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Every Good Deed
She hesitated at the doorway. He was frowning at the tablet he was working on, his concentration intense. She didn't want to disturb him, interruptions often annoyed him, and she understood that when one's train of thought was intruded upon, it was often difficult to recapture.
He stared at the tablet, not really seeing it. It had been two hours since the briefing. He'd gone to the infirmary an hour ago; Janet had informed him that Casey had come in and had blood drawn. It was unnerving, to say the least, to not actually know where his Wife was. He chastised himself for being too possessive. Maybe that was part of the problem, he thought. She knew that he'd want her to talk about her feelings, her fears, and perhaps she wasn't able to, not yet. It was so damned hard! He just wanted to protect her, and sometimes that meant protecting her from herself and that damned low self-esteem that plagued her.
One step, two steps into the room. Her fingers worried one another, twisted around each other. Was he angry at her? Not only for the entire addiction thing, but for running out of the briefing like she had. And then there was the fact that she'd been avoiding him for the past two hours. He was surely angry. "Daniel?" Her voice was soft, hesitant, held a bit of fear.
He turned around, smiled with relief to see her standing there. "Hey, gorgeous."
She lit the room with her smile. "Hey, handsome."
Daniel stood up, held open his arms, crushed her to his chest when she rushed into them. "Are you all right?"
"I think so." Sam had told her what had been said at the meeting, Daniel's concern for her. The fact that he didn't seem to be bothered by the fact that he was addicted to her. Casey still struggled to believe that he wasn't upset about that. "I'm sorry," she whispered.
He chuckled. "I’m not. I like how sweet that Hathor-gene makes you."
"Very. To smell, to taste. Very sweet," he replied.
"You're not angry?"
He pulled away far enough to be able to look down into those green eyes. "No! Why should I be? Case, this isn't anything that you have control over!"
"I just feel guilty," she admitted.
"Well, don't," he said, barely able to resist rolling his eyes. It seemed that she'd go out of her way to find something to twist around in order to make it her fault. And then she'd grab that guilt with both hands and hang on. "Let it go," he said softly.
She looked into those incredible blue eyes. Saw only love in the depths. "Bossy, aren't you?"
"Regular tyrant," he smiled.
Giving in to her need, she rested her cheek against his shoulder. Smiled when his arms tightened around her. "So, getting any work done?"
"Well, keep trying," she said. "Teal'c wants me to help him teach self-defense today."
The large man had commented to him that Casey was learning quickly, and would be an able assistant when it came to training the other SG teams. "Okay. Let me know when you're finished," he replied.
She nodded. Leaned up and kissed his chin. Responded ardently when his lips sought and found hers. She pulled away slowly, reluctantly. "I think I'd better go," she whispered.
"Probably," he admitted, his body responding to hers.
She waited. "Daniel, you have to let me go."
"Hey, don't tell me, tell the arms. They have a mind of their own!" he grinned.
She leaned up, kissed him again, then managed to step away from him. "Get to work," she smiled.
"Right. Work. Translations. No thinking about those sweet lips. Or those perfect boobs. Or those great legs. Or that sexy ass. Or that sweet little-"
"Don't you dare!" she threatened, glancing up at the camera. One that recorded sound as well as visual images.
He grinned. "See you later, Angel."
She smiled, and waved, and left the room.
He followed her to the door, just so he could watch her walk down the corridor. Oh yeah! That sexy little sway could make a dead man sit up and take notice! He fought to regain control of his body, forced his mind back to the translation he'd been trying to work on.
A A A A A A
Casey let the warm water flow over her tired, sweaty body. She glanced up when she heard the chatter of other women as they entered the locker room. Grabbing her scrunchy, she poured a generous amount of bath gel on it, and hurriedly scrubbed herself clean. She was rinsed and wrapped in a towel by the time the women were entering the open shower area.
"Hey, welcome back, Casey!" Cathy Masterson said, a bright smile on her face.
"Yeah, we missed you around here," Tiesha Taylor said.
She smiled. "Thank you. It's good to be back."
"So, what happened?" Cathy asked.
Sam had told her that General Hammond had agreed that the details of the mission remain confidential. In fact, for right now, the team was to report that they recalled nothing at all. "I have no idea."
Tiesha rolled her eyes. "Oh, lord, I hate when that happens! Walk in, got your P90 all ready to fire, next thing you know, you're flat on your back looking up at some freakin' snake, no clue how you got there!"
"I hear that!" Cathy agreed.
"Or you just wake up, laying there on the ground, wondering what the hell happened," Tammy Keller said.
"Yep, been there, too," Tiesha said.
Casey smiled. "Well, I guess if it happens this often, maybe we should all start wearing tiny recording devices. So we can find out what happens."
The women around her laughed.
"Rather record some of those fine male asses out there," Tiesha said, her brown eyes dancing.
Another round of laughter filled the tiled area.
Cathy looked at the slender woman. "Casey, you don't have to answer this, but…why is it that you always seem to be finished by the time we get in here?"
Color crept into her cheeks. "I…well…I…"
"Honey, we're all girls here," Tiesha said. "You ain't got nothing that we don't, and ain't seen before."
"I'm…too skinny," Casey said softly, remembering the taunts that she'd endured in school, cruel comments about the fact that her ribs were as prominent as her hip and shoulder bones. She didn't realize that being malnourished as a child was to blame for her appearance, and had nothing to do with her.
Tiesha snorted. "Girlfriend, if I had a figure like yours, I'd be parading naked up and down the corridors, showing it off!"
Her eyes went wide. "You…would?"
"Casey, most of us would kill to look like you," Cathy confirmed.
Something that Janet had said surfaced in her mind. "You don't…hate me…because of how I look?"
Tammy laughed. "Oh, I did. Until I got to know you. If you weren't so damned nice I'd hate your guts!"
She couldn't help but smile. There weren't many women assigned to the SGC. Less than two dozen, actually. So far she hadn't been the recipient of any rude treatment from any of them.
"Now, add on the fact that you managed to land one Doctor Daniel Jackson, and we should actually take you out back and shoot you," Cathy teased. "But, like Tammy said, you're so darned sweet and nice, we just can't."
"I think that's a good thing," Casey managed to say, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips.
"Besides," Cathy continued, "there aren't enough of us here to allow ourselves to start bickering back and forth. We have to stick together, or those men would ride rough-shod over us!"
"I hear that!" Tammy agreed.
Casey started to walk toward the lockers, then stopped and turned. She watched the three women as they bathed, sharing shampoo and body gel and quips. "Thank you," she said softly.
Cathy looked over at her. "Casey, did you say something?"
The young blonde smiled, shook her head. "No, just thinking out loud, I guess. I need to get going."
"See you tomorrow," Tiesha called. Just before she squealed when the water turned cold.
She wrapped herself in the newfound friendship of the women she worked with as she pulled on her clothes. Thoughts that she'd forced to the back of her mind ages ago began to surface. Was it possible? Could she really have something that she'd given up hoping for so long ago?
A A A A A A
Casey remained quiet on the ride from the base to the apartment building. Daniel had glanced at her several times, worried about the frown that creased her brow. She said nothing in the elevator, nor did she lean against him, or cling to him the way she usually did.
He tossed his keys onto the sofa table, shoved his fingers into the pockets of his jeans, watched as she stood in front of the French doors, her arms around her narrow waist. He walked slowly toward her, not wanting to frighten her…alarm her. "Case?" he asked softly, slipping his arms around her when he was close enough. "What's wrong?"
She leaned back against him. She'd managed to convince herself that while the dream might be possible - someday, asking for it would be…especially now…too much. He'd given her so much already, spent so much money on her that it still bothered her to think about it. "Nothing," she replied softly, her voice a bit sad.
Daniel scooped her into his arms, ignoring her squeal of surprise, which was followed by protests. He settled onto the sofa, his arms around her, holding her close. "Something is wrong. Please, Casey, don't shut me out. Let me help you. Even if all I can do is listen," he begged softly.
"Oh, Daniel," she sighed, rested her cheek against his forehead. "It's nothing, really."
He wrapped his hand around her chin, tipped her face toward his, forced her to look at him. "It's in your eyes, Angel. Something is bothering you, making you…sad. What is it?"
"It's nothing," she said for the third time.
He settled back against the cushions of the sofa, tightened his arms around her. "We don't move until we talk."
"Okay, what do you want to talk about?" she asked, hoping to divert his attention.
"Not gonna work, babe," he replied.
Damn it! He was just stubborn enough, and patient enough, to do exactly what he threatened! Well, she was pretty damned stubborn too, she thought. She was about to discover how patient she was. She settled against him. Remained silent.
The only sounds in the room were those of the clock on the wall, and their quiet breathing. Daniel was running his hand slowly up and down her back, convinced that if he could get her to relax enough physically, he could get her to relax mentally as well, and find out what was going on in that pretty head of hers.
Her thoughts continued on the merry-go-round that they'd been on since this thought…this old, long forgotten dream…had poked its head up from its hiding place. She couldn't ask him. She just couldn't. It would seem too…ungrateful. As if she wasn't happy with her life as it was. And she was! She was so happy it frightened her. But for the first time in…ever…she really felt like settling down, putting down roots. Daniel had given her so much, he was so generous. But there had to be a limit to that generosity. If she were to even voice her thoughts, he might decide that she was nothing more than a little gold-digger, out only for what she could get from him, using her body to get exactly what she wanted. That thought caused a shudder to move over her slender frame.
Daniel started when he felt the tremor move over her. "Case? This isn't about…that…mission, is it?" He knew that she was still having nightmares about it. He was still having nightmares about that horrible day. And they both probably would for some time to come.
"Hmm?" What he'd asked filtered through her whirling thoughts. "Oh, no, I promise," she said softly.
He sighed. If he had to sit here all night, so be it. One way or another he was going to find out what was bothering her. "Is it about this last mission, and what happened?"
If only she hadn't watched that program on television, she thought. It had stirred up…that…desire, even if she hadn't been fully aware of that fact. She never should have even glanced at the classified ads, even if it was just out of curiosity!
"I asked if what is bothering you has to do with this last mission, and what happened."
"No, it doesn't," she answered absently. Damn it, I can picture it now! It would be so wonderful! The thing of it was, she was just sure that he'd like it too. At least, she thought he would. After all, his childhood had been as…cold…as hers. Something like this was what they both needed…deserved.
Daniel glanced at his watch. She'd been silent for thirty minutes. Normally she was chattering away. He liked it when she chattered; making him laugh with her observations, and the very accurate impersonations of people they worked with. He liked answering the multitude of questions she could ask. "Casey Renee Jackson, what the hell is wrong?"
She started at the sound of his voice. "Noth-"
"Bullshit. Something is wrong and I want to know what it is, right freaking now!" His voice held more anger than he'd intended for it to. He could feel her physically pull away from him, could see in her eyes the way she cringed. "Oh, god, babe, I'm sorry!" He hugged her tightly. "I didn't mean to snap at you like that. I'm just…worried about you. And-" he broke off, shook his head.
She put her hands around his face, turned him toward her. "And?"
"It hurts that you're shutting me out," he said softly.
"Oh, Daniel, I'm not shutting you out! Please believe me!"
"Yes, you are. If you can't talk to me about…whatever it is…how can I help you? How can I be there for you?"
The hurt that filled his voice, and those incredible, beautiful blue eyes was her complete undoing. Tears filled her own eyes. "It's so wrong to want more," she whispered.
She tried to pull away from him, his arms only grew tighter. "I just…well…a long time ago…I-" she broke off, shook her head.
"Take your time, Angel," he said softly. Once again his hand was moving up and down her back.
She took a shaky breath. "When I was a little girl…" she stopped again, shook her head yet again.
Oh, god, he thought desperately. What horrors was he going to learn about now? "When you were a little girl…?" he prompted.
"Grandma Rose bought me a dollhouse. And all of the furniture, and a family to go with it. I played with it for hours. I must have redecorated it a dozen times. She told me that someday I'd have my own home, a real one, with my own family."
Okay, now he was confused. What did a dollhouse have to do with whatever was bothering her?
She took another shaky breath. "I decided when I was very young that one day I was going to leave Tacoma. And when I found some place where I had friends, and the girls…or I guess it would really be women…didn't hate me, then I'd know that I'd found a place where I could make my home."
He was listening carefully. His first thought was that one of the women who worked in the SGC had said something to hurt her. He'd have a few words to say to whoever it was if it was true. "Go on," he said softly.
"Today-" she bit back the sob that tried escape. Couldn't stop the tear that fell onto her cheek.
He reached up and brushed it away. "What happened, Case?"
"Today, I found out that Cathy and Tammy and Tiesha like me! I mean, they really like me!"
He could hear the awe in her voice. Which poked at that place in his heart that ached for all she'd suffered. And told him absolutely nothing. Okay, back to confusion. If these women hadn't hurt her, what the hell was wrong? Wait a minute…a place where women didn't hate her! A place where she could make her home! So, wasn't that a good thing? She was at home, and they liked her…Yep, still confused.
"And, then, this dream of having…" she shook her head again. "It's not right to want so much," she whispered again.
"Just what is it that it's not right to want?" he asked gently.
She turned her head, stared at the buildings across the street. Tried to resist when his hand moved to her chin once again.
"A home of our own," she finally whispered.
Well call out the hallelujah chorus, she finally admitted what's bothering her! He thought about what she said. A home of their own. That simple desire had seemed out of reach to her for so long, she had to search for a way to continue to deny herself. When her self-imposed terms had been met, she still wouldn't allow herself to even hope for something that she deemed unattainable. So she'd make the desire 'wrong'. Because wanting it was 'wanting too much'. God what he wouldn't give to have just five minutes with that bitch… He forced himself to calm down, and his thoughts into another direction.
He was too quiet, she thought. No doubt he found her admission, her…desire…too much. Once again she tried to pull away from him. Once again his arms tightened around her, like steel bands, holding her close to his body.
"I never really thought about having a place of my own…well, not a house anyway," he admitted. "I never thought-" he broke off, shook his head as his own demons began to stir.
"It's okay, Daniel, I know that it's too much. I'm happy here, honest!" she said desperately. "I have you and good friends, and you've given me so much and I don't need any more and I can be happy wherever you are and I'll never-"
He put his finger against her lips to stop the flood of words. "Shh. I'm glad you're happy here, Angel. I'm glad you have friends here. I’m glad that you've found a place that you can feel is your home. To be honest with you, I never let myself think about having…a real home. I think that you and I should talk about this." He watched the flicker of hope that moved over her face, through those green eyes. Watched as she forced it down. It made him want to cry out. She'd been denied so much, for so long, that the simple dream of having a home of her own seemed out of reach for her. "What do you think?"
"I think I'm being an ungrateful bitch," she said quietly.
Daniel shook his head. "That’s wrong, Case. You're not being ungrateful. You sure as hell aren't a bitch!"
"You've spent so much money on me already, and provided me with a beautiful place to live, and I should be thankful for all that I have! And I am, really, I am," she said.
"I know you are," he replied. "Honey, wanting a home of your own isn't anything to feel guilty about. Like I said, I think this is something we should talk about."
She pulled her lip between her teeth. "I don't know how to do that," she whispered.
"Neither do I," he whispered back. Grinned when she giggled. "Okay, exactly what is it that you want, what is it that you see?"
Casey sighed, leaned against him. "I don't want anything fancy," she said.
Fancy. Casey-speak for expensive. "Okay, go on."
"I…well…it's sort of silly," she said.
"I like silly," he replied.
"I guess what I want is…well, like a cottage. White picket fence. I'd like to have a place where I could have a flower garden, and rose bushes. And lilac bushes. A place with an office for you. A nice kitchen. Maybe a patio or a deck where we could invite our friends over for barbecues."
"Fireplace. I want a fireplace. So we can make love in front of it," he said softly. He hadn't realized that he too had dreamed of a home of his own, had buried that dream so deeply that he'd forgotten it existed. He felt it begin to stir to life, watched curiously as it began to unfold.
"That sounds nice," she sighed.
"I guess now what we have to do is just…find it."
She sat up straight, looked at him. "Say what?"
He grinned at her. "I said now we just have to find this place."
"Okay," she said slowly.
"We'll talk to Sam. She went through a realtor when she found her house. She only had to look at the ones that fit her criteria. We'll get the name from her."
"They can do that?"
She took a deep breath. Looked at the man who'd filled all of the empty places in her heart. Who was healing the wounds left by a childhood full of abuse. Who'd given her more in three months than anyone else had in her lifetime. Whom she loved so much it hurt. "I love you," she whispered.
He smiled. "I love you, too. Now, I want you to promise me that you'll never do this again. When something is bothering you, no matter what it is, or how bad you might think it is, I want you to tell me. Talk to me, Angel."
"I promise," she said softly. She leaned over and kissed him.
Her lips brushed against his, then settled more firmly. He put one hand behind her head, held her steady as he began to drink from her mouth, taking what he needed, giving back to her with all of his love.
The breath of life. That's what his kisses were to her. The breath of life. She sighed into his mouth when he deepened the kiss, his tongue moving deeper into her mouth, stroking her tongue, teasing her.
He pulled away slowly. "Case?"
"My leg is asleep."
"Not my fault. I wasn't the one who insisted on sitting here like this," she replied.
"Oh, you will so pay for that!" He tossed her onto the sofa, ignored the 'pins and needles' feeling that flooded his leg, and began to tickle her. As so often happened, the tickles turned to caresses, and within minutes clothes were hitting the floor, and they began to make love.
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