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Janet looked up when Sam hurried into the office. "All right, explain to me exactly what you're thinking."
Sam took a deep breath. "I can help Rachel. I know I can. I've used the healing device before-"
"And totally exhausted yourself," Janet reminded her friend.
"I'll survive." She looked down at her hands, surprised to find them clenched so tightly. "Jack carries so much guilt...not being there when his dad died, the...accident...with Charlie; each and every time something happens to one of us, he blames himself. Knowing that there are devices right here that could cure his sister, and then standing by and doing nothing..."
"Oh, god," Janet whispered. Without a doubt the colonel would hold himself solely responsible for his sister's death. Sam was right, the man was already dealing with far too much guilt to add that weight. "Okay, you've convinced me."
"We have to make this seem legitimate, or Rachel won't buy into it."
Janet smiled. "Well, I'm ahead of you on that score...I think! We can tell her that the military has developed an experimental laser program that targets and neutralizes, or destroys, anomalous cells. That so far, indications are good that the machine will really work, but that it will be years before the safety protocols required for civilian use are met. Of course, with lasers involved, eye protection is necessary. That will prevent her from seeing you and an alien device standing over her."
"Last I heard, there really was a group working on a laser to do just that," Janet said softly. Knowledge she had which had helped her come up with her 'plan'.
"None. Which means the work is either ongoing, has stalled, or funding was pulled and the project mothballed." Janet studied her notes. Which she intended to shred and burn! "The easiest room to get would be the x-ray...that occurred to me on the way back here. So, we need to concoct a reason this Tyler would need an x-ray. Something that won't require a cast or extensive follow up care in the hospital.
Janet tapped a pen against her cheek. "It's cold and flu season...I could put down that she came in, presented with symptoms of URI, and that an x-ray is needed to determine that the lungs are clear."
"Won't it seem a bit suspicious if she's not having difficulty breathing, or registering a temperature?"
"Not if she's been on a course of OTC cough suppressants and expectorants. And, she won't be going in for an initial exam, just the x-ray."
"An x-ray for that wouldn't be unusual?"
"Nope. We need to fill out a dd2807-1 for this Tyler. It will have to be put in with the order I send in. Considering her age, should we make Rachel a major?"
Sam nodded. "Any higher than that will arouse suspicions."
With a nod of her auburn head, Janet began to type. "I'll send in the order for the x-ray. But we don't dare start the machine. There are computer logs that record each picture. I haven't figured out yet just how to get past that little wrinkle."
"If you can keep anyone from getting too nosy, I can get in and erase the record when I've finished, if we actually have to use it."
Janet nodded slowly. "You have to be sure, Sam...if there's a record of a x-ray, but no paperwork, it's going to cause problems. And if there's paperwork, but no unit attachment, there will be questions. We can't just 'assign' her somewhere...if there are questions, it will just get worse when no one has ever heard of Major Rachel Tyler."
"I can do it," Sam assured her friend. "Now, I just have to figure out a way to talk Rachel into doing this...without telling her anything."
"Well, given my brilliant idea for the experimental laser, I've made up what I think looks like a legitimate waiver that she'll have to sign," Janet continued, pulling a single sheet of paper from a folder beside her.
Sam looked the form over. "Impressive. This is a cross between a surgical release form and our confidentiality agreements."
"I was rather proud of it," Janet smirked. "Now, about the healing device-"
"Already worked out," Sam replied. "I'll sign it out, and put down that I'm studying the crystal placement in comparison to two other devices we've located. Which, I had planned to do next week anyway."
"Convenient," Janet nodded.
"Very. Casey would say it was an omen."
"A good one."
"Speaking of Casey, she'll carry it out in her purse. Daniel says the guards at the checkpoints never do more than look at what's on the top. It seems the first couple of times she came through, it required two forms and nearly an hour to list all of the contents."
Janet burst into giggles. "Highly exaggerated, I'm sure...but given that Casey is trusted..." Her voice faded. "If anything happens, she and Daniel could be in so much trouble," she said softly.
"They won't be alone," Sam reminded her friend. "If they go down, we all go down. We're a team."
Janet beamed a smile, her heart pounding with pride to be considered a part of SG-1, even if it was peripherally. "Damned straight."
"I'll tell Jack about this in the morning."
"We won't have much time to convince Rachel," Janet mused.
"I figure that could be to our advantage. If we're willing to risk censure and written reprimands in order to offer her this experimental treatment, she might be more willing to risk it herself. Besides," Sam shrugged slightly. "What does she have to lose?"
Janet shook her head. "I can't imagine what she must be feeling."
"I can't either. She's already been through this once...to have it come back, so suddenly, and from what she's said, so aggressively..." Sam's voice trailed off. "Makes me glad that I work inside."
"I know what you mean," Janet replied. The people assigned to the SGC were afforded every available advantage when facing illness...or death. From routine surgeries to the use of the healing device, none of the members of the SGC were left to face a physical calamity alone.
"So, we all meet here at...what time?"
"Let me see how soon I can get the x-ray room," Janet said. She turned to her computer, pulled up the pertinent information. "We'll meet here at nine. I can have the room reserved for ten."
"Sam...do you really think you can do this?" Janet asked softly.
"I have to try. For him," was the equally soft reply.
The diminutive doctor rose to her feet, hugged the tall major. "Casey said it worked, right?"
Sam blew out a breath. "Right."
"She's never been wrong."
Sam smiled. "No, she never has."
A A A A A A
Janelle glared at her nephew. "They're still not home!"
"For god's sake, Janelle, they have a life! Your arrival was unannounced-"
"And unplanned for," Gary continued. "Just because you're here doesn't mean they can drop everything and come running to your beck and call. I'll give Casey's cell a try. Do not get pissy while I'm talking to her."
"I wouldn't dream of it," the older woman sniffed.
"Bullshit." He pulled his phone from his pocket. Hit the number two. Realized for the first time that Charley's number was the first on his list. Should he have picked up on that little 'sign' sooner? He pushed the thought aside. "Casey? Hey, honey. Where are you?...Oh...no, that's okay. Tomorrow? That would be fine. We'll plan on dinner at your house tomorrow...Don't worry about it, baby...Okay. Casey? Love you, honey." The smile that lit his face was the result of her response. He closed the phone. "We'll have dinner with Casey and Daniel tomorrow. Something came up, they have to be on base tomorrow morning."
"Janelle, don't start. Come on. I'll take you to dinner and a movie."
"Don't think you'll drag me to one of those god-awful monster things. Or something with endless shooting and explosions. I hate those movies."
"I'll see if there are any slasher films playing."
He laughed out loud, planted a kiss on her cheek. "There's a theater downtown that plays old movies. Let's see what they're playing this weekend."
"What kind of old movies?" Janelle asked warily.
"Well, last week was a marathon of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby movies."
The old woman's face lit up. "Now that's entertainment!"
Gary laughed again, grabbed the newspaper. And found that Jimmy Stewart would be on the silver screen at the Tinsel Town Cinema. Which met with his aunt's approval. "Now, what would you like for dinner?"
"I don't suppose this town has a decent Chinese restaurant," Janelle said.
"I'm certain we could find something that would pass your inspection," Gary retorted.
"You're a smart aleck."
"Like you've never noticed that before," he scoffed.
"Let's go, before I decide you need a good thrashing," Janelle huffed. Her eyes twinkled with mirth.
"Not even on a good day, old woman," Gary muttered.
"You'd be surprised."
"You never did say when you came in...how did your lunch go with Janet?"
"We are officially no longer a couple. We are, however, still very good friends." He frowned as he held the coat for his aunt to put on. "She was damned evasive when I asked her if there was someone she was interested in. Usually she'll talk to me about things she can't discuss with anyone else. But she absolutely refused to say a word."
"Don't push, Gary. When and if she's ready to tell you, she will," Janelle advised.
"I suppose," he sighed. He'd never known Janet to be so evasive...or so defensive...about a subject.
A A A A A A
Jack glanced at the clock. Sam had insisted on driving over to pick up pizzas from the team's favorite pizzeria. His cabin was too far out of town for delivery...at least from Mama Trino's. She should have been back by now.
"Relax, Jack," Casey said, watching her CO and friend. Hoping that the clandestine meeting between Janet and Sam, which would set up the 'appointment' that would see Rachel cancer free, wouldn't take too long. Janet had called Sam the minute she'd gotten back to Colorado Springs. That conversation had been short and very...cryptic. Well, cryptic if one didn't know what as going on, she thought with a secret smile.
It didn't take a psychic to know that the seer was in on whatever was going on, Jack thought. So was Daniel. Getting either of them to talk would be impossible. Great when they were being interrogated by Goa'uld. Not so good when they were apparently hiding something from him. His birthday was still seven months away. Sam's was four months past. Casey's was quickly approaching, but she wouldn't be in on something for her birthday. And no one would attempt to plan something this far in advance. Not with her radar!
"Seriously. Relax. It's Saturday night. You know what it's like in there. Sam is probably having to wait," Casey cajoled.
"We called in the order," Jack argued.
"Yes, we did. And then she headed out to get them. How many pizzas were ordered before ours?"
"She has a point," Daniel mused.
"Are you always so suspicious?" Rachel asked, flashing a nervous smile. Being with this group was rather...intimidating. She'd been feeling like the outsider she truly was since the group had first gathered in the park.
Daniel snorted. "It's his middle name."
"No, Stud Muffin, his middle name is 'paranoid'."
"You two are just a laugh a minute," Jack growled. He looked over at Muriel. "I regret to inform you, Mrs. Jackson, that your grandson is a pain-in-the-butt."
Muriel smiled. "He comes by it honestly. I believe the same complaint was uttered about his father a time or two."
Daniel grinned from ear to ear, looked over at his friend. "What's your excuse?"
"Experience with the lot of you," Jack replied flippantly.
When Casey's cell phone rang, she knew who it was before checking the caller ID. She and Daniel had already discussed the fact that Jack needed them, and that they would be there for him. Her newly discovered aunt would simply have to wait...especially given that her arrival had been unannounced, and was, in reality, a bit of an inconvenience at the moment.
The conversation with her father had been almost as short as the one between Sam and Janet. She could only hope that Aunt Janelle wouldn't be offended at being put off. Family came first. And for the moment, Janelle wasn't among that number...regardless of the fact that they were actually related...even if it was by marriage. What an odd realization, she thought, to have 'real' family in her life. For so long she'd been Casey Renee. Orphan. She had discovered her Family of the Heart long before learning about her 'real' family. And as Jack had pointed out on several occasions, blood wasn't necessarily strong enough to maintain close family ties. Now that she'd met Rachel, his observations made even more sense.
Sam hurried through the door, five pizza boxes in hand. "Sorry...had to wait."
Casey tossed an 'I-told-you-so-look' at Jack, bounced to her feet to help locate plates and napkins.
Jack was already on his way into the kitchen for the beer. A glance over his shoulder at the two women sitting in the living room...the 'typical' seating arrangement on the floor just wouldn't do. "Why don't we eat at the table?"
Sam put the boxes on the large maple table centered in the dining room. "Sounds good."
Daniel stood to his feet, offered his arm to Muriel. Teal'c watched for a moment, then copied the movement, escorting Rachel toward the room where the team was gathering.
"A bit formal for pizza, isn't it?" Rachel said, noting that Casey was putting white china plates on the table, along with red linen napkins and what looked like crystal wine and beer glasses.
Each of the team members hesitated for just a fraction of a second, all eyes going to the dark haired woman. She involuntarily backed up half a step at the attention her comment had elicited.
Casey shrugged. "Why save the good dinnerware for 'later'?"
"We're not ones to stand on convention," Jack added, putting a six pack of Heineken and a bottle of Merlot on the table.
Rachel nodded her acknowledgment. She'd felt the group of five emotionally close ranks as soon as she had spoken; she could almost see the bonds of love that linked them together. Realized in that moment that the four people Jack called his 'team'...his 'kids'...were closer to him than she would ever be. Jealousy flared, and for a moment she wanted to scream out that he was her brother, that they were the outsiders, not she. Her eyes stopped on Casey. She could see the challenge in the deep green eyes. Open your mouth now, Rachel thought, and that little blonde will rip you to shreds.
Come on, Casey thought. Give us all a break here. Just relax...go with the flow.
Jack bit back his chuckle. He wondered if Radar had any clue that what she was thinking was wholly visible in her eyes. If Rachel so much as sneezed right now, there would be an entire conversation on the fine art of chilling out.
Daniel looked at Casey, then at Rachel. He still battled the feelings of jealousy that surfaced from time to time, regarding the relationship between his Wife and his best friend. His head understood that for them, nothing had changed. They were just friends. But he alone understood how much it had taken for both of them to open up to one another. His 'death' had been the catalyst for that...development. And he knew that they were closer now than they had ever been before. He would be dealing with the emotions that raged in the wake of that knowledge for some time to come, he thought.
Sam glanced from green eyes to brown. Then she looked at Jack. He was amused by Casey's reaction, she was certain of that by the smirk on his face. What she wasn't so sure of was exactly how she felt about it. She had absolutely no doubt that Jack loved her; had allowed her closer than anyone else had ever been to him. With the exception of Casey. Her mind pointed out that not even Casey was as close to Jack as she was. Her heart, however, continued to have doubts. She had no idea what the two had discussed in the hours they'd spent alone, while Daniel had been missing and presumed dead.
Teal'c watched his teammates. Two pairs of blue eyes had flickered from Casey to Jack and back again. He understood the...fears...that haunted the two. Understood that even though logically both knew that the relationship between Jack and Casey was no threat to the romantic relationships of the two couples, love was not always logical. With time, those fears would diminish.
Muriel could sense the sudden tension in the air. She could feel her grandson, his wife, and their friends pull together. She also realized that someone had to say something to dispel the sudden unease in the room, or they'd all stand and stare at each other until the pizza was cold. "Well, I'm glad to know that the five of you understand that life is to be lived. Waiting for that 'special' moment to use the good china is just a waste of time. Should have used mine a lot more often than I did."
Casey smiled. "Sometimes life has a way of teaching us the hard lessons in time to actually use them."
And that, Rachel decided, was a comment on just how dangerous the job that her brother and his team did, on a daily basis according to the slender blonde, really was.
"Okay, enough discourse on the tableware. Let's eat!" Jack held the chair for Sam, then settled beside her. Daniel seated his grandmother, made certain that Casey was sitting on the other side of him, then sat down across from Jack and Sam. Teal'c seated Rachel beside Jack, then sat down at the foot of the table.
"I haven't had pizza in quite awhile," Muriel said, helping herself to a slice of the sausage and green pepper pizza.
"Do they have a pizza restaurant in Butler?" Daniel asked.
"A small Pizza Hut. Marvin didn't care for pizza." She paused. "I suppose now I can order one any damned time I feel like it!"
Casey snorted. "Well, I think you should indulge at least once a week!"
Muriel chuckled. "I just might do that. Work my way through the menu and then start all over again."
"Mrs. Jackson, you're a woman after my own heart," Jack sighed. "Since Emma Hanks won't marry me, will you?"
The older woman giggled. "I'll have to think on that for awhile," she twittered.
"Who's Emma Hanks?" Rachel asked, determined to be a part of the conversation, whether she was 'invited' or not.
"Our neighbor," Daniel replied. "She's in her eighties, and an incorrigible flirt."
"I want to be like Emma when I grow up," Casey announced.
"You are much like Emma Hanks," Teal'c said. "You lack only her wisdom and experience."
There was a heartbeat of silence before the team erupted into laughter. Casey sputtered for a moment. "I have more experience than you think, Bubba," she retorted.
"I stand corrected, Casey Jackson. However, there is still the matter of the wisdom that Emma Hanks possesses."
"I'm not getting into this with you," Casey muttered. Her lips were curved into a smile however.
"Emma went to England during the second world war," Daniel explained. "She met her husband there...he was a US Naval officer."
"They lived all over the world as a result of his Naval career...she has the most beautiful things," Casey added. "She took us on a 'tour' of her 'keepsake room'."
"There's a story for each keepsake," Daniel continued. "And Emma is a great story teller."
Jack nodded. "She'll keep you in stitches."
Muriel smiled. "She sounds interesting."
"You'll meet her at the 4th of July barbecue, if not before," Daniel assured his grandmother.
No one at the table missed the way the older woman beamed at the comment.
"Do you go to this barbecue?" Rachel asked Jack. It really was a stupid question. She was being petty, she realized that. What she couldn't figure out was exactly why she felt so damned defensive! Her brother hadn't been a part of her life since...since the day he'd left to go to the Academy. Hadn't actually been involved in any real manner before that. And here she sat, pretending that she was closer to him, knew him better, than those he called 'friend'. No, she thought, he calls them his 'family'. Was it guilt...or jealousy...that was stirring her anger?
"Yep," Jack replied.
"Most of the people at the...er...that we work with in the mountain...come to the barbecue," Daniel said.
"Gets a bit crowded, but we manage," Casey quipped.
"I'll bet the neighbors love that," Rachel mumbled.
"Actually, the neighbors are invited as well," Daniel replied, frowning slightly at the barbed comment. "And a couple of them have parties of their own."
"The first summer we were in the house, we had a game of stereo wars," Casey grinned. "Two houses over, the Hewlitts have an awesome AC/DC collection. They'd play a song from one of the albums, and then I'd play one, and then on the other side, the Watersons would play the next song..."
Daniel laughed. "Four cop cars showed up. Seems there were complaints from three blocks over!"
Rachel couldn't imagine anything like that occurring the quiet, upscale residential area where she lived.
Jack looked at his sister. He knew what an unmitigated snob she could be. Probably imagined the couple living in a trailer somewhere. "Daniel and Casey live in an older neighborhood. All of the houses in about a six block radius have been...what's that word they used in the paper...that article about that area of town?" he asked Sam.
"Reclaimed," Sam supplied. "I live just a couple of blocks from Daniel and Casey. Very few of the houses haven't undergone extensive remodeling and updating."
"Our house was completely gutted and remodeled," Casey said. "It's beautiful."
"And she has it decorated like a showplace," Sam teased lovingly.
"That's right," Muriel nodded. She wasn't so old and senile that she hadn't been able to sense what Rachel had been thinking. The look on the woman's face was enough to have her feeling defensive of her granddaughter-in-law. "It's fit to be in those fancy decorating magazines."
Casey blushed, and lowered her eyes.
"Casey has exquisite taste," Daniel said proudly.
Score another point for the blonde, Rachel thought bitterly.
"I got most of my ideas from HGTV," Casey murmured.
The dark haired woman beside Jack perked up. "I love that network!"
"They have some good ideas. So does the Food Network," Casey replied.
Rachel looked around Jack towards Sam. "So do you cook and decorate, too?"
Sam blanched. "No."
Jack chuckled. "Sam could burn water. But there isn't a mechanical gizmo made that she can't fix or adapt. She rebuilt her bike from a box full of parts and a rusted frame. It's a beautiful machine!"
"That's right," Casey said. "She's our gizmo expert."
"Danny-boy is our diplomat and rock-reader," Jack said, pointing his slice of pizza toward Daniel. "He can speak what...twenty-six languages?"
"Something like that," Daniel replied.
"Teal'c...he's our muscle."
"Sort of obvious, Jack," Casey muttered. "I mean, Daniel could qualify for that job too...but, you know...it's just obvious. Of course, what we haven't figured out, is exactly what we have you hanging around for."
Rachel couldn't help but smile. "Rather diverse group."
Daniel chuckled. "You have no idea."
"So what is it that you do?" Muriel asked curiously.
"Matters of national security, ma'am," Jack replied.
"We deal with...terrorists," Casey said, watching Rachel.
"Well, I won't press," Muriel said, sipping the wine Daniel had poured for her. She hadn't had wine in a very long time, either. And she understood what secrecy meant. Had a fairly good idea of why it was necessary. She might not have been formally educated, but Muriel Jackson was a very intelligent woman.
Rachel darted a look at the elderly woman. How could she not want to know what her grandson was involved in? How could she so nonchalantly accept that what they did was important, without knowing the details?
Casey cocked her head sideways. Tugged at her lower lip.
"Incoming," Jack said quietly, just before taking a sip of beer. All eyes focused on the slender seer.
Rachel noted that her brother, and his 'team', were watching the blonde intently.
"Taking...matters...on faith when it involves those we love is sometimes the most difficult thing we're expected to do," Casey said softly, her gaze locked with Rachel's. "But knowing that our loved ones would never do anything to harm us...nothing intentional...is what gives us the strength to have that faith."
"In other words, don't ask questions," Rachel said dryly.
"There's nothing wrong with asking questions," Casey replied. "Just accept the answers you're given."
"Are the details really so important?" Daniel asked quietly. "Isn't it enough to know that your...er...loved ones...are doing an important job, one that they love, and one that they're very good at?"
She frowned. It was so damned difficult! She had already accepted that the reasons for Jack missing their father's funeral...for not being at his bedside before he died...weren't important. That was the past. It couldn't be changed, and it was best forgotten...
"I'd rather have Jack in my life on his terms, and accept what he can give me, than to not have him in it at all."
The words echoed in her ears. She'd already made up her mind that she felt the same way. Being faced with the...closeness...of this group had brought out a sense of jealousy she hadn't even known existed. "No," she said softly. "The details aren't important. Not when it comes to what a person does for a living."
Jack's sister had gotten the message. It was time to lighten the mood. "Well, I suppose if that person's resume included ax murder, or drug pusher, it might be important," Casey said, her green eyes twinkling.
"True," Rachel grinned. "I think I'd want to know if someone was a cat burglar."
"Or a kleptomaniac," Sam added.
"Definitely need to know that," Casey nodded. "So you can nail or glue everything down."
Rachel snickered. "Or hide away anything you value in a closet."
"I dunno...I've heard of 'closet klepto's'...wouldn't that mean that they prefer to klepto in closets?"
Bursts of laugher filled the room. "I think it refers to people who hide their light-fingered tendencies," Jack grinned.
"Well, yeah, that works, I suppose," Casey admitted with a wide grin.
Rachel wrapped her fingers around Jack's hand. "Thank you," she said softly.
"For what?" he asked.
"For...this. For helping me to see...to understand...to remember what the important things really are. I just wish I'd learned this lesson...this valuable lesson...a long time ago. When I think of all of the stupid things I worried about or obsessed over..." she shook her head. "So much time wasted."
"So make the most of the time you have," Jack said gently.
Sam, Casey, and Daniel exchanged looks. With luck, that time would be much longer than either of the O'Neill siblings realized.
A A A A A A
Janelle sat back, wiped her mouth with the napkin. "Wonderful!" she declared.
Gary smiled. He pushed away the remains of the moo goo gai pan he'd ordered. "Glad you enjoyed it."
"So...are you sure about your feelings for Charlene?"
He was beginning to regret telling his aunt that he had realized that the reason he wasn't in love with Janet was because he had been in love with Charley, but just hadn't recognized it. "I'm not sure about anything right now," he admitted. "But I do know that I have to explore that avenue. I have to find out what there can be between us. She's been part of my life longer than Cookie was..." a fact of life due to his precious wife's untimely death at such a relatively young age, "and Cookie was the one who introduced us. They were best friends long before I came into the picture."
The older woman nodded her white head. "It's not unheard of for a man to fall in love with his wife's best friend."
"It's usually best if the wife is no longer in the picture," he said dryly.
She chuckled. "True." She reached across the table, patted his hand. "Connie has been gone for over ten years, Gary. I doubt that she'd object to you finally moving on with your life."
"Now, tell me about this Daniel. I want to know he's good enough for your daughter."
"No matter what you think, Casey is head over heels in love with him. And he worships the ground she walks on."
"So they're in love. They're young. It doesn't mean he's good enough," Janelle sniffed.
"He's an archaeologist. I've told you that."
"Yes, you did. And that's all you've told me!"
Gary sighed. "He holds three doctorates. One in archaeology, one in anthropology, and one in philology."
"Has to do with the study of languages," Gary replied.
"I suppose it's that doctorate that has him employed by the Air Force?"
"That's a safe bet."
"So just what does Casey do there?"
"She's Daniel's assistant."
"She knows about languages?"
"That, and she can type and file." And would probably kick his ass for making her sound like nothing more than a secretary. But there was no way to let Janelle know that his daughter was the 'Resident Seer' of the SGC. That the slip of a woman who shared his DNA had saved the lives of every SG team member in the facility at least once. That not one SG team would walk up the ramp, through a device designed by aliens that created a stable wormhole, to be tossed to another planet, in another solar system, without her 'blessing'. Just like he couldn't let his aunt know that it had been Daniel's intellect that had unlocked the secret of that device. That, according to everyone in the mountain, the place couldn't function without Daniel and Casey.
"Well, it's nice that they can work together."
Yeah. Nice that they could be captured together. Tortured together. He shook his head mentally. According to mission reports, that had only happened three times. So far. Having been on the receiving end of torture, he cringed each time he thought about his daughter enduring the same brutality. "Yes, it is," he said quietly.
"Tomorrow I need to do a bit of shopping. I'd like to find a nice gift for Casey."
"That's not necessary."
Janelle gave him a look that let him know his comment had been noted, and was being duly ignored. "Something that she'd like. So you'll have to help me choose this gift."
"Whatever you say," he sighed. Not nearly as put out as he was pretending to be. Somehow, he was pretty sure the old battleaxe knew that as well.
A A A A A A
Daniel opened the door, ushered his wife and grandmother into the house, just as the clouds that had loomed all day opened up and began dropping snow on the city.
"I can't wait for spring," Casey grumbled. "I've had enough winter for this year!"
Muriel chuckled. "I guess living in the mountains like this, you see a lot of snow."
"Up to my butt most of the winter," Casey complained. "I was born and raised in Tacoma. We didn't do snow. Just a bit once a year or so. Never lasted longer than a couple of days. Here..." She rolled her eyes. "It starts snowing in November and doesn't let up until April!"
Daniel grinned. "Good thing you have me to keep you warm, huh, Angel?"
Casey blushed. "Daniel!"
"I rather imagine Casey keeps you warm as well," Muriel teased.
Daniel's eyes locked on his wife's. "She can make me downright hot!"
"Daniel Jackson!" She was mortified. He was making comments like...that...in front of his grandmother! Who, her brain pointed out, had had two sons of her own. It's not like she doesn't know about sex!
"Casey Jackson!" Daniel replied in kind, openly teasing her.
His eyes were laughing at her. And letting her know that under no circumstances was he going to just snuggle tonight! Is it too late in the evening to introduce Grandma to Emma? Maybe let the two elderly ladies have a nice conversation at Emma's house for a couple of hours or so?
Muriel hid her smile, busied herself taking off her coat and putting her purse beside her suitcase.
"Grandma, we have to go to the base in the morning...I'm not sure how long we'll be," Daniel said, watching as Casey started a pot of coffee.
"Don't you worry about me. You have a wonderful selection of books, and I can always look at a little television. Sometimes they play good movies in the afternoon." A fact she'd only recently become aware of...Marvin hadn't approved of watching television during the day. Until he'd become unable to do anything else. Although he still growled if she sat down to watch with him, insisting that there was certainly 'work' she should be doing. She'd learned that 'hiding' in her craft room afforded her the chance to read without having to deal with his disapproval.
"I know it's early, but we should probably get some sleep," Daniel said, glancing at his wife. "If you'd like to watch television now, that's fine with us."
"Well, I wouldn't mind seeing if I can catch an episode of Law and Order," the older woman admitted.
Daniel handed her the remote, explained how it worked, while Casey made up the sofa into a bed once again.
Muriel wasn't at all fooled. She knew that her grandson wanted time alone with his wife. They were both young. Both had needs. As well as a love so deep and strong it was almost tangible. Love like that had to be good for the libido. It was in all of the romance books she read, anyway. She turned the television on, set the volume a bit higher than what she normally listened to it, and settled onto the sofa. And determined that she would ignore any sounds she might hear coming from their bedroom.
Daniel closed the bedroom door, delighted to hear the sounds of a movie filtering through it. "Hey, gorgeous," he said, grinning at his Wife.
"So, wanna fool around?"
"Sounds good to me. Or...we could get seriously down and dirty," Casey smiled.
"We could start fooling around and see where it leads," Daniel suggested.
He pulled off his boots and socks. Watched her boots and bright yellow socks hit the floor. Hmm...that meant...the yellow set. Which one...with the lacy bikini panties, or that sheer little thong? He took off his sweater. Tossed it onto the chair. Watched as hers sailed through the air to land on top of it. If he wasn't mistaken, judging by the lacy demi cup bra, it was the thong. He unbuttoned his jeans. Watched as she unsnapped and unzipped hers. He hooked his thumbs over the waistband. She mimicked his moves. "You go first," he grinned.
"Oh, please, be my guest."
"No, I insist. Ladies first."
"Well, if you insist..."
"Oh, I do." Slowly, so damned slowly he thought he'd lose his mind waiting to see just her hips exposed, those dark denim jeans moved down...inch by delicious inch. Yep...the thong! He could just make out the hint of that sweet, womanly cleft between her thighs.
"I feel rather...disconcerted...exposed as I am," Casey said. "Maybe if you were to lower your jeans as well..."
"Anything to be of assistance. I certainly don't want you feeling...disconcerted." He slowly pushed his jeans lower on his hips.
Her breath caught in her throat as the jeans tugged on his boxers, exposing just the top of the curly nest of pubic hair. She pushed her jeans lower...watched as his went down more. Damn it, the boxers hadn't moved!
He couldn't help but grin. "You know, I was just struck by an idea."
"Did it hurt?"
"I was just wondering if it hurt when the idea hit you," Casey explained cheekily.
"You are just a laugh a minute," he complained.
"What's your idea, Stud Muffin?" she giggled.
"Why don't you come to me?"
"I'll meet you halfway?"
They moved slowly, teasingly; each advancing toward each other one small step at a time. Until they were standing toe to toe.
"What's your idea?" she asked.
"Here," he said, taking her hands, putting them on the waistband of his jeans. "You push mine, I'll push yours. Then you won't have to feel so...disconcerted."
"I think that's a wonderful idea," she sighed. Before he could move, she had shoved his jeans, and the boxers, to his knees, dropping to her own. He wasn't completely hard yet...she took him into her mouth, buried her nose in that warm, wiry hair.
In just seconds he was too large for her to accommodate. She looked up at him, reveled in the love...and the amusement...that reflected in his blue eyes. Her hands joined her mouth in making love to him, one hand going to the base of his swollen shaft, the other cupping and caressing the heavy balls that hung below. Hard and hot and heavy...he was throbbing with just a few passes of her hand.
His fingers moved through her hair, holding onto her as she began to bob back and forth on him...sending fingers of pure pleasure skittering up and down his spine. Until her, he'd never known that making love was more than just the physical act of intercourse. That words could be as much a part of foreplay as kisses and caresses. That the only woman who could move him emotionally...spiritually...as well as physically with just a few softly spoken phrases, was Casey. Only she could bring such physical pleasure, bliss that filled his heart as well as his senses, with her soft hands, and her...Oh, damn! She had the most talented tongue he'd ever experienced!
She'd found his rhythm...his hips were rocking in concert with her movements. She wouldn't tease. Not this time. She wanted him able to make love...without having to rush. It wasn't even nine o'clock. She had no doubt that he would spend at least three hours tormenting her, driving her to the brink of insanity.
"Oh, god...that's it...right there...don't stop," he gasped. His hands tightened around her head. It was impossible to hold back the deep groan that filled his chest at the same moment he was filling her throat.
She licked him clean, kissed her way up to his chest, nipped and suckled his nipples for a few minutes, then pressed her lips against his.
He worked the combination to that sweet mouth. Dove in, tasting her...touching her. Felt her shiver in his arms when he pulled her close. She shivered again when he deepened the kiss, slanting his mouth over hers. One hand moved around her side, caressed her hip, up her ribs to her breast. The lace from her bra tickled his palm as he gently massaged the gentle curve. His fingers were trained in the art of removing any barriers that came between him and his beauties. Those nimble digits searched for...located what he was looking for, twisted...he felt the lace of the cups fall free against his chest. He brushed the straps from her shoulders. His hand went back to her breast. He could feel her nipple harden, knew that its twin was just as firm.
Her back arched, she was pushing against his palm. Both of her soft little hands were in his hair, it felt like her fingers were curled. He couldn't help but smile as he tempered the kiss, pulling back slowly. When her tongue invaded his mouth, demanding from him, he felt the results of her caresses all the way to his toes. He pushed gently against her, moving her toward the bed. Kept one arm around her waist as he continued to kiss her, caress her.
She felt the mattress behind her knees. Began to sink down...his lips never left hers, although he was bending over rather than allowing his body to follow hers. She pulled away just far enough to speak. "Daniel?"
"Relax, Angel. Lay back."
She did as he instructed. Giggled when he pulled her jeans and thong from her hips, tossed them aside. She started to move further onto the bed as he discarded his own jeans.
"No, stay here," he said softly, pulling her back toward the edge. He knelt beside the bed, put her legs over his shoulders. "Dessert time," he grinned.
Her heart did flip flops at the soft moan he gave when he buried his face between her thighs. Just before she jerked at the first of his intimate kisses. Her own moan of appreciation filled the air as his tongue began to move over her body...feather light touches, and then harder laps that left her panting for more.
Just one little poem...He tossed about in his mind for a stanza. Smiled against her skin when the phrases of an Ancient Egyptian love poem came to mind...
Your hand in my hand,
My soul inspired
My heart in bliss,
Because we go together.
His tongue carefully drew each hieroglyph against her skin, his heart hammered with delight at each sigh, each wiggle, every time her fingers tugged slightly at his hair.
She was going to lose her mind if he didn't get down to business soon! Her hand was already moving over her hip, intent on seeking the relief she so desperately needed. There was no surprise when he caught her hand. She moaned her disappointment when his attention focused on her fingers...the tingle between her thighs was damned near unbearable.
He loved it when she was driven to try to 'cheat'. He slowly sucked each finger, teased the sensitive tips. Licked her palm until she was trying to pull away. With a wicked grin, he placed her hand on her breast. "Since you feel the need to do something with it," he said softly, teasing her.
Locking her gaze with his, she began to massage her breast, tugged on the nipple. Smiled victoriously when he gasped out loud, his eyes going wide, the blue darkening as he watched her.
Not taking his eyes from hers, he lowered his head again, began to nibble on that succulent flesh. Felt her shiver. She had both hands on her breasts now, alternately squeezing those soft curves, and tugging at nipples that were standing proudly. He made slow circles with the tip of his tongue, moving toward the pearl of pleasure nestled at the top of her soft folds. Felt her shiver yet again.
Slowly he slid two fingers into her, just as he began to tease that sensitive bundle of nerves. Her soft moan filled the air, her hips jerked, then pushed against him. It wouldn't take long now...
Lights were beginning to flash as his tongue continued to tease...torment...colors appeared...
That's it, Angel...let go...
He slid another finger into her warm well, stroking deep and hard, his tongue dancing over her swollen little clit. That beautiful whimper filled her throat...began to build...
Trying to remain as quiet as possible, she moaned...low and soft. "Daniel!"
Triumphant, he took down every drop of her sweet nectar, one hand gently caressing her hip, his fingers barely moving inside her as she slowly came down from the stars. When her body relaxed, he slid up onto the bed beside her. "Better?"
"Oh, yes," she sighed. His erection poked against her hip. She smiled, began to caress him. "The anaconda needs more attention."
"So it does."
"Get comfortable, Stud Muffin."
With a grin, Daniel obeyed, sliding to the center of the bed. Watched as she straddled his hips, lowered that sweet twat over his aching cock. Watched her eyes flutter closed, the smile on her lips as she took every inch of him. His own eyes drifted shut as she began to work her muscles around him, holding him...squeezing him.
"Oh, god, you feel so good," she moaned softly.
"You do too." His hands went to her breasts, began to massage gently. She was moving slowly, back and forth, their hips grinding together. When her head dropped back, her hair brushed against his thighs, the soft touch every bit as erotic as her hands moving on his chest.
He smiled as she pressed her breasts against his hands. "Ride me, Angel," he whispered.
Curling her legs against his sides, she began to move up and down, her hands on his shoulders. She tossed her head back as the sensations washed over her, left her shivering with desire. When she attempted to increase the pace, his hands dropped to her hips, held her to the slow, steady rhythm they had been enjoying.
She was on the verge of losing control. When that happened, he knew exactly what he was going to do. He would hear that sweet song of love, just muted, he thought with a secret smile.
"More...please...more," she begged softly.
His slid his hands up her back, tugged on her shoulders. Rolled them over when she had settled against his chest. "Look at me, Angel," he demanded softly.
Her eyes met his. She could see her happiness in the depths of his blue eyes...her joy...her safety...forever.
"I love you, Casey."
"I love you, Daniel," she whispered. His eyes crinkled slightly as he smiled. Filled with the love he had declared. Accepted the love she returned so eagerly. Only when they were alone were his eyes so expressive, she thought happily. Only for her did he lower his defenses. Only with her did he feel safe enough to open himself completely. She would protect his heart with every fiber of her being, with every breath she took.
His lips sought hers. Her arms and legs tightened around him when his tongue began to invade her mouth at the same time he pushed his cock deep into her welcoming body. Rejoiced when she shivered and groaned. Her hips met his step for step as he led them through the age old dance of love.
She could feel the breeze blowing against her as she stood on the precipice, ready to leap into the stars.
"I want you to sing for me," he whispered, pulling his lips from hers only far enough to speak.
He was thrusting harder, deeper, grinding his hips against hers...lights flashed...colors twirled...she was moving her hips against his...so close...she was so very close.
When that whimper filled her throat once again, his kiss deepened. Her song of love filled his mouth...soft and warm and sweet. His own journey was nearly complete...one...two...three thrusts and he was there, groaning his fulfillment into her mouth, letting her taste his satisfaction.
Breathing hard, they remained locked in their kiss until their bodies had stopped throbbing and convulsing, and they slowly sank back down to Earth...together, and totally sated.
A sudden, muted explosion coming from the TV in the living room made them chuckle together. "I love you," Daniel whispered into her ear, just before he rolled to his back, keeping her body tight against his own.
"I love you," she whispered in reply. She crossed her arms over his shoulders.
"Sleep, Angel," he whispered. "We have to break a few rules tomorrow."
"For a good cause," she replied sleepily.
Blankets adjusted over their still melded bodies, sleep crept in silently, and overtook them within a matter of minutes.
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