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Desperate Acts


"...Now you make me feel so good,
Yeah, like I never really thought I would.
You know you make me feel so strong,
Now our laughter just goes on.
Come on lay your hands on me.
Close to you is where I really want to be.
If it ever gets too much,
I see your face and sense your grace and feel the magic in our touch..."
"Lay Your Hands On Me" by The Thompson Twins


Chapter 1

She walked into the commissary. He was sitting alone. Looked like he was reading a report of some sort. Things had been...tense...between them since the team had returned from Thracia. She took a deep breath, filled a mug with coffee, walked to the table where he sat. "Hey, Jack."

Jack looked up. His face was a study in neutrality. "Casey."

"We need to talk."

"Yes, we do."

She sat down. Toyed with the mug for a few moments. She could feel his eyes on her. Waiting for her to speak. "I'm so sorry," she said softly.

"I know."

"I guess I wasn't thinking."

"No, you weren't. And that's exactly the type of behavior that could get us all killed," he replied firmly. He was aware that her actions had been borne of anger...rage, more specifically...and a healthy dose of love; and that she'd been focused on one thing, and one thing only...Daniel. The same thing had happened when that snake, Ankle-something-or-other, had breached the SGC defenses and managed to waltz in and nearly took over. That day she hadn't been part of the SGC a full week. She'd reacted instinctively. Which, he admitted, was exactly how she'd reacted on Thracia. More than likely, it would happen again. The odds of the consequences being less than good increased each time she raced into the fire to save Daniel's ass. That was the point he had to get through to her.

"I just-" She broke off, shook her head. "It would have killed him, you know."

"What would have killed him?"

"If Ares had...well, you know."

Jack sat back in his chair. He'd suspected that Ares had ideas about Daniel...but he hadn't had a clear view of the Goa'uld's face. He knew what the rumors had been. He also knew how they'd affected the archaeologist. It had taken the better part of an evening to talk Daniel out of hiring a hooker for the night after the worst of the rumors had reached his ears...so desperate had the young man been to prove the rumors false...to himself if no one else, Jack suspected. Casey was right. If Ares had...he shuddered as the word moved over his mind...raped Daniel, the young man would have been devastated. Knowing Daniel, he'd have taken it as a sign that something was wrong with him. Being Daniel, he probably would've started doubting himself...who he was, what he was. And being Daniel, that would not be a good thing.

"If I ever find out who started those damned rumors, I'm going to rip his tongue out!" Casey hissed angrily.

He couldn't help but grin. Jack had no doubt that the blonde meant every word. "Just remember that when Danny is in trouble, we're just as anxious to get him out of it."

Casey nodded. "I know. It's just...I love him so much," she whispered.

"I know you do. Now, about your inability to hit your target..."

She looked up at him, noted the twinkle in his brown eyes. "Target practice?"

"Yep. Thought we'd focus on small targets."

"Small moving targets. It was flopping back and forth."

He lost it, gave into the laughter that always seemed so near the surface when Casey was near. "Okay, so we'll work on small, moving targets."

"What time?"

Jack glanced at his watch. "How about I just come get you? I have no idea how long this is going to take," he replied, nodding at the file in front of him.

"Sounds good to me." She rose to her feet. "Thanks for understanding, boss."

He grinned. After seven years of working with Daniel, he had no doubt that the same conversation would happen again...Casey was as impulsive as her husband, and hot-headed on top of that. "Just don't push your luck, or ours."

"Right. See you later."

"Yes, you will."

Feeling better knowing that the air had been cleared between her and her CO, Casey wiggled her fingers in a wave, and headed back out the door. She had one more stop before joining her Husband in his office, and getting back to the database that she was determined to finish.




Every team CO had an 'office'. Which was actually nothing more than a cubicle set up in what had once been unused storage space. It was here that they worked on mission reports, requisition forms, and all of the other paperwork made necessary by Uncle Sam and the United States Air Force. It was also a place to leave messages if said team leader wasn't available.

She stuck her head into the room. Smiled and waved when the men who occupied their desks looked up and acknowledged her presence. Looking toward the corner of the room, she spotted the person she needed to speak with.

Ferretti was on his feet as soon as he realized those green eyes were focused on him. His first reaction had been to check his memory...had he done or said anything that would've gotten him into trouble with the hot-tempered blonde?

"Hi, Ferretti."

"Mrs. J," the Marine replied cautiously.

"I'm not disturbing you, am I?"

"No, not at all." He waved toward the folding chair in front of his desk. "Something I can do for you, Mrs. J?"

Casey sighed. "Oh, I hope so." She glanced around the room. "Um...whatever we talk about here..."

"Stays right here," Ferretti promised. He could tell that Majors Newsome and Anderson were doing their best to make it appear that they weren't listening.

"Good. I..." she shook her head. "I'm not sure how to even ask about this."

"I'm guessing that whatever you want to ask is...bad?"

"The worst."

He had no idea what she could be talking about. But the fact that the seer had come to him made his heart pound. "There isn't anything so bad that it can't be worked out," he offered. It was a statement he made often to the men under his command. And he firmly believed it.

"It's about a rumor."

And this rumor was probably about Dr. Jackson. She wouldn't give a hoot about any that concerned her. He tossed about in his mind, trying to remember if there was anything new being said about the Doc. Nope, couldn't think of any. "Okay."

"I'd like to know if you have any idea where a...certain...rumor got its start."

Well, if he was a betting man, and he was, something told him that one of the old rumors about the archaeologist had reared its ugly head. "I suppose we could figure out where they started. Of course, everyone always claims to have heard it from someone else. No one ever wants to admit to starting rumors."

"I know. But I have the feeling that the person who started this particular rumor doesn't care if anyone knows." She could sense that much. She just couldn't see the face of the person...the man...who hovered in the darkness like the coward that he was.

"So how can I help you?"

Casey looked into brown eyes that never wavered from her gaze. "I want to know the name of the son-of-a-bitch who started the rumor that Daniel is gay."

Well, chalk up another win for Ferretti, he thought. He cast a glance at Newsome and Anderson. Waved them over to his desk. "The three of us have been here since General West and Doctor Langford started the Stargate program," he said quietly. "I think between us we should be able to figure it out."

"Thank you," Casey sighed. She tossed smiles at all three men. "I don't want Daniel...I don't want anyone...to know about this."

"You got it, Mrs. J," Ferretti said quietly.

"I know I'm asking you to remember things that happened, were said, years ago. And if you can't...well, don't worry about it. I just want to know the name of the bastard. I can't see his face clearly, or I'd take care of his sorry ass myself."

It was all he could do to keep from laughing. Whoever this poor S.O.B. was, his days were numbered. And from the current rumors racing through the mountain, the chances of Casey Jackson blowing his balls off were high. He'd pay good money to see that!

"You know it's a man?" Deke Anderson asked. Like his colleagues, he didn't doubt for one moment that Casey had some idea of the person responsible.

"Oh, yeah, it's a man. And he's in the military. I see him wearing a blue dress uniform," Casey replied.

The three men exchanged glances. That narrowed the field considerably. "All the time, or was it just for a special occasion, like an inspection or something?" Newsome asked.

She closed her eyes. Concentrated on what she could see. "All the time. He...he's very...arrogant. Likes to believe he's more important than he is. And...I see Catherine Langford near him, so he was here when she was. Or visa versa."

Again a glance was exchanged. That field of 'suspects' had just shrunk even more. "Mrs. J, you give us a couple of days, and I guarantee we'll have an answer for you," Ferretti promised.

Casey flashed another smile. "Thank you! I knew I could count on you!"

Her smile nearly blinded him, and her words of praise had him shaking in his chair. Goddamn but Doc Jackson is one lucky man! "Just out of curiosity, what are you going to do to the chump?" It was impossible not to admire the way those green eyes flashed. Nor ignore the wicked grin that spread over that lovely face. Once again the three men exchanged a glance.  

"Depends on who it is, and where he is now. But he'll know that he messed with the wrong man. One way or another," Casey vowed. She stood up. "Thanks, Ferretti. I owe you. All three of you."

Ferretti shook his head. "Nope. This will just be a partial payment on what we owe you," he said quietly, firmly.

She smiled. "Whenever anyone tells me you guys are hard-asses, I just tell them that they don't know you."

"Aw, for chrissakes', Mrs. J! The least you could do would be to agree! We work hard to get those hard-ass reputations," Ferretti complained.

Casey burst into giggles. "Sorry. I had no idea. Next time it happens, I'll tell them you eat Jaffa for lunch."

"Make it breakfast," Ferretti grinned.

"Done!" With another giggle, and a shake of her head, Casey bounced out of the room. She had no doubt that those men would discover exactly who'd started the rumors about her Husband. Now, she just had to decide how to make the bastard pay...




Daniel looked up from his place by the work table when Casey walked into the lab. Glanced at the clock. "Running late?"


"I figured you'd be here about half an hour ago."

"Oh. Just had a couple of things I needed to do."

He smiled. "You talked to Jack."


The tension between his Wife and his best friend had bothered him. And as much as he'd wanted to do something, anything to ease that tension, he understood that his attempts to smooth things over could make matters worse. Casey and Jack had to work things out for themselves. "So, is he still pissed?"

"If he is, he has every right to be," Casey said softly. "I put the entire team in danger. You could have been killed. We could have been captured or killed."

"None of those things happened," Daniel pointed out.

"This time. We...I...might not be so lucky the next time." She crossed the room, wrapped her arms around his waist, leaned against his back, put her chin on his shoulder. "So, what are you working on?"

"Trying to piece this urn back together," he replied.


"There are several Goa'uld markings on it. It's possible that this is similar to the canopic jars that held Osiris and Isis."

"Wow. So someone, at some point in the past, let loose a Goa'uld who had been imprisoned?"


His attention was focused on what he was doing. She planted a kiss on his ear, and went to the desk. She could work on her 'project' from any computer in the mountain. Although most of her notes were in Daniel's office. She could always go get them, if she needed them.

Daniel glanced over at her. He'd lived with her long enough to know that she was up to something. Couldn't be his birthday, that had already come and gone. And the gift she'd presented him with...he shivered just thinking about the portrait of his Fantasy Angel. He didn't think she was involved in any of the planning for the upcoming Air Force Ball. Although with her talent for decorating, it was possible that the planning committee had contacted her. No...she'd tell him about that. He frowned. Maybe she'd just been coordinating plans for her night out with Sam and Janet. Watching a group of very buff Australian men strip. Those guys must spend hours every day in the gym, he grumped silently. He and Jack had looked at the website, trying to figure out just what the attraction was. They made comments to one another about the 'deficiencies' they could find...big nose...no chin...eyes too closely set...just to bolster their own flagging self esteem as they viewed photo after photo of biceps, triceps, pecs and gluts that were...impressive. Neither man understood that the very nature of what they did on a daily basis made them every bit as 'buff' as the dancers...perhaps not as bulked out, but definitely as buff. He heaved a silent sigh. Whatever it was, he'd find out eventually, he was certain.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Four men with forged Taiwanese tourist Visas stepped into the Colorado sunshine. Two of the men held International driver's licenses, which enabled the group to rent a car. They tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, not easy for Chinese nationals at the Denver airport.

Their assignment was a simple one. It would not, however, be easy to accomplish. Their predecessor had informed them of the irregularity of the victims' schedule. Had provided as much information as he had been able about the neighborhood where the two people they were after lived. An area of older homes, they were told, that had been remodeled and sold to up-and-coming young professionals. An area where the neighbors knew one another. Where strangers stood out, adding significant risk to any who had less than honorable plans for any of the residents.

The oldest of the four men...and by silent, mutual consent, the leader...decided that it would be best to attempt to take the targets at night, when there would be few witnesses. Hypodermic needles and two vials of strong sedative were packed in a small case. If things went as planned, they'd be able to slip into the house, inject the two with the sedative, and simply carry them to the waiting car.

The problem of getting the two out of the country had nearly halted the plan at the very beginning. It had been the suggestion of the first man who'd watched the Jacksons for a week, and had failed miserably at his assignment, that it would be easier for his comrades to find a place nearby where Dr. Jackson could be forced to decipher the artifact. His wife could be kept in order to guarantee his cooperation.

So another group of Chinese nationals had landed in Salt Lake City, Utah. A house would be rented in that city, far enough from Colorado that they wouldn't have to worry about the people of Cheyenne Mountain discovering them before the task was complete. Then the men would simply drive to Mexico, and fly back to Beijing from there. The couple in question would seem to simply disappear...their bodies would be disposed of in the desert. The plan seemed brilliant in its simplicity.

It was late afternoon when the four drove by the modest home of Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Jackson. The leader smiled when he realized the deck went all the way around the back of the house. The Americans made it too easy, he smirked.


A  A  A  A  A  A


The realtor looked at the man again. He was very polite. Claimed to be from Taiwan. That was near China, she thought. The man, he'd told her his name was Kwan, Le Kwan, walked around the old farmhouse.

"This is very good," he said in clipped, perfect English. "My family will visit here, very large. Many people. Children can run and play here, disturb no one."

Jeri Baker smiled. "Is there a reason you chose to vacation in Salt Lake City?"

"We wish to...experience...American life," the man said. Kwan smirked to himself. As soon as he pulled out the wad of green American dollars, this meddlesome woman would ask no more prying questions.

"I see. How long would you want to rent the house?"

"Three weeks. This is possible, yes? We can rent furniture that we need from place called 'Rent-It Center'. My nephew found this business on the internet."

Again the realtor smiled. "Yes, you can do that. I suppose I can ask the owner if he'd be willing to rent short term."

"I can pay," Kwan said. It was time to flash what served as the language of Americans. He pulled out an impressive bundle of money. "I pay now, yes?"

"No, Mr. Kwan, you wouldn't be required to pay until the contract is drawn up."

"We do this now?"

The man seemed eager to have the house. It was ten miles from town, twenty-two from Salt Lake city itself, and five and a half miles from the nearest neighbors. If these people wanted to experience American life, wouldn't they rather be in the city, or one of the small towns nearby? "I'll have to call the owner. Is there a number where I can reach you?"

"I am staying in the Holiday Inn Express, near the airport," Kwan replied. He was calm on the outside, terrified on the inside. This house was absolutely perfect...it was secluded, and far enough from neighbors that any screams, induced by uncooperative behavior, would not be heard. The 'contact' team was already in Silver Springs, they'd called him as soon as they'd arrived. Yi Lin had assured him that Dr. Jackson would be in their custody by morning. There was little time to spare. They had to be able to bring the American archaeologist and his wife to this place; the risk of being discovered increased exponentially with each hour wasted. Nor did they dare to remain on foreign soil for longer than a few days.

Jeri nodded. "I'll call him as soon as I return to the office. I'll let you know when I have his answer."

With a slight bow, Kwan followed the woman out of the house. Did all American woman have such round asses? Perhaps while they were here, he would...indulge. He did so love a nice, full, round ass!

He carefully followed the realtor back into the city. She waved as she turned toward her office. He smiled, and drove back to the hotel. Where he'd spend an anxious afternoon waiting to hear about that farmhouse.




Jeri frowned as she walked into the office.

Her best friend and partner looked up from her desk. "Well?"

"He seemed damned anxious to rent the old Phillips farmhouse. For his family he said. Seems they're arriving en masse to vacation here, soak up the local American environment."

Jeanne Fischer smiled. "Didn't you say he's from Taiwan?"

"Yes, I did."

"Think about it, Jeri. How many people live in just a few small rooms? Houses and buildings crammed against one another...I'll bet he's never seen as much open space as we have around here. Maybe they just want to be able to...spread out...and not feel so cramped."

She hated to admit it, but Jeanne had a very good point. "I'll call Mr. Phillips, and see if he'd be interested in renting it for just three weeks."

"I'm betting the answer will be yes. That damned house has been empty for six months now. Three weeks rent will at least make one mortgage payment."

"But it's not a steady tenant," Jeri offered.

"Haven't seen many of them interested in that old place."

Her last argument effectively shot down, Jeri sat down at her desk, and picked up the phone.


A  A  A  A  A  A


Two days off! She wasn't thinking about the base, or Goa'uld, or myths, or anything that might remotely resemble anything connected to the SGC. She wasn't letting Daniel do so, either. For two days, the SGC and all of the problems therein did not exist.

Daniel glanced at her. She was practically bouncing in her seat. She'd been wanting time off since her return. Two days was the most they were going to get for the foreseeable future. It would be enough. For two days, they'd do nothing more than laze around the house. Maybe they'd wash the Jeep, lord knew it could use it. A quick run through the carwash never seemed to do as good as old-fashioned elbow grease. Plus there were the trash bags to empty. The floors could use a good vacuuming as well.

Casey looked over at him as he turned on to Baldwin. "Whatever you're thinking, stop it. No thinking. No working. For forty-eight hours we do nothing but kick back and relax!"

He grinned. "Kind of hard to drive without thinking."

"And yet, they call me the smartass," she quipped. Then shuddered violently. "Oh, hell."

"Don't you dare," Daniel growled. "Whatever it is, General Hammond can manage without us. Forty-eight hours. The SGC doesn't exist in our world until Thursday morning."

She nodded. "Right. Nothing happening that they can't deal with."

Neither of them spoke as he pulled into the driveway. Daniel heaved a sigh. "How bad?"

"I don't know. I should have 'seen' something...but I didn't. Just that god-awful feeling...as if someone walked over my grave."

He was aware that a lot of people had that feeling from time to time. He'd even read an article about it. The author had suggested that those who 'suffered' with those feelings were often a bit psychic, some more than others. The writer also believed that the reaction was caused when someone from 'the other side' came into physical contact with a living person. Daniel didn't know that he believed that part. But the first section of the paper had been intriguing. Reaching over and wrapping his fingers around hers - noting that her hands were the slightest bit cool; a sign that she'd been...spooked was the best way to describe what she'd experienced - Daniel smiled at her. "Whatever it is, we'll deal with it when, and if we need to."


"So what's for dinner?"

"Pizza. They were running ads for Mama Trino's on the radio all day," Casey replied.

He grinned. Casey loved Mama Trino's pizza. Almost as much as she loved chocolate and coffee. "Works for me."

"You're always so easy to please," she said, following him up the back steps and into the house.

"I'm an easy man to get along with," he grinned.

She rolled her eyes. "Most of the time," she murmured.

His grin went wider. Daniel was well aware of the fact that he could lose himself for hours...days, even...in his work. And that he could be a bit...particular about his office. Or the den. And he did have a couple of bad habits that drove Casey nuts. Never getting his socks into the hamper was one. Leaving the newspaper, or rather the sections, spread all over the sofa, was another. She never said a lot. Unless she was a few days from needing her Deprovera shot. Sam swore up and down that Casey wasn't PMSing just before the shot was due. Sam had never lived with Casey just before her shot was due! "You love me anyway," he said.

"Yep. Even when you're being annoying."

His eyes went wide. "Me? Annoying?"

The look of feigned innocence on his face and the twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes made her giggle. "Yes, you. Annoying."


She was about to pop off with a comment sure to make him laugh, when her attention was caught by a shadow near the French door to the right of the fireplace. "Daniel!"

Her wide eyes alerted him. He spun around. Saw nothing. "What?"

"A shadow," she whispered. "Someone is on the deck!"

"Get the phone," he ordered, already moving toward the door. He yanked it open, dashed out onto the deck. There was no sound of running; if they'd ran toward the side deck, they'd have to open the front gate, which squeaked like an old barn door. He didn't hear that, either. He made a full circuit around the house.

Casey was shaking when he walked back inside.

"Talk to me, Angel," he said softly.

"You didn't find anyone out there, did you?"

He shook his head. "No, babe, I didn't."

Her eyes took on a look of panic. "I know I saw something! I'm not making it up! I'm not crazy!"

"Whoa...whoa! I believe you, Casey. And I know you're not crazy." He pulled her into his arms. "Maybe it was an eagle or a hawk, flying low. A bird that large would cast a pretty good sized shadow."

Yes, she thought desperately. That's it. Something had flown by, and she'd just happened to see the shadow...and why didn't that 'feel' right? Casey closed her eyes, clung to the man who would protect her from whatever was about to happen. She jerked when that thought crossed her mind.


She shook her head. "I don't know. I've never had feelings like this before."

They were Immortal. But it was possible to get ill. They learned that fact after Jack's bout with a nasty strain of flu, picked up from one of the kids at the school he visited as his schedule allowed. While the others who were unlucky enough to catch the virus were down for nearly a week, Jack was up and back to his old self within three days. Was it possible that if she fell ill, her gift would be affected? He kissed her forehead. She didn't feel too warm.

Her thoughts had been paralleling her Husband's. "I feel fine."

"Let's check your temp anyway."

Too shaken to argue, Casey allowed him to lead her to the bathroom. Bit back her scream, closed her eyes, and began to shake harder when she glanced over her shoulder at the French door, and saw the black, shadowy outline of a man.


"I'm losing my mind," she whispered. "A shadow...not exactly a man standing there...but the shadow of a man. At the same door."

Daniel frowned. Whatever she was seeing, it was scaring her to death. And apparently there had been no 'information dump' to give her a clue as to what was going on. When she was frightened, or upset, holding her in the shower, warm water washing down over them, never failed to calm her. He never said a word as he stripped, and then slowly, gently undressed her.

She didn't know whether to give in to the urge to cry, or to laugh hysterically. She didn't feel like she was going crazy. But then, if she was, she wouldn't know, would she? So she did the only thing that felt right. Clung to Daniel, and hoped that whatever was happening to her would stop.

Her body was trembling so hard that it was moving him. He had no idea how to comfort her, how to help her with what was apparently a new manifestation of her gift. He grinned against her hair as that thought bounced through his head. There was no way to pull back and look at her, she was holding so tightly that movement wasn't possible. If her arms tightened even a fraction she'd be choking him. "Your gift, Angel," he whispered softly. "Something about your gift is changing...or growing."

Oh, hell no! It was difficult enough to deal with at times; the information dumps often left her terrified and confused, until she was able to 'sort through' the images and make sense of them all. She didn't need for anything to change. Grow? Too benign a word for what she was feeling...which was trapped, confused, and a bit angry. She'd never asked for the gift of sight. At that moment she failed to remember that it was her gift that allowed her to work at Daniel's side.

When she remained silent, Daniel began to sing softly. He knew he didn't have the best voice in the world, but she'd caught him singing with the radio just the other afternoon, as he worked on sorting through a stack of reference materials. And had told him that she loved hearing him. That he knew the words to this particular song was only because she'd played the CD several times in the past week. And had sang with it each time, her soft voice burying the words of love into his heart. "When I'm feeling blue, all I have to do is take a look at you, then I'm not so blue..."

"When you're close to me, I can feel your heartbeat, I can hear you breathing in my ear," she sang softly in return. "Wouldn't you agree, baby you and me got a groovy kind of love."

They continued to hold one another, singing softly as the water rained down on them. By the time they'd come to the end of the song, Casey had stopped shivering.

She pulled away just far enough to look up into beautiful blue eyes. "I love you," she sighed.

"Love you too," he murmured in reply. His stomach chose that moment to announce that it was not at all pleased at being ignored, and that the customary feeding time had come and gone.

Casey giggled. "Shall we get out and call for that pizza?"

"Yep. Feeling better?"

"Much. Thanks to you."

He hadn't done anything, he thought, just held her. Sang to her, with her. If she'd found comfort in those things, then it was all he could, and would, ask for. "If you want to talk about...this...I'm here, Case. I might not have the answers, but I can listen."

Once again she locked her gaze with his. Felt the love that she could see shining in those beautiful blue depths. "I don't even know what 'this' is."

"Just a new aspect of your gift," he said, repeating his earlier comment.

"I haven't got a grip on the 'old' aspects," she muttered.

Daniel couldn't help but grin. Casey resisted change. He supposed that was because change had never been a good thing in her life. "Nobody would ever be able to tell. You're always calm, cool, collected, captivating, charming..."

Her heart was racing as she listened to his praises. "Hung up on the letter 'c' tonight?"

He chuckled. "Let's get washed. Feel like watching a movie?"

"Do you have one in mind?"

He shrugged. Something funny...light...that would take her mind off of what was happening. "'Caveman' comes to mind."

The campy comedy was one of their favorites. "Lana glug-glug," she intoned, then laughed along with him. Her heart was beating fast, not due to fear, but because of love. Because once again Daniel had reached out and protected her. Saved her from her own overactive imagination. "Sounds good to me."

Pizza and a movie, snuggled on the couch, just the two of them, in their own world. Forty-eight hours alone. Almost paradise, Daniel thought, as his eyes fluttered closed, two soft hands moving over him gently. No, this was paradise.


A  A  A  A  A  A


The three men sat together in a dark corner of the bar. It was a little, out-of-the-way place where they were unlikely to be recognized, or disturbed. "When General West was in charge, everyone who was considered 'staff', had to wear their class A's," Ferretti said.

"Yep," Newsome replied. "And only one asshole fit the description Mrs. J gave."

"Samuels," Ferretti growled. His friends nodded in agreement. "I don't actually remember him saying anything about the Doc being gay, but then I avoided that slimy bastard as much as I could."

"Let me think about it for a few minutes," Deke Anderson said. He crossed his arms over his chest, closed his eyes, and for all intents and purposes, appeared to be asleep.

Ferretti was going back through his own memories of those first few days. The task of getting the ancient monument set up, connected to power. The computers being brought in. The days and weeks of listening to and watching Dr. Langford and her group of scientists struggling to decipher what they had.

The Marine sat up straight when he recalled the night Daniel Jackson had run through the corridors, newspaper in hand, excitement on his face, lighting his eyes. He'd been on duty that night and when Dr. Jackson had breathlessly explained that he 'had it'...Ferretti couldn't help but grin. Two weeks. The young archaeologist had solved the puzzle in two weeks. And Samuels had been bad-mouthing the Doc the entire time...telling anyone who'd listen that the man had been ousted by the archaeological community.

There had been one evening, in the commissary, when Samuels had been on a roll, telling a group of young SF's that Dr. Daniel Jackson was a laughingstock. Dr. Langford had overheard him, and told the Air Force Major in no uncertain terms that it was because of his theories, his ability to think 'outside of the box' that had made the young archaeologist the perfect man to solve their riddle. And that as far as she was concerned, a more brilliant man couldn't be found. Samuels had been angry at Dr Langford for 'dressing him down' in front of junior officers. Yep, that asshole had to be the one.

"Got it," Deke said, his eyes snapping open. "First time I heard it was right after the Doc had figured everything out. Samuels was telling a group of Marines that the Doc was gay. Lunch in the commissary. First time I ever heard it."

Ferretti nodded. "Yep, I remember that. Okay, we know who."

Newsome looked first at Deke, then focused his gaze on Ferretti. "We all know that bastard didn't make colonel without some serious sucking up. General West tolerated him because he was a brown-nose. I don't think General Hammond ever liked him, that's why he got rid of the weasel. I say we let someone with experience in digging into people's past find out what he can about Samuels. Then we let Mrs. J decide what to do with the information."

Lou Ferretti was a lot of things. Loyal was at the top of the list. Casey Jackson had earned his loyalty until the day he died. "I'm thinking that Colonel O'Neill would know how to pass on a message."

Newsome nodded. Understood exactly to whom Ferretti was referring. "Yep. We'll talk to the colonel tomorrow."

"And when he asks why we want to know?" Deke asked.

"Personal reasons," Ferretti replied easily. The men clinked their beer bottles together in a salute. And began conjecture on just what exactly Casey Jackson would do to one Lieutenant Colonel Robert Samuels.

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