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A Change Will Do You Good
Summer was coming to an end, and Carly and Teal'c had returned to Gamma. Casey was totally thrilled when Carly informed her that they had found a house half a block from Sam and Jack, a one-story similar to the house the Jacksons now lived in. The young Immortal was happy to know that SG-1 was together, living within just a few houses of one another.
Teal'c had informed them that he and Carly had agreed to be married on the 12th of October. Sam, Tessa and Casey immediately contacted Carly, and the four women, along with Vicky, another of Carly's close friends, launched into preparations with all of the gusto of generals preparing for war. Casey, always organized, had made a chart of the amount time they had to get everything together, and what needed to be done. With the precision of crack military troops, the women set out to find the perfect dress, arrange for the decorations, flowers, cake, food, and even music.
The men had prudently made themselves scarce whenever the women began talking about the wedding, which seemed to be every time any combination of two or more of them came together.
A A A A A A
Teal'c was lifting weights, Jack doing the same on one side, Daniel lifting as well on the other. "I do not understand what difference it makes which flower she chooses to have in her bouquet. When she asked me what flowers I would choose, I told her that I did not know enough about Earth flowers to be able to make a well informed decision. She then brought home a book that listed all the varieties of flowers from your home world. After looking through it, I told her that any of the species would be acceptable. She became upset with me, then told me that I did not care about the wedding. This is not correct. I do care about the wedding. I do not understand many of the customs, but I wish for her to have exactly what she wants."
Daniel and Jack shared knowing looks. "Teal'c, women tend to get a little…crazy…when they're planning a wedding. More so when it's their own. She just wants to know that you're interested. And what you would like," Daniel said. "Casey drove me nuts planning ours. I'm glad we didn't have a lot of time to plan it in, she kept wanting to change everything. I thought that once everything was ordered, that would be it, she'd settle down. But she still kept coming up with different ideas, wanting to change the food and the flowers. And having the meltdowns that came with all the planning. No matter what Carly picks now, chances are she'll change her mind before she actually orders them."
Jack nodded. "Did you see anything in that book that you liked?"
"I found the 'Bird of Paradise' to be a pleasing choice," Teal'c replied.
"A bit tropical," Daniel said.
"Go with roses. You can't miss with roses," Jack supplied.
"Carlotta has said that roses are expected, and that she wants something…unique," Teal'c said.
"So tell her you like the Bird of Paradise. Another one that would be nice would be orchids," Daniel said.
The large Jaffa nodded. "I will tell her this evening."
Daniel and Jack shared another look. And both rejoiced that they weren't the ones dealing with the pre-wedding meltdowns and jitters.
A A A A A A
Thirty people walked through the 'gate to PX3 695. It was early morning on the planet. Casey, Sam, Tessa, and Vicki, the assistant manager for Carl's dance studio, had spent the majority of the day prior making sure that all was ready. Jack, Daniel, and Duncan had brought the food through just a few hours earlier, and all was indeed set for the wedding to commence. Carly had lovingly chosen to incorporate Jaffa traditions into the ceremony as well. Master Bra'tac was on hand to perform the marriage rites. Rya'c and Kar'yn stood with the bride and groom as witnesses. SG-1, and the McLeod's were also taking part.
Rya'c was overjoyed that his father was getting married, and told everyone that Carlotta was the only woman strong enough to deal with his father's stubbornness, which made everyone laugh.
When the vows and rings had been exchanged, promises of love given and received, and Teal'c had kissed the bride, congratulations and hugs were exchanged. The cake was cut, and as soon as the first dance was over, the Jaffa led his bride down the path to the stone altar. The guests remained beneath the canopy, enjoying the food, wine and music.
Casey couldn't help it, she burst into giggles when they all heard Teal'c's roar of release.
"Glad I wasn't that loud," Daniel whispered in her ear.
She was still laughing. "I'm not sure that you weren't, Stud Muffin. You let out with a pretty loud groan yourself."
He kissed the tip of her nose. "You were making your fair share of noise, too, you know."
"I know. I couldn't help it. I still can't help it. Happens every time you love me," she replied, her eyes dancing with love and laughter and fire.
"Glad to know I please you," he teased.
"Oh, My Heart, you more than please me," she said softly. "I breathe because of you, I exist because of you, for you, only you."
His arms tightened around her. "It's the same for me, Angel."
A A A A A A
When Carly and Teal'c rejoined their family and friends, the members of SG-1 surrounded the couple.
"The first time I saw Teal'c, I was on the wrong end of his staff weapon," Jack said. "He made a choice that day that many of us would be hard pressed to make if put in the same position. He gave up everything to join us in our battle against the Goa'uld. He has proven his loyalty, his friendship, time and time again. I consider him one of my best friends. Teal'c, buddy, congratulations. I'm happy for you, glad that you have a good woman in your life, someone who loves you and appreciates you. And likes us, too," he added with a grin.
"Teal'c and I didn't start off as friends," Daniel said. "But it didn’t take long until he became one of my best friends. He's been there for me time and again, proving his friendship in many ways. He doesn’t have to say a word to let me know that he's there, and that he cares. Teal'c, congratulations. May you and Carly find all the happiness both of you deserve."
"I can remember the first time Teal'c came through the 'gate with us. He had already proven himself to Jack, Daniel, and I," Sam said. "He was treated with suspicion and hostility, but he never lost his temper, he did everything that was demanded of him willingly, humbly, with such grace that he put many of those dealing with him to shame. When Daniel died, and Ascended, Teal'c's shoulder was the one I cried on the most. Teal'c is one of my best friends, and I'm so glad that he has found the perfect woman to fill that part of him that I know was lonely. Congratulations, big guy, may you both be blessed."
"The first time I saw Teal'c, I was actually afraid of him. I had just been rescued from Goa'uld imprisonment, and I recognized a Jaffa. He brought a checkerboard and checkers into the infirmary, and we sat all afternoon and played checkers. He even let me win a couple of times," Casey said, smiling at the chuckles that filled the air. "It didn’t take long…I think it happened in a matter of days, Teal'c became one of my best friends. Teal'c has been there for me whenever I needed a friend to talk to, or a shoulder to cry on, someone to set me straight when I'm doubting myself. Congratulations, T, I'm so happy for you, and I know you and Carly will have a wonderful life together."
Teal'c smiled, and hugged each of his teammates, his friends…his family.
Jack pulled a jacket from a package that he had brought with him, then went to stand beside the bride. "Carly, you're an amazing woman. Not just any woman could have hooked the big guy, and not just any woman would have fit in with the team. Even though you don't go on missions with us, you're as much a part of SG-1 as any of us. So, we thought you should have a jacket that shows that you're officially a part of our team."
Carly took the jacket, hugged Jack, then walked down the line and hugged each of team members, tears in her eyes. "Thank you. It means a great deal to me that the people who are most important in my husband's life accept me into their very special family."
Music began playing again, and dancing resumed. It was late afternoon on the planet when the tired but happy group came back through the 'gate.
A A A A A A
Unlinkil contacted Duncan MacLeod. The leader of the people on Gamma needed to know what he had learned from spies who had once worked for Nergal. When he arrived in the president's office, Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson, and the Jaffa - Teal'c, were with him. The Ancient was missing, but he knew that Aaron Desala would be told all that was spoken about during the meeting.
"I have bad news," he said, as soon as greetings had been exchanged.
Daniel could feel his heart drop. "That bastard is still breathing."
The oldest of Immortals nodded his head. "He has been seen on Ashnan's home planet. He seems to be keeping to himself. It seems that his High Priest was not in the palace the morning that you destroyed it, and managed to dig the bastard out. I don't know where Rotalle found a sarcophagus. I am sure that Nergal is busy plotting to take over. Penatil was quick to claim the planet, but has done little to make the claim valid. I don't know how long it will be before Nergal will announce that he is still alive. When he does, the other System Lords will split, some will capitulate to him immediately, fearing his ability to literally rise from the dead, the others will seek to destroy him."
"So where does this leave us?" Jack asked.
"For now, it leaves you out of things. Unless he becomes a threat again, it would be best if you were to…ignore, his return. I still have ways of learning what he is up to. For any of you to approach him would force his hand. I fear that pushing him into a confrontation would bring more trouble than any of us are ready to deal with," Unlinkil replied.
Daniel had been doodling on the pad in front of him. "I've been wondering about something," he said quietly.
Unlinkil nodded. "Ask your question. Or questions," he said.
"You were moving around Nergal's palace while Casey was being held. And before that. How did you manage to do that, and of all the people that Nergal tortured and killed, why did you save her? I’m grateful that you did, please don't misunderstand. I'm just curious as how you could do that, and why," Daniel said.
The dark haired man smiled. "The palace, the compound that Nergal claimed as his own, was one that I had built, with Darilla as my Queen. He moved in when she took him as her lover. He took over when she was killed. I alone knew of the secret passageways, which I had intentionally left off of the blue prints. I never knew if the time would come when I would need them. I saved your wife because one of the slaves reported to me that she knew of my wife. I wanted…needed…to know what she knew of my Beloved. Do not think that I would not have saved her otherwise, I would have. When I first saw her I sensed her Immortality. As I watched her fight against Nergal, I determined to free her at the first opportunity. Very few of his prisoners fought with such fire, such absolute hatred. Mostly they begged for mercy, begged for their lives. She tried hard not to cry out in pain. She never begged. Not even for the life of her friend. She told him time and again that she would kill him. Told him that she hated him. She suffered greatly each time. Each time she died, it was because she had taunted him into killing her. I believe she did so simply to have a respite from the torture."
Daniel nodded. He knew he would probably never be aware of just how much his Wife had suffered while being held by Nergal. He prayed that she would be able to forget.
"She's one hell of a woman," Duncan said softly.
Unlinkil smiled. "Yes she is. And she will be his undoing."
The young archaeologist began to laugh. "Why am I not surprised?"
"Why do you laugh?" Unlinkil asked.
"You remember Framone?"
The dark haired Immortal nodded. "Pompous ass."
All of the men in the room laughed. "Yeah, he was. He was determined to breed her with Duncan. Bring forth the Third Race of Immortals to fight for him. He had delusions of grandeur to rival any Goa'uld…maybe because one had tried to infest him. Casey drove him crazy, literally. Ba'al, another Goa'uld, fell in love with her, which brought about his death."
"Don't forget old Weepywhoever," Jack grinned.
Daniel smiled. "So far, every Goa'uld who has gone up against her has died. I don’t think that Nergal will escape."
Unlinkil studied the young man in front of him. "In each instance, at some point with those Goa'uld she was fighting for her life, am I correct?"
The men around him nodded.
"I realize that she is a seer, that alone is a great gift. But I believe she has another power, one that I don't think she's aware of. She's a beautiful, charming woman." He glanced up at Daniel. "I wish no offense, and I want you to understand that I was merely trying to help her…"
The young man tensed, but nodded.
"...When I brought her to my cottage, she was still wearing the torn, bloody gown she had died in. I knew that she would remain…dead…for at least a few more hours. I took the gown off, cleaned the blood from her, and put a flannel nightshirt on her. Again, I did so only to help her, make her comfortable."
Daniel's hands were closed into fists. "I understand," he said tightly.
The oldest Immortal smiled. "I would be just as angry as you are, to think that another man…looked upon…what belonged to me."
"Get on with it," Daniel replied tersely.
"Her skin is soft, like satin," he said.
"She uses body lotion every time she showers," Daniel said his anger beginning to show.
"I imagine that she tastes as sweet as she smells," the older man continued.
Duncan shifted uncomfortably. He remembered just exactly how sweet she smelled and tasted. Even Jack and Teal'c were well aware of how sweet she always smelled.
"Yes, she does," Daniel said, suddenly uncertain as to where the conversation was going.
Unlinkil nodded again. "Every few thousand years, a woman is born with the ability to…charm, to bewitch men. Some of them understand this…ability…others never even realize they have it. Your wife is one of the latter. Her body, the chemical composition of her body, makes her…sweet. To smell, to taste; so very soft to touch. When she is frightened, fighting for her life, her body produces pheromones similar to those produced for sexual encounters. Unlike the pheromones she produces when she becomes aroused, makes love, although I am willing to bet that those are…more intense…than normal as well, these pheromones cause actual physical changes in the brain of any male she is focused on, an…addiction of sorts. I do know that she has to follow up those pheromones with physical contact, I think that's how it becomes concentrated enough to affect them. And why it doesn't affect any other men who might be nearby. I don't know exactly how it works, but any male, even a Goa'uld, is susceptible to her…charms. And they remain charmed."
Daniel was stunned. "Wouldn't something like that show up in blood tests?"
"Do any pheromones show up that way?" Unlinkil shook his head. "She is unaware of this…power. I doubt that she would believe it, anyway. She is much too…modest; too…shy."
Jack grinned at Daniel. "Better hope she never feels threatened around you, Danny."
He grinned. He was already emotionally and mentally addicted to her. Now he was aware that the addiction could be a real, physical one. He started chuckling. "Well, now when I tell you guys I have to have time alone with her, you'll understand it's more than just the Fire!"
The men around him laughed. "I take it this is your way of letting us know that Nergal is going to be after Casey?" Duncan asked.
"Yes. I know that you do not wish for her to be aware of this. I understand. But be warned that as soon as possible, he will try to find her. He will tell himself it's for revenge, but once she is near him, he will want nothing more than to have her at his side, as his own."
When Unlinkil had taken his leave, the men contacted Dr. Montigue, discussed with him what the oldest Immortal had shared with them. He agreed that there were tests that he could conduct. If Casey was willing to participate. Daniel was adamant that he didn't want her to know what the tests were for, or about this 'power' she had. He feared it would do nothing more than upset her, knew for certain that it would frighten her.
A A A A A A
She laid down on the examining table. Dr. Montigue had asked her, Sam, Becca, and three other Immortal women to participate in a study he was doing on 'gate travel and it's affects on women, and in particular, whether said affects were also seen in Immortals. He gave her a thorough physical examination, then took blood and even skin samples.
He talked to her about the Goa'uld she had been near, specifically Framone, Ba'al, and Nergal. When he noticed that she was trembling ever so slightly as they talked he took several swabs of from her; her throat, under her arms, and a vaginal swab as well. He was able to do this during the course of her physical examination, so that she wasn't aware of what he was actually doing, and any questions she had he could explain away as having to do with the study. He did the same to the other women, so that he would have a comparison.
Three days later the men were back in Duncan's office. Food was brought in, so that if any wives showed up unexpectedly, they could claim that they had decided to have lunch together.
"Well, so far my findings concur with what Unlinkil told you. Casey does excrete some sort of extra pheromone, and it was the strongest when she was talking about the Goa'uld she's encountered. I'll continue to study it, but it is totally unique to her," Dr. Montigue reported.
So sweet, Daniel thought. That thought had gone through his mind thousands of times, every time he made love to her. He could remember how Sha're had smelled, tasted. He could even remember Sarah. There had been other women in his life, too briefly to have clear memories of their smell or taste. None of them had ever smelled, or tasted as sweet as Casey. He had no idea if the pheromones were involved in it, but he knew for certain that he was totally addicted to her sweet honey!
The men looked at the young archaeologist. "You lucky little SOB," Jack said, shaking his head. He had absolutely no complaints about Sam. None whatsoever. But the thought that Casey tasted as sweet as she smelled…drove him nuts!
Duncan wondered briefly if this pheromone was why even now, there were times that his love for her surfaced. Not for more than a few minutes, never to the degree it had been before he had found his way back to Tessa. But he remembered the fear that accompanied the first few days that they struggled with the Fire. He was certain that she had been afraid of him. Perhaps not afraid for her life, but certainly afraid for her life with Daniel.
"What?" Daniel asked innocently, smiling broadly. And fighting the thoughts and images that were dancing in his head.
"Yeah, sit there and grin," Jack said, still shaking his head.
"I believe this might be a link to the Hathor drug," Dr. Montigue said. "If other women in history have had this…gift…then it is possible that a Goa'uld would understand what it was, and take advantage of it."
"And reproduced it," Duncan said. "Is that possible?"
"Oh, very possible," the doctor replied. "This pheromone is not as…concentrated…as the drug, but it is nearly identical."
"I wonder if the original body that Hathor infested had this…gift," Daniel said, popping a potato chip into his mouth. "It would explain why she used it."
Jack nodded. "Makes sense. I guess that sort of explains that whole Hathor drug thing, doesn't it?"
The men nodded.
"Well, as long as I keep Case away from Goa'uld who scare the bejeezus out of her, I think everything will be all right."
Jack grinned. "I dunno, Danny. What about your addiction to her?"
Daniel grinned. "I don't mind."
The older man snorted. "I'll bet you don't!"
Daniel's grin widened. "Just means that now I have an excuse to get my…uh…daily fix!"
Again the men in the room laughed.
"Okay, now the question becomes, what do we do with this information?" Duncan asked.
"What can we do with it? Except try to keep her out of the clutches of Goa'uld, like Danny said," Jack replied.
"Well, we sure as hell keep this to ourselves, agreed?" Duncan asked. The men agreed
A A A A A A
Daniel walked in the door. Emily and Nicholas ran to greet him, he hugged and kissed each of them in turn. "Babe? I'm home!" He sniffed. Cookies. Fresh, home-baked cookies!
"In the kitchen, Sweetheart," was the reply.
He walked in, found her in the middle of baking cookies that he had smelled. Chocolate walnut. "So this is the important project you had at home this afternoon?"
She smiled up at him. "Yep."
"Okay, I'll bite. Why?"
Her arms went around his neck. "Because you bought me a new house. And new furniture. Gave me two beautiful babies. Because you love me."
"I did all that, huh?" he grinned, his arms going around her slender waist.
"Yes, you did."
"Then I really do deserve your homemade chocolate walnut cookies."
"Yes you do."
Nine years of marriage, not counting the forty-three that technically hadn't happened, but that he remembered well, alerted him to a snow job. "And there's no other reason for taking the afternoon off to bake my favorite cookies."
She smiled. "Nope. Just because I love you." She pressed against him.
He pulled her closer, lowered his head and kissed her sweet, sweet lips. Whatever it was that she was up to, he'd find out soon enough.
The timer on the oven dinged, and she pulled away to take the next batch out. He noticed that the lower oven was on as well. He took a peek. Lasagna. He didn't know whether to be excited, or worried. With Casey, anything was possible.
He waited all through dinner. Which was incredible, as always. He wondered during snuggle time. Waited again while he finished up some work in the den, with her sitting beside him reading, her feet in his lap. Waited while she brushed her teeth, put on that sexy little blue teddy, the one that was his new favorite, then sat down on the bed to brush her hair. Waited as he undressed, watching her closely. Finally he couldn’t take it any longer. "Casey Renee, I want to know exactly what's going on, and I want to know right now!"
Casey looked up at him, then began to giggle. She shook her head, and picked up the phone. She punched two. "Sam? Hi. I owe you ten. I'll pay you tomorrow at lunch…yep, just now...really?…too funny! I'm not surprised…Well, I thought I had it made, but I guess you were right… Okay, see you in the morning. Bye."
He stood staring at her. "A bet? This was all because of a bet?"
She giggled. "I told Sam that I wanted to bake you some cookies, because it's been such a long time since I'd been able to do that. She said that you'd think I was up to something. Especially if I took the afternoon off to do it. Then I said you'd never be suspicious like that. So she said I should bake the cookies and fix one of your favorite meals for dinner, and then…put on your favorite teddy, and see how long before you demanded to know what was going on. Another twenty minutes or so and I'd have won ten dollars. And proven that you're not the suspicious type!"
He dropped down onto the bed and laughed. "You are something else, Casey Jackson."
"Yeah, but you love me anyway," she replied, kissing the tip of his nose.
"With all my heart, Angel."
"I suppose if I told you I wanted to make love you'd think I was after something?"
He grinned. "Just my anaconda."
She giggled again. "Well, can I have it?"
He reached up and turned off the light. "Come and get it, babe," he said softly.
He held her close in the afterglow of their lovemaking. "So are you mad at me?"
She looked up at him. "What for?"
"Making you lose that bet."
"Not at all. You almost made it all the way. Jack caved right after dinner."
Daniel laughed. "Guess he's more suspicious than me."
"It's his nature. You, my heart, are a trusting, loving, wonderful man."
"Love you, Angel."
"Love you, too, Sweetheart." She sighed and snuggled closer, smiled when his arms tightened around her, and closed her eyes to sleep.
He smiled into the darkness, kissed her forehead. Sweet. So damned sweet.
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