Not the Only One


"If you walk out that door, you can't come back." Buffy turned back to look at the woman she had called mom for most of her life. It hurt deeper then anyone knew when Joyce said that to her. The woman didn't seem to care that what her daughter was about to go do was easily the hardest thing she had done so far in her life.

Buffy said nothing, only turned around and left. With help from Spike, she got to the Manor where Angelus was waiting for her. They fought and she killed him, Angel, not the demonic monster that had nearly caused the world to end, but the vampire she had originally fallen in love with. She realized, in that brief second before she stabbed him, that Xander had known what Willow was going to do and he hadn't told her. Buffy collapse, tears running down her face as she stared at the spot where Angel had been. It was over now…all over.

Buffy silently moved through what used to be her room. She packed some clothing, just the necessities as if she were going camping. She would have to travel light. The dumb-blonde act had been dropped and the intelligence that very few people knew existed shown through. Swinging the duffle bag onto her bed, Buffy picked up the bag that held her weapons, making sure that the things inside wouldn't make any noise as she moved. She placed this next to the other duffle on her bed.

The next thing she did was pick up the pair of scissors that lay in her desk drawer. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, she began to cut her hair to the top of her ears, making it an almost exact copy of the style that her Mom preferred. Joyce had never let her do it, always saying that Buffy should keep it long. Buffy had been tempted, when Merric had first proven to her that she was indeed a Slayer, to just cut her hair like this. She changed her mind when Joyce and Hank had locked her up for trying to tell them what they didn't want to accept. Lucky for her, the doctors had to call her actual mom. Samantha Carter hadn't wasted anytime getting her daughter out of the psychiatric ward. Sam had believed her, making the comment that it really wasn't that hard to believe. Buffy had even showed her, Sam of course being the worried mom. Merric might have thought that he had taught Buffy what she knew of the fighting arts, but Sam had been teaching her long before Merric even knew she existed.

That was where she was going now. Sam (only in privet was Buffy allowed to call the older woman mom) had told her that if she ever needed a place to stay, her door was always open. It was rare Buffy ever got to see Sam, since Joyce rarely spoke to the woman. Buffy was under the impression that Joyce hated Sam, who was her cousin in some way or another. It wasn't important anyway, since as far as Buffy was concerned, she was never coming back here. Hellmouth be damned, let the new Slayer take care of it because Buffy simply did not care anymore.

Samantha Carter, more commonly known as Sam, sat tiredly in her lab. Janet had just finished giving them the okay to leave after their last off-world mission. General Hammond had given SG-1 two weeks leave, and she was the only one without any plans. Jack (and she half wished that she had said yes this time) was spending most of it at his cabin in Minnesota. Daniel was taking Teal'c around the town to give their Jaffa friend more Earth culture experience. All of her friends had offered her an invitation to go along with them, but she didn't want to be a third wheel with Daniel and Teal'c and she didn't trust herself to be alone with Jack outside of Colorado Springs because she knew what they would do once the thought of regulations and duty were thousands of miles away.

She sighed again, looking at the various projects sitting on her desk. She knew that technically she didn't have to work on them; she could go out and do anything that she wanted. Looking past one of the various pieces that she really didn't recall what it was for, she spotted the last picture she and her daughter had taken. They were in a park in L.A., just before Buffy moved with Joyce to some obscure little town in California. Sam knew that if her job had allowed it, she would have retaken custody of Buffy at that exact moment. She still couldn't believe that Joyce and her cheating husband thought it necessary to institute Buffy.

Maybe it was traveling to different planets and meeting people from them that had opened up her mind the necessary amount, but she hadn't thought that vampires being real were such a stretch of the imagination. Not to mention demons and magic and everything else that Buffy had told her about. Sam grinned; she now knew what she wanted to do with her two weeks off. Getting up, she headed towards General Hammond's office.

Buffy looked at the scrap of paper in her hand to the house in front of her. The address was right, but it didn't look like her mom was home. This wasn't a problem, since Buffy knew exactly where Sam hid her spare house key. She let herself inside, heading straight to the kitchen at the urgings of her stomach. Not trusting herself to actually cook something, she looked around for something that she didn't have to cook. Finding stuff for sandwiches, Buffy made herself a plate full of them. Heading into the living room with her food and a can of soda, she looked around. There were few pictures of her, but Buffy already knew that the most important ones where in a scrap book that she and Sam added to every time they saw each other. There were however, pictures of Grandpa Jacob and Uncle Mark (who didn't like Buffy, so had nothing to do with her), and what must have been her mom's teammates. There was one man with brown hair going silver that in almost every picture Sam was standing close to. In a few, her mom's face held a look of longing when looking at the man. Buffy surmised that the man must be one Colonel Jack O'Neil.

Eating slowly, Buffy's mind began to throw doubts at her. What if Sam had only been offering to be nice? What if Buffy coming here would only lead the demons to her and therefore Sam? Buffy quickly squashed these thoughts, or tried to anyway. Instead, she tried not to think period. It didn't work very well, but she couldn't say she didn't try. Soon however, the events of the past few days caught up with her and, Slayer stamina or no, Buffy succumbed to her body's need for sleep.

Sam was enthusiastic. General Hammond had agreed to give her another two weeks of leave from her accumulated leave time that she had yet to actually use. She packed up a few items from her rooms at the base, wondering if Sunnydale had any decent camp ground near by. She loved to take Buffy camping, and, as Buffy had told her, it was only fun with Sam along. Joyce hated camping and Hank never really had time for Buffy unless he actually had to. Sam didn't like him and if it hadn't been for the fact that she had only been barely nineteen when Buffy was born, she never would have given the girl up, at least not to them.

Walking with her head down, running through a list of hers and Buffy's favorite activities, she didn't see her CO coming around the corner. She ran into him, bouncing back and barely catching herself.

"Whoa there Carter, what's the rush?" Jack looked at the small duffle his 2iC had hanging from her shoulder, wondering just where she was going. A very large part of his mind hoped that where ever it was it didn't include another guy. He very well knew the reason that Sam constantly told him no whenever he asked her to come with him, alone, to his cabin. He didn't exactly trust himself when around her alone then she trusted herself around him alone.

"Oh, hey Sir," Sam quickly readjusted the strap of her duffle, "what are you doing here? I thought you had left already?"

Jack shrugged, "I was about to when Hammond called me into his office. Where are you going for a month?" In all four years that he had known her, Sam had never asked for time off, the woman was nearly obsessed with her work.

Sam shrugged, "I'm going to go and visit someone in California that I haven't seen since she moved about two years ago." Sam was tempted to invite him along. After all, what could she do with him with Buffy around? Joyce was bothersome, but Sam wasn't worried about her. Buffy was the only one that mattered.

"Oh? Sounds interesting, hope you have fun," Jack felt a bit out of place now, after all, he had no right to say that Carter couldn't go. Besides, she looked like she could use the time off. Already her eyes were brighter then they had been for the past few months.

"Thank you Sir, I hope you have fun as well." Sam went past him and headed towards the elevator. Jack turned around and punched the button before Sam could. At her look, he only shrugged, stepping into the elevator with her. Sam grinned, enjoying the stolen minutes alone with her CO. Maybe someday…

Sam stretched as she exited her car, enjoying the warmth emitted by the setting sun. She knew that she would be taking her motorcycle to Sunnydale, her promise to Buffy to teach her how to drive it still fresh in her memory. Buffy was seventeen going on eighteen now, more then ready to learn. Joyce complained that Buffy couldn't even get a normal driver's license, but Sam knew the reason for that and figured that a motorcycle would suite Buffy's Slayer instincts better anyway. Besides, Sam thought Buffy drove quite well when Joyce wasn't in the car and there was no pressure on her.

Placing those thoughts out of her mind for now, Sam opened the door to her home. Upon entering, she noticed that there were two bags on the floor that hadn't been there two days ago when she had last been here. They looked vaguely familiar, but Sam couldn't place them. Walking carefully around her home, she looked in first the kitchen and then the living room. Spotting the small blonde curled up on the couch, Sam frowned. What on Earth was Buffy doing here? At least now the bags made sense.

Buffy whimpered in her sleep, curling tighter around herself. Sam approached her daughter slowly, not wanting to move to fast and cause Buffy to be startled. She had seen that happen once and it hadn't been pretty. Hank had had a nice bruise through, so it hadn't been all bad. Taking a closer look, she realized that Buffy had cut her long hair down to a far more manageable length. It looked good on her, but it also made her seem younger than she usually did.

It hurt Sam to see Buffy like this, so small and obviously upset enough that it disturbed her sleep. They were both like that, only Sam knew she had people to turn to if her nightmares came to be too much. Growing up in the home Buffy had, Sam had a feeling that Buffy usually suffered through her nightmares alone. Well, that was changing as of now.

"Buffy," Sam said softly, lightly touching Buffy's shortened hair, "come on Buffy, it's time to wake up now," softly stroking Buffy's hair, Sam felt the girl still, the signs that Buffy was waking up. Sam may not have been able to raise Buffy, but she still knew the girl well from what little time she had been able to spend with her. It had been one of the adoption terms; Sam refused to be shut out of her daughter's life even if she couldn't raise her on her own.

"Mom?" Buffy asked blearily, still tired from her rather unrestfull nap. Sam nodded, a worried expression on her face as she looked at her daughter.

"What's happened Buffy?" Sam asked, forgoing any of the obviously expected questions Buffy had been expecting. No 'what are you doing here' or 'what did you do this time'. Fresh tears started their way down Buffy's face and Sam discarded the question as she embraced her daughter.

"She kicked me out," Buffy cried into her mom's shoulder as she wrapped her arms around the other blonde, "I told her about being the Slayer after Spike offered to help me stop Angelus and she kicked me out." The rest of the story came out between burst of tears.

Sam frowned at what she was hearing. If she met this Xander anytime soon it wouldn't end well for the boy. Nor would it end well for the vampires involved, since nothing could stand up to a mother's rage. Joyce could obviously no longer care for Buffy, so now Sam could do what she had wanted to do two years ago. Nothing could stop her now, and nothing would stop them now that they were together again.