Part Six.

Daniel stood in the control room searching the gathering of recruits in the embarkation room. Disappointment flooded him. She wasn't here. He had hoped, after she never called him, that she was all right.

He hoped that he changed her mind.

But she wasn't there.

And the wormhole was engaged.

The recruits were just about to go to their `doom' as Jack had called it this morning. Jack and Kawalsky were both falling over themselves trying to contain their excitement. Apparently this training would be the hardest EVER. Daniel really believed that.

They loved to torment recruits.

Maybe Willow was right in not going. The last phase of training was meant to make or break a recruit.

Willow had been broken once already.

She didn't need to

The door to the embarkation room opened and in walked Willow next to another recruit Daniel had never seen before. They were both talking animatedly, only stopping when they came to Jack and Kawalsky.

They jumped to attention and saluted.

Willow looked great.

Every bit an officer.

She looked happy.

"Good luck, recruits," the General said over the speaker. "We'll see you in a few weeks."

The training was long and hard.

Daniel watched as she walked towards the event horizon. Before she stepped through Willow turned, looked directly at him, and nodded slightly.

He smiled.

Jack, who had been walking behind Willow, looked from her to Daniel, then back to Willow again. Daniel bit back the urge to yell and warn Willow, but it was too late.

Jack said something to Willow when she hesitated at the event horizon.

Then pushed her into the wormhole.

Jack really was juvenile sometimes.

~ * ~ * ~

It wasn't what she expected at all. She had heard all about it but it wasn't what she expected at all. It was so huge and impressive. Willow wondered how they were even able to afford it.

Willow cleared her throat in an attempt to get their attention.

And it worked.

The shattering mug was kind of hard to miss.

And the screaming.

Pretty hard not to notice then

"Guys! Oxygen!" Willow squeaked with her last breath.

Cordelia and Faith reluctantly released her, then Angel and Giles took their places, hugging her like there was no tomorrow.

"Willow," Giles held onto her almost as tightly as Faith had, "I can't believe you're here."

The two girls joined in the hugging again, not bothering to wait for Angel and Giles to finished.

Willow hugged them back, her eyes closing as the onslaught of memories hit her. God, she missed these guys. She had been so wrong to turn her back on them. In a way, she had punished them for surviving.

Being here terrified her, but she was done running.

"How long are you here for?" Faith picked up her bag and moved it into the lobby.

Willow found herself being led to the couch by Cordy, Giles, and Angel. They weren't letting her go. Did they think she'd run the second they did?


They all looked at her hopefully.

"A week."

If they were disappointed, they didn't show it.

"How are you?" Giles asked once they were all seated.

Willow could see the others itching to ask questions, but they were trying not to overwhelm her. "Good. You guys?"

"We're good," Angel answered, his hand resting on hers.

"So, a week huh?"

Oh yeah. Cordy was already planning her vacation. She had one week before she had to report to the SGC for her first assignment.

Dr Jackson had been there when the General told her she had passed the final assessment and she was officially a member of the SGC's Search and Rescue team. She had a week before she reported for duty, her final week of freedom, as her Commanding Officer, Major Kawalsky warned her.

Search and Rescue got very little time off.

In one week, she'd get a beeper and be on twenty four hour call.

They had told her to enjoy the time off.

Dr Jackson showed up at her apartment an hour later with present of congratulations. A ticket to LA, if she wanted to go. If she wanted to go? Dr Jackson was the reason she was a member of the Stargate Program.

She owed him.

She owed these people more, so she swallowed her fear and came here.

Dr Jackson drove her to the airport.

He would be there when she got back.

He promised.

Until then, Willow belonged to these guys.

"So, what's the demon of the week?"

The End

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