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When Destiny Calls
The weekend was passing in a most pleasant manner. Casey baked cookies, having found the recipe she needed online, giggling as Daniel ate them practically from the cookie sheet. She'd questioned him about the missions he'd been on, about the enemy of which the people of Earth had no knowledge. They discussed the pros and cons of the Stargate program becoming public knowledge, agreeing that for the time being, it was better that the citizens of planet Earth were unaware. Daniel explained what was going to happen over the coming weeks, that members of SG-1 were going to train her so that she could become a part of the team.
She walked past the phone again. He was stretched out on the sofa, reading the Sunday paper, purchased from the stand on the corner. She'd picked it up when she'd run out that morning to buy the walnuts for the cookies at the small market just down the street.
"Casey, you're pacing," he said patiently.
"I…is it okay if I make a phone call?"
Daniel put the paper down. Stood to his feet. Walked to where she waited and put his arms around her. "This is your home, Casey. Your home. You can do whatever you want!"
She was certain it would feel more like her home when her things arrived. She hugged him tightly. Kissed him. "I love you."
"I love you, Angel," he replied. "I'm going to my office to work on the crossword puzzle."
She watched him for a second, cocked her head. "Isn't looking up the answers on the Internet cheating?"
He stared at her, then chuckled. "No, it's not cheating. It's learning."
She giggled. "Cheating, learning. Semantics. Depends on how you look at the situation I suppose."
"Smartass," he mumbled as he walked by.
She giggled again, then picked up the phone and dialed the number that had been her own for nearly three years.
She grinned, flopped onto the sofa. "So how's it going?"
"I'm doing okay. Mom threw a hissy fit because I hadn't been to see her during the evenings last week, slammed the door in my face yesterday. So for the first time in ages I spent Saturday doing what I wanted to do. She did the same thing to Ricky today, so we had lunch together, and agreed that I'll try again next Saturday, he'll try on Sunday. If we get the same treatment, we wait until she can treat us like adults."
"Good for you! I know it's hard. And she's going to use every trick in the book to try and make you feel guilty. Don't fall for it," Casey warned.
"Believe me, Casey, I've had enough. I'm twenty-eight years old. I do not need this crap! So, are you there? Do you like it?"
"Oh, Kelley, it's beautiful! Right out of a designer's book beautiful! He's an archaeologist, I told you that, right?"
"He has the most amazing collection of artifacts! They're beautiful! He has three ceremonial masks that are just incredible. I think they're from one of the West African tribes. They're basically a set, one for each stage of life…childhood, adulthood and then old age. I recognize that much."
"So you're happy?"
"I didn't think it was possible to be this happy! I keep telling Daniel to pinch me, so that I can be certain this isn't an amazing, beautiful dream."
"Before I forget, let me write down your phone number and address."
Casey repeated the information that Daniel had given her. She had it written down on a pad beside the phone. She continued to tell her friend about the apartment, the shopping excursions, sledding in the park, cooking dinner together, learning to play chess.
"I am so happy for you," Kelley said with a sigh. "So when are you and this hunk of yours going to get married?"
"I don't know. I'm supposed to be thinking about it. He wants to do it soon."
"Do it on Valentine's day," Kelley suggested.
Kelley giggled. "Heaven forbid," she intoned teasingly.
"I don't even know how long it would take to pull a wedding together. I'm going to be busy…" She barely managed to stop herself from revealing to much. "I'm going to be busy with my new job, Daniel got me one where he works. And his schedule is crazy. I've tossed around the idea of a wedding planner. Sort of one-stop shopping for the whole thing, that way we don't have to spend a day off running all over town."
"That would be a good idea, Casey. Just let me know when. Ricky and I will do our best to be there for you. You need somebody setting on your side of the aisle!"
Casey smiled. "I'd like that very much. I guess I should get going. I need to start dinner."
"Now you sound like an old married woman!"
She giggled. "It feels wonderful!"
"I'm glad. Okay, call me when you get the chance!"
"I will. Bye, Kells."
She rose up on her knees, put the phone back on its base on the sofa table. Looked up to see Daniel leaning against the shelving unit. "So did you get it finished?"
"Yep. Only had to look up one answer, just so you know." He was grinning. He dropped down onto the sofa beside her. "I heard what you said about the wedding planner. I wasn't eavesdropping," he said quickly.
She smiled. "I know you weren't. It's okay."
He reached out and caressed her cheek, let his hand drop and wrap around hers. "I like that idea. Why don't we see about making an appointment with one for next weekend?"
Casey nodded. "I have no idea of where to even begin planning a wedding, and when I saw the ad in the newspaper supplement…" she shrugged.
Daniel wondered if she'd have thought about a wedding, about getting married, had she not seen that ad. "Am I rushing you?"
She giggled. Traced his jaw with her finger. "No. I've wanted to belong to you since I put that letter back in the envelope. I was just too afraid to hope for it," she said softly.
"You do belong to me, Angel."
"Heart, mind, body, and soul. And you belong to me," she whispered.
"Heart, mind, body, and soul," he whispered in return. "Love you."
"Love you too." She snuggled against his side.
"So what's for dinner?"
She smiled. It was quite apparent that Daniel was enjoying home cooked meals. "I have a couple of steaks thawed. I'll make one of my super salads - that's what Kelley always called them. And some oven browned potatoes. There are some cookies left, we can have cookies and milk for dessert."
"I left cookies? I thought I'd eaten them all!"
"I hid cookies, thank you, or you would have eaten them all!"
"Where'd ya hide them?"
She giggled. "I am not about to reveal the locations of my cookie hiding places." She shrieked with surprise when long, slender fingers began to move up and down her sides, finding those ticklish places and tormenting her mercilessly.
"Tell me where those cookies are hidden, and I'll let you go," he said, trying to sound threatening.
"Not gonna happen!" She raised an arm dramatically to her forehead. "Do with me what you will, you beast, I shall never reveal my secrets to you," she declared in an affected Southern accent.
"I'll make you beg for mercy," he growled, playing along. He began to kiss her, waited until she was trying to take control of it before moving his lips over her jaw, to her throat. "Tell me now, or shall I continue this torture?"
She giggled, her arms around his shoulders. "My secrets shall die with me, you brute!"
He was laughing against her skin, managed to nibble her earlobe, suckled that spot behind her ear that always made her shiver in his arms. Just like…that. "Do you surrender, my pretty?"
"Your pretty what?"
He chuckled loudly, pulled away from her, before the need for her became undeniable. So much laughter, he thought. She's brought so much laughter to my life. Not since Sha're had entered his life had he found so much to laugh about. Had so much fun. "Thank you," he said softly, reaching out to tuck a lock of blonde silk behind her ear.
"For what?" she asked, her gaze moving over his face, focusing on those incredible blue eyes.
"For making me laugh. I think I'd forgotten just how much fun…how good it feels to laugh," he replied.
Such sadness, she thought. His life had been filled with so much sadness and heartache. She leaned forward and kissed him. "Feel like chopping some veggies?"
"I could be persuaded," he said, grinning lazily at her.
A flash of wicked mischief reflected in her eyes. She lifted her tee shirt, revealing her naked breasts. "Help me out, and you can play with them later."
"I can play with them right now," he countered, reaching for her tantalizing body.
She managed to scoot away from him, tugging the shirt back down. "Nope. Chores first, play later."
One strong arm snaked its way around her waist, pulled her close again. He buried his face between her cotton-covered breasts. Breathed deeply of her sweet scent. Felt her hands move through his hair. He wrapped his other arm around her waist as well. Soft. Warm. Sweet. Heaven. Home. She'd filled his life, filled his heart with her warmth, her sweetness, her soft, gentle manner and love. "I love you so much," he whispered.
She kissed the top of his head. "I love you, too, Daniel," she replied softly. She held him, let him take the comfort he needed.
He slowly pulled away from her. "Okay, what all do you put in this super salad of yours?"
"Everything I can think of," she replied with a grin. "Come on, I'll show you." She led him into the kitchen.
Just as they had the previous nights, they cooked together, cleaned up the kitchen together. Took a shower together. Then made love, taking one another to the secret places they could find only together. Daniel set the alarm, and followed Casey into the arms of Morpheus.
A A A A A A
Casey was a bit nervous as they went through the check posts on their way into the mountain. She had no idea what to expect today, only that Jack, Sam, and Teal'c were going to begin her training.
Daniel took her to Jack's office. "I have to go to work, Case. There are a least a half dozen translations that I have to get finished."
"I'll see you around noon, okay? No skipping lunch."
She put her hand to her stomach. "Can we not talk about food right now? Those shakes make me nauseous."
He frowned. "Maybe you should talk to Janet about them."
"Okay. If I get the chance, and can find my way around here, I will. Should have brought a freaking loaf of bread," she muttered.
"So I could leave a trail of crumbs to know how to get out of here!"
Daniel chuckled, remembered his own feelings of being overwhelmed by the maze that was the SGC when he'd first arrived, almost six and a half years earlier. He kissed her on the forehead. "You'll learn your way around here in no time." He tapped on the door.
"Yeah?" Jack's voice asked.
Daniel opened the door. "Morning, Jack."
"Hey, Danny! Hi, Casey! Come on in and sit down," he said. Frowned when Daniel started to follow Casey into the room. "Her, not you. Don't you have work to do? Rocks that you should be reading or something?"
Daniel grinned. "Yeah, but I thought…"
"There's the problem right there, Space Monkey. You're thinking again. Go to work, Danny. Casey will be just fine."
"If you need me, just call," Daniel said softly.
"I will," Casey replied with a soft smile.
"Love you too."
"Don't forget to talk to Janet."
"Daniel, go!" Jack ordered, biting back his grin.
Tossing an annoyed look at the man, Daniel winked at her and left the room.
Jack shook his head. "I thought he'd never leave!"
"Casey, did Daniel explain to you what we're going to be doing for the next two weeks, and why?" Jack asked her, serious now.
"Yes. He said that if I can defend myself, you want me to go on missions with you," she replied.
"Yep. That's about it."
He frowned, momentarily lost. "Why what?"
"Why do you want me to go on missions with you?"
Jack sat back in his chair. "Because we - that's General Hammond and the rest of SG-1 and me - believe that you can be a valuable asset in the field. It's possible that your…gift…will give us an edge."
"Daniel said that SG-1 usually draws the most dangerous assignments."
Jack nodded. "Because we technically have the most experience. We also have the two brightest minds, Carter and Daniel. We have Teal'c, who is an expert on the Goa'uld and some of the other civilizations that we've run into. Between the three of them, I have the best that the SGC has to offer. Your talents will give us an edge that we haven't had before. Which can make a big difference when facing the bad guys."
"I'm not sure exactly what it is that you want me to do, or if I'll even be able to do it," she admitted.
"Why don't we worry about getting you trained first. Then we'll worry about whether or not that mind thing you have going will work the way we hope it does."
She smiled. "Okay. What first?"
"Right now, I'm going to take you to the firing range. Teach you about a couple of weapons that are like your American Express card."
"You should never leave home without 'em," he grinned.
She groaned. "Did you work all weekend to come up with that?"
"Good. Because it was really bad!"
"Okay, lesson number one, always laugh at your CO's jokes. Keeps him from getting grumpy."
She giggled. "Yes, sir!"
"Ah, see, you're learning already!" He grinned at her. "This afternoon Teal'c will be talking to you about the physical fitness training he's come up with for you, as well as the various methods of hand-to-hand combat that he'll be teaching you."
She shivered. "Personally, I hope the weapons I'll be learning about prevent me from needing hand-to-hand knowledge."
"Me, too, Casey," he acknowledged softly. "Ready?"
A A A A A A
The SGC resided beneath the publicly recognized NORAD. While most people in the area were aware that more was going on behind the fences of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex than deep space telemetry and the watchful radar that kept track of all nuclear missile silos the world over, no one - except the two hundred people involved in the project, and a few politicians in Washington, DC - knew exactly what was going on. There were plenty of questions as to why NORAD would need three large warehouses. Which were located near the center of several hundred acres owned by the US Government, assigned to the Cheyenne Mountain complex. Only those who needed to know were aware of the training exercises that were conducted in and around those warehouses.
It was to one of these that Jack took Casey, both of them huddled against the cold in the plastic and canvas topped jeep. She was looking around with interest - the trees were covered with snow, which sparkled in the sunlight. It was beautiful in the Rocky Mountains, and she already loved it.
Jack led her inside. Like the missile silo beneath the mountain, there was a great deal more to the warehouses than met the eye. Excavations done so carefully that not even the satellites above them that spied on American activities for other countries had detected the work that had added three sub-levels to the building. The lowest level, to which access was denied to all but a handful of SGC officers, was an emergency control room in the event that the SGC was overrun by hostiles, be they alien or foreign. The first sub-level, however, was an impressive, high tech, state-of-the-art firing range.
He checked out two weapons: a 9mm Beretta, and a P90, which was a highly specialized semi-automatic/automatic weapon that looked to Casey like a short-barreled machine gun on steroids. For two hours Jack went over each part of the weapons, taking them apart, showing her how they went back together, telling her that she'd be learning how to dismantle, clean, do minor repairs, and put back together both weapons.
They were the only two in the range, other than the three men who were in charge of running and guarding the facility.
"Clear!" Jack called out, just before opening the door that would allow him to walk out onto the range itself to show her the targets.
"Clear!" came back over the speakers.
"Never, ever open this door before you call out, and get a reply. "Hey, Phil, let's show her what happens if there was someone else down here practicing," he said.
The man in the control booth nodded.
"Clear!" Jack called out.
"No Go! Repeat, No Go!" echoed around them.
"There are sensors in this room," Jack continued. "So if someone is in here, the computer will 'freeze' all target commands until the room is clear. It's easy enough to see if someone is in here from all of the booths, though it's not always easy to see if other booths are occupied. Thus the 'clear' call before you open the door."
She nodded her understanding.
He led her down the long room, which was divided almost like bowling lanes, she thought. There were several types of targets, from the typical bulls eye and man silhouette to those that looked like people on the street, or television type criminals. Several were spooky, with eyes that seemed to be glowing.
"Goa'uld," Jack told her, explaining what they looked and sounded like, as much as he could. "The trick is to get them in the throat," he said. "A clean round through the throat will sever the symbiote, and it's a much cleaner, quicker death for the host as well."
"Can't the host be saved?" she asked softly.
Just like Danny, he thought. "No, unfortunately having a Goa'uld in your head tends to make you crazy. The longer it's there, the worse it gets. Hosts who have had a Goa'uld in them for several hundred or thousand years aren't much more than just a shadow," he said gently.
She shivered. "Daniel had hoped to find Sha're, and get that thing out of her," she said softly.
"I know. Teal'c told me that there was always the chance that she'd survive, but he said she'd never have been the woman that Daniel remembered and loved. Jacob Carter, Carter's dad, is blended with a Tok'ra. That's a snake that's basically good. Mostly. Annoying though. Anyway, he said the same thing. He also said that more than likely, given that Sha're was a simple tribal girl, she'd have tried to kill herself. She'd have had full memory of every thing the snake had done," Jack told her.
"He knew that. But he hoped anyway. He hoped…because that's all he could do. He loved her too much, he couldn't just abandon her," she said softly.
"It's so sad, he looked for her longer than they were together," she said.
"To be honest, I think he was being a little unrealistic. He was seeing everything through rose-colored memories. Kasuf, her father, talked to me a bit when we were there once. He said that Sha're was his daughter, and he loved her, but she had one hell of a temper."
Casey smiled. "I have no doubt that Daniel was able to charm her out of being angry with him."
Jack laughed. "Yeah, probably." He looked over at her. "If Daniel had saved her, what would have happened about this Destiny thing?"
She shrugged. "I don't know." She cocked her head sideways. "I think that if Fate, or the gods, or whoever or whatever sets things up, really wanted Daniel and I together, it would have happened."
Jack led her back to the shooting booth, handed her safety glasses and ear protectors. "It's possible that’s why she was taken in the first place," he said, almost to himself.
"Because she wasn't his destiny."
She frowned, then nodded. "Her destiny followed a different path than Daniel's. It's possible, I suppose. If Sha're hadn't been taken, Daniel wouldn't have left Abydos."
"Probably not," Jack admitted. They stared at one another as the realization dawned on both of them. Sha're had been taken, because Daniel had to work with the SGC, as a part of SG-1, and he had to be…ready…to accept Casey as his Destiny.
"Sometimes it just gets spooky," she said, shivering again.
"Tell me about it. I never thought about all of this destiny stuff until we got tossed into that other reality," Jack said. He mentally shook himself. "Okay. This is a nine-millimeter Beretta. Made in Italy. Darn good hand gun. We'll start simple." They donned the safety gear, he made a selection on the keyboard/monitor that was integrated into the console in front of them. At the end of their 'lane' a large round target swung into place.
She took the gun, followed his instructions on proper hand placement, and the best way to aim. She was totally unprepared for the recoil. And, no surprise, she missed the target. She stood firm, knowing what to expect now, fired again. This time she hit the bottom of the target.
"You were aiming for the bulls eye?" Jack asked.
"Okay, look at where your shot landed. Look at where you were aiming. What should you adjust?"
"The size of the target," she quipped. "Make it the size of a barn and I'm guaranteed to hit it!"
Jack chuckled. "Okay, the thing to remember is to relax. I know that sounds funny, especially when you're under fire. But you have to be at ease with the weapon, it has to be a part of you. Something you use without thinking about it, certainly without stressing about it. Try it again."
When the magazine was empty, only three of her shots had 'gone wild'. Only one was anywhere near the center of the bulls eye. The remainder had managed to at least wind up somewhere on the target.
They worked for a bit with the P90, Jack explaining that it was almost impossible to miss the target with it, whether in automatic or semi-automatic mode. He'd been right. She did much better with it. As eager as she was to learn, he didn't think training her was going to be a problem at all!
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