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White Lace and Promises
At six a.m. General Hammond stopped in to check on the patient. So far, it seemed nothing had changed from the night before when he'd finally left the mountain, knowing that his presence wasn't required, and that his fifty-nine-year old body needed sleep. He wasn't surprised to see every member of SG-1 almost exactly where they had been when he'd left. Nor was he surprised to find that Dr. Fraiser hadn't left the infirmary all night. "How is she?"
"I still have her sedated," Janet replied softly. "The medication should wear off in about two hours. I'll be able to tell more then. Her body has finally come out of the trauma, she's not stiff as a board now."
"Will she recover?"
Janet smiled. "I can't give an answer to that, not yet. But if I had to make a guess, I'd say yes. Casey is tough. She's had a lot to deal with over the past few days. Once her mind has come to terms with what's happened, she'll be fine. I just don't know how long that process might take."
General Hammond frowned. "Whatever she needs, doctor. If you need anything, or anyone, let me know."
"It's already hard to think of this place without her, isn't it?" Janet said softly.
"Yes it is," the general replied. "She's brought a lot of sunshine to these drab, gray halls. I'd like to see that continue. I'd also like her to continue protecting the people I have to send out there."
"I have the highest confidence that she'll be doing just that."
"Good. Keep me posted." He quietly turned to leave, unwilling to disturb the sleeping members of SG-1. Lord knew they deserved the rest!
Janet sent the team down to get breakfast, insisting that if they didn't leave voluntarily, she'd have them physically removed by security. Grumbling, they obeyed. Daniel hovered near the door. "She won't wake up for at least an hour," she said softly.
His feet feeling as heavy as his heart, Daniel turned to follow his teammates. Just let her be okay, he prayed silently. I can't live without her!
At eight a.m. Casey began to stir again. She was agitated, and when she opened her eyes to strange surroundings, the face of an unknown orderly above her, she struggled to get out of the bed. The team had just walked through the door again, but Janet had held her hand up, indicating that they shouldn't come any farther into the room.
Hide! She needed to hide! Trouble, lots of trouble. She wasn't sure what had happened, but she knew that something bad had occurred. She fought to move past the haze that seemed to envelop her brain.
Casey's eyes moved toward the voice. She recognized that woman. She was a friend. But she wasn't who she wanted, needed. "Daniel?" she whispered.
The petite doctor smiled. "He's right here, Casey," she said, waving him over.
"Hi, babe." Daniel moved to the side of the bed. Felt his heart jump in his chest when she looked up at him.
"I didn't want to go with him," she whispered hoarsely.
"I know, Angel." He perched on the edge of the bed hesitantly. When she didn't flinch or move away from him, he settled more firmly beside her. "You were so brave, Angel. You did everything right."
"I'm bad," she whispered, sounding like a frightened child.
He closed his eyes for just a few seconds. He might not wait for her parents to start looking for her to make that trip to Tacoma! "Never, Casey, never! You're good, Casey, so very good," he whispered in return. He reached out slowly, ran his hand over her hair, cupped her cheek with his palm. "So beautiful, so sweet, so incredible," he crooned softly. She hadn't pulled away from him, so he shifted closer to her.
She looked up at him, could see so much love in his beautiful blue eyes. No anger. No blame. Only love. "I was so scared," she admitted, still whispering.
"I know you were. But you never let him see that. You never let any of them see that. You're brave, Casey. I'm so proud of you. I love you, Angel." He kept his voice low, soft, his caresses gentle.
"Are you angry with me?"
"No! Oh, god, no! I was scared too, Case. When we couldn't find you, I panicked. Then when he was holding that knife to your throat, I don't think I've ever been so afraid. But it's over now. Everything is okay."
She pushed her face against his hand. "I love you," she whispered.
"I love you, too, Angel."
Janet smiled. "How are you feeling?"
Casey returned the smile. "A little tired. Hungry. I'd kill for a cup of coffee."
"Now that's what I like to hear!" Janet said, beaming at her. "I'll see to it that a breakfast tray is brought right up."
Sam, Jack, and Teal'c crowded close behind Daniel. "Hey, Case," Jack said gently.
"Hey, Jack," she replied.
"You did great, on the mission and dealing with Sergeant White," the older man said with a smile.
She shivered slightly at the mention of the Marine's name. "What will happen to him? Will he be able to…will he get away with this too?"
"No, Case," Daniel said. "What he did to you guarantees him jail time. Probably a considerable amount."
"I knew he was going to be trouble," she said softly.
Daniel smiled. "Yeah, you did. So we were ready for it. Mostly," he added.
Casey shifted in the bed, tried to sit up. "So when do I get out of here?"
Janet laughed. "Definitely has the SG-1 attitude about the infirmary!" She adjusted the bed so that Casey was sitting. "Let's get some food into you, then we'll see."
She looked up at Daniel. "The invitations are supposed to arrive today, I have to get the envelopes addressed so we can get them mailed."
He smiled again, lifted her fingers to his lips. He'd been so afraid that her hesitation at even talking about getting married had been a sign that she didn't want to. Now that the wedding had been planned, it seemed that it was her favorite topic of conversation. "We'll get them taken care of."
Janet had taken the time to call General Hammond to let him know that Casey was awake, and appeared to be fine. He walked into the infirmary. "Ms. Webster, you're looking well," he said, smiling broadly.
"Thank you, sir," she replied, returning the smile. "I feel fine. If I could just get something to eat and a cup of coffee, I could get back to work."
General Hammond bit back a grin, glanced at the members of SG-1. He winked at Janet. "That complaint sounds rather familiar, doesn't it, Doctor?"
The dark haired woman grinned. "I was just saying that she is most certainly a member of SG-1. She has the same bad attitude about my infirmary."
Green eyes flashed with mischief. "Maybe it's the décor. Lighter paint, maybe an actual color, throw a few botanical prints on the walls, nice bright quilts on the beds…"
Janet rolled her eyes, but couldn't hold back her chuckle. "You are such a smartass!"
She sighed. "So everyone tells me. Being so smart can be such a burden."
Her companions laughed. Now that the crisis was officially over, the three people who had refused to leave her side, refused to leave Daniel's side, hugged her, gave promises of returning to visit, and made their way to tasks that had yet to be finished. Janet left to order breakfast for her, promising a full pot of coffee, and General Hammond reminded Daniel of the debriefing later in the day, assuring Casey that her presence was required only if approved by Dr. Fraiser.
Daniel held her hand tightly. "I was so damned scared," he whispered. "I can't live without you, Casey."
She smiled. "I'm all right. Everything is going to be fine."
That was the smile that lit his world. Made his day. Made him so damned happy. "Yeah, it is."
"I need to…um…" she blushed.
With a nod of understanding, Daniel called Janet. The doctor helped her from the bed, pushed the stand that held the IV bag, and went into the restroom with her.
"So how long will I have a body guard?" Casey asked, trying to maneuver the stand out of her way.
"At least a week," Janet replied, a grin on her face.
There was companionable silence while Casey took care of the things she needed to deal with. "Did he eat dinner last night? Or breakfast this morning?"
Janet couldn't help but smile at the concern in the young woman's voice. "I made him go down to the commissary. I don't know how much he actually ate, if at all. He slept with his head on the bed beside you all night."
"I totally freaked out again, didn't I?"
The doctor didn't fail to notice the hint of fear in the soft voice. "Casey, you reacted to the stress. You've been thrown into the heat of battle in a war you didn't even know was being fought. On top of a moving to a new place, trying to settle into a new job. And being kidnapped at knifepoint is going to scare the daylights out of anyone! I'd say that all in all, you've handled things pretty well. Your mind just needed a bit of time to deal with everything that has been thrown at you in the past seventy hours."
"Is that how long it's been? Seems longer," she admitted.
"I don't doubt it," Janet agreed.
"So, did Sam tell you about a week from Saturday?"
A grin brightened the doctor's lovely face. "Yes, she did. I'll be there. Are we all going to go together?"
"I'd like to. Sort of make it a girl's day."
"Sounds like fun."
"Look, I know I haven't actually met Cassie yet, but do you think she'd be interested in being in the wedding? I thought she could light all the candles that we're going to have," Casey said shyly.
"I think she'd be thrilled. I've told her about you. She's very anxious to meet the woman who has knocked her beloved Daniel for a loop."
Casey grinned. "Maybe we could all get together on Sunday. Daniel and I have to go to the Christopher's on Saturday to do a sample tasting to decide the menu for the reception."
"Christopher's? Very classy," Janet declared. "Give me a call, and I'll tell Cassie to keep Sunday open."
"Sounds like a plan. Okay, I think I'm ready," Casey said. "You could just take this thing out of me, it'd make it much easier to get around, and you wouldn't have to baby-sit me."
"You must be taking lessons from Colonel O'Neill. Nice try. But your last electrolyte count was still off, so you and your buddy here will be together for the rest of the day," Janet told her.
"I can't be stuck in the infirmary all day! I have a briefing!" Casey complained.
"Casey, you went into shock. Your body went rigid, and your mind shut down. You may feel better, but your body needs a little more time to recuperate," Janet said firmly.
With a sigh, Casey allowed the diminutive woman to lead her back into the infirmary. She bit back a smile to see Daniel pacing beside the bed she'd been in.
"You'd think he was worried or something," Janet whispered.
"Yeah, or something," Casey giggled.
The sound of that beautiful giggle brought his head up. His heart hammered against his ribs when she smiled at him, and he sent up a prayer of thanks to every god he could think of that she was all right. When she was close enough, his arms went around her as if they had a mind of their own; the need to hold her too strong to fight, and he didn't have the will or the strength to fight it anyway.
She relaxed into the embrace that she'd come to rely on for her very existence, her head going to his shoulder; the feeling so comfortable, so familiar, so…safe.
"I love you," he whispered in her ear.
"I love you, too," she sighed, holding tightly to strong, broad shoulders.
"Ahem. Back into bed, young lady," a voice said sternly. The eyes that went with that voice however, were dancing with mirth.
Daniel helped her settle into the bed. He'd just sat down on the chair that he'd occupied for the past nine hours when an Airman carrying a tray of food entered the room.
Casey smiled and thanked the young man, leaving him grinning like an idiot as he walked away, and immediately grabbed the coffee. "Oh yeah, sanity in a cup," she sighed.
Daniel chuckled. He watched her nibble at the toast, push the eggs around on the plate. He peeled the orange for her, accepted the sections that she held to his lips.
"Sweetheart, I know you have translations that need to be finished. And to tell you the truth, I'm still a little tired. I'm just going to sleep for awhile. You go do what you need to do," Casey said softly, wiping her hands on the napkin.
"I'm not leaving you," he argued.
"Daniel, I don't want you to get into trouble. Go. I'll be fine. It's not like you're going to be so far from me. Just a couple of levels." She settled back against the pillows. She really was still tired.
There were several translations that needed to be finished before the weekend. Three of them would be rather easy, two might be a challenge. He sighed. "I'll be back to check on you after while."
"I'll be here, according to Janet," Casey replied with a smile.
He stood up, gently kissed her lips. Ached to hold her. Squeezed her hand, then walked toward the door. When he turned around to look at her, her eyes were closed. It looked as if she was already asleep.
Casey didn't even notice when Janet took the barely touched tray of food from the bed table, and moved it aside. The bed was lowered a bit, and the young blonde shifted to her side with a soft sigh.
Janet smiled. Casey was a lot tougher than she looked, and she'd just proven it.
A A A A A A
At five-thirty Daniel walked back into the infirmary. Teal'c was sitting beside Casey's bed, and the two were involved in a game of chess. He paused, and just watched for a minute.
"Okay, so what you really mean," Casey was saying, "is that Anakin Skywalker had no valid reason to turn to the Dark Side and become Darth Vader."
"He allowed his emotions to rule him, in spite of the training he had received. He was weak." Teal'c replied.
"He'd been a slave, watched his mother abused…that has to do something to a kid, it would certainly color the way he viewed things, the Senate was falling apart, things were looking grim," Casey argued.
"Obi Wan trained him in the ways of The Force. His instincts, and the training, should have made him more aware of the pitfalls of giving in to his anger," Teal'c said.
Daniel chuckled, walked toward his fiancée and best friend, his hands in his pockets. "Give it up, Case. Teal'c will never cut Darth any slack."
The two looked up at him and smiled.
"Because he sees every Goa'uld System Lord in Darth Vader's actions and attitude," she replied easily.
Whoa. He'd never thought of that! "Pretty deep, Case," he said, a smile on his face.
Teal'c rose to his feet. "I believe that we have played to a stalemate. I look forward to a rematch."
"Any time, Teal'c," Casey replied. "Thanks for keeping me company."
"You are welcome, Casey Webster." The large man nodded regally, then quietly left the infirmary.
"He should have been born a prince, or a king. He's got all of the right qualities," Casey mused softly.
Daniel turned to watch the disappearing back of his friend. "Yes, he does."
"So, did you get those pesky translations finished?"
"The simple ones," he grinned unabashedly.
Janet walked into the room. "Well, I see your escort has arrived. Jill, you can give Casey her clothes now."
"They hid them from me," Casey groused.
"I took the IV out, and the next thing I knew, she was out of the bed and trying to get dressed," Janet said, crossing her arms over her curvaceous breasts. "It seems that weapons and military training aren't all that Colonel O'Neill has been teaching her."
"Hey, hey, hey! I heard that!" said the subject of the conversation, walking through the door.
Casey smiled, wondered if Jack and Daniel realized that they both walked with their hands in their pockets most of the time. "Hey, Jack. You mean you've been held in here against your will, too?"
"More times than I care to think about," the gray haired man said, forcing a shudder.
The young blonde giggled. "Well, I'm getting out of here. My butt has had enough of this bed."
Jill handed a stack of clothing to the patient. "This should get you to the locker room so you can get into your street clothes," she said, grinning broadly.
"Ah, yes. The better to make my escape," Casey giggled.
Janet tried to look put out, but could only stand and grin. "After all I do for you people, this is the thanks I get!"
"We love you, Janet, honest," Daniel insisted.
"Really? Could have fooled me!" With a wink and a grin, the petite brunette turned and went back into her office.
Jill had pulled the curtain around the bed, effectively shutting the men on the other side, and helped Casey to pull on the BDU she'd been wearing when she'd arrived in the infirmary.
"Have you talked to Carter?" Jack asked softly.
"No, why?" Daniel replied.
"Seems that doohickey we brought back is some sort of power source. Damned near unlimited, if I understood any of that techno-babble of hers," the older man replied.
"Yep, and from what she can tell, using the drawings I made when my head was full of that Ancient stuff, the thing was made by the Ancients."
"Wow. Does she have any idea how it works?"
"Not yet. But you know Carter and gizmos. Give her the time and she'll figure it out."
"Yeah, she will," Daniel agreed, proud of his best friend's abilities. Sam was one hell of an astrophysicist. If it used power, generated power or controlled power, Samantha Carter would not be satisfied until she fully understood it. This new 'doohickey' would be no different than any of the other mysterious alien items that made their way into the labs of the SGC.
"Okay, let me get to the locker room, and then I'll be ready to go home," Casey said softly, stepping out from behind the curtain.
"Let's go," Daniel said, draping his arm around her shoulders, pulling her close. Smiled when her arm went around his waist possessively.
A A A A A A
Casey was staring into the freezer, trying to decide what to make for dinner. Daniel walked into the kitchen, watched her for a minute.
"You know what sounds good?" he asked softly.
"Grilled cheese and soup."
She raised an eyebrow. "I'm not ill, I'm perfectly capable of making a decent meal," she huffed.
He grinned. "I'm sure you are. Stills sounds good."
She sighed. "Yeah, it does." She closed the freezer and opened the refrigerator. "I sort of heard what Jack said about that thing we found. I guess it was important that we kept that Goa'uld from finding it, huh?"
"Yep." Daniel had opened the pantry, was sorting through the varieties of soup that they had. "Chicken Noodle or Beef Noodle?"
"I like both, so whichever you want," she replied. She reached past him for the bread. Took the opportunity to kiss his chin. "Why don’t you go check the mail? By the time you get back, this should be just about ready.
He hesitated, unwilling to leave her alone.
"Daniel, we're home. No one can get to the elevator if they're not on the guest list. I'll be fine."
He pulled her close, hugged her tightly. "I'm sorry," he said softly.
She pulled away just far enough to be able to look into his eyes. "For what?"
"I wasn't there for you, I didn't protect you," he said, not meeting her gaze.
Casey put both hands around his face, forced him to look at her. "Daniel Jackson, that is not true! I knew something was going to happen, I didn't know what, or when. It was…it was supposed to happen. And before he could hurt me, you were there, saving me. You protected me, Daniel. You kept me safe."
He didn't answer. Didn't think he could speak past the lump in his throat, caused by her words, and the look of love in those amazing green eyes. He hugged her tightly again, buried his face against her neck. "I love you," he said, his voice muffled.
"I love you," she whispered in reply. So safe, always so safe in his arms. She gently moved away from him. "You get the mail, I'll get dinner. Meet you at the table in ten."
He chuckled. "Okay." He planted a kiss on her forehead, one on her cheek, a quick peck on her lips, and hurried out of the apartment.
A A A A A A
The invitations had arrived, and they spent the evening going over the list that had been made during their planning session with Ms. Adams. Daniel had read the letter he'd received from Catherine Langford. He picked it up, looked at it again.
"Call her," Casey said softly.
"Call her. She's very important to you. So, give her a heads up that the invitation is on its way. Gives her a few extra days to make arrangements to be here," she said.
With a grin, Daniel went for the phone. He opened the drawer in the sofa table, took out a black address book, sat back down beside Casey. He carefully dialed, listened to the sound of the phone ringing on the other end. "Catherine? It's Daniel Jackson. How are you?"
In her home in New York, the archaeologist smiled. "Daniel? I'm fine! What's happening?"
He smiled, could hear the surprise in her voice. "I'm getting married, Catherine."
"Oh, Daniel, that's wonderful! When? Where?"
Daniel filled her in on the details, chatted a bit with her. The smile was still on his face when he finally said goodbye. "She said she'll be here with bells on."
Casey giggled. "Should be an interesting addition to the stringed quartet."
"She's anxious to meet you."
"I'm looking forward to meeting her, too," Casey replied. She'd continued to fill out envelopes while he'd been on the phone. Their guest list was short, there wouldn't be more than seventy people in attendance if everyone invited showed up. But neither of them were the least bit bothered. In fact, it was the perfect number as far as they were concerned. She put down her pen, and began carefully stuffing the invitations into the creamy envelopes.
Daniel helped her, his gaze flickering to her now and again.
"What's wrong?" she asked, when she looked up to find him watching her again.
"Just looking," he replied, with a smile.
"Mmmhmm. So, are you going to just look later, or will you actually do a bit of touching?"
He started. "Can I?"
She giggled. "Let's put it this way, Stud Muffin. If you don't, I will. I can't take it any longer!"
He grinned. When the last of the invitations had been dealt with and were ready to be mailed, he took her by the hand - led her to the bathroom. They stood together in the shower, carefully washed each other, sharing kisses and caresses that only stirred the fire that raged in both of them. Three and a-half hours passed before they snuggled down to sleep.
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