<< Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>
When Destiny Calls
"…It'll be all right.
Just take my hand,
Hold it tight.
I will protect you
From all around you.
I will be here,
Don't you cry…"
"You'll Be in My Heart" by Phil Collins
Daniel Jackson sat at his desk in the windowless room that had been his office, his lab, for over five years. In front of him was a letter, and a sealed envelope. He knew the contents of the letter by heart. Could only speculate about what was written on the pages within the envelope. He looked up when Jack tapped lightly on the door.
Jack rolled his eyes. "So are you gonna go find her?"
Her. Casey Webster. The counterpart in this reality to the beautiful woman they'd met three days earlier during a terrifying and very…enlightening…experience. The team had been on their way to Ravanna to meet with the Tok'ra. A solar flare of amazing size and intensity had sent them into an alternate universe, twelve years into the future. They'd learned a lot in those twelve very long hours.
The gray haired man dropped down in the chair beside the artifact-cluttered worktable. "You really should, you know," he said softly.
It had been a shock to see…himself…in that alternate reality, looking the same as the face that stared back at him from the mirror as he shaved every morning. It had been even more…surprising…to see that beautiful woman standing at his side, her hands wrapped around his arm possessively. To know that somewhere he…or at least a version of himself, had found such happiness. He glanced over at the picture of Sha're that had sat in that same spot on this desk ever since he'd taken up residence in the room.
Jack noticed the younger man's glance. "She's gone, Daniel. And I don't think Sha're would expect you to remain alone…and lonely, forever," he said, still speaking softly.
"What if she doesn't want to know me? What if she doesn't like me if she does agree to meet with me?" Daniel asked, the fears that had been haunting him escaping before he could stop them.
"Guess that's a risk you'll have to take. But, didn't that Casey say that this woman is your Destiny, and you hers, just the same as she and that Daniel were?"
Daniel took his glasses off, rubbed his eyes. "Yeah, she did."
The younger man shook his head. "Do you really think you can convince General Hammond to let her down here? To work here?"
"He and I have already discussed the matter. If our…your…hell, this is confusing!" Jack grumped. "If the Casey in our universe…reality, whatever, is as psychic as the one we met wherever the hell we were, then she'd be a great asset to the SGC. Not to mention she has a great sense of humor."
Daniel grinned, remembering the comments the blonde woman had made concerning the Goa'uld who had threatened the alternate team on the way to return SG-1 to their own reality. "I guess I should at least go meet her, shouldn't I?"
Jack nodded. "I never believed in that destiny stuff. Not until about three days ago. Now, hell, I guess I'd believe in the Easter Bunny if somebody told me he existed somewhere."
"Sam says that there are an infinite number of realities, some of them identical to ours, except for a few minor details. Some are very different. It's rather mind boggling to think that there are an infinite number of Daniel Jacksons out there, or Jack O'Neills, or Sam Carters, or Teal'cs," Daniel mused quietly.
"The only reality I'm interested in is this one," Jack groused. "And anything, or anyone who can give us an edge on the fight against the Goa'uld. Doesn't hurt to know that she could make my best friend happy," he added quietly.
Daniel looked over at the man he called 'best friend'. "Thanks, Jack," he said, just as quietly.
"I can get you a flight to Washington. After that, it's up to you."
The young archaeologist frowned, looked down at the letter, written on the page of a legal pad by his counterpart's beautiful wife.
"When do I leave?"
Jack grinned. "I can have you on a MAC flight that leaves Peterson in a couple of hours."
"I need to go home and pack."
Daniel nodded, stood up. Looked again at the picture of Sha're. Picked it up. He'd put it in the box that held all that he owned of her. A basket. A robe. The cup that had been used at their marriage ceremony. A few mementos that represented one of the most incredible years of his life.
A A A A A A
He was still tossing clothes into the duffel when the doorbell rang. He hurried down the hallway, looked through the peephole. Grinned to see Jack standing there. He opened the door. "I'm almost finished," he said as the man stepped past him.
Jack handed him a slip of paper. "It's all I could find."
Daniel frowned slightly, looked at the note. It was concise, ‘just the facts’; very typical of Jack, he thought briefly.
He glanced up at his friend. "It's more than enough," he said softly. "I'll be right out." He shoved the small notebook, or what was left of it, into the pocket of his black windbreaker, hurried back into his bedroom. He had no idea how long he'd be staying. He was packing for a week. With luck…he shook his head. With luck at the end of the week the aching loneliness that filled his being would be banished forever. He zipped the duffel closed, took a deep breath, and hurried out to find Jack staring out the double French door in the living room at the skyline of Colorado Springs.
"Do you think it will ever work out for Carter…Sam…and me?" the older man asked, his voice full of the longing that filled his heart.
"I hope so, Jack," Daniel replied honestly. "Maybe you should talk to General Hammond about it."
The older man nodded. "Maybe." He stood straighter, taller. "Ready to go find that Destiny of yours?"
He had to smile at the grin on his friend's face. "Yeah, I think so."
A A A A A A
He'd expected to be shoved onto a military transport, sitting among military men and equipment. Instead, he was shown to a seat by an airman serving as a flight attendant on a 737. There were military men and women on the flight of course, most of them accompanied by their families. He sat down, settled into his seat, nodded at the two men who would be his companions for the duration of the flight, and opened the book he'd brought with him. It was a comprehensive study on the ancient Phoenicians, and though he'd used it for references a few times, he'd never fully read the entire thing. He wasn't certain that he'd do so on this flight, but hopefully it would keep him from dwelling on where he was going, and why. He'd worry about that when he arrived.
The two men beside him talked quietly about their new assignment, at McChord Air Force Base near Tacoma, Washington.
"Have you ever been to Washington State?" one of the young Airmen asked him.
"A couple of times," Daniel replied.
"So does it really rain there all the time?"
Daniel smiled. "Not all the time. It's really a beautiful place. One of these days I'm going to take the time to do some sightseeing there."
Satisfied with the answer, the young man nodded, turned back toward his friend.
Maybe, he thought, I'll do that on this trip. Take her to see the sights. Or have her take me to see the sights. He stared out the window. Wondered if she'd ever cling to his arm like the Casey in the other reality had to that Daniel. If she'd look at him with the same deep love.
There were two layovers, each at an Air Force base, where passengers on the flight disembarked and others got on the plane. Each time Daniel took the opportunity to walk around. At six foot tall, the lack of legroom on the plane made the respite necessary.
It was on the final leg of the journey that he began to worry. Just how was he supposed to approach this beautiful woman? He tossed about in his mind, trying to find the perfect words to say, the phrases that would make her want him…love him. He shook his head mentally as he discarded another 'line'. Some linguist he was! Let the other Casey speak for you, his mind urged him. Just give her the letter. Let her read it. He nodded to himself. That was the best, perhaps the only solution. He could only hope that convincing her to read the letter wouldn't be difficult.
Jack had reserved a car for him, and since his luggage consisted solely of the duffel he carried, he was able to leave the plane, get a cab from the Air Force base to the nearest Avis depot and pick up the car. He settled into the driver's seat of the black Pontiac Grand Prix, checked the map and located the exit he'd need to take. He glanced at his watch. It was nearly four p.m. local time. Depending on traffic…he smiled. Maybe he'd offer to take her to dinner.
It only took fifteen minutes to get onto the freeway. It took another hour and a half to get to the exit that would take him where he wanted to go. Because the rush hour traffic he found himself sitting in was rushing nowhere. He found a classic rock radio station, tapped his fingers against the steering wheel in time with the music. At last the vehicles in front of him began to move. Slowly at first, but at least the brake lights were off, for the most part. Finally! He managed to get into the lane he needed, and onto the off ramp.
He glanced at the directions he'd written down. Drove down quiet streets lined with single family homes and apartment complexes. There. That one. Cedar Grove Apartments. The buildings looked like all of the other generic apartment complexes that filled every city in the country.
Daniel took a deep breath. Made sure that the letter was in his jacket pocket. It was. He located the door. Okay. This was it. His knees nearly buckled as he walked closer to the plain white door, knowing that behind it, was the answer to his silent prayers. His fingers shook as he reached toward the round white button that would ring the doorbell.
<< Previous | Story Intro | Return to Stories | Next >>