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Whispers From the Past
Both Kasuf and Skaara were unconscious...Janet was trying to ease the suffering of the ECF seizures as much as possible. It was impossible to keep IV’s in the men now, the danger of having the needles and tubes becoming embedded in their arms as they dematerialized and re-materialized so quickly was a real and serious danger, and the seizures were occurring so often that the medical personnel were having to monitor them continually. The best Janet could do was inject them with as much pain killer as possible at the end of each episode, and pray that she wasn’t overdosing them in doing so. So far, the anti-convulsing drugs she'd administered weren’t even slowing the seizures. Apparently the drug had no effect on the symptoms of entropic cascade failure.
Sha’re, however, was screaming like a banshee, demanding that something be done to save her father and brother, and that ‘Dan’yel’ should be at her side. Just when it seemed that Daniel had gotten through to her, Janet thought, the woman turned around and proved that she was determined to see things her way, and her way only.
"Why are you not trying to save them?" Sha’re shouted. "They suffer, yet you do nothing!"
"I'm doing the best that I can," Janet shouted in return.
"Find Dan’yel! He will see to it that you do not shirk your responsibilities!"
"Listen, sister, you’d better get it through your head right now that Daniel isn’t here to come running at your beck and call!"
"Dan’yel is my-"
"Don’t you dare say it," Janet hissed between clenched teeth. "He is not your husband! Your husband has a damned Goa’uld inside him, and chances are he’s enjoying the break from you!"
Sha’re stared, open-mouthed. Quickly recovered to begin screaming again. "How dare you speak to me that way! Dan’yel-"
"Daniel is liable to knock you on your ass for all the trouble you’ve caused today!" Janet shouted.
"What in the hell?"
Both women turned toward the door. The reactions to the newcomers were diametrically different. Janet’s face brightened, and a wide smile replaced the frown that had been there. Sha’re’s eyes went wide, just before she launched herself at Casey with a scream of protest.
Daniel caught the woman before she could get close enough to hurt his Wife. "Stop it!"
Sha’re pulled away from him, pushed her hair back from her face. "Why do you bring her here?"
"Why wouldn’t I? She’s my Wife," Daniel replied easily. "I'm sure I've explained that to you more than once today."
The Abydonian woman backed away, shock registering on her face. Her eyes went from Daniel to Casey and back. There was no denying the love in his eyes, on his face, when he looked at the blonde. Stunned into silence, she wrapped her arms around her waist, stood watching the others; her eyes broadcasting the fact that she was feeling totally alone.
Casey studied the Abydonian woman, cocked her head sideways. Listened to the whisper of Miss Eloise’s voice. "Janet? Have you done an MRI on Sha’re?"
Janet perked up immediately, watched the young seer. "No, why?"
"Is it possible for ECF to cause...well, like a tumor?"
"I have no idea," Janet admitted. "But it certainly explains a few things." The doctor turned to the two medics who had been monitoring Kasuf and Skaara. "I’ll be right back. Same routine as the last time if they have seizures while I’m gone."
Both men nodded their understanding.
Janet took Sha’re’s arm in a vise-like grip. "Come with me, Sha’re. We’re about to see if there’s a reason for your bad attitude other than just the need for a good paddling!"
When Sha’re would have pulled away from the woman, one look at Daniel’s frowning face had her following docilely.
Daniel returned his arm to Casey’s shoulders. Planted a kiss on the side of her face when he felt one slender hand slide into his hip pocket.
She watched over her shoulder. The heartache was excruciating when she saw him kiss the blonde. Sha’re turned back around, walked stoically into a room that held a large machine. There was a small room off to one side, the walls made of glass. Her surroundings barely registered in her mind, not with the evidence that all that Dan’yel had told her was true. Her heart was breaking, her mind spinning as she came face to face with the cold hard fact that this Dan’yel would never see her as ‘his’ Sha’re. Would never love her, never allow her to take the place of the wife he had lost.
"Sha’re, I need you to lie down here," Janet said kindly. "When I tell you, I’ll need for you to take a deep breath, and hold very still."
Her dark eyes sought those of the only person she could trust. Even if he was angry with her. And even if he didn’t love her.
"It’s all right, Sha’re," Daniel said gently, having followed Janet all the way into the room. "It’s called a magnetic resonance imaging machine. An MRI. It will allow Doctor Fraiser to...see...inside you, to see if there’s something there that’s hurting you."
"I’ve had a couple of MRIs," Casey offered. "You won’t feel a thing."
With a nod, Sha’re followed Janet’s quietly spoken instructions. She didn’t quite believe the blonde. She feared that the machine would render some punishment for her outburst.
Janet led Daniel and Casey into the booth from where she would operate the machine. She turned on the microphone. "Sha’re, can you hear me?"
"Yes," came the immediate reply.
"Good. Give me just a minute. You’re going to hear some clicking and whirring. It’s nothing to be frightened of, I’m just getting the cameras into position."
Sha’re nodded, unaware that no one could see her.
"This is it," Janet said, after a few minutes of adjustments. "I want you to take a deep breath, hold it until I tell you to relax...and don’t move."
Sha’re obeyed, closing her eyes, waiting for whatever was about to happen. Her heart pounded against her ribs. How often had her father warned her? How often had he told her that one day her temper would get her into trouble...that one day she would be held accountable for her tirades? Oh, he had said those things with much love. But she had dismissed the comments as nothing more than his attempt to silence her meddling aunts. Now...
She blew out her breath, opened her eyes. Nothing had happened!
"Okay, deep breath."
Once again she took a breath. Held it. This time she watched. She thought she saw something moving above her, but she couldn’t move her eyes to follow it.
Three more times she held her breath. Each time the machine hummed, and she heard clicking sounds. But there was never pain.
"Well, there it is," Janet said softly.
"What?" Daniel asked.
"It’s a small tumor. It’s pressing against the frontal cerebral cortex."
"And that’s causing her violent mood swings, her temper tantrums?"
The doctor smiled. "Well, it’s certainly a contributing factor. I’d say she has a temper, and she’s spoiled, every nuance of her behavior makes that obvious. But this certainly isn’t helping."
"Can it be removed?"
"From what I’m seeing, it should be a rather simple procedure. Well, as simple as brain surgery can ever be."
"How long would it take?"
Janet frowned. "Longer than we have. And it would be several days before I’d be willing to let her travel."
"Would copies of those images make it to another reality?" Casey asked.
"I was able to bring back notes with me," Daniel replied. "I had copied down the address of that ‘gate on Apophis’ ship."
"I’ll get my notes together, and copies of the images. Wherever they wind up, the doctor in charge is going to need to know about this."
Daniel and Casey walked back into the main part of the room. He helped Sha’re off of the table. "We’ll walk you back to the infirmary, so you can be with Kasuf and Skaara," he said quietly.
Sha’re didn’t miss how quickly he moved away from her, or that his arm went immediately around the blonde once again. "Thank you," she said softly.
"You’re welcome," he replied.
The walk back to the infirmary was done in silence. Once there, Sha’re hurried over to sit in the chair that had been placed between the two beds. She said nothing, but watched carefully as Daniel and his...wife...followed the doctor into her office.
Janet looked over at Casey as she sat down behind her desk. "General Hammond called me. He said you managed to find a possible place for Kasuf and Skaara and Sha’re?"
"I wouldn’t have, if not for Annika," Casey replied. She plopped onto the chair beside the desk, Daniel perching on the edge of the desk itself.
"Annika?" Janet frowned. She’d never heard the name before, and as CMO, she’d examined every person in the mountain at least once.
Casey gave a wicked little grin. "Yep. Daniel’s wife."
"Wife. It's a different reality. She was looking for me...well, not me exactly, my counterpart in yet another reality," Casey explained. "She’s really very nice. She’s a seer, too."
Daniel bit back his retort. Nice? He supposed if she wasn’t angry she might be. His little visit with Annika would remain his secret. No way would he tell Casey that her newfound friend had seen fit to have a little tête-à-tête with him, concerning his behavior earlier in the day.
"She said that the Kasuf and Skaara in her reality had Ascended...although I’m not certain how or why, and Sha’re was killed there as well. So, no chance of entropic cascade failure for any of them."
"That’s good," Janet nodded. "Kasuf isn’t going to last much longer. The seizures are prolonging at an alarming rate, it’s taking longer for him to...reappear...each time. We don’t have much more than an hour."
"Her General Hammond has called a briefing. The general...our general," Casey clarified, a small frown on her face, "says that he’s certain that his counterpart will understand the need to get this...transfer...made as quickly as possible."
"Let’s hope he’s right," Janet sighed, her eyes moving toward the infirmary, and the two men who lay so close to death. "I’m going to go get those MRI pictures ready, and write up my notes."
Daniel nodded, shifted to his feet, his heart sighing happily when Casey rose beside him and immediately slipped her arm around his waist. "We were going to get a few things together, notes we have on the planets we’ve visited."
"It just seemed like the right thing to do," Casey said softly.
"I think you’re right," Janet smiled. "How will we know when...if...these people will accept Kasuf and his kids?"
"Jack’s waiting by the mirror," Daniel replied. "He’ll let us know as soon as there’s an answer."
Janet nodded. "Good. Go take care of what you need to...I’ll meet up with you in the storage room."
Daniel glanced into the infirmary. Noted that Skaara was sitting up, talking quietly with Sha’re. "Call Teal’c. Have him sit here with you."
The petite doctor followed his gaze. "He managed to control her for a bit at lunchtime. Until she jumped up and ran off."
Daniel smiled. "I was thinking more about Skaara."
The archaeologist shook his head. "He’s not like the Skaara we know. That kid is rough, he’s...mean. Something happened to make him that way. And I don’t want you alone with him," he told her.
Janet smiled. "Thanks for your concern. To be honest, between the two of them, they are more than I can handle...diplomatically, that is." Her smile widening to a grin, she picked up the phone, made her request. The page for the Jaffa echoed above them immediately.
With a flutter of her fingers for her friend, Casey followed Daniel out of the infirmary.
"How quickly can you make copies of the database?" Daniel asked as they walked the length of the corridor.
"It shouldn’t take long...I can just copy everything we do have on the computer over to disk."
He nodded. "Do it. Just in case they don’t have one."
"But it’s not finished!" Casey protested.
"Damned near," he replied.
She gave a small smile. "Thanks to Jonas."
Daniel frowned slightly. There was something in her voice that alerted him. "Is there a problem I don’t know about? Something that as head of the department I should be aware of?"
She shook her head. "Jonas is a very sweet young man."
He could hear the ‘but’ that she had left unspoken. "Casey?"
"Jonas has been an incredible amount of help," she said carefully. "And his input on the legends and myths of Kelowna have been interesting, if nothing else."
"But?" he asked patiently.
"But I think he should be doing more than just working on the database with me. He’s not able to study Goa’uld, and if he could spend more time with Teal’c, I know he’d pick it up very quickly. Then he’d be ready to go out on missions with other teams."
Daniel led her through the open doors of the elevator, down the corridor to his office. "Any particular reason why you’re so anxious to get Jonas off-world?"
She ducked her head. "I’d rather be working on the database in your office," she mumbled.
His heart began doing a happy dance. "I’d rather you be working on the database in my office," he replied softly. "I’ve missed you so much this week!"
Her head flew up. "Oh, I’ve missed you! I know you’ve been trying to decipher those pillars, and every time I stopped by your office, you were so...busy."
She had stopped by his office? Had he buried himself so deeply in his work because of his...mostly subconscious...jealousy, that he hadn’t noticed...hadn’t responded to even her ‘sure fire’ ways of getting his attention? "Starting tomorrow, you work with me. I’ll talk to Teal’c...and Jonas...about getting him up to speed on speaking and reading Goa’uld," Daniel said.
"Thank you," she smiled. She flopped down behind his desk. Noted the missing picture, then located it on the floor, the glass shattered, the frame broken. "Oh," she said softly.
Daniel followed her eyes. Grimaced slightly. Picked up the photograph carefully. "It only needs a new frame."
"Yep," he frowned. "I thought for sure that was when she finally understood. Finally realized that I’m not her Daniel, and never will be."
"Between her fear, and her grief, and that tumor, she’s not thinking clearly," Casey said softly.
He glanced at her. "You’re being very forgiving."
Casey shrugged. "I won’t say it’s been an easy day...or that I wasn’t hurt, and afraid of losing you to her. But...I guess knowing that she’s got a physical problem, on top of all she’s gone through...I can’t say that I wouldn’t be acting the same way in her place."
"I can. You wouldn’t be. That’s not the kind of person you are."
She smiled. "Given the circumstances, neither of us can be certain how I’d behave."
He walked over to the desk, carefully laid the photo on a stack of notes. Leaned over and kissed her forehead. "You’re not the volatile type."
"I have a bit of a temper," she countered.
"I know. But you work damned hard to control it. It doesn’t control you, nor do you expect everyone around you to jump to do your bidding."
She gave the comment a bit of thought. "I guess we were raised differently," she said softly.
"Yes, you were," he agreed. The thoughts of Casey’s childhood were not pleasant, and he forced them from his mind. "Get the disk ready, Angel. I’ll go through my notes and hit the highlights of what we’ve encountered."
A A A A A A
Jack was sitting on a crate, watching the mirror. Or more precisely, watching the room that was visible through the mirror. With no idea how long it would be before anyone from that reality showed up, he pulled his yo-yo from his pocket, began to play with it.
Down...up...down...up...down...walk the dog...up...down...up...down...walk the dog...up...down...up...down...rock the baby...cool, it worked!...up...down...up...down...walk the dog...up...down...walk the dog...tangle the string. Crap. He was busy trying to get the knot out of the string when a voice startled him.
"Casey, you've done something to your hair! The gray makes you look like a whole new person!"
Jack shoved the toy back into his pocket, stood to his feet. He barely batted an eye at the wisecrack greeting from a 'stranger'. Yep, that was the redhead that Casey had described. Between the body language, and the matching rings on their fingers, he knew in an instant that the Daniel of that reality was married to the feisty redhead. He smirked at the alternate archaeologist. "I see you have a thing for smartass second wives."
"Is Annika a smartass?" The archaeologist of the other reality was the picture of innocence. "I hadn't noticed."
"Oy." The colonel gave an eye roll at getting attitude from a Daniel not his own. Although, he really shouldn’t be surprised. Daniel was Daniel. No matter what reality he was in. He decided to get straight to the matter at hand. "So what's the verdict? Can we palm off...I mean, send the happy family through?"
"Yep," Annika nodded. "We'll take them off your hands."
"Sweet!" Better to get the three down here and through that thing before someone changed their minds. He hurried to the phone to spread the good news. He heard his name, turned to look over his shoulder. Apparently it was not him to whom the Daniel on the other side of the mirror was speaking. By the time he was finished making the necessary calls, his own counterpart had entered the room, and was standing near the couple he'd just met. Jack listened as the three conversed about something...something that sounded suspiciously like some sort of op.
His double gave a sloppy salute. "How ya' doing?"
"Just peachy. I'll be better when they’re out of my hair and in yours," Jack said, making a shooing motion towards the mirror.
"Causing a few problems are they?"
"I don't know how it was in your world, but this Sha're isn't the shy tribal 'gift' I knew. And Skaara...kid's got a chip on his shoulder bigger than Mount Rushmore. I nearly put him through a wall, and that's after only a couple of hours of putting up with his cheery disposition."
"Sounds like a barrel of laughs."
"I don't pretend to understand how this whole parallel universe crap works..."
"Gives me a headache if I try," the colonel commiserated, "I leave that stuff to Carter."
"Works for me," Jack shrugged. "But they are even more clueless than we," he gestured between his double and himself, "are. They're not getting that I'm not their Jack and especially that Daniel's not their Daniel."
"Thanks for the heads up."
Jack frowned as his counterpart half turned to the Daniel who stood behind him. Apparently he had just heard something on the ear piece of the radio clipped to his pocket. If he had an op going on, getting three refugees would be the last thing he’d want to have to deal with. "You got something going down? Do you need us to hold off on the transfer?"
"Unofficial," the colonel said as he readied a remote control, glanced at Annika to make sure she had a second one ready. He pushed the door, leaving it open a crack so he'd be able to hear what was going on outside; then keeping his tone low spoke back to his counterpart. "You got Kinsey in your world?"
"Unfortunately," Jack grimaced, then perked up. "On the upside, he’s got a snake in his head now, so we get to shoot at him legitimately."
"Some people have all the luck," sighed the colonel.
"We're trying to psych Kinsey out," Annika whispered with devilish glee. "Get his slimy ass off the base."
"Worthy mission," Jack approved. He couldn’t see, or hear, what was happening. If it wasn’t for that endoscopic cascading thing, he’d just mosey on over and get a closer look.
Daniel began the countdown. "Arriving in three, two, one..."
Jack watched his counterpart, the other Daniel, and the redhead as they executed their 'plan', the remotes coordinated to his counterpart's cues. He saw Annika close her eyes, could see the concentration on her face, and then she lifted her hand above her head. A second later something tiny flew through the crack in the door, directly into her palm, and she tossed it to her husband. Her head tilted towards the mirror, and for a moment Jack thought she was going to speak to him, until he realized she was trying to hide what seemed to be a shot of intense pain from her teammates. Even more odd, Daniel rubbed at his stomach like he was about to be sick, shooting his wife a sharp look, though he didn't say anything. There was a slight pause, the trio listening intently to whatever was going on in the corridor. He stretched up on his toes to see if he could catch sight of what was happening on the other side of the almost open door.
A A A A A A
Janet put the receiver back into place. "That was Colonel O'Neill. The team from the other reality is ready for their...um...guests...to arrive." She hurried to Kasuf’s side. She hadn’t been able to administer sedatives after the last two seizures that had wracked his body; the man was awake, but thankfully the pain killers she had given him were offering a bit of relief from the effects of the ECF. "We’ll take you to the storage room on the gurney, but I’m afraid you’ll have to walk into the room, and through the mirror."
"I will be able to do so," Kasuf assured her, although his voice was weak.
She smiled and patted the man’s arm, then turned her attention to Skaara. "Sha’re will have to carry your packs, you’re not much stronger than your father. We’ll take you in a wheelchair, so that you aren’t completely exhausted before we get there."
Skaara’s dark eyes moved from the doctor, to the Jaffa who stood beside her, and back again. Sha’re had told him of the tests the woman had conducted on her...tests that had not hurt her at all, but had taken pictures. Sha’re had also assured him that the doctor had done her best to help his father, and him. That the petite woman had been near tears several times, the desire to do more plainly written on her face. He nodded silently. He was still angry that she had struck Sha’re. Angrier still that Dan’yel had allowed the woman to get by with that act.
With a nod to her staff, Janet hurried to Kasuf’s side. The man was gently moved to a gurney. Skaara climbed out of the bed, settled gratefully into the chair with two very large wheels...it seemed that he was weaker than he realized.
Sha’re shifted the bulky packs to her shoulders, waited until the doctor led the way. She could feel the weight of the stares on her back as she left the room. She held her head high. Dan’yel may have rejected her, but she still had her pride! She walked behind the rolling bed of her father, and the chair in which her brother sat. Both men were pale, and she hadn’t needed to overhear the doctor’s report to Hammond to know that their lives were in grave danger.
Teal’c followed Sha’re. He was aware of the fact that this...parade...of refugees would pass by Daniel Jackson’s office. He was also aware of the fact that more than likely, if Sha’re saw Daniel Jackson, she would once again attempt to garner his favor. Dr. Fraiser had informed him that Daniel Jackson had been able to talk to Casey Jackson, and all was well between the two. He had known that given the chance, the young archaeologist would declare his love for his wife...the woman who was his Destiny, and ease the fears that filled her tender, wounded heart.
Janet shuffled her notes and the folder that contained the MRI images she had just taken of Sha’re. She had written that it would probably be worthwhile to check Kasuf and Skaara as well, when the two were in stable condition. She noted that there was no way to know for certain whether the tumor was a result of the constant travel between realities, or had been there and had become worse as a result of Sha’re’s exposure to realties not her own. She had also noted that it was her opinion that the tumor should be dealt with as quickly as possible. For a moment, she contemplated adding a request to have additional MRIs completed, to see if the tumor would indeed change size or density upon entering a new reality. She decided, however, that the woman’s well-being was much more important than her own medical curiosity.
A A A A A A
"Jack says it’s a go," Casey said, looking over at Daniel, where he stood going over the notes he'd made. "I was just thinking, if they’re four months ahead of us time-wise, do you think they’ve already been on all of the same missions?"
"Mmm...possibly," Daniel replied somewhat absently. He finished his notes, then flashed a smile at her. "Different realities, Case. Who knows where they’ve been that we haven’t."
"Good point." She pulled the disk from the drive, slipped it into a protective cover. "Will it be...difficult...to see her go?"
The softness of her voice, the hint of...worry...in her tone alerted him. He put down his pen. Crossed the room, pulled her to her feet and wrapped his arms around her. "No, Angel. I said goodbye to ‘my’ Sha’re when I buried her four years ago. I let her go when she...visited...me right after I brought you here. That woman looks like Sha’re. But she’s not. At least, not ‘my’ Sha’re."
She slid her hands up his chest, over his shoulders, locked her hands behind his neck. "You’re mine."
"All yours," he smiled.
With a sigh of contentment, she put her head on his shoulder, closed her eyes and savored the feeling of being in his arms. Safe. Warm. Nothing could ever harm her, hurt her, as long as she was in his arms.
As the group passed the familiar rooms, came to the open door of the office that belonged to Daniel Jackson, Sha’re couldn’t help but look inside, hoping to catch one last glimpse of him...of the man she loved. Or the man who looked like the man she loved. Stopped short at what she saw.
Daniel was standing beside the desk, his arms around his wife, holding her tightly, his face pressed against her blonde hair. The woman’s eyes were closed, a smile on her face, her head on his shoulder, and her arms around his neck. To witness the embrace was painful enough...but to add to her distress, Sha’re watched a blue haze appear above their heads, then slowly engulf the two bodies that were pressed so tightly together. She gasped out loud, watching as tiny blue sparks seemed to fly from them; everywhere that contact was made between the two, the sparks were erupting like tiny flames of fire.
Teal’c frowned when the woman hesitated, then came to a complete stop, staring into Daniel Jackson’s office, mouth agape. He stepped closer, noted the look of shock on her face. The glow of blue in his peripheral vision caught his attention, and he turned to see just what she was staring at. This was what Sergeant Childers had witnessed...had tried to explain to him! In that moment the Jaffa understood the awe of the young man. Daniel Jackson and his wife were indeed blessed by the true gods!
He shook himself slightly. Blessed or not, the couple still deserved the privacy they assumed was theirs. He put his hand on Sha’re’s back, gently propelled her forward. She would be unable to deny the fact that the Daniel Jackson of this reality was unlike any other she had ever met, or would ever meet.
A A A A A A
It was impossible not to grin, hell, he wanted to laugh out loud thinking about Kinsey getting his ass whipped by SG-1. Any SG-1. When the door opened, and the General Hammond of that particular reality walked in looking none too happy, Jack stood straight and tried to look serious. "Hello, sir."
"Colonel." Hammond gave a curt nod of acknowledgement. "How long before the Abydonians are ready to be transferred?"
"Ah...I think I hear the rattle of a gurney coming now, sir," Jack replied. He chanced a glance over Hammond's shoulder at his counterpart. Openly grinned when his double gave a thumbs up, which was hastily turned into a nose scratch when Hammond twisted his head around.
"Colonel, did you have time between your antics to inform Doctor Fraiser she was needed?"
"Daniel did, sir. She's on her way with a matching med team." From outside there was the sound of the elevator once again opening and the clatter of metal and approaching people.
Just before he turned to go check the corridor, Jack saw the smile on the general’s face. Nice to know their Hammond had a sense of humor as well, and seemed just as indulgent as his own commanding officer.
He stepped into the corridor. Yep, everyone was there. He had just moved back into the room when Janet thrust a large manila envelope and a folder at him, he managed to grab them from sheer impulsive reaction. Watched as the small doctor hovered over Kasuf for a moment, then helped him to sit up. The two medics who had been pushing the gurney stood on either side of the man, helped him to his feet. It was obvious that the man was very ill, and he stepped back when the medics led Kasuf toward the mirror.
"Colonel, alarms!" Janet said, catching sight of the still active and glowing lasers.
"Shit!" He handed the doctor her files, then hurried to a control panel on the wall, entered his security code, and disabled the alarm system. Looked over his shoulder at the medics. "Okay, keep going."
The Daniel of the other reality hovered as close to the mirror on his side as he dared, waiting for the man who looked like his former father-in-law to step through.
When Kasuf stepped through the mirror, the Daniel of that reality helped him immediately to a wheelchair that was waiting. He spoke to the man, but it was impossible to hear exactly what was said, what with the commotion still going on. Jack noted that the tribal leader had looked a bit surprised, and was whisked from the room immediately.
Skaara was next, passing the medics who were leaving the room, needing only the steadying hand of the petite doctor to walk into the room, and toward the mirror that would take him to yet another reality. Once through the mirror, he leaned against the table that sat near the center of the room, more weary from walking those few feet than he ever would have believed possible.
Janet started slightly when she saw Daniel standing in...that room. Then flashed an embarrassed smile. "Can I give these to you? They’re MRI images...Sha’re has a brain tumor, it needs to be dealt with right away. The folder has my notes on what Kasuf and Skaara have gone through, and what we did to counteract the effects of the ECF seizures."
A look of surprise, of concern, crossed the ‘other’ Daniel’s face, just before he flashed that oh so familiar smile. "Sure, just pass them through to me. Be careful, don’t touch the mirror itself."
She nodded, stepped close enough to push the items toward the man waiting on the other side. Felt them taken gently. She watched the redhead poke her head over Daniel’s shoulder.
"The tumor, is that why Sha're's been the bitchy stalker from hell?" the redhead asked softly.
"Part of it." Janet didn't miss the fact that Daniel had unconsciously leaned into the redhead's touch. This was the woman that Casey had told her about. Interesting. "For both your sakes, I hope it's all of it."
The redhead took the folders that had been passed to Daniel, paused for just a second before handing them over to that reality’s Colonel O’Neill. "Janet, nice left hook," she whispered.
Brown eyes widened in surprise, darting to the woman who had pushed her so far that she'd ended up in a cat-fight. She gave a small smile that was guilty, yet proud at the same time, then stepped aside to make room for the Abydonian to cross over universes.
Sha’re was ready to step through to the ‘new’ reality, her eyes going wide to see another Daniel. She focused on that handsome face, oblivious to anything else around her as she moved closer to the mirror. Had she been paying attention, she would have seen the raised eyebrow on the face of the beautiful woman with long auburn hair, just behind and to one side of the archaeologist. She stepped through the mirror, was about to speak to Daniel, when movement beside him caught her attention. The look on the face of the woman standing next to him stopped her cold.
Daniel and Casey rushed into the room. "Good, we haven’t missed you," Casey said.
It was a bit...disconcerting...to see himself standing on the other side of the mirror. He should be used to it, Daniel thought dryly. He’d spent nearly two hours with...himself...in a reality where SG-1 had damned near died. If that Daniel hadn’t possessed the powers he did...that thought poked at him. Daniel pushed it away for the moment, he’d examine it later. He stepped toward the mirror. "We thought a real exchange of intel might be a good idea, since we’re going to report that today’s use of the mirror was for that specific purpose."
"We had the same idea." The ‘other’ Daniel grinned and held up a file. He put his hand into the pocket on his thigh. An action that no one but his counterpart could see.
Stepping as close as he dared, Daniel pushed through the sheaf of notes, and the disk. The items left his hand. He accepted the file in return. He felt something tickle his palm. His fingers closed automatically, and he pulled his hand back, glanced down. There was a plain white envelope against the manila folder. He looked back up at the face that was indistinguishable to his own. Couldn’t help but smile at his counterpart’s conspiratorial wink. He stepped back, both he and his counterpart chuckled when Casey pushed past him and raced forward...Annika doing the same thing on her side of the mirror.
"Annika, I don’t know how to thank you," she said softly.
The redhead looked her over carefully, then grinned broadly. "I’m glad things worked out."
Casey smiled. "Me, too."
Daniel did his best not to stare at the woman. She was even more beautiful now that she wasn’t a ghost. Almost as beautiful as Casey. When his counterpart seemed to reach for the redhead simply because she was close enough, he knew in an instant that Annika was indeed the wife of that Daniel. He couldn’t help but wonder if that fiery temper had ever been turned on her husband. Somehow, he doubted it. That ire was reserved for the jackasses who hurt her friends. He damned near chuckled out loud at that thought.
"Ebenezer paid attention, I see," Annika said.
Daniel gave a slight smile. "Ghosts have a way of encouraging that."
Casey glanced from one face to the other. The cryptic exchange had her curious...she reached out to the man beside her. Saw a flicker...a ghostly apparition...a very angry apparition that looked like Annika...his guilt and anguish over what was happening between them...she smiled. It seemed that her new friend was more than just a psychic with telekinetic abilities. She wondered if Daniel would ever tell her exactly what had been said.
"You know how to find me, right?" Annika asked.
"Yep. And you have my address."
"Sure do," Annika nodded.
"I really hope I get the chance to talk to you again," Casey said sincerely. "Maybe we can share a bag of Oreo’s."
The redhead grinned from ear to ear. "That sounds like a good idea to me!"
"It’s a date, then."
Jack tried to maneuver past Daniel and Casey. There were still a couple of things he needed to say to his counterpart...and he didn’t necessarily want an audience for it. He managed to catch eyes identical to his own, saw the recognition, and the understanding in them.
"Okay, all psychics step away from the mirror...It's time to wrap up this call, the phone bill is high enough as it is," the colonel said, trying to step closer to the mirror.
"It was nice to meet you, Daniel, Annika," Jack said jovially.
"Always a pleasure to meet another Jack," the ‘other’ Daniel said.
"It’s nice to know that you’re you, no matter where you are," Annika added.
"Well, hey, what can I say? I’m just one of a kind," Jack retorted, a crooked grin on his face.
"One of an infinite number of Jacks," Casey said cheekily. "And apparently they’re all the same...which means you must not be able to learn new tricks."
"What?" he croaked.
"You know the saying, ‘can’t teach an old dog new tricks’? Well, you’re proof of that. In reality after reality after reality after reality-"
"You’re annoying, Jackson."
"You love me anyway."
Annika snorted loudly. "Is that what Jack and I sound and look like?"
"Yep," the ‘other’ Daniel replied, a wide grin on his face.
The redhead beamed. "Cool!"
"We do not!" the ‘other’ Jack butted in, feigning offense.
"Do too," the ‘other’ Daniel shot back.
Casey gave a hoot of laughter. "And that's them to a tee!" She jerked her thumb towards ‘her’ Jack and Daniel.
The colonel gave an eye roll of 'Why me?', getting a sympathetic shrug from Jack, who was experiencing the same frustration. The colonel made a winding motion with his hand, attempting again to wrap things up. A signal that both woman reluctantly acknowledged.
Casey held up a finger, asking for just another minute. Didn't wait for either colonel to give permission before leaning closer to the mirror so only Annika could hear. The redhead did the same on her side. "You were right," she whispered.
Annika smiled warmly. "I know. I can see it."
"Sometimes, I have trouble remembering that he’s not like anyone else I’ve ever known," Casey admitted. "He’s one in a billion!"
Violet eyes sparkled with obvious joy. "Don’t I know it!"
"Thank you, for everything."
"No thanks necessary."
"Time to go, Annika," the ‘other’ Daniel said softly.
Daniel put his arm around Casey’s shoulders. Jack had something he wanted...or needed to say to his counterpart. And it seemed that he wanted to do so in private. He couldn’t think of anything that would require privacy...unless it was of a personal nature. "Let’s go, Angel."
The women stepped away from the mirror, and waved at one another.
Jack watched until the two were out of the room before stepping closer to the mirror. He'd seen the exchange between the colonel and Skaara. Hadn’t been close enough to hear what had been said. But it seemed that the Jack of the other reality understood that a firm hand was needed with the young man. When both rooms were empty, save for himself and...himself, he took a deep breath. "You did the right thing with Skaara," he said quietly. "The kid spent a year on Earth. I don’t have details...but something happened. Something that turned that kid so eager to please into a very angry young man."
"I figured as much when you mentioned the chip on his shoulder. Makes me wonder what...even as Coral Snake he didn't lose that naiveté."
"Whatever it was, it was enough to make him foul-mouthed as well. I knocked the kid into the wall when he called Casey a whore." Jack rubbed his hand over his face. "I didn’t even realize I had done it until I had him against the wall. It’s bad enough that he called her that...but he called her that to her face. Casey didn’t have the best of childhood’s. She heard that name, and a few others, thrown at her every day...from the time she was just a little kid."
A sharp hiss blew from the colonel's lips. "I'll finish the job if he tries that crap here. We don't need that at the moment."
"Bad experience?" Jack asked intuitively.
"Yeah. Casper had to get hot and heavy with Balls during our last mission."
"Oy. That damned snake really has to go! He’s been a pain in the ass for us too. Fixated on Radar...and that freaks her out." He paused. "Casper?"
"We're working on it. Casper is the redhead. She's Danny's wife...she's got this whole astral-ghosty-thing happening." The colonel wiggled his fingers.
"Casey's our psychic radio receiver," Jack explained. "She puts the same light in our Daniel's eyes as Casper does in your Daniel's. Nice to see after so long."
"Yeah it is. Never thought I'd see him happy again." The colonel studied his counterpart. "Ya' think ya' screwed up how this day went down for you?"
Jack gave half a shrug. He didn’t think he’d screwed up, he knew he had. The situation never should have gotten as out of control as had...Skaara verbally accosting Casey, Janet in a brawl with Sha’re..."Shoulda' done what you did from the second they stepped through."
"Hey, it's because of your heads up that we didn't react the way you did. We weren't blindsided. Thanks for saving my team from having to deal with the crap yours did."
"Sure, you betcha. They showed up, that was weird enough. But then...they weren’t like the people we know. Would have been nice to have had a bit of warning ourselves."
"Yeah, it would have been. But it didn't happen. You had a lousy break. You just made certain that we didn't. I think that makes your...experiences...today nothing more than a learning curve."
He hated having his own thoughts tossed back at him like that. Especially when it was the truth. Didn’t make it any easier to accept. "Next time, you get the learning curve, and we get the heads up."
"Deal. Forgive me if I don't shake on it."
Jack grinned. "Don’t figure you need Hammond any more pissed at you than he already is."
"Nope. But it was worth it." A satisfied smirk lifted the colonel’s lips. "Next intel swap, I'll make sure there's a little home movie of the security footage. We should spread the joy of that beautiful Kinsey moment to all universes."
"I’ll hold you to that!" Jack looked over his shoulder at the door. "I should check on ‘em. Make sure everyone is okay."
"Yeah. And I'd better check to make sure World War Four hasn't broken out. It's kinda quiet. Casper and quiet is never a good sign."
"Casper must be related to Radar." Jack studied the tops of his boots for a moment. Just a bad day...that’s all it had been. He almost believed it. A couple of beers, and he probably would. "Good luck, Colonel."
"You too, Colonel."
Jack gave a lopsided grin, watched as his counterpart reached up and touched something on the mirror. The expanse of glass went black. He hoped like hell it stayed that way. He made his way back to the control panel, reset the alarms, the red of the lasers jumping into being once again. When he found his team waiting for him in the corridor, he gave them a big smile, rubbed his hands together. "Well, all’s well that end’s well!"
"I thought you hated clichés," Casey said from her spot against the wall, between Teal’c and Daniel. Janet was leaning against the opposite wall, along with Sam, who had just missed seeing the three Abydonians off. Both grinned at her observation.
"You just used one of the oldest clichés known to man!"
"Oh, you so did!"
"Oh, I so did not!"
"Enough!" Daniel said sharply. Grinned when two surprised faces turned to stare at him. He chuckled when they exchanged looks of disbelief. "Hey, it works!"
Janet burst into laughter. "Why do you think I use it?"
"Use what?" Jack asked suspiciously.
"My ‘parent’ voice," Janet replied.
"Your ‘parent’ voice?"
"When you insist on behaving like children, that’s how I treat you," Janet replied sassily.
Jack rolled his eyes.
Casey put her hand on his arm to forestall anything he might say. "Needles, Jack. She has those big honkin’ needles. Be nice."
"Needles." He heaved a sigh.
"The transfer is completed?" Teal’c asked.
"Yep. Those three are that reality’s problem now," Jack replied. And he had never been more relieved about anything than seeing that problem shifted to someone else.
"I could see the color returning to Kasuf’s cheeks almost as soon as he sat down in that wheelchair," Janet reported.
"Skaara was looking better, too," Daniel remarked. "I guess we should tell the general that they’re gone."
"Good idea," Sam replied. "Don’t you agree, sir?"
"Yep," Jack said. Wondered if General Hammond would be interested to know that his counterpart was a very good man.
Casey said nothing. But she had seen how Sha’re had looked at Annika’s Daniel. Couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty. While the feisty redhead may not have the emotional issues to deal with, a Sha’re bent on having ‘her Dan’yel’ was still going to be a pain-in-the-ass. She could only hope that Annika would eventually forgive her for foisting the Abydonian woman off on her.
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