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A Taste of Things to Come
"And now, for a taste of things to come…"
by George S. Clinton, from the 'Mortal Combat' soundtrack
Daniel rolled to his side. Smiled as he moved his hand over the barely noticeable swell in Casey's belly. Felt her snuggle closer, pressing the warmth of her back against his chest. He opened his eyes, yawned. Was surprised to have awakened before the alarm…the annoying buzzing sound chose that moment to fill the air with its incessant noise. He reached up, hit the snooze button. That familiar ache began to fill him. His need for her was reflected in his rising member.
She could feel his body stirring to life. Knew that within minutes he would be sheathed in her well, taking them both on a quick flight to paradise. His hand moved from her belly to her breasts; gently caressing her, his mouth leaving a trail of kisses over her shoulder to her neck. She reached behind her, ran her fingertips up and down his hip, felt the responsive shiver.
"'Morning, Angel," he said softly.
"'Morning, Stud Muffin," she replied sleepily. She shifted until she was lying on her back, looked up into those incredible blue eyes. Reached out and caressed his whisker-stubbled jaw.
His smile widened when she let her fingers slide down his chest, wrapped her hand around him and began to gently stroke his swollen shaft. "Need you," he whispered.
"Need you too," she whispered in reply. Closed her eyes as he kissed her, his mouth moving slowly, gently over hers.
Eight and a half months, and still his need for her, the need to assure himself again and again that she was safe and in his arms, was still as strong, as overpowering as the day she had been tossed through the 'gate; wet, cold…dead…but there. He'd spoken briefly to Gwenyth Blackstone about this insatiable need for her. The Immortal psychiatrist had had no explanation, no words of wisdom to share with him. She could only surmise, she'd told him, that his deep love for Casey, and the depths of the depression her death had caused, were the reasons that he couldn't bear to let her out of his sight; the reason his body would not be satisfied without loving her the first thing every morning, and the last thing every night. He could only thank the gods and his lucky stars that Casey embraced his need…his obsession…as a gauntlet against her own fears and insecurities.
Every morning the love that they made was sweet, gentle…the perfect way to start the day, she thought. Even though they had to get showers taken, and feed the kids breakfast before heading to the base, Daniel never rushed. Never took before he gave. Never allowed himself to take flight until she was already spinning among the stars. She would hold the memory of every gentle touch, every sweet kiss throughout the day, wrap herself in the love that he gave her.
Her soft sighs of pleasure and whispered declarations of love sent his soul flying, even as her body welcomed him and sent quivers of bliss up and down his spine. He stroked her, caressed her, using his hands and mouth and body to take her to that special place that existed only for them, followed her over the cliff and into waves of such intense sensation that his cry echoed with hers.
She was drying her hair when it hit her. Something was wrong…something…odd…was about to happen. "Daniel?"
"I think we need to get to the base."
He glanced over at her. "Why?"
"I'm not sure. But it's important. Very strange…no…odd…odd and important." She couldn't shake the feeling that Emily and Nicholas were involved. Worried about the 'prediction' of the Ascended Being who had changed her Quickening to allow the pregnancy she was now four months into, she hurriedly pulled on her clothes to go and check the safety of her babies.
"'Morning, Mommy," Emily said from where she sat on the couch. She had several of her storybooks scattered around her, reading to Nicholas.
"Good morning, Baby," Casey replied, smiling at her children. Emily was reading at a second grade level now. She would start second grade in September. Her fifth birthday was only days away. "Good morning, Little Man," she said, leaning over to kiss the blonde head of her son.
"Case? Everything okay?" Daniel asked, a slight frown on his face as he walked barefoot into the living room. He finished pulling his shirt onto his shoulders and down over his broad chest. The way she'd flown from the bathroom had concerned him. He was still puzzling over the difference between 'strange' and 'odd'.
Casey smiled. "Everything is fine. Okay, gang, it's cereal and fruit this morning."
Daniel gathered the boxes of cereal while Casey started a pot of coffee. "What kind of cereal do you two Little Monkeys want today?"
"We're not monkeys, Daddy," Emily giggled, climbing onto her barstool.
"You climb around like one," Daniel teased.
"Cwunch!" Nicholas exclaimed, pointing to the red box. Cap'n Crunch was his favorite at the moment.
"Mini Wheats," Emily decided, looking over the assortment of colorful cereal boxes.
While Daniel poured cereal and milk, Casey quickly peeled and sectioned three oranges, sliced up two apples, and put a banana at each place setting, Nicholas' she had already peeled for him. The coffee was ready by the time she was finished, and she poured two cups of the much needed caffeinated beverage. Added milk and sugar to one cup and sighed when the first sip passed her lips.
Erin arrived just as they were finishing their morning meal, greeted them all with hugs and kisses. Patted Casey's little tummy. Washed the children up while her daughter and son-in-law finished getting ready for work. She smiled when Casey walked back into the room, Daniel directly behind her. The older woman looked into Casey's eyes. "You feel it as well."
"Something…different," the Ancient Immortal replied.
"A bit…off…a little…odd?"
"It hit me about thirty minutes ago," Casey admitted.
"Me, also," Erin replied.
"Bad odd?" Daniel asked. He finished off his banana, grabbed an apple slice and popped it into his mouth.
Casey closed her eyes. Listened carefully. "No…at least…I can't sense anything…bad…not yet. Just odd. We really need to go," she said softly.
He nodded. "Let's go, then." He leaned over to kiss Emily on the top of the head, ruffled, Nicholas' hair. "You two be good for Meemaw." He said the same thing every morning.
"We will, Daddy," Emily replied, her part of the morning ritual. "Love you."
"Love you too, Princess."
"Wuv, Daddy," Nicholas said, before cramming more banana in his mouth.
Daniel grinned. "Love you, Son."
"Love you, my babies," Casey said, grabbing her purse. She planted quick kisses on the tops of blonde heads, hugged her mother, and followed Daniel to the garage.
A A A A A A
The team was together and waiting in Duncan's office when the Immortal walked through the door. "Why is it that seeing the five of you sitting in here when I come in makes me nervous?" he asked, a slight frown on his face.
"Because we only do it when something is wrong?" Casey offered.
He barely managed to bite back a groan. "Okay, so what's wrong?"
The Highlander stared at the young blonde for a minute. "You don't know what's wrong, but you're all sitting in here."
"Yep." Neither Jack, Sam, nor Teal'c doubted Casey's feelings. If she said something was wrong…it was. It didn't matter that she didn't have details…yet. Their unwavering faith in her, in her…gift …never ceased to amaze her.
"Casey, I am not in the mood for this," Duncan warned. He and Tessa had been arguing over pre-school for weeks. He was certain that Richie was quite ready to be with other children his age. Tessa didn't want to let the child out of her sight. That morning had seen a continuation of that argument.
"Duncan, all I know is that something…odd…is going to happen. Very soon. And I know that we all have to be there…here," she amended, frowning slightly.
Slender shoulders moved up and down. "I don't know. It feels…weird…and…" she cocked her head sideways. "Not good… not good at all," she whispered, as fingers of fear wrapped around her heart and began to squeeze. No, not good at all!
"Oh, hell," Jack hissed. Casey hadn't been wrong yet. If she said it was going to be bad, well, all they could do was hold on for the ride and hope that they could win the battle…it was always a fight…always.
"Any idea how 'soon' this…weird…thing is going to happen?" Duncan asked.
She closed her eyes. "About now."
The klaxons began to wail. The hazard lights were flashing. With a sigh, Duncan followed as the team raced to the 'gate room.
"Uh, boss, you aren't going to like this," Kyle said, frowning as the IDC recognition flashed on his computer screen.
"Well, it's an old code…from last year."
"Um, it's SG-1's code. And it has General O'Neill and Doctor Jackson's personal IDCs attached," Kyle said.
"What?" Duncan glanced at Casey. She nodded. "Open the iris."
The event horizon opened with the customary 'whoosh' of power. Several seconds ticked by. And then four teenagers stepped cautiously onto the ramp. Four very familiar looking teenagers.
"Emily, Nicholas!" Casey whispered, her eyes wide. Beside her children stood a young woman who could only be Evelyn O'Neill. And a young man who looked as much like his father as Nicholas looked like Daniel.
"Holy Hannah," Sam breathed, staring at her own daughter.
The young people stared at the team as hard as the team stared at them. Emotions without names flickered over faces, filled eyes…filled the very air around them.
"Daddy!" Emily cried, tears running down her cheeks. She launched herself into Daniel's arms, clung to him while sobs wracked her slender body.
"Shh," Daniel said softly, his arms automatically going around her, holding her tight. "It's okay, Princess."
"Damn, Dad," Nicholas said, his jaw working, swallowing again and again, his blue eyes filled with tears.
Daniel held out an arm. His son stepped into the embrace.
Richie MacLeod looked at his father. Reached out and touched the man's face. "I…" He could say no more. Tears filled his eyes, and he grabbed the startled Highlander, hugged him tightly.
"Daddy!" Evelyn whispered. Just before running into Jack's arms. The sound of her sobs joined those of Emily's.
Sam and Casey exchanged glances. "Something is wrong," Casey said softly.
Emily pulled away from Daniel slightly, wiped the tears from her cheeks. "You could say that."
"It's okay, Pumpkin," Jack whispered as Evelyn continued to weep in his arms.
"Not really, Uncle Jack," Nicholas said, shaking his blonde head. "Everything has pretty much gone to hell."
Casey's cheeks paled. In an instant realized that Nicholas possessed psychic talents nearly as strong as her own. She could sense them in Emily as well…but her son was definitely the stronger seer. She hadn't sensed them in him yet…but he wasn't quite three. Although Emily's gift had been easier to sense, even at that tender age. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that he was a boy? Whatever the reason, her son had a considerable gift. "Show me," she whispered.
With a nod, Nicholas took his mother's hand. "It's not going to be easy," he warned.
She nodded her understanding. Closed her eyes. Images, horrible and painful filled her mind. Destruction. Death. Suffering. Penatil! When she 'witnessed' the mass beheading of Immortal men, including the four standing in the 'gate room with them, she gasped out loud. One in particular wrenched her heart from her chest. With a cry of protest, she fainted.
"Damn it!" Nicholas grimaced, grabbed her sagging form, scooped her into arms as well developed as his father's.
"What's the date?" Emily asked.
"April 16th. 2015," Daniel replied.
"Oh, hell!" Nicholas hissed. "That's why he-"
"Nicholas!" Evelyn said loudly, shaking her head slightly. "Remember what Mom told us."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nothing about the future. Except to let them know what happens…and why we have to stop it," Nicholas replied. He looked at his mother's unconscious form. "She's pregnant. Should we take her to the infirmary?"
The adults in the room were in shock. Obviously something was very, very wrong. Daniel stepped closer to his son. "I'll take her," he said softly.
Nicholas shook his head. "If you don't mind…it's…I haven't…it's been awhile since I've seen her," he whispered, pressing his cheek to his mother's forehead.
Sam cleared her throat. "I take it that…that your father…fathers…are…"
"Dead," Evelyn whispered. She wrapped her arms around Jack and held tightly to him. "I miss you so much!"
Jack hugged his daughter. "It's okay, Pumpkin. We'll get this taken care of, I promise."
"Should we not be discussing what the problem is, so that we might find the solution?" Teal'c asked.
Emily giggled softly. Which sounded so much like Casey it was downright unnerving. "Spoken just like Uncle Teal'c." She walked over and hugged the giant of a man. "I've missed you, too," she said softly.
Teal'c returned the hug. Accepted one from Evelyn as well.
"Yeah, we need to talk. We only have forty-eight hours," Richie said solemnly.
"Forty-eight?" Sam asked. There was a time limit of twenty four hours when traveling between realities through the quantum mirror before entropic cascade failure took effect. During SG-1's 'visit' to their own past, there had been no such…difficulties.
The young MacLeod grinned. "We technically could stay longer, I suppose, but our chances of getting back diminish exponentially the longer we stay. You…er…well, yeah, you said we can't go into town, or we risk changing the timeline in the wrong way.."
"Not to mention freaking people out," Emily said, rolling her eyes. "We need Uncle Wade and Methos here as soon as possible."
"Emily, we can't contact them right now," Duncan said, finally able to come to terms with the fact that he was seeing, and talking with, future versions of the children of SG-1. And his own son.
"You have to Uncle Mac. He…um…well, he insists that right now, only he can…do whatever it is that he needs to do. I can find him," Evelyn said, glancing at her friends, that glance lingering on Emily.
"Do it Evvie," Nicholas said. It was clear that he was the 'leader' of this group. "We don't have time to waste."
With a nod, the young O'Neill woman raced up to the control room. "Is Grampa Desala around?" she asked through the intercom.
"He's at his office, I think," Daniel replied.
"Get him here, Evvie. We'll need him to get Uncle Wade and Methos here via flashy light," Emily said.
"Let's talk," Richie said softly. He led the way to the conference room. None of the adults argued when he and Emily closed and locked the doors, and lowered the metal shield over the window that overlooked the 'gate room. It was habit for the young people to secure the area before speaking, especially of matters of such importance. It was a habit that had kept them alive.
"Let's hear it," Jack said, settling into his usual seat.
Nicholas sat down, still cradling his mother's unconscious form. "Right now Penatil is in hiding, right?"
"We think he's heading that way," Daniel replied.
"Yeah, well in about three years he's going to make a comeback. Big time. Mom never…sensed…or discovered his secret lab…not even Peepaw knew about it," the young man continued.
"Kull warriors," Sam hissed, her eyes wide with horror.
"Nearly fifty thousand of them," Richie confirmed.
"Oh, god," Daniel moaned.
"Yeah. He swept through like…" Nicholas shook his head. "The Asgard are gone. The Tollan are gone. The Nox we haven't heard from in almost nine years. Earth, Gamma, Langara, Terra, Sodonia, the Alpha and Beta colonies…gone."
Shock covered the faces of the team. Casey moaned softly, her eyes fluttered open. She looked up into the face of her son. "Nicholas?"
"I'm sorry, Mom. I forgot about…" he nodded toward her belly.
Casey realized she was sitting in her son's lap. A blush covered her cheeks, and she hurriedly moved to sit in the chair beside Daniel, gratefully allowed his fingers to wrap around hers.
"You're as beautiful as I remember," Nicholas said softly.
She smiled. "You're the image of your father."
The young man grinned. "Yeah, so I've heard."
"Do they know?" she asked.
"We're telling them," Emily replied. The young woman looked up when someone tapped lightly on the door. Obviously it was a signal, because none of the young people moved at first. Then Richie jumped up to let Evelyn into the room. "Well?"
"Message has been sent. Methos was pretty pissed off at first. Until I gave him the message he gave Aunt Casey, something about Nergal," the young woman replied. "I called Grampa Desala. He said he'd be here-"
"I am here," the Ancient replied, stepping toward the table.
"Nice to see you, Peepaw," Nicholas grinned. "Looking good for an old Ancient."
"You've turned into a smartass," Aaron grinned in return.
"Peepaw, we need Methos and Uncle Wade here right away," Emily told the older man.
Aaron nodded, closed his eyes. A few seconds later a very startled Methos and equally unnerved Wade were standing in the room. "Now, tell us what has happened."
A A A A A A
It took nearly thirty minutes for the teenagers to give the adults the news that they had come back to the past to report. That Penatil had succeeded with the NID's experiments. That the Kull warriors he had created were Immortal, making them impossible to take out, at least permanently…getting near them with a sword was not something that they could do. That over a period of four years the System Lord had cut a swath through the galaxy, destroying civilizations that refused to serve him, enslaving all others. And that even the dozens of Goa'uld who were known to be alive served the maniacal monster. They told of the invasion of Gamma, and how the Immortals were rounded up after a fierce battle that left the mortal population - who had fought beside their Immortal neighbors and friends - dead or prisoners.
All but six Immortal men were beheaded in a very public display of power. Daniel Jackson, Jack O'Neill, Teal'c of Chulak, and Duncan MacLeod had been the last men killed…Penatil wielding the sword that decapitated each of them himself. He'd made a spectacle of them, bringing them from his ship one at a time, parading them, bloodied and beaten, down the street to the platform where they would die.
The six Immortal men chosen, all of them businessmen in Hope, had been spirited away. The Immortal children were rounded up, and after the executions, they too disappeared. The women were taken to another planet, confined in what had once been a maximum security prison. There, they were given the fertility serum needed to overcome their Quickening, and they were kept pregnant through invitro fertilization. The children they bore were taken from them as soon as they passed their third birthday.
Aaron and Erin had managed to find the O'Neill girls and Richie during the first brutal hours of the attack on Gamma, and had whisked them, along with their grandchildren, to safety. It had taken Aaron two years to locate Sam and Tessa. Carly had died on Gamma in a final escape attempt. Penatil had eventually freed Casey from the prison, aborting the baby she was pregnant with at the time, and taking her as his Consort.
Methos had been able to maintain his standing as a Goa'uld, and was able to protect Wade from the power-crazed Penatil, who was certain that the human knew where Casey's children were. Sam, Methos, and Wade were working together with a handful of mortals desperate to be rid of Penatil. It had taken time, but Nicholas and Emily, with Methos' help, had been able to translate several of the journals that Daniel had written in his private cuneiform, during the last desperate days on Gamma, his theories about the ninth chevron on the Stargate. Aaron had disappeared, leaving a message with Erin saying only that he was doing what he could, and that she and the children would be safe.
"Peepaw was able to get us to a pretty remote part of the Caprica galaxy," Emily said. "Methos pulled enough information from what was left of the SGC computers for Aunt Sam to have an idea of what planets had 'gates that we could get to safely. And then Nicholas and-" she broke off, glanced at her sibling. "They were able to conduct a couple of experiments. We found out that you were right, Daddy. The ninth chevron does allow time travel. But it's tricky, and can't be done often."
"We'll be able to get back," Nicholas said. "Then, it will be at least another two hundred years before it can be attempted again."
"Doppler shift," Sam said immediately. "It's tied in to the movement of the planets and suns," she said.
Nicholas smiled. "So you said."
"We have to stop that son-of-a-bitch," Jack said, shaking his head.
"That would be the reason we're here," Richie said. "Aunt Sam said you…we…have one chance to change our future."
"It would have been easier if we had Mom's help," Nicholas said. He glanced at his mother. "From what we've heard, she's not much more than a walking corpse. I mean, she's okay physically…but…"
"She sort of lost it when Daddy was-" Emily gulped, turned her head, squeezed her eyes shut. She'd been eight years old when she'd watched her father beheaded. Penatil had thought it…fitting…that the children should see their fathers executed, before he took them away. Aaron Desala had attempted to stop the execution, but was unable to do so, the children in his care silent witnesses at the very edge of the crowd of mortals. She could still hear that awful sound, see the blue energy that moved over the crowd, seeking an Immortal Quickening to join with. Finding none. Finally flickering out of existence.
Nicholas swallowed. He'd been not quite six. And could remember the look on his mother's face when she'd seen his headless body, brought to her by neighbors who were hiding her, Sam, Tessa, and Carly. The way she had crumpled to the ground. "Yeah, lost it completely," he murmured.
Daniel's hand tightened around Casey's trembling fingers. Noted that his wife was as white as a sheet. 'Not gonna happen, Angel. I promise.'
'We don't have a choice, we have to face Penatil now.'
"Mom, can you…can you tell us where he is?" Emily asked. She remembered her mother's response as well. Could also remember her anger, watching her mother withdraw completely, even as a few of the stalwart continued to fight. If her mother had only tried, she might have been able to have helped them! Certainly wouldn't have been caught by Penatil's Jaffa, along with Sam, Tessa, and Carlotta Sanchez.
"I'll do my best," Casey replied softly. She could sense the…anger…in Emily. Which explained why the young woman had yet to actually 'greet' her. Something had happened to cause a rift between her and her daughter. She closed her eyes.
She fought the tears that threatened to fall as he strode towards her, pulled her into his arms. "Daniel, it's horrible! How could we have failed so miserably? Why couldn’t your Fire take him out?"
"I'm thinking I never got the chance. We both know it takes a lot out of me to...fight...for too long. He probably waited until I was exhausted," Daniel replied. Terrified that with all the strength he possessed, he had been unable to protect the Innocents, and the Immortals, from one Goa'uld. Determined in that moment that he was going to be the one to take the bastard out.
She nodded. "That sounds reasonable." She traced his jaw with a shaky fingertip. "I would you know," she whispered.
"Fall completely apart if I lost you."
"You're not going to lose me, Angel," he replied, pressing his lips to her forehead. "Let's find that son-of-a-bitch. We have less than forty-seven hours now, if the kids are going to help us."
Her green eyes went wide. "That's what she meant! This is how Emily and Nicholas will be 'instrumental in saving the Immortals'!"
Oh, hell! He really didn't want the kids anywhere near the actual battle that was about to take place. Information was all he wanted from them. Something told him that the four teenagers waiting in the briefing room with the rest of SG-1 wouldn't be content to sit on the sidelines. He nodded slowly. "Ready?"
She closed her eyes. Began to pull strength from him as he slowly opened himself to her, careful not to overwhelm her with the intensity of his power. She moved up…felt him holding her gently, his strong arms around her, protecting her. She listened…moved…looked. Where the hell was that snake bastard? There was something…not right…about the situation…darkness where there shouldn't be…Oh, no! Not again! She was not about to let a group of…Ascended? No…no… these were…The Others. Small group. They were why her father 'disappeared'! He was battling them at the same time her children and surviving friends were fighting, or trying to fight Penatil!
Daniel could sense that something had just made her very angry. He couldn't hold back his grin. Whoever it was had never faced a pissed off Casey Jackson. They'd never make the same mistake again! "Angel?"
"Just a minute," she whispered. There. Nice dark cloud around that entire planet. She would have moved right by it had she not been looking for something out of place. Reaching for him, she guided him to the location, certain that the knowledge of the Ascended would help him find the exact location and coordinates for the planet.
"Got it," he said grimly. "Why is it so damned black?"
"Oh, shit. Ancient?"
"Your Dad must not know."
"Not yet he doesn't. I’m thinking that right now, nobody higher up knows."
"Okay, we know where he is-" He broke off when he felt her trying to 'hide' them. He remained still, silent, let her surround him completely.
They didn’t speak until they were back in the meadow. "I don't think they noticed us," she said.
"Can you be sure?"
"If they did, Daddy can find out. It won't take him long, either," she said assuredly.
"Let's get back."
"Daniel…" she held tightly to him. "I need you. Don't you dare get yourself beheaded."
He smiled. "I promise." He kissed her, taking a few seconds to do a thorough job. Grinned at the light of lust that flickered in her beautiful green eyes.
"Just wait until I get you home!"
"That sounded like a threat."
"Or promise. Take it however you want. Just rest assured I’m going to screw your brains out first chance I get," she replied.
He shivered with eager anticipation. "I'll hold you to that," he said softly. He dropped a kiss on the tip of her nose, then gently moved away from her. It was time to go to work. Doing what SG-1 did best. Saving the entire freaking universe from a batshit crazy Goa'uld, and Beings with delusions of exceptional grandeur.
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