She sat cross-legged on the grass in the dawn light, her eyes closed as she took in several deep breaths slowing her thoughts and focussing her mind.
Unknown to her, she was being watched from the kitchen window. Her friend admired how she was able to shut out everything and meditate, he could never do that.
Xander sighed and went back to making breakfast.
In the past few months since the destruction of Sunnydale they'd moved around a bit. They'd stopped briefly in LA so they could get the injured to a hospital, where they also left Faith so she could care for Robin before Giles and Andrew left for England, taking Dawn with them for a few months. This left Xander, Buffy and Willow who had decided to take Giles advice and set up shop in Cleveland to defend the other Hellmouth.
The girls had been surprised to discover that Xander had stored away a lot of money over the months before the destruction of their home town, though he hadn't revealed that Anya had left him all her savings which amounted to a lot of money, so he could afford this very comfortable house with enough room for all three of them plus Giles and Dawn and a few other guests. They were planning on finding premises where they could open a training school for slayers, watchers and if possible witches. Until they could, Buffy had managed to get herself another counsellor's job, thanks to a few faked qualifications and references from Giles and Robin Woods. Xander had found a construction firm that took him on as a manager despite his Cyclops-ness and Willow was teaching adult computer classes at the local college.
Xander stood in his bathroom brushing his teeth, getting ready to choose the patch-o-the-day, as Willow put it, when a pure white light filled the room behind him fading to reveal a man curled up naked on the bed.
Stunned, Xander quickly noted the lack of demoness, considering the guy looked like a wounded puppy. Also he was in direct sunlight so he wasn't a vampire.
"Xander?" a worried Willow called flying in; she'd felt a powerful force enter the room. She came skidding to a halt when she saw the man there.
"You know, if this is Buffy's birthday present," Xander managed to say, "You're a few months early and you hit the wrong room."
The unconscious man groaned and opened his eyes, jumping to see them standing over him.
"It's alright," Willow said soothingly, throwing a cover over him, "What's your name?"
The man was shaking, "I don't know."
"You're safe," Willow assured him, "Just rest."
The man still looked wary but as Willow soothed him, he slipped into a restful sleep.
Buffy stood staring at them, "What happened?"
The other two shrugged.
"We can't leave him alone," Willow said, "He's scared and confused at the moment, also we have no idea who he is."
"Well, I have to be at work in about half an hour," Buffy told them, "My boss isn't in on my double life this time."
"I'm due in as well," Xander sighed.
Willow frowned, "Well, I can work at home for the next few days. I'll take care of him."
"Will, you're the best," Buffy told her as she grabbed her bag and left.
Xander gave her a smile, "I'll drop by at lunch. See you then."
Willow frowned watching her two friends leave before she finished making their guest something to eat and drink. She'd learnt a good bit of medicine during her years in Sunnydale, so she was confident that she could care for this guy. His aura was of a good man and she was sure he would be fine.
He was awake again by the time she returned to the room, looking around the room in confusion.
"Hi," Willow smiled at him, "Are you hungry?"
"Yes," he said softly.
"Here, I don't know how good it is," she shrugged, "I usually let someone else cook."
He laughed and started eating, wolfing down the food.
"Slowly," Willow told him, "You don't want to be sick."
"I feel like I haven't eaten in forever," he said but took her advice, "I know I don't have a name but what's yours?"
"I'm Willow," she introduced herself.
"That's an interesting name," he smiled at her, "Where am I?"
"Cleveland," Willow told him, "You sort of appeared on us from nowhere."
"If I knew the answer I'd tell you," Willow laughed, "But we want to help you."
He nodded, feeling amazed.
"How do you feel?" Willow asked.
He shrugged, "I'm okay."
"Then I'll find you something to wear and you can have a shower before I do a few blood tests."
"You're a doctor?" he asked.
Willow laughed, "No, but I have some medical experience in a manner of speaking."
He chewed his lip and rubbed the bridge of his nose, "Okay."
"Xander is a little smaller than you but his stuff should fit," Willow smiled, "Go, and get into the shower."
He looked down at himself and back at her slightly sheepish.
"Oh," Willow realised, blushing slightly, "I'll go get the clothes for you and leave them on the bed."
"So," Xander asked as he found Willow and their guest finishing off the lunch dishes, "How's things?"
"He's perfectly healthy," Willow said, "But nothing's come back yet."
"I'm still a blank slate," the man shrugged.
"We have to call you something," Willow said, "I mean I've been trying to think of something all day."
"He kind of reminds me of Oz," Xander said.
"I don't feel like an Oz," their guest grimaced slightly.
"Well Oz's real name was Daniel," Willow reminded Xander before turning to their guest, "What about Daniel?"
"God is my judge," he murmured.
"What?" Xander asked.
"That's what it means."
"Then I guess we chose right," Willow grinned, "You've just been christened Daniel."
The newly named Daniel nodded, it felt comfortable.
"When is Buffy due back?" Xander asked.
"She finishes work at five tonight," Willow reminded him, "She's got that 'Big Meeting'."
Xander rolled his eyes, "Well the good news is I've got the next few days off…well working from home so if you need to go in I can stay with…Daniel."
"I don't need a babysitter," Daniel spoke up.
Xander tilted his head at him, "Do you know who you are?"
Daniel shook his head.
"Then you could have allergies or a medical condition we don't know about and if no ones here…" Xander trailed off letting Daniel realise the rest of the thought himself.
"I get it," Daniel sighed.
"First things first," Willow decided, "Daniel needs some clothes and stuff so I'll take him into town and you can make dinner."
Xander nodded, "Macaroni surprise it is."
"It wouldn't happen to taste like chicken?" Daniel asked blandly.
Xander frowned, "No, it's a surprise if it's edible. Why would you ask that?"
Daniel looked confused, "I'm not sure."
Willow laughed, "Come on Daniel, let's go shopping."
"Macaroni surprise?" Buffy asked as she entered the kitchen to find Xander stirring his 'secret' sauce.
"Yep," Xander grinned, "How'd your meeting go?"
Buffy shrugged, "It wasn't too bad. At least my jobs secure, I'm apparently doing really well."
"That's good to know," Xander grinned, "Willow's shopping with Daniel."
"Our guest," Xander clarified, "We named him Daniel after Oz."
Buffy stared at him for a second as she let her mind get round the logic of that sentence, "So we're keeping him then?"
"Can we Mom?" Xander asked, "I mean he's clean and won't eat much."
"You idiot," Buffy laughed, "Did Willow find anything on him?"
"She said he's perfectly healthy but he still doesn't have any idea of who he is," Xander told his friend.
"Well, let's keep him away from the basement for the moment," Buffy said, "I'll ask Giles when he calls to see if he can explain how…Daniel would have ended up here."
Daniel stared out of his bedroom window at the rain, it had been almost a month since he'd appeared from nowhere into this house. Although the other three were younger than him, he felt welcomed by them. Xander had a sense of humour that seemed familiar and Daniel relaxed into barbing with him every so often, while he adored Willow and Buffy. The girls were both smart and compassionate, making him feel very protective of them.
A knock on the door made him look to where Willow was standing in his door, "Hey," she smiled, "Are you okay?"
"I've just been wondering about me," he told her.
Willow rolled her eyes, "Daniel, it's not that long since you woke up. Look, you have amnesia. It's more than likely your memory will return in the next few months. And if it doesn't you have a home here with us."
"Thank you," Daniel smiled at her, "It's getting late, if you want I'll make dinner."
Willow smiled relieved, "Good, that means there'll be no emergency trips to the hospital."
Daniel slid off the bed and joined the young woman. walking downstairs with her to the kitchen.
"So," Daniel asked as they all finished eating, "Are you three going to tell me what else you guys do?"
Willow looked shocked, trying to change it to innocence, "What do you mean?"
Daniel laughed, "Let's start with the basement that's almost permanently locked though used late at night, your rather eclectic library which includes demon encyclopaedias and your large collection of crosses, holy water and wooden stakes."
"Would you believe we're making horror movies down there?" Xander asked.
"Not really," Daniel told them, "Look, I'll understand if you don't trust me but don't think I'm stupid."
"We don't, Daniel," Buffy assured him, "It's just habit to keep this all a secret. However, you do live here and I'm sure it'll hit you sooner or later. I'm a Vampire Slayer."
"A Vampire Slayer?" Daniel asked sceptically.
"Originally I was the only one, technically, with the strength and the skill to kill them but a few months ago we changed all that," Buffy explained.
"Wait," Daniel held up his hand, "Okay, vampires exist and you kill them, for what sport?"
"Now that's a thought," Buffy laughed, "There is a Slayer in every generation chosen by someone to protect the world against the forces of evil and when I was fifteen I discovered it was me."
"You said you changed something?" Daniel asked.
"A few months ago we were embroiled in a fight with this ultimate evil, Willow did a spell which meant that all the potentials around the world were given Slayer powers and we stopped it," Buffy continued, "Our whole town was destroyed but there was no one living there by that time anyway. So we moved here and I continue to fight any vamps or demons that come my way."
Daniel thought about this for a second, for all he knew he was already aware of this, "Okay," he said finally, "That makes sense. Wait," he said after another minute, "Spell?"
"I'm a witch," Willow shrugged.
"Oh," Daniel replied before turning to Xander, "And you?"
"I'm the poor schlub who fixes the windows after a demon's rampaged through the house," Xander sighed tragically.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Buffy asked as they stood across from each other in the basement/gym.
"I can't work since I have no identity," Daniel reminded her, "At least I can help this way."
Buffy shrugged, "Okay, you are pretty fit so I won't go too easy on you."
"The basics of Vampire killing are one, don't die," Buffy told him, slipping into teacher mode, "It's a very basic rule but I've found a pretty good one to follow. Second, if you need to run then run."
"I think I like these rules," Daniel smiled.
"Okay, the ways to kill a vampire are stake through the heart, sunlight, or cutting off its head," Buffy continued, "Here's a stake."
Daniel took the rubber ended stick, looking at it slightly confused, "What have I to do with it?"
"Hit me in the heart," Buffy grinned.
"O…Kay," Daniel hefted it experimentally a few times, "I'll try."
Xander stood at the door to the basement, watching Buffy teach their latest member how to fight. From the looks of things Xander thought Daniel already knew.
He'd been quite amazed at how well Daniel had taken all this. He was surprised when Daniel managed to hit Buffy in the heart several times during the session; it looked like Daniel definitely knew how to fight.
"I can't believe I agreed to do this," Daniel muttered as they sat in the middle of the living room.
"There's no need to worry," Willow assured him, "I've worded the spell so that nothing can go wrong."
"Why does that not fill me with confidence?" Daniel murmured.
"Daniel, it's been two months and nothing has come back to you," Xander spoke up, "Now, I'm not saying this is the greatest idea in the world but Willow is pretty powerful."
Daniel glanced at Buffy who shrugged before sighing, "Okay."
Willow nodded and motioned them to all take a seat around the circle she'd marked out, "Light the candles."
They did as she said before waiting as she took in a few deep breaths.
"Return what was once lost, all his life, his love," Willow intoned, "Return to him now."
A bright flash of light filled the circle, fading to reveal a woman lying there; she had tanned skin and wore a rich looking dress with an intricate headdress set upon thick black hair.
Willow shrugged as the other three turned to look at her, "I don't know."
"Xander, Daniel, take her to a room," Buffy ordered, "Will, let's get your med kit and then try to work out what just happened."
They all nodded at the orders. Daniel gently and easily lifted the woman into his arms, carrying her into his room, as it was closest, setting her on the bed and studied her.
"Well I'll say this for Will," Xander said, "She certainly doesn't do things by half."
Daniel nodded his attention still focussed on the newest arrival, "She's beautiful and very familiar."
"Familiar?" Xander asked.
"Yes," Daniel murmured, "I feel connected to her."
Suddenly her eyes opened and a bright glow emanated from them, making both Daniel and Xander jump back as she stood to face them, looking at them disdainfully.
"How did I get here?" the woman demanded in a deep resonate voice, "Answer me. I am your Goddess, Ammonet."
"Hey," Buffy called from behind her, Ammonet turned and Buffy punched her throwing her to the floor, "We don't like Goddesses around here."
"Pathetic girl," Ammonet growled before Buffy swung once more, knocking her unconscious.
"She's possessed," Willow told them as she checked the woman's aura, "I think I can remove the parasite without damaging her."
"Parasite?" Xander asked with a wrinkled forehead, "Kinda like the egg dudes?"
"It's attached itself to her brain," Willow told them, ignoring Xander, "But if I'm right then I can kill it within her with no brain damage."
"And if you're wrong?" Daniel asked.
"We may have to keep Ammonet unconscious until I can work out how to do it," Willow told him, "Keep back, guys."
Daniel and Xander stood at the bedroom door watching Willow working with Buffy guarding the woman.
They watched as a bright glow surrounded both Willow and the woman, as it faded Willow wilted slightly but caught herself.
"She should sleep for a while," Willow told them.
"I'll stay with her," Daniel said, still captivated by the newest arrival.
"Call me when she wakes up," Willow ordered as they left the room.
Daniel watched her as she slept. Something about her was so deeply familiar, he knew her deep within him but his mind refused to relinquish the information. After a while, she started to squirm before her eyes fluttered open. Daniel felt something jolt within him as he saw her eyes staring at him in confusion; they were a deep brown filled with intelligence and a lot of questions.
"Hi," he smiled softly at her.
"Who are you?" she demanded before frowning in confusion.
"I'm Daniel," he told her, "You're safe."
"I do not understand," she whispered, "I should not know these words but I do."
"What's your name?" Daniel asked.
"Sha're," she introduced herself quietly.
"That's a beautiful name," Daniel gave her a smile, "I'm going to call Willow so she can make sure you're healthy, okay?"
Sha're nodded softly.
Daniel disappeared through the door leaving her alone in the strange room, in this bizarre world. She stood up and walked to the window gasping as she looked out into the world, this wasn't her home.
"Sha're?" Daniel's voice called to her and she turned to where he stood with a woman with hair a colour that Sha're had never seen before, "This is Willow."
"Hi," the young woman smiled at her, "I just want to make sure you're okay."
Sha're nodded and moved back to sit on the bed. Daniel stood back watching as Willow checked Sha're's blood pressure and a few other things before checking magically for any residue of the parasite.
"Sha're I want you to rest for a while," Willow told her, "But you can join us for dinner."
"Alright," Sha're nodded nervously,
"Do you want some company?" Daniel offered realising she was scared to be alone in this strange place.
"Yes," Sha're smiled at him gratefully.
Willow smiled too, "I'll call you guys for dinner. I think its Buffy's turn to cook so it'll probably be pizza."
Without another word she disappeared leaving them alone. Once she'd left Daniel offered Sha’re his hand and led her back to the bed.
"You need to rest," Daniel told her, taking the seat next to the bed.
"I need to know where I am," Sha're whispered, "I do not understand or recognise anything here."
Daniel saw the desperation and confusion in her dark brown eyes, "I'll tell you anything you want but be warned, I don't actually know much. I sort of have amnesia."
"What is that?" Sha're asked.
"Loss of memory," he shrugged, "I don't know my real name or anything about me or the world though I do have some general knowledge."
"Where am I?" Sha're asked.
"Cleveland," he told her.
"Where on Abydos is that?" she asked, "Do you know Ra is dead?"
"Ra?" Daniel asked shaking his head, "Who's Ra?"
"Our God, false God," Sha're stared at him as her mind went over everything, "We are not on Abydos are we? This is the first world? This is where Ra and the other Gods came from, where they brought us from as the walls say."
"Incredible," she sighed, "I wish I knew how I got here and how I can speak a language I have never known before."
"I wish I could tell you but I'm just as stumped as you are," Daniel told her with a half smile.
Sha're looked at him and felt warmth fill her stomach, "Thank you for staying with me."
"It's my pleasure," Daniel smiled at her making her blush slightly, "But Willow was serious when she said you should be resting so try and get some sleep. I'll be nearby if you want me."
Sha're nodded and lay down on the bed smiling to herself as he drew a blanket over her.
Sha're smiled as she heard Xander enter the house just as she was finishing fixing dinner. He was so like her brother that she couldn't help but adore him.
"Hey Sha're," he grinned as he entered the kitchen, "What's cooking?"
"Spicy Lamb," she replied, slapping his hand away from the plates, "It will be ready as soon as the girls are in."
Xander sighed theatrically, "Where's Daniel?"
"Dan'iel is studying," Sha're replied, "Tell him dinner is almost served."
Xander nodded and headed upstairs to dump his stuff. It was now three weeks since Sha're's appearance. Since they now had two people who had no identity it at least meant the other three could return to work. Daniel still had no memory of who he was but since discovering the internet studied constantly, mostly demons and demon languages so he could help Buffy whenever something attacked. Sha're had taken her new surroundings in her stride learning how to use all the mod cons and took over the house. She made food, kept the place clean and ruled them with an iron fist.
"Hey," Xander stuck his head into the study where Daniel sat staring intently at the computer screen, "Hey, study boy."
Daniel jerked up, "Sorry, I was…"
"Engrossed," Xander grinned, he'd spent more than enough time around Giles and Willow to pick up a great vocabulary, "Well our beautiful chef says dinner's almost ready so you know what that means?" Xander rolled his eye.
Daniel smiled back switching off the computer instantly, he never crossed Sha're which amused Xander no end. It was very obvious that they were attracted to each other but neither made any sort of move both afraid of becoming close to someone when they had no clue about their own lives.
Sha're smiled as everyone complemented her on the wonderful dinner.
"Okay, Xander," Buffy spoke up, "You and me are on dishes duty. Sha're, thanks for cooking every night."
"It gives me something to do," Sha're replied with a shy smile.
"You guys want to watch a movie?" Willow asked the Daniel and Sha're.
"Sure," Daniel shrugged while Sha're nodded in silence.
They trooped into the living room and Willow smiled manoeuvring the other two to sit on the couch together. She'd decided they would be a perfect couple and was going to get them together. As the film was just getting interesting the phone rang and all eyes turned to Buffy who rolled her eyes.
"I'll get it," she grimaced grabbing the phone; "Hello?" a smile suddenly covered her face, "Giles. How's things?"
Both Xander and Willow forgot the movie turning to hear how they're surrogate father was and why he was calling. As Buffy talked the doorbell rang and Xander jumped up to answer.
"Giles?" Xander cried in amazement.
"Aren't you going to say hello?" Giles asked mildly with an amused smile before he was suddenly grabbed by Xander in a hug.
When Xander released him Giles stepped out of the way to reveal who'd come with him.
"Dawn," Xander hugged her too pulling her into the house and kicking the door shut re-entering the living room where Willow and Buffy were talking to Giles excitedly scolding him for not calling earlier.
"Dawn," Buffy grabbed her little sister in a tight hug, "You look fabulous. Did you enjoy England?"
"It was great," Dawn enthused before hugging Willow, "Giles took me to see all the sights and I helped him with the setting up of the new Watchers Council, I'm even in training."
"That's great," Buffy smiled.
"So," Giles interrupted them looking over to where Daniel and Sha're sat quietly watching the reunion, "Who are your guests?"
"Giles, this is Daniel and Sha're," Buffy introduced them, "You remember me telling you about Daniel?"
"Not about another guest," Giles replied.
Willow looked sheepish, "I kinda cast a spell."
"Why did I even ask?" Giles rolled his eyes, "Continue."
"The spell was supposed to return Daniel's memory to him," Willow continued, "Instead it brought us Sha're."
"Willow, what have I told you before about performing spells without proper knowledge," Giles groaned, "How many times must I remind you?"
"I know, I know," she said, "But I thought I'd worded it so that nothing could go wrong."
"I think something went wrong," Dawn shrugged.
"You alright?" Daniel asked Sha're as they sat in her room leaving the 'family' alone to get re-acquainted.
"I," she sighed, "I was brought here by an accident. I am not supposed to be here."
Daniel caught her hand, "Of course you are."
Sha're sighed and rested her head against his shoulder smiling as Daniel's arm moved around her. She knew she shouldn't be getting this close to him but she couldn't help herself.
Daniel let Sha're go after a few moments knowing in her society their closeness would not be allowed.
"So," he said bouncing off the bed, "Want to watch the rest of the movie?"
Sha're nodded with a soft smile, "That sounds good."
Daniel grinned and retrieved the DVD he'd brought with them putting it on before settling down on the floor against her bed smiling as Sha're handed him a pillow before sitting beside him.
"Okay," Giles said as he accepted the tea Willow had made, "Let me get this straight. This man appeared in Xander's room, naked and with no knowledge of who he is?"
Buffy, Xander and Willow all nodded.
"So in an attempt to return his memories Willow performed a spell and brought a young woman here," Giles continued, "Am I right?"
"Pretty much," Buffy told him, "Giles, they're both good people. Daniel has been helping me fight as well as studying demons. He probably knows more demon languages than you do."
"Sha're's taken over the house," Xander added, "She may have come from a primitive culture but she's smart and has taken to our way of life pretty fast."
"Are they a couple?" Dawn asked.
"Not yet," Willow grinned.
"Can we stay on the subject?" Giles asked, "Please."
"Sorry," Dawn looked contrite.
"Willow, what spell did you use?" Giles asked, "The wording?"
"Basically, I asked for all his life and his love to be returned to him," Willow explained.
Giles sighed, "That should have returned his memory."
"What if it did?" Dawn asked, "What if she's someone he does know and love?"
"Wouldn't she know him?" Buffy asked.
"Oh," Willow cried in sudden realisation wondering why it took her so long to see it, "Oh, that's it."
"What is?" Xander asked confused.
"We know someone has removed Daniel's memories with a powerful spell," Willow explained, "The spell I used was powerful but was more than likely reflected off the other spell and brought us Sha're."
"So why did she not know him?" Buffy asked, completely enthralled.
"That's a very good question," Xander turned to Willow, "Any ideas?"
"They're bonded," Willow said with a smug smile.
"They're what now?" Buffy shared a confused look with Xander.
"Bonded," Giles sat forward nodding, "Of course Willow but are you sure?"
"It's the only idea that makes any sense," Willow smiled, "They're bonded so a part of his amnesia that relates to her has in a way reflected back and has blocked out any memory of him for her."
"For those of us in the audience who haven't a clue what you're talking about," Xander jumped in, "What the hell does bonded mean?"
"It is similar to the concept of soul-mates," Giles explained, "Whereas soul-mates are supposed to be drawn to each other in every life they live, it is rumoured that those bonded can be brought back to life by the love of their mate."
"So romantic," Dawn sighed.
"And worrying," Giles added, "We need to find out who these two really are."
“Cassie, will you please move,” Jack yelled up the stairs at the teenager before turning back to her mother, “So Doc, looking forward to this conference?”
Janet rolled her eyes at him, “Like I look forward to having to give you your yearly medical evaluation.”
Jack laughed, “Bad. Well if you want you could blow it off, join me and Cassie on our road trip?”
“It’s tempting,” Janet told him, “But unfortunately I’m speaking so I have to be there.”
Jack patted her on the shoulder before checking his watch again, “Cassie,” he yelled once more up the stairs, “I want to miss rush hour not get caught in it.”
“Geez Jack,” Cassie appeared rolling her eyes, “I was just making sure I had everything.”
“So where exactly are you going?” Janet asked Jack.
“I’m thinking of going to visit one of Sara’s nephews,” Jack replied, “I haven’t seen him in a while and we were pretty close. He used to be a resident of Sunnydale.”
“The place in California that ‘disappeared’?” Janet asked surprised.
“That’s the one,” Jack grinned.
“Maybe he’ll be able to shed some light on it,” Janet laughed before turning to her daughter, “Listen to him, and make sure you both eat properly. And have fun.”
Jack glanced over to where Cassie sat engrossed in a book. When this leave had come Jack decided he needed to get away from everything for a while. The letter he’d received from his…well Sara’s nephew was the excuse he needed to get out of Colorado for a while. When Janet had told him she was heading for a conference he’d decided to bring Cassie along for company as well as he hadn’t been able to spend much time with her lately.
After the complete destruction of Abydos several months ago Jack had fallen into a depression. He’d not only lost Skaara but it looked like Daniel was gone for good this time and Jack wasn't sure he could accept that.
“Hungry?” Jack asked his companion.
Cassie glanced up at him and grinned, “Only if you’re buying.”
Jack laughed, “This time kid.”
“I hate snake-demons,” Buffy grimaced as they walked the streets trying to find their target, “Why is this thing here again?”
Daniel shrugged, “From what information I found Rathz comes out of hibernation to feed every twenty years. He seeks a Queen,” Daniel paused grimacing as he remembered the information he’d discovered.
“A Queen?” Buffy asked.
“Okay,” Xander interrupted, “I just know this is going to be icky.”
“Icky?” Sha’re asked confused from Xander’s side.
“Extremely disgusting,” Willow translated.
“This Queen is impregnated and…” Daniel wrinkled his nose in disgust, “Rathz eats the children before eating his Queen and returning to his hibernation for another twenty years.”
“Very icky,” Sha’re agreed with Xander who laughed.
“Xander, could you refrain from completely corrupting Sha’re,” Willow frowned at her friend.
“I am merely introducing her to the colourful idiosyncrasies that fills our language,” Xander grinned, especially at the looks he was being given by the girls.
“It’s the eye patch,” Buffy rolled her eyes, “Lets in all sorts of strange things.”
“Guys,” Daniel interrupted them, “I think we found it.”
Sha’re hefted her axe as Rathz turned to her after it had tossed the others aside.
“Yesssss,” he hissed his eyes roaming her body, “You would be perfect to be my Queen-ssssssssssssssss.”
Sha’re froze at those words the axe dropping uselessly from her hands as the demon bore down on her.
“Sha’re!!” Daniel yelled trying to get up as she didn’t move.
“My Queen,” Rathz moved even closer, “You are perfect-ssssssss.”
Sha’re started to scream but still didn’t move. Daniel ran grabbing her away as Buffy started to fight Rathz.
“Shh,” Daniel whispered as Sha’re started to cry in his arms, “You’re safe,” he rocked her as her arms locked around his neck holding onto him like a lifeline.
When Buffy finally managed to kill the demon the others moved to check on Sha’re who was completely inconsolable. Willow joined Daniel and placed her hand on Sha’re’s forehead sending the woman into a deep sleep. Daniel gently lifted Sha’re and carried her to the car but as he tried to put her down she held onto him.
“Looks like she won’t let you go,” Xander commented.
Daniel sighed and managed to manoeuvre himself into the backseat with Sha’re while Willow took the seat beside him and Buffy rode up front with Xander.
“I don’t understand what happened,” Buffy said, “Sha’re’s gone up against demons before. She split the head open of the first one she met.”
“I don’t think it was the demon,” Daniel replied as he gently stroked Sha’re’s face when she started to whimper in her sleep, “I think it was what it said to her. Remember she had that snake-like parasite in her when she arrived.”
“But she doesn’t remember that,” Xander frowned.
“Her sub-conscious does,” Willow told them, “Daniel, I’ve got a feeling you’ll have to stay close to her for the next while.”
“I can do that,” Daniel murmured not removing his gaze from the woman he was holding.
Daniel carried Sha’re up to her room toeing his shoes off getting his jacket off with some help from Xander while the girls pulled back the covers. Daniel placed Sha’re on the bed lying beside her and giving the others a wry smile.
“Just turn the light out,” he told them, “And I’ll see you in the morning.”
The three scoobies nodded and after Willow covered the couple they left them alone. Daniel lay watching her in the small light coming from the street lamps. Every so often in her sleep Sha’re whimpered and he gathered her even closer.
“Shh,” he soothed, “I’m here Sha’re, you’re completely safe I promise. Just rest and I’ll stay with you. Shh.”
Sha’re settled at his voice and Daniel just lay holding her until he fell asleep himself.
Sha’re woke up with a start finding her face buried against someone’s chest. Moving back slightly she realised it was Daniel and felt her heart beat a little faster. Reaching out she very gently brushed her fingertips to his cheek smiling as he murmured something in his sleep.
It was right then she knew, she knew she was meant to be with Daniel. No matter what she remembered about being betrothed to Raya she knew without a doubt that Daniel was the man she was supposed to be with.
“Hey,” Daniel’s sleepy murmur made her turn to look into his crystalline blue eyes, “Are you okay?”
Sha’re smiled at him, “I am now. I am unsure what it was that…”
“Shh,” he whispered, “Its okay.”
“It is,” Sha’re told him moving closer and very gently brushed her lips to his.
Daniel closed his eyes his hand resting on her cheek before he stared at her as she moved away from him, “Are you sure about this?”
“Yes,” Sha’re whispered, “I know we are meant to be together. Willow’s spell was to bring back your life; it stands to reason I am a part of your life since I arrived here because of it.”
Daniel couldn’t help but smile, “You’ve thought this out.”
“Dan’iel, it is also very unlikely I am ever returning to Abydos,” Sha’re continued, “And I want to make a life here, with you.”
Sha’re kissed him again. Daniel allowed the fleeting thought that maybe he had a wife and family somewhere into his mind before he surrendered to Sha’re’s gentle kiss and wrapped his arms around her returning the kiss with equal fervour.
Early the next morning Xander gently opened the door to Sha’re’s room to check on them. When Willow had checked before she went to bed late last night they’d both been fast asleep but Xander was sure not the same way he’d found them.
It looked like something had obviously happened between them.
“Is she okay?” Willow asked.
“I’d say yes,” Xander grinned, “We should just leave them a note.”
Willow frowned confused as she followed her friend down to where Buffy was getting ready to leave for work.
“Ladies,” Xander said as he was about to leave, “You both owe me twenty bucks.”
Jack drew up to the house and smiled as his nephew appeared at the door.
“Hey Jack,” Oz smiled, “You look good.”
Jack climbed out of the car and grabbed Oz’s hand in a firm handshake, “You too. Oz meet Cassie.”
“Hi,” Oz nodded.
“Nice to meet you,” Cassie grinned back, “Jack’s told me a lot about you.”
Oz glanced at Jack questioningly who shook his head slightly.
“Well come in,” Oz moved out of the way, “I won’t guarantee my cooking is any good but I haven’t died yet.”
Jack grabbed their bags and followed Oz and Cassie into the house listening as Cassie asked Oz questions. Jack smiled at how healthy and happy his nephew seemed after the last few times they’d talked. Oz seemed to have become very comfortable with himself something Jack had worried would never happen.
“Any idea what actually happened to Sunnydale?” Jack asked later that night when Cassie had bade them goodnight.
“What I was told was big, bad evil,” Oz explained, “Then some sort of mystical medallion and major explosion.”
“Did all your friends get out?” Jack asked.
Oz shook his head, “Anya was killed. I keep thinking I should go see them but it’s hard.”
“Your ex,” Jack said knowingly.
“I can’t control myself when I’m around her,” Oz explained, “Not like that,” he frowned at Jack’s amused look, “When I realised she and Tara were coming together I lost it and any control I had disappeared. It wasn't even night and I went wolf.”
“So, even though this Tara is gone,” Jack started.
“I can’t risk it,” Oz shrugged.
“You know,” Jack closed his eyes leaning back, “When Sara and I divorced I thought that I should stay away from her, let her get on with her life. Instead I more than likely blew my chance of ever getting back the person I love.”
“I wouldn’t say that,” Oz told him as he stood up, “Night Jack.”
“Night,” Jack nodded returning to his own musing.
Oz glanced at the pictures that sat on the table in his room, pictures from his school days where he’d made friends, found someone he loved more than anything and became something dangerous.
When he’d left he never realised how he much he would miss them. He had managed to keep in touch with Xander over the years and he knew where they were but something had always stopped him from re-contacting them. Maybe Jack was right, maybe he should say hi.
Daniel frowned staring at the computer screen rubbing his eyes slightly. They were sore and things kept getting blurry.
“What’s wrong?” Willow asked seeing his discomfort.
“Just my eyes,” Daniel sighed, “They’ve been getting worse lately.”
Willow tilted his head slightly, “We should probably get your eyes checked. You may need glasses.”
“Oh God,” Xander cried as he stood in the doorway, “Another Giles.”
Willow frowned at her friend, “Look, I’ll make an appointment.”
Daniel nodded his headache was steadily getting worse.
Willow squeezed his shoulder, “Go lie down and rest your eyes for a bit. Okay?”
“Yes ma’am,” Daniel smiled at her before he left the room.
Daniel stumbled to the room he was now sharing with Sha’re. She’d made the decision that they would share about two days after their first night together.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re smiled as he entered the room, “Are you alright?”
“Just a headache,” Daniel sighed as he dropped onto the bed massaging the bridge of his nose.
“Turn over,” Sha’re told him sliding onto his back and gently starting to massage his neck, “Does that feel better?”
“Amazingly so,” Daniel groaned, “Where did you learn to do this?”
“At home,” Sha’re replied placing a gentle kiss on his neck, “It is something that I was taught so I could relax my husband,” slight bitterness crept into her voice, “So I could serve.”
Daniel turned and caught her hands in his looking up at her, “You don’t serve me.”
“No,” Sha’re agreed resting against his shoulder, “I love you.”
Daniel’s arms slipped around her waist as he rested his head against hers, “I love you too.”
“We’ll come and get you guys after we’ve finished,” Xander told Daniel and Willow, “I’ve got my phone on if you’re not going to be here.”
“Xander,” Willow rolled her eyes, “You told us. Now go.”
Xander grinned frowning as Sha’re decided to Daniel kiss once more, “Sha’re, he’ll be safe with Willow for a few hours.”
Sha’re laughed and returned to the car waving slightly as Xander pulled away before leaning back and watching the world, so different from her own, fly by. It was the weekly ritual of gathering their food supplies for the coming week and Sha’re always enjoyed it. Xander was her companion every week through this and he made her laugh as he brought the ways of her new world to her. He was so like her brother, so sharp witted, so willing to find the humour in every situation and loved to tease her.
As they entered the large food store, Sha’re smiled as she and Xander moved through the aisles.
“Xander,” she said interrupting his rendition of an advertisement jingle, “It is your birthday soon.”
“You had to remind me,” he rolled his eye.
Sha’re gave a soft laugh, “I was wondering if there was anything special you wished me to make for you.”
“Of course,” she smiled, “It is a special day and should be celebrated. If you tell me what you want I can try and learn to make it.”
Xander smiled at her touched by her sweet gesture, “Give me time to think about it.”
Daniel gave Willow a grimace, “You know I’m a big boy. I could have come myself.”
“Daniel, I need to be here,” Willow reminded him, “I need to manipulate this a little because you have no ID anywhere.”
“Thanks for the reminder,” Daniel told her, “So why don’t I get some?”
“Because then we would have a little too much interest in us,” Willow said, “Which is what we don’t want.”
“Alright,” he laughed, “I remember now.”
“There was another reason I wanted to talk to you alone,” Willow said, “You know its Xander’s birthday soon?”
“Oh was that what his song and dance was about last night?” Daniel asked mockingly.
“Anyway I have the perfect present for him,” Willow said, “And I need your help.”
“My help?” Daniel tilted his head thoughtfully, “What are you getting him.”
“His eye,” Willow replied.
“I’m not donating am I?” Daniel asked.
Willow shook her head in frustration, “It’s a spell, a very complex one and I need your skills for languages and to borrow your time out of your studying to research it for me.”
“No problem,” Daniel nodded.
“Your turn,” Willow nodded towards the now opening door.
Giles smiled as Sha’re opened the door to him, from his very brief meeting with her and Daniel several weeks ago he had like the others taken both into the circle of people he called his family.
“Hello again,” the young woman smiled back at him, “They are all in the dining room waiting for you.”
“I take it Dawn is here?” Giles asked as he entered the house.
“She arrived earlier,” Sha’re told him, “They are looking forward to seeing you again.”
Giles followed her in allowing himself a moment as he looked in on the original three members of his family, his gaze was then drawn to Dawn who was laughing as she gave Xander his present, the girl who had gone through so much including finding out she had been created by a group of monks. Sha’re slipped past him and into the room, Giles smiled as he saw her trail her hand affectionately across Daniel’s neck who smiled at her before she disappeared into the kitchen. Daniel looked up and nodded hello to Giles just before he was engulfed by Willow and Buffy hugging him.
“Okay,” Willow said turning to Xander after dinner, “I know I haven’t given you my present yet. I needed everyone here to give you it.”
“Will, what are you up to?” Xander asked worriedly.
“Do you trust me?” Willow asked her friend.
“Of course,” Xander answered without hesitation.
Willow grinned and turned to where Daniel had re-entered the room, he gave her a quick nod.
“Come on,” she took his hand and led him to where Daniel had set up everything for her.
“Willow?” Xander asked before turning to the others, “Do you guys know what’s going on?”
“Only Dan’iel knows,” Sha’re replied, “And he would not tell me.”
“So what’s the point of you sleeping with him?” Xander cried in frustration.
“I’m sure there are plenty of good reasons,” Buffy grinned making Sha’re blush furiously.
Xander stopped seeing the symbols on the floor, “No.”
“Xander, come on,” Willow said, “I promise this will be fine.”
“Trust us,” Daniel weighed in.
“Okay, okay,” Xander sighed stepping into the middle of the circle; he caught Willow’s hand as she moved to remove his eye patch, “No.”
“Trust me,” his best friend whispered and he allowed her to remove it.
Willow stepped back from the circle and started her spell, she saw Buffy, Dawn and Giles standing at one side watching in interest while Daniel stood at the other holding Sha’re against him his arms wrapped around her waist.
Light started to fill the circle surrounding Xander as Willow’s hair turned pure white before it faded suddenly. Giles caught Willow as she drooped while Buffy and Dawn stared at Xander.
“Xander…” Buffy started in amazement.
Xander shook himself, “What happened?”
Silently Dawn handed him a mirror.
“What?” he asked before looking down and seeing himself, “Will,” he gasped as he slowly reached up and gently touched around his new eye, “Oh Will, thank you.”
Willow moved to him and hugged her best friend tightly, “Happy birthday. I’m afraid you can’t take it back.”
Xander started to laugh slightly giddy, “How do I explain this away at work?”
Jack noticed Oz’s hesitancy as Cassie was tossing the last of the bags in the car, “You know you don’t have to go.”
“I want to though,” Oz replied, “Just need to work my way into it.”
“We’re going through Cleveland anyway,” Jack reminded him, “We can stop or keep going, make the choice when we get there.”
Oz nodded, “Right.”
“Come on guys,” Cassie called, “Can we get going before lunch?”
“Shouldn’t have taught her how to answer back,” Jack muttered under his breath as he and Oz jumped in.
“Ready?” Jack asked.
Oz gave a small smile, “Follow the yellow brick road.”
Buffy dropped her bag and grimaced, “It’s getting bad out there.”
“I’m not surprised,” Giles said from his chair where he had a book open on his knee, “It’s one of the signs.”
“Of what?” Buffy demanded.
“The end of the world,” Giles teased making Buffy glare at him as he started laughing, “I’m sorry, Buffy but I couldn’t resist.”
“Well, I’ve got something for you to look into,” she tossed him a ring, “Mean anything to you or is it just a really bad fashion accessory?”
“Hm,” Giles turned the ring around with a frown, “I’ll ask Daniel to look into it.”
Buffy looked at him in surprise, “You actually trust him enough for that?”
Giles smiled at his slayer, “Daniel has proven himself more than once as part of this team. And although I still have no idea who he really is I do trust him.”
Buffy smiled as she picked the bag up and tossed it in the cupboard under the stairs.
“I’m leaving in a few days,” Giles said suddenly.
“Back to work,” Buffy said sadly.
“We’ve still got to locate a lot of slayers and rebuild the council,” Giles reminded her, “And I’ve left Andrew alone for far too long. I’ll probably return to find him training new watchers using Dungeons and Dragons.”
“I hate that you have to leave,” Buffy sighed, “But things had to change.”
“I’m always at the other end of the phone,” Giles reminded her, “And now Dawn has taught me the email.”
Buffy laughed and hugged her mentor, “I have to go get ready for work.”
“I’ll see you later, Buffy,” Giles smiled as he picked up his book once more.
Daniel turned the ring over and looked at the inscription before glancing over at Sha’re who was laying on her stomach on the bed reading a new book, her head at the bottom while she absently kicked the pillow.
He knew he was meant to be looking up everything he could find on the inscription but his lover was distracting him a lot. He did still wish occasionally that he could remember who he was but he was so happy here and now in this place with these people.
“You are supposed to be working,” Sha’re said without looking up from her book.
Daniel smiled, “It’s kind of hard with you there.”
“Am I distracting you?” Sha’re dropped her book and turned onto her side smiling at him.
“A little,” Daniel left the computer and sat on the side of the bed leaning over to kiss her.
Sha’re’s arms wrapped around his neck pulling him down.
“Want to go out for a while?” Daniel asked softly.
Sha’re smiled and nodded, “A little fresh air and then you can get some more work done.”
“Only if you’re not here,” he replied jumping away as she swatted his arm.
“You okay, Oz?” Jack asked as they pulled up in front of what Jack thought was a pretty nice house.
“Fine,” Oz answered with a nod.
“We can go book into a hotel then do this,” Jack offered.
“No, I’d rather you were here so I have a way out if things…”
“Don’t go the way you hope,” Cassie finished for him.
Oz nodded with a small smile before he exited the car and with Jack and Cassie he walked slowly to the door and after a few seconds he knocked.
“Don’t worry I’ll get it,” Giles’ voice came from behind the door before it opened and the Watcher stared at their visitor, “Oz?”
“Hi Giles,” Oz smiled slightly.
“Giles,” Buffy called, “Who is….Oz!!!!!”
Oz smiled as the Slayer grabbed him in a tight hug before she let him go and punched him on the shoulder, “Why haven’t you called?”
“Ow,” Oz murmured rubbing his arm, “I didn’t know if I’d be welcome.”
“Looks like you are,” Jack said from the door.
“And you are?” Giles asked keeping his voice light but Oz recognised the threat.
“This is Jack O’Neill,” Oz introduced, “My uncle and that’s Cassie. This is Rupert Giles and Buffy.”
“Oz has told me all about you,” Jack said as he and Giles shook hands, “It’s good to finally meet you.”
“You too,” Giles said, “Come in. Willow and Xander aren’t here but they’re due home soon.”
As they entered the lounge a squeal of excitement greeted them.
“Oz!!” Dawn threw herself into his arms hugging him.
“You look really grown up,” Oz told her.
Dawn smiled before turning to Jack and Cassie, “Hi.”
Oz did another round of introductions quickly before he was cornered by Buffy for a rundown on what he’d been doing lately.
“Are you staying nearby?” Giles asked as he sat down.
“We’ve not booked in anywhere yet,” Jack replied taking a seat across from him, “Oz wanted to come here first.”
“Well we have room for three more,” Buffy said looking up from her conversation, “If you don’t mind sharing with Dawn, Cassie.”
Cassie shook her head, in the few minutes they’d been talking she and Dawn had become great friends.
“Come on I’ll show you,” Dawn smiled at Oz once more before leading Cassie upstairs.
Giles turned back to Oz’s uncle, there was something about this man Giles just wasn't too sure about.
“So what do you do Mr O’Neill?”
“It’s Colonel,” Jack answered with a smile, “Air Force.”
“Ah,” Giles recognised where he’d felt the tension from, “I never even knew Oz had family. He never talked about them.”
“Kid’s a quiet one but when you have to deal with the rest of our family it’s no wonder,” Jack laughed, “He learned to watch silently and knows all the secrets. And he’s actually my ex-wife’s nephew but we were always kinda close.”
“She’s a friend’s daughter,” Jack explained, “But we’re close too so since I was making the trip I thought I’d let them meet. I’m not a bad guy in any way.”
“You look out for your kids,” Jack smiled slightly; “I know the feeling.”
Dawn helped Cassie with her bag and together they sorted out the guest bed Dawn had in her room.
“Where is it you live?” Dawn asked.
“Colorado,” Cassie replied, “My Mom works at the same base as Jack, which reminds me I’d better call her and let her know we’re alive, Jack’s not letting me do whatever I like and he’s not getting into any trouble.”
Cassie started to laugh, “No. They’re friends. Mom’s the base’s doctor and loves teasing him about how often he ends up in the infirmary. What about you? Where’s your Mom?”
“My Mom died,” Dawn sighed.
“Sorry,” Cassie whispered, “My real Mom died too.”
“My sister is my guardian until I turn eighteen and my Dad is somewhere,” Dawn explained, “But Giles is like my Dad sometimes. Then Xander and Willow are like my brother and sister. Then Daniel and Sha’re have sort of become that too.”
Cassie stared at her; the name Daniel wasn't uncommon but Sha’re was.
“What was that?” Cassie asked slowly, “Did you say Sha’re?”
“Yeah,” Dawn smiled not noticing her new friend’s reaction, “It’s a gorgeous name isn’t it and it really suits her too.”
“Are they here?” Cassie asked.
“They went out for a walk about an hour ago,” Dawn shrugged, “Dinner won’t be until they get back, Sha’re runs the kitchen and no one crosses her.”
“I need to talk to Jack,” Cassie said quickly, “I’ll be right back.”
Cassie ran down the stairs to find Jack sitting talking to Giles about general things.
“Jack,” she called, “I need to talk to you.”
“Sure Cass,” Jack frowned a little worried by her intensity but before they could move the front door opened.
“Oh,” Buffy said, “This is our two newest members.”
Jack stared at the man who walked in first, it couldn’t be, “Daniel?”
Willow stopped walking suddenly.
“Your spider-sense tingling?” Xander asked, barely managing not to walk into her.
Willow frowned at him, “It’s a message.”
“A message?” Xander looked at her confused.
“More like a summons,” Willow replied grabbing his arm, “Come on.”
Xander followed his best friend as she led him through the streets towards…
“A cemetery?” Xander cried, “Why am I even surprised?”
“Come on,” Willow snapped slightly, “We need to get there as fast as possible before she leaves.”
“Who?” Xander asked but his answer was only Willow running faster, “Will,” he called thinking he’d lost her.
“Here Xander,” Willow appeared from behind a crypt a small smile on her face, “There’s someone who wants to say hello.”
Xander rounded the crypt and stopped in amazement, “Tara?”
Tara stood in front of an oak tree only slightly insubstantial a smile on her face as she looked at her friends.
“Hello Xander,” she smiled, “I don’t have much time, I’m here to warn you.”
“About?” Willow asked her eyes wide as she looked upon her dead lover.
“He wasn't meant to be here,” Tara explained, “But they pulled him away from his true destination.”
“Can’t you give us a straight answer?” Xander sighed making the young woman laugh.
“I can’t exactly,” Tara replied with a soft apologetic laugh, “You see they gave me a job.”
“Who?” Willow asked.
“The Powers,” Tara told her, “Although it was my time to die the acts I had performed whilst on Earth made me a suitable candidate to be a messenger. You’re my first…clients.”
“We’re honoured,” Xander told her blandly.
Tara laughed again before she became serious, “Listen carefully; I don’t have much time left. He has a dark side, one that if they can harness it could destroy everything. They’ve started moving already so be careful.”
“We will,” Xander told her. “We miss you.”
“I miss all of you too,” Tara smiled before returning her gaze to the other woman, “Willow, I will always love you and I know you will always love me but your future lies in your past.”
“I…” Willow struggled to speak but Tara hushed her.
“I have to leave now,” their messenger told them. “Remember what I have told you and prepare yourselves. The battle is coming.”
As she faded away Xander sighed, “When isn’t it?” he turned to where Willow was standing her hand frozen at the spot just where Tara’s face had been, “Come on Will, we should get home.”
Willow sniffed back the tears that had filled her eyes turning back to her best friend, “She looked good.”
“Yeah,” Xander whispered before he wrapped his arms around her, “And at least we know she’s happy and considering it’s us, we’ll probably see her again and again.”
Willow gave a half laugh as her tears rolled along her cheeks while Xander rocked her.
Daniel stopped dead as the man in front of him stared in amazement. He felt Sha’re bump into him but couldn’t move.
“Daniel?” the man said again.
“Who are you?” Daniel whispered.
“Don’t you know me?” the man asked, looking a little confused and hurt.
“No,” Daniel shook his head retreating, “I’m sorry.”
He knew they were all watching him and he also saw the hurt look cross Sha’re’s face when he brushed past her as he started running from his past. Entering his room he sank onto the bed not sure why he’d reacted that way but he couldn’t make himself leave the room.
“Not the reaction I was expecting,” Jack murmured.
“Jack?” Sha’re said softly, stepping closer to him amazement covering her face before crying, “Jack,” she stepped into his arms and hugged him tightly.
“At least you know me,” Jack laughed hugging her back, “I can’t believe this.”
“Hold on,” Buffy interrupted, “You know who they both are?”
“Sure,” Jack grinned as he turned resting his arm over Sha’re’s shoulder, “But first I need to talk to Daniel.”
“So that is his real name?” Dawn asked.
“Wait,” Cassie frowned, “You didn’t know his real name then why were you calling him it?”
“How about we give the full story?” Buffy said.
They all sat down as Buffy gave them the story of how Daniel had appeared leaving out any supernatural occurrences. Cassie stood at Jack’s side every so often glancing at Sha’re who she had only known through stories and a picture that rested on Daniel’s desk and for the last year in Jack’s house.
“So he has no idea?” Jack frowned, before he stood up and squeezed both Sha’re and Cassie’s shoulders, “I’m going to have a chat with him.”
“Hold on,” Cassie frowned, “Why does Sha’re remember you but not Daniel?”
“No idea,” Jack shrugged, “But we’ll work on that later.”
Jack walked with Sha’re up to the room she shared with Daniel and stopped outside.
“You really don’t remember him but you remember me?” Jack asked.
Sha’re shrugged, “I felt as though I knew him before I woke here but I could never remember. You are very clear in my mind.”
“Let me talk to him,” Jack told her.
“You are friends?” Sha’re asked.
“As crazy as it seems to many yeah,” Jack grinned at her worried look, “Trust me.”
Sha’re nodded and slipped downstairs before Jack walked into the room not bothering to knock.
“Please leave me alone,” Daniel sighed.
“I’m Jack O’Neill,” he introduced himself grabbing a seat and pulling it over, “And, barring some freakish similarity, you are Dr. Daniel Jackson.”
When Daniel didn’t say anything Jack pushed on,
“You were a member of my team, SG-1,” he explained, “You're a friend of mine. Last year you died."
Daniel stared at him, “I'm dead?"
Jack frowned slightly, "Obviously not. You just sort of died. Actually, you...ascended to a higher plain of existence. Last time I saw you, you were helping us fight Anubis."
“Anubis?” Daniel asked still looking absolutely confused.
Jack nodded, “Yeah, kind of an over-the-top, cliché bad guy. Black cloak, oily skin, kind of spooky. Anyway, obviously since then, you've retaken human form, somehow. I...” he stopped shaking his head, “Actually, I can see how this might sound a bit unusual...”
“A bit?” Daniel’s expression didn’t change, “Why am I here?"
“Hey, why are any of us here?” Jack grinned, “Honestly, I don't know, but you've gotta trust me. You are Daniel Jackson.”
“What about…” Daniel trailed off, “Am I…Do I have any family?”
“Well basically there’s me, Carter, Teal’c, Jacob, Cassie and Doc Fraiser are mostly your family and I’d say Hammond too in a way,” Jack smiled before adding mischievously, “And of course your wife.”
“Wife?” panic filled Daniel’s eyes.
“Yeah she’s sitting downstairs upset you ignored her,” Jack grinned.
“Yeah, you’ve met her,” Jack continued enjoying teasing his friend, it’d been too long since he could, “Long black hair, sweet smile, crazy about you for some reason.”
“Sha’re?” Daniel frowned “But she didn’t know me?”
“I have no clue why but let me help you bring back your memory,” Jack said.
After a few moments Daniel nodded.
“Daniel?” Cassie looked up from her seat beside Dawn, she jumped up and ran over to the man she thought of as an uncle before stopping knowing he didn’t remember her.
“Hi,” Daniel gave a soft smile, “Cassie, right?”
“Yeah,” she smiled, “It’s so good to see you Daniel. I missed you so much.”
“That’s nice to know,” Daniel smiled back.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re stepped over to him, “Are you alright?”
Slowly Daniel reached out and touched her cheek before turning to Jack, “Was what you said true?”
Daniel turned back to Sha’re, “My wife.”
Sha’re’s eyes widened, “What?”
“According to Jim…”
“Jack,” Cassie corrected.
“Jack,” Daniel continued, “We’re married.”
“Yes,” Sha’re whispered crinkling her nose in thought, “I remember being given to…someone…a messenger of Ra…but not.”
“Looks like her memory’s coming back,” Jack commented, “Though we need to work on yours.”
“Why would I not remember this before now?” Sha’re wondered before she wrapped her arms around Daniel’s neck, “But I was right.”
“Right?” Daniel asked her confused.
“You are mine Dan’iel,” she told him.
Willow burst into the house making everyone turn as she rushed straight upstairs leaving Xander standing at the bottom.
“Xand?” Buffy asked worriedly.
“She’s okay,” he sighed, “I’ll explain later,” he stared at the Cassie and Jack, “Who are they?”
“This is Jack and Cassie,” Oz replied stepping forward.
“Oz!!!” Xander cried part of Tara’s message becoming clear to him, “What are you doing here?”
“I came to visit,” he replied, “Is Willow…”
“Give her a few minutes,” Xander replied, “And Buff, you better warn her she’s had enough surprises for one day.”
Frowning Buffy headed upstairs to check on her friend.
“Are you all hungry?” Sha’re asked deciding to distract everyone.
“We can just order in,” Xander suggested before stepping back as Sha’re gave him a dark look, “Or not.”
Sha’re shook her head at him, she gave Daniel a quick kiss and murmured something softly to him before disappearing into the kitchen.
Daniel turned back to Jack, “Can you tell me more about my life?”
“Sure,” Jack nodded, following on as Daniel led him to the dining room so they could talk.
“Giles, I’m going to show Cassie around,” Dawn said, “We’ll be back for dinner.”
Buffy stood at the door to Willow’s room waiting until her friend was ready.
“We saw Tara,” Willow finally found her voice, “She had a message and it was…”
Buffy moved over to her friend and hugged her, “I know how you feel, I know it hurts.”
“It doesn’t.” Willow whispered, “Not anymore. She’s happy and she’s doing good. I just needed a few moments.”
“Well, considering what else is going on you needed some time,” Buffy told her, “Oz is here.”
Willow looked amazed at her friend, “He is?”
“And that’s just the start,” Buffy grimaced slightly before telling her what else had happened.
Willow let out a long sigh, “If he knows them it looks like Daniel and Sha’re will be leaving soon.”
“I never thought about that,” Buffy sighed.
Willow took a deep breath, “I suppose I should go say hi to Oz.”
Buffy smiled as followed her friend downstairs. Willow reached the bottom of the stairs and saw Oz sitting talking to Giles. She saw his nose twitch slightly as he smelled her arrival and he turned a smile on his face.
“Hey,” he stood up and walked towards her.
“Hi,” Willow met him half way and wrapped her arms around his neck, “I’m so glad you’re here,” she whispered hugging him tightly, “I’m so glad you’re here.”
Dinner was strangely quiet.
Jack had decided he wasn't going to tell Daniel much hoping that his memories would come back which had annoyed Daniel no end. Sha’re was worried about him so was silently keeping a watch on him. Buffy, Xander, Willow and Oz couldn’t talk about everything they’d been doing in front of outsiders while Dawn and Cassie both picking up on the awkwardness were trying to keep out of it. In the end Jack and Giles were making small talk about the road trip.
“Dawn, you’re on dishes duty tonight,” Buffy reminded her sister.
“Cassie,” Jack added, “You help.”
Cassie nodded, “You’d better call Mom and let her know we’re alive and well.”
Jack nodded back before excusing himself.
“Before they come back,” Xander said when Jack, Cassie and Dawn had left the room, “We ran into an old friend while we were out.”
Willow rolled her eyes at him, “Tara came to us, she had a message.”
“What was it?” Giles asked.
“That there was a battle coming and that Daniel may be the key,” Willow explained.
Daniel’s eyes widened in worry, “Me?”
Xander nodded, “Something about your dark side.”
Sha’re caught Daniel’s hand, “You do not need to worry,” she told him, “You are a good man.”
“But he has a hell of a dark side,” Jack interrupted from the doorway.
“You were listening?” Buffy accused jumping up.
“You shouldn’t talk so loud,” Jack replied.
Buffy’s expression darkened and she moved to Jack, “Really?”
Jack held up his hands and stepped back slightly, “Do I look daft enough to go up against a Slayer?”
All but Oz spun to stare at him.
“You know what a Slayer is?” Giles asked darkly.
Jack nodded, “Just like I know you’re a Watcher, Willow is a witch and Xander seems to have re-grown an eye.”
They all turned to Oz accusations in their eyes.
“He already knew about Slayers and Watchers,” Oz told them.
“How?” Giles asked Jack.
Jack grinned, “I know all about Watchers because my mother is one.”
“O’Neill,” Giles frowned in thought, “O’Neill…Grace O’Neill?”
“That would be her,” Jack told him, “When Oz discovered he was werewolf he also found out about the rest of the family.”
“Did I know any of this?” Daniel asked softly.
“Nah,” Jack replied, “I wasn't letting you get involved with this too. You had enough on your mind.”
“I’ve been trying to get in touch with your mother for months,” Giles interrupted, “Ever since the Council was blown up I need help to restart it.”
“Yeah, she and Travers disagreed on a lot of things,” Jack grinned thinking back to his mother’s thoughts on the leader of the Watchers Council, “I’ll get her to call.”
The topic was shelved for the night; they all sat uncomfortably watching a movie.
Buffy checked the clock and sighed, “I’d better patrol.”
“I’ll come with you,” Daniel jumped up needing something to do. He ignored Jack’s surprised look giving Sha’re a quick kiss, “We won’t be too late.”
“Be careful,” Sha’re whispered, “Both of you.”
“Don’t worry,” Daniel told her before he and Buffy left the house.
They headed towards the nearest cemetery both lost in their own thoughts.
“I thought you would stay and see what else you can find out about yourself,” Buffy said after a long silence.
“I don’t think I want to know,” Daniel sighed, “I’m happy here with Sha’re and you guys besides why would I have had my memory taken away unless it’s a punishment of sorts?”
“You can’t believe that?” Buffy cried in shock, “Daniel, you are the nicest guy I’ve ever met. Honestly, this wasn't a punishment.”
“I wish I could believe that,” Daniel sighed.
“Okay, look at it this way,” Buffy told him, “If this was a punishment, surely they’d drop you somewhere else where you’d have no chance of surviving happily. Your life here has been good hasn’t it? We love you and Sha’re loves you more than anything.”
“I love you guys too,” Daniel replied, “But this life is filled with peril, what if I’m here to atone?”
“Then that would mean we all are,” Buffy argued back.
Daniel gave a half-laugh, “Sorry.”
“If this guy knows you then let him help you get your memory back,” Buffy told him, “Besides he’s already soothed your fear about whether you should be with Sha’re or not.”
“My wife,” Daniel smiled before nodding behind Buffy, “Heads up.”
Buffy grinned before spinning and staking the lead vampire as it reached her, “Isn’t normality wonderful.”
Daniel gently slipped in beside Sha’re making sure he didn’t wake her spooning up beside her resting his arm across her waist smiling as she turned snuggling into him. Softly Daniel kissed her forehead smiling as she opened her eyes.
“I thought you were sleeping,” he breathed.
Sha’re smiled back at him, “I was waiting for you,” she replied before sliding to lie on him initiating a deep kiss.
Daniel kissed her back his hands sliding through her hair twirling his fingers around her curls before he pulled at the t-shirt she was wearing.
“Dan’iel,” she giggled in his ear, “At least we know now my father would not be unhappy with our being together.”
Daniel pulled her under him and smiled down at his lover…wife, “You know how much I love you?”
“I do,” she smiled.
“I…I’m worried about what will happen once I remember my life,” he told her, “I…I…”
“Dan’iel,” she cut him off, “No matter what I love you and you love me. Nothing will change that.”
“So,” Willow said as she handed Oz some hot chocolate, “Now everyone’s away to bed we can talk.”
“Or I can talk and you can occasionally say something,” Willow grinned as he laughed.
“I’m sorry about Tara,” Oz told her, “When Xander told me…”
“We sort of kept in touch,” Oz explained, “He needed a guy friend.”
Willow laughed, “He did end up surrounded by a lot of girls last year. So, do you have…someone in your life,” she finished lamely.
“No,” Oz shook his head, “What about you? Since Tara?”
Willow wrinkled her nose, “I got involved with one of the potentials last year, Kennedy but to be honest it was a major rebound not to mention she was a brat.”
Oz gave her another smile before taking a long drink, “How do you like teaching?”
Willow grinned, “I love it, I always did. And since its not High School Students it’s easier cause my students want to learn.”
Oz tried to find something else to say but wasn’t sure what to ask. Willow however knew exactly what she wanted and leaning over kissed him.
Lucas stood waiting as his minion set up the circle. They had waited for a long time for this and now had to step up their timetable due to that idiot who went out and was killed by the Slayer.
“This would have been easier if you had brought him here to begin with,” Lucas snapped as he started to pace.
“I’m sorry,” Frost bowed his head, “But it was hard enough to bring him here in the first place, I was lucky to get him in the same city.”
“That is not the problem now,” Lucas waved him away, “Have you almost finished?”
“Yes Lord,” Frost lit the candle, “Just step into the centre.”
The shade appeared in the hall entering the living room to find Oz and Willow cuddled up asleep on the couch before he moved upstairs. In the first room Dawn and Cassie were lying across from each other talking quietly. Moving on the shade checked the next two rooms in one slept Jack, the other Giles both men oblivious to the shade as it moved further into the house.
Finally it entered the right room finding Daniel asleep but he filled with anger seeing the woman curled up beside him. That wasn’t right.
The door suddenly opened spilling light in and destroying the shadow.
“What?” Daniel muttered sleepily as light hit him, looking over to the door he saw the redhead standing in the doorway, “Willow?”
Willow stared around the room feeling Oz arrive behind her, “Sorry, Daniel, I thought I felt something enter the house and it stopped here.”
“There’s nothing here,” Daniel groaned squinting in the light.
“Sorry,” Willow told him, “I’ll let you get back to sleep.”
“I’d appreciate it,” he sighed as she left the room.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re murmured sleepily.
“Go back to sleep love,” he settled back down allowing sleep to claim him again.
Lucas tossed Frost across the room, “Who is she?”
Frost shook his head in confusion.
“He should be alone,” Lucas snapped, “Friends were fine that can be worked around but a lover, she could destroy everything.”
“How?” Frost asked confused, “Once we release the darkness surely it will destroy any feelings he has for her.”
Lucas snorted, “If he loves her which he does, the aura from them spoke volumes, she will be able to save him.”
Frost frowned as he thought, “There is a way to eliminate her. It shall take some time before it incapacitates her completely but it will remove her from our way.”
Lucas nodded, “Do it. I want her out of the way.”
“Yes Master,” Frost nodded.
Lucas watched Frost scutter around trying to find what he needed to start the spell; the warlock was powerful but obviously not powerful enough. He glanced at the page where Frost had opened the book to a smile touching his lips as he saw what the warlock was going to do to the woman. This was perfect.
“Janet, we’re fine,” Jack promised her, “We’re in Cleveland visiting some of Oz’s friends.”
“And Cassie is behaving herself?” Janet asked.
“She’s being an angel,” Jack laughed.
“And are you behaving yourself?” she added, Jack could hear the smirk.
“Completely,” he answered, “How’s your conference?”
“I’m dreaming of zat guns,” Janet told him with a sigh, “I am so bored.”
Jack laughed, “I offered to let you come with us.”
“If it stays as boring I may just come and join you,” Janet laughed.
“I’d better go,” Jack told her, “I have to check in with the others.”
“Tell Cassie I love her and stay out of trouble,” Janet reminded him.
“Bye Doc,” Jack hung up on her and turned to find Cassie standing behind him.
“You never told her about Daniel,” she said.
Jack shook his head, “If I had she’d be on her way with Carter, Teal’c and very likely Hammond following her. The guys here don’t need extra attention.”
“Why?” Cassie asked, making Jack wince remembering that he had kept Cassie out of knowing what was actually going on but she was here. It was more than likely going to be impossible to keep her out of this.
“Okay Cass,” he rested his arm around her shoulders leading her into the lounge, “There’s something I need to tell you.”
Daniel turned the ring over in his hands, he was glad to be able to go back to what he thought of as his work. Their guests had gone out for a walk while Xander, Willow and Buffy had gone to work. Sha’re was working around the house and Daniel was keeping out of her way, the one time he’d tried to help Sha’re had unequivocally told him to stay out of her road so he did.
He felt relaxed studying; he knew this must be a part of who he once was. Dr Daniel Jackson, it felt…right in a way he couldn’t describe. Ji…Jack, was also familiar and although Daniel felt annoyed that the man had decided not to tell him details of his life he was comfortable around him.
Shaking himself Daniel returned to his work, as he flipped through the book he was using Daniel found the inscription and frowned.
Frost checked his book making sure he had everything ready. He was beginning to regret agreeing to help Lucas but he had been promised riches and power beyond his dreaming so he would do as he was told.
He was looking forward to working this spell, from this distance it was only a very powerful mage who could make it work and he was about to prove that he was more powerful than any of those fools who had mocked him and more powerful than the witch that helped the Slayer.
All he had to do was to wait until night fell.
“Oh,” Giles said, later that night looking at what Daniel had found.
“Meaning?” Xander asked as he lounged in the chair Buffy sitting on the edge beside him.
“Meaning Daniel has found who this belonged to,” Giles explained, “And it’s a group we’ve taken on before.”
“We have?” Willow asked, she was sitting beside Oz on the couch, Daniel sitting with Sha’re in his lap next to her. Jack was picking up Dawn and Cassie from the mall.
“It was back in your senior year,” Giles said, “Just before the band candy fiasco, it was a small group of vampires, The Followers of Liasco. Buffy killed all but three of them and stopped them opening the Hellmouth.”
“So no problems?” Buffy asked.
“Well, they’re trying to open the Hellmouth which I’d say is a big problem,” Giles replied, “But it’s nothing we can’t handle. They weren’t exactly the brightest of Vampires and if I’m right then they’ll make their attempt on the full moon. It’s their modus operandi.”
Buffy and Xander exchanged glances with a smirk.
“The full moon is in two weeks,” Oz supplied, “I still keep track.”
“So we make sure we don’t plan anything for that night,” Xander grinned.
Giles shook his head, “Buffy, you and I can go over some plans. Willow some magical assistance may be in order. Daniel, Xander, Oz back-up, Sha’re if you could assist Willow.”
“Of course,” Sha’re nodded.
“Well, it’s getting late,” Giles said, “So if you’ll excuse me I’m going to get some sleep.”
“Night,” they all called.
Sha’re yawned slightly and slipped her hand into Daniel’s as she stood, “Goodnight everyone,” she said pulling Daniel away.
“Night guys,” Buffy laughed.
She struggled against the hands holding her before an orange glow froze her body. She tried to struggle some more as the same invisible presence lifted her placing her face down on a table. The iciness of the surface pressed against her stomach and breasts, as she lay unable to move then something touched her back, it was cold and slimy as it poked at her. Suddenly all she felt was intense pain at the back of her neck and she screamed.
“Sha’re, its okay,” Daniel caught her holding her as she cried, “Honey, its okay you’re safe.”
“It felt so real,” she whispered after a while pulling back wiping her tears away, “I did not mean to wake you.”
Daniel gently stroked her cheek and kissed her, “That doesn’t matter. Do you want to talk about it?”
Sha’re shook her head, “I do not really remember what I was dreaming, just that I was afraid.”
Daniel pulled her close to him again and laid them back down, “Try and go back to sleep,” he whispered as he stroked her hair.
Sha’re rested her head on his shoulder feeling him rest his cheek against her curls every so often her would drop a gentle kiss on the top of her head until he feel asleep. Sha’re however, lay wide-awake until morning pressing against his warm body trying to hold back the cold that had invaded her dreams.
“Dawn,” Buffy yelled up the stairs, “We’re going. Come on or you’re walking.”
“I couldn’t find my boots,” Dawn yelled back as she came hurtling down the stairs Cassie following her.
“Well Xander has a meeting he has to get to,” Buffy reminded her sister.
Dawn nodded and dropped down onto the couch pulling on her boots as Cassie sat watching her friend an amused smile on her face. She’d never had siblings and was enjoying watching the interaction.
“Good morning,” Sha’re yawned as she staggered downstairs.
“You look beat,” Xander said as she dropped to sit at the breakfast bar, “Want some coffee?”
Sha’re wrinkled her nose in disgust, she knew that Daniel loved it but she thought coffee was vile, “Maybe some tea. I did not sleep very well last night, strange dreams.”
“We could tell you about strange dreams,” Xander grinned but shook his head as Buffy grabbed his arm and started dragging him out of the kitchen, “Maybe later.”
“Bye,” Sha’re sighed as she rested on her head on her folded arms listening to them as they left.
Daniel glanced to where Jack was walking beside him, “Are you going to tell me anything about my life this time?”
“What do you want to know?” Jack asked.
“Who am I?” Daniel demanded.
“Dr Daniel Jackson,” Jack replied.
“A little more would be nice,” Daniel grimaced at him.
“You have doctorates in Archaeology, Anthropology and Linguistics’,” Jack listed, “You love Egypt, in fact you were born there, your parents died when you were a kid and you sacrificed yourself for a whole load of people who didn’t give a damn.”
At Jack’s anger Daniel stared at him, “You said I died.”
“How did you die?” Jack asked incredulously.
Daniel nodded, “I need to know.”
Jack grimaced, “You…you shot out a glass window then jumped through and pulled apart a bomb. You got a lethal dose of radiation. It pretty much liquidised your insides.”
Daniel listened as the other man spoke grimly of what had supposedly happened to him.
“What happened?” Daniel whispered, “How did I survive with no scars, there should be scars.”
“There are scars,” Jack murmured before turning back to his friend, “A friend saved you and you ‘ascended’ becoming an energy being.”
“Then why am I…” he hesitated.
“Human again?” Jack asked, smiling as Daniel nodded, “The only reason I can suggest is because you did something to try and save people you loved. Looks like this was your punishment.”
“Where was Sha’re during this?” Daniel asked, “How…did she…”
Jack closed his eyes sadly, “Daniel, Sha’re has been…how do I tell you this?”
“Tell me what?” confusion and panic filled Daniel’s eyes.
“Sha’re died about four years ago,” Jack told the younger man, “How she is here I don’t know but she’s been dead for a long time.”
Daniel stopped walking and turned heading back to the house. He practically ran through the house stopping in his tracks as he found Sha’re curled up on the couch drinking some tea.
“Dan’iel?” she asked as he dropped down in front of her staring at her in amazement, “What is wrong?”
“Nothing, he whispered pulling her close and hugging her tightly to her confusion, “Nothing anymore.”
“Are you sure you want to let Dawn go with you?” Buffy asked with a smile as she watched Cassie and Dawn sitting in the car choosing the music for the journey.
Jack grimaced, “It seemed like a good idea at the time. It’ll be fine, its one day so I can visit some friends and Dawn keeps Cassie company and it gets her away from this place for a while.”
“The Summer Households have never been calm places,” Buffy smiled, “I must admit I’m surprised you’re letting Daniel out of your sight.”
“I guess I was a little overwhelmed finding him here,” Jack replied, “But as long as I know where he is, I’ll survive a day. Besides it gives me time to work out how to persuade him to come home with me.”
Buffy managed not to sigh at that thought instead waving her sister away. Checking her watch she frowned, she was due at work soon. Entering the kitchen she found Sha’re half-asleep at the breakfast bar the same as she had for the past few days.
“Hey,” Buffy touched her shoulder making the other woman jump, “Go back to bed.”
“I cannot sleep,” Sha’re replied, “It is better if I keep busy.”
“Well don’t worry about making dinner tonight,” Buffy told her, “We’re going out so you and Daniel have the house to yourselves tonight.”
Sha’re smiled softly before yawning, “Enjoy your day.”
Sha’re rubbed her face trying to wake up before returning to cleaning up. It wasn’t exactly the most arduous of tasks, everyone kept the place tidy. It helped during demon attacks Xander had told her.
As she yawned again Sha’re couldn’t understand why she was suddenly having nightmares, her life here was wonderful with three people who had become like siblings and a man she was deeply in love with. Daniel was working upstairs on something, she wasn't sure what had caught his interest today but he had been intent on the computer screen when she had passed their room. It always made her smile to see him deep in thought.
“Give me your hand my Queen,” a voice said from behind her.
Sha’re turned and unable to stop herself placed her hand upon the man’s. Sha’re stared in confusion at the ornate throne room she was in as she was led to sit on the smaller throne.
“My Lord Apophis,” a man beside them bowed, “My Queen. The prisoner is ready for your divine judgement.”
Sha’re watched in horror as a woman close in ages to Buffy and Willow was dragged before them and tossed to the ground.
“Murderer,” the girl spat at Sha’re who felt ill but still couldn’t move her body, as the guard slapped the girl.
“You dare say such a thing to your Goddess?” Apophis roared before nodding sharply at his guard who presented him with a golden box.
Apophis opened the box and held it out the contents to Sha’re, “Here my Queen, she insulted you.”
Against her will Sha’re felt her hand reach out and take the device slipping it onto her hand placing each piece on her fingertips before turning it on the girl. The device glowed a burning orange and the girl screamed in pain as Sha’re held it against her head.
“No,” Sha’re whispered trying as hard as she could to wrench her hand away, “No,” she cried managing to yank her arm away hitting the vase sitting on the sideboard which fell to the ground smashing into tiny pieces.
“Sha’re?” Daniel called worry filling his voice as he raced into the room, “Are you okay?”
“I…I…” she hesitated, “I knocked over the vase.”
Daniel touched her cheek, “You look so tired.”
Sha’re leaned into the warmth of his hand, “I have not been sleeping well.”
“Well then,” Daniel pulled her into his arms, “Go and take a nap. There will only be us tonight and Jack told me something interesting before he left this morning.”
“And what was that?” Sha’re asked enjoying the teasing between them.
“Apparently eight years ago, today, we got married,” Daniel told her, “So, tonight I’ll make dinner, well order something in and we can have a night alone, together and celebrate.”
Sha’re sighed, “That will be wonderful.”
“So go rest,” he kissed her cheek and shooed her upstairs before he cleaned up the shattered glass.
Buffy smiled watching Xander and Willow dance as Oz watched Willow with a gentle smile, his eyes had barely left her all night.
“It reminds me of the Bronze a bit,” Buffy said, starting a conversation.
“It’s dark and crowded,” Oz replied, “I see it.”
“So, are you glad to be back with us?” she asked, this was the first real chance she’d had to talk to him since he’d appeared on their doorstep.
“It’s good to see you guys alive and well,” he told her.
“I was wondering why we’ve never heard about your family ties to the Watchers before,” Buffy said hoping to slip it in.
Oz tilted his head at her, “I was wondering how long that would take.”
He gave a half laugh, “When I found out I was a werewolf I tried to subtly mention it to my aunt and uncle since my cousin is also one.”
“You are pretty subtle,” Buffy laughed.
“I hardly got the words out and my uncle exited the room and suddenly brought back Jack,” Oz explained, “And he explained to me about the rest of my family who are both Watchers and have ties to covens and all sorts of strange things. I just never found a way to bring it into the conversation.”
“Oz,” Buffy laughed, “You hardly have conversation.”
Oz laughed taking a quick drink as another song started seeing Xander pull Willow to stay on the floor with him.
“I can control it,” he said quietly.
“The wolf,” Oz nodded, “Verruca told me she could remember what she’d done while being a wolf and I thought about this a lot as I travelled. Once I managed to control the wolf I started trying to work on a way to be able to be the wolf but remember and know who I am.”
Buffy stared at him with wide eyes, “You mean you can be wolf yet still be Oz?”
To Buffy’s surprise he actually grinned at her, “Yes I can.”
Sha’re smiled as she and Daniel lay together cuddled up on the couch their legs entangled as they watched a movie. Sha’re had slept most of the afternoon and felt refreshed when she’d woken. Daniel had made her sit and not do anything while he made them dinner before they’d made love for several hours. It was Sha’re’s idea to watch something until the others came home.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re turned to face him, “I have two things to ask you.”
“I’ll do whatever you want,” he told her.
Sha’re smiled at the sweetness of this man, “Firstly, I know Jack has said that today is when we married many years ago but I do not remember and neither do you. I want to remember the day I marry the man I love.”
“You want to get married again, renew our vows?” he asked amazed.
Sha’re nodded looking at him hopefully, “Would you?”
“Of course I will,” he smiled, his arms wrapping around her as she kissed him deeply, “What’s number two?” he asked when they parted.
Sha’re’s dark brown eyes became soft and hopeful again, “I want a child.”
“The kid two doors down likes us,” Daniel teased, “We could grab him.”
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re laughed softly punching his shoulder, “You know what I mean. I want our child.”
“To be a family,” he sighed thoughtfully before smiling at her, “We should start trying now.”
Sha’re gave a laugh of relief and kissed him. She sensed a shadow move across them and pulled back crying out in horror as someone grabbed her away from Daniel before another man pressed a cloth over Daniel’s mouth and nose while he struggled to help her.
“Dan’iel!!!” she cried out in horror as she saw him go limp.
Frost saw the woman struggle against the men holding her as he descended on her, his attempts to remove her from a distance had worked but not to the degree they needed so Lucas had decided it was time to take direct action.
Taking the sand he’d cursed he spread it round her in a circle as she fought to get away from them.
“Hold her still,” he snapped as he marked her cheek with the symbol for the spell before he recited the incantation smiling as he head lolled back and she slipped into unconsciousness.
Buffy halted them as she saw the door slightly ajar.
“What?” Xander asked before panic filled his eyes.
“Wait here,” Buffy told them as she carefully entered the house worry for their friends filling her, “Daniel? Sha’re?” she called.
Entering the living room she frowned as the TV played to itself before she turned to check the dining room.
“Willow,” she called as she dropped down beside where Sha’re lay her brown eyes wide staring at nothing.
The others came running Xander dropping down beside her worriedly as Willow headed to get her medical kit. Xander and Oz gently lifted Sha’re to the couch, moving out of the road as Willow took over.
“Any sign of Daniel?” Xander asked Buffy.
“None,” she frowned, “We shouldn’t have been so naïve thinking everything would be easy, we’ve been doing this for years.”
“Buffy,” Willow said softly, “We believed it to be vampires who were after him. They can’t enter without an invite and neither Daniel nor Sha’re would invite them in.”
“Where is Giles?” Buffy turned to Xander.
“I’m not sure,” Xander shrugged, “We asked him to join us but he said something about research.”
“How is she?” Oz asked Willow.
“This isn’t natural,” Willow frowned, “And I don’t think I can heal her by magic until I know what exactly was done to her.”
“What do we do for her then?” Xander cried.
“Xand,” Buffy rested her hand on his arm to calm him down, “We need to find Daniel.”
“Giles would be a good idea too,” Willow added before noticing Oz glancing around sniffing slightly, “Oz.”
“I can smell something,” he frowned, “I think I can follow where they took Daniel.”
“We can’t just leave her like this,” Xander snapped.
“We won’t,” Buffy told him, “We won’t.”
Jack sighed in relief as they pulled up in front of the house; the day had been far too long with the giggling twosome.
“Get in,” he told them as Cassie and Dawn continued to giggle.
He had been trying all day to think of a way to persuade Daniel to return to Colorado with them but he was becoming sure that unless Daniel’s memory returned then it wasn't going to be an easy task.
“Jack!!!” Cassie called making him run into the house.
“What?” he demanded before frowning as he saw Sha’re lying staring unseeing at the ceiling, “Where’s Daniel?”
“We don’t know,” Buffy told him, “We got home to find him gone and Sha’re lying in a heap on the floor. I’m sorry Jack but we thought that it was vampires.”
Jack grimaced, “Any ideas?”
Before anyone could answer the phone rang.
“Giles?” Xander asked when he answered, “Where are you?”
They all turned to hear what was being said.
“Giles, I can barely hear you,” Xander told him, “Okay. Okay. Sure, stay there and we’ll be there as fast as possible.”
“Well?” Buffy demanded when Xander hung up the phone.
“Giles went to the library to do a little research,” Xander explained, “Guess where our Hellmouth is? And they’ve got Daniel.”
Giles stayed hidden watching trying to gather as much information before the gang arrived. The Vampires were working for someone who Giles could tell was something unusual. This wasn't the average trying to destroy the world that they had been expecting and Giles felt annoyed at how blasé they’d all been about this.
The ghost of the old friend had come to warn them, why hadn’t they taken it more seriously?
Daniel was placed on the ground.
Frost picked up a globe placing it on the unconscious man’s forehead watching as the globe filled with a dark red smoke.
“Well?” Lucas demanded.
“I believe I may have found a memory we can use,” Frost told him, “It unfortunately will take time.”
“Time we may not have,” Lucas reminded him.
“Without her they have no way of stopping us,” Frost told Lucas confidently.
Lucas pursed his lips together in thought, “As soon as we turn him the power he can then access shall open the Hellmouth. Do it.”
“He needs to be conscious before I can work the spell,” Frost explained before jerking back slightly as Lucas face darkened, “He should be awake soon.”
“Well the moment he wakes,” Lucas ordered, “Start.”
“Will,” Xander said softly from his position at Sha’re’s side, “Do you have any ideas?”
Willow rested her hand on his shoulder, she knew that Sha’re was very close to Xander. They’d become like siblings and Xander treasured that relationship, “I have an idea but it could be very dangerous for both me and Sha’re.”
“I trust in you Will,” Xander told her.
Willow took her friends hand, “I’m glad you closed her eyes.”
“She’s just sleeping,” Xander told his best friend, “Until you wake her.”
“I will,” Willow promised, “I just need some things.”
Glancing back to the couch where Xander sat Willow knew she would do this, because she wouldn’t lose anymore people and she wouldn’t let Xander lose someone else he loved.
“Well?” Buffy asked when Willow returned to the kitchen.
“Do you remember when Glory took Dawn?” Willow asked.
Buffy and Dawn nodded while Jack, Cassie and Oz looked confused.
“I went catatonic,” Buffy explained, “And Will entered my mind.”
“Can you do that for her?” Jack asked.
“I think it’s worth a try,” Willow said, “The mark on her is part of a spell to induce a dreamlike state which the subject relives nightmares. I’ve got a feeling her sleepless nights have been a pre-emptive strike.”
“Nightmares?” Jack asked closing his eyes in horror as Willow looked at him confused.
“What?” Buffy demanded.
“Let’s just say I have a pretty good guess what she’s reliving,” Jack told them, “And it’s bad.”
“They’re keeping her out of the way,” Dawn spoke up, “If anyone can stop Daniel’s ‘dark side’ won’t it be the woman he’s in love with?”
“They are bonded,” Willow reminded them.
“Bonded?” Cassie asked.
“Meant to be together,” Jack clarified, “Like soul-mates only more,” he grinned at the surprised looks, “My mother’s a Watcher remember.”
“Okay,” Buffy decided, “We go after Daniel and Willow you bring Sha’re back then get her to us.”
“No,” Jack said, “Willow, if I remember correctly you need to know the person.”
“I do know Sha’re,” Willow argued.
“Not well enough for this,” Jack replied, “Look, I have a pretty good idea what she’ll be reliving.”
“Do you think you have a shared memory that can bring her back?” Willow asked.
Jack nodded grimly.
“Then he needs to stay,” Willow told Buffy.
Xander hadn’t been too happy about abandoning Sha’re but his trust in Willow meant he did as he was ordered. Jack watched the team leave while Willow was readying herself to enter Sha’re’s mind, Cassie was driving and had orders that if she even dared try to join in the fight he’d tell Janet.
Re-entering the lounge he stopped dead finding a boy sitting by the Abydonian woman’s side.
“She is in her own personal hell,” the boy turned and Jack jumped in shock.
“I have very little time,” Sha’re’s son told him, “However Oma is allowing me time to help in the only way I can. Once you have helped mother you face an even greater problem.”
“Daniel’s dark side,” Jack stated.
“They are using the dream I gave to teach him,” Shifu explained, “Within this his memories shall only consist of those he had at that point.”
“Meaning he thinks she’s dead,” Jack stated, “And has all the Gould things going through his head.”
“That is not all,” Shifu stepped forward, “I can show you how the dream progressed, you need to know this so you can intervene at the correct moment.”
Jack licked his lips, “I won’t end up unconscious for several hours?”
“No,” Shifu promised.
“Then do it.”
The boy stepped closer and rested his hand against Jack’s temple seeing the look of shock that filled the man’s eyes.
“Thanks,” Jack said softly.
“I must go,” the boy sighed sadly, “Tell mother I love her. And when you save Daniel,” Shifu hesitated before continuing, “Tell him the same.”
“I promise,” Jack clapped the boy on the shoulder, “But I expect you to come and see them.”
Shifu smiled, he leaned over and gently kissed his mother’s forehead before disappearing.
“Who was that?” Willow asked.
“Sha’re’s son,” Jack stated in a tone that meant he didn’t want to say anymore.
“Okay,” Willow said pulling the two seats over beside the couch, “Let’s do this.”
Jack took the seat beside Willow and gripped her hand as she took Sha’re’s.
“Where are we?” Willow whispered in amazement at the ornately decorated bedchamber.
Jack shook his head.
They turned as they could hear muffled cries of terror coming from the bed that had drapes surrounding it.
“Oh God,” Jack breathed in horror.
Before Willow could ask the curtains were flung back and a man stepped towards them clad in a sheer robe.
“Apophis,” Jack growled.
Apophis turned and smiled at the bed’s occupant, “Our child shall be perfect, my Queen.”
Jack wanted to find some way to bring Apophis back to life and kill him again several times. He turned to see Willow’s eyes wet as she realised what had just happened. They stepped towards the bed together to find Sha’re curled against the headboard a flimsy sheet clutched around her, tears streamed down her cheeks as she rocked herself slightly.
Jack reached out to touch her cheek in the hope of comfort when she suddenly jerked around staring behind him. Jack turned to see Daniel and Teal’c standing with Kasuf. Turning back he saw Sha’re heavily pregnant trying desperately to hide the fact from her husband.
“Apophis is the Father?” disgust filled Daniel’s voice.
“Where are we?” Willow asked softly from beside Jack as they moved to one side to watch.
“Sha’re’s home,” Jack replied.
They listened to the exchange and watched as Sha’re collapsed against her father, “Dan’iel no longer loves me,” she cried before the scene moved again.
Buffy caught Oz pulling him to one side, “I may ask you to do something later, do you think you’ll be able to?”
Oz frowned knowing what she was asking him to do.
“Can you control it?” Buffy asked again.
“I’ve never tried within a fight,” Oz replied, “But if my friends are there to keep me grounded I’ll be fine.”
Buffy clapped his shoulder, “I have the tranq gun just in case.”
“Your faith in me is touching,” he told her before rejoining the others.
“Cassie,” Buffy joined them, “Stay here and wait for Jack and Willow to bring Sha’re,” she handed Cassie a walkie talkie, “Listen in and tell them anything they need to know.”
Cassie nodded, “Be careful.”
“Buffy,” Giles walked towards them, “They’re in the main library, Daniel is in the centre of the room with a magical shield protecting him. The leader has a mixture of vampires and demons working for him as well as a warlock. He is extremely charismatic and as far as I can tell they are following him willingly.”
“Let’s take him out,” Buffy said tossing Giles a sword.
“Don’t worry,” Xander squeezed Cassie’s shoulder as she looked worried, “We’ve done this for years.”
Buffy finished fixing her weapons and turned to them, “Let’s go.”
“This makes no sense,” Jack frowned, as they watched Ammonet trying to fry Daniel’s brain.
“What doesn’t?” Willow asked looking upset at the scenes they had witnessed.
“The time on Abydos I know what happened after Daniel walked out,” Jack told her, “Why doesn’t Sha’re?”
“Because the spell makes her remember only the worst bits,” Willow reminded him.
“Can you break in?” Jack asked.
“I believe so,” Willow replied taking a deep breath, “The next jump in memory will allow me the moment I need to access her.”
Jack nodded before turning away as he saw Teal’c enter staff weapon raised. He frowned seeing Apophis once more before he spun to see Sha’re being dragged forward, Teal’c stood in the background.
“I tried to get away,” Sha’re said as she appeared from behind Teal’c looking at herself struggling against the guards, “But no matter what I did, they would not let me go.”
“Sha’re,” Willow said, “You have to leave here.”
“But this is where I belong,” the other woman replied floating towards where the memory stood being examined by Apophis, “There is nothing for me anywhere else.”
“What about Daniel?” Jack demanded.
“He no longer loves me,” Sha’re sighed, “He is better off without me.”
“He isn’t whole without you,” Jack snapped.
Sha’re turned to him shock covering her face, “But he left,” she whispered.
“You didn’t remember the rest,” Jack told her emphatically, “Willow, can my memory of an event shape this place.”
“If it is strong enough,” Willow told him.
Jack held out his hand to Sha’re, “Do you remember when we defeated Ra?”
“No,” Sha’re whispered forlornly.
“Take my hand and I’ll help you,” Jack promised her.
Sha’re turned to where the memory version of her was laying Ammonet sliding along her back, she winced as she heard her own scream ring through the hall before she turned and nervously took Jack’s hand.
Jack saw a tunnel appear before them and led the nervous Abydonian woman towards a small beacon of light.
“Remember what happened once we sent the bomb to Ra’s ship,” Jack kept her moving, “You both watched as Skaara saluted me…”
“And I kissed him,” Sha’re whispered smiling softly as she saw the memory appear before her, her hand reached out to the memory of Daniel, “He loved me then.”
“And still does,” Jack reminded her.
“How can he?”
“What happened when the child started to come?” Jack asked.
“Nothing,” she sighed.
“Yes it did,” Jack pushed, “What did Daniel do?”
Sha’re turned and looked to where she sat held by her husband as he soothed her they both listened to Teal’c.
“I said I am not leaving her Teal’c,” Daniel snapped continuing to soothe Sha’re.
“Then I shall do what I can to keep the Horus guard away from you,” Teal’c intoned before he left.
“You do love me,” Sha’re whispered with the memory of her.
“Yes I do,” Daniel replied kissing his wife’s cheek.
Jack turned to where Willow smiled slightly before they turned back to Sha’re.
“No matter what happened,” Sha’re said watching as the memory faded, “It did not matter that the child was not his, Dan’iel loved the baby and Dan’iel loved me. Dan’iel never stopped loving me.”
“I know,” Jack told her, “Now you have to love him enough to save him.”
Sha’re’s dark eyes filled with determination, “I will not lose him again.”
Jack blinked as he opened his eyes to find Willow sitting at his side and Sha’re lying on the couch. Willow let go of his hand and helped Sha’re to sit up.
Sha’re took in a deep breath, “Thank you Jack,” she moved into his arms hugging him tightly, “We need to help Dan’iel.”
“You’d better get dressed,” Jack told her.
Sha’re blushed realising she was still wearing only the t-shirt she’d had on while lying wrapped around her husband and left the room quickly.
“Are you ever going to tell me?” Willow asked pointedly.
Jack frowned, “Classified.”
“I just took a trip through your minds,” Willow reminded him, “I don’t think you have to worry about me telling anyone.”
“If we get out of this in one piece I’ll explain,” Jack promised.
Buffy staked another vampire and frowned, “They’d better get here soon.”
Giles nodded before swinging decapitating a demon coming at Dawn, he glanced over to where Daniel stood a dark shadow surrounding him which was getting darker with each passing second.
“We also need Willow,” Giles replied, “Until we can break through the barrier we can’t get near him to help.”
“Oz,” Buffy called, “Are you ready?”
“Now?” he asked nervously.
“We need to get rid of these demons for when Sha’re gets here,” Buffy reminded him.
Oz nodded and closed his eyes allowed the wolf within him to come forward. Xander turned at that moment and stared in shock seeing Oz morph in front of him.
“Xand,” Buffy tossed the tranquilizer gun to her friend, “Just in case.”
Werewolf Oz growled as more bad guys started coming at them.
“How many followers does this guy have?” Dawn yelled as she defended herself against a vampire.
“Who knows,” Buffy replied, “But it isn’t going to matter if they don’t get Sha’re here soon.”
Cassie breathed a sigh of relief as she saw Jack pull up with Willow and Sha’re.
“Are you okay?” the teenager asked Sha’re.
“Once we save Dan’iel then I shall be,” Sha’re replied.
“They’re in the main section of the library,” Cassie reported, “There seems to be a lot of people attacking them.”
“Okay, I want you to stay here,” Jack told her, “Stay in the car and keep this cross and holy water with you at all times.”
“Jack?” Cassie asked a little frightened.
“It’s just in case,” Jack told her.
“Be careful,” Cassie whispered as she entered the car and locked the door waiting.
“Will,” Buffy cried relieved as they ran in, “He’s got a shield around Daniel we can’t get to him.”
Willow nodded, “Jack, I’m going to punch a hole through his shield, get to Daniel and take a hand each. You’ll be able to enter his mind that way.”
Jack nodded taking Sha’re’s hand, “Ready when you are.”
Willow murmured a spell under her breath, “Go,” she snapped as she released her counter-spell sending the warlock flying back as his shield was disrupted.
At her signal Jack dragged Sha’re across the room to Daniel who was staring into space much the same as she had when she’d been attacked, except Daniel had a dark cloud surrounding him.
“Enter with me but stay hidden until the right moment,” he told her, “You’ll know when.”
“Jack,” Sha’re said, “I will not lose him.”
Jack squeezed her hand, “Neither will I.”
In unison they each grabbed one of Daniel’s hands.
Jack turned finding himself in a control room; Daniel was in a throne like seat at the centre of the room.
“You really are a stupid son of a bitch,” Daniel told him coldly, “Did you really think I’d let you in here with a gun if it was going to work.”
“Daniel, stop this,” Jack told him, “This isn’t you.”
“Wrong,” Daniel replied moving to push the button that would in his dream destroy Russia but Jack knew in reality it would surrender Daniel to the darkness.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re called.
Jack sighed in relief as Daniel stopped dead.
“Sha’re?” Daniel whispered turning to where she walked towards him.
“My Dan’iel,” she whispered, “Do not do this.”
“What kind of trick are you playing?” Daniel demanded to Jack his voice shaking.
“No game,” Jack stated simply.
“You’re dead,” Daniel whispered as Sha’re came closer to him.
“No,” she touched his cheek, “I was returned through your love.”
“This can’t be,” Daniel cried, “You’re trying to confuse me.”
“We’re trying to save you Daniel,” Jack snapped, “You do this and you become worse than the Gould, worse than Apophis.”
Daniel jerked at the name, Jack noticed Sha’re flinching also but she pulled back quickly.
“This is not where you belong Dan’iel,” she told him, “You are a good man.”
“I can save people with this,” Daniel told her.
“By killing others?” Sha’re challenged, “You know this is wrong.”
Daniel shook looking into her eyes, “I…”
“Come with me Dan’iel,” Sha’re took his hand and led him unresisting away from the control centre and into the bright Abydos sun.
“Home,” Daniel breathed.
Sha’re nodded, “Home.”
Lucas snarled in frustration as Jack and Sha’re grabbed Daniel’s hands, he turned and grabbed Frost by his collar, “Stop them.”
Frost tried to remove the shield only to have it rebuilt by Willow. Lucas backhanded the warlock against the wall yelling at his other minions to kill Jack and Sha’re but not one could get close thanks to the shield Willow had erected. Finally Lucas grabbed a book from beside him and hurled it at Sha’re.
Buffy yelled at Willow to stop it but she was too late and they watched horrified as it slid through the shield catching Sha’re across the back of the head knocking her to the ground unconscious.
“No,” Giles yelled in horror, “She was the only one who could stop him.”
Buffy turned her mentor, “Jack’s still attached to Daniel’s mind, isn’t it possible he could stop it.”
“I don’t know,” Giles sighed, “But we can’t wait to find out. If Daniel accesses the powers through his dark side we’re all dead.”
“Are you saying we have to kill him?” Xander demanded.
Giles dropped his head sadly, “If we can get close. It’s the only way to stop this.”
Buffy’s eyes closed momentarily before she turned to the others, “Willow, get me through the shield. I’ll do it.”
Buffy took a deep breath as she took her axe knowing what she was about to do was to save the world but it didn’t make her feel any better.
She’d had to send Angel to hell and it had placed her in her own personal hell. She knew when she made the fatal stroke she’d send Sha’re there.
Buffy heard Willow snap to go now and she raced to where the two men stood in deep trances. With tears filling her eyes she raised the axe to kill her friend.
Jack watched in horror as Sha’re suddenly disappeared.
“No,” Daniel cried before turning on Jack, “Why? Why would you do that to me? Don’t you understand? She’s all I ever had, she was the only person who…she was the only…”
Jack saw the sands of Abydos start to flicker back to the control centre and knew he had to do something.
“Sha’re was the only person who truly loved me,” Daniel cried anguished.
“Bullshit,” Jack finally snapped, “That is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard.”
Daniel stared at him in shock.
“Do you think I don’t know how much you loved her?” Jack demanded angrily, “Who gave you somewhere to stay the first few months after she was taken? Who sat with you and listened when you were drunk crying about her? Who stayed with you the night after you delivered the baby? Who carried her body back to Earth after she was killed? Who held you as you cried for her after the funeral?”
Daniel continued to stare at him dumbstruck.
“I did,” Jack continued, “But if you think she was the only person who loved you then you are a bigger idiot than I ever took you for.”
Jack could feel the room changing but he kept his focus on Daniel who was looking around in shock. Sam, Teal’c, Janet, Jacob and Hammond all stood around a bed where a bandaged figure lay.
“Welcome to your death,” Jack announced harshly.
Daniel stared at him before looking around at the people surrounding the bed before staring at the figure lying on the bed
“Look at them,” Jack told him forcing Daniel’s attention back to him.
Jack waved his hand to the others now surrounding them; he walked over to Sam whose eyes were bright with unshed tears.
“Do you know how long it was before she could even look at me without hatred because you made me let you go?” Jack demanded, “You were like her brother, you two could sit and discuss for hours something no one else in the base could understand,” he moved to Teal’c, “Your protector. He felt he’d wronged you and yet you always defended him. He spent days meditating over your loss, he beat the crap out of a punch bag in the gym after you died.”
“I…” Daniel struggled but Jack wasn’t finished with him.
“The doc,” Jack moved to Janet, “She saved your life more times than I care to count and was devastated when she couldn’t save you this time. Hammond, Jacob, me, we all look on you as a surrogate son. Every person in this room loved you…loves you because you’re you. We’re all better people for having had Daniel Jackson in our lives so don’t you dare dismiss us.”
Daniel slowly walked through the people in the room before turning to Jack.
“Jack,” Daniel whispered, “I want to go home.”
Buffy raised her axe to kill her friend stopping mid-stroke as Daniel stumbled forward into Jack’s arms. Seeing Jack nod at her that everything was fine Buffy turned to the others.
“Take them out,” Buffy ordered, “Oz, get the leader.”
The scoobies attacked as wolf-Oz headed for Lucas a growl emanating deep from within.
“Everyone, cover your eyes,” Willow ordered before she muttered her spell under her breath and the room filled with a bright light. Every vampire burst into flames falling to the ground in ashes as the Demons who were still alive ran for their lives.
Lucas ran as Oz went after him heading out of the library.
Oz ran fast after the man who had caused this but as he rounded the corner where Lucas was trapped he found no one there.
“I’ve got you Danny,” Jack said as his friend took several deep breaths trying to orientate himself.
Daniel’s anguished eyes looked up into his friend’s, “God Jack what did I do? Teal’c, I killed Teal’c and I put Sam in prison. I…”
“It wasn't real Danny,” Jack reminded him rubbing his friend’s back soothingly like he had done many times when Daniel needed to be comforted, “Sam’s back at the base, Teal’c’s alive, well and visiting Rya’c.”
“It wasn’t real,” Daniel breathed before his eyes filled with confusion, “What about Sha’re?”
“Oh hell, Sha’re,” Jack cried and spun finding the young woman laying there coming round, “Slowly there kiddo.”
“Dan’iel?” Sha’re breathed softly.
“I’m here,” Daniel scrambled over to her catching his wife in a tight embrace, “I’ve got you.”
Sha’re rested her head against his shoulder and smiled.
“I think we won,” Giles sighed relieved as Jack walked over to join him leaving Daniel and Sha’re alone for the moment.
Buffy nodded as she joined them, “How did you do it?”
Jack shrugged, “I was my usual charming self.”
“Uh Buff,” Xander called as Oz came loping back still in wolf form, “Who’s got the tranq gun?”
Oz trotted to Willow and gently rested his head against her a small whine coming from him. Willow smiled and stroked his fur lovingly.
“There’s no need Xander,” Buffy smiled, “He’s fine.”
Oz turned to Xander and gave him a growl before snuffling slightly.
“Is he laughing at me?” Xander demanded.
“I think so,” Buffy replied, “Oz did you get him?”
Ox shook his head and whinnied something.
“He disappeared,” Willow translated before grinning at her amazed looking friends, “Don’t ask.”
“I won’t,” Buffy laughed before turning to where Daniel and Sha’re were still embracing in silence, “Let’s get out of here.”
Daniel helped Sha’re back into the house, they’d both been silent on the ride home. His memories had returned and he knew hers had too, they needed to talk but not with everyone around. The gang were in high spirits from winning and each member of the group was bursting to talk about the fight. As soon as they entered the house Oz rubbed his fur against Willow once more before he disappeared upstairs to change and dress.
Cassie had Dawn telling her what had happened as well as regaling her with tales of other battles she’d been involved in.
“I’m going to take Sha’re upstairs so she can rest,” Daniel told them, “Willow, can you come and make sure she’s okay.”
“I am fine Dan’iel,” Sha’re protested despite the fact her head was aching from where she’d been struck.
“No arguments,” Daniel told her, “You were hurt.”
“Yes my husband,” Sha’re gave a soft smile closing her eyes as she leaned on him.
“I’ll meet you up there,” Willow told them.
Daniel nodded at the witch before leading Sha’re upstairs and into their bedroom.
“Lie down,” Daniel said after he pulled back the covers on the bed.
“That feels better,” Sha’re sighed as she lay back against the soft pillows, “Dan’iel, thank you.”
“For what?” he whispered sitting beside her gently stroking her hair.
“For loving me no matter what,” Sha’re whispered.
“You remember everything?” Daniel asked, smiling as she nodded, “Then you remember our wedding day now?”
Sha’re smiled, “Yes my love. But I would still like to renew our vows.”
“So would I,” Daniel kissed her forehead smiling as Willow arrived.
The young witch placed her medical kit on the bedside table, “Let’s check you out.”
Daniel left Sha’re to rest and headed back downstairs, he saw Cassie with Dawn and smiled as he now knew who she was. With a smile he headed to his adoptive niece.
“I haven’t really said hi yet,” Daniel told the teenager before sweeping her into a tight hug.
Cassie hugged him back just as tightly, “I missed you so much.”
Daniel finally let her go and rested his hand on her cheek, “You’ve grown up so much. I’m sorry I left.”
Cassie smiled at him, “I understand. But you’ve still got to see the rest of the gang.”
Daniel took a deep breath, “I know but I’ve got a few days to work myself up to that.”
“So you are leaving?” Dawn asked.
Daniel turned to the other teenager and nodded, “I have to. I have friends….family back in Colorado that I have to go back to.”
“I’ll miss you,” Dawn told him, “Both of you. We all will.”
Daniel hugged Dawn, “We’re going to miss all of you too.”
“So?” Jack asked Giles who was flipping through books.
“As far as I can tell when Daniel recovered his full memory his usefulness to Lucas ended,” Giles explained, “It was because he had no real idea who he was that Daniel would have been persuaded to use the powers he could access for evil.”
“It’s a good thing I did the spell to bring Sha’re here,” Willow said earning her a dark look from Giles.
“I wouldn’t say that,” Giles told her, “But we were lucky.”
“Then I can take them home with no real worries of this guy coming after them?” Jack asked.
“Yeah,” Willow sighed, “They can leave.”
Jack saw the sadness in her eyes and gently squeezed her shoulder, “They’re only going to Colorado. There’s these new fangled machines called planes, and phones and email and…”
“I get the point,” Willow laughed.
Sha’re woke up and smiled at who was sitting silently at her bedside, “Xander.”
“I didn’t mean to wake you,” the young man told her, “Just wanted to check you were okay.”
“I just have a headache,” Sha’re told him with a sigh as she sat up, “Dan’iel has been waking me every few hours.”
“Just in case you have a concussion,” Xander nodded knowledgably.
“What is wrong Xander?” Sha’re asked noticing his despondent expression.
Xander sighed before confessing, “I’m going to miss you so much.”
Sha’re hugged him tightly, “I will miss you also but Dan’iel belongs with his friends and I belong with him.”
“I just don’t want to have to suffer Buffy and Willow’s cooking again,” Xander grinned making her laugh.
“Well you will have to come and visit so I can cook some proper meals for you,” Sha’re told him.
“I will,” he smiled softly.
Sha’re squeezed his hand, “I will keep you to that promise.”
Buffy sat cross-legged on the bed watching as Daniel packed. Sha’re had insisted on making them all one last meal leaving Daniel to get them ready to leave.
“You know you could actually help,” he said slightly sarcastic.
“But that would mean you guys leave sooner,” Buffy told him, “And I’m not looking forward to that.”
Daniel stopped what he was doing turning to look amazed at her.
“You think we let you stay because it was convenient?” Buffy laughed at his astonished look, “Daniel we don’t want you and Sha’re to leave. You’re part of our family now and we like family to be together.”
“We’ll stay in touch,” Daniel promised her.
“You’d better,” Buffy gave a tearful smile, “Remember I can kick your ass.”
Daniel allowed the thought of seeing her go up against Teal’c to flick through his mind before smiling again, “Sha’re won’t let me lose contact with you guys. She loves you all too much; I love you guys too much.”
They turned hearing Dawn calling them for dinner.
“We’re coming,” Daniel called before turning back to the Slayer, “I want to thank you. You guys took me in, Willow gave Sha’re back to me and even though I had no memory you gave me a purpose. I…I’ve always found it hard to let people in; I lost so many that it became habit. I’m honoured to be part of your family but I have to go back to my other one.”
Buffy hugged him tightly before she pulled away and gave him a smile, “Let’s go eat.”
Dinner that night was a celebration but there was a slight sadness also.
“What about you Oz, are you staying here?” Jack asked his nephew.
Oz glanced at Willow who gave a shy smile, “I’m sticking around for a while.”
“Thank God,” Xander sighed, “Once Giles leaves with Daniel gone I was back to being the only male in the house.”
Jack laughed, “Well you guys are more than welcome to come visit us.”
“Both Dan’iel and I have already made sure they know that,” Sha’re smiled.
“There’s one thing I’ve been meaning to ask,” Jack said after a few minutes, “When you found him with no clue who he was why did you call him Daniel?”
Xander smiled, “Well we thought he was a bit like Oz, so we decided on Daniel.”
Oz rolled his eyes at Jack’s frown, “That is my name Jack.”
Jack laughed, “I’ve just called you Oz for so long I guess it doesn’t register.”
“Why are you called Oz?” Sha’re asked, “If your name is Dan’iel?”
“It’s from his second name,” Willow explained, “Osborne.”
Jack burst out laughing, “Is that what he told you?”
“Why?” Buffy asked intrigued, “Why is he really called Oz?”
Oz groaned and dropped his head into his hand knowing there was no way out of this.
“He is called Oz,” Jack was still laughing slightly, “Because when he was a kid after watching the Wizard of Oz with me he spent the next week telling us all to ignore the man behind the curtain.”
“You’re named after the Wizard of Oz?” Xander cried.
“I thought from Osborne sounded cooler,” Oz told him.
Jack and Cassie were already in the car as Daniel and Sha’re said their final goodbyes.
“Jack,” Oz leaned in the window, “Do me a favour and go see Sara when you get back.”
“Something you need?” Jack asked.
Oz gave his uncle a smile, “Just go see her. You might be surprised.”
Jack nodded, “Take care of yourself and them. Don’t be a stranger.”
“You either,” Oz nodded.
Buffy hugged Daniel, “Keep in touch.”
“I promise,” he whispered, “I’m a little nervous about this but I need to go.”
“You have a home here,” Buffy reminded him, “Both of you.”
Daniel just hugged her before moving away and waiting for Sha’re who was saying goodbye to Xander.
“I’m going to miss our weekly shopping ritual,” Xander told her a tear glistening in his eye, “Make sure you guys call when you get to Colorado.”
Sha’re nodded sniffing slightly herself before kissing Xander’s cheek softly and joining Daniel who led her to the car. Sliding into the back seat they watched their friends until Jack had turned the corner.
From his hideout Lucas consulted the book. His plan may have been foiled by the damn Slayer but he had other ideas. He would get the power he craved and next time no one would stop him.
Daniel stroked Sha’re’s cheek as she slept beside him, they were very close to home now and his nervousness was growing with each passing mile.
“They’re going to be happy to see you,” Jack reminded him from the driver’s seat, “Though I can bet a few stunned looks when you arrive with Sha’re.”
Daniel smiled as Sha’re shifted against him, “I am looking forward to seeing them again,” he gave a small frown, “Have you told anyone I’m back?”
“Nope,” Jack grinned.
“Not even Hammond?”
“I didn’t want them coming and trying to persuade you to come back,” Jack explained, “You were spooked enough as it was.”
Daniel shrugged, “Why haven’t you warned him now that I remember?”
Jack chuckled, “Cause I’m looking forward to seeing all their faces.”
Cassie turned and shook her head at Daniel rolling her eyes, “You know he’s been irritatingly cheerful since we walked into that house.”
Daniel smiled shyly.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re murmured sleepily as she opened her eyes.
“We’re almost there,” Daniel told her, “Almost home.”
“But not Abydos,” Sha’re sighed sadly.
“No,” Daniel sighed also, Jack had told them what had happened.
Sha’re gently kissed her husband, “I am looking forward to seeing the others again.”
“Me too,” Daniel smiled his eyes catching the sign they were just passing, ten miles to go.
Sam shrugged she didn’t know pre-empting the question when Janet joined her and Teal’c in the elevator.
“I take it you got the same message I did,” Janet sighed, “I wonder what he’s done this time.”
“O’Neill’s track record does suggest something unusual,” Teal’c mentioned.
“Are we taking any bets?” Sam laughed.
“I’m betting that we’re all going to be looking at the Colonel grinning inanely at us,” Janet rolled her eyes.
“Not taking that bet,” Sam grinned as they exited the elevator, “Hey Jonas.”
Jonas nodded hello to them, “You get the message too?”
“Yes,” Teal’c motioned them to the briefing room, “If we continue to stand here we will never know.”
Sam exchanged and amused glance with Janet and took the lead.
“Hey Carter,” Jack called as she entered from his seat at Hammond’s side, “Teal’c, Doc, Jonas. Everyone grab a seat.”
“Where’s Cassie?” Janet asked.
“She’ll be here in a few moments,” Jack replied, “I have a surprise…well two surprises for you guys.”
“Colonel, what did you do?” Janet asked sternly.
“I actually did nothing,” Jack replied with a grin, “But I brought a few presents back from Cleveland with me.”
“What did you bring?” Sam asked her suspicion turning to frustration.
“Jack, put them out of their misery,” Hammond rolled his eyes.
“Cassie,” Jack yelled, “Bring them in.”
Cassie heard Jack call and turned to the nervous couple, “Ready.”
“I guess so,” Daniel breathed frowning as Sha’re held back, “What?”
“You should go in alone,” she told him, “I will wait until you have said your proper hellos.”
“Are you sure?” Daniel asked her.
Sha’re leaned up and gently kissed him just as Jack shouted for Cassie again.
“Go Dan’iel,” she pushed him forward.
He squeezed her hand before following Cassie into the briefing room. He was so pleased he’d managed to persuade Jack to call ahead and at least warn Hammond about them. When they’d walked into the office amazingly not being seen by anyone who actually knew who he was Hammond had greeted them both warmly.
Daniel saw Sam, Janet and Jonas all staring at him open shock covering their faces, Teal’c was as surprised as Daniel had ever seen him.
“Hi guys,” Daniel shrugged softly.
Sam jumped out of her seat as her friend stood there staring at him for a few moments before she grabbed him in a tight hug.
“Oh my God you’re really here,” she cried gripping him even tighter.
“Sam, let the rest of us say hello,” Janet interrupted smiling as Sam moved out of the way and catching Daniel in a hug herself.
Finally the doctor let Daniel go and stepped back allowing Teal’c to step forward and embrace his young friend. Finally Jonas stepped forward shaking Daniel’s hand firmly.
“What do you think of my gift?” Jack grinned.
“Told you,” Janet murmured to Sam.
“It is wonderful to see you Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c spoke for them all.
“You said two presents,” Sam turned to her CO suspiciously.
“Danny want to get the other ‘gift’?” Jack asked with grin.
Daniel smiled back and disappeared into the General’s office for a few seconds. When he returned Sam, Janet and Teal’c stared in amazement at his companion. Jonas just looked confused.
“Hello again,” Sha’re said as she held Daniel’s hand tightly.
“Sha’re?” Sam found her voice first.
“How?” Janet turned to Jack who gave grinned and gave them the story he’d concocted.
“Is he still moping?” Buffy asked as she saw Xander sitting out in the back garden staring up at the clouds.
“Just a little,” Willow replied with a grin, “We’re all missing them in our own way.”
“It’s been almost a month,” Buffy rolled her eyes.
They turned as Giles walked in talking on the phone.
“Yes I understand your concern Mrs O’Neill,” he waved slightly to the girls, “No. No. As far as I know.”
Buffy and Willow watched amused as Giles seemed to get more and more flustered.
“I don’t have access to anything like that,” he was arguing looking exceedingly annoyed, “The Council was blown up along with its library.”
Willow almost giggled until Buffy hit her arm, they both watched as Giles eyes widened in amazement.
“You can’t…” Giles was becoming speechless, “You actually have copies?”
The girls stared at each other in confusion.
“That’s a good idea,” Giles was now smiling, “I’ll arrange it as soon as I finish speaking to you.”
Buffy and Willow watched as he disappeared again.
“I have no idea,” Willow told her friend.
“We’re going to Colorado,” Xander announced as he entered the kitchen, “Giles has already called Faith to have her and Robin come to guard the Hellmouth.”
“Why?” Buffy asked.
“Because Jack’s mother has copies of just about everything the Council had,” Giles appeared, “Since she was heading to visit him anyway, we’re going to meet up with her there and get the information we need to track Lucas.”
“I thought we weren’t bothering too much about him?” Buffy asked.
“Apparently, I made a huge miscalculation,” Giles replied, “I’ve just been told how badly. I’ll explain later. All we have to do is call Jack now and let him know he’s getting visitors, also get him to recommend a hotel.”
“Looks like we’re going on a trip,” Buffy frowned, “I’d better call in sick to work; you two have to as well.”
Willow gave a half-smile, “Roadtrip.”
“Sure Oz,” Jack said motioning Daniel to hold on, “I’ll tell them. No, I haven’t yet. I’ll see you guys then.”
“What?” Daniel asked leaning against the counter in the kitchen.
“Oz just called to tell us that Giles, Buffy and co are all headed this way,” Jack explained, “And to add to the wonder my mother is also on her way.”
Daniel’s eyes widened, “We get to meet your mother?”
“It’s not that great an honour,” Jack replied flatly before glancing at the clock on the wall, “What are you doing up at this time anyway?”
“I heard the phone,” Daniel shrugged, “Besides Sha’re wanted some water.”
Jack smiled, he’d persuaded Daniel and Sha’re to stay with him until they got something more permanent mostly so he could be sure neither was going to disappear.
“Well go get some sleep,” Jack told him, “And tomorrow will be extra special fun.”
Daniel laughed, “Night Jack.”
Daniel smiled as he got his wife a glass of water before heading back to their room. It felt good to have his memory back although some of it was truly horrifying; he was relieved to remember his life. After Jack had brought them here from the base they’d ate dinner with him before excusing themselves so they could talk. Both he and Sha’re cried at one point during their talk but now they felt able to look forward. They were looking at houses in their spare time as well as organising a ceremony to renew their vows.
“Here,” he handed her the glass before sliding in beside her again.
Sha’re finished her water and cuddled up against him, “Who was calling?”
“Oz,” Daniel told her, “They’re coming here.”
“Really?” Sha’re asked intrigued.
“Not only that but Jack’s mother is also coming,” Daniel grinned.
Sha’re smiled as she thought about that, “That will be interesting.”
“I had a thought,” Daniel murmured as his wife gently stroked his arm, “Why don’t we renew our vows while they’re here. That means we get to do it sooner and we know they’ll be here for it.”
Sha’re sighed, “That is a wonderful idea my husband,” she turned onto her stomach her arm sliding up around his neck her leg slipping between both of his.
Daniel smiled as she fell asleep quickly but he lay awake for a while wondering why everyone was coming here and if it would affect them. His wife shifted against him in her sleep and Daniel closed his eyes allowing her deep breathing to lull him into a deep sleep.
Sure that his houseguests were both fast asleep Jack walked to his room and moved the picture of the Orion belt that sat beside the wardrobe. He reluctantly reached out and touched the symbol on the wall murmuring the keyword softly.
A secret door appeared and Jack entered the small sanctuary. It had been a long time since he’d been here, he’d set it up when he moved in leaving everything in here that would remind him of a legacy he despised.
Not that he always had. There’d been a time when he would spend hours practicing to become the best he could be and he was powerful even if he refused to use his powers. In fact he was surprised Willow hadn’t discovered just how powerful he was but he’d been suppressing it for so long it probably would only register with her if she had been looking.
Jack saw the picture of him and Sara on their family wedding day before they were married in a more normal ceremony for their friends. He’d always known about magic, he’d grown up around it and had begun using it when he was barely out of diapers. His mother was a Watcher and although she knew about magic she didn’t have much power, his father however was powerful.
He’d met Sara Connelly at a solstice ceremony and instantly fell for her. Jack knew he was a powerful mage but Sara…she could blow him out of the water she was so powerful.
His magic was one of the things that made him so good at undercover work, and although he’d hate to admit it was also a major factor in why SG1 survived against such overwhelming odds so often.
It was after the death of Charlie that both he and Sara stopped using their magic consciously, it wouldn’t return their son to them so they both stopped believing.
Now with his mother coming he knew he should at least make sure everything was in order magically in case it was needed, which he had a horrible feeling would be.
Sha’re smiled as she saw the familiar car pull up.
“They are here,” she called to Daniel and Jack before she headed out to greet them.
“Hey,” Xander cried jumping out first and grabbing Sha’re in a tight hug grinning as Jack and Daniel wandered over, “Hi guys.”
Buffy, Dawn and Giles exited the car and joined them. Buffy hugged Daniel first before she let Dawn say hello. As everyone finished Oz and Willow drew up and the hugs started all over again.
“Everyone inside,” Jack ordered swapping an amused glance with Giles who was grabbing bags out of the car.
The group headed into Jack’s house Dawn was telling Daniel all about her latest project for the Watchers while Xander and Sha’re were catching up. Oz strolled over to where Jack was ordering food for everyone and leaned against the wall.
“Have you called her yet?” he asked.
“No,” Jack frowned at his nephew’s expression of disappointment, “Knock it off, it’s been a busy few months. How are things going with Willow?”
Oz nodded, “Good.”
Jack rolled his eyes at his nephew reticent nature but before he could say anything someone rang the doorbell. Everyone continued their conversations and Jack sighed heading to the door himself.
Opening the door the first thing he saw was the hand that smacked him round the head.
“Ow,” Jack cried.
“It’s less than you deserve,” the woman standing there told him before opening her arms to him.
“Hi Mom,” Jack hugged her tightly giving her cheek a kiss, “You’re looking good.”
“The grey hair suits you,” Grace O’Neill told her son, “You look more like your father than before.”
“I’m not taking that as a complement,” Jack motioned her in taking her bag, “Come join the madhouse.”
Leading her in Jack saw Oz smile and walk over to them.
Grace instantly hugged him, “You’re looking well Daniel…sorry I forgot Oz.”
“Grandma Grace,” Oz smiled back, “You look good too.”
“Well,” Grace said to her boys, “How about some introductions.”
Daniel looked up from his conversation with Dawn as Jack led the latest arrival over to the group.
“Mom, this is Daniel Jackson and his wife Sha’re,” Jack introduced them, “Buffy and Dawn Summers, Xander Harris, Willow Rosenberg and Rupert Giles. Everyone this is my mother, Grace O’Neill.”
Sha’re had decided to take a few moments away from everyone and took a seat out in the garden.
“Do you mind if I join you?”
Sha’re looked up to find Grace standing there.
“Of course not,” Sha’re smiled softly she was a little nervous around Jack’s mother she seemed to be nice but like Jack had a streak of iron through her.
“Jack said that you and your husband have been staying with him until you find a place of your own,” Grace settled beside her, “I’ve never known him to let anyone into his life like that.”
Sha’re gave a soft smile, “Well Jack and Dan’iel are extremely close.”
“That’s nice to know,” Grace smiled, “Well at least you won’t be the only girl here for a while.”
Sha’re gave a soft laugh, “I do not need to worry, Dan’iel will happily do what I ask and Jack is very easy to talk into things.”
“You have them both wrapped around your finger,” Grace mused, “Good girl.”
“Okay,” Grace said to Jack later that night, “We need to have a little talk.”
“Mom,” Jack sighed.
“From what Giles told me this Lucas character had certain designs on your friends,” Grace said, “What’s so special about them?”
Jack sighed, “It’s hard to explain. But Sha’re was dead a few years ago.”
Grace’s eyes widened, “Then how…they’re bonded?”
“Apparently so,” Jack shrugged, “This guy Lucas wanted to use Daniel to open the Hellmouth.”
“Does Daniel have that kind of power?” Grace asked intently.
Jack shrugged, “As far as I know Mom, no.”
“Well I brought everything Giles needs to restart the Watchers Council,” Grace said, “We should get some sleep and go over what we know tomorrow.”
“I guess,” Jack sighed.
“Are you still repressing your true nature?” Grace asked with disappointment in her eyes, “Jack, you have so much power, your magic is a gift.”
“What use was that gift when Charlie was dying?” Jack snapped, “I couldn’t use it to save my son then I don’t want it.”
Grace sighed knowing not to start this conversation just now instead she stood up and gave her son a kiss on the forehead, “Goodnight Jack. I’ll see you in the morning.”
He squeezed her hand as she left him to get some sleep.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re whispered curling up against his back, “Something must be happening for them all to be here. Why is Jack not telling us?”
Daniel turned to face her, “Probably trying to protect us. The thing that I want to know is how I never had any idea about his connection to the world of magic before.”
“To protect you,” Sha’re whispered she closed her eyes for a second, “I am scared Dan’iel,” she confessed, “You are the one he went after, what if he tries to hurt you again?”
Daniel gently touched her cheek, “I have a Slayer, a very powerful Witch and a Werewolf to watch over me. You don’t have to worry about me.”
“It is nice to see them again,” Sha’re smiled as Daniel pulled her close.
“You and Xander seemed happy to see one another,” Daniel teased.
Sha’re giggled, “Are you jealous my husband.”
Daniel pulled her so she was lying under him holding her hands above her head with one of his hands, “Let’s see,” he murmured using his free hand to stroke her cheek, “Who’s bed are you in?”
“I believe this belongs to Jack,” Sha’re replied squealing with laughter as Daniel started to tickle her.
Lucas cast the runes, this was the third thing he’d used to check what he knew was happening.
He would get the power this time. There was no way they would be able to stop him this time. The only thing they’d be able to do to stop him would be to kill her and he knew they would never do it. Especially as they would also kill her child.
Lucas laughed to himself; they would never do it meaning he would win.
Sara frowned as the doorbell rang, she hit pause on the DVD player and headed to the door.
“Grace? Oz?” Sara cried in surprise hugging them both, “What are you doing here?”
“Visiting,” Grace replied with a smile, “It’s good to see you Sara.”
“Come on in,” she moved out of their way letting them into the house seeing there was also a young redhead with them.
“Sara this is Willow,” Oz introduced them as he took the young woman’s hand.
“Hi,” Willow smiled softly, “It’s nice to meet you. Oz has told me all about you.”
Sara looked at her surprised, “He talks?”
Grace laughed as she settled on the couch, “I hope we’re not interrupting you.”
“I’m sure Harrison Ford can wait until you’ve gone,” Sara smiled, “Do you want something to drink?”
“That’d be nice,” Grace smiled.
Sara got them all some tea and coffee before she sat down to catch up.
“Why are you here?” Sara asked.
“I was hoping for a little help from you,” Grace told her.
“Help?” suspicion filled Sara’s voice.
“Magical help,” Grace replied.
At Sara’s glance over to Willow Oz smiled softly, “Willow’s a witch.”
“No,” Sara snapped, “I will not allow magic in my house.”
“Sara, you can’t deny what you are,” Grace reminded her.
“Bring back my son,” Sara said sharply, “Have the Powers bring back my son and I’ll help.”
“You know we can’t,” Grace whispered, “It was a gunshot wound, not magical.”
“Like Tara,” Willow whispered sadly as Oz squeezed her hand tightly, “I know how you feel Sara but you can’t deny the magic within you.”
“I can and I have,” Sara replied sharply.
Grace sighed before moving the conversation to other things.
Sha’re smiled watching Buffy train with Daniel and Jack. All three were moving with graceful ease as they worked through the Tai Chi positions, her eyes as always focussed on her husband. Once they’d finished their warm-up the sparring would start and she looked forward to watching Daniel doing that.
“Hey,” Xander’s voice interrupted her, “Stop ogling.”
Sha’re turned to him looking innocent, “I am merely watching their exercises.”
“Sure,” he laughed, “Come and save me from studying hell.”
Sha’re took one last glance at Daniel who was stripping off his shirt before joining Xander. They headed past Giles and Dawn as they sat working on the books Grace had brought with her, once outside Sha’re took her friend’s arm and they walked along the streets.
“Do you miss us?” she asked him.
Xander grimaced theatrically in thought, “A little.”
Sha’re laughed, “I miss you all. It is strange being here.”
Xander frowned, “Are you alright?”
“Why are you all here?” she asked him, “Why now?”
“All I was told was Jack’s mother had stuff for the Watchers,” Xander told her.
“And Giles has a feeling that Lucas may come after you guys again,” Xander finished wincing at the look that appeared in her eyes, “Sha’re?”
Sha’re sighed sitting down on the sidewalk, “I wish the universe would just leave us alone. We had one year together in peace. Why is that all they are willing to give us?”
“Hey,” the young man sat beside her hugging her tightly, “That’s why we’re here. We won’t let him get away this time.”
Sha’re rested her head on his shoulder, “Over the past month I have missed the way it was when I did not know everything yet I was with all of you and Dan’iel.”
Xander smiled, “Sometimes so do I but you can’t change the past,” he jumped up, “So, tell me about you guys getting married again?”
Jack was amazed as he watched Daniel spar with Buffy. He knew how strong a Slayer could be and Buffy was legendary amongst Slayers but Daniel was holding his own. He’d always known Daniel could take care of himself, the lessons he’d received from Teal’c and Jack over the years had made sure of it but the three months living and training with the Slayer had honed his skills.
“Jack,” Dawn called out to him, “Your Mom is back.”
“I’ll be right in,” he called back.
Having his mother here was as annoying as he thought it would be. He knew she’d go visit Sara and he also knew exactly what Sara would say to the request for magical help. It was exactly what he would say if he was given the choice. He however had no choice.
Firstly his mother would make him not to mention this was directed at people he had vowed to himself to protect at all costs. Though telling Daniel about his past was something he was not looking forward to.
“Mom,” he greeted her, “How’d it go?”
Grace grimaced at him, “You were right,” she told him, “But don’t get cocky it won’t happen again.”
“How is she?” he asked softly.
Grace squeezed her son’s arm, “About the same as you. Oz is right you know, you should go and see her. It could possibly help both of you.”
“Mom,” Jack said sharply, “I won’t make her use her magic, I don’t want to use it but I will to protect Daniel and Sha’re.”
“You care a great deal for both of them,” Grace stated softly.
“You’ve met them,” Jack stated, “Try not adoring them.”
Grace smiled, “Have you told him yet?”
Jack shook his head, “He would be pissed at me if I had and stomping around in a bad mood.”
Grace smacked him on the head for swearing before frowning, “You need to explain to him and as soon as possible. Jack, I have a feeling that this Lucas will make a move soon and they need to be prepared.”
Jack sighed before nodding; this was going to be interesting to say the least.
Everyone had left for the evening making Jack wonder how his house had become Slayer central when they had a perfectly good hotel room. Grace had retired for the evening leaving Jack, Daniel and Sha’re sitting watching a really bad film. Jack was fidgeting in his chair and kept glancing over at the couple who were whispering to each other.
“Well that’s two hours wasted,” Jack said as the film finished.
“Is it over?” Daniel asked, “What happened?”
“Weren’t you watching?” Jack asked.
“Yes,” Daniel replied making Sha’re laugh, “But I still have no clue.”
“I think we should go to bed,” Sha’re suggested.
“Actually,” Jack said, “I have something I need to tell you guys.”
“Like what?” Daniel asked a little worried.
Jack grimaced, “Come on you two. I need to show you something.”
Daniel and Sha’re shared a confused glance before following Jack through to his room. Moving the picture he heard Daniel’s intake of breath at the symbol on the wall, as he opened the sanctuary he turned to them not even surprised to see the shocked look on Daniel’s face.
“Come on in,” he moved in and stepped out of the road allowing both of them inside before closing the entrance.
“Jack what is going on?” Daniel demanded.
Jack took a deep breath, “I thought it was time you knew the truth.”
“What is the truth?” Daniel snapped.
“Sit down,” Jack said watching as Sha’re forced Daniel to sit before he launched into his story.
Xander hated sorting together the bits and pieces of translations that Giles and Dawn would come up with but since he could only speak one language and even then not very well this was his job by default.
They’d been working on these all days at Jack’s house and since he’d spent most of the day talking to Sha’re he was spending all night doing his work.
“Hold on,” he murmured to the room before calling, “Giles.”
“You bellowed,” Giles appeared a mug of tea in his hand as normal.
“Check this out,” Xander showed him, “I’ve managed to piece together everything and I think I’ve got the prophecy.”
“The Judged One,” Giles read, “Holds powers untold. From within the love and child the power will grow.”
“What do you think?” Xander asked, “It seems pretty straight forward. Sha’re’s going to have a kid and Lucas is going to go after her.”
Giles frowned, “There feels like I’m missing something but I’m not sure what it is.”
“Well we’re here for a while now,” Xander replied, “Do we tell them?”
“We speak with Grace and Jack first,” Giles told him, “Once they know we can devise a plan of sorts.”
Xander sighed, this was not good.
Sara hadn’t been here since the day Charlie died but Grace’s visit meant she had felt the need to enter once more. She hated magic, she hated everything about what she had been raised to believe in but Grace had made her start to wonder.
Setting out the crystals so she had a protective circle Sara closed her eyes and started to check the area for unusual magical energy.
Stretching out her senses Sara felt the magic of he young woman who had been with Oz, Sara was amazed at the power the slightly kooky young woman had. Continuing on she gently brushed against Jack’s aura, warmth filling her at the familiar sense of him and was amazed by the unfocussed power emanating from others in Jack’s house.
Moving further out Sara gasped, the force was pure evil and she collapsed unconscious.
Daniel stared at his best friend feeling that he didn’t know this man at all. How had they been through so much over the years and Jack had never told him.
“I can see you’re not happy,” Jack stated.
“I don’t know you,” Daniel said, “I know there’s parts of your past you’ve never shared but I can’t believe you’d have kept this from me. All the times I thought we were going to die and you…you…”
Angrily Daniel stalked out leaving Jack and Sha’re standing there.
“I had a feeling he was going to be annoyed at me,” Jack sighed.
Sha’re sighed, “Dan’iel trusts you more than anyone Jack, you have to understand why he is reacting like this.”
Jack nodded, “I’ll talk to him again in the morning. Go get some sleep honey.”
Sha’re gently kissed his cheek, “Goodnight Jack,” she whispered before heading after her husband.
Jack sighed jumping suddenly as his name was called.
Jack knocked softly before letting himself into the house. He didn’t call out her name knowing she wouldn’t answer him, instead headed to her sanctuary.
“Hey,” he dropped down beside her helping her to sit up, “You okay?”
“Jack,” Sara breathed, “I was just…”
“Seeing what’s out there,” he replied nodding to the crystals, “It’s bad isn’t it.”
Sara frowned and got to her feet clearing away the circle, “It doesn’t matter Jack. I won’t help them.”
Jack knew there was no way to persuade her so didn’t even try, “Do you want me to go?”
“No,” Sara smiled, “You came all this way I’ll make you some coffee.”
He smiled at her following her to the kitchen, not thinking about how comfortable this was.
“Willow?” Oz asked.
“I’m fine,” she told him softly, “Go back to sleep.”
“If you’re sure,” he sighed turning over and fell back asleep.
Willow smiled at her boyfriend; she wasn’t sure why she couldn’t sleep but something had woken her up. A gentle nudge on the edge of her mind made her leave the bedroom and head into the bathroom. Closing the door she turned gasping in amazement as a familiar friend stood there.
“Tara?” Willow breathed in astonishment.
The messenger smiled, “You knew you’d see me again. What I have to tell you is extremely important and please try and be more worried this time.”
“What is it?” Willow sat on the edge of the bath.
“Your powers aren’t enough this time Willow,” Tara told her, “You know how powerful you are Willow but what is needed is even more powerful. You need the Deuecemet.”
“Someone in the group will understand,” Tara smiled softly, “Trust me.”
Willow nodded, “It’s good to see you.”
Tara smiled at her, “And it is wonderful to know you are so happy and trust me, even more happiness is coming your way Willow. I have to go now. Heed my warning this time.”
Willow nodded, “I will.”
“What did she say?” Giles asked the next morning as Willow told of her visitor.
“Deuecemet,” Willow said again.
“And that means?” Xander asked.
“I don’t know,” she told them, “Tara assured me one of us would know.”
“It’s not a term I’m familiar with at all,” Giles frowned, “I’ll check the books but I’m not
holding out any hope that I’ll find it.”
“What about Grace?” Dawn asked, “She has been a Watcher for longer and she may know things you don’t.”
“Thank you Dawn,” Giles frowned at her, “But it is a good idea.”
“And she also asked we take her warning more seriously,” Willow grinned, “I guess she wasn't too happy we were overconfident last time.”
Giles nodded, “Alright, we have breakfast then head to Jack’s to see what they know about this. Buffy, I think your patrols are going to have to start.”
“I had a feeling you were going to say that,” the Slayer rolled her eyes, “Xand, hope you don’t want to sleep for a few nights.”
Xander shrugged, “Well I don’t think I slept the three years you went to High School with us.”
“Willow?” Sha’re said softly not wanting to disturb the young woman’s studying.
“Hey,” the witch smiled at her friend before seeing the worried expression, “Is something wrong?”
“I need to ask you for something,” Sha’re explained, “Can we go somewhere else to talk?”
A little confused Willow nodded, “Sure, let’s go to your room and you can tell me what’s wrong.”
Sha’re smiled relieved and led her friend to the room she and Daniel had been staying in. Sha’re sat on the bed as Willow pulled the chair from the dressing table over facing her.
“What’s wrong?” Willow asked.
Sha’re sighed, “Dan’iel would tell me I should speak with Doctor Janet but you are the one who cared for my health back in Cleveland and I was hoping you could help me.”
Willow was intrigued, “What’s wrong?”
Sha’re frowned, “I have not been feeling well lately. I was hoping that maybe you could tell me…that is…”
“What?” Willow pushed.
“I believe I may be with child,” Sha’re told her a shy look in her eyes.
Willow let out a small shriek, “Have you done a test?”
Sha’re shook her head, “I am unsure…”
“Don’t worry,” Willow replied, “I probably shouldn’t do this but I know a spell that will be able to tell for sure if you’re pregnant or not.”
Sha’re looked at her hopefully, “Can you do it now?”
Willow made sure the door was closed and locked before she and Sha’re sat facing each other. Reaching out her hand she motioned Sha’re to take it.
Willow started the incantation, feeling Sha’re’s grip tightening slightly as the small ball of light formed between them.
“Show us,” Willow ordered it, “Show us if there is new life within this room.”
Sha’re watched the ball move slightly towards her before it moved back towards Willow, it stopped in the middle of them before splitting. One half moved to Willow, the other Sha’re touching both their stomachs before evaporating.
The two women stared at each other in astonishment.
Willow finally found her voice managing to croak out, “We’re both pregnant.”
Grace smiled as she looked at the image in the mirror that was not her own, “He’s well and I’m sure he went to see Sara last night.”
“That’s good. If they start to talk maybe they’ll start to heal,” her husband smiled back at her.
“I hope so,” Grace sighed, “Their pain runs so deep. The only reason Jack is using magic is for the young couple involved in this.”
“They must be very close to him,” Mike noted, “And Jack doesn’t let people in that easily.”
Grace smiled, “Daniel and Sha’re are very special.”
Mike glanced at his watch, “I have to go. Kathleen wants me to look after the kids.”
“I’ll tell Jack you called Mike,” Grace laughed, “Love you. And tell those grandkids of ours I love them too.”
“I will,” Mike told her before his image wavered and Grace was staring at her own reflection.
She smiled thinking of her daughter’s three kids sobering as she thought of her son’s child. She was jolted out of her thoughts as she heard the others arrive, heading into the lounge she smiled as the ‘Scoobies’ as they called themselves all grabbed a seat. Donuts were passed around as books were opened and Jack appeared offering coffee and tea to whoever wanted it.
Joining them she watched Sha’re move to Willow before both women disappeared into a room. Daniel arrived not long after, quickly he and Buffy headed outside to train. Grace could tell how worried the young man was. Training to fight the threat was the only way he felt he could protect his wife.
“He’s sparklingly brilliant as well,” Jack told her, “Truly sickening. If he’d been near anyone who knew about Watchers he’d more than likely be one.”
“Let’s just be glad he wasn't,” Grace replied, “He also has power that Travers more than likely would have exploited,” she took one more look at the Slayer and her sparring partner before joining Xander as he flicked through several large books.
Sha’re left the bedroom still a little shocked but overjoyed at the news they’d both received. Willow was even more shocked and had murmured something about needing to be alone for a few moments so Sha’re left her in the room while she went to share the wonderful news with her husband.
“Dan’iel,” she called as he and Buffy were taking a break drinking some water, “I need to see you for a few moments.”
“Now?” he asked confused.
When Sha’re nodded he shrugged, “Buffy, I’ll be back soon,” he called before joining his wife smiling as he took her hand walking with her to Jack’s room.
“Willow is in our room,” Sha’re explained shutting the door tightly before turning back to him.
“Are you seducing me?” Daniel teased wrapping his arms around her waist.
“Ah,” Sha’re placed her finger across his lips, “Not just yet. I did have a very good reason to get you in here.”
“And what would that be?” Daniel asked moving closer to gently kiss her neck.
Sha’re closed her eyes her breathing deepening at his lips softly brushing against her skin, she loved when he did this but she knew she had to stay focussed for the moment and managed to step back away from him, “Dan’iel, let me tell you.”
“Okay,” he sat on the bed a little worried as she stood in front of him, “What’s up?”
“The past few days I have been feeling slightly unwell,” she explained continuing before he could get worried or say anything, “I asked Willow to see if there was anything wrong with me.”
“And?” worry flitted through his voice.
Sha’re grinned, “We are having a baby.”
Daniel’s eyes widened, he barely caught himself before he slid off the bed, jumping up he grabbed her in a tight embrace.
“You asked Willow to see if you were pregnant?” he frowned, “You should have said to me and we would have gone to see Janet. She is a real Doctor.”
“But I know and trust Willow,” Sha’re replied, “I just needed to be sure before I said to you. Forgive me?”
At her gentle pout Daniel laughed, “How can I not?” he hugged her again revelling in the knowledge he was going to be a father.
Oz sat on the couch flicking through the book he had been given by Giles looking for anything that could help but he wasn't having much luck. Willow was confused, he could smell it although he tried to respect her privacy as much as possible this was screaming at him.
He jumped a little as Willow spoke directly into his mind.
“Can you come to me,” she continued, “I need to see you.”
Noting that no one else had heard Willow’s call he gently placed the book down on the table before sliding through the room avoiding the rest of the gang. He gently knocked on the door to the room he knew Willow was in relieved to hear her call him in.
Willow was sitting on the bed her knees tucked under her chin, her eyes fixed on him as he sat beside her.
“What’s wrong?” he asked softly worry flitting through his voice.
“Sha’re asked me to help her find out if she’s pregnant,” Willow explained uncurling slightly slipping her hand into his, “I used a spell.”
Oz managed to say nothing about her use of magic for something that would have been better done by non magical means.
“The spell created a ball of light,” Willow explained, “It was to find any new life within the room. Sha’re’s pregnant.”
“That’s good isn’t it?” Oz asked still confused.
“It’s wonderful,” Willow replied before biting her lip, “But I’m pregnant too.”
Janet was surprised to find Daniel and Sha’re sitting in the infirmary when she arrived back from her meeting with Hammond, as far as she knew Daniel still had another month before he returned to work. She smiled as she looked over at her friend; it was wonderful to have him back with them and even more amazing that his wife was alive as well. She’d missed him so much over the past year, even if her infirmary had been a much quieter place without his frequent visits injured. Daniel used to come for a talk in the middle of the night when they were both working late and she missed those chats as well as the occasional poker game.
Janet remembered the way Daniel was the few months before he’d…ascended. He had been so tired, so lost and the light in his eyes that she’d always seen had faded to almost nothing.
“And what brings you two here?” Janet asked joining the couple.
“Dan’iel is worried about me,” Sha’re laughed as Daniel frowned at her.
“Sha’re’s pregnant,” Daniel told the doctor, “I just want her checked out.”
Janet took a deep breath, “That’s wonderful news.”
“Can you just tell us it’s true?” Daniel bounced slightly.
Janet patted his shoulder, “Give me a few minutes.”
As she moved away from them to get all she’d need Janet glanced back to where they were amazed to find Sha’re not looking happy. The young woman was telling Daniel off Janet realised amused, she’d never thought she’d see this especially watching her friend try to cajole his wife to let him back into her good books.
“Okay,” Janet returned noting that they’d been talking in what had to be Abydonian, “Let’s get started.”
Daniel sat with Sha’re after Janet had left to do the tests on Sha’re’s blood. After she’d told him the news and he’d hugged her his brain kicked in. He bundled her out of the house telling Jack they’d be back later and to the base as fast as possible determined to find out if this was true.
“I didn’t mean to say Willow was wrong,” Daniel told her, “I guess I’m still just used to the non supernatural way of doing things.”
Sha’re sighed, “I should not have become so agitated. Dan’iel you must remember I know Willow, I do not truly know Doctor Janet…Janet. It is not easy Dan’iel.”
“I’m sorry love,” Daniel whispered taking her hand in his, “I keep forgetting that there are several years of my life where you weren’t here.”
Sha’re rested her head against his, “I am here now Dan’iel and I promise to stay,” she smiled feeling his hand slide onto her stomach, “And our child will stay also.”
“Have I ever mentioned how much I love you?” Daniel asked with a grin.
“On occasion,” Sha’re laughed sliding her arms around his neck, “But I like to be told often.”
Daniel brushed his lips against hers pulling back when Janet arrived, “Well?” he demanded of the doctor.
“Daniel, take several deep breaths,” Janet told him blandly before she turned to Sha’re, “Congratulations Sha’re, you’re pregnant.”
Sha’re cried out in excitement throwing her arms around Daniel again knocking him back against the bed.
“We’re going to have a baby,” Daniel whispered up to her a grin on his face.
Willow sat waiting for Oz to actually say something anything but he hadn’t spoken for almost an hour now.
“Are you happy about this?” he finally asked, “Are you happy about the baby?”
“I wasn’t sure at first but I remember when I was in second grade. Xander and I were playing with his cousin who was only six months old. She started crying and I rocked her to sleep. I want to look after our baby like that. Are you happy?”
A grin appeared on his face, “I’m ecstatic.”
Willow sighed in relief launching herself into his arms hugging him tightly before sitting back down, “We should tell the others but not yet. I want to tell them the same time as Sha’re does so that we don’t steal their thunder.”
“One thing,” Oz took her hand, “I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I know we’ve only been back together for about a month but I’ve loved you since I saw you.”
Willow smiled at him the shy smile she’d always had when he talked like this, “I love you too.”
“Well, I was hoping that one day maybe,” Oz took a deep breath, “I don’t have the ring with me just now but I want you to marry me.”
The young witch stared at him for several minutes before she smiled brightly, “Yes.”
Sha’re cuddled up beside her husband smiling as he gently stroked her stomach, when they’d arrived home Sha’re and Willow had spoken for a few minutes sharing their news and agreeing not to tell anyone else until the next day so all four had time to take in the days’ events.
“Dan’iel,” she whispered giggling softly as his gentle strokes started to tickle, “I was thinking.”
She swatted his arm, “We are to renew our marriage vows. I want to do it as soon as possible.”
“Why?” Daniel asked.
“I want no one here to doubt that we are husband and wife,” Sha’re explained, “And I want no one to doubt that our child came from that union.”
Daniel grinned at her, “I wasn't going to tell you until the last minute but I’ve already arranged it for two days from now.”
Amazement covered her face.
“I wanted it to be a surprise,” he shrugged, “General Hammond can perform the ceremony, Jack is my best man. Buffy and Dawn have a dress for you so all you have to do is get someone to give you away.”
“It’s customary here for someone close to the bride to give her away,” Daniel explained not sure he’d done a good job, “I thought you could ask Xander or Giles.”
“Would Xander wish to do this?” she asked.
“It’s considered a great honour to be asked,” Daniel hugged her closer, “And Xander would do anything for you darling.”
Sha’re turned to lie looking down on him, “I love you,” she murmured kissing him seriously.
It was early the next morning when Jack found Sha’re sitting on the decking sipping a cup of tea.
“Good morning,” he took the seat beside her, “You’re up early.”
Sha’re smiled at him, “Dan’iel told me about his surprise and what you have done to help him.”
“He was planning this long before the ‘wild bunch’ showed up,” Jack grinned, “Their appearance just upped the schedule a little.”
“Has anymore been discovered about what is happening?” Sha’re asked him.
“Giles said they’ve come across a prophecy but they need to refine it a little,” Jack lied not wanting to worry her yet, “But you don’t have to worry. I can protect you both.”
Jack grinned, “This house plus the garden has a shield around it. Nothing supernatural can even come near it and anyone else we get warned about.”
Sha’re drew her knees up to her chest, “Jack, you are very powerful.”
“Why do you rarely use your magic then?” she asked, “If you can do great good.”
Jack sighed dropping his head for a moment before looking back up at her, “When Charlie died Sara and I pleaded with the Powers to give him back to us. They refused saying his death had not been a magical event therefore magic could not save him despite all we had done for them, all the sacrifices we made they refused to give us the one thing that we asked. At that moment Sara and I decided that we were no longer working for them.”
“I should not have asked,” Sha’re whispered seeing the pain in his eyes.
Jack gently squeezed her shoulder before leaving her sitting there. Sha’re sipped her tea sighing surprised as Grace joined her.
“Thank you,” the older woman said simply.
Sha're looked at her confused, “For what?”
“Getting him to start talking about it,” Grace explained, “He needs to heal. Not just for himself but for what is coming.”
“Do you know what is coming?” Sha’re asked.
Grace shook her head, “I just know Jack’s powers come from his heart and if it is still as broken he will be weakened.”
“Would one of you like to tell us what’s going on?” Buffy demanded as Willow, Sha’re, Daniel and Oz had made them all sit down for an announcement.
Willow took a deep breath, “Sha’re yesterday asked me to help her discover if she was pregnant. So I did a small spell,” she saw Giles open his mouth to scold her but stopped him, “The spell formed a small ball of light which showed where there was new life in the room.”
“And?” Dawn demanded.
“And,” Sha’re squeezed Daniel’s hand, “Both Willow and I are with child.”
The two couples laughed at the stunned expressions around the room.
“That’s great news,” Jack was the first to break the silence hugging Sha’re and Willow at the same time before moving onto Daniel then Oz.
At Jack’s exclamation of joy the rest of the room came alive and the entire group started congratulating the couples.
“Oh dear Lord!!” Giles voice cut through the best wishes.
“What’s wrong?” Buffy demanded.
“The Prophecy,” Giles cried, “Xander where’s your translation?”
Xander grabbed the book he’d been reading and pulled out the paper from the back of it handing it to the Watcher.
Giles glanced over it before reading aloud, “The Judged One holds powers untold. From within the love and child the power will grow.”
“Oh,” Grace gasped in amazement.
“What?” Buffy asked as she, Dawn, Jack and Xander exchanged confused glances, “What are we missing?”
“For the final time,” Oz said very softly his hands resting comfortingly on Willow’s shoulders, “My real name is…”
“Daniel,” Dawn realised.
“We automatically assumed it would mean Daniel and Sha’re,” Giles frowned, “This never occurred to me and I’ll bet it won’t occur to Lucas either. We have no way of knowing who he’s going to go after.”
Lucas stood the book in his hand readying himself for the calling. He had discovered one thing that could have possibly stopped him but he’d destroyed that years before. The Deuecemet had destroyed his Instructor and he had taken his revenge upon them for that not once dreaming he was saving himself a great deal of trouble now.
The signs had told him that the Judged Ones lover was now with child and he was ready to take her. The power within the child would make him more powerful than anyone had ever achieved. His first act would be to open as many Hellmouths as possible.
He smiled, it was almost time.
Everyone was getting ready to head back to the hotel. Jack was having his team over for dinner so Daniel could tell them about the wedding and the couple’s news.
Sha’re caught Xander’s arm as he was hunting for his jacket, “Can I speak with you for a moment Xander?”
Surprised he shrugged, “Sure.”
Sha’re looked at the full room and frowned not wanting to speak in front of everyone.
“Come with me,” she pulled him out to the back garden.
Once outside Xander stood waiting for her to start speaking but Sha’re chewed her lip nervously remaining silent.
“Okay, I am desperate to hear what you want to say,” Xander told her, “But the others will want to go soon.”
“Sorry,” she gave a soft smile, “I did have a reason to speak with you.”
He waited but she remained silent.
“Sha’re what is wrong?” he cried getting worried about her.
“You know about Dan’iel’s plan for the wedding,” Sha’re said smiling as he nodded, “Well he was telling me that the bride has someone close to her who gives her away at the ceremony.”
“And?” Xander asked.
Sha’re laughed softly amazed he was not getting what she wanted to know, “I wish you to do that. I wish you to give me away at the ceremony.”
“Me?” Xander stared at her, “You want me?”
“You are the one closest to me,” Sha’re told him before looking worried, “You will do it?”
Xander pulled her into a tight hug, “Of course I will, I’m honoured.”
“Hey there,” Daniel grinned as he opened the door to Sam, Teal’c, Janet, Cassie and General Hammond, “Come on in guys.”
They filed in Sam stopping and hugging her friend, she hadn’t really seen him for a few weeks allowing him space to get back his life.
“What does everyone want to drink?” Jack asked, playing host as Daniel disappeared to see if his wife was ready to join them.
Sha’re was fixing her hair when Daniel entered the room, she turned to him smiling.
“Are you ready?” he asked softly.
“Yes,” she stood, “How do I look?”
“Gorgeous as always,” Daniel kissed her encircling her waist with his arms, “You know there’s times I can’t believe you’re here.”
Sha’re’s eyes sparkled hugging him tightly, despite knowing the danger they could possibly be in discovering she was pregnant and Daniel’s surprise ‘wedding’ had her glowing.
“Well everyone’s here,” Daniel told her, “Come on.”
Sha’re allowed herself to be swept out of the room to join everyone. She greeted her husband’s friends shyly she hadn’t had much time to get to know any of them other than Jack. Cassie however she greeted more openly since they had spent the journey back to Colorado getting to know each other.
“Everyone grab a seat,” Jack told them, they’d decided to have a more formal dinner rather than Jack’s usual barbecue, “Dinner will be served within a few moments.”
The door opened making everyone turn as Grace entered.
“Mom,” Jack grinned taking the bag she was carrying off her, “Did you get what you needed?”
She nodded, “Aren’t you going to introduce me?”
Jack rolled his eyes at her before turning to the others who with the exception of Daniel and Sha’re were looking expectantly at them.
“Guys this is my mother Grace O’Neill,” Jack introduced, “Mom, this is Sam Carter, Teal’c, Janet Fraiser, her daughter Cassie and General George Hammond.”
“Ah, I’ve heard a great deal about all of you,” Grace smiled, “Let’s eat.”
The dinner was relaxed but as it reached the end Daniel and Sha’re both became restless wanting to share their news. Finally everyone had their coffee and Daniel decided now was the best time.
“As much as I wanted to see you all,” he started, “There is an ulterior motive to bringing you all here tonight.”
“Really?” Janet asked a knowing smile on her face.
“What is it?” Sam asked sharing a confused glance with Teal’c.
“Well,” Daniel gripped Sha’re’s hand under the table, “We have two things to tell you and one is a favour to ask also.”
“Okay, spit it out,” Sam said interested and suspicious.
“First of all,” Daniel grinned squeezing his wife’s hand, “We’re having a baby, Sha’re’s pregnant.”
“Oh my God,” Cassie squealed, bouncing up and hugging Sha’re, “That’s fabulous.”
As everyone piled on the congratulations Jack watched smiling, finally the noise died down giving Daniel a chance to continue.
“The other thing is on Saturday we’re renewing our vows,” Daniel explained, “We were planning on doing in later but since our friends are here from Cleveland…”
“Dawn and the gang are here?” Cassie interrupted.
“Oh Cass I forgot to tell you,” Daniel winced at how stupid he was forgetting how close the two girls had become.
“Never mind,” Cassie rolled her eyes her sarcastic voice sounding far too much like Jack, “Continue.”
Daniel laughed at her before returning his attention to the others, “Well if you guys don’t have anything better to do we want you there.”
Hammond who already knew simply smiled. Sam, Janet, Cassie and Teal’c descended on the couple as the other three watched on.
Sha’re stood with Xander, Buffy and Dawn in the back room waiting as the girls fussed over her dress. She couldn’t believe how they’d managed to find the most perfect dress for her but Sha’re had learned a long time ago that her friends were amazing at things like this. Then again there had been a conversation not long before Jack had arrived.
“What are you looking at?” Sha’re asked confused to find Dawn, Buffy and Willow laughing.
“Oh,” Buffy looked up, “I needed change and this was the first magazine I grabbed. It’s a wedding one.”
“May I see?” Sha’re asked intrigued wondering how different weddings would be from her home.
“Grab a seat,” Dawn grinned allowing Sha’re space to sit beside them.
Sha’re stared at the beautiful white gowns thoughtfully, “Why are the gowns white?”
“Wedding gowns aren’t white where you come from?” Dawn asked.
Sha’re shook her head, “No, we wear red. It is symbolic of new life,” she pointed out a bridesmaid’s gown, “I would wear something like that.”
“Is that what you’d wear if Daniel asked you marry him?” Willow teased making Sha’re blush.
“Neither of us are thinking about that,” Sha’re told her, “He is not ready.”
“But you are,” Buffy grinned wickedly.
“I love Dan’iel,” Sha’re smiled, “I do not need anything else.”
“Just now,” Willow finished for her
Sha’re gave a mysterious smile returning her attention to the pictures.
Willow scattered the remaining sand as she and Jack finished the incantation creating the barrier around the building being used for the ceremony. They merged some spells together to protect their friends as well as the children she and Sha’re were carrying.
“You are really powerful,” Willow noted as they started back to the hall, “I didn’t even get a hint of this when our minds were linked.”
Jack shrugged, “I’ve been repressing this for so long I guess even in my mind it’s hidden.”
“And now you’re using it again,” Willow said thoughtfully, “Aren’t you afraid?”
“Of what?” Jack asked interested.
“Of losing control,” Willow replied with a shrug, “Of becoming worse than the evil we fight.”
Jack stopped leaning against the wall, “I’ve a feeling you’re speaking from experience.”
Willow dropped her eyes, “You know about Tara?”
“When she was shot I…I lost control,” Willow told him, “My addiction to magic took over and I let dark magic control me. I nearly destroyed the world; I nearly killed my best friends.”
“Been there, done that,” Jack told her, “I nearly killed Daniel once,” he saw horror fill her eyes, “So what happened?”
“Xander,” Willow smiled, her eyes tinged with slight sadness, “I would have killed him and I kept hitting him with bolts of magic but he wouldn’t give up.”
Jack gently touched the young woman’s shoulder, “Let me give you a little piece of advice. The magic can only control you if you let it, after all the things I’ve seen and done, after the death of my son,” he paused for a second, “There are many times I could have ended up allowing dark magic to take me over but I’ve learned that I’m never alone. I have friends who love me, who are my family. You have to learn that too.”
Willow nodded, “I know that now.”
“Then never forget it,” Jack placed his arm around her shoulders giving her quick hug, “Come on, it’s time to start the show.”
Jack walked Willow to where the girls were waiting. Entering the room he saw Sha’re and silently moved to her gently kissing her cheek.
“You look beautiful,” he told her, “I’ll make sure to catch him when he collapses.”
Sha’re laughed blushing slightly.
“Jack,” Sha’re whispered, “Thank you so much for all this.”
Jack wrapped her in a tight hug, “You are more than welcome honey. I’ll go make sure he’s ready.”
Sha’re nodded, smiling as he left the room. Turning to the girls and Xander she took a deep breath amazed how unsure she was doing this. They were already married, they were having a child but for some reason she was nervous.
“Come on Sha’re,” Xander took her placing it on his arm, “It’s time.”
Sha’re brushed her hand against his tux, “You look very handsome.”
“I scrub up pretty good,” he grinned, “Come on let’s not keep him waiting too long, he might think you’re not coming.”
Lucas had everything set, it was time.
He carefully placed each candle in their position lighting them with the swipe of his hand. Once he was sure everything was ready for the summoning he set up the cell making sure once and for all there was no way she could escape from it.
Opening the book he found the spell he needed. It was time to fulfil his destiny and become more powerful than anyone.
Daniel watched as Buffy, Dawn and Willow walked down the aisle but his attention was quickly moved as Sha’re appeared. She was wearing a deep red low-cut dress, a garland of red roses set upon her tightly curled jet black hair. Her face was radiant, her dark brown eyes sparkling, her lips parted slightly and a soft blush covering her cheeks as Xander walked her along the aisle to Daniel, with a smile Xander gently kissed Sha’re’s cheek before he placed her hand in Daniel’s.
“Friends,” Hammond started a smile covering his face, “We are all here privileged to witness Daniel and Sha’re renewing the vows of love and marriage they made to each other several years ago. After so much and such a long separation they have found each other once more,” Hammond paused before he turned to the young man standing before him, “Daniel.”
Daniel turned to Sha’re and took both her hands in his, “You already know how much I loved you the day we first married, ironically the day we first met,” he started smiling as she smiled at him, “The day I lost you I fell into a black hole I thought I would never find a way out of but now you’re here again and the light has returned to my life. Each moment I spend with you makes me realise how lucky I truly am to have you in my life. I have never loved anyone the way I love you, no one has ever known me the way you do. I can’t promise you that everything is going to perfect but if I could I would and I would make sure that nothing ever harmed you. All I can promise is to love you and our child for the rest of my life. I am honoured that you are my wife and I will do my best to make sure you smile this way for the rest of our lives.”
Daniel stopped speaking and turned to Hammond who handed him the gold wedding ring. Taking Sha’re’s hand Daniel held up the ring to her.
“When we first married we didn’t need anything as everyone knew us and knew we were husband and wife but things are different here,” he took a deep breath, “These rings belonged to my parents, now I give this to you as a token of my love and everlasting devotion to you.”
Sha’re sniffed back tears at her husband’s words unable to stop smiling as he slid the ring onto her finger.
“Sha’re,” Hammond invited her to make her vows.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re started but before she could say another word bright light filled the room. When it subsided Sha’re was gone.
“Sha’re?” Daniel yelled.
“Willow?” Oz’s voice rang out at the same time.
Sha’re turned in surprise finding herself in a small cave, she was amazed to find Willow standing beside her looking as shocked as she was.
“Where are we?” she whispered gripping Willow’s hand.
“I don’t know,” Willow replied moving forward finding bars blocking their way, “But there’s no way out.”
“Well,” a man appeared in front of them both women recognised him instantly as Lucas, “This was unexpected.”
“Oh God, Oh God, Oh God,” Daniel cried pacing furiously as Jack stood nearby ready to catch him when he either lost it completely or broke down. Right now Jack wasn't sure which one would happen.
Glancing over his shoulder he saw Xander sitting with Oz keeping him calm so that the inner wolf wouldn’t be released. Mostly he was angry at himself for not realising that Lucas would be able to abduct them in that manner, he knew how to protect them from that.
“I can’t lose her again,” Daniel whispered staring at his friend, “How can this be happening again? Why is this happening again?”
“Daniel you need to calm down,” Jack told him, “We’re going to find her, both of them and we’re going to kill Lucas this time.”
“Are you going to promise me?” Daniel’s voice was filled sarcasm and loathing.
Jack sighed, “Daniel…”
“If you could have saved her the first time why didn’t you?” Daniel snapped, “You have all this power, why the hell didn’t you use it?”
Jack flinched slightly, “At that time I couldn’t but I will now. I promise Daniel, I will use all the power I possess to get her back.”
“Like last time,” Daniel jaw was locked tightly in anger.
“Alright enough,” Jack told his friend pushing him to sit, “Oz can smell Willow, he can track her and you can find Sha’re.”
Daniel stared at him confused, “What?”
Jack sat down beside him, “You two are bonded, you have a connection that surpasses life, surpasses death. All you need to do is concentrate hard enough. Trust me.”
Before Daniel could say anything Jack rounded up the rest of the crew, “Guys let’s get out of here and back to my house.”
Sam appeared at his side, “Sir, what’s going on?”
“Later Carter,” he told her.
“I said later,” Jack snapped, nodding to Buffy who began rounding up the scoobies.
Sha’re pulled herself back against the wall as she watched the man who had almost destroyed her husband walking up and down in front of the cell.
“I had no idea I would get two of you,” he mused smiling darkly at them, “But it doesn’t matter. Whichever one of you isn’t destined to give me the power shall die; I have nothing to worry about.”
“I wouldn’t say that,” Willow intoned her eyes glowing white along with her hair.
Lucas started to laugh, “If you care at all for your child girl I wouldn’t even attempt magic within the cell. The moment you attempt a spell your child will be killed.”
Willow gasped in horror stepping back from the entrance in the cell to join Sha’re as Lucas continued to laugh.
“Goodnight ladies,” he told them, “Tomorrow I shall become more powerful than you can even imagine.”
Still laughing he left them in the cell only a small light to keep them company.
“I do not believe this. Why do the God’s play with my life like this?” Sha’re cried sliding down the wall, “I could not even renew my vows to my husband.”
“Sha’re you have to stay calm,” Willow told her, “I have an idea which could work.”
“Could work?” Sha’re asked, “What if it does not work?”
“Then we sit here until he comes tomorrow to kill one of us and take power that will destroy the people we both love,” Willow reminded her, “Now what I have in mind I’ll need your help for.”
“Willow, just tell me,” Sha’re sighed tiredly.
Willow sat beside her friend, “I can’t use magic to get us out of here when I’m pregnant,” she reminded Sha’re, “But if I’m not I can bust us out of here.”
Sha’re shook her head confused, “But you are with child.”
“Not if I transfer the baby to you,” Willow said giving a half-smile of hope.
Sha’re stared at her, “What?”
“You’re pregnant so your body can sustain the baby until I can return it to my body,” Willow explained, “If Buffy was here I wouldn’t be able to do this. Sha’re I can place my child in with yours and they’ll be fine I promise.”
Sha’re sighed before nodding, “Alright.”
Willow squeezed her hand; “We’ll do it later so that we have a greater element of surprise. Okay?”
Sha’re nodded pulling her knees up to her chest, “As soon as you are ready I am.”
Xander watched Oz sitting on the couch where he was trying to focus on Willow but he wasn't having much luck yet. Jack was setting up something to help Daniel find Sha’re in his private little room having sent the others home until this was sorted. Xander could see the blonde…Sam was not happy by this turn of events, it was only due to the General ordering her that she’d followed the order. However Xander was not happy by just standing around.
“We need what Tara told Willow about,” he cut through the silence.
“What?” Grace asked as the ‘Scoobies’ turned to Giles.
“An old friend of Willows, a dead friend, appeared with a message,” Giles explained to Grace, “She said that to defeat Lucas we would need something called the Deucemet. We checked all our books but there was nothing on anything with that name or title or designation.”
Grace closed her eyes with a sigh, “I know what the Deucemet is.”
“That’s good,” Buffy said before looking worried at Grace’s expression, “Right?”
“No,” Grace sighed again, “because it no longer exists.”
“Daniel, I need you to close your eyes,” Jack told Daniel softly as he sat cross-legged on the floor of Jack’s hidden room, “Think of Sha’re.”
“Not hard,” Daniel murmured.
Jack allowed himself a gentle smile, “Focus on her, everything about her. I want you to remember every moment with her. Now, reach out with your mind and search for her.”
Daniel eyes flickered under the lids before he gasped opening them to look at his friend in astonishment, “I felt her.”
Jack smiled, “That’s good Danny. What did you feel?”
“She’s afraid,” Daniel grimaced shaking his head, “How did I do that?”
“Because you’re bonded to her,” Jack explained with a grin, “There is an invisible cord connecting you two together. I never realised it before mostly because I refused to let anything supernatural into my life again. That and you never actually activated the link.”
Daniel looked more than a little confused, “How was it activated then?”
“When Willow did the spell that brought her back,” Jack explained, “Her spell was only intended to return your memories but it was the right kind of spell to activate the link.”
Daniel shook his head in amazement, “This is a side of you I never expected to see.”
Jack managed a laugh, “I’m full of surprises Danny,” he squeezed his friend’s neck in a gesture of comfort, “Never forget that.”
“What do you mean it doesn’t exist anymore?” Buffy asked confused and more than a little alarmed.
Grace took a seat beside Oz resting her hand on his shoulder for a second in comfort before turning to the others again.
“Jack and his wife…ex-wife Sara were the Deucemet,” Grace explained, “Separate both are very powerful but together,” she paused shaking her head slightly, “What they could achieve was incredible but the death of Charlie their son destroyed that.”
Oz took Grace’s hand as she spoke about her grandson making her smile at him.
“The Powers’ refused to give Charlie back to them,” Oz continued for her, “Since he died a non-magical death. Both Jack and Sara swore they would do nothing to help the Powers again.”
“Then we don’t have this amazing power,” Buffy stated, “We are not giving up. I will not allow Willow and Sha’re to die. We go in together and since Jack is now using magic he will have to be enough.”
“He’s not strong enough,” Grace whispered.
Buffy turned her eyes dark with anger, “He’ll have to be.”
Willow checked her watch; it was coming up on early morning now and she knew this would be the best time to try her spell.
“Sha’re,” she whispered shaking her friend out of her sleep, “Wake up?”
Her dark brown eyes opened slowly before she pulled herself to sit up, “What has happened?”
“We have to do the spell now,” Willow told her, “While he’s not here. If I can break out while he thinks we’re helpless…”
Sha’re nodded, “What must I do?”
Willow knelt motioning her friend to face her, “Take my hands.”
Sha’re obeyed hoping this wouldn’t harm either of their babies but she trusted in Willow. Willow started the incantation and Sha’re watched in awe as a bright light exited Willow’s body moving slowly through the small cell before settling inside Sha’re.
The Abydonian woman placed her hands on her stomach as she realised she now had two children inside her. She looked up to see Willow with a smug smile gracing her lips.
“He is in for a big surprise,” Sha’re nodded.
Buffy checked her troops as they readied themselves for battle, Oz stood taking deep breaths readying himself to track down Willow and Sha’re. Daniel was in one corner his arms wrapped tightly around his chest worry filled his eyes.
“Okay guys,” Jack appeared, “Are we all ready?”
“As we’re goin’ be,” Buffy replied looking around her friends.
“Then let’s start this,” Jack said, “Oz you and Daniel are in with me and Buffy. Giles, Xander, Dawn and Mom you follow us.”
They all nodded.
“Then let’s go,” Jack led the way to the cars.
Daniel climbed into the front seat beside Jack as Buffy and Oz climbed into the back.
“Ready?” Jack asked him as he started the car.
Daniel nodded and closed his eyes.
Focus on Sha’re, he thought to himself, focus on Sha’re.
Dimly he heard Oz start directing Jack through the streets, he could smell Willow but didn’t have as deep a connection as Daniel did with Sha’re.
Daniel could feel his wife stronger as they moved through the streets, she was afraid but there was hope.
“I’m coming,” he whispered hoping she’d hear him smiling as the slight hope blossomed.
“Stop,” Daniel ordered suddenly opening his eyes to a warehouse beside them, “They’re in here.”
Buffy was out of the car instantly waiting for everyone to arrive.
“Alright everyone,” she said the moment they were all there, “We attack and get rid of this son of a bitch. He’s starting to get annoying.”
Jack nodded in agreement about to lead the way when someone called his name.
“Jack,” the voice came again and he turned.
“This once,” Sara told him, “I’m here for Oz.”
“You’re here,” Jack grinned handing her an axe, “That’s all that matters.”
Lucas arrived in front of the cell a grin plastered all over his face, “I hope you enjoyed your night.”
Willow glared at him keeping Sha’re behind her, the other woman had seemed to slip into some kind of trance almost half an hour ago which Willow couldn’t snap her out of.
“We will not let you take anything from us,” Willow snapped.
Lucas laughed, “You have no choice girl. Anything you try will only result in the death of your child.”
Willow clenched her fists knowing she couldn’t lose the element of surprise otherwise her plan might not work. He laughed again and Willow reached back gripping Sha’re’s hand as the woman suddenly came out of her trance.
“They’re here,” Sha’re breathed into Willow’s ear.
They stood outside the warehouse ready to save their friends.
“Sara?” Jack asked as she stood with her eyes closed.
Sara turned to him, “There are demons in there, not many but powerful. Willow and Sha’re are in a room further back as is our bad guy.”
Jack nodded, “Here’s the plan. Buffy, we need you to cut us a corridor through so me, Sara, Daniel and Oz can get to the back room.”
Buffy smiled hoisting her axe, “How many parts do you want their bodies in?”
“Surprise me,” Jack replied turning to the others, “Everyone ready?” at the nods, “Then let’s go.”
Buffy and Giles took point with Xander, Dawn and Grace behind Jack and the other three. Worry filled both Daniel and Oz’s eyes but they ran through with Jack and Sara knocking back anyone who attacked them.
They reached the door at the back running through, Jack erected a forcefield stopping anything else coming in after them.
“Next room,” Sara told them, “Come on.”
They walked carefully through the room till they came to the door bursting through hoping to have the element of surprise.
“It’s about time,” Lucas smiled at them.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re said quietly as she saw her husband standing at Jack’s side, the young woman gripped Willow’s hand. She hated that there was something separating her from her husband, she hated that this man was trying to keep them apart.
“Enjoy your last look at him,” Lucas sneered, “If you are not the one you shall die soon,” he gave a laugh, “Though if you are you shall die not long after.”
“That isn’t going to happen,” Sara stepped forward.
She lashed out to move him away from in front of the cell amazed that he brushed it away easily. Sara turned to Jack who looked just as shock.
“That was ticklish,” Lucas told her, “How about some real magic?”
Sha’re cried out as Jack and Sara were thrown to one side while Daniel and Oz were thrown to the other.
“You do not have the power,” Lucas sneered at them.
“I do,” Willow snapped releasing the spell she’d been building slowly.
The bars to their cell exploded throwing Lucas forward as Willow pulled Sha’re out and over to the two Daniel’s.
Daniel grabbed Sha’re in his arms pulling her behind him in an almost useless protective gesture.
“Fools,” Lucas yelled pulling himself to his feet, “You will witness the death of all you love before I destroy you.”
Sara pulled herself to her feet, “You won’t get the chance.”
As she moved forward the centre of the room shimmered forming into a scene.
“Oh my God,” Sara breathed in horror, “Charlie.”
The boy crept into his parent’s room looking around at all the amazing things his Mom and Dad had. He saw something glinting on the bedside cabinet and moved closer to it. It was his Dad’s gun, which shouldn’t have been there and Charlie frowned. He wasn't supposed to touch something like that but he knew it shouldn’t be lying about.
Gently he reached out with his mind and started to float the gun, this way he wasn't touching it but he was putting it away.
“Charlie,” Sara whispered gripping Jack’s arm as he stared horrified at the unfolding mirage before them.
“This isn’t right,” Willow whispered to Daniel, “How would he know what happened to Charlie unless…”
“Unless he was there,” Daniel stared in horror at his friend as he watched the death of his son, “Can you do anything?”
Willow licked her lips before nodding, “If I’m right this should reveal everything.”
“Then do it fast,” Daniel told her.
“In the image that is here make it so that everything is clear,” she intoned.
The image flickered and Lucas yelled…
Charlie moved the gun closer to the cupboard not seeing the man who stood at the window. Lucas reached out and as the boy turned the gun to settle it in the cupboard the mage flicked his finger.
As the gun went off Sara screamed.
“You,” Sara turned to Lucas her hand reached out and Jack gripped it; “You killed our son.”
Lucas tried to push them away from him but it made no impact.
‘Willow,’ Jack and Sara’s voices were as one in her mind, ‘Raise a shield around you.’
Willow looked at them before nodding, she closed her eyes placing herself, Sha’re, Daniel and Oz in a protective bubble. They all watched as Sara and Jack swept away every attempt Lucas made to escape.
“No,” Lucas cried, “You…can…” he screamed as fire consumed him.
Sara turned and started to weep in Jack’s arms as Willow dropped the barrier. She turned and hugged Oz as Daniel his arm wrapped around Sha’re’s waist moved to his friend.
“Jack,” Daniel whispered.
Moving Sara so she was resting against his shoulder Jack turned to Daniel placing his hand on Daniel’s shoulder, “Its over. It’s time to go home.”
Willow waited until they’d all relaxed slightly after the fight before she caught Sha’re’s hand, “Ready to do this?”
“Do what?” Daniel demanded anxiously.
Willow shrugged, “The cell we were in was designed so that if I used magic to get out it would bounce back and kill my baby.”
“What?” Oz bounced up beside Daniel looking as worried, “You busted out of there.”
“That was after I transferred the baby to Sha’re,” Willow grinned, “So we’re just going to fix it.”
“Then fix it,” Daniel told her.
Willow rolled her eyes at him before motioning Sha’re to kneel across from her taking her hands. Starting the incantation they waited but nothing happened. Willow tried again panic covering her face.
“What?” Daniel demanded.
“It’s not working,” Willow replied turning to Giles, “Why isn’t it working?”
“May I?” Sara asked moving to Sha’re.
Sha’re nodded looking worried. Sara gently rested her hand on Sha’re’s stomach closing her eyes for a moment before laughing.
“You can’t remove the baby,” she told Willow, “The baby bonded with Sha’re. She’ll have to carry till full term.”
“What?” Willow looked upset, “But it was only supposed to be temporary.”
Sara shrugged, “I think it has more to do with Sha’re’s child not wanting rid of her new friend.”
“Her?” Daniel interrupted gasping, “You can tell it’s a girl?”
“Oh I didn’t mean to say that,” Sara looked apologetic.
“We’re having a girl,” Daniel laughed; Buffy squeezed his hand as the others smiled.
“Shall having the other child harm my own?” Sha’re asked worriedly as Daniel pulled her to her feet.
“No,” Sara assured her, “It will be like you’re having twins only you don’t keep both.”
Sha’re rested her hands on her stomach, “At least this way you can continue to help fight.”
“Oh now there’s an upside,” Willow laughed before hugging Sha’re.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re stood facing him once again clad in her wedding dress Hammond presiding over the renewing of their vows. Jack and Sara had removed the memory of the previous renewal from Hammond, Sam, Teal’c and Janet, “My life before I met you was so different but I would never want to go back to that. The pain we both suffered is now a distant memory and all I see is a future filled with joy with you and our child. I love you my Dan’iel.”
With that said she took the gold ring Hammond handed her, she slid it onto Daniel’s finger smiling at his smile before they both turned to Hammond.
“The love you share and the vows you have made,” Hammond told them, “Bind you together in a way no one can break. Dr Jackson, you may now kiss your beautiful bride.”
Daniel grinned as he kissed Sha’re hearing the applause of their friends. When they parted he glanced to see Jack and Sara standing together both smiling, their hearts not truly mended but healing had begun.
Sha’re wanted to roll over and go to sleep on her front but her large stomach made it impossible. The past few months had been wonderful as the children inside her grew. They had finally managed to buy a house, the Scoobies returned to Cleveland. Grace worked with Giles on setting up the Watchers Council properly as well as the Slayer Academy. Jack and Sara were spending a lot of time together trying to get past everything that had happened. Daniel returned to working at the SGC and was enjoying being back where he belonged.
Willow and Oz had arrived the month before to stay with Daniel and Sha’re so they could help Sha’re through the final few weeks of her pregnancy and to be here when the babies were born.
It was not long after Daniel and Sha’re had renewed their vows that they discovered magic had a sense of humour, every symptom Sha’re had Willow also developed, from morning sickness to strange cravings.
“Is your back hurting you?” Daniel asked gently as she groaned in discomfort.
“A little,” she grimaced at him, “But my entire stomach is cramping…ah…” she cried in pain realising what was happening, “Dan’iel the babies are coming.”
“Are you sure?” he asked just as the door burst open revealing Willow.
“Oz is starting the car,” she said grabbing Sha’re’s bag looking at them annoyed as they stared at her not moving, “Come on.”
Spurred on by the witch’s annoyance Daniel jumped out of bed pulling on his clothes before helping Sha’re, she was timing the contractions meticulously taking deep breaths to ease the pain. Willow caught her hand and they both smiled before crying out in unison at the contraction.
“Oh that’s not fair,” Willow groaned, “I went through all the other symptoms why labour pains too?”
No one answered her as Daniel herded them into the car.
“Alright Sha’re,” the doctor told her, “You’re doing really well. You just need to keep breathing.”
Sha’re nodded gripping Daniel’s hand tightly gratefully accepting the ice chips Willow gave her.
“How much longer?” Sha’re asked crying out at the newest contraction.
“Your contractions are still quite far apart,” the doctor told her, “I’m afraid it’s going to be a little longer.”
Daniel nodded his thanks as the doctor left.
Oz reappeared heading to Willow’s side, “I called Buffy,” he told them, “They’re heading here as soon as they can. Jack will be here soon, so will Sara.”
Daniel smiled wincing as Sha’re’s grip on his hand increased, Willow grabbed Oz’s arm at the pain as well.
“Oh I hope this is over soon,” Willow sighed taking a seat receiving a grimace from Sha’re, “Sorry.”
Jack appeared less than an hour later Sara at his side both looked excited.
“How we doing?” he asked clasping Daniel’s shoulder giving Sha’re a quick kiss on the top of her head.
“Getting there,” Daniel replied smiling hello to Sara.
“Dan’iel,” Sha’re screamed suddenly as her contractions started coming on top of each other, the babies were about to be born.
Willow could barely contain her tears as she held her daughter in her arms. The little girl had pale freckled skin and several tufts of red hair which had confused the doctor but everyone had just smiled and shrugged. On the bed Sha’re held her daughter the thick black curls covering the little girl’s head and golden skin made her the image of her mother.
“They’re so beautiful,” Willow sniffed as tears threatened her once more.
“Just like their mothers,” Daniel smiled kissing his wife gently before squeezing Willow’s shoulder.
All of a sudden the room was invaded as Buffy and the gang arrived along with Jack, Sara, Cassie, Janet and the other two members of SG1.
“So,” Jack interrupted all the cooing over the babies, “Have you got names for these two angels?”
Willow laughed, “We were discussing this a few days ago, Oz and I are going to call her Jennifer Anya Joyce.”
“Oh Will,” Xander whispered the only one able to speak, “I know they’d all be honoured.”
Jack smiled before turning to Daniel and Sha’re, “And little Jackson?”
Daniel turned to Sha’re gently touching his daughter’s hand, “Claire Najia Catherine, after both our mothers and of course the woman who brought us together.”
“Perfect,” Jack smiled, looking at the two couples and their children before catching Sara’s eye as she smiled back at him, “Absolutely perfect.”