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The Devil In the Details
Tuesday 0725 hours
Jacob searched through the codes. Usually all messages were sent to clandestine locations, to agents who posed as servants and loyal Goa'uld. Selmak couldn't remember the last time that a message had been sent directly to one of the System Lords. 'I hope this works.'
'As do I, my friend,' Selmak replied. 'If the Tau'ri should be defeated, I fear that the Tok'ra will not survive long.'
'The Tok'ra operated for hundreds of years before the Tau'ri came along,' Jacob reminded her quietly.
'Thousands of years, actually. But our numbers were greater then. We have lost so many...'
He could feel her discomfort. 'It's okay, Sel. I know that some of the greatest losses you've experienced have been the unintentional result of operations out of the SGC.'
'Those of the SGC have also accomplished in the short amount of time they have been operating what the Tok'ra couldn't accomplish after centuries of infiltration. They have freed more people, destroyed more Goa'uld than I have ever seen done before.'
He couldn't stop the rush of pride that flowed through him, and felt Selmak's admiration turn to amusement. He was surprised at the indulgent 'caress' he felt against his mind. Her way of letting him know that his pride in his people was well earned.
When at last the code had been located, Jacob carefully keyed in the sequence of symbols that would ensure that the message reached Lord Yu. Selmak felt him move back, permitting her to take control, her familiarity with the symbols allowing her to compose the message much more quickly than he would have been able to do.
Selmak chuckled. 'That should get the old bastard's attention.'
Jacob chuckled as well. 'Just hope it doesn't give him a fatal heart attack before he can step in and stop Ba'al.'
A A A A A A
President Miller hung up the phone. He had just informed the other members of the Stargate Alliance that the negotiating team was now on Ba'al's ship. He was tired, and he was angry. It rankled that he'd been unable to refuse the demand that the lead negotiator give a report, in person, as soon as the agreement was reached, and to the representatives of the members. Not the members themselves, just their most trusted aides.
It wasn't that the request was unreasonable. It had been the tone in which that request had been made. The members of the Alliance were flexing their political muscles. For the moment, until funding was being offered, until personnel were being sent to the SGC, and out into the galaxy on missions; in short, until the others were making the same contributions, taking the same risks, he could ignore the majority of their demands. He had repeated several times that such a meeting was unnecessary, as there would be no need for debate or action; any agreement reached, any treaty signed would be a concluded deal by the time the negotiating team returned. There would be no opportunity to change one thing about that treaty. His words had fallen on deaf ears.
He leaned back, scrubbed his face with both hands. He would see to it that Dr. Jackson was able to fly to Geneva in his personal Lear Jet. He wouldn't even require that the young man remain after giving the report to respond to questions. The Alliance wanted a report. Fine, that was exactly what they would receive. No more, no less.
With a sigh, he pushed himself to his feet. Walked to the window and looked out at the early morning sky...watched as the sun continued its daily journey. Somewhere up there, a group of men and women were dealing with an alien. Bargaining for the safety of every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth. The burden they bore was exceedingly heavy. He sent up a silent prayer that they would be successful...again.
A A A A A A
Daniel looked around the room, located the man he was certain was the scribe. "I propose that we get the preliminaries out of the way. Have the scribe step forth. Do we agree that once a clause has been written, witnessed by all in this room, it cannot be omitted or altered in the final draft of the Treaty?"
Ba'al stared for a moment. Ah, yes. Jackson had been present at the negotiation for adding the First World to the Protected Planets Treaty. That was where his knowledge of such procedure came from. It was a standard agreement. And made it much more difficult for the various provisions of a treaty to be agreed upon. However, the practice prevented any misunderstandings once a treaty was ready to be signed. "Agreed."
He checked his notes. "This shall be a binding contract between the leadership and personnel of the facility known as Stargate Command, commanded by General George Hammond; the President of the United States of America, presently Timothy Miller; the members of the Stargate Alliance, whose names shall be listed separately, and the Goa'uld System Lord Ba'al-."
"Who are these members of the 'Stargate Alliance'?" Ba'al demanded.
"They are the leaders of individual nations who are aware of the Stargate Program. While the citizens of Earth don't know of its existence, it was deemed necessary to share the information with these leaders," Daniel replied honestly.
Ba'al looked at Casey. "Do you trust them?"
"As much as-" Daniel started.
"I speak to Casey, not you," Ba'al interrupted. His eyes locked with hers. "Do you trust these men, these leaders of nations?"
"Not any farther than I can throw them."
He chuckled. "Yet you would enter an agreement with them?"
"Their asses are on the same line as mine. I might not trust them, but I expect them to abide by any agreement reached here today. I don't trust you either, but we're here, aren't we? And I expect you to abide by any agreement we reach."
"I see. Very well." He nodded at the scribe.
Not a word was said as the man put quill to parchment. Major Farnsworth was writing as well, understanding what Daniel wanted when the archaeologist had slid a legal pad in front of him as soon as Ba'al had spoken. Each copy of the treaty would be handwritten, signed by all parties or their representatives, and would be as sacred as the writings of any temple.
Daniel spelled out each of the names for the scribe, listing all of the members of the Alliance individually. He was secretly delighted to know that these men would be held personally responsible. Let them help carry the weight of this damned thing...without hiding behind the anonymity of the group which they formed. "I don't believe we need to debate why we're here," he continued.
"I offer my protection from Zeus," Ba'al replied. "In return for Casey Jackson."
"The price of that protection is too high," Daniel responded easily. "However, we would be willing to work for a common goal."
Ba'al wasn't surprised at the immediate rejection of his offer. He had expected as much. Would have been disappointed if it had been accepted readily. "And what goal would that be?"
"Since Zeus is a threat to you as well as he is to us, I suggest we concentrate our efforts on destroying him."
"What makes you believe that Zeus is a threat to me?" Ba'al asked, stretching one long leg out in front of him, beneath the table. It was as relaxed a pose as he could achieve.
"Your position is still precarious, at best," Daniel replied, glancing at his notes, gleaned from all of the information about Ba'al that he could find. "You have taken bits and pieces of what belonged to Ra. Took the lion's share of Apophis' holdings. You've managed to intimidate a few minor Goa'uld who worked for Anubis into serving you. You even have Ares, Zeus' son, bowing knee to you. But should the other System Lords band together, you wouldn't be able to defeat them. By taking out Zeus, and taking control of the First World, you would rely on genetic memory to bring them all to their knees. If you fail to take out Zeus, he'll destroy you. If you fail to take the First World, the others will destroy you for even attempting, and breaking the Protected Planets Treaty in the process."
Ba'al squirmed mentally. Jackson understood the intricacies of the Goa'uld Empire. Which was most unexpected. So too was the unerring assumptions of his holdings, just how he had achieved them, and how he intended to take the final steps to becoming Supreme System Lord. His glance went to Casey once again. She was a seer. Apparently she had 'seen' just exactly what his plans were. "A very interesting view of the situation," he said calmly.
"It's also the truth," Daniel said, daring him to argue. "Plus there is the simple fact that you approached us. It shows just how vulnerable your position is if you've 'stooped so low' as to even suggest a treaty with us."
"I don't recall offering a treaty. Only my protection. However, I've agreed to hear you out. So what is it that you propose?"
While Daniel and Casey had driven home to grab clothes to change into, Major Farnsworth had scribbled out notes for a very basic treaty. Although he hadn't had time to go over them in detail, the ideas were exactly right. "That we form a partnership. One that would last only until Zeus is no longer a threat...to either of us."
Not at all what he wanted. Ba'al contemplated for a moment. It would be easy enough to agree to such a proposition. There were only two facts that mattered. He wanted Casey. Those of the SGC, and the leaders of the First World did not want the existence of the Chappa'ai, or the fact that the Goa'uld existed, to become common knowledge among the billions of people on the planet. Ba'al would have what he wanted. Or he would announce his existence. From what he'd been able to discern, wide-spread panic would ensue if he were to do so. Panic that would see Casey at his side, as the frightened populace insisted that their leaders do whatever he demanded, in order maintain their status. No matter what young Jackson believed, he held the power. Ba'al barely bit back his smile. It no longer mattered that the Tau'ri had usurped control of the meeting almost immediately. He could afford to be generous. After all, he was about to get exactly what he wanted.
Daniel took note of the sudden look of satisfaction that crossed Ba'al's face. He frowned mentally. What had he missed? Had he offered Ba'al exactly what he wanted...or did the Goa'uld have other tricks up his sleeve? With an internal sigh of resignation, realizing that this...negotiation...was going to be like walking a maze strewn with jagged glass, Daniel held up the single sheet of paper. "We've already written up an agreement. All you have to do is sign it."
"Very ambitious," Ba'al replied, his tone indulgent. He waved his hand lazily. "Please, impress me with your clever little ideas."
Swallowing the words of anger and hatred that he longed to hurl at the snake, Daniel gave a sharp nod. "This shall be a binding contract between the leadership and personnel of the facility known as Stargate Command, commanded by General George Hammond; the President of the United States of America, presently Timothy Miller; the members of the Stargate Alliance, whose names shall be listed separately, and the Goa'uld System Lord Ba'al.
"The aforementioned signing parties agree to a temporary partnership from this date, with the sole objective of ensuring the elimination of the common threat created by the Goa'uld System Lord known as Zeus. The signing parties agree to define 'elimination' as the irreversible and permanent death of the Goa'uld System Lord known as Zeus or his return to the Andromeda galaxy." Daniel paused. "Today's date, by the way, is October tenth."
Ba'al nodded. "Is there more to this...agreement?"
Ba'al smirked. "Then by all means, continue."
His palms itched, he had to concentrate to prevent his hands from curling into fists. He wanted nothing more than hurl himself over the tables so that he could knock that look of amusement from Ba'al's face. He glanced at her when Casey put a hand on his arm. Took the warmth of that smile and wrapped it around his heart, let it soothe his anger.
Ba'al shifted slightly. It was impossible to miss the look of love exchanged between the two. Jackson was very careful to conceal his emotions. It was impossible to tell exactly what the man was thinking. There had been flashes of anger and hatred in his eyes, but both had been carefully pushed down. He'd said nothing that would give any hint as to what he might do.
Daniel took a deep breath. "In return for their mutual cooperation the signing parties agree to the following stipulations: Lord Ba'al does hereby agree to refrain from any and all attempts to expose the existence of the Stargate, the Stargate Program and any alien entity to the general population of Planet Earth."
Ba'al toyed with the chalice in his hand, running his fingertip around the rim. "And what am I to receive in return for agreeing to this...stipulation?"
"We won't kill you. Yet," Daniel growled in reply.
"You amuse me, Tau'ri," Ba'al said, grinning broadly. His expression hardened. "However, I am well aware of how important this is to you, and your leaders. Casey remains with me. Or I will announce my arrival to all."
"Not going to happen," Daniel replied.
"You have no choice," Ba'al spat.
"No way in hell. I'll kill you first."
"That is not going to happen. I am a god."
"You're a parasite."
"You will meet my demands, or suffer the consequences."
Major Farnsworth cleared his throat. "May I make a suggestion?"
The two combatants turned to look at him.
Farnsworth was an experienced negotiator. He'd dealt with problematic societies before. Aliens whose customs were often so bizarre that finding common ground for the two cultures to meet upon was nothing short of a miracle. Right now, the stakes were too high to allow personal feelings to become involved. On the plus side, if Ba'al was emotionally vested in the situation, he was apt to agree more easily to what he was about to propose. On the negative side, he was still offering Dr. Jackson's wife to the snake. Even if it was only a temporary measure. "Perhaps there could be a stipulation on Mrs. Jackson's compliance with Lord Ba'al's demands."
Ba'al shook his head. "No stipulations. No conditions. She joins me, or I expose your little program."
"It's not going to happen," Daniel repeated hotly.
Casey could sense that the entire situation was about to spiral out of control. Demands would be made, refusals tossed back...until both Daniel and Ba'al were ready to resort to blows. They were darned close to that now! She had to do something...but what? If she were to agree to Ba'al's demand, Daniel would be furious...and devastated. She certainly didn't want to be with Ba'al for any amount of time. But she couldn't allow the damned snake to expose the Stargate Program. She wasn't certain an already fractured human society could withstand such a blow. How easy would it be for him to sweep in and take control of a world tearing itself apart from fear? Regardless of the treaty with the Asgard, that would be exactly what Ba'al would do. It was what he was planning...
The flash of light wasn't completely unexpected. She'd been feeling that annoying poking for an hour now. She closed her eyes, sorted through the feelings, the images. Ba'al had no intention of honoring any treaty. As soon as she was in his custody, he'd do exactly what he'd threatened to do. He would ring into the White House. He'd tell the president about Zeus. And offer his protection. There wouldn't be any way to hide what was happening. The media would have a field day exposing the Stargate, and those who'd worked so hard to protect Earth for the past seven and a half years. Fear would run rampant, panicked people would take to the streets, the UN would insist that all of Ba'al's demands be met. With no threats issued, he would simply demand that they acknowledge him as their god. Before the Asgard could arrive, he'd be ensconced on the First World. None of the other System Lords would dare to move against him. And she'd be at his side, with no hope of escape...she had no doubt of that. She barely suppressed the shiver of fear that Ba'al would execute Daniel in front of her. And if he found out that Daniel was Immortal...
Oh, this was so not good! She had to stop him! If she could just get him to agree to what Major Farnsworth was proposing...if there were conditions upon her presence...it would at least buy them time to find a way out of the mess...they could hold Ba'al to the treaty for at least a few hours, days at the most. Surely by that time the Asgard, or Yu, would have arrived. Time...they just needed time...
"...propose that Mrs. Jackson remain on Ba'al's ship until the conditions of the treaty are met," the major was saying.
"And when Zeus is killed?" Ba'al challenged.
"She returns home. Safe and sound."
She could see the angry refusal in the Goa'uld's eyes. Quick, think of something...anything...distract him! Scenes from the movie she and Daniel had watched a few nights ago played through her mind at top speed. Okay, she knew that Ba'al wanted her. Would it work? Slowly, trembling slightly, Casey shifted in her chair. She moved her knees apart.
"That is not what I require," Ba'al said.
Daniel turned to Farnsworth. "What the hell are you doing?" he hissed.
"Doctor Jackson, the snake has us over a barrel, and he knows it. The only way we're going to get out of this is to meet his demands. But if we do it our way, Casey comes home."
He hated to admit that the major was right. "If she stays here, so do I!"
"If he wants her badly enough, we might be able to get that." Farnsworth directed his attention to Ba'al. "Do you agree to the proposal? We can discuss the stipulations of Mrs. Jackson's...tenure...on your ship."
Ba'al looked at Casey. Was barely able to control the gasp of surprise that rose from his throat. Her slender legs had been demurely crossed beneath the table. Now her knees were apart. He felt her gaze, looked into her eyes. He was unable to recognize the emotions that moved through those green depths. When she shifted, his eyes dropped again. He could see the flash of creamy flesh above the leg coverings she wore. Which disappeared into the shadows between her legs. He could feel himself harden.
He jerked slightly. "Yes, of course. Continue."
Ferretti frowned. He'd been watching the snake. Hadn't taken his eyes off of the bastard, as a matter of fact. Something was going on. Ba'al seemed totally absorbed in watching Casey...he gave a glance at the young blonde. Standing behind her as he was, he shouldn't be able to see her knee like that. Not unless she had her legs spread...He nearly choked. She was flashing the bastard!
Ba'al swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry. Was this her way of seducing him? Letting him know without alerting the man beside her that she didn't find the idea of being with him...objectionable? That when she was with him, she would offer herself to him...
"Any joint efforts between us-"
The words filtered through to his consciousness. Any battles against his enemy that these Tau'ri engaged in could upset his plans. While useful in their enthusiasm to destroy those they called 'enemy', they would need to be controlled. "If there are to be any such ventures, I shall be in command!"
Considering what they had already managed to win, Daniel was more than willing to give in on this particular point of contention. Besides, the chances of Ba'al actually making a move against Zeus were slim to none. If the Tok'ra could learn just how powerful he was, there was no doubt Ba'al was aware of that fact as well. Ba'al was powerful, but not enough to take on a Goa'uld such as Zeus. "Of course any...hostilities...between the parties involved in this treaty would cease, for the duration of the alliance," he said.
"Of course," Ba'al replied, not actually listening. The drone of voices was nothing more than an annoyance. Ba'al was certain he could smell her. He'd been close enough to her that he knew her sweet scent.
"Now, let's discuss the details of Mrs. Jackson's...stay...on your ship," Farnsworth said.
Casey watched Ba'al, listened as Major Farnsworth laid out the terms of the agreement. She didn't like it, but knowing that Daniel would be with her, and able to see her whenever he wanted, set her mind at ease. She was particularly fond of the phrase 'returned in the same physical and mental condition in which they left'. It did give Ba'al a bit of wiggle room, but it would prevent him from using ker'nish'ta on either of them.
Ba'al was mesmerized as those slender limbs open farther. The contrast between that creamy flesh and the black of her clothing was enough to make him moan...a sound that he barely contained. His cock began to throb, his eyes remained on the hidden treasure that she so enticingly revealed. He wished fervently for more light...if only there was more light beneath the table...
"Do you agree?"
"Yes, yes," he snapped.
Daniel and the major exchanged surprised glances. "Then allow the scribe to begin."
Ba'al watched those thighs move farther apart. He began to fantasize...could see himself rise from his throne. Walk across the room and yank away the table that separated them. Could see himself falling to his knees...burying his face between that creamy flesh...
He flinched. Looked at the scribe, who was watching him expectantly. Was momentarily at a loss to know what was happening. He nodded curtly. When the scribe began to write, he realized he had no idea what had been said. Just what had he agreed to?
"There are a few other points we'd like to elaborate on," Daniel said. Ba'al had been staring at Casey. Had been distracted to the point that it was obvious he had no idea what had just transpired. He frowned slightly. While that was a very good thing, they'd managed to get the terms down before he could dissent, he couldn't help but wonder just what was going on. A glance from the corner of his eye let him know that Casey was sitting with her hands folded on top of the table, simply watching and listening.
"Do so," Ba'al said. He began to frown. As soon as the scribe had stopped writing, those slender thighs had closed, the knees pressed together tightly. His eyes met hers. The look she gave him made his heart pound against his ribs. Those green eyes were seducing him, teasing him...torturing him.
"Your fleet is to remain well away from Earth. No closer than one million kilometers."
He started. His fleet had remained cloaked and hidden behind single moon that orbited the First World. Did they know the ships were there, and if so, how had they come upon that knowledge...or was this merely a stipulation they hoped would prevent him from taking their planet in spite of this wretched agreement? It made little difference. When he was ready to take the First World, he would do so! "Agreed," he spat.
"We also expect you to honor the conditions set out by the Protected Planets Treaty," Daniel continued.
"Of course," the Goa'uld replied silkily. When the Asgard understood that he was not violating any of the tenants of that treaty, they would withdraw. Leaving the planet ripe for taking.
"Then shall I dictate the terms of this treaty?"
"By all means," Ba'al smirked. He'd been momentarily distracted. That hadn't changed the fact that he still held the power over the Tau'ri. Didn't change the fact that he'd have exactly what he wanted. Yes, it was almost time to declare checkmate. Once again those slender thighs parted. And for a second time his mind wandered to thoughts of what lay between them, and the knowledge that soon he would know those secrets intimately. He would have her, take what she had denied him before. By the end of this day, his hunger for her would be sated.
When the scribe, and Major Farnsworth, had stopped writing, her legs had snapped back together as tightly as if she had closed a book. The look of innocence was all it took for him to understand that she had just cost him everything.
Daniel looked at Ba'al. "I would like your scribe to read what he has, so that we can make certain both documents are the same."
With a resigned sigh, Ba'al consented. "Read it out loud," he said.
The scribe gave a nod of understanding. He rose to his feet, and began. "Treaty between System Lord Ba'al and SGC of the First World. The opening statements have already been agreed upon, and need not be repeated," the scribe intoned. "In return for their mutual cooperation the signing parties agree to the following stipulations:
a) Lord Ba'al does hereby agree to refrain from any and all attempts to expose the existence of the Stargate, the Stargate Program and any alien entity to the general population of Planet Earth.
b) All information concerning the Goa'uld System Lord known as Zeus will be shared equally between signing parties.
c) Any joint efforts taken against the Goa'uld System Lord known as Zeus will be under the command of Lord Ba'al.
d) The leadership and personnel of the SGC will cease and desist any and all activities against Lord Ba'al.
e) Lord Ba'al will cease and desist any and all activities against the members of the SGC and Planet Earth.
f) Lord Ba'al will refrain from bringing any and all of his fleet within one million kilometers of Planet Earth. Exception is the flagship of Lord Ba'al, with stipulations regarding the orbit of said flagship explained in paragraph 'k'
g) Lord Ba'al will agree to any and all terms laid out by the Asgard, in reference to the Protected Planet's Treaty, currently in effect between the Goa'uld Empire and the Asgard.
h) Mrs. Casey Jackson, member of the SGC military team SG-1, will be escorted to the flagship occupied by Lord Ba'al, one hour after the signing of this Treaty, where she will remain until such time as this Treaty has been fulfilled or nullified by either party.
i) Doctor Daniel Jackson, member of the SGC military team SG-1, will accompany Mrs. Casey Jackson of SG-1 during her occupancy of Lord Ba'al's flagship.
j) Immediate and full access will be given to Doctor Jackson of SG-1 to Mrs. Casey Jackson of SG-1 at any and all times.
k) During the time that Mrs. Casey Jackson of SG-1, and Doctor Daniel Jackson, of SG-1, are 'guests' on board the flagship of Lord Ba'al, that ship, and only that ship, will remain within orbit of Planet Earth, also known as the First World. Lord Ba'al will not attempt to leave orbit while Mrs. Casey Jackson of SG-1 and Doctor Daniel Jackson of SG-1 are on board.
l) Upon finalization of this Treaty, Mrs. Casey Jackson of SG-1 and Doctor Daniel Jackson of SG-1 are to be returned, in the same physical and mental condition in which they left, to the SGC.
"This Treaty will remain in effect until all signing parties are satisfied the threat of the Goa’uld System Lord known as Zeus is contained or eliminated, by one or more signing parties, or a third party. Failure to comply with any of the agreed upon conditions of the treaty will result in immediate nullification of said treaty." The scribe looked at Ba'al, waiting for permission to be seated once again.
Ba'al sat stunned. The Tau'ri had gotten exactly what they wanted from him. Had given him what he demanded, on their terms. He had the option of breaking the treaty at any time, when it was convenient for him. However, to do so would put him at risk of death from their hands. They had out maneuvered him. He didn't know whether to be furious, or amused. His gaze went once again to Casey. He could see the triumphant gleam in her green eyes. She'd used his own weakness, his lust for her, against him. He should be angry. He could only admire her daring, her willingness to use the only weapon at her disposal against him...her beautiful body. He wondered idly what Jackson would say if he knew what his wife had done, for he doubted that the young man was aware of her actions...or did the archaeologist know what she had been doing? "Do you always use your wife in such a manner?"
Daniel looked up from his notes. "Excuse me?"
"Does she always expose herself to those you negotiate with, in order to distract them?"
Casey's cheeks turned crimson, and she lowered her gaze to her hands, which had remained folded on top of the table. Watched as they began to tremble.
Daniel glanced at her. Then back at the Goa'uld. He had no idea what the snake was talking about. But he wasn't about to let Ba'al know that! "Worked, didn't it?"
Ba'al started. So Jackson did know! His eyes narrowed. If he were in the Tau'ri's position, would he not use every tool, every weapon available, to keep her at his side? Even if allowing...glimpses...of her beautiful body was required, would he not do so?
Ferretti flinched. He knew Doc didn't have a clue what Casey'd done. Had the feeling that he was going to be nine kinds of pissed off when he found out. But damned if she hadn't fucked with the snake's head long enough for them to get a decent deal out of this!
The two copies were signed, and marked by the witnesses. The scribe took a candle from a nearby sconce, dripped wax on the bottom of each, beside the flowing script that was the Goa'uld's signature. Ba'al removed his ring and pressed it into the warm wax, effectively sealing the deal.
Daniel felt as if he'd just made a pact with the Devil himself. Wasn't completely convinced that he hadn't. Casey was still going to be on this damned ship. The good news, he was going to be with her.
"I will expect you in one hour," Ba'al said. He nodded at the Jaffa who waited by the door.
"We'll be here," Daniel replied, standing to his feet. He closed the portfolio, and followed the Jaffa, the others close behind him. For a few seconds he feared that they'd be led directly to holding cells. Nearly sighed out loud when he stood within the circle of the transport rings.
A A A A A A
As soon as the light from the rings had faded, he turned to his Wife. "What the hell was that about?"
She cringed. "I had to do something," she murmured.
"What?" The guilt, and embarrassment, in her eyes worried him. Just what in the hell was going on?
"I had to distract him, so that he'd agree to the terms. There was no way in hell he ever would've agreed to what you were proposing," she said softly. "He was holding all the cards, and he knew it. This treaty only postpones what he's planning to do."
"Ring down in the middle of the White House and demand to meet with the president, in full view of civilians?" Daniel asked.
"So what did you do?"
Ferretti bit his lip. Tried to remain silent. Failed miserably when a small snicker escaped. He tried to look penitent when Casey and Daniel both looked over at him.
She shrugged, blushing brightly. "It worked for Sharon Stone. Just worked for us, too."
Daniel watched her walk out of the room. Sharon Stone? What the hell? Hadn't they just watched a movie with that actress in a leading role? He remembered because he insisted that a man could do his job in spite of seeing a bit of twat, especially well trained cops. After all, he reasoned, cops saw pretty much everything...they were very difficult to shock or surprise. She had vehemently disagreed, as he recalled. Ba'al's words echoed in his head... 'Does she always expose herself to those you negotiate with?'... Had she really...could she have actually...had she spread her legs, giving that bastard a peep show? "Oh my god," he muttered. He turned to Ferretti. "She flashed him?"
"Yep," the older man replied.
How could she do that? Damn it to hell, that sexy body belonged to him, and he wasn't about to share it with anyone, in any way, and that sure as fuck included glimpses of paradise!
"Like you said, Doc, it worked, didn't it?" Ferretti said quietly, all traces of amusement gone from his face.
The reality of the situation pressed down on him. And yes, as a matter of fact, it had worked. Rather well, actually. He was torn between absolute fury that she would do such a thing...and to a Goa'uld no less!...and complete amusement that she'd even think of such a tactic.
Major Farnsworth grinned. "Well, that explains why he wasn't listening."
"She's right," Captain Ballman said. "If she hadn't...uh...distracted him, we'd still be up there, begging him not to spill the beans about the 'gate and the SGC."
He heaved a sigh. How much had it taken for her to do what she'd done? He knew her fears, the scars that she carried on her very soul. "Excuse me, gentlemen, I need to tell my Wife just how ingenious...and courageous...she was, and is." He shoved the portfolio into the hands of the SG-9 CO. "Major, would you mind letting the general know about the treaty? We need to go home and pack for our...stay."
"Not a problem, Doctor Jackson," Farnsworth replied.
She was waiting for the elevator, her arms wrapped around her slender waist. If that damned snaky bastard had just kept his mouth shut, no one would have been the wiser! Her cheeks began to burn as she thought of the men from SG-9 and SG-3 knowing what she'd done. She began to shake knowing that Daniel was now aware of her actions. She jumped slightly when an arm went around her shoulders.
"Hey, gorgeous," he said softly.
"Hey, handsome," she mumbled, her gaze locked on the tips of her shoes.
"I can't say I'm thrilled about what you did, I hate that it was necessary. But you're right. It was the only way to come out of this thing as well as we did."
She looked up at him. "It's not like he hasn't seen me before," she said softly.
Daniel fought down the surge of anger that thought caused. "I know."
"We have to use every advantage we can, remember? We weren't in a well lit room. And I do have panties on."
He couldn't help but grin. "The black ones?"
"The little lacy black ones?"
"One of my favorite pair," he sighed, smiling at her. Noted that the slight movement of her lips wasn't reflected in those amazing green eyes. He pulled her into a hug. "You are an amazing woman, Casey Jackson," he whispered.
"Because I flashed a Goa'uld?"
"I know how difficult that was for you."
She forced a smile. He really had no idea that she felt as if she'd need to shower for a week to get the filth off of her. That she felt as if she'd just proven every horrible thing Helen Webster had ever said about her to be true. That she'd left a piece of her soul in that room as she made a play that would keep a more powerful enemy from getting the upper hand in a very tricky situation.
"Let's go, Angel. We need to get packed and get back here."
With a slight nod, she let him lead her onto the now waiting elevator. Now she would pay for that...behavior, she though miserably.
General Hammond looked up when Major Farnsworth knocked on his door. The fact that neither Daniel nor Casey were in sight was worrisome. "Major! If you're here, I assume the negotiations have been concluded?"
"Yes, sir. Thanks to Doctor Jackson...and Mrs. Jackson, we have a treaty I think we can live with. We were able to get Ba'al to agree to our terms, mostly." The major handed the portfolio with the signed document to the general.
"That couldn't have been easy," Hammond said.
"Easier than we had expected."
One eyebrow went up. "Could this be a trap?"
Farnsworth shook his head. "No, sir," he said quietly. "Mrs. Jackson...well, she's a smart woman. Brave, too. She managed to...um...distract...Ba'al while we went over the most difficult clauses."
"I see. Just how did she do that?"
The major looked at the floor. "Sir, to be honest, I think that both Doctor Jackson and Mrs. Jackson would prefer that her...um...method...not be...um..."
His stomach rolled. Just what had Casey been forced to do, to endure? "What did she do, Major?"
Hazel eyes rose and met blue ones. "She flashed him, sir."
"She what?" That certainly wasn't what he had expected to hear!
"We were sitting at a table across from Ba'al. She...uh...well...she...it was under the table, no one but Ba'al could see," the major stammered.
It took a moment for him to get a mental picture of what had occurred. When he did, a surge of protective emotions raged through him, as well as a bit of amusement. Ba'al really was deeply in love, and in lust, with the young woman to be affected by so little. "I see," the general replied quietly. "Is Doctor Jackson aware of this?"
"Yes, sir. He was madder than hell about it at first. But sir, if she hadn't, chances are we'd still be up there, trying to prevent Ba'al from making an unscheduled visit to the White House."
"I see." Hammond opened the portfolio. Skimmed the one page treaty. "I can't believe he agreed to this!"
"Thank Mrs. Jackson, sir," Farnsworth replied.
"I don't like the fact that two of my people are going to be on his ship, and at risk. But considering the circumstances, I don't see that we have much choice."
"No sir, we don't. I don't think Ba'al was too happy about the fact that Doctor Jackson will be with Casey, but he'd agreed to it before he realized what he was agreeing to."
"Thanks to Mrs. Jackson?"
"I assume the fact that neither the doctor nor his wife are here, is because they've returned home to pack for this...stay?"
Another look at the treaty. "Do you believe that there will be an occasion for any SGC personnel to be under Ba'al's command?"
"No, sir. If Ba'al was willing to confront Zeus head-on, he'd have done so. He wouldn't have shown up here, looking for help."
"Good." The general closed the folder. "I'll let the president know that we have a treaty. Dismissed, Major."
Hammond picked up the phone. "This is General Hammond. I need to speak to the president immediately."
Fifteen minutes later, the general sighed. Called for his aide. "As soon as Doctor Jackson returns, I need to speak with him."
"Yes, sir," Walter replied.
"Let me know when he's passed the first check point," the general continued.
He stared at the copy of the treaty. It was short, sweet, and gave them what they needed...time. But at what cost? How likely was it that when Dr. Jackson didn't accompany his wife, that the damned Goa'uld would simply disappear? He closed his eyes. The young archaeologist was going to be furious.
The president had agreed to speak to Daniel by phone, to try to explain what the archaeologist wasn't going to want to hear...that he was going to fly halfway around the world to give a report to a group of men who shouldn't even be involved, because those who were involved were jockeying for political position, on a treaty that was already signed. It was a disagreeable situation. And one that neither the president, nor anyone associated with the SGC dared to allow get out of hand.
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