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Every Good Deed
Sam had been excited to learn that Casey and Daniel were considering the purchase of their own home. She searched for and found the business card of the realtor she'd worked with, declaring the woman to be easy to get along with and willing to do whatever it took to find the right place. Daniel called and set up an appointment for the next day, late in the afternoon. They were leaving on a mission later that morning, and would no doubt be gone overnight.
Janet, with Sam's help, had managed to synthesize the first batch of serum that mimicked Casey's pheromones. Daniel would carry it with him on every mission, so that if they were unable to get home, or be together, he wouldn't suffer any of the symptoms of withdrawal. The narrow box contained two small vials of the serum, as well as two disposable hypodermic needles. The hardest part would be keeping the box with him if they were captured, or their gear taken away at any time. It was this concern that had him putting it into one of the leg pockets of his BDU. Usually anything not deemed a weapon was left on them when they were captured by Jaffa.
Casey was standing between Sam and Teal'c in the 'gate room. Walter had just called out the sixth chevron when Daniel raced into the room, still tying his do-rag over his head. As usual, last minute checks of information had the archaeologist running late.
"Regular check-ins, SG-1," General Hammond said from the control room.
"Yes, sir!" Jack grinned, tossing a lazy salute at his commanding officer. The older man just grinned down at them.
"SG-1, you have a go. Godspeed."
"That's the word, campers. Move out." Jack nearly bounced up the ramp.
"What's with him?" Daniel asked, staring after the older man.
Sam grinned. "I have no idea." She hurried up the ramp.
Teal'c and Casey followed, the young blonde tugging on her husband's arm to hurry him along. "Daniel, come on! I'll explain in a bit," she said, rolling her eyes.
A A A A A A
They stood on the top of the steps, the 'gate hissing closed behind them. "Idaho," Casey said. "This place looks like southern Idaho. Minus the towns, that is."
Jack looked around. "More like Wyoming."
"I think it looks more like western Colorado," Sam said.
"Well, whatever, let's go," Jack replied. "Teal'c, take point, buddy. Daniel, with me. Ladies, keep your eyes and ears open."
They began to walk toward the coordinates where the UAV had indicated ruins had been located. "I hear that you and some of the lab rats have been working on ATVs," Casey said quietly, using one of Jack's terms for the scientists that worked for the SGC.
Sam grinned. "Yeah. The Sam from the alternate universe we were in gave me a copy of the plans they used to build theirs. If everything goes right, we should have the first working prototypes by September."
"That will certainly make things easier."
"So, did Jack spend the entire night?" Casey asked innocently.
"That obvious, huh?"
"Only to someone used to watching a man who just got laid," was the teasing reply.
Sam giggled. "They do tend to strut around, don't they?"
"Oh, yeah. Although I have to admit, my Stud Muffin has every right to strut."
"I have no idea how you can take all of that and not be hurt," Sam said. She flinched when she saw Casey's cheeks turn red. "I’m sorry, I shouldn't have said that."
"It's okay," the young woman said. "You did get to see him in action."
The major glanced sideways at her friend. "It was beautiful Casey. Sacred. It was like…it was almost like standing in that chapel when you and Daniel were married. It had the same feel of…reverence."
"Really?" It was a relief to know that what her friends had witnessed hadn't been just incredible sex.
"Really. When you…when you cried out, it just fit in with the chanting and singing in the background, as if it had all been planned, like a performance," Sam said. "The same when Daniel cried out your name. It was…it was beautiful."
Jack and Daniel had been listening to the soft conversation. Daniel glanced at his friend. "It was a sacred ceremony."
"I know, Danny. I felt that too," Jack said softly. "I have to agree with Carter, though. Where in the hell does she put it all?"
Daniel grinned. "She was made for me, Jack. Just for me," was his reply.
The older man shook his head. "Lucky little shit," he muttered under his breath.
The grin on Daniel's face grew wider.
Teal'c had stopped, held one fist in the air. The team dropped to their knees, trying to blend into the sand and sagebrush around them.
"What's up, Teal'c?" Jack asked, speaking into the microphone next to his mouth.
"We are being observed," was the reply that filled four ears.
"Okay, Danny, you said that those ruins had what looked like Navajo markings. I hope you know the language," Jack said, his eyes scanning the distance, trying to see anything that moved, or didn't belong.
"No, I don't," Daniel admitted, his eyes moving as well. "It's a nearly lost language. Very difficult to learn. Remember the code talkers of World War Two? There was a reason the Navajo language was chosen. It's an extremely complex language, completely unwritten. There are several dialects, then toss in the syntax and tonal qualities, and it's pretty much a language that you aren't going to pick up without constant, prolonged exposure to it."
"Well, I don't plan on any of us being here long enough to pick it up," Jack replied.
"If we are being watched by Navajo, they were brought here by the Goa'uld," Daniel said.
"I kind of figured that out on my own," Jack grumped.
"Which means," Daniel explained patiently, "they may speak a bit of Goa'uld. Or at least have a Goa'uld influence in their language. Which should make it a bit easier to translate."
"Now that I like the sound of," Jack said approvingly. "Teal'c, any sign of movement?"
"None," was the reply.
"Let's just mosey on, see if they want to introduce themselves," Jack said.
"I did some research on Navajo beliefs and ceremonies. Before we go into the ruins we need to ask the Great Spirit to protect us from any evil spirits that might be lurking there. We also need to let the Great Spirit know that we're not there to cause harm to any who sleep there," Daniel said, standing to his feet at the same time his companions did.
"Is this going to be long and boring?" Jack asked.
Daniel grinned. "Yep."
"You do it to annoy me, don't you?"
Jack grinned. "As long as it keeps us out of trouble," he said. He was starting to feel the prickle of being watched. "Somebody, or something is out there," he whispered.
"Yeah, I feel it too," Daniel admitted. The thought that when he'd first joined SG-1 he would've been oblivious to that feeling flashed through his mind. He'd changed a lot since joining the SGC. Sometimes he wasn't always comfortable with those changes. He shook himself mentally, scanned the area to his left; Jack was on his right.
"Casey, talk to me," Jack whispered.
The young blonde came to an abrupt halt. She cocked her head sideways. Then knelt down on the hot sand. She dropped her pack from her shoulders. Lifted both hands to the sky, palms up.
"What the hell is she doing?" Jack hissed.
"Praying. Native American style," Daniel replied. He moved to kneel beside her, his pack on the dirt next to him. He lifted his hands as well. Both Jacksons had their faces raised.
Teal'c took up a position just behind them. He continued to scan the area in front of him. If Casey Jackson was facing this direction, it was for a reason. Jack and Sam followed suit. After twenty minutes of absolute silence, in which neither Daniel nor Casey moved, figures began to move toward them, slowly, warily.
Her arms were starting to hurt. She dared not open her eyes, nor move until Daniel was certain that it would be all right. She would follow his lead, her faith in his knowledge and abilities the only thing that helped her remain calm.
Daniel was beginning to tire as well. He watched through his lashes as several men approached them slowly. An old man knelt down in front of them, mirrored their posture. I hope he's not long winded, he thought to himself. His shoulders were beginning to ache.
Casey's slender arms were beginning to tremble visibly. She didn’t move a muscle, remained exactly where she was.
When the old man lowered his arms, Daniel lowered his as well. He could see the relief in Casey's face when she allowed her arms to drop. "You are strangers."
Egyptian? These people spoke ancient Egyptian? Well, that narrowed down the list of possible 'gods' who brought them here! How the hell the Goa'uld had taken a group of natives from what was now the southern US to the Stargate in Egypt was a mystery worth examining. "Yes. We are explorers. We came through the Chappa'ai so that we might learn."
"What is it that you seek to learn?"
"There are ruins on the other side of that rise," Daniel said, nodding to his right. "We wish to examine them. To see if they are similar to those of people where we come from."
"You are of The People?"
Daniel shook his head. "No. But The People, and my people live in harmony." The fact that The People had been conquered by first the Spanish, and then the Americans, was one best left unvoiced.
The old man studied the young man. Turned his attention to the young woman. "She is a powerful shaman. She speaks with the spirits."
He started slightly, surprised that the old man could sense so much about his Wife. Perhaps he was a seer as well. "Yes, she does."
"She will bring the evil ones upon us."
"No! No, she'd never do that!" Daniel insisted.
"Oh, crap," Casey muttered.
"Bad?" Jack asked softly.
"Oh, yeah," she replied. Just before two large braves surged forward and grabbed her by the arms. They yanked her to her feet, tied her arms behind her, then shoved her in the direction they wanted her to go. She stumbled...fell, only to be jerked to her feet again.
"No! Let her go!" Daniel demanded, on his feet as well. He could feel the anger burning inside him, as well as the fear that gnawed at him.
The spears may have been primitive, but they were sharp. And pointed directly at their necks. The four were tied together, their hands bound in front of them, their packs and weapons left in a heap. When the old man started walking, the braves who surrounded them prodded them into movement.
Daniel watched as the two braves behind Casey continued to shove her, making her fall again and again, jerking her roughly to her feet each time. "Tell them to leave her alone," he said, his voice cold…deadly. The tingling in his fingers was beginning to get hotter.
The old man ignored him.
When Daniel started to reach for the man, determined to make him listen, to respond, blue sparks flew from his fingertips.
"What the hell was that?" Jack demanded.
"I have no idea," Daniel responded, staring at his hands.
Around them, the Indians had fallen to their faces. The old man screamed at the men who still tormented Casey. Those two stopped, and turned to face the group behind them.
Memories of the light that had surrounded him, the blue streamers of…power…that seemed to force their way into his body flashed through his mind. He lifted his hand again, reached out. Nothing. He'd been so angry…No, it couldn't be just anger, he thought quickly. He closed his eyes. Concentrated. Could feel the tingling in his hands. Focused the heat into his fingertips. Raised his hand and sent a blue fireball into the sand, creating a clump of glass.
"Holy Hannah," Sam whispered.
Obviously his anger had…stirred up...this power. But was not necessary to use it. If he concentrated, the…power…was there. He knelt down beside the trembling old man. "We don't wish to harm anyone. We're just explorers. If you want us to leave, we will. Just release us. Let my Wife go free, and we'll return to the Chappa'ai, and our home," he said softly.
The old man looked up at him. "You are a god," he said, his voice shaking.
"No, no, I'm not. I’m just a man," Daniel insisted.
"You send fire from your hands," the old man said.
"Well, yeah, I guess I do," the young archaeologist admitted.
"We will leave here, go far away. You go back through the Chappa'ai."
Daniel nodded. "Agreed."
Slowly the old man stood to his feet. He motioned to the two men who held Casey between them. They let go of her, turned and seemed to disappear into the desert. The braves who had surrounded the team did the same thing. "Go. Return here no more." He turned and walked away.
"Uh…could you at least untie us?" Daniel asked. The old man either didn't hear, or didn’t care.
Casey staggered to where the rest of the team stood. Her arms and shoulders ached from the ropes that held her so tightly, and the constant jerking that had been done to pull her back to her feet each time she fell, shoved forward so forcibly.
"Are you all right?" Daniel asked her.
She nodded. "I see that being The One has a few perks," she said.
He jerked. "This is because of that?"
"I guess so, isn't it?" she asked him.
He frowned. "It would explain that…light," he said softly.
"Look, I think this is something we need to keep just between us," Jack said. "I don't know what General Hammond would think about the fact that you can toss blue fireballs around. It's for damned sure that the NID would be all over you if they ever found out."
"I agree," Sam said.
"Me, too!" Casey declared.
"As do I."
Daniel nodded. "Yeah, probably a good idea."
"Would you guys mind untying each other so you can let me go? I’m really starting to hurt here," Casey said softly.
Within minutes the team was free. Daniel ran his hands over Casey's shoulders and arms, trying to help restore circulation. "I'll rub your back for you, as soon as we get home," he promised softly.
With their packs on their shoulders and weapons in their hands, they started for the 'gate. "Oh, hell," Casey said.
Jack moaned. "They're coming back?"
She shook her head. "Different group."
The team stood shoulder to shoulder to shoulder, daring any and all comers to mess with them. Several people approached slowly; there were as many women as men, as well as several children.
"We're peaceful explorers," Daniel said softly, using the same dialect of ancient Egyptian that the old man had spoken.
"You sent away the ruffians who have plagued us for many days!" The speaker was a woman of about fifty, her dark hair streaked with gray, her face leathery from exposure to the sun.
Daniel turned and translated for his friends.
"Well, how about that, we did something right," Jack grinned.
"There are ruins nearby that we would like to examine, if you will allow it," Daniel said. "We won't bother you, and I promise that any requirements you might have, we'll try to meet."
The woman looked up at the sky. The sun was nearly overhead. "It will be too hot to move soon. Come, take shelter with us. Tomorrow you may visit the Place of the Old Ones."
Again Daniel translated. With a shrug, Jack nodded his agreement.
The team followed the group into a large cavern, the open front making the entire area light and airy. It seemed that this was a communal area, there were several adults engaged in various activities, from tanning hides to grinding grain, although from where the grain came there was no clue. There were two women carefully working clay, making it ready to shape into the pots that were used, several varieties of which were scattered around the area. Three men were working on what looked like very long arrows, too small in diameter to be spears. The woman didn't stop, although all of the people were staring as they were led through the cavern and into a maze of rock corridors, until they entered another cavern of impressive size. They were standing beside a small pond. A waterfall fed into it, the water cooling the air around them. Openings near the tops of the rock walls allowed ample sunshine into the space.
"You may rest here. Bathe if you wish. We will come for you when the evening meal is ready," the woman said.
"Thank you. You are most generous," Daniel said politely, giving the woman the smile that had charmed many a diplomat and alien.
The woman fairly preened under his gaze. She smiled, and hurried away.
"Laying on the ol' Jackson charm, eh, Space Monkey?"
Daniel only smiled. "She says we're welcome to bathe, we'll be resting here until someone comes for us. I guess we've been invited to share their evening meal."
Casey dropped her pack, took off the BDU shirt and sat down to remove her boots. "Oh, yeah, a bath sounds good to me!"
"There's a nice little alcove there," Jack said, pointing to the far side of the cavern. "We'll set up camp there. You and Casey take a bath, then Carter can bathe, then Teal'c and I will."
"Jack, it's okay if you want to bathe with Sam," Casey said gently.
The older man glanced at his 2IC. "Yeah, maybe I'll do that," he admitted with a shy grin.
"Old habits die hard," Sam said softly.
"I understand," Casey replied. She watched her teammates disappear behind the rock wall that separated the pool from the rest of the large cavern. When they were out of sight, she stripped and slid into the water. It was cool, but not cold, and felt wonderful against her overheated skin.
Daniel slid in beside her, wrapped his arms around her, pulled her close.
"Actually, we've all seen each other, we could just all take a bath together," she said softly.
"I don't think Jack could handle that," Daniel replied. "It damned near killed him to take off that wet robe."
"It wasn't easy," she admitted.
"No one could tell," he said.
"I just kept thinking about nude beaches. I figured if those people could run around naked, then I should be able to do it."
He grinned. "It's usually easier when you're with strangers. The first few times at least."
She gave him a speculative look. "I'm not going to ask. Yes, I am. How often have you run around naked?"
"Not as often as you're thinking," he chuckled. "When I was on a dig in Egypt, it was so damned hot during the day, and we were near a river that fed into the Nile. We'd strip down and swim until the sun went down."
"And cooked yourselves, I’m sure," she said drolly.
"Actually, the sun block the natives used, and shared, kept us from burning. And the river flowed beneath an outcropping of rocks, so there was plenty of shade. We had nice tans though," he said.
"Yeah, a group of us from the Oriental Institute. Seven, to be precise."
"Men and women?"
"Four women, three men."
"How convenient," she said.
He chuckled again. "Not really. Two of the women were…involved. With each other. Crazy in love as I remember. Another was married."
"So I take it that nobody was sleeping together…except the two women?"
"I never said that," he replied.
She studied him. "Do I want to know?"
"Hey, I was young and single. Her name was Amelia, and she was the daughter of one of the American teachers at the nearby school."
"Did you love her?"
He shook his head. "No. I cared for her. But I didn't love her. She didn't love me. It was just a fling. Something to do when the sun was high, or at night." He didn't mention that he was getting over a broken heart at the time. Carrie Weaver had decided that their paths lay in different directions. If he was totally honest with himself, he'd treated Amelia rather shabbily, seeking her out only when he wanted to get his rocks off, not caring if she was pleased or not. He'd even taken her to bed within hours of being with a dancer at a club that the men had driven to one Saturday night. He'd been drunk, and the woman he'd been with had been an excellent dancer, but a lousy lay. Still horny, he'd sought out Amelia, and had fucked her until sun up. That night had been the last time he'd seen her. She'd left two days later, traveling to the US with her mother to visit family. She hadn't returned until two weeks before the expedition was to end. They'd been polite strangers for the duration of his stay there.
"Don't beat yourself up over something that happened years ago. You were young. And hurting," Casey said softly. "And Amelia was only using you to make her boyfriend jealous. He proposed as soon as you left."
He smiled. There was absolutely no way to ever hide anything from Casey! "I didn't know about real, true love until I met Sha're. I didn't know about deep, all-consuming love until I met you," he said softly.
"Sweet talker," she smiled. "We'd better get washed up so that the others can have a bath."
They washed quickly, knowing that to do otherwise would result in a session of lovemaking. Tonight, he told himself. He'd taste her tonight.
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