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Dream a Little Dream
Her body jerked, and Daniel watched in horror as a large bruise appeared on her arm. "Be careful, Angel," he whispered; terrified of distracting her, desperate to know what was happening, worried about her safety.
The young man Teal'c had been training hurried into the room, stood nervously until Janet noticed him.
"What's wrong, airman?" Janet asked.
"I was in the gym...and it just disappeared!" he stammered.
"The gym?" Jack asked, raising an eyebrow.
"No sir," the airman replied, shaking his head. "Mrs. J's training staff. It was there on the wall, and then it just...wasn't!"
Daniel groaned. "Oh, hell!"
"Do not fear, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c said. "Casey Jackson has become quite adept in the handling of her basha'ak."
"Good enough to defeat a well trained enemy?" Daniel asked.
The Jaffa cocked his head sideways. "She has learned that there are many ways to win a battle. Not all of them require physical strength or dexterity."
Another jerk of her body indicated she'd been hit again. Janet hurried over, determined that the blow had been to her side. She raised worried eyes to Daniel's. Casey's physical strength was below par at the moment. It wouldn't take much to wear her down.
"You weaken, Little One," Dartal panted.
She wiped the sweat from her face with the back of her arm, her eyes never leaving her opponent. "You just keep thinking that. I'm a lot tougher than I look!"
He had yet to gain the upper hand in their struggle, she continued to hold him off at every turn. He need only wait until she was too weary to continue. Then he'd move in for the kill.
Focused on him, she could sense his thoughts. Yeah, if he managed to drag this out too long, he would manage to whip her ass. Not gonna happen, she thought determinedly. Which meant she had to go on the offensive, and now! "You know, I should just bring The One here. If Daniel were here, he'd fry your ass!"
"Pity he cannot journey to the astral plane," Dartal replied.
"Who says he can't?" Casey retorted.
"It would take more power than you have, Little Seer. You can see things. But you have no power."
"Yeah? Think so? Hey, Daniel! Care to join us?"
Sitting on the infirmary bed, Daniel frowned. Had he just heard Casey call his name? "I'm right here, Angel, right here," he whispered. "Just tell me what you need."
On one side of what had become a battlefield, a single observer smiled. Permission had been granted. If those who had given that permission wished to debate the finer points of the matter, she'd allow them to do so. The interpretation of the agreement had been left open, giving her the latitude she needed.
Daniel blinked, then looked around. One minute he'd been sitting in the infirmary, holding Casey tightly, the next he was...here...wherever 'here' was. He heard the distinct sound of wood hitting wood. Turned to see his wife in battle against a large man with short, white-blonde hair. "Oh, fuck!" he muttered.
"Not exactly the response I expected," a feminine voice said, tinged with amusement
He swung to look at the woman beside him. "Oma?"
"Yes. She...requested...your presence."
"You are The One, Daniel. Do what it is that must be done."
He turned his attention back to his Wife. "I'll kill him," he warned.
"As must be done."
With a nod of understanding, he began to walk toward the dueling pair. He had both hands up, calling on the heat he could feel burning in his veins.
Dartal swept his basha'ak against her ankles, knocked her to the ground. Smiled when she landed on her back with a resounding thud. "You are entertaining, Little Seer. But I have tasks which need my attention." He raised the weapon, ready to bring it down upon her head.
"You touch her, and I'll set this entire damned place on fire," Daniel growled.
Dartal whirled at the sound of the man's voice. He'd been watching this human long enough to recognize him. "You!"
"That's right, asshole. Get away from her!"
With a roar of anger, Dartal turned and shoved the basha'ak to the ground. Casey had rolled away while he'd been distracted, brought her weapon up and hit him in the stomach. He dropped to his knees.
"Back away, Angel," Daniel said calmly.
With a nod, she moved away. Watched as twin fireballs of brilliant blue impacted on the man who moaned in front of her. "Told you he'd fry your ass," she hissed. She looked at her Husband. "You have to finish it, Daniel. He can't be allowed to live. There are others, but this one is the most dangerous at the moment."
He concentrated, forced more heat toward his fingertips. Two more fireballs hit the man.
"He's the one, Daniel, he's the one who tried to take my memories from me, tried to steal my life...our life."
Blistering rage filled him. "You son-of-a-bitch!"
There was little left but a heap of ashes when Daniel finally took a breath. Casey rushed to his side. "It's over," she whispered. "It's over."
Before he could respond, he was gone.
Casey looked around. Miss Eloise and Oma stood off to one side. There were others, she counted three, but she could see only the glow of their being. "You knew. You knew about this long before now."
"This is true," Oma admitted.
"But you did nothing to stop it. I suppose Ba'al taking me was part of his plan?"
"I do not believe so. He...they...took advantage of the situation."
"Of course," she spat. She looked at the glowing beings. "You wanted Daniel to be The One. Put him in the position to be attacked like this, and then sit back on your collective asses and do nothing to protect Him? Let me tell you something! The next time I have to come here and fight some daemon who is running amok because you don't have the balls to do something about it, I'll kick every ass I find! Do I make myself perfectly clear? What the hell good is having all of that power if you can't, and don't, use it to protect the Innocent you claim to be so concerned about? You're no better than Dartal! Just more cowardly!"
The glow turned from a soft yellow to brilliant white.
"I don't give a damn how offended you are!" she continued. "And you don't know pissed until you're as pissed off as I am!"
"I believe that all have learned lessons from this...encounter," Oma said diplomatically.
"Damned well better have," Casey muttered. "I know there are others. I can feel them. When it's time, Daniel will destroy them. Simply because your friends are too damned pathetic to do the job. Maybe that's why the Big Boys chose him to be The One. To clean up your messes!"
The glow became brighter still.
"That's right! The little Tau'ri seer isn't quite as dumb as you thought! Know this...I'll destroy every damned one of you before I ever allow The One to be hurt. Don't think I can't do it!"
The glow became tinged with blue.
They were laughing at her! She could sense their amusement. "Yuk it up! We'll see who has the last laugh!"
Miss Eloise began to cackle, bent over and slapped her knee. "Didn't I warn you?"
Oma smiled. "I believe that you did."
"Yeah, you all just have your laugh. I'm going home!" She turned to find the tiny spot that was her 'point of entry'.
The young seer stopped and looked at Oma.
"You have done well. You are indeed Beloved of The One. Together, you cannot be defeated."
"Don't you ever forget that," she replied softly.
Daniel shook his head slightly. "You can wake her up now, it's over," he said softly.
"What happened? You sort of passed out on us," Jack asked worriedly.
"Had a little ass kicking to do," he replied.
"On the astro turf?" Jack croaked. "Casey can get you there?"
He shook his head. "No, not Casey. Oma Desala."
"Ah," he replied. Pretended that he understood. Maybe someday he really would!
Janet had stopped the IV drip, carefully pulled the needle out of the catheter. "It shouldn't take long for her to wake up," she told Daniel.
In less than five minutes Casey's eyes fluttered open. "Ow," she muttered, sitting up slowly.
"It appears you did not move quickly enough, Casey Jackson," Teal'c said quietly.
"And they call me the smartass," she said, rolling her eyes. She caught sight of General Hammond, standing just behind Jack and Sam. "I promise to look at those reports this afternoon."
The Texan smiled. "I'll be looking forward to it." Sensing that everything was once again right in the SGC, he nodded to the team, and took his leave.
"So what happened?" Jack asked.
"We went, we saw, we kicked his ass," she grinned.
"Details. I want details!"
"Okay, I'm not sure how long ago, a group of the Ascended decided they didn't like the rules. Sort of went renegade. Now, the Big Boys, the Beings who are higher than the Ascended, expected that group to clean up their own mess. Didn't happen. Innocent lives were lost, and put into danger, and too many whose destiny wasn't that as Goa'uld slaves became that anyway. So, the Big Boys decide that they needed a Champion for those Innocent people. And Daniel fit the bill perfectly. So they made him The One, and put us in charge of taking care of him. Now, these bad guys-"
Jack held his hand up. "I was talking about the fight."
"Haven't got there yet," she replied flippantly, waving a hand as if to ward off his comment as unimportant. "So these bad guys-"
"Doc, knock her out," Jack growled.
"I'm just curious as to how you know all of this," Sam said, grinning at the by-play between the two.
"Information dump. While I was in General Hammond's office earlier," Casey explained.
"So that was what...triggered your memory?"
"Not exactly...well, sort of. Maybe. I think so." She ignored the fact that Daniel was chuckling and Jack was rolling his eyes. "See, Dartal, that's one of the bad guys, sort of an assassin, he was given the job of taking out The One. He'd put this mental block in my mind, sort of like a dam. Kept all of my memories from being where they were supposed to be-"
Janet jerked slightly. She hadn't told anyone about her dream..."Did you say a dam?"
"Yeah, like the Hoover Dam," Casey replied. She cocked her head sideways. "Kept you from giving up hope, didn't it?"
There was no way to hide anything from Casey! "And an idea about what was going on," Janet smiled.
"Whoa...wait a minute!" Jack said. "You knew about all of this?"
Janet giggled. "Hardly. I had this dream..." she gave them a brief description of what she had 'seen'.
"That was sneaky," Daniel chuckled. "They weren't allowed to interfere, certainly can't interfere with this plane of existence...but she was able to give you hints in a dream. Miss Eloise had to have known that something would trigger Casey's memory, just enough for her to find that...block...that dam...and get passed it."
"Which is why she wanted us talking to her," Sam mused.
"Seems that way," Janet agreed.
"It does?" Jack asked, a perplexed look on his face.
"Indeed," Teal'c replied.
Jack scowled. "You're all being annoying. I'm going to go inform the general that SG-1 is ready to go back on active rotation."
Casey looked up at Daniel. Grabbed the front of his shirt, pulled him close for a kiss. "I love you," she whispered. "And I know it."
He smiled. "I love you, too. Welcome home, Angel."
"Thanks. It's good to be home. Um...about Ba'al..."
"Yes! I told him you'd kill him," she giggled.
Janet looked at the clock that hung on the wall beside the door. "Why don't you go have some lunch. Casey, I want you back on that protein drink-"
"After all I've been through? That's cold, girlfriend!" Casey objected.
"You're ten pounds underweight, Casey. Five I didn't quibble about. Ten is just too much. You're thin enough as it is."
"I don't want to hear it. Once a day, and if you don't put weight back on quickly enough, you'll have them twice a day."
"Oh, that's just mean!"
Janet smiled. Knew that by giving the order in Daniel's presence, Casey would be drinking that shake every morning. "Proves I care," she replied.
She looked up at her Husband. "You know what sounds good?"
"Ooo...I could go for an order of onion rings!" Sam exclaimed.
"I believe I would like a strawberry shake," Teal'c said.
"I'll go bring the truck around," Jack sighed. Inside, he was dancing a jig. Casey was back. Not just home...back. Daniel had that big grin on his face and his eyes were twinkling again. SG-1 was back together, and ready to take on the bad guys. All was right in his world once again. Now, if he could just catch that new Simpson's episode, and if the Canuck's could win their next game, life would be perfect. One out of two ain't bad, he thought, sauntering down the corridor, his hands shoved into his pockets.
A A A A A A
Casey put the last folder on the desk. "This is the one," she sighed. "No matter who goes, that temple will come down on them."
"Is there anything of value that could be found elsewhere in the city?" General Hammond asked.
"I'm not sure. Daniel or Sam would know more about that, based on the MALP images," she replied. "I just know that we have to stay out of that temple."
The general frowned. Knew that if SG-1 went, curiosity would have Dr. Jackson eager to research everything he could, including the temple. "I think for the time being, we'll just put this on the scrap pile."
She let out a breath she wasn't even aware of holding. "Thank you, sir."
"I believe we're finished for the day," General Hammond smiled. "It's good to have you back, Casey."
"It's good to be back, sir," she smiled. "Um...nobody's said anything...I was just wondering...what happened to Sarah?"
"I haven't heard anything," the general responded. "I'm certain that Jacob will keep us up to date on her progress."
"I feel sorry for her," the young seer sighed. "She was victimized twice...once by Osiris himself, and then by the anger that he left behind. It must be difficult living like that."
"I rather imagine it is."
Walter stuck his head into the room. "Excuse me, sir. Mrs. Jackson has a call on line five. It's the District Attorney from Seattle."
No rest for the wicked, she sighed silently. "I'll take it in the hallway," she said, standing to her feet.
"Please, use my phone," General Hammond insisted. "I have a meeting with Colonel O'Neill."
She giggled. "Does Jack know that?"
The general chuckled in response. "He will when I get there."
"Thank you, sir, for everything," she said softly.
"You're welcome, Casey. Walter, where is that list of overdue reports?"
"Right here, sir..."
With a sigh, she picked up the phone, punched the blinking button beside the number five. "This is Casey Jackson."
"Mrs. Jackson, this is Howard Preston, Seattle Assistant DA."
"Hello, Mr. Preston."
"Mrs. Jackson, I'm calling in regard to your mother-"
"That woman is not my mother. She and Frank Webster adopted me. That's the only 'relationship' that exists," she interjected immediately, her voice cold and firm.
"I understand," was the calm reply. "We have a court date for Helen Webster's trial. I was calling to let you know you're on the witness list. You should have already received written notification as well."
"Oh...um...I'll have to check." The letter was probably somewhere in the basket, lost among the bills and the junk mail.
"You'll be my first witness, as we've based the investigation on your complaint..."
Actually, she thought, listening to the attorney explain what was about to happen, she'd never said one word about it. Daniel had turned the tables on Helen when that woman had implicated him in the whole kidnapping fiasco with Cassie, when Kinsey had hired those scumbags to take her and the alien teenager.
"So I require you to be in the Seattle area for at least the week."
"Mr. Preston, I'll do my best. I believe you already have my deposition."
"Yes, it's quite good, actually. But-"
"In case you didn't know it, I'm at work right now. I work for the United States Air Force. I can't guarantee that I'll be available for the trial."
"I can have you subpoenaed."
"Be my guest."
"I would think you'd want to see Helen Webster punished for her part in what you suffered as a child."
"To be perfectly honest, I'd prefer to just forget the whole damned thing ever happened. The person responsible for...for hurting me...is dead. I can't dig him up and kill him. What she did...what she did was no worse than the other things I endured growing up in that house."
She could tell that she'd surprised him. "Maybe we should talk about those things," he said quietly.
"Because it could go to motive. If she was abusing you at home, then it's not a stretch to believe she'd allow...would set you up...to be molested."
"I'll tell you what, when you get to town, give my office a call. I'll set up a meeting and we'll discuss this further."
"I...I...all right," she sighed.
"Mrs. Jackson, you're not on trial," Mr. Howard said kindly. "You are the victim in all of this."
"Sometimes it doesn't feel that way."
"Believe me when I tell you that those in the courtroom will most certainly see it that way."
"Will she really go to prison?"
"For at least three years, yes."
Three years. She'd lived in that house for thirteen years. Helen Webster would serve three years. Probably less, if she copped an insanity plea. "It's not thirteen."
"No, it's not," he said, immediately understanding what the young woman was saying. "But it's better than nothing at all."
"Will...will Sheryl be there?"
"Your adopted sister? Yes, I believe the defense is calling her as a witness."
"Don't worry, I already have my cross worked out for her."
"She was just a kid. We were both just trying to survive," Casey said softly. "If you don't mind, Mr. Preston, I've had a really lousy few months, and I'd like to just take a deep breath and relax for a few days. I don't even want to have to think about this for awhile."
"Yes, Sergeant Harriman intimated that you've been out of the country for the past three months. I understand that you do classified work."
"Something like that," she murmured.
"Well, you're back home now. I suggest a nice steak dinner, a movie, and you'll be good as new."
She held the receiver away from her ear, stared at it as if it were responsible for the comment the man had just made. "Mr. Preston, a nice steak dinner and a movie can't do shit for taking away the agony of what I just endured! Three months of my life, Mr. Preston...gone! I'll never get them back! And I have to deal with the memories of everything that happened to me during that time when I wasn't home!"
"Oh...I...well...um...I apologize," the attorney stammered.
"You damned well should! I'm hanging up now, Mr. Preston. Don't call me, I'll call you!" She slammed the receiver onto the cradle. There was one thing, and only one thing, that would make her feel better...
Daniel was bent over the work table, carefully arranging the pieces of a broken clay tablet. He smiled when soft arms wrapped around him from behind.
She wondered if the tablet had suffered from his wrath the same as several small statuettes had when she'd been taken prisoner by Ba'al the first time. "Tell me you didn't break that."
"I didn't break it," he intoned.
"Seriously, did you break it?"
"Nope. Came this way. Hey you," he said softly, turning around and pulling her close. She was trembling. "What's wrong?"
This was exactly what she needed. She snuggled deeper into his embrace. "Lawyers. Just as bad as politicians. We should send them all through the 'gate to KSL-535!"
"Want to just freeze them, huh?"
"It would shut them up!"
"Any particular lawyer you're angry at?"
She recounted her conversation with the ADA. Word for word. Hadn't expected Daniel to become so angry.
"That bastard!" Daniel fumed. "He had no right...I should call him-"
She put her fingers to his lips. "How about we just call it a day? We'll go to the grocery store, and steak does sound good."
"Or, I could just take you out to dinner, and we could hit grocery store on the way home."
"I have my memory back. I can cook you know."
"I'm well aware of what a great cook you are," he replied. "I'm also aware that this has been a hell of a long day."
"Okay, we stop at Olive Garden..."
"Who said anything about Olive Garden?"
"You did! You said you'd take me out to dinner."
He grinned. "Olive Garden it is. Ready to go?"
"I need to stop by the gym."
"That basha'ak was a gift from Teal'c. I'm going to be madder than hell if it isn't back where it's supposed to be."
He understood that she treasured each gift she'd received from their friends. And that the basha'ak in particular was special to her. "Let's go check," he replied.
A A A A A A
The training weapon was exactly where it was supposed to be. It looked as if it had been polished. They were on their way topside when they were waylaid by Jack, Sam, and Teal'c. "Let's go grab some dinner at O'Malley's," Jack suggested.
Daniel shook his head. "We had breakfast together. We had lunch together. Now you want to have dinner together?"
"What, too much togetherness?" Jack asked, raising an eyebrow. "We eat all of our meals together on missions."
Casey put her hand on Daniel's chest. "Come on, Stud Muffin, Jack is offering to buy us dinner."
"Hey, wait a minute!" Jack objected. "I did not just offer to pay for your dinner!"
"Yes you did! You said, 'let's go grab some dinner at O'Malley's'," Casey grinned. "That infers that you're paying."
"So does not!"
"It so does so!"
"I must agree with Casey Jackson, O'Neill. There is inference in your statement that you would remunerate our meal."
"I am not paying for your dinner," Jack said, glaring at Casey. He turned to Teal'c, pointed a finger at the man's massive chest. "And you leave the damned online thesaurus alone!"
She burst into giggles. "You are too funny."
"I'd still like to know why we should have dinner together," Daniel said.
"What, you don't want to have dinner with us?" Jack asked.
"I never said that," Daniel replied.
"Just seemed like the thing to do. Team's together again," Jack shrugged nonchalantly.
In that moment he understood. As difficult, as heart-wrenching as Casey's absence had been for him, his teammates had suffered as well. They'd been just as worried about her, as well as the added stress of trying to keep him from falling completely apart. "Well, as long as you're offering to pay..." he grinned.
"I never offered to pay!" Jack declared.
"Just give it up and pick up the tab," Sam laughed.
"That's it! I'm never suggesting a meal together again. And the next person who does gets to pay the bill!" He'd never let them know that paying for a night at O'Malley's was something he'd longed to be able to do...during the days of worrying about and searching for Casey...during the endless nights of fretting over Daniel's well-being. He'd mortgage his house and sell body parts if that's what it took to keep his 'kids' safe and together. He looked at the four faces that grinned at him. SG-1 was back. Yep...all was well in his world!
A A A A A A
Gina looked up when the sound of laughter announced the arrival of the group that spilled through the door. There was Major Carter, and Colonel O'Neill, and Teal'c...she waited...felt her breath catch in her throat when she saw him. And she was with him this time. Looking hale and hearty. She signed mentally. Daniel's eyes were twinkling, he was wearing the broad smile that she'd become accustomed to seeing. The smile that hadn't been there until she had shown up in his life. That thought gave her pause. If she really cared about Daniel, considered him a friend, she'd be happy for him, right? She took a deep breath. Yep, if she was his friend, she'd be content to know that he had someone in his life who brought him such obvious joy. Much easier to say than do, she thought.
"Hi, Gina!" Jack said. "Is 'our' table available?"
"Sure is!" she responded brightly.
"Great." He led the team into the room, not waiting for the waitress.
"The usual all around?"
"Yep," Daniel replied.
She reached out and caught the blonde's arm as she walked past, Daniel's arm settled firmly around her shoulders. "Daniel said you were in the hospital, I'm glad to see you looking so well."
"Thank you," Casey said softly, flashing a smile.
The sincerity of the smile, the warmth in those green eyes made her ashamed of her earlier thoughts. She gave a small nod. "Drinks coming right up."
Once they were seated, Daniel cast a glance at each of them. "The Seattle ADA called Casey today."
"They have a court date?" Sam asked.
"Yep. Apparently he's been trying to get through to her...she's supposed to be there on Monday. Trial starts Tuesday."
Jack frowned. "The team is due some down time. Do you want...need...us to go along?"
Casey smiled. "As much as I'd love for you to be there, I know that you're all behind in your work. Because of me."
"Bullshit," Jack said bluntly. "I'm always behind in my paperwork!"
She reached over, took his hand. "Let's keep the general happy. You get all of those overdue reports finished up. Sam can take a look at the gizmos that have been waiting for her attention, and Teal'c can work with the cadets, and Daniel-"
"Will be right there beside you," he said firmly. "No way in hell am I letting you out of my sight!"
She smiled. "I was going to say that you'd just have to delegate some of your work. I'm thinking that the cadets could at least take care of the inventory for you."
He raised her fingers to his lips. "I have my own system."
"Mmmhmm. I know. It doesn't make sense, it takes too long, and when you're gone, no one can get anything done. I know that they need your brilliant mind for the translations, but the other..." she shrugged. "What they can do, they should do."
"What do you mean, it doesn't make sense?"
She looked at Sam. "I am speaking English, right? Not that it should matter - he speaks what, twenty-five, twenty-six languages?"
Jack snorted. "Give it up, Danny."
Daniel grinned. "I'll have you know that I'm the head of the Archaeology Department."
"That's right. The head of it. Not the entire department."
He rolled his eyes. He'd been the only archaeologist for the first year and a half of the SGC's full operation. It hadn't taken General Hammond long to understand that it would take more than one person to sort through the artifacts, translate what came back through the 'gate, especially if he was on a team and going on missions. "I know that."
"Then take advantage of the help that's there."
"You were so sweet, so amicable yesterday," he sighed.
"Yeah, well yesterday I didn't have my memory..." she narrowed her eyes. "Wait a minute, buster!"
He laughed at her expression, dropped a kiss on the tip of her nose. "Gotcha."
She gave up trying to hold back her grin in the wake of the laughter that surrounded the table. She tightened her fingers around his. "I just worry about you working too hard," she said softly.
That softly spoken admission made his heart hammer against his ribs. His teammates had always worried about him, and had let him know in their own unique ways. But it meant something more that Casey did. Everything that he'd been missing, all of the hurt and loneliness had been banished the moment she'd entered his life. Standing in that tiny apartment living room, her arms wrapped around him, she'd begun healing him then...filling all of those empty places that he'd feared would haunt him forever. He sent up a silent 'thank-you' to the true gods. Without her in his life, there was no life.
Gina brought four beers and an iced tea, along with dinner menus, gave them a promise to return to take their order momentarily.
Jack held his beer toward the center of the table. "To having SG-1 back together again."
"Hear, hear," Daniel said quietly.
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