Sorry it took so long for this one to get out. I've seriously had most of the chapter written for months, but I kind of got stuck on the fight scene at the end. So I finally cheated a little on it and got it finished up. Otherwise, it might still be in my to be finished pile.
zayra, manticore-gurl071134, John, jammies2000, Slinky-and-the-Bloodywands, Sarah, LittleDrusilla, harmoni9, Inanna, stephbro, chanel #5 - thank you guys so much for all of your reviews!
A/N: Anything like this indicates telepathy.
No Rest For The Weary
"Never happen," Jack said.
Buffy smirked at him. "I think you underestimate our chances of kicking some serious gold butt."
"Oh no, not that. I know you kick ass. It's just the whole getting three civilians cleared to go through the gate thing that I'm doubting," Jack said with a grimace.
"You got us cleared to enter the mountain," Dawn pointed out. "What's the difference?"
"Ah," Jack said holding a finger up. "I got you cleared for a meeting. You've seen hallways and this room, nothing that's actually classified. The only reason why I was able to clear you for the meeting was because our current intelligence pertained to you."
"But taking care of this problem of yours is kind of dependent on us going through the gate," Faith said. "Just use that as an excuse."
"It's not that simple," Jack argued.
"Actually, sir, it is," Sam interrupted. "We've done it before when there were extenuating circumstances. Dr. Langford has gone through."
"But she used to be in charge of the program," Jack argued. "We weren't really telling her anything she didn't already know."
"Nick," Daniel said.
"I believe Daniel Jackson refers to Nicholas Ballard," Teal'c said. "We required his past experience with the crystal skull to rescue Daniel Jackson."
"He got cleared quickly enough," Daniel added.
"But we had a possible deadline. We had no idea how long you could have survived like that," Jack said. "Not to mention you spilled the beans to him in the first place."
"We have a deadline now," Buffy said. "The visions didn't exactly state one, but my spidey-sense keeps going off."
"Your spidey-sense?" Jack asked.
"Trouble warning system then. It twinges to warn about apocalypses, vampires, demons, or other dangers."
"I sense it, too," Faith added.
Jack scowled. "You realize this means a lot of paperwork on my side?"
Buffy sent him a sickly sweet smile. "How soon?"
"Let me make some phone calls," Jack said, standing up. "In the meantime why don't you guys go with SG-1. They can start filling you in on the goa'uld."
"I'll go with you," Buffy said, following Jack. "If you can't get them access, I might be able to pull some strings."
Daniel led them to a room that had tiered seating facing a screen. "Everyone take a seat and we'll begin."
"Wait a minute," Faith said, eyeing the chairs warily. "Is this going to be some sort of lecture."
"Well... yes. How else do you propose to learn all of this information?" Daniel asked.
"We just need to know what to expect from them and how to kill them. Don't confuse us with a bunch of crap we could care less about."
"Speak for yourself," Dawn muttered. Then in her normal voice she said, "Faith has a point though. We don't have time to learn about the history of the goa'uld. Just tell us about any of their technology we might encounter and what Yort might throw at us. Plus, we already know some things."
"Like what?" Sam asked.
"They're slimy snake wankers that burrow into your head and take control," Spike said distractedly as he wandered around the room.
"They're stronger than normal humans and they have fast healing. Sort of like alien versions of slayers," Faith said with a shrug.
"They tend to view humans as cattle fodder, just like most demons and instead of trying to rule the world, they're trying to rule the galaxy," Spike added.
"How was that?" Dawn asked.
Daniel blinked in surprise. "Actually, that's a pretty accurate summary. That pretty much leaves their technology." He turned to his friends. "Sam, Teal'c, your turn."
Sam smiled and began to lead them out of the room and through the corridors. As they walked, she explained, "Since we will be accompanying you, we don't need to go in depth on the technology. It's far too complex for me to explain everything in such a short time. What we can show and explain to you are the weapons we're likely to encounter."
"Sounds good," Faith said with a nod as the tall blonde went through a few security checks.
They ended up in a small room lined with different drawers - all locked. She unlocked one and slid it open to reveal a strange gold object. Sam lifted out and slid it over her hand. Gold tips fit over the ends of her fingers with a stone nestled in the palm of her hand. "This is one of their most dangerous weapons."
"No offense, but it doesn't look like a weapon," Spike said, eyeing it skeptically.
"The hand device has several uses," Sam said. "It can be used to repel an enemy, create a shield, and as a torture device. Only those with naquadah in their blood can use them."
"Naquadah?" Dawn asked.
"A mineral that's not native to our solar system. The stargate is made from it and it has some amazing properties. The goa'uld have it in their systems. When they join with the host it leaves a protein marker so even former hosts can use their technology."
"Does that mean you can use it?" Dawn asked.
"Yes," Sam said, a little reluctantly.
"Care to demonstrate?" Faith asked, interested in how the device worked.
"I'd rather not. My control isn't the best," she answered, taking the device off and putting it back.
Faith could see that there was something else hidden in her eyes, but chose not to push it. "How many will have these?"
"Probably just Yort. Since he's a minor leader I doubt that he will have other goa'ulds serving him," Sam answered, leading them out of the room and through the corridors once again. "Our main opposition will come from his Jaffa."
"Guys like Teal'c?" Faith asked. At Sam's nod, she grinned. "Wicked. Means Blondie and I should be able to sense them coming."
"You can sense them like you do vampires?" Daniel asked, his eyes burning with curiosity.
"Sort of. We can tell somethin's off with him and Sam. Kind of niggles at the back of the head," Spike said. With an exaggerated wink at Sam, he added, "Don't worry, pet, it's barely noticeable."
Dawn rolled her eyes. "Spike thinks he's charming. Just ignore him, we do."
"Bit, I'm hurt," Spike said, affecting an injured tone.
"No, you're not," Dawn shot back with a smile.
"You know, you used to be nicer," Spike ground out.
"And then I grew up," she glibly replied.
"What other kind of weapons will they use?" Faith asked after smirking at the bickering friends.
"Staff weapons and zat'ni'katels," Teal'c answered.
"Bless you," Faith responded. Teal'c raised an eyebrow and she shifted slightly. "What? You sneezed."
"Indeed I did not. The zat'ni'katel is a weapon that can stun or kill your opponent."
"Wicked, you got any of those nickel things lying around?"
"Is what I said, nikos."
Sam laughed. "We usually just call them zats."
"Then, do you have any zats around here?" Faith asked with a roll of her eyes.
"Both weapons are stored in here," Sam answered, opening the door to the armory.
"Hey Giles, how are things in Cleveland?" Buffy asked later that day as she played with the phone cord. Jack had so graciously offered the use of his office phone for her to call Giles and fill him in.
"Quiet," he replied.
"Any more news from the coven?"
"No. The vision was probably all we're going to receive from them. Why? Are you having problems convincing General O'Neill?"
Buffy smiled over at Jack who was trying to pretend that he wasn't listening in. "Surprisingly no. He's being very cooperative. I was just checking to see if we got any more warnings before we carried out our plans."
"Did you suss out who the other three were?"
"Yeah, they were closer to home than we realized."
"Jack's former team?" Giles asked, his years of working with Buffy giving him the occasional ability to decipher her cryptic words and abuse of the English language.
"Yup, fill you in on the whys and whatnots later, it's a rather long story."
"It's not as complicated as she makes it!" Jack called out. "Daniel was able to explain it without boring us!"
"What was that?" Giles asked.
"Jack being obnoxious," Buffy said, sticking her tongue out at the now pouting General.
"Now, now Buffy. You don't know me well enough to make hasty judgments like that. I was trying to be helpful."
"Oh please, you practically yelled that in my ear. I have sensitive hearing so how was that helpful?"
Jack winced. "Oops."
"Are you two finished and ready to tell me about these plans you've made?" Giles patiently asked in Buffy's ear through the phone.
"Sorry Giles, but the General here is like a kid sometimes," Buffy said apologetically.
"Like you have room to talk," Jack scoffed.
Buffy glared at him as she continued her conversation with Giles. "We've got the plans for Yort's palace..."
"Evil gold guy. They're gonna go through the gate, strongly convince him to leave us alone, and then come home," Buffy cheerfully explained.
"Please tell me there's more to the plan than that," Giles said with a sigh.
"Of course there's more to the plan," Buffy said defensively.
"They're gonna blow things up!" Jack added.
"Giles, I can hear you cleaning your glasses," Buffy griped.
The next afternoon, Dawn stood in the gateroom with the others and watched in fascination as the inner ring spun and chevrons locked into place. Sam had explained to her yesterday how the gate worked. She didn't quite follow everything that the brilliant scientist had said, but she had followed enough to be in complete awe of the technology in front of her.
It was a bit intimidating though. She was about to broken down into energy and shot through space in a subspace wormhole and then put back together on the other end... or something like that. Dawn snuck a glance over at Spike and Faith and was relieved to see that she wasn't the only one a little unnerved by the thought.
Up in the control room, Buffy fidgeted quietly next to Jack. She could see SG-1 doing last minute checks, completely ignoring the huge honkin' circle in the room. Her eyes swept over her sister and friends to reassure herself that they were adequately armed. Faith was visibly carrying the scythe and several knives. Spike and Dawn each had a sword strapped to their backs and knives their hips. All three of them were carrying those strange guns called zits or something.
The final chevron locked into place and Buffy could feel Jack's gaze on her, eager to watch her reaction. She forced herself to stay neutral as something like water shot out of the gate before pulling back and becoming a shiny, rippling surface. Even though she was flabbergasted on the inside, she remained calm on the outside. Deciding to add insult to injury, she looked over at Jack and dryly asked, "Is that all it does? I'd ask for my money back."
Jack glared at her and resisted the urge to stick his tongue out at her. Instead, he moved to the microphone that allowed him to talk to those in the gateroom. "SG-1 and Scoobies, you have a go." He smiled at the two indignant faces that turned to look up at him.
"I resent that remark!" Spike yelled.
"I've never been a Scooby," Faith added.
"You both are, you're just ashamed to admit it," Dawn said with a smirk.
"Told you it would work," Buffy murmured to Jack.
"What is this Scoobies O'Neill mentioned?" Teal'c asked as they walked up the ramp to the gate.
"Scooby-Doo was a cartoon in the seventies," Sam explained. "We'll show you when we get back."
The six disappeared through the gate and then the shining surface winked out.
"They'll be fine," Jack said, looking at Buffy's worried face.
"I know," she said softly.
"The cake here is pretty good," he offered.
"Cake?" Buffy asked, perking up.
As soon as Faith emerged on the other side, she stretched out her senses. Her eyes quickly adjusted to the dark surroundings as she scanned the area for possible threats. When she was satisfied that nothing was going to attack them, she turned to her companions. "Whoa," she whispered.
"What's wrong?" Spike asked.
"Check out little B."
They all turned to stare at Dawn.
"Holy Hannah," Sam choked out.
Dawn still seemed to be a little shaken by the trip if her deep breaths were any indication. But that wasn't the cause of everyone's concern. The fact that she was glowing a faint green however, was a matter of concern.
"Dawn Summers, what seems to be the problem?" Teal'c asked.
"I can feel the magic. The Key. It's like I suddenly have access to all of this... this power."
"And?" Faith prompted.
"It's a little overwhelming."
"Yeah, but can you control the glowing thing? 'Cause frankly, it's a little creepy."
"I'm not sure," Dawn admitted.
"If you can't, we'll have to scrub the mission. We can't infiltrate his palace when you're glowing," Sam informed her.
Dawn nodded and closed her eyes. A few moments later the glow faded away. "Alright," she said, opening her eyes. "Let's go. I think I've got it under control."
"You think?" Daniel asked.
"Yes, I think," she said with a shrug. "This is all new for me so I'm just guessin' here."
Daniel sighed as he watched Dawn pace their small cell. He couldn't believe that he'd been captured. Again. Jack was going to kill him. Of course, that was if Buffy didn't kill him first for letting her sister get captured. Either way, he was dead.
"I got to say this is a lot nicer than being chained to a wall and less scary than being held by a crazed hell-god," Dawn said finally, sitting down beside him.
"I've been captured so many times that it's almost expected. At least it's not Tuesday."
"You couldn't have warned us?" Daniel asked.
"It's a little embarrassing," she said with a little smile. "All that's left now is the waiting for the rescue."
"Couldn't you just use your magic to break us out?"
She shook her head. "All of this new power changes how I'm supposed to cast. I need to practice in a controlled environment. If I tried now, I could accidentally blow us up instead of getting us out of here."
"Oh, that's bad."
"Just a little, yeah."
Jack watched Buffy push her barely touched cake around her plate. He had a huge hunch that he knew what was bugging her. "If you don't like chocolate we have yellow. Just figured you were a chocolate kind of gal," he said, his tone light.
She halfheartedly put a piece in her mouth and slowly chewed.
He waited to see if she would say something. When it seemed that no verbal response was coming, he tried a different tact. "It's tough, being on the other side."
"Huh?" She asked, looking up at him.
"Sending others out to fight and having to wait. Not knowing if they're safe or not. If they'll come back dragging... It's tough."
Buffy lowered her gaze back to her cake and nodded. "I've been sending slayers out for a while, but it doesn't get easier. It's even worse this time 'cause it's my sister and..."
"Faith?" He asked with a smirk.
"Her I don't worry about. I know she can handle herself. But I've always fought next to Dawn. I don't..."
"I've seen her fight. She'll be fine. Plus, she's got the added protection of my team, I mean SG-1."
She looked back up. "It's just as hard for you isn't it? Your friends are out there without you to watch their backs."
"I know Carter can lead, it's just..."
"You want to be there in the thick of things," she finished for him.
"Course it doesn't help that Daniel has this nasty habit of getting captured or hurt. Plus his tendency to die on us."
"Dawn has the same problem. Not the dieing thing, but the captured thing."
"Oh crap. This could get ugly."
"Real ugly," she agreed. She stabbed her cake with her fork. "This sucks."
"Definitely. I find it easier if I do something to take my mind off of things. A distraction if you will. A..."
"Got a punching bag around? I feel like hitting something."
Jack smiled and stood. "Follow me."
"This must be the traditional taken to the head bad guy and get threats of torture and even death," Dawn said dryly as she and Daniel were lead out of their cell.
"Demons and vampires do that too, huh?" He asked, stumbling as one of the Jaffa roughly pushed him.
"It's a bad guy trait. Got to throw their evil weight around otherwise the minions won't respect or fear them," Dawn said conversationally, as if this was just a normal walk through the park.
"Makes sense. We could write a paper on it," he suggested. "Pass it around to the newbies so they know what to expect."
"Could call it, 'How Not to Get Bored With Your Captors. A Hundred and One Ways to Annoy Them Back.'" She said with a grin. Faith and the others are already hidden outside of Yort's chambers. They're gonna wait to attack until they're sure he hasn't sent a covert team out yet.
Right. So we need to get Yort to talk. Should be fun. Daniel said, a little weirded out. It wasn't everyday he carried on real conversations with someone else in his head. "I'm sure Jack'll get a kick out of it, especially seeing how many times I've been captured."
"You too, huh?" She said as they were shoved into a room where a bald man sat upon something that could be called a throne. Leaning close to Daniel she whispered, "This is who we're supposed to be worried about."
"Do not speak unless spoken to," a Jaffa behind them barked. He jammed the butt of his staff weapon into the back of their knees, causing them to collapse. "Kneel before your god."
"They always do that," Daniel whispered to Dawn. He was feeling a little giddy. It wasn't often that he knew exactly what his rescuers were up to while he was kidnapped.
"Tau'ri spies, I presume?" The figure on the throne said in a hollow voice.
"Tau'ri?" Dawn asked, clearly confused.
"Nope, sorry. We're not Tau'ri. So if you'd just let us go..." Daniel said.
"Silence!" The goa'uld rose to his feet and approached them. "You could not have come alone. Where are the others?"
Dawn was finding it hard to take the alien seriously. He was barely taller than Buffy and his red hair was plainly thinning. It didn't help that he had a healthy dose of freckles across his nose. He didn't look the least bit dangerous or frightening. What she really wanted to do was laugh in his face.
Remember the plan, Little B.Faith said.
"There's no one else. We were suppose to gather intelligence," Dawn firmly stated, looking Yort in the eye. She could feel Daniel's confused gaze on her, but ignored him. "We figured it would be easier for two people to sneak around. Although honestly, your security here sucks. A whole army could fall on your 'palace' here and you wouldn't know it until you were dead."
Yort's eyes flashed and he backhanded her, busting her lip in the process. "Insolent girl! You have come to learn the location of the Key so you can harness its power for yourself."
Daniel saw the paleness of Dawn's face and sought to divert the attention from her. "You figured us out," he exclaimed in mock amazement. "You must be a god. So, uh, where was that Key again?"
"Uh oh," Dawn whimpered, stilling Yort's hand before it could strike Daniel.
They turned to see that Dawn was glowing a faint green and the blood that dropped to the floor glowed a strange white light before winking out.
"That's... bad," Daniel said in a hushed voice.
Yort laughed. "This was the Tau'ri's plan? To bring me the very thing which I sought?" He grabbed Dawn and roughly pulled her to her feet. "Tell me how do you open the portal to a vast army?"
"Go to hell," she spat. Another drop of blood briefly flared to life as it fell.
Anytime now, Faith!Dawn sent out as she saw recognition flare in Yort's eyes. We're not going to learn anything else.
Be there in a sec.
Without looking away from Dawn, Yort held out his hand to his First Prime. "Give me your knife."
"No!" Daniel cried, struggling to his feet, only to be held down by two Jaffa.
"You don't want to do this," Dawn said as Yort held the knife over her exposed arm.
"Let her go!" Spike yelled as he and the others burst into the room.
Confusion broke out as weapons began firing. Daniel took advantage of the commotion to break fee of his captors. He heard Dawn cry out in pain and he looked to see blood running down her arm. As it pooled on the floor, it shimmered and glowed in a manner similar to the gate.
"That's really bad," he muttered.
Yort laughed as varied types of demons began pouring out of the portal. "My servants, bow before your god. We shall go forth and wreak destruction upon..."
He was interrupted by one of the demons savagely running him through with a sword. Yort's eyes glowed briefly as he looked down in shock. Then slowly, he toppled to the floor, dead.
Spike grabbed Dawn and ushered her into a corner with Daniel. The former vampire and Faith stood between them and the demon horde.
"Jaffa, kree!" Teal'c commanded. He could see that they were having difficulties deciding which enemy was to be fought and destroyed - the Tau'ri spies or the demons. As he swung his staff weapon to knock aside a demon, he called out, "They will serve no master but their own evil will. Fight! For now you are free Jaffa!"
Daniel was relieved to see the Jaffa begin to fight the demons, it helped improve their odds of surviving. There was something about the portal that bothered him though. His brain sifted through all of the research he had done on the Wiccan religion. His brown eyes widened as he realized what the problem was. "Dawn! I thought the dimensional walls were supposed to break down. I only see a portal."
"That was a one time thing," she said, as Daniel bandaged her arm. "Apparently, I just opens portals now."
"How do we close it?"
"I don't know. Last time 'the blood had to stop flowing' because the power was in my blood. Since I was made from Buffy, she jumped, died, and it closed."
Daniel froze in his ministrations. "Does that mean..."
"That I have to die this time?"
She shrugged. "I don't know. Willow's better at this magic stuff. I just learned the basics of what I would need in the field. I can't believe she wasn't suppose to be here."
"What did the vision say again?" Daniel asked, his brow furrowing in concentration.
"No other shall be there or the Key will fall into darkness. Only beyond the Chaapa'ai will the Key be able to fulfill her destiny," she recited. "Why?"
Daniel's brain quickly put everything together as the battle raged on around them. "You're the one who has to close the portal."
"No, you won't. You're fulfilling a destiny here," he argued. "How would you normally close a portal?"
"Blood and a chant usually work..." Her eyes lit up with understanding. "You think it'll work?"
"Never know until we try," he said with a grin.
"Faith! Spike! Cover me while I close the portal."
"Do you know what you're doing, 'Bit?" Spike asked.
"Not really, but we'll soon find out," she said.
Sam frowned as she was informed through the telepathic link about the new plan. Concentrating her fire on making them a path, she hoped that Dawn could pull this off. If not, things were going to go from really bad to worse.
Over the sounds of fighting, she could hear Dawn's voice chanting in a language she didn't understand. The demons, sensing what she was doing, tried to converge on her, but Faith and Spike held them at by. Sam was struck by the brief thought that she wished she could move that quickly.
Before she knew it, the portal winked out. The last demon jumped at Dawn, but Sam shot it with her zat. The demon collided with Dawn and blue sparks covered her body as she collapsed.
Everyone rushed over to her and pulled the large demon off of her. Faith decapitated it to ensure that it wouldn't rise.
Dawn groaned as she opened her eyes. "Did anyone get the number of that bus?"
"Sorry, but it was about to..." Sam began.
"It's ok," Dawn assured her. "Really not complaining about the life savage. Thanks."
Sam just smiled and nodded.
Buffy looked sheepishly up at Jack. "I'm sorry I broke it."
"It's all right. It was evil. We'll just buy a new one," he said easily.
"Just send me the bill and I'll replace it."
"Nah. Air Force'll take care of it," he said, wrapping an arm around her slim shoulders and leading her away from the carnage.
"Are you sure?"
"Of course I'm sure. I'm the one who signs off on these little expenditures," he assured her with a grin.
"As long as..." She was interrupted by a klaxon.
"Unscheduled off-world activation!" Said a voice over the speakers.
"They're back," Buffy said and the two raced through the corridors.
They reached the gateroom as the iris slid open and a few moments later their friends and family stepped through the event horizon. Buffy nearly cried in relief because, although they were dirty, they appeared to be relatively unharmed. She ran to her sister and encased her in a bone crushing hug.
"Thank god," Buffy murmured.
"Air," Dawn wheezed.
"Sorry," Buffy said releasing her and stepping back. "Why are you glowing? And your arm is bleeding!"
Dawn closed her eyes for a moment and the glowing stopped. She opened her eyes and smiled wearily at her sister. "It's a long story."
"'Bit saved the day," Spike said with pride.
"Spike!" Buffy cried before hugging him tightly.
"There, there, Slayer. We all made it back in one piece," he said, relishing the feel of her in his arms.
Behind them, Faith spoke up, "Please don't hug me."
"Ok," Buffy said as she let go of Spike. "But it's still good to see you."
"Buffy," Dawn said, drawing her sister's attention. "Why are you and Jack covered in.. in sand?"
"No reason," Buffy said too quickly, sending Jack a warning glance which he promptly ignored.
"Your sister did some slaying of her own while you were gone. I was caught in the crossfire," Jack said, his eyes full of mirth.
"Oh, Buffy. Did you destroy another punching bag?" Dawn asked with a sigh. "That's the third one this month."
"Maybe," Buffy said slowly.
Taking pity on her, Jack looked everyone over. "Hit the showers and then the infirmary. Briefing in two hours."
Two weeks later, Buffy and Jack sat down at their respective desks. They were surprised to find a thin, bound manuscript lying on top of their other paperwork. Without knowing it, they groaned simultaneously as they read the first page.
This essay contains everything a new member of our organization needs to know in the likely event of their capture. I'm sure you'll want to make copies and pass it around.
Dawn Be Glad It's Not Tuesday Summers
Dr. Daniel Death Is My Middle Name Jackson