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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-CenteredEnergyBeingFR133964,81428545,3942 Sep 123 Feb 13Yes

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Sam quickly stood up, standing at a vague approximation of attention. She was too surprised to do much else. "Sir! You're back!" she exclaimed, fighting the urge to blush like a school girl.

"Apparently so. Carter, do sit down, will you? You know we're on leave." said Jack, dryly. And with just a hint of bitterness.

Spike quickly appraised the situation, decided that now would definitely not be the time to pick a fight with Sam's superior officer, who just happened to have feelings for her that she seemed to at least partially reciprocate. So Spike decided to diplomatically offer some tea.

Only Willow took a cup. After several years researching with Giles, she'd developed rather a taste for it - besides, it helped her not to freak out about the latest apocalypse. The others, like Sam, preferred coffee.

The somewhat awkward silence stretched out for several seconds, before Jack decided he had had enough of it and if it went on he would be liable to burst. So he walked over to the rather complicated piece of equipment which he assumed was the Tesla coil and asked "So, is this your gadgety thing?"

Given that Sam didn't seem to be up to answering the question, Willow took it upon herself to do so. "That's just part of it - the step-up generator to provide it with enough power. The actual coil is over there" she said, pointing. Jack turned to see something that looked pretty similar to the generator.

Spike couldn't resist it any longer. He had to say something. "You know that we can't actually do anything until tomorrow? So you didn't have to come until then."

Jack wanted to glare at him, but he thought it was probably beneath him. He glared anyway. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Daniel sighed heavily. It looked like it would be a very long day.

~*~

As it turned out, Daniel was right. The day stretched on for so long that it seemed impossible that a single day could have that much time in it.

This was due mainly to the fact that everyone was uncomfortable being around Riley, a situation that was only exacerbated by his obvious reluctance to be around them.

In addition to that, Jack and Spike were insultingly polite to each other, and Sam was so uncomfortable with the situation that she barely spoke.

Furthermore, Giles revealed to Willow that Oz had taken off again, and while she didn't exactly seem put out by the news, it still put her in a pensive and reflective mood for the rest of the day.

Eventually though, after what seemed like several centuries, the day came to a close, and people began to head to their respective sleeping places. The only slight problem was that Spike would've quite liked to stay at Willow's, not only to be with Sam but to annoy Jack. Unfortunately, he didn't have an invitation and he was damned if he was going to ask Willow for one, so he headed over to his crypt. He'd got the television wired up, and what else was he going to do?

~*~

Everyone somehow managed to get some sleep that night (apart from the nocturnal Spike), but they still preferred to get up early and get it over with. After all, with Sunnydale deserted - the demons and vampires had left to chase the humans, and even Joyce was gone, although she knew the real reason she was leaving - there was really no point in wasting time.

However, when it came to actually move the Tesla coil and the step-up generator to Sunnydale Square, the group ran into a problem. Although the machine wasn't all that big, it was surprisingly heavy. Only Buffy and Teal'c working in tandem managed to shift it (Spike couldn't move them around outside, not in daylight) but it would take forever to get them to the Square, and small as the machines were, they still wouldn't fit in anyone's car.

Spike solved the problem by hot wiring an open-ended truck, although he brought Giles along to hold a blanket over him and drive the truck, so that he wouldn't get burnt.

Eventually, Buffy and Teal'c managed to manoeuvre the devices onto the truck, and then they were on their way.

However, there was a more pressing problem. Only Spike would be able to activate the Tesla coil, as he was the only one who wouldn't be killed outright. However, in order to activate the device, he'd have to be standing next to it.

In broad daylight.

It was unlikely that Spike would be able to hold a blanket around him the entire time, especially while he was being electrocuted. So they had to come up with some kind of solution.

Normally, Willow would've offered to summon a cloud or something, but after passing out from overtaxing her magical abilities the previous day, and given that Giles had told her of the inherent danger of weather magic, she thought it would probably be better if she didn't.

It was Xander that came up with a solution. Not that he could tell the group about it right away, because the idea was so funny that he couldn't help but burst into peals of laughter, and when he pulled himself together and tried again, he made the mistake at looking at the blanket-clad Spike and descended into gales of laughter again.

Eventually, he managed to articulate his plan, and when he did the group understood why he had found it so hilarious - they did too. Except for Spike, that is, who looked like he could cheerfully murder something. Or someone. Or several someones. Hopefully one of them being Xander.

Xander's idea was simple. Given that Spike would be fine if he wasn't in direct sunlight, all they had to do was make sure he was wearing something that covered his entire body, and which he didn't have to hold onto. Say, a costume. Xander thought Zorro, with the mask, a hat and gloves would do just fine. Of course, Spike would look like a ponce, but Xander didn't mind that.

It was fairly easy to cobble together the components, and Spike was ready. Of course, given that it wasn't an actual Zorro costume he didn't look quite as poncey as he had feared, although the women's gloves that stretched to the elbow didn't help in the slightest. Spike thought that Adam would die of laughter before he even turned the coil on.

Still, the plan was so close to coming to fruition that it would be stupid to abort merely because Spike looked like an idiot.

So the gang set up the devices, and settled down to wait. Hopefully Adam would show up for Riley.

~*~

Several hours later, after Spike had thrashed everyone at poker (although Xander said that him wearing lady gloves meant he simply couldn't bluff with a straight face) Adam did show up. The gang quickly backed away, out of range of the coil.

Adam stopped just outside the maximum range of the Tesla coil, much to everyone's extreme annoyance. To the gang's surprise, Adam ignored them completely, and instead said to Riley "Coming, Brother? We have much to do."

Riley, against his will, found himself standing up. "Yes, of course. I can hardly wait to get away from these primitives." he spat the final word. Everyone looked at him in horror, but Riley didn't see. Adam had complete control of him now, and even when Buffy seized his arm, Riley didn't stop walking, even though Slayer strength prevented him from moving. Eventually, Buffy gave up and let go. There was nothing she could do.

Riley walked across the courtyard to Adam in silence, his own despair echoed by every one of the Scoobies and SG-1.

However, when Riley was about half way to Adam, things went strange. Firstly, the air rippled around him, and he found himself back behind the Scoobies. Then the same odd rippling effect happened around Adam, and suddenly he was a good few feet further forward.

Within the range of the Tesla coil. Spike flipped the switch to turn it on.

Instantly, Spike's world vanished. He didn't know where he was. He didn't know who he was. He didn't know anything. There was only the pain. It was worse that dying, and Spike had experience with that.

The sensation was gone in a moment, and after another moment Spike's vision cleared, and he could see what was going on. It was spectacular - lightning darting every which way, Adam standing motionless as he tried to absorb the electricity that periodically licked over him.

Then Spike was hit again. And again. In the brief moments of respite, Spike wished he were dead. He wished he were unconscious. He wished it would just stop. But he had to hold on.

Spike didn't notice when Adam exploded, in a storm of body parts and metal. He only knew that something other than electricity had hit him. He hoped that was it. It had better be, because he was going to...

Spike passed out.
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