Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not.
Summary: Buffy's feeling a little lonely in the wake of Lorne and Lt. Cadman's departure, and befriends someone else who was left behind. 10 x 200 words.
Spoilers: B:tVS post-"Chosen". Stargate SG-1 AU, begins between Seasons 8 & 9 through episode 9.6 "Beachhead"; brief references to Atlantis
Notes: Challenge drabbles, set in the "Ring of the Gods" universe.
Better Late than Never
Buffy's first year under the Mountain had gone by in a blur. Getting to know the three Slayers she'd ditched the Council for, assessing their skills and coming up with training schedules, and dating the squee-worthy Major Lorne (who was everything she'd been looking for but hadn't quite found in Riley) had kept her too busy to do much extra socializing. It hadn't helped that she couldn't go off-world with any of the teams; hand-to-hand training sessions didn't inspire the kind of camaraderie that only came after relying on each other in the field.
It wasn't until Evan and Laura left for Atlantis, however, that she realized just how isolated she'd become. She still had several casual friends on base, but she'd lost her Xander and Willow equivalents in one blow, and the SGC's closest approximation of a Giles was the insatiably curious archaeologist she'd been dodging since Day One.
She hadn't been interested in playing sixth wheel in the circle of Sam's and Janet's friends, but they'd been scattering to the four winds lately. Maybe Daniel could use a new friend now, too?
Better late than never, she mused, and ordered an extra mocha on her way to work.
Daniel frowned at the paper coffee cup standing atop his worktable in its little cardboard jacket, then at Buffy, perched next to it, swinging her legs aimlessly as she stared at him. "What's, uh... what's going on?" he asked warily, raising his eyebrows at her.
"Nothing," she said, shrugging and widening her green eyes innocently. "I just thought, um. I wondered how you were doing with your Slayer research?"
She smiled sheepishly as he continued to stare, completely baffled as to why she was bringing this up now. He'd long since given up getting any interesting answers out of her; she usually played dumb or claimed imminent "training sessions" with Major Lorne or one of the Slayers whenever he tried to corner her with a question.
...Of course! How could he have forgotten? Lorne and Lt. Cadman were already gone, and Sam and Janet were busy packing today. "You're bored," he accused her, amused.
"Guilty as charged?" she replied, shrugging. "C'mon. Don't look a gift Slayer in the mouth. I have three hours to waste before I get to beat up Marines today."
"Three hours?" He grinned and reached for a notepad. "Okay. Just remember, though, you asked for it..."
Being around Daniel made Buffy nostalgic for long afternoons among the books at Sunnydale High. He had all the enthusiasm and intellectual arrogance of dork-edition Wesley, leavened with the wisdom and anchoring presence of librarian-edition Giles; he was endlessly curious about the weirdest things, but he was also respectful and had a wicked sense of humor. He should have been born into a Watcher family; there were so many girls out there who could really use a mentor of his caliber.
Those first three hours she'd given him for questions dragged on forever, but once he'd got all the basics down their conversations actually started getting interesting. She found herself emailing Willow and Dawn more than she had in months, digging up factoids for him and even asking questions of her own. That was awkward for awhile-- they were still upset with her for leaving them behind-- but a relief, too. It gave her an excuse to talk to them again without apologizing for doing what she'd known she had to do.
She still missed Evan and Laura fiercely, but every cloud had a silver lining; she'd made a new friend and reconnected with her family. Things were looking up.
"You're what?" Buffy objected, fork dropping to her plate as she stared at him.
"I thought you knew," Daniel said, wincing. He still had no idea why she'd decided to befriend him that summer, but he'd been enjoying getting to know her; it had helped him understand what Sam and Janet were going through, and she was a fascinating person in her own right. He hadn't known she was getting so attached, though. "You were here for the whole Prometheus mess," he pointed out. "I was always going to try again; it was just a matter of waiting until it was safe, and another ship was available."
Buffy glanced across the cafeteria where Atlantis' senior staff were clustered. They'd been mostly locked up in meetings since they arrived, but she'd told Daniel she intended to ask if they'd take a couple of care packages back with them. It made sense now why she hadn't asked him; she hadn't realized he'd be going, too.
"The space grass is greener out there, huh?" she asked sadly.
"I'm sorry," he replied, shrugging helplessly. "I know you wish you could go, too."
She gave him a crooked smile and went back to her meal.
Story of Her Life
Buffy sulked for two days after Daniel dropped the bomb about Atlantis, then sucked it up and headed for his lab, bearing cookies and Starbucks. He'd filled the Watcher-shaped hole in her life perfectly, and she'd miss him like crazy-- but it wasn't his fault the magic that had used her and the Scythe to activate every Potential Slayer on Earth had effectively chained her to the planet. He deserved to achieve his dreams, even if it did mean she was getting left behind again.
"God save me from my friends," she muttered under her breath as she walked. "Because I can defend myself from my enemies. Story of my life."
At least the SGC had finally grabbed a few more Slayers from other government programs, so her schedule was full again, and she'd already befriended Carolyn, who'd taken Janet's job when the Frasiers moved to Nevada.
She took a deep breath as she reached Daniel's open door. "Mocha and cookies?" she offered hopefully.
Daniel looked up from the box he was packing and studied her for a moment before waving her in. "Caffeine and chocolate," he sniffed appreciatively, then smirked. "So, you've forgiven me, then?"
She rolled her eyes.
Trouble with a Capital T
"Her Daniel?" Buffy shook her head, laying the back of her hand on Daniel's warm cheek like her mother had always done when she was sick. "Just what have you gotten yourself into this time, mister?" She'd heard about him and alien women, but this was the first time she'd seen evidence first hand.
"A whole lotta trouble, looks like," Colonel Mitchell said as he and Teal'c entered the room. She didn't know Mitchell very well yet-- he'd just been assigned to the program-- but Buffy sympathized with his rumored disappointment over arriving just in time to see the last of the old SG-1.
She agreed with him about Vala, too. They said not to judge a book by its cover, but if that woman was as much like teenaged Faith as she seemed at first glance, cover was all she ever showed to others-- and that cover showed trouble with a capital T.
Teal'c nodded to her as he approached to examine the Goa'uld bracelet on Daniel's wrist. He looked as fearsomely muscular as ever despite the Jedi-wear, but even more serious than usual.
"Recognize it?" Mitchell asked, hopefully.
"Indeed," Teal'c affirmed, and Buffy let out a relieved sigh.
Buffy followed Daniel and Vala down a dark tunnel under Glastonbury Tor, listening to them bicker with a smile on her face and the Scythe clasped in one hand. On-Earth missions were the only ones she ever got to go on, and they were usually pretty boring; this one, however, reminded her a lot of patrolling the Sunnydale sewers...
...Which, why was she feeling nostalgic about that, again?
Anyway, she was here, with SG-point-five, looking for Merlin's treasure, and best of all, Daniel had missed the Daedalus. The only thing better would have been Evan coming back to lead an SG team instead of playing military second in Atlantis, but since she couldn't have that, she'd settle for getting to keep her friend.
"...What if it senses our presence and awakens hungry for human flesh?" Vala's voice carried to the Slayer-- still whining about not having a weapon, Buffy surmised-- and she smirked, amused.
"That doesn't quite sound the Ancients' style," Daniel replied, dryly.
"Besides, that's what I'm here for," Buffy added flippantly. "Send a bogeyman to catch a bogeyman, right?"
Vala wrinkled her brow in confusion, but Daniel snorted with amusement.
Buffy grinned. She was having so much fun.
House of Gold
"Well that figures," Colonel Mitchell said, wryly. "Room full of gold and jewels, and Dr. Daniel Jackson finds the one book."
Buffy grinned, and remembered something Giles had once said to her when she'd made an observation about his fetish for dusty old tomes. "Didn't you know? A book holds a house of gold. What would he need the rest of it for?"
Daniel shot her a reproving look over his glasses, and Mitchell chuckled. "So what's it about?"
"Actually, it's a story," Daniel replied, absently caressing the pages of the ancient volume.
Buffy tuned them out as he began the explanation-- Watcher speak had never held her interest very well-- and glanced around, eyeing the other treasures scattered around. Merlin's treasure; it was still a little difficult for Buffy to wrap her mind around that. Treasure Mitchell had won after pulling a sword from a stone.
"Whoso pulleth out this sword of this stone and anvil, is rightwise king born of England," she muttered, remembering the Disney cartoon. Then she pictured Giles' expression if she were to tell him the reborn King Arthur was in the American military.
She laughed quietly, then tuned back in to her friend's lecture.
Where There's a Will
After the trip to England, Buffy settled back under the Mountain while the others went off to other planets-- galaxies, even!-- without her. She'd been there for Daniel's second Ascension-- a brain-breaky development she tended to forget about when kicking her feet up on his desk and teasing him about "his" space pirate-- but his "visit" with the Ori was the first time he'd nearly died since they'd become friends.
She hated the whole situation. She'd fought gods and incorporeal entities before, but only one at a time, and the costs had been devastating. If these Ori made like the First, a lot of people were going to die.
Well, where there was a will, there was a way-- and the SGC held some pretty darn willful people. Including Buffy. Maybe the Powers had meddled with the Scythe to keep her here? Maybe they were Ancients, too-- ones that used Slayers and Champions instead of meddling directly?
Regardless, it made her job even more important. She wouldn't leave now, even if she could-- and from his letters, she doubted Evan would return from Atlantis anytime soon. Maybe it was time to reassess more than just her status as Queen Slayer.
Living on Hope
He'd taken it well, Buffy thought. At least, she thought he had; it was hard to pick emotional undertones out of a digital recording. As far as she could tell, he was saddened, but understanding; she wasn't sure if that made it better or worse.
She'd waited awhile to send the Dear Evan video, maybe hoping she'd talk herself out of it. He'd been an amazing boyfriend-- sexy, smart, funny, totally not intimidated by her Slayerness-- but while she loved him more unreservedly than she had Riley, she didn't live and breathe him the way she had Angel, or even Spike.
Besides. He had the Wraith to fight, and a job he loved; Buffy had the Scythe, and the Ori were coming. She'd heard it said that he who lives on hope will die fasting; it was useless to keep hoping for a "one day" that might never come. It was time to live in the real world, and that world wasn't one they shared anymore.
She came to work a few days with reddened eyes, but said nothing. Daniel commiserated-- he was still mildly narcoleptic and feeling guilty about Vala's departure-- but no one else noticed.
Life went on.