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Whispers From the Past
Casey paced the storeroom. Shot daggers at the mirror with her eyes, wishing she had seen fit to break the damned thing before Sha're had sashayed out of it. Wanted to shove the bitch right back through it; to where, she didn't really care.
Daniel loved her. She knew that. But she also knew that seeing Sha're, even though the Abydonian woman wasn't exactly 'his' late wife, was certainly causing turmoil. The good news, Skaara and Kasuf couldn't remain in this reality...their counterparts were very much alive and well. The bad news...Sha're seemed more than willing to stay, even if it meant being separated from her father and brother.
"Over my dead body, cupcake," she muttered.
She walked toward the mirror, every intention of giving it a good whack foremost on her mind, when she realized that rather than the dark expanse of glass she was accustomed to seeing, the mirror was reflecting the room. Well, sort of reflecting the room. Casey recognized the storage bins and shelves behind her. The jumble of extra boxes was missing. And rather than her own reflection, she was staring at a woman with long auburn hair, violet eyes, and a lilac tattoo on her forehead.
For a moment both women stared at each other, warily sizing the other up. Then the redhead gave a loud crow of delight, making Casey take a stunned step back.
"Yeeehhhaaaw! I found you!" She did a little happy dance on the spot. "Do you know how many channels I've clicked? There are some seriously weird realities out there. How bizarre is this? There was even one where Sam married Daniel! Oh, and another where Daniel and Jack were an item! I tell you I switched outta that one quick smart, way too freaky for me!" She didn't seem to notice that Casey was watching her, wide-eyed and without an ounce of recognition. "So, how are the kids? Has Nicholas dug his way to China yet? And Ethan, is he walking? And has Emily..." her voice tapered off as it dawned on her that Casey wasn't as hyped up at this meeting as she was. Violet eyes scrutinized the blonde, a frown crinkling her brow. "Casey? Casey Jackson, right?"
"Uh huh." Shit! Mentally gave herself a sound whack on the head. She had responded before she realized it. Jack would be nine kinds of pissed off to know she'd given away information without first determining just who the hell she was talking to!
The frown became suspicious and the redhead thoughtfully scratched her temple. Casey could see when she came up with a solution to whatever dilemma was in her mind even without the finger snap. "Lift your shirt."
"Say what?" Casey was sure she'd misunderstood.
"Is the sound working on this thing?" The redhead tapped at the mirror rim and spoke louder. "Lift your shirt up!" Pulled at the waist of her own shirt to clarify.
Casey's mouth fell open. When she realized she was gaping at the woman, she shut it with a distinct 'snap'. Her response was made without forethought...out before she was even aware. "Look, I don't know who you are, but I don't play in that sandbox, cupcake. I like those dangly appendages way too much. Well, one anyway."
The woman grinned. "They're more fun when they don't dangle."
For a few seconds Casey stared at her, then gave in to the giggles that forced their way into her throat. "So true."
"So can you...?" The redhead tugged again at her shirt and waited expectantly.
With a sudden flash of understanding , Casey realized that the woman was looking for something, a mark she assumed, that would identify her. She gave a glance around the empty room. Stood in front of the mirror, her body angled slightly so that the security cameras wouldn't see her...or much of her, anyway. She untucked her BDU shirt, tugged it and her tee shirt up to her shoulders.
"Damn!" The redhead cocked her head sideways. "What's the date for you?"
"Well, shit!" Annika grumbled. "That's four months ago. I must have mucked up the date."
"Oh," Casey replied uncertainly, not sure what else to say.
The woman glowered at a point on the side of the mirror. "I've been going the wrong way! How's your conversion of the Ancient calendar?"
"Um...pretty good, I guess." Daniel had told her that she was able to translate ‘basic’ Ancient as well as he.
"Do you know the symbols for this one?"
"That's the...um...time where you are?" Casey scrutinized the date written on the piece of paper that the woman held up. Which, part of her brain told her, should be backwards, as she was looking into a mirror. Nope, not going to even attempt to figure that out, she thought.
"Month and day," she confirmed, "but not the year. I'm trying to get thirteen years ahead to see...well, you." She gave a lopsided grin that was a little bemusedly returned. Only now did the woman seem to comprehend how bizarre the situation was. "I'm sorry, where are my manners? Anyone would think I'd been raised by a Goa'uld! I'm Annika Jackson." She gave a wave. "Can't shake your hand, or I'll end up standing next to you."
"Which would be par for the course today," Casey muttered beneath her breath, too low for the woman on the other side of the mirror to hear. She hesitantly waved back. The last name finally clicked in her brain. "Jackson?"
Annika bobbed her head up and down. "Yeah. Different universe. I'm Daniel's wife here."
"Oh." Another wife of Daniel Jackson? How about having a fucking convention, she thought grumpily. Bring them all in. Let them battle it out over him. She’d just go on home, and leave all of his wives to fight it out amongst themselves. When the thought that at the moment she didn’t even give a damn who won flittered across her mind, she knew that she was heading into serious emotional trouble.
The redhead...Annika, her mind prompted, continued to study her.
To hide her discomfort at meeting a woman claiming to be another other of her husband's wives, and the thoughts that had followed, Casey patted down her pockets in search of a pen to write the correct translation of the date Annika had shown her.
"Here, catch." Annika tossed her Sharpie through the mirror, which Casey caught. "So, are you psychic, too?"
"Too?" Unable to find any paper in the room, Casey wrote the symbols on her hand and held it up for the redhead to see. No doubt Daniel would have a shit fit about that, too. Just more ink on her body that was put there without his express permission. Don’t go there, she warned herself sternly. "I think you forgot that the Ancients had a fourteen month calendar."
"Duh, of course they did." Annika gave her forehead a self-berating smack, catching her pen with her other hand as it was returned to her. She jotted down the symbols, answering the question at the same time. "Casey...the other Casey Jackson I met, is a very powerful seer. I have a few gifts of my own."
Casey nodded, she'd sensed the power in the woman even through the barrier of the mirror. "I don't know how powerful I am, but I'm a seer."
"Seems to be a running theme with the second wives of that gorgeous archaeologist," Annika replied, snapping the lid back on the felt tip with a grin. "Thanks."
Annika frowned. "You can tell me to take a flying leap through a wormhole...but...is everything all right?"
She snorted. Nothing had been right since Daniel had bent over to kiss her stomach in the shower that morning. "Oh, everything's just peachy."
"You've been hanging around Jack too much," Annika grinned. "It might help to talk about it." She paused, smiled. "You can vent as much as you like with someone you'll never see again."
So far, other than Teal’c, no one had seemed particularly interested in listening to her fears. And the Jaffa had spouted off with what she was certain was sound advice. But it hadn’t been what she had wanted to hear. With a sigh, Casey made her decision. "Sha’re walked through that thing this morning."
Violet eyes went wide. "You're kidding!"
"I wish I was!" Casey said. "I know Daniel loves me...but..." At least, I think, I hope he does, she thought morosely. One slender shoulder moved up, and then back down, a movement she didn't know her companion found familiar.
"But he's a bit on the confused side right now?" Annika asked softly.
She started to nod, then pulled her lip between her teeth. "I don't know how confused he is...he knows that this woman isn't his wife. But she's so damned demanding! And Daniel just can't seem to say no to her. It's not helping that Skaara and Kasuf seem to expect him to behave as if she is his wife. Skaara doesn't seem to like me at all."
"I don't suppose you've considered kicking her ass?" Annika leaned against the table behind her, making herself comfortable. "I found it quite therapeutic bouncing her nomadic butt across the desert."
"Literally?" Green eyes surveyed Annika's small frame doubtfully. Had Daniel not stepped in, hadn’t stopped what had almost been an honest-to-goodness catfight...hadn't ‘chosen’ her...again...she most definitely would have knocked the dark-haired bitch on her ass! She hadn’t been studying mastaba with Teal’c for nothing!
"Uh huh, my telekinesis was never more handy. It was either that or have your counterpart shoot her."
Shoot Sha’re? Casey began to seriously consider that suggestion. Shooting was good. Just clip her right up to the target frame. Send a few rounds into her. Very nice little fantasy. Because no one would let her get by with it...well, Jack probably wouldn’t say anything. But back to reality...and kicking her ass..."Sha're's clinging so tightly to Daniel I'd probably end up kicking him."
"Sounds like he needs it," Annika replied dryly. "If it helps any, I can see Daniel's love for you cocooned all around you, unwavering and unquestioning."
"Aura," she shrugged by way of explanation. "Daniel's is entwined with yours even though he's not physically with you. Sha're hasn't a chance to even nick the surface." She studied the hue of colors that only she could see. "In fact, it looks like he is in full Mother Hen mode right now."
"No, Casey, for his one and only Angel."
Her eyes widened at hearing this stranger use Daniel's endearment for her, then filled with renewed fire. "He's got a funny way of showing it."
"Trust him," Annika said softly.
Trust him. Something that had never been difficult to do. It had been as easy as breathing, and just as natural, to trust Daniel. Now...now she had her doubts. She hated that! She hated feeling as if she were standing on the edge of a precipice, ready to step off into the abyss...hated that for the first time since meeting him, she couldn’t feel his love...couldn’t feel the protection of that love.
Annika looked torn for a moment, then gave an apologetic smile. "I hate to cut you off, but I really need to find ‘my’ Casey."
Casey nodded. "No problem. I should probably see if I can get a bit of work done." Not that she gave a damn about that database right now. But she desperately needed something to focus on, something other than the fact that her marriage was teetering on the brink.
"It was nice to meet you."
"He loves you, Casey. Don’t doubt it," Annika said.
"Right." She took a deep breath, shook herself mentally. "Right," she repeated, sounding much more convinced, and convincing. Even if she wasn’t exactly feeling it.
Annika gave a wave and a thumbs up.
Just before the mirror went black, Casey noticed that there were symbols glowing along the top edge of the mirror. She was able to see that something was hanging over the edge. Another annoying poke at the back of her mind. Damn it, either give me a hint, or leave me alone, she complained. There was something about those symbols...and the mirror...and a device she had seen in Daniel’s lab...
A A A A A A
Janet smiled when Teal’c walked into the room. "Thank you for coming, Teal’c."
"What is it that you require?" Teal’c asked quietly. He had been...surprised...to receive the phone call from the petite doctor, requesting his immediate presence in the infirmary.
"Sha’re showed back up here about ten minutes ago..."
One eyebrow moved up slightly.
"She managed to slip out when we were all busy with Kasuf. He had another...seizure," Janet explained, grimacing slightly. She had no idea where the woman had disappeared to, wasn’t at all sure just how long she had been gone. She knew only that Sha’re had left, and then returned just as silently. "I was checking Kasuf when I heard her stomach growling. I know, I could just have a tray brought up, but I thought maybe being out there, seeing that this isn’t her reality, might help her...adjust."
Teal’c realized that the doctor was hoping that by being exposed to people who knew Casey as Daniel’s wife, and ‘Sha’re’ as his deceased wife, the woman would be more...cooperative...in the matter. He didn’t believe it would make any difference, but he was willing to make the attempt. "You wish for me to escort her to the commissary?"
"If you wouldn’t mind?"
"I would not." With that regal nod of his head, his hands clasped behind him, the Jaffa approached the Abydonian woman. "Doctor Fraiser believes that you should be taken to the commissary to eat. I shall escort you."
"You’re Jaffa," Sha’re said, watching him closely. She understood who, and what Jaffa were. She knew that they were the enemy.
"I am. I met O’Neill, Daniel Jackson, and Major Carter on Chulak. I freed them from the prison cell of Apophis."
"You’re First Prime!" she declared, recognizing the gold emblem.
"I was First Prime of Apophis for many years," Teal’c confirmed. "I knew that he was a false god. O’Neill offered me the opportunity to fight against the false gods. For the freedom of all Jaffa."
Sha’re glanced around her. No one else in the room seemed at all concerned that this Jaffa was among them. Those same people looked at her as if she were an enemy. Time and again her requests to be with Dan’yel had been denied...or at least ignored. Which had resulted in her slipping out of the room at the first opportunity...not that she had been able to achieve what she had set out to do. She sighed mentally. She was hungry. Perhaps if she went with this man, she could convince him to take her to her husband; Dan’yel would not wish to make a scene in front of others...
"Do you wish to eat?"
"Yes," Sha’re replied, standing to her feet. She took time to run her fingers over Kasuf’s cheek, leaned over to place a kiss on his forehead. He didn’t stir from his sedated slumber.
Teal’c led the young woman to the elevator. Noted that she looked around with open curiosity. He had no doubt that the facility itself was similar, or identical, to the SGC of her reality. From what he understood, however, many of the personnel were different. In her reality, there had not been as many deaths on Abydos, when O’Neill and Daniel Jackson had first stepped through the Chappa’ai. There had been no mission to Chulak, in order to look for Daniel Jackson’s wife. Kawalsky had not been killed until the Daniel Jackson of that reality had been taken hostage by Hathor, and implanted with a symbiote.
Sha’re didn’t miss the looks of the people they passed. So many stares, so many frowning faces! In most of the realities they had visited, there had been inquisitive glances, but never had she, nor her brother and father, been greeted with such open hostility. Her stubbornness, her insistence that all be as she wished it to be, blinded her to the reasons for that antipathy; that her refusal to accept that Casey was Daniel’s wife in the reality where she now stood was the cause of the frowns that were tossed in her direction.
It was lunchtime, and the commissary was full. The buzz of dozens of conversations came to an immediate halt when Teal’c led the Abydonian woman through the door. Teal’c picked up two trays, handed one to his charge. "Select whatever you wish," he instructed. He took a moment to examine the counter, picked up a sandwich and two bowls of fruit.
She hesitantly chose a bowl of fruit as well, then opted for one of the sandwiches. She had grown quite fond of them. When they had first arrived on Earth, Dan’yel had almost always eaten lunch with her, always grabbed sandwiches for both of them. He would tell her about whatever he was working on. She would listen, sometimes pretended to be interested. Just to hear him talk...to watch his blue eyes sparkle with excitement. She sighed. Dan’yel was here. But these people were determined to keep them apart! It was not right! She should be at his side! She was his Wife! Not that skinny whore who had claimed him!
A A A A A A
"Feel like taking a break for lunch?" Jonas asked, closing the folder he had been intently studying the contents of, committing to memory the details of the myths.
Casey glanced up. Jonas had finished his daily PT, and had returned to the office shortly after she had come back from the storage room. They'd been working in silence the entire time. "To be honest, I’m not hungry."
"But you should eat. Doctor Jackson worries that you don’t eat enough," the young Kelownan replied.
"He told you that?"
Jonas looked a bit uncomfortable. "Not exactly. I sort of overheard him talking in the locker room." He lowered his eyes. "He doesn’t really talk to me. I don’t think he likes me very much."
"That’s not true!" she exclaimed immediately. "Daniel is amazed at your ability to learn so quickly. He believes that you’re going to be a valuable asset to the SGC. He’s even going to recommend to General Hammond that as soon as you’re proficient in Goa’uld, you should be assigned to an SG team!"
Hazel-green eyes widened. "Really?"
She couldn’t help but smile. "Really."
Jonas moved from the chair near the door to perch on the corner of the desk. "It bothers you that those people are here, doesn’t it?"
She grimaced slightly. "That obvious, is it?"
He shook his head. "No, I don’t think so. But...you’ve been so sad all morning, and it just became worse after they arrived. Who are they, anyway?"
Casey took a deep breath. "Kasuf of Abydos, his son Skaara, and his daughter Sha’re. Whose counterpart in this reality was Daniel’s first wife."
"Oh. Oh! Wow."
"Yeah. Now-" she broke off, shook her head. "I guess Daniel has a decision to make."
Jonas frowned. "Decision? About what?"
"Whether to stay married to me, or to go to Abydos with Sha’re."
"But, I thought that the two men couldn’t stay," he said, slightly confused.
"They can’t, no. Because their counterparts in this reality are still alive. The Sha’re of this reality is dead...buried on Abydos."
"So, she could stay here?"
"If Daniel wanted her to," Casey replied. She firmly shoved away the observation that had been made by that woman...Annika. Hell, for all she knew, she’d dreamed that entire meeting! A glance at her hand had her frowning again. Damn it, what was it about that device?
"I don’t think that’s even a consideration. I’ve seen how he looks at you," Jonas said quietly. "You’re his entire world."
"Heard that in the locker room, too?" Casey asked, a small, teasing smile on her lips.
He blushed slightly. "He loves you, Casey."
Okay, so everyone was telling her that he loved her. So far, the only one who hadn’t said that was Daniel. And until she heard the words directly from him, she wasn’t going to believe anyone else.
"Let’s go at least get some coffee."
There was no way not to chuckle at that eager look. It hadn’t taken long to instill a love of coffee into her new friend. "Okay, you found my weak spot. Let’s go get some coffee."
A A A A A A
Sha’re sat down beside Teal’c. As hungry as she was, she found it difficult to eat, the food seemed to stick in her throat with every bite she took. "Why does everyone stare at me so?"
"You are a stranger. Curiosity about your presence is to be expected," Teal’c replied.
"But they look at me with...anger; with...contempt in their eyes," the Abydonian woman whispered.
"Perhaps it is because of your behavior," he suggested coolly.
Dark eyes whipped to the man beside her. "My behavior?"
"You are not the wife of Daniel Jackson. Not in this reality. Yet you cling to him, declare that you are his wife, and he your husband. Demand that he acknowledge you in such a manner. You refuse to accept the truth of the situation."
"But he is my husband!" she snapped, outraged that anyone would dare to make comment on her actions. She was the daughter of a chief! How dare these people stand in judgment of her!
"No, Sha’re, he is not. In your reality, your husband was taken from you by Hathor. He has become the host to a Goa’uld. In this reality, Sha’re, daughter of Kasuf of Abydos, was taken by Apophis. She became the host to the Goa’uld Amaunet. For three years Daniel Jackson sought in vain to find his wife, to free her from the Goa’uld that enslaved her. I was forced to kill Amaunet in order to save Daniel Jackson’s life. He mourned for two years over Sha’re’s loss, even though he understood that only in death would she be free of her tormentor. One year, eight months and four days ago, approximately, Daniel Jackson met the woman who was to become his second wife. He believes that she is his Destiny. Many wondrous things have happened to him, and to her. They are most certainly destined to be together, now and forever."
She closed her eyes against the words, her hands curled into fists in response to what she heard. It was not true! It was not! So many places she had seen, so many SGC’s. And always, always Dan’yel had been killed, or taken as host. In one reality, no one in the mountain fortress had ever heard of him! In yet another, he had refused to work with the people of the SGC; had never met any woman named Sha’re. No, it was the will of the gods that she and her father and brother had arrived here! Dan’yel was alive, and well, and it was a sign that they were to be together! Her heart told her so!
A A A A A A
Jonas and Casey were on the elevator when Ferretti stepped into the car. He greeted both with smiles and hello’s. Noted that Casey’s cheeks were pale. And that she had a very guarded look in her eyes. He tried to remember if he'd ever seen her without the light that always seemed to shine from her generous, loving heart reflecting in her beautiful green eyes. Couldn’t remember ever seeing her as...sad...as she looked at the moment.
Having heard the latest on the ‘visitors’ to the SGC, he knew what was bothering the young seer. He also knew, from scuttlebutt, that Daniel Jackson had been hopping in an effort to keep Sha’re under control. The major shook his head mentally. Didn’t envy Doc his current problems one bit! He took a breath, blew it out. "Heading down for lunch?"
"Just coffee," Casey said softly.
Ferretti glanced at Jonas. Casey didn’t need rumors flying around about her and the Kelownan, on top of everything else. "Mind if I join you?"
She couldn’t help but smile. "Not at all. You can fill us in on the latest SGC betting pools."
He grinned broadly. "I’d be happy to do that. Feeling like making a little wager or two?"
"Depends on what I’m wagering on," Casey replied, her smile growing wider.
"Double odds on Tony Sabotti making it all the way with his new girlfriend this weekend."
"Oh, that is just wrong! Let the man keep his private life private!" Casey objected.
"Hey, he’s the one who suggested it!" Ferretti said in self-defense.
Tony had sought her out to apologize when he'd learned that his...description...of the ‘Venus’ painting by Lieutenant Taylor, which had sent so many of the SG teams to Denver to see for themselves, had upset her. She'd heard that he had won the pool on how many teams would actually do so...and she suspected he’d been the one to start it in the first place. She giggled, shook her head. "Figures."
"There’s the one about the new pipes into the shower rooms," Ferretti offered.
"What about them?"
"Well, rumor has it that one of them is half the size it's supposed to be."
"Must be for the hot water," she muttered.
Ferretti chuckled. "That’s what others are saying. Put you down for that one?"
Jonas listened, a slight smile on his face. Casey had tried to explain the wagering that went on in the SGC...it seemed that the personnel in this place would bet on just about anything.
The three walked into a crowded, and nearly silent, commissary. Ferretti frowned as soon as his gaze located the reason. He glanced at Casey. Now that couldn’t be good, he thought, noting that the pale cheeks had seemed to grow even whiter.
Well, damn it to hell! Going home was sounding like a better plan all the time! No matter where she went, that bitch seemed to be there...or showed up! She was about to make an excuse and duck out of the room when Ferretti took her by the arm and led her to the counter. Dozens of hello’s were called out to her, smiles given, and returned, as the people she worked with let her know exactly where they stood on the subject of Sha’re’s presence.
For her part, Sha’re watched and listened carefully. "These people are fond of the blonde slut?"
Teal’c’s dark eyes flared with anger. "You will not refer to Casey Jackson in that manner!" he said coldly.
She looked at her...guard. Shivered slightly at the ice-cold ire she saw in his eyes. Nor did she miss the fact that his huge hands were curled tightly into fists.
"Casey Jackson is a woman of much honor. She is a very generous, kind person. She has a gift that allows her to protect the men and women who work here," Teal’c said firmly.
"She is a seer. What she has seen has saved the lives of everyone who travels through the Chappa’ai."
Sha’re’s eyes went back to the woman. She watched as the two men who had arrived with her followed her to a large table. Nearly a dozen men and women were sitting there, and greeted the newcomers cheerfully.
"Daniel Jackson is very much in love with his wife. I have seen with my own eyes what he is capable of doing in order to protect her," Teal’c added.
No, it just could not be! The fates could not be so cruel!
"She is one of my dearest friends," Teal’c continued.
Another glance at the man beside her. He was Jaffa. Of course he would befriend a witch! she thought irritably.
"I am very pleased that Daniel Jackson has found his soul mate."
She continued to ignore what the large man was telling her. Refused to accept what her heart determined were lies. "Dan’yel is your...friend?"
"He is a very close friend," Teal’c replied. "It is an honor to be known as one of his 'best friends'."
Sha’re contemplated this bit of information. Dan’yel was a kind-hearted man. He always made friends easily. But a Jaffa? How could he befriend the one who had killed her counterpart in this reality...how could Dan’yel bear to look at the man who had murdered his wife? Her eyes went back to the blonde-haired woman. It is because the witch has muddled his mind, she thought.
Casey looked over long enough to catch Teal’c’s eye. Received his nod of acknowledgement. Oh, she’d get all the details about that little arrangement! The Jaffa didn’t look happy at all! She wondered briefly where Daniel was, why he wasn’t sitting with his first wife, letting the bitch hang all over him...then pushed the thought away. If he was following orders, he was gathering his notes on the mirror, and locating the device that controlled it. Once again that poking started in the back of her mind.
"He...loves her?" Sha’re asked softly.
"With all of his heart," Teal’c confirmed. "I was part of the ceremony held when Daniel Jackson took Casey as his wife."
"Actually, there were two ceremonies. One here, which was a very...grand...affair. Several very important leaders of this world attended. The other was held in a subterranean temple, where the two vowed themselves to one another for eternity in the presence of very powerful Beings," Teal’c said. The second ceremony had been the most important of the two by far, in his opinion.
Important leaders had witnessed him betrothed to this woman? She didn’t understand what Teal’c meant about ‘powerful beings’...but she did understand the part about Dan’yel vowing himself to that woman...forever! With a barely suppressed sob, Sha’re rose to her feet, then fled through the door. Desperately trying to refuse credence to anything the Jaffa had said. It just wasn’t true! It couldn’t be true! She would go to Dan’yel’s office...he had been there before...
Knowing that the blonde slut...she glanced over her shoulder at Teal’c...the blonde witch was here, she would be able to speak to Dan’yel alone. This time she would make him listen! She would make him see that it was the will of the gods that they be together! She pushed away the memory of his angry blue eyes. The fact that he had said nothing to her at all as he dragged her through the corridors. Nothing when they had been in the elevator. Nothing when he had pushed her into the VIP room. He had turned his back on her, slammed the door closed, locked it from the outside, and left her alone. Only because of Skaara had she been able to leave that room just minutes later.
A A A A A A
The notes were in the filing cabinet. The device and the other artifacts from that mission, however, had been moved from his lab to one of the storage rooms several months ago. Eight days ago SG-13 had brought in the contents of two tombs and a temple; one full storage room had been needed for all of the artifacts. Boxes and crates had been shifted into the other storage areas heedless of what was in them, stacked along walls and put onto shelves along with the already present contents of the rooms. Which meant that for the moment, finding anything was damned near impossible without at least an hour of searching.
He really wasn’t in the mood to have to look for anything right now. Much less one very small device, one that he couldn’t remember for certain whether he had placed alone, or with the other devices he had picked up from that room...one that had obviously been a laboratory of some type...
The truth was, he was in a pretty foul mood at the moment. No matter where he went, he was getting the cold shoulder from people he’d been working with for seven years...people he called friends! Just what in the hell was everyone’s problem, anyway?
Okay, he was fairly sure he knew the answer to that. But damn it, Casey was his Wife! He adored her! Everyone knew that! So why was everyone on the base suddenly looking at him as if he were as bad as the Goa’uld? And just where did Jack get off, calling him to his office because Casey was upset...telling her that she knew where to find him, as if she’d need to talk to someone other than her husband...
Daniel sighed audibly. If Jack believed that he was choosing Sha’re over Casey, because of what he had been doing...which, he thought briefly, had been trying to avoid one of her infamous temper tantrums...then what must Casey be thinking? Then there had been that ‘war of words’ between the two women...he’d been furious with Sha’re for daring to call Casey those horrible names...all he could think about was getting the Abydonian woman out of the way so that he could talk to his Wife...he gave a deep moan as the implications hit him full force. The scars Casey battled daily would blind her to anything but what she saw...and would lead her to all the wrong conclusions. Shit! He needed to find her...explain to her...
When he looked up to see Sha’re standing just inside the door, he heaved another sigh. Why did it seem that every time he was about to set out to find his Wife, to apologize to her, Sha’re managed to interrupt? "You’re supposed to be in the VIP room."
"I wish to talk to you My Hus...Dan’yel," she said, catching herself. Teal’c’s words, no matter how she tried to ignore them, continued to echo in her head.
He said nothing, simply watched her as she stepped further into the room. She was so like Sha’re...‘his’ Sha’re...yet so different.
Her gaze moved to his desk...where in her reality, a picture of her sat proudly. Her eyes were drawn instead to the framed photos of her husband and that skinny blonde h'as. There were five frames, all of various sizes. Without conscious thought she moved toward the desk. Reached out, picked the largest frame up, studied the picture within it. Daniel stood on a mountain...near a desert, one different than the sands of Abydos, his arms around the blonde woman’s waist. Hers were around his neck, and they were smiling at one another. The happiness so visible in his eyes made her breath catch in her throat.
Her attention was caught by the unfamiliar handwriting on the bottom of the photo, the gold letters catching the light. For one moment she wished that Dan'yel had never taught her to read the words of his language.
"My knight in Shining Armor - who rescued me January 7, 2002."
Her heart lurched in her chest. January 7th. That day was burned into her memory forever. Hathor had breached the security of the 'gate room on that day. She had watched in horror as her Dan’yel was taken back through the Chappa'ai by Jaffa on that dreadful day.
Daniel watched Sha’re carefully...the emotions that played upon her familiar face. That was his favorite photo, presented to him on his birthday, after Casey had taken him to dinner and a lecture on the impact of Native American spiritual belief's on modern American society. He could still recall how shyly she'd waited for him to unwrap the shiny paper...her bright smile when he declared it the most perfect gift he’d ever received. Unlike the portrait she had presented to him just before his ‘birthday bash’, it was, she had told him, a photo he could put in his office. He still smiled when he thought about that.
With a cry of equal parts pain and rage, Sha’re flung the frame across the room. The glass shattered as it hit the wall. She looked over at the man her heart insisted was her Dan’yel. "I am your wife!" she hissed.
He shook his head wearily. They'd had this conversation...several times. He was beginning to understand why Jack got so tired of having the same argument with him over examining ruins. "No, Sha're, you're not."
"I will not let her take you from me! I will kill her!"
He grabbed the now weeping woman by her shoulders. "No, you won’t," he countered. "And you don't have any say in the matter. The Sha're of this reality, my Sha're, is dead. She died in my arms. Casey is my Wife now. She's my Destiny, and has been from the beginning of time."
The calm, quiet words were like a slap to her face. "You truly believe this," Sha're whispered.
"I know it to be true," Daniel replied softly. "I loved my Sha're very much. I spent three years searching for her, desperate to find her and free her from the Goa'uld that possessed her. She was killed, and I mourned for her...two years I wept for her. She never would have wanted that...she never would have expected me to spend the rest of my life grieving for her. She came to me when I brought Casey here. She told me that Casey is my Destiny. We said goodbye, because she wanted me to let go of her, so that I could be happy with Casey."
Sha're pulled away. What he was saying confirmed the words of the Jaffa. "No! No! Lies! This Ca'see has put a curse on you, she has muddled your brain! Do you not see the love in my eyes, My Husband?"
"I am not your husband," Daniel said. Firmly. "I'm sorry that your Daniel was taken from you. I know that you miss him. I’m sure that he must miss you terribly. I wish that there was something I could do to help you. But there's not."
The tears that had filled her dark eyes spilled onto her cheeks. "You feel nothing for me?"
"I feel sadness for what you're going through, for your loss. Because I understand what it's like to lose the one you love to the Goa'uld."
She shook her head, her dark hair moving over her shoulders, brushing against his hands. These were not words she wanted to hear! "You feel no love for me?"
"No, Sha're. I feel no love for you. My love belongs to Casey, and only to her."
For the first time since her arrival she looked into his eyes to see the truth, not what she wished to see. There was concern, the kindness that was a part of him. But there was no warmth...no love. Those beautiful blue depths didn't send messages of happiness...of love...to her very soul.
When she went limp, he half carried her to the chair beside the desk.
"I have truly lost him," she whispered.
"I'm sorry, Sha're."
Covering her face with her hands, she allowed the sobs to come. The heartbreak just as deep and painful as the day she had watched helplessly as Dan'yel was carried unconscious through the watery blue surface that had filled the center of the Chappa'ai.
Daniel reached for the phone; called for a security guard and a nurse to meet him and their guest at the VIP room. "Let me help you back to your quarters," he said gently.
Sha're gave a weary nod. Glanced at the floor where the picture of this Dan'yel, and his wife, lay on the floor. Again the look of love in his eyes stabbed at her. "You love her very much," she said.
"With all that I am," Daniel replied truthfully.
Another nod. She allowed herself to be lifted to her feet. When she looked up at him, at the face that was so familiar, the face that she loved, she could see the pity in his eyes. It was almost more than she could bear. She straightened her shoulders, stood tall, hastily wiped her cheeks. "I am certain I can find my way back."
"I'll walk wi-"
"No, Dan'yel. I should not have come here. I...I offer my most humble apologies." She turned on her heel, and walked out of the room. For the moment, her mind understood the difference between the man she loved, and the man she had found. Her heart, however, could not comprehend how Dan’yel could not love her...regardless of which universe they were in.
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