Disclaimer: Stargate and Buffy do not belong to me.
Daniel stood in the doorway to Jack’s office, watching with barely concealed amusement as Jack shuffled papers around in an attempt to clean off his desk.
“You know Jack,” he said with a suppressed smile, “the only way those papers will actually
go away is if you deal with them.”
“This from the man who can never be certain the color of his own desk?” Jack looked at the memo in his hand, flipped it open, then closed, and stuck it haphazardly into his desk drawer.
“My papers are active research,” defended Daniel, shifting his weight slightly. “I’m not dealing with time sensitive government memos.”
“Excuses, excuses,” said Jack, considering the next memo carelessly before tossing it in the recycle.
“It’s the truth!” Daniel insisted, suddenly embarrassed about the state of his desk.
“Huh?” Jack glanced up, then picked up another memo. “Oh, not you Daniel. The memo. Excuses about why Dr. Lee hasn’t finished the latest experiments with naquadah. Apparently we’re missing crucial resources.”
“So you’re recycling it?” Daniel decided he probably didn’t want to ask what happened to his own reports and requisitions.
“Did I? Oh well. If it’s really that crucial, he’ll ask again.” Jack tossed another memo into the recycling.
“I see,” muttered Daniel. He knew, experientially, that Jack was doing a very good job running the base. Things were operating smoothly and no one really had any complaints. Still, standing here right now and witnessing Jack’s method for dealing with backed up paperwork made him seriously question the efficacy of the current administration.
“Apparently we have a meeting at 14:00 today,” said Jack, sounding somewhat surprised. “Did you know that?”
“No, Jack,” Daniel said through gritted teeth, “I didn’t. Did you?”
“Nope,” said Jack, snapping the folder shut and standing. “But we should probably get to the conference room. The meeting starts in 5 minutes. Get Sam. I’ll find Teal’c.”
The conference room was occupied when they arrived. Daniel had found Sam in her lab and they’d hurried back up, apparently arriving before Jack and Teal’c. As they walked through the door, they were greeted by a small blonde woman with a radiant smile.
“You must be Dr. Jackson and Dr. Carter! Your work is absolutely fascinating. Granted, I really only understood some of Dr. Jackson’s research – and I had to have Willow tell me exactly how amazing you are, Dr. Carter. I can’t tell you how excited I am to start working with you.”
Daniel stared at her, trying to process her rapid fire speech. She was dressed in wide legged brown trousers and a little-left-to-the-imagination red lace turtleneck. Her hair was impeccably coiffed and her makeup looked professional. She most definitely didn’t fit his mental image of the sort of person who not only knew about his research but also understood it.
Then the last bit registered.
“Sorry, work with us?” Daniel asked, hunching his shoulders slightly in confusion as he peered more closely at the bubbly little blonde. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Sam tense slightly.
“For awhile at least,” said the blonde with a little shrug. “Until I get bored again. I’m Buffy Summers,” she added, extending her hand.
Daniel was feeling more than a bit off kilter. Where was Jack and why hadn’t they been warned about what would happen in this meeting? Oh, right, Jack’s filing system had failed. He took her hand and shook it warily.
“Daniel,” he introduced himself unnecessarily, as she obviously already knew about him.
Summers turned to Sam and they finished the introductions. “Sam, and I prefer Colonel while on duty.”
“Sorry,” Summers said, sounding genuinely contrite. “I wasn’t sure what your rank was. Willow couldn’t stop gushing about your research long enough to tell me the important things. Not that your research isn’t important! Obviously it’s very Earth-saving important, and I like my Earth nice and saved, thanks very much. Which reminds me,” she added with an even brighter smile, “thank you very much for saving the world those times. That was really nice of you.”
Daniel stared. He wasn’t quite sure how Summers had managed to get from ‘sorry for using the wrong honorific’ to ‘thanks for saving the world.’ And how did she even know about that? Obviously she knew more than the average civilian since she was standing inside the mountain, but he was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.
“You’re welcome?” said Sam, sounding about as certain as he felt. “I’m sorry Ms. Summers, but who did you say you were?”
“Just Buffy is fine,” said Summers, waving her hand dismissively. “And I’m the CEO of an international non-profit organization with lots of fingers in lots of pies, though we specialize in antiquities and schools.”
“Antiquities and schools?” Daniel repeated. That was a strange combination.
“What’s the name of your organization?” he could practically hear the gears whirling in Sam’s head. No doubt she’d start researching this woman as soon as she possibly could.
Before Summers – Buffy – could respond, Jack and Teal’c joined them.
“Why are we all clustered around the door?” asked Jack, looking over them. “Sit down.”
Sam turned to say something, but Daniel didn’t hear it. He was too focused on Buffy. Daniel knew he was infamous for getting into trouble and being unaware of his surroundings, but he’d always prided himself on good people skills. He understood people and was fairly good at reading them. He’d been having trouble with Buffy. She was charming and effervescent and seemed completely genuine, yet her knowledge didn’t match up with her façade. And now he was certain it was a façade. As soon as Teal’c had entered, her body had shifted slightly into what Daniel recognized as a combat stance. The tiny movement highlighted the fact that she had been combat ready during their entire conversation without ever once looking defensive or in any way dangerous. For a split second after Teal’c came in, however, she seemed imminently threatening. Then it was gone, washed away in another glowing smile. But now he thought he could see the steel under the silk and sunshine, and his curiosity reared its ugly head.
They all moved to take their seats and Buffy forced herself to keep smiling while she assessed the threat. She’d been told that there was an alien warrior on SG-1, but she hadn’t been entirely sure what to expect. Green skin, or a tail, maybe some horns… It had therefore been jarring when the tall black man entered the room and immediately set off her senses. It was counter to her expectations, and she had slipped for a moment. By the looks in Daniel and the big guy’s eyes, they had both caught a glimpse of the slayer.
“Well,” said General Jack O’Neill, who probably would’ve been hot twenty years ago, “let’s get this party started. SG-1, Buffy Summers. Buffy Summers, SG-1. Looks like you’ve met Colonel Carter and Dr. Jackson already, and this is Teal’c.”
“Do all the aliens you encounter look so human?” Buffy asked leaning forward.
“Some,” said Sam. “Teal’c is a Jaffa, a race that was genetically engineered to incubate a Goa’uld symbiote until it reaches maturity. Mature Goa’uld take human hosts. Other aliens look very different.”
Buffy nodded. General Hammond had told her about the Goa’uld and the war being waged between Earth and the System Lords. She didn’t like the sound of a race that used humans as chattel. It sounded too much like what various demon clans wanted to do on Earth. The mini slayers had taken on that battle now – maybe it was past time for Buffy to choose a new war.
“Cool,” she said. “I’m looking forward to exploring the galaxy with you guys.”
Everyone looked taken aback, even the General. Buffy frowned slightly. She’d been told they were expecting her for a few trial trips through the Chaap’ai. If she liked it, she had already been offered a permanent place on SG-1 – or any other team that struck her fancy. She hadn’t committed, of course, but they still should’ve been expecting her.
“You guys do know that’s why I’m here, right?” she asked, looking around. The team was all staring at General O’Neill, who was flipping through two sheets of paper in a folder.
“No,” said Daniel after a moment, drawing the sound out. “No, we didn’t. Did we Jack?”
“Just a minute,” said the General, reading the papers.
Buffy wasn’t sure whether to be amused – he reminded her of her own style of leadership – or irritated by the lack of preparation. She decided it would probably be more helpful in the long run to be amused, so she settled back to wait.
Finally the General looked up. “Apparently,” he said with an extremely sour expression on his face, “Ms. Summers is to join SG-1.”
“No need to suck a lemon,” said Buffy, wishing her hair was loose so she could flip it insolently. Old men always seemed to get pissed off when she did that. Though now that she thought about it, she was probably getting too old for those antics anyways. Soon she would need to switch tactics. Dumb blonde teenager was no longer a teenager, after all.
“Sir?” said Sam, looking to the General. There seemed to be a load of unvoiced questions in that one word.
“General Hammond’s orders,” replied the General. “I’ve even been told that she doesn’t need to be certified for Gate travel.”
“That training is mandatory for a reason, Jack,” protested Daniel. “I mean, just because she has skills that General Hammond believes are valuable, Gate protocol is still necessary for making first contact!”
“Not to mention assessing her physical condition,” Sam added. “It’s not just for her safety, sir! Gate training helps insure our safety as well.”
Buffy could see the General was getting more and more irked at the situation. She should probable say or do something to defuse the situation before that irritation got assigned to her.
“I totally understand first contact protocol,” she interjected. “And if you want to get an idea of what to expect from me if we encounter hostiles, well, I’d be happy to spar with big, beefy, and silent over there.”
Teal’c looked at her and raised an eyebrow.
“What?” she asked, raising her eyebrow right back. “You totally are. You’re the only person who hasn’t said anything at all.”
“That is because until now I have had nothing to contribute,” he replied, his words strangely formal. “I would be pleased to spar with you Buffy Summers.” There was a certain eagerness in his eyes that Buffy recognized: he had seen the slayer, and he wanted to know exactly what it was that he had glimpsed. They were alike that way – the only real way to know something was to do battle with it.
“That might not be a good idea,” said Sam with a frown. “Teal’c is a renowned Jaffa warrior, Buffy. He’s really, really good, not to mention strong.”
The alien inclined his head slightly, and Buffy made a show of sizing him up. She shrugged.
“I like a good challenge.”