Begin at the end, end at the beginning
Title: Enough Rope
Author: FreeWrite (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer all characters related belong to Joss Whedon and co. I do not own Stargate SG1 all characters related belong to the owner (who is not I). I do not own JAG all characters related belong to Donald P Bellisario and co. I am merely borrowing for however long it takes me to write this story and will not make any money out of them. Besides what would you get from me? My $300 car or my $500 laptop. It’s not even worth the legal fees people. Oh I also have two couches and a fridge…
But… Bethuen Carter is mine.
Summary: She was given a choice, told it was all over but when the PTB renege on their end of the deal how will they all cope.
Rating: PG 15 for language and a bit of violence stuck in here and there, but that’s about it.
Authors Notes: I know I said at the end of Landed that I wasn’t planning on writing a third story but here it is. This is set in the same universe as my ‘Falling’ and ‘Landed’ fics and follows on about 10 months after the end of ‘Landed’. Both of these stories are archived on tthfanfic.org and fanfiction.net, just click on my author name and you’ll find them listed there. Or you can e-mail me and I’ll either send you a direct link or send them to you.
I don’t write shipper stories. Plain and simple, their may be minor references to either previous relationships or current ‘feelings’ but this is not a shipper story for any ship that you may ship in.
Chapter 1: Begin at the end and end at the beginning.
Apartment of Sarah Mackenzie
Georgetown, Washington DC
While Lieutenant Colonel Sarah Mackenzie’s couch wasn’t the most comfortable in the world Faith had slept in worse places, not that she slept that much anyway. Years of being the Slayer and subsisting on minimal amounts of sleep while in Jail had conditioned her body to survive without. Faith knew that one day this would catch up with her but she hoped that it wouldn’t be yet.
Generally her sleep was restful akin to a normal persons power nap she crashed for an hour or two and then was up and ready to go on whatever was awaiting her, but the last few nights her sleep had been plagued by nightmares.
A child crying…
A man yelling…
A woman screaming in agony…
She never saw any faces or heard any words.
That is she didn’t until today.
Sitting up, sweat running down her face she looked wildly around the dimly lit apartment, her eyes wide and slightly un-focussed, before rolling off the couch in a graceless heap. Reaching over Faith grasped the combat boots that she ‘forgotten’ to return to the SGC and pulled them on before grabbing her bag and running out of the apartment only just remembering to flick the latch behind her.
Home of Samantha Carter
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Sam looked out the window at the three girls in the backyard. Somehow Beth had managed to convince Cassie and Dawn to play hide-and-seek with her instead of the two of them just lying in the sun trying to get a tan ready for the summer. Nothing about the current scene looked wrong but…
Something felt wrong. Sam couldn’t describe exactly what it was but it was there.
Falls Church, Virginia
Faith was frantic by the time she reached JAG Headquarters an hour later. As she reached the sign-in booth she was tempted to run right through and knock down anyone in her way, but managed to get through with no fuss.
Tapping her foot impatiently while she stood inside the elevator taking her up to the Bull Pen where apparently Mac’s office was located Faith crossed her arms.
“Come on, come on” she muttered under her breath as the young man beside her watched out of the corner of his eyes unsure of who she was but could see that she was clearly agitated.
The bell rang, announcing that the elevator had arrived at the right floor. She shot out between the automatic doors as soon as they were open wide enough. Faith made her way down the hallway and through the glass doors leading to the heart of JAG’s administration as fast as she could.
The closer she got the more agitated she was feeling. Faith didn’t know exactly what was going to happen but that last dream… It had felt so real. If she could find a way to stop it she would do it.
Standing just inside the glass doors Faith was feeling a little lost and was unsure of where to go next when a woman approached her. The woman’s blond hair and blue eyes were what stood out to Faith the most, along with the friendly expression that Faith was sure never left her face.
“Can I help you Miss?”
Faith looked at her startled. She had never been called Miss before.
“Um sure” Faith looked around once again, shifting from foot to foot. If she didn’t find Mac soon than she would start beating heads in.
“I’m looking for Sarah Mackenzie”
The blonds smile didn’t falter “Do you have an appointment Miss?”
“Faith and no” she took a few steps further into the Bull Pen hoping that she would be able to spot Mac, but to no avail the Marine was no where to be seen.
“I’m sorry but the Colonel is in court at the moment. Can I help you with anything?”
Faith vaguely remembered Mac saying something the night before about being in court all day, Normally she wouldn’t worry but wait it out no matter how hard it was but not today. Today was different, after the dream she’d had it constituted an emergency.
Faith wasn’t going to let them do it. Not if she had anything to say about it.
“Which court room?”
“Miss, I’m sorry but you can’t go in, you can wait in the Colonel’s office if you would like”
Faith shook her head in frustration “You don’t understand I need to see Mac and I need to see her now. I’m not gonna wait in her office if you won’t help me then I’ll just have to go through this entire building and bang on every door and search every room until I find her. So are you gonna help me or not?” Throughout her entire speech Faith’s voice had been getting louder and louder until she was yelling and getting the attention of everyone in the BullPen.
At the shocked look on the woman’s face Faith assumed that no she wouldn’t be getting any help so turned to start looking for Mac herself unfortunately before she could go anywhere she ran right into a solid male shaped body.
Looking up Faith saw standing there a man she had only met twice but knew that he knew exactly who she was.
“Faith what are you doing here?” AJ Chegwidden had never expected to see Faith turn up at JAG Ops, in fact as far a he knew the girl made a conscious effort to stay away from everything to d o with the Military. In fact the only reason that AJ had met her the first time was that he had picked them up at the Airport after Mac had been declared fit to travel. The slash Mac had received down in the Hell Mouth had taken nearly a month to heal enough for her to get back to DC and it was another month before she had been declared fit for duty.
The second meeting had been by complete accident, Mac had needed to go to the Admiral’s to drop off a file and Faith had been with her at the time.
No one in JAG Ops but the Admiral knew what had happened to Mac out in California. , Her subsequent promotion from Major to Lieutenant Colonel had been a surprise but the personally signed letter from the President thanking her for her roll in pushing back the Turok-Han and closing the Hell Mouth had really thrown her (and SG1) into a spin. They had no idea that the President even knew what a Hell Mouth was, let alone about the group that had been actively guarding it over the past years. It turned out that a number of reports from The Initiative had in fact made it up that high. The President had made it his business to know exactly what was going on down there and therefore had been quite happy to sign off SG1, Doctor Fraiser and Mac’s involvement in the final battle as a classified Military mission.
As long as the world kept turning they could ask for anything they wanted. Including a full pardon for Faith.
AJ looked down at Faith and could see the near panic in her eyes, he knew whatever it was it was urgent and the girl wouldn’t stop until she had found Mac.
“I need to see Mac, and I need to see her now. Are you going to help me or do I have to start beating heads in”
In the background Harriet Sims gasped at the way she spoke to Admiral Chegwidden. Little did she know Faith spoke to everyone like that.
“Faith I can’t just pull her out of court. You know that. Come into my office tell me what’s wrong and we’ll see if we can fix it by ourselves”
One of the things Faith didn’t know was the amount of time over the last few months that Mac had spent in the Admiral’s office telling him what she had seen, heard and experienced over her few short days in Sunnydale before it’s collapse.
“You can’t help. You don’t know what’s happened, what’s going to happen, no one does” Faith looked around the Bull Pen again and for the first time she spotted a sign pointing in the opposite direction that said Court Room. Without warning she took off running, managing to get around desks machines and people without actually hitting anything.
Harriet’s eyes widened as the girl hurdled as desk with what looked like little to no effort on her part and ran through the doors.
“Sir?” the Lieutenant spoke up timidly “Should I call security?”
AJ heaved a sigh and turned to face the young Officer “No Lieutenant, they wouldn’t be able to stop her anyway” he started to walk away muttering under her breath as she went “I just hope I can get to her before she does to much damage”
Samantha Carter’s Home
Colorado Springs, Colorado
That foreboding feeling that had woken her up this morning felt like it had settled in for the long run. No longer able to work Sam got up and walked out of the back door and onto the patio as she saw the three girls all lying in the warm spring sun. It looked like Dawn and Cassie had finally convinced her daughter that sun baking was the way to go. How they had managed to do it was beyond Sam. The two older girls were great about letting the 9-year-old tag along after them. They never complained or grumbled it seemed that they were as taken with Beth as Beth was taken with Dawn and Cassie.
Sam hated to admit it but over the last few days whenever she looked at her daughter it seemed like there was something off about her. Almost like she didn’t belong…
It almost brought Sam to tears at the thought that perhaps… her daughter wasn’t her daughter.
Falls Church, Virginia
Door after door was shoved open in Faiths frantic search to find Mac. Finally at the fifth door she burst through she spotted the brunette Colonel standing up in front of the presiding Judge and Jury.
“Mac!” She cried out skidding to a stop in front of the defence table.
“You gotta help me, I gotta get to the Springs like now”
Mac looked up at the girl startled at the intrusion shooting an apologetic glance to the Judge she walked quickly over to Faith
“Faith you can’t just burst in like this. You know that…”
Faith shook her head dismissing whatever Mac was saying, not caring about anything but getting to Colorado Springs.
“NO” She yelled, “you don’t understand. Their gonna change her back, they don’t care what it takes or who it hurts but they reckon they need her back and I can’t let them do that to her. Not again.”
Confusion and worriment immediately took over the Marine. Faith was not rattled easily.
“What are you talking about?”
“Their bringing B back” Faith’s voice dropped to a whisper, before she tensed up and started to look around wildly. Searching for something that wasn’t there.
“Faith…” Mac started before swallowing deeply trying to keep her own emotions in check. “Buffy’s dead”
“No” Faith stated emphatically “She’s not…”
Mac placed a hand on each of Faith’s shoulders in an attempt to settle her down but Faith pulled out of her grasp and backed away shaking her head.
“No no no no no no” she muttered “Shit no” she backed all the way over to the wall and slid down it “I’m to late” her brown eye’s met Mac’s and held them for a few seconds before she spoke again in a raspy whisper.
“What happened to Bethuen Carter?”
Samantha Carter’s Home
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Sam was still standing on the back porch watching the girls when suddenly nine-year-old Bethuen sat up and screamed. Leaping off the porch she skidded to her knees beside the girl and started to check her over, all the while she was still screaming and nothing Sam could do was calming her down. Tears streamed down the girls cheeks unabated as she clutched her stomach as though in pain
“Call your Mom” She ordered Cassie who was watching with wide eyes.
“Dawn, get me some blankets she’s freezing”
Sam was at a loss of what to do. Beth had never had nightmares or any major health problems, and was a dream child. Happy, agreeable… all the things that Sam knew she herself hadn’t been. Wrapping her arms around her daughter Sam pulled Beth in to her lap and rocked back and forth into an attempt to calm her down.
“It’s ok Beth, Mommy’s here” she whispered not knowing whether Beth was hearing her words or not. “You’ll be alright Beth” Sam took the blankets from Dawn and wrapped them around the child as best as she could without relinquishing her hold. “It’s gonna be ok Beth”
“Mom’s on her way” Cassie came running back out of the house “She said to keep her…” Cassie stopped short when she saw that Sam had done what Janet had ordered without even being told.
Sam rubbed Buffy’s back again as the young woman heaved in a hitching breath “You’re ok Buffy” she muttered “We’re all ok, we’re all ok....”
A man who looked to be in his mid thirties, his hair was an unsure colour, to light for brown but to dark to be called blond and his blue eyes stood out almost like a beacon. But where he was physical appearance meant little, as it was only a reflection of what their inner self thought them to be. He looked at the others who were gathered around him. He knew why he was here. They knew what he had tried to do and he knew that he had been unsuccessful. He was livid about what had just been done.
“How could you…”
“You know you are not allowed to interfere”
“I will fix this I don’t care what it takes”
Before he could do anything a bright light surrounded him and if you were listening hard enough you would be able to hear him screaming. When the light subsided he was gone.
End AN: if your confused first go and read ‘Falling’ and ‘Landed’… if you’re still confused good you’re supposed to be.