Chapter 27: Meet and Greet
Chapter 27 Meet and Greet
Meanwhile, in the Summers’ living room, Amanda had trapped Buffy in a corner.
“What’s going on, Bella?” Amanda asked as she looked around the cozy little house, with a frown on her face. The house was literally homey, a place she didn’t expect to see Isabella: it was suburbia for God sake!
The Bella, Amanda knew loved the party towns; she knew people changed, but not this drastically.
“What do you mean?” Buffy asked.
“This place doesn’t seem like you,” Amanda noted.
“What do you mean?” Buffy questioned again, her brow arched.
Amanda shrugged. “Where did the fun loving Bella go?” she wondered aloud.
Buffy winced. “I had to grow up sometime.”
“I’m not knocking Sunnydale, but… this place doesn’t seem like a somewhere where you can let your hair down.
“You would be surprised how this place keeps us hopping,” Buffy said in a wry tone.
“What?” Amanda questioned, looking puzzled.
“Nothing,” Buffy murmured.
“I sorta expect you to be in somewhere like St. Barts, Fiji or Monaco,” Amanda mused, as she thought about those far flung places and the fun to be had there. ‘The beaches, the sand, the beautiful villas, begging to be robbed
,’ she thought hiding a grin.
“I’ve been to those places,” Buffy replied. “When you’ve lived as long I have, places begin to blur into one.”
“Maybe; but that doesn’t answer my question,” Amanda pointed out.
“I live here,” Buffy said simply.
“Don’t we have to talk about that, Bella?” Jack interjected as he came into the room.
Buffy stiffened, “Why do ‘we’ have to talk about where I live?”
Jack clenched his jaw and his eyes narrowed. ‘What’s going on, now
? It seemed every time he mentioned anything about possibly getting back together, she changed the subject
He wanted to ask her if something was wrong, if he had done something. Instead he grabbed her by the shoulder, his hands digging painfully in her flesh.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” he snapped, “Every time I mention anything about a life together, you changed the subject.”
Buffy lifted her chin, her gaze meeting his blazing eyes as she shrugged out of the hold.
Across the room, Adam on seeing the argument muttered, “Uh oh.”
“Did Amanda and I come at a bad time?” Nick questioned uneasily, his gaze moving from Buffy to Jack.
Jack closed his eyes, took a deep breath to calm down before he opened them. “Bella, we need to talk,” he said in a calm tone, although through gritted teeth.
“What about?” she demanded as she rubbed her hand up and down across her tender shoulder. ‘Not now
’, she thought, her eyes darting around the room as she looked for some sort of an escape to avoid questions she knew that Jack had, questions she wasn’t ready to answer.
“Outside,” Jack muttered, noting the curious expression on the faces of his and Buffy’s audience. He grabbed Buffy’s right arm and maneuvered her toward the front door.
“Hey!” she protested, flaying her arm. “Don’t mangle the Buffy.”
“What’s going on with you?” he demanded in a furious whisper as they cleared the door way.
“I don’t know what you mean,” Buffy protested, avoiding his gaze.
“That,” Jack pointed out exasperate, gesturing to Buffy’s profile. “Look, one minute we were hot and heavy, now you are cold as ice. If you get any colder you’d be an iceberg.”
She turned and glared at him. “I’ve been thinking.”
“Then don’t!” he snapped, glowering at her.
“Comments like that make me love you all the more,” she spat out the words contemptuously as her temper flared.
Jack winced, raking his fingers through his hair. “I’m sorry, and I didn’t mean it to come out as hard as it did,” he muttered unconvincingly, “What I want is to know how you feel.”
“How I feel?” Buffy sighed and as some of her anger evaporated, all that was left was confusion. “Jack, you demanding things like that and the way you just acted in there make it plain to me that we don’t know each other.”
“Don’t know each other?” he cried, looking at her in disbelief. “What about four hundred years of being married?” he pointed out to which she stood there is silence.
“What about what happened a couple days ago,” he mentioned, there was a possessive desperation to his voice as he drew her close to his hard body.
She stiffened, trying to push him away. “
You let me inside you, body and soul the other night, honey,” he added huskily, “We’re more connected as two people can be because the way you were calling my name, it didn’t sound like you didn’t know who was there,” he said before his lip curled into a wry smile, “You even did that thing; the thing that you know that turns me to mush. The thing you promised that you’d never do with anyone else, even though if you did I couldn’t blame you.”
Buffy’s breath quickened as her cheeks warmed, she crossed her arms and glance at the ground, “I never have.”
“Have what?” he asked, waiting for clarification.
She looked up at him, “You know what I’m talking about.”
“There is something between us,” he said plaintively. “I can’t be around you without wanting to touch you, without wanting to … hell without being hard.” He drew her hands and guided it between them their bodies. “Even the smell of you when you leave the room is enough to get me going.”
Buffy closed her eyes as she felt the heat between them, it was too much and it was distracting. With much effort she pushed him away from her causing him to stagger slightly.
“That’s just sex,” she said softly. But as she said it, she knew she was lying, it was more than that. She closed her eyes, remembering the passion and the closeness between them. It was as if the fifty years apart had never happened. Being with him again – it felt as if she had come home.
“Sex?” Jack echoed; his mouth dropped open in disbelief.
“Yes,” Buffy said firmly, teeth clenched and her eyes glittering. “It has been fifty years Jack and I’m not the same person that I once was. Neither of us is!”
“Buffy!” she growled. “My name is Buffy.”
“But you will always be Bella to me.” Jack’s voice was low and composed.
“That’s the problem Jack, I’m not and you’re not willing to accept that. I’m a different person than I was before, and until you see me as Buffy and not as Bella that won’t change,” Buffy said with a shake her head. “I’m not the same person I was fifty years ago. Hell I am not even the same person I was, ten years ago. Amanda sees it, Methos, whom I kept in touch with, he sees it. Why can’t you?” she demanded. The question ended up turning into a wail.
Jack opened his mouth to try and refute what she was saying, but Buffy walked around him too entered the house.
“Damn it!” he muttered, with feeling.
Buffy closed the door behind her. She rested her head against the door for a brief moment as she tried to come to grips with her emotions. The S.G.C.
General Hammond entered his office as the telephone began to ring.
“Hammond,” he called out as he pushed a button on the phone. “Sir, there is a phone call for you,”
a voice replied.
“Thank you,” he acknowledged, moving to sit in the chair behind his desk. He settled for a few minutes then lifted up the receiver.
“General Hammond,”he said into the phone.
“Sir, it’s Major Carter.”
“Well Major, I didn’t expect you to be checking in so early,” he admitted.
“We arrived in Sunnydale last night, sir. This is the first time I’ve had an opportunity to call,” Mayor Carter stated.
“That’s all right, Major, I wasn’t really expecting to hear from anyone for a few days,” he said as he settled comfortably into his chair. “Now, what can I do for you, Major Carter?”
There was a slight pause.
“Any leads on the Goa’uld?” he questioned.
“Why not?” he questioned with a slight frown. “From what I understand about the town of Sunnydale, it’s not very big. Theoretically you could cover it in a day.”
“Yes sir.”Sam agreed with a nod, even though the General couldn’t see it.
“We haven’t detected any sign of a Goa’uld, but we haven’t exhausted all possible leads, yet sir.” “
Okay,” the General acknowledged. “Keep me abreast of the situation there.”
“Yes, sir. Sir?”
“Yes, Major Carter?” General Hammond asked. So far the conversation between him and the Major hadn’t informed him of anything that he didn’t already know.
“One of the reasons I called was there might be some sort of complication.”
“Complication?” he asked concerned; his brows drew together. ‘What could have happened
? They had only been in Sunnydale a day’
“What sort of complication?” he asked.
“Today Daniel, Teal’c, Mr. Dawson and I, we went to check out Rupert—I mean.” She cleared her throat. “Mr. Giles’ workplace at the Sunnydale Library. Mr. Giles had mentioned he saw something mentioning of a Goa’uld Queen in one of his books.”
“Yes,” he said as he remembered that conversation.
“Was the information missing?” he wondered, thinking that was why the Major had phoned him.
“No sir, we found the information, exactly where Mr. Giles said it was”.
“So, this conversation is about the Goa’uld Queen?” he asked, “Is she on Earth?”
“Sir, I am not calling about the Goa’uld. There is another problem.”
“Spit it out, Major,” Hammond growled, impatiently.
“There was a young man from the Watchers’ Council at the Library.”
Hammond scowled. “Watchers’ Council?” he mused. “Isn’t that Mr. Giles’ old employers?”
“I don’t see the problem, Major. The Watcher’s Council may be a concern to Mr. Giles, but not a concern to us. From what I understood, Mr. Giles no longer works for them
She nodded again, even though she knew he couldn’t see it. “The Watchers’ Council now appears to be represented by Mr. Wesley Wyndam–Pryce and officially his job is the new Watcher to the current Slayers, Faith and Buffy.”
Hammond pursed his lips thoughtfully. “I understand Major. That doesn’t seem as a complication to me; maybe to the Slayers and Mr. Giles, perhaps, but not to our search for the Goa’uld.”
Carter sighed. “Yes sir, but earlier we were talking about the Goa’uld and apparently, he overheard us.”
There was silence on the other end of the phone.
“Sir?”she asked.“We were talking about the Goa’uld.”
“What’s the problem, Major?” he asked boldly.
“Sir, to everyone else, it might be just ordinary conversation between us. But he specifically asked about the Goa’uld, as if he knew exactly what it was.”
“What did you tell him?” Hammond questioned. He closed his eyes as he let out a sigh. He began to rub his forehead; he could feel a headache coming on.
“Nothing sir, Mr. Giles turned the conversation to something else. Though I am slightly worried sir; if it was anyone else, or anywhere else I would’ve shrugged it off,” she said. “Sir, what I’ve learned in the years we’ve been fighting the Goa’uld is to be on my guard, not to take things on appearance whether it be people or the surroundings I find myself in and the town of Sunnydale is one such place. Things here aren’t what they seem. Last night I heard and saw things that would have driven me insane if I was a different person”
“I understand Major,” the General replied. “What’s this gentleman name again?”
“How do you spell that?” he asked, as he wrote down the information on the pad on his desk. “Okay, here is what I’m going to do. I will check out the Watchers’ Council more thoroughly. It maybe a simply coincidence that they’re in Sunnydale as the same time as the Goa’uld.”
“Maybe,” she said, sounding doubtful.
There was small silence, as each thought of the ramifications of the Watchers’ Council, a civilian based organization knowing about the Goa’uld, which had been classified by the government as a national secret.
“Do you think they could be working with the N.I.D or the Trust?” Carter asked quietly.
“I don’t know, Major, but I aim to find out. Check back at 1200 tomorrow and I will see what information I can find on Wyndam–Pryce.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.” she agreed, before she hung up the phone.
General Hammond, on his end, slowly put down the receiver, his mind unfocused. Suddenly the alarm klaxon made him jump a little in his chair. “What now?” he cried, exasperated.
He knew he didn’t have time to think about the complications or the ramifications of having civilians know about the Goa’uld. He got up from his chair and moved quickly to the observation window that overlooked the Stargate.
He frowned as several soldiers rushed to the gate room. “Airman?” he called, barking into a microphone.
“Sir, it’s the Tok’ra,” the airman replied.
“Stand down,” he said, to the soldiers, as Selmac/Jacob walked out the Stargate and down the ramp.
“Permission to come aboard, George,” Jacob said with a salute and a snappy grin.
“Permission granted,” Hammond replied in the microphone.
“Jacob,” Hammond said as he greeted his old friend in the conference room a few minutes later. “I didn’t expect you this soon,” he revealed, shaking the other man’s hand warmly.
“I wasn’t planning to be back this soon, but I found more about Ammut, and I thought you might want to know in person.”
“Already?” he said, blinking with surprise. “That is good news. Sit,” he said with a gesture to an empty chair.
“I don’t know how good it is,” Jacob warned.
“Why you say that?” Hammond asked as his eyebrows rose inquiringly as he moved to settled into his own chair.
“The information we found is very disturbing.”
Hammond leaned back into his chair wondering if he was up for more bad news. “How so?”
Jacob took a deep breath. “You know that with the exception of the queen both the Goa’uld and the Tok’ra are asexual creatures,” he began.
The other man nodded.
“Well they tend to stick to a host of one sex, be it male or female. However, we found out that Ammut tended to go from one sex to the other.”
Leaning forward in his chair, General Hammond said in a clearly authoritative voice, “Don’t tell me.”
“We don’t know if Ammut will be using a female or male host,” Jacob said bluntly.
“I said don’t tell me, damn it,” he stated with a scowl on his face. He blew out a breath in frustration. Hammond was not a person who liked his emotions to get the better of him and this was the second, within a week, he wanted to bash something, preferably someone’s head.
“Another thing,” Jacob said, his voice tentative as if he knew that Hammond was contemplating violence.
“More?” Hammond groaned softly.
Jacob nodded. “The System Lords just didn’t lose Ammut, they kicked her out.”
“Why?” Hammond demanded, stirring uneasily in his chair.
“They considered her too cruel.”
“Oh dear lord,” General Hammond muttered with a stunned look on his