirl around, never in any one place long enough to be hit. All the while, he caused havoc wherever he went.

Sam couldn't help but wonder how many of these people Spike could've killed, had he not been chipped.

But still, eventually there were too many soldiers for Spike to keep evading all their shots, so Teal'c would sidle up to the soldiers and Zat them in the back. In the confusion, no one noticed them drop.

Then the three Scoobies came back, Buffy and Xander supporting an unconscious Riley between them. Daniel escorted them to the lift, no longer bothering to look like he was trying to take down the vampire, he was taking shots at every soldier in his way.

By the time the soldiers figured out what was going on, Daniel and the others were already half-way across the room, and Sam was raining Zat blasts down on them with deadly accuracy.

However, it is considerably easier to aim at a group of people carrying an unconscious person than a vampire who doesn't want to be hit, so the soldiers began to aim at the Scoobies instead of Spike.

Spike, however, was having none of that. He knew that if the humans were hit with even one shot from the stun guns, they'd be out like a light and these guys would probably put them in cages and put chips in them, or some such. Lord knew what they'd do with Teal'c.

So Spike intercepted the first three shots, teeth clenched in agony as he did so. Sam let out an animalistic cry as she saw Spike get hit, his supernatural grace leaving him. She took out the people who had shot him, but there were still too many of them, and even with his vampiric durability Spike couldn't hold out much longer. He probably wouldn't even make it until the group made it to the lift.

Which was where Willow came in. She stiffened when the first shots hit Spike, although she was looking away from him as they did so. Without stopping to think, she reached out with her mind, finding the stun guns. It was a simple matter to overload them so the next shot fired stunned the firer rather than anyone else.

However, Willow, having gotten used to having the power boost that came with the Atanik armbands, didn't realise that this overtaxed her already overused magical ability. She collapsed unconscious, at more or less the same time as the remaining soldiers did so.

Daniel caught her before she hit the ground.

~*~

Giles wasn't unduly surprised when the group made it back looking as though they were half asleep. Or, in some cases, actually asleep.

Daniel was still carrying the unconscious Willow, whilst Sam was supporting Spike, who despite being awake contrived to look even more asleep than Willow did. Giles didn't even know how that was possible. Buffy and Xander were taking the still-unconscious Riley between them, and both of them looked more or less dead on their feet. Only Teal'c looked alert.

Still, they'd done all that they would be able to do, today. As everyone began heading off to their respective sleeping places - Daniel was taking Willow to her parents' house, and Teal'c was going with them. Spike refused to move another step and collapsed on Giles sofa (Giles, oddly enough, didn't mind all that much) and Sam took one of Giles spare rooms. Xander went back to his parents' basement, muttering something about Anya, whilst Buffy went to take Riley home. Giles wondered how Buffy would explain that to Joyce - Giles wondered what had happened to Oz. He expected that if something bad had happened to the little werewolf, he would've been told about it.

Which lead Giles to assume that Oz had left again. He wondered how Willow would take that.

Although, having seen the tender expression on Daniel's face as he carried her home, and the kiss they had shared earlier, Giles suspected that Willow probably wouldn't mind all that much.

Still, that was something that could be dealt with in the morning, after a good night's sleep.
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