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Every Good Deed
The klaxons were wailing, the red lights flashing. General Hammond hurried into the control room. "What have we got?" he asked.
Walter Harriman looked up at the general, his eyes wide. "It's SG-1's signal, sir," he replied.
George Hammond grinned. No sign of them after five days of an exhaustive search. Ten more days. Not a word. Now they were going to walk down that ramp, unaware that they'd once again been declared dead. He nearly ran to the 'gate room.
Major Ferretti and his Marines were standing ready. He took one look at the General's face and knew exactly who would be walking through that ring. His grin matched that of his CO.
Jack led the way down the ramp, a smile on his face. "We're home, sir," he announced.
"So I see. Just where the hell have you been?" General Hammond demanded to know.
"Well, that's a little tough to explain," Jack said, rubbing a hand on the back of his neck.
"How long, sir?" Sam asked. "We aren't exactly sure how long we were dead."
The general's blue eyes went wide. "Dead?"
"Yes, sir. We were killed, and then…brought back," Daniel said.
"Daniel is 'The One'," Jack added, "although we don’t exactly know what that means right now. Oh, and Junior is gone."
"What?" Hammond shook his head. "Get to the infirmary. We'll debrief as soon as Doctor Fraiser has examined you. To answer your question Major Carter, SG-1 has been missing and assumed dead for sixteen days."
"Sixteen days, sir?" she gasped.
"Sixteen days, Major. Infirmary. Now," the General ordered.
"This should be interesting," Daniel murmured. He had an idea of what had happened. There was a book, written near the turn of the ninth century. He'd purchased it because it was old, not particularly because he was interested in the content, which was a collection of myths regarding men who lived forever. Now, however, the content might be critically important to learning what had happened to them.
"I could so use a cup of coffee," Casey sighed.
"Me, too," Sam agreed.
"Food. I’m starving," Jack grumbled.
"I too am hungry," Teal'c said.
"We must have been dead about fourteen or fifteen days," Daniel mused quietly. "I'm not sure how long we were…awake… down there."
Jack nodded. "I don't think it was longer than a day, but time seemed so…weird…there."
Casey nodded. "Like it was passing everywhere around us, but not for us."
"I wonder what Janet will find?" Sam said, a worried frown on her face.
"Going by the fact that Junior is gone, and Teal'c is as hale and hearty as I've ever seen him, she's going to find us all in perfect health," Jack predicted.
"Eternal life!" Daniel breathed. "Oh, god, I think…"
"You think what, Daniel?" Jack asked, a slight frown on his face.
"There's the possibility that we're…Immortal," the young archaeologist replied.
His companions stopped walking, all turning to stare at him. "We're what?" Sam asked, her blue eyes wide.
"The Gift of Eternal Life. You have to die in order to receive it," Daniel explained.
"Why?" Jack asked. "Us, I mean. Why us?"
Casey smiled. "Because of all the people on this planet, on any planet, the four of you deserve it. You're all true heroes. How many times have you saved this planet? You saved the Asgard from total destruction. You've helped so many colonies of humans, transplanted from Earth by the Goa'uld, freed dozens more from Goa'uld enslavement. Killed about a dozen Goa'uld System Lords, and a few dozen lower ranking snakes. You've earned it. Me," she shrugged. "I was just there. I doubt that I'm Immortal, I haven't done anything to make me worthy of it."
Daniel's face paled. If she was right, then he'd just been doomed to eternity without her. "If you're not, I’m taking you back, demanding that they make you Immortal, or make me mortal again," he said firmly.
She smiled. "I don't know that it would work," she said softly.
Jack frowned. "I have the feeling that if we're Immortal, you are too," he told the young woman. "If only because you're Daniel's Beloved. Otherwise why have that…ceremony?" Standing in the brightly lit corridors of the SGC, what he'd witnessed in that temple was still something…sacred…but the images of Daniel making love to his wife were beginning to stir his body to arousal. He quickly tamped down on those thoughts.
"Only one way to know for sure," Sam said. She ran her ID card through the scanner, and the elevator doors opened.
General Hammond had called the infirmary, informing Dr. Fraiser that SG-1 had returned, and that they were on their way up. He'd told her only that they seemed to be in good health. He'd not mentioned the missing Goa'uld larva.
Janet was waiting for them. "How many times are you going to come back from the dead?"
Jack glanced at his team. "If what we think happened…happened…probably a lot!"
The petite woman frowned. "What do you think happened?"
"Show her, Teal'c," Casey said softly.
The large man unbuttoned his shirt, carefully laid it on the nearest bed. He pulled his tee shirt off, exposing his strong, broad chest…and his pouch-free abdomen.
Janet gasped. Hurried forward, began to run her fingers over his skin. "What happened?"
"We were killed. Bright light, lots of pain," Jack said. "I know we all died. Then we…woke up. Junior was missing. My knees don't hurt."
"I want every one of you in a johnny, now!" Janet demanded, rolling her sleeves up, determination in every movement.
Five voices began to protest.
"Now!" the doctor said firmly.
Curtains were drawn around five beds. The sounds of undressing and loud grumbling filled the air. Janet called all available medics to the infirmary, and the process of drawing blood began. She examined each of the team members, then sent them for x-rays and MRIs.
A A A A A A
Three and a half hours later, the team was fully dressed and sitting in the briefing room. Janet was still dazed over the test results. Every one of the team members was in perfect health. The signs of arthritis in Jack's knees were gone. Casey's stomach, while still smaller than normal, was scar free. Her ulcer completely gone. Daniel's tests showed that his allergies were gone, damage to his shoulder by the staff blast he'd taken in an alternate universe had disappeared. The signs of carpal tunnel syndrome that Sam had been developing were missing as well. All of the signs of broken bones, and every one of the team had suffered a break of some sort over the course of the years…gone. Even scars were beginning to fade.
"I’m still running tests on their blood samples," Janet said. "I'm also going to do a DNA sampling. There are at least a dozen 'markers' in the genome that are attributed to our life spans. If I'm right, those genomes will have been 'fixed'."
General Hammond frowned. "And this is permanent?"
"Yes, sir, I believe it is," Janet replied.
The Texan sat back in his chair. The report had been interesting to say the least. Casey's cheeks were still slightly flushed after the description of the 'ceremony' that had occurred, binding her to Daniel as his Beloved…for eternity. Each of the three…witnesses…insisted that the entire thing had been one of reverence and beauty. And that the temple had been filled to capacity with other 'witnesses'.
"We might be dealing with the Ancients," Daniel said. "It's possible that they did this in order to help us continue to fight the Goa'uld."
Casey shook her head. "Think higher," she said softly.
Everyone looked at her. "Higher?" Jack asked.
"You said that the Ancients were like us, and they became the Ascended," she said.
"That's what we believe, yes," Daniel replied.
"The Ancients are still…the Ancients. They are ascended, but they aren't The Ascended," she said slowly.
"How do you know this?" General Hammond asked.
Her eyes darted to Daniel, then settled on the table in front of her.
"Miss Eloise?" Daniel asked softly. He reached for her hand. "Can she tell you anything else?"
"Who is Miss Eloise?" Hammond demanded to know.
"She is Casey Jackson's spirit guide," Teal'c replied.
"I…I don't know," Casey admitted.
"I want you to try, Case," Daniel said, his voice still low, soft. "See if you can contact her."
"Doctor Jackson?" the general asked, his frown deepening.
The young archaeologist looked over at his CO. "It's possible that we can learn just how many levels of existence there are, and perhaps even what those who…exist…on those levels do, how interested in…us…they are. I don't mean just us as those here in this room, but us as species," he explained.
"Proceed," Hammond said.
Casey nodded, and closed her eyes. Smiled slightly. "Miss Eloise says to tell you she knew you were brilliant, Daniel."
The young man blushed. "Uh…tell her…uh…thanks."
"Did she say anything about me?" Jack asked teasingly.
Casey giggled, shook her head, then sighed. "She says you have a nice backside."
Sam tried to bite back her giggle. Daniel snorted.
"What?" Jack asked with feigned innocence. "The woman obviously has great taste in men!"
Janet and Sam burst into giggles.
"General Hammond, Miss Eloise says thank you for believing in me. That my Destiny was to be here…guiding…the people who are…who are fighting to protect all."
"Please tell Miss Eloise that it's an honor to have you here. And that she taught you well," the older man said gently.
"She has a message for Janet," Casey said, her eyes still closed. "Three days. Wounds will heal within hours. There will still be pain. But three days."
"Three days for what?" Janet asked, hastily writing down what Casey was saying.
Janet nodded her understanding. "Do I need to do anything during that time?"
The dark haired woman smiled. "Ask a silly question," she murmured.
"Daniel, Miss Eloise says that you already know the levels of existence. And that your suspicions are correct. She's not allowed to say more than that," Casey said softly.
He frowned, searched his mind. That book! The same one that spoke of the 'Champions' in the 'battle against all evil'. The same old text that declared there were 'creatures' that walked among men who refused to die. "What suspicions?"
Casey opened her eyes, smiled, and shrugged her slender shoulders. "I'm only passing on what she said."
The frown deepened. He so hated it when his questions weren't answered! Or at least, not given a clear, direct answer! "I suppose I'm expected to figure it out on my own."
"She said you're brilliant," Casey reminded him.
He bit back his caustic comment about old ladies on other planes of existence. "Right," he replied sarcastically.
"Hey, don't shoot the messenger," Casey exclaimed softly. "You're the one who wanted me to talk to her!"
"The woman obviously knows what she's talking about," Jack added, still chuckling mentally about the 'great backside' comment.
Daniel rolled his eyes. "The woman is old. Probably half blind!"
Sam, Janet, and Casey tried to stifle giggles behind their hands. None of them succeeded. Even General Hammond was fighting to hide a smile.
"Well, now that we know absolutely nothing more than we did a few minutes ago," Daniel groused, "there's some research I'd like to do."
The general nodded. "Have your reports on my desk by the end of the week. Doctor Fraiser, did you want to see SG-1 again?"
"Yes, sir, to get cheek swabs so we can do the DNA test I mentioned earlier," the doctor replied.
"All right. SG-1, report to the infirmary. Then go home. I'll expect you back at thirteen hundred tomorrow. Doctor Jackson, I'd like to have any information you can find by the end of the week," the general instructed.
"Yes, sir," Daniel said.
Sam, Jack, and Janet rose swiftly as the general left the room. Teal'c, Daniel and Casey had risen as well, only in a more leisurely manner.
"Let's go, gang," Janet said brightly.
"No poking, doc," Jack said. "You do the cheek swab…" he stopped, narrowed his eyes. "This has nothing to do with my posterior, does it?"
Janet laughed. "No, colonel. I promise."
It had only taken a matter of minutes to have a medic run a specially treated swab across the inside of their cheek, seal it in a bag, and label it. Quick showers were taken, and dressed once again in civilian clothes, the team split up and headed for their various homes.
A A A A A A
Casey sighed softly when Daniel closed the door behind them. Within the safety of the apartment, it was easy to push away the things that they faced on a daily basis. Within these walls, there was only him. Nothing else in the world…or the universe… mattered.
Daniel smiled at the sound of her sigh. It happened every time they came home. This was her sanctuary. It was here that she felt the safest, she'd told him. "Tired, Angel?"
She shook her head. "No, but I’m absolutely starving." She headed into the kitchen, opened the freezer. She loved watching cooking programs on HGTV, and one of the shows had offered a convenient idea for busy working women…making casseroles to freeze. So she'd spent an entire weekend doing so, first going to the mall to buy nearly a dozen casserole dishes, then to the grocery store for the ingredients she needed. She mentally took note that this weekend she needed to prepare more of the one-dish meals. "Lasagna, chicken enchiladas, chicken pot pie, or beef stroganoff?"
He grinned. Having homemade food had been one of the greatest joys of having her in his life, second only to making love to her. "Lasagna," he replied. Her lasagna was easily his favorite. If she was preparing a meal 'fresh', then chicken breasts, linguine with Alfredo sauce and green beans with ham was his favorite.
"What a surprise," she mumbled, taking the casserole dish from the freezer, and putting it into the microwave. She turned on the oven, then opened the pantry door, scanned the contents, pulled out the canister of coffee.
"You asked," he retorted.
"True." While the casserole defrosted, she started a pot of coffee. "So, have you thought any more about what being 'The One' means?"
He shook his head, leaned back against the counter and watched her. "Not really. It probably had something to do with the ceremony. I just happened to be picked, I guess," he said with a casual shrug. "It could just as easily have been Jack or Teal'c. Or you and Sam," he added hastily. Casey could become just as irritated as Sam about being considered inferior just because 'our reproductive organs are on the inside', as the tall blonde major complained quite often.
Casey smiled. "I have don't think Sam and I qualified for this particular…position. Our reproductive organs are-"
"On the inside," he sighed. "Yeah, right where they should be," he mumbled.
"I happen to like where your reproductive organs are. I'm very fond of that sweet little-" he broke off at the look in those green eyes.
"Sweet little what?" she asked, one eyebrow raised.
He grinned from ear to ear. "Twat."
She stared at him for a second or two, then began to giggle.
"I just figured you'd use the complete medical terminology."
"Because…you normally do. You aren't apt to use slang very often."
He frowned. "And this is bad because…?"
"I never said it was bad. I just wondered if you even knew any of the more…colorful…descriptions of a woman's…um…" she lowered her head and blushed. She couldn't even use the slang terms without feeling like a slut!
The grin was back, wider than ever. "Oh, I think I know a few…let's see, pussy is common. Twat…which happens to be a favorite of mine…"
"I won't even ask," she said, rolling her eyes.
"Then there's beaver…box…cooter…snatch…"
"I get the point," she said.
"Not yet you don't. Later, absolutely."
She looked over at him. "Sometimes, you actually shock me!"
He laughed. "Because I'm not all ivory tower intellectual and uptight?"
When she heard it put into words, she realized how unfair the description really was. She crossed the room and put her arms around him. "I know personally just how uptight you aren't!"
"No way! I like the fact that you're a wild man in bed!"
"Wild man, huh?"
"Ugh…me love woman."
She burst into giggles. "You are in a very good mood tonight."
He pulled her close. "Why shouldn't I be? I just had the woman I love bound to me for eternity."
"Getting a bit possessive, aren't you?" she teased.
"When it comes to you, absolutely!" he declared.
The microwave dinged, and Casey extracted herself from his arms. When the casserole had been transferred to the now hot oven, she opened the pantry door and searched, found a box of brownie mix, and sat it on the counter, along with the bottle of vegetable oil. She took two eggs from the refrigerator, smiled when Daniel handed her the mixing bowl that had been Grandma Rose's favorite, and was now hers.
"Pan need to be greased?" he asked, reaching for one of her baking dishes.
"Just the bottom," she replied.
He nodded, took the can of cooking spray and lightly coated the bottom of the dish. "You were incredible," he said softly.
Casey looked over at him. "When?"
"During the…uh…the ceremony," he replied. He watched the color fill her cheeks.
"I was…embarrassed…at first. But you…your touch-" she broke off, shook her head. "When you touched me, kissed me, all I could see was you…all I heard was you…all I felt was you."
Daniel reached out and ran his hand up and down her back. "You're amazing, Angel."
She shook her head again. "No, I’m not. But when I'm with you, in your arms, nothing can hurt me," she said simply.
That she felt that safe, that secure when he held her bespoke of the love she felt, the faith she had in him. It both honored and humbled him to know that she felt that way. "When you're in my arms, I can do anything," he replied, his voice soft, full of awe at the sudden realization of that fact.
The brownie mix was ready, she poured it into the dish, set it in the oven beside the lasagna. Timers were set, Daniel now understanding why she'd insisted on having two of the small devices.
Dinner was spent talking, laughing, gently teasing one another. When the kitchen had been cleaned up, they spent the early evening playing chess. They spent the night making love.
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