A/N: Check out the fanart for this story made by Methos here. This is so cool. This is almost as cool as the COA Nomination. :D

Chapter Twenty-Nine

It took them a few hours to get rid of all the bodies and/or body parts. Rodney heaved twice more, his sensitive stomach rebelling both at the carnage and the smell. The flesh of the dead men had been burnt to a crisp as electricity washed through the city after each lightning strike, as did the blood that had been splattered liberally through the halls, and the stench was nearly overwhelming. Regardless, Sheppard wanted the bodies gone, at least, before they began bringing people back.

Willow, Dawn, Xander and Ronan were among the first to return to Atlantis, and the first thing that they noticed was the congealing pools of blood on the gateroom floor and the scent of charred flesh in the air. They looked at each other as one thought struck them all at the same time. Buffy.

Dawn nearly slapped herself trying to press the commlink in her ear. "Buffy, are you okay?"

After a few tense moments, Buffy's sleepy voice answered. "We're fine, Dawn. You guys missed all the action, though. Is Wills there?"

"Yeah. Do you want us to come to your room?"

"Umm, not right now." Buffy told her. "We'll meet you guys in the conference room."

"We?" Dawn asked, but Buffy was already gone. At the expectant looks on the others' faces, she relayed Buffy's end of the conversation.

"She and Elizabeth must have mated." Willow surmised. "I thought they were taking it slow."

"Maybe all the blood has something to do with it." Xander suggested.

~~~ BtVS ~~ SG: Atlantis ~~~

"The others are coming back." Buffy said softly, kissing the bare shoulder of the woman waking up next to her.

Elizabeth sighed, for a moment regretting her position as base commander. Right now, she wanted nothing more than to lay here in the cozy afterglow of the last couple of hours. After that first round in the showers, Buffy had carried her to the bed, and they had thoroughly explored each others bodies until Elizabeth had nearly passed out from the pleasure. Her body felt deliciously sore as she stretched her overused muscles, and she smiled to herself as Buffy's eyes drifted over her skin to her breasts as the sheet slid off of her chest with her movement.

"God, you're beautiful." Buffy whispered. She was braced above Elizabeth, idly tracing the smooth curves of her skin, before leaning down to kiss her leisurely. She felt Elizabeth's fingers sliding into her hair and enjoyed the ball of heat growing low in her belly, but regretfully pulled away after a few moments. "I figured that you'd want to talk to the others about the Genii invasion, so I told Dawn that we'd meet them in the conference room."

Elizabeth nodded, and relayed the same information to Sheppard. She climbed out of the bed, conscious of the eyes on her body and gathered up her clothes. "I have to get back to my quarters to shower and change." She told Buffy, dressing quickly before leaning over to kiss her once again. "So should you."

"But I like the scent of you all over me." Buffy grinned at her.

"Buffy..." Elizabeth started, leveling a look at her that almost came close to Willow's 'resolve face'.

"All right, all right." Buffy relented. "I'll meet you outside your quarters."

Elizabeth nodded and left. Buffy dropped back down onto her back and grinned up at the ceiling. She could tell that she was going to like having a mate.

Twenty minutes later, Buffy was standing outside of Elizabeth's quarters, waiting patiently. Elizabeth knew she was out there, but Buffy didn't want to go inside, knowing that if she got her mate close to a bed, they wouldn't be going anywhere for a while. Finally, the doors slid open and the Atlantis commander came out.

"How do you want to play this?" Buffy asked as they walked down the corridor. "I think most people have probably realized that we were dating, but nobody but the Scoobies know about the mating thing. Do you want to tell anyone else?"

Elizabeth thought for a moment. "I think that John and Carson will need to know." She decided. "I have no intention of hiding our relationship, although I am worried about holding onto my command. 65% of the personnel here is military, and they do not respond well to same-sex relationships."

"I told you before that you wouldn't have to worry about your command." Buffy told her. "I have more access to the city than you guys, and I'll lock it all down before I let them do that to you, and if they want to take the soldier boys away, then I know a lot of girls on Earth that would have no problems relocating here to Atlantis to fight the Wraith. Just think of this as a chance to make the military see how backwards that kind of thinking really is."

Elizabeth considered that, realizing that Buffy had a valid point. The way Gay and Lesbian relations and rights were evolving in the US, the military would be forced to reevaluate their position sooner or later.

"Anyway, we'll worry about that later." Buffy suggested, kissing Elizabeth's knuckles just before they entered the open area of the gateroom. "We have ourselves to take care of now."

Buffy allowed a little more space between them as they passed the men attempting to clean away the blood that had been boiled into the gateroom floor from the Genii that Sheppard had shot down before Kolya's escape. All of the windows were opened to hopefully air out the stench.

Buffy smiled at the Scoobies and Ronan as she took her seat, and nodded to Sheppard and his team and Dr. Beckett.

"Where did you put the bodies?" Elizabeth asked, starting the meeting.

"We put them in one of the empty storage rooms for now." Sheppard answered. He and the others had already told the Scoobies what had happened. While the others were worried about how the Slayer had reacted to her home being invaded, Ronan was angry that he'd missed all the action. "We'll get rid of them as soon as we get everything back and everyone settled."

"Aiden and Teyla raised some valid points while we were on our way back." Buffy said. "The timing of this attack was entirely too coincidental, and they figured that someone had to have told the Genii that Atlantis would be vulnerable. Aiden came to the conclusion that it was someone on the planet that we evacuated to."

"That can't happen again." Elizabeth said after considering that. "I think that we are going to have to follow in Stargate Command's footsteps and locate an uninhabited world to set up an alternate base. Buffy, do you have any ideas?"

The Slayer shrugged. "All of the uninhabited worlds that I've been to are uninhabited because they are uninhabitable. However, there are also large gaps in my travels, and it's possible that some of the worlds that I've been to are no longer there, whether by extinction or by culling."

"What about the planet where you got the memory photos, Buffy?" Dawn suddenly remembered. "You said that the Wraith wiped them out because they'd become too advanced. Do you know if the planet has been resettled yet?"

"I don't know." Buffy shrugged. "I could never bring myself to go back."

"We can start there." Elizabeth decided. "If the place is still uninhabited, we can send a team to determine what remains of the lost civilization and see what needs to be done."

"We also need some tighter security measures." Sheppard finally entered the conversation. "Kolya and his people got through by claiming that there had been an attack. We need to figure out some way to identify that it's actually our people before lowering the shield."

"What about voice recognition?" Willow suggested after a few minutes. Everyone looked at her, and she blushed. "Well, it's not like we can take fingerprints and retinal scans while they're still on the other side of the gate, and voice recognition can be calibrated for the gate's interference. If we integrate it into the control intercom systems, it could verify the speaker as they are making the request."

"That's...a good idea actually." McKay said grudgingly, while wondering why he hadn't thought of the idea himself.

"Good. Work on that as soon as possible. How are we on power?"

"The city is as powered as it's going to get without ZPMs." McKay answered. "All of the ECUs were filled to capacity, as well, and as soon as Zelenka is back, we're going to reroute the stored energy to power the city, so that the naquadah generators can be concentrated on powering the shields."

"We should also consider watermills, or something like that." Buffy suddenly offered. "I've come across a few worlds that have gotten that far, and it reminded me that we used to use watermills for electricity way back when on Earth."

"We'll see what ideas we can come up with, but finding ZPMs will remain a priority." Elizabeth decreed. "We'll keep looking, but we have to be on guard from here on out. Obviously, we have more to worry about than just the Wraith. From here on out, we will be more cautious on what we reveal of our capabilities to the people that we encounter."

With that, she called an end to the meeting, and they went out to help with the cleanup and the rest of the base continued to filter in.