Dawn nearly had a heart attack when the moment she crossed the threshold into her house, Buffy appeared out of nowhere, simultaneously pulling her inside and slamming the front door behind her and yelling "Dawn! You know it's dangerous outside! What were you thinking!?"
"Umm, that I had a headache and a walk might be helpful." Dawn answered mildly, knowing that no matter what she said, Buffy would find a way to yell at her.
"Well, walking around Sunnydale after dark is a good way to cure a headache. You know why? Because dead people don't get headaches!" Buffy shouted.
The door opened again, revealing Spike standing outside and an amused smirk on his face. "We can, you know. You screaming is giving me one right now. In fact, you screaming is probably giving every vamp in town a headache." he said, unable to resist needling the Slayer at every opportunity.
Buffy ignored him, saying to Dawn quietly (Dawn was thankful to Spike for that, at least. She wasn't keen on having her ears shredded by Slayer-scream) "Please don't tell me that you went out with Spike."
"Okay." Dawn replied.
Buffy looked baffled. "Okay what?" she asked, bemused.
"Okay, I won't tell you that I went out with Spike." Dawn said, also unable to resist annoying her sister.
"So you did go out with Spike!" Buffy declared, voice rising several octaves.
"No." Dawn answered truthfully. Spike had met up with her after she'd left, so she hadn't, technically, gone out with Spike. In the literal sense, not the "On a date" sense, which Dawn hadn't done either.
Buffy, evidently too annoyed to be bothered with her exasperating brat of a little sister, turned to Spike and said, in a low threatening voice "Stay away from Dawn, or-"
Spike interrupted her before she could finish "You'll let her get eaten by giant insects?" then he frowned and rummaged around in a pocket, pulling out his mobile. "Oh, feel free to go back to yelling at each other now. I've just got to take this."
"Oh, is it Sam? Tell her I said hi!" said Dawn excitedly to Spike's back as he left.
Buffy dragged her away, closing the door and locking it this time (not that she supposed it would stop Spike from getting in if he really wanted to) and saying "Now then, about that giant bug Spike mentioned..."
"'ullo, Sam." Spike said, answering his phone. "What do you want?"
"Can't I just call you when I feel like it?
" Sam replied.
"Well, you could, but you never have so far." Spike said, a little grumpily. Since he'd last seen Sam in Sunnydale, she hadn't called him once. Of course, he hadn't called her either, but that was because he was an evil vampire who was above stuff like that.
Sam, of course, wasn't going to let it go at that. "Well, you never call me either, so you can't complain. Anyway, I was just calling to see how you are.
" she said.
Spike suspected that there was whole lot more to it than that, but he was willing to take it at face value. "Me? I'm just fine. 'sides, you know, being driven out of my mind by the Scoobies popping up everywhere. Dawn says hi, by the way."
"Tell her I said hi, too. So, listen - nothing weird has happened to you lately?
" Sam said, and Spike noticed the undercurrent of tension in her voice and couldn't help being amused by it. She was worried about him!
"Well, a giant bug appeared out of nowhere ten minutes ago, but that's pretty normal for Sunnydale." Spike answered. Then promptly dropped his phone in surprise when a giant ball of glowing green light appeared in front of him, heading straight for him.
Now, monsters Spike could fight. He would even have a crack at a magic-user if the mood was upon him. But mystical balls of energy were a little out of his league. Which meant he had to get out of there before it touched him - because he sure as hell didn't want to find out what it would do to him if it did.
Unfortunately, Spike didn't have a whole lot of options. The green ball was taking up most of the driveway, and whilst there was room for him to squeeze past it, he wasn't willing to bet his life that he could make it, especially not if it moved.
So Spike's only other option was to yank open the Summers' door (noticing with some amusment as he did so that he had just broken their lock) and dash inside, where he collided headlong into Buffy, who had apparently seen the light and had gone outside to check what it was.
Both of them collapsed to the ground in a tangle of limbs, much to Spike's distaste (although that was alleviated somewhat by the fact that he was sure Buffy was blushing). He leapt up again as soon as he could and went deeper into the house, and Buffy, seeing that this was the same ball of energy that she had run away from before, followed suit.
There were two things that neither of them noticed, in all the confusion.
Firstly that the ball of light had stopped directly over Spike's phone, still connected as it was Sam's. Neither of them could know that Sam was, at that very moment, hearing a crackling, inhuman voice say "help... me... sam".
Neither Spike nor Buffy noticed that, at the very moment that the ball of energy had appeared, Dawn had disappeared. Nor that, when the ball vanished so completely that it was hard to imagine that it was ever there, Dawn reappeared in her bedroom, her vision as blurry and faded as it had been before meeting the insect.
The rest of SG-1 watched as Sam called Spike, watched her smile as they spoke, watched her bemused expression as he presumably said that he was fine, then the horrified expression on her face a second before her phone dropped from her numb fingers with a clatter, and went dead.
And they all said, in unison, variations on the theme of "Are you alright? What happened?"
Sam didn't answer, not right away. It wasn't just the plea for help that so unnerved her - in her job, she encountered things like that rather more often than she would've liked - but the feelings that that the voice had filled her with.
The voice hadn't been human, Sam could tell that much. It had sounded infinitely more like the crackle of static on a radio. But, in a way that Sam couldn't understand, the voice had been so, so lonely, so lonely and afraid that it overwhelmed her.
Sam had only ever heard a voice that had even come close to sounding like that, and that had been Cassie when they had thought that she was going to explode. It had been that voice which had made Sam stay with Cassie, knowing that she would die there but unable to leave Cassie to die alone.
But this voice dwarfed that.
Sam hadn't a clue as to how she could help - she didn't even know if she could - but she was going to do everything in her power to help. Now she just needed to get across the maelstrom of feelings to the others, so that they understood to.
While Sam tried to explain to General Hammond and the others exactly why they should go to Sunnydale (after all, how did they know that it hadn't been Spike who had made that call, in the throes of being controlled by his demon or something? In any case, it was the only lead they had...) Caelus had been put in a cell.
This frustrated Caelus. Not because he was in the cell - he perfectly understood why they had seen fit to put him in there, for all that he disliked the enclosed space - but because they hadn't given him back his scythe. Again, he understood why they hadn't - they had no clue as to what it did and they weren't going to allow a dangerous prisoner access to a weapon - but it still rankled.
Caelus had had his scythe for a very, very long time. He had had it longer than he had had a Goa'uld, and as he was, far and away, the oldest Goa'uld alive that was saying something. Caelus had a psychic connection to it - it was that which allowed him to disguise it as a staff - but more than that, it was his, a part of him in a way that none of these humans could ever understand. And he wanted it back.
Of course, it would be more than a little difficult for Caelus to actually get to it - he couldn't break out in the same way he had last time - but then, he had some skills in that area.
The race that the humans knew as the Ancients had, after millennia of evolution, developed skills that less-evolved humans might see as supernatural.
Far and away the most common of these was telekinesis, which was why the descendants of the Ancients who reached a certain level of evolution frequently gained this power. This power sometimes evolved into the ability to read the surface thoughts of someone else, as well.
Somewhat rarer, but still fairly common, was the ability to heal, as demonstrated by Jack when he had been under the influence of the Ancient's repository of knowledge. The more skillful practitioners of this art were capable of healing nigh-on any wound or illness nearly instantaneously, and even raise the deceased if they hadn't been dead too long.
Rarer still were those who developed purely psychic gifts, such as the ability to read a mind or predict a future. Equally rare were those that developed a incredible facility to absorb and redirect the life force of those around them, something which would come to be called magic. The power of Ancients such as these dwarfed that of their descendant, Willow, powerful witch though she was.
Then there were even rarer gifts - the ability to raise one's body temperature, and the temperature of things around you - to teleport across vast distances in the blink of an eye - to communicate with the spirits of those long since dead - to calculate the probability of an action so rapidly that it seemed almost as though one could tell the future - and myriad other abilities.
Caelus' power was rarer than these. Only one other had ever shared his power, but that's another story.
Most people could actively move in three dimensions - up and down, forward and backwards, left and right. Caelus could move in a fourth - through time.
It wasn't as simple as that, of course. For Caelus to actually move forward or backward in time took an incredible amount of power, plus the possibility that he might create a paradox which he would have to sustain until he put it right. And, after having spent an untold time in a prison in which time didn't exist, and more years than Caelus' cared to count before that with the genetic powers over the Goa'uld, Ancients and Vampires precluding his natural talents, Caelus simply didn't have the strength to time travel. The 'muscles', as it were, that he used to do it had atrophied.
What Caelus could do was speed up or slow down time around him. Like, for example, around the cell door. He could speed up time around that to such an extent that thousands of years would pass in a second, which would be plenty of time for it to disintegrate. Then he could speed up time around himself, meaning that he would be moving so fast that he would effectively be invisible, meaning that he could break out and retrieve his scythe, leaving no one the wiser.
Caelus set to work, mustering the necessary energy to escape.Although you may not agree with me, there have been several cases on Stargate of people who are close to ascension having different powers. Both Khalek and McKay, for example, had telekinesis as their primary power but later developed the ability to read surface thoughts. Adria could do that too, as well as resurrect the recent dead. Jack developed healing, whilst Daniel, sharing with Merlin, developed telekinesis and the ability to hurl bolts of energy around. So it's possible that other powers, more in line with what you might expect from a Roman god, occurred.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering why Caelus, a sky god, can manipulate time? Wouldn't you think that he'd summon lightning or something? Well, Caelus has been identified with the Aion, god of eternal time, so it's reasonable to assume that Caelus might have time-related powers. Plus, I wanted him to, so nyer nyer nyer.