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A Change Will Do You Good
Like every Sunday they were home, they went to her parent's house for lunch. Daniel was sitting in the living room with Aaron, watching Nicholas toddle around, jabbering non-stop, dragging a worn, tattered baby blanket behind him. It was the same blanket that Emily had insisted on carrying around.
"With Nergal gone, and the other System Lords weakened, will SG-1 return to the stand-by roster?" Aaron was asking.
"Yeah. Duncan said that with everything that happened, and all of us being away from home for so long we needed, and deserved, the break," Daniel replied. "Sure won't bother me. There's so much to do at the Center I don't think we'll ever get it all done."
"Good. Erin worries about both of you when you're away," the Ancient replied. He didn't have to put into words that he worried about his daughter and son-in-law every bit as much.
Daniel smiled. "I know she does."
"Daddee!" Nicholas was standing in front of his father, demanding to be picked up. His father complied happily. The tot settled against the muscular chest, fingers in his mouth, and watched his grandfather's face.
"Do you still seek the Lost City?" Aaron asked next.
The casualness of the question had his senses on alert. "Yes. I've found a few texts with references to it, but nothing that would give us an idea of where this city might be."
The blonde headed man nodded. "You are aware that the knowledge that we held as ascended Ancients has been…removed…from our memories," he said slowly.
"But, sometimes there is knowledge hidden so…deeply, that even the deepest scans can miss it."
The young archaeologist's heart began to pump faster. Was Aaron about to tell him where the Lost City of the Ancients was located?
"What you search for is not…in…the Lost City. Only information is in the Lost City. If you know what to look for, and how to…utilize…it."
"Do you know where the Lost City is?" He didn't want to play around. He wanted to know straight out.
"I have a general idea of the vicinity of its location. Nothing specific, mind you, although I've been trying desperately to remember details. If you concentrate your efforts in this area, I believe you will be successful." He pulled a slip of paper from his pocket. "When you find it, I would be most grateful to join the expedition. It is the place where my father was born, and lived for a short time."
The younger man accepted the slip, stuffed it into his own shirt pocket. "I'll let you know," he replied.
A A A A A A
Casey was helping her mother prepare lunch, nothing extravagant, just grilled chicken breasts with basil, a fresh tossed salad, and pasta pesto salad. "Mom, did you know that there's a new housing development going in behind us?"
Erin looked up from chopping fresh basil. "Yes, I did. I believe that there are two large manufacturing firms that will be opening facilities here. Both from Terra, and both more than willing to meet our guidelines on environmental impact issues. According to the agreement, there will be nearly two hundred families moving to Hope in the next three months."
She'd heard about the new facilities that were being built, one of them near completion. She hadn't been happy at the news. Hope was growing quickly. Already three 'box stores' from the US on Earth had opened smaller versions of their businesses on the west side of town. A strip mall was even planned for the area. Granted, careful planning was being done, and there were very stringent regulations for size, the impact on the environment, and Hope itself. With the Persephone based from Gamma, the people who manned the ship had moved their families here. The EDA was screaming that too many people wanted to emigrate to the three colonies. Immigrating to Gamma, Alpha or Beta was no easy task. Very few of those who applied for admission were ever accepted. There were those among the number of approved immigrants who found life too different to adjust to, and returned to Earth in a matter of months. There were the hardy few, however, who found life in the colonies invigorating, interesting, and worth every bit of the hassle, and cost. She sighed. "I hate the idea of losing our 'small town' feeling."
"I know, darling daughter. But it is the way of things. It is best to become as independent of Earth, and even Terra and Langara, as possible. The more goods we can produce for ourselves, the less we will be forced to buy from others. The greenhouses have done a great deal for providing us with more food."
Indeed, the greenhouses, twelve of them so far, structures of immense proportions, were now supplying nearly thirty percent of Hope's produce. There was hope that the supply would double in the next year. Three new strains of wheat and rye, hardy varieties that required less water, were going to be tested in small fields, and if they were successful, larger fields would be planted. Already a new bakery had gone up in anticipation of utilizing the 'home grown' flours. A mill was being built as well, to grind the wheat and rye into the flour that the bakery would use. All of the new manufacturing plants were state-of-the-art, and would cause so little pollution, due to the naquadah power that would be used, that none of the citizens of Hope could complain. A new bus line was now running, using the same type of fuel cells, only larger, that Sam and the scientists on the base had developed for the ATV's. Hope was on the verge of moving from village to a small city. It was being done meticulously, and the very heart of Hope, the Immortals who called it home, would see to it that the attitude of the city never changed.
"Sam and I have been jogging through that new neighborhood," Casey continued. "There's one house...we walked through it…oh, Mom, it's going to be gorgeous! It's one story, light gray brick on the lower half, dark gray clapboard on the top half, with beautiful white trimmed windows. The living room and dining room and an area by this beautiful rock fireplace, and the kitchen, are all open to one another. Well, you can't actually see much of the kitchen from the living room…but it's all open, and the ceilings are all eleven feet high…the bedrooms and bathrooms have ceilings that are nine feet, but the height makes the rooms feel bigger, and more…open. There are three sets of French doors, one in the living room, one near the fireplace, and one in the master bedroom. Lots of windows. And a real laundry room. The master bedroom and bath are just amazing. And it has a full basement, and a two car garage…" She paused. Daniel had contemplated getting a small car to drive back and forth to the base on days when she wasn't going to work with him, leaving the Jeep for her use. She shook her head. "It's much larger than what we have now…I mean, it's three bedroom, two and a half baths, and a very nice den. The den has double etched glass doors, almost identical to the ones we have, and the desk and storage and bookshelves are built in! Beautiful cherry cabinets, and the kitchen has an island and double ovens...its just…it's great!"
Erin looked at her daughter. "Have you spoken to Daniel about this?"
She turned to look at her mother. "Oh, Mom, how can I? After all he did getting our house built, making sure that it was exactly like my little house on Baldwin Street? That would be so…ungrateful!"
"Casey, I can't believe that Daniel would think that. If you're interested in this house, tell him!"
"I'm not sure I'm interested…exactly," she murmured.
Her mother looked at her, one eyebrow raised. "From the description you just gave me, I think you're interested. Now would be an excellent time to move, before the children are in school." Hope had three elementary schools now, providing an excellent education for all of Hope's children, making certain that none of them went far from home to reach the schools. They lived near one of the schools, the new neighborhood was closer to a different one.
She sighed. "I guess you're right. All he can do is say no," she said.
"No to what?"
Casey turned to see Daniel standing in the doorway, Nicholas in his arms. She quickly looked back at what she was doing. "It's nothing."
"Uh huh. What is it I'm going to say no to?"
Erin looked at Casey, then at Daniel. "Casey has found a house in that new development behind you that she is interested in."
Daniel looked from his mother-in-law to his Wife. "Is that true?"
"I love my little house, Daniel, you know I do! It's just-" Her eyes dropped, she turned to the counter to finish the cutting the vegetables for the tossed salad.
"Case?" he asked softly, standing beside her now.
"We really could use more storage, and it would be nice to have more room when we have family over…but I really love my little house, and you went to so much trouble-" She broke off again, shook her head slightly.
He put his finger under her chin, turned her face toward him. "I never expected us to live there forever, babe. I knew that we'd need more room eventually. I just wanted to make your transition to Gamma as easy for you as possible. If you like this house, we should take a look at it."
Her eyes lit up. "Are you serious?"
He smiled. The look on her face made his heart hammer against his ribs. And willing to move the heavens to give her what her heart desired. "Yeah, Angel, I'm serious."
"I'll call the real estate agent tomorrow," she promised. She should have known that Daniel would be open to whatever she wanted. He had spoiled her from the time they first become a couple. He gave her everything she needed, everything she wanted, everything she desired.
A A A A A A
Lunch was eaten at the patio table on the lanai at the back of the house. It was shaded, and allowed Emily and Nicholas to run and play as they wanted.
"I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be able to take care of my grandchildren," Erin said softly, watching the two tots playing in the yard.
"It's been a godsend for us," Casey said, taking her mother's hand and squeezing it gently. "I wouldn't be able to leave them if I didn't know that they were with you and Dad."
"It almost…almost makes up for not being able to raise you," the older version of Casey said, holding her daughter's hand tightly. "I will never forgive the Council for the way they treated us, taking our genes, then deciding to create you in a laboratory, and forbidding us to even know about you, let alone getting to see you!"
Aaron gently caressed his wife's back. "That is all in the past, now. Immortals are being born of Immortals, and being raised by their parents, as it should be."
"Yes, as it should be," Erin said softly. She turned to Casey. "Will you being going on more missions?"
Casey shook her blonde head. "Not for awhile. SG-1 is on stand-by status. The other SGCI teams can deal with the System Lords for awhile. Duncan says we've been gone more than anyone the past few weeks, so we deserve the down time. I won't argue. I could use the peace and quiet."
"We all could," Daniel said quietly.
Aaron looked at his daughter. Daniel had told him what she had endured, about the nightmares, and the 'episodes' she had suffered after she had escaped Nergal's clutches. "It gives me peace of mind to know that you will not be…in danger." He looked out at his grandchildren. "Duncan called me as soon as Jack had given him…the news. I hadn't yet told Erin. The thought that we had lost you-" he broke off, looked at Daniel. "I can only imagine the hell that you went through."
Daniel toyed with the glass of iced tea in front of him. "Hell is certainly the right word. I…I have never felt so…alone. I grieved when Sha're was taken, I grieved when she was killed. But that grief, that pain was nothing like what I experienced when I thought Casey was lost to me forever."
Casey took Daniel's hand, laced her fingers with his. "It's over. Let's not talk about it," she said softly. She reached out to him, gently caressed him, pushed away the pain that tried to overtake him. She smiled at the loving touch she felt in return.
Erin looked at the faces of the two men, then at her daughter. "I believe that more happened than what I have been told."
She looked at her mother. "Did they tell you that Nergal had captured me?"
"Your father said only that they believed he was holding you."
"Mom, it…it was bad, and let's just leave it at that. Daniel helped me through it, rescued me, and then helped me hold it together once I came home. I'm okay now. That's all that is important."
Erin Desala had her own talents, her own gifts. She was more aware of what Casey had suffered than any of them realized. "He was…brutal. He tortured you. In horrible ways. But it was worse when he was torturing others, in an attempt to break you," she said softly.
Casey started, looked at her mother, saw the concern, the fear, the anger, in green eyes so much like her own. Knew that her mother had 'witnessed' what she had suffered.
Aaron shook his head. He should have known that Erin would 'see' what was happening to her daughter. "Your gift of…'sight'…comes from your mother," he said.
"Yes, Mom, he was brutal. But it's over, I'm fine. And I really don't want to talk about it."
Daniel squeezed her fingers lightly. "Then we won't talk about it," he said quietly. "Tell me about this house you're so interested in."
Casey smiled at him, and began to describe the house and all it's amenities, how beautiful it was, and how much room it had. He could only smile at the excitement that lit her face, and her beautiful eyes.
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