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I Was Lost, But Now I'm Found
He watched her sleep. Watched the frown that creased her forehead, knew that she was dreaming...probably reliving the hell she'd endured as Ba'al's prisoner. Certain that she wouldn't be aware of it, Daniel reached out and pushed that lock back over her shoulder. Let his fingers move through the soft strands of her hair.
There was no doubt in his mind that had Teal'c not been successful in rescuing her, Ba'al would have left P9X 794, and chances were high that he never would have found her. Slaves weren't kept long. They were used up, then tossed aside. He owed everything to the Jaffa who now sat cross-legged on the floor, meditating silently. Yet, he couldn't deny the feelings of jealousy that lingered. Every time he spoke to her, those beautiful green eyes had turned to the large man for permission; seeing Teal'c as the...replacement...of Ba'al, as her Master. No matter how many times Teal'c tried to explain to her that he was just a friend, the brutal training that the Goa'uld had subjected her to had left a very precise imprint on her mind. Teal'c had taken her from that castle. He had then, in her drugged, broken state, become her new Master. Daniel knew that even being told that she was his Beloved, and he was hers, meant little, or nothing to her. He wasn't even sure she understood what the word meant.
The door to the room opened quietly. "The lab results are in," Janet said softly.
As quietly as possible, so as not to disturb the woman who finally slept peacefully on the bed, SG-1 filed into the corridor.
"Well?" Daniel asked. He didn't like the worried look on Janet's face.
"It's not the same drug that Osiris used. But it's close," she added quickly, taking note of the panic that flooded Daniel's eyes. "I'm surprised she hasn't died from an overdose of the stuff! I took a hair sample when we bathed her, he must have been dosing her several times a day, from the build-up of the chemicals that I found."
"Translation, Doc," Jack said.
"I don't know how long it will take for her body to purge itself. The compound is just different enough from what Daniel was given that I don't know if there will be any withdrawal symptoms," Janet replied. She didn't say out loud that the differences were enough to cause her concern for Casey's mental and emotional recovery.
He blew out a quiet breath. There was something the petite doctor wasn't saying. He suspected what it might be. "So now what?"
The dark haired woman shrugged. "All we can do is wait."
Wait. For how damned long? How long would it take to get his Wife back? "You're still sure that when she...when this stuff is out of her system, she won't remember any of it, that she'll be okay?" Daniel inquired.
"As sure as I can be. Like I said, it's not the same drug. It's close, but there are enough differences that her...recovery...could be completely different from yours," Janet admitted.
He closed his eyes against the pain. It had been a comfort to think that she'd recall none of the torture she'd endured. Now that it was possible that she'd remember...it could take weeks...months, before she was ready to come home...ready to be with him... ready to love him again. He felt a hand squeeze his shoulder. Opened his eyes, looked into brown ones filled with concern.
"Whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes, she'll beat this. And we'll be here for her... and for you," Jack said quietly, firmly.
Words couldn't move past the lump in his throat; a combination of the pain of learning that his Wife might not return to him...or at least, not as soon as he'd hoped, and the fact that his friends...his family...had gathered around in support. He'd spent too long alone, too long without anyone who cared. Even after six years, he was still...adjusting...to having people in his life who truly cared. There were times that the...love...that he felt from them still surprised him.
"Daniel," Janet said softly, putting her hand on his arm, "don't lose hope. Let's just take it one day at a time."
"Would you like a cup of coffee?" Sam asked.
"Yeah, I would," he replied.
"Let's go-" Jack started, his hand still on the young man's shoulder.
He shook his head firmly, his jaw jutting out stubbornly. "I'm not leaving her. No matter what happens, what she thinks, or what demons she has to battle, I'm going to be there with her. Every step of the way."
"I'll bring a sandwich too," Sam smiled gently.
"I will accompany you, Major Carter," Teal'c said.
Daniel looked at the Jaffa. "If she wakes up-"
"You speak Goa'uld. You are her Beloved. I believe she would prefer that you be here...if she wakes up," the Jaffa said. Without another word he turned, made his way toward the elevator.
"He doesn't miss a thing," Jack said quietly. He gave Daniel's back a pat, then followed Teal'c, Sam at his side.
"You'd better get in there. Waking up alone doesn't seem to be conducive to her well being," Janet said.
With a smile of gratitude, Daniel slipped back inside the isolation room.
A A A A A A
Major Louis Ferretti grimaced. Now four days in the tropics on a fishing boat wasn't a bad idea. If they'd actually been fishing. Because if they had been, the beer would've been flowing, a few pretty senoritas would've been giggling and flirting and bouncing around, wearing those tiny little bikinis, and it would have been damned nice! But they weren't fishing. At least, not for fish. There was no beer, no pretty senoritas in tiny bikinis. It was damned hot, and odds were high that their presence had been noted by those on the island.
"Latest news from home," Captain Doug Richards said, motioning to his laptop. "Seems Mrs. J is back. Teal'c got her out of there. But her mind is gone. No idea for how long. Scuttlebutt says that the drugs that bastard used on her were like what that Osiris bitch used on Doctor Jackson, so everybody's hoping she'll be okay as soon as it's all out of her system."
Ferretti grunted. That little lady had gone through a lot. Being a Goa'uld prisoner wasn't something that went down easy. He should know, he and his team had been on the wrong side of a cell door a time or two. One thing about Casey Jackson, she took a hell of a lot, and just came back stronger. Chances were, if Ba'al ever crossed paths with Dr. Jackson, he wouldn't walk away. That man had to be nine kinds of pissed off. Not everyone who worked with the archaeologist knew about his vindictive side. Lou Ferretti did. He'd seen it a time or two. Once, when the young man had accompanied SG-3 on a mission to get Jack and Teal'c away from Apophis, he'd displayed that vindictiveness. How many times had that fucking snake given them problems before he finally went down?
"Looks like the changing of the guard," Willy Lopez said, handing a pair of binoculars to his CO.
Yep. Happened at the same time every day. The older man frowned. Either Tem was damned sure that these guys couldn't be taken out, or he was just too damned stupid to know better than to stick to a routine for so long. Goa'uld weren't normally stupid. Arrogant, yes. But not stupid. He studied the giant men, and giant was an accurate term. Those boys had to be a good nine to ten feet tall. Chests like fucking barrels. Arms and legs like tree trunks. He didn't think they were too bright, it seemed that they were only tasked with the simplest of duties. There was no doubt in his mind that they'd been created...and something in his gut told him that 'created' was exactly how those things had come into being...for one thing and one thing only. To fight.
The Jaffa worked in groups of three. Four groups patrolled the perimeter of the island continually. You could set your watch by them. At exactly the top of the hour at six, noon, six and midnight, twelve new Jaffa would show up. They were beginning to recognize faces, and it seemed that there were enough for four shifts in a twenty-four hour period. If there were any others on the island, the SG team hadn't seen them. Nearly fifty of those giants were fifty too damned many, Ferretti thought irritably.
Under the guise of parasailing for entertainment, they'd managed to get a few pictures of the island. For the most part, they'd tried to remain inconspicuous, renting a different fishing boat each day. They hadn't left from the same port twice, so it hadn't been too difficult to remain anonymous. Or at least, Ferretti hoped they'd remained anonymous. When working with locals, you never knew when one of them was going to turn out to be one of the bad guys.
"Holy shit!" Richards whispered.
"Seems that our guys didn't find Tem's fleet in time. No intel on whether it was Ba'al who took 'em or Tem's guys. But eleven mother ships left that planet. Destination, unknown."
Now isn't that just a fucking kick in the pants, Ferretti thought, pushing down the panic that the news brought. "Let's hope like hell they aren't headed this way, or we're going to be caught with our pants down and our dicks in our hands!"
"Sure would've been nice if we could have gotten them," Willy sighed.
"I hear that," Richards nodded.
"Well I'll be damned!" Ferretti hissed. Didn't know whether to laugh, or be sick. A tall, slender, dark haired man, who looked to be in his mid-30's, was walking along the beach, wearing very expensive slacks and what looked like a silk shirt, a white silk shirt, and holding a long, thin chain leash in one hand. At the other end of that leash - crawling along on his hands and knees - was a naked Robert Kinsey, the leash attached to a leather collar around his neck.
"What the fuck?" Willy asked, staring through his binoculars.
"He's fuckin' pierced!" Richards exclaimed, staring through his own binoculars.
"Oh, that's just not right," Willy moaned. "Shit like that just don't belong in your pecker!"
They watched as the man and Kinsey wandered near the water. The man said something, Kinsey rose to his knees, his arms behind him, his head down. Ferretti frowned. He'd witnessed behavior like that before. Among Goa'uld slaves. Something about the fact that the man was on the beach made the CO of the team nervous.
"Nice and easy, boys, we're just going to troll on out of here," Ferretti said, reaching for his fishing pole.
The men moved slowly, lazily from the shadows of the cabin into the sun on the back deck of the fishing boat, casually casting lines, reeling them in.
Randy Taylor, who'd been sending a coded message back to the SGC, a daily update report, was sent up to the cockpit to take the boat further from the island. "Major, looks like a boat, headed this way."
With a nod, Ferretti joined the young man on in the cockpit. "Okay, you're just a bunch of punk ass kids on holiday, and I'm the bastard lucky enough to have been hired by you," he said softly, reminding them of the 'cover' that they'd been using since their arrival in South America.
Wary, but appearing relaxed, and even a bit drunk, the younger men watched as the small yacht pulled along side.
"Buenas tardes," a voice called. [Good afternoon.]
"Buenas tardes," Ferretti replied easily.
"Por qué es usted en esta área?" [Why are you in this area?]
"Oyó que esto era un lugar bueno de la pesca," Ferretti said, scratching his bare chest absently. "Estos chicos me emplearon para tomarlos en un viaje de pesca." [Heard this was a good place to fish. These boys hired me to take them on a fishing trip.]
"Esto es un área privada. Usted debe salir ahora." [This is a private area. You must leave now.]
"Ningún problema. Nosotros no queremos el problema." [No problem. We don't want trouble.]
Satisfied, the man nodded. Ferretti hoisted the anchor, started the boat engine, and began to pull away. The yacht remained in place, watching. Not willing to face an enemy with no idea how many or where they were, Ferretti headed the boat straight back to port. There would be no way of getting out there again. That man, and his two companions, would be watching for them.
"Think we got away too easy?" Willy asked nervously.
"Hell yes we did," Ferretti replied. "Make sure you have all of your gear. We're heading straight to the airport and getting the hell out of here."
Thirty minutes later the boat was tied up at the dock; Ferretti paid the owner an extra five hundred dollars to forget he'd ever seen them, and the men got into a cab heading into the city. The older man insisted that they change cabs - three times; once at a red light. If anyone was following them, and he was damned sure that someone was, they weren't having an easy time of it.
A quick and cryptic cell phone call to a desk in an office in Topeka, Kansas made certain that the folks at Cheyenne Mountain knew that SG-3 was on the way home, and that they were assuming that they'd been 'made'. They were coming in 'hot'. Fifteen minutes later a cell phone call was received. This one from a house in Norman, Nebraska. A mother admonishing her son to get straight home, that his father was ill. Anyone listening in had no idea what secret messages had just been passed.
It wasn't until they were boarding the plane that Ferretti finally saw him. Standing beside one of the vending machines near the jetway. A man with light blonde hair, wearing a suit that probably cost more than the Marine made in a year. He watched, smoking his cigarette casually. When he caught the older man's eye, he smiled, nodded. The Marine shivered. Ferretti had seen a lot during his time in the Corp. Not much could spook him. But that bastard sure as hell did. That man wasn't alive. At least, he didn't have a soul. The gray eyes that stared at him had been empty of anything that even resembled emotion.
The men were nervous the entire flight, although the casual observer would never had known. They changed planes in Miami, and then disappeared from the airport in Dallas. The dark haired woman who'd been watching them was forced to report that she'd lost the quarry. She was ordered to return to headquarters. Failure was unacceptable within the company she worked for. She was found dead in a hotel room the next day, the apparent victim of an accidental overdose.
Driving from Texas to Colorado hadn't been his first choice. But when he noticed the woman who'd slipped onto the plane at the last minute, Ferretti knew that he had to get his team to 'neutral territory' as soon as possible. He hadn't wanted to tip his hand too soon. After all, the woman might simply have been running late and managed to make it onto her flight in just the nick of time. When she'd been on the same flight to Dallas, he'd known. What he didn't know was whether or not any of the businessmen on the flight was her partner.
So he'd said nothing until they'd landed. Hustled the young men through the airport to a cab, and then to a car rental agency. He didn't slow down until he was half way to Waco.
A phone booth near a diner allowed him to give his CO a brief, basic report on what had transpired. The woman, and every other passenger on those flights, would be carefully investigated. He sat back in his seat, toyed with his coffee cup.
"We aren't going straight home," Willy said softly.
"Not exactly, no," Ferretti confirmed. "We'll do a couple of loops, just to make sure that we're not seeing the same vehicles. Shouldn't take more than a few hours. A day at the most."
The young men nodded. They were trained Marines. With additional Special Forces training. Something that their enemy wasn't aware of. Because all records of the men had been altered, 'scrubbed' of any information other than basic military duty. Their current duty status was listed as Peterson AFB, and the spaces for unit assignments simply left blank; something that might raise suspicions, but would offer no clue as to what the men were really doing, no inkling of the special training they'd received. That training was the one thing that would keep them alive long enough to get back to the safety of the SGC.
A A A A A A
General Hammond sat back in his chair. One of the reasons that this particular missile silo had been chosen as the home of the SGC was that it was located beneath NORAD, and thus the cover story created by the Pentagon was more easily believed. He snorted. Not that anyone actually believed it! But another reason had been the small city of Silver Springs itself. It had, at one time, been nothing more than an far-flung suburb of Colorado Springs. It had grown quickly however, due to the expansion of Peterson Air Force Base, and the Cheyenne Mountain Military Complex. That growth had preceded the SGC, at least, on paper. Most of the people in the community were connected to the base in one way or another. Because of the delicate nature of the work of the SGC, many of the local business owners, or at least the managers, were prior military working for one of the myriad of government security agencies. Not one hotel or motel didn't have at least one agent on the payroll somewhere. Of course, those men and women had no clue what the SGC was, or what they really were protecting. That was acceptable. They didn't need to know. But if anyone of...interest...checked in, a full dossier on them was available within an hour or so. Any new arrivals in Silver Springs who weren't connected to the base managed to...stand out. And that made security much easier.
He sent out the word to be on the lookout for any business people who seemed out of place, or were from out of the country, especially from South America. If Tem was sending agents, George Hammond would know about it. He sighed. It was late. He should have left for home hours ago. He was feeling a bit guilty. SG-3 was on their way home. But he'd been far too worried about Casey Jackson, and getting her away from Ba'al, to spend much time worrying about a team of men he knew could take care of themselves. He'd just received a message from Major Ferretti. SG-3 would be making their report in person at 0730 hours.
Walking toward the elevator, the general decided that he'd check in on the young woman. He still couldn't believe that SG-1, and Dr. Jackson particularly, had so willingly left the base when Dr Fraiser had sent them home.
The infirmary was dark, for once there were no SG team members recovering from wounds or illnesses incurred while off-planet. However, the light was on in Dr. Fraiser's office. She wouldn't leave until Casey Jackson, who lay in one of the isolation rooms, still suffering from the trauma of her capture, was well on her way to mending.
"Good evening, Doctor," the general said quietly, after tapping on the door.
"General Hammond! I didn't know you were still here!" the woman exclaimed. She glanced at her watch. "Don't tell me we have a team overdue."
He smiled. "Actually, I just heard from SG-3. They'll be here in the morning...or rather, later this morning. None of the other teams are overdue or missing, or have reported any other predicaments that would be cause for worry."
"Good. I don't think I could handle a crisis right now," she admitted quietly. She wanted to be able to devote her full attention to Casey Jackson. It wasn't professional for her to feel that way. It was, however, natural for a best friend.
"How is she?"
"She woke up earlier...scared out of her wits. Teal'c and Daniel managed to calm her down-"
"Doctor Jackson is back on base?" General Hammond asked, raising an eyebrow.
"As are Colonel O'Neill and Major Carter. Did you really think they could...or would... stay away? Especially Daniel?" Janet asked softly.
General Hammond smiled. "No, as a matter of fact I'd just been thinking I was more surprised at how willing they'd been to leave."
"I guess I should have suspected that the fact they didn't argue meant they'd be back within an hour." Her words held a hint of amusement. "They're all with her now. And I don't expect any of them to leave her side."
"I don't think there's a team on this base as close as they are," the general mused.
"I agree. I don't think there's a team on this base that has gone through half as much as they have," Janet said.
"I don't believe there is. Well, keep me informed. If there's anything...anything at all that she needs..."
"I'll let you know, General," Janet smiled.
A A A A A A
It hadn't been intentional. He'd been sitting on the edge of the bed, watching her sleep. Her familiar scent lulled his senses. The warmth of her hand in his - he'd been unable to resist wrapping his fingers around hers - the feeling of her body beside him...he wasn't even aware of stretching out next to her.
She opened her eyes. The room was very dim, only a small light beside...door? Yes, it looked like a door. The small bulb barely lit the area around it. When she sensed the body beside her, she froze. Began to search her bruised mind, the headache that had awakened her making even simple thought agonizing. Where was she? What was happening? Teal'c...First Prime, she knew that because his tattoo was gold...but...it wasn't the same as those on the foreheads of the Master's Jaffa...wait... something was wrong...
Casey tugged her lip between her teeth. She remembered how angry the Master had been... punished, she was being punished, and she couldn't even remember what she'd done to displease him! She tried so hard to obey, to be a worthy slave...and still He punished her! Then...blasts...from the weapons that the Jaffa carried...the man on top of her going suddenly still, collapsing on her, his weight crushing her, making it nearly impossible to breath...escape! She'd tried to escape!
She slowly raised one hand to her face, pressed her fingers to her temple. The pain was so bad now! Bits and pieces of memory floated through her mind...a very large room, so many people, a loud noise that hurt her ears, and flashing lights...taken to a room where they'd tried to hurt her...until Teal'c stopped them...Stud Muffin! She remembered him! His eyes were so blue, and so kind, and...she couldn't stop the smile that spread over her face. He'd held her... tightly, gently...she'd felt so safe, and Teal'c had looked so pleased...
Trying to shift in the bed, she was reminded once again that something...someone...was beside her. Why? She dared to turn her head, to see who was keeping her warm. Again the smile that crossed her face was one of delight. It was him! It was Stud Muffin! No... no...that wasn't right...Dan-yel. His name was Dan-yel. He was Beloved. Whatever that meant. So many holes in her mind! So much she didn't know, or understand.
When the door opened suddenly, and the diminutive doctor stepped inside, she panicked. She didn't dare move, for fear of waking the man beside her...that surely wasn't allowed! A slave must never disobey; a slave must never question; a slave must always strive to please her Master...she struggled to remember what she'd been taught, the 'rules' that the Master had literally beaten into her mind by way of her body.
Her heart was pounding, her distress growing by the second. She didn't know what was expected of her! How could she obey if she didn't know what it was that they wanted from her? A single tear slid down the side of her face. She squeezed her eyes closed. Perhaps if the woman thought she was still asleep, she wouldn't be beaten for disobeying. Raped as punishment for defying her Master. It was wrong when that happened to her. She didn't know how she knew that...only that she did. Never had the Master been able to take that feeling from her.
Janet smiled. Daniel was lying beside his wife, Teal'c was sitting on the floor, his long legs stretched in front of him, his arms folded over his chest, leaning back against the wall, sound asleep. Jack was sitting in a chair, his elbow on the bed table, his head resting on his hand, the other arm around Sam, who was sleeping with her head on his shoulder. How many times had they slept like this, while one of them, usually Daniel, was lying in a bed recuperating?
Years of training, honed senses that had kept them alive, alerted Jack and Teal'c to the new presence in the room. "Doc?" Jack whispered.
"Just checking on her," Janet replied. She turned on her penlight, flashed it quickly over Casey's face. Immediately noted the tears. "Oh, lord," she whispered.
The two men who were awake were on their feet in an instant, Jack's sudden movements waking Sam.
"Teal'c, she's crying. See if you can find out why," Janet said softly.
With a nod, the man stepped closer to the bed. "Mi'la tu'tu, Casey? [Is everything all right, Casey?]
She opened her eyes. "I...I do not know...I obey," she said softy. "I obey!"
Daniel stirred slightly.
"I need to take her blood pressure," Janet said. No one needed Teal'c to translate the words that trembled in the air. They'd heard them repeated many times in the hours since she'd been brought back to the SGC.
"Doctor Fraiser wishes to examine you. Will you allow her to do so?"
Green eyes grew wide. She was a slave! She had no will, only that of the Master! Name! She had a name! She was more than just a worthless slave...she had to be, slaves did not have names! "If it pleases you," she whispered, teetering between the absolute terror of doing something wrong, and the elation of knowing that she had a name!
Teal'c sighed. "If you do not wish her to touch you, then you need only say so."
Casey looked at the small woman who waited patiently beside Teal'c. Not Master Teal'c, she remembered suddenly. Kah'ne Teal'c. Friend. Her head hurt. Thinking hurt. She was too weary to fight. "Will it hurt?"
The large man smiled. "It will not."
"What must I do?"
"Just allow her take your arm."
With a nod, Casey held her arm up. Smiled shyly when the small woman beamed a smile at her. She was being good; she must be, if they were smiling.
Janet wrapped the cuff around the slender arm, pumped it up far enough to get a good reading. Frowned at the results. "Her blood pressure is high. Ask her if she's in pain."
"Casey Jackson, are you in pain?"
Her eyes widened again. Surely Teal'c must be a god, to know about her pain! She nodded, instantly regretted it, winced as the throbbing in her head intensified.
Janet smiled. "Well, Daniel had one hell of a headache, the aftermath as the drugs left his system. I'd say that's what Casey is suffering from now. I'll bring in a couple of Vicodin."
"Doctor Fraiser will bring you something for the pain," Teal'c said gently.
"Thank you," she whispered. She glanced again at the man sleeping beside her. Then up at Teal'c.
"He loves you very much," Teal'c said softly. "His heart was breaking while you were away from him."
Feelings of anguish, of heartache, rushed into her, bringing a gasp to her lips. Such heart wrenching agony. She remembered the pain, but not its cause. If he loved her..."He claims me?"
Teal'c smiled. "Many months ago. He gave his heart to you, as you gave yours to him."
Her gaze went back to the handsome face. If this was true..."Ba'al lied?"
She frowned. "Ba'al is god. Ba'al is Master," she whispered fearfully.
"Ba'al is a false god. Ba'al is a mik'ta'ha. Ba'al is ha'shak," Teal'c spat.
"Ba'al is a dead man, when I find him," Daniel said quietly, having awakened when Janet took Casey's blood pressure. He had remained still, eyes closed, unwilling to move, afraid that if she knew he was awake, she'd be too frightened to let him remain beside her. He looked up into her face. Heaved a silent sigh of relief when she looked back at him, her eyes full of curiosity, and confusion. But no fear.
"Dead man walking," she giggled. Frowned when she realized she'd spoken in a language she didn't recognize. Everyone in the room jerked, stared at her.
"Okay, what was that about?" Sam asked.
Daniel grinned, hastily explained what the conversation had been about.
"Got that right, Radar," Jack chuckled.
Radar. That was familiar. That's what...she closed her eyes. She should know this! It was right on the tip of her tongue. She knew that man, and the woman beside him, she was sure of it! She tried once again to shift slightly. "Move over, bed hog," she grumbled. Froze, her eyes wide, her gaze going immediately to Teal'c. "What is happening to me?"
Daniel couldn't help but grin as he shifted slightly.
"Your memory, your true memory is returning. All of the lies that Ba'al told you are fading away," Teal'c replied.
Janet walked back into the room, a tiny paper cup in one hand, and a small glass of water in the other.
Smiling at the woman beside him, Daniel slowly took her hand. Turned it palm up.
The doctor smiled as well, dumped the contents of the tiny cup into Casey's hand.
Casey looked at Teal'c. "These will help me?"
She frowned. Stared at the white tablets. Opened her mouth obediently when Daniel took one and pressed it against her lips.
"Don't chew, just swallow," the young archaeologist said softly. "Put it on your tongue, take a drink of water, and just swallow it."
She followed his instructions, choked as the pill made its way down to her stomach. She coughed for a few seconds, which only served to make her aching head all the worse. The second pill went down easier than the first.
"Doc, this is good, right?" Jack asked anxiously.
The members of SG-1 were all speaking at once as they told the doctor what had transpired while she'd been out of the room. "So it's good, right?" Jack repeated his question.
"I'd say so. Let me take a blood sample. If I can determine how much of the toxin is left in her blood stream, it will give me an idea of how long it will be before she's completely free of it."
Casey was no happier this time about the procedure than she'd been the first time; however, she wasn't begging forgiveness, convinced that it was some new means of torture - she merely frowned as the needled pierced her skin. Watched as the blood filled the narrow vial.
Worried that she'd begin to feel...crowded...Daniel started to move off of the bed.
"Noc!" No! She didn't want him moving away from her! She felt warm and safe with his body pressed against hers! When she realized she'd spoken out loud, she waited, fearing the blows that would surely come.
He looked over his shoulder. Her eyes were filled with a combination of fear...and hope... and confusion. His heart was pounding in against his ribs, his mind doggedly refusing to raise the hope that she was returning to him. One day at a time, Janet had said. Right now, he could only focus on surviving one hour at a time.
She wanted so badly to reach out and touch him, to stop him from leaving the bed. That desire overrode her fear of punishment. Slowly, tentatively she put her fingers on his arm, then quickly snatched them back.
Trembling with hope, with love, Daniel slowly reached for her hand. Gently caressed her fingers, then just as slowly, moved them to his lips, pressed a kiss against her fingertips.
A jolt of electricity ran down her arm, up her spine, then dropped that secret place between her thighs; left her shaking with emotions and feelings that she couldn't remember, didn't recognize. When there were no blows of anger, and no punishment seemed forthcoming, she pushed her fingers gently against his lips.
He smiled, kissed her fingertips once more.
Jack, Sam, and Teal'c exchanged grinning looks. Not much longer, their eyes told one another. SG-1 would be whole again...soon.
Daniel pushed a lock of hair over her shoulder. "You should sleep," he said softly. "It will help ease the pain."
Not taking her eyes from his, she lay down on the bed. Watched as he stretched out beside her. She closed her eyes. He'd still be there when she awoke. And he'd protect her. There was no doubt in her mind, even as fragmented as it was. Never again would she be hurt. This man, with the beautiful blue eyes, her Beloved, wouldn't allow anyone to harm her. Not even Ba'al.
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