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 Leather, Feathers, and Garters


Chapter 5

The chill of the air around him roused him from the very pleasant dreams he'd been having. Whatever was beneath him was hard...No! His heart lurched in his chest...he wasn't still marooned! Oh, god, no...it couldn't all have been just a beautiful dream! His eyes flew open. His heart was pounding, his hands shaking as he looked around, trying to figure out exactly where he was...to determine just what his reality was. Seeing the yellow ceiling above him was enough for him to comprehend that he was lying on the floor of the living room. The fire was still burning, but it was definitely cooler than it had been. Casey was curled around him. Relief flooded his mind. Events of the previous evening played through his mind. God, what a wonderful night! He moved one leg slightly, grinned when he realized she was still wearing those mind-altering boots.

Her ass was cold. The front of her was warm enough...but her ass was definitely cold. She took a deep breath. Smiled at the familiar, masculine scent that filled the air around her. When she opened her eyes, it took her a moment to realize where they were. Which was naked, lying on a blanket in front of the fireplace. Memories of the night before danced in her head. She'd never seen Daniel's eyes so wide, had never seen such raw lust lurking in depths of those cerulean orbs. "Good morning," she said softly, running her hand gently over his chest.

He pressed a kiss to her forehead. "Good morning."

"My ass is cold."

He grinned, ran his hand over said cold ass. The soft skin was cool. "Guess we should pull some clothes on."

"Bummer. I'd rather just get a quilt." She shifted slightly. "Okay, the boots have to go."

"Bummer," he said, his grin growing wider when she looked up at him. 

"I take it you enjoyed that little surprise?"

"Very much, Angel," he said softly. It just wasn't possible to have enjoyed the night any more than he had. What an incredible woman he was married to!

She couldn't help but wonder just how much more he would enjoy the other surprise she had in store for him...one that she had planned for...hadn't forgotten about. One that he'd actually asked for. Although she wasn't sure he remembered that request, made as it had been. Sitting up, she reached for the pizza box, sighed to find it empty. "I need coffee."

"Coffee...great idea." He stretched. Scratched. Watched her struggling to remove the boots. "Need help?"

"I think I do," she admitted.

He shifted to his knees, grasped her foot, gently tugged the boot. Pulled it free, then removed the other one. "I don't think I'll ever be able to thank you enough for last night," he said softly.

"You already did," she said, giving him a shy smile. "I'm glad that you liked the boots. And the corset," she added, picking up the leather that had fit so snuggly around her waist.

"You'll have to wear those again," he said.

"I promise." She couldn't help but smile at the look that flashed through his eyes...lust, anticipation, love. For a last minute idea, it had been one of her best, it seemed. Certainly the night had been one to remember...for both of them!




After pulling on sweat pants and tee shirts, agreeing that they'd have coffee and a bit of breakfast before showering, they began opening blinds. To discover that the world had turned completely white overnight.

"Wow! Snowed in!" Casey exclaimed delightedly.

"Looks like almost a foot," Daniel replied, looking out the double French door.

"It doesn't matter," she said. She walked up behind him, wrapped her arms around his waist. "We're home and safe and there's plenty of food in the fridge and the freezer and the pantry, and the best part...we're totally alone."

He ran his hands over her arms, savoring the feeling of having her pressed so closely to his back. "Paradise," he said softly.

"It most certainly is," she agreed. She kissed his shoulder. Slipped away from him, making a straight line to the coffee maker, starting the first pot of the day, then turning on the oven.

"You know, this is our anniversary weekend. So happy anniversary," he said, following her. He caught her in his embrace. Dropped a kiss on her lips.

She smiled up at him. "Happy anniversary to you, too."

He leaned against the island, watching as she gathered what she needed to make a batch of muffins. "I've never been in a relationship that lasted this long," he admitted quietly.

"Me, either. Well, other than you, I've never been in a relationship," she replied, carefully measuring the baking powder. She paused, looked over at him. "Do you remember what you said to me the night I was getting ready to go on my first 'girl's night out' with Janet and Sam?"

He shook his head. He remembered that night. How sexy she'd looked in that little black skirt and the bustier and that jacket...

"You said that we'd just muddle through together, figure out what works for us, and not worry about what the experts say we should or shouldn't be doing. That's our secret, Stud Muffin. I mean, I know there are people who have been married for a hell of a long time. Maybe that's their secret, they do what's right for them. We'll be together forever, because we do what works for us, and we don't care what anyone else says or thinks."

"I think you're right," he said. "All I know is you...all I care about is you. What makes you happy, makes me happy."

"I feel the same way. Janet had this quiz from Cosmo, and we were filling it out, just for fun." She tipped her head slightly. "But I kept thinking the questions were all rather biased...none of them took into consideration that a particular situation might not be as important to some people as it was to others."

"So how did we score?" he asked, his eyes twinkling.

"Well, according to Cosmo, we were destined to be together," she replied, grinning cheekily.

"Don't need a magazine to tell me that," he scoffed.

Casey finished up what she was doing. Carefully filled the muffin tin, slid the pan into the preheated oven. "So, wanna build a snowman?"

He smiled. "We could do that."

"And then...dinner and dancing."

He glanced out the French doors. The streets were probably a mess right now.

"Right here, Stud Muffin," she said softly, having seen his expression as he contemplated the snow outside. "We'll use Grandma Rose's china, and eat by candlelight. Then we'll put on Harry Connick, Jr., or George Benson, and do a bit of dancing."

"Then what?"

"How about a nice, slow trip around the world?"

He thought about the feather, and the fur-lined handcuffs, and the black silk scarf he had hidden in his closet. In the duffel that had been packed for the trip to Oregon. He'd already decided that it would be a nice Saturday afternoon pastime. He'd intentionally left today open, not certain how late they would sleep, or what sight-seeing she might have wanted to do. "I think it sounds like a perfect day, and evening. Just don't make any plans for tomorrow," he said casually, refilling his mug.

She glanced over at him. Did he have something planned? The fact that for the moment he wouldn't look at her made her smile. She wondered if it included leather chaps...shivered slightly at that thought. "Chaps," she whispered out loud, not even aware of doing so.

Daniel started, looked over at her, having barely heard that whispered word. Well now, that was an interesting idea...he began to mentally adjust the 'instructions' he had received. Would she react the same way if she couldn't see him, but could only feel the chaps on him? Hoped that her reaction would be as...enthusiastic...as it had been the night he'd worn them for her. Thought about her blindfolded, cuffed to the bed...her creamy skin glowing in the dim light from the lamp...touching her, caressing her with that feather, and his fingers. He wondered just how many times, and how loudly, he could make his Angel scream with pleasure.


A  A  A  A  A  A


They'd taken a shower, making love slowly, languidly beneath the flow of warm water, until the water was beginning to cool. Dressed in their thermal underwear, heavy sweaters beneath their bulky coats, jeans carefully pulled over their boots to keep the snow out, they stepped off the front porch and into the snow.

When she sighed softly, Daniel looked over at her. Took the ends of her scarf and tucked them into her coat. "What's wrong?"

She smiled, letting him know that her thoughts were of the pleasant variety. "I was just thinking about our time at Jack's cabin. It was so much fun...I still can't believe that Teal'c instigated the snowball fight...I expected Jack to be the one to start it."

He smiled as the memories of their Christmas filled his mind. "I think what surprised me the most was Jack making a snow angel." He shook his head slightly. "No, his singing. That surprised me the most."

She smiled. "It surprised me, too. It was a lovely gift, from his heart. I've never seen him so happy...so relaxed."

"Me, either."

The smile faded slightly. "All of our Christmas gifts are still there...and I'll bet the tree is still up, too."

"You are not going to suggest going to his cabin?" Daniel asked in mock horror.

Casey giggled. "No. At least, not for awhile. I do understand why he considers it his sanctuary, though."

"It is a very peaceful place," Daniel agreed.

She looked at the clean white snow that covered the yard. "So, have you ever built a snowman?"

"A couple of times," he replied. Once had been in a foster home. He'd actually watched more than participated that day. The fact that he'd been invited to join the family had been unexpected. So unexpected that he hadn't known exactly what to do. So...he'd watched. The second time had been on campus with Mike and a couple of his friends. The snowman they'd built had been anatomically correct, as he recalled. Until one of the professors saw it. Neutered it, as Mike had plaintively described the steps the man had taken to make the sculpture less 'offensive'. He could also remember Mike declaring that the only reason that Professor Wentham had been so narrow-minded on the matter was simple penile jealousy. He couldn't help but smile...they had been rather...generous...with the proportions. Casey was talking about the snowman she wanted to build; he focused his attention on her, his smile going wider as he listened.

"...even though we don't have a top hat, but I have an old Fedora I used to wear, at least I think I still have it...I can find an old scarf for him...and I think I have a carrot for his nose, but I don't know what to do for eyes or a mouth, and we don't have a pipe..." She put her hands on her hips. "Why are you laughing at me?"

He chuckled. "I don't think it's required that we build a snowman that looks exactly like Frosty."

"But it would sure be cool if we could!"

"I suppose it would be at that."

Once again her eyes moved around the yard. Thought of the churned up snow at the scene of the snowball fight. She rather liked the white blanket that covered everything so completely...that looked so pristine. "Would you be terribly disappointed if I wanted to just go for a walk?"

He reached for her hand, tugged her close, put his arms around her. "Not at all. If you want to build a snowman we will. If you want to take a walk, we will."

"What would you like to do?" she asked softly.

"The truth?"

"Preferably," she replied dryly.

"Building a snowman can be a lot of work, actually. I think I'd rather just take a walk."

"Let's go, Stud Muffin," she whispered. She took his hand, led him to the sidewalk. Her feet automatically led her to the west...habit, she supposed. Developed during the long, lonely days without him.

Daniel never said a word, although usually they walked in the other direction. He put his arm around her shoulders, felt hers go around his waist.

One of the things she loved about their relationship was the ease with which they could discuss anything...any topic that crossed their minds. There were also the times when they could be together and not say a word, the silence between them soft and comfortable. This was one of those times, as they slowly made their way up the street, the crunch of snow beneath their boots the only sound to be heard.




The sky above them was filled with gray clouds, and the nip in the air foretold of more snow to fall. Just as had happened on that day, her thoughts had been wandering, and she hadn't actually been paying attention to which direction they had turned. When she looked over and saw the sandstone church, with the tall bell steeple and the stained glass windows, she came to an abrupt halt.


"Well I'll be damned," she said softly. Today there was no doubt in her mind that the church didn't 'belong' on that corner. From what she remembered, it was a vacant lot, one used during the summer by neighborhood children for games of softball and soccer. She tugged at him. "Come on, Stud Muffin. I think we need to talk to Father William."

"Who? Father William?" It took a moment for his mind to catch up, even as his body was propelled forward, pulled by his smiling Wife. To remember the priest he'd met on the astral plane, when Casey had ranted to Oma Desala about what they'd endured, thanks to the machinations of rebel Ascended. "No way. It's our anniversary. I'm not going anywhere near the SGC until Monday, I don't give a damn what's happening!"

She smiled at his protests. "I don't think we have to worry, Daniel. No downloads."

"Better stay that way until Monday," he muttered.

"I'll pass that along," she grinned. Still tugging, she led him across the street to the old church. Up the steps and into the dim vestibule. She paused, then lit a candle before leading Daniel into the sanctuary.

There were three middle-aged women sitting near the front...they turned as one, the three faces watched with neutral expressions as the couple entered. Daniel and Casey slipped into the pew near the door. Daniel looked around, noted that the sanctuary looked very similar to the one in the church in Tacoma, where Casey had been left as a newborn.

Perhaps five minutes had passed before Father William wandered into the room, hands in his pockets. "Hello, Casey," he said softly.

"Hello, Father," she replied, offering a smile.

"Daniel, a pleasure to see you again,"

"Likewise," Daniel said. Feeling just a bit...odd. There was a tingling in his fingers, one that he'd never experienced before. One that he knew instinctively was directly related to the power that flowed through his veins.

Casey pointed toward the women. "They aren't really there, are they?"

Father William looked at the women who were once again facing forward, then smiled. "Yes, and no."

She frowned, studied the backs of the hat covered heads. Reached out slowly, gently. The power she felt was astounding. "Oh my god!" She clapped a hand over her mouth, then shook her head as the information regarding the Beings filled her mind. "They're from the Committee!"

The Ascended Being standing beside them started visibly. "You know of the Committee?

"I do now," Casey replied drolly. The knowledge was still a bit jumbled, but she'd figure it out.

The priest's blue eyes turned toward the three who sat silently. He'd known that they were Ascended; he had not, however, recognized who they were. There was no doubt that he would be...disciplined...when his conversation with Casey was over. If he was even allowed to speak to her. He hardened his resolve. He wouldn't take the risk that the information she needed wouldn't arrive in time...or in a manner in which she could discern the meaning of easily. No matter what he had to suffer personally as a result. He had no idea how the information normally found its way to the young seer. He only knew that he'd 'heard' the whispers, had known that the warning had been meant for her.

Casey cocked her head sideways, looked from the priest, to the women, and back again. She wasn't sure who was whispering to her, she'd suspected that Father William was her 'messenger'...although now she realized that he wasn't...but she had no intention of ignoring what she was being told. "Excuse me," she said firmly, rising to her feet. She marched up the aisle, plopped herself onto the pew in front of the three. Sat silently for a moment, then whirled around to face them. "If you think for one minute that I'll sit by while you do who knows what to Father William because he's daring to talk to me, I will go talk to the Big Boys!"

Three pairs of eyes focused on the young seer. "You are not capable of such an action," the woman on the right sneered, her voice cool, detached; the flare of anger in her eyes belying that detachment. That she and her associates had been called upon to investigate the...situation...angered her. She resented being treated as if she were nothing more than a mere...disciple.

"Wanna bet? I figured out how to get to the astral plane on my own. I don't think it can be too difficult to move on up." Images of the planet where she and her husband and teammates had died, had been granted Immortality, flashed through her mind. "Besides, I know where a couple of them hang out."

The woman chose to ignore the young seer's claim. "He has broken the rules."

"Yeah, about that...wanna talk about those rebels you have running amok, causing all sorts of hate and discontent? Shall we discuss the three weeks of absolute agony I went through...that my friends and Husband went through, because of them? Would you like to talk about the fact that the Triad had to step in because of your stubbornness, your inability to bend the rules a bit?" Casey snapped.

She was so angry she missed the flash of concern in two pairs of eyes at the mention of the three Observers, carefully chosen from among those of a higher plane of existence to serve in such a manner. Was totally unaware of the fact that for at least those two, comprehension of just who, and what, Casey was finally settled in their consciousness. No longer just words, 'The One' and 'Guide' took on the full import. And sent shudders of fear through those two beings. The third, however, was totally focused on the young seer, her emotions running too high for the epiphany of her companions to light in her own consciousness.

"You've been on the Committee for so long that you've lost touch with your own kind. You certainly have no clue what's going on around here! You think you're all that...ascended and so much smarter than mere mortals. All glowy and in touch with the universe, yada yada yada. You think that your...realm...is more important than ours, that we're so far down on the food chain that we don't even count. Yet, it's a 'mere mortal' who was chosen to be the Champion for mankind." Her green eyes were flashing with barely suppressed rage.

The third woman ignored the anger in Casey's eyes, viewed it as nothing more than the predictable behavior of the hot tempered seer. Again, her own roiling emotions prevented her from making the 'connection' of the young blonde and the Guide for The One.

"Let me clue you in on something," Casey continued. "What we do is important, not just for Earth and humans, but for the Ascended as well! We've already cleaned up two of your messes, Anubis and Dartal. We'll clean up the rest because we can do it, and you can't! You know why you can't?"


She didn't pause long enough for the woman to finish speaking. "Because you've become nothing more than a bunch of cowards. Yes, I totally understand about not interfering...the chaos would be unbelievable if every Ascended Being helped even one person in some seemingly insignificant way. But...there have to be exceptions to that rule. When your own kind break your rules, when your own kind create that chaos, it's up to you to clean up the mess. Your refusal to do so has had some very negative consequences on this plane of existence. How many planets, how many people have been conquered by Goa'uld, those who were never meant to be slaves? Do you know how badly you've screwed up?"

"How dare you attempt to judge us!" the third woman hissed. She raised her hand, her anger so strong she was ready to strike down the mere mortal who had the audacity to speak to her, to her companions, in such a manner. That it had been eons since she'd felt any emotion to such a degree wasn't immediately recognized.

"I would suggest you reconsider such a course of action," a male voice said.

All eyes turned toward the pulpit at the front of the sanctuary. Casey thought the man standing there looked a lot like Sean Connery had in the movie 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'. Which was, she thought, a very amusing movie. It took a minute for her to place the voice that her mind insisted she'd heard before. "Holy Hannah!" she whispered.

"Casey?" Daniel asked nervously, his own mind searching for the answer to where he had heard that voice, or one similar to it; the familiarity in the resonance prodding him.

"That underground cavern," she said softly.

"Whoa," Daniel gasped, his eyes glued on the man who stood watching all of them bemusedly. He rose to his feet, placing himself between his Wife and this...Being...his sole intention.

"Casey, I understand you have something you wish to say?" the Sean Connery look-alike smiled.

"I...uh...well...you're not...you're not God, are you?" There was no way in hell she was going to yell at God!

The sound of laughter filled the room. "I suppose, given your understanding, that I could be considered god-like. However, I am not the 'God' to whom you refer."

Daniel couldn't help but smile, even as he hesitated, realizing that the conversation didn't include him...yet. Nor was Casey in any danger.

She glanced over her shoulder at the three women. Who stared silently at the being who had suddenly appeared among them. "I won't even try to understand all that's going on. I know two things...Daniel is The One. And I'm his Guide. Well, I guess I know three things...because I know that the rebel Ascended, that they," she jerked a thumb over her shoulder, indicating the three Ascended Beings seated behind her, "won't take out, have caused a lot of...damage. I know that Daniel has to face them...and defeat them. He'll do it, too," she added proudly.

"You seem to know all that you need to know," the man smiled.

"Maybe. My...downloads...the information that I get because of my gift, that I use to keep my friends safe, to keep those who work at the SGC safe, to guide Daniel...they've been tampered with. I'm not sure how, or why, or to what extent. I'm pretty sure Dartal's minions are responsible for that as well. But I think that these...Committee members," she spat the term derisively, "could do a lot more to help out than they are. I'm not asking for anything more than getting all that I'm supposed to get, when I'm supposed to get it. And getting the info before it's needed would certainly be nice. What good is it if I get it after the fact?"

Dark eyes moved from Casey's face to examine the faces of the three women behind her. "We have noted that the amount of interference by these...rebels, as you call them...has continued to increase. We are most...disturbed...at this turn of events."

Casey glanced at the women. Was shocked to see the fear in their eyes.

"Nine levels," Daniel murmured, his mind whirling. Casey had already mentioned the existence of nine levels...the G8 members had been witness to that little tidbit of information coming to light, when she had mentioned them in the 'gate room, explaining the reason that the Stargate was in Colorado, and not somewhere else. He knew that the Ascended Beings were from one level; according to Casey, via Miss Eloise, the Ascended were two levels above mortals; he theorized that the Ancients might be on the level between the two...and the man who had stopped Casey from being destroyed was from a higher level...possibly several levels higher, if Father William's reaction was anything to judge by.

"Yes, nine levels, three of which are Observers," Casey said softly.


She frowned when Daniel looked at her expectantly. "What what?"

"You said there are nine levels, and three of those levels, or I suppose the Beings of those levels, are Observers."

"I did?" She whirled around to look at the man still standing on the dais in the front of the church. "I don't suppose you can do anything about that?"

He smiled, shook his head. "That is beyond what I can do."

Green eyes went so wide that they nearly hid her face. "You mean...I get...not you...higher?"

His chuckle echoed loudly. "Yes, higher."

She shook her head wearily. "If there are nine levels, I'm gonna be pissy if I have to go through every one of them to get this taken care of!"

Three male voices filled the air with their amused chuckles. The three women, however, remained silent, their faces still reflecting their fear.

"Casey, you have the information you need," the man said. "It would not do to have the rebels learn of your intent, your...abilities...too soon. They would change their plans, and we cannot allow that. When the time is right, you will know what to do. You will guide The One into battle."

"Oh, I so hate this," she murmured.

"Do not doubt The One," the Being chided gently.

Her chin came up, her green eyes flashed. "Never! I would never doubt him! Daniel is the most incredible man ever! You couldn't have picked a better man for the job. He's kind and gentle and brilliant and giving and strong. But when I don't have all of the intel...all of the information I need...when it takes time for me to sort it out, to understand it..." Her eyes filled with tears. "What if I screw up again?" she asked, her voice a mere whisper.

Daniel felt his cheeks heat up at her loving recitation of his qualifications. His heart ached to hear the pain in her voice, a result of her 'failure' to decipher the abbreviated message that she'd received too late to be of any help to the team on the last mission for the Tok'ra.

"Do not doubt yourself, Child." The Being looked at the three Committee members. "I believe that Father William has a message for Casey. He will deliver it. And the Committee will not stop him. Nor will they...discipline...him. He is an agent of a much higher calling."

The three women turned slowly to look at the priest, who stared silently at the man who had been speaking.

In a flash of brilliant white light, the man was gone. Casey turned to the three women. "Why don't you run along now. Father William and I need to talk. You've already proven your inability to take care of this situation. Stay out of the way while those of us who can, do the job."

Three more flashes of white light, and the women were gone. "Wow," Daniel said softly.

Father William shook his head. "I...I don't know what he's talking about...I just heard..." he broke off, looked at Casey. "I suspect that what I experienced must be similar to what you hear, and see. Well, I only heard whispers," he admitted, "but it seems we're alike, you and I."

Casey rejoined the men, settling beside Daniel. She linked her trembling fingers with his, took comfort from the gentle squeeze, the warmth of his hand against hers.

Father William sat down on the pew in front of them, turned to face her, his arm on the back of the bench seat. "I wish I had more for you...all I know is you will be...attacked...and very soon. No doubt your gift of sight will be completely blocked. I also suspect that due to your sight, you will be...hidden. I know it doesn't make sense-"

"Don't worry about that," Casey said, patting his hand. "I'll figure it out."

"You must all be together to defeat these rebels. When the five of you have been reunited, the true battle will begin. Daniel will pull strength from you...from all of you, so you must be there for him."

She nodded. Whatever was about to happen, the team had to be together. And if the 'reunited' thing was any clue, something would happen to the team...something that would prevent them from being together. "I'll make sure it happens."

"When the time arrives, you'll know what to do," William said, repeating what the Higher Being had told her.

"Right." She took a deep breath. "I don't suppose making the request that this happen after our weekend is over would do any good?"

The priest smiled. "I think you'll have a few days before the rebels make their move."

"Good. Sunday is our anniversary, and I...we plan to celebrate all weekend."

"Happy anniversary," Father William smiled.

"Thank you."

He stood to his feet. "Be sure to zip your coat up. It's snowing again."

When Daniel turned to watch the priest walk away, he realized that the man...the being...had simply vanished. "Wow."

She sat for a moment, contemplating what had happened. "I knew he was no ordinary priest," she mused. "I don't think he was aware of being a...courier."

Daniel studied the crucifix that hung on the wall behind the pulpit. "When this is over, will I still be The One?"

"I don't know," she confessed. "I think so."

He sighed. Her quiet, almost sad response concerned him...crushed those secret hopes of once again being nothing more than Dr. Daniel Jackson, archaeologist and member of SG-1. He'd been certain, at first, that dealing with Anubis had been the reason he'd been granted the...powers...the status...of The One. Which had faded when the 'heat' that he felt continued to flow through him. Hope that dealing with Dartal would bring the end of his 'service', had been altered when his Wife, his Guide, had informed him that he had to face the other rebels as well. He had hoped that this single battle would prove to be the final reason for the powers that he possessed...power that he often forgot about, was able to push to the back of his mind. Secretly had hoped that when the battle was over, the power would disappear, and with it, the risks that Casey faced because of his 'position'. Just how much more would they face? What other battles lay ahead of them?

The worry that he was feeling washed over her. She took his hand, held it tightly, her other hand caressing his cheek gently. "Together, Stud Muffin. As long as we're together, we can't be defeated."

"Together," he said softly. "Let's get home, before a blizzard decides to hit."


A  A  A  A  A  A


Casey made hot chocolate, Daniel turned the gas in the fireplace up a notch, and they snuggled on the blanket that had remained on the floor from the night before. They discussed their very...interesting...encounter, and then agreed that for the remainder of the weekend, nothing that was in any way connected to the SGC would be discussed.

"I don't suppose we could take that little trip before dinner and dancing," she said suggestively, her voice low and breathy.

He nuzzled her ear. His arm was around her shoulders, his thumb making lazy circles against her cheek. "I suppose we could," he replied, his body already responding.

"Good," she whispered. "Why don't you get rid of all of those unnecessary clothes, and I'll be right back."

"I'll be right here," he whispered in reply. Accepted the promise in her kiss, watched with loving eyes as she stood up, practically ran to the front of the house and their bedroom. He grinned, knowing that she'd be back with the toys and body oil.

He took the opportunity to once again close the blinds on the French doors and the back door. Casey was skittish about making love if she thought there was a chance they might be observed. Even though the houses beside and behind them didn't have a direct line of vision into their home, he wasn't going to take the chance that she'd be worried about someone seeing them. Having lived with the Abydonians for a year, he wasn't as concerned about unwanted voyeurs. The communal living conditions prevented total privacy. If it happened, it happened, but never was anything said if there were inadvertent glimpses of lovers coupling in their shadowy alcoves. He was certain that he and Sha're had been seen a time or two. Of course, it would be embarrassing if Emma showed up, knocking on one of the doors that flanked the fireplace.

In just a few moments the candles that were scattered around the Great Room were flickering happily, providing both soft light and their subtle fragrance; he turned off all the lamps, but left on the light that was shining in the china cabinet. It would add just the right amount of needed illumination. He glanced down the hallway, shivered imperceptibly as thoughts of what was about to commence filled his mind. Their honeymoon had been incredible. Their first anniversary had been three days of mind blowing pleasure. This, their second anniversary, was proving to be every bit as exciting. He made a quick trip to the linen closet before returning to the blanket and shedding his clothes, tossing them with abandon onto the sofa.

Casey was, at that moment, doing something she hadn't done before, although she'd thought about it. Her hands moved over her leg as she applied more of the body oil. She had every intention of working the oil into Daniel's muscles, covering him with the slick, sweet tasting lubricant. Details for her method of applying it were working themselves out in her mind. Finished with her task, her skin gleaming in the dim light of the small lamp, she picked up the toys that waited on the bedside table. She'd have added the handcuffs, but they hadn't been in the drawer where they were normally kept. She assumed that Daniel had packed them for their weekend get-away, but she didn't feel like taking the time to search his duffel bag for them.

When she stepped into the hallway, she could hear the soft jazz of Gerald Albright. The blinds were all closed, and the house was lit only by candles. Her smile was automatic...how typical of Daniel to be so romantic!

He looked up when he heard the familiar creak in the floor beside the dining room table. His breath caught in his throat as he watched her walk toward him, her skin glimmering in the dim light. Completely naked, she was even more alluring than she had been wearing the leather boots and corset. He stood to his feet as she approached, holding out his hand, waiting eagerly to feel the warmth of her fingers against his own.

Her heart was thumping against her ribs with love...with anticipation...with need...when his fingers closed around hers. "Thank you for the candlelight," she murmured, her free hand moving up his chest to his shoulder as she stepped closer to him.

"You're welcome," he replied. The scent that surrounded her was familiar, but it took a moment for him to place it. Sweet Jesus, she's covered in body oil! Which explained the sheen her soft skin had, the way she glistened. "A little preliminary preparation?"

She smiled. "Why not? I thought I'd...prepare...you as well."

"I like that idea," he whispered.

Pressing her body against his, she tossed the toys to the blanket that covered the floor. Had just enough time to notice that he'd pulled the quilt from the closet, so that when they drifted off to sleep, they'd be covered and warm. Flipped open the cap on the oil, and squirted a generous amount between them. She closed the bottle, let it drop to the floor as well. She planted her hands on his shoulders, locked her gaze with his, and began rubbing her body back and forth against his, spreading the oil on his chest and belly with her breasts and abdomen. His sharp intake of breath was enough to let her know that the movements were arousing him.

The feeling of her skin against his, slick and warm, had every nerve ending on alert. The anaconda had already been rising for the occasion, it was now rock hard and pressing against her, demanding attention. When she bent over slightly, put her hands on her breasts, and began to massage his throbbing length with them, he moaned out loud.

Silently, she reached for the bottle. Held his gaze, and poured more oil on her breasts. She began to smear the substance on his legs, again using her hands to hold and guide her breasts as she did so. The curly hairs tickled her skin, she couldn't help but smile.

The smile that turned up the corners of her mouth was seductive...she knew exactly what she was doing to him. Which was melting his brain completely. Watching her putting oil on his body, using those beautiful breasts to do so, had him gasping for breath. The visual stimulation was no less arousing than the physical sensation of those soft curves moving against his skin.

As usual, she thought, with just a touch of irritation, she hadn't stopped to consider just how turned on this little exercise would make her! Her breasts had always been sensitive to stimulation...and Daniel's attention to 'his beauties' never failed to leave her panting for more. This was every bit as erotic for her as it seemed to be for him, if his responses were anything to judge by. She rose to her feet, bottle in hand. Squirted more of the oil onto her chest, then moved behind him. She wasn't tall enough to be able to reach his shoulders with her breasts, so she moved the oil upwards with her hands, moving slowly from side to side, pressing against him just enough to keep the contact between their skin.

Her nipples were hard, feeling them against his back was so damned arousing! He reached behind him with both hands, caressed her hips as she continued to anoint him in such an...intriguing...way. He felt more oil hit his skin, then her breasts were rubbing against his buttocks, moving down to his legs. He let his head fall back, closed his eyes, and simply savored the sensations of her body moving against his. He had no clue where she came up with her ideas, although he suspected her 'bodice-rippers' were one source. He could only rejoice in the fact that she did.

It took thirty minutes before she was satisfied that she'd put as much oil on him as she could in her very unique way. When she stepped in front of him, his hands reached for hers, their fingers entwined for a moment.

"And lo, she did anoint me with fragrant oil, and my soul did soar at her gentle touch," he said softly.

She smiled. Whatever he'd said, it sounded almost like Goa'uld, which meant it was something Egyptian. "Just a hint?"

He smiled. Translated the verse, which he had paraphrased slightly, as it was a poem written by a woman to her lover. Felt his heartbeat speed up at the look of warmth, of love, that flooded those amazing green eyes. "Very interesting method of application."

"I thought the moment called for something a little less...expected," she replied, wondering briefly just how he could remember so many poems, how he was able to find the perfect phrase or line or stanza. His beautiful, brilliant mind, she sighed silently. Such an amazing thing.

"Definitely didn't expect that," he agreed.

"Did you like it?"

He glanced down at his engorged erection. "Can't tell?"

She smiled. Took his hand, slid his fingers between her thighs. "Me, too," she whispered.

He could feel the heat, her velvety nether lips were wet with the nectar that had escaped that sweet honey pot. Apparently she'd been as turned on as he'd been. "Let's take a little trip, shall we?" He knelt down on the blanket.

She shivered slightly in delicious anticipation. Knelt down beside him. Watched as he stretched out on the floor.

"C'mere, Angel. Let me taste you."

Settling over him, her hips above his face, she greeted his throbbing member with soft kisses and gentle licks. His moan encouraged her. She held herself steady on her hands, the only parts of her body touching his were her womanhood, as he began to lick her from front to back, and her tongue on his shaft. The intimate, barely there touches both were bestowing upon the other resulted in simultaneous shivers that moved both bodies from head to foot.

He wrapped his hands around her thighs, held her tightly as he began to make love to her. After the way she had administered the body oil, they were both so close to the edge that they needed a bit of...relief, before they could take their time in reaching the next pinnacle. The first 'stop' on the trip was always reached quickly, a way to take the edge off their desire, their need, in an effort to prolong the ride, and made taking their time to reach the other 'stops' much more...enjoyable.

He tried to ignore the warmth of her mouth around him, the sensations of pure pleasure that raced up his spine as she established a rhythm that had his toes curling. Renewing his determination to make her fall first, he began to write the full poem of love against her puffy nether lips, dipping his tongue into her well again and again, flicking that hard little nub at the top of her folds at the end of each stanza.

There was no human way possible to hold back the moan that filled her throat when his tongue began to tease her aching love button. The previous random flickers had been enough to have her body screaming for more. Wanting to make him feel as good as he was making her feel, she tried to take more of him into her mouth, one hand stroking that part of him that she couldn't encompass. Settled against him, her arms on his hips, leaving both hands free to caress him. One hand fondled his balls, her fingers caressing the scrotum gently. Pulled away from him long enough to lower her head and greet the twin spheres. She felt as well as heard his moan as she did so, the vibrations against her skin enough to have her shivering.

Hands and mouths moved tenderly over the parts of the body so fervidly proffered to one another. Her hips began to dip rhythmically with each pass of his tongue. He slid two fingers into her well, felt her push back against his hand, begging for more.

She could feel his belly heaving beneath her breasts as she increased the pace of her mouth and hands. The upward thrust of his hips was another signal that he was nearing the peak. Now, if she could just ignore what he was doing for a few more seconds...

Oh, god...it feels so damned good! No matter how many times they made love, no matter how many times that sweet, warm mouth so ardently sucked him off, it was always the most incredible experience he'd ever had. He'd confessed to Jack that Casey was the first, and only, woman who'd ever given him such pleasure. He'd always understood that his size was intimidating. How in the hell she managed to do such a fantastic job of blowing his mind, as she blew...or more accurately sucked...his cock, without suffering a serious case of lockjaw was something he couldn't understand. He'd have been satisfied with just a bit of attention from her in that manner...relieving her from getting what had to be an aching jaw. But she never failed to take him all the way. Never stopping, never complaining. Her soft moans and sighs as she went down on him let him know that she was enjoying the activity as much as he was...she'd told him repeatedly that she loved giving him head. He wasn't at all certain why. He was, however, extremely grateful for his most giving, adoring Wife, because he loved receiving the intimate attention from her.

The moan that escaped past the swollen manhood that filled her mouth came from her belly, as fingers of fire and pleasure zipped up her spine, spread out to tingle in her fingers and toes, before settling in a pool of liquid heat between her thighs. He was suckling on that little pearl at the top of her folds, the tip of his tongue teasing her mercilessly. Lights were beginning to flash, colors to whirl...she was seconds from her climax. She refused to let go, however, until he had reached the same point. She relaxed her throat, felt him slide that extra inch or so...and began to swallow. The jerk of his hips was enough to let her know that he was there... The countdown began.

That little bud was swollen and hard against his tongue...he slipped a third finger into her, pushed deep, and cried out himself when her moan of completion vibrated around and through his aching manhood. Unable to hold back any longer, he gave in and felt the fire race to his belly, rushing up through his cock as he exploded, spiraling to the stars beside her as she continued to hum her love against him.

She didn't stop her ministrations until she was certain that not a drop was left. She gently kissed him, then collapsed onto her side.

He sat up, ran his hand over her hip. "That was amazing," he said softly.

She gave a lazy smile. "You're telling me?"

Settling beside her, both of them shifting so that her head was on his shoulder, his arm around her, Daniel pulled her close. "I love you."

"I love you," she replied. Her fingers moved over his chest. "Do you ever wonder what our lives would have been like if you hadn't flown to Tacoma that day?"

He started...this wasn't something he'd ever thought about...other than when acknowledging what her gift had shown her what would have happened...what probably would have happened...had he not knocked on her door on that cold, sunny January afternoon. "Not really. I'm just glad that I did fly to Tacoma."

"If you hadn't, you could be with Sha're right now. Well, the Sha're from that other reality," she said softly.

He tensed. He'd thought this issue had been talked out completely after the long, miserable day spent trying to find a place for the Abydonians to go...and trying to apologize for his colossal screw-ups. He shook his head. "No, Casey. That wouldn't have happened. That woman looked like Sha're. Had many of the same experiences. But she wasn't the woman I had loved...had married. She never could have been."

She sat up, looked down at him. "Maybe she wasn't the same woman...but technically, your own Sha're wasn't the same, not after being host to Amaunet."

He frowned. "You're right. Technically. There were more than enough differences between the two that I never would have been able to...delude...myself into thinking I had my Sha're back."

"What about Sarah Gardner? Or Bernie Watson?"

He sat up now as well. Wrapped his hand around her chin. "Where did all of this come from?" One slender shoulder moved up and down in that oh so familiar way. "Talk to me, Angel."

She smiled when her eyes met his. "I was just thinking about the miracle that brought you into my life. How glad I am that I was granted that miracle. That two years ago...well, two years ago come Sunday, you stood at that altar, looking like a model for GQ, and you vowed yourself to me in front of those people...you took me...plain, skinny, average Casey Renee, to be your wife."

"Forever and ever," he said softly. "I took an intelligent, wonderful, giving, talented woman, who just happens to be the most beautiful woman in the world, as my Wife, forever. Had I not flown to Tacoma, I'd still be alone, and lonely, spending most of my time in the mountain rather than going home to a cold, empty apartment. I'd still be a man walking around with half a heart, half a soul. Because you're the other half of me, Casey. You always have been."

She nodded slowly. "I think...somehow, someway, our hearts would have found one another."

"I think you're right." He braced himself when he saw the impish glint in her eyes. Trying to figure out what she was going to say or do next was a waste of time. Better to just roll with the flow, he thought amusedly.

"If we hadn't been together, and when Mike and Bernie and their friends looked in those caves, and found that totem, somehow the SGC would have been notified. You'd have flown to Washington, and figured out what was going on. Be honest...if Bernie had handed you that letter, would you have taken her to bed?"


Her eyes went wide. "That was a quick answer. I'm talking about if you and I weren't together."

"I know. But she was with Mike. Living with him. I never could have done that to a friend."

There was an entire story behind that comment, she thought. Wondered briefly just who had betrayed Daniel's trust in such a cruel manner. "She still loved you," Casey said softly.

"And Mike loved...loves...her. Anything that I'd felt for her had...died...years ago," Daniel replied. "What about you...if I hadn't shown up, would you have given in to Kenny? Or found someone else?"

"I'd have never given in to that bastard," she said firmly. "Not after he let me see just what kind of a man he really was. There never would've been a man in my life. I was too afraid of becoming...of being...what those names meant. I didn't let myself feel anything for a man. I didn't dare. So, I'd still be alone, too."

"So, it's a good thing I flew to Tacoma."

Her smile widened. "Just as important that you and Sam and Jack and Teal'c got tossed sideways into another reality. Otherwise, you'd have never made that flight."

He grinned. "Good point."

"I think, though, that we'd have met...it's just Destiny," Casey said, repeating her earlier comment.

He could sense the playfulness in her voice. Relaxed when he realized that she was simply vocalizing random thoughts, not facing or struggling with dark fears. "Really. How and where would this meeting have taken place?"

She pushed gently against his chest, waited until he was lying on his back once again, snuggled close to his side, rested her head on his shoulder. "Well, I was really getting ticked off about my job. I hated it...and at one point Kelley and I had talked about the fact that there was really nothing tying us down...we could have gone anywhere we wanted. So who's to say we, or at least I, wouldn't have just taken the plunge, loaded up my car, and driven to Colorado? I'd have found a newspaper for Colorado Springs, and looked for a job-"

"Why not Denver?" he asked.

"Too obvious. And, I'd always wanted to get away from a big city," she replied.

"You realize that Colorado Springs is larger than Tacoma," he said drolly.

"Yes, I do," she retorted. "But Silver Springs isn't."

"Ah. So you'd have gotten this newspaper for Colorado Springs, to look for work in Silver Springs." His voice was teasing.

"Yes, I would have, because the Gazette carries the Silver Springs classifieds, too," she replied. "Now hush, this is my story."

He grinned. "Hushing now."

"So, I'd have been here in Silver Springs, looking for work. I've been a waitress before, and usually waitressing jobs are fairly easy to find."

"So you'd have become a waitress at O'Malley's, since that's where we go so often...we as in Jack, Sam, Teal'c, and I." 

He grunted slightly, before chuckling loudly when she elbowed him in the ribs. "No, I would not have! For one thing, Gina would have slit my throat if she'd seen me looking at you with any sort of interest."

The comment left him completely stunned. "Huh? Gina?"

Once again Casey sat up. "She's been in love with you, or at least attracted to you, for a very long time," she said softly.

"Gina?" he repeated. She was a nice woman, fun to joke around with, and a damned good waitress. But he'd never viewed Gina in 'that' way. She was a casual acquaintance, nothing more. His mind, however, latched onto the tidbit of information, analyzed it. Played back certain things that had happened, things that had been said, that had been tucked away by his subconscious; certain that there was a message there, but unable to consciously find it. He wasn't sure that Casey was right. Although it did seem to explain a few things...no, it didn't matter. He'd never been attracted to the woman. He pushed the thoughts away, focused his attention on what Casey was saying.

"...I'd be a waitress at IHOP. I know you and Sam used to go there in the middle of the night, when the two of you were working on projects...and needed a break."

He smiled. There had been at least a dozen times over the years that he and his teammate had fled the mountain in an attempt to clear their minds, so that they could find the answers that were so desperately needed for whatever project they were working on. Their talk had been related, and confined, he now realized, to their work. They touched briefly on personal topics, neither willing to linger or delve too deeply into the subjects of family or their lives before becoming involved in the SGC...or even outside of the SGC. Probably because neither of them actually had personal lives outside of the SGC; not before Casey had come along, filled his life, and made it possible for Jack and Sam to be together.

"You'd have walked in the door with Sam, I'd have assumed you were with her, until I watched the two of you, because it's obvious that you're good friends, but nothing more...there's not a 'spark' between you..."


She was pouring coffee for the two men at the table by the door when it opened, and a couple walked in. They were talking, laughing easily. The comfort of time spent together was obvious in their movements. Busy with the customers already seated, she smiled at the men, avoided the fanny pat from the older of the two, not really paying attention to the couple, even as bits of their conversation floated toward her.

"So, anyway, it's a dead end," the man said, holding the door open for the tall blonde.

"The general isn't going to be happy to hear that," the woman sighed.

"I know. Robert was certain that the glyphs on the outside of the temple warranted the investigation. And the guys on SG-8 weren't seriously hurt," he replied.

"Daniel, you've got to talk to Robert. His attitude is really ticking off a lot of the teams."

This time it was Daniel who sighed. "I've tried...I really have, Sam. He just doesn't seem to get it. He understands that technically, in his position as a civilian consultant, he 'outranks' most of them. He gets a perverse sense of pleasure in ordering them around."

"Maybe I could get through to him," Sam offered,

Blue eyes filled with relief. "You wouldn't mind?"

"Nope. Because he's getting on my nerves, too."

Daniel groaned. "Oh, tell me he hasn't tried to order you around." Groaned again when sapphire blue eyes flashed her irritation.

"I promise I won't hit him."

"Good. Irritating or not, he's the only other person doing actual translation work at the moment," Daniel grinned.

She wasn't certain how she managed to keep walking, and wasn't even aware of the pot of coffee she still had in her hand. The minute she'd looked up to see the man and woman moving toward the booth, her heart had nearly stopped. Oh, momma, he was the most beautiful man she had ever seen! Tall, with neatly cut, dark blonde hair, wisps of which fell over his forehead, wide shoulders, and such strong hands, with long, slender fingers. When the most gorgeous cerulean blue eyes she had ever seen locked on her, she felt as if she couldn't breathe...


"The first thing you'd have noticed, after my eyes and shoulders and hands," he chuckled, his ego inflated happily, "would have been the anaconda. I'd have been sporting one hell of a hard-on, watching you walk toward me like that."

She giggled. "Well, that's how we would have met. I'd have been so tongue-tied I wouldn't have been able to say a word."

"I'd have asked you to marry me, on the spot," he grinned. "I see what I want, and I go for it."

That was something he'd said several times before...and always when talking about her. She'd seen his determination...knew that when Daniel made up his mind about something, nothing was going to change it. She also knew that there hadn't been any other woman in his life that he'd pursued. They had pursued him, or in Sha're's case, had been a 'gift'. It hit her in that moment...Daniel had looked for her. Had flown to Tacoma, knowing only of her existence...and the fact that they were Destined to be together. He had, in fact, been specifically looking for her. She understood that her counterpart had given him the means to approach her. Had encouraged him to find his own Destiny. Daniel, however, had made that decision, had been the one to follow through. He'd made the arrangements...or rather, allowed Jack to make the arrangements for a flight. Daniel had booked the room and the rental car. To find her. If he hadn't wanted to make that flight, no power on heaven or Earth would have changed his mind. Nothing would have stopped him from making it, either, once he'd decided to go...once he'd made up his mind...

Her eyes had gone wide, her pink lips an 'o' of what appeared to be surprise. He sat up, one hand going to her arm, grasping her gently. "Case?"

"You were looking for me," she whispered.

"My whole life, it seems," he replied softly, cupping her face in his hands.

She shook her head slightly. "You came to Tacoma, looking for me!"

He smiled. "Looking for you, Angel. I already loved you, in my heart. I'd already claimed you, already declared to the universe that you belonged to me."

She reached up, wrapped her hands around his wrists. "You had?"

He nodded. "I don't think I realized it at the time. But looking back, I know that I had."

"Because of her...the other Casey?"

"Partly, I'm sure. But mostly because I knew you were my Destiny."

"Destiny," she sighed.

He leaned forward, sought her lips with his own. The next journey of love was about to begin.

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