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The Magic of Wormholes

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Summary: Willow leaves Sunnydale at the end of Season 3 to study at Oxford. Now living in Colorado, she meets some interesting characters... Plus confusion for Daniel when demon languages start turning up on alien planets.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Willow-Centered > Pairing: Daniel JacksonlyapunovFR152368,0431195101,42023 May 044 Jun 04Yes

Epilogue

Epilogue.


‘One Harvard physicist who has jumped into the fray concerning wormholes is Sidney Coleman. Resembling a cross between Woody Allen and Albert Einstein, he shuffles through the corridors of Jefferson Hall, trying to convince the sceptics of his latest theory of wormholes. With his Chaplinesque moustache, his hair swept back like Einstein’s, and his oversize sweatshirt, Coleman stands out in any crowd…

…At present, Coleman vigorously engages the critics who say that scientists won’t be able to verify wormhole theories within our lifetime. If we believe in Thorne’s wormholes, then we have to wait until someone discovers exotic matter or masters the Casimir effect. Until then, our time machines have no ‘engine’ capable of shooting us into the past. Similarly, if we believe in Hawkings’s wormholes, then we have to travel in ‘imaginary time’ in order to travel between wormholes. Either way, it’s a very sad state of affairs for the average theoretical physicist, who feels frustrated by the inadequate, feeble technology of the twentieth century and who can only dream of harnessing the Plank energy.’

{Michio Kaku – Hyperspace 1994, Oxford University Press}



I sighed and looked up from my book.

It’s strange knowing more than the ‘god fathers’ of the physics world, never being able to tell anyone. I never felt this way about Demons; never wanted to run off to tell some professor of mythology about the real world…

My gaze rested on the trees on the opposite bank, a mixture of alders and willows, their autumn leaves shimmering gold in the late afternoon sun as the breeze gently stirred them, their soothing whisper carrying clearly in the crisp air. The dark green water of the river gurgled melodiously as it meandered past where I was sitting, cross-legged on an old raincoat laid out on the thick grass. I could just hear the rush of water from the weir faintly in the distance, the white noise a constant undertone.

I don’t know if the pain for what I did that day will ever fade. I know I’ll never forget.

I was told that when they investigated the remaining Goa’uld ships they found every Jaffa Primp’ta had been burned from its pouch, every adult Goa’uld incinerated. The Jaffa died soon after; without their symbiotes there was nothing that could be done to save them even if they had accepted Earth’s aid – tretonin was simply not stocked in that quantity.

But that pales in comparison to what I did to Anubis.

I don’t deserve to live after that.

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I closed the book resting open on my knees, and slipped it into my shoulder bag. I then climbed stiffly to my feet and shook off the mac and draped it over my arm as I stepped onto the tow path before me. I walked slowly up the path towards the lock, enjoying the peace of my surroundings.

I love the Abbey Gardens when they’re like this, the air so crisp and fresh, the autumn colours of gold and brown mixed with hints of red set warmly against the clear blue sky above. I discovered the gardens in my second year while exploring Abingdon during halfterm break. The river winds its way through the outskirts of the town, under picturesque bridges and past the cricket pitch; a popular location in the summer months.

It’s well past the holiday season now and the gardens are empty aside from a few people like me, taking advantage of the good weather. Most of the boats that usually line the bank are gone, and the summer punts stored away in their boathouses, safe against the encroaching winter.
I tried to talk Giles into punting with me once, but he was having none of it – especially when I bought him a straw hat as an incentive…

I don’t remember much clearly after my confrontation with Anubis, after he was… destroyed. Thor beamed us and the two remaining members of SG-2, who were located soon after we were, to the Gateroom of the SGC – nearly giving Hammond, who had resigned himself to our deaths, a heart attack.

As far as I was concerned, I was dead.

All I remember from that time was Giles’ face, his eyes red from tears. I don’t believe he’d ever let me see him cry like that before, even after Sunnydale.

Some nights I wake up and I’m standing somewhere, lost in the dark, barefoot, and in pyjamas. I’m terrified, my heart pounding, my face wet and salty, and I can’t remember how I got there, or what I was dreaming. Or I wake up and find myself jumping out of bed and running as hard as I can before I gain control over my fearful body.

Giles says it’s post-traumatic stress. Hah, I say, hah; there’s nothing ‘post’ about it.

At least the night-time screaming has stopped now.

.

Giles brought me back to England with him about a week after we returned to the SGC, the military provided a private transport to RAF Benson. I still hadn’t spoken to anyone since Daniel brought me back; words didn’t seem to want to form, let alone come out. It was more bearable to let the world go on around me, to not interact with it.

I didn’t cry for days.

I felt numb and empty inside, dislocated from the world, unable to communicate with those around me. When I woke suddenly in the middle of the night on the tenth day it was as though the flood gates had opened, and I could feel again. It was then I started to deal with what I’d done, who I had become.

Giles held me all night.

I walked across the top of the lock gate and onto the bridge that spanned the width of the weir. Standing on the grey metal walkway, l leant against the barrier and looked down-river, watching the water rush beneath my feet, the dark liquid foaming white. The rumble of the tumultuous watercourse filled my ears, blocking out all other sounds from my head.

I wish it would block out the thoughts as well.

.

Daniel calls me almost every week without fail on the secure phone the SGC gave Giles and I to see how I’m doing over here. He tells me inane things about what’s happening in his neck of the woods, like how Janet nearly sedated Jack in the infirmary last week after he acquired a concussion that had him confined to sickbay – just to get some peace and quiet from his complaining.

I think he wants to be here with me more than anything, but George needs him there to help the others clean up the mess Anubis left. Apparently, now that Anubis is gone, all the Goa’uld’s loyal to him – Osiris, Tanith, and Zipacna – and those who were hiding from the system lord, are fighting amongst themselves again.

Daniel says this is the preferred scenario.

I’m on a break from my studies with the Coven at the moment. That’s where Giles took me when we first landed in England. We stayed in Westbury, north of the city of Oxford, so that Miss Harkness could assess me herself.

Catherine thinks I’m staying with friends from the university and exploring the possibility of doing my PhD over here. She was a little confused about the messages she had received when she got home about me being in a coma – I told her it was just a mix up and not to worry.

I can’t do much magic now. Miss Harkness says it will come back over time, and we’re working to build up my strength with purely white magic to balance the dark powers that will always seek me out after what I did.

She said I was lucky I didn’t burn myself out completely. I’m not so sure I agree, I think I’d rather not do spells anymore, not after… what happened.

I have to learn enough to be safe though, so I don’t go all ‘postal-veiny-black-eyed’ Willow again, because if Daniel isn’t there next time…

.

Giles was SOOOO fired by the Watcher’s Council when he returned.

I think they would have had him arrested on some trumped up charge if he hadn’t immediately returned all of the books he had ‘stolen’ from them. They conspired to have him deposed from his job of Curator at the British Museum, so he’s currently looking for a new position now; not an easy thing to do for a man of his age with no references from the only major employer he’s ever worked for.

He’s not too cut up about it though – he told me that he’d have resigned from the Council anyway, and there were too many stuck up, fossilised old wankers at the museum…

He doesn’t want to work for the powers anymore.

I don’t blame him. He’s not the only one feeling like that.

As the sun sinks lower in the sky, just above the horizon, the shadows grow longer and the temperature starts to drop. I hunched my shoulders against the growing chill, and wonder whether it’s time to go back to the car. Not my car – I borrowed it from Giles this morning. It’s a Citroen as per usual, unfortunately for me a manual and hence difficult to drive; I’d rather get the journey home over before the light fails totally.

Plus roundabouts – my Goddess, those violent traffic free-for-alls scare the hell out of me…

.

I owe Daniel my life.

He says he owes me his, so we’re even.

All I know is that I can’t imagine life without hearing his voice every week. I start to panic if the call is late, or if he’s off-world, but George always phones in his place to let me know he’s ok if he can’t make it himself.
Danny always manages to make me feel so much better about myself, I can always rely on him to cheer me up, make my problems seem that much more manageable.

It’s strange having a best friend again after so many years.

But nice…

I hooked the raincoat through the strap of my bag and turned round and crossed to the other side of the bridge and placed my elbows on the barrier, cupping my hands around my neck. I watched the floating fallen leaves drift towards me, carried slowly by the current and speeding up dramatically as they approached the weir.

I should probably think about getting back. Giles might start to worry.

I jumped slightly as a dog pattered past me, his nails clattering against the surface of the walkway, followed by its owner a few moments later. I forced myself to relax, I’m safe here.

“Willow?” came a familiar voice from behind my left ear, his mouth almost touching my head. I felt a stupid grin grow across my face and I twisted around so the railing rested against the small of my back.

His blue eyes are staring down at me.

Is he really here?

I wrapped my arms tightly round his neck with a short squeal, hugging him in delight; so hard he’d know how much I’ve missed him. Drawing back, I stared him in the face, his expression was filled with a mixture of concern and amusement at my reaction.

I can’t believe he’s actually here, I thought it was going to be months at least until I was recovered enough to return to Colorado Springs. I never imagined he’d be able to come here.

“How did you know where I was?” I asked, looking at him in puzzlement. Daniel was dressed in a black t-shirt, faded blue jeans and a light brown jacket, appearing decidedly non-military.

“Giles said you’d probably be up here,” he replied. In the excitement my raincoat had slipped from my bag and landed on the walkway. He bent down to pick it up, now damp from spray, and revealed three more people behind him standing a little way down the tow path watching us.

“You’re all here?” I said. Sam gave a little wave. We crossed to the tow path and met the other members of Daniel’s team; Jack still limping slightly, Sam trying very hard to look as though she was not mother henning him and watching his every move, Teal’c wearing his Murray hat and looking as stoic as ever.

“Why are you guys here?” I asked as we drew level with the others, receiving a tentative hug from Sam.

“We’re here to negotiate terms with the Coven. Had some business with Giles and thought we’d swing by and give you a visit,” said Jack. “It was either that or have Daniel quit the SGC, he’s been like a cat on a hot tin roof about seeing you!”

“They’re letting 'you' negotiate?” I asked Jack, before blushing at the rudeness of my question. He scowled at me, but his eyes twinkled as he accepted the logic of my poorly worded outburst.

“I’ll let Sam and Danny do most of the yakking,” he said.

“How much are you telling them?” I asked. The coven knows very little about what had happened in Colorado (or space come to that), and it had been strongly suggested by George that we didn’t divulge anything about the Stargate program.

“Not a lot,” replied Jack, “we just want to set up a chain of communication at the moment.”

“Are you taking… Murray with you?” I could have sworn Teal’c raised his eyebrows, but it was a bit hard to tell with the hat and all.

“Bad idea?” asked Jack.

“Yeh, if you don’t want the Coven to know about aliens. They’ll spot something’s ‘off’ with him straight away, I’d keep him away from them.” Was I being to forward? I looked back at Daniel for reassurance, but he was watching for Jack’s reaction to my telling him what to do.

“Yes boss!”

.

We turned to walk to the vehicles, trekking back across the field to the small car park by the road. Jack, Sam and Teal’c walked ahead of Daniel and I as we hung back slightly, watching their long shadows float across the green grass. I felt a light touch against my right hand, and Daniel threaded his fingers through mine. I looked up at him, squinting at the sun shining brightly behind him as it began to duck beneath the skyline. He smiled at me and squeezed my hand.

It was all going to be ok.

It wouldn’t be right away, but somewhere out there, in the future, things would be alright again.

The things worth fighting for always take time and effort.

I can see that.





** ** The End ** **





A/N: I have looked up the location of Westbury (as used in season seven of BtVS), and within the British Isles there are three of them, none of which are in, or near, Devon. I have chosen to take the Westbury in Buckinghamshire as it places it within easy distance of Oxford.

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And that, my dear readers, is that.

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Thankyou so much to everyone who has stuck with this story – I hope it was worth it.

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Hugs for everyone who sent me reviews and spurred on the creative process, I don’t know if I’d have got it finished if it wasn’t for you guys.

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On another note, if anyone can find time to send me some feedback on how they feel the story worked as a whole: plotting, pacing of said plot etc, I would really, really, appreciate it.

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One last thing, what would people say to a possible sequel?

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Once again, thankyou for reading. lyapunov.

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