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The Colonel's New Toys
Mehen stared. Just stared at the beautiful blue and white orb. The First World. Where Ra had discovered the perfect beings to provide both hosts and slaves. So much better than the other civilizations that the Goa'uld harvested. So many had come here, carved out their own niche. Had been happy...or relatively so. Until Ra had determined that he was the greatest of them all. Kinsey's body shivered slightly. The truth of the matter was, Ra had been the greatest of them all. There had been no other with the foresight, the dreams and plans that filled Ra night and day.
It had been a shock to learn that Ra had fled this planet. Fled from the slaves who'd risen against him. The others, fearful for their own lives, had fled as well...certainly they wouldn't stay if the powerful Ra had left. The Tok'ra had been born here. No doubt they'd had a hand in the rebellion. But Mehen suspected that the Asgard had influenced, and perhaps even armed, the Tau'ri slaves who'd rebelled by the thousands. If not the Asgard, then some other enemy of the Goa'uld had infiltrated the ranks of Tau'ri who had served their gods obediently...until one fateful day when they suddenly realized that they could stand up against their oppressors.
So many slaves had been taken through the Chappa'ai, providing labor on planets that offered naquadah, or gold, or silver, or jewels, or even such mundane but much needed things as food and metal ores. When Ra had fled, he'd declared the First World off limits. He didn't want the spirit of rebellion 'infecting' the slaves spread out on hundreds of different worlds. Every Goa'uld tightened their hold on those small villages and colonies, making certain that no thoughts of freedom or escape could ever fill the dreams of those slaves.
Ra was responsible for the Jaffa, breeding the strongest, the most beautiful. Changing them genetically, providing a place for larval Goa'uld to mature safely, making certain that the new race of humans was dependant upon their symbiotes. Armies rose, grew. Ra and Yu had battled one another for centuries, each determined to rule the galaxy. Soon others joined the struggle, their own dreams of domination filling their minds.
The Goa'uld shifted on his throne. He wondered if the Tau'ri, especially those of the SGC, were aware that their ancestors had succeeded in fragmenting the Goa'uld empire, causing rifts between those who had before worked in harmony. No doubt they would gloat over such knowledge.
That would change soon enough. He was still searching the host's mind, looking for anything that would aid him in taking over this small, seemingly insignificant planet. Which cities would be ripe for conquest, which would serve him best by being destroyed, thus establishing his supremacy.
Kinsey huddled in his tiny corner. Listened to the thoughts of the creature who now controlled his body. He would snatch whatever memories, filled with vital information, that he could, shoving them down into the darkness where he was hiding all that he could find. He continued to struggle with the entity whenever possible. Hope had flared when he realized that the entity worried that the time in the canopic jar had weakened him. If that were so, then he had a chance to fight this Goa'uld called Mehen. Perhaps even regain control of his body. Then it would be he who would search for memories and information. He would learn all he could about this Goa'uld empire. And destroy it.
"My Lord, there are many objects that orbit the planet. It is possible that the Tau'ri are aware of our arrival," the First Prime said quietly.
Mehen had seen the various satellites. Had worried that perhaps the small planet was protected after all, and that his host had been unaware of such advances. "We will remain here for now. If they do not react to our presence, then we will move closer, and attack."
"Yes, My Lord."
He turned his attention back to the planet that turned slowly beneath him. At last, after so many millennia, he would be a System Lord!
Kinsey shuddered. He had to find a way to stop this damned snake! That thought nearly caused him to expose his newest hiding place. Snake? Where had he heard that term before, in conjunction with the Goa'uld? He settled back, anxious for the Goa'uld to move into the sarcophagus. For a few moments of that time, before he was lulled to sleep, he was able to move about and sort through the images and feelings that he so carefully hoarded. He'd find the answer. And he'd use it against his captor.
A A A A A A
The Prometheus was returning to Earth. While they hadn't completed all phases of their shakedown cruise, General Hammond wanted SG-1 returned to the SGC for debriefing. No doubt the premier team would join the exercises scheduled that would put the new ship through her paces as soon as the briefing was completed.
At that particular moment, the members of SG-1 were enjoying a cup of coffee and breakfast in the ship's mess hall. Colonel Ronson carried his own mug of steaming coffee onto the bridge, settled into the captain's chair.
"ETA to Earth?"
"Ten minutes, sir," was the immediate reply.
Earth was just coming into view when SG-1 wandered into the narrow room. "Ah, home sweet home," Jack said, watching their approach.
"Sir, I'm picking up a distortion just beneath the moon. It's not large, but it's there, and stationary," Major Gant reported.
Sam hurried toward the console. "Show me," she said.
"Carter?" Jack asked nervously, after watching the team gizmo expert frowning at the readouts on the monitor in front of her.
"I think we're looking at a cloaked ship, sir," Sam replied.
"I'm not sure."
"Too bad we can't just scoop up a bit of moon dust and toss it over that area," Casey said. "Cloaked ships can still be covered with moon dust!"
Sam shook her head. "I wish! Goa'uld shields are designed to absorb whatever hits them...light waves, sound waves...any of the methods that might be used to detect the ship have been calculated into the shields."
"What about launching a missile into the center of the distortion?" Jack asked. "If we hit something, we'd know it."
Colonel Ronson frowned. "If we move as soon as the missile is launched, any return fire would miss us completely, and we'd be able to remain hidden."
"If there's a Goa'uld ship sitting beneath the moon, it can only mean trouble," Daniel said quietly.
Jack glanced at Casey. "Talk to me, Radar."
"Sorry, boss. No info on this one."
"It's worth a shot," Jack said after a minute of contemplation. "We can't sit here and do nothing."
"This is exactly what the Prometheus was built for," Ronson added quietly...firmly.
Jack nodded. "Fire away," he said.
Ronson punched one of the buttons on the arm of his chair. "All hands, battle stations. This is not a drill. I repeat, all hands, battle stations, this is not a drill!"
A young man raced into the room, dropped down beside Major Gant.
"Arm all missiles. I want the full battery ready," Ronson ordered.
"Yes, sir!" Not more than seven seconds later the young man looked at the commander. "All missiles loaded, sir."
"Lieutenant, there is a distortion beneath the moon. I want it exposed or destroyed," Ronson said quietly.
"Fire when ready. As soon as the missiles are clear of the tubes, move us to..." The colonel paused as he calculated the position he wanted for the ship. "Seventeen by nine by twenty, at thirteen degrees."
"Yes, sir," Major Delouise responded.
It seemed that everyone on the bridge held their breath when two missiles moved toward the distortion that was visible just beneath the shadow of the moon. The impact gave the outline of a Goa'uld al'kesh.
"Well, crap," Jack muttered. "Radar, any idea who's on that thing?"
"I could do a-"
He shook his head. "Not that important."
She couldn't help but smile. Neither Daniel nor Jack had ever been comfortable with the searches she did...but since her time on the astral plane as Dartal's prisoner, they were even less likely to allow her to use her growing ability to reach out for information.
"Well, that's unexpected," Ronson muttered as a dozen Goa'uld gliders seemed to appear from nowhere.
"I don't suppose we can get a message to Nellis to get those F302's in the air, can we?" Jack asked.
"Who said anything about them being at Nellis?" Ronson said, grinning slightly. "They're in the hanger bay. However, I only have one qualified pilot on board. The others are waiting at P7X 491. We are...were scheduled for a few test runs and a mock battle."
"You have three pilots right here," Jack said quietly.
"Major Carter, Teal'c, and myself. Teal'c and I flew one of the first prototypes," Jack replied.
"Willing to give them a trial by fire?"
Jack gave a grim smile. "That's what we built them for."
Ronson gave a short nod. "Can you find the bay, or do you want an escort?"
Sam smiled. "We've studied the schematics for this ship. I think we can find it."
"Go. We have to get rid of those gliders. They can move in close, and a lucky hit will knock out our shields and our cloak," Ronson admitted.
Sam led the way, knowing exactly where the hanger and the waiting F302's were. Jack and Teal'c were hot on her heels.
Casey shifted closer to Daniel, slipped her hand into his. Once again they were in a battle to protect an unsuspecting Earth from Goa'uld attack.
It was only a matter of minutes before four of the fighters were moving toward the gliders. For a moment, it seemed that their appearance took the pilots of the gliders by surprise. The Goa'uld had been unaware that the Tau'ri possessed any such craft. In fact, the general consensus among the Goa'uld was that the First World was protected only by the Asgard, and had no means of self-defense.
Those few seconds of hesitation bought the four pilots time to open fire, taking out two of the gliders in their first salvo. The darkness of space was suddenly lit by the streaks of fire that erupted from one quickly moving ship toward another.
Colonel Ronson motioned with his hand, the volume was turned up so that everyone in the room could hear the conversation between the four Tau'ri pilots.
"Oh, this is sweet," Jack said, approval in his voice.
"I have to agree, sir," Sam's voice replied. It was clear that she was smiling, perhaps even chuckling.
"Okay, campers, let's show 'em what we've got," Jack said.
"The gliders will attempt to move past us in order to turn and fire upon our engines," Teal'c said calmly.
"Here they come," Sam said. "Watch it, Teal'c, two headed directly for you."
"I am aware," Teal'c replied. To the gliders behind him, it appeared that he was attempting to outrun them. In a sudden reversal, the Jaffa looped the fighter, coming in behind gliders moving too quickly, with pilots who had been totally unprepared for the maneuver. He destroyed both easily.
"Impressive, T-man," Jack said.
"Nice move," Sam agreed.
"Carter, you have one on your six, get out of there!" Jack's voice commanded.
"I'm trying...can't shake him," Sam replied. If she was worried or frightened, no one would ever know it from her voice.
"Hang on, I'm on my way," Jack said.
"Two breaking off...looks like they're going to do a bit of random shooting," another voice, that of the pilot assigned to the Prometheus, said. It was as much a warning to that ship as it was to his companions.
"Take 'em out," Jack ordered.
"With pleasure, sir," was the response.
"Move us directly beneath the last known position of the Goa'uld ship. We'll just assume that it's moved by now," Ronson said quietly.
A A A A A A
The first hit had been a shock; scans had revealed nothing in the area. Whatever was out there, it was cloaked. The second hit had given no more of an idea where the attack came from than the first. Mehen sat nervously on the throne of the pel'tak. He'd never been in command during a battle. The Jaffa waited for his orders.
After a moment of confusion, uncertain of what he should do, he gave the order to launch the gliders. There was ship out there somewhere, and fire from the smaller craft would expose it. It would be a simple matter to destroy it once it had been identified. When the four ships had appeared, Mehen was certain it was from them that the attack had been launched. It was a mistaken assumption that would cost him dearly.
"Destroy them!" he ordered, certain that the fact that his gliders out numbered the unknown ships would result in a swift and complete victory.
It was with growing panic that he watched as the enemy fighters out maneuvered the gliders, seemed to eliminate them at will. If they were Asgard, they were of a totally new design. Tem had told him of the treaty between the Goa'uld and the Asgard, protecting the First World. Ares had insisted that the small gray beings were in no position to protect more than their own planets, and that taking the First World could be done before the Asgard could react. Like Ares, he'd forgotten the battles between a united Ra and Yu that had seen a full one third of the Goa'uld Empire fall into the hands of their enemy, and within a matter of days. The memory of that impressive loss flooded his mind. It was the only time he'd ever seen Ra worried. If the two strongest Goa'uld, working together, could be so easily defeated...
Mehen shivered. "We must leave at once. No doubt there is a larger Asgard vessel nearby. They will not cease searching for us until we have been located."
"Yes, My Lord," the Jaffa responded. He sent out the order for the gliders to return to the ship.
A A A A A A
"They're on the run," Jack noted.
"No doubt the al'kesh will flee this sector," Teal'c said calmly.
On the bridge of the Prometheus, Casey closed her eyes when she saw the flash of light. Waited impatiently for the images to stop moving. Well, isn't that interesting! "It's Kinsey. Or rather, the snake in control of him," she said quietly.
"Mehen," Daniel said, recalling the name the general had given when he had shared the news of the former Senator's fate. "Running?"
"Like the snake that he is," Casey replied.
Smiling at the comment, Ronson radioed the fighters with the information, then recalled them to the ship.
"That's affirmative," Jack said. "Four coming home."
"Colonel, identifying jump point opening at twenty-seven by twelve by thirty two, and fifty degrees. The Goa'uld ship just left," the young lieutenant at the weapons console reported. "Shall I chart trajectory?"
"Not this time," Ronson smiled. "Let's call it a day, shall we?"
"It won't take long for word to get around," Daniel said quietly. "They'll know that Earth is protected."
Casey shook her head. "Mehen is convinced that it was the Asgard. He's been away a long time...the appearance of our fighters will be chalked up to a new class of ships in the Asgard fleet."
"That's good to know," Ronson said, with a sigh of relief. Keeping their ships a secret for as long as possible would only aid them in protecting Earth.
"What's good to know?"
Daniel grinned. "Didn't hear that, huh?"
Green eyes rolled with frustration. "I so hate when that happens. What'd I say?"
He chuckled further at the odd looks the bridge crew tossed in their direction. "Sometimes my Wife gets a bit of intel, but she doesn't actually know what she's said until after the fact," he explained.
"So, what'd I say?" Casey insisted, tugging slightly on his arm.
"That Mehen thinks he just had a run in with the Asgard."
"That's a good thing, right?"
"That's a good thing," Daniel confirmed.
Ronson grinned. It must be damned interesting working with a seer. His grin widened when he realized that more than likely, he'd learn just how interesting for himself, as SG-1 accompanied the Prometheus on various future missions.
When Jack, Sam, and Teal'c rejoined their teammates on the bridge, Jack was grinning from ear to ear. "They handle like a dream," he announced.
"Glad to know you didn't send it into reverse or arm the weapons before you cleared the bay," Casey deadpanned.
Jack leaned close. "You're a smartass, Jackson," he said in a stage whisper.
"So you keep telling me," Casey replied in kind.
"Case says that Mehen thinks the Asgard just attacked him. If he's working with Ares, that's the report that he'll give."
Jack nodded. "That might keep them off the doorstep for awhile."
"Message came through just a few minutes ago," Ronson said. "General Hammond requests the presence of SG-1 as soon as possible. We'll ring you to the SGC."
"That's the reason for the ring platform in that old storage room!" Casey declared, slapping her forehead with the palm of her hand.
"Well, duh," Jack retorted. He grabbed Sam by the arm, pulled her close so that he could speak softly. "When did we put a ring transport in that old storage room? And which old storage room?"
"If you'd read your memo's, you'd know these things. Sir," Sam replied, smiling sweetly.
Daniel smirked. "Level twenty-four. Next to the MALP room."
"Ah, yes. MALP room." The storage room nearby just happened to be a smaller silo for a secondary missile. The perfect place for a ring transport, he thought. Jack turned to Ronson. "Colonel, if you'd be so kind as to zap our asses to the SGC, we'd be obliged."
"It would be my pleasure, Colonel," Ronson chuckled.
"Um...I don't mean to be a pain...but my purse and duffel are in the hanger at Nellis. I don't suppose there's a chance-" Casey said softly.
"Already waiting for you at the SGC. The items were returned as soon as you disappeared with that bounty hunter," Ronson assured her.
She sighed with relief. "Good!"
"Let's go campers." Jack turned to Ronson, offered his hand. "Colonel, it's been a pleasure. We'll have to do this again. Well, without the part where we were prisoners on a snake's ship. I could do without the side trip to the coldest part of hell, too."
"We still have those exercises to complete the shake-down. We'd be honored to have your team with us," the man replied sincerely.
"If the general will let us come out to play, we'd sure like to come along."
Ronson laughed. "You've been very good, I'm sure he'll allow it."
Jack saluted, and turned to his team. "Let's go home, kids."
General Hammond was in the newly designated ring transport room. "Welcome home, SG-1."
"It's good to be home, sir," Jack replied.
"Let's go talk about this mission of yours," Hammond said, leading the way to the elevator.
"You know, sir, the Prometheus still hasn't had a proper shake-down cruise. I understand there were some exercises planned, and I'd like to volunteer SG-1 to go along."
The general sighed. "Colonel, I'm more than willing to let you, the major, and Teal'c ride along. I'm certain having three more pilots will be welcomed, so that all of the F-302's can be given a good trial run."
"Uh, you didn't mention Daniel or Radar. Sir."
The general let his gaze rest on the archaeologist. "That's because Doctor Jackson is going to be busy," he said. He'd not mention this in front of the entire team, not without giving the man a chance to hear the news privately first. "In fact, Doctor, if you'd accompany me to my office, there's a matter we need to discuss. The rest of you go on to the briefing room."
Exchanging nervous glances, the team murmured their agreement. Casey felt her heart drop into her stomach. Something was wrong. General Hammond was upset. Not at Daniel. No, it felt as if he was concerned for Daniel. Whatever it was, it was serious. She could feel it. No need to be psychic for that, she thought. They could all feel it.
For his part, Daniel felt like a child singled out for misbehaving. He ran through every project he could easily recall, wondering if he'd allowed something to slip between the cracks. Had he made a mistake somewhere, something that had had dire consequences for one of the teams? Was this 'talk' going to be from general to the head of the archaeology department?
It didn't help his frayed nerves when the general quietly asked him to be seated, using his first name. That was never a good sign!
Hammond settled behind his desk. He had been going over in his mind the best way to approach the subject since the attorney had left the base. He'd found no words, no phrases, that would soften the blow he was about to deliver. He hadn't yet spoken to Dr. Fraiser, but he was certain that she'd be able to come up with a plausible reason for avoiding the DNA test. Perhaps she could even provide a DNA sample taken from the young man before he became Immortal.
Daniel waited expectantly, nervously. Knew that his Wife and friends were watching carefully through the window on which the star map was drawn.
"Doctor-" the general shook his head. "Daniel, I've been trying for two days to come up with a gentle way to say this. I just don't think there is."
"Just say it, General, we'll work it out, I'm sure," Daniel said.
"Son, two days ago a man by the name of Pierce, Dillon Pierce came to NORAD."
He was frantically trying to place the name. To no avail.
"He's an attorney for a Mrs. Amelia Harmstead."
Okay, he didn't know the man. Amelia Harmstead? No, Mrs. Amelia Harmstead. Mrs. Amelia Harmstead. That name wasn't ringing any bells either. Who the hell...Amelia...oh god...Amelia?
"He had two subpoenas, both requesting a DNA sample from you."
"May I ask why?" Daniel asked. His mouth was suddenly as dry as the Sahara desert, it was difficult to even form the words.
"Mrs. Harmstead's nine year old daughter is ill. She's in dire need of a kidney transplant. I was told that the child's chances will be better if the kidney comes from a sibling...or a parent."
"Why would she-" It hit him full in the face. The one night they hadn't used protection. He'd used his last condom when he'd been with that dancer. Still a bit drunk, and a lot horny, he'd sought out Amelia. She hadn't objected when he failed to put the condom on before he took her. Oh, god! One freaking night, and he'd gotten her pregnant! Why had she waited so long? How old was his daughter now? Nine? Ten? No, nine sounded about right. Wasn't that what the general had said...nine year old daughter? He had cared for Amelia, well, he thought, being honest with himself, he'd cared for her enough to bed her.
Face it Danny boy, his brain taunted. You didn't give a shit about her. Just the fact that she was willing to let you do whatever you wanted to do. She was an easy lay, whenever you were in the mood. You were trying to forget Carrie, and doing it between the legs of a nineteen year old girl!
He shook his head mentally. "I'm sorry, what?"
"Daniel, I'm not an expert on this matter, but I have the feeling that Mrs. Harmstead is looking for more than just a kidney donor."
"You said 'missus', she's married?"
"Yes, she is. Has been for eight and a half years. She had no idea the child wasn't her husband's until the DNA test was conducted in order to assure a close match. She claims that you're the only other man she was...intimate...with."
Daniel could sense that the general suspected far more. "You think she's lying?"
"No, Doctor. I think she's convinced herself that you're this child's father."
He heaved a sigh. Dropped his head into his hands. What a totally fucked up situation this was! "If her husband isn't, then I probably am. Amelia and I...we..."
"Son, I don't need details, it's not my business," Hammond said gently, when the archaeologist seemed unable to continue. "You were what, twenty-two, twenty-three at the time? And single if I remember correctly."
"Twenty-three," Daniel replied absently. Yes, he'd been single. Had just broken up with the first serious girlfriend he'd ever had. His first love. He'd cared for Amelia, obviously, or he never would have been intimate with her. But not enough to ever be serious about her. Certainly didn't want to have children with her! "I didn't even care that much for her," he blurted.
Hammond sat back in his chair. "I see."
He shook his head slowly from side to side, his eyes closed tightly. "I'd just...the woman...girl...I'd been living with and I had just broken up, literally days before I went to the Oriental Institute. I was sent to Egypt on a dig immediately. I met Amelia, her father taught English at a local school for wealthy children. She..."
"She had to have encouraged you, Daniel. Or nothing would have happened."
His head jerked up, he looked at the man sitting across from him.
"I've known you, watched you, for almost seven years. You're not a man who takes advantage of a woman, or a situation. You've proven that time and again. That commendable trait didn't just suddenly develop in you. It's a part of you, has been a part of you all of your life," Hammond said, reading the surprise in the blue eyes that stared at him. "You're a fine man, Daniel. One I'm damned proud to call my friend. We'll get this figured out. Your friends, and your family," he said, nodding toward the team who waited anxiously in the other room, "are here for you. You won't face this alone."
"Thank you, sir," he managed to say.
"If you need a few minutes-"
"I have to tell Casey," he said immediately.
"Of course. If you'd like, I'll send her in, you can speak in private here. Do you want to tell your team?"
"Uh..." He really didn't know if he did or not. He hadn't thought that far yet. Right now he had to figure out how to tell his Wife that he was a father.
"I'll let them know what's going on," the general said quietly. He stood, left the stunned man sitting in front of his desk. Stepped into the briefing room. "Casey, you and Daniel need to talk."
She was on her feet and heading into the general's office in a flash. Looked up into the blue eyes of the commander of the base when he caught her arm.
"He's in shock, Casey. He's...it's quite a...shock," he said limply.
She nodded. Or at least she thought she had. The only thought on her mind was getting to Daniel, being at his side. She closed the door behind her. "Hey, Stud Muffin."
She perched on the desk in front of him. "Are you all right?"
Daniel shook his head. "Not really." He took a deep breath. "I love you, so very much," he said softly.
"I love you, Daniel. No matter what it is, I'm here for you. Whatever you need, you've got it."
He tried to smile. "I've told you about Amelia..." Hell! He couldn't even remember her last name! Had never realized that fact until this very moment.
"Yes, you have."
"She has a little girl. About nine years old..." That was what the general had said, right? He couldn't remember. All he could see was Amelia's face as he left her that morning. She'd been upset, had accused him of using her. He hadn't bothered to deny it. He'd simply grabbed his clothes and crawled out of the tent. He'd been hung over, and too damned tired...having spent the night pounding into her willing body...to care about much of anything at that moment. He'd never really thought about the rather...odd...outburst; odd because of the rather unique relationship that they had. Two days later she and her mother had left Egypt for a visit with family back in the States. He hadn't seen her for a month. When she'd returned, and visited the camp, she'd been cool toward him. Distant. They remained polite strangers until he left Egypt two weeks later.
"You're the father?"
"So she says. I probably am. I'm so sorry, Casey!"
The pain in his beautiful blue eyes when he looked up at her made her breath catch in her throat. She slid to her knees, knelt in front of him, wrapped her hands around his. "There's nothing to be sorry about! Well, she should be sorry for not telling you sooner. What was she thinking? You had...have...had...well, you should've been told as soon as she knew she was pregnant! You should've had the opportunity to be a part of your daughter's life...well, if she is your daughter. What is with women who think it's perfectly fine to have babies and deny the father any knowledge, until it's too late-" She broke off.
He couldn't help but grin. "Feel better?"
"I'm supposed to be comforting you, not airing my own personal abandonment issues," she replied dryly.
"You're not upset...angry...about this?"
She shook her head. "Why should I be? What happened between you and this woman happened nine...no, ten years ago. You were single, and you were hurting, and she was willing." And pushy, Casey thought. Daniel wasn't the type of man to take advantage. He wasn't the type of man to just have casual sex. Not unless he was damned near raped!
"I love you," he sighed. "C'mere."
Casey moved up, settled onto his lap. "Now, how are you?"
"Got it. You're shocked. A little angry too?"
"If I am, it's at myself. The one night I didn't use a condom..." he shook his head.
"Glad I'm getting shots," she murmured.
"Daniel, if you're that...um...potent...that just one time can do it...my god we were damned lucky!" she said, her eyes going wide.
He couldn't help it. He began to chuckle. "I thought you were on the pill when we got together."
She shook her head. "Never had a need to be."
"General Hammond said an attorney was here. He has subpoena's for a DNA test."
"What...uh oh," he said, realizing what she was thinking. "How in the hell are we going to get out of this?"
"We'll talk to Janet. I'm certain she'll be able to come up with something. She's a doctor, ya know."
"Right. So...we're okay?"
"We're just fine. Going to be cramped for room when it's our turn to have her...but we'll work something out. Maybe we can add a room on? Oh, god, what do nine year olds like to do?"
He put a finger on her lips. "She's sick, Angel. She needs a kidney transplant. That's why Amelia was looking for me."
"Oh, god," Casey murmured. "That poor little thing!"
"Let's get the briefing taken care of, then we'll decide just what we should do."
She smiled. He had been saying 'we' the entire time. "Thank you," she whispered.
"For what?" he asked, genuinely confused.
"For including me."
"You're the best part of me, Angel. I can't do anything without you. I can't breathe without you."
He grinned. "Sweet talking my way into your heart is my mission in life."
Casey stared at him for a moment, then burst into giggles. "I love you!"
"Love you, too, Angel."
She wreathed his face with her hands, kissed him gently. "Think that will hold you until we get home?"
"I hope so," he said, sighing dramatically. Which caused her to giggle again.
Jack couldn't help but smile. Radar was giggling, and Danny was smiling. They were going to weather this very interesting storm just fine. "Looks like everything is okay," he said, nodding to where the couple now sat kissing.
Sam shook her head. Like the general, her immediate reaction to the news was that Amelia Harmstead wanted more from Daniel than just a medical miracle for her daughter. As far as she was concerned, the woman was suspect for waiting so long. She conveniently ignored the fact that 'the woman' had believed her husband to be the father. Something about that entire situation seemed...odd. She'd figure it out. And when she did, she and Amelia Harmstead would have a little chat.
Teal'c watched Casey carefully. She'd been surprised...shocked at the news. But she was handling the fact that her husband might be a father with her usual aplomb. No doubt if she felt a need to discuss the matter, she would seek him out, as she had before when something weighed heavy on her mind, and her need to protect Daniel prevented her from speaking to him.
General Hammond sighed silently. He understood that he'd just delivered news that wasn't easy to hear. He'd worried that Casey might find hidden threats in the situation; her badly battered self-esteem might have taken another blow. It seemed, however, that the young woman had been healing under the glow of her husband's love. If Casey was all right, Daniel would be all right.
Daniel had a tight grip on her hand when they walked into the room. "I guess we should get the briefing finished, so I can talk to Janet. I'm not sure consenting to a DNA test is such a good idea."
The general nodded. "I agree. I haven't had a chance to discuss this with her...I wanted to wait until you were aware of the situation. For now, tell me about this bounty hunter."
The team settled in, and began to give the general the details of their time with Mogba, and on Ba'al's ship. The message that had been given to Casey to pass on to Bra'tac was sent immediately. The planet where the team had been stranded was put on the 'do not call list'. And permission was granted for Jack, Sam, and Teal'c to participate in the scheduled mission for the Prometheus.
Jack would have willingly remained in Colorado Springs, but Daniel insisted that he go. Knowing that Casey was at the archaeologist's side was the only reason that he was willing to leave his best friend. He assured himself that the two days he, Sam, and Teal'c would be gone, wouldn't see much more than a bit of legal posturing going on. He'd be back before anything serious happened.
Daniel couldn't help but smile as he felt his teammates close in around him emotionally. He was still touched by their concern, every time it manifested itself. Whatever happened, whatever the future held for him, and for Casey, the people sitting around the conference table would be right there to offer their support. He was a very lucky man.
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