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When Destiny Calls
Casey stared in awe at the giant circle. It looked like stone, although Daniel told her it was made of substance known as naquadah. Something that didn't exist on Earth. She hadn't even realized she'd walked up the ramp until her fingers came into contact with the cold surface. "It's amazing," she said softly. She cocked her head to one side, looked at Daniel, who was standing at the bottom of the ramp, his hands in his pockets, grinning up at her. "Does it always hum?"
He frowned. "Hum? It's not humming," he replied.
Her frown matched his. "You don't hear that? It's so loud!"
Daniel turned and looked at the people behind the protective glass window in the control room. "Is it humming?"
Walter checked his equipment, conferred with two of the other technicians on duty. "No, sir."
Casey shook her head. "Maybe I should have my hearing checked," she murmured as she walked back down the ramp.
Daniel was certain that something else was going on. He continued to watch her. There! She was tugging at that full lower lip. "Angel?"
"It's so loud, and getting louder," she said, almost wincing from the intensity of the noise she heard. She turned and grabbed his arm. "Daniel, they're in danger! And they can't get home! They don't have the...the...the...opener! Dropped...it was dropped while they were running! They don't know it!" she gasped.
"Get General Hammond in here, now!" Daniel called out, dragging her along with him as he raced for the control room. Before they were halfway the klaxons began to wail, the red lights began to flash, as the 'gate came to life.
General Hammond rushed into the room. "What's going on? Do we have any teams due back or for check-in?"
"No, sir," Walter replied. "Three teams out, none overdue."
"Casey, tell the general what you just told me," Daniel said gently.
She repeated what she had seen...felt...heard.
By now Jack, Sam, and Teal'c were running into the control room as well.
"Major Carter, I want a full diagnostic on the 'gate. I want to know if it's 'humming'," Gen. Hammond said.
"That's right, humming."
"In-coming wormhole, no IDC," Walter announced. Marines were racing into the 'gate room, taking up defensive positions around and in front of the ramp.
Casey turned once again to Daniel, clinging to the front of his shirt, tears in her eyes. "Please, they need to get home! Don't let them die!"
Daniel exchanged glances with the general. "Leave the door open, sir," he said softly.
General Hammond nodded.
"Sir, if they've lost their GDO, they won't know the door is open," Sam pointed out; she'd heard what Casey had reported to the general.
Hammond reached for the microphone that would allow him to contact whoever was on the other side of the Stargate, via their radios. "This is General Hammond. You're clear to come through the 'gate'."
Seconds ticked by, then suddenly the five members of SG-7 rolled down the ramp, flashes and explosions from staff weapons fire impacting around them.
"Close the iris!" the general commanded. The iris was closed, and half a dozen loud thumps echoed in the air.
On the ramp, the five men lay stunned, exhausted, and damned thankful to be home. The major in charge of the team sat up, looked up at the faces in the window above them. "Thanks, sir. But how did you know it was us? We didn't know we'd lost the GDO until we got to the 'gate and had already dialed home."
"Don't thank me, gentlemen," General Hammond said, a smile on his face. He put an arm around Casey's slender shoulders. "Thank this incredible young woman."
Casey blushed brightly. The other members of SG-1 were beaming proudly at her.
The general turned to face her. "That's two teams, Ms. Webster. I'd say that your presence here has just significantly increased the chances of survival for every team in the SGC. Welcome aboard, Casey."
Still blushing, she nodded, a small smile tugging at her lips. Felt the overwhelming weight of that task settle upon her slender shoulders. This was what she was meant to do, she could feel it. All that Miss Eloise had taught her had been so that she could help these people as they fought against the biggest threat that planet Earth faced. She could only pray that she was up to the daunting task. "I'll do my best to keep them safe, sir," she said softly.
"I'm sure you will," the general said kindly.
"I think you're supposed to be in the gym about now, Casey," Jack said quietly, a grin still lighting his face.
"Indeed," Teal'c said. "Shall I escort you?"
Casey smiled. "Yes, please." She turned to Daniel, planted a kiss on his lips. "See you later."
Daniel returned the kiss, his body complaining that she pulled away too quickly, his mind informing him that he'd better back away before he humiliated himself. "Call me when you're finished," he said softly.
"I will." With a wave of her fingers, and a bright smile for all those in the room, she followed the large Jaffa to the stairs. They were on the elevator when she managed to work up the courage to ask the question that had plagued her since she'd met the tall black man. "Teal'c, may I ask you a question?"
"You may," he responded kindly.
"I'm not sure exactly how to ask it...I just sense this...duality about you. As if...as if there are two entities inside one body."
Teal'c smiled. "You are sensing my symbiote."
"My symbiote. All Jaffa carry Goa'uld young in pouches in their bodies."
"Goa'uld? As in the bad guys?"
"Indeed. But without my symbiote, I would die."
Casey shook her blonde head. "They made sure that your people would remain enslaved to them," she said softly.
"Indeed," Teal'c replied. "If you can sense this...duality, there is the possibility that you will be able to sense the presence of a Goa'uld."
"Because of the Goa'uld being inside the body of an innocent host?"
"Yes. If so, that will be an advantage."
"Daniel said that you and Sam know if there is a Goa'uld present because of the naquadah."
"This is true. But if Major Carter or I are not with you, there is the chance that you will sense the Goa'uld yourself, and that might save your life."
"I'm all for that," she murmured.
Teal'c allowed himself a small smile.
"I brought some sweats, and soap and shampoo," she said shyly. "Daniel took the bag to his office this morning, could we stop there and get it? He said that I'd be able to shower when we're finished."
"Of course," the Jaffa replied. He pushed the number '18', which was the level where Daniel's office, and the labs where he worked, were located.
It was the first time she'd set foot in the office, yet she could sense immediately that this was his space. She smiled at the clutter, located her gym bag on the floor beside the desk, grabbed it and hurried back to where Teal'c waited just inside the door. Back down to level 21, a level that she was familiar with. The infirmary and, she was to learn, all of the medical facilities for the SGC, as well as the gym were on this level.
There were two other women in the locker room that Teal'c had pointed out to her, and one of the SF's located an empty locker, found a roll of masking tape and a marker and put a temporary nameplate on the door for her. The women were amiable, and though it was obvious that they were eager to ask her questions, both refrained, keeping the conversation to pleasant, non-personal generalities.
Casey was amazed at how friendly the people of the SGC were. With the exception of one man...Mark-something-or-other. She frowned as she thought about him. She could sense that he was going to be trouble.
For three hours the Jaffa showed her the various stances of mastaba, the Jaffa form of martial arts. Ever curious, Casey peppered Teal'c with questions about his people, his life, his childhood, how he'd come to be a Jaffa, come to Earth, and become a member of the elite SG-1.
"We have talked much," Teal'c said. "Now it is time to see if you were paying attention while we did so." He began to call out the names of each stance. Watched with approval as Casey responded, correcting her carefully, explaining what she was doing wrong, and the proper movement or placement of her body.
She'd done her best to stay in shape. She and Kelley had exercised with the exotic dance tape every Saturday. There was a small park in the center of the apartment complex where she'd lived, and several nights a week she'd walk or run there. She'd stopped, however, when Kenny had become persistent, afraid that if he were to catch her there alone, he could spirit her off with no one being the wiser. She hadn't realized just how long it had been since she'd really exercised! Right now she was aching in places she hadn't known existed!
The Jaffa could sense that she was tired, impressed that she hadn't uttered one word of complaint. "You have done well, Casey Webster. Tomorrow we shall see if you can do more than just take a stance."
"Translation...tomorrow I get my butt kicked," she muttered.
Teal'c grinned. "Only if you have not paid attention."
She smiled up at him. "Paying attention is the easy part. Retaining and using what I've learned, that's the hard part!"
"I have faith in your abilities," the dark skinned man replied.
"Thanks, that's one of us!"
"You may go shower now. I shall call Daniel Jackson, and inform him that we have finished for the day."
"Thank you," she said, smiling again.
"You are most welcome." He watched as she disappeared into ladies' locker room. Daniel Jackson was a very lucky man. Casey was a woman of deep passion, and was most honorable. Again he vowed silently that this woman would never be taken from his young friend's side. Not as long as he was still drawing breath!
Casey stood under the flow of water, letting it beat against her sore arms and legs. It had been a long day, and her brain was spinning with all that she'd learned. She was quite sure she'd never learn enough to be proficient with a weapon or hand-to-hand combat. But she would continue to try. She'd do her best, an attempt to make Daniel proud of her. Something she desperately wanted to do.
A A A A A A
Daniel sat at his desk, staring at the symbols on the screen, but not seeing them. He was seeing green eyes and a smile that warmed him just thinking about it. He slowly opened the drawer where Sha're's picture was now laying. He picked it up, looked at the lovely face - the face of the woman he'd loved for the past six years. Thought about that wonderful, amazing year on Abydos. The three years spent looking for her. The two years since her death. Examined the love that he'd shared with the simple tribal woman. It had been real and deep and sweet.
'Do not grieve for me, my Husband.'
He jerked slightly, looked around the room. He jumped to his feet when Sha're appeared in the corner. "Sha're?"
'Yes, my love,' she whispered.
His frown deepened. "You're not really here. You died in my arms," he said. It had been a year since he'd last spoken Abydonian - during the remembrance ceremony for his dead wife. It felt as if he'd never stopped, the sounds, the nuances as familiar to him as his native language.
'Yes, this is true. But I come to you because we must speak. You feel guilt about loving the one named Ca'see,' the dark haired woman said softly.
He dropped back down onto his chair. That was exactly how he was feeling. It hadn't hit him until he'd walked into his office after lunch, and was struck immediately by the absence of Sha're's picture on his desk. His very presence, his participation at the SGC, had been a result of his need to find his kidnapped wife. Now...it was because he knew that the battle against the Goa'uld was the most important thing in his life. Or had been. Until last week. Oh, he still understood that the Goa'uld were the most devastating threat that Planet Earth faced. Still wanted...needed...to be a part of the team that battled those parasites. But now his life had a new focus. And it felt...strange.
'She is your Destiny, my Husband. She always was.'
"What about...us?" he asked.
She gave him a sad smile. 'What is meant to be, will be. Even if you had been able to find me, taken me to the Tok'ra, I...I would never again have been that simple village girl you married.'
He'd known that saving Sha're would have meant bringing home a woman that he really didn't know. Even the brief amount of time spent with her while they waited for her child to be born had given him a glimpse of the changes in her. The fear. The anger. The shame that she felt. No, even if the Tok'ra had removed Amaunet from her, Sha're wouldn't have been the same. He closed his eyes. "Would you have still loved me?"
'Always will my heart be filled with love for you, my Dan'yel,' Sha're said softly. 'But after all that had been done to me, all that I had done, I would have been unworthy of you.'
"That's not true! You were a prisoner! You did nothing wrong! I love you! I will always love you!" he jumped to his feet, wrapped his arms around his chest, began pacing. Totally unaware that he was repeating the words he'd spoken to her in her father's tent, just before Apophis and Amaunet's baby was born.
'Yes, you will always love me. But not the way that you love Ca'see.'
He stopped his furious pacing, glanced over at the shadow of his late wife. He examined the love he felt for her, compared it to the feelings that filled his heart, his mind, when he thought about Casey. He loved Sha're, always would. But not with the all-consuming fire, the urgent need that filled him; not the deep love that flowed through him and over him, all in the name of Casey. "I'm sorry," he whispered, as he realized that what Sha're said was true.
'You must not be sorry, my Dan'yel. You have been granted a great gift...you have found the one who is your Destiny. Great things lay in store for the two of you.'
"Then you forgive me?"
'What is there to forgive, my Husband? You remained faithful and true while you searched for me. You honored me, spoke for me when my spirit moved from your plane of existence. You grieved for me. It is time for you to move forward with your life. It is time for you to let me go.'
Tears filled his eyes. "I love you, Sha're."
'And I love you, my Dan'yel. Tell me goodbye, so that I may know that you will be at peace, and be happy with Ca'see.'
"Goodbye, my love, my sweet Sha're," he whispered.
The ghostly figure smiled, nodded, and faded from sight.
"Goodbye," he repeated softly. He wiped his eyes, readjusted his glasses. Put the picture of his late wife back into the drawer. He jumped slightly when the phone rang, began to grin when Teal'c told him that Casey was in the locker room showering. His heart pounded with the love that had filled him since the moment she'd opened that door and looked up at him with those beautiful green eyes. He told his friend that he was on his way. He glanced around the room, smiled, and hurried to the elevator.
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