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When Destiny Calls
"So, what looks or sounds good?" he asked, standing just at the edge of the food court with her.
"Do you like Orange Julius?"
"Love 'em," he grinned. He led her to the counter. "I'll take an Orange Julius, and a chili dog. Babe?" he said, after giving the clerk his order.
She smiled up at him, then looked at the young man behind the counter. "Strawberry Julius, and a Veggie Pita."
With a nod, the young man hurried to fill the order. When Daniel reached for his wallet, Casey firmly pushed it back into his pocket. Then searched for and found her wallet.
"I can get this Angel," he said softly.
"I'm sure you can. But I'm going to," she replied firmly.
He grinned again, tried to hide it when she looked up at him.
"Just what are you grinning about?"
He leaned close so that he could whisper in her ear. "Are you mad at me?"
She looked up at him again, a confused frown on her face. "If I were, that would make you grin?"
He laughed. "Nope. But thoughts about what I can do to make you un-mad at me do."
She tried to be angry. It worked for about…three seconds. Maybe not even that long. She burst into giggles. "You are so not funny!"
"I wasn't trying to be," he replied, putting on his best 'you've-hurt-my-feelings' expression. It didn't work.
"Keep it up, cupcake, and I'll find flannel pajamas to wear to bed tonight!"
He snorted, then laughed again. "Doesn't matter what you put on, Angel. I will get it off!"
"Oh, that sounded like a challenge!"
"All I have to do is kiss you, then I'll take those flannel pajamas right off, and nibble on your neck, tease those sweet nipples of yours, then move on down and make you my midnight snack," he whispered in her ear. Delighted when she shivered, and stepped closer to him.
"True. Of course, the minute I start playing with and licking and sucking on that anaconda of yours, you'll do whatever I want," she replied, whispering in his ear. Just before she licked his earlobe.
He jerked and shuddered at the very pleasant thought of having her mouth wrapped around him, then grinned down at her. "Truce?"
She giggled. "Agreed."
The order was ready, and Daniel took the tray to a table while Casey paid. She grabbed napkins and straws, watched him as she walked toward him. He was smiling at her, that incredibly sexy, half-shy smile that made her knees weak and her heart pound.
"Do you have any idea how beautiful you are?" he asked softly as he handed her the paper-wrapped pita sandwich.
"Me?" She smiled. "I don't think so. You, on the other hand, are so good-looking it hurts!"
He shook his head. "You're a beautiful woman, Casey."
"I know exactly what I look like, and beautiful isn't it," she replied, taking a bite of the sandwich.
"Okay, what do you look like?" He was damned curious to know how she saw herself.
She took a deep breath. "You have eyes."
"Apparently we're not seeing the same thing," he said. "So what do you think you look like?"
She shrugged. "My hair is too fine and limp; my ears are too big, I have sort of a Dumbo thing happening there; and my eyes are too big. My neck makes me look like a freaking giraffe; I'm too skinny and I don't have any curves; my butt is flat, my knees are knobby and my toes are too long."
He listened to the recitation, his jaw dropping slightly. He managed to close his mouth, then pushed his glasses up firmly. "Okay, I have no idea what fun-house mirror you've been looking into. Or who told you that you have those…'flaws'. Let me tell you what you really look like!" He cupped her chin with his hand, forced her to look at him, held her eyes with his. "Your hair is the color of sunshine. Smells like flowers. It feels like silk. I love running my fingers through it, and the way it hides us from the world when you lean over me while we make love. Your ears are not too big. They're just fine. I like nibbling on them. Same goes for that elegant, beautiful neck of yours. As for your eyes, they're the most amazing green eyes I've ever had the pleasure of looking into. They light up when you smile. They sparkle when you laugh. They give me glimpses of that sweet, beautiful soul. You're slender, yes. But trust me, Casey, you have curves that can make a man forget his name. There isn't a damned thing wrong with your butt. It's the sexiest ass I've ever seen. Your knees are not knobby. They're sexy. They go great with the rest of those incredible legs of yours. And I happen to like your toes very much!"
Her eyes went wider with every word. "That's what you see?"
"That's exactly what I see. You have the sweetest face, so delicate - like the rest of you - so beautiful," he replied, sitting back, ready to eat his chilidog.
She studied him for a minute. "When was the last time you had the prescription for your glasses checked?"
He grinned. "I can see just fine. Pick anyone in this food court right now. Anyone. They'll tell you the exact same thing."
Casey shook her head. "You're just a little biased in my favor."
"No, Angel. I’m telling you the truth."
She shivered. "You really see me like that?" she asked again, in a soft whisper.
"I really see you like that."
"Wow," she said softly. She frowned slightly as she ate her sandwich.
He watched her for a few minutes, happy to see that she managed to eat half of the sandwich and drink almost half of her Strawberry Julius before she pushed it all away.
"I think you're just trying to get in good with me so I'll wear one of those teddies tonight," she said finally.
He laughed. Shook his head. Eventually, he thought. She'll see herself the way she really is, eventually. "Nope. But it wouldn't bother me if you don't wear anything at all."
She giggled. "Which is exactly what I'll be wearing about thirty seconds after I put a teddy on!"
"Works for me!" He checked his watch. Had it been an hour already? It seemed that time was determined to fly by him on wings now that he was with her. "Your ring should be ready. We'll get it, then head for the Space Needle."
With a nod, she gathered up the trash left from their meal and put it on the tray. She started to pick it up when a little Oriental man, obviously one of the janitors for the area, hurried to the table.
"I get for pretty lady, yes?" he asked, smiling at her.
"Thank you," she said softly. She glanced at Daniel. No denying the 'I-told-you-so' look in his eyes.
So beautiful. And so unaware of it! That sweetness drew people to her like bees to honey, men especially.
She cocked her head sideways. "Daniel, I think you should call your friends," she said, a small frown on her face. The frown deepened. "The man in the blue uniform...with those things on his shoulders. Call him."
His frown matched hers. She could only be talking about General Hammond. "Why?"
"I'm not sure, it just feels…important."
With a nod, he pulled his cellphone from his pocket and dialed the number that would connect him to the phone on the general's desk. "Sir? Daniel Jackson," he said, as soon as he heard the Texas drawl answering the line. "Is everything all right?…I see." He looked at Casey, his heart dropping. This was going to hurt her. Badly. He could only hope she'd understand. "Yes, sir, I understand…Yes, as a matter of fact she's the one who told me to call…I certainly hope so…Yes, sir, I'll be there. Goodbye." He closed the phone.
She knew what he was going to say before he said it. "You have to leave."
He nodded. "There will be a plane waiting for me at McChord."
She looked down at the floor. He was leaving. Without her. "It's been…it's been amazing," she said softly.
He put his arms around her, pulled her close. "I shouldn't be gone more than a couple of days. I'll get a ticket for you as soon as I get back. I'll leave your number with Walter Harriman, he'll be contacting you about getting your stuff to Silver Springs."
He pressed his lips to the side of her face. "You're mine, Angel. I won't let you go. I'll be waiting at the airport in Denver for you, that's a promise. Can you be ready to go in just a couple of days?"
She nodded. "That won't be a problem. You're sure?" she asked, clinging to his strong, broad shoulders.
"More sure than I am about the sun coming up tomorrow."
"Around here, it may not," she said, an attempt at humor to hide her panic, the hurt she was feeling.
"It's always there, Angel, whether you can see it or not. Like my love for you. It's always there, whether you can see me or not," he said softly. He let go of her, let her step away from him.
"Do you still want to get the ring today?" she asked shyly.
"Absolutely. I want to know it's on your finger before I leave here," he said, letting the back of his fingers move over her cheek. "You'll have to pick up the bands tomorrow. Don't let me forget to give you the receipt."
She nodded. "We should go. They're waiting for you. They're in trouble. The people…there…don't like them. Your friends need you."
A A A A A A
Indeed they did. Jack had led Sam and Teal'c on what should have been a simple survey mission. The planet had appeared deserted. It hadn't been, and the aborigines who had captured them had no interest in talking to the strange white man or those with him, who had walked out of their Sacred Circle. Daniel, his understanding of cultures, his linguistic abilities, and his natural charm were needed to save them.
General Hammond had just been apprised of the situation when Casey insisted that Daniel check in. Which made the general all the more anxious to meet her. All that the folks at the SGC knew was that SG-1 was late for check-in, and that was almost always bad news.
A A A A A A
His arm was around her shoulders again, hers around his waist, as they made their way back to the jewelry store. The lighthearted teasing, however, was now missing.
The ring was ready, and once they had it, they hurried to the parking lot. As soon as they were settled in the car, he pulled the box from his pocket, took her hand in his. "I had every intention of getting down on bended knee at the top of the Space Needle," he said quietly. "I'm not leaving here without hearing the words. Knowing that you're mine. Casey - my sweet, beautiful Angel - I love you more than I ever dreamed I could love anyone. I know this is happening incredibly fast. But I need you; I want you by my side forever. Will you marry me?"
Every word went straight into her heart, burying him there just a little deeper, making him just that much more necessary for her very survival. She'd never thought she'd feel such love, never thought she'd know such love. Certainly she'd never believed that she could fall so deeply in just a matter of hours. One lone tear made its way down her cheek. "Yes," she whispered. "Oh, goddess yes!"
He leaned over and kissed her gently, then brushed the tear away. "I love you, Angel."
"I love you, Sweetheart," she replied. She watched as he slid the ring onto her finger. "It's so beautiful."
"Not nearly as beautiful as the woman wearing it," he replied.
She took a deep breath. "We need to go, Daniel, your friends are in danger."
That simple statement spurred him into action. As soon as they arrived at the hotel she went up to the room to begin gathering their things, while Daniel checked out. She carefully folded the clothes he'd worn the day before, and put them in the plastic laundry bag she'd found in the closet. She shoved her own things, along with the bag from Victoria's Secrets, into her duffel. She made sure that his soap and shampoo were back in his ditty bag, and all of her toiletries in her little bag. She glanced at the ring on her finger. If it was still there in the morning, she'd know that the incredible night, and this wonderful day, hadn't been just a dream.
"Thanks, honey," he said, startling her from her thoughts. He hadn't expected her to pack for him, but she had.
"The rental car is paid for until the end of the week. Just turn it in at the Avis counter when you go to the airport. I'll have that ticket waiting for you, I promise."
He pulled her close, hugged her tightly, wanting more than anything to make love to her again…hold her, touch her, until the light was back in those green eyes. "I love you, don't you ever doubt that."
Once again all she could do was cling to him, wishing that she was going with him. "I won't. I love you, too."
A A A A A A
Traffic was beginning to get heavy as they made their way to McChord AFB. Daniel called General Hammond again to let him know that he was only minutes from the base. Was assured that the plane was waiting for him, along with all of the information that they'd been able to gather about the mission he'd be going on. With luck it would be enough to give Daniel an idea of what he was walking into, and what he'd have to do to free his friends.
There was a jeep waiting at the gate for him. He allowed the airman to toss his bag into the back. Daniel kissed Casey goodbye, held her tightly one last time. It was only for a few days, he assured himself, as he threw himself into the seat. He waved as the jeep pulled away.
Casey got back into the car, bit her lip in an attempt to keep from crying. And then drove back to the apartment that she'd call home for only a few more days. When she walked in the door, the light on the answering machine was blinking. There were three messages from Kenny. She erased them without listening to them. The next one left her breathless with surprise…and relief.
"Uh, yes, Ms. Webster, this is Technical Sergeant Walter Harriman, United States Air Force. Doctor Jackson just called and asked me to relay some contact numbers for you. General Hammond can be reached at..."
She grabbed a pencil and the pad of paper than always sat beside the phone, quickly copied the number down.
"There will be a truck from McChord AFB at your residence, located at 5806 Pierce Road, apartment number twelve, Tacoma, Washington, at nine a.m. on Friday morning to pick up your belongings. If you could please have everything ready at that time, the airmen will be able to get your things loaded and shipped to Silver Springs. The shipment should arrive no later than next Tuesday," the man's voice continued. "If there is anything you need, General Hammond requests that you call him immediately."
The message ended, and she stared at the notepad. Well, it was official. She was moving! She glanced around. Very little in the apartment was hers. Her stereo and almost all of the CD's. The tea jar that had belonged to her Grandmother. Her clothes in the closet. Everything else was in packing boxes in the storage unit downtown that the roommates shared.
She sat back on the couch. Her little car had died two days earlier, and had been towed to the garage where Kelley's brother worked. He'd told her that it would cost more to fix it than it was worth. He'd offered to find someone willing to buy it for parts. She'd agreed. She picked up the phone. Called him. He hadn't found anyone yet, he told her, but he was still looking. She thanked him, and hung up.
She hadn't realized how long she'd been sitting on the couch, staring into space, reliving every special, wonderful, precious moment with Daniel until the phone rang beside her. She cringed, expecting to hear Kenny's voice.
"Casey? Just wanted to let you know I love you," Daniel's voice said, filling the room.
She grabbed the receiver. "I love you too," she replied. Heard him chuckle.
"Honey, I want you to be careful. Don't let that Kenny asshole anywhere near you."
"I won't," she promised. "A man named Walter called, I have General Hammond's number."
"That's good. Look, I have to go, Angel. If Kenny bothers you…no, wait, do me a favor, call the general right now. Tell him that I told you to. Then tell him about Kenny. I'm sure he'll be able to help."
She sighed with relief. Her heart was still pounding at the thought of his voice screaming at her over the answering machine. She knew that it wouldn't be long until he was doing more than just calling, and pounding on the front door. "I will, I promise."
"Good. I have to go. Love you."
"Love you too."
The line went dead. She hung up, a smile on her face. Then she grabbed the pad, and made another call. General Hammond was kind, and charming, and sweet; he asked for Kenny's home phone number and address, and his place of employment. Then he told her that if Kenny called, or came to her apartment, she was to call him immediately.
With a sudden burst of inspiration, Casey called Kelley and asked her to bring home a few packing boxes if she could get them. Her redheaded roommate was full of questions, which Casey promised to answer as soon as she could. When she hung up this time, she turned the phone off, and went into the bedroom. She began pulling clothes out of the closet, folding them, deciding what she'd pack to be shipped, and what she'd pack to take with her on the plane.
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